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Inner Cities In America Are A Mess – Here’s Why

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(Via Zerohedge)

The stories coming out from Chicago and Baltimore paint an increasingly pessimistic picture: that America’s inner cities are transitioning into a warzone, where violence has returned to levels not seen since the drug wars of the early 1990s.

Take for example Chicago, five men were killed and at least 20 people shot over the four-day Christmas holiday weekend. Last year, 59 people were shot over the same period, leaving 11 dead.

Across the United States, homicides rose about 9% last year with more than one-third of the increase concentrated in Chicago neighborhoods, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Despite the overall deterioration of American inner cities, there was some improvement in areas such as Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., where declines in violent crimes have been in downward trajectories since the 1990s.

According to the WSJ, soaring homicides in Chicago and Baltimore share wide wealth inequality rates, de-industrialization, depleted residential real estate, and a reduction of police officers following the Ferguson effect in 2014. Nevertheless, the opioid crisis is fueling much of this death and despair in the inner cities, trapping the younger generations into a perpetual world of crime.

Meanwhile, in Washington and Los Angeles, “gang interventions and community policing,” which explores ways to strengthen the community have led to a long-term reduction in homicides. The article brings up the dreaded word gentrification, while it has worked in Washington to suppress crime, it has certainly not been effective in Chicago and or Baltimore.

David Weisburd, a criminologist at George Mason University said about 1% of city streets contributes to 25% of a city’s crime, and 5% of the streets produces half the crime. He coined the phrase the “law of crime concentration.”

In Chicago, half the violent crime came from five neighborhoods, including West Garfield Park, exemplifying Weisburd’s theory. In fact, crime in the area has surged to levels not seen since the “drug wars fueled by the crack-cocaine epidemic” of the 1990s.

As the WSJ adds, “violence in Chicago erupted last year, with the city recording 771 murders—a 58% jump from 2015. The third largest city in the U.S. with 2.7 million people, Chicago had more murders than New York and Los Angeles combined.” Violent crime in Chicago is concentrated in just a handful of neighborhoods, where inequalities are wide and it’s not just in wealth.

WSJ interviewed Amarley Coggins who started dealing drugs aged 12. A decade later, he sits in jail for “felony drug charges and possession of a weapon”.

Amarley Coggins remembers the first time he dealt heroin, discreetly approaching a car coming off an interstate highway and into West Garfield Park, the neighborhood where he grew up on Chicago’s west side. He was 12 years old and had just been recruited into a gang by his older brothers and cousin.

A decade later, he sits in Cook County jail, held without bail and awaiting trial on three cases, including felony drug charges and possession of a weapon. “I have a lot of friends who didn’t make it to 22,” said Mr. Coggins, who hasn’t entered a plea. “I want to stay alive for my son and my family.”

“Baltimore City has a lot of people walking around that have committed homicides and shootings,” said former deputy police commissioner, Tony Barksdale. Meanwhile community leaders and former police members warn that police have disbanded proactive operations to combat crime since the April 2015 riots:

Some community leaders and former police officials say police have pulled back from a more proactive approach on the street since April 2015, when riots erupted after Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died from a broken neck he sustained in a police van. Officers had chased Mr. Gray from North and Pennsylvania, a known drug corner, and arrested him for allegedly possessing an illegal knife.

A police department spokesman said foot patrols have increased because now officers are mandated to walk through neighborhoods in the first months of field training, which wasn’t the case a few years ago.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, in charge since July 2015, also said violent criminals feel emboldened. He said judges too often give offenders who use guns suspended prison sentences.

“You look at Baltimore’s crime numbers, that’s criminals taking advantage of weakness,” Mr. Barksdale said. He further said: “I am against mass arrests, but you still need arrests.”

JPMorgan Chase funds the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative at CFED, and warns an astronomical amount of Baltimore citizens have a net worth of zero; the racial divide and wealth inequality is among the highest in the country, contributing to high levels of violent crime.

Baltimore residents describe life on the streets:

Ericka Alston-Buck, who runs a youth center blocks from where Mr. Gray was arrested in 2015, says the violence is tied to poverty that hasn’t eased since the riots. “You have to be here to feel the blight, the vacant houses, the cat-sized rodents that run through the streets, the open-air drug markets, prostitution, no grocery store,” she said.

Jacqueline Caldwell, a local resident who leads a nonprofit umbrella group that includes several west-side community associations, said the police have become nonexistent over the past two years. “I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out we need more police on the street, more community involvement with the police,” Ms. Caldwell said.

John Skinner, a former deputy police commissioner who retired in 2014, said after the riots, police feared “another triggering effect.” He said while he thinks the retreat from proactive policing was brief, its effects were lasting. “Violence can escalate really, really rapidly. When it occurs it’s tough to get that stabilization back,” he said.


The sad conclusion is that the inner-city playgrounds of the establishment elite, Chicago and Baltimore, have been let to fail. The decades-long experiment is now resulting in a war zone that is progressively getting worse, not better, despite recurring narratives to suck in poor millennials for revival purposes. As a country, it’s time to take two steps back and reflect on the failures before we taking any more steps “forward” otherwise the situation will only get worse.

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Opinion

News flash! Women’s Lives Now More Than Bearable

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This is a contentious time for feminism. In the age of #MeToo, Time’s Up, and the Weinstein effect, just a few of the many products of the fourth-wave feminist movement, women are continuing to push forward a certain narrative about men and the Western culture’s effect on women in general. It seems as if the conversation surrounding women and gender equality has seeped into virtually every realm of life: politics, culture, religion, and even medicine and technology. Fourth-wave feminists are expressing their distrust in men in many ways…celebrities are calling out sexual predators in front of public audiences, politicians are using sexual assault as a political tool, and students are marching and demonstrating. Corporations, eager to jump on the “let’s make a political statement” bandwagon, are even using sexual assault as a marketing tool, spouting controversial messages about toxic masculinity and the like. A prime example is the recent Gillette ad, which garnered more than 19 million views on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

Many women are also writing about feminism. One example of this is an article, written last year in celebration of International Women’s Day, that has been circulating on social media for the past few months. The article, entitled “100 Easy Ways to Make Women’s Lives More Bearable” and authored by Dani Beckett, has been shared more than 300,000 times since its publication in March 2018. While we would not exactly call it “viral,” it is no secret that the article’s contents are becoming increasingly normalized, currently believed by a meaningful number of female millenials. Beckett’s article was published in Broadly, a subset of Vice Media, a digital media and broadcasting company that launched Vice, the Canadian-American print magazine that gave rise to Broadly. Broadly, a heavily leftist channel catering to women and designed to “provide a space for us to understand, express, and navigate our identities as we define who we are and where we’re headed next,” has quite a solid readership.

After I kept encountering the article on Facebook for several months, I figured it was probably worth a read, but before reading it, I could not help but linger on the title. How to make women’s lives more…bearable? Bearable means tolerable, able to be endured, not even touching the realm of pleasurable or happy. The title implies that women in this country are struggling so much that someone desperately needs to make their lives “more bearable.” In a country where the vast majority of workplace fatalities befall men, the chief victims of non-fatal violence are men, men make up three quarters of all murder victims, women are outperforming men at all levels of education (they even outnumber men at most medical schools), women win custody battles, and women legally win half the earnings and belongings in a household, apparently women’s lives are not yet bearable enough. I was confused, but intrigued, and proceeded to make my way down the long list of male-targeted demands, some of which are too good not to highlight.

The article is written in an incredibly patronizing tone, as if men in America need to be taught that forcing sex upon a woman is probably not a good idea, as if they apparently grew up in a society that conditioned them to rape. The first item on Beckett’s list is, “Before explaining something to a woman, ask yourself if she might already understand. She may know more about it than you do.” Well, is that not general logical advice for anyone? I know the point is to call men out for supposedly always trying to explain things to a woman, but if you are versed in the basic tenets of communication, then it must be the case that you know not to prematurely lecture someone on a topic you suspect they are already well-versed in, regardless of their gender. And let us suppose this is not the case and you have a habit of being didactical when not needed. Well, then this advice should certainly go for everyone, not just men. The point is, gender has nothing to do with it. There is no evidence that men are somehow more likely than women to try to explain something to women, simply because they are women, before considering whether those women might actually understand the topic. Fourth-wave feminists are pushing the narrative that men inherently feel entitled and better than women, so they feel it necessary to always explain things to a woman without thinking if she might already understand. It is a dangerous and baseless narrative to push forward. While it was certainly true fifty years ago when male professors would not even call on their female students in lecture, today, men DO listen to women, whether they like it or not. By virtue of the professional empowerment of women, which has become normalized in Western society, men listen to women explain things to them every single day. Consider this: women now hold 49% of total faculty positions in American colleges and universities. Women lecture, and men listen.

Beckett then states, “Related: Never, ever try to explain feminism to a woman.” Well, what if she’s wrong? Beckett would tell you, “Trust women. When they teach you something, do not feel the need to go and check for yourself. And especially do not Google it in front of them.” So, if she’s wrong, it doesn’t matter. No one cares about facts anyway. Women are so privileged that they now also have the right to be wrong and to lie without getting called out. This is an important reminder of “Believe all women,” the Left’s mantra during the infamous Kavanaugh controversy. If you feel the need to check something JUST because the person who explained it to you is a woman, then maybe you need to treat your misogyny and perhaps Beckett’s list is actually for you. But we live in a society where women are leaders in every sphere – politics, business, medicine, science, the law. At this point, men get it. The need to overpower women, of which remnants will perhaps always exist, has largely dissipated through the years as evidenced by the fact that women now control 60% of the wealth in the United States, for example. If men are such misogynists, why are they collectively not fighting tooth and nail to tear down successful women? Certainly some are, but it’s virtually impossible to prove patriarchy-enforcing men outnumber matriarchy-enforcing women. Instead of acknowledging that, fourth-wave feminists are resorting to feelings, as opposed to facts, to craft their man-hating narrative. What’s more, they are lowering their standards for women.

Clearly, men and women are different, no matter what radical feminists want you to believe. But even though they are different, every society is founded upon a standard set of basic principles and values that every human, regardless of identity, should be obligated to follow in order to preserve civility. Lying does not all of a sudden become okay for a woman if it’s not okay for a man because women should not get special privileges. That is why Dani Beckett is also mistaken in suggesting “Be kind to women in customer service positions. Tip them extra.” Because they are a woman? This sentiment points directly to the pinnacle of feminists’ hypocrisy. Feminists want women to be treated equally, which naturally entails holding them to the same standards as men. Regardless of whether you are a woman or a man, if you don’t do your job well, then you should not be tipped extra. Regardless of whether you are a woman or a man, your customers should be nice to you if you do your job well because that’s the right thing to do.

Next on Beckett’s list is a whole compilation of demands centered around how to describe women. She states, “Examine your language when talking about women. Get rid of ‘irrational, dramatic, bossy, and badgering immediately.” This implies that women cannot be any of these things, which they most certainly can. Or perhaps it implies that they can be some or all of these things but they should not be called out for it, which once again, means that according to Beckett, we should hold women to a lower standard. Let’s be clear, women should not get free passes just because they are women and their ancestors have suffered through years of misogyny and oppression. If feminists want true equality, then they should not be cutting women slack and lowering their standards for women out of pity. Women are perfectly capable of meeting those standards. Pushing forward women’s rights legislation should not be done out of a need to prop up identity politics. Women deserve equal rights not because they are women, but because they are humans.

If that was not enough, Beckett certainly has more! “Never comment on a woman’s body,” she says. When describing women positively, men should say she is “talented,” “clever” or “funny,” but not “gorgeous” “sweet” or “cute.” Men also cannot call her unique, and “unlike other girls” because all girls are awesome. Long gone are the days when it was flattering for a woman to be told she has a nice physical appearance. And long gone are the days when men were allowed to make their physical attraction, the very basis of biological reproduction, known to women. I am assuming Beckett wants men to assign more value to women than their physical appearance, which is understandable, but assigning more value to personality and assigning some value to physical appearance are not mutually exclusive acts. A 2017 study published in Evolutionary Psychological Science found that most women are likely to choose physical attractiveness over personality and intelligence in potential partners. For a group of people who supposedly hate double standards, fourth-wave feminists sure do love double standards.

And now we arrive at the scariest portion of Beckett’s list: the postgenderism demands. Beckett states, “If you read stories to a child, swap the genders. Cast women in parts written for men. We know how to rule kingdoms, go to war, be, not be, and wait for Godot.” Right, and that is exactly why the parts of Katniss Everdeen, Hermione Granger, Wonder Woman, Lara Croft, Daenerys Targaryen, Mulan, and many, many more have been written. To show that women can indeed rule kingdoms, go to war, and do pretty much anything. Fourth-wave feminists are called “fourth-wave” because they are not the first. The women of the past have already proven that women are powerful and can rule kingdoms. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel by going to extreme measures (i.e. swapping genders) to show something that everyone, barring exceptions, already knows. Perhaps, then, the point of swapping genders is not so much to normalize powerful, masculine women. It is, in fact, to get rid of gender roles altogether. My prediction is that postgenderism will pave the way for fifth-wave feminism.

So why is one article like this one so important? It’s maybe just the opinion of one woman. Except it’s not. Between 70 and 80 percent of college women currently identify as feminists. The contents of Beckett’s article are at least somewhat representative of the mentality of young women in America today, even if some shy away from the label “feminist.” I fear that this association we have started to develop between feminism and fourth-wave values, some of which are exemplified in this article, will only become stronger until, eventually, first and second-wave feminists are shut out entirely. Women who are pro-life are shut out entirely. Women who want other women to be held accountable are shunned and considered anti-feminist. Criticizing obesity, pointing to false allegations of sexual assault, challenging the misconceptions surrounding the pay gap, holding conservative views about female sexuality, and acknowledging core differences between men and women will become wholly incompatible with any definition of feminism. Women should be encouraged to be strong, not feed their victimization complexes. Women should be encouraged to listen to other women, even if they disagree. Fourth-wave feminist indoctrination should not be something we stand for if we want to actually help gender equality.

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U.S.

Republicans Are Weak, Spineless, & Complicit In The Death Of America

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While Americans continue to be hurt by stagnant wages, internet censorship, and being replaced by automation & migration…. the House of Representatives spent the entire day arguing about what Representative Steve King never said.  Read that again:

The House of Representatives spent the entire day arguing about what Representative Steve King never said.

The Failing New York Times creates yet another fake news story to frame Rep. King as a white supremacist.  Republicans salivated eagerly to be the first in line to denounce King.

I shouldn’t be surprised.  These are the people who refuse to go to bat against internet censorship even when it hurts their own campaign’s ability to win elections.  They refuse to build a wall.

For some reason, the party is taking the lead from 2012 loser (cannot be emphasized enough: loser) Mitt Romney and a California cuckservative is the House Minority Leader.

These are our leaders?  If so, expect to lose bigly in 2020 and beyond.

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Politics

‘Second Chance Voters’ Campaign in Florida To Help Felons Vote and Get Jobs

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Today a new campaign is officially launching in Florida for encouraging Felons to vote, increasing their opportunity through jobs, and lessening the stigma around the issue of felons voting. The ‘Second Chance Voter Campaign’ is lead by experienced Councilman Steve Nadine. With an official launch on their website here at www.SecondChanceVoters.org , you can see the intent of the organization and goals set forth.

Karyn Turk of Red America Radio and Populist Wire is also a leading effort in the campaign, she says

“Although many of us were not for, Amendment Four, before it passed. As Republicans it is of extreme importance that we motivate these voters. This new population is a great opportunity for the GOP. We must work with these voters to educate them on republican candidates and important initiatives”

The Press Release States:

Second Chance Voters is led by Steve Nadine. Steve previously served as a County Commissioner and City Councilman and has also served on Alabama’s Sentencing Commission. These experiences have given him a unique and highly qualified credible resume especially in light of his status as an ex-felon and who served his time and probation.

Second Chance Voters will also be a proactive in leading the efforts to work with local and state leaders to effectively and efficiently implement the important components of The First Step Act:

Second Chance Voters will focus their efforts on the following:

Registering ex-felons and their families to vote.

Creating workforce development programs to provide employment opportunities.

Working with Local and State Leaders on tax incentives and tie-ins with economic development organizations to educate and train those incarcerated in local, state and federal prisons, a step critical to reducing recidivism.

Proving guidance on prison, probation and prosecution reform after the First Step Act is implement.

Creating outreach programs for at risk ex-felons and those who are scheduled to be released.

Conducting research on how The First Step Act reforms will effect local, state and federal prosecution and how it will impact the currently under-funded prison systems.

Launching a “Reforming from Within” initiative which will focus on how vitality important it is to educate the ex-felon and those set to be released that this is their Second Chance to proactively participate in their communities and that they can exercise those rights through voting.

Educating the public about the stigma and discrimination faced ex-felon including efforts to ban “checking the box.” These include the many jobs and professions from which they are restricted.

Lobbying in all states that currently restrict ex-felon voting rights.

A lot of what this Campaign is doing is holding politicians like newly elected Governor Rob Desantis to not hold up this right for Felons who have completed their sentence, fine, and probation. It’ll make sure the rights of Felons are restored as soon as possible, as close to the original intent of Amendment Four. This is going to empower any individual who takes it upon themselves to get their rights that had been previously been disenfranchised.

Founder of the Campaign, Steve Nadine is no newcomer when it comes to politics and especially this issue. Steve has an extensive record as the he was at the forefront of the battle to give rights to ex-offenders. He was most important in creating the ‘Jump Start’ program which offered jobs and opportunities to juvenile offenders who were completed a military-style boot camp.

This will be a great way to not only help felons get on their feet but help realize their larger role in a Democratic society that has left them out of the process.

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