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Posts Tagged ‘slavery’

Sex workers are collateral damage in th[e “progressive”] quest to build the perfect internet.  –  Evan Greer

The Missing Word (#570)

Notice what nobody calls this?

For almost seven years, two Pennsylvania judges sent hundreds of [teens and] children—some of them as young as 8 years old—to privately run juvenile detention centers in exchange for financial kickbacks…[now] former Judges Mark A. Ciavarella and Michael T. Conahan [have been ordered] to pay over $200 million in compensatory and punitive damages to their victims.  Starting in 2000, the pair sent children into juvenile detention for offenses as innocuous as jaywalking, petty theft, or truancy.  In what became known as the “kids for cash” scandal, the [victims] were sent to two privately run detention centers whose builder and co-owner paid the men $2.8 million…over the course of the scheme…following the plot’s discovery, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court…thr[ew] out 4,000 juvenile convictions…[but] many of the plaintiffs still suffer from mental health problems.  Several…died by suicide or drug overdose in the years after their detention…Unfortunately, it is unlikely that any of the plaintiffs will [actually] receive [any] financial compensation…[because] Ciavarella and Conahan are now serving lengthy prison sentences.  Ciavarella was sentenced to 28 years…and Conahan…17…though he was released to home confinement in 2020…[due to] COVID-19…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#1009)

Another baby step toward recognizing sex work as work:

…a group of former Star Garden [exotic] dancers…filed a petition for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board, through the established actors union Actors’ Equity Assn…If the[y]…succeed, it would be the first time the century-old union that represents actors and stage managers on Broadway and venues such as the Hollywood Pantages Theatre would include strippers in its ranks.  Star Garden would become the first unionized strip club in the U.S. since…the Lusty Lady…closed in 2013…But…most of the strippers seeking representation said they have not worked at Star Garden since mid-March, when they raised safety concerns and were subsequently [fired]…Union lawyers will need to convince the National Labor Relations Board the strippers are Star Garden employees who were unduly terminated in order to be eligible to participate in a union vote and secure a shot at winning…

The Widening Gyre (#1116)

The latest iteration of “sex traffickers are EVERYWHERE!!!” has it all: the roses from the item linked in the subtitle, themselves only one example of the “valuable bait” trope, are loaded with the magic instant-overdose fentanyl of cop fantasies instead of the unidentified magic contact poison of earlier iterations of this myth.  Given that cops have recently started claiming that the magic fentanyl is being intentionally sprinkled onto $1 bills, the convergence is pretty clear; presumably the fentanyl-using “traffickers”, no doubt driving around in white vans, are also dropping the bait bills where cops can find them so as to stop their heroic anti-trafficking pogroms, or something.

A Broker in Pillage (#1147)

Absolutely nothing is “safe” if government actors know where it is:

The FBI [lied] to…a federal magistrate judge…[claiming] that it intended to open hundreds of safe deposit boxes s[tolen] during a March 2021 raid in order to inventory the items inside—but new evidence shows that federal agents were plotting all along to use the operation as an opportunity to [steal] cash and other valuables…the FBI also seems to have ignored limitations imposed by the warrant, including an explicit prohibition against using the…boxes as the basis for further criminal investigations…agents…were instructed to be on the lookout for cash…and to note…anything which [might give the government a pretext to steal it]…Agents [even] arranged to have drug-sniffing dogs present…which doesn’t do anything to help inventory items, of course, but makes more sense if the actual goal is to initiate forfeiture proceedings…

You Were Warned (#1218)

Looks like Reddit is covering its butt as a hedge against more FOSTA-enabled predatory lawsuits:

…adult content creator[s have]…recently found themselves abruptly removed or had their Reddit account limited without warning.  Sex workers have long been subject to deplatforming on most social media platforms…yet even though Reddit has a reputation for being relatively sex-positive compared to other Big Tech sites, sex workers are increasingly finding themselves restricted or even outright permanently banned on the platform, often without notice or…explanation…“The fact that sex workers are reporting an uptick on Reddit is particularly concerning because it has been one of the last places where this type of content is allowed,” says Evan Greer, director of the digital rights organization Fight for the Future, citing Twitter as the only other example of a platform that still continues to allow NSFW content…

The Vultures Descend

You can always count on my native state to out-Herod Herod:

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry…successfully urged the Louisiana Bond Commission…to delay a $39 million future line of credit for the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board–which the city needs for [a dedicated power station for] its flood response–until city officials agree to enforce the state’s abortion ban.  The move comes right at the start of hurricane season, on the same day New Orleans…issued a flood advisory…Even Republican state senator Bret Allain warned that because the sewerage and water board is a state-created agency, he finds it “problematic” to target New Orleans over their abortion stance…

The Last Shall Be First (#1244)

If you didn’t see this coming, you haven’t been paying attention:

After one competitor “outclassed” the rest of the field in a girls’ state-level competition last year, the parents of the competitors who placed second and third lodged a complaint with the Utah High School Activities Association calling into question the winner’s gender.  David Spatafore, the UHSAA’s legislative representative…said the association…asked the student’s school to…examine…the students’ enrollment records [going]…“back to kindergarten and she’d always been a female”…Spatafore said the association has received other complaints, some that said “that female athlete doesn’t look feminine enough”…

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There will be many more [scandals] because, for years & years, we have paid no attention, apart from giving them money.  –  Maneka Gandhi

Droit du Seigneur

What did this guy think he was, a cop?

A…US Naval petty officer has been sentenced to…two consecutive 20-year prison terms for sex trafficking Native Hawaiian girls…Petty Officer Marquis Green, had no criminal history other than a minor traffic matter a decade ago.  Then in December 2013, he was arrested for sex trafficking two girls under the age of 18…He was also charged and convicted for his involvement with a 15-year-old girl whom he sexually assaulted and whipped with a belt in 2013…he is the first person in Hawaii to be charged for first degree sex trafficking since 2015…

Despite the claims of perennial fabulist Khara Jabola-Carolus, quoted in the story, the case proves how rare actual “sex trafficking” (as opposed to the ordinary paid sex Carolus labels “trafficking”) is.

Above the Law (#899)  

Even being related to a cop may be enough:

The son of a[n Indiana cop] running for Kosciusko County Sheriff [molested] a fourteen-year-old girl…Zachary Smith, 18 at the time, also gave [his victim and several other] girls…margaritas, moonshine and marijuana.  Smith [got away with] charge[s of] battery and maintaining a public nuisance [instead of his actual crime, statutory rape]…The girls say…they [were] pressured to smoke weed and drink alcohol…And [were intimidated by the fact that] Zach’s dad [Jim Smith i]s a [cop]…running for sheriff…

Creepy Coppers

This attempt to blame others is odious even by abysmally-low cop standards:

A [typical and representative California cop was] sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison for distributing child pornography [after trying to blame the] public [for giving him sadfeelz by protesting rampant cop violence]…Anthony Mark Brown[‘s crimes were]…initially c[overed up by]…a colleague…but…he…was…[later indicted by] a federal grand jury…

Of course, they still managed to cover up for him somewhat by hiding his picture. Imagine that.

Torture Chamber (#1219)

Your “leaders” call this “correction”:

[Women locked in cages by the state] at an Indiana jail were subjected to a “night of terror” when male detainees [were sold the keys] to their cells…[by a screw named] David Lowe…in exchange for $1,000.  That night, the two male [prisoners led a gang]…into restricted areas of the jail…[where] women [were caged]…and…raped, assaulted, harassed, threatened and intimidated the…women…for…hours…[while screws watched the whole thing] on surveillance video [and did nothing to help them]…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#1242)

Prajwala’s idea of “rescue” results in “at least two” suicide attempts by its prisoners every day:

On 19 May…India’s Supreme Court ruled that [cops and rescue industry opportunists may not attack, abduct and cage] voluntary sex work[ers under the pretense of “rescue” and “rehabilitation”]…under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA), [but the]…”protective homes” [have not released their prisoners in a timly manner.  So]…weeks after the…ruling, 80 sex workers locked up near the city of Hyderabad rioted against their forced detention…the[y overpowered]…three…guards, broke down the facility’s gates, and walked for two kilometres before being [beaten] by police….[and] taken back to the [labor camp], which is run by the NGO Prajwala

Follow the link for more on the deeply-evil Prajwala and its deranged leader, arch-fantasist Sunitha Krishnan.

To Molest and Rape (#1250)

Of course they’re prosecuting his wife for trying to stop him:

A [typical and representative] Baltimore [cop] who was shot by his wife [after she caught him] molesting [at least 3] kids at her daycare has been arrested on child abuse charges…James S. Weems Jr…was admitted [to hospital] with life-threatening injuries after his wife…Shanteari Weems…shot him…in Washington D.C…Shanteari was arrested after she admitted to shooting her [rapist] husband…[and] charge[d with] assault with intent to kill…Days after Shanyteari’s arrest, the police [finally got around to]…arrest[ing]…James…

Given that they’ve only been married five years, one must wonder whether part of the reason he married her was because she owned a daycare.

Property of the State (#1255)

“Hard cases” are more common than forced-birth proponents want you to believe:

The…10-year-old Columbus girl who was impregnated du[e to] rape and [had to] travel…out of state to get an abortion…is hardly alone…a similar case happened in Cleveland last year, before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and a federal judge unlocked Ohio’s [draconian] ban on abortions…Two sisters, ages 10 and 13, were impregnated du[e to] rapes by the same perpetrator…under Ohio’s old law, the younger girl was able to get an in-state abortion, but her sister, who was too far along…traveled to Pennsylvania for the procedure…Ohio law provides no exemptions for rape and incest…but [the old law]…allowed more time for women to discover they were pregnant, which…is especially crucial for younger victims of rape…

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The fact that a reporter has to call and tell me…is the issue.  –  Luis Correa

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Everyone involved in this story, excluding the sex worker but including the reporter and headline writer, is garbage:

A…Boston attorney who once [worked to destroy people’s lives for the State]…was caught literally with his pants down on [a stroll pigs think it’s funny to label] Methadone Mile with a prostitute…Bruce Singal…asked to speak to a police supervisor…but when he further asked for “lenience and consideration,” [cops vomited a lot of disgusting, misogynistic “sex trafficking” propaganda all over him]…The woman…was not arrested, but taken in to be connected with services…

“Not arrested, but taken in to be connected with services” is a euphemism for “arrested”.

Torture Chamber 

Your “leaders” refer to wanton murder as “correction”:

Three Florida [screws] were arrested on murder charges for [brutal]ly beating an inmate to death, while a fourth [fled the consequences of his actions]…Christopher Rolon…Kirk Walton…and Ronald Connor…were arrested…following a monthslong [attempt to cover up the murder] at the Dade [Torture] Institution…The [murder] occurred on the morning of Feb. 14, before the [victim] was scheduled to be transferred to a [different cage stack] in Lake County…the [attackers claimed that the murder was justified by their]…mental[ly-ill victim supposedly throwing urine]…at…the[m]…”The[y]…beat…[him] so badly he had to be carried to the transport van…During a stop in Ocala…over 300…[miles away, the murderers discovered their victim had died from their brutality.  An autopsy later revealed]…the [victim]’s death was caused by a punctured lung leading to internal bleeding…The incident initially led the Florida Department of C[ages to reward]…10 [screws with paid vacations]…

The Face of Trafficking

Note that cases of actual coercion don’t look much like the myths:

Gawain Baxter was 6 years old when he signed a contract agreeing to work for the Church of Scientology for 1 billion years…he spent his childhood doing manual labor at Scientology’s Flag Land Base in Clearwater, [Florida] and getting no education beyond basic reading, writing and math.  At 15, Baxter attempted to leave by writing a letter to a superior about constant abuse and intolerable living conditions.  Instead…church officials sent him to Scientology’s Freewinds ship in the Caribbean, where he worked for little or no wages for 14 years.  Through its highly regimented Sea Org workforce, Scientology officials systematically trafficked Baxter, 39, and others by indoctrinating them as children and making it financially, physically and psychologically impossible for them to leave as adults, according to a lawsuit filed…in Tampa federal court against Scientology leader David Miscavige and five church entities…on behalf of Baxter, his wife…Laura…and Valeska Paris, who all were raised in Scientology and worked on the Freewinds, where…the church [stole] their passports and identification documents…

To Molest and Rape

An armed robber is also a rapist.  Gee, what a surprise:

A [typical and representative cop from] the [violently-corrupt Alabama] town of Brookside has been arrested on a rape charge in Jefferson County.  Deshawn Mark Cook…[forcibly] rape[d his]…victim…on May 22, 2021…Cook was [previously] indicted in 2019 on a charge of strangling his girlfriend…[but a] judge dismissed that case when the woman failed to show up for court…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1212)

Undermining of civil liberties only starts with “undesirables”; it never stops there:

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be paying surveillance…company Trust Stamp $7.2 million annually to develop tech to track migrants [who enter the US] at the southern border…Trust Stamp…provid[ed] ICE with 10,000 smartphones that include the company’s app with facial recognition and GPS tracking…ICE then gives these…to migrants in order to surveil their whereabouts and behavior daily…migrants…are expected to complete “biometric check-in” once a day, meaning they scan their faces…An ICE [spook] looks at the result of each check-in, as well as the migrant’s location…[and] the…[phone] also…track[s its holder via] geolocation…

The Cop Myth (#1223)

Sleeping with a cop is one of the most dangerous things a woman can do:

A [typical and representative]…Massachusetts [cop]…threaten[ed] to kill his estranged wife in a brutal attack…Tomas Morales…showed up at his family’s home and said he wanted to talk to his [victim] about Christmas presents…after trying to kiss her, Morales threw her to the ground…forced her into a bedroom…said, “You’ll always be mine”…threatened to kill her, then strangled her and punched her in the face…Woburn police Chief Robert Rufo [thought the most important thing to tell reporters was that Morales wasn’t wearing his magical clown costume at the time]…

The Last Shall Be First (#1229)

Politicians are competing to see how many rights they can violate with one law:

Missouri [politicians are]…seeking to restrict access to gender-affirming care [not just to] minors…[but also] young adults under the age of 25…[in support of the scheme, they trotted out a quack] psychologist…[named Laurie] Haynes [who] also…support[s the discredited form of conditioning called] conversion therapy.  [This is merely the latest attempt to undermine the civil rights of young adults using the excuse]…that the prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain responsible for executive functions like decision making – is not fully developed until roughly the age of 25…[a claim which is notably absent when politicians discuss voting, marriage, criminal responsibility, and enlisting in the military]…

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The Constitution…also prohibits the government from using its immense authority to coerce private actors into censoring on its behalf.
–  Ben Wizner

A False Dichotomy 

Despite the authors’ use of prohibitionist terms like “trafficked into” (meaning “sold to”), insistence on pretending that Western cultural norms apply as clearly in impoverished Bangladesh as they do in middle-class London, and offensive presentation of cops and politicians as “rescuers”, the truth in this article still comes through:  that for girls in a brutally poor, overpopulated, patriarchal culture, sex work is often (as the authors themselves express it) “the least bad option”, even when those options include the monogamous marriage so beloved of the majority of white savior types.

Out of Control (#946)

What is wrong with doctors who do this?

A Stanford pediatrician has pleaded not guilty to…[trying to molest] an underage girl he met on social media…Dr. Dylan O’Connor…[sent] her [dick pics and]…requested [nudes] from…he[r, after which she apparently told her mother, who called the cops to set]…O’Connor [up].  He allegedly…brought a blanket and condoms with him, and [told cops he had]…a sex addiction [despite knowing as a doctor that there is no such thing]…

The Widening Gyre (#1005)

The “things on cars” branch of “sex trafficking” scarelore is driven by a kind of inversion of Occam’s razor:

Brittaney Strupe [of Ohio]…got engaged [on Valentine’s Day] and had plenty of leftover red roses…So [she]…her sister and daughter…[decided to] go to Walmart…[and put them on] vehicles [as a gift to others.  But when] customers and Walmart employees began to discover them [everybody succumbed to collective hysteria and]…called the Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office…[which started spouting ridiculous fantasies about] human traffickers…on Facebook [where]…Strupe…[saw it and]…call[ed] to [explain, after which the cops vomited out “if you see something, say something”]…

“The mentally disturbed do not employ the Principle of Scientific Parsimony: the most simple theory to explain a given set of facts.  They shoot for the baroque.”  –  Philip K. Dick, Valis

Torture Chamber (#1040)

When government is in charge, things can always get worse:

…As a once-in-a-generation snowstorm walloped the Lone Star State…already-dire conditions inside Texas prisons…got even worse…33 prisons lost power and 20 had water shortages after the state’s electrical grid failed…prisoners ha[d]…no options to stay warm…there…[were] ne[ither enough]…extra blankets and jackets to…go around…no[r sufficient staff] to [distribute them because]…fewer [screws] showed up to work…staff [didn’t bother] to pass out medication…and…the food…bec[a]me [even more] inedible and…unidentifiable [than before]…prisoners with [secret] phones sent pictures of their increasingly pitiful meals…more than a dozen prisons lost some or all of their access to water…so…the toilets are overflowing with waste…Advocates for prisoners say these problems have been years in the making…

See also the final item below.

You Were Warned (#1046)

Australian politicians are just as invested in demolishing the internet as US ones:

Back in September…Facebook publicly sa[id] that if Australia went forward with its ridiculous attack on the open internet, and instituted a “news link tax” on Facebook and Google, that it would block news links on Facebook in Australia… and basically everyone ignored it.  So…when Facebook announced that it was no longer allowing news to be shared in Australia (and relatedly, no longer allowing the sharing of Australian news services on Facebook), it should not have been a surprise.  And yet…almost everyone started blaming and attacking Facebook…[the] company…deserves lots of blame for lots of bad things that it does.  But this ain’t it…the simple facts of the situation are that Australia — pushed heavily by Rupert Murdoch — has decided to put in place a plan to tax Google and Facebook for any links to news…This is fundamentally against the principles of an open internet …”search engine optimization” and “social media management”…[exist] because everyone else in the world has figured out that having prominent links on search engines and social media is valuable in its own right…[the Australian government’s position] is like saying that not only should NBC have to run an advertisement for Techdirt, but it should have to pay me for it.  If that seems totally nonsensical, that’s because it is…

You Were Warned (#1082)

Congress won’t stop until it controls the internet:

For the third time in less than five months, the U.S. Congress has summoned the CEOs of social media companies to appear before them, with the explicit intent to pressure and coerce them to censor more content…[using the pretexts of] “falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccine” and “debunked claims of election fraud”…[politicians claim] that “these online platforms have…[enabled] grim consequences for public health and safety”…House Democrats have made no secret of their ultimate goal with this hearing:  to exert control over the content on these online platforms…[even though] Congress violates the First Amendment when it attempts to require private companies to impose…speech restrictions which the government itself would be constitutionally barred from imposing

Torture Chamber (#1093)

“Give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, so I can torture and deport them”:

In Louisiana and Texas, immigrants seeking asylum are facing dire conditions [while locked in cages due to last]…week’s extreme cold.  At the South Texas Family [Concentration Camp]…parents and children have been living with overflowing toilets, thirst, poor hygiene, and [insufficient] heat…Twenty miles away, at [another] ICE [concentration camp, prisoners]…who complain…about the cold face…retaliation [from screws who] are turning on fans to make it colder…[some] have [even] thrown blankets into the garbage after [prisoners] complained…

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This is a question about what level of censorship power we want to give to payment processors.  –  Danny O’Brien & Rainey Reitman

Down Under (#410)

This is what prohibitionists call the “failure” of decriminalization:

New Zealand sex worker has won a six-figure payout as part of a settlement after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a b[rothel] owner…The settlement was an important reminder that all workers, regardless of the type of work they did, have the right to freedom from sexual harassment in the workplace, said Michael Timmins, director of the office of human rights proceedings…the woman[‘s]…identity, and all other details in the case, remain…confidential…

The Gun in the Room

All laws, even “progressive” ones, are more heavily enforced vs minorities:

…of the [tickets Seattle] police have i[nflicted using the bike helmet law] since 2017, at least 43% were given to people struggling with homelessness…Since 2019, that number was 60%.  The total is almost certainly an undercount…In total, Seattle police have issued only 117 helmet citations since 2017, at least 50 of which were given to [homeless] people…Last summer’s protests served to amplify a growing [but long-overdue] skepticism of the criminal justice system’s reach, particularly when it comes to nonviolent [behavior arbitrarily defined by the state as] crime.  The wide-scale rejection of the so-called war on drugs typifies the shift most dramatically, but…all…citations — for drug use, traffic stops or bike laws — tend to reveal most clearly the disparities of the criminal justice system…In Seattle, for example, one in four jaywalking tickets issued between 2010 and 2016 went to a Black pedestrian

A Procrustean Bed (#965)

Authoritarians pretend this is more humane than prison:

Passages [is] one of eight privately-owned pre-release facilities in Montana…To [be sent to] Passages means to submit a 24-hour schedule for each day, subject to approval, accounting for every single minute, around the clock.  There’s little privacy; the women sleep four to a small hotel-sized bedroom…Their possessions are rigorously inventoried…inmates…of[ten]…wind up back in prison…because…of…infractions [that] are not crimes on the outside…The…program effectively requires women to be inmates and low-wage workers at the same time.  Either role is difficult, but trying to do both at once is mentally and physically crushing…“Honestly, most people would rather just stay in prison because once you’re done with prison then you’re done,” said…former [inmate Tara Norman…Room and board is $15 a day, so if you start your stay with 90 days of drug treatment, you could be starting your pre-release over $1,200 in debt.  You can’t complete the program until your drug treatment fees are paid off…There are endless fees for room and board, counseling, instructional materials, laundry, and other necessities.  Months can pass where the inmate is working but has no money left from her check because it’s all going to pay for fees and expenses…

Permanent Record (#1036)

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

A medic was outed by the New York Post…for posting…pictures on OnlyFans for extra income…The article…attempted to make something scandalous out of the fact that the 23-year-old had posted nude photos to the popular subscription site.  It…quoted an anonymous FDNY paramedic turned morality cop who snarked that other first responders “make more money by pulling extra shifts, instead of pulling off their clothes”…The [hit post] was quickly decried by critics on Twitter, including [politician] Alexandria Ocasio Cortez…who tweeted at the publication, “Leave her alone. The actual scandalous headline here is ‘Medics in the United States need two jobs to survive.’” The tweet received over 300,000 more likes than the Post’s tweet of its story….one of Kwei’s friends started a GoFundMe page in her name, writing that [Lauren] Kwei had turned to sex work in order to support herself and her family and was now at risk of losing her job…A representative for SeniorCare EMS [said]…Kwei is still employed and it does not intend to let her go over this issue…[but] the GoFundMe…attracted more than 1,500 donors and raised $33,000—far above the stated goal of $5,000…

As I wrote last week, “many more people than ever before are watching, and increasing numbers of them do not at all like what they see“.

The Course of a Disease (#1088) 

Swedish model fanatics just won’t stop trying to impose their filth on the UK:

Parliament has passed a controversial bill proposing the UK adopts the “Nordic model”…[which] is opposed by sex workers and [human rights] groups including Amnesty International…who [explain] that the legal model it proposes is driven by ideology, not evidence and puts workers’ lives at risk…In [prohibitionist propaganda], the Nordic model criminalises clients and third parties in the sex trade, leaving workers unharmed, whilst supporting them to leave the industry.  However, evidence from countries where it is [impos]ed shows that it has created more dangerous working conditions, whilst still criminalising workers and not supporting exit for those who want to leave the industry…

You Were Warned (#1095)

Congress won’t stop until it controls the internet:

[Politician] Lindsey Graham…[has] introduced legislation that would…implement a sunset for Section 230, the 1996 law that grants legal protects to tech platforms for third party content posted on their sites.  The law has come under fire from [pro-censorship politicians including]…President Trump[, who] has said he will veto the National Defense Authorization Act…the annual defense policy bill, because it does not include a Section 230 repeal…[politicians] have long [made absurd claims]…against [the law that]…they have failed to back…up with evidence.  [Politicians pretend]…repealing the law could serve as a check on increasingly powerful companies such as Facebook…

The Next Target (#1097)

Prohibitionists care only about “messages”, not facts:

…the campaign against Pornhub appears to be more about moral grandstanding and leveraging generalized shame around pornography than addressing the real problem of child abuse and exploitation…Morality in Media…and Exodus Cry have been teaming up to portray Pornhub as a uniquely prolific and unrepentant purveyor of smut featuring minors and abuse.  But [because facts]…do not support this contention…crusaders…resort to using statistics in weaselly ways…for instance…Shared Hope International peppers its calls to shut down Pornhub with general stats about child sex abuse material…they [all] suggest that the only feasible solution is to take drastic aim at porn or digital privacy more broadly—sometimes both…Conflating role-playing with actual abuse is also a common feature of anti-Pornhub advocacy …In the past few days, Pornhub announced new policies surrounding content and removed all videos from non-verified accounts…these changes have long been on the list of porn performer and producer demands…[but] little coverage has acknowledged this…nor the broader labor and intellectual property issues behind it…

The EFF and Vice also published strong criticisms of this latest front in the War on Whores.

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I think the ideal philosophy is to only care about the fact that you do your job with integrity.  –  Kiran Deshmukh

Social Autoimmune Disorder

Cops think they can never have enough pretexts to harass people:

Dallas [cops]…arrested 88 people in [just the first half of this year for]…driv[ing through a particular neighborhood, claiming they committed the thoughtcrime of]…looking for sex…All but one of those arrested were people of color.  [And now] Dallas [politicians want to make it easier for them to dramatically increase the score by]…allow[ing them] to [arrest people for the “crime” of] passing through [that neighborhood three times]…in…two hours…[using the all-purpose excuse of] trafficking women for sex.  The penalty is a fine of up to $500…[if pigs claim they] suspect[ed their victims]…of being pimps…

An Example to the West (#329)

An interview with Kiran Deshmukh, president of the National Network of Sex Workers in India:

I still remember Meena Seshu…telling us that we had to band together…to fight back.  I still remember that exact day this realization sunk in:  A gangster was on the streets making a scene and threatening us with knives.  All the women who’d usually shut their doors and sit tight poured out into the streets.  One woman undid her saree on the road, and the others used it to tie the gangster to a nearby pole.  The women beat him up so much and so badly that not a single gangster has created a scene in our area since then.  Once women band together, they become formidable opponents…Sex workers…work put food on the table and feed their children.  Society, on the other hand, views the world in a moral–immoral binary…Society will point out how our work is related to our bodies and how many men we “sleep” with…two people having consensual sex is justified but if you attach sex to money, it’s completely immoral.  Why?  You’re all saying it’s totally fine to have sex for free?…As for tragedy, if a woman enters sex work due to a tragic situation, but eventually decides to continue in the same profession, why would you bother her with the circumstances that influenced her choice 30-40 years ago?…

Don’t Call It Trafficking (#934) 

Remember, this is not slavery, but lucrative, flexible, voluntary work is:

Most [drug] rehab programs that require work act essentially as temp agencies, farming the [pati]ents out to…third parties, such as tree trimming services, dairies, poultry processing plants or oil refineries.  The wages are remitted not to the workers but to the rehab centers…the…workers…receiv[e]…no pay, no Social Security credits, [and] no unemployment insurance payment…Other rehab-affiliated programs, notably the Salvation Army, have their patients perform grossly underpaid work for their commercial enterprises — if they did not have this captive workforce, they would have to seek [fairly-paid] labor from the open market…

You Were Warned (#1007)

But please, tell me more about the “wings”:

It is now broadly recognized that Joe Biden doesn’t like Section 230 and has repeatedly shown he doesn’t understand what it does…[now] his…top tech policy advisor, Bruce Reed, along with Common Sense Media’s Jim Steyer, have published a bizarre and misleading “but think of the children!” attack on Section 230 that misunderstands the law, misunderstands how it impacts kids, and…suggests incredibly dangerous changes to Section 230..[among] its myriad problems…is…citing FOSTA as a “good example” of how to amend Section 230…

Rotting Fruit (#1015)

Why are men with so much to lose so goddamned stupid about sex?

[Paul Alexander,] the owner of a charter-jet company…has been charged with sex trafficking after [NYPD cops claim he]…offer[ed them] sex with a 12-year-old girl and 14-year-old girl for $300…In March, an underage girl went to the police and told them Alexander…had been…pimping her out…An undercover cop posing as a customer met with Alexander—who showed him nude photos of the girls, charged him $300 for sex with them, and suggested he ply them with drugs and pot so they would be more cooperative…Alexander…has…a 1996 sexual assault conviction…and in 2003 he was convicted of possession of…child [porn]…

Dangerous Speech (#1092)

Backpage case judge claims it’s OK her husband has publicly attacked Backpage because the Backpage case “isn’t about Backpage”.  Seriously.

…the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals…[has] ordered federal prosecutors to respond to the defense’s request for a “writ of mandamus,” which would order U.S. District Court Judge Susan Brnovich to remove herself from the case.  The order…[comes only days after] a hearing in…[which] Judge Susan Brnovich claimed that inflammatory comments made by her husband, Attorney General Mark Brnovich, about Backpage.com’s alleged guilt in facilitating illegal sex work, were unimportant and did not warrant her recusal.  “This case is not about Backpage,” she contended at one point…an assertion that might come as a surprise for anyone familiar with the federal government’s superseding indictment in the case, which mentions Backpage more than 600 times[it also] seem[s] a startling statement given that the prosecution’s theory of the case from jump has been one of vicarious liability, in which the government seeks to hold Lacey and Larkin responsible for alleged illicit acts supposedly connected to 50 ads cited in the indictment — ads never seen by Lacey and Larkin and posted by persons unknown to them, among the millions that once existed on the site…

The Next Target

Prohibitionists care only about “messages”, not facts:

Pornhub has released…statements about…Visa and Mastercard [announcing] their cards would no longer be accepted on the platform, following…Nicholas Kristof[‘s spurious]…allegations against the company…”These actions…come just two days after Pornhub…[banned] unverified users…from uploading content — a policy no other platform has put in place, including Facebook…Any assertion that we allow CSAM is irresponsible and flagrantly untrue…Pornhub’s safeguards and technologies have proven effective:  while…Facebook reported that it removed 84,100,000 incidents of CSAM over two and a half years, Instagram reported that it removed 4,452,000 incidents…over one and a half years, and Twitter reported that it suspended 1,466,398 unique accounts for CSAM over two years, the Internet Watch Foundation…reported [only] 118 incidents of CSAM on Pornhub in a three year period”…

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Though I’ve been a Trekkie since childhood, I had never seen all of Deep Space Nine until recently.  The reason is simple: the series premiered in January 1993 and was midway through its third season when my first husband left me without warning.  My life was thrown into turmoil and it took two years for me to get it straight again, during which time money was much too tight for the relative extravagance of cable TV.  So though I saw all of the first two seasons, half of the third, and occasional episodes (at friends’ houses or via borrowed videocassettes) of the fourth and fifth seasons, I got rather lost due to the complex story arcs and decided not to see any more individual episodes until I could rewatch the whole show from the beginning.  I gave Grace the complete series on DVD for Christmas about a decade ago, but still never got around to viewing it until this year, after I moved to Sunset as my primary residence.  As I watched, I soon found that I agree with many reviewers’ opinion that the series is the best of all the Star Trek sequel series; though it was a direct spinoff of The Next Generation I find it very much superior to its parent, not only because of its greater consistency, better writing, and relief from the pressure of being THE Star Trek show of its decade, but also because it discarded the moral oversimplification which (unfortunately) permeates most of The Next Generation in favor of a universe full of greys in which few characters were either moral paragons or cardboard villains.

This realistic portrayal of the ethical tangle that is real life was on full display in a 6th-season episode we watched a couple of weeks ago, “Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night“.  In it, Major Kira Nerys discovers that her mother, whom she believed to have died in a concentration camp during her planet’s half-century-long occupation by the militaristic Cardassians, actually survived for seven years after the very young Nerys had last seen her…as a “comfort woman” claimed by the Cardassian governor, Gul Dukat.  At first, Kira (who started the series as a morally rigid, almost puritanical character, and only slowly grew to accept that real life rarely resembles such abstractions) refuses to believe that her sainted mother could have been guilty of collaboration horizontale, then as she explores the truth (with the help of a mysterious alien device which grants her visions of the past), she instead becomes terribly angry with her mother for literally sleeping with the enemy.  But as the vision goes on, she realizes that her mother’s position as the governor’s mistress not only resulted in better living conditions for herself, but also for her husband and children, who might otherwise have died in a labor camp.  By the end of the episode she has not forgiven her mother, but has come to accept that she did what she thought best for her family, just as Nerys herself had to make hard choices (including becoming a terrorist) in her own struggle to survive the occupation.

The episode is not a highly rated one; perhaps the topic is too uncomfortable for many viewers, especially in these neo-Victorian times.  But as a sex worker and hard-nosed pragmatist, I deeply appreciated the show’s willingness to recognize that sex work, even under duress, can almost never be fit into a pat narrative of villain and victim, and its repeated depiction (in this episode and many others) of war as a filthy business from which nobody emerges entirely clean.

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If there was a real problem we would know.  –  Maxime Maes

Japanese Prostitution (#410)

The Japanese get very touchy when anyone memorializes their victims:

Because of the “considerable strain on German-Japanese relations”, the Department of Roads and Green Space Management in…Berlin demanded the removal of a sculpture called “Peace Statue” by October 14th.  The bronze statue, which symbolizes a Korean [“comfort woman”] in World War II, was erected on September 28 by [a private] organization [named] Korea Verband…on a street corner in the Moabit district…

The Lesser of Two Evils (#722) 

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

The Archdiocese of New Orleans has removed and burned the altar…of Sts. Peter and Paul church in Pearl River after a priest was caught filming sex acts on the altar with two women.  Archbishop Gregory Aymond…called Rev. Travis Clark’s acts “demonic…I am infuriated by his actions…and…will consecrate a new altar”…Clark was arrested for obscenity, along with the two women involved, because their sex acts were…visible [to a trespassing parishioner who peered into the window]

Men’s fantasies get more extreme when they’re deprived of sex.  It really is that simple, but people prefer to imagine otherwise.

Pyrrhic Victory (#898)

All too often, evil arrives cloaked in the mantle of expediency:

…Clear’s vision for its fingerprint, iris-scanning, and facial recognition business goes beyond kiosks in airports or sports areas — it wants to be a holistic identity verification platform, covering more intimate moments in our everyday lives.  The company has already amassed troves of personal data on its customers, especially for Clear customers who use the service to buy concessions and enter sports stadiums…in return for cutting to the front of the line unimpeded, customers handing over vast swaths of biometric and travel data…When the company verifies a person’s identity, whether that be to enter an airport, a stadium, or buy a beer at a concession stand, Clear is affirming that they are who they say they are.  Right now, this verification process means priority access to an airport or stadium security [theater] line as a trusted Clear member.  But in the future…Clear plans to be the company that verifies your identity every time you would have swiped a credit card, shown your ID at a door, or handed over a health insurance card…

Guinea Pigs (#968) 

In case you had forgotten that banks are actively looking for whores to rat out to the pigs:

…a study of hundreds of professionals working in anti-money laundering, risk and fraud roles across financial, business, banking and insurance industries reveals shocking gaps in their capabilities.  More than 80 per cent [fantasize] that money laundering is currently happening in their customers’ transactions but two in five aren’t confident they can [tell dirty whore money from righteous people’s money]…more than one in 10 financial institutions still don’t have an a[pproved set of tricks for stealing clients’ money under color of law]…despite it being a legal requirement.  Even if they do, just one in five in-house experts are confident they can [detect the sex rays from whore money]…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#982)

There has literally never been a case of a kid getting drugged candy in his trick-or-treat bag:

A man was arrested…after police [stopped his car on an invented pretext, got permission from a dog to rip his car apart, then] found hundreds of pounds of THC-infused candy during [their rooting]…

It’s interesting that neither cop nor yellow journalist tried to use this as an excuse to spread Halloween hysteria; maybe they’re waking up to the fact that nobody is going to give expensive cannabis edibles (which can cost $2 to $3 or more per piece) to strangers’ brats for free.

To Molest and Rape (#1066)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

…on September 3, 2019…a 14-year-old girl was visiting [Missouri cop Joshua] Skaggs and his wife…[when] she was awoken around 5 a.m. by Skaggs touching her bare chest…her shirt had been pulled over her bra, and the light from Skagg’s cell phone had been turned on…possibl[y to]…take…a photo of her…[in another assault, a]…13-year-old was visiting Skaggs’ home in July of 2019…she woke up…[to find him] lifting the waistband to her pants in an attempt to get inside them.  Both girls…were terrified of telling anyone because Skaggs was a cop and he would try to hurt them…Skaggs denied one incident and [claimed] the [other was somehow] an accident…he…should have done a minimum of 5 years for each of the charges…[but the judge gave him a mere] 60 days in jail…

Social Distancing (#1080)

Once in a while, whores win a small victory:

The Council of State has overturned a ban on street prostitution [imposed o]n Brussels-City…by mayor Philippe Close…[because] a municipality does not have the authority to order such a ban, which can only be done by a regional or federal authority.  The Council of State is the legal body which deals with cases questioning the legality of the decisions of all levels of government.  Normally, governments also submit their legislative proposals for scrutiny before they become law…[but] Close [rushed the proclamation through using the excuse]…of…coronavirus…

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Domestic violence prosecutions have little benefit to women and in fact can harm them.  –  Aya Gruber

Where Are the Protests? 

When people are really enslaved, the situation isn’t at all ambiguous:

…13 [Samoan] victims…were [enslav]ed…their passports were taken from them.  They were kept on a property surrounded by a high wire fence and could only leave or communicate with their family with permission.  If they broke the rules, they were assaulted, sometimes so badly that it resulted in scars.  When one teenage victim escaped, she was brought back in a car with her hands and wrists tied…Most worked long hours picking fruits from orchards, but they didn’t receive the money they had earned.  Instead, it was given to the man who had…lured them to New Zealand: a Samoan chief named Joseph Auga Matamata…[who h]as [been] sentenced to 11 years in jail for…human trafficking and…dealing in slaves…He was also ordered to pay 183,000 New Zealand dollars ($122,000) in reparations to his 13 victims to partly compensate them for the estimated 300,000 New Zealand dollars ($200,000) his family gained from his criminal acts…

Despite the clear descriptions of these people’s treatment in the article, CNN linked it to a video calling ordinary sex work “human trafficking in the US”.

Greeks Bearing Gifts

Amateurs are finally noticing that feminists have been in bed with the pigs for decades:

The notion that victims have a responsibility to [the state to conspire with] prosecut[ors against] their abusers is deeply entrenched in the legal system’s approach to domestic violence…feminists and [other] tough-on-crime types…[support] the arrest and jailing of domestic violence survivors…if they are deemed an obstacle to prosecution…increasingly, [reasonable people] are [pointing out] that police and prosecutors…don’t help in domestic violence situations and, instead, often hurt…studies…show survivors of domestic violence are less likely to report abuse when they think that will lead to an arrest and…police themselves are often the perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence, rendering them [useless] as a source of help…But [thanks to the “Violence Against Women Act” and similar laws]…arrest is…often mandatory…Aya Gruber…author of a recent book about the intersection of policing and feminism, says these policies ignore the fact that victims may be making a rational choice when they decline to testify against their abusers…By the 21st century, an increasing number of domestic violence arrests were of women, many of whom were victims themselves…around the same time, prosecutors and judges began to use [violence]…to force victims to testify against their will.  At least one [authoritarian] even suggested using guardianship laws to force women to comply with criminal prosecutions because such women lacked “independent judgment,” adding “a battered woman is so controlled that she has lost her autonomy”…

Traffic Circle

Debunkings of “sex trafficking” mythology are now becoming common:

All Shapes and Sizes (#834)

Why illustrate this at all if you’re just going to pixellate the images?

A British man whose penis fell off due to a severe blood infection had a new one built…on his arm…Malcolm MacDonald…suffered a horrific infection in his perineum that turned his fingers, toes and [penis] black…but his testicles remained intact…Professor David Ralph of London’s University College Hospital…said he could perform a…graft procedure…using a skin flap on the left arm of the right-handed man.  They created a urethra and installed two tubes inflated with a hand pump, allowing him to achieve an erection.  The shaft was then removed from his forearm, leaving the base, allowing it to form naturally as skin and tissue.  He is now waiting for it to be finally transferred to its proper location…

A Broker in Pillage (#1007)

Burying government in lawsuits is the only way to slow its depredations:

…[government] agents s[tole] more than $2 billion in cash from travelers in U.S. airports between 2000 and 2016, according to a new report by the Institute for Justicein…[one] case…Rustem Kazazi, a U.S. citizen who tried in 2018 to get on a plane to return to his native Albania…[was robbed of] $58,000 in cash…he was taking to repair a house he owned and possibly to buy another…by CBP agents…Then there’s the case of Anthonia Nwaorie, a Houston woman who had $41,000 in cash…earmarked for a children’s hospital in Nigeria [stolen from her]…there were no arrests made in more than two-thirds of all the cases…CBP isn’t the only agency seizing cash at airports.  Earlier this year, the…DEA…[was forced to] return…more than $82,000…it [had stolen] from an elderly Pittsburgh man and his daughter after a federal class-action lawsuit was filed on their behalf by the Institute for Justice…A 2017 report…found that the DEA [had stolen] more than $4 billion in cash…over the previous decade, but $3.2 billion…w[as] never connected to any criminal charges.  The majority of seizures occurred in airports, train stations, and bus terminals…

Top Cop (#1026)

This psychopath is still far too close to power for comfort:

Kamala Harris…is a schemer on the order of Lady Macbeth and Frank Underwood combined.  The only thought more horrific than Harris being one blood clot away from the Oval Office is of her replacing Bill Barr as U.S. Attorney General…Harris’ record as a prosecutor, both as San Francisco’s District Attorney and as California’s Attorney General, was marked by the misuse of her authority for political ends, and a sweeping contempt for the accused, for the U.S. Constitution and for the cause of justice.  A full exploration of Harris’ prosecutorial misdeeds would require a volume, if not volumes.  They run the gamut, from her sham investigation of widespread law enforcement misconduct in Orange County, to the family separations that resulted from her crackdown on the parents of truant kids, to her defense of the death penalty and laughter at the idea of marijuana legalization, to her decision not to go after Steve Mnuchin’s OneWest Bank for alleged misconduct regarding foreclosures, to a sweet plea deal for a fellow Democratic pol accused of assaulting women…Not only is Kamala a “cop”…she’s a bad cop, one who should not be granted the kind of national power to which she aspires…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1061)

Blaming bad behavior on an imaginary “addiction” is the opposite of accepting responsibility:

A porn-addicted probation officer in Florida is facing charges after he was caught using his cellphone to record video beneath a woman’s dress at Walmart…Darius Brantley…was caught on surveillance camera…approaching a woman twice while using his phone to take video footage beneath her dress…The woman then called police after Brantley left the Walmart and a[n employee]…jotted down his license [plate number]…Brantley…admitted to recording the woman [but blamed an imaginary]…pornography addiction…

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Being freaked out by a van is like being freaked out by a pigeon.
–  Lenore Skenazy

Torture Chamber 

Your government refers to this as “correction”:

More than two dozen Maryland [screws]…are being indicted for [beating the hell out of prisoners]…All 25 of the [perpetrators] are part of a special…[gang of screws] which is brought in to [beat the hell out of prisoners.  Other]…charges include…participation in a criminal gang [other than the official one organized by the state]…All 25…have been…suspended without pay…

Maryland apparently doesn’t like it when a gang of thugs specifically organized to beat up prisoners organize themselves in a different way to…beat prisoners up in a different way?

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality (#626)

The rescue industry loves its sexual fantasies about Cambodian brothels; the truth is more mundane:

Ahya…left Prey Veng for Phnom Penh five years ago to work in a garment factory after divorcing her “lazy and drunkard” husband, leaving her two children and one orphaned niece under the care of her mother.  However, she could not support her family on her salary as a factory worker.  Then, some friends introduced her to her current job in a…massage parlour…providing “what men want”…“People can criticise us, calling what we are doing a deviation in society…But, those people do not feed me and my family”…

To Molest and Rape

Even being dead can’t protect you from sexually-aggressive cops:

An LAPD [cop] has been [rewarded with a paid vacation] after footage captured by a body-worn camera [clear]ly showed him [grop]ing a deceased woman’s breasts…About a month ago…[unelected] union [gangsters who are allowed to control public policy reluctantly agreed to] a protocol in which the LAPD could randomly check video footage from body-worn cameras…[after] a body was found inside of a residence…[two pigs were sent to root around.  While] one…left to retrieve paperwork from [their pigmobile] the other…turned off his bodycam and then [felt up the cadaver.  But even though]…the [creepy cop] deactivated his camera, a two-minute buffer on the device captured [his disgusting behavior and] the…camera…was [later reviewed]…at random…

Interesting that they’re more willing to act when a cop molests a corpse than when he does the same to a living woman.  I’m sure he’ll claim at the hearing that she came onto him.

Property of the State (#756) 

Evelyn Hernández’ nightmare still isn’t over:

…El Salvador…criminalizes women living in poverty when they have pregnancy- or birth-related complications…Since 2000, at least 129 women have been imprisoned…abortion is totally banned, even when the woman’s life is at risk.  Some of these women have been charged with aggravated homicide and sentenced to as many as 40 years…Many of those women languished in prison…until 2014, when activists requested a presidential pardon for 17 of them and launched a global campaign to demand their release.  But…[in response] the Salvadoran state has…escalated…its criminalization of these women…For Hernández, the nightmare began in 2016, when she delivered a [stillborn] baby…she didn’t [even] know she was expecting…she hemorrhaged severely…and…was hospitalized for six days.  She was accused of aggravated homicide and…in July 2017…was sentenced to 30 years in prison…In December 2018…her [lawyers got her] sentence…annulled, and the judge called for a retrial…she returned to court [last] August for the retrial, [in] which…[she] was [found] innocent…But 18 days later, the attorney general’s office…[announced] it would appeal the judge’s decision, opening the possibility of a third trial…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#855) 

Will “PTSD” replace the thoroughly-debunked “sex addiction” as an excuse for bad behavior?

A Perth [cop] who [claims he] was suffering from undiagnosed post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of his job has been jailed for almost two years for possessing images and videos of “explicit and depraved” sexual abuse of [toddlers]…David Mark Dodson…was working as a detective…when Canadian authorities discovered he had used social media to send an image…of a girl, aged between two and four, being raped.  Australian [cops] then raided his home and found almost 350 images and videos of…girls as young as two being abused by adults…Dodson…[claims becoming a sexual predator] was “a direct result of his occupation”…

Well, I can’t deny that being a cop increases sexual predation, even if it doesn’t actually cause it.

Part of the Picture (#859)

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen the moronic claim that pictures magically “rewire” the brain:

Rachel Anne Barr, a [prohibitionist, pretends]…studies show people who regularly watch adult entertainment often develop damage to the prefrontal cortex…Barr [claims] “adult entertainment may revert our brain wiring to a more juvenile state…porn appears to be hijacking our neural wiring with dire consequences”…when a person uses cocaine, their brains give off a rush of dopamine, the “feel-good” hormone…

Yep, despite the sensational language this is just the debunked “dopamine theory”.  Again.  For those unfamiliar with the topic, saying “X produces a rush of dopamine” is the neuroscience equivalent of saying “X is pleasant”.  It means nothing more than that; it isn’t some scary weird thing.

The Widening Gyre (#961)

The more cops are forced to deny “sex trafficking” scary tales, the harder it will be for them to spread such tales themselves:

…[viral scarelore] claims that sex traffickers are putting zip ties on cars to make it easier to target victims.  But police say it just isn’t true.  [Scare stories] have popped up on TikTokFacebook and  Twitter over the last year, imploring women not to fiddle with zip ties they’ve found on their cars…Officials in Michigan…liken[ed] the claims to dangerous myth…[while simultaneously pretending that their own equally idiotic  claims about] sex traffickers [pulling screaming childen through the internet are true]…Celia Williamson, [a trafficking fetishist]…at the University of Toledo [added her own weird sexual fantasies about “pimps” and “grooming”]…In 2017, LaFourche Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana debunked a rumor that human traffickers were placing white stickers on windshields to mark future targets…but…reporte[rs still feel compelled to quote evidence-free claims about tens of thousands of]…victims trafficked in the United States every year…

What makes these especially funny is that there has never been a single case of a woman or child abducted by “sex traffickers” from any public place, much less a crowded shopping mall.  But THIS SEX TRAFFICKING IS OUT OF CONTROL!

Disaster (#975)

A timid but possibly important challenge to FOSTA from inside Congress:

[Politician] Ro Khanna…is drafting legislation that would…call on the National Institutes of Health to study the impact of [FOSTA, which]…enacts steep penalties on any digital actor that “facilitates”…prostitution…Khanna [is] one of just 25 House members and two senators who voted against the legislation.  Sex workers, civil liberties advocates, and many others warned in advance about the dangers posed by [this awful law]…but they were overshadowed by well-funded lobbyists, pandering politicians, and a media more interested in easy narratives…than listening to those most impacted by the legislation.  Ideally, FOSTA would be repealed entirely.  But getting enough votes for repeal right now would be unlikely, so Khanna’s approach might be the current only way forward for reform…

You Were Warned (#976)

These predatory lawsuits won’t stop until FOSTA is repealed:

A[n ambulance-chaser is claiming her client] was sex-trafficked as a result of a…[magical] email sent via Mailchimp, an email marketing platform, [and] is suing the company…in Georgia [in an attempt to destroy Section 230]…Annie McAdams…claim[s] Mailchimp…worked with [Backpage] copycat site YesBackpage.com [in some way that was somehow fundamentally different from other email services]…McAdams is taking aim at Mailchimp with the hope [of a big payout]…she [also vomited out disgusting filth about] “send[ing] a message”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#979)

You know how wannabe “civil liberties advocates” keep bleating that the main problem with facial recognition systems are that they’re less acurate on dark-skinned people?  Yeah, about that:

…AnyVision, an Israeli facial recognition tech company funded by Microsoft, has been wielding its software to help enforce Israel’s military occupation, using the occupied West Bank to field-test technology it plans to export around the world…Microsoft[‘s]…funding…AnyVision…was a shockingly unethical decision by a company attempting to establish itself as a “moral leader” in the tech industry…[last year] Microsoft publicly committed to six principles to guide its facial recognition work.  One of these principles is a commitment to [making surveillance] lawful…for [fascist governments]…Following the [backlash]…Microsoft announced it would end its relationship with AnyVision if an independent audit finds that AnyVision violates any of Microsoft’s [so-called] principles…[but] on November 15, Microsoft announced that [surveillance fan] Eric Holder will lead the independent audit

Held Together With Lies (#993)

While fascist organs like Time parrot racist government propaganda about how brown people making considered decisions in search of a better life are actually passive, childlike “slaves” in need of deportation “repatriation”, media actually owned and run by brown people are publishing articles like this:

Recent years have seen a huge increase in public, political and media attention…[to] “modern slavery“…understood as analogous to terms like “human trafficking”…the number of institutions involved in [profiting from]…this…has mushroomed, from a handful in the early 1990s to many hundreds todayMillions of dollars have been spent annually…while media outlets have provided…sensationalist…coverage…”Modern slavery”, as a concept, is a recent Euro-American invention.  It sprang up in the 1990s among [racist, prohibitionist] NGOs which found it to be an effective and attractive tool for spreading their [propaganda] and raising funds.  A key figure in this story is Kevin Bales, who established the widely critiqued Global Slavery Index…and…the [very] idea of modern slavery in the public consciousness…[this paradigm] constructs certain non-Western phenomena as problematic (such as the survival work done by poor children in much of the Global South) while excluding from concern Western phenomena (such as migrant detention centres) which are…even more troublesome…[most] poor workers labelled as modern slaves or victims of trafficking [and subjected to]…force[d “rescue”]…underst[an]d themselves as having consented to their work because doing so represented the best of their very limited options.  Rescue was therefore undesired and even abusive

The Monsters Are Due (#994) 

One can hardly blame the hoi-polloi for “sex trafficking” hysteria when “authorities” are vomiting up this kind of idiocy:

White van hysteria has hit a new high, with Baltimore Mayor Jack Young warning his citizens not to even park near a white van [because] people in…these vehicles are coming to enslave young women, force them into prostitution, murder them, and sell their body parts…When asked for the source of his information by the skeptical local reporter Vanessa Herring, he said: “It’s all over Facebook”…This incredibly thorough CNN report tracked down viral postings of the white van story and seems to have found the origin…a November 13 post by a Baltimore resident claimed she had seen two men in a white van outside a gas station who would not stop staring at her…the woman even wrote that she thought other people on social media were exaggerating when they posted about their terrifying white van encounters, but now that she had this terrifying (non) encounter of her own, she was a believer…stranger abductions are incredibly rare.  The number of minors (under age 18) kidnapped and killed by a stranger is about nine a year, in a country of about 65 million minors…David Finkelhor, head of the Crimes Against Children Resource Center…[has] heard of no cases of a child being snatched from a parent in a public place and sex-trafficked.  Not one…

The Cop Myth (#995)

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

[Megan Montgomery was] found shot to death in…a…parking lot…[months after] obtain[ing] a restraining order against her [estranged] husband, a [typical and representative cop named] Jason Bragg McIntosh…[who] resigned from the Hoover [Alabama] Police Department…[after he shot her in the arm]…on Feb. 23…Montgomery filed for divorce in May…[after which] McIntosh was [arrested] again [for attacking her]

Since the story seems deliberately designed to be confusing, I’ll express it competently: McIntosh & Montgomery were married in February of ’18.  They fought often and separated after he shot her in the arm during an argument in February of this year.  She took out a restraining order in March, then in May she filed for divorce and he was arrested for beating her up.  Then he finally murdered her in a parking lot on December 1st.

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