MONDAY, JANUARY 12 This week—of foxy apologies, super-heroic Seahawks, and the double amputation of a single penis—kicked off in the world of semantics, as navigated by the Seattle City Council, which today voted unanimously to change the name of the crime of "patronizing a prostitute" to "sexual exploitation." "In a nutshell, the idea is to attack the demand-side of prostitution and human trafficking," said Seattle city attorney Pete Holmes to the Seattle Times. "You do that by recognizing that in most cases the prostituted person is a victim... and by making it clear that there are consequences for coming to Seattle to buy sex." (Regarding those consequences: As the Times reported, state senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles is working on a bill to bump up the crime of patronizing a prostitute/sexual exploitation from a simple misdemeanor to a gross misdemeanor, increasing the offense's maximum penalty from 90 days to a year in jail.) But today our subject is semantics: "I think words do matter," Holmes told the Times. "We patronize Starbucks stores. You engage in a crime of sexual exploitation." Forever taking issue with the practice of labeling all prostitution "exploitation": self-employed professional sex workers, whose logical arguments against being treated like victims of abuse are perennially drowned out by emotional pleas to stop treating victims of abuse like sex workers. Whatever the case: "The SPD's vice and high-risk victims unit has shifted emphasis from stings targeting sex workers to operations targeting sex buyers," reported the Times. "The office's goal has been to file more cases for patronizing a prostitute than for prostitution. In 2011, prosecutors filed 98 patronizing and 199 prostitution cases. From 2012 through September 2014, they filed 188 patronizing and 34 prostitution cases."
TUESDAY, JANUARY 13 Speaking of non-sexy sex-related doings, the week continued in China, where a woman is in police custody after repeatedly chopping off her husband's penis. Tasteful details come from the New York Post: "Fan Lung, a dad of five, sealed his fate when he decided to use his wife's cell phone to send his secret lover a hot and heavy e-mail... The 32-year-old forgot to log out of his account after the message was sent, which is how his 21-year-old wife, Feng—who is now under arrest for grievous bodily harm—came across the saucy exchange and snapped." Alleged components of Feng Lung's snapping: storming the bedroom with a pair of scissors to cut off her sleeping husband's penis, then sneaking into the hospital room where her husband was recovering from penile reattachment surgery to cut off his penis again, after which she reportedly threw it out the hospital window. "Despite desperate search efforts, authorities were unable to find Lung's manhood," reported the Post. "Police believe it may have been stumbled upon by a stray dog or cat." Condolences to the unhappy couple and congratulations to the lucky dog or cat. (Fun fact: Had this tale involved a husband repeatedly cutting off his wife's clitoris, no one would be laughing. Here's to the comedic power of wieners and punching up.)
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 14 The week continued with the beguiling story of Michael Hoyt, the 44-year-old Ohio man who told police of his plan to murder Speaker of the House John Boehner, after which he was indicted on charges of threatening to murder John Boehner. As CNN reports, Hoyt allegedly concocted his "murder Boehner" plan after being fired from the Wetherington Golf & Country Club, where he was employed as a bartender who'd regularly served Boehner. On October 29, Hoyt called police to alert them to his anti-Boehner plan. "Hoyt told the officer he was Jesus Christ and he was going to kill Boehner because Boehner was mean to him at the country club and because Boehner is responsible for Ebola," wrote United States Capitol Police special agent Christopher Desrosiers in his report. "Hoyt advised he had a loaded Beretta .380 automatic and he was going to shoot Boehner and take off." (Hoyt also mentioned the possibility of poisoning Boehner's wine.) As for Hoyt's motive to alert police: "He said he hoped sharing his threats with law enforcement officers would prompt Boehner to apologize, and force him to discuss the issue of Ebola," reported CNN. Addressing the hubbub at a news conference tomorrow, Boehner will be sweetly diplomatic: "Obviously this young man has got some health issues, mental health issues that need to be addressed, and I hope he gets the help he needs."
THURSDAY, JANUARY 15 In better news, the week continued with a heartening story out of Fort Lauderdale, where a young man is being hailed as a hero after he helped save the life of the cop processing his arrest. "Last September, Officer Franklin Foulks was processing Jamal Rutledge on charges of violation of probation for criminal mischief and burglary, when suddenly, Foulks collapsed," reported NBC Miami, noting that the fallen Officer Foulks was clutching his chest. "[The Fort Lauderdale Police Department] says Rutledge immediately began to kick the security fence and yell to alert nearby officers... the attending medical staff noted that the immediate actions by Rutledge, along with the quick response by nearby officers, saved Foulks's life." Thank you, Jamal Rutledge, for showing police the proper response to "I can't breathe."
FRIDAY, JANUARY 16 Speaking of young men doing remarkable things in Florida, the week continued with news of the teenage boy who was apprehended by police this week after spending a month pretending to be a doctor at a West Palm Beach hospital and nearby doctor's office. "The boy, whose name and age were not released by police, had never seen patients at [St. Mary's Hospital], which is investigating the apparent breach," reported Reuters. "The boy's adventure came to an end on Tuesday when a patient at a doctor's office next to the hospital informed staff of a child in an exam room wearing a St. Mary's white lab coat with 'anesthesiology' embroidered on the front." Police found no evidence of wrongdoing at the hospital, the boy's mother apologized, and the hospital declined to prosecute the trespassing would-be Doogie.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 17 Nothing happened today, unless you count the four on-air apologies made by Fox News, addressing the network's series of inflammatory lies about Muslims, including a claim that Birmingham, England, is "a totally Muslim city" and the erroneous designation of several French neighborhoods as "no-go zones" where Islamic law rules and non-Muslims fear to tread.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 18 The week ends with the Seattle Seahawks' heart-explodingly dramatic win over the Green Bay Packers, a whiplash-inducing overtime triumph that sent the entire Pacific Northwest into a screaming, weeping frenzy and earned the Seahawks another trip to the Super Bowl.
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