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Posts Tagged ‘Above the Law’

You’re giving all your data to the pornographic equivalent of Mark Zuckerberg.  –  Jim Killock

Above the Law 

If only there were a concise word for “sexually assaulted an incapacitated woman”:

Rep. Brian Ellis has resigned, effective immediately…Pennsylvania state House Republicans stripped Ellis of his Consumer Affairs Commitee chairmanship in January after allegations that he sexually assaulted an incapacitated woman…[who] was drugged while having a drink and was sexually assaulted at Ellis’s home…more than three years ago…

I’m gratified to see that nearly every commenter is as disgusted as I am with KDKA’s avoidance of the word “rape”.  But Ellis isn’t our only rapist government actor this week:

…Wisconsin probation-parole agent [Reynaldo Rosalez, who]…sexually assault[ed] a…10 year…old [girl]…pleaded no contest…to…sexual assault of a child…on July 12, 2018…the victim…said “she was scared to tell him to stop because she has heard people who drink alcohol can become violent,” and he had been drinking…after the…assault, she “hid in the bathroom,” before Rosalez sexually assaulted her a second time…the next day, she told her mother what happened “because if she didn’t tell the truth, this could keep happening and nobody would know”…

Blunt Instrument

Massage parlors are popular targets of “anti-trafficking” pogroms because they’re low-hanging fruit:

[Pigs raided] Ace Spa, Golden Spa and Sun Spa…[and] the Prosecuting Attorney’s office [claimed without the slightet scrap of evidence that it was about]…sex trafficking…in…Honolulu.  Two women were [molested and caged]…But, less than 24 hours…[later] all three businesses had their open sign lit up and front doors wide open [because they are businesses with bills to that don’t go away when pigs attack while prohibitionists wank]…Kathryn Xian, the executive director of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery [vomited out a lot of disgusting, racist filth which reporters eagerly lapped up as though they were dogs]…

Bad Girls (#540) 

Caty Simon on overlapping prohibitions:

…Street-based sex workers, in particular, are commonly viewed as one-stop vice shops by their clients…we’re pressured to not only procure drugs for our clients, but also to babysit drug culture naive middle-class men on their benders…in 2015, sex worker Alix Tichelman was arrested and convicted for manslaughter for the overdose death of her sugar daddy, Google exec Forrest Hayes…The way in which this young sex worker was portrayed as a heartless killer is an example of how drug-induced homicide laws perpetuate the madonna/whore complex…drug-using women…are either innocent white damsels led astray and murdered by the shadowy men who initiate us into drug use, or conversely…we are the amoral, seductive temptresses who lead upstanding men to their deaths…Global trends in laws around sex work…keep us isolated and working alone…Similarly, drug-induced homicide laws which promise a murder charge if you happen to hand your friend a bag they then OD on also encourage drug users to use alone, even though doing so is itself the most dangerous risk factor for overdose.  These legal frameworks…encourage drug users, sex workers, and. most relevantly, drug-using sex workers, to die alone rather than form communities in which we protect each other…

Between the Ears (#719) 

Why do men want to put stupid gadgets on their dicks?

…the “Cock Cam” from UK company Julz…[is] “the world’s first cock ring with a camera,” available now for $160…the camera in Julz’s “stretchy yet tight” wearable ring records up to 90 minutes of 1080p, H.264 video in MP4 format.  It features night vision, too, as well as a rechargeable lithium battery…there’s Wi-Fi to worry about in this thing too, complete with a companion app that lets users view their videos or share them with a partner…the Cock Cam is one of a growing field of internet-connected sex toys, and perhaps the most concerning one yet given that we aren’t just talking about remote controls or usage statistics, but video…Julz [claims] your videos are never transmitted to the cloud, but are instead stored locally on your phone…[however] the company is currently working to update the app to allow for FaceTime-style live streaming…

Yes, ladies, soon we may not just have to endure static dick pics, but also unwelcome wanking videos.

The Widening Gyre (#800)

Fact:  3-year-old suspiciously vanishes. Conclusion: sex trafficking!

It’s been almost 12 years since [3-year-old] Madeleine McCann…vanished from her British family’s vacation villa in…Portugal…Gerry and Kate McCann…faced suspicion and intense media scrutiny after their daughter first went missing in May 2007…The couple later won a libel suit against a Portuguese detective who wrote a book claiming the McCanns were involved…A new 8-part Netflix docuseries, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann…advances the [fantas]y that Madeleine was abducted and…sold into a trafficking ring…[because] Madeleine’s body was never found and there is scant evidence pointing elsewhere…

Abducted?  Sure.  But when a three-year-old is abducted from a fancy resort, the most likely motive is ransom, not “sex slavery”.  A far more likely possibility is that something went wrong and the child was killed.

Elephant in the Parlor (#831)

It’s dangerous to be a woman who knows the sexual secrets of powerful men:

…prosecutors have opened an investigation into the possible poisoning death of a Moroccan model who was a key witness in the trial against ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi over his infamous “bunga bunga” parties.  Imane Fadil…died March 1 at a Milan-area hospital, where she had been treated since Jan. 29 for exhibiting “symptoms of poisoning”…Berlusconi was initially convicted of charges that he paid for sex with an underage woman…[but] was ultimately acquitted by Italy’s highest court in 2015…Fadil had testified against Berlusconi during the initial trial, and then with two other women had sought civil damages in a spinoff investigation over allegations that Berlusconi paid witnesses for their silence…by January, the Milan court had thrown out their claims altogether.  Two weeks later, Fadil was hospitalized…

All-Purpose Excuse (#857)

Trumpists and anti-Trumpists continue to fight for control of the “sex trafficking” narrative:

To justify his border wall, Mr. Trump is fond is [repeating] the [common prohibitonist trope] of sex trafficking victims brought over the southern border.  “Women are tied up, they’re bound, duct tape put around their faces,” he said — a garish but apparently imaginary scenario that people who [profit from] trafficking [hysteria invented and frequently use in their propaganda]…“The administration appears to view trafficking as a convenient tool to justify its border policies, rather than as a [convenient tool to expand the police state and enrich NGOs like ours]” said [fetishist] Martina Vandenberg…Beginning late last year, applicants for visas were put on notice that they may be subject to deportation proceedings in immigration court if their bids for humanitarian visas are denied.  That was a shift from earlier practice under which applicants were exempt from summons to immigration court, a policy designed to incentivize [people to declare themselves] victims [so as] to [inflate the “victim” numbers]…In [furtherance] of [increased violence against sex workers]…Mr. Trump sheds crocodile tears…

Legislators Gone Wild (#879) 

The anti-whore brigade couldn’t get the people to support them, so politicians want to overrule the people:

[Politician] Joe Hardy said he plans to introduce a bill that would ban licensed brothels in Nevada…Hardy said [a lot of misogynistic, infantilizing nonsense claiming that brothel workers]…“are…being abused.  In some cases, raped”…[he also bizarrely referred to attempting to police individuals’ sex lives as being] “…grown up”…“The bill is based on falsehoods,” former sex worker [and brothel researcher] Christina Parreira said…

Given that fewer than 1% of Nevada sex workers operate from the brothels, this is absolutely nothing more than political showboating.

Opting Out (#893) 

The UK’s long-deferred surveillance/censorship scheme is finally about to begin:

The government will next week confirm the launch date for…UK-wide [censorship of]…online [content] as privacy campaigners continue to raise concerns about how websites and age verification companies will use the data they collect.  The plan for implementing the long-delayed age block, which has been beset by [the problems intrinsic to all censorship schemes]…is expected to be announced alongside the government’s other proposals for tackling online content [politicians dislike]…although it could be several months before the system is fully up and running.  The age block will require commercial pornography sites to show that they are taking sufficient steps to verify their users are over 18, such as by uploading a passport or driving licence or by visiting a newsagent to buy a pass only available to adults…Jim Killock, the executive director of the Open Rights Group, said he remained concerned about the [inevitability] of a major data leak as a result of people handing over their personal identification…[about] sexual preference[s]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#898)

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

…through its Vigilant Solutions contract…ICE has access not only to 5 billion records gathered by private businesses, but also to 1.5 billion data points contributed by over 80 local law enforcement agencies from more than a dozen states…these…arrangements may violate ICE [claimed] privacy policies and state and local data-sharing laws—particularly in cases where the data originates from sanctuary cities…Automated license plate readers…are…mounted on overpasses, bridges, road signs, public vehicles, or on private property such as malls or parking lots.  They can record thousands of license plates per minute and capture the location coordinates, date, and time along with each photo for long-term aggregation and storage.  The data they accumulate can be used to create a detailed picture of where a car has been over time…

Backwards into the Future (#902) 

I wonder how long it will be before the US abandons “re-education” for sex workers and clients?

When Chinese legislators recommended the abolition of “education” detention centres where prostitutes and clients can be held without charge for two years, activists hoped the facilities’ days were numbered.  They will have to wait longer…police have unilateral power to detain sex workers and their clients for up to two years in “shelter and education” centres…[which] have little to do with education…testimonies of ex-detainees collected by [human rights group] Asia Catalyst…revealed the harsh…conditions in the centres…includ[ing]…forced labour…and the obligation to pay for subsistence and forced medical examinations at prohibitive prices…“it is just a way of extorting money on behalf of the state and the police,” one of the women told the group…

So, basically the same as the US.

The Course of a Disease (#911)

Like anti-vaxxers who not only neglect their own health, but actively spread contagion:

France and Sweden have launched a new common strategy for combatting…[consensual] sex…which specifically calls on other countries to [infanti]lise the [sellers] of sex…The strategy is a response to [women’s economic freedom and increasing recognition of individual rights]…that every [police state] has a duty to combat…

Rough Trade (#914) 

Imagine this actually going to trial in the US:

A sex worker…yelled, pushed and stabbed a client with her thumbs after he ignored her attempts to withdraw consent…Norman Ariate Alonzo denies being told to stop, [claiming the idiotic “she wanted to be barebacked by a stranger” defense]…Alonzo​…faces a charge of rape…[because] the woman noticed the condom had fallen off and she asked Alonzo to stop so she could retrieve another.  Instead, he continued to [rape her until she]…jabbed her thumbs into Alonzo’s throat and hit him across the face.  She ran out of the room, told her manager and waited in the bathroom until police arrived…

Condoms don’t “fall off” during active penetration unless they break or the man goes soft (unless he has a micropenis); they can, however, be stealthily pulled off by the kind of guy who thinks “she wanted it” is a believable defense for rape.

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Facial recognition…will turn members of the public into walking ID cards.  –  Silkie Carlo

The Red Umbrella 

As tourists shopped for Christmas gifts in the brightly lit Westlake Center, sex worker and performance artist Vee Chattie sat half-naked in the rain on a towel…[covered in] fake blood…poured…from a vessel marked “FOSTA-SESTA“…A few bicycle cops rode up to make sure they weren’t actually bleeding.  A passerby asked if they were okay.  Another stopped by to voice his agreement…these Seattleites showed more human concern for Chattie than many show for sex workers on a regular basis.  It was effective performance art…

Real People 

A good profile of veteran trans & sex worker rights activist Ceyenne Doroshow:

…As a Black trans woman I see progress, but not that much…we have a government fighting against our very existence…Are we gonna go back to the Stonewall days where you need to have on two male articles [of clothing]?…I will never go back to those times, I’m sorry.  When I had to be Eddie Morales, it was for survival.  When I had to do sex work, it was definitely survival.  Because even working a part-time job for a non-profit where I’m saving lives was not paying me enough to sustain in life…And we’re still seeing that today in not-for-profits.  We’re being tokenized…We can systematically turn people off when we let a government ordain what femininity looks like, what women’s rights looks like, what protection looks like…

Above the Law  

Even being related to a cop may be enough:

Rape and sodomy charges against the son of Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton were dismissed by a…grand jury…Patrick Melton…[raped the drunk] victim on July 7 at his residence on University Avenue in Lexington [Kentucky]…The woman…tried to squirm, push and kick Melton…[and] multiple witnesses confirmed the victim’s statements that she was intoxicated and passed out prior to the [rape]…

Watershed

When the magazine founded by Gloria “Body Invasion” Steinem publishes an anti-Swedish model article, the handwriting is on the wall for “feminist” prohibitionism:

…the “Nordic Model”…is often touted as a compromise between the criminalization or decriminalization of sex work, and one that decreases prosecution against sex workers—but, like all criminalization approaches to the regulation of sex work, the Nordic Model is underpinned by a moralistic framing of sex work that is inherently harmful, to sex workers and to society at-large…it applies an oversimplified macro-economic framing of supply and demand to an industry that consists of fundamentally discrete, personal and often isolated or irregular interactions.  December 17 is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers—and we’re demanding an end to “End Demand”.  Here are three reasons why…

Japanese Prostitution (#435) 

More accurate headline: “Enjo kosai girls get better at protecting themselves from busybodies”:

More than half of youths involved in [what is now labeled] child prostitution in Japan’s three biggest metropolitan areas last year had shown no signs of delinquency, attending schools normally and having never had criminal records, a survey shows.  The finding suggests it has been increasingly difficult for parents and teachers to detect a change in the attitude of juveniles, the National Police Agency said…[yet still insisted on describing them as]…victimized…[even though] most…were involved in [sex work]…for financial reasons, with 84.5 percent saying they wanted “money for leisure and other activities,” while 5.7 percent and 2.6 percent pointed to “living expenses” and “tuition,” respectively.  Other reasons included “out of curiosity” and “invited by friends”…

“Compensated dating” has existed in Japan for decades, but Japanese “authorities” have only started imposing a “crime and victimization” narrative on the activity within this decade.

The Prudish Giant (#789)

People sometimes ask why I’m not on Facebook:

Facebook gave more than 150 companies, including Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, and Yahoo, unprecedented access to users’ personal data…[the] New York Times…obtained hundreds of pages of Facebook documents, generated in 2017, that show that the social network considered these companies business partners and effectively exempted them from its privacy rules.  Facebook allowed Microsoft’s search engine Bing to see the names of nearly all users’ friends without their consent, and allowed Spotify, Netflix, and the Royal Bank of Canada to read, write, and delete users’ private messages, and see participants on a thread.  It also allowed Amazon to get users’ names and contact information through their friends, let Apple access users’ Facebook contacts and calendars even if users had disabled data sharing, and let Yahoo view streams of friends’ posts “as recently as this summer,” despite publicly claiming it had stopped sharing such information a year ago…

The article then goes on to list the denials & prevarications of Facebook and many of its “partners”.

Stupor Bowl (#811)

Prohibitionists are trying to subvert our debunking of the gypsy whores myth by pretending the reason there’s no surge is that the “demand” for “victims” is always sky-high:

[Prohibitionist profiteer] Bob Rodgers [said] “The Super Bowl doesn’t cause sex trafficking…Conferences and conventions, like so many we have in Atlanta, don’t cause sex trafficking.  It is already occurring in every metro Atlanta county and it will still be happening when the Super Bowl leaves”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#871)

The biggest problem with this ridiculous failure rate is that it won’t stay inaccurate for much longer:

London cops have been slammed for using unmarked vans to test controversial and inaccurate automated facial recognition technology on Christmas shoppers…in…Soho, Piccadilly Circus, and Leicester Square…the tech will be attached to vans and run for eight hours on each day…In May, a Freedom of Information request from Big Brother Watch showed the Met’s facial recog had a 98 per cent false positive rate…a subsequent request found that 100 per cent of the so-called matches since May have been incorrect.  A recent report from Cardiff University questioned the technology’s abilities in low light and crowds – which doesn’t bode well for a trial in some of the busiest streets in London just days before the winter solstice…

Disaster (#895) 

Never forget that “filter” is merely a euphemism for “censor”:

According to Tumblr, its new adult content ban doesn’t effect [sic] images of “female-presenting nipples” that involve medical situations, are related to political speech, or appear in artwork.  Tumblr itself, however, apparently can’t come up with four examples of [nipple pictures]…its porn filter actually allows…Tumblr’s staff account published a message  aimed at “clarify[ing]” the new policy…[including] a gif providing several examples of nudity that is “still permitted within our policy”…but…when Gizmodo posted the gif to Tumblr ourselves, it was immediately flagged as a potential violation and hidden by the…filter.  When the images…were uploaded individually, two of the four examples…were similarly flagged and hidden…In recent days, the platform has allegedly flagged a picture of a finger, historical bus photos, and Great British Bake-Off gifs…

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With all the legitimately pressing problems facing America today, it’s astonishing that anyone could earnestly advocate for more obscenity prosecutions.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Above the Law  

We’re so lucky to have these brave heroes to protect us from refugees:

Police in Alpine, Texas, have charged a National Guardsman stationed near the Mexico border with sexual assault after…he drunkenly tried to rape a woman in a hotel.  Luis Ontiveros…is accused of assaulting…[another] member of the National Guard…[who] had…thrown up from drinking too much…He took her clothes off before she was able to get out of the hotel room…and knocked on the hotel room door next to hers, telling the man who answered that Ontiveros had tried to rape her…

A Mound of Filth (#506)

More “sex slave” fantasies from Dominique “Body Fluids” Roe-Sepowitz:

The latest numbers from the FBI show in 2017 Arizona was third in the nation for human trafficking offenses…[Ignorant prohibitionists fantasize] it is impacting people from all walks of life.  “It is anybody.  Businessmen, junkies from the street, anybody looking for sex,” said an [anonymous prohibitionist]…Dominique Roe-Sepowitz is an associate professor [who makes a living stoking “sex trafficking” hysteria by making up fake statistics.]…”In Arizona, we [claim] we have about 250 kids a year and about 800 adults a year [involved in sex trafficking],” [she] said…She [moaned and put her hand down her pants while fantasizing that]…traffickers are creative and calculating when targeting their victims…It happens through social media, in public buildings and parks and even in front of schools.  “They’re going to find that child wherever they are”…

Forward and Backward (#604)

UK politicians don’t like policies that oppose their harm magnification agenda:

…Leeds Council [is considering]…closure of the Leeds ‘managed zone’, in which sex workers are able to solicit for business in a designated area without fear of arrest…Regulation via zoning is not ideal but any solution which increases safety for sex workers, allows them to report crimes and brings down the number of arrests is important.  Working without fear of arrest means sex workers aren’t running from the police are more able to use basic safety measures like working in close proximity to each other and sharing information about clients…outreach charity Basis Yorkshire [says]…97% of sex workers are now willing to report crimes to the police, compared with just 7% before the scheme launched.  There has been a dramatic uptake in engagement with health and support services…

For over a year now, the Leeds red light district has been the subject of a smear campaign by prohibitionists, with the help of the BBC.

Welcome to the Future (#607)

“Immigrant Council of Ireland” is the deceptive name of one of the most vile prohibitionist organizations in Europe:

Police across Europe should be given the resources to spy on…sex workers’ homes to prevent prostitution, a report has said.  The Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) was one of six organisations to examine laws on sex work and trafficking across Europe.  The group’s Disrupt Demand report called for more [police violence vs. sex workers and clients]…and [more] “surveillance operations on indoor locations”…

Most news coverage of this “report” tries to make it sound like a study, when in fact it’s just a collection of prohibitionist fantasies and demands with no new material of any kind.

The Puritan Recrudescence

The natural result of widespread kowtowing to the heckler’s veto:

…Nina Hartley went to University of Wisconsin-La Crosse to give an optional lecture to students…about STI testing, the importance of consent, and the potential pitfalls of learning about sex from porn.  The talk was soberly titled, “Fantasy vs. Reality: A critical view of adult media.”  There were no explicit images or videos, just an informational Powerpoint slide.  And yet, of course, conservative media outlets are losing their shit over it, because a porn star (who is also a sex educator and activist) spoke with our kids (who are actually legal adults) about fucking (but really much more).  Hartley was invited to speak by Joe Gow, the chancellor of the university…with…$5,000 from Gow’s office fund, as opposed to with state tax dollars…sensationalistic headlines…desperately attempted to turn it into a tawdry sex scandal…Then Fox News jumped into the fray.  The outcry was such that Gow felt the need to pen an op-ed in the La Crosse Tribune…in [which]…he…agreed to personally compensate the university for Hartley’s $5,000 appearance fee…[and] book…a speaker from Fight the New Drug, a [Mormon-backed prohibitionist organization]…infamous for using bad scienceshoddy data, and alarmist first-person stories to demonize pornography…

Count the Idiocies

Since this is suburban Seattle, I could’ve done this one stoned:

Sex trafficking is happening in plain sight in Snohomish County1, according to nurse practitioner Paula Newman-Skomski2.  “It’s most visible is along Highway 99,” she said.3  This past weekend [Operation Cross-Country] found 13 female victims of sex trafficking – two of the victims are juveniles4. No arrests were made.  The FBI said the victims were offered referrals to a variety of resources.5…”Every year we identify 40 to 45 juveniles involved in the trafficking trade here in Snohomish County,” said Newman-Skomski.6…”…easily transported up and down the I-5 corridor.”7  It is the kind of illegal activity the FBI focused on when it shut down Backpage.com8…Peoria Home in Everett…is a two-year, residential recovery program for women 18 and over who have been exploited through sex trafficking and prostitution.  It opened in April9

1 No, it isn’t. If it were cops would be crowing about it.
2 Whom nobody around here has ever heard of before.
3 No, Those are street workers.
4 No, they got 13 bites in a sting; the fact that they didn’t arrest them could mean several different things.
5 Such as finger-painting classes and the number of the welfare office.
6 No, they don’t; that would represent some 20% of all sex workers in Greater Seattle.  Underage sex workers represent only about 3-4% of all sex workers.
7 Interstates cause sex trafficking!
8 No, it isn’t.
9 “Rescue” profiteers are utterly shameless.

Why I Wait (#812)

Most of this article is the usual garbage: equating dating with sex, pointedly ignoring commercial sex, pretending that people answer surveys on stigmatized subjects honestly, etc.  But there was one paragraph which contained some possible clues to the reasons any actual decrease (however small) might exist:

…it might be a consequence of…surging anxiety rates, of psychological frailty, of widespread antidepressant use…of environmental estrogens leaked by plastics [and soy products], of dropping testosterone levels…of helicopter parents…of sleep deprivation, of obesity…

In my estimation, the most likely candidate for this supposed decline is the ongoing culture war on sex, which discourages people from being honest about their sexuality (especially activity involving sex workers).  In other words they aren’t really having less sex; they’re just admitting it less.

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#815) 

Regular readers will recognize Alberta’s article as completely unmoored from reality:

There’s been a “total abandonment of pornography as a battleground in America’s culture war,” writes Politico reporter Tim Alberta in “How the GOP Gave Up on Porn“.  He couldn’t be more wrong.  The flashpoints have shifted certainly since the 1970s and ’80s, when Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority teamed with second-wave feminists to take on Playboy and Hustler.  And social conservatives’ embrace of President Donald Trump does present a stark contrast to earlier eras…But such hypocrisy should not be mistaken for a radical repositioning of Republican dogma on “obscenity”…it was just two years ago that Republicans added language to their official party platform that declared porn “has become a public health crisis that is destroying the lives of millions“…Last year, Republicans in at least a dozen state legislatures introduced measures to ban porn access for anyone who wouldn’t pay a $20 fine…But never mind reality.  Fresh from declaring that there’s been no recent Republican action against porn because he doesn’t personally remember it, Alberta gets right to theorizing about why…

See No Evil (#854) 

Prosecutors want to cage a man for twenty years for drawings of fictional characters:

…a Rapid City, South Dakota, man was charged in federal district court with…Possession of Obscene Visual Representations of the Sexual Abuse of Children…Andrew Hallock…pleaded not guilty to the charges…[which carry] a mandatory minimum of 5 years up to 20 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine…The charges [derive from] Hallock…possessing…sexually explicit drawings and cartoons of minors…The investigation is being conducted by the I[maginary] Crimes Against [Imaginary] Children Taskforce…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#885)

Politicians send thugs to violently assault women to advance vain Disnification campaign:

Police and military personnel [brutalized] and detained 53 Laotians–50 women and three girls who were allegedly employed as sex workers–during raids on karaoke bars in southern Thailand’s Narathiwat province…Authorities could not find and arrest the bar owners during the raids, but they were…[threatening] the…sex workers…[with] prosecut[ion] for prostitution [to intimidate as many of them as possible into claiming to be “trafficking victims”]…

No Difference (#886)

Tanzania ramps up its pogroms against gay men:

International human rights organisations have condemned…the harassment and arrest of gay men in Tanzania, following comments from a government official on plans to establish a task force to identify, track down and arrest people suspected of being gay…ten men were arrested on suspicion of being gay on…Zanzibar after members of the public [ratted] them [out] to police.  They are being held…with[out] charge…for allegedly conducting a same-sex marriage ceremony, and the police reported they found the men sitting in pairs “two by two”

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You can’t provide consent freely if you’re…not free.  –  William Ramirez

Rough Trade 

Reporter helps cops add insult to injury by infantilizing a rape victim:

Bellevue police have arrested two men in connection with the rape and robbery of a Chinese woman — believed to be a victim of human trafficking…on July 19…Police say the suspects know these types of incidents aren’t usually reported due to the victim’s fear of being arrested or deported.  These suspects are believed to have committed several similar robberies in the greater Seattle area and Bellevue…

The cops claim they won’t arrest victims who report, but it would be foolish for a sex worker to take the risk.  And even if they don’t arrest her, they’ll deny her agency and use her to advance their anti-whore narrative by calling her a “sex trafficking victim”.

Lack of Evidence 

Persecution of sex workers and lack of rights for women in general are part of the same ugly scheme:

A friend of mine lived alone in downtown Cairo…One day in 2012, her neighbors saw her heading to the apartment with her boyfriend and two friends, a man and a woman.  Once they were inside, the neighbors started banging on the door, calling her a prostitute and threatening to call the police to arrest them for prostitution…My friend told them that she and her partner were married, through an urfi or unregistered marriage, and the guests were just friends.  Things settled down only after she promised that she would move out of the apartment within days.  Many women have been raised in familial contexts where their mobility and sexuality are restricted…These restrictions have driven many of us to move out of our family homes out of a desire to experience life for ourselves, and enter the expanding ranks of the mustaqellat, or independent women, those who live neither in the home of their families nor husbands.  If we thought that by leaving our family homes we could escape respectability politics, we learn very quickly that this is not the case.  When women live alone, they are perceived as…abnormal subjects, because we are not living with our families, the source of a woman’s identification and social value…a woman trying to live beyond the traditional frameworks of social relationships…is constantly surveilled, and the primary authority over her body moves from the family and its neighborhood to the larger community…

Above the Law  

They always make these cases sound like the bureaucrat was doing his victims a favor:

A…Pennsylvania district attorney who tipped off female drug dealers and gave them lenient treatment in exchange for sex was sentenced to eight years of probation…Bill Higgins…pleaded guilty in May in a deal with prosecutors that guaranteed him no jail time and no additional felony counts.  He was officially disbarred earlier this month…Judge Thomas Ling ordered him to perform over 1,100 hours of community service and pay fines of nearly $10,000…Attorney General Josh Shapiro charged Higgins in April, calling his behavior a betrayal of the community…

Yeah, “The Community” was the victim and not the women he coerced sex from because they were engaged in peaceful, consensual transactions.  It’s enough to make one vomit.

First They Came for the Hookers…

Y’all didn’t stand up for professional whores, and now they’re coming for you dabblers:

A British Airways flight attendant has been suspended after putting a video of herself sniffing her tights and unbuttoning her shirt online…While it is unknown whether the flight attendant sold the tights or shoes, there is a growing trend for cabin crew selling their used garments online…

Monsters 

Another trans sex worker murdered, this time in Paris:

On the night of August 16-17, we received several messages and calls…reporting the murder of Vanessa Campos…[by] 7 to 8 men…This…would probably be a gang of men who regularly assault sex workers and their clients to rob them.  This band phenomenon targeting sex workers is currently developing throughout the Ile de France region.  Those who try to organize for self-defense…are then attacked separately…The murders of trans women sex workers are not rare…we regularly try to alert public opinion and the authorities to this violence.  Unfortunately as always, we find ourselves alone…

Torture Chamber 

The State wants us to call this a “correctional institution” and the torturers “correctional officers”:

…about 100 people…poured into an Ocala meeting hall…to…Talk about brutal abuse, corruption and inhumane treatment behind the walls of one of Florida’s most notorious prisons, Lowell Correctional Institution for women.  For the first time, former inmates and their families were given a voice, and many of them had a lot to say to investigators from the U.S. Department of Justice about how rape [and] assault…by [screws] has become routine…The community meeting was set up by DOJ investigators who wanted to [see if there’s a way to cover up]…civil rights abuses and other unlawful conduct at the prison [which]…the…Florida Department of Corrections has ignored, covered up or dismissed…Laura Cowall, an attorney with the Justice Department, emphasized that the inquiry is not a criminal investigation but rather one that may result in a [useless] report…That prompted one family member to question whether the investigation will produce any substantive changes since it will not hold officers and staff responsible for inmates who have been beaten, raped or died…“They are scared to talk. How can you guarantee their safety?”…shouted one family member.  Cowall [vomited up bullshit] that retaliation would not be tolerated by the Department of Justice [because obviously they’ll be there 24 hours a day and can read the minds of screws with their magic federal powers]…

Don’t Call It Trafficking 

It’s never called “trafficking” when the government or a crony does it:

The shock of last year’s category five hurricane was just a precursor to the radical overhaul of Puerto Rico’s overburdened prison system…Nestled away in [a] 200-page [austerity plan] was a policy to offshore around a third of Puerto Rico’s prison population – 3,200 inmates – to private facilities thousands of miles away within the US…The government insists it will be voluntary…“This is government sponsored human trafficking”…said William Ramirez, executive director of the Puerto Rico American Civil Liberties Union.  “Even if you say it’s consensual, the reality is that you can’t provide consent freely if you’re…not free”…

If Men Were Angels 

“Youth pastors” are nearly as bad as cops:

Citing more than two years of secret bathroom recordings of juvenile victims, federal prosecutors argue that a former Medford [Oregon] youth pastor should be sentenced as a “repeat and dangerous sex offender”.  Prosecutors are seeking…more than 15 years…for Donald Courtney Biggs…who’s been held in the Jackson County Jail since early 2015…Biggs…groomed victims by giving them gifts…and singled out victims for activities outside of church…Investigators have recovered 166 illicit videos recorded without victims’ knowledge, about 80 more than previously reported.  They had been recorded in secret during overnight youth trips that included summer camps and spring break outings, as well as taken at Biggs’ home and at the church…

Business As Usual

Cop murders sex worker for resisting his attempt to rape her:

[Andrew Mitchell, an Ohio cop with 30 years of complaints and reprimands for excessive force, murdered] 23-year-old [sex worker] Donna Castleberry [by shooting her 8] times [at point-blank range after she]…stabbed [him in the hand.  The plainclothes cop, who had parked his unmarked car so close to the wall that the passenger door could not be opened, had apparently forced the un-handcuffed Castleberry into the front seat of his car]…[Though Mitchell claims he] was investigating complaints related to prostitution in the neighborhood [he was probably specifically looking for Castleberry since a warrant had been issued on her the day before for failing to appear in court on a soliciting charge]…

Thanks to Donna’s mother and best friend for the details pointing to the cop’s motives, which of course the cops di not release to the bootlicking local media.  What actually happened is clear: Mitchell, a cop with a long history of brutality, sought Donna out on purpose to rape her, knowing she had a warrant.  He forced her into the front seat of his car without handcuffing her, and when she tried to stop him from raping her, he emptied nearly the whole clip into her 100-pound body at point-blank range.

If Men Were Angels (#586)

The victim can’t get damages in civil court because her rapist worked for the beneficent government:

A…Houston doctor convicted of sexually assaulting a patient while she was tethered to machines…won’t serve any prison time and will instead serve 10 years’ probation…Dr. Shafeeq Sheikh…acknowledged at trial that he had sexual contact with the woman during the night shift at Ben Taub hospital in 2013 but [like most rapists pretended] it was consensual…[even though] the woman was weak, sore and medicated following several acute asthma episodes.  The victim…tried to summon a nurse with the call button, but witnesses testified it had been unplugged…Sheikh has lost his medical license and must register as a sex offender…

The Widening Gyre (#698)

Hysteria like this is a predictable outgrowth of the “sex trafficking” hysteria politicians, cops & media have aggressively promoted for the past 14 years:

Voodoo Doughnut found itself mired in an online conspiracy theory alleging the famous Portland doughnut franchise is involved in child sex trafficking.  It started when a man identified as Michael Whalen appeared on a YouTube show on Aug. 4, claiming he saw signs of child trafficking [like those “authorities” are always telling people to watch for] during a party he attended at Voodoo owner Tres Shannon’s…house…[like those “authorities”] Whalen offered no…evidence to support his claims, but told the show’s host, Nathan Stolpman, that he had spoken to authorities…Portland police…say no such reports exist…While the original interview appears to have been removed from YouTube, Stolpman has since posted several other videos…that appear to add actor Macaulay Culkin and nearby rock club Dante’s to the list of alleged conspirators…

Pyrrhic Victory (#844)

It may already be far too late to put this evil djinni back in its bottle:

Should the government be able to track your every move when you walk down the street, join a protest, or enter your psychiatrist’s building?  Facial recognition technology may make that a reality for Australians.  Parliament should refuse to expand its use until the government can demonstrate it won’t be used to violate human rights or turn us all into criminal suspects.  [A new] bill would create a nationwide database of people’s physical characteristics and identities, linking facial images and data from states and territories and integrating them with a facial recognition system….[which] would initially enable centralised access to passport, visa, citizenship, and driver license images…government agencies and some private companies would then be allowed to submit images to verify someone’s identity….[or] identify an unknown person…the proposal is too broad, enables using facial recognition for purposes far beyond fighting serious crime, and leaves significant details to departmental discretion or future interpretation.  The lack of safeguards combined with the centralisation of a massive amount of information raises the potential for abuse and ever-expanding mission creep…

Damned Lies

Glenn Kessler located the bogus numbers behind this painfully-dumb claim:

In a self-congratulatory video posted on July 20 by the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, Wagner, the key sponsor of FOSTA, made a claim that caught our attention: “We have shut down nearly 90 percent of the online sex trafficking business and ads”…When asked for evidence, Wagner’s office sent a chart that tracked all sex-related advertising, saying that it showed weekly global ad volume dropped 87 percent from January to April.  The chart was generated through a [government surveillance] system called Memex…The biggest drop in ads came after the shutdown of Backpage…a[nother] drop…took place after the laws achieved final passage in Congress on March 21, prompting sex-oriented websites such as CityVibe and the Erotic Review to begin to shut down in the United States…Okay, but what happened after April?  Wagner’s staff refused to share the data, so we asked…[Memex’s managers] Uncharted Software…it turns out that after that initial drop, advertising for the sex trade appears to have rebounded, such as on new websites that mimic Backpage with names like “Bedpage”.  Worldwide ads had a daily average of about 105,000 when FOSTA-SESTA passed on March 21 and had dropped 28 percent by the time Backpage was closed on April 5.  It then plunged another 75 percent and reached a low of 19,456 on April 17, for a total decline of about 82 percent.  But on the day the Judiciary Committee posted the video, sex-trade ads were back at about 50 percent of the daily volume before the law had passed; as of Aug. 11, they were at almost 75 percent…Wagner…celebrated a decline of “sex-trafficking business and ads” but as we noted, the metric she is using is advertising for all sex work.  The actual impact on “sex trafficking” is unknown…

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If the benefits, and responsibilities, of adulthood keep getting deferred, is it any wonder kids have a hard time growing up?  –  Karol Markowicz

Dysphemisms Galore 

In normal adult language, they ran an ordinary escort service like I did:

A [San Francisco Bay area] woman who is accused of running a 150-woman prostitution ring with her son is also a prolific author of feminist erotica…Fay Ruth Romesburg, is accused of working with her son David Scott Romesburg…to lure women into sex work and then arranging appointments for them at three properties…Romesburg said she is “deeply concerned with female sexual empowerment” and referred to laws against sex work as a “continued assault on women’s rights…We need to stop treating these women as victims,” she said of sex workers…”They are highly intelligent and educated”…

Still a Child 

It’s a pity so few Americans can see this:

…for a long time, 18 meant the start of official adulthood in America…suggestions of raising the age for gun purchases came during the same week that the…forceful outpouring of civic engagement by Stoneman Douglas High School students led commentators to argue that the voting age should be lowered to 16…We send mixed messages about when adulthood begins and what will be expected once it arrives…Allan Metcalf notes that “until the teen age was invented, that was the goal of children: to become adult as soon as possible, to escape the limitations of childhood.”  But somewhere along the way, we came up with this middle ground and, to our detriment, this middle ground is [pretended to be] the brightest, happiest time…Then 18 rolls around…An 18-year-old can vote or join the military but not buy beer or, in some states like New York, cigarettes…On the other hand: When they commit a crime, we try juveniles as young as 13 as adults even though we know their cognitive abilities aren’t mature…a Pew Research study last year found that kids are living at home longer than ever before.  They can stay on their parents’ insurance until they’re 26…

If Men Were Angels 

A secondary evil made possible by drug prohibition:

Christopher Bathum managed to build an empire in California’s lucrative addiction treatment industry despite the fact that he held no license in drug counseling and no college degree.  The self-described “Rehab Mogul” founded…a chain of about 20 facilities in Southern California and Colorado…Bathum presented himself as a trusted confidant and mentor to his patients – particularly to young, broken women wrestling with addiction.  He made numerous, vulnerable young women feel special, showering them with “internships” and access to company cars and iPhones…But he also used their weaknesses…to lure the women with drugs, get them high, and then sexually assault them…Bathum was convicted of sexually assaulting seven women…and…now faces up to 65 years in state prison when he is sentenced in April…

Above the Law (#615)

25 years would be satisfactory, if it were given to every single rapist cop:

Two Los Angeles [cops] pleaded no contest…to [raping] multiple women, often preying on victims while one partner served as the lookout as the other carried out an attack in their unmarked police car…[rapist pigs] Luis Valenzuela and James C. Nichols entered their no-contest pleas to two counts each of forcible rape and two counts each of…oral [rape]. The [rapists] appeared in court in orange, jail-issued jumpsuits and were shackled at the waist…The judge also ordered the [rapist pigs] to register as sex offenders…

The Prudish Giant (#703) 

Facebook can’t even follow its own “standards”:

…The latest work deemed “pornographic” is the 30,000 year-old nude statue famously known as the Venus of Willendorf…An image of the work posted on Facebook by Laura Ghianda…was removed as inappropriate content despite four attempts to appeal the decision…A case on Facebook’s censorship of art was heard in a Paris court earlier this month.  Frédéric Durand-Baïssas, a French teacher, has been trying to sue the social media giant since 2011 for closing his account after he posted a photograph of Gustave Courbet’s 1866 painting L’Origine du Monde…Despite Facebook changing its policy on nudity to allow “photographs of paintings, sculptures, and other art that depicts nude figures”, instances of art censorship persist…

Guinea Pigs (#719) 

Palantir is the same company which is helping cops spy on sex workers, and gave California cops a facial recognition database of black and Latino men:

According to Ronal Serpas, the [former NOPD] chief…one of the tools used by the New Orleans Police Department to identify members of gangs like 3NG and the 39ers came from the Silicon Valley company Palantir.  The company provided software to a secretive NOPD program that traced people’s ties to other gang members, outlined criminal histories, analyzed social media, and predicted the likelihood that individuals would commit violence or become a victim…[trials using the data as evidence] made no mention of the NOPD’s partnership with Palantir…[which] began in 2012…Palantir Technologies…[was] founded with seed money from the CIA…

Absolute Corruption (#758)

Readers who are still around in 2040 can expect a series of exonerations of victims of “sex trafficking” hysteria:

A judge has dismissed charges against two men who were convicted in the death of a woman as part of a “Satanic ritual” more than 25 years ago…Judge Bruce Butler dismissed the charges against Jeffrey Clark and Keith Hardin…[who] were convicted of killing Rhonda Warford in 1992 as part of a Satanic ritual, and sentenced to more than 20 years in prison.  New DNA evidence and accusations that [pigs maliciously and intentionally] framed the pair led the Kentucky Supreme Court to vacate the convictions.  After special prosecutor Jon Heck chose not to pursue a new trial, this was the final step…

The Mote and the Beam (#798)

Authoritarianism is its own reason for existence:

…the House voted both on Rep. Mimi Walters’ bad amendment to attach SESTA to FOSTA, and then on the combined bill — and both sailed through Congress…even though the Justice Department weighed in with a last minute letter saying that the language in the combined SESTA/FOSTA is so poorly drafted that it would actually make it more difficult to prosecute sex traffickers, and also calling into question whether or not the bill was even Constitutional…the combined (terrible) bill sailed through the whole House 388 to 25.  Kudos to the 25 Representatives who actually understand how CDA 230 works and why this bill is so bad, but it’s depressing to think that it was just 25…

Decentralization (#813) 

I’ll start accepting bitcoin for donations (not services) as soon as someone shows me how to exchange it freely for stuff I actually need:

An adult entertainment venue in Las Vegas will enable its dancers to get payments from clients directly via bitcoin transfers.  The use of the cryptocurrency is primarily used as a privacy-enhancing measure as well as an attraction for affluent bitcoin investors.  Vistors to the Legends Room can use the…bitcoin ATM to buy cryptocurrency at the club.  The dancers can choose to wear temporary QR tattoos as wallet addresses that can be scanned on a smartphone.  Besides the privacy concerns of the patrons, the use of bitcoin allows the dancers to avoid explaining to banks where they get large amounts of cash…

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Sexual predation by police officers happens far more often than people in the business are willing to admit.  –  Norm Stamper

Above the Law  

Note what this “official’s” last job was:

Khristen Sellers needed a home…So when Four-County Community Services – a local housing agency – offered her an opportunity to move into a white panelled, three-bedroom trailer home on the outskirts of town, she readily accepted.  That’s when the trouble started…She had applied for the federally subsidised Housing Choice Voucher Program…Section 8…the agency’s inspector, a former North Carolina state [cop] named Eric Pender, came to the property with a clipboard in hand…Pender asked her if she “gives head” or if she’d ever been paid for sex, implying that his signature on the inspection was the only thing standing between her and a place to live…it was the first in a string of incidents…”He would never sign.  Each time he came, it was like, ‘You owe me before I sign this paper.  And you gotta make a decision’…”

R.I.P. Petite Jasmine 

A documentary on the Swedish state’s complicity in the murder of Petite Jasmine:

On July 11, 2013, Eva-Marree, aka 27-year-old Jasmine Petite, was killed by the father of her two…children in the Swedish social services offices.  This…was the culmination of a nightmare that began three years earlier, after the young woman, having left her partner for repeated domestic violence…Eva-Marree was deprived of her daughter and her son, then 1 and 2 years old, without discussion or preliminary investigation, the social services in attributing sole custody to their father, a man they had themselves recognized as violent.  After…finally [obtaining] a right of visit with her children…she was murdered during the first appointment fixed with the [father] and their son…this is the story of a woman…deprived of her children [and ultimately her life]…so that a puritanical and repressive society could sleep soundly…

With Folded Hands (#584)

Margaret Atwood on the asininity of women giving away autonomy for “safety”:

…women are human beings, with the full range of saintly and demonic behaviours this entails, including criminal ones.  They’re not angels, incapable of wrongdoing.  If they were, we wouldn’t need a legal system.  Nor do I believe that women are children, incapable of agency or of making moral decisions.  If they were, we’re back to the 19th century, and women should not own property, have credit cards, have access to higher education, control their own reproduction or vote.  There are powerful groups in North America pushing this agenda, but they are not usually considered feminists…in order to have civil and human rights for women there have to be civil and human rights, period, including the right to fundamental justice, just as for women to have the vote, there has to be a vote.  Do Good Feminists believe that only women should have such rights?  Surely not.  That would be to flip the coin on the old state of affairs in which only men had such rights…

The Rape Question (#630) 

Why do people not get that an informal contract without a lawyer witness would offer no protection?

…a Dutch tech company…called LegalThings is developing an app called LegalFlings that allows potential partners to essentially sign a legally binding document that enumerates which sexual acts they consent to…there are obviously NUMEROUS flaws with the practicality of this app.  At any point during sex, someone can change their mind.  You can’t just anally penetrate someone who is scared or screaming in pain just because they said “yeah we can try that” prior to sex.  Consent doesn’t work that way…

Scrupleless in Seattle

Cops are on the same intellectual level as monkeys; that’s why they ape each other’s “sting” tactics:

The Phoenix Police Department…announced…their completion of a recent vice operation [which they pretended was aimed at]…human trafficking…86 [people’s lives were damaged by pervert cops who]…opened a [fake] massage parlor and arrested patrons…

Elephant in the Parlor (#705)  

Politician pays whore for discretion.  Yawn.

A lawyer for President Donald Trump arranged a $130,000 payment to…former adult-film star [Stephanie Clifford] a month before the 2016 election as part of an agreement that precluded her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the matter…

License to Rape (#706)

US prisons are hotbeds of rape in every form:

In an effort to avoid newly-installed surveillance cameras in search areas, Rikers Island [screws] take female visitors to nearby bathrooms to strip-search them, according to several women and a new report by the Jails Action Coalition.  Five women have now filed notices of claim (which signal an intention to sue the city) with the city’s comptroller…[after screws] sexually abused them…[under the excuse of] body cavity and strip searches.  In the wake of the allegations, the city placed surveillance cameras in the Rikers Island search area in late 2016.  But the cameras didn’t stop the abuse…[even though] Department of Correction policy expressly prohibits strip searches or body cavity searches of visitors to city jails…

A Woman’s Point of View (#791) 

At least they’re talking about it:

State Rep. Elizabeth Edwards…co-sponsored…a bill to establish a committee to study decriminalizing sex work, something adamantly opposed by Gov. Chris Sununu, Republican leadership in the Legislature and [cops]…”There are those in the Legislature who want to explore legalizing prostitution.  I am 100 percent against it, and would veto the bill if it reaches my desk,” he said.  On Jan. 9, the House snubbed that warning and with little debate passed the bill in a bipartisan 177-134 vote…

To Molest and Rape (#797) 

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

…as someone who has studied police sexual violence for more than a decade…[the recent rape of a teenager by NYPD cops] didn’t surprise me.  In fact, it is representative of national patterns of sexual violence by officers during traffic stops and handling of minor offenses, drug arrests and police interactions with teenagers.  Research on “police sexual misconduct” — a term used to describe actions from sexual harassment and extortion to forcible rape by officers — overwhelmingly concludes that it is a systemic problem…The vast majority of incidents…involve motorists, young people in job-shadowing programs, students, victims of violence and informants…half of arrests for sexual misconduct were for incidents involving minors….sexual misconduct is the second-most-frequently reported form of police misconduct, after excessive force…

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

The Course of a Disease

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

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

The Notorious Badge 

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

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

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

The Lion and the Ox

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

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

Scapegoats (#49)

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

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

Policing for Profit

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

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

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

Out of Control (#410) 

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

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

Above the Law (#418) 

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

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

Paint By Numbers (#593) 

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

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

The Rape Question (#602) 

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

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

Pyrrhic Victory (#609)

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

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

To Molest and Rape 

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

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

Fever Dream (#742)

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

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

Checklist (#783)

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

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

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I *personally* could wreck the careers of a dozen politicians. And there are roughly half a million whores in the US.  –  Me

Advice for Clients

Mistress Matisse offers advice on the oft-asked “how do I find an escort” question:

…Look to social media…Now that so many review boards have been taken down, social media is the best way to find a good independent escort…I’m not saying “no social media” equals “bad escort”…there are lots of good escorts who don’t have much of a social-media presence.  But if you want to get to know a little about who someone is before you meet them, that’s just how you do it now…

Saving Them From Themselves

I’m sure he did it to “protect” them:

A fired Kentucky high school principal took students’ phones so he could steal porn images and trade them online…Stephen Kyle Goodlett…was indicted…on federal charges of possessing and transporting child pornography…after a 20-year-old woman learned that naked images she had taken for her boyfriend when she was 15 had been uploaded to a porn trading website in Russia…the IP address of the device that uploaded the images matches an account registered by Goodlett…[who claims] that he has an addiction to porn…

Above the Law  rapist-judge-timothy-parker

This says he reduced the sentences if they gave him sex; I suspect it was more like “I’ll increase your sentence if you don’t”:

An Arkansas judge has resigned after allegations he granted leniency to female defendants in exchange for sexual favors…judge…Timothy Parker of Eureka Springs, has denied the charges but submitted his resignation on Dec. 30, one day before his term in office was to end…

So Close and Yet So Far

You’d think someone who claims to support sex worker rights could refrain from parroting Swedish propaganda or pretending that human rights are debatable:

…decriminalizing child prostitution is crucial to stopping trafficking…and…some also believe that decriminalizing sex work for adults may be best.  In 1999, Sweden decriminalized the selling of oneself for sex, while still keeping it illegal to…pay for sex, essentially putting the burden where it belongs, on the traffickers and their customers…Some even call for prostitution to be decriminalized, or even legalized, across the board.  In 2003, New Zealand did just that…international trafficking is less of a concern because of New Zealand’s isolated geography.  Whether decriminalization or legalization of sex work for adults will ultimately keep them safer is still a widely-debated topic…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake 

Another court continues the trend of classifying strippers as employees:

A prohibition under Wisconsin law against employers docking an employee’s pay “for defective or faulty workmanship” applies to the exotic dancing industry, a federal judge ruled…Dawn Stevens sued the Oval Office Gentleman’s Club, claiming the “fines” it subtracted from her pay for giving dances that didn’t meet the club’s standards were barred by state law.  The club made deductions for “failing to fully remove all clothing, except for underwear, by the end of the first song when dancing on stage; spending too much time in the dressing room; and not dressing according to the Oval Office’s dress code,” among other violations…

Stupor Bowl

It’s almost sad to see these losers trying to cash in with debunked bullshit a year ahead of time:

Minnesota’s fight against sex trafficking is gearing up for the February 2018 Super Bowl in Minneapolis…conventions and large gatherings…attract traffickers who see potential for higher demand of their services. [Totally bogus] research has found that online ads for adult services increase for big events — many of which advertise trafficked women…Minnesota is in a better position than previous hosts to tackle the issue…[because it] leads the nation on addressing sex trafficking, and its practices are looked to as a model for other states…

Broken Record (#510)

Cows still cause “sex trafficking”!

Authorities are on high alert for human trafficking as crowds come to Denver for the National Western Stock Show…Deputy Shay Haney with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office [fantasizes] the large number of tourists coming to the show can attract human traffickers…[cops] are working to check websites…to identify [women’s pictures they can jerk off to on the public dime]…

Checklist (#542)

Apparently, Florida “authorities” didn’t think their magical posters resulted in enough people being caged, so they’ve added a website:

Attorney General Pam Bondi announced efforts…to spread [hysteria about] human trafficking…[by] launching a new website…digital signs will be displayed throughout the Tampa International Airport, encouraging travelers to visit the new site for tools to [make themselves paranoid so they rat each other out to the cops]…

Out of Control (#554) spooge-squirter-timothy-blake

Unsatisfied with merely sneaking or throwing, this enterprising pervert  invented a spooge-squirting system:

A West Virginia man admitted to masturbating at least 12 times in public shopping center parking lots, filling syringes with semen and following women into stores while squirting them on the back with the fluids.  Timothy Blake…was arrested…in Marietta, Ohio [after]…A woman [reported the incident and police]…were able to track Blake down through security footage…“The defendant stated maybe [squirting women with semen-filled syringes were] his way of having sex with these women”…

Amnesty At Last

Imagine a reporter adopting this tone in a story about an NAACP chapter leader who was publicly promoting a policy that police should cooperate with the KKK to “protect” black people:

The coordinator of [Providence, RI]’s Amnesty International chapter has been expelled, after nearly 40 years of service, for publicly disagreeing with the group’s stance on decriminalizing sex work.  Marcia Lieberman…disagreed [that women have sexual agency and fantasizes that Amnesty’s]…policy…would embolden “pimps and johns” who were exploiting “mostly young women and girls…we did not believe it should be legal for [adults to have consensual] sex”…Lieberman wrote a letter to the editor of The Providence Journal…reiterating her opposition to the [civil rights of adults]…and in support of…police [harassment of those adults]…

Traffic Jam (#575)

How many moronic prohibitionist plays can the market bear?

If the demand for sex trafficking were to end, would the supply end too?  Recently defected from a sex trafficking ring, Amber Cregg has immunity, and a story to tell.  Will she cooperate and aid the side of justice, or will she continue to her deep allegiance to her former pimp?  Join the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition, and the all-youth cast of blank slate theatre, for this original play on human sex trafficking…

The name of the play is Bottom.  I’m not even gonna go there.

Repeat Offenders (#637)

Even when it isn’t garment-related, “rescuers” invariably want to push sex workers into some kind of menial crafting work:

Modern slavery is all around us—even if we don’t always see it…one group in Tel Aviv is fighting against it to save lives and the environment.  A.I.R.—which stands for “Act, Inspire, Restore”…combines social purpose with an eco-friendly upcycling business to spread awareness about the black market activity and to give former prostitutes the skills and supportive community they need for a second chance at life.  Founded by Swiss couple Tabea and Matthias Oppliger, A.I.R. turns [garbage] like pallets into custom wood furniture…they currently work together with eight former sex workers who have signed on for a one-year training program to help them reintegrate into society…

Where “reintegrate into society” means “menial domestic labor”.

To Molest and Rape

Such a long and wordy euphemism for “rape”:

A [Norwegian cop] may lose his job over allegations that he used his role as an officer of the law to get sex from a number of women…One victim…needed to report a stolen car trailer to the police.  Later that same day, she was sent 70 text messages from the [cop pressuring her for sexual contact]…he also encouraged the woman to send photos of herself so he could “enjoy them”…The following day…he…went to the woman’s home [uninvited and raped her]…

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Crushing people’s freedom is fine…until it happens to the elites or their friends.  –  Mike Siegel

Storyville

Cute little video explaining how sex workers brought civilization to the Wild West:

Scapegoats

Because obviously pigs still don’t have enough excuses to cage people yet:

Having sex with an animal is one step closer to being banned in Ohio after the state Senate unanimously approved an anti-bestiality bill.  The…law…will…require an offender to undergo “psychological evaluation or counselling”.  Ohio is one of a dozen US states that does not have a law banning bestiality…Jim Hughes, a state Senator, branded the lack of…[another excuse to cage people] “sickening”…

Above the Law  

“It’s hard to imagine a more predictable abuse of authority,” Maggie McNeill said:

…Lamont King…[is] an assistant family services worker in the…[New Jersey] Department of Children and Families, where his duties included transporting parents and children to and from court-ordered visits and supervising them.  He faces charges…after a State Police investigation found he was pressuring vulnerable women into sex acts by threatening their custody of their children…”It’s hard to imagine a more offensive abuse of authority,” the attorney general said…

Buried Truth

Vanillas who can’t recognize repressed kink when they see it are hilarious:

Garrett Jonsson ran 30 marathons in 30 days, handcuffed during each one of them, and then biked 3,800 miles across the United States dragging chains behind him–all to raise awareness about the harms of pornography addiction…29-year-old Jonsson explained that his first exposure to pornography was at age nine.  Pornography became a regular habit for him throughout adolescence…Everything changed when Jonsson discovered Fight the New Drug, [an anti-porn propaganda campaign]…”Handcuffs for me represented the addictive nature of pornography”…

Policing for Profit

A rare victory for victims of legalized robbery:

Iowa officials have agreed to settle a lawsuit by two California poker players who were robbed of $100,000 after they were pulled over by state police in 2013.  The state, which [pretended] that the poker winnings were…connected to [imaginary] drug trafficking, will pay William Davis and John Newmer­zhycky $60,000 in addition to the $90,000 that was returned before they filed their lawsuit.  Meanwhile, the Iowa State Patrol has disbanded the [official robbery gang] that was responsible for the traffic stop…

Little Boxes (#347)

Another example of the “limited hours for massage parlors” fad:

Massage businesses in Tacoma will no longer be able to operate in the late night and early morning hours.  The…City Council passed an ordinance…that limits their hours from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.  The move came at the suggestion of Councilman Marty Campbell…as a way to cut down on illegal sex trafficking and prostitution.  Campbell [vomited up a lot of nonsense about]…“human trafficking operations masquerading as massage parlors”…

The Widening Gyre (#348)

No torches, but a mob nonetheless:

One woman has been killed and some 40 people were arrested in a Peruvian shantytown after an angry mob tried to lynch two pollsters whom residents believed were butchering local children to take their organs…[“human trafficking”] rumors on social media claiming dead children had been found with their organs missing fanned mass hysteria in the shantytown Huaycan on the outskirts of Lima…

Wise Investment (#442)

Sex workers need to keep fighting prostitution charges, especially those resulting from “sting” operations:

A…jury has acquitted a [woman]…of prostitution charges that stemmed from a 2015 sting at a [Minnesota] massage parlor.  Yuanfen…Liu’s defense attorney Randall Tigue called the situation a “tragedy” for Liu…“It ruined her life…She wound up losing her business here and moving to Kansas”…[the vindictive and evil] prosecutor Rebecca Christensen [said she was]…“disappointed that” [she couldn’t destroy Liu’s life even more]…a [lying pig claimed]…she…grabbed his genitals…Liu denied that…Tigue also argued in court that even if Liu had agreed to a price and touched the detective’s genitals, it still wouldn’t amount to “sexual contact” as defined in state statute, because she didn’t act to satisfy her own sexual impulses…and, therefore, couldn’t amount to prostitution under the statute…

Lawyers:  this seems like a pretty silly defense to me, since whores act to make money, not for our own sexual gratification.  Is this actually an element in some state laws?

A Year Later

Unlike the US media,the Canadians are willing to call anti-whore bullshit what it is:

Sex workers are still not protected from exploitation and violence in Canada and their Charter rights are ignored, says a new report…by the Pivot Legal Society…[which] is calling for an appeal of the two-year-old Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act…the new legislation regarding sex workers makes it illegal to communicate to exchange sexual services, profit as a third party from someone else’s sexual services, procure someone to provide sexual services, and provide third party advertising for sexual services…“The PCEPA has been mischaracterized as targeting only those who harm or exploit sex workers, without criminalizing sex workers and others who may enhance their safety.  Analysis of the Criminal Code provisions in the PCEPA shows that the legislation has resulted in sweeping criminalization of the sex industry”…

To Molest and Rape molester-cop-charles-logan-abernathy

Go on, keep putting costumed rapist thugs where they can prey on your kids:  “Charles Logan Abernathy, a [cop] at East Robertson High School was arrested in Portland, Tennessee…He’s facing five counts of sexual battery by an authority figure…

Pyrrhic Victory (#683)

The dystopian future of Minority Report has arrived:

…Biometrica Systems describes its business as “creating software and systems…with the intention of minimizing…events that could lead to crime.”  The company’s encrypted Security & Surveillance Information Network (SSIN) is already used by law-enforcement and gaming, retail, and hospitality businesses to share real-time information about…individuals.  Now, the network’s newest iteration will give clients “the ability to run facial recognition scans of any individual or group on their properties and match them against a law enforcement verified database of criminals numbering in the millions, including more than one million registered sex offenders”—all using a convenient mobile app…Initially focused on the casino…sector, Biometrica has since expanded SSIN to serve “shopping centers, stores, malls, and movie theaters”…

The End of the Beginning (#686) 

Dare we hope this is a trend?

Last week federal courts overturned…unconstitutionally vague [“sex offender” laws from]…Hartford City…Indiana…[and the state of] North Carolina…Like last summer’s 6th Circuit decision against Michigan’s Sex Offender Registration Act, last week’s rulings go beyond the usual hand waving about child protection to ask whether the restrictions imposed by such laws can be justified by their purported public safety benefits…the 6th Circuit said…that there was “no evidence in the record that the difficulties the statute imposes on registrants are counterbalanced by any positive effects…the punitive effects of these blanket restrictions…far exceed even a generous assessment of their salutary effects”…

The Widening Gyre (#696)

The awesome Glenn Kessler won’t let partisans forget that the “Pizzagate” lunacy springs from the “sex trafficking” hysteria they’ve enthusiastically promoted, and demonstrates the ghoulish lengths to which prohibitionists will go to promote their narrative:

…The easy acceptance of [“Pizzagate”] underscores how bogus facts about sex trafficking – which The Fact Checker has examined extensively — are so easily spread.  Now…conspiracy theorists [are] speculating that Monica Petersen, an activist for sex-worker rights, was killed because she was investigating links between the Clinton Foundation and sex trafficking in Haiti…Petersen…passed away on Nov. 13, in Haiti…[apparently from] suicide but the circumstances are not clear…Petersen was active in promoting sex-worker rights.  Her last interview before her death was for a two-hour podcast, which aired in September…titled “Fighting the Trafficking Narrative from Alaska to Rhode Island”…she…was an advocate for sex workers who disdained the rhetoric of…anti-trafficking zealots.  Yet some people are so quick to promote and share false narratives that they tragically turned her professional focus into the polar opposite…

My friend Mike Siegel also had this to say:

…Unlike the Pizzagate business…[“sex trafficking”] myths are pushed by mainstream politicians and the mainstream media…These myths serve to support a “War on Sex Trafficking” that, in many ways, is replacing the “War on Drugs” as a way to seize money and put people in prison.  None of this is ever questioned…The media has invested more resources in debunking one crazy 4Chan theory than an entire massive law enforcement structure designed to crush people voluntarily exchanging money for sex.  As my friend Maggie McNeill said, here is the real story: our national hysteria over sex trafficking finally hurt a friend of the powerful.  This war is damaging the lives of thousands of consenting adults every day.  But they don’t matter because they’re not politically connected.  The owner of this pizzeria is a friend and fund-raiser for Clinton.  So suddenly, miraculously, it’s a national crisis…

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There is no thought that a person should be able to have which lands them in jail.  –  Brian Shuster

Surplus Women 

Rolling Stone manages to do an entire article on serial killers who target sex workers without bothering to mention the reason so many do:  the criminalization that forces us to operate in the shadows:

The Killing Season, A&E’s upcoming documentary series about…unsolved murders of prostitutes…starts by looking into the Long Island Serial Killer investigation…but…is not just about LISK…the show…found there are likely many, many more predators who have been able to keep their killings sprees unnoticed.  “These guys aren’t getting away with murder because they are such geniuses,” [filmmaker Rachel] Mills tells Rolling Stone. “They have identified the perfect victims.  They know that those are the types of people that maybe they should go after because they don’t leave as much of a trace as a soccer mom who posts on Facebook”…families of…victims…[have] a hard time convincing law enforcement to take their concerns seriously…

Peeping Toms (#331)

Cops just love their “crackdowns” against queers, but in the current environment of tolerance they’re having to get more creative with their excuses:

Toronto police are helping residents…take back a park that has allegedly been used as a place for sexual activity at all times of the day.  Police said…they have laid 89 charges, mainly bylaw infractions, against 72 people…to clean up Marie Curtis Park…[cops], during their “plain clothes enforcement,” were solicited for sex in the park.  At other times, officers witnessed open sexual activity or men soliciting other men…police [pretend they] are not targeting any one particular group….[but] ninety-five per cent of those charged are men…the community wants the park to be a family friendly place where adults and children can enjoy the outdoors without fear of witnessing sexual acts.  There have also been complaints about litter left behind, including condoms…

Note the close resemblance to typical excuses for “stings” vs sex workers (including public sex and discarded condoms), the similarity of tactics and the typical dehumanizing language such as “take back” and “clean up”.

Above the Law (#405)

Once in a while a rapist cop gets his comeuppance:

A former Lake County [Florida] sheriff’s deputy convicted of [raping] a woman during a traffic stop on New Year’s Day 2014 has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.  Matthew Donnelly was sentenced [November 8th] and his attorney filed an appeal the same day…

Torture Chamber (#407)

What happens when government stops obsessively prohibiting things and treats prisoners like human beings:

While the UK and much of the world struggles with overcrowded prisons, the Netherlands has the opposite problem.  It is actually short of people to lock up.  In the past few years 19 prisons have closed down and more are slated for closure next year…Fewer than 10% [of Dutch prisoners] return…after their release.  In England and Wales, and in the United States, roughly half of those serving short sentences reoffend within two years, and the figure is often higher for young adults…A decade ago the Netherlands had one of the highest incarceration rates in Europe, but it now claims one of the lowest – 57 people per 100,000 of the population, compared with 148 in England and Wales…police…have shifted their focus away from drugs and…judges often use alternatives to prison such as community service orders, fines and electronic tagging…Angeline van Dijk, director of the prison service in the Netherlands, says jail is increasingly used for those who are too dangerous to release, or for vulnerable offenders who need the help available inside…critics…[pretend there are criminals hiding all over who haven’t been caught] and…many of…van Dijk’s staff are not happy about the lack of people to lock up…

The Public Eye (#449) 

Tyranny By Consensus (#528)

This isn’t the first time Weinstein’s been accused of financial shenanigans:

…The Free Speech Coalition…is taking aim at Weinstein and his nonprofit over…improper political spending.  FSC filed a formal complaint…charging that Weinstein’s spending push related to promoting measures such as the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, an anti-development initiative designed to curb building in Los Angeles, has been dubious…[and] constitutes a breach of the Internal Revenue Service’s requirements for an organization to maintain non-profit status, since much of the spending is not directly related to AHF’s own AIDS-related mandate…AHF has…spent in excess of $10 million on local ballot measures and lobbying…[and] almost $20 million on statewide ballot measures…while continuing to receive government grants and not paying taxes on pharmacy sales…[of] over $800 million annually…

Guinea Pigs (#623) 

Palantir is the same company which is helping cops spy on sex workers:

California’s secretive gang database, with information on hundreds of thousands of predominantly black and Latino men, uses a controversial overlay of…data analysis and surveillance technologies…they are being employed by law enforcement without public use policies or privacy safeguards beyond the database’s own rules.  The 19-year-old CalGang database has relied on facial recognition technology at least since the mid-2000s…Yet facial recognition, so imprecise that the Federal Bureau of Investigation accepts an error rate of up to 20 percent, is even more inaccurate when used to identify African Americans…at least one jurisdiction was allowed to employ a powerful dataset-linking program created by Palantir Technologies, a Pentagon contractor, and indicate that the CalGang Executive Board has considered using social media mining software…intelligence [is gathered] from stops by police, such as pulling someone over for a traffic violation or jaywalking.  Any information collected during those stops and uploaded into CalGang, including photos of an individual’s face…people [are] classified as gang-affiliated based on flimsy evidence, record keeping [is] sloppy and gang intelligence [has] been used for employment background checks in violation of federal law and CalGang’s own policies…

Change a Few Words (#625)

It’s good to see more and more doctors attacking the drug war:

Richard A. “Red” Lawhern, Ph.D. is a long-time advocate…for chronic pain patients…”Over the past 20 years, I have interacted with thousands of pain sufferers…In many of these people, prescription opioids have made the difference between total disablement or death by suicide, versus at least a marginal quality of life and function…During the last two years, I have increasingly heard from patients who are being subjected to a systematic campaign of medication denial and personal stigmatization by the mainstream medical establishment.     Patients who have been successfully and responsibly managed for years on prescription opioids are now being labeled as addicts and denied renewal of medication…Doctors are being driven out of pain management…by an over-zealous witch hunt headed by the…DEA…the most prevalent causes of opioid deaths are street heroin, a flood of imported fentanyl from China and Mexico, and the diversion of stolen or fraudulently obtained prescription opioids…Chronic pain patients did not cause the “overdose epidemic”…a quarter or fewer of overdose victims have a current medical prescription for pain relievers…

Virtual Unreality 

Prudes will turn anything related to sex into a problem:

Realistic sex robots are still a very long ways away — but realistic virtual reality sex has already arrived…we are already hearing about the potential for virtual sexual assault.  Last month, Jordan Belamire shared a now-viral story of getting groped during a multi-player VR video game, which she said “felt real, violating”…[prudes are freaking out about simulated] sexual encounters with [nonexistent electronic images designed to look like] children…[fetishists imagine] VR sex will become so technologically advanced that it is actually preferable to real world sex.  Kathleen Richardson…is…director of The Campaign Against Sex Robots…but she’s also [judgmental] about the nearer-term reality of virtual reality sex.  She believes that things like VR, and sex robots, encourage us to see other humans as property and decrease our empathy…The issue of acting out sexual assault on a purely computer-generated character is…fundamentally not all that unlike the sometimes hysterical worries that have come up with past technological advances — whether it be cybersex in AOL chatrooms, the proliferation of internet porn, or the advent of swipe-based dating…there is no evidence [violent video games] lead to real world criminal behavior…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#635)

It’s interesting to see how much more critical mainstream media in the British Isles can be about anti-porn hysteria:

…a study by researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin was mentioned as evidence that porn causes changes in consumers’ brains…the researchers actually concluded that they could not prove if the people in their study had this type of brain before their exposure to porn, or if porn was responsible for changing the brain.  To generalise about this small-scale study of 64 Danish men is disingenuous…and the experience of men cannot be said to be exactly the same as the experience of women…It was also stated that there is research to show that women in porn are abused and mistreated, however…there is no large-scale, longitudinal research done with porn performers.  The closest to this was the Griffith study in 2013 which asked 177 female performers about their history of sexual abuse and their levels of self-esteem.  They reported lower levels of childhood sexual abuse and higher rates of self-esteem, social support, sexual satisfaction, and spirituality compared to the control group of non-porn performers…a statistic…claimed porn receives 30,000 hits a second –  but…comes from a Christian website that campaigns against porn…YouTube…receives a billion views a day…PornHub received just over 4 billion hits for the whole year.  PornHub also [reports] the average viewing time worldwide is about ten minutes each visit.  We must also ask how much time people spend watching Hollywood films, social media, or Netflix, and what kind of content they are consuming on there…

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