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Posts Tagged ‘The Red Umbrella’

Efforts to abolish sex work…since the 1860s have one thing in common—failure!  –  Paul J. Maginn, Raven Bowen, and Maggie O’Neill

Not So Different

If amateur women weren’t so busy trying to ruin sex workers’ lives, they could learn a lot from us:

…Why don’t more people outside the sex industry organize against the dangers of sexual or intimate abuse in the way that sex workers do?  It’s not because sex workers have more resources or support.  In part, it’s because so many women outside the sex industry still believe that [women] are responsible for the abuses committed against them because they stepped outside of respectable behavior and “should have known better”.  Sex-work communities are often more resilient against these messages…Sex-worker feminism shows us that our safety and freedom should never be conditional, and that we have to come together—on the corner, online, at marches, and beyond—to prevent sexual abuse and resist its insidious effects on us…

Scapegoats 

Why doesn’t this say what kind of animal? A goat? A bitch? A hen? An iguana? A carp? A sea urchin? A cockroach?

A Bossier City [cop]…has been arrested for filming himself having sex with an animal…Terry…Yetman’s residence [was searched for undisclosed reasons, possibly involving domestic violence and]…detectives found pornography involving sexual acts with an animal…The investigation is still open and may result in additional charges [if the cops can figure out what kind of animal is involved]…

Fever Dream (#679)

We’re not hearing quite as much of this “highway” bullshit as we used to:

The newly opened Together Cafe…in Chattanooga…is…dedicated to [harassing sex workers]…Every dollar [of profit after the considerable overhead of cafes]…will go toward [creating prohibitionist propaganda]…Chattanooga has become a focal point…for…sex trafficking because of its geographic intersection of Interstates 75, 24 and 59, which provides an easy path for pimps to transport their victims around the Southeast…the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation [repeats the impossible masturbatory fantasy that] that one in four children who run away will be propositioned by a sex trafficker within 48 hours of leaving home and every year 1.2 million children worldwide are trafficked for sex…the average age of a child sold for six is 13 years

This is not the first coffee shop “rescue” scam we’ve heard of.  Note that the language about Chattanooga, interstate highways and “pimps” is plagiarized verbatim from pig propaganda at least two years old.

The Crumbling Dam (#849)

I’ll be rather pleased if Philadelphia beats the pompous, priggish politicians of Seattle to the punch:

The international law firm DLA Piper has signed on to represent Safehouse — the nonprofit organization attempting to launch a supervised-injection site in Philadelphia — pro bono…the move gives Safehouse some added clout in the legal fight [against federal prohibitionists]…Although Philadelphia’s mayor and district attorney support the opening of a privately funded supervised-injection site, federal authorities have threatened legal action…DLA Piper’s decision to represent Safehouse “demonstrates there’s an ever-increasing group of lawyers who respectfully disagree with the U.S. Attorney’s position,” said Ronda Goldfein…director of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania…DLA Piper, which has offices in 40 countries, is also representing the pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma…[against a nuisance lawsuit] brought by New Jersey’s attorney general over its marketing of…Oxycontin…

The Widening Gyre (#851)

This article by three academic allies covers a lot of ground, but starts here:

In 2015 British journalist Suzanne Moore wrote a piece lavishing praise on US hip-hop star Nicki Minaj…the…piece…celebrated Minaj’s agency and hypersexuality…[yet] Moore…shudders at the idea that women—especially middle-class women—would engage in real forms of sex work…she…seems to be[lieve] that sex workers come from lower-class backgrounds and lack agency, business acumen and even intellectuality…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#863)

Indian sex workers’ fight against a terrible new “anti-trafficking” bill is drawing international attention:

…Days after it passed in the lower house of India’s Parliament in July, two United Nations experts said the bill leans too heavily on the criminal justice system.  Without more of a “human-rights based and victim-centred approach,” the UN special rapporteurs on human trafficking and modern slavery warned, India “risks further harming already vulnerable individuals”…In major Indian cities like Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Sangli, sex workers are well organised and politically engaged.  Yet no sex worker groups were consulted during the drafting of the legislation…[which like all “sex trafficking” laws] promotes a dangerous idea that everyone in the sex trade is either a victim or a criminal…

The Widening Gyre (#874) 

The more cops are forced to deny “sex trafficking” scary tales, the harder it will be for them to spread such tales themselves:

Posts on Facebook are spreading quickly, claiming women are attempting to lure other people into sex trafficking at stores in the Mid-South…Memphis [Tennessee] and Southaven [Mississippi] police…said no one has made any official reports…One woman [claimed] she was shopping at…Walmart…when she was approached by two women inside the store…[who] the[n]…followed her back home…[yet]…she didn’t call police…[an]other post…shows a picture of two women…[and] claims they were trying to lure women into sex trafficking [by] taking pictures [of women, like the poster did]…

The Course of a Disease (#884)

Everyone knows prohibitionists are mathematically illiterate, but I figured they could at least count to ten:

The Knesset is set to pass a landmark law against prostitut[es]  making hiring sex workers a crime…The new law will make Israel the 10th country to institute what is called the “Nordic Model” of [persecuting sex workers]…the law…offers the Justice Ministry the option of instituting other punishments, such as “John Schools,” meant to [indoctri]ate [people in anti-sex propaganda]…The law…[also] budgets NIS 90 million over the next three years for the [brainwashing] of [captured sex workers]…the “Nordic Model” [was] first adopted in Sweden in 1999.  In recent years, others passed similar laws, including Ireland, France, Canada, Norway and some states in the US…

So far, only Sweden, Norway, Iceland, the two Irelands, France and Canada have adopted the Swedish model; that’s seven, plus one is eight.  And no US states have adopted it, though of course that’s among the smaller lies in this authoritarian screed (another claims the average sex worker dies at 46).

The Red Umbrella (#885) 

As long as sex work is marginalized, sex workers will be targeted for violence:

Alexander Popenkov, who is trained as an MMA fighter, and his wife, Maryana Kayumova, both 25, trolled online sex [worker] ads for victims [to] set…up phony appointments…on victims they [knew would]…be easy targets and vulnerable…Popenkov and Kayumova savagely beat and robbed at least eight women [in Manhattan], most of whom are Russian immigrants…[They] were arrested on charges including burglary and robbery and released on $35,000 bond each.  [Prosecutor] Danbee [Kim] asked [Judge Maxwell] Wiley to hike the defendants’ bail to $500,000, arguing that they had threatened numerous victims to discourage them from coming forward…[but] Wiley [refused because their victims were just whores]…

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Facial recognition…will turn members of the public into walking ID cards.  –  Silkie Carlo

The Red Umbrella 

As tourists shopped for Christmas gifts in the brightly lit Westlake Center, sex worker and performance artist Vee Chattie sat half-naked in the rain on a towel…[covered in] fake blood…poured…from a vessel marked “FOSTA-SESTA“…A few bicycle cops rode up to make sure they weren’t actually bleeding.  A passerby asked if they were okay.  Another stopped by to voice his agreement…these Seattleites showed more human concern for Chattie than many show for sex workers on a regular basis.  It was effective performance art…

Real People 

A good profile of veteran trans & sex worker rights activist Ceyenne Doroshow:

…As a Black trans woman I see progress, but not that much…we have a government fighting against our very existence…Are we gonna go back to the Stonewall days where you need to have on two male articles [of clothing]?…I will never go back to those times, I’m sorry.  When I had to be Eddie Morales, it was for survival.  When I had to do sex work, it was definitely survival.  Because even working a part-time job for a non-profit where I’m saving lives was not paying me enough to sustain in life…And we’re still seeing that today in not-for-profits.  We’re being tokenized…We can systematically turn people off when we let a government ordain what femininity looks like, what women’s rights looks like, what protection looks like…

Above the Law  

Even being related to a cop may be enough:

Rape and sodomy charges against the son of Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton were dismissed by a…grand jury…Patrick Melton…[raped the drunk] victim on July 7 at his residence on University Avenue in Lexington [Kentucky]…The woman…tried to squirm, push and kick Melton…[and] multiple witnesses confirmed the victim’s statements that she was intoxicated and passed out prior to the [rape]…

Watershed

When the magazine founded by Gloria “Body Invasion” Steinem publishes an anti-Swedish model article, the handwriting is on the wall for “feminist” prohibitionism:

…the “Nordic Model”…is often touted as a compromise between the criminalization or decriminalization of sex work, and one that decreases prosecution against sex workers—but, like all criminalization approaches to the regulation of sex work, the Nordic Model is underpinned by a moralistic framing of sex work that is inherently harmful, to sex workers and to society at-large…it applies an oversimplified macro-economic framing of supply and demand to an industry that consists of fundamentally discrete, personal and often isolated or irregular interactions.  December 17 is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers—and we’re demanding an end to “End Demand”.  Here are three reasons why…

Japanese Prostitution (#435) 

More accurate headline: “Enjo kosai girls get better at protecting themselves from busybodies”:

More than half of youths involved in [what is now labeled] child prostitution in Japan’s three biggest metropolitan areas last year had shown no signs of delinquency, attending schools normally and having never had criminal records, a survey shows.  The finding suggests it has been increasingly difficult for parents and teachers to detect a change in the attitude of juveniles, the National Police Agency said…[yet still insisted on describing them as]…victimized…[even though] most…were involved in [sex work]…for financial reasons, with 84.5 percent saying they wanted “money for leisure and other activities,” while 5.7 percent and 2.6 percent pointed to “living expenses” and “tuition,” respectively.  Other reasons included “out of curiosity” and “invited by friends”…

“Compensated dating” has existed in Japan for decades, but Japanese “authorities” have only started imposing a “crime and victimization” narrative on the activity within this decade.

The Prudish Giant (#789)

People sometimes ask why I’m not on Facebook:

Facebook gave more than 150 companies, including Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, and Yahoo, unprecedented access to users’ personal data…[the] New York Times…obtained hundreds of pages of Facebook documents, generated in 2017, that show that the social network considered these companies business partners and effectively exempted them from its privacy rules.  Facebook allowed Microsoft’s search engine Bing to see the names of nearly all users’ friends without their consent, and allowed Spotify, Netflix, and the Royal Bank of Canada to read, write, and delete users’ private messages, and see participants on a thread.  It also allowed Amazon to get users’ names and contact information through their friends, let Apple access users’ Facebook contacts and calendars even if users had disabled data sharing, and let Yahoo view streams of friends’ posts “as recently as this summer,” despite publicly claiming it had stopped sharing such information a year ago…

The article then goes on to list the denials & prevarications of Facebook and many of its “partners”.

Stupor Bowl (#811)

Prohibitionists are trying to subvert our debunking of the gypsy whores myth by pretending the reason there’s no surge is that the “demand” for “victims” is always sky-high:

[Prohibitionist profiteer] Bob Rodgers [said] “The Super Bowl doesn’t cause sex trafficking…Conferences and conventions, like so many we have in Atlanta, don’t cause sex trafficking.  It is already occurring in every metro Atlanta county and it will still be happening when the Super Bowl leaves”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#871)

The biggest problem with this ridiculous failure rate is that it won’t stay inaccurate for much longer:

London cops have been slammed for using unmarked vans to test controversial and inaccurate automated facial recognition technology on Christmas shoppers…in…Soho, Piccadilly Circus, and Leicester Square…the tech will be attached to vans and run for eight hours on each day…In May, a Freedom of Information request from Big Brother Watch showed the Met’s facial recog had a 98 per cent false positive rate…a subsequent request found that 100 per cent of the so-called matches since May have been incorrect.  A recent report from Cardiff University questioned the technology’s abilities in low light and crowds – which doesn’t bode well for a trial in some of the busiest streets in London just days before the winter solstice…

Disaster (#895) 

Never forget that “filter” is merely a euphemism for “censor”:

According to Tumblr, its new adult content ban doesn’t effect [sic] images of “female-presenting nipples” that involve medical situations, are related to political speech, or appear in artwork.  Tumblr itself, however, apparently can’t come up with four examples of [nipple pictures]…its porn filter actually allows…Tumblr’s staff account published a message  aimed at “clarify[ing]” the new policy…[including] a gif providing several examples of nudity that is “still permitted within our policy”…but…when Gizmodo posted the gif to Tumblr ourselves, it was immediately flagged as a potential violation and hidden by the…filter.  When the images…were uploaded individually, two of the four examples…were similarly flagged and hidden…In recent days, the platform has allegedly flagged a picture of a finger, historical bus photos, and Great British Bake-Off gifs…

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Every December 17th, sex workers…renew our pledge to keep fighting for a day in which our own society no longer brands us fair game.
–  “Against Violence

In the year since the last December Seventeenth, the violence against sex workers that the observance protests has grown dramatically worse in the United States, largely due to the intentional and premeditated actions of our own government.  The War on Whores, pretended for almost two decades now to be a war on the imaginary scourge of “sex trafficking”, grew to a fever pitch with the passage of FOSTA, a massive internet censorship bill intended to drive sex workers off of the internet and into the streets, where we are easier prey for cops and other predatory men.  Naturally, no one law can accomplish what a century of such laws has failed to do, namely wipe sex work out entirely; however, in the time it has taken new overseas advertising sites to appear and people to find ones that work for them, many of the most marginalized of our number were indeed driven to the streets or otherwise forced into more precarious circumstances.  But even though the unprecedented scale and viciousness of this assault on our persons and livelihood has galvanized sex worker activism and attracted the attention and sympathy of many who were previously uninterested, far too many reporters, commentators and even would-be allies continue to cede ground to prohibitionists, giving their motives the benefit of the doubt.  The great majority of articles on the subject claim that attempts to destroy our lives and incomes and silence our voices are “well-intentioned”, or that men who use oppressive laws as an excuse to literally rape and rob us “want to help”, or that the harm to whores, our clients, or families and our associates are somehow merely “collateral damage” even though every gun in this war is aimed squarely at us.  The reason for this minimization of state violence is simple: even though the number of people who support the human right to consensual sex is growing by the month, most of them are too horrified by what is going on to admit that prohibitionists, both in and out of government, are using high-sounding narratives as a cover for a systematic campaign to brutalize, impoverish and exterminate everyone involved in every aspect of the sex trade.  This jihad is no more “well-meaning” than the Drug War, alcohol Prohibition, Jim Crow or any other campaign of government violence against individuals and civil rights; it is a well-planned and well-funded program of terrorism designed to punish sexual behavior authoritarians have deemed deviant, and to break the spine of the greatest tool for the facilitation of free thought ever developed by the human race.  And until the media and our allies are willing to admit what the Whore Nation already knows, the best we can hope for is to minimize the damage and try to keep things from getting even worse.

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The goal of sexual suppression is that of producing an individual who is adjusted to the authoritarian order and who will submit to it in spite of all misery and degradation.  –  Wilhelm Reich

The Red Umbrella 

As long as sex work is marginalized, sex workers will be targeted for violence:

…four masked men…knocked on the hotel door of a dominatrix in Queens, pushed their way in and tied her up at gunpoint before running off with an iPhone, cash and a debit card…The woman got a call from an unknown number she figured was a client; when she opened the hotel door, she expected her client to be on the other side…The four men, all wearing black hooded sweatshirts or jackets, forced their way in…when she opened the door around 5:45 p.m. They menaced her at gunpoint and bound her with duct tape before stealing the phone, cash, card and her state driver’s license…

Watershed

For those who think I’m wrong about sex worker rights having passed the watershed:

The Federation des Femmes du Quebec (FFQ)…a well-recognised women’s rights organisation…took [the obvious]…stance…that women can make a free-will choice on their own to enter into the sex trade…The executive-director of Stella, a Montreal sex workers advocacy group praises the decision…[saying] said it recognises sex workers choices and their human rights…

Red Lamp

Sometimes, studying commercial sex of the past opens people’s eyes to the present:

They worked in brothels frequented by troops serving on the front line in northern France, but their role has been virtually erased from the history books.  Thanks to a new Roundhouse art project, Cause and Effect, to mark the centenary of the end of the conflict, the wartime sex workers have been immortalised in a film with poet Hollie McNish …[who] worked with historian Clare Makepeace…to create War’s Whores, which details the “significant minority” of men paying for sex on the front line…McNish [said]…that one of the things that she found most poignant was the fact that so many men wanted to visit a sex worker if they thought they would die the next day…“It’s a much deeper thing than we give it credit for.  The men thought they were likely to die the next day, the thought you’re never going to have someone touch you nicely again before you die, it must be horrendous”…she hopes that reigniting the memory of wartime sex workers will provoke conversations about the industry today…“It’s ridiculous…that we’re allowed to talk about violence and not about sex…That job has been shamed out of history, rather than just forgotten”…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#726)

Politicians the world over promise the same evil, impossible things, and stupid people just keep believing them:

Sex work has been illegal in Thailand since 1960 but government officials and law enforcement officers have long turned a blind eye…a series of high profile police raids has put considerable strain on that relationship and some sex workers fear the whole industry is in jeopardy…the country’s Tourism Minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul [has] said “We want Thailand to be [Disnified]…we want the sex industry gone.”  Her [statements parrot] those of the military junta that seized power in 2014…said Somai Jantawong, a…sex worker living in Chiang Mai…“If we are arrested or lose our jobs then it affects the whole family and the whole community.  We are the drivers of development in this country, if you lock us up then you will have more people in poverty and more people without homes”…Havocscope, who chart black market crime statistics and data, estimate that the sex industry pumps $6.4 billion into the Thai economy.  In fact, Friedrich Schneider, an economist at Johannes Kepler University in Austria, found that Thailand has one of the largest shadow economies in the world, accounting for 40.9% of real GDP in 2014…

O, Canada! (#785)

I thought “Operation Northern Spotlight” had been rebranded, but apparently that was a different Canadian cop campaign to harass and intimidate sex workers:

From October 15 to 21, police arrested 20 [sex workers and associates] through the seventh edition of Operation Northern Spotlight…a Canadian law enforcement [sting] operation…to [harass] and [intimidate]…sex [workers]…This year’s operation [included]…the RCMP…and…62 [other cop shops] from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island…

The Notorious Badge (#795)

There is nothing remotely “intimate” about sucking a dildo in front of dozens of people and a chaperone, for broadcast to millions of viewers:

Last spring, Emily Meade was getting ready to give a [fake] blow job [to a dildo] in front of a crew of people on the…set of HBO’s The Deuce…As Meade knelt down, a woman named Alicia Rodis, the network’s first-ever “intimacy coordinator,” was within eyeshot, watching the monitor.  She had given Meade a pad for her knees, knowing that the hard floor would bruise them otherwise.  Between takes, she offered mouth spray and flavored lubricant.  And she had spoken with Meade before the scene about her concerns and relayed them to the director…Network executives found Rodis through Intimacy Directors International, a nonprofit she cofounded in 2016 that aims to normalize a set of standards and practices surrounding the execution of sex scenes on stage and on film…HBO has now adopted a policy whereby all of its shows and movies with intimate scenes will be staffed with an intimacy coordinator — either Rodis or someone like her…

Because hiring actual sex workers as consultants for this sort of thing would be crazy, and fucking amateurs can’t think of things like knee pads.

The Puritan Recrudescence (#820)

Dr. David Ley on the weird, dangerous and increasingly-popular belief that masturbation is harmful to men:

In recent years, we’ve seen the return of a strange, antiquated belief system that claims that masturbation results in weakness, loss of manhood, and psychological damage…Your Brain on Porn and Reboot Nation are…online groups who argue that masturbation to porn…results in neurological changes which desensitize a person’s brain to real sex, cause erectile dysfunction, and instill an addiction to…pornography…Brigham Young University…spent what appears to be a great deal of money to produce a public service advertisement against the dangers and “darkness” of masturbation…The Proud Boys…a group of young, nationalist males…claim…that masturbating makes men less likely to get dates…all of these concerns, both historical and modern, about masturbation are primarily focused on male masturbation…Wilhelm Reich…who wrote The Mass Psychology of Fascism…suggested that sexual suppression was a tool of fascism, a way to train young people to submit to authority, even in something relating to their own body…and…conservative religions…have a long history of condemnation of masturbation…

To Protect and Serve (#830)

A rare victory for sex workers over pigs:

The San Diego City Council today gave the green light for $1.5 million in payouts to 17 dancers who…were violated [by cops] during raids at two strip clubs…The first settlement awarded $110,000 to one dancer.  The second settlement awarded about $1.4 million to 16 dancers…[who] were held against their will and [molested]…by 10 [pervert cops]…Attorney Dan Gilleon, who represented 16 of the dancers, [said]…”The…settlement is a drop in the bucket compared to what the City of San Diego spent conducting the raids in the first place and then misleading the public for four years with painfully dumb legal denials and defenses…the City Attorney’s Office…arrogantly bullied the dancers and filed bogus defense after bogus defense until they realized they would not sell their legal charade to a set of jurors with common sense”…

Disaster (#841)

We did warn you dilettantes that this wouldn’t stop with actual sex workers:

HotMilitaryGirls.com, a site that for years offered nude photos and videos of female servicemembers, has been shut down by its operators as the site’s legal counsel reviews its content…after [pearl-clutching prohibitionist politician] Claire McCaskill, [one of] the [chief sponsors of the censorship law FOSTA/SESTA]…called for the Defense Department’s inspector general to investigate the site…McCaskill’s office said in a statement that she lauded the news the site had [self-censored] but still sought [revenge on peaceful people for daring to be sexual]…

Dutch Threat (#852) 

Dutch authorities are now pretending their attempts to Disnify De Wallen are really intended to help sex workers:

The three parties which run Amsterdam city council have drawn up a string of proposals for dealing with the city’s red light district and moving prostitution to a new location is one of the options…The area has been home to prostitution for centuries, because of its proximity to the docks, but the surge in tourism is causing both locals and prostitutes considerable problems, [politicians claim]…Many clients are now visiting prostitutes they find via internet or at a hotel rather than in the Wallen district.  This means that many red light windows are now empty during the day and [prohibitionists have schemed for years to]…clos[e] them altogether…[politicians] now suggest giving licences for prostitution outside the red light district, so the women who work in window brothels can move to a new area, without the problems caused by tourists…Prostitution is a major tourist draw, but is this really the reason you want to attract people to visit?, said [prudish busybody] Socialist councillor Nicole Temmink…

Droit du Seigneur (#872)

If these pimps weren’t cops, they’d be facing “sex trafficking” charges right now:

Six of the NYPD cops accused of running a prostitution and gambling ring are in plea talks with prosecutors…the men were offered plea deals ranging from probation to 2-to 6-year prison sentences, but their lawyers didn’t want to accept so early in the case…

Pyrrhic Victory (#882) 

More on police abuse of Amazon’s face recognition software:

…[in downtown] Orlando…lightbulb-sized camera[s] affixed to…traffic signal poles…instantly send a live video feed over to Amazon’s facial “Rekognition” system, cross-referencing…face[s] against [a surveillance database]…In the US, there are no laws governing the use of facial recognition, and there is no regulatory framework limiting its law enforcement applications.  There is no case law or constitutional precedent upholding police use of the tech without a warrant; courts haven’t even decided whether facial recognition constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment…[so of course cops are eager to] pilot…these systems [before their power is limited by laws or precedents…Amazon marketed its facial recognition tools to Orlando’s police department, providing tens of thousands of dollars of technology to the city at no cost, and shielding the Rekognition pilot with a mutual nondisclosure agreement that kept its details [secret from]…the public…In May, Orlando police reportedly finalized a deal to crowdsource neighborhood footage from residents of the city using [another Amazon] service called Ring, which uses…a doorbell camera…to[feed images] to Orlando Police…There is no automatic sharing of data between Ring and Rekognition right now.  But Amazon would not…commit…to keep the data generated by each of these companies…separate…

To Molest and Rape (#883) 

“Feminists” who talk about rapist cops without mentioning sex workers are aiding and abetting the rapists:

[A cop] is caught in an act of sexual misconduct every five days, and that the majority of cases involve “motorists, crime victims, informants, students and young people in job-shadowing programs”…black women, girls, trans and gender nonconforming people, along with Indigenous, immigrant, and other people of color, make up the majority of people targeted for sexual violence by law enforcement agents…police sexual violence is consistently ignored by mainstream media and movements focused on police violence and sexual assault…[because cops] intentionally target people they don’t think will be believed…people who use drugs, trade sex, people who are precariously housed, disabled, LGBTQ—people who aren’t seen as ideal poster children for mainstream movements.  Secondly, acknowledging sexual violence by [cops] as a systemic problem profoundly destabilizes the notion of police as protectors, an uncomfortable reality for movements deeply invested in law enforcement as the answer to sexual violence…

You see that blink-and-you’ll-miss-it reference to “people who trade sex”?  That’s the only reference in a 1200+ word article about the one group which is targeted for sexual violence by cops more than any other, by a wide margin.  In an article about how activists ignore rape victims who aren’t ideal poster children. The reek of hypocrisy is overwhelming.

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I have so little respect for Cindy [McCain] and her objectives…that even under the best of circumstances I do not think [her] organization merits existence.  –  Tom Gosinski

Against Their Will 

Brave women overpower their captors to escape a brainwashing prison, yet reporters insist on using the word “rescue” throughout the story:

Twelve women who were rescued from immoral trafficking and were undergoing vocational training at a rescue home ran away after assaulting their trainers and tying them up…Police…have been [dispatched] to [hunt down] the women…

Saving Them From Themselves

Yes, the cops were called in because young people were talking about a subject it’s natural for them to be interested in, and for sharing pictures of what they actually look like.  This is Western society in 2017:

Halton [Ontario] school boards and police are deeply concerned after it was revealed…sexting and sharing nude pictures had become a popular activity among Grade 7 and 8 students…hundreds of mostly 12- and 13-year-old students…were engaged in the [arbitrarily] illegal activity…the number of students discovered to be involved surprised [incredibly clueless] police and educators…[Superintendent Scott] Podrebarac [pretends normal adolescent sexual development]…“is a police matter”…due to the sheer number of kids involved, the boards and police chose instead to…[threaten and brainwash the young people] and parents…possession of [photos of their own bodies]…is a serious offence, and Podrebarac said kids wouldn’t be getting a second warning…Podrebarac [threatened]…[that] parents who pay for the phones…[could] be charged [with possession of “child pornography”]…

Finding What Isn’t There

The mental gymnastics cops employ to explain why they can’t convict people for “crimes” that never happened:

…as…[Maryland] police aggressively [charge people with]…human trafficking with double the amount of investigative resources they had more than two years ago, prosecutors are still struggling to win convictions.  Nearly 75 percent of charges…were dropped over the last seven years…despite ambitious agendas by [“authorities”]…data to [demonstrate there is a]…problem does not…exist…To win convictions for felony human trafficking, prosecutors must prove the pimp used force, fraud or coercion…[but] without the [collusion] of [sex workers branded as] victims [by police & prosecutors]…most charges are dropped…

Property of the State 

US women need to strongly consider permanent sterilization, and remember that it’s both honorable and moral to lie to busybodies:

Missouri’s Senate is considering legislation that would allow employers and landlords to discriminate against women who use birth control or have had abortions…the…aim was to overturn a…[St Louis] ordinance that prevents employers and housing providers from punishing women for their reproductive health choices…landlords could refuse to offer housing to women…while employers could fire female staff members who were using birth control, or refuse to hire them…they could [also legally] ask women [about the subject]…

Instant Criminal

Cops already do this to people:

…the scam starts by an alleged woman contacting a man through an online dating app or website…The texting then turns sexual and includes the exchange of nude photos and plans to meet…the male victim…is then called by a person claiming to be a part of Iowa’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.  The scammer tells him the woman is underage and there is now child pornography on his phone.  The scammer says child pornography is also on the woman’s father’s phone because she was using it communicate with the male victim.  The scammer then tells the victims he will need to replace the father’s phone or face legal action…The [supposed] father tells the victim to wire several hundred dollars to him to pay for the new phone…Victims are encouraged to [turn themselves in to the pigs & hope to be believed]…

Absolute Corruption (#542) 

Fran & Dan Keller have been exonerated at last:

Twenty-five years after they were convicted of a crime that never happened, Fran and Dan Keller were formally exonerated…in Austin, Texas.  The couple’s prosecution in 1992 was part of…the…Satanic Panic…The Kellers…paid an exceptionally high price for the credulousness of…law enforcement…

Signs

Fetishists now want pigs spying on women in bars: “[Ohio] plans to train 80 undercover agents…to spot the signs…[of] human trafficking victims.  These agents would be on high alert in places like bars where victims may be taken“…

Quite Possibly the Most Uptight Nerd Ever (#709)

The biggest problem with these stupid “like Uber for sex workers” apps is that their developers don’t bother to consult any actual sex workers while developing them:

Reuben…Coppa’s Rendevu mobile web app is an on-demand platform for adult services that hopes to make the industry safer for both clients and working professionals…Rendevu has secured $700,000 in a recent round of funding which makes it the only funded app in the niche.  The app lets professionals display real time availability, list prices, and display ratings including profile accuracy.  On the client side, the app pre-authorises credit cards to ensure safety and confirm the payment before services are rendered.  The appointment process also involves an ID confirmation by the escorts which adds another layer of security…Rendevu looks like a game changer for an industry sorely in need of disruption.

If these idiots had bothered to consult even one sex worker, they’d know that we have no interest in having our industry “disrupted”.

The Red Umbrella (#724) 

I’m glad to see this piece of shit flop:

…much-hyped comedy Rough Night had a rough showing at the box office during its opening weekend…[it] brought in just $8 million — about half what was expected…A comedy revolving around the death of a sex worker is a hard sell in general, but when the target audience is female, and sex work is overwhelmingly a female profession, it becomes harder for audiences to approach flippantly.  Before the film even came out, the public was expressing horror about the plot on social media…Bloggers in some corners of the internet weren’t particularly thrilled either…Intersectional feminism has been working very hard the last few years to alter how sex workers are viewed by those who don’t work in the industry.  It has been remarkably effective in humanizing one of the most historically judged and marginalized groups in the world…

Fuck you, Rae Alexandra.  It isn’t “feminism”, which has changed the public perception of sex workers; it’s the hard work of sex workers ourselves, and we don’t appreciate fucking amateurs like you trying to steal credit for our achievements as you’ve been doing for the past century and a half.

A Mound of Filth (#749)

As I pointed out last week, “Cuckoo Clock” McCain has a long history of working against human rights:

…Cindy McCain…has a track record of spreading misinformation, promoting policies that make prostitution more dangerous, and partnering with people who use human trafficking as a cover for all sorts of rights-violating behavior…the..McCain [institute] is supported by large donations from entities known for persistent rights violations, including Saudi Arabia, a U.S. defense contractor selling smart bombs to the Saudis, and a Moroccan mining company occupying land in Northwest Africa…McCain’s philanthropic record reveals a long history of personal abuse of nonprofit resources, shady connections, and shoddy work…McCain…didn’t [even] pick up the [“sex trafficking”] issue until 2013, when she suddenly emerged as a fully formed crusader…Most board members have a tenuous connection at best to human rights, but plenty to do with industries McCain oversees in Congress…the McCain Institute does little to directly address the needs of vulnerable people.  Instead, it hosts high-level policy symposiums, puts out white papers, does misinformation-filled “awareness” campaigns, and hosts an annual desert networking weekend for the global elite known as the Sedona Forum…

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Shouldn’t we help [sex workers] instead of further marginalising them?  –  Christina Cannon

The Red Umbrella 

Because NHI is so feminist:

Last week, we were treated to the release of the trailer for Rough Night, a female-led buddy comedy that sees Scarlett Johannson, Kate McKinnon, Illana Glazer, Zoe Kravitz, and Jillian Bell team up for a wild bachelorette weekend.  The girls drink, go dancing, take photos with selfie sticks, and hire a stripper.  Yay!  And then they accidentally kill him.  Not yay.  And then, for reasons as-yet-unknown to the audience, they arrange his dead body in a sex swing before hanging him out of the sunroof of a Jeep, driving him shirtless through a busy street, and – I can’t believe I’m about to write what I’m about to write – making jokes about his corpse’s erection.  Decidedly not yay…

Elephant in the Parlor 

Politicians hiring male sex workers isn’t much less common than their hiring female ones:

[Oklahoma] State Senator Ralph Shortey…was discovered at a Super 8 in Moore…with an unidentified boy under the age of 18…police have recommended the politician be charged with soliciting a minor for prostitution, prostitution within 1000 feet of a church and transporting someone for prostitution.  The exact age of the boy involved is unclear. Police have said that he is a juvenile, though the age of consent in Oklahoma is 16…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake 

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

Attorneys in Denver have filed a national lawsuit against a chain of strip clubs.  The class action suit accuses PT’s Show Club, PT’s All Nude, Diamond Cabaret, La Boheme and The Penthouse Club of exploiting their exotic dancers.  The…suit…involves hundreds of dancers in 20 strip clubs across eight states…Mari Newman, the attorney who filed the suit, said that the company’s lack of fair compensation for the dancers’ work is illegal…

Watershed

Even in Ireland, the truth is dawning on many feminists:

Gillian Wylie…and Eilis Ward…state that they are “weary” after several years of fighting the perceived definition of sex work in Ireland…“We did a piece of research…on the…extent of trafficking for sexual exploitation of women into Ireland”, explains Wylie….the number of people being trafficked in Ireland was being quoted as being in the hundreds.  Wylie and Ward’s “rigorous piece of research” came up with a figure of 76…For both women, a critical turning point in their opinions on sex work came from talking to people involved in the industry.  When met with a roomful of sex workers, Ward listened as they explained that they “didn’t consider themselves to be victims of violence”…and this limiting definition “didn’t capture the reality of their work”…

Not To Be Taken Internally (#325)

Ladies, please don’t let people who aren’t doctors inject who-knows-what into your butts:

On the internet, she goes by the name Vanessa Luna, starring in porn videos that highlight her ample rear end…she used her real name, Ruth Planas, to…operat[e]…an unlicensed clinic in a West Miami-Dade strip mall…Cuerpos Health and Aestheticwas shuttered after…Suyima Torres, died following a botched butt lift performed there.  Prosecutors have charged Jose Robusto, a purported medical doctor in Venezuela, who they believe injected Torres with illegal and dangerous liquid silicone at the facility.  But nearly a year after his arrest, authorities have been unable to build a case against clinic owner Planas, who claimed no injections were ever done at the business.  Planas insisted she only used the clinic to sell cosmetic products, pitch Herbalife nutritional supplements and, a couple times a week, perform on live X-rated web videos…witnesses say that Planas arranged and helped carry out illegal cosmetic surgeries there…Robusto…is awaiting trial for manslaughter, one of many high-profile cases involving botched cosmetic surgeries in South Florida — a hub for sham doctors who offer cheap cosmetic procedures performed in homes, warehouses and pseudo clinics.  Just last week, a Miami man was arrested after police said he gave butt injections to a woman who wound up in the hospital because of the procedure…

If Men Were Angels

Is anyone actually still surprised when this happens?

Ottawa police have laid four new charges against a retired Catholic priest in connection with alleged sexual assaults at two local churches in the 1960s.  Rev. Barry McGrory, 82, has been charged with two counts of indecent assault on a male, and two counts of gross indecency…McGrory was first arrested in November in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a 15-year-old boy in the 1960s…the Archdiocese of Ottawa…settled out of court with two women who said they were abused as adolescents by McGrory in the 1970s…One of the victims was paid $300,000 in one of the largest settlements of its kind in the history of the Ottawa diocese.  In an interview last year, McGrory said he was a sex addict…

Umpteen Thousand People Can’t Be Wrong (#546)

Prohibitionist Scottish politicians exhume the rotting corpse of the “Scottish model” (ie the Swedish model) yet again:

…SNP members [backed] a motion for a Scottish model for [oppressing sex workers]…MSP Ash Denham proposed the motion, based…on the Nordic model of [prohibition]…Denham [drooled]…that “a girl who enters prostitution at 14 will service the sexual demands of more than 4000 men before she’s old enough to drive a car”…Christina Cannon, who is standing to be an SNP councillor…argued against the model, and told delegates to be mindful of the motion in front them…Women in the trade, she argued, were opposed to the criminalisation of the purchase of sex, pointing delegates to a consultation held when Labour’s Rhoda Grant put forward a similar proposal in 2012…

Property of the State (#561) 

Still another abomination from Alabama:

…new moms in Alabama…[are subjected to] hospital drug tests [without their permission] after birth and [the results are] passed along to police.  Dozens of women have been charged with felony chemical endangerment of a child since 2006 for using marijuana during pregnancy…Although Alabama isn’t the only state with laws against drug use during pregnancy, its prosecutors have been the most zealous – bringing charges against hundreds of women, even those with low levels of THC and no criminal history.  State lawmakers [recklessly passed] the chemical endangerment law in 2006 [supposedly] to protect children from exposure to chemicals and fumes from home-based meth-labs…[but] prosecutors immediately began applying it to women who used drugs during pregnancy, a practice that increased after being upheld by the Alabama State Supreme Court in 2013…

Bell, Hook and Kettle (#615)

There’s a word for collaboration between government and private corporations; it’s “fascism”:

…Philadelphia’s Special Victim’s Unit…[has] joined forces with Federal Homeland Security investigations, the FBI, the Salvation Army, the U.S. Attorney’s office and the District Attorney on a new task force charged with cracking down on sex trafficking, thanks to a $1.3 million federal grant…Investigators…[pretend to] work hard to get young women out of the sex trade and on a better path in life.  The Salvation Army plays a vital role in helping women break the vicious cycle of sex trafficking…

Is that anything like “the dangerous cycle of prostitution“?

To Molest and Rape

“Errors”.  You know, like turning a blind eye to cops raping teens:

Louisville’s mayor announced that he has asked the FBI to investigate…the…sexual abuse of children in the police department’s Youth Explorer program.  Mayor Greg Fischer also said he had hired former U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey to review an investigation conducted by Louisville Metro Police and determine whether “errors were made,” including by police Chief Steve Conrad…A lawsuit…on behalf of a former scout identified as N.C. charges that his alleged rape by Officers Kenneth Betts and Brandon Wood was “concealed” by department officials.  Betts and Wood are accused of sexually assaulting the former scout from 2011 through 2013 and recording the incidents to make porn…

Leaving the Life (#657)

This is a lot better than Vice‘s last article on leaving sex work:

…sex workers are able to…pick up transferable skills that they can use in their future careers.  Few sex workers stay in the industry for their whole working lives, and they leave for diverse reasons—often returning for short or extended stints from time to time…Raven Bowen of the University of York [said]…”If people get pregnant or fall in love, they often leave right away.  Middle-class sex workers might be able to make a plan when they transition out—dabble in some square jobs, then gradually leave.”  Another common motivator is a child approaching their teenage years…Rarest of all are [those]…who…settle down with a client, although Bowen [says] this isn’t unheard of…Many sex workers view the industry as a short-term stepping stone to a…straight…career, and aim to retire from sex work when they’ve amassed enough money to fund tuition or open a small business…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#688) 

This is what robo-fetishists want you to believe will take my job soon:

Sergi Santos…wants to make sure robotic sex dolls…enjoy the sex as much as the humans ― or at least act like they do.  The Barcelona-based engineer has just created a sex doll named “Samantha,” who…responds when the user touches her hands and hips by saying positive statements like “I love this” and “Nice and gentle” in a singsong voice…she is programmed to want romance first, then get comfortable before getting sexual.  “The…final objective of the sexual mode is to give her an orgasm,” said Santos…Santos is now selling Samantha…for around $5,374…

One Born Every Minute (#717) 

I’d be much happier if the money went to Hickey’s victims instead of the State:

Things are not looking good for Matt Hickey.  The former tech journalist, who is currently being held in King County jail on four separate charges of second-degree rape, failed to respond to the Attorney General Office’s lawsuit against his fake porn scam.  As a result…Judge Ken Schubert issue[d] a ruling finding that Hickey did, indeed, scam at least six women by pretending to be a fake female porn recruiter online since 2006; Schubert also ruled that Hickey owes the state $300,000 in penalties that represent 150 violations of state consumer protection laws…[and] must pay $32,201 in court fees…

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Everyone knows that before ubiquitous internet porn, puberty-racked adolescents walked uphill both ways to and from school and never saw themselves as sexual beings.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Think of the Children! 

The subjects of moral panics are always “worse than ever”, yet somehow never reach the point of saturation:

A Hillfields [wanker] says prostitution in the area is worse than ever…Steve Bowen…[claims] residents have witnessed women waiting for business near the nearby school and used condoms have been found outside flats.  But despite the ongoing problem, only four arrests have been made since September 2014…Bowen says…“We have so many children who live round here and to see someone offering their services is life-changing…that is absolutely traumatic to a child…The social disruption they cause is engraved in the community.  The damage they cause to other people is never ending”…

“Life-changing”?  “Social disruption”?  I sometimes wonder if these people are even talking about the same thing.  Like maybe he’s using the word “prostitution” to mean “cops beating someone up” or something like that.

Lying Down With Dogs

What wonderful company the US is in!

An Iranian official has called for the sterilization of female sex workers and homeless drug addicts in Tehran to prevent “social harm”.  Siavash Shahrivar, head of the Social and Cultural Affairs Department in the Tehran Governorate, said those women should be “convinced” to undergo sterilization…”with her own approval, and not forcefully…Over 20 percent of them have AIDS and [they] spread various diseases…In addition to…spreading depravity, they reproduce like hatching machines and as their children have no guardians, they sell them”…

The Red Umbrella boot-cast-guy-who-attacked-sex-worker

In the US, she would’ve been arrested if she reported this:

[Toronto] police are searching for a male suspect wanted in the vicious assault and robbery of a female sex worker…on [December 29th]…After choking the woman unconscious…he…tied her up.  When she awoke, he demanded cash…he…is…approximately 25 years of age, at least six-foot-three with a thin build.  He has wavy red hair, a straggly beard and a light complexion with freckles.  He also has a boot cast on his right foot…

The Widening Gyre

“Sex trafficking” hysteria is now almost pure self-parody:

Eighteen-year-old Maddy’s family say they are terrified she is being “groomed” by a [19-year-old] in Argentina and are worried she is going to be sold as a sex slave!  Maddy’s mom, Tonia, says Maddy met…Andres, through a video game 13 months ago and ever since then, she’s been determined to fly to Argentina and start a new life with a man she has never met in person…Andres has promised her a place to live, money to spend, and…[assistance] with…schooling…Maddy says the reason she came on the Dr. Phil show is so she can prove her family wrong…she knows there is no way her online boyfriend is [a] sex trafficking criminal…

I love the way her dad declares Argentina is “known for human trafficking”, presumably because he saw it on TV or something.

The Public Eye 

It’s always heartening to see a sex worker run for office, especially when she wins:

A small Brazilian city, Manacapuru, recently made headlines after a local prostitute, Francisca da Silva, was elected deputy to the local municipality.  The candidacy…was put forward by local residents as a sign of protest against the city’s mayor Jaziel Tororó…The woman who started working as a prostitute when she was 11 earned about [$3] per client.  Starting next week, her salary will be about $2,300.  Silva currently lives with her parents and three children aged 6 to 10 years in a hut with wooden walls and a zinc roof.  After her election, she promised to distribute free food for prostitutes on the streets…

Moving Pictures 

To hear these yo-yos ranting, you’d swear this was this film had magic powers and was the only one ever made on the subject rather than one of dozens:

The digital version of SOLD…[was] released on January 10, the day before the Human Trafficking Awareness Day…a shorter PG-13 version of the film can be purchased or leased for screenings at schools, faith-based communities and corporations…The film tells the [fictional] story of a 13-year-old-girl, who is trafficked from rural Nepal to a prison brothel in India in order to repay her family’s debts…The movie has won [7 participation trophies]…at International Film Festivals…Since its release in 2014, the film’s creators have joined hands [to sing Kumbaya while standing on a lawn] with the Taught Not Trafficked campaign…The global average age of trafficked children is 13…“The International Labor Organization estimates that over 5.5 million children disappear every year into sex and labor slavery- more than at any other time in human history,” the press release said…

Cooties (#613)

It’s always “gangs”.  Because you know women are too stupid to use AirBnB for ourselves:

Police are warning owners of holiday lets in the south-west of England to beware of sex workers using their premises as pop-up brothels…Owners have no idea that their…properties have been used in the sex trade…Insp Dave Meredith, sector inspector for Newquay, has concerns that sex workers from central and eastern Europe may have been trafficked into the UK by organised gangs.  Meredith…said it was difficult to disrupt the scams…

Because renting a rental property and causing no trouble for the owner is a “scam”.

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#639)

Note that pigs use the same tactics to harass migrant sex workers whether they’re portrayed as “job-stealing” aliens or pathetic victims:

While most people in Jakarta were watching fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve, Immigration officials put on a show for the media, inviting them to film as they did a raid on the Sun City nightclub…during which they detained 76 Chinese women for allegedly working in Indonesia illegally as sex workers…Indonesian social media has recently been filled with rumors that Chinese workers were coming to the archipelago to steal work from locals…News of the Chinese women’s arrest seems to have been taken by some as a form of validation…They face likely deportation though it is possible they could receive up to 5 years in jail for breaking Indonesian immigration laws.

Morality Lessons (#640)

The “progressives” have given religious fanatics a powerful censorship tool:  declare anything a “public health crisis” and it can be harassed at will:

A lawmaker in Virginia has filed a bill that would declare pornography a public health hazard in the state…Robert G. Marshall [fantasizes that]…pornography leads to problems including the hypersexualization of teenagers and the normalization of abuse of women and children.  While not calling for a ban on porn, the proposed bill [imagines] a “pornography epidemic” [which] needs to be addressed…

Utah has moved on to step two, using civil courts to attack since the target isn’t illegal:

…Todd Weiler…who sponsored last year’s porn resolution, said he will soon introduce new legislation that would allow Utah residents who imagine themselves addicted to porn to sue the websites where they watch it.  “I’m trying to kind of track the same path that was taken against tobacco 70 years ago,” [said] Weiler…this silly “porn as public health crisis” meme seems to now be spreading to other states, egged on by folks at the group formerly known as Morality in Media

The Prudish Giant (#641) fountain-of-neptune

Facebook can’t even follow its own “standards”:

…Facebook has famously waged war on the female breast…But it’s not just breasts that offend: so do the sculpted genitalia of Roman gods.  An Italian art historian was reportedly told…to remove an image from her page showing a statue of the Roman god Neptune…Elisa Barbari used the image as an example of “Stories, curiosities and views of Bologna.”  But Neptune was deemed too explicit…[even though] …“We also allow photographs of paintings, sculptures, and other art that depicts nude figures”…

Business As Usual (#664)

The final tally for 2016: 80% of all acts of violence vs sex workers in Hong Kong were inflicted by cops:

Abuse of prostitutes is on the rise and police officers are mostly responsible, according to…Zi Teng, which offers support for prostitutes…[out of] 615 reports of physical and ­verbal abuse…police were reported on 490 occasions…abuses…[included] 225 cases of [groundless] arrest…100 cases of [repetitive harassment]…11 cases [of rape]…17 [cases in which the cop used threats to obtain hand jobs]…making verbal threats and insults (57)…[sexual] assaults (three) and physical…assault…(three)…clients were accused of 125 abuses…Among them were theft (56 cases), removing a condom during sex (seven), [rape via] denial of payment (19), fraud (six) and one of [forcible] rape…

Presumption of Guilt (#684)

Remember the fascist bootlicker who wanted to eliminate high-denomination currency?  Well, India actually did that, and guess who it hurt the most?

A recent announcement which has seen two highest value bank notes in India (Rs 500 and Rs 1000) demonetised has had wide reaching impacts on many communities.  Demonesation means the bank notes are no longer legal to use.  Sex workers, women, hijra [trans people], refugees and rural poor people are reportedly amongst those standing to be most negatively affected.  The demonetisation policy was abruptly announced on 8 November 2016 with Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating the two cash notes would “not be legal tender from midnight tonight.”  An initial 30 December 2016 deadline was given for those able to present proper identity documents to bring the cash to banks or post offices for exchange or depositing into accounts…The Usha Multipurpose Cooperative Bank…announced it would accept the demonetised notes for a short interim period as the new policy came into place…

The End of the Beginning (#687)

Another setback for due process:

…a federal appeals court upheld a Minnesota program that indefinitely detains sex offenders after they have completed their prison sentences under the guise of treating them for mental illnesses invented by the state legislature…U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank concluded that the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP) violates the due process rights of the people it imprisons…he…correctly perceived that the “treatment” provided by the MSOP, which has never cured anyone in the program’s 23-year history, is a sham used to conceal a punitive purpose and justify preventive detention based on unsubstantiated fears of future crimes…According to the 8th Circuit, none of that matters, because all the state had to do was avow good intentions…

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