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Posts Tagged ‘The Mote and the Beam’

Give people a load of propaganda about…sex trafficking and voila—awareness has been raised!  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Above the Law

Why does nobody ever recognize the likely outcome of giving guys in hyper-masculine professions power over teenage girls?

…a New York Times investigation…has found that the [Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps] program has repeatedly become a place where retired military officers prey on their teenage students.  In the past five years…at least 33 JROTC instructors have been criminally charged with sexual misconduct involving students, far higher than the rate of civilian high school teachers…Victims have reported sexual assaults in classrooms and supply closets, during field trips or on late-night rides home, sometimes committed after instructors plied students with alcohol or drugs.  One [victim] said her instructor told her that sexual submission was expected of women in the military.  A[nother]…said her JROTC instructor warned that he had the skills to kill her without a trace if she told anyone about their sexual encounters…[Another] said she was forced to kneel at her instructor’s bedside, blindfolded, with a gun to her head…

To Molest and Rape

Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever:

A federal appeals court in Texas has sent a case back down to a lower court after deciding that a…sheriff’s deputy who…forced a woman to expose her genitals to him while he masturbated isn’t entitled to a qualified immunity defense…On Sept. 18, 2018, [Melissa] Tyson’s husband [foolishly] called the Sheriff’s Department of Sabine County, Texas, to request a welfare check on his wife…while [he] was out of town.  [David] Boyd called Melissa Tyson that night…telling her…that he handled welfare checks because he was a preacher, although…[his] “ministerial credentials had actually been revoked eleven years prior because”…[he] had…been sued by church members for [repeat]ed sexual misconduct…

The Mote and the Beam (#900)

I suppose it could have been much worse:

…Overall, the 2022 version of the human trafficking bill is shorter than many earlier iterations and lower on the sort of carceral solutions and surveillance initiatives that defined them…at least isn’t simply throwing more money at cops for prostitution stings.  And a section pressuring hotels to [indoctrinate] staff on spotting human trafficking (an endeavor without a great track record) was removed…But there are…repeated references to “trafficking transmitted through technology”…[censorious asshats and their] lawyers have been trying to broaden the scope of sex trafficking laws to cover not just underage or forced prostitution but also the transmission of certain pornographic images by commercial tech platforms…it will…likely mean going after tech platforms in a way that jeopardizes a wide variety of free speech related to sex…

Guinea Pigs (#1153) 

Stalwart friend of whores Mark Draughn picks apart claims that computers can detect “sex trafficking” in ordinary escort ads:

…I’ve obtained a copy of [a]…research paper…[in which researchers] “used machine learning and custom web crawlers to collect and analyze a data set of online ads for escort and sex work services”…you need sex trafficking ads to train an ML system to recognize sex trafficking ads.  I suppose it’s possible in theory: They could have searched police human trafficking case files to find instances where the victims were the subject of online sex ads and then used those ads for training and testing the ML model against ads tied to actual sex trafficking.  The problem…is that actual sex trafficking cases are…too rare to build up a large enough corpus of online ads to train an ML classifier.  So where did the researchers find those ads?  How did they know the ads were for human trafficking victims?  The short answer is that they didn’t.  Instead, they used a manual classification system to deem some of the ads as possibly related to sex trafficking…[using] a list of trafficking indicators from [typical prohibitionist propaganda]…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1255)

Cops want their hysteria to trump reality:

[Flint, Michigan cop] Forrest Bradley…was one of two deputies who [had panic attacks]…after previously [subduing] a…[prisoner] who had overdosed from fentanyl-laced heroin…[the other hysteric was named] Justin Hall…[neither described any of] the [known] effects of a fentanyl overdose [but that didn’t stop local media from gullibly lapping up every word drooled by “authorities” about it]…

A Moral Cancer (#1256)

The claims of crypto-moralists are growing increasingly absurd:

People who consume more than 17 units of alcohol in a week – equal to about five large glasses of wine or eight pints of beer – were found to have “older” DNA…The study…[claims] that consuming alcohol in excess can wreak havoc on DNA by causing damage to telomeres — like protective caps at the ends of a chromosome — which could eventually lead to age-related diseases and the formation of cancer…

Cancer is probably inevitable for anyone who doesn’t die of something else first, but don’t tell that to puritans, who want people to believe they could live forever by simply eliminating every single pleasurable activity from their lives.  Of course, then there’d be little point to an extended lifespan, but one can’t have everything.

Micromanagement (#1258)

Any information you give to the State can and will be used against you:

New Jersey police…use…blood samples taken from babies to in[criminate their parents]…the practice came to light after a case in which [cops]…subpoenaed a…lab for a blood sample drawn from a child.  Police then performed DNA analysis on the…sample that [suppos]edly linked the child’s father to a crime committed more than 25 years ago…a…lawsuit…filed jointly by the [Office of the Public Defender] and the New Jersey Monitor, now seeks to compel the state…to disclose…the full extent of the practice.  All babies born in the state of New Jersey are required to have a blood sample drawn within 48 hours as part of a mandatory [disease] testing program…if police are able to…obtain the samples through subpoena, then…the…screening…is entering all babies…into a DNA database with no ability to opt out…

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It’s disheartening to see Twitter side with the police against researchers, journalists, and the public.  –  Emma Best

Pathologization

The abuses committed by the “therapeutic state” are rarely so blatant:

A 16-year-old boy [locked in] a Los Angeles County [cage stack] developed enlarged breasts after he was [forced to take] estrogen [against his will to make him docile]…a move that baffled doctors who said the [so-called] treatment defied medical logic…The teen…was [claimed to have “]oppositional defiant disorder[“, a label invented to medicalize teens’ natural resentment of being treated like children]…Medical records…show that the teen’s testosterone levels were “slightly high” when the doctor [assigned to control] him prescribed daily doses of estrogen…After taking approximately 13 daily doses of the hormone, the teen was diagnosed with gynecomastia…James McGough, a professor of clinical psychiatry at UCLA…[said]“You won’t find a reference anywhere that supports the use of estrogen for ODD”…The doctor who prescribed the estrogen, Danny Wang, [is being sued along with the county by the young man, who]…will require surgery to treat the [malformity]…Wang prescribed a daily regimen of 2 milligrams of estrogen…without the parents’ consent…

2 mg of estrogen is roughly 4x the typical amount taken for hormone replacement by post-menopausal women.

Lying Down With Dogs (#412)

What other country does this sound like?

In mid-June, Tunisian Islamic political party El-Karama launched an initiative to ban all forms of sex work in the country and penalise sex workers…[using the moronic excuse of] “the dignity of…woman”… “Political parties [used to] shun sex work issues. It’s a taboo subject,” says Souhaila Bensaid, founder of the Tunisian Association for Positive Prevention (ATP+) for sexual and reproductive health. But increased animosity against sex workers over the past decade has turned into “a moralistic crusade,” according to Bensaid, leaving women in increasingly precarious situations with little to no protection…

Censor Chic (#882)

Corporations are becoming the favored tool of censors around the world:

Twitter has banned the account of the collective that published almost 270 gigabytes of leaked documents from police departments all over the country…Emma Best, the founder of Distributed Denial of Secrets…said that Twitter had taken down the official account of the DDoSecrets collective, which is made of activists, journalists, and technologists…when a Twitter user now clicks on a link that leads to the DDoSecrets’ site, it’s redirected to a warning that labels it as “unsafe”…“it’s disheartening to see Twitter side with the police against researchers, journalists, and the public”…[said] Best…

Forward and Backward (#894)

A prohibitionist attempt to destroy the Leeds red light district has been defeated:

The University of Huddersfield…[was] tasked…with investigating how effective the [Leeds] Managed Approach (MA) was, amid [attempts by] some [politicians to]…abandon…[it] altogether…the review concluded: “The MA was found to be more effective at reducing the impact of problems associated with on-street sex working than any other approach or model.  There are currently no alternative models or approaches that promise to be more effective and which fit within existing UK law on sex working”…[unfortunately NIMBY] residents [have] stag[ed] regular protests…[using the usual hackneyed claims of] littering and soliciting creeping into residential areas

The Cop Myth (#1004)

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

[A] Dover [New Hampshire cop named Ronald Letendre beat his wife] Sarah [so severely he broke four of her ribs, then had her arrested] and charged her with domestic violence [on him]…the…husband…is a[lso]…a…former MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter…[since] the incident…The…police are…con[tinuing to harass]…Sarah…stopp[ing] her vehicle [and trying to brutalize and re-arrest her on bullshit charges]…Fortunately [s]he…was [able to escape] and…ha[s] not yet [been tracked down by]…police…

The Mote and the Beam (#1016)

Hawley has a long history of spouting self-aggrandizing lies about sex workers:

When Missouri police raided several Springfield massage parlors in 2017, as…Josh Hawley…tells it, it was a righteous rescue mission led by a promising young attorney general who would later go on to become a rising Republican star in the U.S. Senate…While this tale nicely reinforces Hawley’s long-standing preoccupations with public morality  and Chinese hegemonythe evidence doesn’t back up his version of events.  The real story is one about police and prosecutor overreach at the expense of potentially vulnerable immigrants, followed by grandstanding and falsehoods from a senator intent on rewriting his own history.  Three years after the initial raids, Missouri has [only] managed to elicit six guilty pleas to misdemeanor offenses against the state’s massage licensing law…Hawley’s…raids…[were] largely based on…the fact that they all advertised on the now-seized classified ad site Backpage

Safe Position (#1042)

Under the current zeitgeist, Swedish model pushers are being increasingly seen as the copsuckers they are:

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz [lied during] her campaign [by] promis[ing] to end the criminalization of sex work…[in reality she is pursuing a Swedish criminalization strategy]…Amnesty International found in a study published in 2016, that [this] Model violate[s] the rights of sex workers by creating an atmosphere of fear built upon surveillance, evictions, and deportations…

Quiet Genocide (#1054)

Are Western media finally going to stop tiptoeing around calling this what it is?

Two recent disturbing events may finally awaken the world to the scale and horror of the atrocities being committed against the Uighurs…One is an authoritative report documenting the systematic sterilization of Uighur women.  The other was the seizure by U.S. Customs…of 13 tons of products made from human hair…forcibly removed from Uighurs imprisoned in concentration camps.  Both…evoke chilling parallels to past atrocities elsewhere, forced sterilization of minorities, disabled, and Indigenous people, and the image of the glass display of mountains of hair preserved at Auschwitz.  The Genocide Convention, to which China is a signatory, defines genocide as specific acts against members of a group with the intent to destroy that group in whole or in part.  These acts  include (a) killing; (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm; (c) deliberately inflicting conditions of life to bring about the group’s physical destruction; (d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and (e) forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.  Any one of these…constitutes genocide.  The overwhelming evidence [is that] Chin[a’s]…campaign [against]…the Uighur people…meets [all] of the[m]…Over a million…Uighurs are…subjected to electrocution, waterboarding, repeated beatingsstress positions, and injections of unknown substances…The repeated government orders to “break their lineage, break their roots, break their connections, and break their origins”…demonstrate a clear intent to eradicate the Uighur people as a whole…

Disqualified

Twitter accidentally admitted what everyone already knew:

[Last week]s hack of a large number of prominent Twitter accounts — which led to the company’s disabling of…verified…accounts for part of the day — also resulted in the unexpected confirmation of the practice known by users as “shadowbanning,” and by Twitter as “blacklisting”…the secret re-categorization of certain Twitter accounts, without the knowledge of the affected user or their followers, so that they do not show up in searches, predictive auto-complete fields or trending topics.  Even though…companies like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have in the past denied knowing what “shadowbanning” meant, large numbers of sex workers…are verifiably victims of this…practice…a…Motherboard article…[showed] a screencapture from Twitter’s back-end reveal[ing] some accounts labeled under “Trends Blacklist” and “Search Blacklist”…[reporter Samantha] Cole explained…“A Twitter spokesperson told Motherboard on the phone that these blacklists are the same ones it explained in 2018 (though it didn’t use the term ‘blacklist’ at the time and has not used that word publicly)”…

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“Decriminalise Sex Work” is not…an ideological argument any more than “Black Lives Matter”.  –  Empower

Torture Chamber 

Even journalists reporting on these abuses insist on referring to them as “correction”:

A [human being locked in a cage by] Alabama [“authorities”] died weeks after he was [savage]ly beaten by a[nother prisoner], beaten again and hog-tied by [screws], and then denied treatment by a nurse…a secret Alabama [government]…report contains shocking details about the death of Billy Smith, including apparent efforts to conceal the timeline of events and obscure the roles that [subhuman monsters euphemized with the Orwellian term] correctional employees played in his fatal ordeal.  Smith…was found dazed and injured on the floor of a bathroom…in November 2017 after another man…punched him in the head…[screws] then beat Smith, hog-tied him, and left him strapped to a gurney [where he]…lay untreated for at least an hour…bleeding heavily from his nose and pleading for help.  [Screws eventually] took him to a nearby prison medical facility, where a [so-called] nurse [shouted “stop faking!” at him and left him to die.  Hours later he slipped into a coma]…and…never woke up again.  He died 26 days later from blunt force head trauma…

A Moral Cancer (#618) 

When government loses one excuse for violently intruding on private lives, it will invent another one:

Suffolk County [New York] is proposing a law that would [ban smoking] in apartment complexes, condominiums, and multi-family dwellings…[because politician, physician and violent busybody] William Spencer…[fantasizes that] smoke can permeate through…walls, electrical lines, [and] plumbing…[politician] Sam Gonzalez is sponsoring the bill…“When I get the push-back from individuals that say, ‘No, you can’t stop me from smoking,’ I say ‘[Sure I can, by sending violent thugs to spy on you, smash down your door, brutalize your family and murder your dog]’” Gonzalez said…

To Molest and Rape

Just another typical and representative cop predating on vulnerable women:

A suburban New York [cop] is behind bars after being charged with repeatedly [raping] a woman while supposedly investigating a theft.  Peekskill [cop] Michael Agovino [i]s being held…on charges including sexual abuse and stalking…[after] the woman secretly recorded Agovino demanding sex…in January…

Tyranny By Consensus (#768) 

Why does California keep trying to destroy or drive out a lucrative industry?

The Adult Performers Actors Guild (APAG) has called for the resignation of the board of their own “mother union,” the International Entertainment Adult Union (IEAU) following the revelation…by…[sponsoring politician] Cristina Garcia that the controversial California bill AB2389…was “brought to them” by the IEAU…No prominent sex worker group…[was] contacted by Garcia before…the…bill proposal[, which] mandates…that…all adult performers, from porn actors and actresses, clip creators, webcam models, and dancers…pay to be licensed, complete a training program, and submit their fingerprints for criminal records checks…[it] requires…performers to keep their licenses with them at all times, and be subject to inspection at any time, including at their homes…the bill…[refers to stage names with the pejorative “]false name[” and includes “]human trafficking[” mumbo-jumbo and anti-migrant language]…The advisory committee who decides who gets licensed and who doesn’t would consist [mostly] of [outsiders, including prohibitionists]

Dutch Threat (#917)

The idea of just letting sex workers see clients in private, away from cops, bureaucrats and tourists, never occurs to the Dutch:

A special room rental complex for prostitutes or an “erotic centre” complete with prostitution, sex theatres and other facilities are the two most likely options on the table to reduce tourism in Amsterdam’s red light district and [enable] the s[urveillance] of sex workers…The [declared] aim is not to replace prostitution in the red light district, but open the door to alternative locations so sex workers can relocate if they feel more comfortable…Five different scenarios have been looked at and discussed with locals, sex workers and [cops]…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#939)

Thai sex worker activists are made of awesome:

…The Thai Prevention and Suppression of Prostitution Act (1996) is fast becoming an orphan law running counter to the moral code of modern Thai society…It has reached the point where police must instigate the transactions themselves in order to make any prostitution arrests at all…Despite significant expenditure and 60 years of criminalisation, the Thai law has spectacularly failed to end “prostitution” in Thailand.  Instead it has filled the pockets of corrupt authorities, who use it as a tool to extort money from the country’s sex workers.  It has become an insurmountable wall standing between sex workers and access to justice and human rights…

Whither Canada? (#947)

A small but important victory in Canada:

A[n Ontario] judge has ruled that sections of Canada’s prostitution law violates the constitution in a landmark case surrounding…Tiffany Harvey and Hamad Anwar who ran an escort agency in London.  The couple was charged in 2015 when police raided Fantasy World Escorts…several [bogus] human trafficking charges were dropped [but] they remained charged with advertising sexual services, making money from the sex trade, and procuring for the sex trade.  Those charges have now been stayed as Justice Thomas McKay ruled that they were unconstitutional, a decision that is likely to be appealed by the [Liberal government which while campaigning claimed it would repeal the law]…the…decision is in regards to this case only….[but] will serve as a test case for higher court cases…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1008) 

Remember this when cops start bloviating about how they use the technology to catch “dangerous criminals”:

On the morning of Nov. 8, 2019, Sacramento [cops] arrested a…woman…for carrying an open alcoholic beverage and for [using a stage name] when they [accosted] her…because she was walking…on…“a known prostitution stroll”…[pigs] used facial recognition to [root up her government name so they could charge her with]…false ID…The [cop shop] contracts with a company called DataWorks Plus to capture and store mugshots…and…since late 2017…has been able to run its growing trove of images through a facial recognition database that DataWorks created [specifically for pigs]…

Stupor Bowl (#1012)

The Miami Herald and local TV news mindlessly parrot copaganda, but not the alternative press:

…routine bust[s] of…147 people for…simple prostitution in the 12 days before the [Miami] Super Bowl…[were claimed by cops and prosecutors to be “connected”] with…sex-trafficking crimes…the [raids] swept up scores of [ordinary]…sex workers simply looking to make ends meet — and, once again, [demonstrates that]…the supposed boom in sex trafficking that occurs around the Super Bowl every year is, in fact, a myth

The Mote and the Beam (#1013)

More companies join the herd rushing toward self-lobotomization to please their masters in Washington:

…the U.S. Department of Justice held a “public workshop” on Section 230.  Predictably, it wound being up a greatest hits of the half-truths and paranoid bellyaching commonly employed against this important law…Section 230 has never prevented the Justice Department from enforcing federal criminal statutes against online violators…[yet] U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr opened the event…by saying that “criminals and bad actors now use technology to facilitate and expand the scope of their wrongdoing and the victimization of our fellow citizens”…But [in reality] the statute…provides the legal framework that allows companies to actually try to keep exploitative content offline…Lurking in [his] comments is the schizophrenic proposition girding a lot of Section 230 opposition: that getting rid of it would somehow permit freer speech online and keep online spaces “safer” and more palatable for everyone…

Crying for Nanny (#1013)

AirBnB is trying to shield itself from the fallout of the hotel industry’s eager copsucking:

Airbnb is expanding its commitment to [fascist collaboration with pigs and NGO]…profit[eers]…as the hospitality industry faces a series of lawsuits [result]ing [directly from its kowtowing to fanatics instead of fighting hysteria]…Airbnb is coming up with incentives to encourage hosts to [submit to indoctrination]…Airbnb [conspiracy with] Polaris…[is intended] to provide [the company] a [shield from the many nuisance lawsuits enabled by FOSTA.  Ambulance-chasers]…representing [soi-disant] human trafficking victims want…a single federal judge to oversee multiple lawsuits a[ttempt]ing t[o profit from hysteria over so-called]…human trafficking [before it implodes]…Attorneys asked a federal panel to consolidate at least 21 such lawsuits pending in 11 states into a single case in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, arguing that the lawsuits contain the same basic allegations…About 1,500 [opportunists] have retained lawyers in the various lawsuits and as many as 7,000 are expected over time, said Paul Pennock, an attorney with the New York-based firm Weitz & Luxenberg, which is leading the efforts to consolidate the lawsuits…

Theatrics (#1016)

This is at least the fifth iteration we’ve seen of this same inane stunt:

[“Sex trafficking” fetishists from Covenant House masturbated furiously while looking at BDSM porn they openly displayed on a Toronto street.  Through their animalistic gasps of pleasure they moaned that] women and girls are just products to be sold — or rented, rather, again and again…The campaign strives to [indoctrinate] young people…[with] sex trafficking myths a[bout] warning signs…and…teen victims…[in hopes they’ll ignore the truth about sex work they can learn from activists] through social media…

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Almost all of the messages we get about trafficking are slanted toward imaginary victims.  –  Sabra Boyd

Droit du Seigneur

Though pimps are not common, a disproportionate number of the ones who do exist are cops:

Two [cops in Trinidad & Tobago] have been arrested in connection with trafficking in persons and other gang-related activities [after they were caught pimping]…a Venezuelan [refugee]

Thought Experiment

The hysteria has grown so bad, what was just a fantasy scenario in 2011 is now literal:

Two children were a[bducted from the parents]…by police…[because their parents were] working in barber-shops in London…100 [cops, spooks and bureaucrats raided the shops]…arrest[ing an unspecified number of people using the euphemism]…safeguarding…The [cops’] victims [will now be processed for possible deportation]…

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now

…that a brave hero cop tried to murder a man for seeking consensual sex:

A Spotsylvania [Virginia cop attempted to murder] a man…during a prostitution sting…[when a crowd of disguised thugs forced their way] into the room [behind him he tried to escape so one of them shot him]…he underwent surgery and is listed in critical condition.  The [thug] who [attempted to murder] the man…was [rewarded with a paid vacation]…

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality (#626)

Usually, cops reserve their sick masturbatory fantasies about sex work for Asian women:

“[I like to fantasize about] girls getting waterboarded, eating their own feces, being brutally raped,” [admits] Detective Dave Davies [of] the Durham [Ontario vice gang]…”The [b]est [fantasies] are [about]…the young ones that have never had sex before and they lose their virginity to some John, or they end up getting pregnant.  Those are real scenarios that [I masturbate to]”…

To Molest and Rape

If only there was a concise term for “used his police position to exploit vulnerable women for sex”:

The Oregon State Bar has rejected the application of a [typical and representative cop] to become a lawyer after its investigators found that he had used his police position to exploit vulnerable women for sex…The Board of Bar Examiners determined that Neil Halttunen had not shown that he “is currently of good character” and…Halttunen, [in a display of the typical cop sense of entitlement that drove his career as a serial rapist]…has appealed the decision to the Oregon Supreme Court…Halttunen [w]as a…[serial rapist] who…used his badge to [rape]…at least nine women…court filing include accounts from [his victims, whom] Halttunen met through routine police calls [and then stalked in order to rape them]…Halttunen…[raped so many women] he “has consistently claimed difficulty remembering all of [them]”…[but it was] in excess of 30…

Theatrics (#761)

This is at least the fifth iteration we’ve seen of this same inane stunt:

Covenant House today launched a new campaign called Shoppable Girls…with a goal to [profit from hysteria]…about sex trafficking…The hope is Ontarians will be encouraged to [send prohibitionists money] and ultimately [support more state violence against people who have consensual sex]…[blah blah Shahada, blah blah] signs of luring and grooming…[blah blah] billion-dollar industry…[blah blah] social media..[blah blah] 13…[blah blah] $280,000 per year…[per] victim…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#848)

Never underestimate the human capacity to panic about things that don’t exist:

US [prohibitionists fantasize] that the availability of sex [dolls] with [voice chips] poses a growing psychological and moral threat to individuals and society.  They [claim that “moral threats” are somehow a subject]…scientists [can analyze]…Christine Hendren of Duke University [moaned that combination Baby Alive/Talky Tina dolls]…”create…rape”…[and vomited out violent authoritarian fantasies about how people troubled by paraphilias]…”should be treated by just stamping them out”…Dr Hendren was speaking…at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science…Kathleen Richardson…wants [sex doll] marketing outlawed…

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Kathleen Richardson and her one-pearlclutcher “Campaign Against Toasters”, but she’s sti lurking around, desperately trying to get anyone – including anti-sex “science” conventions – to listen to her weird sexual fantasies.

The Mote and the Beam (#900)

If a “study” sounds benign to you, click on the subtitle above:

[Politician] Josh Hawley announced…he has introduced a bill that would [supposedly] document human trafficking in the U.S.  The bill would reform the [TVPA]…reauthorization…of 2005…[to] mandate…a…[“study”] of…”commercial sex acts”…[which] Hawley [demonized as]…”an epidemic”…[his toady] Nanette Ward [then croaked the usual fantasies about]…”fastest growing and second largest criminal enterprise in the world…Victims…in every corner of our community…children…being sold by their parents…Everyone who is on social media [is at risk]“…

It may help you to see the big picture if I remind you that Hawley is one of the loudest proponents of government censorship and control of the internet, and of repealing Section 230.

Joey the Player

A rare case of “authorities” actually charging a serial rapist of sex workers:

A New Jersey man [named Jose Torres] who [for years] lured commercial sex workers to travel from out of state [so he could rape them was]…charged by complaint with two counts of coercion and enticement…From May 2015 to October 2019, Torres persuaded, induced and enticed commercial sex workers to travel from various out of state locations, including Canada and New York…with promises of large payments.  When the commercial sex workers a[rrived]…Torres [would] assault…and rap[e] them.  Torres never paid the sex workers.  The coercion and enticement charges each carries a maximum term of 20 years’ imprisonment and a potential $250,000 fine…

If you wish to add your testimony against this violent creep, please do not contact prosecutors directly; instead contact lead attorney for the complainants, Noam Biale, at (212-202-2600, direct 212-300-2445) or nbiale@shertremonte.com; he will be able to protect your identity from prosecutors.

Pyrrhic Victory (#992) 

Why I keep telling you local laws banning surveillance technology are feel-good bullshit:

California’s largest police departments have been collecting millions of images of drivers’ license plates and sharing them with entities around the country…in violation of state law…230 police and sheriff’s departments in the state currently use automated license plate readers…and…most of the data collected is on innocent people…The Los Angeles Police Department, for example, has collected more than 320 million images over the last several years.  Only 400,000 of those generated…matches to cars of interest, but the remaining 99.9 percent of the images, which can be used to track peoples’ movement across the city, stay stored in a department database for more than five years…The LAPD then adds other sensitive information to that database, sometimes tagging the photos with criminal records, names, addresses, and dates of birth

Watershed (#1011)

Headed toward the end of the hysteria, albeit 3 or 4 years late:

…For years…experts have pointed out that the reality of sex trafficking bears little resemblance to the sensationalized version depicted in public-awareness campaigns.  Shoppers are not being snatched from grocery store parking lots.  Victims…seldom exhibit any of the “warning signs” that would make their abuse visible to members of the public.  Despite the persistent myth that human trafficking “could happen to anyone,” most victims are undocumented, homeless, in foster care or otherwise marginalized…as warning posters have appeared in nearly every airport…the U.S. has [not] had a single confirmed case of a child being trafficked by strangers via airplane…Most minor kidnappings…are carried out by parents as part of custody disputes…[and] strangers are the perpetrator in only 10% of [child sexual abuse] cases…[NCMEC admits] that fewer than 1% of calls to…[its “hotline”] were reports of “stranger danger” abductions…“You can’t know the signs of trafficking by looking at someone you don’t know,” said a senior staff member at one of America’s major anti-trafficking organizations who asked…not to [be] name[d] out of fear of losing her job…[however] she [also] said the sensationalized messaging was necessary to [get people to support the police state]…

This is the sort of essay I originally envisioned we’d be seeing in 2016-17; unfortunately it took much longer because governments have been pushing it much harder than I anticipated to achieve their goals of internet censorship and migration control.  But prophecy is not an exact science, so I’m glad I wasn’t further off the mark.

To Molest and Rape (#1014)

Even rapist cops usually wait until their victims are thirteen or so:

[Typical and representative] Harris County [cop] Jack Hagee…[repeated]ly sexually abus[ed] a child for eight years…[starting when she] was 5-years-old…Hagee started [orally raping] the 5-year-old girl…in 1989 at their Harris County home…[and vaginaly raping] her about three times a week by the time she started kindergarten…he…stopped having sex with her at the age of 13, because…she began menstruating…the first person [s]he…[told] was her aunt who…[is mrried to] Hagee’s brother…[the] brother…[then] confronted Hagee over the phone and told him he was not welcome at their home…

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Companies…that made bad bets on the internet…[are] using…the political process to harm the competitors who built the products people actually want.  –  Mike Masnick

Anatomy of a Boondoggle

While some other states are trying to stop cops from raping sex workers, Florida is still paying them to do so:

A..[lying cop]…with the Pembroke Pines [Florida cop shop] used department-issued funds to get [access to women so he could] sexual[ly assault masseuses]…at three massage parlors…the [rapist] arrested] four women, ages 48 to 58, who are from Shanghai, China.  The women…didn’t have…[state permission to touch other humans and] are facing prostitution charges…

Welcome To Our World

People’s lives are just stakes in a game to these sociopaths:

Hillsborough County, Florida [cops pretended to be]…homeowners seeking handymen on social media to do jobs that required licensure.  These unsuspecting handymen would be lured to one of five homes, where [pigs] filmed them performing or agreeing to perform prohibited tasks like painting or installing recess lighting…118 [people in all were victimized by the badge-carrying] con men…Leslie Sammis, a criminal defense lawyer in Tampa…[said] “The real con men that are trying to trick homeowners are usually too experienced to get caught up in one of these types of sting operations.  So the stings tend to catch someone that crosses the line in an unsophisticated way”…[pigs] will hire a handyman on the pretext of performing work that doesn’t need a license, and then during the course of the job ask them to do something that does, like unhooking a toilet or laying some tiles…the [pigs] are [literally] creating a crime that probably wouldn’t occur otherwise…Cops and regulators have conducted similar [violent scams] in New York and California

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

Another of those nonexistent false rape accusations:

Prosecutors in California are dropping all charges against a surgeon and his girlfriend who were [wrongly] accused of drugging and raping a number of women…Grant W. Robicheaux…and Cerissa Riley were charged in 2018 with kidnapping, rape by use of drugs, and other crimes…prosecutors [fantasized that] the couple…[would] meet…women in restaurants and bars, spik[e] their drinks, tak[e] them to Robicheaux’s apartment, and sexually assaulting them.  Prosecutors [pretended] they had more than 1,000 videos of…women being sexually abused. But…Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer, who was elected after the case was filed, said there were no such videos.  “There is not a single piece of evidence or video or photo that shows an…incapacitated woman being sexually assaulted,” Spitzer said…”Not one”…Spitzer…criticized his predecessor, Tony Rackauckas, for filing the case…[but the] judge [is afraid to drop it because of]…politics…[and] Rackauckas voiced concern that his successor’s decision would [make his false prosecution look bad]…and claimed that…the…case [should be tried in]…the [court of] public [opinion instead of a real court]…

To Molest and Rape

Just another typical and representative cop predating on vulnerable women:

A [typical and representative] El Paso [cop got off with] a [mere] decade of probation [after brutally raping] a woman he met wh[en she reported]…a domestic violence incident.  William Ollie Alexander…will [at least] have to register as a sex offender for life….on…March 10, 2018…he met [the victim after taking her]…domestic violence [report]…and hours later…took her to a dark area…and [raped] her…

The Mote and the Beam (#777)

Some tech companies are willing to destroy the internet to secure a temporary business advantage:

…the narrative being pushed about internet companies and Section 230 was…manufactured…by Hollywood and other old legacy companies jealous of the success of new internet companies…the NY Times has a detailed article on…how a broad coalition of big, old, legacy companies are conspiring to punish Google and Facebook by convincing the media and politicians that Section 230…is bad.  The headline lists three companies: IBM, Marriott, and Disney…Disney and its powerful trade association have fought to stop the law’s spread abroad.  Marriott has asked Congress to amend the law.  IBM has a plan to [castrate] it…Disney, of course, is a stand-in for the MPAA and all of the big Hollywood movie studios…while Disney led the copyright lobbying charge in the 80s and 90s, the company leading the way against the internet…has been Fox.  But…Disney recently bought Fox…Marriott…has been screaming bloody murder about Airbnb for years, because it can’t stand having competition that actually offers better service…IBM…and Oracle…[don’t] rely on Section 230, since they don’t run consumer facing internet services…

Traffic Jam (#877)

The ethically-bankrupt Dominique “Body Fluids” Sepowitz has invented another idiotic “study” designed to find exactly what its funders wanted found:

More than two-thirds of sex [workers labeled by prohibitionists as] trafficking victims in a Hawaii study reported being homeless…[deranged fantasist] Khara Jabola-Carolus [was] co-author of the study [along with her crony Dominique “Body Fluids” Sepowitz]…The [so-called] study [was actually] a…survey [of questionnaires filled out by] 363…clients of state service agencies…[the designation as] sex trafficking victims [was imposed by Carolus and Sepowitz without the consent of the clients…

In 2018, Jabolus cried to cops when Sepowitz claimed she had received a mysterious text message about a supposed plot against Carolus’ job; she claimed the rumor constituted a “threat of physical violence”.  This is the level of fantasy and wild exaggeration that passes for truth in “Cuckoo Clock” McCain’s crowd.  In case you’re wondering why this drama is centered around tiny Hawaii, it’s because there is some support for decriminalization in the state legislature and the prohibitionists want that crushed.

Guinea Pigs (#881) 

Summer Stephan has for years touted her personal animus against whores as “concern”:

[Politicians] in San Diego…are [still persecuting adults for seeking consensual sex, now with] a new mobile app [intended to trick] the public [into ratting their neighbors out to the pigs]…District Attorney Summer Stephan [and other “sex trafficking” fetishists shared their fantasies of]…traffickers…lur[ing]…victims and…[brave hero cops.  Magic]al technology is playing a growing role in the ability of traffickers to…control their victims…Humans Against Trafficking…release[d]…a free mobile app, called Radlee, designed to [frame ordinary events as]…suspicious…the app will allow…parents…to [spy on sex workers online and rat them out to the pigs]…Roger Martin, the group’s CEO…[says “Women are much too stupid to place escort ads themselves, so] there must be some trafficker that’s flipping through profiles on Instagram and based on what he reads or sees, deciding whether or not to [traffick them]”…Martin’s organization…last year received a $100,000 grant from San Diego County…

A Moral Cancer (#978)

Buried lede: “The increase in absolute risk is so small that it is unlikely to be relevant for the individual“:

If you’ve been swayed by recent reports that red and processed meat isn’t harmful to your health, [crypto-moralists want you to ignore the facts and listen to their claims of a]…significant risk of death from any cause tied to eating two servings of processed meat or unprocessed red meat each week…One serving…equaled two slices of bacon, two small sausages or one hot dog…[or] 4 ounces of red meat…The new findings [were designed to contradict]…a…meta-analysis [show]ing there’s no need to reduce your red and processed meat intake for good health…

Crypto-moralists will claim that anything that brings pleasure is “unhealthy”, because it isn’t really about health; it’s about puritanism.  Since puritans believe pleasure is bad, they’re always looking for ways to pretend their primitive ideas about “sin” have some basis in reality.

Subtle Pimping (#979)

Cops watch racist “virtual reality” porn and call it “training”:

Last year, students from Cal Poly created a VR massage parlor [fantasy] to [entert]ain cops [with the misogynistic myth that] many [women] are forced into prostitution…In Houston, Texas, most…vice [pigs]…have spent time [masturbating to] Trapped, a [porn] that [lets them fantasy roleplay] 14-year-old Lisa…More than 2,500 [cops]…have [masturbated to this BDSM fantasy] at [pig] conventions…Billy Joe Cain, CEO of…the VR [porn] company behind Trapped…[also] licenses his…profit[able fantasy game] to high schools and middle schools as a[n indoctrination into anti-sex dogma]…

Across the Pond (#985)

Redbridge has a long history of harassing sex workers while belching up stupid “crime” rhetoric:

…a [gang] of 17 [highly aggressive pigs]…will be [harassing people with]…evening and late-night patrols, seven days a week.  Redbridge Council…set up [the gang with] a £320,000 funding pot…[to harass homeless people, buskers,] street s[ell]ers…drinkers and [sex workers]…the [gang] will also [spy on people in] Ilford Lane [using the favorite cop wanking fantasy of]…pop-up brothels…Mark Glazer, chairman of Redbridge Neighbourhood Watch, described the amount being [thrown away] on the [gang] as “ludicrous” and said resources should to be directed elsewhere…”They have been trying to sort out prostitution in Ilford Lane for years and [sending] police [to harass people] will not help”…

Crying for Nanny (#998)

The hotel industry is really going to regret having collaborated with fanatics rather than fighting “sex trafficking” hysteria:

A new lawsuit seeking $100 million in damages for two [soi-disant] victims claims the owners of nearly two dozen Collier County [Florida] hotels and motels are responsible for sex trafficking on their premises …Sharon Hanlon, an a[mbulance-chasing shyster, filed]…this lawsuit [to profit from hysteria as allowed by FOSTA]…Linda Oberhaus, [a rescue industry profiteer, claims]…“These are the hotels that are allowing human trafficking to exist”…The [ambulance-chasers] said as their [greed] in[creases], they expect to add more hotels and motels to the lawsuit…

Choke Point (#1006) 

Fascism in action, badly covered by a yellow journalist:

…If you want to PayPal or Venmo some cash to someone without any hitches, do not put the word Iran in the memo field…Jewish Currents…tweeted that nine payments to its staff and contributors had been held up by PayPal because the transaction descriptions included the term Iran in reference to a piece that the magazine published…PayPal, along with its subsidiary Venmo, uses a system that automatically flags keywords in the payment memo field that could indicate a violation…So if, say, you try to send a friend money for “drinks at Cuba Libre”, you’ll quickly learn how dense PayPal’s system can be when it comes to context clues…this leaves out a good number of illicit activities that the payment service could be facilitating…I sent my editor dozens of 1 cent transactions with different memo descriptions…PayPal…has a…laissez-faire stance toward weapons, drugs, human and animal trafficking, prostitution, and hate groups…

Not only is this moron spreading fake information based on an idiotic experiment (even PayPal computers know that a 1¢ transaction to a male Slate editor with the memo “blowjob” – yep, he went there – is not a genuine sex work transaction); his puritanical pea brain also considers sex work as in the same category as “Car bomb”, “Kidnapping”, “Nazis”, and “KKK”.  Let’s hope he tries the experiment I suggested to him (sending several hundred bucks to a female friend with “blowjob” in the memo) so his account gets shut down.

To Molest and Rape (#1012)

Give aggressive thugs power over teen girls; what could possibly go wrong?

A [typical and representative] Cottage Grove [Minnesota cop] assigned to [terrorize students at] Park High School has been charged with [molesting] seven female students and soliciting one…multiple times for nude photos.  Adam G. Pelton…[managed to rack up this score in only a year ending on] Oct. 4, 2019…Students [reported] that Pelton repeatedly [groped them under cover of non-consensual] hug[ging]…during which he would [grope] their buttocks…Most of these [attacks] occurred in Pelton’s private school office, which lacked video surveillance [because cop]…

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We’re not going to sit around and wait to be prosecuted before we fight this law.  –  Skye Wheeler

Real People 

Even shitty and somewhat exploitative sex work doesn’t really resemble prohibitionist fantasies:

Elke Margarete Lehrenkrauss’ poignant documentary Lovemobil observes the Nigerian Rita and the Bulgarian Milena as they perform sex work in caravans (trailers) along a German country road.  The young women have escaped difficult economic circumstances in their home countries and are looking to earn money; they feel obligated to send Euros back to their families…they work for Uschi, a tough older woman who keeps them in line and advises them about pricing their services, but also appears to care for them, even as she chides Rita for trying to cheat her out of payments…Lovemobil deliberately keeps the sex acts off camera to focus on the larger issues of globalization, feminism and economic inequality that are part of this fascinating subculture of sex work…

Where Are the Victims?

Note the bizarre, stilted language used to describe a very ordinary-sounding escort service:

Jessica Nesbitt [of Chicago was]…charged with [various pompously-named]…prostitution [“crimes”]…for…own[ing] and operat[ing] a company called Kink Extraordinaires, which employed several individuals who engaged in prostitution…Nesbitt advertised prostitution services on multiple websites…and…also emailed her clients invitations to paid sex and fetish parties…In addition to activity in Chicago, Nesbitt arranged for herself and her employees to perform acts of prostitution in California, Washington, D.C., Florida, Indiana, Nevada, and Wisconsin…

Dirty Laundry (#452)

At least this judge gave the stolen money to someone other than Ruhama:

Money [stolen] by Laois gardai from [two sex workers was]…donated to two local charities by the court…the two [sensibly fled] and have not returned…Judge Catherine Staines directed that €3,410 got to the Laois Domestic Abuse Service, and around €1300 go to the Garda Youth Diversion Projects…

To Molest and Rape

Just another typical, representative cop:

A Miami-Dade [screw]…has been charged with raping a woman he was supposed to be supervising while she was on house arrest.  Yulian Gonzalez…paid regular visits to the alleged victim’s home during the course of his work as a case manager…Gonzalez threatened to issue a violation of her house arrest and send her back to jail if she did not [submit to rape]…Gonzalez rented a room at the Nexx Motel…and drove the woman there in his [pigmobile]…so as not to set off any alarms, Gonzalez tampered with the woman’s ankle monitor…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#754) 

I love seeing prohibitionists hoist with their own petard:

report compiled by the Department of Justice has revealed that the [Swedish model]…in Northern Ireland is not fit for purpose…“This report…shows that there has not been a decrease in demand for sex work since the introduction of client criminalisation…in 2015,” [said] Kate McGrew…”Instead, we have seen an increase in sex trafficking by 26%…In the north, it led to massive increase in advertising (on one site alone over 1700 new ads) and demand (in one jurisdiction by 134%) and a 200% increase threatening behaviour in clients.  In the south, it led to an increase in violent crime against sex workers by 92%“…

Once the government started defining all third parties as “sex traffickers” and then passed a law whose natural consequence would be increased reliance on such parties, naturally “sex trafficking” by their definition increased.  And since prohibitionists pretended the intent of their anti-whore law was to “fight sex trafficking”, they now have no choice but to admit the law was a “failure”.  Oops.

Little Boxes (#792)

A federal court finally recognizes what should’ve been obvious years ago:

Fort Collins, Colorado, decided not to continue its challenge to a federal court’s decision that a ban on going topless in the city amounts to unconstitutional discrimination…The city decided not to appeal the decision…after [wast]ing hundreds of thousands of [public] dollars on the legal battle already…[this] effectively legalizes [female toplessness] in the six states covered by the 10th Circuit court…Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming…

Given that the 7th Circuit ruled exactly the opposite two years ago (see subtitle link), a SCOTUS showdown is now inevitable.

The Mote and the Beam (#900)

This is much worse than the typical government propaganda such as “DARE”:

…the FBI is launching its #StopSextortion [propaganda] campaign to [convince parents] and schools [that teenage sexting is a]…growing problem [called] sextortion…[affecting] kids…as young as seven or eight…The [FBI wants parents to believe that peer “sexting” is actually the product of an adult] extortionist [who] finds children and teens on social media [to]…convince…to send a naked photo—and…the[n]…telling the child that he will send the photo to friends and family or post online…the extortionist continues to threaten while escalating demands, which can include…sex acts…

The FBI is intentionally representing a rare crime as the norm so as to give the federal government power over teen sexting.  If you thought FOSTA and the drug war were great, you’re going to love the “war on sextortion”.

Disaster (#935)

News about the FOSTA challenge:

Human Rights Watch and four other plaintiffs…present[ed] arguments on September 20 against the dismissal of their challenge to a…law that imposes criminal liability for online speech about sex work…FOSTA…’s language is [so] broad and vague, it could prevent sex workers and others from writing about sex work and posting about critically important health and safety issues, and it would restrict organisations like Human Rights Watch from effectively reporting on and advocating for the decriminalisation of sex work…FOSTA has [already] endangered [sex workers because]…websites that made it easier for sex workers to screen clients and to sell sex in safer locations have stopped sex workers from posting.  The co-plaintiffs in the case with Human Rights Watch are the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, the Internet Archive, and individuals Alex Andrews and Eric Koszyk.  The lower court [incorrectly] dismissed the case [a year ago]…without addressing the substantive claims, on the [pretense] that plaintiffs faced no imminent risk of prosecution…[but] in cases involving free expression, the appropriate lens is whether speech will be unconstitutionally burdened or chilled…

A Moral Cancer (#972)

Authoritarian idiots respond to deaths from a black market product by dramatically expanding the black market:

Walmart said…that it would stop selling e-cigarettes at its stores in the United States, dealing a new blow to the vaping industry as [hysteria] mount[s] over the health risks of [black market] products [which have nothing to do with the banned e-cigarettes]…The decision…comes amid a [dumpster fire full] of new [moral panic] about the potential health risks of [black market THC cartridges] that has [inspired prohibitionists to]…increas[e the danger by banning completely different currently-legal] products…

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I’ve written on a number of occasions about the way our declining culture obsesses about forms while ignoring substance; the rise of Donald Trump seems to have exacerbated the problem, quite possibly because while other politicians are at least hollow mannequins made of plastic, coated with duplicity and filled with money, Trump has approximately as much substance as a balloon animal.  So while other politicians can vomit out all the “sex trafficking” lies they want, even to the point of making outlandish claims that violate the laws of economics, mathematics and even physics, reporters and busybodies go along with them because most Americans are simply too stupid to notice the ludicrosity of the claims, even when a politician is practically playing pocket-pool behind a podium while regaling the audience with his masturbatory fantasies of traumatized preteen girls chained to radiators, shipped around the country in dog crates and raped by a hundred men a day.  Now, the soi-disant anti-Trump “Resistance” is, for the most part, every bit as painfully stupid as the MAGA crowd; however, they’re actively looking for fault in every single thing Trump does, no matter how meaningless.  So when Trump dives headlong into “sex trafficking” mythology and starts telling the same tall tales as every other politician and cop in the country (including “progressive” darling Kamala Harris) in pursuit of his border-wall boondoggle, how are his enemies to attack him without undermining the edifice of lies they’ve painstakingly built over the past 15 years?  By attacking the form of his fantasies rather than the (lack of) substance, naturally:

U. S. President Donald Trump has been painting a wildly inaccurate picture of human trafficking in his effort to sell a border wall that would not make a meaningful difference in fighting the problem, experts on trafficking say.  Over the past two weeks, Trump has repeatedly told lurid stories about women being “thrown into the back seat of a car, or thrown into a van with no windows, with no form of air,” and smuggled over undefended parts of the border with “tape over their mouths, electrical tape…They tape their face, their hair, their hands behind their back, their legs.  They put them in the back seat of cars and vans, and they go — they don’t come in through your port of entry, because you’d see them.  You couldn’t do that,” he said in [a] speech to the American Farm Bureau

In other words, Trump’s repeating the same kind of crude BDSM porn that thousands of cops, politicians, and other self-anointed “sex trafficking experts” have regaled breathless cretins with on a daily basis for over a decade.  So how do the “experts” attack this?

Six trafficking experts from around the U.S. [said]…they had met no trafficking victims who had suffered anything like the experience Trump described…“he’s watching some…type of movie that involves handcuffs and tape over people’s mouths”…said [prohibitionist] Lori Cohen…[fantasist] Martina Vandenberg…[nitpicked] “I have never had a case where someone’s mouth was taped up and they were brought across the border in the way the president described”…Cohen has worked closely with victims of traffickers from Tenancingo, Mexico, a hotbed for sex trafficking

If you’ll follow that last link, you’ll find that this supposed “hotbed” was actually two pimps.  The Tenancingo fantasy was exactly the kind of story Trump’s rhetoric was drawn from, despite the shockingly-disingenuous “wherever did he get THAT from?” these two opportunists gave reporters.  But what do they focus on so as to draw attention to the emperor himself and away from his nonexistent clothes?  Why, the tape, of course!   The Washington Post even went so far as to analyze the kind of tape:

…On at least eight occasions over a period of 12 days this month, the president has argued publicly for his proposed wall on the southern border by claiming without evidence that traffickers tie up and silence women with tape before illegally driving them through the desert from Mexico to the United States in the backs of cars and windowless vans…the adhesive is sometimes blue tape.  Other times it is electrical tape or duct tape.  In some instances, the descriptions are more salacious and graphic. “Human trafficking — grabbing women, in particular — and children, but women — taping them up, wrapping tape around their mouths so they can’t shout or scream, tying up their hands behind their back and even their legs and putting them in a back seat of a car or a van — three, four, five, six, seven at a time,” the president said in the Cabinet Room on Jan. 11.  (A timeline of the president’s taped-women remarks appears below)…

This is followed by quotes from a number of talking heads obsessing about the tape and pretending they have no idea at all about where Trump got this wanking fantasy, despite the ubiquity of moronic taped mouth imagery in “sex trafficking” propaganda.  Naturally, nobody but Frontpage Confidential bothered to mention the real story here:

…Come fire or flood (or wall), the federal government never seems to run out of money to throw at its war on sex workers.  On Tuesday, January 8, 2019…Trump signed the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act, earmarking $430 million to battle what it calls a sex-trafficking scourge but which is, in actuality, a sex-trafficking boondoggle — the product of hype and hysteria sown by politicians and others who stand to gain from the government’s largess.  The Douglass Act and its attendant windfall capped off a barrage of four anti-sex-trafficking bills that Congress pushed through just before Christmas.  Trump affixed his signature to the measures amid a government shutdown over his desire for a $5 billion wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and not long after tweeting that he’s thinking of denying California billions of dollars in emergency aid to help the state recover from the damage done by forest fires.  (Additionally, Trump’s advisors reportedly are considering diverting disaster-relief funds from several states and Puerto Rico to pay for the president’s wall)…But never let it be said that niggling financial concerns could obstruct the federal government in its goal of eradicating commercial sex among consenting adults…

Nothing to see here, citizens; the nation’s mainstream press knows you don’t really want to know the truth about prohibition.  So instead, they’re going to argue about what size Cinderella’s glass slippers were and consult “experts” about what Teletubbies eat for breakfast. 

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All the excitement and hand wringing about [sex robots] was…pointless because [they] just don’t exist.  –  Mark Hay

If Men Were Angels 

“Youth pastors” are as bad as cops:

The head pastor of a Methodist congregation in Orange County [California]…was charged…with two counts of molesting a girl under 14 years old…John Rodgers McFarland…was arrested…Dec. 18…San Diego County prosecutors filed two counts of lewd acts on a child…stem[ming] from incidents in 2012 and 2013…Police in Fountain Valley, where McFarland worked as a pastor at a Methodist church for 26 years, said there is “evidence that McFarland abused other victims during his time as a pastor in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach”…He was the head pastor from 1988 to 2014 at Fountain Valley United Methodist Church, and a pastor at Surf City Church in Huntington Beach from 2009 to 2014…McFarland was also the youth pastor at San Dieguito United Methodist Church in Encinitas from 1978 to 1981…

Backwards into the Future (#425) 

I wonder how long it will be before the US abandons “re-education” for sex workers and clients?

China looks set to abolish a controversial system that lets police arbitrarily detain sex workers and their clients for up to two years without trial for “compulsory education”.  The “detention and re-education for those involved in prostitution” program, which has existed for 27 years, was recommended for abolition…by the Legislative Affairs Commission…scholars, legal practitioners and members of the public…have long lobbied for the change on the grounds such administrative detention is unjust, extrajudicial and particularly punitive.  Sex work will remain punishable …by a penalty of up to 15 days’ detention.  The parallel custody and education system [h]as…[since] 1991…authorized police to force sex workers into various forms of long-term “education” which included morality lessons, written confessions, forced labor and other humiliating activities designed to “remove evil habits”…

Shift in the Wind (#530)

More and more, the media in many countries are siding with sex workers:

On December 17th, sex workers…and…activists from Macedonia held the 11th annual “Red Umbrella March” in Skopje…The Macedonian march was organized by STAR-STAR, the first sex workers collective in the Balkans…participants demand changes to in the Criminal Code which has remained unchanged for three decades since the fall of Communism…with exception to increasing penalties for sex workers…

Divided We Fall (#672)

Why does Gay, Inc never speak up for sex worker rights until it’s too late?

…a darkening wave of internet censorship…started when Congress passed the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) in March…Long before these laws were passed though, sex workers and advocates spoke out against them, [explaining] that their terms were vague and overreaching and would…decimate the digital platforms that have specifically provided a space for workers to meet, vet clients, and engage in consensual business in an online environment far safer than working on the street…The sex workers’ fears did materialize. Craigslist immediately deleted its Personals section…and Backpage…was seized by the FBI.  Multiple sex work forums disappeared immediately…harming and isolating queer people…Over the past few months alone Recon, a fetish dating site for gay men, saw their Youtube temporarily suspended…Naked Boys Reading saw their Facebook page temporarily banned…In October, Facebook was revealed to be blocking many LGBTQ+ ads as part of its new advertising policy…Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has also appeared to be censoring the queer community with algorithms that, intentionally or otherwise, flag queer content at a higher rate than non-queer content…

The Mote and the Beam (#701)

I wish writers would stop these pandering claims that censorship attempts are “well-intentioned”:

…a string of civil lawsuits [has] intended to pin liability on online platforms for allegedly providing material support to terrorists.  Several federal trial courts dismissed such suits [last] year, but some of these cases are on appeal and plaintiffs have filed several new ones.  If these suits are successful…platforms would have little choice to become much more restrictive in what sorts of speech they allow…these cases…threaten the availability of open online forums and Internet users’ ability to access information.  That’s why EFF filed legal briefs in 2018 asking two different federal appellate courts to dismiss material support cases against social media platforms…So far, courts have been quick to toss out these material support lawsuits…As well-intentioned as these cases are, they pose a threat to…online communities…[they] threaten Internet users’ and the platforms’ First Amendment rights…[and] jeopardize one of the Internet’s most important laws, Section 230…

Censorship and prohibition are not, and by their very nature cannot be, “well-intentioned”.  They are attempts to control other people’s minds, bodies and lives and are thus intrinsically evil no matter how they’re excused by authoritarians.

Disaster 

It’s good to see so many journalists recognizing how dangerous the War on Whores has become.  This Forbes article on “The 9 Most Important Sex Trends Of 2018” includes the following:

…FOSTA-SESTA…opens internet platforms to liability for…user-generated content, creating a major legal risk for sites used to facilitate sex work…[and] adds to the popular, yet false, conflation of sex work with sex trafficking…The law has led to the shutdown of a number sites, groups, and forums sex workers used to facilitate their operations…[and] share safety information…and…has also…accelerated a wave of sexual censorship online…FOSTA-SESTA “is causing major havoc,” argues [sexologist Jill] McDevitt, for “anyone who uses the internet to read, research, or express themselves sexually in any way”…[experts] are worried that Twitter, the last major bastion of sexual speech online, may fall to this wave of censorship in the new year…

Imaginary Victims (#864) 

As I’ve pointed out many times, “safe harbor” laws only protect “perfect victims”, not real ones:

The Summit County Juvenile Court in Ohio didn’t follow the law when it allowed a 15-year-old girl who was a human trafficking victim to be tried as an adult in the robbery and murder of the man who trafficked her, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled…The high court, however, upheld the girl’s conviction and sentence to prison for the rest of her life…[claiming] Alexis Martin couldn’t prove that the judge’s decision to bind her over to adult court would have changed if the juvenile court had [actually followed the “safe harbor” law as it was required to do]…

Gorged With Meaning (#877)

Ignoring student sex workers would be fine; the problem is that universities are actively harming them:

Universities must stop ignoring the plight of a growing number of students turning to sex work and should start offering non-judgemental support, campaigners demand.  Students and experts have accused institutions of “simply burying their heads in the sand” over the issue…many universities are…actively blocking groups trying to support students involved in sex work.  In one case a student…sex work[er] was evicted from her home and threatened with expulsion by her university…The English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP)…have fought a number of cases recently where universities have threatened to throw out students if they do not stop doing sex work…

The Course of a Disease (#884)

Israeli prohibitionists are trying to criminalize all sex work:

The Knesset approved the first reading of a bill limiting the Israeli access to…sites presenting adult-related materials…the bill demands web-service providers to send a message to house-holds with internet access asking if they wish to have such sites blocked or not…Should they decline the offer they will be asked to provide personal information [which will then be shared with the government] proving that they are adults and are the ones paying for the service…The Knesset also approved adopting the Nordic Model…which…is…a state intervention on people’s right’s and bodies as well as a criminaliz[ation of] human activity that will be very hard to prevent…

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The carpet was just pulled out underneath us.  –  Tammy Marie Kruwell

Oops

300 texts does not equate to 300 men, since many guys send a barrage:

A Michigan woman says hundreds of men solicited her for sex within just a couple days…because her number ended up on an escort [advertising] website…Her phone holds nearly 300 texts and some voicemails from men looking for attention.  Susan said she didn’t even know most of the sexual lingo in the texts…one of the texts referenced a website called “Skip the Games”…the family emailed the site administrator numerous times and asked them to take the number down.  They had no success [until they copied a TV station in]…on an email…

First They Came for the Hookers… 

Just in case you think being a “legal” sex worker protects you from the lies of cops and prudes:

The Providence [Rhode Island] Board of Licenses revoked the [Foxy Lady] strip club’s licenses [less than a week before Christmas because] Providence Police arrested three dancers at the club last week [for refusing to give pigs sex]…at least 200…employees are suddenly out of work…Mayor Jorge Elorza [slandered] the club [claiming it was] running a “full-on prostitution ring”.  The attorney for the club, Fausto Anguilla, has [pointed out that] police…never proved that sex was occurring inside the club’s private rooms.  Several dancers…[told reporters] management at the club is strict with its no-prostitution rules, and cut ties with dancers who were caught having sex in the private rooms…

Torture Chamber 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

A [privately-owned prison for] juvenile [prisoners]…in northern Minnesota is accused of failing to stop the sexual abuse of minors in its care, according to two federal lawsuits…[which] detail two separate [coercive] sexual relationships between teenage girls and employees dating back to 2014, both resulting in criminal convictions…

First They Came for the Hookers… (#412) 

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

“LEGAL ‘NYMPH’,” blared the front page of [the December 13thToronto Sun. “Law student faces good character hearing over double life as an escort.”  Except — as the story about prospective lawyer Nadia Guo made clear near its top — what the headline described was not the case at all…No one complained about her escort job.  Instead, the complaints made to the Law Society of Ontario concerned Guo’s conduct as an articling student in the latter half of 2015…the piece by courts reporter Sam Pazzano…[also revealed her stage name], “Dawn Lee”…the Sun ran a correction to its front-page headline [the next day]…But Toronto Star columnist Rosie DiManno ran her own piece …that led with Guo’s sex work, printed her work name in its first sentence, and expressed apparent surprise and disappointment that the Law Society chose not to [persecute] her…for [doing work to pay for school]…

Traffic Jam (#680)

Looks like Minnesota’s second attempt to imprison a bunch of migrants as “sex traffickers” fared better than its first:

A federal jury in St. Paul has convicted all five people charged with conspiring to traffic hundreds of Thai women for sex…nearly three dozen other [people were charged]…all but five [made] plea…[bargains]…Prosecutors said victims, some of whom testified during the trial, were misled as to how much they truly owed and were threatened if they tried to leave the business…U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald described the case as one of the largest trafficking networks ever dismantled…

I’d be a lot more inclined to believe there was serious exploitation here if we hadn’t heard all this before, especially the practically-impossible claims of client numbers.  Remember, migrant sex workers are far less likely to be deported if the agree to sing the state’s song, so there’s no real way to know how much of this is true and how much hype.

The Mote and the Beam (#776)

Just in case you though FOSTA was as bad as it would get:

…Congress…authorized a [bipartisan] national [crusade to] arrest…sex [workers’ clients] and approved the use of secret wiretaps in misdemeanor prostitution cases…as part of the massive “Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act“…through a secret vote of the sort civil libertarians have long opposed…based on the false idea that customers of…adult sex workers [magically] drive demand for minors.  All state and local cops, prosecutors, and judges are to be [encouraged]…to [steal the] asset[s of sex workers and clients]…In addition, Congress “clarif[ies] that commercial sexual exploitation is a form of gender-based violence,” whatever that means…The House…passed the bill via “voice vote,” a process under which there’s neither a record of how members voted, whether they were present for a vote, nor how many total members actually voted…One provision essentially creates a new federal crime initiative by directing resources and money to fight “sextortion”…

Lack of Evidence (#859) 

If sex work weren’t illegal laws like this would be easily overturned:

Jessica, a 23-year-old transgender woman living in Queens…[was arrested on] July 8…and charged…with “loitering for the purpose of engaging in a prostitution act”…[the “evidence” cops listed was that she] was wearing “a mini skirt and a blouse which showed cleavage”…Loitering arrests increased more than 180 percent between January and October…last year…More than half of the…arrests occurred in Queens, where attorneys say they’re concentrated in…immigrant-heavy neighborhoods…This increase in loitering arrests follows a class action lawsuit backed by the Legal Aid Society of New York that challenges the constitutionality of New York’s law on loitering for the purposes of prostitution…recent loitering complaints noted that defendants were wearing “black cowboy boots” and “light blue short [sic], a red tank top and tan sandals”…

See also “Business As Usual” below.

Rescued To Death (#869)

“Abatement”.  A term used for inhuman things, especially nuisances:

A new unit that San Francisco police created to [harass sex workers]…is facing opposition from advocates…the Sex Workers Abatement Unit…has resulted in an uptick in the number of sex workers who have been arrested in the Mission…[and reinforces] a hostile environment where “women are forced into more isolated, unfamiliar areas where attacks are more likely…sex workers who are victims of violence are intimidated and running from police,” [Rachel] West [of US PROS] said.  West argued that the unit undermines a police policy from last December that [supposedly] prevents sex workers who are the victims of certain crimes from being arrested for performing sex work.  The policy [gives lip service to the fact] that “the criminalization of sex work is one of the primary barriers to reporting violence to law enforcement”…

I’ve spoken out against these hollow “policies” before; they are not binding and can be reversed as easily as they were granted.  They’re not a serious effort to respond to sex workers’ concerns; they’re just meant to shut us up.

Business As Usual (#895)

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

Mariatu was 15 years old when her widowed mother died and she ended up sleeping rough on the streets of Freetown where she fell into commercial sex work.  Not long after, she was arrested for “loitering” and, unable to pay a police bribe, spent six months in an adult jail.  Now 22, she is desperate to escape a life marked by suffering, violence and exploitation and is appealing to the state to provide more support to Sierra Leone’s sex workers who are stigmatised by society and suffer unfair treatment at the hands of the legal system.  She spoke to the Guardian before the online launch of a documentary to mark the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers which…examines their treatment by [cops]…who…exploit…them for sex and money…

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They couldn’t have designed a law better to make it less safe.
–  Canadian sex worker

The Proper Study

Academics keep “discovering” what we’ve been saying for decades:

[Street] workers are more likely to suffer poor health, violence and abuse in countries where their trade is criminalised, a major review…from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine…found…sex workers suffering repressive policing – including arrest, imprisonment and extortion by officers – were three times more likely to experience sexual or physical violence from a client and were twice as likely to have HIV or another sexually transmitted infection as those who lived in countries where sex work was tolerated.  Sex workers who fear that they, or their clients, may be picked up by the police are more likely to engage in risky encounters, unable to take the time to talk to a client before getting into a car or negotiate terms in advance…Their health and safety were at risk not only in countries where sex work was [fully] criminalised, but also…[those with] the “Nordic model”…

Imaginary Evils

I don’t know which is more exploitative, the “authorities” who want to deport migrant women, or the “advocates” who want to cram their experiences into the “sex trafficking” paradigm:

A worrying number of vulnerable Chinese women, many of whom are trafficking victims, are being detained under threat of deportation…the women have been picked up in immigration raids on restaurants, brothels and massage parlours…[and] held in detention…with no legal representation or access to interpreters…“These women are…still in fear of their traffickers,” said Natasha Walter, director of Women for Refugee Women…Many of the women do not [claim to be]…victims of trafficking until [they realize it might protect them from deportation]…Shalini Patel…said that late disclosure was…recognised [in “sex trafficking” dogma as a] symptom of trafficking…

If Men Were Angels 

“Youth pastors” are as bad as cops:

…The youth director, Dave Hyles, was the son of the charismatic pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, considered at the time the flagship for thousands of loosely affiliated independent fundamental Baptist churches and universities.  At least [four] teen girls would accuse Hyles of [rape or] sexual [assault], but he never faced charges or even sat for a police interview related to the accusations.  When he got in trouble, Hyles was able to simply move on, from one church assignment to the next…For decades, women and children have faced rampant sexual abuse while worshiping at independent fundamental Baptist churches around the country.  The network of churches and schools has often covered up the crimes and helped relocate the offenders…The Star-Telegram discovered at least 412 allegations of sexual misconduct in 187 independent fundamental Baptist churches and their affiliated institutions, spanning 40 states and Canada…the number of abused is [probably] far greater because few victims ever come forward…

The Mote and the Beam (#561)

Instead of chasing ambulances, these shysters are chasing the “sex trafficking” bandwagon:

…Among the worst forms of modern day slavery is sex trafficking, a heinous crime that disproportionately affects women and children.  It may even be happening in your city.  Hotels, casinos, resorts, nightclubs, and other [deep-pocketed] establishments [are fantasized by prohibitionists to] play an important role in sex trafficking, because sexual exploitation of trafficking victims often takes place under their roofs…hotels and motels have a financial incentive to look the other way and may not be in a rush to offer the necessary training.  At Morgan & Morgan, we find this unacceptable.  No one should look the other way when it comes to sex trafficking and we want to hold those who enable it accountable for their inaction.  If you are a victim of sex trafficking, we may be able to help.  Contact us today…for a confidential, free discussion.  You may be entitled to compensation…

“Hold accountable” is a euphemism used by authoritarians to mean “persecute under guise of some kind of moralistic rhetoric”.  It’s commonly seen in phrases such as “hold sex buyers accountable”, which means “persecute men for wanting consensual sex”.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#577)

Partly because of their legalized status, strippers are spearheading the movement for sex worker labor rights:

…Bella Vendetta…founded the Western Mass –based advocacy group, Team Clearheels 413, to address issues faced by local dancers…many dancers…are dependent upon club managers’ integrity, which leaves them vulnerable to predators in many of the same ways as are those in the broader sex worker community…exotic dance may be legal, but the social stigma attached to the profession discourages performers from seeking assistance for a number of issues…Vendetta was able to start putting together a loose organization of dancers and advocates to address some of the most immediate needs…

Still a Child (#721) 

Louisiana somehow got a federal court to reverse its own decision striking down a bad law:

Stormy Daniels joined strippers and club workers in a call to repeal a Louisiana law that prevents women between 18 and 20 years old from dancing in clubs, a measure they argue endangers and discriminates against women while failing to combat “trafficking” that its proponents have propped up as a defense for the law…Speakers argued that the creation of another barrier — following club raids that led to forced closures and significant restrictions on dancers — merely limits legal work opportunities for many women and potentially could force others into more dangerous sex work.  New Orleans club workers estimate the rule will impact dozens of dancers in their clubs…the [law was passed] in 2016…After several legal challenges, a three-judge panel at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals last month reversed its own decision and decided the state can enforce the law…

Lack of Evidence (#868) 

They were “safeguarded”, no doubt at a “safe house”.  How stupid do these pigs think we are?

Police have busted six suspected brothels and…discovered 16 women who were believed to be working as sex workers and safeguarded them…Police also found 14 women hanging around streets and [demanded they go]…to Changing Lives project, which…[harasses] sex work[ers] as well as [subjecting them to anti-sex propaganda]…women could face court if they ignore the [brainwashing] and are found [walking on public] streets [as though they were real people.  Then a pig oinked a lot of nonsense about]…”the illegal sex trade”…[and fantasized that] “Brothels can be linked to other wider organised crime”…

They “discovered” them, like inanimate objects hidden in a box.  The cop lies in this one are especially egregious, give that the “sex trade” isn’t illegal in the UK, and that massive police operations in the UK have never found more than a single-digit number of “sex trafficking” cases.

The Widening Gyre (#871) 

Cops are trying to regain control of the runaway moral panic by releasing even more hysterical exaggeration than the Facebook loons:

Crystal Blanton, [chief propaganda officer] of the Marion County Human Trafficking Task Force, said…”Thousands of people are being human trafficked.  Right here in Marion County and across the state of Florida…it’s the internet…Social media has grown the field of human trafficking.  It’s easier for these traffickers to make contact with victims…There are recruiters, juvenile recruiters in the schools, working with a pimp of some kind, and they are sent out in the schools and given a job to bring other minors on board,” Blanton [panted as she fingered herself frantically]…

A Broker in Pillage (#874)

Here’s more detail on Philadelphia’s scam to steal citizens’ property:

…A forfeiture petition for one property lists one gram of marijuana, a half gram of cocaine and some over-the-counter pills as justification…In one case recently settled in a $3 million class-action lawsuit, Norys Hernandez nearly lost the rowhouse she and her sister owned after police arrested her nephew on drug dealing charges…Another family named in the suit fought to save their house from [cops]…after their son was arrested for selling $40 worth of drugs outside of it…None of the homeowners were themselves accused of committing a crime…The money made off of the seized homes went to buy wish list items ranging from new submachine guns to custom uniform embroidery…at least 11 properties…were sold [directly] to [cops]…looking for a side hustle…the Philadelphia Police Department refuse[s] to disclose any information…and…the DA [claims to have] not kept records of…how many properties were sold…These seizures were notably focused in black and Latino neighborhoods with high rates of poverty…

Pyrrhic Victory (#878) 

This is a type of surveillance the Stasi would recognize:

…the US…DEA…awarded a contract to an American defense company to build a vacuum cleaner for surveillance purposes….Special Services Group, LLC  received a $42,595 contract on November 28 to manufacture a “custom Shop Vac concealment with Canon M50B”…the DEA expects delivery of the spy vacuum on January 01…the DEA [also]  purchased an undisclosed number of secret surveillance cameras that are being disguised as streetlights

Pyrrhic Victory (#882)

TSA’s specific plan is to help DHS build a giant biometric database:

The Transportation Security Administration has set out an alarming vision of pervasive biometric surveillance at airports, which cuts against the right to privacy, the “right to travel” and the right to anonymous association with others.  The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018…included language that…provide[s] implied Congressional endorsement to biometric screening of domestic travelers…TSA…plans to work with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to roll out increased biometric collection and screening for all passengers, including Americans traveling domestically…it provides no strategy for dealing with passengers who are…misidentified…

Whither Canada? (#888)

It’s good to see a prohibitionist forced to admit that Canada’s new prostitution laws were specifically intended to harm sex workers, not “protect” us as prohibitionist propaganda claims:

News reports frequently claim that Canada’s criminal prostitution laws are failing to achieve their goals.  These articles often suggest that the laws were implemented to make sex work saferhealthier and  less risky for those who engage in it.  Despite these…assertions, these outcomes are not what the laws aim to achieve…On Nov. 29, 2018, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice…upheld the constitutionality of these laws…[however,] the Court specifically rejected the applicants’ argument that an objective of PCEPA is to enhance the safety, security and dignity of people involved in sex work…

The Prudish Giant (#896) 

I’m glad people are beginning to realize how dangerous Facebook is to freedom:

FOSTA became law almost entirely because Facebook did an about-face on its position on the law — which only recently was revealed to have happened because COO Sheryl Sandberg decided it was important to appease Congress on something, even against the arguments of Facebook’s own policy team.  As we pointed out at the time, this was Facebook basically selling out the internet…not only will it not help clean up the mess it caused, it’s leaning in on this new puritanical internet that it wants to create…it has…put up a bunch of new guidelines in its “community standards” document, under the head of “sexual solicitation” that ban a wide variety of things from naughty words to expressing a sexual preference…

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