Thursday, February 11, 2010

Forced into Sex Trade, in OHIO?

That's the summary of a panel that was created by the Ohio Governor to look into the state and find out if there was a problem.

OK, so my scepticism needle is twitching. Has anyone ever seen a panel report, or a special report commissioned that failed to find the exact problem they were told to look for? In other words, if you convene a panel to look into the problem of the color red. Is it too prevalent in our society, they'll come back with a long winded report telling you that yes, the color red is in fact, far too prevalent in our society. In fact, the color red is dangerously close to becoming overused, and perhaps even the dominant color of the spectrum.

Now, the panel in question purportedly looked into the sex business in Ohio, and amazingly enough, found huge problems with Ohio regarding this problem.

Yeah. I mean, when you hear of people taking a sex vacation. Ohio is right at the top of the list right? Wait, Ohio isn't on the list? How did that happen? Let's be serious for a moment shall we? In Nevada, Prostitution is legal. So why would you go to Ohio, where the nightlife is best shown on the Drew Carey Show, and appears to consist of a bunch of people sitting in a bar and drinking beer until they pass out. Why go to Ohio when you could go to Vegas, and have all the fun you want, legally?

Yet, it's apparently Ohio's weak laws on Human Trafficking that make Ohio such a dangerous place for people. Ohio, the State? Apparently, the folks in Ohio haven't yet heard, but here's a news flash. You are a State. Human Trafficking of the type mentioned in the article, from and to foreign countries is really the area where that huge Federal Government is supposed to be working. Especially if you are actually believing that there is this secret underground conduit from Canada, through Ohio, to the world. (Canada is another of those low on the list sex vacation spots)

So how many people are estimated to be forced into the sex trade in Ohio each year? According to the hype of the report, 1,000. A thousand. Now, knowing how Government Estimates when they are claiming a problem are always way higher than the truth. From the Hundreds of Millions of Homeless that suddenly exist only when a Republican is President, to claims of jobs created or saved, Government estimates are always hyper inflated.

So we can assume that the number is roughly half that, or about 500. Now, I'll agree that one girl being forced into prostitution is wrong. Yet, the question that comes up is what do we do when the girls run away from home, and seek out people who will abuse them? That is what happens in nearly every case. The girls get involved in drugs, or normal teenage angst, or above normal angst, and then run away from home.

There is another problem with this claim. The National Center for missing and exploited children lists a total of 45 kids, total, missing from Ohio. That is for all years. Even if you say that list is hardly complete, and I agree, it probably is very incomplete, where are the families of the other children who are missing? Are they in on this human trafficking problem?

To read the report, you would think that there is some shadow organization that is finding clean cut good girls from the honors list and kidnapping them into a world of sex and drugs. The truth is, the girls and boys in questions are victims, but they begin as willing participants, and often finish as such.

They want the drugs, and don't care about what comes with it. Now, are the men, and women who use these kids bad? Yes. Yet the truth still remains. This is on a national scale, a very minor problem. Even on the scale of the state, it's a very minor problem.

With a population of 11.5 million people, even the claimed number of 1,000 people forced into the sex trade is a fraction of a percentage point.

By comparison, Ohio had more than 500 murders in the state in 2008. They had more than 4,000 reported rape cases. These are crimes that are reported, in which the victim hopes to get some justice.

The problem with Prostitution, even child prostitution, is that the victim often refuses to appear and testify. Cities give summons to Prostitutes all the time, and know that they won't appear in court. They'll move on to another city, another area. They'll find another place to do their crime, and buy their drugs.

If we must focus an entire panel on the problems of children, why don't we focus on the problems that affect all the children? The problems we can fix are numerous, and widespread.

Start with school. Why are kids who choose to play football lauded over the kids who choose to study art or music? Why do we not herald the achievements of kids who get high grade point averages? Why not tell the kids starting at an early age that academic achievement is an excellent goal that takes years of hard work?

Why not show the earnings potential of science and math versus athletics to the kids?

If we want to help the kids, why not start young, and give them the foundation of knowledge that would reduce this trend of drugs, and sexual exploitation, in a meaningful way?

Instead, a panel spent weeks, or months, creating a hyped report, with seriously questionable conclusions, all at taxpayer expense. The conclusion? Of course, more Government. More laws. More regulations.

Sex with a minor is against the law in most states. Ohio is one of those. Coercion, Racketeering, and abuse is against the law. Are you telling me that the people committing these crimes against kids aren't violating one of the existing laws? We don't need panels, or new laws. We have millions of laws on the books already. We need to enforce the existing laws.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Our approval of Politicians

A friend recently asked me why we get angry, or annoyed with Politicians when we elect them. The point was this, they campaigned, and we cast our ballot for them, and then when they do what they said they would, we get annoyed, or even angry with them. That question got me to thinking and I wanted to blog it to explain the fickle nature of the public.

1) Candidates only campaign in the most general of terms. They promise reform, or in the most recent election, hope and change. Yet, those terms are so vague, and his explanations were so general, lacking in any specifics, that you are left to create your own details.

The comedic newspaper writer Dave Barry has "run for President" in two elections. His views on the issues? He agrees with you on 100% of the issues. Now that is a chuckle getting line, but when you listen to a Politician running for office, they are slightly more serious when they say essentially that they do agree with each and every one of you on a vast majority of the issues.

2) Willingness to doubt the statements of the Candidate we don't agree with. Then there are statements that the candidate makes, and we are willing to deceive ourselves and pretend that he wouldn't be dumb enough to actually do that. He's just playing up to this group, or that special interest to get their votes. He's really far more reasonable than that isn't he?

Or as an alternate to that one, we're willing to believe he can be stopped from pursuing that one.

To summarize, it's our willingness to pretend that the candidate isn't as big of a moron as we suspect he might actually be.

I've personally started to think that Douglas Adams had the right idea in the Restaurant and the End of the Universe. Anyone who wants to hold High Political Office, is automatically disqualified from having the power that comes with it.

I mean think about this. They're spending millions of their own money, to get a job that pays about $200,000 a year. That makes such bad financial sense that it makes you wonder how dumb they really are. Until you realize that for them to get the money in the first place, or keep from losing it all about ten seconds after they inherited it, they would have to be way smarter than that.

So we're left with the idea, that they are running for Political office for what they can get out of it, and us. I also note that no President has ever left office broke.

President Clinton for example, born poor in Arkansas, is a millionaire several times over. Yet, he spent a good portion of his life in Public Housing. The People technically owned the Governor's Mansion in Arkansas, and the White House in DC.

Was this an unintended consequence of his being elected President? I doubt it, but have no idea in reality.

We hear all the time about Politicians getting sweetheart loans, and we realize that again, Senators and Congressmen rarely leave office in a bad financial state. Most of them are usually Wealthy.

So why would we lose faith in the very politicians we elected? Simple, we vote hoping that they're different, and realize afterwards that they're just as bad as the last one. The only change we get, is the position we get screwed in. The only thing I can think of to eliminate this trend is to put term limits and extremely high taxes on the Politicians, so they leave office flat busted broke and have to get a job with the rest of us.

Then we might have a government that is a bit more Of the people, By the people, and FOR the people

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Now the Police want a cops only net?

Yes, the Police actually want to have an easier time investigating you, and be able to stop waiting around for some person at a company to quit taking days to comply with a Subpoena.

By looking at the history of the police, and their abuse of technology, we can clearly see that each database we give them, and give them access to, is abused by someone. From the NCIC being used by then Chief of Police Southers to run background checks on people he had no business interfering with. If the former Chief of Police was running background checks on his ex-wife's new boyfriends, then how many other police officers are doing the same thing? Is this something that all the cops are doing? Are the police running people through the computer at the slightest whim of curiosity?

My belief is if you give a group a chance to screw up, then someone in that group will screw up eventually. If it is a chance to abuse power and authority, then someone will do it eventually.

The police are also hoping that changing the law will require Internet Service Providers to maintain records for up to five years. The article claims that frustrations for the police are extreme.

Kardasz's survey, based on questionnaires completed by 100 police investigators,
says that 61 percent of them had their investigations harmed "because data was
not retained" and only 40 percent were satisfied with the timeliness of
responses from Internet providers.
Allow me to translate this for you from the blame game, to human speak. The police investigated, and felt the suspect was guilty as could be. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough evidence that the guy committed the crime. So it's not that the police investigated an innocent person, it's that the Internet Service Providers didn't keep enough stuff around for the Police to prove the guy was guilty.

Hunches such as the ones described above, may be a good enough reason to take a look at someone. However, if the evidence doesn't support your hunch, you admit you made a mistake, and move along. Yet, the police in question, don't blame their hunches, they blame the evidence. Talk about shooting the messenger.

I say that the Police do NOT need a cops only Internet, and I say that the investigations were flawed from the get go. If a person is guilty, you should be able to prove that. If all you have is some weak circumstantial evidence, then the person is innocent, until proven guilty.

The IRS needs Shotguns?

The IRS, you know, that Federal Bureaucracy that employs thousands of accountants, lawyers, and nosy busybodies, is accepting bids from sellers of Shotguns. Seriously.

The statement is that the shotguns are needed for their Criminal Investigations Division. You need a shotgun to go over someones financial records? Are you joking? Please tell me you are joking.

Quotes are solicited under Request For Quotation (RFQ) number TIRWR-10-Q-00023.
This announcement constitutes the only solicitation; a written RFQ will not be
issued. If your company can provide the product listed in the RFQ and comply
with all of the RFQ instructions, please respond to this notice.

This requirement is a Small Business Set-Aside and only
qualified sellers may submit quotes. NACIS code for this requirement is 332994.
The RFQ opens on the date this announcement is posted and closes Wednesday,
February 10, 2010, 2:00:00 PM Pacific Standard Time. Response should be emailed
or mailed by the closing date to or IRS, 1301 Clay Street,
Suite 810S, Oakland, CA 94612. FOB Destination shall be Washington DC.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) intends to purchase sixty
Remington Model 870 Police RAMAC #24587 12 gauge pump-action shotguns for the Criminal Investigation Division

I guess they aren't joking. Apparently, it's only that I wish they were. Are you seriously telling me that the IRS actually needs shotguns to crawl over the financial records of a citizen? Am I the only one who finds this incredible?

Monday, February 01, 2010

Just a few questions Mr. President

The current fleet of Space Shuttles should reach the end of their service lives this year, 2010. Obviously, we could push that envelope a bit, and try to keep it going for another year or two. However, the question comes up, what do we replace it with?

The Constellation Program. Was part of a larger idea. Earth, the Moon, and Mars with one system that was adaptable to it's needs. It would have allowed us to service the International Space Station, transfer supplies, and allow us to plan and execute missions beyond Earth Orbit, which the Shuttle couldn't.

The President has decided that first on the chopping block is the Constellation program. This is the first thing he feels needs to be cut from the Federal Budget.

OK, let's say I agree we need to curb Federal spending, which I do. However, I have one question Mr. President. How do we service the International Space Station without the Shuttle, or it's replacement? You know, get people up there, supplies, things like that.

The Russian system is incapable of sustaining a full crew on the Space Station indefinitely. The Euro Space Program is just now getting the tests underway of their unmanned cargo system online. It's not ready yet, and the question is again, how do we service the ISS?

Only the Shuttle is capable of carrying the components into space, and positioning them where they need to be to complete construction of the station. Only NASA has the experience needed to conduct the long term spacewalks required to connect these components. They aren't Lego's, they have to be precisely aligned and connected properly, the very first time.

So why am I the first person to ask this question, what are we going to do with this huge station we have in orbit right now? Are we going to fly the Shuttle indefinitely? Already, NASA is having trouble getting parts, you see, the technology that went into the Shuttle was cutting edge, in 1976. Computer chips that were revolutionary at the time, are astoundingly difficult to find. A Gateway laptop probably has more computer power than all the computers used by the shuttle combined at it's inception.

So what are we going to do with the International Space Station Mr. President? Also why isn't the NASA administrator, who is busy explaining why this is just the way the Federal Budget bounces, asking these questions?

There is another issue we haven't considered. Helium 3, which seems mathmatically to answer a number of issues concerning Fusion Power, and it's eventual replacement of all other power sources on Earth, is rather rare here on Earth. As in nearly non existant. However, it is far more abundant on the moon. Also there are theories that Helium 3 can be used in medical treatments and tests to show actual Lung activity in real time.

Yet, by canceling the Moon phase of of NASA, aren't we putting this material, and cheap, clean, efficient energy beyond our reach for decades?

It is an axiom that we should reduce spending during difficult times. That is a truth that every family in America knows. However, it's also a truism that you don't cut your nose off in spite of your face. By canceling NASA's moon program, and the larger Constellation program, aren't we doing exactly that? Isn't the short term gain, as small as it is a part of the budget, more easily found elsewhere? Isn't our potential long term loss so great we should reconsider this idea? I believe it is, and I think that the White House hasn't really considered this matter fully. I think that NASA should have made a better case, and the cries for Green Energy would be clamoring for Fusion power.

Perhaps not, because truly reliable, clean, cheap energy, would be the opposite of what the environmentalist nuts want. They want expensive rationed energy instead.

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