Any threat especially against law enforcement or politicians will get you banned.
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Back Door Power Grab Links from other news sources. Opinion Reprints from others.

Elon Musk says he will make an alternative phone if Apple, Google ban Twitter.

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On Friday, Twitter owner Elon Musk, who also is the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, said that if Twitter is removed from app stores owned by Apple and Google, whose phones only use those systems, he would create an alternative phone.

Liz Wheeler wrote, “If Apple & Google boot Twitter from their app stores, @elonmusk should produce his own smartphone. Half the country would happily ditch the biased, snooping iPhone & Android. The man builds rockets to Mars, a silly little smartphone should be easy, right?”

Musk replied, “I certainly hope it does not come to that, but, yes, if there is no other choice, I will make an alternative phone.”

On Friday, Taylor Lorenz used her latest column in the Washington Post to call for Apple and Google app stores to pull Twitter from their stores. This came after Musk announced that there will be a general amnesty for all banned accounts, following a poll of Twitter users..

Lorenz complains that Musk brought back conservative Christian satire site The Babylon Bee, who was banned by noting that Rachel Levine is a biological male. After Time Magazine awarded Levine “woman of the year,” The Babylon Bee awarded Levine “man of the year.”

On November 18, Musk noted how Apple and Google through their vertical integration have a duopoly on the market and wrote, “App store fees are obviously too high due to the iOS/Android duopoly. It is a hidden 30 percent tax on the Internet.”

Musk followed up and tagged the antitrust division in the Department of Justice.

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Back Door Power Grab Corruption Elections Politics Reprints from others. Social Venues-Twitter

All Us “Conspiracy Theorists” Were Right: Bombshell Leak Reveals Twitter Exec Met with Feds to Discuss Censorship Plans

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“Responding to misinformation is my day job. My night job is RUNNING ELECTIONS.” – CISA document 6/22/22. Name redacted, emphasis added.

Here is a disturbing story. It demonstrates intrigue, corruption, and disdain for American principles at the highest level.

Perhaps the saddest thing about this story is that you probably won’t be surprised. Especially if you’ve been paying attention for the past few years.

The story is this: Twitter and other social media platforms have been cozy with the Department of Homeland Security to squelch what DHS calls “misinformation,” “disinformation” and “malinformation,” or “MDM,” according to an investigative report published Monday by The Intercept.

But you knew that.

And maybe Elon Musk did in his purchase of Twitter last week.

Misinformation?
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Job one for Musk was to not only fire CEO Parag Agrawal but also Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s top lawyer and the individual responsible for booting former President Donald Trump off the platform and for censoring the Hunter Biden laptop story in the run-up to the 2020 election.

You probably remember a few months ago when DHS rolled out what it called its Disinformation Governance Board, designed to go after “MDM” on social media. A firestorm of bad publicity meant the Biden administration had to quickly yank it offstage.

But the concept is still around and Gadde has been part of it.

Gadde is a member of an advisory committee of the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). In June, the committee put out a report that essentially outlined a need to get around the First Amendment to stop “MDM” since it “poses a significant risk to critical functions like elections, public health, financial services and emergency response.”

Also, The Intercept reported on DHS documents saying the agency is going after “MDM” on “the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the nature of U.S. support to Ukraine.”

In other words, DHS wants to push the Biden administration’s line on many of the controversies Americans might be discussing on social media, and attack or suppress other views that oppose it.

And Twitter has been right there in the middle of it.

Lee Fang, one of the authors of The Intercept article, tweeted that Gadde had met monthly with DHS to discuss censorship and, along with Facebook, Twitter “created special portals for the government to rapidly request takedowns of content.”

In March, top officials of Twitter and JPMorgan Chase met with Laura Dehmlow, section chief of the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force. Dehmlow said subversive information on the internet could undercut support for the U.S. government, according to notes of the meeting reported by The Intercept.

In a statement for The Intercept report, a Twitter representative said the company does not “coordinate with other entities when making content moderation decisions,” following, rather, its own rules in such situations.

Still, Twitter joined other tech companies in monthly meetings with the FBI, CISA and other government agencies to determine how to handle misinformation leading up to the 2020 elections, according to NBC News.

In 2018, DHS began notifying social media companies of what it described as voting disinformation appearing on their platforms. The following year, DHS developed the Foreign Influence and Interference Branch which morphed in 2020 to track communication regarding COVID-19, The Intercept said.

Varied U.S. intelligence agencies moderated social media surrounding the 2020 election and leading up to the November voting there were regular emails among officials of Twitter, DHS and the Center for Internet Security regarding takedown procedures for social media postings.

And while the Disinformation Governance Board was scrapped, DHS in August published a document titled “DHS Needs a Unified Strategy to Counter Disinformation Campaigns.”

Screenshot of DHS Document. Written 6/22/22

Full document can be seen here

In it, DHS intones “such campaigns may aim to erode public trust in our government and the Nation’s critical infrastructure sectors, negatively affect public discourse, or even sway elections.”

Sway elections? You think? Hasn’t that been a major aim of Silicon Valley?

Of course, DHS does not address a key foundational principle which allows for pesky ideas that the Department of Homeland Security considers “MDM.”

It’s contained in the document that proclaims, “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.”

The Founders, ever conscious of man’s corruption, knew what’s now called “MDM” would be protected by the First Amendment, but, as in other parts of the Bill of Rights, they also knew liberty was more important than government convenience.

Twitter, as The Intercept report shows, clearly has been involved in the federal government’s attempts to outsource censorship and suppression of dissent.

Musk, Twitter’s new owner, has publicly declared himself to be a “free speech absolutist.”

Clearly, something has to give.

There’s no telling where the company will go now that Musk is in charge, but he was right about one of his first major personnel moves.

Booting censorship collaborators like Gadde is an excellent start.

Special thanks to Lee Fang for this report.
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Back Door Power Grab Biden Pandemic Corruption COVID Medicine Politics

Winning. Judge Tosses NYC Vaccine Mandate – Reinstates all Fired City Workers, Orders Back pay

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New York – In Richmond County Supreme Court, Judge Ralph Porzio, has ruled that the vaccine mandates issued by the New York City Health Commissioner are unconstitutional and violate the separation of powers.

The ruling permits city employees to return to work effective immediately and orders back pay.

According to attorney Chad Laveglia, the judge ruled “the commissioner’s order mandating private and public employees get vaccinated was arbitrary and capricious.”

“Being vaccinated does not prevent an individual from contracting or transmitting Covid-19,” the judge stated.

[Due to Rumble and the FV player we use here not speaking to each other, we cannot supply the accompanying video, but you can see it here: Judge strikes down nyc vaccine mandate for city workers ]

While Laveglia was representing members of the Dept. of Sanitation in New York (DSNY), this ruling will impact the FDNY, NYPD, Dept. of Corrections and all other city employees who were shut down and forced to resign for refusing to cave in to an experimental emergency use vaccine.  The Gateway Pundit has previously reported on closures of firehouses in New York City that couldn’t remain open due to personnel shortages.  The Gateway Pundit also reported on a mass exodus of NYPD officers; although this was not exclusively related to the vaccine, it does pose a serious problem when the department’s numbers were already impacted greatly by the forced resignations earlier on.

The vaccination mandate for City employees was not just about safety and public health; it was about compliance.

The vaccination mandate for City employees was not just about safety and public health; it was about compliance.

The defendants, of course, filed a Notice of Appeal.  In New York, there are 62 courts, one for each county, representing the Supreme Court.  Despite the name, the Supreme Court in New York is not the highest court.  That position reigns with the New York Court of Appeals.  It appears as though there is still the possibility of one last battle for the DSNY employees and Mr. Laveglia.

The City of New York is represented by the New York City Law Department.  This means that the tax-payers of New York City are funding the fight to take away their own rights to work despite their personal decisions not to take an experimental vaccine that has numerous documented health implications in comparison to all other vaccines since the VAERS system began tracking adverse events.

The tax-payer funded New York City Law Department writes in their appeal:

“Did Supreme Court err in granting the petition, granting declaratory relief, and denying respondents’ cross-motion to dismiss, where, among other things, the petition is time-barred and the underlying employee vaccination requirements are entirely lawful and rational, as multiple courts have held”

In the decision from the Richmond Supreme Court, Judge Porizio writes:

“An administrative agency usurps the authority of the legislative branch when it promulgates a rule that the legislature did not delegate it the authority to make in the first
instance

As you read the following, specifically the bold print, remember that the New York City Law Department is expending tax payer dollars to appeal this decision while costing the DSNY employees exorbitant legal fees to fight the appeal.  New York is no longer under a state of emergency, Joe Biden declared the pandemic over, and CDC guidelines for vaxxed vs unvaxxed are the same.

“The punishment is the process.”

Judge Porizio continues in his Conclusion:

“It is clear that the Health Commissioner has the authority to issue public health mandates. No one is refuting that authority.

However, the Health Commissioner cannot create a new condition of employment for City employees. The Health Commissioner cannot prohibit an employee from reporting to work. The Health Commissioner cannot terminate employees. The Mayor cannot exempt certain employees from these orders. Executive Order No. 62 renders all of these vaccine mandates arbitrary and capricious. Being vaccinated does not prevent an individual from contracting or transmitting Covid19.

As of the day of this Decision, CDC guidelines regarding quarantine and isolation are the same for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.  The Petitioners should not have been terminated for choosing not to protect themselves. We have learned through the course of the pandemic that the vaccine against Covid-19 is not absolute. Breakthrough cases occur, even for those who have been vaccinated and boosted. President Joseph Biden has said that the pandemic is over.  The State of New York ended the Covid-19 state of emergency over a month ago. 

As this Court stated in its decision in the Rivicci matter, this is not a commentary on the efficacy of vaccination, but about how we are treating our first responders, the ones who worked day-to-day through the height of the pandemic.  They worked without protective gear. They were infected with Covid-19, creating natural immunity. They continued working full duty while their exemption requests were pending. They were terminated and are willing to come back to work for the City that cast them aside.

The vaccination mandate for City employees was not just about safety and public health; it was about compliance. If it was about safety and public health, unvaccinated workers would have been placed on leave the moment the order was issued. If it was about safety and public health, the Health Commissioner would have issued city-wide mandates for vaccination for all residents. In a City with a nearly 80% vaccination rate, we shouldn’t be penalizing the people who showed up to work, at great risk to themselves and their families, while we were locked down.

 

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Categories
Back Door Power Grab How sick is this? Politics

Biden’s Nuclear ‘Armageddon’ Comments So Egregious, Even French President Macron Speaks Against Him

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pResident Joe Biden’s warning about a nuclear “Armageddon” drew a rebuke from French President Emmanuel Macron.

Biden was thought to be speaking ‘off the cuff’ when he said that Vladimir Putin was ‘not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons,’ at the end of a Democratic fundraising event on Thursday night when he spoke of the potential for Russian leader Vladimir Putin to use nuclear weapons in his invasion of Ukraine. “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” Biden said according to The New York Times.

He suggested the threat from Putin is real “because his military is — you might say — significantly underperforming.”

Macron said nuclear war is too delicate a subject to be spoken of carelessly, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.

“We must speak with prudence when commenting on such matters,” he said.

“I have always refused to engage in political fiction, and especially … when speaking of nuclear weapons. On this issue, we must be very careful,” he said.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin had a response to Biden’s Thursday rumination about how Putin can be given an “off-ramp” to end the war.

“The way out of this conflict is for Russia to leave Ukraine. That is the way out of the conflict,” she said.

European Council President Charles Michel said leaders there take “every escalation very seriously.”

“Threats will not intimidate us. Instead,  we are going to remain calm. We are going to keep cool heads and we will, each time, denounce the irresponsible character of these threats,” he said, according to the Daily Mail.

Kori Schake, the foreign and defense policy studies director at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, said Biden’s comment helped no one, according to the Washington Examiner.

“It undercuts deterrence for the president to sound anxious about Russian nuclear threats,” said Schake, a former National Security Council and State Department official, the outlet reported. “That incentivizes nuclear proliferation and encourages efforts at nuclear blackmail.”

Schake also said the time was not right for Biden to make an ad-lib about nuclear war.

“If he wants to prepare Americans for the danger, he shouldn’t do that via leaked off-the-record comments at a private political fundraiser; he should give a public national address,” she said.

Former national security adviser John Bolton also took issue with Biden’s comments, according to CBS News.

“I think any time we contemplate the potential use of nuclear weapons, we’ve got to take it seriously,” Bolton said, according to CBS. “But I also think we’ve got to be very clear-eyed about it. And I think the president’s comment overstated the gravity of the situation we’re in right now.

“I was particularly disturbed when he said, ‘you know, I can’t imagine the use of a tactical nuclear weapon that doesn’t lead to Armageddon.’ And it’s that chain of causality from one demonstration use of a tactical nuclear weapon that Vladimir Putin is currently threatening all the way up to an exchange of nuclear salvos between Russia and the United States,” he said.

“It is not inevitable. But Putin would like us to think it’s inevitable. He’d like to see people nervous. He’s trying to deter us. He has done this several times already after his invasion of Ukraine. He’s been bluffing each time. There is a risk here of the use of nuclear weapons.

“I don’t think we’re in the circumstances where it’s going to happen, although we watch it carefully,” he said. “But it’s very important for the West not to be deterred by Putin’s use of this nuclear threat.”

Bullet points:

  • Macron rebukes Biden over his warning that Putin could start ‘Armageddon’ 
  • White House tried to walk comments back and blamed “Russian irresponsibility”
  • US officials scrambled to assure allies they had no specific intel on Putin’s plans
  • Macron spoke of the need to speak with care on the nuclear threat from Putin
  • Finnish PM also rebuked Biden over his comments that Putin needs an ‘off ramp’ 
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Categories
Back Door Power Grab Elections Faked news Politics

Democrat Operatives Running Phony PR Campaigns Disguised As Local News In Swing States

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Democrat operatives have set up websites disguised as innocent local news to disseminate leftist propaganda and boost blue candidates in swing states ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

As of October, Local Report Inc., an organization formed just last year, created more than 50 websites masquerading as online news media outlets to influence “local” coverage of key races and issues.

A closer look by Axios found that these sites are also associated with and sometimes even manned by writers from The American Independent, a progressive media group founded by the same Democrat operative, David Brock, who created the leftist propaganda machine Media Matters for America.

For those who remember,  Media Matters for America trained a large group of individuals to troll and disrupt conservative websites during the runup to the 2016 presidential elections, and David Brock was behind it — TPR

The websites target voters in swing states such as Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin with stories that look like news but are actually designed to boost Democrats’ midterm priorities.

That includes amplifying pro-abortion candidates and their unpopular baby-killing agenda, celebrating Democrats’ embrace of the crisis-plagued Biden Administration, and penning hit pieces that target Republican candidates in tight races.

In some cases, Local Report’s websites went so far as to copy the work of other legitimate news organizations and were still rewarded with the attention of Democrats such as Stacey Abrams.

In fact, Axios reports that “Local Report stories have popped up in communications from the Democrat Parties of Georgia and Michigan, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Michigan’s Democratic secretary of state and independent political groups such as Color of Change and the Democratic Coalition.”
By manufacturing “news” websites to influence voters, Local Report joins the efforts of other Democrat propaganda groups including the George Soros-linked Courier Newsroom, which prides itself on disguising leftist narratives as local news. The supervisor tasked with overseeing the launch of Courier admitted in a 2020 interview with Vice that “it’s more effective to create ‘news content’ than to simply run ads for Democratic causes.” 

Seeing as Democrats’ top issues such as abortion and climate change aren’t faring well with voters, who are more concerned about inflation, economic recession, and rising crime, it’s no surprise that they feel the need to hide their shady campaigning behind inconspicuous sites.

Axios calls these actions a “ploy.” Contrast that characterization with a report from Politico, which called GOP efforts to restore the balance in news in the 2018 election cycle “fake” news. Sham fact-checking website Snopes and Harvard’s media arm Nieman Lab used similar framing in the 2020 election cycle when it smeared Republicans for entering the world of media and said their presence was just going to “exacerbate polarization.”

The press is certainly not unfamiliar with harnessing its control of information to influence elections. During the 2020 elections, the corrupt corporate media tried to memory-hole the Hunter Biden laptop bombshell by claiming it was Russian disinformation. Other outlets such as NPR went so far as to pledge not to cover the issue at all. ✪

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Back Door Power Grab Corruption Elections How sick is this? Politics

Biden DOJ Seizes Phones of Two Top Trump Advisors – 40 Subpoenas Issued in Ongoing Harassment Campaign — Surprise, surprise, surprise!

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By Cristina Laila   For Gateway Pundit Published September 12, 2022

Biden’s corrupt Justice Department seized phones of two top Trump advisors in the past week.

The Justice Department issued at least 40 subpoenas over the last several days seeking information related to January 6 and Trump’s Save America PAC.

Trump’s top advisors Stephen Miller, Brian Jack and Dan Scavino all received subpoenas.

“Among the recipients of subpoenas from a grand jury sitting in Washington are relatively junior aides from the White House and Mr. Trump’s 2020 campaign. While the subpoenas asked for information concerning the Save America PAC, they also sought communications with several pro-Trump lawyers — like Kenneth Chesebro — who helped devise the electors plan.” – The New York Times reported last week.

According to a new report from The Times, Boris Epshteyn and Mike Roman had their phones seized by the DOJ.

The New York Times reported:

The Justice Department has issued about 40 subpoenas over the past week seeking information about the actions of former President Donald J. Trump and his associates related to the 2020 election and the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, according to people familiar with the situation.

Two top Trump advisers, Boris Epshteyn and Mike Roman, had their phones seized as evidence, those people said.

Among those the department has contacted since Wednesday are people who are close to the former president and have played significant roles in his post-White House life.

Those receiving the subpoenas included Dan Scavino, Mr. Trump’s former social media director who rose from working at a Trump-owned golf course to one of his most loyal aides and has remained an adviser after Mr. Trump left office. Stanley Woodward, one of Mr. Scavino’s lawyers, declined to comment.

The Justice Department also executed search warrants to seize electronic devices from people involved in the so-called fake electors effort in swing states, including Mr. Epshteyn, a longtime Trump adviser, and Mr. Roman, a campaign strategist, according to people familiar with the events. Federal agents made the seizures last week, the people said.

Recall, Trump’s election lawyer John Eastman said the FBI searched and seized his phone in June.

FBI ambushes John Eastman outside restaurant

John Eastman was exiting a restaurant with his wife and friend in New Mexico when FBI agents ambushed him and “forced” him to unlock his phone.

The federal agents then took Eastman’s iPhone 12 Pro.

Sadly, no one should be surprised at the desperation being exhibited by the Xiden regime’s handlers trying to keep Trump off the 2024 ticket.

And notice how they keep leaking these stories to the NYT?

Coincidence? I think not.

 

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Categories
Back Door Power Grab Corruption Economy Leftist Virtue(!) Stupid things people say or do.

Follow Up: California Extends ‘Flex Alert,’ Warns Drivers Not to Charge Electric Cars

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By Jack Phillips for The Epoch Times
How funny is this? CA Mandates use of EVs, but can’t get enough electricity for their current demand. –TPR

Authorities in California extended a “Flex Alert” telling residents to conserve energy, including not charging their electric vehicles, on Sunday afternoon and evening.

The alert has been in effect for several days in the midst of a heat wave that is slated to last through Labor Day.

The California Independent System Operator, the manager of the state’s power grid, issued the statewide Flex Alert from 4 to 9 p.m. Residents are urged to set their thermostats to 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, avoid using major appliances, avoid charging electric vehicles, and turning off unnecessary lights.

“Additional Flex Alerts will likely be called as heat will only intensify through Tuesday, with little relief from triple-digit temperatures seen over the next several days,” the operator wrote. “Daytime high temperatures are forecast at 10-20 degrees above normal in much of the state through the Labor Day weekend and into next week, and record-breaking heat is projected in some parts of California.”

Elliot Mainzer, Cal ISO president, told local media this weekend that Sept. 1 saw the “highest demand for power” since September 2017 in California, adding that it’s “a dress rehearsal for what’s going to be much more significantly stressed conditions here as we get into the heart of the weekend.”

The National Weather Service says 100-degree temperatures are currently hitting Los Angeles, the state’s most populated city, on Sunday. Sacramento and other areas in the Central Valley, meanwhile, are forecast to hit 113 degrees F on Monday and Tuesday. San Jose, another heavily populated city, will see temperatures over 100 F on Monday and Tuesday.

In recent years, the California grid operator has issued flex alerts and made similar statements calling on residents to hold off on charging electric cars.

The operator in mid-July 2021 posted a Twitter message that Californians between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. should not charge their electric vehicles and other devices.

Electric Vehicle Mandate

Cal ISO issued Flex Alert targeting electric vehicles last week. The move prompted some to criticize a regulation that was passed recently by the California Air Resources Board to phase out the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035 in favor of electric vehicles and some plug-in hybrids. The rule was backed by Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom, who hailed the vote.

Some automotive groups say the new statewide mandates will be very challenging to meet. Other critics noted the recent issuance of Flex Alerts suggests a transition to electric vehicles is not feasible.

Several unnamed California drivers who were interviewed by KTLA-TV questioned the 2035 mandate amid the continuous days of Flex Alerts.

“If we can’t do these things today, how are we going to do when everything needs to be electric?” one driver asked last week.
“Unless you have a home charger it’s an absolute disaster,” an electric vehicle owner, named Rebecca, told the station.

_______________________________________________________

Running out of water, running out of electricity. California is on its way to becoming Utopia.

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Categories
Back Door Power Grab Biden Pandemic Leftist Virtue(!) Politics Progressive Racism

Let’s look at Joe’s accomplishments. Yeah right.

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Joey gave a speech attacking over 70 million Americans. Let’s look at his accomplishments. Snicker snicker snort snort. So let’s look at the great things he’s done since January 20th, 2021.

First day he put thousands of Americans out of work with his shut down of the pipeline, fracking and drilling on federal land. Those jobs were good paying and most were union. Joe bag of donuts.,000

Price of gas quickly doubled, open borders, defeat and retreat in Afghanistan, Inflation, three vaccines but over 600,000 deaths, and the Russia/ Ukraine war.

Did I mention higher crime rates, out of control spending, higher cost of living, and a DOJ going after American citizens and a former President.

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Categories
Back Door Power Grab Education Leftist Virtue(!) Project Veritas Stupid things people say or do.

More Hate from the Progressives. Religious bigotry and hate.

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Back in the early 70’s I experienced my first example of Religious bigotry. It was working in the steel mill at the time. I was paired up with a guy we’ll call Frank All week he would barely acknowledge me and the conversations were one or two words from him. By the fourth day I lost it and asked him what was his problem? I was Catholic and he was Orange Irish.

Today we still have folks like Frank. Only difference was that Frank was a Republican. Today that hate comes from the left. Project Veritas

caught one of those ass holes.

Greenwich CT Assistant Principal’s Hiring Discrimination Ensures ‘Subtle’ Child Indoctrination; ‘You Don’t Hire’ Catholics Because They Are More ‘Conservative’ … ‘Progressive Teachers’ Are ‘Savvy About Delivering a Democratic Message’

Via Project Veritas:

On this matter, Boland affirms that any teacher who refuses to acknowledge a child’s gender preferences has no place in his Elementary School.

“So, if you have someone [teacher] who is hardcore religious or hardcore conservative, they will probably say something detrimental to the effect, ‘Well, I don’t think kids have enough knowledge to make that decision [gender identity] at this age,’” Boland said.

“You’re out. You’re done,” he concluded.

The Elementary School administrator goes on to say that he discriminates against older individuals as well.

Now his hatred comes across politically, and older folks, but in my experience I’ve found WASP’S more conservative as a group.

 

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Categories
Back Door Power Grab Corruption Leftist Virtue(!) Polls Privacy

Report Critical of Group Managing Voter Rolls in 33 States & DC

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By Beth Brelje for Epoch Times Aug. 21, 2022 Updated: Aug. 23, 2022

Personal information of 56 million voters shared

Your voter registration shouldn’t be used by another person to cast a ballot.

When someone moves or dies, their name should be removed from the registered voters’ roll so it can’t be used to vote. The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993 requires states to make a reasonable effort to remove ineligible people from voter rolls.

It’s usually handled at the county or state level, but today, 33 states and the District of Columbia, are outsourcing parts of this task to the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).

According to a report by Verity Vote, ERIC, which claims that it’s nonpartisan, is actually connected to left-leaning backers and engages in a host of troubling practices that could sway elections across the nation.

Verity Vote is a group of citizen volunteers with professional data research and investigation backgrounds who examine election integrity throughout the country.

New Jersey and Massachusetts joined ERIC in August. The other ERIC member states are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, plus Washington, D.C.

In a July 13 letter, Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin gave notice that the state was officially dropping its ERIC membership. This followed a January statement in which Ardoin announced that Louisiana was suspending participation in the voter registration agreement “effective immediately,” citing concerns about questionable funding sources and the possibility of partisan actors having access to ERIC data for political purposes, potentially undermining voter confidence.

The Epoch Times has reached out to ERIC and a connected organization, the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR), for comment. Neither of the nonprofit organizations responded.

Partisan Leanings

David Becker is CEIR’s director and founder. He also founded and is still a board member of ERIC. Becker didn’t respond to a request for comment.

According to its website, “CEIR’s mission is to restore trust in the American election system and promote election procedures that encourage participation and ensure election integrity and security.”

But CEIR leans to the left with its assertion dismissing the election integrity concerns of many Republicans over the 2020 election, saying: “The 2020 general election was the most secure in American history.”

It calls claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent “The Big Lie,” and the CEIR website states that the majority of the GOP and Trump supporters see conspiracies—some of which U.S. media outlets had previously raised concerns about—assume the worst about election integrity, and are pushing harmful, unnecessary new election laws.

Before forming ERIC and CEIR, Becker was a senior staff attorney at the left-leaning People for the American Way and director of election initiatives at Pew Charitable Trusts, according to Influence Watch.

In 2020, CEIR received nearly $70 million from the left-leaning Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and distributed $64 million in grants to fund “urgent voter education assistance” in 23 different states, with the largest amounts going to Pennsylvania ($13.2 million) and Michigan ($11.9 million).

On its tax-exempt 990 form, ERIC describes itself as working to improve the accuracy of U.S. voter rolls by providing member states with information on voter registration records that are inaccurate because of voters moving or dying. ERIC provides lists of possible ineligible voters, then states may contact them by mail to verify the information, then adjust the voter rolls.

Verity Vote found that states are slightly better at this than ERIC. While non-ERIC states removed an average of 2.3 percent from voter rolls, ERIC states removed an average of 1.9 percent.

Using the data that states provide, ERIC also runs a get-out-the-vote operation, giving lists of eligible but unregistered (EBU) residents to states a minimum of every 425 days. As per the ERIC agreement, states must contact every person on the list and inform them how to register to vote.

This results in a significant swelling of voter rolls. The report shows EBU additions consistently exceed suggested removals—by 10 times.

Sharing Private information

Member states give ERIC more than voter registration records. By agreement, they also hand over all records of individuals who went to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and other places where people are given a chance to register to vote.

In Pennsylvania, that includes state offices that provide public assistance or services to people with disabilities, armed forces recruitment centers, area agencies on aging, county mental health/mental retardation offices, centers for independent living, and the county clerk of court. It’s similar in other states.

In the right hands, personal information gleaned from these agencies could predict which political party a person may belong to.

Since voter registration is offered in these places, all personal information is shared with ERIC, even if the individual didn’t register to vote, Verity Vote found.

“This appears to violate federal law,” the report reads. “The NVRA prohibits states from sharing any records that relate to a declination to register to vote, or to the identity of a voter registration agency through which any particular voter is registered.”

ERIC’s website states that it has handled 56 million voters.

Although ERIC is required to protect personally identifiable information, the report documents how ERIC shares the data with CEIR.

“CEIR is creating the lists of voters who should be targeted for voter registration efforts and laundering the lists back through ERIC for distribution to the states,” the report reads.

In September 2021, Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers investigating the 2020 election subpoenaed the Department of State, requesting detailed voter lists including name, date of birth, driver’s license number, last four digits of Social Security number, address, and, date of last voting activity.

The Democratic governor, state lawmakers, and secretary of state went to court to block access, citing the protection of voters’ personal information.

In court papers, the Department of State stated that it couldn’t provide the information to investigators because “bad actors who gain access to this information would have all the data they need to control the voters’ registrations, and even their votes.”

Verity Vote noted in its report that the Department of State “was comfortable sharing data about voters and citizens who have chosen not to register to vote with Zuckerberg funded CEIR but went to court to keep that data from the Pennsylvania Senate.”

Targeted Communication

Imagine the power to text targeted voters on election day. CEIR is launching a free service for election officials called REVERE, aimed at combating disinformation in real time, according to the report.

It’s unclear who gets to define what constitutes disinformation.

In a communication from Becker to an official in Georgia, Becker describes REVERE’s power.

“REVERE will enable states to draw on phone numbers and email addresses contained in the voter file, and send texts, emails, and even voicemails to any set of voters (a particular precinct or county, older voters, etc.) rapidly. This will allow states to proactively communicate with voters about how to vote effectively (deadlines, early voting, etc.), send links to official websites (drop box and early voting locations), and rapidly respond to disinformation,” he wrote.

In its report, Verity Vote asks if it’s proper to entangle the private motivations of CEIR and ERIC with the governmental role to execute elections, placing the power to judge what’s disinformation—and whom to distribute it to—in the hands of this public/private partnership.

 

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