Obama administration placed children with human traffickers, report says
January 28, 2016
The Obama administration failed to protect thousands of Central American children who have flooded across the U.S. border since 2011, leaving them vulnerable to traffickers and to abuses at the hands of government-approved caretakers, a Senate investigation has found.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, failed to do proper background checks of adults who claimed the children, allowed sponsors to take custody of multiple unrelated children, and regularly placed children in homes without visiting the locations, according to a 56-page investigative report released Thursday.
And once the children left federally funded shelters, the report said, the agency permitted their adult sponsors to prevent caseworkers from providing them post-release services.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) initiated the six-month investigation after several Guatemalan teens were found in a dilapidated trailer park near Marion, Ohio, where they were being held captive by traffickers and forced to work at a local egg farm. The boys were among more than 125,000 unaccompanied minors who have surged into the United States since 2011, fleeing violence and unrest in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
“It is intolerable that human trafficking — modern-day slavery — could occur in our own backyard,” Portman said in a written statement. “What makes the Marion cases even more alarming is that a U.S. government agency was responsible for delivering some of the victims into the hands of their abusers.”
The report concluded that administration “policies and procedures were inadequate to protect the children in the agency’s care.”
HHS spokesman Mark Weber said in a statement that the agency would “review the committee’s findings carefully and continue to work to ensure the best care for the children we serve.”
The report was released ahead of a hearing Thursday before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which Portman co-chairs with Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). It detailed nearly 30 cases where unaccompanied children had been trafficked after federal officials released them to sponsors or where there were “serious trafficking indicators.”
“HHS places children with individuals about whom it knows relatively little and without verifying the limited information provided by sponsors about their alleged relationship with the child,” the report said.
For example, one Guatemalan boy planned to live with his uncle in Virginia. But when the uncle refused to take the boy, he ended up with another sponsor, who forced him to work nearly 12 hours a day to repay a $6,500 smuggling debt, which the sponsor later increased to $10,900, the report said.
A boy from El Salvador was released to his father even though he told a caseworker that his father had a history of beating him, including hitting him with an electrical cord. In September, the boy alerted authorities that his father was forcing him to work for little or no pay, the report said; a post-release service worker later found the boy was being kept in a basement and given little food.
The Senate investigation began in July after federal prosecutors indicted six people in connection with the Marion labor-trafficking scheme, which involved at least eight minors and two adults from the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala.
One defendant, Aroldo Castillo-Serrano, 33, used associates to file false applications with the government agency tasked with caring for the children, and bring them to Ohio, where he kept them in squalid conditions in a trailer park and forced them to work 12-hour days, at least six days a week, for little pay. Castillo-Serrano has pleaded guilty to labor-trafficking charges and awaits sentencing in the Northern District of Ohio in Toledo.
The FBI raided the trailer park in December 2014, rescuing the boys, but the Senate investigation says federal officials could have discovered the scheme far sooner.
In August 2014, a child-welfare caseworker attempted to visit one of the children, who had been approved for post-release services because of reported mental-health problems, according to the report.
The caseworker went to the address listed for the child, but the person who answered the door said the child didn’t live there, the report added. When the caseworker finally found the child’s sponsor, the sponsor blocked the caseworker from talking to the child.
Instead of investigating further, the caseworker closed the child’s case file, the report said, citing “ORR policy which states that the Post Release Services are voluntary and sponsor refused services.”
That child was found months later, living 50 miles away from the sponsor’s home and working at the egg farm, according to the report. The child’s sponsor was later indicted.
LaVoy Finicum’s death is the result of the illegal actions that he chose to participate in. It’s his own fault that he is dead. If he had obeyed the law, and not participated in an armed takeover of government property, he would still be alive.
Girls basketball team gets booted from league for being too good
January 24, 2016
A Minnesota youth basketball team has been ejected from a league for being too good and now the coach, parents and players are crying foul.
The Rogers Area Youth Basketball Association girls high school team was forced to the sidelines by the Northwest Suburban Basketball League — and it’s all because the team is 3-0, Fox 9 reported Saturday.
“We found out Friday at lunchtime that we’re not going to be allowed because according to the league our girls were too talented,” coach Jason Hanauska told the station.
RAYBA sent parents a letter that said the main reason for the league’s decision was because other teams in the league “do not want to play RAYBA due to the skill level.”
“This is absurd,” parent Sherri Palmgren told the station. “Do we take the (NFL’s) Patriots or Cardinals, who are going to the championship game, and kick them to the curb because they’re too good?”
The league ejected RAYBA just ahead of a showcase tournament this weekend, according to Fox 9.
“Are we supposed to play worse just to make them happy?” team member Tessa McCarthy told the station.
Hanauska is slated to meet with the league’s board Monday.
Before U.S. employers can hire a foreign worker using an H1-B visa, they are required by law to prove that there are no U.S. workers who are qualified to do the job.
In this video, the speaker gives employers advice on how to place job ads in such a way so that no U.S. worker will get hired, so they can then hire foreign workers at lower wages.
At 1:43, the speaker says “… our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker…”
NYC politician introduces bill which allows black people to urinate in public so they can “fulfill their potential”
A New York City politician has introduced a bill which allows black people to urinate in public so they can “fulfill their potential.”
Personally, I think this politicians’ expectations of black people are too low. But they did choose to vote her into office, and I have no right to tell them what their goals in life should or shouldn’t be.
The New York Times reports:
New York City is poised to reshape how it treats many so-called quality-of-life offenses, softening its stance toward low-level infractions like public urination…
Under the legislation, New Yorkers given tickets by the police… would in many cases be steered to a civil process rather than criminal court…
“We know that the system has been really rigged against communities of color in particular,” said Ms. Mark-Viverito, who has promoted such reforms and is the main sponsor of the bills. “So the question has always been, what can we do in this job to minimize unnecessary interaction with the criminal justice system, so that these young people can really fulfill their potential?”
Health officials, for example, agreed to repeal a section of the department’s rules that forbids public urination…
The issue of public urination became a subject of intense public debate last summer…
The following predictions were made during the first Earth Day in 1970:
* Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for the first Earth Day, wrote, “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”
* Senator Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day, stated, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”
* Peter Gunter, a professor at North Texas State University, stated, “… by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions… By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
* Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, predicted that between 1980 and 1989, 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would starve to death.
* Life Magazine wrote, “… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.”
* Ecologist Kenneth Watt stated, “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
* Watt also stated, “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil.”
Well this seems like it’s right out of the Twilight Zone: liberals in Washington D.C. are upset that Wal-Mart had decided not to build two news stores!
The Washington Post reports:
District leaders furious Walmart breaking promise to build stores in poor neighborhoods
January 15, 2015
Walmart abruptly announced Friday that it was abandoning a promise to build stores in Washington’s poorest neighborhoods
Under the initial deal, Walmart could build stores almost anywhere in the District, as long as it opened two stores in its poorest wards and areas of the city sometimes referred to as food deserts, with few – if any – options for fresh produce and groceries. One was planned for Skyland Town Center in Southeast Washington and the other at Capitol Gateway Marketplace in Northeast Washington…
I would expect liberals to be celebrating, not complaining, about the fact that Wal-Mart has decided not to build two new stores.
Hey liberals! Make up your mind! Either you like Wal-Mart, or you hate Wal-Mart. You can’t have it both ways!
David Bowie: ‘Weirdo’ Broke Down Barriers, Inspired Legions
January 11, 2016
His immediately identifiable voice urged listeners to “Turn and face the strange” — and for decades that’s exactly what David Bowie’s music did.
The music legend died Sunday, two days after turning 69 and releasing his latest album, “Blackstar,” to widespread acclaim.
But beyond a massive catalog of hits, Bowie left behind a legacy of breaking down barriers in music and beyond. He was the best weirdo out there — and made being one OK for legions.
“Almost every young person who thinks of themselves as an outcast or a freak … could identify with one of Bowie’s personae,” music critic Paul Gambaccini told NBC News. “He was continually shocking us with the ‘new.'”
He’s been billed as an innovator who brought the notion of “the other” into the mainstream: from Warhol-type imagery to science fiction, androgyny and bisexuality. Bowie’s costumes and gender-bending personas — from Ziggy Stardust to Aladdin Sane — consistently pushed the envelope.
“Almost everything he did turned to gold,” Gambaccini said. “When it didn’t turn to gold at least it was interesting.”
Bowie’s ability to constantly reinvent himself musically and visually earned him the reputation of a shape shifter and more. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which inducted the star in 1996, called him “rock’s foremost futurist and a genre-bending pioneer, chameleon and transformer.”
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron described the British-born Bowie as a “genius” and the “master of reinvention.”
“One of the things that is so incredible is almost all his reinventions were incredible successes,” Cameron added.
To Bowie, though, it was about more than music and success. He told Rolling Stone in a 1976 interview that he had always had a “repulsive sort of need” to be “something more than human” and keep changing.
“I’ve got nothing to do with music,” he told the interviewer. “I’ve always interpreted or played roles with my songs.”
His final act — the album “Blackstar” — was received as further proof that Bowie was like no other.
“The Man Who Fell to Earth has made an entire career of defying terrestrial categories and classification,” wrote Entertainment Weekly in its review. “As much as Bowie the Artist can be defined, it’s only in the most elusive terms: He is our eternal iconoclast, he is stardust, he is normcore Kryptonite.”
Bowie’s celebration of the weird and “other” in the roles he chose inspired and influenced legions of contemporary artists from Katy Perry to Lady Gaga, who once called Bowie an “alien prince” who “runs my universe.”
“Every morning I wake up and I think, ‘What would Bowie do?'” Gaga told British TV personality Alan Carr in a 2006 interview.
Recording artist Janelle Monae, who took on the daunting task of covering Bowie’s classic “Heroes,” said she too was drawn to his timelessness.
“He’s transcendent,” she told Rolling Stone. “He’s a true time traveler.”
That scope was felt further than radio airwaves, across film and television. Actor Mark Ruffalo summed up the impact in a Twitter tribute after news of Bowie’s death, calling him the “father of all us freaks.”
Part of Bowie’s appeal across generations was his focus on being an outsider — making it acceptable if not desirable to be a weirdo.
“My entire career, I’ve only really worked with the same subject matter,” Bowie told The Associated Press in a 2002 interview. “The trousers may change, but the actual words and subjects I’ve always chosen to write with are things to do with isolation, abandonment, fear and anxiety — all of the high points of one’s life.”
Those subjects resonated deeply — and fans were quick to praise how Bowie’s message shaped their lives.
“The world lost an icon of mythological proportions,” wrote director Peter Atencio. “When I first realized I was a weirdo David Bowie was the first person who made me feel like I might belong somewhere.”
He added: “I don’t know that I’ve ever felt this strongly about the passing of someone I never met, but merely worshipped from afar.”
Today’s musicians — from Gaga to Madonna — also owe a great deal to Bowie, according to Rolling Stone contributing editor Joe Levy.
“Would we have Madonna… without David Blowie to blaze a trail for her? Probably not,” he told NBC’s TODAY.
He called the artist’s last album a fitting “testament” to his achievements. It also feels like a farewell.
“Look up here, I’m in heaven. I’ve got scars that can’t be seen. I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen, everybody knows me now,” the lyrics from the album’s first single, “Lazarus,” read. “This way or no way you know, I’ll be free just like that bluebird now ain’t that just like me.”
The tech support people at wordpress said my blog post had become too long for a single entry, and suggested that I break it up into multiple entries. So I did exactly that.
At age 27, the unmarried woman in this news story already has 4 kids.
But good news! She just won the lottery! And after taxes, she took home a lump sum of $88 million!
But bad news! She seems to be on a path to wasting all of it on bailing out her serial criminal boyfriend!
Every time she bails him out, the bail is double the previous amount. The most recent time, bail was $12 million. And even though he always shows up for his court appearances, between 7% and 10% of the bail is non-refundable. So for the most recent time, she lost between $840,000 and $1.2 million.
Since she won the lottery less than a year ago, she has already bailed him out three times. If she continues to do this at the same rate, and if the bail amount keeps doubling every time, and if between 7% and 10% is non-refundable, then in less than three years, she will have spent all her money on the non-refundable part of bailing out her boyfriend.
The idea of the bail amount being doubled each time is a fantastic idea. It gives smart people a chance to quit their life of crime before it’s too late. And it shows that stupid people are, well, stupid.
I very strongly support property rights, gun rights, and being suspicious of the government. But what these armed right wing protesters in Oregon are doing is wrong.
Using guns to take over a federal building is wrong. No matter who you are, or how right you think you are, or how much you think the government has violated your rights, you don’t just walk into a government building with guns and take it over.
And it’s dumb, too.
There are so many better ways to make their case: hiring lawyers… talking to reporters… even writing a blog!
I don’t see this ending well. Shame on them!
You can read about it at this CNN article.
Poor Smokers in New York State Spend 25% of Income on Cigarettes, Study Finds
September 19, 2012
ALBANY — Low-income smokers in New York spend 25 percent of their income on cigarettes, according to a new study, which led advocates for smokers’ rights to say it proved high taxes were regressive and ineffective.
The American Cancer Society said that the study, using state data, showed a need to help more poor New Yorkers quit smoking or never start. The study was conducted by the Public Health and Policy Research program of RTI, a nonprofit institute.
In New York, which has the nation’s highest cigarette taxes, a pack of cigarettes can cost $12, though many smokers have turned to buying cheaper cigarettes online or to using roll-your-own devices.
Wealthier smokers — those earning $60,000 or more — spend 2 percent on cigarettes, according to the study.
“The poor pay $600 million in cigarette taxes and get little help in quitting,” Russ Sciandra of the American Cancer Society said.
Mr. Sciandra said state statistics showed that smokers earning less than $30,000 a year paid 39 percent of state and city taxes on cigarettes. He added that more of the cigarette tax revenue should be used to finance smoking-cessation programs.
Mr. Sciandra said other studies showed that lower-income smokers had less success at quitting. He said low-income smokers trying to quit were hampered by being around many smokers and having less cash to buy smoking-cessation aids.
Audrey Silk of Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, an advocacy group, said the study showed that cigarette taxes were punitive and “undeniably regressive.”
“It busts their theory that high taxes equal submission to their coercive measure,” Ms. Silk said. She criticized those in government who opposed smoking and increased related taxes.
Peter Constantakes of the State Health Department argued that tax increases and other programs were helping more people to quit. “New York is promoting a number of antismoking initiatives, including targeted media campaigns, that are designed to reduce the smoking rate among lower-income groups and prevent young people from becoming smokers,” he said.
Obama administration sexually assaults 10-year-old girl, and says anyone who objects is a “domestic extremist”
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has treated non-terrorists in a very different way.
In March 2012, the Obama administration gave a very invasive patdown to a three-year-old boy in a wheelchair, which caused him to tremble in fear.
In April 2012, the Obama administration gave an aggressive patdown to a seven-year-old girl with cerebral palsy, and caused her to miss her flight.
Also in April 2012, the Obama administration said that a four-year-old girl was a “high security threat.”
In May 2012, an 18-month-old girl was forced to get off a plane because the Obama administration had placed her on its no fly list.
Also in May 2012, the Obama administration gave a patdown to Henry Kissinger.
In July 2011, the Obama administration forced a 95-year-old cancer patient to remove her adult diaper and fly without it.
In March 2011, the Obama administration ripped open the urostomy bag of a 61-year-old bladder cancer survivor, and forced him to fly covered in his own urine.
In October 2013, the Obama administration harassed a sick 3-year-old boy, and caused him to miss his flight.
And now we have the latest outrage: in the video below, which was filmed on December 30, 2015, the Obama administration sexually assaults a 10 year-old-girl. In this video, the security guard repeatedly touches the girl, over and over, again and again, in the same private areas. And the guard uses her palms and fingers, instead of the backs of her hands.
How this is security guard not acting like a pedophile?
Why is this behavior not being prosecuted as sexual assault?
And why did they make the girl remove her shoes, when they never actually checked to see if there were any explosives inside the shoes?
This has nothing to do with security, or with looking for explosives. Instead, it has everything to do with power and control, and with making people feel helpless, and with making people feel frightened of their own government. The government is trying to condition people into being blindly obedient, and into accepting anything that it does to them, no matter how awful.
I am 100% certain that Obama’s own daughters will never have to go through this.
In 2015, testing showed that the TSA failed to find “fake explosives, weapons and other contraband” 95% of the time.
And to top it all off – the final insult – the Obama administration labels anyone who objects to this sexual assault as a “domestic extremist.”
Here’s the video:
Live Leak reports:
TSA Pat down and groping of 10 year old girl
January 1, 2015
Maybe I’m over reacting ? I would have no problem submitting myself for a pat down, I support a high level of security, but I feel invasive touching of Children crosses the line, unless credible evidence exists.
On 12/30/15 TSA ordered a full Pat Down of my 10 year old daughter & detained us for over an hour.
TSA policy states PAT Downs of children under 12 should be method of last resort.
In my 10 yr old daughter’s case, after clearing metal detector, a forgotten Capri Sun juice pack was found in her hand bag by x-ray & agent swabbed bag resulting in a false positive.
Rather than retesting bag or alternate screening methods, my daughter was immediately ordered to submit to a full body Pat Down, and I was told I could not record the process. Luckily I knew the law regarding video recording and agent subsequently allowed me to record.
TSA policy states children under 12 will receive a “Modified Pat Down” yet my 10 year old received a full adult pat down. I feel it was intrusive, invasive, and unnecessary.
TSA made it clear I would be arrested if I resisted the search of my daughter.
TSA attempted to persuade me to allow my daughter into a private room, I felt safer with the general public surrounding us and refused several efforts to whisk us away.
TSA agent repeatedly touched my daughters buttocks and other sensitive areas with her palm & fingers not back of hand.