The Record Stops
Sad to see the small music business fold: Much gratitude and love to the Varshavsky family and all who had a part in Porto Franco Records ["Bon Voyage, Porto Franco," Ian S. Port, Music, 11/16]. I wish them much success in the transition and know that they will all still continue to be champions of the local arts community.
Revisiting Pros and Con(dom)s
Don't forget the past: Absolute idiocy ["Pros and Condoms," Taylor Friedman, feature, 11/9]. Almost an entire generation of gay men went to their deaths because of unprotected sex and the unwillingness of anyone to listen to reason. Somewhere, a new microbe is evolving, and it will happen all over again.
Don't shame them: As someone who has been around and having sex since the 1980s, who lost my first husband to AIDS as well as numerous friends, I really can't believe we're still having this discussion. People were having sex without condoms way before any porn company had videos showing it, way before barebacking was a word, and way before we had even 1/10th of the drugs we have now to combat HIV. If someone condemns the practice, it will not disappear: It will just go further underground. Shaming people about their sexual practices (when it's consenting adults with consenting adults) will lead to nothing but more pain, death, and conflict. Lots and lots of people have sex with condoms. Lots and lots of people do not. I'd rather have conversations than point fingers and say the government should step in and do something to "those people."
Nels P. Highberg
Health standards should be enforced: Great article. I for one am just flabbergasted that people are allowed to transact business by sponsoring sex parties open to the public without strict enforcement of fundamental health standards. HIV is a nasty, nasty virus and to promote its spread for money is just plain evil.
Blog Comments of the Week
War on Drugs picked wrong target: So, instead of trying to get rid of meth labs, cocaine smugglers and heroin addicts, [the police] are attempting to make the least harmful, least offensive drug, which kills no person by use alone, into their effigy ["Report: Misdemeanor Marijuana Arrests Skyrocketing in California," Chris Roberts, the Snitch, 11/11]? Turning a blind eye to the worst drugs out there simply because cannabis is an easier target is a surefire sign that their priorities have warped and twisted from when the "War on Drugs" began. If they want the public to believe they are doing their intended job, then start getting rid of the real problems and high-profile cases, instead of making exorbitant amounts of arrests on the smallest issue just to make themselves look good.
Arrests for marijuana could reduce other crime rates: What if it were the case that these other crimes [mentioned in the post] are going down as a result of this marijuana enforcement? If enough of these teens are involved in furthering the criminal enterprise of Californian gangs and they're being arrested in such large numbers relative to the past, I suppose it may be affecting some criminals' bottom lines. Speaking of bottom lines, I'm thinking of another angle to it. It may be interesting to examine how much of the crime that has declined by two-thirds was gang-related. If a portion was, could the decline in those types of violent crimes be the result of gangs becoming American cartels, leaving behind less lucrative crimes?