May 5, 2007 Articles of Interest:
Defending the 'D.C. Madam' John Stossel ABC News, Scare Tactics About Prostitution, Hillary Clinton Against All Prostitution, Orlando Kids exit amid House prostitution debate, Is Domination with no sexual contact prostitution?, Should Prostitution Be Legalized?, Escort-service scandal set to ignite D.C. explosion with Dave's comments

Defending the 'D.C. Madam' John Stossel ABC News
Outlawing Immoral Behavior Doesn't Make It Go Away

May 1, 2007

Some people are saying it's ridiculous that the investigators are only going after the women-- that they should be going after the Johns as well. I think it's ridiculous that the police are going after ANYONE. Don't prostitutes own their bodies? Shouldn't they be able to freely contract to use their bodies as they wish? Who was hurt here? This is a victimless crime.

Here's how I covered this topic in my book "Give Me a Break." And my newest book, "Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel -- Why Everything You Know Is Wrong," comes out in paperback today. Click here to buy the book.

I understand the rationale. Drug abuse, prostitution, gambling, and dwarf tossing can destroy lives. But so can overeating. What America forbids keeps changing. In colonial days, idleness and cursing got people put in the stocks. Some who had sex outside marriage were whipped. And there really was a scarlet letter. Adulterers were forced to wear an "A," usually for life. The laws didn't stop adultery, cursing, or idleness any more than today's laws stop prostitution.

And I'm confused. Alcohol destroys lives too. So does watching too much TV. All do tremendous damage to individuals, and impose big costs on society. Why are they legal? Because they're popular?

Vice is part of life. I want to discourage immoral behavior, too, but outlawing it doesn't make it go away; in fact, it makes it worse by driving it underground. This endless crusade against prostitution shows the pointlessness of the crusade. Vice squads arrest a tiny percentage of the lawbreakers, put a few of them in jail, and then usually release them the next day. The madams may get longer sentences.

Hollywood's Heidi Fleiss was jailed for a year and a half. But Sydney Biddle Barrows, who admitted to running a big New York City call girl operation, got off with a $5,000 fine. Barrows (called the "Mayflower madam," because she's a descendant of a Pilgrim family), appeared on "Sex, Drugs" to point out that prostitution arrests change nothing. "People who are going to do it are going to do it whether it's legal or not. There are a lot of women out there who simply do not feel that it is immoral to sleep with a man for money, and who are we to criminalize their doing something that is OK with them?"

But isn't it better if it is illegal? Aren't we better off protecting ourselves from what you did?

What are we really protecting people against? We're protecting women from making a living, and we're protecting men from spending their money as they please. I don't think that anyone needs to be protected from that.

I've found it relatively easy to get reports on prostitution on TV news broadcasts. Producers know we'll attract more of those "young-viewers-advertisers-want" with a story about sex than with one on, say, economic freedom. What's tougher is getting "working girls" to agree to an interview, because flaunting their criminality may get them arrested. So thank goodness for Barrows and Norma Jean Almodovar of COYOTE, the prostitute activist group. COYOTE stands for "Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics," and COYOTE can be counted on to assemble a group of working prostitutes for TV interviews.

I ask the usual questions, and they knock them out of the park.

This is degrading for women.

I don't think a lot of women would choose to scrub toilets for a living. Nevertheless, because a lot of people might think that's degrading, we don't put them in jail.

One prostitute, Heather Smith, made an interesting comparison: "It's legal for two men to go into a boxing ring and beat each other bloody for money," she said, "but it's not legal for me to go in and give someone sexual pleasure for money. What kind of sense does that make?"

Not much. If adults want to rent their bodies to other adults, that should be their choice.

In most of America, prostitution is plagued by violence and disease and often run by thugs…because it¹s illegal. In much of Nevada, the sex business is legal. The sky hasn't fallen. In fact, Las Vegas keeps appearing on those "best cities to live in" lists. The sex business in Nevada is relatively safe and clean.

"It's shameful what we're doing in the name of morality," Peter McWilliams said. "So, you have to ask yourself not, 'Is prostitution a good idea?' You have to ask yourself, 'Is prostitution worth putting people in prison for?'"
Scare Tactics About Prostitution
May 5th, 2007
The media is doing a good job of scaring us to death.

Directly following 2o/2o’s interview with the DC Madam the Women’s channel aired 48 Hours/Rescued from the Shadows. It was a very powerful show about sex slavery and covered the lives of 4 women who had actually had the experience of being trafficked.I am glad that these women are given media time to tell their story. I am glad that sex trafficking and sexual slavery is an issue that is important to Americans. Forced labor is wrong and these stories need to be told.

But so does my story.I have been a sex worker/prostitute for 20 years. It was a conscious choice that I made. I didn’t spend the last 20 years solely doing prostitution. I went in and out of many different professions but my favorite and most lucrative was sex work. I like the fact that I get to set my own hours. I can say no if I don’t want to work or I can work as long and hard as I want too. I get to meet many different and interesting people and I love to travel. The best part about it is the money because we all know that there is never enough of that.

I wish that my chosen profession wasn’t illegal because I would be proud to talk about the things that I have done and the people I have met. But, for now, I have alot of secrets. I wish that I wouldn’t have to be ashamed because I would love to tell my regular Doctor that I am a prostitute. But I know by the way she talks to me and acts that she would not approve.

I wish that I didn’t face discrimination because then my daughter would be glad to tell everyone that her mother fights for the rights of sex workers and is a prostitute. Unfortunately for everyone, I remain in the darkness, buried in the quagmire of prohibition and you cannot or will not recognize me. It is your loss, because without me and my knowledge you remain ignorant and scared.

Posted by: robynfew at
Hillary Clinton Against All Prostitution
Conversation with Sen. Clinton 4/29/2007
Q: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has called Nevada's system of legalized prostitution "repugnant." You are a big advocate for women's rights so would you offer an opinion on Nevada's system of legalized prostitution?

Clinton: "I do not approve of legalized prostitution or any kind of prostitution. It is something that I personally believe is demeaning to women. I have worked against it and I have certainly taken a very strong stand against what happens in many parts of the world where young girls and women are forced into prostitution against their wills. I understand Nevada has a regulated system and it is within the authority of the state. So that is not a federal issue that we will have any role to play in when I am president. But I would obviously speak out against prostitution and try to persuade women that it is not --- even in a regulated system -- necessarily a good way to try to make a living. Let's try to find other jobs that can be there for women who are looking for a good way to support themselves and their families."

Dave notes, she needs to be educated about consenting adult sexwork - at least she doesn't see it as a Federal issue, but her comments are disappointing.
Orlando Kids exit amid House prostitution debate
April 27, 2007
Thursday was Take Your Child to Work Day, so some of the reporters in the House press gallery brought their kids with them. But when the House launched into discussion of a bill that would increase penalties for prostitution, several scribes quickly rushed their daughters out of the gallery or had them listen to their iPods.

Rep. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, the bill's co-sponsor, has been getting questioned by Rep. John Seiler, D-Wilton Manors, about the details of the bill. Some of his questions: "What about escort services?" "Does it apply to male prostitutes?" Seiler soon realized that there were a lot of kids in the galleries listening to the prostitution debate. "I do apologize," Seiler said. "I wasn't responsible for the schedule."
Is Domination with no sexual contact prostitution?
Dave notes: As most know Doms rarely have "sex" with clients but is it prostitution?
Dominatrix's lawyer says woman's spirits 'as good as can be'
April 27, 2007
BEDFORD - A lawyer for the dominatrix accused of running a sex business out of her Bedford home said last night that his client did not do anything wrong and he would be prepared to go to trial. Although Sandra Chemero, 46, did not answer questions regarding the case, her lawyer, George Galgano Jr., speaking for her, said she committed no crime.

"I think her spirits are as good as can be in light of the fact that she's charged with something she didn't do," Galgano said as he and Chemero walked to his blue Bentley sports car. "She's not a prostitute. She never agreed to have sex or engage in any sexual acts for money."

Chemero is due back in Town Court at 9 a.m. July 9 for a hearing to determine whether her case should go to trial, court officials said. When asked whether he was in favor of going to trial, Galgano said that while he doesn't hope for it to happen, if he has to, "We'll go to trial."

Chemero was arrested in February after, police said, she offered an undercover officer sex for $275 an hour. The sting came after authorities received a tip last year asserting that Chemero was behind a Web site that advertised dominatrix services at a white farmhouse in Bedford Hills. The building at 235 Haines Road is owned by a neighboring Orthodox Jewish seminary, whose owners said they rented it without knowing what went on there.

Chemero pleaded not guilty last month to misdemeanor prostitution and weapons charges. The latter charge involves a stun gun police said they seized from the house. In addition, the town charged Chemero with violating a code against operating a business in a residential district.

Dave notes:
This same S&M/BD/Dom issue has come up in Canada. While in private consenting adult outcall prostitution of course is legal, as it is in most of the world except the U.S., incalls are not under the rarely enforced 1800's bawdy law. That law makes both incall "prostitution" illegal as well as "indecent acts".

In a famous B/D case against a well known "Bondage House" in Toronto, the trial court said that masturbation of clients and other activities in a B/D setting did NOT violate bawdy. But the Crown appealed and the Ontario Court of Appeals found it was a common bawdy house. After a six year court battle the owner was convicted but the only penalty was a $3000 fine.

In 1999 The Canadian Supreme Court also made it clear that breast fondling and full contact nude lap dances in strip clubs was NOT prostitution nor indecent. This is my favorite activity in Canada full contact intimacy at strip clubs as it was in Phoenix before the 1999 law outlawing any good touch interaction in Phoenix strip clubs. The exact opposite of the Canadian case.

In 2005 the Canadian Supreme Court also ruled that swing clubs with orgies etc is not indecent and no bawdy house violation. Again the opposite of Phoenix which made swing clubs illegal in 1999. The judges recognize that "people can exercise their fundamental rights to have sexual relations with partners of their choice," Montreal club owner Denis Chesnel said.

In the "land of the free" we do not have the adult freedoms that most of the rest of the world enjoys, with Canada a near by close example.
Oh Canada!
Should Prostitution Be Legalized?
The Moderate Voice 4/29/07
So Deputy Secretary of State Randall L. Tobias has resigned after confirming that he was a customer of a Washington, D.C., escort service whose owner has been charged with running a prostitution operation. Tobias was the Bush administration’s so-called “AIDS czar” and emphasized faithfulness and abstinence over condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS. But let’s put aside his rank hypocrisy and that of some other social conservatives (Mark Foley was a child predator, Ted Haggard was an antigay homosexual, and so on and so forth) and move on to a more pertinent question.
* * * * *
Tobias’s departure brings to 32 the number of Bush administration officials or nominees who have been convicted, copped pleas, indicted or otherwise brought down by scandal. Here is a somewhat outdated list. It does not include Tobias or Robert E. Coughlin II, who was deputy chief of staff of the embattled Justice Department’s criminal division until he was tied to convicted super lobbyist Jack Abramoff whom, um, Coughlin’s colleagues are investigating.

Should prostitution be legalized?
Lots of discussion of this at

Escort-service scandal set to ignite D.C. explosion
Sunday, April 29, 2007
The Washington Post - Highlights should be interesting

WASHINGTON — "Miz Julia" doled out a steady stream of advice, practical and philosophical. From her California home, she e-mailed tips to the 132 women who worked throughout the Washington, D.C., area for the firm Pamela Martin & Associates. Her newsletters, excerpted in court records, were a virtual how-to manual for avoiding all kinds of trouble in a business said to specialize in erotic fantasies. "One never quite knows where evil, i.e., the vice squad is lurking in this business," read one entry from 1995. "The misogynists get a real kick out of surprising (shocking) you girls, when you give them the opportunity!!! ... Therefore, you are to lock, double lock, triple lock all doors!!! ... Figure it out, before they 'get cha'!!!"

Miz Julia was the pseudonym for Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the woman at the center of a sex scandal that has caused a deputy secretary of state to resign and has lawyers calling around town trying to keep their clients' names out of public view. Palfrey, a one-time law student, ran for 13 years what she insists was a legal escort service. Federal prosecutors allege she was providing $300-an-hour prostitutes, and a grand jury indicted her in February on federal racketeering charges.

Palfrey piqued fascination, and anxiety, by first threatening to sell phone records that could unveil thousands of clients, and then handing them, apparently for free, to ABC News. She is scheduled to appear Monday in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia. On Friday, Randall Tobias resigned as deputy secretary of state one day after confirming to Brian Ross of ABC that he had patronized the Pamela Martin firm. Saturday on "Good Morning America," Ross said Tobias told him Tobias' number was on Palfrey's phone records because he had called "to have gals come over to the condo to give me a massage." There had been "no sex," Ross quoted Tobias as saying, and that recently he has used another service, "with Central American gals," for massages. Tobias, 65 and married, was director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. He previously held a top job in the Bush administration overseeing AIDS relief, in which he promoted abstinence and a policy requiring grant recipients to swear they oppose prostitution.

Palfrey's attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, said Friday that he has been contacted by five lawyers recently, asking whether their clients' names are on Palfrey's list of 10,000 to 15,000 phone numbers. Some, Sibley said, have asked if accommodations could be made to keep their identities private. ABC is expected to air a report on Palfrey and her clients on Friday night's "20/20." "Very prominent people"

More revelations are in the offing. Ross said the list includes the names of some "very prominent people," and a number of women with "important and serious jobs" who had worked as escorts for the firm. The disclosures have been made sparely and artfully. Two weeks ago, in court documents about calling former clients to testify on her behalf, Palfrey named Harlan Ullman, an academic whose main claim to fame was a scholarly paper he wrote more than a decade ago on the military strategy known as "shock and awe." Responded Ullman: "It doesn't deserve the dignity of a response."

Sibley also filed notice that he intends to depose political consultant Dick Morris in a separate civil proceeding. Morris would not comment. Palfrey declined to comment on either Tobias' resignation or other names that could arise. "As the old saying goes, 'I need to dance with the guy who brung me,' " she wrote in an e-mail to a reporter. "I have promised ABC News that the '20/20' interview will be an exclusive one. I am sure you can understand my situation."

For all the attention she is attracting, Palfrey retains an air of mystery. She has dropped intriguing hints about herself over the years but demurs when asked for an interview about her life. "I am not a quitter," Palfrey wrote in another e-mail. "Additionally, I abhor injustice, on any level and in any forum. I frankly persist despite life's barriers. It is no more complicated than this." She sees herself as an entrepreneur being railroaded by an all-powerful government, in a "David and Goliath scenario." Prosecutors have made much of her history: In 1992, she pleaded guilty to attempted felony pimping. She started her Washington, D.C., business while on probation in California.

Appalled, disgusted drove her to start her own agency
She got into the escort business in San Diego, she said, because she was "appalled and disgusted" by how "seedy, lazy and incompetent" other escort agencies were, she wrote in court papers. An avowed teetotaler, she said she did not like the drug-related atmosphere. "I decided to branch out, so to speak, from my solo state and began working with one or two (maybe three at the most) other women," she said in her California legal pleadings. Palfrey's business crashed when she was arrested in 1990; an employee's angry mother apparently tipped off police. She employed about a dozen women and would have made $100,000 that year, she said. She said her employees were "independent agents" and allowed that she should have "done something to police/eliminate such conduct from occurring."

Palfrey was a no-show at her scheduled trial in August 1991. She was captured that October in Montana. She explained to the court that the stress from the criminal proceedings had caused her to flee. Her mother, she said, was so upset that she developed a life-threatening aneurysm and required surgery. She said her parents "just can't comprehend how my offense could be viewed so harshly." Once free, she said, she planned to go into business exporting "authentic American Western and Indian art to the United Kingdom."

"Best adult agency"
Instead, after 18 months in state prison, Palfrey started Pamela Martin. The firm recruited escorts through the University of Maryland student newspaper and Washington City Paper. It advertised in the Yellow Pages and on Web sites, touting itself as "undoubtedly the best adult agency around." Prosecutors say she made about $2 million running Pamela Martin over 13 years, on average, less than $160,000 a year. Her Escondido home was valued at about $480,000 last year and a Vallejo house at about $495,000, according to court papers related to their seizure by the federal government.

In 2004, the IRS and the U.S. Postal Service began a joint investigation of Pamela Martin & Associates. Palfrey, who conducted most of her business by e-mail and phone, allegedly instructed her "subcontractors" to convert her share of fees into money orders and mail them to her California post-office box.

Palfrey's legal strategy is to aver she had no idea that the women working for her engaged in prostitution. In papers filed in U.S District Court, Palfrey alleged that a former escort identified as Paula Neble and 15 "Jane Does" breached their contracts by engaging in illegal sex. Neble's attorney, Kathy Voelker, said she has "no comment at all."

Dave notes that the "I didn't know" defense seldom works. I have e-mailed her attorney suggesting an alternative Lawrence vs. Texas defense but of course no response.

Another comment: seen: Ironically, It only proves that even those that seek to close down the sex industry are those that also participate in it .... I know, that is mean . but it's true and any lady that works/worked in DC or NYC knows that the client base is all parties and backgrounds. Gonzales wanted to clean up the net from Porn and sex and well, his own team is now being pulled right into the muck and mire and wallowing in the sewage.

Dave notes it is clear Gonzales was chosen as Attorney General not for any legal skill but because he was a friend of Bush which is more important than being competent as demonstrated many times by other Bush appointments. He hired lots of staff from religious right groups - successfully turning the Justice Dept into anti adult rights dept and catering to the desires of the religious right. ===============================================