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Posts Tagged ‘Washington (state)’

Diary #380

Chekhov got back to Sunset on Sunday afternoon, which means the move is now officially complete; everything I own is now within a relatively compact geographical area of western Washington, as are most of my friends.  My cousin Alan will probably be up here within a few years, and even Frank and Olivia are considering a move to Portland.  That’s really incredibly fast considering that a year ago today, I hadn’t even thought of doing this yet; I asked Grace for her opinion about it around the first week of December, and my first text to my real estate agent on the subject was on December 13th.  We whittled down the list of available properties during Grace’s Christmas visit, saw the property for the first time on January 3rd, hashed out the details over the next few months, closed the sale of my Oklahoma property in late May and the sale of Sunset on May 30th, and the first load departed westbound on July 25th.  And after many problems, a lot of heartbreak and tremendous cost overruns, we’re done at last and one more source of stress is gone from my life.  Grace will be really busy fixing up the place; getting everything I want accomplished will probably take another year and a lot more money, but at least I no longer have a mortgage and Grace is close by.  And that is worth a great deal to me.  If you’d like to help fix the place, I’m running a very generous special until the end of the month; it’s open to both local clients and those I need to travel to reach, with different terms.  If you’re interested please email me, but please only if you’re serious! 

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When one of the men caught in Seattle’s anti-sex pogroms offered to write about his experience in “john school” (i.e, coerced “re-education” sessions), naturally I accepted.  Also naturally, I gave him a pseudonym to protect him from retaliation by Val Richey and company.

I was mandated to attend the Organization of Prostitution Survivor’s STOP Exploitation class (in other words, “john school”) in Seattle, WA.  It’s well-known that such classes have no actual deterrent effect; the only things they actually achieve are enriching the organizations which hold them, and disseminating radical feminist dogma.  Over the ten weeks I was forced to attend, the most consistent elements of the sessions were the use of fear and shame to induce conformity, and the toxic perpetuation of sex worker stereotypes and tropes.  Indeed, the existence of sex workers is only barely recognized in this course, and when they are mentioned at all it’s as a “privileged minority”; most sex workers are claimed to be “prostituted persons”, passive objects subjected to constant violence and coercion by “pimps”.  Ironically, it’s parasitic organizations like OPS which are the real exploiters of sex workers; they are manipulated through court mandated diversion programs, lied about by professional “Prostitution Survivors”, and oppressed by law enforcement and prosecutors to perpetuate a cycle of violence via the criminalization of sex work.  Sex workers are not even afforded a voice in a “school” that should have been focused on them and their struggles; instead they are extinguished as individuals with free-will to fuel an anti-sex agenda.

The hypocrisy and falsity of STOP are well-represented by its chief facilitator, Peter Qualliotine; his plastic smile and smarmy manner are inadequate cover for the dangerous oppression he helps enable.  The local media has been unfriendly and unbalanced regarding the topic of sex work.  Sex workers are claimed to be “sex slaves” or “victims” and the lies and disinformation promoted by opportunists like Qualliotine and professional “survivors” like Alisa Bernard are accepted without question or the most rudimentary fact-checking, despite the fact that SWOP Seattle is extremely public and it would be the work of only a few minutes for any reporter to get a statement from them about these claims. Interestingly, even Qualliotine himself seems to know there’s something fishy about his claims; though there’s a gleam in his eye when he tells us that he “enthusiastically endorses masturbation!” as an alternative to seeing sex workers, his shoulders slump, his arms are crossed and he looks down at the floor when he claims that decriminalization will never work and that independent sex workers are a very slim minority.  And disturbingly, he brightens up again when discussing Gary Ridgway, the Green River Killer (which he does often over the ten weeks).  The fact that Ridgway claimed it was wrong to pay for sex, just as Qualliotine himself claims, is not ever mentioned.

I paid attention as closely as I could because by the third week I realized that I wanted to write this, but it wasn’t easy; when Qualliotine isn’t quoting Melissa Farley’s bogus “statistics” and infantilizing women by claiming they aren’t psychologically able to make their own sexual decisions (because of “PTSD” and “trauma bonding”), he’s regaling his captive audience with the grade-school baseball analogy for sex, talking about “toxic masculinity” and claiming that simply looking at a woman exists on a “Continuum of Sexual Violence” that leads to rape and murder, with paying for sex at about the halfway point.  He also alluded to BDSM, conflating it with domestic violence, and though he branded male-dominant relationships specimens of “male privilege”, he paradoxically also claimed it’s men’s responsibility to end “sexist” sexual interactions (including money for sex) even if a woman prefers them or demands them.  Almost as an afterthought, he added that the cops need to “go after” madams and female escort service owners as well as male “pimps” and clients.  In a session mostly devoted to intimate partner violence, Qualliotine lists public shaming, outing and debt as forms of violence; presumably, the shaming, outing and debt inflicted by police stings don’t count.  It was all so stultifying a number of attendees slept; Qualliotine either didn’t notice or didn’t care.  I assume he gets the same amount of money per warm body from King County whether anyone actually listens to him or not.

Valiant Richey, King County Prosecutor (in other words, Demand Abolition’s local propaganda officer) claims most sex buyers are white and well-to-do, a proposal that promotes the concept of patriarchy.  But that’s not what I saw in these sessions, which are at least half men of color, many evidently working-class; one couldn’t ask for clearer evidence that, as with all prohibition, the consequences of criminalization fall upon the marginalized despite OPS’ claims to the contrary.  Qualliotine is an entitled white man bloviating against entitlement, whiteness and masculinity in order to play the hero and set himself up on a pedestal.  His pretense of personal outrage is so clearly false it’s embarrassing; during one of his rants about whiteness I saw two of the men of color firmly close their eyes, as though they could no longer bear to look upon this vulgar hypocrite.  This isn’t about feminism or justice; it’s about feeding Peter Qualliotine’s ego.  His sense of entitlement is immense; he actually expects attendees to trust him and OPS before even working with them, demanding one-way respect before earning it.  There exists no independent review of this dangerous and banal reductionism; it’s a middle school curriculum produced by an art student that reduces complex life issues to abstract polemic theory with no expectation of producing any effect.  Indeed, it reinforces the very stereotypes that it claims to want to expose.  If the goal of STOP was to make an ally, it failed.  Rights, not rescue; I’ve never believed in it more.

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Instead of raising children in an adult world…we prefer to live much of our lives in a make-believe children’s world.  –  Hugh Hefner

R.I.P. Hugh Hefner 

The founder and embodiment of Playboy magazine died a week ago today at the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles; he was 91.  Love him, hate him or indifferent to him, it’s undeniable that Hefner and his magazine were among the most important driving forces of the sexual revolution and, to a lesser but still important degree, of the popularization of liberal (in the original sense of the word) political ideas such as LGBT rights; in a world where homosexuality was illegal Hef published Charles Beaumont’s “The Crooked Man“, and years before Roe v Wade he was bankrolling abortion rights activism.  Naturally, he was despised by narrow-minded feminists who think that a woman can be sexy or intellectual but never both (despite his support of female authors and thinkers), and he was even controversial among sex workers (including yours truly) for his rather odd home life with his playmate “girlfriends”, but by most accounts he was an ethical businessman whose legacy of support for both his contributors and for individual rights would have been more universally lauded had his magazine and life not featured sex in such a central role.

An Enormous Big Nothing

More hysterics who can’t tell the difference between adults and children:

The headline reads Spanish brothel’s “back to school” party sparks outrage in Andalusia.  El Bosque is a legal club de alterne where sex workers drink, dance and chat with customers with the option to retire to private rooms for paid sex.  The party-poster was called an incitement to paedophilia…despite the obvious age of women (and their clothing) in the poster.  The club’s owner removed the posters and cancelled the party…

Dirty Amateurs

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

In 2016, Americans were infected with more than 2 million new cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia, the highest number of these sexually transmitted diseases ever reported…the…CDC’s…annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report shows that more than 1.6 million of the new cases were from chlamydia, 470,000 were from gonorrhea and nearly 28,000 cases were primary and secondary syphilis…While all of these can be cured by antibiotics, many [amateurs] go undiagnosed and untreated…When you include herpes and more of the dozens of diseases which can be transmitted sexually but which are not tracked, the CDC estimates there are more than 20 million new cases of STDs in the United States each year.  At least half occur in young [amateurs] ages 15 to 24…

The Lion and the Ox

Talking is now defined as “sex trafficking”:

Two people were arrested…after using Snapchat to recruit a woman into prostitution…she was contacted in January by [her] friend…Wynter Fowler…[who] told her that she “was pretty and could make a lot of money” if she moved to Las Vegas to work as an exotic dancer and escort…Fowler[‘s]…boyfriend, Ezekiel Gilbert…persuaded [the complainant] to work as a prostitute for him…she said Gilbert threatened her when she tried to quit in February…he…bragged that he “had already gotten away with murder” before…Gilbert [had been previously] arrested in Texas after an escort was shot and killed, but was later acquitted…Police arrested Gilbert and Fowler on Sept. 12…Both were booked…on sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking…

I can think of several better, less tyrannical things to charge the thoroughly-nasty Gilbert with than simply talking to someone.

So Close and Yet So Far

A good little article despite a truly stupid statement in the third sentence:

I am not a pimp or a trafficker.  I am neither a rape apologist nor someone who excuses violence against women.  I do not believe men have a right to buy sex, or that anyone, of any gender, should be forced to sell sex.  One might have thought these things go without saying, and yet they are examples of some of the vitriol levied at us – those that advocate for the decriminalisation of the sex industry.  In recent weeks…establishment media has provided…an “everywhere-you-turn” kind of platform…to anti-prostitution feminists.  Julie Bindel does, after all, have a new book to publicise. Underpinning the arguments of many anti-prostitution feminists is the idea that the purchase of sex ought to be criminalised and sex workers [cast] as victims of male violence.  They argue we should be doing more to eradicate the sex industry and rescue the sex workers within it…

Of course men have the right to buy sex from someone offering to sell it, just as women (or men) have the right to sell it.  Any claim to the contrary reflects the irrational and authoritarian mindset of a prohibitionist.

Banishment

Remember:  these people have already served their sentences:

Scores of sex offenders ordered to live on a secluded island in Washington state say the often-cloudy, brown water there is making them sick…About 200 [inmates] of the Special Commitment Center have filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the facility is…forcing them to drink contaminated water that causes stomach pain and skin rashes and has been blamed for unexplained deaths.  The executive who oversees the center [claims] the water [which he needn’t drink] turns brown…when the pipes are flushed, and…the cloudiness is only an aesthetic effect that causes no harm.  But…Department of Health records shows that the water has repeatedly exceeded standards for various chlorine-related chemicals and has been cited for violations dating back to 2006…a former [treatment] plant operator told health officials in 2015 that the water’s cloudiness readings were being manipulated to make the water look cleaner than it was…The Special Commitment Center [imprisons]…sex offenders…[that] the state convinced a judge…were too dangerous to be released…

The Sky is Falling! (#415)

The Francophone world seems to be in especially deep denial about compensated dating:

Belgian ministers have said they will take legal action in an attempt to force a [sugar dating] website…to remove…adverts near the country’s universities.  Trucks bearing large posters promoting Rich Meet Beautiful…have appeared on the outskirts of campuses in Brussels in recent days…the Norwegian company behind the website says it hopes to recruit 300,000 Belgian registrations by the end of 2018…The site, however, has been accused of encouraging prostitution and playing on the financial insecurity of the young [by offering them an option to get out of financial insecurity.  Two pearl-clutching ministers]…have declared they intend to launch a criminal proceeding against the firm for inciting debauchery and prostitution, and to force the suspension of its campaign on public order grounds…

Feminine Pragmatism (#518) 

This isn’t “remarkable” or even “unusual”; women have done part-time sex work to supplement meager earnings at least since Roman times:

…after supplementing her career with tutoring and proofreading, the university lecturer decided to go to remarkable lengths to make her career financially viable.  She first opted for her side gig during a particularly rough patch…when her course load was suddenly cut in half and her income plunged, putting her on the brink of eviction.  “In my mind I was like, I’ve had one-night stands, how bad can it be?” she said. “And it wasn’t that bad”…Sex work is one of the more unusual ways that adjuncts have avoided living in poverty, and perhaps even homelessness…

Under Review (#733)

Escort advertising is already illegal in Ireland, which is why Irish sex workers have such limited advertising options:

The government is being urged [by prohibitionists] to ban a website that facilitates the advertising of prostitution services – and invites customers to review the women they hire…Over 7,000 [ignorant busybodies] have now signed a petition urging the Department of Justice to step in and [magically] remove the website [despite its being hosted in Spain] and ban others like it [again, but magically this time so the sex rays can’t cross into Irish cyberspace]…

I Saw My Brain (#773)

Authoritarian idiots will probably keep re-electing this lunatic no matter how much his antics cost them:

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd garnered widespread scorn for blathering and boasting on social media, threatening to arrest people with outstanding warrants if they sought public shelter while Hurricane Irma battered Florida…Now Judd has been hit with a lawsuit for allegedly denying entry to a man seeking shelter, saying he had to go through a background check first…Judd [doubled down on his moronic rhetoric, claiming the man] wasn’t denied shelter…[but] offered accommodations in jail…

Wise Investment (#775)

Sex workers, clients & everyone else harmed by “prostitution stings” needs to keep suing over them:

One year later, cases from the Euro Spa sting of June 2016 are still slowly making their way through Seattle’s Municipal Court.  Some men…have pled guilty to “sexual exploitation,” the city’s recently modified term for the misdemeanor of patronizing a prostitute.  Others have requested trials…But one accused john—we’ll call him John—adopted a different legal strategy…John’s lawyer, Bob Goldsmith, filed a motion in July challenging City Attorney Pete Holmes…[who] directed prosecutors to rule out pre-trial diversion…[and] instead…push for guilty pleas that will result in a criminal record…Holmes…[pretends] the policy…will reduce prostitution overall [and imagines that would be a good thing]…Anita Khandelwal, policy director for the Department of Public Defense, called Holmes’ tactic on sexual exploitation charges “unusual and illegal”.  While johns are often cast as sexual predators by law enforcement and the media, Khandelwal says the clients her office sees are “incredibly poor and marginalized and caught up in police stings.”  She added, “Mr. Holmes’ statement that criminalizing buyers results in changed behavior is not supported by the evidence.  The war on drugs did not reduce drug use but it filled prisons”…

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Diary #379

Early this morning, Chekhov left (or will leave, if you’re reading this within four hours of posting) on a plane for Dallas, where he’ll pick up a rental truck, drive up to Oklahoma, pick up the last few things and close the storage unit, then drive back to Sunset…all on his own dime, which I think is pretty damned wonderful of him.  When he arrives home (probably Friday evening), the move will be complete at last and I can start putting my money into fixing the existing house and building an addition that I feel is necessary for comfortable living.  And just in time; as I wrote last week, this has cost me a great deal more than expected, and it’ll be good to shift to expenses that aren’t on such a tight deadline as a move is.  We’ve already started on those; last week, Grace gave the plumbing a much-needed overhaul and she and Chekhov built a fence to keep the llamas in the barnyard until the whole area can be fenced later (here you see them awaiting release, with Lassen at his post).  The next project after the fence is a major repair on some damaged floor joists (related, as the handy among you may have suspected, to the damaged plumbing), and then we’ll start on the addition (which will be framed in steel and will contain an all-new bathroom, laundry room, hot tub, and fireplace).  I’m going to be working as much as possible over the next year to achieve all that; at this time last year I hadn’t even decided to move yet, so I figure if I can accomplish all this in a year, getting it to the state I want should be achievable in a similar time period.  But that means money, so to kick it off I’m running a very generous special all this month; it’s open to both local clients and those I need to travel to reach, with different terms.  If you’re interested please email me, but please only if you’re serious!

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[Current law] leaves the door open for prosecutors to go after any teens who sext.  –  Doug Honig

Saving Them From Themselves

“Progressive” Washington state reaffirms its “liberal” views on sex:

…the Washington State Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a 17-year-old who sent a dick pic.  The court found that state law allows him to be convicted for distributing child porn, even when the photo he sent was of himself.  Legal advocates…[warned] that the ruling…make[s] it possible for prosecutors to charge sexting teens with crimes that will follow them for the rest of their lives…In an amicus brief…the ACLU of Washington, Columbia Legal Services, TeamChild, and the Juvenile Law Center argued that upholding the teen’s conviction is a “strained and erroneous interpretation” of child porn laws that “would jeopardize thousands of minors…by criminalizing…common and normative adolescent behavior.”  The groups said the teenager’s conviction runs counter to the [supposed] intent behind the law, which is to [supposedly] protect children from exploitation, not convict them for taking pictures of their own bodies…

The civil rights groups’ statement is highly disingenuous; the intent of such laws isn’t to “protect” anyone, but to punish people for sexual behavior of which “authorities” disapprove.

Surplus Women 

When a sex worker dies, the media treats it as a form of lurid entertainment:

Sarah Woods…of Portsmouth, [Ohio]…[was] found dead [on August 22nd]…Wood’s death was quickly a popular topic on social media…Woods had a long history of drug abuse and prostitution.  She had also lost many of those closest to her to drug abuse…Woods was still actively prostituting and using crack cocaine…[family members] saw Woods leave with an unidentified man that had helped set up clients…for Woods…

Legal Is as Legal Does

The difference between legalization and decriminalization cannot be stated too often:

…campaigners for criminalisation…often use the terms “legalisation” and “decriminalisation” interchangeably as if ignorant of their enormous differences.  Legalisation holds sway in Nevada, Amsterdam and Germany, automatically criminalising any who do not comply with the regulatory regime – this may include those unwilling to register with the state, undergo high cost compulsory frequent medical checks or who wish to work in their own premises rather than large venues controlled by someone else.  Decriminalisation, the removal of laws relating to consensual adult sexual behaviour, has been instituted nationwide only in New Zealand…

Signs (#650)

Beware of hotels eager to suck the cocks of “authorities”:

…two Motel 6 locations in Phoenix [are] routinely sending in leads to…Immigration and Customs Enforcement…”We send a report every morning to ICE—all the names of everybody that comes in,” a front-desk clerk told the [Phoenix] New Times…court documents show that “between February and August, ICE agents made at least 20 arrests at Motel 6s, showing up roughly every two weeks” while there was a distinct lack of “records indicating that ICE conducted arrests at other local motels during this same time period”…Motel 6 has a history of nationwide narc-ery, as documented by the American Civil Liberties Union in a 2015 statement about the chain’s habit of collaboration with local police…

One Born Every Minute (#685) 

It’s always a pleasure to see whore-raping scum thrown in prison:

Mario Ambrose Antoine, a Kansas City-area man who posed as an adult producer and talent agent to [rape] women…and film them, was sentenced…to 10 years in federal prison without parole…Antoine told the women, who signed contracts and modeling release forms…that they would be paid thousands of dollars for their auditioning and modeling activity…when the women complained about not being paid, Antoine forwarded images of their sexual activity to their employers or significant others…

Wise Investment (#717)

Sex workers, clients & everyone else harmed by “prostitution stings” needs to keep suing over them:

…An arbitrator has awarded $17.5 million to a former Swedish Health neurosurgeon who says he was fired in retaliation for questioning the practices of another top surgeon.  Dr. David Newell lost his job a year ago, and Swedish contends he was fired for failing to notify the organization that he had been arrested and jailed in a Seattle prostitution sting…“For this arbitrator to award Dr. Newell $17.5 million — at a time when…there is a [moral panic about imaginary]…sex trafficking and…[adult] women [are making their own sexual decisions] — is unconscionable and outrageous,” said Swedish’s CEO, Dr. Guy Hudson…Newell contends the prostitution issue was used as cover to get rid of him after he had raised internal concerns about Dr. Johnny Delashaw, a star surgeon who…had his state license suspended

Until the Establishment suffers more from each “sting” than the victims do, such evil scams will never stop.

Too Close To Home (#729)

I hope this rapist spends the rest of his life on the “sex offender” registry:

For five months, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray rejected calls for his resignation [after it became known that]…he sexually abused teens decades before entering politics.  But…he announced his resignation [last] Tuesday…after news emerged that a younger cousin was publicly accusing Murray of molesting him in…the 1970s…Since the [facts] began to emerge in April, Murray has continued to [pretend] he is innocent…

Yes, this is the kind of sociopath who thinks he has the right to persecute adult men for seeking consensual sex.  If there’s any justice in the world John Urquhart, Dan Satterberg and Val Richey will be joining him in the same prison.

To Molest and Rape (#731) 

When the molester is a cop, sexual assault becomes “interfering with civil rights”:

Cleveland [cop] Kenneth Bolton Jr. pleaded guilty to charges including gross sexual imposition as well as misdemeanor interfering with civil rights in a plea deal that allowed a kidnapping charge to be dropped…Bolton pulled over two women…after [being tipped off about their looks by]…another [cop]…Bolton used a sex toy [that he found by illegally searching their car] to rub their genitals over their clothing…he will now have to register as a sex offender.  He will also no longer be able to serve as a [cop in Ohio, though he’ll probably be hired elsewhere]…

At least he’ll be on the “sex offender” registry, which rapist cops usually escape.

A Broker in Pillage (#750)

It looks like Congress is split on whether it’s OK for pigs to rob citizens blind:

…the House of Representatives…approved an amendment to [an]…Appropriations Act that will roll back Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s expansion of asset forfeiture.  Amendment No. 126 was sponsored by a bipartisan group of nine members, led by Rep. Justin Amash…Sessions revived the Justice Department’s Equitable Sharing Program, which allowed state and local police agencies to [steal] assets and then give them to the federal government — which would in turn give a chunk back to local police.  This served as a way for these local agencies to [openly violate] state laws designed to limit asset forfeiture…Rep. Don Beyer…[said] “Civil asset forfeiture…creates a perverse incentive to seek profits over justice.”  The amendment passed with a voice vote, meaning it had overwhelming support…

The Mote and the Beam (#773)

What might the internet look like if SESTA isn’t stopped?

…With the threat of overwhelming criminal and civil liability hanging over their heads, Internet platforms would likely turn to automated filtering of users’ speech in a big way.  That’s bad news because when platforms rely too heavily on automated filtering, it almost always results in some voices being silenced.  And the most marginalized voices in society can be the first to disappear…The modern Internet is a complex system of online intermediaries…which we use to speak out and communicate with each other.  Those platforms are all enabled by Section 230, a law that protects platforms from some types of liability for their users’ speech.  Without those protections, most online intermediaries would not exist in their current form; the risk of liability would simply be too high…SESTA would…shift…additional liability to intermediaries.  Many online communities would have little choice but to mitigate that risk by investing heavily in policing their members’ speech…

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Diary #377

Grace and Chekhov left for their last full run to Oklahoma on Friday, and barring another delay will arrive tonight; for the next two days they’ll be preparing for the return trip, which will be a marathon because they’re going to have the animals with them and we don’t think it’s a good idea to have them cooped up in the trailer for more than two days, even with the ventilation windows.  After that, I can sell the big trailer to recoup some of my costs; everything remaining will be able to fit in the bed of the truck and the small trailer that’s currently sitting in storage.  It’ll be nice for my income to start going someplace other than petroleum companies, auto repair & parts businesses and tire stores (not to mention hotels) again, such as building-material stores and the like.  But when I’m finally done with fixing the place up, it should be a lovely little country retreat for Grace to live in and me to visit when I get the time.  For those of you who are thinking about this for the first time: yep.  I’m spending all this money and effort on a place where I’ll probably spend less than 40 hours a month, if that.  But Grace will be there full-time, and friends in need of a retreat will have a place to go, and I’ll have a place I can spend holidays in when the mood strikes.  Hell, maybe I’ll even get a license & let Grace grow cannabis there; I certainly have the room (and a dear friend who happens to have connections in the industry so I can find buyers).  Well, we’ll see; the important thing is that I’m finally putting down roots, as I’ve longed to do for over 30 years.  And that to me is far more precious than money.

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The trade union movement has to decide whether it’s going to back workers…or…police.  –  Laura Watson

Monsters 

The Swedish model protects sex workers!

Last year, France passed [the Swedish model, under the pretense of]…protecting sex workers from prosecution, but…[as sex worker activists predicted] it is simply driving them further underground and exposing them to far more danger.  Transsexual prostitutes who work in Paris’s Bois de Boulogne…are disproportionately affected…

Prudesville 

A new twist in Everett, WA’s absurd “bikini barista” melodrama:

Bikini baristas…are suing [Everett] over its ban on serving “quick service” food and drinks with bare shoulders, midriffs, or upper thighs…a group of seven baristas and one coffee stand owner filed a federal lawsuit alleging a violation of their rights to free expression, privacy, due process, and equal protection…Everett isn’t claiming that the regulations serve any food safety or public health purposes…the point of the dress code is to prevent…baristas from giving customers a peep show for extra cash…Employee violations can lead to fines for business owners, along with a requirement to register for a special license (which the city can deny)…if the owners are judged to have “facilitated” the “lewd conduct,” they can be slapped with a $5,000 fine and a year in jail.  Essentially, Everett has created a crime similar to promoting prostitution—but for facilitating skimpy clothing…

Law of the Instrument (#560)

Picture what you’d think of as “sex trafficking”, then compare it to this:

A St. Louis man who was employed at a high school is facing child pornography and sex trafficking charges after police said he exchanged illicit texts with a 15-year-old male student at the school.  Michael A. West…told the [young man] he could get him an opportunity to make money for performing sexual acts…

Cases are this are why even some not-completely-stupid people believe that “sex trafficking” is increasing; “sex trafficking” charges certainly are.

Social Autoimmune Disorder (#594)

Add Dayton, Ohio to the cities mailing blatantly-unconstitutional “Dear John” letters to the registered addresses of vehicles passing through certain neighborhoods:

So far this year, the Dayton police Vice Unit has mailed 18 [threat letters] to the owners of vehicles that were spotted in areas [police claim to be] known for high levels of prostitution.  The letters are supposed to [scare] people [by claiming that wanting sex]…is a “serious offense” that carries potential…deadly disease and other sexually transmitted infections…[often] the recipients are spouses or business owners whose vehicles were in the possession of [others] when [cops decided to stick their noses into others’ business]…

To Molest and Rape 

The US government claims it takes reports of cops raping women seriously…as long as they’re not US cops:

…two U.S. students…were raped by Carabinieri policemen who [took] them home in a patrol car from a nightclub…three patrol cars went to a nightclub to investigate a fight.  Two cars left after calm was restored, but the third remained.  The women…told authorities that the [cops] drove them to their apartment building and raped them…witnesses…confirm[ed] they saw the women enter the patrol car…

Uncommon Sense (#669)

The IWW was the first major union to support sex workers rights, but it won’t be the last:

The GMB and ASLEF have come out in support of the full decriminalisation of sex work in Britain, the first major unions to do so…The unions, which have a combined membership of over 600,000, are calling for the UK to adopt full decriminalisation, similar to the approach adopted by New Zealand, which since 2003 has provided sex workers with legal protections…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#687) 

“Sex robot” hysteria gets ever sillier:

A cybersecurity scientist has issued a bizarre warning that sex robots could one day rise up and kill their owners if hackers can get inside their heads…cybersecurity lecturer Dr. Nick Patterson [fantasized] that the lifelike dolls could end up going all “Terminator” on us…hackers could breach the realistic robots’ inner defenses and catch their owners with their pants down…

Does this idea seem familiar to regular readers?

The Widening Gyre (#735)

They finally realized they could expand the panic by adding male “sex slaves”:

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation [formerly “Morality in Media”], Washington College, and The U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking held a historic press conference…to kick off the first ever symposium on the sexual exploitation harming boys and men.  The government, NGOs, and society at large have overlooked male victims of sexual exploitation, the organizations [pandered]…Haley Halverson…of…the [NCSE fantasized]…that [the] estimated range of male trafficking victims hovers in the hundreds of thousands”…

The NCSE is a fundamentalist Christian anti-porn organization which is also behind the recent tactic of getting conservative states to declare porn a “public health crisis”.

Comfort Zone (#769)

Sometimes the attempt to hide migration control behind the “sex trafficking” narrative is especially apparent:

…”It had been more than 10 years since Gari, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala…had seen his younger brother.  So he was surprised earlier this year when he received a call from a federal government agency telling him his teen brother had emigrated alone from the Central American country to the Arizona-Mexico border…the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services…asked Gari to take legal guardianship of his brother….officials [lied]…that it wouldn’t jeopardize his own safety….[but] Gari…was arrested…by federal immigration agents who had used his little brother as bait“…immigration attorney Yazmin Rodriguez…knows at least three other similar cases…ICE [pretends] using children fleeing violence as bait “[is] part of a broader mission to disrupt human trafficking”…

The Mote and the Beam (#773)

The odious Nick Kristof finds it “baffling and perplexing” that internet companies don’t want the internet destroyed by sociopathic politicians on a witch hunt:

Sex traffickers in America have…a…crucial (if secret) ally: Google…organizations it funds have for years been quietly helping Backpage.com, the odious website where most American [passive, vegetable] victims of human trafficking are sold, to battle lawsuits from [ambulance-chasers fantasizing that] children [are] sold there for sex.  Now Google is using its enormous lobbying power in Washington to try to kill bipartisan legislation that would [enable profiteers to sue]…websites that [they claim] promote sex trafficking [or virtually any other federal crime]…as Backpage fights off prosecutors and worries about the legislation, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, Google has emerged as its behind-the-scenes champion…

What I find “baffling and perplexing” is that so few people recognize “One-hand” Kristof’s BDSM masturbatory fantasies about underage girls for what they are.

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