Author Archives: Grif

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’“.

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

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

 

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

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

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Ohio Will Permanently Defund All 26 Planned Parenthood Clinics

Thursday, March 28, was a great news day. That was the day that all 26 Planned Parenthood clinics received notice from the Ohio Department of Health that their state funding will end April 20.

Brie Zeltner, writing for the Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer, said the notice comes “following a federal appeals court ruling this month that upheld a 2016 Ohio law forbidding the state from sending preventive health funding to any organization, or affiliate of an organization, that ‘performs or promotes’ non-therapeutic abortions. The law was signed by former Gov. John Kasich.”

The letter from ODH, which was dated March 21, informs the organization’s 26 locations that as of April 20, they will no longer receive funding for a wide variety of programs formerly supported by the state. Last year, ODH gave about $600,000 in grants to Planned Parenthood, according to a spokesman for the department, Zeltner said.

The state money funded programs such as sexual assault services; breast and cervical cancer prevention; the STD (sexually transmitted disease) Control program; the Minority HIV/AIDS initiative; as well as five programs designed to reduce infant mortality, including Centering Pregnancy and Moms and Babies First, a neighborhood outreach program targeting high-risk black women.

There are three Ohio Planned Parenthood locations that provide abortions — in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Bedford Heights — but the nonprofits that provide these services, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, allegedly do not use public money to fund them. The two organizations sued after the 2016 law was signed.

On March 12th, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled 11 to 6 to reverse a federal judge’s decision to declare the 2016 law unconstitutional.

Will Maule, writing for Faithwire, reported that “Planned Parenthood executives reacted with fury. ‘Ohio continues to put politics over people, putting them at greater risk. This isn’t about politics, this is about lifesaving health care’ said Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio CEO Iris E. Harvey.”

Of the 26 locations across the state, three provide abortions. However, under the Hyde Amendment, these clinics were not permitted to receive state funding, even before the 2016 measure was passed — they are funded by Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region.

However, those on the pro-life side who are in favor of the de-funding, have pointed out that the non-abortion services provided by Ohio’s Planned Parenthood clinics have declined in recent years, while abortion rates continue to increase.

“As abortions nationally continue to drop, Planned Parenthood’s abortion numbers have increased year over year,” noted pro-life outlet, LiveAction. “It currently holds 35% of the national market share for abortions (it committed more than 330,000, according to the most recent annual report).”

In addition, Planned Parenthood has been caught up in a number of scandals, including fetal organ harvesting and even failing to report the abortions of underage girls who were brought into clinics under suspicious circumstances.

“After being initially blocked by a court ruling, Ohio has finally defunded PP of all state taxpayer money. Great news!” tweeted LiveAction’s founder, Lila Rose.

In 2017, President Trump signed a bill which allowed states to immediately begin defunding abortion organizations like Planned Parenthood by removing the family planning funding they were permitted to receive under Title X.

In a tweet March 28, Harvey said, “Gov DeWine is HEARTLESS. Just got a 30 day notice from Health Dept. Defunding Planned Parenthood work to reduce Black infant mortality, prevent violence against women, provide cancer screenings, HIV tests and sex education! All care health depts couldn’t do!”

On a personal note, I find this comment absolutely bizarre coming, as it does, from a woman who makes her living murdering babies.

~ Grif

4.0
01
Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Peace Cross Case Heads to US Supreme Court – Why Much More Than One Cross Is on the Line

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case about whether a the nearly 100-year-old, cross-shaped war memorial in Maryland known as Peace Cross violates the Constitution because is on government property. The case of the monument, located in the Bladensburg community of Prince George’s County, could impact hundreds of similar monuments nationwide.

First Liberty Institute is defending the cross. One of its lawyers, Jeremy Dys, told CBN News, “This case is very important for a variety of reasons. Because this area of the law is right now – as Justice (Clarence) Thomas has said – in hopeless disarray. And so there’s really needing some clarity for this.”

The legal team  believes this could be the most crucial religious liberty case the Supreme Court handles this term. That’s because if the high court eventually decides this cross has to go, it could affect thousands of other crosses, including crosses on all federal cemeteries such as  the national cometary at Arlington.

But if the justices make a broad ruling favoring the cross and other objects like it, it could put an end to judges and bureaucrats deciding – somewhat haphazardly – if a religious symbol or display is too religious or secular enough to be left alone by secular authorities.

That possibility has opponents of the cross worried about the court setting a precedent that could counter future efforts to eradicate religious symbols–especially Christian symbols– from public display.

The District of Columbia-based American Humanist Association has led the challenge against the monument. The organization and three area residents sued Maryland officials in 2014 in an attempt to have the monument torn down. They say that the cross “discriminates against patriotic soldiers who are not Christian, sending a callous message to non-Christians that Christians are worthy of veneration while they may as well be forgotten.” And they point out that other nearby memorials are smaller and across the street from the cross.

One of the people who brought the original case against the cross – Steven Lowe of the American Humanist Association – told CBN News, “The government on this piece of property is favoring a religion with this huge symbol. When you come across the bridge or approach it from any of the highways, you see nothing but this huge Christian cross.”

Journalist Renee Green spoke with Lowe and other cross opponents for her documentary “Save the Peace Cross.” In it, United Coalition of Reason officer Fred Edwords stated, “It gives the impression of Christianity and nothing else. And it gives the impression of government endorsement of Christianity.”

And Lowe told Green, “The existence of a memorial on public land is not a problem. It is just the use of the Christian cross as part of that memorial that we find contrary to the First Amendment and separation of church and state.”

Edwords added, “It looks for all the world like, ‘Okay, this is either the state of Maryland or the city of Bladensburg endorsing one religion.'”

In the suit against the cross, one atheist said he was traumatized driving by it. Green appears on camera in her documentary to point out that many telephone poles are in the shape of a cross.

“If the plaintiffs win this lawsuit, will all the telephone poles need to be modified?” Green asks, tongue-in-cheek. She adds, “I just hope they’re not traumatized by telephone poles while driving.”

The Peace Cross has drawn the support of Maryland’s governor and senators. Over the summer the state of Maryland filed an amicus brief in support of the petition to the Supreme Court, and Gov. Larry Hogan said the state was “determined to fight all the way to the highest court in the land to keep it standing tall and proud.”

The Peace Cross was completed in 1925, and it honors 49 men from the surrounding county who died in World War I. A plaque on the cross’ base lists the names of those soldiers, and both faces of the cross have a circle with the symbol of the American Legion, the veterans organization that helped raise money to build it.

Today, responsibility for the cross falls to a Maryland parks commission that took over ownership and maintenance of it in 1961 because of traffic safety concerns.

~ Grif

The first amendment/the first enumerated right:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Illegal Alien Charged with Murder Had Been Arrested and Released Nine Times

Here is  yet another reason to build the wall, close our southern border, and strictly enforce existing immigration law.

A homeless man arrested on Monday, March 11, for stabbing a San Jose woman to death last month was an illegal alien who had been ordered detained by federal authorities nine times, officials said Tuesday. But the man, who had multiple convictions for misdemeanor and felony offenses, was released from the Santa Clara County California jail twice in the months before the killing.

From the San Jose Mercury News: Nico Savidge March 13, 2019:

On Tuesday, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo issued a sharply-worded criticism of the county’s policy of not honoring federal immigration detention orders at the jail. Liccardo said the policy “undermines public safety, and violates common sense.”

San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia joined with Liccardo and Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith in criticizing the policy Tuesday. At a press conference, Garcia said he was well aware of the ways in which the case probably would be politicized amid a heated national debate over immigration and local “sanctuary” policies meant to protect undocumented residents from federal authorities.

But, Garcia said, there was a distinction between protecting and embracing “otherwise law-abiding undocumented residents” and policies that he said “shield admitted gangsters or violent criminals.”

“When we have violent or serious offenders that are preying on our community, we must have the ability to protect our residents,” Garcia said.

Police arrested 24-year-old Carlos Eduardo Arevalo-Carranza on Monday in the death of 59-year-old Bambi Larson, who was found dead in her home on Knollfield Way on the afternoon of Feb. 28.

Arevalo-Carranza, a native of El Salvador, had been living in the country illegally, and was the subject of at least nine “detainers” from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement since 2016, according to Erik Bonnar, the agency’s acting field director the agency’s San Francisco field office.

Under those detainers, local law enforcement agencies hold immigrants for up to two days until ICE agents can take custody of them. Santa Clara County has not honored them since 2011.

Garcia said Arevalo-Carranza had been arrested several times in Santa Clara County in recent years for a string of charges, most recently when he was arrested in January on charges of possession of methamphetamine and paraphernalia. He had also been arrested in October. But Garcia said Arevalo-Carranza was never turned over to ICE because of the county’s policy of ignoring federal detention orders.

Bonnar leaped to criticize the county in a statement Tuesday, writing that it “allowed Arevalo-Carranza back on the streets to reoffend.”

“These sanctuary policies have unintended, but very real, and often tragic consequences to public safety,” Bonnar said.

Liccardo said he would like the county to honor ICE detention orders for “prior first-degree home burglaries and other ‘strike’ offenses.” Garcia did not describe specific changes he would like to see to the policies, but said he believes local law enforcement should be involved in the conversations.

Smith, who as sheriff runs the Santa Clara County Jail, said Arevalo-Carranza should have been held for federal officials.

“It has been my long-standing position that all undocumented immigrants who are a serious or violent felon, should be held for ICE evaluations,” Smith said.

Authorities have not been able to determine any connection between Arevalo-Carranza and Larson, Garcia said, though they believe he “stalked” the quiet South San Jose neighborhood where the crime occurred.

Larson’s son had gone to check on his mother on the afternoon of Feb. 28 after he said coworkers told him she had not shown up to work that day. He found her covered in blood in her apartment.

~ Grif

 

4.0
01
Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Sandy Hook families can sue AR-15 gunmaker Remington, court rules

March 14, 2019

The Connecticut Supreme Court today ruled that the families of those killed in the Dec. 14, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., would be allowed to sue Remington Arms, the manufacturer of the Bushmaster AR-15 used in the attack. In a 4-3 decision, the court reversed a ruling of the lower court, Bridgeport Superior Court, which originally dismissed a lawsuit filed by Sandy Hook families against Remington in 2015.

The lower court’s 2015 ruling rested on the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).
The law protects firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when crimes have been committed with their products. A one vote majority of the Connecticut Supreme Court, however, ruled that PLCAA did not shield Remington (and by extension all gun manufacturers and dealers) from being sued.

According to the Hartford Courant, the justices contend that the victims’ families are permitted to argue Remington’s alleged violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA)’

“We further conclude that PLCAA does not bar the plaintiffs from proceeding on the single, limited theory that the defendants violated CUTPA by marketing the XM15- E2S to civilians for criminal purposes, and that those wrongful marketing tactics caused or contributed to the Sandy Hook massacre,” Justice Richard Palmer wrote. “Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings.”

“Following a scrupulous review of the text and legislative history of [the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act] we also conclude that Congress has not clearly manifested an intent to extinguish the traditional authority of our legislature and our courts to protect the people of Connecticut from the pernicious practices alleged in the present case. The regulation of advertising that threatens the public’s health, safety, and morals has long been considered a core exercise of the states’ police powers.” Justice Palmer added.

“Accordingly, on the basis of that limited theory, we conclude that the plaintiffs have pleaded allegations sufficient to survive a motion to strike and are entitled to have the opportunity to prove their wrongful marketing allegations,” Palmer concluded.

Connecticut law, the court wrote in the majority opinion, “does not permit advertisements that promote or encourage violent, criminal behavior.” While federal law does offer protection for gun manufacturers, the majority wrote, “Congress did not intend to immunize firearms suppliers who engage in truly unethical and irresponsible marketing practices promoting criminal conduct, and given that statutes such as CUTPA are the only means available to address those types of wrongs, it falls to a jury to decide whether the promotional schemes alleged in the present case rise to the level of illegal trade practices and whether fault for the tragedy can be laid at their feet.”

The families’ original lawsuit filed against Remington in 2015, alleged that the company manufactured and marketed a military weapon that ended up in the hands of a civilian.

Bridgeport Superior Court dismissed the lawsuit in 2016, declaring that it “falls squarely within the broad immunity” provided under the PLCAA.

“There is no need for a legal re-examination of the law,” said James Vogts, Remington’s attorney at the time. “Under the law, the manufacturer of the gun used by the criminal that day isn’t responsible legally for his actions.”

Some legal analysts now however say Remington might be held liable under the “negligent entrustment” exception in the law, which defines the “supplying of a qualified product by a seller for use by another person when the seller knows, or reasonably should know, the person to whom the product is supplied is likely to, and does, use the product in a manner involving unreasonable risk of physical injury to the person or others.

Major liberal me outlets, most notably The New York Times, seem positively giddy over the prospect of suing America’s firearms manufacturers out of business.

Times reporters Rick Rojas and Kristin Hussey called today’s Connecticut court ruling a “major blow to the firearms industry on Thursday, clearing the way for a lawsuit against the companies that manufactured and sold the semiautomatic rifle used by the gunman in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.”

They continued, “The lawsuit mounted a direct challenge to the immunity that Congress granted gun companies to shield them from litigation when their weapons are used in a crime. The ruling allows the case, brought by victims’ families, to maneuver around the federal shield, creating a potential opening to bring claims to trial and hold the companies, including Remington, which made the rifle, liable for the attack.

The 4-3 majority largely upheld arguments made by lawyers for Remington that the company is protected from suit in many instances. The court ruled, however, that Congress did not intend the PLCAA to preclude state law.

Ultimately, the majority said, the plaintiffs should have the opportunity to prove that Remington violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA) by marketing a military-style weapon to civilians.

A Connecticut Superior Court judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2016, agreeing with lawyers for Remington that the case falls within the “broad immunity” gun manufacturers and sellers are afforded under the PLCAA. The state Supreme Court decision, however, paves the way for the suit to continue and for lawyers to access internal documents from the firearms companies.

Lawyers for the gunmaker argued that there was no way for Remington to assess the shooter, and therefore no way they could have known what the gun would be used for.

According to the Times, the lawsuit was originally filed in 2014 by nine families of the victims and a teacher who was injured in the shooting. It names gun manufacturers and distributors Bushmaster, Remington, Camfour Holdings LLP, as well as Riverview Gun Sales Inc., the gun shop where the shooter’s mother purchased the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, and the store’s owner.

Remington Arms filed for bankruptcy in March of 2018, which effectively stalled the lawsuit. In May 2018, the company announced that it had emerged from bankruptcy.

“The decision represents a significant development in the long-running battle between gun control advocates and the gun lobby,” the Times said. “And it stands to have wider ramifications, experts said, by charting a possible legal road map for victims’ relatives and survivors from other mass shootings who want to sue gun companies.”

Edify this morning called the ruling a “high-stakes challenge to gun companies, which have rarely been held liable for crimes committed with their products, and could mark a new front in the battle over gun regulations and corporate accountability. . . An eventual ruling against Remington could establish legal precedent, opening doors for more lawsuits against gun manufacturers, and expose the company’s communications about its marketing plans.”

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action outlines the issue as follows:

On October 26, 2005, President Bush signed S. 397, the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.” Introduced by Sens. Larry Craig (R-ID) and Max Baucus (D-MT), this legislation is a vitally important first step toward ending the anti-gun lobby`s shameless attempts to bankrupt the American firearms industry through reckless lawsuits. Reps. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Rick Boucher (D-VA) introduced similar legislation, H.R. 800 in the House of Representatives.

•These suits are intended to drive gunmakers out of business by holding manufacturers and dealers liable for the criminal acts of third parties who are totally beyond their control. Suing the firearms industry for street crime is like suing General Motors for criminal acts involving Buicks.

•These lawsuits seek a broad range of remedies relating to product design and marketing. Their demands, if granted, would create major restrictions on interstate commerce in firearms and ammunition, including unwanted design changes, burdensome sales policies, and higher costs for consumers. While the suits are unwarranted, the firearms industry has had to spend over $200 million in defense.

•Congress has the power-and the duty-to prevent activists from abusing the courts to destroy interstate commerce.

•The bill provides that lawsuits may not be brought against manufacturers and sellers of firearms or ammunition if the suits are based on criminal or unlawful use of the product by a third party. Existing lawsuits must be dismissed.

S. 397 provides carefully tailored protections for legitimate suits:

•The bills expressly allow suits based on knowing violations of federal or state law related to gun sales, or on traditional grounds including negligent entrustment (such as sales to a child or an obviously intoxicated person) or breach of contract. The bill also allows product liability cases involving actual injuries caused by an improperly functioning firearm (as opposed to cases of intentional misuse).

•The Congress has often passed limitations on liability for specific groups, including light aircraft manufacturers, food donors, corporations affected by “Y2K” computer problems, charitable volunteers, health officials, medical implant manufacturers, and makers of anti-terrorism technology.
These lawsuits usurp the authority of the Congress and of state legislators, in a desperate attempt to enact restrictions that have been widely rejected. Thirty-four states have also enacted statutes blocking this type of litigation.

~ Grif
Molon Labe

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

‘Child Abuse’? Massachusetts Therapy Ban Means Parents Could Lose Their Kids if They Try to Help Them

Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a therapy ban that would not only make it illegal to counsel children about unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion, but also punish parents who allow it by taking custody of their children.

Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, told CBN News that the bill “categorizes the treatment itself as child abuse.”

It appears that Massachusetts is the first state to consider defining such therapy as abusive and allow for the option of taking away parental custody.

“This is a bill that would allow the state to take, for example, your daughter, and make her someone else’s son,” Beckwith said.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, a powerful LGBTQ advocacy organization, 15 states and Washington, DC have already passed therapy bans for youth. Beckwith says Massachusetts could be the first to add the abuse definition. Lawmakers in Maine and Colorado are also considering therapy bans for youth right now. LGBTQ advocates have argued for years that therapy that allows youth to discuss their concerns about unwanted same-sex desires or gender identity issues is harmful.

Massachusetts lawmakers first introduced a youth therapy ban bill in 2013. Beckwith says proponents appear to have an “aggressive timeline” right now, because last year lawmakers couldn’t agree on the abuse provision and delayed a vote until the end of the session in June.

This year, according to Beckwith, they’re already taking action. Lawmakers held a hearing on March 5 to consider testimony from those the measure would impact.

Parental custody is already an issue in transgender cases involving children across the country. Recently, Ohio officials stripped parental rights from a couple that opposed medical treatment for their teenage daughter who wanted to become a boy. In Texas, a divorced father and mother are fighting over medical treatment for their 6-year-old son. The mother says he identifies as a girl and wants to pursue medical treatments to help him change. The father says the boy identifies as a boy and opposes the treatments.

The Massachusetts Senate’s bill S.70, titled “Relative to abusive practices to change sexual orientation and gender identity,” was reported favorably by committee Monday, March 11, and referred to the committee on Senate Rules.

Hearings on Massachusetts House Bill H.110, “An Act banning conversion therapy,” was extended for additional testimony. A new date for the extended hearings has not been set. The House version of the bill would “prohibit practices by health care providers that attempt to change sexual orientation or gender identity. Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities.”

~ Grif

4.0
01
Please follow and like us:
error0
 

USA “gets ass handed to it” in WW3 simulations with China, Russia: analysts say

Laura Widener, writing for American Military News, outlined a chilling prediction from the RAND research organization that the United States would not survive in an all out war with Russia and China.

Widener writes: The U.S. repeatedly “gets its ass handed to it” in World War III simulations, according to the global research organization RAND.
“In our games, when we fight Russia and China … blue gets its ass handed to it,” RAND senior researcher David Ochmanek said during a panel discussion at the Center for a New American Security think tank last week.

Watch his remarks at approximately 13:07 in the video below:

https://americanmilitarynews.com/2019/03/us-gets-ass-handed-to-it-in-ww3-simulations-with-china-russia-analysts/

“We lose a lot of people. We lose a lot of equipment. We usually fail to achieve our objective of preventing aggression by the adversary,” he added.

Ochmanek said the scenarios often end with the “red” – Russia and China – destroying U.S. fighter jets while still on the runway, sinking U.S. warships, and destroying U.S. military bases and other vital military systems. “In every case I know of, the F-35 rules the sky when it’s in the sky,” said Robert Work, a former deputy secretary of defense and an expert war game analyst. “But it gets killed on the ground in large numbers.”

U.S. aircraft carriers are also considered more vulnerable to enemy attacks. “Things that sail on the surface of the sea are going to have a hard time,” Ochmanek said. The Chinese would “attack the American battle network at all levels, relentlessly, and they practice it all the time,” Work said. “On our side, whenever we have an exercise, when the red force really destroys our command and control, we stop the exercise and say, ‘Let’s restart.’”

There is a widespread assumption that paints America as a leading military power who wins handily in any wartime scenario, Ochmanek pointed out. However, he noted that this isn’t the case, and people are shocked to learn the truth – that all five warfare domains are contested.

“We do not have air superiority over the ballast space at the outset of these wars. We do not have maritime superiority. Our space assets are under attack with kinetic and non-kinetic means. Our command-and-control is under attack by electromagnetic attacks and cyber,” he continued.

The “brain and the nervous system that connects all of these pieces is suppressed, if not shattered,” Ochmanek said.

He also explained that the forward bases U.S. forces operate from are eliminated in war scenarios, taking away critical points of operation; researchers are unsure of what that means for America’s fate.
U.S. bases in Europe also pose a vulnerability due to their scattered proximity and insufficient defense capabilities.

“If we went to war in Europe, there would be one Patriot battery moving, and it would go to Ramstein [in Germany]. And that’s it,” Work noted. “We have 58 Brigade Combat Teams, but we don’t have anything to protect our bases. So what difference does it make?”

The researchers stressed that a military defeat is imminent unless the U.S. employs a major change in strategy.

“These are the things that the war games show over and over and over, so we need a new American way of war without question,” Work urged.

~ Grif
Si vis pacem, para bellum.

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

How Many Poops Does it Take to Create a Petty Dictator?

Only a third-world backwater communist dictator would have ordered something like this.

Kim Jong Un, North Korean dictator, butcher, and murderer of his own brother, has decreed that every able-bodied citizen must turn in 100 kg (220 pounds) of human feces a day to be used for fertilizer, to bolster the agricultural sector.

North Korean Poop Mandate

Kim announced the poop scoop requirement in his New Year’s address saying that the agricultural front would be the primary instrument for economic reconstruction, according to an article published on Radio Free Asia (RAF) January 18.

Quoting an anonymous source in North Hamgyong province, RFA’s Korean Service said, “After Kim Jong Un’s [speech], the entire population has been mobilized to produce manure as the first major task of the year The authorities in each local region task factories, institutions and citizens groups with assigning production quotas to each individual”.

“They are demanding that each person produce 100kg of human feces per day, or about 3 tons per month,” said the source. “But how on earth can it be possible for one person to make 3 tons of human feces and deliver it?”

Well, yeah!

While the collection of human feces is a yearly task, high quotas this year are driving many to find interesting ways to collect human feces in the bitter cold, or to find ways to get out of their quota.

Some however, are critical of the government, saying the high quotas amount to a shakedown of the people.

“If you cannot fill the quota, you have to supply 300kg of compost or livestock manure instead,” the source added.

“Most people can’t [make or collect] 100kg per day, so they end up giving what they think is sufficient. The quota is therefore meaningless,” said the source.

“[The quotas] are the same in both the cities and the countryside because the quotas are applied to everyone evenly,” said the source, adding “When the city’s clothing and food factories are [operating at full capacity], workers will try all sorts of ways to fill the quota.”

There are, however, alternative ways for North Korean citizens to buy their way out of the potty pot.

“Compared with last year, there’s a growing number of residents who are choosing to pay cash instead of providing the manure itself,” said the source.

In addition to paying cash, citizens can buy manure from merchants.

“The manure merchants are doing really well these days, charging 20 yuan (about $3) per 100kg of human feces or 300kg of compost,” the source said.

“Young women who work in restaurants and beauty parlors usually just pay cash, though,” said the source.

Another source, also in North Hamgyong province, said, “The residents of Chongjin City have been fully mobilized to fulfil this task. Authorities are encouraging people to produce more manure, stressing that it provides a vital boost to the agricultural front, and thereby the socialist movement in general,” the source said.

“People are becoming increasingly dissatisfied though, as authorities are keeping production records for each person and putting pressure on those who haven’t produced enough [to fill their quota.],” said the source.

So, if one day’s pile of poop to equals 100 kg, how many piles of poop do you have to make before you have a Kim Jong Un?

“In winter, there isn’t as much manure and compost. Cash payments exceed the value of the manure that actually ends up being delivered, so people are saying the regime is just using the quota as a means to collect more money from the citizens,” the source said.

“More than 80% of all the female workers in Chongjin’s clothing factory pay cash instead of manure,” said the source.

“People are angry, criticizing the regime for [deliberately setting quotas so high] to force people to pay cash, then claiming it’s for agricultural production.”

~ Grif

Please follow and like us:
error0