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Currently Browsing: News of Note

Two Years.

In 2015, Gerardo Serrano, a resident from the state of Kentucky, was traveling to Mexico to see his family. As people are wont to do these days, Serrano was documenting the trip by taking pictures and posting them to his Facebook page. It was his way of saying “I’ll see you soon.”

As Serrano approached the border crossing point at Eagle Pass, Texas, Serrano stopped and took a picture of the crossing point. This drew the ire of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents who stopped Serrano. The agents then seized his phone and demanded that Serrano give them the password, presumably so they could see the pictures Serrano had legally taken.

Serrano had no legal obligation to give them the password and said that he knew his rights and wasn’t going to give them the password.

According to the lawsuit filed on behalf of Serrano, the agents told Serrano they were “sick of hearing about [ ] rights.”

Agents then started to search Serrano’s vehicle, a 2015 Ford F-250 that Serrano had paid over $38,000 for.
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The Latest Masterpiece Cakeshop Trial.

Masterpiece Cakeshop of Colorado is back in the news for all the wrong reasons.

The shop is run by Jack Phillips who came to national attention when in 2012, he declined to make a cake celebrating a gay marriage. The reason for the refusal was simple: gay marriage violates Phillips’ religious beliefs and he stated he would not create a cake with the message contrary to his beliefs. Phillips declines to make many cakes having messages he disagrees with. He has declined to make cakes celebrating Halloween, advocating the use of marijuana or illegal drugs, or disparaging people—including those in the LGBT community. There is no evidence that Phillips refuses to sell products such as “regular” cakes, cookies, or other baked goods to anyone but he draws the line when he is asked to promote something which is against his religious beliefs.

Phillips was sued by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission which ruled that Phillips had discriminated against the gay couple. Not only was Phillips fined, had to stop designing custom wedding cakes altogether, which accounted for roughly 40 percent of his business. He was ordered to “re-educate” his staff (mostly family), explaining that it is intolerant and discriminatory for him to act on his religious beliefs about marriage. He has to report to the government whenever he declines to design a cake for any reason – whether it be a Halloween cake, a bachelor party cake, a divorce party cake, or even cakes disparaging the LGBT community (all of which he had previously declined to design).
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The Queen Has Died.

We won’t bury the lede here: famous race car driver, team owner and fan favorite Sabine Schmitz has passed away.

Schmitz died at the much too young age of 51 from cancer.

Like many people, we became familiar with Schmitz due to her appearances on the British television show “Top Gear.” No matter how many times the show featured her in racing and other competitive situations, you could count on seeing her smiling, laughing and her intense competitive nature. She was a gracious loser in the rare times that she lost, but she was driven to come back and win.

The famous German Nürburgring was the track at which Schmitz was most well known for.

She is the only female driver to win the 24 hour race held there (winning twice) but her job at the Nürburgring could have increased her chances.

The Nürburgring is a 150,000 person capacity motorsports complex located in the town of Nürburg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It features a Grand Prix race track built in 1984, and a much longer Nordschleife “North loop” track which was built in the 1920s around the village and medieval castle of Nürburg in the Eifel mountains. The north loop is 20.8 km (12.9 mi) long and has more than 300 metres (1,000 feet) of elevation change from its lowest to highest points. Jackie Stewart nicknamed the old track “The Green Hell”.
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A Win – But Still Losing.

On February 19, 2021, we wrote about the troubling story of Dr. Hasan Gokal, a Houston doctor who was fired for administering COVID vaccines to eligible people instead of allowing the vaccine to go to waste.

The short version of this story is that Gokal was working for the county administering vaccine at a location when late in the day, people came to get vaccinated, requiring Gokal to open a new vial of the vaccine. No one else came to the site and Gokal called a supervisor asking what should be done with the vaccine and should he look for people to vaccinate to empty the vial?

The supervisor told him the plan to look for people was a good one and Gokal injected doses of the vaccine for eligible people.

A few days later, Gokal was asked by the health officials for whom he worked what had happened to the vaccine. He told them. They told him that instead of using the vaccine, it should have been destroyed.

Gokal was fired and charged with the crime of stealing the vaccine.
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Farm Owner Who Rehabs Injured Wild Animals Cited By Michigan. All The Animals Killed.

Julie Hall owns a farm named the Kei Ju Farm in Petoskey, Michigan. The farm has a reputation for having an “open door” policy for the community. Hall also “rescues” injured animals she finds on her farm and guides them back to health. The community also brings injured wildlife to her. She says she has been doing it for decades.

Everyone from farmers and friends to members of the community would bring her all sorts of creatures in need of help, she says, from animals injured by hunters to orphaned baby raccoons.

“We have nothing but wildlife up here. We’ve moved into their homes. It’s our responsibility when something like that happens,” she says of her animal rescue work.

Hall, assisted by a crew of volunteers, would do what she could to nurse the animals brought to her back to health so that they could be released back into the wild. Animals that came to her as babies were taught to fish, hunt, and fend for themselves before being let go, she says.

There was a problem though.
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“Equality” In The COVID Stimulus Bill Is Non-Existent.

In our post concerning “Animal Farm” and the unequal treatment of regular vs. Federal workers the other day, in the comments a reader left a link to an article by the New York Post concerning more disparities in the bill.

Here are some of the highlights from the bill as described in the article:

Section 1005 of the bill offers “socially disadvantaged” farm owners total debt forgiveness of up to hundreds of thousands of no-strings dollars per farmer. But white men needn’t apply. The bill’s definition of “socially disadvantaged,” drawn from elsewhere in federal law, limits aid to racial groups who faced historic discrimination.

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“Animal Farm” Contained In COVID Relief Bill.

As you may be aware, on Friday night / Saturday morning, the US House of Representatives passed a COVID stimulus bill.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a massive $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package early Saturday — the sixth COVID bill passed since the pandemic began a year ago.

The vote around 2 a.m. ET was 219-212.

Two Democrats voted against their party’s plan: U.S. Reps. Jared Golden of Maine and Kurt Schrader of Oregon. Both lawmakers also opposed a $3 trillion bill last May that ultimately failed.

Golden issued a statement defending his decision.

“During challenging times, the country needs its elected leaders to work together to meet the most urgent needs in their communities,” Golden said, according to The Associated Press. “This bill addresses urgent needs, and then buries them under a mountain of unnecessary or untimely spending.”

Republicans contend that the bill is essentially a “wish list” for Democrats:
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Vaccine Insanity.

Dr. Hasan Gokal is a Houston, TX physician who is being prosecuted and we would say persecuted for giving the COVID-19 vaccine to “the wrong people.”

It’s an amazing story and one that demonstrates how government officials are more concerned with rules than doing the right thing.

According to the New York Times:

Dr. Gokal, 48, immigrated from Pakistan as a boy and earned a medical degree at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. After working at hospitals in Central New York, he moved to Texas in 2009 to oversee the emergency department at a suburban Houston hospital. His volunteer work has included rebuilding homes and providing medical care after Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

In recent years, Dr. Gokal split his time between two area hospitals. But when the pandemic hit in early 2020, he lived for a month in a hotel and an apartment rather than risk infecting his wife, Maria, 47, who has pulmonary sarcoidosis, a disease in her lungs that leaves her winded after even minimal activity.

“I was petrified to go home and bring Covid to my wife,” he said.
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