Maggie’s Big Heap of Saturday Links

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

(Thanks to Radley for the first two, and to Mike Siegel,  FilmRot Dave, GraceTeller and Wendy Lyon for the next five.)

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29 Responses to “Maggie’s Big Heap of Saturday Links”

  1. #1 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    • New York Times columnist displays complete detachment from reality, amazing ignorance of popular culture.

    Seriously; all the slasher films and porno-violence out there and he’s complaining about Dirty Harry and Lethal Weapon?

  2. #2 |  EH | 

    What’s amazing is how someone so afflicted can get such a good job.

  3. #3 |  Other Sean | 


    That did come off as weirdly anachronistic, like Monty Burns complaining about too much swing music being played on the Fleischmann’s Yeast Hour.

    And another thing: how they fuck are they going to describe “I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang” as a gangster movie? Because it has “gang” in the title? It’s a prison reform film.

    But hey, thank god the professional journalists at NYT have a complex system of fact checking, editing, and other safeguards to stop them from getting stuff wrong.

  4. #4 |  croaker | 

    Here we go again…

  5. #5 |  Jeff | 

    Was it Ezra Pound who said that reading a newspaper article on a subject one knows is instructive because one will realize that the rest of the newspaper is just as wrong? I think he meant news stories, not editorials on popular culture and violence, but the same principle applies.

  6. #6 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Other Sean.

    The more I think about it, the more I can see this columnist as a cloistered intellectual, living in a rent controlled apartment off of Central Park. He only emerges to go to the Opera, the Museum of Modern Art, or to some terribly avant-guard off-broadway production – the kind of thing with a cast of fifteen people, each of whom repeats one word throughout the play. He’s heard about Dirty Harry and Lethal Weapon, but his friends have protected him from all knowledge of Saw or Hostel, or The Devil’s Rejects because they fear what the news might do to his delicate sensibilities.

  7. #7 |  Maggie McNeill | 

    #4 – If I see those two assholes selling their stupid combination of the Nevada and Swedish models even one more time, I’m going to break my agreement with them and publish the extensive critique they asked me for which explains every single thing that’s wrong with their ignorant “study”.

  8. #8 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 


    It comes to me that – assuming that there ARE and victims of “Sex Trafficking” in the U.S. – the one thing that would do the most good would be to reform the immigration laws so that poor immigrants were less likely to be illegals as well, living in a grey zone and open to exploitation.

    How does that thought strike you?

  9. #9 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    Link between news stories. The place running that “Freedom Place” operation is Arrow Child and Family Ministries. Serial child rapist Jerry Sandusky’s charity The Second Mile is trying to transfer all their assets to Arrow Child and Family Ministries to protect them from the inevitable lawsuits:

    Setting aside the broader problems with a secular charity transferring funding (some of which was taxpayer funded) to a religiously exclusive organization, I don’t see how you make up for a failure to protect children from abuse by giving it to an even more abusive organization.

  10. #10 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    RE: NYPD Spies…
    “They’re not acting as police officers in other jurisdictions,” Schaffer said.

    That is correct. They were acting as Agents Provacateur, Mr. Schaffer.

  11. #11 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    RE: Another Isolated Incident w/ Nudity…

    “One of the officers allegedly joked that she would, ‘have a story to tell others at Thanksgiving.’ ”

    Oh yeah, ha ha. I’ll bet she’ll really want to re-live a fucking state-approved home invasion while she and the family chow down on turkey and taters. It’s all a big joke. And of course she got to hang out with the cops so she should feel honored, right? I’m surprised one of the goons didn’t try to get her number. Here once again is the macho, narcissistic culture of law enforcement in all its glory.

  12. #12 |  Kolohe | 

    “New York Times columnist blames the Aurora shootings on Warner Brothers.”

    Nah, it’s clearly the Warner sisterDot

  13. #13 |  David | 

    She said not to call her Dotty.

  14. #14 |  Susan | 


    Kindly refrain from dissing New York and its culture.


  15. #15 |  Xenocles | 

    The Times column started for me with an ad for the new Bourne movie – priceless.

  16. #16 |  Xenocles | 

    Slightly OT but related to the Times piece – “I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang” was a damn fine movie, and probably one that the audience here would appreciate.

  17. #17 |  Bob | 

    Cop has 20 years of on-duty sex, plus overtime, then retires early at 42 with 7 years of health benefits.

    So… were the 4 female officers in the suit the ones he WAS fucking, or the ones he WASN’T fucking? Well, at least he wasn’t fucking the public like a lot of other officers. So there’s that.

    My favorite part is the fact that at the age of only 42, even with this less than pristine record… he still gets to retire with 54% of his pay, or 51K a year.

    51K a year! Imagine if he was the darling of the force? Wait… it looks like he might have been… but not in the ‘good’ way.

    Who the fuck gets to work until they’re 42 then retire with a paycheck like that? Normal people? No way!

    This is why politics is so toxic, and why virtually the entire modern world is on the brink of a massive financial collapse. Politics gets power by passing out free money to stupid people.

  18. #18 |  John Spragge | 

    I see nothing particularly Orwellian about the notion of treating children like children. It appears the story you linked to about a secure facility for kids taken out of the sex trade refers not to the definition of a child in the context of commercial sex, namely a person under 18 (see the International Labour Organization, convention 182, a treaty signed and ratified by the US and therefore binding under article 6 of your constitution). To judge by the report you refer to, the facility in question aims to help children, meaning persons under sixteen years of age. In virtually any jurisdiction, for almost all purposes, a person under sixteen counts as a child. And we do parent children. Kids don’t have all or even many of the freedoms adults take for granted, and they enjoy, or they should enjoy, a wide range of protections.

    I make no apologies for viewing sex trade work as an activity that requires a certain level of skill and maturity, and carries a certain level of physical and emotional risk. I believe in restricting the sex trade to persons over the age of eighteen for the same very good reasons we don’t allow sixteen year old police officers, soldiers, or mercury miners.

  19. #19 |  Other Sean | 


    I like to start each day by reading a few passages from the conventions of the International Labour Organization. Why, just this morning I was brushing up on C166, which concerns (as I’m sure you know) the repatriation of seafarers who find themselves stranded outside their country of origin. One of these days, we should compare our Kindle notes and highlights on the complete text!

    In the meantime, can you tell me exactly how the life of 16-year old sex worker will be made better by being incarcerated and accused of false consciousness in a place that has all the charm of a modern-day Magdalene asylum?

  20. #20 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Self-promotion alert:

    This case is interesting and was underreported on the Net:

  21. #21 |  Maggie McNeill | 

    #8 – Precisely. Most so-called “trafficking victims” are actually just female undocumented immigrants, who are labelled “victims” by state bureaucracies laboring under the sexist and racist delusion that women, especially brown-skinned women, are too stupid and “simple” to think of a way to sneak into another country to work; furthermore, they are represented as sharing their American sisters’ prissiness about sex, so they MUST have been forced into the sex trade by evil, mustache-twirling men, and must therefore be “rescued” by men with white hats. The difficulty and expense of emigrating to advanced Western nations, which can include surreptitious transport, false papers and the like, means that such immigrants often accrue considerable debt in doing so; this can lock them into a high-interest “debt bondage” (a condition many poor Americans endure without being labelled “trafficking victims”).

    What’s more, increasing the danger for those who assist such immigrants by labeling them international gangsters drives up the price and encourages actual criminals (rather than mere status criminals) to get into the business. Remove those restrictions and you remove most of the cost, thus lessening both the expenses occurred in migration and the ability of truly exploitative facilitators to take advantage of desperate people.

  22. #22 |  John Spragge | 

    From the story about this supposedly nightmarishly euphemistic clone of the Magdalene laundries:

    the Texas Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that domestic minors younger than 14 involved in prostitution should be considered victims rather than criminals. Recent legislation changed the label for kids charged with prostitution from “delinquent” to “child in need of supervision” and allowed for these records to be sealed.

    Let me repeat the operative phrase for anyone who missed it the first time: “minors younger then fourteen”. Younger than fourteen means thirteen and under. How does getting kids that age out of the sex trade, with therapy and educational services delivered in a secure custodial environment if necessary, help them?

    Try saving their lives, for one thing. HIV still exists out there, and so do Hepatitis and HPV. We are down to one remaining antibiotic that can knock down the old fashioned clap. Wonder drugs can take down syphilis for those who know they have it, but it can sneak up on its victims with devastating long term results. Old fashioned pregnancy has its dangers, particularly to a thirteen year old street-involved child. Abusive or outright homicidal johns prey on sex trade workers: google “Robert Pickton” to see how bad that can get. Sexual abuse of young teenagers can have devastating psychological effects that appear, sometimes with lethal results, years after the original abuse.

    Adults can make a considered decision to take these risks. Importantly, adults have access to alternative forms of work. Adults also have had the opportunity to learn the skills at organizing their lives, the background, and the social confidence to minimize their exposure to the very real hazards of the sex trade. I believe that legalizing participation in the sex trade for consenting adults will help sex trade workers manage the risks even better. But we cannot legislate childhood out of existence. Children have none of the tools to manage risks, which explains why we have standards that protect kids, sometimes even from their own bad decisions or from the predatory behaviour of the adults around them.

    I have already said that I agree with the ILO standard, as does your government: for the purposes of sex trade work, adulthood starts at eighteen. Famously tolerant Holland sets the same standard, and people I know who have experience tell me the Dutch enforce it rigorously. For the same good reasons we don’t allow people under eighteen to work in policing or mercury mining, it makes sense to me that we don’t allow them to do paid sex work. But the article here does not deal with the situation of youth in the gray area between sixteen and eighteen. If you want to attack the facility described in this article, you have to attack its stated purpose: providing secure therapy and educational opportunities for children.

  23. #23 |  Other Sean | 


    Okay, so I got the age cut-off wrong by two years. I repent.

    That does not change the question: how are the lives of these inmates made better by the fact of their confinement?

    Simply raising the specter of venereal disease (gasp!) won’t answer that for you. Are you defending this place as a shelter, or a quarantine program?

    One of the best ways to know if something is good for people, is that they don’t try to escape from it. So when you find it necessary to lock the doors, bar the windows, and conduct frequent head counts, this should be a powerful clue to the possibility that you are now doing something other than good.

    You said: “Sexual abuse of young teenagers can have devastating psychological effects that appear, sometimes with lethal results, years after the original abuse.”

    I’m curious how you claim to know this? How do you know that sex at age 14 is inherently traumatic, while 16 is a “grey area”, and 18 is fuck away? Because if you mean to start locking people up, then you better have that line drawn good and clear.

    From where I stand, it looks a lot like you (and people like Drew Pinsky) have resurrected the idea of the “ruined girl” in a modern psychological guise. And what have people always sought to do with ruined girls? Why naturally, to save them from themselves. You don’t have to lock your doors from the outside, when saving them from someone else!

    And speaking of that…how do you know that incarceration itself isn’t one of the most traumatic things that can happen to a 14 year old? Who do you know you’re not just snatching children from a bad situation and dropping them into a worse one?

    If a girl escapes from a home where she is regularly beaten, and escapes into a relationship where she trades sex for survival, and then is finally carted off into an asylum where she is locked away and endlessly reminded that her whole life is one big damaged good in the eyes of society…well, you tell me John, where is the happy part of that story? At what point do we pop the champagne corks for a job well done?

  24. #24 |  croaker | 

    This debate is becoming almost as fun as the one with the retired porn star who is trying to volunteer as an EMT.

  25. #25 |  Jeff W | 

    Re: suicidal insects

    Who would’ve thought that banelings were a real thing.

    Next thing you’ll hear about is a small Panamanian fishing village being overrun by Mutalisks.

  26. #26 |  KristenS | 

    re: London Olympics Totally Perspective Vortex*: I’m-a say no thanks to the 6500 cops. And most of the rest of it, too, honestly (assuming we’re talking about government funding).

    *Love me some Douglas Adams.

  27. #27 |  Nothing New Under the Sun « The Boys on the Board | 

    […] The Agitator Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeOne blogger likes […]

  28. #28 |  John Spragge | 

    Sean, please read the source again: minors younger than 14 involved in prostitution. Younger than fourteen doesn’t mean fourteen; it means thirteen, twelve or eleven. And at that age, yes, exploitative sex with an adult does do serious damage. Don’t take my word for it only; google sexual abuse adolescent and look at any of the seven million hits you get. I hope you never get closer to the issue than that; I sincerely hope you never find yourself faced with the reality of the devastating impact of child and adolescent sexual abuse the way I have.

    As for your question about incarceration: I don’t see incarceration described in this article. Believe me, I worked in prisons for seven years, and I know very well what incarceration feels like. This article describes parenting. The parenting of children. Parents pay attention to children. And when children make a decision to do themselves serious harm, in our society we expect parents to restrain their children. This doesn’t apply to the people you call “ruined girls”; it applies to every child.

  29. #29 |  demize! | 

    The cops bet up a paraplegic. smgdh.