Archive for May 4th, 2011

News reports don’t change the world.  Only facts change it, and those have already happened when we get the news.  –  Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Due to the record-breaking number of interesting articles lately, this month’s update column will be in THREE parts!  And that’s actually a good thing, because I’ve fallen a bit behind and this will give me a chance to catch up again.

BDSM (Part One) (September 15th)

In this article I mentioned that few escorts would consent to submit to BDSM activity with a client outside of a protected setting such as a brothel; well, this story from April 19th is a pretty graphic representation of why that is so:

Seattle police have arrested a 66-year-old suspected of kidnapping, raping, and torturing a woman in what court documents describe as a “torture room,” inside a mobile home in Tacoma.  Police say…John Joseph Hauff, picked up the 24-year-old woman…around 9:30 p.m. on April 2nd and offered to pay her for…”sexual role playing.”  Hauff told the woman he “wanted to tie her wrists to the bed posts and use an electric vibrator on her”…Police say Hauff then offered to pay the woman $100, and agreed not to tight her up too tightly.

The woman got [into] Hauff’s car…but became concerned about his behavior, and later asked [him] to pull over at a gas station, so she could buy some cigarettes.  While…at the gas station,  she texted a friend Hauff’s license plate number and address…and told the friend to call police if she did not contact [him] by midnight…Hauff…[then] told the woman “he needed to blindfold her and tie her hands to the seat belt so she wouldn’t see where he lived”…he took her to a dungeon built in a large mobile home, tied a chain around her neck and padlocked it.  Hauff then told her “he was the master and took all her clothes off and tied her to the wall,” police records say…The woman asked Hauff to let her go, but he told her “no”…and began plucking out the woman’s pubic hair, and then stuck electrodes to her and began shocking her.  He [tortured her in various ways] for about three hours…[then she] told [Hauff about her] text message…[after that] he untied the woman, paid her $200, and asked her not to call police before he dropped her off…Prosecutors have charged Hauff with kidnapping, rape, and assault.

I’m glad this girl had enough sense to tell a friend where she was going, else this story might’ve had a very different ending.  Apparently the victim was not charged with prostitution, and I found this quote in a follow-up story in the May 2nd  Seattle Post-Intelligencer:  “Speaking shortly after Hauff’s arrest, Assistant Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel asked that any other women attacked by Hauff contact the police. Pugel stressed they would not be investigated for prostitution or vice offenses.”  Well, maybe.  As Brandy Devereaux pointed out recently, it’s not exactly like whores have any reason to trust cops, who have a long history of lying to us and worse (as the following story demonstrates)…

License To Rape (November 16th)

The most remarkable detail of this April 29th report from the Houston Fox affiliate is that, though it isn’t at all remarkable, the reporter seems to think that it is.  If people ever come to realize that cops raping hookers is a sadly typical occurrence, and that it’s the cop being PROSECUTED for the outrage which is the truly newsworthy detail of this story, maybe things will start to change.

He’s being called a rapist in blue:  A Houston Police officer could be going to prison for a very long time…26-year-old Demetrie Dixon was arrested for sexually assaulting at least 2 prostitutes… in northwest Houston.  Dixon…used his authority to detain and sexually assault the hookers, investigators said.  Friday morning, a Harris County jury returned a guilty verdict…against the rookie cop.  Prosecutors paraded a string of street walkers into the court to tell how they were victimized by Dixon…[he] faces 2 to 20 years for the convictions.

It might also be nice if media outlets would let their reporters know that it isn’t cute or clever to ridicule women testifying against their rapist by referring to them as a “parade of streetwalkers”.

Mecca (December 12th)

Some people realize that being a “Mecca” can be a good thing:

Well-known lawyer Geoffrey Fieger has an idea about how to improve Detroit’s economic prospects:  legalize marijuana and prostitution to help attract young people…Fieger’s proposal came during a taping of “Michigan Matters” during a discussion of ways to turn the city around.  “I could turn it around in five minutes,” Fieger said, according to Detroit Free Press columnist Carol Cain.  Fieger, a lawyer and onetime gubernatorial candidate, said he’d shovel snow and keep streets and parks clean.  “Then, I’d tell the police department to leave marijuana alone…I also would not enforce prostitution laws and I’d make us the new Amsterdam.”

Of course, it won’t happen; it makes too much sense.  Americans are far too obsessed with controlling other people’s behavior to adopt laws which would make money for the government instead of wasting it.  But speaking of reasonable policies…

Harm Reduction (January 13th)

Trish Regan’s article from the April 20th Huffington Post is about drug decriminalization in Portugal, but illustrates the general soundness of the philosophy of harm reduction and is therefore topical:

…A study commissioned by…the Cato Institute in 2006 found that in the first five years since the country decriminalized drugs, usage rates among teens in Portugal actually declined.  In addition, the rates of new HIV infections caused by the sharing of dirty needles plunged…As a result, the study’s author, Glenn Greenwald, concluded that the country’s decriminalization policy “has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the drug problem far better than virtually every other Western country does”…According to the…study, which cites state research…since decriminalization took effect in 2001, lifetime drug usage rates…in the country [have] decreased among several age groups, primarily among young teens…As expected, for some older groups (beginning with nineteen- to twenty-four-year-olds) there has been what Greenwald defines as “a slight to mild increase” in drug usage.  The slight increase, Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron tells me, is to be expected, because a group of people might be willing to use drugs if there is no risk of major penalties.  However, “this is a small group, essentially on the margin,” he points out, and indeed, the study confirms it.  Regardless, Portuguese officials are clearly pleased with the country’s progress.  Here’s why:  for drug policy specialists, a demonstrated decline in drug use among adolescents is considered to be critical.  That’s because the behavior of individuals in their early years tends to have a major effect on drug-related behavior in later years.  In other words, if you can influence behavior in the formative teenage years, studies suggest those same teens, once grown, will be far less likely to try drugs.  They have essentially missed the window of opportunity when it might be considered most interesting and are therefore less likely to seek out recreational drugs as adults.

Greenwald points to…a 2008 study detailing drug usage trends in seventeen countries on five continents in which researchers concluded that the late adolescent years are critical in determining future, lifelong drug use: “In most countries, the period of risk for initiation of use was heavily concentrated in the period from the mid to late teenage years; there was a slightly older and more extended period of risk for illegal drugs compared to legal drugs”…Consider the Netherlands, where marijuana has been tolerated in pot “coffee” shops for years.  Per government statistics, Dutch youth are actually less likely to smoke pot than Americans are.  For example, 38 percent of American teens have smoked pot compared to 20 percent of Dutch teens…

First up tomorrow:  another follow-up to this same column.

Read Full Post »