Saturday, February 23, 2019

This just in: Nation not transfixed by tragedy of human trafficking

In the Nation


By Ida Tarbell
Investigations Unit with 
A.J. Liebling, Meta-Content Generator

Billionaire Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been implicated in a massive human trafficking scandal that has ruined thousands of lives in a shocking case which has ignited exactly zero media attention.

The news broke in a non-avalanche of no coverage on all TV channels, social media pages, and newspapers.  According to the few media accounts that have seen the light of day, the human trafficking scandal involves all NFL teams, hundreds of institutions in which the victims of the trafficking scandal are held in involuntary servitude, and a feeder network of thousands of alleged public schools concentrated in Texas, Arizona, and Florida.

News media sources say if NFL trafficking victims
looked more like this, they would give a toss
The unfortunate victims of this sordid scandal come from largely poor backgrounds in predominantly minority communities.  Early in their teenage years they are “groomed” for a life in the human trafficking rings by supposed “coaches” and often-bribed adults in the community.  These coaches in turn exploit these helpless teenagers by forcing them to compete in dangerous games of “football” which feature violence that lays the foundation for  lifelong brain injuries.

These corrupt coaches are in turn paid off by a well-organized and well-financed ring of conspirators who use the cover name “NCAA,” but, according to informed insiders, operate largely autonomously.  The institutions, which establish legitimate fronts known as “universities,” in turn compete for luring these victims into four years of unpaid dangerous involuntary servitude.

The ringleaders of these so-called “universities” earn millions from the grueling unpaid labor of these miserable victims, who are forced to live in segregated “dormitories” cut off from real students and denied the right to leave pursuant to the terms of their so called “scholarships.”'

In fact, victim advocates say, these fake “scholarships” do not provide the trafficked individuals with either an education or a diploma, leaving them with no alternative but to enter a virtual slave auction for future employment at the highest level of the trafficking ring, known as the “NFL.”  If chosen in this auction, the trafficked victim has no choice but to indenture himself to the team that “drafts” him.

What these victims aren't told however is that only a few will be given the opportunity to do even more permanent damage to their brains and bodies and that the vast majority will be dumped on the streets without any means to earn a living after having been exploited for years.

Even worse, experts say, the cumulative result of working thousands of hours without adequate protection ruins the lives of millions of these victims through traumatic brain injuries, metabolic disorders, and injuries to knees and other joints that can leave these brutalized individuals immobile and destitute.  Despite the toll that that these years of involuntary servitude take, no law enforcement official has expressed any interest whatsoever in holding any of the traffickers criminally or civilly liable.

in fact, sources tell the Spy, leading traffickers operate openly using names like “Ohio State,” “Clemson” and “Alabama.”  In almost all cases, these massive entities regard themselves as immune from legal challenge despite the lifelong harm they do to their victims.

Among the few reports published by the largely uninterested news media is this sordid account of the tragic fate of one young victim from the New York Times:

A standout at the University of Washington who played four years with the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers until 2013, Te’o-Nesheim was 30 when he was found dead in a friend’s house last October with a mix of alcohol and painkillers in his body. Neuroscientists later found chronic traumatic encephalopathy — the degenerative disease linked to repeated blows to the head — in his brain.
Te’o-Nesheim, who grew up in the Seattle area and in Hawaii, is not the youngest former N.F.L. player to be found with C.T.E., which can only be diagnosed posthumously. Nor did he have the most severe version of the disease, which has been found in hundreds of athletes and veterans. 

The link between this form of human trafficking and traumatic brain injury has been scientifically established:

Dr. Ann McKee, a neuropathologist, has examined the brains of 202 deceased football players. A broad survey of her findings was published on Tuesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Of the 202 players, 111 of them played in the N.F.L. — and 110 of those were found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., the degenerative disease believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head.
C.T.E. causes myriad symptoms, including memory loss, confusion, depression and dementia. The problems can arise years after the blows to the head have stopped.
Yet despite the irrefutable human toll this form of human trafficking takes on the thousands of victims trapped in the system, law enforcement has conducted zero large-scale sting operations to track down the traffickers and has brought no criminal charges against the traffickers and those who profit from them, like NFL owners.

The failure to prosecute these human traffickers has led to no public outcry or calls for action, and no commentators have sententiously called on the NFL to clean up its act.  In fact, millions of Americans, mostly but not exclusively men, are known to patronize the traffickers and gain enormous pleasure from the agonies of their victims.

No TV news crews have staked out the mansions of the trafficking ringleaders or asked random passers-by what effect they think the trafficking charges will have on their view of the owners and coaches who profit from it.

As a result of the massive lack of public interest, it is expected that thousands more victims will face a lifetime of crippling illnesses brought on for no purpose other than to satisfy the lust of millions for violence.

In other news, Robert Kraft paid for a blowjob.

Monday, February 18, 2019

From the Archives: Why do Democrats keep provoking Republicans?

By Isaiah Thomas
Board of Editors

It's a long way to Election Day 2020 but according to today's New York Times,  the Republicans are wasting no time throwing mud at Democrats:

In response, the usual bloviating suspects have urged Democrats not to play into the hands of the Republicans by nominating someone who might raise a billionaire's taxes.  Much safer, Dems are told, to nominate their own white billionaire, like Li'l Stop-n-Frisk, because that way the Republicans would be unable to smear the nominee with unfair attacks (what nominating Mikey B. would do to the prospects of a party dependent on strong minority turnout these seers don't say).

We sent our team of interns back into our archives to test that hypothesis.  You'll never guess what they found.

1968 – Dems nominate moderate Vice President Hubert Horatio Humphrey

In 1968, perhaps animated by fears of what might happen if Democrats nominated a progressive candidate or perhaps because Humphrey backer Chicago Mayor Dick “I Am The Law” Daley had beaten all opposition to a bloody pulp, the Democrats went with the Establishment choice: Vice President Hubert Humphrey.

His opponent, Richard Nixon, responded with a “Southern Strategy,” to appeal to disaffected white ethnic Democrats who would later vote for a corrupt Russian stooge.  The goal was blow the dog whistle loud enough to attract them but not so loud as to alienate that now-extinct species: moderate Republicans.  To accomplish that feat, Nixon turned to a then obscure TV producer named Roger Ailes.  Here's what he whipped out: 

Whaddaya know, it worked.  Well, that and subverting the Paris Peace Talks.

1972 – Dems nominate progressive war hero George McGovern

Four years later the Democrats, still woozy from the pounding they had gotten on the streets of Chicago and still trying to end the Vietnam War, chose a war hero from the prairie by the name of George McGovern.  Did Nixon respond differently?  Well, he ordered a number of felonies committed and distracted the electorate with a carefully modulated statement of the differences between the two candidates:

Amnesty meant letting draft resisters who fled to Canada come home.  Acid referred to a drug policy that de-emphasized locking up anyone who used drugs and wasn't a rich white boy.  And the Republicans chose abortion instead of their preferred term, baby killing, for we are sure alliterative reasons only.

1988 – Dems nominate moderate Gov. Michael Dukakis

Sorry we have to skip some of the stations on this BS Express to the Grifter-in-Chief.  In1988, Democrats again chose what they thought was a safe pair of hands: moderate pragmatist Michael Dukakis.  And of course the Republicans honored that choice with a respectful discussion of the issues.

Nah, we're just s***in' you:

1992 – Dems nominate moderate Gov. Bill Clinton

Not deterred by the Dukakis debacle, Democrats nominated yet another moderate Governor in 1992, Bill Clinton.    This time though the Republicans chose to focus their toxic warfare not only on the candidate but on a relative of his who wasn't running for anything:

In 1992 and 1996 that line of attack more or less flopped.  But, like the chicken pox virus, it remained dormant but ready to afflict the Democrats when Mrs. Clinton, having performed well as Senator and Secretary of State, dared to run herself.

2000 – Dems nominate moderate Vice President Al Gore

Some of you may see a pattern developing here.  Let us help you:

Boy that Kellyanne Fitzpatrick sounds like quite a firecracker.  Wonder whatever happened to her?

As we know, the attacks helped George W. Bush win the election by a vote of 5 to 4.

2004 – Dems nominate moderate Senator John Kerry

With the nation still reeling from the 9/11 terror attacks, except for the Muslims in Jersey City whom the Tangerine-Faced Grifter saw dancing on rooftops, the Democrats decided to give a moderate Establishment candidate another go.  This time they chose, as they had in 1972, a bona fide war hero with the decorations to prove it: Sen. John Kerry.  Who would attack a thrice-wounded veteran for his service?

And the answer was:

In other words, every breathing Republican was willing to smear John Kerry for political advantage.

2008 & 2012 – Dems nominate progressive Senator Barack Obama

By 2008, Democrats came to the realization that Republicans would smear whoever the Democrats nominated, so why not put up a candidate who actually excited and reflected the Democratic base?  Surely, the attacks couldn't get any more unfair.

We'll leave that judgment to you:

By now we think the point is tolerably clear.  There's no reason to worry about what Republicans will say about a given Democratic candidate.  Unless of course the Democrats choose to nominate Vladimir Putin, in which case we can expect the Republican incumbent to take the high road.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Hot off the trail: the Spy's David Bloviator saddles up for another election

Editors' Note: Once again, you, the reader of the Spy, will be privileged to partake of the lapidary insights of our peerless political prognosticator, David Bloviator, who has been covering elections for us since the Stassen campaign.  As you might imagine, over the decades he's worked up a huge bar tab [Surely, base of expertise? – Ed.] and he is once again willing to share it with you [The expertise or the bar tab? – Ed.] from his listening stool [Surely, post? – Ed.]  at the National Press Club.

TMS:  Mr. Bloviator, it's an honor to be covering yet another election with you.

DB:  Yes it is.  Say, you aren't one of those young whippersnappers they send out to baby-sit me.  Don't I recognize you?

The great pundit shares his wisdom with you,
the simple reader
TMS:  Yes, we've been on the trail for generations now.  I started with The Washington Star, moved to the Chicago Daily News, the Cleveland Press, the Philadelphia Bulletin, the Rocky Mountain News, .mic news, and here I am now freelancing for the Spy.

DB:  God, man, can't you hold a job?  Or at least a Scotch. Be a good man and get us a couple of double Chivas-rocks, would you?

TMS: Consider it done.

DB:  Ah, that was a good start.  How about another round before the dusty work of political prognosticating?

TMS:  It's the Spy's money.

DB:  I like the cut of your jib, old timer.

TMS:  Now perhaps we could get down to business.  The Democratic field is already growing crowded.  Who do you see as the favorites?

DB: The Democrats must chose a candidate who appeals to anti-Trump Republicans.

TMS:  Why?

DB:  My God man they represent a huge majority.  Everyone I meet in Washington falls into that category.  Just last week I gave a lecture at the Bloomberg Institute for Rousting Uppity Negroes and they packed the place.

TMS:  You are aware that outside the narrow bounds of the Washington punditocracy,  they represent almost no one in the electorate?

DB:  That's not what my good friend Howard Schultz said when he treated me to a 40 ounce tenderloin at Morton's last week.

TMS:  It's true.  Only about 6% of the electorate regards itself as socially liberal and economically conservative.

DB: But Democrats must avoid candidates who are too shrill or who are carrying too much baggage.

TMS: You mean women.

DB:  Now don't you go getting me into trouble again, you old fox.  The electorate is ready for a woman president. As long as she sounds like a man.

TMS:  What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of the women in the Democratic field?  Let's start with Elizabeth Warren.

DB:  Well, you have to admit she's on the warpath.  She keeps stumbling over her claim of Native American heritage.

TMS:  But she has Native America heritage.

DB:  That's not the point.  The point is the emanations, the shadows, the questions of how she's handling it, and when it comes to all that she's pretty much scalped herself.

TMS:  Isn't that what people said about Hillary Clinton and her emails?

DB:  And look what happened to her.  I rest my glass.  Now fill it up.

TMS:  Cheers.  [sound of glasses clinking]  How about Kamala Harris?

DB:  She comes across as too leftist.  Also she has a problem because she is perceived as too tough on crime.

TMS:  How can you be both too far left and too hard on crime?

DB:  You tell me but she's doing it.

TMS:  Doesn't she have great appeal to the progressive base of the Democratic Party, especially women of color?

DB:  Now you're playing identity politics again.

TMS:  Why is it when a candidate of color emphasizes the need to correct historic injustices to persons of color, that's playing identity politics, but when a white male Republican rubbishes everyone who isn't a rich white man, that's populism?

Who will win the favor of
anti-Trump Republicans?
DB:  Because President Trump has tapped into a deep root of frustration among forgotten Americans.

TMS:  You mean white Americans?

DB:  Of course.  Who else is there?

TMS:  Perhaps you've forgotten.  Let's move on to a recent entrant in the race, Minnesota's Amy Klobuchar.  She seems to be positioning herself more towards the center.

DB:  She does appeal to the moderate center, but she is going to have to avoid taking unpopular positions to appease the loony socialists on the Democratic left.

TMS:  You mean positions like raising the marginal tax rate on income in excess of $10 million to 70%?

DB:  That's right.  These extremist positions will be rejected by the electorate.

TMS:  Actually, polling shows that increasing taxes on the super rich is extremely popular.

DB:  I wouldn't worry about that.  I was invited to attend a weekend open bar, um, forum at the Koch Institute for the Glorification of Greed and they said that after they spend $50,000,000 of dark money, no one would dare vote to confiscate the hard-inherited wealth of the ultra-rich.

TMS:  Speaking of which, are you concerned about the effect of money on politics?

DB:  Not as much as I am about the effect of money on Scotch.  Now get me another double, lad.  [Sound of corpulent figure falling off a barstool and glass shattering, followed by indistinct moaning].

TMS:  Maybe it's time to say Thank You, Mr. Bloviator.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Sports News: New hope for those left out of Patriot Nation

Washington-area streets were not thronged today by millions of ecstatic football fans.

By Shill Shamelessly
Ace Sports Columnist

While joy reigns again in Patriots Nation, and a parched Hub enjoys the gentle rain of another championship ending an almost three-month drought, it has come to the attention of empty suit and owner bootlicker Roger Goodell that not every one is equally happy.

In an announcement delivered to the lowly serfs of the working press from his midtown Manhattan penthouse, NFL Commissioner for Life Goodell, after lighting his Cohiba with another $100 bill, said that he was taking dramatic action to assuage the feelings of those who seem to be having particular difficulty with the spectacle of the 6th Lombardi Trophy being carried down Boylston Street again this year by its rightful owners.

Goodell, having been booed out of Mercedes Benz Stadium by a mere 75,000 Patriots fans who remember all too well his effort to derail the team of destiny on the grounds that Tom Brady wouldn't let him paw through his cell phone, retreated to his Fortress of Obsequy and pondered awhile (at about $12,000 per hour) about the hurt feelings of those dismayed by the triumph of a team that had been written off as too old and too slow to pick up a sixth Super Bowl ring.

Even worse, when he breakfasted with his fellow plutocrats the morning after the Super Bowl, he was told in no uncertain terms that important members of the media were none too happy.

Here's one example, culled from a publication legendary for its incisive sports coverage:

Heartbreaking, isn't it?

Nor was that the end of it. From another sad place west of Pittsfield came this anguished cry from a reporter who ordinarily does great work covering Republican crooks in Congress but couldn't stand the heat generated by Messrs. Brady, Edelman, McCourty, McCourty, Gronkowski, et al.

What could be so upsetting about a thrilling defensive battle that ended as it must with a win for the boys from Foxborough?

After digging the last bits of his egg-white omelet out of his teeth with a crisp rolled up $100 bill, Goodell recognized that he had a problem that he could fix.  According to coat-holders deep within the Commissioner's Office, Goodell has decided to remedy the grief and anger felt by sports fans like Crouch and Kim by going directly to the heart of the matter.

Goodell has told confidantes that in response he will propose to the plutocratic team owners that the NFL expand to the currently unserved markets of New York and Washington.  “Goodell thinks that by giving fans in NY and DC a real NFL franchise to root for, he can address the root of their unhappiness: the absence of professional football from the two top-ten markets,” explained one overpaid young white man whose day job is replenishing the stack of Benjamins at Goodell's right hand.

“New Yorkers haven't seen an NFL game played in their city for 30 years.  No wonder that every Patriots championship sets off years of whining,” the source told ol' Shill.

Now the Shillmeister has been knocking around the gridiron for longer than he likes to remember, but even he has only a dim recollection of a couple of two-bit franchises playing atop Jimmy Hoffa's grave in the swamps of New Jersey.  Goodell has, according to sources, given up all hope that the “Jints” and “Jots” will ever be able to play at the level required to compete in the NFL.  Accordingly, he is looking for rich white suckers to drop  about $1,000,000,000 on an expansion franchise.

He also expects the easily nobbled politicians of New York to cough up another billion of taxpayer money to build a stadium for the exclusive benefits of the white corporate elite who will enjoy it.  Goodell, after blowing his nose in yet another honeybee, was quoting as saying: “If they can grease Steinbrenner with a billion, imagine what they can do for us.”

Goodell has already scouted some prime real estate he'd like to repurpose for a stadium, including an old commuter rail station on East 42d Street and Liberty Island, although he said he'd consider incorporating the statue into a giant IMAX scoreboard.

Goodell sees the situation in Washington as even worse, with the supposed NFL team not just a national joke but, given that its very name is an ethnic slur, a national outrage.  Goodell, eager to put the new Washington team on a sound footing, is planning to move the existing DC franchise to Richmond, Virginia and rename it in honor of the hunters and trappers that once flourished in the Chesapeake lowlands.  According to the Commissioner's Office, the team will be renamed the “Virginia Coonmen.”