Saturday, April 7, 2012

Saturday Morning News (Jobs, Palin, Brothel Tourism)

Posted by on Sat, Apr 7, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Disappointing: The U.S. economy added only 120,000 jobs in March - dipping from bigger gains in the preceding three months. The unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent to 8.2 percent.

"If only Sarah Palin had run ...": "She'd have the nomination sewn up by now" and "she'd be running even in the polls with the president." Thus spake young British historian Timothy Stanley. Tim, this is not funny.

It's not over yet: Santorum is only taking an Easter break, he will return to the election trail Tuesday.

End Prop 7? Two men behind a tough California execution law passed in 1978 are now trying to repeal it. They are advocating for mandatory life without parole.

"We started with 300 on death row when we did Prop 7, and we now have over 720 — and it’s cost us $4 billion," one of them told the Times.

Joyce Banda: Sworn in as Malawi's president - first female head of a state in southern Africa.

Brothel Tourism: Prostitution booms in Spain while the rest of the country's economy struggles, making the country a "go-to" destination for sex tourism.

"The young used to go to discos. But now they go to brothels. It's just another form of entertainment to them," says a civil rights counselor in Barcelona.

Cornish won't give Mike Daisey honorary degree: Daisey responds.

Sunshine! Today!

And, in case you have ever wondered, this is what happens when a helicopter crashes.

 

Comments (35) RSS

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1
Interesting juxtaposition of Palin with brothel in the headline. It suits her.
Posted by StuckInUtah on April 7, 2012 at 9:56 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 2

In the past, most customers were middle-aged men. But the boom here, experts say, is powered in large part by the desires of young men — many of them traveling in packs for the weekend — taking advantage of Europe’s cheap and nearly seamless travel.


A SLOG story where "young people" are the criminals...what prompted that?

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on April 7, 2012 at 10:03 AM · Report this
3
No, it's over for Santorum.

And I don't think there's anything criminal about patronizing a legal sex business. Sex may be criminal for some people, but it's not criminal as a business model according to Spanish law.

Man, they've come a long way from the era of Franco.
Posted by floater on April 7, 2012 at 10:32 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 4
@3, the real story there isn't whether it's illegal or illegal, or even that business is booming. It's that most of the prostitutes have been forced into that life against their will.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on April 7, 2012 at 10:37 AM · Report this
Roma 5
Ron Briggs looks like an older (and whiter) version of Alejandro Escovedo.

Although I'm not opposed to capital punishment on moral grounds, I'm fine with life-without-parole in place of it as long as it's truly life-without-parole. I think one of the reasons that many people support capital punishment is that it assures that the slime will never ooze back into society.
Posted by Roma on April 7, 2012 at 10:44 AM · Report this
6
@4
Isn't whether it is legal or not the key factor in whether someone who is forced into it has any options?

If it is legal then it can be regulated and taxed and inspected. The women have a legal recourse. They are not the criminals.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 7, 2012 at 10:54 AM · Report this
7
Personally, I'm on the fence about whether prostitution should be legal or not. In theory, legal, above board prostitution should be OK. On the other hand, it sounds as though European countries that have loosened restrictions on prostitution have only made the problems associated with the sex industry worse.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on April 7, 2012 at 10:56 AM · Report this
8
@6, thank you.
Posted by gloomy gus on April 7, 2012 at 10:57 AM · Report this
9
@6 "If it is legal then it can be regulated and taxed and inspected. The women have a legal recourse. They are not the criminals."

That's the theory, but, based on that NYT article, it doesn't seem to be working out that way. Not in Spain at any rate.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on April 7, 2012 at 11:04 AM · Report this
10
@9
I would recommend reading beyond that single story. It does not appear that Spain has gotten to the "regulated and taxed and inspected" point yet. Their laws have not caught up to the reality of legal prostitution.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 7, 2012 at 11:21 AM · Report this
Vince 11
Illegal costs taxpayers billions in enforcement. Legal makes money and pays taxes. It will always be those two choices because it will never go away.
Posted by Vince on April 7, 2012 at 12:45 PM · Report this
12
@11 Prostitution can never be completely eradicated, but we can have less of it or more of it depending on what laws we have on the books and how they are enforced. Since 1999 Sweden has focused enforcement efforts on locking up the men who pay for sex instead of the women who sell it. This has resulted in a 40% reduction in the number of persons practicing the oldest profession in that country. You can read more about that here:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-…

Posted by Ken Mehlman on April 7, 2012 at 1:44 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 13
I don't care at all when two consenting adults have sex. And I don't care if one of the adults pays the other adult in the process. I only care if it involves children or if it is non-consentual. The exchange of money does not render it non-consentual. Therefore, prostitution should be legal.

Most of the problems I see with prostitution: pimps, disease, crime, violence, coercion or outright slavery... are almost all either caused by or made worse by the fact that it is illegal and underground.

Posted by Reverse Polarity on April 7, 2012 at 3:19 PM · Report this
Vince 14
@12 Ridiculous. That's no solution at all. Men should not be stigmatised for paying for sex. This is jailing people who are productive members of society. Absurd.
Posted by Vince on April 7, 2012 at 3:21 PM · Report this
oh, THAT 15
BTW, the Guardian story on the actor slashing his throat is from 2008. Great story though!
Posted by oh, THAT on April 7, 2012 at 3:33 PM · Report this
16
Hey, the dollar is a piece of shit, too.

I wouldn't be surprised if the U.S. gets a certain amount of sex tourism from the international oligarchy.
Posted by judybrowni on April 7, 2012 at 4:01 PM · Report this
17
Melee at Remo Borrachini's Bakery in the Rainier Valley between extortionists and customers.
Posted by POH on April 7, 2012 at 5:33 PM · Report this
18
@13 The Netherlands has had legal, licensed brothels since 2000, yet this has done little to curb the abusive practices of the sex industry.

http://www.economist.com/node/12516582
Posted by Ken Mehlman on April 7, 2012 at 7:20 PM · Report this
19
@6, even legalized, taxed, and regulated, it is still very possible for someone to be coerced into that life against their will.

santorum on spring break. Hopefully someone remembers to tip housekeeping.
Posted by catballou on April 7, 2012 at 7:33 PM · Report this
20
@18, that's a very interesting article, especially the later bits that go beyond the fact you picked out.
Posted by gloomy gus on April 7, 2012 at 10:07 PM · Report this
21
@18
Some nice quotes from that article:

"The policy of penalising clients or “johns” enjoys widespread consent. It was introduced by a centre-left administration, despite opposition from the centre-right."

"Another argument is that fear of prosecution reduces the chances that clients will report the exploitation of under-age girls or boys."

And the best from New Zealand:
"In any case, one unusual investigation concluded that from the prostitutes’ point of view, the New Zealand system was the fairest. A pair of British grandmothers from the Women’s Institute—a homely club that is more often associated with cooking tips—made a tour of brothels in the Netherlands, America and the Antipodes: their aim was to find which system was best for the women who worked in the business. Their top marks went to a discreet house in a suburb of Wellington—classed in New Zealand as a “small owner-operated brothel”—where two women offered their services from Mondays to Fridays. “Just like a regular job,” one of the grannies noted."

As always, the problem is in getting the laws and regulations to support the prostitutes instead of marginalizing them.

There will always be a problem as long as the women are "criminals". Which is reflected in the number of "illegal immigrants" who are forced into prostitution. They're vulnerable because the government views them as "illegal" rather than "women" or "victims".
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 8, 2012 at 8:59 AM · Report this
22
@21 So legalized prostitution works pretty well in New Zealand, in the rest of world not so much. Is that an accurate summary of the article?
Posted by Ken Mehlman on April 8, 2012 at 9:26 AM · Report this
23
@22
Yes. That is exactly what the article was stating. That legalized prostitution works based upon geography.

It had nothing to do with existing laws not being changed to allow inspections or increased prosecutions of slavers and protection of women.

It was all about geography. I'm glad you picked up on that. It shows exceptional intelligence on your part.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 8, 2012 at 9:36 AM · Report this
24
@24 I don't advocate one approach over another. I'm simply making the point that the issue is a bit more complicated than 'prohibition causes abuse of sex workers.'
Posted by Ken Mehlman on April 8, 2012 at 10:52 AM · Report this
25
@24
And yet you've managed to miss every single instance where someone has shown that the issue IS complicated.

No one here (except you) has tried to claim that 'prohibition causes abuse of sex workers'.

As I posted #6
Isn't whether it is legal or not the key factor in whether someone who is forced into it has any options?

But you think that everyone else is over simplifying the issue and YOU are the only one who understands the complexities. Despite the fact that YOU seem to miss those when others post them.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 8, 2012 at 11:39 AM · Report this
26
@25 Here's the rest of what you said @6

"If [prostitution] is legal then it can be regulated and taxed and inspected. The women have a legal recourse. They are not the criminals."

The evidence does not support your view. In Sweden prostitution is illegal. However the women have legal recourse and are not classified as criminals.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on April 8, 2012 at 12:17 PM · Report this
27
@26
"The evidence does not support your view. In Sweden prostitution is illegal. However the women have legal recourse and are not classified as criminals."

You really should not use terms that you do not understand. In your example of Sweden it is LEGAL to be a prostitute but it is ILLEGAL to buy sex.

What was that I posted? Something about:
The women have a legal recourse. They are not the criminals.

And yet you're going to try to disagree with me when your own example shows that I'm right?

And you blame others for "the issue is a bit more complicated" when you cannot grasp two consecutive sentences.

The women have a legal recourse. They are not the criminals.

Is that too complicated for you?
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 8, 2012 at 12:54 PM · Report this
28
@27 Under Swedish law an act of prostitution can not take place w/o at least one of the parties involved having committed a crime. I'd say that makes prostitution illegal in Sweden.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on April 8, 2012 at 1:52 PM · Report this
29
@28
And, again, you demonstrate your inability to process basic English.
But the problem is that everyone else cannot grasp the complexities that you do.

As I have already posted:
In your example of Sweden it is LEGAL to be a prostitute but it is ILLEGAL to buy sex.

"Under Swedish law an act of prostitution can not take place w/o at least one of the parties involved having committed a crime."

And that person is NOT the prostitute.
Being a prostitute is LEGAL in Sweden.
Buying sex is ILLEGAL in Sweden.
The women have a legal recourse. They are not the criminals.

But go ahead and disagree again. Post another comment showing that you completely missed the point of those statements.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 8, 2012 at 2:24 PM · Report this
30
It seems that we've been through this same circus before.
Where you seem to have trouble comprehending basic English statements.

http://www.thestranger.com/slog/archives…
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 8, 2012 at 2:31 PM · Report this
31
@29 Do you think it should be illegal to buy sex?
Posted by Ken Mehlman on April 8, 2012 at 3:13 PM · Report this
32
@31
So, tell me, English isn't your native language is it?
What is your native language? Maybe I can get the point through to you in that one.

What did I post about you completely missing the point? And you've just done so again. Congratulations.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 8, 2012 at 3:56 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 33
@25,

No one here (except you) has tried to claim that 'prohibition causes abuse of sex workers'.


Read #13 and get back to us.

Many people who advocate for legalization and claim that legalization will stop abuse of sex workers plug their ears and yell "lalala" every time people point out that most legalization leads to MORE abuse. The simple fact of the matter is that most women don't want to be prostitutes and most johns aren't willing to pay fair market rate to have sex with those very few women who are willing to have sex with strangers for money.

The result, even in the liberal, nanny-state Netherlands is sex slavery. Full stop.

I support legalizing prostitution because I don't think the state should have the right to dictate the behavior of consenting adults, but I also refuse to pretend that legalization won't harm large numbers of women sold into slavery. It's nice that you're one of the very few people willing to admit it, but the majority of pro-legalization commenters here live in fantasy land.
Posted by keshmeshi on April 9, 2012 at 11:39 AM · Report this
34
@33
"Read #13 and get back to us."

Why don't you refer to the post that I was referencing? Hmmmm?
"@24 I don't advocate one approach over another. I'm simply making the point that the issue is a bit more complicated than 'prohibition causes abuse of sex workers.'"

What did I post in reply? Was it:
"And yet you've managed to miss every single instance where someone has shown that the issue IS complicated."

So the point that you selectively quoted was in reference to the inability of "Ken Mehlman" to see that other people HAVE made the point that it IS complicated and that he was the one trying to over-simplify their comments.

What, specifically, did #13 post?
"Most of the problems I see with prostitution: pimps, disease, crime, violence, coercion or outright slavery... are almost all either caused by or made worse by the fact that it is illegal and underground."

That certainly sounds like "Reverse Polarity" understands that the situation is not as simple as "Ken Mehlman" (and you) implied "Reverse Polarity" claimed it was.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 9, 2012 at 1:16 PM · Report this
35
@33 I think that it might be possible to have legal prostitution w/o the widespread abuses usually typical of the sex industry. However, I think it would have to be very strictly regulated. I suspect abusive labor practices would be far harder to stamp out in the sex industry, than in, for example, the restaurant industry. On the other I'm not sure arresting men who pay for sex would be a viable solution in a country w/o Sweden's tradition of clean government. Such a law might prove unenforceable in a nation ruled by men like Silvio Berlusconi, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, or that paragon of family values Senator David Vitter.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on April 10, 2012 at 9:21 AM · Report this

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