Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘language’

To a writer, words are tools intended to convey meaning and express beauty; to governments, words are tools intended to obscure meaning and oppress nonconformity.  To writers, language is the means by which we attempt to convey our thoughts to others; when we succeed, we introduce others to new ideas and possibly give them a new way of looking at a particular topic they may not have considered before.  But to authoritarians, language is a means of constraining thought and smothering new ideas.  Proper use of language opens minds; improper use closes them down.

The obfuscatory language government uses to obscure violence is a prime example.  There are a host of special words by which governments cloak their barbarities: abduction is euphemized as “arrest”, robbery as “confiscation” or “asset forfeiture”, sexual assault as “searching”, and murder as “execution”.  But those traditional terms are quaint and relatively clear in comparison to the obfuscatory language invented by modern propagandists to conceal evils in sterile, bloodless, technical-sounding terminology.  Intentionally ramming another car at freeway speeds with the specific intention of causing someone to crash is cloaked under the boring-sounding phrase “performed a PIT maneuver”.  Firing barbed probes carrying 50,000 volts into another human being is desribed by the apparently-mundane “deploying a taser”.  An armed government thug intentionally murdering someone in the street is called an “officer-involved shooting”.  A sadistic thug paid to torture and rape human beings held in cages against their will is a “correctional officer”, and so on.

The longer and more clinical a phrase, the less emotional weight it carries; Orwell would’ve well understood why the government wants to replace the word “ram” (short, direct, terse, active, hits like a punch) with the phrase “perform a PIT maneuver” (long, indirect, mushy, passive, hits like a nerf ball).  But it’s even more instructive to compare these phrases government operatives use to whitwash their own behavior with those used to demonize “enemies of the state”.  How do cops describe a legally-innocent person they choose to accuse of some crime?  “Perp”.  What about a person who refuses to allow puritanical busybodies to control their consensual, private behavior? “Criminal” (There are a number of even shorter, punchier words for “sex criminals”).  And those who refuse to comply with what they believe to be tyranny?  “Traitors”.  Government actors aren’t incapable of using direct, easy-to-understand language; they’re perfectly capable when they want to represent an ethically-complex situation as a black-and-white one.  But disguising their own abominations requires exactly the opposite approach: confusing simple minds with complex phrases so as to create ambiguity where little exists.

Read Full Post »

All moral panics blend real societal problems with the cartoon version.  –  Michael Hobbes

The Widening Gyre (#792) 

Trying to prop up the “Facebook pimps” myth with bogus “studies”:

…re[scue industry profiteers pompously branding themselves]…the Human Trafficking Institute [claimed] “The internet has become the dominant tool that traffickers use to recruit victims, and…Facebook overwhelmingly is used by traffickers to recruit victims”…[a bogus government] report showed that 30 percent of all victims identified in federal sex trafficking cases in the past two decades – since 2000 – were recruited online…and 65 percent of identified child sex trafficking victims recruited on social media were recruited through Facebook…

Blunt Instrument (#998)

The government’s latest sleazy trick: attacking with civil suits rather than criminal charges, because the burden of proof is reversed:

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has filed a civil lawsuit against an [Asian] massage business…in St. Louis County.  The lawsuit [is based in the “evidence” that] Royal Day Spa…has its front windows covered and that it’s open late…[cops made pretextual] traffic stops…[of] three [men, threatening them with nuisance charges to get them to parrot] Schmitt’s [racist claims]…about the…Spa.  Schmitt [masturbated furiously while vomiting out moronic phrases such as]…dark underworld…modern-day slavery…and…human trafficking in illicit massage businesses…[he also shared his shockingly-racist sex fantasies about how all Asian women are stupid and ignorant and need white men to “rescue” and deport them]…

The End of the Beginning (#1015) 

Maybe we’re about to witness the beginning of the end of these evil laws:

The S.C. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled the state’s lifetime sex offender registration requirement is unconstitutional and people who demonstrate a low risk of reoffending should be able to petition a judge to have their names purged…[until now] South Carolina [has] provide[d victims ofthe law]…no recourse to seek relief from a judge…Brooke Burris…a…Human Trafficking [fetishist, vomited out a lot of ugly nonsense about the so-called]…victims [of public urination or consensual teen sex]…

A Broker in Pillage (#1038)

Nobody will be safe until this odious, contemptible practice is recognized as unconstitutional:

In February…almost eight years after the state of Indiana s[tole] Tyson Timbs’ brand-new Land Rover over a drug crime, prosecutors argued that…the government should…be free to take everything you’re worth.  [Last week], the state’s highest court categorically rejected that…Chief Justice Loretta Rush likened the government’s chutzpah to “Captain Ahab’s chase of the white whale Moby Dick”…[But] Indiana p[oliticians haven’t yet learned their lesson]…also in February…the Indiana Senate passed a bill to [rob] people [cops accuse] of [attending] “unlawful”…protests…

The Implosion Begins (#1075)

I did not foresee that the “sex trafficking” moral panic would implode in such a spectacular and entertaining fashion:

…the women who share…pastel, mom-washed #savethechildren posts [don’t c]are that they [a]re spreading Q propaganda…The statistics [they] share…have been repeatedly and publicly debunked by NGOs…[and] researchers…But [they think that]…doesn’t matter…They [also follow]…Tim Ballard…of the Utah…rescue [industry] group Operation Underground Railroad…[who] has [prom]oted…the child sex trafficking panic [even in its most unhinged aspects].  As the Wayfair h[ysteria] took off [last] July, he released a video…claiming that “children are sold that way” and that “law enforcement will get to the bottom of it.”  Since then, the organization has publicly [distanced itself from] QAnon…But, at the time, Ballard [continues to claim] child sex trafficking is a growing global crisis…

See also “Served Cold” below.

The Cop Myth (#1118)

If they actually punished wife-beating cops, they’d lose half of them:

A Garda…sexual assault[ed his girlfriend], threaten[ed] to kill [her] and [exercised] coercive control…in a “grand scheme” to control her life…He was charged with 35 offences…includ[ing] four counts of assault…two [of] sexual assault…10 [of] criminal damage…a threat to kill, endangerment of life, four thefts, coercion…[and] harassment…the woman…was punched in the face, grabbed by the neck, held against the floor and…choke[d]…he pulled her hair out by the roots and kicked her on the ground…the…harassment…[included] 65,000 phone messages…a number of [which included] a threat to kill…her…

Served Cold (#1138) 

The schadenfreude is so very sweet:

[Prohibitionist actor] Jim Caviezel appeared [at a conference] in Oklahoma…to promote his newest role, in which he plays Tim Ballard, the founder…of the [rescue industry] group Operation Underground Railroad, [with “sex trafficking” fetishist Mira Sorvino as his wife]…there…he…[also] promoted…the…QAnon [branch]…of [“sex trafficking” hysteria, which]…was awkward at best for OUR, which has spent the better part of a year insisting that it…is not affiliated with…QAnon…[despite] Ballard…[himself endorsing the belief last summer]…After years of success…OUR[‘s]…carefully-crafted image is coming undone…several people have been interviewed about their dealings with OUR not just by [a Utah prosecutor], but by the FBI…IRS and Homeland Security…among the matters being looked into are whether OUR operators have [raped people they branded] human trafficking victims…and whether OUR has committed human trafficking itself…

QAnon weirdness is not especially extreme from an organization which gets “tips” from psychics and has claimed that “pimps” use magic padlocks to trap doll-like girls in cages.

Read Full Post »

It was not just that their perspective was discarded. Their perspective wasn’t even heard.  –  Ro Khanna

Torture Chamber

Stop faking!

…in…March 2014…19-year-old Nimali Henry was booked [into the St. Bernard parish jail] on charges of simple battery, disturbing the peace and unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling…she was living with a rare…blood disorder and…in desperate need of her medication…[but] did not have [it] with her [when arrested and screws made no effort to obtain it for her]…Two days later, other [prisoners tried] to…talk…to the guards on duty about her.  In a…video from March 31, 2014, Nimali [can be] seen stumbling and…barely [able to] walk as…guards [shout “stop faking!” at her].  Later that same day, another video shows her lying on a prison bunk with no mattress covered with what appears to be nothing more than a blanket…[she] died hours later…[as the direct result of] jail…[staff refusing to obtain] her medication and [intentionally leaving her] in excruciating pain for 10 days.  The[y]…never [even] called an ambulance….St. Bernard Parish Sheriff James Pohlmann [called the willful murder a “]shortfall[” and]…declined….to look at the video [because “he does not want to see anyone…die in jail”]…Four jail workers pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges…Andre Dominick…Timothy Williams…Lisa Vacrella and Debra Becnel…

What the story doesn’t tell you:  St. Bernard dramatically expanded its jail around 1990 so it could make money warehousing human beings for other parishes who lacked the room to cram any more people into their own cage stacks.

Don’t Take My Word For It (#541)

When a “study” makes silly claims like this, look for the reasons:

…Some researchers…seem obsessed with the idea of proving that sex work isn’t gendered and that women pay for sexual services in increasing numbers…from men…This…claim [is]…based on the number of profiles on [adult service websites, but]…most of these male-owned accounts have no feedback which suggests that they’re not escorts, but fantasists who set up a profile pretending to be an escort as part of their fantasy.  They’re attracted to the idea of anonymous sex as well as the misguided belief that someone would be interested in pursuing them sexually and even paying for the privilege.  Men who typically pay for sex are turned on by the idea that someone might want them enough to offer them money for it.  The male-owned profiles which do have feedback often have it because they pay for sex, get feedback from sex workers, then switch their profile around so it looks like women have paid for their services….client posing is commonly known amongst sex workers; if sex workers had been consulted on the research, that claim would have been contested…

This is an excellent article which explains a number of other silly “study” claims as well.

Full of Themselves (#831)

Racist persecution of massage parlors is a popular pastime for California “authorities”:

…the [victim of California] officials[‘ crusade against mundane businesses they ludicrously defamed as] “an organized crime sex trafficking ring operating across California” has been sentenced to 10 years and 8 months in state prison…Jing Chiang Huang was also ordered to pay $557,391 in [back taxes] to the California Franchise Tax Board [thus revealing the true motive behind the joint pogrom]…by federal, state and local [cop shops]…More than a dozen [employes] were [arrested and deported] in the process, according to a press release [calling the violence “rescue”]…

Uncommon Sense (#898) 

The Spanish high court says the government has no power to suppress a sex worker union:

Spanish sex workers have the right to form their own union, the Supreme Court ruled…overturning an earlier court decision ordering [its] dissolution…OTRAS…was discretely set up in August 2018 but was [attacked] three months later by…[prohibition]ist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez….and [his Swedish-criminalization cultist followers even though the law clearly states] that sex workers “have the fundamental right to freedom of association and the right to form a union”…

Imaginary Victims (#902) 

A celebrity accomplished what do-nothing “safe harbor” laws couldn’t:

…in…April of 2020…Ohio’s governor…grant[ed] the release of a 22-year-old…Alexis Martin…[from prison] after Kim Kardashian visited [her there]…after six years, five months and 13 days…she…wi[ll]…be…track[ed by ankle monitor]…every second…[and] on parole, being [spi]ed on and drug tested until at least 2034.  Her record w[ill] always show a murder conviction, [with] all the limitations [that] bring[s]…

The article has some good information, but you’ll need to pick around the wads of ugly prohibitionist propaganda and chunks of infantilizing, agency-denying language as you would pick around slimy green things in a casserole that’s otherwise edible.

Rough Trade (#923)

In the US, the victim would’ve been arrested:

Jessie Campos was found guilty of raping a sex worker in a [New Zealand] brothel in late 2018, and sentenced to three years and nine months in prison…he was made aware on several occasions a condom was legally required and he agreed to use one…but…the[n]…removed [it]…The woman indicated he had acted inappropriately and made him put the condom back on.  Without her knowledge, Campos again removed the condom and ejaculated inside her.  The woman ran to her manager’s office and the police were called…Judge Stephen Harrop…rejected the defence claim that the stealthing was not premeditated and that cultural factors [Campos emigrated from the Philippines] were relevant to the sentencing…

Yes, this is rape.  No, I don’t want to “discuss” it.

Safe Position (#991)

Even journalists are beginning to recognize what a huge backfire FOSTA was:

Sex workers have gained the backing of a small group of Democratic [politicians] after…being [entirely] shut out of the policymaking process [for decades].  The turning point was…FOSTA…also referred to as SESTA…which was [intended] to punish online platforms facilitating [sex work]…Despite the best efforts of sex workers to dissuade [politicians], the bill passed through both chambers easily…in 2018…“until very recently [no politician] wanted to be seen as facilitating…or encouraging sex work,” said Mike Stabile…of…the Free Speech Coalition…[anti-FOSTA politician Ro] Khanna [said]…his colleagues “didn’t even want to take meetings because of the possible images or pictures” with sex workers that could have been taken.  Stigma also hurts [civol rights] organizations’ funding because consumers of pornopgraphy are “embarrassed” to publically back them, says sex worker and writer Cathy Reisenwitz…

Read Full Post »

Diary #571

I had my second COVID vaccine a week ago today, and though I had very few side effects from the first shot a month ago, I’m afraid I can’t say the same for this one.  Long-time readers have probably noticed that I very rarely get sick, but when I do my body tends to go all “HOOOOOOOLD THE BUS!!!” and I get extremely ill for about 24 hours, then almost immediately back to normal.  It’s as though my immune system has only two settings, “standby” and “full throttle”.  So I’m never suprised when I have strong reactions to vaccines, but since the first shot gave me nothing but a sore arm for two days, I expected nothing this time either.  Alas, such was not to be.  I got the Moderna shot about 7:15 Tuesday evening, went to bed with a sore arm, then woke up next morning feeling just slightly icky.  By noon I decided not to get dressed; I had chills and brain fog, was weak as a kitten, and had no appetite at all.  The culprit was obvious so I just took it easy, went to bed early, and was fine by Thursday morning.  I thought that would be that, but then Friday morning the left side of my jaw hurt so badly I could only barely eat cereal, and then only by chewing solely on the right side.  I assumed it was some kind of dental pain and I’m overdue for a checkup anyhow, so I just made an appointment and decided to make soup for dinner.  But by dinnertime the pain had spread up the left side of my face to the temple, and it hurt every time I opened my mouth far enough to admit a spoon; I was also incredibly thirsty all day (which is very unusual for me) and my hearing seemed oddly acute.  A little research pointed to a culprit: a transient condition called “Bell’s palsy” caused by inflammation of one of the facial nerves, which is sometimes a side effect of a number of vaccines (including the COVID vaccine).  Everything I read said it would clear up on its own, so I felt better about that, and Saturday morning the pain had changed into more like numbness and moved up the side of my head, running from my upper teeth to my scalp, leaving me with only minor chewing pain; by dinnertime that, too was mostly gone, though it has returned in spells.  The info I read said this is only experienced by about 25 vaccine recipients in 100,000, so yay me for being so exceptional.  But the experience did remind me of how much I dislike the way the medical community uses “benign” to mean “not fatal” rather than actually benign; by that standard, a truck accidentally dumping 6 tons of horse manure in your driveway would be considered “benign” because it can eventually be cleared away without destroying your house.

Read Full Post »

The victim was conscious during at least a portion of the time.
–  Phil Esbenshade

One Size Fits All

It’s good to see a government hoist with its own “sex trafficking” petard:

The [UK] Home Office must compensate female victims of sex trafficking whose children had to hear details of their abuse* because no childcare was available during appointments, the high court has ruled…Justice Kerr found…that the system of support for victims of trafficking discriminates against asylum-seeking women.  The Home Office admitted it…di[scriminated against such women]…but told the court that…this [kind of discrimination should be OK because sex]…Two [sex workers branded] trafficking victims [by the same government] brought the case, both of them single mothers from Albania recently granted refugee status…The home secretary, Priti Patel, has indicated the ruling would require the government to pay additional sums totalling about £5m a year…

*IOW, “migrant sex workers whose kids were in the next room during sessions”.  Using the government’s own ugly propaganda that sex work is “trafficking” and “abuse” as a way to get a payout from it is nothing short of brilliant.

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

Just another of those nonexistent false rape accusations:

…Rachael Myla Stagner…was sentenced to 21 months in prison…for falsely accusing a white man of sexually assaulting her on the Wind River Indian Reservation [in Wyoming]…Stagner was indicted in September 2020 but pleaded guilty in January to making false statements to police.  Her initial claims resulted in an investigation by the FBI due the alleged incident taking place on an Indian reservation.  Even as her story began to crumble, Stagner maintained that she had been sexually assaulted in an attempt to extort money from the man she falsely accused…

Pyrrhic Victory (#683)

If this doesn’t horrify you, you haven’t been paying attention:

A [man] whose fingerprints were analyzed by police when he shared a photo of his hand holding a block of cheese has been sentenced to 13 years and six months in prison.  Carl Stewart…from Liverpool…sent…an encrypted [pictur]e of a block of Stilton…the photograph was [rooted up] by [cops], who used it [as a pretext] to [wreck his life for] supply[ing recreational drugs to consenting adults]…Stewart sent the image on EncroChat, an encrypted messaging service [destroyed]…by…[cops after they branded every single user of the service a] criminal

It isn’t just fingerprints, either, and those aren’t as unique as people have been led to believe.

Above the Law (#866) 

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

A former assistant district attorney [in Tennessee]…entered a guilty plea…[on charges of “]bribe[ry” because he]…dismiss[ed] and expung[ed] a woman’s criminal charges [after raping her]…William E. “Bill” McManus Jr….admitted that while acting in his capacity as a prosecutor, he [coerced a woman into submitting to rape under threat of pursuing]…shoplifting and possession of methamphetamine charges [against her.  He was reasonably sure she would comply because]…he had previously…[paid her fairly for] sex [on other occasions]…

A non-rapist would simply have dismissed the charges, then booked with her properly at a later time.

Still a Child (#897) 

Unfortunately, the 5th Circuit decided to suck Louisiana politicians’ dicks on this same issue in 2018:

The Texas legislature has passed a new law raising the minimum age for legal stripping in the state to 21…it…require[s adult businesses]…to participate in the federal electronic verification of employment authorization program…and…creat[es] criminal offenses. [out of the ugly asturbatory fantasies of]…Operation Texas Shield, a [rescue industry]…profit[eer] that [labels]…all [sex work] “human trafficking”…and [was] one of the moving forces behind SESTA-FOSTA.  Language deployed in support of the bill…erased the distinction between adults 18-21 and actual minor children…many Texas strip clubs had recently started firing anyone under 21 — including survival sex workers — in preparation for the passing of this law…

To Molest and Rape (#1054)

Imagine how many others like this are still out there, raping and murdering:

A mass grave filled with dozens of female corpses — believed to be victims of a violent sex and murder ring — was found in a…[typical and representative] cop’s backyard in El Salvador…[other cops] made the grisly discovery…while investigating [[typical and representative cop] Hugo Ernesto Osorio Chavez for the double homicide of a 57-year-old woman and her 26-year-old daughter — a crime the [typical and representative] cop has apparently admitted to…When cops went into Chavez’s backyard…they noticed the ground appeared to be uneven and soft. Investigators soon discovered eight pits filled with what they believe could be at least a dozen bodies each…Chavez and ten others have been arrested in what cops believe was a sex and murder ring…

The Next Target (#1111)

Prohibitionists have realized the best way to accomplish their goals is to buy as many politicians as possible:

…The Stopping Internet Sexual Exploitation Act…has been filed by a member of Canada’s Parliament.  SISEA is a near-mirror image of legislation proposed by a member of [US] Congress earlier this year.  The bills even share the same name…and…both…are written so broadly that they [reveal]…the [true]…inten[t]…of [the prohibitionists behind them:] shuttering sites like Pornhub and OnlyFans, and making it difficult to impossible for many sex workers to make a living…SISEA requires companies that host porn for commercial purposes to obtain written affirmation from the person uploading it that all participants were of legal age when the porn was made and consented to being filmed/pictured and have not withdrawn that consent.  Those making the porn are required to obtain proof of legal age from all participants, as well as their written consent to be depicted…this…would…reveal the identities of sex workers [and thereby make them vulnerable to harassment and possibly even]…criminal prosecution…the bill’s key proponent…in both countries is Exodus Cry, a U.S. based religious group…spokesperson Laila Mickelwait has made no secret of her goal to take down Pornhub specifically…and…get rid of all porn…Exodus Cry’s…website openly states that it seeks to “end the sex industry”…

Torture Chamber (#1123) 

Stop faking!

…on the morning of March 9, 2019…Jaime Osuna…decapitated and dissected the body of his cellmate, Luis Romero…with a makeshift knife…[screws who pretended to have] made their rounds…reported that both men were alive [hours later]…Osuna, a self-styled satanist with a history of attacking his cellmates…[i]s serving a life sentence for the killing and torture of Yvette Pena…at a Bakersfield motel in 2011…during the 2017 trial…[he] mock[ed] the victim’s family and bragg[ed] to a television news reporter of his love of torturing people…Using a razor-style blade attached to a handle, Osuna disfigured Romero, cutting out one of his eyes, chopping off one of his fingers and removing part of his ribs and slicing out part of his lung.  He ultimately cut off his head.  He also posed the body, slicing Romero’s face open on either side of his mouth to resemble an extended smile…Guards found Osuna wearing a necklace made of Romero’s body parts…

To Molest and Rape (#1141)

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

The Kansas Attorney General’s Office announced…that a [typical and representative cop that the state had paid for years to lurk in]…school[s to stalk, harass, and spy on students was]…convicted of [rape and] aggravated criminal sodomy of a child younger than 14 and…sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 50 years…Mark Scheetz…was convicted…of two counts of criminal aggravated sodomy, two counts of rape, and other crimes…

Read Full Post »

You shouldn’t be able to breathe, you stupid bastard.
–  William Jennette’s murderer

For a number of reasons, novelty songs aren’t really a thing any more, but the 1960s were their heyday; all through that decade, one subgenre was novelty songs recorded by the stars of hit TV shows, often (though not always) in character.  Here’s one example I hadn’t seen before, called to my attention by Franklin Harris; the links above it were provided by Scott Greenfield, Clarissa, Mike Siegel, Mistress Matisse, and Cop Crisis (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

Read Full Post »

My go-to argument for skepticism about flying saucer sightings (which have been in the news again lately) is as follows: Any technology capable of getting here across interstellar distances would be able to avoid detection.  And if they wanted to be seen, they’d simply hover over New York City or something.  It’s basically the same as my argument against the idea that hypnosis can promote recall of past lives: If the deities or forces that control reincarnation wanted us to remember past lives, we would.  And if they didn’t, the Divine will couldn’t be circumvented by a parlor trick.  See, avoiding detection by radar and the like isn’t that difficult; we already have ideas (and elementary techniques) about how to do it right now.  But people without a background in physics and/or astronomy really don’t grasp just how difficult it is to get from one star to another within any practical timespan.  Popular sci-fi makes it look easy, but it’s incredibly difficult.  Surpassing the sound barrier was mostly a problem of engineering & metallurgy, but surpassing the light barrier is so hard we don’t even have any widely-accepted (by physicists) theory about how it might be done.  Compare the plethora of fictional ideas about what FTL travel might look like (hyperspace, wormholes, tachyons, spacetime folding, etc, etc, ad absurdum) to Renaissance fantasies about going to the Moon; the real thing, when we finally develop it, will probably resemble Star Trek about as closely as a Saturn V resembles a kite towed by birds.  I’m defintely not saying that there are no such thing as alien visitors; what I am saying is that I won’t get excited about it until I’m offered more convincing proof than, “Some jet-jockeys saw lights that appeared to move impossibly fast.”

Incidentally, there’s a reason I say “flying saucers” rather than “UFOs”.  Even when I was a tween (during the ’70s UFO craze) and people asked “Do you believe in UFOs?” I’d answer, “Yes, I believe there are things that fly that those who see them can’t identify.”  At the time, I was still young and impressionable enough to believe in alien visitation, ancient astronauts, the whole schtick.  But even then, I recognized using “Unidentified Flying Object” to mean “definitely an alien spacecraft” was dumb.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

I can’t breathe.  –  Marvin Scott III, probably

Most of these “songs in old languages” things aren’t very good, but this one was too appropriate to pass up!  It was provided by Emma Evans, and the links above it by Yasmin Nair, Dan Savage, Mistress Matisse, Kevin Wilson, Cop Crisis, Mike Riggs, and Dan Savage again, in that order.

From the Archives

Read Full Post »

Expungement…is an intentionally fairly hard process.  –  Sasha Naiman

What the Hell Were You Thinking?

Ally Deviant Ollam on internet security for sex workers:

End Demand (#586)

A thorough analysis of the awfulness of “end demand” policies from the superlative Savannah Sly:

Combined with fear and ignorance, simple stories can be powerful propaganda vehicles used to justify state oppression…End Demand suggests that cutting off cash flow to the sex trade economy will discourage profiteering exploiters, and force sex workers to find “real” jobs.  However…sex workers…don’t respond to a reduction of business by simply deciding to “quit the industry” and go get full time corporate jobs with a company car and a full benefits package.  The notion that tough times will motivate people who sell sex to simply move on to greener pastures is absurd, privileged, and fails completely to comprehend the reasons why people become sex trade involved in the first place.  In reality, End Demand is a form of economic siege that’s had catastrophic consequences on sex worker welfare.  Ham fisted and reckless, End Demand tactics have increased instability and scarcity in the sex trade, fostering circumstances ripe for exploitation…

It Looks Good On Paper (#746)

This time they actually admit this shit law is designed to put people through hell:

Bipartisan bills about to be introduced in both the Ohio House and Senate would allow [people branded] sex trafficking victims [by the state] to [beg] courts to expunge past crimes even if they had not been convicted of prostitution or related offenses…[bill sponsor] Teresa Fedor [bloviated nonsense about being]…“forced to steal or sell drugs for their trafficking”…and [seems to imagine that]…use of the internet, cell phones, and massage parlors [have only become part of sex work since the last Ohio bloviation about the topic in 2018.  Another bureaucrat]…noted applicants must [somehow] prove they had been trafficked and that the crimes they are seeking to have expunged resulted from that…“Frankly, it’s a fairly heavy burden on the survivor, but [we want them to prove that they are inert dolls without agency rather than bad girls who had bills to pay]”…

Negative Secondary Effects (#974)

This pro-censorship screed is so larded with dysphemisms barely any escaped my editing:

Bristol is set to become the biggest city in the [UK] to ban lap-dancing clubs in a move [prohibitionists] claim will [magically rewrite the neural pathways in human brains.  Politicians bloviated a lot of tabula rasa nonsense about sex rays causing]…violence against women…Not Buying It, which [publishes revenge porn of sex workers], said councils had a duty to pr[event consensual] sex…

Torture Chamber (#1039)

Your regular reminder that rapist screws are not confined to the US:

Canadian prisons…do…not keep track of employees [who rape prisoners]…The problem is also fueled by the [refusal] to believe prisoners when they [report rapes]…In recent years [only] three guards have been charged with sex crimes a[lthough the actual number of rapes is dramatically higher]…

The Next Target

Prohibitionists’ next target isn’t just Pornhub; it’s all online sex work:

Germany’s most vocal proponent of state censorship, an obscure local bureaucrat named Tobias Schmid who serves as the head of the State Media Authority (LMA) of North Rhine-Westphalia, has announced…his [animosity toward]…OnlyFans…“We are registering that OnlyFans…are [sic] increasingly attracting erotic providers…and we will take care of it,” Schmid ominously warned…Schmid…like…fellow War on Porn crusaders worldwide, claim[s] his campaigns have a purpose to “protect the children,” although with the German twist that he is proudly an obsessive of “Ordnung” (order)…

You Were Warned (#1108)

Prohibitionists, censors and profiteers will continue to harass businesses thus until FOSTA is overturned:

…a California judge ruled that, although the contracts signed by a former [porn] performer were valid, the arbitration agreements that were part of them should be disregarded…Judge Michael Anello denied a motion by porn studios to implement the arbitration clauses in the contracts signed by a Jane Doe for scenes they had distributed…Doe…briefly worked in the adult industry around 2009-2010.  At the time, she alleges, she was represented by someone named Cissy Steele…[whom she apparently was also involved in an abusive] relationship with…[the pro-censorship group Morality in Media is behind the suit, which]…names a number of adult studios and sites active a decade ago…as co-defendants on the basis that they distributed scenes…Doe [contracted with them to distribute]…

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »