Another moralistic fad goes bust.
Sex worker in Soho, London. Photograph: Dan Chung
The following correction was printed in the Guardian’s Corrections and clarifications column, Saturday 14 November 2009
In the report below about sex trafficking we referred to the United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre as “the police Human Trafficking Centre”. The UKHTC describes itself as “a multi-agency centre” and says that it is “police led”. Its partners include two non-governmental organisations, HM Revenue & Customs, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the UK Border Agency. We referred to Grahame Maxwell as the head of the UKHTC; his title is programme director.
The UK’s biggest ever investigation of sex trafficking failed to find a single person who had forced anybody into prostitution in spite of hundreds of raids on sex workers in a six-month campaign by government departments, specialist agencies and every police force in the country.
The failure has been disclosed by a Guardian investigation which also suggests that the scale of and nature of sex trafficking into the UK has been exaggerated by politicians and media.
Current and former ministers have claimed that thousands of women have been imported into the UK and forced to work as sex slaves, but most of these statements were either based on distortions of quoted sources or fabrications without any source at all.
Most people have heard the name Ari Emanuel — the WME super agent who inspired Jeremy Piven’s Ari Gold character on HBO’s hit show, “Entourage.”
The name Mark Spiegler, a top talent agent in a different billion dollar entertainment industry, may not ring as many bells.
That’s because Spiegler represents porn stars.
While Emanuel, 51, represents talent such as Charlize Theron and Steven Spielberg; Spiegler, 54, represents top adult female stars with names like Skin Diamond, Chanel Preston and Asa Akira.
Didn’t we go through all this business of why we shouldn’t ban books fifty years ago, with Lady Chatterley? It seems that we need to revisit the issue, for the past fortnight has seen some rather disturbing suggestions that would amount to a return to literary censorship.
It turns out that Amazon.com stocks a rather wider range of books than I had imagined, despite being a regular customer of theirs. I see that the titles that I have most recently purchased from them are Alembic, Timothy d’Arch Smith’s novel of the esoteric, Heligan: A Portrait of the Lost Gardens, and the most recent Jamie Oliver cookbook (largely to see if it is any better than the last one).
An interesting article by a gay libertarian on the alleged “homophobia” of Han Hermann-Hoppe
By Ludwig Von
As a gay person who considers himself a right-wing libertarian, the “problem” of time preferences among gays (as mentioned by Hans Hermann-Hoppe) has come up a few times, enough for it to bother me enough to present some counter-arguments.
I’ll let Hoppe put it in his own words, and for the record, I fully support his right to say such things in a university setting:
“In March of 2004, during a 75-minute lecture in my Money and Banking class on time preference, interest, and capital, I presented numerous examples designed to illustrate the concept of time preference (or in the terminology of the sociologist Edward Banfield of “present- and future-orientation”). As one brief example, I referred to homosexuals as a group which, because they typically do not have children, tend to have a higher degree of time preference and are more present-oriented. I also noted–as have many other scholars–that J.M Keynes, whose economic theories were the subject of some upcoming lectures, had been a homosexual and that this might be useful to know when considering his short-run economic policy recommendation and his famous dictum “in the long run we are all dead.”
– “My Battle With The Thought Police”, Mises Daily: Tuesday, April 12, 2005
By Daniel McCarthy
The Supreme Court’s rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act (struck down) and California’s Proposition 8 (the court disclaimed jurisdiction) were about the only rulings one could expect from a court of four liberals, four conservatives, and Anthony Kennedy. It would have overturned everything we think we know about Kennedy if the court had upheld DOMA. But an expansive ruling on Prop 8 effectively legalizing same-sex-marriage nationwide would have been remarkable from a court that earlier this week curtailed affirmative action in higher ed and the Voting Rights Act. The justices in the majority on Proposition 8 might seem surprising—Roberts and Scalia joined liberals Breyer, Ginsburg, and Kagan—but if one may attribute political motives to the bench (surely not?), I’d suggest Scalia and Roberts were trying to limit the precedent while Breyer, Ginsburg, and Kagan were going for what they could get.
Cody Tubman had a dream prom night, the perfect dress and then the crown to go with it.
Cody was voted prom queen of Middleboro High School.
“I was all smiles,” Cody says laughing. “We were standing there and they announced I was prom queen. So I was like ‘oh yay, so exciting,’ But it was kind of surprising.”
It was surprising because Cody is transgender.
She was born a boy but she started dressing as a girl when she was a freshman in high school. She says she feels more confident and comfortable in her body.
A former member of the elite U.S. Navy SEALs has come out to say she’s now a woman.
Kristin Beck, formerly Chris, served 20 years as a SEAL and fought on some of the most dangerous battlefields in the world, but after she left the service she realized she wasn’t living the life she wanted.
“Chris really wanted to be a girl and felt that she was a girl and consolidated that identity very early on in childhood,” said Anne Speckhard, co-author of Beck’s biography “Warrior Princess,” which was published over the weekend. More…
A Stockholm high school is set to open a third changing room for transsexual pupils and those who don’t want to define themselves as being male or female, a move believed to be the first of its kind in the country.
“It’s for people who aren’t comfortable being divided into gender stereotypes,” Camille Trombetti, who sits on the student council at Södra Latin gymnasium, told The Local.
She said management at the central Stockholm high school at first welcomed the idea.
“They were very positive and welcoming but we had to figure out how to do it practically,” said Trombetti, who underlined that the student council has long pushed to expand the rights of LGBT students.
“We were the first student council to march in the Stockholm Pride Festival last year, and we encourage our teachers to use the pronoun ‘hen’.”
Trombetti explained that teachers now use the gender-neutral pronoun instead of the male and female “hon” and “han” in “relevant situations” rather than replacing them.
Imagine 13 and 14-year-old girls being instructed to ask one another for a lesbian kiss in a class exercise. The girls had no choice. The parents were NOT informed. But hey, if it falls under “anti-bullying,” than who are you to question it, right?
Red Hook, New York – A recent anti-bullying presentation at a middle school in New York that focused on homosexuality and gender identity has angered parents after their daughters have come home to tell them they were forced to ask another girl for a kiss.
According to reports, the session occurred last week at Linden Avenue Middle School in Red Hook, New York, near Poughkeepsie. A group of students from Bard College led two workshops for the youth, separated by gender.
During the workshop for girls, the 13 and 14-year-olds were told to ask one another for a lesbian kiss. They were also taught words such as “pansexual” and “genderqueer.”
My latest from the Inferno. I wonder: Have you caught the bug?
Thanks to a good chunk of my Facebook friendslist, I came face-to-face with the latest meme virus to infect the social conscience.
Hear those squeaky wheels, lushes and reprobates? That’s the sound of the latest bandwagon rolling into town. Its name: “marriage equality”.
By Dylan Stableford
Karl Rove, former deputy chief of staff under President George W. Bush and current Fox News contributor, says he can envision the 2016 Republican presidential nominee supporting gay marriage.
“I could,” Rove said during a roundtable discussion on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday when asked if he could imagine a same-sex marriage supporter on the top of the GOP’s next ticket.
I personally find the practice of bestiality to be utterly revolting, only a half step above pedophilia, and I hardly consider a ban on the practice in the name of curbing animal abuse to be any kind of human rights violation. But I do worry when things start getting banned in the name of “equality” given that “equality” along with “health” has become the principal rallying cry of totalitarian humanism.
By Nelson Jones
The change in law reflects the contemporary view of sex as something that can only properly be enjoyed on a basis of equality.
I cautiously predict that the SCOTUS will use this case to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. This will likely be the Roe v Wade of gay marriage. I say “cautiously” because I’m not 100% certain in my prediction. There may be one or two liberal
or centrist justices who think the court stepping in and legalizing gay marriage in toto would be a little too bold at this time. But it will happen eventually either way.
Supporters of same-sex marriage hope for a boost this week when dozens of high-profile Republicans, many no longer in office, submit their legal argument to the Supreme Court on why gays and lesbians should be allowed to wed, bucking their party’s platform.
It looks as if Iceland is about to get a little colder.
Iceland’s government is considering a sweeping ban on Internet pornography that would prevent its people from viewing or downloading x-rated material.
The legislation, being drafted by Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson, aims to block the effects of pornography on young people by filtering access to pornographic images and videos via smartphones, computers and game consoles, according to the Telegraph.
By Dr. Sean Gabb
Not looking at the general circumstances, I’m in favour of gay marriage, and have been at least since I first wrote about it in 1989. If two consenting adults want to live together in close union, and can find a consenting minister of religion to bless their union, who are we to object? I also can’t get worked up about polygamy, polyandry, incest, or any other kind of union between consenting adults. To a libertarian, the sole function of state marriage laws is to offer individuals a package of legal agreements and declarations that they could make for themselves if they wanted to find the money and time.
George Takei says there’s a not-so-secret mission — or two — behind the bitingly funny videos and Facebook updates which the “Star Trek” legend posts regularly to his 3.5 million Facebook followers, who grow by 40,000 per week.
“I think my new image as a comic observer of society happened as a result of a very serious mission I have,” he explained in an interview on my SiriusXM OutQ program this week, while also weighing in on Jodie Foster’s coming out; President Obama’s embrace of gay rights in his inaugural address; Arnold Scwharzenegger turning his back on the gay community; Tennessee Sen. Stacey “Don’t Say Gay” Campfield; and being an openly gay entertainer spearheading LGBT rights.
With a new book, “Oh Myyy! (There Goes the Internet),” and a musical headed to Broadway — “Allegiance,” which focuses on the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II — Takei, who became a regular on “The Howard Stern Show” in 2006, a year after he came out as gay, says all the attention is even more wonderful because it can serve a higher purpose.