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Archive for May 26th, 2012

Censors tend to do what only psychotics do: they confuse reality with illusion.  –  David Cronenberg

Eleven updates and two metaupdates.

Japanese Prostitution (October 21st, 2010)

This is just so awesome:

alibi-ya provide women in the…sex industry with a reputable but totally fictitious identity…[using] things like fake business cards, references and employment certificates…[and] even…fake [bosses] for birthday speeches and other family events…Shintaro Sakamoto runs an alibi-ya in Tokyo.  “We provide assistance to mainly hostesses and prostitutes,” he said.  “We help them to rent apartments, and we help them get their kids into nursery schools”…[if] parents ring the office their daughter supposedly works at, the alibi-ya will be ready with the deception, explaining their daughter is in a meeting and will call back shortly.  The alibi-ya will then ring the woman’s mobile and tell her to call home.  Even the caller ID is fixed so it looks like the woman is calling from the landline in her fake office.  There is nothing illegal about the service…

Real People (February 6th, 2011)

Louise and Martine Fokkens are 69-year-old identical twins in Amsterdam who have worked as whores since the age of 19, owned their own brothel for a time and set up the first trade union for prostitutes.  A new documentary, Meet the Fokkens, looks at the colorful lives of these very unconventional ladies.

See No Evil (November 26th, 2011)

I only wish lunacy like this was confined to Sweden; unfortunately, it happens all over the West now:

…Simon Lundström was convicted of possessing child pornography…despite the fact the “manga images” used to convict him featured no real children…The punishment Lundström faces is relatively minor – a fine of around $780…but…still marks him as a sex offender…[plus he lost] his job [as a manga translator and]…can no longer offer his services as a “manga expert”…the prosecution…argued that the images could be used to entice children…and even went as far as to suggest the artists…could have used real children as models…

Sex, Lies and Busybodies (January 27th, 2012)

The Los Angeles City council has apparently begun to recognize that its stupid condom law is unenforceable:

The city administrative officer has asked for a 90-day extension…[citing] “complexities”…In recent weeks the…panel has heard from a contingent of vocal…industry officials who say the ordinance is faulty and unneeded…adult industry attorney…Allan Gelbard…[said] the…extension may give the panel more time to logically think things through.  “Perhaps, if they take a more thorough look at the constitutional issues involved…they will realize what a mistake…this ordinance truly was”…

The Immunity Syndrome (March 5th, 2012)

It now appears the damage done by “abstinence-only sex education” may be even worse than previously believed:

Sixty percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 may not truly understand how proper use of contraception can prevent pregnancy, according to a new study from the Guttmacher Institute, which reports abstinence-only sex education may be leaving young adults with a subpar understanding of sexual health.  Forty percent of respondents…said birth control was not important because “when it is your time to get pregnant, it will happen”…Although…69 percent of women and almost half of the men… agreed they were “committed to avoiding pregnancy,” they seemed to question whether contraceptive devices such as condoms or birth control pills were an effective way to achieve that goal…

Thou Shalt Not (March 6th, 2012)

Alas, the US does not have a monopoly on crypto-moralism:

…according to a study…in the…journal Pediatrics…young adults who listen to…music…with ear buds are almost twice as likely as non-listeners to smoke pot…And those who attend concerts or frequent dance clubs are nearly six times as likely as homebodies to go on a binge-drinking bender.  These findings are based on survey results collected from 944 low-income students…in the Netherlands…[who] ranged in age from 15 to 25…Risky music-listening behavior was defined as listening to music at 89 dBA for at least an hour per day…That music exposure can cause noise-induced hearing loss…[and] “increased feelings of isolation, depression, loneliness, anger, and fear”…But that’s not where the health risks end.  The researchers found that…those who put themselves at risk…were:

* 1.99 times more likely to [have] used cannabis in the last four weeks;
* 1.19 times more likely to smoke cigarettes daily; and
* 1.10 times more likely to have sex without using a condom every time.

…those who put themselves at risk by attending noisy concerts and clubs were:

* 5.94 times more likely to have consumed five or more alcoholic drinks in a row at some point in the last four weeks;
* 2.03 times more likely to have sex without using a condom every time; and
* 1.12 times more likely to smoke cigarettes every day.

…The researchers…say…public health officials…could design practical interventions, such as handing out condoms along with earplugs at concert venues, or by printing messages about alcohol abuse on concert ticket stubs…

Remember, kids, rock and roll is dangerous!  But at least it can’t make you as clueless as people who actually get paid to write rubbish like this, or who publish articles about adult behavior in a magazine for pediatricians.

Feet of Clay (April 5th, 2012)

Walter Olson on Nick Kristof’s latest exercise in fatuity:

Is there a New York Times columnist as insufferably moralistic, or as neglectful of facts that contradict his argument, as Nicholas Kristof?  Last week Kristof mounted yet another of his high-horse save-the-children campaigns, this time against…Anheuser-Busch.  Kristof asks readers to join his boycott of the leading brewer for…permitting its output to be sold…just across the state line from the Oglala Sioux’s Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.  Though notionally dry, the reservation is in practice wracked with alcoholism…Unlike Kristof’s  column and blog post, the Times‘ earlier reporting on the dispute at least makes a few concessions about how the tribe’s alcoholism…has more complicated origins than [a new] lawsuit would make it seem.  For example, it quotes Oglala members who say the unusual Pine Ridge policy of complete alcohol prohibition…has been a failure…Kristof by contrast appears to have swallowed the lawsuit’s contentions in one hearty draft…

Olson goes on to point out that under Nebraska law, brewers have no control over distribution of their product by state-licensed wholesalers; in other words Anheuser-Busch couldn’t stop beer from being sold near the reservation even if it shared Kristof’s belief that “enlightened” white people should “protect” childlike non-whites from their own choices.

Much Ado About Nothing (April 18th, 2012)

I hope this keeps up; if they fire every government operative who has ever hired a whore, the few remaining bureaucrats will be too busy filling out forms to have any time to intrude in the private lives of citizens:

Three Drug Enforcement Administration agents are under investigation for allegedly hiring prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia…Sen. Susan Collins…[said] “It’s disturbing that we may be uncovering a troubling culture that spans more than one law enforcement agency…the evidence…indicates that this likely was not just a one-time incident”…

Senator Collins, that is the understatement of the century.

Little Boxes (April 29th, 2012)

Amanda Brooks has a knack for discovering oddities like “Fake Internet Girlfriend”, which describes itself as “a service that allows our clients to discreet [sic] employ real females to pretend to be their girlfriend online and communicate with them as if they were dating the person on various social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter or in some cases in gaming communities like World of Warcraft.”  So if it’s more important to you to look like you have a girlfriend than to just use that money to actually have sex (which could potentially relax you enough that you might actually attract a real girlfriend), this is for you.  Of course they insist that they aren’t an escort service, and I‘ll grant that…but honestly, isn’t this on the periphery of sex work?  It’s not at all unusual for a client to pay a girl just to have someone to talk to or to be seen with in public, with no sex involved; is this so different?

Pyrrhic Victory (May 17th, 2012)

For those who felt I was being an alarmist about drones:

…Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in Texas…is considering using rubber bullets and tear gas on its drone…“It’s simply not appropriate to use any of force, lethal or non-lethal, on a drone,” [said] Catherine Crump [of the ACLU]…“An officer at a remote location…[Tasing or targeting] people…[could be considered] unconstitutional force…”

Today, remotely-piloted aircraft armed with tasers and tear gas; tomorrow autonomous killer robots with machine guns.  And y’all thought that was just dystopian science fiction.

Traffic Jam
(May 20th, 2012)

Phoenix, Arizona joins the “major sex trafficking hotspot” competition, implements a version of the Swedish Model and violates the separation of church and state in one fell swoop:  “…Phoenix has become a hot spot for sex trafficking in part because we’re a destination point and our major highways…Rather than arrest sex trafficking victims, Project Rose enables officers to bring them to Bethany Bible Church…” where they get all these wonderful services as long as they claim to be “trafficked” and invent a bunch of “leads” to keep the police happy.  Look for the creative claim that “trafficked children” are kept in “dog crates” to show up in more trafficking porn over the next few months.

In this article I also pointed out that the practice of young female gang members contributing to gang finances via prostitution is now being called “sex trafficking”, and as Emi Koyama explained in a recent post about a public forum on the topic, the government recognizes the truth:

…a [government] representative…was invited to make a statement, which she was completely unprepared for…she slipped the information that confirmed what many activists knew was the case but most government experts were smart enough to conceal:  that the U.S. Attorney’s Office views domestic minor sex trafficking as “primarily gang-related,” and has moved the issue to its “gang unit”; transnational human trafficking on the other hand was moved to the civil rights unit…human trafficking is becoming yet another way for young men of color to be criminalized and imprisoned…

Metaupdates

Backwards into the Future in TW3 (#6) (February 19th, 2012)

Once again, Namibians prove that they understand human rights better than Americans do:

The Executive Director of…Rights Not Rescue, Nicodemus ‘Mama Africa’ Aochamub says…”we are thankful that Kazenambo Kazenambo [a government minister who called for legalization of sex work] is brave to stand up for us, but we…prefer that sex work be decriminalised…With legalising, we will work under municipal laws such as registration…red-light districts and [forced]…medical checks [and] identification cards…Time has come for sex work to be regarded like any other employment”…

Sales Pitch in TW3 (#9) (March 4th, 2012)

Wendy Lyon on what a “sex trafficking” trial reveals about the “Swedish Model”:

…last week several men were convicted for what Swedish prosecutors have called one of the largest trafficking rings of its kind…You can read…about it herehere and here…but there are a couple things…worth drawing attention to.  The first is…[that “there was no lack of buyers”]…one of the women…[said] she had seven or eight customers on her very first night.  This doesn’t say much for the supposed deterrent effect of the sex purchase ban.  The second is the breakdown of [clients’] ages…36% were born in the 1960s, 21% in the 1970s and 30% in the 1980s…nearly a third…were teenagers when the ban was introduced in 1999:  further evidence (as I discussed here) that it hasn’t had the normative effect it was supposed to have on younger men.  The 17-year-old’s conviction is interesting for another reason…Sweden’s age of majority is 18, which means that he is legally still a child…The ideology underlying the sex purchase ban is that women cannot choose to sell sex; evidently, however, Swedish law considers that male children…can choose to buy it.  In other words, when it comes to trading sex for money, adult women are less competent than male children.  Could there be any clearer illustration of how this law infantilises women?

One Year Ago Today

Chupacabra” compares the truth about pimps to their oversized legend.

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