N is for R Lee Ermey

Because I can.

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M is for Missing Persons

If you have found my blog, chances are, you already know my speil. I’m a private investigator. I specialize in missing and exploited persons.” I’m still working on a way to make it a paying gig, whether though patrons and benefactors, speaking and lectures, or maybe grants and agencies. As long as families don’t have to pay or fundraise, I’m in.

Anyhow, let’s touch on the “missing” part of that bit. Did you onow there is no waiting period to report a person missing? Each agency or municipality has authority to set a time period or litmus style requirement, but at the core, you can report someone missing as soon as you have reason to believe that something is wrong?

I’ve been on the phone with a detective and said, “this 18 yo left home without money or a power cable for her phone. She’s not been home or at work in 11 days.” And the detective refused to file a report. His agency is getting a refresher on missing persons protocols from the Fusion Center. Since then, we’ve spoken and he says they will take any report.

Here’s some tips for family members and parents when reporting a person :

DO:

Give description with distinguishing marks, last known outfit.

Tell officer if charging cable, electronic devices, or money are missing.

Tell officer of any history of abuse, drug use, mental illness, or recent (6 mos) significant events like bullying, suicide attempt, loss of family member, break up, etc.

Tell officer if person is undergoing any type of treatment and all medications.

Have the police put the child is the NCMEC database.

Only share the police or a professional made poster.

DO NOT:

Call to “report a runaway.” You are reporting a person missing. The term runaway will breed apathy and disinterest.

Make accusations, act a fool, or broadcast dirty laundry online. If you can’t be civil, shut up.

Be dismissive of the dangers, especially in front of police. If you broadcast your disinterest or disfunction, they will be equally as dismissive.

Lie or exagerate to officers or detectives. Especially about the roles of friends. Most missing teen cases I have, I compare notes with the detective, almost daily. More oftent than not, parents will tell us different stories, usually to create a sense of urgency or to get more people working the case. It does not work and hurts credibility. Once we see that happen, we begin withholding new details and not returning parent calls.

Withold details because they are embarassing or painful. Drug use, history or abuse, mental issues, whatever, are vital for search team members. They also give detectives a clear idea of risk factors for trafficking.

Here’s the last tip:

Have a united front online and on TV. I have consulted on cases from around the country and the best way to get dropped by the media is to have family drama get played out in public. Designate a single spokes person and everyone else shut up. Every. Single. Time.

And here is the last thing. Sometimes, nothing works and cases get ignored, fall through the cracks, or are straight up mishandled. Do not give up. There are people like me that won’t.

Since I have you here, can you share Lisa’s poster? I’m still in school, as it were, learning how to do what I need to to find her. I will find her. I could use your help though. Share this. Talk about her. Talk about how her dad answers his phone with a cracking voice when he knows it’s about her. Talk about how a 24 year old black woman was last seen half dressed, walking into the woods, and police closed up shop and said she’s fine. Talk about how there’s been no activity on her accounts, credit, or close knit family for over a year and police still insist she is not in danger. Do that for me please?

H is for How Things Don’t Change

I’ve been doing abolition work for a couple years now. It feels like herding cats most days. I still run into cops and civilians that think children can consent to being prostitutes… and want to arrest them! I still have to tell other abolitionists to stop saying “runaway”. I still get shocked deer in the headlight looks when I correct stereotypes. I still have to fight with people that would legalize prostitution and lower consent ages.

I would love to say it’s less often, but it’s not. It would seem, that as technology has grown so fast, that ignorance and self interest have overtaken any sense of social responsibility most people have. Here is a top example:

If you talk to anyone in the “rescuing trafficking victims” racket, backpage is one of the easiest places to procure a child for sale. Now, I have mixed feelings on this shutdown, but not cause I think being sold like chattle is an inalienable human right. Frankly, it won’t attack demand or even slow down traffickers. Now, I’ll have to work ten times harder and probably have to do something unethical to ensure I can still rescue kids. I do mean kids.

The average age of prostitutes in the US is 16…. AVERAGE AGE.

Here’s one of my posts from last year, upon learning that several of the abolitionist and prolife groups I support, and work with, had been disinvited from attending the march.

Let me end with this. Even if you (wrongly) support legalization of prostitution, wouldn’t you still be opposed to enslaving men, women, and children? Can’t those two sentiments occupy the same headspace?

G is for Gullibility

I admit, occasionally, I will paruse comment sections on memes or news articles. I’ve finally learned not to actually comment on them, but I do marvel at the collective absence of fact or critical thinking that fills comment after comment.

“I feel very strongly that…. (insert technically inaccurate statement) is (insert subjective judgement).”

That’s probably the most common one I see. It’s closely followed by a handful of other emotion based, and thoroughly subjective type of statements. Normally, I regard these as “weaponized emotions” because, if anyone fails to validate the statement, this hurts feelings… not the actual topic.

Anyhow, I am beginning to wonder if these people are not just poor debaters, but actually victims of some kind of plot. Like, did they get tricked into this? Are their arguments and beliefs a kind of magic bean that they have been told will transform their lives?

If that is the case, it’s almost more disturbing because Jack wasn’t just gullible, he was kind of a murdering thief. Upon discoving someone different from him, he decided the person was a monster and therefore it was okay to rob and murder him. I never could figure out why that was a happy ending.

But… it does make me think.

D is for Don’t Stay Silent

As humans, Americans, we have a handful of places that we each expect certain amounts of safety and privacy. It is up to us to fight to protect thise and be verbal when they are threatened, particularly where kids are involved.

I worry that identity politics has made people, businesses especially, too afraid to enforce policy and law. I’ve read the articles about men walking and lounging naked in women’s locker rooms, and so much worse. We’re supposed to accept this, because he identifies as a woman. Six months before that rule change, what he did was actually a crime that could have gotten him on a lifelong sex offender roll. What about places that have locker rooms for children only?

What are parents supposed to do when a grown man exposes himself to children to get his rocks off? What if he does this where no parents or adults are even permitted to monitor? This is something we’ve had to confront several times in the last year. This supposedly “safe space”, with its clearly marked signs and miniaturized accommodation, has repeatedly been violated. First, a grown man was taking nude photos of himself in a bathroom mirror while kids were just outside the door. When he was walked in on (by my son), he played it off and left quietly. A couple months later, a grown man undressed in the boys locker room and walked around naked.

The latter happened twice more with negligible response, until we called the police ourselves.

These are just the times I know of. More than once, I’ve spoken to groups of kids that reacted casually to these examples, “Oh, that happens all the time.” They don’t report it [in spire of being uncomfortable or feeling unsafe] because they don’t think anything can, or will, be done. several said they didn’t want to be rude! After this, I’m starting to think they’re right. But, is it because the adults are too cowardly for confrontation? Or are they scared that it’s gonna boil down to identity politics? Is drawing attention to this going to be some kind of hyphenate-shaming? Does this man identify as a child? Was he checking for hernias?

For one, I encourage children to utilize the two tools they have on hand all the time. Their voices and their feet. Be loud, “HEY! You aren’t supposed to be in here!” Then get out and go for help. Being loud draws witnesses and lets others know that its okay to say something. The locker room guy was able to do this for a long time before anyone raised an alarm. Our best guess is that everyone was unsure about saying anything to a grown naked man. Then, get to the first and highest authority you can.

Not all “adults” are created equal. My experience is that most adults don’t actually know anything about exploitation, grooming, or child predators, nevermind handling a real life situation or reporting. Conventional wisdom is “tell a parent”. This doesn’t mean, “tell the first one you see.” The same goes for “tell an employee.” For the photo guy? The nearest employee replied with astonishing horror, then told a story about her daughter nearly being molested, then went back to her crossword.

So, I advise parents and kids to have a couple adults picked out in advance. A head lifeguard, the shift manager, or an instructor they’re familiar with. If there are lots of parents present, it might be worth getting to know which is a first responder, nurse, or in a profession that might include the skills to handle these tough situations. For my own kids, I tell them that when all else fails, find the biggest daddy or military type and say they’re scared. I’ve never seen a veteran balk at a controntation when a child’s safety is threatened.

C is for Children

Day 3 of the #AtoZchallenge is brought to you by the letter C and the number 39.

I went back and forth between just talking about children, or something else, but I have something to say here. Children are delightful, miraculous, and resilient little idiots.

Are you triggered yet?

I run a parenting group oriented towards diet and lifestyle. It’s infuriating. I also work in the exploitation field, rescuing kids from monsters. That’s heart wrenchung and disgusting. Having 2 kids that, to date, are not complete assholes, I think all qualify me to have an opinion on child rearing.

Children are resilient. I’ve seen first hand, and through anecdotal reporting, story after story of toddlers surviving in the wilderness, kids defeating kidnappers, teens overcoming nightmare lives. Look around you. You are probably close to more than a few peoole that survive atrocious treatment as a child and still went on to be a normal functioning humans. Kids are fucking amazing animals. We can thank their underdeveloped frontal lobes for all of that.

That is, in part, why we make decisions for them til they reach physical and emotional maturity. Allowing these id driven sociopaths to dictate terms is very dangerous. Don’t kid yourself, your 3 year old is no more capable of deep love and affections than Jeffrey Dahmer. At this age, they simply know what side their bread is buttered on. Their behaviors are intended to be conditioned responses to ensure their own survival… at least they should be. We’ve turned a corner where we allow them to drive our lives and chase the highs of sugar, electronics, and control.

We’re finally seeing what this kind of permissive parenting is producing. Beyond making a generation of sheep that all but volunteer to be victims of monsters, we have ended up with grown toddlers that cannot handle being denied. Rather than learning how to function in an existing world, they’ve grown accustomed to molding everyone to their will. They fall prey when they fail to get what they want and turn to outsiders that make promises that cannot be kept… I’m looking at you Bernie Sanders and human traffickers.

The good news is, the newer generations that effing hate being forced to dodge predators in bathrooms, get called bigots by blue haired whales, or have to clean up the pieces of a broken family are reproducing and trying to fix it. You can do your part by bringing back traditional values, turning off the devices, and telling your kids the truth. No one cares about their opinion. Feelings are not facts. If they want to be heard, they need to earn their audience with hard work, patience, reason, and maturity.

If you’re concerned that this “heavy handed” approach will screw them up, I’ll defer to my original example. I’ve seen many overcome much worse, thanks to the developmental miracle of deflated frontal lobes. It really cannot be worse than not parenting them at all.

B is for Books

I’m on tap to help on a couple different writing projects, but find myself utterly distracted. It makes me wonder if , like everything else, technology has ruined the, once, proud and elite title of “author.”

I am hard pressed to consider some of the self published sludge to be much more than digital neurosis or self delusion. Kind of like those singers that have youtube channels and consider themselves professional entertainers. Yeah, we got Christina Grimmie, but we also got that Asian guy that is so bad that he got famous. *cough* Fifty Shades *cough*

Anyhow, yesterday, was day 2 of a 100 day goal. It has nothing to do with books, but I’ll be tracking my progress and plan by hand, just to get back to my own roots or venting my creativity on paper first. The process makes me more discerningnof what I write, keeps me from pushing on when I’m tired, and if I really like it, I can type it later. That’s a vital step, that I think is missing for a lot of people.

Day 3 of my 100 day goal is today. Today’s “microaction” is planning out 2 weeks worth of daily activities, and finding my keycard for the gym. Wish me luck!Screenshot_20180331-083116