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Posts Tagged ‘You Were Warned’

[US police] violence appears so widespread and consistent that you could…think…it’s coordinated at a national level.  –  T.C. Sottek

The Widening Gyre (#864)

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the “scrap paper” variant of the “sex traffickers marking cars” scary tale:

A spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety said…post-it notes left on various cars throughout Lubbock were…not sex trafficking ploys…Lubbock Police…looked into the matter and found that the numbers were, in fact, from a legitimate hail damage repair company…three Facebook posts claiming the notes were sex trafficking ploys…had been shared over 3,000 times…

Hail causes sex trafficking!

You Were Warned (#926)

Australian politicians are just as invested in demolishing the internet as US ones:

…The Court of Appeal for New South Wales has just dismissed an attempt by several Australian media outlets to overturn a 2019 ruling that they could be held liable for Facebook comments about [the state torture of a young man named] Dylan Voller…Voller…sued some of the media outlets that covered him—not because the news reports defamed him, but because other people writing on the outlets’ Facebook pages were accusing him of having committed various crimes.  Australian courts have not yet ruled on whether these comments defamed Voller.  This fight is about whether media outlets could even be sued for Facebook comments.  The outlets argue that…Facebook does not let them preemptively stop individual readers from posting comments on their page.  They do have the option to delete, hide, or report individual comments, but only after they’ve been posted…But the fact that these outlets have the ability to delete comments after the fact was enough for Judge John Basten to declare them publishers…Another judge suggested that a potential solution would be…censor[ing] content…If this ruling stands, it’s going to force Australian media outlets to monitor all comments and beef up their social media teams at a time when they’re having to lay off staff and even shut down newspapers

Censor Chic (#948)

It’s so convenient to outsource tyranny to computers:

…certain combinations of Chinese characters have been immediately removed from [YouTube] within a few short seconds…[without] warning or reason…The Hanzi Which Shall Not Be Named were merely 共匪  (“communist bandit”) and 五毛 (“fifty cents”)…the term 共匪…was used by Nationalist partisans led by…Chiang Kai-shek against…Mao Zedong and the reds.  Today, it is considered a slur against the CCP…五毛 is a cleverer anti-CCP troll.  It’s basically calling a pro-CCP commenter a paid shill, albeit a cheap one.  The joke is that human CCP NPCs get paid fifty cents for each pro-CCP post; ergo, the “fifty-cent army” or 五毛党…those terms would not disappear from YouTube comments if you typed them out in English or in Pinyin…only…in the original Hanzi…YouTube is already banned in China and can be a pain to access without a good VPN and strong desire to do so…We are asked to believe that YouTube’s pesky algorithm just happened to accidentally disappear these very particular Chinese anti-government phrases since at least October of 2019…Perhaps the fifty-cent army flagged these phrases enough to become automatic triggers that the algorithm would automatically pull.  But it is also possible that someone at YouTube manually added these terms to a blocklist…Pressure from politicians of both parties contributed to Google winding down its proposed “Dragonfly” Chinese search engine that would have been compliant with CCP censorship demands…

Panopticon (#1007)

FWIW, the DEA mostly conducts old-fashioned Stasi-type surveillance:

The Drug Enforcement Administration has been granted sweeping new authority to “conduct covert surveillance” and collect intelligence on people participating in protests over the police killing of George Floyd…Attorney General William Barr issued a statement…blam[ing the protests on]…“anarchistic and far left extremists, using Antifa-like tactics”…He said the FBI, DEA, US Marshals, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would be “deployed to support local efforts to enforce federal law.”  Barr did not say what those agencies would do, however…

Panopticon (#1030)

Pigs now routinely use spy drones for surveillance :

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is regularly flying Predator drones…above American cities for surveillance.  This includes cities farther than 100 miles from the border…In two instances last month, CBP…flew [a drone] either close to or directly above Minneapolis…[another] recently flew around half a dozen times above or near San Antonio, Texas, which is also outside the 100 mile border region.  In some cases the Predator drones circled above the cities for an extended period of time…

Social Distancing (#1041)

Australian sex workers are challenging crypto-moralism:

Sex workers in Australia could operate under a COVID-19-safe framework…according to the adults-only industry association.  The industry has been crippled by bans in all states and territories during the…pandemic.  As other industries are included in road maps for restarting, only the Northern Territory has given clear advice to sex workers on when they can return to work.  In a letter to Health Minister Greg Hunt…the Eros Association expressed concern that shutting down the sex industry was being “motivated by moral judgments…rather than any justified concerns regarding public health…strip clubs, escort agencies and brothels should be allowed to operate (with appropriate restrictions) at the same stage as other body work practitioners such as massage therapists…Attached to the letter were proposed guidelines for restarting the industry…

But for Video

Just a few choice selections of police brutality from the past week:

…A New York City [cop] tore a protective mask off of a young black man and assaulted him with pepper spray…New York City [cops]…rammed a crowd in a street…[cops] in Minneapolis marched down a quiet residential street and shot paint canisters at residents who were watching from their private porch…Police in Louisville raided a public square, [stealing] and destroying water and milk…used to counter irritants like pepper spray…Atlanta police [shot] two black people…with tasers and t[ore] them out of their car…A New York City [cop] used two hands to throw a woman to the ground…San Antonio Police used tear gas against people. So did Dallas policeSo did Los Angeles policeSo did DC police. The list goes on…A freelance photographer in Minneapolis…went permanently blind in her left eye after being [intentionally] shot [in the face with a rubber bullet at close range]…

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Sex work is becoming cool again.  –  Maggie McNeill

The Cop Myth

Cops are responsible for more violence than any other social group in the US:

Every time protests erupt after yet another innocent black person is killed by police, “reform” is meekly offered as the solution…The Minneapolis police implemented trainings on implicit bias, mindfulness, de-escalation, and crisis intervention; diversified the department’s leadership; created tighter use-of-force standards; adopted body cameras; initiated a series of police-community dialogues; and enhanced early-warning systems to identify problem officers…None of it worked…because “procedural justice” has nothing to say about the mission or function of policing.  It assumes that the police are neutrally enforcing a set of laws that are automatically beneficial to everyone…[but in reality,] over the last 40 years we have seen a massive expansion of the scope and intensity of policing.  Every social problem in poor and non-white communities has been turned over to the police to manage.  The schools don’t work; let’s create school policing.  Mental health services are decimated; let’s send police.  Overdoses are epidemic; let’s criminalize people who share drugs.  Young people are caught in a cycle of violence and despair; let’s call them superpredators and put them in prison for life.  Police have also become more militarized…The alternative is not more money for police training programs, hardware or oversight.  It is to dramatically shrink their function…

I Spy (#1001)

Violet Blue on protecting yourself from phone-based surveillance at protests:

…our phones are spying on us 24/7.  These little handheld sidekicks are…Big Brother’s most useful asset when it comes to tracking and surveilling anyone…The only way we can completely refuse to be tracked is not to use our apps, or leave our phones at home. But not using apps or going without a phone isn’t a realistic option…Smartphones leak your information and leave a trail of your information by design.  Your info can be discovered and your habits known by any bystanders who know how to look.  Hackers and developers have been trying to raise the alarm about phone security for years, but have gone practically ignored…

You Were Warned (#1007)

Basically the same thing Biden wants; now please tell me more about the “wings”:

Donald Trump [issued an executive order] in response to [Twitter]’s attempt to fact-check his tweets [which] proposes a radical modification of Section 230…The…order…“attempts to circumvent Congress and the courts in directing changes to long-established interpretations of Section 230….orders a review of alleged ‘unfair or deceptive practices’ by Facebook and Twitter”…and calls on the…FCC to “examine whether actions related to the editing of content by social media companies should potentially lead to the firms forfeiting their protections under Section 230″…Lawrence Walters, a First Amendment expert with extensive adult industry experience…[said] “Any order impacting Section 230 immunity will likely be challenged in court…Congress is the only body that can alter the broad protections granted by Section 230 but we are seeing some legislative activity in that realm as well — particularly the EARN IT Act“…

Surplus Women (#1010)

Government never, ever blames itself for the harm it causes:

On May 17, the RCMP charged a 17-year-old [who hacked Ashley Noelle Arzaga]…to death with a machete inside the Crown Spa with first-degree murder – terrorist activity…The parlour owner and another man were also injured in the February attack.  Police allege he carried out the murder in the name of the “incel” movement…but sex worker advocates say that while the RCMP is making a show of the case, the government is evading practical change to protect sex workers – namely, by decriminalizing their occupations.  “Laying a terrorism-related charge here…makes it look like we’re more concerned about sex workers’ deaths,” says international criminal law professor Heidi Matthews. “In reality that’s not true…We still have a whole matrix of criminal laws that make their existence and their work more precarious and less safe”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1039)

Far too little, far too late: “Plaintiffs American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”)…Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (“CAASE”), Sex Workers Outreach Project Chicago (“SWOP-Chicago”), [et al]…bring this Complaint against Defendant Clearview AI, Inc. (“Clearview”) to put a stop to its unlawful surreptitious capture and storage of millions of Illinoisans’ sensitive biometric identifiers…”  The suit is based on “the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), which [is intended to] protect…people against the surreptitious and nonconsensual capture of their biometric identifiers, including faceprints.”  That’s well and fine, but other states are far less fastidious about how the collect information on unsuspecting citizens.  And as we’ve seen, cops freely and surreptitiously exchange facial recognition data without any permission at all, even lying in reports and committing perjury in court to cover up how they obtained any given data.  So even if this suit succeeds in banning facial recognition technology in Illinois or even destroying Clearview, the facial recognition djinni was released from its bottle years ago, and has no intention of going back in.  I do find it interesting to actually see a sex worker organization involved in a lawsuit like this, though, so kudos to SWOP-Chicago.

Working From Home (#1042)

I’m extensively quoted in this article about everyone suddenly joining OnlyFans:

While, as far as McNeill is concerned, anyone selling their own erotic labor is in fact a sex worker, she acknowledges that as online sex work becomes more popular, “some people [are] claiming the mantle of sex worker who really shouldn’t because they think it’s going to give them cachet…The criticism that those ladies are leveling at the newcomers is a correct one, but at the same time you kind of have to give them the side eye and say, ‘Yeah, honey, you were new at one time too’”…while McNeill agrees that celebrity interest in sex work…will probably “suck money from women who really need it,” she remains hopeful that mainstream exposure from celebrities may eventually have a positive effect on the progress of sex work destigmatization…

Social Distancing (#1042)

Like its neighbor the Netherlands, Belgium only pretends to respect sex workers:

A hotel where many sex workers receive their clients briefly opened its doors…despite the coronavirus regulations forbidding it, because the rules were not clear…Despite hotels being allowed to stay open…the[se were forced by government diktat]…to close their doors as they are mainly used by [human beings whom authoritarians deem “nonessential”]…“a lot of those hotel owners probably think that, based on the measures for hotels, they are also allowed to open again,” [said] Daan Bauwens of UTSOPI, the Belgian union for and by sex workers…“We strongly advise sex workers to…stop working [and live on happy thoughts, sunshine and pixie dust]” said Bauwens…

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The broad language in the law leaves a lot of room for lawyers to treat FOSTA like a get-rich-quick-off-Big-Tech scheme.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

The Lesser of Two Evils

Those who are surprised by this haven’t read much Church history:

Pope Francis assisted a group of transgender prostitutes who were struggling financially amid the coronavirus pandemic in Italy…They reached out to the pope through Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, who is responsible for charitable work done in the name of pope…It does not appear that the leader of the Catholic Church was signaling any changes in Catholic teaching on gender and sex

Why do some “journalists” feel compelled to virtue-signal by putting an ordinary word like “customers” in scare quotes?

The Proper Study (#968)

Men who respect women more also realize we don’t owe them free sex.  Gee, what a shock:

…Using an online survey of 519 clients of sexual services, we examine whether male client attitudes toward gender role equality are related to the main methods customers used to access prostitution services (i.e., through print or online media vs. in-person contact).  We found…all clients had more egalitarian attitudes toward women’s roles than the U.S. male population in the General Social Survey (GSS)…These findings point to need to rethink how masculinity and gender role attitudes affect patterns of male demand for paid sex..

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#995)

Just in case you failed to grasp the extent of Morality in Media’s depravity:

…[Morality in Media], a religiously inspired lobby that is behind the language of the scientifically discredited, multi-state “porn is a public health crisis” campaign…deliberately rebranded as NCOSE a few years ago to deceive the mainstream media…[and] are [now] trying to pressure [McDonald’s] to send a letter to all their employees “to make them aware of the exploitation and harms of the pornography industry.”  This latest attempt by NCOSE to flood the mainstream with their fringe messages (e.g., they consider Sport Illustrated as full-on “pornography” and repeatedly try to get supermarkets to hide it from their customers) was prompted by an offer by adult company IsMyGirl to “beat any platform’s percentage for new model sign-ups”…The absurd goal of this latest morality intervention by NCOSE is to demand a multibillion company help them spread fringe religious propaganda to minimum wage employees.  The message: a Victorian warning that safe, at-home sex work is a fate worse than starvation…

Torture Chamber (#999)

When a headline asks a question, the answer is almost always “no”:

…the Department of Justice [has] released a report about sexual violence in New Jersey’s women’s prison…that concluded…the risk of sexual harm was so high that it reached constitutional proportions and violated inmates’ Eighth Amendment rights against cruel and unusual punishment…The United States is witnessing an explosion in prison rape reports by women…[from Alabama]…Missouri…OregonConnecticutVermontFloridaCaliforniaKansasPennsylvania…[and many others].  Incarcerated women are 30 times more likely to be raped than free women.  Even though women account for less than 10 percent of inmates, their reports account for three quarters of assaults, and almost three-quarters of staff are men…Seventeen years after the law’s passage, it may be time to acknowledge that the Prison Rape Elimination Act isn’t protecting incarcerated women, most likely because it was never designed to…

Crying for Nanny (#1002)

We fucking told y’all so, over and over and over:

Companies anticipated that FOSTA would be used more broadly than its proponents claimed…Craigslist is now the target of one of the first FOSTA-based civil lawsuit efforts, with plaintiffs in California and Washington state…Both cases…rely on a “radical theory of liability,” wrote University of Notre Dame Law Professor Alex Yelderman…The suits do not claim Craigslist had specific knowledge…[but] simply claims that [because fetishists had for years claimed] Craigslist [was a “hub” of]…”human sex trafficking”…it…was thus responsible for any [actual exploitation] that happened…Another case…targets Mailchimp, an email automation and marketing service.  Anyone can sign up for an account and use Mailchimp tools to create and send mass emails…lawyers…[claim] that by letting YesBackpage use its software, Mailchimp was complicit in, and thus financially liable for, any crimes brokered through YesBackpage’s user-generated content…in January the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted [Eric] Koszyk and [Alex] Andrews standing to continue the [Woodhull/EFF backed] challenge.  Hopefully, they can fight their way to a decision that will undermine FOSTA before FOSTA further undermines free speech on the web…

All-Purpose Excuse (#1035)

With their anti-whore schtick failing, the rescue industry is desperate to find new things they can call “sex trafficking”:

…when I heard that “Mia,” as the Land O’Lakes Native American maiden was known, had been taken off the butter box…it was the stereotype some saw that bothered me.  North Dakota state Rep. Ruth Buffalo…for instance, [bloviated]…that the…image…went “hand-in-hand with…sex trafficking…by depicting Native women as sex objects”…How did Mia go from being a demure Native American woman on a lakeshore to a sex object tied to the trafficking of native women?…Mia was originally created for Land O’Lakes packaging in 1928…In 1954, my father, Patrick DesJarlait, redesigned the image again…[he] had been interested in art since boyhood, when he drew images related to his Ojibwe culture…he…[w]as one of the first modernists in American Indian fine art…

Social Distancing (#1036)

Another country which, like the US and France, shamefully neglects women:

…It is now a month since India went into total lockdown on 26 March to contain the spread of Covid-19.  With no clients, [sex workers’] savings have dwindled…As…economic activity [declared “non-essential” by politicians] has ground to a halt, the lockdown has hit millions of people working in the informal sector…As part of the government’s relief scheme for the poor, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi has announced a financial package that will deposit 500 rupees (£5.30) monthly into the bank accounts of 200 million people.  But those working in…the sex industry…are [specifically ex]cluded…

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Government demands for new…surveillance powers are all too familiar.  –  Adam Schwartz

Feminine Pragmatism 

I’m sure a “pimp” must be forcing her to do this:

…The sudden disappearance of paychecks, combined with a wide array of monthly debt payments and the declines in any investments, is forcing some millennials to take desperate measures…Jayci Cumberledge…in Amherst, Ohio…spent her last $80 in savings to make her monthly car payment shortly after the gastro pub where she worked closed in mid-March…She has since made some money by selling pictures of her feet to people with fetishes who found her online after she put a joking post on Twitter…

Dangerous Speech (#954)

The government’s case against the former owners of Backpage is totally unraveling:

…On March 30, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dealt federal prosecutors yet another setback in the government’s two-year-long quest to [steal] millions of dollars in publishing assets belonging to veteran newspapermen Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, former owners of the 17-paper Village Voice Media chain of alt-weeklies and co-founders of the now-defunct…Backpage…Assistant U.S. Attorney John Kucera had sought to block a First Amendment challenge by Lacey and Larkin to the seizures, lamely arguing — much as he had a year ago…that the appellate court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.  But a two-judge panel of the Ninth rejected Kucera’s motion to dismiss…the same judges [also] granted Lacey and Larkin’s request to expedite their appeal, warning the government that no requests for extensions of time would be approved “absent extraordinary and compelling circumstances.”  With an April 28 deadline set for the government’s response, and an optional reply from the appellants due 21 days thereafter, oral arguments concerning the civil asset seizures could be scheduled as early as June…

Working From Home

The hypocrisy of the prohibitionist New York Times is appalling:

As 16 million people in the United States have applied for unemployment benefits in the last [few] weeks, a rush of people…have sought new work performing in sexually explicit live broadcasts.  And, as nearly half the world is under some form of stay-at-home orders, people who do this work are also seeing a large growth in customers…The performers work for tips, to [circumvent] laws that [criminalize] sex work…CamSoda…said there had been a 37 percent increase in new model sign-ups this March…ManyVids…[saw] a 69 percent increase…But this growth isn’t always translating into more money for the models…[who report that] new viewers aren’t tipping as much as they typically would…

You Were Warned (#1023)

We told you so, over and over and over again:

…the EARN IT Act…[is designed to destroy] Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and…possibly encrypted communication writ large, under the guise of (what else?) protecting children…Signal developer Joshua Lund said in a blog post…that Signal would face insurmountable financial burdens as a result of the law and would therefore be forced to leave the US market rather than undermine its encryption to stay.  Given that Signal is recommended and used across the Department of Defense, Congress, and other parts of the US government, this would be a seemingly problematic outcome for everyone…

Like Houses (#1027)

Government can always be counted on to use any excuse to expand tyranny:

From cellphone tracking to drone eyes in the sky, perused health records, and GPS ankle bracelets, an epidemic of surveillance-state measures is spreading across the world…in the name of battling the spread of COVID-19…since every crisis is used to justify incursions into our liberty.  But long after the virus has done its worst and moved on, we’re likely to be stuck with these invasions of our privacy—unless we push back, hard…China…force[d] people to install cellphone apps that assigned them a code according to (allegedly) their perceived risk of spreading contagion.  Permission to travel or enter public spaces depended on that code even as the software also tracked their whereabouts and [handed] data on users’ phones [to] the authorities…South Korea…tracked people’s cellphones and credit card usage…Spanish authorities turned to aerial drones to detect unauthorized gatherings of people—already a cringe-worthy concept for those of us disinclined to ask permission to meet with friends.  Loudspeakers on the drones then ordered violators to return home…in the U.S., government officials joined with tech companies to paw through the location data that most of us share with cellphone apps…Privacy [laws] have also been [violated] to allow [government officials to root through] patients’ medical records

Social Distancing (#1028)

Amber DiPietra on the US disaster compensation check:

There is NO QUESTION on the 1040 form that asks what you do for employment or who you work for.  The only questions regarding employment is “occupation” and you can state that you are self-employed…Everything you have read…about our community members not being eligible for the stimulus check is NOT TRUE…there is no indication that independent workers or “gig” workers will not get a stimulus check.  Adult oriented BUSINESSES like Porn companies and Cam Platforms, will not be eligible for the BUSINESS stimulus LOAN…EVERYONE who files a 2019 tax return will get a stimulus check.  If you DON’T file a 2019 return, you will definitely NOT get a stimulus check…People who are on social security or disability WILL receive a stimulus check AUTOMATICALLY…

Social Distancing (#1029)

The government of Japan seems more susceptible to shaming than that of the US:

Japan has reportedly reversed its decision to discriminate against sex workers who are economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic…Health and Labor Minister Kazunobu Kato declared that Japan’s legal sex workers will be eligible to receive government assistance…the…original…plan…was widely criticized for being discriminatory…It is unclear how self-employed sex workers would be treated…

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Curfew and quarantine enforcement inevitably mean new opportunities for police overreach, profiling, and violence.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Above the Law 

Even rent-a-cops feel entitled to rape sex workers:

A hospital security guard has been jailed for 14 years for the rape and violent assault of two sex workers…one of the victims was forced to jump naked from a window to get away from Noel McKeon…as he tried to stab her. The attacks, on June 18, 2016 and on February 2, 2018, both took place after McKeon contacted the two women [for outcall]…

Monsters

What a sick, sorry waste:

Timothy Blancher, 20, Alunte Davis, 21, and Paris Cameron, 20, all attended a party with a 19-year-old man they met at a gas station in Detroit.  Hours after he left the group, Devon Robinson, 19, burst into the house wearing a masked and…gunn[ed] the three…down…Jurors found Robinson guilty Tuesday of the May 25, 2019, murders…committed…to cover up…that he had engaged in sex…with the three victims…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#802) 

Predictable in the current Neo-Victorian climate:

Playboy has announced that it’s closing down its flagship magazine for the rest of 2020.  It seems unlikely, given the wording of the announcement and the state of print magazine-making, that it will ever return.  It’s not a surprise, exactly — its circulation and advertising drooped long ago, accelerating as the nudie pictures for which it was celebrated became available everywhere for free…

The Widening Gyre (#866)

This won’t end until it starts inconveniencing the wealthy & well-connected:

…Oprah Winfrey’s name…trend[ed on Twitter after]…a series of tweets…alleged that the celebrity’s Florida home had been raided by police, who were “digging up the tunnels” there in connection with an alleged sex trafficking ring.  (…Oprah has no home in Florida)…the tweets put forth theories:  some noting the friendship Oprah enjoyed with Harvey Weinstein, others suggesting the novel coronavirus epidemic was somehow engineered to shift the spotlight away from the arrest of celebrities involved in the alleged ring…includ[ing] Tom Hanks and Justin Trudeau…

Wise Investment (#920)

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

From January through March [of last year], at least four men responded to online ads f[rom a pervert cop fantasy role-playing as] a [sex worker] named “Brittany” who…asked each of the four men to meet [him] at a hotel, but first to stop at a gas station before to buy [him] a treat such as a candy bar or a can of pop…Cases against them were dismissed, first by a district court, and then by a three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals…[because] the [prosecutor] charged the[m]…with…soliciting prostitution….[which] has to come in a “public place”…cops and…prosectors…didn’t prove any of these men was in [public] when they texted [the masturbating cop.  Though]…the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office [vomited a lot of disgusting nonsense about]…human-trafficking…[all over the court, it still]…rul[ed that]…there’s no evidence indicating [the cop was fantasizing he] was underage, or a victim of trafficking, [while msturbating, and] the…language on gross misdemeanor solicitation is plain, and applies only to “public” acts…

You Were Warned

A reminder of what the government is trying to take away from you:

It’s almost hard to believe now, but there was time when Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of “participatory media” were widely heralded as great gifts to public perception and global democracy.  For going on nearly half a decade now, the tone on tech companies and social media has shifted to one of suspicion, hostility, grievance, and moral panic.  But as COVID-19 continues to spread around the world and as many governments continue to mishandle things, people are starting to remember why the platforms we love to hate are important after all…Social media have also been providing news from early outbreak zones across the globe, as users widely disseminate stories from foreign news outlets, statements from foreign leaders, and first-hand accounts from residents of affected areas abroad.  These snapshots helped give Americans a better sense of the scope of the threat posed by COVID-19 at a time when the messages coming from official channels were conflicting and confusing…

Social Distancing

As always, sex workers demonstrate our adaptability:

Portland will not go without its strippers, even during a…pandemic.  Lucky Devil Lounge is bringing its dancers to your door with a new food delivery service it’s calling—wait for it—”Boober Eats”.  “I originally did it at first as a joke,” says club owner Shon Boulden, “and it got 150 shares on Facebook—like nothing we’ve ever had before.  So I was like, ‘Well shit, why don’t we just try to do this?'”  Lucky Devil has a full food menu and non-alcoholic drinks, like ginger beer and Red Bull, available for delivery.  The process is similar to many the home drop-off systems that have sprung up overnight as a way for restaurants and breweries to continue operating…Simply peruse the menu online, give the business a call and place your order….[but] instead of being greeted a harried driver in jeans and a hoodie, your meal is hand-delivered by two dancers.  “They’ll wear pasties and booty shorts, drop off the food, dance for a second and then we’ll move along,” Boulden says.  “We’ll still stay a reasonable distance back.  They have Lysol as well”…the strippers will also pose for photos…

Meanwhile, in porn:

Free Speech Coalition…called for a voluntary shutdown of all adult entertainment productions in the United States and Canada through Tuesday, March 31…”we ask that producers cancel all shoots through March 31, and recommend that performers immediately stop filming with partners who are not a part of their household”…

The Public Eye (#1022)

Prohibitionist whining is becoming increasingly desperate:

The MTA [was paid to] display…a series of advertisements promoting a “Sex Workers Pop-up” exhibit…[prohibitionists moronically labeled the text-only ads]…“sexually oriented” [even though they merely advertised an art exhibit]…and [bloviated a lot of their usual puritanical idiocy about how consensual sex is]…inherently harmful.  The pastel pink promotions, up since early March on subway lines across the five boroughs, was bankrolled by George Soros’ Open Society Foundation and invites commuters to a West Village “exhibit dedicated to the global sex worker movement”…

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We await a thundering so great
That it shatters stars
That it awakens fate
To save us from a void of eternal scars.
  –  Abdurehim Imin Parach

Not for Everybody (#626)

Women who had a bad time in sex work are exploited by prohibitionists, but some wake up:

…when I came across the “survivor” movement…it was like coming home.  I finally felt able to share my experiences honestly and without feeling judged…I accepted what I was told about the Nordic Model; that it was a framework which supported women and punished the perpetrators.  And all buyers were perpetrators.  I was encouraged to share and re-share and share again my trauma experiences (for no compensation, of course) to the point that I was a quivering wreck, angry at the world and thoroughly believed that women were doomed without the passing of a Sex Buyer Law, and anyone who said otherwise was part of the Big Pimp Conspiracy.  Looking back it felt a little like joining a cult.  I was saved!  And I had a responsibility to save others.  I’m mortified, now, at the way I ignored the efforts of those who patiently tried to show me the documented evidence…

Worse Than I Thought (#711)

A perfect storm of stupidity, sex fantasy and authoritarian violence:

…senate candidate Bill Hagerty [publicly shared his sexual fantasies about] human trafficking…in Tennessee…[after vomiting up a lot of nonsense about] roadways…and…proximity to Atlanta…[then reciting the shahada and dehumanizing sex workers as a] growing epidemic…[he called for increased censorship of] the internet…and…[claimed] that [sex work]…”is one of the most atrocious crimes, and the death penalty should absolutely be considered for these criminals”…

Worse Than I Thought (#737)

“Human trafficking” has become nothing more than a dysphemism for sex work:

The Odessa City Council will consider…an…ordinance…that is aimed at tightening [the noose] on sex…[workers]…The ordinance will…extend…the distance a sexually oriented business can be from a school or church from 600 feet to 1,500 feet….[and] require those businesses to add [magical anti-pimp]…signs in Spanish…the ordinance [also] includes a rule…[that strippers]…who…have an overdue balance on a utility bill like water or gas [due to lack of work during virus panic] may be denied th[e] permit [the city demands they have in order] to work [and pay the overdue bill]…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#855) 

I suppose it only makes sense to excuse an imaginary “offense” with an imaginary “disorder”:

A top NHS chest doctor who used a hospital computer to view…pornography [w]as [slapped] with a 12-month suspension [during a respiratory disease epidemic because sex rays.  He might have received an even more ridiculous penalty had he not placated the puritans by]…checking himself into a sex addiction clinic.  Professor Peter Davies…viewed [the porn]…at work [because] his wife put an anti-[porn] filter on his computer at home.  The world-renowned expert on tuberculosis…[claimed] he had been addicted to pornography since he was 18 years old [even though there is no such thing as “pornography addiction”]…

Quiet Genocide

How China tries to keep the genocide quiet:

China’s government considers…the Uighur ethnic minority to be “terrorists” and “separatists.”  It has imprisoned them on a mass scale and has turned Xinjiang into one of the world’s most tightly controlled police states.  As a result, many Uighurs have fled to Turkey, which they have traditionally viewed as a refuge and an advocate for their rights.  Now, many Uighurs in Istanbul…fear China is pressuring Turkey to threaten them.  [Abdurehim Imin] Parach…was targeted after he published [Breathing in Exile,] a book of poetry describing China’s oppression of Uighurs…The book came out in December 2018…and…two months later…Turkish [cops] arrested him…and sent [him] to [a] deportation center…for [three] months [before releasing him without explanation]…One Uighur activist in Turkey…has counted at least 200 such detentions since January 2019, while a lawyer…has assisted more than 400 Uighurs arrested in the past year…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#998) 

“Sex trafficking” now means whatever authoritarians want it to mean:

Sen. Ben Sasse…demanded Attorney General William P. Barr investigate adult video giant Pornhub for allegedly facilitating human trafficking [by which he apparently means GirlsDoPorn’s release of material it told performers would not be available online]…in a [written sex fantasy he referred to the women victimized by GirlsDoPorn as]…”exploit[ed] children”…[meanwhile] anti-[sex worker] activist Laila Mickelwait [of the religious pro-censorship group Exodus Cry] launched a petition to [censor] the website and [unconstitutionally persecute] its executives…

An article by Tracy Clark-Flory points out that “The petition itself links to TraffickingHub.com, a site…which prominently quotes Gail Dines…this is not a “nonpartisan” petition, but rather an abolitionist project…

You Were Warned (#1007)

We told you so, over and over and over again:

Imagine an Internet where the law required every message sent to be read by government-approved scanning software.  Companies that handle such messages wouldn’t be allowed to securely encrypt them, or they’d lose legal protections that allow them to operate…The so-called EARN IT bill, sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham…and Richard Blumenthal…will strip Section 230 protections away from any website that doesn’t follow a list of “best practices,” meaning those sites can be sued into bankruptcy.  The “best practices” list will be created by a government commission, headed by Attorney General Barr, who has made it very clear he would like to ban encryption, and guarantee [pigs and spooks]…access…to any digital message…[but] because they didn’t put the word “encryption” in the bill, they…insist it doesn’t affect encryption…the bill…would create a 19-person commission that’s completely controlled by the Attorney General and [pigs, spooks and professional busybodies such as]…NCMEC…[which has already] made it clear…[they] believe…online services should be made to [spy on all communications]…report what they find in the messages to NCMEC; and be held legally responsible for the content of messages sent by others…The Commission won’t be a body that seriously considers policy; it will be a vehicle for creating a law enforcement wish list…

Out of Control (#1021)

Sex workers know how to protect each other, but “authorities” want to keep us from doing it:

…online databases are vital for sex workers’ safety, but they’re moving further and further underground in the wake of the so-called SESTA/FOSTA law…that…criminalizes anything they do, even posting about work online.  The database that figured into [rapist client Dr. Manish] Gupta’s case requires users to pay for membership, is hard to join without an invitation and…now requires lengthy verification.  It’s one of a handful of closed-door screening sites that not only protect sex workers but, as the Gupta case shows, can be crucial for securing arrests.  “People are more hesitant to use them now because they don’t want to be accused of promoting prostitution,” said Phoenix Calida from [SWOP-USA]…“That’s how predators are able to continue for so long.  There were complaints lodged about this person being a bad date a couple of years before the person who went to the police was assaulted”…The investigation ramped up in late 2019 after a sex worker victims’ advocate began collating accounts of women who’d been drugged, raped, and videotaped by Gupta…there were 20 different victims in Gupta’s videos…the FBI’s Cleveland Office said they hope media coverage of Gupta’s arrest will encourage more victims to come forward.  “We want to remind them that they can contact the FBI anonymously,” she said…

DO NOT trust the FBI!  They will collect all of your information to hold for future use.  If you have information about Gupta you wish to share, contact a lawyer to help you negotiate that; do not call or e-mail them directly!

Social Distancing

This is going to hurt a lot of sex workers:

…gentlemen’s club…proprietors [in Jamaica] have been bracing for the hammer to fall soon on their regular…operations, but for now at least, lap dances are still en vogue, despite the spreading threat of the coronavirus…”We hear that they might close us down by Monday…how the girls dem a go mek money if dem caan give lap dances?…When wi close down, all our dancers may just start go do independent sex work, and that is more dangerous for them to be on the streets, so we ah gwaan watch and wait,” stated [on]e club manager…the virus is a serious financial…worry.  Prostitutes, dancers and other categories of sex workers are already feeling the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak directly…

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You don’t forfeit your constitutional rights when you try to board an airplane.  –  Dan Alban

Feminine Pragmatism 

Wherever there are men making money, there will be women working to get some of it, despite the efforts of “saviors” to stop them:

When Peru’s military launched a major crackdown on illegal gold mining…last February, [cops arrested] dozens of women and girls, [proclaiming their interruption of the women’s]…flow of [cash was a “rescue”]…But…a year later…the…mines [have simply moved] deeper into the jungle – and the brothels and bars have followed [despite prohibitionist hand-wringing]…Regional governor Luis Hidalgo [parrots]…“human trafficking” [rhetoric, pretending]…Women…are [too stupid to understand]…sex [work]…and [fantasizing they would prefer shitty, low-paid work]…as cleaners…in restaurants and bars [to the lucative sex work they actually migrate for]…

To Molest and Rape

Now that some rapist cops are being prosecuted, they’re taking measures to silence their victims:

Days [after Jorden] Simms…[was] violently raped [by an Arizona cop]…with the last name French [after he arrested] her [on a bogus drug charge.  Then at the jail, she was raped by]…a [sow] with an unknown object [under the pretext of a “search”]…Simms reported [both rapes]…and both were supposedly investigated by…forensics nurses…after the…examination and rape kit, police claim a medical professional told them to go to another hospital because they lacked a piece of equipment…[but on the way] a [pig and a screw threw her out of a moving pigmobile, leaving her brain dead.  Pigs claim she magically escaped her handcuffs]…open[ed] a door which was supposedly unable to be opened by the back seat occupants [and leapt to her death]…the results of the rape kit have yet to be made public despite the exam taking place three weeks ago…

Choke Point (#847) 

PayPal is now actively seeking to rat sex workers out to the pigs:

PayPal Holdings Inc will [conspire] with a leading U.S. anti-[sex] group in an effort to identify…money transactions [related to sex work]…Banks and other financial institutions are under [fascist] pressure to stop [sex workers] from [having access to banking services] and…anti-[sex worker] group…Polaris…will be creating a financial [surveillance] unit, with donated support and experts from [Paypal]…The scheme will identify “those who profit off of [consensual sex]…and [rat them out to the pigs],” [bragged] Sara Crowe…of Polaris…[fascist] groups have pushed for greater collaboration between governments, companies and non-profits to tighten the noose on [adults who have consensual sex]…

Panopticon (#897)

Old-fashioned Stasi-type surveillance isn’t dead yet:

A surveillance vendor that works with U.S. government agencies, such as the FBI, DEA, and ICE, is marketing spying capabilities to local police departments, including cameras that are hidden inside a tombstone, a baby car seat, and a vacuum cleaner…the offerings from Special Services Group…[affiliated with] Vigilant……[also] offer[s]…surreptitious recording devices…like an alarm clock/radio that can be inserted into [victims’] hotel rooms and faux utility boxes that can be placed in non-conspicuous areas (provided no one notices the absence of conduit running to/from the mock box)…in addition to a variety of super-small cameras that can be mounted damn near anywhere…

You Were Warned

We told you so, over and over and over again:

…former Vice President Joe Biden called for [the law that makes the open internet possible], Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, to be “revoked, immediately”…Biden said…“It should be revoked because [I and other politicians want total control of all public media]”…This wasn’t the first time [the career authoritarian] criticized the immensely important internet law. In previous interviews with outlets like CNN, Biden has said that “we should be considering taking away [freedom of speech on the internet],” but has never ventured as far as saying that it should be completely “revoked”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#956) 

Not concerned yet?  You should be:

The U.S. military is…develop[ing] facial recognition technology that reads the pattern of heat being emitted by faces in order to…work in the dark and across long distances…“Sensors should be demonstrable in environments such as targets seen through automotive windshield glass, targets that are backlit, and targets that are obscured due to light weather (e.g., fog),” the Department of Defense indicated…The device should be able to operate from a distance of 10 to 500 meters…

Opting Out (#982) 

Fascist profiteers sue to force censorship on everyone so they can profit from it:

Four age verification companies [filed suit]…challenging the Culture Secretary’s decision to shelve the scheme to impose age checks on all porn sites viewed in the UK…the companies are…also claiming damages…in the region of £3 million, for losses sustained developing age verification technology…[with which they intended to profit from the censorship] scheme…implementation was repeatedly delayed throughout 2019…The Government has said it aims to publish draft legislation this year, but it could take two to three years before the regulator is up and running…

A Broker in Pillage (#993)

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

A retired railroad worker from [Pennsylvania] and his daughter in Massachusetts have sued two federal agencies and an agent in federal court…[because] they…[stole] his life savings of $82,373 at Pittsburgh International Airport this summer and won’t give it back.  Terry Rolin…and Rebecca Brown…[filed] suit against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Transportation Security Administration…with the [help of the] Institute for Justice…[which is] seeking class-action status for others whose money has been [stolen in the same way]…Institute of Justice lawyers [have prevailed in]…similar [cases] in Houston and Cleveland…In August, Mr. Rolin entrusted Ms. Brown with…his and his parents’ [life] savings, so she could deposit it into a new joint bank account for him in Massachusetts.  Mr. Rolin said his parents lived through the Depression and kept their money hidden at home instead of in banks and he did the same.  But when he moved out of the family home and into an apartment he…became uncomfortable with having so much cash on hand, so he decided to put it into an account [only to have armed state thugs steal it at gunpoint]…

Watershed (#994)

The fashion & beauty industries owe their very existence to whores, and are finally admitting it:

Heaux Cosmetics is a new line of “sex-proof” makeup…designed specifically for sex workers.  “A lot of makeups claim they’re long-wearing, and you might be able to get through a cocktail with them, but not a blow job or a hot shower,” [said] the 29-year-old creator Lydia Dupra…The collection of roughly 25 products includes lipstick, eyeliner and eye shadow with cheeky names such as “In the Will,” “Offshore Account” and “Dubai,” and they’re made to be smear-resistant…Dupra says…“I told the laboratory, ‘No, I literally don’t want it to come off.”  (She suggests an oil-based makeup remover and “being patient” if you do indeed want to wash it off)…Dupra has already received nearly a thousand online orders, and she hopes to open a Los Angeles store in the next year. But her real ambition is…“I want there to be more businesses run by sex workers for sex workers so we keep the money in the community”…

To Molest and Rape (#1002)

Another specimen of the garbage the state pays to violate teenagers:

A [typical and representative school cop] in Michigan’s southwestern Upper Peninsula has been charged in the sexual assault of a 16-year-old boy…Brian Helfert [raped]…the boy…[on] Nov. 10…at Helfert’s home…[beside] work[ing] as a school [gestapo, he also had access to vulnerable teens as]…a…juvenile crime investigator…

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When sex trafficking is somehow construed as the “natural consequence” of virtually any action, virtually no person or entity is safe from the threat of liability.  –  Alex Yelderman

Surplus Women

The Swedish model protects women!

[A sex worker was] found dead on Christmas morning…partially burned and stripped…near the pond of Font Merle, in Mougins [France.  Cops are]…trying to find out “who gravitated around this young woman” [in hopes of persecuting her clients or friends]…

Monsters

Yet TERFs want you to believe trans women are the dangerous ones:

David Bogdanov…is accused of second-degree murder in the [strangling] death of Nikki Kuhnhausen, a [Vancouver, Washington] teenager who had been missing since June…Bogdanov and Kuhnhausen appear to have first spent time together June 5 — the same day she last had contact with her family…Bogdanov [admitted]…that Kuhnhausen told him she was biologically male at some point after he picked her up from an apartment on the morning of June 6…He [claims that he then] asked Kuhnhausen to get out of his car…and…that was the last time he saw her.  [But] Bogdanov’s phone records [place him]…near Larch Mountain in east Clark County…[where] On Dec. 7, a passerby…found a human skull…[which] forensic analysis confirmed…[as] Kuhnhausen[‘s]…

Policing for Profit

Cops will never stop doing this as long as the state keeps giving them pretexts:

…St. Charles County [Missouri cops] coerced at least 39…motorists into signing over their assets in 2018…[the pigs] would lie in wait for a car [driven by a minority person, then accuse them of] committing a minor traffic violation…[the pigs] would then…direct them to a private towing lot owned by Superior Towing…[where they would] search the vehicle, all in the hopes of finding large amounts of cash..[they would then get a] dog [to bark, claiming that meant drugs were present, and give]…the motorists two options: they could go to jail, or sign their possessions away to the department and leave with a traffic ticket.  In the 39 documented stops, no criminal charges were filed.  A third of the targets were stopped and taken to the lot after midnight…nearly half of the drivers had either Hispanic or Asian surnames…Missouri…asset forfeiture laws…require…criminal conviction…before forfeiture, and the assets are supposed to go towards schools, not [pigs, but]…the federal Equitable Sharing program…[lets pigs violate state law].  A legislative effort to close this loophole and force [pigs to follow]…state law was defeated this year after the local police lobby quietly campaigned against it, calling it “anti-police”…

Torture Chamber

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

New York City has agreed to [steal] $12.5 million dollars [from taxpayers] to settle a class action lawsuit by people who were subject to invasive strip searches while visiting loved ones in jail…In the most serious cases, [screws digitally raped] women…or forced them to drop their pants and show their sanitary napkins…each person is entitled to up to $4,000 in damages…The city has also agreed to [tell] all [screws not to rape or humiliate people who aren’t prisoners]…[but] individual [screws] named in the lawsuit…[will not] be disciplined…

He or She? (#512)

Surprising absolutely no trans people:

Transgender children…start to identify with toys and clothes typical of their gender identity from a very young age, a recent study suggests.  And their confidence in their gender identity is generally as strong as that of cisgender children…researchers interviewed 317 transgender children, ages 3 to 12, and 189 of the children’s siblings.  They also interviewed 316 cisgender kids…The transgender kids showed strong preferences for toys and clothing typically associated with their gender identity, not their assigned sex…[and those] preferences didn’t appear to differ based on how long they had lived as their current gender.  Transgender kids also didn’t appear to have preferences much different from cisgender children with the same gender identity…The similarities among transgender and cisgender children were surprising [to cisgender people who believe in the tabula rasa doctrine]…

Amateur Night

This sounds like somebody who followed my repeated advice to older virgins:

Five years ago I wrote an essay for Salon about being a 33-year-old virgin…I wrote about how not having sex is not weird, and that if you haven’t met the right one, to not let bitterness and anger overtake you…I was wrong…last October I bought a plane ticket to Las Vegas…[did] the seven-hour drive to the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, and…lost my virginity…It was fine. It was fun…Sex is not a big deal.  Stop waiting.  Have it.  Experience it.  Enjoy it…It’s normal…staying away from sex all those years was like banning myself from the grocery store.  It’s not the end of the world to have sex with someone you have no connection with.  Also, we need to stop the stigma against sex workers.  I had a great time at the ranch.  It did wonders for me mentally.  I used to think I’d be ashamed if I lost it to a prostitute.  Not at all. I was given a great experience and was handled with real care…I’m dating now…and life is good…I [used to] let my fear of…doing it with someone I don’t care for block me from making connections with women…I put that wall up.  Life didn’t change.  I did…

A Moral Cancer (#790)

Prohibitionism is a mental illness:

[Irish] supermarket customers face a ban on using loyalty card points to buy alcohol under new regulations…aimed at [making it harder for poor people to buy] alcohol [under the excuse of]…health…

I Spy (#903) 

The US is following in the footsteps of China:

When Syracuse University freshmen walk into professor Jeff Rubin’s…class…Bluetooth beacons…connect with a…[compulsory] app on their smartphones and boost their “attendance points”.  And when they skip class…the…app…log[s] their absence into a campus database that tracks them over time and can sink their grade…campuswide WiFi networks are empowering colleges across the United States to track hundreds of thousands of students…Dozens of schools now use such technology to monitor students’ academic performance, analyze their conduct or assess their mental health…[only a few] professors and education advocates [recognize]…the systems [as] a new low in intrusive technology, breaching students’ privacy on a massive scale…[to power a Chinese-style “social credit”] system…[to] infantilize students in the very place where they’re expected to grow into adults, further training them to see surveillance as a normal part of living, whether they like it or not…

Loose Cannons (#982)

Florida prosecutors are desperately trying to wipe the egg off of their faces:

Florida prosecutors…[are now pretending that] Robert Kraft’s…two misdemeanor c[harges] of soliciting prostitution…[magic]ally co[nstitute] a felony [because they say so, thus ensuring that Kraft’s lawyers are highly motivated to work even harder to destroy the state’s case if]…the state wins its appeal of a lower court order [dismissing the evidence cops obtained with lies and an illegal warrant]…Observers across the country view it as a constitutional test that pits police powers to [terrorize consenting adults]…against individual privacy rights…

Quiet Genocide (#989)

Oh look, Western nations are starting to notice a genocide in progress:

Western coverage of one of China’s worst human rights abuses…has [very slightly] increased over the past year.  Satellite images revealed the Government destroying scores of traditional burial grounds belonging to Uighurs in northwest Xinjiang; drone footage revealed hundreds of blindfolded and shackled men being transferred to detention camps; and just last month, secret Chinese Government documents revealed how the regime was instructed to deal with the ethnic minority.  But [even] less…reported on is…a forced-living arrangement between Han Chinese men and Uighur women that…[constitutes] mass rape…[which] the Government claims [is] designed to promote harmony between the different cultural groups…The [Newspeak term for the mass rape scheme is]…the “Pair Up and Become Family” program…Rushan Abbas, a Uighur activist…[explained that] “The Government is offering money, housing and jobs to Han people to come and marry Uighur people.  Neither the girls nor their families can reject such a marriage because they will be [treated]…by Chinese authorities…as Islamic extremists for not wanting to marry atheist Han Chinese…

To Molest and Rape (#998)

Another specimen of the garbage the state pays to violate teenagers:

A [typical and representative pig Arizona hired to terrorize teenagers in] school…now faces multiple criminal charges [for molesting a teenage girl]…Yuma police arrested Bobby Garcia on numerous charges including [trying to hide evidence]…Police…receiv[ed] a complaint against [Garcia in May, but didn’t arrest him until December]…

Crying for Nanny (#998)

The hotel industry is really going to regret having collaborated with fanatics rather than fighting “sex trafficking” hysteria:

A case challenging FOSTA on constitutional grounds was dismissed on grounds that none of the plaintiffs…could demonstrate a credible threat of prosecution, civil liability, or redressable harm…Three recently-filed civil lawsuits have soundly refuted th[at claim]…Two of the federal  cases that will potentially implicate FOSTA were filed in state courts, one in Washington and the other in California…Craigslist [has] removed [both] case[s] to federal court, on grounds that 18 U.S.C. § 1595 creates a federal (not state) cause of action…The cases are essentially the same, with sections of their respective complaints copied verbatim…and…do not allege that craigslist knew anything about them specifically being trafficked…but rather claim that the website [should have shut itself down]…once [fanatics started spreading ridiculous myths and wanking fantasies about]…its ongoing operation “amount[ing] to a venture with sex traffickers to efficiently market victims”…This is a radical theory of liability, and…shows the Woodhull plaintiffs’ fear to be entirely reasonable…The third case…was filed in Georgia by an attorney who has also sued Facebook, Instagram, Backpage, and Salesforce, among others…the charges against Salesforce were dismissed due to the Section 230 immunity)…[if] the…[expansive] view of “natural consequences” [upon which these cases are based] is [allowed to stand]…there is no limiting factor in sight…

There is also another lawsuit in Texas.

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Being freaked out by a van is like being freaked out by a pigeon.
–  Lenore Skenazy

Torture Chamber 

Your government refers to this as “correction”:

More than two dozen Maryland [screws]…are being indicted for [beating the hell out of prisoners]…All 25 of the [perpetrators] are part of a special…[gang of screws] which is brought in to [beat the hell out of prisoners.  Other]…charges include…participation in a criminal gang [other than the official one organized by the state]…All 25…have been…suspended without pay…

Maryland apparently doesn’t like it when a gang of thugs specifically organized to beat up prisoners organize themselves in a different way to…beat prisoners up in a different way?

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality (#626)

The rescue industry loves its sexual fantasies about Cambodian brothels; the truth is more mundane:

Ahya…left Prey Veng for Phnom Penh five years ago to work in a garment factory after divorcing her “lazy and drunkard” husband, leaving her two children and one orphaned niece under the care of her mother.  However, she could not support her family on her salary as a factory worker.  Then, some friends introduced her to her current job in a…massage parlour…providing “what men want”…“People can criticise us, calling what we are doing a deviation in society…But, those people do not feed me and my family”…

To Molest and Rape

Even being dead can’t protect you from sexually-aggressive cops:

An LAPD [cop] has been [rewarded with a paid vacation] after footage captured by a body-worn camera [clear]ly showed him [grop]ing a deceased woman’s breasts…About a month ago…[unelected] union [gangsters who are allowed to control public policy reluctantly agreed to] a protocol in which the LAPD could randomly check video footage from body-worn cameras…[after] a body was found inside of a residence…[two pigs were sent to root around.  While] one…left to retrieve paperwork from [their pigmobile] the other…turned off his bodycam and then [felt up the cadaver.  But even though]…the [creepy cop] deactivated his camera, a two-minute buffer on the device captured [his disgusting behavior and] the…camera…was [later reviewed]…at random…

Interesting that they’re more willing to act when a cop molests a corpse than when he does the same to a living woman.  I’m sure he’ll claim at the hearing that she came onto him.

Property of the State (#756) 

Evelyn Hernández’ nightmare still isn’t over:

…El Salvador…criminalizes women living in poverty when they have pregnancy- or birth-related complications…Since 2000, at least 129 women have been imprisoned…abortion is totally banned, even when the woman’s life is at risk.  Some of these women have been charged with aggravated homicide and sentenced to as many as 40 years…Many of those women languished in prison…until 2014, when activists requested a presidential pardon for 17 of them and launched a global campaign to demand their release.  But…[in response] the Salvadoran state has…escalated…its criminalization of these women…For Hernández, the nightmare began in 2016, when she delivered a [stillborn] baby…she didn’t [even] know she was expecting…she hemorrhaged severely…and…was hospitalized for six days.  She was accused of aggravated homicide and…in July 2017…was sentenced to 30 years in prison…In December 2018…her [lawyers got her] sentence…annulled, and the judge called for a retrial…she returned to court [last] August for the retrial, [in] which…[she] was [found] innocent…But 18 days later, the attorney general’s office…[announced] it would appeal the judge’s decision, opening the possibility of a third trial…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#855) 

Will “PTSD” replace the thoroughly-debunked “sex addiction” as an excuse for bad behavior?

A Perth [cop] who [claims he] was suffering from undiagnosed post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of his job has been jailed for almost two years for possessing images and videos of “explicit and depraved” sexual abuse of [toddlers]…David Mark Dodson…was working as a detective…when Canadian authorities discovered he had used social media to send an image…of a girl, aged between two and four, being raped.  Australian [cops] then raided his home and found almost 350 images and videos of…girls as young as two being abused by adults…Dodson…[claims becoming a sexual predator] was “a direct result of his occupation”…

Well, I can’t deny that being a cop increases sexual predation, even if it doesn’t actually cause it.

Part of the Picture (#859)

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen the moronic claim that pictures magically “rewire” the brain:

Rachel Anne Barr, a [prohibitionist, pretends]…studies show people who regularly watch adult entertainment often develop damage to the prefrontal cortex…Barr [claims] “adult entertainment may revert our brain wiring to a more juvenile state…porn appears to be hijacking our neural wiring with dire consequences”…when a person uses cocaine, their brains give off a rush of dopamine, the “feel-good” hormone…

Yep, despite the sensational language this is just the debunked “dopamine theory”.  Again.  For those unfamiliar with the topic, saying “X produces a rush of dopamine” is the neuroscience equivalent of saying “X is pleasant”.  It means nothing more than that; it isn’t some scary weird thing.

The Widening Gyre (#961)

The more cops are forced to deny “sex trafficking” scary tales, the harder it will be for them to spread such tales themselves:

…[viral scarelore] claims that sex traffickers are putting zip ties on cars to make it easier to target victims.  But police say it just isn’t true.  [Scare stories] have popped up on TikTokFacebook and  Twitter over the last year, imploring women not to fiddle with zip ties they’ve found on their cars…Officials in Michigan…liken[ed] the claims to dangerous myth…[while simultaneously pretending that their own equally idiotic  claims about] sex traffickers [pulling screaming childen through the internet are true]…Celia Williamson, [a trafficking fetishist]…at the University of Toledo [added her own weird sexual fantasies about “pimps” and “grooming”]…In 2017, LaFourche Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana debunked a rumor that human traffickers were placing white stickers on windshields to mark future targets…but…reporte[rs still feel compelled to quote evidence-free claims about tens of thousands of]…victims trafficked in the United States every year…

What makes these especially funny is that there has never been a single case of a woman or child abducted by “sex traffickers” from any public place, much less a crowded shopping mall.  But THIS SEX TRAFFICKING IS OUT OF CONTROL!

Disaster (#975)

A timid but possibly important challenge to FOSTA from inside Congress:

[Politician] Ro Khanna…is drafting legislation that would…call on the National Institutes of Health to study the impact of [FOSTA, which]…enacts steep penalties on any digital actor that “facilitates”…prostitution…Khanna [is] one of just 25 House members and two senators who voted against the legislation.  Sex workers, civil liberties advocates, and many others warned in advance about the dangers posed by [this awful law]…but they were overshadowed by well-funded lobbyists, pandering politicians, and a media more interested in easy narratives…than listening to those most impacted by the legislation.  Ideally, FOSTA would be repealed entirely.  But getting enough votes for repeal right now would be unlikely, so Khanna’s approach might be the current only way forward for reform…

You Were Warned (#976)

These predatory lawsuits won’t stop until FOSTA is repealed:

A[n ambulance-chaser is claiming her client] was sex-trafficked as a result of a…[magical] email sent via Mailchimp, an email marketing platform, [and] is suing the company…in Georgia [in an attempt to destroy Section 230]…Annie McAdams…claim[s] Mailchimp…worked with [Backpage] copycat site YesBackpage.com [in some way that was somehow fundamentally different from other email services]…McAdams is taking aim at Mailchimp with the hope [of a big payout]…she [also vomited out disgusting filth about] “send[ing] a message”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#979)

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:

…AnyVision, an Israeli facial recognition tech company funded by Microsoft, has been wielding its software to help enforce Israel’s military occupation, using the occupied West Bank to field-test technology it plans to export around the world…Microsoft[‘s]…funding…AnyVision…was a shockingly unethical decision by a company attempting to establish itself as a “moral leader” in the tech industry…[last year] Microsoft publicly committed to six principles to guide its facial recognition work.  One of these principles is a commitment to [making surveillance] lawful…for [fascist governments]…Following the [baclsh]…Microsoft announced it would end its relationship with AnyVision if an independent audit finds that AnyVision violates any of Microsoft’s [so-called] principles…[but] on November 15, Microsoft announced that [surveillance fan] Eric Holder will lead the independent audit

Held Together With Lies (#993)

While fascist organs like Time parrot racist government propaganda about how brown people making considered decisions in search of a better life are actually passive, childlike “slaves” in need of deportation “repatriation”, media actually owned and run by brown people are publishing articles like this:

Recent years have seen a huge increase in public, political and media attention…[to] “modern slavery“…understood as analogous to terms like “human trafficking”…the number of institutions involved in [profiting from]…this…has mushroomed, from a handful in the early 1990s to many hundreds todayMillions of dollars have been spent annually…while media outlets have provided…sensationalist…coverage…”Modern slavery”, as a concept, is a recent Euro-American invention.  It sprang up in the 1990s among [racist, prohibitionist] NGOs which found it to be an effective and attractive tool for spreading their [propaganda] and raising funds.  A key figure in this story is Kevin Bales, who established the widely critiqued Global Slavery Index…and…the [very] idea of modern slavery in the public consciousness…[this paradigm] constructs certain non-Western phenomena as problematic (such as the survival work done by poor children in much of the Global South) while excluding from concern Western phenomena (such as migrant detention centres) which are…even more troublesome…[most] poor workers labelled as modern slaves or victims of trafficking [and subjected to]…force[d “rescue”]…underst[an]d themselves as having consented to their work because doing so represented the best of their very limited options.  Rescue was therefore undesired and even abusive

The Monsters Are Due (#994) 

One can hardly blame the hoi-polloi for “sex trafficking” hysteria when “authorities” are vomiting up this kind of idiocy:

White van hysteria has hit a new high, with Baltimore Mayor Jack Young warning his citizens not to even park near a white van [because] people in…these vehicles are coming to enslave young women, force them into prostitution, murder them, and sell their body parts…When asked for the source of his information by the skeptical local reporter Vanessa Herring, he said: “It’s all over Facebook”…This incredibly thorough CNN report tracked down viral postings of the white van story and seems to have found the origin…a November 13 post by a Baltimore resident claimed she had seen two men in a white van outside a gas station who would not stop staring at her…the woman even wrote that she thought other people on social media were exaggerating when they posted about their terrifying white van encounters, but now that she had this terrifying (non) encounter of her own, she was a believer…stranger abductions are incredibly rare.  The number of minors (under age 18) kidnapped and killed by a stranger is about nine a year, in a country of about 65 million minors…David Finkelhor, head of the Crimes Against Children Resource Center…[has] heard of no cases of a child being snatched from a parent in a public place and sex-trafficked.  Not one…

The Cop Myth (#995)

41% of cops admit to beating their wives. Some don’t stop with mere beating:

[Megan Montgomery was] found shot to death in…a…parking lot…[months after] obtain[ing] a restraining order against her [estranged] husband, a [typical and representative cop named] Jason Bragg McIntosh…[who] resigned from the Hoover [Alabama] Police Department…[after he shot her in the arm]…on Feb. 23…Montgomery filed for divorce in May…[after which] McIntosh was [arrested] again [for attacking her]

Since the story seems deliberately designed to be confusing, I’ll express it competently: McIntosh & Montgomery were married in February of ’18.  They fought often and separated after he shot her in the arm during an argument in February of this year.  She took out a restraining order in March, then in May she filed for divorce and he was arrested for beating her up.  Then he finally murdered her in a parking lot on December 1st.

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These sites, these actors, these directors, these writers cannot keep using us, our bodies, and our stories to line their pockets while simultaneously refusing to support us and our needs.  –  Adrie Rose

Sex Work is Work

This could potentially be useful in winning the support of bureaucrats:

…gaining allies within governments remains a challenge…despite calls for decriminalisation by a number of international human rights organisations…and several United Nations agencies.  One of the biggest difficulties has been the…conflation of sex work with trafficking, which is linked to the belief that sex work is inherently immoral.  This [ignorant] view of sex work has shaped national policies for decades, pushing the industry outside the formal labour market and the scope of national labour laws and international standards.  However…the International Labour Organization (ILO) released a study on Unacceptable Forms of Work (UFW)…[which] contains twelve dimensions of unacceptability…unacceptability in sex work manifests where these twelve dimensions occur, but the work itself is not treated as inherently unacceptable.  Used well, this framework could be a way for sex worker rights advocates to argue for the inclusion of sex work under national labour law systems…

Pyrrhic Victory (#615)

All too often, evil arrives cloaked in the mantle of expediency:

[China’s] major tech city, Shenzhen…recently debuted a new system which allows people over the age of 60 to register for free subway rides, using their face as their ticket.  This…is also being experimented with in other cities including Jinan, Shanghai and Nanjing…[he excuse is] to speed up passengers moving through the barriers to get to platforms, as well as prevent fraud…

Under Every Bed (#734)

So much for the claimed “increase in sex trafficking in Montana”:

The FBI has cut in half the time its human trafficking agent in Montana will spend on [persecuting sex workers.  “Rescue” profiteer]…Penny Ronning…called the change “a blow” to anti-[sex worker] efforts in Montana…the decision…comes as the state brings on board two new [pigs] dedicated full-time to [harassing Asian massage businesses]…

Cooties (#797) 

Belgian cops have sadfeelz that AirBnB “sex trafficking” fantasies aren’t popular on their side of the Channel:

Sex workers in Bruges are renting rooms through…Airbnb for work, in what local authorities say is the start of a rising trend to “keep an eye on”…landowners who notice or suspect their properties are being used for sex work are encouraged to report them.  Failing to do so could put them at risk of being prosecuted for pimping…

Fallen Idol (#911)

This was a wise move on Stagliano’s part:

…Evil Angel [has] published its docu-porn Consent, which was originally slated to co-star James Deen, who has been accused of abuse by multiple women…following the numerous allegations against Deen, the company decided to stop working with him, but earlier this year, owner John Stagliano…[said] Evil Angel was welcoming Deen back…in a film…featur[ing] explicit sex alongside documentary-style footage exploring women’s agency within rough porn scenes.  Deen was cast after a woman performer asked to work with him for the film…[but] when the film finally hit the company’s site on Monday, there was no James Deen to be found…Evil Angel filmed a scene between Deen and Casey Calvert, the performer who requested to work with him, as well as an interview with Lily LaBeau, one of Deen’s accusers…Ultimately, all that footage was left on the cutting room floor.  (The film does, however, feature two other male performers who have been accused of on-set boundary violations)…

An Avalanche of Bullshit (#922)

Seattle sex workers are pushing back on the narrative that destroying Asian masseuses’ livelihood constitutes “help”:

Last month, dozens of community members gathered…at Seattle City Hall to discuss consequences of the large-scale police raids on 11…”Asian” massage parlors back in February.  The months-long sting operation resulted in the “rescue” of 26 Chinese-speaking women…According to Elene Lam…this kind of rescue narrative misconstrues the nuanced realities of the sex industry…Lam is an expert at the Toronto-based organization Butterfly, a support and advocacy group for Asian and migrant sex workers. The event…called Rescue Hurts, was organized by API Chaya and other local advocacy initiatives to correct misinformation around sex work and to propose alternative solutions that do not rely on state or police intervention…

You Were Warned

This decision is necessary to prevent a cascade of predatory lawsuits that would make the tobacco & breast implant lawsuits look reasonable and moderate in comparison:

A San Francisco Superior Court judge has tentatively sided with tech company Salesforce in a civil lawsuit brought by 90 women who claim they were sexually exploited.  The suit is the first of its kind since…FOSTA…As a large business-to-business software company, Salesforce counted Backpage among its clients. [Ambulance-chasers]…allege that Backpage…enabled them to be trafficked for sex.  But Backpage [and its assets were] seized by the U.S. government last year, making [a lawsuit against it unprofitable]…hence, lawyers got to work targeting Salesforce…lawyers…led [their clints] astray, big time, while marking a new low in attempts to assign legal liability to internet companies for their users’ actions and words…[because] under a large body of legal precedent, Salesforce would be unequivocally shielded by Section 230 in this case…

Japanese Prostitution (#930)

This is still a hot-button issue in Japan:

…Miki Dezaki…ma[d]e a documentary…[asking] why…a small but vocal group of politically influential conservatives still fervently dispute [sic] internationally accepted accounts of Japan’s…sexual enslavement of tens of thousands of Korean women and others in military brothels during World War II.  He explored in detail the conservatives’ case that the so-called comfort women were in fact paid prostitutes…Dezaki…concluded that the conservatives were “revisionists,” and used terms like “racism” and “sexism” to characterize some of their claims.  Now, five of them are suing him for defamation…[the] official 1993 Japanese government apology to the comfort women….has been a festering wound for…[nationalists] including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who have insisted that the Korean women were not sex slaves because there is no proof that they were physically forced…

The Notorious Badge (#934)

Twitter welcomes fake sex workers while working to silence real ones:

Hustlers…has been mired in controversy since the early production phase.  The living inspiration for the lead role…is reportedly considering suing the production company for misrepresenting her…and using her life story without compensation …Jennifer Lopez and fiance Alex Rodriguez have been accused of going to strip clubs for “research” and paying dancers a pittance for their time…Show Palace, the club…where much of Hustlers was filmed, has attracted criticism for closing its doors for a week of filming, giving dancers and staff little notice and no back pay…But the most ridiculous, bordering on the outright absurd, aspect of the film…was the marketing campaign…#TweetYourHustle….Women across the country began chiming in with stories of their…“hustles”…but there was no evidence of…sex workers.  There were no pictures of strip clubs or dressing rooms, no pictures of porn production sets, no pictures of in-call hotel rooms or AirBnB’s from escorts.  There was nothing from the community that put Hustlers on the map…

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