Stembridge News Digest

  • Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick suffered two strokes, died of natural causes: officials Mon, 19 Apr 2021 22:13:20 +0000

    Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick suffered two strokes and died of natural causes the day after he confronted rioters during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to the chief medical examiner in Washington, D.C.

    What are the details?

    The Washington Post reported that medical examiner Francisco Diaz "said the autopsy found no evidence the 42-year-old officer suffered an allergic reaction to chemical irritants, which Diaz said would have caused Sicknick's throat to quickly seize. Diaz also said there was no evidence of internal or external injuries."

    The newspaper noted that "the ruling, released Monday, likely will make it difficult for prosecutors to pursue homicide charges in the officer's death."

    The publicly disclosed timeline of events shows that Sicknick was sprayed with a chemical substance outside the U.S. Capitol around 2:20 p.m. Jan. 6. After returning to his office around 10 p.m. that evening, the officer collapsed and was transported to a local hospital.

    Sicknick died the next day at about 9:30 p.m.

    The Washington Examiner pointed out that the Capitol Police said in January that "Officer Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters. He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries."

    Following the release of the medical examiner's report, the Capitol Police issued a statement saying the department accepts the findings "but this does not change the fact Officer Brian Sicknick died in the Line of Duty, courageously defending Congress and the Capitol," NBC News reported.

    As TheBlaze previously reported:

    Initial reports suggested that Sicknick had died from blunt force trauma after being struck by a fire extinguisher, but later reporting revealed that medical examiners did not find signs that the officer sustained any blunt force trauma.

    Experts then theorized that Sicknick might have had an adverse reaction to being sprayed with bear spray by rioters, according to the Associated Press.

    Two men were arrested last month and charged with assaulting Sicknick and other Capitol Police officers after they were allegedly seen on video spraying officers during the Jan. 6 attack, but the suspects, Julian Khater, 32, and George Tanios, 39, were not charged in connection with Sicknick's death.

    Fox News reported that "Sicknick was one of five people who died after a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, interrupting the electoral count that certified Joe Biden as the victor of the November election."

  • Housing, food & job shortages: Is this the 'PERFECT STORM' for universal basic income? Mon, 19 Apr 2021 21:57:55 +0000

    From food and job shortages to the prices of building materials "skyrocketing," the world is currently moving into what could be the "perfect storm" for politicians to push for a universal basic income, explained Glenn Beck on the radio program.

    "We really need to look at the economy and be prepared for what is coming," Glenn said. "I feel like my job is to warn you of the things that are coming and, when I can, give you ways to navigate around. But at least so you can hear the warning and decide yourself what you're going to do with that."

    Glenn explained that now, for the first time, there is a shortage of starter homes and building supplies just as increasing numbers of millennials are in the market. Also, analysts are predicting that shortages of food items and products such as pork, polystyrene, and chlorine could send prices soaring. Then there's the matter of unemployment, kicked off by the COVID-19 pandemic and likely to worsen because of the technological revolution, there are going to be fewer and fewer jobs for people to do.

    "We are creating this perfect storm, right now, where universal basic income is going to be embraced by people," Glenn warned. "It's just this nasty cycle that we're beginning, and we're watching it unfold right in front of us."

    Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:

    Want more from Glenn Beck?

    To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

  • VIDEO: Driver trying to get home comes face to face with bikers in BLM march. No one moves out of the way — then things turn ugly. Mon, 19 Apr 2021 21:45:37 +0000

    Cellphone video caught the moment things got ugly between an SUV driver trying to get home and several motorcyclists involved in a Black Lives Matter march.

    And it all went down in Stillwater, Minnesota — population about 20,000 and around 30 minutes east of Minneapolis.

    What happened?

    Video posted Saturday to Twitter begins with the angry driver exiting his vehicle after apparently trying to left turn on Stillwater Avenue — but police told TheBlaze Monday that the trio of bikers in front him were trying to make a left as well.

    A fourth biker actually had already turned left and was past the driver's vehicle on the other street:

    Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @KBoomhauer

    The bikers may have been expecting the driver to back up or get out the way; they certainly didn't seem to be giving him a passage.

    But not this time. The driver began yelling at the bikers that "I live here!" and pointed down the road.

    Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @KBoomhauer

    With that a large biker in a dark vest — who stood a few inches taller than the motorist — appeared to challenge the driver and told him, "I don't give a f***." But the driver got up in the biker's face and moved forward on him until the biker shoved the driver.

    Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @KBoomhauer

    Then a bigger shoving match ensued:

    Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @KBoomhauer

    And by the time police arrived, the motorist may have appeared to be the aggressor:

    Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @KBoomhauer

    Because police took the motorist away:

    Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @KBoomhauer

    Here's the clip. Content warning: Language:

    Police told TheBlaze on Monday that they detained the driver briefly, got him and his vehicle home safely after the march went through the intersection, and that there were no charges, citations, or arrests. Police also told TheBlaze that it's commonplace for streets to be blocked during marches.

    Oh, there's more

    There are two other videos showing the march. In one video, a woman on a megaphone tells the marchers about "an angry motorist who refused to move his car. The police were on the scene, and lo and behold, a miracle of God, they took him away, put him in the back of a squad car, they moved his vehicle out of the street so we can peacefully continue our march!"

    And in the other clip, a man on a megaphone hollers at residents, "If you think black lives matter, you can come march with us, you can come join us. If you don't, you can stay up at your house. You can stay up in your driveway looking at us like we're doing something crazy when we're just here trying to fight for our lives."

  • Apple tells GOP lawmakers Parler is approved to come back to its app store Mon, 19 Apr 2021 21:27:46 +0000

    Apple will allow Parler, the pro-free speech alternative social media app favored by conservatives and Trump supporters, back on to its iOS app store, the tech giant told Republican lawmakers Monday.

    Parler was kicked off the iOS Store in the days following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol after Apple accused the company of failing to moderate violent content on its platform. Until now, Parler users have been unable to download the app on iOS devices. Apple had said Parler would not be allowed back in its store until the company made changes to comply with the App Store Review guidelines.

    "There is no place for hateful, racist, discriminatory content on the App Store," Apple reportedly told Parler last month.

    But in a letter responding to an inquiry from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) about Apple's actions toward Parler, Apple Senior Director of Government Affairs for the Americas Timothy Powderly said his company has been "engaged in substantial conversation" with Parler about bringing the app into compliance with its guidelines.

    "As a result of those conversations, Parler has proposed updates to its app and the app's content moderation practices, and the App Review Team has informed Parler as of April 14, 2021 that its proposed update app will be approved for reinstatement to the App Store," Powderly wrote.

    He added that Apple expects the updated Parler app to become available as soon as Parler releases it.

    Rep. Buck tweeted that the reinstatement of Parler's app is a "huge win for free speech."

    He also said it's "time for Google and Amazon to follow Apple's lead. Stop the censorship."

    Around the same time Parler was kicked off the Apple App Store in January, Google dropped the app from its store and Amazon Web Services booted Parler from its web hosting services, effectively taking the website off the internet and forcing Parler to search for a new host.

    Politico reported that Google sent a letter to Congress on Friday telling lawmakers that Parler is still not in compliance with its content moderation rules.

    "Parler's app has not yet complied with those policies, and that is why it remains suspended," said Mark Isakowitz, Google vice president of government affairs and public policy.

    A spokesman for Google told Politico that Parler's app will be welcomed back on the Google Play store "once it submits an app that complies with our policies."

    There is no word on whether Amazon will allow Parler to return to its web services. In March, Parler filed a lawsuit against Amazon in the federal court for the Western District of Washington alleging defamation and breach of contract by Amazon.

    A representative for Amazon said last March that Parler's lawsuit was meritless and that it was clearly demonstrable that content on Parler "encouraged or incited violence against others" in violation of Amazon's terms of service.

  • 12-year-old boy charged with first-degree murder after allegedly shooting a 13-year-old Mon, 19 Apr 2021 21:09:10 +0000

    A 12-year-old boy from Washington, D.C., has been charged with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting and killing a 13-year-old boy, police announced Monday.

    The suspect, whose name has not been released to the public, is being charged as a juvenile, ABC News reported. The outlet noted that the incident took place outside a shopping center in Prince George's County, Maryland, over the weekend.

    What happened?

    Around 10:15 p.m. Saturday, officers with the Prince George's County Police Department responded to a reported stabbing at the Ritchie Station Marketplace shopping center in Forestville, Maryland, located right off the beltway.

    When they arrived on the scene, they found a 13-year-old boy suffering from stab wounds that were not life threatening. He was transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment, but has since been released.

    However, lying next to the stabbing victim, police also found a 13-year-old boy later identified as King Douglas, who was suffering from a gunshot wound. Police confirmed that Douglas was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Officers reportedly said they do not believe the shooting to be random. Rather, they believe the violence stemmed from some sort of confrontation.

    "The preliminary investigation revealed the shooting and stabbing stemmed from a dispute between two groups of juveniles in the shopping center," police said in a statement, according to WRC-TV.

    Investigators are still looking for a separate suspect they believe is responsible for the stabbing attack and have asked the public to come forward with any information about the incident.

    Anything else?

    The incident is just the latest in a string of crimes committed by juveniles in the D.C. area in recent months.

    In March, the tragic killing of an Uber Eats driver at the hands of two teenage girls — aged 13 and 15 — in the nation's capital shocked the country.

    The girls reportedly attacked the driver, 66-year-old Pakistani immigrant Mohammad Anwar, with a stun gun nearby Nationals Park, causing the car to flip on its side. The vehicle raced around a sharp turn before hitting a curb. Anwar was expelled from the vehicle during the accident and died from his injuries.

  • Shocking video shows 2 young children being paraded around at Miami drag show while the crowd cheers, throws money at them​ Mon, 19 Apr 2021 20:27:34 +0000

    A disturbing video recently surfaced on social media appearing to show two young children being paraded around onstage at a drag club in Miami.

    What are the details?

    In the video, posted to Instagram last week, controversial political personality Angela Stanton-King looks on in horror as the two preteen kids walk alongside a man dressed as a woman as he directs them to pose for the audience and collect money.

    "Why in the hell do these people got these f***ing little bitty-ass kids at this f***ing drag show, y'all?" Stanton-King asked at the start of the video.

    "It is 11:40 at night, these people have children in a f***ing drag show," she went on to say, mistakenly claiming the location to be Los Angeles. She corrected herself in the post's caption — as well as in a lengthier follow-up video — saying the scene was filmed at Palace, a popular LGBT nightclub in Miami.

    The camera then pans to the stage where the two young blonde-haired children wearing dresses are seen strutting onstage as the drag queen says, "Get your money, girls."

    (Warning: The following video contains vulgar language and graphic content some viewers may find disturbing)

    "Telling her 'get her f***ing money,'" the woman adds. "Look at this f***ing bulls**t, look at this at this bulls**t now. Look! Look! They're giving them f***ing money now, little girls, now."

    "[They're] throwing money at these little girls," she reports in shock and displeasure.

    What else?

    At one point, the drag queen took one of the children by the hand and directed them to stand on his left side. He then showed both of the children how to pose correctly before they all continued down the walkway and turned to face the crowd.

    He then told the children to stoop down and pick up the cash as the crowd continued to throw money at their feet.

    "Hold on, that's a twenty, give me that," the drag queen said to one of the children as he grabbed the money and stuffed it into his shirt. Moments later, he would return it to the child, saying, "Your first twenty as a drag queen means you've made it."

    "Got them picking f***ing money off the floor like they're f***ing strippers or some s**t, now," Stanton-King added.

    TheBlaze reached out to the Palace to confirm certain details about the event, but was unable to obtain a response before publication.

    Anything else?

    Stanton-King, an author and former congressional candidate in Georgia, reportedly angered progressives this year when she vowed not to bow to the societal pressure pushing her to let her son undergo a gender transition.

    The former member of President Donald Trump's coalition of black supporters also delivered a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference last year, during which she reportedly called for investigation into some claims made by QAnon conspiracists.

    The video is reminiscent of another shocking video posted on TikTok last year that showed a drag queen suggestively dancing in front of a young girl while adults in the room clapped and cheered him on.

  • Florida sheriff tells new residents don't 'vote the stupid way you did up north' as Gov. DeSantis signs anti-rioting law Mon, 19 Apr 2021 20:12:42 +0000

    A Florida sheriff on Monday advised new residents of the state who moved south from liberal states against "voting the stupid way you did up north."

    The remarks were made by Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd during a news conference held by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) at the signing ceremony of a new anti-rioting bill passed by the legislature. Judd, who last September grabbed headlines for giving members of the media a visual aid to help them tell the difference between a peaceful protest and a riot, praised the governor and Senate President Wilton Simpson, House Speaker Chris Sprowls, and other lawmakers for prioritizing the safety of Floridians.

    "Florida is a unique place and a special place. It's where we work, where we live, but it's also where the world comes to play, to bring their children — and their children have a right to be safe," the sheriff said.

    He contrasted DeSantis' leadership in Florida with the governments of Seattle, Portland, and Minneapolis, where Black Lives Matter protests have devolved into violent riots that have set those communities aflame.

    "That's no way to treat the community. That's no way to treat those that put their entire life into building their business," Judd said.

    "We saw folks' businesses around this nation who literally worked their entire life and had every penny in their life savings involved. We're going to proactive and we're going to make sure people are safe," he continued, holding up a picture of a peaceful protest next to a picture of a riot, as seen in video reported by WTVT-TV.

    "Pay attention, we got a new law and we're going to use it if you make us. We're going to protect the people."

    The new law, "Combating Public Disorder," would criminalize "mob intimidation" — such as the practices of protesters accosting people at restaurants — and would increase penalties for rioting, looting, and related violence. The bill would also create legal protections for fleeing motorists who cause injury or death to rioters while attempting to drive away to safety.

    "We saw unprecedented rioting throughout 2020," DeSantis said during the news conference. "We wanted to make sure we protect the people of our great state, businesses and property against any type of mob activity. We're here today being prepared to sign that bill into law."

    Rioting erupted in cities across the nation last year when 36-year-old George Floyd died in police custody. The officer, Derek Chauvin, had knelt on Floyd's neck for at least eight minutes and is now on trial for Floyd's murder.

    DeSantis proposed the anti-rioting law in response to the nationwide wave of violence last year, warning would-be rioters that there will be consequences for violence in Florida.

    "If you are involved in a violent or disorderly assembly and you harm somebody, if you throw a brick and hit a police officer, you're going to jail, and there's going to be a mandatory minimum jail sentence of at least six months for anyone who strikes a police officer, either with a weapon or projectile. And we're also not going to simply let people back out on the street," DeSantis previously said. "So if you are in custody for one of these offenses relating to a violent or disorderly assembly, you're not getting bail before your first appearance.

    "If you are from another state and you come to participate in one of these violent or disorderly assemblies, you're going to have extra penalties imposed on you as well," he added.

    The new law also penalizes the destruction of "memorials" by creating a felony crime for defacing, damaging, destroying, or pulling down memorials or historic property if the damage is more than $200. Persons convicted of crimes under this law would be responsible for restoration or replacement of the property.

    Judd, speaking after DeSantis Monday, used another visual aid to show the media why people come to Florida, holding up a picture of families vacationing at the beach and at Disney World.

    "This is what we enjoy in Florida. This is the Florida we know and love. This is what our governor, our speaker, our president — this what all these law enforcement officers, and administrators, and sheriffs and police chiefs and their officers do every day — they guarantee an environment where you can come here and have fun," Judd said.

    He continued:

    This is the Florida we know and love. We're a special place. And there are millions and millions of people who like to come here. And quite frankly, we like to have them here. So, we only want to share one thing as you move in hundreds a day:

    Welcome to Florida! But don't register to vote and vote the stupid way you did up north, you'll get what they got!

    There's a reason that this place is fun. There's a reason why we have a 49-year-low crime rate. And the same people that don't think we should have an anti-rioting bill, or a rioting bill, are the same ones that think we ought to let more people out of prison. And where they're doing that ... crime goes up. But it's not just crime that goes up, victimization goes up. The people of those states are hurt and killed and their livelihoods change and their children are changed.
  • White House: Never mind that President Biden called the border crisis a 'crisis' — that is not the administration's official position Mon, 19 Apr 2021 19:57:05 +0000

    For the last few months, Americans have watched immigrants flood the southern U.S. border. It has become a situation that nearly everyone in the country — on the right and the left — has acknowledged is a crisis.

    Except the Biden administration.

    That was until President Joe Biden let the truth slip over the weekend when he called what's going on in the nation's border states a "crisis."

    But it turns out the White House is still just about the only meaningful entity in the country that does not see the border crisis for what it is — going so far as declaring Monday that the president's labeling of the situation as a crisis is not reflective of the "administration's official position," according to CNN.

    What's that now?

    President Biden finally admitted Saturday that the ongoing immigrant surge at the U.S.-Mexico border that has seen record numbers of illegal aliens being detained, thousands of children thrown in cage-like facilities, and families separated is, indeed, a crisis.

    The situation has grown to the point that Americans are more likely to call it a "very big problem" than the coronavirus.

    Biden told reporters Saturday that he would be increasing the refugee cap and that "the problem was that the refugee part was working on the crisis that ended up on the border with young people," adding, "We couldn't do two things at once. But now we are going to increase the number."

    This did not sit well with Biden staffers who have gone out of their way to avoid calling the crisis a "crisis."

    So on Monday, the White House backtracked from Biden's remarks, claiming that his use of the word "crisis" is not the administration's official position, CNN reported.

    Administration officials downplayed the president's remarks and claimed Biden was not actually referring to what was happening to children at the border — never mind that he referred specifically to "the crisis that ended up on the border with young people" — but was talking about "conditions in Northern Triangle countries that migrants are coming from."

    "No, there is no change in position. Children coming to our border seeking refuge from violence, economic hardships and other dire circumstances is not a crisis," an official told CNN, adding that the president "was referring to the crisis in Central America — the dire circumstances so many are fleeing from."

    White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the same thing later Monday, CNN noted.

    "The President does not feel that children coming to our border seeking refuge from violence, economic hardships, and other dire circumstances is a crisis," she said at a White House press briefing. "He does feel that the crisis in Central America — the dire circumstances that many are fleeing from -- that that is a situation we need to spend our time or effort on and we need to address it if we're going to prevent more of an influx of migrants from coming in years to come."

  • Leftist punks target Derek Chauvin defense witness; splatter blood on home, toss severed pig's head on porch. Problem is witness doesn't live there anymore. Mon, 19 Apr 2021 19:23:16 +0000

    Leave it to leftist punks to screw up their own criminal activities.

    Seems a group of suspects all dressed in blackwe've seen this movie before, haven't we? — turned up around 3 a.m. Saturday at a home in Santa Rosa, California, KPIX-TV reported.

  • Video: Ferris wheel operator reportedly attacks a mother — and gets a beatdown from the crowd as a result Mon, 19 Apr 2021 18:40:00 +0000

    A crowd pummeled a ferris wheel operator at a carnival in Miami-Dade County over the weekend after he reportedly attacked a mother.

    The incident, according to reports, took place on Saturday at the Opa Locka Hialeah Flea Market Carnival.

    What are the details?

    In a viral video, a mother can be seen scolding a ferris wheel operator as she and her young children exit the ride.

    The man, who remains unnamed at the time of this reporting, can be seen shoving the woman and appearing to choke her. During the attack, the man appears to knock over one of the woman's young children, who falls hard to the ground next to the ride.

    Just seconds later, a crowd swarms the ferris wheel operator in defense of the mother and attacks him.

    Bystanders said that the ride operator previously got into a physical altercation earlier in the evening with another person. That incident was also caught on video and, according to Twitter user Your Dad's SideChick, showed the man trying to fight a co-worker.

    "Okay, so apparently dude was just on one that night ... tried to fight his coworker and everything. Look at this s***! Just before the fight happened," the user wrote.

    What else?

    According to Newsweek, the carnival — which is operated by Hildebrand Amusement Rides — and its flea market began on April 8 and is set to continue through April 25.

    WPLG-TV reported that authorities were able to obtain enough evidence about the incident to arrest the carnival employee.

    The station reported that off-duty officers working the carnival called for backup after an "escalating disturbance within the venue."

    "According to Opa-Locka police, when officers entered the flea market to investigate, dozens of people ran to the exit," the station noted. "Officers were not able to locate the alleged victim, who was seen on video that circulated on social media."

    Detectives were eventually able to identify and locate the woman for interview.

    In a statement, the Opa-Locka Police Department said that it does not "tolerate any criminal acts of violence and will prosecute those individuals to the fullest extent of the law."

  • Incest advocates step up their call to decriminalize incestuous relationships in wake of lawsuit demanding New York allow a parent to marry their child Mon, 19 Apr 2021 18:17:40 +0000

    Advocates for the legalization of consensual incest are using a recent New York lawsuit demanding the state allow a parent to marry their adult child to further their agenda, the New York Post reported over the weekend.

    What's this now?

    An anonymous New Yorker filed a lawsuit this month to overturn the Empire State's laws outlawing incestuous marriages because they want to marry their adult offspring.

    Under New York law, incest is a third-degree felony punishable by up to four years in jail. According to the New York code, someone "is guilty of incest in the third degree when he or she marries or engages in sexual intercourse, oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with a person whom he or she knows to be related to him or her ... as an ancestor, descendant, brother or sister of either the whole or the half blood, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece."

    Incestuous marriages are null in New York, and spouses in such marriages are subject to fines and jail time, as is anyone who "knowingly and willfully" solemnizes such a marriage.

    The parent behind the lawsuit — who has remained unnamed because their request is, as they admit in their filing, "an action that a large segment of society views as morally, socially and biologically repugnant" — is unhappy that the state would dare to "diminish their humanity" in an issue that is a matter of "individual autonomy."

    Now advocates for legalizing incest are jumping at the chance to support the suit and use it to advance their agenda.

    Pro-incest advocate Richard Morris of Australia told the Post that he backs the suit, saying that sex between consenting adults "should not be criminalized."

    Though he and his fellow incest advocates have been working to change laws in some 60 countries, "We haven't moved any mountains yet," he told the paper.

    Morris is using the familiar mantra of fighting for real "marriage equality," saying to the Post that it's "the right thing to do, isn't it?"

    "It seems to be as unjust as the law that used to imprison gay people, and the law that used to stop people of different races marrying," he said.

    The Post said another incest advocate, Keith Pullman of the Full Marriage Equality site, is enthused by the New York lawsuit.

    He told the Post:

    It is absurd to say that an adult can't consent to marry their parent. That same adult can be sent to war, take on six or seven figures of debt, operate heavy machinery, be sentenced to death by a federal court, and consent to sex with five strangers (and marriage with one of them) but can't consent to marry someone they love? In some of these cases, the genetic parent didn't raise them and they met for the first time two years ago. Allegations of "grooming" are laughable attempts to deny someone their rights even though it will have no impact on the person objecting.

    Pullman's website advocates "for the right of consenting adults to share and enjoy love, sex, residence, and marriage without limits on the gender, number, or relation of participants" and claims that "full marriage equality is a basic human right."

    He published a long list of characteristics that detail exactly for whom the site was designed, including:

    ● I am attracted to or want to have sex with a family member or close relative (an in-law, step-relation, adopted relation, half-blood relative, full-blood relative, cousin).
    ● I am in a sexual relationship with or want a sexual relationship with a family member or close relative.
    ● I want to marry a family member or close relative, or have our existing marriage legally recognized.
    ● I have experienced Genetic Sexual Attraction or a strong attraction to a close genetic relative I was not raised with or I didn't raise or who didn't raise me.
    ● I am in or want a consensual incestuous relationship with another adult.

    Those "feelings" and "experiences," Pullman's site says, "are not necessarily wrong or impossible."

    "Not everyone is going to want to accept who you are or who you love or how you love," the site continues. "That's okay, as long as they don't try to control you. Sexual, relationship, and marriage rights are arriving for all adults, and as that happens, anyone who hates you or is prejudiced against you will have less and less ability to hurt you. That is why this blog exists; we promote relationship rights, including full marriage equality" (emphasis in original).

  • Top Biden official admits he 'can't make any guarantees' Afghan troop withdrawal won't empower terrorists Mon, 19 Apr 2021 17:57:37 +0000

    National security adviser Jake Sullivan admitted Sunday the Biden administration cannot guarantee that withdrawing United States troops from Afghanistan will not create another power vacuum that emboldens terrorist groups like the Islamic State.

    Biden announced last week that he would formally withdraw all U.S. personnel from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of the infamous terror attacks on U.S. soil.

    Currently, there are about 2,500 U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan, along with 1,000 special forces personnel.

    What is the background?

    After U.S. forces successfully defeated al Qaeda in Iraq, then-President Barack Obama ordered the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011.

    The move is now seen as a strategic failure, likely creating a power vacuum that allowed ISIS to exponentially grow in the destabilized region.

    Army officer Ryan N. Mannina explains:

    [T]he [Obama] administration mishandled the withdrawal of US forces in 2011, leaving the Sunnis vulnerable and the Iraqi security forces (ISF) unprepared to take responsibility for the country's security. Almost simultaneously, a civil war broke out in Syria. The remnants of AQI—under a new name, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or the Islamic State)—exploited the conflict to renew their jihad and rebuild their combat power. Iraq's Sunni minority—alienated and abandoned—began fighting back against oppression by the Maliki government. In 2014, the Sunnis welcomed ISIS back into Anbar province and helped them seize nearly a third of Iraq's territory, establishing the physical caliphate ISIS had always dreamed of building.

    What did Sullivan say?

    Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," Sullivan admitted that he "can't make any guarantees" that Biden's troop withdrawal will not result in another power vacuum that will be exploited by terrorists.

    "I can't make any guarantees about what will happen inside the country. No one can," Sullivan said.

    "All the United States could do is provide the Afghan security forces, the Afghan government, and the Afghan people resources and capabilities, training and equipping their forces, providing assistance to their government," he continued. "We have done that, and now, it is time for American troops to come home and the Afghan people to step up to defend their own country."

    Though Sullivan did not provide details, he explained the U.S. has the capabilities to "suppress the terror threat" in Afghanistan without having U.S. personnel stationed there, but reiterated that Biden has "no intention" of sending troops back to Afghanistan.

    Biden's foreign policy position? 'Strength,' says National Security Adviser

  • OAN cuts away from Lin Wood after his speech goes wildly off the rails, endorses QAnon, and predicts death of Trump's opponents Mon, 19 Apr 2021 17:33:32 +0000

    Former Trump attorney Lin Wood delivered remarks during a weekend conference regarding the QAnon conspiracy and death to Trump opponents, prompting One America News to cut away from the coverage.

    What are the details?

    During his appearance at the weekend's Health and Freedom Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Wood made what some perceived as a QAnon hand gesture.

    According to Mediaite, "After speaking about his four divorces (and how that's less than King David) Wood revealed how God forgave him and how, when the time comes, that He's ready and you've been learning, God would save all those in attendance too."

    "Then he paused briefly and told the crowd 'now catch this next move,' before saying, 'He's going to rebirth you into the spirit world and create exactly the person that He intended you to be,' while drawing the letter 'Q' with his finger," the outlet added.

    The gesture was not to be mistaken, according to Mediaite, as Wood went on to explain "There's your Q."

    His remarks drew a standing ovation, and prompted him to continue.

    "That is Q. What does that Q mean? Don't you ever give up hope on this country," he said.

    From Newsweek:

    Wood spoke about people worshiping Satan and said "millions" of children had disappeared around the world.

    The QAnon conspiracy theory posits that there is an international cabal of Satanists who abduct children and its members include prominent businessmen and politicians.

    The former Trump attorney also insisted that former President Donald Trump is still in power in the United States, and won the 2020 presidential election.

    "He won the presidency and he is the person that we the people selected," Wood said, according to Newsweek. "Donald J. Trump is still the president of the United States of America. He is your president."

    Around this time, OAN cut away from coverage of his remarks, Mediaite reported.

    What else?

    Elsewhere, Wood said that Trump critics should be placed in front of a firing squad and executed for "committing acts against humanity."

    He said, "Every lie will be revealed! They are killing our children, send them to jail. Put them in front of the firing squad. They are committing acts against humanity. The penalty for an act against humanity is death. Take them out!"

    The event, which "drew thousands of attendees from around the nation," according to the outlet, also featured speakers including Gen. Michael Flynn.

    PatriotTakes tweeted video featuring a portion of Wood's remarks, which you can watch below.

  • Cop begs knife-wielding man in standoff: 'You’re a black man. I’m a black man. You don’t have to die today. I don’t want you to die today.' Mon, 19 Apr 2021 17:20:00 +0000

    The voice of a DeKalb County, Georgia, police sergeant on bodycam video encapsulated the tragedy that occurred last week.

    "I'm begging you," the sergeant pleaded with a knife-wielding man through a closed door after a 911 call about a reported prowler, WXIA-TV said. "You're a black man. I'm a black man. You don't have to die today. I don't want you to die today."

    Image source: WXIA-TV video screenshot

    Officers begged 35-year-old Matthew Williams at least 47 times to drop the knife he had been holding after lunging at one officer, the station said.

    But it was no use. Williams lunged again at police, shots were fired, and Williams' body was recovered from the premises an hour later, WXIA reported.

    Turns out Williams actually lived at the property, the station said.

    What are the details?

    After police were called to the house Wednesday, a woman can be heard telling officers that "our neighbors that lived there moved out, and the owner has vacated the home to remodel it, so nobody is supposed to be there," WXIA reported.

    Soon officers encountered Williams at the house. "Hey, what's up, man? What you doin' around here? You live here?" one officer is heard asking him, the station said. "If you don't live here, man, I'm just kindly asking you just to leave the property, all right?"

    Image source: WXIA-TV video screenshot

    WXIA said bodycam video caught an image of Williams as he walked down the steps:

    Image source: WXIA-TV video screenshot

    And police said Williams lunged at an officer with what they described as a blue ceramic knife, the station reported:

    Image source: WXIA-TV video screenshot

    Image source: WXIA-TV video screenshot

    An officer fired one shot, but police said Williams fled into the trees surrounding the house, WXIA reported, adding that an officer said in the bodycam clip that she may have shot Williams in the shoulder.

    "Drop the knife, man!" an officer hollers into the woods.

    "Drop the weapon! Drop it!" another officers yells.

    "We will shoot, man, all right? We gave you ample warnings, all right?" an officer is heard telling Williams.

    The station said the video indicates Williams slipped out of view and back into the house, after which police came to the front door.

    "Please come out for us, boss man. What's the problem? How can I help you?" says an officer who identified himself as Sgt. Perry with the DeKalb Police Department.

    After a minute, an officer kicks in the door — but it soon closes from the inside, WXIA reported.

    "I'm begging you," the sergeant pleaded with Williams, the station said. "You're a black man. I'm a black man. You don't have to die today. I don't want you to die today."

    Image source: WXIA-TV video screenshot

    WXIA said the exchange went on for nearly two minutes, with Williams saying, "I'm defending my property."

    The station said Perry answered, "Sir, I need you to put the knife down."

    "Let me see [the knife] drop," the sergeant added, WXIA said. "I can get you an ambulance out here. We can talk about this."

    "I'm defending my property," Williams repeated.

    After another minute, police told the station, Williams lunged at them again with the knife just as one officer was heard saying "we're here to help you" — and then three gunshots rang out.

    The door closed again, WXIA said, and officers withdrew and waited for a SWAT team. Williams' body was recovered from the house over an hour later, the station reported.

    What did the police chief have to say?

    DeKalb County Police Chief Mirtha Ramos told WXIA that Williams lived in the house, but police didn't know that at the time of the 911 call.

    Image source: WXIA-TV video screenshot

    "The police will respond to what they know at that moment," Ramos told the station. "And we don't what [sic] they knew at that moment besides what we see on the bodycam footage." She added to WXIA that two investigations regarding the incident are ongoing.

    What did Williams' family have to say?

    Williams' family has indicated they believe he was experiencing a mental health episode at the time of the incident, WXIA said.

  • Hawley introduces bill to trust-bust Big Tech Mon, 19 Apr 2021 17:05:00 +0000

    Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Monday introduced new legislation he says will "bust up" Big Tech companies, including Amazon and Google, by breaking up tech companies and strictly regulating what types of industries they can be involved with.

    The "Bust Up Big Tech Act" would make it illegal for companies that offer search engines, marketplaces, and exchanges from competing with third-party vendors by selling, advertising, or promoting their own competing goods and services. Amazon, for example, would be prohibited from owning Amazon Marketplace and also selling Amazon products on the marketplace in competition with third-party sellers.

    The bill would also ban tech companies from providing internet infrastructure services to other companies or hosting their websites online if they are already engaged in another type of business. Using Amazon as an example again, Hawley's bill would make it illegal for Amazon to both own its marketplace and offer Amazon Web Services, which provides on-demand cloud computing platforms and other tech infrastructure to third parties.

    The Federal Trade Commission would be empowered to enforce these new regulations. Additionally, state attorneys general and private citizens would be permitted to sue Big Tech companies that violate the law.

    "Woke Big Tech companies like Google and Amazon have been coddled by Washington politicians for years," Hawley said in a statement. "This treatment has allowed them to amass colossal amounts of power that they use to censor political opinions they don't agree with and shut out competitors who offer consumers an alternative to the status quo."

    "It's past time to bust up Big Tech companies, restore competition, and give the power back to the American consumers," he added.

    The "Bust Up Big Tech Act" is the latest in a series of bills introduced by Hawley to punish "woke mega-corporations."

    Last week, Hawley introduced the "Trust-Busting for the Twenty-First Century Act" to ban mergers and acquisitions by companies exceeding a market capitalization of $100 billion. The bill would also loosen the standards to prove an anti-trust claim and would force any company that loses an antitrust suit to forfeit profits made through those business practices.

    Hawley also introduced a bill along with Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) to end Major League Baseball's antitrust exemption in response to the League's decision to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta in protest of Georgia's new election laws.

    There is bipartisan agreement between Republicans and Democrats that Big Tech companies are due for an antitrust reckoning, but for very different reasons. While Republicans are crying foul over censorship by social media and other tech platforms, Democrats believe these companies are not doing enough to prohibit the spread of "misinformation" on their websites.

    In the House, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), the lead Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel, is leading the effort to introduce new bills to break up Big Tech. He intends to introduce a series of small bills in May in hopes that Republicans may support one or two pieces of targeted antitrust legislation from Democrats rather than a comprehensive bill that will not pass the 50-50 Senate.

    Hawley's legislation is unlikely to find support from Democrats, who are preoccupied with drafting their own bills.

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