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Posts Tagged ‘diversion programs’

It’s time for another of those articles so packed with idiocies that there was no way to do it justice in a news column.  This one, by Charlie Keegan of KSHB in Kansas City, is not only crammed full of prohibitionist nonsense, but also littered with deeply-weird language and jaw-droppingly dopey puritanisms; the result is an article so utterly permeated with the reek of stupidity it should probably be considered hazardous waste.

A new initiative to stop sex trafficking in the historic northeast part of Kansas City, Missouri, encourages residents and business owners to “Report a John,” with John referring to the name given to someone soliciting sex.
Some of these moronathons start slowly, but not this one, oh no; Charlie isn’t merely content to call sex work “trafficking” and a tired, hackneyed scheme pushed by unimaginative busybodies “new”; he also feels compelled to helpfully explain that the state calls everyone accused of “solicitation” by the proper name “John”, regardless of what their actual name might be.  At least, that’s what this sentence appears to say, though I suspect by “name given to” he actually means “prohibitionist slang referring to”.  And this is just the first sentence.
“What you have to do is focus on the demand because, without the demand, there is no supply. No one is in the sex trafficking trade if there is not a John,” explained Scott Wagner…of [Yet Another Rescue Industry Scam Full Of Slackjawed Yokels (YARISFOY)]…
I’m really trying to keep my editorialization outside of the block quotes, honest I am.  But when I’m faced with yet another semi-literate hick whose understanding of economics is roughly as grounded in reality as a Scrooge McDuck comic book, and who uses the bizarre phrase “sex trafficking trade” as though it actually meant something…well, give me a break, I’m only human.
…The new strategy debuted last week when a billboard went up at Independence and Cypress avenues.  The billboard says, “This community does not tolerate buying prostitution.”
I reckon it’s no wonder that a billboard which can erect itself can also speak, but is it too much to ask that what it says actually make sense?  Given that “prostitution” is the selling of sex, what does “buying prostitution” actually mean?  That’s like…”buying selling” or “purchasing vending”.  The kindest word I could use to describe the phrase would be “awkward”.
The billboards and multiple smaller signs…encourage people to call 816-234-5220 to “report [the license plate number of] a John.”  The…prosecutor’s office will then send a letter to the registered address for that license plate explaining the car has been suspected of soliciting sex.
What I’m encouraging people in Kansas City to do is use blocked or public phones to report the number of every city-owned vehicle they can find, especially pigmobiles.  These so-called “Dear John” scams have been going on for years, but never last long in any given place because they can’t survive a lawsuit.  However, I’ve never seen one where the actual cars are “suspected of soliciting sex”; I suppose if one can believe in talking billboards that magically appear without human action, a car looking for a blow job isn’t much more of a stretch.
It’s not an accusation or a warrant, simply a warning…The new initiative also calls for publishing mugshots of people arrested for soliciting sex on a new website and in the Northeast News printed newspaper…
Noooooo, it’s not an accusation at all.  After all, only the car is “suspected of soliciting sex”.  I’m sure all those people (disproportionately young men of color, natch) who are publicly shamed and probably lose their jobs based on some busybody’s mere suspicion will appreciate that distinction.
People found guilty of soliciting prostitution will be offered the chance to attend “John School”…
But of course they will.  For a small price, natch.  “John schools” are a for-profit scam related to “gay conversion therapy” and “sex addiction therapy“, and…oh, looky look!
“Johns…need some help in getting over what could be an addiction”…
What.  A.  Surprise.  And these clueless reporters don’t even get that they’re giving a profitable scam free advertising.

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There’s no public safety value in prosecuting these low-level offenses.  –  Marilyn Mosby

Policing Womanhood

Scratch a SWERF, find a TERF:

In a t[oxic] essay for the [carceral] feminist website 4W, Donna M Hughes wrote that the “belief” that a person could change their gender was a “trans-sex fantasy”.  She went on to equate followers of QAnon, [the latest form of the “sex trafficking”] web of lies that [Hughes vigorously supports]…to people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were given at birth…Her inflammatory comments were called “beyond the pale” by Annie Russell, the director of the [University of Rhode Island]’s Gender and Sexuality Center…Russell said the diatribe had also angered students at the university, which [also employs Hughes as a tenured professor]…The University…put out a statement distancing itself from Hughes’s comments…In response Hughes said her right to free speech was being trampled [even though she was neither fired, nor censored, nor arrested as she wants others to be]…

For those who don’t recall: Hughes considers herself a political conservative and was the architect of recriminalizing sex work in Rhode Island in 2009.

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#845) 

I haven’t seen this once-popular fantasy since 2018:

A recent 60 Minutes+ episode cites a dubious claim that “up to 100,000” children are sex-trafficked in the U.S. each year…the inimitable Maggie McNeill once wrote that there are “lies, damn lies and sex trafficking statistics.” Now 60 Minutes+, a streaming version of the venerable news program, is helping to make McNeill’s point by highlighting an oft-debunked sex trafficking factoid…in the show’s March 21 episode, “Taking Facebook to Court”…

Social Distancing (#1025)

When this was announced a year ago, prohibitionists claimed it would be a disaster:

…[When] the coronavirus pandemic hit…State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced that [Baltimore] would no longer prosecute drug possession, prostitution, trespassing and other minor charges, to keep people out of jail and limit the spread of the deadly virus.  And then crime went down in Baltimore.  A lot…This happened while 39 percent fewer people entered the city’s criminal justice system in the one-year period, and 20 percent fewer people landed in jail after Mosby’s office dismissed more than 1,400 pending cases and tossed out more than 1,400 warrants…So…Mosby is making her temporary steps permanent …Baltimore…will continue to decline prosecution of all drug possession, prostitution, minor traffic and misdemeanor cases, and will partner with a local behavioral health service to aggressively reach out to drug users, sex workers and people in psychiatric crisis to direct them into treatment rather than the back of a patrol car…

Let’s hope this “aggressively reaching out” doesn’t involve surveillance or “diversion”, which is just another form of state control.  But in any case, this is becoming a trend.

Welcome to the Future (#1107)

Everything I read about modern corporate work makes me happier I became a whore:

Amazon delivery drivers nationwide have to sign a “biometric consent” form…that grants the tech behemoth permission to [monitor]…drivers’ location, movement, and biometric data.  If the…drivers…refuse to sign these forms, they lose their jobs.  The…[surveillance includ]es…facial recognition…The company [claims the surveillance is] being used to improve “safety” and the “quality of the delivery experience.”  But…some drivers are quitting their jobs…because…the [surveillance device even records]…when a driver yawns, appears distracted, or isn’t wearing a seatbelt…and monitor[s] drivers’ body and facial movements…

Torture Chamber (#1122)

If only there were a concise word for “systematically forced to have sex”:

The [murder] of a 19-year-old woman [by] Venezuela[n] police [in a] holding cell has revealed that women in the jail were being systematically forced to have sex with [cops]…On March 13, Daniela Geraldine Figueredo Salazar died from [being]…shot [in] the face…by [a cop]…several of her fellow [prisoners] reported [to investigating officials] that they were being [systematically raped]…the…abuse was being coordinated by a [typical and representative cop] who is also currently jailed…This is not the first [time news] of sexual violence [has leaked out of] the country’s [filthy cage stacks]…In 2018, it was reported that women in Venezuelan prisons were being forced to [submit to rape] in order to be released for court hearings…in 2019, a report by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights pointed to…various forms of sexual violence [committed by cops, screws and spooks]…

You Were Warned (#1124)

Cathy Reisenwitz examines a power-hungry politician’s lies about the internet:

…The SAFE TECH Act would…hold companies liable for their users’ behavior…[an]d force small websites to spend $1 million or more…to prove to courts that users aren’t causing any one of nine new types of broad, ill-defined harm…Only the wealthiest, most powerful companies would be able to afford setting their own content moderation policies.  Everyone else would run the real risk of being sued into oblivion by wealthy people who don’t like what people are saying about them online…Like SESTA/FOSTA, the SAFE TECH Act would make it easier for those in power to stifle unpopular speech across the web.  It would strip away Section 230 protections for any web service that “has accepted payment to make the speech available.”  While many believe the law applies only to paid advertising, it’s written so broadly that it would apply to all content on any platform where money changes hands, including…all paid web hosting and even nonprofits or activist groups that sell merch or accept donations…

Predictable Consequences (#1124)

My friend Kate Zen, cofounder of Red Canary Song:

While it’s easy to repudiate th[e Atlanta shooter]’s actions as that of a monster, he isn’t alone in his views.  Many Americans feel only disdain toward these businesses, and have little respect for the women who work there…On Piedmont Road in Atlanta, where Long shot customers and workers at Gold Spa and Aroma Therapy Spa, church groups previously gathered to protest this so-called red-light district, demanding the shutdown of the sex shop across the street…many Asian street-based sex workers…in [Red Canary Song’s] outreach said some of the religious anti-trafficking groups…can be even more hurtful than the pedestrians who call them names…[besides] collaborat[ing] with police…[one said] they were “nagging her and wasting her time” when she needed to work…Long’s extreme actions are a consequence of the way we treat all sexuality in society…and…the people who are tasked with undoing the harms are often infected by the same dangerous ideas…

Dr. Elena Shih also works with Red Canary Song:

…anti-trafficking organizations…have [repeatedly] called for the increased surveillance and policing of massage businesses, and the result has been hundreds of raids across the country which have terrorized and criminalized massage workers.  These systemic forms of violence cannot be divorced from the brutal killings of massage parlor workers in the Atlanta area on March 16…When my colleagues and I talk to Asian massage workers, they often share stories of [cops] entering their workplaces at random under the guise of stopping sex trafficking.  When they don’t find any evidence of wrongdoing, they demand to see massage licenses.  Workers tell us they are frequently arrested if they don’t produce a license, or are hit with building code or public health violations.  Those who are arrested are often funneled through special courts and programs where workers, seen as morally flawed and traumatized victims, are offered programming framed as rehabilitation…[including] everything from religious proselytization to “recovery-focused yoga” to unpaid labor, when what they really need is economic security…

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I recently saw this young woman’s story on Twitter, and immediately asked if she would be willing to retell it in a guest column; even most people who support sex worker rights don’t really understand the extent of the ugliness and depravity of what cops and their prohibitionists co-conspirators call “rescue”.  I’m also very concerned to see that these FBI stings violate a lot of our safety indicators; they’ve clearly figured out how to subvert our procedures, clearly demonstrating that, as I’ve said many times, these pogroms are specifically intended to harm us no matter what their copaganda claims

I was arrested 2 years ago in one of the FBI’s “Operation Cross Country” stings.  I was really inexperienced and working for an agency at the time, and there probably wasn’t much screening done (if any).  The appointment was booked a week in advance, unlike local cop stings where the appointments are often rushed and same day; it was for a couple, which is also unusual for a sting, and they made adjustments to the appointment date.  When I arrived, I parked on the street and was alarmed to see 4 cop cars drive past me, stop about a block behind me, and then pull into the parking garage.  I called the agency and told them about it, but they told me to go in anyway; this is not to put all of the blame on them, because I really should have just listened to my gut and left (as I would if something similar happened today).  But I had only $25 in my bank account and a $600 bill the next day, so I felt I had no choice but to go against my better judgement.

I met the couple outside of the apartment complex; there was almost nobody else around, and I later learned that this was a newer complex that the owners were allowing them to run stings out of before any actual tenants moved in.  The woman hugged me and we went upstairs; she was an excellent actress, which helped to mislead me even though the guy was acting a bit weird, such as hesitating when I asked them what they did for work.  There were boxes everywhere in the apartment, and they claimed they had just moved in.  We sat down, and they handed me the money and started asking questions like “What is included with the rate?”, “Will you eat me out while he is fucking you?”, and “How much of a cut does your agency take?”  I now know better than to answer such questions, but as I said I was inexprienced at the time.  After the questions the woman excused herself, and the guy asked if I wanted water; suddenly the door opened and 5 or 6 cops came in, and before I knew it my hands were in handcuffs.  They started aggressively interrogating me, asking me where I had put the money and how I got there, asking for the passcode to my phone, and threatening that they were going to impound my car.  Meanwhile the woman was patting me down, supposedly checking for a weapon.  I was in a state of shock, but I remember wondering why the fuck there were so many cops there when I was just a single woman that had no chance of taking them down; months later, after watching Maggie’s The War on Whores (which I recommend you check out), I realized that they are just there for the show.  And what a show:  I was having a full on panic attack, crying, and although I was luckily not naked yet, it was completely humiliating.  I distinctly remember some of them lounging on the couch while I was panicking.

They hustled me out, and two of them took me to a car in the parking garage while I remained handcuffed.  I was then driven to the police station, where there were snacks laid out and clothes to change into; I think this is rare and solely due to the FBI being involved.  There was also a “human trafficking advocate” there for me to speak to; she was of no help whatsoever, but at least she was nice.  The cops tried talking to me, saying they wanted to catch me specifically because I looked so young; I don’t show my face in ads, so this didn’t make any sense.  But I wasn’t giving them the information they wanted, so the FBI agents tried to interview me and the woman asked what would ever compel me to “sell my body” and put myself in a dangerous position.  Then the county cops came back in, told me they wouldn’t be recording (I realized this was a red flag), and asked me why I didn’t just get a job as a substitute teacher to make money (???) and if I do this for the “sexual thrill”.  Later, they asked me about my relationship with my dad and told me they were keeping my (really expensive) iPhone as “evidence”.  The whole time the kept referring to my escorting as “pimping myself out” and “self-pimping”.  It made no sense.

I was really lucky in that I had a friend to lend me cash for bail and a lawyer.  Since I was a first time “offender” I got a “human trafficking” pretrial diversion; I had to take a class and promise I would never do sex work again, and if I had been arrested again for anything while out on bail the diversion would have been out the window.  The cops later asked a few questions through my lawyer; they were really, really interested in whether or not I had a P411 or Eccie account, or if any of my clients did; they flat-out told me they wanted to take over client accounts so as to book providers with them.   Because of this, I will NOT see anyone with only P411 and no further info; I know for a fact these accounts get compromised, because cops will offer a plea deal to clients or providers that hand them over.  I also won’t go to personal residences anymore unless they’re an established client, and I have learned to trust my gut; I saw the cop cars that day, yet ignored my instincts and paid for it.  Thousands in bail, lawyer fees, and pretrial diversion fees, and at the end of the day I still couldn’t pay my bills and couldn’t work either.  But it could’ve been much worse:  one other woman I knew had a driver and a child waiting in the car for her, and the cops charged her driver with “sex trafficking” and gave her child to CPS.

I hope nobody reading this ever has to endure what I did, but if you do please don’t talk to police except to ask to speak to a lawyer, and to make it clear you’re invoking your right to remain silent.  I know it seems like common sense, but when you’re having a panic attack or sitting in an interrogation room, they will try anything to get you to talk. They will lie, ask stupid or silly questions, and do anything to use your words against you.  Cops are not your friends; no matter how many snacks and “victim advocates” they put in front of you, at the end of the day they are just trying to lock up as many people as possible.

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I’ve been following Maya Morena, an undocumented migrant sex worker and tireless activist, since she became more prominent a year or so ago; I’ve wanted to publish a guest column from her for a while now, so I was pleased to have the opportunity to offer her this space to describe yet another effort by prohibitionists to silence us.

On March 10, 2020 I had the pleasure of attending the Sex Workers’ Pop-Up with some friends.  Sex workers and undocumented immigrants are subject to constant epistemic injustice, so something so simple as basic human respect from outsiders is rare.  We were trusted to represent ourselves and not be symbols for someone else’s white savior project.  I was excited by how many people showed up to support, knowing I would be looking at my friends’ faces on the gallery walls, and their artwork and stories would be showcased. The event itself mostly consisted of a panel of sex workers and people who identify as sex trafficking victims (or both). Personally, I didn’t think the event was radical enough and I’m hopeful that new platforms will spring up in the future.  But the hatred and exclusion that we were met with by a highly organized network of organizations was unbelievable, and considering that the exhibit was closed ahead of schedule due to COVID-19, the SWERFs who fought so hard for weeks to get it shut down have gotten their wish in the end.

On March 2, 2020 “New Yorkers for the Equality Model”, a coalition of organizations fighting for Swedish-style criminalization, created a letter with their partners.  I had protested the very formation of that group a few months earlier, and started http://www.equalitymodel.com to educate the public on what they were doing; in response, they filed a bogus DMCA takedown against it (as they have done many times against female content creators) and had a whole section of the site taken down.  I ended up paying $550 trying to file a counterclaim to protect my information from them, but didn’t have funds to keep fighting.  Various SWERFs such as Rachel Moran, and Julie Bindel (who don’t even live in New York) have been demanding that the MTA and Outfront Media take down our (paid-for) posters for the events we were hosting.  This is very on-brand for Bindel, who has argued that giving sex workers hand sanitizers and medical advice on how to reduce potential disease is a “waste of time” since it would “encourage” sex workers to stay working longer (as though people were doing sex work for the sole reason that someone gave them hand sanitizer).  The letter itself – hosted on their website and promoted through mainstream media – claims that there’s an evil conspiracy by George Soros to target children through the ads and get them to become sex slaves.  The letter makes the claim that “The term ‘sex work’ is a euphemism for prostitution, coined in the 1980s by people with financial interests in the sex trade, whose goal was to mainstream and normalize the systems of prostitution and commercial sexual exploitation.”  The “people with financial interests” referred to are sex workers, because “sex work” encompasses everything from stripping, to webcamming, to dominatrix work – not only prostitution, and not all illegal; the term was actually coined by Carol Leigh, a sex worker and activist.  The letter goes on to dehumanize sex workers by comparing us to drugs, cigarettes, guns, and organs harvesting, then makes veiled threats against sex workers by stating that we are still criminalized in New York in an attempt to get the ads censored by New York state.  Many of the organizations who penned the letter worked hard to create the Human Trafficking Intervention Courts which still incarcerate and deport sex workers, despite their repeated claims that they wouldn’t.

The organizations who make up “New Yorkers for the Equality Model” are deeply racist, but try to obscure this is by exploiting a few migrants as tokens via the “Trafficking Visa“, which has only been given to 6780 people over the past 11 years despite having an annual cap of 5,000 (it is one of the only visas that never meets its cap).  And even it is very weak help; it only gives an immigrant the right to work in the US for 4 years.  This is best the  US and “anti-trafficking” groups have to give to people they label victims.  The US spends millions every year on “human trafficking”, most of which goes toward police and border control efforts; the prohibitionist organizations are “law and order” types, and only “help” migrants – exploited or otherwise – who are willing to help them put others behind bars.  These tokens are therefore not good representatives of sex workers or marginalized groups.  They represent oppressive institutions that exclude and criminalize undocumented immigrants from services; they are an exceedingly small minority which promotes criminalization of other minorities; and when they work for the state or “anti-trafficking” organizations, they often consider themselves “legal immigrants” and thus superior to sex workers and “illegal” immigrants.  Even the kids who have been separated from their parents, molested by guards at the border, and sold through adoption are not considered worthy of assistance; they are “criminals” just like me, who was a child migrant and a DACA kid.  It does hurt that the people who work hard to erase marginalized people get to claim they’re “saving” us to a gullible public.

But despite the Sex Worker Pop-Up’s short duration, it did give me a glimpse of how many sex workers allies there are, and how much they desire to listen to and support us.  I met more sex workers in that one place then I have anywhere else except for the internet, and was able to connect with radical activists, content creators, professionals, and even male sex workers that our sciety prefers to pretend don’t exist.  We even spoke about creating other, future events to educate the public, even though we know we’ll have to fight those who want to silence and harm us to do so.

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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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I didn’t feel like she was really there to help me.  –  sex worker A.G, of a court-ordered “counselor”

King of the Hill

After a long slump, “King of the Hill” claims are again increasing:

…Portland…is a hub for sex trafficking….[with] the notorious ranking of coming second for the greatest number of children…in forced prostitution of all U.S. cities…One of the reasons it is a hot spot is…[that] strip clubs, live sex acts and swingers’ clubs are legal in Portland.  These businesses are often also places where traffickers lure workers into forced prostitution…Portland’s location at the intersection of major interstate freeways I-5 and I-84 puts it at the center of trafficking routes between Seattle, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.  Moreover, the city’s proximity to shipping waterways and the Canadian border provides access to domestic and international traffickers.  The demand from buyers is unfathomably high…around 300 advertisements are posted online every day for prostitution-related acts…total[ing] $60 million a year…

Most of this is just the usual snake oil intended to shame businesses into paying to subject their employees to bogus “sex trafficking” indoctrination from profiteers like BEST, but I find the “We’re the second worst!” pissing contest (with its attendant “causes” and pompous phraseology like “prostitution-related acts”) to be much more amusing.

Property of the State 

The writer of this article appears to understand very little about politics, or else she’d recognize trolling when she sees it:

…South Carolina [politician]…Mia McLeod pre-filed…a…bill…demand[ing] that anti-choice [politicians]…compensate [women] for acting as…gestational surrogate[s] for the state…which…cannot itself physically conceive or carry a child…The compensation…includes reasonable living, legal, medical, psychological, and psychiatric expenses…claim[ing] the fetus as a…tax…deduction…[guaranteed] public assistance…until the child is 18…all medical expenses associated with [any] disability…all costs associated with health, dental, and vision insurance until the child turns 18…and…a college savings plan…

Logically, McLeod is correct; if the state demands a woman produce subjects against her will, it should be responsible for the upkeep of that human property.  But politics is not logical, and politicians who want abortion banned (especially at the absurdly-early stages currently fashionable in these anti-abortion laws) are not acting in good faith.  These laws have nothing to do with “protecting children” and everything to do with controlling women, just like laws against sex work, toplessness, etc; therefore logical responses to them are pointless.  Furthermore, there’s nothing “groundbreaking” about this; similar trolling-bills regulating men’s ejaculation, etc have been introduced in other anti-choice states.  Nor will it “force a conversation” any more than those other bills, because no conversation is possible between those who believe human rights are inalienable and those who view them as an impediment to state ownership of people.  It’s a good troll, to be sure, but a troll is all it is, and all it can be until self-ownership is Constitutionally recognized as the foundation of all human rights.

Legal Is as Legal Does (#582)

Sex work under ‘legalisation’ is still…conceived of as a crime for which the law makes allowances“:

…charges were withdrawn against two women…facing conviction for “a tenant permitting premises to be used as a brothel”…Laura Watson, English Collective of Prostitutes…commented…“Ms O and Ms R were working in a flat together for safety and supporting their families. Both women are migrant and we believe that racism was involved in why they were targeted”…Niki Adams from Legal Action for Women…commented…“We are also disgusted that the [prosecutors] tried to extort money from women offering them a caution on the condition that they “write over the money seized on their arrest.”  Taking money from sex workers under duress is tantamount to pimping”…

The Widening Gyre (#792) 

Though better-disguised than usual, this is just the “Facebook pimps” myth again:

…the Roma…are easy pickings for traffickers who post adverts on Facebook promising a bright future for those prepared to travel.  Many have succumbed to the temptation.  A lot of young people have gone to the UK to work for a better life…the line between economic migration and exploitation is ill-defined: some who travel are aware of the risks but prepared to take a chance, others think they are off to start a better life only to end up in modern slavery

In the minds of white saviors, all people from economically-distressed countries are childlike naifs incapable of making calculated risks or violating racist laws on their own, so anyone who helps them further their plans is an exploitative “trafficker” and any work they do to survive is “modern slavery”.  One might ask how the Roma, who have migrated to the British Isles for centuries, managed to do it before anybody ever heard of either Facebook or “human trafficking”.

Cooties (#816)

Two years ago, AirBnB said it would “invest in new technology” to discriminate against sex workers:

Airbnb now owns an AI technology that allows them to discriminate against people in certain categories, specifically including sex workers, based on unrelated social media posts and other online data…it stigmatizes sex work and “involvement in pornography” by grouping them with drug use, membership in hate groups…and “narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy”…the stigmatizing language…spelled out in the patent…seems to confirm sex workers’ reports that they have been discriminated against by the company not because of their behavior as guests, but merely because of their careers…

A Procrustean Bed (#834)

At last, a little skepticism from “journalists” about the prohibitionist shitshow that is New York’s “sex trafficking court”:

…as courts [which classify all sex workers as “victims” and sentence them to indoctrination disguised as “counseling”]…proliferate nationwide, New York’s…have [been repeatedly]…critici[zed for the past] six years [by actual experts on the subject]…a growing group of people engaged in prostitution…have complained that the counseling sessions amount to little more than unproductive conversations with [busybody] strangers…the idea…is [at last] facing skepticism…[from ignoramuses who refused to consult actual experts years ago]…

Prohibitionists are so dedicated to denying sex workers’ agency that they prefer ridiculous multi-word constructions like “people engaged in prostitution” to the simple and honest “sex worker”, and keep pretending that any non-prohibitionist ever thought arresting and attempting to brainwash adult women for the “crime” of consensual sex was a good idea in the first place.

Pyrrhic Victory (#841)

Why wasn’t it “a step too far” when they started doing it three years ago?

One of the most senior policing figures in Wales has [criticized] the use of facial recognition technology at the country’s biggest football derby [last] weekend…Arfon Jones…the North Wales police and crime commissioner…accused the South Wales force of being engaged in a “fishing expedition…When facial recognition…was first used in the Champions League final…there were…thousands…of false positives”…the Football Supporters’ Association Wales said…“Fans coming out for…football…will be treated like they’re in a police line-up”…Big Brother Watch has called for an immediate ban on facial recognition surveillance in the UK…

Checklist (#953)

The scheme to cut sex workers off from the healthcare system is adding intrusive surveillance measures:

There’s a growing push [to force] doctors, paramedics and other health-care professionals to [report sex workers to the cops]…In 2018, Congress passed legislation that created a federally sponsored [indoctrination]…program..[to] tr[ick them into defining sex workers as]…victims…and re[port them by way of new]…diagnostic codes

The Cop Myth (#996)

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

A Newark [New Jersey cop who murdered]…his estranged wife…and [attempted to murder] her boyfriend…has [finally] been indicted on murder and attempted murder charges…John Formisano…was indicted…on Dec. 30…[for the murder of] Christie Solaro-Formisano…on July 11…Formisano…was [wearing his magical clown costume and] used his [department-issued] revolver to [murder] his [victim as]…she attempted to flee…The…two children were inside the home…but were uninjured…

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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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I understand that…people…think…”this protects my kids”, but what they should be thinking…is “Does this protect my rights?”  –  Mark Yuracheck

Surplus Women

Your government wants this to happen more often:

…[Jamel Alexander]…stomp[ed] a woman to death and le[ft] her body outside an apartment complex in Everett [Washington]…Alexander admitted…that he paid the woman for sex, but [claimed] when he left she was “alive and well”…[cops found] a van near the scene that contained women’s clothing, drops of blood and signs of a struggle. They also found a sports beanie…[which] Alexander [was wearing in]…apartment complex surveillance video…

Torture Chamber 

Your government refers to this as “correction”:

A…[prisoner of the st]ate [of Connecticut had a heart attack due to]…being [repeatedly] pepper sprayed and [lock]ed in five-point restraints by [screws.  He]…had rigor mortis in his jaw and upper body by the time [screws bothered to take his corpse]…to Yale-New Haven Hospital…Carl Robert Talbot…struggled with serious mental illness all his life and had been jailed for breach of peace and trespassing…[screws attacked him for] refusing to leave the…shower area.  First they]…pepper spray[ed him three times, then locked him in restraints so he couldn’t breathe and dumped him in solitary confinement to die]…

Down Under (#410)

In the US, his victims would have no recourse:

A Canberra brothel operator…told prospective sex workers they had to perform sex acts with him to prove they could do the job…Bradley Lester Grey, 54, allegedly told the nine women they needed to complete “training” as they were new to the industry and needed to know what clients expected.  Grey went on trial in the ACT Supreme Court…on 16 counts of rape, 10 charges of committing acts of indecency, and one of attempted rape.  He has pleaded not guilty…

Cooties (#827)

UK cops keep desperately trying to draw others into their “sex slave” fantasies:

…police in Bristol have urged anyone who is renting out part or all of their home using sites like Airbnb should make themselves aware of the signs that modern slavery or sexual exploitation could be taking place within their properties…the organised crime bosses who have traditionally run brothels have…realised that they are far less likely to be caught if they can rent a property for a week at a time and set up “pop-up brothels” in someone else’s home…

Counterfeit Comfort (#878)

It’s good to see so many challenges to these medieval laws:

A group of [people condemned to the] sex offender…[registry] in Georgia is suing the Butts County Sheriff’s office for [trespassing and vandalism.  Last year]…Sheriff Gary Long directed deputies to place “Warning! No Trick-or-Treat at this address!!” signs in the front yards of over 200 [people without their permission]…from Oct. 24-Nov. 2.  The sheriff’s office plans to use the same tactic again this year, and three [of the victims] have filed suit…“The law allows the sheriff to put a list of [the] sex offender…[registry] at his office, at the courthouse, on the internet,” [said] the lead attorney for the petitioners, Mark Yurachek…“It does not allow him to go door-to-door telling people you have a sex offender living next door to you…They’re coming onto their property [without permission] and putting the signs on there”…Long [bloviated] that regardless of the Judge’s ruling…he would do [whatever he felt like doing]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#944) 

They actually admit that part of the point is to normalize constant surveillance:

…the technology company Bark…offer[s] schools free, automated, 24-hour-a-day surveillance of what students…writ[e] in their school emails, shared documents and chat messages, and sending alerts to school officials any time the [algorithm] flag[s forbidden thoughts]…Before his school used Bark, [one] principal said, school officials would not know [every single detail of]…a student[‘s life]…unless one of their friends [tattled]…Bark and similar tech companies are now monitoring the emails and documents of millions of American students…[and it] doesn’t turn off when the school day is over: anything students type in official school email accounts, chats or documents is monitored 24 hours a day…Tech companies are also working with schools to monitor students’ web searches…internet usage…and…public social media accounts…Privacy experts [explain that] pervasive monitoring…hurt[s] children, and may be particularly dangerous for [those with trust issues]…but…proponents…[claim] monitoring in school [years] helps train students for constant surveillance after they graduate…

Believe Them (#952)

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time“:

At least 25 Illinois prison employees participated in online conversations that mocked, demeaned or disclosed personal and medical information about transgender inmates…in two private Facebook groups, each with more than 4,000 members.  The degrading posts were written by [screws of all pay grades and euphemistic titles]…from across the state.  Members…outed LGBT+ inmates and openly discussed private information about them…Many posts reference a then-incarcerated transgender woman, Strawberry Hampton, who was transferred to a women’s facility…The comments emerged amid a series of lawsuits…including a class-action claim brought by six transgender women…[including] Hampton…[for persistent and pervasive] abuse and mistreatment…

Between the Ears (#966)

Any internet-connected device can be used to spy on you:

…to my horror, a female voice that I don’t recognize starts talking to my 18-month-old son.  He looks around the room and then at the ceiling, wondering who’s there…The voice is laughing…she says we have a nice house and encourages the nanny to respond.  She does not.  The voice even jokes that she hopes we don’t change our password…After about five minutes…the voice starts to get agitated at the nanny’s lack of response and then snaps, in a very threatening voice: “I’m [magically] coming [through the camera] for the baby if you don’t answer me, bitch!”…We unplug the cameras and change all passwords…Still helpless, I started doing the only thing I could [think of] do[ing]…I typed “Nest + camera + hacked” and found out that this happens frequently.  Parent after parent relayed stories similar to mine — threatening to steal a baby is shockingly common — and some much worse, such as playing pornography over the microphone to a 3-year-old…

To Molest and Rape (#966)

Cops show you what they are every day; why don’t you believe them?

In 2017, Carroll, Iowa [cop] Jacob Smith [was]…force[d to resign] after [he molested several]…teenaged girls.  The Carroll Times Herald, published by the local Burns family since 1929, [published the news as they were supposed to], including a comment by Smith’s ex-wife accusing the [typical and representative] cop of being a “pedophile” and revealing that Smith’s previous employer, another Iowa police department, had [also] fired him for [molesting]…a teen girl.  Despite the fact that everything the Herald reported was true, Smith (who admitted [molesting teenage girls] “wasn’t right” and “looks like shit”) was still able to launch a ruinous libel suit in retaliation, thanks to Iowa’s failure to enact anti-SLAPP laws to prevent this kind of conduct.  The judge found [in favor of] the Herald…but they still ended up $140,000 in debt for the portion of the legal fees not covered by their insurer.  Now, the paper is on the brink of bankruptcy, and begging for money on Gofundme

Dangerous Speech (#968)

…history’s being rewritten to claim FOSTA took Backpage down, despite that not being the order in which things happened.  The biggest issue, though, is that taking down these sites makes it harder to fight sex trafficking — and the feds know it…Reason‘s Elizabeth Nolan Brown…discuss[es] documents she recently obtained in which federal investigators repeatedly acknowledge that Backpage helped them do their job, and wasn’t run by a bunch of criminals…”

Quiet Genocide

Just in case you weren’t horrified enough by China’s “re-education” camps for Uighurs:

[A Uighur woman who escaped China] explained:  “They came to my house at night, put a black sack on my head and brought me to a place that looked like a jail…my husband and children [had already escaped]…to Kazakhstan…I…was ordered to teach Chinese to follow detainees”…Singing of propaganda songs and reciting slogans such as “I love China”, “Thank you to the Communist Party”…and “I love Xi Jingping” are mandatory…Anyone who didn’t follow the rules was punished…Ms Sauytbay…was beaten and deprived of food for two days after she was hugged by a woman who asked her for help…[cops routinely subject] pretty girls…to…gang rape….Ms Sauytbay…saw [other torture victims]…covered in blood and with fingernails removed…

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The…carceral feminists[s]…are frightened. This is a culture war. – Nnenna

Business As Usual

It’s the same everywhere our work is even partially criminalized:

[Washington DC’s] “Human Trafficking Unit” is…a misnomer…only two percent of [those they]…arrest…[are charged with] human trafficking…The many proponents of D.C.’s decriminalization bill say that violence is endemic in the sex trade, and that policing is the cause of the violence, not the solution…[most] of the violence comes from [cops] themselves…in 2012, [cop] Kenneth Furr was convicted of [attempting to murder] a transgender woman who refused to [submit to rape.  Cops frequently]…rape people while…on the job, [using the excuse] of making an undercover arrest…MPD [claims] they have rules of conduct for prostitution stings [but the evidence shows these are ignored]…

Election Day (#840) 

Marijuana prohibition (in North America, at least) will soon be a thing of the past:

Mexico‘s Senate will vote for a bill to fully legalise marijuana in the next few days…marking a [long-overdue] step towards…removing it as a source of income for [the police and] violent drug gangs…Senator Ricardo Monreal, the leader of…[the majority] party in the upper chamber of congress, said…“The end of the prohibitionist policy is good for the country”…Late last year, the Supreme Court said lawmakers have until 24 October to legalise marijuana, after the high court ruled in several cases that the prohibition of the recreational use of the drug violates the constitution.  Under Mexican law, if the Supreme Court issues the same decision five times, the rulings set a precedent and the court can then order the establishment of a regulatory framework as well as further legal action…

This could be the beginning of a new economic era in Mexico, and if they’re wise they’ll follow it up by legalization of all drugs and a campaign advertising that fact to tourists.

First They Came for the Hookers… (#900)

New items of this type appear under the heading “Permanent Record”:

…28-year-old criminal defence lawyer Nadia Guo found herself thrown into the Canadian public eye [when] a local Toronto news story…outed her as a former escort…[with] the [stage name] “Dawn Lee”…the timing of the story…couldn’t be more conspicuous.  The morning after it dropped, she was due to appear in front of the Law Society of Ontario tribunal to prove she was of “good enough character” to become a lawyer.  This hearing was for reasons that had nothing to do with escorting…mostly…her outspoken social media…comments online about police, crown prosecutors and judges…in spite of the damage…Guo was finally granted her license to practice law [earlier this year]…[and has] used her platform to create a new story for herself, writing about navigating sex worker stigma in the legal world, using Tumblr to challenge how she’s been portrayed in media, signing with a literary agency to write a memoir, and officially starting her own legal practice.  We caught up with Guo to find out how one rebuilds a reputation – and life – after facing the full wrath of public stigma…

Safe Position (#944)

Hearings for the DC decriminalization bill dwarfed similar meetings in NYC:

For more than 14 hours on [October 17th], D.C. officials heard…public testimony about decriminalizing prostitution.  The…measure…would remove criminal penalties for…consenting adults…it would not touch existing prohibitions on sex work involving children, coercion, fraud, abduction, or violence, nor other criminal laws surrounding sexual assault, labor exploitation, or activity involving people under 18.  You might not have guessed that…from listening to…[speeches] from “anti-exploitation” groups that…were rife with refusals to distinguish between voluntary sex work and human trafficking, or between what the bill would actually do…and the detailed tales of trauma they told.  Again and again, nonprofit representatives invoked trafficked children and raped women…The president of…NOW…Toni Van Pelt, [fantasized] that the bill would [legalize kidnapping]…Councilmember David Grosso, who introduced the bill and is now among four sponsors, stressed repeatedly that, if anything, this measure would give police more capacity to handle the sex crimes that should actually be sex crimes…This…earned Grosso—a white man—a number of direct and indirect accusations [that]…he didn’t understand life in black and brown communities…But Grosso only brought forward the legislation after being approached by a coalition of activists…from…DECRIMNOW, [who] are overwhelmingly young D.C. residents of color, many with personal experience in sex work…

Torture Chamber (#964) 

Your government refers to this as “correction”:

Robert Wayne Johnson…[was] grappling with mental illness…[and] couldn’t afford about $2,500 in municipal court fines and fees accumulated over three years for [minor] infractions such as driving without a license…a judge sentenced Johnson to a two-day stint in jail [but] instead…[he was caged without reason] for 52 more days until he killed himself in January 2018…county officials [have no explanation]…Johnson’s death is among the hundreds each year that make suicide the leading cause of death in local jails…in the days before his death, a distraught Johnson tied torn towel strips around his neck in an apparent effort to strangle himself.  That [was ignored]…by staff…on…the day Johnson died, he tied shoelaces around his neck and…later cut his wrists with a razor blade until another detainee took the blade away and alerted [screws who locked him]…in [solitary confinement]…15 minutes [later]…he was [found dead] with his shoelaces wrapped around his neck and tied to the bed frame…

Shift in the Wind (#965)

Pro-decrim articles are even common on conservative sites these days:

…Conservatives don’t have to like it, and they certainly don’t have to view prostitution as moral or acceptable.  But if they want to embrace practical reality over moral idealism and help women, they’ll begrudgingly accept that we must stop waging state-led war on the world’s oldest profession.  Criminalizing prostitution only pushes it underground, making it significantly more dangerous for the women that participate…Decriminalization doesn’t magically make the sex industry a wonderful place to work or eliminate the moral qualms that reasonable people might have with prostitution.  But it does do a great deal to make the trade, which always will exist and always has existed, much safer for everyone involved…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#974)

Americans disapprove of teaching kids about sex, but they’re all for filling their heads with stupid anti-sex propaganda:

This month, Florida became the first state in the nation requiring sex-trafficking [indoctrin]ation as part of every student’s curriculum…The new policy requires every school district to implement age-appropriate lessons about [how sex is bad and scary and women are too stupid to be allowed to make decisions about it]…Valerie Ellery, the Florida Department of Education’s new Human Trafficking Education Specialist [admitted] “[I am] very grateful we are able to have this rule passed so [I] can [ride this gravy train while it lasts]”…One of the lead proponents for the rule was Selah Freedom, a Sarasota-based…organization that [makes its money via a religious “diversion” program for sex workers that is so unpopular the only way it gets participants is by cops literally forcing or frightening women into it]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#980)

If you aren’t worried about spy planes, how about this?

…satellite imagery…resolution keeps improving…[the ability to] identify individuals or license plates from space…[is] not far-off…In just 15 years, we’ve gone from being able to see things the size of 40-inch TVs to those the size of smart tablets.  There are [US] government controls on the resolution of commercially available satellite imagery, but [not on the imagery available to any government.  And even]…current American spy satellites…[have] about 0.10 meters resolution…Drones can be shot out of the sky, yet little can be done to combat or hide from cameras virtually invisible from the ground.  No one consents to being imaged from space…Yet [in]…a…not-so-distant future…we [will be able to] direct very high-resolution satellites to any point on Earth, easily identifying a person’s location or activities.  Who will have access to this data?  The police?  Politicians looking for dirt on their opponents, or angry spouses with a vendetta?  How will this data be used in courts and who can be trusted to interpret it?  The thought of potential misuses is chilling…

Misuse by “authorities” in both the US and under other oppressive regimes is 100% certain, and given that China, Israel and other police states are already selling data and surveillance equipment, no law in any US jurisdiction will be able to keep this power out of the hands of American cops for much longer.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#981) 

This is getting both nastier and more tangled:

…the turmoil surrounding controversial adult website GirlsDoPorn took a sharp turn, when the Department of Justice unsealed details of an FBI investigation against the site’s owners…[which] complicate mainstream coverage of this as a cliché tale of innocent girls from the heartland getting duped by sinister smut-peddlers.  Go through the very strange story of GDP and you will encounter a teen affiliate marketing tycoon, accusations of rape and sexual assault, “uncharged conspirators” rolling on former associates, a remote island paradise full of financial secrets and a conveniently dead lawyer who set up shady companies with names like Bubble Gum Media…In July 2015, [GDP owner Michael Pratt and his associates] began publishing their victims’ personal information ([legal] names, links to social media accounts, hometowns, pictures, etc.) en masse to a website called PornWikileaks.com…[which the following] November…was transferred to an email address belonging to…Pratt.  Turns out PornWikileaks — the infamous website started by the even more infamous adult industry pariah, Donny Long, and which hosted a doxxing and extortion fodder forum against adult models called “Whore Hunting”…was owned by none other than the GirlsDoPorn owner…

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This is political prosecution with no evidence.  –  Cliff Yi

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality

A review of what looks like a decent book on the reality of sex work in China:

…sex is for sale everywhere in China and deeply embedded in the culture, allowing migrant women to earn a living in large cities and provide companionship to men left alone by unfavourable demographics…Eileen Yuk-ha Tsang explores these aspects of China’s sex industry and more in her new book China’s Commercial Sexscapes. She takes an in-depth look at prostitution in Dongguan…one of China’s sex industry hotspots…Tsang, an associate professor in the department of social and behavioural sciences at the City University of Hong Kong, worked at a bar for several months to gain the trust of sex workers, and her sources eventually open up with stories which are vivid with humanity…Tsang details how sex workers from rural areas see their lives in big cities as modern and sophisticated, and they take pride in being able to support their families living in other provinces such as Sichuan, Guangdong, and Hunan…many find sex work preferable to their former jobs in factories, where they would work 30 days a month, 12 hours a day, in mind-numbing and harsh environments for around 1,600 yuan a month.  In the sex industry, they can earn from five to 50 times that amount, working perhaps three or four days a week.  Tsang also discusses the foreign men who hire Chinese sex workers.  [Unsurprisingly], more than a few end up marrying the women and move them to their home countries…

The Missing Word

They’re bending over backwards to avoid that word:

Maricopa County Assessor Paul D. Petersen has been indicted in an adoption fraud scheme…in addition to being County Assessor for Maricopa County, Petersen is also an adoption lawyer…none of the women who gave birth did anything illegal, and none of the families that adopted children are accused of any crimes…Petersen and [his accomplice Lynwood] Jennet facilitated travel for pregnant women from the Republic of the Marshall Islands to come to Arizona for the purpose of giving a child up for adoption…Petersen [has been charged] with 11 felony offenses, including human smuggling, sale of a child, and communications fraud…Authorities say they were first alerted to the scheme by concerned hospital workers who called a human trafficking tip line…

Bread and Circuses 

So will Newsweek next tell us that some politicians want a $15 minimum hourly “rental” fee, or that some big company has “rented” a new CEO?

A website that allowed…folks to review, rent and…message…escorts has been [stolen] by federal authorities.  Now, those who frequent[ed] IndependentGirls.com [will] look elsewhere…The website…wasn’t just geared for those wishing to buy, rent or even casually view women, but it was also a way for escort agencies to advertise themselves and their clients…

“Buy women”.  Yes, this is an actual supposed adult who apparently believes that it’s possible to purchase slaves on an ordinary review board.  And a supposedly-serious news outlet actually printed that.

If It Were Legal (#560)

While stigma and criminalization exist, this will keep happening:

The account details of the 250 thousand users of Dutch website Hookers.nl…we[re hacked and the]…hacker…is offering [the data] for sale…The website is popular among [both] clients [and] sex workers…The leaked data includes email addresses, user names, IP addresses and passwords.  The passwords are encrypted, but the email addresses are legible…[and some government] names are in the email address used to open an account.  The hacker is offering to sell the data for 300 dollars to any individual who wishes to purchase it…

Dutch Threat (#578)

Dutch authorities keep pretending their ever-narrower bottleneck is intended to help sex workers:

The [Dutch] government is taking extra measures to fight…the sex industry.  Sex workers will soon be required to have a permit to do their job, and the minimum age for sex work will be raised from 18 to 21…the government wants to bring “uniformity” to the rules around sex work in the Netherlands.  Currently…the minimum age varies per municipality, with some maintaining a minimum age of 18 and other 21…The articles that criminalize human trafficking and exploitation in prostitution will be expanded to include the persons “involved” with sex workers who get “financial benefit”.  It will make it illegal to [be a roommate, partner, landlord, etc] of a sex worker that doesn’t have a permit…People within the sex industry have warned that the[se stupid laws] will lead to sex workers going underground and working illegally [as such laws invariably do]…

The Cop Myth

41% of cops admit to beating their wives. How many more don’t admit it?

…In the nineteen-nineties, researchers found that forty-one per cent of male [cops]…admitted that, in the previous year, they’d been physically aggressive toward their spouses, and nearly ten per cent acknowledged choking, strangling, or using—or threatening to use—a knife or a gun.  But there are…no [more recent] empirical studies…[due to] reluctance to fund a study that will bring attention to [the violence intrinsic in policing]…the factors that lead to abuse at home—coercion, authoritarianism, a sense of entitlement to violence—are also present in [public cop behavior]…It should not be surprising that domestic abuse appears to predict excessive use of force—a link that scholars have suggested should [but won’t] alter the way that departments respond to both kinds of aggression.  The Citizens Police Data Project, in Chicago, analyzed the records of Chicago cops between 2000 and 2016 and found that [cops who commit]…domestic abuse received fifty per cent more complaints than their colleagues for using excessive force…one in five [cops actually] arrested for domestic violence…had also been the subject of a federal lawsuit for violating people’s civil rights…

Cooties (#816)

AirBnB “sex trafficking” fantasies are going global:

At the end of September, Airbnb unveiled a new special portal through which [pigs] can [demand private] information about users…The company [snivelled that] the portal will provide [pigs] with a dedicated channel they can use to [root through things that really are none of their business]…short-term rental properties such as those offered via Airbnb…have [long been the subject of cop masturbatory fantasies about]…human trafficking and prostitution…in…so-called “pop-up brothels”…[blah blah]…pimps and gangs…[blah blah] law enforcement agencies…

Even before one reads the article, the word “illicit” is a red flag for puritanical authoritarianism.

Torture Chamber (#950)

Just locking hundreds of women in secret dungeons and denying them lawyers; nothing to see here:

Immigration and Customs Enforcement moved more than 700 women, some of whom have critical medical conditions, out of a Texas detention center in September without giving their lawyers any way of finding them…Starting on Sept. 20, the women being held at the Karnes County Residential Center were sent to other centers around the country so that the facility could be used to detain families.  More than two weeks later, their lawyers from the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) have no idea where the majority of these women are being held, and they can’t find any updated information in ICE’s online detainee tracking system…

A Procrustean Bed (#958) 

These programs to warp women’s minds and indoctrinate them in anti-sex dogma are very popular in Ohio:

A [so-called] diversion program for [sex workers] is spreading to cities around the country. The model has roots in Columbus, Ohio, where a judge decided to [force] women [in]to…[“conversion therapy”] instead of jail…Judge Paul Herbert…[like most modern authoritarians, infantilizes sex workers] as victims of human trafficking…At the start, CATCH was one of only a few such programs in the country.  There are now seven of these [re-education programs]…in Ohio alone…[victims of this system are] subject to drug testing and must show up in court every week for two years [making both normal life and square jobs impossible.  It’s no wonder that fewer]…than 1 in 4 of the women [forced into the scheme] make it to [the end]…

Loose Cannons (#967)

I’m pleased to see yet another big article on the Robert Kraft raids recognizing what a huge scam the whole thing was:

On July 6, 2018, a health inspector named Karen Herzog visited a massage parlor in South Florida for a routine inspection.  She noticed that the spa worker, a young Asian woman, was “dressed provocatively,” spoke “little English,” and appeared “nervous.”  Herzog also noted suitcases, clothes, a fridge full of food, and condoms, all of which, according to the [racist indocrination] she had received, could be signs of human trafficking.  She reported her findings to the Martin County sheriff’s office…[which] launched a…[snoop campaign] into what [they thought they could sell to the media]…as a large-scale prostitution ring engaged in human trafficking…

The “sex trafficking” hysteria is finally dying; unfortunately, the laws it spawned will continue to be used to destroy thousands of lives and eviscerate the internet.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#971) 

Is there anything the government won’t call “sex trafficking”?

…the U.S. attorney’s office of San Diego charged the owners and one employee of the adult website Girls Do Porn with four counts of sex trafficking…[in] August…another case against the company—a class-action lawsuit representing 22 Jane Does—went to trial after years of hearings, discovery, and strategic delays from the defendants.  The trial was initially planned for February…but delayed for six months when the company’s owner, New Zealand native Michael Pratt, filed for bankruptcy.  “As soon as I bankrupt the business,” Pratt wrote in texts later submitted as evidence, “they are fucked”…The company…conned the plaintiffs and several hundred other young, low-income girls into porn by making false promises that their scenes would not go online.  They claimed the tapes would sell only to private collectors abroad…

This is clearly criminal fraud, but it doesn’t help anyone for the government to roll it into the inflated “sex trafficking” numbers it uses to justify police violence, grotesque violations of civil liberties, and mass censorship.

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