Legal Prostitution is Coming to Canada

Read the Judge’s Decision

Ontario Superior Court Justice Susan Himel has struck down three provisions of Canada’s anti-prostitution laws, saying:

“These laws, individually and together, force prostitutes to choose between their liberty interest and their right to security of person as protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” Himel wrote in a 132-page decision. “I find that the danger faced by prostitutes greatly outweighs any harm which may be faced by other members of the public.”

The lack of law in Ontario takes place in 30 days; but the case has to go to the Supreme Court of Canada to be coast to coast.

Unsurprisingly, the current conservative government of the day is considering an appeal.

And it’s certainly no surprise that the Christian Legal Fellowship, R.E.A.L. Women and the Catholic Civil Rights League were interventions in the case and argued against decriminalizing sex work.

The only surprise for me was that R.E.A.L. women were still around – they emerged in the mid 90’s, a Ladies Against Women sort of organization who promote that women should be at home with the kids; so you have to wonder what they are doing on the talk show circuit.

Decriminalization is a step short of legalizing – the activity or substance isn’t legal or illegal – it’s left in a limbo wink wink keep it to yourself and we can pretend that you’re not doing it zone.

Like abortion in Canada – the law against abortion was struck down and never replaced. For American readers, any Canadian politician who doesn’t want to be elected has only to mention “abortion” to guarantee defeat.

In Canada, we don’t like to make public debate over private matters – so yes to arguing over Quebec separatism but not so much anything remotely sex related. We’ve seen how the US is do divided over private matters that tend to not be of concern to the public.

Back to the topic.

Religious groups, righteous wing groups and the conservative government all seek to control and restrict women’s freedom of choice, bodily integrity and, well, basically women’s lives.

The reasons to decriminalize and even legalize sex work is clear to anyone except the righteous.

Sex workers are safer when they are not forced into the shadows, when they can access police for help with problem Johns, when they can if not unionize, at least work in co-op brothels with bouncers, regular medical check ups and safety.

Legalized, there is more likely to be a reduction in child prostitution, and the pimps would go the way of the dinosaurs. This would also reduce the drug addiction and eliminate a lot of the criminal element in the sex worker world.

I don’t know how any person who considers themselves to be moral would oppose legal changes that increase the safety, improve health and reduce the exploitation of women, transgendered people and teens or children of all genders.

Wait, those “moral” types are always more concerned about pushing their idea of moral into the public square, no matter who is harmed – which always seems to be women, children and other minorities. Including gays and lesbians.

The Religious Righteous can’t full court press for what they really want – women and ethnic minorities unable to vote and second class, children seen but not heard and open season on gays and lesbians who escape from their Go Down for Jesus therapy.

Prostitution is the oldest profession, and comparatively recent religious sentiment is not going to end it.

Prohibition causes more problems than it ever solves, yet we seem to as a society need to constantly be reminded of that.

Prohibition gives organized crime a solid economic base of operations. This also results in policing costs, lost tax revenue and people pushed to the margins so dark that they aren’t looked for when they disappear in a serial killer’s car.

Ideally, no one should have to be a sex worker. It’s not naive but rather purposeful idiocy to pretend that people are ever going to stop buying and selling sex.

If we care about safety, health and equality, then we need to legalize prostitution and stop forcing sex workers to be marginalized, vulnerable and unable to access police or have the same civil rights as everyone else.

People who fall, drift or chose sex work are not second class or lesser than anyone else – but people who would put their chosen and so called morals over the safety and civil rights of others, really are the  second class people who, too often, have more than their share of civil rights and public influence.

Given how many religious leaders are exposed as adulterers, embezzlers, addicts and if they are anti-gay, turn out to be deep down low self loathing closet cases is is astonishing how can they claim to have the inside track on morality that they seek to impose on other people who do not share their religion or their beliefs.

So, here’s a message from Elvis to everyone who thinks that they can run someone else’s life better:

So, can decriminalized or even legalized marijuana be that far behind?

OUCH! Killer Mexican Barbecued Corn on the Cob (via How To Become A Better You in 365 Days)

This sounds totally amazing, so I am re-blogging it here to make this very soon.

OUCH! Killer Mexican Barbecued Corn on the Cob Killer Mexican Barbecued Corn on the Cob I tried this fantastic Mexican corn at a basement Mexican restaurant in New York. We ate loads of amazing Mexican food but it was these snacky corn on the cobs which really stuck in my mind. Barbecuing the corn gives it the most wonderful sweet and smoky flavour, and with the heat from the chilli and the saltiness of the cheese, you're onto a real winner. Make these for your mates at a barbecue and they’ll … Read More

via How To Become A Better You in 365 Days

Review: Suspicious Minds

First Single from the Viva Elvis – Suspicious Minds.

I wouldn’t call this a remix exactly – it sounds like the music was entirely re-done.

The emotion of the song is so much richer with Elvis’ voice out front and not competing with the orchestral backing.

The new arrangement is minimalist at first and builds in new layers as the song comes to it’s peak.

Best of all, no fake fade in/out.

If this is the calibre of how Sony is going to treat Elvis for the future, then indeed, Elvis will once again be King of the World.

This new version feels so delicious, it’s like being wrapped in bedsheets with a lot of ice cream and chocolate to soothe your broken heart.

Book Review: Death of Elvis

Published in 1991, this book remains the definitive account of Elvis’ last year and the aftermath of his death.

Written by Charles C., II Thompson and James P. Cole, who produced  the 20/20 news program that exposed Dr. Nick and other doctor’s  excessive prescription writing.

This book is not for the faint of heart, as it contains very graphic autopsy descriptions, which can be disturbing on their own – but are more distressing when it’s about a person for whom you have strong feelings. Even when it’s a celebrity rather than a family member.

With the exception of Peter Gurlanick’s two volume masterpiece, Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis – this book may have the widest range of interviews than most Elvis books.

The usual suspects – Memphis Mafia members, Linda Thompson and Ginger Alden are interviewed – but also Dr. Nick and other health care providers, Memphis Baptist Memorial Hospital staff, Medical Examiner’s office staff and the autopsy team.

For me, the most shocking aspect was the Pharmacist who filled Elvis’ final prescriptions – he participated in the 20/20 investigation and initially expressed concerns that he deflected onto Dr. Nick.  So it was a bit of an about face when the 20/20 team discovers that this man had concerns about the drugs and failed to make any report to the State medical board. He even said that knowing what happened to Elvis – he wouldn’t see himself doing anything different.

Several theories of the specific causes and contributing factors are considered in the book from the obscure to the sensational. The most likely cause was not genetic heart problems or straining to go to the bathroom or regular heart attack; but the drugs.

Elvis had long been addicted to prescription drugs which resulted in a variety of health problems which increased the stress load on his body and it’s ability to function.

There are many claims about illnesses that Elvis had, yet, the drugs he used were not used to treat illnesses. The pills were for symptoms of illnesses – pain, insomnia and uppers for energy.

Elvis’ drug use was not on display like other musicians of the era who developed their public image around recreational drug use.

Elvis, keeping to the prescription drugs, could justify his using as medication and probably obtained a far better high with pure pharmaceuticals than the so called street drugs of the 1970’s and earlier.

While it’s only been 30 some odd years, the public attitudes towards drugs, understanding of drug use is very different now than in the pre-Betty Ford Centre, Celebrities revealing their own drugs use, childhood abuse and other matters that were previously kept on the down low as a rite of passage or a badge of credibility.

Elvis had been using drugs for a long time – possibly starting with Gladys’ amphetamines that was prescribe for weight loss well into the 60’s – and then the drugs supplied to him in the army.

Elvis received the stamp of approval for drug use from three authority sources – his Mother, the Army and Medical Doctors.

That Elvis doctor shopped and knew the pharmaceutical reference manual inside and out was beside the point.

Elvis died with a cocktail of drugs, many at toxic and even lethal levels – however, as a long time user, likely had a higher tolerance than a person just starting out.

What the most likely culprit that Aug 15th and leading into Aug 16th was a drug that Elvis didn’t take often – as Linda Thompson tells the authors, Elvis appears to have had an allergy to codeine.

The dentist Elvis saw that night gave him codeine and some additional pills. Mixing this drug into multiple so called “attack” packs of his more usual drugs stressed his breathing and his body too much.

Elvis took three sets of drugs, which likely began to work all at once and when combined with the codeine that caused respiratory distress, he couldn’t breath, tossed the book he was reading and fell to the floor.

He landed face down, but not flat – his knees were bent, meaning his weight was pushed onto his head, shoulders and chest – compressing and making his breathing even more difficult. He also threw up, making breathing near impossible.

A body in distress from multiple sources – drugs, body position –  combined with restricted breathing – the unattended Elvis had no chance of rescue.

That there was no coroner’s inquest also supports the death by drugs, as Memphis was very aware of it’s tourist status being directly related to Elvis. Further, Elvis’ image was not yet tarnished – the body guard book had been released a scant 6 week prior and most fans were resistant to the book.

Elvis’ death ensured it would be a best seller through multiple printings.

The 1980’s became a bad decade for Elvis – punished by the public for the drug use and then the various people claiming to be a secret offspring.

With thirty plus years passed and a far more drug/addition sophisticated public has lowered the scorn that has been heaped on Elvis. Even Elvis’ weight issues seem fairly minor compared to the obesity problems faced by most North Americans today.

It’s taken those 30 years for Elvis – who electrified the world, who topped the music, movie and television charts – to be taken as a serious artist. Perhaps he was just too exciting a performer during his life for the focus to be on the work rather than on the man.

This book reveals that man in trouble and unwilling to accept help.

I recommend the book to the full range of Elvis fans and general readers – who aren’t squeamish about autopsy level details.

Perhaps not for the fans who are in denial about the drugs, though.

Elvis clowning with Parker - click to see 1957 home film, 41 seconds in