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August 30th, 2009 by Dr. Phil

Is Common Sense Common Anymore?

Philip Markoff (AP Photo/Mark Garfinkel)

Philip Markoff (AP Photo)

So now comes word that Craigslist has replaced its infamous “erotic services” section with a more responsible “adult” section. Did somebody sneak up on us during the night and stamp “stupid” on our foreheads?! I’m so furious I’m almost speechless — almost. Where to begin?

You might remember the uproar last year when Boston University medical student Philip Markoff was accused by police of using Craigslist, one of the Internet’s most popular sites, to find females to assault or kill. What stunned a lot of people was that Craigslist openly had an erotic services section that clearly promoted prostitution. Forty three attorney generals in different states went so far as to accuse the company of operating an online brothel by allowing prostitutes to advertise on its site. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said about Craigslist in this month’s issue of Vanity Fair, which carries a riveting story about the Markoff case, “They were certainly enablers insofar as their ads linked the victim and the alleged killer, and they had fair warning their ads were putting people in danger.”

So what did Craigslist do? Well, they did start blocking those ads that blatantly solicited prostitution. They also blocked the graphic nude images of the prostitutes themselves. Sort of.

I say “sort of” because they happily continue to take in ads which are nothing more than thinly veiled proposals for the very same sexual favors in return for the very same money. Now there are ads offering “sensual massages” and “overnight companionship” Instead of posing naked, women pose in bikinis or less. One woman, a “Miss Honey,” described herself in her ad as an eager and motivated bombshell with a beautiful bedroom.

Is it just me, or does this insult your intelligence? I mean, if you are running Craigslist and don’t want to change what you’re doing, I would have more respect for you if just said so and told the cops to go pound sand! But playing some silly word games is ridiculous. Everyone on the planet knows what these so-called new, improved ads are really all about. Lassie can figure this one out, and yet Craigslist is apparently getting away with it, at least so far.

chatI just don’t understand the tendency we have in this country to change what we call something and pretend that it’s different, that it’s OK. May I just go down a side road for a moment and talk about the biggest such scam of all, which, of course, are cigarettes? There is no question that the carcinogens in cigarettes are deadly. But instead of shutting down the tobacco industry, the government continues to allow it to flourish as long as the companies agree to put a “warning” label on their packages about the dangers of smoking. Good grief, the government only stopped paying subsidies to tobacco farmers a couple of years ago. Let’s see: We know cigarettes will kill you, we know cigarettes are proven to be addictive, and so the government has decided that all the companies should do is “warn” us. If people shouldn’t buy cigarettes, then DON’T SELL CIGARETTES, YOU DUMMIES!

Have we all gone soft in the head? Is common sense just not common anymore? The only thing we’re changing are the labels — but people will still be just as dead. (By the way, I’m pounding the keys so hard my fingers hurt!)

Anyway, off that soap box and back to Craigslist. You may ask, what can we do about Craigslist, especially when their lawyers will say that the Constitution guarantees free speech. Well, they may have the freedom of the pen, but we have the “power” of the pen. If all of us start writing our congresspeople and say, “Hey, if you let people use Craigslist to sell prostitution in this town, you will not be elected next time around,” then we will get results. All we have to do is tell the men and women in Congress, “Make no mistake, you either do something about this or we’ll do something about you.” We can go to our local police chief or county sheriff and say, “You’re allowing a prostitution ring to stay up and running right here in our town, and it’s time to do something about it.”

And let me just make it clear, there are plenty of Internet sites or media organizations other than Craigslist that should be drawing our wrath. In newspapers, magazines and chatrooms everywhere are ads for “private masseuses” and “lap dancers” who will come to your home or whatever. The adult sex trade business is just out of control.

I’m up for any ideas to getting a handle on this. What do you think? I’m sure some of you disagree. Let me know, and maybe we’ll come up with a plan together.

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69 Responses to “Is Common Sense Common Anymore?”

  1. FosterBoys says:

    Dr. Phil, Dr. Phil, Dr. Phil,

    Do you honestly want to live in a world where everyone wants the same things? I can accept that people will do things that I wouldn’t think of. And I can do this with great ease. You see, I am a human being with a great many shortcomings. I do not wish to be judged, therefore, live your life. And if your rebuttal to this is that the above-mentioned crimes are in fact, NOT victimless, based on social costs, health care costs, moral costs, etc., then I would say that political and corporate corruption has cost us much, much more. And yet we put our lives in their hands and look to them to tell US what’s right? Let me decide what’s right for me. You decide what’s right for you.

  2. Lauren says:

    Dr. Phil,
    I am actually scared to type this, because I rarely disagree with your views but what is so wrong with prostitution? I’d rather see them on craigslist then walking on the street. At least it leaves a computer trail in case there is a crime committed. At least these women, or men as the case may be, are ‘working’ to feed themselves and their families, and pay their rent. No matter what you or anyone else does, we will not be able to fight this particular type of wage earning, no matter how any of us feel about it. It’s like the drug war. We can’t fight it, really, so we educate. I do, however, think that it’s sad that someone has to resort to this line of work. You and I haven’t walked in their shoes, or stilettos, so we can’t really judge. Hope you can forgive my disention.

  3. F.D says:

    Dear Dr. Phil

    I highly doubt when the founding fathers of the United Stated where drawing up the constitution they expected business such as craigslist to be a medium for postitutions. Forgive me if I’m wrong, I’m not Americian, Last I remember prostition was illegal.

    FosterBoys this is not a “one size fit all” its about selling sex and disgusting people taking advantage of women e.g. Philip Markoff, hey why don’t they sell children for sex on craigslist as well. I bet you would care then.

  4. Dr. Phil I think it is possible your strong stance against Craigslist is having UR followers on twitter targeted. Already two members have left due to lewd unsolicited followers. Twitter said working on it yet twice, recently, I got a follower trashing Brittany Spears with a literal graphic of a woman holding an object that hopefully wasn’t what looked like performing oral activity. TWICE. Their “profile pic” was that!

    Since you are so against this (as am I) I’d suggest y’all go through your followers to see if any some of the iffy ones too. I imagine a challenge to them all to sneak one by you and/or one of “your” followers. Especially if you got that one of insulting Brittany Spears using “F Bomb” and graphic pic as profile pic you want that one gone.

    I need to write down name of tweeter before deleting next time if happens again. I reported to twitter and, again, said working on. One member had a follower that when she clicked on was a nude man. What if that had been a child that saw what I or she saw? What kind of followers are young people on twitter getting?

    Again, twitter IS working on it yet before they can delete person often sees and clicks thinking someone they know. There are programs to randomly follow people on twitter where I’ve seen persons having competitions bout how many they can tally up to follow in a night. See, works because when you click to see is you see advertisement.

    Twitter is a lovely idea and I love tweeting yet the same scum you found on Craigslist that has been on Harry Hines Blvd. over 30 years is oozing in and I usually get one explicit follower out of the blue a day. I recognize because of the wording you said used on your show about Craigslist (thank you).

    However, 2 members quit because were afraid others would think they wanted them to follow them. I was horrified when I saw the oral activity graphic profile pic with the “F bomb” and Brittany spears. Nope… your followers don’t want the explicity solicitor followers and they’re random following people by keywords. Keywords can be used for good advertisement reasons like health and, again, I think due to your valid concerns about Craigslist your followers “are” being targeted. I think all of us have received explicit followers with nudity and/or suggesting iffy services.

    As you know Harry Hines Blvd. in Dallas, between NW Hwy. to Walnut Hill Lane, is still iffy with street walkers. Harry Hines Blvd. has had this bad reputation of such explicit activity for over 30 years. Police attend to yet still even today cannot stop.

    Part of the common sense is A) Don’t walk down dark alleys even online and B) Don’t hang out in dark alleys online or offline soliciting services and expect a positive outcome. Not gonna happen. Did you know that I didn’t even know that section was on Craigslist until I saw on Dr. Phil Show… because I wasn’t looking for. There’s a GREAT section under FOR SALE of FREE items that saves A LOT from ending up in landfill. I think it amounts to there is good and bad everywhere offline and online and there’s always some that want to ruin an otherwise good idea.

    Once in my local home town paper I answered an ad in my 20’s to help a disabled man and he was lewd to me. Had a panty hose fetish and wanted me to model panty hose. I didn’t and left and, fortunately, was able to leave. Just like those entering USA dishonestly. SO MANY are doing that it goes mostly unchecked even though Osama bin Laden said last video his next entry would be from weak borders. Thank God for people like you standing up for justice who, instead of running, say “Wait a minute.” Check your followers Dr. Phil because you may be getting some of he same sludge “your” followers are getting of nudity and/or explicit solicitors using crafty wording you shared with us that’s used on Craigslist.

    So, yes, you “are” right and we must make a stand. I reported to twitter and twitter is working on and I hope Craigslist will as well. Yet, what in the world are people still trolling Harry Hines Blvd. 30 years later and on Craigslist soliciting for. Anything but common sense.

    If I walk down a dark alley I am putting myself at risk. The iffy section on Craigslist is a dark alley online. Its the oldest profession and still giving us all a blackeye. (Emotional and Life Skill Education K-12 since our HQ’s & EQ’s and IQ’s are as important as our IQ’s.)

    Glad for your show about Craigslist because now I can tell even if a explicit solicitor even if not a graphic profile pic on twitter like I mentioned above. However, these new followers come to my mailbox too and I just got a virus from twitter that ate all my incoming mail. Weirdest thing I ever saw so Lynn said to run system maintenance “maintiget”. Nonetheless, lost all my incoming mail I’d saved plus new after clicking to see who a twitter follower was. Maybe since I complained about the x-rated ones. Twitter is working on so when some of my followers vanish I know twitter found some x-rated I missed. IDK

    I got a new teakettle on Craigslist under FREE under FOR SALE category on Craigslist and sorry to hear about dark alley. I’ve often wondered why networks and newspapers and magazines allow the obvious scam ads on there. I guess for the revenue, too. Actually, the Director of Sanitation said Craigslist a good way to give away items and find items you might need, too. We gave away a camera enlarger to an SMU college student. Hope helps your getting to see some positives as per teakettle and enlarger student needed.

    On Craigslist I know where dark alley is and avoid just like Harry Hines Blvd. Yet, actually, on twitter I’ve seen more negatives since no way to avoid seeing until twitter notices yet I don’t blame twitter and blame the scum oozing in trying to ruin a GREAT idea. Like everyone after my first solicitor I check followers so don’t slip through and someone think one of your members wants that junk because none of us do.

    I want to be a model Dr. Phil fan and so after this comment I’ll go check followers to see if anymore x-rated graphic profile pics or solicitor followers. Yes, though, like you I’m mad about it because twitter is a cute and fun idea. You are more up to speed on Craigslist and maybe as a mean joke your followers are being targeted on twitter because of. IDK. Check your followers Dr. Phil because you wouldn’t want that Brittany Spears slam w/ graphic profile pic follower I got that’s circulating. Perhaps, hackers out for a laugh at our expense. Twitter apologized and is working on. Its those doing that need to clean up their act.

    Thanks Dr. Phil.

    Ms. Stephenson

  5. Amber says:

    I can’t even believe some of the responses here…..OH MY GOSH! Let’s not be stupid people…this IS prostitution on craigslist! Yes it’s a free country…and yeah everybody is entitled to make their own choices. But should a teenager who is genuinlly seeking craigslist for a job, at first… be tempted by such filth. I’m sorry, a number of teenagers who see this right before their eyes are going to be tempted, and I don’t believe it should be available to them, (BY NO MEANS) but they should be able to have access to the other benefits of craigslist. It is sick to think that the people behind craigslist are supporting this. I am tired of all the screwballs in this country subjecting our innocent minor’s to this type of stuff. Those women (and men) are some one’s child making a HUGE mistake in their lives, and the people behind craigslist are only supporting them in their path of distruction. I hope something changes really soon, otherwise the next generation ahead of us are going to really have a lot more challenges than what we’re all seeing in today’s society.

  6. Blgspc says:

    I WHOLE heartedly AGREE with you, Dr. Phil AND I’m REAL surprised that OTHER posters, thus far, aren’t considering this UNACCEPTABLE, as well!!!

    I have a link to an article, posted May 20, 2009. SC Attorney General Henry McMaster alerted Craigslist that in South Carolina prostitution was still prostitution. Further, McMaster issued a warning to Craigslist, “to remove the portion of the Internet site dedicated to South Carolina and it’s municipal regions which contain categories for and functions allowing for the solicitation of prostitution and the dissemination and posting of graphic pornographic material” within ten (10) days.

    (See, in November of 2008, Craigslist entered into an agreement with FORTY (40) state Attorney Generals AND the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to put in place safeguards to combat unlawful activity and improve public safety on the Craigslist Internet Classified Service.) (I acquired this info from the SC Attorney Generals website.)

    Anyhow, Craigslist filed suit in a SC Federal Court SUEING SC Attorney General Henry McMaster for ‘Declaratory Relief’ and a restraining order with respect to criminal charges he has repeatedly threatened against Craigslist and it’s executives. Craigslist-as part of their suit- is asking McMaster’s for RETRACTION AND AN APOLOGY!!!

    McMaster’s response: “We opened an investigation at 5:01 on Friday, as promised….We are preparing for a prosecution. We are investigating. We are moving forward….The #1 defendant is Jim Buckmaster, who is the man in charge of Craig list…..Craig list is a big promoter and facilitator of prostitution.”

    I haven’t always agreed with Henry McMaster, however I DO back him on this and his other aggressive pursuit of internet predators!


  7. Tsukihime says:

    Until the whole “Craigslist Killer” incident came up, I didn’t pay any attention to Craig’s List. It doesn’t surprise me about the adult services, just that it wasn’t noticed that there was prostitution services before then. I honestly don’t know how I feel about it, I do agree with both Fosterboys and Lauren that there is nothing that can be done about the “world’s oldest profession”, in fact, from what I understand from others is that in Nevada where it’s legal you see advertisement all the time. I always wondered why people see the sex trade as so horrible, I think that if you are safe, (just like any job) you enjoy your work (or not, just like any job) and you’re not hurting anyone, who am I to judge? Who’s to say that if I have sex with a man after he buys me dinner that it’s not the same thing, just packaged differently? That I’m any more “moral” than getting paid up front? Now, this is just my opinion…

  8. FosterBoys says:

    Just to clarify and because it seems like people have a hard time separating the two, children are not afforded the same rights as adults for their own protection and rightly so. I do not condone or advocate underage illegal activity. But to outlaw something for everyone for the express purpose of shielding youngsters is pointless. It just seems like that’s the “go to” argument for everyone wanting to criminalize/maintain criminality of certain behaviors. “WE’VE GOT TO PROTECT THE CHILDREN”!
    Well, Duh. But can’t you do that by yourself? Don’t you know what’s right and wrong for your family, or are you waiting for the Government to tell you what to do?

  9. F.D says:

    Fosterboys, what about those children who are taken advantage by adults who should be protecting them. Thats why law enforcement bends over backwards to make sure children are protected.

    From a forensic prospective, prostitutes are high risk victims. They are easy targets. Their vulnerable, available, ID of the killer need not be known to the victim and their not readily reported when missing.

  10. FosterBoys says:


    That’s it exactly. The CRIME is that the parents, who should be protecting their children, have failed. Schools and law enforcement have become surrogate parents to these neglected children. And as for prostitutes, all that is “risky” about the profession arises out of its illegality. The women have no protections because they are obliged to work in the shadows.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Dr.Phil- Even I myself put an add on cragslist a while back looking for work as a caregiver. You would not beleive all the disgusting responses I got back. Even someone looking for an over nite companion & this person actually wanted to pay me for it. GROSS & EWWW. It is so easy to put an add on craigslsit it’s sicking. If it is that easy for me, it’s as equally easy for anyone else. Including teenagers & kids. I think it all comes down to monitoring our kids on the computer.


  12. Connie Hall says:

    I feel that the internet, although is a great tool for all of us with lots of information, but it is also full of a lot of the wrong type of information that is so easily obtainable by the young and the innocent. My feelings are that this is part of the problem with society today. Men, and I am sure there are women as well, look at these sites and get all worked up and get ideas in their heads which cause them to go out and commit these sex crimes against the young, the innocent, the weak. Our system needs to have more control on these sites, free speech or not it needs to be done and needs to be done NOW. Keep up the good work and expose these sites to the public and make them aware what their children, husbands, boyfriends may be watching. And please keep reminding parents to have their children’s computers within eyesite of them.

  13. Blgspc says:

    Okay, THIS is my concern: The internet is relatively ‘New’ in my life. I’m 54. It gained popularity about 18-19 years ago. It has taken some time to grow and evolve and become the internet we enjoy today. However, it’s a territory with few laws to regulate it’s use and/or to stop/prosecute it’s MISUSE. I DO NOT believe that the internet we enjoy NOW will be the same in five years or even two years from now. I DO believe that WE have a very FINITE period of time to set in place laws and regulations to KEEP this thing called the internet from becoming a lawless frontier, where just entering/using it can mean opening a door to a threat to you, your children and grandchildren. The technology is out there NOW to track down YOUR child and YOUR child’s home! There IS a place in our world for ‘live and let live’ etc. I DO NOT believe that placing laws and regulations on a ‘new’ technology to keep it SAFE violates anyone’s TRUE rights. I DO believe that IF WE CHOOSE to sit and ‘chat’ about possibly infringing on the rights of pedophiles, murderer and thieves that we are ALLOWING and ENABLING this thing called the internet to become a No-Man’s Land for those already busy trying to USE this relatively ‘new frontier’ to harm the youngest and MOST vulnerable. And, I believe that NO child or adult should have to die or have their lives placed in jeopardy just because we don’t yet fully understand the potential of this wonderful medium we call the internet. I DO NOT think that this easy child-accessible area is a place that WE CAN AFFORD to be naïve about!

    AND, Dr. Phil…..
    To answer YOUR question of , ‘Is Common Sense Common Anymore?’ The answer is: NO!!! Common Sense is DEAD and Buried in a shallow unmarked grave in the ‘BURY PATCH’, right between , the burial place of, (To the 10 year old son.) ‘No! You MAY NOT spend the weekend with that family we’ve NEVER met, before!’- (The family where Mom and Dad bear a striking resemblance to Gomez and Morticia Addams(!) and what isn‘t known is that the last time a child stayed-over he suddenly disappeared about 15 minutes into the visit. Right After Lurch had him stand next to Cleopatra- the voracious African Stranger plant!) AND beside the grave of, (To 4 year old.) ‘No! You MAY NOT have a brand new BMW! AND, what do You mean, WHY?!?’
    Yes, Common Sense is DEAD and in the BURY PATCH right across from the graves of ‘Courtesy’ and ‘Saving For A Rainy Day’! So, sad, too.


  14. Dr. Phil agree with you too about the cigarettes. My dad was held hostage by cigarettes most of my life and only stopped 4 years before he passed away because told if he didn’t he die in six months. It was the first time ALL my life my dad was able to sit through meals and a movie. A lot of his disorientation was from low oxygen level in blood. I’m glad I had those last four years, instead of only six months with him still connected to a cigarette, because dad was more present than he’d ever been.

    I’m proud of my mom quitting in late 1970’s. She began smoking when met my dad while playing Bridge card game with their friends. I never had a desire to smoke because when visiting my dad at VA hospitals I’d see veterans so addicted to smoking smoking from stoma in neck and put 2 and 2 together. If burns your eyes riding in car with windows up only stands to reason burns cilia in your lungs. The cigarette industry kidnapped both my parents yet, fortunately, they escaped.

    As well, the apartment fire at White Rock Creek Apartments that mother and I lived in when I returned to Dallas, with her when she was fired for taking off to be with me when I had hysterectomy at age 30… Anyway, out of our unit of about 20 apartments only the last four (two on each end up and downstairs) not burned to a crisp. Each had separate utilities so we still lived there until lease up and like going to my own barbecue each day after work. Walking up stairs with ceiling of corridor between apartments dangling charred with charred scent. Anyway, caused by someone falling asleep on sofa while SMOKING. In 16 apartments people lost everything. To this day I prefer to sleep with clothes on.

    Knew someone, not my parents, that didn’t carry cigarettes with him and became irritable about time for his usual smoke. If out some place he would be in a huff to get home because something wrong with place, someone there or person(s) with etc. Upon arrival ALWAYS immediately very first thing had a smoke. Unable to go to movies or most places because would rather be home with cigarettes (like a ball and chain that is a drag, literally, to persons he knows too). Mostly sad. Cigarettes are a jealous lover that smokers will fight to protect their rights unable to see an addiction hurting them and those they know, too.

    Ms. Stephenson

  15. Anita says:

    Dr. Phil, I get your point about this. Craigslist is not doing what they have said they would do. And really it would take a grassroots movement with we voters letting our representatives know how we feel and threatening thier jobs. I think maybe that we (myself included) may not care as much as we should. It’s definitely been proven that it can be deadly for a prostitute to advertise his or her wares on Craigslist and meet a stranger somewhere. And prostitution is illegal. And there’s really no excuse for the way Craigslist and other sites are behaving. But, for me anyway, there are other things that I tend to worry about more. Right now, I’m concerned about this swine flu epidemic, and health care reform, and things like that. It’s a sorry explanation, I know, but it’s the way I feel. And maybe that’s why things are the way they are, people like me just don’t care enough.

    I have never understood how a person could have so little respect for themselves that they would sell thier bodies, when they could live a decent life and work at a 9-5 job. There was a story about prostitutes in Roanoke VA, down the road from me a bit. First off, I was expecting to see some good looking women walking the streets, but to my surprise, the women interviewed were skinny, unattractive, with stringy long hair and bad teeth. When asked why they prostituted themselves, they said they had tried working regular jobs, but couldn’t make the kind of money that they could make selling themselves. I mean, what are we gonna do? It kinda makes me not care too much.

  16. Linda RH says:

    Is common sense common anymore? No, sadly. The family unit and integrity of the American people has been under attack for years, and it’s reached a crisis point.
    A while back you railed against the papparrazzi and the lies told in the tabloids. They will remain in business as long as there are people buying them. This goes for cigarettes too.
    The really unfortunate state of affairs is that tabloids and cigarettes are the molehills next to the mountainous problem of pornography and the whole sex industry.
    And with times getting tougher, more jobs being lost and our freedoms eroding and disappearing, this is an uphill battle to be sure.
    I don’t mean to sound so negative, but I honestly can’t see a politician taking much notice of this at this time.
    As always, this is going to have to be a battle fought in our homes, with parents leading the way. It starts with parents teaching their children to love and respect themselves, and see others and individual precious humans, not pawns for instant gratification.

  17. BRAVO DR. PHIL! U made a difference @ Craigslist w/message there now to report if U click “ADULT” (just checked as per UR blog). LOOKS like some “may” be under THERAPEUTIC too. However, since Craigslist is still allowing, I deleted Craigslist as a follower on Twitter after reading UR blog; cool Peace sign profile pic.

    Actually, most my followers following me like Craigslist I’m not following and out of blue from keywords in my post, via twitter programs being sold to find followers by keywords, to advertise to, i.e, health etc. Then, health service/item advertisers begin following me at random.

    Over 60% of my followers are advertising just like a twitter tweet said. If I tweet about diet I get diet advertisers… etc. Then, some hire persons to (as a job) follow people I noticed when seeing competitions mentioned in tweets between on how many clicked, at random, to follow in a night.

    Heads up again to everyone. IF distressed by graphic followers on twitter U can scroll over right side of tweet and prompt appears on right side to block. Report @twitter. It takes a village: us all.

    I think instead of being run off we should stand our ground so the scum bags don’t bag good ideas like twitter taking over and ruining. It DOES take a village and that village is us. Nobody knows who they’re messing with when they mess with Dr. Phil and family and staff and viewers of DR. PHIL SHOW and THE DOCTORS and their website members: You, me, WE “one for all and all for one” with our team leader, Dr. Phil!!!



    Sincerely, SEA

  18. Brad says:

    I’ve said this for years. Pick one or the other, because right now they are just hypocrites. Either outlaw all intoxicating substances that are addicting and cause death or regulate them all. Right now they are just picking and choosing and the only reason some are legal and some aren’t is because some are just more socially acceptable than others.

    What’s the difference between marijuana and alcohol? Well, I don’t know any pot heads that go home and beat their kids but both are addicting and lead to death.

    If one says you can’t outlaw cigarettes because some people will find a way to get them, then what is the argument for outlawing crack cocaine? People are still finding ways to get it, so does that mean it should be legalized?

    It’s just illogical and hypocritical to regulate some and outlaw others when the effects of both are exactly the same.

  19. Grace says:

    Oh my gosh. I am finally hearing what I have wanted to here. I am but only A middle school 8th grader but i have always wondered since I was five why a cigarettets is so terrible for you then why arn’t they illegal? I would always ask, “Are cigarettes illegal?” why I was younger and I always was told no. I think that might be why cigarettes are preceved to be harmless. With all this other crap people are smoking I mean it makes cigarettes seem like smal potatoes, but when you look it individually, it’s so horrible for you.

    And when it comes to common sense, it is no longer cool or hot to be smart. It’s much better to be high and drunk. People don’t care (well at my school) if smoking or drinking is bad, but everyone else is doing it it’s fine. People are idiots.

  20. F.D says:

    I don’t know about the States but in the Australia ciggarette are tax at +- 50% and some organisations want the tax to double. Thats why their not illegal because it’s a revenue making product for governments throughout the world. This includes all stimulant or depressants that are available to the general public e.g alcohol

    Grace, my 25 year old cousin is currently in hospital after suffering a heart attack. He smooched off me for over a year, so I know a bit about him. He has been smoking since his mid teen, he wasn’t a drinker when he was smooching off me. His father died of lung cancer when he was about 12-14 yrs old and his mother died from cancer when he was about 5yrs old. He was an overwieght kid, but while his slimmer now he does carry a little extra weight. I’ve never seen him exercise but he work in laboring. So from what I’ve gathered apart from the family history, the fact he smokes and the lack of exercise are his highest risk factor. Still you would think a 35 year old would have a heart attack.

    Tell your students that their killing their bodies, one day their bodies are going to shut down, not to mention the damage it’s doing to their brain. Right now they don’t care, they think their invincible, as we used too, we need to shock these kids into reality before its to late. I’m 30 years old and have never tried illegal drugs, have only had less than a cup of alcohol in my whole life and I don’t smoke, though I have tried smoking. You know why because my parents put the fear of god into me. “If you do X you will go to hell” Frankily parent, bar from physical and mental abuse, should do whatever they can. If you want the fear of god approach you need to do it from an early age. It was also drilled into me as a child not to disrespect my parent, because untimately this would make them look bad in the eyes of the community. My parent s raised 9 children and not one of us has a criminal record of any kind. It not hard raising repsectable children, but todays parents are LAZY. Most kids grow up not wanting to be like their parents, but you know what if you have grown up to be a respectable human being than you parents did something right.

    My cousin is married with two little beautiful girls under the age of two. I would hate to think what would happen to his wife and kids if anything happened to him. The positive in my cousins case is that it happened while he was young and he can now look after his health.

    Some people who sell their body haven’t been afforded this luxury.

    Fosterboys “And as for prostitutes, all that is “risky” about the profession arises out of its illegality” I’ve interpeted this as that they know the risk. So if your choosen profession is nursing, than you deserve some patient treating you like crap, or patients or their families physically abusing you. Or if your choosen profession is teaching, and from what I understand the pay is crap in the states, then because you choose to be a teacher then you assume the risk of being abused by teen, this may sometimes get violent, or their parents whom think that teaches should raise their kids and when thing go wrong its not their fault its the school system only to go home to a crap pay packet. Or if your choosen profession is being a polce office, then you should get used to being called a pig and worse, because the minority of the general public whom will be the majority of people you come across working as a police officer have no respect for themselves or the public. Police officers are probabily killed in the line of duty more often than protitutes, does that mean they should assume the risk, I dont think so.

  21. What in the WORLD??!!?? Are people insane?

    It in NO WAY is acceptable to have prostitution on Craig’s list!!!

    Freedom of speech? How does that even apply?

    I guess common sense is REALLY not so common anymore!!!

  22. Cynthia McGuire says:

    I must agree with so many of the responders here.It’s really not our place to judge.
    Why can’t anyone ever remember,especially the ones who claim to be Christians.
    “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Doesn’t it say that in the bible itself?
    I am not in favor of prostitution myself,but it’s really their business.As long as their not peddling their goods on the street,therefore bringing it out there for men to stop women like myself,who are NOT prostitutes,to harrass as we’re just walking to the store.I am in favor of them having a forum all unto themselves to do this to pay their rent,feed their families,and take care of what needs to be taken care of.
    We are only on this earth a short time.Make the best of it as you can,do not judge,be honest and forthcoming in your day to day lives,and always support your loved ones in life,because you never know when they will be taken from us.
    Just don’t go to those sites if you’re so offended. It’s a timeless profession that no one has been able to stop so just get over it

  23. FosterBoys says:


    Wow, I’m speechless. Part of me wants to correct your line of reasoning. And maybe I will if you really want me to, but WOW, your interpretation is not at all what I meant.

    Also, I don’t know if Australians have a different word for it, but Americans call living off someone else “mooching”. “Smooching” is when two people kiss. I knew what you meant, so it’s no big deal.

    OK, I have to address this. How in the world are you equating knowing the risks of a job with deserving the negatives that comes with that job? I keep re-reading your post trying to understand your logic.

  24. Annie says:

    Dear Dr. Phil,

    With all due respect, did you bump your head before writing this new blog? It certainly doesn’t sound like you.

    #1, To suggest that the government should take over the cigarette industry and shut it down to protect people from their choice to commit slow suicide because they don’t adhere to like minded “common sense” people certainly doesn’t sound like you.

    #2, In my opinion, anything outside cyberspace that is illegal should be like wise in cyberspace. If it is illegal to solicit prostitution in any form in a particular state, than it should be put to a stop. But I don’t think the congress route would be the right one. It appears that the attorney general’s office would be the one to complain to. If enough people complain about the perverted section of Craig’s List’s website and its “clear” dangers to its viewers, steps can be taken to shut it down.

    #3, regarding “common sense” – Like beauty and intelligence, some of us have it and some of us don’t. The same goes for common sense. I have 4 daughters who are as different as day and night of each other. My oldest has “no common sense” and my daughter after her has “all the common sense” in the world. This is how I would describe their inherent differences. Hypothetically, they are both standing bear footed in front of a fire pit. They both know if they walk over this pit with their bare feet they will get burnt. There is a flimsy piece of tin to the side of them. The youngest with the common sense thinks about using the piece of tin to get across than takes the thought further and realizes that the tin will only absorb the heat of the fire and burn her just as badly and dismisses the idea. The oldest with no common sense sees the tin and thinks wow I can put that between the fire and myself and proceeds to do so. To me having no common sense is just someone who fails to think out a situation. Their need to satisfy their desired outcome overwhelms their ability to process a thought further than a couple of steps. I arrived at my opinion after having watched them grow up for over 30 years.

    So what does this have to do with the price of beans you may ask?

    Well unfortunately, prostitution is as old as dirt and these women and men who get them selves caught up in this certainly know what risks they are going to be subjected to. (I am not referring to those who are kidnapped, forced and sold into the sex slavery scene). I am talking about those who advertise them selves and their sexual intent to the public. We the people don’t have to like that this sort of thing which goes on daily even under our own noses, but “we the people” have the right to switch channels, switch stations, ban certain websites, ban certain magazines and just not subscribe to certain entities that make us as an individual uncomfortable. Doc, you know you can’t protect and save the world, just those who ask for it. What happened to individual accountability Dr. Phil?

  25. Paradoxis says:

    I guess from my perspective, I don’t see Craigslist as any different as an online newspaper classified section. I live in Australia and in the classified sections of most newspapers we have advertisments for adult services. Is that not the case in America?

    Changing the terminology used in such advertisements is obviously just semantics, but I’m still not sure of what the actual issue is. Like, yeah, we all know what “full body massage” means, but does a child? How many five or ten year olds are browing the “private masseuse” section? Or the used car section for that matter?

    I dunno. Given the amount of outrage and passion in the responses to this topic, I feel I may have entirely missed the point.

    As for cigarettes, it’s clear that governments like to make money off people’s addictions, but remember that prohibition didn’t work.

  26. i most definately think that they think that people are dummer than all get out!! i do not want anything to do with craigslist. and to publicly do stupid stuff like that is so dang stupid. craigslist is sooooo stuuupid!! they are an insult to the human race!!

  27. Joyce Long says:

    The bible does say Judge not lest ye be judged, but no where in the Bible does it say it is ok to just stand by and watch illegal stuff happen and not take a stand. Just because a person is against prostitution does not mean they are judging. Craigslist needs to be shut dow, completely and wholley if they cannot take the crap out.
    And I am a smoker, been smoking for 32 yrs and even I would like to see the government step in and shut it down. Once addicted it is very hard to quit, and if they were not available we wouldnt be addicted. Yes it is my choice to smoke, doesnt mean it is my right to kill myself with them.

  28. F.D says:

    Fosterboys, Sorry shouldn’t write so early in the morning especially when I didn’t get much sleep.

    Your right it’s mooching.

    What I’m trying to say is that, regardless of ones choosen professional no one deserves to be mistreated. Even if they want to sell there body, although I’m whole heartly against prostitution.

    It wasn’t so much as an intrepretation, as it was what I was guessing you where thinking.

  29. Lisa Roncella says:

    I am currently 42 years old, but when I ran away at 16 I became a prostitute in San Francisco. I choose prostitution because I was clearly a sex addict. However, I was very good at what I did, but was exploited by pimps and severly abused. I think there are some very emotional sick individuals, but if they are not willing to seek treatment, the oldest profession will remain the same. Here in San Francisco I don’t think they even try to enforce the law. I don’t think there are services to help get out of “the life”. I know that I didn’t see a way out. AIDS was the motivating factor for me. I have not engaged in prostitution for many years. However, it breaks my heart to see prostitutes on the street, because each has a story.

  30. FosterBoys says:

    Did I read the Twitter on the right correctly? Did Dr. Phil sit down at Fox on HANNITY? I think I just threw up a little.

  31. Linda RH says:

    Yes, Fosterboys, Dr Phil appears on Hannity every once in a while. Does it surprise you?
    I find common sense is still alive and well on Fox.

  32. FosterBoys says:


    Surprised, No. Disappointed & disheartened, Yes. I now agree with Dr. Phil on his original point — common sense isn’t common anymore.

  33. Linda RH says:

    Fosterboys, may I ask you why you feel disappointed and disheartened?

  34. FosterBoys says:


    Well, from what I’ve seen, Hannity is a bully. And now I find out that Dr. Phil’s been a fan for a long time. That’s troubling.

    Politically, I’m a centrist — I agree with the moderates on both sides of the aisle. People who align themselves that far right (or that far left for that matter) trouble me. They’re fanatical and as far as they’re concerned, only THEY have the key to your salvation. Non-believers are either branded as extremists, radicals or insane.

    I want to believe that we can all share a common ground SOMEWHERE, and actually I DO believe this — if we can just turn down the rhetoric and the name calling and the finger-pointing…and everything else that has become our daily feed of news media…ON BOTH SIDES.

    I’m sick of it. I’m sick with it. I’m sick from it. And as if it makes any difference whatsoever to the politicians and the corporations and the media who couldn’t care less what I think anyway, I present my vote…of NO CONFIDENCE.

    Wow, sorry Linda, but that was kind of cathartic. I’m feeling much better now.

  35. Linda RH says:

    Ranting can have a therapuetic affect sometimes. :)
    I don’t think Hannity is a bully, he just knows what he believes in. I guess I like Fox news shows because they don’t allow people to fillibuster until their time runs out; bloviaters WILL be called on it. Inaccuracies will also be pointed out.
    It’s amazing to watch all of the news channels, and compare the amount of useful information disseminated.
    I’m centrist too. I’m also sick of the way we’ve been divided into Democrats and Republicans. We’re Americans.

  36. Paradoxis says:

    Can someone please state very simply and clearly exactly what issues and principles are actually being discussed here? Is this topic about freedom of speech, prostitution, the law, smoking, politics, the definition of the phrase “common sense”, the dangers of the internet, or the desire to control any/all of the above?

  37. FosterBoys says:


    I love Dr. Phil’s blog here. Very intelligent people.

  38. Pam says:

    I can see that Dr. Phil is very passionate about this topic – here’s my 2 cents. First, I agree. Prostitution is a big problem all over this world – not just here in the United States. We’ve got sleeze balls all around the world pimping out women and more sadly young children for sex. It’s disgusting and the sad part is that so many of our people in office aren’t above the use of prostitution for their own pleasure. They won’t rise up against the problem for fear of no longer being able to satisfy their own needs. I know there’s a big difference between sex slavery and prostitution – but we’ve made a decision as a country to say that prostitution in most places is illegal so why aren’t we cracking down on it.

    I agree that Craig’s list’s use of the same processess just disgusing the wording is ridiculous and an insult to all of our common sense but lets face it, it’s not the first time and it surely won’t be the last. How much money and tax dollars would I personally want to waste on this issue? Not many because I feel that if someone is stupid enough to sell their body for money and someone is stupid enough to risk their personal health and careers and family well being for a one night escapade then in my book – that’s consentual and so why waste money to try to stop something that’s been going on since the beginning of time.

    As for smoking – I get what you are saying Dr. Phil but shouldn’t the people who smoke take the responsibility? I mean we can’t go around telling everyone how to live their lives? Can we????? I sure hope not. I don’t believe there is a person on the face of this planet who doesn’t understand that nicotine is addicting and that smoking will put you in an early grave. So, why does it become the governments responsibility to police this? They’ve offered the warnings – that should be enough. What happens next? They take cheeseburgers off the market, and God forbid I want to color my hair with that toxic hair color sold off the shelves – will that be taken away? Will hot dogs be banned now that they are seen as one of the most lethal foods being sold today? Come on America – stop blaming the world for your own actions. If you want hot coffe and you buy hot coffee at a drive through in your car and then put it between your legs and you burn yourself? For goodness sakes don’t ask the government to ban coffee. From one big fan Dr. Phil, that’s not a country that I would like to live in.

  39. Linda RH says:

    Paradoxis, everybody seems to have chosen their favorite soapbox out of the examples Dr Phil gave. Here is his statement that tells you what he was highlighting:
    “I just don’t understand the tendency we have in this country to change what we call something and pretend that it’s different, that it’s OK.”

    Well, this tendency comes from the very top. Take for example the administration’s renaming of the War on Terror: “overseas contingencies” complete with “manmade disasters.” Or how about the very real concerns brought up by the people of the United States? We’ve been trying to contact our elected officials with no success, so we get up off the couch, take time out of our lives to turn out to tea parties and town halls in an effort to get their attention. For this we are labled racists, organized mobs, special interest groups, Republicans, etc.
    The terrorists of the world laugh at this, and we the people are not going to be discouraged by it either.
    It’s the whole misguided politcal correctness game.
    Here is a quote that is hugely pertinant:
    “Although (political correctness) arises from the laudable desire to sweep away the debris of racism and sexism and hatred, it replaces old prejudice with new ones. It declares certain topics off-limits, even certain gestures off-limits.
    “What began as a crusade for civility has soured into a cause of conflict and even censorship. Disputants treat sheer force – getting their foes punished or expelled, for instance – as a substitute for the power of ideas.
    “Throughout history, attempts to micromanage casual conversation have only incited distrust. They have invited people to look for an insult in every word, gesture, action. And, in their own Orwellian way, crusades that demand correct behavior crush diversity in the name of diversity.
    “Men and women must feel free to speak their hearts and minds. We must build a society in which people can join in common cause without having to surrender their identities.
    “You can lead the way. Share your thoughts and your experiences and your hopes and your frustrations. Defend others’ rights to speak. And if harmony be our goal, let’s pursue harmony, not inquisition.”

    George H W Bush included these words in a 1991 commencement speech. Whatever you may think of him politically or personally, can you appreciate the sentiments in this quote?

  40. Lauren says:

    Oh and it shouldn’t be called ‘common’ sense anymore. It’s just sense. And it’s very uncommon.

  41. Linda RH says:

    Anybody see the news on ACORN today? This story ties prostitution and “relabling” together with the nice little bow of tax evasion.
    Two activists went in to an ACORN office, disguised as a prostitute and her pimp, to get, on the surface, advice on how to get a mortgage for a house to use as a brothel.
    They were advised to list her occupation as a “performance artist” and the under age girls from other countries brought in to work in the brothel as “dependents.” They were given assurances that a low-cost mortgage would be provided. In return for the usual membership to ACORN fee, of course.
    Did the ACORN representatives question the legal status of the “dependents”? (Could they have been kidnapped into the sex-slave trade?) Did the ACORN employees warn the “prostitute” and her “pimp” that they were in danger of being turned in for all sorts of law breaking? Were they, at the very least, told to get off the premises?
    No, they were aided, abetted, and advised by these crooks to subvert our laws.

    Now consider that ACORN got a huge chunk of our tax monies through the stimulus package.
    I’m outraged, are you? How much of this story did your favorite news channel cover?

  42. anonymous.. says:

    DR PHIL,
    I myself was posting ads on craigslist in this section.. Im not proud of it.. & Honestly it ruined my life.. So badly.

    I usto hangout with these 2 girls.. Both seemingly “jobless”.. & I live in a small town in a small state in new england where stuff like this is VERY UNCOMMON! & I kept wondering how are these girls buying an audi & huge flatscreen tv & such?? Her excuse what that her mom owed her money.. Im not stupid. & they knew it so they finally came clean one day telling me that they were “escorts” on there & I remember asking something like this.. “So you get paid to go on dates with guys??” & she didnt really let me in then.. but eventually she did. Id go to her house practically everyday (we were close friends.. & our other friend.. who did it to lived there as well.. & her boyfriend) Id go over there & Id see men coming in & out all day & Id hide on the couch.. I did this for weeks.. & after the men would leave.. we’d all go to the mall. I of course was always broke.. Living a normal life. So we’d go to the mall & they’d buy this & that.. & I obvously wanted the things they had as well. I wanted money, for once! It seems I was always broke no matter how often i worked.. or how hard.

    So eventually the enevitabal happened.. It didnt seem as wrong to me after seeing it so much.. & It kinda became ok in my mind to do this stuff? They told me to do a “job” with them.. & I did..

    I cried during & after.. & Its been almost a yr & I still cant get the image out of my head.. I can literally picture a man.. a gross older man.. seizuring on top of me.

    Thats all I will say. I know this is disgusting to all of you reading this.. Thats why I posted. I want ppl to know how bad this effects ppl. & I did think it was wrong at first.., & look what happened to me.. I dont usually go for the whole peer pressure stuff either.. But the money was calling to me.. & being broke my whole life.. It just seemed like a way out.. But I lost soo much more than money.

    My boyfriend of 5 yrs.. (almost) but we have trust issues now.. Him & my family rescued me from the place I was staying & kinda gave me an “intervention” i guess you’d say. I wanted all of you to read this. Maybe u will get a spec of a glimpse of what traumatized me. I will never lose these memories.. & I still dont have crap for money.. & I will never be the same. All because this site allowed it.. & sum stupid girls “my friends” somehow made it seem so glamorous to me..

    Now I am forever messed up.. Sometimes i get flashbacks of images of these men, the settings, & whatever.. I literally squint my eyes & cant bare it.. until I make myself get out of bed (someitmes half asleep) & walk around to find something else to do..
    When I watch movies or tv shows.. where women prostitute themselves or are raped or what have you.. I start to cry & all the gross negative feelings come rushing back into me. It has traumatized my innocense & my mind forever.
    I knwo I did this to myself.. but money has a hold on people who have never had it. I doubt you can ever FULLY understand till you have been there. but I am totally against this site. I would personally punch the guy who runs it & makes those decisions if I ever have the chance. I am not putting the blame on others.. believe me I BLAME MYSELF everyday. But it wouldnt ever of happened if they had not aloud this stuff.. I was doing it around the time the med student was meeting women off there & hurting them.. Only a state away.. When my fiance saw that he said look.. that couldve been you..

  43. Janet Davies says:

    I say legalize prostitution! Have houses of ill repute on the outskirts of town, make the prostitutes have health screenings for communicable disease, collect tax and let the patrons do as they please.

  44. FosterBoys says:

    Dr. Phil,

    Obviously you didn’t get the landslide of support on this that you expected. What do you attribute this to? What is common sense anyway? A majority? A gut-feeling? Morality?

    But you know, you’re on to something. Too many people in this country are dying of obesity. When will the government recognize this and stop selling food? Too many people die from guns. Ban them. Outlaw everything. Parens patriae.

  45. karen says:

    As a victim of Craigslists’ ridiculous policies I feel that the powers that be at Craigslist are nothing more than whoremasters in all reality pimps and should be charged in the crime also. I won’t go into detail as to how I am a victim of their protitution services but I am, I had never heard of the site until I had reason to search it out. My first encounter with it was searching for a lost family member that was indeed using Craigslist as a source for finding prostitutes. This has been a family nightmare for me and mine. I hate Craigslist with a passion and would love to see it banished forever frankly.

    Everytime I hear someone say “I sold my sofa on Craigslist” I want to vomit.

  46. Danielle Nine says:

    Dear Dr. Phil, I am bothered by the fact that people can be so dumb as to think that haveing sex with anybody for money is a real job. As far as I am concerned it’s not a real job. A real job to me is like doing something honerable and hard to get paid. I’d rather work at a local convienent store and get paid $7.25/hr than sleep with some person that I don’t know where he’s from what he has or whatever. It seems to me people don’t have integrity anymore. Personally I think Alcohol, cigaretts and all that garbage should be banned and as wel as sex industries and all sorts. I’ve come to find out that people are going to do what they want to anyways but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to stop it. I hate all that stuff I am tired of people lighting up one around me and it’s hard for me to breathe I am allergic to it, nobody asks does this bother you, they just do it and they don’t care if they ruin your lungs along with theirs. The sex industry is ruining our children causeing murders and teaching everybody that it’s ok to be perverted and makeing somehing that’s suposed to be beautiful into a cheap trashy thing. Teaches people how to hate themselves instead of love themselves. That’s why common sense isn’t common anymore what used to be an abomination to our country it’s now acceptable they are saying. But the truth doesn’t ever change what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong no comprimising. Thank you for listening.

  47. Susani Sacca says:

    May I please just say you all are way too smart for me here.

    Reading all your responses I think you must be in PhD school and my mind is not that bright but if you will allow my humble op/ thank you.

    I did see Dr Phil on the last 10 minutes of that show “Hannity” you folks keep talking about and the man was very kind and said congrats to Dr Phil on season 8 and they werent talking about politics they were talking about real people issues and America and rebuilding of our Country.

    I never actually tuned in before and I only did because Dr Phil was on and well I think the most of you are being quite unfair about this fellow because he was doing his job…he was a handsome on air personality respectful, helping Dr Phil promote his new season and well I dont know what he does when Dr Phil isnt there but if I wasnt married I would want to date him

    ok so in short I think he’s a doll and I dont care what else he talks about
    he’s sweet eye candy next topic…

    This whole prostitution graigslist thing and subject matter.

    Isnt it a crying shame that woman at anytime in life 5,000 years ago to present time would have to do such a thing in order to support themselves whether they choose this as a carreer to or not?

    In my humble op/ it takes a peice of her soul.

  48. Janet Davies says:

    2 Timothy 3:1-7

    But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

  49. Linda RH says:

    Janet Davies, thank you for that. The truth is timeless is it not?

  50. Linda RH says:

    Janet, I don’t agree on the brothels on the edge of town thing though….

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