Backpage’s legal weasel gets grilled by NYC Council

vvmedia

I’ve been in the medical corporate world for 24 years now. I’ve done and said some pretty stupid things to advance in the corporate world. Nothing malicious. Mostly admitting to skills that I didn’t have or pretending to share an interest with my superiors. Some times the gamble paid off other times it didn’t. One thing I never did though was compromise my principles.

If a boss had ever asked me to commit fraud or any other kind of illegal act for my job I would have walked out on the spot. This is why I can’t understand why Backpage’s new head legal weasel, Liz McDougall, says the things that she does.

This past week she was called to testify before the City Council of New York City. The council is considering a resolution urging Village Voice Media to cease the adult section on Backpage since it’s an obvious avenue for the sex trafficking of women and children.

She said the usual about how Backpage is actually helping combat sex trafficking by keeping the adult sections open. That’s nothing new. We’ve been hearing that since craigslist came under fire for the erotic services section. I mean she can’t really believe that can she? You can’t be both the problem and the solution at the same time. She must be doing this in order to try to advance her legal career. She’s even invoking her own daughter to do it too…

“I do acknowledge the role that we play,” McDougall replied. “I have a 15-year-old daughter. My heart breaks for these children. And the last thing I would ever want is my daughter exposed to something like this, which is why I am so adamant about fighting this.”

But she’s not. If she was adamant about fighting this she would be advising VVM to shut down the adult sections. Instead she’s parroting what her employers want her too. This is nothing new that we haven’t heard out of backpage before. Change the player but not the lines does not make a difference.

Thankfully the council was not buying it…

“Are you thinking of setting up a drug dealing section of the Backpage website?,” asked Councilman Brad Lander, the resolution’s co-sponsor, in the midst of a tense exchange in which McDougall was repeatedly interrupted.

“I refuse to answer that question,” she said.

“How about a gun-trading or weapons-trading section?”

“I refuse to answer that question.”

“By your logic, wouldn’t they be extremely helpful in prosecuting drug-dealing and weapons-trading because, if they could just be brought online, taken out of off-shore websites and brought into the light, it would be far easier to refer them to law enforcement?”

“I don’t believe that sarcasm and rhetorical questions like this—”

She didn’t get a chance to finish.

“You have made clear that, in your opinion, this issue is grossly complex,” said Lander, concluding his line of questioning a few minutes later. “To me, it’s just gross.”

And as far as the argument goes that shutting backpage down would be worse for law enforcement….

Daniel Alonso, Manhattan’s chief assistant district attorney, said sites like Backpage “enable traffickers to drum up demand for what they believe is a product,” and that “we don’t buy” the argument that shuttering Backpage.com’s adult ads would only serve to drive sex-trafficking further underground and out of view from law enforcement.

“We’re doing just fine without having to troll the Internet,” he said.

As the kids say, someone got told.

Trench Reviews Young Justice: Invasion

Young-Justice-Invasion

***SPOILERS***

Since its premiere Young Justice has been my favorite cartoon. It’s better written than most DC comic books out today.

Last week they had a tremendous season finale. Most issues were resolved while still leaving some open. So Imagine my surprise when the season 2 premiere jumped forward into the future by 5 years. I think this is a bold move however I’m not sure if it is one that will pay off yet. In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of my likes and dislikes of the new season so far.

Pros:

  • Dick Grayson as Nightwing and Tim Drake as Robin. I was really hoping for this actually and surprised that it’s come through. Will we eventually see Tim as Red Robin? Will we see a confrontation with Jason Todd, The Red Hood? I can only hope.
  • The additions of Batgirl and Wonder Girl. The show was lacking female characters.
  • The storyline of the missing 16 hours hasn’t been forgotten.
  • The fact that they didn’t explain who all the new characters are. It seems like this show was tailor-made for DC fans.
  • I liked the new origin for Adam Strange. Good way to modernize an outdated character.
  • The fact that some of the characters joined the League while other veterans of ‘The Team’ stayed on the team.

Cons:

  • The New Name. I don’t like it. When Justice League became Justice League Unlimited it didn’t stay on the air much longer. Hopefully, that’s not the case with YJ.
  • No Kaldur, Wally and Artemis? I really hope their characters are not gone from the show.
  • I don’t mind Blue Beetle being on the show but we get it. He’s Hispanic. You’d think with a name like Jaime Reyes we get that point. He doesn’t have to speak Spanglish every 5 seconds.
  • Beast Boy? Really? He’s the only character I like less than Cyborg.
  • No Red Arrow/Speedy? This is the storyline I really want to see resolved. I realize it’s only the first episode of the new season but this is what I want to see resolved most.

But so far these are only nitpicky complaints. If the first season was any indication then they will be gone as this season progresses.

Nightline exposes Backpage

Girls Sold for Sex Online, Backpage Defends Decision to Keep Ads Up:

The other night ABC’s Nightline did a story on the Village Voice Media owned backpage.com. I missed it and you probably missed it too. Thanks to the wonders of the internet you can watch it now. I implore you to watch this video. It’s not too long but packs a punch in what it has.

http://cdnapi.kaltura.com/index.php/kwidget/wid/1_ztqgqv8o/uiconf_id/5590821

I was horrified after I watched this video. Not just because the of the story of Jessica who as a teen was slashed in the face by her pimp with a potato peeler and then ate the skin. Not just because of the story of Megan who was turning 20 tricks a night through backpage. I was mostly horrified by backpage’s new head legal weasel Liz McDougall.

How arrogant can she possibly be. To honestly think that backpage is the solution and not the problem and to think that she’s smarter than 48 state attorneys general. Not to mention how she refused to answer about the millions that backpage makes off of these ads.

But the one thing that truly scared me is something that was just glossed over by the story. Backpage is looking to move their operations off shore away from possible US prosecution. Does that sound like something a company would do to combat human trafficking or to perpetuate it?

Is anybody really being fooled by this? The better question is why aren’t more people outraged by this?

Thanks to Cori for the tip.

We get letters: You take the good, you take the bad

mrsgarrett

We received some more e-mail lately. Rather than doing separate posts I thought I would do just one mega mail post to save time since time is a luxury in my life now.

The first one is from another cycle breaker. Don’t think I’m saying ‘another one’ like I’m rolling my eyes. I’m amazed at how many e-mails we get from people who have broken the cycle of violence.

I wanted to thank you for having a site like this. Reading the stories really hurts my heart because I grew up in an abusive household. It is absolutely true that the emotional scars carry on for life more than the physical scars ever could. I wanted to share my story as I feel it has been pretty severe.

My “mother” from what my family has told me, always had problems mentally. Up until recently I really had no idea what was wrong with her, as I had never seen any other child grow up with a mother like her. Life was okay up until I was 3, because my father was around and my mom had a nanny who did all the dirty work with child raising. As soon as the family business went bankrupt my father suffered a breakdown and went to Germany in an attempt to set up a business there, and restore the lifestyle my mother had become used to and expected.

Me, my brother, and my mother ended up living at my maternal grandmother’s house. My brother stayed upstairs with my grandmother, and I was downstairs in the finished basement area with my mother… This played a huge part in the abuse. It was a strange situation and my grandmother practically raised my brother.

I was an avid ice skater as a child.. and loved nothing more… however my mother took that love and turned it into something awful… Due to her anger that my dad had broken down.. the abuse started when I was 3… It began as hitting me in the face, pinching me hard.. verbal abuse.. by the time I was 5 I couldn’t attend kindergarten and had to be homeschooled because I was always covered in bruises.

As I got deeper into ice skating, any mistake I made was used against me. After practices, the car ride home was unbearable… She would smash my head against the car, and take her fingers under my tongue and dig against the side of my mouth… the amount of pain I felt I couldn’t explain to you in words… she would twist my arm behind my back… she used the car lighter on my tongue when we got home, she would stick needles under my nails. This one time when my grandmother and brother weren’t home, she tied me up and left me in the dark in the basement and used a horse whip on me.

The most evil thing she ever did I will never forget. She took pliers and squeezed my tongue and ripped a part of it… I was maybe 7 when this happened? I saw a dentist 2 weeks after that incident and was threatened to say that I was playing with a candy cane and it punctured my tongue… and he believed it… She broke my nose another time… Broke my tailbone.. I wasn’t allowed to eat much…. at 8 years old I was 48 pounds…. and at 13 years olds I was 77 pounds…. there are pictures all through my child of me emaciated… my whole life I walked around and was too afraid to talk, but I would look at people and in my head beg them to see me and take me away from her. Nobody ever did.

Other things she did was walking me to the woods a few blocks away from my house and leaving me there, saying that some man in the woods would come and drown me in the lake. One night I remember being awakened by literally being thrown across the room as a young child. Just because she felt like it. As far as emotional abuse, everyday she had me sit down and write over and over again “I am worthless, I am ugly.” What hurts me the most is that people knew what was going on…. and they never rescued me. Because my brother was being taken care of and a burden on them… I was just too much to take on apparently. I didn’t ask to be born, especially into this.

My family recently told me she was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder….. which explains how she would manipulate her way out of any questions ever asked to her…

To fast forward the story, I was homeschooled until high school… and did not adjust well in high school.. The day I graduated high school, my “mother” left me in NYC with nothing… I was 17… so I got a waitressing job and lived in a little room… Sadly.. I got into an abusive relationship because I didn’t know any better and had nowhere else to go. I became pregnant with my son at 18… the day I found out I was pregnant, I promised my little guy that I would do right by him… He deserved a chance. I googled all about being a good parent. And getting away from my ex… at 5 months I went food shopping and had him drive me, and he left me 3 miles away from where we lived in 95 degree heat to walk back…. at 9 months pregnant he smashed my head into a car window… just as an example of his behavior. It doesn’t stop there.

I was preparing to leave him… and when my son was a month old, after having a C section, because the dishes weren’t done.. he smashed my head in with a ceramic dish….and ripped out a bunch of my hair right in front of my son.. and I somehow had the strength to grab my son and run outside… to a neighbors bleeding all over the place. When the cops got there they arrested him.. I had a concussion, lost my sense of smell….permanently. With my newborn and the clothes on my back, and my cat, I left for good. I left behind everything.

I started over completely. We lived in a little place by ourselves. I worked 3 jobs… and went to school. Now I am 23 years old in my last year of my masters as a Physician Assistant, engaged to be married in September to the sweetest man anyone could ever have. He loves my little guy like his own. But child abuse is nothing you ever get over… I have nobody to relate to… I have nightmares at night…. I feel like the scared little girl still I feel an emptiness in my heart… especially now that my wedding is coming, and I’ve had to (as usual) figure out everything on my own… there is no mother sitting there for my dress fitting etc But my biggest goal has always been to have a loving sweet family… My son has ADHD and can be extremely difficult… however never once have I ever been tempted to hurt him in any way… I always tell him how smart he is, how good he is, how much he is loved.

My whole point in this story, is no matter if you were abused it is no excuse whatsoever… I look at these children and wish I could have them… I wish I could rescue them… I plan on being an adoptive mother as well… I’ve considered writing a book about my experience as a child but who knows if it would be popular… It would be nice.. There was a child called it book… sounded very similar to my situation.

Please keep speaking for these children that can’t speak…… they need all of us!

I think the book is a great idea and you never know, it could be a success.

We got the next short one from a reader and although it’s short in content we appreciate every e-mail we get.

You guys do a great job thanks . From a mother of 7 wonderful kids ages 23 to 1week. Thanks

As usual it is we who thank you. Without our readers we are nothing.

And last and certainly least we have the usual defender bullcrap we’ve come to know and ridicule…

Fuck you and your website! you have no power nor right to run your dick sucker about peoples lives and problems! NEWSFLASH you werent fucking there! Your website is fake as fuck just like you!

You got us. Every story we post on here is fake. No kids are ever abused and all the people being locked up are innocent. The secret is out…moron.

Oikos gunman starving himself

One Goh

One Goh

Oakland massacre defendant is refusing food:

Oikos University gunman One Goh has been refusing to eat ever since he was first incarcerated. He’s not on some kind of hunger stroke. He says he feels shame for the attack at the school that left 7 people dead.

Wow, for once one of these toolbags is taking some kind of responsibility for what he’s done. It’s just too bad he wasn’t ashamed of himself before he killed his victims like a coward.

If this is the road he wants to take to hell I say let him. Have the guards throw him some rope or something to speed the process along.

Another PA MyYearbook predator caught

Jason Stoy

Jason Stoy

Lancaster City Man Charged with Sexual Assault of Minor:

UPDATE: Man arrested for sexually assault brings up social media predators:

You know, I’m beginning to think that Pennsylvania is to MyYearbook predators what Connecticut was to MySpace predators.

Anyway we go back to the Keystone State once again. This time it’s for 29-year-old Jason Stoy of Lancaster. He was arrested recently for having a sexual relationship, or as normal people call it child rape, with a 14-year-old girl that he met through MyYearbook from nearby Manor Township.

Stoy slowly built a relationship with the young teenager which eventually got him to her house where police say he sexually assaulted her.

That’s what’s called grooming a victim. This wasn’t a relationship, it was out-and-out rape. Anybody who says different is either a predator or an enabler.

PA man caught cranking it to juveniles on MyYearbook

Edward Hockenbury

Edward Hockenbury

Man charge with exposing child to porn:

Police in Pennsylvania arrested 28-year-old Edward Joseph Hockenbury of Warminster after police received a notice from the NCMEC that he was allegedly exposing himself and masturbating on webcam to underage girls that he met on MyYearbook.

Before we go any further he’s 28? He looks like he’s old enough to be starting his mid-life crisis.

After further investigation police discovered that MyYearbook sent more than 200 notices to the NCEMC about the same guy. The IP address were all the same.

Hockenbury would allegedly purposely list his own age as under 18 so he could have contact with the underage girls.

In one of the message sessions, an “ed joseph” was sending sexual messages to a juvenile who responded that she was “15,” according to court records. The male responded, “I know I cant help it your so gorgeous,” according to court records.

I’m amazed how many complaints that MyYearbook and the NCMEC received before sending any along to police. I know the NCEMC does great work but it shouldn’t take the 201st complaint before something is done about a predator.

Trench reviews The Strange Case Of… by Halestorm

thestrangecaseof

I’ve been a huge fan of Halestorm since I saw them at the Uproar Festival in 2010. I loved their debut album, I thought it was almost flawless. I bought the ReAnimate EP when it came out and was amazed how they could take some crappy songs and make them into amazing covers. I bought the Mz. Hyde EP when it came out. That had 4 songs from the new album on it and I thought that if the rest of the album is this good it will be better than the first one. Alas I overhyped the new album to myself because it didn’t quite reach the punch of the first album.

Don’t get me wrong this is still a phenomenal album. In my opinion Lzzy Hale is the best female rock musician since Joan Jett. She writes with a raw sexuality without being overly crude that some female artists do to overcompensate for not being male. This album has a lot of that but not as much as the first album.

Also when I bought the new album I thought it was too ballad heavy but the more I listened to the album the more I realized that some of the ballads are really really good.

The main reason that The Strange Case Of… isn’t as good as the first album is because it has more skippable tracks than the first album. On the first album there was only one song that I didn’t really care for. On this album There were two tracks that weren’t my cup of tea and one of them was a bonus track. I find the song American Boys, which is one of the skippable ones, reminds me too much of early 90s hair metal.

While it sounds that I am trashing this album this is not the case at all. Halestorm is one of the most entertaining bands I’ve listened to in quite a long time and The Strange Case Of… is definitely a hard rock album that not only kicks ass but will also having you waving your lighter in the air.

4 fedoras out of 5.

Now here they are with my favorite song off the album I Miss the Misery.

Columbine conspiracy theories, and one that involves me

This looks vaguely familiar

This looks vaguely familiar

13 COLUMBINE CONSPIRACY THEORIES:

Just in time for the 13th anniversary of Columbine TruTV in tasteless fashions released this slideshow about Columbine conspiracy theories. Of course to get more clicks for their website they take the trash TV stance that these conspiracies could be true. Let’s clear this up once and for all, there are no Columbine conspiracies. It is exactly how it appears. Two cowardly scumbags killed 13 people because they were egotistical selfish spoiled punks.

There was no 3rd shooter. Luvox didn’t cause the shootings. Police did not shoot any students. This was not retaliation against police for some kind of pedophile ring. Yeah, that’s an actual conspiracy theory believe it or not.

Conspiracy theories are for weak-minded people who will believe anything any crackpot tells them. They’re for people who simply can’t grasp the concept that sometimes horrible things happen for stupid reasons. They’re for people whose lives are so devoid of meaning that they have to fill the void with modern-day boogeymen.

As for the picture above you can see it on the 2nd page of the TruTV slideshow. That’s a screen grab of my original website back in 1997 which is fitting considering the slideshow and its misrepresentation of the facts feels like it was written in 1999.

TruTV’s slogan is “Not reality, actuality.” Which really means it’s not reality it’s just some bullshit we made up so suckers will watch our crappy shows.

Prolific MySpace predator Joshua Threlkeld sentenced to 100 years

Joshua Threlkeld

Joshua Threlkeld

For once the California justice system did not drop the ball as Joshua Threlkeld was sentenced to 100 years in prison.

Threlkeld posed on MySpace as a 14-year-old girl named Sarah Miller to gain the confidence of underage girls then convince them to model for her ‘friend’. Some of the girls were molested by Threlkeld and some of his child porn victims were as young as 11. His victims stretched far and wide across the country and went even as far as Canada and the UK. His victims may have even numbered in the 100 range mark.

As far as I can recollect Threlkeld has received the longest sentence for social network related crimes.

It would be great to see even more predators like Mr. Classy Neck Tattoo get sentences like this.