Judge blocks President Trump’s sanctuary city funding freeze
|| San Jose Mercury News
“SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge Tuesday halted President Donald Trump’s executive order stripping sanctuary jurisdictions of federal funding, dealing a blow to the Trump Administration’s efforts to punish so-called sanctuary cities and counties.
With Santa Clara County and San Francisco’s landmark motion for a preliminary injunction approved, the section of the executive order applying to sanctuary jurisdictions will not go into effect until the court rules on the county’s Feb. 3 lawsuit against the administration.
District Judge William Orrick issued a ruling less than two weeks after a hearing on the case. Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez called it a victory for immigrant rights.
“We’re fighting for the United States Constitution and we succeeded after the Trump Administration tried to do an end run around it,” Chavez said in a statement. “The court’s decision is a win for the neediest people in our nation. Seniors in need of food, foster youth in need of shelter and children who need medical care. We’ll continue being a welcoming, safe and diverse community.”
Chad Readler, acting assistant attorney general, said Santa Clara County and San Francisco were interpreting the executive order too broadly. The funding cutoff applies to three Justice Department and Homeland Security Department grants that require complying with a federal law that local governments not block officials from providing people’s immigration status, he said. The order would affect less than $1 million in funding for Santa Clara County and possibly no money for San Francisco, Readler said. Republican President Donald Trump was using a “bully pulpit” to “encourage communities and states to comply with the law,” Readler said.
The case has placed Santa Clara and San Francisco at the center of a contentious debate about sanctuary cities and counties. Hundreds of jurisdictions around the country have declared themselves sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants, proclaiming they will not turn those immigrants over to federal agents, despite repeated threats from the Trump Administration.
Orrick appeared to sense the ambiguity of the policy, at one point asking, “What would the purpose of the executive order be?”
Federal judge blocks Trump’s sanctuary cities executive order
|| Washington Examiner
“A federal judge on Tuesday blocked President Trump’s sanctuary cities executive order.
San Francisco and Santa Clara County both won preliminary injunctions on Tuesday against Trumps’ Jan. 25 executive order that moved to cut off federal funding from cities that limit their cooperation with federal immigration requests.
According to San Francisco-based U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick, the loss of funds would cause cities “to suffer irreparable harm absent an injunction.”
Orrick also cited public comments from Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying the two “erased” any “doubt about the scope of the order.”
However, the federal government is still able to enforce existing conditions of federal grants and does not restrict it from “developing regulations or preparing guidance on designating a jurisdiction as a ‘sanctuary jurisdiction,'” Orrick ruled.
There are at least three other lawsuits against similar language in the executive order.
Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez called it a victory for immigrants.
“We’re fighting for the United States Constitution and we succeeded after the Trump administration tried to do an end run around it,” said Chavez in a statement. “The court’s decision is a win for the neediest people in our nation. Seniors in need of food, foster youth in need of shelter and children who need medical care. We’ll continue being a welcoming, safe and diverse community.”
The federal government has been taking actions targeting so-called sanctuary cities since the January executive order, such has rolling back Justice Department grants that a city can receive contingent on cooperating with immigration requests under Section 1317 of 8 U.S. Code.
The decision comes only months after courts ruled against key portions of two of Trump’s immigration-related executive orders.”
“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.”
First Illegal Alien ‘DREAMer’ Sent Back to Native Mexico Under Trump
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection sent a self-identified illegal alien with criminal convictions back to a family member’s home in Mexico on Tuesday, according to media reports.
USA Today reports that Juan Manuel Montes, 23, is the first illegal alien who applied for temporary protection from lawful deportation to be sent back home after President Donald Trump assumed office. Montes first arrived in the U.S. at nine years old, and applied for a deportation stay under Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), twice.
“Court records show he has four convictions: one for shoplifting in January 2016, and three for driving without a license, most recently three months ago,” the outlet reports.”
DHS: USA Today Got Its Big Scoop On Deported ‘DREAMer’ Totally Wrong
|| Daily Caller
“USA Today reported Tuesday that an illegal immigrant protected by Barack Obama’s amnesty was deported in February after spending an evening with his girlfriend. However, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman told The Daily Caller that they have no record of this incident and that Juan Manuel Montes-Bojorquez’s amnesty status was terminated.
The USA Today story said that Montes-Bojorquez, 23, was apprehended by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents in Calexico, Calif while he was waiting for a car ride to pick him up.
According to the article, he told the officers he left his wallet in his friend’s car and because he didn’t have his ID or proof of his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, he was deported.
David Lapan, a DHS spokesman, orginally told TheDC Tuesday that Bojorquez’s DACA status “expired in Aug. 2015.”
However, in an updated statement Wednesday, Lapan said: “After a detailed records search, we determined that Juan Manuel Montes-Bojorquez was approved for DACA starting in 2014 and had a DACA expiration date of Jan. 25, 2018. However, Mr. Montes-Bojorquez lost his DACA status when he left the United States without advanced parole on an unknown date prior to his arrest by the U.S. Border Patrol on Feb. 19, 2017.”
Montes-Bojorquez’ lawyers said that after he was deported on Feb. 18, he subsequently returned to the U.S. after being robbed in Mexico, and shortly thereafter turned himself in to immigration officials.
The DHS spokesman said: “The U.S. Border Patrol has no record of encountering Mr. Montes-Bojorquez in the days before his detention and subsequent arrest for immigration violations on February 19, 2017. There are no records or evidence to support Montes-Bojorquez’s claim that he was detained or taken to the Calexico Port of Entry on February 18, 2017.”
Pelosi Accuses Trump of ‘Deportation Dragnet of Appalling Inhumanity’ After DREAMer with Criminal History Deported
“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released a statement Tuesday evening following a USA Today report that the Trump administration had deported its first DREAMer, Juan Manuel Montes, allegedly protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.
“Instead of honoring the protections of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative, President Trump has unleashed an indiscriminate deportation dragnet of appalling inhumanity,” Pelosi wrote.
Montes is suing the federal government and the USA Today report is now being disputed by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
CBP said Montes’ DACA permit expired in August 2015. Montes’ lawyers claim he had renewed it in 2016 and it expires in 2018. CBP also pointed out the fact, acknowledged even in USA Today’s report, that Montes was convicted of theft and sentenced to probation.
“Court records show he has four convictions: one for shoplifting in January 2016, and three for driving without a license, most recently three months ago,” according to USA Today.
Those convictions, however, are not serious enough to disqualify him from DACA protections, USA Today adds, citing the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services guidelines.
“The Trump Administration is terrorizing patriotic young people who want nothing more than to live, work and contribute to the country they love – the only home they’ve ever known,” Pelosi said in her statement. “These outstanding young men and women are American in every way but on paper.””
Sessions on Booted DREAMer: ‘Everyone Is Subject to Being Deported’
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions is defending the deportation of a four-time convicted illegal immigrant DREAMer who applied for protection under the Obama-era ‘Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals’ DACA program.
As Breitbart News reported, 23-year-old illegal immigrant Juan Manuel Montes was deported by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency after having four criminal convictions, one for shoplifting and three others for driving without a license.
Despite Montes’ believing that he was protected as an illegal immigrant under DACA, Sessions told Fox News’ Jenna Lee the days of the Obama Administration’s lax enforcement are over.
“DACA enrollees are not being targeted, I don’t know why this individual was picked up,” Sessions said on the case. “Everybody in the country illegally is subject to being deported, so people come here and they stay here a few years and somehow they think they are not subject to being deported – well, they are.”
“Our priority is to end the lawlessness at the border, stop the additional flow of illegals into the country, then to prioritize those who have gotten in trouble with the law, recent arrivals, people who have been deported previously, drug dealers and other criminal activists,” Sessions said. “They need to be deported first.”
“But we can’t promise people who are here unlawfully that they aren’t going to be deported,” Sessions reiterated.”
Trump signs bill allowing veterans to seek care outside broken VA system
|| Business Insider
“President Trump signed legislation Wednesday that will dramatically expand a program at the Department of Veterans Affairs that lets patients seek care from private doctors if they want to bypass the troubled VA system.
The Veterans Choice Improvement Act removes barriers that Congress placed around the original “choice” initiative and eliminates an expiration date that would have shuttered the program in August.
Lawmakers created the choice program in 2014 after a massive scandal involving wait time cover-ups at more than 100 VA facilities around the country. It was initially structured as a two-year pilot program that limited when and where veterans could choose to see private doctors. Patients could only use the choice program if they lived more than 40 miles from the nearest VA hospital or if they could not get an appointment from their local VA facility within 30 days.
The choice program has proven controversial since its inception three years ago. Critics have questioned whether increasing veterans’ reliance on private doctors might move the VA toward privatization, while proponents of such efforts have accused the VA of resisting steps to implement the program in order to protect the status quo.
“Extending the Choice Program is the right thing to do, but only as a stopgap measure until better solutions are developed and implemented,” said Dan Caldwell, policy director at CVA. “Reauthorizing the Choice Act buys Congress some time to work with Secretary [David] Shulkin on broader choice reforms that will truly empower veterans with the ability to seek care outside the VA when they want to.”
….Continue reading more @ BusinessInsider
Tucker, Cuban Battle Over Whether Choosing Foreign Workers Over American Workers Is Good for Economy
|| Youtube | Tucker Carlson
“Tuesday on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” host Tucker Carlson and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban battled over the H1-B visa and its usefulness for the United States economy.
Cuban argued that a business bringing in the best applicants from around the world is actually good for the American economy, while Tucker noted that people who get beat out for jobs just remain unemployed and get on disability insurance.”
“Fox News host Bill O’Reilly will not return to the network, 21st Century Fox announced Wednesday.
“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” the network said in a statement.
Reports emerged this week that 21st Century Fox was leaning toward ousting O’Reilly in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.
New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reported hours earlier that Fox News had decided to oust O’Reilly and execs were in talks about how to end the relationship without causing collateral damage to the network.”
Allegations Of Massive Corruption In The Halls Of Congress
| Youtube | FoxNews
“In order to be on a committee you have to pay dues….to your…campaign committee. That’s corrupt. To put that kind of pressure on people to pay 450,000 to get on a committee….is the wrong thing, it sends the wrong message to the American people.”
Panicked mob flees a packed Penn Station after Amtrak cops jolt man with stun gun amid long NJ Transit delays
| New York Daily News
“Pandemonium erupted at Penn Station Friday after Amtrak police used a stun gun on an unruly man — sending scared riders scrambling for safety.
The transit hub was unusually crowded at rush hour thanks to an NJ Transit train that stalled in a tunnel earlier, causing massive delays to kick off the holiday weekend.
Cops confronted a man and subdued him with a stun gun around 6:30 p.m., sparking a stampede of frightened travelers who feared that a shooting had taken place.
“We were sitting on the ground and all of a sudden we heard this loud noise and everyone started sprinting,” said 24-year-old Aubrey Moore. “It sounded like a gunshot, but nobody knew what was going on so I just sprinted.”
FDNY officials said 13 people were injured in the chaos. Amtrak authorities said the man was taken into custody.
Video of the arrest shows cops pinning a man on the ground and placing him in handcuffs.
“Be advised, individual in custody, force used, individual was Tased,” one of the officers says into his radio.
The four cops were quickly joined by officers from the NYPD and members of the National Guard.
Other videos, from networks covering the stalled train, show pandemonium erupting as panicked crowds pushed past one another to escape the underground hub.”
“Facebook famously boasts it has 1.86 billion users who visit the social network every month. It looks like that number shrank on Friday.
The company, which previously announced it’s cracking down on fake accounts, said it’s disrupted a major spam operation being run out of Bangladesh, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and other countries.
“The apparent intent of the campaign was to deceptively gain new friend connections by liking and interacting primarily with popular publisher Pages on our platform, after which point they would send spam,” Shabnam Shaik, a Facebook technical program manager wrote in a blog post.
“We found that most of this activity was generated not through traditional mass account creation methods, but by more sophisticated means that try to mask the fact that the accounts are part of the same coordinated operation,” Shaik wrote. “By disrupting the campaign now, we expect that we will prevent this network of spammers from reaching its end goal of sending inauthentic material to large numbers of people.”
The number of authentic users matters for Facebook because the company charges marketers and advertisers to reach the most eyeballs. Facebook didn’t reveal the number of accounts affected by this crackdown.
Fake profiles, or bots, are an ongoing problem for social networks, and making software that generates the fake fans has become a big-money industry. In 2014, Facebook estimated 67.7 million to 137.8 million accounts were either duplicates or fake.
Twitter has had the same problem. About 15 percent of Twitter’s 319 million active monthly users are reportedly bots, according to research from the University of Southern California and Indiana University.”
Experts say police who dragged passenger had other options
“We wouldn’t get (someone) off just because the airline wants them off.” – LAX PD
Officers with the Los Angeles Airport Police do not get involved in civil matters such as business disputes between airlines and passengers. They have sometimes refused airlines’ requests to board planes, said spokesman and police officer Rob Pedregon.
“We don’t just fly into action when someone calls us,” he said. Officers will “basically find out the whole situation, why we’re here, get the background and then decide if it’s within our legal authority. We wouldn’t get (someone) off just because the airline wants them off. If a law is broken, then we will take action.”
“CHICAGO — Airport police officers called to remove a passenger who refused to leave a United Express flight essentially walked into what law enforcement experts say was a no-win situation: enforcing a business decision by a private company.
But if the passenger posed no threat and was not being disruptive, officers almost certainly could have tried an approach other than dragging him out of his seat and down the aisle, including simply telling the airline to resolve the situation itself, experts said.
Cellphone video of the bloodied passenger, 69-year-old David Dao of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, has become a public-relations nightmare for United and led to the suspension of three police officers who worked for the Chicago Department of Aviation.
The video also underscores a growing dilemma: From airlines to schools, police are called to deal with situations that in the past might have been handled without them, sometimes leading officers to respond with force far beyond the provocation.
“Police have an innate bias for action, but there are times that it’s not in their best interest or that of their agency to get involved in an issue that requires you to use a high level of force,” said Jim Bueermann, president of the Police Foundation, a Washington D.C.-based research group, and former police chief in Redlands, California. “You have to ask whether … you really needed to use force when doing the airline’s bidding.”
It’s unclear what police were told by the airline about the situation. Screaming can be heard on the videos as Dao is dragged from his window seat and across the armrest, but he is not seen fighting with the officers. He appears relatively passive while being dragged. Later he’s seen standing in the aisle saying quietly, “I want to go home, I want to go home.”
But once police were aboard the plane, it would have been difficult to walk away, especially if they did not know why the passenger was asked to leave, said Kevin Murphy, executive director of the Airport Law Enforcement Agencies Network.
“Once you’re there, it becomes tough to disengage. You have an obligation,” Murphy said. “If someone is saying they’re staying no matter what the property owner says, you have to wonder why they want to try so hard,” to stay … “Is there something else going on?”
The Real Reason a Man Was Dragged Off That United Flight, and How to Stop It From Happening Again
“This was a tough situation all-around for which there were no good solutions. And things turned from bad to worse when a passenger refused to get off the plane when told to do so by the airline and by police. And it became the source of worldwide outrage when the police overreacted, dragged him off, and bloodied him.
There are a lot of myths about the situation, and it’s leading people to some bad conclusions:
This didn’t happen because United sold too many tickets. United Express (Republic Airlines) had to send four crew members to work a flight the next morning. The weekend was operationally challenging, this was a replacement crew, if the employees didn’t get to Louisville a whole plane load of passengers were going to be ‘bumped’ when that flight was cancelled, and likely other passengers on other flights using that aircraft would have their own important travel plans screwed up as well.
United couldn’t have just sent another plane to take their crew even if they had such a plane it’s not clear they had the crew to operate it legally, or that they could have gotten the plane back to Chicago in time legally so prevent ‘bumping’ via cancellation the whole plane load of passengers it was supposed to carry next.
If the passenger could have just taken Uber, why not the crew? because United doesn’t get to transport its crew any way it wishes whenever it wishes, they’re bound by union contracts and in any case they were following standard established procedures. We can debate those procedures, that’s productive, but United didn’t do anything out of the ordinary.
United should have just kept increasing the denied boarding offer passengers didn’t willingly get off at $800, they should have gone to $1000 (would that have made a difference?) or $5000 or $100,000 — it’s not the passengers’ fault United didn’t have enough seats. Though the time this would have taken might have lost a takeoff window or taken time where the crew went illegal (and the whole flight had to cancel) or the replacement crew wouldn’t get the legally required rest.
More importantly, United didn’t do it because Department of Transportation regulations set maximum required compensation for involuntary denied boarding (in this case 4 times the passenger’s fare paid up to a maximum of $1350). So they’re not going to offer more than that for voluntary denied boardings, especially since the violent outcome here wasn’t expected and the United Express gate agent had no authority to do more.
Fault here lies with:
United for not having as many seats as they sold, although it wasn’t because they sold more seats than the plane held, it was because their operation became a mess and they needed to salvage that to inconvenience the fewest passengers overall. It wasn’t “to maximize their profits” although they certainly wanted to limit their losses by limiting passenger inconvenience.
The passenger who should have gotten off the plane when ordered to do so. It sucked for him and wasn’t his fault, but refusing airline and police instructions unless designed to provoke a violent response for media attention to promote a civil rights cause is a bad idea.
The Chicago Aviation Police shouldn’t have responded with the force they did. They’re the most to blame. If they hadn’t used as much force this whole thing would never even have been a story.
United’s statements backing their employee, refusing to name the victim, or acknowledge that the police really did hurt him are deplorable.
Korean Air changes Taser policy one week after Richard Marx subdues passenger
“Think twice before complaining on your next Korean Air flight — flight crew can now use Tasers to deal with mid-air disturbances.
The airline has made the decision to loosen its Taser usage policy after a violent incident on a flight last week resulted in ’80s’ pop star Richard Marx having to subdue an unruly passenger.
On-board crew already have had Tasers on hand for years but could only use them when lives or the physical safety of passengers and cabin crew was threatened.
But new rules will allow for “more active use” of Tasers, a Korean Air spokesperson told CNN.
Employees will also get routine training in security gear, and the male to female ratio of flight crew will be reviewed. Passengers who cause a disturbance will be banned for an indeterminate period.
The announcement comes one week after Marx had to help restrain a passenger on board a Korean Air flight. Reports of the incident — and Marx’s scathing assessment of the flight crew’s performance — went viral.
The man was tied up with ropes, but broke free of them three times, according to Marx’s wife, ’90s’ MTV VJ Daisy Fuentes.”
United Airlines | Dr. David DaoConvicted of Exchanging Drugs for Sex
“The passenger who was savagely removed from United flight 3411 is a medical doctor with a sordid history.
Dr. David Dao was charged in 2005 with 98 felony drug counts for illegally prescribing and trafficking painkillers. Prosecutors claimed Dao fraudulently filled prescriptions for hydrocodone, Oxycontin and Percocet.
Dr. Dao was also convicted on 6 felony counts of obtaining drugs by fraud and deceit and in 2005 was given 5 years probation.
Dao was also convicted for writing prescriptions and checks to a patient in exchange for sex.
In medical board documents … Dao denied paying for sex, but indicated he accepted sexual favors from an associate in exchange for reducing a debt that associate owed him.
In February, 2005, Dr. Dao surrendered his license to practice medicine in Kentucky. In 2015 the medical board lifted the suspension and allowed him to practice medicine with some restrictions. Last year, the medical board imposed even more restrictions — now he can only practice internal medicine in an outpatient facility one day a week.
Interestingly, and relevant to the United incident, one doctor assessing Dao’s case said he had interpersonal problems, noting “… he would unilaterally choose to do his own thing.”
David Dao, passenger removed from United flight, now in spotlight
“When security officers yanked Dr. David Dao off a United Airlines flight Sunday, bloodying him as they dragged him down the aisle, he quickly was thrust into the international spotlight.
Videos of the incident have gone viral, with thousands of people expressing support for Dao on social media after he was taken off United Express Flight 3411 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on Sunday. The airline said Dao was one of four passengers selected for removal so that United personnel could be seated on the full flight.
At an Elizabethtown, Kentucky, medical practice where Dao recently worked, the incident was the talk of the office Tuesday, said Donna Nadeau, the office manager. She said reporters were calling to find out more about the man on the plane after the videos and coverage of the incident were published. United has come under scathing criticism for how it handled the situation, ranging from its insistence that passengers give up seats to the level of violence used by officers who yanked Dao from the aircraft.
“He’s a pleasant guy,” Nadeau said of Dao. “He really, really had a passion to get back into the medical field.”
Dao was trying to regain his medical license when he worked at the practice from August 2015 to August 2016, Nadeau said. Dao had surrendered his medical license in February 2005 after being convicted of drug-related offenses, according to documents filed with the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure last June. Broadcast and print coverage of Dao’s arrest, conviction and sentencing made his name familiar to Kentuckians.”
‘Dr. Dao continues to maintain a pattern of deception that is inconsistent with the level of accountability necessary for a practicing physician.’
“Doctor dragged off United flight was felon who traded prescription drugs for secret gay sex with patient half his age and took them himself – and he needed anger management, was ‘not forthright’ and had control issues, psychiatrist found
Dr David Dao’s troubled medical past is revealed in court documents
His wife Teresa – also a doctor – reported him to medical authorities and his secret inappropriate gay relationship with a patient was revealed
Father of five, 69, was convicted of a felony – but avoided prison time – because he was giving the man prescription drugs in return for gay sex
He denied the gay sex even though he was caught on camera shirtless and in his pants with Brian Case, his lover, 26, who was a fellow worshiper at his church
Case said he believed that Dao wanted to hook him on prescription narcotics including Oxycontin so he would keep coming to him for gay sex
Psychiatrist found Vietnamese-born doctor had series of issues and one doctor wrote that he ‘he would unilaterally chose to do his own thing’
He only got his licence back after agreeing to be drug tested and polygraphed
United are facing a furious backlash and boycott calls over the video; their stock price plunged as Wall Street reacted to passenger fury
DailyMail.com also reveals that the airline told staff he had ‘tried to strike law enforcement’ – despite no evidence for that on the video
The troubled past of the doctor who was dragged off United Airlines in an incident which has plunged the company into crisis is revealed in official documents – including his felony drugs conviction and need for ‘anger management’.
Dr David Dao had a past of illicit gay sex with a patient in return for giving, and tested positive for drugs, official documents reveal.
The medic, who specializes in lung disorders, was accused of refusing to give up his seat on Sunday’s United Express flight UA3411 flight from Chicago to Louisville for the airline’s staff.
Cellphone footage of the Vietnamese-born grandfather’s ejection has caused an uproar with critics claiming officers were heavy-handed in taking the senior from the flight.
The doctor spoke to WLKY and told them ‘everything’ was injured.
Dr Dao has not yet sued the airline but it is clear that if he did, the documents would likely be used by United in their attempt to defend their actions.
The secret sex and drugs life of the doctor first came to light in July 2003 when police alerted the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure of the allegations against him.
In October 2003 he was indicted by a Jefferson County Grand Jury for ‘criminal acts of trafficking in a controlled substance, obtaining drugs by fraud and deceit, and unauthorized prescribing, dispensing or administering of controlled substances’.
His medical license was suspended later that month.
Dr Dao underwent intense scrutiny and re-training for several years after his convictions. He also appealed unsuccessfully against conviction, including claiming the undercover video of him semi-naked broke his expectation of privacy.
His wife Dr. Theresa Dao, who was with him on the ill-fated flight, has stood by him.
She first alerted the medical authorities about her suspicions of her husband’s involvement with a patient.
In 2015, his medical license was partially re-instated with restrictions placed on his access to patients.
During his assessments the report said Dr. Dao denied paying for sex. Yet he indicated that he deducted monies owed to him… for sexual favors.
He denied trading drugs for sex while admitting to prescribing narcotics to the man while they engaged in a sexual relationship.
‘Dr. Dao continues to maintain a pattern of deception that is inconsistent with the level of accountability necessary for a practicing physician.’
His bid to renew his medical work was rejected because of the sex and lies he had been found guilty of as well as his outdated practices.
‘It is the opinion of the assessment team that Dr. Dao is not safe to practice medicine at this time. This opinion is offered within reasonable certainty and based upon available information.’
Two years later he returned to the same evaluator where a doctor Mary Gannon noted that Dr. Dao ‘lacked the foundation to navigate difficult situations, both interpersonally and in a complex profession’.
Hillary Supporter Booted off DC to Seattle Flight for being a jerk
| Youtube | Jan 2017
“A Portland woman and her husband were kicked off of a flight from Baltimore to Seattle over the weekend, according to Alaska Airlines.
It happened after the woman demanded the man sitting next to her be moved to a different seat because he supported President Trump.
That passenger, Scott Koteskey, said he’d been in Washington D.C. to attended the presidential Inauguration.
Before the plane took off, he recorded part of the confrontation with the woman on his cell phone, which he said started the moment he sat down.
In a statement to KGW, an Alaska Airlines representative wrote:
“The female passenger was insulting passengers in the boarding area and then onboard the aircraft. Several passengers expressed concerns about her behavior. We stand by our employees’ decision to remove the disruptive passenger.”
Writing about the experience on his Facebook page, Koteskey described what happened after police removed the woman from the plane:
“As the lady was removed I saw that I was surrounded by blacks, Latinos, Asians and whites, all who had chimed in asking her to be removed and who had defended me. I was touched and moved knowing later that not all these people were Trump supporters. The black man who took the seat next to me was a registered Democrat and he and I had a very good discussion about the beauty of free speech and coming together when people insult and commit acts of violence just for having differing views.”
Koteskey concluded that the experience had been a demonstration of Americans coming together to stand up for one another.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Refers To Lindsey Graham As One Of The ‘Women Of The Senate’
| Daily Caller
“Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the late Justice Antonin Scalia were honored with Allegheny College’s Prize for Civility in Public Life in Washington Monday.
During her remarks at the ceremony, Ginsburg pointed to her and Scalia’s confirmation to the court, adding she hopes “members of Congress… and others of goodwill will lead the way in restoring harmonious work ways.”
Ginsburg further pointed out two other sets of Allegheny’s honorees.
“Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. John McCain” and the “women of the Senate, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Lindsey Graham.”
‘FAKE NEWS BAN’ California Attacks the First Amendment
“A bill was introduced back on February 17 by the California State Assembly, which attempts to ban “fake news” – a difficult term to define. Wednesday, March 29, saw the bill filed to the Assembly’s Committee on Privacy and Consumer Affairs.
The bill, which would ultimately amend the California Political Cyberfraud Abatement Act, would make it illegal to spread so-called “false or deceptive” information.
The following is a portion of the proposed amendment as it stands:
It is unlawful for a person to knowingly and willingly make, publish or circulate on an Internet Web site, or cause to be made, published, or circulated in any writing posted on an Internet Web site, a false or deceptive statement designed to influence the vote on either of the following:
(a) Any issue submitted to voters at an election.
(b) Any candidate for election to public office.
As previously stated, the term “fake news” is hard to define and given this, the text that makes up the amendment is equally ambiguous and does not in explicit language define what “false or deceptive” information, or statements, are, which would allow for subjective interpretations of the law to be used to discredit or devalue narratives that are counter intuitive to the individual/entity attempting to use the law for some sort of claim.
Another major problem that will undoubtedly arise is the prospect of an individual using social media who wishes to explore political ideologies that could be in stark contrast, or contradiction to, the people who are carrying out the law.
The bill is fundamentally flawed.
A memo attempts to clarify certain aspects of the bill:
This bill will fuel a chaotic free-for-all of mudslinging with candidates and others being accused of crimes at the slightest hint of hyperbole, exaggeration, poetic license, or common error. While those accusations may not ultimately hold up, politically motivated prosecutions—or the threat of such—may harm democracy more than if the issue had just been left alone . . .
At this point in time, it is clear that this bill endangers free speech, it also can be used as a tool by the left to silence opposition in the state of California. The left has been actively attempting to undermine conservative or contradictory thought for far too long and now their efforts are moving toward totalitarian policy measures.”
| Let me get this straight, in a state where identity fraud is rampant, the state is considering adopting a law called ‘Cyber fraud abatement Act’ which does nothing about identity cyber fraud? /CJ
Obama spying looks even worse than Trump claimed
“WASHINGTON – The spying by the Obama administration on then-presidential candidate Donald Trump reportedly was even worse than what he has alleged.
And it had nothing to do with Russia but everything to do with politics.
Sources in the intelligence community claim the potentially illegal revealing of names, or unmasking, of people in the Trump camp who were under surveillance was done purely “for political purposes” to “hurt and embarrass (candidate) Trump and his team.”
The bombshell revelations come from rank and file members of the intelligence community who are fighting back against a stonewall by the leaders at the nation’s spy agencies, according to Fox News.
Reporter Adam Housley said the sources are “not Trump” people but are “frustrated with the politics that is taking place in these (intelligence) agencies.”
And what they have revealed is amazing. Here is what they told Fox:
1) Surveillance targeting the Trump team during the Obama administration began months ago, even before the president had become the GOP nominee in July.
2) The spying on the Trump team had nothing to do with the collection of foreign intelligence or an investigation into Russia election interference.
3) The spying was done purely “for political purposes” that “have nothing to do with national security and everything to do with hurting and embarrassing Trump and his team.”
4) The person who did the unmasking was someone “very well known, very high up, very senior in the intelligence world, and is not in the FBI.”
5) Congressional investigators know the name of at least one person who was unmasking names.
6) The initial surveillance on the Trump team led to “a number of names” being unmasked.
7) House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., has known about the unmasking since January.
8) Two sources in the intelligence community told Nunes who did the unmasking and told him at least one of the names of someone in the Trump team who was unmasked. The sources also gave Nunes the serial numbers of the classified reports that documented the unmasking.
9) It took Nunes a number of weeks to figure out how to see those intelligence reports because the intelligence agencies were stonewalling him, and not allowing the chairman or other people to see them.
10) There were only two places Nunes could have seen the information: where the sources work, which would have blown their cover; and the Eisenhower Executive Office building on the White House grounds, which houses the National Security Council and has computers linked to the secure system containing the reports he sought.
11) Nunes got access to that system on March 21 with the help of two Trump administration officials.
The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel reported that the documents Nunes saw confirming the Obama administration spied on the Trump team for months “aren’t easily obtainable, since they aren’t the ‘finished’ intelligence products that Congress gets to see.”
She said there were “dozens of documents with information about Trump officials.”
Strassel also reported there was a stonewall against the Intelligence committee chairman because, “for weeks Mr. Nunes has been demanding intelligence agencies turn over said documents—with no luck, so far.”
She also learned that, along with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, one other Trump official was unmasked.”
“You need the coercive power of government to say “do this” – Jerry Brown
CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN: Tom, you used the phrase “policy, good policy.” But I want to unpack that term a little bit. Inside the policy, you need a law, you need a rule, you need the coercive power of government to say “do this.”
Now, you have to be wise and don’t say something stupid, or try to order something stupid. But the fact is, the regulations supported by the laws drive innovation.”
But a recent piece of legislation introduced by California Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park), “The California Political Cyberfraud Abatement Act or AB 1104 for short, gives the “cow fart” bill a run for its money in terms of its complete idiocy. The bill, filed Wednesday in the Assembly’s Committee on Privacy and Consumer Affairs, would have effectively made it a crime to be wrong on the Internet.
The text of the bill implicated anyone who writes, publishes or even shares news stories that could be false, if those news stories are later found to have had an impact on an election.
As of right now it looks as if the legislation has been pulled after Chau just cancelled a hearing originally scheduled for Monday. Presumably Chau got a little pushback from mainstream media outlets after they realized his bill would effectively ban them, and their fake “Russian hacking” narratives from California.”
Evelyn Farkas Suggests the Russians May Be Behind ‘Fake News’ About Her
“Former Obama official, Evelyn Farkas has come under heavy fire for her March 2nd appearance on MSNBC where she admitted to having a lot of knowledge on the surveillance of Trump and his team. She is now in damage control mode and her nervousness is causing her to make some odd statements.
Evelyn Farkas appeared on MSNBC to defend herself, claiming the recent stories about her knowledge of Trump being wiretapped is fake news and perhaps the Russians are behind it. We are officially in the twilight zone, folks.”