Deceiving the government: That these advocacy groups pony up phony statistics supporting their moralistic views to get funding is an outrage. Your story is a real service to the sane in our society, whatever your motivations ("Weird Science," Nick Pinto, March 24).
And who are they fooling? Well, apparently, the government. They will never get rid of consensual prostitution among adults, which seems to be their goal in pushing the child-prostitute lie. That, and getting big bucks handed to them. They don't call it the world's oldest profession for nothing.
Tim Stanton, Phoenix
New Times feedback
Sick Bible-thumpers: Interesting. The advocacy groups know they won't get anywhere with their real goal of stopping prostitution, in general, so they have to conjure up a bunch of stats that "prove" kids are being exploited.
You Bible-thumpers are the sick ones, along with the self-serving politicians who exploit this kind of lying to look good to their pious constituents.
Elizabeth Marie, Phoenix
Who needs evidence when we all know it's true?: Nick Pinto is ignorant of the truth that sex trafficking and the exploitation of young girls and women happen to a large degree all over the country.
There may be some issues with the data, but [he] needs to read article after article [about the] crisis across America with modern-day slavery.
Alex Sum, Seattle
Makes the good look bad: These are the reasons why research and investigation are so critical. The idea that an organization would lie about stats in regard to such a horrific and cruel crime is beyond my reasoning. This causes funding to legitimate organizations to be delayed.
Amy Arce, city unavailable
Hard to get anywhere without facts: Having a rational, reasonable, fact-based discussion on any aspect of sex offenders is difficult at best. Having such a discussion when some of those involved do not bother to find out the facts — but instead substitute their own opinions — ups the difficulty level to very high.
Factor in those who claim to know the facts, can quote statistics with the best of us, but in reality are virtually inventing these facts and statistics out of their own preconceived biases, and the chance of having anything even remotely resembling a meaningful conversation on the subject enters the realm of the totally impossible.
Shelomith Stow, city unavailable
That's Death Row Madam, at amazon.com: I grew up in Minnesota, where I started a legitimate escort service and was named "Businesswoman of the Year." This was followed by my moving to L.A., where, due to a series of circumstances, I became a successful Hollywood madam-turned-author.
I think we all know the downside of prostitution and object to the sex-trafficking of minors or non-consenting adults, so we don't need to be misled by anti-prostitution organizations . . . about a business they object to despite the fact they have no personal experience [with it] or knowledge of it.
It's time laws are changed that take away an adult's right to have sex for money in the privacy of [his or her] own home without threat of arrest and imprisonment.
Cheri Woods, author of Death Row Madam
Cash cow is dry, hyperbole bull is hyper: What a relief to read a reporter stating that the emperor has no clothes, i.e., that the corrupt anti-trafficking lobby is, well, corrupt.
The Women's Funding Network is just one of many such groups that have sprung up like mushrooms in the last decade by absorbing the hundreds of millions of dollars the U.S. government and the various states have allocated from tax dollars to combat a crime that does not exist.
This is not to say there is no trafficking abroad, but the Washington Post did an exposé in September 2007, "Human Trafficking Evokes Outrage, Little Evidence," that found there is virtually no sex trafficking to the United States.
The anti-trafficking [groups] conflate international trafficking with domestic trafficking, use phony statistics (as the author of your article showed), and constantly expand the definition of trafficking to include all sorts of other crimes that suddenly become trafficking so they can boost the numbers — and boost the need for funding.
[This] has been a cash cow for some years now for [them], but due to the recession, the milk is running dry, and they have to ramp up the hyperbole.
Outrage pays: What a joke. If I could only muster up the greed to falsify a study about some morally reprehensible act then maybe I wouldn't be two months behind on my mortgage.
Advocacy for profit is just as disgusting as child sex trafficking and probably more rampant.
Non-profit charlatans: I am shocked — shocked, I tell you — that a non-profit advocacy group would lie to get access to more taxpayer funding. Wonder why your government doesn't have enough money?
One reason is that it gives a bunch of it to politically allied "non-profit" organizations. Tell your elected representative that you want a complete overhaul of section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. The "non-profit" has become a haven for all manner of activists and charlatans.
BORDERING ON BORING
Alvin would have been harsher: I find it really funny that when New Times actually tells the truth about a shit-hole like Yuma, the denizens prove the paper's point by squealing like little girls about how great their little corner of Hell really is. Come on, people, we're talking about Yuma ("A Sense of Yuma," Amy Silverman and Claire Lawton, March 24)!
I know [Yuma] well. What Silverman, et al. wrote is mild criticism. I would have been much harsher. Made the trip from my place in Tempe to visit relatives more times than I can count. So go peddle your "Yuma is great" crap to people who don't know better.
Alvin Aubrey, Tempe
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Stay in Phoenix!: Don't come back to Yuma ever, ya hear!? You look like stuck-up, snobby bitches. We love Yuma and our history.
Leigh Ann Felix, Yuma
Damn right it's not paradise: Why do you guys feel the need to bash Yuma? It's not paradise, but obviously some people like it, because they call it home! You were extremely insensitive to its citizens. I feel sorry for you.
Theresa Jackson, Yuma
Empty and unsatisfying — like this letter: I moved from Yuma to Ohio nearly three years ago and, while I love it here, I do miss the hospitality of the people in my hometown.
What I don't miss about Arizona are elitist snobs like [Silverman and Lawton], people who are all about what you have and who you know. I can only imagine how empty and unsatisfying the lives of [people] so critical and jaded must be.
Lacey Byrd, city unavailable