Trial begins in ‘shaken baby’ murder

Defense attorneys say injuries don’t match and father did not shake his son

Defense attorneys for a man accused of shaking his baby to death told a jury yesterday that his infant son’s injuries do not match those from any typical “shaken baby” death.

Attorneys for Jamal Rashad Thomas, 21, said Tuesday that the evidence will show a lack of several specific injuries common to “shaken baby” deaths and the location of the infant’s actual injuries does not correlate with a shaken baby diagnosis.

read more

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The Level Of Economic Freedom In The United States Is At An All-Time Low

World economic freedom averaged a record 60.3 out of 100 in 2014, with the U.S. dropping to 12th position, the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom shows. As Bloomberg’s Niraj Shah points out, Ireland is the most economically liberal nation in the euro area and Hong Kong the most liberal in the world. Greece, Italy, France, Cyprus and the U.K. had lower scores than 20 years ago.

 

But it is the ongoing tumble in the US that is of most relevance and concern…

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

Americans have never had less economic freedom than they do right now.  The 2014 Index of Economic Freedom has just been released, and it turns out that the level of economic freedom in the United States has now fallen for seven consecutive years.  But of course none of us need a report or a survey to tell us that.  All we have to do is open our eyes and look around.  At this point our entire society is completely dominated by control freaks and bureaucrats.  Our economy is literally being suffocated to death by millions of laws, rules and regulations and each year brings a fresh tsunami of red tape.  As you will see below, the U.S. government issued more than 80,000 pages of brand new rules and regulations last year on top of what we already had.  Even if we didn’t have all of the other monumental economic problems that we are currently facing, all of this bureaucracy alone would be enough to kill our economy.

Yes, every society needs a few basic rules.  We would have total chaos if we did not have any laws at all.  But in general, when there is more economic freedom there tends to be more economic prosperity.  In fact, the greatest period of economic growth in U.S. history was during a time when the federal government was much smaller, there was no Federal Reserve and there was no income tax.  Most Americans do not know this.

Those that founded this nation intended for it to be a place where freedom was maximized and government intrusion into our lives was minimized.

If they were still alive today, they would be absolutely horrified.  We are literally drowning in red tape.

The photo posted below was shared by U.S. Senator Mike Lee on his Facebook page.  Study it carefully…

Photo by U.S. Senator Mike Lee

The following is what he had to say about this photo

“Behold my display of the 2013 Federal Register. It contains over 80,000 pages of new rules, regulations, and notices all written and passed by unelected bureaucrats. The small stack of papers on top of the display are the laws passed by elected members of Congress and signed into law by the president.”

I didn’t even see the small stack of paper at the top of the cabinet until I read his explanation.  Most of the time everyone is so focused on what Congress is doing, but the truth is that the real oppression is happening behind the scenes as unelected federal bureaucrats pump out millions upon millions of useless regulations that are systematically killing our economic freedom.

On Tuesday, an article about the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom was published by the Wall Street Journal.  As I mentioned above, the United States has fallen for seven years in a row

World economic freedom has reached record levels, according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, released Tuesday by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. But after seven straight years of decline, the U.S. has dropped out of the top 10 most economically free countries.

That same article mentioned some of the reasons why the United States is falling…

It’s not hard to see why the U.S. is losing ground. Even marginal tax rates exceeding 43% cannot finance runaway government spending, which has caused the national debt to skyrocket. The Obama administration continues to shackle entire sectors of the economy with regulation, including health care, finance and energy. The intervention impedes both personal freedom and national prosperity.

And of course the results are predictable.  Our economy has been steadily declining for many years, and that decline appears to be ready to start picking up speed once again.  The following is an excerpt from a recent article by Dave in Denver

In the latest retail sales report for December, auto sales were nailed – down 1.8%. The only reason overall retail sales from November to December showed a slight “gain” that November’s number was revised lower. Electronics fell off of a cliff. The housing market is about to get crushed. Feedback I’m getting from my Seeking Alpha articles and blog posts on housing from housing market professionals all around the country tells me that the housing market hit a wall at the end of 2013, as I have been forecasting.

What he said about the housing market is definitely true.  In recent months, mortgage originations have been falling like a rock.  Just check out this chart.

And as I wrote about the other day, there has been absolutely no employment recovery since the end of the last recession.  In fact, 1,687,000 fewer Americans have jobs today compared to exactly six years ago even though the population has grown significantly since then.

Unfortunately, these are not just “cyclical problems”.  Long ago we abandoned the fundamental principles that once made our economy great, and now we are paying a tremendous price for that.

Posted below is a story that has been circulating all over the Internet for quite some time.  It is a fake story.  Once again, let me repeat that.  This is a fake story.  But I think that it does a great job of illustrating what is happening to America as we march toward full-fledged socialism…

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

 

The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan”.. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A…. (substituting grades for dollars – something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

 

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

 

The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

 

To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. Could not be any simpler than that.

But of course it would be disingenuous to pin all of the blame for this just on Obama.  The truth is that our nation has continued to march toward socialism no matter who has been in the White House and no matter who has been in control of Congress.  So if you want to place some of the blame on a “Bush” or a “Clinton” or a “Boehner” or a “Pelosi” please feel free.

And the American people are getting sick and tired of this one party system that has two heads.  According to a recent Gallup survey, only 29 percent of all Americans consider themselves to be Democrats right now.  And the news was even worse for Republicans.  According to that survey, only 24 percent of all Americans consider themselves to be Republicans at this point.

A staggering 45 percent of all Americans now consider themselves to be Independents.  Deep down, most Americans know that something is seriously wrong with our nation and that they are being lied to be our politicians and the mainstream media.

Unfortunately, there is very little agreement about how to fix things because Americans do not have a set of shared values that we all agree on anymore.


    



via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1aoSgdV Tyler Durden

Why the Cops Who Beat Kelly Thomas to Death Should Not Be Tried Again

Like most
people who have watched the fatal beating of Kelly Thomas by
Fullerton police officers, I was dismayed at a jury’s decision
to acquit two
of them. Actually, dismayed does not quite cover it.
Flabbergasted is more like it. It is hard for me to
imagine how 12 people agreed that it was reasonable to view the
appalling violence that Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli
committed in subduing a pleading and apologetic Thomas as
legally justified. At the very least, the verdict seems to reflect
a disturbing deference to police, who too often get away with
actions that would be universally viewed as crimes if carried out
by someone without a badge.

Then again, I did not sit through the trial. I did not hear the
defense dissect the video frame by frame, arguing that at every
step police responded in a way that was appropriate given their
training. Something similar happened in the 1992 trial of the Los
Angeles cops who beat Rodney King. What looked like an obvious case
of police brutality seemed more ambiguous to the jury after it was
broken into its component pieces.

In both cases, I thought the jury got it wrong. But that
conviction, by itself, does not justify trying the defendants again
in the hope that another jury will get it right. That’s what
happened
in the Rodney King case: Two officers who were acquitted by a state
jury in 1992, a decision that triggered riots in the streets of Los
Angeles, were convicted by a federal jury in 1993. It looked a lot
like a justice system capitulating to mob violence. It also looked
a lot like double jeopardy, which the Fifth Amendment notionally
prohibits. It supposedly was not, thanks to the “dual sovereignty”
doctrine, which sanctions serial state and federal prosecutions for
the same actions based on the fiction that relabeling them makes
them into something new.

The understandable outrage provoked by the Kelly Thomas verdict
may likewise lead to federal charges, which his family
would like to see
. The FBI, which has been looking into the
case since 2011,
says
it will now examine the evidence and testimony presented
at the trial before deciding whether to charge the acquitted
officers with violating Thomas’ civil rights. But that sort of
review cannot answer the question of whether federal charges are
appropriate. Instead it will reveal whether federal prosecutors
might be able to obtain a conviction, which is not the same thing.
In the absence of evidence that the process by which Ramos and
Cicinelli were acquitted was fundamentally corrupt, such that their
trial was a sham—something no one has alleged—the federal
government has no business intervening.

To try Ramos and Cininelli again in anticipation of a different
result is the very definition of double jeopardy, no matter what
the Supreme Court says. That sort of second-guessing invites
arbitrary, politically driven prosecutions that threaten the
innocent as well as the guilty. If it can be wielded against brutal
cops you think should have been convicted, it can be wielded
against defendants whose acquittals were
entirely appropriate
. The safeguards that defendants enjoy
under our Constitution, including the ban on double jeopardy, do
not always produce just results, but they are better than the
alternative. 

The original Reason TV story on Thomas’ death:

 

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China Broad Credit Grows By Record RMB17.3 Trillion In 2013; FX Reserves Increase By Record $508 Billion

So much for China’s mission to gradually deleverage in 2013. Despite two near-taper episodes, one in June and one in December, which send short-term lending rates soaring, the PBOC party line has been that the Chinese banking system is slowly but surely issuing less debt as it already has an epic debt overhang, much of which is turning sour at an accelerated pace. One needs to look nowhere else than the country’s declining GDP to visualize the declining marginal utility of every dollar in newly credit loans. And yet following last night’s release of Chinese lending data we found that in 2013, the broadest measure of Chinese credit issuance, the so-called aggregated financing, just hit a record high of 17.3 trillion. So much for the deleveraging myth.

Of course, what is going on in China is more nuanced. Because while official lending indeed dipped, falling 23% in December to RMB 483 billion from 625 billion in November, it was the non-bank lending channel which made up for the difference. As a result Total Social Financing remained flat in December at RMB 1,230 billion. And it was the TSF aggregate that roared to a new all time high in 2013, which simply means that as the central bank and government pretends to clamp down on official lending channels, surplus credit is being released through unofficial pathways, where it is even more difficult to track and quantify.

Summarizing China’s full year credit numbers via BofA: YoY growth of outstanding TSF, bank loans and M2 moderated to 18.8%, 14.1% and 13.6% respectively in December from 19.5%, 14.2% and 14.2% in November. New bank loans rose 8% in 2013 from the previous year to 8.89 trillion yuan, the central bank said.

Broken down by component:

  • New entrusted loans and trusted loans remained quite resilient in December at RMB276bn and RMB110bn respectively compared to RMB270bn and RMB102bn in November.
  • New corporate bond dropped to RMB24bn in December from RMB138bn in November. We note that government and coporates delayed their bond issuance or scaled down the size due to the tightened interbank liquidity and jump in interbank rates.
  • New FX loan rebounded to RMB51bn in December from RMB12bn in November. It is appealing to corporates to borrow FX due to continued RMB appreciation and rising interest rates in China.
  • Non-discounted bankers acceptance (BA) jumped by RMB168bn in December after staying sluggish for 3 months previously. One possible reason is that corporates used BA to avoid the too high short-term rates. We think the monthly numbers are particularly volatile, and there is no need to overlyinterpret it (This is also the reason why we exclude it from calculating our revised TSF growth).

And the punchline: FX reserves rose rose by US$157bn in 4Q to US$3,820bn at end-2013. In comparison, it was up by US$163bn in 3Q and US$54bn in 2Q13. For the full year of 2013, FX reserves jumped a record high of US$508bn, compared to US$130bn in 2012 and US$334bn in 2011. An initial estimate suggests that “unexplained FX inflows” could fall to about US$22bn in 4Q from US$65bn in 3Q.

Just what China will do (is doing) with this record FX hoard, especially since we know it is barely buying US Treasury paper, is anyone’s guess.

Finally, where China’s (official) credit stock to GDP is projected to grow, here is a chart from Goldman that attempts to forecast just this.


    



via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/K32N7Y Tyler Durden

Senate Report: Attack on US Consulate in Benghazi Could Have Been Prevented

A Senate
Intelligence Committee report on the September 2012 assault on the
U.S. consulate in Benghazi blames the State Department and American
intelligence agencies for not preventing the attack, which resulted
in the deaths of four Americans.

From
The Washington Post
:

A long-delayed Senate intelligence committee
report released on Wednesday spreads blame among the State
Department and intelligence agencies for not preventing an attack
at an outpost in Libya that killed four Americans,
including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

The bipartisan report lays out more than a dozen findings
regarding the Sept. 11, 2012 assault on the diplomatic compound in
the Libyan city of Benghazi. It says the State Department failed to
increase security at the compound despite warnings, and faults
intelligence agencies for not sharing information about the
existence of a secret CIA outpost at the site.

Follow this story and more at Reason
24/7
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24/7 crew at 24_7@reason.com, or tweet us stories
at 
@reason247.


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Hang On Tight: ‘Merger Monday,’ Which Died in 2008, Is BAAACK

Wolf Richter   http://ift.tt/NCxwUy   http://ift.tt/Wz5XCn

“Merger Monday” was an exciting weekly feature of life during the 2007 bubble. It was the day when mega deals were announced, when all the craziness of leveraged buyouts invaded CNBC’s morning shows with great hoopla, and stocks would surge, and surging stocks would beget more buyouts and more hoopla, and fees and profits were extracted out of thin air, and everyone was in heaven.

After it all collapsed, I thought we’d never see “Merger Monday” again, the phrase, the concept. But now, the unthinkable happened, the impossible, the zombie phrase has walked back into the scene, when it reappeared on the front page of MarketWatch. It was like in the olden days of 2007: the big numbers were there, the exuberance was there, the craziness, the media hoopla, the head-shaking.

There was the acquisition by Japan’s booze conglomerate Suntory of US booze conglomerate Beam for $83.50 per share, a 25% premium from Friday’s closing price. Their combined booze sales would amount to $4.3 billion. The $16 billion deal, including debt, would be funded mostly with debt.

Among the brands Suntory will pick up is Maker’s Mark, which got into a huge tussle a year ago when it told its customers that it would water down its bourbon. “Fact is, demand for our bourbon is exceeding our ability to make it, which means we’re running very low on supply,” explained COO Rob Samuels at the time. They’d add water to the remaining batch, and lower alcohol content from 45% to 42%, so that there’d be enough for everybody. The uproar was immediate, including by yours truly…. Self-Medicating With Watered-Down Bourbon: An Insidious Inflation

Next was Charter Communications, backed by media mogul John Malone. It offered to buy Time Warner Cable, the second-largest cable company behind Comcast, for $132.50 per share, $83 in cash and $49.50 in Charter stock. Rumors had been flying for months. It’s tough out there for cable companies. TWC lost 825,000 cable TV subscribers in 2013, after having already lost 530,000 in 2012. And 2014 doesn’t look exactly bright. So banding together might help, the theory goes. The $61 billion deal would have been the largest unsolicited takeover since the final days of the bubble in 2008. But it was just a “low-ball offer,” as TWC CEO Rob Marcus called it. An even bigger deal may now be in the cards.

And Google announced that it would acquire thermostat and smoke-alarm maker Nest for $3.2 billion, a routine amount these days for a startup that was founded a couple of years ago, has about 300 employees, and is not even making a dent in an industry dominated by giants Honeywell and Johnson Controls.

But Google would get a foothold in the latest hot thing, connected devices, the “Internet of things.” It already knows everything you do on line and stores that information forever. It knows everything you do in your various Google accounts. It reads your emails, data mines them, and stores the results for later use. It knows where you’re going if you use an Android device, and it knows where you’re thinking of going if you use Google maps. Soon it will drive you there in a self-driving vehicle of your choice (or drive you to an advertiser’s store instead).

It knows what the outside of your place looks like, but the one thing it hasn’t seen yet is the inside of your place. Hence Nest. Google is entering your home with a sensor system that will soon be a lot more than just a thermostat – why not motion detectors, cameras, microphones, and the like – to perfect the efficiency and security of your home. Any data the system picks up will be forwarded to, or pilfered by, the NSA and others, and will be used by advertisers who want to get to know you better, because serving ads is what Google is all about.

But don’t worry. They have a privacy policy which “clearly limits the use of customer information to providing and improving Nest’s products and services,” Nest explained in perfect corporate speak. Google simply wants to be in every part of your life, connect all your devices, understand your thinking, your preferences, your emotions, your snacking habits. And this acquisition was one more step in that direction [here is my personal experience…. How Much Is My Private Data Worth? (Google Just Offered Me $$)]

But Monday didn’t end on this uplifting note. There was more excitement fermenting beneath the surface. It was all about “leveraged loans.” They’d hit an all-time high in 2013 of $1.14 trillion, and market participants are exuberant about 2014, according to Thomson Reuters’s Quarterly Lender Survey. Alas, in its minutes of the December meeting, the Fed had named leveraged loans and their deteriorating underwriting standards as one of the four threats to “financial stability.”  They’re issued to highly leveraged companies with dubious prospects and junk credit ratings. And many of them are going to blow up once the mania fizzles out.

But not yet. Everyone is counting on rock-bottom interest rates to persist, and on desperate investors who’re chasing yield when there is none in reasonable places, and so they take on risks, any risks, and they hold their noses and swallow covenant-lite junk debt that gives them few rights once there is a problem. In 2013, $311 billion in covenant-lite loans were issued, more than triple the prior all-time high. And everyone is hoping that this year will set another record. After us the deluge.

Did a company have problems servicing its debt or did it threaten to default? A replacement leveraged loan would be offered with better terms. Extend and pretend…. Last year, about 70% of the leveraged loans were issued to reprice and refinance existing debt.

But for 2014, that may be hard to beat. So enthusiasm is building in another direction: mergers and acquisitions. “It’s nice to see that M&A is starting to pick up, and that should provide a new source of fresh capital needs from borrowers,” said Leland Hart, a Managing Director at BlackRock. And everyone is already dreaming of a series of glorious Merger Mondays.

So the mini-downdraft in the stock market so far this year, including Monday’s selloff, hasn’t dampened anyone’s enthusiasm. The Fed seems ready to taper QE out of existence and is sprinkling the market with verbiage to that effect, and eventually this will have an impact, but at this point, it is still just talk, and everyone is hoping that this bubble can be maintained for a while longer.

Prices for housing have jumped and rents have jumped too, yet the 38.7 million renters, 34% of all households, watched with dismay as their real wages declined. They’ve got a problem with the “wealth effect” that Bernanke held up as pretext for printing money. Read…. The Magic “Wealth Effect” On Our Hapless Renters


    



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ECB Eases European Bank Stress Test By 25%, Lowers Capital Ratio Requirement From 8% to 6%

First the Volcker Rule was defanged when last night the requirement to offload TruPS CDOs was eliminated, and now here comes Europe where the ECB just lowered the capital requirement for its “stringent” bank stress test (the one where Bankia and Dexia won’t pass with flying colors we assume) by 25%. From the wires:

  • ECB SAID TO FAVOR 6% CAPITAL REQUIREMENT IN BANK STRESS TEST
  • ECB SAYS DECISION ON CAPITAL REQUIREMENT NOT YET FORMALLY MADE
  • MAJORITY OF POLICYMAKERS AND TECHNICALS OFFICIALS HAVE REACHED CONSENSUS ON THE BENCHMARK

The final number may in fact be even lower:

  • SMALL NUMBER OF COUNTRIES WANT AN EASIER BENCHMARK AND MAY PRESS FOR COMPROMISE LOWER THAN 6%

Why is this notable? Recall from three short months ago:

The European Central Bank said it will use stricter rules when stress testing banks’ balance sheets next year than it will to study their assets, as it seeks to prove its credentials as the region’s financial supervisor.

 

While the ECB confirmed that it will require lenders to have a capital ratio of 8 percent, what qualifies as capital will change over the course of the three-part assessment, the central bank said in an e-mailed statement. The capital definition applicable on Jan. 1, 2014 will be used for the asset-quality review and the definition in force “at the end of the horizon” of the stress test will be used in that evaluation, it said.

 

Ignazio Angeloni, who is head of the ECB’s financial stability directorate, said today in Frankfurt that officials haven’t yet decided on a timeframe or on details for the stress test. The European Union is gradually phasing in global capital standards known as Basel III, a process which is due to be completed by 2019.

 

“We’ve got a feasible but safe capital cushion of 8 percent,” Angeloni told reporters. “We want the exercise to encompass all the main sources of risk.”

Apparently you don’t, but who cares as long as the myth of strong European bank balance sheets is perpetuated. And should the capital requirement be lowered even more, expect politicians and central bankers to bang the drums even louder on just how stable the European financial system is.


    



via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1dQLoXD Tyler Durden

Vid: The Brothel King – Dennis Hof on Prostitution, Wild West Libertarianism, and "Pimpin' for Paul"

“Nevada’s the last of the live and let live states,” says Dennis
Hof, the self-described “Brothel King” and owner and proprieter of
Nevada’s Moonlite Bunny Ranch, made famous as the setting for the
HBO documentary series, Cathouse
(2005-2008). “I don’t care if you smoke weed. Don’t bother me
because I have a safe full of guns and work in the sex
business.”

Reason TV’s Zach Weissmueller sat down with Hof in his brothel
for a wide-ranging interview about sex, prostitution, black
markets, politics, and more.

Hof acquired the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in 1992 and systematically
pushed it into the public eye through a blend of showmanship,
attention-seeking, and media outreach he calls the “PT Barnum/Andy
Kaufman” school of marketing and publicity. In fact, he claims that
Andy Kaufman gave him the initial idea to buy the Bunny Ranch when
they partied there together in the late ’70s. 

 ”In about ’78, Kaufman said, ‘Dennis, let’s buy this place
and make it our den,'” says Hof (1:30).

Since then, Hof has gone on to acquire six more brothels, giving
him a huge share of a national market that only includes 17 total
brothels. This is because Nevada is the only state in the U.S. that
has legalized prostitution, and only in counties with populations
of less than 400,000. This, of course, rules out Clark County,
where Las Vegas is located.

“It’s illegal in Las Vegas, and look what you’ve got,” says Hof.
“You’ve got 2,000 girls a month being arrested. Lots of guys being
arrested, lives being ruined… Las Vegas is the sexual cesspool of
America.” (24:20)

He also points to the
remarkably high rate of HIV infection among prosititutes in Las
Vegas
. By contrast, he says, under the state’s regime of
mandatory STD testing, there has never been a
documented case of HIV
among licensed workers in Nevada’s
brothels.

Watch the whole interview above to hear Hof talk more about what
it’s like to run some of the country’s only legal brothels, as well
as stories about his run-ins with Sen. Harry Reid (7:10), his advice for
Anthony Weiner and Elliot Spitzer (17:45), and why he
started the group “Pimpin’ for [Ron] Paul” (18:17).

Click the link below for downloadable versions of this
video.

Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Shot by Sharif Matar and Will
Neff. Approximately 27 minutes.

Subscribe to Reason TV’s
YouTube channel
to receive automatic notification when new
material goes live.

View this article.

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Vid: The Brothel King – Dennis Hof on Prostitution, Wild West Libertarianism, and “Pimpin’ for Paul”

“Nevada’s the last of the live and let live states,” says Dennis
Hof, the self-described “Brothel King” and owner and proprieter of
Nevada’s Moonlite Bunny Ranch, made famous as the setting for the
HBO documentary series, Cathouse
(2005-2008). “I don’t care if you smoke weed. Don’t bother me
because I have a safe full of guns and work in the sex
business.”

Reason TV’s Zach Weissmueller sat down with Hof in his brothel
for a wide-ranging interview about sex, prostitution, black
markets, politics, and more.

Hof acquired the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in 1992 and systematically
pushed it into the public eye through a blend of showmanship,
attention-seeking, and media outreach he calls the “PT Barnum/Andy
Kaufman” school of marketing and publicity. In fact, he claims that
Andy Kaufman gave him the initial idea to buy the Bunny Ranch when
they partied there together in the late ’70s. 

 ”In about ’78, Kaufman said, ‘Dennis, let’s buy this place
and make it our den,'” says Hof (1:30).

Since then, Hof has gone on to acquire six more brothels, giving
him a huge share of a national market that only includes 17 total
brothels. This is because Nevada is the only state in the U.S. that
has legalized prostitution, and only in counties with populations
of less than 400,000. This, of course, rules out Clark County,
where Las Vegas is located.

“It’s illegal in Las Vegas, and look what you’ve got,” says Hof.
“You’ve got 2,000 girls a month being arrested. Lots of guys being
arrested, lives being ruined… Las Vegas is the sexual cesspool of
America.” (24:20)

He also points to the
remarkably high rate of HIV infection among prosititutes in Las
Vegas
. By contrast, he says, under the state’s regime of
mandatory STD testing, there has never been a
documented case of HIV
among licensed workers in Nevada’s
brothels.

Watch the whole interview above to hear Hof talk more about what
it’s like to run some of the country’s only legal brothels, as well
as stories about his run-ins with Sen. Harry Reid (7:10), his advice for
Anthony Weiner and Elliot Spitzer (17:45), and why he
started the group “Pimpin’ for [Ron] Paul” (18:17).

Click the link below for downloadable versions of this
video.

Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Shot by Sharif Matar and Will
Neff. Approximately 27 minutes.

Subscribe to Reason TV’s
YouTube channel
to receive automatic notification when new
material goes live.

View this article.

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