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  • Geebo 10:09 am on February 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Super Bowl   

    Super Bowl stings catch those who would buy children 

    Super Bowl stings catch those who would buy children

    Previously, we’ve posted about Washington County, Minnesota, and how they’re cracking down on the type of human trafficking that deals in children. This past weekend, Washington County was the site of many Super Bowl visitors due to its proximity to the Twin Cities area of St. Paul and Minneapolis, where the Super Bowl took place.

    They were just one of many police departments that conducted stings to try to catch those who would use sites like craigslist and Backpage to buy children for the purposes of sex. In Woodbury, which is the largest city in Washington County, at least three men were apprehended for allegedly looking for what they thought were children as young as 13 on both Backpage and craigslist. It’s highly doubtful that either website were willing participants in this investigation meaning they allowed ads placed by police posing as children to remain on their platforms. Washington County wasn’t the only task force cracking down on the trafficking of children as over 100 human trafficking arrests were made during Super Bowl week.

    People who say sites like craigslist and Backpage are making it easier for police to find human traffickers are forgetting one thing. It’s also making it much easier for pimps and traffickers to sell women and children against their will. Craigslist and Backpage can’t be both the cause of and solution to human trafficking. That is the textbook definition of a logical fallacy which forgets that the true victims in these cases aren’t craigslist and Backpage but the women and children who are sold unabated on these websites.

     
  • Geebo 10:01 am on February 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Super Bowl   

    Don’t forget about human trafficking after the Super Bowl 

    Don't forget about human trafficking after the Super Bowl

    With the Super Bowl approaching this weekend, you’ll probably see a number of news reports about the increased presence of human trafficking surrounding the event. Now the numbers of how many traffickers and victims being brought to the area around the Super Bowl are largely debated, that doesn’t change the fact that human trafficking does happen around large events like this. Some anti-human trafficking groups are even heading to Minneapolis this weekend to offer assistance to the victims of trafficking.

    While this is a great opportunity to not only bring awareness to the human trafficking problem in our country, it also does a disservice to the victims of human trafficking. Once the confetti has fallen and the winning team takes their trophy and goes home, human trafficking doesn’t magically cease to exist. What does cease to exist is the attention the media gives to human trafficking. Once the Super Bowl is over, the media spotlight on trafficking is all but gone.

    In football terms human trafficking not only happens during the Super Bowl, but it happens during the pre-season, the regular season, and the off-season. It’s also not confined to cities that have pro football teams as it happens every day all over the country. So when you see one of these reports on your local news, please don’t forget about the women and children being trafficked against their wills once the big game is over.

     
  • Greg Collier 8:33 am on January 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AFC Championship, Bill Belichick, Cheating, deflated, , , New England, , Patriots, Super Bowl,   

    Cheating in the NFL: Here’s One Simple, but Tough, Question for the New England Patriots 

    skirtingI have only one question for the person who deflated 11 of the 12 footballs for the New England Patriots when they played against the Indianapolis Colts for the AFC Championship earlier this month.

    Was it worth it?

    I mean, here we are, counting down the days until the Super Bowl, the biggest game of the year, and instead of listening to radio hosts and TV analysts talk about the strengths of a running game or weaknesses in the defense, I’m listening to questions about quarterback Tom Brady’s integrity and suggestions that Coach Bill Belichick be suspended from the Super Bowl.

    Was it worth all of this just to gain an advantage that the Patriots really didn’t need? After all, what were the chances that the Patriots were going to lose to the Colts – at home, in 50-degree (instead of 15-degree) weather? They were the better team going into that game – and everyone knew it. The fans knew it. The pundits knew it. Even the Las Vegas oddsmakers knew it. And you know what? The Patriots played like the better team. They played hard. The executed plays. They earned that win, fair and squ… er, wait. Well, maybe not fair and square.

    And therein lies the problem. I’ve read blog comments from those who say this is a silly debate, that the deflating of the balls didn’t even make a difference in the outcome of the game. But they’re missing the bigger point. Every game – whether football, baseball, Checkers or Tic-Tac-Toe – has a set of rules. That’s how the integrity of every game is maintained, knowing that even though there is always a winner and always a loser, no one side had an unfair advantage going into the matchup.

    When you try to skirt the rules, you’re labeled a cheater. And, as we’re rediscovering in the aftermath of this particular NFL game, no one likes a cheater.

    Sure, the NFL has promised a thorough investigation and the Patriots have offered their full cooperation – but does it really matter? Even if the truth never comes out, there will always be an asterisk next to that win and next to the Super Bowl score if the Patriots win it. Their wins are tainted because trust has been lost. When the Patriots take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, plenty of people tuned in to the biggest sporting event of the year will have an opinion on the integrity of the Patriots.

    It won’t be a very nice opinion, I suspect.

    Let’s face it. The New England Patriots have betrayed the trust of sports fans everywhere and now have to work extra hard to shake that perception of being a team of cheaters. Did you see how that works? The perception of being cheaters is how the court of public opinion works. The court of public opinion isn’t always fair and rarely does it wait for investigations to be completed before it issues its own ruling. That puts the NFL and the Patriots in the uncomfortable position of trying to restore trust to a public audience that has already reached a conclusion. .

    So, again, was it worth it to deflate those balls – or have them deflated? Is it ever worth it when the risk is being labeled a cheater?

    That’s actually a question for life, not just sports. Is it ever worth it when you try to rig the game, when you try to cut corners or take advantage of others, just to get an edge that you really didn’t deserve? Is there ever a way to justify deception? Is there a way to move past it quickly?

    Look at the examples that are taking place in everyday life.

    One of the most divisive issues that the country is facing right now is income inequality – not because some people have or make more money than others, but because of allegations that the playing field isn’t fair. Some argue that the wealthy are unfairly given the advantage of tax loopholes that help them to acquire even more wealth at the expense of the middle class. What about the arguments about people who unfairly get government handouts that others don’t get? In both examples, it comes down to a fairness issue, the feeling that someone else is cheating the system to get ahead.

    And what about the ongoing fury over policing in America? Some communities argue that police unfairly treat some groups of people better than others, that they are quicker to shoot in some communities than in others. Are people upset because they feel they’re being unfairly profiled and targeted by police? Or are they upset that the rules aren’t being applied fairly, that police treat one community different than others? In the end, it’s all about fairness – and when one group cheats for their own advantage, it really makes others angry.

    Whether government or business or sports or just life in general, no one wants to feel that they’ve been cheated because someone else was given an unfair advantage. We’re a country of equal opportunities, right? That’s what we’re taught as children – work hard, do your best and play by the rules and you can succeed.

    But when cheating leads to winning or when winners turn to cheating, it ruins the whole “game” for everyone, whether that game is football or business or taxes or even a relationship. Getting that trust back, clearing your reputation or just trying to shake that stupid asterisk from the final score of your victory seems to be so much harder than just playing by the rules in the first place.

    So, again, I ask the question to those behind this deflating: Was it worth it?

    I suspect it wasn’t.

     
  • Greg Collier 6:01 pm on February 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Super Bowl   

    Super Bowl in Indiana brings tough new human trafficking laws; Other states should take note 

    Millions of eyes have been focused on Indiana for the events leading up to Super Bowl Sunday. It’s a major event for any region, with hundreds of thousands of people coming in for the big game and all of the festivities that go with it. Unfortunately, victims of sex trafficking rings are among those who arrive in cities where big events like the Super Bowl are hosted.

    But here’s a tip of my hat to the state of Indiana for really stepping up its game to send a message to pimps and johns who might be looking to solicit sex-trafficking victims, notably the underage girls who are forced into this world of modern day slavery.

    Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, just days before the big game, signed tough human trafficking legislation into law as a way of giving law enforcement officials and prosecutors the firing power to send a message that says, quite frankly, don’t even think about it. The new law closes previous loopholes and makes it easier to prosecute those who sell children into sex slavery rings. It also reduces the burden for prosecutors to prove coercion, which previously prevented traffickers from being prosecuted if the victim wasn’t being held against her will.

    More importantly, though, is the training efforts for non-law enforcement types, such as hotel employees and cab drivers, have received. These folks now know what to look for in a possible victim – young girls dressed inappropriately for their ages who appear to be quiet and insecure and who avoid eye contact. Likewise, they were warned about girls who fit this profile checking into hotels with no luggage. And they’re taught to understand that the victims are just that: victims, not criminals. These girls need to be rescued, not arrested.

    The Washington Post last week profiled the efforts of the religious congregations that bought shares of stock in major hotel chains so that they could be heard at the hotel executive levels about the responsibilities of the hotels in this fight. Many of the training programs were the direct result of this pressure campaign.

    For some time now, I have been sounding off to anyone who will listen about the responsibilities of online sites – including classifieds sites like Geebo – in preventing these sorts of encounters. Geebo doesn’t accept or post personals ads where these young girls are often advertised for sale. And I have personally called on my industry counterparts – notably Craigslist and Backpage – to do a better job of policing their site for possible human rights crimes.

    For the most part, my pleas have fallen on the deaf ears of my competitors. I guess there’s too much money to be made by selling those ads to be worried about the safety of innocent children being traded in sex slave rings. I can only control what happens on my site – but I’m proud to be a part of a growing effort to educate and inform folks about what’s really happening on these sites and how it can be prevented.

    This law in Indiana is a big positive push forward for our efforts – and I’m hoping that other states follow Indiana’s lead and get serious about laws that send “You’re not welcome here” messages to sex-trafficking criminals.

    Los Angeles Times: Super Bowl: Backed by tougher Indiana Law, nuns target sex trade

     
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