Author Archives: Grif

Thursday Funnies: Trump Cleans House

Just for fun. Mild mannered President Trump discusses politics with a few libtards. Enjoy! (Note: You may have to activate the sound manually when the video begins.)

??? AOC at the end is the best part!#SwampFight #MAGA

Posted by President Trump Fans on Friday, February 22, 2019

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As Iranian economy nears total collapse, Iran bans men from looking at women during Ramadan

Men in Iran have been ordered not to look at women during Ramadan as part of a round of draconian restrictions imposed by the increasingly isolated regime.

In a sign of frustration with growing civil discontent and economic pain caused by US sanctions, hardliners in Iran’s government are forcing through unusually strict social diktats to bring people into line. The country’s judiciary has announced that those eating in public during the fasting period are also in breach of laws and will be prosecuted.

Iranian women are not exempt from the hard line religious rules.

Since 1980 Iranian women have been required to wear a headscarf in public at all times while in Iran, and if found violating those rules, they are subject to two months in prison or a $25 fine, according to the Associated Press.

As protests against headscarves have intensified since 2017, Iranian law enforcement have toughened their stance against dissidents. One such example is human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoude, who received a seven-year prison sentence just for defending women’s rights activists.

“My personal advice to women is to respect the hijab even more than before and gentlemen must avoid looking directly at female passersby,” Gholam- Hossein Esmaili, a judiciary spokesperson said.

“Anyone ignoring these instructions during the Ramadan will be committing an offense and should expect some punishment from the law enforcement units.”

Those who break the rules will be punished, from fines to arrest and imprisonment, depending on the crime.

Along with banning men from looking at women, the Iranian government also announced bans on eating in public, and playing music in cars, as part of a new social crackdown. The morality police in Iran added that they will now arrest anyone playing music on their car radio and will tow their car away and hand them a heavy fine.

The strict new rules are said to be a product of Iran’s increasing civil unrest, allowing the government to maintain some semblance of control over its discontented people.

Iranian authorities are also investigating viral videos of Iranian schoolgirls and some teachers smiling while dancing to a pop song by U.S.-Iranian rapper Sassy. Officials have deployed specialist teams to determine the source of the video.

“The enemy is trying different ways to create anxiety among the people including by spreading these disturbing videos,” Iran’s Education minister Mohammad Bathaei said, according to The Daily Mail. “I’m certain there’s some kind of political plot behind the publication of these devious clips in schools.”

Iran’s Guardian Councilmember Ayatollah Abbas Ka’bi called the videos fuel for “the enemy’s cultural war” against Iran.

Iran’s society has felt the pressure from the devalued currency, the Rial, which has nearly collapsed. Last week the value of US dollar against the Rial reached record high with one dollar selling at 16,000 Rials on black markets.

Iran’s economy is beset by a near 50 percent inflation; its currency has almost collapsed; labor and civil servants strikes are commonplace, and the conservative establishment faces an increasing women’s rights movement. Recently, Iranian male and female students have been protesting Iran’s mandatory headscarf law.

In addition, Iran’s agriculture industry is in critical condition.

Recent nationwide floods have left farming lands of 26 provinces in ruin and diseases are threatening millions in the rural areas of Iran.

Even beyond those crises, recent changes in the country’s leadership structure suggest an internal clampdown on any open challenge to the regime’s authority at home.

Last month the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed the fiery General Hossein Salami as the new commander of the Revolutionary Guard, and the ultra-conservative clergy Ebrahim Raeesi as the chief judge.

However, senior Iranian officials have warned about the public discontent turning into street protests, as food and fuel rationing similar to those during the war with Iraq have been suggested by the government as options to deal with the shortages.

Hossein Salami of the Revolutionary Guard said: “The holy month of Ramadan is a reminder to us for being steadfast in our confrontation with the world arrogance as they seem to have a war deployment against us in all economic, cultural and social fronts, but not in physical manner. Our mission is to block all their paths and defuse their plots by any means we can.”

Rouhani’s first deputy Eshagh Jahangir has said that the high inflation and fall in Iranian people’s purchasing power “are the real issues that threaten our country, not US.”

Speaking to a group of provincial governors recently Jahangir said, “What should worry all of us is the wrath and hatred of the public against the authorities and the system that can not deliver to them”.

~ Grif

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Signs Seven Anti Gun Bills in a Single Day

 

Washington’s Demorat Gov. Jay Inslee signed seven bills into law Tuesday (May 7) that will add yet more draconian restrictions to civilian gun ownership. The new laws are a litany of re-hashed left wing feel good anti-gun pablum, which will have virtually no effect on reducing crime or improving safety. But they will serve to further the left’s desire to disarm, and thus control the populace.

Inslee, who has entered the race for president, apparently is a true believer in trying to destroy the 2nd Amendment. He has a long history of voting for anti-gun legislation. In 1994, he voted in favor of federal legislation that would have banned the manufacture, sale and possession of “combat-style assault weapons,” a stance that probably cost him his House seat in 1995. Had the bill passed, it would have effectively sent most firearms manufacturers into bankruptcy.

The new laws restrict access in a number of ways, including bans on “ghost guns” and red flag confiscations for juveniles and domestic violence suspects.

One bill that Inslee has yet to sign would require police to confiscate any weapons found on the property of a domestic violence call and put them on a five-day hold, regardless if they were used in a crime or not.

“Our state is a leader on #gunsafety but more work is needed to protect our students & the people of WA. That’s why today I am so happy to sign bills that ban untraceable ghost guns, keep guns away from our most vulnerable Washingtonians & improve gun safety overall,” Gov. Inslee tweeted.

Renee Hopkins, head of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, an advocacy group that supports the governor, said the new laws will make Washington “one of the states with the strongest laws in regard to preventing gun violence.”

Hopkins ignores the fact, backed up by FBI statistics, that gun control has absolutely no effect on reducing crime.

Gun policy watchers have said the bills fit into a broader pattern of legislation around the U.S. Instead of adding new restrictions for all gun owners, the measures generally focus on specific risk groups such as domestic abusers, violent felons or people experiencing a psychiatric crisis.

“It’s taking a risk-based approach to it, and really looking at the situations that we know are highest risk,” said Hopkins, referring to Tuesday’s bills as well as previous legislation involving suicide prevention and secure storage requirements.

Anti-gun advocates in at least 13 states have also successfully pushed extreme risk protection orders, which allow courts or police to summarily confiscate guns without a hearing simply based on perceived risk.

Washington already allows such orders, and one of Tuesday’s bills allows them to be entered against minors, which advocates called an effort to combat school shootings.

By comparison, broader gun control legislation has often struggled to find support in recent years, including in Washington state, where an assault weapons ban and a ban on high capacity magazines failed even though Democrats control both chambers of the state Legislature.

Critics of the new restrictions say even the narrower Washington state bills weaken gun rights, and chip away at the basic God given right of self defense.

Joe Waldron, a spokesman for the Gun Owners Action League of Washington, a group that lobbies against gun control, said he was concerned that some of the bills lacked due process protections and collectively amount to a growing set of restrictions that will affect all gun owners.

“They’re just as happy expanding the list of people that can’t have guns,” Waldron said. “Piece by piece, they’re chopping away.”

Extreme risk protection orders gained traction nationwide after a 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed. It was later revealed that the gunman had been able to access weapons despite early warnings to police.

Waldron believes such orders could be misused.

The bill focused on people on psychiatric holds broadens who can be temporarily barred from possessing a gun after being held under the state’s Involuntary Treatment Act.

State law previously allowed such blocks for people who were ordered to be committed by a judge. Tuesday’s bill makes the blocks automatic even for people held only for 72 hours — a decision made by a medical expert without a judge’s approval.

State law currently bars guns for people found incompetent in criminal trials and then involuntarily committed by a judge, but that block is now set to expand to include people found incompetent but released instead of being committed.

People under restraining orders and domestic violence offenders have also been a focus for incrementally tighter rules from legislators.

Gun surrender was already required for some people subject to restraining and protective orders, but one of the measures signed Tuesday requires the police to serve the orders.

The new rules also update existing gun-surrender requirements for people under restraining orders, adding a requirement for law enforcement to serve the orders.

The so-called “ghost gun” measure involves two types of weapons: Plastic weapons printed on 3D printers, and guns without serial numbers, including ones that can be made from do-it yourself kits available online without a background check. It effectively requires a background check for purchasing such a gun-making kit.

The seven bills Inslee signed Tuesday are:

HB 1465 requires an additional background check for gun buyers who currently possess a concealed carry license.

HB 1739 prohibits possession of untraceable “ghost guns” which include plastic guns printed on 3D printers and guns that do not have a serial number, which are usually acquired through a DIY kit. It also bans the transfer of files for 3-D printable guns.

HB 1786 authorizes police to confiscate guns from those served with restraining and protective orders.

SB 5027 which expands “red flag” confiscation to juveniles under age 18, permitting an extreme risk protection order to be filed against them and barring their firearms possession for up to one year, renewable on an annual basis.

SB 5181 which implemented a six-month gun rights suspension from anyone under 72-hour psychiatric detainment permitted by Washington’s Involuntary Treatment Act, which is not decided by a judge but by a medical expert. In the past, those laws pertained only to people who had been committed by a judge.

SB 5205 which bans gun ownership to those with a history of violence and found incompetent to stand trial but not committed, where the current law has only banned guns from those declared incompetent and involuntarily committed by a judge.

SB 5508 which further adds concealed carry license requirements, requiring applicants to undergo a fingerprint-based background check through the FBI in addition to checks through the state databases.

~ Grif

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Illinois Senate votes to bar Trump from 2020 ballot if tax returns aren’t released

Illinois state senate legislators Thursday (April 11) publicly removed all possible doubts whether they are blithering, sniveling, whining, petulant idiots.

They are.

There is absolutely no question in my military mind.

Illinois Democrats approved a bill that would require presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns if they want their names to appear on the state’s ballot. In other words, if Present Trump wants his name on the ballot in Illinois in 2020, he would have to first cough up five years of his income tax returns to Illinois Demorats.

New York state legislators introduced a similar bill on Monday. New York would authorize the state’s tax commissioner to release state tax returns to Congress upon request. The legislation, if passed, would enable the release of Trump’s state returns, since he is a New York resident and the state is home to his corporate businesses.

Illinois Senate Bill 145, introduced in January by State Sen. Antonio Muñoz, would require any candidate for president or vice president to release the most recent five years of their tax returns to have their name on the general election ballot.

“Voters have a right to know a presidential candidate’s conflicts of interests,” Muñoz said in a statement on his website. “They have reasonably expected this disclosure for decades, and if candidates won’t release the information willingly, then we need a law in place that requires it.”

The push from Illinois Democrats for President Donald Trump’s taxes ahead of the 2020 presidential election comes as several other states are pursuing similar legislation.

Since 2017, 18 state legislatures, including those in Illinois and New York, have introduced bills that would require presidential candidates to publicly disclose their tax returns to be on the ballot, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

House Democrats in Washington formally requested the President’s tax returns last week from the Internal Revenue Service, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin informed them on Wednesday that his department would be unable to comply with their deadline for Trump’s tax return.

Under the bill approved Thursday, the Illinois secretary of state would post the tax returns on its website, with the candidate’s personal information redacted. The bill would not apply to congressional or statewide candidates.

The measure was approved by the Illinois Democratic-controlled Senate, 36-19. The bill has moved to the Illinois House, where Democrats also hold the majority

Republican state Sen. Dale Righter questioned the bill’s constitutionality and called it “an embarrassing waste of the Senate’s time” on Thursday, the Capitol News Illinois reported.

Cokie Roberts, moderator of NPR’s “Morning Edition” said in a broadcast February 15, “It’s been standard from Nixon on for presidents and presidential candidates to let the public see what they’ve paid, but not everyone has handled it the same way. Gerald Ford, Nixon’s successor, provided a summary of his taxes. Some candidates have just turned over a couple of years’ worth of documents. Others have provided returns for many years.”

She noted that the tradition of presidential candidate making their income tax return public began with Richard Nixon. But she that Nixon did not volunteer to turn over his tax returns.

“Nixon didn’t initially turn over his returns voluntarily,” she said. “They were leaked by someone in the IRS.”

There is no law requiring a presidential candidate to make his or her tax returns public. And there certainly is no law requiring publicizing tax returns as a condition of having one’s name placed on an election ballot. But democrats socialists might be able to force President Trump to give up his tax returns under a little known tax law from 1924.

According to Roberts, “The law that some House members want to employ to force the IRS to turn over Trump’s returns is a very obscure section of the tax code. And it allows the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee to demand any tax filer’s returns. It dates back to the Teapot Dome scandals of the 1920s, when members of the Harding administration were accepting bribes. Congress had to rely on the executive for financial information, so they made this law. It’s been rarely used. But the Republican members of the Ways Means Committee did employee it a few years ago when they were investigating what they called the IRS’ discrimination against conservative organizations.”

# # #

I have an alternative suggestion. Let every demorat disclose all of their tax returns first—just to show good faith. Of course they won’t. They have no faith—good or otherwise.

Idiots.

~ Grif

Click here for full text of Illinois Senate Bill 145.

~Eowyn

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NRA sues Pittsburg over new gun ban law

The Pittsburg, PA mayor and city council have used the October 2018 mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill as justification for imposing a nearly total ban on firearms within the city limits.  The ban, signed into law yesterday (April 10), would prohibit the use of any semi-automatic firearm that could accept a magazine with a capacity of more than 10 rounds. The new law uses the term “military style weapons” in the ban. However, the restrictions on magazine capacity would also ban the use of most common semi-auto handguns within city limits.

The National Rifle Association wasted no time yesterday  filling a lawsuit against the city.  From The Tribune-Review, Greensburg, PA:

The National Rifle Association and its supporters wasted no time yesterday (April 10) suing Pittsburgh, the City Council and Mayor Bill Peduto following the mayor’s signing of three bills restricting the use of “military style” weapons from within city limits.

Four city residents with assistance from the NRA filed the lawsuit in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, less then three hours after the mayor signed the gun ordinances into law. Other local gun owners vowed to file criminal charges  against the mayor and council.

Peduto anticipated the legal challenges. He announced that that the city would be represented at no cost in the civil suit by by a legal team from the nonprofit gun control organization Everytown for Gun Safety, founded and funded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

He said he and six council members who voted in favor of the ban have also retained an attorney for criminal defense. He would not name the attorney.

“The very concept that the state could create a law that would say that elected officials who challenge the validity of that law would somehow be held to criminal charges goes against everything and every proactive step forward that this country has taken,” Peduto said. “What we’re going to do is we’re going to overturn this law.”

Laurence J. Anderson, Scott Miller, Robert R. Opdyke and Michael A. Whitehouse contend in the lawsuit that the city is violating a state law prohibiting municipalities from regulating firearms by banning the use of weapons with magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The suit contends that guns come standard with magazines of that size.

They are seeking a permanent injunction to stop the city from enforcing the ban, which takes effect in 60 days, and reimbursement for legal fees.

“Pittsburgh’s ban on carrying loaded standard capacity magazines in public has a chilling effect on Plaintiffs’ exercise of their right under Pennsylvania law to possess these magazines and to carry them in public for self defense,” the lawsuit said.

The mayor signed the bills in his conference room surrounded by supporters of the ban, including survivors and relatives of those killed during the October mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill. The observers gave Peduto a standing ovation.

“We’re still hurting,” said Lynette Lederman, former president of the Tree of Life congregation, and a staffer for City Councilman Corey O’Connor. “The personal trauma that me as former president of Tree of Life and my friends and the leadership of Tree of Life has experienced has kind of reached a watershed moment today. I’m very proud of Mayor Peduto.”

O’Connor and Councilwoman Erika Strassburger, who represent Squirrel Hill and proposed the bills, described Tree of Life as a “tipping point” in discussions over how to stop gun violence in the city.

The legislation consists of three bills. One would ban the possession and use of certain semiautomatic weapons, including “assault rifles.” A second would ban ammunition and accessories, such as large capacity magazines. A third bill, dubbed “extreme risk protection,” would permit courts to temporarily remove guns from a person deemed to be a public threat and impose penalties on an adult who allows a child to access a gun illegally.

City residents who currently own guns and accessories outlined in the bills would be grandfathered. Violators would face a civil penalty that carries a $1,000 fine, or up to 90 days in prison, for each offense.

Council approved the bills last week in a 6-3 vote. Three council members – Darlene Harris, Theresa Kail-Smith and Anthony Coghill – who voted against the legislation, were noticeably absent during the signing ceremony.

O’Connor said council is prepared for the court battle.

“I think everybody here said basically bring it on because we’re doing the right thing,” he said. “We’re willing to fight for our residents and I don’t think anybody is going to stop us.

~ Grif

 

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Proposed law would provide free abortions to students in all California universities

The California Senate Health Committee April 3 approved SB 24, a bill to give students on all UC and USC campuses access to free medical abortions on demand. SB 24, titled the “College Student Right to Access Act,” now goes to the full state Senate for a vote. Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he would support the bill if it reaches his desk.

A nearly identical bill (SB 320) was introduced by State Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) in 2017. SB 320 was vetoed in September, 2018 by then governor Jerry Brown, who said it was not necessary. Leyva introduced SB 24 in December, 2018.

The bill originated out of lobbying by the Students United for Reproductive Justice organization (SURJ) at UC Berkeley. The group sought help from the Women’s Policy Institute, which is part of the Women’s Foundation of California. The Institute sought Leyva’s assistance, who then agreed to file the abortion bill.

In a statement on her web site, Leyva said, “SB 24 is an important step toward ensuring the right to abortion is available to all Californians and that our college students don’t face unnecessary barriers. Students should not have to travel off campus or miss class or work responsibilities in order to receive care that can easily be provided at a student health center.”

California taxpayers would be mandated to provide the funding needed to give “free” chemical abortions to students on campus by 2023.”

To fund the mandate, the measure would allocate $200,000 in grant money to each of California’s 33 public university student health centers, covering the costs of “medication abortion readiness” which includes the purchase of equipment, facility and security upgrades, and training staff members.

The bill also would require the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls to administer the College Student Health Center Sexual and Reproductive Health Preparation Fund, which the bill would establish.

The bill would continuously appropriate the moneys in that fund to the commission for grants to these student health care clinics for specified activities in preparation for providing abortion by medication techniques, thereby making an appropriation.

The bill would additionally require that at least $10,290,000 in private moneys is made available to the fund in a timely manner on or after January 1, 2020.

According to research from the pro-abortion Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, and the Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, at the University of California, San Francisco, chemical abortions are already widespread among students. The groups estimate that California public college students undergo approximately 300-500 chemical abortions each month, and with serious risks.

The drug Mifepristone/RU-486, which ends the life of the unborn child, and Misoprostol which causes severe cramping, contractions, and bleeding to expel the baby from the womb, are used together in chemical abortions.

Approximately 3.4 million women have used Mifepristone in the US for the medical termination of pregnancy through the end of December 2017, an increase of approximately 163,000 since June 2017. The FDA has documented at least 4,000 cases of serious adverse events, including more than 1,000 women who required hospitalization; in addition, at least 22 women died after using the drug.

~ Grif

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Pelosi reveals liberal leftist agenda in Equality Act remarks

At the March 13 Democrat press conference that introduced H.R. 5 – Equality Act, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi revealed a litany of  liberal, leftist goals she hoped Democrats would achieve. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), gave the initial remarks. Pelosi  gave the hallmark Democrat speech.

The following text is the official transcript of Pelosi’s remarks. The bold face highlighted text marks are mine.

# # #

Pelosi Remarks at Press Event Introducing H.R. 5, The Equality Act

March 13, 2019

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Democratic leaders of the House and Senate for a press event introducing H.R. 5, the Equality Act, which amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in education, employment, housing, credit, federal jury service, public accommodations and the use of federal funds. Below are the Speaker’s remarks

Speaker Pelosi. Senator Merkley! Thank you, Senator Merkley, I accept your kind words on behalf of our House Democrats who, overwhelmingly, support this legislation and I thank David Cicilline and the Members of the Task Force for their work to bring us to this day.

I remember full-well the day you described in the LBJ Room when we stood there, you taking the lead in the Senate, David in the House, and right between the two of you, John Lewis, John Lewis giving his imprimatur to the path that we were going down.

[Applause]

So, I thank you. It is a pleasure to welcome back Senator Schumer when he gets here, a former Member, and Senator Baldwin, a former Member of whom we are very proud, and thank you for your leadership, as well as Senator Booker, not of this House but certainly of this Congress who we are very proud of as well. I am proud to join all of you.

As I was listening to the comments that were being made, Congressman Cicilline – I think I decided to call you Chairman, you call everyone Chairman in the Majority – and Senator Merkley, I was thinking back on the path to this day.

When we first got the Majority, we said we had four goals we wanted to achieve. One was to pass the hate crimes legislation. Senator Baldwin was very much a part of that in the House, and Senator Schumer of course in the Senate, and then Senator Baldwin in both houses.

The next was supposed to be ENDA, end discrimination in the workplace, but we all came to the conclusion, led by the outside groups, that we should do the repeal of ‘Don’t Act Don’t Tell’ next. So, that rose to number two on the agenda, not in terms of importance but in terms of chronology and in getting the votes. So then, with the help of so many of you, we repealed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’

[Applause]

Next was marriage equality, which the courts happily recognized – marriage equality. So, we had one left, ENDA. But everybody just said, why should we be ending discrimination in the workplace? What about in every place – in housing, in every place?’

So, that’s when Mr. Cicilline stepped forward and said, ‘We’ll open the Civil Rights Act.’ Not a small thing to do, and that’s why Mr. Lewis and the Congressional Black Caucus and all of our Members were so important in getting behind that fully so here we are today.

Here we are today. We are proud to stand with Members from both sides of the Capitol to take a momentous step towards full equality for LGBTQ Americans and for our country. We take great pride in serving with a record-breaking ten LGBTQ Members in the Congress. We are happy about that.

[Applause]

Let us once again salute David Cicilline, a champion for equality. Thank you, Senator Merkley, for your tireless leadership in the Senate.

Our inside maneuvering, though, is only possible because of the success of the outside mobilization, so I want to join David Cicilline and Senator Merkley in acknowledging the work of our outside friends who made this possible.

[Applause]

Advocates and allies have always made the difference: in passing fully-inclusive hate crime legislation, repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Act, defeating the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act – remember that horrible thing? And more. Forget about it.

Again, your mobilizing and organizing will make the difference, once again, so I thank all of you for that. Let me just say on that score, that many of you have reported to us that many in corporate America and in the business community are behind the Equality Act, and I think that is going to be very important.

[Applause]

Our Founders, in their wisdom, wrote in our beautiful preamble to the Constitution ‘the blessings of liberty.’ They talked about the blessings of liberty which were to be the birthright of all Americans. That’s why I am especially upset that, last night, we were all sickened and saddened to see the President revive his hateful transgender service ban. No one with the strength and bravery to serve in the military should be turned away – turned away – so sad.

I had some trans in uniform folks here for the State of the Union Address, and they were so saddened because they have a high percentage of participation in our military, and to have that not get its full respect and, in fact, lessened by the President’s actions – so, we have important work to do in fighting to defeat this disgusting ban and we will succeed.

[Applause]

While the President betrays our values with his ban, the Congress is bringing our nation closer to equal liberty and justice for all with the Equality Act. Sexual orientation and gender identity deserve full civil rights protections – in the workplace and in every place, education, housing, credit, jury service – you want jury service? In public accommodations. That is why we are proud to stand with Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, many of whom are here with us, Bobby Scott, Sheila Jackson Lee. You will be hearing from Bobby Scott.

We are proud, as David said, that this bill has nearly 240 bipartisan co-sponsors in the House. We look forward to a swift, strong and successful vote on this bill. And now, it would have been my pleasure – did he come? Okay, Chuck is on the way.

[Laughter]

Is that okay? He will be here shortly. I am pleased to welcome back to the House side, a place where we took great pride, where she was first lesbian to be elected to the Congress of the United States. How proud we are of Tammy Baldwin.

~ Grif

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Democrats file legislation to force all Americans to accept the LGBTQ agenda

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi March 13 introduced the so-called Equality Act, a bill that would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes under federal civil rights law.

The legislation, known as the Equality Act would specifically include all LGBTQ definitions and would penalize everyday Americans for their beliefs about marriage and biological sex. Similar sexual orientation and gender identity laws at the state and local level have already been used in this way.

While liberal Democrats and some liberal Republicans in the House of Representatives are lauding the proposed legislation, some conservatives are calling it a “frontal assault on religious liberty.”

If the Equality Act becomes law, it would impact essentially every part of American life. It would force employers and workers to conform to new sexual norms or else lose their businesses and jobs. It would force hospitals and insurers to provide and pay for these therapies against any moral or medical objections. It would force parents to provide sexual reassignment treatments for their children who are confused about their sexual identity. It would force religious institutions that provide adoptions to permit same sex couples to adopt children, and the list goes on.

Monica Burke, a research assistant in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, in a critique of the proposed legislation noted that most Americans “don’t want a nationwide bathroom requirement, health care mandate, or “preferred pronoun” law based on gender identity, but congressional Democrats seem to think it’s time to impose them.”

Burke’s critique in The Daily Signal:

Nancy Pelosi delivered . . . on her promise to introduce the so-called Equality Act, which would elevate sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes in federal anti-discrimination law.

Although that may sound nice in theory, in practice sexual orientation and gender identity policies at the state and local level have caused profound harms to Americans from all walks of life.

How might a sexual orientation and gender identity law on the federal level, as introduced in the House and Senate, affect you and your community? Here are seven ways:

1.   It would penalize Americans who don’t affirm new sexual norms or gender ideology.

Jack Phillips’ case went all the way to the Supreme Court after the Colorado Civil Rights Commission accused the bakery owner of discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation when the self-described cake artist declined to create a custom cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, but left the law in question, the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, intact. Until last week, Phillips was in court again defending himself against the same agency under the same law.

The day after the Supreme Court ruled in Phillips’ case, Autumn Scardina, a lawyer who identifies as transgender, requested that he create a “gender transition cake.” After Phillips declined, the state Civil Rights Commission found probable cause under the law that the baker had discriminated on the basis of gender identity.

Thankfully, the commission dropped the case, and Phillips agreed to drop his own lawsuit accusing the state agency of harassing him for his Christian beliefs.

Phillips is just one of many Americans who have lost income because of their belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. Others cases involve florists, bakers, photographers, wedding venue owners, videographers, web designers, calligraphers, and public servants.

These cases are just the beginning. The same policies used to silence disagreement over marriage can be used to silence disagreement over the biological reality of sex.

2.  It would compel speech.

Virginia high school teacher Peter Vlaming lost his job for something he did not say.

A county school board voted unanimously to fire the veteran teacher over the objections of his students after he refused to comply with administrators’ orders to use masculine pronouns in referring to a female student who identifies as transgender.

Vlaming did his best to accommodate the student without violating his religious belief that God created human beings male and female, using the student’s new name and simply refraining from using pronouns altogether.

Unfortunately, the school still considered this a violation of its anti-discrimination policy.

Incidents like these would increase under federal policy proposed in the Equality Act. Both federal and private employers could face costly lawsuits if they fail to implement strict preferred pronoun policies. Employees could be disciplined if they fail to comply, regardless of their scientific or moral objections.

3 . It could shut down charities.

Foster care and adoption agencies, drug rehabilitation centers, and homeless centers already face challenges under state and local policies on sexual orientation and gender identity.

In Philadelphia, just days after the city put out an urgent call for 300 additional families to foster children, the city halted child placements by Catholic Social Services because of the organization’s belief that every child deserves both a mother and a father.

Although same-sex couples have the opportunity to foster children through the state or every other agency in Philadelphia, the city canceled its contract with Catholic Social Services. The agency’s approved foster homes remain available while children languish on the waiting list.

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would make this situation a national phenomenon, which would spell disaster for the 437,500 children in foster care nationwide.

Other charities would be affected, too.

In Anchorage, Alaska, a biological male born Timothy Paul Coyle goes by the name of Samantha Amanda Coyle. On two occasions, Coyle tried to gain access to the city’s Downtown Soup Kitchen Hope Center, a shelter for homeless, abused, and trafficked women.

In one attempt, authorities said, Coyle was inebriated and had gotten into a fight with a staffer at another shelter, so Hope Center staff paid Coyle’s fare to the emergency room to receive medical attention. Coyle sued the center for “gender identity discrimination.”

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law could force any social service organization to open up private facilities—including single-sex bathrooms, showers, and sleeping areas—to members of the opposite sex.

4.  It would allow more biological males to defeat girls in sports.

Two biological males who identify and compete as women easily defeated all of their female competitors in an event at the Connecticut State Track Championships. Transgender athlete Terry Miller broke the state record in the girls’100-meter dash. Andraya Yearwood, also transgender, took second place.

Selina Soule, a female runner, not only lost to the biological males in the championships but also lost out on valuable opportunities to be seen by college coaches and chosen for scholarships.

Soule said about the 100-meter event: “We all know the outcome of the race before it even starts; it’s demoralizing.”

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would defeat the purpose of Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which is supposed to guarantee women equal educational and athletic opportunities.

Under radical gender identity policies, female athletes have sustained gruesome injuries at the hands of male competitors. In high school wrestling, female athletes have forfeited rather than compete against transgender athletes on testosterone.

A federal law could set girls’ and women’s sports back permanently at every level.

5.  It could be used to coerce medical professionals.

Under state sexual orientation and gender identity laws, individuals who identify as transgender have sued Catholic hospitals in California and New Jersey for declining to perform hysterectomies on otherwise healthy women who wanted to pursue gender transition.

If these lawsuits succeed, medical professionals would be pressured to treat patients according to ideology rather than their best medical judgment.

The Obama administration tried to coerce medical professionals into offering transition-affirming therapies through a regulation in the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.

That move was stopped in the 11th hour by a federal judge. However, that could all be set back in motion if a national law imposes a nationwide health care mandate regarding gender identity.

6.  It could lead to more parents losing custody of their children.

The politicization of medicine according to gender ideology will create more conflicts among parents, doctors, and the government. A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would jeopardize parental rights nationwide.

In fact, the current issue of the American Journal of Bioethics includes an article arguing that the state should overrule the parents of transgender children who do not consent to give them puberty-blocking drugs.

This has already happened. In Ohio, a judge removed a biological girl from her parents’ custody after they declined to help her “transition” to male with testosterone supplements.

After the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s Transgender Health Clinic recommended these treatments for the girl’s gender dysphoria, the parents wanted to pursue counseling instead. Then the county’s family services agency charged the parents with abuse and neglect, and the judge terminated their custody.

Similar cases are proceeding through the courts with children as young as 6 years old.

Meanwhile, studies show that 80 to 95 percent of children no longer experience gender dysphoria after puberty. Politicizing medicine could have serious consequences for children who are exposed to the unnecessary medical risks of drastic therapies.

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would make these cases more common.

7.  It would enable sexual assault.

A complaint under investigation by federal education officials alleges that a boy who identifies as “gender fluid” at Oakhurst Elementary School in Decatur, Georgia, sexually assaulted Pascha Thomas’ 5-year-old daughter in a girls’ restroom. The boy had access to the girls’ restroom because of Decatur City Schools’ transgender restroom policy.

School authorities refused to change the policy even after Thomas reported the assault. Eventually, she decided to remove her daughter from school for the girl’s emotional well-being and physical safety.

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would give male sexual predators who self-identify as females access to private facilities, increasing the likelihood of these tragic incidents.

It could also make victims less likely to report sexual misconduct and police less likely to get involved, for fear of being accused of discrimination.

The proposed Equality Act could impose a nationwide bathroom policy that would leave women and children in particular vulnerable to predators. It actually would promote inequality by elevating the ideologies of special-interest groups to the level of protected groups in civil rights law.

This extreme and dangerous legislation would create unprecedented harms to businesses, charities, medical professionals, women and children, and entire families.

Texas fights back

Meanwhile, as congressional Democrats are advocating for the hamstringing of religious belief, Texas is pushing forward with new legislation that, if passed, will ultimately protect religious freedom—in Texas, at least. From Christian Ellis, CBN News, March 25:

The Republican-controlled state senate in Texas is considering SB 17. The bill would allow state license holders like lawyers, health care professionals, and counselors to serve clients based on their religious beliefs without any adverse actions from licensing boards.

Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick (R) announced the bill as one of his top priorities for the 2019 Legislative Session. The bill was designated a priority as “a result of requests and recommendations from senators and the people of Texas.”

“They strengthen our support for life, liberty and Texas values, increase protections for taxpayers,” wrote Patrick.

SB 17’s section on religious freedom reads:

“State agency that issues a license or otherwise regulates a business, occupation, or profession may not adopt any rule, regulation, or policy or impose a penalty that:

(1) limits an applicant’s ability to obtain, maintain, or renew a license based on a sincerely held religious belief of the applicant; or

(2) burdens an applicant’s or a license holder’s:

(A) free exercise of religion, regardless of whether the burden is the result of a rule generally applicable to all applicants or license holders;

(B) freedom of speech regarding a sincerely held religious belief; or

(C) membership in any religious organization.”

Conservatives across the state expect the bill to pass as the Republican party has control over the state’s House, Senate, and governorship. However, opponents like the National Association of Social Workers Texas have stated they will argue against the bill in the hearing, calling it “discriminatory”.

The organization states the bill runs “counter to the NASW Code of Ethics for all professionals, and will deny services to already marginalized persons in the LGBTQ community or women seeking access to reproductive care and services.”

SB 17 comes at a crucial time when religious freedom faces ongoing threats across the country, and as a new threat emerges in the Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives. This month, Democrats introduced an updated version of their Equality Act that elevates protections for sexual orientation over protections for religious liberty. The bill could threaten ministries with legal consequences if they denied an LGBTQ individual from working for their institution.

“Every American should be treated with dignity and respect, but our laws need to protect the constitutionally guaranteed rights that we have,” Greg Baylor from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) told CBN News.

“Now under the Equality Act we will have a nationwide law,” continued Baylor. “We will see a proliferation of instances where Christians and others are being coerced to violate their beliefs in order to comply with such a law.”

While Democrats are indicating the Equality Act is a big part of their agenda, they do not currently control the US Senate, so the measure is not expected to pass unless they gain control of both houses of Congress in the 2020 election.

While Democrat liberals are planning an assault on religion, Texas is pushing forward with new legislation that, if passed, will ultimately protect religious freedom.

The Republican-controlled state senate in Texas is considering SB 17. The bill would allow state license holders like lawyers, health care professionals, and counselors to serve clients based on their religious beliefs without any adverse actions from licensing boards.

Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick (R) announced the bill as one of his top priorities for the 2019 Legislative Session. The bill was designated a priority as “a result of requests and recommendations from senators and the people of Texas.”

~ Grif

Note from Eowyn: H.R. 5 – Equality Act was introduced by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) on March 13, 2019. See also “Coming to America: Canadian man fined $55,000 for ‘misgendering’ a ‘transgender’“.

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Ohio considers approving “constitutional carry”

 

Ohio is set to become the 17th state to approve “constitutional carry,” a law that would allow all law-abiding Ohioans to carry a concealed weapon without obtaining a permit — a measure that Republican Gov. Mike DeWine supports. If approved, Ohio would become the 17th state to approve connotational carry.

On Tuesday, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed into law Senate Bill 150, making Kentucky the 16th state to allow “constitutional carry.” The Kentacky law states that “Persons age twenty-one (21) or older, and otherwise able to lawfully possess a firearm, may carry concealed firearms or other concealed deadly weapons without a license in the same locations as persons with valid licenses issued under KRS 237.110.”

Ohio House Bill 174 was introduced Wednesday by GOP Reps. Ron Hood of Ashville and Tom Brinkman of Cincinnati. The measure immediately attracted 27 co-sponsors from among the 61 majority House Republicans. Hood and Brinkman have introduced the same legislation for years without winning passage. Prospects for approval now, however, prospects for passage seem favorable. Almost half of Ohio House Republicans are pushing for passage of this bill.

Chris Dorr, director of Ohio Gun Owners, posted a YouTube video featuring comments from Hood and Brinkman after the bill was filed in the clerk’s office.

“Gun owners are law-abiding citizens who follow the rules, and we need to let them be able to protect themselves. That’s what this is all about,” Brinkman said, noting that sixteen states now permit the carrying of weapons without permits.

The proposed Ohio bill would permit anyone age 21 or over, who is not disqualified by federal law due to a felony conviction or other offense from obtaining a weapon, to carry a hidden gun — without obtaining a concealed-carry permit. The bill also would repeal a current requirement that concealed-carry owners notify police officers they are carrying a gun when stopped. It also would authorize the expungement of the misdemeanor offense of anyone previously convicted of failing to inform an officer that he or she had a gun.

Currently, Ohioans can only carry a concealed weapon after obtaining a $67 permit from a county sheriff upon passing a criminal background check and completing eight hours of training by a certified instructor, including two hours of range time and live-fire training.

DeWine press secretary Dan Tierney said of the bill: “Gov. DeWine supports protecting Ohioans’ Second Amendment rights. We are reviewing the recently introduced proposal and look forward to following its movement through the legislative process.”

The legislation would not be restricted to handguns — it also would allow Ohioans to conceal and carry long guns, such as rifles and shotguns. Ohioans already are allowed to openly carry firearms without a permit.

Democrats, predictably, are taking a stand against the measure. Rep. David Leland, D-Columbus, lamented what he portrayed as the Republicans’ obsession with guns when issues such as health care and education demand legislative attention.

“It’s going the exact opposite direction of what most people want,” he said of the bill. “If more guns make more people safer, we would be the safest country in the world. Yet, our gun violence exceeds most every other country on this planet.

Dorr, in an email to supports, countered Leland, saying, “We already know there will be efforts by anti-gun Democrats and Rino-Republicans to block, stop and KILL Constitutional Carry. And as we saw last General Assembly, there’s always a lily-white coward willing to cut a deal and water down these pro-gun bills.”

The Republican state representatives co-sponsoring the constitutional carry bill are Niraj Antani of Miamisburg; Brian Baldridge of Winchester; John Becker of Union Township in Clermont County; Louis Blessing III of Cincinnati; Speaker Pro Tem Jim Butler of Oakwood; Sara Carruthers of Hamilton; Jon Cross of Kenton; Bill Dean of Xenia; Kris Jordan of Delaware; Candice Keller of Middletown; Kyle Koehler of Springfield, and George Lang of West Chester.

Also, Scott Lipps of Franklin; Susan Manchester of Waynesfield; Don Manning of New Middletown; Riordan McClain of Upper Sandusky; Derek Merrin of Monclova Township in Lucas County; Jena Powell of Arcanum; Craig Riedel of Defiance; Mark Romanchuk of Ontario near Mansfield; Tim Schaffer of Lancaster; former Speaker Ryan Smith of Bidwell; Todd Smith of Farmersville; Nino Vitale of Urbana; Scott Wiggam of Wooster; Shane Wilkin of Hillsboro; and Paul Zeltwanger of Mason.

Before the 19th century, there were no state laws regulating the carrying of firearms or other weapons by law-abiding residents. Then, states began to restrict the carrying of firearms and require a permit for those who wanted to exercise their right under the Second Amendment to “keep and bear arms,” ignoring the fact that that right “shall not be infringed.” By the 20th century, the only state that did not pass laws infringing the right to keep and bear arms was Vermont.

The constitutional-carry movement began to gain ground in 2003, when Governor Frank Murkowski of Alaska signed House Bill 102 into law. That law marked the first time a state rescinded its laws requiring a permit to carry a concealed weapon. No other state followed suit until 2010, when Arizona passed Senate Bill 1108.

The trend began to catch on, slowly at first, then picking up the pace more recently, with Wyoming (2011), Kansas (2015), Maine (2015), Mississippi (2016), Idaho (2016), Missouri (2016), West Virginia (2016), New Hampshire (2017), North Dakota (2017), Arkansas (2018), Oklahoma (2019), South Dakota (2019), and now Kentucky passing constitutional carry in one form or another.

Many of those states have kept concealed-carry permits on the menu to allow residents who wish to do so to take advantage of reciprocal agreements with other states, allowing them to carry concealed weapons when they travel to those states.

The path to constitutional carry has not been an easy journey in every case. For instance, in Mississippi, the implementation was incremental. The initial law passed in 2013 allowed for “a loaded or unloaded pistol or revolver carried in a purse, handbag, satchel, other similar bag or briefcase or fully enclosed case.” That was expanded in 2016 to include holsters (whether worn on the belt or shoulder) and sheathes.

The passage of constitutional carry in Arkansas could best be described as evolutionary. In August 2013, Arkansas enacted Act 746, making two important changes to the existing law, which previously prohibited “carrying a weapon … with a purpose to employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person” and allowed an exception if the person carrying the weapon was “on a journey.”

Those changes were (1) the term “journey” — which had had previously not been defined — was at long last defined as “travel beyond the county in which a person lives” and (2) the addition of the phrase “attempt to unlawfully” to the existing statute, making it read that the law prohibited “carrying a weapon … with a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person.”

That seemed to make the law say that unless a person was carrying the weapon for the purpose of carrying out a crime, it was lawful to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. But, as the well-known saying goes, the law is an ass. In July of 2013, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued an opinion stating that Act 746 did not authorize open carry. To add to the confusion, current Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge disagreed. Rutledge issued a statement in August 2015 saying that it would be within the law to open carry a weapon under Act 746 as long as there is no intent to unlawfully use the weapon.

The issue was finally settled in an Arkansas Court of Appeals ruling in August 2018, when the court declared that carrying a concealed weapon is not — in and of itself — a crime. That court decision ended the debate, allowing Act 746 to mean that Arkansas allows for constitutional carry.

In 2013, Utah’s legislature passed constitutional carry, only to have it vetoed by Republican Governor Gary Herbert. Though the law had passed with a two-thirds majority in both houses, Herbert’s veto was not overturned, and residents of Utah are not afforded the “privilege” to exercise their right under the Second Amendment to “keep and bear arms” in a concealed manner without first asking the state’s permission.

One element that seems important in the growing trend toward constitutional carry is the landmark 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller Supreme Court case. Though the Heller ruling did leave open the idea that some controls over the right to keep and bear arms could be enacted by state and local governments, the court’s interpretation of the protections guaranteed by the Second Amendment were further explained in light of Heller in the 2010 Supreme Court decision in McDonald v. Chicago. The court ruled that the Second Amendment is “fully incorporated” and the “right to keep and bear arms” is not “watered down,” but “fully applicable.” The court went on to rule that the Second Amendment limits state and local governments from passing laws that restrict the “individual” and “fundamental” right to “keep and bear arms” in “self defense.”

As the trend hopefully continues to grow and more and more states remove the shackles that have bound the hands of the law-abiding, America may see a return to the time before the passage of restrictive anti-gun laws of the 19th and 20th centuries. Perhaps, in our lifetimes, we will see the right to keep and bear arms no longer infringed.

~ Grif

 

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Illegal alien charged with rape and murder was deported twice before: ICE

How many more women have to die at the hands of illegal alien scum before the left gets its act together and supports enforcing our immigration laws? The latest victim was Carolina Cano, 45, of Jersey City, NJ, whose body was found in a public park lake near a New Jersey casino. The murder suspect is a 33 year old man who worked at a company that cleaned commercial property. According to ICE officials, the suspect had been deported twice prior to his arrest. ICE officials said he was in this country illegally. From The Jersey Journal, April 5:

The man charged with raping and strangling a jogger in Jersey City’s Lincoln Park had already been deported twice, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.

Jorge Rios, who was identified by ICE officials as Jorge Alberto Rios-Doblado, is from Honduras and “has been removed from the country on two prior occasions, in 2003 and 2004,” according to ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operation (ICE-ERO) in Newark. ICE officials also said Rios initially entered the country illegally.

ICE-ERO said that it has placed a detainer on Rios following his arrest on Sunday on charges the 33-year-old kidnapped, raped and murdered Carolina Cano, 45, of Gautier Avenue in Jersey City, on March 24. The nanny’s body was found in the lake near the Casino in the Park building that day.

The ICE-ERO spokesman said “ICE maintains that cooperation by local law enforcement is an indispensable component of promoting public safety. ICE will seek taking custody of Rios at the conclusion of his criminal proceedings, despite limited cooperation in the state.”

If Rios is convicted of the charges against him, he will have to serve his prison term first before a possible third deportation. The charge of murder carries a possible sentence of 30 years to life in prison upon conviction.

Rios, formerly of Belmont Avenue in Jersey City, was arrested in a Jersey City restaurant on Sunday and is being housed at the Hudson County jail in Kearny. The state has filed a motion to detain him through the course of his prosecution.

Following Cano’s death, Jersey City Police Department Emergency Services Unit divers have returned to the lake at least twice to scour it for further evidence. Divers were most recently in the water on Monday.

Rios was spotted on surveillance video in the area the woman’s body was found around the time police believe she was murdered, a law enforcement source said.

Cano is from Peru and worked as a nanny. A resident of the building where she lived off West Side Avenue said she had been in the United States for about two years. Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop has said that it appears Cano and Rios were strangers.

Rios was at the Belmont Avenue building to visit residents of his former first floor apartment on the weekend Cano was raped and killed, one resident of the building said. Little is known about Rios, who authorities said Wednesday works at Jersey City company that cleans stores.

A spokesman for ICE-ERO would say only that Rios was previously removed from the United States due to immigration violations. At a meeting with residents Tuesday night, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said Rios has no previous criminal record.

~ Grif

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