‘WJ Live’: ‘F*** Biden’ – The Controversial Statement That Might Be the Least of Our Worries

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The Western Journal’s mission is to equip readers with the truth, and we’re excited to bring that same passion to the listeners of “WJ Live.” You’ll hear from writers, editors and special guests on the most important topics of the day: coronavirus, lockdowns, riots, government overreach and Hollywood elitism.


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HS football coach’s controversial advice to player divides internet: ‘Just had a young man come in before practice and quit, and I couldn’t be happier!’

A high school football coach’s advice to one of his varsity players has divided the internet after he encouraged the teen to quit the team.

According to a Friday Newsweek report, the coach in question is Kurt Hines, head football coach at Coronado High School in Coronado, California.

What are the details?

Hines shared a clip on social media Thursday explaining what he told a young football player who came to see him with intentions of quitting the team.

“I just had a young man come in and quit,” a smiling Hines said in the beginning of his video. “I truly could not be happier.”

He continued, “This young man was struggling all season with making it to practice, with committing. Never looked happy; some stuff going on. But I couldn’t be happier because he came in, things washed, shook my hand, I said, ‘Sit down for a minute.’ He started to explain how his family has always been a football family. ‘They’ve always loved it, my father, my brother.’ I stopped him, I said, ‘Do you love it?'”

Hines said that the unnamed student, clearly relieved to be honest with the coach, heaved a great sigh of relief and responded in the negative.

“I said ‘I’m proud of you,'” Hines recalled. “I just saw his whole countenance change. He just smiled from ear to ear. I said, ‘You’re doing the right thing.'”

He continued, “Football is not for everyone. I couldn’t be happier. Coaches, support your players if they want to be great. And if they want to be great in something other than football, support them just the same.”

Hines’ video has since gone viral and amassed more than 1.6 million views at the time of this reporting.

What has been the response?

Social media users lit up Hines’ post, and at the time of this reporting, the video has more than 900 remarks.

For every negative comment saying that Hines ought to have encouraged the teen to finish the season before quitting, there were an equal number of comments supporting the coach’s decision to support the teen in leaving behind something that was not in his heart.

According to the report, one fellow high school football coach from Ohio wrote, “What did he do in its place? If he is doing nothing then being part of a team, learning work ethic and learning life lessons is more than just quitting. The easiest thing to do is quit. I believe that being part of something even if the love is not there is better.”

Newsweek also quoted a former football player, who added, “I quit 2 times, 1st before Sr yr of high school but a great coach talked me back, it was best move of my life. 2nd during 2 a days Jr. yr of college, I’ve regretted it ALL my life! Quitting’s easy — keeping on is hard! Bad lesson to teach. I strongly disagree with your position.”

The outlet added that one particularly turned-off commenter responded, “Sir, I am a youth football coaching legend, and when my kids quit my team, I tell them their life will be all downhill moving forward and that I hope to never see them again.”

Another wrote, “When I was a sophomore in high school, I walked into my basketball coach’s office and told him I quit. He basically told me no chance. It was a long road, but I ended up playing at university of Hawaii after high school. Then played 7 years pro overseas. I grew to love the game.”

Other users pointed out that they believed his support of the student was constructive and positive.

Newsweek reported that one user wrote, “Awesome job coach! Thank you for being accepting of the young man’s decision and supporting him. I know it was hard for him to do that. To everyone saying ‘He shouldn’t quit’ or ‘Should’ve made him finish them he could quit’ what the hell is wrong with y’all?”

“The whole ‘always finish what you started, never quit’ mentality is why we have so many people stuck in jobs and relationships that make them miserable,” another user tweeted. “In turn, they end up making others around them miserable as well. Know yourself. Trust your gut and do what you believe in.”

Another chimed in, “Great Coaching! The best coaches and mentors support people in figuring out what they want & don’t want to chase with their time and energy. And I bet you’re the kind of guy who’d also help him find his next coach or mentor when he wants one. You Rock!”

“Lotta negativity in this thread but I’m supporting this 110%,” one user wrote. “It’s not ‘quitter’ mentality. It’s finding yourself. Watch this kid he’s talkin’ about do something extraordinary. Can the internet give a round of applause for anything?”

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Amazon blocks ad for book probing BLM leaders: ‘Content that revolves around controversial or highly debated social topics is not permitted’

Amazon reportedly blocked an advertisement this week for a new book probing the Marxist roots of Black Lives Matter leaders, claiming that the site does not permit content that “revolves around controversial or highly debated social topics.”

What are the details?

The book, “BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution,” written by former journalist and senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation Mike Gonzalez, reportedly “examines who the BLM leaders are, delving into their backgrounds and exposing their agendas” to prove them “to be avowed Marxists who say they want to dismantle our way of life.”

According to the Daily Signal, the Heritage Foundation attempted to buy an ad for Gonzalez’s book but was denied. The conservative think tank said that Amazon, the nation’s largest retailer, “blocked it from its website.”

In a notice to Heritage, the tech giant stated that the ad was blocked “specifically for the following reasons: Your ad contains book/s or content that is not allowed. Content that revolves around controversial or highly debated social topics is not permitted. Please remove this content from your ad.”

What else?

In response to the news, Gonzalez told the Daily Signal, “I wrote this book because most of the press refused to cover the important questions about the people and organizations behind Black Lives Matter. Now Amazon is trying to limit how many Americans read this book.”

“The American people deserve answers to those questions, especially after the 630 or more riots that left our cities burning, businesses destroyed and billions in damage, and Americans dead,” Gonzalez, a former Wall Street Journal opinion columnist, said.

“I have to wonder if Nikole Hannah-Jones’ and Ibram X. Kendi’s books — which also sell in [Amazon’s] ‘Black and African American History’ category, where my book often outranked them in the past week — face similar constraints. Herbert Marcuse, the critical theorist who authored the essay ‘Repressive Tolerance,’ would be proud of Amazon,” he added.

The book is still available for purchase on Amazon despite the tech giant blocking advertising for it. Amazon did not respond to the Daily Signal’s request for comment.

Anything else?

It is far from the first time that Amazon has censored or suppressed the distribution of conservative content.

Perhaps most notably, the retailer — which still sells copies of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” — removed Ryan T. Anderson’s best-selling transgenderism critique, “When Harry Became Sally,” from its online store in February.

In March, the retailer went even further, announcing a ban on the sale of any and all books that “frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness,” despite gender dysphoria, a common topic included in books about transgenderism, being listed by the American Psychological Association (APA) as a mental disorder.

Amazon also pulled a documentary film about conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas without explanation — and during Black History Month, no less.

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AOC dons controversial ‘Tax The Rich’ dress at Met Gala where a single ticket costs $30k

Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, the Democrat congresswoman who has come under fire for misunderstanding basic economics and the working middle class through her avid support for socialism, is at it again.

Only this time, she strutted into the obscenely priced Met Gala wearing a white dress featuring three red words splashed across the back that Democrats usually campaign on but fail to follow through on: “Tax The Rich.”

The Met Gala, which usually entails a $30,000 price tag per admission ticket with an additional $275,000 per seat at the dinner table, according to Newsweek, is an annual favorite of corporatists, wealthy billionaires, and celebrities alike seeking tax breaks for charitable donations to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

AOC’s political statement dress was created by Brooklyn-based designer, Aurora James, who hopes to make an impact on behalf of “working-class women of color” while attempting to “break the fourth wall and challenge some of the institutions,” she replied to Vogue on a red-carpet interview.

It’s undoubtedly interesting that her dress representing “breaking walls” for “working-class” individuals happens to be, ironically, at one of the most elite, exclusive events in the nation (you can’t just simply buy a ticket, you must be pre-approved by the likes of Anna Wintour in order to get in).

Ocasio-Cortez’s actions in office have proven to be a never-ending wave of contradiction and hypocrisy. Aside from wearing an expensive “Tax The Rich” dress that most working-class citizens could never afford, the self-proclaimed socialist had no qualms about partying with several of the world’s capitalist millionaires. AOC lives quite a lavish lifestyle for a politician who receives an income of $175,000, which is peanuts relative to many other Met attendees.

Despite being a strong mask advocate, who believes that even the fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks, she attended the elitist event skipping the mask entirely. AOC also claims to want to “tax the rich” while rubbing shoulders with the very same wealthy individuals she supposedly seeks to attack.

Donald Trump Jr. criticized AOC, calling her a “fraud” and an “authoritarian mask Karen,” for not only wearing the controversial dress while “hanging out with a bunch of wealthy leftwing elites,” but also for attending the event without a mask after spending “the past 18 months” calling out people for not wearing one.

However, despite that many celebrities and other public figures have adopted the trendy phrase, “tax the rich” does not appear to be a universally accepted resolution to wealth disparity.

Recent Gallup findings show that Americans don’t find income inequality to be a pressing economic concern. A measly one percent of Americans indicated the gap between the rich and the poor should be the biggest problem facing the nation. In terms of non-economic problems, 26 percent said that Covid-19 remained a major concern, and 16 percent said the current government/poor leadership ranked as the second most pressing concern.

Regardless of what Americans think, the Biden administration and far-left Democrat lawmakers have campaigned extensively on the idea of taxing the arbitrarily “ultra-wealthy” to pay for exacerbating issues that often come at hefty trillion-dollar price tags. Most recently, it came in the form of infrastructure bills.

The more AOC contradicts her own political interests, the more Americans will wake up and see the reality that while she sells socialism to the working class, she does the opposite in her personal life.

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Biden’s Controversial ATF Nominee Withdrawn

According to multiple news reports, the White House will pull David Chipman’s nomination to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). He is the second major nominee to be withdrawn by President Joe Biden, after former Office of Management and Budget nominee Neera Tanden also faced opposition from GOP lawmakers.

In this case, the withdrawal of Chipman to head the ATF has been seen as a major victory for supporters of the Second Amendment. Chipman, who worked for a number of gun control advocacy groups after a career as an ATF agent, was staunchly opposed by Senate Republicans but also struggled to gain the support of several Democratic lawmakers.

“Mr. Chipman’s long record as a partisan, anti-Second Amendment activist raised plenty of concerns about how he’d administer federal firearms laws. But that wasn’t the only cause for concern,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa on Thursday. “The record he concealed from Congress, some of which remains hidden to this day, about how he treated his fellow employees while at the ATF confirms his lack of fitness to lead the agency.”

It wasn’t just lawmakers that celebrated the withdrawal of Chipman to head the ATF. The National Rifle Association (NRA) was openly hostile in its messaging regarding the nominee and defeating the confirmation had become a top priority since he was first nominated in April. The NRA spent millions of dollars on grassroots efforts.

On Thursday, the lobby group praised lawmakers.

“This critical win is thanks to NRA members who flooded their senators’ offices with texts, emails, letters, and phone calls voicing their opposition to Chipman’s nomination. Because of their swift action and ongoing opposition over the past several months, the radical gun control advocate will not sit at the helm of the ATF,” said Jason Ouimet, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “For now, gun owners can rest assured the most immediate threat to their rights has been defeated, and gun control proponents have suffered a huge setback.”

The NRA warned that Chipman’s nomination posed a great threat to the Second Amendment, and noted that the former ATF agent had spent the last ten years employed by gun-control organizations.

“Chipman was the wrong candidate for many reasons,” Ouimet added. “From an administration that claims it wants to be unifying, it could not have picked a more polarizing nominee. The position should be held by someone who can be trusted to work with gun owners, law enforcement, and the firearms industry. Chipman’s record of support for radical gun control left no doubt he would not respect the rights of the American gun owner when overseeing the ATF.”

Not unexpectedly, gun control advocates expressed disappointment in the withdrawal of the nominee.

“This is a boon for gun manufacturers that profit from the weak enforcement of existing gun laws and have spent millions maligning this dedicated public servant,” Igor Volsky, founder and executive director of Guns Down America, told NPR on Thursday.

“It is hugely disappointing and unconscionable that 50 members of the U.S. Senate as well as at least one senator who caucuses with the President’s party would deny President Biden his choice to lead the ATF,” said Brady United President Kris Brown via a statement. “It is even more concerning that they would do so by parroting the talking points of the gun lobby, which has spread misinformation and blatant lies about David Chipman since his nomination was announced.”

It remains unclear who could replace Chipman as a nominee—especially as President Biden had boldly proclaimed that Chipman was “The right person, at this moment, for this important agency.” Clearly, many lawmakers, including some Democrats, disagreed.

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.

Image: Reuters.

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Biden Admits Defeat, Will Withdraw Controversial Pro-Gun Control Nominee: Report

The Biden administration reportedly plans to withdraw David Chipman as a nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after widespread criticism of his gun control views.

“President Biden nominated Chipman, who worked at ATF for more than two decades before joining the gun control group led by former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), in April as part of a larger effort to curb gun violence,” The Washington Post reported.

“But his nomination faced unified opposition from Republican senators as well as concerns from a handful of Senate Democrats from states friendly to gun rights.”

“The White House declined to comment. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak freely about Chipman, who currently is a senior adviser to the Giffords gun control group,” the report added.

“White House officials are trying to find another role in the administration for Chipman, said the people familiar with the matter.”


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Breitbart News reported on Wednesday the Senate lacked the number of votes needed to confirm Chipman.

“Sens. [Joe] Manchin and [Jon] Tester are holding their cards close to their vests, but on August 3, 2021, Politico observed that Sen. [Angus] King will not support Chipman’s nomination,” Breitbart reported.

“King is an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats, and his decision means the Democrats have a maximum of 49 votes for Chipman, which is not enough to confirm him without Republican help,” the outlet added.

In June, Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins announced she would not vote to confirm Chipman.

Is it the right move to withdraw Chipman’s nomination?

“After meeting with Mr. Chipman, listening to Mainers, and reviewing his record, I have decided to vote against Mr. Chipman’s nomination to serve as the ATF Director,” Collins said in a statement, according to Fox  News.

“In recent years, Mr. Chipman has been an outspoken critic of the firearms industry and has made statements that demean law-abiding gun owners.”

In April, The Daily Caller reported Chipman promulgated a false narrative about the Waco siege during an exchange on the website Reddit last year.

During an “Ask Me Anything” event, a Reddit user reportedly asked Chipman “whether any crimes have been committed with .50 caliber Barrett rifles.” He responded by falsely accusing members of the Branch Davidian of shooting down two helicopters in the Waco, Texas, standoff in 1993.

“At Waco, cult members used 2 .50 caliber Barretts to shoot down two Texas Air National Guard helicopters,” he wrote.


Legislation to Protect Americans from ‘Radical, Anti-Gun Democrats’ by Abolishing ATF Hits Congress

“Point, it is true we are fortunate they are not used in crime more often. The victims of drug lords in Mexico are not so lucky. America plays a role in fueling the violence south of the border.”

A House report from August 1996 tells a different story. It says while three helicopters were damaged from weapons fired from the ground, none were “shot down” and no federal agents were injured.

Chipman also expressed support for the National Firearms Act in 2018, which sought to subject every AR-15 in the United States to increased regulation.

During a confirmation hearing in May, Chipman responded to a question from GOP Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and noted he supports a ban on AR-15s, the most popular style of rifle in the country.

Republicans have long been opposed to Chipman’s nomination. Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana and 68 of his fellow Republicans in the House sent a letter in May expressing their opposition to the idea.

“Throughout his career, David Chipman has made it no secret that he is an enemy of the 2nd Amendment,” the letter stated. It was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“If confirmed, David Chipman would use every tool at his disposal to attack American gun owners and we respectfully ask you to oppose any and all action that would advance his confirmation in the Senate,” it concluded.

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NPR Unloads: ‘Very Controversial’ Larry Elder Waved a Gun at a Woman?

NPR’s public editor Kelly McBride confessed in 2020 that NPR was slow to address Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden. But NPR wasn’t slow at all to highlight an ex-fiancee’s allegation that black conservative California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder waved a gun at her while high on marijuana during a breakup in 2015. It dominated their segment on the California recall on Wednesday’s Morning Edition. 

It’s easy to recall that NPR jumped first on the unproven allegations from Anita Hill that Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her. Their California expert, Scott Shafer from San Francisco affiliate KQED, implied there was probably more dirt on Elder they hadn’t dug up yet.

NPR host A Martinez asked Shafer “those who brought this recall election say it’s primarily about Newsom’s handling of the pandemic. Those against it say it’s a partisan attempt to take power in the state. So overall, do voters seem engaged?” Shafer noted there’s not a majority in favor of the recall election, but recall proponents are very engaged, so Governor Gavin Newsom’s challenge is to get Democrats to turn out. NPR didn’t focus on why Newsom was in danger of losing his job.

Then came the part where Elder was described as “very controversial” — twice — and as a marijuana-induced gun-waver at women: 

MARTINEZ: All right, so turnout a top priority for Gavin Newsom. What has been his messaging so far?

SHAFER: Well, from the beginning, Democrats have tried to frame this as a right-wing power grab, an attempt by supporters of Donald Trump to basically undo the results of the last gubernatorial election. But, you know, as Trump sort of fades into the rearview mirror, that doesn’t really work quite as well.

And so they’re also trying to frame it as a race between Newsom and the leading Republican, who is conservative talk show host Larry Elder. He’s very controversial. He calls himself the Sage of South Central, which is where he grew up – South Central LA. And he’s made some very controversial comments in the past about women. And then just recently, an ex-fiancee came forward and said that he waved a gun at her during an argument when he was high on marijuana. He denies that, by the way. Nonetheless, she’s sticking by her story.

So there’s a lot that, you know, isn’t known about this guy. He also says that Democrats make too big a deal out of racism. He is African American. And Newsom is saying, look; if this guy gets elected, if he replaces me, he’s going to throw out the mask mandate, the vaccine mandate, and we could be looking more like Texas and Florida.

Last thing first: Shafer should know that despite Newsom’s lockdowns and mandates, California has the highest number of COVID deaths in America at over 65,000. Texas and Florida lag behind them. 

The ex-fiancee is Alexandra Datig, who has endorsed Republican Kevin Faulconer in the recall election. Politico’s Carla Marinucci first reported Datig’s claims on August 19. What about the timing? California expected counties to begin sending mail-in ballots on August 16.

On Thursday, Marinucci returned to Datig, reporting she has filed a formal police report with the Los Angeles Police Department alleging that she was subject to “several incidents of domestic abuse” while living with Elder.

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Does City’s Saying It “Will Not Provide Any Support or Resources” to Controversial Political Event on Private Property Implicitly Threaten Withdrawal of Police Protection?

From today’s Tenth Circuit opinion in VDARE Found. v. City of Colorado Springs, written by Judge Gregory Phillips and joined by Chief Judge Timothy Tymkovich:

VDARE describes itself as a nonprofit organization that educates the public on two main issues: (1) the unsustainability of current U.S. immigration policy, and (2) the United States’ ability to survive as a nation-state. VDARE carries out its mission through its website, books, public-speaking engagements, conferences, debates, and media appearances. It alleges that though it seeks to “influence public debate and discussion on the issues of immigration and the future of the United States as a viable nation-state,” it has “never advocated violence or any form of illegality.”

Around March 2017, VDARE reserved the Cheyenne Mountain Resort … in Colorado Springs for a future conference … featuring guest speakers and activities related to its mission. VDARE alleges that the Resort knew of VDARE’s mission as well as the potential for media attention and possible protests that could arise from the Conference.

Over four months after VDARE booked the Conference, on August 12, 2017, violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia following a controversial political rally. The rally, protests, and ensuing violence drew national media attention. Two days later, on August 14, 2017, Mayor John Suthers, speaking on behalf of the City of Colorado Springs …, issued the following public statement:

The City of Colorado Springs does not have the authority to restrict freedom of speech, nor to direct private businesses like the Cheyenne Mountain Resort as to which events they may host. That said, I would encourage local businesses to be attentive to the types of events they accept and the groups that they invite to our great city.

The City of Colorado Springs will not provide any support or resources to this event, and does not condone hate speech in any fashion. The City remains steadfast in its commitment to the enforcement of Colorado law, which protects all individuals regardless of race, religion, color, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, harassment and physical harm.

The next day, August 15, 2017, the Resort issued a statement announcing that it would no longer be hosting the Conference and cancelled its contract with VDARE. In its Amended Complaint, VDARE doesn’t allege that the City had any direct involvement with the Resort’s decision to cancel the Conference. Nor does it allege what, if any, reasons the Resort provided when it informed VDARE that it was cancelling the Conference.

Rather, VDARE alleges that before the City’s Statement, the Resort had been actively communicating and coordinating with VDARE about logistics and safety in connection with the Conference. Further, it alleges that sometime after the Resort cancelled the Conference, Mayor Suthers “publicly expressed satisfaction that the Conference had been cancelled.” …

VDARE alleges that the City’s “announcement that [it] would not provide any municipal resources or support of any kind, including basic police, fire, ambulance, parking and security services, meant that participants in the Conference, the Resort’s patrons and employees, and innocent bystanders would potentially be subjected to serious injury or death in the event that they were threatened or attacked by protestors.” VDARE further alleges that the City “targeted” it under the City’s “Hate Speech Policy,” which was “not content-neutral either facially or in its application” and “targeted events, groups, and individuals for disfavored treatment based on the content of their speech.” From this, VDARE claims that it was “deprived of its ability to lawfully and peaceably assemble with its invited guest speakers, readers, supporters, and other interested persons.” …

The panel majority concluded that government speech that condemns speakers, and urges private entities not to provide a place for them to speak, doesn’t violate the First Amendment unless it is sufficiently coercive of those private entities. (That seems to me like a correct statement of the law, given the cases I’ve canvassed in this post.) And the court concluded that this statement wasn’t coercive; here’s an excerpt (though the opinion is long and deals with other matters as well):

VDARE points to the fourth sentence in the Statement, which states that the City “will not provide any support or resources to this event, and does not condone hate speech in any fashion.” This, VDARE argues, encouraged “a heckler’s veto.” Moreover, VDARE argues that the surrounding circumstances—including the “natural import” of the Statement, its timing, and basic fairness—show that the Resort cancelled the Conference because of the Statement and its lack of “reassurance that the City would protect [its] properties and keep the peace.” We disagree with VDARE that this is a plausible interpretation of the last line of the City’s Statement.

First, the “surrounding circumstances” included the violent protests that occurred in Charlottesville only three days before the Resort’s cancellation. VDARE’s allegations don’t acknowledge that the Resort may have cancelled its contract after observing news coverage of that event. This likelihood matters because under Ashcroft v. Iqbal, we can’t infer that the Resort’s cancellation is attributable to the City based on just the possibility of its being so. Iqbal provides that it isn’t sufficient for a plaintiff to plead facts that are “merely consistent with” a defendant’s liability and that such facts “stop[ ] short of the line between possibility and probability.” …

Second, VDARE speculates that regardless of what future circumstances would have unfolded, the City would have allowed the “breakdown of law and order.” But VDARE hasn’t plausibly alleged that the City was declaring that it would not intercede with police or fire personnel if faced by the mayhem that VDARE envisions. That’s just its subjective interpretation, and an implausible one too. What VDARE wanted, it had no right to demand—municipal resources to monitor a private entity’s private event.

Third, VDARE doesn’t plausibly allege that the Statement was significantly encouraging or coercive. VDARE doesn’t allege that the City followed up on its Statement with any actions. This too contrasts with Bantam Books, in which the Commission followed up on its threatening notices with visits from police officers so that distributors “reasonably understood” that they had to comply with the notices. Indeed, the threat of imposing criminal sanctions, and how it was continually reinforced, is what led the Supreme Court in Bantam Books to conclude that the Commission’s tactics amounted to a state-sponsored system of prior restraints.

And fourth, … nothing in the Amended Complaint plausibly alleges that the City used its power to control the Resort’s independent decision-making process….

Judge Harris Hartz dissented:

I agree with so much of the panel majority opinion that my dissent can be brief. My difference with the majority centers on the import of the third sentence of Mayor Suthers’s announcement: “The City of Colorado Springs will not provide any support or resources to this event, and does not condone hate speech in any fashion.” …

The most reasonable, perhaps the only reasonable, construction is that the sentence conveyed, and was intended to convey, that no police or fire protection would be provided for the VDARE conference at the Resort. What other “support or resources” would the City ordinarily provide? As counsel for VDARE stated at oral argument, “What else could the Mayor be conveying?”

And, according to specific allegations in the Complaint, that is how the public interpreted the Mayor’s statement. One television station allegedly reported, “Colorado Springs Mayor won’t commit city assistance to upcoming white nationalist conference,” and said that the local sheriff’s office announced that its “deputies would not be participating either unless their presence is requested by the Colorado Springs Police Department for some reason.” Certainly, at this stage of the proceedings we should adopt that interpretation in determining whether the Complaint states a cause of action. This interpretation is not merely “consistent with” the Mayor’s language; I question whether any other interpretation would be plausible.

Defendants contend that this statement by the Mayor was merely an expression of a particular point of view, which is protected from liability as government speech…. There is no violation of the First Amendment protections of free speech when the government favors particular content, or even a particular viewpoint, so long as it is the government that is speaking.

But the government-speech doctrine does not create an immunity for whatever the government chooses to say. For example, “the Free Speech Clause itself may constrain the government’s speech if, for example, the government seeks to compel private persons to convey the government’s speech.” And if the government cannot seek to compel favored speech, it surely cannot punish or seek to deter speech based on its (constitutionally protected) content or viewpoint.

A government effort to punish or deter disfavored speech is what VDARE adequately alleges. And the City accomplished its purpose. The Complaint plausibly alleges that the Mayor’s statement caused the Resort to cancel the VDARE conference. The majority opinion opines that the statement was not “significantly encouraging or coercive.” I must respectfully disagree.

I would think that most businesses would be strongly inclined to forgo a customer if they were told that they would lose police and fire protection if they did business with the customer. And the Mayor’s announcement did much more. It implicitly invited violence. It is one thing to refuse to provide police protection. It is quite another to announce far in advance that police protection will not be provided.

VDARE espouses views that many find highly obnoxious. Any of its activities could engender protests, counter-protests, and clashes between the two sides. The Complaint alleges that VDARE has never espoused violence. Assuming that to be true, as we must in considering a motion to dismiss, the Resort would have little reason to fear violence from hosting a VDARE conference. After all, the Resort is on private property. It has no obligation to allow protesters on its grounds. Barring access to protesters should suffice to keep the peace. But an announcement that there would be no law-enforcement presence is an open invitation to those inclined to violence, as protesters, counter-protesters, or whatever.

The majority opinion raises the possibility that the Resort canceled its contract with VDARE because of the recent violence in Charlottesville, saying that VDARE’s nexus argument is not plausible because it has not excluded that possibility. But I would think it more plausible that the Charlottesville violence enhanced the coercive force of the Mayor’s announcement by highlighting the danger to the Resort from the denial of police protection, particularly when that denial is publicly announced in plenty of time for bad actors to make plans. Besides, if it was so likely that the Resort would cancel its plans because of what happened in Charlottesville, why would the Mayor bother making an unnecessary announcement regarding an event that would not be occurring?

The majority opinion also appears to fault VDARE for not including in the Complaint any excuse given by the Resort for canceling the contract. But VDARE should not be bound by an unsworn statement by the Resort when the Resort may have various interests in being less than candid. I am not suggesting that VDARE has definitively proved the necessary nexus. But I would say that the Complaint makes a more than plausible claim of nexus….

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Dog muzzle sent to TN vaccine official as alleged threat before her controversial firing was purchased with her credit card — but she denies buying it

A week before the state of Tennessee fired Dr. Michelle Fiscus as its vaccine chief after Republican lawmakers complained about her push to get teens vaccinated against COVID-19 without parental permission, she said a dog muzzle was sent to her.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

“At first, I thought that was a joke and contacted a few friends, and then, when no one claimed it, I realized that that was something that was sent to me as some kind of a message,” Fiscus told CNN’s Anderson Cooper last month.

Fiscus also told Cooper that “they obviously didn’t know me because they sent me a size three, which is for beagles, and I’m obviously a pit bull, which requires a size six.”

Following the the anonymous dog muzzle delivery to her state office, Fiscus contacted the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, which launched an investigation, the cable network reported.

What did the investigation find?

Well, Homeland Security discovered through a subpoena that the Amazon package containing the muzzle was traced to a credit card in Fiscus’ name, Axios first reported.

The outlet said Fiscus gave investigators information for an Amazon account in her name, which was a different account than the one used to purchase the muzzle.

Homeland Security’s investigation concluded that “purchases from both Amazon accounts were charged to the same American Express credit card in the name of Dr. Michelle D. Fiscus,” Axios reported.

Fiscus denies sending the muzzle to herself

Fiscus denied sending the muzzle to herself.

What else do we know?

The anonymous package containing the muzzle lacked a return address or any data indicating who sent it, WTVF-TV reported, adding that the investigation also found that “there is no evidence to indicate that the dog muzzle was intended to threaten Dr. Fiscus.”

The Amazon account used to send the muzzle was created in March, the station added.

‘I can’t tell you how this happened’

Fiscus sent WTVF the following statement:

I was just made aware of the report from Homeland Security today when it was shared with me by Axios Nashville. I had requested that Homeland Security obtain a subpoena as Amazon refused to release details of the account that ordered the muzzle that was delivered to my office on July 3, 2021. We have now learned that a second Amazon account had been established under my name using what appears to be a temporary phone, possibly in Washington state. I have asked Homeland Security for the unredacted report so that I can investigate further and am awaiting their response.

And in a Monday interview with the station, Fiscus acknowledged the charge for the muzzle did show up on her American Express statement, but she repeatedly denied purchasing it.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

“I can’t tell you how that happened except that I have used that credit card to purchase travel and to register for conferences and other things that have been reimbursed by the state of Tennessee,” Fiscus told WTVF.

More from the station:

She added she felt the state’s report was filled with inconsistencies. She said a second Amazon account in her name was set up using a burner phone with T-Mobile service, and she doesn’t use that provider. In addition, the Amazon account listed her office as the billing address, which she said isn’t the address associated with her credit card.

She said she doesn’t know who was responsible for buying the muzzle, but wouldn’t rule out someone who works for state government.

“I think there’s enough information at the state if they wanted to fabricate this,” Fiscus also told WTVF. “They have access to my credit card. They know my office address. It could be done.”

Investigation: Muzzle sent to fired vaccine official Dr. Fiscus was sent from her Amazon account


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Colorado, Virginia school districts pass controversial ‘trans’ student policies

(LifeSiteNews) — Two school districts in Colorado and Virginia have recently enacted controversial policies regarding “transgender” students, one regarding the use of “trans pronouns” and the other releasing a guide instructing teachers not to tell parents about a child’s “transition” if they suspect the parents would disapprove.

According to the Christian Post, the Loudon County School Board in Virginia voted to approve “Policy 8040: Rights of Transgender and Gender-Expansive Students,” by a margin of 7-2 last Wednesday.

Included in Policy 8040 is a provision requiring teachers to use the name and pronoun the student or legal guardian wants used. Additionally, the provision states that “gender-neutral” pronouns are also covered by this policy.

“Inadvertent slips in the use of names or pronouns may occur; however, staff or students who intentionally and persistently refuse to respect a student’s gender identity by using the wrong name and gender pronoun are in violation of this policy,” the policy says.

In regards to the implementation of the new guidelines, the school district released a frequently-asked questions document to give staff, students, and parents an understanding of the new policy. It recommends that staff “make efforts to eliminate gender-based practices to the extent possible.”

“Examples of practices that may be based on gender, and which should be eliminated, include grouping students for class activities, gender-based homecoming or prom courts, limitations on who can attend as ‘couples’ at school dances, and gender-based events such as father-daughter dances,” continued the board.

As reported by LifeSite, the school board suspended Bryon Tanner Cross, an elementary school teacher in the district, for his opposition to the policy when it was initially proposed in May of this year.

“My name is Tanner Cross, and I am speaking out of love for those who suffer with gender dysphoria,” stated Cross at the meeting in May. “I love all of my students, but I will never lie to them regardless of the consequences.”

Mr. Cross was promptly suspended by the district school board, but was able to get an injunction on the suspension when the 20th Judicial Circuit of Virginia on ruled in his favor on June 8. LifeSite has since reported that the school district filed to have the injunction appealed.

The policy, which also contains a provision that allows students to use the restroom or locker room “that corresponds to their consistently asserted gender identity,” was approved at the same time the Jefferson County Public School district in Colorado released a similar statement.

Meanwhile, Rebel News reported August 12 that the Jefferson County Public School district in Colorado has sent out a “Toolkit for Supporting Transgender & Gender Expansive/Nonconforming Students.”

The “toolkit” includes the statement, “If school staff believe that a gender identity or expression issue is presenting itself and creating difficulty for the child at school, approaching parents/guardians about the issue is appropriate at the elementary level.”

As for middle- and high-school-aged students (11 years old and above), the guide says, “In some cases, notifying parents/guardians carries risks for the student, such as being kicked out of the home.”

“Prior to notification of any parent/guardian regarding the transition process, school staff should work closely with the student to assess the degree, if any, the parent/guardian will be involved in the process and must consider the health, well-being, and safety of the student in transition,” continued the guide.

In both states, parents and community members have expressed concerns about the new policies and guidelines.

One parent from Jefferson County in Colorado who reached out to the Daily Wire to express worry that with the new guidelines, the school may decide not to inform parents of any changes in how their children identify if the student is older than 11.

In Virginia, Loudoun County School Board member Jeffrey Morse dissented from the policy, telling Fox 5 it “is not needed. The policy does not solve the issues that it’s purported to solve. The policy has forced our focus out of education and I will not support it.”

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