Are Tech Giants trying to Silence Opposition to Hillary?

Our smart phone’s internet connection provides us greater access to knowledge today than at any other time in human history. However, even though there’s a myriad of web sites sharing information, not all are credible. Some spread lies. Others, who claim non-biased objectivity, sometimes present information out of context, while remaining silent about information highly relevant to the subject being researched.

Large tech companies and internet providers have massive control over our access to that knowledge. If their users and customers cannot trust them, it directly impacts their business. So it’s important for these corporations to appear both credible and non-biased. For example, Google is so trusted that conducting a search online is often called “googling” a topic.

However, these corporations are run by executives with personal biases and motives. It’s important to remember that a tech company is only as objective as its management.

As Americans, our most sacred tenet is our constitutional right to freedom of speech. In fact, our democracy depends on it. In political discourse, all sides deserve an equal platform to speak so that Americans have access to all views before making political choices that affect the future of our country.

So when large tech companies appear to censor and purposefully limit our knowledge for political motives…it threatens every American’s constitutional right to both speak and to be heard.

Google’s motto used to be “Don’t be Evil.” Yet, Google has been caught censoring Anti-Hillary Clinton searches conducted on its search engine. SourceFed published a YouTube video that raises credible concerns that Google searches using their auto complete feature demonstrate both bias and censorship. While Google denies this, the video itself makes it clear there are legitimate censorship concerns here.

Huffington Post reports that Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, has expressed deep concern during an open government conference about the Google backed startup called “The Groundwork.” The Groundwork is one of the Clinton Campaign’s largest vendors. According to a Bloomberg report in May 2016, Hillary’s campaign has spent almost $500,000 on their services since April 2015.

Quartz.com reported back in October 2015, that former Google executive Stephanie Hannon is the Clinton Campaign’s chief technology officer.

While these facts alone are enough to question the objectivity of Google, Alphabet, and its management team, it gets worse. Google’s parent company Alphabet, has donated over $400,000 to Hillary’s Presidential campaign.

Recently, Facebook admitted it censored and blocked links to the Democratic National Committee leaks published by Wikileaks. Facebook representatives said that they were flagged as “unsafe.” While this might be considered a one-off mistake, it’s not. A former Facebook editor disclosed to Gizmodo back in May 2016 that Facebook routinely suppressed conservative views and even manipulated trending topics to inject some stories while removing others.

While Facebook denies this, claiming that it’s the algorithms that control the content, the Guardian published internal Facebook documents in May 2016 that destroys the credibility of Facebook’s denial. These documents show that of the 10 news sources considered trusted by Facebook, the majority of them are considered liberal news outlets and that it’s the editors, not the algorithms, that control the content.

Tom Stocky, who’s in charge of Facebook’s Trending Topics, the group that’s been censoring conservative news, donated the maximum amount to Hillary’s campaign back in October 2015. In fact, Hillary’s campaign is the largest recipient of Facebook political donations.

Just as disturbing is that Facebook has been suspending and threatening to suspend the pages and accounts of conservatives. In June 2016, the Gateway Pundit reported that the Women for Trump was threatened with shut down. When conservative activist Lauren Southern posted her concerns about conservative views being censored, Facebook banned her for 30 days.

The Washington Times recently reported that Twitter removed the hastag #DNCLeaks from trending news after the Wikileaks story had about 250,000 tweets when it was pulled. Breitbart, Bernie Sanders supporters, and Vocativ have recently accused twitter of censoring anti-Hillary hashtags.

And, now it appears that Presidential Candidate Donald Trump has been the victim of twitter censorship with what appears to be a shadow ban on his account. While I don’t agree with Trump’s politics, his views deserve to be heard.

While each one of these facts, taken individually, could be easily written off. Together, they demonstrate a very disturbing pattern of censorship of political ideas. As Americans, our political views vary across the spectrum from extreme liberal to extremely conservative and everything in between. However, every one of us is guaranteed freedom of speech under the Constitution of the United States. This includes protection from censorship by tech companies whose massive influence on public discourse can potentially alter the direction of our government.

Censorship is one of the hallmarks of a totalitarian regime. I’m deeply concerned that tech company censorship may constitute violations of federal election laws and may directly undermine our democracy.

Black Votes Matter

Black lives don’t matter…but the votes sure do.

I’m not a “berner” supporter of Bernie Sanders. However, as a minority American voter, his platform aligns closely with my politics. The first plank of his platform addresses income and wealth inequality.

As a minority, I can personally confirm that income and wealth inequality has hurt me and other minorities more than it has White America. In 2014, the Pew Research Center reported that wealth inequality has widened along racial and ethnic lines since the end of the great recession of 2007. White households median wealth is 13 times that of the median wealth of African American households and over 10 times that of the median Hispanic household.

You know, I keep hearing that minority neighborhoods are more violent and that minorities are more prone to crime. While it pisses me off…it’s true…but not because minorities have some magical piece of DNA that makes them more violent. It pisses me off because it’s a direct result of the racist income inequality minority Americans experience.

In 2002, the World Bank published piece in the University of Chicago’s Journal of Law and Economics called: “Inequality and Violent Crime.” The authors investigated the relationship between income inequality and increased violent crime.  What they found is that when income inequality increases…so does violent crime.

The violent crime in our neighborhoods is manufactured.

Oppressive and racist policies created a lack of economic opportunity and as people became more desperate to survive…they naturally became more violent. This relationship has been known in the United States since 2002.

Yet, not a single Democratic Presidential candidate in the last 20 years, prior to Bernie, has his experience in fighting income inequality or the racism that continues to promote it. Bernie not only demonstrated on the streets, shoulder to shoulder with minorities, he took his beliefs with him to the Congress and continued the fight.

Bernie’s fight for equality is our fight. Minorities can no longer afford to tolerate some groups being more equal than others while our causes continue to be ignored.

Everyone’s touting Hillary as the Black Lives candidate. Yet, I have to ask: when has she allowed Black Lives Matters members to speak at any event she’s attended? Further, Hillary’s true colors were embraced back in 1994 when she supported a controversial crime bill that continues to hurt minorities today. Hillary referred to minority children in gangs “super predators” who need to be brought to heel.

While everyone seems nostalgic about how wonderful former President Clinton was, Former NAACP president Ben Jealous, back in April 2016, called for Clinton to apologize for welfare policies that caused “twice as many Americans living in extreme poverty as we did 20 years ago.”

Black lives in America haven’t improved, they’ve suffered under corporately sponsored racist policies.

Sure, you may tell me about Hillary parading the “Mothers of the Movement” on the stage at the DNC, or her tweets in support of minority lives…but those things are just cheap theater meant to gain votes…not protect lives. On the ground, Hillary cannot point to a single action she’s taken to support protecting black lives…she’s all talk.

If Hillary truly supported Black Lives, her campaign would’ve already created speaking events where she would go to ground zero and condemn police brutality and racist murders of Black Americans.

Almost all of us who live the minority American experience daily have seen systemic racism prevent us from succeeding in both education and the workforce. The Democratic party tells us they will fight for our rights and provide us with true equality. However, they can’t even run their own primary campaign without dirty tricks right out of the racist GOP and Big Business playbooks.

Wikileaks demonstrated the DNC colluded with major media and the Clinton Campaign to set up Bernie Sanders to fail. Clinton even had moles in the Sanders campaign. Further, Sanders actually won the first delegate roll call at the DNC, but it was suppressed. At least one Sanders Delegate had his credentials stripped for opposing TPP. Sanders supporters even reported that their pro Sanders signs were seized by DNC officials.

Now a report from Election Justice USA, “Democracy Lost, A Report on the Fatally Flawed 2016 Democratic Primaries” found that Sanders lost 184 delegates due to Election Fraud.

All of these facts amount to violations of Federal election laws.

Sanders and his supporters now know what it’s like to be subjected to the  discrimination that minority Americans in the United States live with daily. So while Obama says Don’t boo, Vote, my response to Obama is: We tried that, and your party silenced us.

To the rest of you: This is the civil rights fight of our generation and now is the time to act. Make your voices heard both on social media and in the streets. Contact your elected officials and call for them to condemn the corrupt Democratic National Convention and the rigged primaries.

For myself, I started a petition for Hillary to concede the nomination to Sanders, as he should’ve won. I’m not saying everyone should support Sanders…but we should support the rightful victor.

You can view it here.

It’s time for all of us to stand up and protect our Democracy, because if we don’t, no one will.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justifiable Retaliation?

Some people say the recently police killings started a race war.

They’re right.

Before…it was just one-sided racially inspired violence toward minorities…now that they’ve decided to fight back…it’s transformed into war.

In 2014, USA Today analyzed FBI data for a seven year period ending in 2012 and found black men are killed, on average, twice a week by law enforcement in the United States. This data was provided by about 750 different law enforcement agencies across the country.

At times like this, I’m reminded of the saying that all evil people need to succeed is for good people to stand by and do nothing. While there’s a lot of good cops in our communities who have a genuine interest in protecting and keeping us safe, as long as they refuse to protect us against their rogue brothers and sisters, they remain part of the problem.

In February 2015, FBI director Comey underscored law enforcement’s systemic racism in his “Hard Truths” speech given to Georgetown University:

“Let me start by sharing some of my own hard truths:

First, all of us in law enforcement must be honest enough to acknowledge that much of our history is not pretty. At many points in American history, law enforcement enforced the status quo, a status quo that was often brutally unfair to disfavored groups. It was unfair to the Healy siblings and to countless others like them. It was unfair to too many people.

I am descended from Irish immigrants. A century ago, the Irish knew well how American society—and law enforcement—viewed them: as drunks, ruffians, and criminals. Law enforcement’s biased view of the Irish lives on in the nickname we still use for the vehicles we use to transport groups of prisoners. It is, after all, the “paddy wagon.”

He went on to state:

“Much research points to the widespread existence of unconscious bias. Many people in our white-majority culture have unconscious racial biases and react differently to a white face than a black face. In fact, we all, white and black, carry various biases around with us”

When considering all the facts objectively, I have to ask…and I mean seriously…how long did racist police officers think they could continue discriminating against minorities before their targets started retaliating against racist law enforcement policies and racist officers directly?

It wasn’t a matter of if…it was a matter of when.

Don’t get me wrong…if someone’s committing a crime and they get shot by a cop…it’s easier to prove that shooting was potentially justified. However, a traffic stop, and in any other case where there’s no resistance by a black man and cops initiate violence…well…there’s zero excuse for that.

If you read the laws…intentional killing of another human is called murder…not self defense. This is a very simple to understand law…yet, racially biased court systems do all kinds of mental and legal gymnastics to excuse police officer’s racially motivated murders of innocent civilians…even though, in many cases, these minorities were never even suspected of being guilty of a crime.

Further, as a martial artist with a security background, you cannot tell me that law enforcement’s only method of defending themselves is their sidearm. They’re trained in hand-to-hand melee combat, both unarmed and armed. They’re provided with steel batons, pepper spray, stun guns, body armor, cut resistant gloves and backup personnel to ensure minimal risk to their safety.

There exist plenty of non-lethal methods officers could use to incapacitate someone. Further, many officers are former soldiers, with additional combat training.

Yet, these highly trained officers…many of which are in peak physical condition…are so afraid of a black man…that their first line of defense when their feelings are hurt is to draw their weapon and shoot this innocent man to death.

This doesn’t sound like self defense…it sounds like murder committed by a PTSD-ridden psycho with no control of their emotional state backed by a legal system that condones such irresponsible behaviors through it’s complicity.

While I don’t agree violence is the answer, it’s clear that no one is interested in holding these racist cops who continually murder innocents accountable. So the more extreme of our population decided to respond to law enforcement in kind. They took the law into their own hands and showed law enforcement that they can be touched by shooting and killing them.

Further, because everyone has sat on the sidelines for so long and allowed these bigoted evil people to act out their racial hatred toward minorities, the streets will continue to be bloody.

You see, while Dallas may have been the first shots fired against law enforcement…it also served another purpose.  It showed the entire country that police can be killed on the streets…it empowered the streets to deal with the police in the same way that gangs deal with each other.

The streets have now realized they vastly outnumber law enforcement and the cops can’t be everywhere…more importantly…one banger can take out more than one cop. To their simplistic mind…this is fair trade.

The police need to return to a protect and serve attitude instead of this overly militarized, mirror-shaded, jacked-booted, oppressive law enforcement style popularized by third world dictatorships.

Unless our communities start holding racist cops completely responsible for hate crimes against minorities…it’s gonna get very real, very fast. Lots of innocent people…police and minorities alike…will get hurt and die.

Either way…there is going to be a lot of blood on the ground before this is over

So if you are a cop or you know cops…encourage them to hold their colleagues accountable for racial discrimination, it will go a long way to mitigating the coming violence.

If you’re anyone else…be careful. Most cops were soldiers first…their primary training is search and destroy…if you think they won’t shoot first…you’re naive.

The Cosby Lynching: A Sequel

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After I read Andre G’s response to my article regarding the Cosby Lynching, I considered not replying. However, after rereading it, I realized Andre’s response wasn’t motivated from a bigoted place of anger or hate, but rather ignorance. Based on his article’s numerous ad hominem attacks unsupported by any objective or relevant facts, it’s clear he’s approaching the Cosby Lynching from a witch-hunting “me too” mentality, rather than doing any independent critical analysis of the facts and reaching his own conclusions. This type of “me too” groupthink is very prevalent when discussing uncomfortable subjects. Andre isn’t the first person to adopt a false story at face value, only to find out later it was a lie.

While I don’t take offense to any of Andre’s misguided conclusions, he never challenged any of the following facts contained in my article, with the exception that it’s clear he believes Cosby is guilty.

  1. Multiple credible scientific studies conclusively show men are sexually assaulted by women at nearly the same rate that women are sexually assaulted by men. These studies destroy the false rape culture narrative purported by intersectional and radical feminists.
  2. Many of Cosby’s rape accusers have criminal records, mental health issues, or were drug users.
  3. Women rapists are often not charged for their crime…and when they are, their sentences are far lighter than men convicted of exactly the same act. Is this rape culture? hmm…
  4. Illegal party drug culture back then was far more socially acceptable than it is today.

Women who allege being raped without any evidence support their story should be rightly questioned. Here’s why:

Duke Lacrosse: In 2006, A stripper alleged she was gang-raped by college athletes. There was a national outcry as the public crucified the alleged rapists…only to find out later the stripper’s rape story was a lie. The players eventually sued over the false rape accusations and won. I know it’s shocking a stripper would be dishonest, but it happened.

Mattress Girl: Emma Sulkowitz accused a male college student of rape. It was investigated and later found she had a consensual sexual relationship with her alleged rapist and she pursued him…not the other way around. When the college and the police let everyone know she lied, Sulkowitz started carrying around a mattress in protest…in true Austin Powers fashion. Later, Sulkowitz doubled down on her embarrassment and made a porn video, released on the internet, “reenacting” her false rape claim. This young man eventually sued over it.

Wanetta Gibson: This woman falsely accused Brian Banks of rape. On her lie alone, he was imprisoned. Brian had been awarded a scholarship to USC for football and her rape lie shattered his dreams. She later admitted her lie and Banks was exonerated. Now in an act of humanity, multiple NFL teams are giving him a shot to try out for a spot.

Kobe Bryant: This NBA player was accused of rape and criminally charged…only to have his accuser refuse to testify. It turns out, his accuser was in a committed relationship at the time and cheated on her boyfriend with Kobe.

Brooklyn Gang Rape Claim: Last month a woman and her father accused five young men of raping her in a park. However, it turns out the father and the men had consensual group sex with the woman and the charges against the men were dropped.

Kesha: Kesha falsely claimed Dr. Luke raped her in order to get out of a music contract. However, she previously stated while under oath…on video… Dr. Luke never drugged her or made any sexual advances toward her.

These are just a few examples of the many false rape accusations out there. What do they have in common with Cosby? Just like Cosby, each of these men was witch-hunted and lynched (Metaphor: See Below) in the national press before all the facts were known. In each case…the “rapist” was found innocent or exonerated.

Now I’ll address Andre’s article directly.

Regarding Andre’s Black Men Conspiracy Theory: While there may be blacks who may feel compelled to defend Cosby, I’m not one of them. I’m not black…I’m Latino. Additionally, my article doesn’t address any conspiracy theories, whether legitimate or not. This appears to be a reframe on Andre’s part in a desperate effort to dismiss the valid reasons to support Cosby.

Regarding the Lynching metaphor: Clearly Andre doesn’t understand the term “metaphor.” If he did, he wouldn’t so desperately attempt to reframe my lynching reference so literally. What he’s missing here is that minorities are far more likely to get charged and convicted of crimes than Caucasians…despite the fact that Caucasians commit the same types of crimes at roughly equal rates as minorities across the country. Yet, they are charged far less, and even when convicted…their sentences are far lighter than those of minorities. Further, how much damage have these false rape claims cost Cosby? My guess is that it’s millions of dollars…or more than many people will earn in their lifetime. In that context, lynching is an extremely appropriate metaphor and I stand by it.

Let’s look at Andrea Constand’s credibility. Out of the 50+ women who’ve accused Cosby of rape…hers is the only one in which Cosby’s been criminally charged. Here’s undisputed facts of this case, as we know them so far.

At the time of the alleged assault, In January 2004, Constand was in a committed sexual relationship with another woman and had known Cosby since 2002. However, after the assault, she continued to associate with Cosby and took her parents to meet Cosby at a show in August 2004. There is no publicly available evidence that Constand ever disclosed her sexual encounter with Cosby to her girlfriend prior to August 2004.

The problem here is there’s zero evidence to corroborate Ms. Constand’s allegations. The testimony she provides is of an event that supposedly occurred while she was “semi-conscious.” Yet, her memory was intact. This whole scenario raises some very important and troubling questions: If she was in a committed relationship, why didn’t she tell her significant other of this horrific rape? Why didn’t she immediately report this to the police?

It wasn’t until January 2005…almost a year later…she opened a criminal case with the police against Cosby. Shortly after the criminal investigation started, the prosecutor decided in February 2005 not to press charges, because there wasn’t enough evidence.

In March 2005…Constand filed a civil suit against Cosby. Given the short time period(around two months) between the criminal case and the civil one, the criminal case may have been filed to support the civil one. Her civil testimony wasn’t a frightened woman recounting being victimized by a violent rapist to prosecutors. It was a story told after being well-rehearsed and prepped by her attorney during a lawsuit Constand filed to extort money from Cosby.

The other “Victims”:

Those few cases that were reported to the police lacked credibility to charge Cosby. Further, every one of Cosby’s alleged rape victims has lawyered up. Many of them are represented by the same lawyer…Gloria Allred…who keeps screaming in the press for Cosby to waive his defenses so she can sue him. This, of course, will give Allred a huge payoff if the case settles. So she and her clients have a huge financial motive to continue harassing Cosby in the press, especially since Cosby’s worth over $350 millon dollars.

So unless someone presents some real evidence, rather than unsubstantiated ghost stories alone…don’t believe the hype…it’s a sequel.

Now Cosby has started suing everyone involved in his witch-hunt in an effort to clear his name and hold his accusers accountable for their greed. If he’s innocent…I hope he wins.

The Lynching of Bill Cosby

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Bill Cosby’s a household name. His iconic career as an actor, comedian, writer, and TV host has spanned the decades. NewsOne.com lists Cosby as being one of the top 3 black philanthropists of all time. Because of all his hard work, today Cosby is worth approximately $400 million dollars.

As everyone knows, Cosby has been forced to defend himself against numerous rape allegations, many of them going back multiple decades. With the kind of fame and money that Cosby’s success brought…is it any wonder he had multiple extramarital relationships? We hear all the time about musicians and other celebrities having consensual sex with groupies…why is it so unbelievable that Cosby would do the same? In fact, most…if not all… of Cosby’s rape accusers admit to having a consensual sexual relationship with him. Many of them admit to continuing consensual sex with him, after the supposed rapes occurred.

Cosby’s trial has occurred in the court of public opinion and caused irreparable harm. Hypocritically, it’s been minorities and radical feminists who’ve harassed and disparaged Cosby the most…not white America.

Continuing to disparage Cosby publicly without the benefit of a court trial is no different than white supremacists lynching innocent blacks who’ve been accused of crimes in the south or police publicly disparaging the many blacks and other minorities they murder in cold blood. In case anyone forgot…BLACK LIVES MATTER!

Yet…ironically…it’s radical feminists and minorities who’ve jumped the shark here.

In the United States, the legal theory of innocent until proven guilty has saved many minorities from wrongful imprisonment and death. If you search online, you will find numerous cases of blacks and other minorities falsely convicted of crimes and imprisoned…only to be exonerated decades later…after their lives have been destroyed.

Yet Cosby…a man who’s lived a life dedicated to supporting the black community…has been tried and convicted in a court of public opinion on the basis of unverified rape allegations going back almost 50 years. His accusers, many of which are convicted criminals, drug abusers, or diagnosed with mental health issues, never reported these crimes when they were fresh. Many tried to extort money from Cosby afterward.

While there’s numerous accounts of Cosby providing drugs and alcohol to many of these women…what the media has failed to report on is an objective context of the social climate of those times. Back then, drugs were far more socially acceptable than they are today. The drugs identified weren’t date rape drugs…they were commonly obtainable party drugs. Further, it’s not like Cosby administered these drugs without these women’s knowledge. They absolutely knew what they were taking and were willing participants in their drug abuse.

Yet, other than these women’s words…there is no evidence any of them were ever raped. If there was, Cosby would’ve been convicted already.

What makes matters worse is that some feminists are using the false Cosby rape allegations as evidence of a rape culture that targets women. Yet, in 2014 Lara Stemple, of the Human Rights Project at UCLA co-authored a paper called “The Sexual Victimization of Men in America: New Data Challenge Age Old Assumptions, published in the April 17, 2014 edition of the American Journal of Public Health, that thoroughly debunks that rape is a crime primarily committed by men against women. It turns out when looking at instances of sexual assault, men are just as often victims of sexual assault as women. This was confirmed by the Center for Disease Control.

The Center for Disease Control found that men are sexually assaulted by women at nearly the same rate that women are sexually assaulted by men. This was confirmed by a study from the University of Missouri that found, “A total of 43% of high school boys and young college men reported they had an unwanted sexual experience and of those, 95% said a female acquaintance was the aggressor.”

Step back and think for a second, if those participating in the Cosby lynching were truly interested in preventing sexual assault…we would be hearing about violent protests against female rapists getting convicted and receiving next to no punishment for their crimes. Yet, their silence on this is deafening.

So before we allow anyone else to continue to lynch a black icon like Bill Cosby…or anyone else…let’s get all the facts first. Destroying Cosby’s reputation through unverified allegations in the media, without an opportunity to meaningfully defend himself in court, is as racially oppressive as any other form of violence against blacks and other minorities.

 

The Refugee Crisis: What No One’s Discussing

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While the loudest voices on the left continue to employ “think of the women and children” shaming tactics to bully everyone into accepting Syrian refugees in an effort to demonstrate their position on the moral high ground, the loudest voices on the right demonstrate their religious bigotry and deep lack of humanity in flat refusing to allow any refugees period. They’ve even doubled down and voiced opposition to any immigration at all. We’ve heard a variety of motivations for this. Objectively, on the right, it’s religious bigotry and on the left, it’s naive optimism. However, there’s an important objective part of the conversation that, apparently, isn’t up for public debate.

The poverty and homeless populations in the United States have been growing at crisis levels. In addition, 38% of American citizens, 16 and older, don’t have jobs.

If we can’t take care of our own citizens, where’s the money going to come from to shelter and feed these refugees? Further, what makes these refugees more of a priority for housing and government welfare than say…veterans…or any other American citizen for that matter?

Let’s ignore the arguments that have already been made for a minute and look at the situation objectively. If a family lives paycheck to paycheck…do they have enough money to be spending it on luxury items? No, because they can’t afford it. This is basic 101 level budgeting, we don’t spend more than what we have…a very simple concept.

With that in mind, please consider the facts below.

Over One Third of Americans Don’t Have Jobs:

Our country’s economy is in a state of economic crisis. While everyone has been claiming unemployment is at an all time low…according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hovering around 5%.

latest_numbers_LNS14000000_2005_2015_all_period_M10_data

However, according to Shadowstats.com the national unemployment rate is closer to 22%, which when taken with workforce participation rate below, seems more realistic.

sgs-emp

The problem is the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports workforce participation is at an all time low…62%

latest_numbers_LNS11300000_2005_2015_all_period_M10_data

This means that 38% of Americans, 16 and over, don’t have a job. That is over one third of the potential working population of the United States.

Poverty In the United States:

In 2012 According to the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, 46.5 million people were living in poverty. This is the largest number ever measured by the census, since it started measuring this over 54 year ago. That’s 15% for all Americans and 21.8% for children under age 18. Of that number, 6.6% of our population, or 20.4 million people, were living in deep poverty

In 2014, that number rose to 46.7 million people.

According to the 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress compiled by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, over 610,000 people were homeless on any given night and nearly a quarter of that number were children. The National Alliance to End Homelessness identified 49,933 homeless military veterans in January 2014 alone.

Cities Are Going Bankrupt:

According to Governing.com, since 2010, 51 municipalities and 9 local governments in the United States have filed for bankruptcy. The picture below is a partial list of where these are located to give the reader an idea of how prevalent this issue is.

imrs.php

Online Panhandling

From sites like gofundme, begslist, donatemoney2me, and many others, panhandling has found acceptance across the internet. However, because there are no major studies on cyber begging as a whole, it’s currently not possible to get a credible measure of how much cyber-panhandling has grown over the last ten years.

Conclusion:

I believe having a safe place to live with food and shelter are human rights. However, our economy is in crisis.

If we as Americans, remain unable to provide these human rights for our own citizens, then we shouldn’t be further straining our already overburdened financial system providing government assistance and welfare to non-citizens…refugees or otherwise. This is just basic fiscal sense…we take care of our own communities first…then we’re able help others. However, if we choose to help others before our own communities…then we’re just over-stressing our own financial system further and setting our economy up for catastrophic failure.

To me, the most effective approach to helping these refugees find safe food and shelter would be for our government to immediately cease funding terrorists who we falsely characterize rebels and freedom fighters and stop financing governments who sponsor terror and human rights violations.

That would free up funds to help our own communities in need, solving two problems at once.

 

 

 

 

 

Terrorists Infiltrated Europe Disguised as Refugees

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As early as January of 2015, in interviews with Buzzfeed journalists, an ISIS operative admitted he traveled to Turkey in 2014 and settled there for the express purpose of creating a smuggling operation to sneak jihadis into Europe. Specifically, these operatives were directed to head to Sweden, Germany, and Italy to request asylum. These statements were confirmed by Buzzfeed through interviews of other smugglers. As part of this report, Buzzfeed also interviewed Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr and Senate Armed Services Committee member Senator Lindsey Graham. Both stated they had been aware of middle-eastern terrorists being smuggled into Europe, but admitted they had no idea the extent of the smuggling operation.

In August 2015, the Associated Press wrote a very flattering piece about a Syrian terrorist fighter who travelled to Europe with the refugees. This individual, Laith Al Saleh, admitted to fighting against the Syrian government and commanding a 700 strong western backed terrorist unit against the Syrian government. Commander Saleh further admitted his cousin, a former senior officer in the Syrian Army also became a terrorist who fought against the Syrian government had already settled in the Netherlands.

On September 10, 2015, The Daily Mail and the French Media reported there on a manhunt underway for a suspected ISIS terrorist who had smuggled himself in with the refugees and was hiding amongst them. Authorities believed his goal was to get to Britain to commit acts of terror.

Yet, five days later, on September 15, 2015, the U.S. White house urged Americans to support the influx of refugees from the middle east. There is even an online petition set up to gather support on the White House’s website.

Politico quoted Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Face the Nation as stating: “We’re facing the worst refugee crisis since the end of World War II… …I think the United States has to do more, and I’d like to see us move from what is a good start with 10,000 to 65,000.”

Now Paris has suffered a complex, well-coordinated terrorist attack that left over 100 people dead, many more wounded, and France in a state of emergency. Given the complexity and sophistication of the attacks, it was clear they were well-planned, funded, and executed. Iraq has come forward and admitted it’s intelligence service previously warned France that it was being considered a primary terrorist target. Yet it appears this intelligence was ignored. Further, it now appears that the passport found on one of the terrorist bodies in the aftermath of the attacks that identified the attacker as a refugee, was determined to be a forgery. This now calls into to question as to whether or not this terrorist attack was a false flag.

While it’s bad enough the United States has admitted to funding and providing material support to terrorists fighting the Syrian government, under the guise of supporting freedom fighters, we saw how that worked out in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. These countries are worse now than they were before the United States got involved. Now they’ve become terrorist recruiting and proving grounds.

Even more troubling is that the United States Government has long had direct knowledge middle-eastern terrorists were being smuggled in with refugees from the Syrian crisis as early as January of this year, yet at almost every level, our government minimized and downplayed this risk to the American people. In fact, up to these horrible terrorist attacks in Paris earlier this month, there has been little to no objective public discussion or assessment of the risks of allowing middle eastern terrorists asylum in the United States disguised as refugees.

Without such a discussion and risk assessment, it’s a naive to accept any more middle eastern refugees without a more stringent vetting process.

 

Let’s Regulate Corporate Welfare

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Many argue for and against corporate welfare. I support it…mainly because it’s already happening and too many corporations are receiving state and federal assistance through vast subsidies and tax breaks, even though these companies are very profitable. Much of this welfare is also unregulated and comes with little to no strings attached. So if it’s going to happen anyway…it needs to be responsibly regulated.

Currently, there are too many profitable large corporations and businesses that received welfare assistance through tax breaks, subsidies, and bailouts. Yet none of the CEOs or other members of these corporations’ upper management have ever been held accountable for the irresponsible decisions that inspired the massive corporate welfare payoffs in the first place. While mismanagement accountability is a topic for another time, what follows is an option to regulate corporate welfare.

So let’s model corporate welfare after another program that works: TANF. TANF stands for Temporary Aid for Needy Families.

According to The American Enterprise Institute, as recently as September 2015, TANF has been a resounding success over the last 2 decades. It “helped raise the labor force participation of never-married mothers from 59.5 percent in 1995 to 73.8 percent in 2001 and reduce their poverty rate from 51 percent to 38.5 percent” and “has been a rare bright spot in US anti-poverty policy.”

So for sake of conversation, lets model our Corporate Welfare Act, in very general terms, after TANF.

TANF allows a maximum of five years of financial assistance. Large corporations and businesses should be limited to the same. Thus, if a corporation doing business in the United States is receiving a welfare tax break or subsidy, it would be subjected to the same five year limitation, with no option for extension. We live in a capitalist economy, if a corporation cannot survive after five years of subsidy, another should rise to take its place.

Further, any corporation that receives a welfare subsidy or tax break should be required to be 100% transparent and open their books and other records to government oversight. TANF requires this already…families are required to provide banking and financial information before receiving any government assistance and while receiving welfare assistance families are required to provide updated financial information on demand. Corporations should be required to do the same.

Additionally, any corporation or large business receiving welfare should be barred from receiving any subsidy or tax break if their global profits are beyond a certain point. TANF already requires this. TANF bars assistance to families who earn over a certain sum of income…the same should be required of corporations. If the corporation is profitable like Boeing or Microsoft, it doesn’t need any welfare tax breaks or subsidies. This would include loans and gifts.

Any corporation receiving welfare tax breaks or subsidies would be required to employ at least 51% of their global workforce from United States citizens residing in any of the 50 United States. These workers would be required to be permanent employees, not contractors or temporary workers.

Corporations receiving welfare assistance would be required to limit CEO and upper level management compensation to ten times the amount of their lowest paid workers…this would include the value of any stock options and deferred compensation.

State and Federal Legislatures would be barred from enacting laws that allowed tax breaks and other subsidies without full payback and accountability written in.

Finally, when the law is enacted…all current subsidies and tax breaks immediately cease…requiring corporations to pay their fair share.

Isn’t time we take steps to stop allowing profitable big businesses and multinational corporations, who get preferred status through corporate welfare tax breaks and subsidies, to offshore American jobs? They need to be regulated responsibly, this is one way to do it.

The Single Parenting-Mass Shooter Link

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According to the Pew Research Center, less than half (46%) of U.S. kids younger than 18 years of age are living in a home with two married parents in their first marriage.

In the United States, single parents are heralded as superheroes. Searching the term “single parent superheroes” online demonstrates this is a very mainstream idea. Mainstream media: the news, TV shows, and movies act as though children raised by single parents are just as resilient or better than children who’re raised in two parent households.

Yet that’s not the case. On Father’s Day in 2008 President Obama said:

There’s a hole in your heart if you don’t have a male figure in the home that can guide you and lead you and set a good example for you.”

“We know the statistics — that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.

These stats have long been known. In 1997, The Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency reports that the most reliable indicator of violent crime in a community is the proportion of fatherless families. This is especially true for families with adolescent boys, the most crime-prone cohort. It goes on to state that:

Children from single-parent families are more prone than children from two-parent families to use drugs, be gang members, be expelled from school, be committed to reform institutions, and become juvenile murderers.

Think about that for a moment.

Single parenting is the most reliable indicator of whether or not a child will grow up to be a murderer.

Now I’m not indicting single parents…I’ve been one for over six years. I’m saying that children need to be raised by both parents and extended family to thrive…not just by one parent alone.

US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, as far back as 1988 reported in pertinent part: “Psychiatric disorders were found to occur with higher frequency in children of single parent families, especially those lacking a father… …was most frequent in the children who had experienced the divorce of their parents.”

In 2006, The Guardian reported:

Boys whose parents had split up had the highest rate of childhood mental illness. In contrast, only 8% of boys living with married parents suffered from mental disorders.

Politifact even reports that solid research has shown that growing up in a single-family household, even if other factors are controlled, has a negative effect.

The fact that most of the mass shooters in the United States were products of broken homes and single parents shouldn’t be surprising. These young men raised in single parent homes were more likely to be violent criminals with mental health issues…something every mass shooter had in common.

This is not to say that lax gun regulation in the United States or the mental health crisis shouldn’t be addressed…they should. They’re definitely contributing factors, but they’re symptoms only. If we focus on them alone…we risk ignoring the problem of children being raised in broken homes and the negative impact of lack of two parent involvement.

Make no mistake…with over half of American children raised in single parent households…this is a growing epidemic that appears to be getting worse. I have no short term solution to this problem. I do know that moving forward, if both parents treated each other as permanent family, like they do their children…rather than as spouses who are disposable… American families would be stronger and society would be better for it.

Who knows? Maybe these shootings will cease.

 

Rape Isn’t a Gender Issue

As what many consider a far left progressive, living in one of the most left leaning states in the nation, I always prided myself in my stance on equitable treatment of others. The main reason for this is that many on the far right, whose politics I oppose, base their political arguments on skewed or outright dishonest statistics or misrepresentation of facts…often a combination of both. It’s a misnomer to consider these individuals as political conservatives, because they’re far removed from the traditional conservative definition. While ad hominem, they are more accurately defined as bigots.

A prominent example would be Faux News.

As many of my core values align with third wave feminism, for the majority of my adult life I’ve considered myself a feminist, or at the very least, a strong supporter of feminist ideology. As a minority, I strongly identified with their message of equity and equal treatment.

However, over this last weekend, I discovered in my virtual travels online, feminists, many of them unwittingly, have been misrepresenting facts about one of their main grievances that is the lightning rods of the feminist movement…sexual assault. Their narrative has always been that large numbers of women are being sexually assaulted by men, who are hardly ever are sexually assaulted themselves, in large part, they believe, because of a patriarchal society that allows it. The takeaway has always been that sexual assault is almost exclusively a crime perpetrated by men against women.

Now before people start getting irrationally upset, sexual assault is something I strongly oppose and I’ve always believed that every allegation should be investigated in a timely and objective manner. I continuously take exception that many rape kits collected by law enforcement go unprocessed. This is a travesty of justice.

However, my concern is feminists misrepresenting rape statistics with gender biased studies to support their narrative…potentially from the very beginning. When a person conducts a study, their study is peer reviewed for methodology and objectivity. The problem here is that many of the sexual assault studies conducted by feminists and their supporters were also peer reviewed by other feminists and their supporters…creating a strong potential for confirmation bias and a kind of echo chamber.

Recently, more objective studies of sexual assault have been conducted which thoroughly debunk the feminist narrative that sexual assault is a crime almost exclusively committed by men against women.

In 2013, the National Crime Victimization Survey conducted by the United States Government Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) found 38% of all sexual assault victims were men. Further, Lara Stemple of the Human Rights Project at UCLA co-authored a paper called: “The Sexual Victimization of Men in America: New Data Challenge Old Assumptions,” published in the April 17, 2014 edition of the American Journal of Public Health found when a more objective count of sexual assault victims was compiled, which included sexual assault in prisons and other correctional facilities (an area excluded by most feminists when studying rates of sexual assault and not counted in most general national statistics) found 1.270 million women and 1.267 men reported being sexually assaulted… both genders were sexually assaulted in equal numbers. Further, the BJS found that in regard to male victims of sexual assault, 46% reported their assailant was female. What’s even more disturbing is regarding incarcerated juveniles sexually assaulted. In 89% of all reported cases, the victims were boys who reported the perpetrator as a female staff member.

The United States Center for Disease Control found that men are sexually assaulted at nearly the same rate as women. USAToday reports that 43% of high school and young college men reported they had an unwanted sexual experience and 95% of that number reported their assailant was a female acquaintance.

On top of all of this, there’s the issue of false rape allegations. While the statistics are all over the map, ranging from 2% reported by feminists and 40% reported by men’s rights activists (MRAs), a recent article by Dara Lind: “What we know about false Rape Allegations, ” published on Vox.com, looked at a variety of studies and found women falsely report rape approximately 5.9% of the time. Which means of the 1.270 million women who reported being sexually assaulted, approximately 74,930 of these allegations were false. If 5.9% of females allegations of sexual assault are false, then based on Lara Stemple’s paper, males are sexually assaulted in the United States more often than females.

While feminists are correct that sexual assault is drastically under reported in the United States…it’s often elements in the feminist movement doing the under reporting.

By excluding large segments of male sexual assault victims and female rapists from their studies, feminists have created a false narrative allowing them to fraudulently receive government benefits and subsidies, while painting sexual assault as a crime exclusively perpetrated by men against women. Sexual assault in the United States is an important issue that needs attention, but it’s not the gender battleground falsely created by feminists. By misrepresenting facts of sexual assault victimization through gender bias, feminists create serious credibility issues that may be fatal to their message of equality and potentially their movement.