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Posts Tagged ‘tourism’

      The news is full of reports of two suspects being held in an alleged extortion attempt of John Travolta.  John and his wife Kelly Preston lost their only son Jett in the Bahamas at the start of the new year.  There has been little information released about the extortion plan; however, it does appear that an ambulance driver is allegedy one of the people being held in police custody.   Reports also say that an attorney is being held for questioning as well by the police.  I am sure more information will be revealed in time.

         Extortion is usually about money; whatever the plan was…it is happening at a terrible time.   The family is still grieving the loss of their son Jett.   Some people seem to take joy in other people’s pain.  The Bahamas is a beautiful place to visit…but it is turning into a place associated with celebrities and their nightmares.  This could have a major impact on travelors or tourism if this investigation is not properly handled.  That would make me sad as it is one of the most beautiful places i have ever traveled to.

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       Slavery exists even today; i know that that sounds like an inflammatory statement but it is true.  It is just not talked about in any kind of real, life changing way.  I read a book recently which opens up a whole new way of looking at the world.  It is rather frightening.  Slavery exists today in what is called, modern day slavery….human trafficking.  People are bought and sold all over the world…but, it is not a subject that has been addressed in the fullness that it needs to be; to face it and, attempt to overcome it.

        The book is called, A Crime So Monstrous; it was written by author Benjamin Skinner; published in 2008.  He has traveled to places around the globe to educate and inform the world of the human injustice that is perpetrated against those who are vulnerable, and can not fight back without help.  It is a moral call to action.  Once your eyes have been opened up to the extent of the evil that is human trafficking…you will never look at the world in the same way.  Children, women, men, young and old…it doesn’t matter…crimes against humanity should never be tolerated.

        So what is modern slavery-human trafficking?  It is the forced sale of human beings to be used and abused.  There are many forms of it…from sexual slavery, prostitution, forced labor, to forced child marriages and the list goes on.  There are very real networks that cross continents buying and selling humans against their will; it impacts well over 800,000 individuals a year.   Sometimes repeatedly; without concern for the well-being of those who are being transferred like a piece of property.  It is illegal, it is immoral and it doesn’t stop there…sometimes, in many cases it is multi-generational.  In those cases, debt forces multiple generations to work to pay off debts…doing hard labor, with little or no pay.  In conditions not suitable for proper human living conditions.  Often, violence is used to coerce people to do things against their will.  They do not get proper food, shelter, health care or healthy human interaction.  It is not right.  Many of the victims are the most vulnerable in society…the weak, the poor, the disabled, the homeless, and those who are without protectors.

        Do you think it doesn’t affect you?   What if it was happening in your town?  What if it was in your neighborhood?   What if one of your loved ones came up missing?   Missing family member…what if they have become one of the invisible slaves bought and sold for someone else’s gain and pleasure?  People who patronize the prostitutes on any street, in any country, around the world did you ever wonder if …are they doing it because they want to?  Or, are they being forced to perform as a prostitute because they are in fact, someone’s slave?  If you purchase their services…you could be part of the problem. How about people who purchase the servant to cook, or clean in their business or home, especially those  individuals not legally present in that country; are they working for them willingly, or have they been bought and paid for?  

         Our country, the United States of America, is involved in war.  Our military men and women have seen things in other countries that would shock you.  In some of those countries, when war breaks out…rape is used as a tool to destroy cultures and to break down the resistance of the opposing fighters.   Our military men and women have seen what happens to the women in those countries that have been warring with one another when they have gone in to establish some kind of peace-keeping.  Women and children, as well as men, are raped and used horribly.  Some of them never recover, physically or emotionally.   This is unacceptable behavior…no matter what country it takes place in.  These are issues to think about.  No-one is guaranteed safety from these predators.  http://www.humantrafficking.org/updates  This is a global issue.  It affects us all.  If you met one of these individuals in person… how you could be unaffected?  Yet most of us live our lives unaware of their plight.  Their stories of abuse would horrify you. 

         Many of the hotbeds in the modern day slavery networks, are on the news everyday…either they are points of travel destinations, or glamour spots that the rich and famous travel to and from…others are known for their sexual tourism…PLEASE STOP FEEDING THE MONEY MACHINE.   Someone’s “tourism” is someone else’s nightmare!!!   Do some research…don’t travel or support countries that are known for trading the services of human beings, illegally, for money.  Governmental leaders must take a stand and enforce those who would disregard the value of human lives by their inaction.  We must expect legal consequences and demand it from the authorities who can make a difference.

         Ben Skinner’s book, A Crime So Monstrous, touches on some of those people and their situations.  It breaks your heart.  And yet, you know that it is just a way of outlinning the scope of the problem.  You can find out more about the book here:  www.simonsays.com  It is also available as an e-book.  Take the time to educate yourself…read it; and, understand how this affects us all.  We need to stand up and demand that our leaders help to wage a war against those who would commit crimes against humanity in such a vile, and dehumanizing way.  Thank you to those who fight the fight against such inhumanity in our world.  

See possibly related story:  http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/WireStory?id=6081857&page=1 or http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=6121646

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      Here is the skinny on a previously top secret engineering project that is the baby of British billionaire, Sir Richard Branson and aerospace engineer, Burt Rutan.   They have had engineers working on designing a spaceship, that will carry another spaceship which will transport rich tourists into space, above the earth, for a 5-minute weightless experience. 

        The “mothership” is going to be introduced to the public on Monday.  Space Ship Two will carry the passengers.  It isn’t ready yet to be introduced.   Models of the two ships will be shown.  When it goes into service…space ship two, will be capable of carrying two pilots plus six passengers.

       I don’t know about you; but, this whole project sits wrong with me.  In a world that is demanding more and more fuel to support their daily living, getting to and from work…at a high cost i might add; it seems to me to set a new level of irresponsible entrepeneurialship.  Yes, it would be a marvel of invention…but, does their right to have such an experience outweigh the need or demand here on earth for the fuels?  Air travel uses such large amounts of fuel…are we ready to allow jet fuel to be siphoned off to what amounts to space tourism? (more…)

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      Well…we made it through the deadline for the temporary shutdown.  I would almost sigh with relief, except that it is not a done deal.  Basically, they now have 30 more days to work out the rest of the deal.  Both sides had to cave a bit to achieve the moratorium.

        At what cost, i say.  They are going to raise our taxes here. Both sales tax and income taxes will be raised.   They have already announced that.  They are now going to tax luxury services such as having your carpet cleaned, mowing your grass, legal fees, accounting fees and HAIRCUTS!    Geez. 

         Yes, here in michigan we live the lifestyle of the RICH AND FAMOUS.  Why… we think nothing, of spending $10.00 on a haircut.  Now, we get to add a little more to our bragging rights on how much our haircut cost us!  Don’t stare when you see some of us running around looking like we tried to save money on the sales tax by combining our services…such as….say…HAVING OUR HAIR CUT BY OUR LAWNMOWERS!!!!!  Good grief.  *****************************Pullleeezzzzzzzzzzze! (more…)

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