Monday, January 23, 2012

How To Run A Smear Campaign, The Sequel: Have Cal-OSHA Employees Been Trolling Porn Sites Propagandizing For Condom Mandate?? Is Water Wet??

Not that this will be a big blockbusting surprise to you all, but it does stir the pot a bit.

Over at The Real Pornwikileaks, Sean Tompkins has just dropped an article there, citing "a well placed source" which charges that employees of Cal-OSHA, the state agency responsible for maintaining health and safety standards, were not quite as non-partisan as they are sworn to be regarding proposed regulations concerning "barrier protection" within porn shoots.

Actually, it's more like Cal-OSHA officials actively colluding with advocates for mandatory condoms such as Michael Weinstein's AIDS Healthcare Foundation, even going as far as anonymously and pseudomonsly posting pro-condom mandate propaganda on various porn websites and message boards.

Keep in mind that Cal-OSHA is currently in the process of drawing up new regulations involving the transmission of "infectious materials" in the production of adult films, of which part of the new proposed standards would include mandatory condoms for most if not all penetrative sex acts, dental dams for oral sex acts amongst female performers, and other forms of "protection" such as goggles, gloves, and other forms of protection for "bloodborne pathogens". (An addendum to those regulations would exempt oral sex from the mandate, but only under the conditions of rigorous testing and vaccination, with expensive follow up by a verified physcian.) This is totally independent of the successful campaign by AHF to induce the LA city council to pass into law their "condom mandate" bill which would require all porn shoots getting FilmLA permits to go condom only.

Now, some of you would have guessed that Cal-OSHA was in on the fix all along, considering the paternalistic attitude that folk like safety officer Deborah Gold showed at that classic June 7th hearing of theirs, when plenty of performers showed up to defend their right to their own choice of protection and to question why this was needed in the first place.

But, if that still wasn't enough to convince you of the gross collusion between Cal-OSHA and the AHF, perhaps this will seal your concerns:


FSC has been endeavoring to work with the Standards Board to develop new, industry-appropriate regulations to replace those haphazardly applied to the adult industry years ago absent any consultation with industry leaders. But many observers within the adult community have long believed that the fix is in.

This view was bolstered by the recent leak of a cache of AHF emails that seem to indicate a cozy relationship between AHF and Cal/OSHA officials.

The emails include references to Cal/OSHA records being sent to AHF, as well as apparent assurances by OSHA leaders that the process was tilted in favor of AHF’s agenda.

A May 24, 2011 email, from AHF attorney Brian Chase to Weinstein, indicates that, while Senior Safety Engineer Deborah Gold and attorney Amy Martin, confided they were “not at all happy about” a motion made by L.A. councilman Richard Alarcon that sought to create a mechanism of local enforcement for workplace standards for porn, the two Cal/OSHA leaders nonetheless “confirmed that the new Chief [Ellen Widess] is onboard with adding a specific [Cal/OSHA] regulation requiring condoms in the production of adult films.”

Weinstein then asked, “Will Jim Clark be the attorney for Cal/OSHA? If so we may have to educate him on the employer/employee relationship between performers and producers.”

If the latest reports are true, elements within Cal/OSHA have already made up their mind about what’s best for the porn industry, and have taken to porn news and gossip sites to spread pro-AHF rhetoric.
That would be these emails, folks.

The TRPWL article goes on to list the names of Cal-OSHA officials who might be trolling for propaganda; I'll simply refer you to their article for finding out if you've been buttonholed or shook down. I just wonder how much money Weinstein's giving them under the table...if you catch me drift.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Condom Mandate Now Officially Law In LA: Revelations And Repercussions

[Updated -- scroll to bottom.]

I know that this page should be blank today in solidarity with the ongoing protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (and it's only slightly less noxious cousin, the Protect IP Act. But fuck it...this is too damn important not to comment on.

Yesterday, the LA City Council completed their collusion deal with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the Cal-OSHA bureaucrats and finally passed into law the condom mandate legislation.

This was done mostly to ward off the "threat" of an initiative vote that would have taken place this coming June, but mostly, it was done so that a legal industry and its talent could be abused and used as free cannon fodder and a cash cow for the profits of Michael Weinstein, the condom companies, and the Religious Right.

Naturally, Weinstein and his allies in this are now crowing loud about how this new legislation will be the ultimate push in "protecting" porn talent from dangerous and deadly diseases, and that rumors that the industry will simply pick up their roots and leave LA are simply overblown...and besides that, as he so abruptly put it: "Wherever they go, we will find them."

And just as naturally, certain liberal elitist "sex positive" intellectuals and avant garde pornographers are also hailing this ruling as a victory for "common sense", because merely jamming condoms and dental dams down the throats of performers is merely, according to them, the equivalent of forcing motorcycle riders to wear helmets or automobile drivers to wear safety belts..in short, just a necessary and slightly uncomfortable intervention to save lives.

(And yes, that "liberal elitist sex positive" smack is coming from a even more leftist sex positive, so don't assume stuff.)

So, once again, a community of sexual dissidents are used as a stepping stone and a disposable rack by supposedly well meaning "liberals" and "communitarians" to line their pockets with cash and puff up their paternalistic and maternalistic credentials...and the targets and guinea pigs are treated as less than human and unable to even think enough for themselves to be asked their opinion on the "benelovent" ones who used trumpted up scandals and faked "panics" to seal their power grab.

But do they really think that this condom mandate will really work to meet their "objectives" of "role modeling" porn consumers to use condoms more?? Really??

If decades of condom advocacy in the general society as well as free and inexpensive access to condoms in the civilian world has not done much to increase its usage, then how in the hell do these fools think that mandating every porn scene with them will succeed any better?

If it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt time and time again that porn consumers will fundamentally reject sex scenes with condoms because they prefer unwrapped sex, then how in the hell will this legislation, if enforced, lead to anything other than legal businesses being forced out of business, and the tube site/bitTorrent underground of illegal porn piracy getting new leases on life? (Especially with the new XXX domain available for the looting??)

If it is proven that FilmLA, the permitting agency for movie shoots in LA, is simply not fitted to enforce this cockamamey scheme, then who exactly will??  The LAPD, via raids like they had in the pre-Freeman days?? A special "condom squad" of Shelley Lubben's ex-sluts or disaffected and paid AHF agents, squawking around every porn venue for any signs of unwrapped dick or undammed lesbian 69?? Cal-OSHA?? (A state agency enforcing a local city ordinance?? Bureaucracy creep much??) Or, maybe, AHF can simply use that $50-per-year fee now imposed on porn producers and talent to pay their own snitches to monitor grown adults to enforce the condom mandate?? (Course, the idea of relying on the very people you are driving out to pay for driving them out might seem a bit contradictory, but moral sex panics aren't known mostly for their deep thought of consequences.

If most porn production has already been outsourced out of LA to other venues, or, even more important, transferred to mostly homemade porn sites out of private homes, then what's to prevent the new Safe Sex Commisars from attempting to extend their reign of "protection" to private homes? Will we see the LAPD now invade Streamate or Cam Central camshows in order to embarrass performers into compliance with the mandate?

And what about the testing regime for STD's that has been crafted first by AIM and now by APHSS, which will now be essentially torched in favor of the "condoms first, don't ask questions later" policy. (And remember, because California law does not allow employers or employees to force anyone to reveal their HIV status, there can be no more testing along with condoms, so a condom breakage is the only thing standing between porn performers and a major HIV outbreak.  But never fear, because you can trust AHF to provide nothing but the utmost care for those now at even greater risks.)

I'm pretty sure that the lawsuits are already being prepared to overturn this law, and that actions are already being taken by the companies and the talent to either fight this full scale or begin the process of pulling up shop. But, one thing is definitely for certain; this new "Weinstein Model" of porn "protection" will work about as well in really representing porn talent as the Swedish Model of sex work regulation is doing for prostitutes.  And by "about as well" I really mean "not bloody well".

Congratulations are in store though, Mr. Weinstein. You pulled your political punches well. So, what will you do when the next real HIV porn panic resulting from acts like your boy Derrick Burts screwing off camera and removing his condom??  Or, from girls like Desi Foxx contracting HIV from side escorting and still being allowed to do porn work..and subsequenly infecting others because the condom broke??

From this day forward, Mikey, you can't blame AIM, or Larry Flynt. Anyone gets infected, it's all on your ass. You built the house of straw, now live in it and take the consequences.

Update: If nothing else scares you absolutely shitless about this new law, this comment by prominent porn attorney Michael Fattorosi (aka "Pornlaw") absolutely should. Quoted from this latest article from XBiz.com:


Attorney Michael Fattorosi, who represents numerous adult industry clients, said the ruling raises the possibility that a designated vice squad could be reassembled to investigate adult shoots.


“I fear that LAPD may be directed to resurrect a dormant unit of the Valley Vice Squad,” Fattorosi said. “Several years ago LAPD Vice had a unit devoted to investigating non-permitted adult film shoots. 

Many of the more popular shoot locations were well known to the unit. The undercover officers would often gain entry to sets posing as a driver and female talent by knocking and stating at the door they were there for the next scene.
 
“They were often let into the set by one of the crew or other performers not realizing they were undercover officers. On rare occasions, uniformed officers would even jump fences and enter the shoot location through unlocked rear doors. Once in, they showed their badges and started to take the names of everyone on set and even confiscate tapes and hard drives as evidence.”
That would be the same LAPD that was used to harrass porn producers during the bad old days before the Freeman decision liberated porn production in California. The very same vice squad that used to terrorize performers and producers alike.

And the very same squad that busted gay porn with even more enthusiasm.  You know, the very same gay porn that uses condoms. The very same gay male porn whose standards of no-testing and dependence on condoms will now be imposed on the "straight" porn industry. Using...the very same damn people who wanted to shut down porn entirely, not just enforce condoms.

Protect performers??  MY ASS!!!

(Aside note: that reference to Desi Foxx was meant to be only an example of a fictional scenario.  As far as I know, she's NOT HIV+.)



Thursday, January 12, 2012

How To Run A Smear Campaign: The AHF War On Porn..Errrrrrrr...Condom Mandate Campaign EXPOSED Via Email Dump

Yesterday morning, when I posted that the LA City Council had given preliminary approval to the proposed condom mandate legislation, I wondered whether there would be any push back from people opposed to this legislation.

Well, last night, the push came back. Did it ever.

After logging in from work, I happened to notice an email from which forwarded me to a site called Pastebin.com, which in itself featured a long series of email discussions and exchanges involving some key figures in the whole condom mandate campaign amongst AHF, Cal-OSHA, Shelley Lubben's Pink Cross Foundation, various media types, and a few individuals also affected or involved in the whole campaign. Needless to say, the reading was interesting and illuminating, to say the least.

The emails go from around April of 2010, when AHF was initiating and expanding their efforts to shut down AIM through nuisance lawsuits and forced government action, to September of last year, in the midst of the last HIV "outbreak" and the initiation of the LA city condom mandate ordinance. Mostly, it's internal communication between AHF President Michael Weinstein and legal counsel Brian Chase, and their media contingent attempting to exploit ongoing events to sell their campaign.

However, the sideshow action accompanying the main event is rather intriguing in and of itself. Appearences include: Shelley Lubben attempting to nose herself and her org in on the promotion, while AHF attempts to keep her at arms length, for the obvious reasons; former performer Tim Tirch (aka "Joe Know") playing the role of the whistleblower, even though he ultimately can't deliver the goods; Diane Grundmaison ("Desi Foxx") as the test case sacrificial lamb for undoing AIM, her pimping out her own daughter at Nevada brothels aside; Molly Hennessy-Fiske, reporter for the LA Times, doing her best to propangandize for AHF; and Derrick Burts, bi/gay Rentboy model and "Patient Zeta" for the 2010 "outbreak", pleading for money to get out of his probation problems.

The most interesting and shocking moment for me comes when Desi (nee' "Dee Grandmason") attempts to bring in Donny Long's posting of a faked up HIV+ test of retired porn actress Mercedes Ashley...and Weinstein and Chase treat it as actual legitimate test and even solicits to recruit Ashley to the cause!!!  Never mind that Ashley not only refuted that charge, but countered with her own HIV test which proved negative.

There are the funnier points, too: Chase mumbling about the Ministress trying to muscle in on their operation and score some promotional points at AHF's expense; DBurts being mocked for soliciting money from the "Bail Twinks Out Of Jail" account; Weinstein bitching at a Canadian TV program for "favoring" Nina Hartley over Darren James in their coverage of the 2010 "outbreak"; Lubben lobbing the charge at LukeIsBack.com that they allowed "known bondage film producer who promotes violence against women" Ernest Greene to post comments against them (I guess she forgot that Ernest is the husband of Nina "contracted chlamydia 4 times" Hartley, right??)...etc., etc.

But please, don't take my word for it. Just go over to Pastebin.com and take a looksee for yourself.

Or, if you wish, just go over to my Red Garter Club blog, where I have posted as a special page a slightly redacted copy of the email dump.

BTW...Michael Whiteacre has posted a nice analysis/timeline relating the emails to the ensuing events over at LukeIsBack.com; Part 1 can be found here, Part 2, here.

A point of clarification: there may have been the implication that since I had originally learned of the Pastebin.com article from Michael Whiteacre, he must have been one of those responsible for the release of the data. That is entirely FALSE, and I can vouch to the fact that he himself was forwarded the link from others, whom also emailed me; and that is his ONLY involvement regarding this matter.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

LA Porn Panic 2012: The Requiem - LA City Council Clears Way For Condom Mandate Bill...The End Or The Beginning?

Sorry that I've been away this past few weeks, but other business took precedence.

But, this latest is enough to bring me back, and it's a blockbuster.

It seems that Michael Weinstein and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation finally got their way with the Los Angeles City Council in his attempt to bypass his own initiative for mandating condoms on porn shoots.

You will remember originally that the LA City Attorney's office had filed suit to block the proposed initiative from being sent to the voters in LA in June, citing legal and financial issues.

Well, all that money that AHF sent to the LA City Council got them some results, because they were able to browbeat the Attorney's office to dismiss their suit and tenatively pass their own legislation mandating condoms in porn shoots through approvals through FilmLA.

Here's how the Huffington Post wrote the story (via LukeIsBack.com):


LOS ANGELES — An ordinance that would require porn actors to wear condoms during film shoots was tentatively approved by the City Council on Tuesday.
The council voted 11-1 for the proposal. The ordinance still requires a second vote next week for final approval.
Under the ordinance, porn producers would have to provide and require the use of condoms on set in order to obtain permits to film in the nation’s second-largest city.
Approval of the ordinance would supersede a proposed ballot initiative by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The group has long advocated for mandatory condom use in adult films and urged council members to approve the ordinance.
"This long struggle to move us to a place of making Los Angeles a safe place to make adult films has taken a huge leap forward today," said foundation President Michael Weinstein, referring to advocacy work and legal attempts to create a mandate for condoms in porn and to enforce it.
 [...]
The council also agreed to form a group comprised of law enforcement, state occupational safety regulators, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and other stakeholders to hammer out how to enforce the new rules.
The council also voted unanimously to drop a lawsuit filed by the city attorney against the foundation aimed at stopping its proposed ballot measure.

 I'm assuming that "other stakeholders" will NOT include actual porn performers who will be forced under this potential law to wear condoms against their stated will or be denied their paychecks and livelihoods, right??

As for that lawsuit?  Well, it was dropped when AHF reached a deal where they would pay the legal fees for any challenges to the law forthcoming, releasing the LA City Council from any liability.

In other words, the fix was in from the very beginning, and AHF's economic might and capacity for bribery ultimately carried the day...or at least, will when the proposal gets final approval next week.

So...does this mean the beginning of the end for porn production in Los Angeles?? Will the major companies (VIVID, Wicked, DP, and so on) simply adjust to the new regime and once again condomize their performers?? Will other companies simply uproot to new venues or simply go overseas to less stringent regulatory markets, leaving performers fundamentally to the whims of the underground?

What about the replacement of the testing regime that has basically worked well to contain STI panics with a "just wear the damn condom, and trust it not to break" mentality that generates huge bucks for Lifestyles and Durex, but puts performers at even greater risks??  (Remember, they won't be able once the new condom regime kicks in to inquire whether or not their partner is HIV+ or not, thanks to California anti-HIV+ discrimination law.)

And, how about the total undermining of all the work done to fight against porn piracy...because we all know that the majority of fans wanting bareback porn will go to great extents to get it...and if they won't get it through legitimate channels, they will just go through free tube sites and bitTorrents and message boards.

But it gets worse....if AHF is genuinely serious about their stated goal of protecting people from STI's through massive condom usage, then how in the hell do they enforce the law against home-grown porn websites or simply people using their own camphones and websites to put out bareback sex?? Will we ultimately get a "condom police squad" raiding the Internet and targeting sites which don't wrap their schlongs?? Or, maybe, they team up with the dotXXX folk and announce legislation that forces all uncondomized sex portrayals into the .XXX domain under threat of censorship or jail time?? (Thus making lots of instant bank for both AHF AND ICM.)

I'm so sure that some of the more elitist "sex-positive" liberal gurus (Violet Blue, Dr. Gloria Brame, Tony Comstock) and the more avant garde porn artistes (Mike South) will welcome this new age of "safer sex protection", since they will be the ones most likely to profit from more mainstream porn getting smashed. And, I'm just as certain that certain antiporn "activists" (yes, Ministress, I'm looking straight at you), are practically creaming in their blessed panties in anticipation of the new potential of fresh recruits when performers are forced underground into far more dangerous venues to make their livelihood.

In the meantime...if I was a porn addict...ahhhh, I mean, porn connisseur, I'd seriously start investing on some external hard drives..the more space, the better. All the more to store up all that old porn that you will have to do with once wrapped sex becomes the rule.

Happy Freakin' New Year, indeed.