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Posts Tagged ‘Stop faking!’

The…carceral feminists[s]…are frightened. This is a culture war. – Nnenna

Business As Usual

It’s the same everywhere our work is even partially criminalized:

[Washington DC’s] “Human Trafficking Unit” is…a misnomer…only two percent of [those they]…arrest…[are charged with] human trafficking…The many proponents of D.C.’s decriminalization bill say that violence is endemic in the sex trade, and that policing is the cause of the violence, not the solution…[most] of the violence comes from [cops] themselves…in 2012, [cop] Kenneth Furr was convicted of [attempting to murder] a transgender woman who refused to [submit to rape.  Cops frequently]…rape people while…on the job, [using the excuse] of making an undercover arrest…MPD [claims] they have rules of conduct for prostitution stings [but the evidence shows these are ignored]…

Election Day (#840) 

Marijuana prohibition (in North America, at least) will soon be a thing of the past:

Mexico‘s Senate will vote for a bill to fully legalise marijuana in the next few days…marking a [long-overdue] step towards…removing it as a source of income for [the police and] violent drug gangs…Senator Ricardo Monreal, the leader of…[the majority] party in the upper chamber of congress, said…“The end of the prohibitionist policy is good for the country”…Late last year, the Supreme Court said lawmakers have until 24 October to legalise marijuana, after the high court ruled in several cases that the prohibition of the recreational use of the drug violates the constitution.  Under Mexican law, if the Supreme Court issues the same decision five times, the rulings set a precedent and the court can then order the establishment of a regulatory framework as well as further legal action…

This could be the beginning of a new economic era in Mexico, and if they’re wise they’ll follow it up by legalization of all drugs and a campaign advertising that fact to tourists.

First They Came for the Hookers… (#900)

New items of this type appear under the heading “Permanent Record”:

…28-year-old criminal defence lawyer Nadia Guo found herself thrown into the Canadian public eye [when] a local Toronto news story…outed her as a former escort…[with] the [stage name] “Dawn Lee”…the timing of the story…couldn’t be more conspicuous.  The morning after it dropped, she was due to appear in front of the Law Society of Ontario tribunal to prove she was of “good enough character” to become a lawyer.  This hearing was for reasons that had nothing to do with escorting…mostly…her outspoken social media…comments online about police, crown prosecutors and judges…in spite of the damage…Guo was finally granted her license to practice law [earlier this year]…[and has] used her platform to create a new story for herself, writing about navigating sex worker stigma in the legal world, using Tumblr to challenge how she’s been portrayed in media, signing with a literary agency to write a memoir, and officially starting her own legal practice.  We caught up with Guo to find out how one rebuilds a reputation – and life – after facing the full wrath of public stigma…

Safe Position (#944)

Hearings for the DC decriminalization bill dwarfed similar meetings in NYC:

For more than 14 hours on [October 17th], D.C. officials heard…public testimony about decriminalizing prostitution.  The…measure…would remove criminal penalties for…consenting adults…it would not touch existing prohibitions on sex work involving children, coercion, fraud, abduction, or violence, nor other criminal laws surrounding sexual assault, labor exploitation, or activity involving people under 18.  You might not have guessed that…from listening to…[speeches] from “anti-exploitation” groups that…were rife with refusals to distinguish between voluntary sex work and human trafficking, or between what the bill would actually do…and the detailed tales of trauma they told.  Again and again, nonprofit representatives invoked trafficked children and raped women…The president of…NOW…Toni Van Pelt, [fantasized] that the bill would [legalize kidnapping]…Councilmember David Grosso, who introduced the bill and is now among four sponsors, stressed repeatedly that, if anything, this measure would give police more capacity to handle the sex crimes that should actually be sex crimes…This…earned Grosso—a white man—a number of direct and indirect accusations [that]…he didn’t understand life in black and brown communities…But Grosso only brought forward the legislation after being approached by a coalition of activists…from…DECRIMNOW, [who] are overwhelmingly young D.C. residents of color, many with personal experience in sex work…

Torture Chamber (#964) 

Your government refers to this as “correction”:

Robert Wayne Johnson…[was] grappling with mental illness…[and] couldn’t afford about $2,500 in municipal court fines and fees accumulated over three years for [minor] infractions such as driving without a license…a judge sentenced Johnson to a two-day stint in jail [but] instead…[he was caged without reason] for 52 more days until he killed himself in January 2018…county officials [have no explanation]…Johnson’s death is among the hundreds each year that make suicide the leading cause of death in local jails…in the days before his death, a distraught Johnson tied torn towel strips around his neck in an apparent effort to strangle himself.  That [was ignored]…by staff…on…the day Johnson died, he tied shoelaces around his neck and…later cut his wrists with a razor blade until another detainee took the blade away and alerted [screws who locked him]…in [solitary confinement]…15 minutes [later]…he was [found dead] with his shoelaces wrapped around his neck and tied to the bed frame…

Shift in the Wind (#965)

Pro-decrim articles are even common on conservative sites these days:

…Conservatives don’t have to like it, and they certainly don’t have to view prostitution as moral or acceptable.  But if they want to embrace practical reality over moral idealism and help women, they’ll begrudgingly accept that we must stop waging state-led war on the world’s oldest profession.  Criminalizing prostitution only pushes it underground, making it significantly more dangerous for the women that participate…Decriminalization doesn’t magically make the sex industry a wonderful place to work or eliminate the moral qualms that reasonable people might have with prostitution.  But it does do a great deal to make the trade, which always will exist and always has existed, much safer for everyone involved…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#974)

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

This month, Florida became the first state in the nation requiring sex-trafficking [indoctrin]ation as part of every student’s curriculum…The new policy requires every school district to implement age-appropriate lessons about [how sex is bad and scary and women are too stupid to be allowed to make decisions about it]…Valerie Ellery, the Florida Department of Education’s new Human Trafficking Education Specialist [admitted] “[I am] very grateful we are able to have this rule passed so [I] can [ride this gravy train while it lasts]”…One of the lead proponents for the rule was Selah Freedom, a Sarasota-based…organization that [makes its money via a religious “diversion” program for sex workers that is so unpopular the only way it gets participants is by cops literally forcing or frightening women into it]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#980)

If you aren’t worried about spy planes, how about this?

…satellite imagery…resolution keeps improving…[the ability to] identify individuals or license plates from space…[is] not far-off…In just 15 years, we’ve gone from being able to see things the size of 40-inch TVs to those the size of smart tablets.  There are [US] government controls on the resolution of commercially available satellite imagery, but [not on the imagery available to any government.  And even]…current American spy satellites…[have] about 0.10 meters resolution…Drones can be shot out of the sky, yet little can be done to combat or hide from cameras virtually invisible from the ground.  No one consents to being imaged from space…Yet [in]…a…not-so-distant future…we [will be able to] direct very high-resolution satellites to any point on Earth, easily identifying a person’s location or activities.  Who will have access to this data?  The police?  Politicians looking for dirt on their opponents, or angry spouses with a vendetta?  How will this data be used in courts and who can be trusted to interpret it?  The thought of potential misuses is chilling…

Misuse by “authorities” in both the US and under other oppressive regimes is 100% certain, and given that China, Israel and other police states are already selling data and surveillance equipment, no law in any US jurisdiction will be able to keep this power out of the hands of American cops for much longer.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#981) 

This is getting both nastier and more tangled:

…the turmoil surrounding controversial adult website GirlsDoPorn took a sharp turn, when the Department of Justice unsealed details of an FBI investigation against the site’s owners…[which] complicate mainstream coverage of this as a cliché tale of innocent girls from the heartland getting duped by sinister smut-peddlers.  Go through the very strange story of GDP and you will encounter a teen affiliate marketing tycoon, accusations of rape and sexual assault, “uncharged conspirators” rolling on former associates, a remote island paradise full of financial secrets and a conveniently dead lawyer who set up shady companies with names like Bubble Gum Media…In July 2015, [GDP owner Michael Pratt and his associates] began publishing their victims’ personal information ([legal] names, links to social media accounts, hometowns, pictures, etc.) en masse to a website called PornWikileaks.com…[which the following] November…was transferred to an email address belonging to…Pratt.  Turns out PornWikileaks — the infamous website started by the even more infamous adult industry pariah, Donny Long, and which hosted a doxxing and extortion fodder forum against adult models called “Whore Hunting”…was owned by none other than the GirlsDoPorn owner…

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If I had never dialed the police…she’d still be alive.  –  James Smith

This video (contributed by Furrygirl) was all the rage a couple of weeks ago; the woman was apparently a former member of the Lyndon Larouche cult, and I think she’s hilarious (and seasonal).  The links above it were provided by Phoenix Calida, Tim Cushing, Dave Krueger, Radley Balko, Walter Olson, and Jillian Keenan, in that order.

From the Archives

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Politicians are going to act like they’re supporting us, and learn to mouth the right rhetoric.  –  Kristen DiAngelo

Real People

Why are amateurs so obsessed with sex workers’ taxes?

Kirie Redfield…runs her own limited company and…pays VAT every quarter.  Every week she sends her books to her accountant to make sure all her tax affairs are in order…she’s a[n]…escort…plying her trade from a motor home in which she travels all over the country…Kirie…was unwittingly caught up in a blackmail scam when a [disgusting pig]…attempted to extort money from one of the punters who had visited her van…in Luton.  The first Kirie knew of it was when a [different pig tried to pin it on]…her…

Sex Work is Work

One day, simply listing a job on a job list will not be controversial:

Universal Credit chiefs have made a humiliating U-turn after [correctly including]…“dances in adult entertainment establishments” as one option for jobseekers with “no formal academic” skills…it has since been taken offline, hours after [a chorus of puritans bleated idiocy about a lucrative, flexible job being]…“inappropriate”…”unacceptable” …”insecure” [etc]…

Against Their Will (#831)

Journalists never question why women are willing to risk death to escape “rescue” by cops:

A woman is expected to survive after she was hit by two vehicles on the Gulf Freeway service road in southeast Houston…[while fleeing rape and brutalization by disguised pigs who deceived her]…the woman unknowingly got into a [pigmobile, but when she realized she was going to be raped and abducted]…she decided to run away…

Safe Position (#851)

If the Democratic Party were run by people who care about human rights, this would be its official position:

…sex workers and their allies are feeling left behind by…Bernie Sanders and…Elizabeth Warren, who have both unveiled wide-reaching policy platforms on criminal justice reform…that don’t include a single mention of decriminalizing sex work…

The article quotes several sex worker rights activists, but like so many stories of this ilk incorrectly states that arch-prohibitionist Kamala Harris is in favor of decriminalization, which she absolutely is not; she supports the misogynistic, authoritarian, agency-negating Swedish model.

Torture Chamber (#866) 

The State wants us to call this a “correctional institution” and the torturers “correctional officers”:

A Florida prison guard on [August 21st] [intentionally] broke the neck of a female inmate who suffered from both mental and physical disabilities…Cheryl A. Weimar…was unable to clean a toilet due to a pre-existing hip condition.  A [screw tried to force her to do it anyway while shouting “Stop faking!” at her, triggering]…Weimar to…[have a panic attack]…the guard became angry and…slammed [his helpless victim] to the ground…then dragged to a wheelchair, “with her head bouncing along the ground.”  She was eventually taken to the hospital where she was placed in intensive care…[with] a…broken neck…

Here are a few more choice tidbits from the past year at Lowell:

Florida officials [initially tried to cover up an incident in which a crazed screw intentionally broke a woman’s neck]…at [the notorious] Lowell [Cage Stack]…A year ago, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division met with…victims [of rape by screws and their] families and loved ones…to [pretend something would be done, but]…the next month, Nicholas Seaborn Jefferson, a [rookie screw], was arrested [for raping]…an inmate…Five months later, Adrian Victor Matthew Puckett was charged with [beating the living shit out of a woman] and falsifying records [to cover it up], and Kurtis Kyle Mitchell was charged [as his accomplice]…Puckett [beat her so severely]…that her two upper central incisors and one upper lateral incisor were knocked out at the root….her lower lip [was sliced] in half…The injuries caused permanent disfigurement…

Rooted in Racism (#953)

The racism of European “anti-trafficking” schemes is getting harder to disguise:

…many European countries and the EU itself are trying to restrict [rescue of human beings from sinking vessels], even as the death toll in the Mediterranean rises.  The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, appears to have come up with an ingenious solution: use drones.  The legal obligation to aid a vessel in distress does not apply to an unmanned aerial vehicle…You can avoid the politically fraught argument about who should take care of rescued migrants if you never rescue them in the first place…If we are obliged to rescue those who ask us for help, the solution seems to be to ensure we cannot hear their request…in the self-serving morality of European border policy if there were no traffickers there would be no migrants.  But traffickers do not manufacture migrants in their garages.  If the official routes are blocked, people will seek out unofficial routes.  The demand for smugglers is increased, not stopped, by making migration more difficult.  Rather than breaking their business model, these policies create it…The obsession with border security is running up against some of the oldest obligations western societies have.  Look after the vulnerable, do unto others as we would have them do unto us, help those we can…But our governments have decided it is not what Europeans do.  In perverse defiance of ingrained moral instincts thousands of years old, in modern Europe a sailor who rescues a drowning refugee must be punished…

Between the Ears (#959)

Any internet-connected device can be used to spy on you:

Contractors working for Microsoft have listened to audio of Xbox users speaking in their homes…human contractors [also] listen…to…Skype calls as well as audio recorded by Cortana, Microsoft’s Siri-like virtual assistant…The purpose of contractors [eavesdropping]…was [supposedly]…to improve the products…Apple, Google, and Facebook suspended their own use of contractors after swelling media coverage around the widespread practice; Amazon said it will let users opt-out…Microsoft [merely] updated its privacy documents to…say that humans may [listen to users without their consent]…

All-Purpose Excuse (#959)

Hey prohibitionists, are you proud of your accomplishments?

The Trump Administration…will now seek to terminate the Flores Settlement Agreement, a [compromise authoritarians call a] loophole that results in most alien families being released into the country after 20 days…The Flores loophole essentially gives a free pass into the interior of the United States to many aliens who arrive at the border with a minor…Smugglers have even fraudulently presented aliens arriving at the border as fake families to take advantage of the Flores loophole…[which] acts as a [giant cartoon] magnet, [magically] drawing more and more alien families to make the dangerous journey to our border…

To Molest and Rape (#961)

Cops show you what they are every day; why don’t you believe them?

A [typical and representative] Cleveland [cop]…attempt[ed] to kidnap [and rape] a 12-year-old girl who was waiting for a school bus in Euclid…Solomon Nhiwatiwa…asked the girl if she wanted a ride to school and after she [wisely] refused, he…[whipped out his dick] and urinated on her while filming the incident with his cell phone.  Afterwards, he got back in his car and drove away…He has been [arrested and] charged with [numerous offenses]…

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Time to die.  –  Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer)

Rutger Hauer died last week, and while I’m not really a fan of Blade Runner I couldn’t resist sharing this video as a memorial.  The links above it were provided by Billy Binion (“faking”), David Ley (“protecting”), Tim Cushing (“showing”), Emma Evans (“sitting”), and Rick Horowitz (“looking”).

From the Archives

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This machine is pumping fluid into my veins as we speak. – Shaquille Dukes

Apparently five years of living in Seattle is not enough for me to have heard of this, but I’m not terribly ashamed because Chekhov, a font of local knowledge who first moved to Seattle in 1978, had never heard of it either.  It does actually serve as a kind of goofy real-life metaphor for the city, though.  The links above it were provided by Marijke Vonk, Boatfloating, Franklin Harris, David Wraith, Emma Evans, and Lucy Steigerwald, in that order.

From the Archives

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The war on guns, like the war on drugs, is primarily waged on poor people.  –  Baynard Woods and Brandon Soderberg

Doris Day, who passed away this week at the ripe old age of 97, was probably my mother’s favorite singer; I remember her singing “Que Sera, Sera” so often when I was a child that I knew the lyrics by heart before I started school (and it’s one of the few popular songs entirely within my rather-limited vocal range).  So it only seems appropriate to feature a recording of that song as this week’s video; the link above it were provided by SWOP Behind Bars, Tim Cushing, C.J. Ciaramella, Elizabeth N. Brown, Radley Balko, and Tim Cushing again (in that order).

From the Archives

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I can’t breathe.  –  Lamekia Dockery

The gentleman I call Daedalus shared this video with me last week, and besides being extremely funny it is absolutely brilliant.  The links above it were provided by Lucy Steigerwald, Joe Setyon, Kevin Wilson, Jesse Walker, Nun Ya, and Tushy Galore, in that order.

From the Archives

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