Failures

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
exaggerations, fosta, sesta, sex trafficking, stats

Companies:
backpage



FOSTA/SESTA Was Passed Based On Made Up Stats About Sex Trafficking

from the this-seems-like-a-problem dept

Last year we had a post detailing how the numbers that supporters of SESTA were pushing didn't appear to have any factual basis. Some huge numbers were thrown around, claiming that trafficking was a $9.8 billion industry or that thousands of kids were lured into sex trafficking every year. But, when reporters and experts dug into those numbers, they found that they were either made up, involved egregious sampling errors or insane extrapolation. These reports all suggested that while sex trafficking is real, the problem is not nearly as big as politicians and supporters of SESTA were making it out to be.

Now an article in Buzzfeed by two academics provides even more details in how the claims about sex trafficking used to pass FOSTA/SESTA were based on myths. The two academics, Drs. Jenny Heineman and Brooke Wagner point to a ton of empirical research they did (funded by the Justice Department) that completely debunked some of the key claims behind SESTA/FOSTA. The first myth? That no one chooses sex work, but that nearly all sex workers are victims of trafficking by pimps. That's not what they found.

In our subsample of youth under the age of 18 who were, at the time of interview, engaged in survival sex, 33 individuals — 24% —had a pimp or trafficker, liberally defined as someone with whom the respondent shared their earnings. That definition raises questions of its own, and one young woman’s experience stood out as representative of those questions. Rena, who was 16 at the time of the interview, laughed when we asked if she had a pimp. She tipped her head toward one of her friends.

Again, that's not to take away from the issue about those who are trafficking or are dealing with abusive pimps. But, if we're going to tackle a problem it should be focused on the actual problem.

The researchers also studied Backpage and how much of it was used for trafficking as opposed to sex workers choosing to use the platform themselves. Take a guess what they found:

Another myth is that the internet — and in particular sites like backpage.com, which was recently shuttered by the FBI — is primarily used by pimps. This is not what our research showed. In fact, the percentage of respondents who used the internet to find customers remained the same, whether or not they reported having a pimp.

In fact, the only variable that correlated with using an online platform to find clients was neighborhood conflict — respondents whose neighborhoods were marked with disputes that led to physical fights or altercations were more likely to seek customers from the internet. This suggests online platforms act as safety nets and buffers against violence.

And, their research also shows -- as we noted in a few of our posts -- that shutting down sites like Backpage actually puts sex workers at much greater risk of being harmed or killed:

Because law enforcement routinely uses online platforms to entrap and arrest sex workers, it’s clear that these women would rather advertise online and risk arrest — which can spell death for black, brown, and indigenous people, trans people, and people with mental illness — rather than face the violence of the street. Our current federal policy is to take away that choice, and the crackdown on online platforms used by sex workers is likely to push those women into violent situations.

There are ways to deal with the actual victims of course. But that involves doing actual police work. Tracking down actual victims (something that online platforms like Backpage actually helped in doing) and arresting their abusers. But that's actually harder in a post-FOSTA/SESTA world.

And what do we get for this? Well, as Vox recently noted, nothing less than undermining the internet as we know it. If we're going to do that, it seems like it should have been done based on, you know, actual facts, rather than completely made up statistics and lies. Alas.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 6:50am

    A total shit storm for sure .
    Asshole people in their glass towers who impose
    their morals on others .
    A lot like the anti abortion crowd
    Yea no killing whats not alive but god forbid they had
    to actually care for "an unwanted baby" themselves .
    Yea drop a crack baby into the arms of a holier than thou now person and see how much love hey give that saved baby they must now care for for the next 18 years .

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    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 30 Apr 2018 @ 7:15am

      Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

      To the Pro-Life crowd, the baby hits its best before date after it's born, at which point they lose interest in its welfare. It's never been about the baayyybeees. They don't care about them.

      I can't help thinking that the FOSTA/SESTA laws were passed with a view to protecting the perps, not the "criminals." As Mike pointed out, they actually harm sex workers and make it harder for them to screen their clients. It also makes it harder for law enforcement officers to find actual victims of trafficking.

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      • identicon
        TDR, 30 Apr 2018 @ 7:31am

        Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

        You should be careful about making generalizations because they're always wrong. I have two boys and have always believed that abortion is wrong, so don't tell me people who believe that way don't care about babies after they're born. The issue concerns what happens before that point, so why would it bother you that attention is drawn to that? And why do you think caring about a child at that time is somehow mutually exclusive to caring about it after birth? They are not. I doubt you can show me anyone who has actually gone through the procedure who doesn't feel at least some guilt or regret over what they did. Most who get abortions are healthy women doing it on healthy babies. That hardly seems right.

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        • identicon
          Vel the Enigmatic, 30 Apr 2018 @ 7:36am

          Re: Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

          What seems right to you and what the person who did the abortion thinks is right are two entirely different things.

          Also your claim of most who get abortions are healthy women doing it to healthy babies is shaky at best. Not even to mention the fact you showed nothing to back up the claim.

          Stop trying to justify trying to control other people you don't know.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 9:34am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

            "Stop trying to justify trying to control other people you don't know."

            after you!

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 7:47am

          Re: Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

          It's not that they're mutually exclusive. The people being talked about aren't the random voters, we're talking about the politicians who consistently push to block abortion and then also consistently vote down laws to help the young, the sick, and the poor. You may be able to say you care about kids after they are born, but people trying to cut hot lunch programs for hungry children can't.

          But of course, the politicians don't really care about the unborn children either. As evidenced by the many politicians who publicly push to make abortions harder to get while they secretly push their mistresses to get abortions.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 9:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

            Politicians don't care about anything other than having power. Sure they will have a certain proclivities that attracts them to certain groups but the greed, corruption, double-standards, and hypocrisy apply to politicians in general.

            You can bet there are politicians that are just like you say they are, but can you point them out so we can know who they are? And can you do that without accusing everyone of voting for them as being complicit? Can you go after your own corrupt politicians when others on the opposite side reveal the same about one of yours?

            thought so...

            The moment you vote for a politicians in a group, you voted more for the group than the politician. Initially I would not hold people accountable, but after a certain amount to time goes by without a correction, it is time to start placing blame on the voters.

            We have anti-abortion politicians that get abortions for their mistresses because the people want them. Politicians are just like mirrors of the people that vote for them in my opinion. Both the R's and the D's are filled to fucking brim with hypocrisy, double standards, and lies! They are a reflection of what has become of the people!

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          • identicon
            Assistant Village Idiot, 30 Apr 2018 @ 6:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

            Really? What is the abortion-blocking legislation you are talking about that has come before legislatures in the last decades? There have been some attempts to require waiting periods, parental notification, partial-birth abortions. You are making an accusation that is based on imagination.

            Politicians voting down laws to help the young, the sick, the poor? Hot lunch programs? Aren't you actually saying that they do not wish to solve problems in the same way you are sure is correct? Do we actually have fewer poor and sick when things go your way? They do not. You are making a second accusation based on imagination. You might read up on "Who Really Cares?" that conservatives give more to charity than liberals, even after factoring out church giving. They volunteer and give blood more as well.

            And "many politicians?" Name 'em. Pony up.

            You are in fact simply making things up about your opponents in order to feel righteous. Your own evidence is against you.

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        • identicon
          Thad, 30 Apr 2018 @ 10:29am

          Re: Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

          You should be careful about making generalizations because they're always wrong.

          ...you...do realize that "generalizations are always wrong" is a generalization, right?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 10:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

            I rarely agree with your silly ass but you are right.

            I would like to add they are generalizations because they at least bear some truth. the problem is that generalizations are used to lie because a good lie, always starts off with some element of the truth.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 12:25pm

          An open can. Worms everywhere.

          You should be careful about making generalizations because they're always wrong. I have two boys and have always believed that abortion is wrong, so don't tell me people who believe that way don't care about babies after they're born.

          TDR, I'm sure you do care about your two little boys.

          How many diapers are you contributing to impoverished infants?

          What are you doing to help support our excessively impacted foster care system? Have you adopted any disabled children? Children of color? Children with special needs?

          What concern do you have for the failing school districts across the nation?

          Do you have any concern for any child that is not one of your two little boys?

          Do you support welcoming as many child refugees to the US as possible?

          Do you support elevating immigration allowances for families and keeping them together during immigration processes?

          Do you support keeping detained immigrant families together, even if it means letting them roam free in the nation?

          Do you support Bernie-Sanders level reforms to improve our welfare system? Are you willing to pay the taxes necessary to sustain a nation of kids with food and a modicum of comfort?

          Children are the most impoverished and the hungriest demographic in the US. The nation as a whole give zero fucks for our kids, and then they still lie to them about American dreams and American freedom and American Exceptionalism.

          When it comes to your precious little babies, I have no question for all the love in the world.

          But when it comes the babies outside your front door, say out in Flint, Michigan, or the slums of Chicago or the trailer parks of tornado alley. I can safely wager that you don't really think about them all that much, and are content to let them languish in despair and want.

          And that is what is meant about abortion-objectors not caring about children once their born: their own children are precious. Someone else's children are vermin. Often, the children in their own community are resented.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 1:26pm

            The world is not defined by your faulty views.

            Please, do go on.

            Tell me again about how there aren't waiting lists of parents trying to adopt kids, spending tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees to adopt ONE child.

            Tell me about all of the non-existent organizations that are handing out clothes, food, medicine, and other necessities to homeless kids, families, or those too poor to afford such basic necessities.

            Tell me again about all of the non-existent people who can't physically help these kids but instead donate millions of dollars every year to organizations who can.

            Tell me again about the cops who didn't care enough about an abandoned baby in the back of pickup truck in the dead of winter that they immediately rushed him to a hospital where the nurse on staff adopted him as soon as possible.

            Tell me again about all the non-existent success stories of someone coming from a poor family, working hard, inventing something new, and bettering himself and those around him.

            Tell me again about all the community outreaches that don't happen in nearly every city in America to help feed and clothe not only kids, but adults too, and try to find homes for them.

            Tell me again how the nation, as a whole, doesn't care about our kids.

            Tell me again, exactly what do YOU do that shows you care about the kids of our country? Other than berate people who may genuinely care but you wouldn't know because you've never even met them before.

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            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 2:37pm

              Nor by yours

              Would-be parents spending thousands on adoption protocols aren't looking for children of color, children that are too old or children with special needs. And those that do, we won't adopt to if they are gay. In the meantime the foster care system remains grossly impacted and overrun of violent child abuse and child sexual abuse. And our foster care system vectors a disproportionate number of kids into our prison system or into human trafficking. (This is to say that for many of them, getting beat into a gang is often their best option.) Yes. A vote for less abortion-access is a vote for bigger gangs, but also fuller prisons and more sex slaves. Career opportunities for foster care kids are super limited and usually in organized crime.

              I didn't say that organizations that tried to help didn't exist. I said the problems continue to prevail. In fact, they overwhelm all of our relief efforts. Those organizations are glad to give out food, clothes, medicine, etc. etc. without actually reducing the problem by an observable fraction.And some people are then daring to demand we force women to have more of them, against their will.

              And yes, I'm sure there are countless success stories. Volumes full of them. Out of sixteen million impoverished children you can have enough thriving outcomes to fill all the charity pamphlets you can print and still not have reduced the problem by a fraction of a percent. I'm sure all those volunteers deserve their kudos. I'm also sure all those people insisting we force people to make more (and shaming women for having sex without intent to procreate) are only exasperating the problem.

              In the meantime, congress is using kids' healthcare as a bargaining chip. Our peerless leader is separating children from immigrating families as a hostile feature to discourage immigrants and refugees. Our Secretary of Education is continuing to dismantle our public school system and many states continue to impede abortion and contraception access, especially targeting low-income women, assuring they will be confined to poverty all their lives. Where the rest of the nation often is ignorant of the want, or is overwhelmed by its magnitude, our officers of state have proven to be entirely unsympathetic. Especially now that racism and me-first is in.

              Our schools continue to preach American Exceptionalism while vectoring minority kids into the legal system, because warm bodies in prisons. 336 children for every 100,000 kids. Four times more than the next nation. (And that's not including schools that can't afford to actually teach kids anything -- they just pack them in rooms and watch over them -- which is a form of detention in and of itself)

              I get it. Your point is look, we're trying but that's not justification to deny women stewardship over their own bodies, and let them choose when to have children. If you want to salvage zygotes, support the creation of ectogenesis, support better and free access to contraception. Support better contraception that is more effective and has fewer health risks.

              But very first, please, reduce the suffering of our current child population to something that doesn't look like a national disaster. And actually look at the freaking numbers, rather than pretending that your Sunday alms counts as a significant exercise of the virtue of charity.

              Heck, we should do what Germany has done, and assure a minimum income to mothers with children and abortions will practically disappear.

              But the United States has forsaken children (and their mothers) by the millions. And you, Anonymous Coward mean to imply I'm insufficiently appreciative of some people that try to help?

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 3:16pm

                Re: At least mine are based in reality

                And you, Anonymous Coward mean to imply I'm insufficiently appreciative of some people that try to help?

                I do. 100%.

                I also think you are severely divorced from reality and fail to see the world except through your "everything is burning" glasses. You acknowledge that people try to help and in the same breath claim it hasn't even budged the needle. You got facts to back that up? Where would we be if no one did anything? Can you honestly claim things would be the same if no one had been helping all this time?

                Because that is what you're claiming. What you're saying is that things are so horrendously, awfully, bad that it doesn't matter how much people try to help, it just doesn't make a difference. Try telling that to the thousands, if not millions, of people for whom it did make a difference.

                I'm not sure why you have such an unbridled hatred of the US, but it's not nearly as bad as you make it out to be. Is it peaches and roses? No, not even close. But to hear you talk, it sounds like you think the US should be nuked because there is no hope for it.

                You make claims that you have no actual knowledge of, for what? Just to spew a bunch of vile and hateful opinions?

                I know people who have adopted children of color/minority, older children, people who are fostering, people who are involved in national organizations to make a difference. I've SEEN the statistics. I know how bad it is. But you know what? I've also seen the difference it makes. I've seen the statistics that show the dramatic difference in people's lives that just a little bit of help makes. I've actually HELPED, I've donated my time and my money to make this country a better place.

                What have you done? You call me a coward but you won't even answer this one simple question. What does that make you?

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                • icon
                  Uriel-238 (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 4:26pm

                  "everything is burning"

                  Everything is burning isn't what I said, and it's conspicuous to me that you read that.

                  And I didn't say that a few volunteers make no difference. I'm sure to their successful cases, they're heroes. I'm saying it's a drop in the ocean. An earth in the sun. Not nothing, but certainly not enough to dismiss the ones forsaken, as you implied.

                  But Anonymous Coward, where you have seen the statistics I've been mentioning a few, and since you seem to believe your narrative is data based and mine isn't, I've lost confidence in your grasp to assess reality, or to discuss it.

                  So let's back things up.

                  The real truth often hurts. It's often contrary to what we believed. It's often uncomfortable. It often runs against our favored ideologies. And truth ascertained from facts is hard to gather amid countless sources that promise a more comforting narrative. When I need numbers on which to decide positions, I have to trace reported values back to their sources, preferably from multiple sources. It's work, and in the meantime countless other places will be there to tell you that everything is fine, or that these people over here are the real problem. Most people like news that reflects their own value system.

                  Confronting veracity requires some self-awareness You need to reconsider whether you need the comfort of spun news, or are willing to go to the work of eeking out the truth by research, no matter if it's horrific or complex or really rather mundane. It's not easy accepting that truth other than what we imagined it might be. Or what we want it to be. Or, for that matter, what we are paid to say it is.

                  No, I don't have an opinion of what is to become of the US. The United States isn't now (and perhaps never was) what I was taught it was in grade school. And at this point I'm pretty sure most of the nation doesn't agree with those ideals anymore anyway. I haven't had candidates that adequately represent me (or the public interests) in decades, and the United States has for a long time moved towards policies that are entirely contrary to what I believe are American values. (Torture and village massacres by drone strike? C'mon!)

                  That said, entirely separate of my outrage at children's welfare issues, and women's reproductive health, yes, the world is literally burning. The green revolution has maybe given the world a century, but the little boy in my living room is going to see cataclysmic events in his forties that will change his life (and everyone else's)...if not sooner. And that's only looking at the scenario where the global ecology collapses and the human population suffers a massive food crisis. That's not looking at superstorms, thermohaline shutdown, clathrate gun events or any of the other possible major calamities that might occur as a result of unchecked anthropogenic global warming. We have passed the point of preventing holocaust: shit's going down. It's now about delaying and controlling damage. It's not going to wipe out humanity (necessarily -- it might yet) but it's certainly going to define civilization for a century or more. All culture we've wrought is likely to be lost. Also, we may pull something out of our asses. Another technological breakthrough may buy us more time. But I wouldn't count on it to save the world.

                  Notably, I don't think nuclear holocaust is very likely. We've gone seventy years without one, and become very good at not nuking each other. If only we were so cautious about other things.

                  Regardless, my point wasn't that it all was going to Hell -- it is, and it's outrageous, but that's incidental to my point -- my point was it does no good for either unintentionally-pregnant mothers nor their unwanted offspring just to force one to carry the other to term and let nature take its course. The outcome in most of these cases are not good, and are even hard to think about. And yet that is exactly what the US does. (Which is why I can safely say the United States hates its children.) It causes a lot of misery and suffering and we as a society should be ashamed for being so unsympathetic on a national scale.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 9:27pm

                    Re: "everything is burning"

                    And there it is. You're a doomsday conspiracy theorist who only accepts data that supports your view. That explains a lot.

                    You may as well have said it's all burning for as much positivity as you've displayed. And what do you think "it's a drop in the ocean" means? It means it doesn't make a difference. You really are a cynical person who doesn't even understand what he thinks.

                    But if you want some statistics, fine. Homelessness among youth has been increasing over the last few years, however overall homelessness has declined from 2007 to 2016, which saw a rise again of about 0.7%.

                    The US has an estimated 2.5 million children who experienced homelessness in 2017 (mind this is overall homelessness, not just chronic where they consistently have no home) out of a total of approximately 75 million children in the US total. That works out to around 3% of all kids in the US experienced some form of homelessness last year. Not saying that's good but it's far from the doom and gloom scenario you paint. And as usual, there are countless organizations and individuals who do genuinely care who are working tirelessly to get that number even lower.

                    The most common outcome for kids in foster care is to be reunited with their parent or legal guardian and the second most common outcome is that they are adopted. This accounts for over 70% of all kids in foster care. Statistics also show that kids who are not placed in permanent homes are more likely to end up in jail or homeless. That was around 20,000 in 2016.

                    There are approximately 400,000 children in foster care, of which less than 120,000 are in need of adoption. Approximately 140,000 children are adopted in the US each year. Approximately 62% of adoptions were placed with adoptive parents within 1 month of birth. It is estimated that there is somewhere between 1 - 2 million couples who are on waiting lists in the US to adopt.

                    Less than 5% of women with unwanted pregnancies give their child up for adoption. There are over 1 million abortions every year in the US. With an estimated 1 - 2 million couples waiting for a child to adopt, you're really going to sit there and tell me they are better off dead? You're sick.

                    Any more than 0 homeless kids is awful and not to be tolerated. But, your assertion that the outcome in most of these cases are not good, and are even hard to think about. is completely and totally bogus, as I've just shown.

                    The real truth often does hurt. Hope you can stand the pain.

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                    • identicon
                      Wendy Cockcroft, 1 May 2018 @ 2:25am

                      Re: Re: "everything is burning"

                      There's no way you are ready to hope for the best until you have prepared for the worst. That's why I'm with Uriel.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2018 @ 6:04am

                        Re: Re: Re: "everything is burning"

                        Preparing for the worst and accepting reality are two different things. I am in no way advocating that we are doing enough or should be doing less. We should be doing more. What I am advocating for is looking at the facts and reality of how things are instead making ridiculous claims about how things are based only on your hatred.

                        If you want to join him in rejecting reality and culturing your hatred for the US, that's your choice.

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                        • identicon
                          Wendy Cockcroft, 1 May 2018 @ 7:06am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: "everything is burning"

                          Did you really just say that people who disagree with you hate America??!

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2018 @ 7:51am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "everything is burning"

                            No, but it appears that Uriel does from the way he talks about the country. That's all I'm stating.

                            Please stop putting words in my mouth.

                            At no point did I make generalizations about people I disagree with. I limited my comments to Uriel and, since you said "That's why I'm with Uriel.", you as well.

                            I agree with Uriel that much more needs to be done. I agree that the the US and some of its citizens commit and have committed great atrocities. I don't agree with Uriel that America is this cesspit of scum and villainy that he seems to think it is. Nowhere did I say people who disagree with me hate America. Only that based on what Uriel said, HE does. At the very least he's so pessimistic and cynical that he's lost the ability to see the good things about America along with the bad.

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                            • icon
                              Uriel-238 (profile), 1 May 2018 @ 2:21pm

                              "your hatred for the US" / "putting words in my mouth"

                              Disclaimer: I don't know how you, Anonymous Coward relate to TDR or to this guy or to this guy Techdirt reports each of these to have separate IP addresses even though they appear to show continuity from the same personality. But I don't know, such is the obfuscation of posting here anonymously. I'm assuming you're the same person, but I've been wrong before.

                              That said, if you look throughout all my statements, you will find I never said that I hate the United States. I never said the US should be hated or derided. I have said the United States hates its children, and I've listed an indictment to that effect. I might have made a case for why the United States as a state entity might deserve derision and if we were talking about Russia or Turkey or Saudi Arabia, it would be a given how reprehensible and ruthless it was, and our nighttime television comedians would use that nation as the butt of a lot of jokes. I don't hate the US. Rather, I'm still sore that the US is not -- and is a far cry from -- what I was raised to believe the it was and what it was intended to be...as I said. It's still my country, and as I think it's gone wrong, I still endeavor to set it right.

                              So for one thing, if you don't like words being put into your mouth -- that is being charged with saying things you didn't say -- maybe you shouldn't be doing the same to others. It means being more careful with reading. Maybe it means arguing topics as opposed to arguing opponents. Stop trying to size up your enemies (e.g. doomsday conspiracy theorist who only accepts data that supports your view) and focus on the issue. Incidentally, I assume by your calling me a doomsday conspiracy theorist that you've actually studied enough about global ecology and climatology to understand my concerns and have an educated opinion about why my concerns are inflated, yes? Or was that just a general dismissal based on denialist ideology and alarmist stereotypes?

                              In the meantime, this reflects the exact sort of hypocrisy we've seen expressed in Washington by the White House, the Alt-Right and the religious right, such as when James Dobson of Focus On The Family gave President Trump a mulligan regarding his sexual indescretions. At this point, the notion that the ethic of reciprocity should be universally respected has been dispelled entirely by the White House and the religious right. By your behavior across several posts (again, assuming they are related) I ascertain that you no longer believe in it either.

                              For another thing, if all the things I say suggest to you that the United States is despicable (if they are true -- again, I think you should confirm them with your own thorough and sober research) then that says something about what you think of our nation, or what you would think of our nation if it was another nation that did those things. Our society chose this era. It chooses to be unsympathetic to refugees, to mothers, to children, to women, to minorities. This is the great America has made itself to be. If that disgusts you, I encourage you to join the rest of us in changing it. To me, it's an environment entirely not conducive to bringing in new children, and to force women in poverty to bear and raise more is only going to increase the already pervasive suffering. As policy, to do so is cruel.

                              Now I could get into the problems of our foster care system, that we are still short of volunteer guardians to take kids in, and even our institutions housing the rest are impacted, and as such some states are relaxing the levels of parental abuse that qualify. I can get into the matter of neglect, a form of abuse that is epidemic throughout the nation (and has been for decades now, since both parents must work), yet only the state of California recognizes neglect as justification to intervene (and as such has significantly more kids in foster than any other). I can get into the ridiculously large intersection between our foster care system and diagnosable mental disorders (mostly PTSD and (what I was referring to before) adult outcomes of those who age out. (Which is the lens through which I see the system, having treated clients with these experiences.) Like our prison system, Child Welfare is a good institution to stay out of, and in the United States, it is a really good idea to not be an orphan and not be born to abusive parents to those who have the choice to do otherwise. (Suicide and poverty seem to correlate, though to be fair, the number of studies done has been conspicuously few.)

                              But this misses the point of this whole thread. It certainly misses the point that the US is not conducive to having children on anything less than two management-level incomes, and it's downright cruel to force women to bear and raise unwanted children, both to the kids and to the moms. On these points Anonymous Coward / TDR / Who the fuck am I talking to now? you appear to show no sympathy and rather revel in your role as part of the problem.

                              Then you argue -- as has become increasingly commonplace in online debate -- seeking to dismiss your enemy as unreliable in a form of pocket-argumentum ad hominem, rather than actually consider issue. In that regard, you've grossed me out, and reenforced my prejudices of how I believe anti-abortion activists think. I now wonder if maybe cultivating further divisiveness was ultimately your intent. Mission accomplished?

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                              • identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 12:32pm

                                Re: "your hatred for the US" / "putting words in my mouth"

                                I have to and will concede to you on one point. I let my frustration cloud my judgement in responding to your comments, and in so doing made combative statements that were inappropriate and did not add to the debate but detracted from it. That's on me and for that I am truly sorry. Please accept my sincerest apologies.

                                As you have made quite clear I have likely poisoned the debate beyond all further hope of you taking any of my comments or arguments seriously. That was not my intent but it was the end result and I am sincerely sorry.

                                While I do not agree with you, I do respect your opinion and your point of view. I have enjoyed our debate and I hope that in the future, should we end up debating each other again, that it will be more productive and I will endeavor to keep a tighter reign on my responses.

                                Respectfully,
                                Anonymous Coward

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                                • icon
                                  Uriel-238 (profile), 2 May 2018 @ 1:47pm

                                  Re: Re: "your hatred for the US" / "putting words in my mouth"

                                  Gladly accepted.

                                  I don't need you to agree with me. If I were to ask anything it would only be that you do your best to make your positions based on what information is available.

                                  Granted in this age of fake news it much harder to confirm what we believe to be true.

                                  Be well.

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                                  • identicon
                                    Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2018 @ 2:22pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: "your hatred for the US" / "putting words in my mouth"

                                    Excellent advice, and one of my guiding principles: verify, verify, verify. As you say, this age of fake news makes finding the truth a more complicated matter.

                                    Live well my friend.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 1:21pm

          Re: Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

          No guilt or regret. However there are hormonal reactions involved with having a child aborted or not that can caise feelings of guilt or regret regardless annd so asking any woman right after is kibd of a waste of time. Post partum depression for example is a thing.
          also as far as not caring after birth, your view of it is a personal anecdote and has nothi g to do with tje larger body of evidence. The mental gymnastics people talk about have to do with applying rights to the fetus before it is born that they do not apply to the mother or to the child after its born. Get off the high horse.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 1:34pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

            You mean the right of all humans to live?

            You speak of mental gymnastics, tell me this, why is it absolutely horrendous and unspeakable to kill a child after they are born but it's perfectly fine as long as they are still in the womb? What makes them worthy of a chance at life after they are born but not before? What about the premature babies who manage to survive at 20 weeks old and go on to become normal, functioning adults?

            What about this, what if you're wrong. What if, all this time, we've been killing human children.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 1:59pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

              Because the mother does not have to support the life of another individual. Nobody has the right to force anothet person to give up any part of themswlves to support the life of another even if it results in that persons death.

              The right of someone to live simply does not grant the right to use somebody else to live. This is the rule once you are born and to say otherwise is to grant special rights to a fetus that people do not have. Where life begins is a seperate debat but i do not agree eith you.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 2:17pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

                Where life begins is a seperate debat but i do not agree eith you.

                It is not a separate debate, it is the same. You say unborn babies don't have the same rights as babies who are born. What makes them different other than where your definition of life begins?

                Because the mother does not have to support the life of another individual.

                They can always give up their baby for adoption if they feel they are incapable of caring for them. This solves the problem of not taking a human life without forcing the mother to care for them. But you're still wrong. Child neglect is a thing and it's a thing you can get in big trouble for. That is essentially requiring a mother to support the life of another individual.

                Nobody has the right to force anothet person to give up any part of themswlves to support the life of another even if it results in that persons death.

                What in the world gives you that idea? Aside from an unborn baby, this is actually a punishable offense if you let your kid die. Why does an unborn child not get the same protections as one who is born?

                The right of someone to live simply does not grant the right to use somebody else to live. This is the rule once you are born and to say otherwise is to grant special rights to a fetus that people do not have.

                Again, where do you get this idea? If a parent neglects their child and they die, they face criminal charges of at best neglect, and at worst murder. There is absolutely the right of someone to use someone else to live after they are born. Everyone has the right to live, why does that not apply to unborn babies?

                I understand your argument if the mother was raped or the sexual act that resulted in pregnancy was anything other than consensual. I honestly don't have an answer for that situation but I also think it's wrong to kill an innocent human life who had no choice in the matter.

                However, if two consenting adults had sex and the woman got pregnant, I'm sorry but you don't get to kill a life just because it's inconvenient for you or you forgot to use prevention.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 3:17pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

                  Not addressing everything but financial support is not the same as requiring your body to support them. Child neglect is a seperate issue from abortiob rignts and after a child is born they do not jave a rogjt to say, get your kidney even if they need ankidney donation to survive. Thr mothet is under no obligation to allow a fetus to use her body to come to terms because the mother has full control over what her body is used for. You are conflating ideas of neglect with ideas of physical dependance which is seperate and a different set of issues.

                  I do not agree with you on wheb life begins and it is my choice to allow for something to use my body to gestate.

                  Think thats my last word. Feel free to do some proper research on your own time.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 7:28pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

                    And you apparently do not understand basic biology, how sexual reproduction works, or the english language. Come back when you graduate high school.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2018 @ 9:34am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

                      it's called typing on my phone without auto correct on but sure. Otherwise for biology are you disagreeing with what term and gestation mean?

                      Try not to resort to personal attacks. I didn't after all.

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                • identicon
                  Wendy Cockcroft, 1 May 2018 @ 2:29am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

                  Ah, the good old "Wimmin be hoes" trope. Except that's not always the case. Blocking abortion because wimmin be hoes is a pathetic excuse for causing untold suffering to perfectly decent women who, for medical reasons, can't complete a pregnancy without risk to her life.

                  Check the stats: many married women have abortions because the "pro-life" crowd have decided they're using the wrong kind of contraception and they can't afford that other child.

                  In other words, if we made it less problematic to be pregnant and to bear a child in the first place there would be many fewer abortions. If the best argument is that you want to restrict sexual activity to approved groups, good luck with that. Human nature has a habit of getting in the way.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2018 @ 6:48am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

                    No, I never said that nor did I mean to imply that. The discussion was centering around women. If you want to expand it to men that's fine but don't put words in my mouth.

                    Men are equally, if not more so, responsible for pregnancies. After all, it takes two to tango. If you don't want to be a dad or have to deal with taking care of kids or paying child support, then you should NOT be going around and having sex with anyone you want. The men who cut and run as soon as they find out they got a woman pregnant are filthy disgusting cowards of human beings. I completely support stricter punishments for men who do this and leave the woman and child to fend for themselves. If the thought of having to do that is too much, then men shouldn't be sleeping around with whoever they want, whenever they want.

                    The fact is that, due to human biology, if you have sex you risk pregnancy. If you don't like it, too bad. That's biology 101. No contraceptive is 100% effective, aside from possibly surgery. If you choose to engage in sex, even using proper contraception, there's still a chance a pregnancy could result.

                    Should better contraception be cheaper and more available? Absolutely. Should there be more male contraception options? Yes!

                    None of that makes it ok to take a human life.

                    Now, you do bring up a good point that, until now, had not been present in the discussion. That is, what about when pregnancy puts the mother's life at risk? In that case the mother should absolutely have the right to choose her life over her baby's. You are perfectly correct that women should not be forced to have a baby if it puts their life in danger. I don't know anyone who would argue otherwise, except maybe some fringe groups.

                    But that is not the norm. The vast majority of pregnancies are not life threatening to the mother, and if she doesn't want the child she can always give them up for adoption where they will be taken in and loved by caring people who do want them.

                    Your stats about married women are irrelevant. My argument applies to both husband and wife. If you can't afford a kid, and can't afford proper contraception, then maybe you should abstain from sex until you can get one or the other. There are also other ways to pleasure each other.

                    I'm not trying to restrict sexual activity to approved groups. If you want to go out and have sex that's fine. What I am saying is that you need to be aware of the potential consequences and take responsibility for your actions if that happens, male or female. If you can't afford or are unwilling to accept the consequences, then you shouldn't be taking the risk.

                    The primary purpose of sex is reproduction. That's biology, human or otherwise. Killing an unborn child because you can't afford them or it's inconvenient for you (when you can give them up to a good home for free) is a horrible excuse to take a human life.

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                    • identicon
                      Wendy Cockcroft, 1 May 2018 @ 7:15am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

                      If pregnant = "human life," that's where the problem is. Giving a pass for "taking a human life" if it threatens the mother's life is giving her a pass for taking a life. Stop thinking of it in those terms and we avoid another Savita Halappanavar case.

                      There's no heartbeat until after 12 weeks; so where do you think life begins — at conception?

                      In some states you can lose your job at the drop of an employer's hat and if you're on a zero hours contract the same applies; basically, you can lose your job or livelihood if you fall pregnant. Who is going to pay for the ante-natal care while the woman is pregnant till she drops the kid and gives it up for adoption?

                      As for taking responsibility for your actions, fair enough but when the options for doing so are limited by religious types banning or refusing to pay for certain kinds of contraception via healthcare plans that's a problem. They should butt out and mind their own business.

                      While I nominally agree with you on most points, the reason I'm playing Devil's Advocate is that most other people don't; they prove this by their actions. It's actually cheaper to give them reproductive healthcare, i.e. contraception than to pay for the woman to go to the ER and give birth on our dime. Basically, I'm suggesting managing the problem of unwanted pregnancies by preventing them in the first place instead of trying to legislate human sexuality by withholding contraception, etc. It's not working.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2018 @ 8:07am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

                        I think (with the exception of when life begins) we actually mostly agree with each other.

                        I agree that employment is unfairly balanced against pregnant women. You shouldn't lose your job or be discriminated against for having a life. And I agree that those religious people trying to restrict contraception options are doing more harm than good.

                        I also agree that managing the problem of unwanted pregnancies by preventing them in the first place is absolutely the right path. Whether this is by better, more available contraception or not having sex, the end goal is the same, don't risk pregnancy if you're unwilling to deal with the consequences and responsibility. I also in no way support withholding contraception, that's just stupid and you're right, it doesn't work.

                        All I'm saying is that if you do wind up in a pregnancy situation, father or mother, and (unless your life is at risk or the act was against your consent) take some responsibility for your actions and don't kill an innocent life. At least give them to a loving family who will provide the love and care they need.

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                        • identicon
                          Wendy Cockcroft, 2 May 2018 @ 2:34am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

                          That is easier said than done due to the aforementioned issues with being pregnant and being able to afford it. All sorts of situations occur that might not have been in place at the time of conception. I'm unwilling to police other people's bodies; that's what it boils down to.

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                • icon
                  Uriel-238 (profile), 3 May 2018 @ 11:23am

                  "if two consenting adults had sex and the woman got pregnant"

                  The position of childbearing / childrearing as a punishment for sex is a very dangerous one.

                  Consider that we don't facilitate state-of the-art birth-control, and in fact have large portions of the nation where women are denied contraception based non similar moral reasons.

                  People are going to have sex. We have millions of years of evolution to thank for killing off those who weren't compelled (long before we took to the trees or walked upright). Besides which, it creates dysfunctional families in which the parents resent the children.

                  And yes, within those families there's a lot of consideration and regret for the choices made.

                  If you really hate sex and think it should be punished, maybe you should advocate neutering children while they are still young. Considering the statistical likelihood of boys becoming sexual predators and girls becoming victims of sexual assault, it's surprising we are so vested in the right to reproduce so as to not even consider this option.

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                  • identicon
                    Wendy Cockcroft, 4 May 2018 @ 2:21am

                    Re: "if two consenting adults had sex and the woman got pregnant"

                    The position of childbearing / childrearing as a punishment for sex is a very dangerous one.

                    ^This. Sick, weird things happen where beliefs like this are common and accepted as normal.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2018 @ 6:02am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

              >You mean the right of all humans to live?

              I take it you support free universal health care for all, then?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2018 @ 7:53am

        Re: Re: Authoritarian stupidity and hypocrisy

        You can throw me into the Pro-Life crowd. Life is life. I don't think the Government should be involved in stopping abortions. What you do to your BODY is your business, I guess, though you're taking a life of a person who had no choice in the matter of being created in the first place. That there's a number of options you can use to not be knocked up in the first place.

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 9:18am

      Re:

      As usual this place is full of ideological massive fucking idiots.

      There are all sorts of assholes in glass towers imposing their morals on others and it is not just on one side of a particular debate.

      You smack of puerile hypocrisy... There is no walk of life or group, or human that does not hold some moral ground that they would not try to impose upon others. The only reason you bitch out it is because you don't have the power to impose your morals, so you come here and whine about how powerless your weak and feeble mind is in the face of those better than you.

      Get a fucking grip, life is unfair, if you are okay with killing humans, born or not, then you should kinda shut the fuck up about stuff because your morals are already in the shitter. It leaves you very little room to bitch about others.

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  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 7:02am

    See something do something

    How easily politician fall for this quip. Their desire to be seen as caring, while actually pursuing some political agenda (that does not necessarily comport with the desires of their constituents), but achieves something their political leaders think is important to their, often moral, cause.

    Made up statistics (a.k.a. excuses) are not the only problem. I wonder what a poll of legislators asking who actually read the bill before voting for it would show? The second question of the poll would be what financial or other support was 'suggested' (promised, whether it gets fulfilled or not) to get compliance? And the third question would be what 'threats' (lack of support of other bills, lack of support during reelection process, etc.) were proffered?

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    • identicon
      RSN, 30 Apr 2018 @ 7:26am

      Re: politicians

      "seems like it should have been done based on, you know, actual facts, "


      ... what a quaint, silly, non-factual notion that American legislators normally vote/legislate based upon facts and logic.

      Anybody who is truly surprised by irrational behavior by elected politicians -- dwells in their very own non-factual fairy tale concept of how legislation happens.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 7:49am

        Re: Re: politicians

        He just said "seems like it should have".

        You can say something should be a way without being ignorant of how it is or being stupid for thinking so.

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        • identicon
          RSN, 30 Apr 2018 @ 8:50am

          Re: politicians

          well, if one sincerely said that Swedish 'should' now be the official language of the U.S. -- that would betray a severe ignorance of factual reality and would be viewed as a rather silly notion to offer publicly.

          the original post premise here was disgust at Congress acting counter to "facts"-- so why such disgust at this specific issue when Congress routinely ignores facts on most everything it does?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 7:04am

    There is more to this than just sex workers

    I suggest reading up on the Alison mack stuff occurring that is how a lot of sex trafficking occurs.

    If they took their sampling from a place like Vegas, i would not be surprised at the numbers of trafficking victims being disproportionately high. It's "legal" so it doesn't get the same scrutiny that it does in other areas.

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    • icon
      deadspatula (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 7:52am

      Re: There is more to this than just sex workers

      But nothing about FOSTA/SESTA would do anything to help the NXIUM victims you reference. And NXIUM victims are not the kind of sex workers discussed in this article. And its that issue - that there are sex workers who work for themselves, not someone else who are harmed by this legislation, without any benefit to victims of sex trafficking, that causes Techdirt to highlight the disconnect between the data and the rhetoric.

      Its not legal in Vegas, FYI. Nearby Parump? It is legal there. And I would argue that it gets more scrutiny in Parump because it is legal. See, when it is illegal, no one in power checks, because no one is supposed to be doing it. But when it's legal? You can have people check records, require doctor's visits, in general people with regulatory power can actually look at it. And that makes it easier to see when things go wrong. Its the whole problem with shutting down all online personals, which FOSTA/SESTA effectively does. It hides trafficking, so its harder to find, and hurts those who got involved in sex work voluntarily.

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    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 9:07am

      Re: There is more to this than just sex workers

      Additionally, by calling it the "Allison Mack stuff", you highlight the only reason it's even semi-prominent news, probably the only reason you know about it - A celebrity was involved.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 10:01am

        Re: Re: There is more to this than just sex workers

        Actually, i know of several articles on sex trafficking, the mack ones are just more recent.

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        • icon
          deadspatula (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 1:18pm

          Re: Re: Re: There is more to this than just sex workers

          "I know of several articles on sex trafficking, the mack ones were just the most recent"

          And yet you continue to reference the celebrity, rather than the larger group, NXIVM, that is the real problem. It was trafficking before Mack came into the picture, and Mack as much as a part of the problem, was just as much NXIVM's victim. Refering to the articles as the 'mack ones' indicates that Mack is the only thing interesting about the case. It blames Mack, as culpable as she is, above Raniere and those who came before her.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 7:11am

    Copyright was based on mostly bogus stats, such as why copyright can't be any shorter than lifespan plus 75 years, and magically needs to be constantly extended to incentivize corpses to create.

    As a vector to sneak in SOPA-level regulations, SESTA/FOSTA is no different.

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    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 30 Apr 2018 @ 7:16am

      Re:

      Well considering who supported it I think you're right.

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    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 7:21am

      Re:

      Without exception, every single claim that NN rules caused harm was fabricated whole-cloth.

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 10:46am

        Re: Re:

        Keep it up, you might be able to win Gold in the Lying Olympics 2018. You just need to pass Trump up, so you might be getting Silver instead!

        If you are going to point out others for lying, maybe avoid lying yourself!

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 10:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          They may have exaggerated a bit(there might have been a claim of harm that wasn't based upon lies, but I certainly haven't seen it), but given how often and repeatedly the anti-network neutrality side has defended it via blatant lies such as claiming that it reduced investment it's hard to blame them for saying such.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 11:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Dude... the lies are prevalent on BOTH SIDES!

            It's fucking disgusting!

            It is not a lie to say that NN rules would cause harm. The problem comes down to quantifying where that harm would mostly land though. NN should in theory benefit consumers and harm ISP, but there are loopholes and the practical effects of enforcement would decide the rest of the fallout.

            "but given how often and repeatedly the anti-network neutrality side has defended it via blatant lies such as claiming that it reduced investment it's hard to blame them for saying such."

            I agree, the anti-NN ISP's have been prolific liars, but so have the pro-NN groups. The FCC created NN, My ISP bills, speeds, and quality have no improved on smacking fucking bit. Sure you can make the argument that would put there so that it could not get worse, but that is not quantifiable either.

            Meanwhile, we are squabbling over these BS rules when we should be removing the protectionist regulations that are protecting the incumbent ISP's instead. No matter how I work this out in my mind, the pro-NN crowd has been kept chasing the fucking carrot. If I was the ISP I would be laughing my fucking asses off. The politicians are very cheap to buy and the regulators are super lax, I can fuck with the bills, connections, and sue startups with near impunity all with the backing of the mutha fukin governments!

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            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 12:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It is not a lie to say that NN rules would cause harm.

              [Citation needed]. If it was so obvious then the ISP wouldn't have needed to make up phantom 'damages', they would have trotted out the real harms, so by all means, do what they've failed to do and list the 'harm' that network neutrality rules would cause that aren't just 'we can't screw over our customers as blatantly as we want to'.

              NN should in theory benefit consumers and harm ISP, but there are loopholes and the practical effects of enforcement would decide the rest of the fallout.

              Said loopholes, primarily the 'zero rating' one were problems, but they weren't problems of the rules so much as problems where they rules didn't go far enough. Enforcement is also an issue, but that's also less an issue of the rules and more who makes sure they're applied.

              I agree, the anti-NN ISP's have been prolific liars, but so have the pro-NN groups.

              And again, [Citation needed], what lies have the pro-NN groups made?

              The FCC created NN, My ISP bills, speeds, and quality have no improved on smacking fucking bit.

              Because Wheeler, who was generally on the side of the public and was starting to see problems with the loopholes was given the boot and replaced by Pai, who might as well have all statements prefaced with 'This content sponsored by Verizon, AT&T and Comcast', and who is attempting to kill those rules.

              However this is almost a red herring, as the rules weren't meant to solve those problems, they were meant to keep things from getting worse while other solutions were worked on. Even assuming the rules were meant to right that issue quickly they were put on hold before they could get a chance to do so.

              Sure you can make the argument that would put there so that it could not get worse, but that is not quantifiable either.

              Depends on how you measure it.

              Meanwhile, we are squabbling over these BS rules when we should be removing the protectionist regulations that are protecting the incumbent ISP's instead.

              Or, and hear me out on this, how about both? Keep the rules for a short-term fix to keep things from getting worse, and work on removing protectionist regulations that are harmful to the public. Exactly what is the problem with keeping the rules(and if anything tightening them up) while the long-term fix is worked on?

              If I was the ISP I would be laughing my fucking asses off.

              Then either you know something they don't, or (more likely I'd say) they know something you don't, because they aren't laughing, they are scrambling and lying through their teeth about how terrible the rules are(so long as they aren't writing them) and how those rules absolutely, positively need to be killed and/or preempted by rules 'written' by congress(with generous 'help' from the likes of Comcast and company of course).

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 12:49pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "If it was so obvious then the ISP wouldn't have needed to make up phantom 'damages',"

                See, that right there is what makes you a misrepresenting liar like them!

                I already agreed the ISP's were lying! I just did not agree with the Bullshit claim about what is or is not going to be damaged.

                You can't get past your petty "not on my side" means "they are on ISP side" bias. This makes you every bit as worthless to listen to as the ISP's.

                Like I said...

                "the lies are prevalent on BOTH SIDES!"

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 12:55pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Both sides are bad you say? What a novel and original thought.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ShadowNinja (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 8:01am

      Re:

      Copyright is basically the definition of a law that needs modernized.

      To have the same copyright length on literally everything that it broadly covers is just absurd.

      Take video games for example. Outside of a few really popular games they're all largely worthless within a decade of being released and no longer supported by the manufacturer. This is especially true for console games.

      Yet games under old gaming consoles like Sega Genesis, SNES, etc. will still be covered under copyright by the time anyone who was old enough to play them on the consoles is dead. Yet outside of a few of the most popular classics, it's impossible to purchase the games from the copyright holder.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 8:15am

        Re: Re:

        >"Copyright is basically the definition of a law that needs modernized."

        Except that it was modernization that brought upon the current mess. Maybe rationalization, or public benefitization, or something else would be a better way to express the thought.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Darkhog, 30 Apr 2018 @ 10:19am

        Re: Re:

        SNES/Genesis? Try Atari 2600, Magnavox Oddyssey and ColecoVision. All these games are still under copyright and all still will be by the time the last person who played them on consoles when these consoles were relatively new will be dead.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 7:22am

    since when has any politician used TRUTHS to achieve what they want?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 7:49am

    Truth? Facts? so?

    Facts are more commonly called "Inconvenient Truths" and are a dying breed in our era of "Least Untruthful" statements from politicians and their paymasters.

    As we have seen, "lying" to congress or others is selectively allowed, and selectively prosecuted to the max.

    Lying to prevent our leaders from looking bad - lying to prevent embarrassment to our side - no problem; lying to prevent the "other side" from looking bad - TREASON!

    Nothing has more power than the Almighty Dollar in politics. Truth, Lies, Facts - all pale in comparison.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 9:45am

      Re: Truth? Facts? so?

      Government...

      The single largest criminal enterprise in existence! And people WANT IT!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 10:01am

        Re: Re: Truth? Facts? so?

        Feel free to point out an alternative that wouldn't be worse.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Darkhog, 30 Apr 2018 @ 10:24am

          Re: Re: Re: Truth? Facts? so?

          Direct democracy. Seriously.

          Before the internet happened, we couldn't do it, because good luck trying to get all millions of Americans (or even members of a small country) in one place.

          Now we can by the means of going online. Every vote could be verified by a blockchain-based solution to make sure that one person only votes once on a given bill.

          Anyone could introduce any bill at any point and everyone gets to decide if it should be passed, not just selected few.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 10:36am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Truth? Facts? so?

            That seems like just a variation on government(direct influence vs representative), so a few questions come to mind.

            If that's the alternative, what is 'government' to you? Or is the point just that this type of government would be better?

            What safety measures would you have in place to avoid a tyranny of the majority?

            What about people who simply do not have the time to become informed on the various proposed laws that stand to impact them? Part of the 'perks' to representative democracy is that it is (theoretically anyway) literally the job of the politicians to know what they've voting on and vote accordingly, such that they can (again, theoretically) spend significant time becoming informed and thereafter make an informed vote.

            If members of the general public had to do the same thing that could have serious negative consequences on their ability to do anything else like hold down a full-time job and/or have any real free time.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Darkhog, 30 Apr 2018 @ 1:45pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Truth? Facts? so?

              Tyranny of the majority is a myth IMO. But in case it turns out not to be, it may be institutionalized that one side must have certain vote advantage over the other to pass/reject a bill.

              As for staying informed, the idea is that people would vote only on the things that are important to them. Simply put: If you don't know/don't care about a subject, don't vote. Also it could be made so that every bill introduced would have set of factual questions about it that you would have to answer in order to prove that you read the bill and as such know what you are voting for, similarly to the questionnaires some sites put up to verify that the readers had read an article.

              Don't get me wrong, there probably will be some f-ups at first, big ones too, but people will learn and since actual power will be put into people's hands it will be easy to challenge/stop obviously bad laws from happening.

              There won't be FCC/FTC/SEC and so on, every decision, no matter of the significance would be performed by average Joes and Janes. There will be also full transparency and phrase "top secret" would be relegated to the history books. If everyone knows everything about everyone else, no one has an advantage, tactical or otherwise.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Thad, 30 Apr 2018 @ 2:12pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Truth? Facts? so?

                Tyranny of the majority is a myth IMO.

                ...are you seriously claiming that never, at any point in history, has any minority group been subjected to any kind of legal discrimination that was approved by the majority of the population?

                You sure you don't want to rethink that position?

                Also it could be made so that every bill introduced would have set of factual questions about it that you would have to answer in order to prove that you read the bill and as such know what you are voting for, similarly to the questionnaires some sites put up to verify that the readers had read an article.

                Who gets to write the questions? Who gets to score them?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 2:37pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Truth? Facts? so?

                Tyranny of the majority is a myth IMO. But in case it turns out not to be, it may be institutionalized that one side must have certain vote advantage over the other to pass/reject a bill.

                In which case we might be thinking of two different things, what I meant by 'tyranny of the majority' is simply that in a system of direct, majority-rules voting if someone is in the minority(race, gender, whatever) you need some sort of check otherwise they effectively have no lawmaking power and the majority can simply trample all over them.

                As for staying informed, the idea is that people would vote only on the things that are important to them. Simply put: If you don't know/don't care about a subject, don't vote.

                That still seems to run into the problem of time, in that it works well enough when there's only a few things to consider and become informed of, but if there's a large number of issues and you only have so much time you could run into the problem and something being important but simply not having the time to devote to it before it's too late.

                Also it could be made so that every bill introduced would have set of factual questions about it that you would have to answer in order to prove that you read the bill and as such know what you are voting for, similarly to the questionnaires some sites put up to verify that the readers had read an article.

                Who determines the questions, and who determines what counts as 'informed'?

                Say for example you had an individual who believed that the internet was little more than a toy, such that revocation of the ability to use it was no big deal, and a bill was proposed dealing with the internet. If someone like that was in charge of writing the questionnaire the questions and 'competence level' required would be vastly different than if it was written by someone who was 'better' informed and held a different position on the subject.

                A requirement that you know what's in a bill and are at least moderately knowledgeable about the subject before voting strikes me as a good one(and one I dearly wish was already a requirement), but it also opens up some serious problems that would need addressing less it turn into something even worse than what we already have.

                There won't be FCC/FTC/SEC and so on, every decision, no matter of the significance would be performed by average Joes and Janes.

                The issue with this is that there's a reason experts in a field are generally given more weight on subjects than your average person, because they're more likely to know the nuances that can have significant impact. Your 'average joes and janes' might think that an action is beneficial, or have good long-term consequences, whereas someone more familiar with the subject could be overridden simply because there's less of them and the answer is 'just obvious'.

                As well, what happens if there's not enough(or any) people interested in a given subject, or if those who are are clearly biased one way? Do you let the biased people decide, rope in someone who doesn't care and/or doesn't know enough to make an informed decision? Let the matter slide because there's not enough interest outside of the small group?

                There will be also full transparency and phrase "top secret" would be relegated to the history books.

                As badly as various government agencies have poisoned the well with regards to 'top secret', there are valid reasons to keep things secret to an extent, military movements('we are going to X, bringing Y amount of troops and equipment, and it will take place on Z') and criminal investigations('hey, just a heads up, but we believe you're peddling drugs to high-schoolers, so we'll be looking into that') the two that come to mind offhand.

                Just because the process of classification has been widely abused doesn't mean there's no need for it, it just needs to be drastically scaled back such that if something is kept secret there's a good reason for it beyond 'it would hurt my budget/funding/reputation if this got out'.

                There's certainly some interesting ideas, but there's also some notable problems that would need to be addressed before any sort of switch between the current system and the proposed on, if only to make sure you're not replacing bad with worse.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 3:37pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Truth? Facts? so?

                  "A requirement that you know what's in a bill and are at least moderately knowledgeable about the subject before voting strikes me as a good one(and one I dearly wish was already a requirement), but it also opens up some serious problems that would need addressing less it turn into something even worse than what we already have."

                  I heartily concur. But there are additional problems. Some bills are thousands of pages long. Any legislator that said publicly that they had read the whole thing, I might call a liar. Then, let's say I'm wrong, and they did read the whole thing, weeks in advance. Having fulfilled their responsibility, and the vote coming next week, they return home for some fundraising. Any Congresscritter has to spend a majority of their time fundraising or they won't get re-elected. In the mean time, 7 riders are added to the bill. The responsible Congresscritter returns and without re-reading it, votes. What were those 7 riders for? Could they be important? Could they be devastating?

                  I suggest that the whole concept of riders be eliminated. Make legislative bills about one idea and the ways to enact that, no addons. In addition, if we remove the concept of money from politics, maybe our Congresscritters could spent their time, you know, doing their jobs instead of fundraising.

                  How do we remove money from politics? Simple. Take 1% of the intelligence agencies budget and there will be more than enough to pay for every campaign. And no outside influences, which should be illegal. Money equals speech, some say, it also equals bribery. When does it cross the line?

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    That One Guy (profile), 1 May 2018 @ 8:11am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Truth? Facts? so?

                    I suggest that the whole concept of riders be eliminated. Make legislative bills about one idea and the ways to enact that, no addons.

                    Absolutely, the idea of slipping in legislation that you know couldn't make it through on it's on into a 'must pass' bill, as has been done before, is completely disgusting and needs to die.

                    Hadn't though of taking from intel budget to fund political races(you're likely right in that even a single digit decrease would more than cover it), but removing money from politics would also go a long way to cleaning up the system.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      Toom1275 (profile), 1 May 2018 @ 6:40pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Truth? Facts? so?

                      If riders just gotts exist, though, too bad none of them ever seem to include good things like "Copyright is now 5 years with registration renewable once this applies retroactively."

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • icon
                        That One Guy (profile), 1 May 2018 @ 10:32pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Truth? Facts? so?

                        Or perhaps 'Congressional rates of pay shall now be linked to minimum wage and congressional heathcare shall now be linked to the average healthcare available to the general public'.

                        If something like that was slipped in I imagine the furor over how terrible it is to slip something into a completely unrelated bill would be loud enough to hear on the west coast, all the while they completely ignored the hypocrisy regarding the outrage.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Thad, 30 Apr 2018 @ 10:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Truth? Facts? so?

            Now we can by the means of going online. Every vote could be verified by a blockchain-based solution to make sure that one person only votes once on a given bill.

            "Blockchain" is not a magic word. You can't just say "blockchain" and poof! computer magic.

            Exactly how would blockchain be able to (1) verify that nobody has voted twice and (2) protect the integrity of anonymous voting? Show your work.

            I'm only aware of one voting method that satisfies both criteria: pen and paper.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Darkhog, 30 Apr 2018 @ 1:57pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Truth? Facts? so?

              But not even pen and paper guarantees it. Ever heard of ballot stuffing or how in the communist nations of old sometimes the voter who was dead for the past decade mysteriously did a Jesus just to vote?

              Every citizen would be issued with a card with cryptographically signed blockchain "wallet" that would have limitless supply of "voting coins". Every vote would be a smart contract that only would register a single transaction from a specific "voter wallet", there would be basically two values one would be able to transfer, one would be a vote "against" and the other a vote "for". The exact values don't really matter, as it is an implementation detail.

              After a voting process concludes, the bill either passed or it didn't.

              The "voting wallet" would take a form of a chip-based "voting card".

              Everyone would be responsible for protecting their own "voting card" (pretty much as they do have to do with SSN and equivalent in other countries such as Polish PESEL). In case it gets stolen, you report it immediately to the appropriate authorities and the voting wallet is immediately invalidated (so voting used it would be impossible) and you get issued a new one.

              I had a long time to think about it, but your doubts are understandable.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Thad, 30 Apr 2018 @ 2:22pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Truth? Facts? so?

                But not even pen and paper guarantees it. Ever heard of ballot stuffing or how in the communist nations of old sometimes the voter who was dead for the past decade mysteriously did a Jesus just to vote?

                It's true that if the auditing system is corrupted, then the voting mechanism cannot be trusted. But that's not a weakness in the voting mechanism, it's a weakness in the auditing system.

                Everyone would be responsible for protecting their own "voting card" (pretty much as they do have to do with SSN and equivalent in other countries such as Polish PESEL). In case it gets stolen, you report it immediately to the appropriate authorities and the voting wallet is immediately invalidated (so voting used it would be impossible) and you get issued a new one.

                How can the key be revocable and votes be anonymous?

                If you can reject a vote because its signing key has been revoked, because the key's owner reported it stolen, then that means you can trace a vote back to the person who cast it.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 8:05am

    again and again

    This is another case of politicians passing laws to fix made up problems. Sex trafficking is not a problem in the united states, it’s simply a euphemism for prostitution. Real problems are hard to fix and usually have some liability or potential down side to them, politicians won’t go near them. But they love fake problems, nothing really to solve, no real metrics for tracking effects, no downside, just pass a bill and declare the problem fixed. Again and again this saddles us with poorly written and terrible laws.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 8:19am

    Hey Mike!

    So.........

    I guess what you are saying is that 99.97% of all politicians are liars -- right?

    :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bshock, 30 Apr 2018 @ 8:34am

    It's fun and exciting to talk about "sex trafficking," isn't it?

    Too bad the motivation for SESTA/FOSTA had not one goddamn thing to do with this topic. This began and ended as an attack on Section 230 -- nothing else.

    I'm a bit tired of everyone running after the sex trafficking rabbit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 8:51am

      Re:

      It was never about sex trafficking, and was certainly used to punch a nice hole in 230, but I wouldn't say it was the only reason. It was also used as a disgusting and cheap PR stunt, 'look, I care about sex trafficking, vote for me!'

      I'd be very surprised if many people on TD(or those doing the research like covered in the article) buy the 'sex trafficking' angle, the point of bringing it up repeatedly is because that was the justifiation used to defend and then pass the bill, and if you shoot holes in that then the justification also fails, at which point the PR angle has the potential to backfire.

      'Oh yeah, you totally voted for an 'anti-sex trafficking' bill... that doesn't help the victims, actually makes them worse off, and does huge damage to the internet in general. Yeah, we can see your priorities alright, and they're not what you say they are.'

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 30 Apr 2018 @ 8:44am

    "Last year we had a post detailing how the numbers that supporters of SESTA were pushing didn't appear to have any factual basis. Some huge numbers were thrown around, claiming that trafficking was a $9.8 billion industry or that thousands of kids were lured into sex trafficking every year. But, when reporters and experts dug into those numbers, they found that they were either made up, involved egregious sampling errors or insane extrapolation."

    So... they created fake news.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Darkhog, 30 Apr 2018 @ 9:47am

    Not an expert in U.S. law, but...

    ...is it enough to overthrow that law? If so, it should be done as soon as possible. We need to fight censorship at any cost, even if said censorship has good intentions behind it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 30 Apr 2018 @ 10:40am

      Re: Not an expert in U.S. law, but...

      No.

      I think it's quite likely to show up as evidence in legal challenges against the law, but it's not enough, in and of itself, to get the law tossed.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Virginia, 30 Apr 2018 @ 12:16pm

    Ryan

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 12:26pm

    And then this is another result:
    Pimps Are Preying on Sex Workers Pushed Off the Web Because of FOSTA-SESTA
    https://motherboard.vice.com/amp/en_us/article/bjpqvz/fosta-sesta-sex-work-and-traffickin g

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 12:38pm

    #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement

    Sadly, laws getting passed based on false data has been the norm in both houses for over a decade now. This is the era of Jon Kyl's well over 90% of Planned Parenhood's budget is abortions line.

    And factchecking helps those of us who care, but those of us who have an ideology to follow, these lies are enough justification to further it.

    I'd argue that maybe it means we just cannot exercise good governance when personal gain is to be had in doing otherwise.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 3:24pm

    lOTS OF TALK..

    Abortion:
    When Abortion is a Random Choice thing..
    When you DONT have a choice of AGE, SEX, Disability, handicap, Color, Race, of ANY CHILD..and you are willing to take what is offered..
    THEN I WILL BELIEVE IN ABORTION..
    When Every child(from Birth to age 15) in THAT SYSTEM, can have a REAL home.

    For the numbers for Sesta/Fosta..
    WE would never NOT HEAR the Alerts..24/7 Upto 5 kids per day in EVERY STATE..
    In a few years we would have Every Child born BEING KIDNAPPED AND PUT ON THE STREETS..

    If you want a better source, go look up Runaway lists.. And wonder WHY they are RUNAWAYS.. SOLVE that problem..

    ALSO..Making it a CRIME to runaway ISNT a solution.. Making DRUG problems a CRIME isnt a solution.

    Illogic in this nation is more stupidity to work around. Its whats behind and in front of these laws..

    LAWS have only 1 solution..and THAT ISNT RIGHT..
    Corruption in the system ISNT RIGHT EITHER..there are those that take advantage of these laws..and get LOTS of money to TRY AND HELP..even when they dont..

    WHATS FUNNY...
    Is this is a Federal law..and States have rights also.. To enforce or NOT TO... I can now see the Government doing ILLEGAL things to FORCE ITS WILL...
    THIS IS NOT A GOVERNMENT JOB..
    So they will TRY AND PAY STATES to Enforce it..and those that DONT, will have Gov. Agencies RUNNING AMUCK in those states..

    What a way to Enforce Federal Laws..
    Hmm... It sounds interesting as a LAW to get a foot hold into states...esp for those that LEGALIZE MJ.. Forcing Fed laws that States DONT..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2018 @ 10:47pm

    Get the government'ss hands OFF OUR GENITALS.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    restless94110 (profile), 30 Apr 2018 @ 11:23pm

    Sex Trafficking is Fake News

    As I have said twice previously in comments to these articles, sex trafficking is code for prostitution. There is literally .0001 percent sex trafficking done in the sex trade.

    You have finally written an article, which verifies that, but you still felt the need to virtue signal 2 or 3 times about that sex trafficking is real.

    Dude, it ain't real. It never was. Yes. The way to deal with .0001 percent sex trafficking is solid police work. But it's such a non-existant "problem" it makes it very very hard to do police work on it.

    We are in the new Puritan times with "sex trafficking" and MeToo. Only they look to be far far worse than the olden days of Puritan times. It is madness. Utter madness.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 1 May 2018 @ 12:14am

      "Puritan"

      Way to discredit yourself, associating #MeToo with puritanism, even if only figuratively.

      In fact, we don't how what sex trafficking statistics look like since the term is used to talk about multiple kinds of sex trade. Still, it is reasonable to accept all minors engaged in prostitution should be regarded as victims, not as felons. And US child prostitutes were the victims that SESTA / FOSTA was allegedly intended to help.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 1 May 2018 @ 1:47am

      Re: Sex Trafficking is Fake News

      dEAR RESTLESS..

      I dont think you have been to the other side of the tracks..

      There is Sex trafficking..BUT KIDS are not really there..This is in the drug trades..
      I know Girls that will goto bed with ANYONE that has the most drugs.. Iv seen Girls that LOVE the guy that gives them the MOST BEERS ALSO,,

      I know BOTH that would sell their bodies JUST for the NEXT BUZZ...

      They have created a Federal LAW..that Cant be enforced by States..
      It Also doesnt FIX the problem,, it place everyone in jail..

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2018 @ 9:29am

    EVEN IF were right, you're simply advocating corporations profit

    from prostitution at best, and sex trafficking too.

    You insane "libertarians" at Tecdirt have without noticing crossed into directly advocating conduct that every culture has found undesirable, and is usually criminalized.

    From copyright infringement through sex trafficking to trying to get downloaders of child pornography off the hook sheerly because the FBI snagged their IP address on a known site, ALL Techdirt does of late is advocate for criminals.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 May 2018 @ 9:38am

      Re: EVEN IF were right, you're simply advocating corporations profit

      ALL Techdirt does of late is advocate for criminals.

      Especially corporate criminals fronting for the surveillance state: Facebook and Google.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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