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Posts Tagged ‘Welcome to the Future’

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

Policing Womanhood

Scratch a SWERF, find a TERF:

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

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

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#845) 

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

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

Social Distancing (#1025)

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

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

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

Welcome to the Future (#1107)

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

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

Torture Chamber (#1122)

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

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

You Were Warned (#1124)

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

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

Predictable Consequences (#1124)

My friend Kate Zen, cofounder of Red Canary Song:

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

Dr. Elena Shih also works with Red Canary Song:

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

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Sex workers are a gift to people who stir up fake outrage for a living.  –  Mistress Matisse

Caring Professionals (#138)

It’s been a while since I’ve seen this topic addressed so well:

Both…my stylist…and…microblade artist…are care workers.  Their bodies—their hands—are necessary to their labor.  Massage parlors…exist in a similar realm of personal care, like hair salons and permanent-makeup studios.  These are all places where clients can pay for the intimacy of touch, the pleasure that touch affords.  The difference, of course, is that what we call sex work—a kind of care work that is criminalized and socially opprobrious—happens here.  And because it is labor that carries the threat of penalization, the burden of stigma and illegitimacy, the women who do this work become simultaneously more vulnerable, while their essential contributions to society remain invisible, devalued…

The Puritan Recrudescence (#892)

There’s a reason I’ve repeatedly called this cult “dangerous”:

I had been leading an independent lab for nearly 10 years studying various aspects of genital responsiveness, but the death threats first came when I published a study that did not support [the notion of] pornography addiction.  The death threats were thick with misogyny and anti-semitism, which seemed bizarre as they simultaneously bragged that they were liberal bastions for equality.  I went quickly to being physically stalked, moving my home multiple times, and now living in address protection…the Atlanta murder[s]…seemed to manifest the incredible vitriol I have watched grow.  All of this occurred through “pornography addiction” forums on the Internet.  Scientists have started studying these communities…as a part of a new anti-sexuality movement, which includes (1) anti-pornography feminists, (2) Internet porn addiction activists, and (3) religious morality groups…

Welcome to the Future (#1092)

I hope Pasco County, Florida is bankrupted by this lawsuit:

…a group of [Pasco] county residents, represented by the Institute for Justice, is suing the county over…years of harass[ment]…by cops…because [a “predictive policing”] system identified them as potential offenders.  When the residents lost patience with the continued police presence in their lives…the red tape of the endless regulatory state [was used] against them to encourage compliance or to simply cause pain…In [one] case, deputies cited [their victim] for tall grass, but failed to notify him of the citation.  Then, when he failed to appear for a hearing that he was never told was happening, they arrested him for failure to appear…The slow torture of tickets, arrests, and disrupted lives drove some to pick up and move out of Pasco County to avoid harassment…

Traffic Jam (#1107)

Mistress Matisse on why even not-quite-prohibitionist sex work documentaries are not quite good:

There are some hard-working sex workers in Hulu and ABC News’ new documentary, Only Fans: Selling Sexy, and I respect them…being in a documentary about doing sex work is a gigantic leap of faith.  We’re rarely treated with respect, and sometimes not even with much humanity…such filmmakers favour drama and controversy, and choose to sensationalise the lived experiences of myself and my sex work peers…Hulu/ABC News did better than most with their documentary – it’s smoothly made, and it only made me wince a few times.  But…in media, anyone who does sex work is deemed not to be a credible witness to their own life, so there are always non-sex workers in these documentaries who serve to confirm (or more often deny) what we say is real.  Irony in 2021 is watching a glossy TV show inspired by a sex work website, which features non-sex working actors saying to the camera, in serious tones, that giving sex workers “all this attention” might make us “go too far”.  Ask yourself: why does that sound a little hypocritical to me?…

You Were Warned (#1112)

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

Senator Mark Warner[‘s]…SAFE TECH Act…is one of the worst 230 bills I’ve seen and would effectively end the open internet…Warner doesn’t understand what he’s talking about.  At all…He…doesn’t…understand how 230 works…or how…websites actually handle content moderation …[he keeps] claiming that Section 230 has “turned into a get out of jail free card for large online providers”…Yet…this bill would help Facebook and Google by basically making it close to impossible for new competitors to exist, while leaving the market to those two…many critics have noted that smaller platforms would inevitably be harmed by Warner’s bill…Warner…[claims] he’s open to talking to smaller platforms, which is kind of laughable, considering that his staffers have been going around…lying about people…that have pointed out the problems with his bill…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1114)

The NY Times pretends to be critical of mass surveillance, yet opens this article with copsucking:

Clearview…deploy[ed its software by stealing]…billions of photos from the…internet…After Clearview’s activities came to light, [politicians bloviated for the cameras and passed do-nothing local laws easily circumvented by cops]…It seemed entirely possible [to the hopelessly-naive] that Clearview AI would be sued, legislated or shamed out of existence.  But [of course] that didn’t happen.  With no federal law prohibiting or even regulating the use of facial recognition, Clearview did not…change its practices…it [has] continued to acquire government customers…[and] is valued at nearly $109 million…it [has over]…3,100 [cop shops and other purveyors of organized violence as]…customers [including the military and]…ICE…The legal threats to Clearview have [only just] begun to move through the courts…civil-liberties advocates fear the company will prevail, and they are aghast at the potential consequences…

Predictable Consequences

Two more of my friends have thoughts on this tragedy. Kaytlin Bailey:

There are a over a hundred years of propaganda and policy behind the idea that sex workers and immigrants “infect” communities.  Asian women in particular have been fetishized and demonized, becoming the first targets of anti-prostitution and anti-immigration laws in the United States…In 1875, the Page Act barred Asian women from entering the country, for presumed “lewd and immoral purposes,” and police…began arresting droves of Asian women for prostitution.  US officials openly hoped that by driving out Asian women, they could prevent Asian people from settling and starting families here…

And Liz Brown:

…Blaming women for male lust is an old and all-too-common trope among those who commit or excuse violence against women.  And it’s a trope thoroughly rooted in common cultural messages about sexuality…we may have come a long way from the assumption that all sexy women are “asking for it,” but holding women responsible for men’s sexual urges and actions is still far from a fringe attitude.  And again and again, we see the milder version of this distorted by the minds of self-loathing psychopaths to hold that women deserve to pay for the desire men feel toward them.  Sex workers are particularly vulnerable to this type of misogyny.  Which is why it’s especially clueless and crass for certain media to be blaming sex work in the wake of the Atlanta massage parlor shootings…

But the big news this week is Polaris’ tacit admission of blood on its hands:

…following the attacks…anti-sex work organization Polaris Project deleted multiple pages that made claims about massage parlors as dens of sex trafficking…Polaris removed its page for “human trafficking in illicit massage businesses”…According to an archived snapshot of the site, the…page was up as of March 18, two days after the attacks…by the next day…the page returned a “not found” error.  The [memory-holed] page…featured a series of grainy images of massage parlors overlaid with titles like “Massage parlor trafficking networks and organized crime,” and “Your role in ending massage parlor trafficking”…

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“Approved” voices rise to the top of [a social media] feed as if by magic.  –  Josephine Livingstone

Storyville

Half a year old, but since the events were over a century ago anyhow:

Willie V. Piazza, known as “The Countess,” was a successful Storyville madam who reigned relatively serenely over her mansion at 317 N. Basin Street. Hers was one of several so-called octoroon houses in the district which featured light-skinned women of color for white clients…The literature about her depicts a regal woman who lived up to her nickname: sophisticated, intelligent, elegant, and always fashionably dressed, she sported a monocle, smoked Russian cigarettes held in a diamond-studded ivory-and-gold holder, wore a diamond choker, and spoke four languages fluently…Piazza’s legacy grew further when she took a stand against racial segregation in the waning months of the district’s legal existence…Ordinance 4118, proposed in early 1917…decreed that Storyville would be entirely racially segregated…Piazza was disturbed by the prospect of being forced from her Basin Street property, which had been a considerable investment…the Louisiana Supreme Court, in City of New Orleans v. Willie V. Piazza (1917)…ruled in her favor, finding that Ordinance 4118 overstepped the original intent of the 1897 act regulating where prostitutes could live. The Countess and her ladies stayed put…

Permanent Record

If prohibitionists really want to “rescue” sex workers, why do they keep trying to stop us from getting other jobs?

Lonna Wells was [fired from an Arkansas Taco Bell because]…a customer had lodged a formal complaint that there was a woman working the drive-thru who was doing internet porn, and as a [hypocritical] Christian they didn’t feel comfortable [see]ing the [performers from the porn they watch in real life]…

Welcome to the Future (#977)

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

A…silicone wristband…called a Moodbeam…allows your employer to track your emotional state.  The gadget…[currently requires the wearer to] press the yellow [button] if [they] are feeling happy, and the blue one if [they] are sad…employees…can [currently] say no…[but obviously that will change]…Managers can then [snoop into the private feelings of their]…workers…[since they are] no longer able to [spy on them] in p[erson]…

Quiet Genocide (#1081)

The US finally decides to call a spade a spade:

With just one day left in President Trump’s term, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo…officially de[clar]ed that China’s campaign of [genocide]…in Xinjiang constitutes “genocide”…The U.S. has become the first country to…describe the Chinese Communist Party’s gross human rights abuses [as what they are]…The Biden campaign has previously [recognized] China’s…genocide….[as a genocide but] it had been unclear whether the Trump administration would make this formal determination before Biden assumed office…

You Were Warned (#1097)

The bipartisan war on the internet continues without even a pause:

Section 230′s untouched days may be numbered [now that] Joe Biden will be president.  [He has repeatedly stated that he]…think[s] the law should be [repealed]…that…is an extreme — and unlikely — option, but many [politicians]…on both sides of the aisle have introduced bills and pushed for change to the legislation…

From the subtitle link:  “Biden doesn’t like Section 230 and…doesn’t understand what it does…his…top tech policy advisor…published a bizarre and misleading “but think of the children!” attack on [it] that…suggests incredibly dangerous changes…citing FOSTA as a ‘good example’…

R.I.P. Margo St. James

What do you do when you’re a prohibitionist rag which pretends to quasi-official status when the most famous sex worker activist in the world dies?  You do a proper, detailed obituary which nonetheless subtly dismisses her achievements and intentionally confuses decriminalization with legalization.  Hey New York Times, would it have really hurt you to have actually consulted any of the people you quoted from other sources instead?

Traffic Jam (#1104)

Rashida Jones’ sleazy prohibitionism ties into a much bigger picture:

…Rashida Jones, Meryl Streep, and Laverne Cox had all signed on to produce a “documentary adaptation” of Sell/Buy/Date, a one-woman [prohibitionist] play…A few days later, Cox…quit because of pressure from her core fanbase, who took up and amplified the performers’ concerns on Twitter.  If they hadn’t, the complaints would probably have sunk without a trace.  It’s harder now than ever for sex workers to be heard on social media, but even easier for producers like Rashida Jones to tell their stories on mega-streaming platforms like Netflix…Big platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok use proprietary algorithms and shadow banning…to minimize a user’s reach to the community without alerting them…“Rashida Jones can post to her two million followers without worrying about her posts being invisibilized by a platform,” Danielle Blunt, dominatrix and Hacking//Hustling member explained.  “Sex workers can’t.  Jones can buy ads to promote her movie.  Sex workers can’t”…

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ICE has no reservations about covering its tracks to avoid accountability for its…human rights abuses.

Banishment (#435)

Habeas corpus? New York don’t understand that fancy Latin jazz:

New York’s top court upheld a law…that allows the state to keep [people tarred with the label “]sex offender[” indefinitely locked in filthy cages long]…after they have completed their sentences…the state Court of Appeals [pretended] the law didn’t violate due process guarantees, and did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment…In a 5-2 decision, Judge Eugene Fahey wrote for the majority: “We [pretend] that there was no constitutional violation”…

The Course of a Disease (#925)

The Spanish case of the Swedish rot is especially virulent:

…[Busybodie]s in one of Madrid’s eastern districts, Ciudad Lineal, have decided to…campaign for the removal of small flyers and brochures advertising [sex workers’ services]…in the first four hours of the activity some 1238 advertising materials were removed from the streets and vehicles.  [Puritans claimed that interfering with poor women’s ability to pay bills and feed their children during a pandemic is] good news…and [babbled a lot of tinned]…non[sense]…about treatment of women…[and “]the children[!”]…

For an added touch of irony, a notice at the end of this ugly propaganda claims that “TheMayor.EU stands against fake news and disinformation.”

Torture Chamber (#1022)

The government needs to be buried in lawsuits before this will stop:

Newly released federal data show a direct link between widespread sexual abuse in youth [prisons] and unprofessional behavior by staff…Just Detention International…says the findings detail how staff  “routinely crossed boundaries with [young people] prior to abusing them, in ways that should have been obvious to fellow staff and higher ups, including showing kids preferential treatment, sharing intimate details with them about their lives, and providing them forbidden items like alcohol and other drugs.”  Perpetrators most often targeted [youth] who identify as LGBT…[or] have disabilities…youth who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual were about twice as likely as their straight peers to be abused…nearly one in five [trans youth are]…sexually abused…[and more than one in five] who have a disability or mental illness…

Torture Chamber (#1025)

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

…Cameroonian and Congolese immigrants [were] subjected to physical…and [mental torture]…while [imprisoned] at Adams County Correctional Center (ACCC) in Mississippi.  The[y]…were coerced and tortured into complying with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement [thugs] to fingerprint documents approving their own deportation.  These fingerprints, used in place of signatures, indicated the immigrants’ [supposed] consent to initiate deportation proceedings and waive their rights to further immigration hearings.  Three people provided firsthand accounts of the violent tactics ICE…used to obtain their prints, including pepper-spraying [them] almost to the point of suffocation, breaking their fingers, and subjecting them to further [violence]…in unmonitored rooms.  A joint complaint filed by FFI and the Southern Poverty Law Center cites eight cases of forced signatures or fingerprints on stipulated orders of removal, as well as several instances of violence…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1076) 

LAPD “bans” technology it’s already illegal to use in California:

The Los Angeles police department…has banned…facial recognition software and launched a review after 25 [cops] were accused of using it [illeg]ally to try to identify people…deputy chief John McMahon…noted that p[igs] were only allowed to [root in] the official LAPD ID system…and [that California banned any use] by [cops several months ago]…LAPD…used…Clearview AI…nearly 475 times…over a three-month period beginning at the end of 2019…an LAPD spokesman said [that even though cops ignored previous bans because they carry no criminal penalties, this time will be different even though the new ban is only a policy rather than a law and carries no criminal penalties either]…

Sheep and Goats

But don’t worry; this isn’t important because it’s just “white women getting a manicure”:

On most days, Juyoung Lee is the only person inside Beverly Nail Studio, the salon that she owns in Flushing, Queens…Like nail salons across New York City, her business [was forced by politicians] to close when the pandemic hit in March.  There was a brief surge in demand after the lockdown was lifted in July, but then appointments started dwindling.  Often, customers requested cheaper services.  Now, they hardly come at all.  The beauty industry in the city seemed well positioned to bounce back after restrictions ended.  After all, many customers had spent months without professional grooming.  But now, many of these businesses are on the verge of collapse — a drastic hit for an industry that is an economic engine for immigrant women…The New York Nail Salon Workers Association…said…“The work force is primarily immigrant workers living paycheck to paycheck, supporting children and in many cases sick and aging family members in their own countries”…

Welcome to the Future (#1092)

“Predictive policing” scams don’t spare minors:

Victorian police [are using] a secretive data tool that tracked youths and [pretends to be able to] predict…the risk they w[ill] commit crime…Between 2016 and 2018, police [stigmat]ised young people as “youth network offenders” or “core youth network offenders”…Once a young person was classified, police [harass them, accusing]…them…[of] crimes…and [then claiming their self-fulfilling prophecy]…is…95% accurate…

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Smart people…[a]re better than dumber people at coming up with reasons to justify their false beliefs.  –  Cathy Reisenwitz

See No Evil (#424)

Censors have learned to use “progressive” rhetoric to cloak prudery:

A 26-foot-tall sculpture of Marilyn Monroe playfully patting down her upblown skirt is the source of a [moronic] debate in Palm Springs, California.  The town’s city council has approved the…recreation of the act[ress]’s iconic scene atop a blustery subway grate from…The Seven Year Itch—to be installed near the Palm Springs Art Museum for a three-year period.  But…[prudes, busybodies and censors are dis]pleased with the decision…the museum’s executive director…Louis Grachos [made furtive movements in his pants while bloviating weird fantasies about underwear]…“school-age children”…and [how the]…statue [magically] objectifies women…[thereby] “hurt[ing] our whole community”…Steven H. Maloney, chair of the museum’s board of trustees, [opined that women are so stupid that a painted hunk of metal constitutes]…“an unhealthy encouragement of risqué behavior of women”…

I have a hard time imagining what a lower opinion of women than that displayed by these pompous weeds would look like.

Policing Womanhood

Cathy Reisenwitz has further thoughts on the origin of whore-hatred in women:

As my friend and fellow sex worker Maggie McNeill points out, public polling suggests men are more likely to support sex work decrim than women…Maggie thinks that the main reason women oppose sex work decrim is that women tend to think of women’s individual behavior as reflecting on women as a whole and think sex work is a bad look…I think there’s truth to that, but it lacks an important class angle…middle-class white women began campaigning for laws against prostitution and defining any type of promiscuity as prostitution in the Progressive Era at the turn of the 20th century…Middle-class white women feared female economic independence threatened dominant middle-class values.  By making prostitution dangerous and illegal, middle-class white women sought to force working-class women, women of color, and immigrant women into marriage, chastity, monogamy, hard work, and propriety lest they live independently of men and destroy the social order…

To Molest and Rape (#825)

Rapist cops don’t only target women:

A man who [was raped by] a [typical and representative] South Carolina [cop]…is suing the city of Travelers Rest…The [cop], Shawn Jenkins, was fired from the [cop shop] last year after…[the] Sheriff’s Office…[only] charged [him] with second-degree sexual misconduct…The plaintiff, who filed the suit anonymously, told investigators Jenkins pointed a department-issued stun gun at him while he was visiting Jenkins’ residence on Aug. 5, 2019, and told him to “strip or be tased”…The [then-underage victm] tried to run away, but [Jenkins] locked [him] inside a room [and raped him]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#974) 

As long as cops suffer no consequences for disobedience, laws like this are mere political grandstanding:

In Maine, voters in the state’s largest city recently enacted one of the toughest facial recognition bans in the country in the Nov. 3 elections, outlawing both use of the technology by local police and the city government…the measure codifies – [but adds only weak] enforcement teeth – to a ban…passed in August by the Portland City Council…The new law allows citizens to sue the city for illegal facial recognition surveillance by the city police or government.  Citizens could get [a mere] $1,000 per violation plus legal fees, if they prevail in court.  Municipal employees [but not cops] can be fired [but not criminally prosecuted] for violating the [law]…

Welcome to the Future (#1073)

Pasco County, Florida’s “predictive policing” scheme doesn’t spare minors:

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office keeps a secret list of kids it [pretend]s could “fall into a life of crime” based on factors like whether they’ve been abused or gotten a D or an F in school…the list [is created] by combining the rosters for most middle and high schools in the county with records so sensitive, they’re protected by state and federal law…Four hundred and twenty kids are [currently] on the list…[cops do]n’t tell the kids or their parents about the designation…an[d]…school…[administrators claim to have been] unaware…of [it as well]…The Department of Children and Families [refused to] answer…the Sheriff’s Office…use[s the list] to [target]…middle and high school…[students for surveillance and harassment euphemized as] “mentorship” and “resources”…Ten experts in law enforcement and student privacy…called the program…a clear misuse of children’s confidential information that stretched the limits of the law…

Legislators Gone Wild (#1086)

Why are Nevada brothel whores unable to open their mouths without vomiting out toxic whorearchy?

…[brothel whores unemployed] because of COVID-19…say they are being forced to make money in what they call dangerous, scary and illegal ways…the long shutdown is depleting their savings and they’re going broke waiting to work again.  That is forcing some of them to turn to things they didn’t want to to make money, like illegal prostitution.  One…says…”it’s so degrading and so scary”…Another…admits to illegally meeting with a Mustang Ranch regular…she trusted him but…he beat and choked her…two [say they] decided to turn a trick in Arizona…but…the…man…ended up holding them hostage in the bathroom at gun point…The madams also say they’re seeing some of their workers walking the streets now with…pimps…”If you walk into a casino, the floor is filled with illegal prostitutes and pimps”…

Apparently these whores are both incompetent and cursed, so that in a few months they’ve experienced more violence than every escort I know put together has experienced in years.

Dangerous Speech (#1087)

It’s symptomatic of the government’s deep moral rot that she wasn’t automatically disqualified:

On Nov. 18, veteran newspapermen Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin took the extraordinary step of filing a petition for a writ of mandamus with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, asking it to intervene in their ongoing criminal case and order Judge Susan Brnovich to recuse herself from all future proceedings…her husband, Arizona Attorney General Mark…Brnovich, others on his behalf and organizations with which he is associated…have vilified Backpage, assumed its complicity in sex trafficking, and drawn conclusions about facts that will be at issue in the trial of Lacey, Larkin and their four co-defendants…[although] the AG’s inaccurate assumptions about Backpage go to the heart of the case and raise the specter of potential bias on behalf of the judge[, she has stubbornly refused to recuse herself]…

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Our job as educators is not to create a surveillance environment that teaches students how to better lie, but to foster critical thinking and civic responsibility.  – Zeynep Tufekci

License to Rape

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

Christopher McCormack is one of the New York Police Department’s highest-ranking officers…his ascension started three decades earlier…and [all]…along the way, police leaders were privy to an ever-growing list of complaints against McCormack…[most] of [which] were hidden from public view…What stands out…is how often Black and Latino men accused him of [molesting them under he pretext of] invasive, humiliating searches…he pulled down their pants in public, exposing their genitals…[and] used his fingers to [rape] their anal cavities [under the pretext of “searching for drugs”]…McCormack is just one of dozens of high-ranking NYPD officers who have risen [thank to egregious] misconduct in their records.  Eighty-six of the roughly 420 [cops]…who currently hold a rank above captain…have tallied at least one misconduct allegation that was substantiated by the [cops themselves], meaning that [the behavior was too blatant to hide as per standard procedure]…the…substantiated complaints are dwarfed by a far larger list of those that are “unsubstantiated,” meaning [cops were able to pretend they didn’t]…happen…

Scapegoats (#438)

I reckon someone else noticed Arpaio’s obsession with this topic:

…For $30.99, users of Cameo — an app where singers, actors and other public figures record custom video messages for a fee — can request a personalized clip of [disgraced politician Joe Arpaio] saying whatever they want…Most of Arpaio’s Cameo videos appear to be standard fare, such as birthday greetings, thank-you messages, congratulatory comments.  But one…[last week] raised eyebrows. “Hey, good luck organizing the Arizona Furry convention,” Arpaio begins, though he pronounces it “Fury,” suggesting he’s not totally certain…he’s been asked to talk about…Arizona Fur Con, an annual event [for] members of the furry community…the…person who ordered the video [goes by]…Sir Yiffs A Lot.  “Yiff” refers to furry-related sexual content or activity, which made Arpaio’s sign-off all the more cringeworthy…”I’m kind of partial to dogs,” he says after a pause, as if responding to a question included in the video request. “But I love all animals. Thanks”…

Devil’s Advocate (#944) 

Florida politicians are obsessed with child-shaped toasters:

[A pervert politician from Florida] filed legislation in Congress to ban [small] sex dolls [fashioned to resemble children] nationwide…[per-Vern Buchanan] said he will reintroduce the [moronically-named] CREEPER Act…which died in the Senate [in 2018]…Buchanan said he felt the [urge] to reintroduce the legislation after [some creep had a masturbatory fantasy] that a…sex doll was being sold on the Internet…was [somehow] modeled off of a girl in Miami [even though the same model has been sold for years before the girl reached the size and age depicted by the doll]…Florida passed a similar…ban in 2019…[making it] one of only three states, along with Kentucky and Tennessee that has specifically banned [plastic toys made to resemble children]…

Welcome to the Future (#1010)

What “predictive policing” actually looks like on the ground:

Pasco County [Florida] Sheriff Chris Nocco took office in 2011 with a…plan…to create a…system to continuously monitor and harass…residents…the Sheriff’s Office generates lists of people it c[laims are] likely to break the law, based on arrest histories, un[founded allegations] and arbitrary decisions by [cops]…Then it sends deputies to find and [harass] anyone whose name appears, often without probable cause, a search warrant or evidence of a specific crime.  They swarm homes in the middle of the night, waking families and embarrassing people in front of their neighbors.  They write tickets for missing mailbox numbers and overgrown grass, saddling residents with court dates and fines.  They come again and again, making arrests for any reason they can.  One former deputy described the directive like this: “Make their lives miserable until they move or sue.”  In just five years, Nocco’s signature program has ensnared almost 1,000 people…

I Spy (#1010)

The pandemic has been a very useful excuse for expanding the police state:

[Using the excuse of] the pandemic, many universities and colleges around the country are forcing students to download location-tracking apps, sometimes as a condition of enrollment…When students enter a classroom, their phone informs a sensor that’s been installed in the room, or the app checks the Wi-Fi networks nearby to determine the phone’s location.  As a university professor, I’ve seen surveillance like this before.  Many of these apps replicate the tracking system sometimes installed on the phones of student athletes, for whom it is often mandatory.  That system tells us a lot about what we can expect with these apps…Knowing that they are being tracked, some students will no doubt let their phone “sleep” peacefully in their bed while they party elsewhere.  If a few get sick, they may hide it, for fear of having their tech trickery found out…Excessive surveillance often backfires in this way…And broad surveillance can engender a chilling effect among the whole populace…

You Were Warned (#1045)

Exactly the same thing the Democrats want, but please tell me more about the “wings”:

A group of…Republican…[politician]s introduced a new bill…aimed at chipping away some of the protections provided to social media companies through Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.  The [misnamed] Online Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity Act…would strip away the liability protection provided by Section 230 if a platform restricted access to content without providing specific rules that it violated…[after] Trump[‘s]…executive order [doing much the same thing was shown to be impotent, bootlicking politicians] started introducing their own legislation to amend the law…

Finding What Isn’t There (#1070)

This time they didn’t even try to wedge their scam into the “sex trafficking” narrative:

Eight [legal minors] were [taken into custody] in a five-day r[aid series] in the Indianapolis area and one person was arrested on charges including parental kidnapping…The U.S. Marshals [are] now [calling all of the apprehensions in three states “]rescue[” even though few if any of the subjects were in any danger; they are also calling all of the 72 subjects “]missing children[” even though most were not actually children and few were actually “missing” in the usual sense of the term]…The [subjects] are between 6 to 17 years old…and [some may have been arrested by the cops under guise of “rescue”, since the pigrelease claims they were all]…turned over to the Indiana Department of Child Services…and…no further details about the [subjects] or the circumstances were released…the U.S. Marshals Service [also pretended] it found 39 missing children in Georgia…[and] 25…in Ohio…[though no factual details were available in that case, either]…

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Collaborating with the police is not something…a mathematician should be doing.  –  Jayadev Athreya

Fallen Idol (#792)

These charges followed the accusations by almost three years:

Porn star Ron Jeremy has been charged with sexually assaulting four women on four separate occasions dating back to 2014…Jeremy…is accused of sexually assaulting two women at a bar in West Hollywood in 2017, and of forcibly raping another woman at that same bar during the summer of 2019.  He is also accused of forcibly raping a woman at a home in West Hollywood…In 2017…more than a dozen women had come forward accusing [him]…of sexual misconduct, including groping, inappropriate touching, nonconsensual digital penetration, and sexual assault.  Most of the women accusing him were in the adult industry…[one of them,] former adult performer Jennifer Steele, [said]…“[He] know[s] if someone’s a porn star and they say they’ve been raped, people aren’t gonna take it seriously”…

Lack of Evidence (#900) 

Removing excuses cops use to persecute people is always a good thing:

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously…to repeal the law [against “loitering” for the purpose of prostitution]…following a 2018 recommendation from a working group on reentry problems faced by people exiting incarceration.  “The prostitution loitering ordinance has a discriminatory legacy that impacted primarily people of color, women and our LGBTQ community,” said [politician Andrew] Lewis in a statement. “I’ve received hundreds of emails from constituents almost uniformly in favor of repealing these ordinances”…

Welcome to the Future (#916)

I’m afraid they’ve discovered their moral compasses at least 20 years too late:

…A group of mathematicians in the United States has written a letter calling for their colleagues to stop collaborating with police because of the widely documented disparities in how US law-enforcement agencies treat people of different races and ethnicities.  They concentrate their criticism on predictive policing, a maths-based technique…[that pretends to be able to] stop…crime before it occurs.  The letter, dated 15 June, is addressed to the trade journal Notices of the American Mathematical Society (AMS), and…more than 1,400 researchers have now joined the call.  In recent years, mathematicians, statisticians and computer scientists have been developing algorithms that crunch large amounts of data and [pretend] to help police reduce crime…the mathematicians write in the letter. “It is simply too easy to create a ‘scientific’ veneer for racism”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#979)

To the state, facial recognition systems’ false positives aren’t a bug; they’re a feature:

On a Thursday afternoon in January, Robert Julian-Borchak Williams was in his office at an automotive supply company when he got a call from the Detroit [cop shop demanding he] come to the station to be arrested.  He thought…it was a prank…[until] he pulled into his driveway…[and] a p[igmobile] pulled up behind, [vomiting out]…two [pigs who then insulted] and [brutalized] Mr. Williams…in front of his wife and two young daughters…[before dragging him] to a [cage and putting his biometric information into a database from which it will never be removed despite the fact that they were trying to frame him for grand theft based on]…a still image from a surveillance video…[which] was clearly not Mr. Williams…his case may be the first known account of an American being wrongfully arrested based on a flawed match from a facial recognition algorithm…

Working From Home

Most porn performers have long had to supplement film income with outside work:

…When COVID-19 shut down the adult entertainment industry, performers fell back on many of the things they were already doing, creating and selling content directly to their fans.  Realizing professional porn isn’t necessary for a lucrative career, many performers are now making even more money in a safe environment they control…the promise of [higher] payment may not be enough to entice performers back to set.  Three years after allegations of sexual assault enveloped the reputations of James Deen and Ron Jeremy, arguably the most iconic male performers of their generations, new alarms are being raised among female performers…women in the industry are speaking out on social media, exposing a rash of predatory behavior from companies, directors, and in some cases their agents.  Liberated from institutional misogyny, performers are creating content and cashing in on themselves for once, and not without a discernible sense of schadenfreude…

To Molest and Rape (#1047)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

A…Harris County [Texas cop attempted to molest]…a teen girl he was assigned to investigate after she was reported as a runaway.  Aaron Isaac Mayes…went to the [girl’s] home…in March…to speak with the girl’s mother…[and] discovered the girl was at home and not missing…the mom [later] told investigators Mayes seemed interested in [her daughter], but [idiotically] believed he simply cared “beyond the scope of the law enforcement duties…in a healthy way”…[but her] daughter…[showed her] screenshots from Instagram conversations…[with] Mayes, which included [dick pics and]…an exchange in which Mayes offered her $80 in cash…[which] Mayes [claimed was] trying to…help her avoid…prostitution [by paying her for sex]…

The Cop Myth (#1047)

A few statistics to further dispel the myth of heroic cops:

…Americans have witnessed video after video of cops assaulting unarmed demonstrators and even bystanders unlucky enough to cross their path…Many try to explain away cases like these as “isolated incidents” carried out by “bad apples”…[but] if anything, most public discussions may be too narrow and myopic to capture how extreme, pervasive, and multifaceted police abuse of power actually is…So far this year, 481 civilians have been shot to death by police in the United States…Since 2015, cops fatally shot at least 352 people who were unarmed (that is, not even possessing a toy, blunt object, or other instrument)…hundreds more civilians are killed by cops every year with taserspepper sprayrubber bulletschokeholdspositional asphyxiablunt force trauma, [pigmobiles] and other causes…Deaths…only represent a small fraction of overall police violence…at least 985,300 Americans experienced non-lethal threats or use of force from police in a single year:…There are also widespread…rapes, sexual assault, and sexual harassment incidents [committed by] on-duty cops every year…many more cases likely go unreported…cops also regularly commit crimes, and carry out violence, when they are off duty.  For instance, rates of domestic abuse are as much as four times higher among law enforcement than in the broader population…The level of aggression cops deploy in an area seems to have no correlation with that area’s level of violent crime—nor does it seem proportional to the actual danger law enforcement agents face on the job…the overall line-of-duty law enforcement homicide rate…[is] 9.74 per 100,000 officers…the homicide rate for men…[in the general population is] 9.5 per 100,000.  That is, police officers were just a little more likely to be a victim of homicide in the line of duty than the typical American male living his day-to-day life…

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While scandalized men are given second chances galore, women who society says behaved badly are branded for life.  –  Melissa Petro

Think of the Children! (Bits and Pieces)

Melissa Petro was open about her past when she applied to be a teacher; it wasn’t until she was outed that her “sex rays” suddenly became dangerous to children:

Ten years ago, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg…personally asked for me to be removed from my job as a public-school teacher and called for the city to take legal action against me…because I admitted that I’d worked in the sex industry before teaching.  “We’re just not going to have this woman in front of a class,” Bloomberg was quoted as saying…he…and I never met.  He never commented further on my situation.  He decided my fate, and that was that…The press…demonized me.  I was dubbed the “hooker teacher” and made into the butt of jokes.  And yet in the intervening years I was able to turn that exposure into a platform for humanizing sex work…

Under Duress 

I wonder if most cops are even capable of telling the truth?

Just…a…week [after]…[Los Angeles cop Angel Reinosa was arrested because he] fabricated [a] story of [being] shot in the shoulder by a sniper as he walked from his patrol car into the station…another cop in Ohio was arrested for doing the exact same thing.  On January 13, approximately 50 [heavily-armed thugs] from ten different [cop shops invaded] a predominantly black neighborhood looking for a non-existent suspect.  This swarm of cops…detain[ed] innocent people…and [terrorized] an entire community…because Warren [Ohio pig] Noah Linnen falsely claimed he’d been involved in a shootout with a [vaguely-described] black man in a black SUV…Due to the massive police presence…the…lying cop’s story [quickly] began to unravel…After…[terrorizing innocent people for a while], police finally looked at the surveillance footage from nearby properties and never saw an SUV fitting Linnen’s description.  So, the lying cop changed his story…[to claim he had somehow mistaken] a bicycle [for a truck]…In total, this lying cop would change his story four times after each lie he made up was shut down…In the final version of the story…he [simply] fired…at a passing vehicle [because it had] bright headlights…

Shifting the Blame (#327)

It’s difficult to tell if the anti-whore bullshit in this review springs from the film or its reviewer:

…In Lost Girlsthe great documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus…enters the realm of drama as if born to it.  The movie, based on a true story that began in 2010 (it’s adapted from Robert Kolker’s 2013 nonfiction bestseller Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery), is about…Mari Gilbert (Amy Ryan), who learns that her oldest daughter, Shannan, who’s around 20 and has been a sex worker living in Jersey City, N.J., has gone missing…police find four dismembered bodies off the side of the highway…Lost Girls is built around an aggrieved mother’s obsession to learn, at any cost, what happened to her child, and it may remind you of other mystery dramas rooted in the squalid dangers of the sex industry…we expect the movie to be…some sort of investigative deep dive into the ugly nuts and bolts of…the druggy, unstable, three-rotating-cell-phones life of a sex worker in the Craigslist era…

Reviewer Owen Gleiberman affects an understanding of the demimonde which is undermined by his misuse of terms, such as “in-call” when he means outcall and “john” to mean client (despite his decrying the dehumanization of sex workers a couple of paragraphs later).  Gleiberman seems unsure if he’s an ally, a puritan, or just a working writer employing the pseudo-intellectual cant of the professional fim critic who likes his comfortable paycheck but isn’t sure what his audience wants to hear; as such, it’s difficult to tell how much of this attitude is derived from the book (whose author spoke to me shortly before release), how much from the film, how much from the reviewer, and how much from the anti-sex dogma 21st century US journalists are expected to parrot.

To Molest and Rape

Another brave hero, protecting and serving:

A [typical and representative] Alabama [screw who was a serial rapist]…pleaded guilty…during…his ongoing trial…Matthew Moore…was arrested in 2018 and implicated by DNA in sexual assaults in George, Alabama and Florida…Moore was sentenced to life in prison with 30 years to serve…In June 2010, Moore [brutally raped] an Atlanta [sex worker at gunpoint]…[after he] left…the victim called 911, and [a rape kit was performed]…On November 17, 2015, Moore [brutally and sadistically raped another sex worker in]…Sandy Springs [Georgia]…and…record[ed] the entire [attack on his cell phone]…The victim was eventually able to escape…and ran…[into] the hallway…Moore [threatened bystanders with a gun to escape]…A year and a half later – in 2017 – the se[cond victim’s rape kit]…revealed…[a] DNA…match…[with the 2010] rape…as well as a 2008 [rape] in Homewood, a 2010 [rape] in Cobb County, and a 2010 [rape] in Birmingham…[when] Moore [was caught]…the video…of the 2015 rape…was still on his phone three years later…In addition to the Georgia and Alabama cases, Moore was implicated in a [rape] of a 64-year-old woman in Jupiter, Florida on March 7, 2018…

The Prudish Giant (#899)

People sometimes ask why I’m not on Facebook:

Facebook…[recently released] a long-delayed “Off-Facebook Activity” tracker [which]…shows Facebook and sister apps Instagram and Messenger don’t need a microphone to target you with those eerily specific ads and posts — they’re all up in your business countless other ways.  Even with Facebook closed on my phone…It knows when I [use the Peet’s Coffee or Home Depot apps,] read…Pete Buttigieg[‘s website] or…The Atlantic…or…open the Ring app…The “Off-Facebook Activity” tracker will show you 180 days’ worth of the data Facebook collects about you from the many organizations and advertisers in cahoots with it.  This page, buried behind lots of settings menus (here’s a direct link), is the product of a promise…Zuckerberg made during the height of the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal to provide ways we can “clear the history” in our accounts…it doesn’t let you reset your entire relationship with Facebook.  But…it does give you a way to unlink some of its surveillance…Even when your phone is entirely off, businesses can upload information about you making an in-store purchase.  One colleague found 974 apps and websites shared his activity…

Business As Usual (#928)

Oh look, a psychopathic rapist-murderer cop has raped before:

In a lawsuit filed…against [typical and representative vice cop Andrew] Mitchell and the City of Columbus, Mitchell is [reported to have] handcuff[ed] an unnamed woman and rap[ed] her…on…[two separate occasions] in 2017 and…2018….[on both occasions] Mitchell [acted out his typical MO with women he knew were sex workers or]…had…warrants out against her [at some point]…Mitchell…[drove] the woman to a…parking lot in Columbus where he [knew he would not be caught, forced her]…into the back seat…handcuffed her to the vehicle and raped her….[both] time[s]…he…drove off [after raping her], leaving the woman without most of her clothing…

The Widening Gyre (#941)

The “sex traffickers” have spread from Target and Ikea to gas station mini-marts:

Burlington [North Carolina] police are [help]ing [to spread hysteria]…about…human trafficking…after a [woman fantasized she was followed]…at [a crowded] Sheetz [gas station]…in the middle of the day…The [wo]man’s [fantasy]…prompted the Burlington Police Department to post a warning on its Facebook page reminding people to [spy on each other] and report [any brown people] to them…

Welcome to the Future (#977)

As I’ve repeatedly stated, it’s far too late to put this evil djinni back into its bottle:

…implicit bias…is ubiquitous in the workplace, and can hurt not just employees, but also a company’s bottom line…Despite the growing adoption of implicit bias training, some in the field of human resources have raised doubts about its effectiveness in improving diversity and inclusion within organizations.  But what if a smart device, similar to the Amazon Alexa, could tell when your boss inadvertently [made] a female colleague…feel that her perspective wasn’t valued?  This device doesn’t yet exist, but Northeastern associate professors…are preparing to embark on a three-year project that could yield such a gadget…working on…a $1.5 million…grant from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory…

I’m sure the US Army is funding this because it cares so deeply about “diversity and inclusion”.

Watershed (#978)

We’re way past the watershed now:

For the first time, over half of Americans support the decriminalization of sex work, and two-thirds of voters aged 18 to 44 back the initiative.  The statistic comes from…Decriminalizing Survival: Policy Platform and Polling on the Decriminalization of Sex Work, [which] analyzes a Data for Progress and YouGov Blue survey from late November…author Nina Luo…argues…that public discourse is leading voters to have a better understanding of the arguments surrounding decriminalization beyond fearmongering around sex trafficking…Democrats are nearly twice as likely as Republicans to support decriminalization, and younger voters generally show stronger support…than older Americans.  Among respondents aged 18 to 29, 65% support decriminalization, compared to 42% among people aged 65 or older.  Overall, only 36% of American voters oppose decriminalization…

All-Purpose Excuse (#978)

Trumpists and anti-Trumpists continue to fight for control of the “sex trafficking” narrative:

President Trump…attend[ed] a White House summit organized by his daughter Ivanka on [so-called] human trafficking, an issue he frequently invokes…But some of the country’s most prominent…organizations [which label themselves “anti-trafficking”]…won’t be there.  They have decided to boycott the event.  The group includes Polaris, the…[most influential purveyor of anti-sex work propaganda in the US], and the leader of Freedom Network USA, the…largest…coalition [of groups actually concerned with exploitation rather than simply using it as a cover for persecution of sex workers]…They say that although the president frequently invokes human trafficking, his administration is actively endangering a significant portion of [people infantilized as “trafficking victims”]:  immigrants…Ivanka Trump…has embraced the eradication of [sex work] as one of her causes [despite her stepmother’s history of sex work]…she…has advocated anti-[sex work] legislation, including [the internet censorship bill FOSTA]…

The Monsters Are Due (#996)

White van hysteria appears to be broadening:

The driver of a white van described [by cops and Facebook hysterics] as possibly being involved in suspicious activity…is a dog-loving business owner and tourist…[named] Chris Fox…who lives in Salt Lake City…Jackson County [South Dakota cops] posted a photo of Fox’s van and wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post that it wanted to learn more about the vehicle because [gullible cops imagined it was] “associated with confirmed criminal activity…[and] appears to use the large antenna visible on the roof to intercept WiFi, stealing credit card information”…[cops harassed him by]…track[ing] down his phone number by running his license plate, which [a busybody had] photographed [while he was peacefully going about his business in his van, which] doesn’t have a big antenna…

Stupor Bowl (#1005)

Though the majority of journalists now insert disclaimers when repeating tall tales of “Super Bowl sex trafficking”, the Miami Herald has apparently decided to go in exactly the opposite direction, publishing the lurid sex fantasies of cops, politicians, and other assorted prohibitionist lowlifes as not only news, but breaking news despite the fact that this same masturbatory fantasy has been spread in conjunction with every major sporting event for well over a decade.  And since we’ve all seen this tragedy porn more times than is healthy for any normal brain, I’m just going to excerpt the high points:

…an underground stream of no-name girls…branded with bar-code tattoos on their inner lower lip, dulled by a diet of drugs, painted with makeup to look older, bruised or burned in discreet spots and living in a state of terror…they are an essential element of the Super Bowl…modern-day slave masters…aiming to make upwards of $1,000 per night per woman under their control…40 million victims caught in the $150 billion sex…trafficking industrysecond only to drug trafficking as the world’s largest criminal industryTheresa Flores [shares her fantasy about being “trafficked” by magical ninja pimps]…You can sell a human being over and over again…[bogus statistics from previous years]…Robert Kraft…Florida ranks third…in human trafficking…hub[s]…the average sex trafficking victim may be forced to have sex 20 times a day…Jeffrey Epstein…hiding in plain sight…SOAP…coerced and brainwashed…Traffickers…spend hours mining social media…mafia…a man…buys a girl the same age as his daughter…piece of property…father figure or a job scam…They pay in cash. At hotels, they keep the Do Not Disturb sign on the doorcontrol of their minds, bodies and soulssophisticateddating sitesThey deny having a pimp

I Spy (#1006)

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

Attorney General William Barr [i]s making a bizarre attack on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act…arguing — without evidence — that 230 might be contributing to “unlawful behavior” online…Section 230 explicitly exempts federal criminal charges from what it applies to, meaning that it literally cannot interfere with any DOJ prosecution…But Barr has continued to push forward with this anti-230 kick, and is going to host a “workshop” about [it] in a few weeks…the DOJ claims that this workshop will have that “diversity of viewpoints”…but it is likely to stack the deck against 230…[as it] has done…with regard to…encryption…the DOJ a[ppears to be] playing this anti-230 card simply as a method of punishing the internet industry for opposing his desire to gut encryption…

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Coming after the client means they’re coming after…the person who pays my bills.  –  Kristen Cain

Rough Trade

Tara Burns on the, “But she’s a whore!” defense for rape:

In 2019, a Fairbanks District Attorney offered a generous plea – 5 years of actual time, amounting to little more than time served – to a man charged with kidnapping and [raping] a minor…[because] he claimed his underaged victim was a prostitute…Winfred Hipp…the victim and her father…were headed to a BBQ, but the father had a stop to make first. Mr. Hipp dropped the father off and…took [the girl] to his apartment…and [raped] her while she was saying no…Hipp [at first used] a condom, but then he took it off and continued [raping] her.  When the victim’s father arrived at the BBQ and realized his daughter wasn’t there, he went to Hipp’s apartment, where he could hear his daughter being raped through the door.  Hipp stopped when the father almost broke the door down…His semen was found inside her and in a condom found on his bedroom floor which also had the victim’s DNA on the outside of it.  At his sentencing, he [claimed] he’d been raped and robbed by the victim…The plea deal…came after the minor victim was labeled “difficult” and a prostitute by the prosecutor…

Surplus Women

Sex workers cannot cure violent misogyny:

Marylène Lévesque, a 22-year-old sex worker employed by a Quebec City massage parlour, was murdered by…Eustachio Gallese…[who was out on parole from a life sentence for the] 2006…[murder] of his girlfriend…Chantale Deschenes…[who was] savagely beaten to death with a hammer and repeatedly stabbed.  Gallese then took the time to scribble [“whore” multiple times]…on the bedroom wall before turning himself in to police…He already had a history of…violence with a previous partner in 1997.  Even though the Parole Board initially found that he posed “a high risk of violence,” they later inexplicably changed that to a “moderate risk” and…out on day parole since March of 2019.  While out, he was [officially given permission]…to see sex workers…[despite his] history of misogyny, rage and extreme physical violence against women…No one bothered to inform this young woman, or the massage parlour she worked at, that he was extremely dangerous and posed a risk to her life…

But please, clients, keep telling us about how you don’t need to be screened because you’re “taking a risk, too”.

If Men Were Angels

“The crime was sexually motivated”.  No shit, really?

A priest…admitted to holding a teen captive in a church janitor’s closet…Brian Stanley was sentenced to 60 days in jail with credit for two days served.  He will also serve five years probation and must register as a sex offender for 15 years.  Stanley was charged in August for the 2013 incident that happened at St. Margaret’s Church in Otsego [Michigan]…he bound the teen boy in plastic wrap and masking tape, also covering his eyes and mouth with tape…then left [him] alone in the closet for over an hour before freeing him.  The state Attorney General’s Office…said the crime was sexually motivated…

Count the Idiocies

The verbal equivalent of vomiting up gallons of toxic diarrhea:

A forum on human trafficking…featur[ed]…keynote speaker Ohio [politician] Teresa Fedor…“Poverty drives and fuels trafficking1.  When…you want to control the victims, you drug them2…the estimated U.S. share of the $99 billion worldwide industry is between $10 to $15 billion3…Research she has found shows that runaways are “harvested” by traffickers within 24 hours4…she is working to change the laws to prosecute those doing the “selling of the bodies”5…“Those buying rape can no longer hide their actions”6…modern slavery…needs to be tackled like it was in 18657”…”I knew I had to build a movement, because I’m a Democrat8,” Fedor said…

1It’s hard to imagine a clearer indicator that by “sex trafficking” she actually means “sex work”.
2It’s been a while since we’ve seen the magical pimp mind-control philter.
3The US share of this made-up number is a smaller made-up number, both of which disagree with other made-up numbers from other prohibitionists“.
4Down from the usual claim of 48 hours, but up from Seattle’s claim of 45 minutes.
5Usually, they at least pretend to recognize we have minds.
6The “paid rape” trope is one of the ugliest elements of prohibitionist dogma.
7The fact that prohibitionists can’t see how loathsome it is to invoke historical black slavery to promote a system which gives more power to cops is a sign of their dyed-in-th-wool racism.
8WTF?

Welcome to the Future (#916)

Don’t be fooled by this “shutdown”; it’ll soon be back in an even-worse form:

In 2012, Chicago PD collaborated with the RAND Corporation and the Illinois Institute of Technology to automatically generate “risk scores” for people they arrested, which were supposed to predict the likelihood that the person would be a “party to violence” in the future (this program was called “TRAP” — Targeted Repeat-Offender Apprehension Program” — seemingly without a shred of irony).  Now, that program has been shut down, and the City of Chicago’s Office of the Inspector General has published a damning report on…ways in which the program discriminated against the people ensnared in it, without reducing violent crime…people…assigned high risk scores…were subjected to “enhanced prosecutions”…and…your TRAP score went up even if were acquitted or had your case dismissed…

Loose Cannons (#947)

“Sex trafficking” hysteria’s impending collapse has been helped along by the excesses of Florida “authorities”:

On January 23, the Hillsborough County sheriff’s office announced the completion of “two undercover human trafficking operations”…[Sheriff Chad] Chronister, who was elected in 2018, has pledged to make policing [consensual adult sex] a priority, and said that the stings are going to continue…”until human [sexuality] is stopped”…An anti-trafficking operation in early 2019 by a slew of Florida law enforcement agencies…yielded similar results: busts of massage parlors, arrests for solicitation…but no trafficking charges…That hasn’t stopped prosecutors, however, from claiming [without evidence]…that “[state prying into people’s private sex lives] often yield evidence of more serious crimes”…Chronister has also [vomited out fascist poison that “citizens]…must always be held accountable [to the state]”…

Checklist (#986)

They’re trying to cut off sex worker access to travel worldwide:

Thousands of tuk-tuk drivers in Cambodia are to [be indoctrinated]…in [anti-sex worker propaganda]…under a [scheme] by the ride-hailing app Grab to tr[ick] drivers [in]to [becoming police informants]…Grab [will indoctrinate]…10,000 drivers in…Phnom Penh this month, as it launches a [scheme] it plans eventually to extend to millions of its drivers in Asia…Cambodia’s…a…[favorite venue for racist “saviors” like] the Walk Free Foundation [to claim as a “hotbed”] of…[“slavery”, which is invariably described]…as rising despite [a number of studies showing exactly the opposite]…Sean Sok Phay…[of] Child Helpline [said]…”We want to remove any barriers that stop [us] from [profiting from hysteria]”…

Business As Usual (#988)

What kind of sick mind thinks the way to “build trust” with women is to hunt, rape and cage them?

Jennifer Knight…[is a sow charged with inventing propaganda to infantilize sex workers as a cover-up for the horrendous abuses committed by the Columbus, Ohio vice gang]…“I want them to associate the [rapist]’s uniform with someone who cares [enough to rape and humiliate them]” Knight says…It’s been a few months since…Columbus…[rebrand]ed their [vice gang with the Orwellian name]…Police and Community Together team, or PACT…[which] looks to…use “sex trafficking” and “end demand” propaganda when inflict]ing [violence on sex workers through]…increasing arrests…“One of the things we do in the secure staging area, after we [molest] them and [put them permanently into a criminal database]…is…give the [cops’ victims] a sack lunch provided by the Salvation Army…Knight [brags that] they expect to [deceive, rape and abduct] even more women as their [pogroms] ramp up…“we remove them from [freedom] and remove them from their [income]” Knight says. “At least giving ourselves a window of opportunity to [brainwash them in]”…CATCH Court…The months-long suspension of the [rape squad]…had a ripple effect on [those who profit from women being forced into their “re-education” scheme]…

Torture Chamber (#999)

“Give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, so I can lock them in dungeons”:

…ICE…released a new version of its National Detention Standards…which…has removed even basic, minimal safeguards necessary for adequate medical care…and…further weakens protections for [caged] immigrant[s] against the use of force and solitary confinement by [screws]…ICE no longer requires that…toilets [have] modesty panels, and removes [any minimum] ratios for the number of toilets per detainee.  ICE has removed language requiring…outdoor recreation facilities, meaning…detainees could be [locked in cages] for months or even years without time outdoors as they wait for their cases to be heard…

Panopticon (#1001)

The “security” system that isn’t:

…An investigation by EFF of the Ring doorbell app for Android found it to be packed with third-party trackers sending out a plethora of customers’ personally identifiable information…analytics and tracking companies are able to combine these bits together to form…a fingerprint that follows the user…providing trackers the ability to spy on what a user is doing in their digital lives and when they are doing it…without…user…consent…Ring has exhibited a pattern of behavior that attempts to mitigate exposure to criticism and scrutiny…by leveraging an image of the secure home, while profiting from a surveillance network which facilitates police departments’…access into the private lives of citizens…not only does Ring mismanage consumer data, but it also intentionally hands over that data to trackers and data miners…

I Spy (#1002) 

The US is following in the footsteps of China:

New students at the University of Missouri will be [forced] to participate in a tracking program designed to measure and enforce class attendance…officials [absurdly] defended the [privacy violation] as one to…benefit…students…Individual professors have to opt-in to using the app, but once they do, students in those professors’ classes will not be able to opt-out.  SpotterEDU, developed by a former basketball coach, is designed to monitor a user’s attendance by “pinpoint[ing] students within a classroom until they leave”…[sales propaganda] claims it does not track students’ locations anywhere else…[but] the app is [fully]…capable of tracking students’ locations outside the classroom…

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I didn’t feel like she was really there to help me.  –  sex worker A.G, of a court-ordered “counselor”

King of the Hill

After a long slump, “King of the Hill” claims are again increasing:

…Portland…is a hub for sex trafficking….[with] the notorious ranking of coming second for the greatest number of children…in forced prostitution of all U.S. cities…One of the reasons it is a hot spot is…[that] strip clubs, live sex acts and swingers’ clubs are legal in Portland.  These businesses are often also places where traffickers lure workers into forced prostitution…Portland’s location at the intersection of major interstate freeways I-5 and I-84 puts it at the center of trafficking routes between Seattle, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.  Moreover, the city’s proximity to shipping waterways and the Canadian border provides access to domestic and international traffickers.  The demand from buyers is unfathomably high…around 300 advertisements are posted online every day for prostitution-related acts…total[ing] $60 million a year…

Most of this is just the usual snake oil intended to shame businesses into paying to subject their employees to bogus “sex trafficking” indoctrination from profiteers like BEST, but I find the “We’re the second worst!” pissing contest (with its attendant “causes” and pompous phraseology like “prostitution-related acts”) to be much more amusing.

Property of the State 

The writer of this article appears to understand very little about politics, or else she’d recognize trolling when she sees it:

…South Carolina [politician]…Mia McLeod pre-filed…a…bill…demand[ing] that anti-choice [politicians]…compensate [women] for acting as…gestational surrogate[s] for the state…which…cannot itself physically conceive or carry a child…The compensation…includes reasonable living, legal, medical, psychological, and psychiatric expenses…claim[ing] the fetus as a…tax…deduction…[guaranteed] public assistance…until the child is 18…all medical expenses associated with [any] disability…all costs associated with health, dental, and vision insurance until the child turns 18…and…a college savings plan…

Logically, McLeod is correct; if the state demands a woman produce subjects against her will, it should be responsible for the upkeep of that human property.  But politics is not logical, and politicians who want abortion banned (especially at the absurdly-early stages currently fashionable in these anti-abortion laws) are not acting in good faith.  These laws have nothing to do with “protecting children” and everything to do with controlling women, just like laws against sex work, toplessness, etc; therefore logical responses to them are pointless.  Furthermore, there’s nothing “groundbreaking” about this; similar trolling-bills regulating men’s ejaculation, etc have been introduced in other anti-choice states.  Nor will it “force a conversation” any more than those other bills, because no conversation is possible between those who believe human rights are inalienable and those who view them as an impediment to state ownership of people.  It’s a good troll, to be sure, but a troll is all it is, and all it can be until self-ownership is Constitutionally recognized as the foundation of all human rights.

Legal Is as Legal Does (#582)

Sex work under ‘legalisation’ is still…conceived of as a crime for which the law makes allowances“:

…charges were withdrawn against two women…facing conviction for “a tenant permitting premises to be used as a brothel”…Laura Watson, English Collective of Prostitutes…commented…“Ms O and Ms R were working in a flat together for safety and supporting their families. Both women are migrant and we believe that racism was involved in why they were targeted”…Niki Adams from Legal Action for Women…commented…“We are also disgusted that the [prosecutors] tried to extort money from women offering them a caution on the condition that they “write over the money seized on their arrest.”  Taking money from sex workers under duress is tantamount to pimping”…

The Widening Gyre (#792) 

Though better-disguised than usual, this is just the “Facebook pimps” myth again:

…the Roma…are easy pickings for traffickers who post adverts on Facebook promising a bright future for those prepared to travel.  Many have succumbed to the temptation.  A lot of young people have gone to the UK to work for a better life…the line between economic migration and exploitation is ill-defined: some who travel are aware of the risks but prepared to take a chance, others think they are off to start a better life only to end up in modern slavery

In the minds of white saviors, all people from economically-distressed countries are childlike naifs incapable of making calculated risks or violating racist laws on their own, so anyone who helps them further their plans is an exploitative “trafficker” and any work they do to survive is “modern slavery”.  One might ask how the Roma, who have migrated to the British Isles for centuries, managed to do it before anybody ever heard of either Facebook or “human trafficking”.

Cooties (#816)

Two years ago, AirBnB said it would “invest in new technology” to discriminate against sex workers:

Airbnb now owns an AI technology that allows them to discriminate against people in certain categories, specifically including sex workers, based on unrelated social media posts and other online data…it stigmatizes sex work and “involvement in pornography” by grouping them with drug use, membership in hate groups…and “narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy”…the stigmatizing language…spelled out in the patent…seems to confirm sex workers’ reports that they have been discriminated against by the company not because of their behavior as guests, but merely because of their careers…

A Procrustean Bed (#834)

At last, a little skepticism from “journalists” about the prohibitionist shitshow that is New York’s “sex trafficking court”:

…as courts [which classify all sex workers as “victims” and sentence them to indoctrination disguised as “counseling”]…proliferate nationwide, New York’s…have [been repeatedly]…critici[zed for the past] six years [by actual experts on the subject]…a growing group of people engaged in prostitution…have complained that the counseling sessions amount to little more than unproductive conversations with [busybody] strangers…the idea…is [at last] facing skepticism…[from ignoramuses who refused to consult actual experts years ago]…

Prohibitionists are so dedicated to denying sex workers’ agency that they prefer ridiculous multi-word constructions like “people engaged in prostitution” to the simple and honest “sex worker”, and keep pretending that any non-prohibitionist ever thought arresting and attempting to brainwash adult women for the “crime” of consensual sex was a good idea in the first place.

Pyrrhic Victory (#841)

Why wasn’t it “a step too far” when they started doing it three years ago?

One of the most senior policing figures in Wales has [criticized] the use of facial recognition technology at the country’s biggest football derby [last] weekend…Arfon Jones…the North Wales police and crime commissioner…accused the South Wales force of being engaged in a “fishing expedition…When facial recognition…was first used in the Champions League final…there were…thousands…of false positives”…the Football Supporters’ Association Wales said…“Fans coming out for…football…will be treated like they’re in a police line-up”…Big Brother Watch has called for an immediate ban on facial recognition surveillance in the UK…

Checklist (#953)

The scheme to cut sex workers off from the healthcare system is adding intrusive surveillance measures:

There’s a growing push [to force] doctors, paramedics and other health-care professionals to [report sex workers to the cops]…In 2018, Congress passed legislation that created a federally sponsored [indoctrination]…program..[to] tr[ick them into defining sex workers as]…victims…and re[port them by way of new]…diagnostic codes

The Cop Myth (#996)

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

A Newark [New Jersey cop who murdered]…his estranged wife…and [attempted to murder] her boyfriend…has [finally] been indicted on murder and attempted murder charges…John Formisano…was indicted…on Dec. 30…[for the murder of] Christie Solaro-Formisano…on July 11…Formisano…was [wearing his magical clown costume and] used his [department-issued] revolver to [murder] his [victim as]…she attempted to flee…The…two children were inside the home…but were uninjured…

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