Tennessee: Bill advances to ban drag shows, other adult entertainment on public property

BY CHRISTINE DOUGLASS-WILLIAMS

SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2023/02/tennessee-bill-advances-to-ban-drag-shows-other-adult-entertainment-on-public-property;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

Society is in a moral crisis when it becomes necessary for a bill to be sponsored to safeguard kids in public places. Although the bill is aimed at “go-go dancers, exotic dancers, and strippers on public property,” it is hardly a secret that the trans agenda has come to include grooming children in vulgar performances that are inappropriate for children.

Republican Rep. Chris Todd, who sponsored the bill, called it a “common-sense” “child safety” bill. Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson introduced the bill. People have lost sight of what responsible censorship even means. It is glaring how the far Left uses charges of censorship to shut down speech that does not suit its agenda and that they claim to consider “offensive,” but they have no problem with the overt, public corruption of children. The sexualizing and grooming of young children are relentlessly becoming normalized. That’s why laws of this kind are needed.

“Tennessee bill aims to ban drag shows, other adult entertainment on public property,” by Lawrence Richard, Fox News, February 1, 2023:

The state of Tennessee could bar drag shows and other adult entertainment performances, pending a bill that is advancing through the state’s legislature.

A bill banning go-go dancers, exotic dancers, and strippers on public property and for those under the age of 18 was approved by the Tennessee House Criminal Justice Subcommittee on Tuesday, according to FOX 17 Nashville. It will now advance to the House Criminal Justice Committee.

“This is a common-sense child safety bill,” said Rep. Chris Todd, a Republican who sponsored HB. 9, per the report.

The bill intends to prohibit “adult cabaret entertainment” that is “harmful to minors,” including “male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest, or similar entertainers.”

“There’s confusion in the law of what performances are covered. This clarifies what is crossing the line that is harmful to minors,” Todd added.

While the bill effectively bans drag shows, it does not specifically use the term.

Republicans in the state have contended that drag shows can result in the “sexualization” or “grooming” of children.

Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, a Republican, introduced the legislation near the end of 2022 with his own bill that limits gender-care surgeries for those under 18.

“We are not going to expose our children to this type of inappropriate, sexually explicit performances,” Sen. Johnson told the station in November 2022, after drag performances where kids were present were becoming more popular……

Greg Kelly: China balloon proves Biden is ‘owned by China’

President Joe Biden tough on China? Never, & it's proven, says Greg Kelly. Kelly dissects why Biden will not take action on China's balloon over the United States & explains why Biden is "owned by China"

LATER: THE BALLOON WAS SHOT DOWN NEAR MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA. BUT WILL BIDEN RECOVER, ANALYZE, AND RELEASE THE FINDINGS TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC, OR NOT???

Rep. Jim Jordan Subpoenas FBI Director Wray and AG Garland Over ‘Parents Are Domestic Terrorists’ Memo

FBI director addresses rise is police officer deaths

Rep. Jim Jordan Subpoenas FBI Director Wray and AG Garland Over 'Parents Are Domestic  Terrorists' Memo

BY RICK MORAN

SEE: https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/rick-moran/2023/02/04/rep-jim-jordan-subpoenas-fbi-director-wray-and-ag-garland-over-parents-are-domestic-terrorists-memo-n1667887;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), issued his first subpoenas to Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona over a letter that the National School Board Association (NSBA) interim President Chip Slaven sent to Joe Biden calling parents at school board meetings who objected to CRT being taught in schools “the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”

Five days after the Sept. 29, 2021 letter was written, Attorney General Merrick Garland sent a memo to all 101 U.S. attorneys saying in part,The Department takes these incidents seriously and is committed to using its authority and resources to discourage these threats, identify them when they occur, and prosecute them when appropriate. In the coming days, the Department will announce a series of measures designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel.”

It was later revealed that Education Secretary Cardona requested that Slaven write the letter and send it to the White House. And to this day, Garland refuses to withdraw the memo.

The FBI and Department of Justice have yet to reveal what steps they took in response to that letter. At the very least, the memo was designed to chill dissent, and we still don’t know what, if any, action the DOJ took against parents.

The Hill:

Democrats immediately pushed back on the effort, accusing Jordan of peddling conspiracy theories in attacking a short-lived DOJ effort designed to respond to violent threats.

“The conspiracy theories underpinning today’s subpoenas have been debunked with facts time and time again, but Republicans do not want to be bothered by this inconvenient truth. There is no amount of documents that will satisfy the MAGA obsession with conspiracies,” said Del. Stacey Plaskett (V.I.), the top Democrat on a Judiciary subcommittee established by the GOP to examine the “weaponization” of the federal government.

“Conspiracy theories”? Cardona requested the letter from NSBA asking for FBI assistance in squelching dissent, and AG Garland sent a letter to the 101 top law enforcement officers in the U.S. telling them to “facilitate” efforts to assist school boards in silencing objections.

Related: National School Boards Association Reviews Letter Comparing Parents to Domestic Terrorists
Local law enforcement was perfectly capable of addressing any threats to local school board members or teachers. The only reason to involve the FBI was for the purpose of intimidating parents and derailing their efforts to have input on their child’s education. The school boards didn’t want the input, so the Biden administration sicced the FBI on the parents.

That’s not a conspiracy theory.

“As Director Wray and other FBI officials have stated clearly on numerous occasions before Congress and elsewhere, the FBI has never been in the business of investigating speech or policing speech at school board meetings or anywhere else, and we never will be. Our focus is and always will be on protecting people from violence and threats of violence,” the agency said in a statement.

No one asked the FBI to “police speech.” Just the knowledge that they were watching was enough to chill dissent — an obvious fact that the bureau and its defenders are strangely unaware of.

BOMBSHELL: White House KNEW About the Chinese Spy Balloon and Covered It up — but Then…

BOMBSHELL: White House KNEW About the Chinese Spy Balloon and Covered It up — but Then…

BY ROBERT SPENCER

SEE: https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/robert-spencer/2023/02/04/bombshell-white-house-knew-about-the-chinese-spy-balloon-and-covered-it-up-but-then-n1667854;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

How cowardly and compromised is the Biden regime? We have fresh evidence of just how bad it is, courtesy of the Chinese spy balloon. The world found out about the now-infamous balloon on Thursday, when a Montana resident named Chase Doak spotted it and posted a video. But that was not the first that Old Joe Biden’s handlers heard of the balloon. Now it has come to light that they knew about it all along but kept the knowledge secret so as to avoid a confrontation with the Chinese Communist Party and keep Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s now-canceled trip to Beijing on track. Patriots can thank Chase Doak for the small show of spine from the Biden State Department that the cancellation represented.

“Not gonna lie,” Doak tweeted with his video. “First, I thought this was a #ufo. Then, I thought it was @elonmusk in a Wizard of Oz cosplay scenario. But it was just a run-of-the-mill Chinese spy balloon!” But Bloomberg revealed in a bombshell report Friday that “as it turns out, US authorities were well aware of the unidentified object that had entered American airspace on Jan. 28, that had then left and re-entered over North Idaho on Tuesday.” But Blinken was slated to huddle with the ChiComs in Beijing, and Old Joe and his henchmen didn’t want to let something as trivial as what J. Michael Waller of the Center for Security Policy terms “China’s military espionage incursion into the US” get in the way of a friendly tête-à-tête in the Forbidden City.

In fact, Biden had already been informed about the spy balloon long before Chase Doak spotted it, and his handlers were holding nervous discussions about whether or not to shoot it down. Yet Blinken thundered Friday that China’s decision to launch the spy balloon was an “irresponsible act” that represented a “clear violation of U.S. sovereignty and international law.” He added that China’s “decision to take this action on the eve of my planned visit is detrimental to the substantive discussions that we were prepared to have.”

As it turns out, this was all an act, a bit of shameless and dishonest posturing from what must be the most dishonest administration the American people have ever had to endure. When he struck this pose of moral indignation over China’s “decision to take this action on the eve of my planned visit,” Blinken actually had planned just days before to go ahead with his visit even though he knew all about the Chinese spy balloon.

Blinken also knew that the thing was likely hovering over Montana because Malmstrom Air Force Base, where a large number of the U.S.’s Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles are located, is there. Nonetheless, Biden’s handlers didn’t dare to do anything that might be perceived as taking a hard line on China, and Blinken’s trip was going to go on as if all were well. That is until Chase Doak entered the picture.

Related: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like World War III

Bloomberg notes that “as the balloon continued to hover over the Big Sky state on Wednesday, Biden huddled with his national security team to receive a detailed briefing on the balloon. The president argued for shooting the object down, but was urged against doing so by his most senior military advisors.” The hyper-woke pair of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark A. Milley argued against doing anything about the balloon, arguing that American citizens might be put at risk by any such action as if they weren’t already being put at risk by their government’s open demonstration of cowardice and weakness. But Old Joe agreed that the wokesters had a point and decided to let the balloon go on its merry way and let Blinken head to Beijing. “For now,” Bloomberg adds laconically, “the White House opted not to inform the American public. Events, however, soon forced Biden’s hand.”

In December, before Chase Doak and the world spotted the Chinese spy balloon, Peter Schweizer of the Government Accountability Institute told Mark Levin about Hunter Biden’s strange dealings with China. Schweizer noted that in 2009, Hunter Biden set up a firm in Washington near the office of the vice president, and “two years after that, he signs a multibillion-dollar private equity deal bankrolled by the Bank of China. The executives that made that happen actually met with Vice President Biden about a year earlier. Of course, that deal was consummated when Hunter Biden flew with his father on Air Force One to China. His father had official visits. Hunter was meeting with his business partners. So Joe Biden and Hunter Biden and this corruption joined at the hip. What we have to factor in this is ultimately, in my mind, not a story about corruption but compromise. It is about national security, and it is about spying.”

Spying. Hmm. When they concluded this deal, did the Bidens and the Chinese release any celebratory balloons?

BIDENS HAVE BEEN PAID TO SHUT UP: Why Is a Giant Chinese Spy Balloon Hovering AT 50,000 FEET Over Montana?~Just Shoot the Damn Thing Down Already

Joe Biden China Spy Balloon Republicans Democrats

ABOVE: President Joe Biden is pictured on Thursday speaking at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The inset, left, shows a ceremony to admit new members of the Communist Party of China, while the inset, right, portrays an Israeli-made surveillance balloon in India. Biden on Thursday faced criticism from Republicans after he declined to shoot down a Chinese surveillance balloon over Montana, heeding the advice of his military leadership.

The Pentagon said at midday Friday that a Chinese spy balloon had moved eastward and was over the central United States, and that the U.S. rejected China's claims that it was not being used for surveillance.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the balloon from China is their leader Xi Jinping's way of 'testing' America

Mike Pompeo Has An Urgent Message for Joe Biden

Mike Pompeo: This is a greenlight for bad guys all over the world

CCP: A "WEATHER SURVEILLANCE DEVICE"???

Chinese SPY Balloon Photos - New HD pictures of the Balloon over Montana

US Scrambles F22 Raptors After Chinese Spy Balloon Spotted Over Montana

China’s Spy Balloon Over Montana Is Part Of A Larger, More Troubling Pattern

Pentagon Addresses Suspected Chinese Spy Balloon LIVE

Blinken Scraps China Trip Over Spy Balloon

 

BY PAULA BOLYARD

SEE: https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/paula-bolyard/2023/02/02/breaking-pentagon-admits-theres-a-chinese-spy-balloon-hovering-over-the-united-states-n1667467;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

The Pentagon admitted on Thursday that the U.S. military has been monitoring what’s being described as a Chinese “surveillance balloon” hovering in the skies over the United States for days.

“The United States government has detected and is tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon that is over the continental United States right now,” Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told NBC News. “We continue to track and monitor it closely.” Officials have confirmed that the balloon belongs to China.

“Once the balloon was detected, the U.S. government acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information,” Ryder said.

“The official said there was a window while the balloon was over Montana Wednesday when they could have taken it down. NORAD sent aircraft — including F-22 Raptors from Nellis Air Force Base and airborne early warning aircraft known as AWACs — but the official would not say whether one of the options was to shoot the balloon out of the sky with a U.S. aircraft,” NBC reported. “The U.S. military flights prompted a ground stop at the airport in Billings, with air traffic controllers citing a ‘special military mission.'”

According to the Montana Free Press, “The Air Force at Malmstrom [Air Force Base] maintains 150 intercontinental ballistic missile silos across its 13,800-square-mile complex in central Montana.”

Biden refused to answer questions shouted at him by reporters Thursday afternoon.

Officials say the balloon flew over the Aleutian Islands and through Canada before settling over the Billings, Mont., area. The balloon is still hovering somewhere over the United States, according to a senior defense official who declined to say where it is now.

Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, Pentagon press secretary, said in a statement that the balloon is “currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground.”

There’s been no mention by officials of the threat of a dirty bomb or an EMP, although there’s been plenty of speculation about that on Twitter.

At least one Twitter user, however, claims that it would be impossible for a balloon to launch an EMP attack:

NBC News:

On Wednesday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin convened a meeting of senior military and defense leaders, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, NORTHCOM/NORAD Commander Gen. Glen VanHerck, and other combatant commanders.

Austin was traveling in the Philippines at the time.

The leaders reviewed the threat profile of the Chinese stratospheric balloon and possible response options, and ultimately decided not to recommend taking it out kinetically, because of the risk to safety and security of people on the ground from the possible debris field. Pentagon leaders presented the options to President Joe Biden on Wednesday.

A senior administration official confirmed that Biden had been briefed and received a “strong recommendation” that the balloon not be shot down.

Startlingly, this is not the first time a Chinese spy satellite has breached U.S. airspace, but it’s unusual for one to hover over one specific area for an extended period of time.

Recommended: New Report on UFOs Shows Huge Increase in Sightings but Gives No Answers

“Instances of this activity have been observed over the past several years, including prior to this administration,” a senior administration official told NBC. “We acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information.”

YourBigSky, an ABC and Fox portal, is sharing pictures reportedly showing the spy balloon, although these have not been confirmed by the Pentagon.

These are reportedly videos of the balloon, which has been described as being the size of three large buses on social media:

“Currently we assess that this balloon has limited additive value from an intelligence collection perspective over and above what the PRC can do through other means,” the official said. “Nevertheless we are taking all necessary steps to protect against foreign intelligence collection of sensitive information.”

I’m no foreign policy expert, but I’m not gonna lie: If I were in charge, here’s what that Chi-com spy balloon would look like right now:

In the meantime, if anyone needs me…

Dan Grossi

Sadly, we don’t have a Ronald Reagan running the country right now. We have the husk of an aging, debilitated lifelong politician in the White House. If you’re like me, you have zero confidence that Biden will be able to stand up to the forces of evil aligned against the United States, which is a terrifying thought. And what better time for our enemies to attack? Please know that PJ Media will continue to report on the incompetent, corrupt Biden administration. If you’d like to join us in the fight to keep America safe from the Chi-coms and our other enemies around the world (including those coming through our open southern border), please become a VIP member today. For around 50 cents a week, you can play a vital role in helping us fight back. Use the promo code SAVEAMERICA for a 40% discount on an annual membership.

________________________________________________________________

For God's Sake. Just Shoot the Damn Thing Down Already

BY RICK MORAN

SEE: https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/rick-moran/2023/02/03/for-gods-sake-just-shoot-the-damn-thing-down-already-n1667659;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has given the Biden administration’s response to President Xi Jinping and China for their brazenly illegal act of sending a balloon over U.S. territory to spy on the United States.

How do we know it’s a spy balloon? We don’t have to know. We can, should, and must assume that’s what it’s doing.

Blinken, along with his advisors Wynken and Nod, has come up with a brilliant riposte to this Chinese transgression. The United States will deny China the pleasure and honor of hosting the U.S. secretary of state this week as planned.

It’s the well-practiced “comfy chair” response to China. Unfortunately, it’s not likely to impress President Xi. In fact, Xi couldn’t care less if Blinken comes to Beijing or not. He must be watching the diplomatic byplay with amusement.

Blinken and one of his deputies spoke with the Chinese Embassy on Wednesday night, and on Friday morning, he told China’s top foreign policy official, Wang Yi, that the balloon’s course was a violation of sovereignty and “unacceptable,” according to a State Department official.

Oh, dear! Did ya hear that Xi-man? It’s “unacceptable” to fly your aircraft over U.S. territory.

New York Times:

Beijing had sought to defuse tensions with Washington on Friday over the balloon, expressing its regret over the incident, and saying the balloon was for civilian research and had “deviated far from its planned course.”

The explanation from the Chinese Foreign Ministry came after Pentagon officials said on Thursday that they had detected a balloon, “most certainly launched by the People’s Republic of China,” over Montana, which is home to about 150 intercontinental ballistic missile silos.

Just an accident, Mr. President. Really. How were we supposed to know that the bulk of the U.S. ground-based nuclear deterrence force was based in Montana? A completely honest and natural mistake?

The U.S. response should be short and quick. No need to waste a sophisticated missile on the interloping balloon. A couple of rounds from an F-35 Gatling gun would do the trick.

Does anyone not named Biden think that if the roles were reversed — if the U.S. had “accidentally” sent a balloon that flew over China — that Xi would not order the damn thing shot down the minute it crossed Chinese air space?

China isn’t going to start World War III if we treat the balloon as a hostile aircraft and shoot it down. Even if it’s harmless, as the Pentagon believes, it’s here and it’s flouting our air space.

Pentagon Press Secretary U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder and a senior U.S. defense official provided details about the ballon. “First, our best assessment at the moment is that whatever the surveillance payload is on this balloon, it does not create significant value added over and above what the PRC is likely able to collect through things like satellites in Low Earth Orbit,” the official added. “But out of an abundance of caution, we have taken additional mitigation steps. I’m not going to go into what those are.

The experts at The Drive’s The War Zone disagree that there’s no added benefit to floating a balloon above U.S. military installations: “The idea that a terrestrial aerial platform in close proximity and floating for long periods above major military installations and other sensitive locales is not significantly more of a threat than what can be collected by satellites in orbit is a debatable claim.”

This was no “accident,” as a senior defense official told The War Zone.

“Clearly they’re trying to fly over sensitive sites,” the senior defense official said. They added that the balloon’s current anticipated flight path takes it over a number of locations of potential interest, but would not specify what those were. It was noted during the press conference that Montana is home to Malmstrom Air Force Base with well over 100 silos holding nuclear-tipped Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles belonging to the 341st Missile Wing.

Given this information, Joe Biden is doing nothing laudatory, nor is he showing “restraint” by not turning this balloon into a flaming ball of gas. He’s showing incredible weakness. It’s a balloon, damn it.  Blow it out of the sky and tell Mr. Xi that any more “accidental” balloons that drift over American airspace will be dealt with in a similar fashion.

Just shoot the damn thing down already.

 

U.S. Lifts Oil Sanctions in Venezuela Amid Energy Crunch

U.S. Lifts Oil Sanctions in Venezuela Amid Energy Crunch

BY ANGELINE TAN

SEE: https://thenewamerican.com/u-s-lifts-oil-sanctions-in-venezuela-amid-energy-crunch/;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

SINGAPORE — Venezuela has resurfaced as a prominent player in the world’s energy market, as the U.S. lifts oil sanctions on the country amid a global energy shortage.

The South American country produced more than three million barrels of oil daily 20 years ago, exporting 1.8 million barrels of that to the United States, but its abundant production was undermined by corruption and a fall in oil prices.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump enforced sanctions against Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro in 2019, but the Ukraine-Russia crisis since 2022 has tweaked U.S. priorities, and the U.S. has had to recalibrate relations with oil producers like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia on the grounds of reducing dependence on Russian energy.

In late 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden loosened sanctions on Venezuela in exchange for democratic reforms, which caused Venezuela to emerge again as a major oil source for the U.S. and Europe.

ORC Consulting Firm director and political analyst Oswaldo Contreras remarked: “The reality is that Venezuela became a real focus of attention for this reason. For the western world, it can be a relatively secure and trustworthy oil provider that can also support Europe.”

The last ten years witnessed the shrinking of the country’s oil sector by about two-thirds, and currently, Venezuela produces less than 700,000 barrels daily. The loosening of sanctions could gradually increase that figure to over a million barrels, though observers contend that it still would require over a year for the country to attain that target, as considerable investment is needed in the oil sector following years of mismanagement.

In November, the U.S. said it would permit Chevron, the last American company to operate in Venezuela, to start obtaining oil in limited amounts there again. Chevron is involved in five onshore and offshore production projects in the country and owns stakes in four joint ventures with state oil company PDVSA.

Mariana Vargas Carballo, an oil expert from Gas Energy Latin America, commented: “This license states that they are going to renew every month. It will be renewed every month for a period of six months maximum. And that gives you the perception that it is a trial test. It is not a long-term permit.” “We cannot expect a large increase in production,” she said. “At the beginning, it is expected to extract about 100,000 to 150,000 barrels per day, but the maximum they can reach is 250,000 barrels per day.”

The recent U.S. move has been lambasted by Venezuelan opposition and activists, as well as some American lawmakers. These critics think that Washington is ignoring human rights abuses in the country.

Since 1999, Venezuela has been governed by an authoritarian socialist regime that holds a tight grip on all of the country’s public institutions and branches of power. The regime has unlawfully held on to power since 2019 via sham presidential elections in 2018, and control of the National Assembly through another round of sham elections in 2020.

Maduro, high-ranking members of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), and the nation’s military have been singled out by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other international organizations for helming the Cartel de los Soles (Cartel of the Suns), one of the largest intercontinental drug trafficking networks in the region.

The leftist regime in the country also enjoys widespread networks among other international criminal organizations, such as Colombia’s Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and members of the socialist regime have been directly blamed for their ties to international terrorist organizations. For instance, the regime’s oil minister, Tareck el Aissami, has been criticized for having links to the terrorist organization Hezbollah, to whom the Maduro regime has sold Venezuelan passports.

Additionally, a Transparency International report revealed that illegal business accounted for 21 percent of Venezuela’s entire GDP in 2021. The report also broached the issue of Venezuela’s mining arc, where criminal organizations “exercise vast control over gold mining operations, using extortion and paying off military commanders to maintain their illegal activities.” “These groups are responsible for human rights violations, including enforced disappearances, the killing of indigenous leaders and the displacement of their communities, forced prostitution, and labor exploitation of both adults and children, as well as contamination and other serious environmental crimes,” the report asserted.

The United Nations (UN), through its Independent Fact-Finding Mission, released a detailed report in 2020 confirming the control of the mining arc, where the criminal groups — notwithstanding the “considerable” presence of Venezuela’s military — participated in serious crimes like extortion, amputation, child labor, and the burying of living miners.

Maduro praised the recent U.S. moves and even urged for a total cessation of all sanctions. “The licenses granted by the U.S. government, some of them known and some other unknown, they’re going on the right track, although they are not enough,” he said.

The Biden administration posited that future loosening of sanctions will hinge on further political deals, such as the release of political prisoners and free and fair Venezuelan elections in 2024.

Last year, Venezuela ranked as the most corrupt country in the Americas, with Haiti and other authoritarian regimes in the region like Cuba and Nicaragua trailing behind, based on Transparency International’s 28th Annual Corruption Perceptions Index.

The report listed Venezuela as the fourth most corrupt out of 180 countries, behind only Somalia, Syria, and South Sudan.

What is more, the report said, the top three most corrupt countries in the Americas, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Venezuela, are those whose public institutions have been corrupted by criminal networks, and hence “it is difficult to draw a line between public institutions and criminal activities” in those countries.

“Pervasive corruption across the Americas fuels the many other crises facing the region,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, chair of Transparency International. “Weak governments fail to stop criminal networks, social conflict, and violence, and some exacerbate threats to human rights by concentrating power in the name of tackling insecurity.”

“The only way forward is for leaders to prioritize decisive action against corruption to uproot its hold and enable governments to fulfill their first mandate: protecting the people,” Ferreira said, a suggestion likely to remain unheeded by Maduro, who has a $15 million U.S. bounty on his head for drug trafficking.

DHS Secretary Mayorkas Slapped with New Impeachment Articles

DHS Secretary Mayorkas Slapped With New Impeachment Articles

BY LUIS MIGUEL

SEE: https://thenewamerican.com/dhs-secretary-mayorkas-slapped-with-new-impeachment-articles/;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

As the border crisis spirals into total free fall and American citizens are more impacted by it than ever before, some voices in Congress are at long last demanding accountability of those responsible.

With Republicans now in control of the House of Representatives, articles of impeachment have once more been introduced against Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, on the grounds of having violated his very oath of office and for failure to uphold federal immigration laws.

As Fox News reported, the articles were introduced Wednesday by Representative Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), who likewise introduced articles to impeach Mayorkas in 2021 when the House was still dominated by Democrats.

The new impeachment effort comes as immigration authorities have had a record 2.3 million encounters with illegal aliens in the fiscal year 2022. Over 251,000 of those were in December alone.

The impeachment articles accuse Mayorkas of having “engaged in a pattern of conduct that is incompatible with his duties as an Officer of the United States,” contending,

Secretary Mayorkas has failed to faithfully uphold his oath and has instead presided over a reckless abandonment of border security and immigration enforcement, at the expense of the Constitution and the security of the United States. Secretary Mayorkas has violated, and continues to violate, this oath by failing to maintain operational control of the border and releasing hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens into the interior of the United States.

The impeachment articles also maintain that the Homeland Security secretary did not implement the 2006 Secure Fence Act, which stipulates that DHS must “achieve and maintain operational control” over the border.

Yet another charge is that Mayorkas, in allowing illegal aliens to be released into the country, has violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and its provision that illegal aliens must be detained.

Furthermore, the articles point to Mayorkas’ decision to end the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which required that illegal migrants be kept in Mexico until the completion of their hearings. “The Secretary of Homeland Security does not have the option of simply releasing those aliens into the interior of the United States,” the articles argue.

They go on to add, “The actions of Secretary Mayorkas have made the border less secure and encouraged aliens to enter the United States illegally, instead of taking actions to maintain operational control of the border. His actions have subverted the will of Congress and the core tenants of the Constitution.”

Representative Pat Fallon (R-Texas) introduced his own articles last month, which alleged that Mayorkas “publicly and falsely slandered” Border Patrol agents over the 2021 accusations of whipping Haitian migrants, which were proven to be false.

Of course, the real question is not whether stray Republican representatives will introduce impeachment articles, but whether those articles can be made viable with support from House leadership.

In this case, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has previously signaled that he would be willing to get behind an impeachment effort aimed at Mayorkas.

“He cannot and must not remain in that position,” McCarthy said back in November. “If Secretary Mayorkas does not resign, House Republicans will investigate every order, every action, and every failure to determine whether we can begin an impeachment inquiry.”

Representative Carlos Giménez (R-Fla.), who was present during a Sunday meeting with the DHS chief in Miami, addressed a letter to Mayorkas on Tuesday in which he pressed the Biden official for answers on a number of major immigration questions — questions that Mayorkas reportedly was unable to answer at the meeting.

As Fox News notes,

In his letter, Giménez asks Mayorkas how many of the 4.5 million migrant encounters at the Southwest border since Biden took office, are currently residing in the U.S. He also seeks answers on the DHS’ process for choosing a location to release these individuals and the information that’s given to those localities.

Giménez questions how many of these migrants have work permits and, among those that do, how many are receiving federal government assistance. Additionally, he asks, how many of those that do not have authorized work permits have received federal government assistance. 

He cites U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) 1.2 million figure for “gotaways” who have evaded border authorities. Of these, Giménez wants to know how many have been located by CBP. He also asks Mayorkas how many migrants who were unknown to DHS have been detained and deported over the past two years.

Homeland Security, meanwhile, has pushed back at Republicans’ targeting of Mayorkas, placing the blame on Congress for allegedly failing to pass legislation that would solve the migrant crisis. The department articulated this view in a Wednesday statement from a DHS spokesperson:

Secretary Mayorkas is proud to advance the noble mission of this Department, support its extraordinary workforce, and serve the American people. The Department will continue our work to enforce our laws and secure our border, while building a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system. Instead of trying to point fingers and score political points, the Members of Congress recklessly and baselessly pursuing impeachment should work on legislative solutions for our broken system, which has not been updated in over 40 years.

But Republicans have balked at the idea of passing a Democrat-approved immigration bill when Biden’s party won’t come to the table unless any such legislation includes a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal aliens — something the Republican base won’t accept.

BREAKING: House votes to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from Foreign Affairs Committee

See Omar's fiery speech as GOP votes to remove her from committee

House votes to kick Rep. Ilhan Omar off committee over anti-Semitic remarks

The GOP-led House voted Thursday ​to boot Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee over her past anti-Semitic comments after two Republicans once reluctant to oust her decided to support the resolution for removal. The vote to remove Omar (D-Minn.) from the powerful panel after a heated floor debate broke along party lines, with 218 Republicans voting to strip her of the assignment and 211 Democrats backing their colleague. One Republican, David Joyce of Ohio, voted present. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced the vote Wednesday after ​the chamber approved the Democratic assignments for the committee, setting the stage for Omar’s ouster. “Oh, so now we can vote her off,” McCarthy told reporters​ after the assignments were finalized.

Utter temper tantrum on House U.S floor after Ilhan Omar REMOVED from Foreign Affairs Committee

CORTEZ: "TARGETING WOMEN OF COLOR"

Sparks fly during vote to knock Rep. Ilhan Omar off Foreign Affairs Committee

Kim Iversen: General H.R. McMaster Warns “Be Ready For War With China”~NATO Seeks Indo-Pacific “Friends”~Gov. Noem: China seeks to destroy U.S.

In the face of increasing tensions between the U.S. and China, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has called for more cooperation and allies in the Indo-Pacific region. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused NATO of wanting to "defeat" Russia, accusing the NATO-backed Ukraine regime of having no "independence" and only acting as a proxy for Western powers. NATO is trying to recruit more allies and build up forces in Europe and the Indo-Pacific, while Russia and China have formed an alliance, strengthening their power and creating another obstacle for the U.S.-led alliance. As the U.S. and its NATO allies prepare for war, questions are being raised about the potential consequences, with some suggesting that politicians may be using it as a way to gain control over the population and advance their globalist agenda.

Gov. Noem: China seeks to destroy U.S.

POLICE STATE NEW JERSEY: Newark, N.J. Resolution Proclaims ‘World Hijab Day’ as Iranians Die for Freedom~NEW JERSEY-Muslim migrant steals school bus, his journal says ‘Blood, blood, destruction, destruction. Allah.’

This Week In Jihad with David Wood and Robert Spencer (World Hijab Day Edition)

Newark, N.J. Resolution Proclaims ‘World Hijab Day,’ and This Year, That’s Particularly Grotesque

New York Governor Hochul Recognizes World Hijab Day

World Hijab Day in the Public Schools

Sources are saying that Newark Central Ward Councilwoman Lamonica McIver, a political ally of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, would not openly challenge U.S. Rep. Donald Payne for his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. However, she may consider running should he retire.

BY ROBERT SPENCER

SEE: https://pjmedia.com/culture/robert-spencer/2023/02/01/newark-n-j-resolution-proclaims-world-hijab-day-and-this-year-thats-particularly-grotesque-n1666822;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

Wednesday, Feb. 1, is No Hijab Day, a Western feminist expression of solidarity with Muslim women in the United States who are supposedly oppressed and discriminated against (by those fictional but omnipresent MAGA-hat-wearing thugs) because they wear the hijab. Accordingly, Newark, N.J. city council President LaMonica McIver is set to introduce a resolution declaring Wednesday World Hijab Day in the City of Newark. McIver, of course, has all the proper Leftist intentions: celebrating “diversity,” standing against “hatred,” and all that. But this year, in particular, her gesture is nothing short of grotesque. In Iran, women are dying for the freedom not to wear the hijab. And in Newark, witless Leftists are celebrating the symbol of their oppression.

Back on Sept. 16, 2022, in Tehran, the Iranian morality police arrested Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman, for not wearing her hijab properly. Amini later died in a hospital in Tehran, and numerous Iranians charged that she had been tortured to death while in custody. All over the country, protesters took to the streets to protest not against the hijab laws, but against the repressive and brutal Islamic Republic itself. Other women, and male protesters as well, were killed as the Iranian regime ruthlessly applied the Qur’anic injunction to “strike terror in the enemies of Allah” (8:60). The protests went on for months until the regime began summarily executing protesters, and even then some indomitably courageous Iranians continued to take to the streets to demand their freedom.

It is against that backdrop that the Newark World Hijab Day resolution will be introduced. For innumerable women in Iran, the hijab is the most visible sign of their second-class status, and of the brutality of the regime that will imprison them for years or even kill them outright for daring to venture out in public without wearing it. The Iranian authorities call their morality police the “Guidance Patrol,” an Orwellian name that makes them sound like a bunch of benign, avuncular individuals selflessly dedicated to helping young Iranians avoid moral pitfalls and stay on the straight and narrow. A more accurate name, however, would be the Terror Patrol, for the morality that these officials enforce is not the virtuous person’s free choice of the good, but the enforced obedience of those who are frightened into submission.

Is that really what the city of Newark wants to celebrate? It’s likely that LaMonica McIver didn’t consider what has been happening in Iran even for one second before deciding to introduce her resolution. She was just upholding the Left’s mythology about rampant “Islamophobia” in the United States. Actual incidents of Muslim women being harassed or discriminated against for wearing the hijab, however, are extraordinarily hard to find. It’s much easier to find examples of Muslim women in America who falsely claimed that they were being harassed or discriminated against in order to score points on the Left’s insane scale of victimhood worship.

In one such incident, an eleven-year-old girl in Toronto made international headlines with her claim that a man had followed her and cut her hijab with scissors. After an investigation, police concluded that the attack never happened. Likewise, Yasmin Seweid, a Muslim teen, claimed in December 2016 that Trump supporters on a New York subway tore off her hijab and no one in the packed subway car helped her. She, too, gained international media attention, and she, too, made up the whole thing. Shortly before that, a hijab-wearing Muslim student at San Diego State University also falsely claimed that she was assaulted by Trump supporters. In July 2017, a Muslim in Britain falsely claimed that a man had pulled off her hijab in a “race hate attack.” In November 2016, a University of Michigan Muslim student claimed she was “accosted by a white man who told her to remove her hijab or he would set her ablaze with a cigarette lighter.” She also fabricated the whole event. And there are many others of this kind, but the World Hijab Day feminists, of course, have taken no notice.

Related: Women in Iran Are Fighting for Their Freedom, and This Imam in Texas Is FURIOUS

Nor have they ever acknowledged the fact that women are far more likely to be oppressed for not wearing the hijab than for wearing it, and not just in Iran. In Mississauga, Ontario, a few years back, Aqsa Parvez’s Muslim father choked her to death with her hijab after she refused to wear it. Amina Muse Ali was a Christian woman in Somalia whom Muslims murdered because she wasn’t wearing a hijab. Forty women were murdered in Iraq in 2007 for not wearing the hijab. Alya Al-Safar’s Muslim cousin threatened to kill her and harm her family because she stopped wearing the hijab in Britain. Amira Osman Hamid faced whipping in Sudan for refusing to wear the hijab. An Egyptian girl, also named Amira, committed suicide after being brutalized by her family for refusing to wear the hijab. Muslim and non-Muslim teachers at the Islamic College of South Australia were told they had to wear the hijab or be fired. Women in Chechnya were shot with paintballs by police because they weren’t wearing hijab. Other women in Chechnya were threatened by men with automatic rifles for not wearing hijab.

Such examples could be multiplied endlessly. When is LaMonica McIver going to introduce a resolution recognizing the women who have been brutalized and killed for not wearing the hijab? I won’t be watching the news feeds for any word of that.

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SEE: https://www.thnk.org/community/people/bader-alzahrani/

Bader Alzahrani

By

SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2023/02/new-jersey-muslim-migrant-steals-school-bus-his-journal-says-blood-blood-destruction-destruction-allah;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

Bader Alzahrani is charged with transporting a stolen New Jersey school bus across state lines.

On Jan. 15, 2023, a break-in was reported in an unoccupied residential home in Livingston, New Jersey. During a search of a backpack in that home, law enforcement saw a Saudi Arabian passport with the name Bader Alzahrani, along with other items that appeared to belong to Alzahrani. On Jan. 17, 2023, the Livingston Board of Education reported that a school bus was stolen from a parking lot across the street from the unoccupied residential home where the break-in was reported. Law enforcement officers located Alzahrani in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, and was later found to be in possession of the keys to the stolen school bus.

As noted in the article below, a subsequent investigation found Alzahrani was keeping a journal with entries including:

“God I am ready for your orders. I want to live the rest of my life to serve you and the religion.” “Blood, blood, destruction, destruction. Allah.” and “Jews control everything.”

NJ.com reports that:

Livingston police said after his arrest that Alzahrani acted alone and that there was no threat to the public.

“Court documents: Man accused of stealing school bus had an antisemitic journal,” News 12 New Jersey, January 30, 2023:

A man accused of stealing a school bus in Livingston on Jan. 17 faced a federal judge on Monday.

Bader Alzahrani was arrested in Pennsylvania. The 22-year-old man was charged with receipt of a stolen vehicle and transportation of a stolen vehicle.

Court documents states that a bag with journals of antisemitic messages was found in a house across from the parking lot where the bus was stolen from at the Livingston Senior and Community Center on Hill Side Avenue. The documents also states that a Saudi Arabian passport with Alzahrani’s name was also found.

Authorities say that the journals had entries in English and Arabic. They contained such phrases as “God I am ready for your orders. I want to live the rest of my life to serve you and the religion.” “Blood, blood, destruction, destruction. Allah.” and “Jews control everything.”

Alzahrani is in the United States on a student visa. Officials say that he went missing in October from the university he was attending. Officials would not name that university….

“I have a daughter and that’s just it freaks you, that something could happen,” says Miles Finney. “He could’ve tried to pick up kids, that’s crazy that they let that happen.”…

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SEE ALSO: https://www.justice.gov/usao-nj/pr/saudi-arabian-national-charged-interstate-transportation-stolen-school-bus

 

 

Biden Says He Will End Covid Emergency Declaration~House Votes to Effectively End Covid Emergency

House Votes to Effectively End Covid Emergency

BY VERONIKA KYRYLENKO

SEE: https://thenewamerican.com/house-votes-to-effectively-end-covid-emergency/;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

The end of the “two weeks to flatten the curve” seems to be finally approaching. On Tuesday, House Republicans passed a bill effectively ending the state of the national “public health emergency” related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the day after the White House announced it would lift the Covid-19 national emergency and public health emergency (PHE) on May 11. The House also voted to end the federal Covid vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

H.R. 382, the “Pandemic is Over Act,” terminates the public health emergency on the day the bill is enacted. The measure passed the House on a party-line vote of 220-210.

The title refers to the verbatim statement made by Joe Biden back in September 2021. “The pandemic is over,” Biden said in an interview with CBS News. “We still have a problem with Covid,” he added, “We’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over.” However, the statement did not stop Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from extending the emergency in October 2022 and then again in January 2023.

During the debate on the floor, Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), the lead sponsor of the bill, said,

President Biden has taken too long to act on his statement last September that the pandemic is over, which is why I am moving forward with my bill to end the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and finally restore checks and balances between Congress and the Executive Branch.

The congressman added that “the American people are tired of living in a perpetual state of emergency and it’s long overdue for Congress to take back the authorities granted under Article 1 of the Constitution.” Indeed, the past three years have signified the establishment of “medical tyranny” in which the healthcare agencies under the umbrella of the HHS, as well as other entities within the executive branch, subjected Americans to unlawful and unethical policies that restricted their God-given rights and freedoms.

According to Guthrie, “Since President Biden took office, we have seen the pandemic used to justify … countless executive overreaches” such as the “one-size-fits-all vaccine mandates for health care workers, mask mandates, and eviction moratoriums.”

According to media reports, House Democrats mostly focused their criticism of the measure on its timing.

“A pandemic of this magnitude cannot be unwound overnight. We cannot flip a switch and make COVID-19 end,” claimed Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), seemingly confused about “Covid-19” as a disease, “the pandemic” (which never was in a traditional sense of the word), and “the public health emergency,” which was never justified in the first place. No wonder Pallone invoked references to “chaos and confusion” further in his speech.

The House also passed H.R. 497, the “Freedom for Health Care Workers Act,” which would end the Covid vaccine mandate for healthcare providers that receive funds through Medicare and Medicaid, with seven Democrats siding with their Republican colleagues. Congress.com, which tracks actions on all federal legislation, does not reflect the names of the Democrats who supported the bill.

“No American should ever be forced to choose between the COVID shot or losing their livelihood,” stated Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-N.C.), who introduced the bill last week. He added that the mandate from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is “unscientific, un-American, and deeply damaging to healthcare workers as we already face a nationwide staff shortage.”

The CMS vaccine mandate was introduced in November 2021 and applied to more than 17 million workers at approximately 76,000 healthcare facilities, according to the White House.

The day before the vote, the White House released a statement calling the potential end of the mandate “a threat to the lives of patients and health care workers alike,” and said the bill would be vetoed should it pass the Senate and reach Biden’s desk.

The White House quoted the long-unsubstantiated worry that the unvaccinated healthcare workers would somehow endanger the health and lives of vulnerable patients. However, it has long been common knowledge, even among the top healthcare agencies, that the Covid shots prevent neither infection nor transmission of Covid. In fact, the latest findings suggest that a higher number of doses directly correlates with a higher rate of Covid infections. In other words, the people who have been boosted are more likely to get infected.

It is worth briefly noting the brow-raising explanation of the May 11 timeline established by the White House and provided by Biden. Interacting with reporters on Tuesday, the occupant of the White House said, “The Covid emergency will end when the Supreme Court ends it. We’ve extended it to May the 15th [sic] to make sure we get everything done. That’s all.” The statement drew surprise and ridicule from social media users.

On Monday, January 30, the president’s Office of Management and Budget officially notified Congress of the administration’s plan to extend both Covid-related emergency declarations to May 11, and then end them both on that date. Biden’s clumsy mention of the Supreme Court was likely a reference to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) attempt to end the Title 42 border policy (cited in the letter to Congress), which is rooted in the emergency and allows for border officials to rapidly expel illegal migrants. The nation’s highest court ruled in December 2022 that the measure must stay in place.

What Does It Mean?

As evidenced by cuts to federal spending on the “emergency,” lawmakers agreed that Covid was winding down back in December 2022. According to the Washington Examiner:

Lawmakers had already reached a deal in the omnibus end-year spending bill to end a practice that was put in place with the emergency declaration that required that states offer continuous enrollment for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), public health insurance programs for low-income people, in order to receive additional federal funding. It has allowed millions of people who may have exceeded the income levels to qualify without a temporary or permanent lapse in coverage. Beginning in April, states will be allowed to begin removing ineligible people from Medicaid.

Perhaps one of the main questions related to the development is whether the emergency use authorizations (EUA) of Covid vaccines, treatments, and tests would end. If the emergency is over, there is no need to use experimental vaccines and boosters, right? Theoretically, all of them — including vaccines for children and all the boosters — should be recalled. Those medicines and tools that were fully licensed would be allowed to remain on the market, but the customers would have to pay for them out of pocket.

Apparently, that is not the case.

As uncovered by CNN, HHS has smartly covered vaccine manufacturers whose bottom lines would be threatened by issuing “two other emergency declarations that provide broader access to medical measures for Covid-19”:

For instance, the emergency use authorizations for tests, treatments and vaccines are not tied to the public health emergency, but HHS will have to determine when to end the declaration that allows their use.

According to CNN, the HHS also covered pharmacists who may injure children by administering Covid shots. The rule is set to expire in October 2024.

Also, thanks to the provisions provided in the omnibus bill, experimental Covid antivirals such as Paxlovid would also remain covered by Medicare.

In a Twitter thread, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) practically declared that its powers to allow shoddily tested drugs to market will not end with the termination of the emergency:

Importantly, the ending of the public health emergency declared by HHS under the Public Health Service Act will not impact FDA’s ability to authorize devices (including tests), treatments or vaccines for emergency use.

It remains to be seen how – and if — Congress reacts to that.

Wyoming Library Director and Children’s Librarian shock community by defending obscene books for children – and threatening county officials with lawsuit.

SEE: https://www.massresistance.org/docs/gen4/23a/WY-Library-defends-obscene-books/index.html;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

After constant pressure from local MassResistance parents, County Commission had called a special meeting over the library book problem.

See the video below! Library staff uses absurd ALA talking points to bully and confuse officials.

January 31, 2023
ALT TEXT
The Campbell County Commission Chairman (top center) begins the special meeting "to come to a resolution" with library staff over the books in the children's and teen sections.

This is a rare occasion to hear library officials defend their toxic actions!

In Gillette, Wyoming, the outrage by MassResistance parents over the graphic sexual and homosexual books for youth in their county public library has continued to grow. But now the parents and their public officials realize that the library staff defends all its actions – and won’t back down an inch. The staff sees no problem with horribly obscene material in the hands of children and refuses to make any “judgments” about it.

Background

For over a year, local Wyoming MassResistance parents and others have been pressuring the Campbell County Commission and the Library Board (which the Commission appoints) to force the library staff to remove the obscene sex books in the children’s and teen sections. Both boards were long dominated by hostile liberals, even in that “deep red” area, and progress was slow. But in 2022, the County Commission finally got a conservative majority, and in turn, they appointed a majority-conservative Library Board.

In October 2022 the new Library Board took the bold first step: cutting ties with the far-left American Library Association (ALA) and its Wyoming affiliate. As we’ve reported, the ALA trains library staff to collude with LGBT groups to suppress parents. The library staff was angry over losing this ALA “training” which they claim is necessary for “professional development.” But the Library Board was indicating that more changes were soon to come.

The County Commission calls a “reconciliation” meeting

On December 6, 2022, the Campbell County Commission called a special meeting of the Commission members, the Library Board members, the Library Director, and the library’s Children’s and Teen Director. The purpose of the meeting was to come to a resolution – and possible compromise – over the library books. The Commission Chairman truly wanted “to put this issue behind us.”

ALT TEXT
The public wasn't allowed to speak at this meeting, but they wanted to be there and see it - and make sure their officials knew they were watching!

But that’s not what happened. The library staffers refused to budge. They fought back with a barrage of the ALA’s aggressive and well-crafted talking points. And they defended the pornography in a most despicable manner. (See video below.)

The Library Director speaks

The meeting began with some introductory comments by the Chairman and some Library Board members. Then the Library Director, Terri Lesley, came up to speak and answer questions.

ALT TEXT
Terri Lesley, the Campbell County Library Director.

She went right to her ALA playbook of talking points:

  • She started by playing the victim. She accused a “group of people” (i.e., MassResistance parents) of “planning to come after the library … that’s how this thing started.”
  • She said that removing any books, or even moving books within the library, “is a First Amendment violation – and that means that we could get sued.” She told the Commission that this lawsuit will be very expensive and that the county’s insurance probably won’t cover it. “And it’s a lawsuit the county can’t win,” she said. [This is simply a fear tactic, and patently false. In fact, the ALA and ACLU lawyers almost never win these cases because they clearly aren’t First Amendment violations.] And she added that she will personally refuse to violate the First Amendment.
  • Another reason the books need to be there, she said, is that the library must “serve the entire community” [apparently including sexual deviants?] and that they’ve been “asked to provide books to meet everybody’s reading interest.”  [However, they refuse to include the book The Health Hazards of Homosexuality, which people in the community have asked the library to include.]
  • She stated, “Nobody has presented any hard evidence that library books have harmed people in this community.” [But in fact, there is overwhelming medical evidence that pornography and obscene material causes lifelong psychological damage to children and teenagers. That’s why child obscenity laws exist.] Nevertheless, she said that “social issues” are what cause problems for children, not obscene books.
  • Another reason that obscene children’s books should not be removed from the shelves: “If you don’t like the book, don’t check it out.”
  • She railed about losing the ALA’s “professional training.” and said that the staff is very upset about it and that the action has created a “hostile work environment.”

Finally, the County Commission Chairman asked her if she agreed with a pro-LGBT activist’s statement, “Drawings or artwork depicting penises and vaginas are informational and not thought-provoking or arousing to kids.” She answered that she agrees with that. She went on to explain that the sexually graphic novels in the library are useful because they help kids “grasp a concept.”

The Children’s and Teens' Librarian speaks

Next, Darcy Acord, the Children’s and Teens Librarian, came up to speak. Her statements were even more disturbing.

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Darcy Acord, the Campbell County Children’s and Teens Librarian

She started by saying that when it comes to sexual issues, her job is to have a “variety of resources.”

When it comes to age level for books, she determines that by vocabulary, the difficulty level of reading, and the intended audience – not the content. She calls these “data points.” Also part of the data points is the “professional reviews” of the book. [Many of these books are “reviewed” by LGBT or Planned Parenthood groups, and have no credibility.]

She said the librarians do not look at whether a book is “appropriate” for a child or teenager. Just the opposite – she said they don’t believe in imposing any “values” when selecting children’s books.

The County Commission Chairman then asked her about a particular book in the teen section. He said that a large portion of that book included drawings and artwork of actual [homosexual] sex acts along with descriptions of a 14-year-old boy having a sexual experience with a 47-year-old man. He said, “That’s not informational. How can we agree that there’s an age group we don’t think it’s appropriate for?”

She answered that his question is about “opinion” and she needs to work with “data points.” She said she knows which book that is, and the reason it was in the library is that it passed the “objective parameters” that the library has for books for youth.

Another of the County Commissioners reminded her that obscenity doesn’t have absolute protection under the First Amendment. Since it’s the “obscene” books that get challenged in this library, how does the staff determine what’s “obscene” for books in the children’s and teen sections?

Her answer was bizarre. She said the term “obscene” isn’t objective. “We have to go back to objective data points.”  She reiterated that those data points include an intended audience, the age of the protagonist, professional reviews, etc. Thus, this book is about a 14-year-old – so it would go in the teen collection, she said. (You could see people’s jaws drop in the room.) She added that she refuses to give her personal definition of obscenity.

She didn’t stop there. She said, “It’s an individual’s or family’s right to read those books.” (In other words, child obscenity laws are a violation of children’s rights to read pornography.) She said that even though the books are available for children in the library, “nobody is forcing kids to read these books”.

Video

Here’s the video clip of their statements before the County Commission. See it for yourself:

VIDEO: Library staffers defend graphic sexual children's books (12 min 46 sec)

The workshop ended with the Library Board Chairman saying that an entirely new collections policy (with completely different “data points”) is clearly needed to ensure that obscene books don’t enter the collection and that the library staff must remove books that do not comport with the new policy. This is clearly not what the library staff wants at all. It would also make it more difficult for any lawsuit. We’ll see what happens.

Final Reflections

This is basically how the flood of sickening sex books for children and teenagers gets into America’s libraries – and how public officials are intimidated into backing down.

Normal people don’t do this to children. Most folks don’t realize how innately perverted – and just plain evil – the people are who are running these libraries.

It’s disappointing that the Campbell County officials felt the need to “dialogue” and “negotiate” with the library staff over this. The Library Director and staff are employees of the county.

One point that’s rarely brought up is that these library staffers would be in prison if their states didn’t have a narrow exemption from their child obscenity laws for libraries and schools (which were written decades ago when people had common sense).

We have long asserted that bureaucratic “challenges” to obscene library books are not the proper approach. The books don’t bring themselves in. Bad people bring them in. Those people should be fired.

Mass Resistance will continue to be at the forefront of this fight across America!

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These are the Republicans Protecting Ilhan Omar

Rep. Matt Gaetz: Ilhan Omar shouldn't be lumped with Schiff and Swalwell

Ilhan Omar's is unfit to serve: Andy Biggs

Ilhan Omar claims Republicans don’t want a Muslim on foreign affairs committee, are ‘OK with Islamophobia’

BY ROBERT SPENCER

SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2023/01/ilhan-omar-claims-republicans-dont-want-a-muslim-on-foreign-affairs-committee-are-ok-with-islamophobia;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

Maybe the Republicans don’t want someone on the foreign affairs committee who is so far to the Left that she equates the U.S. and Israel with Hamas and the Taliban. But Omar knows how to play the Left and its media, and so she is making this all about identity politics.

“Islamophobia,” in this context as in all others, is a manipulative term designed to intimidate people into thinking it is wrong to oppose jihad violence and Sharia oppression, or even to criticize any Muslim, especially, in this case, Ilhan Omar.

“Omar says some Republicans don’t want a Muslim in Congress: ‘These people are OK with Islamophobia,’” by Julia Mueller, The Hill, January 29, 2023:

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Sunday said some Republicans are “OK with Islamophobia” in response to questions about efforts by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to block her from continuing to sit on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“You remember Donald Trump coming into my state and saying, ‘Muslims, Somali refugees are infiltrating our country.’ You remember [Rep.] Marjorie Taylor Greene [R-Ga.] coming to Congress after [Rep.] Rashida [Tlaib (D-Mich.)] and I got sworn in and saying, ‘Muslims are infiltrating Congress.’ You remember [Rep. Lauren] Boebert [R-Colo.] saying that I was a terrorist. What did McCarthy do? He said, ‘She apologized, and we don’t have to worry about her Islamophobia. That never happened,’” Omar said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“And so these people are OK with Islamophobia. They’re OK with trafficking in their own ways in antisemitism. They are not OK with having a Muslim have a voice on that committee,” Omar said.

McCarthy targeted Omar, the first Somali American and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, for removal from Foreign Affairs. He also booted Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) from the House Intelligence Committee.

Omar’s removal requires a vote by the entire chamber, while Swalwell’s and Schiff’s removals could be made by McCarthy alone due to rules around the Intelligence Committee.

“If they want to debate political differences, and that’s something that we should all have the opportunity to do so, but to smear someone and their character, their love for their country and the work that they get to do on a committee is wrong,” Omar said.

“And it is politically motivated. And, in some cases, it’s motivated by the fact that many of these members don’t believe a Muslim, a refugee, an African should even be in Congress, let alone have the opportunity to serve on the Foreign Affairs Committee.”

Omar has been accused of making antisemitic comments relating to American support of Israel. She has since apologized for the remarks and said on Sunday that “I might have used words at the time that I didn’t understand were trafficking in antisemitism.”

“To insinuate that I knowingly said these things, when people have read into my comments to make it sound as if I have something against the Jewish community, is so wrong. … I voted for every single resolution — no Republican can say that — condemning antisemitism. My work is clear,” Omar said….

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BY DANIEL GREENFIELD

SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2023/01/these-are-the-republicans-protecting-ilhan-omar;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

“We should be better than what the Democrats were.”

Can the new House GOP majority do anything? Even something as simple as booting Rep. Ilhan Omar off the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where she belongs as much as I belong on Al Qaeda’s councils, can’t proceed because some House Republicans are protecting her.

Why would they protect Miss “Some People Did Something?”

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) on Friday joined a group of House Republicans opposed to kicking Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) off the Foreign Affairs Committee, putting the high-profile effort dangerously close to failing.

Buck, a member of the right-wing Freedom Caucus, told NBC News’ Chuck Todd he is against Republicans removing Democrats like Omar from their committees.

Buck is the third House Republican to say they oppose removing Omar, along with Reps. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) and Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.).

“I think that we should not engage in this tit-for-tat,” Buck said.

Not engaging in tit-for-tat, better known as not fighting back, has worked brilliantly for Republicans thus far.

So what’s the plan to dissuade Democrats from doing this when they’re next in the majority? Scold them by emphasizing that Republicans will not lower themselves to engaging in any tit-for-tat. Do anything you like to us, but we will not respond with tit-for-tat.

Beautiful.

After saying he’s opposed to Omar’s removal, Buck added: “I have a little bit less certainty about Congressman Schiff and Swalwell on Intelligence just because it’s a little bit different than a regular committee. But I’m going to think through that and make a decision.”

Deep thoughts are needed.

Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio), the chair of the moderate Republican Governance Group, told Axios on Tuesday that Omar “should at least be given the opportunity to defend her prior statements” on the House floor.

“I haven’t taken a position on it because I haven’t seen a case against her, but I think she’s entitled to due process and she should be able to make her case on why she shouldn’t be [removed].”

“I don’t think tit for tat is necessary here,” said Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.). “We should be better than what the Democrats were.”

Dis someone send out a tit-for-tat memo?

The emerging consensus is that Republicans were elected to be “better” than Democrats by surrendering to them. It’s worked brilliantly for generations. Bound to work again now.

“When I am weaker than you, I ask you for Freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your Freedom because that is according to my principles.” ― Frank Herbert

Michele Tafoya Video: My Freedom to Speak Meant More than My Job~And the Emmy-award-winning sportscaster proved it.

Why would Emmy-award-winning sportscaster Michele Tafoya walk away from her successful TV career? In this “Stories of Us” video, Michele shares her remarkable achievements in sports journalism, the struggle to start her family, and never apologizing for her values. Don’t miss it!

Michele Tafoya - From The NFL Sideline To The Political Arena

 

Rewarding Anti-Israel Radicalism at SFSU

Reflections on the Middle East Studies Association's latest award - to a terror-promoting academic.

SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY Muslim professor says: “Welcoming ...

Screen Shot 2020 09 30 at 11.13.03 AM

SFSU Administration Reaffirms Support for Racism

JVP-NYC in conversation with Professor Rabab Abdulhadi

Professor Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi is Director and Senior Scholar, of Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies, at San Francisco State University. She is in conversation with JVP chapter leader Eliza Klein.

BY RICHARD L. CRAVATTS

SEE: https://www.frontpagemag.com/rewarding-anti-israel-radicalism-at-sfsu/;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

Unsurprisingly for an organization whose membership has been perennially hostile to Israel, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) just awarded the 2022 Jere L. Bacharach Service Award to San Francisco State University (SFSU) Professor Rabab Abdulhadi.

Though it positions itself as an organization of scholars engaged in research and teaching about the Middle East, MESA has gradually devolved into a highly politicized group of radical academics who display a singular and obsessive focus on Israel, and who have weaponized the organization to attack, degrade, and slander the Jewish state, allegedly in the name of Palestinian self-determination, and the naming of Abdulhadi is a not unexpected result of this toxic ideology.

MESA’s members, who Middle East studies expert Martin Kramer once described as “tenured incompetents” for their defective scholarship, further confirmed their anti-Israel bias earlier this year when its members voted overwhelmingly to endorse an academic boycott against Israeli scholars, a resolution that called “for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions for their complicity in Israel’s violations of human rights and international law through their provision of direct assistance to the military and intelligence establishments.”

There is no surprise that an academic association like the MESA would call for a boycott against only one country—Israel—precisely because a large number of its ranks are evidently steeped in a worldview defined by post-colonial, anti-American, anti-Israel thinking, and dedicated to the elevation of identity politics and a cult of victimhood. That they profess to hold high-minded, well-intentioned motives, and speak with such rectitude, does not excuse the fact that their efforts are in the end a betrayal of what the study of history and the university have, and should, stand for—the free exchange of ideas, even ones bad, without political or ideological litmus tests.

And the naming of Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, director of the SFSU’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies (AMED) program, for MESA’s 2022 award reveals both the pathological animus against Israel harbored by the group and also its willingness to reward Abdulhadi for her execrable record of radical anti-Israel, anti-Semitic campus activism at San Francisco State University. She has demonstrated chronic pseudo-academic machinations, and, among other slurs, has referred to Zionists as white nationalists during a 2019 UCLA lecture, and was embroiled in controversy once for a virtual speaking appearance, originally planned to be held in 2020, by Leila Khaled, a terrorist in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, whose resume includes her role in the 1969 hijacking of an Israel-bound plane and her arrest the following year during a failed hijacking of an El Al flight.

Promotional materials for the roundtable discussion with Khaled, entitled “Whose Narrative? Gender, Justice, & Resistance,” (which included a photograph of Khaled proudly brandishing an AK-47, with which she no doubt intended to murder Jews), glowingly described her as a “Palestinian feminist, militant, and leader,” someone who Abdulhadi has described as a “Palestinian feminist icon,” an “icon in liberations movements and . . . an icon for women’s liberation.”

Not surprisingly, given Abdulhadi’s track record, criticism of the upcoming Khaled event forced SFSU’s president, Lynn Mahoney, to publish an op-ed in which—while she distanced herself from terrorism and disavowed any implied support for the toxic ideology behind the event—she defended AMED’s right to sponsor such speakers based on academic freedom and the purported desire to “hear divergent ideas, viewpoints, and accounts of life experiences.”

In response, 86 groups issued an open letter, organized by the AMCHA Initiative, an organization that tracks campus antisemitism, which questioned whether the Khaled event was an example of the presentation of diverse viewpoints at all, as opposed to one-sided, highly incendiary ideology with the specific and habitual purpose of libeling Zionism, Israel, and Jews.

“What if an invitation to speak to a class — in fact an entire event — is an endorsement of a point of view and a political cause?” the letter read. “And what if the intention of the faculty member who extended such an invitation and organized such an event was not to encourage students ‘to think critically and come to independent, personal conclusions about events of local and global importance,’ but rather to promote the faculty member’s own narrow political view and to weaponize students to be foot soldiers in the faculty member’s own political cause?”—exactly what Abdulhadi has been doing in her role as AMED’s director.

University officials regularly use the cover of academic freedom to insulate them from criticism for allowing repellent guest speakers and events to take place on campus, just as President Mahoney had done with the Khaled lecture. The belief that “divergent ideas, viewpoints and accounts of life experiences” are valuable in academia’s marketplace of ideas is, of course, a good one, something central to the mission and purpose of a university. The problem is that academic freedom is permitted selectively, depending on who is speaking and who the target of their activism is.

Militant, violent liberation to promote Palestinian self-determination and to simultaneously degrade Zionism and extirpate Israel may be an invigorating ideological mission for Abdulhadi, Khaled, and their fellow travelers, but their planned hate-fest, though disguised as an academic event, had as its purpose only to attack Zionism and Israel and the Jewish students who support them, and to further the belief that Israel’s existence is so repugnant and immoral that the appearance at a school event by a terrorist who wanted to kill Jews is morally acceptable.

Khaled and Abdulhadi had previously collaborated in this type of toxic academic activism. In 2014, for instance, Abdulhadi was criticized for using $7,000 of SFSU’s taxpayer funds to travel to the Middle East to conduct what she described as “research,” but was actually a “political solidarity tour,” to meet with Khaled and representatives of designated Islamist terror organizations. On that activism tour, Abdulhadi also set up a collaboration between SFSU and Al-Najah National University in the West Bank.

In fact, in announcing the award, MESA specifically pointed to this questionable Abdulhadi accomplishment, namely, her involvement in forging cooperation between her institution and a Palestinian counterpart. “As AMED Director,” the award language read, “she negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding between SFSU and An-Najah National University in Palestine,” a logical choice for someone who seeks a continued assault on and the eventual destruction of Israel.

Why is that a predictable choice for Abdulhadi? Because, as Matthew Levitt, director of the Washington Institute’s Stein Program on Terrorism, Intelligence, and Policy, has previously revealed, the 11,000-student An-Najah is the largest university in the territories, and “the terrorist recruitment, indoctrination, and radicalization of students for which An-Najah is known typically take place via various student groups,” among them the Hamas-affiliated Islamic Bloc. “Of the thirteen members of An-Najah’s 2004 student council, eight,” Levitt wrote—“including the chairperson—belong to Hamas’s Islamic Bloc.”

Terrorism and political activism against Israel are not only promoted within Palestinian university walls but also celebrated publicly. The radical students at An-Najah University, for example, fondly remembered the outbreak of the Second Intifada by constructing a macabre attraction called “The Sbarro Cafe Exhibition,” named for the location of a 2001 suicide bombing of a Jerusalem pizza parlor where 15 Jews were murdered and dozens more wounded. Created not as a memorial but as an inspiration for further terror-laden savagery, the diorama included scattered pizza slices amid Israeli body parts, splattered blood, calls to martyrdom with Koran and Kalashnikovs close by, and, beaming out of a loudspeaker behind a mannequin version of an Orthodox Jew, the inspiring take on an oft-repeated Islamic exhortation: “O believer, there is a Jewish man behind me. Come and kill him.”

The mock apartheid walls constructed by anti-Israel students on American campuses during the annual Israeli Apartheid Week look tame and civilized in comparison, and Abdulhadi’s role in linking an American university to one that promotes terrorism and the murder of Jews shows how potentially lethal her ideology is.

In 2018, outgoing SFSU President Leslie Wong apologized to Jewish students and faculty for his chronically disappointing record in addressing anti-Israel, anti-Semitic activism on his campus, and he publicly proclaimed that, contrary to his past statements, Zionists were, in fact, welcome on the SFSU campus.

That small step at “normalizing” Zionism was just too much for Abdulhadi, however, who harbors the poisonous view—shared by other Israel-haters and anti-Semites—that Zionism is a racist, political ideology; in fact, she audaciously “rejects the equation of Zionism with Judaism.” Wong’s apology, to her, was a capitulation to an ideology she wanted to be purged from campus. “I consider the statement . . . from President Wong, welcoming Zionists to campus, equating Jewishness with Zionism . . . to be a declaration of war against Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians and all those who are committed to an indivisible sense of justice on and off campus.” [Emphasis added.]

And just in case anyone would possibly draw the wrong conclusion from her hateful rhetoric, Abdulhadi clarified that “I am anti-Zionist. I’m not anti-Jew. So don’t call me anti-Semitic.”

In 2017 and 2018, separate lawsuits against SFSU on behalf of Jewish students claimed that the university “has not merely fostered and embraced anti-Jewish hostility — it has systematically supported these departments and student groups as they have doggedly organized their efforts to target, threaten, and intimidate Jewish students on campus and deprive them of their civil rights and their ability to feel safe and secure as they pursue their education.” It is obvious now that the hostile climate created on the SFSU campus is not only the result of student activism on the part of the General Union of Palestine Students, but also, perhaps more significantly, by the teaching, writing, and participation in anti-Israel events, conferences, and other programs and initiatives by SFSU faculty—and specifically Abdulhadi and her ideological reign of terror against Israel, Zionism, and Jews.

Is there any doubt that professors like Abdulhadi, individuals consumed with blatant hatred for Israel, contempt for those who call themselves Zionists, and a highly-biased, historically-inaccurate, and counterfactual narrative about the Middle East, take their ideology into classrooms? That they censure and contradict students who have to oppose pro-Israel views? Or that they are instrumental in influencing student activists and joining in their efforts to engage in BDS activities, demonize Israel and Zionism, and contribute to the hostile climate in which Jewish students, as the lawsuit read, are “often afraid to wear Stars of David or yarmulkes on campus, and regularly text their friends to describe potential safety issues?”

MESA’s tendentious academic mandarins continue to think of themselves as authentic scholars whose work furthers learning and knowledge in Middle East studies. But their actions—promoting academic boycotts solely against Israeli scholars and no other country’s academics—reveal their inherent bias and their inability to rise above their obsession with Israel to the detriment of any valuable scholarship that might be otherwise produced by MESA’s members.

And awarding a professor whose career has been similarly focused on degrading and slandering Israel, Zionism, and its Jewish supporters also reveals the absence of any moral clarity on MESA’s part. That MESA confirms its pathological hatred of the Jewish state by celebrating a professor who has waged a long-standing ideological war against Israel, lauded terrorists who sought to murder Jews, and demonized Zionism, Jews, and Israel itself as manifestations of white supremacy and racism—all of this exposes how intellectually debased and academically irrelevant MESA has become.

Avatar photo

Richard L. Cravatts

Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D., a Freedom Center Journalism Fellow in Academic Free Speech and President Emeritus of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, is the author of the forthcoming book, The Slow Death of the University: How Radicalism, Israel Hatred, and Race Obsession are Destroying Academia.

 

Islamic Republic of Iran expands naval operations in Latin American waters

BY ROBERT SPENCER

SEE: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2023/01/islamic-republic-of-iran-expands-naval-operations-in-latin-american-waters;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

Weakness invites aggression. Thanks, Joe!

“Iranian Navy Expands Operations in Latin American Waters,” by Maria Zuppello, IPT News, January 26, 2023:

The presence this week of two Iranian warships docked in Rio de Janeiro reinforces a top commander’s pledge that the Islamic Republic wants an offensive military capability in Latin American waters.

Frigate Dena and the warship Makran docked Monday for a reported one-week stay in Brazil. The specifics of the visit remain unclear.

In addition to being the Iranian Navy’s newest warship, the former oil tanker Makran also is its largest. Like the U.S. Navy’s Expeditionary Sea Base, the Makran is expected to serve as a mobile sea base for small boats and planes capable of operating anywhere in the world.

In 2021, the Pentagon learned that Makran was en route to Venezuela with seven high-speed missile boats on board. Following U.S. diplomatic pressure, Venezuelan officials ultimately denied the ship’s entry.

Dena is armed with four Qader anti-ship missiles that have a range of 300 km and are described by Iranian officials as “the most powerful and precise missile of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Navy.”

“So far, we have been present in all the strategic straits of the world,” Iranian Rear Admiral Shahram Irani said Jan. 11. “This year we are planning to be present in the Panama Canal.”

Panama, which is about 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) from the southern United States border, may be the ships’ next stop. The canal connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and is one of the world’s most strategic waterways.

As a result, the Panama Canal is an essential shipping lane for international trade, and any disruption in its operations would have enormous consequences for the global economy. Furthermore, Venezuela, Iran’s primary regional ally, is located near the maritime routes to and from the Panama Canal.

Iran has increased its naval activities in recent years, including in the Red Sea, Raz Zimmt, a research fellow at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) told the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).

“It seems that Iran is interested in expanding its military, and especially its naval cooperation with Brazil as part of its efforts to improve its military, including its naval, capabilities through joint cooperation with countries willing to do that,” Zimmt said. “Such joint activities with its partners in Latin America could be used as a deterring message to the U.S., which is engaged in military joint efforts with Israel and its Arab partners in the Gulf.”…

Minnesota Legislature Passes Barbaric Abortion Bill

Minnesota Legislature Passes Barbaric Bill to Legalize Abortions Up Until Birth

BY RICK MORAN

SEE: https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/rick-moran/2023/01/29/minnesota-legislature-passes-barbaric-bill-to-legalize-abortions-up-until-birth-n1666028;

Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.

The Minnesota state senate passed an abortion rights bill that guarantees a right to an abortion up to the time of birth.

The bill, known as the Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act, passed by a vote of 34-33 and now goes to Gov. Bill Walz’s desk. He has indicated he will sign it.

“Minnesotans don’t support elective third-trimester abortion. They just don’t. But that’s what this extreme bill entrenches in our state law: the right to abort any baby for any reason at any time up to birth,” said Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) Co-Executive Director Cathy Blaeser. “Under this bill, even babies who are old enough to live outside the womb and to feel excruciating pain have no protection from lethal violence. The extremism of H.F. 1 puts Minnesota in the same category as just a handful of countries around the world, including North Korea and China.”

Related: America IS Pro-Life: Poll Shows Over 2/3 of Americans Support Abortion Restrictions

H.F. 1, authored by Sen. Jennifer McEwen, would create a “fundamental right” to abortion and would allow abortions for any reason, even late in pregnancy. Since a fetus can feel pain as young as 20 weeks into gestation and no later than 28-30 weeks, some states have mandated anesthesia for babies to be aborted.

Minnesota has no such law.

LifeNews:

Many amendments that would have made H.F. 1 less extreme were voted down or thwarted. The defeated amendments included ones to protect unborn children in the third trimester (with exceptions), to protect against the barbaric procedure known as partial-birth abortion, to provide the option of anesthesia when unborn children can feel pain, and to protect women’s health by requiring that third-trimester abortions take place in a hospital.

Additional abortion-expanding bills have also been introduced at the Capitol. One bill, H.F. 91/S.F. 70, would repeal numerous abortion-related laws, including a law protecting newborns who survive abortion. 

Backers of the bill claim it only legalizes what was already legal and will codify the “human right” to abortion into law.

“The PRO Act solidifies Minnesotans’ human rights into state law and is an insurance policy that our rights won’t be taken away by politicians or judges,” said Dr. Sarah Traxler, chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood North Central States.

“All I want, and doctors across Minnesota want, is to provide the best care we can to our patients. And by passing the PRO Act into state law, the Minnesota Legislature will allow us to do just that,” she added in a statement.

That is surely an obfuscation of the meaning and intent of the Minnesota bill.

Fox News:

Opponents disagree, arguing the bill establishes a right to abortion up until the moment of birth. Republicans had attempted to amend the bill with “guard rails” that would restrict abortions in the third-trimester, but the newly-elected Democratic majority blocked their amendments.

“Today we are not just codifying Roe v. Wade or Doe v. Gomez, as the author has indicated, we are enacting the most extreme bill in the country,” said Republican Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson, of East Grand Forks during debate.

If the backers of this bill are so sure of the moral rightness of their cause, why try to hide what the bill will do? Why the misdirection by Planned Parenthood?

The short answer: they know that if what this bill really does ever becomes generally known, there will be an outrage not only among pro-life advocates but among ordinary people as well, who will object to the legislature passing this barbarous bill in their name.

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