Author Archives: Grif

U.S, Supreme Court Rules Against LGBTQ Discrimination in the Workplace

The U.S. Supreme Court today (June 15) ruled that employers may not discriminate against LGBTQ employees on account of their unconventional lifestyles. The 6-3 ruling appears to extend worker protections to a category that was specifically omitted in the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act. The majority decision was written by Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s first nominee to the court. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s four liberal justices. Associate Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh dissented.

Gorsuch wrote, “An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Congress adopted broad language making it illegal for an employer to rely on an employee’s sex when deciding to fire that employee. We do not hesitate to recognize today a necessary consequence of that legislative choice: An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law.”

Associate Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh vigorously dissented, saying the majority had not ruled on existing law, but actually had created new law by judicial fiat.

Alito, writing more than 100 pages in dissent for himself and Thomas, accused the court’s majority of writing legislation, not law.

“The question in these cases is not whether discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity should be outlawed,” Alito said. “The question is whether Congress did that in 1964. It indisputably did not.”

Writing separately, Kavanaugh said simply: “We are judges, not members of Congress. Instead of a hard-earned victory won through the democratic process, today’s victory is brought about by judicial dictate – judges latching on to a novel form of living literalism to rewrite ordinary meaning and remake American law,” he wrote. “Under the Constitution and laws of the United States, this court is the wrong body to change American law in that way.”

Federal appeals courts have been split on the question since 2017, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit became the first to rule that gay men and lesbians should be covered by the decades-old federal civil rights law.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled for Zarda in 2018, but the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, ruled against Bostock. The 6th Circuit, based in Cincinnati, ruled for Stephens.

Congress has debated the issue for decades but “repeatedly declined to pass bills adding sexual orientation to the list of protected traits” under the law, the Justice Department told the justices. The Democratic-controlled House passed the Equality Act last year, but the Republican-controlled Senate has not considered it.

Thank you, SCOTUS!

~ Grif

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Cops in the Cross-hairs – Antifa Declares War on Police

There was a time in our country when not even the Mafia dared kill a cop. But those times are long past. Well-funded and highly organized anarchists have used the protests over the killing of George Floyd as an excuse to burn private and government property and loot businesses across the country. In the beginning, these terrorists focused on destruction and inciting others to riot. But now, these provocateurs have ratcheted up their mayhem by taking aim at police officers and attempting to kill them. The rule of law has fallen by the wayside. The guerrilla war now is being waged with lethal intent. Follow the dollar. The foul reek of Darth Soros, who bragged about turning in his own people to the Nazis during WWII, fills the air. Here are just a few of the assaults on police in the past week.

St. Louis, MO

Four police officers shot during a downtown protest, two in leg, one in arm one in the foot. St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden said they were hit by gunfire by “some coward” while standing on the side of a police line. “As we speak we’re trying to get control out of this city, still hearing gunfire and everything,” he said. I don’t know what else to say. This is horrible. Thank God, they’re alive.” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that all of the officers were conscious and breathing after being rushed to the hospital.

Las Vegas, NV

Officer was in a fight with a suspect at the Circus Circus Hotel and Casino on the strip when someone walked up behind the officer and shot him in the head. The officer is on life support.

Richmond, Va.

NBC-12 in Richmond reported that two police officers and a suspect were injured in a shooting after they were called to investigate a report of an armed person on Semmes Avenue early Tuesday morning. When they arrived, gunfire erupted. The two cops and the suspect were taken to local hospitals.

The Bronx, NY

An NYPD sergeant was critically injured when he was brutally and deliberately run over by a speeding SUV hit and run assailant. In a similar incident in the Bronx in New York City, an NYPD officer investigating reports of break-ins was struck by a vehicle early Tuesday in a hit-and-run. The officer survived being run over and is said to be in a stable condition.

This video of the hit-and-run was posted on social media. It is extremely graphic. View with caution.

Davenport, Iowa

According to authorities, an officer was “ambushed” with gunfire Sunday. Another officer shot back, and the suspects fled but were later arrested. Near where the officer was wounded, police found a man shot to death and a handgun under his body. His identity wasn’t released.
Police said surveillance video shows that the man and some of the arrested suspects were involved in a shooting outside a jewelry store hours earlier. They were casing the business when other cars arrived and multiple people fired shots at each other, police said.

Atlanta, GA

An Atlanta Police officer was seriously injured after being hit by an ATV in downtown Atlanta during a second night of protests. Police said Sunday that the officer had surgery early this morning and is currently recovering in the intensive care unit at Grady Memorial Hospital. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms identified him Sunday night as officer Maximilian Brewer, who has been with the department for 18 years. “We ask that you keep him in your thoughts and prayers,” Bottoms said. “He has a long road to recovery.” Brewer was on foot when he was hit on Ted Turner Drive around 10 p.m. He sustained significant injuries to his legs.Police said the ATV’s driver suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken into custody. Bottoms said Sunday night that they do believe the rider struck Brewer intentionally.

Oakland, CA

Two federal officers in Oakland were shot Friday night, one of them fatally, as protests over the death of George Floyd turned violent. The two Federal Protective Service officers worked for Homeland Security, and were based at the Oakland Downtown Federal Building, according to report. No arrests have been made. During the riot, six Oakland police officers were injured, in addition to the federal officers who were shot.

Denver, CO

Denver police are searching for a Chevrolet Cobalt or Cruze, that struck a Denver Police vehicle and severely injured 3 police officers, and a civilian. The suspect driver of the car did not stop. The officers suffered serious injuries, but were expected to survive. So far, there is no word on the condition of the civilian.

And so it continues. The mayhem continues; the marching for one murdered man goes on. But the question arises, who will march for the dead police officers?

~ Grif

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Amazing Grace on Pentecost Sunday

Luke 11: 9-10 And I tell you, ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks will find, and to the one who knocks
it will be opened
.

I know my redeemer lives. May God bless FOTM and all who fellowship on it. And may God especially bless Dr. Eowyn, the kind and generous woman who created our little blog.

~ Grif

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Canadian Prime Minister Bans All AR-15 Rifles – Immediately

This was Australia’s gun “buy back.” Canada is next.

In the latest “NEVER LET A CRISIS GO TO WASTE” denial of civil rights, Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau yesterday (April 30) banned virtually ALL AR-15 rifles the country. Trudeau opted to immediately ban the firearms outright himself, which Canada’s current draconian gun laws allow, rather ordering a “gun buyback,” which would have to first be approved by Canada’s parliament. He did say that he would allow AR-15 owners to have two years to comply with orders to turn in their property. He also said that he would seek legislation at some later date on providing owners with some payment for their guns.

There is no grandfather provision in the new law. The ban is total. It prohibits buying, selling,trading, importing, exporting, OR USING, any military-grade assault weapons, anywhere in Canada.

Trudeau’s full announcement can be viewed at the following URL:

The announcement begins at 1:48

Trudeau has made no secret of his antipathy toward firearms. He announced his intention to ban AR-15 firearms in March, but delayed because of the Wuhan virus pandemic. In yesterday’s announcement, he indicated that banning AR-15s was just one more step toward even tighter restrictions on firearm ownership. I would not doubt but that his final goal is total disarmament of Canada’s civilian population. Such an event would leave Canada a socialist police state with no unalienable civil rights.

Already Canada has imposed fines and prison sentences for Christian preachers who teach from the pulpit that homosexuality is a sin, or that marriage is only a union between a man and a woman. Canada has strict anti “hate speech” laws.

Unlike the United States Bill of Rights, which was part of our Constitution from the beginning, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms did not become part of Canada’s constitution until 1982. According to a Canadian governmental fact sheet, “The Constitution is the supreme law of Canada; all other laws must be consistent with the rules set out in it. If they are not, they may not be valid. Since the Charter is part of the Constitution, it is the most important law we have in Canada.

However, the rights and freedoms in the Charter are not absolute. They can be limited to protect other rights or important national values. For example, freedom of expression may be limited by laws against hate propaganda or child pornography. Section 1 of the Charter says that Charter rights can be limited by law so long as those limits can be shown to be reasonable in a free and democratic society.”

Canada is fast becoming a democracy in name only.

~ Grif

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Urges European Countries to Censor Political Speech

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, meets China’s president Xi Jinping during negotiations to allow the social media giant to conduct business in the world’s most populous nation.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has called for Europe to regulate social media on  issues such as political messages, privacy and data portability — or risk losing ground to “authoritarian” rules set down by countries such as China.

Zuckerberg met members of the European Union’s Executive Commission in Brussels on February  15 and  later gave an address at the Munich Security Conference in Germany in which he made his pitch for censoring free speech.

He said regulatory boundaries would give citizens “confidence” that tech giants were following a set of rules agreed by everyone, and that users “don’t want private companies taking decisions on how to balance social equities without a democratic process.”

“I believe our responsibility is to build the operational muscle to be able to enforce policies, fight interference and have good auditing and controls,” he said, but governments should provide “more guidance and regulation … on political advertising or what discourse should be allowed or on [drawing the line between] harmful expression and freedom.”

Zuckerberg said the process would “create trust and better regulation of the internet.” He also emphasised urgency, saying he was “very worried” that countries such as China were encoding “authoritarian values” in their regulation of the internet.

“To encode democratic values, open values, we’ve got to move forward  and move quickly before more authoritarian models get adopted in a lot of places first,” he said.

And yet, as Zuckerberg delivered his pitch to Europeans urging them to regulate free speech on the Internet before China forces the issue, he neglected to acknowledge that he already had caved in to the communist demands for censorship.

Niko Efstathiou writing for World Crunch, detailed Zuckerberg’s nine-year effort to get the communists to allow Facebook into China, and how the Facebook CEO finally caved into China’s demands for total censorship control.

In his January 17, 2018 article, Efstathiou writes:

“It was a handshake nine years in the making.

Amid a mass of red and blue banners — with Facebook’s mission “Making The World More Open And Connected” written in big white letters  — Mark Zuckerberg and Ren Xianliang, China’s deputy head of cyberspace administration, sealed a long-awaited agreement in front of a pulsating crowd of students at Tsinghua University. Having been summarily banned from China in 2009, Facebook was finally re-entering the Chinese market after authorities deemed Facebook’s content-suppression software to be in full compliance with the country’s censorship laws.

“We are very happy that Facebook and China are restoring the world’s faith in the digital space, by making sure that all online issues are related to reality,” Ren declared before the well-orchestrated event, an odd blend of news conference and university pep rally.

Zuckerberg said he was excited to see where 750 million Chinese users would take Facebook’s community. He ended with a salutation in Mandarin, earning a foot-stomping ovation.

With all the smiles at Tsinghua, it was easy to forget how resistant China had been to Facebook’s attempts to enter its booming online market. The ban had come swiftly after independence activists in the Xinjiang region used the social media platform for internal communications. In the years that followed, and despite numerous visits by Zuckerberg, the Beijing authorities remained unyielding in refusing Facebook’s entry past the so-called Great Firewall of China.

The key to reverse the situation first came in 2016 when Facebook began quietly developing a news-filtering software that had the potential to satisfy China’s censorship demands. That project initially provoked controversy, but Donald Trump’s election and the furor around fake news became just the smokescreen the social media giant needed to make its Chinese dream a reality.

Following Trump’s surprise victory, fake news quickly had become the phrase of the moment, following a falsehoods zeitgeist that prompted the Oxford Dictionary to select “post-truth” as its word of the year in 2016. Stories ranging from Pope Francis endorsing Trump for the presidency to Hillary Clinton selling weapons to ISIS sprung up on people’s news feeds in the weeks before the U.S. election.

Political leaders, newspaper editors and tech companies alike expressed concern about the risks that fabricated stories could pose for democracy. Clinton supporters blamed the phenomenon for her loss. Trump, meanwhile, assigned the fake news label to virtually any criticism of him that appeared in the media, making sure to hold on to the “k” in “fake” for extra theatrics.

Initially, Facebook had strongly resisted the idea that it should accept editorial responsibility for the content published on its platform; it was fearful of the costs and the extra regulation this could mean. But under intense public pressure — and a German bill that proposed up to a 500,000-euro fine per fake article — the company began to take steps to demonstrate it was acting against the truly and blatantly made-up stories. In January 2017, after a series of false reports targeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel surfaced on social media, the company released a fake news-filtering mechanism that allowed users to report articles as fake.

The system sent articles flagged by a sufficient number of users to Correctiv, a third-party fact-checking nonprofit staffed by investigative journalists who would work to determine the content’s validity. Stories found to be false were then marked as “disputed” and placed under a restriction by Facebook’s news feed algorithm, with a warning sent to users who chose to share them.

The U.S. version of the system arrived in May, with the fact checking delegated to major American news outlets as well as nonprofits. The Associated Press, ABC News, PolitiFact and Snopes signed on. The initiative earned early praise, with Facebook credited for a bold response to counter the post-truth age.

 Chinese officials quickly began labeling articles critical of their rule “假新闻”: fake news.

But after that initial enthusiasm, the new system quickly took a different turn. A number of the news outlets signed on to fact-check began to lose interest: Up against the armies of trolls, the value of experienced reporters dedicating their time to debunking often obviously absurd pieces seemed questionable amid ever-shrinking newsroom budgets. At the same time, users and media commentators asked why Facebook wasn’t simply removing the posts automatically.

But the controversy took on an entirely different dimension when people realized the tool that would allow this already existed: in China.

The mechanism built for China, unlike the U.S. version, did away with the flaggers and fact-checkers and simply deleted posts based on keyword analysis. Facebook was not responsible for choosing which posts were removed  —  that was handed to a third-party company, which set the keywords.

China almost immediately saw that the frenzy over fake news in Western democracies was an opportunity to expand censorship over their country’s online activity. Chinese officials soon began labeling articles critical of their rule “假新闻”: fake news.

From propaganda to censorship

The blurring of debunking and censorship happened quickly. Facebook had already had a long history of generally obeying foreign governments’ requests to suppress access to content: Between July and December 2015, the company blocked as many as 55,000 pieces of content in about 20 countries. But the new content-suppression mechanism became a faster and far more effective tool for authoritarian governments. Whereas previously the authorities had to make requests, their flaggers and supporters could now do the job for them.

In April 2016, Turkey became the first country to use the content-suppression software to not just restrict circulation and flag stories but also to remove content altogether. Articles deemed “insulting to the president” or to “Turkish identity” often evaporated from Facebook. Zeynep Gülec, a self-exiled former reporter for the newspaper Hürriyet, published an open letter in which she said “fighting for media freedom in Turkey was always hard, but with Facebook’s new tool it has become impossible.”

China, for its part, accepted Facebook’s opening to its market after delegating the fact-checking responsibility to Zhenli, a newly created Chinese company based in Beijing linked to senior Communist officials and staffed by veterans of state-run news agencies.

Back in the U.S., the effects of Facebook’s content filtering were less monolithic but no less momentous. The rollout of the system met with a fierce public backlash and a joint letter from the editors-in-chief of The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and more than 50 other daily newspapers, giving Zuckerberg a lesson about both the U.S. First Amendment and the costs of playing ball with the Beijing regime.

A faster and far more effective tool for authoritarian governments.

Facebook, which had hired an editorial staff to help manage the filtering, became the focus of intense partisan criticism, particularly from Republicans who said the mechanism was “rigged.” President Trump, for his part, railed against the “pathetic fact-checkers” and “Mark Zuckercrook.” Democrats also attacked the mechanism after a series of embarrassing deletions of ironic posts and those examining troubling issues, such as gun violence and pedophilia. The civil liberties group ACLU filed several suits against the Palo Alto platform for limiting free speech, even when it is false.

Meanwhile, despite the 700 million potential users in China, the development of the past six months that matters most to Mark Zuckerberg is rooted in the U.S., where more and more of the most extreme users on both sides of the political spectrum have begun deleting their Facebook accounts, passing their time instead on two brand new alternative social media platforms that avoided any filtering. Their names, perhaps unsurprisingly, are Rightbook and Leftbook.

~ Grif

 

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B.A.T.F. Approves Drive-Through Gun Sales

Had I not checked this out myself, I would have thought this to be an April Fools joke. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has authorized all FFL licensees to sell firearms through drive-up windows of their stores.

Or in outdoor kiosks.

Or in parking lots.

Life is good!

The ATF’s April 10 letter to FFL licensees issued the new guidlines  in response to the coronavirus disease (WU HAN  virus 武漢病毒).

“In light of the March 13, 2020, declaration of a national emergency concerning the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and the Department of  Homeland Security’s subsequent classification of firearms businesses as essential, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has received questions from industry members  regarding the legality of firearm sales and deliveries exterior to the brick-and-mortar structure at which the firearms business is licensed. Specifically, Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) have requested guidance regarding whether they may verify customer identity and permit the completion of paperwork, including for purposes of the National Instant Criminal Background  Check System; accept payment; and deliver firearms or ammunition to customers (collectively, “the requested activities”) in the following settings:

(1) a drive-up or walk-up window or doorway on the FFL’s property;

(2) a temporary table or booth located in a parking lot on the FFL’s property; and

(3) a nearby space that is not located on the FFL’s property.As is further detailed below, pursuant to the Gun Control Act (GCA) and its ATF Federal Firearms Licensees. ”

According to USA Today . . .

“The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, in new guidance to federally licensed firearm retailers, said Friday that dealers can provide drive-up or walk-up service to reduce health risks posed by the coronavirus.

The guidance was issued, the ATF said, in response industry questions about how business transactions could be restricted following the declaration of a national health emergency.

The move was made at the request of the National Shooting Sports Foundation in an effort to expedite background checks and make the firearms sales process as safe for both gun retailers and customers as possible given COVID-19 武漢病毒  social distancing guidelines.”

As might be expected, the usual whiny libtard  snowflakes are having a meltdown.

This is too much. The Trump administration and continues to outdo itself in taking every possible step to pander to the gun lobby during a national crisis and global pandemic. #StopTheCoronavirusGunSurge #COVID19 https://t.co/wJ15a21V22

Kris Brown (@KrisB_Brown) April 11, 2020– First, the Trump administration declared gun stores “essential.” Now, the ATF is promoting them to operate “drive-through” windows. Let’s be clear, gun stores are NOT McDonalds. You shouldn’t be able to buy an AR-15 like you do a burger and fries.

https://t.co/eQvFYOQRuR Brady | United Against Gun Violence (@bradybuzz) April 11, 202–The ATF is recommending gun stores operate using drive through windows. Support local restaurants, go to their drive throughs instead.

The full ATF Open Letter to Federal  Firearms Licensees can be read at this link:

https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/open-letter/atf-business-premises-g uidance-letter-4-10-2020/download

~ Grif

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Enter the Gestapo: R.I Governor Closes State Borders, Searches Private Homes for Non-Residents

Welcom to Rhode Island. Pull pull over and show me your papers.

Rhode Island’s Democrat governor Gina Raimondo has closed the state’s borders and established a draconian set of repressive regulations that would have made Adolph Hitler proud. Now, armed military police man roadblocks at all interstate and major highways leading to into, and out of, the state. Armed National Guard soldiers and State Police officers search door-to-door looking for non-Rhode Island people. Local police drive through residential neighborhoods looking for out-of-state license plates. Armed National Guard soldiers are stationed at the T.F. Green airport, Amtrak train stations and at bus stops. The maximum penalty for not complying: a fine of $500 and 90 days in prison. (Prison time for disobeying a quarantine when actual felons are released by the thousands? What insanity!)

London Plague 1348 “Bring out your dead.”
Nazi Germany 1943: “Hand over your Jews.”
Rhode Island 2020: “Identify the the New Yorkers.”

And three golfers from Massachusetts, where all outdoor recreation has been banned, were arrested when they crossed the border to play on a Rhode Island course that was unrestricted for Rhod Islanders. Everyone who drives into the state is ordered to stop and submit to an interrogation. But Raimondo has an especially severe restriction on New Yorkers, since many have tried to avoid the New York outbreak by fleeing to other states. Raimondo’s order says any person coming into Rhode Island from another state for a non-work related purpose—especially from New York—must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days.

Issued March 28, the order repealed a previous emergency declaration that targeted only travelers from New York State. Anyone who doesn’t self-quarantine as ordered will face a fine, and for subsequent offenses could warrant large fines on top of prison time. Soldiers are relaying motorists’ and other non-residents’ contact information to the state’s health department. Health department workers are calling those people to check on their well-being and if necessary to keep track of any contacts they have had.

The lock down has had some truly bizarre, and quite frankly, frightening effects. It has turned ordinary citizens into spies and informants for the government. It is turned duffers who wanted nothing more than to play golf on an open-to-the public course into criminals.

One week after Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker ordered all outdoor recreational areas to be closedclosed, including golf courses and the rifle range where I shoot, Richmond, R.I. police bagged three golfers from Massachusetts on misdemeanor charges. Police said the three duffers went to elaborate lengths to hide their identities as out-of-towners so they could get in a round of golf at the Meadow Brook Golf Course in town.

Gregory Corbett, 51, Tyler Pietrzyk, 22, and Nye Cameron, 22, were apprehended at a nearby McDonald’s restaurant, where police say the men changed cars to drive to the club in a vehicle with Rhode Island license plates, the Attleboro (Mass) Sun Chronicle reported.

Employees at the McDonald’s ratted them out and called the cops.

Gib Mir deinen Pass!

Cops issued the three men summonses for violating the quarantine when they drove back from the golf course to their vehicles at the McDonald’s in the vehicle with the Rhode Island plates, the paper reported.

“It’s not the most heinous offense, but the reality is that we’re living in a whole different world this month, and it’s important we all follow the rules to keep one another safe,” Police Chief Elwood Johnson said.

The restrictions, however, are not without critics. The local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union blasted the new rules, objecting to the collection of motorists’ contact information in particular.

“While the Governor may have the power to suspend some state laws and regulations to address this medical emergency, she cannot suspend the Constitution,” Rhode Island ACLU executive director Steven Brown said in a statement. “Under the Fourth Amendment, having a New York state license plate simply does not, and cannot, constitute ‘probable cause’ to allow police to stop a car and interrogate the driver, no matter how laudable the goal of the stop may be.

“The ACLU remains very concerned about the enormous breadth of the governor’s latest directive and its focus on out-of-staters at a time when the state acknowledges that half of Rhode Islanders themselves are not following social distancing rules,” Brown said. “A two-week quarantine solely for the ‘offense’ of coming from out of state, and with no opportunity to contest this demand, is deeply troubling.

“In addition,” Brown said, “targeting out-of-staters like this can only promote a divisive ‘us vs. them’ mentality that encourages vilification of others. We fully appreciate that the state is dealing with an emergency crisis that requires emergency actions, but it should not be at the unwarranted expense of our civil rights.”

Raimondo rebuffed the objections, pointing out that laws change during a state of an emergency, and added that she’s receiving federal guidance from the Trump Administration and legal advice from her administration as she makes these decisions.

“It’s the law,” she said. “We are serious about this.”

 

~ Grif

Checkpoint 13 – Check for contraband Line up the out-of-towners.

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Felons Released from Prison So They Won’t Catch the Corona Virus

The BBC has reported that communities across the USA are releasing hundreds of felons from federal, state, county and city lockups due to the Chinese Covid-19 virus pandemic. In addition, judges are said to be working out plea bargaining deals for low-level offenders who have yet to be convicted of their alleged crimes. These alleged criminals will be released without serving time.

The newly released felons include drug dealers, thieves, muggers and so forth. It takes no stretch of the imagination to know these criminals will be able to take up where they left off—prowling the streets, mugging passersby, selling drugs, boosting cars, and invade the homes. One has to wonder just how much social distancing this bunch of losers are going to observe, model citizens that they are (sarc).

From the BBC 3/19/2020:

New York City is releasing “vulnerable” prisoners, the mayor said on Wednesday, days after Los Angeles and Cleveland freed hundreds of inmates.

Prison reform advocates say those in jail are at higher risk of catching and passing on Covid-19.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday that city officials will this week identify individuals for release, including people who were arrested for minor crimes and those most vulnerable to infection due to underlying health problems.

His announcement came hours after a guard and a prisoner tested positive for coronavirus at Rikers Island prison, where disgraced former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, 68, is a high-profile inmate. (Do you wonder if they also checked Weinstein’s cell mate for STD?) Weinstein will be moved to a different state prison, an official said on Wednesday.

Other New York prisons, such as Sing Sing, have had inmates test positive for corona virus and one employee for the state’s corrections department has died from it.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reduced its inmate population by 600 in the last two weeks, officials said on Tuesday.

“Our population within our jails is a vulnerable population just by who they are, where they are located, so we’re protecting that population from potential exposure,” Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters earlier this week.

The LA County jail system is the largest prison system in the world (and rightly so) with an average population of around 22,000 prisoners.

Mr. Villaneuva disclosed that arrests in the county are also down, from an average of 300 per weekend to only 60 in mid-March.

Cuyahoga County, Ohio, where the city of Cleveland is located, has also released hundreds of prisoners due to corona virus concerns.

Judges held emergency hearings through the weekend to work out plea deals and other agreements to allow prisoners to be released early or without serving time.

Several states from New York to California are now banning in-person visitors. A ban on visits led to a deadly prison riot in Italy last week.

Federal agencies will postpone most arrests and deportations during the corona virus crisis.

Prison-reform campaigners (aka bleeding heart liberals) say prisoners face unique risks, due to a lack of hygiene in overcrowded cells and hallways.

Handcuffed people cannot cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze, sinks often lack soap and hand sanitizer is considered contraband due to its alcohol content.

Iran has already released 85,000 people, including political prisoners, in an effort to combat the pandemic. (And yet, the faithful still literally lick the iron bars around their holy shrines one after another.)

The US locks up more of its citizens per capita than any other country, with an estimated 2.3 million people behind bars in federal, state and local prisons.

Some high profile convicts have argued for early release over corona virus fears.

They include President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, 53, financial fraudster Bernie Madoff, 81, and Gilberto Rodriguez-Orejuela, a notorious Colombian drug lord.

~ Grif

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Girl, 11, gives birth after being raped by brother, Father of family is illegal alien once deported

The Happy Family: Left: Francisco Javier Gonzalez-Lopez (the illegal once deported alien); Center: Norvin Leonidas Lopez-Cante (the child/sister’s rapist); Right: Lesbia Cante (the abused victim’s mother)
Source: St. Charles, MO police

Three members of a St. Charles, MO family, led by an illegal alien who had previously been deported, were arraigned Feb. 14 on child abuse and endangerment charges after their 11-year old-daughter gave birth to a baby boy in a bathtub at the family’s home

The girl’s 17-year-old brother, Norvin Leonidas Lopez-Cante, is the baby’s father, according to court documents. His father is Francisco Javier Gonzalez-Lopez, the illegal alien.

Police started investigating after Lopez-Cante’s father and mother Lesbia Cante, took the infant to St. Joseph Hospital on Feb. 11. Gonzalez-Lopez told police that someone had dropped the infant off on his front porch. Charging documents said the baby still had the umbilical cord and placenta attached and had a body temperature of just 90 degrees when he was admitted to the hospital emergency room.

Police detectives interviewed Gonzalez-Lopez at his home two days later, where he told police the father of the child was his son, and the mother of the baby was his son’s 11-year-old sister.

Gonzalez-Lopez said he did not know the girl was pregnant or that Lopez-Cante was raping her until she gave birth to the child in their bathtub.

According to court documents, after police read Lopez-Cante his Miranda rights, he told police he had sex with the girl about 100 times but did not know she was pregnant. He said he did not know when he first had sex with her, but said it happened about twice a week.

Lopez-Cante was charged with first-degree statutory rape, statutory sodomy and incest. His bond was set at $25,000, cash-only.

Gonzalez-Lopez was charged with endangering the welfare of a child for his role in the incident. His bond was set at $10,000, cash only. Charging documents said he entered the country illegally and was previously deported.

The girl’s mother, Lesbia Cante, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Her bail was initially set at $10,000. On Tuesday, Feb. 18, at her  first court hearing, Cante pleaded not guilty to the charges. The court subsequently increased her bail to $100,000

~ Grif

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Did your pants just chirp Big Boy, or are you just glad to see me? Reason # 132 why Palestinians don’t have a country

The Goldfinch—a tiny bird that supports a huge criminal Palestinian smuggling enterprise

You can’t make this stuff up. There is an on-going smuggling operation in the Palestinian settlement that trades not in narcotics, weapons, or stolen jewelry, but on songbirds—specifically, goldfinches. The birds are apparently sought after by residents of Israel’s Arab quarter, who are said to be willing to pay big shekels just to hear the birds sing. The smugglers range from highly organized criminal operations, to bumbling juveniles who are trying to capitalize on the seemingly easy money.

According to Toi News, two Palestinian minors were caught by Israeli authorities trying to smuggle songbirds to the West Bank in their pants while crossing into the country from Jordan.

The two minors — a boy from Hebron and a girl from Ramallah — aroused the suspicion of security at the Allenby Border Crossing after guards heard tweeting sounds coming from their pants. A search of the two minors by the guards revealed dozens of goldfinches concealed inside their pants.

According to the Times of Israeli, wild goldfinch can fetch up to NIS 150 ($39. But the wild birds often are mated with yellow canaries, which produce a more mellow song. A goldfinch-canary hybrid can go for anywhere from NIS 500 shekels ($131) to NIS 1,500 ($395).

Hiding birds in pants legs seems to be a preferred method of smuggling.

Harratz news reported the December 29, 2019 arrest of four Palestinians who attempted to smuggle 94 birds that were hidden in their pants. The men were suspected of bringing the goldfinches into Hebron from Jordan, to sell for hundreds of shekels each. The men were arrested at the Israel-Jordan border.

The office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said the four were detained after rousing the suspicion of the Allenby Bridge crossing’s guards. Police said that the four men did not have a permit to own or transfer the birds, adding the suspects admitted they were planning to sell each one for hundreds of shekels.

This is the biggest attempt to smuggle wildlife through Israel’s border with Jordan in the past two years, Israel’s Civil Administration said. European goldfinches, which are a protected species in Israel, are illegally trapped and traded in Israeli territory as well, a practice that poses a serious threat to the species in the region.

Major Hadi Khatib, Commander of the Liaison Office at Allenby Bridge, said that Palestinians returning from Jordan have made several similar smuggling attempts in recent months.

Defense officials thwarted an attempt on Wednesday morning to smuggle thousands of shekels worth of live songbirds from Gaza to Israel. Inspectors at the Erez crossing to the northern Gaza Strip confiscated some 30 goldfinches from a 44-yearold trader from Gaza City attempting to convey the birds to east Jerusalem, according to the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories unit, or COGAT.

This is the fifth time in the past two years that Erez crossing officers have stopped such a smuggling attempt of goldfinches, which are considered a rare and highly sought-after animal in the Arab sector, a statement from COGAT said.

The confiscation of the birds at the border was a collaborative effort among inspectors from the Defense Ministry’s Border Authority, the Coordination and Liaison Administration to the Gaza Strip and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

“During a routine security check of a Palestinian agricultural trader, a resident of Gaza, security guards noticed suspicious signs,” said Erez crossing manager Shlomo Tsaban. “Checking the dealer’s bag revealed a number of birds, tied to and hidden in the side of the bag.”

The entry permit of the smuggler was immediately taken by the inspectors, and the INPA is examining the possibility of fining him, in order to reduce the phenomenon of animal trafficking, according to COGAT. The birds will be released by the INPA in southern Israel.

“The increase in the number of bird-smuggling attempts from Gaza and from Judea and Samaria is due to the increase in hunting, which has made the bird a rare animal,” said Uri Madar, the Gaza Liaison and Coordination Administration’s agricultural officer. “We are working in partnership with all parties, Israeli and Palestinian, to help animals in Gaza – this is about saving lives in every respect.”

A former customs official at Al-Karama checkpoint said that what is being seized is trivial when we compare it to the actual number of birds being smuggled. Adding that the smuggling of birds became a big network within illegal trade such as cannabis… etc. Illegal traders usually don’t go through the boarders themselves, but they have their workers smuggle the goods. “Most of the smugglers are female. For example, once we found that a woman was travelling with six girls, hiding 120 birds under their clothing” the former official stated. “Because of this, we hired female employees to inspect female passengers on the Al-Karama checkpoint, especially after we found out how big of a trade it was for them.”

Harretz News, Monday (February 17) reported the arrest of four Friday morning at the Israel-Jordan border for trying to smuggle 94 protected goldfinches into Hebron in the West Bank. The office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said that the Palestinians hid the small songbirds in their pants and were detained after rousing the suspicion of the Allenby Bridge crossing’s guards.

Police said that the four men did not have a permit to own or transfer the birds, adding the suspects admitted they were planning to sell each one for hundreds of shekels. The birds were discovered hidden under one suspect’s pants..
This is the biggest attempt to smuggle wildlife through Israel’s border with Jordan in the past two years, Israel’s Civil Administration said. European goldfinches, which are a protected species in Israel, are illegally trapped and traded in Israeli territory as well, a practice that poses a serious threat to the species in the region.

Major Hadi Khatib, Commander of the Liaison Office at Allenby Bridge, said that Palestinians returning from Jordan have made several similar smuggling attempts over the past month. Last week, the Civil Administration said a Palestinian was arrested for attempting to covertly smuggle goldfinches in his shoes. In 2017, a Palestinian man from Nablus was also caught at Allenby Bridge with over 40 birds tied to his legs in an attempt to smuggle them into Jordan.
The men were suspected of bringing the goldfinches into Hebron from Jordan, to sell for hundreds of shekels each. The men were arrested at the Israel-Jordan border.

The office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said the four were detained after rousing the suspicion of the Allenby Bridge crossing’s guards. Police said that the four men did not have a permit to own or transfer the birds, adding the suspects admitted they were planning to sell each one for hundreds of shekels.
This is the biggest attempt to smuggle wildlife through Israel’s border with Jordan in the past two years, Israel’s Civil Administration said. European goldfinches, which are a protected species in Israel, are illegally trapped and traded in Israeli territory as well, a practice that poses a serious threat to the species in the region.
Major Hadi Khatib, Commander of the Liaison Office at Allenby Bridge, said that Palestinians returning from Jordan have made several similar smuggling attempts in recent months.

Defense officials thwarted an attempt on Wednesday morning to smuggle thousands of shekels worth of live songbirds from Gaza to Israel. Inspectors at the Erez crossing to the northern Gaza Strip confiscated some 30 goldfinches from a 44-yearold trader from Gaza City attempting to convey the birds to east Jerusalem, according to the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories unit, or COGAT.
This is the fifth time in the past two years that Erez crossing officers have stopped such a smuggling attempt of goldfinches, which are considered a rare and highly sought-after animal in the Arab sector, a statement from COGAT said.
The confiscation of the birds at the border was a collaborative effort among inspectors from the Defense Ministry’s Border Authority, the Coordination and Liaison Administration to the Gaza Strip and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

“During a routine security check of a Palestinian agricultural trader, a resident of Gaza, security guards noticed suspicious signs,” said Erez crossing manager Shlomo Tsaban. “Checking the dealer’s bag revealed a number of birds, tied to and hidden in the side of the bag.”
The entry permit of the smuggler was immediately taken by the inspectors, and the INPA is examining the possibility of fining him, in order to reduce the phenomenon of animal trafficking, according to COGAT. The birds will be released bFly little birds!y the INPA in southern Israel.

“The increase in the number of bird-smuggling attempts from Gaza and from Judea and Samaria is due to the increase in hunting, which has made the bird a rare animal,” said Uri Madar, the Gaza Liaison and Coordination Administration’s agricultural officer. “We are working in partnership with all parties, Israeli and Palestinian, to help animals in Gaza – this is about saving lives in every respect.”

A former customs official at Al-Karama checkpoint said that what is being seized is trivial when we compare it to the actual number of birds being smuggled. Adding that the smuggling of birds became a big network within illegal trade such as cannabis… etc. Illegal traders usually don’t go through the boarders themselves, but they have their workers smuggle the goods. “Most of the smugglers are female. For example, once we found that a woman was travelling with six girls, hiding 120 birds under their clothing” the former official stated. “Because of this, we hired female employees to inspect female passengers on the Al-Karama checkpoint, especially after we found out how big of a trade it was for them.”

~Grif

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