Friday, May 26, 2006

C-FAM addressing sex-trafficing for World Cup

WorldNetDaily: 40,000 women 'sex trafficked' for World Cup
In response to reports that 40,000 young women will be brought to Germany from Central and Eastern Europe to "sexually service" men attending the World Cup soccer championship next month, a Catholic group warns that many are desperately poor and will be "sex trafficked" against their will.

Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, or C-FAM, has launched a "Stop World Cup Prostitution" campaign on its website.

C-FAM said that most women are lured into prostitution with promises of jobs as models or waitresses. C-FAM expressed especially disgust at the support the German government is giving to the importation of young women as sexual commodities.
Because the German red light districts are too small to accommodate the soccer fans, the country''s sex industry has built a massive prostitution complex, including a "mega-brothel" in Berlin, next to the main World Cup venue, that can accommodate 650 male clients.

Wooden "sex huts" or "performance boxes" have been built in fenced-in areas the size of a football field, with condoms, showers and parking and a special focus on protecting the customers' anonymity.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Oh. My. God. Baby loses hand during candy factory tour

Baby's Hand Severed At Chocolate Factory

This is just terrible for everybody. The baby was with her family on an annual Mother's Day tour of the factory when she got her left hand caught in a conveyer belt. Factory employees retrieved the baby's hand, but there is no word about whether or not it was successfully reattached.

Words can't convey how wretched everybody must feel -- the poor parents, the workers who were there, the EMS workers... And that poor baby, just reaching out an innocent little hand...

Prayers, prayers, prayers.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

CASA for children: Court-Appointed Special Advocates

CASA
Concerned over making decisions about abused and neglected children's lives without sufficient information, a Seattle judge conceived the idea of using trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of these children in court. So successful was this Seattle program that soon judges across the country began utilizing citizen advocates. In 1990, the U.S. Congress encouraged the expansion of CASA with passage of the Victims of Child Abuse Act. Today more than 900 CASA program offices are in operation, with trained women and men serving as CASA volunteers. CASA is an acronym for Court Appointed Special Advocate.

You don't need a degree to be an advocate for a child. Training is provided. You would then become an advocate for a child that might otherwise get lost in the foster care system.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Hip-Hop DJ fired, may face jail. Big surprise.

DJ Fired for Threatening to Sexually Assault 4-Year-Old
[A] syndicated hip-hop disc jockey was being investigated ... after making threatening racial and sexual remarks about a rival's wife and 4-year-old daughter....

The New York Police Department's Hate Crime Task Force launched the probe after the chief of detectives reviewed a transcript of DJ Star's on-air comments about DJ Envy and his family, said police spokesman Paul Browne.

Star, whose real name is Troi Torain, apologized on Thursday through his attorney....

....

In the comments ... Torain ... offered $500 to any listener who could provide information about the rival DJ's daughter's school and used racial slurs when talking about his wife, who is part Asian.

"I will come for your kids," Torain said.... "I finally got the information on his slant-eyed, whore wife."

Torain also called the couple's child a "little half a lo mein eater" and said he wanted to "do an R. Kelly on your seed, on your little baby girl. I would like to tinkle on her," according to the excerpts.

The comments apparently were referring to videotapes in 2002 showing a man bearing a strong resemblance to singer R. Kelly having sex with someone who appeared to be an underage girl and then urinating on her.

This hardly surprises me. I have a temporary job that requires me to ride for hours at a time in a van full of hip-hop fans, and it's a rare one of them that seems to have any sense of basic human decency. They're almost uniformly obnoxious, demanding, foul-mouthed, rude, inconsiderate, and unpleasant. Imagine oversexed, larcenous, chain-smoking toddlers from Hell and you'll have an idea. Imagine trying to drive a vanload of these people anyplace. The driver gets heaped with constant abuse and demands screamed in his ear at a volume that could crack concrete. And their number one demand is that the radio constantly blare a hip-hop station. (If the driver doesn't comply, one of them will leap out of her seat and commandeer the radio. And if the driver dares to change the station, turn down the volume, or -- God forbid! -- turn the radio off, the abuse is jacked up to a new level.)

I've not noticed any sense of right or wrong among them. It's purely about what they want. And they want it NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW! There's no filter on what comes out their mouths, and most of what comes out is ugly indeed.

They use the cup holders for ash trays, even though the driver could get fired for "permitting" smoking in the van. As if he could stop it. They litter the seats and floor with dropped food and trash. And the curses fly. Constantly. No noun goes unadorned with "f-ing". Most verbs are adorned likewise. There are demands to know why the driver "f-ing" chose the "f-ing" route he's "f-ing" driving, even though they know that the driver is following directions given to him by his supervisor. There are demands to "f-ing" stop to "f-ing" urinate and "f-ing" deficate and "f-ing" buy more "f-ing" cigarettes. Followed by demands that the driver "f-ing" drive "f-ing" faster to make up for the time lost in these pit stops, as if the delay is the driver's fault. And all of this at an ear-spitting volume.

They brag up their exploits in theft. A favorite is to break into vacant buildings and rip out the pipes, though cracking into vending machines takes a close second. Shoplifting and pilfering are also popular. They exchange tips on how to pull off these crimes. I'm not clear at all on why they supplement their criminal income with wages at all, unless it's a condition of their parole that they be employed.

When we get put up in motels out of town, the party begins. Fresh abuse is heaped on the hapless driver if the motel is not a quick walk to a bar or a liquor store - though the driver doesn't choose the motel. Then the agruments start about who will pay for the taxi for a booze run. Boastful stories abound of trashed rooms, encounters with the police, drugs and memory lapses. And indignation is a common theme. How dare the boss have fired so-and-so just because he smashed those beer bottles on parked cars outside the motel? Or just because he showed up for work stoned out of his mind? Or just because he heaped curses and abuse on some hapless desk clerk who tried to halt a particularly rowdy party? Some motels won't rent rooms to the company any more. Surprised? (Though the risk of being fired does make the worst of the parties -- or best, depending on your point of view -- unusual. The typical party seems to be just drinking and smoking pot until they run out of beer and whisky and then stagger back to their respective rooms or pass out where they are. Imagine for yourself how bright and cheerful they are when they tumble out of bed for work in the morning.)

This isn't a racial issue. The worst offender in the screaming-obscenities-in-the-driver's-ear department and the commandeering-the-radio depatment is a tiny pale waif with blond hair and blue eyes and a mouth that would make a sailor blush. It's the soul that's dark, not the skin.

I'm not saying hip-hop causes this sort of attitude and behavior, but it celebrates, elevates, and legitimizes it. It certainly reinforces it. It's both a symptom and a food. And the demand to up the ante, to get meaner and uglier, continues. Is it any surprise that somebody whose job is to cater to these people threatens to rape a preschooler? Why not, in a culture that's all about anger, gratification, and simply taking what you want?

What happens when the government meddles

Medical charity illegal, government says
In the late 1960s, Dr. James Baker of Aberdeen WA charged $8.00 for a standard office consultation. But when a patient on blood pressure medicine came in to have blood pressure checked, Dr. Baker couldn't justify charging the full $8.00 so he charged a more charitable $4.00 instead.

Because the government had to get the best price, the Medicare bureaucrats informed the doctor that as far as the Medicare program was concerned his fee for his standard office consultation was actually $4.00, not $8. So, the government would pay him or reimburse patients the usual 80 percent, or $3.20.

Oh, yes, and he better try really hard to collect that other 80 cents or the government would conclude that his usual fee was actually only $3.20, and the government would pay 80 percent of that, or $2.56; the formula spirals downward from there.

So, if a doctor charitably charged less to poor patients, the government paid the doctor no more than the fee paid by these charity patients.

Which may explain why my family practice clinic now charges $68 for what used to be a $35 office visit, hence putting going to the doctor out of my budget reach. And I'm betting I'm not the only one suffering because of this sort of thing.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Good news for folks in developing nations on the DDT/malaria front

DDT: A Weapon of Mass Survival
The U.S. Government has finally begun to reverse policy on the insecticide DDT. Let's hope that this policy shift represents the beginning of the end of what can only be called a crime against humanity: the decades-old withholding of the world's most effective anti-malarial weapon from billions of adults and children at risk of dying from the disease.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) told the Washington Times this week (May 3) that it endorses and will fund the indoor spraying of DDT in sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria kills more than one million Africans annually, mostly children under five and pregnant women.

....

USAID reportedly will use about 20 percent of its $99 billion budget to fund indoor spraying with DDT, according to the Times. "Between 1 million and 1.5 million people will be protected," a USAID official told the Times.

It's about freaking time! How many millions of people have died needlessly? Let's get the ball rolling on this!
The policy change is timely given a recent commentary published in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet (April 25) in which a number of researchers accuse the World Bank of deception and medical malpractice in the struggle against malaria.

The researchers charge that the World Bank reneged on its promise to spend $300 million to $500 million for malaria control in Africa; concealed the actual amount of its expenditures; reduced its staff of malaria experts from seven to zero shortly after promising to do more to fight the disease; published false epidemiological studies to exaggerate the performance of its projects; and funded clinically obsolete treatments, against the World Health Organization’s advice, for malaria in India.

The Lords of Poverty were cheating and lying? Who woulda thunk it!
There never was any scientific evidence that DDT posed a risk to humans or wildlife. ....

DDT was nonethless banned in the U.S. when then-EPA administrator William Ruckleshaus reversed without explanation the decision of the judge who actually heard all the DDT testimony – Ruckleshaus heard none of it and never read any of the transcript. As it was later revealed, Ruckleshaus was a member of the Audubon Society and raised money for the Environmental Defense Fund – the two activist groups that led the charge for the DDT ban.

The fix was in for DDT, as environmental activists subsequently exported the ban to the rest of the world – with horrific consequences, including tens of millions killed and billions made ill by malaria over time.

So a few troublemakers get a wild hair up their asses, and millions -- mostly children and pregnant mothers -- die a horrible, needless death as a result. This is a crime against humanity and I wish that the perpetrators could be held accountable.

For more information, see Three Billion and Counting.

New autopsy raises allegations about teen's death at "boot camp"

New Autopsy Finds Fla. Boot Camp Victim Suffocated by Guards
TAMPA, Fla. — A 14-year-old boy ... at a juvenile boot camp died because the sheriff's officials suffocated him, a medical examiner said Friday, contradicting a colleague who blamed the death on a usually benign blood disorder.

"Martin Anderson's death was caused by suffocation due to actions of the guards at the boot camp," said Dr. Vernard Adams, who conducted the second autopsy.

Adams said the suffocation was caused by hands blocking the boy's mouth, as well as the "forced inhalation of ammonia fumes" that caused his vocal cords to spasm, blocking his upper airway.

....

Martin Lee Anderson's body was exhumed after a camp surveillance videotape surfaced showing the guards roughing him up and shoving ammonia pills up his nose Jan. 5, a day before he died. ....

....

No one has been arrested in connection with the death, which sparked protests at the state Capitol, forced lawmakers to scrap the military-style camps and led to the resignation of the state's top law enforcement officer.

....

The videotape shows Anderson being kneed, struck and dragged by guards on his first day at the Bay County Sheriff's boot camp for juvenile offenders. He was eventually taken to a Pensacola hospital, where he died a few hours later.

....

Anderson had collapsed while doing push-ups, sit-ups, running laps and other exercises that were part of his admission process at the camp. The sheriff's office said force was used on Anderson because he was uncooperative.

He had been sent to the boot camp for violating probation by trespassing at a school after he and his cousins were charged with stealing their grandmother's car from a church parking lot.

Yeah, we need to teach teen offenders some discipline, but abuse is not discipline.