The trouble with this country is that there are too many politicians who believe, with a conviction based on experience, that you can fool all of the people all of the time. - Franklin Pierce Adams
The last part of our monthly roundup of short news stories that remind me of past columns.
A Tale That Grew in the Telling (April 2nd, 2011)
Like children playing a game of “Chinese Whispers”, fanatics repeat statistics that were weak or bogus to begin with, warping them into more and more fantastic shapes with each iteration. The Estes & Weiner study used very questionable methodology to state that “100,000-300,000 American children and youth are at risk of sexual exploitation” based on such perilous circumstances as having their own cars or living near the Canadian or Mexican borders. “Youth” was undefined, but included people old enough to work legally in bars or strip clubs, so I’m guessing they meant the 18-20 range. The authors also included statistics which showed that the average underage prostitute enters the trade at 16, then in their text erroneously stated the average as 12-14, absurdly contradicting their own data!
These shaky statistics were then distorted again and again; “at risk” became “currently involved in”, “sexual exploitation” became “sex trafficking”, “children and youth” became “children”, and the wildly erroneous underage prostitution guess was added to the mixture to produce the often-heard myth that “100,000-300,000 children are trafficked for sex in the United States, and the average age at which they enter prostitution is 12-14”. But it didn’t stop there; oh, no! Soon “each year” was added, and the idea that child prostitutes started at 12-14 was replaced by the idea that the average “child sex slave” is currently 12-14. By March the fanatics were stating that “100,000 – 300,000 children between the ages of 12 and 14 years old are victims of the child sex trade in this country”, and now it’s taken another step; this absurd article (which was called to my attention by regular reader Iain D) claims that there are 27 million people “trapped in modern-day slavery” (for comparison, that’s 5 million more than the entire population of Australia and almost half that of the UK) and that “The average age of sex workers is a saddening 12-14 years old.” Shades of Melissa Farley! Actually, I’m glad their declarations are growing so outrageous; not only is it a fascinating sociological study, it also accelerates the day when the whole house of cards comes crashing down. Already, “human trafficking” researchers themselves are talking about a “credibility gap” in even official government “human trafficking” figures, so it’s only a matter of time before this hysteria goes the way of the “Satanic Panic”.
August Updates, Part Two (August 4th, 2011)
In this update to the earlier “Against Their Will” I reported South Korean whores’ massive protests against the persecution inflicted on them to satisfy American state department propaganda. Here’s a short item published in Huffington Post on September 22nd, which features eight pictures of a recent protest by 1600 workers; note the odd inclusion of the pejorative “pimp” (presumably used to mean “brothel owner”) as I pointed out in the previous article.
Give It a Rest (August 18th, 2011)
The organized crime rackets which do business as “the police” in Texas continue their campaign of terror against scantily dressed women; this time, forty cops in Edinburgh, Texas literally committed armed robbery of a strip club (as reported in The Monitor on September 12th):
About 40 police officers descended on [Jaguars Gold Club]…looking for drugs…[they] did not find any…but took about $1,500 in cash and another $8,000 worth of club “tokens”…Jaguars’ owners filed suit against the city Aug. 26, accusing it and [Police Chief Rolando] Castañeda of attempting to strong-arm the all-nude club out of business. They ask for monetary damages and for property seized by police to be returned.
For years, the club…sat outside the city limits. But as Edinburg expanded, it eventually annexed the property…[which now] violates several of the city’s development codes. But because it first existed in rural Hidalgo County, the establishment is grandfathered in and may continue to operate…Jaguars’ owners maintain its problems came “Once Castañeda assumed the position of the city’s police chief…unable to close down Jaguars on zoning grounds, he began a campaign to eradicate” the club…[It] began in late May, when three marked police units staked out the nude club for three nights…to intimidate potential customers…[then in] August…dozens of officers swarmed the club…zip-tied each person’s hands…and handcuffed Tony Hadaway, the club’s manager…Beyond taking the cash and club tokens, officers allegedly seized laptop and tablet computers, backpacks and one manager’s wallet. Hadaway asked officers to keep an inventory list of the seized items, which “they declined to do and have never done,” the lawsuit states. A second manager’s wallet was seized and never returned…
In other words, the city invaded and stole the land on which an established business already existed, and because it can’t force that business to abide by its arbitrary rules has simply decided to force it out of operation instead by frightening away its employees and clientele and robbing the owners blind. So much for the “rule of law”.
Tyranny By Consensus (September 1st, 2011)
In this column I reported the latest attempt by Michael Weinstein and his “AIDS Healthcare Foundation” to force porn performers to use condoms whether they like it or not, even if such use would create more problems than it solved. Following that article regular reader Marla posted a very informative comment in which she called attention to this video called AHF: Follow the Money which reveals a few things Weinstein would prefer people didn’t know:
Michael Weinstein of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is a man with an agenda, and it’s got nothing to do with public health…Weinstein opposes government funding of research to cure AIDS; instead, [he] wants those billions of government dollars to be diverted toward treatment and prevention services, the kind that he and his organization provides. Michael Weinstein and AHF even sued Pfizer over Viagra, alleging it encouraged risky sexual behavior…after Pfizer turned down his multi-million dollar funding request…Weinstein is an opportunist who shamelessly exploits the misfortunes of others. When news hit that a single adult industry performer had tested positive for HIV, Weinstein revealed his plan to make the world a better place by demanding that adult performers be required by law to wear condoms. And which AHF supporter provided the picket signs for AHF’s protests outside the Hustler Hollywood store? LifeStyles Condoms. Want to know the key to Weinstein’s real agenda? Follow the money. Michael Weinstein sure does.
I have maintained since the beginning of this “controversy” that the porn actors themselves should be allowed to decide what’s best for them, so you may be interested in the viewpoint of porn actress Lorelei Lee on Weinstein’s latest shenanigans, published in Tits and Sass on September 19th. She explains how the AIM system (which was closed down by a lawsuit from AHF) kept performers safe, and points out that:
…at least half of the positive HIV tests that Weinstein touts as being ‘proof’ of the need for a condom mandate occurred due to circumstances in the performers’ private lives. Mandatory on-set condom use would not change this…six positive tests in ten years, among thousands of performers in hundreds of thousands of shoots, strikes me as a shockingly low number…we don’t know how safe or unsafe we are as adult film performers because we don’t have comparable statistics from other populations.
Her conclusion says it all: “How dare Michael Weinstein claim that we as an industry have shown a disregard for each other’s health and safety? His is the only outrageous disregard I’ve seen exhibited lately.”
To Spite Their Faces (September 6th, 2011)
Leftover second-wave feminists are desperately trying to keep women from moving forward, rediscovering their femininity and abandoning the sex war aggressively promoted by neofeminists for decades. So it’s no surprise that feminist journalists have tried to trash Dr. Catherine Hakim’s reputation in order to discourage women from reading her new book, Erotic Capital, which advises them to use their natural advantages. What’s sad is that, as reported in this column, the Guardian gave two of them a pulpit from which to spout their hatred. Fortunately, the Sunday Times had more sense and invited Dr. Hakim to write a response to those criticisms; it was published in the Sunday Times Style magazine on September 11th under the title “Know Your Assets”, but since no online copy is available Dr. Hakim kindly provided me with this copy, which I have stored in PDF form for my readers.
One Year Ago Today
“All in the Family” examines the relationships between escorts and their relatives, which range from the strained to the supportive.