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Posts Tagged ‘Safe Position’

One of the titles by which the 20th Century will no doubt be known to future historians is “the Prohibition Era”.  The concept of Prohibition first started to take root in the diseased brains of control freaks in the late 19th century; it was an outgrowth of the broader “Progressive” philosophy which held that ordinary people cannot be trusted with our own lives, and must therefore be ruled by “experts” who decide for everyone how the human race should be “improved”, and enforce their diktats with violent thug armies whose actions cannot easily be reconciled with the concept of civil rights.  The first prohibitionist laws date to the late 19th century, but it was in the 20th that the concept not only reached full flower, but also successfully penetrated the minds of the general public so thoroughly that most took it for granted that for governments to tell people what they could consume, what they could own, and even what thoughts they could have while agreeing to consensual sex, was not only normal, but desirableFull alcohol prohibition lasted barely over a decade, but it left in its wake a patchwork of local prohibitions which have only very gradually eroded (and in some ways worsened again toward the end of the century).  And the failure of this one form of prohibition to thrive probably has a great deal to do with the fact that virtually no other country was willing to follow the American example; in most other cases, prohibitions which started in the US (such as drugs and prostitution) spread like a plague over the rest of the world.

But as the 20th century recedes into the past and the number of adults who can’t even remember it grows with every passing year, what Josephine Butler called “the fatuous belief that you can oblige human beings to be moral by force” has gradually become less popular.  The once-global “War on Drugs” is beginning to wind down, and the full or partial criminalization of sex work is increasingly recognized as an abomination by those with healthy minds and respect for human rights.  New South Wales decriminalized “prostitution” in 1995, followed by New Zealand in 2003; many other countries at least loosened their laws on the subject around that same time.  Unfortunately, the prohibitionists recognized the trend before it could snowball, and began a propaganda campaign to convince the world that adult women are universally too weak-minded and spineless to be allowed to run our own sexual affairs, and that phenomena which had previously always been recognized as the pragmatic sexual decisions of individual women were in reality the result of the machinations of a vast cabal of “sex traffickers” abducting hundreds of thousands of “children” into literal slavery.  But moral panics have a very limited lifespan, and this one is already long past its heyday of the early ’10s.  It is now in the process of imploding in a rather spectacular fashion, and opposition to the continued criminalization of sex work has become a safe position even for US politicians.  The temporarily-delayed process of decriminalization got rolling again over the past few years; Australia’s Northern Territory decriminalized near the end of 2019, and Victoria state followed suit just a few weeks ago.  And now the first country outside of Oceania is set to join them:

The official green light has been given to Federal Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne’s proposal to reform Belgium’s sexual criminal law…[by] remov[ing] sex work from the penal code…The Federal Parliament still has to approve the proposal but that is not expected to be more than a formality.  “This is a crucial leap forward. We are finally giving sex workers what they are entitled to: recognition and protection. Something they have been asking for decades,” Van Quickenborne said…Under current regulation, sex work is allowed, but third parties involved with sex workers are committing a crime.  The law [cl]aims to target pimps but in practice impacts other people…from book-keepers and web designers to drivers, landlords and even banks…

The importance of this move is difficult to overstate; the “sex trafficking” myth has provided a convenient cloak for Europen racism, and European chauvinism made decriminalization easy to ignore as long as it was strictly a “Down Under” practice (the same chauvinism has given the toxic “Swedish model” undeserved credibility).  But if Belgium follows through, Europe can no longer dismiss recognition of the sexual rights of adult women as a provincial abberation, and it’s entirely possible others may follow its example.

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The online safety bill presents a clear attempt to age-gate the internet.  –  Mark Johnson

To Molest and Rape

It’s pretty rare for reporters to actually use the word “rape” when the rapist is a cop:

Atlanta [cop]…Lionel Joseph Dely…rap[ed] a woman in her…apartment…Jan. 31 shortly after…Dely…[tricked her into admitting him by belching out the magic word “]investigation[“.  A spokespig oinked that]…Dely [didn’t have]…official [permission]…to [commit rape]…

Safe Position

Prior to 2018, it wasn’t even safe for a politician to support human rights for sex workers, much less admit to being one:

As I prepared to enter the political world as a candidate, I made promises that I would not leave anyone behind and that I would be honest about my experiences, including my time working as a stripper during college…I was afraid if I told anyone I would be stigmatized.  I feared getting kicked out of school, losing my friendships, and being denied a future in the career I was working toward…After coming forward in the campaign, the soccer club I worked for through this pandemic confronted me about sex work on my campaign’s social media platform.  They asked me to remove my statements while…removing me from both the teams I coached…My story is not unique.  So many examples exist that highlight the stigma and job loss that impact individuals, especially women when their past or current involvement in sex work is revealed

HIV Cure (#920)

Previous cures were accomplished by bone marrow transplant:

A woman in the New York City area appears to have been cured of…HIV…[she] has shown no detectable signs of the…virus in extensive testing since she stopped antiretroviral treatment in October 2020 following a transplant of stem cells with a rare genetic mutation that blocks HIV invasion…The woman, who had a form of leukemia, received a transplant of stem cells from an adult relative and umbilical-cord blood from a newborn to whom she wasn’t related.  The treatment is likely to be suitable for a broader range of people than are the transplants that beat HIV back in three other patients, because cord blood doesn’t have to be a precise genetic match to a recipient patient…

Welcome to the Future (#944)

Conditioning kids to accept constant, intrusive surveillance:

…GoGuardian…[is] a s[urveillance]…tool for monitoring what students do during Zoom classes…it…[euphemizes the atmosphere of distrust this creates] as [a]…”digital learning environment…where every student can thrive”…Defenders of [such] programs [barf up the usual platitudes about “safety”]…but…[the] tools also collect data related to non-life-threatening behavior…most kids probably don’t want school administrators reading their journals…and…if students feel they are being watched, they may be less likely to explore less “acceptable” ideas or to search the internet with questions they are embarrassed to ask in class…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1120)

Even if Clearview itself is brought down, the djinni is already out of the bottle:

Face surveillance is a growing menace…and…one of the worst offenders is Clearview AI, which extracts faceprints from billions of people without their consent and uses these faceprints to help police identify [people they wish to target for]…violence.  Clearview’s faceprinting violates the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act…which requires opt-in consent…Clearview now faces many consolidated BIPA lawsuits in federal court.  It also faces another suit, brought by the ACLU…in state court…the judge in the federal cases rejected Clearview’s First Amendment defense, denied the company’s motion to dismiss, and allowed the lawsuits to move forward.  This is an important victory for our privacy over Clearview’s profits…

Rotting Fruit (#1187)

Oh, oh, my goodness me, who could ever have predicted this outcome?

Prince Andrew and his accuser Virginia Giuffre have settled out of court in the civil sex assault claim filed in the US…the…lawyer[s]…wrote jointly…to say that the parties had “reached a settlement in principle”.  Court documents show the duke will make a “substantial donation to Ms Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights”…

Opting Out (#1194) 

“At least one person noted that the UK was at risk of looking like idiots”:

U.K. government officials confirmed…that social media sites “hosting large amounts of pornographic material, such as Twitter and Reddit” would have to “introduce systems to remove adult material in the U.K., or introduce age checks to determine whether users are over 18″…This is one of the first official confirmations that the measure has as eventual targets not only “pornographic websites”…but also any website that tolerates sexually explicit content.  Eradicating adult content from open platforms has been one of the core objectives of the leading religiously inspired, U.S.-based groups that are at the forefront of the War on Porn, including [Morality in Media] and Exodus Cry and their mouthpieces…

The tagline above was drawn from this article, demonstrating just how much more acceptable censorship has become to the hoi-polloi in only 4 years.

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The key question we need to ask is why she was in prison in the first place.  –  Deborah Coles

The Lesser of Two Evils (#722)

Maybe the Church should delineate acceptable ways for priests to meet their sexual needs:

A Roman Catholic priest has been arrested for stealing over $117,000 in church funds to buy drugs for his gay sex parties.  Father Francesco Spagnesi…has been placed under house arrest while police interview 200 people who reportedly attended his lavish orgies over the past two years…when a parish accountant discovered that he had withdrawn [the money]…from the parish’s bank account…the local bishop…cut off [his] access to the funds…Spagnesi…the[n]…began taking money from the collection plate and soliciting money directly from parishioners, who were told he was raising aid for poor families.  The parishioners have now initiated legal action…to reclaim their money…

News flash: humans have sexual urges.  Deprive them of socially-sanctioned ways to meet their needs, and they’ll find other ways.  It really is that simple.

Full of Themselves (#787)

What is it about massage parlors that brings the puritans out of the woodwork?

In one of New York’s toniest neighborhoods…a shady massage parlor is hidden in plain view…[it] sees a steady stream of well-dressed male clientele late into the night.  The alleged illicit massage business in the upscale neighborhood is one of at least 629 others currently operating across the five boroughs — a network of illegal enterprises so vast, they outnumber Starbucks 2 to 1 citywide…this summer, a local [prohibitionist] in search of…a [way to drum up anti-sex hysteria supposedly sent her teenage son into one, then got him to parrot her ugly propaganda to a prohibitionist reporter for a yellow rag]…

When you see the word “illicit”, you can be sure you’re reading prohibitionist propaganda.

Torture Chamber (#1102)

British screws also love yelling “Stop faking!” at caged people:

A vulnerable 18-year-old whose baby died after her calls for help were ignored as she gave birth alone in a prison cell was not provided with bereavement support – but the prison guards who [refused]…her medical assistance were offered counselling…the [guards finally noticed her]…cradling her dead baby more than 12 hours after…[she told] staff…she needed an ambulance…

At least the UK press uses fewer copsucking euphemisms that that of the US.

Sex Rays (#1109)

Oh noes, they contaminated public places with their eeeevul sex rays!

A South Carolina couple, previously arrested in January over public sex videos they had uploaded to adult platforms, has once again been charged under local “obscenity” statutes after an anonymous [snitch] gave the police a USB drive containing their adult content…Eric and Lori Harmon…ar[e]…being held without bail…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1119)

It’s always nice when they feed on each other:

A [typical and representative] Jacksonville [Florida cop] has been arrested on charges of distributing…child…[porn]…Scott Matthew Yotka…faces up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted, as well as [condemnation to the “sex offender” registry]…Yotka…[was caught when he] used a social media app to [chat] with an…FBI [spook fantasy role-playing]…as the parent of a child…[he] was a[pparently offering to] Yotka [or some similar thing buried in the news report under prevarication and euphemisms]…

Safe Position (#1123)

I’ll be optimistic when she clearly repudiates the Swedish model:

[New York governor] Kathy Hochul did not endorse the decriminalization of sex work…but s[aid]…“It is absolutely something I’ve thought about and I’m considering”…[unfortunately there are] two competing bills…before the state Legislature….“We hope that when (Hochul says) ‘decrim’ that she’s talking about the real comprehensive decriminalization for sex workers that will ultimately lead to better outcomes for people,” [said] Jared Trujillo…[of the NYCLU; however]…the Hochul administration has had discussions with people backing a [Swedish model bill sponsored by [prohibitionist] Liz Krueger [which would treat sex workers as moral imbeciles and target their partners, friends, co-workers and families for persecution]…

To Molest and Rape (#1175)

So many words to downplay raping children:

A [typical and representative] Coos Bay [Oregon cop] has been indicted and arrested [for] child [rape]…Terry Scott Rogers…started [repeatedly raping] a child [under 12] in 2012…and…continued [regularly raping her] for six years.  Rogers was indicted on [five] counts of…[rape], eight counts of [molestation]…and [other associated] charges…Rogers’ attorneys argued his…background [as a rapist] is proof he can be released on his own recognizance…[but the judge set bail at] $50,000…and…Rogers [w]as [rewarded with a paid vacation]…

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Authoritarian regimes are able to reach across borders much more effectively than they could in the past.  –  Ronald Deibert

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1024)

A natural 21st-century development for the brand:

Playboy announced…the launch of premium fan site Centerfold…expected to roll out in the coming months.  Centerfold will “build upon our long history of passing the mic to the most revolutionary voices of our day.  And true to our heritage, we will amplify their messages even further through digital covers, feature stories, interviews and, of course, striking and sensual pictorials…We will also arm our creators with access to content production, merchandise capabilities, blockchain integration and more”…

Safe Position (#1111)

Even prohibitionists like Holmes can tell which way the wind is blowing:

…a Seattle Municipal Court Judge approved a motion by Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes to quash all outstanding warrants for misdemeanor prostitution, including some issued well over a decade ago…The City Attorney’s Office hasn’t prosecuted anyone for selling sex since 2019, when the Seattle Police Department ramped up arrests and sting operations targeting both sex workers and [client]s in response to…pressure [from idiots who thought sex work would magically vanish after]…the federal shutdown of Backpage…

Predictable Consequences (#1134)

Prohibitionism is an inherently violent belief system:

The FBI arrested a Michigan man [last] Monday fo[r]…threats of violence…against telecommunications companies, which the man had blamed for “broadcasting pornography, cursing and immoral content.”  Federal prosecutors charged John Douglas Allen…with “extortion and attempting to destroy a building”…Th[reat] letters were sent from a supposed “Coalition for Moral Telecommunication (CMT)” and addressed to several companies, including AT&T and Verizon.  The letters [threatened the imaginary group would] “begin distroying [sic] inner city tower communication”…unless several demands were followed…includ[ing] a $5 million payment and [total censorship of]…”immoral content”…

You Were Warned (#1135)

They should’ve done this years ago:

A trade organization for the adult entertainment industry has hired a D.C. lobbying firm to build its relationships with [politicians]…on behalf of…the industry.  Most notably it is trying to beat back major changes to Section 230…[which] is key to its ability to exist.  The same law that protects Instagram and YouTube from being sued over illegal content posted by its users…also protects sites like PornHub and OnlyFans…But [a majority of politicians] of both parties…have…[only been stopped from] strip[ping]…that protection away [by their inability to agree on what should be censored and who exactly should control Americans’ thoughts and speech].  The Free Speech Coalition…has enlisted two lobbyists at Clarity Consulting…Keith Nelson…and…Shawn Delaney…So far, [Nelson] has been meeting with [politicians] and their [lackeys] to address…“a huge vacuum of information” about the adult entertainment industry…

For the umpteen thousandth time: the bipartisan drive to censor the internet is not “Trump-fueled”, didn’t begin with Trump, and is being ramped up by Biden, who has repeatedly stated that he wants Section 230 repealed.  But I guess partisanism trumps facts in the modern yellow press.

Above the Law (1142)

A prosecutor is just a kind of cop:

…a tough-on-crime prosecutor…[named] Jeffrey Lynn Thomas…[raped a] woman…he…knew…in a professional capacity…[who] had for years rebuffed his persistent sexual advances…he…walked into the woman’s home with an armload of beer cans and…refused [to leave]…After she slapped him, Thomas hit her in the face and gave her a nosebleed…[then] raped [and throttled] her…Thomas finally left…after the woman promised him she wouldn’t report him to the police…She reported the rape to Pennsylvania State Police on [September 20th]…

Virtual Imperialism

Worst of all, Western governments are looking at this as a model:

Once Dan arrived in Canada and began adjusting to a new city and a new university, he continued to browse Twitter in his dorm room…He retweeted only three posts: the news that Nobel laureate and Chinese democracy advocate Liu Xiaobo had died, a short satirical video about…Xi Jinping, and a chart on levels of Chinese government corruption.  With only two followers, he wasn’t making a splash — but…then his father called him out of the blue, clearly disturbed. “Son, did you say something about the Chinese government on the internet? The public security bureau called us twice”…Soon after…a [Chinese cop] contacted him on the WeChat social media app…[even though] Dan hadn’t accepted a new friend request…“The police told me the Ministry of Public Security…tracked me by my IP address and knows where I live in Canada.  They have evidence the Twitter account belongs to me”…the [cop] ordered Dan to immediately delete the offensive posts [or] “You will face trouble.”  “Trouble” is a well-known euphemism in China for state persecution.  It can range from repeated visits and phone calls all the way to…house arrest [of relatives still in China]…

To Molest and Rape (#1172)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

Prosecutors…charged St. Louis [cop] Mark West with three counts of…molest[ing children]…younger than 12…[and] asked for a $100,000 bail “due to the number and serious nature of the offenses and because the defendant constitutes a threat to the victim and other children he may encounter”…

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I’m 300 percent sure that’s illegal money.  –  example of typical cop math

If Men Were Angels

“Pastors” are as bad as cops:

Chets Creek…Southern Baptist megachurch in Florida, [distanced itself from]…former Southside campus pastor Jeff Bedwell [when he] was recently arrested for…sexually molesting a young girl from the age of 12 until…17…Senior Pastor Spike Hogan [bloviated a lot of excuses and added some copsucking for good measure]…Bedwell served as a youth pastor…before his [promotion] in…2018…

Policing for Profit (#645)

Cops will never stop doing this as long as the state keeps giving them pretexts:

A New Mexico man [was robbed at gunpoint by] Oklahoma sheriff’s deputies [of] more than $140,000…[using the bogus excuse] of drug trafficking, [but] a local news outlet found the records to [show the cops were lying]…Thai Nang…and a business partner were traveling to buy a piece of land when they were pulled over.  Sheriff’s deputies [rooted through] the car and [stole] the money…[claiming moronically], “I’m 300 percent sure that’s illegal money”…but…[reporters] obtained the bill of sale and interviewed the owner from whom Nang was intending to purchase the property…Nang also [reported that] the amount the sheriff’s office reported s[teal]ing is roughly $10,000 short of the actual amount.  The Institute for Justice…[says] Canadian County, Oklahoma is [notorious for this kind of]…abuse…

Lack of Evidence (#861) 

When will amateurs learn that the War on Whores affects them as well?

A raid on a Maryland adult bookstore in May resulted in…unconstitutional arrests of three men for violating the state’s [unconstitutional] sodomy law…nine people [were arrested, but]…only three…were charged with perverted sexual practice.  Another four were charged with indecent exposure…and one…was arrested for solicitation of…a…[sow fantasy role-playing a sex worker]…NIMBY complaints appear to have motivated the…raid…

Checklist (#1059) 

Airlines:  are you sure you want to keep accepting liability for employees racially profiling passengers due to the government propaganda you keep feeding them?

A Black Colorado woman…[was harass]ed and [interrogated] by [armed government thugs who accused her of “]human trafficking[” her] adoptive four-year-old sister…Olivia, [who is white]…Lakeyjanay Bailey…was [harass]ed by [cops] after their flight touched down at…DFW…[because] Frontier Airlines [air hostesses decided it was OK to sic dangerous thugs on the sisters because a white busybody] on the flight had [sexual fantasies about them]…

To Molest and Rape (#1092)

Rapist cops don’t only target women:

A [typical and representative] Progreso [Texas cop] will spend the next 30 years in federal prison for sexually assaulting two [young men] he arrested in 2019, [one] a minor…Matthew Lee Sepulveda…[arrested both] after minor traffic stops, then [abducted] them back to a jail that otherwise stood empty due to the late hour.  Both testified [that] Sepulveda asked them questions regarding their sexual activity and masturbation before…[assaulting] them…The jury also unanimously found that Sepulveda had committed bodily injury, aggravated sexual abuse…and…kidnapp[ing]…

Safe Position (#1111)

Why “policies” not backed up by law reform are worthless:

P[igs deceived and brutalized adults seeking consensual sex] in…Brooklyn…following [recent prohibitionist yellow journalism.  Most of the arrests]…targeted men [simply] driving [through a] four-block…stretch…the NYPD [vomited out a lot of disgusting propaganda and bragged about sows spicing up their pathetic sex lives by fantasy-roleplaying as sex workers]…The [pogrom] came [despite]…the office of Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez [claiming it was] moving away from prosecuting prostitution cases…a DA spokesman said the arrests were for solicitation…an[d bragged about how its “]Sex Trafficking Unit[” indirectly victimizes women by]…vigorously prosecut[ing their friends, associates, and family members and trying to deprive them of income so they’ll end up homeless]…

I Spy (#1156)

Amazon only likes fascist surveillance schemes it owns and controls:

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has shut down infrastructure and accounts linked to Israeli surveillance vendor NSO Group that sells spyware Pegasus…[after] Amnesty International…[shamed them by] report[ing on how]…Pegasus spyware…[is used by repressive governments] across the world, including India where around 300 mobile numbers were snooped using the spyware.  Pegasus is…installed by sending a malicious link to a target device, and…is [difficult]…to…identif[y] by the person using the targeted device…

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

Policing Womanhood

Scratch a SWERF, find a TERF:

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

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

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#845) 

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

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

Social Distancing (#1025)

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

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

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

Welcome to the Future (#1107)

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

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

Torture Chamber (#1122)

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

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

You Were Warned (#1124)

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

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

Predictable Consequences (#1124)

My friend Kate Zen, cofounder of Red Canary Song:

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

Dr. Elena Shih also works with Red Canary Song:

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

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

Imagination Pinned Down

Like seeing pictures in clouds or inkblots:

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

The Naked Anthropologist

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

Torture Chamber 

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

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

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

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

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

End Demand (#893)

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

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

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

Safe Position (#1058)

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

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

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

Predictable Consequences

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

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

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The younger generation…don’t understand at all how the government could ever enter your bedroom and tell you what to do.  –  Mandie Landry

Creating a Monster

There really is nothing new under the sun:

Neither Craigslist’s personals nor…US [censorship of] the sexual commerce they make possible are uncharted territory.  Reading…coverage of…FOSTA–SESTA, gives me a sense of déjà vu.  I have spent the last several years researching how, more than one hundred years before Backpage opened its online classifieds—well before the rise of the internet…lonely hearts [and] sex workers…had access to Parisian “back-page” classifieds.  Then as now, [politicians] scrambled for ways to stop them from using this new, democratizing print technology to “immoral” ends.  The largely unsuccessful, often counter-productive, and oppressive solutions they came up with during the French Third Republic (1870–1940) look strikingly similar to those the US legislature is testing out now…

This article is three years old, but it’s about century-old events anyhow.

Safe Position

This might fly in New Orleans, but it’ll definitely be uphill in the rest of the state:

Sexual acts between consenting adults should remain just that, state Rep. Mandie Landry said, regardless of whether they involve a financial transaction.  She said she will author a bill in the Louisiana Legislature that would do away with the state’s existing laws that outlaw prostitution….“If two people engage in a relationship in their own home, whether they exchange money or not, it’s between them”…Prostitution involving minors will remain illegal because minors cannot give consent, she added…

False Witness (#920)

Texas cops routinely destroy lives with the same method used to create the Satanic panic:

…a vast body of research shows hypnosis does not increase the chance of retrieving accurate memories.  In fact, it may implant imaginary ideas or distort recollections.  At least 21 states ban evidence in court that was gleaned solely through hypnosis.  Yet a Dallas Morning News analysis found Texas law enforcement has used the dubious method nearly 1,800 times over 40 years, sending dozens of people to prison — and some to their deaths.  After one week of training, any Texas [cop]…who passes an exam can attempt to use hypnosis in a criminal investigation.  Hundreds…have been certified to practice it in Texas since 1988…

The Scarlet Letter (#941)

Why do puritans pretend the literally prehistoric practice of shaming constitute a “modern” approach to harming people for having sexual urges?

The Alabama House of Representatives…approved legislation that would post pictures of men a[ccus]ed [o]f…solicitation…to shame them…f[or having]…sex[ual needs.  Bill sponsor] Merika Coleman…[bloviated a lot of disgusting sexual fantasies about] human trafficking…an[d]…argued that the state needs to attack the de[sire] for sex…Coleman said [she doesn’t care that]…posting the picture of a person who was arrested…harms those individuals who are not found guilty for the rest of their lives.  [She said it’s OK that] they are not able to get jobs…

Japanese Prostitution (#950)

Japanese attempts to suppress and hide sexuality prior to the Olympics will never be sufficient to please puritanical gaijin:

Social pressure surrounding the upcoming Tokyo Olympics has resulted in distribution troubles for traditional Japanese adult magazines, which have drastically harmed the already dwindling sector…[using the excuse] “that the magazine covers were offensive to women and inappropriate in front of children”…In the years leading up to the games’ original date of Summer 2020, “some of the country’s biggest convenience store chains…said they would stop selling the publications altogether”…Akira Ikoma, editor-in-chief of the porn magazine My Journey…said Japan is “hiding this part of the culture because they’re embarrassed”…

Torture Chamber (#950)

“Packed” = “concentrated”. And the concise word for “tent facility” is “camp”:

Hundreds of immigrant children and teenagers have been [imprisoned] at a Border Patrol tent facility in packed conditions, with some sleeping on the floor because there aren’t enough mats…Some [are locked up]…for a week or longer, despite the agency’s three-day limit for detaining [minors]…they…a[r]en’t…allowed to phone their parents or other relatives who may be wondering where they are.  Despite…coronavirus, the[y]…are kept so closely together that they can touch the person next to them…Some have to wait five days or more to shower, and there isn’t always soap available, just shampoo…Biden’s administration denied the lawyers access to the [camp because]…attorney visits to Border Patrol [camp]s [have] revealed severe problems, including dozens of children held at one [camp] without adequate food, water, or soap…

All-Purpose Excuse (#1063)

I love that Trumpists are holding onto the “sex trafficking” narrative like grim death:

On March 8th, the Lifeboat Project had the opportunity to host [politicians] and [profiteers trying] to stop [sex work using propaganda about] human trafficking…it was also a…[photo] opportunity for Ivanka Trump and [a payday for professional]…trafficking survivors…the…Founder of The Lifeboat Project, Jill Bolander Cohen…[introduc]ed the [fantas]y of having a universal signal that could be used world-wide…[instead of other folk magic] such as [wa]ving [red paper birds around like a semaphore flag]…or [activa]ting…[a super-duper anti-pimp tampon found in a public] bathroom…Jill be[lieves the stupid trope that]…victims [are literally “voiceless”]…so…[she proposed] flashing the letters “H” and “T” in American Sign Language…

Winding Down (#1101)

A long-overdue move by Mexico to throw off US domination:

…Mexic[an politicians]…approved a bill…to legalize recreational marijuana…The 316-to-129 vote in Mexico’s lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, came more than two years after the Mexican Supreme Court ruled that the country’s ban on recreational marijuana was unconstitutional and more than three years after the country legalized medicinal cannabis…the measure is widely expected to sail through the Senate before being sent to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has signaled support for legalization.  The measure…would allow adults to [us]e…and, with a permit, grow a small number of cannabis plants at home.  It would also grant licenses for producers — from small farmers to commercial growers — to cultivate and sell the crop…

You Were Warned (#1119)

Unless some country makes a policy of providing a safe haven, the open internet is doomed:

The Russian government’s internet regulatory agency, Roskomnadzor, has announced it will be slowing down Twitter…in the country, alleging that the platform has “ignored requests to take down material harmful to children,” including adult content.  Regional experts [say]…“that the Twitter slowdown was just the start of a large-scale offensive by authorities to assert control over — and ultimately block — social media”…Like many American crusaders against Section 230…Roskomnadzor claims this attack on free expression [i]s…to “save the children”…

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