Latest from The Spokesman-Review
A novel one Nampa parent said had “an immense amount of pornography” has been removed from a sophomore English class at the school. Nampa School Board Chairman Scott Kido said he received 15 emails Sunday night complaining about the book “Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel. “I agreed it seemed inappropriate. It's soon to be pulled,” Kido said Monday. The book contains passages with descriptions of sexual encounters between characters. Kido said he spoke with Nampa High School principal Pete Koehler and they agreed concerns about the book are “valid”/Mike Butts, Idaho Press Tribune. More here. (Idaho Press Tribune photo of Scott Kido)
Question: Should books that some parents consider pornographic be required reading in high school?
In Atlantic Monthly, Jordan Weissman writes in "Why Porn, online media share same big problem":
" … convincing people to pay for to watch sex is a much taller task these days than getting them to pay for a song. In fact, it's a bit like getting them to pay for a newspaper. Like the porn studios, big media companies have seen their own profits plummet in the face of free aggregators, amateur bloggers, and the nearly limitless competition supplied by the web. Unsurprisingly, micropayments have been a hot topic in the news industry over the past few years. But so far, they haven't really taken off."
Question: Do you pay for any online media subscriptions?
In national statistics, Boise has ranked high for being one of the nation's most livable cities, having some of the best bike infrastructure and having one of the most happening independent music scenes. Well, according to an article in Men's Health, Boise can add one more ranking to that list: porn capital. According to the article, Boise—aka the place where vanilla is occasionally referred to as "spicy" and open discussions of sex and sex-related issues are about as common as Bigfoot sightings—ranked 11th in national porn consumption statistics/John Gross, Boise Weekly. More here.
Question: Why would Boiseans be among the top consumers of pornography?
Craig and Anita Blanchette pose for a portrait near their Battle Ground home on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Craig Blanchette, a former world/Bloomsday champion wheelchair racer, battled a sex and pornography addiction that nearly destroyed his family. (Zachary Kaufman/The Columbian)
In an age in which alcoholism garners almost as much sympathy as cancer, and talk-show guests get ovations for going three weeks without heroin, pornography addicts are typically dismissed as perverts or “sickos.” In the words of Dr. James Hancey, a psychiatrist at Oregon Health and Science University, “It’s funny. Nobody watches porn, but there sure is a lot of it out there.” This is partly why Blanchette took so long to confront his compulsion. It is also why he drives to Vancouver every Wednesday – so that he can lead a work group focused on helping men overcome similar problems, stressing that they find the root of their pain instead of simply treating the symptom/John Blanchette, SR. More here.
Question: Do you consider pornography to be potentially addictive and, therefore, dangerous?
David Townsend (re: CdA library user viewing porn upsets girl): For the sake of clarification, indications are that the incident described was probably someone using their own laptop rather than one of the unfiltered computers in the library's computer lab. Filtering would not have an impact on the WiFi … users who are in the library on their own computers. Users do agree — by logging on to the library WiFi — to not view pornography in the library. If staff get complaints a patron's behavior is disruptive — including viewing porn — they can be asked to leave.
Item: Perusing in public: Some library computers are unfiltered for a good reason, but that also allows patrons chance to view pornography/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: Compared to cell phone chatter, it barely registers. But the explicit images Elisabeth Goltz's fourth-grade daughter saw on a library patron's computer screen shocked her. The girl, at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library on Nov. 21 for a class trip, was perusing the upper level when she saw a man she'd describe as wrinkly, with long, gray hair looking at naked women on his computer. She did not report it to library staff. Instead, the girl kept quiet until her mother was tucking her in that night.
David Townsend/CdA Library: "Indications are that the incident described was probably someone using their own laptop rather than one of the unfiltered computers in the library's computer lab. Filtering would not have an impact on the WiFi… users who are in the library on their own computers. Users do agree - by logging on to the library WiFi - to not view pornography in the library. If staff get complaints a patron's behavior is disruptive — including viewing porn — they can be asked to leave."
Question: Should more be done to prevent adults from viewing pornography at a library computer?
A fingerprint found on merchandise at a Spokane porn store helped police identify a second suspect in a gunpoint robbery earlier this month.
Clinton James Smith, 50, (right) was arrested Wednesday on first-degree robbery and first-degree kidnapping charges. He's accused with James A. Turnipseed, 32, of robbing the Hollywood Erotic Boutique, 3813 N. Division St., and tying up the clerk on Nov. 8.
Turnipseed (left) was arrested a couple blocks away while riding a bike shortly after the robbery and remains in jail on $75,000 bond. Police say he had two bags containing erotic material stolen from the store.
A fingerprint found on merchandise packaging at the store matched Smith's, and police found a hat with the name "Smith" embroidered on it in a backpack that was left at the store when the robbers fled, according to court documents prepared by Spokane police major crimes Detective Chet Gilmore.
Smith denied participating in the robbery and told police he'd only been in the store twice and never handled the merchandise.
An acquaintance of Turnipseed and Smith told police Turnipseed called him from jail the night he was arrested and said he'd been caught because of Smith and Smith "needed to come down and do something about it," documents say.
Smith told the man he was sitting at the park near the porn shop when Turnipseed ran up, grabbed the bike and said "I gotta go." A confidential source told police Smith had talked about planning to rob the store three weeks before the hold up.
Smith already has two felony cases pending in Spokane County - a WalMart theft case from February and a stolen car case from December 2010.
PETA wants to get into porn to make people more aware of animal abuse. The Norfolk-based animal-rights group has applied to launch a website under the soon-to-be-available ".xxx" domain, which will feature pornographic sites, Lindsay Rajt, the organization's associate director of campaigns, said Monday. "As soon as we heard that the.xxx domain was becoming available, we thought that would be triple extra effective in helping us bring our important issues of animal rights and eating a vegan diet to a greater number of people," said Rajt, who is based in Los Angeles. The site, she said, will have nudity and "sexually suggestive content" but not hard-core porn: "A lot of people distinguish between erotica and pornography, and this will be erotica"/Philip Walzer, Virginian Pilot. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Will this help or hinder PETA's cause?
From a visitation room at the Spokane County Jail, Jeramie R. Davis talks last week about the recent break in his case. (SR/Colin Mulvany)
A Spokane man recently arrested for a 2007 slaying that authorities previously considered solved pleaded innocent Thursday to murder charges.
The homicide case against Julio J. Davila comes as Jeramie R. Davis, an admitted thief convicted on largely circumstantial evidence in the beating death, remains jailed awaiting the outcome of an investigation that police have said could exonerate him of the murder.
DNA found on the baseball bat used to kill Sprague Avenue adult bookstore owner John Gordon Allen Jr., 74, in 2007 was recently identified as Davila’s, creating a legal conundrum in which authorities say it’s possible the wrong man was given a 45-year prison term for a murder he didn’t commit.
But because a Spokane County Superior Court jury convicted Davis – despite his insistence that he did not kill Allen – and a state appeals court upheld the verdict, authorities are trying to figure out how to proceed.
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan jail inmate says he's being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment because he can't have pornography.
In a handwritten lawsuit, 21-year-old Kyle Richards claims his civil rights are being violated at the Macomb County Jail. Richards says denying his request for erotic material subjects him to a "poor standard of living" and "sexual and sensory deprivation."
The Michigan Department of Corrections tells The Detroit News that prisons allow some pornographic material, though it's banned at the jail. The American Civil Liberties Union says prisons have a lot of leeway.
Richards was charged with bank robbery after police followed a trail of snowy footprints and dropped money to his apartment from a bank robbery scene in January in Fraser, north of Detroit.
Richards pleaded guilty. Sentencing is Aug. 2.
A sizeable stash of pornography was among the items seized when U.S. Navy SEALs raided the Pakistani hideout of Osama bin Laden, almost two weeks ago, U.S. officials say. The officials said it was unclear who the material belonged to, and there was no way to know whether bin Laden had viewed it. Bin Laden's son and two other adult male couriers lived at the compound, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss matters of intelligence. The pornography was among the computer materials confiscated in the raid after the SEALs killed bin Laden, ending an almost ten-year manhunt for the terrorist behind the 9/11 terror attacks/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo: A Pakistani vendor sells local magazines carry stories regarding al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan on Friday.)
Question: What do you make of this development?
Spokane Public Radio employees were in a red-faced dither last week when a link to a sexually explicit website somehow turned up on the KPBX Facebook page. I’m sorry. But embarrassment and removing the link were the wrong reactions. The station should have been celebrating its good fortune. That’s right, celebrating. What some see as a scandal is what I call a “happy accident.” You know, the way a piece of moldy bread left in a lab gave way to today’s giant, greed-driven pharmaceutical corporations. What I’m saying is that this Internet link could lead to the end of public radio’s funding fears. Oh, I’ll just say it. Porn will put the profit into public radio/Doug Clark, SR. More here.
Question: What do you make of Clark's suggestion that KPBX might benefit by embracing porn?
A sex offender suspected of using college library computers to look at pornography is in jail for failing to register in Spokane County.
James Robert Sorrell, 66, alias Douglas Doolittle, was convicted in Ada County, Idaho, in 1987 of lewd conduct of a minor and infamous crime against nature. He was released in 1997, then convicted of failing to register as a sex offender in Oregon in 2008.
The U.S. Marshals Service began looking for him earlier this year after learning he may be in Washington. He was arrested Friday after security at Washington State University's Riverpoint campus told federal investigators that Sorrell was looking at pornography on the library's computers, including a visit on Thursday.
Sorrell was arrested near the House of Charity, where investigators believe he sometimes stayed. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison for failing to register as a sex offender.
U.S. Marshal William Downey said he regularly saw Sorrell near Main Street and Lincoln Street in downtown Spokane.
"He actually would walk right by the courthouse here on his way to the library," Downey said.
Sorrell is pictured above last April on the Gonzaga University campus. He told the photographer he was taking a research break.
Spokane Public Radio station KPBX last week discovered that its Facebook page had attracted the wrong kind of friend. In the middle of its spring pledge drive, station staff on Friday spent several hours scrambling to remove a Facebook link to a sexually explicit website using the name “Spokane public radio.” The link to the porn site included a thumbnail-size image of a couple engaged in sexual activity. That link and photo appeared as the second result if someone searched on Facebook for “Spokane Public Radio.” KPBX board Chairman J. Scott Miller may have been one of the first to see the offending material, around 9 a.m. on Friday. Unable to find a customer service number for Facebook, Miller called station managers and asked them to remove the link, which apparently went to a New Zealand site/Tom Sowa, SR. More here.
Question: Was KPBX helped or hurt by the porn site hack job?
I guess I’m old-fashioned, but when I was a kid we used to study at the library. Of course some of us may have hid the Joy of Sex inside our geography books, but still…
“A boy hoping to scour the Internet for pornography and steal computer equipment was arrested Monday at the the Post Falls Public Library, police said.” http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/may/26/police-porn-theft-lured-boy-library/
Item: Porn can be a mixed blessing/Chris Bidiman, UI Argonaut
More Info: Porn provides a fantasy. It creates in the minds of the viewer a different environment filled with sexual intimacy, desire and a lack of repercussions. However, this is not license to attempt engaging in sex with any anonymous person one wishes. Actors in adult videos are consenting adults (at least 18 years old). These individuals enter into every scene knowing what they are expected to do with a sense of security and confidence.
Question: Do you see anything positive re: pornography?
Flemming, who is unemployed and has no family in the Silver Valley area, was charged with lewd conduct with a minor under 16-years-old and two counts of sexual battery of a minor under 16-years-old. Authorities arrested Flemming while executing a search warrant to find evidence he was manufacturing child pornography as part of an ongoing investigation/KXLY. More here.
In an announcement that launched a thousand unprintable puns, adult-entertainment moguls Larry Flynt and Joe Francis said Wednesday that they are asking Washington for a $5 billion federal bailout, claiming that the porn business is suffering from the soft economy. Francis insisted in a phone interview that this is no joke or publicity stunt, though his tone suggested otherwise.“ The government’s handing out money to the auto industry,” Francis, producer of the “Girls Gone Wild” video series, said on the phone from his Santa Monica office. “Why shouldn’t it hand some to an industry the nation could not live without?”/L.A. Daily News. More here.
Question (w/Hat Tip to Bob): Should the feds bail out the porn industry?