"Conscience Clause" Allows Prison Guard to Confiscate a Rape Victim's Morning After Pill

There's not much a fellow can say, is there?

"Conscience Clause" Allows Prison Guard to Confiscate a Rape Victim's Morning After Pill
By Robin Marty
June 29 2012

We've watched the definition of "conscience clause" be expanded to include everyone from nurses and data entry workers at hospitals to bus drivers refusing to drop off patients at clinics. But now a prison guard refused to allow a rape victim to take the second dose of emergency contraception (which prevents fertilization) claiming it was "against her beliefs." That's a new one.

Via Addicting Info:

A Tampa woman whom we only know as R.W., was raped. She was treated by the rape crisis center, who gave her two emergency contraception pills, one to be taken immediately and one to be taken 12 hours later. When she reported the rape to the police, they uncovered an arrest warrant on R.W. for failure to pay restitution and failure to appear. After she was arrested, a Hillsborough County guard confiscated her second pill, claiming it was against her religious beliefs.

But this is exactly what happens when "conscience" is allowed to trump a woman's rights to avoid pregnancy. R.W. is suing the sheriff's office, and as well she should. This isn't just about women denied access when jailed (Although that in itself is problematic -- should a woman fear reporting a crime because she may be arrested? Not to mention the fact that women who are sexually assaulted while in jail may also be at the whim of a guard or someone in authorityin obtaining access to emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy).

No, this case also brings to light how those who are "in charge" when it comes to dispensing are able to inflict their own moral beliefs onto someone else. In states like Kansas, which seek to expand conscience clauses well beyond health workers, the putative "rights" if those who wield power are being allowed to trump those of the patient in need. AlterNet

Please Don't Mention The War

When a blog author, me, had this to say previously:

When All Else Fails Roll Out Adolf Hitler - Rick Santorum

I've lost count as to how many times I have iterated the header in commenting on this blog. When you are talking bullshit and you have nothing to support your argument, roll out Adolf.

It then leaves little doubt as to why I have picked up on this article posted in the BBC's News Magazine.

Making some excellent points on all manner things, both historical and contemporary, there is little I would disagree with, other than, yes there is always an other than or a but in most everything one reads. And so there should be, critical thought differentiates us as individuals rather than one of the flock, plebeian or religious, the choice matters not.

The author writes:

When I read well-intentioned people talking about the impossibility of assimilating Muslims in my adopted country of France, for instance, I become frightened when I see that they are usually entirely unaware that they are repeating - often idea for idea and sometimes word for word - the themes of the anti-Semitic polemics that set off the Dreyfus affair a century ago.

Yes quite. Don't we already know that Muslims just want to be left alone so they can subjugate their women in peace? The odd Jihad apart that is. When you find Utopia Mister Gopnik, please do let me know.

But that said, the rest of it quite readable.


A Point of View: Don’t mention the war?
by Adam Gopnik
29 June 2012

It's time to stop invoking Hitler and the Nazis in arguments about everything from censorship to birth control - but we should never stop heeding the lessons of World War II, says Adam Gopnik.
Whoops! sorry, wrong photo, here's the one.



It's time to stop invoking Hitler and the Nazis in arguments about everything from censorship to birth control - but we should never stop heeding the lessons of World War II, says Adam Gopnik.

Over the past few weeks, I have been talking about bees, and the Beatles, and babies (at least ones who are babies no longer), and also about books and bad reviews. I am as deep in the Bs as the crew that went hunting for the Snark in Lewis Carroll.

I hope you will forgive me if I turn this week to something, if not more serious, then more obviously sombre, and that is the question of what the memory of World War II ought to mean to people now.

It recedes, its soldiers die, its battles become the occasion for camp fantasy, or Quentin Tarantino movies - the same thing.

Recently, the Economist published a long book review asking just that; what WWII ought to mean to people now?

We know already what it means to publishers and television networks. The publishers love new books about the war's battles, and the cable shows can never get enough Nazis. A German friend once complained to me that educated Westerners often know far more about the German government during those five years of war than they do about all German governments in the 60 years of subsequent peace.

But then, as The Economist wrote: "the sheer magnitude of the human tragedy of [WWII] puts it in a class of its own, and its relative closeness to the present day makes claims on the collective memory that more remote horrors cannot."

Does it, should it, make such claims? Of course, there is a band of American neo-conservatives who insist on seeing every new year as another 1938, with whomever is the monster of the week cast as a Hitler figure.

On the other extreme, there are those who insist that there is, in a sense, nothing to learn from what happened then, because it was so uniquely, horribly evil. There is even a principle, frequently repeated during internet squabbles, and half-jokingly called Godwin's Law (after Mike Godwin, an expert in internet law of the unjoking kind, who first invoked it). It states simply that as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler gets greater. The stupider the argument becomes, the more likely someone is to use the "reductio ad Hitlerium".

Therefore Godwin's law implies - and this is the law-like bit - one should try never to compare anything or anyone current to Nazis, Nazism - or for that matter, to mention 1938, Munich, appeasement or any of the rest of the arsenal of exhausted exemplars. It's a bit like Basil Fawlty's old rule when the German guests come to the hotel: "Whatever you do, don't mention the war!"

And, to an extent, this caution is sane and sound.

The people on the right who invoke "liberal fascism" should be bundled off - with those on the left, who morph Thatcher's or Blair's picture into Himmler's - shut up in a library, and made to read some history.

But I'm always haunted by the simple words of the historian Richard Evans towards the end of his good book, The Third Reich at War, where he said that we should always remember that what happened was not some act of Satan - though Satanic acts took place - but the result of the unleashed power of long latent traditions of militarism, nationalism and the hatred of difference. It was the force of three ever-living things, braided together like hissing, poisonous snakes around a healthy tree.

The danger is that each of these things is not necessarily evil on first appearance, and each seeks a new name in new times.

"There are obvious topics in which the [Nazi] comparison recurs. In discussions about guns and the Second Amendment, for example, gun-control advocates are periodically reminded that Hitler banned personal weapons.

"And birth-control debates are frequently marked by pro-lifers' insistence that abortionists are engaging in mass murder, worse than that of Nazi death camps. And in any newsgroup in which censorship is discussed, someone inevitably raises the spectre of Nazi book-burning.

"I developed Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies: as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."

The old distinction between patriotism and nationalism, made many times by many people, has never been more vital to our mental health than it is now - as vital for the health of the country as the distinction between sexual fantasy and pornography is for the health of a marriage. Patriotism, like fantasy, is a kind of sauce, a pleasing irrationalism that is part of what makes us human - and saucy. Nationalism, like pornography, is a kind of narcissistic addiction that devours our humanity.

Patriotism is a love of a place and of the people in a place. As GK Chesterton understood, it becomes more intense the smaller the unit gets, so that it was possible for him to feel more patriotism for Notting Hill than for Britain.

Nationalism is the opposite belief; that your place is better than everyone else's and that people who don't feel this way about it are somehow victimising you.

Recently in America, "exceptionalism" has become the new name for this illness. All nations are exceptional, but some are more exceptional than others, and America is the most exceptional of all. This sounds like a mordant joke, but it is actually what many people in the US believe, and want everyone else to believe, and routinely arraign President Obama for not believing in enough. (As it happens, for good or ill, he does.)

To believe this, it is necessary first of all to be exceptional in never having lived in any other place that thinks itself exceptional.

"History is full of wars that were bloodier than the Second World War. As a proportion of the population, more people were killed during the An Lushan rebellion in 8th Century China, for example, or by the Thirty Years War in 17th Century central Europe.

"But the sheer magnitude of the human tragedy of WWII puts it in a class of its own, and its relative closeness to the present day makes claims on the collective memory that more remote horrors cannot."

Any American lucky enough to grow up in Canada, as I did, which believes itself rightly to be exceptional among the world's nations in its ability to cover an entire continent in common values without the governments ever having once resorted to internal violence. Or else to have lived, as I also have been lucky enough to do, for many years in France, which believes itself to be exceptional among the countries of the world because… well, I haven't time to enumerate all those reasons, though they were nicely summed up in Noel Coward's remark, just after the death of General De Gaulle. Asked what De Gaulle might say to God, Coward said that that depended entirely on how good God's French was.

Exceptionalism, it seems, is the least exceptional thing on earth.

Just as nationalism is the opposite of patriotism, not its extension, so militarism is an emotion opposed to the universal urge to honour soldiers for their courage. Militarism is the belief that the military's mission is moral, or moralistic. That the army can be used to restore the honour of the nation, or to improve our morals, and that a failure to use it to right every imagined affront is a failure of nerve, rather than a counsel of good sense.

After 9/11, in the US we suffered from a plague of militarism of this kind, again mostly from sagging middle-aged writers who wanted to send someone else's kids to war so that the middle-aged men could feel more manly in the face of a national insult. Militarism is not the soldiers' faith that war can be conducted honourably, but the polemicist's belief that war confers honour.

Hatred of difference - notice I carefully did not say racial hatred, or religious hatred. Hitler hated Jews because of their religion, and because of their race, but he hated them above all because of their otherness.

When I read well-intentioned people talking about the impossibility of assimilating Muslims in my adopted country of France, for instance, I become frightened when I see that they are usually entirely unaware that they are repeating - often idea for idea and sometimes word for word - the themes of the anti-Semitic polemics that set off the Dreyfus affair a century ago. For those writers, too, believed not that Jews were eternally evil, but that Judaism was just too different, too foreign to France, and tied to violence against the nation and its heritage.

And indeed there were Jewish anarchists in Europe, as there are Muslim extremists now. But there was never a Jewish problem in France, any more than there is a Muslim problem now.

This is a question in which after a half-millennium of religious warfare, the results are really all in. If we accept the Enlightenment values of tolerance, coexistence and mutual pursuit of material happiness, things in the long run work out. If we don't, they won't.

So, from now, when we evoke Godwin's Law, as we ought to, I would like to propose Gopnik's Amendment to it. We should never believe that people who differ from us about how we ought to spend public money want to commit genocide or end democracy, and we should stop ourselves from saying so, even in the pixelled heat of internet argument.

But when we see the three serpents of militarism, nationalism and hatred of difference we should never be afraid to call them out, loudly, by name, and remind ourselves and other people, even more loudly still, of exactly what they have made happen in the past.

We should never, in this sense, be afraid to mention the war. We should say, listen: you've heard all this before - but let me tell you again just what happened in the garden the last time someone let the snakes out. It is exactly the kind of lesson that history is supposed to be there to teach us. BBC

Summer Safe: It’s Lightning Safety Awareness Week

Lightning can happen at any time of year, but did you know that summer is the peak season for deadly lightning strikes? That’s why the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has declared June 24-30 Lightning Safety Awareness Week.

According to NOAA, dozens of people die and hundreds are injured every year when they are hit by lightning. But these incidents are largely preventable with just a few tips:

  1. When thunder roars, go indoors! If you can hear thunder from a storm, it means you are also in striking distance of lightning; you should go indoors immediately.
  2. Get somewhere safe. A safe shelter is a building with at roof and sides, such as a house, school, shopping mall, grocery store or office building. A hard-topped vehicle is also safe, but you’re not protected in motorcycles, open vehicles such as Jeeps or golf carts. 
  3. If someone around you is stuck by lightning: Call 911 immediately. Lightning victims will not electrocute you, so they are safe to touch. Be prepared to start CPR or use an automated external defibrillator if the person does not have a pulse.
Pretty simple, right? Preparedness doesn’t get much easier!

For more information about lightning safety, check out NOAA’s new YouTube video.

American Red Cross Issues Emergency Call for Blood Donors Now

The American Red Cross blood supply has reached emergency levels with 50,000 fewer donations than expected in June. This shortfall leaves the Red Cross with half the readily available blood products on hand now than this time last year.

The Red Cross is calling on all eligible blood donors – now more than ever – to roll up a sleeve and give as soon as possible. All blood types are needed, but especially O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative in order to meet patient demand this summer.

An unseasonably early start to spring may be a contributing factor to this year’s decrease in donations. Many regular donors got an early start on summer activities and aren’t taking time to give blood or platelets. In addition, this year’s mid-week Independence Day holiday has reduced the number of scheduled Red Cross blood drives. Many sponsors, especially businesses, are unable to host drives because employees are taking extended vacations.

Unfortunately, patients don’t get a holiday from needing blood products. The need is constant. Approximately every two seconds, a patient in the United States needs a blood transfusion. Blood and platelets are used for many different kinds of treatments. They include accident and burns, heart surgery, organ transplants, complications during childbirth and for patients receiving treatment for cancer or sickle cell disease.

“Blood must be available at a moment’s notice when seconds count to help save or sustain a life. We have reached an emergency situation and the blood will not be there without the immediate response of volunteer blood donors,” said Donna M. Morrissey, Director, Communications, American Red Cross Blood Services – Northeast Division. “The Red Cross relies upon generous blood donors so we can supply blood when and where it is needed. Right now, patients in hospitals across the country need you to roll up your sleeve and give the gift of lifesaving blood.”

The Northern New England Region is seeking to collect 8300 units over the next two weeks. Each and every blood donation is crucial. To reach its goal, the Red Cross is adding emergency blood drives and extending blood drive hours and scheduled drives.  In addition, the Red Cross is reaching out to eligible blood donors, blood drive sponsors and community leaders to ask them to recruit blood donors to help meet the needs of patients in communities across the United States. To give blood donors additional opportunities to donate, the Red Cross Donor Centers in Portland and Bangor have extended hours, starting June 26, and will have a special opening on Monday, July 2, from 11 am to 7 pm. Additionally, the hours have been increased at many Maine blood drives through July 10. Eligible donors are asked to call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to find a blood drive and to make appointments.

As a special thank you for helping to turn the tide against a potential shortage, all presenting donors in July will receive a coupon for a free* carton of Friendly’s Ice Cream, redeemable at any participating Friendly’s restaurant.


About the American Red Cross:                                                                                                
The American Red Cross has been a primary supplier of lifesaving blood products in the United States for more than 50 years. Eligible volunteer blood donors are asked to please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to find a blood drive and to make appointments.  Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to give blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.



*Sales tax additional in some locations.

Catholic Brother Murdered Thirty Seven Boys



Multiple deaths at boys’ home were no accident

By Robert Chesal
28 June 2012

A Roman Catholic brother administered a deadly overdose of medication to 37 severely handicapped boys at a home for the disabled in the Netherlands 60 years ago, the Dutch public prosecution office has confirmed. On the heels of a castration scandal in the church this spring, a deeply macabre cold case has been solved.

Murder, manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter. Thirty-seven counts. Those are the charges that would have been brought against Brother Andreas if he were still alive and if the statue of limitations had not expired.

The public prosecutor in the Dutch city of Roermond reports that Andreas, who belonged to a congregation called the Brothers of the Holy Joseph, put the permanently bedridden boys to death one by one, shortly after they arrived at the home between 1952 and 1954.

No regrets

The public prosecutor's report, released this morning finally clarifies a sharp spike in deaths during that period at the Saint Joseph's home in the tiny southern hamlet of Heel.

Brother Andreas himself wrote in his memoirs that he had acted with the permission of his brother superior at Saint Joseph's, and in his writings he never expressed any regrets, according to the prosecutor's report.

If the staff medical doctor at the facility in Heel were alive today, he would be charged with forgery for issuing 37 death certificates falsely indicating death by natural causes.

The "Injection Brother"

The report details the worst crimes within Dutch Roman Catholic institutions since the sexual abuse scandal erupted in 2010. It does not specify the actual cause of death of the 37 youngsters, but calls it probable that the boys died of an overdose of medication, either morphine or Phenobarbital.

The statue of limitations for the criminal acts described in the report expired in 1972. The main "suspects" in the case are dead. Brother Andreas, who was known at Saint Joseph's as the "injection brother," died in 1997 and lies buried in Westvleteren, Belgium.

The Dutch public prosecution reports that several other brothers at Saint Joseph's were aware of what Andreas was doing. In 1954, at the very moment that the labor inspectorate was to begin an investigation into abuse allegations, Andreas was moved to another facility.

"Death room"

The spike in deaths in Heel came to light last year when the Deetman Commission, which was investigating sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, found suspicious evidence in the archives of the diocese of Roermond. The commission turned over the case to the public prosecutor’s office.

Amid a public outcry, the prosecutor launched a fact-finding inquiry last May, putting six investigators on the case. It was announced at that time that no criminal prosecutions would be possible.

As the story gripped the country, Nico van Hout, former head nurse at St Joseph's, told investigators from the prosecution office about a conversation he had when he was hired in 1969. An elderly nurse, a monk named Augustinus, took him by the arm to the infirmary and showed him the coffin storage rooms and the "death room."

False death certificates

Augustinus claimed his predecessor had personally killed 20 of the boys "to put them out of their suffering," Van Hout said.

Nico van Hout told the prosecutors he then went to the staff medical doctor at St Joseph's and confronted him with the story. The doctor told him the situation had been "a real headache." When Van Hout asked him what he meant, he said that "you could write 'heart failure' on a few of the death certificates, but you couldn't keep on filling in the same cause of death."

Aside from the deaths by overdose, the prosecution office's report also cited documentation of rampant physical and sexual abuse by the brothers at Saint Joseph's. Less severely disabled boys were slammed against walls, choked, and hit in the face with a ring of keys. At night they were put to work in a makeshift factory in the cellar where they produced light bulbs for Philips.

Widespread cover-up

The Dutch authorities at different levels were aware of the deaths, exploitation of children and other abuses as early as 1954, but none reported them to the police or prosecution service. The prosecutor's report says the facts were covered up by successive directors and management of the Saint Joseph's home, superiors of the Brothers of the Holy Joseph, the state labour and public health inspectors, and the state child protection authority.

The diocese of Roermond, responsible for the village of Heel, was also aware of the deaths and helped to cover them up, even though it was aware of the likelihood of foul play, the public prosecutor's report says. Even by the standards of that day, the prosecution service adds, it was "unacceptable" that the diocese took no further action.

Government cover-up

The labour inspectorate informed the diocese it would not report the deaths to higher authorities "so as not to harm the Catholic cause." Correspondence cited by the prosecution also indicates that the Secretary General of the child protection authority offered to ensure that the justice ministry "would not raise a stink" about the severe physical punishments meted out at Saint Joseph's.

The cover-up even extended to the Dutch government in The Hague. A high-ranking Catholic official at the justice ministry was informed in 1954 of the punishments and child labour taking place at the home. He wrote to the bishop of Roermond that if "a good solution" were found, "the minister would be willing to refrain from taking steps against Saint Joseph's."

The prosecution service informed all of the victims' next of kin of its findings prior to releasing today's report. RNW


Tagged Catholic Church Netherlands

The (US) Photo Galleries of Volker Dierks

Awesome I tell you, awesome, and in the truest meaning of the word.

I stumbled upon the photo galleries of Herr Volker Dierks' travels in America. Check out his posts tagged North America Travels for a remarkable visual feast.

eta: Or simply go to these links, where each thumbnail opens an album. USA 2007 - USA 2008

What I did find unavoidable though, was to consider the supreme irony, that of a single country that boasts both the Grand Canyon and Creationism.

eta: But for something really shameful, please read below the fold.







If ever a turn of phrase needed preserving, it has to be this, uttered by former Colorado River guide, Tom Vail. Not only should it be preserved, it should be etched in stone and given a prominent place in every educational institution throughout America.

Just as the fundamentalists want the Ten Commandments displayed in public buildings, Roy and His Rock, then so should this, as a dire warning to what can happen to reason and understanding, when people get God.


Then I met the Lord. Now, I have "a different view"

For years, as a Colorado River guide I told people how the Grand Canyon was formed over the evolutionary time scale of millions of years. Then I met the Lord. Now, I have "a different view" of the Canyon, which, according to a biblical time scale, can't possibly be more than about a few thousand years old. Come and view the Grand Canyon with 23 creation scientists and theologians from around the world. This 10" X 8", 104 page hard cover book is filled with informative essays and stunning photos, many by Canyon guide Charly Heavenrich. Grand Canyon, a different view will take your breath away, stimulate your imagination and presents the facts about the Grand Canyon from a Biblical perspective. Though educational enough for a home school book, it is equally beautiful as a gift or coffee table book.

Though educational enough for a home school book What more do you need to be told about home schooling than that little gem? If you only watch one clip, watch the first one. All You Ever Wanted To Know About Child Abuse


And to the powers that be at the Grand Canyon National Park Service, those that allowed this travesty of a book to go on sale in the park's tourist shop, I would sack the fucking lot of you. It would be, Oi! you, get your kit packed and fuck right off, you're fucking sacked.

Reams of stuff here on Vail's book and the Grand Canyon National Park Service.

New Study: Is a Calorie a Calorie?

A new study in JAMA led by Dr. Cara B. Ebbeling and colleagues purports to challenge the idea that all calories are equally fattening (1).  Let's have a look.  When thinking about the role of calorie intake in body fatness, there are basically three camps:

1.    Calories don’t matter at all, only diet composition matters.
2.    Calories are the only thing that matters, and diet composition is irrelevant.
3.    Calories matter, but diet composition may also play a role.

The first one is an odd position that is not very well populated.  The second one has a lot of adherents in the research world, and there’s enough evidence to make a good case for it.  It’s represented by the phrase ‘a calorie is a calorie’, i.e. all calories are equally fattening.  #1 and #2 are both extreme positions, and as such they get a lot of attention.  But the third group, although less vocal, may be closest to the truth. 
Read more »

Information About Respiratory Therapy

Human beings come across many ailments and disorders in their day-to-day lives. Respiratory problems and diseases are among the many ailments that human beings face. With the pollution that goes on in the world today, you will find quite a number of people suffering from chronic ailments and acute disorders. Such people may have problems with their respiratory system. Diseases and disorders related with the respiratory system can make someone have difficulty in breathing. Extreme cases of respiratory failure usually lead to death.

However, the good thing is that there are measures, methods and medicine that can be used to control some of the disorders and diseases associated with the respiratory system. One of the ways of treating these disorders is through respiratory therapy. This therapy generally manages and treats chronic diseases and disorders. It mainly employs the use of specialized machines such as respirators. The medication given is administered in the form of an aerosol.

Due to the large number of people who are suffering from respiratory related diseases and disorders, quite a number of medical students are specializing in respiratory therapy. Accredited institutions have been put in place to train medical students on how they can become respiratory therapists.

What is the exact job description of a respiratory therapist?

- Help to diagnose, manage and treat patients who have pulmonary disorders
- Take lung capacity measurements to see if there is any impaired function.
- Collection and analysis of blood, breath specimens and sputum. This will help them know the levels of carbon dioxide, oxygen and other gases present in the specimens.
- Examine and interview patients on the discomforts they experience
- Give guidance and direction on the use of some of the respiratory equipment used for controlling the disorders e.g. how to use an asthma inhaler
- Give a patient oxygen depending on the diagnosis that was made

As stated earlier, there are various institutions that have been established to help people get certification in respiratory care. Someone who wants to become a respiratory therapist must also be registered as a professional with the national body that handles matters dealing with healthcare provision. Once certified and registered, it is possible for one to start their own private practice and specialize in providing respiratory healthcare services. The minimum requirement before being registered and certified is a degree, more preferably in the medical field.

The above information is useful for people who want to pursue a career in respiratory healthcare.

For more Respiratory Therapy information go to respiratorytherapistcareer.com

Chiropractic Theory: Going Back To Where It Started

Chiropractic care is a popular form of natural treatment today that focuses on the spine and the central nervous system. It believes that an aligned spine is the cure to any sickness or pain felt in the nervous system. Doctors of chiropractors study chiropractic theory and principles for years. They are licensed physicians who will mostly use their hands to treat you. What is the story behind chiropractic? When did it start?

A Canadian man named Daniel David Palmer invented chiropractic in 1895. He was called a "magnetic healer" at that time. A magnetic healer is someone who transfers healing energy just by touching or waving his hands over the patient. Mesmerism, vitalism and spiritualism are his influences to believe in a mystical healing force. Vitalism was the belief that living matter has vital energy similar to the "chi" of the Chinese. For Palmer, he had his own term for vital energy and he called it "Innate Intelligence". For him, innate intelligence flows throughout the human body starting from the head, to the spine, the nerves and the different organs of the body. This was the start of the chiropractic theory.

Palmer's chiropractic theory states that all diseases are caused by a misalignment in the spine. He called this misalignment as "subluxation" and chiropractic treatments are done to get rid of this subluxation. A subluxation blocks the flow of innate intelligence in the body, which leads to pain, discomfort and sickness. Consequently, since Palmer believes that subluxation is the cause of all diseases, he rejects the germ theory. The germ theory states that all diseases come from an infection caused by microorganism. At that time, the germ theory was a huge discovery in the field of medicine as it prompted the formulation and administration of vaccines.

Both Palmer and Barlett Joshua Palmer, his son, believed that vaccines are mere poisons to the body. Despite the discoveries made by the medical field, they continue curing diseases through chiropractic care. Not long after, their chiropractic services have become a business of teaching individuals how to be chiropractors. They claim that they are teaching the most complete and all around medical education.

Today, chiropractic care is indeed a holistic approach to treatment. It believes in the body's ability to self-heal but chiropractors believe that the body needs a push to do this. The body is built to have multiple natural self-repair systems. You can see this when your wound starts healing by itself. Chiropractors do not perform any invasive treatment. Rather, they give the body its need push to activate its self-healing mechanisms once again.

Since 1895, questions and doubt have been laid on the table regarding chiropractic theory but as you can see, chiropractic has survived and lives on today. Millions of Americans seek chiropractic care and believe in its effectiveness to treat diseases and relieve pain. Scientists and medical practitioners can say anything they want but the fact remains that people have been cured by chiropractic treatments and personal testimonies are always good evidence for its effectiveness and success.

For more visit www.legerchirohealth.com

The leading health professionals at Leger Chiro-Health And Wellness are dedicated to helping you achieve your wellness objectives -- combining skill and expertise that spans the entire chiropractic wellness spectrum. Dr. is committed to bringing you better health and a better way of life by teaching and practicing the true principles of chiropractic wellness care. He truly believes in patient education -- so that you can take an active role in your health!

Nutritional Value and Tips for Caribbean Fruits

Water fruits have a high water content, varying from 75 to 90 percent. The water in fruit contains soluble substances such as sugars, minerals, water-soluble vitamins and fruits acid. The quality makes it suitable for use in various drinks and beverages.

Carbohydrate is present in the form of sugar, pectin and cellulose. The sugar is usually in the form of fructose and glucose. When the fruit is unripe it contains starch, which is converted by enzymes to sugar as the fruit matures. Cellulose form the outer covering and framework of the fruit. The pectin is very useful in making jams and jellies as it contributes the setting quality of fruits. Fruits which are just ripe contain more pectin than those which are very ripe. When making jellies it is necessary to combine fruits low in pectin with those rich in this chemical, or add the commercial product if insufficient fruits rich in pectin are being used.

Most fruits contain a good supply of vitamin C. The West Indian Cherry is an excellent source, and the citrus are also very good. Fruits with yellow or orange colour are good sources of carotene, the precursor of Vitamin A; examples are mango and papaya. Fruits are generally low in B vitamins.

Minerals - Fruits do not supply these in large quantities but they are good sources of potassium which is needed in small quantities for the acid-base balance in blood and body fluids. Some contain small amount of iron, magnesium or calcium.

Acid - These combined with sugars are responsible for the flavours -, e.g. citric acid in citrus. They are useful in jam-making and they aid in the digestive processes.

There is very little protein present and normally no fat except in fruits such as avocado and ackee, which are usually grouped as vegetables.

Selection

1. Select Fruits in season because they will be good in quality.

2. Select fresh, unwithered fruit; stale fruits have lost some of their nutritional value.

3. They should be of good quality; i.e uniform size, firm and without bruises. Bruises causes decoloration due to oxidation.

4. Purchase only amount needed as fruits do not have good keeping quality.

5. Fruits that should be last over long period of time should be purchased at varying degrees of ripeness.

6. Select fruits according to the specific se; e.g. fruits for jams and jellies should be just ripe and fruits for purees should be very ripe.

7. If there is an abundance in supply and the it can be cheaply bough, it is good economy to buy and preserve for the future

Storage

Fruits deteriorate rapidly because of their high water content and enzyme action. Fruits lose moisture through evaporation. This, in turn, will cause withering. Fruits, therefore, should not be left open indefinitely. Enzymes continue the ripening process and will eventually cause over-ripening and deterioration. Fruits cut or bruised and left exposed deteriorate rapidly as well as become discoloured. This can sometime be prevented by sprinklings with the juice of citrus fruits. Ripe fruits which are to be stored for short periods should therefore be:

1. Wrapped and put in a covered container;
2. Placed in a cool temperature such as a refrigerator to retard enzyme and bacterial action;
3. Set apart from those already rotting to avoid contamination.

Unripe fruits should be kept at room temperature and refrigerated when ripe.

Storage for Long Periods.

1. Remove water by dehydraton.
2. Cook and bottle in syrup.
3. Make jam and jellies using high sugar concentration to preserve fruit.
4. Freeze fruits which do not have a high water content.

Andrew Peterson is an expert nutritionalist based in the Caribbean. He is also an expert chef specializing in Jamaican Food, Many of Andrews famous Jamaican Recipes can be found the website Jamaicanscooking.com.

Stuttering Myths And Speech Therapy

When it comes to stuttering myths we've heard them all. Not only do we not like them because they are myths, we feel it's important to specifically address each one. So here goes...

Myths about stuttering

Myth: Those who stutter are not as smart as those who do not.

Reality: The reality is that there is absolutely no link whatsoever between stuttering and intelligence. There are plenty of doctors, lawyers, and college professors who stutter.

Myth: People stutter because the situation they are in is making them nervous.

Reality: Stuttering is in no way caused by nervousness. It would also be a grand mistake to assume that those who do stutter are somehow more prone to being more fearful, nervous, anxious, or shy than the rest of us.

Myth: By imitating someone who stutters or being around someone who stutters all the time stuttering may be "caught".

Reality: Nothing could be further from the truth. We don't actually know the exact causes of stuttering. Researchers are seeing clues that point to family history / genetics, neurological development and the child's environment, including family dynamics, as possible causes. It seems that all of theses play some role in the onset of stuttering but at this point it's all still unclear exactly where it comes from.

Myth: A person who stutters can control their stuttering by simply taking a deep breath before they speak or by thinking about what they want to say before speaking.

Reality: Becoming more self-conscious by employing these strategies not only does not help, it actually can make the stuttering far worse. A better response is to encourage a person who stutters by being a patient listener and then modeling slow and clear speech.

Myth: Stuttering may be caused by stress!

Reality: While there is little doubt that stress can aggravate stuttering there is no truth to the myth that it causes it. As already stated, there a lots of contributors to the cause of stuttering but stress is not one of them.

Myth: Stuttering is incurable.

Reality: You speak with and see people on television and hear people on the radio every day who have stuttered at some point in their lives. Most likely the reason you no longer hear them stuttering is because they have worked with a licensed speech therapist, receiving speech therapy to overcome their stuttering to the point that it is no longer a thought or concern.

Speech Therapy Nashville, brought to you by Marianne P. Sperry and Associates, specializes in helping children with all of their speech therapy and speech pathology needs.

Eugenics or Murder in the Dutch Catholic Church? Castration Certainly

Eugenics or murder? The article hints at a third motive, mercy killing. But having reported recently on the horrors that have been perpetrated on children by the Dutch Catholic Church, I'm having none of it. Continued after the fold.


Catholic monk responsible for dozens of deaths
25 June 2012

One man is responsible for the deaths of dozens of boys at the Saint Joseph mental institution in the province of Limburg, according to an investigation conducted by the local newspaper De Limburger.

Between 1952 and 1954, the mortality rate at Saint Joseph’s was alarmingly high. According to De Limburger, prosecutors will soon release the findings of their investigation into one of the most serious cases of abuse within a Catholic institution. The newspaper writes that a man called Brother Andreas, who is already deceased, was responsible for the deaths of the severely handicapped boys.

It is apparently unclear if Brother Andreas, also known as Brother Death, killed the boys or if they died because of neglect. It is also unclear whether Brother Andreas was motivated to spare the boys their suffering. RNW


Below is an introduction and link to a fifteen minute report on 'all things Dutch' for want of a better expression. The program begins with a report of forcible castrations committed on boys by the Dutch Catholic Church in the Fifties.

eta These were healthy boys that were subject to these atrocities, and for reasons most foul. I didn't want to give the impression that it was the mentally subnormal that had undergone these operations.

If these horrific goings on are new to you, you may first wish to read about these, and other abuses, that I cover in three previous posts under the tag, Catholic church Netherlands.

The horror of the abuse described in the report, is but nearly matched by the horror of the excuses given by the then, Dutch authorities of the day.

Church castrations
Over the past year, the Dutch have been shocked by evidence of child sex abuse within the Catholic Church. It appears that the abuse was widespread and that church officials conspired to cover it up. New evidence has now emerged that a number of young men were forcibly castrated after they complained about being abused.

Paying for testimony?
Peter la Serpe, the key witness in the Amsterdam liquidation case, will allegedly be paid 1.4 million euros as part of his witness protection agreement with the Ministry of Justice. The Dutch news organisation NOS says it has documents that lay out the details of that agreement. It's the latest twist in the prosecution of the suspects in a series of mob-style executions in Amsterdam between 1991 and 2005. La Serpe was allegedly a hitman who had a hand in at least one of the murders. Peter la Serpe's attorney has filed a complaint against the prosecution for the leak of the information to NOS. The Justice Ministry, meanwhile, has denied that La Serpe is being paid for his testimony.

The Dutch 30-hour work week
Dutch employees work the least number of hours in Europe. The European average is 37.5 hours a week; the Dutch only work 30.6 hours. Even though worker productivity in the Netherlands is very high, the European Union says it would be good for the Dutch economy if people worked longer hours. So why do the Dutch work so little?

President Obama's transsexual former nanny
A Dutch reporter has visited the nanny who took care of a young Barack Obama and his family when they lived in Indonesia in the 1960s. After the Obama family left the country, Mr Turdi became "Miss Evie", wearing dresses and make-up and working in the sex industry. (Don't tell the Republicans) Link

What Puts Fat Into Fat Cells, and What Takes it Out?

Body fatness at its most basic level is determined by the rate of fat going into vs. out of fat cells. This in/out cycle occurs regardless of conditions outside the cell, but the balance between in and out is influenced by a variety of external factors.  One of the arguments that has been made in the popular media about obesity goes something like this:  


A number of factors can promote the release of fat from fat cells, including:
Epinephrine, norepinephrine, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), glucagon, thyroid-stimulating hormone, melanocyte-stimulating hormone, vasopressin, and growth hormone
 But only two promote fat storage:
Insulin, and acylation-stimulating protein (ASP)*
Therefore if we want to understand body fat accumulation, we should focus on the latter category, because that's what puts fat inside fat cells.  Simple, right?

Can you spot the logical error in this argument?

Read more »

More Louisiana Lunacy: A Special Report From Loch Ness

Well maybe not exactly Loch Ness, but it is from Scotland.

This is similar report on the story I covered under the title, Louisiana Vying For Title America's Most Stupid State? only this time the report comes from this side of the pond. I'll wager they are still rolling about in Scotland.



Updated with this priceless graphic, borrowed from William Hamby who is also running this story.

How American fundamentalist schools are using Nessie to disprove evolution
Rachel Loxton
24 June 2012

IT sounds like a plot dreamed up by the creators of Southpark, but it's all true: schoolchildren in Louisiana are to be taught that the Loch Ness monster is real in a bid by religious educators to disprove Darwin's theory of evolution.

Thousands of children in the southern state will receive publicly-funded vouchers for the next school year to attend private schools where Scotland's most famous mythological beast will be taught as a real living creature.

These private schools follow a fundamentalist curriculum including the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) programme to teach controversial religious beliefs aimed at disproving evolution and proving creationism.

One tenet has it that if it can be proved that dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time as man then Darwinism is fatally flawed.

Critics have damned the content of the course books, calling them "bizarre" and accusing them of promoting radical religious and political ideologies.

The textbooks in the series are alleged to teach young earth creationism; are hostile towards other religions and other sectors of Christianity, including Roman Catholicism; and present a biased version of history that is often factually incorrect.

One ACE textbook – Biology 1099, Accelerated Christian Education Inc – reads: "Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence. Have you heard of the 'Loch Ness Monster' in Scotland? 'Nessie' for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur."

Another claim taught is that a Japanese whaling boat once caught a dinosaur. It's unclear if the movie Godzilla was the inspiration for this lesson.

Jonny Scaramanga, 27, who went through the ACE programme as a child, but now campaigns against Christian fundamentalism, said the Nessie claim was presented as "evidence that evolution couldn't have happened. The reason for that is they're saying if Noah's flood only happened 4000 years ago, which they believe literally happened, then possibly a sea monster survived.

"If it was millions of years ago then that would be ridiculous. That's their logic. It's a common thing among creationists to believe in sea monsters."

Private religious schools, including the Eternity Christian Academy in Westlake, Louisiana, which follows the ACE curriculum, have already been cleared to receive the state voucher money transferred from public school funding, thanks to a bill pushed through by state Governor Bobby Jindal.

Boston-based researcher and writer Bruce Wilson, who specialises in the American political religious right, compares the curriculum to Islamic fundamentalist teaching.

"They are being brought up to believe that they're at war with secular society. The only valid government would be a Christian fundamentalist government. Obviously some comparisons could be made to Islamic Fundamentalists in schools.

"One of these texts from Bob Jones University Press claims that dinosaurs were fire-breathing dragons. It has little to do with science as we currently understand. It's more like medieval scholasticism."

Wilson believes that such teaching is going on in at least 13 American states.

"There's a lot of public funding going to private schools, probably around 200,000 pupils are receiving this education," he And the majority of parents now home schooling their kids are Christian fundamentalists too. I don't believe they should be publicly funded, I don't believe the schools who use these texts should be publicly funded."

Daniel Govender, managing director of Christian Education Europe, which is part of ACE, said the organisation would not comment to the press on what is contained in the texts.

Of course, the Scottish tourist industry might well reap a dividend from the craziness of the American education system. Nessie expert Tony Drummond, who leads tours as part of Cruise Loch Ness, has a few words of advice to the US schools in question: come to the loch and try to find the monster.

"They need to come and investigate the loch for themselves," says the 47-year-old. "We've got some hi-tech equipment. They could come out on the boat and do a whole chunk of the loch.

"We do get regular sonar contacts which are pretty much unexplainable. More research has to be done, but it's not way along the realms of possibility."

But he's not convinced that the legend of the Loch Ness Monster is being taught the right way. "That's Christian propaganda," he says. "And ridiculous."

Textbooks of some state-funded Christian schools praise the Ku Klux Klan.

The violent, racist organisation, which still exists in the US, advocates white supremacy, white nationalism and anti-immigration.

One excerpt from Bob Jones University Press American history textbook has been reported as saying: "the [Ku Klux] Klan in some areas of the country tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross ... In some communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians."

Other views taught include claims that being gay is a learned behaviour.

It isn't just America where the bizarre Christian Nessie myth is being taught as a reality. The UK has similar religious schools but they do not receive cash from the state. Nevertheless, the Evangelical Christian curriculum they follow has been approved by UK Government agency, the National Recognition Information Centre (Naric) which guides universities and employers on the validity of different qualifications.

Naric judged the International Certificate of Christian Education (ICCE) as officially comparable to qualifications offered by the Cambridge International exam board.

It is estimated around 2000 pupils study at more than 50 private Christian schools in Britain for the certificates as well as several home-educated students.

The courses are based around the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) programme, which originated in Texas in the 1970s.

Pupils study a range of subjects, including science and English, but spend half their studies learning from Bible-influenced US textbooks. heraldscotland.com

Illegal Everything in the US, by John Stossel: A Review

On the same day that I published the post below this one, Mayor Bloomberg Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics, a post where I had this to say: I don't think I know of any other country in the world that legislates about every aspect that governs citizens lives. I later stumbled upon the featured video, which I can only describe as the perfect foil for the post.

But after having watched the thing, and in spite of it being a Fox News presentation, and in spite even more, it being presented in a typical American, whiny voiced, hi-lo manner more suited to addressing children or fucking idiots, it still has a certain, must watch, appeal about it.

I suppose the three most recognisable areas of this forty five minute film, are three traits or characteristics that go hand-in-glove with each other, an interdependent little eco-system, so typically American, they being of course, hypocrisy, the abuse of power and moral crusading.

The hypocrisy becomes immediately apparent as the program gets under way. The time money and resources expended on protecting people from kids selling lemonade, folk selling unpasteurised milk, or lobster tails in plastic bags as opposed to 40Lb boxes, (guns drawn in both the later cases and eight years in the slammer for the lobsterman) would be all very well if only half of those resources went into protecting people from fracking or mountain-top removal. (See below) Both activities constituting a crime against nature, let alone the poor schmucks whose lives are effectively destroyed by such goings on. But as you are probably aware, the only protection going on around these activities, is that of protecting Big Energy by modern day Pinkertons, the cops.

The second item on the agenda, that of police, not just abusing their power, but of being totally out of control, is dealt with quite adequately in the program. Let's face it, we have become almost blasé about cops abusing their power. Blasé I suppose, as long as your not on the receiving end of such activities. As one housewife described a cop; 'high on his own power' or as we would describe it in this country, 'pissed with power.' It rolling off the tongue somewhat easier. As long as you understand that is, that 'pissed' is more commonly used to describe someone who is drunk, rather than pissed, as in pissed off.

Ever America, ever the moral crusader, who, just like the cops protecting the world from kids selling lemonade, want to protect everybody from drugs, soft or hard, and to protect (legal) sex workers from themselves by locking them all up. In fact as you watch two such crusaders, prosecutors in fact, you can almost feel them bristling with (their own) morality.

Incidentally, and I know it will be of interest to some, but Portugal got a few minutes mention over their recent and successful decision to legalise all drugs, soft or hard.

Illegal Everything in the US, by John Stossel

This Fox News documentary shows how crazy the law system in the US became and how police is abusing its’ power. Kids are not allowed to sell lemonade, Taxi drivers get kicked out of the market by regulations implemented through the help of lobbyists, small stores selling natural raw milk get invaded by police squads, hunters can not shoot a dear and sell the meat to their neighbours, housewives get arrested for filming policemen from their own backyard and many more silly laws exist and make it difficult for people in the USA to be really living legal or living their live as freely at is was written down in the constitution many years ago. Now prisons in the US are full of people who broke silly laws, with politicians like Obama in power, that smoked marijuana themselves and didn’t got punished for it at all.




In actual fact, these two short clips are of far more import than the above.




Mayor Bloomberg Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics

Video update below: Illegal Everything in the US, by John Stossel Which given the theme of this post, could be described I suppose, as pennies from heaven. I have upped it sight unseen, so I shall watch it raw on this page.

Update: See review.


The more I report on America, the more I realise that what I am sadly lacking is a post tag "Talibanesque." And not just for the misogyny displayed by the likes of Bloomberg, but America as a whole, I don't think I know of any other country in the world that legislates about every aspect that governs citizens lives.

Home of the brave, land of the free! goddamnit, I don't think there is any behavioural trait that doesn't somehow fall into the category of an arrestable offence. Be it city ordnances that govern every aspect of home ownership, no plant shall over 12-inches tall, (or we will come and rip up your garden) to looking at a cop in the wrong way.*

But in the case of Bloomberg's New York, things go from the sublime to the, gor fucking blimey! You can't smoke here, you can't smoke there, you can't even smoke on a goddamn beach for Christ's sake. All fourteen miles of them.

But if you are a woman, watch out, Bloomberg has a special place in his heart for all you Satan's gateways. You are not a responsible modern woman if you carry condoms in your purse, you are automatically a hooker, and you will be arrested as such.

But of this latest bit of nonsense, I don't think I need to say an awful lot about it, you can taste the misogyny and the power play, but ladies, just don't find yourself stuck in the wrong part of town and looking for a cab, because seemingly, if you ain't dressed like a nun, there's a very good chance you'll be walking. On your own.

*A 'friend of a friend' story told to me recently. British couple rent a holiday apartment somewhere in Florida. The first day/night yer man goes to the convenience store to purchase a few basics. There's a cruiser sat outside with two cops in it. As you do with all things new culturally, you look at them. The next thing yer man knows, he's slammed into a wall with a gun stuck in his ear, to the cry of "what you fucking looking at"?

Do You Look Like a Prostitute? (Whatever That Means): It Might Mean No Taxi Cabs

Throughout history, laws that are supposed to "protect" women have pushed prostitutes to the margins of cities and the social order itself.
By Melissa Gira Grant
June 22, 2012

We're told that being a prostitute will mark a woman for life. Yet after several millennia of practice, lawmakers and social reformers still struggle to identify what a sex worker looks like.

You know,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said (in a June 15 appearance on WOR's perfectly named "The John Gambling Show") when asked what might go wrong with a bill that could penalize taxi drivers who knowingly transport people in the sex trade, “if I were a young lady and I dressed in a ‘sporty way’ -- or however you want to phrase it, and there's nothing wrong with that -- I would not want somebody thinking that I’m a prostitute.”

Has Mayor Stop-and-Frisk given pause on an issue of criminal profiling? Even the reliably hooker-baiting New York Post came out swinging against the bill, citing a protest held by women bartenders, who “aren't hookers – they just look like they can be!” concerned that cab drivers would leave them stranded for fear of getting stung.

The intention of this bill, according to proponents like New York City Council Speaker (and mayoral hopeful) Christine Quinn, is to make it undesirable for taxi and livery drivers in the city to risk any involvement in what they call “sex trafficking.” But the bill doesn't actually say that: it hits taxi and livery drivers with a $10,000 fine and the revocation of their license if they “knowingly allow” their vehicle to be “used for the purpose of promoting prostitution.”



Attorneys at the Sex Workers Project (SWP) have argued that language like “promoting prostitution” is too vague. “It could include anyone who knowingly aids another person to commit prostitution and anyone who receives money from someone else, knowing it came from prostitution,” SWP co-director Sienna Baskin said in testimony to the city council. No matter what the bill's intentions, cab drivers could end up passing up fares from sex workers – or people they think might be sex workers.

Bloomberg is overstating the issue a bit: no matter how they are dressed, it's unlikely his daughters would be profiled as prostitutes. But he's not wrong: there's simply no way taxi drivers can tell if the woman riding in their backseat is doing sex work, and whether or not she has been compelled or forced to, just by picking her up as a fare.

Putting such a law into practice in a culture that harbors intense myths and fears about what a “prostitute” looks like only ends up perpetuating dated and sexist notions of how women ought to conduct themselves in public, which in turn can put women in danger. In this regard, 21st-century anti-prostitution politics are not so different from their counterpart a century ago. There might be one difference: while today's anti-prostitution advocates will at least cop to it not being easy to tell if someone is a sex worker just by looking at them, that doesn't actually stop them from trying.

Not all that long ago, any unaccompanied woman on an American street could be considered a prostitute. At the turn of the last century, the phrase “public woman” was still synonymous with a woman in the sex trade, based on the notion that women's work was to be confined within the home, and besides, wasn't really work. The low-wage jobs available to working-class and some immigrant women took them outside the domestic sphere, and offered them a measure of freedom, and for the first time, their own money. That mobility, as much as their growing financial independence, made those young women suspect in the eyes of social reformers.

As Elizabeth Alice Clement documents in her book Love For Sale, these working young women of the Progressive Era faced intense scrutiny from social reformers, for how they made their money and how they spent it. The social welfare reformer Jane Addams warned that girls who took jobs in department stores might be especially likely to become prostitutes. “It is perhaps in the department store more than anywhere else,” Addams wrote in her 1912 treatise A New Conscience and An Ancient Evil, “that every possible weakness in a girl is detected and traded upon. It is not surprising that so many of these young, inexperienced girls are either deceived or yield to temptation in spite of the efforts made to protect them.”

Addams' remedy to such a threat? Educating young women and their caretakers on how essential it is that they must remain chaste. Women, in Addams' estimation, could bring about a world in which they not fear being “despoiled” if they abstain not just from sex but from public amusements – rather than fighting to ensure their right to work and take up space in the public sphere without fear of rape or violence.

With the agitation of Addams and other reformers of her time, laws against prostitution and “white slavery” swept the states. While some reformers meant for the laws to allow them to separate “innocent” victims from those “fallen women” who chose prostitution, the result was the closure of red-light districts in American cities, including raids on businesses that allowed prostitutes to patronize them and rooming houses that allowed prostitutes to live and work there.

All this was done in the name of “protecting” women, and yet prostitutes found themselves out in the cold, or pushed to work for managers who could act as go-betweens with customers and landlords, protecting the prostitutes from being known as prostitutes or discriminated against. The laws that were supposed to protect them ended up pushing prostitutes to the margins of cities and the social order itself.

Such attitudes – vintage victim-blaming or slut-shaming, meant to “save women” from themselves – shifted only slightly at the dawn of women's liberation and the sexual revolution.

When a young San Franciscan named Margot St. James was arrested and charged with prostitution in 1962, she attempted to defend herself to the judge, saying, “Your honor, I've never turned a trick in my life.” According to St. James, the judge replied that he knew she must be a prostitute because “anyone who knows the language is obviously a professional." St. James concluded, “My crime was I knew too much to be a nice girl.”

It was only after this encounter with the law that St. James became a prostitute, going on to found one of the first organizations in the United States to organize for sex workers' rights, COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics). By the 1970s, COYOTE had succeeded in getting the National Organization for Women to adopt the decriminalization of prostitution as a policy platform.

Even as some corners of the feminist movement reconsidered prostitution laws and the damage done, a national backlash was on against gains made by the women's and gay liberation movements. City governments moved to “clean up” neighborhoods that mixed porn theaters and gay bars with entertainment and tourism, like Boston's Combat Zone and New York's Times Square.



In 1976, New York state passed a law criminalizing “loitering for the purposes of prostitution.” How were cops to identify “intent” to commit prostitution? In reality, the law gave them the power to stop and question women walking in neighborhoods known for prostitution, or for “looking like” a prostitute in a neighborhood she “shouldn't” be in. In a report evaluating the law a few years after its passage, New York Women in Criminal Justice argued that the anti-loitering statute violated the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution, as it was overwhelmingly used to target women.

Loitering-with-intent charges are still brought against women today, and against women of color and trans women far more often than white women and cisgender women. Women also rarely fight these charges, as St. James did. The rise of “anti-prostitution zones” in cities like Washington, DC means that women can face arrest simply for entering one of these areas, declared at the discretion of the police. In practice, cops rely on racial and gender profiling in enforcement, a feminized version of “stop and frisk.”

You could be forgiven for mistaking 2012 for 1912. Jane Addams' philosophy is still alive, too, only with a pseudo-feminist twist. In a training for Georgia law enforcement offered by the anti-prostitution campaign “A Future, Not A Past” (AFNAP), they suggest ways that cops can identify young women in the sex trade. A few of the warning signs? “Inappropriate dress, including oversized clothing or overtly sexy clothing.” “Poor personal hygiene.” “Older boyfriend.” Acting “angry” and “tearful.” They also warn parents of daughters to be wary of “rumors among students regarding sexual activity – which your child may not necessarily deny.”

They say they just want to give cops and parents tools to help girls. But stoking fears that their daughters could be victims of trafficking if they're having sex, or expressing completely average feelings for a teenager? Likewise, instructing cops that it's okay to profile young women based on their dress, in order to stop and question them? Groups like AFNAP don't call it searching girls for evidence of “shame” or “ruin” anymore. Now they call it “empowerment.”

A hundred years of incoherent law has delivered us to a point in history where prostitution is as illegal as it ever has been, and yet politicians demand more laws against it. Contemporary anti-prostitution activists claim more women than ever before are trapped in what they have begun to call “modern-day slavery,” and yet, these advocates tell us they are hard to find. Yet neither prong of the anti-prostitution cause seems to consider how these laws against sex work drive its invisibility, and can turn any woman deemed to be doing the wrong thing in the wrong place at the wrong time into a suspect or a criminal. Alternet

Artwork Karl Geitl


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