September 27, 2006
Why Is Seattle Such a Wuss About Strip Clubs?

The long-running saga of the City of Seattle's attempts to regulate strip clubs in the city limits is the political version of a twelve-car pileup on the Interstate. It's painful to see, but irresistible to watch.

The PI's Strange Bedfellows blog covers recent developments regarding Referendum 1, an attempt to overturn the City's proposed limits for strip clubs that make the rules of, uh, procedure unconducive to profitable business for such establishments.

That post got me thinking. The broader saga of adult entertainment in Seattle has been given some attention before at Sound Politics, though really in more of a historical context. Yet, this issue seems to need more debate than the usual giggle factor that accompanies stories about "Strippergate" and the like.

Personally, I don't see cause for all the fuss; I'm more of a libertarian on such issues. Most people are not going to partake of such recreations, but would like such options not shoved in their face thank you very much. At the same time, if you're going to have such entertainment in a broader metropolitan area, doesn't it make the most sense in that area's urban center?

Should such establishments then be zoned in some way? You bet. Should they be hamstrung by the City like the restrictions discussed in this case? Um, why?

The Stranger took an interesting look a few years back at the interminable political process (how very Seattle, I know) surrounding this whole policy saga that dates back to the late 1980's. Moreover, the Stranger's analysis showed that the modern strip club isn't exactly the den of crime some would assume. Furthermore, it should be noted our large city neighbor in the region, Portland, is home to quite a collection of strip-clubs, yet it seems to be retaining its reputation as a nice place to live.

Clearly, the adult-entertainment industry isn't for everyone, but it's also been with society in some form for, oh, centuries. Thus, it's time to seriously consider a broader question: why is a city known for its permissive liberalism ironically and oddly so uptight about strip clubs?

A more direct question needs to be asked as well, particularly to Seattle voters, what do you think about Referendum 1? And why do you care (or not)?

If I was a Seattle voter, I'd be voting "No" on Referendum 1, and let the strip clubs operate as they will. But, let's hear what you think.

UPDATE: One of the better and more substantive debates I've seen at Sound Politics in quite a while is unfolding in the comment stream. It's a classic debate between conservatives who prefer restrained government on issues of morality, preferring instead to protect individual choice and responsibility, versus conservatives who prefer a more activist approach to government involvement on moral issues. Take a look, and chime in if you desire.

And on a less serious note, loyal reader Bill Cruchon at #14 reports on a trend in doorbelling this year that might make such activity in Seattle this year a bit more interesting.

Posted by Eric Earling at September 27, 2006 07:20 AM | Email This
1. I appreciate your perceptive Eric. All to often conservatives go on about the free market and limited government... until it comes to things they find immoral. Then its all about government regulation to protect children and society from such ills. You can't have it both ways. Thanks for being consistent. I too will be voting no

Posted by: Giffy on September 27, 2006 07:17 AM
2. Similar question:

As liberal as this state is, why are they so uptight about online poker?

Similar answer:

Because if they feel like they aren't regulating it enough (or taxing it enough) then they just ban it so they don't have to deal with it anymore.

Posted by: Easycure on September 27, 2006 07:54 AM
3. Not just online poker, but online gambling in general. And it's not just this state. The federal government has been going after online gambling sites who have customers within the US borders but operate outside it. Yet, there is Las Vegas, Reno, AC, etc offering the same thing to anyone who wants to go. Also, those same businesses in AC and Vegas are prohibited from offering online what they offer in their casinos.

In this state, it's all about protecting the tribal money flowing into state government. Whatever rules there are against gambling, you can be sure the tribes are excluded, and as long as Democrats are in charge in this state, the tribal monopoly will continue.

I'm surprised the tribes haven't got into the strip club game. They can probably do it better and without all the restrictions that cities like Seattle put on it. There's no reason that strip clubs should be regulated any more than another business. If they are involved with organized crime or otherwise breaking a law, then they should be punished like any other business. But that doesn't mean they should be moved into their own "zone".

Posted by: Palouse on September 27, 2006 08:05 AM
4. I, too, will proudly vote NO. The impact of government needs to be limited in its power over stip club owners, workers, and patrons just as it needs to be limited in all other ways (see the US Contitution). If a strip club acts to the detriment of its neighbors, they can sue the club under nuisance laws. If criminal activity takes place there, the police can and should act to arrest the perpetrators - that's what I pay taxes for, not for a bunch of nanny state tyrants to tell me that strip clubs are morally wrong and should be regulated out of existance.

Morally wrong? The notion that it is shameful to expose the human body, or that human sexuality needs to be locked in a closet (or exploited for commercial gain - but only to the limit defined by a ratings board or a government committee) is in itself shameful. But that is my opinion. I think its rational, but I don't expect everyone to agree with me - if they don't, then they whould not and probably will not go to a strip club. The mere existance of srip clubs won't hurt those who disagree with me. But if these people act, through government, to regulate strip clubs out of existance, that is just plain tyranny. All tyrants think they are morally correct. See Mein Kampf and The Socialist Manifesto.

Even if you think strip clubs are morally wrong, please strike a blow for freedom and vote NO on Ref. 1.

Posted by: srogers on September 27, 2006 08:06 AM
5. Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

--C.S. Lewis

Posted by: JDH on September 27, 2006 08:20 AM
6. Because Seattle is a matriarchy, and our City Council is made up of menopausal women, or men who want to be menopausal women.

Posted by: Legast on September 27, 2006 08:24 AM
7. The obvious answer is because what passes for "liberalism" is actually PC thought control and gender feminist Stalinism.

"Liberals" are actually some of the most controlling and intolerant people in existance - if it doesn't fit in with their "enlightened" view of how things "should" be, then they want it, and you, to just go away.

Besides, Seattle's current mayor is just a grandstanding stooge.....

Posted by: H Moul on September 27, 2006 08:32 AM
8. What's truly ironic is that in Columiba, SC (my last duty station was Ft Jackson, SC), capitol city of what is possibly the most conservative state in the union, heart of the Bible Belt-I had 3 good size churches within less than 1/2 mile of my house-they're much more libertarian about strip clubs.

Pretty much the only restriction there was that the dancers had to wear g-strings.

Oh, and I'm not sure if it's a state thing or just a Pierce County thing-but what's with strippers needing a license-with $200 fee-to work?

Posted by: Heartless Libertarian on September 27, 2006 08:44 AM
9. Well, if occasional illegal activity were a reason to ban a commercial enterprise, then just how many enterprises would be left?

Posted by: iconoclast on September 27, 2006 08:47 AM
10. H Moul;

I think "Liberal Fascists" is a better term for Seattle's leaders frame of mind.

Posted by: Robert on September 27, 2006 08:55 AM
11. Conservative men oppose the existence of strip clubs because they ultimately are a threat to the women and children. You can analyze the ideological ramifications of this position, and expose its anti-libertarian aspects, but that will not change the fact that strip clubs are a kind of debauchery, and it is not surprising they are supported by liberals. It is disturbing that Mr. Earling, who sometimes clothes himself in a conservative cloak, struggles so much with this issue.

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 08:57 AM
12. There is a huge difference between a conservative's position of not supporting strip clubs by not choosing to go or advocating anyone in his/her family goes, and the forced government regulation of such a business. There is no struggle in this regard. You can very easily be a proponent of the former and an opponent of the latter and not give up your conservative credentials (if you're keeping track).

Posted by: Palouse on September 27, 2006 09:05 AM
13. Huckleberry: The whole concept of good and evil hinges on our ability to choose. Every day we are tempted in different ways, and we can choose. We can choose not to patronise strip clubs. We can choose to change the TV channel or just plain turn it off. That simple. Your comment indicated that strip clubs are ultimately a threat to women and children. Does that mean you think women do not have the ability to choose? I don't need to be regulated by the government in my moral choices. I can make them myself, and will discuss them with my maker when the time comes.

Posted by: katomar on September 27, 2006 09:15 AM
14. I wasn't even aware of Referendum #1...until yesterday afternoon when two rather scantily clad young women appeared at my door. They asked if they could place an anti-#1 sign in our yard, explaining that many young single women could lose their livlihoods should the Referendum pass. Not having discussed the issue with my wife I politely told them no.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on September 27, 2006 09:15 AM
15. No one is being forced to go to a strip club. It's their choice. The government ought to stay the hell out of strip clubs and everything else that is private enterprise.

I agree with H Moul, Seattle is a poltically correct, hyper-Blue city. In order to justify to itself the intense regulation of private business, high taxes and the tolerance of most forms of debauchery, it picks a few less politically correct forms of debauchery like strip clubs or poker and then comes down hard to keep up appearances.

As long as no one is getting hurt and their are no crimes being committed, strip clubs are an entirely legitimate entity whether one likes them or not. If I was a Seattle voter (and damn I am glad I am not) I would be voting No.

Posted by: Jeff B. on September 27, 2006 09:16 AM
16. Legast at 6 has it!

i guess otherwise liberal Seattle is against it because it competes with the tripe now taught in public schools. same stuff, different political tilt--one's entertainment, one's "health class with no values/judgements 101" hey--aren't libs champions of "diversity' and 'tolerance?'

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on September 27, 2006 09:37 AM
17. in re Katomar, Palouse & Jeff B:

My children go to public schools. They watch television. They sometimes walk alone on public sidewalks, though rarely in downtown Seattle. They share public spaces with people who frequent strip joints. Strip clubs spread a kind of poison, much more virulent than e coli... the twisted thinking that goes with watching naked women writhe around a pole infects the rest of us, whether we experience it first hand or not.

If a public street has a pothole in it, and one person claims to like that pothole, in fact, invokes constitution rights to access that pothole, does the mayor lose the ability to require that pothole be filled in?

You people are really disturbing me. You are making this way too hard. Shut down the clubs!

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 09:38 AM
18. Huckleberry, you are wrong on this one, and Eric and even Giffy are right.

You've chosen to send your kids to public school. Fine. You've got a say in the content both because you fund them with your tax dollars and because you use their services. You've chosen to allow your kids to watch television. You probably don't let your kids watch later shows with graphic sex and violence. Good call. But why would you deny the right of others to make the adult choice to choose a program? I agree, there's a lot of garbage on TV and a lot of stuff that I certainly would not let me kids watch, or watch myself. But the check valve for cultural artistic expression is not government regulation. Under our system of government, we allow the free market to make those choices. You can be a force for change in the culture but you can't do it by holding a gun to someone else's head because you don't like what they do on private property.

You may not like certain activities, but I am sure that there are some things you do, that others do not like. Tell us something that you like and maybe someone will volunteer to step up and say that they want to ban that activity.

While strip clubs certainly are not contributing to the peak of civil culture, they are no more corrupting than any other legal yet judicious restraint oriented activity such as drinking alcohol, hunting, fishing, gambling, etc. What's your solution? Ban them all? Be careful what you wish for, this is the path to totalitarianism. I see your line of thinking leading to me losing my choice to ski because some environmentalist does not like ski resorts.

I'm far more disturned by someone like yourself who wants to ban something they disagree with than I am by a responsible adult that goes to a strip club.

Oh, and your pothole analogy is fallacious. A strip club is not public.

Posted by: Jeff B. on September 27, 2006 09:59 AM
19. Huckleberry: The onus is on the parents to teach right and wrong, not government. Government's job is not to cleanse the streets of any businesses that some people may find abhorrent in order to maintain some kind of utopian middle surrounded by isolated chunks of debauchery. If your kids pass by a strip club on their way home and you don't like it, then move. The strip clubs is a legitimate business and has a right to be there.

Posted by: Palouse on September 27, 2006 10:10 AM
20. Pal & Jeff,

I am not too worried about my children entering the strip club. I am more worried about the men (and women) who are exiting the strip club. I am worried about thoughtful people who think deep thoughts that cannot find justification for local government having the authority to outlaw businesses that present a clear threat to our communities. Bedford Falls should have stood up to that mean old liberal, Mr. Potter.

Posted by: huckl on September 27, 2006 10:18 AM
21. Huckleberry: If your kids are walking alone on public sidewalks in Seattle they are doubtless passing the human garbage that litter them. Here in the north end we have what could be a lovely little park, but it's occupied daily by urine soaked "homeless" people. If I were you I'd be a lot more concerned about what the city allows your kids to see in public than what might go on in strip clubs.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on September 27, 2006 10:24 AM
22. People exiting a strip club have committed no crime. If they do, then it's up to the police to arrest them. There are laws already in place for child luring, etc. Strip clubs do not force or cause people to commit crimes against children.

Posted by: Palouse on September 27, 2006 10:27 AM
23. Jeff,

The liberals have gone way overboard on environmentalism. But their premise is not totally flawed... we are all in this together, and our actions do impact others. Restrictions on freedom of action can be taken too far, but moderate land use zoning strikes me as a reasonable thing, as long as the zoning authority is local, and does not become dominated by state and federal regulation. The people of city X or county Y can be relied upon not to turn their community into a cesspool without the state and federal governments telling them what a cesspool is and is not.

Similarly, local governments are capable of seeing a strip club as the sociological equivalent of a cesspool. And local government has the authority, indeed the duty, to clean up that cesspool. As long as the state and federal government isn't telling Seattle that it must allow strip clubs, or tell her that she cannot allow strip clubs, I see no problem at all in the citizens of Seattle collectively rejecting them.

Is this really that difficult?

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 10:32 AM
24. So Hucklberry, NYC Health wants to ban trans fat. I assume you are for that as well? No more French Fries because there is "a clear threat to our communities," right?

Posted by: Jeff B. on September 27, 2006 10:35 AM
25. Bill and Palouse,

How many of those drunken bums lurking in Seattle parks got their foundations in living the liberal lifestyle by frequenting strip clubs? Do you not see that your favored cesspool spawns the problems that you feel should be cleaned up?

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 10:35 AM
26. Jeff,

My gut reaction is to say No, NYC should not ban trans fat. If I gazed at my navel long enough, I could probably get mysel to see the wisdom in that, but I have enough trust in my conservative, democratic instincts to see a distinction between eating fatty foods and watching pornographic shows. Do you see any difference?

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 10:39 AM
27. Sorry, but I fail to see how strip clubs cause drunken homelessness. The causes of homelessness are many, but attending strip clubs is not one of them.

There are alot of successful normal people who attend strip clubs. Why should their right, or more importantly, the businessman's right to be there be infringed?

Posted by: Palouse on September 27, 2006 10:47 AM
28. The reality is that we are not "all in this together." I can't eat for you and you can't think for me. We are individuals capable of making individual choices. While indeed there are some societal laws and organizing forces of culture that help bring order to human activities, the fundamental difference between our form of government and most of the rest of the world is that we expect and fundamnetally trust humans to make good choices. That does not mean that all people in our society always make good choices, but we've decided that people are innocent until proven guilty. It makes for a frustrating culture where liberals can burn flags, celebrate urine in jars with a crucifix, etc. but it also makes for rampant and explosive growth of a free market economy and vast wealth for each of our citizens when compared with any other country.

You want to throw the baby out with the bath water. That's why its important to always ask ourselves what we are really doing when we say "there ought to be a law." If the state grows to a certain point, it will be too late to rescind overreach, even when we all agree that it is overreach.

And I submit that as far as cesspools go, strip clubs are far down on the list. What's really all that bad about partly naked woman parading around. Does it really cause men to become unraveled and do terrible things? Or do some men do terrible things regardless of any law or prohibition? Do you see where your line of thinking leads? And why is it any different when one's own wife parades around naked in the privacy of one's home? Is it OK because it is in private? Is it because one has sworn a lifelong commitment to that one person that nudity is permissible? What about dating? What about single guys, is it then OK for them to go to a strip club, but not married guys? I don't really see much difference between looking at a Sport Illustrated Swimuit Edition and going to a strip club in Seattle. In both instances, women are topless at most, paid to parade their beauty before men, etc. One is live and one is a picture. Apparently, there is a market for men to view female beauty. Why is that a bad thing? Is there a certain line where that turns from wholesome to depraved? Who gets to set that line?

Posted by: Jeff B. on September 27, 2006 10:57 AM
29. Huckleberry: The good citizens of Seattle can collectively reject the strip clubs by not patronizing them. Is that so difficult? You cannot regulate morality. You can only teach it. And if you remove bad influences through regulation, eventually people will fail to recognize them as bad influences, and will be unable to make good choices.

Posted by: katomar on September 27, 2006 10:59 AM
30. Huckleberry, allowing for more competition in the strip club industry would make for better working conditions for the women involved. Do I even have to explain why?

Posted by: Mark D on September 27, 2006 11:08 AM
31. What is generally called "conservatism" now is actually a desiccated and self-serving libertarianism.

Huckleberry has put forth the idea that an activity's effect on society might be worth considering (a position that would have been wholly unremarkable a few short decades ago), and we see the response of so-called "conservatives" (and it should tell you something that it coincides with the opinion of Giffy the leftist). Jeff B. goes so far as to ridicule the very idea of society, and accuses Huckleberry of creeping totalitarianism.

This is conservatism? I think not.

Posted by: ScottM on September 27, 2006 11:14 AM
32. ScottM, it's definately in-line with what I think it means to be a Conservative...let the free market work. I really don't like Occult book stores and think they have the potential to do more harm to society then a strip club, however, I'd never want the govenment to ban them.

Further, my current girlfriend is an ex-stripper. (I didn't meet her until years after she quit.) She worked at one of the clubs in downtown Seattle. She hated the job, especially because the managers/owners had her where they wanted her because she couldn't go to another club across the street to work. It was, however, the only place she felt she could go work and make the kind of money she needed quickly when her mother kicked her out of the house the week she turned 18. She has now put herself through school and works in a Pharmacy. Because she had this option, she never had to receive a dime of government $$. She also didn't have to resort to a WORSE profession then stripping which she said she would have considered if stripping wasn't an option.

Today she is completely self-sufficient. Is very proud of herself and the life she's built.

Posted by: Mark D on September 27, 2006 11:26 AM
33. Huckleberry, actually, I don't see any difference. And here is why. I don't go to strip clubs, but I do eat french fries. I like french fries, and I enjoy them responsibly. And I don't think anyone can show any evidence that strip clubs are any more of an overall societal problem than obesity, in fact, they are probably less of a problem than obesity in terms of total cost to the society. But that does not make legislation to prohibit strip clubs OR trans fat correct or a sure fire way to encourage a better cultural tilt.

And ScottM. I'm not claiming that this is a conservative line of thought, but I am demonstrating that their is equal fallacy of government overreach on both the right and the left. I'm not advocating for explosive growth of the sex industry and general debauchery, merely pointing out that it is absolutely conservative to expect some personal responsibility and judiciousness with one's behavior in return for less government encroachment. You might call that libertarian, but it is much more pragmatic conservatism. A truly libertarian viewpoint would have no restraint whatsover on strip clubs and allow prostitution, etc.

There is a double-edged sword that applies to legislative power. We will get more from our government if the legislative saber is used judiciously. Strip club regulation is not a means to encouraging legislative restraint and the path to implementation of other key conservative goals within Seattle's Council, etc. And I think that speaks to the original topic of Eric's post. Why is uber-liberal Seattle suddenly so entranced by strip clubs, when we have much larger fish to fry? Conservative fish, such as preventing massive public works boondoggles that will encumber the tax base for a generation or more.

Posted by: Jeff B. on September 27, 2006 11:36 AM
34. huckleberry and scottM advocate a "conservatism" founded on the same kind of moralistic tryanny as the socialistic tyranny that conviscates the wealth, if not the lives, of successful people in order to produce an economically level society. Each is based on an extreme definition of morality, and each would result in tyranical laws that address the narrow moral issues and destroy liberty. Liberatarinism is nothing more than the restatement of the political values under which the US was founded - and elevation of liberty above narrow moral issues and the limitation of governmental power to operate in moral and economic spheres. Huckleberry and ScottM are statists, even though they may be more benign in comparison to Stalin or Hitler, but they are statists none the less. It is issues like these that flush these would be tyrants out - and form a kind of a test.

Patrick Henry is remembered for his profound and inspirational statement: "Give me Liberty or Give me Death!", not "Give me a government where bureaucrats determine moral issues and enact and execute laws to protect me from myself, even if it costs me liberty, or, well, whatever."

Posted by: srogers on September 27, 2006 11:41 AM
35. Wow, sorry for the typos in that last post. I need to slow down, but can't find the time . . .

Posted by: srogers on September 27, 2006 11:46 AM
36. Srogers:

I believe statism would be legislating the issue of the legitimacy of strip clubs at the state or local level. If Seattle rejects strip clubs, then the operators are free to move to Bellevue, or North Bend, or... no wait, those communities are not as far down the path of debauchery as Seattle.

No matter, it is not statism to envision a community that can take measure of its shared values, and legislate moderately and judiciously to protect those values. The problem with liberalism, and apparently with those SP'ers with opposing views in this matter, is that they seem to lack values in this area. They seem to admit that strip joints are bad, but they cannot bring themselves to act on that belief. They are straw in the wind. As long as $$$ isn't involved. Tie a $100 bill to a piece of string and drag it down the streets of Seattle, and Seattles so called conservatives are there... or so it would seem.

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 11:54 AM
37. srogers says:

Patrick Henry is remembered for his profound and inspirational statement: "Give me Liberty or Give me Death!", not "Give me a government where bureaucrats determine moral issues and enact and execute laws to protect me from myself, even if it costs me liberty, or, well, whatever."

Precisely which liberty are you defending here, Mr. Rogers?

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 11:56 AM
38. Correction:

I believe statism would be legislating the issue of the legitimacy of strip clubs at the state or *FEDERAL* level.

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 11:58 AM
39. Huckleberry,

I do not "admit that strip clubs are bad." I rather enjoy them, although I have been to one only once in the past 13 years since my marriage (for a bachelor party). I don't share you prudish view of them - the women who work there do so of they're own free will, the patrons go there of their own free will, and for the most part, a good time is had by all. If alcohol is not served, then I think I can say for certain that any adverse societal consequences of a strip club are far fewer than any pub or bar that does serve alcohol. Would you regulate pubs and bars out of existence because of their societal consequences? Or are you just hung up on any expression of sexuality that is outside your comfort zone? Relax a little - I guarantee that the societal effects you fear are in your head, and that calling a strip club a "cesspool" only evidences your distorted thinking.

Posted by: srogers on September 27, 2006 12:03 PM
40. huckleberry:

What's next on your agenda to sanitize our society and protect "the children". You can shut down the outward image of seeing a strip club on the street, but all you will do is further push it underground.

I grew up in Seattle - had to wait for the bus home from school in front of the Lusty Lady. I respect women, I have never once stepped foot in a strip club. Why, you ask? My parents, and my upbringing. Raise your kids, man. Quit trying to have the government do it for you.

This is the religious-right type of thinking that will be the downfall of the Republican party.

Posted by: eric on September 27, 2006 12:03 PM
41. Huckleberry: The liberty to operate a strip club on my property, if I so desired, so long as the strip club is operated in accordance with the criminal laws that any other establishment is operated.

Posted by: srogers on September 27, 2006 12:07 PM
42. katomar @ 29:

+1 - Well said!

Posted by: eric on September 27, 2006 12:12 PM
43. And another thing, Huckleberry: I have a great deal of respect for the posters who do think strip clubs are bad, but understand the fundamental issue (totalitarianism vs libertarianism) and opt to advocate for freedom and a limited government (read Madison in the Federalist, for goodness sake). I have no respect for your views, not because you think strip clubs are bad, but because you have no problem forcing others to live under your views. That is unforgiveable, and intolerable, to me; but unfortunately we get so much of that attitude from both "liberals" and "conservatives" these days that a great number of our citizens do forgive it, and they tolerate it. Sigh.

Posted by: srogers on September 27, 2006 12:15 PM
44. Huckleberry, I can see your point. However, I'm not apologetic for those places in which other's values differ from mine. There are obviously limits, I think we can all agree that murder is certainly not a value. Strip clubs seem to me to be more of a moral crusade of some people on behalf of the majority who see strip clubs as a personal choice that do not have a considerable negative effect on them or on society as a whole precisely because they are private and easy to avoid. And again, not that a negative cultural phenonemnon does not have some societal impact. However amongst the spectrum of activities in the sex industry, strip clubs don't seem to me to warrant the kind of suppression you desire, nor would that probably stand up to a constitutional test.

Posted by: Jeff B. on September 27, 2006 12:19 PM
45. In my opinion, you guys are making really good arguments for just disestablishing Seattle. It is getting harder to find cesspools to drain as the entire city is filling up with muck... kind of like N'Awlins.

But I digress. The traditional approach to dealing with this issue, one that strikes a balance between what I consider the dubious constitutionally protected liberties and the need to maintain a livable community, is to use zoning laws to control where strip clubs can be situated. I think the Seattle city council still has the spine to exercize this option, but I could be mistaken. But whichever tool the government chooses to use, it is based on the understanding that strip clubs are a blight on the community, and ready access to them needs to be in some way restricted. I think it is possible to strain the concept of absolute liberty just a little bit in this case to just ban the damn things, without descending into the madness of totalitarianism.

I am starting to see why Heidi Wills, Jim Compton, and Judy Nicastro were such good representatives for you guys. Whew!

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 12:20 PM
46. I have never had a stripper knock on my door and try to get me to come to the strip club, but I have had church people knock on my door and press their vile pamphlets into my hand and try to get me to attend their obscene rites.

I think we should ban churches, because I find them objectionable and believe what they teach is destructive both to society as a whole and to the people who attend them.

Shouldn't I get my way?

Posted by: Legast on September 27, 2006 12:28 PM
47. Legast,

Frankly, I am surpised that religious people still take an interest in the citizens of Seattle. If you want to ban churches in Seattle, then do it. It will make your intentions clearer. Go for it.

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 12:40 PM
48. It occurs to me that the original civil debate between Huckleberry and others took a turn for the worse in the last 15 posts or so (choosing to be inexact here on purpose). While I enjoyed the debate up to that point, I got a bit concerned when people began to ascribe additional motives or underlying beliefs to Huckleberry that were not in evidence.

People use the argument "legal", but "legal" is not static, it is often defined by the morals of the society itself. There is certainly a very fuzzy area between legal and moral where somethings can be imoral but legal and somethings illegal but moral. Who decides which is which? Is it not fair for someone to speak up about his positon on it and not be labled for it?

Another argument used was one of "harm to others." Stripping is seen as a "harmless" activity and the justification is to use the fallacy of anecdotal evidence. "I went to one and I am not depraved." or "I worked there in the past and now I am living a good life." The question is not whethere each person involved in the activity is irreperably harmed by an activity but whether that activity has a positive or negative impact on society directly or indirectly.

If one believes that loose sexual morals tend to generate a lowering of respect of children, women, the institute of marriage, can lead to greater instances of sexual assualt, or other such activities, then they have a right to express said opinions without being labled and vilified. You disagree? Fine establish it with fact and logic, don't label.

If,in fact, one DOES believe that a certain activity is harmful to society as a whole, our free society affords them the right to present that view, attempt to persuade others to that opinion and even call for a vote of society's members to decide if that activity should be constrained. It is not totalitarianism to have people decide moral issues. It is totalitarianism to have an individual or a small group of individuals dictate it.

Finally, when either society or the government "sanctions" an activity, it does lend it an air of legitimacy that affects how members of society view such an activity. If stripping were illegal, would you change one argument you made as to whether it should be allowed? Nothing changed about the activity, but it is instead declared illegal. The point is, it's legallity is irrespective of its morality and irrespective of its impact to society.


Posted by: Eyago on September 27, 2006 12:50 PM
49. Huckleberry - since you posit that strip clubs are a "cesspool" and otherwise deteriote the community, can you provide evidence of such? Can you provide proof that strip clubs lead to drunken homelessness as you intimate? Can you provide proof that the mere existence of a strip club in area A versus area B cause LESS violent or organized crime?

If there was actual proof, rather than anecdotal "evidence", if you can even call it that, then I might see your point of view.

Posted by: Palouse on September 27, 2006 12:53 PM
50. Thanks Eyago. I was hoping to let their tactics illuminate their motives, but perhaps your comment will restore the discussion to a higher plane.

Palouse, I have no evidence, aggregated or anecdotal, to show the correlation. I'll leave that to the guardians of deparavity called sociologists. But depravity begats depravity, and the main issue that divides you and me seems to be whether strip joints are depraved. Too bad. I thought it wasn't that hard.

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 01:19 PM
51. Well, absence of proof that strip clubs deteriorate our community, what do we have? I would call it NIMBYism. You don't like them so you want to move them somewhere else out of your sight. And if you have enough people who agree with you then you are forcing a perfectly legitimate business to move when in fact, there is no evidence or reason for it. This is tyranny and certainly does not represent conservativism by any means.

Posted by: Palouse on September 27, 2006 01:31 PM
52. I think society in general and Seattle in particular suffers much more harm from the druggies infesting public parks and the homeless vagrants allowed to roam city streets than they do from the activities of strip clubs or their patrons.

The cognitive dissonance for me comes from the fact that the city leaders of Seattle instruct the police to largely ignore things that are quite obviously violations of existing laws (pot use, illegal immigration) while at the same time getting worked up to crack down on the existence of completely legal businesses.

And I'm also willing to bet if you did a study of child molesters and rapists incarerated in Walla Walla, more of them got their rocks off from porn viewed at home than in strip clubs.

I think that Seattle's biggest problem with strip clubs, though they be loathe to admit it, is because feminists don't like them, because, in their opinion, strip clubs are degrading to women.

Though when a stripper is leading a customer to the ATM so he can get more money (with a $5 ATM fee, too) for another lap dance, I'm not really sure who has the power and who's being used.

Posted by: Heartless Libertarian on September 27, 2006 01:40 PM
53. Strip clubs are a perfectly legitimate business!

Is this how conservative minds think in Seattle?

I don't think we are getting anywhere. Strip clubs are a blight on the community. You either believe that or you don't. If you believed they were a blight, but defended their right to exist, then I might applaud your libertarian impulse. But you are saying they not a blight, indeed, that they enhance the community. That is not libertarian, but licentious.

Do you have any evidence that a community is made more vibrant after the introduction of an Achin' Alley?

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 01:43 PM
54. Heartless Libertarian,

Are you suggesting that child molesting and rape are bad? That sounds awfully judgmental of you. I am almost surprised there is still somebody on this board who feels the way you do.

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 01:54 PM
55. For what it's worth...

Yahoo search

I am too busy right now to read reports on what to me seems so obvious, but if someone would like to collate...

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 01:57 PM
56. OK... let's ban bars next:

Yahoo Link

Actually, let's just do away with alcohol all together.

Posted by: eric on September 27, 2006 02:03 PM
57. Eric says:

Actually, let's just do away with alcohol all together.

Are you being sarcastic?

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 02:06 PM
58. Not sure what it says when this subject has drawn more comments than any other current thread on Sound Politics.

I think Heartless Libertarian (#52) is on to something in suggesting that feminists are likely behind Referendum #1.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on September 27, 2006 02:08 PM
59. Okay, let's imagine a world in which all temptations, all unsavory behavior, all bad influences had been regulated out of our lives. No challenges, no triumphs over adversity, not even any personal growth and understanding from enduring hardships. What we would have is a nation of drooling fools, unable to even decide to go to the toilet without a bureau of whatever regulating body telling them to. I am reminded of one of the greatest pieces of poetry, at least for me, ever written:
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as a pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever Gods there be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance,
My head is bloody but unbowed.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate.
I am the Captain of my soul.
And I will never turn over the helm to some mindless regulatory functionary in exchange for a little sanitization of my surroundings.

Posted by: katomar on September 27, 2006 02:17 PM
60. no, I am not. I mean if we want to rid the cause of all of our social problems, that would be a start, right? Well that and Trans Fats.

The government knows what is best for us.

Posted by: eric on September 27, 2006 02:23 PM
61. Alcohol causes far more problems in society than do naked women (well, except for maybe that Eve person). Are there more fights outside bars/nightclubs, or outside strip clubs? Drunk drivers kill and injure far more people than do guys driving while horny. And alcohol is a contributing factor in far more domestic violence cases than are strip clubs.

So why should strip clubs face more onerous regulation that bars/nightclubs?

Posted by: Heartless Libertarian on September 27, 2006 02:30 PM
62. Katomar,

I see a difference between a city council banning strip clubs versus a totalitarian state where all actions are rigorously controlled by the thought police. The captain of your soul sounds a wee bit like Captain Queeg to me.


I thought you were being sarcastic. If Seattle wants to abolish alcohol, have at it. Our nation has some experience with that, and it did not work out so well. Perhaps Seattle will have better luck with it on a smaller scale. I hope you don't mind if we on the Eastside stay wet.

This whole thread is getting silly. I thought SP'ers were more serious than this. Have I changed, or have you?

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 02:31 PM
63. Oh, so now I'm advocating "tyranny." Like the kind of tyranny that existed in this country up until a few decades ago.

We seem to be reaching Andrew Sullivan levels on the hysteria meter. But I suppose it's easier than thinking.

"ScottM, it's definately in-line with what I think it means to be a Conservative...let the free market work."

Which completely proves my point about the redefinition of conservatism. Thank you.

Posted by: ScottM on September 27, 2006 02:36 PM
64. yes, for the record, I was being sarcastic.

It's not a stretch that I will see that freedom of mine taken away for the second time in this country's history.... I can already do less and less under the banner of "protecting us from ourselves".

I don't think SP has changed. I think there is a strong libertarian element here and there is definitely an element that does not appreciate government intrusion into everything we do.

Posted by: eric on September 27, 2006 02:39 PM
65. If the Mayor, City Council members and related staff, and all posters above, put as much energy into real issues, all of us would be so much better off.

Real issues of import to livability and efficiency:
-Tunnel/HOV/Light rail madness, all of which do nothing to increase general lane/traffic volume capacity for the vast majority
-Homeless/aloholics: run em off rough enough they get out of the faces of the majority
-Enforcement of law selectively by the SPD, Wa St Patrol solely for purposes of extracting ticket money/harassing honest citizens..highway robbery legalized...
-Insane zoning- trees, critters more important than people, 350 sq foot apts resembling Alcatraz cells...
-The list of real problems goes on and on.......and here we are all hot and bothered over nothing.

Does anybody remember the Rivoli Theatre mid 60s and ads in the movie sections Times, Pee Eye for Gee Whizz 56 24 36...........what a hoot.....who cares.....

Posted by: Hank on September 27, 2006 02:45 PM
66. Ok, I don't believe they are a blight. I have not been to one in many years, but have been in the past. I believe they neither enhance or degrade the community. I believe they have a right to exist and should not be subject to onerous regulation, any more than any other business. In fact, they are already subject to more regulation than most other businesses given the alcohol restrictions, lap dance restrictions, etc. These rules are also tyranny of the nanny state. No one has ever hurt anyone else by getting a lap dance or responsibly enjoying an adult beverage in such a place. Don't like it? Don't go.

There are obviously people in Seattle who would like to go, and moving those places to some place, presumably SoDo or further south, would likely hurt business.

The salient points on this thread are the ones about government intrusion and letting government decide what is best for us. Let the market decide - that is the essence of capitalism and what makes this country great.

Posted by: Palouse on September 27, 2006 02:49 PM
67. eric,

Would it be out of line for me to suggest that you are wasting other peoples' time when asked if you were being sarcastic to deny it, and then turn around and admit it? I thought only liberals were so coy. I didn't know libertarians behaved that way too.

Nobody on this thread has suggested the freedom to purchase alcohol be abridged (except by yourself) or the freedom to eat Trans Fats (except by Jeff B), or any other freedom except the freedom to operate a trashy business within city limits. There is such a huge leap from a ban of strip clubs to Big Brother! I think you'll find conservatives right there beside you (they already are) when government intrudes too heavily into regulating personal freedoms. It really boils down to how many people in Seattle consider strip clubs a boon, and how many consider them to be a blight. Based on what happened to Heidi, Jim, and Judy, I am inclined to believe a good number of Seattle voters consider them a blight. But if Seattle say No, that strip joints are a boon, who among us would be foolish enought to ignore that? Our feelings about Seattle might be influenced, but no one would interfere with Seattle's right to govern itself, except perhaps the liberal elements of state and federal government.

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 02:51 PM
68. Palouse, here is a little thought experiement for you... what if you *did* think they were a blight? What would you consider an acceptable course of action by city government if you felt that strip clubs blighted your community? Can you look at this from the other side?

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 02:57 PM
69. Yeah, and there are some housing developments or gated communities in King and Pierce County whose "boards" or whatever the little rulers are, think the American flag is a "blight". One teeny step at a time...

Posted by: katomar on September 27, 2006 03:10 PM
70. What if I did think they were a blight? I would either do one of two things:

1. I would choose not to go, and would hope others would do the same. If I *really* did not like it, to the point where it was affecting me personally, I would protest in some manner (put up signs, picket the business). FWIW, no business has ever affected me this way.

2. Move. If a business in my community bothered me that much, I'd go somewhere else. If the business existed prior to me taking residence, I would just choose somewhere else to live.

Posted by: Palouse on September 27, 2006 03:21 PM
71. Hank, I agree there are alot more important issues to deal with, however this one is on the ballot and is therefore relevant. I don't live in Seattle proper and don't get to vote on it, but this is not just about strip clubs but about government intrusion and onerous regulation, both of which if allowed to go on unfettered, erode our freedom.

Posted by: Palouse on September 27, 2006 03:40 PM
72. I guess Huckleberry thinks that those on this blog adhere to his definition of "conservative." I don't see how my comments are any more offensive than those ascribing a specific conservative viewpoint to this blog.

Huckleberry insists that strip clubs are a blight. First of all, a blight has a certain context to the surrounding neighborhood. There are a lot of bars and post-close bar scenes that probably constitute a far bigger blight than a strip club given the lingering effects of alcohol and noise. However Huckleberry concedes that banning alcohol would probably not succeed given the failure of Prohibition. But Huckleberry is fine with prohibiting strip clubs, because they are a blight. To me this seems like a specific personal dislike and not a solid argument for banning strip clubs.

The point of the post is that the city is not consistent with its tolerance of less than mainstream behaviors. Unless Seattle is going to adopt a more puritanical policy on the whole, which seems highly unlikely given some of the other tolerated if not glorified deviant behaviors, why are strip clubs in the cross hairs? I want to hear a really good reason for making strip club blight removal job one for city council censors.

Posted by: Jeff B. on September 27, 2006 03:57 PM
73. Well Palouse, I think many, many people with children started exercizing option 2 in the 80's, and the trend shows no signs of letting up soon. Is the libertarian agenda about creating communities that are not habitable by families who have standards? I thought that was the liberal agenda.

As to Option 1, how many people have to avoid the strip clubs in order for them to "just go away" through natural market forces? Fifty-one percent? Ninety-five percent? Ninety-Nine Point Nine percent? Why can't you understand that most people just don't like strip joints, and they ought not be allowed? And let's face it, they are not going to just go away, no matter how many people stay away in droves, just like prostitutes will go not out of business no matter how many men refuse to hire them. Strip joints are here as long as that .1 % of men with a tendency to debauch themselves are catered tooby people such as yourself. And your only justification seems to be "The money is good!"

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 03:58 PM
74. Jeff,

Prohibition worked just fine at the local level. It still does in some backwards parts of the world. The city bans the sell of alcohol, and the people who want a drink just drive to the tavern just outside of town. Everybody wins. The problems with prohibition started when it became the universal law of the land due to pressure from the progressives... pressure that conservatives were unable to resist.

Please keep perspective... we are talking about the right of Seattle to rid itself of one specific kind of undesirable business... we are not talk about a universal ban on strip joints.

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 04:04 PM
75. What I find most striking of all from Huckleberry is this assertion:

"Why can't you understand that most people just don't like strip joints, and they ought not be allowed?"

I really don't think this is true. Huckleberry do you have any data? I think it is far more likely that most people don't care one way or the other about strip joints, or if they find them unpleasant, they would not visit. But I find it very hard to believe, especially in Seattle, that a majority of the population would have strip joints shutdown simply because they do not personally like or visit strip clubs. I guess we will find out in November.

To me this assertion sounds exactly like King County's logic for why most voter's don't like the polls and we should move to all-mail-voting. At least Strip Clubs are going to public Referendum.

Posted by: Jeff B. on September 27, 2006 04:16 PM
76. I believe it's just the opposite, MORE people are moving downtown for shorter commutes, access to cultural activities, etc. Judging by what real estate sells for downtown, there's no shortage of people who want to live there, and it's already priced out for many middle class families. And families don't just move out to the suburbs because there's no strip clubs there, it's because they don't want to live in a high rise downtown.

For option 1, again I have never been personally affected by a business that much where I would want to interfere with market forces or protest to rid it from my neighborhood. I would just choose not to go. If there was crime there, I would call the police. If there was too much noise after hours, I would call the police. There are laws in place to deal with these things that actually affect whether a community is livable.

Posted by: Palouse on September 27, 2006 04:18 PM
77. And as I understand it, you do want a Seattle to rid itself of strip joints. Isn't that a universal ban of strip joints within Seattle? I assumed we were talking about Seattle and not Las Vegas.

How far away from Seattle (or maybe you view it more in terms of you own home) do strip joints need to be? Seems to me if Seattle bans strip joints but they are still legal in Tukwila, or Kent, or Bothell, that there really hasn't been much effect other than to move some of that business out of Seattle proper. That seems to be less than what you desire? No?

As far as debauchery goes, Seattle seems like the capitol city of debauchery in the Sound Region to me. I think that if we are going to have strip clubs, that's where they should be located.

Posted by: Jeff B. on September 27, 2006 04:25 PM
78. And as someone has stated, there's been more violence outside of regular old nightclubs in Seattle (Ken Hamlin was nearly killed outside of one last year), and there's no movement to relocate those. If anything, people being nearly killed has a larger affect on whether a community is livable than some people looking at naked women. So are nightclubs a blight? Of course they aren't. Neither are strip clubs. You don't like the fact that women undress in there? Fine, don't go. But they aren't harming anyone.

Posted by: Palouse on September 27, 2006 04:30 PM
79. Jeff B, it's NIMBYism. Huckleberry just doesn't want them near him. NIMBYism is a very liberal characteristic, BTW.

Posted by: Palouse on September 27, 2006 04:37 PM
80. I also think that this comment thread is an interesting study for another reason. I think this thread is a fine example of how conservatives and other right leaning folk can disagree. Yet, I'd venture that on other topics of more import such as election integrity, we'd probably find a much more aligned set of comments.

I think this thread is a good example for those on the left who don't understand this substantive debate that we can have on the right, while still being aligned overall on key issues.

Posted by: Jeff B. on September 27, 2006 04:37 PM
81. Palouse, I'd have to say I agree. Witness the seizure like reflex of anything conservative or Bush oriented on the part of the left media. Yet living on the right in a Blue state, one learn's to be pretty tolerant of others in our own backyard. Maybe that's why we're not really so offended by strip clubs.

Posted by: Jeff B. on September 27, 2006 04:45 PM
82. Palouse... huckleberry does not live in Seattle. Referendum #1 is not his issue. It merely struck me as a sign that Seattle might be trying to awaken from its decadent slumber, and restore some virtue into the fabric of its society. It would appear that a majority of posters at Sound Politics prefer the decadence. Under the guise of libertarianism no less. So be it. It doesn't speak well of libertarianism.

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 05:16 PM
83. Huck, when you assert that strip clubs are a "blight," you have to define what a "blight" means. And it should be something more than a place where activities you consider to be immoral take place.

A general definition of properties considered to be blighted usually includes things like:

-property value significantly lower than other similar properties (zoning/density, etc)
-crime rate significantly higher than in other similar areas
-repeated or severe violations of fire and/or health/safety codes

Those are just a generalized list; there could be others.

Posted by: Heartless Libertarian on September 27, 2006 05:35 PM
84. If Seattle was outlawing strip clubs completely, I might agree with you. But they're not. They are singling them out and moving them to another part of town. BTW, I wouldn't agree with outlawing them completely either. Censorship is un-American.

Also, regarding your "blight" argument. The government declared the houses in Kelo's neighborhood "blighted" so they could tear down their property and give it to a developer for the "good of the community". And we all know how that turned out. The conservatives everywhere, including the real ones on the Supreme Court, cried foul at how SCOTUS eviscerated private property rights. Similarly, you are calling for legitimate businesses to be declared blighted, so you can give that property to someone else "for the good of the community".

Posted by: Palouse on September 27, 2006 05:35 PM
85. Heartless, I have already said, I do not have the empirical studies, nor do I intend to research and quote them. Common sense should allow you to compare those neighborhoods blessed with strip clubs to those neighborhoods without clubs, and develop a sense for what blighted means. Perhaps, after all, it comes down to a lack of common sense. How old are you, Heartless?

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 05:39 PM
86. Palouse, you are thrashing. I did not call for taking the property away from strip club owners, nor did I say it should be given to other people. I merely said they should be shut down. Wouldn't it be ironic if in shutting down the strip clubs, the value of the properties increased so that they made more money out of business than they did while operating?

Gotta run. I hope the other conservatives get off work soon so they can join in... do any conservatives still hang around this site?

Posted by: huckleberry on September 27, 2006 05:44 PM
87. Sorry you took it that way, Palouse. What I was trying to point out is that huckleberry insists on calling strip clubs a "blight" without defining exactly what that term means to him, other than his implied meaning of a place that conducts an activity that he finds morally offensive.

And actually the use of a declaration of "blight" for eminent domain/redevelopment purposes actually dates back to a 1950s case in the DC area, though I can't recall the name at the moment.

I wasn't calling for anything to be declared blighted, just trying to give an example of what standards for "blight" might be.

Posted by: Heartless Libertarian on September 27, 2006 05:45 PM
88. HL, the blight argument was directed at Huck, not you. My post was at the same exact time as yours.

Huck, by declaring the strip clubs "blight" and shutting them down you are effectively acting in the same manner as the local government in Kelo, whether you specifically advocate it or not, the result is the same. The strip club owners cannot operate their business there, and the property would presumbly be sold because they would have to relocate. In both cases, there is no valid reason for the forced move, other than for the "good of the community".

Posted by: Palouse on September 27, 2006 06:02 PM
89. Well, Huckleberry blew Eyago's civil argument defense out the water @85.

Since everything is defined as commonsensical by Huckleberry, it seems pretty common sense to me that he would at least answer questions and provide some defense of his arguments.

Posted by: Jeff B. on September 27, 2006 06:09 PM
90. Huck, I know of the locations of a good many strip clubs. The only neighborhood featuring a strip club that I would consider to be even approaching 'blighted' is Victory Drive in Columbus, GA. It's located right outside Fort Benning, GA, and is designed to very efficiently separate soldiers from their money.

The blight is not due to the presence of a strip clube, but to the combination and sheer density of strip clubs, tattoo parlors, army surplus stores, fast food joints, and hourly rate motels.

The others were all solitary strip clubs located in commercial and/or light industrial areas, where they were by no means a blight. In at least one case, I'm convinced that the presence of club security outside the club actually made the crime rate in the immediate area lower.

Posted by: Heartless Libertarian on September 27, 2006 06:13 PM
91. If I may offer a little different view. I read all these positions about letting the market determine the success or failure of strip clubs. The people (i.e., the government) determine those enterprises it will permit. I doubt that anyone here is so naive to not recognize that there are other "market forces" also at play in and around strip clubs.

These clubs do not exist in a vacuum. It cannot be reasonably argued that many sorts of criminal activity do not flourish in and around such establishments.

I have dated a stripper (after her time on the stage). I have a dear friend who was once a stripper...needed the cash fast. That does not negate the fact that it is absolutely demeaning to women. Women are not objects for our pure pleasure. And men that treat them like that should be ashamed (my opinion). And I am saddened by women who value themselves so little that they think that their most valuable asset is their sexuality.

Posted by: Danny on September 27, 2006 06:55 PM
92. 91 posts-----unbeleivable.

Well, boys and girls, we are seperating the conservatives between economic conservatives, and social conservatives.

Those of the economic persuasion are happy to let the market/supply and demand rule. No moral judgements here.

Social persuasionists seem hell bent on imposing their will on others--somewhat like the loon left/liberals.

Side note to social conservatives: try convincing rather than condemning. Win or lose, baby......

If you dont like Seattle strip clubs, so vote; or, ignore it, or move.

My personal opinion is that this is nothing but a shakedown by your robust Mayor and the retarded City Council. All of whom probably love the clubs privately, express public indignation.


I still get a laugh outta Gee Whizz 56 24 36......wish I was old enough at the time to have seen such a gravity defying act......

Lighten up, Huck......

Posted by: Hank on September 27, 2006 07:30 PM
93. "Well, boys and girls, we are seperating the conservatives between economic conservatives, and social conservatives."

And THAT is the problem with our current "system". I feel more and more alienated by the evangelical right. I doorbelled for Reagan as a kid. I can count on one hand the number of Democrats I have voted for in my lifetime. I am at a point right now where there is no way I would vote for a liberal, but I can see how many other "moderates" in one way or another would jump ship and vote democrat.

I believe in personal responsiblity.
I support privatization of social security.
I support helping people in need within reasonable limits.
I am "pro-choice". However, I support parental notification.
I believe in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman.
I could be convinced to support legalizing pot.
I believe in animal rights and environmental protection - as long as it does not place an undue burden on human beings.
I support building a fence on our border.
I support letting the market hash out the result of deporting *all* illegals.
I support individuals right to use their property as they see fit.
I support the war in Iraq.
I despise labor unions.
I am troubled by the powers granted to tribes.

What the heck does that make me? How many people out there are like me - voting a party ticket as a lesser of two evils? I might be convinced to vote for a democrat, but all I need to do is turn on CSPAN and see Pelosi and Durbin ranting on and know I want nothing to do with them. I tollerate Repuclican's stand on abortion and Shaivo only becuase of the many other common sense stances they take. (I would say fiscal responsibility, but I haven't seen much of that lately).

It will be interesting to see if the Republican party will change their tone on some of the more religiously-based issues if they lose control of the house or senate this year.

Posted by: eric on September 27, 2006 07:59 PM
94. oh, one other...

I can typically read SP and be in agreement with folks. Reading HA turns my stomach. So I guess that is why I vote Republican.

Posted by: eric on September 27, 2006 08:00 PM
95. Eric:

The power of capitalism and democracy is the elevation of the standard of living of the masses. Spelled WAL-MART, as an example......

As the masses become affluent, environmentalism, compassion both become affordable.

The Jerry Falwells of the world seem to miss the concept that prosperity creates compassion.

The Jerry Falwells of the world insist on compassion or whatever before prosperity.


Posted by: Hank on September 27, 2006 08:18 PM
96. Wow! I'm sorry I didn't get in here sooner. I've lost interest for a while in SP, finding the content dull for the last week or two, when I've happened to glance through. Looks as though Huckleberry has held his own though, and didn't need me.

Speaking as a woman, who became a Reagan conservative in her youth, yet held onto some feminist liberal tendencies for a while (from my Democrat household and public school upbringing), I can tell you that conservative men (I'm assuming) like Huckleberry and Danny @91 are the antidote to feminism. Feminism (both the radical and sensible kind) exist in reaction to men who treat women like they're objects for men's pleasure and even men who sit idly by while other men do so, in the name of "limited government".

If more men would recognize the dignity of women, as unique, but equally created with men, in the image and likeness of God, and respond accordingly, you could wipe out radical feminism and wipe out their paradoxical fruit in strip clubs, without needing government to do it. But since we have a society of fallen men (and women), government exists to put limits on behavior that exploits others.

Posted by: Michelle on September 27, 2006 08:54 PM
97. government exists to put limits on behavior that exploits others.

Only to the extent that the individual cannot protect themselves (e.g. children, mentally disabled, etc). People who work in strip clubs do so at their own volition. They are adults and can make their own personal choices - no one is forcing them to work there.

I'm not sure where the feminism angle comes into this. Strip clubs breed feminists. Mmmkay. There's male strip clubs too, but I'm not concerned about what the women in there think of men. Now back to the topic.

Anyone want to dispel the comparison to Kelo?

Posted by: Palouse on September 27, 2006 09:24 PM
98. For me this is not about stripping. I'm against feminism and agree that stripping lowers female dignity. However, this is a choice that these women are making. And it's nowhere near a crime. It's heavily regulated. And stripping is not exploiting anyone. Those who engage is stripping as a business, professional or customer are all of-age consenting adults who are willingly offering and paying to see women remove their clothes.

The core issues are that shutting down a business, simply because we don't agree with the behavior is wrong and that Seattle is showing no priority in terms of cleaning up other deviant behavior that is far more open and damaging. Imagine if the Seattle City Council wanted to shutdown shooting ranges just because some did not like the idea of guns. I think we'd see a difference in the comments in this thread.

Government exists only to protect individuals and our rights to property and our own freedom. No individuals freedom is being violated by strip clubs and to take away the property or businesses of strip club owners is a gross abuse of government.

Many here are morally and religiously opposed to stripping. And some like I, mostly find it to be phony and cheap. But that does not give us the right to impose our morality on others who are engaging in a legal activity on private property.

Posted by: Jeff B. on September 27, 2006 09:33 PM
99. C'mon, would you want one of these things near YOU??? Can't we just admit that it doesn't exactly invite the best of crowds to the block? I don't buy this "normal people do it" thing. would you want your kid playing at someone's house where the dad regularly goes to a place like that??? Get real. These things are more than a nuisance. They are a place of pure yuck. Nobody feels really good about having gone there. Like I doubt when they're interviewing for a job they say "Yah, and for fun I often hang out at that strip joint on Lake City Way..."

Posted by: Misty on September 27, 2006 09:44 PM
100. Well, as the other Michele I'd like to say that I have NOT been away from the site lately, nor have I found it dull.
Just so y'all know :-)

Posted by: Michele on September 27, 2006 09:46 PM
101. What's amazing to me is that you can stand on the steps of city hall and look across the street at open air drug markets and crack heads scurrying off into alleys to fire up. The most important thing the city can do with it's law enforcement is send undercover agents into strips clubs with rolls of cash to try and entice the strippers into illegal behavior? Tough duty. How about sending them into Gay Bathhouses on Capital Hill to stop the immoral behavior there? Is it that people are getting paid that's the problem? Or that it is Immoral behavior? Not to mention the spread of numerous communicable diseases at a high cost to society.

Hell if they really wanted to clean up Seattle they would send undercover officers into City Hall with rolls of cash pretending to be consultants looking for contracts for the Tunnel Project. Maybe then they could stop a theft in progress!

Posted by: Huh? on September 27, 2006 09:48 PM
102. For liberals strip clubs are viewed as just one more form or cause of misogyny (Hatred of women), they want any thing that challenges or threatens feminism to be banned. On the conservative side it's the religious conservatives who wish not to be tempted or for others to be engaged in sin. It's tempting to want everyone to conform to high moral standards but it's not worth it at the expense of liberty/freedom. The courts ruled strip clubs to be a First Ammendment issue, which is easy to disagree with, but let's all be grown-ups and treat it like other legitmate but regulated businesses like gambling and alcohol. Otherwise we're no better than the Taliban or the Commies. I think the liberals who run this town would like nothing better than to regulate out of existance everything they don't like; smoking, strip clubs, red meat, guns, conservatives, churches, cops, cars, taxpayers, non-criminals, non-drug users.....

Posted by: Steve on September 27, 2006 10:06 PM

We have a winner!!!

That and NIMBYism...

Posted by: Heartless Libertarian on September 27, 2006 11:12 PM
104. I cant smoke, but I can strip.

LOL If Seattle gets away with this, the next city will follow. Misty, you might be surprised how many of your childrens friends parents have visited a place like that. But I bet there are more that look at Internet Porn, than go to the clubs. I don't like them, but alot of people (like in portland ore) do.

I think they should close all Nordstrom stores. It makes the Poor feel Poorer, but is that fair to those that shop their?

Posted by: Chris on September 28, 2006 06:20 AM
105. Chris, are you being sarcastic about closing Nordstrom stores?

Posted by: huckleberry on September 28, 2006 07:25 AM
106. Huckleberry,
I doubt Chris is, because his point is valid - but I'll let him speak for himself.

I've been thinking. If strippers are muddling in a "cesspool,", then Mary Magdelene, a prostitute, would have been a piece of feces floating on the top. And yet Jesus loved her, and bade any of those who criticized her who were without sin to cast the first stone.

Michele states "Feminism (both the radical and sensible kind) exist in reaction to men who treat women like they're objects for men's pleasure and even men who sit idly by while other men do so, in the name of "limited government"." Well, there certainly are men who objectify women, and women who objectify men, but that is not CAUSED by strip clubs. Its caused by human nature, by our genes. What straight man does not enjoy the sight of a sexy woman, a little teasing, a little fun? Some men go too far and lose sight of the other intoxicating qualities women can possess. But patrons of strip clubs are not universally these type of men.

In the distant past, when I've gone to such a club, I've seen attractive women, human beings, each with a story. (Yes, you can talk to strippers as well as watch them, more interaction than you get when you watch equally sexy women dancing a ballet). I have far more respect for women who choose to strip than I have for women like the one I saw the other day on a freeway offramp with a sign saying "Stranded - just want to get home," (riiiight!) hoping that some sucker will believe it and toss a few coins her way. What a loser. At least strippers have developed a skill that has value, and are willing to use it to support themselves. And believe me, it is not a life long career.

Again, I don't begrudge you, Huckleberry, and Michelle and others like you your opinions. Keep on writing. But I will fight 'til my dying breath to help make sure the theocracy you seem to desire never comes to pass, and that your strict concept of morality is never shoved down my throat or anyone else's.

Think of this progression. In Washington we banned smoking in public places (other states had done so first). Reasonable, I think, because second-hand smoke has been proven to cause cancers in those exposed to it, and because, in effect, a person who lights up in a pub while I am eating a meal steals from me the enjoyment of that meal, or the money I used to pay for it. So, as another poster brought up, should we ban trans-fats in food offered to the public as is being considered in New York? There is a cost to do so - more food will rot on shelves. But trans-fats have been proven to cause obesity and heart disease, so there is a societal harm to eating trans-fats just as there is in smoking in public, you might say. But notice that there is only a societal harm, rather than a harm to person stuffing themself with french fries, if society is forced to bear the cost dealing with the health effects (there is no such thing as second-hand fat!). If you break that causal chain, kill the socialistic tendency to relieve people of the consequences of their actions by, for example, raising health insurance premiums for subscribers with non-medically caused obesity, then there would be no societal harm or justification for the government regulation of economic activity.

But do-gooders would still want to ban trans-fats. What's next? As the causal connection between the banned activity and tangible public harm gets more and more tenuous, and eventually broken, we descend into a completely controlled society. We are assimilated. We do only what the government allows us to do. Liberty is forgotten; the security and equality of all citizens would triumph as the focus of our miserable lives.

There is no proof that any societal harm comes from strip clubs. Your argument would have us jump way down the progression noted above toward a completely controlled society. You think you're morally righteous, that these "cesspools" are "obviously" evil, and that the city has a right to eliminate them for the good of society, yet you are blind to the over-riding political issue. Is that because you want to be? You don't care? The ends you want seem to justify both the means and any other political consequences. I think that makes you selfish and ignorant, if you'll allow a statement of fact that you will probably take as both insulting and "labeling." But I don't mean to be insulting. You can learn to be more accepting of the activities (which don't harm you) of other people who don't share your stict morality, and you also can learn more about what strip clubs are really like, and what the long term consequences of your political philosophy are.


Posted by: srogers on September 28, 2006 11:16 AM
107. srogers: Strip joints are a sign of urban blight, and a community is better off without them. What more is there for us to discuss?

Posted by: huckleberry on September 28, 2006 11:29 AM
108. ban slot machines in bars! ban indoor smoking! ban fireworks in cities! ban trans fats! ban the strip clubs now!***
(*** see exception in law for Tribal property. headdresses are permitted ;)

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on September 28, 2006 11:39 AM
109. Huckleberry,
Nothing. Your endless repetition of the same statement, backed with no facts, and no reasonable argument, renders it so. As pointless as talking to tree. But try to remember this: 1+1=2 regardless of how many times anyone might say otherwise, because it is demonstrable. Your statements sound authoritative, but contain as much strength and truth as stating x+y=3. Get it?

Posted by: srogers on September 28, 2006 11:54 AM
110. srogers... Sorry, I didn't quite get it. Can you explain what you mean about x+y=3 not containing strength and truth? I don't understand that part.

Posted by: huckleberry on September 28, 2006 12:22 PM
111. Washington state (and Seattle in particular) is the biggest big brother nanny state in the country. They�ve made online poker a class C felony. Washington residents can�t even decide for themselves how to spend their own hard-earned money. Now they want make their adult entertainment about as fun as a Walmart. It�s not like they weren�t already restricted the clubs and their adult customers rights. Seattle clubs have never been allowed to serve alcoholic beverages like the clubs in Oregon. Apparently, Seattle�s extremely self-righteous mayor and prim city council cannot fathom one of their citizen�s ability to control their behavior while looking at a nude woman if they also were drinking a beer.

I live in Portland, Oregon where at any given time there are between 30 and 45 strip clubs that offer a full service bar along with the dancers. Even the police readily admit they cause no more trouble that a Karaoke bar.

My advice to Seattle�s prudish mayor and city council is: Grow up!

Posted by: Klein on September 28, 2006 01:15 PM
112. Washington state (and Seattle in particular) is the biggest big brother nanny state in the country. They've made online poker a class C felony. Washington residents can't even decide for themselves how to spend their own hard-earned money. Now they want make their adult entertainment about as fun as a Walmart. It's not like they weren't already restricted the clubs and their adult customers rights. Seattle clubs have never been allowed to serve alcoholic beverages like the clubs in Oregon. Apparently, Seattle's extremely self-righteous mayor and prim city council cannot fathom one of their citizen's ability to control their behavior while looking at a nude woman if they also were drinking a beer.

I live in Portland, Oregon where at any given time there are between 30 and 45 strip clubs that offer a full service bar along with the dancers. Even the police readily admit they cause no more trouble that a Karaoke bar.

My advice to Seattle's prudish mayor and city council is: Grow up!

Posted by: Klein on September 28, 2006 01:16 PM
113. Strip clubs as well as other forms of "adult" entertainment (gotta love that euphemism) are not necessarily the cause of anything. However, they are symptomatic of the progressive cheapening of human sexuality over the past several decades. Trying to ban strip clubs is like trying to cure an illness by just attacking the symptoms, rather than going after the source (i.e. bacteria). If a person's goal is the eradication of strip clubs, than changing people's views is the more logical solution... market forces.

One comparison that I'm surprised that has not been mentioned thus far is to prostitution. Number one, it too is of a sexual nature. However, the vast majority of places have it outlawed. It is an activity that the parties involved are consenting. Supposedly, no one gets hurt. I'd love to hear someone's take on it.

Posted by: Big Tex on September 28, 2006 01:32 PM
114. I think there's a huge distinction between completely banning strip clubs and what they are doing here. The city of Seattle is not banning strip clubs, which would be a wholesale disapproval of strip clubs by government, which if they took this stance based on some moral basis, even though I would disagree with it, I would at least respect it.

What's happening here is completely different. They are saying that strip clubs are a legal, legitimate business, but they must go "over there", where supposedly it is acceptable to have this "blight" as Huck puts it. This is the travesty.

The business is legal, but we don't want you over here, we want other businesses that fit what we want for our "community" over here. You must relocate your business over there, at your own expense, or close this business over here and open something else (at your own expense) or sell the property. Your business does not fit with what we want over here, so we are forcing you out of it.

The reasons might be different, but the end result is the same as Kelo. I suppose those who support kicking these businessmen out of town agreed with kicking Kelo out of her house too. Her house and the others on her street were determined to be "blight" as well.

Posted by: Palouse on September 28, 2006 01:56 PM
115. Palouse, are you really trying to equate a Seattle ban on strip clubs with the New London takings on Kelo's and others' homes? The motivations are totally different. How can you possibly compare removing a menace to society with trying to expand your tax base? The only thing the two situations have in common is government compelling private citizens to do something they would rather not, and that has been going on a long, long time.

Posted by: huckleberry on September 28, 2006 02:21 PM
116. The result is the same. The government doesn't like what the parties are doing with their property, so they are kicking them out of it. Both properties were determined to be "blight" by the government. Their motives are different, but no less destructive of freedom.

Posted by: Palouse on September 28, 2006 02:24 PM
117. And again, Seattle is not banning strip clubs, please stop saying that it is, because that is false.

And now strip clubs are a "menace to society"? I can only laugh at something so ridiculous.

Posted by: Palouse on September 28, 2006 02:27 PM
118. Palouse, is there any complex of social behaviors that you would consider to be a menace to society?

Posted by: huckleberry on September 28, 2006 02:29 PM
119. Yes, but that is irrelevant to this discussion. We are talking about strip clubs, a legal business in this state, and one that Seattle has not determined to be a menace to society, else they would have banned them completely.

Posted by: Palouse on September 28, 2006 02:33 PM
120. How can you say the question of menaces to society is irrelevant. This whole thread has been about menace to society, whether strip clubs are a menace, and now, whether menaces even exist.

You say that there are complexes of social behavior that are menacing, and I am curious if you would care to elaborate on what some of those behaviors might be.

Posted by: huckleberry on September 28, 2006 02:50 PM
121. There is no evidence that strip clubs are a menace to society. You are entitled to your opinion on them, and you have stated it several times, but there is no evidence that the mere existence of strip clubs is more damaging than another business like nightclubs, which have more violence associated with them than strip clubs. Violence outside of nightclubs I would consider a behavior that is a menace to society.

And whether strip clubs are a menace to society is a moot point, because Seattle is not banning strip clubs, they are relocating them.

Posted by: Palouse on September 28, 2006 03:03 PM
122. WHEREAS, the operation of adult entertainment businesses has historically and regularly been accompanied by secondary effects, including prostitution and other criminal behavior, that are detrimental to the public health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of Seattle; and

WHEREAS, resources available for responding to problems associated with adult entertainment businesses are limited and will be more efficiently and effectively utilized through improved regulations of adult entertainment premises; and

WHEREAS, amendments to the City's adult entertainment regulations are necessary to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of Seattle; and


Sounds like a menace to me...

full text

Posted by: palouse on September 28, 2006 03:27 PM
123. Palouse, in post 121 were you giving up and assuming the the relocation is happening, or was that a typo?

Posted by: huckleberry on September 28, 2006 03:30 PM
124. That is not proof of anything. It's the text of a referendum, written by someone with an opinion like yours.

Posted by: Palouse on September 28, 2006 03:30 PM
125. That was not me who posted the referendum text...

Posted by: Palouse on September 28, 2006 03:31 PM
126. No, I do not know if this will pass. It's a travesty if it does, and a destruction of freedom and property rights.

Posted by: Palouse on September 28, 2006 03:44 PM
127. By definition, a curtailment of freedom... not so sure about the property rights, though.

Plus a very pleasant side-effect would be that Seattle would be continuing its swing toward becoming a more livable city with a healthier central core.

Posted by: huckleberry on September 28, 2006 04:16 PM
128. How is it NOT a destruction of property rights? Those businessmen will have to close the business on that property. That in itself is a destruction of their right to operate a legal business. They will be forced to move if they want to maintain their business, and will have to a large expense to do so. If they cannot afford to pay for this move with spare cash, they would have to sell their existing property in order to maintain their livelihood. This is a destruction of property rights.

Posted by: Palouse on September 28, 2006 04:21 PM
129. legal fireworks. cheap booze. cheap gas. legal smoking in restaurants and clubs. all the wants of a society met in 1 convenient place--a kasino

i STILL say, relocate the strip clubs on the Tribe Lands! let THEM run the clubs! why aren't Tribes stepping up to do so?? there is $$$ in it, right? what--sudden lighting-strike of morals? they like all the "preferred industries" don't they?

"give me a break!" (credit to John Stossel)

Tribes currently control most the vices & fun in WA and--with historical and feel-good approval from non-tribes. so--what's the harm?

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on September 28, 2006 04:29 PM
130. Jimmie - see my post #3. I'm surprised the tribes haven't done it.

Posted by: Palouse on September 28, 2006 04:32 PM
131. huckleberry,
Sorry I was away and just read your question in 110 above. x+y=3 is not a true statement like 1+1=2. It might be true, if you substitute for the variables a pair of numbers whose sum is 3, or it might not be true if you choose most numbers (although you can demonstrate that there a an infinite number of false and true solutions. Your declaratory statement "Strip joints are a sign of urban blight" is analogous to x+y=3. It is meaningless because it is not demonstrable. It is your opinion, which your are entitled to hold. But that does not make it true in the way that 1+1=2 is true. In no way does your statement prove, or even evidence, the proposition that strip clubs cause tangible harm to you, or to "society."

Now I'm going to read the 20 additional comments that have been posted since I left. I find this all very interesting.

Posted by: srogers on September 28, 2006 05:22 PM
132. Palouse, government has the obligation to define what is and is not a legal business. For reasons unclear to me, strip joints have been allowed to fly under the radar... something about the Silly Supremes misinterpreting the right to free political speech and pretending that the founders thought we should give constitutional protection to pornographers. But let's not open that can of worms.

For whatever reason, cities no longer had the stones to perform their duty to respond to the will of the overriding majority of citizens and keep sleazy, and illegal businesses out of their towns. I also suspect they had about as much luck enforcing anti-sleaze laws as they did with prohibition, and decided it would be easier to control sleaze via zoning laws rather than outright prohibition.

To the degree that you consider operating a strip joint to be legal and legitimate, then yes, the property rights of those people are being suppressed. But I don't care about those peoples' property rights, and I don't think running them out of town would lead to runaway totalitarian thought control.

Posted by: huckleberry on September 28, 2006 05:37 PM
133. Actually, the last 20 posts weren't that interesting except for Big Tex's declaration that strip clubs "are symptomatic of the progressive cheapening of human sexuality over the past several decades." Another authoritative statement that is worse than x+y=3: its demonstrably false like 1+1=3.

Erotica, and the commercialization of sexuality, both intimate and en masse, are as old as civilization; the only revolutionary changes have been the invention of printing and then the Internet. Peep shows and strip clubs in their present form are hundreds of years old. But the position of women in society, and the respect in which they are held by most men, is better and greater now than in virtually any time in history. And tell me, Big Tex: how can a stripper at an establishment in Lake City possibly cheapen your sexual life? If you are not affected, and I am not affected, and nobody else is tangibly affected, then there can be no "societal" cheapening of sexuality. The sum of a million zeros is still zero, or to be more to the point: Society doesn't have sex, individual people do.

Posted by: srogers on September 28, 2006 05:43 PM
134. Thank you srogers. Adding some more sanity to the debate. Huckleberry just can't get past his own opinions and the fact that he wants to see those opinions translated into force by the government. Another Huckleberry opinion was that the removable of strip clubs will make the city more livable? How? And what's to prevent another business that Huckleberry deems a blight from taking a strip club's place, and making it less livable? Opinions, but not good reasons for government force.

Also, the comparison of Referendum 1 to I-901 is not really apples to apples. Smoke does in fact dissipate in air. So in an enclosed space, in many cases it will be possible for others to smell and breath the smoke of someone who is smoking. It's reasonable that certain public places and even private businesses would not want smokers to impose their smoke on others. Although I think I-901 went too far in not allowing businesses an option to allow smoking if all employees and patrons agree that it is acceptable. Stripping on the other hand is not conducted in any public places. If one goes into a strip club, one should fully expect to see women stripping. That's the whole point. And there are no public venues where stripping is allowed, nor should there be. However, also unlike with smoke, one could go into a strip club and face a wall and theoretically not see any stripping. Point is simply that comparison to smoking is not exact.

Posted by: Jeff B. on September 28, 2006 06:14 PM
135. Thanks for the support, Jeff B.

I'm not sure what your were responding to with your discussion of I-901, but I agree with you - it is a different issue than both Prop 1 (yes, I know it doesn't ban strip clubs, it takes the more cowardly route of imposing rules that will ruin the experience for patrons and thus hurt or cripple the businesses) and the proposal to ban trans-fat because smokers cause tangible harm to other individuals when they light up in a public place. Strip clubs and people who eat food containing trans-fats do not cause tangible harm to others.

I advocated for and voted for the smoking ban, and I love the results. I love going out with my wife and friends much more than before, and we have a plethora of new places to go that used to kill our appetite upon entry. I no longer have to glare at an inconsiderate ass who lights up two table over just as my pub burger arrives, and I don't have to put my clothes outside when I get home to prevent them from stinking up the whole house.

I have mixed feelings about establishments where every patron, employee, and owner want to allow smoking. What about potential patrons who would go there if the business were not filled with smoke? On the other hand, if that isn't likely, for something like, say, a cigar room, then I see no reason why such a place should not be granted a waiver. Beware, though, for I smell a government "revenue" source, as in fees (tribute) for a license to allow smoking.

Posted by: srogers on September 28, 2006 08:26 PM
136. To the degree that you consider operating a strip joint to be legal and legitimate, then yes, the property rights of those people are being suppressed. But I don't care about those peoples' property rights, and I don't think running them out of town would lead to runaway totalitarian thought control.

Thank you for admitting these businessmen's property rights are being destroyed.

So you "don't care" about these people's property rights because you don't like what they do with their property. So in your opinion, anytime a majority of people don't like what someone is doing on their private property, then they should be allowed to vote to kick them off of it. This is not conservativism or American.

Posted by: Palouse on September 29, 2006 07:55 AM
137. Palouse, we have to get off this merry-go-round. Conservatives believe that society has the right to pass legislation to preserve the long held and deeply felt values of the vast majority of its citizens. There has to be restrictions on private, personal behavior, when that behavior spills over into the rest of society. You yourself, because you don't like tobacco smoke (how do you feel about the other kind of smoke?) see the wisdom in this. Your problem is that you are depraved... you like strip clubs. And that prevents you from seeing the harm that strip clubs do, and prevents you from seeing the wisdom in restricting the clubs. We really are not going to close the ground between us until either I become depraved, too, or you develop virtue.

Why don't we end the discussion?

Posted by: huckleberry on September 29, 2006 08:13 AM
138. I care more about property rights than what you think is virtuous. And for the record, I voted against the tobacco ban for the same reason, even though I don't smoke. But this referendum, as I've stated several times, has NOTHING to do with being virtuous because strip clubs will continue to exist in the city of Seattle. This is not the government trying restrict behavior, it is government kicking businessmen out of their property and moving them somewhere else in the city.

Posted by: Palouse on September 29, 2006 08:34 AM
139. Huckleberry writes: "Conservatives believe that society has the right to pass legislation to preserve the long held and deeply felt values of the vast majority of its citizens."

No, HUCKLEBERRY believes this. He should not presume to tell people what they believe.

Huckleberry writes: "Your problem is that you are depraved."

HUCKLEBERRY thus descends to using personal attacks and the "labelling" that he decries elsewhere in this thread. He should not be a hypocrite.

Huckleberry writes: "that prevents you from seeing the harm that strip clubs do."

HUCKLEBERRY yet again states as fact a position that he can not support; apparently his "virtue" gives him a divine ability to see the truth without the need to see evidence. Reminds me of the Grand Inquisitors, whose divine wisdom allowed them to determine so correctly who should be burned at the stake for heresy.

HUCKLEBERRY, I don't remember encountered anyone as pompous, self-righteous, ignorant, and, quite frankly, silly, as you seem to be. If you had any political power, you would dangerous. But as it is, you simply make me sad.

Posted by: srogers on September 29, 2006 09:03 AM
140. srogers, was there somewhere in this thread where I decried labeling? I find labeling to be a very useful way to organize information and categorize people and things. It can be taken too far if you fail to notice the variations and outliers for the labeled group, but all and all I like labelin just fine. Do you?

As for hypocrite, there are worse things than being a hypocrite. All a hypocrite is is a person who fails to measure up in deed the ideals that he espouses. Aren't most of us hypocrites? Why do liberals (oops, libertarian) fixate on hypocracy. At least conservatives recognize standards to try and uphold. It's hard to become a hypocrite if you don't have standards.

And finally, you seem to be saying that society does not have the right to pass legislation upholding the values of its citizens... isn't that anarchy?

Posted by: huckleberry on September 29, 2006 11:26 PM
141. City councils, county councils, state legislatures, and the federal legislature all have the power (not "right" - go read about what rights are if you don't understand that) to enact laws and ordinaces that reflect the values of their citizens, as understood by their representatives. However, this power is limited by the Constitutions of the US and the States, so that, for example, laws can not be passed that take citizens' property without compensating them, and not unless they are required to meet a compelling state interest.

Property ownership is defined by a set of rights, including the right to "quiet enjoyment" of the property, which essentially means that you can do whatever you want to with your property so long as it doesn't harm anyone. To a certain extent, zoning regulations violate this fundamental right, but courts have ruled that this is OK because zoning serves a compelling state interest in, for example, separating commercial and residential districts. Unfortunately, I think courts have thus far erred, on constitutional grounds, for not compensating property owners whose properties lose value when zoning codes are amended or imposed, but that is a different, related, issue.

The legal issue here is whether an owner of a strip club's property rights have been violated when the council imposes regulations that are intended to negatively impact his or her business and make it less profitable. Our constitutional principles say that this action oversteps the power of a representative body unless it compensates the owner for the loss and can provide compelling evidence that the regulatory "taking" was done to serve a compelling state interest. In this case, there was neither (there were statements asserting harm in the ordinance, but no evidence to support it), and a truly conservative state supreme court (one that honors the original values of the US and Washington constitution) would void the ordinance in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, we don't have such a supreme court.

So, we've come to a vote, in which we will find some evidence to support what you assert as fact - whether this taking of private property rights offends the values of the citizens, or whether they think its OK to hurt a business, despite the diminution of their own property rights, just because the business provides entertainment that some of them do not approve of.

My problem with you is that your style of argument is akin to a five year old's. You just say "I'm right" and "You're wrong" (Depraved) over and over, and you state as fact assertions that are in no way proven or even evidenced. And you display a frightening lack of undersanding of the principles of our government (it is not a democracy!). Your most recent response was a little better - yet it lacked anything related to evidence for your mantra - strip clubs are "depraved" and cause societal harm. However, I will retract the hypocrite charge because, on review, it was Eyago, not you, who wrote the comment decrying 'vilifying and labelling'.

Posted by: srogers on September 30, 2006 08:33 AM
142. srogers, I accept your suggestion that government does not have the right to regulate, but rather it has the power to regulate. And in the case of strip clubs, I would add that government has the duty to regulate. Thanks for the clarification.

Posted by: huckleberry on September 30, 2006 11:21 AM
143. It only makes sense that as rough as this area is on small businesses that it chase yet another industry to Vancouver/Portland.

Posted by: Johnny on September 30, 2006 09:14 PM
144. Johnny... when you talk about "this area," are you referring to Seattle specifically, or Washington State in general?

Posted by: huckleberry on October 1, 2006 10:01 AM
145. Erotica, and the commercialization of sexuality, both intimate and en masse, are as old as civilization; the only revolutionary changes have been the invention of printing and then the Internet. Peep shows and strip clubs in their present form are hundreds of years old.

True, 'tis old as dirt. However, these are still symptoms of a cheapened view of sexuality. A person, usually a woman, is treated as an object, not for the person s/he is. A mere thrill.

But the position of women in society, and the respect in which they are held by most men, is better and greater now than in virtually any time in history.

This too is true, but it does nothing to demonstrate that erotica etc... does not cheapen human sexuality. It merely demonstrates that women share the same dignity as their male counterparts.

And tell me, Big Tex: how can a stripper at an establishment in Lake City possibly cheapen your sexual life? If you are not affected, and I am not affected, and nobody else is tangibly affected, then there can be no "societal" cheapening of sexuality. The sum of a million zeros is still zero, or to be more to the point: Society doesn't have sex, individual people do.

Well, this is in response to something other than what I said. You quoted me, so you know what I said. Here, you ask a question as if I said that strip clubs cheapen our view of sexuality. What I had posted earlier, is that this industry is a just one symptom of that cheapened view of sexuality. You swapped the cause and effect.

Society's view of sex and sexuality has been cheapened (IMHO). You need not look back centuries and eons, but merely decades. You may think that such a society was prudish. It was a society where people knew there was a clear link between sex and children. Nowadays, most people don't see that link. They don't see pregnancy as a natural consequence of engaging in sex due to the technology available to us today. Once the pill was made available, it was as if it was a license to have sex with anyone, rather than just their spouse. Sex was more about themselves than about their love for their spouse. Self-satisfaction rather than self-giving. When self-satisfaction becomes the primary driving force, it leads to an anything goes attitude "so long as no one gets hurt."

With this so-called sexual revolution, you now have no-fault divorce and children growing up without the both parents as role models in the home. You have abortion on demand because "my contraception failed." You have homosexuals demanding "marriage." You have 29-year-old grandmothers, and "babies having babies." You have strip clubs and a host of other erotic industries. All because of a cheapened self-seeking view of sexuality.

Posted by: Big Tex on October 1, 2006 09:21 PM
146. Big Tex,
Your argument reminds me of Al Gore's authoritative musings on global warming. You take a few facts and weave them into a logical argument, but the conclusion is false because you overlook or ignore the facts that contradict your argument.

You say "You need not look back centuries and eons, but merely decades." How is that not the same as declaring we have a global emergency due to an average temperature rise of a degree or so in the past several decades, while overlooking all other time frames that show declines in temperature, or past epochs in which the average global temperature was tens of degrees higher than it is now?

If you want to say that sexuality is being cheapened in the last two decades by certain behavior, why is it not relevant that the behavior you refer to is part of human nature and has been on display, in the same ways as it is now, for thousands of years? How was sexuality less cheap hundreds of years ago when wives were the chattle of their husbands, when wives could be legally beaten for any reason, including refusing to "service" their husbands, when it was perfectly normal for husbands to maintain mistresses to fulfill the sexual needs that often were lacking in these arranged marriages, and when women were punished extremely harshly, even fatally, for engaging in the same adulterous behavior?

Did you know that certain herbs cause spontaneous abortions, and that these were in use in medieval Europe? Have you ever heard of the "stews" of London? Your world view is pinched. What you perceive as an increase in sexual behavior other than procreational sex between married couples is due to the increase in the number of people on the planet and modern methods of mass communication - the behavior itself is nothing new, and the percentage of people in a culture who have sex with someone other than their spouses, to take just one example, varies from culture to culture and overall is relatively unchanged in human history.

Why is procreation the only tool for measuring the "cheapness" of sexuality? You seem to think this is an established test, but it is merely your opinion, and it is not shared by a lot of people (I have no idea how many, nor do I care - I just know that your standard is far from universal).

Your argument is logically made, which is not surprising since you parrot the argument of the organized Christian Right - they have worked to assemble the best argument thay can, and they rely on the ignorance of those they wish to persuade in the same manner that the socialists on the left rely on the historical ignorance of the citizenry when they spout their logical lies. You are engaging in what is called demogoguery.

Finally, if you think that strip clubs are a symptom of a cheapened view of sexuality, then why support the government in violating the property rights of strip club owners if these are just a natural effect of something else? Why not determine the cause of this other "cheapening" (if you can), and attack that? My argument regarding YOUR sexuality was presented to show that the mere existence of strip clubs does not cause any "cheapening" of your sexual life, nor any tangible harm to any other individual person. If no individuals are harmed, then there can be no "societal" harm, and the ordinance is therefore an abuse of legislative power.

Posted by: srogers on October 2, 2006 08:04 AM
147. I am seriously shocked at some of the statements I read here. I have danced for over 4 years in the adult industry in 3 states. The arguement that women are objectified by such industry is absolutely ridiculous. If anything, it is empowering. Most men just do not stare at us. The T and A that some people find so depraved, are only a small part of our jobs.I have played councelor to many men who had no one else to turn to for the problems in their lives. I have provided entertainment to thousands without any harm to any involved. I have become friends with many people who frequent the clubs often enough. There are some men who will always treat women as less than equals, but they do not have a monopoly on visiting the club. I am far more frightened by the extreme conservative that would take my choice away from me. Are these same conservatives going to feed, house and clothe me and my son? I seriously doubt it.Would you prefer the 'blight' of another person living on welfare? I think not. I did not serve in the United States Army so I could lose freedom from tyranny within.

Posted by: Shai on October 24, 2006 07:12 AM
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