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On the problems of legalized prostitution

Pandagon :: Ask for facts, get the facts :: March :: 2008

it's funny to realize, but I feel the same way about legalizing prostitution as I do about Communism: It's a good idea in theory, but it never manages to work out well in practice.

One response would be: Prostitution is inevitable, so we might as well legalize and regulate it. That’s a pragmatic argument that I used to find persuasive. If brothels were legalized and inspected, I believed, then we could uproot child prostitution and reduce AIDS and sexually transmitted infections.

I changed my mind after looking at the experiences of other countries. The Netherlands formally adopted the legalization model in 2000, and there were modest public health benefits for the licensed prostitutes. But legalization nurtured a large sex industry and criminal gangs that trafficked underage girls, and so trafficking, violence and child prostitution flourished rather than dying out.

As a result, the Netherlands is now backtracking on its legalization model by closing some brothels, and other countries, like Bulgaria, are backing away from that approach.

In contrast, Sweden experimented in 1999 with a radically different approach that many now regard as much more successful: it decriminalized the sale of sex but made it a crime to buy sex. In effect, the policy was to arrest customers, but not the prostitutes.

Some Swedish prostitutes have complained that the policy reduced demand and thus lowered prices, while forcing sex work underground. But the evidence is strong that the new approach reduced trafficking in Sweden, and opinion polls show that Swedes regard the experiment as a considerable success. And the bottom line is that if you want to rape a 13-year-old girl imported from Eastern Europe, you’ll have a much easier time in Amsterdam than in Stockholm.

Lynching as an economic crime

The Infamous Brad - American Dream! (Not Available In All Areas)

When one of those collections fell into the hands of a professional historian, it opened up a whole large statistical universe of lynching incidents, each of which came with a location, one or more names, dozens or hundreds of faces that can be identified, and importantly, a date. That made it possible to research not just a few lynchings, but hundreds of them, and to compile statistics on what had happened before and after them. And the terrible, but fascinating, bit of secret history turned out to be the immediate aftermath of over half of those lynchings. Over half of those lynchings turned out to involve black men who owned their own successful farms and/or businesses. And the day after the lynchings, those farms and businesses were sold to white neighbors, in closed auctions, for pennies on the dollar, and the surviving real heirs were run out of town. And in a terrifyingly large number of those cases, historians were able to show one or more of the following facts. The buyer was the person who made the initial accusation against the victim. And the buyer was a relative of one or more of the following: the mayor, the chief of police, the local minister and/or the municipal judge.

I want you to get this through your head, and never forget it. Lynching was not a hate crime. Lynching was an economic crime. In cities all over America, the best kept secret of 80 years' worth of white politicians was that if they wanted to steal a black man's property, they could arrange to have that man murdered, take his property for little or nothing, give it to whoever they wanted to have it, and know with 100% certainty that no police officer would arrest them, no prosecutor would indict, no jury would convict, no judge would sentence.

Are you a book batterer?

library_mofo: Are you a book batterer?

Will suburbs become the new slums?

The Next Slum?

Strange days are upon the residents of many a suburban cul-de-sac. Once-tidy yards have become overgrown, as the houses they front have gone vacant. Signs of physical and social disorder are spreading.

At Windy Ridge, a recently built starter-home development seven miles northwest of Charlotte, North Carolina, 81 of the community’s 132 small, vinyl-sided houses were in foreclosure as of late last year. Vandals have kicked in doors and stripped the copper wire from vacant houses; drug users and homeless people have furtively moved in. In December, after a stray bullet blasted through her son’s bedroom and into her own, Laurie Talbot, who’d moved to Windy Ridge from New York in 2005, told The Charlotte Observer, “I thought I’d bought a home in Pleasantville. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that stuff like this would happen.”

In the Franklin Reserve neighborhood of Elk Grove, California, south of Sacramento, the houses are nicer than those at Windy Ridge—many once sold for well over $500,000—but the phenomenon is the same. At the height of the boom, 10,000 new homes were built there in just four years. Now many are empty; renters of dubious character occupy others. Graffiti, broken windows, and other markers of decay have multiplied. Susan McDonald, president of the local residents’ association and an executive at a local bank, told the Associated Press, “There’s been gang activity. Things have really been changing, the last few years.”

March 12, 2008

Improv Everywhere presents Food Court the musical

Food Court Musical, A Spontaneous Musical In A Mall | Laughing Squid

Your height dictates how jealousy strikes

Your height dictates how jealousy strikes - sex - 12 March 2008 - New Scientist

Men, who generally felt most nervous about attractive, rich and strong rivals, were increasingly relaxed, the taller they were themselves. Women, on the other hand, were most jealous of others' beauty and charm, but least so if their own height was average.

This makes evolutionary sense, say the researchers, because previous findings suggest that whilst taller men do best with the ladies, it is women of medium height who enjoy the best health, fertility and popularity with men.

But unlike tall men, medium-height women can be more vulnerable to jealousy under some circumstances. Faced with socially or physically powerful rivals they actually felt more jealous than shorter or taller women. According to the study, this may be because tall and strong, or socially well-connected women could well pose a threat to average-height feminine favourites since they might win conflicts, including physical fights. "Taller women are more dominant and have greater fighting abilities than shorter women," write the researchers in Evolution and Human Behavior

Trailer: The Incredible Hulk 2

"The Incredible Hulk" | Video | Our Newest Trailers: 'The Incredible Hulk' & More | MTV

America the third world country

U.S. Health Care Gets Boost From Charity, "60 Minutes": Remote Area Medical Finds It's Needed In America To Plug Health Insurance Gap - CBS News

In a matter of hours, Remote Area Medical set up its massive clinic, for a weekend, in an exhibit hall in Knoxville, Tenn. Tools for dentists were laid out by the yard, optometrists prepared to make hundreds of pairs of glasses, general medical doctors set up for whatever might come though the door. Nearly everything is donated, and everyone is a volunteer. The care is free. But no one could say how many patients might show up.

The first clue came a little before midnight. Stan Brock, the founder of Remote Area Medical, opened the gate outside. The clinic wouldn't open for seven hours, but people in pain didn't want to chance being left out. State guardsmen came in for crowd control. They handed out what would become precious slips of paper - numbered tickets to board what amounted to a medical lifeboat.

. . .

Brock says he was surprised at the number of people who came when he set up the first "expedition" in the U.S. "And the numbers are getting higher. And I don't know if it's because we're getting better known, or that the healthcare in this country is getting worse," he told Pelley.

On Saturday at 6 a.m. they entered by the numbers. Inside, 276 volunteers from 11 states were waiting.

Hulu hasThe Tick!

And a ton of other free tv shows streaming legally and with commercials.

How not to look like a newbie in Second Life: Walk a New Walk

Stop looking like a newbie: Step 3 - Get a new walk -- virtually living - a second life blog

I finally picked up a new computer and can now run much more graphically intensive applications. Apps like Second Life. I've begun to dabble and explore. But I look like a monster made of wax and I walk like a dog being held upright--sure signs of newbieness.

You might be looking less like a lump of Linden clay now, but you need to stop walking like a duck if you want to look like a seasoned Second Lifer. To get a new walk, the best thing to do is to buy an ANIMATION OVERRIDE, or AO for short. An AO will usually override the default walk, sit, stand and fly animations that come pre-loaded with Second Life. Below, I also describe another way to get a new walk, but an AO is the best imo.

To find an AO, search in the same way you did for your shape & skin. You might need to look for “animation” instead of AO if you want the widest results. The quality and price of AOs ranges widely, from about $150 - $900. AOs at the cheaper end often only include a walk override, and maybe one or two standing poses. More expensive AOs can include a variety of different walks, jumps, animated standing poses that appear to shift their weight/fidget, as well as swimming animations, different stages of flying, hovering and more. You generally get what you pay for, but watch out: some AOs have been created by amateur developers, who haven’t coded things in the best way.

Zero Punctuation reviews Burnout Revenge

The Escapist : Zero Punctuation: Burnout: Paradise