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.

North Carolina ‘Emergency Powers’ Gun Ban Axed

The Second Amendment Foundation secured a victory in North Carolina for gun rights last week when a Federal judge did away with a rule that gave the State power to ban firearms and ammunition outside the home during a declared emergency.

The case, Bateman v. Purdue, was brought by the Second Amendment Foundation, Grass Roots North Carolina FFE and three individual plaintiffs against Governor Beverly Purdue and Reuben F. Young, secretary of the State’s Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

Federal Judge Malcolm J. Howard ruled that “the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is not strictly limited to the home environment but extends in some form to wherever those activities or needs occur.”

“Under the laws at issue here, citizens are prohibited from engaging, outside their home, in any activities secured by the Second Amendment,” Judge Malcolm wrote in his opinion. “They may not carry defensive weapons outside the home, hunt or engage in firearm related sporting activities. Additionally, although the statutes do not directly regulate the possession of firearms within the home, they effectively prohibit law abiding citizens from purchasing and transporting to their homes firearms and ammunition needed for self-defense. As such, these laws burden conduct protected by the Second Amendment.”  

Hide Your Valuables, The Feds Are Coming

The Administration of Barack Obama recently released the details of an executive order (National Defense Resource Preparedness) that has led some Americans to believe that the President is working to put the final mechanisms in place to enact martial law in the United States.

The order calls for government acquisition of resources and the ability of the government to “foster cooperation between the defense and commercial sectors for research and development and for acquisition of materials, services, components, and equipment to enhance industrial base efficiency and responsiveness” if it is deemed vital to national security interests.

The blog Lonestar Watchdog, in a recent post, raises new concerns about the President’s executive order: Can it be used to confiscate American citizens’ gold, silver and other valuables?

The author writes:

To speak hypothetically of a possible scenario that I would not put past Obama to try to pull. We can see again that the government is going to run out of money. This time congress is less reluctant to give in to the President’s wishes this time around. The dollar might fully collapse at a time they did not plan for in their timetable. It can be a fabricated crisis. Congress can refuse to raise the debt ceiling this time due to public pressure. Anything the President perceives as a national emergency, or does he need the money to fund the wars. He can enact the powers of these executive orders to go after anything.

We can see a phony crisis being concocted to go after the American’s people gold, maybe even silver. He will order people like back when FDR was President to seize all safety deposit boxes and demand American to turn in their gold and silver coins, jewelry and would not surprise me if that be a couple’s wedding rings now required to be surrendered this time around.

It is unknown whether the author is correct in being concerned that the Federal government will use such measures in an outright effort to confiscate individuals’ physical gold and silver investments. What is known is that the elite have been quietly confiscating wealth from hardworking Americans via currency debasement and wealth-redistributing social welfare programs for decades. Bob Livingston has been warning his readers about this for more than 40 years with newsletters (The Bob Livingston Letter™), books and websites. If you are interested in finding out how you can protect your wealth from the Federal government and the elite banksters, you can find a collection of Livingston’s most informative titles here.

Scalia Makes Obamacare Jokes

If his quips during the oral arguments over the Constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s healthcare plan are any indicator, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia likely thinks the whole thing is a ridiculous mess.

In discussions about how the Court could decide which portions of the 2,700-page healthcare document couldn’t stand up to the test of Constitutionality, Scalia told Obama lawyer Edwin Kneedler that making the Justices read the entire document would violate their 8th Amendment rights.

Scalia said, “Mr. Kneedler, what happened to the Eighth Amendment? You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages? And do you really expect the Court to do that? Or do you expect us to — to give this function to our law clerks? Is this not totally unrealistic? That we are going to go through this enormous bill item by item and decide each one?”

Scalia also took on the Administration’s counsel on Tuesday, taking a moment to lecture Obama lawyer Donald Verrilli Jr. about the savvy of American consumers.

The transcript of the exchange:

SCALIA: These people are not stupid. They’re going to buy insurance later. They’re young and need the money now.

VERRILLI: But that’s –

SCALIA: When they think they have a substantial risk of incurring high medical bills, they’ll buy insurance, like the rest of us.

VERRILLI: But that’s — that’s –

SCALIA: — I don’t know why you think that they’re never going to buy it.

VERRILLI: That’s the problem, Justice Scalia. That’s — and that’s exactly the experience that the States had that made the imposition of guaranteed issue and community rating not only be ineffectual but be highly counterproductive. Rates, for example, in New Jersey doubled or tripled, went from 180,000 people covered in this market down to 80,000 people covered in this market. In Kentucky, virtually every insurer left the market.

And the reason for that is because when people have that guarantee of — that they can get insurance, they’re going to make that calculation that they won’t get it until they’re sick and they need it. And so, the pool of people in the insurance market gets smaller and smaller. The rates you have to charge to cover them get higher and higher. It helps fewer and fewer — insurance covers fewer and fewer people until the system ends.

This is not a situation in which you’re conscripting — you’re forcing insurance companies to cover very large numbers of unhealthy people —

SCALIA: You could solve that problem by simply not requiring the insurance company to sell it to somebody who has a — a condition that is going to require medical treatment, or at least not – not require them to sell it to him at a rate that he sells it to healthy people. But you don’t want to do that.

According to SCOTUSblog, the Court will render a decision regarding Obamacare by June 28.

Below is the audio for the Supreme Court’s Obamacare hearings from this week:

In NYC Second Amendment Rights Sell For $340

New York City residents who challenged a policy that requires handgun owners in the city to pay a $340 residential licensing fee as unConstitutional were shot down by a Federal judge on Monday.

Federal Judge John Koeltl ruled that the lawsuit brought by citizens and gun rights advocates, including the New York Rifle & Pistol Association and the Second Amendment Foundation, was void because he believes there is no evidence that the hefty fee has stopped anyone from exercising his rights. The fee must be paid every three years, according to The Associated Press.

“The city defendants contend that the $340 fee is permissible under this standard because it is designed to defray, and does not exceed, the costs of administering New York’s handgun licensing scheme,” Koeltl wrote in his 38-page Opinion and Order. “However, the plaintiffs argue that, to be permissible, a fee must not only be designed to defray administrative costs but must also be a ‘nominal’ amount. According to the plaintiffs, the $340 fee is too high to be nominal.”

The judge cited several appellate court rulings that determined such a fee is considered nominal, according to Courthouse News Service.

“While it is possible to conceive of fees that are impermissible because they are so exorbitant as to deter the exercise of the protected activity … there is no showing that the $340 handgun licensing fee qualifies as such a fee,” Koeltl wrote. “The plaintiffs merely assert that the $340 fee is excessive, which is not sufficient to raise a genuine issue of material fact regarding the permissibility of the fee.”

The residential license affords holders the right to have a handgun in their homes; it is not a carry permit.

Paul Campaign Has Organizational Muscle

The political establishment has done everything in its power to negate Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul, but he is still the first of the GOP candidates to have his name on the ballot in all 50 States.

Paul’s campaign filed to appear on the ballot in New Jersey on Tuesday after attaining double the 1,000 signatures required to appear on that State’s ballot. Paul is now the first candidate to have full ballot access throughout the Nation. Mitt Romney is expected to file in New Jersey in the coming days, making his 50-State ballot access likely.

The Paul campaign contends that the candidate’s success in being included in all States before any of the other candidates is a testament to organization and devotion among the supporters.

“Success in accessing ballots no matter a state’s requirements is a barometer for the strength of a campaign organization. Being first to appear on the ballot in all fifty states proves that Ron Paul is the only candidate with the organizational muscle, resources, and stamina to challenge Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination,” said Ron Paul 2012 National Campaign Manager John Tate. “In concert with our delegate-attainment strategy, which is working well in states like Iowa, Nevada, Washington, and Missouri, we’re prepared and eager to continue on the long road to Tampa.”

Though Romney is not far behind Paul in having his name listed on every State ballot, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have both failed to meet filing requirements to be on some ballots throughout the primary. Gingrich and Santorum both failed to be listed on Virginia’s ballot for the March 6 vote, and Santorum is not on the ballot for Washington, D.C., where the primary will be held on April 3.

DHS Employees Unsatisfied With Work Environment

Imagine a career that gave you the opportunity to spend each and every day working to thwart a nameless, faceless enemy that you are told by your superiors is an immediate threat to your safety, culture and way of life. Now imagine if much of the population believed that you and your agency were the real threat to the American lifestyle. Welcome to a career at the Department of Homeland Security.

According to reports, morale within the ranks of the Federal government agency designed to protect Americans from perceived threats in a post-9/11 United States has been in bad shape since 2004. That year, a White House-sponsored survey showed that 56 percent of the agency’s employees said they were satisfied with their jobs, compared to 68 percent for government employees overall, according to Federal Computer Week.

Last Thursday, Congress heard testimony from the DHS Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management focused on the ongoing interagency battle with low employee morale. From the testimony lawmakers learned that DHS employees were averagely satisfied with the rate of pay they receive, but had less positive attitudes about the work they do. Subcommittee chairman Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said that while the employees generally believe in their mission, they are unhappy with the leadership within the agency.

The Washington Post reports DHS has put into place a three-pronged strategy to address management and workforce issues, according to Catherine Emerson, DHS’ chief human capital officer. The first aspect mandates that all top officials prioritize employee engagement. The second element promotes better employee communication, training and employee recognition. The third part strengthens the leadership skills among DHS management.

Photo With Gingrich: $50

A few times since the Republican Presidential primary began, people have speculated that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s goal in running was not ever to win the office, but rather to bolster his public presence. A new report may lend credence to the speculation.

According to Daily Mail, at speaking engagements throughout the country, the enterprising Gingrich has taken to charging supporters $50 to snap photos with him as he campaigns. The candidate began asking for a fee for photos of him with supporters during after a speech to Republican County groups in Hockessin, Del.

In defense of the policy, the Gingrich campaign said in a statement:

Did you see reports today we are charging for photos?

Some campaigns make you travel all the way to Wall Street to pay $2,500 for a photo with a candidate.

We are trying out a new tactic and asking our supporters at our rallies for a nominal donation.

And guess what, it is working.

We have over 175,000 donors who contribute on average $50 to $100 at a time.

We also have an online store where supporters can make a donation to receive a hat, a shirt or even a bandana for your dog.

Every dollar and every supporter count and our campaign is propelled forward one small donor at a time.

The most recent financial filings show the Gingrich campaign taking on more debt that it can cover with campaign funds raised. Gingrich told a reporter for The Atlantic that if Mitt Romney has a majority after Utah votes on June 26, he will support the former Massachusetts Governor.

Before the campaign, Gingrich made lucrative career for himself as a professional speaker.

“I did no lobbying of any kind, period,” Gingrich said at a campaign stop in South Carolina last year. “For a practical reason—and I’m going to be really direct, OK? I was charging $60,000 a speech and the number of speeches was going up, not down.”

Occupy Plans Mass Laughter At World Leaders

Remember the scene in the 1976 film “Network” when newsman Howard Beale — played by actor Peter Finch — encourages his viewers to open their windows and exclaim “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore” in response to the constant barrage of bad news? Adbusters, the publication that could be credited with planting the seeds of Occupy Wall Street, is asking people around the world to do something similar on May 18.

In a recent article, the publication concedes that the Federal government’s decision to relocate the G8 summit of powerful world leaders from Chicago to the Presidential compound at Camp David represents government leaders’ fear of the angry masses.

The article says: “Wow! Looks like the specter of 50,000 occupiers ready to swarm with a list of demands has turned the climactic Showdown in Chicago into a humiliating G8 Backdown. Bravo! Splitting the G8 and NATO summits was a deft move… but now we’ve got a major tactical rethink on our hands.”

Adbusters says that protesters must now decide whether they should “follow Mao’s advice (‘when the enemy retreats, we pursue’) or Sun Tzu’s (‘Do not pursue an enemy who simulates flight’)? “ There have reportedly been discussions within the movement of both organizing protests in Chicago and trying to get near Camp David to disrupt the summit.

Comparing the Administration of Barack Obama to regimes toppled elsewhere in the world over the past year, the article calls for people to simply laugh at the White House and G8 en masse on May 18:

When Ben Ali first attacked then tried to hide from his people, he was toppled. When Mubarak refused to negotiate and tried to beat his people back into line, he was deposed. Now the White House and the G8 are repeating the mistakes of last year’s autocrats … first they try to scare us with tough talk of repressive anti-Occupy ordinances, crowd suppression technologies and paramilitary policing, then they make a hasty retreat to the safety of Camp David.

The world’s leaders flee from us … so what do we do? Maybe we just laugh at them?

On May 18, the day the G8 leaders meet in Camp David, why don’t we, the people of the world have a #LAUGHRIOT. Let roars of laughter rise up from towns and cities everywhere at the spectacle of the world’s leaders trying to crisis manage the economy from behind closed doors and razor wire fences.

Laughter is one of the most powerful tactical weapons of memewar … it signals supremacy and loss of fear. So let’s pull off the greatest comedy of howling flash mobs, riotous street parties and hysterical pranks the world has ever seen. May 18 could be a monumental tipping point… an ahahaha! moment when the people of the world have a collective epiphany, and from that point on start thinking differently about how the world should be governed.

Jammers, whatever we do this Spring, let’s float like butterflies and sting like bees! Let’s bend the G8 and NATO to our will with shock tactics and audacious culture jams that capture the imagination of the world. We may be far closer to a Global Spring than any of us has so far dared to imagine …

for the wild,

Culture Jammers HQ

Michigan Makes Felons Of Hog Farmers

Michigan lawmakers have their sights set on pigs, literally.

According to NaturalNews, Michigan is days away from issuing an Invasive Species Order (ISO) put in place by the State’s Department of Natural Resources which would allow law enforcement to kill hogs on family farms based on how they look. By April 1, farmers must destroy heritage, or “wild,” breeds of swine or they will be violating the law. State officials will conduct raids of farms where they believe farmers have failed to follow the order and shoot the animals themselves; the farmers will then face felony charges.

The 2010 ISO states: “Possession of the following live species, including a hybrid or genetic variation of the species, an egg or offspring of the species or of a hybrid or genetically engineered variant, is prohibited; . . . . (b) Wild boar, wild hog, wild swine, feral pig, feral hog, feral swine, Old world swine, razorback, eurasian wild boar, Russian wild boar (Sus scrofa Linnaeus). This subsection does not and is not intended to affect sus domestica involved in domestic hog production. [3, § 40.4]”

According to the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, the law is simply a ploy to bow to special interests such as Michigan Pork Producers Association by making it difficult for local farmers to raise hogs.

Mark Baker, owner of a family farm in rural Michigan that may be shut down as a result of the order explains the destructive nature of the order in the video below:

 

FTC Proposes New Privacy Regulation

Americans concerned that corporations are tracking them online and violating their Internet privacy may find some relief in a new Federal Trade Commission report pledging that consumers will have a “Do Not Track” option by the end of the year.

The FTC takes the White House “privacy bill of rights” that was released last month a step further by ensuring consumers will be informed by companies what type of online tracking they are subject to and will be given an option to opt out, according to The Washington Post.

“Although some companies have excellent privacy and data securities practices, industry as a whole must do better,” the report states.

In the report, the FTC also calls for Congress to pass legislation to provide consumers access to the online marketing data that companies store about them.

The agency emphasized heavily on mobile Internet devices in the report as well, saying that there should be regulations regarding corporate use of an individual’s location data, which can be obtained from the devices.

Obama Brags About ‘Flexibility’ If Reelected

Some conservatives have expressed concerns that a second term for President Barack Obama means a chance for the President, who will no longer face reelection, to force radical, unpopular “change” upon the United States. A statement the President made on Monday may fuel those concerns.

Unaware that they were being filmed, Obama was caught by television camera confidently telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that once he wins reelection, he will have the “flexibility” to make a deal on ballistic missile defense in Europe, according to Daily Mail.

In part of the exchange, Obama urged Moscow to give him space until after the November ballot. Medvedev said he would relay the President’s message to incoming Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The conversation reportedly went as follows:

Obama: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.”

Medvedev: “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…”

Obama: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”

Medvedev: “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”

The conversation was focused only around an American missile defense system being put together in Europe that is unpopular with Russia as the country’s leaders believe it may be used to target their homeland.

In response to questions about the exchange, the White House responded by saying that the President simply meant that because both countries were in the midst of an election year, he didn’t believe there would be a breakthrough regarding the system.

Obama’s remarks, however, may beg the question for people worried about him having a second term: What other issues will the President have more “flexibility” to tackle once he no longer has to worry about angering voters?

Political Pundit Maddow Takes On Perpetual War

MSNBC political pundit Rachel Maddow, promoting her new book, “Drift,” on Meet the Press Sunday, echoed the sentiments of Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul as she discussed the United States’ state of perpetual war.

Maddow said the United States is engaged in a continual war, the effects of which most Americans do not feel. This comes at a high moral cost to the country. The result, she believes, is that the civilian population feels that the military is not engaged in protecting the country, but the government’s interests.

“It’s been bothering me for a very long time, this idea that we’ve made a series of changes over time, over the course of my lifetime, I think, that in all cases have made it easier, have made it a little friction, given us less friction, toward using war,” Maddow said. “Less political friction, less public… discomfort with it, in a way that we have gone to war so frequently and felt it so much less. It bothers me emotionally, and so I wanted to treat it in a long-form way so I could really lay out the case.”

The pundit said that the military has become isolated from the political process, which has resulted in the creation of a runaway “military superstructure” in the Nation. By making it easy to go to war without angering Americans, Maddow contends, the war for profit machine in the United States has been allowed to grow out of control because Americans have become desensitized to the horrors of war.

An excerpt from Maddow’s book can be read here.

Part Two Of ‘Atlas Shrugged’ To Hit Theaters This Fall

The second part of the film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” — the novel that every proponent of free-market capitalism and individual liberty should read — is due to hit theaters next fall.

The book, which was published in 1957, is lauded as Rand’s greatest achievement and last work of fiction. In the novel Rand dramatizes her unique philosophy through an intellectual mystery story that integrates ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, politics, economics and sex, leaving readers pondering a questions throughout: Who is John Galt?

The story follows the book’s female protagonist, Dagny Taggart, as she struggles to manage a transcontinental railroad amid the pressures and restrictions of massive bureaucracy. Her reaction to a libertarian group seeking an end to government regulation is first negative, but is later modified in her encounter with a utopian community, Galt’s Gulch, whose members regard self-determination rather than collective responsibility as the highest ideal.

[pl_amazon_book_order src=”http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=perslibedige-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=0452011876&ref=tf_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr”]“Atlas Shrugged” epitomizes Rand’s philosophy of individualistic Objectivism which is based on the following tenants:

  • Reality exists independent of consciousness.
  • Human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception.
  • One can attain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive logic.
  • The proper moral purpose of one’s life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness (or rational self-interest).
  • The only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights embodied in laissez-faire capitalism.
  • The role of art in human life is to transform humans’ metaphysical ideas by selective reproduction of reality into a physical form — a work of art — that one can comprehend and to which one can respond emotionally.

Rand’s works and philosophy have influenced thousands of people throughout the years, including political figures like Presidential candidate Ron Paul and former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, among others.

The release of the second part of Rand’s iconic novel follows the release of part one of the series last April.

Part one trailer:


Part two teaser:

Rand discusses the difference between liberty and socialism:

Rule Change Allows More Government Monitoring

The Federal government is now allowed to store personal information about private citizens with absolutely no ties to terrorism for up to five years, expanding previous authority under new rules implemented by the Administration of Barack Obama.

Before the change, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) was supposed to immediately destroy intelligence information about Americans when they were deemed to have no clear ties to terrorism. Government officials who want the right to spy on every American have used terror attempts to justify their actions.

“Following the failed terrorist attack in December 2009, representatives of the counterterrorism community concluded it is vital for NCTC to be provided with a variety of datasets from various agencies that contain terrorism information,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement last Thursday. “The ability to search against these datasets for up to five years on a continuing basis as these updated guidelines permit will enable NCTC to accomplish its mission more practically and effectively.”

Officials claim the guidelines will make the Nation safer by making sure relevant terrorism information is readily accessible to analysts, according to The Washington Post.

Earlier this year, the FBI and the Department of Justice released a series of flyers that outline possible indicators of terrorist plotting. The flyers noted many obscure activities that many Americans do every day, such as paying for things with cash, taking photos, etc. Over the past several months, the government has taken steps to make it possible to subject nearly any person to the scrutiny of a terror investigation.

Marine Who Criticized Obama Faces Discharge

A Marine sergeant who made online comments vowing to stand up to the Constitution and criticizing President Barack Obama and his policies is facing dismissal from the Corps for his actions.

According to The Associated Press, Sgt. Gary Stein, who started a Facebook page called Armed Forces Tea Party, was informed by the Marines that he violated a Pentagon policy barring troops from political activities.

The nine-year Marine veteran said he started the page to encourage fellow service members to exercise their free speech rights. Stein was first cautioned by his superiors at Camp Pendleton in 2010, after he launched the Facebook page and criticized Obama’s healthcare overhaul. He volunteered to take down the page while he reviewed the rules at the request of his superiors. Upon determining that he was not in violation of the rules, Stein relaunched the page.

Last week, in response to a post in which Stein said he would refuse to follow unlawful orders from the President, Stein’s superiors barred him from using social media sites on government computers.

The Marines say Stein failed to follow Pentagon directives that say military personnel in uniform cannot sponsor a political club; participate in any TV or radio program or group discussion that advocates for or against a political party, candidate or cause; or speak at any event promoting a political movement. Officers also are not allowed to use contemptuous words against senior officials, including the defense secretary or the President.

Stein said in a statement: “The allegations drummed up against me are no more than an agenda by the Marine Corps to use me as an example. I have never spoken on behalf of the Marine Corps or in uniform.  I have stayed within guidelines DOD Directive 1344.10 and made sure to. If I am guilty of anything it would be that I am American, a freedom loving Conservative, hell bent on defending the constitution and preserving Americas greatness. I am no more the Leader of the Armed Forces Tea Party than any other of 18,000 members are. I just happen to be normal guy who started a facebook page and who hold the Tea Party values close my heart and believes the Tea Party can enact real change in this county. We are all leaders in the Tea Party!”

Americans Victimized By Etch A Sketch Politics For Too Long

The Republican Presidential primary race is a joke, and Barack Obama will have four more years to continue to radically reshape the United States.

Mitt Romney campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom summed up why Republicans are poised to lose in the fall during an appearance on CNN Wednesday: The guy who will most likely be the GOP’s choice in the general election has the conviction of an Etch A Sketch.

When asked whether Romney’s very conservative rhetoric throughout the primary season would hurt his chances of wooing moderate voters in a campaign against Obama, Fehrnstrom replied: “I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch — you shake it all up and start over again.”

The remark — which should certainly come as no surprise to real conservatives, because Romney is essentially Obama-lite — represents one absolute truth: Except for Ron Paul, there is no true conservative running in the GOP primary.

Even if Romney, Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich had a chance to beat Obama, it wouldn’t matter. Look past the phony rhetoric and it is easy to see that Romney, Santorum and Gingrich all represent the same problem for voters. If any one of these men gets the job, nothing is going to change. The destruction of the United States is simply a consequence of other goals shared by the elite within the parties of both establishment Republicans and establishment Democrats.

The shared ambitions between the most powerful people within the two parties are:

  • Lining the pockets of the people at the highest levels within the military-industrial complex, the medical establishment and the Federal government while doing away with individual liberty.
  • And dehumanizing and demoralizing the greater American populace until submission to the will of the elite comes without a fight.

When the goal is accomplished, the United States will have reached the end of the road to tyranny that it has been slowly traveling for more than a century. Elections will no longer be necessary.

The number of people throughout the Nation who see the writing on the wall is growing. They are investing money in precious metals, food and tradable goods in anticipation of the economic collapse that the political elite have orchestrated. They are stocking weapons in anticipation of widespread social disorder and are visiting websites like Personal Liberty Digest™ to learn vital skills and find out about the latest efforts of elitists to control every aspect of their lives while they still can. These are people who demand only the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — things that are becoming foreign ideas to citizens of the United States.

Sadly, there exists a greater number of Americans who remain slave to the false left-right paradigm, many of whom feel the Federal government’s purpose is to make decisions and care for each and every one of its citizens. These people are willing to relinquish the liberty of all Americans for that care.

If there were any hope of the United States returning to its former glory rather than taking its place among the failed empires of history, it would only be the result of a painful process of reigning in spending and dependence on government. It would surely be an uncomfortable process. Paul is the only Presidential candidate who has been willing to admit this, and he is the only one who has provided a plan that would really undo the damage that has been done to the greatest Nation in history. Paul’s plan would cut $1 trillion in Federal spending during his first year in office, give young Americans the ability to opt out of Social Security, provide block grants to States to pay for social welfare programs, reduce the Federal workforce by 10 percent, cut taxes drastically and repeal overreaching Federal regulation. The candidate has also called for an end to unConstitutional military adventurism and restoration of Americans’ liberty.

Is it any wonder the establishment has made every effort to shut Paul up? Even if he were unable to achieve all of his goals, a Paul Presidency would badly damage the elitist agenda. For more than three decades, Paul has warned the Nation about the damage being done at the hands of the political elite with unwavering consistency that is even recognized by his harshest critics. It is time for Americans to reject phony slogans like hope and change, flip-flopping politicians and the top-down destruction of their Nation. This is no time for Etch A Sketch politics.