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Where are the Children?

According the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC):

  • 85% to 90% of the 876,213 persons reported missing to America’s law enforcement agencies in 2000 were juveniles (persons under 18 years of age). That means that 2,100 times per day parents or primary care givers felt the disappearance was serious enough to call law enforcement.
  • 152,265 of the persons reported missing in 2000 were categorized as either endangered or involuntary.
  • The number of missing persons reported to law enforcement has increased from 154,341 in 1982 to 876,213 in 2000. That is an increase of 468%.

These numbers are staggering.  In the event of disease affecting this many people in the population, the CDC would label it an epidemic and appropriate action would be taken to find a cure.  As a nation, we would also do our best to protect others from coming into contact with the disease.  But, hey, it’s only our children affected, right?  These numbers are the norm, status quo.  We’ll just have to live with them. 

That’s hardly the sentiment for many parents, particularly those whose children are missing or have been harmed in any way.  Not only are the number of missing children on the rise, criminal activity harming our children is also increasing.  I cannot open any news source, locally or otherwise, without hearing about some non-parent abusing their child or some evil, vile person who decided that a child for a victim - whether it be pedophilia, child abuse, child neglect or child endangerment - would be right up their alley.

I think there are a number of challenges that make it difficult to protect our children from these criminals.  In most cases, children are kidnapped by their own family members.  Pedophiles tend to be the normal-looking bus driver, teacher or little league coach.  These types of criminals tend to blend in to society, only appearing once they are caught.  How many times have you read about the neighbor who "couldn’t believe" that such-and-such could do such a thing. 

I also believe that another challenge we face is the "softening" of our society, primarily how issues, such as child abuse or pedophilia are discussed or written about.  There is a great article over at Schadenfreude that focuses on this very topic.  It’s a matter of twisting a few words around to make it sound less harsh; however, in doing this, it makes it seem that the child could be to blame (emphasis mine).

The abusers of children, and let’s call it what it is, have managed to defer the public impact of their hideous crimes by adopting a ‘Madison Avenue’ approach to soften their image. Vachss takes issue with the term "Child Prostitute", making it clear that these children do not benefit from the transactions either financially, or personally. He is right to state that the correct term is "Prostituted Child". The word itself implies a judgment of character, and a willing exchange. "The difference in calling them a "Child Prostitute" and a "Prostituted Child" is not purely semantic. It is more than the difference between a hard truth and a pernicious lie. It not only injures the victims; it actively gives aid and comfort to the enemy. By allowing the term "Child Prostitution" to gain a foothold in our language, we lose ground that can never be recovered."

This type of romanticism (for lack of a better word) absolutely pisses me off:

The courts allow testimony that colors the crimes in romanticized language. Children don’t "lose their virginity", they are victims of rape. Children aren’t "fondled" by pedophiles, they are molested. A judge, granting work release to a convicted sex-offender, declares that the 5-year-old victim was "Unusually Promiscuous"?

Unusually Promiscuous?  A 5-year-old?!?!?  C’mon, the child was MOLESTED!

I yet again gaze through the various news sources at my fingertips only to find:

Shasta and Dylan Groene are still missing.  The FBI is offering $100,000, Dad is offering his $25,000 Harley Davidson and there are local rewards of ~$7,500.  These children have been missing for close to 4 weeks and in the same period of time, there have been no leads.

***

Tennessee - Haley Spicer is four years old and already a survivor. The Campbell County sheriff says the girl might make an appearance at the trial of the three people deputies say beat and burned her.  And just who are those three people?  Her "dad" (for lack of a better word), Tommy Owens, and his girlfriend, Charlotte Claiborne, are charged with the abuse and the sitter, Teresa Draughn, is accused of not reporting it.  Why do we have 4-year-old survivors?  Why would a 4-year-old need to be subjected to abuse like this?

Jury selection for these scum begins Monday and the town has had to add extra officers and security because these "poor little criminals" have had some death threats.  Of course they have - they don’t deserve to live.

***

Kansas City, MO - A man who is set to stand trial in November after allegedly kidnapping his children told a newspaper that the children are with a "well-off family."

Daniel Porter has refused to tell police and his ex-wife the whereabouts of the two children since they disappeared in June 2004 when he picked them up for a weekend visit.

"The children are fine," Daniel Porter told The Kansas City Star in a telephone call from his jail cell.

Porter refused to say where the children are staying.

Porter was sentenced in May to 10 years in prison on an unrelated gun charge, a sentence that prosecutors hoped would persuade him to reveal the whereabouts of his children, Sam and Lindsey.

Since the children, then 7 and 8, disappeared, investigators have searched the Kansas City suburbs of Independence and Sugar Creek and searched the area around Porter’s hometown of Trenton in northern Missouri.

The man’s motivations for kidnapping his children and "hiding them" stem from his belief that their mom, his ex-wife, is a bad parent.  He claims they are alive and well and the couple who have them know that they could eventually be in more hot water than he is, legally.  Excuse me, but being in jail for a 10 year sentence makes you a "better" parent, Mr. Porter?

The problem with this is that the man previously told police he had strangled the children - his own children.  He said he made up that story because he didn’t like being questioned by police.  The mother is concerned that he’s now changed his story - stating the kids are safe - in order to raise her hopes that the kids are okay, only to dash them later.

"He is the only key to this," Green said. "He knows it, and I think he likes it. He’s getting a power trip. It’s his way of continuing to have power over Tina and probably the police."

Porter, 42, is charged by the state with two counts each of terroristic kidnapping and parental kidnapping, for which he faces up to 38 years in prison. He is scheduled for trial in November.

I hope and pray that Porter isn’t just blowing smoke - I truly hope the kids are safe somewhere.  If he truly did kill his own children, I hope and pray justice’s aim will be true.

***

Toronto - A convicted pedophile violates the conditions by which he was released.  Thank God it only took him a day and he’s now back behind bars.

Toronto cops issued a warning, when 63-year-old Lawrence Samuel Sears was released from prison yesterday. He was deemed a high risk to re-offend, after serving 15 years in jail on charges such as sexual assault, and having sex with a girl under 14. Constable Christine Bacharach says many conditions were imposed on his release, including staying away from anyone under the age of 18.  Sears allegedly violated that condition yesterday, when he was found around people under 18 at a movie theatre in Toronto. He’s being held pending a hearing.

***

I could go on and on.  Stories of people abusing children, children dying at the hands of their own parents, pedophiles, sex rings, NAMbLA, missing and exploited children…scenes from the nightmare of any real parent out there.  However, as horrifying as all of those situations are, I find it equally horrifying that more isn’t being done to keep our children safe.  Why is it such a controversy for a town to want to keep sex offenders, particularly pedophiles, away from their parks, schools, churches and neighborhoods?  Why does an organization such as the ACLU go after people who just want their children to be safe, all because they believe the criminal needs to be treated "fairly?"  Why does the mainstream media dumb down their reporting in such a way readers don’t get the real understanding of what happened?  Why do we require the CRIMINAL to report their whereabouts for a sex offender database - um, they are CRIMINALS, people.

We need to see this terrible trend reversed.  It’s time for a change, and change begins with me and it begins with you - without raising our voices, the criminal will always get better treatment than the victim.  The pedophile will move in next to a school, perhaps our son or daughter’s school.  Non-parents will continue to harm or kill their own children and we will continue to hear about all of these types of tragedies each and every day.

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Why?!?

Why Would She Admit It???

A freelance writer is suing celebrated author Stephen King because she claims to be the real Annie Wilkes from King’s best-seller "Misery."

That’s according to a report Tuesday posted on "Celebrity Justice" online, which obtained a copy of the lawsuit filed by Anne Hiltner of New Jersey.

According to "Celebrity Justice," Hiltner claims "invasion of privacy" in the suit because the book’s main character, "Psycho Nurse Wilkes," is a caricature of her.

Why would she admit this?  Hmmmm…she also says the psychic nurse in King’s Animal Kingdom is based on her, claimed King’s "Riding the Bullet" was stolen from her brother’s manuscript and King plagerized her own writings for Misery.  Ah….perhaps claiming she’s Annie Wilke’s *isn’t* so far off the mark!

Did He Get Gastric Bypass, or Just Stop Eating McRibs?

Ronald McDonald has joined the diet craze, among the likes of Lindsay Lohan and Randy Jackson:  "Ronald McDonald, the colorful frontman for the fast food chain, will be slimming down in a new ad campaign that the company says is aimed at promoting a healthier lifestyle."

"To keep up with this active lifestyle, Ronald McDonald went shopping and picked out a whole new wardrobe. These new outfits complement his fun, energetic style," said Rogovin.

Ronald’s new threads include a warm-up suit, basketball, soccer, football uniforms, and a tuxedo for formal events. He will keep his red shoes. The streamlined version of Ronald is aimed at promoting a healthier lifestyle, company officials said.

Okay, it doesn’t matter to me.  Obese or healthy, Ronald McDonald is scary.  There’s just something about those evil clown eyes and pale complexion that gets me every time.  Gulp.  :::shiver:::

Why, Daddy, Why?

NEW YORKNo, illusionist-comic Penn Jillette of the Las Vegas duo Penn & Teller isn’t pulling a trick on this time: He and his wife have given their baby a name you probably haven’t heard before.

Moxie CrimeFighter Jillette was born on Friday.

Jillette said they "chose her middle name because when she’s pulled over for speeding she can say, ‘But officer, we’re on the same side. My middle name is CrimeFighter.'’

He didn’t give an excuse her first name, Moxie.

Okay "Moxie CrimeFighter" is one of the most stupid names I’ve ever heard, but I’ll cut him a little slack…at least he didn’t name her APPLE. 

Celebrity Breath Up for Auction (um, who cares?)

An enterprising celebrity spotter is offering fans the chance to buy a jar of fresh air allegedly breathed by stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for close to $US15,000 (now currently over $200,000).

"Be the first to own this jar of celebrity air, which may contain air molecules that came in direct contact with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt," the seller’s statement said on eBay.

Here’s the auction listing.  People are flippin’ nuts.

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