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NY Health Commissioner Zucker Resigns Over Nursing Home Scandal – RedState

This looks like New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s version of cleaning house.

 

More from the New York Post:

Embattled state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker will step down from his position as soon as a replacement can be found, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Thursday.

Zucker was a key figure in the administration of disgraced Gov. Andrew Cuomo, where critics charged he played a central role in its efforts to minimize and disguise the pandemic’s death toll across the state and in its nursing homes.

“He understands that, in this time, I’ve wanted to take the first 45 days to assemble a new team going forward,” Hochul said, announcing Zucker’s departure. “That process is ongoing, and he understands and he respects that.”

She added: “He also has an opportunity to move on to new ventures and I appreciate his his service.”

Hochul said a search for a replacement is underway.

Besides being part of the corrupt administration of former Governor Andrew Cuomo, it is well-known New York folklore that Dr. Zucker dined out on being the inspiration for the television series Doogie Howser, M.D.

The jokes write themselves.

According to journalist Zack Fink, Stephen Bochco’s agent denies this. The penchant for lying and deceiving came early and often with this bunch.

Under then-Governor Cuomo’s direction, Zucker issued the executive order that placed COVID-positive patients from hospitals into nursing homes. Zucker went even further, by barring nursing home staff from testing the returning patients for coronavirus. This resulted in the death of 15,000 elderly residents (from last count), including the in-laws of Fox News’ meteorologist Janice Dean. Dean has led the charge in shining the light on this horrific policy and its fallout, as well as holding Cuomo and his administration accountable for the deaths of innocent elders.

Zucker and Cuomo defended the nursing home orders, saying the facilities were obligated to provide care and to obtain the necessary protective equipment to shield their staffs and other residents from the virus.

However, massive shortages of PPE made that impossible and it took state officials weeks to begin delivering the needed supplies, all as the death toll mounted.

They also came under fire for not allowing city nursing homes to send sick residents to two hospital ships that largely sat empty during the first wave of the pandemic.

Since Cuomo pretty much skated on killing grandma and grandpa, the investigation required a scapegoat, and Dr. Zucker was it.

Additionally, Zucker’s Health Department provided incomplete tallies of coronavirus death counts from nursing homes for months, by refusing to release the tallies of residents who later died in nursing homes.

The Cuomo administration only released the complete figures after state Attorney General Letitia James released a report saying the Health Department’s count likely understated COVID-linked deaths at nursing home facilities by 50 percent.

Zucker’s incomplete counts obscured the connection between 1,900 COVID deaths and nursing homes in New York City alone.

At the very least, the not-so-good doctor should also be stripped of his medical license, and prevented from ever practicing medicine again. At the most, he should be brought up on criminal charges and put on trial.

Only if we lived in a just world.





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Zucker resigns as New York health commissioner after months of criticism over COVID policies

Dr. Howard Zucker, the embattled commissioner for the New York State Department of Health, tendered his resignation Thursday to Gov. Kathy Hochul, with the governor telling reporters he would stay until the position has been filled.

In a letter to the governor dated Thursday, Zucker said he worked with “fierce dedication to the public’s health” through several crises during his nearly seven-and-a-half-year tenure in the position. The last 18 months of which have been no exception to that due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“With almost 75 percent of the state’s population age 18 and older fully vaccinated, we are at the point of trying to ‘normalize’ living with this, now seemingly endemic, infectious disease, as we have done with other illnesses for which immunizations benefit the individual and the community,” he wrote in his letter. “The one important unresolved aspect is the need for pediatric vaccinations, which I see happening in the near future.”

New York was hit especially hard by the first wave of the pandemic in March and April of last year, and while the state took several aggressive measures that turned it from being a hot spot to a national leader, it occurred with controversy.

The biggest issue that hung over Zucker was a March 25, 2020, order that required nursing homes to admit COVID-19 positive individuals as residents. The move was deemed necessary because of the overwhelming need for hospital beds at the time.

Shortly after that policy was implemented, death rates due to the virus spiked. Zucker, then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo and others in the administration would claim staff members and visitors were the ones responsible for introducing the coronavirus into the long-term care facilities.

For months, the state tracked COVID-19 deaths at both nursing homes and hospitals. It wasn’t until a review by Attorney General Letitia James in January determined that the state downplayed the impact the virus had on nursing homes by about 50%. It did so by tying the death to where it occurred, at a hospital, instead of where it was contracted.

Others, including members of Congress and federal authorities, also have reviewed the state’s policies on nursing homes and reporting practices under the Cuomo Administration. It was also part of the impeachment inquiry undertaken by the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

After the attorney general’s report in January, Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, called for Zucker’s resignation.

“Howard Zucker chose to protect Andrew Cuomo’s political career above protecting the health of New Yorkers,” Ortt said in a statement. “We hope that he and Andrew Cuomo have occasion to continue discussing and refining their warped version of science during their retirement from public service.”

James, in a statement issued Thursday afternoon, said his departure “marks the end of a difficult chapter” for New York.

“While I thank him for his service, we need more transparency and accountability at the Department of Health as we continue to battle COVID-19,” she said.

To that point, Zucker was often criticized by legislators on both sides of the aisle for failing to provide them with the information they requested, in particular about the nursing home policy.

State Health Committee Chairman Gustavo Rivera, D-Bronx, said in a statement Zucker let the Department of Health become a “political tool,” and that affected his ability to serve New Yorkers.

“His resignation is warranted and another step toward ensuring we hold those who neglected their duties under the Cuomo Administration accountable,” Rivera said. “As we continue to face a devastating pandemic, we need the Department of Health to be fully transparent and functional.”

Hochul took over late last month after Cuomo resigned due to the findings from an independent investigation into sexual harassment allegations and what seemed to be a near-certain impeachment. One of her first actions was to change the reporting metrics for COVID-19 deaths to those counted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That change bumped the death toll at the time by more than 27% to 55,395.

As Hochul was preparing to become governor, she told reporters and the public she would look to make significant changes in personnel. While she thanked Zucker for his service and appreciated his willingness to stay on for the time being, she also said she agreed with his decision to step down.

“I think I made it very clear on my first day in office that I’d be looking to build a new team, and I am building that team,” she said. “I’m just taking some time to build that team, but, there’ll be other changes forthcoming.”



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Constitutional County Commissioner Brad Rogers on Battling Government Overreach | FreedomFest 2021

Brad Rogers, the former Sheriff of Elkhart County, Indiana, is now a county commissioner for the same county. In an interview with Bill Jasper, senior editor of The New American, he discusses the challenges, both as a sheriff and a county commissioner in upholding the rights of citizens while battling overreach and usurpation by state and federal governments.

DISCLAIMER: Views and opinions expressed in this interview are solely those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent those of The New American. TNA is not responsible for, and does not verify the accuracy of, any information presented.



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FDNY Commissioner Von Essen on grief, heroism during 9/11

Remembering the Sept. 11 attacks is painful — even 20 years later. It’s a wound that never heals.

There’s an expression I heard the other day — “We should never ever forget. But we really don’t want to remember.” It’s so true.

I remember what happened like it was yesterday. I got a call that a small plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. It turned out to be a commercial jet.

I went into the North Tower lobby past windows that had already been blown out. All hell broke loose. The water lines had been severed.

Ten minutes later, we felt a vibration. We thought there was an explosion in the elevator shaft.

I was told the South Tower had been hit. We had half the leadership from the Fire Department go from the North Tower to the South Tower.

Former FDNY commissioner Tom Von Essen reflects on the 9/11 attacks as a “wound that never heals.”
Rex C Curry

I left the North Tower building and was looking for the mayor when I went around the corner and saw people from OEM (Office of Emergency Management).

That’s when the South Tower fell. Of course we knew then we were in bad shape with the North Tower and the day got progressively worse.

I was in the New York City Fire Department for 32 years. We lost 343 firefighters. I knew many of them personally. I lost friends. I went to so many funerals. The grief — it was almost unbearable.

There was a tremendous loss of leadership. The senior leaders in the FDNY had been there during the war years — the tough times in the city in the 1970s and 1980s.

That type of leadership was very difficult to replace.

But the anniversary is a lot worse for the families who lost loved ones than for me and all of us who survived.

What is remarkable is the patriotism and honor of family, city and country we have seen over the past 20 years.

President Bush, center, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, left, and New York Gov. George Pataki, second from left, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., second from right, and former New York City Fire Commissioner Thomas Van Essen, right, look toward the fallen buildings during a tour of the World Trade Center, in this Sept. 14, 2001.
Former President Bush, center, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, left, and former New York Gov. George Pataki, second from left, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., second from right, and former New York City Fire Commissioner Thomas Van Essen, right, look toward the fallen buildings during a tour of the World Trade Center, in this Sept. 14, 2001
AP
A firefighter covered in soot walking near Ground Zero after the towers collapsed.
A firefighter covered in soot walking near Ground Zero after the towers collapsed.
Photo by Anthony Correia/Getty Images

We have children of heroes who died that day who joined the military, who joined the Fire Department and Police Department carrying on the traditions of their parents.

It makes me very proud to see that their parents paid the ultimate sacrifice and their children are willing to do the same. That’s so beautiful.

The city and country pulled together after 9/11. We never saw another time where politicians put aside petty differences and came together in New York City. Americans from all walks of life banded together.

It’s sad to see that politicians have divided into different groups and the spirit that brought us together after Sept. 11 is missing today.

Firefighter Gerard McGibbon seen praying after the towers collapsed
Firefighter Gerard McGibbon seen praying after the towers collapsed.
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

There are positive developments, however.

There’s no question that the city is better prepared because of all the work the NYPD has put into terrorism prevention. The NYPD has done a tremendous job with the federal authorities and the international community in making the city safer.

But the federal government has also made things more complicated with its lax immigration policies by failing to protect our borders and allowing illegal immigrants into the country.

How can you have a country if you don’t know who is here?


Follow our 9/11 20th Anniversary coverage here:


What has happened in Afghanistan is a gut punch. As was the case 20 years ago, the Taliban terrorists are in charge of Afghanistan after our long-term military presence there.

We have to be disappointed about how much of our troops’ blood has been spilled and how many tears have been shed during a two-decade war. It doesn’t seem that we’re leaving Afghanistan any better off than it was when we invaded it to root out the terrorist camps.

The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsing.
The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsing.
Photo by Thomas Nilsson/ Getty Images
People seen fleeing the area near the World Trade Center after a tower collapsed.
People seen fleeing the area near the World Trade Center after a tower collapsed.
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

It’s sad that people are still dying from Sept. 11. Thousands of people have fallen ill and died from breathing the contaminated air from the smoldering pile of rubble left from the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.

The federal government has gone out of its way to provide medical help and compensation to civilians and first responders who suffered the lingering effects from breathing in carcinogens.

Members of Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s administration get together every year on Sept. 11 to reflect on the anniversary and salute the tremendous people we lost 20 years ago.

Von Essen overcome with emotion at a ceremony to promote firefighters to replace those lost on 9/11  on September 16, 2001.
Von Essen overcome with emotion at a ceremony to promote firefighters to replace those lost on 9/11 on September 16, 2001.
Steven Hirsch

This year will be especially difficult because of the many issues we have going on. On top of this tragedy, we’re still coping with the coronavirus pandemic.

(Tom Von Essen was the commissioner of the FDNY from 1996 through 2001 and recently served as NY-NJ regional director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency)



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‘Independent’ Michigan Redistricting Commissioner Donated to Left-Wing Causes

Liberal partisans hold at least 40 percent of ‘independent’ slots on body that will redraw Michigan’s political map

Commissioner Rebecca Szetela / Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission

Collin Anderson • September 7, 2021 4:58 am

A self-described “independent” commissioner tasked with redrawing Michigan’s political districts donated to left-wing causes and spoke at a local “progressive Democratic” group’s general meeting.

Attorney Rebecca Szetela, who applied in Oct. 2019 to serve on the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission as an independent, has contributed at least $225 to EMILY’s List, a powerful pro-abortion group that spends millions of dollars to elect Democratic candidates. Szetela also contributed to liberal candidates and causes at the state level, including multiple donations to the Southwestern Wayne Democratic Club and one to former Washington governor Christine Gregoire (D.).

Szetela in May also addressed the Progressive Democratic Women’s Caucus of Muskegon County, a group that works to “ensure that Progressive Democrats are elected to county, state, and federal offices in the upcoming elections.” While Szetela stated on her application that she does not “affiliate with either the Republican or Democratic Party,” she declined to answer a follow-up question asking “why you don’t affiliate with either” party.

Independents are supposed to serve the largest single bloc on Michigan’s redistricting body, holding 5 of its 13 seats; 40 percent of those coveted positions, however, may be held by partisans. Like Szetela, 29-year-old medical student Anthony Eid publicly backed Democrats and liberal causes before applying to the board as an independent. He said he was “proud to live in a state that voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary” in 2016 and endorsed then-Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison for Democratic National Committee chairman, the Washington Free Beacon reported in August.

Both Szetela and Eid now play a crucial role in Michigan’s redistricting process, which will reshape the state’s political landscape for the next decade. To enact a new map, two independent members must vote for it, meaning Szetela and Eid could align with their Democratic colleagues to fulfill the quota. Eid in May acknowledged that commission applicants merely had to “self-identify” their partisan affiliation but said he did “not think anyone who was selected misrepresented themselves.”

The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission did not return a request for comment. The commission told the Free Beacon in August that it did not vet candidates.

In addition to Szetela’s political contributions, which were made under her maiden name, Szetela’s husband donated to Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I., Vt.) Democratic presidential campaign on three occasions in 2016 and again in 2019. Szetela’s husband also ran unsuccessfully in the 2012 Democratic primary for a local supervisor role. Prospective commissioners are deemed ineligible if their spouses ran “for partisan election office in federal, state, or local office” at any time since Aug. 15, 2014.

Michigan voters transferred redistricting powers from the state legislature to the commission through a 2018 ballot initiative, which came as Republicans held control of both chambers of the state legislature.

More than 9,300 Michiganders applied to serve on the commission, which consists of four Democrats, four Republicans, and five independents. The state then hired an outside firm to randomly select 200 semifinalists. Leaders in the state legislature were allowed to remove just 20 applicants. The commission’s final 13 members were also randomly selected.

While the Michigan group behind the ballot initiative, Voters Not Politicians, calls itself a “nonpartisan grassroots organization,” it received $250,000 from the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a direct affiliate of the Democratic Party that is chaired by former Obama administration attorney general Eric Holder.

Voters Not Politicians executive director Nancy Wang defended the group’s decision to accept the contribution, saying, “We were pleased to accept funding from any group that supported our nonpartisan solution to end gerrymandering.” Wang also said, “The fact that you are asking about certain commissioners’ backgrounds is a testament to the transparency of the voter-approved redistricting process.”

“We believe the commission is doing a far better job already, just by meeting in public and accepting public input on communities of interest, than the past practice of politicians gerrymandering lines in secret to give themselves an unfair partisan advantage,” Wang said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the commission closely to see that it lives up to the amendment’s words and spirit.”





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NY Health Commissioner repeals mask mandate for unvaxxed after federal lawsuit filed

(Children’s Health Defense) ­– The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) on Aug. 27 repealed an emergency mask mandate after a lawsuit was filed Aug. 5 in federal court challenging the regulation.

The lawsuit was brought by William Ouweleen, vintner for the oldest dedicated sacramental winery in America. Ouweleen challenged the constitutionality of the NYSDOH regulation 10 NYCRR 66-3, which required unvaccinated people to wear masks while vaccinated people could go mask-free.

Prior to filing the lawsuit, Ouweleen was twice cited by patrons of the winery for not wearing a mask, and was informed by the local health department he could be fined or closed down, or both, if additional complaints were received.

In the complaint, Ouweleen alleged the regulation violated his constitutional rights and was not justified by science, citing confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that vaccination does not prevent transmission of SARS CoV-2.

In addition to challenging the mandates on equal protection grounds, the suit challenged mask mandates in general.

Attorney Sujata Gibson filed the complaint on behalf of Ouweleen. Children’s Health Defense (CHD) supported the lawsuit.

“There is simply no reason to issue different requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated New Yorkers” said CHD Chairman and Chief Legal Counsel, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

“Public health officials around the world acknowledge that these vaccines are for personal protection only. This mandate wasn’t evidence-based. It was meant to coerce people into taking experimental vaccines and to shame and bully those that exercise their federally guaranteed right to opt-out.”

— Article continues below Petition —

6950 have signed the petition.

Let’s get to 7500!

Thank you for signing this petition!

Add your signature:

  Show Petition Text

CAUTION: Some material below is by its nature disturbing and graphic.

The University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) is involved in barbaric experimentation using aborted baby body parts which are, by the university’s own admission, obtained by their abortionist partners, Planned Parenthood, from babies who are still alive when the organs are “harvested.”

What happens at Pitt after the aborted baby body parts are obtained is equally as gruesome. Just this May, it was revealed that in one experiment, Pitt was grafting aborted baby scalps onto lab rats to see if baby hair would continue to grow.

This depraved butchery must stop!

SIGN and SHARE this petition which calls on the Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh and the Board of Trustees to call an immediate halt to this appalling experimentation using preborn human beings.

Of course, all abortion is barbaric and wrong, but this is downright ghoulish!

But, to make matters even worse, some of this experimentation is paid for, in part, by your taxpayer dollars, in the form of NIH grants. And believe it or not, some of the grants even specify racial quotas of aborted baby parts for this grisly butchery.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition to the University of Pittsburgh Chancellor, Patrick Gallagher, and to the Pitt Board of Trustees demanding that they put a stop to this ghastly experimentation.

At the same time, we will also CC this petition to the leadership of Pennsylvania State Legislature, urging them to do everything they can, including defunding (to the extent possible) any university departments involved in experimentation on aborted babies.

NB: You do not need to be from Pennsylvania to sign and share this petition. The University of Pittsburgh is a national leader in medical research and in receipt of millions of dollars in federal tax dollars, thereby necessitating a huge response from pro-lifers around the country!

After signing the petition, you might consider contacting the Pitt Board of Trustees directly to politely, but firmly, tell them to put a stop to this kind of barbarism masquerading as “scientific” inquiry.

The Board’s direct phone number: 412-624-6623

The Board’s email: [email protected]

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

‘University of Pittsburgh’s organ harvesting practices include racial quotas for minority babies’ – https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/university-of-pittsburghs-organ-harvesting-practices-include-racial-quotas-for-minority-babies/

WATCH CMP’s YouTube video: ‘Government-Sponsored Fetal Experimentation at the University of Pittsburgh and Planned Parenthood’

Photo Credit: CMP YouTube / screenshot

New York’s mask mandate laid the groundwork for other coercive measures imposed on unvaccinated people across the state. Though the repeal of NYCRR 66-3 temporarily resolves some of the issues in the case, attorneys stressed the lawsuit is not over.

“Unfortunately, at the same time they repealed the discriminatory mask mandate, the NYSDOH granted sole authority to New York State Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to issue future mandates, at his discretion, including mandates that discriminate based on vaccine status if he so chooses,” Gibson said.

Zucker has not yet issued any more mask mandates related to vaccine status. However, last Friday, he issued blanket mask mandates for school children and for employees in certain sectors, such as healthcare and correctional facilities.

In the complaint, Ouweleen argued:

“The science does not establish that prolonged use of masks is safe or effective. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration defines masks as experimental medical devices, and has not licensed them for use by the general public other than through Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA).”

Under the terms of the EUA, manufacturers are expressly forbidden from “misleading” the public by alleging that masks can be reused or used to stop or reduce infection.

“It is black letter law that EUA devices, including masks, cannot be mandated,” said CHD President and General Counsel Mary Holland. “This prohibition arises out of the Nuremberg Code of 1947, and reflects our obligations under the subsequent binding treaties and domestic statutes which incorporate.”

© September 2, 2021. Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts.



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‘Independent’ Michigan Redistricting Commissioner Actually a Bernie Bro

Anthony Eid now tasked with redrawing Michigan’s political districts

Anthony Eid / Twitter

Collin Anderson • August 31, 2021 3:00 pm

A Bernie Sanders-backing 29-year-old won a coveted position to redraw Michigan’s political districts as part of a self-described “independent” bloc of redistricting commissioners that could redefine the state’s electoral landscape for the next decade.

Medical student Anthony Eid applied to serve on the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission as an independent in May 2020, stating that he does not “affiliate with either the Republican or Democratic Party.” A Washington Free Beacon review of his social media presence, however, shows that Eid has long supported members of the Democratic Party’s liberal wing.

Eid now holds a crucial vote on the 13-member commission, which consists of four Democrats, four Republicans, and five independents. In order to enact a proposed map, at least seven members—including two Democrats, two Republicans, and two independents—must vote for it. The boundaries will stay in place until the next census in 2030.

Eid acknowledged in May that commission applicants were asked to “self-identify” their partisan affiliation. He also said he did “not think anyone who was selected misrepresented themselves.” While Eid’s application states he supports “candidates in each party … for different reasons,” he has not publicly backed a Republican candidate for office. He did, however, write he was “proud to live in a state that voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary” in 2016. 

Months later, the “independent” endorsed then-Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison (D.)—who Sanders also backed—for Democratic National Committee chair. Eid went on to repeatedly promote Sanders-supported candidates, including Abdul El-Sayed, who ran to the left of Democratic governor Gretchen Whitmer in a failed 2018 primary campaign.

Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission spokesman Edward Woods III told the Free Beacon the commission does not vet its commissioners’ stated political affiliations.

“The Constitution only requires the applicant to identify their affiliation,” Woods said. “In Michigan, it is either the Democrats, Republicans, or neither the Democrats nor Republicans. The Commission does not vet or choose candidates.”

The state legislature has historically handled redistricting in Michigan. But in 2018, voters passed a ballot initiative granting that power to a newly created redistricting commission. The change came as Republicans held control of both chambers of the state legislature. 

The Michigan group behind the initiative, Voters Not Politicians, received $250,000 from the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which is chaired by former Obama administration attorney general Eric Holder. The group is directly affiliated with the Democratic Party, and former president Barack Obama is also involved in its efforts.

Eid was one of more than 9,300 Michigan voters who applied to serve on the committee. An outside firm hired by the state then randomly selected 200 semifinalists, consisting of 60 Democrats, 60 Republicans, and 80 independents. After leaders in the state legislature removed 20 applicants, the state randomly selected the commission’s final 13 members. 

As a commissioner, Eid will help determine which part of the state will lose a representative, as Michigan is set to lose a House seat prior to the 2022 midterms due to slow population growth.

Eid’s support of Ellison came just months after the Minnesota attorney general faced criticism over his ties to Nation of Islam leader and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan. Ellison defended Farrakhan and embraced black separatism in a string of columns he wrote in the late 1980s and 1990s. While he renounced the Nation of Islam in 2006 and claimed he had “no additional involvement” with Farrakhan, Ellison attended a private event with Farrakhan and then-Iranian president Hassan Rouhani in 2013.

In addition to his support for Sanders, Ellison, and El-Sayed, Eid retweeted messages from Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow that touted the Michigan Democrats’ opposition to the confirmation of Trump administration Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Voters Not Politicians and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee did not return requests for comment.

Update 4:33 p.m.: This piece has been updated with a comment from the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.





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How George Soros Bought out the UN Human Rights Commissioner

Ignored by the MSM, Jay Sekulow’s European Center for Law & Justice (ECLJ) has released a groundbreaking report detailing how left-wing NGOs have infiltrated the office of the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner to advance a radical Open Borders and pro-abortion agenda.

The report “The Financing of UN Experts” comes on the heels of ECLJ’s similarly revealing report on the influence of Open Society and other left-wing NGOs on the European Court of Human Rights, “ECHR: Conflicts of Interest Between Judges and NGOs” (Gateway Pundit reported).

The ECHR was key in enshrining a radical Open Borders policy in the EU since the landmark 2012 “Hirsi Jamaa and Others v Italy” case, which first criminalized border security as so-called “pushbacks” or “refoulement,” and obliged countries like Italy to let in illegal migrants or pay €15,000 “damages” to each illegal migrant.

Similarly, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva pushes to enshrine Open Borders and the “rights of (illegal) migrants”, and other radical progressive policies in so-called “international law”.

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The ECLJ report found that the UN Human Rights Commissioner relies increasingly on funding from “a small number” of foundations and NGOs, “in particular the Ford, Open Society, MacArthur, Call for Code (founded and chaired by Bill Clinton) Foundations, as well as Microsoft, Counterpart International, and Wellspring Philanthropic Fund.”

52 of  222 Special Rapporteurs from Left-Wing NGOs

The research was based on “a series of interviews with UN experts and on the analysis of financial disclosures published annually between 2015 and 2019 by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights”, the OHCHR Special Rapporteurs, as well as by the main foundations funding the system, “namely the Ford and Open Society foundations.”

At least 52 of the 222 Special Rapporteurs since 2010 hold, or have held, positions in Open Society or an NGO funded by the Ford or Open Society Foundations, such as the Center for Reproductive Rights or the International Center for Transitional Justice, the ECLJ report found. Among these 52 experts, fourteen have exercised (or still exercise) responsibility within Amnesty International. Twelve experts exercise some responsibility within the International Commission of Jurists. Six experts hold responsibilities within Open Society Foundations, four hold responsibilities within Human Rights Watch, and one expert is involved with the Helsinki Committee.

Between 2015 and 2019, 40% of the OHCHR Special Procedures budget came from such extra-budgetary funding from a few states, NGOs, and private foundations, ECLJ writes. The study found a “lack of transparency” in external funding by NGOs and “a growing phenomenon of capture of the Human Rights Council system by a few actors.”

Theoretically, UN Special Rapporteurs require “independence, impartiality, personal integrity, and objectivity”, according to Resolution 5/1 of June 18, 2007. Experts must take an oath to “exercise my functions from a completely impartial, loyal and conscientious standpoint … without seeking or accepting any instruction from any other party whatsoever.”

Opaque Finances

However, UN Experts are currently allowed to receive funds directly from external NGOs, “avoiding the OHCHR’s control and monetary deductions”, ECLJ writes. “These direct funds are markedly opaque.” Thus financial statements were either omitted or opaque, as were the terms and purposes of payments and the agreements with donors.

According to one expert, this “gray area” is expanding dangerously, as direct donations increased from $2,099,503 to $2,646,678 per year between 2015 and 2019.

“Between 2015 and 2019, 37 of 121 experts reported receiving an additional 134 direct financial payments totaling $10,725,328, mostly from private donors. One expert reported receiving more than $2 million, another expert more than $1 million, six others more than $500,000, and a further eleven more than $100,000″, ECLJ reports.

“$5,515,523 were paid by private foundations and NGOs, of which $2,190,000 was paid by the Ford Foundation to nine mandate-holders and $1,584,517 was paid by the Open Society Foundations to six mandate-holders. Four mandate-holders were funded by both the Ford and Open Society Foundations.” One expert, the head of an NGO, reports that she hired eight salaried staff to support her work thanks to Open Society funds.

UN Experts Financially Dependent on NGOs

Since they are expected to be volunteers and not paid for their services to the UN, such experts can even be financially dependent on NGOs for their salaries, ECLJ reports. “This is a tricky issue, as … their Code of Conduct prohibits them from receiving ‘remuneration from any governmental or non-governmental source for activities carried out in pursuit of [their] mandate[s]’. One expert noted, however, ‘you have to be paid by someone.’ Thus, the Ford Foundation paid $100,000 in 2017 to an expert’s employing NGO to give her time off to work on her mandate.”

Although they are required to be objective, all the experts interviewed “recognize direct payments influence the experts’ political agenda“, the report states. “According to experts, the intentions of funders are always political.”

A former Special Rapporteur of an important mandate said that the first people to contact and meet with him upon his election were the representatives of the Open Society in Geneva, ECLJ reports. OSF even “contributed to the creation of his mandate and very generously financed his predecessor,” who received “considerable amounts [of money].”

The former Rapporteur said, “I mean, of course, you get money from the Soros Foundation and then you do what they ask.”

While it is hard to objectively establish the precise influence that NGO funding has on OHCHR Experts, Open Society Foundations openly acknowledged it wanted to “influence” an expert on its own website in one case, stating that it paid $100,000 in 2017 to the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL), a feminist activist center attached to Rutgers University, with the purpose of “influencing the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, its causes and consequences.”

“The goal was to get the Special Rapporteur to recognize domestic work as a form of slavery. That goal was achieved, when in the following year, that Special Rapporteur, Urmila Bhoola, devoted her annual thematic report, published under the UN’s label, examining “the impact of slavery and servitude on marginalized migrant women workers in the global domestic economy.”

The UN Goes Woke

“Unsurprisingly, the latest report of the UN Working Group on Ending Discrimination against Women, presented to the Human Rights Council in July 2021, is steeped in radical activism”, ECLJ writes. “The (UN ) report begins by castigating “centuries of patriarchal, colonial and racialized legal and policy frameworks and institutions.”

Patriarchal oppression, pervasive gender stereotypes, stigma and taboos” are not just a legacy of the past, but a problem exacerbated by “rising fundamentalism,” the UN now finds.

The UN now equates “unplanned pregnancies” with actual violence against women and recommends that states and “non-state actors, such as armed groups,”  ensure that women actually “exercise” their “sexual and reproductive rights,” referring chiefly to abortion.

The UN also calls on states to “take measures to combat toxic masculinity,” without defining or introducing this concept from gender studies. The UN report goes so far as to equate doctors’ conscientious objection to abortion with an act of “torture” inflicted on women, stating that “the refusal or postponement of an abortion” constitutes a “form of gender-based violence that can be equated with torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.” From the report, motherhood does not even seem to be an option for women, whose “sexual and reproductive health” would appear to consist only of access to contraception and abortion.

 

Read the ECLJ Report “The Financing of UN Experts” here.

 

Richard Abelson is Gateway Pundit international correspondent. Follow him on Parler or GETTR.

 

 

 

 

 

 





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Commissioner: MLB will return to ‘Field of Dreams’ in 2022

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The “Field of Dreams” game in Dyersville, Iowa, will not be a one-time event, as MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday that the league would return to the Hawkeye State next year.

The Chicago White Sox earned a 9-8 victory over the New York Yankees amid the corn fields Thursday thanks to Tim Anderson’s two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning.

“I think the reception that this event has received has been so positive that we will be back,” Manfred said before the game. “I think it’s pretty clear we’re going to be back next year and we’ll have to talk about it after that. But it’s just been so successful that it’s hard not to take the opportunity to do it again.”

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He did not say which teams would be playing but said the game would happen in August.

The organizers of Thursday’s contest are also on board for bringing the majors back to Iowa next summer.

According to the Des Moines Register, Go the Distance, which owns the “Field of Dreams” movie site and helped set up the Thursday night game between the Yankees and White Sox, has already begun talks with the Chicago Cubs to bring them to the venue next.

Cubs manager David Ross all but confirmed it Wednesday when he said, “We’re in that next year, right?”

The Sports Business Journal reports that Fox will earn more in advertising sales for this one game than any other regular-season game in its 25-year history of broadcasting major league games.

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Putting on a game of this type is a logistical challenge. This year, Go the Distance actually had a second field constructed next to the original movie set, which will seat up to 8,000 spectators. But much of that structure, including locker rooms, lights and bleachers, are temporary due to the cost of maintenance.

Bringing in more income from MLB might lead to a more permanent solution. Go the Distance wants to turn the game into an annual event, along with hosting games across all levels of baseball.

“Our main goal here,” Go the Distance director of operations Roman Weinberg said, “is to preserve the Field of Dreams but also to keep it on the map for years to come.”

–Field Level Media



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Lollapalooza was not a ‘superspreader event,’ Chicago health commissioner declares

Chicago’s health commissioner said Thursday that the massive, multiday Lollapalooza music festival held in the city two weeks ago does not appear to have been a “superspreader event.”

What are the details?

“There’s no evidence at this point of a superspreader event, and there’s no evidence of substantial impact to Chicago’s COVID epidemiology,” Dr. Allison Arwady said at a news conference, according to CNN.

Arwady did say that of the approximately 385,000 people who attended the festival, 203 have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, adding that none of those who tested positive died or have had to be hospitalized or have died.

“The bottom line is we’ve not seen anything that has surprised us related to the Lollapalooza outbreak,” Arwady said, according to the paper.

Health officials estimated that about 90% of attendees were vaccinated, the Sun-Times said, adding that to enter the festival in Grant Park concertgoers had to show proof of being vaccinated or proof of having tested negative for the coronavirus within the previous three days.

Arwady also said that of the 203 positive cases, 127 were among vaccinated attendees and 76 were among unvaccinated attendees — which translates to about four cases in 10,000 among the vaccinated and about 16 in 10,000 for the unvaccinated, the paper reported.

“We obviously will continue to do further investigation if necessary. … Any person diagnosed with COVID-19 on or after attending Lollapalooza is included in the analysis,” the health commissioner added, according to the Sun-Times. “So these cases may or may not have resulted from transmission at Lolla itself. We’ve been very broad here. Anybody who is potentially associated, we want to investigate.”

Chicago residents account for 58 of the positive cases — and 13 of them reported attending Lollapalooza when or after their symptoms began, Arwady added, the paper said.

What else?

“This is a really important reminder that we need everybody in Chicago not to ignore symptoms, assume it’s a summer cold, regardless of your vaccination status because we know the vaccines aren’t 100% protective,” she noted, according to the Sun-Times.

More from the paper:

In the days leading up to Lollapalooza — despite a spike in cases caused by the delta variant — Arwady said she was comfortable with the event going ahead as planned because of the precautions organizers were taking, including air ventilation for any indoor spaces and making sure backstage workers were vaccinated.

Arwady said Thursday that despite the prevalence of the Delta variant, Chicago isn’t seeing the kind of surge that some Southern states are experiencing.

“If we were in New Orleans, … I don’t think we would have been able to move ahead with this event,” she noted, the Sun-Times said.





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