It's not even the kind of question we would ask. Aside from a few serious kooks this is an area of universal agreement in our country and by far most of the world. It is clearly not a grey area. Pot possession is a grey area but kidnapping. NO WAY!
(Yes... there is a point)
I'm just asking because it's been in the news lately... and I do mean LATE.
“More than three weeks have passed since the [first] abduction, but little progress has been made towards freeing the girls,” Sens. Mark Kirk (R) of Illinois and Amy Klobuchar (D) of Minnesota said in a joint statement Tuesday. “This outrage demands a significant worldwide response.” (Christian Science Monitor)CNN took two weeks to alert their BREAKING NEWS: Graphics Squad to create a chyron for 276 girls kidnapped while taking final exams. The Nigerian government was been slow walking this with a reverse momentum that is Bizarro world. The first day the army announced that all but 8 girls had been rescued/escaped,
The day after, the Defense Ministry put out a statement quoting the school principal, saying soldiers had rescued all but eight of the girls. When the principal denied it, the ministry retracted its statement. (USA Today)For two weeks the only people beating the bushes (literally) for these poor souls where parents armed with bows and machetes. Finally yesterday we get the welcome news that the Nigerian regime of President Goodluck Jonathan has accepted John Kerry's suggestion of US investigative/military help. But don't get your hopes up for a Seal Team Six lightening strike:
“At this point, we have no inclination to deploy troops. It’s just a planning cell,” adds a US military official who spoke on condition of anonymity. “There will be military participation, but you can count them on two hands.”This is horrific in the micro because 270+ children are being terrorized right now as we speak but step back and look at this in the MACRO:
Over 100,000 U.S. children every year are forcefully engaged in prostitution or pornography.These are numbers that rival if not exceed the antebellum south. If ever there was a call for a "War On..." this is it and yet we can count our involvement on the ground with two hands? The fault may lie with the Nigerians but what about the other 4,000,000 souls in human bondage? Do we need to bring organized crime in the picture to get the budget:
The UN estimates that nearly 4,000,000 individuals are trafficked each year, with a disproportionate number of children and women in the sex trade.
UNICEF estimates that as many as 50% of all trafficking victims worldwide are children and that as many as two thirds of those children are at some point forced into the sex trade. Two children are SOLD every minute.
Hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children are tricked, kidnapped, sold or extorted each year across international borders and are sold into bondage or service. It is estimated that between 600,000 and 800,000 people each year are trafficked across those borders.(MojuProject)
Human trafficking brings in nearly $10 billion dollars a year- the third highest volume for a criminal enterprise. Of that $10 billion, $4 billion is estimated to be directly related to the brothel industry and sex trafficking.Unlike drugs or guns there are no legal alternatives to slavery. Pot is being legalized in US states with ease and success. This will eliminate many street level dealers who facilitate the marketing of heroin, which is very dangerous. Guns are already legal and until we stamp out their manufacture fighting their proliferation is merely putting American lives in harms way. Yet let's look at the budgets for the DEA and the ATF:
The Drug Enforcement Administration was created by President Richard Nixon through an Executive Order in July 1973 in order to establish a single unified command to combat "an all-out global war on the drug menace." At its outset, DEA had 1,470 Special Agents and a budget of less than $75 million. Today, the DEA has nearly 5,000 Special Agents and a budget of $2.02 billion.
The ATF, charged with keeping track of the nation's 300 million guns, has an annual budget of $1 billion, half that of the Drug Enforcement Administration and a pittance compared with the $8 billion showered on the FBI.So we dedicate twice as much to keeping people from getting high as we dedicate to keeping guns from criminals, that's a fact Jack. And we have zero budget for the "War On Slavery" while two CHILDREN are sold every minute. Yes, a lot of that FBI budget goes to human trafficking cases but imagine if we took the billions wasted each year digging up tunnels in San Diego and put it towards rescuing stolen children. Frankly, there is good argument that legalizing drugs would be more effective at reducing drug related violence and illness than the DEA achieves with their $2Billion War On Drugs. Yet, here is the DEA's Bush appointed, Obama rehired 35 year career agent and current head, Michelle Leonhart on her President's proposal to reduce mandatory sentencing guidelines that are universally loathed by the judiciary:
"...mandatory minimums have been very important to our investigations," Leonhart said. "We depend on those as a way to ensure that the right sentences are going to the ... level of violator we are going after." (HuffingtonPost)So she would prefer to have thousands of Americans trapped in jail each year so she can keep the cudgel of mandatory sentences for interrogations? Some might say that our prison system is the worlds largest human trafficker. We have more people behind bars and the highest incarceration rate in the world.
Leonhart has already reportedly slammed the president behind closed doors for comparing weed to alcohol, and has said that the legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado -- which the Obama administration allowed to move forward -- has only made DEA agents "fight harder." She's also suggested that gangs are taking over in Washington and Colorado in the wake of marijuana legalization, even as Holder has said he's "cautiously optimistic" about how things are going in those states.It's time to show Ms. Leonhart the door people. It's time to turn the DEA into the DHF, the Department Of Human Freedom and dedicate this nation to ridding the world of slavery and abduction. Note that Nixon created it with a stroke of a pen as an executive order so we can't blame NOT changing it's directive on the Republicans. Give every dollar we are spending today, every resource to wiping out this curse on humanity. As a father of two teenagers I work every day to teach my kids about drugs and drinks and guns and all the other sand traps life has but there is no fear like the fear of a child's abduction. 270+ families in Nigeria cry themselves to sleep every night waiting for news of their beautiful girls but hundreds of thousand more families share that loss. Millions of families here in the USA mourns their missing children each day who are held in jails while posing no risk to society.
The incarceration rate in the United States of America is the highest in the world. As of 2009 [update], the incarceration rate was 743 per 100,000 of national population (0.743%). While the United States represents about 5 percent of the world's population, it houses around 25 percent of the world's prisoners. (Wikipedia)Ms. Leonhart surely thinks that she is righteous in fighting her War and mandatory incarceration as a "tool" is justified in the eyes of her Nation and her God. Human Bondage is just a means to an end. But how far removed does that vision veer from this vision:
Shekau recently took credit for the kidnapping of more than 300 girls in an hour-long video that opens with Boko Haram fighters firing guns into the air and shouting Allahu Akbar!"I'm just saying. We The People are her boss. Is she guilty of human bondage and if so... are we?
"I abducted your girls," he said. "By Allah, I will sell them in the marketplace," he said in the video.
(BTW thanks to bakeneko for his good advice on my lede... I did question it myself and should have listened).