Obama’s Diversity Problem

If President Barack Obama were a Republican, recent media reports would likely have Democrats, equal rights activists and affirmative action proponents up in arms.

With an abundance of recent media controversy that paints conservatives as being racially insensitive and as having a “War on Women” complex that allegedly has them wanting all women at home “barefoot and pregnant,” two recent headlines about the President’s Administration are a bit ironic.

The first came in the form of a photograph that made its rounds on news sites and through the conservative blogosphere. The photo, taken from the Obama campaign’s Tumblr page, shows a gathering of members of the campaign team at its Chicago headquarters. Conservative pundits have pointed out that the “army of twenty-somethings” pictured in the photo isn’t an extremely racially diverse one.

The latest ironic Obama headline comes on the heels of the recent release of a number of White House financial records. The records show that women hold very few top-level positions on the White House staff and earn, on average, about $11,000 less every year than their male counterparts.

The median salary for women was $60,000, while the median salary for men was $71,000.

In a 2010 statement, Obama addressed the fact that women typically earn less in the workforce.

“Paycheck discrimination hurts families who lose out on badly needed income.  And with so many families depending on women’s wages, it hurts the American economy as a whole.  In difficult economic times like these, we simply cannot afford this discriminatory burden,” Obama said in 2010.

Obama’s behavior is not new. In 2008, it was discovered that women in McCain’s office were paid much better than the women in Obama’s.

–Bryan Nash contributed to this report.

Surprise: Researchers Find That Brandishing A Weapon Intimidates

Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles have confirmed the obvious in a recent study: Basic survival instincts make people more apt to perceive that individuals brandishing a weapon are a threat.

Anthropologists at the school conducted a study during which they showed hundreds of participants photos of nearly identical male hands holding a range of easily recognizable objects including handguns and knives before asking them to gauge the size and strength of the men.

In one part of the study, 628 individuals were asked to look at four pictures of different hands, each holding a single object: a caulking gun, electric drill, large saw or handgun.

“Tools were used as control objects to rule out the possibility that a simple link with traditionally masculine objects would explain intuitions that the weapon-holders were larger and stronger,” Daniel Fessler, the lead author of the study and an associate professor of anthropology at UCLA explained.

Participants were then asked to estimate the height of each hand model in feet and inches based solely on the photographs of their hands. They were shown six images of progressively taller men and six images of progressively more muscular men and asked to estimate which image came closest to the probable size and strength of the hand model.

The researchers say that 17 percent of the time, the pistol packer was estimated to be stronger and taller than those holding the other objects. A similar outcome was noted when a kitchen knife was shown in the photos.

“We’re exploring how people think about the relative likelihood that they will win a conflict, and then how those thoughts affect their decisions about whether to enter into conflict,” said Fessler.

America’s Priorities In Six Words

In the spirit of the traditional, memorable six-word phrases often recited by Presidential candidates on the campaign trail, the National Constitution Center  is inviting Americans to share what their six-word message would be if they were running for the Nation’s highest office.

Some examples of Presidential stumps:

  • “Restore America to its own people.”
    –Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • “The old ways will not do.”
    –John F. Kennedy
  • “Federal government is overgrown and overweight.”
    –Ronald Reagan
  • “Read my lips: no new taxes.”
    –George H.W. Bush
  • “Our government should work for us.”
    –Barack Obama

In partnership with SMITH Magazine, the center is asking Americans to submit phrases to the Six-Word Memoir® project starting April 24. The submissions will be displayed on screens in the National Constitutional Center’s main exhibit in Philadelphia. In addition, the center plans to analyze words and phrases in the submissions and organize them in dynamic charts, maps and word clouds that reveal information about election priorities across geography and party affiliation.

“The Address America initiative is a unique and accessible way for people across the country to engage in the pivotal 2012 election,” said National Constitution Center President and CEO David Eisner. “There is no better time to launch this program than on April 24 – the day when several states, including Pennsylvania, hold their primaries, and we celebrate our freedom to vote. We hope visitors of all ages will join us to share in the excitement and make their voices heard through a six-word stump speech.”

Beginning April 24, you can participate in the project here.

In the interim, comment below and let us know what your six-word stump speech would be.

The Ron Paul Buzz Heightens With Santorum’s Exit

Rick Santorum made the decision to “suspend” his campaign on Tuesday, leaving Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich as the remaining contenders for the Republican Presidential nominee. Now what?

Romney has long been declared by the GOP establishment and mainstream media as the definite front-runner in the race. But for the sake of the 24-hour news cycle, nearly every other candidate has been afforded a moment to relish in the limelight as his “rival” — every candidate, it seems, except Paul.

With Santorum’s exit, the “Paulbots,” “Paulites” or whatever the MSM have branded Paul’s supporters this week have become energized, and some pundits believe they have good reason. Throughout the primary season, Paul and his supporters have frequently decried the lack of media attention given to the candidate despite his campaign’s ability to organize and energize supporters in ways the other contenders could only hope to emulate.

But now, some people are left wondering if the media will be forced to recognize Paul as a real alternative — even if he is trailing — to Romney as the race enters the final stretch and the candidates make a mad dash to the Republican National Convention in August.

The prospect seems unlikely. The New York Times declared on Monday — even before Santorum’s exit — that the primary has reached an endgame in an article entitled “A Living Autopsy of the Ron Paul Campaign.” Despite the article’s death-declaration of a title, its author could not help but note the obvious: Paul’s positions are popular to a large base of Americans.

Seemingly representing the best of both worlds in a political sense, the candidate’s fiscal ideology is the stuff of dreams for Republicans — specifically Tea Party types who believe Paul Ryan’s recent budget proposal to be lackluster in the “cuts” department. His wish for a smaller Federal government bridges gaps between libertarians, Republicans and independents. And though Paul’s foreign policy makes many hawkish conservatives queasy, it represents a silver lining to Democratic voters who supported Obama for similar peaceful proposals and were slapped in the face.

Paul is often called dangerous by the elite within the military-industrial complex, yet he receives more campaign donations from active-duty military personnel and veterans than any of the other candidates. Do these troops know something the general public — the average hawkish conservative — does not? Lost in translation to many Republican voters who prefer small government is the Paul axiom that big military is big government. In fact, about 27 cents of every 2011 Federal income tax dollar went to military spending, according to the National Priorities Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that analyzes the Federal budget.

Paul and Gingrich have both vowed to stay in the race until the convention, but an interesting caveat for fiscal conservatives considering a vote for Gingrich: The man, who if elected would be charged with repairing a national economy that is in extreme debt, is bouncing checks on the campaign trail. Some pundits have noted since the beginning of his campaign that Gingrich has used the primary mostly as a book tour.

Paul’s campaign still has money to burn and the dogged determination of a well-organized base of support, and many within his base believe — despite MSM reports — that Paul actually has enough delegates to pose a major threat to Romney. They base the assertions on the fact that many of the delegates remain unbound to any one candidate, and the delegate-count numbers are constantly fluctuating.

Even if the MSM are correct in asserting that Paul is no threat to Romney as the primary draws down, the candidate has energized a mass of people who seem to represent a serious threat to the political status quo. In a recent POLITICO article, “Ron Paul’s baby boom,” it is noted that Paul’s Presidential bid and the growing popularity of his message have encouraged a growing number of people who do not identify as wholly Republican or Democrat, but rather as supporters of liberty, to become politically involved. Even if Paul loses this battle, it looks as if he has set the stage to win the war.

Finding Love While Prepping

If you are single, prepping can be a lonely lifestyle and dating may be even more treacherous than it is for non-preppers. Imagine trying to explain the importance of the five-year food store and impressive ammo cache in your basement to someone who is interested only in what happened on the latest episode of “Jersey Shore” or which team the Braves are playing this week.

And then there are all of the tin-foil hat jokes.

Few people appreciate the prepper lifestyle and may find it weird that you carry a concealed weapon for protection, a bug-out kit in the car and spend time in public places identifying threats and planning escapes. Even though being prepared for disaster is a basic responsibility of all humans, partners who understand the prepping lifestyle are often few and far between.

Luckily, Andrea Burke, a 45-year-old teacher from Montana, recognizes the plight of the single prepper. She runs a website called Survivalist Singles that is similar to popular dating sites like eHarmony and Match.com. Only, on Survivalist Singles one might find stockpiling non-perishable food, shooting weapons and perfecting bug-out plans listed alongside “long walks on the beach” in the interests section.

The site launched in 2010 and currently has about 1,640 members. Burke told CNN Money that she hopes to see the site grow. While membership is free for now, she plans to charge a $5 per month fee so she can pay for maintenance and improvements.

 

Vigilante Border Patrol?

In Arizona, a group of armed vigilantes have allegedly taken to conducting their own deadly border patrol missions.

At about 10:35 p.m. last Sunday, officers in Pima, Ariz., responded to a call of shots fired on a vehicle carrying illegal aliens into the United States.

Police say that the vehicle, which is thought to have been carrying about 30 aliens, was ambushed by an unknown number of men dressed in camouflage and armed with rifles. When the men opened fire, two of the passengers in the truck were killed.

Dawn M. Barkman, a spokeswoman for the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, told The Arizona Republic that police are unclear why the gunmen opened fire on the pickup, but the shooting happened in an area commonly used by human smugglers.

The surviving passengers fled into the desert, according to reports. Five were located hiding in the brush, interviewed by homicide detectives and turned over to the Border Patrol.

In a similar January 2007 incident, four men wearing camouflage and berets and armed with assault weapons killed a smuggling suspect and wounded another person after ambushing a vehicle in a nearby town. In March 2007, gunmen wearing dark clothing ambushed a vehicle loaded with more than 20 illegal aliens near Green Valley, south of Tucson, and killed two people.

While police currently have no suspects in the case and do not know the motive, some people believe the actions were acts of vigilante border patrol.

The incident comes as many Arizonians are becoming increasingly frustrated that the Federal government has not done more to secure the Southern border. Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen introduced S.B. 1083, a bill that would create a volunteer militia to patrol the State and pursue and apprehend illegal border crossers. The proposal is gaining little support in the State Legislature.

“Everybody just wants to sit around and gripe about it, complain about it, blame the federal government for it,” Allen told AzCapitolTimes. “But when it comes to saying, ‘What can we do as a state to really try to solve the problem?’ Now it’s all the reasons why we can’t solve this problem.”

Liability and training concerns have slowed legislative action on the initiative.

Will Biden’s Twitter Offer Comic Relief?

If you thought Vice President Joe Biden’s gaffes were comical and abundant before, you’re going to love this: The White House has given the notorious gaffer his very own Twitter account so all Americans can get 140-charater-or-less snippets of Biden’s infinite wisdom throughout the day.

The account was active briefly during Barack Obama’s first campaign and then shut down.

The reopened account, @JoeBiden, unfortunately will be controlled largely by Biden’s handlers within the Obama campaign. But the frequent gaffer will also write some of his own messages, according to a tweet on the account that opened Monday.

Late show hosts and political satirists will likely scan Biden’s tweets for comic gems like the following verbal gaffes from the past:

  • March 31, 2012 on “Face The Nation” — Biden contends that because of bailouts “General Motors is now the largest corporation in the world again.” — It isn’t even the largest corporation in the Nation.
  • April 1, 2012 at a Democratic fundraiser — “I never had an interest in being a mayor, ’cause that’s a real job. You have to produce,” Biden said, according to a White House pool report. “That’s why I was able to be a senator for 36 years.”
  • Sept. 22, 2008 in an interview with Katie Couric — “When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.” — In Biden’s 1929, Americans had television, but Herbert Hoover was nowhere to be found.
  • Campaigning for Barack Obama in January 2007 — “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
  • Joe Biden, in a private remark to an Indian-American man caught on C-SPAN, June 2006 — “You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent…. I’m not joking.”

There are too many more to list. While it is understandable that a life of public speaking leads to some verbal mistakes, Biden has earned a sacred place among the monologues of most late-night TV show hosts.

Santorum Drops Presidential Bid

Republican Presidential contender announced on Tuesday that he would be dropping his bid for President of the United States.

“We made the decision over the weekend [that] this presidential race is over for me, and we will suspend our campaign today,” Santorum said at a news conference in Gettysburg, Pa.

Santorum had been on a break from the campaign for the past few days because of the Easter holiday and the hospitalization of his 3-year-old daughter.

The former Pennsylvania Senator, who had been called Mitt Romney’s top opponent, suffered a trio of defeats last week in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Over the weekend, his daughter, Bella, was hospitalized for the second time during his Presidential campaign due to complications from a rare genetic disorder.

Santorum has yet to offer an endorsement and has not yet urged his delegates to support another candidate.  Some pundits speculate that he is hoping Romney will fall short of the required delegate threshold, allowing him to re-involve himself in the race during the Republican National Convention in August.

Romney remains the media-declared winner of the GOP, though Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich remain in the race. Gingrich’s campaign, however, has been embattled of late and revealed last weekend that it is $4.5 million in debt.

The Medical Establishment’s Military Doping

During the war in Vietnam, the use of illicit drugs like marijuana and heroin by U.S. military personnel deployed overseas was no secret, as young men were sent to a strange land where the substances were readily available in the midst of a brutal and traumatic conflict.

A new drug-related issue affects soldiers deployed to combat zones. This time, the “pusher” is not always a foreign drug dealer eager to capitalize on new customers, but rather doctors within the medical establishment back home.  As more and more American service members face longer deployments wherein they are faced with evermore brutal realities, the medical establishment has demonstrated no whims in mass doping.

According to a recent report by The Los Angeles Times, more than 110,000 active-duty Army troops were taking prescription cocktails on a daily basis with ingredients ranging from prescribed antidepressants, narcotics, sedatives, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety drugs and amphetamines. About 8 percent of active duty Army personnel are taking sedatives and 6 percent antidepressants — eight times more than in 2005.

“We have never medicated our troops to the extent we are doing now… And I don’t believe the current increase in suicides and homicides in the military are a coincidence,” said Bart Billings, a former military psychologist who hosts an annual conference on combat stress.

When service members break under psychological stress and commit suicide or go on shooting rampages, defense lawyers often argue the the soldiers have become the victim of major stress and improper medication.  The most recent case is that of Sgt. Robert Bales, the soldier accused of 17 counts of premeditated murder resulting from a nighttime shooting rampage in Afghanistan. Bale’s lawyer recently told The Associated Press that his client had been under treatment for severe anxiety and depression and dealt with pains from past physical injuries for which he also received medication.

Some critics of medicating U.S. service members to the extent that the Defense Department is allowing in order to hold on to manpower as wars perpetuate, say it is being done at high cost to the troops. Suicides compounded by about 80 percent among troops between 2004 and 2008, and a rise in addiction to narcotics is also a growing concern.

Black Panthers Want Blood, Battles

Racial tension in the United States has remained heightened on the heels of the shooting of Trayvon Martin and the emotionally charged and often inaccurate reporting of the still enigmatic incident by the mainstream media.

During the coverage of the Martin case, mainstream media repeatedly aired video of New Black Panther Party members, one of whom, Mikhail Muhammad, even claimed that the NBPP had placed a $10,000 bounty on Martin’s shooter, George Zimmerman.  When asked whether he was inciting violence, Muhammad proclaimed: “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”

The group also called for the mobilization of 10,000 black men to capture the Hispanic Zimmerman.

On Monday, the Party began what is apparently one of a series of national “days of action” that the NBPP in the United States wants to organize. Though the plan of action Monday included peaceful protests and boycotts, there have been cries for violence against nonblack Americans by the organization. NBPP leaders claim they want to completely remove capitalism because they believe it breeds racism.

The leaders say the following in a recent video call to action:

Time to get booted up and suited up for this race war we’re in, the things that are about to happen to these crackers, these honkeys. [...]

We gotta go do it, we have to cross the red sea, not some sea in Middle East part of the world, we’re talking about some blood, go through some blood, some battles. There are those who wish they could stand in this hour to see the destruction of the devil’s world, not some dude under the ground with a pitchfork, I’m talking about blond haired, blue eyed sometimes brown eyed Caucasian walking around.

Listen to the full call to action below:


The party also releases a periodical with Black Panther news and updates. The Spring 2012 edition is named after a speech given by activist Malcolm X in 1964, “The Ballot or the Bullet.”

Here is an exerpt from that speech as it is printed in the issue:

You talking about civil rights, ain’t no damn civil rights. The cracka ain’t never been civil and he ain’t never been right. You talking about well, what about human rights. The cracka ain’t human and he ain’t never been right. It’s the year of The Bullet or The Bullet. You either deal or die. You either fight back or get destroyed. You either get on the right side or its genocide. It’s the year of The Bullet or The Bullet.

According to the publication, the next day of action for the NBPP is scheduled for May 19, coinciding with the birthday of Malcom X.

Trayvon Protesters Shut Down Sanford PD

The police department in Sanford, Fla., was forced to close on Monday because of a group of protesters who marched from Daytona Beach to block the department’s doors in protest of the shooting of Trayvon Martin. The 40-mile march took three days.

According to ClickOrlando, none of the 50 members of the group, who call themselves the Dream Defenders, were arrested for blocking the police department entrance.

“The city of Sanford hopes the actions of the students will be as peaceful and orderly as the previous rallies and marches have been,” said Sanford city manager Norton Bonaparte Jr.  “We want to be accommodating to all our visitors proving they act in a manner that is respectful to the people of the city.”

State Attorney Angela Corey who has been assigned as a special prosecutor in the case said on Monday that she will not use a grand jury in investigating whether George Zimmerman acted in self-defense.

Corey reportedly addressed the protesters earlier in the day, asking them for patience and ensuring them that a thorough investigation is underway.

Congress And Its Cyber Crusade

Richard Clarke, former cybersecurity adviser to the liberty-chilling George W. Bush Administration, has an idea for lawmakers who are constantly debating ways to avert cyberattacks: a sort of Internet border patrol.

In a New York Times opinion piece entitled “How China Steals Our Secrets,” Clarke espouses the idea that the biggest threat to the cybersecurity of the Federal government and American business comes from China.

Clarke’s piece was published just days after a Congressional panel heard testimony about a 10-year, $1 billion research program that was copied by hackers in a single night. U.S. Cyber Command Chief Gen. Keith B. Alexander called the crime at the time “the greatest transfer of wealth in history.”

Clarke contends that bigger attacks are on the way and warns that hackers handing secrets to the Chinese jeopardizes the Nation’s global “competitive edge.” Many private firms are already unknowingly being hacked by outside users with unauthorized access, and the next major cybercrime could already be on the horizon, according to his writing.

The author seemingly goes on to suggest that recent wildly unpopular cybersecurity bills proposed by Congress failed because of lawmaker inaction, but fails to mention the widespread public outcry against the measures. Since Congress has not moved forward with any measures, Clarke believes that the Administration of Barack Obama should step in. He urges the Administration to toss aside fears of “a negative reaction from privacy-rights and Internet-freedom advocates who do not want the government scanning Internet traffic.”

Clarke lays out a plan as follows:

Under Customs authority, the Department of Homeland Security could inspect what enters and exits the United States in cyberspace. Customs already looks online for child pornography crossing our virtual borders. And under the Intelligence Act, the president could issue a finding that would authorize agencies to scan Internet traffic outside the United States and seize sensitive files stolen from within our borders.

The author contends that privacy rights would be protected if the initiative were carried out in such a way because the President could appoint an “empowered privacy advocate” to keep DHS from abusing the power.

Clarke’s idea is still a suggestion to lawmakers at this point. But Congress is already working on several initiatives to further entwine government intelligence and the Internet.

A bill currently gaining Congressional support called CISPA, or the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (H.R. 3523), would give government officials the power to pry into the personal correspondence of anyone they choose.

The bill, introduced in the House in 2011 by Representative Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), broadly defines information that can be snooped by government agencies with the help of service providers as “information directly pertaining to a vulnerability of, or threat to a system or network.” The Electronic Freedom Foundation contends that the bill essentially hands the Internet over to the military intelligence community.

Another House cyber security bill — The Precise Act (H.R 3674), sponsored by Representative Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) — has also raised concerns among some Internet privacy advocates. Though Lungren’s initiative more narrowly defines what activities could be considered threatening, it calls for Internet service providers to monitor their subscribers’ communications.

The House has designated the week of April 23 “cyber security week,” and may vote on both aforementioned bills.

Similar bills are also currently in the Senate. One introduced in February by Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) — The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 2105) — would direct DHS to snoop information on the Internet in the same way that CISPA does. In March, Senator John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) Strengthening and Enhancing Cybersecurity by Using Research, Education, Information, and Technology Act of 2012 (S. 2151) was also introduced to the Senate. It contains cybersecurity proposals similar to the other bills mentioned.  The Senate is expected to vote on the bills in May.

The latest round of cybersecurity legislation initiatives haven’t received as much negative attention as SOPA and PIPA did earlier in the year, but technology privacy experts warn that they are just as dangerous to online privacy.

“[If] you look at most of these bills closely, you’ll see that there are extraordinarily complex civil liberties problems in virtually every one of these bills,” said Leslie Harris, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology.

Arby’s Has A Beef With Rush Limbaugh

What do roast beef sandwiches and politics have in common?

Nothing actually, but that has not stopped Hala Moddelmog the president of Arby’s Group, which operates the Arby’s fast-food chain, from bringing the two together. Arby’s announced last week that it would join Coca-Cola Co. in giving in to liberals’ complaints about the companies having any affiliation with conservative groups.

While Coca-Cola Co. opted to withdraw support of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that promotes voter ID and “stand your ground” laws, Arby’s took to Twitter to say the company would not advertise on Rush Limbaugh’s conservative talk radio show. Limbaugh reportedly claims that the company never actually was a supporter of his show.

Arby’s announcement set the wheels in motion for a conservative Twitter backlash. The restaurant’s response to the criticism was to simply block conservative tweeters, which begs the question: Does Arby’s believe that only the liberal customer is always right?

In a recent article, The Right Sphere notes that Moddelmog made campaign contributions to John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama during the 2008 election cycle.

Walking While White: Elderly Man Beaten After Saying ‘Remember Trayvon’

Dallas Watts, a 78-year-old veteran from Toledo, Ohio, did not allow weapons in his house while his children were growing up, so he doesn’t own a firearm . But, after being beaten by six juveniles aged 11 to 17 last Saturday in the name of Trayvon Martin, he says he will buy a gun and obtain a permit.

Watts’ story is a bit ironic.

According to the Toledo Blade, the elderly man was on his way home from a convenience store at about 4:45 p.m. on Saturday with not skittles and iced tea, but two bags of pork rinds that he planned to feed his dogs for treats. It was then that he was approached by a group of  six boys, some of whom were white and some black.

Watts recounted that one of the youths pointed at him and ordered the others to “take him down,” to which Watts said he replied, “Why me? Remember Trayvon! Remember Trayvon!”

“I meant it as a peaceful way,” Watts said. “What happened to Trayvon, I was not responsible for, I live 1,000 miles away! But they kept saying, ‘Kill him! Kill Him! Kill him!’ because I’m a white man.”

The elderly man’s remark reportedly set the youths into a rage as one punched him in the back of the head knocking him to the ground, at which point he was drop-kicked in the chest. One of the boys then allegedly placed his foot on the back of Watts’ neck as another shouted, “Kill him.”

According to a police report, the boys then began kicking him ruthlessly and repeatedly and shouting, “[Get] that white [man]. This is for Trayvon … Trayvon lives, white [man]. Kill that white [man].”

When a bystander shouted at the boys, they reportedly ran away.

Of the remark about Trayvon Martin, Watts said he was simply trying to reason with the boys before they beat him.

“All I meant by saying ‘remember Trayvon’ is to remember what happened to him, don’t duplicate it here,” Watts told Toledo Blade. “The only reason I mentioned Trayvon, that was my defense, don’t pick on me. I am not your enemy.”

Only three of the juveniles have been charged in relation to the case. The 11-year-old and 17-year-old are charged with robbery and are being held by authorities. According to Fox Toledo, the third was charged with disorderly conduct. The 17-year-old was facing a previous felony assault charge stemming from a shooting that occurred March 18, according to reports. Local police are still investigating the incident.

“You don’t pick somebody’s body up off the sidewalk and let somebody else give him a lick to kick the ribs,” Watts said. “That was malicious intent. That was a hate crime and I want them punished for it!”

Watts, who is battered but expected to make a full recovery, has reportedly contacted a lawyer and is working to file hate charges with the U.S. Attorney General’s office. Toledo detectives on Wednesday, however, said that they do not believe the attack was racially motivated despite Watt’s allegations that the youths repeatedly made verbal references to his being white, according to reports.

An interview with Watts from Fox Toledo:


 
A recent article penned by the Southern Poverty Law Center discussing the Trayvon Martin controversy declares, “Walking while black — merely being black — still seems to be a crime in this country.” And, “Black youth are seen as bad kids — ‘combatants,’ in the words of one police chief whose officers routinely mace school children as a means of discipline.”

According to Watts’ account of his ordeal, walking while white—merely being white—was his crime in the eyes of the youths who beat him. And, according to his account, for being white he was viewed as racist. But the police say “case closed” on the possibility of hate being the motivation in the attack.

It has been said by scholars who study race relations that the term “reverse racism” means nothing, as racism is racism. Perhaps in light of the recent heavy focus on race in the Nation, they should re-examine the term for a new meaning: Being viewed as a racist for simply not belonging to a minority race. Regarding the case of Martin, many people have pondered whether the story would have so captivated—and in some circles, enraged— the Nation if George Zimmerman had been portrayed as a man of white and Hispanic descent rather than simply white in initial media reports.

White, frail, elderly, bald, sporting a long beard—or as one clever commenter to an online story put it: looking nothing like Barack Obama’s could-be son—Watts will likely get little support for his hate crime charge from the same type of people who are so adamantly seeking justice for  Martin. Justice may well be blind, but often the people who demand and administer justice in America certainly are not.

Technologically Stupefied

Some recent reports about Google’s impressive and ever-evolving technology make it seem like human beings are in danger of forgetting how to do some very basic tasks using their own brainpower.

The classical Greek philosopher Socrates is said to have had a disdain for writing, because he believed that it weakened the mind’s ability to process knowledge. This form of “technology” made the tradition of passing stories down through the generations orally unnecessary. What would Socrates think about our Google-reliant society?

The Internet has undoubtedly made many people more well-informed about the world around them, but the wealth of information at the fingertips has come at a price. A recent article by Slate describes how the autocomplete features on search engines are making people increasingly worse at spelling.  And pretty soon, the tech company will have perfected a similar feature for your word processer. Gone are the days of writers slumping over mechanical typewriters and thumbing through dictionaries; pretty soon they may only have to type the first three letters or so in every word.

It isn’t just human ability to spell that is being affected by technology. Google recently released a video that highlights a set of glasses with the capability to give users directions, snap photos, log their location, talk on the phone, video chat, text message and a number of other things. The glasses almost appear to take away any need for cognition while walking around: Remember having to know how to read a map, use a camera, dial a telephone number and ask a stranger for directions, among other basic tasks, without mobile Internet? The glasses are still in the development phase.

Here is the Google ad:


 
Google has also recently released details about a car that can be operated without a driver:


 
Technology has many uses, and has made modern life extremely convenient and easy. Preppers, however, are likely wary of the consequences of people becoming too reliant on technology because of the extreme fragility of the power grid. By using technology while it’s available by collecting information on websites like Personal Liberty Digest™ and also making sure they are able to do things that many people find archaic (read a map, use a compass, communicate via radio equipment), preppers can achieve a happy balance. With the grid down, Google’s map glasses and self-driving cars would likely become spare parts in a survival scenario.

Trayvon Martin And An American Tragedy

The entire Nation is a victim in the death of Trayvon Martin.

The emotionally charged national conversation that has followed the tragic killing of Martin has turned what was the story of two individuals who crossed paths and were involved in an altercation that resulted in a death into a speculative hate-fest. The obvious surviving victims — Martin’s family and the man who pulled the trigger, George Zimmerman — might have had a chance to work out exactly what happened on the night of Feb. 26 in a Sanford, Fla., suburb without the racially charged media frenzy. That will never happen now, and every citizen of the United States, regardless of race, has become a victim in the tragedy.

Those who are at the heart of making race the central issue in the Martin case have seemingly thrown aside any semblance of fact in their discussions of why Zimmerman used lethal force against the teenager. Reporter Rene Stutzman of The Orlando Sentinel pointed this out in a recent article.

When the mainstream media initially released a picture of Martin, they chose to release a dated photo of the young man when he was of a much smaller stature. This sparked the claim: It is absurd that Zimmerman needed to use deadly force against a teenager he outweighed by 100 pounds.

Stutzman retorts: “A Sanford police incident report says Trayvon was 6 feet tall and weighed 160 pounds. A spokesman for the family’s lawyers gave a slightly different set of numbers: 6 feet 1 and 150 pounds. Zimmerman is 5 feet 9 inches tall, according to the police report, but it is silent about his weight. A family member says he currently weighs about 190 pounds. Zimmerman used to be far heavier. A 2005 police report put his weight at 250 pounds, but security camera video released last week by Sanford police show him to be much trimmer.”

Given the reporter’s information, there is little question that Martin could have inflicted the injuries visible on Zimmerman’s head and face in a recently released police surveillance video.

The reporter also addresses allegations that the Justice Department is investigating the Sanford Police Department for a long history of civil rights violations, making it plausible that the officers would have no problem letting individuals get away with hate crimes.

She writes: “Not so. Since Trayvon’s death Feb. 26, the NAACP and others have alleged widespread and long-standing civil rights abuses by the department and asked for a broad investigation. But last week, DOJ spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa and FBI spokesman Dave Couvertier told the Los Angeles Times that there’s only one civil rights investigation under way: whether Zimmerman violated Trayvon’s rights when he shot him.”

Why might a reporter in Orlando be attempting to make readers examine the facts rather than jump on the racially driven hate wagon with those who want Zimmerman hanged? Perhaps she wants to do her part to avert the widespread racial violence that is liable to break out if emotional rhetoric outweighs logical consideration of fact.

In a recent visit to the area, Jesse Jackson told protesters that Martin was shot in the back of his head. Martin was shot in the chest. And Al Sharpton also said this: “Sanford is a beautiful city. It’s on the side of the water, has great potential for tourism. You are risking going down as the Birmingham or Selma of the 21st Century.”

In Birmingham and Selma, Ala., during the struggle for civil rights in the United States, a church was bombed, killing four girls; peaceful protesters were sprayed with fire hoses and brutally beaten by police; Americans were made to use segregated facilities based on race; and the leaders of the civil rights movement were arrested and thrown in jail.

In fact, while jailed, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. wrote “A Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” In one portion of the letter, King, to justify the actions of civil rights protestors in Birmingham at the time, writes:

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action. We have gone through all these steps in Birmingham.

Sharpton and his fellow race provocateurs have skipped directly to direct action in screaming injustice in the case of Martin’s death.

As the story continues to unfold, Zimmerman, who has minority heritage himself, doesn’t look like the racist he is being painted as.

 A recent article in The Daily Caller says that Zimmerman has been active in fighting injustice against minorities in the past. He reportedly was one of very few people in his community to get involved and speak out against the Sanford Police when the white son of an officer brutally beat a black homeless man and went uncharged until community members, including Zimmerman, demanded that he be held accountable.

Reason published a list of questions that people concerned about the case would be asking if race were laid aside: Who started the fight? Did Zimmerman shoot Martin “in cold blood?” Is Florida’s “stand your ground” law the reason Zimmerman has not been arrested?

The answers to those questions from people who want race to be the central issue of the case are already defined: Zimmerman started the fight. Yes, he killed Martin “in cold blood” (explaining Jackson’s erroneous claim that he was shot in the back of the head). And, the stand your ground law is acting as a get-out-of-jail -free card for a man who committed a hate crime.

The race baiters have ignored one very important fact, however. Zimmerman has not been charged in Martin’s death, though he is already long into a trial in the court of public opinion.

If race determines how the justice system will handle the case, political correctness has sealed the fate of any American who is forced to use deadly force in self-defense. Zimmerman has been forced into hiding and his life is changed forever due to the unfortunate incident. Unless you want the same fate to befall you, if you ever must use deadly force in self-defense, be sure you are of the same race as your attacker, he/she is white or you have witnesses. If not, you may become the next George Zimmerman.

Welfare, The American Dream

Government payouts — including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment checks — account for more than one-third of total wages and salaries in the United States. The Department of Agriculture reports that 43.6 million Americans are on food stamps.

The United States has effectively become a welfare Nation, with more Americans than ever before opting to completely drop out of the workforce and live on the public dole. The percentage of the Nation’s populace relying on social welfare as a primary source of income has risen from 21 percent to 35 percent in little more than a decade. In 1960, only 10 percent of Americans depended on welfare programs to survive.

While no statement can be made to define all recipients of social welfare in America, there is a growing and alarming trend among the dependent class: Living like a parasite on the public’s back has somehow become glamorized among some segments of American society.

Last month, Alexandria Pelosi (daughter of California Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi) produced a video for HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” wherein she interviewed multiple welfare recipients in New York City. The clip, entitled “Freeloading Welfare Queen,” offers perspective about the mindset of at least some individuals who survive only as a result of the hard work of American taxpayers. Pelosi said that she did not have to go very far in New York in order to locate “freeloading welfare queens.”

The individuals interviewed for the video — most of whom appear to be able-bodied and aged between 20 and 40 — said things like, “I’m here to get some Obama bucks” and said that they could not find work because of criminal history. When asked if they were looking for work, most of the people interviewed said they were not.

The people interviewed in the video who appear to be completely happy living on the government dole, even wearing their ability to get welfare as a badge of honor, may also explain a more recent welfare news item. A nightclub in Montgomery, Ala., recently announced that it would be hosting a “Food Stamp Friday” event, allowing patrons on food stamps to attend a rap concert at a discounted price. Public outcry since news of the event broke has made the nightclub’s owner encourage Young, Black & GettinMoney Promotions and No Lunch Promotions, to rename the planned event.

The idea of food stamps being used for fun is actually not the brainchild of the enterprising promoters of the event in Alabama, as Republicans in the House of Representatives only recently worked to enact legislation that would ban the use of welfare money at strip clubs and casinos throughout the Nation.

If freeloaders bragging at the welfare office and “Food Stamp Friday” are not convincing enough evidence that the United States is becoming an entitlement society, consider recent stories about some more grandiose welfare recipients. Nadya Suleman ( aka Octomom), who — despite already having six children and financial problems — decided to be implanted with embryos which resulted in her giving birth to eight more children, has applied for food stamps in the State of California. Suleman will receive about $2,000 per month in taxpayer funding to feed her children.

There are also a number of reports of lottery winners throughout the country continuing to draw welfare benefits after receiving big winnings. Michigan resident Amanda Clayton sparked an outcry in her State after winning a $1 million jackpot and continuing to draw welfare benefits.

“I thought that they would cut me off, but since they didn’t I thought maybe it was OK because I’m not working. I feel that it’s OK because I have no income, and I have bills to pay. I have two houses,” she explained to a reporter.

Michigan officials have since cut Clayton off the public dole. Her case, however, may offer credence to what many critics of welfare have said for decades: Entitlement perpetuates poverty by removing initiative from the equation. Despite winning a large lottery jackpot and having the opportunity to create a new life for herself, Clayton saw no stigma associated with being a parasite to American taxpayers and continued to feel entitled to her food stamps.

The bulwark of American social welfare programs was put into place as a result of the hard times of the Great Depression. According to Jerry D. Marx, Ph.D., a professor at University of New Hampshire Social Work Department, social welfare programs that were created by the Federal government were largely put into place by a bureaucracy that feared joblessness and widespread poverty would spark a revolution in the country.  Social welfare made citizens of the United States more comfortable, and anger at the government subsided. Now, more than 80 years later, social welfare has become a way of life for many Americans while large factions of groups like Occupy Wall Street are calling for more government assistance. Everybody wants to live the leisurely life of the Freeloading Welfare Queen, and politicians like President Barack Obama will give the people what they want. Anything to keep them fat, happy and subservient.

Michelle Obama Tells Kids To Campaign

First lady Michelle Obama spends a great deal of time pushing healthy eating and her Let’s Move campaign on American children by making appearances on commercials and television shows aimed at younger audiences. Now she has a new message for youngsters: Get out and tell your grandparents to vote for my husband.

According to Breitbart.com, the first lady was speaking at a $500 per ticket fundraising event at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park when she said:

I mean, I can’t tell you in the last election how many grandparents I ran into who said, I wasn’t going to vote for Barack Obama until my grandson talked to me, until my great-grandson talked to me, and talked about the future he wanted for this country.

You can get out there with your parents. You guys can knock on doors. I had one young lady who brought me a petition — she’s already working. You can convince wrong people. Sometimes we don’t listen to ourselves, but we will listen to our children.

Obama Calls GOP Budget ‘Social Darwinism’

President Barack Obama criticized House Republicans and Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for the GOP budget proposal that the President likened to Social Darwinism.

“It’s nothing but thinly veiled Social Darwinism. It’s antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who’s willing to work for it, a place where prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class.”

The President also called the budget a “Trojan horse” that would be used to force radical change in the United States.

Ryan’s budget passed in the House last Thursday in a 228-191 party-line vote, setting the stage for an election-year battle with Democrats on spending and the debt. The budget aims to cut $5 trillion more than Obama’s budget proposal and would create a “premium support” option for future Medicare recipients.

 

Paul: Republicans Need To Be Saved From Themselves

Republicans and Democrats seemingly have very little ideological difference when it comes to the destruction of liberties in the United States, at least according to GOP Presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday, Paul made it clear that he believes that Republicans are destroying their own party by adopting the same big government ideals as Democrats when it comes to babysitting the world and stealing away individual liberty in the name of safety.

“The truth is, I’m trying to save the Republican Party from themselves because they want perpetual wars; they don’t care about Presidents who assassinate American citizens; they don’t care about searching our houses without search warrants,” Paul said.

A recent poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS makes it appear as though many voters agree with Paul when it comes to disdain for the continual war and world policing policies that have been adopted by Republicans and Democrats alike. The poll found that opposition to the war in Afghanistan has jumped from 53 percent four months ago to 69 percent today.

The opposition comes from both sides of the political spectrum. While Republicans are more inclined to support the war, 60 percent say it is going badly and just 30 percent say that American troops should remain in the country.

Paul said in a recent speech to the House of Representatives that if the United States fails to remove troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year, he predicts they will remain for another decade.

In the candidate’s view, Americans who voted for President Barack Obama in hopes of seeing a change in the foreign policy practices of the George W. Bush Administration got fleeced by Obama and are likely to see no change after November even if Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich beat the incumbent.

Paul said that as long as Republicans run on trying to “out-militarize” Democrats, issues facing the Nation such as the soaring national debt are only going to compound.

“I think the Republicans have dug a hole for themselves because they’re trying to out-militarize [the Democrats]. If this is to be an issue, the other Republican candidates offer nothing more than a continuation of the status quo, or actually, increasing the militarism that we have around the world,” he said.

Supreme Court: If You’re Arrested, You Should Be Strip Searched

As bureaucracy in the United States grows, it is becoming harder and harder to avoid a run-in with law enforcement because of some minor infraction; due to a recent Supreme Court ruling, you will likely be strip searched if you do have one.

The Nation’s highest court ruled on Monday by a 5-4 vote that law enforcement officials may strip search any individual who is arrested, regardless of criminal record or severity of offense.

The Justices opined that courts are in no position to scrutinize the judgments of correctional officials who must consider the possibility of smuggled weapons and drugs, identify public health issues and try to collect information about gang affiliations of individuals who are booked.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said it would be “unworkable” to make an exception for people who are arrested for minor offenses because county jails often must process hundreds of new inmates a day.

The case was brought to the Supreme Court by Albert Florence, who was arrested by mistake in 2005 because of a bench warrant issued for a fine he had paid years earlier. Despite having documentation of compliance with the court, a New Jersey state trooper arrested Florence during a routine traffic stop as his wife and child watched. Florence then spent seven days in jail. Florence was reportedly strip searched at two separate jails, despite there being no evidence that he had any contraband or violent behaviors. Florence sued and was granted a summary judgment, but the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the lower court’s decision.