Tag Archives: Children

Myths That Won’t Die: Sex Trafficking And The Super Bowl

While no one disputes the idea that any sex trafficking is too much sex trafficking, and that people caught in that evil trade are usually there unwillingly, there is ample reason to dispute what has become an annual refrain: that the Super Bowl attracts the highest level of sex trafficking.

Like the lie that domestic violence is highest on Super Bowl Sunday, this claim seems targeted at sports-loving men. Those animals!

Some attribute the genesis of this lie to then Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (now a candidate for Texas Governor) who, in 2011, said that the Super Bowl is “commonly known as the single largest human trafficking incident in the United States.” However, others have noted these stories go back at least 2 years earlier.

But there simply isn’t any evidence this is actually the case.

From The Gospel Coalition: FactChecker: Super Bowl Sex Trafficking and Other Myths

Human trafficking is one of the greatest evils of our age. But contrary to the claim of Abbott — and journalists who repeat the claim every year — there is no evidence that sex trafficking increases during the Super Bowl.

According to the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, police departments in cities hosting the Super Bowl deny that sex trafficking increases around the game:

2008: Phoenix police Sergeant Tommy Thompson: “We may have had certain precincts that were going gangbusters looking for prostitutes, but they were picking up your everyday street prostitutes. They didn’t notice any sort of glitch in the number of prostitution arrests leading up to the Super Bowl.”

2009: Tampa police spokeswoman Andrea Davis: “We didn’t see a huge influx in prostitutes coming into Tampa. The arrests were not a lot higher. They were almost the same.”

2010: Miami police said they arrested 14 for prostitution. Those figures are not uncommon for large cities during a seven-day period, experts said.

2011: Public information officer Sherri Jeffrey with the Dallas Police Department: There were “zero arrests for trafficking in the time frame surrounding the Super Bowl.”

Sports on Earth: The Sex Trafficking Super Bowl Myth

The persistence of the Super Bowl sex-trafficking myth can be credited to the theatrical quality of its anecdotes. McCain’s activism originated with an experience she had while shopping in Calcutta. She heard noises under the shop floor and looked down. “I could see all these little eyes looking up at me, and I realized it was probably 30 little girls, looking up through the floorboards at me,” she said. “I realized at that time that it was very serious, and these girls were either enslaved or being trafficked, but the kicker was [that] I walked out of that shop, and I never did anything.” Afterwards, McCain approached Arizona governor Jan Brewer to propose taking action on trafficking, and the state’s Task Force on Human Trafficking was created.

The Wire: The Super Bowl Sex-Trafficking Story That Just Won’t Die

In 2012, The Houston Press’s Peter Kotz thoroughly tore apart that story, explaining that law enforcement officials in the cities where past Super Bowls occurred never actually saw increases in prostitution busts or the number of trafficked prostitutes, even despite increased efforts to catch johns, pimps, and traffickers. “We didn’t see a huge influx in prostitutes coming into Tampa. The arrests were not a lot higher. They were almost the same,” a Tampa police spokeswoman said in 2009, and a police spokesperson in Phoenix said in 2008 that there was nothing out of the ordinary: “We may have had certain precincts that were going gangbusters looking for prostitutes, but they were picking up your everyday street prostitutes,” and not foreign women “imported” for the event.

National Post: Sex and the Super Bowl: Is the big game really a magnet for prostitution and human trafficking?

“This myth trivializes trafficking … and wastes needed resources that could be used to actually address trafficking,” said Julie Ham, author of a 2011 study on human trafficking and major sporting events for the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women.

“This is part of a larger moral panic about trafficking, which reduces all trafficking to sex. All trafficking is not about sex,” said Pardis Mahdavi, professor in anthropology at Pomona College, Cal., whose research focuses on human trafficking.

The Predestination Paradox

This is a repost from June 4th, 2008. A friend of mine and I were discussing this tonight and I was trying to recall where I’d read this reconciliation of the two viewpoints. Funny I should find myself the author.

This is only the lightest of treatments of what has muddled many a mind and rankled many an argument over the vast span of history between Christ’s walking on earth and out present day.

Let me begin by putting all my cards on the table:

Predestination (or election) and choice and free-will in salvation are not mutually exclusive and in fact are both true throughout both the moment of salvation and the life-long process of sanctification.

First up in the list of evidence is that passage many evangelicals love to hate, Romans 8. This excerpt from verses 28 through 30 contains the most difficult bits:

(28) And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (29) For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (30) And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

The meaning of this verse is not open to much discussion or debate, it is rather clear on it’s face: we are not responsible for our salvation or sanctification. We are merely fortunate to have been chosen.

Next up, Romans 9: 6-22:

(6) …it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, (7) and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” (8) This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. (9) For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” (10) And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, (11) though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— (12) she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” (13) As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

(14) What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! (15) For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” (16) So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. (17) For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” (18) So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

(19) You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” (20) But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” (21) Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? (22) What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,

This is very similar to God’s ultimate response to Job at the end of his complaining. God tells him his mind is too small to understand all the purposes behind His working in the world. Trust is not trust when we see the whole picture or comprehend the entire situation.

But then what of choice? It seems that Paul has not left any room for choice and free-will in either salvation or sanctification.

So then we get to the “friendly” passages. The ones that are quoted every Sunday and most every other day from thousands of pulpits and soap-boxes around the world promoting the ease of access to God’s redemptive plan, John 3:16:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

As we can see, there is little debating this scripture either. “Whoever” is an inclusive word with the only limiter being one of undebatable choice: “believes”. The choice is obviously ours to make when it comes to salvation.

So then there is a paradox, there are two apparently mutually exclusive claims made regarding salvation and it’s cause and effect.

Using these verses and their context, it is not difficult to see how they fit together like two sides of the same coin.

John 3 begins with the account of Nicodemus’ talk with Jesus. Jesus was telling an unsaved and searching man how he ought to find salvation.

Romans 8 and 9 are revealing a greater understanding of salvation, sanctification, and the Christian walk to those already saved.

When God speaks to those who need Him and who He desires to come to Him, that is all of us, He speaks of our need and choice. And when He speaks to those of us who are working out lives defined by His process of sanctification, He speaks of His own supremacy and unmatchable ability to reach out to us, draw us, save us and sanctify us and of our own inability to accomplish any of the same.

God’s omniscience and His perspective seeing our entire lives, He sees our beginning and our ending at the same ‘time’ and therefore knows how we will choose before the choice is even presented. This is confirmed and expounded upon by Paul’s statement that “He works all things together for good to those called”. However, in much the same way an observing scientist’s knowledge that a mouse will eventually reach the cheese in the maze does not negate the free-will in the choices that mouse made reaching the cheese, God’s knowledge and awareness of our entire life-path at all times and His active work in our life-path do not negate the fact that we are responsible for the choices he has given us.

Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision, offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever, ’twixt that darkness and that light.

Then to side with truth is noble, when we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and ’tis prosperous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses while the coward stands aside,
Till the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.

By the light of burning martyrs, Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
Toiling up new Calv’ries ever with the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth,
They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.

Though the cause of evil prosper, yet the truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.

Update 8/31/09:

Neil at 4Simpsons links to an article attempting to reconcile Predestination and Free Will at the blog Winging It. David argues that God’s predestination and election awakes the heart to experience the free will capable of accepting salvation.

Throw The Book At Her!

From last week: I learned I’m not allowed to decide how responsible my children are and the resulting levels of freedom they can then enjoy.

And in the re-running of the classic comic For Better or For Worse, we learn that Ellie is an abusive parent, allowing and even requiring her children, and her friend’s children, to walk to the park.

090718few

She ought to have helicoptered as the current social freaks require, driving the boys to the park, catered to their every whim.

And allowed their legs to shrivel up and fall off.

Today I Learned…

…I’m not allowed, as father and parent, to decide when and how my children are allowed to be mature.

I was quite capable, at 10 years old, to go to the grocery store by myself, on my bike, and pick up various thing my mother needed but couldn’t load the whole family into the car for.

But in Illinois, if I allow my children to be unsupervised before they’re 14, I’m negligent and liable.

So the question is:

Do I make myself the target in order to illustrate how ludicrous such nanny-state tactics are in arming do-gooders and busy-bodies the world over with false moral standing in their quest to ruin the world for the rest of us normal people?

Or do I keep my kids in the back yard until they’re fully feral?

What kind of responsibility did you have growing up? And how much responsibility would you give you children today? How similar are you to your parents or how different?

And what about the mother who let her son ride the subway home alone in New York city?

Speak Softly…

angry-main_Full

Consistent discipline works for both recalcitrant children and rogue nations.

With children, letting them know their options and the consequences of their choices and allowing them to choose and accept their consequences is the bedrock of discipline.

Growing up, all of us children knew that for standard disobedience, the punishment was three swats from the Red bud rod. For lying, it was “triples” or 9 swats.

Some infractions had stronger or different punishments: when I tried burning the house down by inserting foreign objects into our old furnace, Dad grounded me for 6 months (I think I was out after 3 months on good behavior). For throwing nuts and dirt over my friend’s neighbors fence into their pool, we had to go to their front door and apologize. When I yelled at mom ( a few times), dad “tanned my hide” until he felt I’d learned that wasn’t an approved method of communication.

But the consistency was that we knew when we did something, there were expected and consistent consequences.

Now what if my parents were elected every 4 years, and they could only get 2 terms consecutively?

That wouldn’t work for child-rearing, obviously. But it is the best bet for a Republican form of government.

And yet, many of the weaknesses that make a constantly changing head of state such a bad idea for a family continue into the structure of the Presidency of the United States.

Right now, there is a nuclear-armed North Korea threatening severe retaliation to any attempts to curtail their missile-rattling. They are publicly stating their intention of shooting a missile towards Hawaii. None of their current arsenal will reach that far, but it’s no light thing to shoot a missile in the direction of the United States of America.

It’s my country.

The organization which likes to think it is the supreme chancellor of the entire world has already laid out sanctions against North Korea explicitly stating that country is not allowed to export any weapons or weapons materials.

North Korea has their number: now shipping to Myanmar/Burma is a shipload of weapons origination from North Korea.

So the cheeky brat has toed the line. It’s the recalcitrant child acting up and testing how far he can push against the rules.

The UN is in high dander over this and is threatening… wait for it… more sanctions! Yea, that’ll stop ’em.

The United States of America is not the mother of the world, nor the father. We’re the big brother. We’re not responsible for controlling the internal workings of other nations, but as the largest and most moral (I did not say perfect, I said “most moral”) we bear a responsibility to the rest of the world that is not shared by any other nation right now.

In the Reagan and Bush days, our President would be standing tall and calling the leadership of North Korea on the carpet for the systematic denial of basic human rights even to their own citizens. Shame would be called upon the leadership of that nation for it’s repression of dissent backward, anti-liberty policies. And for it’s missile-rattling, North Korea would be facing an insurmountable and effectively devastating result to it’s brutish and bullying behavior.

In the Obama era we sit, and wait. And send a single ship to babysit the weapons-carrying vessel as it plies the waters heading towards the despotic dictatorship destroying Burma/Myanmar.

We aren’t allowed to board or hinder the vessel in any way.

We can ask them to stop.

Perhaps these people just feel they are misunderstood by the rest of the world. And if we just ask them how they’re feeling they’ll open up to us.

A word of advice, completely free: Don’t let psychologists run the police department and don’t let them run foreign policy.

“How do you feel” is not a valid question in foreign policy. Particularly when the one you’re asking is holding the trigger on a nuclear device and when his history shows mental instability on the part of the entire government.

You hold up a bigger hammer that he has and you let him know that if he takes one more step, you’ll whack him.

And when he takes that step?

Whack him.

As an expectant father, I’m none too interested in raising my child in a new round of fall0ut shelters and nuclear attack drills.

MADD is not peace. MADD is fear. (Nothing against Mothers Against Drunk Driving).

I don’t live in fear.

I choose to live in peace brought about by the appropriate and effective use of threat and fact of force.

President Obama apparently plans to achieve peace through the shrinking violet method.

Something the American populace needs to understand, and quickly, is that every election is a foreign-policy election.

The less our government does internally to America, the better off we’ll be. The more our government is involved in protecting American interests off-shore, the better off we’ll be.

And because, right now, we’re still the most moral nation in the world. It can be generally said that when America operates in it’s own best interest, the world benefits from it.

Not that we are so full of ourselves that we believe goods things for us are good things for all.

But a strong United States of America means petty tyrants the world over will know they can trust the actions and will of America will be continually against their petty tyranny. And that if they attempt to export either their pettiness or their tyranny, we’ll be there with a big stick, a mop, and a bucket to beat them into submission again and clean up their mess.

A strong United States would be calling steadily and constantly for freedom of the election in Iran, and working actively in support of the open and democratic process in that nation. And the world would safer.

A strong United States would be responding to North Korea’s insane and idoitic ambitions as it would to a petulant and rebellious child. We would state the consequences of their continued stupidity, and if they continued, we would give them the consequences they were promised. And the world would be safer.

It’s not really a difficult or complex idea, from this side. Which is probably why the hyper intelligent President Obama, who, along with his leadership team insist on seeing everything in so many shades of grey it would make a color blind person swear they could differentiate green and blue.

But unless there is a consistent, strong, and swift exercise of our own (and all others on this globe’s) rights to life and liberty ensured through the appropriate show and use of force, there will be consequences…

For us.