Strippers Hold Counter Protest Against Ohio Church; Nudists In Great Britain Raise Money For Cancer

Different countries and different groups have quite different reactions to nudity or even bikinis. As I noted last week, wearing a woman was arrested in Dubai for wearing a bikini in a mall, with the charges later dropped. In Ohio strippers might not get arrested, but some were harassed by protesters from a local church. The strippers have retaliated by protesting in bikinis outside of the church (picture above):

The dancers at the Foxhole in Coschocton County, Ohio, are used to arriving at work to the sounds of protests from members of the nearby New Beginnings Ministries church. But the same couldn’t quite be said for the churchgoers, who showed up for services on Sunday and were greeted by the sight of bikini-clad protesters.

For the last four years, the pastor at New Beginnings has led a protest outside the Foxhole every weekend. Beyond just voicing their disapproval of the strip joint, the church members also videotape the license plates of the bar’s patrons and then post the info online.

So the crew at the Foxhole decided to give the churchgoers a taste of their own medicine, sitting outside the church in skimpy outfits and cooling each other down with Super Soakers as they grilled up burgers.

They also held signs with Bible quotes like:
Matthew 7:15: Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing
Revelations 22:11: He that is unjust, let him be unjust still

The strip club’s owner has unsuccessfully tried to sue the church for their protests, but now he’s hoping that this table-flipping will help to put an end to things.

“When these morons go away, we’ll go away,” he said. “The great thing about this country is that everyone has a right to believe what they want.”

In contrast, people in Great Britain appear much more tolerant as a group of over one-hundred nudists rode a rollercoaster naked to raise money for cancer. This broke the old record of 32 naked rollercoaster riders in 2004. The Daily Mail reports:

From bare nipples to white knuckles – more than 100 thrill-seekers rode a rollercoaster naked today.

The 102 enthusiasts bared all to take their seats on the Green Scream rollercoaster at Southend-on-Sea, Essex.

Organisers were hoping they had broken a new record after 32 attempted the same feat in 2004 at Alton Towers, in Staffordshire.

Organiser Tracy Jones said: ‘We wanted to raise as much money as possible for this brilliant charity and give everybody who was brave enough, the chance to be part of the world record. Consequently, we had to run the Naked Rollercoaster three times.’

The ride took place at Adventure Island, raising money for Southend Hospital Charitable Foundation’s Bosom Pals Appeal.

Adventure Island boss Philip Miller said: ‘People have travelled from all over the UK to take part and we’ve heard some amazing stories from so many who have been directly, or indirectly, affected by cancer and wanted to give something back.

Barbara Warner, of Bosom Pals, said it ‘takes of lot of nerve to take off all your clothes’ in front of so many people and the world’s media.

She added the appeal ‘would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who was brave enough to bare all and raise such a huge amount of cash – more than £22,000 – for our vitally important cause’

I wonder what members of that Ohio church would think of this fund raiser. More pictures under the fold (not safe for work).


Fox Defends Constitutional Right To Broadcast Whipped-Cream-Covered Strippers

For a few moments I’ve become a fan of Fox, and even Rupert Murdoch. Fox is standing up to the FCC on their ridiculous fines for “indecency” and fighting for the right to broadcast whipped-cream-covered strippers. Freedom of expression is freedom of expression after all. The Washington Post reports:

In an unusually aggressive step, Fox Broadcasting yesterday refused to pay a $91,000 indecency fine levied by the Federal Communications Commission for an episode of a long-canceled reality television show, even as the network fights two other indecency fines in the Supreme Court.

The FCC proposed fining all 169 Fox-owned and affiliate stations a total of $1.2 million in 2004 for airing a 2003 episode of “Married by America,” which featured digitally obscured nudity and whipped-cream-covered strippers.

Fox appealed immediately after the FCC ruling. Last month — four years later — the FCC changed its mind, saying it would fine only the 13 Fox stations located in cities that generated viewer complaints about the program. That reduced the fine to $91,000.

Despite the sharp reduction, Fox said it would not pay the fine on principle, calling it “arbitrary and capricious, inconsistent with precedent, and patently unconstitutional” in a statement released yesterday.

I’d feel even better about Fox if they wouldn’t falsely label one of their networks which specializes in broadcasting partisan political opinion as being a “news” network.

A List Envy

B-List BloggerI thought the uproar had quieted down, but talk of blog roll purges continues in the blogosphere, such as at The Republic of T and NewsHog. Many bloggers are concerned that the bigger, A List bloggers tend to link only to themselves, and therefore keep the blog traffic (and ad revenue) to themselves. They fear that whether they have links on the A List blogs will determine the amount of traffic they receive.Listings on blog rolls are easy and cost nothing, so I will freely exchange them with most blogs within reason, but they are far from the most major source for readers. A listing on a huge blog such as Daily Kos might bring in more traffic than I usually receive, but for the most part I fear that the odds of receiving many readers off of a long list of blog names isn’t that great. Again, that’s not to say I don’t appreciate it. Even if I only get a handful of hits from a particular blog, some people will return regularly, and perhaps recommend the blog to still others. I did go ahead and add The Repubic of T and NewsHog to the blog roll here in the hopes they will reciprocate.

Besides the actual blog rolls, a link to a specific post on an A List blog can bring in a flood of traffic for a couple of days. While generally less effective than being linked in a post, track backs and comments with a link will often bring in readers who are interested in a topic discussed on another blog.

There are also many sources for readers beyond the A List blogs. There are far more B and C List blogs, and their total readership exceeds that of the A List political blogs. There is also a huge blogosphere beyond the politcal blogs, and many of the readers here come from science blogs and blogs dealing with the arts or entertainment. This is increased somewhat by having a number of entertainment posts here, but often nonpolitical sites will drift into politics and link here.

Besides blog rolls, there are many other sources of traffic. Blog aggregators will often include posts from Liberal Values, even if they are ignored most of the A List blogs. Many hits come from links in discussion forums, which can generate significant traffic even if they are ignored by Technorati. Perhaps the most interesting link was after I had this post on a cancer society refusing money from strippers. Following the links back I found a link to the post on a forum for professional strippers. Google and other search engines are also responsible for several hundred additional hits here per day. Google seems to love blogs since they are update frequently.

While bloggers can obsess over their stat counters, I no longer even see them as the best measure of success. It might be different for the larger blogs which get thousands of visitors per day, but for myself I believe that the subscribers through RSS feeds is a more meaningful measure of readership. Liberal Values recently broke 2000 readers per day through Feedburner. This isn’t an exact number as some probably read the site through the original RSS feed before I joined Feedburner, and Feedburner doesn’t count all RSS readers, but knowing that over 2000 people may be reading this in their RSS reader, on top of hundreds more per the stat counters, is more important than whether I’m listed on a blog roll.

Puritans Win Again–Playboy Model Demoted By Air Force

Last week we found that money form strippers wasn’t good enough for those raising money to fight cancer. Now we find that, despite a serious shortage of personnel willing to serve in the armed forces, posing for Playboy disqualifies an Air Force Sergeant. The BBC reports:

A US Air Force sergeant who posed nude for Playboy magazine has been removed from active duty and demoted.

The move reverts Michelle Manhart to air national guard status, a move which has prompted her resignation, she says.

“I’m disappointed in our system. They went too far with it,” she told the Associated Press news agency.

Ms Manhart appeared in the Playboy’s February edition in a range of poses, some in uniform and striking a military pose, others while naked.

Ms Manhart had been a member of the Iowa air national guard before going on extended active duty with the air force.

In January, Ms Manhart was suspended from duties while an investigation into the incident was carried out.

At the time the air force released a statement saying that her actions did not “meet the high standards we expect of our airmen”.

However, Ms Manhart defended her decision to pose for the magazine, pointing out that she had served her country since 1994.

So this did not “meet the high standards we expect of our airmen.” Something sounds wrong with that argument which would be apparent if they had looked at the pictures.

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We Still Have The Best Congress Money Can Buy

The last post was on a group which some consider disreputable–strippers. However the strippers showed they weren’t all bad with their attempts to raise money for breast cancer research. At least there’s one group we can count on to remain scoundrels–members of Congress, regardless of party.

During the past your I rooted for a Democratic take over in hopes of having a Congress which could provide some checks and balances on the Executive Branch. A Democratic Congress could be counted upon to block Bush’s plans, and maybe even succeed in investigating his past crimes. It would mean an end to the outright institutionalization of corruption with the K Street Project, but I had no illusions that all the ethical problems would end regardless of what rules were passed.The New York Times shows that it didn’t take long for many members of Congress to find ways around the new ethics rules:

In just the last two months, lawmakers invited lobbyists to help pay for a catalog of outings: lavish birthday parties in a lawmaker’s honor ($1,000 a lobbyist), martinis and margaritas at Washington restaurants (at least $1,000), a California wine-tasting tour (all donors welcome), hunting and fishing trips (typically $5,000), weekend golf tournaments ($2,500 and up), a Presidents’ Day weekend at Disney World ($5,000), parties in South Beach in Miami ($5,000), concerts by the Who or Bob Seger ($2,500 for two seats), and even Broadway shows like “Mary Poppins” and “The Drowsy Chaperone” (also $2,500 for two).

The lobbyists and their employers typically end up paying for the events, but within the new rules.

Circumventing the rules is simple. Instead of paying directly, the lobbyists pay a political fund-raising PAC set up by the member of Congress which in turn pays the bills. The article reports, “Lobbyists say that the rules might even increase the volume of contributions flowing to Congress from K Street, where many lobbying firms have their offices.”

What’s Wrong With Money From Strippers?

Here’s an example of how absurd Judeo-Christian hangups can be counterproductive. Pictured above is Trina Ricketts who raised money for the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. Her money was turned down because the money came from strippers:

Almost anyone can donate to the Breast Cancer Society of Canada-unless they take their clothes off for a living.

Local strippers who hold an annual event to raise money for cancer research were shocked this year to discover their offer to donate part of the proceeds to the society was turned down. Last year, the same group of dancers donated $3,000 to the society without incident.

Former stripper Trina Ricketts, an organizer with the Exotic Dancers for Cancer fundraising event, said they planned again this year to donate half of the money raised to the Breast Cancer Society, but when she contacted the society recently, she was rejected.

In a letter to Ricketts, the society’s executive director Rany Xanthopoulo, wrote: “Unfortunately we will have to decline your kind offer as we have certain major donors that are not in favour of this connection. This decision came as a result of donor disgruntlement and together with the board of directors we have decided not to accept any donations from what donors consider controversial sources.”

Its a strange value system where the opinions of some on strippers is more important than fighting breast cancer.