“Worry is a waste of valuable time.” D. S. Mitchell 2015
Chasing The Spider by D.S. Mitchell
“My favorite old car had no reverse gear. It taught me I could only go forward.” Flavia
“The rain falls because the cloud can no longer handle the weight. The tears fall because the heart can no longer handle the pain.” The Wise You
“My art is my heart.” D. S. Mitchell 2015
“Sometimes when challenged we find out we are capable of the unthinkable.” D. S. Mitchell 2022
“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret between the shadow and soul.” Pablo Neruda
“If now isn’t a good time for the truth I don’t see when we’ll get to it.” Nikki Giovanni
“Let my old days be my best days,” Cousin Lucille
“Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is that you are stupid and make bad decisions.” Your mother
“Surround yourself with those on the same mission as you.” Anonymous
“I wonder, if you were blind, lost and confused, would you care what color the offered hand?” D. S. Mitchell 2015
“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.” Christian Grey
“Love life and life will love you back. Love people and they will love you back.” Arthur Rubenstein
“To be happy and contented, count your blessings, not your cash.” Chinese Proverb
“Studying American politics has taught me several disgusting lessons, the first being, money buys friends in Congress. That alone should terrify the American public.” D. S. Mitchell 2021
“Those who think they can control the mob are fools and are often the victims of their own incitement.” D.S. Mitchell 2021
“The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true. So I elect for neither label.” – James Branch Cabell
“I don’t need to attend every argument I’m invited to.” Unknown
“Voting is like a prayer.” Raphael Warnock 2021
“We are all valuable. The problem is not everyone is smart enough to realize it.” D. S. Mitchell 2021
“Outer beauty attracts but inner beauty captivates.” Kate Angell
“Dimming the lights will not hide the social injustice in America.” D. S. Mitchell 2017
“Silence in front of savagery is savagery itself.” Abhijit Naskar
“We can never be too busy to be kind.” D. S. Mitchell 2017
“We only fail when we fail to try.” Rosa Parks
“Every moment is a fresh beginning.” T. S. Eliot
“Every lie is like stepping in a quicksand pit. Every lie as dangerous, as telling the truth.” D. S. Mitchell 2020
“Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it, but to delight in it when it comes.” Charles Dickens
“Thoughtful people are slow to anger, not necessarily less efficient in their killing.” D. S. Mitchell 2019
“Endings are not always bad. Most times they’re just beginnings in disguise.” Kim Harrison
“The United States like so many countries around the world has chosen to give to the few and deny the many.” D.S. Mitchell 2020
“It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. This is true, its called life.” Terry Pratchett
“Law without humanity is injustice.” D. S. Mitchell 2020
“When people start acting as though the past is the same as the present and context doesn’t matter, things start to get dangerous.” Trevor K. McNeil 2020
“Pardoning the Bad, is injuring the Good.” – Benjamin Franklin
“In no instance have… the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people.” James Madison
“Anger helps straighten out a problem like a fan helps straighten out a pile of papers.” Susan Marcotte
“Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” ― Bruce Lee
“A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” Thomas Jefferson
“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” Albert Einstein
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
“The 7 Social Sins are: Wealth without Work; Pleasure without Conscience; Knowledge without Character; Commerce without Morality; Science without Humanity; Worship without Sacrifice; Politics without Principle.” Frederick Lewis Donaldson
“Trickle down economics is like having three dogs and giving one of them a hot dog, and thinking he’ll share.” Bill Maher
“All evils are equal when they are extreme.”-Pierre Corneille
“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” John F. Kennedy
“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” Isaac Asimov
“People without vaginas shouldn’t be able to regulate them.” Unknown
“Let’s just remember that social security is not the government’s money, it belongs to the people who had it taken out of the checks involuntarily their entire working lives.” Mike Huckabee
“Be sure to put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” Abraham Lincoln
“I have insecurities of course, but I don’t hang out with anyone who points them out to me.” ADELE
“I have been far oftener discriminated against because I am a woman than because I am black.” Shirley Chisholm 5/21/1969
“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” John Kenneth Galbraith
“Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair.” ― George Burns
“What this country needs is more unemployed politicians.” Edward Langley, artist
“The turning points of lives are not the great moments. The real crises are often concealed in occurrences so trivial in appearance that they pass unobserved.” ― George Washington
“If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime we would have said so.” Robert S. Mueller
“Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it’s beauty.” ― Albert Einstein
“So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.” ― Kurt Vonnegut
“A politician thinks of the next election – a statesman of the next generation.” – James Freeman Clarke
“Imagination is the bridge between the things we know for sure, and the things we need to believe, when our world becomes unbearable.” Staceyann Chin
“Freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others.” Coretta Scott King
“Inspiration descends only in flashes to clothe circumstances; it is not stored up in a barrel, like salt herrings to be doled out.”Patrick White
“Without music, life would be a mistake.” Friedrich Nietzsche
“Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.” Doug Larson
“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” ― Nelson Mandela
“Pretty comes in all sizes. My size is cute.” Honey Boo Boo, reality TV star
“If you can’t be a poet, be a poem.” David Carradine
A Poem For Don and Vlad
What folks are saying
By D. S. Mitchell
Twitter On Fire
There is a great deal of discussion about whether sex trafficker and pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide, or was murdered. OMG, if you have been on Twitter; or watching the 24/7 cable news, over the last week, the hue and cry has been thundering. The conspiracy theories are flying, and they aren’t flattering to many high profile men, such as Prince Andrew, Alan Dershowitiz, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and strangely, AG William Barr’s father, Donald Barr.
Failure Of Explanations
I have a few times in my life knowingly and eagerly embraced a “conspiracy theory.” The reason of course, was because I could not accept the unbelievable government “explanations.” The first and second were the murders of JFK and RFK. I just have felt that the Kennedy brothers made some very powerful enemies. Their enemies believed the Kennedy’s were dangerous to the country.
Massages At Epstein’s Mansion
By D. S. Mitchell
In a recently uncovered taped interview from 2015, Dershowitz claimed, that he “didn’t really like massages”. REALLY? Dershowitz has been shameless in his rejection of the truth, but such statements are ridiculous.
That stated apathy to massages didn’t stop him from getting a 15-year-old girl to give him massages. He now calls the child a “prostitute”. Come on man, a 15-year-old girl cannot legally give permission to an adult male for sexual favors. Remember folks he says he “kept (his) underwear on”.
I Doubt It
Just look at Deshowitz. He’s definitely not something a teenage prom queen is hankering for. So an ugly old white man got something he didn’t want, or requested, from sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, while he was at Epstein’s house? Was there someone holding a gun to his head? I doubt it.
Speaking For Myself
I was fifteen once. If an guy as old and creepy as Dershowitz came within 5 feet of me it would have sent me screaming into the arms of the nearest high school football player. Only the most complicit supporters can be convinced that a 15-year-old child would be interested in Alan Dershowitz. My guess is that young girls were coerced, intimidated, or threatened to perform sexual services on rich, old, white men. Being given some cash after-the-fact by a slave master does not make you any less a slave
Epstein is and was an ADMITTED pedophile. That isn’t open to debate. Yet Dershowitz considers this predatory victimizer of children a “friend”. I want to know why the media isn’t asking Mr. Dershowitz why he would consider a man like Jeffrey Epstein a friend? He was supposedly a client. When did he stop being “a client” and become his “friend”? Epstein is an admitted pedophile and Dershowitz goes to his home as a FRIEND, not as his attorney?
Standards matter. If I ever found out a “friend” of mine was a pedophile, I would immediately sever the relationship. Furthermore, when Dershowitz, an officer of the court, declares a 15-year-old child to be a “prostitute” he is clearly manipulating facts. The only reason Dershowitz calls her a “prostitute” is because he wants to decrease her worth as a human being. SHAME ON YOU, ALAN DERSHOWITZ.
Trump Associate Arrested
By D. S. Mitchell
The big news Saturday July 6th, 2019 was all about the Jeff Epstein arrest in New York. Epstein, a hedge fund billionaire, and registered sex offender has been the center of scandal and corruption for decades.
Donald Trump, our current president, has been a long-time Epstein friend and associate. I wonder if Trump has spent this week-end banging his head against the wall? Whether he is head-banging or hair-pulling, I bet Trump is throwing a mindless fit.
Trump told New York magazine in 2002 that Epstein was “a lot of fun to be with.” Epstein was known to entertain his high-flying friends on his private Caribbean island or at the Gatsby-like parties he threw at his luxury homes in Manhattan, New Mexico and Palm Beach, Florida.
Prince Andrew, younger brother of Prince Charles was reportedly close with Epstein. Andrew was forced to step down from his prominent position as special UK representative for trade in 2011, after it was reported that Epstein had once arranged a sexual encounter for the prince with a 17-year-old girl — one of a number of under-aged girls Epstein allegedly groomed to entertain his powerful male friends.
Princes And Presidents
Andrew wasn’t the only prominent man who was caught up in the Epstein sex scandal. It is well known that at one point, Epstein also hung out with both Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, the Washington Post reported.
In The Old Days
Trump commented in a 2002 interview that Epstein, “likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.” Trump has had at least 22 women make allegations of sexual assault against him. Furthermore, there is a very dark story about Trump at an Epstein party many years ago. The oft repeated tale, alleged by a then 13-year-old girl, is that Trump raped her. Epstein was given a very sweet deal in Florida, let’s see if his money and powerful friends will be coming to his aid in this now very public case in New York.
GLOBAL SEX TRAFFICKING:
PART VI – AUSTRALIA
By Trevor K. McNeil
On the Surface
Australia is generally seen as a tough, sporty, happy-go-lucky western democracy. A small isolated continent surrounded by water in a geographic region known as Oceania. A tangle of contradictions and mix of traditions making it one of the most unique, unusual and interesting nations on earth. Sadly it is also a tier 1 level country in terms of international human and sex trafficking. This despite consistently complying with minimum requirements.
It turns out the minimum is not quite enough. Trafficking is rampant in Australia in terms of both labor and sexual exploitation. It is difficult to know exactly how bad the problem is, as there is little reliable data on the issue. The government is quite scattershot in terms of acknowledging the issue. Often downplaying it as not to sully their international reputation.
No Significant Steps
According to a report by the United States Justice Department, while levels of sex trafficking are relatively low, it remains a persistent problem. Mostly due to a lack of significant steps on the part of the government. Of the 87 cases of sex trafficking in 2014, less than half ended in prosecution. Despite cases such as a 15-year-old girl who, after suffering horrific abuse requiring surgery for severe damage to her anus, was sold to an undercover police officer for $5,000.
Global Sex Trafficking:
Part V: North America
By Trevor K. McNeil
“Sex terrorism is the use of illicit sex, violence and threats to intimidate or coerce to the state of fear and submission. Sex trafficking includes the transportation of persons by means of coercion, deception and /or force into exploitative and slavery-like conditions, and is commonly associated with organized crime,”–Erika Klein, activist, writer.
Show Me The Money
Poverty and the desire to get out of it can be a very powerful motivator, although capitalism can also be a motivating factor. For everyone who “pulls themselves up by their boot-straps,” as per the American Delusion, there are more who pursue a darker journey. Taking advantage of the freest of markets in the world. The one that is completely free of any regulation, because it operates outside the law. An estimated two-thirds trafficking victims in the United States are U.S. citizens. With foreign-born women, government statistics estimate between 15,000 and 50,000 are trafficked into the country each year. Foreign born sex trafficking victims for the most part come to the United States legally on various types of visas.
The Need and the Damage Done
The most lucrative illegal market is narcotics. It is the only vice to have a democratic government declare “war” on it. Some of the richest people in North America are drug dealers. As evidence of that fact, Massachusetts has just brought suit against the billionaire Sackler family and their company, Purdue Pharma. Massachusetts claims Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers personally and actively pushed their highly addictive narcotic pain-killer, Oxycontin on an unsuspecting populace.
GLOBAL SEX TRAFFICKING:
PART IV – LATIN AMERICA
By Trevor K. McNeil
The Big Picture
Drugs and sex trafficking of children add up to big money for gangs & cartels in Latin America. While not as prevalent as in other parts of the world, more of the focus being on the drug trade, Latin America is dealing with its own growing sex trafficking issues. Particularly of young children. Corrupt governments throughout the region have moved at centipede speed in reaction to the crisis.
Comings and Goings
Much of the sex trafficking trade relies on the immigration system. Organized crime groups such as Coyotes and street-level groups like MS-13 work with sex traffickers, to exploit the flow of migrates as cover. This makes it easier to get sex trafficking victims across borders without being detected. Victims are moved to large cities and tourist spots that have brothels, sex tourism bars, strip clubs and pornography centers where traffickers require victims to take part in prostitution and sexual slavery.
South America is one of the biggest sources and destination locations for human traffickers. About twenty percent of sex trafficking victims are children. Shipped out of their native country and abused by criminals in the United States, Spain, Italy, Canada and the Netherlands.
GLOBAL SEX TRAFFICKING:
PART III – EUROPE
By Trevor K. McNeil
More Than Meets the Eye
Europe is not the first place that comes to most people’s minds when they hear the term “sex trafficking”. Europe is generally seen as a bastion of civility and progressive politics. Particularly by those who live outside of it. In the minds of many, the UK, The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Norway are Western Europe. However, the continent is huge and varied
Lots of Space to Hide
Russia is among the worst nations in Europe for sex trafficking. The Russian Federation is a massive nation made up of millions of people. The Federation covers 11 time zones and 2 continents. It is also characterized by decades of severe austerity and deep corruption. All of which make it a ripe spot for international sex trafficking. The secret nature of sex trafficking skews the statistics. Sex traffickers moved over half-a-million women and girls from Russia between 1992-2002. The average cost of each woman, $5,000.
Corrupt officials, Russian mafia, globalization and the inter-connectedness of that phenomenon, technological advances, cell phones, internet, and fast travel merged to facilitate human trafficking. The changing world has allowed the growth of an international network of criminals who use lies, drugs, imprisonment, debt bondage, exploitation, and abuse to create a criminal empire that rakes in billions of dollars annually through sex trafficking.
GLOBAL SEX TRAFFICKING:
PART II – ASIA
By Trevor K. McNeil
Human trafficking is quite simply the exploitation of a human being. Trafficked people typically have limited access to the basic necessities of food, sleep, hygiene, safety and medical care. Traffickers subject their victims to terrible physical and psychological abuse. Social isolation, being one of the worst. Violence and harsh exploitive treatment often leads to serious health risks including HIV/AIDS. Furthermore serious mental health issues result from such treatment. Anxiety, fear, stress, insecurity and trauma are common. The few studies done on the results of trafficking on its victims show high levels of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in formerly trafficked persons. The Trafficking experience can also lead to cognitive impairment, memory loss, depression, and even suicide.
Another Side Of Human Trafficking
Sex trafficking is an element of the globalized human trafficking trade. The casual observer does not see the harmful consequences of the underground criminal trafficking business. Trafficked children are of course the most vulnerable. Sadly, trafficking whether for labor or sex or a combination of the two will have a detrimental impact on a child’s emotional, physical, and overall psychological development. Human trafficking is slavery. Slavery is at its greatest level in human history.
Human beings are social creatures. Social isolation is a devastating result of trafficking. A sex trafficker’s evil intent is to separate a slave from their family and support system. There is no mechanism for the enslaved to reach out for help. The traffickers send victims to international destinations cutting them off even further from empathetic social contacts due to language, geographic and cultural differences. Rescued sex slaves report facing stigma and isolation both during and after their trafficking experience, most hurtful from family and friends.
GLOBAL SEX TRAFFICKING:
PART I – AFRICA
By Trevor K. McNeil
As Common As Sunshine
Sex trafficking is one of the most common and lucrative criminal enterprises. Sex trafficking is second only to narcotics trafficking in profit. It is no accident that the two take on similar attributes in terms of root causes and methods. One of the regions worst affected by sex trafficking, particularly involving children, is Africa.
A Matter Of Scope
It can be tempting to think of Africa as a sort of amorphous mass. There are even those in the present day who still mistake it for a country rather that a continent made up of 54 independent member nations. That said, one of the things common to nearly all of them is the tragedy of sex trafficking. International statistics show that 89% of African nations are challenged by the issue.
Economies Of Scale
The most obvious cause for sex trafficking in Africa is severe poverty in many of the member nations. Poverty is a reason both for the traffickers and those who give either themselves, or their children to the trade. At least in cases where choice is involved. The economic situation so dire in many member nations that even a relatively small amount of cash can be enough to induce someone with no previous inclination to get involved in sex trafficking.
Another major cause in all cases of sex trafficking and particularly on the African continent is supply and demand. A situation created in part by a large population of economically depressed people, combined with fear over the AIDS crisis, and shortage of females. There is a shortage of available women in many countries. This is due to the strong cultural preference for sons, leading to an imbalance of the genders. Similar to imbalances found in China and other Asian countries.
Sex trafficking is a relatively low risk activity for the traffickers. Even in nations in which it is expressly illegal, this can also often be gotten around though the judicious careful use of bribes. It is no secret that many African governments suffer from core corruption. A fact which traffickers use to their advantage.
The physical and psychological effects on the victims is devastating. Sex slaves will often commit suicide to escape another day of rape and abuse. There are other, not so visible effects of the corruption that supports human trafficking such as funneling money into criminal gangs, making their syndicates more sophisticated, better able to payoff officials and better arm their private armies if things ever get nasty. Corruption this deep can have a devastating effect on the security and prosperity of a nation.