Red Herring Alert

There's something fishy going on!

How Can So Many Good People Not Do Anything About Child Abuse?

Child Sex Trafficking In The US Is Exploding, Govt Admits They Aren’t Stopping It

By Rachel Blevins

A recent report on the number of sexually exploited children in Florida gives insight into a horrific world that is often ignored by the media, and that rarely holds millionaires, politicians and even local officials accountable for their involvement.

report from the Florida legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability concluded that the state’s Department of Children and Family (DCF) and its lead agencies “have not resolved issues related to serving commercially sexually exploited children.”

The report found that in 2016, 356 verified commercially sexually exploited child victims were identified, as opposed to 264 identified in 2015. It noted that many of the victims who were identified earlier were, “both children in child welfare dependency and those living in the community with family—have since been re-victimized, involved with the criminal justice system, or only attended school intermittently.”

During 2016, DCF’s Florida Abuse Hotline received 2,013 reports alleging the CSE of children, which is a 57% increase over the 2015 reports. Child protective investigators investigated 1,386 (or 69%) of those reports. Counties with the highest number of CSE reports include Miami-Dade (248), Broward (232), Orange (150), and Hillsborough (144). DCF hotline staff did not refer cases for investigation if the allegation did not rise to the level of reasonable (74%), there were no means to locate the victim (11%), or the alleged perpetrator was not the child’s caregiver (8%). Of the reports that were referred for investigation, most came from DJJ, the Department of Corrections, or criminal justice personnel (20%) and law enforcement (15%).

In 2016, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received reports of 7,572 human trafficking cases, which was a substantial increase from 5,544 cases in 2015 and 5,042 cases in 2014. Florida ranked third on the list with 550 cases, behind Texas with 670 cases and California with 1,323 cases.

Out of the 7,572 human trafficking cases reported in the United States in 2016, the majority or 5,551 were “sex trafficking” cases, and 2,387 of the reported victims were minors.              

The report on child sex trafficking in Florida suggested that the increase in victims was due to the process DCF and the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) use to “select children to screen as well as the screening tool itself may limit accurate identification of CSE child victims.”

The report also noted that 62 percent of the children who were labeled as commercially sexually exported remained “in the community and are referred to voluntary, local services.” As a result, “no data is readily available on whether the children use these services.”

The Free Thought Project has provided extensive coverage of the sex trafficking epidemic in the U.S., especially in relation to minors who become victims after they are kidnapped from their homes and placed in foster care.

In April, two pastors who were foster care advocates were arrested for running a child sex ringin Ohio. The pastors, who had influence on their county’s Child Service’s Board of Trustees, were charged with “recruiting, enticing and transporting people the men knew were under 18 to engage in sex acts for pay.” The trafficking was ongoing for at least three years, and initially began with a 14-year-old girl.

In June, a lawsuit was filed in the case of a 5-year-old girl who was given to the leader of a child sex ring in Arizona. She was taken from her mother who was battling an addiction with substance abuse, and she was put in the custody of a pedophile who sexually abused her, tortured her, and ultimately left her fighting for her life.

The recent report from Florida is another reminder that child sex trafficking is a horrific element of the human trafficking epidemic that has been ongoing and increasing in the United States. While government involvement has always been an element, it has yet to put a stop to the increasing number of children who are subjected to life-altering abuse on a daily basis.

Rachel Blevins is a Texas-based journalist who aspires to break the left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives. This article first appeared at The Free Thought Project.

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So, You Think You Want A National Health Program?

Image: YouTube 5 Fast Facts

CHARLIE GARD ‘DEATH PANEL’ SAGA IN UK SHOWS YOU EXACTLY WHY AMERICA DOESN’T EVER WANT SOCIALIZED MEDICINE

by 

As Donald Trump weighed in on the fight to save British baby Charlie Gard, Theresa May was facing pressure to intervene. Her spokesman said yesterday it would be ‘inappropriate’ to discuss the ‘delicate case’. Without her support the US president would not have the authority to go over the European Court of Human Rights to try to keep the boy alive.

THE PARENTS OF 11-MONTH-OLD CHARLIE GARD WERE JOINED BY AN ‘ARMY OF SUPPORTERS’ TO DELIVER A 350,000 SIGNATURE PETITION TO GREAT ORMOND STREET HOSPITAL CALLING FOR HIM TO GO TO THE US FOR TREATMENT.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Think you want truly socialized medicine? Think again. Over in England, little Charlie Gard is desperately in need of top-shelf medical care, the kind only available in the United States. President Trump has personally guaranteed the needed care for little Charlie will be 100% without charge to the parents. Sounds great, right? Yeah, it does, except for one little massive problem. The UK ‘death panels’ that decide who lives and who dies have so far ruled against allowing him to travel to the US. In fact, unless a miracle happens, they are getting ready to remove him from life support. That’s right, in the UK the ‘death panel’ and not the family decides when life support is pulled. Still want socialized medicine? Pray that little Charlie Gard will be allowed to escape his UK ‘death panel’ captors and be able to flee to America for his life-saving and free treatment.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates said they were ‘overwhelmed’ by the worldwide support they have had in their battle, with the latest leaders to offer their support including Donald Trump and the Pope.

Today they publicly blasted the court decision to stop them from taking their baby to America for treatment at a protest outside the hospital in London because, they said, Charlie ‘deserves a chance’.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PARENTS ARE NO LONGER IN CONTROL OF THEIR CHILDREN’S HEALTH CHOICES:

In an emotional speech in front of banners supporting the terminally ill baby at Great Ormond Street Hospital this afternoon, Chris Gard noted that in the seven months his son has been on a ventilator while suffering from his rare genetic condition, he could have had the proposed treatment from American doctors twice over.

DOCTORS REFUSE TO LET CHARLIE GARD’S PARENTS TAKE HIM HOME:

Mr Gard said: ‘We just want to thank you all for being here.

‘Over 350,000 people have signed the petition. Our special thanks go to, obviously America, and everyone in Rome, who are supporting us and believe that Charlie deserves this treatment, as he rightly does, as we believe.’

The pair also thanked the British public and the media for their help in the campaign.

PRESIDENT TRUMP OFFERS TO HELP CHARLIE GARD’S FAMILY:

Mr Gard said: ‘We are trying to take out son from one hospital, where they, you know, there are a lot of specialities there, and it’s a fantastic hospital, they do great things there. ‘Unfortunately, they are not specialists in Charlie’s condition – the specialists are in America, where we want to go.’

AS DONALD TRUMP WEIGHED IN ON THE FIGHT TO SAVE BRITISH BABY CHARLIE GARD, THERESA MAY WAS FACING PRESSURE TO INTERVENE. HER SPOKESMAN SAID YESTERDAY IT WOULD BE ‘INAPPROPRIATE’ TO DISCUSS THE ‘DELICATE CASE’. WITHOUT HER SUPPORT THE US PRESIDENT WOULD NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO GO OVER THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS TO TRY TO KEEP THE BOY ALIVE.

Miss Yates added: ‘There’s now seven doctors supporting us, from all over the world, from Italy, from America, from England as well, that think that this has a chance, you know, (an) up to ten per cent chance of working for Charlie – and we feel that that’s a chance worth taking.

‘We’ve been fighting for his medication since November, we’re now in July.

‘He’s our son, he’s our flesh and blood – we feel that it should be our right as parents to decide to give him a chance at life, for a medication that’s just oral medicine, no known major side effects.

‘There’s nothing to lose, he deserves a chance.’  source


Overcriminalization

Mainstream Media Now Advocating “All Citizens” Spend Time In Prison As “Service” To Country

By Claire Bernish

Corporate media achieved a new level of absurdity last week, when Jesse Ball, writing for the Los Angeles Times, suggested every American be required to spend a stint behind bars every ten years as a veritable guarantee to improve conditions of incarceration in the United States.

In the piece titled, “Everyone should go to jail, say, once every ten years,” Ball writes,

A notable demand that is made upon the citizens of the United States of America is that of jury duty. Although many despise, hate and avoid it, there is a general sense that the task is necessary. We believe a society is only just if everyone shares in the apportionment of guilt.

To this demand of jury duty, I would like to add another, and in the same spirit. I propose that all citizens of the United States of America should serve a brief sentence of incarceration in our maximum-security penitentiaries. This service, which would occur for each person once in a decade, would help ensure that the quality of life within our prisons is sufficient for the keeping of human beings.

Without foreknowledge on length of stay and other details, citizens would languish behind the same bars as convicted criminals under Ball’s proposal — albeit in a section separated from offenders, assumedly not to confuse jailers and inmates, or endanger anyone serving ‘incarceration duty.’

But Ball misses the point — feeding the elephant in the room of overcriminalization of daily life, excessive laws, and, worst by far of all, the normalization of incarceration as conditional to the American way of life — lecturing all of us to walk a mile in the shoes of the convicted rather than declaring the brazen failures of the Injustice System evidence enough, itself, for dismantling the whole dysfunctional mess.

After all, according to the Prison Policy Institute, the United States now cages some 2.3 million of its roughly 326.5 million total people — the largest per capita incarcerated persons of any nation on the entire planet.

An interplanetary traveler would logically conclude it a prison nation — or, at least, one astonishingly rife with thugs, murderers, thieves, and worse.

Even the more law-and-order, authoritarian among us could see the flaws evident in a system claiming freedom, while locking away proportionally more than even the dictatorial fascist regimes our troops putatively combat.

While undoubtedly posited from a place of compassion as a plea for ethics in imprisonment, Ball’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek proposal unfortunately evinces the frequency with which Band-aids are applied as a fix for gaping structural flaws which should otherwise condemn the system to demolishment.                      

But, worst of all, this proposition capriciously normalizes the American Incarceration State.

Consider how those 2.3 million souls wound up stuffed into the cramped confines of the nation’s myriad federal, state, and local facilities; or, worse — judging by a voluminous body of anecdotal accounts — one of the altogether notorious prisons-for-profit, managed by private corporations intent only on thrift in housing its human commodities to save the State some pennies.

Most of the convicted behind bars have committed nonviolent crime — but moralizing on personal vice and legislation enacted sanctimoniously against substances have exploded the nation’s prison population to alarming proportions.

A court or jury decision of guilt in no way can be characterized on par with ‘laws’ governing ethics and human rights — for, if a candid observation of inmate records were ventured, a sweeping sum could be said to have landed in prison by violating the State’s prohibition on the cannabis plant.

And not violently so.

Forgetting for a moment ‘the law is the law,’ to describe a society as just, which chooses to not only cement unjust ideas into law, but imprison violators of aberrant legislation — particularly in cases of medicinal use — must be the pinnacle of hypocritical pomposity, if not the telltale heart of a dying empire.

Sure, forcing (on penalty of prison?!) yet more behind bars to prove how base the conditions behind bars might actually assist the vocal calling to improve conditions behind bars, but if so many have been locked there for reasons only justifiable for the violation interned in the print of legal tomes, the plan is an exercise in pure futility.

Unless it simply normalizes prison life as a veritable inevitability — might as well prepare for the eventuality some offensive chunk of life will be wasted rotting between the torrid walls of a prison cell.

The irony, palpable.

No, we do not need to send the relatively innocent to prison to endure torturously foul food and varying degrees of inhospitability to prove locking people in cages does nothing to curb crime — indeed, the opposite is arguably true.

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It’s the system, broken — not people’s compassion.

Juries convict based on flawed evidence, evidence omitted by technicality, and an embarrassing list of other inexcusable conditions accumulated on the books over centuries — and more laws and regulations find their way to the ledger every day.

They’re creating additional ways to make you a criminal — so, in that sense, Ball might be onto something.

‘Get ready for prison, dear young people, by the time you’re an adult, there won’t be a thing you can do without somehow breaking the law,’ the writer unintentionally asserts between the lines.

“I wonder,” Ball continues, “once all you citizens of the United States are passing in and out of prison on a regular basis, will the conditions there not seem singularly urgent? Just picture congressmen, priests, stock traders, truck drivers, people of every faith, color, description, all for once sharing in something.”

Sharing in the memory of peering out from inside prison walls isn’t conducive to solving the issue of mass incarceration.

Scrapping unjust, unethical, amoral, and otherwise ludicrous laws governing every conceivable aspect of daily life, however, is.

Claire Bernish began writing as an independent, investigative journalist in 2015, with works published and republished around the world. Not one to hold back, Claire’s particular areas of interest include U.S. foreign policy, analysis of international affairs, and everything pertaining to transparency and thwarting censorship. To keep up with the latest uncensored news, follow her on Facebook or Twitter:@Subversive_Pen. This article first appeared at The Free Thought Project.

http://www.activistpost.com/2017/07/mainstream-media-now-advocating-citizens-spend-time-prison-service-country.html

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