Reason Roundup

FOSTA's First Test Targets Cloud Company Used by Backpage

Plus: a Robert Kraft/spa-sting update, Florida sex-buyer registry nixed, D.C. activist alleges entrapment, and more sex-work and sex-policy news.

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FOSTA's first test? Because the Human Trafficking Grifter Industry hasn't yet settled on a post-Backpage.com scapegoat (Asian massage parlors are getting there, but haven't reached full-blown Satanic Panic territory yet), the next wave of "anti-sex-trafficking" lawsuits will apparently go after any service that allegedly enabled Backpage in allegedly enabling exploitation. The first target is Salesforce, a cloud software company.

Backpage was able to beat civil suits like this because Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act prevented them, under the foundational internet principle that web platforms and internet service providers shouldn't be treated as the speaker of every message they transmit. To do so would put the web and social media as we know it out of business.

But FOSTA, signed into law last year, amended Section 230 so that any digital platform that facilitates prostitution can be taken to court as a sex trafficker. Now a class action lawsuit is doing just that.

The suit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, says that Salesforce is among the "vilest of rogue companies" because its "data tools were actually providing the backbone of Backpage's exponential growth." It alleges that Salesforce is responsible for helping power legal speech on a legal website that was sometimes used by deceptive actors to ill ends.

You see where all this leads, right? Backpage and FOSTA tested the waters. Congressional conservatives and liberals are now talking about carving out more exceptions in Section 230 or abolishing it entirely. That would allow not just any politically disfavored platforms but anyone that provided any services to them—cloud companies, payment processors, any kind of software, vendors, etc.—to be sued or charged criminally. It could make it completely untenable for many such services to work with companies that let user-generated, social, free speech flourish. That's the end goal. Don't be fooled by the cynical "sex trafficking" spin.

A housekeeping note: Lately, local and national media has been brimming with legislation, investigations, and other news related to sex work. Because I'm woefully behind in blogging about these developments, today I bring you a very special episode of Reason Roundup devoted entirely to sex policy. Let's take a whirlwind tour of the good, bad, and bizarre of it. Carrying on…

Robert Kraft Update

Florida police have been trying to strike deals with the men they charged in massage-parlor prostitution stings in and around Palm Beach. County prosecutors offered to drop misdemeanor solicitation charges against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and other men if they would take classes about why prostitution is bad, pay a $5,000 fine, do community service, and (in what's known as an Alford plea) say that the state had enough evidence to have found them guilty if the case had gone to trial. Kraft—who has pleaded not guilty—said no way. Now his lawyers are pushing for the case to not only go to trial but be heard before a jury, not just a judge.

Kraft was one of 24 men targeted by Palm Beach County police. Prostitution stings in neighboring counties—joined by the Department of Homeland Security—led to the arrest of around 275 more men on misdemeanor charges of soliciting prostitution, authorities say. No one was charged with sex trafficking, abduction, assault, compelling prostitution, extortion, or any other charges that involve violence, force, coercion, minors, human smuggling, or fraud. The middle-aged women working at the raided spa and massage businesses are, however, having their assets taken by the county as they sit in jail on various prostitution charges.

Florida Solicitation-Registry Fail

Florida lawmakers have for now ditched plans to create a registry of prostitution clients. A new "human trafficking" bill would have put anyone convicted of solicitation on a special public database. That part failed, after sex workers and activists showed up at the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee to protest and give testimony. Clearwater resident Grace Taylor told the hearing: "I am your neighbor. I am your co-worker. I am the person in the grocery store. I am also a consensual sex worker, and as such, I am the first line of defense in helping you find those who have been trafficked."

A version of the legislation passed the committee without the solicitation registry included. "This bill, as amended, has made a considerable improvement," Christine Hanavan of SWOP Behind Bars tells FlaPol. "We're glad that we were heard on striking that registry."

The bill is still, as the kids say, problematic. It requires that cleaning and reception-desk staff at hotels and motels be trained on spotting the "signs" of trafficking—a list of absurd and ordinary behavior that includes not wanting cleaning service—and creates new regulatory liabilities on hospitality businesses that don't actually help anybody but state coiffers

But sponsoring Sen. Lauren Book (D–32nd District) has showing a willingness to work with sex workers on crafting legislation that doesn't unnecessarily target them—unlike Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen (R–Fort Meyers), author of the failed solicitation registry idea. "In case it was lost on you, a consensual sex worker, A.K.A. a prostitute, is committing a crime," Fitzenhagen said. "It is not my intent to work with them going forward."

"I'm not sure what's scarier, the idea of putting people permanently on a public list, or aggressively incentivizing hotels to pry into the sex lives of their guests," says Kaytlin Bailey, director of communications for the advocacy group Decriminalize Sex Work.

D.C. Activist Alleges Entrapment

Dee Curry, 64, a longtime activist and a newly appointed member of the District of Columbia's committee on street harassment, is speaking out about her recent arrest by D.C. police. Curry told the city's Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety yesterday that she was charged with misdemeanor solicitation for prostitution in February as part of a coordinated sting.

Curry "said she considers the police tactics used to arrest her as a form of entrapment that she feels the LGBT community and the public at large should view as a misuse of police resources to target commercial sex workers, especially trans sex workers," reports the Washington Blade. She maintains that she is not currently involved in sex work and was not soliciting the police officer who picked her up posing as an Uber driver. "Curry disputes the quotes that the [police] transcript attributes to her," says the Blade:

Curry said she wants to publicize her arrest as a means of drawing attention to what she believes is a misguided policy by D.C. police and some in the community to address the issue of commercial sex work through arrests. She noted that when the undercover officer posing as the Uber driver gave the signal, three or four police cars with flashing lights and sirens rushed to the scene, with at least two officers in each of the cars, to arrest her. In thinking back on how her arrest unfolded Curry said she believes the half dozen or more officers involved in her misdemeanor prostitution arrest could have been better utilized to address the city's growing problem of violent crime.

For information on efforts to decriminalize prostitution in D.C., see decrimnow.org.

Denying Sex Workers the Vote in Florida

Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment last November to automatically restore voting rights to people with felony convictions "who have completed all terms of their sentence, including parole or probation." But in hashing out the details, legislators keep trying to subvert the will of the people and declare various groups beyond the scope of those deserving the vote. Right now, this includes people convicted of prostitution (a misdemeanor on offenses one and two) three times and adult entertainment businesses that break zoning laws.

Condoms as Evidence in California

A sting in Sacramento earlier this month "crystallized" the fact that "despite what law enforcement officials tell the public about their efforts to crack down on traffickers and pimps, they continuously arrest many more of the women they say are likely to be exploited," writes Raheem Hosseini at SN&R Extra. Ten young women were arrested after offering paid sexual activity to undercover officers who had been sent out. Arrest notes state most of the women were carrying unused condoms—which counts as evidence officers can use to make a prostitution case in court. A new state bill (Senate Bill 233) would put an end to this practice. "Using condoms as evidence of sex work is terrible policy and undermines anti-HIV efforts," Sen. Scott Wiener (D–San Francisco) told the paper. "We should be encouraging safer sex practices, not criminalizing them."

NXIVM + Michael Avenatti?

An update on NXIVM, the cult-like women's group accused of being a sex-trafficking operation:

QUICK HITS

  • Tomorrow evening in New York City:
  • Karina Samala: "To me, it should be legalized. Everybody uses sex to get what they want from their partners. Husband and wives use sex to get what they want. Husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends use sex to get what they want from their partners. What's wrong with two consenting adults having sex in private? What's wrong with that?" —the longtime Los Angeles activist talking on The Advocate's podcast
  • The impact of end demand: Policies that criminalize paying for sex while treating sex workers as victims are known abroad as the Nordic Model and in the U.S. tend to get described as "End Demand" policy. A new policy brief from the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP)—The Impact of "End Demand" Legislation on Women Sex Workers—looks at "how these laws not only fail to promote gender equality for women who sell sex, but actively prevent the realisation of their human rights."
  • Throwback Thursday: From U.K. researcher Eleanor Janega, a look at "Suspect Women: Prostitution, Reputation, and Gossip in Fourteenth-Century Prague."
  • An early #FollowFriday?
  • Irish sex workers are pushing back against the Nordic Model:
  • A bill in Rhode Island would create a study group on the decriminalization of prostitution:

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  1. But in hashing out the details, legislators keep trying to subvert the will of the people and declare various groups beyond the scope of those deserving the vote.

    You can’t ultimately leave these decisions in the hands of the people.

    1. Hello.

      “…and other men if they would take classes about why prostitution is bad.”

      To men over 70 years old? How retarded are the people suggesting this?

      Sucks for those workers though to have their lives ruined. I guess it’s ‘for their own good’.

      1. How retarded are the people suggesting this?

        For $5,000, they’ll teach you that prostitution is bad.

        For $100,000, they’ll teach you that prostitution is very, very naughty.

        I teach “Don’t fucking steal shit, stealing is bad.” classes all the time, for free. Something pre-eminently ironic about charging men a fee for a class to teach them that prostitution is bad.

    1. I think we’re in for a slantastic coments section. ENB has my permission to delete this thing.

      1. Interesting that everything but “reply to this” is italicized.

      2. Fist, you got a straight one in. How’d you do it?

          1. testies…testies….1….2

            1. You should tell your dad you are too old for that now.

              1. Chipper, pull my finger.

              1. hmhmmmm mmmm hmmmmmm ….. yeah!

        1. I’m not saying I’m the one who apparently caused it, but….

          1. Well, you tend to lean to the right. 😉

            1. The worst thing about this is that it erased my awesome comment about wine coolers. The powers that be here could delete the offending comment and make all this right BUT THEY REFUSE. Maybe because my comments are the cornerstone of any comments section and can’t be removed.

              1. OMG THE DID IT AND NOW I LOOK THE FOOL.

                1. Now?

                2. Libertarians are not supposed to believe in too big to fail.

              2. I bet what I imagine your joke about wine coolers was is much funnier than it actually was. Omg, classic, Fist.

                Now, I have a hilarious joke about Kraft’s arrest, macaroni and cheese, and Florida Man, but I can’t seem to post it.

                  1. Shoooo

                    1. Eunuch aping his crush

      3. Done! I think that fixed it… ?

        1. I don’t care what everyone says, ENB. You’re aces in my book.

          1. Does anyone besides Mikey have anything against ENB? And even Mikey’s hate comes from a place of deep, denied affection.

            1. I disagree with the brand of feminism that denies biology. I hate when she retweets third wave feminist nonsense.

              I also think that you diminish libertarian positions when you target issues that affect so few people, like prostitution. More freedom for consensual activity? Sure, but who is going to vote Libertarian when things are so good that this issue has a major platform?

              But I’m also quick to compliment, like when she called Beto a Manic Pixie Dream Candidate. And when she posts stuff from Thaddeus Russell.

              I suppose I’m a pain in the ass because I have high expectations.

              1. But I’m also quick to compliment, like when she called Beto a Manic Pixie Dream Candidate.

                That actually wasn’t her, Laura Basset came up with that. It’s a good description, though, and I’ve stolen it myself.

                1. That actually wasn’t her

                  They all look alike.

            2. Does anyone besides Mikey have anything against ENB?

              Still not a fan of the time that she took the side of a burglar literally caught in the act, a woman who’d drowned her toddler son, *and* a serial rapist of infirm old women against a local prosecutor who’s ‘crime’ was ‘being creepy’ on the road outside his mistress’s house.

              Her brand of feminism makes her pretty blind to some pretty objective positions and she advances some pretty vile and statist positions pretty regularly but she’s not as wantonly or broadly socialist as some of the other authors.

        2. Dayum – the at the interwebs skills over here with ENB.

      4. Was slantastic a reference to the Asian massage parlors?

        1. I knew someone was going to turn this racial.

    2. This again?! And on Thor’s Day!

      1. “I will come down on this hospital like the Hammer of THOR. The thunder of my vengeance will echo through these corridors like the gust of a thoooooouuuuuussssssaaaaand winds!”

        1. + Dennis Reynolds

      2. I thought Gilmore was the only one with the power. Have we entered a new age?

        1. Perhaps it’s a sign that Gilmore has finally left us for good. The mantle is passed.

          1. [Pours out some Proper 12 onto ground, accidentally gets socks and sandals wet]

  2. Read the Chicago police investigative file on the Jussie Smollett case

    I am sure that “hate crime” suspects also get 2 days community service and $10,000 fines, just like Smollett did.

    1. Any breaking news on the Federal “hate letter”?

  3. I appreciate the use of “grifters” in several recent posts.

  4. You see where all this leads, right?

    To Government-run “spas”?

    1. Can you imagine that? Like getting a handy at the DMV.

    2. I am kind of disappointed the Florida prostitute registry fell through.

  5. Again with the italics!

  6. U.S. soldier Travis Atkins, who died shielding comrades from Iraq bomber, receives Medal of Honor

    Army Staff Sgt. Travis Atkins, at age 31, died on June 1, 2007, after he tackled an Iraqi insurgent who was trying to detonate his bomb vest. Atkins wrapped himself around the man as the bomb exploded, protecting three colleagues from the blast.

    1. That act was an act of courage; however, why was he there? He was an adult and he should have known that invading Iraq was an act of treason in addition to giving aid and comfort to the Ne-Cohen hyenas to whom GWB had prostrated himself.

      1. Lefties do think that soldiers like this will be the ones who put down Revolutionary War 2.0

  7. Because I’m woefully behind in blogging about these developments, today I bring you a very special episode of Reason Roundup devoted entirely to sex policy.

    It’s sweeps week.

    1. She’s finally responding to all of Crusty’s “fan” mail. ENB, don’t open any jpgs.

      1. Crusty only sends gifs. And they always loop perfectly.

    2. Bless her little heart.

  8. Rand Paul: ‘Time for Congress to investigate’ Obama

    Will Democrats demand that THIS Mueller investigation not be interrupted?

    1. And O’s not a “sitting President”, so it could get real interesting.

      1. And Trump would never pardon Obama or Hillary.

        1. I disagree, it’s the ultimate power move

          1. That would be hilarious.

    2. “Investigate him up! Investigate him up!”

    3. if it, at the very least, tarnishes Obama’s ‘halo’ image, go for it.

      1. Why would it? He didn’t have an untarnished legacy before, the reasons he is seen as some shining hero now has little to do with what he actually did.

  9. Democrats to move on from Green New Deal

    Democrats are putting the Green New Deal in the rearview mirror, but they’re not abandoning climate change legislation.

    Supporters of the progressive measure are shifting their sights away from passing a comprehensive plan to create green jobs and pursue 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. They are instead looking at multiple bills in hopes of advancing elements of the broader initiative.

    How AOC became the FLOP.

    1. She was a patsy all along. Say the most ridiculous things so that the rest of the enviro-crap they try to cram down our throats looks to be not so bad in comparison.

    2. They are instead looking at multiple bills in hopes of advancing elements of the broader initiative.

      “Elements of the broader initiative” sounds pretty scary, even if it’s a nice album name.

      1. That does sound like something Tosin Abasi would come up with.

    3. She threw quite the tantrum yesterday after her Green Christmas Wish List got dunked on.

      1. The Green Leap Forward

    1. Apparently, PB has managed to circumvent the ban.

      #InvestigateObama

      1. Until Mr. Buttplug is reinstated at least we have “moneyshot” and his extremely similar posting style.

        #MoneyshotIsTheNewPalinsButtplug

        1. Who do you respect more, Buttplug or Hihn?

          1. Hihn. Because he bears an uncanny resemblance to Burt Gummer.

          2. Tough question. Hihn has been a libertarian activist for decades and has great insights about common sense gun safety. While Buttplug is the most knowledgeable Reason.com commenter when it comes to economics.

            I guess I’ll go with Hihn because of his tendency to post dozens of times in a single topic.

            1. WHO doesn’t LoVe Hihn!

  10. Arrest notes state most of the women were carrying unused condoms?which counts as evidence officers can use to make a prostitution case in court.

    What is carrying *makeup*, chopped liver?

    1. Can they use this against a man as well? Even if the unused condom expired in 1993?

  11. You know who else had zee sex, SEX, Sex, sex, Geschlechtsverkehr on the brain?

    1. Lili Von Shtupp?

  12. I really hate the morality police.

  13. Sex, sex, prostitutes, prostitutes, condoms (for sex work), sex cults… and some quick hits

    Why don’t Libertarian priorities get taken seriously?

    1. lol even the damn quick hits are about paid quick hits

    2. Admittedly this isn’t ENB’s best work. Needs more immigration and abortion.

      1. More cowbell!

        1. ENB does put her pants on one leg at a time. But she does NOT make gold records.

    3. Are you okay with the law enforcement soviet and its allies in the #metoo mafia continuing to take your liberty and confiscate your property?

      1. I’ll address you and almighty at the same time… I hadn’t picked up on the point that it was a theme, which is my bad.

        But I think that when you live in a country where things are so great you can dedicate an entire front page to something that affects 0.0001% of the population, you’re going to have a hard time convincing anyone of drastic change.

        There are countries in which gays are thrown off rooftops, to cheers. Women are stoned to death. Children are starving by the masses. But sure, let’s freak out because Charlotte can’t legally suck a dick and get paid.

        Priorities people

        1. A couple of points. Showing the public not only the futility of policing morality and consensual crimes (prostitution, drugs, gambling, etc) based on religious beliefs (or whatever beliefs), but also that their cures are much worse than the activities they disapprove of has much further implications into making society a freer place for everyone, not just the “criminals”. Then there is mission creep which affects everyone. We see it in the WODs with fishing expeditions and read ENBs articles above concerning the WOS. Do you want a knock (if your lucky) on your hotel door because you and your significant other don’t want room service that day? Do you want your online activities and other services policed by your service providers so they’re not the next company sued for “facilitating” illegal activity? Do you want the cops videotaping you or your significant others massage to make sure you don’t get a happy ending? The war on “Sex trafficking”, like the war on drugs will be used to justify all sorts of laws that infringe on freedom This should be important to everyone who likes freedom.

          1. You are preaching to the choir JB. Think about it from the perspective of someone who doesn’t have a strong opinion about the issue or finds prostitution nasty and gross. Yes, just because something is nasty and gross doesn’t mean it should be illegal. At the same time, however, it is very difficult to get people to care about freedoms they will never use and people who do things they find objectionable. I understand that they should, but the fact that they should doesn’t change the reality that they most likely won’t.

            1. But isn’t that one of the real problems Libertarians need to address? Liberty for me, and not for thee? Everyone wants liberty and freedom for themselves, no one has to sell that idea. It’s liberty and freedom others that is a problem. Reason does plenty of articles on the Debt and overseas misadventures and those (among other things) are very major issues that should be addressed. But these “Wars on Everything” are used by power grabbing politicians to continually and incrementally dilute the US Constitution. That should scare the shit out of everyone. It’s the old “They came for the ****, and I did nothing. The implications of these nanny campaigns to the Bill of Rights is not to be lightly dismissed.

              1. But isn’t that one of the real problems Libertarians need to address? Liberty for me, and not for thee?

                In an ideal world absolutely it is. But we don’t live in an ideal world. If it were easy or simple to address that underlying issue, we wouldn’t have many problems. Sadly, I think that attitude comes out of a combination of self interest and human nature. If your political plan is to get people to suffer for principles they may or may not believe in for the benefit of people they don’t like, you need a new plan because yours expects a level of selflessness that very few people have.

                And in fairness, Libertarians are not immune from this. They care a lot more about prostitution and drugs and sex than they do religious freedom or the freedom to drive without being shook down for speeding tickets and such. It is not that they don’t care about those issues, but they don’t care as much. Compare the amount of attention Reason gives to hookers to what it gives to speed cameras. Speed cameras are a real evil and represent a serious growth in the surveillence state. To most people speed cameras affect their lives a lot more than prostitution being legal.

                It is not to say that it is more important. it is only to say everyone has priorities and legalizing prostitution isn’t very high on most people’s lists.

                1. It is not that they don’t care about those issues, but they don’t care as much.

                  It’s simply a prioritization of where State force is most noticeably harmful and easiest to remedy. Easy, from a process perspective, to change the law. Certainly not easy to build the consensus to actually do it.

                  1. Absolutely MP, it is prioritization. The question is whether it is the right prioritization. What good does it do to forever bang your head against the wall about issues and freedoms most of the public doesn’t care about at the expense of issues that they do care about? Yes, prostitution results in more harm than speed cameras, but efforts to legalize it likely result in less good than efforts on speed cameras or other infringements on freedom that directly affect more people.

                2. Well said John

          2. “prostitution, drugs, gambling”

            These things are being policed less and less every day. This is the type of progress that’s good for society, but they take time. Meanwhile you’ve got illegal wars going on, you’ve got clowns pushing for socialism, you’ve got a bureaucracy that thinks elections are theirs for the manipulating….

            Priorities my dude

            1. These things are being policed less and less every day.

              Are they?

              1. How many states have legal marijuana vs. 5 years ago?

                How many states legalized sports gambling? Allowed casinos to get built?

        2. First, I don’t know if only affecting small groups of people makes change impossible, particularly if the activity is perceived as particularly unjust. Taking a line from wikipedia, “According to the Tuskegee Institute, 4,743 people were lynched between 1882 and 1968.” This averages out to ~62 people a year. This is actually closer to your 0.0001% number you listed above. But people care about lynching, as they should, and it can become representative of larger ideas and trends that are viewed as negative.

          Second, the issue of prostitution, particularly how it is handled by police, is representative of other larger issues. Rights of individual determination, police overstepping their boundaries, and politicians cynical attempts to restrict freedom under the name of saving someone from themselves. All of these get wrapped up in this issue. This issue is very representative of a certain mindset that is common in the US today. The moral scare that leads to squashed rights and a more powerful state.

          Finally, your numbers are low. 0.0001% of the population is 340 people. The estimates I’ve seen for number of prostitutes in the US is between 1-2 million people. This is a similar number to the amount of Active Military in the US (about 1.3 million). That’s a lot of people under threat of law, for a victimless crime. Just because we have a huge population doesn’t mean you can just abuse a million people because they’re less than 1%

          1. If only we got the police to lighten up on prostitutes, large institutions would see the errors in their ways… and Libertopia would follow

            “The estimates I’ve seen for number of prostitutes in the US is between 1-2 million people”

            So you’re saying that based on the criminal to prosecution rate, the vast majority of “criminals” get to go about their lives unbothered. You’re statistics draw the conclusion that this isn’t a big issue. I’m all for legalizing prostitution, but it sounds like there’s very few people who are affected.

            Like I said… priorities

    4. You mean like legalizing consensual activity instead of throwing all “sinners” in a cage “for their own good”? Yeah, why should that be important? Why should anyone offer an alternative to the American Taliban?

      1. On the list of necessary changes, it’s near the very bottom

        And calling law enforcement the “American Taliban” is hilarious. Which building dopes law enforcement throw gays and unveiled women off rooftops?

        1. If you want that very specific case of throwing gay men and unveiled woman off of rooftops, then probably none. But we have fairly regular news of police using military tactics that end in citizens dead for no particular reason. So, if you want to be pedantic, congrats you’ve won. Otherwise you seem to be making the argument that it’s worse elsewhere so why are we complaining?

          1. ” fairly regular news of police using military tactics that end in citizens dead for no particular reason”

            You see it all the time because it’s in the news. They don’t show the daily goings on of everyday people and that their interactions with police are normal and helpful. You’re as likely to get struck by lightning as you are by police.

            I want less laws, less incarceration, less government interference. Hyperbole about police states and parading for prostitutes will get little traction from the general public.

            “The average person doesn’t want to be free, he wants to be safe” some guy who is quoted here all the time

            To inflict change, speak to the average person and what they care about

        2. They throw people off buildings because of there religious beliefs. We throw people IN CAGES and give them a criminal record because of ours, the later also prevents them from getting a decent job which impacts them, and their families for the rest of their lives. Speaking of which, what happens to their children that we “care so much about” throughout this ordeal. Then there is the increase in civilian cop interactions which to BUCS point too often ends deadly. Policing morality is BS even if we’re not outright murdering people for their “sins”. The difference is in scope, not in kind.

          1. Your best argument is not that it should be legal but that the punishments we dole out for it are grossly unjust. Most people don’t like prostitution and don’t think it should be legal but also are not fanatics. They would be shocked if they really understood how nasty and draconian our legal system is over crimes that the majority of the public things just result in a fine and some embarassment. I think doing something about that would have a better chance of succeeding and doing real good than pushing for full legality.

            1. Why not just admit the futility and just tax it then, that’s basically what a fine amounts to. We don’t need the government to shame people. That’s what Twitter is for.

              1. I agree. I am just playing devil’s advocate and trying to come up with what can realistically be done that would help the situation.

      2. I agree with both of you. JB is exactly right on the merits of the issue. But, Ryan is exactly right on the political reality. Most people don’t give a shit about freedoms they don’t exercise. So dying on hills like prostitution is why Libertarians never get anywhere with the public. To the nonconverted, it seems that Libertarians only care about Drugs and hookers, which are freedoms most people don’t really want.

        1. “”Most people don’t give a shit about freedoms they don’t exercise.”‘

          Nor do they seem to understand it turns into my freedoms today, your freedoms tomorrow. The only one left with freedom is the state. That’s the way the ruling class likes it.

          1. yes and no. All laws are stepping onto a slippery slope. But not every law ends in totalitarianism because if it did, every government would necessarily end in totalitarianism. And they clearly do not. True totalitarian governments are rare just like true Libertarian governments are very rare if non existent. The vast majority are somewhere in between where some freedoms are protected and others stomped on depending upon the mores of the society they govern.

            1. “every government would necessarily end in totalitarianism. And they clearly do not”

              No, sometimes they end by war. Don’t underestimate Washington. UK is headed in that direction, if they don’t collapse first.

            2. “”But not every law ends in totalitarianism “‘

              Not saying it does. But if you are not aware of what has happened historically, you will be blind to the mistakes you are making now. When you start trying to criminalize people for things like using the wrong pronoun, you are on your way towards totalitarianism. That train may get derailed, or maybe not.

  14. “U.S. national-security officials have ordered a Chinese company to sell gay-dating app Grindr, citing the risk that the personal data it collects could be exploited by Beijing to blackmail individuals with security clearances, according to people familiar with the situation.

    The move by U.S. officials signals that a range of social-media companies and apps will now be off limits to Chinese buyers”

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-…..1553717942

    Are gay people still blackmailed just for being outed?

  15. MSNBC has such great on-air talent. In addition to Rachel Maddow, Joy Reid offers some insightful analysis.

    Donald Trump married one American (his second wife) and two women from what used to be Soviet Yugoslavia: Ivana-Slovakia, Melania-Slovenia.

    LOL ? #TrumpRussia denialists look more ridiculous than ever!

    1. Hey! There’s diversity and there’s “diversity”.

      1. #notrealwomen

  16. If it weren’t for internet explorer, no one would be able to find hookers. Sue the shit out of them.

    1. It’s what’s going to happen in Europe with the new “privacy” laws.

  17. A jury full of dimbulbs:

    “Jury awards $80 million in damages in Monsanto case”
    […]
    “A U.S. jury has awarded $80 million in damages to a California man in a high-stakes trial over his claim that Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer caused his cancer. The agribusiness giant says it will appeal the decision. (March 27)”
    http://news.yahoo.com/jury-awa…..44310.html

    1. What do they care? It’s just evil korporashun money.

    2. Gotta feel sorry for Bayer.

      They bought Monsanto thinking it would turn them into a growth company. Now they may just be a liability clearinghouse.

      1. To clarify, the executives who made the decisions that created Monsanto’s mess aren’t the ones who are in charge of Monsanto anymore.

        1. Lesson: Before taking an Executive position at a large company, do your Due Diligence and find out what legal actions are brewing.

      2. “…Now they may just be a liability clearinghouse.”

        Don’t remember the details, but I think Dow Corning managed to package the liabilities from the silicone implant bullshit and sell it off separate from the manufacturing company. The buyers figured there was some arbitrage between what they paid and what the appeals would finally require; dunno how it shook out.
        Who was the D VP candidate ambulance-chaser who was proud to demolish the Dow’s value over ‘flu-like symptoms’?

  18. “Facebook Charged With Violating Fair Housing Laws”

    Charges from HUD accuse social-media firm of letting advertisers discriminate by race, national origin, religion and more

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-…..553775078?

    Facebook’s whole business model is built on being able to hit specific demographic groups with targeted advertising. Of course, advertisers use that information to hit the consumers renters they want.

    I wonder how all the progressives who work at Facebook are feeling about freedom of association right about now? I bet I know how their shareholders feel.

    1. Don’t bet it re the employees. It’s fellow travelers all the way down over there.

    1. Hard to keep up anymore.

    2. I do enjoy the house cleaning of their corrupt power brokers.

      1. *these

    3. Bronfman faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty. Good thing she’s got Jussie Smollet’s attorney – though no word on whether Michelle Obama’s former Chief of Staff will put in the good word.

      Heh

      1. How/why do all these people have the same 2 or 3 lawyers.
        It’s fn weird

    4. Ally Mack could convince me to join anything in less than 30 seconds

        1. Thank god I’m nowhere near cult country then.

  19. Bad news for jussie…

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/…..xplanation

  20. #notarealinvasion

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/…..ern-border

  21. Billionaire activist Tom Steyer differs with Pelosi, doubles down on demands for Trump impeachment

    Even Lefty propagandists at ABC admit that the Left has rich benefactors backing their attempts to undermine this Constitutional Democratic Republic.

    1. I thought the left hated billionaires.

    2. It’s pleasant watching Steyer make a public ass of himself on *his dime*.
      There was some hint he was going to run for some office or other (governor?), but he’s marginalized himself to the point where Tony, turd and his wife would now constitute his ‘base’.

  22. I’m surprised this hasn’t come up during Reason’s “Prostitution is super important day”

    Click here to go to yahoo.

    Rappers brag about breaking the law all the time, but this is some new territory.

    1. It’s not yahoo. Fuck HTML.

    2. Reason’s “Prostitution is super important day”

      Also known as “humans have agency over their bodies day.”

      1. So it’s also abortion is illegal day?

  23. http://www.vox.com/2019/3/27/1…..ealth-care

    It is Donald Trump who wants to take away your health insurance not the Democrats who want to outlaw private health insurance and replace it with medicare for all.

    #VoxLogic.

    1. “Trump wants to take away your healthcare” is the new talking point – didn’t you get the memo? It’s all anybody’s talking about now that that other story – what was it? Something about Russians I think – has been memory-holed. And of course the focus of the story is “Trump wants to get rid of this socialist program but hasn’t suggested what sort of socialist program he would replace it with so obviously the idea is a non-starter.” The idea that you can repeal Obamacare and replace it with nothing is a thought nobody dare mention lest people get the idea that healthcare existed before Obama descended from Heaven and bestowed it upon the human race. It’s simply unthinkable that the necessity of universal healthcare provided by the government might be questioned.

  24. we have crossed the freaking rubicon. I mean I don’t know what to say. We live in a simulation.

    1. If we are living in a simulation, whoever is programing it is on some very good drugs. WTF?

    2. I mean she is a defense attorney, and I would assume her thoughts have been workshopped, so it is not that surprising.

      1. Sure. Workshopped to whiteface? they should just say it was dark and their faces were coveredup and snow was everywhere or something. He was tramatized and registered the red hat with MAGA and projected white faces onto them.

        1. I came up with two more plausible explanations in less than 5 seconds.

          1. Obviously you do not write for a Starz television program…

            I did not mean that the whiteface was a good idea, just that it is apparently the idea they decided to run with.

            1. Lol. if I wrote for Starz rest assured their would have been a gratuitous sex scene before or after the whitefaced nigerians beat smollet to a pulp.

    3. I’d suggest checking with the wardrobe and make-up department of the Empire crew and see if they’ve inventoried the make-up lately. If this lady’s hinting that Jussie’s posse might have been wearing whiteface, it’s because she knows that they were. Jussie doesn’t understand the difference between low-res surveillance cameras and hi-res television cameras and assumed he could walk a couple of “white” guys past the cameras on the way to the out-of-camera-range spot where the “attack” was supposed to take place, a spot necessitated by the fact that they lacked the stunt training to pull off a realistic-looking fake fight. Too bad surveillance cameras only picked up a couple of indistinct blobs and the make-up job was a wasted effort.

      1. Wow that would be a great twist.

      2. Wow that would be a great twist.

    1. “humans have agency over their bodies day”

      Except if you’re a child with psycho parents, then your only right is to die for the cause

  25. All I know is I’m getting a big kick out of the Chicago PD throwing a fit over Jussie Smollett being treated as if he were a cop. The way they can spout their indignant bullshit over “equal treatment under the law” with a straight face is astonishing. It doesn’t matter who wins that fight, they’re all still losers.

  26. Wow Elizabeth riding that hobby horse hard this morning. Not that I disagree.

  27. Satanic Panic

    Great band name

  28. “It could make it completely untenable for many such services to work with companies that let user-generated, social, free speech flourish. That’s the end goal.”

    It took the government only seven years from the introduction of commercial broadcast radio in 1920 to get control over that medium by way of the Federal Radio Act of 1927. The pretext of “scarcity” was used to drive special-interest political, union, church and university stations of the air in favor of bland, unthreatening, general interest stations that supposedly had broad appeal. Within a decade FDR had increased political intimidation of broadcasters by requiring them to renew their licenses before his appointees every six months. By the early 1960s JFK was using the fairness doctrine to silence broadcasters who were criticizing his administration.

    It astounds me that the internet has avoided this fate for as long as it has. But it now seems as though the government has the political cover it needs to assert control. Those of you out there who fed into the “fake news” and “Russia’s interference in the 2016 election threatens our democracy” hysteria, as well as the sex trafficking moral panic, helped bring this on. I hope your happy.

  29. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
    >>>>>>>>>> http://www.GeoSalary.com

  30. The morals police are pure evil. They don’t care how many people they destroy in their religious crusade against sex. They are the American Taliban.

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