ESPN Reporter Allison Williams Chooses Pursuing Motherhood Over Risking the COVID Vaccine – RedState

ESPN reporter Allison Williams, who has worked at the network for a decade as a sideline football reporter, has decided to take this season off. Williams, with her husband currently trying for their second child, has decided on the advice of her doctor to not take any variant of the COVID vaccine at this time. This goes against the dictates of the Walt Disney Company, owners of ESPN, which recently informed its employees they are required to be vaccinated.

Williams detailed her decision on Twitter:

Two points worth detailing. One, in an era where we are repeatedly screamed at to “trust the science,” shouldn’t we trust Williams’ own doctor? Apparently, Williams’ and husband Samuel Coutts’ first child was not born without challenges:

Williams had addressed complications surrounding her firstborn at the time as she took to Instagram to reveal, “It was a difficult week with the majority spent in the NICU,” a week after her child was born.

Given this past experience, it is more than understandable that Williams and her husband are less than keen for Williams to receive a vaccine rushed, albeit understandably so, to market. Even drugs allegedly thoroughly tested have proven disastrous. Look up thalidomide sometime if the name doesn’t ring a bell.

Second, it is impossible to ignore the smarmy smug self-righteous passive-aggressive digs against Williams in many of the stories about this issue, each insisting the vaccine is übersafe for pregnant women or women trying to become pregnant so what’s this woman’s problem? We start with Yahoo Sports:

The overwhelming guidance of major health groups and organizations is that the vaccine has no impact on fertility.

USA Today (via MSN):

There is no evidence that the vaccines can cause fertility problems, according to experts. The CDC has stated that currently available vaccines are safe for those who are pregnant or may become pregnant.

NBC News (via MSN):

Doctors have been repeating for months that the Covid-19 vaccines are safe for pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding and women who would like to have babies.

“There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s page about the safety of the vaccines for women’s reproductive health.

There’s more, but you get the idea.

We know the left values murdering babies over most everything except, perhaps, proclaiming the Gospel According to St. … er, Dr. Fauci. But maybe, just maybe, Williams’ doctor knows what’s best for her? Maybe cut the woman some slack for stepping away — hopefully not permanently — from her job in order to focus on her family? Radical concepts, I know. Deplorable, even (SWIDT?). But let’s give it a shot.

And let’s pray that Williams and her husband will soon be welcoming a new addition to the family. He or she will be one richly blessed baby to have parents willing to put up with the present nonsense in order to bring him or her into the world.





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Pursuing ‘COVID Zero’ Has Turned Australia Into An Authoritarian State

In a tweet that has gone viral, someone asked what the world’s largest prison looks like from space. The answer was a map of Australia. It seems a farfetched claim at first. But seeing the draconian restrictions the Australian government has put in place due to COVID-19, the tweet makes perfect sense.

Before March 2020, Australia was often celebrated as a role model of liberal democracy, with free elections, a free press, an independent judiciary, a functioning political system, and a market-based economy. Its citizens enjoyed a wide range of political rights, including freedom of speech and assembly.

Australia also stood out for having one of the most open immigration policies globally. As a result, 30 percent of its population was born outside of Australia.

Then COVID-19 swept through the world like wildfire. To contain the infection, the Australian federal and state governments have imposed tyrannical restrictions on their citizens.

Australia’s borders have been closed since March 2020. Australian citizens inside the country are not allowed to leave. Most of those stranded abroad and foreign visitors are not permitted to come back (unless with government approval). The once free and open Australian continent has effectively become a giant prison for its 26 million residents.

Australia’s State Governments Restrict Residents

State governments in Australia have also closed state borders, preventing most Australians from traveling across states. In a recent example, the Queensland government initially prohibited a three-year-old boy from coming back to the state to reunite with his parents after he got stranded in another state, New South Wales, while on vacation with his grandparents.

The Queensland government officials only let the boy back after the case caused much public outcry and media attention. The image of the little boy and his mother running towards each other at the airport is enough to make anyone weep.

In addition to strict border closures, each state has repeatedly imposed lockdowns, sometimes because of a single new case. Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, is currently experiencing its sixth lockdown. Sydney locked down for the second time on June 26, and if the government extends the order to October 18, when it says vaccination rates might lead to loosened restrictions, residents will have been in lockdown for 114 days.

To impose and maintain the lockdowns, state governments have resorted to oppressive measures often associated with authoritarian regimes such as China and Russia. For instance, the state of New South Wales has deployed soldiers to Sydney to enforce the lockdown rules, such as a 6.2-mile travel limit.

The state of Victoria has imposed the most tyrannical COVID measures on its residents. Last year during one of the lockdowns, Victoria imposed a strict daily curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Residents were only allowed to leave their homes within a three-mile radius for a limited time to buy food, provide care, exercise, or attend approved work. Victoria police were seen using force to disperse anti-lockdown protests.

Another ridiculous example of Victoria’s overreach was when Victoria Police handcuffed and arrested a pregnant Australian woman in her pajamas in front of her children. Her alleged crime was creating a Facebook post calling for a peaceful anti-lockdown protest. She was “the fourth person to be charged with incitement in Victoria amid a crackdown on anti-lockdown protests,” according to The New York Post. Victoria police claimed the protest was a “public health risk.”

The state of South Australia rolled out an app at the end of August that allows residents required to quarantine to do so at home. The app uses geolocation and facial recognition software to ensure its residents comply with the state’s mandatory quarantine orders.

The app allows government officials to randomly contact people and ask them to provide proof of their location within 15 minutes. Those who fail to comply with the check-in will receive a follow-up phone call to explain not responding in time, and if they miss that, a “compliance officer” may visit their home.

Anyone who violates the lockdown order will face an AUD$1,000 fine. Outside of Australia, probably only Communist China has this level of digital surveillance of its citizens.

Down Under’s Overreaction

Has Australia suffered from COVID-19 particularly hard to warrant these Orwellian measures from the state? Hardly. As of September 8, 2021, Australia ranks 117 out of 220 countries in its number of cases of COVID, with 65,000 cases and 1,052 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

About 90 percent of the cases occurred around Melbourne and Sydney, while six out of eight states in Australia hardly have any cases. But most Australian officials have adopted the “COVID zero” policy, meaning they will continue to impose repressive COVID restrictions and harsh enforcement until there is no new case reported for 14 consecutive days, an unrealistic goal.

Moreover, Australia’s oppressive COVID restrictions have failed to stamp out the spread of the virus as the nation reports more daily new cases than last year while the country is in a new round of lockdowns. Australians also have paid the steep economic price for lockdowns. Australia’s economy is losing an estimated $319 million a day in domestic and international air travel.

Yet polls throughout the pandemic repeatedly show the majority of Australians support their governments’ oppressive COVID-19 policies. Australians believe these restrictions kept them safe, and losing liberty, perhaps forever, seems like a small price to pay. Recently, even Prime Minister Scott Morrison determined the country’s “COVID zero” approach is not “sustainable.” He proposed to reopen Australia after 80 percent of the country’s adults are fully vaccinated.

Still, some Australian citizens have recoiled at Morrison’s reopening plan because they are so afraid of COVID-19 that they are not ready to have their freedom back. When will Australian citizens realize “living in fear is just another way of dying before your time?”

Australia Considering a Social Credit System

Australians should also learn from their experience that even a liberal democratic government is not immune from using fear to control its citizens and intrude on civil liberties while expanding its power. In addition, there are signs the Australian government won’t give its power and control back even after the current crisis is over.

Morrison’s government is considering a social credit system to combat “online abuse.” Under the plan, police would have access to individuals’ social media accounts, which would be linked to people’s passports. Another country that uses a social credit system to dictate its citizen’s behaviors is Communist China.

Australia offers a cautionary tale of how an open and free society will quickly become dystopian because of fear. We Americans shouldn’t relax because our governments’ COVID-19 restrictions often haven’t gotten as extreme as Australia’s. Instead, we must treat what has happened to Australia as a warning.

The liberty we have taken for granted is fragile, and we will lose it rapidly if we succumb to fear. We must protect our freedom as if it is the most precious thing in our lives and be willing to fight for it vigorously. Otherwise, as President Reagan warned, “One day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”





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Why Pursuing A Secular Holy War Is Not Justified In Afghanistan

David French argues that America has both a moral duty and a legal right to continue its armed intervention in Afghanistan to protect the Afghan people from their fellow citizens, the Taliban. In an article at The Dispatch titled, “When ‘never again’ becomes ‘again and again,’” he suggests that America’s failure to continue its intervention will make it complicit in yet another holocaust as it unfolds.

Even though the immediate context of his article is the debacle of America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, the moral and legal assertions French makes have far broader implications. Both his moral and legal arguments are found wanting.

The Moral Imperative to Intervene

The gist of French’s moral argument is that “men” have not only a right to defend the lives of others, they have a duty. To prove this point, he quotes Proverbs 24:11: “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those who are being led away to slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?”

French extends this imperative for individuals and makes it also an imperative for nation-states. Thus the United States has a moral duty to militarily intervene in Afghanistan to protect the lives of Afghan citizens.

In support of his arguments, French commends Luke Glanville’s article “Christians and the Responsibility to Protect” as providing theological justification. Not surprisingly, Glanville appeals to the parable of the Good Samaritan as an exemplar of the duty to protect.

Like French, Glanville converts an individual moral imperative into a national imperative. What he misses about the parable is that the Samaritan was called good because he voluntarily gave of his own money and time at risk that he too could fall victim to robbers.

The Samaritan did not petition the ruler to force others to spend their money, use their time, or risk their lives. There is no virtue in being charitable with other people’s money, time, or lives — even if other people’s money is laundered through the Department of State or an Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

The United States has a military comprised mostly of young men and women who voluntarily have sworn to defend the Constitution, and therefore their country, even if it costs them their lives. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends,” says the Gospel of John, 15:13.

But French does not call upon himself nor his friends nor readers to rescue those being led away to slaughter (although there are lots of empty seats on planes flying into Kabul). He calls upon the government to order those young men and women who have promised to lay down their lives for their country in defense of our Constitution to lay down their lives for those in another country, millions of whom are unwilling to make that sacrifice for their own country.

The Legal Authority to Intervene

The Hague Convention of 1907 requires an occupying power “to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety.” Assuming that the United States had been an occupying power in Afghanistan, it certainly complied, insofar as possible, with the Hague Convention, and French does not argue otherwise. Instead, he leverages the current crisis to argue for the moral duty and legal right to pursue armed humanitarian intervention in countries engaged in serious violations of human rights even if they have not attacked the United States.

The legal arguments French makes for justifying armed humanitarian intervention are no sounder than his moral arguments. He claims that just war doctrine, international law, and American law justify unilateral armed intervention.

Properly understood, classical international law is cut whole cloth from just war doctrine, and classical international law provides the legal standards that define Congress’s power to declare war. Thus it is of great importance to first carefully define Christian just war doctrine.

Seven elements comprise Christian just war doctrine; three of those elements are legal requirements, and four are prudential considerations. The three legal elements are just cause, right authority, and proportionality of ends. These three elements mirror the components of a complaint in a civil lawsuit. A complaint must allege a cause of action (just cause), jurisdiction to render a judgment (right authority), and a remedy that compensates the victim (proportionality of ends).

The four prudential considerations are reasonable hope of success, last resort, right intention, and end of peace. The prudential considerations mirror those entailed in deciding whether to initiate a civil lawsuit. A litigant asks: What are my chances of winning (hope of success), can I resolve this by alternative means of dispute resolution (last resort), are my motives proper (right intent), and will my relationship with the other party be better or worse once litigation is over (end of peace)?

French’s first misstep in appealing to just war doctrine in support of the legality of armed intervention is to rely on Joseph Loconte’s article “A Christian Case for Humanitarian Intervention” in identifying the elements of just war doctrine. The elements that Loconte identifies — right intention, last resort, proportionality, and reasonable prospect of success — are mostly prudential considerations. Only proportionality is a legal element. The most critical omission is that of just cause: Has a foreign state committed a violation of international law against the United States?

Just Cause No Longer Exists

The United States has jurisdiction over only offenses committed against itself. In making an appeal to just war doctrine, French misses this essential element.

Twenty years ago, when the United States invaded Afghanistan, it had just cause. Arguably Congress had properly declared war when it issued an Authorization for Use of Military Force resolution. But the bounds of proportionality of ends have by now been exceeded, and for that reason, it is necessary for French to try to make a case that Christian just war doctrine justifies armed humanitarian intervention.

The authorities to whom French appeals in making his case are Cicero, Ambrose, Augustine, and Aquinas. Cicero, a Roman pagan, and the three Christian writers agreed upon three ends that justify the use of armed force — to effect reprisals (punish), to exact reparations (compensation), and to act in self-defense. French omits any discussion of these ends in his just war analysis.

A Secular Holy War

Cicero, however, advocated another end for which armed force could be used — to impose the ideals of Rome on other nations, which would be a blessing to them. In effect, Cicero advocated the legitimacy of engaging in a secular holy war. This is essentially what French promotes with his arguments for armed humanitarian intervention.

But humanitarian intervention, except in defense of one’s own nationals, was not a just cause under just war doctrine and classical international law. Although some early Christian writers advocated a form of holy war, by the 13th century Pope Innocent IV and the canon lawyer Hostiensis denied that war could be made on pagans simply because they were unbelievers.

Grotius and Vattel are arguably the most important of the writers who incorporated just war doctrine into their classical international law treatises. Vattel was a jurist whom the Framers and early generations of American lawyers frequently consulted when dealing with international law issues. This makes Vattel’s treatment of the use of military force in international relations of utmost importance for understanding the meaning of Congress’s power to declare war.

The constitutional text does not define that power, but international law, which is necessarily part of our law, does define that power. Congress, which has the power to declare war, must determine that there is a just cause for going to war and must authorize a remedy proportionate to the loss or injury the United States has suffered. Following the determination that the United States has just cause, Congress must give its attention to the prudential considerations and decide whether it is in the national interest to press its claims by an appeal to arms.

The Weinberger Doctrine, often acclaimed as a revival of just war doctrine, was formulated in large part to avoid another disaster like that we experienced in Vietnam. These considerations include vital national interest, continual assessment of objectives, clear intention of winning, and last resort. Although the formulation of those considerations may provide sound prudential guidance, they completely miss the legal requirements of just cause, proportionality of ends, and right authority. French’s articulation of just war theory tracks with the Weinberger Doctrine, except for his appeal to armed humanitarian intervention.

Immanentizing the Eschaton in Afghanistan

Cicero’s doctrine of secular holy war, not Christian just war doctrine, supports French’s case for humanitarian intervention. Echoes of holy war doctrine are evident in President George W. Bush’s Second Inaugural Address. Transposing the text of Leviticus 25:10, he described America’s mission in messianic terms: “America . . . proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof.” Bush promised those living “in tyranny and hopelessness” that “the United States will not ignore your oppressions or excuse your oppressors.”

How ironic that the Bush II leadership team was so willing as adults to send young Americans to export democracy by force of arms in the Middle East but had been so unwilling as young men to risk their lives in saving Vietnam.

The Bush Doctrine bears a marked resemblance to Loconte’s description of American exceptionalism. American exceptionalism is often associated with John Winthrop’s allusion to Matthew 5:14 that we should be “A City Upon a Hill.” By that, Winthrop meant that we should serve as a model for other nations to follow.

Loconte transforms that notion of American exceptionalism into a justification for using armed force to promote democracy and human rights around the globe. Loconte has exchanged Winthrop’s “City Upon a Hill” for Cicero’s Rome, the “Harlot that sits upon seven hills.” (Revelation 17:9.)

The Afghans Need Spiritual Liberation First

A view of human nature that is fundamentally non-Christian underlies American foreign policy, whether pursued by military force or more “charitable” forms of assistance. It assumes that all people yearn to be free and that by removing their oppressors, they indeed breathe and conduct themselves the way we think free men ought to behave.

This flawed view is visible in Bush’s Second Inaugural Address. The fruit of that view is manifest in Iraq and Afghanistan. Twenty years after the United States removed the oppressor in Afghanistan, the oppressor is back in power. The people of Afghanistan live under a more fundamental bondage than the Taliban. It is the bondage of sin, a bondage all the military force in the world is powerless to change. The only force that will free the Afghan people is spiritual, not military.

French identifies the United Nations as playing an important role in protecting human rights in the post-World War II era. Again citing Loconte, French argues that the U.N. uses the same criteria for justifying the use of force as did Augustine. Arguably, the Security Council does have the authority to resort to armed humanitarian intervention to protect human rights.

In fact, the Reagan Doctrine was premised on the belief that the United Nations has a legal duty to protect people from abuses committed by their own governments. Jeane Kirkpatrick, who formulated the doctrine, argued that the Security Council has a duty to protect human rights, and when it fails to do so, that power passes to the individual member states. Armed humanitarian intervention — whether invoked by Cicero, the U.N., Presidents Bush and Reagan, neocons, or well-meaning Christians motivated by a misdirected humanitarian impulse — is a version of secular holy war nonetheless.

The U.N. Violates the U.S. Constitution

There is another even more fundamental legal problem with the United Nations, one that is almost universally missed. The U.N. was formed in violation of a foundational principle of American constitutionalism: only a people can institute a government. In violation of this principle, President Truman, with the consent of the Senate, delegated part of a governmental power—the power to declare and make war—to an international organization, without obtaining the consent of the people.

The United Nations’ vision for a world order that transcends nation-states tracks Cicero’s vision of a world order without borders. This age-old vision that dates from the Tower of Babel is directly opposed to a world order based on a multiplicity of nation-states that God has established as seen in Deuteronomy 32:8 and Acts 17:26-27. He imposed a multistate system as a check on the depravity of human nature, but also that men might seek Christ as the only promise for peace.

The Roman Empire was the culmination of a succession of pagan empires with aspirations of universal jurisdiction — Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome, as seen in Daniel 2 and 8. Post-Christian nations place their hope in the United Nations while the Taliban places its hope in a worldwide caliphate, each convinced, as was Rome, that their value system is a blessing for all mankind.

Hope of the Whole Earth

Rome, the city built on seven hills, has been replaced by another city, Zion, which is the city upon a hill:

In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains . . . and all nations will stream to it. . . . ‘He will teach us his ways so that we may walk in his paths.’ The law will go out from Zion.

As we anticipate and work toward that day, governments and militaries are still necessary to wield the sword of justice in restraining evil. But it is the work of churches and missionaries who are entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation and who wield the sword of the Spirit that alone is able to effect positive change in the lives of individuals and nations, for “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty.”





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Biden Nominee Claims Iran Not Pursuing Nuclear Weapons, Contrary to Evidence

Joe Biden’s pick to counter nuclear weapons proliferation claimed Iran does not intend to develop nuclear weapons, countering the plans of the Islamic Republic’s radical clerical leaders and the latest intelligence from the government of Israel.

Biden last week nominated Corey Hinderstein for assistant secretary for defense nuclear proliferation at the Department of Energy, a vital position in curbing the spread of nuclear weapons to hostile countries. Hinderstein has asserted that the country is not actively pursuing nuclear weapons, even as evidence mounts to the contrary.

Hinderstein said all steps involved in Iran’s nuclear development including enriching uranium levels and building up centrifuge facilities are “reversible” in an April interview, though Israeli intelligence warns Iran is just two years away from the ability to build a nuclear weapon. Hinderstein offered a similar claim in January 2020, well after the International Atomic Energy Agency found Iranian scientists engaging in covert nuclear work. “I see no indication that Iran is rushing toward a nuclear weapon,” Hinderstein, the vice president of Nuclear Threat Initiative, told CNBC News in July 2019.

Republicans in the Senate are already signaling stiff opposition to the nomination. Without their support, Hinderstein would need the support of every Democrat in the upper chamber. Hinderstein’s nomination reflects the broader tone of the Biden administration’s efforts to appease Iran as it engages in talks to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, which President Trump left in 2018. Earlier this year, Republicans waged an extended campaign to block Biden Pentagon nominee Colin Kahl due to his deferential views on engaging Tehran and support for a new Iran deal. Kahl was approved by just four votes after months of delays.

The Biden nominee’s comments conflict with the latest information regarding the Iranian nuclear program. Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz told reporters on Wednesday that Iran is only 10 weeks away from acquiring all of the military-grade materials it needs to build a nuclear weapon and called for Israel to “take military action” against Iran for its aggressive behavior. Iran itself insists that it can enrich uranium to 90 percent purity, the threshold needed to build nuclear weapons.

Iranian intelligence minister Mahmoud Alavi warned in February that if the White House corners Iran, it will not be responsible for any consequences, a threat that experts said suggested Iran could pursue nuclear weapons.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) told the Free Beacon Hinderstein’s nomination is “reckless” and reveals broader problems about President Biden’s dealings with the Ayatollah.

“The Biden administration has spent the last six months appeasing and dismantling pressure against the Iranian regime,” Cruz said. “As a result the Ayatollah has declared open season on Americans and our allies, and is rushing toward a nuclear breakout. It’s both reckless and unsurprising the administration would nominate someone who wants to look the other way at Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”

Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee, which must advance Hinderstein’s nomination prior to a full Senate vote, have expressed concerns about her “naiveté” towards Iran.

“Ms. Hinderstein’s comments certainly show a naiveté about Iran’s intentions,” Senator Joni Ernst (R., Iowa) told the Free Beacon. “Iran has shown every inclination to disrupt regional security and kill Americans and American allies, so to put Ms. Hinderstein in a position of authority that would bear on non-proliferation is a dangerous idea.”

“I am concerned with Ms. Hinderstein’s recent statements on the Iran nuclear deal and the implications that could have for the national security of the U.S. and allies like Israel with her leading an agency in charge of maintaining our nuclear stockpile,” Sen. Steve Daines (R., Mont.) said. “I will be thoroughly reviewing her statements and positions as the Senate considers her nomination.”

Hinderstein and the Department of Energy did not return requests for comment. A State Department spokesman told the Free Beacon that the Biden administration is intent on reaching an agreement with Tehran.

Victoria Coates, a senior fellow at the Middle East-focused think tank Center for Security Policy, said Iran is clearly in pursuit of a nuclear weapon and statements to the contrary are “deeply dangerous” and “willfully blind.”

“The Iranian regime is clearly demonstrating through their actions that they are still pursuing the nuclear ambitions that were documented in the AMAD archive,” Coates said, referring to documents obtained by Israeli intelligence that lays out Iranian plans for a nuclear weapons program.

Bryan Leib, the executive director of Iranian Americans for Liberty, urged the Senate to reject the nomination.”It was incredibly reckless for Corey Hinderstein to state in 2019 that she didn’t see any indication that Iran is rushing towards a nuclear weapon,” Leib said. “I urge the Senate to reject the nomination of Hinderstein because anyone who can’t admit that Iran is a bad actor with malign goals has no business serving in our government.”





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Hillsdale College Releases 1776 Curriculum In Hopes Of Pursuing Truth

Hillsdale College is a small institution with lofty values: “Goodness, Truth, and Beauty.” Now, the college is expanding its pursuit of the truth to grade schools with an American history curriculum for grades K-12, “offered for free to all who wish to learn.”

“This curriculum is a work of education,” Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn said. “It seeks to teach the truth of American history and to cultivate in students the knowledge and virtue necessary to live good lives as citizens.”

The curriculum is a response to the now de-commissioned 1776 Commission, which called for an honest restoration of American history. Arnn chaired the commission and Matthew Spalding, vice president of Hillsdale’s Van Andel Graduate School of Government in Washington, D.C., served as its executive director.

Created to secure and celebrate founding principles found in the Declaration of Independence, the 1776 Commission was de-funded on President Joe Biden’s first day in office for a small note in its appendix that deemed identity politics “fundamentally incompatible with the principle of equality enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.”

Combatting critical race theory, the popularized anti-American and racist curriculum that has permeated institutions across the country, is not the purpose of Hillsdale’s latest curriculum. The 20-unit curriculum aims to strengthen civic understanding through detailed lesson plans with initial units including American history, middle school Civics courses, and high school Government and Politics courses.

Encouraging true American education is not new for Hillsdale. For decades, one of Hillsdale’s outreach programs the Barney Charter School Initiative (BCSI) has partnered with the college to advance good education. The initiative has resulted in 24 schools in 11 states, all employing Hillsdale’s well-developed K-12 liberal arts curriculum.

Kathleen O’Toole, assistant provost for K-12 education of the BCSI, noted many truths that grounded the curriculum. A few are listed below:

  • That truth is objective, according to the first law of logic, the law of contradiction: that something cannot both be and not be at the same time in the same way. The first object of the human mind and the first end of education is this objective truth about the world.
  • That the good is that at which all actions however misguided or distorted, aim. The good shows us how we ought to act, which we call right moral conduct.
  • That individuals should be judged based on their specific actions tending toward a certain character instead of their label, group identity, sex, religion, or skin color.
  • That although the United States of America is by no means perfect, it is unprecedented in the annals of human history for the extraordinary degrees of freedom, peace, and prosperity available to its people and to those who immigrate to her shores.

That for these reasons, the list concludes, America is an exceptionally good country.

“Our curriculum was created by teachers and professors — not activists, not journalists, not bureaucrats,” O’Toole said. “It comes from years of studying America, its history, and its founding principles, not some slap-dash journalistic scheme to achieve a partisan political end through students. It is truly American education.”

Amidst CRT curriculum, harrowing education reforms, and a lack of respect for teaching American history, Hillsdale is a bright beacon of hope. Its released curriculum, however, is not in competition with the 1619 project, a journalist-led initiative to redefine history. Equating Hillsdale’s curriculum and the 1619 curriculum, or even grouping them together, implies two alternative histories, Spalding said.

“The 1619 project has nothing to do with history. It’s a construct by which people can fight current political battles,” Spalding said. “It does what I like to call history backwards — it uses history as a foil to make current arguments.”

The curriculum is available to all and is free to access. It includes Hillsdale-vetted books, online courses, lesson plans, and most importantly — facts.

“What the Hillsdale curriculum does is this old-fashioned thing about looking at the facts of history and trying to teach them,” Spalding said. “It is an attempt, a very good attempt, to put a curriculum together that actually teaches American history. We wanted to make the positive argument for what a good curriculum should look like.”

The released Civics curriculum is part of a larger curriculum, one that has been in the works for years, Spalding said. Though Hillsdale has been working on a K-12 curriculum for decades, the administration wanted to present the public with a Civics curriculum now — while it’s needed more than ever.

“Politics is important,” Arnn wrote in a statement. “Great harm is done by bad laws, and great good by good laws. We are citizens. We have an obligation to our fellow citizens and an interest for ourselves to make the laws as good as they can be.”

Recommended primary sources in the curriculum include Abraham Lincoln, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and many more influential figures who helped shape America into the “extraordinary” country it now is. The curriculum provides a framework, but structurally does not instruct a teacher exactly what he needs to teach or tell students.

“To dictate such content robs teachers of the joy of learning, robs students of the vibrancy of being taught by teachers who have genuinely studied their content, and disrespects the intellect and capacities of teachers to learn and teach according to their own pursuits of truth,” the curriculum reads. “What this curriculum offers instead are recommended resources and approaches that teachers may learn from but also engage with and question as they seek what is true.”

As more parents criticize the indoctrination of children into “antiracist” and historically inaccurate teachings, Hillsdale isn’t just providing an alternative — it’s providing the truth.

Hillsdale’s mission statement thanks God “‘for the inestimable blessings’ resulting from civil and religious liberty and ‘believes that the diffusion of learning is essential to the perpetuity of these blessings.’” The institution’s dedication to its Western legacy has inspired thousands of students as they battle to find the truth in an unreliable world. Now, more students will have that chance.

“This curriculum insists and does its utmost to abide by an honest commitment to the truth as it is, not as what some might want it to be. Rather than predetermining what we hope to find — and cherry-picking, obscuring, or even fabricating ‘facts’ to fit our preconceived notions — this curriculum begins with searching for what actually happened and the contemporaneously stated reasons for why it happened,” the document read.

[Haley Strack is a student at Hillsdale College.]





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White House will continue pursuing Iran deal despite Iranian plot to kidnap US journalist in NYC

The Biden White House said Wednesday that it will continue pursuing a new nuclear deal with the Iranian regime, even after it emerged the United States had disrupted a plot by Iranian intelligence officials to kidnap an Iranian-born American citizen on U.S. soil.

The Justice Department unsealed court documents alleging that an Iranian intelligence network plotted to kidnap Masih Alinejad, an author and journalist highly critical of the Tehran regime, and planned to rendition her back to Tehran. The DOJ’s indictment charged four Iranian nationals with conspiracy to kidnap the Brooklyn-based human rights activist, contending the Iranians researched methods to transport her out of the U.S. and into Iran, including researching military-style speedboats to take her out of New York City and to Venezuela, and then on to Iran for imprisonment.

Alinejad tweeted Tuesday night: “I am grateful to FBI for foiling the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry’s plot to kidnap me … Spare a thought for many other Iranian dissidents kidnapped and executed by this regime.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the Biden administration’s reaction to the Iranian plot on Wednesday.

“First off, this is a law enforcement matter, of course, hence the announcement came out of there, and we’re not going to weigh in on the specific allegations in the indictment,” Psaki said. “Overall though, we categorically condemn [the] dangerous and despicable reported plot to kidnap a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil. We will forcefully defend U.S. citizens and U.S. interests. That includes law enforcement actions like the one announced yesterday, as well as the actions the president has taken to defend U.S. forces in the region from Iranian-backed nuclear groups. It also includes our diplomatic effort to constrain Iran’s nuclear program — one of our most important and urgent actions. But its actions to attempt to silence the voices of those peacefully working to address the situation both inside of Iran and outside of Iran that are appalling — we’ll continue to speak out against that, and obviously, law enforcement authorities will take appropriate steps.”

When a reporter asked what impact the Iranian kidnapping plan would have on the U.S.’s nuclear negotiations with Iran, Psaki said the Biden administration would continue pursuing a deal.

IRAN PLOTTED TO KIDNAP NYC JOURNALIST

“Well, it still remains — we have never assessed Iran to be a good actor in the world, not just by this plot to kidnap a U.S. person who is residing in the U.S., but their activities in the region, which we have had great concern about and the president has taken retaliatory actions for. But at the same time, we still see it in U.S. interests and in our national interests to engage an ongoing discussion so that we can have greater visibility to Iran’s path to acquire a nuclear weapon. So we will continue to pursue those talks, pursue the diplomatic path forward — we think it is in our interests and continues to be constructive.”

Rep. Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican and the ranking member on House Foreign Affairs, said Tuesday night that the Iranian plot “serves as another reminder that the Biden Administration bending over backwards to re-enter the JCPOA is likely sacrificing our leverage to compel Iran to cease its other malign activities.” He added: “This is a regime that holds American hostages and is actively trying to kidnap an American from the streets of New York. President Biden should not enter into any deals with Iran without an end to these assaults on our citizens.”

An unnamed “U.S. official” told Politico, “Yes, we intend to continue our effort to limit Iran’s nuclear program through a return to mutual compliance with the [deal] while also actively protecting American citizens and American interests on nonnuclear issues.”

The Iran deal was reached between the “P5+1” (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.), the European Union, and Iran in 2015. Former President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out in May 2018, saying: “In theory, the so-called ‘Iran deal’ was supposed to protect the United States and our allies from the lunacy of an Iranian nuclear bomb … In fact, the deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium and, over time, reach the brink of a nuclear breakout.”

Iran had received an influx of billions in cash as a result of the Iran nuclear deal, including a jet carrying $400 million in euros and Swiss francs, another $1.3 billion in cash, the release of up to $150 billion in frozen Iranian assets, and the lifting of international sanctions. After leaving the deal, the Trump administration pursued a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, including a host of new sanctions.

“Today marks the anniversary of the failed Iran nuclear deal. We should have never entered that deal to begin with, which is exactly why our Administration left it,” former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted Wednesday. “Now, Joe Biden is negotiating the same type of deal. This once again puts America at risk.”

Alinejad herself wrote in March, “In the rush to undo the previous administration’s record, the signs are there that Team Biden is about to make the grievous mistake of pursuing an agreement with the Islamic Republic without paying any heed to human rights … The nuclear issue and the economic sanctions are the only leverage Washington has over the Islamic Republic.” Alinejad, who fled Iran in 2009, settled in New York in 2014, and led social media campaigns criticizing the Iranian regime and its treatment of women, said earlier this year that “once sanctions are lifted, Tehran will have no desire to open up a dialogue on other issues, least of all on human rights.”

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“Every person in the United States must be free from harassment, threats, and physical harm by foreign powers,” Mark Lesko, the acting assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s national security division, said on Tuesday. “Through this indictment, we bring to light one such pernicious plot to harm an American citizen who was exercising their First Amendment rights, and we commit ourselves to bring the defendants to justice.”

A State Department statement on Tuesday night said that the Biden administration “will continue to call out and stand up to Iran’s human rights abuses, and will support others who do so both here and in Iran,” but it did not directly mention the Iranian kidnapping plot against Alinejad.

The U.S.-Iran talks in Vienna seem to have hit a wall recently, and U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley told CNN on Wednesday that ”we will go back whenever Iran is ready to go back.”





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Experts worry pursuing lab-leak theory may upset U.S.-China relations

A chorus of public health experts and commentators are warning the U.S. to tread carefully in pursuing the COVID-19 lab-leak theory, lest an aggressive investigation worsen already strained U.S.-China relations. 

Largely ignored and disparaged by the press and the scientific community over the last 18 months, the lab-leak theory has received an explosion of interest starting several weeks after Joe Biden’s inauguration in January. A growing number of scientists, writers and government officials have ramped up pressure to mount a thorough international investigation to determine whether or not the SARS-Cov-2 virus leaked from a Chinese coronavirus lab located in Wuhan just a few miles from the first reported outbreak of the virus. 

Adding to the theory’s credibility, the Biden administration has itself ordered the U.S. Intelligence Community to investigate the possibility of the lab leak. Yet multiple experts and media figures are cautioning against pursuing the theory too energetically, fearing that such pursuits could further injure the already-weakened relationship between the United States and China. 

In a Washington Post op-ed earlier this month, Georgetown University virologist Angela Rasmussen and University of Utah post-doctoral virology lab affiliate Stephen Goldstein argued that the natural theory of the virus was the most credible explanation for its origin. While allowing that doctors should continue to look into the possibility of a lab leak, the scientists said the stronger case rests on looking for animals that may have harbored the virus before the pandemic.

“Getting better answers will take rigorous scientific work — and cooperation from China,” they wrote. “As frustrating as obfuscation by the Chinese government is, the answers are there. If we make accusations and demands that aren’t firmly grounded in evidence, we run the real risk of having no origins investigations at all.”

Rasmussen and Goldstein did not respond to requests for comment on the issue.

In the science journal Nature, meanwhile, writer Amy Maxmen reported on claims that “the volatility of the debate could thwart efforts to study the virus’s origins.”

Among the experts making that argument is David Fidler, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations. He told Maxmen that the U.S. is continuing “to poke China in the eye on this issue of an investigation,” something that’s distracting from the need to “get ready for the next pandemic.”

Fidler told Just the News that the “eyeball-to-eyeball politics of the U.S.-China geopolitical rivalry” are obstructing efforts to get the pandemic fully under control. 

“What we’ve got now is a zero-sum contest between the U.S. Intelligence Community and the Chinese Communist Party,” he said. 

“In order to produce what’s needed from a scientific and epidemiology point of view, you can’t have an issue of the origins of an outbreak politicized this way,” he continued. He acknowledged that China was “the first culprit” in politicizing the pandemic, by attempting to cover up the earliest phase of the outbreak in that country in order to protect its international reputation.

Both countries need to “step up to the plate and begin to build some bilateral communications in order to look ahead,” he concluded.

Jennifer Huang Bouey, a researcher with Rand Corp., told Kaiser Health News that the international community should “reduce the political tension and let the scientists do the work, not the politicians.”

Denis Simon, an expert in China business and technology strategy at Duke University, told the same news service that there could be “hell to pay” if investigators make confident pronouncements that the virus originated in the Chinese lab.

“We haven’t figured out the consequences to the answer,” he said. “I’m very concerned about our ability to manage the emotions loosed if that hypothesis were to be accepted.”

Michael Hiltzik, a columnist with the L.A. Times who has called the lab-leak theory “fact-free” and who this week underscored the fractured expert consensus on the possibility, argued to Just the News that “we very much need Chinese cooperation to get to the bottom of this” and that a strong U.S. stance on the matter could endanger that cooperation. 

Hiltzik said that “marching into a country known for its sensitivity to its geo-political reputation” with a goal to “find a basis to point a finger at them” will likely hamstring efforts to address the larger questions of the pandemic. 

As Hiltzik and others have noted, the explosion of interest in the lab-leak theory has not been accompanied by an explosion in new evidence. Most of the attention focused on the theory in recent weeks and months has been from politicians and scientists calling for further investigations into the lab. 

Much criticism has been leveled at the World Health Organization’s international team investigation into the origins of COVID-19, which consisted of a relatively brief trip to China that included what was apparently just one day’s worth of investigations at the Wuhan Institute of Virology talking with lab scientists about their undertakings there. 

Fidler said the possibility of a lab leak “has always been plausible.”

“We have known for a very long time that laboratory leaks can be a problem and, depending on the pathogen, can seed a serious outbreak, an epidemic or a pandemic,” he said. “It’s never, from a scientific point of view, been dismissed as impossible.”

But the two countries “have some functional things that we have to do,” he argued, “something that would break this toxic spiral down into this zero-sum contest that’s preventing the two big powers in the world from getting past this particular issue to focus on future worry.”



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Pelosi Tells Democrats to Keep Pursuing HR1 Sweeping Election Reform Bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told Democrats that they must find a way to have H.R. 1/S. 1 become law “in order to respect the sanctity of the vote.”

The speaker sent a letter to House Democrats on Tuesday encouraging them to find a way to help pass the H.R. 1/S, For the People Act in the Senate. The bill seeks to have the federal government dictate how elections are run in the United States, taking much of the authority away from individual states.

Pelosi said the bill must pass in order to stop voter suppression, take special interest money out of politics, stop gerrymandering, and “amplify the voices of the grassroots.”

H.R. 1 passed in both the current House and the previous House, along party lines in the Democrat-controlled chamber, with Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) voting against the bill.

With a tied Senate, to pass the bill with a simple majority, Democrats need all 50 of their senators to vote in favor of For the People Act, but moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has come out against the 791-page bill (pdf). He has also continually called for bipartisanship and working with the GOP to pass any major legislation.

Manchin recently said he will vote against S.1, For the People Act when it comes up for a vote, which Democrats are saying they will force through via the reconciliation process, which requires a simple majority.

Ranking Member Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) speaks during a hearing to examine the nomination of Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to be Secretary of Energy, on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 27, 2021. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

“I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act,” he wrote in home-state newspaper The Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Pelosi called GOP state efforts to secure election in their states by requiring ID, periodically cleaning up voter registration lists, and limiting mail-in ballots as an assault.

“We are at an urgent moment because of the Republican assault on our Democracy,” said Pelosi.

After the 2020 presidential elections, many state legislatures began to introduce bills that would address the lack of integrity in their respective voting systems and a return to pre-pandemic rules. Republicans saw and wanted many irregularities with mail-in ballots and voting machines addressed while Democrats dismissed any evidence of wrongdoing.

Georgia passed a series of election reforms that have been blasted by Democrats and used as an example Republican-led effort to “suppress” votes and make voting more difficult, while Republicans see them as bringing integrity to the system so, only legal votes are counted.

Senate Democrats are highlighting Georgia’s election changes as they build their case for a broad overhaul of U.S. election law. At an April Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Democrats attacked election reform efforts like Georgia’s, calling them “Jim Crow 2021.”

Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said that laws like Georgia’s “remind us how much work remains to protect this precious, almost sacred right.”

“The law that’s received the most attention in recent weeks is the one that Georgia’s governor signed last month. It’ll make it harder for Georgians to vote early or by absentee ballot, and make it a crime, a crime to offer water to voters waiting in line,” said Durbin.

Epoch Times Photo
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) speaks at a Senate hearing in Washington on April 11, 2019. (Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

According to fact checks, the Georgia voting law does not make it harder to vote early and does not make it a crime to offer water to those standing in line. It prevents political groups from soliciting votes by offer food or water.

Ranking Member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), said the reference to Jim Crow-era laws was “offensive” and that Democrats were cheapening “the very real challenges and unfairness that minorities endured in the Jim Crow South at the hands of Southern Democrats.”

Grassley said that at a time when voters on both sides of the aisle have questions about the integrity of our elections, “polarizing rhetoric that distorts history is not helpful.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), said the Senate will vote on For the Peoples Act, S.1 at the end of June, to combat the “voter suppression happening in the states across the country in service of President Trump’s Big Lie.”

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), one of the lead sponsors of the bill said in a statement Sunday that he is disappointed in Machin’s decision but refuses to “do nothing” about the state’s GOP election law changes.

“As I have told all my colleagues many times, I am open to any conversation about the provisions of this bill, and will not give up on American democracy.”





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‘No Interest In Pursuing China’: Rep. Mike Turner Predicts Biden Will Dismiss Investigation Into COVID-19 Origins

Republican Ohio Rep. Mike Turner said Sunday that he believes President Joe Biden will dismiss any investigation that blames the coronavirus on the Wuhan lab because he “has no interest in pursuing China.”

“He’s already blown it off in a number of ways to indicate that it’s not important. I mean, remember, he was uninterested in the origins of the virus, but wanted to give the vaccine of Pfizer and Moderna to China,” Turner told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”

WATCH:

“This is clearly an administration that has no interest in pursuing China,” he said. (RELATED: This Administration Wants To Be Xi Jinping’s Friend: Newt Gingrich Doubts Biden Will Share Intelligence On COVID-19 Origin)

Turner said what China has been doing is “manipulating viruses for biological weapons that could have grave impact worldwide and we certainly are seeing the effects of this where unbelievable deaths have occurred and incredible impacts to the economy.”

He said he believes that “everything points to the Wuhan lab. We need to get to the bottom of it and, certainly, the intelligence community needs to be held accountable for bringing forth the information to that we can have a very public debate on holding China accountable.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Republicans Demand Answers From Secretary Of State Over Reports Biden Called Off Investigation Into COVID-19 Origins)

Security personnel stand guard outside the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan as members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of the COVID-19 coronavirus make a visit to the institute in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province on February 3, 2021. (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

The U.S. intelligence community reportedly has a trove of information on the origin of the virus that may link it to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Biden is committed to a 90-day investigation that will attempt to determine the origin of the pandemic.

House Republicans have insisted that there is “significant circumstantial evidence” that the virus came from the Wuhan lab.

 



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America First Legal Pursuing Lawsuit Against Critical Race Theory: Stephen Miller

America First Legal (AFL) is seeking to pursue a lawsuit to stop critical race theory (CRT) training, according to Stephen Miller, a former adviser to then-President Donald Trump.

“We’re also looking for plaintiffs—if we can find them—who are willing to stand up and file suit on critical race theory,” he said during an interview with Fox News.

Miller encouraged federal workers who have been compelled to participate in CRT training to join the effort.

“Go to our website and tell us what happened to you,” he said.

The White House and the Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to requests by The Epoch Times for comment.

President Joe Biden signs a series of executive orders at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office just hours after his inauguration in Washington on Jan. 20, 2021. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Critical race theory—which espouses the idea that race is not natural, but socially constructed to oppress and exploit people of color—is an offshoot of the Karl Marx-influenced critical theory social philosophy that was promoted by the Frankfurt School of thought.

Trump signed an executive order banning CRT training in federal agencies in September 2020 with the White House describing it as “anti-American propaganda.”

However, this socialist ideology has been embraced by President Joe Biden and his administration. He reversed Trump’s September 2020 executive order right after he came into the White House and pushed CRT training on all fronts.

The Biden administration’s efforts triggered widespread pushback from federal and state Republican lawmakers, conservatives and related organizations, and parents.

In an April 27 letter, Reps. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) and Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) warned Education Secretary Miguel Cardona about pushing CRT in the education system.

“Simply put, the teachings of Critical Race Theory want to reject the principles established in our Constitution and our individual God-given rights, and instead divide individuals into competing racial identity groups while doing little to help minority students advance,” they wrote in the letter.

AFL is a legal group founded by Trump-era officials to promote the America First agenda and push back against leftist radical movements in the United States.

Several high-profile officials from the Trump administration including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, and former Director of the Office of Management and Budget Russ Vought joined the AFL board of directors along with Miller.

AFL filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration and joined two other lawsuits within one month of its establishment.

For decades, left-leaning lawyer organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have been pushing liberal agendas through legal fights in various courts. The ACLU reportedly raised just under $120 million in online donations and its members increased to 1.84 million from 400,000 within a year and a half after Trump won the 2016 presidential election.

However, legal efforts from the conservative side to push back the left-leaning agenda are relatively small and not at the same level.

Miller urged Republicans and conservatives to fight back instead of just focusing on “raising their families, living their lives, pursuing their dreams.”

“We have to save our country and fight back, just like they [the hardcore leftists] do. Instead of fighting to destroy, we will fight to rescue,” he said.



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