October 27, 2006
Die Nanny State, Die

Could someone please tell me why vice cops citing dancers at Rick's is an important use of Seattle Police Department resources?

We've already had the debate here at Sound Politics on the broader philosophical issues around regulating strip clubs. But shall we consider for a minute the utility of cops regulating strippers for showing their breasts and "caressing or fondling themselves" while performing a lap dance? Let's see, prostitution on Aurora Avenue and downtown drug deals conducted in broad daylight, or making sure a young lady isn't putting her hand in the wrong place while working at a strip club?

Doesn't seem like a tough call. Beyond the giggle factor, it's a stupendously lame use of limited police resources. Then some people wonder why people don't trust the City of Seattle with their taxes.

A progressive city indeed.

UPDATE: Seattle Weekly reporter Philip Dawdy, author of the article linked above on the "progressive" culture of nanny-state Seattle, also supplies me with this article, detailing the sums spent by vice cops in pursuit of terrible crimes against the community: "The SPD documents make for interesting reading. 'I have participated in covert inspections for approximately five years and have bought over three hundred dances,'"...

Three hundred? On the taxpayers' dime? Who is the genius that thought of this law enforcement technique?

Posted by Eric Earling at October 27, 2006 08:25 AM | Email This
1. It's a very Metronatural thing for the police to do.

Posted by: swassociates on October 27, 2006 08:31 AM
2. On the contrary, it makes quite a bit of sense. Imagine, you're a police officer, rolling around the city in your car. Now, are you going to want to go to aurora and arrest some nasty prostitute or a drug dealer downtown when you can be hanging out at the strip club while getting paid? The obvious answer... no.

Posted by: JustSumGuy on October 27, 2006 08:47 AM
3. Because the evils and horror of a hot babe putting her bare boobs in your face must be stopped at any cost lest it spreads. On the other hand, shutting down meth labs is no big deal.

Posted by: H Moul on October 27, 2006 09:27 AM
4. Let's run down the list of how the government is helping to protect us from ourselves:

1. Strip clubs regulated out of existence
2. Can't smoke a cigar in a cigar bar
3. Jaywalking tickets
4. Artificially inflated liquor prices
5. Ban on online gambling and non-tribal slots

Freedom is eroded in small chunks.

Posted by: Palouse on October 27, 2006 09:44 AM
5. I never understood how a liberal city like Seattle ended up with these restrictions in the first place. Is this a sign that the feminist element is softening their custom of supporting sexual freedom and trading it for a "women are not objects" stance? I really can't see this being done out of some notion of morality similar to the hated christian right. What do the dancers think of the four foot law? If they are okay with it, then I don't see what the problem is.

Posted by: Adam on October 27, 2006 09:47 AM
6. simple. which do YOU choose: arresting ugly, armed drug dealers or cute naked women? i venture one is easier to 'bust.'

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on October 27, 2006 09:57 AM
7. You can thank your friends on the religious right for these sorts of things.

Posted by: me on October 27, 2006 09:58 AM
8. Really "me"? It's the religious evangelicals in the mayor and city council's office who put in the strip clubs regulations? That is funny.

Democrats (read: not religious right) control the city, state house and senate and the governor's mansion. You can thank them for the laws in this state.

Posted by: Palouse on October 27, 2006 10:02 AM
9. This is akin to the state patrol's favorite time for heavy I-5 speed traps, 8:30am on Sunday morning (seriously, I have counted 26 WSP's from Lynnwood to Olympia on a Sunday morning). After all we know that is the favorite time for your average meth dealer/drunk/etc. to be out there. Gol. What is Nickels, et al, problem with strippers anyway? Better than dealing with real issues....

Posted by: Cliff on October 27, 2006 10:32 AM
10. me at #7 "You can thank your friends on the religious right for these sorts of things."

Brain damaged liberals have been saying garbage like this about the "religious right" for years.

Who is responsible for:
-bicycle helmet laws
-motorcycle helmet laws
-seat belt laws
-the crushing of free speech through political correctness
-the campaign to regulate the kinds of foods we eat
-telling us what sort of vehicles we should drive
-shutting down free speech on college campuses
-shouting down conservatives at campaign debates
-twisting "global warming" so that it serves their political agenda
-the annual war against Christmas
-the relentless campaign against traditional families
-And now, regulating behavior at private strip clubs.

Need I go on?

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on October 27, 2006 11:07 AM
11. Bill - YES, because when Clinton lied no one died, and Rove did it all! If that doesn't squash all your pathetic examples you must be a red-necked hick!

Was that a good imitation?

Posted by: Right said Fred on October 27, 2006 11:33 AM
12. You're right Fred I forgot. It's all Bush's fault!

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on October 27, 2006 12:15 PM
13. Arresting strippers for stripping makes as much sense as suing tobacco companies for making tobacco... none whatsoever.

Posted by: TB on October 27, 2006 12:27 PM
14. Just wondering if now isn't a good time for Stefan to rename his site to SeattlePolitics.com? I find that the ideology motivating the principal contributors to this site to be neither sound, nor generally suitable to the people of the Puget Sound region.

Call it what you will, but the truth is being slowly revealed. Pity. Then again, maybe that is a good thing. Gotta wonder where Reichert and McGavick are on this, as if they would ever tell you.

Posted by: huckleberry on October 27, 2006 01:00 PM
15. Hmmm, I wasn't aware this website had a political litmus test. Sorry we don't meet your standards for being a "conservative" huck. Actually, no I'm not.

Posted by: Palouse on October 27, 2006 01:08 PM
16. Eric,
If you don't like the vice laws, go to the city council and get them changed. But don't suggest here that they shouldn't be enforced. Or perhaps you'd rather have the cops paid off by these establishments to NOT ENFORCE city ordinances. WRONG!

Posted by: sendpoly on October 27, 2006 01:21 PM
17. sendpoly, perhaps the real problem is that the City Council has already been proven to have taken bribes from strip club owners. As to the officers that spend thousands of dollars in strip clubs trying to view vice(or entice someone to participate in it) I agree it's not a top priority. I want the open air drug markets in downtown removed first.

Posted by: Huh? on October 27, 2006 01:37 PM
18. sendpoly

No one is advocating not enforcing the laws. It is just that the government has absolutely zero concept of priorities. If all other crimes (open druggies, defication, grafitti etc) were all taken care of, go after private people doing thing volunarily in a private establishemnt (isn't that what libs like, and why they support getting rid of sodomy laws, even in private?) and jaywalkers.

They seem to be taking the way they spend tax dollars into law inforcement.

Posted by: Right said Fred on October 27, 2006 02:07 PM
19. Right On Sendpoly

Lets get the coppers on enforcing the 25 foot rule for smokers. Post an officer at every business entrance, arm them with spray bottles so as to extinguish any lit burning material. We just can't have the police not enforcing the law now can we?

Posted by: swassociates on October 27, 2006 02:25 PM
20. Instead of wasting the cops' time in strip clubs, Mayor Nickelsandime and his Chief of Holist should have them go after real criminals before Seattle lives up to its true slogan: Meth Row Rationale.

Posted by: ReVOTERguy on October 27, 2006 03:29 PM
21. Palouse, your post at #15 doesn't seem to actually mean anything. What were you trying to say?

Posted by: huckleberry on October 27, 2006 04:16 PM
22. this is like what we in WA should be used to--a toxic oil spill in our pristine waters;

fine. contain it. watch it. regulate it. but the 4-ft rule is a silly waste of police time.

get the cops out there REALLY cracking skulls on meth heads, gang shooters, PARK DRUNKS/bums, car thiefs & kid molesters.

in this case, this conservative thinks it's a waste of good policing.

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on October 27, 2006 06:17 PM
23. Dang, looks like I didn't cause any aneurysms by impugning the name of the religious right. You can't blame a guy for trying.

You're right about this being a case of political correctness and the nanny state gone too far. I'm prostrip club, pro gay marriage, pro pot, pro-choice and pro gun. Grown-ups should be able to do what they want.

Posted by: me on October 27, 2006 07:23 PM
24. Dear Me:

You sound very pragmatic.


Posted by: huckleberry on October 27, 2006 07:31 PM
25. I'm a progressive Dem. with a libertarian streak.

Posted by: me on October 27, 2006 07:35 PM
26. Me - you didn't provoke anything with your crack about the "religious right" because everyone knows which side of the ideological spectrum controls Seattle city government, as was discussed at length in the Seattle Weekly article I linked to above.

Posted by: Eric Earling on October 27, 2006 08:00 PM
27. I wonder if the have a difficult time coming up with volunteers for such a hazardous shift as receiving lap dances in strip clubs? Also, since Seattle won't allow you to have a drink in a strip club either, I wonder if they give them a stipend so they can get themselves a little "lubricated" prior to their shift?

Posted by: Marc on October 27, 2006 08:50 PM
28. I don't know that the crack down is all that strange, even for Seattle given what I think I know about the story (which is admittedly limited), but knowing this crowd I'm sure someone will correct any errors so I will proceed undaunted.

It seems that Seattle has controlled the growth of strip clubs for years by improper means (a temporary moratorium that lasted more than a decade) that was challenged by a prospective strip club owner who won. The moratorium has been a good thing for the anti-vice folks and club owners with an effective strip club monopoly.

Now that Seattle's little game has been put to rest by the courts and they can no longer control the numbers of strip clubs through illegal moratoriums, they find themselves in the same position many cities wanting to control casinos find themselves: they either get rid of all or allow the market to reach saturation. Apparently, the City Council is disinclined to allow the latter, but may fear outlawing these establishments entirely for fear of 1st Amend litigation. So, they've adopted the path successful in other jurisdictions: regulatory death through restrictions that make the business unprofitable (believe it or not the economics aren't there without the breasts in the face, etc).

Anyway, I think the council may fear the open warfare that could result should they seek to create a red light zone (this kind of warfare seems to occur with some regularity in Seattle), so they are taking the easy way out: regulatory death.

If I've got the story wrong, please feel free to correct me.

Posted by: Going Uptown on October 27, 2006 10:22 PM
29. That was a response to your insolent diatribe in #14 huck. If you truly cannot see the smugness by which you take the moral high ground around here, I cannot help you.

Posted by: Palouse on October 28, 2006 10:24 AM
30. Palouse, are you saying that my smugness and insolence make you incoherent? Might you be suffering a touch of BDS... sounds similar? I am sorry that what I have to say gives you the vapors.

Posted by: huckleberry on October 28, 2006 12:17 PM
31. Huckleberry - I think what Palouse is referring to was your implication in your original comment that those that disagree with you are not conservative, that they are better suited for Seattle proper's politics than those outside of it. The assertion is objectionable for two reasons.

One, it is unfair to presume that simply because one does not agree with your version of conservatism that infuses more direct moral judgments in place of certain aspects of limited government that the objector is not conservative. I join Palouse in a rational conservative argument that it is appropriate for government to limit its involvement in such matters occurring outside the public eye, under the belief that you simply can't legislate all the morality one likes. You can disagree with that, but it doesn't make the argument any less conservative. Indeed, good conservatives can disagree about such matters. Thus, your assumption that those that don't hold to your preferred outcome on strip club policy are not in fact conservative is simply not correct.

On a related point, the second reason one should object to your assertion about Seattle politics is that it is the very liberal, progressives that control Seattle City Hall that are trying to impose such restrictions, people who are not generally inclined to agree with you on many of the social/moral issues of the day.

If you've paid attention to Palouse's comments at this site you'd know full well he's hardly a candidate for BDS. Your implication otherwise indicates you do indeed have trouble understanding that people that hold conservative viewpoints can actually disagree with you, and still be conservative at the same time.

Posted by: Eric Earling on October 28, 2006 01:23 PM
32. Eric,

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Is it your contention that you, Matt, Stefan, and Ward are conservatives?

As for Palouse, I have yet to see him post anything that is very thoughtful. But of course, I don't read SP.COM as much as I used to.

It is not my place to say who is conservative and who is not. I raised the question in regards to SP.COM, and I am raising it again with regards to you and your fellow SP.COM principals. Are you conservatives, and if so, what causes you to think that you are?

Posted by: huckleberry on October 28, 2006 02:54 PM
33. Huckleberry -

I can only speak to myself with great authority on the "conservative" question. I say yes, though perhaps you and like-minded souls might disagree because I don't share 100% of your views on all the issues we might debate, particularly on the degree to which government should intervene on questions of moral decision-making not directly related to life, liberty, and property. In my personal observation, Stefan is most definitely a conservative with a strong libertarian tilt. Matt is an urban conservative, likely to disagree with you strongly on social issues, but equally likely to agree with you on matters of fiscal policy, choice in education, etc. Ward also seems pretty staunchly conservative based on seeing his work and talking to him, though I suspect you would find yourself more conservative than him.

As to why I think I'm a conservative, I refer to an original answer I gave to Doug Parris on my first thread at SP when he posed objections similar to your question above, asking me to list reasons that might validate the label of "conservative." While the points themselves are directed to Doug, you should still be able to get the point:

"Taxes - at the federal level I'd prefer something close to a flat tax, though at the local level you'd probably consider me an apostate on taxes related to transportation.

Energy - I'm a very strong advocate of expansion of energy exploration and production in the United States, though I deviate from other conservatives on my preference for an emphasis on conservation as well (albeit through incentives rather than mandates).

Social Security - I'm an adamant believer in significant Social Security reform, including a system that puts part of its resources into personal accounts for individuals to control.

Healthcare - I favor radical reform of our healthcare system, and was dismayed the passage of the Medicare drug benefit did not include more substantive reforms of the Medicare system to make it more market-based, with individual choices for beneficiaries.

Government spending - this is the area where our current Congress deserves its lowest marks for failure to prioritize spending and live up to the ideals of the people that elected them.

Property rights - here again I'm a strong proponent; actions like last year's King Co. CAO drive me bonkers.

Education - I believe with great passion in continued education reform, with a focus on accountability and choices for parents/students, though I suspect you and I would disagree on the particulars of how the current status quo should continue to be changed.

Foreign policy - I believe in a muscular American foreign policy, that utilizes international institutions (for what they're worth) where appropriate, and goes it alone when our interests necessitate it. I generally concur with Bush's foreign policy (and Truman's), compared with that of say Carter or LBJ.

Judges - I strongly support judges in the mold of the conservative wing of the current Supreme Court (Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, & Alito). I believe 43's overall success at all levels of the federal courts system in this area will be one of his lasting legacy items.

Faith - I think religion (particularly a Judeo-Christian foundation), whether one practices it or not, is a fundamental component of who we are as a nation.

Founders - my favorite founder is Alexander Hamilton, which should give further insight into my philosophical point of view."

Posted by: Eric Earling on October 28, 2006 04:03 PM
34. Dingleberry, you delude yourself. You are not the great pot-stirrer that you claim to be. You are just like that pasty-faced kid in elementary school who would call other people names and then run like hell. I bet if you stood still long enough, someone would slap the everlovin' crap outta you, and I'd give him five bucks to do it.

You're a typical liberal snot-nosed dweeb who would not survive without the nanny state telling you how many times to wipe your ass. For those of us who can actually think for themselves, we find the nanny state irritating. You don't want a government, you want a babysitter, and you want everyone else to pay for it. You are a three-time loser and what is worse, you are actually proud of your worthlessness.

Posted by: ERNurse on October 29, 2006 08:04 AM
35. ERNurse, are you talking to me? Your description didn't sound like the way I see myself. Are we back to having long knives drawn again because somebody was stupid enough to post another divisive, strip club topic? Strange.

Posted by: huckleberry on October 29, 2006 09:07 AM
36. It's funny Huck, Eric was able to decipher my post and it's intent just fine. And I have a feeling you understood it too, but just chose to hide behind you're "incoherent" arguments because you lack imagination. What I desribe as insolence is what ERNurse puts in raw terms. Truth hurts, I know.

Posted by: Palouse on October 29, 2006 09:42 AM
37. See. Hucky, that's the problem with you. Preoperational egocentrism is what Piaget called it. Look it up.

And what is so "divisive" about a strip club comment? Divisive? What a stupid choice of words! You need to consult your "lexicon of liberal buzzwords" again, because that one did not fit the situation.

And oh, by the way: You're the one who started in with the name-calling and religion-baiting.

Just like a dumb-ass liberal: you can't even remember the beginning of an argument that you started.

Posted by: ERNurse on October 29, 2006 04:39 PM
38. the 4-foot stripper rule is like breaking up with a runway model--"Can't we just be friends?"--we have bigger city police priorties like bums, illegals, terrorists & gang activities. time for the iron hand of the law ON THE STREETS. people will support it.

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on October 30, 2006 09:49 AM
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