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Prosecuting Teen Porn
 

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Corey, a junior at Naperville North High School in Naperville, Illinois, was a perfectly normal, social, good-looking 16-year-old. He was an honor roll student with dreams of attending a Big Ten college. He had typical interests for a teenager boy: hockey, fishing, and, yes, girls.

Corey committed suicide in January, just hours after a school resource officer confronted him about an alleged illegal item on his cell phone—a recording of Corey having sex with a female classmate. The girl had informed a dean at the school that she believed Corey had played the recording for his friends (it's not clear whether he did), which prompted the authorities to summon Corey to the principal's office. They called his mother and told both of them that Corey was being investigated for possession of child pornography.

Corey left the meeting, headed to a nearby parking garage, and jumped.

 

I'm not so sure that's typical. I don't think that at age 16 I'd have even thought about diverting my attention to hit a "record" button, let alone actually done it in the... um... limited time available.

It is sad. And I don't think he committed any crime that should be covered under a child porn law.

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On 9/9/2018 at 5:25 AM, Shortforbob said:
On 9/9/2018 at 4:31 AM, Uncooperative Tom said:

OK, but asking for a link then saying you don't open links is kinda odd behavior, especially if you already found the link yourself.

No matter, I'm not picky. Now, about that blow job, if price is a problem I could go as high as $25 since it would be a special occasion.

Hmmm as you'll be wanting Board and breakfast...make it $550 :D

And I can't get busted because prostitution is legal here.:rolleyes:

It seems that

encouraging and inducing an alien to remain in the United States for the purposes of financial gain

May be OK, at least in the 9th circuit.

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12 minutes ago, dogballs Tom said:

So I just read it - they 'sort of' overturned it.  They kept the two mail fraud charges but overturned the two 'incite' charges. It's a bit of an older case and doesn't appear to be a case of a good Samaritan trying to save those poor Guatemalans.  I do think it's important to reiterate exactly what she did:

------------------

in San Jose, California. Her clients were mostly natives of
the Philippines, unlawfully employed in the home health care
industry in the United States, who sought authorization to
work and adjustment of status to obtain legal permanent
residence (green cards). Sineneng-Smith assisted clients with
applying for a “Labor Certification,” and then for a green
card. She signed retainer agreements with her clients that
specified the purpose of the retention as “assisting [the client]
to obtain permanent residence through Labor Certification.”

The problem was that the Labor Certification process expired
on April 30, 2001; aliens who arrived in the United States
after December 21, 2000, were not eligible to receive
permanent residence through the program. See EsquivelGarcia
v. Holder, 593 F.3d 1025, 1029 n.1 (9th Cir. 2010).
Sineneng-Smith knew that the program had expired. She
nonetheless continued to sign retainer agreements with her
clients and tell them that they could obtain green cards via
Labor Certifications.
And she also continued to sign new
retainer agreements purportedly to assist additional clients
in obtaining Labor Certification. At least two of SinenengSmith’s
clients testified that they would have left the country
if Sineneng-Smith had told them that they were not eligible
for permanent residence.
Sineneng-Smith’s words and acts
which allegedly violated the statute were alleged to have
occurred from 2001 to 2008.

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5 hours ago, cmilliken said:

So I just read it - they 'sort of' overturned it.  They kept the two mail fraud charges but overturned the two 'incite' charges. It's a bit of an older case and doesn't appear to be a case of a good Samaritan trying to save those poor Guatemalans.  I do think it's important to reiterate exactly what she did:

The opinion is only 5 days old but the crimes go way back.

But I was talking about the incitement thing. Apparently, it might be OK for me to incite Meli.

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Ah, "incitement," as entertainment.

Hi Tom. In 2013, you named me as a supporter of a Ms. Mason's rape (as she thought of England on my behalf), and you used such unseemly innuendo for years. Yet I'd never heard of her... and no rape happened.

Then, in October of this year, you denied the episode you had created. Any comment, you sorry turd? What was up with all that?

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WTF? I was minding  my own business one day, on a fine thread, when this deal hit, out of nowhere.

Quote

Tom Ray Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:56 AM

Your silence strongly suggests you think Ms. Mason should have just laid back and thought of England, you know...

 

Tom Ray Posted 25 October 2013 - 06:56 PM

Admit that you would not mind if Mason was raped, as long as she did not defend herself with an evil gun. That is your position, right? Say it loud and proud!

I was pretty pissed off when you simply denied it a few months ago. You are a real piece of work Tom.

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On0/Dogballs/2017 at 6:58 AM, dogballs Tom said:

ESPLERP

OK, so obviously they never worked for Congress and are terrible at the acronym thing.
 

Quote

 

A federal court heard arguments yesterday challenging California's criminalization of prostitution, in a case that could have implications for sex work laws across the nation.

Brought by the Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education, and Research Project (ESPLERP), the constitutional challenge claims that California's prostitution laws violate residents' right to privacy, free speech, and free association.

...

"Lambda Legal's landmark Supreme Court victory in Lawrence v. Texas, the case that struck down laws that criminalized sex between same-sex partners, underscored that our right to liberty protects our decisions about adult, consensual sexual intimacy," says Kara Ingelhart, a Lambda Legal law fellow. "It is merely logical that Lawrence extend to the adult, consensual sexual intimacy that occurs between sex workers and their clients; the fact that money is exchanged shouldn't matter."

 

In case anyone was wondering, ESPLERP lost that case in January of this year in the 9th circuit.
 

Quote

 

In January, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously recognized the truth that sexual exploitation is nobody’s job by affirming that prostitution is not a constitutionally protected fundamental right in the case of Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education and Research Project (ESPLERP) v. Gascón.

On the contrary, the Court ruled it is a commercial activity fraught with dangers that the state has a “substantial interest” in preventing. This was a major victory for victims of sexual exploitation, as well as for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, which had filed an amicus brief in support of the State of California and its prostitution laws.

Following the Court’s decision, our opponents in this battle filed a petition for rehearing en banc by the full 9th Circuit. Today, their petition was denied, reaffirming the initial victory in January.  

 

Letting women control their bodies is only sometimes good.

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Sexting among teens could be considered legal in some cases under new laws aimed to reduce the risk of consenting children being convicted of possessing child pornography.

Key points:

  • The reforms build on changes made since the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
  • The grooming of parents and carers is now an offence
  • It's also illegal to fail to reduce or prevent a threat of child sexual abuse in an organisation

common sense rules

 

The laws — which come into effect in New South Wales today — provide a legal exception for children under 18 taking, sharing or keeping nude photographs of themselves and others, particularly if the sexting is consensual.

The changes will reduce the risk that children engaging in "normal sexual development and experimentation among teenagers" becoming criminalised, the Government said.

The laws also provide a "similar age" defence for consensual sex between children where both are at least 14 years old, and when the age gap between them is less than two years.

The new laws are among a raft of changes introduced across the state in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Attorney-General Mark Speakman said the reforms were "putting the safety of children front and centre and fixing shortcomings in the law" identified by the royal commission.

 

 

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27 minutes ago, dogballs Tom said:

Yes, yes, we know.

Help me out here.

1.You are either a fine-minded intellectual, or a redneck douche. 

2. If we're gonna have race-baiting elsewhere, there may be similar consequences on yer threads.

3. When you show up elsewhere, you can sound pretty dumb.

 

I give you sea lion.  Below is a collection which shows your persistent dumbing down gags, elsewhere:

Quote

Kelo Tom is fine. But these other faces are marginal

  • JAPAN TOM (the suicide whisperer)
  • CDC TOM (shits on the CDC, unless cherry picking them)
  • ROAD KILL TOM (will stamp out mass shootings for us)
  • CHICAGO TOM (tools: uses gun violence epidemic to further gun cause)
  • JUDGE TANEY TOM (had a big eureka, and long did it last)
  • MILLER-EXTOLS-THE-PEOPLE TOM (permanently confused by his own cover sheet)
  • GANGSTAS-DISPROVE-WHITE-GUN-OWNER-PROBLEMS TOM (with the race-baiter slide job)
  • DYLANN ROOF TOM (posits religious or political assassination)
  • RACEBAITER TOM (whoops, soiled himself for several years, on the interwebs)
  • DEBATE WINNER TOM (begins by inventing a position for his opponent)

 

 

(on holiday, but should be in the big house):

  • -- STANDARD MODEL TOM (hmm, won't support or reject it)
  • -- MLK TOM (spammed an interesting poster boy for must issue)
  • --REV. MOSTELLER TOM (shits up on MLK's church the month before, and the month after, Dylann Roof
  • --THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS TOM (not a hard charger if the cadavers are warm)

 

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28 minutes ago, Shortforbob said:

Key points:

  • The reforms build on changes made since the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
  • The grooming of parents and carers is now an offence

The first one sounds good but I'm uncertain of the public purpose served by ungroomed parents and carers. A tidy appearance is important. Well, not to me, but to others.

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23 hours ago, Shortforbob said:
On 12/10/2018 at 7:02 AM, dogballs Tom said:

In case anyone was wondering, ESPLERP lost that case in January of this year in the 9th circuit.
 

Letting women control their bodies is only sometimes good.

USA, looking backwards to tomorrow.:rolleyes:

Both sides have a point, it seems to me.

If you decided to have sex for money, that's your body and your business in a way.

OTOH,

Quote

the Court ruled it is a commercial activity fraught with dangers that the state has a “substantial interest” in preventing. This was a major victory for victims of sexual exploitation, as well as for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, which had filed an amicus brief in support of the State of California and its prostitution laws.

It is a business, there are public health and crime problems that arise in association with it, and governments regulate such businesses.

Sometimes, "regulate" means "prohibit entirely," as in the case of prostitution in most of the US.

I think the prohibition is stupid and harmful, like most. Does that mean I think prostitution businesses, if legal, should be completely immune from regulation because of the sacrosanct woman's body involved? Nope.

By the way, have you noticed that this thread reeks of sea lion shit for some reason?

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On 12/12/2018 at 4:32 AM, dogballs Tom said:

By the way, have you noticed that this thread reeks of sea lion shit for some reason?

Have you no humor? This thread reeks of karma.  But we have 2019 to look forward to. If the race-baiting stops, (and ideally, if you stop dumbing down other topics), I will honor the thread purity which benefits our community.  Rape-baiting, on any thread, sucks, too, mate.

Then you want to sound lofty (and highbrow) elsewhere. WTF?

 

In my home town, a man of honor would not have race-baited (a member of any continent) the first time. You made a habit of it, starring MLK. Interesting.

DRED, MLK'S PERMIT.JPG

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On 12/13/2018 at 9:46 AM, jocal505 said:
On 12/12/2018 at 7:32 AM, dogballs Tom said:

By the way, have you noticed that this thread reeks of sea lion shit for some reason?

Have you no humor? This thread reeks of karma. 

No.

Karma would be me invading all your non-gun threads and hijacking them with gun talk, as you proudly do to me.

But there's only one such thread in your whole time here and I couldn't bring myself to do it, so made an on topic post instead.

And now the people who claim to be offended by gun-obsessed sea lions will once again show that they're really offended by something else: people who break the taboo and say bad things about TeamD gun bans.

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On 12/6/2018 at 6:20 AM, dogballs Tom said:

Prosecuting Teen Porn
 

I'm not so sure that's typical. I don't think that at age 16 I'd have even thought about diverting my attention to hit a "record" button, let alone actually done it in the... um... limited time available.

It is sad. And I don't think he committed any crime that should be covered under a child porn law.

That is a sad case.  It sounds like another case of easier to prove 'possession of' and not 'intent too' so that's where they school went.  

One of the most important parts of child development is testing boundaries, trying stuff out, and seeing what works and what doesn't.  We've apparently decided that such activities are bad for kids (outside play, walking home from school, etc.) but then turn around and fully document such activities in teenagers at high-school with cell phones and social media in every kids pocket.  Poor bastards.  They have no chance.

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On0/Dogballs/2017 at 10:00 PM, Ishmael said:

They don't want the competition to their own networks.

It has been argued that dependency on deviance creates a steady state of convicted crimes, even if the definition of deviance in general has to be ratcheted up and down to keep punishment numbers on an even keel- it helps society at large know who they truly are, what expectations might be, and how much money to budget for enforcement, courts, and incarceration.

:)

 

 

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59 minutes ago, cmilliken said:

That is a sad case.  It sounds like another case of easier to prove 'possession of' and not 'intent too' so that's where they school went.  

One of the most important parts of child development is testing boundaries, trying stuff out, and seeing what works and what doesn't.  We've apparently decided that such activities are bad for kids (outside play, walking home from school, etc.) but then turn around and fully document such activities in teenagers at high-school with cell phones and social media in every kids pocket.  Poor bastards.  They have no chance.

Yeah, I guess the tradeoff would be the almost limitless availability of real time radar images. And porn.

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1 hour ago, dogballs Tom said:

No.

Karma would be me invading all your non-gun threads and hijacking them with gun talk, as you proudly do to me.

Racebaiting habits on Political Anarchy? What a gold mine. What an opportunity for advancement!

 

Karma is when Tom Ray glibly chooses race-baiting, in public, from 2013 through 2018...then becomes confronted by it.

You need to demonstrate, to our community, the finer up sides of the trail of TR race-baiting, because it spiked in 2018.

You picked a thread, with a Tom transfer, then didn't discuss it there. Does this call for a dedicated race-baiter thread?

This is fun.

 

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4 hours ago, jocal505 said:

Racebaiting habits on Political Anarchy?

If you want to start a thread about that, Joe, feel free to. You will note, however that:

1) This thread isn't about that.

and

2) There is already a thread about your racist commentary.

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9 minutes ago, bpm57 said:

If you want to start a thread about that, Joe, feel free to. You will note, however that:

1) This thread isn't about that.

and

2) There is already a thread about your racist commentary.

Yeah. Stupid shit, getting spread around. Tom failed to deal with this matter, after transferring there, from here.

Tom would benefit us all by abandoning 3.5 years of racebaiting. A gentleman would apologize as well.

Quote

Jocal 505 Posted May 17, 2015  ONE MONTH BEFORE DYLANN Post 473 This Non-Violent Stuff

Let's see if this works:

Tom, from one gentleman to another, I would like to ask you to stop race-baiting me. And others.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, dogballs Tom said:

Oh, it'll work.

Police and prosecutors have got to get around the reduction in 'possession of marijuana' busts somehow.  Just like they do with racketeering and financial crimes, they'll find some schmuck, make him wear a wire or hand over passwords, gather up evidence against some prostitutes, make THEM consent to having their online accounts monitored, and move up the food chains, looking for the fish they actually want to catch.  

Ends justifies means.  Get citizens to rat out each other.  Far more effective than, you know, actually collecting evidence for the crime you think the perp has actually committed.  With Pence --->  <--- to being president, I'm dumbfounded that democrats wouldn't filibuster such puritan nonsense - except the hard reality is democrats LOVE tools they can selectively employ as much as the republicans.   The 4th amendment is just so annoying when you're doing the State's work.  After all, THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!

 

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1 hour ago, cmilliken said:

With Pence --->  <--- to being president, I'm dumbfounded that democrats wouldn't filibuster such puritan nonsense - except the hard reality is democrats LOVE tools they can selectively employ as much as the republicans. 

That and the feminist wing, who sometimes seem to think that prostitution, porn, or anything else indicative of a sex drive, is sexploitation.

 

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/16/2018 at 5:32 AM, Contumacious Tom said:

They're sex traffickers for rhetorical purposes, but when it comes to actual charges against them,
 

Quote

 

Notably, none of the charges against Backpage are for sex trafficking, which is against federal law. In fact, for years Lacey and Larkin's outfit had been integral to law enforcement efforts—reporting suspected minors who turned out to be runaway teenagers, providing records on criminals who had used the site, and testifying in trials that led to federal indictments against abusive pimps.

Carl Ferrer, a previous vice president and CEO of Backpage under Lacey and Larkin who bought the company from them in 2015, even received a commendation from the Department of Justice for his help fighting sex trafficking. "Can't do this without your help," an FBI agent working juvenile exploitation cases wrote to Backpage staff in 2015—one of hundreds of positive comments the platform received from law enforcement officers. And since the site was seized in April, numerous local news reports have cited cops saying it's now harder to find missing young people and to nab potential pimps.

The disparity between rank-and-file police comments and those made by elected officials is stark. The former generally acknowledge that commercial sex—yes, sometimes involving minors and/or victims of abuse—will go on with or without digital tools to facilitate it. Shutting down Backpage didn't even make a dent in the volume of online adult ads, according to a Washington Post analysis. It simply dispersed them through a wider range of platforms. Yet politicians insist on casting classifieds websites as the biggest cause and a main hub of forced and underage prostitution. Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) has described Backpage as the world's "top online brothel."

That the public case against Backpage bears so little resemblance to the actual charges against it is partly a result of a mass panic over the confluence of sex and technology. That cultural near-hysteria has been stoked by a strange-bedfellows coalition of the Christian right, progressive feminists, and opportunistic lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle.

Initially, the target was Craigslist, the earliest and most prominent platform for online classifieds. But that site escaped relatively unscathed by caving to a demand from the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) to remove a section explicitly labeled for adult advertising. The move didn't stop people from publishing ads for prostitution, of course—the posts merely moved to other parts of the platform. When NAAG made the same demand of Backpage, its founders refused, arguing, with Craigslist as evidence, that doing so would make no difference.

 

If we just NAAG and censor people enough, the oldest profession will disappear!

It also helps to loot their assets so they can't defend themselves.
 

Quote

 

...

In general, as the Supreme Court held in Fort Wayne Books, Inc. v. Indiana (1989), the Fourth Amendment says that "any and all contraband, instrumentalities, and evidence of crimes may be seized upon probable cause." But this changes "when materials presumptively protected by the First Amendment are involved."

Nonetheless, federal prosecutors are arguing that they're entitled to all money made by Backpage, even proceeds derived from unquestionably legal ads, and that decades worth of earnings made by former Backpage leaders before the website even existed are also tainted.

Since the defendants' arrests in April 2018, prosecutors "have created constant interference with the Defendants' ability to defend this case," states a January 2019 status report filed by their lawyers. "Virtually all of the Defendants' assets have been seized, virtually all of the money in their attorneys' trust accounts designated to fund the defense has been been seized or is effectively frozen," and defense lawyers "may expose themselves to criminal liability if they use those funds to pay fees" from the case.

Last week, the Cato Institute, DKT Liberty Project, and the Reason Foundation (the nonprofit that publishes Reason magazine) filed a brief in support of the defendants on this matter. The groups say they want "to amplify the danger that the government's use of civil forfeiture to seize the assets and proceeds of expressive material poses to free expression."

"The government has shut down a major internet site and confiscated millions of dollars of assets and proceeds not only from that site, but also from defendants' numerous other publishing venues—ventures completely unrelated to the alleged criminality of the site and indisputably protected by the First Amendment," the February 13 amicus brief states.

Backpage founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin, who sold the company in 2015, also published alt-weekly newspapers around the country for more than four decades before selling Village Voice Media (the papers' parent company) in 2012.


 

 

I guess the idea here must be that BackPage, the Village Voice, etc, are not "the pre$$" corporations mentioned in our first amendment and so it presumptively doesn't apply. Or something.

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Candidate Kamala Harris Runs From Prosecutor Kamala Harris' Record
 

Quote

 

Since Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Ca.) announced her 2020 presidential campaign, she's been criticized by sex workers, activists, and media over her long history of advocating policies that harm sex workers. That includes the shutdown of websites where sex workers advertise, like Backpage.com, and the disastrous 2018 law, FOSTA, that made hosting web content that "facilitates prostitution" a federal crime.

Now, Harris appears to be trying to counter that critique by suggesting that she would be open to the decriminalization of prostitution.

In a video interview with The Root published today, Terrell J. Starr asked Harris about her support for FOSTA despite sex workers saying that it puts their lives in danger. Instead of answering, Harris pivoted to her history as a prosecutor. Harris claimed that all the way back in 2004, as district attorney for San Francisco, she was insisting "that we have to stop arresting these prostitutes."

However, as Harris pointed out, she also supported an increase in crackdowns on "johns," a.k.a. the clients of sex workers. This is what's known as the "Nordic Model" or the "End Demand" strategy. It's focused on arresting people who pay for sex but not those offering paid sex. Both sex workers and human rights groups like Amnesty International oppose this strategy.

...

Harris reiterated that people who do harm in the commercial sex arena should still be punished. That's certainly true, but that's not what's on the table. Advocates for ending the illegal status of prostitution aren't arguing that people who use violence, fraud, threats, or teenagers in sexual activity should be decriminalized.

But this is a space full of weasely language, and it's common to find people professing that they only want to go after those who engage in exploitation and harm, yet include in those categories any person who simply pays for sex or for sex-related activities.

Before the interview moved on, Harris told Starr "we should really consider that we can't criminalize consensual behavior."

 

Candidate Harris is busy running away from Prosecutor Harris' drug warrior record on that last issue too.

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The world might have its first economist with a sense of humor.
 

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Just when you might have thought that economics was played out as a way for us to understand the world, along comes Allison Schrager, a Ph.D. economist who writes for Quartz, teaches at New York University, and is the co-founder of LifeCycle Finance Partners, a risk-advisory firm.

She's the author of the provocative new book, An Economist Walks Into a Brothel: And Other Unexpected Places To Understand Risk. In the opening chapter, Schrager describes spending time at Nevada's famous Moonlite Bunny Ranch and learning how both sex workers and customers pay a premium to minimize and manage all sorts of risks involved in legal prostitution (the prostitutes don't have to worry about screening potential customers or being arrested, for instance, and the johns don't have to worry about being ripped off, blackmailed, or catching a disease). She hangs out with paparazzi who stalk celebrities for high-value candid photographs worth tens of thousands of dollars but more often end up with no pictures at all. She attends an annual conference where big-wave surfers share information and new ideas about minimizing potentially deadly risks inherent in their sport.

 

Overheard at the annual surfer conference:

"Dude, get a really good jetski driver!"

"Dude! You said it!"

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On 9/7/2018 at 5:55 AM, Importunate Tom said:

Your chatterbox is an active asset indeed. Would you mind coming here and blowing me for money? Don't listen to those guys above. My budget for internet entertainment runs as high as $20, not $10.

Sorry to pick on you, Meli, but there's a distinct shortage of women around here, so...

The thing is, I may have just created a legal liability for The Ed.

Oh shit. I retract my offer.

It was funny when I was just getting The Ed in trouble but now it seems I'm a sex trafficker like Harvey Weinstein.
 

Quote

 

...

Actress Allison Mack and other members of the NXIVM "empowerment group"/cult were indicted on federal sex trafficking charges last year, even though no one in the group alleges any sort of prostitution happening. In both the NXIVM case and this one, proposing sexual activity that may be beneficial beyond the sex itself is enough groundwork for a sex trafficking claim.

In the NXIVM case, the feds claimed that Mack was guilty of sex trafficking because she tried to persuade some female members to sleep with the group's leader, Keith Raniere, and may have moved up the NXIVM ranks or received other in-group benefits if they did.

In the suit against Weinstein, defendants say that he promised them film opportunities or career advancement if they engaged in sexual acts with him; that he assaulted or attempted to assault them when they refused; and that because Weinstein's handlers and employees sometimes coordinated meetings between him and defendants, they were all part of a sex-trafficking enterprise together. Weinstein is apparently the "john" in this scenario, the women both the victims of trafficking and the recipient of its rewards (so, both victim and trafficker); and those who helped with Weinstein's scheduling are accomplices.

It makes no sense.

Sexual assault and rape are bad enough on their own, of course. So why the need to force these cases into a framework that doesn't fit?

Because the sex trafficking framework allows for a lot more prosecutorial possibilities.

...

 

I'm not interested in exploring those possibilities personally so someone else will have to suggest a productive use for Meli's chatterbox.

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When a high school newspaper covers a student porn performer

Quote

 

...

The predicament arose on April 11, when administrators knocked on Duffel’s door during her sixth-period sophomore English class. In the hall, Principal Hillary Harrell handed Duffel a letter from Lodi Unified School District Superintendent Cathy Nichols-Washer, who had learned that the Bruin Voice planned to run a story about 18-year-old Caitlin Fink, a student active in the porn industry.

“You are hereby directed to refrain from publishing the article prior to the District’s review and approval,” Nichols-Washer wrote. “Should you fail to provide a copy of the article as directed, you may be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal.”

The district has since agreed to let a third-party attorney review the article to determine if its contents violate state law.

Yet Duffel remains wary. The award-winning journalism adviser said she has been down this road at least three times with past administrators. She wins. They lose. And everyone gets bloody in the process — except the students, she said, who get their money’s worth in the civics education department.

...

in March, Fink agreed to an interview with junior Bailey Kirkeby of the Bruin Voice.

“People see the porn world as taboo,” Fink told The Chronicle. “But I see it as a natural thing. You’re just taking off your clothes. It’s the human body.”

She wanted to stop rumors around school and get the facts out. Yes, she models for a porn agency called Motley Models. Yes, she sells nude videos over Snapchat and Pornhub, a sort of YouTube for sex. And, yes, she’s auditioning to be a stripper in San Francisco.

“I’m 18, what I’m doing is legal, and I don’t see why everyone is making such a big deal out of it,” Fink said, including the police.

Duffel said she arrived at work the other day and found the Stockton officer assigned to Bear Creek High outside her class. She said the officer asked questions implying Duffel was involved in sex trafficking. “I finally said, ‘Why are you here?’ He said, ‘I want a copy of the story.’ That really rattled me.”

Bailey, the student reporter, said her article “doesn’t really delve into sex at all. It’s more about Caitlin as a person.” Rather than glamorize the sex industry, the story is about “all of the struggles (Caitlin) has been through since her early days.”

 

Duffel sounds delightfully contumacious.

I hope she wins again and keeps her job.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's All About The Trafficking

(except that it isn't.)

The first 16 pages or so are, but then you get to this:

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Language in the whereas clauses contained in CS/CS/SB 540 describes the purpose for establishing the Database as creating a deterrent for the commission of human trafficking. However, the Database in operation will collect and centralize information relating to those convicted of soliciting prostitution, regardless of whether the person subject to the solicitation is a victim of human trafficking or not. Therefore, the Database may not be narrowly tailored in its execution to carry out the intent for its creation.

May not be? How about: clearly isn't.

Anyway, it's another reason I must retract my generous offer to let Meli come here and blow me for twenty bucks.

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The Porn Crisis

(don't worry, it's not a shortage. Yet.)

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PHOENIX (AP) — More than a dozen states have moved to declare pornography a public health crisis, raising concerns among some experts who say the label goes too far and carries its own risks.

Of all the possible crises on which to focus, THAT'S the yuge problem?

The answer, of course, is censorship.

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No sewing please, we’re sex workers

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A group of women sit around a table making dreamcatchers with colourful bits of yarn, chatting about their families, work and the thick smog enveloping Chiang Mai city in northern Thailand.

Just another workplace scene, except the women are all sex workers who meet their clients at Can Do Bar, which they own as a collective, benefitting from health insurance, fixed hours and time off — which are typically denied to sex workers.

...

“People say we should stop doing what we do, and sew or bake cookies instead — but why are only those jobs considered appropriate?” said Mai Chanta, a 30-something native of Chiang Mai, who has been a sex worker for about eight years.

...

Millions of women across the world choose sex work to make an income. Yet only a few countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Germany, the Netherlands, Senegal and Peru, recognise it as legal, leaving prostitutes elsewhere vulnerable to abuse....

 

No Can Do sewing, I guess?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Her Body, Her Choice
 

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Statists, both in and out of government, like to play Kafkaesque games with the idea of consent. We are told by a certain type of feminist that consent must be explicitly verbal, ongoing, and "enthusiastic." They say it must be tiresomely re-ascertained over and over and over again, no matter how clearly it was expressed in the first place. Modern Puritans, meanwhile, claim that people who engage in "deviant" sexual behavior (including sex work, BDSM, and—until very recently—homosexuality) are suffering from "Stockholm syndrome," "trauma bonding," or "false consciousness" and thus cannot consent to things they claim to enjoy because they are not in their right minds.

But the most bizarre of these tortuous mind games, popular among radical feminists for years but gaining momentum today among "progressives," is the idea that if a person is paid to do something he wouldn't do for free, that constitutes "coercion" or even "violence." As Reason's Elizabeth Nolan Brown pointed out a few years ago, "In Seattle, sex must be a 'leisure activity' for both parties or it's nonconsensual, according to one area prosecutor." Brown was writing about Val Richey, a senior deputy prosecuting attorney for King County, Washington, who argued that all sex workers are victims of rape because someone paid them "essentially to turn a 'no' into a 'yes.'"

This dogma is deranged. Richey doesn't do his job for free; does that mean he is coerced, too? 

 

Oops, maybe not that choice.

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In related news, Gorsuch, Roberts, and Thomas think the Attorney General has been given too much power over sex.
 

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"It would be easy enough to let this case go," Justice Gorsuch acknowledged in his dissent. "After all, sex workers are one of the most disfavored groups in our society. But the rule that prevents Congress from giving the executive carte blanche to write laws for sex offenders is the same rule that protects everyone else." In Gorsuch's view, SORNA effectively combined the Article I powers of Congress with the Article II powers of the executive in a single federal official. That result, he argued, marks "the end of any meaningful enforcement of our separation of powers."

Gorsuch's dissent was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas. Noted gang rapist Justice Brett Kavanaugh took no part in the case.

 

OK, so I might have edited the quote a bit.

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The war on sex trafficking continues, and like our other wars, it brings along some civil rights problems.
 

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As of January 2018, teenagers in Colorado who use their cellphones to exchange nude selfies can no longer be prosecuted for "sexual exploitation of a child." But that change, which state legislators approved after recognizing the manifest injustice of treating adolescent sexting as equivalent to the production and distribution of child pornography, came five years too late for "T.B.," a 15-year-old boy who in 2012 and 2013 swapped erotic pictures with two girls, a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old. Last week the Colorado Supreme Court upheld T.B.'s adjudication as delinquent for sexually exploiting children, which requires him to register as a sex offender for at least 20 years.

...

Under Colorado law, someone is guilty of sexually exploiting a child when he "causes, induces, entices, or permits" anyone younger than 18 to engage in "explicit sexual conduct for the making of any sexually exploitative material." The law's definition of "explicit sexual conduct" includes "erotic nudity," meaning the display of genitals or breasts "for the purpose of real or simulated overt sexual gratification or stimulation of one or more of the persons involved." Five members of the Colorado Supreme Court agreed that the pictures on T.B.'s cellphone fit this description.

Justices Gabriel and Hart, by contrast, concluded that the phrase "one or more of the persons involved" should be understood to mean a person who either appears in the images or produces them. Since T.B. did neither, Gabriel writes, "the evidence against him was legally insufficient to support his adjudication for sexual exploitation of a child."

In Gabriel's view, the interpretation favored by the majority raises several constitutional concerns. Reading the statute "so broadly as to encompass a teenager's request that another teenager send a nude selfie strikes me as potentially implicating a juvenile's
right to free speech," he writes. "Similarly, I am concerned that the majority's reading of 'person involved' is so broad as to render it meaningless, thereby creating a constitutional vagueness problem."

Gabriel adds that the disparate treatment of T.B. and the girls, who faced no charges and will not have to register as sex offenders even though they engaged in essentially the same behavior, "raises the specter of selective enforcement of this statute based on gender," which may violate the 14th Amendment's guarantee of equal protection....

 

I wonder why the girls were not charged?

Her Body, sometimes Her Choice, I suppose.

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9th Circuit Says Nice Hooters Are Not All That Expressive

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The city passed two ordinances in 2017 to address the issue. One ordinance created a dress code for employees of "quick-service facilities" that required employees wear at least a tank top and shorts. The other ordinance expanded the city's definition of lewd conduct to include the public display of specific parts of the body.

The owner of one stand, Hillbilly Hotties, and some baristas sued, saying the new ordinances violated the baristas' First and 14th amendment rights.

US District Court Judge Marsha Pechman initially ruled in late 2017 in the coffee chain's favor, saying the city ordinances were too vague and arbitrary, according to CNN affiliate KOMO. The ordinance was suspended while the matter worked its way through the judicial system.

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that the women may have to cover up after all.

The new ruling, from a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, vacated Pechman's injunction and sent the case back to lower courts.

"The panel concluded that the vagueness doctrine did not warrant an injunction prohibiting enforcement of the Dress Code Ordinance," the appeals court wrote. "The panel concluded that the mode of dress at issue in this case was not sufficiently communicative to merit First Amendment protection."

...

Melinda Ebelhar, who helped represent the baristas, said her clients may ask the full appellate court to hear their appeal.

"The baristas are seeking to exercise their right to choose their work clothing," she said. "The baristas sought to express positive messages of body confidence and female empowerment. This decision effectively tells women that the female body must be covered up and hidden, and that women must be protected from themselves."

 

Her body, her choice set of cans.

 

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In other sexual misbehavior news,

Neil Gorsuch Catches a Hail Mary for the Constitution
 

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Gundy was convicted under Maryland law for sexually assaulting a minor. His conviction happened before Congress approved the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) in 2006. But SORNA requires registration even for sex offenders who were convicted before it was passed, and lets the attorney general define which past offenders have to register, certainly a broad delegation of legislative power to the executive branch. But that happens all the time, and as Alito pointed out, it’s been 84 years since the Supreme Court held that Congress had over-delegated its constitutional responsibilities.

When Gundy didn’t update his status upon moving to New York, he was prosecuted for violating the act. He filed his appeal to the Supreme Court in forma pauperis, which is a request by an indigent defendant to waive the usual filing fees. The Supreme Court gets between 7,000 and 8,000 petitions per year, and about two thirds are filed in forma pauperis, often from prisoners and often pro se(representing yourself). Gundy’s chances weren’t good.

Here’s where things get interesting: Gundy’s petition to the Supreme Court was a Hail Mary pass intended for Gorsuch, and Gorsuch caught it.

Gundy’s petition raised a few reasons why the Court should take his case. It is standard practice to ask the Court to review a variety of questions, and attorneys usually put their best issue forward first, which for Gundy seemed to be the fact that when he “moved” to New York, he was in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons, having been transferred to a halfway house in the Bronx. Gundy’s attorney made the sensible argument that, when someone is in custody, they shouldn’t have to register, nor should they have to register when they’re forced to move.

Those two issues seemed on solid ground. The Hail Mary pass was the third one: whether Congress improperly delegated legislative authority to the attorney general. It has been nearly a century since a delegation challenge worked, which is why this was such a long shot. Understandably, Gundy’s lawyer devoted only the last page and a half of a 20-page brief to the issue. But she included an important citation: a concurrence by then-judge Gorsuch of the Tenth Circuit pointing out that SORNA has some over-delegation problems.

 

 

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On 6/27/2019 at 7:28 AM, Importunate Tom said:

 

A war on sex workers, the first amendment, and Section 230, I'd say.

Sorry, forgot to include "war on property rights" in the list. But the government didn't.
 

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Aggressive civil asset forfeiture is colliding with First Amendment rights in the Justice Department's ongoing efforts against the former executives of Backpage.

Judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit considered claims this week that federal prosecutors have improperly seized the executives' money and property and used dirty tricks to prevent the courts from making things right.

Those challenging the seizures include Michael Lacey and James Larkin, the onetime owners of both Backpage and a host of alt-weekly newspapers, along with their former employees John Brunst and Scott Spear. All four were arrested in April 2018 as part of the federal criminal prosecution of Backpage executives for alleged money laundering, conspiracy, and violations of the Travel Act.

Since that time, the feds have seized "26 real properties (some purchased before Backpage.com ever existed), 89 bank accounts, and 268 domain names" from the defendants, their family members, and associated entities. Prosecutors also seized money held in trusts by the defendants' lawyers, jeopardizing defendants' ability to afford defense counsel as they wait out a trial set to start in May 2020.

 

The thing is, we have this really troublesome amendment in the bill of rights that protects publishing.
 

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Herein lies a legal problem. Publishing activity—indeed, any First Amendment–protected activity—is somewhat shielded from pre-trial money-grubbing by the government.

Under the twisted rules of civil asset forfeiture, the government can take money and property from those accused of wrongdoing before actually proving any wrongdoing, so long as there is "probable cause" to believe the assets were used in or derived from criminal activity. But for assets related to potentially First Amendment–protected activities, a higher standard is required. If the government wants to grab those assets pre-trial, it must first show that the speech in question is not constitutionally protected.

Prosecutors argue that they're not required to abide by this higher standard for protected speech because the speech on Backpage was not protected. But "that is the very point it must prove at trial, as well as before it may seize assets," respond the Backpage lawyers in their appeal. If all it took to avoid the higher standard of scrutiny is for prosecutors simply to declare speech unprotected, the higher standard of scrutiny would be meaningless.

 

 

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On 7/16/2019 at 5:24 PM, Olsonist said:

Tom will say that libertarians think that prostitution should be decriminalized.


You OK, Olsonist?

You got one right, which is very unlike you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fighting "Sex Trafficking" Means Busting Hookers

Again.

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Offices across the state conduct operations under the guise of saving victims of human trafficking. But the vast majority of people detained, including sex workers, are charged with prostitution.

Gee, so they claim to fight something really scary and then target the mundane. Again.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Secret Memos Show the Government Has Been Lying About Backpage

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For nearly a decade, Backpage has been demonized by politicians, denounced in legislatures, and dramatically mischaracterized by the press, Hollywood, and well-funded activist groups. As early as 2010, top prosecutors from 21 states claimed the classified-ad platform was "exploiting women and children." In 2012 Washington state passed the first (but not last) law aimed specifically at toppling Backpage, and by 2015 U.S. senators were investigating the company.

...

In April 2012, two federal prosecutors sent their boss a memo about Backpage, the site that had, since 2004, been operating like a parallel Craigslist. What would unravel over the course of the 24-page document contradicts almost everything we've heard from federal authorities about Backpage since.

The memo—subject: "Backpage.com Investigation"—reveals that six years before Backpage leaders were indicted on federal criminal charges, prosecutors had already begun building a "child sex trafficking" case against the company. But this case was hampered by the fact that Backpage kept trying to help stop sex trafficking.

...

"At the outset of this investigation, it was anticipated that we would find evidence of candid discussions among [Backpage] principals about the use of the site for juvenile prostitution which could be used as admissions of criminal conduct," wrote McNeil and Swaminathan in their 2013 update. "It was also anticipated that we would find numerous instances where Backpage learned that at site user was a juvenile prostitute and Backpage callously continued to post advertisements for her. To date, the investigation has revealed neither."

 

They recommended that bringing criminal charges would be unwise. But the matter didn't stop there.


...

 

Now that what the investigators found has been brought to light, it's very inconvenient to those who demonized Backpage for promoting child prostitution.

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  • 3 weeks later...

In sex trafficking PANIC news...
 

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Lawsuit alleges profiling by Frontier Airlines. In what's becoming a sadly regular occurrence, another multiracial family has been profiled by airline staff as being involved in human trafficking. In this case, 55-year-old Peter DelVecchia, a white man, was traveling with his adopted 12-year-old son, who is black. According to a lawsuit DelVecchia filed in federal court, Frontier Airlines staff accused him of sex trafficking his son and detained the boy in the back of the plane.

DelVecchia alleges that the only basis for this confrontation was the fact that he and his son don't have the same skin color.

This wouldn't be the first time that's happened. A rash of recent incidents on flights and at airports feature false fears of human trafficking that seem to be based on nothing more than staff or onlookers—including Cindy McCain—finding children or women traveling with a man of a different race or ethnicity to be suspicious.

 

In addition to the DelVecchia case, the article mentions other similar incidents in which airline staff have raised the alarm about multiracial families.

I hope he wins.

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  • 1 month later...

In Her Body, Her Choice News...

Warren Says She's 'Open to Decriminalizing Sex Work'; Klobuchar Still Says No Way
 

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While unveiling her Securing LGBTQ+ Rights and Equality Platform, Warren brought up the issue unprompted, tweeting that she was "open to decriminalizing sex work," that "sex workers, like all workers, deserve autonomy," and that sex workers "are particularly vulnerable to physical and financial abuse."

"The criminal justice system should work to ensure safety for all," Warren followed up. "My plan to reform our criminal justice system recognizes that LGBTQ+ individuals—particularly LGBTQ+ people of color—face unique risks and are disproportionately harmed, and takes steps to reform the status quo."

Speaking of status quo: Asked about the issue during a CNN town hall last night, Klobuchar still situated sex-work decrim as something that would harm children and women. Klobuchar said she opposes decriminalization because it would encourage human trafficking.

...But Warren has been no good in this realm, either. Not only did she vote for FOSTA (almost everybody did), but she sponsored legislation that would encourage banks and other financial institutions to terminate sex workers' business accounts.

...

For what it's worth, neither the president nor Congress can directly "decriminalize sex work," as prostitution is not a federal crime.

Getting rid of laws surrounding commercial sexual activity between consenting adults is up to cities and states. Still, there are a number of ways that the federal government could incentivize states to do so, starting with putting to a stop to current federal law-enforcement pressure and incentives to intensify sex stings. It could also, for a start, repeal harmful federal laws related to prostitution, such as last year's FOSTA and the (still very much enforced) 1910 Mann Act.

 

Glad to see Warren moving in a libertarian direction on this issue, but people who "face unique risks and are disproportionately harmed" also need financial services, something she disregarded not long ago.

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Sex Work Decriminalization Bill in D.C. Draws 14 Hours of Passionate Public Testimony
 

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The Council of the District of Columbia's Judiciary and Public Safety Committee has been considering a measure (the Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019) that would remove criminal penalties for commercial sex between consenting adults.

Right now, both selling and paying for sexual services in D.C. is illegal. So is "arranging" prostitution, receiving anything of value from prostitution you helped arrange, or occupying or using a space deemed a house of "lewdness, assignation, or prostitution." All of these laws are used to go after sex workers and people they choose to associate with for normal, non-exploitative arrangements and activities.

The proposed decriminalization measure would not legalize prostitution in the District. In other words, it would not set up a sanctioned brothel system, red light district, sex work registry, or anything like that. And it would not touch existing prohibitions on sex work involving children, coercion, fraud, abduction, or violence, nor other criminal laws surrounding sexual assault, labor exploitation, or activity involving people under 18.

You might not have guessed that last bit from listening to some of the testimony at yesterday's hearing. The speakers included several representatives from "anti-exploitation" groups that view all sex work as damaging and inherently abusive. Their speeches were rife with refusals to distinguish between voluntary sex work and human trafficking, or between what the bill would actually do (decriminalize the former) and the detailed tales of trauma they told.

Again and again, nonprofit representatives invoked trafficked children and raped women, taking for granted that these things would escalate if we stop caging adults for consensual sex.

 

Conflating abuse and "trafficking" with consensual sex work is the oldest Puritan trick in the book, and I guess it's still a good one.
 

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Councilmember David Grosso, who introduced the bill and is now among four sponsors, stressed repeatedly that, if anything, this measure would give police more capacity to handle the sex crimes that should actually be sex crimes. "We should arrest someone for assault," he said. "But when it's two adults engaging in a consensual sex act, I don't see why that should be an arrestable offense."

This position earned Grosso—a white man—a number of direct and indirect accusations of only sponsoring this bill because he didn't understand life in black and brown communities, didn't care about the girls from them, and wanted to make rich white men happy. But Grosso only brought forward the legislation after being approached by a coalition of activists working in local LGBTQ, racial justice, harm reduction, and related realms.

The campaigners from this coalition, DECRIMNOW, are overwhelmingly young D.C. residents of color, many with personal experience in sex work or who have otherwise been affected by its criminalization (such as getting profiled and harassed by police simply for being a transgender woman). They went door to door in D.C., conducted social media outreach, and otherwise put in a lot of effort to see that this bill got to where it was yesterday and that so many people showed up.

"It's clear that Grosso is a white man. Ok. But 'Black & brown girls' developed this legislation and folks opposed to #DecrimNowDC keep furthering their erasure," tweeted Black Youth Project (BYP) 100 organizer @youngstalli yesterday. "Stop it."

 

2nd oldest trick, I guess.

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Meanwhile Sarasota cops seem to want to grab a headline more than they want to grab a predator

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...

Even though the man never suggested meeting up with an underage child, never brought up sex during their two full days of online chats, and appeared to be a model employee, he was suspended by the sheriff’s office following the exchange. He said he was then pressured to resign to keep the episode private.

“The (deputies’) behavior is outrageous,” said Tampa criminal defense attorney Anthony Candela, who reviewed the chat logs at the request of Florida Politics. “If you have the cops trying to groom the individual, they probably aren’t going after a sex offender.

“If you live in Sarasota County, I’d want to know why my tax dollars are being wasted just for a news story … you want the sheriff combating real crime … that’s tens of thousands of dollars To (not) Catch a Predator.”

 

 

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The FBI Is Regulating Interstate Commerce Again
 

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The FBI is once again aiding vice squad stings across the country and calling it an effort to stop child sex trafficking. Dubbed "Operation Independence Day," (OID) the monthlong July initiative saw agents going undercover to help arrest people for offenses that local cops can handle on their own.

In Mississippi, an FBI-led task force teamed up with two local police agencies and the Mississippi Gaming Commission to make five misdemeanor prostitution arrests. The FBI task force in Shreveport, Louisiana, worked with the state's Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control to make 25 arrests for soliciting prostitution, drug possession, and/or illegal possession of a handgun. Despite operating in 161 locations, OID arrested just 67 people on state or federal charges related to child exploitation, coercive prostitution, or "pimping." Many of these arrests were would-be customers of adult sex workers ensnared by cops posing as teens—i.e., cases involving no actual minors or "traffickers." A number of "promoting prostitution" charges were filed in cities that list no recovered victims, which suggests that sex workers are being charged with felonies for facilitating their own prostitution.


 

Her body, her choice, unless it's a felony.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/23/2019 at 5:42 AM, Plenipotentiary Tom said:

Sex Work Decriminalization Bill in D.C. Draws 14 Hours of Passionate Public Testimony
 

Conflating abuse and "trafficking" with consensual sex work is the oldest Puritan trick in the book, and I guess it's still a good one.
 

2nd oldest trick, I guess.

And after the 14 hour hearing, there will be no vote.

Meanwhile, in the other Washington,

Seattle police captain busted in prostitution sting after offering $40 to undercover cop
 

Quote

 

...“Seattle police arrested a 53-year-old SPD employee last night in an undercover Vice operation in North Seattle,” Sgt. Sean Whitcomb was quoted as saying by KIRO-TV. The other four men weren't identified.

...

Woolery was recently honored for his leadership skills, KIRO-TV reported. He also serves as a fire commissioner in Snohomish County.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

The Economic Case for Decriminalizing Sex Work

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The so-called Nordic model seeks to simultaneously reduce the imprisonment and exploitation of sex workers by addressing demand. In effect, that means prosecuting managers and customers, but not the sex workers themselves.

It sounds like a well-balanced solution to a complex social problem: Punish the exploiters, not the exploited. Combined with outreach, it promises to lift desperate woman out of a dangerous way of life.

The problem is that this approach lacks strong support from sex workers, who say that it complicates their screening procedures for customers and drives sex work underground. This jibes with economic theory, which suggests that the costs of any limitation on the market fall on those with the fewest options, whether buyers or sellers.

New research confirms just how powerful this effect can be. Economists studied Craigslist, which from 2002 to 2010 gradually introduced an “erotic services” section that allowed sex workers to advertise directly and anonymously on the internet.

The staggered rollout allowed the economists to measure the impact on each market as the service expanded. As expected, the market for sex workers expanded rapidly. More important, according to the 2019 paper, the expansion of Craigslist into a market “led to a 10% to 17% reduction in female homicides.” To be clear, that figure is not homicides among sex workers —  which are difficult to measure in real time — but homicides among all women in the area.

 

The article mentions other studies reporting similar reductions in assaults and rapes.

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In other Nordic Model news, Mailchimp is getting sued
 

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...

Texas lawyer Annie McAdams brought the suit, claiming Mailchimp — after US law enforcement shut down Backpage for facilitating sex trafficking — worked with copycat site YesBackpage.com.

“Here we have a sex trafficker who was looking: ‘Where do I go after Backpage? How am I going to sell this particular Jane Doe for sex?’” McAdams told BuzzFeed News. “Well, all of a sudden Mailchimp delivers the solution to his mailbox.”

An email promoting YesBackpage, sent via Mailchimp, landed in the inbox of a trafficker who had withheld a Wisconsin woman's identity documents and physically forced her into sexual exploitation, McAdams said. The trafficker listed the Wisconsin woman on YesBackpage and made her provide sexual services.

YesBackpage did not respond to a request for comment.

...

 

Heh. YesBackpage Nocomment.

The Wisconsin woman would have more options and more power if she was not committing a crime. Her predicament was the result of the "End Demand" tactic. The chances that any law will end demand for sex work remain zero.

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5 Myths That Anti-Porn Crusaders Keep Repeating
 

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1. Claim: The rise of online pornography and digital marketplaces for sex work has coincided with a rise in violence against women.

In fact, the last several decades have seen decreases in all sorts of violent crime rates, including rates of rape and sexual assault.

...

2. Claim: Teens who watch porn are more likely to engage in sexually risky behaviors.

In fact, the proliferation of online porn and minors' easy access to it has coincided with a significant drops in just about every negative outcome connected to young people and sex.

...

3. Claim: Online porn is uniquely addictive.

In fact, there's nothing uniquely dangerous about digital porn that's getting people "hooked."

...

4. Claim: Porn desensitizes men to regular sex.

In fact, we don't have much research on this—what we do have suggests the opposite.

...

5. Claim: Legal porn increases human trafficking.

In fact, previous bouts of prohibition have shown us that making something illegal doesn't actually stop that thing from existing—but it does make engaging with the banned thing more dangerous for all involved.

 

So there's no harm in fucking off and showing us your wife or girlfriends' tits.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Massage Parlor PANIC!

Quote

 

...

The men who were picked up received misdemeanor solicitation charges. That doesn't mean they got off scot-free: Even a minor run-in with the criminal justice system can be disruptive and costly, not to mention the reputational damage that comes from having your name in the papers as part of an alleged "human trafficking bust." For his part, Kraft was soon back to having dinner beside President Donald Trump and partying in the Hamptons with Hollywood celebrities. But most of the men arrested were not wealthy public figures.

Massage parlor workers and managers faced much worse, including jail time, seized assets, and sometimes multiple felony charges, despite an utter lack of evidence of any nonconsensual activity.

Eight women were accused of participating in a "prostitution enterprise" as well as engaging in prostitution themselves. Others were indicted on allegations of deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution, procuring for prostitution, unlawful transport for prostitution, or keeping a house of ill fame.

Money laundering, racketeering, and conspiracy charges are common in these prosecutions, since doing anything with proceeds from prostitution can qualify. Applying such charges to sex workers who band together and to sex work–adjacent businesses (such as websites that permit escort ads or massage parlors where some workers engage in sex acts) gives prosecutors two things: leverage in eliciting pleas rather than taking a case to trial, and the legal room to seize financial assets.

As of the end of 2019, eight of the 11 spa staffers and associates booked in the stings in Florida's Indian River, Martin, and Palm Beach counties had accepted plea deals after initially pleading not guilty. The one male employee who was involved pleaded guilty to unlawful transport (a misdemeanor), while seven women pleaded no contest or guilty to misdemeanor prostitution charges and sometimes no contest to other prostitution-related charges. In exchange, prosecutors dropped many of the felony counts, and most of the defendants will avoid more jail time than they have already served.

No traffickers or victims ever materialized (thankfully). In the end, police shut down some immigrant-owned businesses, put a dozen or more women out of work, prohibited some licensed masseuses who were also sex workers from doing legal massage work in the future, and that's about it.

...

 

So most of the punishment is directed at the "sex slaves."

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Decriminalize Sex Work Rates Presidential Candidates
 

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Gabbard is the only one to get a good grade on a recent report card put out by the group Decriminalize Sex Work (DSW). "Gabbard supports the full decriminalization of sex work, which removes criminal and civil penalties from adults engaged in consensual acts of prostitution," the group reports.

DSW gave Gabbard an A-. She didn't get a perfect score because she voted for FOSTA, which made hosting content that facilitates prostitution a federal crime. FOSTA and the federal war on websites like Backpage have made sex work more dangerous and made it harder for police to find people who do need help, according to preliminary evidence. All of the Democratic presidential candidates in Congress voted for FOSTA, with Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar signing on a co-sponsor of the Senate companion bill (SESTA), as did former presidential candidates Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Recently, though, Rep. Ro Khanna (D–Calif.) introduced legislation that he sees as a potential first step to FOSTA's repeal—and the bill's Senate companion was introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) as a co-sponsor. (Ron Wyden of Oregon, the only Democrat in the Senate to vote against FOSTA in the first place, is also a co-sponsor.)

"As lawmakers, we are responsible for examining unintended consequences of all legislation, and that includes any impact SESTA-FOSTA may have had on the ability of sex workers to protect themselves from physical or financial abuse," said Warren in December, when the SAFE SEX Workers Study Act was introduced.

Warren tweeted last July that she's "open to decriminalization" of prostitution. But she's also fond of financial regulations that make it harder for people in sex workers (even in legal industries) to get bank accounts or use online payment processors.

DSW gave Warren a C+ and Sanders a C, the same grade given to Pete Buttigieg.

...

"It's the first time sex work has become an issue in a presidential election—that's historic," says Bella Robinson, who has been doing sex work for more than three decades and leads the Rhode Island chapter of Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics. After FOSTA passed, Robinson's group worked with the Sex Workers Outreach Project to study the effect on sex workers. (See highlights from their research here.)

...

Klobuchar has a history of spouting crazy sex-trafficking myths and backing the bad policies that stem from them. She now "appears to support the Suppression Model," says the Decriminalize Sex Work report card (which gives her D+), as does Yang (who got a D).

...

Mike Bloomberg, who enthusiastically embraced full criminalization during his time as mayor of New York City, was the only Democratic candidate given a failing grade on the DSW report card. "Arrest rates for prostitution were 30% higher during Bloomberg's tenure as mayor," the DSW report states, citing data from the New York Division of Justice Services and noting that "the spike in arrest rates almost exclusively targeted black New Yorkers."

...

 

Bella Robinson is right that it's significant that major party candidates are talking about this issue at all.

Also COYOTE is waaaaay better than ESPLERP as an acronym.

But 30 years in the biz seems like a long time.

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Since Bloomberg bough...uh...got a new TeamD majority in the Virginia legislature, one might expect to see politicians deciding to butt out of people's sex lives.

Virginia Bill Targets Massage Parlor Workers
 

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Legislation moving through the Virginia state legislature aims to make it easier to arrest and prosecute massage parlor workers for sexual touching. The bill—which passed the state House on February 11 and is currently in committee in the Senate—would amend Virginia's prostitution law to include any touching of "the intimate parts of another with the intent to sexually arouse or gratify for money."

As it stands, one must engage in or offer to engage in anal sex, "fornication…cunnilingus, fellatio, or anilingus" for pay to be guilty of prostitution. The new law would give police more room to prosecute massage-business-based sex work, which often involves erotic touching but not sexual penetration.

The authorities are (of course) pushing this as a way to combat "sex trafficking." But in reality, it would simply make it easier for police to arrest people engaging in prostitution, whether or not they are being coerced or exploited.

...

 

 

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People Stuck at Home Are Making and Watching Porn. Everybody Panic!
 

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...

Alas, ours is an era of easily triggered scolds and illiberal nannies who see damning decadence in anything they don't personally like or understand. Not to mention, anti-porn "awareness" groups like NCOSE (on the right) and Exodus Cry (on the left) still have to earn their keep.

So, Pornhub's marketing stunt and traffic spike provided a convenient news hook. But anti-porn advocates are quite capable of whipping themselves into a fervor without help.

One might think the fact that porn studio production in the U.S. and Canada has been suspended until further notice would be some comfort. But thanks to social media, cash apps, cam sites, clip stores, and "fan club" platforms, experienced porn performers, sex workers from other sectors who are now out of work, and cash-strapped or stuck-at-home newcomers have been producing and monetizing their own content online. And this has anti-nudity nuts up in arms.

One platform, OnlyFans, has recently been getting more mainstream attention—and with that, a hefty dose of criticism.

"Every now and then, the modern world produces a trend so ghastly you can't help but sit back and think, would a global Islamic Caliphate really be that bad? One such fad is the sudden growth of OnlyFans, a monthly paid subscription content service," Charlie Peters wrote this week in The American Conservative.

Platforms like OnlyFans—which give sex workers more control over their own boundaries, clientele, and earnings than the porn world has traditionally offered—appear to be especially triggering to conservative anti-porn activists, who have long insisted their biggest concern is stopping sexual exploitation, not controlling what women can do with their bodies.

...

 

I wonder if OnlyFans welcomes newcomers with a suggestion to show your wife or girlfriends' tits?

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19 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:
On 4/16/2020 at 5:45 AM, Steganographic Tom said:


 

OK, so the article didn't really use the word panicdemic

Hey Tom, how has the word you coined held up?  I notice you haven't used it in a week or two.


Thanks for the reminder, CLEAN! I just copied the article title for post 163 but should have edited it to panicdemic or at least worked the word into my comments. As I explained before, when the pandemic is used to try to scare people into unrelated political actions, I'll continue to call that panicdemic.

I still can't see where the virus has created an emergency need to stop abortions. That's panicdemic spread by authoritarians who already wanted to stop abortions.

I still can't see where the virus has created an emergency need to stop gun sales. That's panicdemic spread by grabbers who already wanted to stop gun sales.

I still can't see where the virus has created an emergency need to boondoggle recklessly. That's panicdemic spread by virtually every Duopoly politician who already wanted to boondoggle recklessly.

And I still can't see where the virus has created an emergency need to stop porn. As the article above notes, that's panicdemic spread by Puritans who think most sex is just serving Satan and by lefty scolds who think any aroused male is just perpetuating the evil patriarchy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Operation Asian Touch

Another "sex trafficking" misfire. Well, at least the looting part went as planned.
 

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Agents with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in Arizona have been "fighting" human trafficking by sending federal immigration agents to coerce suspected victims into paid sex acts. These acts were later used by authorities to justify arresting women who agreed to them, seizing their assets, and telling the press it was these women who were the real predators.

Federal agents had at least 17 sexual encounters with "Asian females" working in massage parlors around Mohave County, Arizona, over a five-month period in 2018, according to new research from the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at Arizona State University (ASU). Internal ICE documents show these activities had the blessing of agents' supervisors.

When it was all over, the years-long operation yielded three misdemeanor charges stemming from a single sexual encounter which authorities interrupted during a raid.

Absurd and horrifying? Obviously. But also a scenario that is far from an isolated incident.

...

Some reports suggest that federal authorities started off with only the most sincere concern for masseuses' welfare and that things then went awry.

If that's the case, they sure have a screwy way of expressing concern. All I see in this case is authorities exploiting people they called sex slaves, and then refusing to show up for them when it comes time to seek justice. ICE agents paid potential victims to make them orgasm, then disappeared, while local police misled the press about it, then stole from "victims" through the racket known as civil asset forfeiture.

HSI Deputy Special Agent in Charge Lon Weigand said at a press conference that $128,000 in cash and around $30,000 worth of gold coins and jewelry were seized during the operation. According to ASU's report, most of this—$105,120—has not been and will not be returned, despite most of the cases being dismissed. ...

 

 

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Robert Kraft and Florida Massage Workers Are Still Fighting Unconstitutional Surveillance Video
 

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Florida is advocating for a dangerous narrowing of due process in its quest to justify surveillance video recorded at Asian massage parlors. The state is arguing that it didn't violate the Fourth Amendment in letting secretly-installed cameras run for weeks on end⁠—making no attempt to limit recordings to particular activity or suspects⁠—as part of prostitution stings in Palm Beach and Indian River counties, an endeavor that yielded solicitation charges for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

...

"The state promptly offered plea deals involving community service and fines to the men who had been secretly, and likely unconstitutionally, surveilled," notes Aya Gruber in her new book The Feminist War on Crime. "The Asian female Orchids employees, by contrast, were hit with an array of felony and misdemeanor charges related to prostitution and profiteering and faced a maximum of 15 years for the felonies and up to a year for each of the misdemeanors," which were numerous.

The deal⁠ for the men—which also required completion of a course about why prostitution is bad⁠ and attesting that they would likely have been found guilty if the case had proceeded—would wipe the charges for them if they completed the mandates. Instead, Robert Kraft, East Spa customer Robert Freels, and others opted to challenge the constitutionality of the surveillance footage.

...

A court took their side, ruling in May 2019 that the video evidence was not admissible in any of the cases because authorities had obtained it through unconstitutional means.

But Florida appealed right away, sending the matter before the state's Fourth District Court of Appeals, where it now sits. In its appeal, the state argues that "even assuming a constitutional violation, suppression of the videos was not an appropriate remedy," since footage ultimately provided "evidence of…prostitution offenses."

The state essentially argues that a fishing expedition is OK so long as it ultimately yields some fish. But that's not how it works.

...

Presiding Judge Robert M. Gross did not seem impressed by the state's textual argument during the hearing, where a three-judge panel heard from lawyers for Kraft, Zhang, Wang, Mingbi, Freels et al., and the state.

"You are getting us off on the wrong foot by focusing on the language of the Fourth Amendment when we should be focusing on the Supreme Court jurisprudence … that is heavily weighted against you," Gross told Florida Deputy Solicitor General Jeffrey DeSousa.

...

 

The state's fishing expedition argument conveniently ignores the fact that they said they were searching for, and initially claimed to have found, a sex slave operation. No trafficking charges were ever filed because that was BS from the beginning.

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Sen. Josh Hawley Says He 'Took on an Asian Trafficking Ring' and 'Freed a Dozen Women in Sex Slavery.' That's Not True.
 

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...

Hawley's self-aggrandizing account goes like this: After getting wind of a potential sex trafficking ring at Asian massage parlors all around Greene County and the city of Springfield, Hawley's office helped state and county police free "female victims" from being trapped in massage parlors and "forced into sex work," while "the participants in the ring were charged."

In fact, Hawley said at the time, "some evidence collected by Highway Patrol, leading up to these raids, suggested that there are potentially ties to Asian organized crime."

While this tale nicely reinforces Hawley's long-standing preoccupations with public morality and Chinese hegemony, the 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 managed to elicit six guilty pleas to misdemeanor offenses against the state's massage licensing law. A tangentially related investigation in Louisiana yielded a single guilty plea to labor trafficking, with zero evidence of coerced sex or threats of violence, along with one plea to money laundering and one to "prohibited sexual conduct" at a massage parlor.

Hawley's massage business raids are a small part of a much larger story about how Asian spas became the next big front in the battle against alleged sex trafficking.

In reporting that story, I found a legal and political battle that's too often focused on consensual sex work or serving as a pretense for police surveillance, vice stings, hand jobs for Homeland Security agents, and harassing particular communities. In Hawley's case, a Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) and Springfield Police Department investigation into prostitution at Asian massage parlors led to raids on 13 businesses and five homes in Greene County in July 2017, largely based on unfounded associations between them and the fact that they all advertised on the now-seized classified ad site Backpage.

Hawley—then the attorney general of Missouri—spoke at a press conference live from the parking lot of one of the raided businesses, earning him positive headlines and TV news coverage. To sex traffickers attempting to do business in his state, he said, "We will find you out, we will hunt you down, and we will prosecute you." 

At the time, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, whose seat Hawley would soon compete for and win, had made stopping "sex trafficking" and prostitution her signature issue, which may explain part of Hawley's enthusiasm to come across as tough on these things. But as McCaskill pointed out during an October 2018 debate, no felony charges had resulted from the massage parlor stings more than a year after Hawley's highly publicized raids.

By that point, the most significant actions Hawley's office had taken were seizing assets, prosecuting a few misdemeanor violations of occupational licensing laws, and netting a civil court order saying five businesses shouldn't allow prostitution—something already forbidden under Missouri law.

...

 

Business as usual, it seems. The raids and headlines are about "slavery" and "trafficking" but the actual (misdemeanor) charges and looting largely punish the victims.

As for the Louisiana case,
 

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If the worst of what's in police reports about him and his wife is true, we're looking at evidence of state labor law violations, not an organized crime syndicate's human smuggling and sex slavery ring.

Mistreating employees is still wrong. But the official allegations from police fall far short of having "enticed [women] from China" (as an Associated Press article claimed, citing the Caddo Parish District Attorney's Office), "forcing women to perform sexual acts" (as a local ABC affiliate stated), or being part of "a trafficking ring" that may stretch "to east Asia," as Hawley put it. And authorities' treatment of alleged victims makes it hard to argue that anyone was helped.

Louisiana seized thousands of dollars, cars, phones, and other possessions from workers at Palm Massage and Best Massage, keeping much of it. ("We did not seize the money that was in their purses," Owens' report notes.) They also temporarily held on to their driver's licenses, passports, massage licenses, and immigration documents such as "asylum documentation," according to a state police log.

Coco, Summer, Ala, and YoYo—the four employees police talked to—"all have at least 720 hours of training and are licensed in several other states," wrote lawyer A.M. Stroud III, who served as one of Tian and Li's court-appointed attorneys, in a bond reduction motion. "These are professionals and do not engage in criminal activity. Though characterized as 'victims,' the state seized their assets rendering them completely indigent and without funds to live."

If authorities really do believe these workers were "victims," it's hard to imagine how either a criminal record or being left without a job, funds, identification, or a means of transportation made their situations better. If anything, it could make them more vulnerable to exploitation.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 7/6/2020 at 9:17 PM, Cacoethesic Tom said:

And winning in the appeals court

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A Florida appeals court ruled Wednesday that police violated the rights of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others when they secretly video recorded them paying for massage parlor sex acts, barring the tapes’ use at trial and dealing a potentially deadly blow to their prosecution.

The state 4th District Court of Appeal ruled Kraft’s rights were violated under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures.

“The type of law enforcement surveillance utilized in these cases is extreme. While there will be situations which may warrant the use of the techniques at issue, the strict Fourth Amendment safeguards developed over the past few decades must be observed,” the judges ruled.

“To permit otherwise would yield unbridled discretion to agents of law enforcement and the government, the antithesis of the constitutional liberty of people to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures,” the court added.

Prosecutors will likely appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court, but if it stands the misdemeanor charges brought against Kraft and other customers would have to be dropped for lack of evidence. Palm Beach State Attorney Dave Aronberg had no immediate comment on the decision.

...

 

I agree with the 4th's ruling. I wonder if the appeal to the FL Supreme Court will make the argument made with reference to the second amendment and say that since video cameras were not invented in 1789 they can't possibly be covered by the fourth amendment?

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FOSTA Is Unconstitutional, Argue Sexual Freedom Advocates and First Amendment Lawyers in New Motion
 

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...

You can find their full motion for summary judgment here (and find previous court filings here). "Plaintiffs request a declaratory ruling that FOSTA is unconstitutional and a permanent injunction against its enforcement and application," the motion states. They claim that "FOSTA is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad, is a content-based statute that cannot satisfy strict scrutiny, and lacks the necessary scienter requirements to be constitutional" (scienter refers to a person's intent when doing something that the government claims is criminal). "And it explicitly is meant to have retroactive reach in both its criminal and civil applications."

Meanwhile, the SAFE SEX Workers Study Act, introduced by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) to pave the way for FOSTA's dismantling, has gone nowhere since its introduction last December. Several civil lawsuits—two against Craigslist and one against Mailchimp—are invoking FOSTA in order to accuse these tech companies of being legally liable for "sex trafficking."

...

 

If they win I might be able to reinstate my generous offer involving Meli's chatterbox.

 

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The Mythology of Sex Trafficking
 

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...

Forcing others into sex or any sort of labor is abhorrent, and it deserves to be treated like the serious violation it is. But the activity now targeted under anti-trafficking efforts includes everything from offering or soliciting paid sex, to living with a sex worker, to running a classified advertising website.

What's more, these new laws aren't organic responses by legislators in the face of an uptick in human trafficking activity or inadequate current statutes. They are in large part the result of a decades-long anti-prostitution crusade from Christian "abolitionists" and anti-sex feminists, pushed along by officials who know a good political opportunity when they see it and by media that never met a moral panic they didn't like.

The fire is fueled by federal money, which sends police departments and activist groups into a grant-grubbing frenzy.

...

 

As for the "facts" used to justify the avalanche of cash,
 

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...Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post's "Fact Checker" columnist, began digging into government-promulgated sex-slavery numbers last spring and discovered just how dubious many of them are. "Because sex trafficking is considered horrific, politicians appear willing to cite the flimsiest and most poorly researched statistics—and the media is content to treat the claims as solid facts," Kessler concluded in June.

For instance, Rep. Joyce Beatty (D–Ohio) declared in a May statement that "in the U.S., some 300,000 children are at risk each year for commercial sexual exploitation." Rep. Ann Wagner (R–Mo.) made a similar statement that month at a congressional hearing, claiming the statistic came from the Department of Justice (DOJ). The New York Times has also attributed this number to the DOJ, while Fox News raised the number to 400,000 and sourced it to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). But not only are these not DOJ or HHS figures, they're based on 1990s data published in a non-peer-reviewed paper that the primary researcher, Richard Estes, no longer endorses. The authors of that study came up with their number by speculating that certain situations—i.e., living in public housing, being a runaway, having foreign parents—place minors at risk of potential exploitation by sex traffickers. They then simply counted up the number of kids in those situations. To make a bad measure worse, anyone who fell into more than one category was counted multiple times.

"PLEASE DO NOT CITE THESE NUMBERS," wrote Michelle Stransky and David Finkelhor of the respected Crimes Against Children Research Center in 2008. ...

Still, the obvious implausibility of the statistic—and its routine debunking—hasn't stopped it from reaching the upper echelons of public discourse. Kessler's own Washington Post ran it uncritically in 2014. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.) made the claim on the Senate floor this year, citing the FBI. The DHS also asserts that "the average age a child is trafficked into the commercial sex trade is between 11 and 14 years old," sourcing it to the DOJ and the government's NCMEC. Yet none of these federal agencies take responsibility for this stat. When Kessler followed the facts down the rabbit hole, the original source in all cases was…the self-disowned Estes paper, in which interviews with 107 teens doing street-based prostitution in the 1990s determined that their average age of entry into the business was 13.

"So one government agency appears to cite two other government entities—but in the end the source of the data is the same discredited and out-of-date academic paper," wrote Kessler. "It would be amusing if it were not so sad."

 

As for how the "victims" are being helped out,

Quote

the adult "victims" included women willingly working in prostitution. Officers posing as clients answered these women's online ads and then apprehended them. One 20-year-old "victim" had her arm broken by the cops when she tried to flee. A 16-year-old victim was booked on prostitution charges when she refused to let officers contact her parents. After failing to secure emergency shelter for two adult victims who had no money and no identification, police returned them to the motel where they'd been apprehended "so they could try and arrange funds to get back" home.

So that's helpful. I wonder how they expect funds to be arranged?

The article makes the case that we're following the same failed strategies of the stupid drug war: more and more draconian mandatory minimums, conflating all participants into one big "sex slavery" group, and of course lots of asset forfeiture.
 

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But remember: Tough-on-drugs legislation was never crafted or advertised as a means to send poor people to prison for life over a few grams of weed. It was a way to crack down on drug kingpins, violent gang leaders, evil crack fiends, and all those who would lure innocent children into addiction, doom, and death. Yet in mandating more police attention for drug crimes, giving law enforcement new technological tools and military gear with which to fight it, and adding ever-stricter prison sentences and punishments for drug offenders, we unleashed a corrupt, authoritarian, biased, and fiscally untenable mess on American cities without any success in decreasing drug rates or the violence and danger surrounding an activity that human beings stubbornly refuse to give up.

Unless we can learn the lessons of our past failed crusades, the war on sex trafficking could result in every bit as much misery as its panicky predecessors. Here's hoping it won't take us another four decades to realize that this prohibition doesn't work either.

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/22/2020 at 8:00 AM, Cacoethesic Tom said:
On 7/6/2020 at 9:17 PM, Cacoethesic Tom said:

And winning in the appeals court

I agree with the 4th's ruling. I wonder if the appeal to the FL Supreme Court will make the argument made with reference to the second amendment and say that since video cameras were not invented in 1789 they can't possibly be covered by the fourth amendment?

Florida prosecutors won't appeal ruling on Patriots owner Robert Kraft, likely dropping solicitation charges
 

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Florida prosecutors said Monday that they won't appeal a court's decision blocking video that allegedly shows New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft paying for massage parlor sex, making it likely the charges against him will be dropped.

If the state challenged the decision to the Florida Supreme Court and lost, it could have "broader, negative implications" on future law enforcement investigations beyond the Kraft case, the Florida Attorney General's Office said.

...

The state's decision means the charges against Kraft and about 20 other men will likely be dismissed. The recordings, which have not been made public, are the only known potential evidence that the men paid for sex.

Felony charges against the Orchids of Asia spa owners and employees might proceed as there is other evidence against them, such as financial records.

Kraft's attorneys declined comment on the decision, but filed a motion Monday asking that the recordings be destroyed so they could never be released to the public. They said Kraft might be willing to pay the state's costs if anyone challenges a destruction order.

...

Prosecutors argued that they needed the recordings to convict the Orchids of Asia owners of felonies, including possible human trafficking -- though no one was charged with that crime.

...

 

I'd think that trafficking charges would be an important first step to getting trafficking convictions.

 

 

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On 9/23/2020 at 5:17 AM, Cacoethesic Tom said:

lorida prosecutors won't appeal ruling on Patriots owner Robert Kraft, likely dropping solicitation charges
 

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Florida prosecutors said Monday that they won't appeal a court's decision blocking video that allegedly shows New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft paying for massage parlor sex, making it likely the charges against him will be dropped.

Predictably, that happened.

Also predictably, the lies about slavery and trafficking have never been substantiated.

Also predictably, the people facing punishment are the "slaves" who were being "trafficked" and are now to be protected by... facing criminal charges.
 

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Kraft gets off while Orchids of Asia workers still face 25 prostitution charges each. After nearly two years, Florida prosecutors are finally giving up on prosecuting New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft for twice paying an adult woman in Palm Beach County for a hand job. The state had little choice, since a court said the video evidence of this sex act was illegally obtained.

Florida cops had pretended to be hunting a "human trafficking" ring in order to get a warrant for the secret surveillance cameras—which ultimately showed no signs of forced work, forced sex, child labor, or illegal immigration. What they caught was licensed, adult, immigrant masseuses sometimes providing manual sexual stimulation at the end of a client's massage.

But authorities went forward with the "trafficking" lie anyway, holding a press conference that garnered a huge amount of media coverage. Readers and viewers across the country were told that an international "sex trafficking ring" forced "girls" to have unprotected sex with 1,000 men a year and did not let them leave. Major outlets such as The New York Times, CNN, and NPR relayed the government's account.

Palm Beach District Attorney Dave Aronberg declared that this was "modern day slavery" and that the women providing sex acts to Kraft and company were "trafficking victims." This wasn't a story "about lonely old men and victimless crimes," Aronberg said; it was "about forcing women into our country for forced labor and sex." Another local sheriff called the prostitution stings "a rescue operation."

Nothing then, or since, has shown any of this to be the case.

And now, those "rescued" women may be the only ones still in legal trouble.

...

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

The actual title of this article is a bit long, so I shortened it.

NYPD Cops Fight Sex Trafficking

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...

Eighteen current and former officers who policed the sale of sex in New York City said overtime has motivated them for years. The hours add up over the drive to the precinct, the questioning, the paperwork. “You arrest 10 girls, now the whole team’s making eight hours of overtime,” retired Sgt. Stephen Antiuk said.

“That’s what it was all about, making money, from the lieutenant to the sergeant on down,” retired Detective John Kopack said. “You want to eat? You guys want to make some money tonight? Make some arrests, do what you got to do.”

...

 

 

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Visa and Mastercard Submit to Politicians Trying To Put the Squeeze on Pornhub
 

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...

when the Prudes on the Hill tried to bury it all with the Communications Decency Act of 1996, the only important part of the Act to survive dismemberment by the courts was a provision called Section 230, which made it even harder to control "indecent" material by making it safe for large websites to let millions of users create and upload their own.

...

Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff Tom Dart used a similar strategy by issuing veiled threats against Visa and Mastercard in order to get them to stop doing business with Backpage, a classified advertising website whose vendors included people who sell sex. And now that Backpage is no more, the new folk devil is Pornhub.

Like Backpage, Pornhub is entirely composed of user-generated material; it should therefore be fairly bulletproof, thanks to the aforementioned Section 230. But that law is under attack from politicians of both major parties, and perennial busybody Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times (a major figure in the crusade against Backpage) recently called for Mastercard and Visa to choke out Pornhub. Naturally, Kristof's suggestions lack the inherent threat which was intrinsic to Dart's. But Kristof has a bully pulpit, and he has political allies such as Josh Hawley, the junior senator from Missouri who seems intent on making his reputation on a platform of censorship, internet "regulation", and attacking tech companies by any means necessary. Given that Kristof's crusade against Backpage provided talking points for many authoritarian politicians (including the new vice-president elect), he cannot be dismissed as merely another loudmouthed pundit.

Mastercard and Visa have already caved; more companies may join them soon—and if they don't, you shouldn't be surprised if a legislative or regulatory stick soon follows.

 

"Prudes on the hill" is a line that's crying out for a song parody based on Fool on the Hill. Wish I had any talent for that kind of thing.

 

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The story of prostitutes trafficking Robert Kraft is over except for the part about the videos...

Back in 2019, First one, then a group of people sued the Jupiter police and State Attorney Aronberg

Quote

There’s a growing group of people who say they are ready to sue over being videotaped while getting a lawful massage at a business investigated for prostitution.

...

They are seeking unspecified money damages, to block the public release of the videos, and to order the police and prosecutors to “permanently and completely destroy, any and all video, audio, photographic, or other recordings … made inside the Spa.”

Then, last September, Aronberg denounced the suit against him

 

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...Aronberg said Thursday that the courts, not him, will decide what to do with the videos. He said the videos remain evidence in a federal civil lawsuit pursued by anonymous people who said they were recorded getting lawful massages in violation of their privacy rights.

Aronberg and Jupiter police are the targets in that civil case, which he called “an abuse of the court system” because it appears “at least 27, if not all 31 plaintiffs are non-existent.”

“In our view this federal lawsuit by what we consider to be phantom plaintiffs, has been a tactic to pressure our office to dispose of the criminal cases,” he said.

The county’s top prosecutor said he’s not going to be any less aggressive just because of this high-profile defeat.

“Despite the setback today, our office will continue our work to make our community safer by busting prostitutes who prey on NFL team owners,” Aronberg said.

...

 

OK, so maybe that last bit is only what he meant, not exactly what he said. Anyway,

Now Aronberg is asking that the tapes be preserved for the fake case that's trying to have them destroyed.

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Palm Beach County State Attorney David Aronberg argues there is still a civil case pending in which the videos could be used as evidence.

“The Office of the State Attorney cannot legally or ethically agree to the destruction of evidence relevant to this known, pending litigation,” Aronberg said in the court filing.

Kraft's attorney asked the appeals court judge to order the video be destroyed so it can't be released to the public.

 

He's probably right, since the class action case is seeking monetary damages and the plaintiffs might well want the tapes used for that purpose in addition to wanting them destroyed afterwards.

 

 

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The Vice-Loathing Reverend and the Sex Workers Who Took San Francisco by Storm in 1917

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We’re marking the anniversary of America’s first sex-worker-led protest in the hopes that the Biden administration might learn from old mistakes instead of just repeating them.

I share the hope that the whole "Her body, her choice" thing spreads to this and other issues but not much optimism that I'll live to see that hope become reality.

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On 1/3/2021 at 1:27 AM, Pedagogical Tom said:

The story of prostitutes trafficking Robert Kraft is over except for the part about the videos...

Back in 2019, First one, then a group of people sued the Jupiter police and State Attorney Aronberg

Then, last September, Aronberg denounced the suit against him

 

OK, so maybe that last bit is only what he meant, not exactly what he said. Anyway,

Now Aronberg is asking that the tapes be preserved for the fake case that's trying to have them destroyed.

He's probably right, since the class action case is seeking monetary damages and the plaintiffs might well want the tapes used for that purpose in addition to wanting them destroyed afterwards.

And now the part about the videos of prostitutes trafficking Robert Kraft is to end.
 

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Judge Rodolfo A. Ruiz II of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida has now ordered the destruction of the Orchids of Asia video footage. That action came about in response to a lawsuit filed by "John Doe, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated," against Aronberg, the town of Jupiter, the Jupiter Police Department, and detective Andrew Sharp, who applied for the warrant to install the surveillance cameras.

In his January 22 order, Ruiz granted John Doe's motion to compel destruction of the massage room video. Ruiz ruled that the defendants "shall destroy the videos unlawfully obtained through the surveillance of the Orchids of Asia Day Spa […] from January 18, 2019 to January 22, 2019, including any body camera footage obtained during associated traffic stops as well as any copies thereof."

The motion to compel destruction was unopposed, and Ruiz noted that the destruction is "pursuant to the terms of the parties' settlement agreement."

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Lips: a social media experiment in allowing humans to be sexual
 

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There are fewer and fewer places for sex workers, sex educators, and adult content creators to find a home online. 

Lips, a new social network geared towards free sexual expression, aims to provide that space. Founder Annie Brown and her team want users — sex workers, erotic artists, queer people, activists, and more — to post without fear of censorship or harassment. 

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Tech giants may be quick to blame FOSTA-SESTA legislation as the reason for their puritanical guidelines. FOSTA-SESTA is anti-sex trafficking in theory, but has hurt sex workers and others in practice.

"[FOSTA-SESTA] has caused so much collateral damage onto sex workers, women, LGBTQ people," said Elefante. "'We can't differentiate this type of content expression from exploitation and therefore we need to just ban it all.' That's been the policy most of the platforms have adopted."  

Nudity, sexuality, queer love, kink, body positivity — platforms like Instagram remove it all in the wake of FOSTA-SESTA, seemingly lumping sexual exploitation with anything sexual. 

"Reducing all of that as equivalent to illegal trafficking and child porn...It's not fair or right. It's not healthy or helpful," said Elefante. 

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Brings to mind what John Gilmore said: "The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it"

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Stop Listening to The New York Times and Start Listening to Porn Stars
 

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In December, Kristof wrote a horrifying viral story about unverified users uploading child pornography and rape videos onto Pornhub. You probably know what happened next: Pornhub banned unverified users, and Visa and Mastercard suspended payments on Pornhub. Everyone from MAGA senator/insurrectionist Josh Hawley, to liberal, feminist tech journalist Kara Swisher, to edgelord podcasters Dasha and Anna praised big finance for taking on big sex trafficking.

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When I go to shoot porn, I am following pages and pages of state and federal laws. California determines how and when I use a condom. The Communications Decency Act forces me to make sure I can prove everyone involved on set is of legal age. If I break a rule on set, a co-worker can call OSHA. On top of all this, the porn industry self-regulates, forcing everyone to get an STI test before shooting. I feel much safer filming porn than I did when I worked a minimum-wage job as a teenager.

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For most of Pornhub’s existence, adult performers viewed the site the same way Metallica viewed Napster: an enterprise that stole our content and let consumers consume it for free. But in the past few years, porn workers have decided to play ball with Pornhub, selling our content and buying ads on the site. Our relationship was improving, but it wasn’t perfect. Long before Kristof started typing about us, porn stars were begging Pornhub to ban unverified users. Many unverified users stole and uploaded our content that we need people to pay for, so we could make a living.

Now we are being punished because of criminals who don’t belong to our industry.

To a degree, I understand why Kristof is confused. Midway through his story, he identifies Traffickinghub founder Laila Mickelwait as a source. I would be confused, too, if I learned everything about porn from Mickelwait. She also works for an Evangelical Christian organization called Exodus Cry. The group emerged out of Kansas’s radically conservative IHOP Church. As The Daily Beast previously reported, IHOP promoted homophobia in Uganda, where legislators later attempted to pass a law sentencing homosexuals to life in prison. (I never thought I would see the day when landmark lesbian tech reporter Swisher would push propaganda from a group in league with Christian preachers trying to throw gay women and men in prison, but here we are.) When actress Melissa McCarthy donated to Exodus Cry, she sparked a backlash.

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Now, religious fanatics and famous feminists, who supposedly care about women, are attacking porn when it’s finally become a woman-controlled industry. A decade ago, most girls relied on (mostly male) agents, directors, and company owners to find them roles in videos for (mostly male-owned) big studios that refused to pay residuals. Today, many of these studios are struggling while girls are raking in millions. We create our videos, sell them through our distribution channels, and call all the shots. If I wanted to, I could make my living without ever interacting with a male. Can Jennifer Lawrence or any other A-lister work without dealing with powerful men? I doubt it.

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