Air Force Barred From Booting Unvaccinated + More
The Defender’s Big Brother NewsWatch brings you the latest headlines related to governments’ abuse of power, including attacks on democracy, civil liberties and use of mass surveillance.
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U.S. Judge Blocks Air Force From Kicking out, Punishing Thousands of Unvaccinated Troops
Judge Matthew W. McFarland, of Ohio’s Southern District, granted a temporary restraining order in the case of Hunter Doster, et al. v. Hon Frank Kendall, et al., in which Doster and other service members sued the Air Force Secretary to grant religious exemptions to the service’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
McFarland also granted a temporary restraining order, thus preventing the Air Force from enforcing its vaccine mandate, which can entail punishments and involuntary separations from the service, against the lawsuit class.
As of the Air Force’s latest vaccination statistics posted Tuesday, 6,803 members were denied religious accommodation requests, while 2,847 requests remain pending, and only 104 were approved. Approximately 2.9% of the Air Force’s entire ranks remain unvaccinated. The service has already kicked out 834 members.
California Social Media Addiction Bill Drops Parent Lawsuits
A first-of-its-kind proposal in the California Legislature aimed at holding social media companies responsible for harming children who have become addicted to their products would no longer let parents sue popular platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
The revised proposal would still make social media companies liable for damages of up to $250,000 per violation for using features they know can cause children to become addicted. But it would only let prosecutors, not parents, file the lawsuits against social media companies. The legislation was amended last month, CalMatters reported Thursday.
The bill’s author, Republican Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham, said he made the change to make sure the bill had enough votes to pass in the state Senate, where he said a number of lawmakers were “nervous about creating new types of lawsuits.”
The bill would exempt social media companies from these lawsuits if they conduct quarterly audits of their features and remove any harmful products within 30 days of learning they cause children to become addicted.
Colorado Ends Vaccination Mandate for Healthcare Workers, Federal Requirement Still Applies to Most
Representatives from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) asked the health board not to extend the requirement at a June meeting, citing a plateau in data that suggests workers who were going to get vaccinated had done so already.
The state said about a third of healthcare facilities will still require employees to get vaccinated under a federal rule that applies to workplaces that accept Medicare and Medicaid insurance.
Local Firefighters Terminated Over Vaccine Mandate Pursue $171 Million Tort Claim
The firefighters said they suffered discrimination from district leadership and have filed a tort claim seeking $171 million in damages.
Exemptions to the mandate were granted but Eastside’s top officials declined to accommodate the employees to allow them to return to fire engines or aid cars where they would have to interact with patients.
Virginia Changes COVID Quarantine, Mask Recommendations for Schools
The Virginia Department of Health’s revised quarantine rules for early childhood education settings were announced Friday by Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
“As Virginians continue to return to the office and social settings, the pandemic is disrupting workplaces and family life when entire childcare facilities, camps and classrooms shutter in response to as few as two cases,” Gov. Youngkin said in a statement.
The new guidance from VDH said “quarantine is no longer routinely recommended” and that those exposed to the virus can still attend school or other early childhood education settings as long as they don’t have symptoms.
Colleges, Students Respond to End of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s COVID Vaccine Mandate
Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday announced an end to a statewide COVID-19 vaccine mandate for college students and faculty, essentially leaving the policy up to individual schools. On Thursday, some local colleges and universities were still grappling with the decision, while others came down on opposite sides.
China’s Economic Growth Slumps Sharply After COVID Lockdowns
China’s economic growth has slowed sharply in the second quarter of the year, official data showed on Friday, highlighting the colossal toll from widespread COVID lockdowns and casting doubt over whether its pre-ordained growth target can be met.
Output contracted by 2.6% between April and June compared with the previous quarter, the statistics bureau said, prompting many economists to revise their predictions for the world’s second-biggest economy.
On an annual basis, the economy grew 0.4% in the second quarter, the worst since the pandemic-hit first months of 2020, but even that was worse than the consensus forecast by economists of 1%.
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Congress Should Make Privacy Measures a Top Priority, Poll Shows
In a survey of 992 respondents with at least one child under the age of 17, about 63% said that if they could choose one priority for Congress, it would be to increase privacy protections.
The U.S. lacks a federal statute on privacy. While 25 states have introduced privacy legislation, only a handful have signed them into law and even fewer have implemented robust standards that prevent tech companies from collecting user data without consent.
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, passed in 1998, protects children 13 and younger. Companies including Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook, Alphabet Inc.’s Google and ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok have all paid fines for violations of the law.
Judge Orders Discovery to Proceed in Social Media Collusion Lawsuit Against Biden Administration
A federal judge has ordered several social media companies to turn over documents and answer questions within the next 30 days as part of the discovery phase in a lawsuit brought by the states of Missouri and Louisiana, which allege that the Biden administration colluded with tech giants to censor conservatives.
“In May, Missouri and Louisiana filed a landmark lawsuit against top-ranking Biden Administration officials for allegedly colluding with social media giants to suppress freedom of speech on a number of topics including the origins of COVID-19, the efficacy of masks and election integrity,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a Tuesday statement.
“Today, the Court granted our motion for discovery, paving the way for my Office to gather important documents to get to the bottom of that alleged collusion — this is a huge development.”
Hohmann: In a Technocracy, You Will Have No Rights, Only Privileges
When Klaus Schwab or some other globalist tells you that you will own nothing, they don’t necessarily mean that you will literally not own a thing and just rent everything from the billionaires.
If that happened, Amazon and Walmart would go out of business. And we all know that cannot be allowed to happen.
So while you may technically still own a house, a car, computers, appliances, a cellphone, etc., in the emerging digital economy, do you really own it? By that I mean, do you have full control over the usage of those products?
If you have a deed or a receipt that says “paid in full,” are there any more service fees required for the “privilege” of using that product? Even if there are no fees required, does any outside entity have the ability to monitor or shut down whatever device you own? How much of your personal user data is being sent back to the manufacturer, which then uses it to sell you other products, or sells your data to the government and other corporations?
The Corporate Layoffs Have Started and Leftist Big Tech Is Leading the Pack
There are two major forces at work within the U..S economy today that pull in different directions but end up in the same place: These forces are price inflation caused by central bank stimulus along with supply chain instability and recession triggered by rising interest rates. Immense corporate and consumer debt also play a role, but this ties in directly with the interest rate issue.
In other words, we are looking at a classic stagflationary scenario amplified by years of fiat dollar printing by the Federal Reserve. The only element that has been missing is rising unemployment, until now.
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