Does this kind of "moral crusading" happen in your city/town/municipality?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Mr_Ed, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. Mr_Ed macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    North and east of Mickeyland
    #1
    I live central Florida and over the last few years, considerable amounts of money/man-hours have been used in "sting" operations against various strip clubs. The stated aim has always been to prove the owners/operators have been complicit in whatever illegal activities may occur in the establishment. Such charges/convictions against the owners could then be used to have liquor and/or other licenses revoked, essentially putting them out of business.

    The net result so far seems to be a string of relatively minor charges against low level employees and not much more. To add to this, there have always been questions about some of the tactics used by law enforcement (article).

    I'm as averse to "crime" as the next guy, but I personally find this sort of effort to be of very little value to the community, especially when I read how law enforcement goes about it, how much money is spent, and when I consider other criminal investigations (murder, property crimes, etc.) that might benefit from additional manpower and resources.

    Question is: Does this happen where you live? I'm curious to learn how commonplace (or rare) this sort of targeted investigation is in other communities. The question is "global" though I have a feeling I'm likely to get more responses stating "It happens here too" from U.S. members than say, European members :)
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    Although not exactly moral crusading, this story still smacks of the jackboot.

    There was a ridiculous hoo-ha going on in Soho, London about the flying of rainbow flags.

    If anyone here knows Soho, then they'll know that it has a large and busy district where many gay businesses are. The place is usually heaving with people.

    Anyway, to quote from an article:

    Link
     
  3. Mr_Ed thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    North and east of Mickeyland
    #3
    Wow! "Visual clutter" as one reason for the ban? Does that mean a shop that does not fly any flags, but has a "busy" looking merchandise display in the shop window can be cited? (I suspect that would not be the case.) Ridiculous.

    The most striking similarity I see with the situation where I live is that there are some in local government who obviously feel there are no more pressing issues for the community which they should be addressing at the time. That time and resources are "well spent" on such regulation and enforcement.
     
  4. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    #4
    A while ago in Houston, some people were trying to shut down some strip clubs.

    Hehe, around the Airport, it's ALL YOU SEE. Strip clubs and adult book stores.

    And some people were mad that that was the first thing people saw when they got to Houston.

    But then, when they tried to, a bunch of anonymous travelers got mad (haha, silly business men) and so the people who were trying to shut it down gave up.


    or at least that's how I think it went.. it was a while ago.. *shrug*
     
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #5
    We have the "Toughest Sheriff in America" and he spends a bunch of time and money investigating and doing stings on his own political rivals.

    So they don't have too much time to bother the rest of the hardworking people in town.

    Nice to have an old school sheriff in town. :rolleyes:
     
  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #6
    I live in Chicago. We love our strip clubs. :) The adult bookstores are even protected from gentrification by the city. There's a male strip joint four blocks up the street from me. :)
     
  7. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #7
    It's been quite a while since anybody around here got on their high horse and harassed strip clubs in the way Mr_Ed describes.

    In my suburb they have a different kind of problem, however.

    When the town fathers became aware that a (relatively high class, actually) "gentlemen's club" was planning to open here, they quickly drew up a plan to zone all adult businesses into a part of town near the highway and away from neighborhoods.

    Well, the company found a way around that. There was an old, now-defunct strip club in the center of town, and because the new folks bought that property directly from the previous owner, they were able to use it for the same purpose. (Apparently by law it had to be grandfathered in.)

    I don't have a problem with the club itself. I do agree with those who don't like it there because it's right near the center of town, across the street from a church and a day care center. That's not cool.

    But the city can do nothing about it.

    There's really nothing wrong with the section the city has zoned for adult business. It's not far from anything, it's not swampland, it's just set to one corner of town. But they didn't want that; they wanted to be across from the church and the kiddies.

    To me, that's not free speech. That's just being a jackass.
     
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #8
    sex industry aside, it is pretty difficult to open a brand new bar in much in chicago. many of the wards have capped the number of licquor licenses, so one has to wait for another bar to shut down.

    this may be a livability concern as much as, or more so, a moral one, fwiw.

    btw, for a number of years the town of Wheaton was dry (there's a christian college there). i think that's changed, but on campus i'm told that all students must sign a form saying they won't drink, at all, while they're students there. i'm also told that dancing used to be forbidden on that campus.
     
  9. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #9
    When is saw the subject line I thought this was gonna be another thread about that psycho preacher that hides in the bushes and takes pictures of customers and their license plates that go to the adult establishments in his area. IIRC he then harasses them (sending them sh*t in the mail) and prints their picture in a local news letter or something. Basically he's a busy-body, self-righteous c**k. So much for love thy neighbor... Oh, wait, wait, wait. He probably *loves* them so much he has taken it upon himself to save them from themselves. What a cross to bear... I wonder how many crowns of thorns he has in his closet? Think he beats himself on the weekends just for s**ts and giggles?

    F**king peeping tom wannabe martyr.


    Hmmm.... that turned into a vile little rant didn't it...


    Lethal
     
  10. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #10
    Actually, one of them was arrested for his "work" :p

    State of Oklahoma vs. Brian Bates AKA Video Vigilante
     
  11. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #11
    Cool. Score one for the good guys.


    Lethal
     
  12. Mr_Ed thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    North and east of Mickeyland
    #12
    Yeah, I think "self-righteous c**k" pretty well covers it. The difference is that jerkoff is not using taxpayers' money and using public resources that could be better spent elsewhere to carry on his little crusade.

    Glad to see that. I would hope there might be some "harassment" codes that could be applied in a case like that.
     
  13. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #13
    I witnessed a particularly brutal display of gestapo **** about four years ago.

    I was in a nightclub, it was 18+ and there's a separate floor for serving alcohol. Well, there's never underage drinking going on in there, the bouncers are overly professional, etc., etc. The mayor (still incumbent) was running for re-election at the time. The mayor likes to play cop. The nightclub owner's dad was the guy running against the mayor.

    So anyway, the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (a bureaucratic agency with no real oversight from its parent organization of the PLCB or anyone else) comes in with like 8 agents and a handful of city cops for backup and announces their presence. The lights go up and the music goes off. They ask for IDs. They check four or five. A guy about 10 feet away from me makes a joke about the night being over early. An agent gestures to him to "come here" and the guy hesitates. The agent grabs him, and with help of three others, wrestles the guy to the floor and they beat the living crap out of him. Then they grab the DJ out of his booth and his head hits the floor and he starts convulsing. They drag him down the stairs, hitting his head on every step.

    My g/f and I start to leave, because you could feel a 300-person riot about -><- this close to breaking out. As we're leaving, the cops grab the manager and beat his ass too. We're still leaving. Then they get the owner outside and kick his head in on the curb. The mayor watched from a squad car. No one was arrested for underage drinking that night. No one.

    I watch the news the next day, because a near riot breaking out and some Rodney King-type **** going down should be big news, right? But nothing. The next day I called up the City Council Chairman and told him what happened. He asked me to come before the council and tell them what happened at their meeting on Tuesday or Wednesday. The newspaper ran a story on Monday about the brutality and glossed it over as a feel-good story about citywide crackdown on underage drinking, but no other establishments were subjected to the jackboot like this.

    I provided the impetus to action by standing alone and speaking out, and later there was a large public hearing at City Council. Here's link with a little overview on the aftermath:
    linky

    I went to the police as they requested and filed a formal statement, but it ended up with me being interrogated as a criminal. I should have walked out, because it was a total setup. They kept cornering me and badgering me in an attempt to weaken any testimony I might give later that would incriminate the police.

    The whole thing ended up being whitewashed away and brushed under the carpet. The police raided the City Council and stole the audio tapes of the meeting cited in the link.

    That's Lancaster, Pennsylvania. That's mayor Charlie Smithgall. That's the LCE and Lancaster City Police force. ****ing crooked criminal scumbags.

    I lost all respect for the police. I swear if I could go back in time I'd punch one of those pigs in the face. It would make me feel a lot less powerless now.
     
  14. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #14
    Ummm... no strip clubs in my town. I can't even imagine what people would do if one tried to open up. Somehow the issue of strip clubs never seems to come up. Heck, people around here got all up in arms when they tried to open ... gasp ... a GROCERY STORE in town. After all, what comes next ... HARDWARE?
     
  15. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #15
    I would love to hear a bit more. Could you please expand on this outrageous incident?
     
  16. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #16
    County officials have successfully kept Hooters out for quite some time, despite their attempts to open a location. Wal-Marts keep popping up, though, despite massive public outcry.

    A few years back a city adult bookstore was burned down (ruled arson). Nothing came of the "intensive" investigation that ensued. Local turds wrote into the op/ed praising the crime.
     
  17. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

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    somewhere between here and there.
    #17

    I am also quite interested in this grocery store issue. :)
     
  18. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #18
    Depends on how well you know Daley and what your connections are. But I do think it's funny we protect adult bookstores and such.
     
  19. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    Feb 14, 2004
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    Reality
    #19
    <snip>

    Wow. You better believe they had reason to fear a lawsuit. That's definitely gestapo tactics there.

    Of course, you already knew the public meeting was in trouble when they started saying things like, "This is not a political issue, this is a public safety issue." Right.

    Was there a lawsuit, and if so, is it still pending? If not, what was the result?
     
  20. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #20
    They of course charged everyone with felonies and used those charges as leverage to get them to drop their lawsuits against the city.
     
  21. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #21
    I think the official reason was that our town isn't big enough to support a grocery store, so then the building would go vacant and be an eyesore.

    The slightly more cynical version is that people living nearby were worried about increased traffic.

    The perhaps overly cynical with a grain of truth version is race: We're primarily an affluent white suburb with a small but vocal black population -- perhaps 10 percent. The whites who live near the store wouldn't want to see those types too often.

    They ended up building a drug store instead. Mostly our Main street is useless -- a few gift shops, a decent coffee shop, a traditional 'soda shop' with lousy food, a new restaurant that shows promise (and has a bar!).
     

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