Sunday, January 05, 2014

The DOJ’s Curious Foray Into the 'Knockout Game' Fray

The first assailant worthy of federal hate crime charges is a white Texan?

Twenty-seven-year-old Conrad Barrett of Katy, Texas has been charged with a hate crime by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for allegedly targeting a 79-year-old black man as his “knockout game” victim. The victim suffered two jaw fractures in the November 24 assault. “Suspected crimes of this nature will simply not be tolerated,” said Kenneth Magidson, the U.S. attorney for the southern district of Texas. “Evidence of hate crimes will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted with the assistance of all our partners to the fullest extent of the law.”

According to the complaint filed by the DOJ, Barrett recorded a cell phone video of the attack in which he remarked, “the plan is to see if I were to hit a black person, would this be nationally televised.” The complaint also states that Barrett allegedly showed the video to other people and that other videos contained on the cell phone confiscated by police included Barrett using the n-word and insisting that black Americans “haven't fully experienced the blessing of evolution.”

As a result, Barrett has been charged with one count of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. If convicted, he will be facing a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. “It is unimaginable in this day and age that one could be drawn to violently attack another based on the color of their skin,” said Special Agent in Charge Stephen Morris of the FBI's Houston office. “We remind all citizens that we are protected under the law from such racially motivated attacks, and encourage everyone to report such crimes to the FBI.”

There is no question that the assault attributed to Barrett was heinous and likely motivated by racial animus, but the Washington Times addresses the other issue that is undoubtedly on the minds of many Americans. “The 'game' has spawned a fierce debate since many of the reported victims have been white and their assailants have been black, but hate crimes charges have been all but non-existent,” the Post states.

Although there have been several incidents in which it would seem apparent that racial hate was a motivating factor – especially when one considers that other nicknames used to the describe the knockout game are “polar bearing" or "Get the Jew" – an extensive Internet search by this writer failed to turn up a single other incident where the U.S. Department of Justice pursued hate crime charges against anyone allegedly involved in the knockout game.

Not that it would have been impossible to do so. As New York City Police have noted, there have been eight knockout game attacks in Brooklyn, some of which are being investigated as hate crimes by city authorities. All of the suspects are black teens. Twenty-eight-year-old Amrit Marajh was actually charged with harassment as a hate crime by New York authorities for punching a 24-year-old Orthodox Jew.

And those are just recent incidents. According to the DOJ complaint filed against Barrett, there have been knockout game incidents going back as far as 1992. A study conducted by the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics asserted that more than 250,000 Americans over the age of 12 are victims of hate crimes every year, of which one third are reported. That means there are 83,000 reported hate crimes per year. If one ten-thousandth of one percent of those hate crimes involved some version of the knockout game, the Eric Holder-led DOJ would have had at least 41 other opportunities to pursue federal hate crime charges during the five years the Obama administration has been in charge.

"The 'knockout game' – and the media underreporting of it – combines the breakdown of the family with the media's condescending determination to serve as a public relations bureau for blacks," contends black American columnist Larry Elder. Elder points out that both National Public Radio and the New York Times have labeled such incidents as overblown. He further notes that, following an incident where 30-40 black youths and adults attacked three white girls in Long Beach, CA – with eyewitnesses reporting the mob yelling, "We hate white people, f— whites!” as it occurred – NPR didn't report the incident for a month. When they did, it was used to question “whether blacks, given America's history of racism, can even commit a 'hate crime,” Elder explained.

Americans would be disturbed to learn how those in charge of the DOJ would answer the above question.

For instance, upon taking office, former head of the DOJ's Civil Rights Division, Thomas Perez, declared that the department's mission would be to focus on legal activism on behalf of minority groups, including illegal immigrants, “people of color” and Muslims, among others.  As Byron York wrote of Perez's appointment at the time:

He is promising a huge increase in prosecution of alleged hate crimes. He vows to use “disparate impact theory” to pursue discrimination cases where there is no intent to discriminate but a difference in results, such as in test scores or mortgage lending, that Perez wants to change. He is even considering a crackdown on Web sites on the theory that the Internet is a “public accommodation” as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

DOJ whistleblower J. Christian Adams has extensively documented the level of poisonous ideology that has infected the department under the direction of Eric Holder, who has turned the agency into a lawless tool of racial politics.

Take, for example, the gang of 30 rampaging individuals who terrorized the Iowa State Fair in 2010. Eyewitnesses reported that they were yelling it was “beat whitey night,” while they roamed the grounds looking for people to attack. A similar incident occurred at the 2011 Wisconsin State Fair in Milwaukee, where eyewitnesses also identified a mob that injured several people as “young African American teens.” The DOJ didn't even investigate either incident, much less pursue hate crime indictments. Contrast this with the DOJ's role in helping to organize the racial lynch-mob calling for George Zimmerman's head in 2012 over false charges of law enforcement racism. According to Holder, the DOJ is still considering ways to charge the acquitted Zimmerman.

If the Barrett case were the beginning of a trend of the DOJ equitably prosecuting these brutal and senseless crimes as hate crimes, then that would be all well and good. However, the notion that the DOJ's newfound interest in prosecuting this particular type of violence is colorblind remains doubtful. A Department led by a man who dismissed America as a “nation of cowards” because we wouldn't have a “national conversation on race,” even as his efforts to pursue selective, race-based justice has been chronicled by a former insider, no longer gets the benefit of the doubt.



The War on Poverty at 50

In his State of the Union address on Jan. 8, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson declared a "war on poverty." Today, with roughly the same number of people below the poverty level as in 1964 and with many addicted to government "benefits," robbing them of a work ethic, it is clear that the poor have mostly lost the war.

In 1964, the poverty rate was about 19 percent. Census data from 2010 indicates that 15.1 percent are in poverty within a much larger population.

The lack of government programs did not cause poverty, and spending vast sums of money has not eliminated it.

A policy analysis by the Cato Institute found that federal and state anti-poverty programs have cost $15 trillion over the last five decades but have had little effect on the number of people living in poverty. That amounts to $20,610 per poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three. If the government had sent them a check they might have been better off.

As Robert Rector and Jennifer Marshall have written for The Heritage Foundation, "President Johnson's goal was not to create a massive system of ever-increasing welfare benefits for an ever-larger number of beneficiaries. Instead, he sought to increase self-sufficiency, enabling recipients to lift themselves up beyond the need for public assistance."

Johnson sounded conservative when he said, "(We) want to offer the forgotten fifth of our people opportunity and not doles."

Unfortunately, the war on poverty neglected a key component: human nature. Substantial numbers of people came to rely on government benefits and thus lost any sense of personal responsibility. Teenage girls knew they could get a check from the government if they had babies and so they had them, often more than one. The law discouraged fathers from living with, much less marrying, the mothers of their children and so legions of "single mothers" became the norm, and the lack of male leadership in the home contributed to additional cycles of poverty, addicting new generations to government.

When President Clinton signed the welfare reform bill in 1996, liberals screamed that people would starve in the streets. They didn't. Many got jobs when they knew the checks would cease.

Over time, government enacted rules to prevent churches and faith-based groups from sharing their faith if they wanted to receive federal grants, thus removing the reason for their success. These groups, which once were at the center of fighting poverty by offering a transformed life and consequently a change in attitude, retreated to the sidelines.

In public schools, values that once were taught were removed because of lawsuits and the fear of lawsuits, creating a "naked public square" devoid of concepts such as right and wrong, with everyone left to figure it out on their own.

There are two ways to measure poverty. One is the way the Census Bureau does, by counting income earned by individuals and families without including government benefits. The other is not measurable in a statistical sense. It is a poverty of spirit. People need to be inspired and told they don't have to settle for whatever circumstances they are in. This used to be the role of faith-based institutions, and it can be again if they refuse government grants and again reach out to the poor.

One condition for maintaining tax-exempt status should be for these faith-based institutions to help people get off government assistance and find jobs, becoming self-sufficient. If people need transitional money for daycare or transportation, it can be provided, either temporarily by government or by the thousands of churches, synagogues and other faith-based groups.

There is no undiscovered truth about the cure for most poverty: Stay in school; get married before having children and stay married; work hard, save and invest.

The "war on poverty" can be won, but it must be fought with different weapons, not the ones that have failed for the last half-century.



ObamaCare: Some Things Never Change

It seems that 2014 will be the same as 2013 in at least one respect: The Obama White House will keep lying to us, particularly about its crowning “achievement,” ObamaCare. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius claimed on Tuesday that, as of Dec. 28, “2.1 million people have enrolled in a private insurance plan” via ObamaCare. Recall, however, that one is not “enrolled” until the first premium is paid, and the administration refused to provide figures on how many people made it through the gauntlet and managed to pay their premium.

According to The Wall Street Journal, “As of Monday, however, only about half of enrollees billed for plans offered by more than 100 insurers in 17 states had paid their first month's premium.” The deadline for paying those premiums has been extended, in some cases as late as Jan. 31.

Moreover, even if 2.1 million are enrolled, that doesn't outweigh the five million policies that have been cancelled because of ObamaCare. That isn't to say that three million people are without insurance; many of those five million rolled into other policies. But it also doesn't diminish the size of Obama's BIG lie that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” Undaunted, the White House spun it this way in an email this week: “Americans across the country have new health insurance that starts today, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.” That's because they lost their old insurance because of the “Affordable” Care Act! No wonder the chief operating officer of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is retiring.

In the end, however, the problem for Democrats isn't the failed website rollout or even the mass cancellations, it's the fact that from here forward every American suffering anything from a hang nail to a heart attack will blame Democrats for wantonly destroying the health care system.




Her depression may be endogenous (psychotic) but it is well understandable as exogenous (a response to difficult external circumstances):  She has no God or church to call on for comfort; No normal relationship that would help her to fit into the world; and Leftist convictions that tell her the world is all wrong. Cumulatively enough to depress most people, perhaps

All of this is part of what Maddow’s suffering from what she calls “cyclical” depression. She told Wells: “One of the manifestations of depression for me is that I lose my will. And I thereby lose my ability to focus. I don’t think I’ll ever have the day-to-day consistency in my performance that something like This American Life has. If I’m not depressed and I’m on and I can focus and I can think through something hard and without interruption and without existential emptiness that comes from depression, that gives me – not mania. But I exalt. I exalt in not being depressed.”

This is not the first time Maddow has candidly discussed her struggles with depression. Earlier this year, she talked to NPR about it, saying that “Ever since I was 11 or 12, I’ve had cyclical depression. That’s something that has been a defining feature of my life as an adult. … When you are depressed, it’s like the rest of the world is the mother ship, and you’re out there on a little pod and your line gets cut and you don’t connect with anything. You sort of disappear. And so it’s not something you can talk-therapy out of. It’s really a chemical thing. You get adrenaline from work, but adrenaline is not a cure.”



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