Entries in Human Trafficking (3)

Friday
Apr132018

Bob Hugin is right: Harboring illegal aliens is illegal

How can some people argue that more gun laws will make us safer, when the laws that we have aren't being obeyed?  It's like printing more money during a period of hyperinflation:  It turns legal tender into toilet paper. 

And that's what happens when state and local governments pick and choose which national laws they will obey and which they'll ignore.  They turn the whole concept of having laws into a joke and turn the statute book into a toilet roll. 

If you are a radical libertarian, maybe that is a good thing.  Anarchy in the U.S.A.!

But for most of us -- those who depend on the law for clean water, unadulterated food, breathable air, automobiles that don't explode on the road, buildings to work in that don't fall down, streets that are free from the fear of assault, homes to sleep safely in at night -- for those who depend on rules that society lives by, a world without rules is a scary place, a new barbarism. 

It takes humility to live in a democracy. 

You make your arguments.  Sometimes you win.  Other times you lose.  There is always tomorrow.  

And then you have groups like Make the Road Action (what kind of name is that?) and people like Sara Cullinane.  They can't accept ever being on the losing side.  If they lose the debate and something becomes law that they don't like, they feel it is their right to ignore it.  It's kind of like those arguments offered by the Sovereign Citizen movement. 

The trouble is that when they win the argument and something becomes law that they do like, other people will follow what they did and ignore it.  And soon, there will be no laws that everyone agrees to follow and so, no law.

Sara Cullinane and her group issued an attack on U.S. Senate candidate Bob Hugin today for saying on the Rich Zeoli radio program that the "idea of sanctuary cities is just illegal."  Yes, the idea of state and local governments defying national law was kind of settled during the 1860's -- and later, during the 1960's.

Now "states' rights" groups like Make the Road Action and "states' rights" folks like Sara Cullinane can and should work to deconstruct the federal government's hegemony over many aspects of state and local jurisdiction.  But this must be done legally, through the painstaking process of democracy, not by simply picking and choosing the laws you will ignore and those you will obey.

Sara Cullinane made the mind-numbingly silly argument that local government cooperation with regards to people here illegally -- some who are victims of human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and slavery -- was akin to making them "foot soldiers for ICE."  That is like saying that local government cooperation with regards to anti-terrorism -- "see-something, say-something" -- is akin to making them "foot soldiers for Homeland Security." 

Sara, don't be stupid.  Cut the rhetoric, grow up, and get real.  A great many illegal immigrants are victims of coercion, exploitation, and trafficking. 

Human Trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, second to drug dealing and tied with arms dealing.  Recently, the FBI announced that it had uncovered and arrested 42 child sex traffickers in New Jersey.  The Star-Ledger reported that the 42 were arrested on charges that included sex trafficking, child exploitation and prostitution.  A total of 84 children were rescued during the operation.  Human Trafficking is modern day slavery and it is happening while you write your next press release. 

Child trafficking is a $32 billion-a-year industry and is on the rise in all 50 states, according to the U.S. government.  4.5 million of trafficked persons have been sexually exploited and nearly 300,000 Americans under 18 have been lured into the commercial sex trade.  The National Human Trafficking Hotline reported that in 2016, human trafficking in the United States increased by 35.7% -- in one year!  

If you really want to help people, get on the right side.  Stop shilling for the human traffickers and work with law enforcement.  And don't attack a guy like Bob Hugin for telling the very obvious truth.

Tuesday
Jan232018

On Getting People to Vote, Fred Snowflack has some words of wisdom.

Fred Snowflack is a wise old owl.  A career journalist of the old school, card carrier of the Society of Professional Journalists, an exceptional editor, and the type of old-fashioned liberal that every small community once benefitted from -- be it town or neighborhood.  His traditional liberalism, long out of fashion today, was tuned to Professor Karl Polanyi's warning that... "Robbed of the protective covering of cultural institutions, human beings would perish from the effects of social exposure; they would die as the victims of acute social dislocation through vice, perversion, crime, and starvation.  Nature would be reduced to its elements, neighborhoods and landscapes defiled, rivers polluted, military safety jeopardized, the power to produce food and raw materials destroyed."

We are fortunate that Mr. Snowflack still has a venue for his writing.  The balanced opinions he once offered in the pages of Gannett publications like the Daily Record are now available on InsiderNJ.com.  Yesterday's column by Snowflack, was evidence (if any was needed) that he has lost none of his abilities to get to the heart of something and touch it with a needle.  Writing about the Women's March rally in Morristown over the weekend, he offered this insight:

" Are we seeing a Democratic version of the Tea Party?

Perhaps.

That thought crossed my mind last weekend as I covered the Women’s March in Morristown and read about similar marches all over the country.

I came across one quote in particular from a Bergen County woman who attended the march in Manhattan. She said that until the election of Donald Trump as president, she and her circle of friends spent much of their TV time watching “reality shows.”  Now, they watch news programs, or if you prefer, “real reality shows.”

This is important for politics now and going forward.

Follow politics for a while and you quickly realize that a key to winning elections is not convincing those who disagree with you to come over to your side. That’s unlikely to happen, especially in these very polarizing times.

The key is to somehow get those who agree with you to actually vote.

This is critical at a time when voter turnout is considered good if it reaches 50 percent. The more “non-voters” you can energize, the better it is for you.

His full column is here:  https://www.insidernj.com/anti-trump-political-movement-search-name-catchy-tea-party/

Wow!  Now there is a man who gets it! 

The key to winning elections is to motivate people who generally don't vote, but who would consider voting for your party. 

That's contrary to the mantra coming from some GOP types -- like defeated gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno.  They claim that only a "moderate" can win statewide.  This is, of course, simply an opinion and an opinion that ignores the fact that the only Republican who has won statewide in the last twenty years has been Pro-Life, Pro-Second Amendment, and opposed to Same-Sex Marriage.

This unreason is widespread and it gets even worse.  Indeed, in the case of the Bergen County Republican Organization (BCRO), the claim is made that only a "moderate" can win in a congressional district that voted for Donald Trump.  

In these very partisan times, merely having an "R" next to your name -- leave out supporting Donald Trump or Chris Christie -- is enough to preclude any significant support from voters who self-identify as Pro-Choice on Abortion, Pro-Gun Control, and Pro-LGBT.  If these are your first tier issues, what floats your boat, you are not voting Republican in 2018.  Period.

Despite this, there is a full court press to mint Republican candidates who intentionally suppress key parts of the GOP base.  Like the BCRO's Pro-Abortion John McCann.  In elections that increasingly depend on identifying and turning out anyone who will even consider voting Republican, this is a disastrous trend. 

Of course, these left-of-center Republicans tend to be popular with the dregs of the GOP's Whitman-era glitterati --  cocktail-party liberals and crony capitalists who still think they run the NJGOP -- and who are increasingly uncomfortable in the knowledge that they make up just a thimbleful of actual Republican voters. 

Unfortunately for them, most voters are not looking to transfer more wealth and power to the one-percent, while infantilizing various "groups" deemed worthy of protection. 

Working class Republican voters and working class Democrat voters are really not that different.  They care about being able to have the means to life.  They want jobs, the opportunity to start a small business; to be free from the worry of foreclosure; an education system that balances costs with results; a safety net that hasn't all been spent before they need it, and a justice system that looks on them a free citizens and that keeps safe the places where they live, work, and shop. 

The  needs of working people are pretty straight forward.  If it were an ice cream shop it would be plain vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.  Of course, the oligarchs of the Democrat Party can't provide that -- so they advertise a dozen flavors other than vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry -- while the "My Party Too" Whitman Republicans have placed out a sign that says, "Closed for business, we've run out of ideas."

Why this is so was the subject of a study conducted by Princeton University.  Take the time to listen to this video.  It could be an eye-opener:

Instead of trying to stand-out and apart from the "usual" Republican through the tired and ultimately unconvincing trope of "a different kind of Republican" when it comes to abortion and LGBT rights, the next generation of Republican candidates could act boldly and stand out as pledged to ending modern slavery.  If you need to know how bad it is, just read the newspapers.  Just last week, the Star-Ledger ran this...

"Authorities say a teenage girl found walking along Interstate 295 in Mercer County last week was a victim of human trafficking and had escaped from a motel, where she was forced into prostitution...

An investigation led to the arrests of Ashley Gardener, 29, and her partner, Breon Mickens, 26, both of Trenton.

Mickens and Gardener had transported the teenager to multiple hotels against her will and forced her to engage in prostitution, police said. 

Gardener allegedly forced the victim to engage in sexual activity with multiple men and allegedly collected the money paid by the clients. She also placed sexually suggestive ads on Backpage.com with photos of herself and the victim, police said.

The ads offered adult entertainment and listed a phone number police say belonged to Gardener."

Or you can listen to Ashton Kutcher's testimony before Congress...

According to the U.S. Justice Department, as many as 300,000 Americans under 18 are lured into the commercial sex trade every year.  The Internet is the vehicle for 76 percent of the transactions for sex with underage girls. 

The average victim is between 11 and 14 years old.  These victims come from all walks of life -- from every race, social, and economic background.

The problem is made worse by America's fluid borders.  According to the United Nations (UNICEF), 2 million children are trafficked in the global prostitution trade. The U.S. State Department reports that from 600,000 to 800,000 people (mainly women and children) are bought and sold across international borders every year and exploited for slave labor and prostitution. 

Human Trafficking has surpassed the sale of illegal arms and is set to surpass the illegal sale of drugs.  The FBI reports that human trafficking is on the rise in all 50 states and represents a multi-billion dollar criminal industry. 

New Jersey is a "hub for human trafficking," according to the New Jersey Attorney General's Office.  In September, 14 people were arrested in a child-porn and human trafficking operation in Monmouth County.  In October , the FBI announced that it had uncovered and arrested 42 child sex traffickers in New Jersey.  The Star-Ledger reported that the 42 were arrested on charges that included sex trafficking, child exploitation and prostitution.  A total of 84 children were rescued during the operation.  At the beginning of December, 79 suspects were arrested on a host of charges that included sexual assault, using the Internet to send inappropriate images to children, and child pornography. 

And with schools requiring young students to have access to the Internet, it is no longer about the parent.  The government-run education system supplants the parents and requires the child to be connected to the Internet.  For many children, it's like requiring them to walk to and from school on a dangerous, traffic-filled highway.

There was legislation in Trenton to addresses this growing criminal enterprise aimed at our children.  It was a bill championed by Republican State Senator Steve Oroho, and it attracted substantial bi-partisan support.  Despite having enough legislators committed to passing this legislation -- either as co-sponsors or supporters -- the Democrats who run both chambers of the Legislature killed it.

They listened to objections from the porn industry, who have adopted a "no questions asked" attitude on where their profits come from.  Porn is legal and the corporations who profit from it and their allies are the enablers of human trafficking.

This state legislation has companion bills in nearly every state and in the United States Congress.  Republicans could be its champion.  Instead of taking on the self-defeating label of "Pro-Choice on Abortion Republican", Republicans could be the face of the Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Prevention Act and offer a constitutional way to prevent predators from using the Internet to sexually exploit children.  Republicans could be leaders in championing the technology to defeat child sex traffickers.

Yes, we know it is outside the Whitman-era, "My Party Too" box.  But think about it.

Thursday
Nov302017

Democrats and Human Traffickers: The party of the old slavery is the party of the new.

How was your Thanksgiving?

 

For most members of the New Jersey Legislature -- and their staffs -- we bet is was pretty good, surrounded by family, nice food, drink, warmth, love, and friendship.  But for the victims of human trafficking -- our modern slavery epidemic -- it was just another day in hell, made more poignant by the fact that, for almost all of those trafficked, there are memories of when they enjoyed the holidays as much as the members of the New Jersey Legislature and their staff members do.

 

Human Trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, second to drug dealing and tied with arms dealing.  Just last month, the FBI announced that it had uncovered and arrested 42 child sex traffickers in New Jersey.  The Star-Ledger reported that the 42 were arrested on charges that included sex trafficking, child exploitation and prostitution.  A total of 84 children were rescued during the operation.  Human Trafficking is modern day slavery and it is happening TODAY -- in the HERE and NOW!

But many Democrats don't want to admit that it is happening, because too many are in hock to contributions from special interests who benefit from the massive profits generated by everything from goods made with indentured labor to Internet porn.  Instead of addressing this modern crime against humanity, many Democrats console themselves by virtue signaling about the slavery ended by the Civil War -- in 1865.  This allows them to (1) ignore modern slavery, (2) keep taking the money, and (3) feel good about themselves. 

 

Imagine if the British government had taken this line in 1807 and -- instead of abolishing the slave trade -- they had merely congratulated themselves on the end of their enslavement by the Romans, centuries before.  But no, they were focused on their modern times, and sent the Royal Navy out to blast every slave trader from the seven seas.

 

Modern technology is rapidly expanding the means by which human beings are ensnared and trapped into modern slavery and then trafficked as though they were meat.  The modern "slave ship" is embodied by certain websites and social media -- its "ocean" is the Internet.  In October, the media reported about the rescue by the FBI of a "3-month-old girl and her 5-year-old sister" who were being trafficked by a child predator "who was offering to sell the children for sex" using the Internet.  Isn't it time to adopt the technology to blast these scumbags from the Internet?

 

Child trafficking is a $32 billion-a-year industry and is on the rise in all 50 states, according to the U.S. government.  4.5 Million of trafficked persons have been sexually exploited and nearly 300,000 Americans under 18 have been lured into the commercial sex trade.  The National Human Trafficking Hotline reported that in 2016, human trafficking in the United States increased by 35.7% -- in one year!  But we have the technology to stop it.  So why aren't we adopting it?

 

We have the legislation.  It's called the Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Prevention Act (S-2928).  And it offers a constitutional way to prevent predators from using the Internet to sexually exploit children.  It is supported by Thorn, an anti-human trafficking group that uses technology to defeat child sex traffickers.

So why is a staffer at Assemblyman John McKeon's office doing everything in his power to undermine and block this legislation -- and to kill the hope that it offers to the victims of human trafficking and their families?  That's right, John McKeon -- the same politician who wants to hold Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen accountable for everything President Trump does -- is allowing his staff (who are paid by the taxpayers on his say-so) to kill the hope of victims of human trafficking and their families.  And what a time to do it.

 

Merry Christmas, John McKeon and taxpayer-funded staff.  While you are exchanging presents and enjoying good food, in a nice house, all warm and cozy, and happy in the company of family and friends -- you are killing the hope of someone who is on the cold street, malnourished and in poor health, who is made to "service" as many as twenty scumbags a day (perhaps some of them politicians and their staff?).  And when they don't, they are physically beaten.  That is how they will spend their holiday.  And their families -- what do you think their Christmas will be like?

 

Why don't you take some responsibility for your staff, Assemblyman John McKeon?  After all, what did you think would happen when you recruit an emotionally volatile young man from a boy band and hand him power over vulnerable people?  He can't help but hurt people, can he?  But you can do something about it John McKeon.

 

So why don't you... and do it in time for Christmas.

 

It is time for flannel-mouthed politicians like John McKeon to step up and squarely oppose the slavery that we face TODAY.  How about it?

 

Will you join your bi-partisan colleagues who care enough to sponsor the Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Prevention Act (S-2928)?  Instead of ignoring modern slavery, why not adopt the use of technology to end it?   We're waiting for your answer.