� Rise and shine, Landesman, you have a new -- and far more formidable -- foe to freak the fuck out on. Jack Shafer revisits The Girls Next Door with the latest official human trafficking numbers in hand. The gist: estimates have dropped from a high of 50,000 women and children were trafficked here annually "for sexual exploitation" to 15,000 people trafficked annually for all purposes -- making the figures significantly lower than Landesman suggests. Jack has always been more concerned with the numbers than I have. To me, what made PL's article sensationalistic was not that he chose to use the highest estimates he could find -- a fairly common bit of journalistic spin -- but that he chose to build a narrative out of elements -- underage American girls, torture, murder, Disneyland -- that were both perfectly picked to shock and utterly impossible to substantiate. [Update: Guess who's back in the comments...]
� IVF blogger Julie says some very funny and true stuff that I left out of or only touched on in my recent Snowflakes miniseries. BTW, I'm going to be writing something on this subject for at least one magazine in the near future.