Swinging sex parties slowly finding a place among Saudi Arabia’s foreign residents and elite 1

rt.com

AFP Photo/Getty Images

AFP Photo/Getty Images

Swinging sex parties are slowing finding a place among Saudi Arabia`s foreign residents and elite. One foreign couple gave a sneak peak into their private lives that could cost them their freedom or more in the conservative Islamic kingdom.

The couple, living in the capital Riyadh, says they organize so-called “wife-swapping” parties once a month with up to five couples participating.

“It is something we do and we are not ashamed of it,” said Tara, who asked that her full name not to be disclosed. Partner swapping is the best way “to find out more about ourselves sexually,” she argues.

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Anarchists protest outside human trafficking conference Reply

By Nick Smith

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) — Police are keeping close watch on the Oakland Convention Center. Wednesday afternoon, anarchist demonstrators clashed with officers when they were denied entrance to a conference on human trafficking.

Demonstrators, calling themselves “Occupy Patriarchy” gathered outside the convention center to protest the conference happening inside, but it wasn’t long before it was clear that demonstrators behind the “FTP” rallies had a different agenda.

An interview we were conducting was interrupted by protestors using bullhorns to blast us down repeatedly, accusing us of being part of a larger conspiracy to assist police.

Inside, more than 430 registered guest and 70 presenters were meeting to discuss ways to end human trafficking and the exploitation of children. A crime, organizers say, that is on the rise and the victims even younger.

“The average is now, what we’re looking at about 13 years old, but we do have some kids who have come in as young as 11,” said Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley.

But protesters were not there to listen, they were there to demonstrate. They knocked down police barriers and vandalized the doors of the conference center. They say that to focus on this is to distort their message. They say that this conference is just a launching pad for continued repression of sex workers and the further empowerment of police agencies at their expense.

“What we’re saying is that if you really want to help these people, this is not the way to do it,” said demonstrator Catilin Manning. “If you really want to help these people figure out where the traffickers are coming in. Maybe you should police the port.”

The HEAT (Human Exploitation and Trafficking) campaign has had success. In Alameda County since 2011 there have been more than 250 prosecutions and 180 successful convictions.

The conference runs through Friday, and anarchists have promised to return.

(Copyright ©2012 KGO-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Men Outnumber Women Among American Rape Victims 1

James Joyner on the rapecage-industrial complex.

From Outside the Beltway.

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Christopher Glazer takes to N+1 magazine to argue that we should Raise the Crime Rate.

Statistics are notoriously slippery, but the figures that suggest that violence has been disappearing in the United States contain a blind spot so large that to cite them uncritically, as the major papers do, is to collude in an epic con. Uncounted in the official tallies are the hundreds of thousands of crimes that take place in the country’s prison system, a vast and growing residential network whose forsaken tenants increasingly bear the brunt of America’s propensity for anger and violence.

Crime has not fallen in the United States—it’s been shifted. Just as Wall Street connived with regulators to transfer financial risk from spendthrift banks to careless home buyers, so have federal, state, and local legislatures succeeded in rerouting criminal risk away from urban centers and concentrating it in a proliferating web of hyperhells. The statistics touting the country’s crime-reduction miracle, when juxtaposed with those documenting the quantity of rape and assault that takes place each year within the correctional system, are exposed as not merely a lie, or even a damn lie—but as the single most shameful lie in American life.

From 1980 to 2007, the number of prisoners held in the United States quadrupled to 2.3 million, with an additional 5 million on probation or parole.

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Manga images ‘not child porn’: Supreme Court Reply

Swedish courts in sensible verdict shocker!

Read all about it at The Local.

I also found this tidbit—from artist Trevor Brown’s blog—interesting…

i just received a letter yesterday from a fellow swede saying “…his ex tried to get him convicted for sexual abuse of their child so she would get full custody, but when that didn’t work out, she tried to convict him for having child pornography…” – an interesting detail not mentioned in any english report on the case i’ve read

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Japanese manga comics depicting children in sexual poses are not child pornography, Sweden’s Supreme Court has ruled, overturning a high-profile conviction of a Swedish translator.

In a ruling issued on Friday, the court acquitted Simon Lundström, who had been found guilty of child pornography crimes by two lower courts before appealing his case to Sweden’s highest court.

“I’m obviously very relieved, in part because it makes life easier for me personally, but most of all I’m generally relieved for Sweden as a whole,” Lundström told the TT news agency in an email.

“It would have been very hard for me to relate to Sweden as a country if it turned out to be a place that prohibited certain expressions of the imagination.”

According to the Supreme Court’s ruling, the drawings are pornographic and they do portray children.
However, because the cartoons represent imaginary figures there is no way they could be mistaken for real children.

“The criminalization of possession of the drawings would otherwise exceed what is necessary with regard to the purpose which has led to the restriction on freedom of expression and freedom of information,” the court said in a statement.

Lundström, described by Swedish media as a top manga expert, was found guilty by two lower courts of having 39 drawings portraying figures in sexual poses stored on the hard drive of his computer.

In his initial trial, he explained that he had retrieved the pictures in order to stay up to date with the latest developments in the Japanese comic genre.

A district court fined him 25,000 kronor ($3,500) but an appeals court lowered the sum to 5,600 kronor.

During the Supreme Court trial, the images were shown on large screens in the courtroom. The pastel-coloured pictures showed children in different states of undress.

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The Second Sexism: don’t judge a book by its press 1

From the New Statesman.

The Second Sexism: don't judge a book by its press

Might be a worthy read for those interested in modern men’s issues.

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By Ally Fog

Anyone who has ever debated male-specific gender issues will probably have experienced an encounter like this:

Bloke: “Yeah, but men can also be victims of violence and injustice, why aren’t we talking about that too?”

Feminist: “Of course they can, and if you guys want to campaign on those issues, I’ll applaud you.”

In practice, it doesn’t always work out like that. This month, moral philosopher David Benatar published his book The Second Sexism to an excitable flurry of comment. Before discussing what Benatar says, let’s be quite clear about what he does not.

Despite what you’ve probably read in the Observer, the Guardian, the Independent or even here in the New Statesman, Benatar is not a Backlash merchant. He does not argue that men have a worse time than women; that feminism has gone too far; that men are now the oppressed sex; or that sexism against women does not exist. On the contrary, he repeatedly details the many forms of injustice faced by women across the world, and applauds efforts to address them. Indeed the clue is in the title: not “The New Sexism” or “The True Sexism” but “The Second Sexism.” Second, meaning in addition or secondary to the first sexism which is, of course, against women. Benatar does not blame feminism for anti-male discrimination, rightly noting that most such injustices long predate the women’s movement.

He certainly doesn’t suggest positive discrimination, instead devoting an entire chapter to arguing that such policies are unethical and ineffective as a response to any form of sexism. Perhaps the chapter title “Affirmative Action” may have confused any critics who only read as far as the contents page.  

Nor, BBC Online readers, is Benatar a champion of the Men’s Rights Movement. In the book he notes astutely that men’s groups can become “fora for self-pity and for ventilating hyperbolic views that are not checked or moderated by alternative opinions.”  

Benatar’s actual argument is that, in most societies, men and boys face several specific and serious forms of wrongful discrimination, and that these are not only injustices in their own right, but also contribute to discrimination against women. The issues he highlights include military conscription and combat exclusions; male circumcision; corporal punishment, victimisation in violence and sexual assault, and discrimination in family and relationship disputes.

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Those Who Practice Bestiality Say They’re Part of the Next Sexual Rights Movement Reply

By Thomas Francis

During his sophomore year in high school, Cody Beck finally got fed up with hearing homophobic cracks. If his classmates thought being gay was weird (Beck was openly bisexual), he had a confession that would blow their minds. He told them he is sexually attracted to dogs and horses.

Cody Beck.

Photos Courtesy of Cody Beck
Cody Beck.
In a more  recent photo: "What's the point of living if we have to hide who we are?"

Photos Courtesy of Cody Beck
In a more recent photo: “What’s the point of living if we have to hide who we are?”

“I just couldn’t keep it in anymore,” Beck says. “Just for the hell of it, I figured I’d throw it out there and have them make fun of me even more.” Which they did. An 18-year-old from Arizona who graduated from high school this past year, Beck says classmates taunted him by calling him “Bestiality Dude.”

Being a “zoophile” in modern American society, Beck says, is “like being gay in the 1950s. You feel like you have to hide, that if you say it out loud, people will look at you like a freak.”

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The Meaning of “Life”: Abortion and Traditionalism Reply

By Richard Spencer

The cloyingly named “Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act” (HR3541) failed in the House on Thursday, despite gaining overwhelming Republican support. If passed, the bill would have outlawed racial and sexual discrimination in abortion, jailing any doctor who helped a woman end a pregnancy because the fetus was a girl or a minority.

For some, the bill called up fears of the mean, ol’ “far Right”: Republicans who seek to take away women’s rights and send them all, humiliated and barefoot, back to the kitchen—and perhaps establish a national weekend curfew of 9:30PM and confiscate everyone’s iPods while they’re at it.

More astute observers perceived the bill as an attempt by the Religious Right to, subserviently, boost the electoral prospects of Mitt Romney. Now, conservatives dream, the specter of “sex-selection abortion” can be spun as “The Real War on Women.” (Rush Limbaugh—along with, no doubt, the entire Red State echo-chamber—has already picked up on the meme.)

Thursday’s political stunt certainly clarifies the utter uselessness of the American Right; more important for our purposes, it reveals the ways in which both the mainstream Right and Left are beholden to the same egalitarian ur-ideology.

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Julian Assange loses appeal against extradition Reply

Julian Assange

From the BBC.

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By Owen Bowcott

Julian Assange has lost his appeal against extradition to Sweden at the supreme court.

By a majority of five to two, the justices decided that a public prosecutor was “judicial authority” and that therefore his arrest warrant had been lawfully issued.

But lawyers for the WikiLeaks founder submitted an urgent request to the supreme court asking for permission to challenge one of the points made in the judgment.

Assange, who is facing charges of sexual assault and rape, was not in court. There was no legal requirement for him to be present. According to his solicitor, Gareth Peirce, he was stuck in traffic.

The court granted Assange’s lawyers 14 days to present their arguments that crucial issues related to Article 31 of the Vienna convention, on which the majority of the justices based their decision, were not raised during the hearing.

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Taxing strip clubs for rape Reply

Taxing strip clubs for rape

Salon reports on the latest Stateside sin tax.

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By Tracy Clark-Flory

It used to be that strip clubs were merely blamed for society’s ills. Now they’re actually being charged for it.

In recent years, measures have been introduced in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois and, most recently, California to apply special taxes to strip clubs — specifically to fund sexual assault services. Now, even if you aren’t inclined to view erotic entertainment as the source of all evil, this might seem an appropriate aim — who wants to argue against additional support for rape survivors? It would seem even more so when you consider politicians’ and activists’ repeated claims of solid scientific evidence showing a link between strip clubs — specifically those that sell alcohol — and sexual violence.

That is, until you look at the alleged proof.

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“The hijab has liberated me from society’s expectations of women” Reply

From the Guardian. Such views always remind me of this cartoon…

I’m sure the Jacobin paternalists on the Continent would love to tell Nadiya how “oppressed” she is…

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by Nadiya Takolia

When you think of the hijab, you probably don’t think “political”. Or “independent”. Or “empowered”. Feminist? Certainly not – feminism is far better known for burnt bras and slut-walks than headscarves.

There is much misunderstanding about how women relate to their hijab. Some, of course, choose the headcover for religious reasons, others for culture or even fashion.

But in a society where a woman’s value seems focused on her sexual charms, some wear it explicitly as a feminist statement asserting an alternative mode of female empowerment. Politics, not religion, is the motivator here. I am one of these women.

Wearing the hijab was not something I deliberately set out to do. It was something I unexpectedly stumbled upon as a twentysomething undergraduate, reading feminist literature and researching stories of women’s lives in the sex industry. From perfume and clothes ads to children’s dolls and X Factor finals, you don’t need to go far to see that the woman/sex combination is everywhere.

It makes many of us feel like a pawn in society’s beauty game – ensuring that gloss in my hair, the glow in my face and trying to attain that (non-existent) perfect figure.

Subconsciously, I tried to avoid these demands – wearing a hat to fix a bad-hair day, sunglasses and specs to disguise a lack of makeup, baggy clothes to disguise my figure. It was an endless and tiresome effort to please everyone else.

Sure the hijab was not the only way to express my feelings and frustrations; but knowing that our interpretation of liberal culture embraces, if not encourages, uncovering, I decided to reject what society expected me to do, and cover up.

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ORG: Mobile filters censor innocent content Reply

A girl using a mobile phone

From BBC News.

Don’t “think of the children” too much, lest you lose valuable freedoms (and IQ points) in the process!

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Pornography filters on mobile phones are “censoring” normal web content, according to the Open Rights Group.

Its report found that 60 websites were incorrectly blocked by mobile filters designed to prevent children viewing adult content.

The affected sites included political commentaries, personal blogs and community websites.

The government is considering whether to apply similar blocks to fixed-line broadband services.

Peter Bradwell of the Open Rights Group, author of the report, said the study proved such tools were ineffective.

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The Antietam of the Culture War Reply

Note: Any serious anarchist and libertarian strategy needs to recognize that the culture wars are primarily a conflict with the upper middle class with the Left being the overall winner, and  with the rest of U.S. society divided on predictable socio-economic (i.e. class) lines.

By Pat Buchanan

It took Joe Biden’s public embrace of same-sex marriage to smoke him out.

But after Joe told David Gregory of “Meet the Press” he was “absolutely comfortable” with homosexuals marrying, Barack Obama could not maintain his credibility with the cultural elite if he stuck with the biblical view that God ordained marriage as solely between a man and woman. The biblical view had to go.

Obama had to move, or look like a malingerer in secularism’s next great moral advance into post-Christian America.

Consider. Obama had an appearance coming up on “The View,” where Whoopi Goldberg would have demanded to know why he lacked the courage of Biden’s convictions. He has a $40,000-a-plate fundraiser at George Clooney’s, where the Hollywood crowd would want to know why he does not end discrimination against homosexuals.

He has appearances lined up before gay activists raising millions for his campaign. Monday, his press secretary was pilloried for his feeble defense of Obama’s now-abandoned position.

His hand was forced. Yet the stand Obama took could cost him his presidency. Same-sex marriage may yet be a bridge too far, even for a dying Christian America.

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Marriage: the Health of the State? Reply

Thaddeus Russell makes his case.

Not that I think homosexuals should have to fit anyone’s Ideal Procrustean Queer mould, but do they not signal their social conservatism to the degree that they embrace this ritual?

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Back in the days when there was an identifiable counter-cultural movement in the United States, feminists, gay activists, and much of the left identified the institution of marriage as the foundation of conservative American culture and therefore something to oppose, not seek. But now, with more and more gays gaining official permission to marry, the left is celebrating a right that it used to compare with the right to be imprisoned. 

Those who consider themselves to be the descendants of the counter-cultural left are hailing President Barack Obama’s sudden embrace of gay marriage as a great victory not just for equality and civil rights but also for freedom. Yet historically, those who invented and promoted legal marriage did so with the explicit purpose of restraining the liberty of all of us. Were Emma Goldman, Allen Ginsberg, and the drag queens who threw bricks at the cops at the Stonewall Inn alive today, they might well say that Americans have all become “the Man.”

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Half Say View of Obama Not Affected by Gay Marriage Decision 1

Obama’s proclamation of support for same sex marriage solidified his support among Democrats, young people and college graduates. In general, Republicans, older people and less educated people responded unfavorably to the President. In comparison, the opinion of blacks remains relatively unchanged. The White House likely did not make this move without predicting a positive response from the public; particularly in an election year.


Pew Research Center

Roughly half of Americans (52%) say Barack Obama’s expression of support for gay marriage did not affect their opinion of the president. A quarter (25%) say they feel less favorably toward Obama because of this while 19% feel more favorably.

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BREAKING: Obama says he supports same-sex marriage 2

From CNN Politics

(CNN) — President Barack Obama said Wednesday he supports same-sex marriage, raising the political stakes on an issue over which Americans are evenly split.

The announcement was the first by a sitting president and put Obama squarely at odds with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

“At a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama said in an interview with ABC News.

Obama once opposed same-sex marriage. He later indicated his views were “evolving.”

“I had hesitated on gay marriage, in part, because I thought civil unions would be sufficient,” the president said. “I was sensitive to the fact that — for a lot of people — that the word marriage is something that provokes very powerful traditions and religious beliefs.”

Watch the video

Charles Johnson on his Many Publications, Libertarian Feminism and Anarchic Individualism 10

Interesting interview from the The Daily Bell.

Introduction:  Charles Johnson is a web developer, a prolific left-libertarian writer and book author, a student of philosophy, and sometime teacher of logic. He was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1981 and has lived most of his life in the South, especially in Texas and Alabama. He studied philosophy and computer science at Auburn University and spent about eight years living in southeast Michigan (Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor) and Las Vegas, Nevada. He also spent a few summers teaching philosophy classes to gifted teenagers through the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. Today, he works on open-source web development, a number of individualist anarchist research and publishing projects and philosophical writing. He currently lives in Auburn, Alabama with his wife and has some interaction as weill with the Von Mises Institute located there. Some of this interview was provided in written form.

Daily Bell: You’re quite prolific. Give us some background on yourself and your beliefs.

Charles W. Johnson: Sure, thanks. I’m an individualist Anarchist writer, living and working in Auburn, Alabama, together with my beloved wife, Laura. I’m 30 years old; I’ve spent some time doing jobs from cooking pizza to teaching logic, and nowadays I make my living with a combination of open-source web development, freelance writing, and printing and publishing literature from the anarchist tradition. I’ve written columns appearing in libertarian and anarchist publications like The Freeman and Free Voices; I keep a long-running blog at radgeek.com, which has been in operation since 2001; and I recently co-edited a large anthology of market anarchist writing, called Markets Not Capitalism: Individualist Anarchism Against Bosses, Inequality, Corporate Power, and Structural Poverty, which brings together a lot of the themes that have run through my work on individual liberty, voluntary co-operation, social movements for liberation and structures of social and economic power.

As far as my beliefs go, I’m what you might call a left-wing individualist anarchist. My core political beliefs are based in an opposition to coercion, and government, and all forms of bossing and for a world based in free and creative ways of living. So I am a libertarian because I think that individual liberty and mutual consent are essential to any kind of humane and civilized social relationships. And I’m an anarchist because I think that any kind of government – no matter who runs it, and no matter how “limited” it may claim to be – is always going to mean coercion and social control. Both in itself (since coercion is the business of governments, even “limited” governments – taxes, borders, war, prisons and police), and also in the ways that governments use their monopoly on political control to protect themselves from challengers, destroy social or legal constraints on their unchecked power, and to amplify existing social inequality and immunize oppression from criticism. All of political life, as I see it, should be a matter of free relationships, voluntary participation, cooperation through free markets and civil society, not coordination coerced through political commands.

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The Therapeutic State Targets the L.A. Porn Industry 1

From Reason.Com.

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OK boys, strap on your rubbers, it’s raining nonsense.

The Los Angeles City Council voted 9-1 to require male porn actors to wrap their rascals and wear condoms when they’re shooting. And when they’re filming.

The move is being closely watched by other filth hamlets looking to “protect” their citizenry from disease, pregnancy, and profit, and will ultimately force this long-standing pillar of entertainment away from L.A.’s safe and welcoming bosom.

Pornography is not real life. It’s neither instructional nor realistic and neither end has ever been the purpose of good buggery videos. Porn is supposed to transport you to a naughty, secret garden where your privates are free to do as they wish in the confines of your own sinful clutches. You should be free from moral distraction when you’ve got a fistful of the one you love.

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Tolerance: Not a Two-Way Street? Reply

Article by Jim Goad.

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The rabidly politicized, mad-as-hell, accept-us-or-die quotient of gay Americans—at last count, somewhere between 97 to 99 percent of them—seem determined to prove that they can get just as offended as your average hillbilly breeder mountaineer, if not more so.

It’s as if they’re taking it to the streets, up into the hills, and down into the hollers to spread a simple message—“You think you can get offended, you stupid, hateful, one-toothed, inbred, Christ-worshiping rednecks? You ain’t seen an uptight bunch of whiny wah-wah emotionally retarded walking fetuses until you’ve tangled with us!”

Exhibit A: The highly publicized story of butch cunnilinguists Jennifer Tipton and Olivier Odom, the latter of whom on Tuesday apparently didn’t deem it an act of cultural provocation to attend Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Splash Country up in the generally Christian, generally conservative, generally heterosexual Appalachian Mountains while clad in a “[marriage is so gay]” sleeveless T-shirt that showcased Odom’s rippling biceps and tribal forearm tattoo.

At the entrance, a park official requested that Odom turn his her T-shirt inside-out in compliance with a park policy that bans potentially “offensive” apparel and body adornments. Odom complied, then filed a complaint with the park, and then apparently went crying to a receptive and empathetic press. Her partner Jennifer Tipton, whose voice isn’t nearly as deep nor her hair quite as short, said she found it “so offensive” that park officials found Odom’s muscle shirt so offensive. She also accused Splash Country of hypocrisy for not banning “rebel flags” and “offensive tattoos” among its other patrons.

“Clearly, offensiveness is in the eye of the beholder. So is the concept of whether acting like a barbarian when in Rome makes one an asshole.”