Archive for the ‘MY VIEWS’ Category

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The Road Review

Finally got time and went to see “The Road”. It is a simple story about a Father trying to keep his young Son safe after the world had been destroyed by “something”. It is a bleak story but I feel in the end it shows how mankind can find a way to pick itself up and go on…

I have read some reviews that say, The Road goes nowhere, I think this misses the point. It is NOT a story that ‘goes nowhere” it is a story of the “journey to somewhere” that a father and son take to somehow stay alive. It is a story of how a Man can continue to go forward when in reality he knows it would be much easier to give up and use his last 2 bullets to end the pain for his son and himself. But he doesn’t because he still has a sliver of hope and does not want his son to give up either. In reality, it looks like the World is dead and there is no reason to go on.

It was great acting as usual by Viggo but young Kodi was also great. He had some really emotional scenes and he did great. It’s nice to see a kid who is not afraid to show his emotions and he made me feel his pain. How scared must this boy be to see all the horrors he has seen and still hope that some mankind is still good. He is just a little boy but he is the reason we all go forward. Even if his future looks like there is no reason to go on.

One of the most emotional scenes is this…Man has Boy in headlock and threatens to cut his throat. Poppa shoots bad guy in head and boy goes in to shock. Poppa takes Kodi down to stream to clean the blood and brain off of him. Kodi comes out of it and really starts to cry over what has just happened. It was heart wrenching to watch this scene. This Boy was terrified over almost dying. Having to see a Man get shot and have his blood and brains on him, horrible..Poppa just hugs him to try to sooth the pain…I cried deeply at this scene…

** Found out today 12/23 from LA Times article that this scene was shot early in filming and Kodi really just broke down. He did his lines so Viggo kept acting and after they quit filming Kodi kept crying and Viggo just held him so he would feel better. Kodi’s father let Viggo console him because he knew it would bring them closer together for the film..That is a brave father…

If I was that Father I don’t know if I would go on, in this destroyed World. I do know that I would protect my boy, any boy with my life. What a horrible dilemma that I hope I never have to face. You never know how the future will be for all of us but it’s not like it could never happen. How horrible he must have felt when he knew he was going to die and leave his boy alone to face this terrifying world, scared, cold and unprotected.

In the end, “The Road” is a story about a Father who is trying to protect his son so that he can continue forward toward hopefully a better life, with a future… It was hard to watch but I am glad I took this journey.

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Running in the Shadows

Selling Their Bodies

Monica Almeida/The New York Times

ASHLAND, Ore. — She ran away from her group home in Medford, Ore., and spent weeks sleeping in parks and under bridges. Finally, Nicole Clark, 14 years old, grew so desperate that she accepted a young man’s offer of a place to stay. The price would come later.

Nicole Clark, right, with Kate Baxted, an outreach worker, who is helping her piece her life back together. As a runaway, Nicole recalled, “I felt trapped in a way I can’t really explain.”

They had sex, and he soon became her boyfriend. Then one day he threatened to kick her out if she did not have sex with several of his friends in exchange for money.

She agreed, fearing she had no choice. “Where was I going to go?” said Nicole, now 17 and living here, just down the Interstate from Medford. That first exchange of money for sex led to a downward spiral of prostitution that lasted for 14 months, until she escaped last year from a pimp who she said often locked her in his garage apartment for months.

“I didn’t know the town, and the police would just send me back to the group home,” Nicole said, explaining why she did not cut off the relationship once her first boyfriend became a pimp and why she did not flee prostitution when she had the chance. “I’d also fallen for the guy. I felt trapped in a way I can’t really explain.”

Most of the estimated 1.6 million children who run away each year return home within a week. But for those who do not, the desperate struggle to survive often means selling their bodies.

Nearly a third of the children who flee or are kicked out of their homes each year engage in sex for food, drugs or a place to stay, according to a variety of studies published in academic and public health journals. But this kind of dangerous barter system can quickly escalate into more formalized prostitution, when money changes hands. And then, child welfare workers and police officials say, it becomes extremely difficult to help runaways escape the streets. Many become more entangled in abusive relationships, and the law begins to view them more as teenage criminals than under-age victims.

Estimates of how many children are involved in prostitution vary wildly — ranging from thousands to tens of thousands. More solid numbers do not exist, in part because the Department of Justice has yet to study the matter even though Congress authorized it to do so in 2005 as part of a nationwide study of the illegal commercial sex industry.

But many child welfare advocates and officials in government and law enforcement say that while the data is scarce, they believe that the problem of prostituted children has grown, especially as the Internet has made finding clients easier.

“It’s definitely worsening,” said Sgt. Kelley O’Connell, a detective who until this year ran the Boston Police Department’s human-trafficking unit, echoing a sentiment conveyed in interviews with law enforcement officials from more than two dozen cities. “Gangs used to sell drugs,” she said. “Now many of them have shifted to selling girls because it’s just as lucrative but far less risky.”

Atlanta, which is one of the only cities where local officials have tried to keep data on the problem, has seen the number of teenage prostitutes working in the city grow to 334 in February from 251 in August 2007.

The barriers to rescuing these children are steep: state cuts to mental heath services, child welfare agencies incapable of preventing them from running away, a dearth of residential programs where the children can receive counseling.

After years of abuse, trauma and neglect, the children also tend to trust no one. The longer they are on the streets, experts say, the more likely they are to become involved in crime and uncooperative with the authorities.

“These kids enter prostitution and they literally disappear,” said Bradley Myles, deputy director of the Polaris Project, a nonprofit organization based in Washington that directly serves children involved in prostitution and other trafficking victims. “And in those rare moments that they reappear, it’s in these revolving-door situations where they’re handled by people who have no idea or training in how to help them. So the kids end up right back on the street.”

The Flip Interview

That revolving door is what an F.B.I. agent, Dan Garrabrant, desperately hoped to stop in Interview Room One at the Atlantic City Police Department on Sept. 5, 2006.

A version of this article appeared in print on October 27, 2009, on page A1 of the New York edition.

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Running in the Shadows

Children on Their Own

Monica Almeida/The New York Times

MEDFORD, Ore. — Dressed in soaked green pajamas, Betty Snyder, 14, huddled under a cold drizzle at the city park as several older boys decided what to do with her.

Nikki Hall, 16, in her parents’ foreclosed home in Medford, Ore., where she has been squatting in order to finish the year at her school.

Betty said she had run away from home a week earlier after a violent argument with her mother. Shivering and sullen-faced, she vowed that she was not going to sleep by herself again behind the hedges downtown, where older homeless men and methamphetamine addicts might find her.

The boys were also runaways. But unlike them, Betty said, she had been reported missing to the police. That meant that if the boys let her stay overnight in their hidden tent encampment by the freeway, they risked being arrested for harboring a fugitive.

“We keep running into this,” said one of the boys, Clinton Anchors, 18. Over the past year, he said, he and five other teenagers living together on the streets had taken under their wings no fewer than 20 children — some as young as 12 — and taught them how to avoid predators and the police, survive the cold and find food.

“We always first try to send them home,” said Clinton, who himself ran away from home at 12. “But a lot of times they won’t go, because things are really bad there. We basically become their new family.”

Over the past two years, government officials and experts have seen an increasing number of children leave home for life on the streets, including many under 13. Foreclosures, layoffs, rising food and fuel prices and inadequate supplies of low-cost housing have stretched families to the extreme, and those pressures have trickled down to teenagers and preteens.

Federal studies and experts in the field have estimated that at least 1.6 million juveniles run away or are thrown out of their homes annually. But most of those return home within a week, and the government does not conduct a comprehensive or current count.

The best measure of the problem may be the number of contacts with runaways that federally-financed outreach programs make, which rose to 761,000 in 2008 from 550,000 in 2002, when current methods of counting began. (The number fell in 2007, but rose sharply again last year, and the number of federal outreach programs has been fairly steady throughout the period.)

Too young to get a hotel room, sign a lease or in many cases hold a job, young runaways are increasingly surviving by selling drugs, panhandling or engaging in prostitution, according to the National Runaway Switchboard, the federally-financed national hot line created in 1974. Legitimate employment was hard to find in the summer of 2009; the Labor Department said fewer than 30 percent of teenagers had jobs.

In more than 50 interviews over 11 months, teenagers living on their own in eight states told of a harrowing existence that in many cases involved sleeping in abandoned buildings, couch-surfing among friends and relatives or camping on riverbanks and in parks after fleeing or being kicked out by families in financial crisis.

The runaways spend much of their time avoiding the authorities because they assume the officials are trying to send them home. But most often the police are not looking for them as missing-person cases at all, just responding to complaints about loitering or menacing. In fact, federal data indicate that usually no one is looking for the runaways, either because parents have not reported them missing or the police have mishandled the reports.

In Adrian, Mich., near Detroit, a 16-year-old boy was secretly living alone in his mother’s apartment, though all the utilities had been turned off after she was arrested and jailed for violating her parole by bouncing a check at a grocery store.

In Huntington, W.Va., Steven White, 15, said that after casing a 24-hour Wal-Mart to see what time each night the cleaning crew finished its rounds, he began sleeping in a store restroom.

“You’re basically on the lam,” said Steven, who said he had left home because of physical abuse that increased after his father lost his job this year. “But you’re a kid, so it’s pretty hard to hide.”

Between Legal and Illegal

Survival on the streets of Medford, a city of 76,000 in southwest Oregon, requires runaways to walk a fine line between legal and illegal activity, as a few days with a group of them showed. Even as they sought help from social service organizations, they guarded their freedom jealously.

Posted via web from MovieDriver – Hollywood Teamster

Posted via web from MovieDriver – Hollywood Teamster