YouTube Shooter ID’d as Iranian Azeri Vegan Activist Nasim Aghdam
“The shooter who took her own life after wounding four YouTube employees at the video hosting website’s San Bruno, California, offices on Tuesday has been identified as Nasim Aghdam in multiple reports, after being described as a “white woman in a headscarf” earlier in the day.
ABC News quotes law enforcement sources with the identification:
JUST IN: Two law enforcement sources say authorities have preliminarily identified the YouTube shooter as Nasim Aghdam, a woman with previous addresses in the Southern California cities of Riverside and San Diego. https://t.co/vmWDgKsXJc
Aghdam, said to reside in Southern California, had a long history of animal rights activism, and was quoted by the Los Angeles Times at a protest of the U.S. Marine Corps’ use of pigs to demonstrate battlefield wounds in 2009. She ran a series of very similar websites espousing vegan views.
In one video post on video hosting service Dailymotion, she claims to be from Iran in an introduction to a mock appearance on America’s Got Talent.
“There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!” she declared on one of her websites, among one of many statements criticizing the company across her other websites and extensive social media presence, sometimes using the name Nasime Sabz Yeşil Nasim.
In a February Facebook post, for instance, she decried YouTube’s “hidden policy” of “discrimination” and “suppression of truth.”
Her websites contain statements like, “Youtube filtered my channels to keep them from getting views!” and images complaining about her revenue from her YouTube videos, implying YouTube had been diminishing her earnings:
Aghdam also appears to have maintained at least two Instagram accounts, frequently captioning her posts in her — presumably native — Persian language. She makes frequent reference to Iran and the Azeri ethnic group that resides primarily in Iran and neighboring Azerbaijan.”
The chaos and fear that have shaken America gripped one of Silicon Valley’s iconic companies
|| San Jose Mercury News
“SAN BRUNO — YouTube, where millions turn to watch news of the world unfold, became the subject of its own trending video feed Tuesday after its headquarters turned into a shooting ground for a woman who critically wounded an employee and injured two others in a courtyard before killing herself.
The shooter — a YouTuber who had recently ranted at the company for filtering her videos — called out “come at me or come and get me!” said senior software engineer Zach Vorhies, one of hundreds of employees who fled the building after witnesses described the sound of more than a dozen gunshots echoing through the building. Vorhies froze for a moment, he said, as he passed a man lying on his back with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to his torso.
And for the next hour, the chaos and terror of two words that have shaken America gripped one of Silicon Valley’s iconic companies: “Active shooter at YouTube HQ,” one employee tweeted. Immediately, panic spread throughout the tech campus and across social media, as YouTube employees barricaded themselves in offices and conferences rooms while others fled in a stampede that one employee described as sounding like the rumble of an earthquake.
“Heard shots and saw people running while at my desk,” employee Vadim Lavrusik tweeted at 12:57 p.m. “Now barricaded inside a room with coworkers.”
“I looked down and saw blood drips on the floor and stairs,” project manager Todd Sherman tweeted at 1:10 p.m. “Peeked around for threats and then we headed downstairs and out the front.”
On Tuesday night, a law enforcement source identified the shooter as Nasim Aghdam of the Southern California town of Menifee.
A law-enforcement source told the Bay Area News Group late Tuesday afternoon that the shooting may have been fueled by a domestic dispute and that the suspect was targeting a boyfriend, not others who were injured. But in an interview Tuesday night, her father Ismail Aghdam told this news organization his daughter was a vegan activist who was angry with YouTube because the company stopped paying for her content.
The source said the woman had no criminal history in San Mateo County. It’s not yet clear how she was able to pass through stringent lobby security.
In front of a phalanx of news media, San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini described how three officers were met with a multitude of fleeing employees at the Cherry Avenue campus when they arrived within two minutes of the 12:46 p.m. emergency call.
“We have one subject who is deceased inside the building with a self-inflicted wound at this time, (who) we believe to be the shooter,” Barberini said within hours of the shooting.
The woman used a handgun, the chief said, but he would not confirm a motive.
He praised YouTube employees, some of whom stopped to care for a shooting victim at the front of the building while officers raced past to find to search for the shooter just before 1 p.m.”
Intriguing Links Emerge In GOP Led Dossier Investigation
|| Daily Caller
“The Republican-led investigation into the infamous anti-Trump dossier has recently revealed several intriguing links between Christopher Steele, lawyers, lobbyists, Democratic politicians, a former State Department official, and a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin.
Most of the revelations come thanks to Sen. Chuck Grassley. The Iowa Republican released a letter in January that cited the names of several political operatives and lawyers who had not previously been linked to the dossier Steele wrote while on the payroll of the Clinton campaign and DNC.
And Thursday, a batch of text messages leaked to Fox News revealed that Steele used a back channel to communicate with Democratic Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Oleg Deripaska, a Russian aluminum magnate who is allied with Putin, is party to several of the connections. The billionaire has also worked closely in the past with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
The Steele connections are being investigated by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Grassley chairs, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The implications of the contacts remain to be seen, but they are worth watching as the investigation into the dossier goes on.
Lobbyist back channel between Warner and Steele
Adam Waldman, a Washington, D.C., lobbyist who works for Deripaska, emerged on the scene out of nowhere last week when Fox News published a batch of text messages he exchanged in 2017 with Warner.
Waldman first approached Warner in March 2017 seeking to discuss a possible extradition deal for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
Waldman, who owns Endeavor Law Firm, also represented that he had ties to Steele as well as to Deripaska.
“Chris Steele asked me to call you,” Waldman wrote to Warner on March 17, 2017.
Warner attempted to set up a phone call with Steele and suggested that he wanted to keep the matter a secret from other members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. But the negotiations appeared to end in May because Waldman said that Steele was reluctant to meet without a letter signed both by Warner and North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“Seems very weird that he won’t do a call. What wud a letter do to deal with his concerns,” Warner wrote in late April.
Waldman sent several text messages over the following weeks, but Warner did not reply.
Deripaska hired Waldman in 2009 to help him with a struggle over his visa, which the State Department revoked in 2006 because of alleged ties to Russian mobsters.
Waldman registered as a foreign agent in 2010 after signing on to work for Lavrov to help with the Deripaska visa problem. That relationship ended in May.
In his texts, Waldman suggested to Warner that he was in touch with the Justice Department regarding Deripaska.
“Deripaska is in London Monday-Thursday and I might be able to arrange a mtg w him too if you wish. I discussed it with him today and he seemed interested,” Waldman wrote.
He also suggested making Deripaska available for an interview with the Senate Intelligence Committee. Those talks later broke down because the committee declined to give Deripaska immunity.
Waldman has not responded to numerous requests for comment about his relationship to Steele.
A second Steele-Warner back channel?
One name recently linked to the dossier is Daniel Jones, a former investigator for Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein when she chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Jones was named in the January letter that Grassley sent to Clinton campaign and DNC officials seeking communications with a list of people linked to the dossier. Jones, who worked for Feinstein until Dec. 2015, also appears to have links to Steele as well as to Warner.
In his text messages with Warner, Waldman wrote that “[Steele] said he will also speak w Dan Jones whom he says is talking to you.”
“I pointed out there is no privilege in that discussion although Dan is a good and very trustworthy guy,” he added later.
“I encouraged him to engage with you for the sake of the truth and of vindication of the dossier,” added Waldman.
“[Steele] said Dan Jones is coming to see you,” Waldman wrote later. “I suggest you explain to Dan why a call is the necessary first step rather than a letter from your perspective.”
Jones, who operates the Penn Quarter Group, a consulting firm, did not respond to a voice mail or private message on Twitter.”
Intel Committee Dems ‘Dangerous,’ ‘Negligent’ In Handling Of Breach By Their Own IT Aide
|| Daily Caller
“Three Democrats on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have been “dangerous” and “negligent” by seemingly failing to react to evidence of a major security breach by their own IT aides, a former Air Force colonel and career intelligence staffer charged. In light of this, he told The Daily Caller News Foundation, their concerns on committee Republicans voting to release a classified memo ring hollow.
The House inspector general found that a family of Pakistanis working for Democrats made “unauthorized access” to House servers, logging in using members’ personal usernames, covering their tracks, and continuing to access servers even after efforts to stop them. The IG found evidence that data from 17 members may have been funneled onto one server, which law enforcement said was later physically stolen.
Intelligence committee members Democratic Reps. Joaquin Castro of Texas, Andre Carson of Indiana, and Jackie Speier of California employed the aides until they were banned from the network in February 2017. Castro and Speier both said they did not know of any cybersecurity breach, but then they refused to respond when TheDCNF revealed two reports by the House’s internal investigator that showed there was a breach.
“As a member you have an obligation and a responsibility to know. To say you don’t know is a cop-out and excuse. You had no interest in it nor did you care about safeguarding official government documents,” James Waurishuk, a retired Air Force colonel, senior career strategic intelligence officer and National Security Council staffer, told TheDCNF. People with clearances, he said, are obligated to proactively find and report threats.
One of the aides, Imran Awan, had a secret email address — email@example.com — that was set up in the name of an intelligence specialist who works for Carson. The secret address remained active after Imran’s main account was blocked. In August, TheDCNF discovered in civil court documents that the address actually belonged to Imran, and alerted Carson’s office of the vulnerability. Carson spokeswoman Jessica Gail did not openly express any alarm.
“Where someone has knowledge that something wasn’t right and rather than make an issue of it — the individual was a friend or someone they had to deal with every day and they wanted to turn a blind eye — in the end it winds up catching both of them,” Waurishuk told TheDCNF. “If you fail to follow the necessary procedures, then depending on the level, people go to jail for that.”
Democrats are “outraged over publishing the memo in accordance with House rules, yet they have nothing to say at all about major security breaches by a staffer they themselves employed,”a Republican intel committee source told TheDCNF on background because the person was not authorized to comment. “Their level of concern about information security issues obviously depends on that issue’s political ramifications for themselves and their party.”
Ranking Member of the intelligence committee Democrat Adam Schiff has attacked the GOP for voting to release a classified memo Republicans say shows abuses of spying authority. Democrats charge Republicans are showing a disregard for security procedures. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said committee Chairman Devin Nunes “has disgraced the House Intelligence Committee.” Republicans say the document contains information that Americans have a right to know about.
“With these three members on intel with this whole investigation going on with FISA and unmasking, did these individuals have any access to that info?” Waurishuk asked of that incident and the active email address tied to Carson’s office. “I’d like to see Schiff briefed on this and see what he knows about it.”
SF tourist industry struggles to explain street misery to horrified visitors
|| San Francisco Chronicle
“As president of the Handlery Union Square Hotel, part of Jon Handlery’s job is to scour travel websites to find out what tourists are telling one another about his hotel and San Francisco.
‘Dreamers’ Arrested for Human Smuggling — Twice in Two Days
“DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients were arrested in two separate incidents of human smuggling operations in California over the course of two days last week.
The first, a 22-year-old Mexican DACA recipient of Riverside County, was questioned on January 25 after the arrest of two illegal aliens. The man allegedly admitted to border patrol agents that he was on scouting duty as part of a human smuggling crew. The DACA beneficiary allegedly had been monitoring border patrol activities and relaying them to other members of the crew to facilitate their human smuggling activities.
This was not, apparently, the man’s first alleged participation in human smuggling, as he had allegedly participated in multiple alien smuggling operations. As of Tuesday, he was in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security for removal proceedings, having violated the terms of his DACA status.
A second suspect, a 25-year-old U.S. citizen, was later also arrested in connection with the alleged smuggling scheme.
In a separate incident on January 24, three illegal aliens in their early 20s were arrested. Agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) were first alerted to a suspected smuggling attempt through a tip from private citizens near Torrey Pines State Beach.
Agents discovered a vehicle with the three illegal aliens inside. The driver was a 20-year-old DACA recipient whose status had lapsed. His 22-year-old cousin, a Mexican national also illegally in the country, but not a DACA recipient, was in the passenger seat. The two allegedly admitted to agents that they were involved in human smuggling in the area.
The third man in the car was a 21-year-old Mexican national being smuggled by the two cousins, a CBP public relations officer clarified for Breitbart News on Tuesday. All three were taken into custody.
An estimated 1.8 million illegal aliens who entered the country as minors would be eligible for amnesty under a newly released White House immigration reform framework that would offer citizenship in exchange for some border security funding and changes to current immigration law.”
Not guilty verdict in shooting by illegal immigrant offers sanctuary from common sense
|| LA Daily News | Doug McIntyre
“As a rule, I don’t offer opinions about books I haven’t read and movies I haven’t seen. I feel the same way about trials I haven’t followed. I mean really followed, the way the whole country hung on every twist in the O.J. Simpson case.
Last week, a jury in San Francisco acquitted Jose Ines Garcia Zararte of murder in the 2015 shooting of Kate Steinle. While I was aware the trial was taking place, I wasn’t in the courtroom when the prosecution and defense teams made their arguments. I didn’t read transcripts of the witnesses’ testimony, only cursory news reports that would occasionally catch my eye. Still, I was predisposed to believe Zarate guilty.
It’s fortunate for Mr. Zarate I wasn’t on the jury.
To recap, on July 1, 2015, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, an illegal immigrant with a history of arrests who had previously been deported 5 times, claims he found a gun wrapped in cloth under a bench along the waterfront in San Francisco. The gun went off/was fired — depending on which version of his story you believe — striking 32-year old Kate Steinle in the lower back. The bullet tore through Kate’s abdominal aorta, ending her life.
Surveillance video led police to Zarate, then going by the name of Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, one of several aliases he used. The Steinle case blew up in the media not just because Kate was a beautiful young woman struck down in broad daylight while walking with her dad, but also because it shoved the disaster of San Francisco’s sanctuary policies onto the front burner, an issue that helped propel Donald Trump to the White House.
Zarate was eligible for a 6th deportation at the time of the shooting. Had then-San Francisco County Sheriff Ross Mirarimi held him for deportation, as Immigration and Customs Enforcement has requested, he would not have been sitting on that bench to find a gun or anything else.
Zarate told investigators the gun went off accidentally when it fell to the ground after he unwrapped it. Then he changed his story, telling police he stepped on the gun, causing it to go off. But his story changed yet again; this time he admitted he fired the gun but said he was aiming at a seal.
What’s not in dispute is Zarate tossing the gun into San Francisco Bay before running from the scene.
During the trial, it was revealed the bullet that killed Ms. Steinle ricocheted 12-feet from where Zarate stood and struck Kate 78 feet away. This makes it highly unlikely Zarate was deliberately aiming at Kate and may well have led to the not guilty verdict.
By centering their case around the theory Zarate was playing a perverse game of Russian Roulette — firing randomly at passersby — the prosecutors may have overplayed their hand and undermined their credibility with the jury.
Still, the judge had given the jurors the option of finding him guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter. Amazingly, or perhaps not if you consider we’re talking about San Francisco, they only found Zarate guilty on a minor gun charge.
Jose Garcia Zarate’s immigration status and previous arrests were never introduced as evidence in this case. “Nothing about his immigration status, nothing about the fact that he is born in Mexico had any relevance as to what happened on July 1st, 2015”, said his defense attorney.
And that’s true to a point.
But there is another point — if San Francisco had turned Zarate over to ICE as requested, Kate Steinle would be alive today.
If San Francisco didn’t advertise, literally, on bus benches and public transit, they’re a sanctuary city, Jose Zarate may not have chosen San Francisco as his American destination.
“We just want to get this over with and move on with our lives,” said Kate’s father, Jim, after the jury’s verdict was announced. “We want to think about Kate on our terms. Nothing’s been on our terms. It’s been on everyone else’s terms.”
And, of course, he’s right. Kate Steinle’s death became a political football in the 2016 presidential election and remains so to this day. Sadly, Kate is hardly the only victim of illegal immigrant violence.
In Los Angeles, some of us will never forget the 2008 murder of Jamiel Shaw II by a convicted gangbanger, Pedro Espinosa, who had been behind bars 24 hours before killing Shaw. I will never forget introducing Jamiel’s dad to Danielle Bologna, whose husband and two sons were also murdered by an illegal immigrant in San Francisco.
Or Don Rosenberg whose son, Drew, was run down and killed by Roberto Gallo, then living and driving illegally in the City by the Bay. The list of the dead is far too long for this column.
Kate Steinle’s death furrowed Don Lemon’s brow on CNN as he tried to comprehend the strange term “sanctuary city,” as if he had never heard it before, but those of us in Los Angeles have had 39 years’ experience with sanctuary policies, ever since Special Order 40 was implemented by the LAPD back in 1979. Proponents claim it makes America safer. Tell that to Jim Steinle.
ICE will once again attempt to deport Jose Garcia Zarate. Will San Francisco cooperate this time? And if so, how long before he’s back in the United States, thanks to our porous borders and the unwillingness of cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles to enforce our own laws?” ….Continue reading more @ LA Daily News
ICE Detainer Issued for Suspected Wine Country Arsonist in Sonoma Jail
“The U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) issued a detainer request on the Sonoma County Jail for Jesus Fabian Gonzalez, who was arrested Sunday on suspicion of arson in Wine Country fires that have killed at least 40 residents.
Breitbart News reported earlier this week that Sonoma County Sheriffs had arrested Jesus Fabian Gonzalez, 29, at Maxwell Regional Park in Sonoma County after a series of reports of ongoing fires in the region. Mr. Gonzalez was observed around 3:00 p.m. PDT wearing a jacket and walking “out of the creek area and a plume of smoke behind him,” according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
Mr. Gonzalez, who is homeless and reportedly known by law enforcement to have been living under a nearby bridge, claimed he was cold and had lit the fire to stay warm. But it was a balmy 78 degrees when he and the plume of smoke were first observed.
Mr. Gonzalez was booked into the Sonoma County Jail for suspicion of felony arson. His bail was set at a steep $110,000, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff Public Information Officer.
Sargent Spencer Crum told Breitbart that Mr. Gonzalez is also on a U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) detainer request, despite Sonoma County declaring itself as a “sanctuary county” in May 2014. The county only cooperates with “ICE holds” if the prisoner has been convicted of a felony or any misdemeanor offence that falls within the Trust Act within the last five years. Mr. Gonzalez’s immigration status has not yet been announced.”
“FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow
|| The Hill
“Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.
Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.
They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.
The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.
Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.
In 2011, the administration gave approval for Rosatom’s Tenex subsidiary to sell commercial uranium to U.S. nuclear power plants in a partnership with the United States Enrichment Corp. Before then, Tenex had been limited to selling U.S. nuclear power plants reprocessed uranium recovered from dismantled Soviet nuclear weapons under the 1990s Megatons to Megawatts peace program.
“The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns. And none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions,” a person who worked on the case told The Hill, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by U.S. or Russian officials.”
Gregg Jarrett: Mueller and Rosenstein Hid Clinton-Russia Bribery Scandal From Congress
“It was reported earlier today that the FBI uncovered Russian bribery of the Clintons in 2009 and the Department of Justice and the FBI sat on this for four more years.
Worse yet, fromtoday’s report we discovered the investigation was supervised by then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who is now President Trump’s Deputy Attorney General, and then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who is now the deputy FBI director under Trump.
Rosenstein and Mueller also sat on the CFIUS committee that approved the sale of 20% of US uranium reserves to Russia despite knowing Russia had bribed the Clintons for the illicit sale.
This further tarnishes this respected organization’s good name.
Tonight Gregg Jarrett told Sean Hannity that corrupt Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein must resign immediately.”
“Reuters has found that more than 15 percent of Facebook’s U.S. staff are immigrants employed through H-1B temporary work visas.
Based on a review of U.S. Labor Department filings for 2016 regarding temporary visa programs, Reuters found 3,339 workers of approximately 22,000 Facebook employees working in the U.S. were employed directly through H-1B temporary visas.
At over 15 percent, Facebook had the highest percentage of H-1B contractors of any U.S. tech operating company.
Breitbart News has reported that although there are only new 85,000 H-1B temporary visas granted by the U.S. State Department each year, there are about 650,000 H-1Bs working in the American private sector, roughly 100,000 H-1Bs employed at U.S. universities, and an unknown number of H-1B spouses issued green card work permits.”
15% of Facebook employees are vulnerable to Trump’s likely changes for H-1B visas
“(Reuters) – Among Silicon Valley’s top tech employers, Facebook could be the most vulnerable to U.S. President Donald Trump’s expected crackdown on guest-worker visas, according to a Reuters analysis of U.S. Labor Department filings.
More than 15 percent of Facebook’s U.S. employees in 2016 used a temporary work visa, giving the social media leader a legal classification as a H-1B “dependent” company. That is a higher proportion than Alphabet ‘s Google, Apple, Amazon, or Microsoft.
That could cause problems for Facebook if Trump or Congress decide to make the H-1B program more restrictive, as the president and some Republican lawmakers have threatened to do.
Both Trump and Attorney General nominee Senator Jeff Sessions have opposed the program in its current form. They have also indicated that they are open to reforming it to “ensure the beneficiaries of the program are the best and the brightest,” according to a draft executive order seen by Reuters. Reuters could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the draft.
The Trump administration has not proposed any new rules that would target companies with the H-1B “dependent” classification. But the fact that Facebook alone among major tech companies falls into that category suggests it is the most exposed in the industry to any changes in H-1B visa policy.
Facebook declined to comment on the matter.
Companies say they use them to recruit top talent. But a majority of the visas are awarded to outsourcing firms, sparking criticism by skeptics that those firms use the visas to fill lower-level information technology jobs. Critics also say the lottery system benefits outsourcing firms that flood the system with mass applications.
H-1B dependent status is mostly held by these outsourcing firms such as India’s Tata Consultancy Services or Infosys. The status was introduced in the late 1990s in an effort to ensure that companies did not use the visas to replace American workers with cheaper foreign labor. The status requires companies to prove they cannot find U.S. workers for the jobs.”
Facebook Will Let Workers Join Glorious May Day Protests
|| Bloomberg Tech
“Facebook Inc. said it won’t punish employees who take time off to join pro-immigrant protests on May 1. And, in a nod to security staff, janitors, shuttle-bus drivers and others who work for Facebook contractors on campus, the company also said it will investigate if any of its vendors illegally crack down on their employees’ protest rights.
“At Facebook, we’re committed to fostering an inclusive workplace where employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions and speaking up,” a spokesman wrote in an emailed statement. “We support our people in recognizing International Workers’ Day and other efforts to raise awareness for safe and equitable employment conditions.”
Facebook notified employees of its policy in a posting on an internal forum April 14. A spokesman said it applies regardless of whether workers notify the company ahead of time. The Menlo Park, California, company also said it would re-evaluate its ties to any vendor if it breaks the law that protects workers’ rights to organize and protect themselves.
“It’s important not just to the engineers and H-1B holders that are traditionally thought of as the immigrants in tech but also to folks who are subcontracted but work side-by-side on those campuses,” said Derecka Mehrens, co-founder of Silicon Valley Rising, a union-backed coalition. “Immigrants play a critical role in the tech sector — both as engineers and coders but also in keeping tech campuses running smoothly.”
Many tech companies have been vocal in their opposition to aspects of Trump’s agenda. Facebook has criticized Trump’s immigration moves. At a rally in January at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, CEO Sundar Pichai and co-founder Sergey Brin spoke against Trump’s executive order that closed U.S. borders to people from several majority-Muslim nations. Both companies, along with Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp., are among more than 120 firms that signed a February court filing opposing the travel ban.”
Confirmed: John Brennan Colluded With Foreign Spies to Defeat Trump
“An article in the Guardian last week provides more confirmation that John Brennan was the American progenitor of political espionage aimed at defeating Donald Trump. One side did collude with foreign powers to tip the election — Hillary’s.
Seeking to retain his position as CIA director under Hillary, Brennan teamed up with British spies and Estonian spies to cripple Trump’s candidacy. He used their phony intelligence as a pretext for a multi-agency investigation into Trump, which led the FBI to probe a computer server connected to Trump Tower and gave cover to Susan Rice, among other Hillary supporters, to spy on Trump and his people.
John Brennan’s CIA operated like a branch office of the Hillary campaign, leaking out mentions of this bogus investigation to the press in the hopes of inflicting maximum political damage on Trump. An official in the intelligence community tells TAS that Brennan’s retinue of political radicals didn’t even bother to hide their activism, decorating offices with “Hillary for president cups” and other campaign paraphernalia.
A supporter of the American Communist Party at the height of the Cold War, Brennan brought into the CIA a raft of subversives and gave them plum positions from which to gather and leak political espionage on Trump. He bastardized standards so that these left-wing activists could burrow in and take career positions. Under the patina of that phony professionalism, they could then present their politicized judgments as “non-partisan.”
The Guardian story is written in a style designed to flatter its sources (they are cast as high-minded whistleblowers), but the upshot of it is devastating for them, nonetheless, and explains why all the criminal leaks against Trump first originated in the British press. According to the story, Brennan got his anti-Trump tips primarily from British spies but also Estonian spies and others. The story confirms that the seed of the espionage into Trump was planted by Estonia. The BBC’s Paul Wood reported last year that the intelligence agency of an unnamed Baltic State had tipped Brennan off in April 2016 to a conversation purporting to show that the Kremlin was funneling cash into the Trump campaign.
Any other CIA director would have disregarded such a flaky tip, recognizing that Estonia was eager to see Trump lose (its officials had bought into Hillary’s propaganda that Trump was going to pull out of NATO and leave Baltic countries exposed to Putin). But Brennan opportunistically seized on it, as he later that summer seized on the half-baked intelligence of British spy agencies (also full of officials who wanted to see Trump lose).”
Wellesley Students Editors Endorse Silencing Opposing Speakers and Declare “Hostility May Be Warranted”
“We have been discussing the erosion of free speech on our campuses across the country. Much of that trend is the result of faculty members who have taught that free speech itself is a threat to students. The erosion of free speech has come in stages. First, schools began to declare speech to be hate speech while creating “safe zones” from the exercise of free speech. Second, schools began to enforce the ill-defined “microaggressions” to punish speech that is deemed as contributing to hostile environments or fostering stereotypes.
Now, faculty and students are increasing declaring opposing views as simply outside of the definition of free speech. That extreme argument was advanced this week by the editors of The Wellesley News who published a column entitled “Free Speech Is Not Violated At Wellesley.” It is chilling message from the Editorial Board composed of Co-Editors in Chief Sharvari Johari and Michele Lee and opinion editors Maya Nandakumar, Genae Matthews, and Tabitha Wilson. Once the champions of free speech, students have become the new censors and have adopted the perfectly Orwellian notion that the protection of free speech requires the denial of free speech.
The editors heralded the Wellesley students who refuse to respect the free speech rights of those deemed to be hateful. Simply defining such people as unworthy of free speech protections then allows the editors to become actual advocates of mob action to silence them:
“Shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not a violation of free speech; it is hate speech. The founding fathers put free speech in the Constitution as a way to protect the disenfranchised and to protect individual citizens from the power of the government.”
So speech deemed as “undermining the existence and rights of others” is all that is needed to relieve the conscience of these students and allow them to indulge in their desire to forcibly silence those with whom that disagree. There is no attempt of course to define what constitute speech that “undermines.” Rather the thrust is to legitimize the denial of free speech in the name of free speech.
Their bizarre understanding of free speech is laid out further in the statement that “The spirit of free speech is to protect the suppressed, not to protect a free-for-all where anything is acceptable, no matter how hateful and damaging.” Again, there is no definition of what is deemed “hateful” or “damaging” but it clearly does not include things that the editors agree with or have been taught are the products of ignorance: “We have all said problematic claims, the origins of which were ingrained in us by our discriminatory and biased society. Luckily, most of us have been taught by our peers and mentors at Wellesley in a productive way.
Now that the editors have been properly educated that some views are unworthy of protection, they are ready to take the final step in calling for the silencing of those who “refuse to adapt their beliefs.” If those people still insist on being heard, the editors declared that “hostility may be warranted.” “Hostility”?
The war on free speech appears to have produced a perfect generation of petty tyrants “mentored” in the necessity — even the moral imperative — of silencing those with whom we disagree.
I suppose this is to be expected at a school with the motto: Non Ministrari sed Ministrare — Not to be ministered unto, but to minister.”