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Tue, 22 Jun 2021
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Warsaw gay pride parade back after backlash & pandemic, Warsaw mayor leads march

price poland
© AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
People take part in the Equality Parade, the largest gay pride parade in central and eastern Europe, in Warsaw, Poland, Saturday June 19, 2021. The event has returned this year after a pandemic-induced break last year and amid a backlash in Poland and Hungary against LGBT rights.
The largest gay pride parade in central Europe took place again in Warsaw on Saturday for the first time in two years after a pandemic-induced break — and amid a backlash in Poland and Hungary against LGBT rights.

Comment: The backlash in Hungary was against LGBT propaganda aimed at children, and they recently passed a law, 157 votes to 1, making it illegal.

The year's Equality Parade came 20 years since the event was first held in the Polish capital. It was banned twice in its early years by a conservative mayor who feared it would promote homosexuality and last year it was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski walked at the head of the parade in a sign of support for LGBT rights, joining thousands who were cheered on by others waving rainbow flags from apartment balconies and sidewalk cafes.


China to issue 20b yuan to farmers due to commodity price spike, financial institutions sacrifice earnings to shore up economy

china farmer rice
© Xinhua
Farmers harvest rice at Jiache Village, Jiabang Township, Congjiang County of southwest China's Guizhou Province, Sept. 19, 2020.
China will hand over a one-off subsidy of 20 billion yuan ($3.1 billion) from its central finance budget to farmers to cope with rising costs of production materials due to spiking commodity prices in recent months, said a statement on Friday after a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.

Agriculture is of high importance to social stability, the statement said and the subsidy will be issued to farmers in light of the recent spike in prices of production materials such as fertilizer and diesel oil.

The subsidy will be issued at a critical moment in the summer harvest and is aimed at ensuring farmers' willingness to produce grains.

Comment: As usual China is ahead of the curve and it's taking measures that will benefit its citizens; not only is it ensuring its people can produce its own food, it has been buying up US produce in bulk for at least a year now which should at least temporarily stave off inflation, lockdown related supply disruptions and shortages, and the accumulating crop losses due to extreme weather, as well as cattle and poultry disease outbreaks.

Meanwhile, in the West, governments dumped mountains of food and prevented migrant workers from harvesting crops:


Homeless man throws water bottle at California Gov. Gavin Newsom

Gavin Newsom
© Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP
An aggressive homeless man chucked a water bottle at California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a tour of small businesses in Oakland, authorities said Friday.

Newsom was en route to NFL star Marshawn Lynch's Beastmode Barbershop and a pizza joint when the unidentified man approached his entourage, which included Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.

The Bay Area News Group reported that the 54-year-old assailant — who hailed from nearby Berkeley — launched a water bottle at the polarizing politician before being subdued and arrested.

"This morning, the Governor was approached by an aggressive individual" read a statement from the California Highway Patrol, which provides his security. "Members of the Governor's security detail removed the Governor from the situation and the individual was arrested by CHP officers."

Newsom later quipped to reporters that the man had an unorthodox method of saying hello.


Israel-Palestine: How Germany's remembrance culture ignores today's war crimes

Palestinian flags berlin
Berlin Palestine protest 2021
On 15 May, around 3,000 students, activists and local Arabs gathered in Berlin's Neukolln neighbourhood for a rally in support of Palestine liberation. The atmosphere was overwhelmingly peaceful for most of the afternoon, as couples wearing keffiyehs manoeuvred small children between teenagers wrapped in Palestinian flags.

Demonstrators waved signs in English, German and Arabic as they made their way down Sonnenallee, the beating heart of Berlin's Arab quarter, where there's a family-owned cafe, shisha bar or falafel joint on almost every block.

By the time police violently dispersed the rally, citing a lack of social distancing, newsrooms throughout Germany had already decided on the narrative they would push. It was "antisemitic agitation", declared RBB, Berlin's state-funded broadcaster. An article on the website of Tagesschau, Germany's most-watched evening news programme, referred to "antisemitic protests", while the right-wing Bild announced: "Police injured at hate demo."

It was impossible to find interviews with demonstrators during, or in the days after, this protest. Instead, there were soundbites from police and senior politicians condemning those who attended, especially those with Arab backgrounds.


Massachusetts school committee allows real-time crime center to monitor students live

hall spy cam
© Reolink
Students under observation
How does a school committee respond to a year of remote student learning? How will the Springfield, MA School Committee respond to post-COVID schooling?

Now that public schools are reopening (just in time for summer vacation) what are officials worried about? Is it face-to-face learning? Is it in-person interactions with students? Nope, it is mass surveillance and how to let Real-Time Crime Centers (RTCC) monitor students under the guise of public safety,

As MassLive reports, the decision to let the Springfield Police Department monitor students in real-time "feels tone deaf." The school committee took a half hour to decide that the best way to make students and faculty feel safe is to allow Big Brother to monitor them in real-time.

It is becoming more apparent to even casual observers, that our public schools resemble our prison system. Our schools are increasingly tied to the school-to-prison pipeline with CCTV cameras watching a students' every movement; to weapons detectors at entrances, to vape detectors in bathrooms, and to police officers waiting for students to commit an infraction.

Will tying school surveillance cameras to RTCC's be the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back?


AOC's aunt says blame Puerto Rico pols, not Trump, for 'abuela' misery: report

AOC/Walsh/G'mas home
© Ariel Zilber/Daily Mail
AOC • Grandmother's home • Matt Walsh
If the grandmother of U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has suffered in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria in 2017, then Puerto Rican politicians are to blame, not former President Trump.

That's the assessment of an aunt of the New York Democrat, who was interviewed in Puerto Rico by Britain's Daily Mail.

Ocasio-Cortez made headlines earlier this month after posting photos from the Puerto Rico home of her 81-year-old grandmother, or "abuela," Clotilde Rivera, and claiming that the residence remained in disrepair, nearly four years after the hurricane, in part because "Trump blocked relief $ for PR."

But when a Daily Mail reporter visited Rivera's home this week, a woman there who claimed to be AOC's aunt said the congresswoman's story wasn't accurate. The aunt noted that the Category 5 hurricane caused extensive damage to the island - but insisted Trump wasn't to blame for residents struggling to receive aid.

"It's a problem here in Puerto Rico with the administration and the distribution of help," the aunt told the Daily Mail. "It is not a problem with Washington. We had the assistance and it didn't get to the people."

Comment: AOC will politicize anything - even her grandma.

People 2

Gender-critical views are a protected belief, appeal tribunal rules

Maya Forstater
© Barney Cokeliss/PA
Maya Forstater
The gender-critical views, of a researcher who lost her job at a thinktank after tweeting that transgender women could not change their biological sex, are a protected philosophical belief under the Equality Act, a judge-led panel has ruled.

Maya Forstater, 47, a tax expert, brought a legal challenge when the Centre for Global Development (CGD), where she was a visiting fellow, did not renew her contract in March 2019 after a dispute over publicising her views on social media. She was accused of using "offensive and exclusionary" language in tweets opposing government proposals - later shelved - to reform the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) to allow people to self-identify as a particular gender.

An attempt by Forstater, funded through the CrowdJustice website, to establish that her tweets, such as "men cannot change into women", should be protected under the Equality Act failed in a test case at an employment tribunal in 2019. In April, Forstater appealed to the employment appeal tribunal (EAT).

On Thursday a panel led by the EAT president, Mr Justice Choudhury, upheld the appeal, saying the tribunal had "erred in law" in ruling that Forstater's views were "not worthy of respect in a democratic society". In its written judgment, it said:
"Just as the legal recognition of civil partnerships does not negate the right of a person to believe that marriage should only apply to heterosexual couples, becoming the acquired gender 'for all purposes' within the meaning of GRA does not negate a person's right to believe, like the claimant, that as a matter of biology a trans person is still their natal sex. Both beliefs may well be profoundly offensive and even distressing to many others, but they are beliefs that are and must be tolerated in a pluralist society."

Comment: If there are absolute freedoms of expression and thought, there are no qualifiers nor narrowing interpretations.

Piggy Bank

Pennies & Persecution: IRS denies religious group tax exempt status

IRS docs
© Getty Images
First Liberty Institute appealed an IRS determination denying tax exempt status to Christians Engaged, a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers Christians to vote and pray.

In a May letter, the IRS argued that Christians Engaged was not eligible for 501(c)(3) status because "[B]ible teachings are typically affiliated with the [Republican] party and candidates."

Since when does religion have to do with political beliefs?

Lea Patterson, Counsel for First Liberty Institute, said:
"The IRS states in an official letter that Biblical values are exclusively Republican. That might be news to President Biden, who is often described as basing his political ideology on his religious beliefs. Only a politicized IRS could see Americans who pray for their nation, vote in every election, and work to engage others in the political process as a threat. The IRS violated its own regulations in denying tax exempt status because Christians Engaged teaches biblical values."


Three reported dead after gunman opens fire in streets of Ardea, Italy

Italian police
© AFP/Andreas Solaro
Italian police check point
According to the TV channel RaiNews24, the shooter managed to escape. The officers were searching for him in Ardea, as well as in the neighbouring cities of Pomezia and Anzio, and later found the suspect barricaded in his own house.

A gunman opened fire in the streets of the Italian city of Ardea near Rome, killing two children and an elderly man, the Italian media reported on Sunday. The elderly man reportedly died on the spot, while two brothers, a five-year-old and a ten-year-old, were hospitalised, but medics were unable to save their lives.

The suspect is reported to be a 34-year-old man with a mental illness.


Wealthy Atlanta suburb files for 'divorce' from city over skyrocketing crime

Crime scene
© Screenshot
Crime scene in Buckhead, GA
The wealthy Atlanta suburb of Buckhead filed to secede from the city of Atlanta, blasting the mayor for the rising crime rates.

"We filed our divorce papers at the city of Atlanta and our divorce is final," Bill White, CEO of the Buckhead City Committee said in a Fox News interview Thursday.

White condemned Atlanta city leadership, including Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, accusing her of failing to address the uptick in crime and presiding over an underfunded police department.

This comes after a shooting in Buckhead earlier in June, when Andrew Worrell - a father of three - was shot twice while jogging. He survived and has since been released from the hospital. White said:
"They are just not paying attention to the crime. The leadership vacuum is substantial. I don't like saying anything bad about Mayor Bottoms. I'm sure she is a nice human being, but she has completely let our officers down. They feel demoralized, underpaid, underrecognized and being told not to fight crime in the way they would like to. We love the Atlanta police department but we'll form Buckhead City with its own police department, with significantly greater presence on the streets."
The crime spike in Buckhead has proven substantial. Through last week, aggravated assaults were up 52 percent in the wealthy area, compared to a rise of 26 percent city wide, as reported by WXIA-TV via the Daily Mail. Robberies in the city increased 2 percent, but in Buckhead they are up to a whopping 29 percent.