Melbourne protesters question why counter-terror police weren’t deployed last year during the Black Lives Matter protests.
I asked an indigenous woman berating the crowd, who answered, “because this is Aboriginal land, alright c**nt”.
However, an Aboriginal man in the crowd disagreed, saying, “the country itself is all of our land. It’s not just one of us. It’s all of us. It doesn’t matter if you’re black, white Asian. We’re all Australians.”
He says he didn’t join BLM protests because it was “a bit of stupidity there”. However, he’s fighting for construction workers because they are “essential”.
“Tradies lives are bloody essential to us. If not for them; we wouldn’t have these buildings, the roads, we wouldn’t even have our houses”, he added.
TUCSON, Arizona (LifeSiteNews) — COVID-19 patients across America are being denied treatment and “even the basic standard of care” in what has been described as an “ungodly, unholy, un-American, unconstitutional response by hospitals” to the coronavirus crisis, according to speakers at the latest Stop the Shot conference.
The fourth installment of the Truth for Health Foundation’s conference series took aim at patient freedoms, which have been under siege throughout the coronavirus crisis, with patients being denied life-saving medication for COVID-19, being coerced into using potentially dangerous and expensive treatment plans, and being forcibly secluded, without the ability to see their families.
One such case is that of Caroline Carroll, a mother who, after apparently contracting the virus, was told by staff at Baylor, White & Scott hospital in College Station, Texas, that “she had waited too long to be treated.”
Jodi Carroll, Caroline’s daughter, spoke at the conference, revealing that her mother initially believed she was experiencing nothing more than allergy symptoms. It was only after her condition deteriorated that her husband decided it would be wise to get a medical opinion, at which point Caroline went to the hospital, subsequently testing positive for COVID. Medics then sent Caroline home and told her to return only if her symptoms progressed further.
“By the next morning, unfortunately, her blood oxygen concentration was at 70, so my father rushed her back to the hospital, at which point she was admitted from July to August,” Jodi explained.
Once hospitalized, the family observed that the physicians were employing a “wait and see approach,” despite their requests to be more proactive following “research that we had done on COVID” showing that “it was a treatable disease.”
After consulting Dr. Peter McCullough, M.D., renowned cardiologist and chief medical adviser to the Truth for Health Foundation, a treatment plan was established, part of which was to prescribe anti-coagulants to combat a possible thrombosis, or blood-clotting.
The hospital, however, saw fit to place Carroll on “supportive care,” which her family understood to mean hospice care.
At this point, the family “escalated our efforts to get the intervention that we required. We began speaking with the chief medical officer at the hospital, asking for the same medications. We were denied.”
In desperation, the family attempted to invoke what is known as the “Right to Try Act … which allows a family who has a family member in a critical, life-threatening condition to try experimental medications,” even though the medication prescribed by McCullough has been “completely FDA [Food and Drug Administration] approved.”
Ultimately the Carrolls were denied again, forcing them to seek legal intervention. “We went to court and we were unfortunately denied the request for the medications we were asking for.” Just three days later, Caroline Carroll died.
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With the FDA’s decision to officially approve the Pfizer COVID jab, calls to vaccinate schoolchildren and more university students will become louder and more insistent.
But, America’s children and young people must be protected from unknown future side-effects of these drugs, and parents’ rights must be respected!
Please SIGN this urgent petition which demands that COVID vaccine mandates for schools and universities be prohibited in every U.S. state.
This petition will be sent to the leaders of every state legislature and to every governor in the United States, urging them to pass emergency legislation banning vaccine mandates for primary, secondary and university students.
Students simply have the right to be educated without being forced to violate deeply held principles and their own bodily integrity!
But, unfortunately, some private schools, like the Jesuit-run Brophy College Prep School in Phoenix, Arizona, have already mandated the COVID vaccine for their students, in spite of massive parental opposition. If parents or students reject the vaccine, students face intrusive weekly testing and exclusion from extra-curricular activities.
Also, more and more universities have actually started to disenroll unvaccinated students. But, even where that is not happening, not taking the vaccine often subjects students to masking, extra testing and additional administrative obstacles.
And now, with the Pfizer jab approval, Joe Biden’s Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, is threatening more mandates.
While it is true that the FDA approval for the Pfizer jab only pertains to those over 16 years of age, the pharmaceutical industry and some state actors have been pushing to get approval for pre-teens!
So, it stands to reason that the Federal government will try to impose vaccines on schools, for those 16 and over, as well as on all university students. But, eventually, such mandates could even apply to younger and younger schoolchildren.
That’s why state legislatures and governors must fight back against any attempt to coerce school students to take a COVID vaccine against their will!
Science and logic should dictate public health policy. And both say that mandatory vaccination for children and university students is not only unnecessary, but very likely dangerous for the future health of America’s youth.
The CDC reports that the rates of death, injury, and hospitalization are very, very low for children and adolescents and that COVID transmission in schools, both from student to staff and between students, is also very low.
And a European CDC study concluded that “no evidence has been found to suggest that children or educational settings are primary drivers of COVID transmission.”
So, right now, we know that schoolchildren are at very low risk of becoming very ill as a result of COVID, or of even transmitting the virus.
But, we don’t know how a hastily-prepared, unstudied vaccine will affect the health of millions of America’s youth in the future.
Gambling with their future, and the future of our nation, should not even be entertained for one second!
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition urging state legislatures to ban COVID vaccine mandates for schools and universities – both public and private. Urge them to respect parents’ rights, informed consent and bodily integrity.
An autopsy showed that Carroll died from “complications related to … inadequate anticoagulation,” which has convinced her bereaved family that “the medication that we were asking for would have been helpful,” potentially saving her life.
“The outside recommendations that we were receiving were appropriate and sound. They simply were not heeded by the medical staff at the hospital,” Jodi added.
Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D., CEO of the Truth for Health Foundation, noted that Carroll’s case is “another unconscionable example of the failure of hospitals to carry out the basic fundamental patient right in all of their forms on admission, the patient’s right to request treatment, and the patient’s family advocates — the power of attorney rights — to ensure that they get that treatment according to their wishes.”
In South Carolina, Attorney Lauren Martel discovered that many hospitals in the state, instead of treating COVID patients according to their specific needs and desires, are “beating all to the same step as far as how to treat COVID-19.”
Martel described the widespread uniformity of treatment for the virus as a “huge violation of constitutional and civil rights” which “interferes directly with the doctor and patient relationship for informed consent and decisions on [the] right to try medications and how to proceed on treating individuals.”
A client of Martel was admitted to a South Carolina hospital with COVID and pneumonia, but was left untreated for the condition, leading to a decline in in his health, the attorney said. The doctors then prescribed remdesivir, an experimental antiviral drug which has been demonstrably detrimental to the recovery of many COVID patients and which led to a further decline in the man’s health, according to Martel.
“Ultimately, he was intubated and put on a ventilator,” Martel added, which led the family to seek legal advice. Martel penned a series of letters to the hospital, even putting the chairman of the board of trustees “on notice” for liability. The result was that Martel was able to have her client moved to another hospital within the state; however, “the protocol for treating COVID-19 was the same.”
The lawyer attempted to invoke the Right to Try Act, but was unable to receive authorization from at least three hospitals. “They were all the same,” Martel lamented.
She discovered that hospital decisions regarding COVID treatment have been heavily influenced by politics, rather than medicinal science. “What I personally was able to observe was that there was a manipulation of the pharmaceutical market to promote only one set of protocols that almost has an 80 percent failure rate,” Martel explained, “meaning if you continue to do this protocol, you’re going to have people die there.”
“I now tell people we’re at war, and the leviathan of the administrative state has infiltrated our hospital system, it’s infiltrated our education system,” Martel said.
She posited that agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which are handing down regulations on healthcare without accountability to the public, are opening themselves to “a tortious interference with the contractual relationship between the doctor and the patient, or between the doctor and the hospital that he’s working with.”
“What we have to do is dial back and remember that the Constitution is the law of our land,” she suggested. “We must push back. It’s a house of cards … It’s corporate bullying.”
Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder and national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, a conservative non-profit noted for defending healthcare freedom, contended that “it’s very important that as Americans, we continue to stand for the doctor patient relationship, that we don’t allow that sacred relationship between the doctor and the patient to be replaced by a government patient relationship, which may be a one size fits all solution to health care rather than personal health care based on one’s own health history.”
Echoing Martel and Martin was Emmy Award winning reporter and conservative analyst Graham Ledger, who told the conference that in addition to assaults on American culture and history, “we have this layer of COVID-19, which is, was, and will always be politically motivated.”
Ledger stated that “it appears to me that hospitals are at this moment in time not in the business of saving lives, not doing their fiduciary duty, but they’re in the business of making money and following and toeing the line of exactly what the government tells them to do.”
Vliet added that “one of the things we are seeing from the standpoint of patients, families, legal advocates, and power of attorney is that if you look at the policies in America’s jails, prisoners have more visitation rights than covid patients in America’s hospitals.”
Ledger concluded that “[w]hat we’re seeing … is an ungodly, unholy, un-American, unconstitutional response by hospitals in this country.”
Microsoft’s top scientist is warning Congress about the dangers of Chinese artificial intelligence even as his company deepens its collaboration with China.
Dr. Eric Horvitz this year reported to Congress that “China’s domestic use of AI is a chilling precedent for anyone around the world who cherishes individual liberty.” The report was the result of Horvitz’s work on a panel tasked with advising Congress on artificial intelligence. The report comes as Microsoft CEO Brad Smith is meeting with top Chinese officials to discuss deepening ties in digital technology and Microsoft’s work in China.
Microsoft is one of many companies that capitulate to China in exchange for access to the country’s lucrative market. The National Basketball Association supports political activism among its players and coaches but remains silent on China’s human rights abuses and suppression of free speech. Apple allows Chinese officials to physically monitor its facilities and data centers in the country. Tech companies have also faced pressure from within their ranks to downplay Chinese human rights abuses. Apple employees have called on the company to condemn Israel for its actions in the Gaza Strip but not China for its use of slave labor.
Microsoft allows China to heavily censor LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary. LinkedIn creates both a Western and a Chinese profile for Western users and shutters the Chinese versions when users post phrases banned by the Chinese government. In March, LinkedIn took a step further and banned a China critic based in the United Kingdom.
Smith continued his engagement with the Chinese government in a meeting last week with Xiao Yaqing, a top regulator at China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. According to Xiao, the two discussed expanding Microsoft’s work with China.
Horvitz sounded the alarm about China as part of his work for the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. The commission’s report repeatedly warns that China’s AI use is a threat to both liberty and American national security. China’s “employment of AI as a tool of repression and surveillance—at home and, increasingly, abroad—is a powerful counterpoint to how we believe AI should be used,” the report’s authors say.
The report also highlights the dangers of China’s use of artificial intelligence to more effectively leverage facial recognition technology. The authors write that China’s use of AI to repress its Uyghur minority “foreshadows how authoritarian regimes will use AI systems to facilitate censorship, track the physical movements and digital activities of their citizens, and stifle dissent.” Microsoft has expanded data centers in China for its Azure cloud service, which includes a facial recognition software package.
China in March hacked hundreds of thousands of Microsoft servers, an attack that some scholars believe was an attempt to collect data to train AI models. Microsoft responded to the attacks by expanding its business in China. The Biden administration refused to sanction Chinese actors for the attack.
Microsoft did not respond to requests for comment.
Over the last year, I have come to you for help to fight for as many Aussies as possible, and I want to thank you for being there every single time.
Because of your generosity, we’ve taken on dozens of Fight The Fines cases across the country, and we have no plans of abandoning that campaign.
However, today, I need your help to fight for me.
In September 2020, I was brutally tackled and arrested by Victoria police. Why? Because I dared to practice journalism at a protest after our government locked down the entire state of Victoria in an unprecedented attack on our civil liberties.
Ten days later, thanks to the incredible support of our viewers, we launched a lawsuit against the police regarding that unlawful arrest and false imprisonment at StandWithAvi.com.
A lot has happened since then. I’ve faced numerous other run-ins with police while reporting in the field.
I’ve been arrested, handcuffed, thrown to the ground, thrown into the back of a police car, frog marched from Parliament, and had police try to intimidate me at my home in the middle of the night. (Even my bodyguard has been arrested during one of my recent reports).
With each incident, we’ve extended and expanded our lawsuit. The case has grown, and so have our costs.
Our lawsuit currently stands at an estimated $185,820, with $169,868 required in trust right away.
So now, as we head towards an expected two-week trial, I urgently need your help.
Each incident was a breach of my rights and could warrant their own lawsuits, but there’s an obvious pattern when they’re taken together.
The police know exactly who I am. And they know exactly what they’re doing.
They’re trying to stop me from doing my journalism, from telling the other side of the story.
And Dan Andrews is personally involved — I was fully accredited to attend a press conference at the Parliament in Melbourne when I was arrested there. One officer even told me they were specifically ordered to remove me by Andrews’ assistant!
As shocking as it may sound, I didn’t even receive this type of treatment from police when I was reporting from the frontlines of the Hong Kong protests.
And that’s what really bothers me. The police aren’t against journalists or journalists reporting from lockdown protests.
The police are simply against journalists who don’t toe Dan Andrews’ line.
Can you help me fight back?
I genuinely believe in our legal team. And I believe that what I’ve been doing this past year at Rebel News is just as legitimate a form of journalism as what they do at Nine, Seven, 10, SBS and ABC.
In fact, I think we’re a lot more honest.
This lawsuit is about holding the state accountable for their overreach. It’s about forcing the police to uphold the fundamental right of the press, once and for all — even for journalists critical of their behaviour.
A court victory would send a message that we still have our civil liberties in Australia, and police cannot be errand-boys for Dan Andrews.
I don’t want to make a prediction, but our legal team is excellent — you’ve seen them fight for many Aussies in our Fight The Fines project. I really think we have a good chance here. Please click here(or click here to donate in AUD) or visit StandWithAvi.com to help.
President Joe Biden is arguably the most far-left personage to ever take the oath of office, so when the people of Cuba stunned the free world last month by holding significant nationwide protests for the first time in a generation, he found himself in quite a pickle.
During the course of the 2020 Democratic primaries, Biden allowed his platform to be pushed much further to the left than it had been at the onset of a race in which he was initially viewed as the safe, familiar, moderate establishment candidate.
He went into office with an environmental agenda shaped by socialist darling Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, a narrative on systemic racism shaped by Black Lives Matter and economic policies shaped by Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
Biden also brought along with him to the executive branch California Sen. Kamala Harris, who had the most progressive voting record in the history of Congress’ upper chamber.
Republicans are using this to their advantage politically, a fact that is all the more damaging to Biden as he flounders on acting on any substantial response to the human rights atrocities being committed less than 100 miles from the American state of Florida.
Nearly a month after the demonstrations took the island nation by storm, reports are still filtering out to the rest of the world of potentially thousands of Cubans being detained without due process or who just “disappeared” completely, something that has happened to an untold number of citizens of Marxist regimes over the last century.
According to the human rights organization Prisoners Defenders, between 2,000 to 8,000 individuals have been detained by law enforcement either during or following the protests across Cuba in what the group described as a “tragic” month for the Cuban people, CubaNet reported.
The organization was only able to tally 272 official political prisoners of the state and believes that the rest are being held without due process or charges being filed. Prisoners Defenders also suspects that many are being tortured by state police.
Is Biden failing to act on Cuba?
Yes: 100% (210 Votes)
No: 0% (0 Votes)
Last week, the Cuban outlet 14 y Medio reported that dissident Sadiel González was taken from his home by police who assured him that if he had “nothing to hide, come with us, and we’ll have a conversation,” according to a translated version of the article.
González, who uploaded videos of the Jul. 11 protests to Facebook last month, was taken over a week ago, and as of Tuesday, his family had not heard from him and no charges had been filed against him.
There was a post to his Facebook account on Sunday that boldly declared that “the people should not fear the government, the government should fear the people,” that “ideas are bulletproof” and that if he died today, it would be so that tomorrow he would not have to live on his knees.
There are no details as to his detention and release, however.
Meanwhile, Cuban journalist Luz Escobar, who wrote the 14 y Medio article about González’s arrest, received a chilling visit the day after her article was published from someone she described as a state security agent who refused to identify himself to her but advised she remain in her home because “there’s COVID outside.”
As the Cuban government’s storm troopers appear to be rounding up and illegally detaining potentially thousands of citizens — some of who may not even have participated in the protests, by some accounts — Cuban-Americans have been loudly exercising their First Amendment rights in the land where such liberties are still protected.
The Cuban-Americans who showed up in force to vote for Trump and those who voted for Biden alike are frustrated at the weak response from the current administration.
While Biden and other administration officials were criticized for seeming to portray the Cuban protests as mostly a reaction to the pandemic, in the weeks since, the president has done little else.
Other than issuing a few sanctions of Cuban state officials and meeting with a bipartisan group of concerned Cuban-Americans, Biden has failed to act, and folks are taking notice.
“I was expecting something more forceful than just sanctioning Cuban officials who don’t travel to the U.S. anyway,” Belkis Gutiérrez, who fled Cuba decades ago and supported Biden for president, told NBC News.
The outlet rightly and apparently sympathetically noted that the Biden administration is in a “tricky” situation with Cuba.
“The Cuba sanctions program is already the most comprehensive one administered by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control, giving Biden little room for additional sanctions. Since the protests, Biden’s administration has sanctioned three Cuban officials and two entities it says were involved in the crackdown — the Cuban National Revolutionary Police and an elite brigade of government forces known as the ‘Black Berets,’” NBC reported.
These sanctions, the network notes, are “largely symbolic.” Biden has also kept Cuba on a list of nations that haven’t fully cooperated with the U.S. war on terror, which NBC says surprised many, “including those in Cuba’s government.”
Yet Democrats and Republicans alike want Biden to do more. While the Republicans “have turned Cuba pandering into a science,” as the executive director of the Cuba Study Group told NBC, highlighting the Biden administration’s failures with their passionate rebuke of the socialist regime, Democrats can see the Cuban people are clearly suffering and oppressed. And they probably also don’t want Biden to prove Republicans right about today’s Democratic Party by standing by as he ignores the continued oppression of the Cuban people.
Some have called for the U.S. to find new means of providing internet access to the insulated island, where the government has control over the one internet service provider. Others are calling for flat-out military intervention, although of course, Americans on both sides of the aisle are hesitant these days to support such action.
Whatever it is that might be most effective at helping the Cuban people, Biden’s empty sanctions and even emptier denunciations of the authoritarian regime are no substitute for real, substantial action, and considering how close the island is to our own nation and how many of its refugees and ex-pats reside on our shores, this is a disgrace to the spirit of American freedom Biden seems to have already forsaken.
Nike CEO John Donahoe appeared to say Thursday that he does not comment on China’s alleged human rights abuses because China is “a very important market for us.”
“We think sport is a global phenomenon, an important phenomenon. And so we participate in sport all over the world, including China. China is a very important market for us,” Donahoe told CNBC after being asked why Nike hasn’t been “more vocal as a company around some of the human rights abuses in China when you have been so out front on societal and social issues here in the U.S.”
“We take a very long-term view in China. We’re continuing to invest in China and we will continue to invest in China while also operating a very responsible global supply chain.”
.@Nike has had a long history operating in and working with China. CEO John Donahoe joined us to talk about how the company navigates that region. $NKEpic.twitter.com/fGPPklVkhL
Donahoe defended the company’s role in China in June, calling it a “brand of China,” according to Fox News.
“We are the largest sports brand there, and we are a brand of China and for China,” he said in an earnings call.
“And the biggest asset we have in China is the consumer equity. Consumers feel a strong, deep connection to the Nike, Jordan and Converse brands in China. And it’s real.”
He buckled down on his comments Thursday, saying that consumers all around the world feel that Nike is a “brand of their market for them.”
Do you think Nike is only worried about maximizing profits?
Yes: 99% (794 Votes)
No: 1% (6 Votes)
“And that’s one of the reasons Nike has been so globally successful,” Donahoe told CNBC.
“We operate very aligned with our values, always have been, always will, including throughout our entire supply chain. And so this is simply part of the challenges of operating a global brand in global markets. And we have navigated that very well for 50 years and we will continue to do that.”
In July, the Senate passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which would prohibit importing broad categories of certain goods made with the use of Chinese slave labor, according to The New York Times.
The bill must now be passed by the House of Representatives before it reaches President Joe Biden’s desk, according to Reuters.
It is expected to get strong support in the House, and Democratic and Republican aides pointed out a similar measure was approved last year, the outlet reported.
However, corporations like Apple, Nike and Coca-Cola have lobbied for the legislation to be watered down, saying that while they condemn the atrocities in Xinjiang, the act’s could “wreak havoc” on certain supply chains, the Times reported.
Nike drew backlash from China in March after it expressed concern over reports of forced labor in the Xinjiang region and said it does not use “textiles or spun yarn from the region.”
Chinese consumers boycotted Nike and the Chinese government said the company’s decision would undermine China’s economy.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
It is without fail that anytime liberal outrage mobs launch campaigns to oppose Republican-proposed bills in state legislatures, corporate America gets involved either through force (corporate shaming) or because their PR departments thought it would be good for business to be seen as being “involved” and/or “woke.”
We saw it here in North Carolina in 2016 over HB2 aka “the bathroom bill,” which saw the NBA pull its All-Star game, the ACC – which is based in North Carolina – pulling various sporting events from the state, PayPal pulling out of an expansion deal, and companies like Apple, Nike, and Salesforce joining legal efforts to get these state legislatures to reverse course.
Corporate activism has increased a lot since that time, and most recently we saw it with the push earlier this year from Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines among other Georgia-based companies who opposed the state’s election reform bill.
But along with the virtue signaling from these corporations comes pushback that they don’t practice what they preach. For instance, for all its tough talk the NBA has a large presence in China, where the human rights abuses that go on there are too numerous to mention in one post. Same-same for Apple and Nike, both of who are quick to bash Republican-led state legislatures over bathroom and elections bills but who mostly stay quiet when asked to comment about China’s abhorrent human rights track record.
This brings me to the interview CNBC’s Sara Eisen did with Nike CEO John Donahoe yesterday. Watch as Donahoe repeatedly gives canned responses, completely tap-dancing around Eisen’s question about why the company doesn’t speak out more on China’s human rights abuses considering how they try to get “out front” on alleged problematic legislation here at home:
I asked Nike’s CEO why not speak out more on China’s human rights abuses when it is so out front on societal issues here in the U.S.? https://t.co/ZJU4Udi4aE
As I’ve said before, much can be revealed about a person not so much in what they choose to say but what they choose not to say, and Donahoe is a perfect example of this.
There is not a single piece of legislation here in America in any state legislature that is remotely on par with the human rights abuses which are a daily occurrence in China. Yet while Nike will not hesitate to speak out when the activist left come calling here in America, more often or not they turn their backs and look the other way when asked to either speak out or explain their silence on human rights abuses in other countries where they do billions of dollars in business, abuses which have literally killed people.
Remember Donahoe’s response to Eisen the next time you see Nike speak out on an issue here at home, and understand that it’s all mostly sound and fury, ultimately signifying nothing but a desperate need to be seen as woke.
“Pathetic” doesn’t quite begin to cover it, but that’s about all I’ve got on it today.
Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) on Tuesday pressed a Coca-Cola representative on the company’s decision to act as a sponsor to the 2022 Beijing Olympics despite China’s human rights abuses against the Uyghurs.
Cotton had a heated exchange with Paul Lalli, global vice president of human rights at Coca-Cola, during a hearing of the Congressional Executive Commission on China on Tuesday.
The panel urged U.S. corporations including Coca-Cola and Visa to pull their sponsorship unless the games are relocated given that an estimated 1 million Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in the Xinjiang region are detained in the CCP’s concentration camps.
Cotton called out Coca-Cola for its hypocrisy after it was willing to come out against Georgia’s new election laws earlier this year but remained silent on China’s genocide of the Uyghur people.
The Republican lawmaker noted that the company pledged to “continue to stand up for what is right in Georgia and across the United States” at the time.
“Are we to take from your statement at the time that Coca-Cola will not stand up for what is right outside the United States?” Cotton asked.
Coca-Cola: We stand up for what is right across the world.
Also Coca-Cola: We will not condemn the Chinese Communist Party for committing genocide, and we will support the Winter Olympics in Beijing. pic.twitter.com/9C56MJJYe8
“No, senator. We stand up for what is right across the world,” Lalli replied. “We apply the same human rights principles that we do across the world.”
Cotton then asked Lalli if he believes that the Chinese Communist Party is committing genocide against the Uyghur people.
“We’re aware of the reports of the State Department on this issue as well as other departments of the U.S. government,” he said. “We respect those reports, they continue to inform our program.”
Cotton then shot back that Lalli had “refused to say a single word, by all appearances, that will cost you one bit of market share inside of mainland China” during his testimony.
The senator noted that earlier in the hearing, when asked if Coca Cola would call for the International Olympic Committee to delay the Chinese Olympics to allow the games to be rebid or for China to stop its genocide, Lalli said that the company “doesn’t have a say” in that decision. Cotton questioned why the company “doesn’t have a say in whether it sponsors a genocide Olympics next year but it does have a say in how the state of Georgia runs an election.”
Cotton then suggested that the CEO of Coca-Cola “could saddle up the same moral high horse that he got on when Georgia passed its election law and write a letter to the IOC and ask them” to postpone or relocate the Olympics.
Lalli continued to defend the company, claiming that it is “most engaged on policy issues here at home but we are clear in our respect for human rights globally.”
He added that the company’s “role as a sponsor is to support and follow the athletes”
“You’re spending millions of dollars to sponsor the genocide Olympics, yet you will not opine on any matter about it,” Cotton said. “Yet, you will stick your nose in the Georgia legislature’s election reform laws. Can you explain to me the contrast?”
“First, let me say that we do not make decisions on these host locations we support and follow the athletes wherever they compete,” he said.
Cotton then said he was “tired of hearing” Lalli’s “talking points.”
“I think the answer is you’re afraid of the Chinese Communist Party,” Cotton went on to say. “You’re afraid of what they will do to your company if you say a single word. Like for instance, saying that both the Biden and the Trump administrations are correct when they say that China is committing a genocide against its own people.”
Members of the panel warned that unless the Chinese government changes its behavior regarding Hong Kong and the Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang Province, that American companies that sponsor the Olympics will be complicit in enabling China’s human rights abuses.
President Biden on Thursday slapped Cuban officials with sanctions, accusing them of human rights abuses during the island government’s crackdown on protesters earlier this month.
The sanctions mark the first response by the Biden administration to show stronger support for Cuban protesters by pressure the communist regime there.
Measures to bring increased internet access to Cuba were included as part of the sanctions. When protests broke out early last week, the government shut down the internet in an attempt to stop future demonstrations.
The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Cuba’s defense minister Alvaro Lopez Miera and the communist nation’s special forces brigade.
Mr. Biden said the sanctions were just the beginning and vowed to continue to hold Cuba accountable for repressing protesters.
“I unequivocally condemn the mass detentions and sham trials that are unjustly sentencing to prison those who dared to speak out, in an effort to intimidate and threaten the Cuban people into silence,” Mr. Biden said in a statement. “The Cuban people have the same right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly as all people.”
“The United States stands with the brave Cubans who have taken to the streets to oppose 62 years of repression under a communist regime,” the president continued.
By issuing the sanctions, Mr. Biden bucked progressives in his own party who have urged him to lift the U.S. embargo against Cuba and return to the Obama-era effort of normalizing relations with the communist regime.
The latest sanctions were imposed under the Global Magnitsky Act, passed in response to Russian government oppression, and then later extended to totalitarian governments like Venezuela.
The sanctions block the Cuban officials from doing business with all U.S. individuals or within the U.S. itself.
It is a largely symbolic action because such transactions are already blocked under the U.S. embargo on Cuba. Still, it calls out the communist regime in a very public and global way.
“Treasury will continue to enforce its Cuba-related sanctions, including those imposed today, to support the people of Cuba in their quest for democracy and relief from the Cuban regime,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.
Thousands of protesters filled the streets across Cuba, venting their frustration over food and power shortages. It was the largest protests the country has seen since the 1990s and fueled, in part, by the country’s struggles to contain the coronavirus crisis.
President Miguel Diaz-Canel said the regime was “prepared to do anything” to stop the protests.
“We will be battling in the streets,” he said, blaming the U.S. for the protests, according to media reports last week.
Just minutes after returning to the arid desert of Van Horn, Texas, from his first successful trip to space, former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos thanked the millions of customers and employees who enabled him to grow a business so successful that he became a billionaire and self-funded his trip to space.
But since life here on Earth is plagued by tiresome partisan point-scoring, Bezos’ moment of gratitude could not go uncriticized. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) seized on the moment to criticize Amazon labor conditions and allege that Amazon is in some way “abusing their market power to hurt small business”—a bold claim that ignores the value reaped by consumers, and that has become the startlingly accepted consensus among both the mainstream and fringe left.
Yes, Amazon workers did pay for this – with lower wages, union busting, a frenzied and inhumane workplace, and delivery drivers not having health insurance during a pandemic.
And Amazon customers are paying for it with Amazon abusing their market power to hurt small business. https://t.co/7qMgpe8u0M
Ocasio-Cortez is wrong that Amazon—and by extension, Bezos—has profited primarily by abusing its market power or engaging in anti-competitive practices. Bezos is so wealthy because, over the better part of three decades, he built a company that could successfully deliver a wide array of consumer goods to customers in just a few days flat, serving 300 million people annually (with 150 million of those customers deciding Amazon’s services are so valuable that they choose to pay for an annual Prime membership). Bezos and other Amazon built a company that could survive the dot-com bubble, the subprime mortgage crisis, and a pandemic.
The same people who see monopolies everywhere often misstate how much market share Amazon has, and what alternatives are still available to customers. Amazon has about 40.4 percent e-commerce retail market share. That’s a healthy chunk, but consumers have other choices: Walmart’s sales comprise 7.1 percent of total U.S. e-commerce retail; Target, Wish, and other big-box retailers also ship directly to consumers. More people choose Amazon over competitors because it has more stuff and its click-to-ship speeds are half that of its competitors.
Of course, customers always have the option of seeking out brick-and-mortar retail equivalents—it’s just that many of them choose not to, prioritizing convenience (and, in a pandemic, safety) over the fluorescent glory of in-person big-box shopping. But let’s be clear about which businesses are losing money to Amazon. The company generates a lot of money from consumer electronics, which will make up about one-quarter of Amazon’s total U.S. sales in 2021, and apparel/accessories, which will make up 16 percent. Those looking to buy consumer electronics would not otherwise frequent “mom-and-pop” stores, but rather big-box incumbents like Best Buy, recently departed Fry’s Electronics, and fellow e-commerce hubs Alibaba and Apple.
“Amazon has clearly been a boon for users in terms of the consumer surplus it generates and the antitrust accusations against it are the sorts of things thrown at all the innovative market leading retailers through history,” Cato’s Ryan Bourne tells Reason.
These sorts of antitrust sentiments have been thrown around not just by far-left politicians like Ocasio-Cortez, but also Biden administration picks like economic adviser Tim Wu and Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan, who “see antitrust as an all-purpose tool for reining in perceived corporate malfeasance and correcting marketplace outcomes they don’t like,” wrote Elizabeth Nolan Brown in Reason‘s July issue.
“The idea that consumers choose to use products not because they’re useful but because Big Tech companies have somehow tricked or pressured them into it is deeply embedded…in the new antitrust crusade more generally,” she writes. “It’s a form of consumer false consciousness in which end users don’t know what they want (but members of Congress, of course, do).”
Of course, part of Ocasio-Cortez’s criticism is fair: Amazon warehouse working conditions are sometimes quite bad, with employees getting so little time for breaks that they cannot use the restroom or take time off-task. Amazon workers have been denied pregnancy accommodations and adequate sick leave, and warehouses have been hit hard by the pandemic. However, her claims that Amazon engages in union-busting are unfounded (warehouse workers in Alabama actually votedagainst unionization), and the criticisms she leveled at Bezos yesterday have been par for the course for someone who calls Amazon’s lower-skilled jobs “scams” while rabblerousing for the cause of wealth redistribution. What’s more, Bezos has acknowledged reports about warehouse working conditions and has pledged to make changes.
Over the course of the pandemic, Bezos’ net worth has increased by about $70 billion. But despite Ocasio-Cortez’s objections, his vast increase in wealth has been the result of making millions of people better off.