Monthly Archives: December 2013

Ha, ha, ha: A&E caves on Phil Robertson

Not really a surprise.

Proof that sticking to your guns will defeat sanctimonious censors.

(Robertson’s remarks are one of the many reasons I have zero time for fundamentalist Christians; nut he has a right to his opinion no matter now misguided. The gay Taliban will not be happy but push back is critical when they try to have people silenced.)

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Prostitution is not Illegal

(I posted this at Kate’s but it seems to be hung in moderation.)

The prior state of the law was that prostitution was legal but associated activities were not. This meant that smart, pretty, girls could engage in a perfectly legal business and did. Dumb, addicted, ugly or simply desperate girls were are the mercy of the streets, pimps and cops.

By striking down the laws surrounding prostitution as disproportionate to the “evil” being prevented, the Supreme Court was actually noticing the effect of the criminalization of what was, at its core, a legal activity.

Now, if you do not like the exchange of sex for money you can lobby the Cons to make prostitution itself illegal. This will have two effects: it will subject the less successful prostitutes to greater risk and more harassment and it will, to a degree, raise prices across the board. It will not, of course, eliminate or, in all likelihood, even significantly reduce the incidence of women becoming prostitutes.

If the Cons are unwilling to make prostitution illegal – and I can’t imagine why they would want to as there are not a lot of votes in it – the alternatives are to go for no legal regime at all or to actually consider what law might address the evils so eloquently stated by the moralists above.

“Living off the avails” is a silly way to attempt to curtail pimping. A more sensible solution would be to create an offence which makes it illegal to coerce people – and it is not just women – into the sex trade. Make it a serious offence that could be added to other criminal charges.

The communications offence is just dumb in the context of a legal enterprise and will stay dumb no matter how it is tweaked.

The “brothel” offence is more a matter of municipal regulation than a concern of the Criminal Law. It should not be impossible to restrict locations in a discriminatory way. Think neighbourhood pub regulations.

The happy thought that somehow girls will line up to be licensed, examined and taxed is more than a little crazy. However, it might be possible to require identification and medical certification in licensed brothels. But, realistically, most of the girls will continue to work in the legal, unregulated, sector.

The illusions of using the law to regulate sexuality is a hang over from the moralizers of the 19th century. Both in England and in the United States the use of the law for “progressive” ends lead to the attempt to make prostitution, gambling, drugs, pornography and alcohol illegal. In every case, the only thing these laws accomplished to raise the prices to the point where organized crime became focussed on these areas.

The Suppression of Vice and the Promotion of Virtue is the motto of the Saudi religious police and do gooders everywhere. It never works and almost always creates misery, tyranny and crime. The SCC has made the right decision, now lets see if the Cons are smart enough to leave well enough alone.

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Smoke…No Fire

Passive smoking doesn’t give you lung cancer. So says a new report publicised by the American Cancer Institute which will come as no surprise whatsoever to anyone with a shred of integrity who has looked into the origins of the great “environmental tobacco smoke” meme. james delingpole

No doubt there are good reasons to prohibit indoor smoking: but it has been obvious for years that the health of non-smokers is not one of them.

Once that health question is settled – and the current report settles it pretty conclusively – then the rationale for an absolute ban vanishes. The poor wait staff (most of whom in my experience smoke) are not forced to risk their health.

From which one might conclude it would make sense to open a pub or bar where smoking was allowed.

As if.

Science be damned, the busy bodies won the smoking argument by main force. Many of them were aware that passive smoking was not a significant health hazard; but they didn’t like the smell, didn’t like the sight of smokers and certainly were not going to allow even the occasional smokers bar. And, I suspect, the smoking bans will stay in place even absent any health rationale.

The greater good – protecting people from their odious habits trumps the very concept that a bit of pleasure might be had with a pint and a cigarette. Not to mention the ridiculous idea that I have a right to make my own choices.

Science can no longer be invoked but “For your own good.” is a moralizers sharpest weapon. So I’ll be joining the other lepers 3 meters from the doorway of my local. As I live in Victoria, this is a wet nuisance – Lord knows the health consequences going outside in Calgary at the moment.

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Phil Robertson

Duck Dynasty drives me crazy – though my wife and kids like it. Fundamentalist Christians make me equally crazy. As do people who decide that God, their mother or Nature has decreed homosexuality “a sin”. Or that it is anyone’s business what people do in their bedrooms.

At the same time if a ZZ Top patriarch is asked about his beliefs and answers honestly the gay lobby is making a huge mistake making an issue of it. The Streisand effect in spades kicked in instantly.

There is, at best, a grudging acceptance of the need to be at least polite about homosexuality. But this is hardly an embrace of the concept of the ideology which it has spawned. Until the advent of the internet, the willingness of large numbers of ordinary people to defend a person’s right to speak freely gained no traction because it was not heard. The leftist bias of Mainstream Media meant the proverbial “little people”, the much maligned “Silent Majority” or “Ford Nation” were silenced in the public arena.

That is now over. A Facebook page, Twitter and the comments sections of MSM all give voice to people who would otherwise be sidelined.

And these people are not unsophisticated: there are already calls to boycott A&E and, more to the point, Wal-mart and Chrysler who are major sponsors at A&E.

As the Chick-fil-a kurfuffle illustrated, drawing negative attention to anti-homosexual comments made by a public or semi public figure can bring significant blow back for the gay rights activists.

I suspect we’ll see more of this as more and more ordinary people realize they do not have to sit silently as people they identify with are subject to MSM censorship.

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Mandela dead

The BBC tells us that Nelson Mandela is dead.

I suspect more than a few right wing commentators will greet the news with undisguised delight. And the MSM will run long, turgid, hagiographies about a man who has become a lefty secular saint.

Mandela was the symbol which broke the back of apartheid. He was also the only black South African who could negotiate the transition to black majority rule. In that sense he was and will remain a pivotal figure in the history of the modern world.

But his negotiation and the power which backed it was a facade behind which the unreadiness of the black African majority in South Africa to assume power was carefully hidden. And the history of South Africa since the end of apartheid has striped away that facade.

South Africa is well on its way back to Third World status. Crime, blackouts, racial violence have all escalated with the advent of black majority rule.

Commentators have suggested that the long life of Nelson Mandela has kept something of a lid on the more savage possibilities South Africa has to contend with.

We are about to find out.

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