Hungry Predators

Sligo Irish Famine Statue

The high demand and supply in the USA of sexual and labor trafficking contributes to the human trafficking problem. Young adults, male and female as young as twelve, are victims of this serious crime. Less than 10% are kidnapped. Many victims were sold by someone they knew. They are targeted by their vulnerabilities. Victims may have a history of abuse, be developmentally disabled, be foster children, are homeless, or a runaway. After 48-72 hours after running away, a teen will be approached by a sexual trafficker.

The perpetrator breaks their victims down with sleep deprivation and substance abuse in order to control their victims. Often times, the victim is branded with a tattoo designating ownership by the perpetrator. The victim might have a money symbol, a scan code, property of stamp, etc. The locations of these are the key. They are usually on the side or back of the neck, behind an ear, inner lip, or in the pubic area. The female victims are required to have sex even during their menses cycle and are impacted with sponges or tampons. The victims are groomed what to say to medical personnel if they are brought in to be seen.

77% of victims related to human trafficking will suffer a higher episode of PTSD than a war vet due to the constant re-experiencing of the trauma and disturbing memories. They have difficulty sustaining relationships if they manage to escape. The victims avoid internal and external reminders of trauma and stress. They are hyperarousal due to the nervous system reaction of repeated fight or flight.

If you work in a medical facility or clinic, eye clinic, or dental office, etc. be on the lookout of these indicators of human trafficking:

  • patient claims they are out of town and has no address
  • lack of I.D.
  • disassociation or uncommunicative
  • confrontational
  • abnormal reactions
  • someone always talking for the victim
  • eyes downcast when spoken to
  • can’t be seen alone

What can you do about it?

  • watch your tone of voice when speaking to the victim
  • adjust to resistance
  • listen to them
  • don’t judge
  • avoid confrontation
  • kindness goes a long way
  • ask why the person is here or what happened to bring them here
  • express empathy
  • report suspicions to the National Human Trafficking Hotline @ 888-373-7888 or text HELP to 233733.

Want free material on the subject? Go to dsh.gov/ blue-campaign.

Threats Aimed at Job Seekers

Looking for a job is hard work and the last thing you need is identity theft while searching for employment. Today’s job market begins and ends online. It might be easier to apply and look for work online, but the ease of sophisticated threats directed at job seekers is new.

Before entering personal information online, check the web address bar. There should be a ‘s’ at the end of the http during the beginning of the web address. Bogus jobs are set up in order to skim contact information from victims. These ‘jobs’ are often posted on legitimate social media pages. Scams can be sent via a shortened URL such as bit.ly, etc. They can lead anywhere. Keep your shields up on social media.

Don’t provide confidential information until you have signed a contract with the potential employer. Some scammers ask for bank account numbers to set up direct deposit. Don’t be discouraged while seeking employment online, just be careful how you go about it. Limit the amount of contact information. You can set up a specific email address for job hunting. Be selective where you post your resume. An employer can always ask you for your personal information, not shared online, if they are interested. A legitimate employer would never ask these details via email or digital form. Scammers crawl the internet for personal information. Make sure the recruiter on social media is genuine before you click and apply. If the job seems too good to be true, it probably is. Run an online search on the recruiter’s name. The most common job scam online includes data entry, stuffing envelopes, rebate, forms processing, wire transfers, money movement, craft assembly, work from home gigs, and shipping management.

The structure of an email can be a red flag. Scammers often have grammar issues, misspellings, and punctuation errors. They often mimic legitimate letterheads, but if it looks off, just delete it. Don’t download any attachments or links from these emails. It’s a scary world where threats are posed everywhere. Keep your eyes open.

When Criminals Take Over Your Mobile

Hackers have figured out a way to hijack cell phones and steal the valuable information. The criminal contacts the cell provider of the victim and requests a transfer of service from old phone to a new one. They provide the phone company with the last four digits of the victim’s social security number and a fake ID. If they don’t have the information, the culprits use a convincing line about losing or damaging the phone. They make it plausible by providing the address, birth date, and other information that is easily available on the internet. They also use your payment apps, email, and photos. When convinced, the phone company may port the number to a new device that the criminal now has complete control and disconnects the victim’s phone. Now the criminal can reset passwords on every account that uses the phone number for auto recovery. They can also steal money, blackmail the victim, and threaten them. The victim is unable to sign into their accounts.

Most mobile phone carriers are aware of these crimes and are suggesting customers use a pin number. Don’t click onto suspicious sites. Malware embedded in links can secretly download on your device. Don’t publish your phone number on a public profile or social media. Make your passwords long and complicated. Criminals are constantly finding ways to scam people. Be on alert.

Sign of the Ages

I saw this club sign in Juneau and thought it was funny.20170801_084906_001 Juneau club

Sock it to the Airlines

I have to voice a complaint, after listening to the news this morning. First, the airline companies raised the rates and stated it was because of the price of gas. Then they started charging for baggage. Certain airlines now charge for your seat, after you’ve booked your flight. And to top it off, now the leg room will become smaller so that you can’t even cross your legs. What’s next? If the airlines want more business, they should please its customers, instead of stabbing them in their pocket. And what is with them beating up paying customers?  It’s sad that these big companies have gone astray from customer service.

Have a Little Compassion

I heard a waitress yelling at a person while I was waiting for my meal to arrive. She told the man, “Sir, you can’t come in here.” She forced him outside. She came to my table and apologized for the man stinking up the restaurant.

I paid for my meal and on my way out, she pointed the person out to me. I couldn’t believe her attitude! The person she referred to was an elderly man that could barely walk and had slippers on for a rainy day. It was obvious that he was either homeless or something medically wrong.  The waitress didn’t have any compassion.

Luckily, a young, Latino man bought the elderly man a meal and allowed him to sit in his truck to eat it. Hooray and kudos to the young man that helped another person in hard times.

Early Seattle Vigilantes

I have heard stories about the depression era and other histories of Seattle, but this one caught me by surprise. I thought I would share it. In 1882, the public was outraged by the ineffective police response, increased lawlessness, and lenient court systems. After a popular merchant had been robbed and murdered, an organized vigilante committee apprehended two suspects. (The suspects had hidden in a haystack on a wharf.)

The mob overpowered the police and dragged the men,  James Sullivan and William Howard, to trees, near Henry Yesler’s home, and hung the men. A third man, Ben Payne, held for the murder of a police officer, was strung up beside the other two suspects.

For a progressive city to bypass the legal system was viewed as a mistake, even though the action had received public approbation at the time.

The Woman That Fought for Pants

March was Women’s History Month. I went to the White River Museum to see the displays about the past working women. The museum also had information and books on the subject of women’s voices in the past. I found this story interesting and thought I would share it. It’s about a woman that stood up to wear pants.

The revolution of 1789 was fought by the poor and most of them women. All over Europe, the poor revolted against the rich. The people worked long hours in filthy conditions for scraps of food and a place to live. They marched down the streets and demanded fair wages, bread, and soap.

With each new revolution, ruling men took away the rights of women so they couldn’t form clubs or take part in politics. Times were hard and sickness everywhere. Crops were failing and people were hungry. This is the world Marie Suize lived in. She was one of ten children and she wanted a better life.

In France of 1849, a poster advertised about the riches of mining gold in California. Marie Suize followed her brother to America for a chance at a better life. They arrived in California and took a steamboat to Sacramento. From there, they rode mules to the mining camp of Amador County. The miners were eager to see a woman, but they expected Marie to cook and clean for them. Marie had other ideas and told them no. She wanted to dig for gold like her brother.

There were standard dress codes for women in those days. After mud filled her shoes and soaked through her skirts, Marie had a terrible time getting to the gravel area. The miners laughed at her. Marie went back to her shack and put on her brother’s extra pair of pants and one of his shirts. She pinned up her hat and smashed a hat over her head. She pulled on some tall boots and strode through the mining area. The men were shocked at her attire. A lady wasn’t supposed to dress that way. The few women that came to camp, snubbed her because she wore pants. It was illegal for a woman to wear pants. It was considered “cross-dressing.” Marie worked as hard as the men in mining for gold and eventually they accepted her. They nicknamed her, “Marie Pantalon.”

Marie struck it rich. She invested in shares of mines and she also bought some land. She prospered by making wine on her land with a friend. Marie opened a wine shop in San Francisco and a liquor store in Virginia City, Nevada. Marie loved the freedom of wearing pants, but the law was firm. One day, she drove her wagon to Virginia City to check in on her store. She was reported by some gossipers and arrested for wearing pants. Marie was fined five dollars and instructed to wear lady’s attire.

Her adventure caused a protest during the Women’s Suffrage Movement and they organized a meeting to express their indignation. Many of the ladies in California did not approve of Marie’s pants. The Women’s Movement was afraid they would lose their fight for the vote if they appeared to want their freedom too. They thought of Marie as an embarrassment. So by the time she returned to Amador County, Marie was arrested for wearing pants. Her fellow miner friends supported her. They coaxed the judge into dropping the charges, as it was a waste of time and to go hunting instead. Marie lived out her days in that town and wore her pants. She wore a dress though, whenever she left her county.

Back in the 1970’s,  girls also fought for the right to wear pants to school. The dress code had been for girls to either wear a dress or a skirt to their knee caps, until the law was changed. Women are strong and will always fight for what’s right.

Medicology

I was looking through an old medical book and found this crazy advice. To treat a fever shut the person in a tight fitting room until fever subsides.

Brain Fog

Did you know that sniffing peppermint stimulates the part of the brain responsible for energy and attention? Researchers have found that peppermint helps those who are fatigued.

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