Woman Shares Two Photos on Facebook. The Second One Reveals What She’s Been Hiding From the World.

Through social media, one can paint a picture perfect image of their life. Cropping and filters make it easy to appear happy and problem free.

Often times, however, underneath that glossy exterior hides someone who is struggling, someone who is fighting a battle about which no one knows.

Amber Smith is one of those people, but she is ready to show her true colors.

On Facebook she posts two photos of herself.

The first photo is what she “showcase[s] to the world via social media.” Dressed to the nines with her hair and make up done, this is the “normal” side of her.

..Or what people believe is the normal side of her, at least.

Image Credit: Facebook

The second photo, she admits, is the real her.

“Taken tonight shortly after suffering from a panic attack because of my anxiety,” she writes. “Also the ‘normal’ side to me that most people don’t see.”

Hiding beneath the filters and make-up is a girl who is struggling with mental illness.

Image Credit: Facebook

For years, she has been secretly “battling a monster inside [her] head. Every day of her life.

Amber knows the statistics; they remind her that she is not alone in struggle.

“They say that 1 in 3 people will suffer with a mental illness at some point in their life. 1 in 3! Do you know how many people that equates to worldwide?!”

Some people, she realizes, just don’t get. She may be young and may appear to be “fine,” but mental illness does not discriminate.

Most importantly, she knows that her struggles have made her stronger, and with the help of her loved ones she will overcome any obstacle.

“I’m a strong person, I’ve been through my fair share of crap in life (the same as anyone else) and I will be okay. I have the best family and friends around me and I am thankful everyday that they have the patience to help and support me.”

Exposing the “real” Amber isn’t easy, but she is hoping that doing so will help squash the stigma associated with mental illness. She wants to show others the importance of building people up instead of breaking them down.

“[I]t costs nothing to be nice to others,” she says. “Don’t bully others, don’t put others down and the hardest one of them all (as we have all done it at some point) don’t judge another person.”

And she is hoping to remind those with mental illnesses that they don’t have to suffer alone.

“To anyone who is going through the same, please do not suffer in silence. There is so much support around – Don’t be scared to ask for help.”

Because beneath that glossy exterior, “we’re all human.”

Independent Journal Review has reached out to Amber for further comment but has not yet received a response.

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Trump campaign put THE WRONG PEOPLE on their Colorado-07 slates.

[UPDATE}: As expected, Ted Cruz swept all three delegates in CO-07.


We are still waiting for the formal results for Colorado’s 7th District (the rest of the Colorado CD races are tomorrow), but this is pretty remarkably bad. Two of Team Trump’s three favored delegates apparently declined to pay the fees to get on the ballot.

I suspect that Ted Cruz is going to win CO-07 tonight, honestly. Then again, at this rate? So could my cat.

Moe Lane

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Lindsey Graham Agrees To Meet With Obama SCOTUS Pick Because Why NOT Undermine Entire Republican Party, Right?

South Carolina’s fancy Republican Lindsey Graham will be meeting with Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland as “a courtesy”, spokesman Kevin Bishop confirmed today. Theoretically, Graham still believes, like the rest of the GOP and all of its voters, that the seat should remain unfilled until after the election in November.

Graham is on the Senate Judiciary committee. He previously said he wouldn’t meet with Garland because they would have “nothing to talk about” reports The Hill. Riiiight. A ranking Republican senator on the actual Judiciary committee meeting with the President’s nominee for the Supreme Court and they won’t have anything to talk about.

Here’s an artist’s rendering of how the conversation might go:

Garland: “How’s the weather?”
Graham: “It’s fair.”
Garland: “Ha ha! Speaking of fair, I’ll be totally fair as a Justice.”
Graham: “OK fine you’re in.”

Script copyright The Future. All rights reserved, but not all rights will be preserved.

Bishop told CNN that the Senator “remains opposed to moving forward with the Garland nomination. He continues to believe the next president should pick the next nominee for the Supreme Court.” Hmm.

The Hill adds:

Asked Tuesday if the Senate could take up Garland’s nomination after the election, Graham said “absolutely not.”

“I’m sure he’s a great guy, no doubt about that,” he added. “[But] he’s not going to get… confirmed so what’s the purpose of a hearing?”

So what’s the “courtesy,” Senator? This is straight politicking, the kind Graham treasures. He’s talking out of both sides of his mouth. What they actually discuss may not be public, but what is accomplished is clear. Graham is helping to legitimize the President’s nomination, in contradiction to the party’s position and in support of the prospect of a liberal justice.

Lame. But very Graham.

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Senator Cruz Misses Vote On His Own Bill

Senator Ted Cruz has missed a considerable amount of time from the Senate, due to his campaign schedule. Out of 40 Senate votes from January 2016 to the beginning of April 2016, Cruz has voted on 2, according to Govtrack.us.

Senators miss votes. Though maddening for the average citizen, who has the option of showing up for work or showing up at the unemployment office, it’s not unheard of. For a senator in full campaign mode, it’s almost expected.

The trouble Senator Cruz is faced with, however, is that his campaign schedule has caused him to miss voting on his own terrorism bill.

Cruz introduced the Expatriate Terrorist Act in January 2015. Cruz announced his candidacy in March 2015.

If passed, the bill would end the citizenship of any Americans who actively engaged in helping terrorists.

Parts of the bill read:

“Entering, or serving in, the armed forces of a foreign state or a foreign terrorist organization designated under section 219 if—

“(A) such armed forces are engaged in hostilities against the United States; or

“(B) such persons serve as a commissioned or noncommissioned officer.

“(4) Becoming a member of, or providing training or material assistance to, any foreign terrorist organization designated under section 219.”

According to USA Today, the bill has been put before the Senate Judiciary Committee on eight occasions, since mid-November 2015. Because the main sponsor of the bill was not present during the proceedings, the bill was shelved, as it is the senate’s rule not to vote on any legislation without the author present.

The bill again was presented for a vote on Thursday, April 7, 2016, but Cruz was in New York campaigning.

It next comes up for a vote on April 14, 2016.


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ESPN Host Wears ‘Offensive’ T-Shirt About Caucasians. But Are People Really That Thin-Skinned?

ESPN host Bomani Jones went looking for a big reaction when he wore his special t-shirt while substituting for one of the hosts of the sports show “Mike and Mike.”

He may not have gotten the reaction he was looking for, however.

Jones donned a shirt with a racial name hoping to make a point about racist sports team names. A photo of the shirt circulated on Twitter:

What you’re looking at is the Chief Wahoo character used in the Cleveland Indians baseball logo, but substituted for the feather is a dollar sign and substituted for “Indians” is the word “Caucasians.”

Image Credit: Screenshot/ESPN

Image Credit: Screenshot/ESPN

The Sporting News reports that Chief Wahoo was recently demoted from being the team’s chief logo to the second logo:

The Score reports that Jones thought the team should have gotten rid of the Indian caricature altogether. And he thought he’d make his point by wearing a shirt that would offend white people and team owners.

As he revealed on “Mike and Mike,”

“To have a problem with this [shirt] is to have a problem with the Indians. But if you’re quiet about the Indians and have something to say about my shirt, then I think it’s time for some introspection.”

If responses on Twitter to the shirt are any indication, his point was a ‘swing and a miss’:

What do you think? Take our poll.

ajax_url = “http://www.ijreview.com/frontend-ajax.php”;

Did this t-shirt offend you?

No, this question was much more offensive than the t-shirt.

Yes, objectifying any group on a t-shirt is inherently racist and is wrong.

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How New York’s Voter Registration Law Is Going To Screw Donald Trump

train wreck shutterstock (1200x800)
One of the interesting things about this primary season is learning just how byzantine our party primaries are. I’ve posted twice now on the New York primary, relying upon the New York Board of Elections website as a source. That site sets a deadline of March 25 for voter registration. I had assumed (the old military expression of “when you assume you make an ‘ass’ of ‘you’ (u, get it?) and ‘me’ really applies) that applied to change of registration. My colleague, Moe Lane, pointed out, gently, that was balderdash.

Via Think Progress:

Devin Cannon’s voter registration has been marked “independent” for as long as she can remember. This means she’s never been allowed to vote in a major party presidential primary election in New York, which operates on a closed primary system.

But this year, she wanted to change.

“I truly did not feel that I belonged in either party,” she told ThinkProgress via email. “And suddenly Bernie Sanders came along.”

I hung up feeling completely defeated and confused and honestly just started crying.

Cannon knew she had to switch her party affiliation to Democrat if she wanted to vote for Sanders, the independent U.S. senator from Vermont who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. She also knew that she had to change her party by October 9, 2015 — more than six months before the election happened. New York’s October deadline is the earliest change-of-party deadline in America.

Not wanting to miss her chance, Cannon said she mailed a change-of-party form to the Monroe County Board of Elections in August. But when she checked on the status of her registration last month, she was told her form wasn’t received until late October. She would be ineligible to vote for Sanders in the spring.

The March 25 date only applies to NEW voters. If you had previously registered to vote in New York and wanted to change your party then October 9 was your deadline.

This is a significant issue in New York:

More than 3 million people — about 27 percent of the state’s voters — were registered outside the Republican and Democratic parties as of April.

Now the sweet part:

Bad News For Sanders, Trump
When it comes to New York’s fast-approaching presidential primary election, Lerner said potential voters from both parties would likely be impacted by New York’s strict election rules. But she said that people voting for “the two non-establishment candidates” — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and billionaire Donald Trump — would bear the brunt of the confusion. That’s because voters for those candidates were more likely to have been previously unaffiliated with a political party, or more likely to have wanted to switch parties to vote for their preferred candidate.

Sanders supporters even set up a page back in October raising the alarm about the change-of-party deadline for independents and voters registered with more liberal factions like the Green Party or the Liberal Party.

So far, it seems true that non-establishment candidates like Trump and Sanders tend to do better in open primaries, where people can vote in whichever party’s primary they choose.

In the current Republican battle between Trump and Sen. Tex Cruz (R-TX), Trump has done better in open primary contests while Cruz has done better in closed contests, according to a Fox News analysis. And the New York Times reported that Sanders’ statewide victories have been “fueled by his large vote margins among independents,” who may be restricted from voting in closed primaries.

What do you think the odds were of the Trump campaign notifying potential voters before October 9 that they had to change party. Not very great. Trump didn’t stand up a New York campaign operation until yesterday.

Today Donald J. Trump announced his New York State campaign organization, including Republican Party leaders in all 27 Congressional District across the state. The committee – comprised of GOP elected leaders, Republican county chairmen and other key party officials – represents the most powerful presidential campaign organization in the state.

This maladministration and disarray is how the Trump campaign operates.

As Think Progress points out, Trump does better in states with loose voter registration laws. Just as his campaign is unable to plan and anticipate, so, too, his voters suffer from the same shortcoming. It is unlikely that large numbers of previously unregistered adults paid enough attention to the March 25 deadline to make a difference. Previously registered voters, which is nearly the universe of voting age adults since motor-voter became law, who, like Sean Hannity, registered as Conservative or Independence to show The Man they meant business, will mostly be unable to participate.

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After a Freshman Didn’t Come Home, They Knew Something Was Off. Then They Saw the Red Bike…

Around 10 o’clock on Sunday night, an 18-year-old freshman dance student at the University of Texas Austin headed to her dorm from the theater arts building. She never made it home.

On Monday morning, Haruka Weiser’s roommate called the police and reported that the well-liked student was missing.

Then, on Tuesday, authorities made a gruesome discovery: Haruka’s body was found in a creek on campus.

Ms. Weiser was on a full scholarship to the UT arts college, and though she was a dance major, she was poised to double in pre-med, according to her family. She also was looking forward to visiting family in Japan later in the year.

In a statement released by the university, President Gregory Fenves wrote, in part,

“Haruka was a beloved member of our dance community, liked and admired by her classmates and respected by professors for her intelligence and spirit.”

He continued:

“The unthinkable brutality against Haruka is an attack on our entire family. Law enforcement is fully engaged to do everything to bring the perpetrator who committed this crime to justice.

I ask you to join me in expressing our deepest condolences to Haruka’s parents, family, classmates and friends and to help the university honor her life.”

At a Thursday press conference, Austin police shared video of a suspect in the case, according to Reuters, who was spotted on the closed circuit TV system several hours before the freshman’s disappearance then again just after 11pm.

Authorities said that the suspect, described as a 6 ft. tall black male, appeared to be pushing a red or pink women’s bicycle, similar to this one:

The Daily Mail reported on details which Austin Police Assistant Chief Troy Gay gave at Thursday’s press conference [emphasis ours]:

“She had communication with friends and we are confident we knew the direction she traveled back to her dormitory.

But she never made it to her dorm. Her roommate called Texas PD to report her missing on Monday at 11.30 am…

On Tuesday morning the PD conducted a more thorough search and found her remains in the creek.

As it was seen as a suspicious death from the off – we called Austin Police dept for assistance.”

The police also revealed that there’s a $15,000 reward for information leading to the capture of whoever killed the young woman whose loss has devastated their community.

A heartbreaking statement that Haruka’s family wrote to the public was also read during the press conference.

It reads:

“Haruka, our beloved daughter, sister and friend was taken from us too soon. The pain from our sudden and tragic loss is unfathomable…Words cannot express the outpouring of love we have received.

Though Haruka loved to perform on stage, she never sought the spotlight in her daily life. As we struggle to understand why she was killed, if her death can somehow make it safer for a young woman to walk home, then her death could prevent another assault or murder.

To her friends at UT and in her high school, we are united in prayer for Haruka and for each other. No parent, brother, sister or friend should have to face this kind of sadness, this kind of loss. And yet we have joined that family.

She would want us to keep living life to the fullest. That is what we will try to do in the coming days.

Thank you for respecting our privacy at this time.”

Tonight, the UT campus is paying respects to Haruka Weiser in a beautiful way.

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