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Posts Tagged ‘Venezuela’

I don’t have any money!  –  Jose Villalobos, to disguised cops

The great singer-songwriter Bill Withers died late last week at the age of 81; this seemed like the most appropriate of his songs with which to honor his passing.  The news and video came courtesy of Scott Greenfield; the links above it were provided by Kevin Wilson, Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Jesse Walker, Tim Cushing, Liz Brown again, and Mike Siegel, in that order.

From the Archives

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Somewhere in the darkness, the gambler he broke even.  –  Kenny Rogers

Country music legend Kenny Rogers died late last week after a long, successful career which started as a doo-wop singer in the late ’50s; this was his most famous song, but he was known for many which told the stories of hard-luck characters (such as “Lucille” and “The Coward of the County”), plus his duets with Dolly Parton.  The links above were provided by Dave Krueger, Brooke Magnanti, Zuri Davis, Mistress Matisse, Phoenix Calida, and Furrygirl, in that order.

From the Archives

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Almost all of the messages we get about trafficking are slanted toward imaginary victims.  –  Sabra Boyd

Droit du Seigneur

Though pimps are not common, a disproportionate number of the ones who do exist are cops:

Two [cops in Trinidad & Tobago] have been arrested in connection with trafficking in persons and other gang-related activities [after they were caught pimping]…a Venezuelan [refugee]

Thought Experiment

The hysteria has grown so bad, what was just a fantasy scenario in 2011 is now literal:

Two children were a[bducted from the parents]…by police…[because their parents were] working in barber-shops in London…100 [cops, spooks and bureaucrats raided the shops]…arrest[ing an unspecified number of people using the euphemism]…safeguarding…The [cops’] victims [will now be processed for possible deportation]…

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now

…that a brave hero cop tried to murder a man for seeking consensual sex:

A Spotsylvania [Virginia cop attempted to murder] a man…during a prostitution sting…[when a crowd of disguised thugs forced their way] into the room [behind him he tried to escape so one of them shot him]…he underwent surgery and is listed in critical condition.  The [thug] who [attempted to murder] the man…was [rewarded with a paid vacation]…

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality (#626)

Usually, cops reserve their sick masturbatory fantasies about sex work for Asian women:

“[I like to fantasize about]h girls getting waterboarded, eating their own feces, being brutally raped,” [admits] Detective Dave Davies [of] the Durham [Ontario vice gang]…”The [b]est [fantasies] are [about]…the young ones that have never had sex before and they lose their virginity to some John, or they end up getting pregnant.  Those are real scenarios that [I masturbate to]”…

To Molest and Rape

If only there was a concise term for “used his police position to exploit vulnerable women for sex”:

The Oregon State Bar has rejected the application of a [typical and representative cop] to become a lawyer after its investigators found that he had used his police position to exploit vulnerable women for sex…The Board of Bar Examiners determined that Neil Halttunen had not shown that he “is currently of good character” and…Halttunen, [in a display of the typical cop sense of entitlement that drove his career as a serial rapist]…has appealed the decision to the Oregon Supreme Court…Halttunen [w]as a…[serial rapist] who…used his badge to [rape]…at least nine women…court filing include accounts from [his victims, whom] Halttunen met through routine police calls [and then stalked in order to rape them]…Halttunen…[raped so many women] he “has consistently claimed difficulty remembering all of [them]”…[but it was] in excess of 30…

Theatrics (#761)

This is at least the fifth iteration we’ve seen of this same inane stunt:

Covenant House today launched a new campaign called Shoppable Girls…with a goal to [profit from hysteria]…about sex trafficking…The hope is Ontarians will be encouraged to [send prohibitionists money] and ultimately [support more state violence against people who have consensual sex]…[blah blah Shahada, blah blah] signs of luring and grooming…[blah blah] billion-dollar industry…[blah blah] social media..[blah blah] 13…[blah blah] $280,000 per year…[per] victim…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#848)

Never underestimate the human capacity to panic about things that don’t exist:

US [prohibitionists fantasize] that the availability of sex [dolls] with [voice chips] poses a growing psychological and moral threat to individuals and society.  They [claim that “moral threats” are somehow a subject]…scientists [can analyze]…Christine Hendren of Duke University [moaned that combination Baby Alive/Talky Tina dolls]…”create…rape”…[and vomited out violent authoritarian fantasies about how people troubled by paraphilias]…”should be treated by just stamping them out”…Dr Hendren was speaking…at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science…Kathleen Richardson…wants [sex doll] marketing outlawed…

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Kathleen Richardson and her one-pearlclutcher “Campaign Against Toasters”, but she’s sti lurking around, desperately trying to get anyone – including anti-sex “science” conventions – to listen to her weird sexual fantasies.

The Mote and the Beam (#900)

If a “study” sounds benign to you, click on the subtitle above:

[Politician] Josh Hawley announced…he has introduced a bill that would [supposedly] document human trafficking in the U.S.  The bill would reform the [TVPA]…reauthorization…of 2005…[to] mandate…a…[“study”] of…”commercial sex acts”…[which] Hawley [demonized as]…”an epidemic”…[his toady] Nanette Ward [then croaked the usual fantasies about]…”fastest growing and second largest criminal enterprise in the world…Victims…in every corner of our community…children…being sold by their parents…Everyone who is on social media [is at risk]“…

It may help you to see the big picture if I remind you that Hawley is one of the loudest proponents of government censorship and control of the internet, and of repealing Section 230.

Joey the Player

A rare case of “authorities” actually charging a serial rapist of sex workers:

A New Jersey man [named Jose Torres] who [for years] lured commercial sex workers to travel from out of state [so he could rape them was]…charged by complaint with two counts of coercion and enticement…From May 2015 to October 2019, Torres persuaded, induced and enticed commercial sex workers to travel from various out of state locations, including Canada and New York…with promises of large payments.  When the commercial sex workers a[rrived]…Torres [would] assault…and rap[e] them.  Torres never paid the sex workers.  The coercion and enticement charges each carries a maximum term of 20 years’ imprisonment and a potential $250,000 fine…

If you wish to add your testimony against this violent creep, please do not contact prosecutors directly; instead contact lead attorney for the complainants, Noam Biale, at (212-202-2600, direct 212-300-2445) or nbiale@shertremonte.com; he will be able to protect your identity from prosecutors.

Pyrrhic Victory (#992) 

Why I keep telling you local laws banning surveillance technology are feel-good bullshit:

California’s largest police departments have been collecting millions of images of drivers’ license plates and sharing them with entities around the country…in violation of state law…230 police and sheriff’s departments in the state currently use automated license plate readers…and…most of the data collected is on innocent people…The Los Angeles Police Department, for example, has collected more than 320 million images over the last several years.  Only 400,000 of those generated…matches to cars of interest, but the remaining 99.9 percent of the images, which can be used to track peoples’ movement across the city, stay stored in a department database for more than five years…The LAPD then adds other sensitive information to that database, sometimes tagging the photos with criminal records, names, addresses, and dates of birth

Watershed (#1011)

Headed toward the end of the hysteria, albeit 3 or 4 years late:

…For years…experts have pointed out that the reality of sex trafficking bears little resemblance to the sensationalized version depicted in public-awareness campaigns.  Shoppers are not being snatched from grocery store parking lots.  Victims…seldom exhibit any of the “warning signs” that would make their abuse visible to members of the public.  Despite the persistent myth that human trafficking “could happen to anyone,” most victims are undocumented, homeless, in foster care or otherwise marginalized…as warning posters have appeared in nearly every airport…the U.S. has [not] had a single confirmed case of a child being trafficked by strangers via airplane…Most minor kidnappings…are carried out by parents as part of custody disputes…[and] strangers are the perpetrator in only 10% of [child sexual abuse] cases…[NCMEC admits] that fewer than 1% of calls to…[its “hotline”] were reports of “stranger danger” abductions…“You can’t know the signs of trafficking by looking at someone you don’t know,” said a senior staff member at one of America’s major anti-trafficking organizations who asked…not to [be] name[d] out of fear of losing her job…[however] she [also] said the sensationalized messaging was necessary to [get people to support the police state]…

This is the sort of essay I originally envisioned we’d be seeing in 2016-17; unfortunately it took much longer because governments have been pushing it much harder than I anticipated to achieve their goals of internet censorship and migration control.  But prophecy is not an exact science, so I’m glad I wasn’t further off the mark.

To Molest and Rape (#1014)

Even rapist cops usually wait until their victims are thirteen or so:

[Typical and representative] Harris County [cop] Jack Hagee…[repeated]ly sexually abus[ed] a child for eight years…[starting when she] was 5-years-old…Hagee started [orally raping] the 5-year-old girl…in 1989 at their Harris County home…[and vaginaly raping] her about three times a week by the time she started kindergarten…he…stopped having sex with her at the age of 13, because…she began menstruating…the first person [s]he…[told] was her aunt who…[is mrried to] Hagee’s brother…[the] brother…[then] confronted Hagee over the phone and told him he was not welcome at their home…

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The rescue industry is a deeply misogynistic enterprise which…polices the behaviour of women under the guise of saving us.  –  Eleanor Janega

Real People 

The more sex workers come out like this, the better for everyone:

The people that make the porn that a lot of us watch are sick of you pretending that you’re better than them.  Michele James especially is sick of it.  “We are cast out into the shadows…if I could bring a person who didn’t do sex work on set for a day, for them to see what we actually go through, they would realize it’s a job too and we deserve respect, the same as CEOs, and everybody else who goes to work 9-5.”  James…sees part of her responsibility to the industry she loves is helping to destigmatize the performers who make it…she is passionate about her industry; and she gives exactly zero fucks what you think about that…

Moloch 

How many kids need to be sacrificed to this obscenity before it’s enough?

A…High School student in the Florida Keys is facing 15 years in prison and life as a registered sex offender for continuing to date his 15-year-old girlfriend after he turned 18 in December…numerous people, including the girl’s parents, his parents and two sheriff’s office deputies, [warned] Tucker [that the shamans of the booga-booga gods would be angry he was violating the Shazam magic, but] the two continued to see each other…[and] the girl’s mother [decided to destroy her] relationship [with her daughter by ratting them out to] the…school [pig]…cops [then eavesdropped on a private conversation and congratulated themselves for destroying a young man’s life]…

The Crumbling Dam (#739) 

Seattle’s vocal harm magnification community is still going strong:

[Shilo] Jama has spent his career advocating for drug users.  With his work at the [People’s Harm Reduction Alliance], he runs syringe distribution sites, including a drop-in site in the U District…They have a nurse practitioner on site who prescribes medications like Suboxone, which helps with withdrawal symptoms…Over the years, Jama has helped countless people who use drugs, but his efforts aren’t exactly appreciated by everyone.  In December, flyers featuring a photograph of his face started popping up in the University District and elsewhere in North Seattle…The flyer accuses Jama (who legally changed his last name from Murphy a few years ago to honor the family that raised him) of “enabling and encouraging harmful behavior that has caused many deaths”…The flyer claims that Jama, his organization, and the U District needle distribution site are a danger to the public, but according to public health experts, harm reduction projects like Jama’s do reduce overdose deaths and other public health issues…The flyer also says that the Seattle Police Department and the Seattle City Council are “almost powerless” to prosecute Jama and lists a phone number for the FBI’s Seattle office, encouraging people to call and report him…Jama…suspects [the source] was members of Safe Seattle, an organization that, among other issues, advocates against safe injection sites…

The Notorious Badge (#760)

This does a good job of synopsizing my discomfort with The Deuce:

The Deuce uses its promise to reveal the behind-closed-doors happenings of sex work to argue relentlessly for the regulation and oversight of the industry…it is nervous about the way it represents sex work, anxious to inform but not to titillate.  In pinpointing…sex-work…as a “secret,” however, and then exposing it through a surveillance-cum-safety structure, the show satisfies an intellectual craving for knowledge that echoes the pleasures of pornography…[it] takes care to pat viewers on the back, framing their pleasure as different from that of the porn viewer.  Through gridline-marked shots of pornography in the making, for example, The Deuce allows viewers to indulge in pornographic voyeurism under the guise of cautionary surveillance.  At the same time, it frames their viewing position as a sanctimonious one…

“Regulation and oversight” = “legalization”, which only politicians and cops want.  Sex workers, human rights groups, medical groups and academics who have studied our work all recognize decriminalization, not “regulation” by outsiders, as the best model for everyone.

Checklist (#811)

Despite some pandering to “sex trafficking” beliefs, this isn’t a bad article about “signs of sex trafficking” indocrination:

…every year…ahead of the Super Bowl…anti-prostitution [crusaders]…campaign [to indocrinate]…everyone from hospitality employees to Uber drivers…in…anti-[sex worker propaganda such as the claim that]…as many as 40.3 million people were “in modern slavery in 2016”, up more than 5 million compared to five years ago.  And in 2014, the 35.8 figure rose by 6 million people in just a year…the…figures are so alluringly extreme [because profiteers]…are often under pressure from poli[tician]s into producing overestimated figures…crusades of this nature are not…concerned with accuracy, as appearing to be leading the charge against [consensual sex]…hotel chains like Marriott have been reported as looking out for women travelling alone and sexually provocative clothing as signs of…sex…[work, which makes it clear that] consenting adult sex workers [are]…being targeted…

Unfortunately, Lyft may not be a safe alternative to Uber for much longer:

…we are working to help raise awareness and taking action to prevent human trafficking.  Through partnerships with [prohibitionist] organizations like…Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST), we are [indoctrinating] drivers…on how to spot [escorts] and [rat them out to the pigs]…

Original Sin (#824) 

A new statement from a man who says men who seek consensual sex with women are “criminals with a sick mentality”:

Pope Francis has admitted that clerics have sexually abused nuns, and in one case they were kept as sex slaves…his predecessor, Pope Benedict, was forced to shut down an entire congregation of nuns who were being abused by priests.  It is thought to be the first time that Pope Francis has acknowledged the sexual abuse of nuns by the clergy.  He said the Church was attempting to address the problem but said it was “still going on”…

Rooted in Racism (#854)

More European government humanitarianism to “fight human trafficking”:

…[it has been] two years since Italy, backed by the EU, did a deal to spend tens of millions of euros funding the Libyan coastguard, which intercepts boats heading for Italy and returns refugees and migrants to a war zone…detainees in nine different detention centres…use hidden phones to reveal what’s going on at huge risk to themselves.  EU [politicians] continue to promote the idea that arrivals in Europe  and deaths at sea are dropping.  But…thousands of men, women, and children…speak of going days without food and of drinking toilet water to survive.  Some have stopped speaking, forgotten their families, sit crouched in a corner and wet themselves from trauma…Couples are separated – some of the roughly 640 detained children are held with their mothers, though those over 14 are kept in adult cells…infected detainees are locked with others in a dark room and have been repeatedly left without tuberculosis medication…In October, a 28-year-old Somali set himself on fire…after saying he saw no other way out.  In early January dozens of refugees and migrants, brought by the coastguard to the Libyan port city of Khoms, were forced back to smugglers by Libyan [cops]…[and] now risk torture if they can’t raise an the $5,000 ransom that has already been demanded…

Feminine Pragmatism (#891) 

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

Increasing numbers of public sector workers are [making the pragmatic decision] to [do] sex work due to austerity measures and welfare cuts…a leading campaigning group…says more women in public sector roles are doing sex work to top up their income due to employers making no allowances for the fact they have children…the organisation, the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP), [has] release[d] a new report comparing sex work with other jobs commonly done by women.  The report found sex workers earn significantly more per hour than women working in the other jobs – including those in public sector positions such as nurses and midwives.  Women cited higher wages as their primary reason for entering the sex industry…

Case Study (#892) 

One day, reporters will get that “people sublet flats” is not news:

A special constable and his Hungarian wife have been jailed for [rent]ing [flats to] women from Hungary [in] a Chelsea apartment block [nicknam]ed “10 Floors of Whores”.  Karl Ring and Ivett Szuda…[arranged sex workers’ travel on] the Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air to fly women into London from Budapest as they made more than £600,000 [over several years] from [subletting flats]…Szuda…[will be locked in a cage] for six and a half years, while Ring…[will be] locked up for four years…the couple [charged sex workers 50% of their fees, a fairly typical rate for brothels]…Judge Robin Johnson [bloviated a lot of pompous, moralistic nonsense about “exploitation”, ignoring the fact that] the sex workers were happy with the arrangement…

Feminine Pragmatism (#896) 

The villains here aren’t imaginary “trafficking rings”; they’re the fucking politicians who force desperate people to deal with criminals to have a chance to escape hell:

Traffickers are targeting desperate young women in Venezuela by flying them to the Costas to [do lucrative, flexible work]…at least 208,000 have fled the crisis-hit country in the hope of a better life in Spain.  Nearly all of those have travelled on official three month tourists visas which are readily available as Venezuela was once a Spanish colony.  However, a flight costs £1,000 which is a fortune in a land where a cup of coffee costs a month’s wages thanks to hyperinflation of 80,000 per cent…This is when the heartless trafficking gangs of Caracas are stepping in and [giving people a chance to escape despite politicians’ efforts to keep them trapped in Venezuela]…SICAR Cat, a religious organisation that pro[fits from hysteria over]…sex trafficking, [pretends these women are ignorant children who don’t know what sex work is, and calls their jobs]…modern day slavery…Venezuela’s economic mix of unemployment, poverty and inflation has created the perfect conditions for [mass emigration] to flourish…

These stories sure sound stupid when the hype is replaced by objective language, don’t they?

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#905)

Indian sex workers are chipping away at the prohibitionists’ agency-negating lies:

…four organisations…have released a report which states that close to 77% women voluntarily return to sex work after their rescue into shelter homes…the National Network for Sex Workers Association (NNSWA) and UMKO, Saheli – HIV/RAIDS Karyakarta Sangh, SANGRAM and Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad (VAMP), have released a report “Raided – How Anti-Trafficking Strategies Increase Sex Workers’ Vulnerability to Exploitative Practices”…79% of the women documented in the study returned to sex work – “escaping” their rescue from shelter homes, while almost 11% of the women continued to live in these homes…Kusum, President [of the] All India Network of Sex Workers explained the “horrific” condition of shelter homes and why women want to escape it…“There is no food to eat, and when there is food it is insect infested which makes people sick.  No health care to take care of inhabitants…and even if that was provided the stigma that exists towards HIV persons within these homes is bad enough to kill someone well before their time”…the report contests the…present understanding that most women in the flesh trade are trafficked women ‘pushed into prostitution’…These homes manifest an environment of isolation and deprive the women of identity and income…

The Indian media is so thoroughly brainwashed by prohibitionists that even in an article citing statistics debunking prohibitionist mythology, the reporter feels compelled to put the word “escape” (from a literal prison) in scare quotes, and also scare-quotes the word “horrific” (used to describe conditions any decent person would agree are horrific), while omitting scare quotes from the word “rescue” when used to mean “arrest”.  He also uses “live in” to mean “remain imprisoned in”, and “present understanding” to mean “popular myth”.  It’s going to be a long, uphill battle.

Pyrrhic Victory (#906) 

Please, masters, don’t use this tool we made you in exactly the way it was designed to be used“:

Amazon unveiled new proposed guidelines…for any national legislation regulating facial recognition technology…civil rights groups and privacy advocates…criticized Amazon’s Rekognition contracts with law enforcement agencies, [absurdly concentrating on the] point…that the technology has misidentified people of color [rather than recognizing that high accuracy is even worse for privacy]…Amazon…responded [with the lie that]…”In the two-plus years we’ve been offering Amazon Rekognition, we have not received a single report of misuse by law enforcement”…The proposals from Amazon focus mainly on ensuring that law enforcement uses the technology [to surveil citizens more] effectively and without [being less able to identify] minorities.  “New technology should not be banned or condemned because of its potential misuse,” Amazon said in [typical tech-geek morally imbecilic fashion]…”Instead, the…[overlords] should be [free to do whatever they like]…and…that the[ir ability to oppress the citizens with the] technology…is continuously enhanced.”  Amazon said any national legislation should ensure facial recognition technology [is profitable for]…Amazon…and…governments [alike]…

A Woman’s Point of View (#912) 

Kaytlin Bailey responds to drama some want to whip up against “Decriminalize Sex Work”:

We are disappointed in [Emily Shugerman’s] editorial choice to focus on Rob Kampia in your February 3rd, 2019 [Daily Beast] article titled, “Rob Kampia Weed Activist With #MeToo Past, Is Now Pushing Sex Work Reform”.  By focusing on Rob’s past instead of our efforts to decriminalize sex work, you reduced a rich and vibrant movement to one man’s conduct.  You have also diminished the contributions of the women on our team, who have devoted decades to this cause in order to center the only man among our directors.  You minimized our accomplishments and our mission by publishing a piece that misrepresents not only our organization but the entire sex worker rights movement…whose voices are historically absent from all media reporting.  Yet, you wrote about Rob…To call our life’s work a “vanity project”…is an insult and a willful misrepresentation of who we are, what we’ve accomplished, and what we’re trying to do.  To suggest that allowing Rob Kampia to use his extensive network of donors and political resources to further our work is a betrayal of the sex worker rights movement is to minimize the diversity and breadth of this work, and to minimize the need for change.  We can focus on Rob, or we can talk about the immense harms of criminalization…

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If giving water to someone dying of thirst is illegal, what humanity is left in the law of this country?  –  Catherine Gaffney

Lack of Evidence 

Persecution of sex workers invariably affects other women as well:

An upscale New York City eatery has been accused of discriminating against women by a branding executive who wrote a personal essay…saying she was banned from eating at the restaurant’s bar.  Clementine Crawford…didn’t name the establishment in her essay for Drugstore Culture, but later confirmed…that the restaurant is Nello…she…was…informed…that [women are] “no longer permitted to eat” at the bar and “must now sit down at a table”…[because] the “owner had ordered a crackdown on hookers” who he believed preyed on clients at the bar…

A Mound of Filth 

With her husband decomposing, “Cuckoo Clock” McCain is doubling down on her creepy BDSM fantasies:

…the Phoenix Dream Center [makes] a…profit…[from] sex-trafficking [hysteria]…Cindy McCain…[claims] Arizona is a major hub for human trafficking around the world…[and] less than 2 percent of human trafficking victims are ever identified…McCain said her [fantasies of] human traffic started years ago, when she shopped for sari fabric for her daughter in Kolkata, India.  She heard clattering from beneath…She looked down, peering through the floorboards.  “I saw 100 sets of eyes – and they were little girls”…[she] went back to her nice home and…later [added] the [creepy fantasy of 100 prepubescent girls crammed into a basement]…to [her spank bank]…

Broken Record (#506)

The once-thriving competition for silliest “sex trafficking magnet” tall tale has been reduced mostly to pathetic reruns of years-old fantasies:

The North American International Auto Show brings a lot of people to Detroit.  But that’s not the only thing that comes to the city during the annual event.  “During that timeframe, we’re known to have a 280 to 330 percent increase in the number of sex trafficking workers that are in the area,” said Michael Glennon, with the FBI in Detroit …”We’re likely going to have approximately 30 to 40 children that are going to be trafficked just within the greater Detroit area,” he said…

We of course “know” exactly the opposite of this, and the approximate number of “sex trafficked children” in Detroit is much closer to zero than 30.

The Puritan Recrudescence (#795)

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

A group of Arizona [politicians] have filed a resolution denouncing pornography as a “public health crisis”…[which]…is responsible for a variety of deleterious effects on society and the individual…”and…perpetuates a sexually toxic environment that damages all areas of our society”…

Amusingly, the lone Democratic sponsor of the bill now claims that…

…he accidentally put his name on the resolution when it was among a stack of other bills…”I’m almost embarrassed to say I inadvertently signed that bill,” [Reginald] Bolding said.  He has been working with the bill’s primary sponsor, Representative Michelle Udall, on several other items of legislation, which is how the pornography resolution ended up on his desk.  After Bolding [was exposed] on social media…as a co-sponsor, he had his name removed from the bill…”I’m not even sure about the origins of the bill,” Bolding said…

I can help you with that last one, Mr. Bolding; as this article explains, the “porn as public health crisis” propaganda is a dodge dreamed up by prohibitionist Gail Dines and used by politicians in socially-conservative states as an excuse for censorship.

Unchristian Nation

Government thugs continue their crusade against Christian charity:

A federal judge…found four women guilty of misdemeanors after they [violated political diktats and] entered a national wildlife refuge along the U.S.-Mexico border to leave water and food for migrants…the…women were aid volunteers for No More Deaths, an advocacy group dedicated to ending the deaths of migrants crossing desert regions near the southern border…Natalie Hoffman…was found guilty of…operating a vehicle inside the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, entering a federally protected wilderness area without a [magical] permit and leaving behind gallons of water and bean cans…[i]n August 2017…Oona Holcomb, Madeline Huse and Zaachila Orozco-McCormick …were also charged…Each of the women face up to six months in prison…and a $500 fine…

O, Canada! (#813)

Canadian prohibitionists are still trying desperately to whip up “sex trafficking” hysteria there to US levels:

Human sex trafficking is the fastest-growing crime in Canada, and North Bay women are being enticed to give it a try.  Girls as young as 13 are being promised cash, pampering in hair and nail salons, as well as health and dental care, but it all comes at a cost – a steep one….“Women forced to service their customers 10 times a day. Women are being threatened, beaten, brainwashed and housed in horrible conditions. They’re poorly fed and drugged,” [moaned fetishist] Carolyn Couchie, [with her hand in her pants]…Couchie [fantasized that one] was housed in a basement with no windows for 10 days, only given water to drink, yet forced to perform for her male clients…Couchie said the girls are seen as a lucrative commodity, earning on average $280,000 annually for their handlers…Couchie and [a sow]…offered [their fantasies about] the world of human sex trafficking…[and cops imagining themselves as spies] who infiltrated the game…[in reality] programs like Northern Spotlight [harass and intimidate] sex worker[s by tricking them], and once they gain entry they [infantilize] women [by giving them] a tote bag with [stuff they can easily buy for themselves]…

Elephant in the Parlor (#831) 

“Prostitution” charges are such useful weapons against uppity women:

A Belarusian model who claimed last year that she had evidence of Russian interference in the election of Donald Trump has been arrested upon her arrival in Moscow following deportation from Thailand…Anastasia Vashukevich was detained…on charges of inducement to prostitution along with three people deported alongside her.  Vashukevich, who has been in a Thai prison since February last year, was given a suspended sentence on [January 15th] and ordered to be deported after she pleaded guilty to soliciting and conspiracy along with several co-defendants in a case related to holding a “sex training” seminar…

Spin Doctor

The word for “partnerships” between government and big corporations is “fascism”:

King County Council launched a campaign with several partners to [disseminate propaganda about sex work]…the council…plans to partner with the Port of Seattle, City of Seattle, Sound Transit, Alaska Airlines and Delta Airlines for the campaign. [Shahada, King of the Hill]…Washington ranked 13th in the U.S. for most active cases handling human trafficking…Vice-chairman of the council Reagan Dunn…[said] the campaign’s biggest goal was to…drive calls to the national human trafficking hotline…

Naturally that’s the aim, since calls to the “hotline” are the claimed “evidence” to pretend that “sex trafficking” is epidemic.  The more “awareness”, the more calls; fetishists then claim the calls represent “cases”, and feature the numbers in propaganda which increases hysteria & generates more calls. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Changing the Rules

Looks like at least a couple of people at The Hill aren’t asleep at the wheel:

[Politicians]…in the new Congress seem eager to continue a campaign against…the internet…[which] came about in large part because we correctly viewed online intermediaries more like distributors (think bookstores and libraries) than traditional publishers.  But as the Internet evolved, [busybodies] increasingly [resented] this protection …in 2018, Section 230 went from an internet protection law to congressional leverage against “Big Tech” companies.  In a series of hearings last year with various technology executives, Section 230 was blamed for everything from suppression of conservative viewpoints to sex trafficking to the opioid epidemic…these arguments illustrate that many in Congress do not appear to understand how Section 230 works, what it protects, or the potential damage that carving out too many exemptions could do to innovation and free expression online…In the months since SESTA became law, it has become increasingly clear that such carve-outs cannot be contained merely to bad actors.  They have chilling, silencing effects on legitimate and valuable speech…

In case you don’t remember, a previous “opinion contributor” in The Hill (anti-porn group Morality in Media, which recently rebranded to the more authoritative-sounding “National Center on Sexual Exploitation”) put forth the exact bizarre interpretation condemned in this new article as part of an anti-internet, anti-consent, anti-sex, pro-censorship screed.

Feminine Pragmatism (#896) 

More infantilization of women doing what they must to survive:

…in Guyana…Fiona Hopkinson pleaded not guilty to…charges…that…she trafficked four Venezuelan women for sexual exploitation at the  Diamond Hotel and Night Club…the women, while being questioned by the police, confessed that they were in need of work and Hopkinson had transported them from Venezuela to work as prostitutes…

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In the minds of the regulate-and-incarcerate crowd, it is much better to treat unsolicited butt or genital sightings with the same intensity as we do matters of national security.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

The Course of a Disease

The Swedish rot has reached Spain:

The Spanish government is proposing a spate of new legal measures to [persecute] prostitut[es].  These include penalizing clients who solicit for sex and punishing landlords who make properties available to sex workers.  Further measures would also look to prosecute [people cops decide to label] traffickers…and…decriminalizing [sex workers, even though they are not currently criminalized]…Sex work is…neither illegal nor regulated [in Spain] but Prime Minister Sanchez came to power in June with a strongly [misogynist] agenda and promising to fight the e[mployment and sexual autonomy] of women…

Traffic Jam (#694) 

24 years of state-inflicted torture finally end for the San Antonio 4:

…Judge Catherine Torres-Stahl handed out orders…expunging the records of Elizabeth Ramirez…Cassandra Rivera…Kristie Mayhugh …and Anna Vasquez…all government agencies that house information on criminal charges, indictments, arrests or convictions related to the cases in which the women were found innocent must seal or destroy the records.  The women consistently maintained their innocence from that day 24 years ago when Ramirez’s nieces, then ages 7 and 9, accused the women of brutalizing them while on a weekend visit…After the women served nearly 15 years in prison, one of the nieces publicly recanted.  She said family members upset that her aunt had come out as a lesbian told her to lie.  So did her father, who…was upset that Ramirez had spurned his advances…it was also shown that [bogus] science helped support the charge…each of them…[has] receive[d] state compensation of about $80,000 for each year they were imprisoned — a little more than $1 million apiece…

Too Close To Home (#760)

Another exercise in cop-fellation and myth-regurgitation masquerading as journalism:

…Charles Peters…[of] the self-titled “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”…was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison and ordered to pay a $3,000 fine after a jury convicted him in October of nine counts of second-degree promoting prostitution.  Peters…is appealing his conviction…[and free on] $75,000 bond while his appeal is pending…

Though she didn’t write that moronic headline (“Ringleader”?  Who the fuck uses that word with a straight face any more? Has the editor been watching ’30s gangster movies?), Sara Jean Green still needs to be ashamed of herself for this garbage, especially considering that I know for a fact she has the phone numbers of several prominent Seattle sex workers (including mine).  Prohibitionists claim what I do for money is “demeaning”, but I don’t have to infantilize peaceful women, demonize peaceful men, or lionize violent thugs.

Check Your Premises (#809)

Despite some conciliatory language and ground-ceding, this is a good article:

…the Tucson Weekly accessed a spreadsheet of all [Southern Arizona “sex trafficking”] investigations in the three years since the beginning of the grant and found 10 people who were convicted of trafficking and related crimes.  Out of 516 investigations…[only] 23 people were categorized as arrested for trafficking…of those 23…[only] 14 were [actually] charged with trafficking [or] other sex crimes…Of the 14…10 people were convicted or took plea deals, three have ongoing court cases and one committed suicide after being released on bail…[only] two cases resemble the mainstream narrative of a…[woman] forced to commit commercial sex acts against her will…In one case, a drunk, 71-year-old registered sex-offender in a wheelchair persistently and crudely offered a 14-year-old girl money for sexual favors at a bus stop…In another case, a man offered to pay three 15-year-old boys and one girl to [perform] sex acts in front of him.  Some of the cases involve runaways…In other cases, the…[so-called] trafficker [was the sex worker’s] friend or boyfriend…The spreadsheet indicates 52 misdemeanor arrests related to prostitution or not having an escort license…

Traffic in Nonsense (#831)

Anti-whore indoctrination has wholly infested the US trucking industry:

…Kendis Paris…of Truckers Against Trafficking…is one member of the 15-person Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking, which was developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation in October.  The group’s goal is to develop strategies for [encouraging truck drivers to snitch on sex workers]…The committee includes leaders of [rescue industry] organizations…[anti-whore propagandists] and representatives of the trucking, bus, rail, aviation, maritime and port industries…Truckers Against Trafficking leads [indoctrination] programs and distributes [propaganda] materials to various sectors of the industry…About 40 states have adopted aspects of Truckers Against Trafficking’s [indoctrination] model.  The group has worked with [pigs] who give [propaganda] wallet cards to truck drivers…

Imaginary Victims (#839)

Even by despicable modern US standards, this is an incredibly evil ruling:

A woman who was 16 when she killed a Nashville man who [assaulted] her…must serve at least 51 years in prison before she’s eligible for release, according to the Tennessee Supreme Court…The court’s five justices were unanimous in their decision against Brown, who was convicted of killing a…[client] in 2004 when he [roughed her up and]…she feared he would kill her…Brown argues her sentence is unconstitutional, citing a 2012 opinion by the US Supreme Court that said mandatory life sentences without parole for juvenile offenders violate the US Constitution…

Brown’s only chance now is the outgoing Tennessee governor, who can pardon her and commute her sentence.

Shame, Shame (#853)

New York just won’t stop trying to subject nude-pic-posters to police violence:

Under [New York politician Joseph] Borrelli’s measure, it would be a misdemeanor offense “to send an unsolicited sexually explicit video or image to another person with intent to harass, annoy, or alarm such other person,” punishable by up to a year in jail or a $1,000 fine.  Sexually explicit means anything showing “genitals, pubic area or anus of any person”…It’s already illegal for adults to send sexually explicit images to minors…[and] already illegal…to harass someone, stalk them, or threaten them.  So sending sexually explicit images “with intent to harass, annoy, or alarm” could already be prosecuted under another statute, provided there actually is evidence of harassing or threatening intent.  What that leaves us with is basically a way for anyone to press charges against anyone who sends them a sexualized image…The measure would provide plenty of opportunity for jilted lovers to get even with criminal charges…The opportunity is also ripe for abuse against sex workers who advertise online, whether by those who enjoy harassing them for sport (as with last week’s so-called ThotAudit), by customers who feel slighted, or by law enforcement…

A Broker in Pillage (#858)

With any luck, SCOTUS will shut down this extortion scheme and others like it:

A Detroit woman [named Crystal Sisson] is suing Wayne County, Michigan, after police [stole] her car [because she bought] $10 worth of [legal] marijuana…[from] a [licensed] Detroit medical marijuana dispensary…the sheriff’s deputies cited her for “illegally occupying a place where controlled substances are sold” and seized her 2015 Kia Soul…To get her car back, Sisson had to pay the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office $1,200 to settle the forfeiture case, a typical practice in the county…the Supreme Court is currently considering a similar asset forfeiture case, Timbs v. Indiana, that revolves around the case of Tyson Timbs, whose Land Rover, worth $41,000, was seized after he sold two grams of heroin to a [narc]…Court watchers strongly suspect the Supreme Court will incorporate the Eighth Amendment, making the Excessive Fines clause apply to states.  Sisson is only one of hundreds of Wayne County residents who’ve been surveilled, pulled over, had their car [stolen], and been forced to pay out more than $1,000 to get it back, all for visiting legal, state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries…

Banishment (#870) 

Caging people permanently, without trial or sentence:

…William Welsh has a number of convictions for child molestation and sexual abuse dating back to 1979.  In 2011 he was no longer in custody, having served his required prison and probationary sentences. He was, however, required to register on Oregon’s Sex Offender Registry because of his prior convictions.  When he traveled to Belize in 2011 and failed to update the address listed on his registration, he was charged, and pled guilty, to violating…registration requirements – a felony – and he was sentenced to 673 days in prison.  A few weeks prior to his release, the Attorney General designated him a “sexually dangerous person”; the reviewing court agreed, and he was [indefinitely] committed…In 2016, however, his conviction (for having failed to update his registration) was vacated, after the Supreme Court, in US v. Nichols, 136 S.Ct. 113, held that SORNA did not require a person to update his registration when he was traveling to a foreign country.  So he petitioned for a release from custody, arguing that because he had not lawfully been “in custody” of the Bureau of Prisons…he could not, lawfully, have been subject to the commitment proceeding for “sexually dangerous persons” in the first place.  But his request for release was denied, first by the federal district court and then by the 4th Circuit

Surplus Women (#873) 

Let’s play a game:  Is this a rationalization of cop behavior or serial killer behavior?

A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been charged with capital murder after telling investigators he killed four female sex workers because he considered them worthless and that he thought he was doing something good for his Texas border city…[the] prosecutor said…he will seek the death penalty if Juan David Ortiz is found guilty…

Feminine Pragmatism (#892) 

Dreams“. How old is the imbecile who writes this shit? Eight?

…Escalona was one of at least 41 Venezuelan women murdered abroad from February 2017 to this November.  They had fled Venezuela’s economic turmoil. They left their homeland with dreams.  Some were forced into prostitution.  All met death…

No.  These women weren’t “following dreams” like refugees from a fucking Hallmark card; they were trying to survive by fleeing a collapsing socialist dictatorship.  They were not naive children like so many American women; they were adults who had to take risks thanks to authoritarians criminalizing their pragmatic choice to cross borders to work.  And since criminalization attracts criminals, sometimes they lost those gambles.  The villains here aren’t imaginary “trafficking rings”; they’re the fucking politicians who force desperate people to deal with criminals to have a chance to escape hell.

Disaster (#893)

I’m not sure how much this will help, but it certainly can’t hurt:

…the new platform Tribunus has allowed web users to weigh in on critical issues when petitions and digital comments are no longer viable steps.  On Tribunus’ simple site, US residents can contact legislators directly by placing a phone call, sending them a fax, or — if their fax machine is turned off — quickly sending them a paper letter instead.  Tribunus’ creator, a Bay Area programmer who asked to be identified as Michael, said he first launched the platform to help defeat a legal measure threatening California sex workers (successfully, after protests and hundreds of letters).  Later on, he added pages addressing immigrant family separation and net neutrality…

The Prudish Giant (#895) 

Facebook turns the dial on its anti-sex “standards” up to 11:

Facebook just…adopted…new “sexual solicitation” rules…[that] ban “implicit sexual solicitation”including the use of sexual slang, the solicitation of nude images, discussion of “sexual partner preference,” and even expressing interest in sex…the new policy [even] bars “vague suggestive statements, such as ‘looking for a good time tonight’”…discussion of sexual exploitation is allowed, but discussion of consensual, adult sex is taboo.  That’s a classic censorship model: speech about sexuality being permitted only when sex is presented as dangerous and shameful…such…rules can incentivize abuse from…bad actors…[including] state actors…This process gives the user no meaningful opportunity to appeal a bad decision.  Given the rules’ focus on sexual interests and activities, it’s easy to imagine who would be the easiest targets:  sex workers…[and] members of the LGBTQ community…

From the way these rules are worded, they seem to even ban bland statements like “I’m lesbian” (which is “expressing sexual partner preference”).

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You deserve that child to be injured.  –  some creepy old busybody

Last week on Twitter there was a larger-than-usual number of belligerent amateurs making weird claims about how it’s somehow “exploitation” to charge men for sex, but not to give sex away to them for free; naturally I and many other sex workers were mocking them as the fools they are.  In the process Nattie Roman tweeted this video of a pivotal scene from Baby Face, which you should definitely read my review of and then go watch.  I’m featuring it because I love the scene, and also so I can find it next time I want to tweet it myself.  The links above it were provided by Tim CushingAmy AlkonCharles HillFurrygirl, Amy Alkon again, and Joe Setyon, in that order.

From the Archives

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