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The [Thursday] Papers

"Most of the two dozen former pimps and madams questioned by DePaul University researchers for a study on Chicago's sex trade had suffered both physical and sexual abuse as children," the Tribune reports.

This reminds me of someone I know who is close to the porn industry who has told me that they never met a stripper or actress who wasn't abused as a child.

I'm not interested in porn - borrrring! - and find the recent glorification of porn stars and strippers a bizarre and perverse (no pun intended - or sexual judgement) male-fantasy phenomenon (the fantasy being that of highly sexually charged females who are always available. Oh, if only!).

But I have trouble enjoying behavior that A) is rarely sexy and B) is the result of awful childhood trauma. I know far too many women whose lives have been horribly damaged by childhood sexual abuse. It's not something for us to enjoy the fruits of when the result is a career in the sex industry.

One other fascinating finding by DePaul researchers, as reported by WBEZ: "A new study on Chicago-area pimps finds that these sex traffickers see themselves as legitimate businesspeople."

Study co-author Jody Raphael told WBEZ: "This is the American Way. They have a satisfaction having their own business. They kept saying it over and over again. They were good businessmen, made them feel important. They got self-esteem from the fact that they were running a profitable business.

"Raphael says the sex-trade infrastructure gave pimps ancillary support. For example the pimps often paid off a host of players - including law enforcement, bartenders, hotel clerks and cabdrivers. Because of this support, the pimps saw nothing wrong with their enterprises."

Please note: The majority of ex-pimps in the study were found to have been abused as children as well.

Now, what does this say about the possible legalization of prostitution? I don't think the public - or more to the point, public officials - will ever go for it. But despite its horrible origins, I'm not sure it should be illegal. It's a human, commercial transaction. And it would be better for everyone involved if it was regulated like any other business for safety, public health and so forth.

If only we were further along in human and social evolution to put the world's oldest profession out of business. Until then, I like Bill Clinton's old formulation about abortion: It should be safe, legal and rare.


I will say 25 ex-pimps strikes me as a small sample size.


The DePaul news release: "Findings show most started at age 15."

Includes a link to the actual study.

Family Matters
"The victims gave similar accounts. [Frank] Castaldi was a friend of 10, 20 and even 40 years. He was their accountant, a friend of the family or, in some cases, a blood relative.

"He asked about their health and their families. Then he robbed them all of their pensions, life savings or spouses's death benefits in a scheme that by his own admission was started back in the 1960s by his father. Castaldi promised investors 10 percent and 15 percent on promissory notes he sold them. He lied about investing their principal in his businesses and paid them interest by using investment money from new victims.

"Everything collapsed in 2008, and Castaldi turned himself in."

On Wednesday, Castaldi was sentenced to 23 years for a 22-year scheme bilking his victims out of more than $30 million.

Rahm & Junior
"White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel met privately with Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Wednesday night to discuss the race for mayor of Chicago, a post for which both men are potential candidates," Politico - and others - report.

But the Politico report is my favorite for nuggets like this:

"When reached by POLITICO, Jackson said that he's been meeting with a series of officials, including state Sen. James Meeks and fellow Democratic Reps. Danny Davis and Luis Gutierrez, on the matter. Jackson has also been in regular contact with another possible candidate, he said: Alderman Sandi Jackson, who is his wife."

He's also been in regular contact with his wife!

Politico also reports that U.S. Rep. Luiz Gutierrez told them he "plans to transfer money from his federal campaign account to a committee in the state and the he will begin polling soon. He said he'll make contributions to help Democrats retain control of the House but that a portion of his $500,000-plus war chest will be devoted to exploring a mayoral run."

I'll update our Mayoral Odds later today.

Cop Shop
"There was heated debate but, in the end, no internal mutiny at the Police Department Wednesday night."

The aftermath of yesterday's cop protest?

No. This was in New Haven, Connecticut - but with a Chicago connection.

"Simmering dissent at the Police Department led to a motion to hold a referendum, of sorts, on the leadership of Chief Frank Limon, but ended with no action," the New Haven Register reports.

"For months, some police officers chafed under the managerial style of the new chief, who was hired after spending three decades with the Chicago Police Department, and his out-of-town picks for assistant chiefs."


By the way, I interned at the New Haven Register in the summer of 1988. Yeah, I've got some stories to tell. But another time.

Beachwood Notes
I'll be working the door at the bar tonight from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., which reminds me of a saying: "She was a 2 at 10 and a 10 at 2!" Okay, I know. Bar humor.

My current favorite bar joke is this: "A priest and a rabbi walk into a bar and the priest says, 'Did you hear the one about us?'"

Okay. Also for your planning purposes, I'll be behind the bar on Saturday from 5 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Beachwood college football correspondent Mike Luce may be in attendance in front of at least one TV tracking his his action - only for entertainment, of course - and it would be nice to see some other familiar faces who tip well.

The rest of the world can have their citizen journalists. I'm a bartender journalist, and that's the way it should be.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Insure prompt service.


Posted on September 16, 2010

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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