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Posts Tagged ‘Traffic Circle’

The fear of ending up homeless is bigger than that of Covid.
–  Fernanda Ponciano

Panopticon (#609)

Buried lede: cops were using a license plate reader to manufacture “probable cause”:

[Cops arrested] and [terrorized] a Black mother and four children [at gunpoint] after [claimining] their SUV [was really] a stolen motorcycle from another state…[fortunately] several…witnesses [recorded the cops’ crime]…The [cops had been] us[ing] a license plate scanner to…[spy] on vehicles in the area…[the boss pig] blamed the license plate reader but could not explain why the dozens of [cops] who responded [were too goddamned stupid to comprehend that a truck isn’t a motorcycle]…Video shows over a dozen [cops] standing around the traumatized family…

Too Close To Home (#760)

The fanatically-prohibitionist Seattle Times demonstrates what an eager copsucker it is with this pathetic op-ed from a prosecutor and a prohibitionist profiteer that absolutely reeks of desperation in its mixture of begging and demanding Seattle politicians to prop up the dying “sex trafficking” scam by continuing to send cops to stalk, surveil, rape, harass, rob and otherwise ruin the lives of consenting adults.  When all this is over, we can only hope that the Seattle Times is one of the businesses that perishes, and good riddance.

Pyrrhic Victory (#846)

More on Amazon’s partnership with fascist surveillance pusher Marinus:

…the founders of Marinus Analytics created Traffic Jam, a [program] designed to [collaborate with cops to persecute sex workers]…by sifting through digital information gathered from the[ir] online a[ds]…Over the past year, Marinus worked with Amazon…and used the cloud-based graph database Amazon Neptune to boost the efficiency of Traffic Jam and help automate tedious manual processes to create a system capable of quickly identifying relationships and providing [more private] in[formation about sex workers] to [pigs]…Traffic Jam collects data from websites…used by [sex workers to advertise]…and rel[ate]s…[it to other] information as imagery, dates, locations, [stage] names…and [government names in order to out sex workers to cops so they can be targeted for persecution, up to and including rape, robbery, and forced brainwashing programs]…Once connected through Neptune, Traffic Jam received a giant boost to its capabilities.  The system could now traverse relationships between data points up to 2.5 degrees of separation and expand to collect more than 350,000 data points daily…queries run…twice the speed despite using a dataset that is now four to eight times larger than before…

All-Purpose Excuse (#1011)

Trumpists and anti-Trumpists continue to fight for control of the “sex trafficking” narrative:

The Trump administration…announced more than $35 million in Justice Department grants to organizations that pro[fit from hysteria over]…human trafficking [but are now hurting due to decline in public interest in their fantasies due to the pandemic]…Ivanka Trump called human trafficking the “gravest of human rights violations”…[she has embraced the eradication of sex work as one of her causes despite her stepmother’s history of sex work].  The grants will be shared by 73 organizations in 33 states [that pretend] to provide…assistance to survivors, [though in actuality the supposed “assistance” is usually just a photocopy of public aid offices, etc]…Among organizations sharing the grants are [Hookers for Jesus]

Above the Law (#1056)

Another UK politician has been accused of rape:

A [member of parliament and]…former minister ha[s] been [accused of rape] by an…employee….[who] alleg[es]…four separate [attacks]…between July 2019 and January 2020…he…left h[is victim] so traumatised that she had to go to hospital…

Bureaucrats are calling this a “serious matter”, yet won’t identify the rapist.

Social Distancing (#1056)

I’ve corrected the blatantly false claims The Times makes about economic relief for sex workers:

When the mayor of Modica [Italy]…learned that a sex worker in the area had tested positive for the coronavirus, he immediately [descended into “dirty whore” tropes]…the…situation…highlight[ed] the…dangers of keeping sex work in the shadows…prostitution is not illegal, nor is it regulated as an official occupation, making the country’s 70,000 sex workers largely ineligible to receive economic relief.  Many have been forced to take their chances by returning to work in order to avoid poverty…the Netherlands and Germany [have forced] sex workers [naive enough to]…officially register…with the government [to go without work, even after all other close-contact businesses have re-opened]…Scotland also [ex]cluded sex workers [from] its relief programs.  In Greece…brothels were allowed to reopen on June 15, [albeit with government demands they violate professional discretion by revealing] clients’ names [to the “authorities”]…In Italy, various charities and associations have raised money for groceries, medicines, bills and rent to benefit the country’s sex workers…

Traffic Circle (#1062)

I’m glad to see more podcasts having Liz Brown on to debunk “sex trafficking” BS:

Reason senior editor Elizabeth Nolan Brown has done extensive research and coverage on the topic of sex work and…explains how authoritarians use the…term [“sex trafficking”] to punish and harm…sex work[ers]…how criminalization of sex work protects rapists & abusers…and how [massage parlor raids have]…become the #1 way for [cops] to make themselves look like they are…fighting trafficking…

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Domestic violence prosecutions have little benefit to women and in fact can harm them.  –  Aya Gruber

Where Are the Protests? 

When people are really enslaved, the situation isn’t at all ambiguous:

…13 [Samoan] victims…were [enslav]ed…their passports were taken from them.  They were kept on a property surrounded by a high wire fence and could only leave or communicate with their family with permission.  If they broke the rules, they were assaulted, sometimes so badly that it resulted in scars.  When one teenage victim escaped, she was brought back in a car with her hands and wrists tied…Most worked long hours picking fruits from orchards, but they didn’t receive the money they had earned.  Instead, it was given to the man who had…lured them to New Zealand: a Samoan chief named Joseph Auga Matamata…[who h]as [been] sentenced to 11 years in jail for…human trafficking and…dealing in slaves…He was also ordered to pay 183,000 New Zealand dollars ($122,000) in reparations to his 13 victims to partly compensate them for the estimated 300,000 New Zealand dollars ($200,000) his family gained from his criminal acts…

Despite the clear descriptions of these people’s treatment in the article, CNN linked it to a video calling ordinary sex work “human trafficking in the US”.

Greeks Bearing Gifts

Amateurs are finally noticing that feminists have been in bed with the pigs for decades:

The notion that victims have a responsibility to [the state to conspire with] prosecut[ors against] their abusers is deeply entrenched in the legal system’s approach to domestic violence…feminists and [other] tough-on-crime types…[support] the arrest and jailing of domestic violence survivors…if they are deemed an obstacle to prosecution…increasingly, [reasonable people] are [pointing out] that police and prosecutors…don’t help in domestic violence situations and, instead, often hurt…studies…show survivors of domestic violence are less likely to report abuse when they think that will lead to an arrest and…police themselves are often the perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence, rendering them [useless] as a source of help…But [thanks to the “Violence Against Women Act” and similar laws]…arrest is…often mandatory…Aya Gruber…author of a recent book about the intersection of policing and feminism, says these policies ignore the fact that victims may be making a rational choice when they decline to testify against their abusers…By the 21st century, an increasing number of domestic violence arrests were of women, many of whom were victims themselves…around the same time, prosecutors and judges began to use [violence]…to force victims to testify against their will.  At least one [authoritarian] even suggested using guardianship laws to force women to comply with criminal prosecutions because such women lacked “independent judgment,” adding “a battered woman is so controlled that she has lost her autonomy”…

Traffic Circle

Debunkings of “sex trafficking” mythology are now becoming common:

All Shapes and Sizes (#834)

Why illustrate this at all if you’re just going to pixellate the images?

A British man whose penis fell off due to a severe blood infection had a new one built…on his arm…Malcolm MacDonald…suffered a horrific infection in his perineum that turned his fingers, toes and [penis] black…but his testicles remained intact…Professor David Ralph of London’s University College Hospital…said he could perform a…graft procedure…using a skin flap on the left arm of the right-handed man.  They created a urethra and installed two tubes inflated with a hand pump, allowing him to achieve an erection.  The shaft was then removed from his forearm, leaving the base, allowing it to form naturally as skin and tissue.  He is now waiting for it to be finally transferred to its proper location…

A Broker in Pillage (#1007)

Burying government in lawsuits is the only way to slow its depredations:

…[government] agents s[tole] more than $2 billion in cash from travelers in U.S. airports between 2000 and 2016, according to a new report by the Institute for Justicein…[one] case…Rustem Kazazi, a U.S. citizen who tried in 2018 to get on a plane to return to his native Albania…[was robbed of] $58,000 in cash…he was taking to repair a house he owned and possibly to buy another…by CBP agents…Then there’s the case of Anthonia Nwaorie, a Houston woman who had $41,000 in cash…earmarked for a children’s hospital in Nigeria [stolen from her]…there were no arrests made in more than two-thirds of all the cases…CBP isn’t the only agency seizing cash at airports.  Earlier this year, the…DEA…[was forced to] return…more than $82,000…it [had stolen] from an elderly Pittsburgh man and his daughter after a federal class-action lawsuit was filed on their behalf by the Institute for Justice…A 2017 report…found that the DEA [had stolen] more than $4 billion in cash…over the previous decade, but $3.2 billion…w[as] never connected to any criminal charges.  The majority of seizures occurred in airports, train stations, and bus terminals…

Top Cop (#1026)

This psychopath is still far too close to power for comfort:

Kamala Harris…is a schemer on the order of Lady Macbeth and Frank Underwood combined.  The only thought more horrific than Harris being one blood clot away from the Oval Office is of her replacing Bill Barr as U.S. Attorney General…Harris’ record as a prosecutor, both as San Francisco’s District Attorney and as California’s Attorney General, was marked by the misuse of her authority for political ends, and a sweeping contempt for the accused, for the U.S. Constitution and for the cause of justice.  A full exploration of Harris’ prosecutorial misdeeds would require a volume, if not volumes.  They run the gamut, from her sham investigation of widespread law enforcement misconduct in Orange County, to the family separations that resulted from her crackdown on the parents of truant kids, to her defense of the death penalty and laughter at the idea of marijuana legalization, to her decision not to go after Steve Mnuchin’s OneWest Bank for alleged misconduct regarding foreclosures, to a sweet plea deal for a fellow Democratic pol accused of assaulting women…Not only is Kamala a “cop”…she’s a bad cop, one who should not be granted the kind of national power to which she aspires…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1061)

Blaming bad behavior on an imaginary “addiction” is the opposite of accepting responsibility:

A porn-addicted probation officer in Florida is facing charges after he was caught using his cellphone to record video beneath a woman’s dress at Walmart…Darius Brantley…was caught on surveillance camera…approaching a woman twice while using his phone to take video footage beneath her dress…The woman then called police after Brantley left the Walmart and a[n employee]…jotted down his license [plate number]…Brantley…admitted to recording the woman [but blamed an imaginary]…pornography addiction…

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The “first oral sex robot”…[looks less like a] sexy silicone face…and…more like a Wi-Fi router with benefits.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Feminine Pragmatism 

One day, reporters will get that “People Work To Make Money” is not news:

The [UK] Universal Credit benefits system is forcing some women to turn to sex work, [opponents of the scheme] say…”Julie”, from Merseyside, never thought she would have to turn to sex work.  But an eight-week wait for the single mum’s first payment after transferring from her previous benefits left her “desperate”, so when she was offered £30 for sex she took it…

Counterfeit Comfort

Arizona says anyone even accused of a sex crime is subhuman:

…the Supreme Court in Smith v. Doe held that sex offender registration was not punitive, but civil, and therefore beyond the reach of the Ex Post Facto Clause…this categorical group known as “sex offenders” was so deserving of a life of misery, prohibition and shunning for the putative safety of the community that there was a rational basis for civil rules to make them societal outcasts.  Where they can live, work, exist for decades, if not the rest of their lives, was constrained to the point of impossibility.  And should they mess up compliance with any detail, back they go to prison.  But it’s not criminal.  It’s civil.  For no better reason than legislatures say it’s not punitive, but for the safety of the children, Even though it’s punitive.  Extremely punitive.  Arizona wants to take this further…[by] “rendering a defendant [accused of a sex crime] categorically ineligible for bail“…it categorically prohibits bail without regard for individual circumstances…In order to obtain release, the accused would apparently be compelled to disprove the accusations.  Not at trial, but just to be considered for bail.  It’s not merely a presumption of guilt, with the burden shifted onto the defendant to disprove his guilt, but one that imposes the burden on a singular group, sex offenders, because they are now the most dreaded and hated in society…

Scapegoats 

Safety first:

A [Florida] man has been arrested after several people told deputies they spotted him having sex with a miniature horse…Nicholas Anthony Sardo, 21, admitted to having sex with a miniature male pony named Jackie G…four times during the course of a week.  Sardo told deputies he used a condom each time because he didn’t want to get a disease from the horse…

Torture Chamber 

“Correcting” people to death:

The death of an inmate following an “altercation with correctional staff” at Western Illinois Correctional Center in May has been ruled a homicide…Larry Earvin died from blunt trauma [intentionally inflicted] to the chest and abdomen [by four screws]…The 65-year-old Earvin sustained 15 rib fractures…two dozen or more abrasions, hemorrhages and lacerations…[and a ruptured colon]…four [screws] were [rewarded for the murder with paid vacations]…Willie Hedden…Benjamin Burnett…Blake Haubrich…and…Alex Banta…

“An altercation with correctional staff” means “screws beat him to death”.

To Molest and Rape 

Sometimes they even rape their own:

A [cop] who became a pariah among Nashville police has sued the force and her commander for…retaliating against her after she [reported] a rape by a colleague, as well as racial and gender-based discrimination.  Monica Blake[‘s]…lawsuit includes a long list of grievances, from being treated differently than male colleagues to free speech suppression and retaliation for reporting [her] rape in 2016…[the rapist] made a plea deal…and had his rape charges reduced to aggravated assault [and the department is hiding his identity so he can be free to rape other women]…she was once suspended for three days for simply playing a game of cards, while white male officers escaped almost all culpability for much harsher violations – like [framing innocent people]…It got worse when she publicly supported an initiative to create a Community Oversight Board…

Lack of Evidence (#821)

Why do sex workers and others believe in these garbage “immunity” policies?

Sex workers would be [statutorily] immune from criminal prosecution when they report rapes, assaults, robberies and other crimes, under a bill approved by a [Utah] legislative committee…[bill sponsor] Paul Ray…said…”If we put it in statute, [gullible whores]…will [believe they’ll actually] receive immunity and be treated as a victim or witness”…He said serial offenders prey upon sex workers because “they know they can”…

Remember, cops and politicians claim that indefinite detention without charge is a form of “protection”, and courts have on many occasions caged rape or domestic violence victims to compel their testimony.  Laws that claim to grant members of a criminalized group “immunity” for high-sounding reasons are bullshit as long as the group is still criminalized; even if the mark isn’t immediately caged she will be placed on a list, spied on and generally persecuted.

The Notorious Badge (#822) 

An interesting history of Annie Sprinkle’s salon in 1980s New York:

…From 1980-94, the Sprinkle Salon was a spiritual and physical extension of Sprinkle’s identity.  Her radicalism was translated into fetish, tattoo, and body modification parties, while her pledge to sexual positivity emulated in female empowerment sex classes like Sluts and Goddesses…and her role as a leader in the sex industry was equally translated into sex worker rights groups like PONY (Prostitutes Of New York) and porn support groups like Club 90.  Above all, the Sprinkle Salon was a central point for New York’s underground sexual rebellion and a place to push the revolution into the rights of fetishists, porn stars, and sex workers…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#848) 

Liz Brown on the “sex robot” fantasy:

…The idea of sex machines as technological comeuppance for women who dared declare their liberation has grown alongside the boom in misogynist online media…But here’s the bad news for the men dreaming of a sexbot…”Harmony”…is as close as we’ve come so far to a consumer sexbot.  And she’s more Tamagotchi than Westworld…there is little to suggest that sexbots will be more than a fascinating “niche”…There will certainly be some of your “Men Going Their Own Way” (MGTOW) types, those who see sex robots as a way around the problem of women’s inconvenient humanity.  And there will be fetishists — those for whom the synthetic and robotic elements are the appeal…There are also likely to be novelty users…None of this seems terribly scary, and certainly not the catastrophe some fear…because most people are looking for something much more complicated than a well-engineered masturbatory machine…

Traffic Circle (#880)

A pearl-clutching hack incompetently tries to present the shitty management of a part-time strip club as “evidence” of “sex trafficking” in a rural area during hunting season:

…from September to November…Frank Day’s [bar] opens a short-term strip club, specifically catering to a rush of pheasant hunters who travel [to South Dakota]here from all over the country toting shotguns and cash to burn.  Pheasant hunting season…comes with a dark side: sex trafficking…Pop-up strip clubs…can trap freelance dancers in a web of exorbitant fees…making them vulnerable to being illegally exploited by traffickers…South Dakota is dawning to the realization that human trafficking isn’t just a big-city problem.  It’s…modern slavery…as…men [magically] control…women and sell their [soulless] bodies for sex…“People of South Dakota don’t think it’s happening in their backyard, but it is,” [panted prohibitionist] Lisa Heth…

Epilogue:  The idiot who wrote this dreck actually tried to mansplain the stripping business to a well-known stripper who writes about stripping when she called him on his BS on Twitter.

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Apparently after reading the introduction to an Econ 101 textbook, many…believe the best way to eliminate the supply of sex trafficking victims is to end the demand for paid sex.  –  Eric Sprankle

The Course of a Disease (#344)

Indian sex workers often use Durga Puja as an occasion to protest tyranny:

A street graffiti dedicated to the life and struggle of the sex workers was unveiled by a Durga Puja organiser in…Kolkata…The graffiti, painted on a 300 [foot] stretch of road [near Sonagachi]…tells the tale of hardships and the circumstances that force a woman…into the flesh trade…soil from a brothel is an essential ingredient for the making of a Durga idol…”We are really happy that such a theme has been taken up by the puja committee depicting our lives and struggles,” Santana Das of Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee said…

Don’t Call It Trafficking 

Remember, this isn’t “human trafficking”, but consensual sex is:

…one foster family’s initially successful attempt to win full custody of [a child abducted by ICE pigs]…reveals what could happen to some of the infants, children and teens taken from their families at the border…this year.  The “zero-tolerance” crackdown ended in June, but hundreds of children remain in detention, shelters or foster care and U.S. officials [have arbitrarily declared that] more than 200 are not eligible for reunification or release.  Federal officials [claim] they are reuniting families…but an Associated Press investigation…identified holes in the system that allow state court judges to grant custody of migrant children to American families — without notifying their parents.  And today, with hundreds of those mothers and fathers deported thousands of miles away, the risk has grown exponentially…

Also note: this policy did not originate with Trump; it’s been going on under every president since the ’80s.

Torture Chamber (#421) 

Cops can be fired for consensual sex, but not for torturing people to death:

A former [screw] is set to lose his job as a cop after it was revealed he was hired despite locking a mentally ill prisoner in a scalding hot shower until he died.  Roland Clarke only resigned…two years after he forced Darren Rainey into the shower…in 2012…Clarke was never charged with a crime and…[almost immediately] began working as a [pig] for the Miami Gardens Police Department…Now, thanks to a new report from the Miami New Times, the city…is trying to get [rid of]…Clarke, who has racked up a number of violations…[for being] “distasteful”…[including] repeatedly visiting a woman…at her home while…on duty…

In the US, a pig can be as dangerously violent and psychopathic as he wants, as long as he does it tastefully.  For another violent uniformed psychopath from Miami, see “To Molest and Rape” below.

Traffic Jam (#534)

Schools are rewarded for “finding” what the government wants found:

Social media is increasingly being exploited to contact, recruit and sell children for sex, according to a study by The University of Toledo Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute.  The study, which was [commissioned] by the Ohio Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Commission, [spins tales about] how traffickers quickly target and connect with vulnerable children on the Internet through social media…Through a series of 16 in-depth interviews…with…[cops], judges, [rescue profiteers, prohibitionists], and [corrupt academics]…the [fantasies] outline…how [authoritarians fantasize about people having sex with teens]…The [so-called] experts…identities are not being released…

WTF? Interviewing 16 anonymous pigs, prohibitionists and profiteers about their masturbatory fantasies about sex workers is not anything remotely like a “study”.  But the government doesn’t care as long as the “researchers” come to the correct conclusions, and Ohio is one of the states whose “educational institutions” are sufficiently corrupt for the task (others include Pennsylvania and Arizona).

Finding What Isn’t There (#559)

Michigan has decided to increase its “sex trafficking” numbers by inventing imaginary “victims”:

One hundred and twenty-three missing Michigan minors were [supposedly] found during a one-day “sex trafficking operation”…[but actually] only three of the minors are even suspected of having been involved in prostitution…What’s more, all but four of the “missing children” were not actually missing.  In the remaining [119] cases, minors were listed in a police database as missing but had since been found or returned home on their own…Many were (homeschooled)…Some were runaways…Nothing in the U.S. Marshals report on the operation makes mention of any arrested kidnappers, “traffickers”, or other adults involved in endangering or exploiting any of the missing minors that were identified…

The Punitive Mindset (#600) 

If there’s anything narrower and meaner than the mind of a prison official, I’m not sure what it might be:

A new policy has put Pennsylvania prisoners’ communications under intense surveillance in the [pretense] of stopping contraband drugs [which are in reality smuggled in by screws for a price]…all incoming mail would be sent to a private company in Florida, Smart Communications, for scanning into a searchable database.  Prisoners would then receive photocopies of the incoming mail—and the originals would be shredded.  The DOC has also banned prisoners from receiving books from vendors…Instead, prisoners will have the option of paying for ebooks via [substandard] tablets that cost over $147 each…the Amistad Law Project…said the new policy will most likely result in self-censorship…and…has effectively ended mailed communication between lawyers and their clients because they cannot guarantee confidentiality…

The Puritan Recrudescence

Government thinks it can make any statement true simply by declaring it in a law:

…when I dug…into SF 2554, what I found wasn’t a law which links porn to human trafficking, but an embedded assumption that the two are fundamentally linked…being introduced into an existing state law by…changes to statutory language…the bill…adds “possession of pornographic work involving minors” and “harmful materials; dissemination and display to minors prohibited” to a list of crimes which the Minnesota government requires specified governmental and nongovernmental agencies to report on…In other words, what this law does to “link” pornography to human trafficking simply is to declare such a link exists

Unsurprisingly, the law was written by a religious anti-porn group.

To Molest and Rape 

Do I really need to say, “Don’t date one, either”?

Before a Miami-Dade [SWAT pig] was [arrested for] molesting a young girl, he was [given a pass by] his own department…[for] beat[ing] and abus[ing] his…lovers…two…women [reported that] Braulio Gonzalez [was] exceedingly jealous and pointed weapons at them, threatening their lives…he choked [one of them] and head-butted her so hard it broke her nose…[he] threw a bottle of whiskey at [anot]her and broke her arm.  A third woman also complained…about his…abuse…and [the department ruled he] had not followed proper procedure [in abusing her]…in [the latest totally]…related case…Gonzalez [was charged] with armed kidnapping and lewd and lascivious molestation of a child…[after] a young girl told a psychologist that Gonzalez fondled her repeatedly when she was between 8 and 10 years old…pointed a gun at her head and threatened to kill a relative unless she [submitted]…His domestic [violence was] well-known within the department…

The Widening Gyre (#703)

I really hope abusers keep using “sex trafficking” to justify their abuse:

…21-year-old…Whitney Harris made the long flight to India to meet 20-year-old Pulkit Monga, a man she’d connected with online two years prior.  “I left to India to meet my friend and to get away from my abusive mother and grandmother who have mentally and emotionally abused me all my life,” Harris [said]…The family…first had a Christian minister in the city of Amritsar “intercept” her and then came to collect her themselves 10 days later…Harris’ mother Destiny and father Brett met Monga’s hospitable parents who took them to holy sites and restaurants — all while “slandering” [their hosts] behind their backs…Harris agreed to buy a return plane ticket to assuage their concerns, but before she was able to book it, “her mother allegedly sent a letter to the local Indian police claiming that Pulkit was a rapist, had drugged their daughter and was a sex trafficker”…After Harris and the Mongas were interrogated by police, the young woman’s family conspired with people from the local Christian church to get her to the airport and out of the country…Harris refused to see her parents upon arrival back home in Alabama — and is working to reunite with Monga as soon as she can…

Pyrrhic Victory (#849)

Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.  But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.”

…the Law Enforcement Data Service, a new super-database for [UK] police…would combine the current Police National Computer…and the Police National Database (PND)…with others at a later date.  It would include sensitive information on victims and on people unrelated to or cleared of wrongdoing.  The UK government has accepted that large amounts of data on the super-database would have nothing to do with crime, and intends to open up access to other organisations, such as the UK Border Force…the actions of the Home Office…have been repeatedly ruled unlawful in various cases regarding unlawful retention of surveillance or biometric data…the proposed database…contents would never expire or be removed – and the police have admitted that various types of data it has no legal right to hold will be transferred to the new database too…

Dangerous Speech

The government keeps making up new rules in its war on thought:

Federal prosecutors in the Backpage case appear to be employing a strangulation strategy:  Swipe the defendants’ money, then go after their lawyers…federal prosecutors…[tried] to disqualify a team of First Amendment lawyers from…Davis Wright Tremaine…[while] a federal judge in California has yet to rule on motions in which the defendants have challenged the asset seizures…on First Amendment grounds…Davis Wright’s First Amendment duo of Robert Corn-Revere and Jim Grant have successfully defended Backpage and its former owners from criminal and civil claims arising from adult advertising that appeared on the website.  Invoking both the First Amendment and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996…Davis Wright has rebuffed criminal indictments, overturned adverse rulings on appeal, and nullified laws in three states, in cases involving allegations that Backpage promoted prostitution…and/or sex trafficking…Lacey and Larkin sold their interests in Backpage to CEO Carl Ferrer in 2015, but Davis Wright continued to represent Backpage and all three men.  Six days after seizing Backpage, the government revealed that it had secretly flipped Ferrer…Davis Wright has since withdrawn from representing Ferrer and Backpage…government attorneys argued that Davis Wright can no longer continue to represent [Lacey & Larkin]…because to do so would violate Arizona’s rules of professional conduct for lawyers, which forbid attorneys from representing clients whose interests are adverse to a former client…But defense lawyers pointed out that Ferrer had waived all attorney-client privilege in his deal with the government, and additionally, that he’d previously signed three joint defense agreements with Lacey and Larkin, allowing Davis Wright to remain as counsel if Ferrer withdrew from the pact…[in another example of misconduct] the government supplied the defense with 10.5 million documents in “an unusual format”…requir[ing] the use of special software that could result in up to $800,000 in costs, not including the hours that attorneys will have to devote to making sense of the information…

Though the judge seemed cowed by prosecutors, he nonetheless ruled against the attempt to disqualify the attorneys not on constitutional rounds, but rather on the grounds that prosecutors willfully ignored Ferrer’s waiver of privilege.

Traffic Circle (#876)

It’s wonderful that so many academic allies are debunking the hysteria:

…a billboard…in Two Harbors, Minnesota [became] the latest example of the ad nauseam awareness campaigns…that perpetuate the moral panic surrounding sex trafficking by conflating it with sex work.  The billboard warns “johns” to “end the demand” because “we’re someone’s children” and includes a police lineup photo of a chef, physician, a snowmobiler, a flannel-clad “every man,” and a college graduate, which could be used as an album cover for a Village People cover band.  Given that the billboard also features an ominous photo of two people in hoodies sitting with their backs turned, it left many wondering what it’s trying to communicate…maybe passing motorists will get the general gist that northern Minnesotans need to end the demand for sex trafficking because trafficking affects “someone’s children”…The Lake County Sex Trafficking Task Force celebrated the billboard’s unveiling, stating that the installation was the “fulfillment of a 4-5 year dream.”  Not to piss on anyone’s parade, but a billboard, in Two Harbors, was not only someone’s dream, but took 4 to 5 years to fulfill?  I guess if you dream to reach the stars, you’ll at least land 20 feet above Highway 61…

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GOP leaders put “Fight Human Trafficking” in the title to conceal the bill’s true purpose: to give the government more power to unconstitutionally spy on law-abiding Americans without a warrant.  –  Justin Amash

They Still Don’t Get It

It’s fascinating to watch fanatics parroting nonsense they clearly neither understand nor believe:

When police arrested seven women for engaging in prostitution…they [asked them a bunch of silly questions drawn from prohibitionist fantasy] and let [them]…leave on their own recognizance…the men arrested…were booked at the…Jail in Auburn, their faces and names publicized by police…Police Chief Brian O’Malley [bloviated]…“We’re going after the sex traffickers”…“Obviously, if people stopped buying people, people wouldn’t sell people,” Assistant District Attorney Nathan Walsh said [while masturbating]…His office…has [supposedly] shifted its view over recent years to see sex workers as victims…the crime of engaging in prostitution isn’t punishable by jail time…[but] if someone has been convicted of that crime within a two-year period…jail time is possible…And if a woman were charged with that crime as a first offense and were to violate conditions of her bail, she could be charged with a crime that includes jail time…

So sex workers are victims, but they can be arrested. But they can’t be taken to jail because it isn’t a crime, but if they’re convicted of being victims twice or violating conditions of bail that they pay to be released on their own recognizance from not-jail, they can go to jail.  Got that?

Dysphemisms Galore 

In normal adult language, she ran a low-rent escort service and foolishly neglected to check IDs of applicants:

…Shyniquah Lightner, 26, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty…to two counts of sex trafficking of a minor…[she] operated a prostitution ring in Philadelphia, and…recruited females to work as prostitutes in this illegal business, and then created Internet advertisements in which she marketed various females as available for purchase for purposes of prostitution…Two of the females Lightner recruited and advertised were minors under 18 years of age…Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross [bloviated that] “A child predator has been brought to justice”…

I quoted as much of this idiocy as I could stomach (giving 17-year-olds a job now qualifies as being a “child predator”), but you can see a lot more at the link if you haven’t eaten recently and want to risk vomiting.

Traffic Circle

“One almost has to admire the chutzpah of officials in Two Harbors, Minnesota (population 3745), who…claim that ‘hunting season…is a key time for traffickers and pimps because it draws…large groups of men into the Northland‘.”

Something new might catch your eye on Highway 61 outside of Two Harbors, a “Dear John” billboard designed to stop local sex trafficking by addressing the demand.  The Lake County Sex Trafficking Task Force is behind the sign…[which will] be up for six months, reminding everyone who drives by, including snowmobilers [of the silly fantasy prohibitionists are masturbating to all over the US]…

Though this item more properly belongs in “Under Every Bed” or “Broken Record“, the quote which introduces the item above is from the original “Traffic Circle” five years ago.  Same tiny town, same TV station making the report, same grandiose and economically-impossible claims from self-important “officials” and fanatics.  Five years later.

All-Purpose Excuse

Whores are not only the new drugs; we’re also the new “terrorism”:

A new bill that borrows language from the PATRIOT Act promises to nab human traffickers using the same surveillance techniques that law introduced to catch terrorists…The PATRIOT Act’s spying provisions…proved attractive to law enforcement far beyond their intended scope.  Now, legislators like Rep. Ann Wagner…hope we won’t notice if they feed us the same liberty-poisoning bologna with a new excuse…Wagner’s bill (H.R. 6729)—the deceptively named the “Empowering Financial Institutions to Fight Human Trafficking Act” of 2018—is the latest in a long line of assaults on civil liberties disguised as attacks on the biggest crime panic of the decade, sex trafficking.  Wagner alone brought us the SAVE Act in 2015 and FOSTA in 2018, both of which take aim at online anonymity, web publishing, social media, sex workers, and free speech under the guise of saving children from “modern slavery”…H.R. 6729 would allow financial institutions, federal regulatory bodies, nonprofit organizations, and law enforcement to share customer bank records between them without running afoul of rules regarding consumer privacy and without opening themselves up to lawsuits…and…need not demonstrate that the “sharing was made on a good faith basis”…[this] could go a long way toward not just shuttering individual sex worker bank accounts but facilitating money-laundering charges against any website that…enables communication that connects sex workers and clients…

Down Under (#524)

In the US, the government would’ve “helped” by prosecuting her:

A [New Zealand] man has been ordered to pay a sex worker an extra $300 and hand over the phone he used to record his sexual experience with the woman…the pair met at a Hamilton motel on June 20, via a website which outlined conditions including the banning of video recordings.  Coitus interruptus came when the woman noticed the man’s phone semi-concealed in a jacket and pointed directly at them.  The man denied filming but the woman grabbed the phone, refused to give it back and called the police.  The man admitted he wanted to watch the recording later because he “could not afford to keep paying all the time”…

Uncommon Sense (#844)

Juno Mac calls for supposedly pro-labor politicians and activists to support sex workers:

…sex work is a form of labour; and we deserve labour rights…even after decriminalisation…we will still face a lack of legal aid funding, weak union powers, and austerity policies that reduce our power to turn down exploitative work…Sex workers want to stand with other workers to challenge these injustices and improve the conditions for all workers.  But we require the basic framework of a legally recognised workplace, and recognition from the Labour movement that we are indeed workers…

Disaster (#857)

As I predicted, the judge denied the injunction; he also dismissed the whole case using the bullshit excuse of “lack of standing”:

…a federal court sided with the government and dismissed Woodhull Freedom Foundation et al. v. United States.  The court did not reach the merits of any of the constitutional issues, but instead found that none of the plaintiffs had standing to challenge the law’s legality.  We’re disappointed and believe the decision is wrong.  For example, the court failed to apply the standing principles that are usually applied in First Amendment cases in which the plaintiffs’ speech is chilled.  The plaintiffs are considering their options for their next steps…

Across the Pond (#862)

Redbridge has a history of harassing sex workers while belching up stupid “crime” rhetoric:

Prostitutes will no longer be allowed to operate anywhere in Redbridge after [the council invented] complaints of noise and condoms left on the street…The new order gives…[cops] the power to hand out on-the-spot fines to disrupt prostitution and soliciting…the council [wants to steal income from sex workers while simultaneously proclaiming them to be] victims.  Cllr Jas Athwal, council leader, said…“By creating a borough-wide zone, a ring of steel, it also means we will deter people seeking sex services from entering Redbridge in the first place”…

I’m sorry if you shot a drink out of your nose when you read a petty politician referring to petty fines as a “ring of steel”.

Dirty Amateurs (#868) 

Amateurs are a menace to public health; they should be licensed and heavily regulated:

…congenital syphilis, which is passed down from an infected mother to her fetus, has more than doubled since 2013 to hit a 20-year high…Louisiana has the highest rate per capita, with 59 cases reported last year, while California has the highest rates overall, with 281 cases reported in 2017, followed by Texas’s 176…unlike chlamydia and gonorrhea, which are also seeing sharp rises in incidences, syphilis is not rising because of antibiotic resistance; it’s cured by penicillin…But syphilis isn’t [being tested for by] some doctors treating women of reproductive age…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#868) 

At least this dude doesn’t incorrectly call his amusement-device arcades “brothels”:

…”Elijah Rising, a Houston-based [prohibitionist] group…has started a petition on Change.org to ‘Keep Robot Brothels Out Of Houston’“…The owner of KinkySdollS disputes the characterization of his stores as brothels (he says they are more like rent-to-own franchises) and it remains to be seen if in fact Houston, a city famously for relatively light regulation of business, can in fact ban the business under existing laws.  (We might also add that…these dolls are [not] anything close to robots).  There is [also] no reason to believe that increased access to pornography increases sexual crime, a belief that underpins Elijah Rising’s position…In fact, there’s a wealth of evidence supporting the idea that the proliferation of porn over the past few decades is one of the reasons that sexual assaults are declining.  And…recent crackdowns on prostitution, done in the name of ending “sex trafficking,” are…pushing more women onto the streets, a generally less safe situation for all involved…

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The work you do does not give you dignity; the dignity comes from you.  –  Elena Reynaga

Counterfeit Comfort

The Notorious Badge

An unusual portrayal of sex work in cinema:

…the 1918 silent film The Yellow Ticket…follows Lea, a young Jewish woman who lives in the Warsaw Ghetto.  Hoping to study medicine at a university in St. Petersburg, Lea is forced to register as a sex worker, receiving a “yellow ticket” as proof of her status as a prostitute, or else she will go to prison for being Jewish.  Posing as the deceased Christian sister of her former tutor, Lea reluctantly lives these dual lives until a classmate discovers her at the brothel and she tries to commit suicide…

Broken Record 

Low-population areas come up with the most ludicrous concepts for supposed “gypsy whore” magnets:

Fargo [North Dakota] police arrested two men as part of a two-day sting…[during] the annual Big Iron Farm Show…[spokesow Junell] Krabbenhoft [oinked that]…“Any major event, anything that’s going to draw people to the area,” could attract potential buyers…

An Example to the West (#316) 

The areas Americans dismiss as the “third world” are far ahead of the US in sex worker rights:

…sex workers [are] campaign[ing] for an International Labour Organization (ILO) resolution establishing the right to self-employed sex work, with a view to it being included in the individual legislations of Latin American countries, given that, although sex work is not explicitly penalised in many countries of the region, it is criminalised in many ways…they managed, after five years of failed attempts, to secure a thematic hearing at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).  The demands presented included the recognition of sex work, that the relevant authorities in each state intervene to end the impunity surrounding crimes against sex workers, and measures to tackle the institutional violence they suffer…The IACHR…“urged member states to design public policies and regulations that protect the human rights of sex workers…and…put an end to the stigmatisation and discrimination to which they are subjected”…

Traffic Circle (#431)

It’s so nice to see an article in which migrant African sex workers are treated as adults with agency rather than passive, childlike “victims”:

Bar girls and sex workers have a visible presence in Pattaya [Thailand].  Women and girls from neighbouring countries like Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar have made up a large slice of the sex worker demographic for as long as people can recall…Among the most recent round of newcomers are some women from Africa…Last week Pattaya City police arrested 12 women from Uganda…A Cambodian sex worker…[said] she came to the city to earn a living five years ago.  Pattaya improved her life, she says, and she wants to remain there for as long as possible…”Back at home, I can’t even earn 10% of what I am earning here.  I notice a lot more black girls these days but none of us get intimidated by this.  After all, we also came here to find an opportunity to make a better living”…

SWOP Behind Bars

A good article with a horrible headline: sex work is work, not an “offense”:

SWOP Behind Bars…provides a community and concrete aid [to incarcerated sex workers] when they’re released, from clothing and shoes to stamped envelopes, notebooks and hygiene products.  In a new program, the women also get cellphones…Connecting women to resources quickly after leaving prison is crucial.  “When you’re in prison and you get out and you don’t have any money, you’re almost forced back into sex work.  Which may not be where these women want to be, because it does put them at risk for rearrest,” [SBB founder Alex] Andrews said.  She calls this “state-sponsored trafficking”.  Women are cut off from their families and released without resources for finding jobs, getting an education or pursuing a GED.  Sex work is effectively the only way many of them have to make money…Finding cheap, reliable phone service nationwide has been tricky, Andrews says.  Many services aren’t set up to allow people to purchase phones for others, and she’d like to buy 90 days of service at a time, rather than the usual 30-day package.  Most women coming out of prison aren’t in a position to start paying for their own phone after only a month on the outside.  For the moment, Andrews has settled on Straight Talk, a program that’s offered through Wal-Mart and gets good service even in rural areas.  SWOP can send out refurbished iPhone 5S with 30 days of service for around $100 each.  The organization is accepting donations of used smart phones to help expand the program and lower costs…

To Molest and Rape 

“Former prison transport officer” = “pig who was actively employed when he raped women at gunpoint”:

A federal grand jury…returned a two-count indictment against Eric Scott Kindley…for crimes related to his sexual assault of a woman in his custody, and using his firearm in furtherance of the assault…Kindley was indicted on June 29, 2017, in Phoenix, Arizona, for committing similar offenses related to sexual assaults he committed on a different woman in his custody…These indictments stem from Kindley’s arrest in Stockton, California, on June 1, 2017…Kindley operated Group 6, LLC doing business as Special Operations Group, a company that local jails throughout the country hire to transport individuals who have been arrested on out-of-state warrants…In each instance, the victim was handcuffed and restrained, and taken to secluded locations where Kindley [raped] her…Kindley threatened each victim with his firearm and warned her that…no one will believe her…

Send In the Clowns 

This year’s “creepy clown” panic is off to a good start:

An Ohio man who tried to discipline his 6-year-old daughter by chasing her around in a clown mask has been charged after she ran screaming to a stranger’s apartment…Vernon Barrett Jr. donned a clown mask and began chasing his young daughter outside their apartment…the frightened child ran to a female stranger’s car nearby, jumped inside and said she was being chased by a clown…That woman later told police that the man wearing the clown mask pulled the child out of her car.  Unsure of what was happening, the woman called 911…the child [then] ran into the adjacent apartment of…Dion Santiago…[who] grabbed his firearm and fired a shot out of his window…

The Mote and the Beam (#748)

Liz Brown exposes more horrific laws that destroy civil rights under the pretext of “fighting sex trafficking”:

…two significant expansions of federal power…passed the Senate unanimously…Under these new measures, the FBI and immigration agents as well as state and local police can secretly wiretap suspected sex workers, or those who associate with them.  The wiretapping authority…includ[es] consenting adults on any side of a commercial sexual exchange.  The bills call for a new national strategy to reduce “demand” for prostitution, order all U.S. attorneys offices be trained on treating the sex trade as “a form of gender-based violence”…[ban] federal funds [from] any nonprofit that helps people who profit off sex and…broaden…the term “criminal street gang” [to] capture any five or more sex workers traveling together…[the bills provide] a pretext for ICE and Homeland Security Investigations to join in small-town prostitution stings and massage-parlor raids across America…[another] bill (S.1312) gives the attorney general power to file a civil suit against anyone suspected of…planning to commit “any action that constitutes or will constitute” a violation of various federal statutes…This…could allow the feds to preemptively shut down websites, search engines, social apps, browsers, encryption services, or brick-and-mortar businesses because criminals (broadly defined) might communicate there…The new TVPA will also make fighting… “sextortion”…an invitation for the federal government to get involved in teen sexting cases…

The Widening Gyre (#763) 

I am so enjoying watching “authorities” forced to deny the “sex trafficking” propaganda they helped spread:

Looks like the Roseville, California, police department got a little fed up with social media posts going on about local “sex trafficking kidnappers” and “suspicious people.”  And so it came out with this amazing document on its Facebook page…”kidnapping by strangers is a rare crime in the United States.  Stranger abductions of children are so frightening and so unusual that when they do happen, they make national news…children taken by strangers or slight acquaintances represent only one-hundredth of 1 percent (.01%) of all missing children…The Roseville Police Department has never taken a report of anyone being kidnapped by a stranger and forced into the sex trade…We…found no evidence that human traffickers were [at shopping malls] recruiting strangers“…

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[Cops are] notorious for using data out of context or drawing grand conclusions that data ultimately do not support.  –  John Hudak

The Enlightenment Police 

Australia appears much more committed to human rights than Europe:

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has triggered a firestorm around religious freedoms, after wearing a burqa into [the Australian] Parliament, a stunt that has united all sides of politics in condemnation…As senators could be heard groaning and gasping at her entrance, Senate President Stephen Parry confirmed it was Senator Hanson beneath the face covering, while seeming unsure of how to officially respond to the performance…Attorney-General George Brandis showed no hesitation.  When Senator Hanson whipped off the garment with a dramatic flourish…and asked Senator Brandis if the government would join her in banning the burqa, he did not hold back.  “Senator Hanson, no, we will not be banning the burqa,” he said, visibly angry, and looking at one point like he was close to tears… “we all know that you are not an adherent of the Islamic faith…be very, very careful of the offence you may do to the religious sensibilities of other Australians.  We have about 500,000 Australians in this country of the Islamic faith and the vast majority of them are law-abiding good Australians…to ridicule that community, to drive it into a corner, to mock its religious garments is an appalling thing to do”…

Change a Few Words

All prohibitionism is the same:

Government-rooted misinformation has long been central to the very existence of War on Drugs…the Drug War has always been fueled by alleged facts that have no basis in reality…As most state and federal research documenting the impact of legalized marijuana show encouraging results reflecting responsible regulation, one federally funded agency is still producing reports that paint a very different reality.  Reports from High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas [figure heavily in]…anti-legalization campaign[s]…[but] the reports are “garbage”, according to John Hudak, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Brookings Institute who studies (maintaining a neutral position) marijuana legalization…

The Last Shall Be First (#38)

Pakistan surpasses the US in at least one area of civil rights:

Pakistan’s Parliament is poised to pass the nation’s first law recognizing transgender people as equal citizens and laying out penalties for discrimination and violence against them…The  Transgender Persons Protection of Rights bill…has the support of all the major political parties [and] is expected to pass easily in Parliament in the coming weeks…The draft law gives…anyone whose gender identity or expression “differs from the social norms and cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at the time of their birth” the right to identify as a transgender person and enjoy the same rights as other men and women in Pakistan…

Skin To Skin (#313)

This seems to be the same case as in the earlier news item, but it’s worth revisiting:

At 93, Roger’s libido is far from fading.  He might have dementia and live in a nursing home but he has an active sex life, thanks to the care and support of his children, his nursing home professionals and a woman called Emma…who…visits Roger monthly…They laugh together, talk about things that were once important in Roger’s life, they touch each other and they have sex…Emma said the nursing home staff understood the important role sex workers played in the lives of people with dementia.  “They roll out the red carpet for me, because they know the profound nature of this service and what it really means for this client,” she said…

Monsters 

When “diversion” programs are subject to prosecutorial discretion:

In December 2015…a video was posted online featuring a Black woman on the New York City subway arguing with a man and a woman…then lunging at them with an object in her hand.  Days later, Merci Chrisette turned herself in.  There was no record of what sparked the apparent outburst…For the tabloids, it was all a juicy story—and one they were quick to frame about Chrisette’s transgender identity…Nobody…even required medical care as a result of the incident…[but] Chrisette is set to go to trial later this fall for a host of charges related to the incident…Because she has a conviction for a previous felony assault…Chrisette…could face as many as seven years behind bars…Since 2002, people with serious mental illnesses…have been potential candidates for Brooklyn’s Mental Health Court…Chrisette, who has previously been diagnosed with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder and agoraphobia with panic disorder…has not yet been allowed to plead into the court—a reality she and her supporters worry may be influenced by how she’s perceived as a trans woman of color…

Traffic Circle

Criticism of “anti-trafficking” propaganda from inside the “anti-trafficking” ranks:

…progress against human exploitation has been painfully slow, despite the vast investment of political capital, resources and expertise…Few public figures speaking on this issue have resisted the temptation to cite trafficking statistics that are at best unverifiable and at worst demonstrably false.  The anti-trafficking community as a whole has been unconscionably silent about the shoddy research methodologies that regularly produce the wildly varying numbers on which it so heavily relies…Presenting our data as better than it really is smacks of hubris and overreach.  It also risks validating interventions that can only pretend to be evidence-based…

Property of the State (#436)

Texas comes up with some of the sleaziest, most underhanded anti-abortion tricks of any state:

On Tuesday, August 15, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 214…[which] mandates abortion coverage be removed from all private, state-offered, and Affordable Care Act insurance plans and sold as a separate — and unprecedentedly specific — policy.  What this means in theory is that people who want to be covered in the event that they need an abortion will have to purchase extra insurance for it.  In practice, it means insurance companies may simply stop covering the procedure altogether, the profitability of an “abortion-only” add-on being questionable at best.  As with many such laws, the…stated purpose is to “prevent those with moral, religious and philosophical objections from having to pay for the procedure”…Governor Abbott…did not say what Texans who want to subsidize abortions via group health plans are supposed to do, or what religious groups with objections to other legal medical procedures should do to avoid funding them…

Broken Record (#534) 

They’re literally recycling “gypsy whore” tall tales now:

…hoards [sic] of people will be in [Las Vegas] for the much anticipated Mayweather- McGreggor bout at the MGM Grand.  Police will also be looking for illegal activity, including prostitution…One person who [prrtends to] know…first hand [sic] is former sex worker Annie Lobert.  She now runs…[Liars] for Jesus and Destiny House, a [rescue industry scam]…How big is the take on fight weekend?  Lobert said, “I would normally make $5 thousand a night, Fight Night $15 thousand, $10 thousand, $20 thousand”.  But what isn’t talked about she says, are the victims; girls and boys sometimes trafficked here from other countries, many lured from Clark County schools, and quite a few underage.  The only event bigger than Fight Night may be The Super Bowl…

The subject of a 14-year-old moral panic in full swing “isn’t talked about”.

Tyranny By Consensus (#608) 

Looks like LA still isn’t done beating this very dead horse:

We are deeply troubled by the vote today by the Board of Supervisors to approve a Measure B permit structure drafted by those without any knowledge of the adult industry, and over the objections of the performers it [claims] to protect…Anyone filming adult content in Los Angeles is now required to pay a $1671 health permit fee, undergo sexual health training, and mandate that performers wear condoms.  Anyone who fails to comply with those strictures faces $1000 fine, and up to six months in jail.  Despite having five years to formulate a plan and work with stakeholders, the Department of Public Health submitted the proposal to the Board of Supervisors just over a month ago, without consulting performers or alerting the industry to the opportunity to provide public comment.  This is not surprising — Dr. Ferrer, the new head of the Department of Public Health, sat after the proceedings with AHF, the controversial organization that put Measure B on the ballot…Dr. Ferrer ignored performers when they attempted to make public comment, and performers were heckled and shouted at by members of the AHF contingent.  One performer was called a whore.  Make no mistake: like Measure B, this vote was done based on bias and ignorance, an attempt by moralists to punish an already stigmatized minority…

Of Course It Is (#674)

I hope she gets every damned penny:

[Celeste Guap]…has filed a lawsuit against one of the [police departments whose cops exploited her]…She…had sexual encounters with four Richmond [cops] in exchange for protection from arrest and tipoffs to prostitution operations…a fifth [cop] fondled her.  Several…face criminal charges…

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The whole idea of shelter homes is steeped in morality, not rights.  –  Satyawati from Bhumika

Legal Is as Legal Does

What “legalized and heavily regulated” actually looks like in practice:

According to the Greek sex work legislation adopted in 1999, sex work is legal but heavily regulated.  Only sex work that occurs in state-licensed brothels is legal.  Street-based sex work and sex work that occurs in hotels is illegal. Municipalities are allowed to determine the number of licensed brothels.  Brothels are not allowed within 200 meters of public buildings, i.e. schools, churches, kindergartens, playgrounds, health clinics, hospitals, sport centers, libraries, squares and nursing homes.  This means it is impossible to have a state-licensed brothel in any Greek city…sex workers are not allowed to be married.  They…are only allowed to work for 3 years and require a number of legal and medical documents to work legally…[including] a chest X-Ray…mandatory medical testing for STIs every 15 days…prohibits sex workers from working together.  The use of an apartment…requires the consent of all the residents and the owners of the rest of the apartments…[and] the assistant staff of brothels should be older than 50 and should have mandatory medical testing…

Torture Chamber

Just in case you thought screws restricted their petty sadism to the prisoners:

A California prison psychologist has filed a lawsuit against the state alleging she was threatened and demoted after she reported mistreatment of gay and transgender inmates at a correctional facility in Vacaville…Lori Jespersen [reports that a screw] locked her in a confinement area with dangerous criminals after she filed complaints on behalf of transgender inmates…The lawsuit describes a number of incidents…includ[ing]…[screws] prevented transgender inmates from attending a therapy group and insulted them…[screws] compelled transgender inmates to strip in the open and denied them privacy screens…[screws] “outted” a transgender inmate by disclosing personal information about her on Facebook…In both cases [where she was locked in with violent criminals] she was “unsupervised, alone and without access to a safety alarm”…

Traffic Circle

Criticism of “anti-trafficking” propaganda from inside the “anti-trafficking” ranks:

At all levels of anti-trafficking work, the collection and analysis of data…continues to be underemphasised…in comparison to the use of emotionally-charged rhetoric and hyperbole…A substantial and ever growing body of research has convincingly demonstrated that the evidence base is lacking…Interventions continue to be designed and funded largely based upon donor policy agendas—and the outsized supply of anti-trafficking organisations that are ready to pursue them—rather than results-based decision-making on what works…the same strategies will be continued indefinitely regardless of the outcomes produced…Evaluators and the organisations who hire them are participants in what can be described as an economy of bad faith.  There’s an unspoken agreement that no serious concerns will be raised about the interventions examined, and in return, the evaluator will be kept on the roster for future assignments…What is particularly disturbing is the efforts made to cover up the knowledge gap by vastly overstating what has actually been achieved…with organisations even claiming that their beneficiaries have been “liberated from slavery”…

License to Rape (#562) 

“Charges dropped” is about as close as the state will come to admitting cops have license to rape anyone they please:

Charnesia Corley was a 21-year-old college student with no criminal record when two cops from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office stopped her in June 2015 for running a red light…[cops] threw her to the ground, pushed her partially underneath her own car, and yanked Corley’s pants down to her ankles.  For the next 11 minutes, dash cam video of the incident shows, she was held down…while…[cops] repeatedly probed her vagina [with their fingers]…No drugs were found…Sam Cammack, an attorney representing Corley in a multi-million-dollar civil rights lawsuit against the county, [recognizes that] the search [constituted] “rape by cop…they sexually assaulted her…You can’t pull someone over, think you might find something, and do that to them.”  The full dash-cam video…confirm[s] Corley’s [account.  Cops] William Strong and Ronaldine Pierre…were indicted in June 2016 by a Harris County grand jury on charges of official oppression, but those charges were dropped last week…Cammack…hopes…to force the county to reopen the case with a new prosecutor…he does not believe that a second grand jury has the authority to overrule a grand jury that lawfully charged the two [rapists, who]…are still employed by the department…

Permanent Record

If you think they’ll keep this limited to sex crimes, you’re a fool:

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that will remove the statutes of limitation for sexual abuse crimes…That will allow for the prosecution of those crimes [long after evidence or witnesses who might exonerate the accused are gone]…

Schadenfreude (#725)

There’s now more than one outfit cashing in on “sex trafficking” tours in Houston:

Elijah Rising, a [profiteer group] dedicated to [cashing in on]sex trafficking [hysteria] in Houston, is [spreading ridiculous propaganda about] the sex trade with its Awareness Van Tours…During the tour, a volunteer for the group points out all the places where sex trafficking happens in Houston, including strip clubs, massage parlors and nondescript apartments…Houston is a massive hub for the North American sex trade, with more than 300,000 Texas victims alone – 80,000 of those being underage…one of the main reasons…is…I-10, which spans the entire United States and frequently serves as a pipeline for smugglers in the illegal sex trade…

From grotesque mathematical illiteracy to sociological absurdity, this story packs a lot into a few lines.

Signs (#734) 

“Linked with trafficking”.  Pigs just love to make their fantasies sound “scientific”:

The Modesto [California] Police Department…joined with…[a prohibitionist profiteer group called] Without Permission to produce a video that [claims a nonexistent] rise in high school-age victims and…goes over some…red flags…They have an older boyfriend…bruises or other injuries…Tattoos or branding…linked with trafficking are bar codes, dollar signs, horseshoes and the word “Daddy”.  A change in wardrobe toward sensual, seductive clothing also is worth noting, the [perverts fantasized]…In the video, [a pig oinks] about the importance of parents [spying on]…their children’s social media accounts and Internet history…

Against Their Will (#751) 

How different the same story sounds when stripped of euphemisms:

Twelve sex workers escaped from Ujjwala House in Hyderabad India, where they had been detained for months following a raid on their workplaces…It is not the first time this has happened, with local residents reporting a few women detained in the shelter fled several years ago.  There are widespread, longstanding reports of abuses and complaints relating to the shelter and many like it in Hyderabad.  Amongst the myriad of concerns is the way in which the “shelters” are described as a service to support individuals.  However, those kept in the facilitates are referred to as “inmates” and detained against their will…

Cooties (#756) 

Despite the popularity of this masturbatory fantasy with UK cops, not one has ever been found:

Prostitutes working in [Jersey] are turning short-term accommodation lets into “pop up brothels”…organised-crime gangs, book the accommodation for short periods to avoid detection.  Border authorities have witnessed women they [fantasize] are involved in the sex trade travelling into the Island with [fantasized] “male chaperones, pimps or alpha females (female pimps)”, [cops fantasize].  Detective Chief Inspector Lee Turner…[fantasized] that…a ‘significant proportion’ were being forced into the sex trade by mainly eastern European organised-crime gangs working out of the UK…

“Pop-up brothel” is UK copese for “AirBnB incall”.  But “alpha female” is just the latest in absurd terms made up by prohibitionists to sound sinister; presumably “alpha females” go hand-in-hand with “gorilla pimps“.

Safe Targets (#763) 

Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever:

…a…Brazilian woman…was robbed at knifepoint by five men…in Enfield in the early hours of June 24th.  When the victim called the police, she said their focus seemed to be more on her activities as a sex worker than the attack itself.  After returning from a recent trip to Spain, she was detained at Gatwick airport for several hours and later given a letter…demanding that she leave the UK…Campaigners for sex workers’ rights say that by focusing on the prosecution and deportation of the worker rather than the attack against her, police were discouraging other women from coming to them for help…

In the US, roughly 60% of sex worker arrests result from some crime being committed against the sex worker, attracting the attention of the cops.

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Police, perplexingly, think that [stings are] a trust-building exercise.  –  Alison Clancey

Check Your Premises

Young women are passive, doll-like “children” without will or volition until a prosecutor points his magical finger at them, transforming them instantly into evil adult “pimps”:

Two days after turning eighteen, a California woteen [sic] was sentenced to 13 years in prison for human trafficking of younger girls.  Jelinajane Bedrijo Almario…was tried as an adult…Detective Richard Pontecorvo…[fantasized while masturbating that] “These people are great at locating kids with low self-esteem…these pimps are ruining these kids’ lives at an early age”…

“Woteen”?  I’m guessing he started with “teen” and then meant to change it to “woman” so as to create an apparent age gap & thereby demonize Almario more thoroughly.  Oops!

Broken Record 

Small cities come up with the most ludicrous concepts for supposed “gypsy whore” magnets:

Tourism and hospitality industry leaders will be meeting with the [Grand Rapids, Michigan] chapter of Women at Risk International (WAR)…to [spread propaganda about]…human trafficking…Michigan is one of the leading states for human trafficking…Between 100,000 and 300,000 underage girls are sold for sex in the United States every year…And, when there are…major events like ArtPrize…cases often soar.  The conference will [subject] tourism and hospitality professionals to [propaganda claiming consensual sex]…is bad for business [and encouraging them to rat out their guests to the pigs]…

Paint By Numbers (#551)

Fanatics are running out of stupid “sex trafficking awareness” stunts, so they’re recycling old ones:

A group of three recent University of Texas graduates are…cycling their way from Seattle to San Diego, to raise awareness of the sex trafficking crisis in our own neighborhoods.  Sara Belmer, Savannah Lovelace, and Grace Pfeffer are the…members of Pedal the Pacific.  They refer to themselves as “hilariously un-athletic girls” who are [spreading tired decades-old fantasies]…about the very real [masturbatory fantasy] of human trafficking…

To Molest and Rape 

Some cops prefer to rape by proxy:

…Maria Joseph [reported]…that Ville Platte [Louisiana] Marshall Deputy Arthur Phillips forced her to have sex with another man…Joseph [was asked to go for a ride]…with Phillips [and agreed] because she “assumed it was a date”…Phillips brought Joseph to his apartment, and then “called a couple of friends…‘Chris’ and ‘Ike,’ to come over and visit.”  After asking his friends if they had any money, Phillips then proceeded to “[demand Joseph]…touch Chris”…after “she told the men she didn’t do prostitution,” Phillips “proceeded to physically push Joseph onto Chris…[then] told her to give Chris oral sex and to do it for daddy”…later…he…[forced her] to have sex with [another man named] Joe while [he] watched”…

Do I really need to say “don’t go on a date with a cop, either”?  Why are people so naive?

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#646)

It’s fascinating how much energy these fetishists expend on something that doesn’t exist:

…In a report on the growing market in sex robots, the Foundation for Responsible Robotics [fantasized that] rapidly advancing technologies have already led to the creation of “android love dolls” [even though they actually haven’t]…robots raise complex issues that should be considered by policymakers and the public, the report said…including whether use of such devices should be encouraged in sexual therapy clinics, for sex offenders, or for people with disabilities…Noel Sharkey…said it was difficult to predict how far or fast the market would grow…[but pearl-clutchers pretend] that allowing people to live out their darkest fantasies with robots would have a pernicious effect on societal norms…

O, Canada! (#683)

Another chapter in this grotesque campaign to intimidate sex workers:

Sex-worker advocates are calling on police in British Columbia to stop participating in a…[scam] that sees [cops] pose as prospective clients and arrange dates in efforts to [intimidate] sex workers [into leaving the trade]…They…show up at the agreed-upon location…to [try to browbeat] the sex worker [into agreeing with their pretense that] she is working under coercion…advocates…call the operation deceptive, and say it erodes the already precarious relationship between law enforcement and the sex-work community…sex workers who have been targeted in these operations have described the events as frightening and traumatic…

Traffic Circle (#702)

Some cops just can’t stick with the “all whores are victims” program:

Escambia County [Florida pigs] have arrested 17 people in a two-day prostitution sting…Col. Robert Quinata [oinked that] operations such as this don’t stop prostitution in the county, but serve as a reminder to other offenders that police are aware [that human beings have sex]…he said…Escambia County doesn’t have a sex trafficking problem…as they don’t often find prostitutes working against their will…ECSO periodically uses undercover operations to target sex workers…and will continue to do so…to send a message…

Checklist (#732)

Clearly, critical thinking skills are not a prerequisite for passing nursing school:

…As president of the Emergency Nurses Association, I am calling for nationally consistent policies and clear protocols for identifying victims of human trafficking, and mandatory training of all emergency department personnel.  Those who work in healthcare, particularly in emergency departments, often encounter human trafficking victims.  Yet [we have no actual proof of that claim]…Florida and Michigan now require human trafficking training as part of their healthcare licensing processes…There are physical clues, like certain scars, markings or tattoos like the barcode I [claim to have seen, yet have no proof of]…their captors exert…[magical mind] control over victims…

Remember, there has only been ONE actual case of a barcode tattoo, in Spain in 2012, and that one was a case of life imitating art. Yet this woman claims to have actually seen one, and produces no proof.  This is exactly as credible as an Elvis sighting.

Full of Themselves (#746)

Massage parlor licensing is widely touted as a way to “fight prostitution”, despite not actually working:

A new Indiana law could [magically] bring an end to [sex work]…Massage therapists must now get a license…This October, seven central Indiana businesses were raided after [cops tricked] women [into] performing sexual acts…The Indiana attorney general’s office said the incidence of human trafficking tips quadrupled over the past two years…Not just anyone can get a license — you must be at least 18; go through 500 hours of training from an accredited school and pass a criminal background check, and exam…

The Widening Gyre (#749) 

I am so enjoying watching “sex trafficking” hysteria spin out of control of the “authorities”:

The Dubuque [Iowa] Police Department is scrambling to correct a story about an alleged abduction that got warped after it circulated through social media…on Saturday, June 24, a woman and her 8-year-old daughter were at Kennedy Mall when [the woman claims] an unknown female [of indeterminate species] began conversing with the girl, offering to buy her a gift of her choice in the store…The mother [says she] took the girl away from the unknown female and left the area…the…story was posted on social media where it was embellished and widely spread…

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People have the right to do what they want with their bodies.-Dr Paul Ryan

Rooted in Racism

Sometimes “trafficking” just means “bringing in brown people“:

Police in India have arrested eight foreign nationals…for allegedly forging passports and impersonation…The arrested included four Britons who were allegedly trying help four Sri Lankans gain entry into the UK with fake Indian passports…Police believe that the suspected traffickers are part of a wider network that could be helping non-Indian nationals to fly out to other countries on fake documents…entering the UK and getting a job for people carrying Sri Lankan passports is difficult, so they opt for the easier route of travelling with forged Indian passports…

Somehow, I Doubt She Thought This Through

Seriously, has this girl been living under a rock?

A pregnant woman in northeastern Alabama has been charged with rape after…she wrote on a Medicaid application that a 14-year-old boy was the father of her unborn baby…19-year-old Mekenzie Leigh Guffey…[was ratted out to cops by] the state human resources agency…and charged with second-degree rape and second-degree sex abuse, along with enticing a child for immoral purposes, traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act, possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography…If convicted, Guffey could face up to 20 years in prison…

Just think; if the state sends her to prison it will be ruining three young people’s lives with one action.  Of course, prosecutors consider that a win.  Protecting the “children”!!!

Monkey Business 

So much for human uniqueness:

A chimpanzee was filmed using tools to apparently clean the corpse of her adopted son, the first hint that animals other than humans have mortuary practises…Noel…was seen using a stem of grass to remove debris from the teeth of a young male named Thomas, who she had looked after since the death of his own mother four years earlier…Dr Edwin van Leeuwen…said:  “Noel…sat down close to his head…select[ed] a hard piece of grass…and used her thumbs to explore his teeth…she…started to meticulously poke the grass in the same dental area as where her thumbs had been”…Nina, her adolescent daughter, stayed at her side and observed the cleaning efforts of her mother…researchers say Noel might also have been trying to understand how Thomas had died.  She was seen tasting the debris she had picked from his teeth.  A post-mortem revealed that Thomas had most likely died from a combination of a viral and bacterial lung infection…

Across the Pond (#333)

Four years ago, Ipswitch was claiming to have “eradicated” street work:

…The number of calls Suffolk Constabulary has received reporting suspected street prostitution in Ipswich has more than tripled over a year, jumping from three in 2015 to 10 last year…Up until February 7 this year there had been two recorded sightings.  [Politician] David Ellesmere…said plans for a new [snitching] system…were being put in place…Brian Tobin…of Iceni Ipswich…said…“I…believe that in any great shape or form street prostitution won’t return to Ipswich…People are…now [arranging meetings]…online…if people are safe and they are not coerced, they are not under-age…then who are we to judge them?  In a massage parlour or a flat you’ve got more security”…[But] Ellesmere [fantasizes about]…problems of trafficking and child sexual exploitation…[fellow politician] Ben Gummer [drooled over his fantasies of]…“the growing number who are being exploited in hotel rooms and rented accommodation across the town”…

Paint By Numbers

Do whatever it was you were going to do anyway, but declare that you’re doing it to “fight sex trafficking”; stupid people will believe you and give you money:

Traffic Circle

Little by little, bit by bit:

…”Awareness raising” campaigns are typically aimed at two main audiences, namely potential victims of human trafficking and the general public…both types…suffer from serious problems…there is little empirical data demonstrating that public service announcements (PSAs) such as posters in bus stations and airports are effective mechanisms for trafficked persons to access help.  The organisations that [create these] receive vast sums of money…Campaigns aiming…[at] the general public are even more problematic…[they] rely on images of sexual exploitation, and their “further information” links or phone numbers are often either non-functional or [simply connect to the cops]…Both types of campaigns…utilise scare tactics and voyeuristic, often sexualised images.  In addition to being ethically questionable, these can actually redirect our attention and resources away from more common forms of exploitation, such as children engaged in child labour, workers picking fruit, catching fish or packaging chicken…

Guinea Pigs 

It’s absolutely insane that anyone thinks this is OK, even if the notions it was based on weren’t completely idiotic:

A British bank is helping to identify women trafficked here to work as prostitutes by monitoring customers’ accounts for daily purchases of contraceptives…The same unnamed bank has also been looking for payments to “high end restaurants and cheap diners on the same day” in the belief that such transactions could indicate a sex worker dining with a client while her “handler” eats more frugally nearby.  Another financial institution provided 80 tip-offs to [pigs] after identifying accounts which received multiple cash deposits of under £10,000, often paid in anonymously, as well as regular payments to websites advertising “adult services” and flights to Eastern European countries [which are commonly featured in men’s fantasies of] sex trafficking…

I’m not sure if the stupidest premise here is that the only things people buy at pharmacies are condoms, or if it’s that whores pay for our client’s dinners rather than the other way around.  But I have to admit the idea of a pimp following a sex worker around by lurking in McDonald’s is totally hilarious.

Choke Point (#610)

From Sex Worker Helpfuls, here’s a list of payment processors that are openly hostile to sex workers, and others which are friendly so far.  Obviously this can change on a whim as it does so often, but it’s a good starting point.  The post is two years old, but appears to have been kept up to date with edits.

The Widening Gyre (#670) 

More “grocery store sex trafficking” lunacy:

My name is Amanda…a Longview, Texas resident.  I’m convinced that our two-year-old daughter was the victim of a potential sex-trafficking scam yesterday.  I got in the check-out line at a local store early afternoon.  I took my daughter out of the cart and the couple ahead struck up the typical conversation about how “cute your daughter is” and then asked about her age…I initially was understanding of what I assumed was a cultural barrier, but I quickly became uncomfortable with the woman’s body language and close proximity…the woman ask[ed] if she could hold her…my toddler reached her arms around the woman before I could really respond…The woman resisted returning her when I physically pulled my daughter from her arms…

“Cultural differences”.  In other words, the woman was an immigrant and therefore (in Amanda’s fear-crazed mind) immediately suspect no matter how mundane the interaction.

Power Play (#701)

Marc Randazza & other 1st-amendment lawyers speak out against the Backpage persecution:

The First Amendment Lawyers Association (FALA) is asking new Attorney General of California Xavier Becerra to end the “abuse of governmental power” perpetuated by predecessor Kamala Harris against current and former executives of the classified-ad site Backpage…FALA…sent a letter to Becerra condemning “the abusive prosecution of individuals associated with…Backpage.com, and also the use of expansive search warrants seeking vast amounts of constitutionally-protected material, including personally identifiable information about all of the website’s users.”  In the letter, FALA President Marc Randazza says he can identify “no theory under the First Amendment that would countenance such an abusive use of prosecutorial discretion or such a dragnet demand for information”…

Devil’s Advocate (#714) 

Authoritarians refuse to admit that a child-shaped toaster is still a toaster:

The very idea of a child sex doll — a life-size, anatomically correct figure typically modeled after a little girl — tends to evoke abject horror.  But…a Finnish non-profit that has spent several decades promoting “sexual well being” suggested that these disturbing little dolls might actually help to protect children from abuse.  Tommi Paalanen…of the Sexpo Foundation…argued that pedophiles can be prevented from abusing kids if given an acceptable channel for their desires…“A person who uses a lot of money and effort to purchase the doll has already made the decision that he wants to carry out the sexual tendency…Therefore, it is important that…authorities…do not hamper their availability.”  The statement…came following news of an uptick in Norway of imports of child sex dolls from Hong Kong.  Police there have seized 21 such dolls since October and…men in Canada and Australia are currently on trial or being investigated for allegedly purchasing child sex dolls…Milton Diamond, a sex researcher…has long argued that simulated child pornography — meaning pornographic content that features computer-generated images instead of footage of real children— can prevent child abuse.  In 2010, he published a study finding that during a period in the Czech Republic when child pornography was not illegal, there was a “significant decrease in the incidence of child sex abuse.”  Studies have found similar evidence in Denmark and Japan.  From that, he argues, we can conclude that child sex dolls would have a similar effect…

Authoritarians deny this, of course, because their belief-system insists that a human is a tabula rasa for the almighty State to write upon, and all that’s required to change sexual and other desires are sufficiently-punitive laws intended to “send messages” in blood.

The Course of a Disease (#715)

It’s good to see academics in the afflicted countries saying this:

Dr Paul Ryan has been lecturing at Maynooth University…for 10 years.  He is a board member of Sex Workers Alliance Ireland…“Most academics do want a focus on harm reduction, but public policy in Ireland has moved towards a…point where all sex work is seen as a violence against women…The argument is…not backed up by evidence.  Sweden has had this law since 1999 and it still has a thriving sex industry”…Ireland went one step further than its northern neighbours, however, by increasing the penalties criminalising sex work itself…Ryan is concerned the law could have unintended consequences…an advisory group on a project commissioned by the Department of Justice and undertaken at Queen University Belfast…found the law to be largely unenforceable.  The proposal ultimately became law anyway.  So, Ryan asks, “Is it about real change, or sending out a message?”…

Ryan is, of course, being diplomatic by saying “unintended consequences”; politicians in every country which has passed the Swedish model have been very clear that the law is fully intended to harm sex workers. It’s only the model’s prohibitionist cheerleaders who pretend otherwise.

Worse Than I Thought (#717)

It’s good to know there are at least a few sane people opposing the bizarre schemes of Oregon politicians:

…new laws that would suspend professional, recreational, and driver’s licenses of people busted for visiting a sex worker…were tabled last week…[but] “a new bill will be put forward which will combine elements of these two bills”…[and] mandate something known as “john school,” which aims to [brainwash] men [with propaganda claiming fantasized]…negative effects of paying for sex…[blah blah blah] child sex trafficking…the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (OCDLA) [points out that such a law] will only hinder people from getting their lives back on track after a conviction, citing a 2016 state study that found “the inability to obtain or reinstate a driver’s license is one of the single greatest barriers to obtain/maintain stable employment”…professional and recreational license…[suspensions could gravely harm] doctors, teachers, cosmetologists, contractors, liquor licensees, hunters, anglers, and so on…Gail Meyer, an OCDLA lobbyist [also pointed out that]…“The whole issue of whether or not two consenting adults ought to be able to choose whether or not they want to engage in sex for a fee is sort of getting swept under the rug”…

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