Radio Freethinker

Vancouver's Number 1 Skeptical Podcast and Radio Show

Posts Tagged ‘sex workers’

RFT Ep 257 – Sex Sells Redux Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on June 24, 2014

Download the episode here! 

<NOTE: Due to technical issues, CiTR's pod-casting server is down. The show can still be enjoyed via the link above...sorry for the inconvenience>


This Week Whine – The Iraq Dilemma and Globalized Ethics


This past couple of weeks has brought to light the very precarious nature of the idea of an Iraqi nation…and it does not look good. We provide a quick historical context for the civil war in all but name that has resurfaced in Iraq. We also look at the UN’s Responsibility to Protect…a high point for humanity where we no longer limit people to be citizens of a nation but citizens of the world with rights the global community is charged to protect. Alas, we discuss how Iraq shows the utter failure of the UN, NATO, The US and the global community in general to actualize these rights…to ACTUALLY protect people from military violence.


The New Prostitution Bill…oy vey


In the wake of the Supreme Court striking down Canada’s prostitution law, the Harper government has presented to parliament a replaced based on the so called “Nordic Model”.

We review the reason the previous law was struck down and how this new law makes matters worse for sex workers. We deconstruct Justice Minister Peter McKay’s regressive, paternalistic sexist misogynistic law and the real reasons Harper is introducing a law he knows will be struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Further Reading:

The Case to Legalize Brothels


In the previous section, I asserted that prostitution and more specifically brothels were not innately harmful…well, to be a good skeptic…we take a moment to review the evidence out there and see if the proposition – legalizing brothels makes sex work and sex workers safer is justified or just dogmatic.

Further Reading:

How Class Works


Based on a presentation given by Richard Wolff, an economist who has studied class issues for more than 40 years.

Wolff explains what class is all about and applies that understanding to the foreclosure crisis of 2007–2011. He argues that class concerns the “way our society splits up the output [and] leaves those who get the profits in the position of deciding and figuring out what to do with them… We all live with the results of what a really tiny minority in our society decides to do with the profits everybody produces.” As you watch and listen, consider what we know from research about disease and illness patterns among groups with lower income, more stress, and less control of their lives. Consider how investment decisions in neighborhoods, over transportation, school facilities, parks, location of grocery stores, quality of affordable housing, etc. influenced by powerful interests, affect the quality of life for large segments of the population.


This was produced by the National Association of County and City Public Health Officials (NACCHO) as a part of their Roots of Health Inequality Project. The project is a web-based course for the public health workforce and “How Class Works” is one section of the course.

Further Reading:



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Radio Freethinker Episode 159 – Trans-Atlantic Conservative

Posted by Don McLenaghen on March 28, 2012

This week Posthumous weddings, Pink Slime Warnings and Don’s interview with Tony Sobrado – Part 3(of 3), conservatism here and across the pond.

Download the episode here!


In France, two men can’t marry but you can marry a corpse!

Another one of those weird things  you learn in the weirdest places. It seems there are many things you can learn from mass murder. Last week France was rocked by the multi-murders executed by a one of its citizens.

Now, of all the important facts that arose from this wasn’t that France was not the ‘nation of origin’ of the shooter…apparently of Algerian extraction, although he was born in France…not the failure of French security services (the DCRI)…nor even the rapidity of French politicians to ratchet up the xenophobia in this an election year.

. No, none of that seems nearly as interesting as that France, a country that does NOT allow same-sex marriage none the less does allow you to marry the dead.

Find out more:

Pink Slime – the really worrying issue

We talk about what pink slime is, where it comes from, its origin story and why people seem so upset about something that is actually healthier than the ‘ground chuck’ it serves to supplement.

Find out more:

Tony Sobrado interview Part 3 – Conservatism around the world…well English world.

This week we finish our three part series with Tony Sobrado. Tony Sabrado Tony is a research analyst and social scientist currently based in London. Author of the soon to be published book “Who rules the world: An analysis to conspiracy theory”. He also contributes to the Huffington Post.

Part 3 – We talk about the changing face of conservatism in England, the USA and Canada. Tony give us his own unique perspective both as a social scientist and keen observer of political life.

Learn more about Tony Sobrado:

Skeptical Highlights:

TAM 10 in 2012…an end of the world event?

TAM Las Vegas is a four-day conference, featuring workshops, panel discussions, and presentations by leading thinkers and celebrities, and evening performances and parties for attendees.
<From the poster>
he James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) has hosted its annual Amaz!ng Meeting since 2003 as a way to promote science, skepticism and critical thinking about paranormal and supernatural claims to the broader public. “TAM,” as it’s known by regular attendees, has been held in Las Vegas, NV since 2004 and has become the world’s largest gathering of like-minded science-advocates and skeptics. People from all over the world come to the Amaz!ng Meeting each year to share learning and laughs with fellow skeptics and distinguished guest speakers. Nearly 1,700 people attended The Amaz!ng Meeting 2011 in Las Vegas.

When: July 12-15, 2012,
Location: South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa, Las Vegas
Cost: Registration $325 to $600 / Workshops $40/ea or $100/all / + added events
TAM 10

Genius on line

The Albert Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has made available for free the complete archive of Albert Einstein’s writings. This included his scientific works as well as his personal correspondence and other documents. There are over 7000 high-quality digitized images displayed from over 2000 documents.

The Archival Database included approximately 43,000 records of Einstein and Einstein related documents. Supplementary archival holdings and databases pertaining to Einstein documents have been established at both the Einstein Papers Project and the Albert Einstein Archives for scholarly research.

Einstein Archives Online

Science vs. Moral Rhetoric: Sex Work, Policies and Public Health

As part of the Super Rounds Lecture, Dr. Kate Shannon discussed the issues surrounding the sex trade.

<From the poster>

(not from the poster)

Sex workers experience the worst health outcomes globally, with escalating rates of violence, HIV infection and premature mortality worldwide. Unfortunately recent history has shown that all too often moral debates dominate the public health response in sex work, and science continues to take a backseat to punitive approaches aimed at eliminating sex work and “rescue” operations. This is despite the ample evidence of the failures of criminalization in preventing harms among sex workers both locally and internationally, and the inadvertent role of these policies and enforcement-based approaches in exacerbating violence and poor health among sex workers. Growing evidence points to the need for global account-ability by policy makers, governments, scientists, and international bodies to public health efforts that redress the health inequity gaps among some of the most marginalized individuals.

When: Wed. April. 1, 5pm,
Location: Theatre, Robson Square, 800 Robson St, Vancouver
Cost: Free
Super Rounds Lectures

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