Archive for September 13th, 2011

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  –  Matthew 7:3

Just over a year ago (September 4th, 2010) Craigslist surrendered to political pressure from busybody attorneys general out to make a name for themselves by taking pot-shots at a straw man.  Founder Craig Newmark is a shy, timid fellow who may have Asperger’s Syndrome and was unable to cope with tyrannical demands and false accusations from people who relish upsetting others.  So he simply shut down his “adult services” section, thus granting the witch hunters their empty symbolic victory and allowing the whores who advertise on Craigslist to return to the personals and therapeutic services sections where they posted their ads before the government demanded the creation of an “adult services” section in the first place.  Deafened by plaudits from trafficking fetishists, the attorneys general were apparently unable to hear either the yawns with which the majority of Americans greeted their “victory” or the denunciations from civil libertarians and other rational folk, so now they’re at it again, issuing empty threats against Backpage:

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley joined with 44 attorneys general nationwide demanding Backpage.com crack down on prostitution ads, saying the site is the new online mecca for the sex trade.  “Children are being forced into prostitution in Massachusetts and across the country, and those traffickers are being given a tool to make this even easier,” Coakley said in a statement.  “We urge Backpage.com to stop child-sex trafficking on the site by completely removing all adult service advertisements.”  Backpage, owned by Village Voice Media, charges a dollar for each ad.  While the site states it does not tolerate ads promoting illegal services, the National Association of Attorneys General, citing industry analysts, said the company earns about $22.7 million in annual revenue from adult services ad sales.  The prosecutors’ group claims the site does minimal vetting of ads.  “The stated representations about the site are in direct conflict with the reality of Backpage’s business model:  making money from a service illegal in every state, but for a few counties in Nevada,” the group said.  A Backpage spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.  The prosecutors’ association is the same group that pressured Craigslist.org into abandoning its “adult” category in 2010.

As I was told by Pete Kotz back in January, Village Voice Media is not run by gentle, socially-awkward souls who shrink from confrontation, and its owners have no intention of running from this fight; some commentators have observed that they actually seem to relish it, and why shouldn’t they?  The attorneys general don’t have a legal leg to stand on, and they know it; they’re just trying to blow down paper targets with hot air.

But there’s another aspect to the story which was called to my attention by veteran activist Norma Jean Almodovar; in a comment on the Kansas iteration of the same news story she pointed out that the politicians are making a big deal about imaginary “children forced into prostitution” in order to call attention away from their own disorderly house:

“More than 50 cases of trafficking or attempted trafficking of minors on Backpage.com have been filed in 22 states in the past three years, the letter says…”  And in 2011 alone, more than 100 cases of pedophile and child porn possessing police/district attorneys/judges were brought to court…NONE of those cases involved backpage.com or craigslist or any other classified website offering adult ads – just a bunch of perverted cops, judges, FBI agents etc. who had access to these young people because they are persons in authority whom no one suspects of diddling their children.  These numbers do not include the teachers, preachers, priests, boy scout leaders and other persons who are trusted by the community and who do not find their victims on backpage.com.  The US Government reports that 90% of the cases of child sexual exploitation are at the hands of someone the child knows, like the above cops, teachers, etc. and 68% of the cases of child sexual abuse are at the hands of a family member.  Why don’t the states attorneys general deal with those issues instead of conflating all commercial sex with underage sex trafficking?

And in a comment on the Massachusetts story linked above, she went one better by actually publishing a list of 102 cops who have been accused of child molestation or possession of child porn THIS YEAR ALONE.

It seems to me that Martha Coakley and her partners in crime need to heed the advice of scripture, specifically Matthew 7:5:  “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

One Year Ago Today

The Doors of Perception” discusses people who have no trouble recognizing whores as whores, no matter how completely we blend with our surroundings.

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