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Posts Tagged ‘Torture Chamber’

Court[s]…allow…prosecutors to punish teens for the terrible things [others] have done to them.  –  Tim Cushing

Bad Girls

Why is “attractive” in scare quotes?

Men arriving at a [house in] Plant City [Florida] with the expectation of meeting a woman were instead beaten, robbed and even tortured…Hispanic [victims] were lured…under the guise of “socializing with an attractive female.”  The woman did indeed meet each victim in the driveway, but once they were inside…the men were “viciously tortured” while being beaten and robbed.  Then, they were forced to drive their own cars to ATMs around Plant City to withdraw money for the [gang], all under the threat that their families would be harmed if they did not cooperate…[the gang then] released the victims but kept their cars…two men and two women [have] been arrested on charges related to kidnapping, robbery, and battery: Thomas Nolasco, Joshua Rodriguez, Carina Bailon, and Melissa Long; a warrant is out for the arrest of James T. Smith…

Feminine Pragmatism 

It’s good to see that the media is beginning to grasp this:

When I saw an ad for topless waitresses at double the minimum wage plus tips, it seemed like a sign from the universe…The job was a vast improvement over motel housekeeping.  On the first night, I earned an entire month’s rent money and, more importantly, bouncers made sure no one touched the staff…years later, I looked back and realized, “Oh, that was sex work.”  Once I’d recognized that, I also understood what I’d been doing when I was earning groceries…The only difference between sex work and other work is that American culture continues to place a high moral value on amorphous concepts like…sexual purity.  I was supposed to be ashamed of my topless waitressing, because my hypothetical future husband wouldn’t like the idea of a hundred half-drunk soldiers staring at my breasts on a Saturday night.  My body was supposed to belong to a man I wouldn’t meet for another 10 years…sex work is not some great fall from respectability.  It’s often the net that catches people before they fall into destitution…Sex work has the power to lift people out of poverty, because you don’t need a college degree, and it almost always pays more than minimum wage…

Buried Truth

I think we have enough evidence to start calling this “McNeill’s Law”:

The founder of one of the nation’s largest conversion therapy programs, who spent decades leading the organization, now says he is gay, apologizing for his role in the practice.  McKrae Game, who founded and led Hope for Wholeness in South Carolina, publicly announced he was gay in early June, more than two years after the organization’s board of directors abruptly fired him…

Under Every Bed (#615)

Possibly the silliest “King of the Hill” claimant ever:

The FBI says human trafficking is the third largest criminal activity in the world.  Rockford ranks tenth in the United States and second in the state when it comes to trafficking victims.  According to advocates for Rockford’s Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, or RAASE, one reason why Rockford is high on those lists is because of its location in the Midwest, making it a central hub for human trafficking…

The idea that a declining industrial city could be a “sex tourism” destination is right up there with the claim that any serious adult calls Milwaukee “the Harvard of sex trafficking“.

Banishment (#802)

Few states are as sociopathic as Florida in maltreating people on a Sacred Government List:

…in Florida…people [condemned to] the [“sex offender”] registry were barred from shelters [during Hurricane Dorian]…if they attempted to stay with friends or relatives, they faced daunting residency and registration requirements…in Flagler [and Nassau] Count[ies, they]…were directed to…seek shelter in the county jail…Under Florida law, those who evacuate must register their temporary addresses, in person, at the sheriff’s office if they will be away from home for three or more days.  They are also required to [pay to change] their driver’s license or identification card with the temporary address within 48 hours of their departure date [and then pay again to change it back when they return home]…failing to comply with [these] requirements [could result in]…five years in prison…

I guess Florida “officials” enjoy getting sued over this, because they keep doing it.

Guinea Pigs (#884) 

Facebook policies prohibit the creation of fake accounts by law enforcement, but pigs make them anyway and Facebook does nothing about it:

Facebook said…that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security would be violating the company’s rules if agents create fake profiles to monitor the social media of foreigners seeking to enter the country…Facebook spokeswoman Sarah Pollack…said the company has communicated its concerns and its policies on the use of fake accounts to DHS.  She said the company will shut down fake accounts, including those belonging to [duplicitous pigs and spooks], when they are reported…

But until they’re reported by others, you can bet Facebook won’t be looking very hard.

Saving Them From Themselves (#942)

Oink oink, she was on the wrong side of an imaginary line, so we have to destroy her life!  SHAZAM!

In 2016, a 16-year-old Maryland student known as S.K….sent a brief cellphone video to two friends…A few months later, S.K. had a falling-out with one recipient of the video, a 17-year-old boy known as K.S…[who] reported the video to the school [pig], Eugene CaballeroCaballero took [SK’s] statement and passed it on to state prosecutors [who of course did what prosecutors do]…S.K…was found guilty…as a distributor of child pornography…S.K. challenged the sentence, pointing out that the law does not provide for charging the subject of alleged child porn with child pornography production…The court looks at the law and decides the legislative intent was to treat minors as their own pornographers…The dissent says this is [clearly insane]…

Forward and Backward (#947)

Moral panics make it so easy for pathetic twits to gain a sense of importance; all they need to do is be willing to make up a lot of ridiculous and evidence-free lies about how they were “almost snatched by a pimp”, about “signs of sex trafficking”, about small cities being “sex trafficking hubs”,  about magic numbers and words that “end demand”, and naturally about how looking at pictures of naked people magically creates “slavery”.  And the hoi-polloi just gobble it up, no matter how deeply stupid it is to anyone who lives in the real world.

Torture Chamber (#966)

The government calls this “correction”:

A brutal beating by four guards inside Florida’s largest women’s prison has left a woman…paralyzed for life, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit…four [screws]…slammed her to the ground and began beating her.  At least one…elbowed the back of her neck…then [the four] dragged Weimar “like a rag doll” to an area not covered by surveillance cameras and continued beating her nearly to death…She is now a quadriplegic and…hospitalized with a breathing tube…the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) has blocked Weimar’s attorney and her husband from taking pictures of her injuries…

Pyrrhic Victory (#969)

Surely you didn’t think Amazon’s two nastiest privacy-violation schemes would stay separate for long?

…Amazon loooooves to play word-games…[it claims] cops only get access to Ring customers’ videos if the customers offer to share it; but what they never said is that if a customer turns down a police [demand], Amazon instructs the cops to make an “official request” to the company and then they grant warrantless access to the footage…a[n anonymous] Ring spokesperson…[said] “Ring is not Rekognition and does not work with Rekognition”…[yet] there’s a dude at Ring Ukraine named Oleksandr Obiednikov whose title is “head of face recognition research” and who has given conference talks on how facial recognition can integrate with products like Ring.  The company’s filed multiple facial recognition patents, and its terms of service allow it to use the video from your doorbell to train facial recognition systems.  Oh, and they’ve recently advertised job openings for engineers with experience in facial recognition…

And remember, Amazon is trying to add “emotion detection” to its facial recognition.

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We…help…people…learn to integrate their sexuality into their whole self, rather than separating it from the rest of their life.  –  David Ley

Part of the Picture (#23)

Dr. David Ley vs. the childish belief that pictures of sex are magic:

Max Bennet…[of] Stripchat…and Dr David Ley…teamed up to give the customers of the camming website help on sexual struggles and shame…Max [said]…“Nearly 40% of our users experience a deep connection with the models, or are able to access a fantasy that may not be available in reality.  By bringing doctors like Dr David Ley on to speak with users, it alleviates some of that shame and conflict, and offers them a way to integrate this…with their relationships”…Dr David [has] discovered that…“many users worry…that it is infidelity and could negatively affect their relationships…Sexual shame is the real enemy to intimacy, and that’s what these sessions are trying to address”…

Scrambled Eggs (#311)

Oh look, another man says women shouldn’t be compensated for services men can’t perform because we’re too stupid to make decisions about our own bodies:

Proponents of a proposed law allowing women to be paid to donate their eggs for research [point out that]…research subjects in other fields can get paid…men can get paid for donating sperm….[and] it’s legal for women to be paid for eggs to assist couples undertaking fertility treatments.  But it’s illegal for researchers to compensate women for their eggs…[politician] Autumn Burke…[revived] this idea…[after] Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill by former [politician] Susan Bonilla…in 2013, [bloviat]ing [misogynistically and self-righteously]…“Not everything in life is for sale, nor should it be“…Burke’s bill, Assembly Bill 922, passed the Assembly without a single “no” vote in May…so it’s likely to pass the Senate handily.  Gov. Gavin Newsom thus may be the only person standing in the way of its becoming law…[Like sex work,] this…would [give] California women, especially low-income women who may [welcome]…the compensation, [a way to make money that isn’t dependent on subjugation to men, so] he should kill it…

Though he hastens to distance himself from them, this writer’s arguments were mostly formulated by an anti-abortion group which opposes the bill for predictable reasons.

Torture Chamber 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

A [prisoner of the state of] Florida…with a history of epilepsy says he was beaten and thrown in solitary confinement for seven months after he involuntarily bit a [screw]…while having a seizure…Dean Higgins…suffered a grand mal seizure last September…[and] while the guards tried to restrain Higgins—an improper way to handle someone having a seizure—he bit one of the[m] on the arm…he was then beaten and…[locked] in…a tiny cell….[where] raw sewage would seep in…at times a number of inches deep…in addition to having epilepsy, Higgins is also on the autism spectrum…

Pyrrhic Victory (#922)

The dystopian future of Minority Report has arrived:

…In early July, the FBI posted a solicitation notice for a “Social Media Alerting Subscription,” which would “acquire the services of a company to proactively identify and reactively monitor threats to the United States and its interests through a means of online sources.”  The request singles out Twitter, Facebook, Instagram “and other social media platforms” for snooping.  Essentially, the FBI is looking for companies to build a tool to comb through…social media posts and pinpoint possible threats ahead of time.  Think of it like a meme-illiterate Facebook-stalking precog from Minority Report…this system could empower the Red Flag law ideas that have since gained prominence.  This kind of “proactive identification” could allow [cops] to target and even disenfranchise social media users whose posts may have been [intentionally or not] misinterpreted…

You Were Warned

Yes, I’m going to say “I told you so”, because I’ve been telling you so for nine years now:

FOSTA [turned] the internet…into a more exclusionary place almost overnightInternet companies became significantly more restrictive in their treatment of sexual speech…The law also threw important harm reduction activities into a legal gray area…Congress failed to listen to the people it was removing from the internet, and put them in more danger as a result…The entire history of censorship shows that it magnifies existing imbalances in society, sometimes intentionally…there are many, many stories of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter taking down important work to document human rights violations under their anti-extremism policies.  Politicians…routinely treat Section 230 as a handout to tech companies — or a “gift,” as Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently put it…Let’s not forget that Facebook and other big internet companies actively lobbied for FOSTA, a law that made it considerably more difficult for a startup ever to unseat Facebook…Section 230 isn’t a gift to big internet companies.  It’s a gift to rural LGBTQ teenagers who depend every day on the safety of their online communities.  It’s a gift to activists around the world using the internet to document human rights abuses.  It’s a gift to women who rely on dating apps to meet people more safely

Think of the Children! (#936)

Obviously this sex-ray contaminated money would have “sexualized” their patients!

Mount Sinai Health System said on Friday that it will make a charitable contribution equivalent to the money it received from…Jeffrey Epstein.  The money will go to an organization focused on p[ersecu]ting [sex workers]…and toward the health system’s own program Sexual Assault and Violence intervention program, which provides immediate treatment and counseling to sexual assault survivors.  The hospital did not say how much money was donated by the disgraced financier…

Loose Cannons (#949)

If this is happening to this rich, prominent man, with access to the best lawyers…what happens to the rest of us?

One of the women arrested in the [Robert Kraft massage parlor] case…pleaded no contest…to misdemeanor charges, leaving only one of the women arrested yet to take a plea in the case.  Qing Hua Zhang…pleaded no contest to engaging in prostitution and use of a structure or conveyance for prostitution.  The most serious charge — racketeering — was dropped…

Yellow Fever (#956) 

Another hodgepodge of idiotic lies, myths, wild exaggerations, wanking fantasies and long-debunked propaganda was shoveled into a column by Business Insider and represented as “journalism”; apparently they’re tying to go in the clickbait direction taken by The Hill.  This one uses the term “trafficking” no fewer than 21 times in a not-very-long article and presents a misogynistic weltanschauung in which women can be either passive “victims” or malevolent “perpetrators” but never anything else, making the Shazam-style leap without passing through any of the complex human behavior between due to “weaponization” and “normalization” by powerful, Svengali-like men.  A by-no-means-exhaustive list of dysphemisms from this trash includes “offenders”, “ring”, “traffickers”, “cult”, “slaves”, “lifestyle”, “abusers”, “groomed”, and my favorite, “sexual pyramid scheme”.  If you want an article on this topic written by an actual adult who understands concepts like “facts” and “agency”, here you go.

Across the Pond (#964)

UK cops are increasingly using the jolly, kumbaya word “team” to mean “vice squad”:

Police are [raid]ing residential properties believed to be used for sex work…to [spy on] what is happening behind closed doors…potential [targets are determined by snitching]…from local residents…[chief swine] Paul Whitehouse [oinked that intimidating people and violating their privacy is a means of]…”gaining their trust and confidence…We [don’t find enough women to harass on the street anymore]…so now we can pick [on] the off-street work[ers]…We do not want to criminalise the females.  We are looking at [pinning] criminality on a[ny available] third party”…

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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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Governments who employ [the Swedish] model know exactly what they’re doing and the harm they cause to [sex] workers.  –  Molly Davis

Scientific Detachment

The death of a rather unusual archivist:

Ralph Whittington [who died on August 6 at age 74] worked at the Library of Congress for 36 years…but he was better known for amassing one of the world’s largest collections of pornography…his collection was…a serious academic undertaking…Everything was catalogued and cross-referenced.  Boxes were carefully labeled with the name of a porn star or a thumbnail description…Whittington spent more than $100,000 on his collection and often accepted donations from heirs…In 1999, Mr. Whittington sold most of his materials to the Museum of Sex, a professionally curated institution in New York.  Before three 16-foot trucks hauled away almost 10,000 items in 848 boxes, his house was packed from floor to ceiling…

Damned If You Don’t

Picket-fence queers claim cops aren’t our enemies:

Police have arrested 26 men for cruising for sex in Washington D.C.’s Meridian Hill Park over the past 12 months…[disguised] cops entrapped the men by soliciting sex acts…Police…[call] the [deceptions] investigations…[and claim they] were prompted by public complaints…But…[in reality] the men arrested were propositioned by [disguised, lying cops]…posing as willing participants in a consensual encounter between adults…

A Procrustean Bed (#600)

Finally, some public skepticism about “diversion courts”:

…hundreds of [arrested] sex workers in Sacramento each year [are coerced under threat into]…a court-administered diversion program [but only if they first plead guilty to whatever bullshit the cops make up.  It should come as no surprise that]…RESET court…originated [from] a cop-founded nonprofit…Diversion courts…have…proliferated around the country…But…there is growing scholarly skepticism about whether…[they] are really as “woke” as their supporters claim….the Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center broadly criticized these programs for a lack of accountability and a surplus of inconsistency.  Sacramento’s RESET court comes up 19 times in the paper…these programs still treat sex workers like criminals, even while telling the public they’re all victims…RESET enrollees must submit to HIV testing; attend health and wellness classes, group and individual counseling and trauma-based therapy; and make at least three monthly court appearances, where Judge Rockwell offers cookies…For completing the program, the women get expunged records…and Starbucks gift cards…

Yes, the “reward” for completing the program is a “free” cup of coffee.

Choke Point (#603) 

I’m skeptical that they wouldn’t hand-wave a sex exemption into this even if it were broader:

A recent ruling by the California Supreme Court is causing a stir among adult business owners…[and sex workers] who have been discriminated against by the global banking system…but misunderstandings may motivate merchants down a legal dead-end…“The ruling was very narrow,” [said] Larry Walters of FirstAmendment.com…“and limited to whether standing to sue can be established by alleging an intent to use the online services, as opposed to actually entering into a contract for services…The court specifically did not rule on whether a plaintiff can sue for discrimination under California law on the basis of occupation”…For adult merchants hoping that litigation over “equality of access to services” based on this announcement might solve…having their banking services revoked…this ruling provides no clear foothold…

Micromanagement (#731)

I’d really like to be wrong once in a while:

New York City detectives questioning a [12-year-old] boy facing a felony charge last year offered him a McDonald’s soda.  When the boy left, they took the straw and tested it for his DNA…[which] was entered into the city’s genetic database.  To have it removed, the [boy’s] family had to petition a court and file an appeal, a process that took more than a year…The city’s DNA database…now has 82,473 genetic profiles, becoming a…potent tool for [the police state]…that operates with [essentially no]…oversight…A growing number of [pig farms] throughout the country…have amassed genetic databases that operate by their own rules, outside of state and federal guidelines…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#754) 

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

Mia Khalifa…was…[only] modestly compensated for a brief career that catapulted her into worldwide stardom…[as] the most-searched adult-film star on the planet…[but] she [only] received about $12,000 for about a dozen shoots over three months before she left the industry in early 2015, and never a “penny again”…on Pornhub…she is ranked No. 2 among actor searches…but she does not get any residuals from that site or any others…[in] adult film…there are two options with wildly different compensation paths.  One is the traditional production studio that pays actors as contractors…that is what Khalifa did…another is an independent model that provides a bigger cut and options for residuals…sites such as Pornhub have monetized the infinite loop of the Internet by uploading a stream of videos of actors long after some of them, like Khalifa, have left the business — creating a scenario where adult-film scenes will follow the actors and perhaps outlive them…Three of the top 10 actresses on the site now are either retired or inactive in the business, an industry veteran said, and have little recourse to claim compensation or remove their videos if they are shut out from the revenue…

If Men Were Angels (#864)

“Youth pastors” are as bad as cops:

Paxton Singer…is the youth minister at the Harvest Bible Chapel in Aurora, Illinois.  The church’s bylaws say that…homosexuality and bisexuality are sexual sins…[but] Singer has been making inappropriate advances toward an unnamed 16-year-old boy…Singer also worked at a separate Harvest Bible Chapel campus in Rolling Meadows, Illinois…[w]here…[he] behaved inappropriately toward three other male teens…

Shift in the Wind (#933)

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

In a recent National Review story, Madeleine Kearns…claims [decriminalization] “would make a grave problem worse.”  The premise…relies largely on fear tactics, sprinkled with stories of women who have had bad experiences in the sex industry…But she fails to address how keeping prostitution illegal will help solve any of the problems she targets in her story.  Kearns’ solution is [the Swedish model]…but this policy has failed to work in the various countries where it’s been tried and only perpetuates the problems she illustrates…

Torture Chamber (#950)

I hope they get every last cent they’re asking for, plus punitive damages as well:

…taxpayers could be on the hook for more than $200 million in damages from parents who[se]…children were [abused] while in government custody…dozens of families…separated at the border as part of the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy…are now preparing to sue the federal government, including several who[se]…young children were sexually, physically or emotionally abused in federally funded foster care.  With more than 3,000 migrant children [abducted] from their parents at the border in recent years, many lawsuits are expected, potentially totaling in the billions…[they] are represented by grassroots immigration clinics and nonprofit groups, along with some of the country’s most powerful law firms…

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This is how the United States of America, the mightiest and richest nation there is or ever has been, treats incarcerated people.  –  Ken White

Torture Chamber 

Ken White on the inhuman abominations that the US calls “correction”:

Jeffrey Epstein’s name and face are everywhere following his death…Americans who believe in their justice system assert that it is obvious that he was murdered, and that jailers could not possibly be so incompetent, cruel, or indifferent as to let such a high-profile prisoner commit suicide.  Here, to help you evaluate that claim, are 32 short stories about in-custody deaths or near-deaths in America…

Regular readers know these stories are nauseating, but you really need to read them all. Every last one.

Uncommon Sense (#435)

The correct term is “tippelzone”, not “sex booth” or some other snickering adolescent coinage:

The mayor of [Berlin]…is proposing “Verichtungsboxen”…at Tempelhof Airport.  His proposal for the establishment of the sex booths…came as part of a discussion about street prostitution in his district and how to improve the safety of Berlin’s sex workers…

Across the Pond (#757)

UK cops are increasingly using the jolly, kumbaya word “team” to mean “vice squad”:

More than 200 letters have been delivered to residents [near a stroll] in…Nottingham…to [intimidate] residents…in[to informing on their neighbors]…the…letters were hand delivered to [make the]…int[imidation feal more real]…Since 2004, Nottinghamshire Police’s Prostitution Task Force has been working to find ways of [pretending that harassing and stigmatizing] sex workers [is] get[ting] the[m] help…whilst gradually removing the[ir income.  The cops bizarrely imagine harassing people and choking off their income will]…break down the barrier between sex workers and the police…

Soap Opera (#809)

Magical stickers, secret-squirrel codes…this is like a bad episode of Get Smart!

An Iowa newspaper employee recently {claimed to have] helped save a[n unnamed] woman trapped in a sex trafficking ring…after she flagged the delivery driver down on the side of the road…a 25-year-old East Dubuque Woman was arrested and charged with pimping….[a Cedar Rapids, Iowa] Bar…[posted a] sign in the woman’s restroom [reading]…”are you in an uncomfortable situation, do you need our help?”…[and] lists a code word drink…that customers can order to alert the bartender they’re in need of help… Teresa Davidson…of Chains Interrupted [wants] more …stickers that read “Are you safe” in bathrooms across the state….The organization is also working to [indoctrinate] convenience store employees…

Pyrrhic Victory (#931)

As I’ve repeatedly stated, it is far too late to put this evil djinni back into its bottle:

…Beijing has gone to [great lengths to] identify and control Uighurs…Within Kashgar…residents must line up to…swipe [ID cards] at each checkpoint….[and] expose their faces to [omnipresent]…facial recognition…[cops] need neither probable cause nor a warrant to detain Uighurs and check their phones for the surveillance software that they’re legally required to install….”re-education” camp[s imprison]…hundreds of thousands, or even millions of Muslims…[now] Ecuador is using a “national emergency response and video surveillance system built entirely by Chinese companies and financed by Chinese state loans”…As this technology improves and gets cheaper, it will likely become affordable to every two-bit dictator on Earth…

Disaster (#935)

The sweet smell of schadenfreude:

Verizon is set to sell the social network Tumblr to Automattic Inc, the owner of online publishing tool WordPress.  A source familiar with the deal puts the price-tag…below $10 million…Tumblr…was…considered a major player in the social media space.[when it]…was acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion in 2013, before moving under Verizon’s umbrella through the carrier’s acquisition of Yahoo in 2017.  [But] Verizon…[intentionally destroyed the network by ill-considered censorship]…last year.  Automattic’s Chief Executive Matt Mullenweg told the Wall Street Journal that he plans to maintain the ban [so as to use the dying site as a tax write-off]…

Where Are the Victims? (#945)

Despite their pious posturing to the contrary, this is exactly the outcome prohibitionists wanted:

Fianna Fáil has called for an anti-prostitution law to be reviewed, because of the consequences it has on sex workers who live together.  The main opposition party has suggested that it would be open to considering decriminalising sex workers who live together.  The majority of Irish political parties want the government to review and possibly scrap a law which punishes sex workers who live together under a harsher “brothel keeping” offence which was brought in two yeas ago…It follows a high profile case earlier this summer where two migrant sex workers were both jailed for nine months after they were prosecuted for brothel keeping.  One of the women was pregnant when she was jailed…Sex worker advocates had warned at the time that most of the people who were being prosecuted for brothel-keeping were independent sex workers…B[u]t…Fianna Fáil had voted down the amendment…now…it wants the law to be reviewed, after…the “[wholly]…intended consequences” [became public]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#956)

More on Amazon’s campaign to end privacy forever:

Amazon Web Services…has rolled out more terrifying features for its cloud-based facial recognition system—including, it claims, the ability to detect fear…Emotion recognition is a facial analysis technique that…works by training a machine learning system to look for certain features on a detected face which indicate emotional content…Amazon has updated the range of detectable emotions for Rekognition’s face analysis to include “fear,” adding to a list of seven other emotional states: “Happy”, “Sad”, “Angry”, “Surprised”, “Disgusted”, “Calm”, and “Confused”…the efficacy of emotion recognition is in dispute…[but used by] government agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement…and Customs and Border Patrol…

Between the Lines (#962)

Liz Brown tries to assess the damage from the rebranded “Operation Cross Country” pogroms:

…The FBI no longer reports the number of adult sex workers whom these initiatives claim as collateral…However, local news and law enforcement agencies often do..in Alabama, 49 “sex workers and their facilitators” were arrested around the Birmingham area…[and] 14 [in Homewood]……Northern Ohio [arrested nine] women…Pennsylvania [two]…Mississippi [five]…In South Carolina [five]…In…Florida [three]…In the San Diego area, six…Louisiana…25…in Shreveport…and…seven…in Baton Rouge…Police have portrayed the 4-year-old [abducted from one of their victims] as being rescued from “human traffickers”…

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Why is it only that sex workers should be the ones to have a skill set but give services away for free?  –  Phoenix Calida

Anatomy of a Boondoggle 

Truthful headline: “Police Pay Man to Rape Immigrant Women”:

A[n Ohio] woman was arrested [after cops paid someone to violate her at her]…massage parlor…Ping Wei, 53…[was victimized and accused without tangible evidence by a so-called] confidential informant…

Feminine Pragmatism 

One day, “People have to work to make money” will be recognized as the non-news it is:

Increasing numbers of women in low-paid jobs who have children are being forced to [find more remunerative work] to survive…[demand for one flexible work-from-home job] has risen by 29 per cent in the past year alone…[but] women [a]re now having to work longer hours for less money due to the market…becoming increasingly saturated…

Buried Truth

Yet another example of the McNeill Rule:

…Tennessee [politician] Bill Sanderson resigned…[after] Grindr messages and nude photos…exposed the fact that he’s a closeted hypocrite with a gay son who has voted against every LGBTQ issue that has come before him…He has [also] been a co-sponsor of some of the most extreme anti-abortion legislation, including this year’s heartbill bill…Sanderson has voted against…bills that would have given access to bathrooms to trans students, blasted the SCOTUS marriage ruling, voted to support allowing adoption agencies to discriminate against gay couples, supported a bill allowing therapists to discriminate against gay people, and voted agaisnt allowing municipalities in Tennessee to enact LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances…in his 2013 Grindr profile, which could be seen by anyone using the app, he writes…“I really haven’t had a connection with a guy and I have a burning desire to have that relationship. I like down and dirty guy to guy play too! So, I guess you might say, nothing will be held back …” (Sanderson says he did not write this)

Torture Chamber 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

Jarrett Leaman…is…a typical college student…[whose] only prior involvement with police is two speeding tickets.  On June 29, he was arrested for public drunkenness…the next thing he remembers is waking up in a jail cell at 5 a.m., covered in blood, bumps, and bruises…[while he was passed-out drunk, multiple screws and one pig] pummeled [him] to the ground, face down on the cement floor…[attorney Leticia] Chavez-Freed…saw it on video…as part of a [so-called] internal investigation…“They put him into a chair. They strap him in. His hands are behind his back and, again, the kicking, the hitting”…at least five [screws] and one [pig] participated in the beating…a spit mask was also placed on Leaman’s head, even though he was barely conscious…at one point…the [pig]…and [one of the screws] lifted the mask from Leaman’s head to take a picture of his injuries like a “hunting trophy”…

New Excuse

Sometimes the War on Whores is the War on Drugs rather than its successor:

[Politician] Sherrod Brown…reintroduced a [US Senate] bill that would officially [conflate selling]…drugs [with] human trafficking, thereby making it easier to [load extra charges onto young black men that cops or] prosecut[ors wish to target]…”Ohioans are bought and sold in our own backyards”…[Brown idiotically bloviated while making furtive movements in his pants pockets.]  Brown’s bill, called the Protect Act, would officially list drug addiction as a method of coercing someone into either commercial sexual acts or other forced labor against their will…

A Moral Cancer (#583)

No, you can’t “save the planet” by going vegan:

…some activists are propagating the idea that everyone on the planet should go vegetarian or even vegan…The former head of the United Nations’ climate change organization, for example, suggested that meat-eaters should be made to feel like pariahs…[such rhetoric] blithely ignores the reality that…we can’t stop temperature rises with our diets…A systematic peer-review of studies of going vegetarian shows that a non-meat diet will likely reduce an individual’s emissions by…just 4.3%…In a first world setting, the reality is that [your share of corporate pollution]…means [lifelong veganism would] reduce your emissions by about 2%, according to a study of the environmental impact of Swedish vegetarians…

Also: veganism does not reduce animal deaths and environmental damage; it increases them.

Between the Ears (#858)

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

Apple’s Siri AI assistant sends audio of sexual encounters, embarrassing medical information, drug deals, and other private moments recorded without users’ knowledge to human “graders” for evaluation, a whistleblower has revealed…contractors around the world…grade the AI based on the quality of its response and whether its activation was deliberate…accidental activations are much more frequent than Apple lets on, especially with Apple Watch users…In what sounds like a sick joke on the part of some programmer, the sound of a zipper unzipping often triggers Siri to wake up…While Apple emphasized that a user’s Apple ID and name are not attached to clips reviewed by contractors…the company is aware of how easily even a recording stripped of its user ID can be connected to the user who made it…Amazon’s Alexa infamously has entire chat rooms for its human trainers to discuss difficult-to-understand audio clips (or mock funny recordings) and Google Home uses a similar system of outsourced “language experts” that allows the company to claim that no one at Google has access to the recordings its devices make…

All-Purpose Excuse (#923)

Puritan fanatics have given tyrants an accusation they can hurl at nearly anyone:

A 9-year-old American citizen on her way to school was a[rrested] by [border patrol thugs] and [locked in a cage like an animal] for some 32 hours before she was released back to her family…[“authorities”] later [bloviated] that the girl, who was carrying a U.S. passport card with her, gave “inconsistent information”…Julia Isabel Amparo Medina …her 14-year-old brother and two friends were being driven to school by the friends’ mom from their home in Tijuana to San Ysidro…Thousands of people travel through the Tijuana-San Ysidro crossing daily for school or work.  When traffic slowed to a crawl, the mom told the children to walk across the border so they wouldn’t be late.  A…[pig] detained Medina, saying she didn’t look like the photo on her passport card…Medina’s brother, who is also a U.S. citizen, said [thugs]…demanded he sign a paper saying that his sister was really his cousin…[threatening him with prison and telling the boy] “they were going to charge him [with]…sex trafficking”…

I’m not sure why it took four months for this story to gain traction, but I’m suspending my usual rule about not sharing stories more than a month or so old.

Still Consenting

Phoenix Calida on the absurdity of a sex-work-free “Utopia”:

Many on the left have told me that sex outside of procreation or love is icky.  They say that…non-male people, should not be allowed to be fully in charge of their…sexual lives…they insist sex workers are bad because they commodify sex and the soul, meaning sex workers have been made into objects, and are no longer humans…the left dreams of a post-revolution utopia where people only have sex for free and for love…The idea that sex work will cease to exist after capitalism falls has always been bizarre, since trading sex existing before capitalism did.  No matter how many times I am told that the revolution will end sex work, I’ve yet to be provided with realistic scenarios of how that will happen…

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It seems odd … to make…integrity of…intimate body cavities dependent on who it is that does the…penetrating.  –  Judge John Z. Lee

Where Are the Protests? 

A lot of editing was needed here:

…Portland Police [are]…merging [the] human trafficking [gang]…with its [vice gang.  Prohibitionists]…are concerned the consolidation will result in [fewer pigs raping and persecuting sex workers, but in reality the point is to have more cops harassing women and fewer investigating actual labor exploitation]…

Pride Goeth

We don’t see many good articles about “Straight Pride” events, but the ones we do see are hilarious:

Netflix has threatened the organisers of Boston’s Straight Pride with legal action after they listed the streaming platform as a “prospective corporate sponsor” for their anti-LGBT+ event.  Netflix sent a cease-and-desist order to Super Happy Fun America, the group organising the parade, which has several ties with…white nationalist organisations…Super Happy Fun America were ordered to “immediately” remove the Netflix logo from all materials associated with the event, with the threat of further legal action if this is not done within 24 hours…The parade organisers hit back at Netflix on their website in a post entitled “Netflix hates the straight” which accuses Netflix’s legal team of being staffed by “gay supremacists”…Super Happy Fun America previously tried to use Brad Pitt as their movement’s “mascot,” but were forced to stop following a complaint from Pitt’s representatives…

Torture Chamber 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

Screenshots of a private group chat…show several [screws] at a Florida prison making [vile] remarks about an inmate beating days before a video of that [beating]…was uploaded to YouTube…by inmates using a [hidden] cell phone…the sister of the [beaten] inmate…and a Florida [politician] who interviewed the inmate in person…have [reported that] officials at the institution [are lying]…about what transpired and attempting to cover up the [flagrant] abuse…Otis Miller [is now locked up in a different stack of cages]…The video [clearly] show[s a gang of screws]…punching [Miller] in the head…[even though] he…is [only] five feet tall and weighs 140 pounds…the [screws clearly took] pride in the damage they had inflicted on [a helpless human being, oinking out such pleasantries as]…“That [inmate] looks like beetle juice [sic]”…“I want more lol”…[and] “Fuck him”…Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch responded with [the usual denials and bullshit]…

That Old Black Magic (#442)

Remember that witchcraft charges were once a popular way to persecute sex workers:

Two residents of the city of Gudermes were [arrested by cops in] Chechnya…for practicing…witchcraft…persecution of medicine men and psychics began in Chechnya six years ago, but in recent years has intensified…The detained women may be facing criminal prosecution…Sorcery and magic contradict Islamic dogma…but…the current campaign…is less connected with religious motives, and to a greater extent with comparatively stronger police control…believes Mikhail Roshchin…of…the Russian Academy of Sciences…

Other modern “wars on witchcraft” are taking place in IndonesiaSaudi Arabia (including online censorship), and to a lesser extent the UK (subtitle link).

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#684) 

This is the worst crime I’ve ever seen “sex addiction” used as a defense for:

A…son of a priest blamed a porn overload for him raping and killing a California scientist who vanished from a conference in Crete…Giannis Paraskakis, who confessed to the murder of 59-year-old Suzanne Eaton, [claimed]…watching too much hardcore porn led him to murder…Paraskakis…encountered Eaton on June 2 and…rammed into her twice with his car…he [then] stuffed an unconscious Eaton in the trunk of his vehicle…drove to a remote World War II bunker near Xamoudochori…raped her and left her for dead…Eaton — a molecular biologist at the Max Planck Institute in Dresden, Germany — was reported missing by colleagues after she missed several sessions at an Orthodox Academy of Crete conference.  Her [remains were] recovered from inside the bunker July 8 with “many broken ribs and face bones as well as multiple injuries to both hands”…cause of death was ruled asphyxiation…

License to Rape (#836)

US court rules mass sexual assault is legal as long as other wannabe rapists are allowed to watch and learn:

Early one March morning inside an Illinois prison, a tactical unit armed with batons and shields stormed two women’s housing units to round up about 200 handcuffed inmates and march them to a gymnasium…[where] they stood facing the wall for more than an hour…until the guards started taking groups of four to 10 into the adjoining bathroom and beauty shop.  There, they were ordered to strip.  Standing shoulder to shoulder, women on their periods were asked to remove their tampons and pads…They were ordered to lift their breasts and hair, to cough and squat, and then, finally, to bend over and spread open their vaginal and anal cavities…male guards [stared at] the naked prisoners…[throughout] the humiliating mass strip search…[which was pretended to be] a training exercise for incoming cadets. Now, after eight years of litigation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has ruled in a divided 2-1 opinion that the entire 2011 episode was legal…

Change a Few Words (#868)

Another good example of why “legalized” sex work is a bad idea:

[Violent thugs] in Southern California have conducted a massive drug bust that includes 14.9 tons of illegally-grown marijuana in one area…[the thugs also stole] 37 guns, multiple dogs and a honey oil lab at the properties in the Perris area, about 70 miles east of Los Angeles…[pigs raided] 48 [private properties]…and have…[locked] 27 [human beings in cages for farming]…

Oh noes, they grew plants without asking “Mother may I?” first!  WHAT MONSTERS!

Welcome To Our World (#888)

Not an attempt to control women’s bodies, no sirree:

Phnom Penh Municipal Court…charged three women with human trafficking in connection to a surrogacy business after they were arrested and deported from Vietnam…two of them are still pregnant…

Pyrrhic Victory (#915)

More on Amazon’s campaign to end privacy forever:

On [July 18th], Amazon’s [fascist surveillance] partnership with the Orlando Police Department [supposedly] ended, and…city officials [claim] it didn’t work…[because] the city’s technology infrastructure simply wasn’t advanced enough and didn’t have the bandwidth to support the artificial intelligence software on more than one camera at a time…Amazon proposed to outfit the city with more advanced surveillance cameras…since the cameras already installed downtown weren’t proving to be compatible with Rekognition, but the city [suppos]edly declined.  This failure rather neatly illustrates a reality standing in the way of a [fascist] panopticon:  extremely normal technical problems.  If Amazon wants to market a surveillance product to local governments, it will have to deal with the fact that many municipal computer systems run outdated software, that police departments’ cameras aren’t all high-definition, and not all the equipment is neatly networked with a…reliable internet connection.  Amazon appears to be having better luck looking to civilian customers to help it break into the police surveillance market…[by] hand[ing] out free or discounted Ring systems to residents, which allows police to…access footage directly from the…doorbell cameras using Ring’s Neighbors app…cities as big as Dallas, Philadelphia, Birmingham, Phoenix, and Oklahoma City all have joined Ring’s police program, according to a new map from…Fight for the Future…The map also lists smaller cities that have contracts, like Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Maywood, New Jersey…

Elephant in the Parlor (#926) 

Pederast politicians are nearly as common as those who hire adult women:

A businessman who [w]as a key witness in…Robert Mueller’s investigation now faces a charge of child sex trafficking in addition to transporting child pornography…Lebanese-American businessman George Nader…transport[ed] a 14-year-old boy from Europe to Washington, D.C. [for sexual purposes] in February 2000…Nader…[w]as [a] liaison between Kirill Dmitriev, a Russian banker close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and members of President Donald Trump’s transition team.  Nader also served as an adviser to the United Arab Emirates…Nader was convicted in the Czech Republic…of 10 cases of sexually abusing minors and sentenced to a one-year prison term in 2003….[and] also pleaded guilty to a charge of transporting child-pornography images in Virginia in 1991.  The current investigation…began last year when images depicting child pornography and bestiality were found on his phone after it was [seized] under a search warrant connected to the Mueller probe…

Overripe

More from Liz Brown on the Epstein case:

R. Kelly. Jeffrey Epstein. Keith Raniere.  For more than a decade, each of these men escaped largely unscathed as allegations of sexual misconduct — sometimes involving minors — piled up…the recent prosecution of all three on federal sex crime charges…represent all-too-rare instances of “sex trafficking” cases that seem to involve real predatory behavior.  It’s a nice change.  In recent years, sex trafficking charges have largely been lobbed against sex workers and those who work with them.  In both the media and the halls of justice these days, the terms “sex trafficking” and “human trafficking” are often used interchangeably with “prostitution”…“Human trafficking operations” are all too frequently just rebranded stings…The Mann Act is a favorite for federal prosecutors wanting to butt into prostitution stings when there are no minors or evidence of coercion.  That’s because the law prevents driving another person — technically it’s gender neutral, but in practice these cases almost always involve a female sex worker — across state lines for prostitution purposes…In its annual Operation Cross Country, the FBI often ratchets up federal arrest numbers by conducting stings in cities like Kansas City, where driving from one part of the city to another means crossing from Kansas into Missouri…

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