To the People

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

This Week In Prostitution

This is a little late (sorry, Christmas shopping) but here's the latest from 'round the world.

Update: Amsterdam Destroys Its Own Tourism Industry
-- Yeah, like you ever went there just to see Anne Frank's House. From the AP:
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — Amsterdam unveiled plans Saturday to close up to half of the famed brothels and marijuana cafes in its ancient city center as part of a major cleanup operation.

The city says it wants to drive organized crime out of the district, and is targeting businesses that "generate criminality," including prostitution, gambling parlors, "smart shops" that sell herbal treatments, head shops and "coffee shops" where marijuana is sold openly.

"I think that the new reality will be more in line with our image as a tolerant and crazy place, rather than a free zone for criminals" said alderman Lodewijk Asscher, one of the main proponents of the plan.

The city said it would also reduce the number of business it sees as related to the "decay" of the center, including peep shows, sex theaters, sex shops, mini supermarkets, massage parlors and souvenir shops.
San Francisco Not Helping Itself Either -- Not sure how I managed to overlook this before but in the election San Francisco residents decided against legalizing sex work in the city. Geez, are you guys queer or something?:
Not quite everything goes in San Francisco.

Voters in this liberal bastion have turned down a measure that would have barred police from arresting prostitutes.

San Francisco couldn't technically legalize since it's against state law, but Proposition K would have barred local authorities from investigating, arresting or prosecuting anyone for selling sex.

Advocates say the measure would have freed up to $11 million the police spend each year arresting prostitutes, and allow sex workers to form collectives to defend their rights and safety.
The Cutting Edge of Pimpin' -- Two Ohio men were busted after they engaged in a rather novel form of entrepreneurialism. From the Columbus Dispatch:
Rusty Blades, 42, a Hamilton Township real-estate agent who bought the house in December 2007, is among three people who have been arrested after a party at the house on Oct. 11 in which police said seven prostitutes mingled with customers who had posted reviews of their services online.


Blades was arrested Friday and charged with promoting prostitution. Christopher S. Johnson, 33, an adviser at the Ohio State University College of Nursing, also was arrested Friday on the same charges.

Police say Johnson started the Web site that featured prostitute reviews and set up a $10-a-chance raffle that offered sex with a top-rated prostitute as its prize.
The Libertarian Case Against Prostitution? -- Yes, someone has tried to make that argument. Here's the column. Debate amongst yourselves:
The bottom line is that black market prostitution is legitimately a social evil — it has risks for its costumers, makes the lives of its lower echelon of providers miserable, and produces all sorts of problems for those not even involved in it. A-ha! you say, but that is black market prostitution, and if we legalized prostitution, we could eradicate black market prostitution and have transparent and regulated prostitution. From what I have read, legal prostitution is no picnic either, but I have no personal observations of it, so I will skip that point. My main concern is precisely that legalizing prostitution will not eliminate black market prostitution.
In Malaysia, It Is Safer To See A Prostitute Than To Sleep With Your Wife. -- This one is not a joke:
Kuala Lumpur: HIV infections among women in Malaysia are on the rise and more housewives than sex workers have been found to contract AIDS, according to a new report that has health planners worried.
Prostitution-Related Headline of the Day -- "Boy George 'was too fat to be able to attack male escort'". Enough said.

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