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Posts Tagged ‘yellow journalism’

(There’s) little [government] interest in the importance of consent and choice.  –  Martin Drago

Dirty Whores (#44)

Here’s an interesting article about how the UK’s horrible Contagious Disease Acts – laws which infringed on human rights so severely they actually inspired English church ladies to fight on the side of whores for a while – affected the landscape of sex work in India, with special attention to Calcutta.  While the article does get some things wrong (as is nigh-universal among articles about sex work written by amateurs), most of the errors are minor and the author appears pretty solidly on the side of the whores, even to the point of describing how 19th-century whore stigma is still alive and harming Indian sex workers to this day via other vestiges of British colonial law.

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

Another of those nonexistent false sexual assault accusations:

Shannon Maley [of Airdrie, Scotland] had a…vendetta against a 20-year-old man with learning disabilities who was dating her sister.  She barely knew him, yet claimed he sexually assaulted her and her friends.  Maley then created multiple social media accounts under the young man’s name and sent herself disturbing and threatening messages in order to frame him.  She has since pleaded guilty to “perverting the course of justice and also to harassing witnesses”…Maley’s messages to herself included threats “to set you on fire and watch you burn alive”…Maley had apparently intimidated her friends into making accusations against [the young man] as well.  One of those friends eventually admitted that…he…had not sexually assaulted her and that Maley had harassed her and tried to influence their testimony…Maley’s story unraveled after she accused [her victim] of sending a threatening message while he was in prison without access to the Internet…

A Modest Proposal (#527)

Women make pragmatic decisions to survive!  Other cultures have different sexual and marital traditions than white Europeans do!  The age of consent varies from country to country!  Clergymen often believe religious law trumps civil law!  Islamic laws are usually pretty shitty toward women!  Lots of men are exploitative fuckwads who take advantage of naive young women!  Laws don’t stop people from exploiting each other!  Opportunists will use unpopular laws as excuses to make money!  And the BBC is on it!

The Widening Gyre (#735)

Nigerian sex trafficking juju mafia terrorists.  I am not making this up:

Stockholm police [are trying to spread hysteria about]…the “Black Ax”, [which they claim is] a Nigerian criminal gang connected to drug trafficking and prostitution involving illegal migrants…The Nigerian mafia is…[fantasized by racist Europeans] to use juju, a Nigerian equivalent of voodoo, to force migrants to become drug traffickers or prostitutes. This [racist fantasy] has been [claimed]…in…Italy…where…earlier this year…police [fantasized]…that the influence of terrorist groups like Boko Haram was spreading among mafia members…

I especially love that the Swedish police are clearly right at home on Breitbart.

Check Your Premises (#809)

Yes, this really is as stupid and evil as it seems at first glance:

[Pigs oinked that] many of the women arrested…in a [prostitution sting] in [Houston] are likely victims.  Many are asking why they were arrested if they are victims themselves.  “They’ve been brainwashed, they’ve been threatened, they’ve been physically abused,” [oinked spokespig] John Wall [while making furtive movements in his pants pockets]…“Certainly we know there are women who choose a life of prostitution, but more often than not…women are prostituted,” s[lurped copsucker] Rania Mankarious…[who] said it’s up to a district attorney to decide if a prostitution suspect is actually a sex-trafficking victim [because women are much too stupid to know that for ourselves]…Trafficking [fetishists] said many times the victims are unwilling to cooperate with [disguised predators who hunt, rape and cage them]…“’It’s going to be better,’ ‘You won’t have to do this much longer,’” are things pi[g]s tell their victims…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#817) 

Another slap on the wrist for a sexually-entitled cop:

A [typical and representative] NYPD cop [who hired] a 15-year-old prostitute [on at least ten occasions] and record[ed] their [sessions, plea-bargained]…felony rape and sex abuse charges [down to]…official misconduct and witness tampering…Raul Olmeda…refused to admit that he knew his victim…in…photos…found on his computer and cellphone.  Nor would he identify his bedroom and living room furniture, which were in the photos [and because he’s a cop, his self-evidently false denials were enough]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#899)

You know how wannabe “civil liberties advocates” keep bleating that the main problem with facial recognition systems are that they’re less acurate on dark-skinned people?  Yeah, about that:

In July, Google admitted it has employees pounding the pavement in a variety of US cities, looking for people willing to sell their facial data for a $5 gift certificate…But…a Google contractor may be using some questionable methods to get those facial scans, including targeting groups of homeless people and tricking college students who didn’t know they were being recorded…a contracting agency named Randstad sent teams to Atlanta explicitly to target homeless people and those with dark skin, often without saying they were working for Google, and without letting on that they were actually recording people’s faces…

Subtle Pimping (#903)

Yet another “virtual reality” game based on lies about us, this one intended to teach pigs racist fantasies about Asian sex workers:

A team of Cal Poly students is using virtual reality to [lick cop boots and endanger sex workers]…”We’re building a…[racist fantasy of an Asian] massage parlor in virtual reality to [indoctrinate pigs into misinterpreting even the most innocuous]…things [as ‘evidence’ of ‘crime’]” said Marco Zuniga…he researched [prohibitionist propaganda]…as he developed the VR [game instead of talking to sex workers]…“What do massage parlors even look like?”…he asked himself [moronically, instead of actually going to find out]…The [game] has other object[s] for its [players to find, just like players of other video games can] find [magic potions, creatures to enlave, and other fantasy treatures]…

The Crumbling Dam (#917)

Those who gain power from opioid hysteria aren’t going to like this:

A judge has ruled that a Philadelphia nonprofit group’s plan to open the first [public] site in the U.S. where people can use…opioids under medical supervision does not violate federal drug laws, delivering a major setback to Justice Department lawyers who launched a legal challenge to block the [life-saving] facility.  U.S. District Judge Gerald McHugh ruled…that…”The ultimate goal of Safehouse’s proposed operation is to reduce drug use, not facilitate it,” McHugh wrote in…the first legal decision about whether supervised injection sites can be legally permissible under U.S. law…”The Department of Justice remains committed to preventing…drug [users] from [accessing basic harm reduction],” said Bill McSwain, U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of Pennsylvania…

A Broker in Pillage (#935)

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

The city of Chicago says retired grandmother Allie Nelson owes it $6,000 in fines and fees after [it stole] her car…in 2017, even though the criminal case that led to [the seizure]…was dismissed, and even though she wasn’t driving her car, or even in the state…Nelson was in fact…in Houston, recuperating from cancer treatment, when she got a call from a family member saying [cops had stolen] her car…[when they] found her granddaughter’s boyfriend driving [it], allegedly along with some marijuana…Nelson is also one of two named plaintiffs added this week to a class-action lawsuit challenging Chicago’s [extortion scam, which]…violates residents’ guarantee of due process, as well as protections against excessive fines and unreasonable seizures, under both the Illinois and U.S. constitutions…

Pyrrhic Victory (#946)

As I keep saying, it’s already far too late to stop this tyranny:

France is poised to become the first European country to use facial recognition technology to give citizens a [supposedly] secure digital identity — whether they want it or not.  Saying it wants to make the state more efficient [like Communist China, the]…government is pushing through plans to roll out an ID program, dubbed Alicem, in November…the program breaches the European rule of consent and a privacy group is challenging it in France’s highest administrative court…France [lies that] the ID system won’t be used to keep tabs on residents…[and pretends] the facial recognition data collected will be deleted when the enrollment process is over…the app [clearly] violates Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, which makes free choice mandatory…Authorities say the security of Alicem is at the “highest, state level”.  Yet in April, Robert Baptiste, a hacker who goes by Elliot Alderson on Twitter, was able to access one of the government’s “highly secure” apps within 75 minutes…

Pyrrhic Victory (#961)

Where “public safety” is used to mean “accessibility to government snooping”:

Attorney General Bill Barr, along with officials from the United Kingdom and Australia, is set to publish an open letter to…Mark Zuckerberg asking [Facebook] to delay plans for end-to-end encryption across its messaging services until it can guarantee the added privacy does not reduce [what the politicians absurdly label] public safety…the letter raises concerns that…encryption i[s a mathematical process which]…will prevent [government busybod]ies from [spying on people in the same way it prevents other malware]…The letter calls on Facebook to prioritize [government snooping even though that will also enable non-government snooping]…

Little Boxes (#975)

The puritans are already arguing a federal court ruling doesn’t apply to them:

Tilli Buchanan and her husband had been installing insulation in their garage, and had stripped off their clothes just inside their home to get the itchy materials off their skin.  She was topless when her stepchildren bounded down the stairs…but Buchanan told them they shouldn’t treat her differently because she was a woman…But [the children’s biological mother found out and reported her to pigs, who]…filed criminal charges…of lewdness involving a child…If convicted, Buchanan could…[be condemned to] the sex offender registry for the next 10 years…her attorney Randy Richards plans to ask a judge to find that Utah’s lewdness statute is unconstitutional because it discriminates against women…her husband was also in the same state of undress and is not charged…the…10th Circuit Court…which includes Utah [recently made the incredibly-obvious ruling that laws which single women out for]…condemn[ation]…as…child sex offender[s discriminate]…on the basis of sex…But…prosecutors argued…that…Utah’s lewdness statute [prohibiting only female toplessness somehow] does not discriminate on the basis of gender [and that even if it did that would be a good thing]…

Grown adults are trying to destroy a woman’s life for getting undressed to shower in her own home, and using public funds to argue that a clearly-discriminatory law isn’t discriminatory, but the US isn’t a police state, no sirree.

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Sex workers…have the most deeply honed knowledge and practice of ethical principles…of any profession.  –  Pamela Gawler-Wright

So Close and Yet So Far

I support sex workers, just not those dirty whores“:

…Nikeisah Newton…started a food delivery service named Meals 4 Heels catering for [sic] strippers, bouncers and dominatrixes in need of a home-cooked supper late at night…in Portland [Oregon]…”I have so many friends who are bouncers and dominatrixes, sex workers and dancers.  Sex work is stigmatised and looked down upon and demonised”…

Apparently, it’s OK to ignore escorts while pretending that bouncers are sex workers (which they obviously aren’t).  And lest you feel inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt by assuming she only caters to strip clubs, I must point out that dommes don’t work in them.

Paint By Numbers

Have you noticed we don’t see as many dumb “anti-trafficking” stunts as we used to?

The [Los Angeles] Angels [baseball]…team held their annual event to [disseminate harmful propaganda] about…sex [workers]…First baseman …Albert Pujols and his wife Deidre kicked off [sic] their third annual “Strike Out Slavery”…evening…to bring [cops and rescue industry promoters] together [with gullible] people…The Pujols’ [sic] are hoping to eventually expand the “Strike Out” program to all 30 Major League stadiums…

Maybe they’re trying to head off “sex trafficking” fetishists extending the “Super Bowl sex trafficking” idiocy to the World Series.

Rotting Fruit

When moral panic and yellow journalism intersect, the result is lurid fantasy without limit:

A woman who said she was repeatedly raped by Jeffrey Epstein desperately tried to swim through shark-infested waters to escape his clutches…Sarah Ransome said she was so determined to escape Little St. James…she was willing to gamble her life in the Caribbean waters…Ransome [said she] jump[ed] on a quad bike to flee…but…was spotted on surveillance cameras…and was quickly stopped by…staff…Ransome went on to become one of the key accusers who helped expose Epstein’s depravity…eventually settling [a lawsuit] with [him] in 2018 over her accusations that he kept her as a sex slave…

The way that thoughts about swimming became “desperately tried to swim through shark-infested waters to escape his clutches” is a good example of how actual events are inflated into torture porn.

Doubling Down

Another explosion of mathematically-imbecilic prohibitionist vomit from “One Hand” Kristof:

…the problem isn’t one tycoon but many tens of thousands of men [including Kristof] who pay for sex with underage girls across the country.  And society as a whole reacts with the same indifference that the authorities showed in the Epstein scandal…If we want to channel our outrage at the Epstein case in a productive way, we could: A) ramp up prosecution of [sex workers’ friends, family and support networks]; B) p[er]secute [clients so as to throttle sex workers’ income]; C) [infantilize sex workers by defining them as “victims” no matter what they say about their own lives]; and D) [dump more money into violent policing and]…predator[y “rescue” organization]s…some 40 million people are effectively locked into modern forms of slavery, according to the Global Slavery Index…In the United States, no one knows exactly how many children are sold for sex, but estimates have run [up to]…100,000 in any given year…

I reckon Kristof feels it’s been long enough since his enabling of a massive “rescue” scam was exposed to safely begin profiting from “sex trafficking” hysteria again.  If you’re unable to recognize just how absurd Kristof’s claims are, please click on the embedded links, especially that last one.

All-Purpose Excuse (#608)

If the government has its way, phone privacy will soon be gone completely:

…Israeli cybersecurity company Cellebrite is courting new scrutiny after signing on to a new agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to help the organization hack more phones…Cellebrite’s equipment…is able to bypass security settings and access data on locked smartphones…the agreement is worth between $30 and $35 million, a huge step from the previous $2.2 million contract between the two entities…border agents have, without warrants, been searching the phones of travelers — including U.S. citizens —through U.S. borders, something that …violates the constitution…U.S. Customs and Border Protection searched more than 30,000 devices in 2017…

The Real World

Anti-whore stigma also harms sex workers who want to become therapists:

Sex work and therapy, or transitioning from one to the other, appears to be a well-trodden path…It’s not hard to understand why.  The professions have transferable skills – active listening, empathy – and since the cost of therapy training runs so high (around £20,000, often more) with very few funding options available, sex work is one option for those who would otherwise find themselves financially excluded.  While barring sex workers from therapy training is not usually explicit in policy, social stigma and institutionalised discrimination are still felt hard by those attempting to break into the field…

The War Goes On (#867) 

The government has announced its new post-Backpage bogeymen:

…U.S. [pigs and spooks from] the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice are looking into whether [they can use “sex trafficking” fantasies to loot and destroy] three websites that make money off of escort ads and user-generated prostitution reviews …Rubmaps.ch…EroticMonkey.ch…and…Eros.com…[have] ties to David Azzato, a Swiss businessman convicted in France in 2011 for running a network of escort sites…the three sites in question were among those that most benefited from Backpage’s removal…while Azzato has denied any current connection to the sites…the [government apparently plans to make him the fall guy]…

I’ve been saying that Rubmaps would be the next prohibitionist bogeyman for over a year and a half now, and Eros’ US call center was raided by the feds two years ago and they’ve been frantically trying to cover their collective arse ever since.  As for Erotic Monkey, it appears to have started as a scraper site, stealing ads from other sites in order to trick escorts into paying for more ads; it also features reviews, mostly apparently falsified, and appears to be owned by the current owner of Eros (whether that’s Azzato or someone else).  My advice?  It’s time to move to Slixa, Tryst and Have We Met?

Business As Usual (#905)

Ohio moves to punish sex workers for outing rapist cops:

A three-day [pig deception scheme persecuted] 104 people [for desiring consensual sex with other adults]…“Here’s the message: [let cops rape you like good girls and we’ll leave you alone],” said Dave Yost, the attorney general.  The [vengeance] effort focused on [the Columbus] Ohio area]…“In ten minutes, I can [rape] a victim, go on the internet, [download copies of her ad as “evidence”] and then [get away with it],” said [vice pig] Mark Rapp…43 women[‘s lives were ruined before forcing them into a state “re-education” scheme]…

Think of the Children! (#967)

Funny how the rescue industry isn’t afraid to take “sex ray”-contaminated money:

No university or charity or scientific society has been more closely associated in the public eye with Jeffrey Epstein than Harvard University, which received approximately $9 million from him over the years.  And no organization has seemingly been more adamant that it had nothing to explain, nothing to review, nothing to refund — even after Epstein later became the nation’s most notorious sexual predator…After refusing to comment for months on its past associations with Epstein and the money it collected as a result, Harvard released a letter from its president…stating that the school had opened a review into the matter…two sets of Epstein funds, totaling $186,000, were still being put to use through the school’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and that it would be redirecting those funds “to organizations that support victims of human trafficking and sexual assault”…

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For years, Washington, Arizona and Texas were the most consistently-outlandish sources of “sex trafficking” nonsense; other states of course produced their share, but whenever one encountered a truly bat-shit crazy pronouncement about numbers, supposed “pimp” methods or the like, it was a safe bet it came from one of those three states.  More recently, Florida has striven to win the same reputation in “sex trafficking” lunacy as it already has in individual behavioral lunacy, but in the past year Alabama appears to be trying to make up for lost time with some truly ludicrous claims.  Almost exactly a year ago, fetishists at the University of Alabama claimed that in 2017 cops had…

…recovered more than 600 human trafficking victims stuck in the sex industry…more than half of them were minors, and that’s only about 10 percent of the victims actually out there, [sic] Stats show there are thousands more still suffering in Alabama…

These mysterious “stats” appear again in a recent article from Alabama Public Radio, along with a lot of other whoppers and statements that are moronic even by “sex trafficking” standards.  Here’s a curated selection:

Selling people for sex or underpaid labor is considered a $150 billion business worldwide.

That figure seems to come from the personal spank-bank of “sex trafficking” profiteer Siddharth Kara, who correctly points out that it’s “more than Nike, Google, and Starbucks combined”.  The far lower claim of $13 billion was debunked four years ago by Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post‘s fact-checker, who called it “a fantasy, unconnected to any real data“, but since then we’ve seen Kara’s $150 billion fantasy popping up in tragedy porn, copaganda, rescue industry sales pitches, ambulance-chaser come-ons, politicians’ power grabs, a shockingly-bad Atlantic article, and – as you had probably guessed – previous tall tales from Alabama.

The phrase “what I want from you” is one you hear a lot from survivors of human trafficking. It’s like a code that means you’re about to enter “the life.”  That’s code too, for the world of commercial sex.

“Sex trafficking” fetishists often use the word “code”.  However, as Inigo Montoya would observe…

Human trafficking isn’t limited just to women. Both men and boys are abused, as well as members of Alabama’s LGBTQ community.  “Most of our kids identify as bisexual.  And, that’s because they’ve been sold to this person or that person, males and females.  So, they don’t know what their gender is,” said Lynn Caffery, Executive Director of the shelter Safe Harbor Youth in Huntsville…

This is so deeply stupid and so incredibly bigoted that I can’t be entirely sure, but it seems to me that Caffery is confusing bisexuality with being transgender, pretending that gender confusion is the result of bisexual experiences, and claiming that bisexuality is caused by “sex trafficking”, all at the same time.  Of course, it could be something even stupider and uglier, but I’m going to go with my initial interpretation for now.

Cybercrime analysts in Birmingham study sex traffickers when they advertise on the internet in Alabama.  This data can track sex workers who live in Alabama, and those who travel into the state like a caravan.

A gypsy whore caravan, obviously!

“So, if I can find five girls who are in Atlanta on Monday, and Birmingham on Tuesday, and Chattanooga on Wednesday, that’s something we would consider a strong indicator of trafficking,” said Gary Warner…of the UAB Computer Forensics Research Lab in Birmingham…

Because as any good “anti-trafficker” will tell you, women are much too stupid to drive, make other travel arrangements or book hotels, therefore a woman’s visiting multiple cities I could easily drive between in an afternoon is “a strong indicator of trafficking”.  But our unbelievably-credulous “journalist” has saved the most shockingly-dumb claims for the end:

Christiam Lim…[of] The University of Alabama’s College of Social Work [seems to have forgotten the number he quoted last year, or at least hopes we will.  He now claims]…nearly 1,200 victims [instead of 600, and added]…“Clearly whatever we recovering [sic] is a smaller percentage of what’s happening”…some [sexual fantasies] put the real figure at 10 times higher…closer to 12,000, just in Alabama in 2017…the College of Social Work found another number that could give an even clearer picture of trafficking in Alabama.  It’s based on when traffickers come out in the open and advertise on the internet.  Two years ago, the college counted those ads and the total was 641,000, just in Alabama, just in 2017…

Obviously, anyone with greater cognitive ability than the average barnyard fowl could understand that because any given business might post hundreds or even thousands of ads across all platforms in a year, the number of ads has no direct correlation with the number of businesses (nor is there any dependable way to derive the latter figure from the former even if it were accurate, and I sincerely doubt it is).  However, it’s much more exciting to pretend that roughly 13% of the state’s population consists of “sex slaves”; I only wish such incredible idiocy were confined to Alabama.

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Good grief, reporters, please learn the difference between “size” and “length”.

Asteroid 2000 QW7 is set to pass Earth on September 14 according to research from Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).  Asteroid 2000 QW7 is rather large, estimated to be 290 and 650 meters…making it the size of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world…Luckily, Asteroid 2000 QW7 is keeping its distance, only coming within 0.03564 astronomical units of Earth, which is approximately 3.3 million miles…

Burj Khalifa is very narrow in comparison to its height; an asteroid is not.  And while Burj Khalifa is mostly empty space, an asteroid is solid rock and/or metal.  Burj Khalifa masses a mere half a million tons; the asteroid mentioned in this story has a (very approximate) mass of 340 million tons.  In other words, O deeply scientifically-illiterate reporter, 2000 QW7 is not “the size of Burj Khalifa”; it is in fact well over 600 times its size.  For those who need a more concrete visualization:  The statement “2000 QW7 is the size of Burj Khalifa” is not-dissimilar in accuracy to the statement “A 2019 Honda Accord is the size of the bag of sugar in my cupboard.”

And yet I wonder how these same people can believe in 100,000 “sex trafficked children” being raped dozens of times a day.

Addendum, for those who care about such things:  I approximated the asteroid as a chondrite spheroid 600 m in diameter, small enough to be solid (unlike some small chondrite moons, which appear to have sizeable internal cavities); I approximated its density as 3 grams/cc.  I asked my astronomer friend Mike Siegel to check my numbers, and he came up with very similar ones (though he felt the official estimate of Burj Khalifa’s mass to be a bit high).

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I don’t know Miriam Krinsky; judging by the her Twitter feed, she’s probabably a very decent person who is, like most decent people in the US, so absurdly clueless about sex work that she believes in the “sex trafficking” mythology and therefore thinks everyone who wraps himself in that filthy banner is a great guy.  Otherwise I can’t fathom why she’d send out a tweet praising two utterly loathsome, racist, misogynistic, wastes of human flesh:

The “inspiring work of Dan Satterberg” includes criminalization of consensual adult sex & racist pogroms against Asian-owned businesses, not to mention wantonly destroying lives of hundreds of men in return for money from a sociopathic billionaire.  No surprise the vile Nick Kristof likes him.  Here’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown on some of Satterbergs’s “inspiring work”, and Sydney Brownstone on more of it; SO INSPIRATIONAL!  There are plenty of other examples of Dan Satterberg being an “inspiration” to those who dream of a universal police state controlling and “regulating” all private human behavior; just search his name on this blog.  It appears dozens of times in connection with oppression & lies.  But there’s a bigger issue here than a pompous, self-serving politician who knows how to get votes in a city which likes to pretend it’s “progressive”, and a smarmy white-savior hack journalist who thinks brown people are props for his various self-aggrandizing publicity stunts.  The problem is nice middle-class white ladies who hear about horrific ideas like “Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion” (which basically consists of giving violent thugs the ability to label someone “sick” and force them into conversion therapy instead of labeling them “criminal” and locking them in a cage) and think the politicians who push them – thereby increasing cops’ power and doing nothing to shrink the government’s power to interfere in people’s lives – are some kind of heroes.  You know how Satterberg’s crony Pete Holmes reacted when he found out very few people are interested in Seattle’s patronizing cop-controlled “program”?  He started threatening women with increased police violence (including, as we know, rape) in order to intimidate them into “accepting” the “diversion”.  All this should make any reasonable person ask, “If LEAD is so great, why are so few people interested in enduring it?”  But Kristof doesn’t ask that question; he just lies to enable yet another monster who destroys women’s lives for power and profit, as he enabled Somaly Mam for years.  And the same nice middle-class white ladies who funded Mam’s horror show, and who fund every other prohibitionist group working to inflict violence on human beings for the “crime” of consensual sex, continue to fawn on Kristof and vote for people who enable them to disguise their racism and their hatred of other women behind a mask of “concern”.  No wonder they find Satterberg’s duplicity, racism, misogyny, and authoritarianism “inspiring”; he’s everything they want to be.

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Mental gymnastics is the best exercise of all!  –  Elana Spivack

Drawing Lines 

In the 21st century, humor sites are more honest and moral than “news” sites:

…30-year-old Penelope Clemm has been pole dancing recreationally for three years now, but has harbored an internalized hatred for sex workers her entire life.  Clemm strikes a delicate balance of acknowledging how much she loves pole dancing, but dismissing every woman who makes money doing the same thing…“It’s definitely made me…feel sexy in a way that I never did before.  And yet, I still cannot conceptualize in the slightest how any self-respecting woman would do this for money”…like many people with deep-seated, internalized biases, Clemm had difficulty articulating why she holds this position. “It’s a matter of principle, and I have principles”…

Imaginary Victims (#904)

Naturally, the prohibitionists who didn’t give a shit until last year are claiming credit for her release:

Cyntoia Brown…whose case drew national attention [over a decade] after being sentenced to life in prison for killing a man [in self-defense] at age 16, was released on parole [last] Wednesday…She will be on parole for 10 years [with] conditions…includ[ing]…that she maintain employment [with a murder conviction on her record] or educational enrollment…that she participate in [approved state] counseling sessions…[and that] she…perform at least 50 hours of community service [while working or going to school], including working with at-risk youth…

Though parole conditions are often designed to make it easy for “authorities” to cage a person again with very little justification, Brown has a better chance than most due to support from allies and public attention to her case.

All-Purpose Excuse (#923)

Ever wonder why the government pushes “sex trafficking” propaganda so hard?

[Deranged propagandist] Jaco Booyens touted President Trump’s [“historic”] work in fighting sex trafficking and [fetishized] Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as “incredible people” who helped keep children safe…His movie 8 Days [is soft BDSM porn about] a 15-year-old girl who’s forced into sex trafficking after attending a party with her friends…[yet claimed] that sex trafficking was rooted in sex addiction fueled by mass media…”It starts with…soft porn [like my movie], it’s the objectification of women”…

Blunt Instrument (#926)

While Asian sex workers are fighting back against the racist “sex trafficking” narrative, cops are trying to use that visibility against them:

Emily Zhang Lawrence…[was] charged with a number of criminal counts including human trafficking and prostitution…[after] the Montgomery County…Vice [gang raided her business]…Rose’s Spa…[pigs oinked] that the spa recruited its masseuse’s [sic] — all Chinese immigrants — from Flushing, New York.  The Queens neighborhood is known for being a [sister community to Hong Kong, where many Asian migrants first stay upon arriving in the US.  Racist pigs therefore refer to it as a] hub for…human trafficking…

Backwards into the Future (#927)

The prohibitionists are slowly losing ground to the facts:

South African authorities are compromising the safety and wellbeing of thousands of women…by treating sex work as a crime…We have researched illegal sex work in ChinaTanzaniaCambodiaSouth Africa, and the United States…and…we consistently find police abuse to be one of criminalization’s main cruelties.  Sex workers often face harassment, extortion, and rape, and vulnerability to violence…at the hands of…police…and…because they cannot trust members of law enforcement, they are deterred from reporting attacks by men who pretend to be clients…Fortunately, South Africa and the United States are both sites of growing movements to decriminalize sex work once and for all…

Pyrrhic Victory (#931)

Tyranny always starts with despised minorities, but it never stops with them:

Chinese authorities approached the family of an international student who participated in high-profile protests at an Australian university and warned his parents of the potential consequences of political dissent.  The…intimidation tactics [demonstrate that] the Chinese government was monitoring the demonstration at the University of Queensland to record who attended…last month’s event [was held] to show support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and to condemn Beijing’s repression of the Uighur ethnic minority group…within days of the rally the student received a call from his mother in China to say the family had been approached by…authorities [who] issued [threats] about engaging in “anti-China rhetoric” in Brisbane…[Australian politicians claimed to be] alarmed by [China following precedents set by] Australia…

If you like the precedent that a country owns its citizens and has the “right” to punish them for acts which were totally legal in the place they happened, thank the international war on whores.  Australia is especially hypocritical in this respect, given that since 2010, Australians who hire surrogate mothers outside of Australia can be penalized under Australian law.

Negative Secondary Effects (#937)

It’s great to see sex workers striking back at prohibitionist persecution:

…Not Buying It, a group led by well-known [prohibitionist] Sasha Rakoff has been terrorizing gentlemen’s clubs across England in recent months, by sending in undercover former police detectives to covertly film inside…The resultant tapes have been submitted to local councils in a bid to get the establishments shut down…Now, nine dancers at the Spearmint Rhino in London…have sued Not Buying It for breach of privacy, demanding that all existing tapes be destroyed.  An earlier High Court ruling had already banned Rakoff from further sharing the tapes, so the strippers’ chances of getting their way in the high-profile case, the costs of which are likely to bankrupt the losing side, are more than fair…

Pyrrhic Victory (#960)

The more we discover about Amazon’s fascist collaboration with cops, the worse it sounds:

Amazon[‘s]…Neighbors app…allows people to report suspicious things to…neighbors [and cops, mostly]…the existence of brown people…Government agencies participating in the Ring handouts are given talking points, pre-written press releases, and contractual obligationsAmazon has even crafted scripts for [cops]…to use when questioned…or…to talk people out of their Constitutional rights…”Ring suggests cops post often on Neighbors…interacting with the [peasantry so as to]…increas[e] the opt-in rate”…(There are scripts for that as well)…

Turn of Tide (#961)

The “sex trafficking” narrative has been so successful, prohibitionist rhetoric is now being used to attack the way the state persecutes sex workers:

L.A.’s anti-sex trafficking efforts…ensnare…female sex workers far more often than any traffickers, and the women arrested rarely end…up in programs designed to [brainwash] them out of the sex trade…While black women make up around 9% of the city’s female population, they account for nearly 65% of the LAPD’s female prostitution arrests…It adds up to a high-profile effort to target human traffickers and save victims that’s causing collateral damage…City officials [pre]tend that policing the sex trade is one of the best methods for rescuing trafficking victims…[but those] with a front row seat have a different perspective…Dr. Susie Baldwin, the medical director of L.A. County’s Office of Women’s Health…[said] “All of this money is going to arrest people…leaving them with severe consequences for their lives”…law enforcement…[intentionally] conflate[s] trafficking and prostitution, painting all sex work as exploitative and doubling down on vice arrests under the guise of trafficking enforcement…

The idea that sex workers are “collateral damage” in a well-intentioned war on “sex trafficking” is of course naive nonsense; the entire purpose of the narrative is to harm sex workers and our clients.  But if the gullible are going to use those fantasies to strike back at pigs and prohibitionists, I’m not going to complain.

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I’ve been studying moral panics since I was in high school, and I’ve noticed something a bit odd about the current one over “sex trafficking”.  Normally, as I’ve written before, such panics tend to get more and more hysterical until they implode; that is certainly happening with this one, as anyone knows from following my “Widening Gyre” columns chronicling cop attempts to regain control of the narrative from the “sex traffickers followed me in Ikea!” crowd.  But the “official” hysteria, that is the kind vomited out by cops and politicians and eagerly lapped up for re-regurgitation by the media, has since FOSTA taken on a very tired, perfunctory tone.  For example, this recent USA Today iteration of the same old ridiculous, repeatedly-debunked “statistics” contained the following disclaimer:

…Law enforcement has ramped up it’s [sic] tough-on-trafficking language in recent years, touting raids on illicit spas as proof of crackdowns.  Yet…the outcomes don’t match the rhetoric.  Only one woman in the raids that saw Kraft arrested faces a charge related to trafficking.  And in other cases…business at sex spas returned to normal within months of police activity…

The rest is the typical farrago of lies about “the enormity of the global sex trade”, billions of dollars and millions of victims “hidden in plain sight” and somehow “growing”, yet it’s almost as though the reporter is saying in an aside, “I’m sorry y’all, I know you’ve heard this a thousand times but I need to obediently parrot this if I want to be paid.”

And here’s one which starts with politicians bloviating about “pervasive evil” while pompously calling their propaganda “educating the public”, but quickly degenerates into a bunch of professional “survivors” and other “rescue” profiteers on the make.  After some demands for more government handouts and complaints about how the cops can’t find “pimps” and “traffickers” who only exist in “rescue” fantasies, the politicians almost sheepishly follow their initial bluster with empty promises to “do better” while loons like “Cuckoo Clock” McCain and the head of Polaris spout incoherent nonsense about why decriminalization is bad.  You can look at the resulting dog’s breakfast if you care to, but I honestly can’t even imagine most “sex trafficking” fetishists making it to the end.

So what’s going on here? Why do these media outlets repeatedly publish the same tinned nonsense over and over, even in outlets such as the Washington Post that employ their own fact-checkers? Why are the cracks in the narrative spreading so slowly, despite repeated debunking and the total inability of cops & FBI to produce more than a handful of “pimps” when we’re told they’re lurking around every shopping mall, bus stop, school and Facebook page in the country and magically home in on runaways in under 48 hours?  The answer, I think, is evident in the sources of most of the disinformation:  Government.  This is no ordinary moral panic, but one manufactured and maintained by government as an excuse to expand its own power and feed the carceral system; it is, as I have said before, the replacement for the dying War on Drugs (another campaign of terror started and fed by relentless government propaganda).  But even though the mainstream media joined the fascist establishment decades ago, individual reporters are still individuals and not everyone can effectively turn off their brains and obediently parrot the propaganda they’re ordered to dish up.  As the popular hysteria dries up and the War on Whores is maintained only by state money and misinformation, we can expect to see reporters growing ever wearier of the nonsense, and that it will become inceasingly noticeable in the tone of their articles.

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