What is the difference between a porn star and a prostitute?

It sounds like the beginning of a crude joke but I’m serious. A porn star performs sex acts for money in front of a camera. A prostitute performs sex acts for money in private. One is legal and the other isn’t. One has protections by law, the other is an outlaw, meaning outside the law, unprotected. Both professions don’t necessarily require their workers to accept the money and perform. It’s up to the practitioner. You don’t expect a porn star to have to perform for you if you pay them. And you don’t expect a prostitute to either. They can say no to your offer. Well, the porn star can because they are protected by the law. If someone attempts to force them to sell their services, they have legal recourse. A prostitute doesn’t really. The only thing I can see that makes them different and one more dangerous than the other is that one is legal and one is not. Making prostitution illegal has created new dangers.

Why is prostitution illegal? I can understand why you would not want to be a prostitute, especially from my Christian point of view, but I don’t understand why the state would become involved. Unless the state believes it is something so bad that you can be trusted to make the right choice for yourself. Is the state making life safe for you by taking away a bad choice? But then being a porn star is essentially the same thing, isn’t it? The only difference is the film industry. So if the state made prostitution illegal because you need to be protected from making an unhealthy choice, why wouldn’t being a porn star be illegal too?

Personally, we’re all adults and are capable of making decisions for ourselves. We do not need the state to protect us from ourselves. If my religion and ethics do not forbid me to perform sex acts outside of marriage, who’s business is it if I choose to sell my services? What if we encouraged people to take responsibility for their own lives, make their own choices and then use the legal system to protect their right to do so. For instance, if prostitution were legal (and unregulated, dammit), if one person put out their board “Sex for Sale – $100” and “We reserve the right to refuse customers.”, then the state would be responsible for helping them defend their right to be paid for services rendered, protect them from those who would do them harm, and help them to be compensated for damages.

Wouldn’t our legal system be a lot more simple and efficient if the state just left people alone to take care of themselves and was there as a third party arbitrator?

Use of Force

If my neighbor came to my house in a truck with an easily accessible rack with a shotgun in it, a bullet proof vest on, a handgun on one hip and a club on the other, then proceeded to pound aggressively on my door to get me to come out, no one would blame me if I were scared and answered the door with an equal amount of aggression to be sure we were on the same footing when we spoke. But if that person were wearing a uniform with a badge, I’m supposed to ignore my instincts to protect myself and submit to his authority.

If a group of people gathers in front of a building or at a park dressed in protective gear and carrying guns and smoke grenades, no one would be surprised if the people within that area felt threatened (regardless of the words being spoken) and began throwing rocks and bottles to try to even out the threat, not to defend themselves after an attack but to show the aggressors that they will not be intimidated and will fight back. But if the armed and threatening people are dressed in a uniform and wearing badges of the state, then the people around them should submit to their assumed authority and essentially “roll-over” for them.

Why? Aggression is aggression regardless of what team you are on. Violence begets violence. What if we stepped down the aggression? What if we decided, as reasoning humans, that bad things do happen and evil does exist and our answer to it is not to heighten hostility but to extend trust and peace to those around us? What if we agreed that government does not have a monopoly on force and did not allow them to use it on us as much as we are not allowed to use it on others?

Notes on “The 12-Year Reich” by Grunberger

“The 12-Year Reich – A Social History of Nazi Germany 1933-1945” by Richard Grunberger (1971)

I struggled through half of this book and finally gave up, not because it wasn’t interesting but because it was depressing me too much. I like how the book is laid out so that if you are interested in education during the Third Reich, you can easily find that chapter and find all the information you’d like. I started to read from front to back with the chapter on the Weimar Republic and political scene but then narrowed it down the chapters on families, education, women, health, speech, and religion. All of it was pretty terrifying in that there is so much going on in the world today that looks very similar. I’d like to read a book about how people got through it with their sanity intact.

Notes on “Giant” by Edna Ferber (1952)

I haven’t seen the movie in a long time but my memory tells me it was about oil in Texas and people and James Dean was kind of a bad guy but not really. That’s all I can remember about the plot but I also remember scenes which were fun to find in the book.

The book didn’t seem to be about oil at all. It seemed to focus more on the Mexican migrant workers and the Mexican-Americans in Texas, Texas stereotypes, and on one big ranching family. Marrying a man you just met must be pretty strange but then being whisked off to Texas from Virginia in the 20’s would be a pretty big culture shock. That’s what the book was about to me. And then I read a bit about the author. It turns out she had never been married, never had any kids, and never lived in Texas. That made me a bit sad. I’d much rather read books written by people in the time and place they are writing about than someone years later that researched it. This was closer since the author did live through that time and had been there but it felt like she was trying to get a point across about how badly the Mexican’s were treated, comparing them to slaves in the South.

Towards the end, the oil came into play, society was changing and many of the Texas ranchers were not happy about that as much as the people before the ranchers were not happy about them coming in and changing things. The Mexican-Americans and temporary Mexican farm labor had small towns around the farms they worked. They were dirty and unkempt and the main character wanted to help them better their towns. She worked to get them more pay and better living conditions. Later, when oil came, workers came as well and they built towns around where they were working on the oil wells and then banded together to use the force of government to get money for hospitals and schools. My question is this. Why would they stay there working for the oil company’s if they weren’t getting what they needed to survive? Why wouldn’t they go somewhere else for work? Why not ask for more pay or leave? If I were an oil company then, I’d look around and see that the other companies weren’t offering a nice place to live, healthcare, and schools for their children and I’d build that to attract better workers. Do people not realize that when some guy or group come in and say, “You know, I can force that company/person to give you what you want.”, there is a price for it? They aren’t doing it out of the kindness of their hearts.

The end felt hopeful but I didn’t get that feeling through the whole book. We do see our children as the change in the world. Each generation does things a little differently and (hopefully) better. And some families don’t see it that way. They see their children as an extension of themselves. They want those kids to take what they’ve done and continue that work off into the future. We harm our children when we put our lives on them instead of encouraging them to do what makes them better people.

Now I’m off to read more about Edna Ferber and maybe some of her earlier novels. I very much enjoyed this one!

Notes on “Excuse me, Professor” Edited by Lawrence W. Reed – Part Two

#15 “We are destroying the Earth and government must do something” by Sandy Ikeda

What people usually mean when they say mankind I destroying the earth is that human action causes a change they don’t like. It sounds odd to say that my wife, by eating a piece of toast for breakfast, is “destroying” the toast. But if I wanted that toast for myself, I might well regard her actions as destructive.” I doubt anyone would agree with that but it is true. People believe there is a general good like the dark sky in our area is something we all should have, but really it’s not good for me because I’d rather have a well-lit parking lot at the store I shop at night. I’m “destroying” the dark sky!

#17 “All we need is the right people to run the government’ by Melvin D. Barger

Profit management and bureaucratic management are two very different things. The former seeks to generate more value than cost while the top priority of the latter is the promulgation and implementation of rules and regulations.”

#18 “Humanity can be best understood in a collective context” by Lawrence W. Reed

They create a great divide in the social sciences because the perspective from which you see the world will set your thinking down one intellectual path or another.” This makes discussion about issues almost impossible. We can argue forever if every topic can only be seen from one side or another. One will win and the other loses. No one likes that. But it’s not reality. It’s what we’ve been trained to see.

Abstractions are just that, while individuals are real.” This is something I’ve heard on on unschooling chat groups. Many people love to put up the “what if” question about their kids but we really need to focus on what is actually going on in our homes with our children. And now this Pokemon Go game has the same dissenters. People are jumping out there with abstractions about what might happen if you make mistakes out in the world and then posting about and making suggestions for rules as if is actually happening everywhere.

#19 “Big government is a check on big business” by Julian Adorney

A myth runs through most of America today, and it goes like this: big business hates government and yearns for an unregulated market. But the reality is the opposite: big government can be highly profitable for big business.” Because the big businesses are the only ones that can afford the regulations the government creates. Many times, the big businesses are the ones lobbying for the regulations. These rules keeps smaller more competitive entities from entering the market. Look at a simple thing like soap!

#20 “Government can be a compassionate alternative to the harshness of the marketplace” by Lawrence W. Reed

A person’s willingness to spend government funds on aid programs is not evidence that the person himself is compassionate.” Compassionate government is an oxymoron, or really an evil idea in the world that does not mesh with reality.

#23 “The balance of trade deficit requires government action” by Lawrence W. Reed

My problem is this: I have a trade deficit with J.C. Penney. That’s right. Year after year, I buy more from J.C. Penney than J.C. Penney buys from me…It’s been a one-way street right from the day I got my credit card in the mail.” This is exactly the silliness that is happening between countries now and government is trying to complain and change it.

…even if goods come here and dollars go there to simply stuff foreign mattresses – Americans with their supposedly harmful trade deficit would have the better end of the deal. We would get goods like electronics and automobiles, and foreigners would be stuck with slips of paper decorated with pictures of dead American politicians.” What is the negative they are trying to warn us about? I can only see a problem if we are buying these things with credit maybe. But then it’s even worse. They took credit. What will they do when we don’t pay?

#24 “Americans squander their incomes on themselves while public needs are neglected” by Edmund A. Opitz

Freedom means spending your own money the way you choose, even if you sometimes choose foolishly. And there’s nothing about government that ensures that people in it who spend other people’s money will spend it more wisely than would those who earned it in the first place.” All you need to do to see this is look at your own family. The money earner is more tight-fisted and thoughtful about spending than the rest of the family (generally). Kids that have money to spend on a regular basis, instead of having what they want bought for them, make some better decisions about spending it. But they do become resentful that they don’t have more until they get jobs and start earning on their own and do an even better job of spending. Government is like the child with an allowance, taken by force. People that rely on government funds to live are like the children that have things bought for them.

Political Opinion

Everyone talks about letting people have their own political opinions without losing a friendship over it. I would agree. We shouldn’t let political opinions get in the way of friendship. We should be caring enough to look into and accept other people’s point of view. But when your political opinion is to vote to take away my freedom, I draw the line. If the government were not talking about taking something away from me and giving it to you, I could listen to your argument. If we were not talking about one group of people limiting and controlling other people’s lives by force, I could hear your reasoning. But we are. That is why political discussions are so heated, divided, and filled with anger. We all need to remember that every time a politician says they will give you something or do something for you, they will be saying to someone else that they will be taking something from them by the force of law. Politicians and governments do not create anything to give to anyone. All they have is taken from someone else. Just because the majority of citizens voted to take it, doesn’t make it right.

Journals & Change

I have three books that I write things down in. The first one is my calendar. It’s one of those student planners, so it starts in July and ends in June. I wish it didn’t because I’d like to keep calendars filed by year, but I could only find student ones at Walmart that had plenty of room for notes and scheduling. There is a ton of stuff in that planner! I write everything down because I tend to forget if I don’t. I have stuff I want to do daily and weekly already written in. I have stuff I’ve planned in advance, like races, meetings, and lunch dates. And then there is stuff like what the boys are doing, the weather, what time I got up, what we had for dinner. I’m a bit of a nut when it comes to recording things. Who knows?! Maybe my planner will end up being the only link to our time because all the digital data was lost in a big EMP. You never know.

I also have a “work” journal. It’s where I put all my plans for my homeschool group, blog posts, and lists of information. I write ideas down there and go back to them when I need inspiration. It has contact info for people in my classe and notes about what I’m going to do for my part of the day. I always take this one with me when I go to meetings or field trips and take notes there.

My favorite one is my personal journal. Writing this post was inspired by that journal. Every morning I write my thoughts there. It’s also open most of the day so that when I’m listening to something or reading something online and think of an interesting point I can write it there and come back to expand on it later. It’s a pretty messy journal when I have lots of stuff rolling through my brain. Sometimes I even draw pictures of things I’d like to build or have around the house. And I try to write something at the end of the day as well. For awhile I was trying the “5-minute journal” idea but fell away recently. I should start that again. It really helps my mood to see that list of things I’m thankful for!

My goal here with this blog is to write every day and I was coming up with a blank as to what to write about so I flipped through my journal to see if anything caught my eye. It did and I found this.

“More often than not world change has come from outside of politics/government/establishment.”

That’s all I wrote. I must have been listening to a podcast that was talking about that very thing, so I wrote it down to ponder later. It seems to be true when I look through history. We don’t make laws about some big change that will make things better and then everyone follows them. When we do it causes a lot of problems. If most of the people don’t agree with the new law it won’t get followed. People will work around it. The best way to achieve change is to start with yourself, your family, and your community. It takes more time but it’s far more peaceful and long lasting. Eventually, more communities will follow suit and then counties, states, and nations. With the internet and social media, it’s easier than it ever has been!