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Posts Tagged ‘law’

The day my last diary column appeared, I was driving into Seattle; much too early the next morning I got on a plane for Rapid City, South Dakota to attend Freedom Fest, where I did some panels and speaking and such.  Both flights out were much too rough for my medicines to handle, because apparently both pilots thought they were auditioning for a remake of Top Gun or something (and let me tell you, that takes some doing when taking off from SEATAC in an Airbus A321), but I was fine by Thursday morning (except for dehydration that just wouldn’t go away despite walking around all day with a bottle) and Friday was my big day anyhow.  In the morning I was on a main-stage panel called “Feminism Needs to Stop Calling the Cops” with Avens O’Brien (of Feminists for Liberty), Brittany Hunter (of the Pacific Legal Foundation), Melissa Mann (of Reason), and well-known author Naomi Wolf, moderated by Elizabeth Nolan Brown (whom I’m sure needs no introduction on this blog).  I must admit I was really worried that such a crowded panel crammed into 30 minutes would result in all of us just kinda lining up to blurt out a few sentences, but I’m happy to say I was wrong; the synergy was amazing and we all worked well together to create an experience that audience members declared one of the best of the conference, despite its brevity.  Later in the afternoon Liz joined me on a panel (“DecriminaLIES: Exposing the Failed Global Policy to Regulate Prostitution”) with Savannah Sly and Kaytlin Bailey, moderated by the ever-awesome Alex Andrews of SWOP Behind Bars; that one was an hour, and we hurled out enough information to send any lurking prohibitionists running for the Black Hills; both that day and the next day at the airport, I ran into a number of people who told me how great the talks were, and thanked us for opening their eyes to the truth on the subject.  For years now, I’ve been one of the few sex workers willing to reach out to the libertarian ecosphere, but that time is long over, and I think we’re going to win a lot of allies this way; Alex tells me she’s already signed us up for next Freedom Fest, and it won’t be the only one.  Our days of largely preaching to the choir are over, and we’ll be withering a lot of prohibitionist disinformation with the blinding heat of our concentrated sex rays.

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Sex workers are amazing people, and they deserve to be celebrated.  –  Perri Freeman

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

Just another of those nonexistent false rape accusations:

Quantavious Brown was [locked in a cage without trial in Tennessee] for three years for a rape he…did not commit…on August 3, 2018…he spent the [evening]…with a woman he met two years prior through his then-girlfriend…[she then falsely] reported…that Brown forced his way into her apartment and raped her…Brown…was [arrested]…and…eventually g[iven] a trial [date] but it was delayed [using the excuse of] the pandemic…[finally public defender] Tim Hewitt…[hir]ed an investigator…[who] discover[ed that]…the woman’s landlord and her son…were home during the alleged rape [but cops] had not b[othered to] interview…[them.]  The landlord heard Brown and the woman having a quiet conversation when her boyfriend busted in…Forensic reports showed no evidence of rape and the landlord…told [the] investigators the woman’s injuries [she claimed were from the rape] were not new…a jury found Brown not guilty…[but the prosecutor claimed he] disagree[d that a man should be found not guilty of a crime that never happened]…

I Spy (#988)

Do people really take “this tool of oppression is only sold to oppressors” as some kind of reassurance?

A powerful surveillance tool…was used to infiltrate mobile phones belonging to at least seven people in India…represent[ing] a tiny fraction of what may be a vast surveillance net, intensifying concerns about the erosion of civil liberties…under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  Hundreds of Indian phone numbers appeared on a list…for surveillance by clients of NSO Group, an Israeli firm.  The list contained numbers for…journalists, activists, opposition politicians, senior officials, business executives, public health experts, Tibetan exiles and foreign diplomats…The spyware…called Pegasus…secretly unlocks the contents of a target’s mobile phone and transforms it into a listening device.  NSO says it licenses the tool exclusively to government agencies [who belch out the words “]terrorism[” or “]crime[” first]…

This is the same surveillance tool the Saudis used to spy on Jamal Khashoggi before murdering him.  But don’t worry, because “terrorism” and “crime”!

I Spy (#1057) 

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should“:

Scientists have invented an instrument to peer deeply into billions of Twitter posts — providing an unprecedented, minute-by-minute view of popularity, from rising political movements, to K-pop, to emerging diseases.  The tool — called the Storywrangler — gathers phrases across 150 different languages, analyzing the rise and fall of ideas and stories, each day, among people around the world…

You Were Warned (#1112)

The bipartisan war on the internet moves us another step closer to idiocracy:

Florida’s social media bill was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge a couple weeks ago…its response to the lawsuit…is…basically…deny[ing that its law is unconstitutional]…142 [times]…the law…violat[es] the 1st Amendment…[bu]t even if it were constitutional (which it is not), it would be pre-empted by Section 230…So, to counter that, Florida is now doing a “it’s not our law that’s unconstitutional, it’s actually Section 230 that’s unconstitutional!”…as the social media bill itself has shown, Florida does not exactly have a good track record for understanding what is, and what is not, a violation of the 1st Amendment.  But, of course, when you have clueless Supreme Court Justices asking for cases challenging the constitutionality of Section 230, eventually we were going to get to this point…

Safe Position (#1120)

This is quickly moving into the mainstream:

The Burlington [Vermont] City Council voted unanimously…to consider eliminating ordinances that prohibit prostitution and will consider charter changes that could [de facto] decriminalize sex work in the city…

A city cannot make laws that contravene those of its state, but it can remove copycat municipal ordinances, defund police vice gangs, and make it a city policy not to prosecute such “offences”.

Served Cold (#1145) 

This article seems to be hiding the fact that the subject of the movie is a psychopathic wacko who even makes some “trafficking” fetishists uncomfortable:

…As part of [a $2 million publicity stunt], Goya [food company], will support the release of Sound of Freedom…[a “sex trafficking” propaganda film glamorizing the shenanigans of Tim Ballard, the founder of the increasingly-controversial rescue industry group Operation Underground Railroad, which is being investigated by a Utah prosecutor for fraud and by the FBI, IRS and Homeland Security over reports that its “operators” have raped people, including underage girls, whom they labeled “human trafficking victims”]…

To Molest and Rape (#1155)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A Mississippi [cop] was arrested…for…sex crimes against children, including…production and distribution of child [porn]…Joshua Christopher Stockstill…[was reported to the FBI by] the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children…But agents couldn’t identify the suspect, and…asked for the public’s help in putting a name to the face…Stockstill was arrested and fired from his job a few hours later

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There’s a lot of emphasis on the sex part of the sex industry rather than the trade part of it.  –  Catherine Stephens

The More the Better

Anything that helps demystify sex work is a good thing:

…sex sells and where there’s a juicy, marketable topic, the novelists will follow.  The compulsion to set stories in an “edgy” setting guarantees a constant stream of questionable fiction about sex work.  Sex workers appear only when they are dead; sex workers are ludicrously happy; sex workers are powerless victims.  Sex work is flattened into stereotypes or laughably misrepresented; sex work is stripped of all political context, erasing the real-life battles we fight over policing and legislation.  [In] my novel, The Service, I tried to give readers a glimpse of the wildly different ways in which we work.  I wanted to write a book about the mundanity of prostitution, the boredom and practicalities…If readers take anything from The Service, I hope it’s that sex work has as many meanings as there are sex workers…

The Enlightenment Police (#884)

The European Court of Human Rights just keeps kissing racists’ arses:

Businesses can sack Muslim women wearing the hijab headscarf if they work face-to-face with customers or if [other employees are racist shitheads who whine to the boss], the EU’s highest court has ruled.  The decision…w[ill encourage thuggery] at a time when [European] countries, such as France, are [wallowing in racism under the pretext of “]combat[ting] extremism[“]…

Working From Home (#1079)

The biggest problem with working through someone else’s platform:

[When] users…viewing their content then get…refunds via fraudulent chargebacks…[it is] the creator, not OnlyFans, [who] is [forced] to reimburse the money…despite the scammer already having accessed their content…OnlyFans [seem to feel it’s enough that] a User can only chargeback once and then they are blocked from the platform…

When I had my escort service, we had a separate “NO REFUNDS” form on which the girl entered the client’s driver’s license and required his signature; if he attempted a chargeback, sending a copy of the form to the credit card company would stop that shit.  It seems there should be some analogous practice for online porn purchases.

I Spy (#1098)

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

…during a…late-night session, the European Parliament approved…a…set of “chat control” measures making it legal for internet companies to scan all private messages by users if they [pretend] they are looking for Child [porn]…EU [politician] Birgit Sippel described the measures as “a compromise between [government’s desire to pry into every single aspect of human existence] and protecting users’ privacy”…[but] did not specify what part of this “compromise” does anything to protect users’ privacy…Patrick Breyer, whose Pirate Party led the opposition to the measures, [said] that “chat control will allow email, messaging and chat providers to indiscriminately search your private messages for allegedly illegal material and report to the police, using error-prone algorithms”…

A Broker in Pillage (#1101)

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

…Maine repealed its civil forfeiture laws [last week]…join[ing] Nebraska, New Mexico, and North Carolina as the fourth state t[o end]…one of the most serious assaults on due process and private property rights in America today…the bill…only [allows the state to steal property without prior conviction] in a few narrow [circumstances]…death, deportation, or if the defendant fled or abandoned the property…Just as critically, LD 1521 closes the “equitable sharing” loophole.  Through this program, state and local police collaborate with a federal agency or joint task force, and outsource forfeiture litigation to federal prosecutors [in return for] 80 percent of the [loot]..

The Implosion Begins (#1145)

I’m really enjoying US newsmedia’s panic over the natural, predictable development of the hysteria they profited from for two decades:

In the wake of Donald Trump’s 2020 election defeat and the disappearance of the anonymous online account “Q” that once served as QAnon’s inspiration, many people who spout QAnon’s [version of the popular “sex trafficking” mythology] have hatched a new plan: run for school board or local office, spread the gospel of Q, but don’t call it QAnon….In June, the [NEA whined]…that “[Trump]ists and [others who adopted our favorite hysteria] are winning local elections.  And their new positions give them a powerful voice in everything from local law enforcement to libraries, trash pickup to textbook purchases [just like every other politician].”  These moves signal an important evolution for the QAnon [develop]ment…[of fantasies about] societal conspiracies of child abuse [which have been popular with politicians, cops, and the news media since the beginning of the century]…

To Molest and Rape (#1149)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A [typical and representative] Florida [cop] has been sentenced to serve ten years in prison…[for] forcing two teenagers…to remove all their clothes and then run naked in front of him…Michael Martinez…was[n’t even] fired [until a] year after the [crime]…in August 2016.  Martinez [had] pulled over [his victims using the pretext of] a traffic stop…[and used their] alcohol and marijuana [to threaten them, even trying to get]…a hand job from…[the female victim, Remy] Riley…

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Age restrictions [on adults]…are not rationally related to the state’s asserted interests [in protecting children].  –  Judge Robert Pitman

License to Rape

Police states define the bodies of all citizens as “crime scenes” which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

After [they] arrested [her after accusing her of] driving drunk, [cops took] a [woman]…to an Illinois jail, where [they]…held [her] down and forcibly stripped [her] naked in front of male [pigs and screws]…the[y justified their behavior by the rather bizarre excuse]…that they only [stripped] her…because she wouldn’t comply with their [demands she strip herself.  Ariel]…Harrison…hadn’t had any alcohol that day, despite [cops claiming to know via their magical powers of divination exactly how much liquor and of what type she supposedly consumed despite the fact that]…she was never tested and was tased multiple times before being [abducted, locked in a cage and sexually assaulted]…after more than a year of fighting for her freedom, Harrison is still facing five to seven years in prison for a variety of [bogus and evidence-free] charges…[such as] aggravated battery…resisting a peace officer, and improper lane usage.  [T]he s[tate]…also [abducted]…her kids.  She hasn’t seen them since the night she went to jail…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#863)

Indian sex workers’ fight against a terrible new “anti-trafficking” bill is drawing international attention:

…the All India Network of Sex Workers (AINSW) wrote a letter to the Ministry of Women and Child Development seeking an extension of time for submitting comments on the Draft Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021, [because] the government gave too little time for assessing the provisions…if the request for an extension is not met, they will oppose the Bill…while the ministry had taken over two years to draft the Bill, affected groups and communities were given less than two weeks to share their views and feedback…While most of the sex workers’ organisations have not yet been able to make an assessment of the draft Bill, some lawyers [have pointed out that] clause 23…says, “the consent of the victim shall be irrelevant and immaterial in the determination of the offence of trafficking in persons”…This could mean even the sex workers who are willingly in the profession end up in jail…Abhijit Datta, an advocate…who has started studying the draft Bill, said that it appeared to him that the government was trying to prohibit prostitution altogether…

Working From Home (#1052)

And how do you think such a “ban” would be enforced?

After a [snitch told clueless Houston-area politicians about OnlyFans they started bloviating]…about whether or not live-streaming adult, sexual content from a home in [Woodlands] township is legal…a web [muckrake by busybodies] turned up scores of OnlyFans accounts for keywords, “OnlyFans’’ and “in The Woodlands”…[bean-counters] regulate…all home businesses in the township…and…adult-oriented businesses have been shunned or banned…

A Woman’s Point of View (#1114)

Will Oregon be the first US state to recognize sex workers’ human rights?

On Thursday, July 15th, the first-ever Human Rights Commission Event for Oregon Sex Workers [wa]s…held in Portland.  Our commission is asking voters and the Oregon Legislature for full decriminalization…For three hours, academics, researchers, medical experts, disability advocates, labor union representatives, and sex workers from Oregon and around the world will testify to invitees about why decriminalization of sex work is harm reduction for all Oregonians…many [politicians]…support Nordic…type models of criminalization, which means…arresting non-violent adults for trying to consensually pay for touch with another adult…fear-mongers who want to abolish sex work have relied on false “statistics” and church funding to put us in jail, shame us out of our day jobs, and take our kids away…their stances and legislation has led to more deaths, more poverty, and more hardship for people working in the sex trades and impacted by them…

To Molest and Rape (#1129)

Rapists are attracted to police work for obvious reasons:

The ex-wife of a [rapist-murderer cop in London]…described…how his [gang] protected him from prosecution after [she] suffer[ed] years of physical and sexual abuse at his hands….Wayne Couzens has…admitted murdering Sarah Everard…in March this year…[after] kidnapping and raping [her.  Couzens]… was n[ever even questioned about] three separate indecent exposure complaints dating back to 2015 and [ignored that] he hit h[is ex-wife] repeatedly [even]…after he threatened her with a knife…[cops] did little more than tell him to go for a long walk to calm down…When she filed for divorce he…raped her…and…[agai]n…nothing was done…[except for cops telling her she] shouldn’t [tell the truth about him]…because it would bring the [thug gang] into disrepute…[nothing was done when he] tried to strangle hi[s son, either]…

Politicians’ response to the rape/murder was to propose that other members of the rapist’s gang be given even MORE power over women.

I Spy (#1141) 

Looks like we’re going to have to rethink the safety of the mail:

…postal inspectors have been monitoring social media platforms about U.S. protests…in April…Yahoo! News…obtained a March 16 “Situational Awareness Bulletin”…[which] mentioned that U.S. Postal Inspection Service…agents monitoring Facebook, Parler, Twitter, and Telegram had noticed “significant activity regarding planned protests”…USPIS agents “assume fake identities online, use sophisticated intelligence tools and employ facial recognition software”…includ[ing] Clearview AI…and Zignal Labs’ real-time keyword search software…

Still a Child (#1142) 

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

A U.S. District Court Judge in Texas granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the recent state law preventing sex workers aged 18-21 from being employed at strip clubs…Judge Robert Pitman…noted that the class-action plaintiffs “have a substantial likelihood of success on their claims that [the new law’s]…age restrictions…are unconstitutional…[and] that…“the challenged…law infringe[s] the…Plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights”…

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Sex work is a legitimate form of work and should be regulated through standard business laws, like all other industries.  –  Melissa Horne

Under Every Bed

Population 77,434:

Human trafficking is something that continues to happen…here in the City of Albany [Georgia.  Hysteria ramped up after two women left town]…and [hysterics decided]…the[y] could have been part of human trafficking [sic]…[even though] police don’t believe the two cases are [even] related…Leah Dee [is a rather pathetic attention-seeker who] makes it her mission to [spread silly masturbatory fantasies about]…human trafficking…and [harass women while calling it]…rescue…Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards [bloviated that] “Albany, itself, is a hub”…and [shared his favorite wanking fantasies about how] predators typically operate in broad daylight…at sporting events, malls, grocery stores, and more…starting off with a “Gorilla Pimp”…

The Last Shall Be First (#631) 

SCOTUS makes its disinterest in potty-obsession quite clear:

The Supreme Court…dec[ided]…to…leav[e] a lower court ruling intact that says it’s unconstitutional for a school district to try to force a transgender student to continue using the bathroom facilities corresponding to their sex at birth…the…Court rejected [yet another attempt by the…Gloucester County [Virginia] School Board…[to reverse a federal court ruling in favor of] Gavin Grimm…the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia…in August 2019…granted a summary judgment affirming Grimm’s position…In August 2020, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit affirmed this decision with a 2–1 vote.  In February of this year, the school board petitioned the Supreme Court to again take up this case…[but] the Supreme Court dec[lined to] get involved again…

Disaster (#936)

Facebook didn’t think the face-eating leopards it wanted would eat its face:

…the Texas Supreme Court denied Facebook’s liability immunity for third party content based on Section 230…quoting FOSTA/SESTA to [spin a masturbatory fantasy about]…“websites that facilitate traffickers in advertising the sale of unlawful sex acts with sex trafficking victims.”  The opinion…denied Facebook’s motion to…dismiss…three [predatory lawsuits based in FOSTA by ambulance-chasers claimg to represent]…“victims of sex trafficking who became entangled with their abusers through Facebook”…

Rooted in Racism (#966)

In Europe as in the US, the real humanitarians are fighting against racist “anti-trafficking” schemes:

Hanad Abdi Mohammad, a Somali who saved 31 people of a smuggling ship that sank off the Greek island of Lesbos in December, has been sentenced to 142 years in prison, after being charged with human trafficking…However, he [will “only”] serve a total of 20 years behind bars, the maximum allowed by the [Greek] criminal code…Mohammad is one of several asylum seekers who has received a[n outrageous sentence]…for facilitating the illegal entry of [refugees]…Last year, two Afghan men…received 50-year sentences for the same reasons…the turkish smuggler that transported them abandoned the boat and that Mohammad tried to save them after a Turkish Coast Guard ship forced him into Greek waters.  [All but] two of the migrants were [denied the right] to testify in [Mohammad’s defense using the excuse of] coronavirus…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#1054) 

It looks like Victoria is about to become the world’s fourth jurisdiction to achieve decriminalization:

Victoria will join a growing list of jurisdictions in the world to decriminalise the sex industry if state MPs adopt recommendations aimed at safeguarding workers and reducing stigma…Consumer Affairs Minister Melissa Horne said…the government was working towards the decriminalisation of the industry as a priority…The proposed changes stem from a 2019 parliamentary review of laws governing sex work, led by Reason Party MP Fiona Patten…[which] recommends…full decriminalisation…including street-based…work, and regulating it through the Occupational Health and Safety Act…[instead of] police…

Monsters (#1064)

State violence vs trans women in Latin America is starting to get attention:

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, a regional court based in Costa Rica, has ordered the Honduran government to continue its investigation into the [2009 rape and murder] of [trans sex worker Vicky] Hernández…by [cops who used]…a curfew [as excuse for the atrocity.  Naturally] the government’s lawyers denied its [cops were the perpetrators despite eyewitness testimony, but]…the court…ruled [otherwise]…

The Next Target (#1122)

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

…German authorities want to force the hosting provider of the porn website xHamster to lock out German users.  A year ago, the State [Censorship] Agency…in North Rhine-Westphalia began to issue porn portals such as PornHub with an ultimatum: Either they [censor their content using the excuse of “]youth protection[” opt-in software]…or [else]…porn companies argue that they label their websites according to an international standard designed to make it easy for parents to [censor] their children’s devices.  However, German legislation takes the opposite approach: Portals that [puritans decl]are harmful to minors should only be accessible if [prospective] users are [willing to surrender private information to prove they are] of legal age…[the threats are the brainchildren of arch-censor] Tobias Schmid, [a politician who has proudly declared himself obsessed with “Ordnung” (order)]…

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The police are…seen as outside the law.  –  Nicole Van Cleve

Schadenfreude

Yet another rescue industry “hero” is revealed as an opportunistic fraud:

A private foundation is suing [rescue industry profiteer group] Unlikely Heroes and its [owner] Erica Greve…[because]…it misrepresented its rescue home operations and breached its contract involving an online education program, among other [abuses].  The Human Investment Foundation, a Dallas-based private family foundation focused on sexual violence education and prevention…seeks declaratory relief and a re[fund] of the more than $100,000 it [was scammed into] donat[ing] to Unlikely Heroes…[which] claims to have recovered over 500 children and [indoctrin]ated more than 80,000 people [i]n human trafficking [propaganda]…since 2011.  The organization is headquartered in Grapevine, Texas, but has an office in Hollywood…[despite claims to the contrary] Unlikely Heroes does not actually own or operate its rescue homes in Thailand, the Philippines and Mexico, nor does it have any staff outside the U.S.  Instead, it extends a small donation to [other prohibitionists who] own [gingerbread houses] in their respective countries and claims the work as its own…

How Many Will It Take?

How many mass graves before people stop believing in the goodness of religion?

…Canad[ian]…investigators have found hundreds of unmarked graves at the site of…the Marieval Indian Residential School, which operated from 1899 to 1997 where the Cowessess First Nation is now located…[in] Saskatchewan.  A search with ground-penetrating radar resulted in 751 ’’hits,″ indicating that at least 600 bodies were buried in the area…the numbers will be verified in coming weeks…the graves were marked at one time, but that the Roman Catholic Church that operated the school had removed the markers…Last month the remains of 215 children, some as young as 3 years old, were found buried on the site of what was once Canada’s largest Indigenous residential school near Kamloops, British Columbia…until the 1970s, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded Christian schools, the majority of them run by Roman Catholic missionary congregations, in a campaign to assimilate them into Canadian society…physical and sexual abuse was rampant in the schools, with students beaten for speaking their native languages…

Panopticon (#746)

It only took the courts five years to recognize the obvious this time:

The use of surveillance planes in Baltimore to track people’s movement for long periods without a warrant is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, a federal appeals court [has finally] ruled…The case revolved around a…surveillance program run by the Baltimore Police Department…[euphemized as] Aerial Investigation Research…beginning in 2016…The program was [temporarily] discontinued in response to [rightful] public anger over the snooping.  But in 2019, the program [quietly] returned as…a [fascist collaboration] between BPD and a private company…During daylight hours, the planes would fly over the city recording images…of about 90 percent of Baltimore…[which] could be used to track the movements of [any] individual…co[ps decided to brand a]…crim[inal, without need for]…a warrant…

Disaster (#1000)

Even the government itself recognizes what a disaster FOSTA is:

…the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report detailing how federal prosecutors have rarely used…FOSTA…[against any] act[ual]…criminal[s]…”because…prosecutors have had success using other criminal statutes.”  “The GAO report confirms…FOSTA-SESTA was a complete disaster,” said Sarah Roth-Gaudette…[of] Fight for the Future.  “Lives were put in danger…[yet] the law has only been used once in its three-year history”…

Choke Point (#1007)

The ACLU has finally deigned to notice financial discrimination vs sex workers:

Using financial intermediaries such as PayPal and its subsidiary Venmo can make or break one’s ability to work or survive in our increasingly virtual society.  In spite of this, platforms like PayPal and Venmo continue to boot sex workers and other users off their platforms…criminalization…makes sex workers more vulnerable to financial censorship…platforms like PayPal and Venmo, who should offer their services to all users without discrimination, will randomly…shut down the accounts of sex workers…without warning or due process…harm[ing] workers relying on that income…pushing sex work deeper into the shadows and enabling more abuse…In addition…PayPal routinely targets users for speech protected by the First Amendment…and…stall[s] efforts to provide bail support…The censorship of sex workers is just one piece of the puzzle…

Predictably, ACLU only seems concerned about discrimination against LGBT sex workers.  But since we make up the majority, that will help straight sex workers as well.

The Cop Myth (#1053)

Is there any non-troglodyte who still denies police violence is epidemic?

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that since 2015, more than 400,000 people have been treated in emergency rooms because of violent interactions with police or security guards.  But there’s almost no nationwide data on the nature or circumstances of their injuries.  Many of the [US]’s roughly 18,000 [cop shops] don’t [bother to] tally…the number of people who need medical care after [thug cops] break their arms, bruise their faces or shock them with Tasers…”police…get to decide who is worthy or unworthy of an ambulance,” said Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve…[of] Brown University…“It is absolutely an undercount”…

Tissue of Lies

The latest pig fad: collecting a bunch of unrelated raids, arrests & record updates and calling the resulting dog’s breakfast a “sex trafficking sting”:

…Georgia [cop shops pretend] they recovered 20 endangered children, 16 of which are [fantasized] to be victims of sex trafficking…[by combining mundane record updates] over a two-week period in May around Atlanta…The [publicity stunt] is the third of its kind…

These “operations” have become popular with cop shops all over the US, but were innovated last year in Georgia.

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The filibuster is a parliamentary procedure, going back at least to the Roman Senate, which allows one or a small group of politicians to obstruct some action desired by the majority in order to force a compromise or even complete abandonment of the action.  As such, it tends to be popular among members of minority parties and unpopular among members of majority parties, who resent any need to consider the views of anyone not belonging to their political tribe; naturally, what this means in the US duopoly is that the poisonous hypocrites infesting one “wing” of the ruling class rightfully recognize the filibuster as a guardrail against tyranny when they’re in the minority, but vocally attack it as “anti-democratic” when they’re in the majority.  Since the Democratic wing of the US Fascist party is now in the majority, we’re once again forced to endure pompous polemics from po-faced pundits on why obstructing the freight train of government is a “threat to democracy”; the only reason we don’t generally see the same when the Republican wing is in the majority is that most US journalistic outlets tend to favor Democrat-flavored authoritarianism over the GOP-flavored variety.  But the sentiment is always lurking out there regardless of whether it’s currently espoused by popular pseudo-intellectuals with pulpits, because banning the filbuster tends to be supported by the kind of nitwit who believes their favored party will always be in the majority and will never need to stop a drive toward some law they consider odious.  And such nitwits are the backbone of both of the most popular violent authoritarian cabals in the US.

Sorry, but “democracy” isn’t supposed to be a synonym for “mob rule”; any “democracy” or “republic” must recognize the inalienable rights of minority groups no matter what the majority wants or how badly it wants it, or else it’s no better than any other authoritarian tyranny (and far less efficient in the bargain).  When faced with a mob who wants to trample me, I don’t much care whether the leader of that mob was chosen by popularity contest or drawing lots, advanced bureaucratically, inherited the position from his dad or mom, or claims to have been appointed by the gods.  I don’t care whether the members of that mob stomp first with their left boots or their right, or whether they employ ushers to ensure I’m trampled “equally”.  I don’t care whether the majority of mob members are male, female, androgynous or sexless, nor do I give a damn about the relative darkness of their skins, what language they speak, or whose body parts they prefer to fondle or have jammed into their faces.  Neither do I care about their supposed “reasons” for trampling me, nor whether they claim my trampling was “proper” or “fair” or “according to procedure”, nor whether some person they define as being like me in some way (important to them but not to me) was part of the mob.  I just want the fucking mob to leave me the fuck alone.  And while the chances of anyone who cares any more about me than about any given specimen of roadkill actually standing up to filibuster against some legal abomination is so close to zero that the difference couldn’t be detected with an electron microscope, any grit that is available for anyone to throw into the gears of governmental oppression is a positive good which should be expanded, not eradicated.

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Prohibitionists never want to hear from sex workers who want rights rather than rescue, and they don’t want anyone else to hear them either.  –  Mark Draughn

The Birth of a Movement

Another excellent article by stalwart friend of whores Mark Draughn:

…International Whores’ Day has been celebrated on June 2 for 45 years.  Naturally, this day pisses off…prohibitionists, who…are [now] trying to replace International Whores’ Day with their own re-branded International Day of Remembrance for women who died in prostitution.  What makes this especially creepy is that…anti-prostitution laws are one of the biggest causes of violence against sex workers…If you follow sex workers rights issues, you may know that the traditional day for remembering those who died by violence is not June 2 but December 17, which is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers…[but a quick search of prohibitionist] twitter feeds [from] December 17th…finds lots of ranting about brothels and pimps, but no recognition that it’s the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers…The prohibitionists’ failure to recognize the long-established International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers reveals the hollowness of their concern for the victims of violence in the sex trade.  It’s clear their attempt to establish an International Day of Remembrance is little more than an…attempt to erase International Whores’ Day…

Backwards into the Future (#963)

Will South Africa decriminalize province by province?

The KwaZulu-Natal Legislature…resolved to fast-track the process of decriminalising and regulating sex work…during a sex work symposium held in Pietermaritzburg…as part of the legislature’s public participation programmes…the resolutions…[will] be…debated by political parties prior to execution.  At least 55 sex workers and their representative organisations were part of the discussions.  Dudu Dlamini from Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce…said they wanted a decree before 2024…

I Spy (#1069)

Remember, Amazon eagerly hands data from internet-connected devices to cops:

…buried inside millions of Amazon Echo…speakers and Ring…cameras….[is] the ability to make a new kind of wireless network called Sidewalk that shares a slice of your home Internet connection with your neighbors’ devices.  And on Tuesday, Amazon…switch[ed] Sidewalk on — for everyone.  I’m digging into my settings to turn it off.  Sidewalk raises more red flags than a marching band parade: Is it secure enough to be activated in so many homes?  Are we helping Amazon build a vast network that can be used for more surveillance?  And why didn’t Amazon ask us to opt-in before activating a capability lying dormant in our devices?…

Comfort Zone (#1072)

An especially-incompetent attempt to hide migration control behind the “trafficking” narrative:

The Biden administration…announce[d] new actions to combat [migration by branding it] trafficking as [Copmala] Harris embarks on [a propaganda] trip to Latin America to look into ways of a[ttack]ing the root causes of regional migration…[without actually providing any] additional aid…Harris will also be [trying to remove motes from the eyes of] the governments of countries from which people are fleeing, though [not removing the beam from her own first]…

I Spy (#1082)

Curiosity offends the state, comrade:

…In an insane new bit of federal…overreach, the FBI demanded that USA Today turn over records showing who read a February story about two FBI agents killed in Florida.  The FBI sought…I.P. addresses…[of] all “computers and other electronic devices” that accessed the story during a 35-minute period on the evening of the shooting…USA Today‘s parent company, Gannett, asked a federal court to quash the…subpoena…[as blatantly] unconstitutional and…amid the publicity, the FBI backed off…but…doesn’t seem to think it did anything wrong.  The FBI [only]…withdr[e]w the subpoena because…the person it sought to find…was identified “through other means”the FBI…had other ways to find the suspect…and…still decided that infringing on freedom of the press was a good first step…

Permanent Record (#1099)

If prohibitionists really want to “rescue” sex workers, why do they keep trying to shut us out of other jobs?

A sales rep at a T-Mobile store in Fort Worth, Texas has filed a gender discrimination suit against the company after a [personnel manager] in[terrogated] her about having an OnlyFans account.  Caitlyn Stevens had been working at T-Mobile for nearly seven years when a male colleague became angry…and approached her…“in a physically aggressive manager,” forcing a coworker to step in and stop the man from hitting her.  Stevens reported the incident to the store manager.  Rather than disciplining the ma[n]…the manager relocated Stevens to a different location…[which] got less foot traffic, resulting in fewer [commissions]…When Stevens submitted a complaint…a man…called…and began asking questions about her personal life, including “whether she had a ‘sugar daddy’ and whether she had an OnlyFans account”…Then…added, “We’ve heard that people have seen nude pictures of you”…

Guinea Pigs (#1101)

They’re going way beyond fake Facebook profiles now:

…for years…the FBI …[ran an encrypted messaging system called] Anom by…working with [other fascist government] partners, including the Australian Federal Police…to [spy on] the co[nvers]ations [of every single user, excusing the outage by branding all users “criminals”]…their developer source “built a master key into the existing encryption system which surreptitiously attaches to each message and enables [pigs and spooks] to [root through each]…message as it is transmitted”…Since October 2019, the FBI has catalogued “more than 20 million messages from a total of 11,800 devices…in over 90 countries.”  Most of this [snoop]ing seems to have been [to]…sniff…out drugs…[pigs] began [oink]ing [about] the results of the operation—including 700 houses [raid]ed and more than 800 [people abducted]…at a Tuesday morning press conference in The Hague…

These are the same people who thought it was perfectly OK and ethical to run their very own child porn site, so this isn’t a new low. But it does demonstrate just how far authoritarians will go to inflict violence on people for the “crime” of enjoying themselves in ways puritans dislike.

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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…

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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…

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