Wednesday, March 1, 2006

The Public Rub

A proposed body rub parlour slated to open in East London has anti-social activists lobbying the city to shut it down before it opens its doors. Although the city passed a bylaw limiting the number of such establishments, Sweet City 2 applied for a license before council could resolve their bickering behind closed doors.

But when you make the laws, you feel mighty enough to break them, so council, always eager to pander to special interests, were poised to arbitrarily ban the massage parlour. In a closed door meeting last week, lawyers advised council against taking the issue to court. Council then deferred the matter to staff and scheduled a public bleatfest on March 1.

"Information" obtained by the London Free Press now has council reconsidering.

Two weeks ago, politicians were told there were no grounds to stop the opening of Sweet City 2 at a strip mall on Dundas Street, despite the opposition by neighbours on Spruce Street.

The parlour's owner had wiggled through a loophole by applying for a licence when the adjacent home was vacant -- a bylaw prohibits such operations placed next to occupied homes, staff said.

Staff believed the adjacent house, at 419 Spruce St., had been vacant because there had been no power or water to the home when the application was made May 31, 2005

But days later, The Free Press talked to a man, Lowell Taylor, who insisted he lived in the adjacent home when the application was made and for months after. A neighbour supported his story, saying there had been a generator on the property.

[..] Taylor said he lived at 419 Spruce St. for five years, staying rent-free in a house owned by a businessperson who also owned the Dundas Street plaza where Sweet City 2 is planned.

In return, Taylor, a contractor, made improvements to the house and maintained buildings in the plaza, he said.

Taylor said he was asked by Sweet City in August to take over work at the proposed parlour, where the owner has invested $60,000.

[..] While Taylor's statement was used by city staff as justification for rejecting the licence, Taylor said the neighbourhood uproar wasn't justified because the new location, like the first, would keep activities behind doors.
Why is a self-proclaimed supporter of this "gorgeous" body rub parlour making a statutory declaration that could prevent Sweet City 2 from opening? Equally perplexing is how the guy bathed. If one can afford it, boiling spring water and powering your home with a generator to avoid government monopolies is commendable, but rendered null and void, indeed destructive, if you collaborate with the gang in power to achieve your nebulous ends.

Even more disturbing is council's enthuiasism over the statements of two people. What goes on behind closed doors between consenting participants is none of my business, but public business enacted behind gold plated closed doors should concern us all.

42 comments:

bonnie abzug said...

When I hear ordinary people characterized as "anti-social activists' when all they are doing is organizing to prohibit a seamy business from opening in their neighbourhood, then I know the speaker is firmly yoked to his or her ideology. Blinders on, bit firmly in the teeth, and hell bent for fury. When I read it on London Fog, I don't even have to look at the byline to know the author.

MapMaster said...

"[W]hen all they are doing is organizing to prohibit a seamy business from opening in their neighbourhood…'

You make it sound like such a very little thing. Granted, it is a terribly ordinary thing to use specious arguments to impose their preferences on someone else:

The new parlour … will endanger children, seniors and young women, damage property values and clog the dead-end residential street, neighbours told board of control. "It's a safety issue."

I could empathize with them at least if they weren't so dishonest.

Honey Pot said...

It is a whorehouse. Who wants a whorehouse in their hood? What is the benefit of a whorehouse? Except that it is a money maker for the whore master. It does generate money for the girls who work as whores, to buy crystal meth or other controlling drugs. It does nothing to enchance a neighbourhood. I guess if you consider it allows males to buy females to control physically for a couple of hours,you might see it as a good thing. I don't get it. You know, the thrill males get from buying women who they know are suffering from mental, physical and sexual abuse. I guess that is another difference between men and woman. (Lisa you're an exception to the rule)

I don't like the sneaky way whore masters try to set up these joints. Why don't they canvas a neighbourhood and ask them if they want or need a whore house in their hood? Perhaps he could try somewhere like Thailand, or another one of those third world countries, where buying and selling of women and children for sex is a socially acceptable thing.

Lisa said...

Bonnie:

It's easy to dismiss the views of those you don't agree with as ideology. It's much harder to present a logical refutation of the position in question. I suggest you examine your own ideology.

"When I read it on London Fog, I don't even have to look at the byline to know the author."

I'm flattered. Usually that is a sign the author has a distinctive style.

Perhaps you should go back and read the post. People of course are within their rights to object to particular businesses opening up in their neighbourhood. Enough opposition would likely discourage a prospective business from opening up shop in the first place. What these individuals are not entitled to do is to impose force to prevent the business from opening up: a handful of people lobbying the government to shut down "seamy" businesses before they even open up are properly described as "hell bent for fury." Until the owners and / or proprietors identifiably harm individuals, which I might add does not include the sense of offended morals, it is wrong to use the threat or use of violence to remove that which you don't happen to personally approve of.

I have no interest in visting a body rub parlour, nor do you it would seem, but I'm not forced to go there and neither are you. So long as it is behind closed doors, mind your own business.

Ayn Steyn said...

I think some people are being rubbed the wrong way.

Lisa said...

As a clarification. So long as it is behind closed doors and taking place between consenting adults, it is none of your business.

Honey Pot said...

Lisa they weren't given the chance to object to the whorehouse. Not like the sneaky pimp who wanted to open it was going to tell them that he was opening a whore house. No one wants the type of creeps hanging around their neighbourhood. What goes hand and hand with a whorehouse? Use logic Lisa. What does a whore house need to be successful? It needs mentally unhealthy females, drug dealers to keep the girls controlled. Lowlife creeps to buy the girls. Then you get all that other good stuff, like money laundering, tax evasion, illegal immigrant employment, sex slaves, whore master wars fighting over territory. Nothing good comes out of having a whore house in your hood.

sex machine said...

Nothing good comes out of having a whore house in your hood.

I came pretty good once . . .

Honey Pot said...

There is a world beyond your dumb stick Sex Machine.

Lisa said...

Honey;

You ask:

"What does a whore house need to be successful?"

Patrons and employees is the answer.

Are the women working in these body rub parlours 'forced' to be there? If they are forced to perform, like doctors would be if Bill 56 is passed, it is wrong, as slavery is never just. But for some women, its an opportunity to generate cash to pay the rent and buy food and perhaps much more besides.

I might add that I wasn' t given an opportunity to object to majority rule, although I am forced to comply unless I wish to depart with vast sums of cash, which I do not possess, or opt for a jail term at the expense of taxpayers throughout the country.

Honey Pot said...

Lisa, do you know what the term coerced means? You must of lived a very sheltered life. Protected by the adults around you, therefore never exposed to the vileness of the world. That is a good thing. Not every child has that protection, and therefore they end up with lives that are less than desirable. When you have no choices in life, that makes you the property of someone else.

Honey Pot said...

...and Lisa stop going on about the poor doctors. You would think they were getting paid with chickens and sacks of potatoes, the way you carry on.. They have choices, they can move to the states or another country where the health of their people is not a priority. There are a 1000 immigrants that would willing come here to take their places.

Pietr said...

When the 'whores' are forced out into the streets(as they are in the UK), then the neighbourhood will really look scruffy.

And you'll need more chains, because the doctors will be kept very busy with children playing among the back-alley syringes and tarts being beaten to a pulp or murdered because their 'sneaky' pimp is unable to protect them.

Honey Pot said...

They shouldn't be forced to do it in the first place. Very uncivilized. Only a male would believe that a woman would enjoy giving blow jobs to a multitude of strange weird males. Only a male would believe that females enjoy being controlled, beaten by pimps ,and the men who buy them for sex. Only a male would believe they deserve it. Only a male would believe other people's children should be whores, but not theirs. The day I see the majority of people who agree it is a good healthy job for their mothers, wives and children to bought for sex, is the day I might rethink my position.

sexmachine said...

The women I have known (as an personal aquaintance - not as a customer) who have gone into the sex trades, have done so willingly. They were attracted to the easy money and do not feel the sexual hang-ups some women do. Some even thought their lifestyle enviable - being desired (the result of poor self esteem perhaps).
I once worked as a line sorter in a recycle plant for $7.00/hr. Wanna put your self worth in a blue box for a while? Try that job - constant exposure to germs (illness) and cockroaches - and you don't $20 for pulling someone's stick for ten minutes. You get to sort the waste of others. Some folks took advantage of the situation and scooped the rusted unopened cans out of the line - just one of the "benefits" of the job. Now that was a job being on drugs might have made more tolerable.
Take a trip to Amsterdam some time. The girls working in the legitimate windows don't look that unhappy. Those forced to work on the streets (which goes on despite the legal trade there) are among the most desperate looking characters you will see anywhere. People choose this line of work and people obviously want to pay for it - better it be done indoors by consenting adults than in the back alley where your son or daughter may stumble upon a business transaction.

Anonymous said...

I just hope this story has a happy ending.

bonnie abzug said...

Lisa, you invite me to "present a logical refutation of the position in question". Fair enough, if the "position in question" was a matter of logic. It's not, of course. Your position - namely, that "[w]hat these individuals are not entitled to do is to impose force to prevent the business from opening up" - is a claim, a speculation. And it's an erroneous claim on its face anyways. Of course they are entitled to do it. They didn't break one law. No money changed hands behind the scenes to influence the vote. There was no coercion or use of brute force.

I think I understand the broad strokes of your ideology as it pertains to property rights. One should be free to make whatever use of one's property one wishes, free from government interference, so long as others are not harmed by this use. And, speaking very generally, I could support this position. Where I think you are being intellectually dishonest is in giving the term "rights" its widest possible meaning while so restricting the meaning of the term "harm to others" as to make it essentially an empty vessel.

Honey Pot said...

Sex machine, you are talking through your hat. Show me a whore, and I will show you a fucked up crack addict. That hoopala about women like being whores is a myth. Men make that shit up for the power and control it gives them over females. It is cutting into their male privlege if these females were given real choices in life.

Jay said...

Jeezus H. Christ what a mess.

Azbug,

"There was no coercion or use of brute force"

Unless they refused to comply with the so-called Law, in which case this statement of yours is laughable on its face.

"money laundering, tax evasion, illegal immigrant employment"...are all against The Law, but I'd like you to identify who specifically has their rights violated in any of these instances.

You do know the difference between what The Law says and what is right and wrong? Or do you share honey pot's idea that what is right and wrong is up for a majority vote?

Honey Pot said...

Jay, we all got to share the planet, so that means it up to the majority. If people don't want a whore house in their hood, they shouldn't have to have a whorehouse in their hood. Works for me.

bonnie abzug said...

You're not kidding it's a mess, Jay. Here we have the libertarian agenda trotted out in support of pimps, whores, money launderers, tax evaders and sweatshop operators. I guess you have to keep your constituency happy.

I was originally reacting to Lisa's characterization of people organizing in support of their rights as "anti-social activists". This characterization, apart from being untrue, is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

Mapmaster calls the residents' motives and/or arguments dishonest. But nothing is said about Lisa's dishonesty as evidenced in the following statement: "But when you make the laws, you feel mighty enough to break them." The bylaw clearly states that this seamy little den of iniquity cannot obtain a license if it is sited next to a residence. Which it is. So the true statement would be that council is attempting to enforce the law, not break it.

"You do know the difference between what The Law says and what is right and wrong?"

Give me a break! What are you? Fifteen?

vhrhznpy said...

Geez Bonnie, I didn't know you were one of those old libertarians. I read a bit about them, their ideaology. They sort of go by a differentt philisophy of life. From what I could gather it was sort of telling you, that when your brother is down, kick him hard in the face, and hope he dies, so you don't get taxed for looking after him.

Honey Pot said...

...that was me Bonnie, don't know how that happened, but it did.

gm said...

It would seem to me that this is about sex and money and some are against both.
Is this a question of morality or lifestyle?

Honey Pot said...

I am not against sex or money, and wouldn't mind having some of both.

Lisa said...

Abzug:

Setting aside the matter of government interference into the property rights of others for the moment, I'll address your claim that I have been "intellectually dishonest" here. It is true that according to bylaws imposed by the city, if the house was occupied at the time of the application, then the city would have legal grounds to reject the application. However, it does not appear to me that the city has good reason to believe the house was occupied. Where did the guy get his water from and why was he running a generator if he was indeed living there. Only one other person supports this guy.

Apparently you don't understand the difference between "what The Law says and what is right and wrong." Every single day the government breaks laws by engaging in widespread and "legal" plunder.

Further, when I speak of harm to others, I am speaking of identifiable harms to other people. Until individual patrons and employees of Sweet City 2 directly threaten or invade the property of others, which includes their homes as well as their bodies, there is no legitimate reason to rush into hysterics. It is not me "giving the term "rights" its widest possible meaning" - in fact it is rather simple actually. Stay off my property and I'll stay off yours. "Harm to others" does not include offended morals, but instead is measured by demonstrable violation.

Honey; I am sure many "whores" would be offended by your classifying them as "victims". Unless they are forced, through threat of harm, to engage in prostitution, they have made a free choice. There is always welfare as an alternative.

bonnie abzug said...

Geez, Lisa. Apparently an affadavit from the person occupying the house that he was, in fact, occupying it isn't enough for you.

"Unless they are forced, through threat of harm, to engage in prostitution, they have made a free choice."

If you were going to be consistent you would be arguing that until they were forced into prostitution, by the direct application of this force and not merely the threat of it, they have made a free choice. That would be a "demonstrable violation". If not, then the threat of harm felt by the local residents should be enough justification for them to seek enforcement of the bylaw "imposed" (of course) by the city on us.

And you're the second person to chastise me for not understanding the difference between what is right and wrong and some kind of totemic "Law". I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but I do recognize that a legal right is not the same as a moral judgement that one should exercise at all times under all circumstances.

Anyways, enough of this. We all have better things to do. I'll let you and Mike get back to protecting the rights of the pimps and the "whores", the money launderers and the tax evaders. And, of course, the sweatshop operators.

To gm I would say this: from my perspective, I have no problem with either money or sex. I think we all should have as much of either as we wish. I don't have a problem with people who wish to exchange money for sex. I don't have a particular problem with a middleman taking a cut from the transaction. That's the way our system works. And having another rub 'n tug in town won't cause me to lose a moment's sleep. But I suspect that those who are willing to exchange money for sex are quite happy to do so in more private locations. In fact, they're probably more comfortable doing so. These types of "businesses" don't rely on the drive-by trade, so to speak. Don't locate it on a commercial corridor, or in a residential neighbourhood, and you won't hear a peep from me.

If this interferes with the pimp's or whoremaster's right to do as he damn please wherever he damn please, then I say f**k 'em. And if Lisa is only willing to accept abrogation of the pimp's or whoremaster's right to do as he pleases wherever he pleases AFTER a local resident's daughter is raped by a patron (this would be a "demonstrable violation", would it not?), then it's she who is the "anti-social activist" and not the local residents. Absit omen.

Honey Pot said...

Lisa your arguments are ludicrous. The people in the community that are opposed to the whorehouse are being proactive. Only a complete and total idiot could not grasp what having whore house in their midst means. Whore houses attract the scum of the earth type to patronize an area. What other business will set up near a whore house? Who wants to raise children near a whore house, and risk having them exposed to the creeps who hang at them? You might believe lowlife scumbags have a right to put their business wherever they can sneak one in, but the community's right to a safe and healthy community, far outwieghs that of a pimps to make money.

Anonymous said...

"What other business will set up near a whore house?"

How about the London Y, setting up another childcare centre, milking the public purse by extracting subsidized funds from daycare to fund their uneconomic fitness centre for downtown fatcats?

Lisa said...

Abug:

Threat of force is a demonstrable violation: if I threaten to shoot you if you don't hand over your wallet, I am violating your rights because I am demanding that which I have no right to demand; likely you will surrender your wallet, as any money and / or id in that wallet is worth less than the cost of your life.

But in this case, the only threat is the one imagined by a dozen residents and city council. Is perceived potential threat reason enough to employ the use of force? In our fine "democracy", the word of two people can hardly be reason enough for council to shut down an establishment permitted on the basis of its own rules.

Is the residence in question currently occupied? Apparently not, but a few months later, somebody might claim they were living there, giving council a "reason" to satisfy the demands of militant dissidents.

The details of the cities bylaws are irrelevant though. The essential point is that "preventative" measures imposed by statists to force compliance with their agenda are necessarily arbitriary and immoral.

Honey;

Lisa your arguments are ludicrous.

At least I have an argument.

gm said...

Bonnie said

"Here we have the libertarian agenda trotted out in support of pimps, whores, money launderers, tax evaders and sweatshop operators. I guess you have to keep your constituency happy."

Yes, it should be legal to pay a fee for sevice. The above quote seems to reflect an agenda as held the by bourgeoisie haters.

"The term '"The term 'bourgeoisie' the Bolsheviks applied loosely to two groups: those who by virtue of their background or position in the economy functioned as 'exploiters,' be they a millionaire industrialist or a peasant with an extra acre of land, and those who, regardless of their economic or social status, opposed Bolshevik policies."

Honey Pot said...

No you don't have an argument Lisa...well one that is based in reality. Your argument is based on the fact that you live a sheltered life, and have no idea what is going on in the real world around you.

bonnie abzug said...

Lisa says,

"But in this case, the only threat is the one imagined by a dozen residents and city council. Is perceived potential threat reason enough to employ the use of force?"

If I were to provide a link to a study - a meta-analysis, no less - that is widely regarded as the definitive study on the incidence of crime associated with the sex trade, which will tell you that the chance of being the victim of a random act of violence (i.e., acts of violence against sex trade workers themselves are not counted) is 4.5 times greater within 250 meters of a sex trade establishment than outside this zone, would you then be willing to concede that the fears of local residents are something more than imagined ones?


"Threat of force is a demonstrable violation: if I threaten to shoot you if you don't hand over your wallet, I am violating your rights because I am demanding that which I have no right to demand; likely you will surrender your wallet, as any money and / or id in that wallet is worth less than the cost of your life."

I couldn't help but notice that your example, not unsurprisingly, involved money and how to keep it for yourself and away from others. You'd be happy to know that robbery is a key component of the random violence measured by this Report.

Lisa said...

Bonnie;

Actually, I can understand the concerns of the residents and I myself wouldn't be too thrilled if a rub and tug moved into my neighbourhood. Surely the citizens are within their rights to complain to the owners and a prudent business person likely wouldn't want to open up shop in a neighbourhood which is hostile to its existence. What bothers me is that a handful of citizens are appealing to council to "do something" about their concerns, which is to prevent the parlour from opening, no matter the legality of how they go about doing it.

I couldn't help but notice that your example, not unsurprisingly, involved money and how to keep it for yourself and away from others.

What is crime if not the invasion of people's property rights? Surely a robber has no right to steal your earnings, just as a rapist has no right to force himself upon unwilling victims.

bonnie abzug said...

Lisa, I agree with your second point about crime, although I might wish to attach a limited number of caveats to it.

I'd agree with your first one, too, if the residents who lived nearby were the prime target market of the business, or even a significant target market. But they're not, and I think you're being a little disingenuous with this.

And I might point out that these residents aren't doing anything illegal and that Council is merely upholding the bylaw as it is written. We're not going to agree on this, obviously, but I think you are playing a little fast and loose with what consititutes an "illegal" act. Of course, once a majority Libertarian government is elected, I might have to eat these words.

Honey Pot said...

"What is crime if not the invasion of people's property rights? Surely a robber has no right to steal your earnings, just as a rapist has no right to force himself upon unwilling victims." -Lisa

I am so glad you finally understand. The whorehouse owner is invading the many property owner's rights by trying to sit up a whore house. Property values decrease, and it stops other more desirable business, that a comunmity wants or needs from establishing in their hood.

The neighbourhood is trying to prevent the robbers and rapists from establishing a comfortable base in their hood. Though stats are not kept on the number of times the sex workers are raped by their pimp or customers. Unless you got your head shoved real far up your ass, you know it is a frequent event.

Lisa said...

Bonnie:

Of course, once a majority Libertarian government is elected, I might have to eat these words.

Libertarians aren't elected. Libertarians don't support mob rule.

Also, it doesn't matter if the residents in the neighbourhood are the target market or not - the business is operating in their neighbourhood, which is why the neighbours are protesting in the first place. Their interest in Sweet City 2 would be vastly reduced if the owner was planning on opening up shop in someone else's hood.

Honey;

The whorehouse owner is invading the many property owner's rights by trying to sit up a whore house. Property values decrease, and it stops other more desirable business, that a comunmity wants or needs from establishing in their hood.

Property values are not static, nor can they be in a free market. Although a business, or messy neighbour might drive down values, the neighbours have no right to interfere with property they don't own. What they do have a right to do is to petition the business owner and if that doesn't work, they are free to move. Yes, that is harsh, and I wouldn't want to move either, but sex between consenting adults is also desirable for some, and so they would rather see a rub and tug open up than a soup kitchen.

I will also note that the rub and tug is slated to open in a plaza, on Dundas Street, in a commercial area.

Some people want sex and are willing to pay for it. The law might say no, but the practice will continue either way. I'd rather that it went on behind closed doors than in a back alley nearby.

bonnie abzug said...

Well then, Lisa, I'm confused.

"What basic approach would Libertarians take if they were elected?

If a Libertarian government was elected, it would reduce taxes to a minimum and reduce the size of government to a minimum."
Source: http://www.libertarian.ca/english/libertarian-party-faq.html

bonnie abzug said...

Lisa, I also notice on the Ontario party page that Mr. Marty Gobin is standing for election in the riding of Whitby-Ajax and the party is seeking candidates in the ridings of Nepean-Carleton and Ms. Churley's riding of Toronto-Danforth.

bonnie abzug said...

" Although a business, or messy neighbour might drive down values, the neighbours have no right to interfere with property they don't own."

Lisa, your conjecture here just doesn't square with my reading of the platform of the Ontario Libertarian Party when speaking of the "Libertarian Theory of Law": "What is important, in judging a law good or bad, is the nature of the acts it forbids. Does an action affect only the person acting, or only those who consent (or choose) to be affected? Then it should not be interfered with. Does it hurt those who have not consented? Then it should not be allowed. Whom an action affects; where it takes place (in one’s home? on a public street corner?); and whose property it uses or affects; are what the law should consider when judging any action."

Lisa said...

Abug:

I am not a member of the Ontario Libertarian Party.

Straws are cheap, but unfortunately not expensive enough.

Honey Pot said...

Although a business, or messy neighbour might drive down values, the neighbours have no right to interfere with property they don't own -Lisa

Lisa in your world where if someone can make a buck off it, it is ok, doesn't work in reality.

In the real world a whore house owner has no right to decrease the property values of other property owners, or put the population at risk to make a buck.

If a business is detrimental to a community, which a whore house is, why should a community allow it?

Why should a whore house owner's rights trumpt that of a community's right, to a safe and healthy environment?