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Posts Tagged ‘Wyoming’

Removing all references to sex trafficking will hurt our ability to grab reporters’ attention.  –  Sydney Asbury of “Demand Abolition”

The Cold, Grey Light of Dawn 

It’s been a long time since I’ve used this heading, but an even longer time since we’ve seen anything like this:

…lifelong civil rights attorney Larry Krasner was elected in a landslide…to become the new district attorney of Philadelphia…and…He’s doing something I’ve never quite seen before in present-day politics…keeping his word…In his first week on the job, he fired 31 prosecutors…because they weren’t committed to the changes he intended to make…Next, Krasner…release[d] a list of 29 [bad cops]…that…had lied…filed false reports, used excessive force, driven drunk, and burgled…but nothing is as essential and revolutionary as the internal five-page guiding document of new policies that Krasner sent to his staff…The first sentence says it all:  “These policies are an effort to end mass incarcerations and bring balance back to sentencing”…Krasner immediately instructs prosecutors to stop prosecuting marijuana possession regardless of the weight…[and] to stop charging …with any paraphernalia crimes…to stop charging sex workers that have fewer than three convictions with any crime and drop all current cases against sex workers who also fit that description.  All sex workers with three or more convictions are to be referred to Dawn Court…a…diversion…program created in 2010…Krasner instructed prosecutors to stop the wide-ranging practice of beginning plea deals with the highest possible sentencing and instead, begin those plea deals at the bottom end of the available range…Krasner instructed his prosecutors to now add up and justify the exact costs of every single person sentenced to a crime in Philadelphia…Stating that it costs between $42,000 and $60,000 per year to incarcerate a person, he reminded the prosecutors that the…annual cost of incarceration…is…more per year than the beginning salary of teachers, police officers, firefighters, social workers, addiction counselors, and even prosecutors in his office…

Pyrrhic Victory

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

In at least four investigations last year…Raleigh [North Carolina] police used search warrants to demand Google accounts not of specific suspects, but from any mobile devices that veered too close to the scene of a crime…These warrants often prevent the technology giant for months from disclosing information about the searches not just to potential suspects, but to any users swept up in the search…[“authorities” pretend] the practice is a natural evolution of criminal investigative techniques.  They [lie] that, by seeking search warrants, they’re carefully balancing civil rights with public safety [because most of the public is too stupid to know about the horrible “third-party doctrine”].  Defense attorneys and privacy advocates…are…[concerned about] how law enforcement turns to Google’s massive cache of user data, especially without a clear target in mind.  And they’re concerned about the potential to snag innocent users, many of whom might not know just how closely the company tracks their every move…

Under Duress 

The New York Times finally discovers what marginalized people have always known:

An investigation by The New York Times has found that on more than 25 occasions since January 2015, judges or prosecutors determined that a key aspect of a New York City [cop’s] testimony was…untrue…[they lie] about the whereabouts of guns…They…barge…into apartments and conduct…searches, only to testify otherwise later… they…give…firsthand accounts of crimes or arrests that they did not in fact witness…No detail, seemingly, is too minor to embellish…In many instances, the motive for lying was…to skirt constitutional restrictions against unreasonable searches and stops.  In other cases, the falsehoods appear aimed at convicting people…with trumped-up evidence…

Bogeymen

Read this ludicrous exercise in pearl-clutching, then the item under the same heading two items down:

…illicit prostitution businesses are thriving in a surprising place: the legitimate corporate world.  And, we’ve found that the inequities of that world…contribute to that sex trade…we interviewed 44 pimps…in Chicago…fewer than half…fit the pop culture stereotype of a pimp.  The other half did not: a full third had four-year college degrees, primarily in business administration…and most…were white.  In addition to their pimping work, nearly half worked in legitimate companies, not in massage parlors or erotica businesses…these illegal businesses grew directly from the misogynistic culture of the legitimate ones that housed them.  Some became pimps after learning of demand for paid sex through informal bantering about sexual conquests over lunch or beers with the bros.  Half of the pimps started out as customers of sex workers, and several arranged “entertainment” for business clients as part of their job…

Huffington Post needs to exercise more diligence on its contributors; these two fantasists [44 interviews of self-proclaimed “pimps” in one city is not anything like a representative sample] have been recycling this same bogeyman tale on the strength of their supposed academic credentials for years.

Trafficking, Trafficking Everywhere! (#314)

The only sex workers exploited in New Zealand are those who were intentionally excluded from decriminalization in order to appease prohibitionists:

Migrant prostitutes working illegally on temporary visas are “terrified” they will be deported if they report exploitative pimps and abusive clients…In the past year, 136 migrants suspected of coming here to carry out sex work were denied entry into New Zealand…Sex work is the only occupation migrants on temporary visas are not legally allowed to take up…However, migrants who have entered the country on temporary work, visitor, holiday or international student visas and work as prostitutes are being forced to carry out sexual acts without protection and often work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week…They would not speak to police because they would be deported…

Bogeymen (#317)

I’m glad to see Bruckert has expanded her study into a book:

“The sex industry, like mainstream businesses, rarely depends exclusively on clients and workers to operate efficiently and safely,” professor Chris Bruckert [said]…”Contrary to prevailing stereotypes that portray third parties [like pimps] as inherently abusive and controlling, these workers fulfill important roles and provide vital services.”  Bruckert and her team of researchers conducted interviews with 75 pimps — or “third-party” workers, as she prefers to call them — as well as 52 sex workers for her new book Getting Past ‘the Pimp’: Management in the Sex Industry…Bruckert said little research has been conducted on the role of pimps in the industry, adding that many people’s opinions are based on stereotypes…Most of the third-party workers Bruckert’s team spoke to were women — both surprising and understandable, she said, since the industry is female-dominated and the line between sex work and management is thin…

Torture Chamber

The PREA is just feel-good nonsense as long as screws have absolute power over their victims:

…the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)…frequently fails to either address or eliminate sexual abuse.  In jails and prisons across the country, incarcerated people are subject to sexual harassment, abuse and assault, frequently at the hands of staff.  If they report these assaults, they risk retaliation, including greater violence…”Prisons are the worst distillation of toxic masculinity,” said Alan Mills [of the Uptown People’s Law Center (UPLC)]…”It’s all about inflicting punishment on people.  It’s about the use of force in order to force compliance to an arbitrary set of rules.  It’s about dehumanizing people.  It’s not surprising that this translates to harassment and abuse”…

Business As Usual

It’s the same everywhere our work is even partially criminalized:

Sex workers in South Africa will be arrested at least four times and will spend an average of 40 hours in custody if they are charged…one third of sex worker arrests never make it to a police station or courthouse‚ instead often ending in sex workers being abused by police or forced to pay bribes.  These were just some of the findings of The Policing of Sex Work In South Africa survey compiled by NGO’s Sonke Gender Justice and the Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT)…Advocacy officer at Sonke Donna Evans said that the most shocking thing to emerge from the report was the extreme levels of violence at the hands of police that were reported by sex workers.  “They were extremely disturbing and included incidents of torture‚ assault‚ rape and even permanent disability‚” Evans said…

Original Sin (#762) 

I guess this makes sense coming from a man who imagines condoms to be weapons of mass destruction:

Pope Francis asked forgiveness…for all Christians who buy sex from women, saying men who frequent prostitutes are criminals with a “sick mentality” who think that women exist to be exploited.  “This isn’t making love.  This is torturing a woman.  Let’s not confuse the terms,” Francis insisted…

The Puritan Recrudescence (#795)

At least Wyoming had the sense to vote this nonsense down:

A Wyoming bill that would have recognized porn as a “public health crisis” failed in the 2018 session of the state Legislature…HJ1 was typical of various “public health crisis” bills that have made their way across the nation.  Wyoming’s bill, introduced by…Lars O. Lone, would have made official language stating porn increases the demand for sex trafficking, impacts brain development and functioning, diminishes the interest of young men in getting married and creates infidelity, among other [evidence-free] statements.  Another porn bill…sponsored by Lone, failed to win support, as well.  HB 127 would have ordered the installation of porn blocking software on all computers sold in the state to prevent the viewing of “obscene” material as defined by the state Attorney General’s office…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#811) 

SAVE THE TOASTERS!!!!

French activists are campaigning to shut down a new “sex doll brothel” on the grounds that it degrades women—and silicone.  Or something…Xdolls is registered as a gaming center, which makes sense if you consider doll-sex a form of escapist make-believe or wish-fullfilment akin to playing Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto.  But Paris Council communists and other activists argue that Xdolls amounts to a brothel, which are illegal in France.  Nicolas Bonnet Oulaldj, head of the Paris council’s communist group…compared the business to “prostitution” and the owner to “a pimp.”  Sounds like someone just started watching Westworld.  The rhetoric only gets more extreme from there.  Lorraine Questiaux, spokesperson for the anti-sex work organization Mouvement du Nid…[said] “It’s a place…where you rape a woman”…You can’t rape a non-sentient silicone doll any more than you can rape a vibrator or a Fleshlight…but apparently not even lifeless dolls are immune to…rescue attempts…

I’m so glad Tracy Clark-Flory is writing again; I’ve missed her good sense.

Disaster

The fallout will continue until there’s some legal action against this horrific law:

…SESTA’s passage by the U.S. Senate has had an immediate chilling effect on those working in the adult industry…stories of a fallout are being heard, with adult performers finding their content being flagged and blocked…escort site [Cityvibe]…suddenly becoming “not available,” Craigslist shutting down its “personals” sections and Reddit closing down some of its communities, among other tales.  SESTA…targets scores of adult sites that consensual sex workers use to advertise their work.  And now, before SESTA reaches President Trump’s desk for his guaranteed signature, those sites are scrambling to prevent themselves from being charged under sex trafficking laws.  “It’s not surprising that we’re seeing an immediate chilling effect on protected speech,” industry attorney Lawrence Walters [said]…”This was predicted as the likely impact of the bill, as online intermediaries over-censor content in the attempt to mitigate their own risks.  The damage to the First Amendment appears palpable”…

Too Close To Home (#823)

It’s great to see a spotlight on this ugly scheme to sell human lives to a sociopathic billionaire:

There is no mention in [propaganda about Seattle’s high-profile sex work stings] of the fact that [prosecutor Val] Richey’s work was handsomely supported by Demand Abolition, a nonprofit group whose stated mission is to end demand for sex work by going after buyers, or that the cost of some of his travels around the country has been defrayed by the same group.  Nor is there any mention of the fact that Demand Abolition, in exchange for providing approximately $191,667 in funding to the King County prosecutor’s office over four years, asked Seattle-area law enforcement to carry out regular arrests and prosecutions of buyers…As part of signed agreements for the funding, Richey and other law enforcement officials in King County were required to frame the activities of sex buyers and men involved with The Review Board as sex trafficking…even though there was no evidence of trafficking…and…none of the men arrested…were charged with trafficking — only with promoting prostitution…

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[Censorship] filter deactivation…would be a frightening form of thought-based surveillance.  –  Camille Fischer

Worse Than I Thought

It’s nice to have the Mouse on the side of right for a change:

Florida lawmakers made headlines last month with a proposal to let people sexually exploited in hotel rooms sue the hotel where the abuse took place.  The bill would have imposed $50,000 to $100,000 in fines on defendants who lose, in addition to any money awarded to the victim…But…the bill’s sponsor yanked the legislation from current consideration…Disney and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association were reportedly lobbying against the bill behind the scenes…the outcome here is undoubtedly a good one.  Allowing the victims of sex trafficking to sue hotels…does nothing to prevent exploitation…or to punish those responsible for it.  It creates enormous incentives for fraud…It creates a new imperative for hotel staff to harass innocent customers and invade their privacy.  It ensures that sex workers will face more arrests…we don’t allow the families of people murdered in hotels to file such suits…And it paves the way for more third parties to be held legally liable for the actions of criminals…

Japanese Prostitution (#601) 

The Japanese government still denies it did this:

Documents and video footage have been found showing massacres of Korean comfort women by the Japanese military shortly before the end of World War II…the city of Seoul and the Seoul National University (SNU) Human Rights Center made public for the first time footage of the aftermath of a massacre of Korean comfort women…This footage flatly contradicts the Japanese government’s denial of the forced mobilization and massacre of the comfort women.  The footage shows a Chinese soldier, apparently on a burial detail, looking at naked corpses and then removing the socks off one of them.  Smoke is rising from one corner of the frame…“It’s blurred out in the version for public release, but the original footage shows corpses missing heads and other body parts, allowing us to infer the cruelty of the events in question,” the research team said…

Bottleneck (#638)

Welcome to our world, ridesharing companies:

This local CBS report from the Windy City asks the worrying question of whether or not traffic congestion is getting worse in their city and if ride-hailing services might be to blame…If a new cab company opened up, purchased a thousand new cars, painted them up and put them on the road, you’d have a thousand new cars hanging around downtown, clustering near common pick-up areas and just cruising.  That would increase traffic.  But Uber drivers use their own vehicles which were already on the road before they started driving for the company.  And they don’t wait around by hotels or train stations.  They pick a central location and park, waiting for the app to offer them a rider…cruising around would waste gas and cut into their bottom line… We rarely heard any of these “traffic congestion” complaints before except for some occasional griping, but look what other items popped up, all in the space of a couple of weeks…if someone wanted to do some digging I’d wager the National Taxi Worker Alliance and state level lobbyist groups like the Virginia Taxicab Association would be good places to start…

Finding What Isn’t There (#778)

The actual number of people arrested (not tried or convicted) for “human trafficking” in Louisiana during this period: 16.

New numbers recently released by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services showed an overall 50 percent increase in human trafficking in the state from 2016 to 2017.  For victims under 18, there was a 77 percent reported jump.  According to the report, there were 681 human trafficking victims in the state in 2017.  Of those victims, over half (356) were under 18.  DCFS…gets the numbers from agencies across the state and more agencies are now reporting, so it is worth noting that’s a possible cause for the increase…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#795) 

Are there still people who believe the French are sexually liberal?

A group of French lawmakers wants a fine of at least 90 euros ($110) for people caught making sexist catcalls as President Emmanuel Macron’s government prepares a sweeping new law targeting sexual [behavior]…proposals…included a fine for “comments, behavior or pressure of a sexist or sexual character” that [cops decide to label] degrading, humiliating, intimidating, hostile or offensive.  Details of how it would be enforced are unclear…

Stalkers in Blue 

I have no doubt that had her kids been absent, this would’ve turned into a rape:

…Patricia Wilson…says [a Tennessee state] trooper, Isaiah Lloyd, pulled her over for not wearing a seat belt in August last year, according to a lawsuit…Lloyd asked her to get out of her car and lift up her camisole and shirt, then felt around her waistline…put his hands in her underwear and touched her buttock and pubic area.  Lloyd ticketed Wilson for not wearing a seat belt — a…violation the DA’s office later dismissed — and she continued on to work…Three hours later, Lloyd pulled her over again, as Wilson’s children — 3 and 8 years old — were in the vehicle.  “We have to stop meeting like this,” Lloyd allegedly said.  He also said he would not give her a ticket for having tinted windows and asked her where she was going…

Not So Easy

New Orleans club owners cover their arses by throwing dancers under the bus:

The Louisiana Office of Alcohol & Tobacco Control has released details of the consent orders reached with nine French Quarter strip clubs after January raids…mandatory [indoctrination] will include twice-yearly sessions…[of sex] trafficking [propaganda even though]…ATC officials have acknowledged there were no human trafficking-related arrests in their raids…The clubs must also begin using “mystery shoppers” to check in on the businesses once a month…to see if any illegal activity is taking place…[surveillance] cameras must also be installed in all public areas, VIP rooms, private rooms and stages.  Recordings from these cameras must be kept for 30 days and “made available to ATC immediately upon request”…the business[es are required] to fire employees or independent contractors [cops decide to accuse of] prostitution or drug sales…Hustler Barely Legal Club and Hunk Oasis, both owned by the same ownership group…are [also] required to [search] the bags of employees, dancers and entertainers at the start of their shift.  They are also required to hire additional [thugs] to “regularly patrol the floor and VIP areas”…

Morality Lessons (#811) 

Moral panic + censorship = profit:

More than 15 state legislatures are considering the “Human Trafficking Prevention Act” (HTPA)…a…[censorship] bill…[which] would…threaten your free speech and privacy in [an]…attempt to block and tax online pornography.  EFF opposed versions of this bill in over a dozen states last year, and the bill failed in all of them.  Now HTPA is back…Device manufacturers would be forced to install “obscenity filters” on cell phones, tablets, computers, and any other Internet-connected devices.  [The censorship software] could only be removed if consumers pay a $20 fee…allow[ing] the government to intrude into consumers’ private lives and restrict their control over their own devices…HTPA…has been introduced in…Hawaii…Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, New Jersey…New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee…Virginia, West Virginia…and Wyoming…the bill has died in committees in Mississippi and Virginia…[and] senators in New Mexico…pulled back the bill days after EFF raised the alarm…

The Mote and the Beam (#818)

Monkey see, monkey do:

The [UK] National Crime Agency (NCA) claims Google and Facebook are “making profits” from sex trafficking…Ministers are reportedly considering new laws to make internet giants liable when human traffickers use their sites to “pimp” their victims to potential clients…New US laws are set to overturn more than 20 years of blanket immunity for sites.  It will make firms liable if they “knowingly assist, support or facilitate” content that leads to trafficking…

Maybe someone should tell the UK media that these laws aren’t even passed, much less “set” to do anything.

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Sexual assault by [cops]…is…the second most frequently reported form of police misconduct, after excessive force.  –  Andrea Ritchie

The Course of a Disease

Prohibitionist scum understand that decriminalization is the only moral framework for sex work; that’s why they keep trying to trick people into thinking the Swedish model is decrim:

Prostitution would [not] be decriminalized in Massachusetts under a bill that Rep. Kay Khan hopes will [choke off sex workers’ income by criminalizing]…people who buy sex and those who [assist] sex workers…it would not legalize the illicit sex trade.  [Sex workers with incalls, or who have any contact with other sex workers] and [clients who provide their income] would remain criminals under the legislation…Khan [fantasizes that consensual]…sex…fosters some unspeakable crimes…

The Notorious Badge 

Hollywood recognizes that prior to the First World War, sex workers were businesswomen who did the work because it was lucrative and flexible:

In Netflix’s Godless…Callie Dunn (Tess Frazer) is one of maybe 50 women who live in La Belle, a town almost entirely populated by women…the men of the town died in a mining accident, leaving the wives to operate the town all on their own.  Callie is the resident school teacher, and a nascent love interest for Mary Agnes (Merritt Wever).  She’s also the richest woman in town because she used to be a sex worker…After the accident…her place of work closed.  Lack of men will do that to brothel…In the lawless west (the show takes place in Colorado and New Mexico), there’s not much a woman could do to earn her own money.  Even Mary Agnes, the widow of the town’s late mayor, is at a loss for funds.  But Callie is sitting pretty on almost $20,000 (almost half a million in today’s dollars)…”Let me take care of you,” Callie begs Mary Agnes in the third episode.  She reveals her impressive savings and offers to run away with Mary Agnes.  When Mary Agnes looks surprised, Callie responds, “Don’t you know?  Whores are always the richest people in town”…

Unfortunately, it also believes we all magically turned into pathetic victims about 100 years ago.

The Lion and the Ox

“Sex trafficking” means whatever “authorities” want it to mean:

Investigations into the many alleged sexual assaults by Harvey Weinstein are now underway all over the world, with the NYPD, the LAPD, the Beverly Hills Police, and UK law enforcement all looking into possible acts of rape, harassment, and other forms of misconduct.  Now…the former producer and his namesake company are facing claims of sex trafficking…actress Kadian Noble is alleging that “Harvey Weinstein was able to force or coerce Kadian into sexual activity…because of his promise of a film role and use of his influence on her behalf” — despite having no intention of following through on those promises…“Harvey Weinstein…offer[ed] her something of value, knowing that he would use this offer as a means to defraud, force, or coerce her into a sexual encounter”…

Scapegoats (#49)

If he’d done this two years ago he’d have been safer than if he’d had consensual sex with a human:

An elderly man has been convicted of sexually assaulting a horse in a stable north of Stockholm.  The owner raised the alarm after discovering someone had entered the stable during the night.  Police found the man hiding under refuse bags…a security camera in the stable caught evidence which led to the conviction.  He was sentenced to fines for trespassing and for breaching Sweden’s Animal Protection Act. Few have been convicted of breaching the act since it was brought in last year…

Policing for Profit

Does any sane person still believe cops’ pretense that this is about anything other than profit?

…the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office [claims] Phil Parhamovich was moved during a traffic stop last March to donate $91,800, his life savings, to the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation to help it wage the war on drugs.  Parhamovich’s version is rather more plausible:  He says state police took his money after pressuring him to sign a “waiver” that circumvented even the limited protections offered by Wyoming’s civil asset forfeiture law…Parhamovich is in state court, trying to get his money back with help from the Institute for Justice, which argues that Wyoming’s roadside waivers are a thin disguise for highway robbery.  Parhamovich, a Wisconsin musician, was on his way to a gig in Salt Lake City on March 13 when a state trooper, Jeramy Pittsley, pulled him over on Interstate 80 in Laramie County [using the pretext that he had] fail[ed] to buckle his seat belt.  The stop turned into an interrogation…and [search in which] they found $91,800 inside a speaker cabinet.  The cops were so excited by their discovery that they high-fived each other.  The windfall also apparently made them forget that there was no trace of the drugs that Pittsley’s dog supposedly had detected…

Apparently the judge is sane, because he ordered the state to return the entire sum to Parhamovich.

Out of Control (#410) 

Doctors aren’t the only medical professionals who throw their careers away for this stupid shit:

Former [Pennsylvania] nurse James Close will spend up to four years in prison and 20 years on probation for secretly filming female patients, including one underage girl…Judge Wallace H. Bateman also ordered him to…sexual offender and sex addiction treatment…

Above the Law (#418) 

Just a reminder that this behavior is intrinsic to policing, not an isolated incident limited to the US:

A Canadian tourist who was…rape[d] by French police…has spoken out for the first time about the night she was attacked…Emily Sponton has decided to waive her anonymity to give her account of the night of April 22nd 2014 when, after meeting three French police at the Galway Irish pub she was…gang rape[d by them] at the nearby Paris police HQ…Sponton said she had been drinking with the three [pigs] who had been regaling her with stories of their work…[they] offered to give her a tour of the building but once there Sponton says they tried to force her to drink large amount of whisky…”when I refused to do what they wanted…they smashed my face against the desk”…She…was raped several times…[and] later found lying on the street outside the police HQ…On [medical] examination she was found to have bruises and lesions in the genital area.  She immediately filed a complaint for rape before heading home to Canada…two [were] finally set to face trial on charges of gang rape…after Sponton had won her appeal to see the case brought back to court after judges initially threw it out last year…One of the [pigs claimed the rape was]…”consensual” [as rapist pigs nearly always do]…

Paint By Numbers (#593) 

Given the lack of imagination displayed by “sex trafficking” fetishists, I reckon it’s predictable that they keep recycling their stupid stunts:

…Started in 2013, the Dressember foundation is a [profiteering] organization…dedicated to [profiting from]…human trafficking [hysteria]….Those willing to take the more popular approach will opt in by wearing a dress every day of December.  Others, who may not have many dresses to wear or who may be a bit more warm-blooded, can still help out by donating to the cause.  All of the money donated goes toward [persecuting sex workers]…

The Rape Question (#602) 

I’m honestly amazed the dumb “rape is asexual” dogma is still popular:

There are reasons why nobody would tell a child “look only to the left when crossing the street because people are nice and swerve out the way for you” or “don’t wear your seatbelt because nothing will happen to you.”  The unfortunate reality is that simply changing our ideas about the world doesn’t actually change the world…in the case of sexual assault, coercion, and rape, omitting crucial pieces of the puzzle (like biological constraints) in understanding these heinous acts could prove to be detrimental…this blank slate version of human nature is riddled with holes…what we’ve seen is a tacit acceptance of the crime when it is committed by “one of our own” and harsh condemnation when it is someone from “the other side” doing it…social role theorists want us to believe that there is a utopian world just beyond our grasp that somehow males and capitalism prevent us from achieving…understanding biology is important in helping us deter sexual violence and why ignoring it could prove to be dangerous…

Pyrrhic Victory (#609)

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

“Oklahoma has finalized a deal with a Massachusetts company to use license-plate scanners to catch uninsured drivers, and the firm expects to issue 20,000 citations a month starting as early as next year.  The program…involves setting up automated high-speed cameras on highways around the state to detect uninsured vehicles and mailing their owners a citation with a fine of $184“…[besides] the mass collection of plate/location data…Gatso USA will receive more than 40% of the revenue…The company hopes to make more than $1.6 million a month…”It will be overseen by the District Attorneys Council rather than law enforcement, and the state’s 27 district attorneys’ offices are expected to receive millions of dollars in citation revenue a year”...

To Molest and Rape 

It’s good to see this problem getting attention outside of libertarian and sex worker circles:

…as we furiously unpack the prevalence of sexual assault across many industries, the reality of police sexual misconduct has not found its way into these discussions.  That’s a tragedy, because it happens so frequently…One study found that a [cop] is caught in an act of sexual misconduct every five days — and those are just the ones who are caught…national research…show[s] that almost a quarter or more of cases of police sexual assault involve minors…

Fever Dream (#742)

Reporters & prohibitionists are apparently too stupid to understand that when you misrepresent a consensual-crime misdemeanor a person didn’t even actually commit as a serious, violent felony, it’s going to be hard to get a conviction:

Over the past year [TBI has] conducted about a dozen undercover stings and charged more than 200 men…[in one] sting conducted in Nashville in 2016…TBI charged 34 men…27 of them had their cases dismissed and [expunged after paying for the “john school” the prohibitionists wanted, yet they’re not happy that an unproven misdemeanor charge isn’t enough to destroy the lives of the accused]…”Having all these charges expunged sends a very, very clear message that we’re not serious,” [prohibitionist & profiteer Cathy] Gurly said…Assistant District Attorney Tammy Meade…[pointed out] that…these cases are difficult to prosecute because the victims aren’t real, they’re actually undercover agents…

Checklist (#783)

The real purpose of this scheme is to cut sex workers off from the healthcare system:

Advanced Periodontics & Implantology…[of] Michigan, organized a seminar for dentists and hygienists on the topic “Human Trafficking”…Michigan Public Health Code and Administrative rules require all dentists to complete training in identification of human trafficking victims…

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I’m gonna free fall out into nothin’
Gonna leave this world for awhile.  –  Tom Petty

I know that seeing all one’s favorite entertainers die off one by one is part of aging, but damn, Tom Petty now!  His video for “Don’t Come Around Here No More” is one of my favorite short films, but this video is the one that first made me realize that he was great rather than merely good.  The links above it were provided by Jesse Walker (“fascism”, “happens” and “wrong”); Tushy Galore  (“correction”); and Kevin Wilson (“rules”).

From the Archives

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The federal government has no more business telling an adult where and how they can make their money than it does telling an adult where and how they can worship, study or spend.  –  Austin Petersen

Out of Control

People who deny this obvious fact are more interested in promoting an agenda than protecting society:

…There have been countless jokes and observations made about the root problem with political psychopaths being sexual frustration…problems are more complicated than any amount of sex could solve; but there’s also a trend…to dismiss the very idea of sexual frustration as a motivation for human behavior…It could very well be a coincidence that Richard Spencer has a mail-order bride, that David Duke has been divorced since 1984, that Steve Bannon and Rush Limbaugh have three divorces each, and that the twice-divorced Donald Trump does not sleep in the same bedroom as his current wife…There might be no pattern whatsoever to James Alex Fields Jr., Dylan Storm Roof, and Timothy McVeigh all being “confirmed bachelors” up to the date of their ghastly crimes…no woman should ever feel obligated to nanny some neurologically-dysfuctional pickle-polisher incapable of even quarter-ass effort at productivity.  Their answer is hookers…How is it an improvement for someone to not break the law or a taboo when they turn themselves to a public nuisance at best in the process of legal and moral obedience?  Why should the insipid lie of “there being someone for everyone” continue to be propagated in the face of such overwhelming evidence to the contrary?…

Pyrrhic Victory

When I was young, we were told one of the reasons communist countries were bad was that they had tightly-controlled borders:

Some senators are looking to…[implement] a host of new incursions into travelers’ and visitors’ privacy.  Cyrus Farivar of Ars Technica “outed” the not-yet-introduced bill — titled “Building America’s Trust Act” [wtf] — since the supporting lawmakers have yet to formally announce their plans to make the US a worse country to live in, much less visit…more surveillance, more boots on the ground, and green lights for law enforcement agencies located anywhere within 100 miles of the nation’s borders…as well as walls, levees, fences…The law calls for the program to be put in place at all high traffic ports of entry (including major airports) within two years…Customs authorities will also be given power to demand biometric info from visa applicants and DNA will be collected from all detained immigrants, whether or not they’re criminally charged…From there, the law adds other politically-charged stipulations, like an entire subsection entitled “Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act”.  Also of note: the bill would allow law enforcement to seize everything from cash to bitcoins if they’re suspected to be “criminal proceeds”…[and] strips away any mens rea protection from accusations of money laundering…

So Close and Yet So Far

It’s sad that even people who support decriminalization feel the need to promote myths, lies & insulting tropes:

…The Department of Health and Human Services says that almost 200,000 transactions are made annually in the United States in which minors are sold for sex…Missouri…has distinguished itself for its hard fight against this evil practice, creating a task force dedicated to eliminating trafficking from the state…But…we must consider whether in our zeal to purge the problem, we haven’t inadvertently created an environment in which this kind of market can flourish…This is what happens when the government tries to legislate an individual’s choices.  We made the same mistake just over a century ago with Prohibition.  In both cases, the government was simply trying to defend the innocent victims…But the resulting prohibition didn’t — and doesn’t — work.  Then, just as now, prisons were clogged with otherwise innocent people who made a personal choice that didn’t hurt others and didn’t deserve to be incarcerated.  Then, just as now, government expenditures skyrocketed in an attempt to enforce these laws.  And then, just as now, outlawing certain activities created an underground that veiled the activities and made them far more dangerous…outlawing prostitution makes it impossible to control the spread of STIs, with their lifelong physical and emotional consequences…The solution…is…give adults the freedom to make their own choices about what they do with their own bodies…

I get that this dude is a politician and so has to dick-stroke potential voters.  But the obsequious fawning to authoritarians about “government was simply trying to defend the innocent victims”, as nauseating as it is, would be bearable had he omitted pernicious lies about every single adult man in America paying to rape “child sex slaves” every week and whores being vectors of disease.  I invite Mr. Petersen to contact me, and I’ll be happy to fill him in on the facts so future editorials are free of disinformation.

Subtle Pimping (#330)

More scumbags profiting from sex workers by promoting lies that harm us:

A new game is in development that will be used to combat the [magically & infinitely] growing problem of sex trafficking…Missing: The Complete Saga is set in rural India, where [prohibitionists pretend] thousands of girls and women are captured and forced into sex work every year…While the original Missing took the form of a top-down point and click story, the new game is a 3D role-playing adventure that follows the life of an Indian village girl called Champa…[prohibitionist] Leena Kejriwal…and her team are currently running a Kickstarter campaign to help fund development.  Proceeds from sales of the game will go towards creating [brainwashing] programs and [prisons] for girls who…[are arrested by] police raids.  In the game, Champa is targeted by sex traffickers who want to take her to one of India’s fast-growing cities…in real life, Champa would likely fail to escape the [magical] traffickers, who [are omnipotent and nigh-omnipresent]…The game is…also an attempt to [indoctrinate] boys, and to [make them feel guilty for being sexual while teaching them the misogynistic lie that sexual women are operating under a]…total lack of agency…

Torture Chamber 

The State wants us to refer to these evil thugs as “correctional officers”:

Two former prison guards in Florida who were members of the Ku Klux Klan have been convicted of plotting to kill a black inmate in retaliation for a scuffle with another guard who also belonged to the [non-state-sanctioned] hate group.  A jury…found David Elliot Moran and Charles Thomas Newcomb guilty of conspiracy to commit first degree murder after they were caught discussing their plans with an FBI informant…The third guard, Thomas Jordan Driver…pleaded guilty in March to one count of conspiracy to commit first degree murder and was sentenced to four years in prison…

Choke Point (#511) 

This makes the end of “Operation Choke Point” official, after two and a half years of retreat:

…In a letter to Rep. Robert Goodlatte…chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd called Operation Choke Point “a misguided initiative” and confirmed that DOJ was closing those investigations, Politico reported…Boyd is understating the degree to which Operation Choke Point was unlawful and just plain creepy…Choke Point began as an extension of the Obama administration’s Financial Fraud Task Force, but the dragnet investigation was never given proper statutory authority by either the administration or Congress.  In fact, details about Operation Choke Point were deliberately withheld from Congress at first…Targets…often didn’t have any idea why their bank accounts were being frozen or closed…

Need I point out that an oppression which was started by a memo and ended by a memo can easily be re-started by another memo?  Since “Choke Point” was never declared unconstitutional by a court nor officially banned by a law, there’s nothing to stop future tyrants from simply bringing it back.

Buttons, Bags & Banknotes (#550)

The only interesting thing about Julie Bindel is the way that the media refuses to recognize her as a broken-down one-trick pony, despite the fact that virtually every article she writes is dedicated to advancing the prohibitionist wanking fantasy of an all-powerful “pimp lobby”.  Bindel has written on virtually no other topic for more than three years; you can take a look at this new article (intended to drum up support for her upcoming book on – you guessed it – the so-called “pimp lobby”) if you want, but it’s the same agency-denying, paranoid-ranting reheated feces she’s been serving up for years.  Proceed at risk of your own boredom and/or nausea.

The War Goes On (#712) 

It won’t be much longer before no reasonable and educated person believes in “sex trafficking”, but of course the damage has already been done:

…Backpage…has been lied about by politicians for so long that many smart and otherwise savvy people seem to think the site is run by sexual-slavery-loving sociopaths.  Anyone under that misguided impression—and anyone seeking to push back against it—should check out some new research published in the Wake Forest Law Review.  In…”The Virtue of Unvirtuous Spaces,” Notre Dame Law School lecturer Alex F. Levy explores similarities between the Progressive Era’s pageantry around “white slavery” and the modern-day activists against the alleged “epidemic” of U.S. sex trafficking…In the late 19th and early 20th century, the focal point of this symbolic fighting was the dance hall.  Now it’s online venues such as the classified ad sites Craigslist and Backpage.  Levy finds that both campaigns are “pageantry:  a kind of theater designed to satisfy people’s need to identify and fight bad guys without regard to nuance or long-term outcome”…

Total Eclipse of the Brain 

Liz Brown ridicules the “solar eclipse sex trafficking” nonsense:

…What, you might wonder, is the theory here?  Will sex traffickers be emboldened by the extra bit of darkness?  Do they get extra aggressive depending on lunar phases?…In Kentucky, Allyson Cox Taylor, head of the state’s Office of Child Abuse and Human Trafficking Prevention, suggested that “people who weren’t trafficking before may decide…this is an opportunity to make money.”  Apparently she thinks finding and forcing others to do your bidding is something that people just up and decide one day to do on a whim.  In Bend, Oregon, several pre-eclipse seminars focused on how locals could spot the incoming sex traffickers…[including] “poker chips passing hands.”  Eclipse-pegged sex-trafficking warnings have also shown up…in Ohio, in Wyoming, and in Nebraska…a few…suggest that sex traffickers will be lurking in the dark, waiting to snatch up children who get separated from their parents for even a few minutes.  (In the midst of all this, however, behold the rarest of rare occurences: TV news and local police in Portland teaming up to announce that “they have no reason to suspect there would be a surge in human sex trafficking in the metro area”)…

Business As Usual (#757) 

Even though there’s nothing here which wasn’t already covered in earlier articles on the topic (including mine), it’s good to see so many young “feminist” writers taking interest in the issue:

…In Alaska, as in every other U.S. state, it is currently legal for [cops and informants]…to [molest]…individuals [they want to accuse of a crime.  Some states prohibit]…penetration [on paper, though not in practice].  Victims have recounted being threatened into [submitting to rape]…or finding themselves in legal trouble after providing sexual favors to a man presumed to be a client, but who is actually a cop…In many…spaces online, [sex workers]…have recounted the horror they face at the hands of police…In February, [Alaska state] Representative Matt Claman…introduced House Bill 112, which would close the loophole allowing [cops]…to [rape]…anyone under police investigation.  Current Alaska law only classifies [rape of]…a suspect…as illegal once a person has been arrested…

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In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.  –  Allan Gatt

Rooted in Racism 

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

Defend Europe, an anti-immigrant group that attempts to disrupt humanitarian search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean Sea, recently chartered a boat that was stopped in a Cyprus port, where several members were arrested for forging documents and engaging in potential human trafficking…members were stopped in and deported from a sea port in the self-declared Turkish state of Northern Cyprus…after spending two days in detention for document forgery and potential human trafficking of 20 Sri Lankan nationals who were aboard the C-Star, the campaign’s ship…Refugee Rights Association advocate Faika Pasha…[said] some of the Sri Lankans on board reported having paid a trafficker to be taken to Italy and confirmed that five Sri Lankans remained in Cyprus to claim asylum…

Change a Few Words

This hasn’t any more chance of passing than that sex work decrim bill in New Hampshire, but it’s a sign of how much things are shifting:

Senator Cory Booker…introduced legislation that ends federal marijuana prohibition…The Marijuana Justice Act would…Remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act…Cut federal funding for state law enforcement and prison construction if a state disproportionately arrests and/or incarcerates low-income individuals and/or people of color for marijuana offenses…Prevent deportations of individuals for marijuana offenses…Provide for a process of expungement [and resentencing] for marijuana offenses at the federal level…

Shift in the Wind

Pro-decriminalization essays in newspapers are no longer a rarity:

…this Swedish model strips women of agency and autonomy and regards men as morally superior to women because they remain culpable for their decisions, whereas women are not…People who cry crocodile tears over prostitution and claim that it demeans sex workers seem to ignore the countless office workers, electricians, plumbers, janitors and garbage collectors who…work…out of sheer necessity to provide for their families. How is their job any less demeaning than sex work and, more pertinently, why is sex work demeaning in the first place?…the people making these accusations are ashamed of their own bodily functions…Pathology is not determined by what some find offensive…sex workers are the only women who are honest about female sexuality and about the real standing relationship between men and women at any time in history…

Lower Education

Funny how the mantra of “Believe women!” goes out the window when a woman says something contrary to feminist dogma:

…Zoe Katz, the captain of USC’s women’s tennis team, is accusing the university of not only ignoring her protestations that her boyfriend Matt Boermeester didn’t assault her, but threatening her for speaking up.  Boermeester, a redshirt junior kicker, was suspended from USC in February after a neighbor [claimed to have seen] the football player…assault Katz a month earlier.  That claim was repeated to a coach and then to the university Title IX office…The following “six-month”…inquiry took the form of “repeated interrogations” plagued by “agendas, intimidation and falsehoods,” Katz wrote in a two-page statement…The allegations closely resemble those made in a lawsuit against Colorado State University–Pueblo by athlete Grant Neal, who was found responsible for rape after his girlfriend, an athletics staffer, said their sex was consensual…

All Wet

When a “study” claims only an impossibly-tiny fraction of men pay for sex, you can safely dismiss it as pure garbage:

…University of Minnesota researchers for the first time have studied the demand for commercial sex in Minnesota and who the typical client is.  A 121-page report…uses a national study to estimate that 26,000 Minnesota men — 1 percent of the state’s men — may have purchased sex in the past year, while 380,000 men — 14 percent — have done so at least once…Researchers, who combed through court records and media reports and interviewed more than 150 experts statewide, found that most sex buyers in Minnesota seek quick and anonymous sex with young-looking girls or women…

Yes, these idiots are claiming that the average sex worker subsists on three clients per year (and that’s not even counting all the “trafficked children”).  But then, what can one expect from a “study” that doesn’t bother to interview the people being studied, but instead just records the wanking fantasies of cops & other prohibitionists?

Signs

COSWAC mocks the absurdity of “signs of sex trafficking” in hotels:

…according to a checklist provided to hotel employees by the Department of Homeland Security, I displayed at least three “general indicators” of human trafficking…Few or no personal items when checking in…The same person reserving multiple rooms…“Do Not Disturb” sign used constantly.  Oh, and the fellow activist who paid for my hotel room?  They hosted get-togethers in their suite throughout the weekend…another red flag: “Constant flow of men into a room at all hours”…several…are so vague or subjective that…[they] could lead to invasions of privacy and false accusations…

Original Sin (#713) 

The Pope continues to recklessly promote “sex trafficking” hysteria:

Human trafficking is “brutal, savage and criminal,” Pope Francis said…“I want to call everyone to make a commitment to seeing that this perverse plague, a modern form of slavery, is effectively countered”…After reciting the Angelus with thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis asked them to join him in praying a “Hail Mary” so that Jesus’ mother would “support the victims of trafficking and convert the hearts of traffickers”…

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality (#722)

As the hysteria collapses, you’re going to see this happening much more often:

Cambodia’s premier Hun Sen…ordered a Christian [rescue industry group]…to be shut down, after it featured in a recent CNN report that…featured three girls who were [supposedly] rescued from the sex trade by Agape International Missions (AIM)…American pastor Don Brewster [has repeatedly refused to accept studies that show only a small number of Cambodian sex workers are now minors, and] was quoted [to that effect on CNN]…Hun Sen and [others pointed out that]…an early version of CNN’s online report…described the girls as Cambodian, when in fact they either spoke Vietnamese or Khmer with a thick Vietnamese accent.  CNN later removed the word Cambodian from their headline…

The Mote and the Beam (#728)

The censors who want the internet destroyed are at it again:

…the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017…would amend the Communications Decency Act in order to hold websites liable for “publishing information designed to facilitate sex trafficking.”  It was introduced…by Sen. Rob Portman…and…sponsored by a bipartisan group of 19 senators…The Internet Association, which represents Silicon Valley giants like Facebook, Twitter and Amazon, said…that the act would unfairly make companies responsible for what third parties publish on their sites…Sen. Ron Wyden…[said] “Section 230…is…the legal basis for all of social media and it has been vital to the expansion of affordable internet access throughout the country…This proposal takes a wrecking ball to that foundation without so much as a committee hearing.  It is yet another example of the technical ignorance of Congress threatening the jobs, lives and economic opportunities of millions of Americans.”

Total Eclipse of the Brain 

I have a strong feeling that this will be the nadir of the “gypsy whore” myth:

Cheyenne police say the solar eclipse passing over Wyoming on August 21 could be a hotbed for sex trafficking…Sgt. Tim Meyrick [fantasized that] “In this region, a pimp will make approximately $1,000/day per girl”…[while] Kevin Malatesta [masturbated while drooling] “…prostitution…has a much darker side to it”…

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Asselfiecamera_2017-01-23-09-44-53-758 I told you Tuesday, I’ve let myself get very behind on my blogging during this trip, and the past two days did nothing to help that situation.  In fact, they made it worse!  On Tuesday night I was planning to stay in Ogden, Utah, just north of Salt Lake City, but as I was driving west on I-80 in western Wyoming there was an unpredicted snowstorm and I hit a snowdrift which decided to suddenly jump out in front of my car.  Neither I nor the car was damaged in any way, but I couldn’t get traction to get out of the snowbank and by the time AAA arrived to pull me out I was in no mood to drive any further that night.  So I switched my reservation to the nearest town and then checked in and finished yesterday’s freaking news column (just in case you ever doubted my dedication).  However, that meant two extra hours of driving yesterday, plus an extra half-hour due to the lingering bad road conditions from the snowstorm the night before.  Then the horrendous weather in Oregon added another hour…all of which means as I type this it has only been about 90 minutes since I got home from driving for fourteen and a half hours straight, the last six and a half of it in very stress-inducing weather.  My ears are ringing from engine & road noises & I don’t know if any of you get this weird kind of mental buzz from driving very long stretches, but I do.  And for some reason the Traveling Wilburys’ song “The End of the Line” keeps going through my head.  I have a very full calendar for the next few days, so I’ve taken double my usual dose of nighty-night edibles so I can go to sleep and reset my brain by tomorrow morning.  And that’s why you’re getting a sort of diary column again today; I hope you don’t mind.  I’ve included a selfie I took literally before getting out of bed Monday to soften the blow.  It’s a lot more flattering than the one I took in very bad light while waiting for the tow truck.

However, I do have a question:  Oregon people, is the guy in charge of programming your electronic road signs habitually confused or something?  There was a sign announcing “dense fog, low visibility” over a hundred miles east (measured by road) of where the fog actually was, but no sign at the fog’s real location.  The fog sign was at the beginning of a snowstorm, and though the visibility was indeed quite limited that doesn’t make it fog.  Also, there was a sign announcing “severe icy conditions in the area” to warn of a snowdrift in the left lane which was marked off by traffic cones while a crew worked to remove it.  And while I suppose that does indeed constitute “severe icy conditions”, usually the phrase “in the area” implies a geographic entity larger than five square meters or so.  It’s almost as weird as New Mexico’s oddly philosophical warning signs that say “high winds may exist” and “rocks may exist”.  OK, New Mexico, I appreciate your efforts to inspire drivers to question the nature of reality, but generally speaking highway signs aren’t a proper venue for that.  I think for purely everyday purposes, it’s safe to say that both rocks and high winds do indeed exist in many parts of the universe.  Changing your signs to simply read, “Beware of Rocks” or “Caution: Intermittent High Winds” would probably get your meaning across more effectively than framing the existence of hazardous natural phenomena as though it were a resolution for a debate in a Philosophy 101 class.

See?  I can still be entertaining even when I’m exhausted.  And I’m not even stoned yet.

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