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Posts Tagged ‘Business As Usual’

How do we know it won’t happen again?  –  Lacy Lennon

I Spy (#930)

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

Google received more than 20,000 geofence warrants in the US in the last three calendar years…[this fascist surveillance technique allows cops to] carve out a specific area and time period and [demand]…information about the devices that were present during that window.  The information is anonymous…[until cops demand more details, at which time]…Google [happily violates] those users’ [privacy]…In 2018, Google received 982 [such] warrants.  The following year, it rose to 8,396.  Last year, it jumped to 11,554.  In all, Google received 20,932 geofence warrants…since 201[8]…

Business As Usual (#1011)

The media are still downplaying the crimes of this psychopathic rapist-murderer cop:

A federal judge has set a new trial date for a [typical and representative] Columbus…vice [pig who murdered a sex worker when she wouldn’t submit to rape]…Andrew Mitchell is [only being] charged with…federal [conspiracy and perjury-type crimes even though]…he…had [a long history of raping] prostitutes…Mitchell also faces state charges [for shooting 100-pound] Donna Castleberry [eight times at point-blank range] after she [fought back] during an [attempted rape by] Mitchell, who has [described the wanton murder of a woman half his size]…as self-defense…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1012) 

How is this surprising when TikTok is owned by the Chinese?

TikTok has quietly expanded how much information it will collect from its more than 100 million users in the U.S. to include “faceprints and voiceprints.”  In response, [US politicians want a piece of the action]…The U.S. does not have a federal law regulating the tracking of biometric data by technology companies, but…TikTok…is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese [company owned in part by the Chinese government, which also controls 1/3 of its board]…Earlier this year, TikTok paid $92 million to settle dozens of lawsuits [in response to] the app[‘s]…harvesting personal data…including…facial recognition…without user consent.  That data…was [shaed with Beijing] and sold to advertisers in violation of state and federal law.  In 2019, TikTok was fined nearly $6 million by the Federal Trade Commission for [violating] the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires apps to receive parental permission before collecting a minor’s data.  The Trump administration[‘s attempt]…to ban the app was abandoned by the Biden administration in June

Policing for Profit (#1096)

No matter how little their victims have, cops will steal it and fuck up their lives in the process:

The city of Longmont [Colorado] has [finally] paid the $1,592.72…toll bill [the state tried to stick] a [disabled] woman [with after]…a [city cop named Stephen Schulz stole her] license plate…and put [it] on his [disguised pigmobile]…Debra Romero…[was] left…without the use of a vehicle…[because] the [state]…refused to waive the toll charges even after Romero filed a report…declaring her license plate as stolen…the state of Colorado [also] barred her from renewing her registration until the toll bill was paid…the city [didn’t care about Romero’s plight until]…the…situation [made the news]…

The Prudish Giant (#1104)

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

A poster for Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar’s new film Parallel Mothers…was [censored by Facebook-owned] Instagram for depicting a lactating nipple…[after public outcry] Instagram…reverse[d] its censorship…[but] given Instagram’s exception for artistic context, the rationale for the poster’s initial removal remains unclear…

To Molest and Rape (#1165)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A [typical and representative] Massachusetts [cop] has been arrested on child pornography charges…Francis Hart…[was caught] upload[ing] a file with numerous images of child pornography…

I’m not sure what will happen here; Massachusetts cops who forcibly rape actual children get less than one year per victim, or no penalty at all plus being rewarded with a powerful cop gang position for repeatedly raping children of both sexes for decades.  But Massachuseets puritans are very uptight about porn, so who knows?

The Next Target (#1165)

Those who shift with the wind can be counted on to continue doing so:

OnlyFans says it has suspended a plan to ban sexually explicit content following an outcry from its creators and advocates for sex workers…the planned ban was “no longer required due to banking partners’ assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators”…[however, an authoritarian circle-jerk made up] of over 100…[politicians are still howling for sex workers’ blood, cit]ing the[ir own disgusting fantasies about]…sex…with children

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[Prohibitionists] are to blame for the fear sex workers live with, and the deaths that follow.  –  Mary Moody

The Course of a Disease (#342)

Business As Usual

Wow, a headline writer without a boot permanently lodged in his mouth:

…[a typical and representative New Haven] cop [named] Gary Gamarra [claimed that his rapes of] two different…sex workers [were OK because they wanted it]…Gamarra resigned from the force after [lying about] the [rapes, but]…now he’s seeking to have the resignation rescinded [so he can] get…back [to raping again].  The police chief, meanwhile, is seeking to have the state bar Gamarra from ever serving as a police officer in Connecticut again.  And the state’s attorney’s office has decided…[not] to pursue a criminal case against Gamarra [because whores.  Other “officials” thought it was much more important to note that he was not wearing his magic clown costume at the time of the rapes]…

Disaster (#974)

It’s just going to keep getting worse:

…the gaming chat platform Discord [has] quietly updated its guidelines to restrict adult content, issuing a ban on users accessing NSFW servers…on iOS devices…entire servers, as opposed to individual channels, are…designated NSFW if the community “is organized around NSFW content or whose content is predominantly 18+”…It will still be possible for Discord users to access NSFW servers on its desktop version, and on Android…[because] the…policy shift was intended “to comply with Apple’s policies”…

See also “The Next Target” below.

To Molest and Rape (#1066)

Just protecting and serving:

…the Boston Police Department in 1995 filed a criminal complaint against [rapist cop Patrick Rose]…for sexual assault on a 12-year-old [boy], and…an internal investigation…concluded that he [was] likely [guilty, but he was allowed to]…ke[ep] his badge…for another 21 years, and rose to power in the [pig] union…his [victim grew up and lasy year discovered that] Rose [had been raping his daughter since she was 7]…The department’s cover-up]…left Rose free to [rape] again and again, from one generation to the next…

Quiet Genocide (#1118)

China is ramping up its propaganda campaign against those who tell the truth about the ongoing Uighur genocide:

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denounced more than a dozen [people who escaped]…Xinjiang…as liars, criminals, terrorists, and persons of “bad morality”…in a bid to undermine reports of abuses that have led…Western nations to [recognize that China is conducting] …a campaign of genocide.  [The propaganda also claims that of about 12,000 known victims listed in several]…database[s]…nearly 1,350 were “fabricated”…nearly 7,000 are “living a normal life,” while some 3,250 “have been convicted and sentenced for crimes of violent terrorism and criminal offenses”…[and] another 500 had either died of diseases or are living in foreign countries…

The Next Target (#1122)

The prohibitionist crusade against all adult material online continues:

Mastercard Inc. is “[tightening] the requirements it sets for banks that process payments for sellers of adult content”…the company will demand “clear, unambiguous and documented consent…[and] document[ation of] the age and [government-approved] identity of anyone depicted in pictures and videos as well as those uploading the content…the banks…will need to certify that the…sites have a review process prior to any content being published, as well as a system for complaints that addresses illegal or non-consensual activity within seven business days…[including] an appeals process that allows for anyone depicted in adult videos or photos to request that the content be removed”…

Predictable Consequences (#1126)

I’ve been pointing out the inherent violence of prohibitionism for years:

…While Exodus Cry has largely tried to get Pornhub shut down using political and social media pressure, its rhetoric is used by people who want to take matters into their own hands.  Sex workers and organizations targeted by those people believe that the rhetoric is going to lead to real world violence, and say that several high-profile mass killings can be traced back to anti-sex worker rhetoric more broadly…these groups have used extremist language and tapped into QAnon sentiment toward child trafficking, so it…is…not the least bit surprising, to see extremists using Nazi paraphernalia, death threats and photos of weapons alongside Exodus Cry’s Traffickinghub logo

It seems as though Vice is now trying to distance itself from this evil hysteria, which it has always tacitly supported via its credulous attitude toward “sex trafficking” propaganda.

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A lot of…urban legends [are] old wine in new bottles. – Benjamin Radford

A Broker in Pillage (#863)

Go on, keep giving governments more excuses and powers to literally rob people.  I’m sure you’ll never regret it:

South Korean prosecutors have sold bitcoin…[stolen from people they branded] criminals…turn[ing] a profit of around 12.3 billion won (around US$10.9 million)…the [excuse used for the robbery was that the victim was]…”the operator of [an] illegal pornography site”…While the U.S. government has been auctioning [stolen] bitcoin since 2014, Korean prosecutors have held on to the [stolen] bitcoin for the past four years…[until] March 25, the exact day when the country’s [politicians]…classifie[d] crypto as “virtual assets”…

The Notorious Badge (#976)

Twitter’s connection to movies exploiting sex workers isn’t usually so direct:

After receiving rave reviews at last year’s Sundance festival, the full trailer for Janicza Bravo’s Twitter-storm dramedy Zola is finally here…the film follows Zola (Taylour Paige), a Detroit waitress who strikes up a friendship with a customer named Stefani (Riley Keough). Together, they head to Florida to earn some money stripping at a club where Stefani has heard dancer tips are excellent.  As the trip progresses, Stefani puts Zola and herself in more insane and dangerous situations, including run-ins with a nameless pimp and some Tampa gangsters…Zola is based on a viral Twitter thread posted in October 2015 by Detroit-based stripper A’ziah “Zola” King…detail[ing] a weekend of debauchery that quickly descends into a hellish whirlwind of sex, murder, and near-suicide…

The Last Shall Be First (#977) 

Since their “bathroom bills” kept getting struck down, transphobes are now trying to accomplish their goals by controlling doctors:

Arkansas [politician]s passed a bill…that would flatly prohibit medical professionals from providing any sort of gender transition treatments to minors…the…act…forbids the prescribing of puberty blockers to suppress hormones, bans genital reassignment surgeries, and bars any medical treatment that would “alter or remove physical or anatomical characteristics or features for the individual’s biological sex” or “instill or create physiological or anatomical characteristics that resemble a sex different from the individual’s biological sex”…[it] further forbids medical professionals from referring minors to any doctor who could provide the forbidden treatments…says that public funds may not be granted to any entity that provides trans treatments to minors, declares that medical transition treatment procedures are not tax-deductible forms of health care coverage (regardless of age), and prohibits the state’s Medicaid program from providing coverage for these treatments for minors.  Medical professionals who defy the law could lose their licenses to practice in the state…

It’s impossible to miss the resemblance of this strategy to that of imposing arbitrary restrictions on abortion providers.

Dangerous Speech (#1097)

US “authorities” keep pretending “because sex” is an excuse for any tyranny:

…a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected a defense petition that the court order federal Judge Susan Brnovich’s recusal from the Lacey/Larkin case…due to an “appearance of partiality” created by prejudicial statements made by the judge’s husband, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, concerning…Backpage…The trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 23

The Widening Gyre (#1103)

It was only a matter of time before “sex trafficking” scarelore invaded TikTok:

“OK, so I saw this TikTok that Target is the new sex trafficking hub”…Makenzie Jade says in her video.  She then tells a story about being followed by a man…in…her local Target, then being circled by two additional men with nothing in their shopping carts…Over the past week…there have been dozens of [similar] videos, some with millions of views, in which young women from all over the country describe being followed by strange men or women in Target in what they [fantasize is] an attempted trafficking operation…what[ever] that…means…experts are highly skeptical of these reports.  “I have never heard a case of anyone being abducted from Target in my 20 years in this field,” says Jean Bruggeman…of Freedom Network USA, [the largest coalition of groups actually concerned with exploitation rather than simply using it as a cover for persecution of sex workers]…the TikTok rumors…adhere to a familiar pattern of…urban legends intended to spread hysteria…Dubious rumors purporting to raise awareness about the “realities” of sex trafficking are nothing new…

In a sign that the hysteria is dying, note that even the perennially-clueless Rolling Stone bluntly calls this what it is (“hoax”) rather than deferentially referring to it as a “mistake” or the like.

Predictable Consequences

Oh look, somebody at Washington Post realized how tone-deaf their initial coverage was:

[When cops raided] three massage businesses…they [branded with the moralistic epithet “]illicit[“, they vomited out a lot of filth about]…“human trafficking and child exploitation” [to]…cover [up the fact that the disguised cops raped sex]…workers, then arrested them…local media outlets…[then abetted the outrage by outing the cops’ victims, complete with names and] photos of their mug shots on the evening news…[barfing up the magic word “]illicit[” has for decades given disguised, lying thugs a court-approved pretext for raping]…spa workers…[none of whom were inter]viewed by The Post…[but after decades of these repeated atrocities, a few politicians] are [finally] beginning to propose new limits on [rape] by police, which [any person with a functional moral compass should understand] serves to dehumanize — and [deepl]ly traumatize — the very women the raids are [claimed by psychopaths] to help.  The…[rapists in] law enforcement, experts said, [nearly always] go unpunished…

As you can see, the article is still replete with copsucking, but some editor appears to have at least some inkling that maybe they’re on the wrong side.

Pyrrhic Victory (#1124)

Still think this djinni can be crammed back into its bottle?

A…facial recognition tool designed [to give government even more power over individual lives] has been quietly deployed across the [US] with little to no public oversight…more than 7,000 individuals from nearly 2,000 [government] agencies nationwide have used Clearview AI to search through millions of Americans’ faces, looking for p[otential victims]…BuzzFeed News has developed a searchable table of 1,803 publicly funded agencies whose employees…used…the [surveillance] tool before February 2020.  These include local and state police, [ICE], the Air Force, state healthcare [bureaucracies], [politicians’] offices…and even public schools.  In many cases, [bureaucrats] at these agencies [claimed to be] unaware that employees were using the tool; five [lied]…in response to questions about it…210 organizations denied any use…1,161 [others ignored] questions about whether they had used it…Hoan Ton-That, the company’s cofounder and CEO, [expressed glee that his invention has done so much to undermine privacy and empower cop shops]…

What makes it worse is, cops just keep blatantly lying about it:

Despite statements from the NYPD in early 2020 stating that it had no relationship with…Clearview AI, documents…reveal that the company was an acknowledged vendor to the department from as early as 2018, and that it continue[s] to enjoy a congenial relationship…that [has] included in-person meetings and customer support from Ton-That [himself]…

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This guy lay in shit and…died in [a] cell that looks like a friggin’ horse stall.  –  unnamed investigator

Imagination Pinned Down

Like seeing pictures in clouds or inkblots:

When the unrecognizable body of Jeannette DePalma…was found atop a…wooded hill…called the Devil’s Teeth in 1972, rumors spread quickly that the [16-year-old] was killed in some sort of satanic rite…Police…[claim]ed…they had found signs they thought might be related to the occult, including crosses made of sticks and branches arranged in a coffin-like outline around her body…But crime scene photographs released for the first time [last month]…debunk those claims, showing that DePalma’s body was simply lying in a dense, brushy area…facedown with an arm draped over a downed tree branch…Jason Coy, a history professor…who researches witchcraft…said he can’t find any sign of the occult or any other symbolism in the jumble of brush and branches.  It suggests that investigators, looking for something sinister, saw patterns that weren’t there…“Everything in th[e police] sketch that was marked out as a cross, in these crime scene photos just looks like a pile of underbrush…it’s a perfect example of how…i[f] someone…[has] the idea that something could be occult, they remember things that way”…

The Naked Anthropologist

Here’s Dr. Laura Agustín with GAATW on the rescue industry:

Torture Chamber 

For a change, this journalist doesn’t refer to torture as “correction”:

…Reginald Wilson spent more than 1,300 days in and out of jail since 1997 for charges often related to his fragile mental health…in December 2018 [Georgia cops abducted and caged him] for a probation violation…[dur]ing a mental health crisis…he was [lock]ed in a padded [cell and given no professional help, even after]…he smeared his own feces on the wall.  “He never slept. He was constantly just up, doing almost like gymnastics when you watched the video,” one [screw admitted to]…investigators…Wilson stopped eating, drinking and refused to take medication…[yet] the jail’s psychiatrist never saw [him].  In[stead,] staff [just repeatedly yelled “stop faking” at]…him…[and cop]s tased him at least tw[ice].  After… eight days…a [screw] found Wilson not breathing…[and] covered in…feces…[he had] died from…dehydration…

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

Do I really have to add, “Not because a little boy picked a flower”?

[A] 6-year-old…was accused of picking a tulip from a yard at his bus stop, his attorney Julie Boyer said, and…was on trial…for injury to real property.  The boy’s attention span was too short to follow the proceedings…[so] Boyer…handed him crayons and a coloring book…she…and others [explain that] children that age don’t have the mental capacity to understand the juvenile justice process and…can’t make informed decisions…[yet at present North Carolina]…expect[s them to]…”Should a child that believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy be making life-altering decisions?” asked…Judge Jay Corpening…[local] advocates…recommend…the age be raised to 12…The National Juvenile Justice Network recommends 14…

End Demand (#893)

It’s good to see a story like this quote at least one knowledgeable person:

Columbus [Ohio politicians] are weighing changes to local solicitation laws that would emphasize pu…shing [propaganda about] those who pay for sex [in addition to propaganda about] those who sell it…[politician] Mitchell Brown [vomited out popular nonsense about]…sex trafficking…chief [copagandist and rape apologist] Jennifer Knight…[salivated about forcing people into “re-education”] sessions…[but actual] researchers like Jennifer Suchland argue “end demand” policies often backfire…“Because there’s now substantial evidence to show that they are, one, not actually reducing the amount of exploitation, and two, they are increasing the precarity of those people who are in the sex trade”…Suchland says…the “end demand” model is based on a faulty assumption…

Knight is the sow charged with making excuses for the Columbus rape gang, and claims the way to “build trust” with women is to hunt, rape and cage them.

Safe Position (#1058)

Don’t be deceived by Katz, a duplicitous proponent of Swedish criminalization:

Queens, New York, District Attorney Melinda Katz moved…to dismiss nearly 700 cases against people charged with loitering for the purpose of prostitution…[on] the same day…Mayor Bill de Blasio pushed [Swedish-style]…criminaliz[ation]…The…law was repealed last month out of concern it too often targeted…people…based solely on their appearance…Katz [followed up by bloviating about]…sex trafficking…

Katz is dismissing these cases because she has to, since the law they were charged under was repealed.  This isn’t some kind of personal move on her part toward sex worker rights, despite claims to the contrary.

Predictable Consequences

Lots of sex workers are quoted in this rebuke of prohibitionist yellow journalism:

The New York Times re[acted to]…the recent slayings of eight persons at three “Asian” spas…by a deranged religious nut…with a self-[indulgent article]…adopting the rhetoric…of…sex work…pro[hibitionists], painting the spas as havens for sex trafficking…without one quote from sex workers or sex worker rights advocates, the Times piece [claim]s that “experts say there are more than 9,000 such businesses” in the U.S. which are “fronts for prostitution,” and that “many of the women working there are being exploited.”  That dubious statistic hails from a particularly odious non-profit, the Polaris Project, which has long conflated consensual adult sex work with sex trafficking and has a history of dealing in fake statistics and urban legends…Massage workers…have no agency, nor any voice, in this scheme or this article…

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Gender-specific…violence is not an aberrant corner of law enforcement. It is…a cornerstone of police power.  –  Anne Gray Fischer

I Swear To God

Just in case you thought the US was the only country playing the compelled speech game:

A leading [Irish] sex workers rights group was told it could not access government funding unless it [pretend]ed that “prostitution is inherently exploitative of vulnerable people”.  Sex Workers Alliance Ireland enquired about emergency funding from the Department of Justice after it gave similar funding to the leading “End Demand” advocate organisation in Ireland…The group says “this culturally entrenched position” from the government has “no place in decision-making within the DoJ in regards to policy-making”…A spokesman for the Department of Justice…[responded by vomiting out a lot of nonsense about] “organised crime involved in human trafficking”…

Monsters

It’s good to see the real monsters caged for a change:

A court in El Salvador has sentenced three [typical & representative cops] to 20-year prison sentences for the murder of a transgender woman, the nation’s first convictions in a homicide case involving a trans victim…About 600 LGBT+ people have been murdered in El Salvador since 1993…[Camila] Diaz, a 29-year-old sex worker, had fled El Salvador for the United States following repeated threats on her life from a gang but was deported two years ago [due to racist, anti-sex US laws and violent Trump administration policies.  Then in January 2019]…the three [murder]ers…offered to give Diaz a ride home a[s a pretext to murder her.  They]…handcuffed [her] face-down in their p[igmobile, then]…severely beat…[her] and thr[ew her] out onto a highway…she…died three days later in a hospital…

Business As Usual (#767) 

It’s good to see this getting public attention again:

…Police sexual violence is hidden in plain sight…sexual violence…is endemic to law enforcement, and…women of color..,are especially vulnerable to it.  This violence is possible in part because of the extreme power disparity that exists between targeted women and police, which at once enables such violence and shields officers from consequences.  But police sexual violence is also possible because it is a legally sanctioned tactic of everyday policing.  Women’s bodies are the strategic terrain on which police gain evidence, secure informants, and impose their authority in the name of “public safety” and “border security.”  Indeed, rape is considered a legal and legitimate tool of law enforcement…undercover police routinely entrap women into engaging in sexual acts to gain “evidence” that they are doing sex work.  Because consent is obtained under false pretenses, this practice amounts to legal sexual assault…Sexual “contact” by police officers to enforce morals laws is legal in all fifty states; when lawmakers in Alaska tried to ban police sexual contact, the Anchorage Police Department quashed the bill.  How did we get to the point where sexual assault is considered valid, necessary police work?  The answer lies in the origin story of modern police, and specifically in the history of the discretionary enforcement of public order laws…

I Spy (#904)

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

…Anomaly Six LLC…founded by two U.S. military veterans with a background in intelligence, said in marketing material it is able to draw location data from more than 500 mobile applications, in part through its own software development kit, or SDK, that is embedded directly in some of the apps.  An SDK allows the company to obtain the phone’s location if consumers have allowed the app containing the software to access the phone’s GPS coordinates.  App publishers often allow third-party companies, for a fee, to insert SDKs into their apps.  The SDK maker then sells the consumer data harvested from the app, and the app publisher gets a chunk of revenue.  But consumers have no way to know whether SDKs are embedded in apps; most privacy policies don’t disclose that information…Anomaly Six is a federal contractor that provides global-location-data products to branches of the U.S. government and private-sector clients…

Don’t Call It Trafficking (#911) 

COVID-19 is almost as versatile an excuse for tyranny as “sex trafficking” is:

…Citing the threat of COVID-19, [the Trump administration has] granted federal agents sweeping powers to almost immediately return anyone at the border, including infants as young as 8 months.  Children are typically entitled to special protections under the law…[but] the administration is not deporting children — a proceeding based on years of established law that requires a formal hearing in immigration court.  It is instead expelling them — without a judge’s ruling…[or] access to…lawyers, sometimes not even their family, while in U.S. custody.  The children are not even granted the primary registration number by which the Department of Homeland Security tracks all immigrants in its [custody], making it “virtually impossible” to find them…almost all children arriving at the border are being rapidly returned.  Between April and June, [CBP thugs and bureaucrats] encountered 3,379 unaccompanied minors at or between ports of entry.  Of those, just 162 were sent to federal shelters for immigrant children…Lisa Frydman…of…Kids in Need of Defense…[said,] “The rest are just gone”…Of the thousands of unaccompanied minors expelled under the health [pretext]…advocacy organizations said that they have only found about three dozen after months of searching across the United States, Mexico and Central America…the administration has detained at least [240] children in three Hampton Inn & Suites hotels in El Paso and McAllen, as well as Phoenix, before expelling them…Children reported being held for weeks…with little ability to reach anyone outside…

Blunt Instrument (#986)

It’s great to see Asian sex workers fighting back against the racist “sex trafficking” narrative:

…sex work can be a crucial source of income and, in some cases, startup capital, for those denied access to other options.  “I’ve seen a lot of former massage parlor workers start bakeries, laundromats, or new massage parlors of their own,” says [Kate] Zen, a former sex worker and co-founder and co-director of Red Canary Song, a collective of Chinese massage parlor workers in New York City that formed after massage parlor worker Yang Song died [because of] a police raid on a Flushing massage parlor in November 2017…It is the quintessential American story.  Immigrants arrive, often fleeing persecution or other injustice elsewhere.  They find a neighborhood that has at least some of the comforts of home — food, language, culture.  Maybe some family or friends who came before them.  They find work, even if it’s not necessarily the work they’d ever dreamed for themselves.  They save up, and some of them start their own businesses, pay their way through college or get certification for careers they were already trained for…But because of who they are and the kind of work they do, sex workers are seen as nuisances at best and easy targets at worst by those with more power and wealth in the city around them…

I Spy (#1057) 

Pigs are rooting around in people’s social media in order to destroy their lives:

…In early June…the City of Pittsburgh created [a new cop shop called] the Damage Assessment and Accountability Task Force [DAAT] to…charge…[as many] people [as possible with]…alleged crimes stemming from the protests.  The charges range from disorderly conduct and failure to disperse to burglary and [so-called] weapons of mass destruction [as though they had nukes or something]…In 21 cases, police used social media in combination with other forms of evidence….including…Analyzing Instagram profiles and Facebook livestreams…facial recognition…surveilling the home of a suspect’s girlfriend…surveillance cameras…[and] using [facial recognition based on] a statewide database of photos…including…driver’s license photos…

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As I’ve repeatedly stated over the past ten years, cops are not only not protectors of women; they are an active menace to women.  They regularly stalk and sexually harass women, and that often escalates to rape, a crime for which they only rarely face any consequences even when they don’t claim the rape was “consensual sex“, a “search“, or a “prostitution investigation“.  They beat their wives with horrifying regularity, and have apparently no compunctions against violently attacking or restraining women who pose them absolutely no physical threat.  And yet probitionists want to give these deranged perverts even more power over women’s lives.  For four decades I’ve talked about this, only to be repeatedly dismissed as a crank, a political extremist, or simply a whore with an axe to grind (sometimes all three).  But thanks to the current zeitgeist, it has now become possible for a woman whose name isn’t Maggie McNeill to publish something like this:

…the notion that abolishing the police will have negative repercussions for women radically misunderstands both American policing and sexual violence.  Police abolition need not be considered an abdication of the responsibility to protect women, but rather a way to fulfill it…police…frequently use the privileges and protections of their job to hurt women with impunity.  Police households have dramatically higher rates of domestic violence than other homes, with approximately 40% [beating their wives], compared with roughly 10% of the general population.  Worse, women beaten by cop partners often have no one to call:  the very people they are told to seek help from are the friends and colleagues of their abusive husbands and boyfriends.  And if their abuser is a cop, he has a gun, knows the locations of women’s shelters, and knows how to shift the blame to his victim if she seeks help…The police also have a tendency to commit sexual violence on the job…sexual violence is the second most commonly reported kind of police misconduct…A large, unaccountable group of primarily men, empowered to commit violence to maintain existing hierarchies of power, is not going to end the scourge of sexual violence against women.  As feminists, we must recognize that the police are more likely to hurt women than to help us…

If “feminists” had spent more time listening to sex workers and less gazing into their own navels, they’d have understood that 50 years ago instead of conspiring with armed rapists against other women.  But you know what?  I’m not actually bitter.  I’m just glad these dumb bunnies are beginning to wake up, albeit decades too late.

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The government has adopted a win-at-all-costs approach and [an attitude] that the ends justify the means.  –  Michael Piccarreta

Elephant in the Parlor

Politician takes bribes, hires whores.  Yawn.

…federal [documents]…suggest…a years-long trail of bribery between City Councilmember Jose Huizar and a Chinese development firm with a megaproject slated for downtown Los Angeles…[real estate broker] George Chiang…started a real estate consulting company in 2014…that directed money, consulting fees, casino chips, flights on private jets, luxury hotel stays, prostitutes and escort services between developers…[politicians] and [bureaucrats]…in exchange for approval of an 80,000-square foot commercial project and other downtown developments…

Dangerous Speech (#958)

The government keeps demonstrating that it doesn’t really care that its war on thought is wholly and incontrovertibly unconstitutional:

fiery motion to dismiss filed in the Lacey/Larkin case on May 1…accuses the U.S. Department of Justice of “outrageous government misconduct,” claiming federal pettifoggers and government agents repeatedly trampled upon the defendants’ attorney-client privileges…despite repeated warnings from defense counsel…and two [court] orders…the government continued to question former Backpage CEO and owner Carl Ferrer concerning confidential legal advice that was subject to joint defense and representation agreements with other defendants…the government grilled Ferrer repeatedly through “seven successive interviews” over the course of 13 months, beginning the day of his plea deal…In doing so…the government engaged in “outrageous” and “unconstitutional” misconduct.  Prosecutors “willfully invaded” Lacey and Larkin’s attorney-client privileges in order to “gain a tactical advantage in the case,” thereby violating the defendants’ Fifth Amendment right to due process of law and their Sixth Amendment right to counsel…Barring outright dismissal, the motion asks for an evidentiary hearing to determine the extent of the harm done to the defendants and possible sanctions against the government, such as the exclusion of Ferrer as a witness, the suppression of other evidence, or the disqualification of the entire prosecution team…

Negative Secondary Effects (#974)

The human cost of a prohibitionist crusade:

In March 2019 my life was turned upside down…by feminist groups who said I needed saving…Becoming a dancer at Sheffield’s Spearmint Rhino was the best thing I’d ever done.  It gave me the confidence I desperately lacked…[but then] Not Buying It sent private [dicks] into our club to buy lap dances and secretly film the women dancing.  They did this to “prove” to Sheffield Council that Spearmint Rhino was in breach of its own code of conduct and should have its licence revoked.  They filmed women naked and without their consent, and this was only the beginning…it traumatised the women …[and] hurt their families, their friends and their children…the ensuing campaign to close our club left me extremely anxious and scared to go to work…I was paranoid that every person who came into the club was another undercover investigator trying to take my job away.  I was always on edge, watching people, checking buttons for cameras, looking in people’s ears to see if they were wearing earpieces.  I was hyper-aware of customers who used their mobile phones and frightened that they were secretly recording me.  It was torture.  Work went from being the place I felt safest to a place I felt judged and under attack…

Business As Usual (#1001)

Every so often one of these sadly-typical stories gets more media attention:

Agents with…DHS…in Arizona have been “fighting” human trafficking by sending federal immigration agents to [rape women they claim to be]…victims…[then] seizing their assets, and telling the press it was these women who were the real predators.  Federal agents [raped] at least 17…”Asian females” working in massage parlors around Mohave County, Arizona, over a five-month period in 2018…the years-long operation yielded three misdemeanor charges…[the] scenario…is far from an isolated incidentnational and mainstream media have been discovering and disapproving of “Operation Asian Touch.”  This is great—so long as nobody mistakes what happened in Mohave County for an atypical investigation.  If you track initial claims about massage parlor-based human trafficking through to their actual conclusions, you’ll almost always find law enforcement simply targeting sex workers, small-business owners, immigrants, and the people who patronize them with harassment, assault, arrest, property seizure, prosecution, detainment, and deportation. And the “victims” they allegedly set out to save frequently wind up facing criminal charges.  There are only two roles women can play in this Homeland Security-led charade: helpless sex slave or conniving human trafficker.  (Both types…are invited to stroke ICE agent penises)…

I Spy (#1006)

But please, tell me more about “wings” and “blue states” and “democracy”:

The U.S. Senate comfortably approved a 2-1/2-year extension of parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)…by 80-16, far more than the 60 votes needed for passage.  The measure must be approved…by the House of Representatives before it can be sent to the White House for President Donald Trump to veto or sign into law…

Like Houses (#1031)

All they were waiting for was a strong enough excuse:

In India, the COVID-19 crisis is turning out to be the perfect excuse for the government to consolidate its pre-pandemic surveillance ambitions.  Since May 4, as restrictions began to ease, the government has mandated the installation of its contact-tracing smartphone app for anyone who works…or uses public transport.  Failing to do so is criminal…Unsurprisingly, digital rights and civil society organizations are pushing back on the new di[ktat]…

Reawakening

A high-profile example of the quiet rebellion that’s already started everywhere in the US:

Alameda County [bureaucrats] backed down in their conflict with Elon Musk, reversing their shutdown order and granting provisional approval for Tesla’s Fremont, California plant to reopen.  Musk had already reopened the plant for business in defiance of the lockdown order, tweeting …”If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me“…Musk’s civil disobedience against the COVID lockdown regime is a high-profile instance of a wider trend…

Social Distancing (#1036)

At its core, Australia is still prohibitionist:

…as Australia eases itself out of COVID-19 restrictions…in [a] three-stage framework…strip clubs and brothels were specifically listed “to remain closed” even in stage three…other businesses with…skin-to-skin contact – like waxing, massages, tattoos, bathhouses and saunas – are allowed to open in stage three.  Scarlet Alliance CEO Jules Kim [said]…”We hoped this…outbreak wouldn’t be used as an excuse to turn back…gains made in sex worker legislation, but it’s hard to see this as anything but discrimination, considering similar businesses are allowed”…federal [bureaucrats] recommended brothels and strip club venues should stay shut [indefinitely]…sole operator sex workers…are banned after being classed as “non-essential”

Meanwhile, over in New Zealand:

The national lift to COVID-19 alert level 2 means it’s business as usual for many Kiwis, including sex workers…The New Zealand Prostitute’s Collective (NZPC) released guidelines for sex workers on their website…with a checklist of hygiene practices and safety measures workers, brothels and massage parlours should be implementing…

Torture Chamber (#1038)

No human is truly free while governments claim the “right” to lock people in filthy, disease-ridden cages:

In the vast majority of the world’s overcrowded and underfunded prisons…physical distancing is simply not an option.  In situations where close confinement, shared facilities and spaces and poor hygiene are commonplace…prison[ers]…are living in constant fear of the ticking COVID-19 time bomb…UNAIDS, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Health Organization and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime are calling on leaders to make detention a last resort, to close drug rehabilitation detention centres and to decriminalize sex work, same-sex sexual relations and drug use.  They are urging countries to release the people who can be released…The Government of Ethiopia…has released more than 30,000 prisoners and has heightened sanitation measures.  Indonesia is releasing more than 50,000…Iran is releasing 40% of its total prison population, 100,000 people, while Chile is set to release around 50,000 people…

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While scandalized men are given second chances galore, women who society says behaved badly are branded for life.  –  Melissa Petro

Think of the Children! (Bits and Pieces)

Melissa Petro was open about her past when she applied to be a teacher; it wasn’t until she was outed that her “sex rays” suddenly became dangerous to children:

Ten years ago, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg…personally asked for me to be removed from my job as a public-school teacher and called for the city to take legal action against me…because I admitted that I’d worked in the sex industry before teaching.  “We’re just not going to have this woman in front of a class,” Bloomberg was quoted as saying…he…and I never met.  He never commented further on my situation.  He decided my fate, and that was that…The press…demonized me.  I was dubbed the “hooker teacher” and made into the butt of jokes.  And yet in the intervening years I was able to turn that exposure into a platform for humanizing sex work…

Under Duress 

I wonder if most cops are even capable of telling the truth?

Just…a…week [after]…[Los Angeles cop Angel Reinosa was arrested because he] fabricated [a] story of [being] shot in the shoulder by a sniper as he walked from his patrol car into the station…another cop in Ohio was arrested for doing the exact same thing.  On January 13, approximately 50 [heavily-armed thugs] from ten different [cop shops invaded] a predominantly black neighborhood looking for a non-existent suspect.  This swarm of cops…detain[ed] innocent people…and [terrorized] an entire community…because Warren [Ohio pig] Noah Linnen falsely claimed he’d been involved in a shootout with a [vaguely-described] black man in a black SUV…Due to the massive police presence…the…lying cop’s story [quickly] began to unravel…After…[terrorizing innocent people for a while], police finally looked at the surveillance footage from nearby properties and never saw an SUV fitting Linnen’s description.  So, the lying cop changed his story…[to claim he had somehow mistaken] a bicycle [for a truck]…In total, this lying cop would change his story four times after each lie he made up was shut down…In the final version of the story…he [simply] fired…at a passing vehicle [because it had] bright headlights…

Shifting the Blame (#327)

It’s difficult to tell if the anti-whore bullshit in this review springs from the film or its reviewer:

…In Lost Girlsthe great documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus…enters the realm of drama as if born to it.  The movie, based on a true story that began in 2010 (it’s adapted from Robert Kolker’s 2013 nonfiction bestseller Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery), is about…Mari Gilbert (Amy Ryan), who learns that her oldest daughter, Shannan, who’s around 20 and has been a sex worker living in Jersey City, N.J., has gone missing…police find four dismembered bodies off the side of the highway…Lost Girls is built around an aggrieved mother’s obsession to learn, at any cost, what happened to her child, and it may remind you of other mystery dramas rooted in the squalid dangers of the sex industry…we expect the movie to be…some sort of investigative deep dive into the ugly nuts and bolts of…the druggy, unstable, three-rotating-cell-phones life of a sex worker in the Craigslist era…

Reviewer Owen Gleiberman affects an understanding of the demimonde which is undermined by his misuse of terms, such as “in-call” when he means outcall and “john” to mean client (despite his decrying the dehumanization of sex workers a couple of paragraphs later).  Gleiberman seems unsure if he’s an ally, a puritan, or just a working writer employing the pseudo-intellectual cant of the professional fim critic who likes his comfortable paycheck but isn’t sure what his audience wants to hear; as such, it’s difficult to tell how much of this attitude is derived from the book (whose author spoke to me shortly before release), how much from the film, how much from the reviewer, and how much from the anti-sex dogma 21st century US journalists are expected to parrot.

To Molest and Rape

Another brave hero, protecting and serving:

A [typical and representative] Alabama [screw who was a serial rapist]…pleaded guilty…during…his ongoing trial…Matthew Moore…was arrested in 2018 and implicated by DNA in sexual assaults in George, Alabama and Florida…Moore was sentenced to life in prison with 30 years to serve…In June 2010, Moore [brutally raped] an Atlanta [sex worker at gunpoint]…[after he] left…the victim called 911, and [a rape kit was performed]…On November 17, 2015, Moore [brutally and sadistically raped another sex worker in]…Sandy Springs [Georgia]…and…record[ed] the entire [attack on his cell phone]…The victim was eventually able to escape…and ran…[into] the hallway…Moore [threatened bystanders with a gun to escape]…A year and a half later – in 2017 – the se[cond victim’s rape kit]…revealed…[a] DNA…match…[with the 2010] rape…as well as a 2008 [rape] in Homewood, a 2010 [rape] in Cobb County, and a 2010 [rape] in Birmingham…[when] Moore [was caught]…the video…of the 2015 rape…was still on his phone three years later…In addition to the Georgia and Alabama cases, Moore was implicated in a [rape] of a 64-year-old woman in Jupiter, Florida on March 7, 2018…

The Prudish Giant (#899)

People sometimes ask why I’m not on Facebook:

Facebook…[recently released] a long-delayed “Off-Facebook Activity” tracker [which]…shows Facebook and sister apps Instagram and Messenger don’t need a microphone to target you with those eerily specific ads and posts — they’re all up in your business countless other ways.  Even with Facebook closed on my phone…It knows when I [use the Peet’s Coffee or Home Depot apps,] read…Pete Buttigieg[‘s website] or…The Atlantic…or…open the Ring app…The “Off-Facebook Activity” tracker will show you 180 days’ worth of the data Facebook collects about you from the many organizations and advertisers in cahoots with it.  This page, buried behind lots of settings menus (here’s a direct link), is the product of a promise…Zuckerberg made during the height of the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal to provide ways we can “clear the history” in our accounts…it doesn’t let you reset your entire relationship with Facebook.  But…it does give you a way to unlink some of its surveillance…Even when your phone is entirely off, businesses can upload information about you making an in-store purchase.  One colleague found 974 apps and websites shared his activity…

Business As Usual (#928)

Oh look, a psychopathic rapist-murderer cop has raped before:

In a lawsuit filed…against [typical and representative vice cop Andrew] Mitchell and the City of Columbus, Mitchell is [reported to have] handcuff[ed] an unnamed woman and rap[ed] her…on…[two separate occasions] in 2017 and…2018….[on both occasions] Mitchell [acted out his typical MO with women he knew were sex workers or]…had…warrants out against her [at some point]…Mitchell…[drove] the woman to a…parking lot in Columbus where he [knew he would not be caught, forced her]…into the back seat…handcuffed her to the vehicle and raped her….[both] time[s]…he…drove off [after raping her], leaving the woman without most of her clothing…

The Widening Gyre (#941)

The “sex traffickers” have spread from Target and Ikea to gas station mini-marts:

Burlington [North Carolina] police are [help]ing [to spread hysteria]…about…human trafficking…after a [woman fantasized she was followed]…at [a crowded] Sheetz [gas station]…in the middle of the day…The [wo]man’s [fantasy]…prompted the Burlington Police Department to post a warning on its Facebook page reminding people to [spy on each other] and report [any brown people] to them…

Welcome to the Future (#977)

As I’ve repeatedly stated, it’s far too late to put this evil djinni back into its bottle:

…implicit bias…is ubiquitous in the workplace, and can hurt not just employees, but also a company’s bottom line…Despite the growing adoption of implicit bias training, some in the field of human resources have raised doubts about its effectiveness in improving diversity and inclusion within organizations.  But what if a smart device, similar to the Amazon Alexa, could tell when your boss inadvertently [made] a female colleague…feel that her perspective wasn’t valued?  This device doesn’t yet exist, but Northeastern associate professors…are preparing to embark on a three-year project that could yield such a gadget…working on…a $1.5 million…grant from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory…

I’m sure the US Army is funding this because it cares so deeply about “diversity and inclusion”.

Watershed (#978)

We’re way past the watershed now:

For the first time, over half of Americans support the decriminalization of sex work, and two-thirds of voters aged 18 to 44 back the initiative.  The statistic comes from…Decriminalizing Survival: Policy Platform and Polling on the Decriminalization of Sex Work, [which] analyzes a Data for Progress and YouGov Blue survey from late November…author Nina Luo…argues…that public discourse is leading voters to have a better understanding of the arguments surrounding decriminalization beyond fearmongering around sex trafficking…Democrats are nearly twice as likely as Republicans to support decriminalization, and younger voters generally show stronger support…than older Americans.  Among respondents aged 18 to 29, 65% support decriminalization, compared to 42% among people aged 65 or older.  Overall, only 36% of American voters oppose decriminalization…

All-Purpose Excuse (#978)

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

President Trump…attend[ed] a White House summit organized by his daughter Ivanka on [so-called] human trafficking, an issue he frequently invokes…But some of the country’s most prominent…organizations [which label themselves “anti-trafficking”]…won’t be there.  They have decided to boycott the event.  The group includes Polaris, the…[most influential purveyor of anti-sex work propaganda in the US], and the leader of Freedom Network USA, the…largest…coalition [of groups actually concerned with exploitation rather than simply using it as a cover for persecution of sex workers]…They say that although the president frequently invokes human trafficking, his administration is actively endangering a significant portion of [people infantilized as “trafficking victims”]:  immigrants…Ivanka Trump…has embraced the eradication of [sex work] as one of her causes [despite her stepmother’s history of sex work]…she…has advocated anti-[sex work] legislation, including [the internet censorship bill FOSTA]…

The Monsters Are Due (#996)

White van hysteria appears to be broadening:

The driver of a white van described [by cops and Facebook hysterics] as possibly being involved in suspicious activity…is a dog-loving business owner and tourist…[named] Chris Fox…who lives in Salt Lake City…Jackson County [South Dakota cops] posted a photo of Fox’s van and wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post that it wanted to learn more about the vehicle because [gullible cops imagined it was] “associated with confirmed criminal activity…[and] appears to use the large antenna visible on the roof to intercept WiFi, stealing credit card information”…[cops harassed him by]…track[ing] down his phone number by running his license plate, which [a busybody had] photographed [while he was peacefully going about his business in his van, which] doesn’t have a big antenna…

Stupor Bowl (#1005)

Though the majority of journalists now insert disclaimers when repeating tall tales of “Super Bowl sex trafficking”, the Miami Herald has apparently decided to go in exactly the opposite direction, publishing the lurid sex fantasies of cops, politicians, and other assorted prohibitionist lowlifes as not only news, but breaking news despite the fact that this same masturbatory fantasy has been spread in conjunction with every major sporting event for well over a decade.  And since we’ve all seen this tragedy porn more times than is healthy for any normal brain, I’m just going to excerpt the high points:

…an underground stream of no-name girls…branded with bar-code tattoos on their inner lower lip, dulled by a diet of drugs, painted with makeup to look older, bruised or burned in discreet spots and living in a state of terror…they are an essential element of the Super Bowl…modern-day slave masters…aiming to make upwards of $1,000 per night per woman under their control…40 million victims caught in the $150 billion sex…trafficking industrysecond only to drug trafficking as the world’s largest criminal industryTheresa Flores [shares her fantasy about being “trafficked” by magical ninja pimps]…You can sell a human being over and over again…[bogus statistics from previous years]…Robert Kraft…Florida ranks third…in human trafficking…hub[s]…the average sex trafficking victim may be forced to have sex 20 times a day…Jeffrey Epstein…hiding in plain sight…SOAP…coerced and brainwashed…Traffickers…spend hours mining social media…mafia…a man…buys a girl the same age as his daughter…piece of property…father figure or a job scam…They pay in cash. At hotels, they keep the Do Not Disturb sign on the doorcontrol of their minds, bodies and soulssophisticateddating sitesThey deny having a pimp

I Spy (#1006)

Anyone who doubts that politicians are deranged megalomaniacs should be following this:

Attorney General William Barr [i]s making a bizarre attack on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act…arguing — without evidence — that 230 might be contributing to “unlawful behavior” online…Section 230 explicitly exempts federal criminal charges from what it applies to, meaning that it literally cannot interfere with any DOJ prosecution…But Barr has continued to push forward with this anti-230 kick, and is going to host a “workshop” about [it] in a few weeks…the DOJ claims that this workshop will have that “diversity of viewpoints”…but it is likely to stack the deck against 230…[as it] has done…with regard to…encryption…the DOJ a[ppears to be] playing this anti-230 card simply as a method of punishing the internet industry for opposing his desire to gut encryption…

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Coming after the client means they’re coming after…the person who pays my bills.  –  Kristen Cain

Rough Trade

Tara Burns on the, “But she’s a whore!” defense for rape:

In 2019, a Fairbanks District Attorney offered a generous plea – 5 years of actual time, amounting to little more than time served – to a man charged with kidnapping and [raping] a minor…[because] he claimed his underaged victim was a prostitute…Winfred Hipp…the victim and her father…were headed to a BBQ, but the father had a stop to make first. Mr. Hipp dropped the father off and…took [the girl] to his apartment…and [raped] her while she was saying no…Hipp [at first used] a condom, but then he took it off and continued [raping] her.  When the victim’s father arrived at the BBQ and realized his daughter wasn’t there, he went to Hipp’s apartment, where he could hear his daughter being raped through the door.  Hipp stopped when the father almost broke the door down…His semen was found inside her and in a condom found on his bedroom floor which also had the victim’s DNA on the outside of it.  At his sentencing, he [claimed] he’d been raped and robbed by the victim…The plea deal…came after the minor victim was labeled “difficult” and a prostitute by the prosecutor…

Surplus Women

Sex workers cannot cure violent misogyny:

Marylène Lévesque, a 22-year-old sex worker employed by a Quebec City massage parlour, was murdered by…Eustachio Gallese…[who was out on parole from a life sentence for the] 2006…[murder] of his girlfriend…Chantale Deschenes…[who was] savagely beaten to death with a hammer and repeatedly stabbed.  Gallese then took the time to scribble [“whore” multiple times]…on the bedroom wall before turning himself in to police…He already had a history of…violence with a previous partner in 1997.  Even though the Parole Board initially found that he posed “a high risk of violence,” they later inexplicably changed that to a “moderate risk” and…out on day parole since March of 2019.  While out, he was [officially given permission]…to see sex workers…[despite his] history of misogyny, rage and extreme physical violence against women…No one bothered to inform this young woman, or the massage parlour she worked at, that he was extremely dangerous and posed a risk to her life…

But please, clients, keep telling us about how you don’t need to be screened because you’re “taking a risk, too”.

If Men Were Angels

“The crime was sexually motivated”.  No shit, really?

A priest…admitted to holding a teen captive in a church janitor’s closet…Brian Stanley was sentenced to 60 days in jail with credit for two days served.  He will also serve five years probation and must register as a sex offender for 15 years.  Stanley was charged in August for the 2013 incident that happened at St. Margaret’s Church in Otsego [Michigan]…he bound the teen boy in plastic wrap and masking tape, also covering his eyes and mouth with tape…then left [him] alone in the closet for over an hour before freeing him.  The state Attorney General’s Office…said the crime was sexually motivated…

Count the Idiocies

The verbal equivalent of vomiting up gallons of toxic diarrhea:

A forum on human trafficking…featur[ed]…keynote speaker Ohio [politician] Teresa Fedor…“Poverty drives and fuels trafficking1.  When…you want to control the victims, you drug them2…the estimated U.S. share of the $99 billion worldwide industry is between $10 to $15 billion3…Research she has found shows that runaways are “harvested” by traffickers within 24 hours4…she is working to change the laws to prosecute those doing the “selling of the bodies”5…“Those buying rape can no longer hide their actions”6…modern slavery…needs to be tackled like it was in 18657”…”I knew I had to build a movement, because I’m a Democrat8,” Fedor said…

1It’s hard to imagine a clearer indicator that by “sex trafficking” she actually means “sex work”.
2It’s been a while since we’ve seen the magical pimp mind-control philter.
3The US share of this made-up number is a smaller made-up number, both of which disagree with other made-up numbers from other prohibitionists“.
4Down from the usual claim of 48 hours, but up from Seattle’s claim of 45 minutes.
5Usually, they at least pretend to recognize we have minds.
6The “paid rape” trope is one of the ugliest elements of prohibitionist dogma.
7The fact that prohibitionists can’t see how loathsome it is to invoke historical black slavery to promote a system which gives more power to cops is a sign of their dyed-in-th-wool racism.
8WTF?

Welcome to the Future (#916)

Don’t be fooled by this “shutdown”; it’ll soon be back in an even-worse form:

In 2012, Chicago PD collaborated with the RAND Corporation and the Illinois Institute of Technology to automatically generate “risk scores” for people they arrested, which were supposed to predict the likelihood that the person would be a “party to violence” in the future (this program was called “TRAP” — Targeted Repeat-Offender Apprehension Program” — seemingly without a shred of irony).  Now, that program has been shut down, and the City of Chicago’s Office of the Inspector General has published a damning report on…ways in which the program discriminated against the people ensnared in it, without reducing violent crime…people…assigned high risk scores…were subjected to “enhanced prosecutions”…and…your TRAP score went up even if were acquitted or had your case dismissed…

Loose Cannons (#947)

“Sex trafficking” hysteria’s impending collapse has been helped along by the excesses of Florida “authorities”:

On January 23, the Hillsborough County sheriff’s office announced the completion of “two undercover human trafficking operations”…[Sheriff Chad] Chronister, who was elected in 2018, has pledged to make policing [consensual adult sex] a priority, and said that the stings are going to continue…”until human [sexuality] is stopped”…An anti-trafficking operation in early 2019 by a slew of Florida law enforcement agencies…yielded similar results: busts of massage parlors, arrests for solicitation…but no trafficking charges…That hasn’t stopped prosecutors, however, from claiming [without evidence]…that “[state prying into people’s private sex lives] often yield evidence of more serious crimes”…Chronister has also [vomited out fascist poison that “citizens]…must always be held accountable [to the state]”…

Checklist (#986)

They’re trying to cut off sex worker access to travel worldwide:

Thousands of tuk-tuk drivers in Cambodia are to [be indoctrinated]…in [anti-sex worker propaganda]…under a [scheme] by the ride-hailing app Grab to tr[ick] drivers [in]to [becoming police informants]…Grab [will indoctrinate]…10,000 drivers in…Phnom Penh this month, as it launches a [scheme] it plans eventually to extend to millions of its drivers in Asia…Cambodia’s…a…[favorite venue for racist “saviors” like] the Walk Free Foundation [to claim as a “hotbed”] of…[“slavery”, which is invariably described]…as rising despite [a number of studies showing exactly the opposite]…Sean Sok Phay…[of] Child Helpline [said]…”We want to remove any barriers that stop [us] from [profiting from hysteria]”…

Business As Usual (#988)

What kind of sick mind thinks the way to “build trust” with women is to hunt, rape and cage them?

Jennifer Knight…[is a sow charged with inventing propaganda to infantilize sex workers as a cover-up for the horrendous abuses committed by the Columbus, Ohio vice gang]…“I want them to associate the [rapist]’s uniform with someone who cares [enough to rape and humiliate them]” Knight says…It’s been a few months since…Columbus…[rebrand]ed their [vice gang with the Orwellian name]…Police and Community Together team, or PACT…[which] looks to…use “sex trafficking” and “end demand” propaganda when inflict]ing [violence on sex workers through]…increasing arrests…“One of the things we do in the secure staging area, after we [molest] them and [put them permanently into a criminal database]…is…give the [cops’ victims] a sack lunch provided by the Salvation Army…Knight [brags that] they expect to [deceive, rape and abduct] even more women as their [pogroms] ramp up…“we remove them from [freedom] and remove them from their [income]” Knight says. “At least giving ourselves a window of opportunity to [brainwash them in]”…CATCH Court…The months-long suspension of the [rape squad]…had a ripple effect on [those who profit from women being forced into their “re-education” scheme]…

Torture Chamber (#999)

“Give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, so I can lock them in dungeons”:

…ICE…released a new version of its National Detention Standards…which…has removed even basic, minimal safeguards necessary for adequate medical care…and…further weakens protections for [caged] immigrant[s] against the use of force and solitary confinement by [screws]…ICE no longer requires that…toilets [have] modesty panels, and removes [any minimum] ratios for the number of toilets per detainee.  ICE has removed language requiring…outdoor recreation facilities, meaning…detainees could be [locked in cages] for months or even years without time outdoors as they wait for their cases to be heard…

Panopticon (#1001)

The “security” system that isn’t:

…An investigation by EFF of the Ring doorbell app for Android found it to be packed with third-party trackers sending out a plethora of customers’ personally identifiable information…analytics and tracking companies are able to combine these bits together to form…a fingerprint that follows the user…providing trackers the ability to spy on what a user is doing in their digital lives and when they are doing it…without…user…consent…Ring has exhibited a pattern of behavior that attempts to mitigate exposure to criticism and scrutiny…by leveraging an image of the secure home, while profiting from a surveillance network which facilitates police departments’…access into the private lives of citizens…not only does Ring mismanage consumer data, but it also intentionally hands over that data to trackers and data miners…

I Spy (#1002) 

The US is following in the footsteps of China:

New students at the University of Missouri will be [forced] to participate in a tracking program designed to measure and enforce class attendance…officials [absurdly] defended the [privacy violation] as one to…benefit…students…Individual professors have to opt-in to using the app, but once they do, students in those professors’ classes will not be able to opt-out.  SpotterEDU, developed by a former basketball coach, is designed to monitor a user’s attendance by “pinpoint[ing] students within a classroom until they leave”…[sales propaganda] claims it does not track students’ locations anywhere else…[but] the app is [fully]…capable of tracking students’ locations outside the classroom…

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The eternal flame that is Ring’s dumpster fire of an existence continues to burn.  –  Tim Cushing

Rough Trade

Cops wait a year to arrest a dangerous, violent serial rapist.  Guess why?

Stephen Bradley Ewing was charged on Dec. 17 with two counts of sexual assault and one count of [trying to strangle his victim]…from [rapes]…on June 15 and Aug. 1 of this year…The August offence occurred the same day Ewing was arrested by Nanaimo RCMP…and charged with three counts of [raping sex workers]…between March and October of 2018…

Follow Your Bliss

A “national leader in the field of sex offender management”:

A…forensic psychologist and national leader in the field of sex offender management has surrendered to St. Louis [cops] on warrants for child sex crimes in two Missouri counties…Kurt M. Bumby…is accused of molesting two children in incidents in [two different Missouri] counties, the oldest of those charges stretching back to 1988…

Business As Usual

More cops raping sex workers (excuse me, “rescuing trafficking victims”):

…a two-year federal sex-trafficking [boondoggle] started to unravel last week…[because spooks were caught raping women] at massage parlors in Lake Havasu City and Bullhead City [Arizona in the process of trying to frame ordinary massage parlors as part of]…an alleged sex trafficking network…The [spooks raped women] at each location…but never to completion…the [scheme] led to the arrests of seven people…[but] charges against two of the[m] were dismissed because th[e rapists refuse] to testify [on 5th Amendment grounds.  Meanwhile, a lawsuit from]…one of the women arrested…is seeking disclosure of the full names of the [rapists] and all reports they prepared…more felony cases against [the feds’ victims]…could be dismissed soon…

“It’s not rape because I didn’t jizz” is certainly a novel defense.

Broken Record (#748) 

As the hysteria collapses, some “sex trafficking” opportunists will turn to producing “studies” to “find” what is already known:

As the Formula 1…Grand Prix Race approaches each year in Austin…newly published research suggests that…there is not…an…uptick in crimes — sex trafficking or otherwise…in weeks before and after the race….property crimes, violent crimes, and sex-related offenses…[don’t] increase…Earlier this year, COTA and the track owners lost at least $20 million in state reimbursement funds for missing the deadline to submit a…plan [to prevent something that doesn’t exist]…

Torture Chamber (#898)

Imprisonment doesn’t magically become “care” when the prisoner is under 18:

The White House sought…to embed immigration enforcement agents within the U.S. refugee agency that cares for…migrant [minors who were separated from their parents]…to…target the[ir relatives] for deportation…officials…rejected the attempt…[but] agreed to allow [ICE spooks]…to collect fingerprints and other biometric information from adults seeking to claim migrant [minors] at government shelters.  If those adults are deemed ineligible to take custody of children, ICE could then use their information to target them for arrest and deportation…Congress…made clear [after this was done last year, resulting in the arrest of more than 170 relatives] that it does not want those who come forward as potential sponsors of [caged] minors…to be frightened away by possible deportation…[Trump’s henchmen] acknowledge the arrangement will instill fear among migrant parents, but they say it will deter families from having their children cross into the United States illegally…

There is nothing sociopathic politicians (pardon the redundancy) love more than “sending messages” with other people’s lives.

I Spy (#904)

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

Your smartphone can broadcast your exact location thousands of times per day, through hundreds of apps, instantaneously to dozens of different companies.  Each of those companies has the power to follow individual mobile phones wherever they go, in near-real time.  That’s not a glitch in the system.  It is the system.  If the government ordered Americans to continuously provide such precise, real-time information about themselves, there would be a revolt…Yet…we’ve reached a tacit consensus to hand this data over voluntarily, even though we don’t really know who’s getting it or what they’re doing with it…

Backwards into the Future (#923) 

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

China’s extrajudicial detention of sex workers or their customers, known as “custody and education”, is set to be abolished, in what experts called a long-overdue move.  The detention system has been used to [persecute sex workers]…since the 1980s.  Sex workers and their clients could be detained for up to two years without trial in centres overseen by the police.  More than 300,000 people were detained in custody and education (C&E) between 1987 and 2000…mainland media have reported a steady decrease in detentions in recent years, resulting in the closures of some detention facilities…

If you’re wondering whether to believe that China really intends to give up “re-education” schemes, see “Quiet Genocide” below.

Train Wreck (#935)

The “Abuja Environmental Protection Board” is a Nigerian vice gang long empowered to do basically anything it likes to terrorize sex workers:

A…high court in Abuja has condemned the arrest of women…by [cops and spooks]…She also ruled that sex work is not a crime…The…police, the army, ministry of the federal capital territory (FCT), and the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) were…ordered…to pay N1.6 million [$4415 US]…to the affected women.  [The suit was filed after the perpetrators]…arrested over 100 women at…a night club in Abuja…[raping or] sexually assaulting [many of them] them…[or forcing them to] bribe their way to freedom…

Safe Position (#966)

Just another lying politician who wants to police others’ private lives:

…presidential hopeful Andrew Yang said…”we should consider decriminalizing sex work on the part of the seller,” as this would be “helpful in combating human trafficking.”  [The term for what] Yang is talking about…is…the…[Swedish model, not decriminalization, but] lately, a coalition of old-school moral crusaders…has taken to co-opting the language of the sex worker rights movement to push their anti-sex work agenda.  This means many of them say they are for prostitution “decriminalization” while still pushing to keep prostitution between consenting adults as a crime.  They get away with this linguistic malpractice by saying that they would decriminalize the act of offering paid sex as long as it is still illegal to purchase such services.  Obviously, this is not decriminalization within any normal meaning of the word.  Yang’s preferred model would still mean devoting law enforcement resources to catching people attempting to pay for sex—and that would mean monitoring and conducting stings on sex workers…

Quiet Genocide

Pyrrhic Victory (#979)

So progress!  Much Seattle!

At the direction of Mayor Jenny Durkan, [Seattle]’s Human Services Department is studying the possibility of mandatory biometric screening of homeless shelter and service clients, using fingerprints or other biometric markers to track the city’s homeless population…Durkan [mouthpiece] Kamaria Hightower [bloviates] that…a “digital ID” would create “efficiencies” that improve on the scan cards currently used [because] homeless…people…often lose their IDs and other documents when the city sweeps their encampment and [steals] or throws away their stuff, a policy that has accelerated under Durkan…

Torture Chamber (#997)

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

Four women [visiting loved ones] at [a cage stack in Virginia were] told…they had to consent to a strip search immediately after [screws claimed] dogs [“alerted”]…or they would lose all visitation rights…the women…were on or near their period at the time and believe the dogs may have confused that with the smell of drugs.  A [bureaucrat bloviated]…“It is not…policy to permanently ban anyone solely based on their compliance or non-compliance with a strip search”…Each of the women [was tricked into] sign[ing] a consent form believing that to refuse the strip search would mean a permanent ban from the prison.  All were taken to a bathroom and [violated by screws]…Most…also had their cars searched…

Panopticon (#999)

The “security” system that isn’t:

The log-in credentials for 3,672 Ring camera owners were compromised…exposing log-in emails, passwords, time zones, and the names people give to specific Ring cameras…such as “bedroom” or “front door”…Ring says this leak of personal data isn’t its fault.  The company claims there’s been no breach…it’s kind of hard to take Ring’s word for it.  The company has been doing nothing but putting out PR fires ever since its law enforcement partnerships came to light…Ring took no interest in this…until after the security researcher who discovered the compromised credentials discussed his findings on Reddit…Ring [was]…quick to blame users for the commandeering of their cameras by a forum full of shitbirds, but the company does almost nothing to ensure users are protected from malicious activity…

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