Stembridge News Digest

  • NPR has an anonymous hotline for employees to rat each other out for not wearing masks — under penalty of termination Fri, 20 May 2022 00:54:09 +0000

    National Public Radio is maintaining very stringent masking guidelines, including a hotline where employees could rat each other out for not wearing masks under penalty of termination and other possible punishments.

    According to an email obtained by journalist Dylan Byers, NPR is encouraging its employees to betray each other's mask mistakes.

    "We have asked on-site supervisors to remind staff of the masking requirements when needed. Masking is still required, unless recording alone in a studio, working alone in an office with the door closed, or actively eating or drinking," according to the email.

    "If you notice someone has forgotten their mask, you might tell them, 'Hey, you forgot your mask.' It's actually helping the person to be reminded. Nobody is intentionally trying to evade the rules," the email continued.

    "Alternatively, let your supervisor or your HRBO know and they can remind that person," the email concluded. "You can also share an anonymous concern via the EthicsPoint system via [phone number redacted] and HR will address your concern promptly but that's not the best option for an immediate fix."

    The email concluded with the warning that failing to meet the masking guidelines could result in disciplinary action, including termination.

    The New York Post said NPR did not return requests for a comment about its masking policies, which the Post described as "draconian."

    Some on social media mocked NPR for the anonymous tipline while others on the left appeared to be supportive of the policies.

    Health experts say that COVID-19 infections are surging across the country after previously collapsing in recent months. Some organizations are responding by going back to social distancing guidelines. On Tuesday, public schools in Portland, Maine, went back to requiring masks for students, employees, and visitors.

    Here's more about the recent surge in COVID-19:

    COVID-19 cases surge to highest point since mid-February | WNT

  • 3 Senate Democrats reintroduce gun control bill that would require people to get a federal firearm license to procure a gun Fri, 20 May 2022 00:19:00 +0000

    A trio of Democratic senators has reintroduced legislation that would require people to get a federal license in order to buy or receive a gun.

    Would-be gun owners would have to jump though several hoops while seeking the license, including "a written test," "hands-on testing," and "a background investigation and criminal history check," according to the bill's text. People would also need to supply "proof of identity," as well as their fingerprints, information about the gun they aim to acquire, and the identity of the entity selling or transferring the weapon.

    The proposal would allow an exception to the federal license requirement for people in a state that has a similar licensing system in place.

    Sens. Cory Booker and Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut are pushing the Federal Firearm Licensing Act, which was previously introduced in 2019 but failed to go anywhere.

    "The Federal Firearms Licensing Act would put in place a certification process that includes firearm safety training and a thorough criminal background and identity check requiring the licensee be 21 years of age," Menendez said, according to a press release. "We have a moral obligation to prevent these senseless massacres in our schools, supermarkets, places of worship and shopping malls that are tearing communities and families apart. It is my hope that my Republican colleagues will once-and-for-all recognize the urgency of action and join us in passing this legislation before more lives are senselessly lost to gun violence."

    "We need to adopt proven, common-sense measures that will address the scourge of gun violence and make our communities safer," Booker said. "This bill moves us in the right direction and is based on a simple concept - if you need a license to drive a car, you should need one to buy and possess a gun."

    "This legislation will save lives and protect communities across the United States from the devastating impact of gun violence," Blumenthal said.

    The proposal highlights an ongoing national debate between gun control proponents and gun rights advocates.

    Responding to a tweet from The Hill about the proposed legislation, Andrew Wilkow commented, "That would literally be 'infringement'."

    The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

  • Devastated 13-year-old  could lose access to scholarship programs on allegations of misgendering Thu, 19 May 2022 23:58:37 +0000

    When we hear stories involving sexual harassment allegations, our minds often jump to the most heinous acts — rape, inappropriate touching, or incest. But for three middle school students in Keil, Wisconsin, a new understanding of sexual harassment is taking shape.

    A Wisconsin school district has filed a Title IX complaint against three Kiel Middle School students, accusing them of sexual harassment for using incorrect pronouns when addressing another student.

    BlazeTV host Allie Stuckey of "Relatable" spoke to Rose Rabidoux, the mother of13-year-old Braden accused of sexual harassment for standing up for his friend during music class. Rose explained how a student at her son's school came out as non-binary and wanted to be called they/them instead of she/her.

    According to Rose, Braden struggled because they/them are plural pronouns and he wasn't sure how to use them, so Rose suggested that Braden use the girl's name instead of improper pronouns. Soon after, the nightmare began during music class when the girl allegedly grew hostile for being misgendered by one of Braden's friends.

    “She had been screaming at one of Braden’s friends to use proper pronouns, calling him profanity, and this friend is very soft-spoken, and kind of just sunk down into his chair,” Rabidoux said. “Braden finally came up, defending him, saying, ‘He doesn’t have to use proper pronouns, it’s his constitutional right not to use, you can’t make him say things.’”

    “I received a phone call from the principal over at the elementary school, forewarning me, letting me know that I was going to be receiving an email with sexual harassment allegations against my son ... I immediately went into shock. I’m thinking sexual harassment? That’s rape, that’s inappropriate touching, that’s incest,” Rabidoux said. “What has my son done?”

    The Keil School District told Fox News: "The KASD prohibits all forms of bullying and harassment by all laws, including Title IX."

    Braden's principal called him and his mother in for a meeting to discuss the matter. Once the questioning was over, Braden asked his principal what sexual harassment charges meant for his future, for scholarships. According to Rabidoux, the principal just shrugged his shoulder and said he didn't know.

    Rabidoux's attorney said there is no basis for misgendering under Title IX, and courts have even ruled that teasing and gender-based insults don't count.

    Want more from Allie Stuckey?

    To enjoy more of Allie’s upbeat and in-depth coverage of culture and politics from a Christian, millennial perspective, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

  • A little girl was videotaping her game of tag at a park when a lethal gunfight broke out in Silicon Valley city Thu, 19 May 2022 23:30:00 +0000

    A terrifying video shows a little girl videotaping her innocent game of tag when a lethal gunfight broke out at a kids' park in an expensive Silicon Valley city in California.

    The disturbing incident unfolded on Tuesday at the Jack Farrell Park in East Palo Alto at about 6 p.m.

    A child can be heard saying, "Tag, you're it!" before the chaos.

    The video captures the scenes of the girl running for her life through a softball field as numerous gunshots are heard in the background.

    At the end, she pleads, "Help me!"

    A witness who wants to remain anonymous told KRON-TV what happened next.

    “That was my niece recording with some of my other nieces and nephews," said the witness. "She ran towards us at the softball field. Then the bullets came flying towards the softball field and bleachers where we were with all of our other kids.”

    Police Chief Jeff Liu told reporters that about 33 gunshots were fired, and four adults were shot. One died.

    Witnesses said there were at least 60 children playing at the park and they panicked and ran as the gunshots rang out.

    The gunshots set off the East Palo Alto Police Department’s ShotSpotter alert system and police immediately responded to the park. There they found the victim, identified as 34-year-old Ralph Fields Jr. He died in an ambulance on route to a hospital.

    He is also the cousin of Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams.

    A second witness said one of the gunshot victims run towards the field where families were sitting with their children.

    "We’re so very fortunate that none of us were seriously injured. One of my cousins was grazed by a bullet in the back of the head but he’s okay,” said the witness.

    Liu said the other three victims are expected to survive.

    A local pastor and community activist noted that the harrowing incident even broke the code of the street.

    “There is a street code that’s out there. You even broke the street code by shooting where kids were. Kids were running, saying ‘mommy help me.’ This is totally unacceptable,” said Pastor Paul Bains to KRON.

    "If you see something, say something," he said at a media briefing with police. "Otherwise this is going to happen again. Because retaliation is what ignorant, stupid minds want to do. We're not gonna tolerate this."

    In February, the average price of a home in East Palo Alto exceeded $1 million, according to a report from Zillow.

    Here's a local news report about the alarming video:

    Disturbing video shows children fleeing playground equipment during fatal East Palo Alto shooting

  • New analysis shows an alarming number of teachers arrested for child sex crimes in 2022 Thu, 19 May 2022 23:00:00 +0000

    During a spirited rant against teachers who groom students last week, Joe Rogan claimed that educators are being arrested for sexually abusing students "every couple days." According to a new analysis conducted by Fox News, Rogan's alarming estimates regarding teachers sexually abusing students may have actually been conservative.

    Fox News analyzed local news stories regarding arrests of teachers and teachers' aides for child sex-related crimes between Jan. 1 and May 13. Shockingly, the news outlet recorded 135 educators being arrested in that brief timeframe of 132 days – which equates to an average of more than one teacher arrested for a child sex crime per day.

    According to the research, the offenders were overwhelmingly men – 102 male teachers were charged, accounting for 76% of all the crimes against children.

    Of the 135 teachers and aides accused of committing sexual crimes against children, there were 102 cases involving students, 30 not involving students, and 13 instances where the victim was "unknown."

    Of the 135 arrested educators, there were 117 teachers, 11 teachers' aides, and seven substitute teachers, according to the analysis.

    There isn't much data on the prevalence of inappropriate relationships between teachers and students.

    A 2014 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) stated, "The prevalence of sexual abuse by school personnel remains unknown, in part, because some cases go unreported. Further, the term sexual abuse may not capture the full spectrum of the issue."

    The report warned how grooming makes outing teachers difficult.

    "While child sexual abuse typically refers to the criminal act of forcing a child to engage in sexual activity with the perpetrator, other inappropriate behaviors with children may eventually lead to sexual abuse," the GAO report said. "For example, while not generally criminal, behaviors often referred to as ‘grooming’ may be carried out by the perpetrator with the aim of establishing trust to facilitate future sexual activity with the child."

    A report conducted by the U.S. Department of Education in 2004 found that 18% of K-12 students claimed they experienced sexual misconduct by a teacher at some point.

    The Office of Justice Programs’ National Criminal Justice Reference Service reported that there were "459 cases of school employee sexual misconduct ... that attracted media coverage in 2014," based on data from the Stop Educator Sexual Abuse Misconduct & Exploitation (SESAME) organization. There were 96 cases that did not involve a student, but were carried out on a minor.

    The report showed that 7% of eighth through eleventh grade students claimed to have experienced physical sexual contact from a school staff member. There were 10% of students who alleged they experienced sexual misconduct – such as being shown pornography or being subjected to sexually explicit language or exhibitionism.

    Christopher Rufo – a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute – told Fox News, "The public school system has a serious child sex abuse problem."

    Rufo said the lack of studies into inappropriate relationships between teachers and students is a "travesty."

    "Parents deserve to know exactly what's happening in the public school system and deserve to have tools for protecting their children from abuse," Rufo declared. "Congress should immediately fund a $25 million research program into child sexual abuse in public schools and provide complete transparency for parents. The first duty of public schools is to keep kids safe—and, tragically, that's not happening in far too many cases."

  • MSNBC's Donny Deutsch says Dems need to 'scare the bejesus' out of voters about replacement theory because the economy is so bad Thu, 19 May 2022 22:30:00 +0000

    MSNBC host Donny Deutsch said that Democrats needed to "scare the bejesus" out of the voters about replacement theory because the economy has been tanking so badly.

    Deutsch made the comments Wednesday on "Morning Joe" in response to a question from Joe Scarborough.

    "The question is: What is the best way to push back on this hatred? What's the best way to push back on this conspiracy theory that is based on a Jewish international banker — I mean it is so anti-Semitic — and of course they've slotted George Soros in there, trying to make the country like browner and blacker," Scarborough claimed. "What's the best way for people to push back on that lie?"

    "You take this heinous platform and you make the Republicans own it. I want to say it again, make the Republicans own it," replied Deutsch.

    "Every Republican politician, every Republican candidate, ask them about it; they can't run from it, because it's part of who they are, as disgusting as it is. But make it the Republican replacement theory, mainstream it, because you have to scare," he continued.

    "We don’t have the economy on our side as Democrats. So you have to scare the bejesus out of people — and a way to scare them, to say, 'You know this replacement theory, this is not just coming from some dark corner of the web, this is the Republican platform,'" he added.

    "Make them own it, and Democrats run from this fist fight. I know in the previous segment," Deutsch concluded, "he talked about the president not wanting to call out names. Call out Tucker Carlson, call out the politicians and make this, make them own it, this is a Republican platform. It's the racist Republican replacement theory."

    The replacement conspiracy theory involves the contention that powerful people on the left want to replace white people in the United States with minorities in order to change the demographic makeup of the electorate to fit their political agenda. The logic of the theory is somewhat undermined by recent polling showing Democrats are increasingly unpopular among Hispanics and blacks.

    Deutsch made headlines in 2011 when he said that he hoped there was some moment like the deadly Kent State University shooting that would propel the left-wing "Occupy Wall Street" movement.

    Here's the video of Deutsch's comments:

  • 'I am done being silent': Female skateboarder speaks out about placing second to a transgender competitor Thu, 19 May 2022 22:00:00 +0000

    Female skateboarder Taylor Silverman is speaking out about losing to a biological male — in an Instagram post, Silverman said that she placed second in a Red Bull competition and lost out on prize money because of a transgender competitor.

    Silverman placed second in the Red Bull Cornerstone competition last year.

    "My name is Taylor Silverman. I am a female athlete. I have been skateboarding for eleven years and competing for several years. I have been in three different contests with trans women, two of which I placed second. At the last contest series I did for Redbull, I placed second. The trans competitor who won took $1000 dollars in qualifiers, $3000 in finals, and $1000 in best trick. This totaled to $5000 of the prize money meant for the female athletes. I took $1000 in qualifiers and $1750 for second place, so $2750 in total. The girl who took third received $750. The girl who deserved $1000 for best trick took nothing along with whoever would have placed third. I deserved to place first, be acknowledged for my win, and get paid. I reached out to Redbull and was ignored. I am sick of being bullied into silence," Silverman wrote.

    Silverman posted an email that she said she sent to Red Bull, but she noted that she has not received a reply.

    "I am reaching out in hopes of being directed to the right person to express my concerns about what occurred at the Redbull Cornerstone contest with the transgender competitor in the women's division," she wrote. "A biological man with a clear advantage won the women's division, best trick, and also won multiple qualifiers. This took away the opportunity that was meant for women to place and earn money. What happened was unfair and at the time I was too uncomfortable to speak up. I understand that in todays society even some women think this is acceptable, but I believe in doing the right thing even if it's not the popular thing. I now realize it's really important for me to speak up and I'd like to schedule a time to talk."

    While some on Instagram agreed with Silverman's sentiments, others promoted radical leftist gender ideology and decried Silverman for her comments.

    "Good for you for speaking up Taylor! I support you. Please try to keep in mind that the internet is not an accurate snapshot of reality so the abuse you're getting here is not the voice of those around you. The VAST majority of people even in the most liberal areas agree with what you're saying here. I am sorry you're getting abuse for saying so," one commenter wrote.

    "Trans women are women. The real issue here is you not seeing that," someone else commented. "The skater who won qualified and won fair and square. The reasoning you have here IS very transphobic."

  • Woman, 67, and her adult daughter storm into middle school to confront relative's bullies, end up beating 3 students — none of whom bullied their relative Thu, 19 May 2022 21:37:00 +0000

    A woman and her adult daughter stormed into a South Carolina middle school Wednesday to confront students they believed were bullying their relative — and the duo ended up beating three students, none of whom bullied their relative.

    Mamie Smith, 67, and her daughter Whitney Smith, 32, were jailed on charges of third-degree assault by mob and disturbing schools, the State reported. They both live on Goshen Road in Sumter, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said.

    What are the details?

    The women went to Ebenezer Middle School in Dalzell and buzzed at the front entrance — then told school staff they needed to go to the attendance office, the State said, citing the sheriff’s office.

    Once inside, the pair then ran down a hallway and pushed a female student against a wall, hitting and scratching her face and head, the paper said.

    Around 2:30 p.m. the school’s resource officer called the sheriff’s office for backup regarding a fight in progress, the State said, adding that another student also was pushed and hit, and a third student also was assaulted before authorities were able to detain the mother and daughter.

    Emergency services took one of the students to a hospital; the other two students were released to their parents — one of them for the purposes of medical treatment, the paper said. Information on their conditions wasn't available, the State said.


    Not only did the women make a big mistake by entering a school and physically attacking students — but also, none of the students they attacked were bullying their relative.

    “Our investigation showed that the students who were viciously attacked were not even the students who these subjects believed had bullied their family member,” Sheriff Anthony Dennis said, according to the State. “The fact is, the students who were reported as bullying these [women’s] family member [were] actually in the office being dealt with when this attack took place.”

    What happened to the accused attackers?

    Both Smiths were taken to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center where they were awaiting a bond hearing sometime Thursday, the paper said, citing the sheriff’s office.

    If convicted on the third-degree assault by mob charge, they each face a maximum sentence of a year in prison; a conviction on the disturbing schools charge — a misdemeanor — is punishable by a maximum of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, the State said, citing South Carolina law.

    “This type of behavior is criminal and should never be considered ... the appropriate way to deal with matters,” Dennis added, according to the paper.

  • NBC News analysis: Hunter Biden raked in $11 million in 5 years – more than half from Chinese deals. President Biden said his son did not make money in China. Thu, 19 May 2022 21:22:00 +0000

    Hunter Biden made millions from overseas business deals, according to the analysis of the first son's infamous laptop by NBC News. Hunter Biden raked in the most money from Chinese business dealings. However, President Joe Biden previously said that his son did not make any money in China.

    The NBC News report stated, "From 2013 through 2018 Hunter Biden and his company brought in about $11 million via his roles as an attorney and a board member with a Ukrainian firm accused of bribery and his work with a Chinese businessman now accused of fraud."

    Of the $11 million that Biden made in the 5-year span, $5.8 million was attained from two business deals with Chinese entities.

    "The documents and the analysis, which don’t show what he did to earn millions from his Chinese partners, raise questions about national security, business ethics, and potential legal exposure," NBC News reported.

    The findings regarding Hunter's finances were derived from a copy of Biden’s hard drive, his iCloud account, and an 87-page report titled "Hunter Biden, Burisma, and Corruption: The Impact on U.S. Government Policy and Related Concerns" released by Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in September 2020.

    Hunter Biden's business deals in China

    The analysis found that Hunter's most lucrative deal involved a Chinese businessman who is now believed to be detained in China, according to NBC News.

    “According to business records referred to in the Senate report, Hudson West III, a venture funded by the Chinese oil and natural gas company CEFC and its chairman, Ye Jianming, paid $4,790,375.25 to Owasco P.C. over about one year.”

    Owasco P.C. was controlled by Hunter Biden, according to filings in Washington, D.C.

    In 2018, Ye Jianming was accused of “economic crimes” by Chinese prosecutors. He has not been seen in public since he was detained for questioning on accusations of fraud and bribery.

    Ye Jianming is the former chairman of the China Energy Fund Committee. He is rumored to have ties to China's People's Liberation Army. A 2018 Financial Times report linked him to Chinese military intelligence.

    "Ye's company, CEFC China Energy, aligned itself so closely with the Chinese government that it was often hard to distinguish between the two," CNN reported in 2018.

    Chi Ping Patrick Ho – an associate of Ye Jianming and a top executive for CEFC – reportedly wired a $1 million payment to Owasco P.C. that was listed as “Dr Patrick Ho Chi Ping Representation.”

    In March 2019, Patrick Ho was sentenced to three years in prison for international bribery and money laundering.

    The New York Post reported in October 2020 that Patrick Ho had been in the process of brokering a partnership between the multibillion-dollar energy company and a business group involving Hunter Biden and his uncle, James Biden.

    Joe Biden denied his son's profitable Chinese ventures

    However, Joe Biden previously declared that his son had not made money from China during a 2020 presidential debate with Donald Trump.

    "My son has not made money in terms of, this thing about, what are you talking about, China," Biden stated.

    After being elected, Biden's White House doubled down on the assertion that Hunter did not receive money from China.

    In March, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield was asked about the damning New York Times report that declared that emails from Hunter's abandoned laptop were authentic.

    “We absolutely stand by the president’s comment,” Bedingfield responded. “And I would point you to the reporting on this, which referenced statements that we made at the time, that we gave to the Washington Post, who worked on this story. But as you know, I don’t speak for Hunter Biden so there’s not more I can say on that.”

    Hunter Biden's Ukrainian connections

    The NBC News report also mentions Hunter's position on the Ukrainian gas company Burisma.

    "Biden’s addition to the company’s board as head of legal affairs was reported in a news release in May 2014," the outlet stated. "At some point from May to December 2014, Burisma allegedly paid a bribe to a Ukrainian official to help stop a joint British/U.S. money-laundering investigation into Burisma’s top executive, according to a State Department email that quotes a Ukrainian prosecutor."

    The New York Post previously reported, "In 2016, Hunter’s total income from Burisma was $999,996. In 2017 it dropped to $665,000, and then $498,000 in 2018."

    Hunter Biden blows through fast money

    The analysis of his laptop hard drive showed that Hunter spent his money faster than he earned it.

    "Expenditures compiled on his hard drive show he spent more than $200,000 per month from October 2017 through February 2018 on luxury hotel rooms, Porsche payments, dental work, and cash withdrawals," according to NBC News. "Biden has admitted to burning through cash to pay for drugs and partying with strangers who routinely stole from him, and he struggled to pay multiple mortgages or keep up with alimony and child support payments to his ex-wife."

    In his divorce filing from February 2017, the attorney for his ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle, claimed, "Throughout the parties' separation, Mr. Biden has created financial concerns for the family by spending extravagantly on his own interests (including drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, strip clubs, and gifts for women with whom he has sexual relations) while leaving the family with no funds to pay legitimate bills."

    Hunter Biden may have been a national security risk

    Frank Figliuzzi – the FBI’s former assistant director for counterintelligence – warned that Hunter Biden could be a national security risk.

    "It’s all about access and influence, and if you can compromise someone with both access and influence, that’s even better," Figliuzzi told NBC News – where he is a contributor. “Better still if that target has already compromised himself.”

    Walter Shaub –a former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics during the Obama administration – blasted Biden, "No government ethics rules apply to him.”

    Hunter Biden's defense attorney Christppher Clark declined to give NBC News a comment on the analysis of his client's laptop.

  • VP Harris calls new Oklahoma law — most pro-life in the nation — part of ongoing 'war' on women's right to 'live and love' Thu, 19 May 2022 21:07:57 +0000

    Oklahoma state lawmakers on Thursday gave final approval to Texas-style legislation that would ban nearly all abortions in the state beginning at conception and empower state residents to file civil lawsuits against abortion providers or anyone who helps a woman terminate her pregnancy.

    The new pro-life bill is now headed to the desk of Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who has indicated he will sign it into law.

    House Bill 4327, which only permits abortion in instances where the mother's life is in danger or if the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest reported to police, will likely become the strictest ban on abortion in the United States.

    It follows in the footsteps of two other abortion restrictions passed in the state, the Associated Press reported. Another Texas-style bill that bans abortions after cardiac activity is detected has already taken effect and significantly curtailed the practice in Oklahoma. That bill was followed by yet another that makes it a felony to perform an abortion, punishing violators by up to 10 years in prison.

    "Is our goal to defend the right to life or isn’t it?" state Rep. Wendi Stearman (R) asked colleagues prior to the vote on the most recent bill in an attempt to rally enthusiasm around the historic measure. The bill went on to pass 73-16, primarily along party lines.

    "I value life, and it should never be permitted by law to take the life of a child born or unborn," Stearman later said in a press release. Her colleagues and the governor agree. Stitt has reportedly said that he will pass any pro-life legislation that comes across his desk.

    News of the bill's passage immediately drew praise from Republicans and pro-life advocates in the state and across the country. But Democrats and abortion advocates decried the bill as yet another extreme attack on women's rights.

    Vice President Kamala Harris slammed the bill during a virtual meeting with abortion providers and activists on Thursday, calling it "outrageous."

    "[It's] outrageous, and it’s just the latest in a series of extreme laws around the country," Harris said. "Several of the medical professionals joining us today are seeing the impact of these laws that are designed to punish and control women."

    She went on to condemn the Oklahoma law as just the latest in a string of opportunistic assaults on abortion rights following a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court showing that a majority of justices had decided to overturn the Roe v. Wade, a landmark ruling that that established the right to an abortion in 1973.

    "The right to privacy that forms the basis of Roe is the same right to privacy that protects the right to use contraception and the right to marry the person you love, including a person of the same sex. Overturning Roe opens the door to restricting those rights," Harris argued,

    She added: "It would be a direct assault on the fundamental right of self-determination — to live and love without interference from the government."

  • Washington gas stations run out of fuel as they prepare for possible $10 per gallon prices Thu, 19 May 2022 20:50:00 +0000

    The Post Millennial has reported that gas stations in Washington state are resetting their price boards in order to accommodate possible double-digit costs per gallon.

    The outlet also reported that several gas stations across the state have run out of fuel.

    What are the details?

    Gas stations in Washington, the outlet noted, are reprogramming pumps and price boards to include double-digit numbers in "price per gallon" slots on cost boards and machines.

    "At the 76 Gas Station in Auburn, Washington, located at 1725 Auburn Way North, gas pumps have been reprogrammed to make room for double-digit pricing," the outlet reported. "In March, they still had single-digit programming. A spokesperson at 76 confirmed to The Post Millennial that the gas pumps were reprogrammed to allocate for double-digit pricing."

    The spokesperson added that while the change did not necessarily mean that gas would reach $10 per gallon, the possibility still existed.

    "The specific gas station also sells race fuel which may have forced the reprogramming since it has also increased in pricing, the spokesperson told The Post Millennial. However, the race fuel is sold on separate pumps from ... those with the standard regular, plus, premium, and diesel fuel options," the outlet added.

    The report noted that gas stations in Kennewick, Pasco, and West Richland are running out of fuel save for diesel.

    "Residents of the Tri-Cities are scrambling to find fuel. In a local Facebook group, members reported more than ten stations that are currently out of fuel, which include multiple Circle K's and Exxon's," the report continued.

    At the time of this report, AAA estimated that the average price for a gallon of regular-grade fuel in Washington is $5.18.

    The national average for the same time period and grade fuel is $4.58.

    California currently has the highest average price, at a staggering $6.06 per gallon of regular-grade fuel.

    Amid the ongoing energy crisis, President Joe Biden announced last week that his administration would be canceling three oil and gas lease sales in Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Psaki cornered by student reporter who enters 'Peter Doocy mode,' grills her for encouraging protests at homes of SCOUTS justices Thu, 19 May 2022 20:35:00 +0000

    Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki was cornered Wednesday by a student reporter who told her we was entering "Peter Doocy mode."

    What happened?

    While speaking at a forum hosted by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, freshman student Daniel Schmidt, a student journalist with the student-run Chicago Thinker, asked Psaki about encouraging protests at the homes of Supreme Court justices.

    After Schmidt read Psaki's own words, the forthcoming MSNBC pundit claimed she did not say what Schmidt claimed she said.

    "I never said that," Psaki challenged.

    "I'm quoting from —" Schmidt responded.

    "I said peacefully," Psaki interjected, adding, "That's a key word in there."

    After Psaki's interruption, Schmidt completed his question.

    "Do you regret encouraging people to protest outside of justices' homes?" he asked, noting that protesting outside the homes of judges likely violates federal law.

    In response, Psaki appeared to contradict herself. She again claimed that she "never encouraged anyone to protest," then immediately admitted that she encouraged Americans to "engage" — albeit peacefully.

    Well, first, thank you for your question and bringing it forward. Let me first say, because I think facts matter and facts are important. I never encouraged anyone to protest. I encouraged them to do engage peacefully, and to do it without violence, without threats, and without intimidation. And that’s something I said many, many times and I think is vitally important.

    It is also true that peacefully protesting in places where it is legal — and it is legal in many places in the country, including outside of some places in the country for sure — is something that is, that is allowed. And I’m not going to tell people, I don’t think it’s the role of the government to tell people where they can or cannot peacefully protest. If they’re breaking the law, of course they shouldn’t do that. And I also said that, too. Thank you for your question!

    So what did Psaki say?

    The comments in question stem from a White House press briefing on May 10 in which Psaki was asked about protests happening outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. A reporter asked Psaki whether Biden believed the protesters were attempting to intimidate Alito.

    In response, Psaki — like Schmidt recounted — said Biden encourages protests outside the homes of Supreme Court justices, though she did qualify her statement with the adjective "peaceful."

    "I know that there’s an outrage right now, I guess, about protests that have been peaceful to date — and we certainly continue to encourage that — outside of judges’ homes. And that’s the president’s position," Psaki said.

    05/10/22: Press Briefing with Press Secretary Jen Psaki

  • Suspect who brutally beat 75-year-old vet till he bled from his head will not face criminal charges Thu, 19 May 2022 20:20:00 +0000

    The 22-year-old suspect who recorded himself repeatedly striking a 75-year-old vet in the head will not face criminal charges in connection with the attack.

    What are the details?

    Authorities say Jadon Hayden pummeled Norman Bledsoe while the two shared a room at the Westwood Nursing Center in Detroit, Michigan, in 2020. Hayden also reportedly recorded the attack.

    According to a report from WXYZ-TV, Hayden — who is said to have diagnoses of both autism and schizophrenia — pummeled Bledsoe, beating him until he bled from his head.

    In the graphic video, Hayden said, "See this b**** a** n**** here? Get the f*** off my bed, n**** ... F*** wrong with you?" The video made waves across the internet at the time, prompting the Detroit Police Department to launch an investigation into the attack.

    Authorities soon arrested Hayden in connection with the vicious incident and charged him with two counts of assault with the intent to do great bodily harm. The charges against Hayden were ultimately dismissed after a judge found him incompetent to stand trial. Bledsoe passed away two months after the attack, having been transferred to another nursing facility. Details on the cause of Bledsoe's death were not released at the time.

    Hayden's father, Marty, said that his son was living in a group home prior to contracting COVID-19 in 2020 and was moved to an area nursing home to recuperate.

    "He was in crisis mode," Marty said and added that he can't imagine why the facility would house his son an elderly man like Bledsoe. “They dropped the ball. Why would they put my child in a nursing home? All around elderly people?”

    Hayden's attorney said that health care administrators never should have placed the suspect in a room with the elderly vet.

    “I think the facility had an idea of who Jadon was and what type of treatment he needed,” Hayden's attorney told the station. “I think they knew or had a history that he was schizophrenic and it should have been handled differently.”

    Hayden is now living in a psychiatric hospital in the Kalamazoo area of Michigan.

  • Twitter debuts new 'crisis misinformation policy' Thu, 19 May 2022 20:05:00 +0000

    Twitter rolled out a new global "crisis misinformation policy" on Thursday that the company says will combat misinformation during emergencies and other crisis situations.

    In a blog post, Twitter said it will censor posts that spread misinformation by placing a warning notice in front of tweets from high profile accounts that violate the policy. The company aims to slow the spread of "the most visible, misleading content, particularly that which could lead to severe harms."

    Judgements on which content is true or false will be made with "verification from multiple credible, publicly available sources," including journalists, non-governmental watchdog groups, and other conflict monitoring groups.

    Once Twitter determines that a claim is misleading, it will stop promoting that content in the Home timeline, Search, and Explore features. Examples of content that could be suppressed include false reporting of a major conflict, false allegations related to the use of weapons or war crimes, or false information relating to how the international community responds.

    There will be an exception to this policy for commentary, fact-checkers, and people sharing personal accounts of their experience.

    "Content moderation is more than just leaving up or taking down content, and we’ve expanded the range of actions we may take to ensure they’re proportionate to the severity of the potential harm," wrote Yoel Roth, the company's head of safety and integrity.

    A tweet with content that violates the crisis misinformation policy may be placed behind a warning label that reads: "This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules on sharing false or misleading info that might bring harm to crisis-affected populations. However, to preserve this content for accountability purposes, Twitter has determined this Tweet should remain available."

    "We’ve found that not amplifying or recommending certain content, adding context through labels, and in severe cases, disabling engagement with the Tweets, are effective ways to mitigate harm, while still preserving speech and records of critical global events," Roth wrote.

    These new standards will be specifically enforced during "emergent global crises," with the first iteration of this policy being activated for the ongoing war in Ukraine. Twitter said it will rely on the United Nations Inter-Agency Standing Committee's emergency response framework and other global humanitarian frameworks to determine when a major crisis is occurring.

    The new policy comes as billionaire Elon Musk is attempting to acquire Twitter in a $44 billion deal. Musk, a free speech advocate, has criticized the company's content moderation policies. His deal to buy Twitter has been put on hold pending an investigation of how many fake or spam accounts are on the platform.

  • Ford recalls SUVs due to engine fires that can spontaneously ignite — even when vehicles aren't running Thu, 19 May 2022 19:50:00 +0000

    Ford Motor Company has issued a major recall to its 2021 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs due to spontaneous engine compartment fires that can erupt even when the vehicles aren't running.

    The recall, posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) website on Thursday, reportedly affects 39,000 of the Expedition and Navigator vehicles built between December 2020 and April 2021.

    In the notice, the automaker admits that it remains unsure of what exactly is causing the flames to ignite. But since fires can start when the SUVs are driving, parked, or off entirely, the company is recommending that owners park the vehicles outside and away from anything that could likewise catch on fire. Though owners are not, at this point, being advised to stop driving the vehicles.

    "Owners are advised to park their vehicles outside and away from structures until the remedy is performed," Ford said in the notice, further noting that "the remedy is still under development."

    Letters alerting the owners of the recalled vehicles are expected to be mailed out on May 23. A second letter will be sent once the remedy is determined.

    In NHTSA documents, Ford reported occurrences of 16 under-hood fires, with 14 of those fires affecting vehicles owned by auto rental companies.

    According to the automaker, "Of the sixteen reports, twelve occurred while the vehicle was parked and off, one occurred while parked and on, and three occurred while driving with some customers reporting a burning smell and smoke from the front passenger engine compartment."

    Ford first launched an investigation into the matter on March 24 and has since determined the issue to be serious enough to warrant a recall.

    "We are working around the clock to determine the root cause of this issue and subsequent remedy so that customers can continue to enjoy using their vehicles," said Jeffrey Marentic, general manager of Ford passenger vehicles, in a press release. "We recognize the importance of staying in touch with our customers until we resolve this matter."

    In addition to the SUVs, the automaker has also issued a recall notice for about 310,000 heavy-duty trucks because the driver’s air bag may not inflate in a crash.

    CNBC reported that for 2016 F-250, 350, 450, and 550 trucks, "dust can get into the air bag wiring in the steering wheel, disconnecting the electricity. Affected owners are expected to be notified by mail starting July 5.

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