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Posts Tagged ‘Singapore’

[Indiana’s] boundless view of governmental power cannot be squared with the Constitution.  –  Sam Gedge

Safe Targets

Please tell us more about how legalization “protects” sex workers:

The [Singaporean] television show Crime Watch…served as the source of inspiration that motivated three youths to hatch a plot to rob sex workers at knifepoint.  On…June 28…Theophileous Jebaraj, 16, and John Karan, 18, were convicted…the third co-accused, a 14-year-old…cannot be named as he is a minor…the trio agreed…[that] the “safest” way to commit a crime…would be preying on…sex workers…given the illicit [government designation] of their work…Armed with knives, they…[robbed] the victim…of…about S$100…and…ransack[ed] the house for other valuables…

Where Are the Victims?

When giving someone a ride to work is a “felony”.  Because “ring”:

A Billings massage parlor owner has agreed to plead guilty to one count related to [what masturbating pigs and prosecutors fantasized was] a sex-trafficking ring…Scot Donald Petrie…agree[d] to plead guilty [to] transporting a woman from Nevada to Billings to work…at his parlor…[giving adult women rides] carries a maximum of 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and an additional $5,000 special assessment and five years to life supervised release…prosecutors agreed not to pursue charges of conspiracy and coercion and entitlement, which could have added 25 years to Petrie’s sentence…

Little Tin Gods (#588)

People sometimes ask me why I moved out of Louisiana.

[A pig who murdered] a 6-year-old autistic boy is out of prison after serving less than two years…Norris Greenhouse Jr.,,,[was given a] plea…[bargain for] negligent homicide and malfeasance…[and was given a] seven-year prison sentence…[which] was reduced due to [his being a pig]…Greenhouse will be on parole until 2025…Greenhouse [had a history of rape and molestation, including being caught trying to molest]…a 14-year-old…He was also accused of making “sexual advances” towards a girlfriend of [one of his murder victims]…

The Course of a Disease (#793)

The Swedish model “helps” sex workers!

Olivier Arsac, deputy mayor in charge of…safety…in Toulouse [said] “We must not hesitate to be brutal…to obtain…[sex workers’] departure [from the city]”…[the statement] caused controversy [among those who want to pretend policing is not intrinsically violent]…Arsac [has also called for]…eviction…of prostitutes [as is typical in Swedish model regimes]…

Rooted in Racism (#913)

In Europe as in the US, the real humanitarians are fighting against racist “anti-trafficking” schemes:

The sea captain who rammed a police boat while bringing 40 rescued immigrants to an Italian port…must be freed…a judge ruled…Carola Rackete…was arrested after she docked the rescue ship of…Sea-Watch at Italy’s tiny Lampedusa island [on June 29th], 17 days after taking the immigrant passengers aboard…Rackete was “doing her duty saving lives,” Judge Alessandra Vella concluded in denying prosecutors’ request to keep the German captain under house arrest…Italy’s virulently anti-immigrant interior minister, Matteo Salvini, banned [rescue] ships…from Italian waters and ports, [pre]tending they…encourage human trafficking.  Italian…authorities had repeatedly denied Rackete’s request to enter the port…[so] she steered into…Lampedusa…without authorization…Supporters in Italy and Germany pledged over 1.3 million euros ($1.48 million)…[to] an online fundraiser for her and for Sea-Watch…several impromptu street rallies were held in her support in Italy…[Italian pigs oinked that] the immigrants on board were not in a desperate state of need…[even though] 13 [of them had] to be…medical[ly evacuated from the ship soon after arrival]…

Dangerous Speech (#917)

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

…federal Judge Susan Brnovich ruled against the wishes of prosecutors and in favor of a defense motion to reset the start date for the trial of six ex-Backpage honchos, allowing two newly-appointed defense attorneys an additional four months of prep time in [the] wildly complex case…Brnovich rescheduled the first day of trial for May 5, 2020 and reset several pretrial deadlines.  [Andrew] Padilla and [Joye] Vaught are relative small-fry in the case.  Out of a 100-count indictment, the feds have charged them with 51 counts: 50 for promoting prostitution in violation of the federal Travel Act, and one count of conspiracy…Though the criminal charges were brought in Arizona, the federal government chose to go through the Central District of California in order to [steal] millions of dollars in assets as part of the operation…[including designated] funds [set aside long before the raids for] legal defense…The reason why Padilla and Vaught have new counsel…is in part due to the feds’ [theft] of [these] accounts…

A Broker in Pillage (#917)

Indiana continues to pursue the “right” to rob anyone within its borders blind:

After losing at the U.S Supreme Court, the state of Indiana still hasn’t given up its argument that there are virtually no Eighth Amendment limits on what it can [steal from anyone cops point at]…In oral arguments before the Indiana Supreme Court last week, Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher said the state’s position that it would be constitutional to seize any and every car that [a cop claims] went over the speed limit—a line of argument that elicited laughter from the nation’s highest court last year—hasn’t budged…The Indiana Supreme Court is now reconsidering the case of Tyson Timbs’ $42,000 Land Rover, and whether the state’s 2015 [theft] of Timbs’ car after he was convicted of a drug felony violated his Eighth Amendment protections against excessive fines and fees…The Indiana Supreme Court will now have to decide how to determine whether a [theft] is excessive or not, a decision that could either check or reinforce the state government’s power in these cases…last year, Fisher argued…that the excessive fines clause, even if it applied to the states, did not apply to the practice of civil asset forfeiture, which operates under the legal fiction that it is an action against the property itself, not the owner…

Morality Lessons (#921)

The FBI should’ve just run their child porn sites on DoD computers:

…An untold number of Department of Defense (DOD) employees and contractors have subscriptions to child pornography websites, and…”hundreds of DoD-affiliated individuals” were recently identified as suspects in child pornography cases…an investigation by the National Criminal Justice Training Program found DOD computers were among the top networks nationwide for peer-to-peer sharing of pornographic images of minors.  DOD’s network ranked 19th out of 2,891 computer networks studied…

All-Purpose Excuse (#923)

I love seeing governments fight the rescue industry for control of the “sex trafficking” narrative:

A [UK] Home Office policy document on…Nigeria[n sex workers] says that those who become “wealthy from prostitution” enjoy “high socio-economic status” and are “often held in high regard” when they return home…[rescue industry perv]erts retorted that [the migrant women they label] trafficking victims [are]…“very young women plucked from the streets of Benin City or Lagos and brought to the UK to be raped, for months and sometimes years”…

Now that the greedy and the power-hungry all recognize the proven power of this ugly, racist sexual fantasy to frighten the Great Unwashed into giving them what they want, they’ll keep struggling for control of it until it implodes.

Checklist (#934)

The scheme to cut sex workers off from the healthcare system continues:

EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland partnered with Seattle Against Slavery on June 21 to continue the [indoctrin]ation [of] health care professionals [in denying the sexual agency of adult women who seek healthcare services]…Claudia Lawrence…delivered a presentation to nursing staff, physicians and social workers on [how to project fantasies] of exploitation…[onto] adults…“Not everyone who is trafficked is aware they are trafficked,” said Lawrence…

Shame, Shame (#951)

An existing crime (extortion) doesn’t magically become a different thing (“sexortion”) when sex is involved:

Gabe Ryan Gilbert, 19, was charged with contacting juvenile girls on social media and threatening to photo-edit nude images of them if they would not send him real nude photos…A 15-year-old girl reported…that Gilbert “had threatened to photoshop images of her face onto nude photos unless she sent real nude pictures of herself”…When [cops] looked into Gilbert’s Snapchat account…”it was obvious the user had been engaging in very similar behavior with…over 50 potential victims”…

The solution to this problem isn’t increasing the censorship powers of the already-bloated police state as authoritarians demand; it’s fighting the idea that a woman’s body is something to be ashamed of.

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The U.S. Attorney made it clear that he intends to put us in prison for the rest of our lives.  –  Michael Lacey

License to Rape

Cops raping sex workers is so ubiquitous, non-cop rapists often pose as cops to facilitate the crime:

Liu Aik Kang…[of Singapore] hatched a plan with his cousin and the cousin’s friend to pose as [cops] to [rape] a…[criminalized] sex worker and steal from her.  They…[intentionally] sought out their victim because they knew [she] was [doing sex work]…illegal[ly]…Liu…was sentenced to 14 months and two weeks’ jail for his offences…[after raping the victim] Liu, together with his cousin Hu Zhihao…made off with more than S$8,000 [$5850 US]…worth of [their victims’ possessions], including laptops and cameras…

Dysphemisms Galore 

In normal adult sane-person language, she owned four very ordinary massage parlors:

Dan T. Zheng…of Boston was arrested…and charged with trafficking of persons for sexual servitude, deriving support from prostitution and procuring support for prostitution…for [owning] four massage parlors…Six female victims were also located…police learned that male clients were allegedly being offered, and accepting additional services of a sexual nature following their scheduled massage for an additional fee…said District Attorney Ryan…“The defendant in this case was allegedly using businesses in four communities as a front to provide illegal sexual services for a fee while exploiting the women who were employed by her in the process”…

Policing for Profit

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

…several [cops] in Northern California [stole] three pounds of legal marijuana from [Zeke Flatten] during a traffic stop, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit…And he’s not the only one who…was…robbed by a group of [profiteering pigs]…three [pigs] from the town of Rohnert Park and Hopland Band of Pomo Indians pulled him over last December while he was driving through Mendocino County.  The[y]…were not wearing name tags or badges, and [lied that] they…[were] federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms…Flatten [foolishly] told the [bandits] about the marijuana and offered to show them his paperwork for it, but they [stole] it and left without issuing him a ticket or running his name to check for outstanding warrants…The lawsuit, citing recent local news investigations, says [cops] from the town and tribe have a pattern of using a lucrative civil asset forfeiture program to shake down motorists for marijuana and cash during traffic stops…

Rough Trade (#351)

Politicians will do anything to avoid decriminalizing women’s sexual choices:

When rape shield laws spread across the country in the 1970s to protect sexual misconduct victims from having their sexual histories used against them in court, women could finally come forward without fearing their “promiscuity” would be paraded in front of a jury…But…stigmas…about…sex workers are still etched into the rape shield statute by treating them differently when they suffer sexual attacks…In New York’s legislative bodies, two bills attempt to address New York’s outmoded law.  One…removes an exception that allows the defense to introduce evidence proving the victim has been convicted of a prostitution offense in the three years prior to the alleged sex offense under prosecution…The other…extends the rape shield protection to cover sex trafficking cases…

Because we couldn’t just make sex work not a crime, no sirree.

Rotting Fruit

But please, tell me again about how the political teams are really opposed:

Jeffrey Epstein had a little black book filled with the names and personal phone numbers of some of the world’s wealthiest and most influential people, [including] Bill Clinton and Donald Trump…A money manager for the super-rich, Epstein had two private jets, the largest single residence in Manhattan, an island in the Caribbean, a ranch in New Mexico and a waterfront estate in Florida…For years, Epstein lured an endless stream of teenage girls to his Palm Beach mansion, offering to pay them for…sex…with him and others…in 2007, despite substantial evidence…the U.S. attorney in Miami, Alexander Acosta, signed off on a secret deal for the multimillionaire…that ensured he would never spend a day in prison.  Acosta, now President Donald Trump’s secretary of labor, agreed to seal the agreement so that no one — not even Epstein’s victims — would know the full extent of his crimes or who was involved…

The Mote and the Beam (#822)

Since Trump has jumped on this bandwagon, perhaps the soi-disant “resistance” types may start listening to the truth, even if only to spite him:

President Trump took strong action…to hold accountable* those governments that have persistently failed to [persecute sex workers sufficiently to sate US bloodlust]…Specifically, the president will limit the number of national-interest waivers and restrict certain types of foreign assistance for nearly two dozen governments of countries identified as “Tier 3” by the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report.  The report, [a political tool used to blackmail poor countries]…places each country in tiers to [reward obedience to US political pressure]…and urge greater action to [persecute adults for consensual sex]…Tier 3 countries are those that have neither [obeyed] nor made a significant effort to [lock human beings in cages for consensual sex]…this administration will no longer use taxpayer dollars to support governments that consistently fail to [satisfy US puritanism]…

* “Hold accountable” is a euphemism used by totalitarians to mean “persecute under guise of some kind of moralistic rhetoric”.  It’s commonly seen in phrases such as “hold sex buyers accountable”, which means “persecute men for wanting consensual sex”.

Elephant in the Parlor (#847)

I’ve been saying I distrusted Avenatti since almost the beginning of this:

Stormy Daniels…said she’s unsure if [Michael] Avenatti…will continue to represent her.  “I’m tremendously grateful to him for aggressively representing me in my fight to regain my voice…But in other ways Michael has not treated me with the respect and deference an attorney should show to a client.  He has spoken on my behalf without my approval.  He filed a defamation case against Donald Trump against my wishes.  He repeatedly refused to tell me how my legal defense fund was being spent.  Now he has launched a new crowdfunding campaign using my face and name without my permission and attributing words to me that I never wrote or said.”  In response, Avenatti said..that Daniels paid $100 to retain him, and they agreed any money raised in the legal defense fund would go toward his costs…Daniels’ words came after Avenatti was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence [in November].  Prosecutors in Los Angeles declined to charge him with a felony, and Avenatti denied ever acting abusively to any woman.  After those allegations, Daniels said she did not condone violence against women and would end her working relationship with Avenatti if they were found to be true…

Censor Chic (#861) 

Remember when people used to believe that Google’s “Don’t be evil” motto was sincere?

Perhaps you’ve heard about the latest employee uprising at Google, against a search engine and other products tailored for the Chinese government called project Dragonfly.  Workers staged a high-profile…protest [on November 27th] against Dragonfly….[and] raised over $200,000 for a “strike fund”.  This came after a new report confirmed the project and quoted ex-Google engineer and company privacy advocate Yonatan Zunger, who said the company’s privacy and security teams were locked out of key meetings.  Most visible amid Google employee rancor is a statement and petition they posted to Medium…[signed by] 628 [employees]…a leaked confidential memo [reported] that in 2016 Dragonfly was originally “developed as an app for Android and iOS devices, and would link people’s search records to their personal cellphone number and track their location“…

Damned Lies (#866)

Remember the government’s boast that it had censored 90% of sex work ads on the internet, which was already 50% false the day it was made?

Online sex ads plunged in April following Backpage’s seizure and [the enactment of FOSTA]…But a new analysis finds the drop in the number of ads may have been short-lived.  According to…[fascist cop-collaboratorsMarinus Analytics, there were about 146,000 online sex ads posted per day in the U.S. on leading escort websites from mid-September to mid-October — and the company expects the total for this month to be even higher.  In contrast, there were about 133,000 such ads posted on Backpage in the month before its shutdown…Instead of backing away amid the government [jihad against sex workers]…some escort websites…[have moved overseas, safely out of the reach of US busybodies,] and see the Backpage shutdown as an opportunity to expand…

Moronic “experts” quoted in the story also think that the lower response to pig-placed fake ads is due to a reduction in “demand”, when in actuality more men are just learning to exercise due diligence.

Changing the Rules

Michael Lacey tells the story of the government’s war on free speech, with Backpage as the bogeyman:

…strong political currents agitated by Senator John McCain, now deceased, and his beer-baroness wife Cindy — with her high-church hair bun and her wildly exaggerated campaign against child sex trafficking — swamped prosecutorial restraint and common sense.  The McCain medicine wagon hauled out roundheads, god botherers, creeping Jesus crawlers, and magical legislative elixirs meant to banish sex workers.  Cindy McCain, in particular, fixated on trafficking.  She has said that she saw the light during a trip to India, after she purchased some gewgaws for her daughter that she suspected — with no evidence — had been made in a sweatshop.  (Evidently, her inherited riches obviated the need for facts.)  The McCains’ fellow carnival barker, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, supervised the inquisition within the halls of Congress.  Even as the government spends millions of dollars trying to put us behind bars, it has not appropriated a penny to aid sex workers with counseling, education, housing, or job training.  The logic apparently hails from an unpublished Dr. Seuss book that begins: “The ‘world’s oldest profession’ exists because of Backpage, which began in 2004”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#885) 

More on Amazon’s campaign to end privacy forever:

An Amazon patent application…describes how a network of cameras could work together with facial recognition technology to identify people, and re[port them to the pigs, an application already being tested in Orlando, Florida].  Amazon’s application says the process leads to…more [surveilled] neighborhoods, as well as better informed [cops]…The application describes creating a database of suspicious persons.  Unwanted visitors would be added to the list when a homeowner tags them as not authorized.  Other people could be added to the database because they are a convicted felon or registered sex offender…”The patent is a roadmap for Amazon’s disturbing vision of surveillance in the future,” [said] Jacob Snow, a technology and civil liberties attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union…”People have the right to go about their daily lives without being watched and tracked”…

Forward and Backward (#889)

Kate Lister of “Whores of Yore” interviews street workers in Leeds:

In 2014, Leeds City Council…designated [a] non-residential area [where] between the hours of 8pm and 6am, there would be no police prosecutions for soliciting or selling sex…a small, but vocal group called “Save Our Eyes” is currently campaigning to have it shut down…[by pretending] that some women are selling sex outside the specified time and place.  Under intense pressure, Leeds City Council has now voted to review the managed approach…But the voices of the women working in the managed area are often missing from the debate over its future…The following interviews are with the street sex workers who work, or have recently worked, within the managed area of Holbeck.  The interviews were secured through Basis Sex Work Project…

“Save Our Eyes”.  In other words, these busybodies are implying that human beings are eyesores.

Toxic Entitlement

It didn’t take long for the “thot audit” to move from a foolish game to an actual threat:

…The harassers [have graduated to] taking advantage of user reporting tools made available by companies like PayPal, Venmo, and CirclePay, in an attempt to force their targets offline and freeze their finances…dozens of…sex workers [have] experienced…harassment and expressed outrage over being banned from multiple online payment service providers…Many of the women…have lost…hundreds of dollars, as most payment companies [steal] whatever funds were stored in the reported account.  Participants in the harassment campaign openly discussed tactics and specific attacks in r/ThotAudit, a public subreddit…Users also posted comprehensive “thot auditing field guides,” including a continually updated list of tens of thousands of potential targets, and detailed instructions for getting sex workers banned from PayPal, Venmo, Cash App, Amazon Pay, Stripe, Circle Pay, Snapchat, and Kik…

Because of these companies’ long history of stealing money from sex workers under the excuse of “TOS violations”, it’s a bad idea for any sex worker who uses them to leave more than a pittance in any of them.  I suggest transferring large amounts out within minutes of receiving them, and don’t let smaller amounts accumulate to over $100.  That way even if your account is closed, at least you don’t lose any money with it.  You might also consider having two bank accounts, and not leaving more than a token amount in the one linked to any payment processor; transfer anything else to the main account ASAP, and do not link it to any online payment processor.

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Being lonely is hardly a crime.  –  Jake Adelstein

The Rescuers 

Harassing streetwalkers to scare away their clients has become a popular rescue industry pastime:

Friday afternoon, a group called “Code Red” gathered their efforts to stop prostitution throughout the Bay Area and across the country.  “We love people and we know sometimes you just have to keep working and working because they are going to come,” said Sylvia Vigil, who…spent hours out on the streets of Oakland looking for sex workers.  She says she saw ten girls out there and tried to reach as many of them as she could…The girls were all invited to a special dinner Friday night and from there Operation Code Red will offer them places to stay in recovery homes.

“Love” = “pathologically need to control”.  “Reach” = “steal income from”. “All invited…offer them places” = the girls were all too smart to walk into that trap, so nobody actually showed up.

It Looks Good On Paper

Another story credulously touting bullshit “safe harbor” laws:

Ohio…Senate Bill 4…would allow trafficking victims to apply to have records removed of some guilty convictions, dismissed charges or findings of not guilty…prosecuting attorneys…successfully pushed for changes that require the person seeking expungement of…felonies to [somehow] prove the degree of duress they were under…

Surplus Women 

Cops threaten and harass sex workers, yet believe we’ll come to them when we need help:  “…a prostitute was found stabbed to death in her north London flat…[on] May 29…Detectives have warned other sex workers in the capital to be “extra vigilant” as they hunt the killer…

Elephant in the Parlor 

Quite possibly the most ridiculous excuse any politician has ever used:

On May 22, the Yomiuri Shimbun…alleged that [Japanese politician Kihei] Maekawa frequented a shady dating bar…for a few years until around the end of last year.  The article implied that many of the women who come to the bar…offer sex for money…At a news conference on May 25, Maekawa admitted he used to go to a dating bar but said he went there to talk to the women and learn about poverty in the country…after watching a TV documentary that said many women going to such bars are barely getting by.  “Sometimes I had meals with women and gave them some pocket money,” Maekawa said.  “Talking to them, I have learned that child poverty is connected to the poverty of women”…

Can we please all grow up now and recognize that it’s not merely normal but common for men to pay for sex, and that many women accept money for sex either directly or indirectly?

Welcome To Our World (#15)

Another rape victim caged to force her participation in the state’s morality play:

…in June 2015, Angela Cardinal was led into an Edmonton courtroom handcuffed and in leg shackles…She was not the accused, but rather a victim — called to testify at a preliminary hearing after she was savagely attacked and sexually assaulted by a notorious sexual predator…Cardinal was forced to spend a total of five nights in [jail]…during her testimony…Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley was appalled when…told…of Cardinal’s treatment…she has…formed a special committee to look at the case to review policies, with an eye to making what she calls “aggressive changes”…

Bottleneck 

No, they aren’t “forced” to work without a license; in every place where sex work is legalized, the vast majority prefer not to be registered by politicians and “supervised” by pigs.  Just look at the headline and tone of this article and you may understand why:

In Singapore, prostitution is legal, but [related activities are not]…The government regulates prostitution…but nevertheless illegal sex workers saturate the industry…There are an estimated 1,000…licensed sex workers in Singapore…Yet thousands more choose – or are forced – to work without a license.  Unable to access the same protection the state offers licensed workers, illegal sex workers will either work from massage or beauty parlours or…set up a profile online…Dr. Thein Than Win explains, “In the licensed brothels, everything is in place: mandatory health screenings, condoms.  But for the illegal sex workers…there are no [compulsory government-ordained restrictions]…As police stepped up their efforts by increasing surveillance…and…lawmakers [banned online advertising]…sex workers used websites hosted outside of Singapore to circumvent it…

Pyrrhic Victory (#139)

Some readers implied I was a crank when I predicted this exact development four years ago:

After the Freddie Gray riots in 2015, Baltimore residents began noticing small planes circling the city.  As reporters later uncovered, Baltimore Police had quietly begun using a “wide-area surveillance” system, which deploys Cessna planes to constantly record the movements of an entire metro area.  Police never bothered to tell the public they were using the invasive technology, which had been developed by the U.S. Air Force…Now Miami-Dade Police are quietly trying to deploy the same system.  In a county document posted online Tuesday, MDPD revealed the force has applied for Department of Justice funds to begin using wide-area surveillance (WAS) tools throughout the county…Civil liberty groups say they have major concerns about police using such a system, especially without telling the public about it…

Worse Than I Thought (#433)

I’m surprised this has taken so long to catch on, given the considerable overlap between anti-whore & anti-abortion busybodies:

There are only 13 states in the U.S. where it is possible for a minor to obtain an abortion without either notifying or explicitly receiving permission from either one or both parents.  For those who get pregnant in such states there is the option of continuing the pregnancy, finding a judge…willing to grant a judicial bypass…or [traveling]…to one of the few states that allows minors unrestricted…abortion…In 2006…the Child Custody Protection Act was proposed…[to make] crossing the borders a crime…it…died in committee a few times since then, but now it has once more reared its head…Ohio Senator Rob Portman reintroduced the Child Custody Protection Act in May, putting the restriction back on the table as a means of allegedly combating human sex trafficking.  “Human traffickers and child molesters don’t want parents involved in abortion decisions, so they take underage girls across state lines for abortions to avoid laws in the victim’s home state,” writes the conservative news site OneNewsNow

Are you satisfied, feminists?  Helping the anti-sex loons spread their “sex trafficking” myth sure was a good strategy, wasn’t it?

Soap Opera (#553) 

I wonder where Theresa Flores will get a real job once “sex trafficking” hysteria collapses?

…Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution…gathered a couple of dozen volunteers in Arlington, Virginia…to…deliver…[bars of magic anti-pimp soap] to hotels and motels around the D.C. Metro area…S.O.A.P. Founder Theresa Flores [claims she] recently received a text message from someone…[who was saved by] one of these [soap bars]…The volunteers…also gave…hotels…a list of warning signs for desk clerks to watch out for, and also photos of missing girls…Flores [also claimed she happened to be] around when a photo of a missing girl put in the hands of a desk clerk [happened to be someone in the hotel that specific clerk had checked in]…

Flores’ entire shtick derives from TV cop shows, right down to the convenient coincidences.

What Were You All Waiting For? 

The ACLU still has a long way to go if it wants to help sex workers:

…For sex workers…[prohibitionists’] view of “help” is paternalistic.  Most of us probably don’t think much about sex workers, and when we do, we tend to immediately assume the worst stereotypes…Criminalizing sex work just allows the dark side to flourish.  When sex-work is driven underground, victims of violence and exploitation feel the need to hide…Sex workers facing criminal sanction are less likely to report rape and violence committed by their customers, and they are more likely to take risks like unprotected sex when they operate entirely outside the law.  If we were really concerned with protecting [those]…who engage in sex work, we would set up a legitimate legal framework in which they could operate…

Eli Baumwell clearly needs some education; legalization (which is what he’s advocating here) doesn’t really work because in the same paternalism he himself says doesn’t work, and the chief danger we face isn’t violent customers but violent cops who lose no power over sex workers under the legalization model he’s advocating.  But this very flawed effort is still better than the ACLU’s long silence on sex worker rights.

Full of Themselves (#650)

Massage parlor licensing is widely touted as a way to “fight prostitution”; let’s see how that actually works:

Last month, Venice [Florida] police arrested three women for prostitution after raiding three massage parlors…[all three] still have “clear and active” massage therapy licenses issued by the DOH…all three have prior histories of prostitution arrests or convictions…Spotty enforcement and regulation of sex crimes in the massage profession happen all the time…Until 2015, the DOH operated on the honor system by requiring massage therapists to report their own arrests.  Now there is fingerprinting, that in theory, will automatically catch arrests of licensees for prostitution and other crimes…[the DOH] insists the state’s $6.5 million a year massage regulatory program that You Paid For is doing well…

I love it when authoritarian busybodies feed on each other.

Storyville (#697)

Some parts of the American west tolerated prostitution long after it was criminalized in the rest of Puritanland:

…When the discovery of gold and silver turned [Wallace, Idaho]…into the center of the mining universe, men moved [there]…by the thousands…Dr. Heather Branstetter….has literally written the book on the history of the sex trade here…”The madams contributed so much in anonymous ways that people don’t know about,” Dr. Brantsetter explained.  “They would leave money at the grocery store for people who couldn’t afford food.”  Many in Wallace say they don’t remember ever having to do a school fundraiser; what they needed was always provided.  In 1972, the state of Idaho no longer allowed cities to legalize prostitution.  But…in Wallace, it was [tolerated as long as] madams…follow[ed police] regulations, like not hiring local girls and keeping the women off the streets in their off hours.  But, over time, the [mining] industry declined.  By the mid-1980’s, only a few houses were left.  The AIDS epidemic…shut down [the last one]…in 1988…

The Widening Gyre (#738)

Still more infantilization of migrant Nigerian sex workers:

Although no fewer than 1, 594 illegal migrants from Nigeria have so far returned from Libya from January through May this year, many more are still stranded outside the country, having been deceived of a better life by traffickers, so said a representative from International Organisation for Migration (IOM)…Dr. Nahashon Thuo…Mrs. Winnie Aideyan, said…“There is nothing wrong with travelling, but people need to travel the correct way.”  Aideyan called on Nigerian youth to stop illegal migration, stressing, “Women need to be empowered so they will not be tempted by these traffickers”…

Because “empowered” women will obey self-appointed nannies and only travel in the “correct”, government-approved way, sitting with folded hands until they get permission. Naturally.

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Anti-prostitution advocates…incorrectly portray the global sex workers’ rights movement as dominated by Western, white, middle-class, cisgender women…as a way of dismissing the movement as “non-representative.”  –  Chi Adanna Mgbako

License to Rape Joseph Stanton

Good riddance to bad rubbish:

Joseph Raymond Stanton…was arrested on June 29…[for] the rapes of two prostitutes and the attempted rape of a third…In each case…Stanton…passed himself off as a…[cop] and lured the victims to his car.  He then drove them to a secluded location and raped them.  One of the women was able to escape before he could [rape] her…Stanton posted bail and was released…the day after his release [cops] found him dead in what appeared to be a suicide…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

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

Four Montreal police officers who work with informants have been arrested…Fayçal Djelidi…is facing nine charges, including perjury, attempting to obstruct justice, breach of trust by a public officer and obtaining sexual services for consideration…David Chartrand…was charged with two counts of perjury and two counts of attempting to obstruct justice…Two more officers were also arrested and are being questioned by Montreal police…Djelidi…is alleged to have communicated with unknown persons with the aim of procuring sexual services for himself in exchange for payment…

An Example To the West

Chi Adanna Mgbako on sex worker activism in Africa:

…In the past 10 years or so, sex worker activism has exploded throughout Africa, and there are now sex-worker-led organizations in African countries as diverse as Botswana, Cameroon, DRC, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, and many more.  In Kenya alone, there are now over 80 sex-worker-led collectives.  All of these groups are advocating for their right to work, to access de-stigmatized health care, and to live free from violence and discrimination.  It’s also important to note that outside of formal civil society actors like sex-worker-led NGOs, sex workers informally organize and resist criminalization by supporting each other financially, socially, and emotionally in their local communities.  This informal activism is an indispensable part of movement building…

The Pygmalion Fallacy 

Kate Iselin gets it, though four years after I did:

…The scenario that gives rise to the demand for android sex workers reads like a great big “told you so” fantasy of anyone involved in anti-sex work campaigning…It’s a creepy, shallow rendering of the nightmare portrait of sex work we’re too-often sold:  An industry that we worry dehumanises women can only be saved by, in this case, literally replacing humans with what amounts to an almost-sentient Fleshlight.  The idea that a robot brothel can solve all of our problems is naïve at best, and deeply ignorant at worst.  What assumptions does one need to make about our clients to suggest that they would be just as happy – or happier – penetrating chrome steel instead of receiving the touch of a human?…the “any hole’s a goal” mentality presumed in the [notion] overlooks the vast reasons one may have for seeing a sex worker: loneliness, curiosity, sexual or emotional unfulfilment, desire, the want for a certain skillset, or perhaps simply the need to be touched by a new and unfamiliar pair of hands…Plus, it’s telling – and hurtful – that little to no consideration is given to the skills of the sex worker.  I know myself and the service I provide well, and there is no possible way that the warmth of my body and the skill of my touch could be unnoticably replaced by an android…

Damned If You Don’t

But picket-fence queers say cops aren’t our enemies:

On July 4, police made sweeps and arrests at a gay beach in New York City, much to the surprise of beachgoers.  At the far corner of Jacob Riis Park—a gay beach that has been a notorious LGBT safe  haven for decades…police descended unannounced…gay Brooklyn photographer Krys Fox…stood with a towel wrapped around his waist…Suddenly, the towel loosened and dropped.  Before Fox could refasten it around his waist, he was tackled to the ground by a squad of police.  Fox told the Daily Dot that police had dominated the gay beach all day—”on horses, in uniform, undercover”—and were “everywhere.”  But he didn’t expect to be arrested, he said, because he hadn’t done anything wrong…those who…were [there]…noted that police targeted the gay section of the beach specifically, stating that there were no police on the rest of the beach…

Dysphemisms Galore 

It’s kind of refreshing to read an article which portrays us as depraved monsters rather than pathetic victims:

…Police raided a Warsaw [Indiana] massage parlor…next door to Kevin Love’s home.  He said he knew something suspicious was happening for about three years now…The two women were arrested after police found evidence related to prostitution, tax evasion and corrupt business practices.  Love said he often saw two women walking around the neighborhood in the evening…”just like any normal person would get out and go for a walk”…Love…is just relieved it is over.  “There are children on back further in the neighborhood, and they don’t need to be around something like that,” he said…

Bait and Switch

One can always assume there’s a wide gap between what actually happened and what the cops claim happened:

Aren Lindquist…has been sentenced to 25 years at Montana State Prison with 20 years suspended…[he was tricked by a fake] online ad for an escort service called “Barely Legal 18.”  [Cops told] the respondents…that no 18-year-olds were available and they had the option of having sex with a 15-year-old or a 12-year-old…

Another Fine Mess

Reporters never get tired of pretending that ordinary sex work practices are new and novel:

…at least 60 prostitutes from China [are] advertising their services online and operating in condominiums and apartments in Geylang…Instead of relying on pimps and brothel keepers, the women post suggestive photos of themselves and ask those interested to contact them on mobile phones directly.  These freelance prostitutes enter Singapore on tourist visas and typically work for up to one month…

A Procrustean Bed (#440) Judge Paul Herbert

It’s enough to make one vomit:

…These weekly court sessions are the core of a special probation program for victims of sex trafficking in Columbus. [Judge] Herbert started the program—known as CATCH (Changing Attitudes to Change Habits)—in 2009.  Women arrested on prostitution charges in Columbus can opt into this program – where they get safe housing, counseling, and close supervision instead of jail time.  Nearly all are in recovery from addiction.  As he moves through the docket, Herbert calls each defendant by her first name…”He said we’re going to love you until you can love yourself. And…I see something in you that you can’t see yet”…

King of the Hill (#537)

It looks like they’ve scaled back the claims about Charlotte, North Carolina’s “hub” status, maybe because the kids they’re trying to scare with it are smarter than the adults who believe this crap:

Starting this fall, sex trafficking will be addressed in seventh and eighth-grade classrooms across Charlotte…Director of Present Age Ministries Hannah Arrowood [said] “Charlotte is actually the number one city in the state of North Carolina for human trafficking”…Five-hundred new ads are posted soliciting sex in Charlotte every day…many of the women in the ads are not women at all, but rather trafficked teenagers and young girls…forced to have sex with multiple men…

Checklist (#593)

Because there aren’t enough real “victims” to go around, the rescue industry creates fake ones:

Catherine Pisha…is…an actor learning how to portray a [stereotype of a] human trafficking victim.  Pisha works at the University of Vermont’s Clinical Simulation Lab…[and] helps health care professionals improve the quality of their care by being a human guinea pig…Edith Klimoski…writes the scripts for these actors…Studies show that anywhere between 50 percent and 80 percent of human trafficking victims will come in contact with someone in the medical community during the time they’re being trafficked…

The Public Eye (#609)

Laura Lee braves the hostile waters of Mumsnet:

…One of the most infuriating strands to the current feminist discourse around sex work is the assertion that we are abused, or even raped, every time we sell sex.  That statement is injurious and grossly insulting to those who have survived abuse and rape, and it also strips sex workers of our agency.  As much as we campaign for the right to say “yes”, we absolutely reserve the right to say “no”.  I detest the use of the word “empowerment” in any debate on sex work.  My job is no more empowering than anyone else’s; it allows me to support my family and pay my bills.  But as a community, there is no doubt that we are more empowered to say “no” when we are permitted to work together for safety…

Uncommon Sense (#619)

the upcoming German law…will enforce mandatory registration of sex workers nationwide.  The law pretends to fight human trafficking…Forced registration through obligatory counselling includes the evaluation of one’s mental status by a state authority and implies sex workers…are perceived as irresponsible, mentally incapable beings…Our very own whore ID will be a state-issued document including our picture; our profession (that is “prostitute”, as the word “sex worker” is a bit too modern for the German state), our real name and address…In order to get it we will be forced to visit a state body and undergo counselling…You read that right: a functionary will decide in a compulsory talk if you have the marbles in your brain to be a sex worker…

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Nash the Cat had a brilliant brain. Until cannabis sent his brain down the drain.  –  Singapore Central Narcotics Bureau

As regular readers know, I’m a minarchist and consider both so-called political parties in the US to be merely the wings of one Fascist Party.  As such, I’m as likely to attack any candidate as any other; however, I must admit that Donald Trump’s openly-fascistic rhetoric has been unusually interesting even to someone as cynical about politics as me, and I thought this mashup (contributed by Jesse Walker) of Pink Floyd’s The Wall and footage from a Trump rally was rather inspired.  But again, I’m not a partisan; find me an attack on any other candidate (Republican, Democrat or third-party) which is equally well-done and I’ll post it too.  The links above it were provided by Mistress Matisse (“do”), Tim Cushing (“drive”), Nun Ya (“hate”, “question” and “never”), Dave Krueger  (“police”), Jillian Keenan  (“imagine”), Emma Evans (“purpose”), and Radley Balko (“afraid”).

From the Archives

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Fruits and veggies we adore thee
You are good and good for us.  –  USDA propaganda department

I was traveling this week and therefore couldn’t collect as many links as usual.  The video was suggested by Jae and the links by PopehatRick Horowitz and  Lucy Steigerwald (in that order).

From the Archives

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The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.  –  H.L. Mencken

Oppressions always start with those nobody is willing to defend.  Historically, that usually meant some unpopular ethnic or religious minority, or else whores or some other group who upset the prevailing mores of the time and place.  But since all law is built on precedent, it is only a matter of time before the same maltreatment is extended to successively larger and more broadly-defined groups.  As I expressed it in “Give Them an Inch”:

…if we don’t speak up for the rights of minorities, even small and unpopular minorities, the precedent set by their maltreatment will be expanded by slow stages until it encompasses everyone but the rulers themselves.  But it’s clear that most don’t grasp that truth fully enough to actually do anything about it; instead they say, “Oh, but surely that doesn’t apply to sex offenders, or terrorists, or illegal aliens,” or whatever other unpopular group they consider beneath basic human decency.  And then the number of groups so treated, and the scope of each group, expands…

Ashley Madison SingaporeThree examples of the principle came to my attention in November; each involves a violation of the rights of some odious character, and as a result few were willing to point out that horrible precedents were being set; in fact, in each case there were those who cheered and celebrated the infringement, completely oblivious to how the precedent might eventually affect them.  We’ll start with the mildest example:

Singapore’s government has blocked access to the popular adultery website Ashley Madison…ahead of the company’s planned launch of a portal for the city-state.  The Media Development Authority, which regulates the Internet, said…it has blocked access to the Canada-based website because it is in “flagrant disregard of our family values and public morality”…Thousands of Singaporeans, including a Cabinet minister, have expressed outrage and urged the government to block the website…

Long-time readers know that I have no love for Ashley Madison; its marketing is repulsive, its business ethics are nonexistent and its fake “press releases” are infuriating.  But Singapore did not censor it because it’s a massive fraud designed to bilk men out of their money, but because a lot of noisy prudes demanded it.  In Singapore, as in the UK and US, the moralistic minority often attempts to impose its views on the rest of society, and politicians listen; but while internet censorship may start with loathsome online businesses like Ashley Madison or “revenge porn” sites, it isn’t long before it extends to anything some politician dislikes.  And the only way to stop it is before the camel gets more than a nose under the tent.

The next example is in a way less serious, because the company voluntarily withdrew the controversial product due to the bad publicity:

A Chinese website is under fire for selling disturbingly life-like child-size, sex dolls…an advocacy group…called Dining for Dignity…[pressured] DHgate…into removing the item…[with a petition reading] “This…is fueling human sex trafficking, pedophilia, violent rape, and more.”

child sex dollYes, it’s creepy…and it’s a piece of plastic.  It is not a human being, or any kind of living creature; it is an inanimate object without any feelings.  Apparently, Dining for Dignity believes in sympathetic magic and imagines that if a man uses one of these nasty things for gratification, somehow a real child elsewhere in the world will be magically raped.  Furthermore, the notion that such an object can “fuel” a sexual kink implies that adult people’s kinks are malleable and can be created or amplified by a sexual stimulus of the applicable type; this is exactly the same as the fallacy that having gay friends will cause a man to “turn gay”.  A man who is not sexually attracted to prepubescent girls cannot be “turned into” a pedophile by a doll, child porn or anything else; the idea that he could is deeply misandrous.  Furthermore, the belief that pedophiles’ desires can be made to vanish by repressing them is based in the same view of “voluntary sexuality” that leads to religious-based “pray the gay away” brainwashing programs: once the precedent is established that people with a kink can simply be ordered not to feel that way, the fallacious principle can be applied to everyone.  The last case is similar, but has more far-reaching implications:

A phenomena [sic] known as Webcam Child Sex Tourism–adults logging into sex-chat rooms with minors in developing countries–is on the rise.  It is estimated that tens of thousands of adults currently prey on children this way each day, and the number keeps growing according to international researchers…a team of coders, animators, and researchers announced they had created a…computer-generated 10-year-old girl named Sweetie, intended to catch predators in the act.  In just 10 weeks this bit of CGI wizardry and software caught 1,000 predators.  But…Sweetie is not a 10-year-old girl–no matter what she looks like.  She’s not even a “she.”  Sweetie is an “it.”  And it’s code…

Sweetie programThough the author of this article uncritically accepts the typical moral panic claims (the panic-object is always “on the rise”, involves “tens of thousands” or more, and must be “fought” with extraordinary – and often extralegal – means), he at least recognizes the deep ethical problems with luring a person into doing something and then arresting him for it (a situation that used to be called “entrapment”).  “Sweetie” is even less capable of being a “victim” than a piece of plastic, since it has no physical existence; it is merely a set of algorithms, instructions to a computer.  Furthermore, if these men can be considered guilty of “exploiting” an imaginary child, by that same token the entrapment team is equally guilty of “pimping” that same imaginary child, and of making imaginary child porn.  Now, do I believe that these men were blameless angels who were talked into doing something extremely nasty they would never have done otherwise?  Hell, no; I think they’re scoundrels who were caught doing something that they had done before and will again.  But when we allow the cops (or in this case, privately-funded vigilantes) to make accusations based entirely on what a person might have done, with no actual victim, we open the door to the entire panoply of abuses which have accompanied the various “wars” on consensual behavior for which modern society will be as harshly judged by our descendants as we judge our ancestors for allowing slavery.  And the wholesale erosion of civil rights deriving from those “wars” affects not only the unpopular folks they target, but every citizen living under the governments which conduct them.

(This essay previously appeared in Cliterati on January 5th; I have modified it slightly to fit the format of this blog.)

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