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News

BREAKING: Trump condemns violence at Capitol as ‘heinous’

Commits to a 'seamless transition of power' on January 20
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 10:58 pm EST
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Night falls in the U.S. capital, Jan. 6, 2021 Jim Hale / LifeSiteNews
Raymond Wolfe
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January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – In a new video posted to President Trump’s Twitter, the president condemned the breach of the U.S. Capitol yesterday, calling it “heinous.” 

“I immediately deployed the national guard to secure the building and expel the intruders,” Trump remarked, vowing that those who took part in the breach “will pay.”  

WASHINGTON, The President also said he commits “to ensuring a smoothorderly, and seamless transition of power.” “Now congress has certified the results. A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20,” Trump added. 

“My campaign vigorously pursued every legal avenue to contest the election results. My only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote. In so doing, I was fighting to defend American democracy,” he said. 

“To the citizens of our country, serving as your president has been the honor of my lifetime,” he continued. President Trump addressed his “wonderful supporters,” saying, I know you are disappointed but I also want you to know that our incredible journey is only just beginning.” 

“I continue to strongly believe that we must reform our election laws to verify the identity and eligibility of all voters and to ensure faith and confidence in all future elections,” the president said. 

He noted that “2020 has been a challenging time for our people,” with “[a] menacing pandemic that upended the lives of citizens, isolated millions in their homes, damaged our economy, and claimed countless lives.”  

“We have just been through an intense election and emotions are high” Trump said, urging that “tempers” “be cooled.” 

“Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America,” he concluded. 


News

Greek Orthodox Church defies govt lockdown measures, offers divine worship

The Greek Church's Holy Synod vowed to open their churches for Epiphany on January 6 in defiance of the government.
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 8:37 pm EST
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Greek Orthodox liturgy in Athens, 2015. YuG / Shutterstock.com
Patrick Delaney Patrick Delaney Follow
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ATHENS, Greece, January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The Greek Orthodox Church has chosen to defy new lockdown orders imposed by the Greek government which have the stated purpose of mitigating the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.

The Holy Synod, its governing body, called an emergency session on Monday to consider the government’s recent orders tightening current restrictions, including the closing of churches, as The Guardian reports.

In response, the clerics vowed to open their churches for Epiphany liturgies on Wednesday, January 6, as had been part of a previous arrangement with the state.

“The synod does not agree with the new government measures regarding the operation of places of worship and insists on what was originally agreed with the state,” the ecclesial leaders said in a statement.

“It asks that the aforementioned decision be absolutely respected by the state without further ado taking into consideration … that all the foreseen hygiene measures were upheld by clerics in thousands of churches across Greece,” they wrote.

According to the Greek publication I Kathimerini, the Holy Synod also complained that the government had not consulted with it prior to publicly imposing the new lockdown measures.

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This announcement comes in the wake of similar struggles recently engaged in France.

In early November, hundreds of Roman Catholics across the country demonstrated outside their churches, protesting government restrictions of a 30-person limit.

More recently, Archbishop Laurent Ulrich of Lille encouraged his priests to “welcome all believers,” while calling the government measures “arbitrary, discriminatory and unrealistic.”

Soon after, in response to such sentiments, the French Council of State, the nation’s highest administrative court, required the government to reconsider the measures, referring to them as “disproportionate.”

In a recent piece titled “It is time for civil disobedience in the name of fidelity to Christ,” Dr. Peter Kwasniewski encourages churches to recall “the non-negotiable and non-erasable priority of divine worship” and be ready to defend it even at tremendous personal cost.

He affirms that such regulations, which are indeed “disproportionate” to the common good, are, in the words of St. Thomas Aquinas and Martin Luther King, unjust laws, which are “no law at all.” Further, “[t]o such ‘laws’ we must give not obedience but civil disobedience, which, indeed, is obedience to a higher law, indeed the highest law.”

He warns against “falling in line for state subservience,” and accepting as custom a notion that public worship “can be canceled at the whim of a heathen governor.”

In the backdrop of these dynamics, President Donald Trump recently provided a dramatic reminder of the importance of religious freedom to American values, culture, identity, and law.

With his “Proclamation on the 850th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket,” the president observed how the murder of the 12th-century English archbishop “eventually brought about numerous constitutional limitations on the power of the state over the Church.”

The Magna Carta, which was signed half a century later, declared, “[T]he English church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished and its liberties unimpaired.” And, as Trump explained, this “eventually led to the establishment of religious liberty in the New World” as reflected in the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

President Trump concluded his statement by proclaiming, “The tyranny and murder that shocked the conscience of the Middle Ages must never be allowed to happen again. As long as America stands, we will always defend religious liberty.

“A society without religion cannot prosper. A nation without faith cannot endure — because justice, goodness, and peace cannot prevail without the grace of God.”


  coronavirus, greece, greek orthodox church, lockdown, religious freedom

News

Facebook removes all on-the-ground video of Capitol Hill protest

'At this point they represent promotion of criminal activity which violates our policies,' the social media platform stated as a justification for censoring content.
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 5:53 pm EST
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Protestors storming the U.S. Capitol BBC / screenshot
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

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January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Social media giant Facebook announced it is deleting all videos taken during Wednesday’s storming of the U.S. Capitol building, ostensibly to prevent “promotion of criminal activity.”

“We have been searching for and removing the following content,” the company said in a statement, “Praise and support of the storming of the US Capitol”; “Calls to bring weapons to locations across the US — not just in Washington but anywhere in the US — including protests”; “Incitement or encouragement of the events at the Capitol, including videos and photos from the protestors,” because “At this point they represent promotion of criminal activity which violates our policies”; “Calls for protests — even peaceful ones — if they violate the curfew in DC”; and “Attempts to restage violence tomorrow or in the coming days.”

Facebook, which has also suspended President Donald Trump (as has Twitter), added that it has updated its label on election content stressing that Joe Biden is the “certified” winner of the presidential election, and has “taken enforcement action consistent with our policy banning militarized social movements like the Oathkeepers and the violence-inducing conspiracy theory QAnon.”

Conservatives have noted that Wednesday’s videos are an invaluable resource for firsthand information about what transpired at the Capitol, and have noted Big Tech’s double-standards in what type of content the industry is willing to let stand:

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Dozens of protesters broke into the U.S. Capitol Building onWednesday after the “March to Save America” rally where the president said supporters would march “over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” where “we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen-and-women” who were meeting to formally object to the certification of electoral votes from a handful of states.

As covered live by LifeSiteNews, viral videos showed groups of protesters engaging in physical altercations with police, pushing against security barricades, breaking through a window, trespassing in congressional offices, and climbing on walls, causing the vote certification to be suspended and lawmakers to be evacuated from the chambers. LifeSite’s on-the-ground reporting indicates many were allowed to enter and simply walked through the building (which is normally open to the public) after the initial breach.

Trump told the breachers to “go home in peace” via tweets and video message, yet a coalition of Democrats and establishment Republicans quickly decided that Trump had “incited” the violence, some by blaming his support of marching to the building (which was a pre-planned part of the event, advertised before Trump’s remarks), others by blaming Trump’s refusal to concede in the first place.


  big tech, capitol hill, censorship, donald trump, facebook, march to save america, u.s. capitol

News

Tucker: America must learn from ‘pressure relief valve’ of democracy bursting in DC

'If you don't bother to pause and learn a single thing from your citizens storming your Capitol building, then you're a fool, you lack wisdom and self-awareness, and you have no place running a country,' the Fox News commentator said.
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 4:31 pm EST
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Ashli Babbit johnwaynegodbless / YouTube
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

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January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – “Political violence begets political violence,” Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson warned in his Wednesday evening monologue on the storming of the U.S. Capitol this week, calling on the nation to understand and address the factors that led to the event.

Dozens of protesters broke into the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday after the “March to Save America” rally where the president said supporters would march “over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” where “we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen-and-women” who were meeting to formally object to the certification of electoral votes from a handful of states.

As covered live by LifeSiteNews, viral videos showed groups of protesters engaging in physical altercations with police, pushing against security barricades, breaking through a window, trespassing in congressional offices, and climbing on walls, causing the vote certification to be suspended and lawmakers to be evacuated from the chambers. LifeSite’s on-the-ground reporting indicates many were allowed to enter and simply walked through the building (which is normally open to the public) after the initial breach.

Amid the fray, California woman and Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed by Capitol Police while attempting to climb through a window in a barricaded hallway. “The scene around her is chaotic,” Carlson said of the video depicting the shooting. “People are bumping into each other, yelling, trying to get through the door into the chamber. Suddenly, with no warning, there is gunfire. You hear a shot and Babbitt falls. People in the hallway scream. The camera closes in on her face. Babbitt looks stunned. She's staring straight ahead. You can see that she knows she's about to die, which she did.”

“Political violence begets political violence. That is an iron law,” he said. “We have to be against that, no matter who commits the violence or under what pretext, no matter how many self-interested demagogues assure us the violence is justified or necessary. We have a duty to oppose all of this, not simply because political violence kills other people's children, but because in the end it doesn't work.”

“You may have nothing in common with the people on the other side of the country (increasingly, you probably don't), but you're stuck with them,” Carlson continued. “The idea that groups of Americans will somehow break off into separate peaceful nations of like-minded citizens is a fantasy. The two hemispheres of this country are inseparably intertwined, like conjoined twins. Neither can leave without killing the other. As horrifying as this moment is, we have no option but to make it better, to gut it out.”

“The second thing to consider, and it's related to the first, is why Ashli Babbitt went to the rally in the first place,” he went on. “We ought to think about that. If you want to fix it, you have to think about that.”

“Democracy is a pressure relief valve,” he explained. “As long as people sincerely believe they can change things by voting, they stay calm. They don't burst into the House chamber. They talk and they organize and they vote. But the opposite is also true if people begin to believe that their democracy is fraudulent, that voting is a charade, that the system is rigged and it's run in secret by a small group of powerful, dishonest people who are acting in their own interests.”

What happened Wednesday was a result of that pressure valve bursting, Carlson argued. “Rather than trying to change their minds, to convince them and reassure them that the system is real and that democracy works -- which you would do if you cared about the country or the people who live here -- our new leaders will try to silence them.”

“If you don't bother to pause and learn a single thing from your citizens storming your Capitol building, then you're a fool, you lack wisdom and self-awareness, and you have no place running a country,” Carlson concluded. “We got to this sad, chaotic day for a reason.”

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Trump told the breachers to “go home in peace” via tweets and video message (which Twitter flagged as potentially dangerous), yet a coalition of Democrats and establishment Republicans quickly decided that Trump “incited” the violence, some by blaming his support of marching to the building (which was a pre-planned part of the event, advertised before Trump’s remarks), others by blaming Trump’s refusal to concede in the first place.


  ashli babbit, congress, donald trump, march to save america, political violence, tucker carlson

News

BREAKING: Biden calls Trump supporters ‘domestic terrorists’

The vast majority of those attending the Jan. 6 rally were peaceful, engaging in non-violent demonstration of support for Trump and against an incoming Biden administration.
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 4:08 pm EST
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Trump supporters Shutterstock
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

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January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Joe Biden labeled Trump supporters as “domestic terrorists” in a tweet this afternoon.

“What we witnessed yesterday was not dissent — it was disorder. They weren’t protestors — they were rioters, insurrectionists, and domestic terrorists,” Biden wrote.

On Jan. 6, hundreds of thousands of Trump supporters gathered in Washington D.C. for the March to Save America. After President Trump addressed the crowd around noon, a number of people stormed over police barricades and entered the Capitol building. One woman was fatally shot by police. Three others were wounded. More than a dozen police officers were hurt.

The vast majority of those attending the rally, however, were peaceful, engaging in non-violent demonstration of support for Trump and against an incoming Biden administration.

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Biden today introduced Merrick Garland as his pick for attorney general, the nation’s top law enforcement official. Garland was former-president Obama’s pro-abortion Supreme Court nominee in 2016. In May of 2016, Garland voted against allowing Priests for Life to have an en banc hearing by the whole court in the group’s case against the Obama Administration’s contraception mandate.

Biden said today that in the “past four years we’ve had a president who’s made his contempt for our democracy, our Constitution, the rule of law, clear in everything he has done.”

He vowed to change the Department of Justice in the course of his administration.

“More than anything, we need to restore the honor, the integrity, the independence of the Department of Justice that’s been so badly damaged,” he said.

Referring to claims that Trump misused the Department for his own benefits, Biden tweeted today: “It’s time for a Department of Justice that serves the interests of the people — not a presidency.”


  biden administration, department of justice, domestic terrorists, joe biden, merrick garland, trump supporters

News

Hong Kong authorities arrest dozens of prominent pro-democracy activists

China is gaining more and more power in the former British colony.
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 3:54 pm EST
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Pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong Shutterstock
Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

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Hong Kong, January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Officers in Hong Kong arrested dozens of prominent pro-democracy activists in early morning raids Wednesday, which are seen as Beijing’s latest attempt at stomping out any remnants of democracy in the former British colony that is now administered by China.

A total of 53 people were arrested by Hong Kong authorities under China’s new national security law (NSL). The individuals arrested were accused of “subverting state power” for allegedly holding and promoting primaries for pro-democracy candidates for the now-postponed Hong Kong election.

In July, Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam announced that the planned elections would be postponed for one year, until September 5, 2021, referring to an apparent worsening COVID-19 outbreak in the region.

According to the Hong Kong police, 47 people were arrested for participating in the primaries, and a total of six people for holding them. Police searched a total of 72 sites and ordered four media companies to hand over their materials, as well.

The arrests are seen as the most brazen attempt yet by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has slowly been turning once free Hong Kong into an authoritative dictatorship under tight control by Beijing.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) passed the NSL in June of 2020 in China’s mainland legislature, circumventing local and already established Hong Kong law.

The NSL criminalizes any acts which are deemed to be secession, terrorism, subversion, or collusion with a foreign or external force.

Under the NSL, the CCP now has the power to effectively muzzle any resistance to Beijing’s ever-tightening control over Hong Kong.

Maya Wang, who is a senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch, said that any remaining “veneer of democracy in the city” has vanished.

“Beijing once again has failed to learn from its mistakes in Hong Kong: that repression generates resistance, and that millions of Hong Kong people will persist in their struggle for their right to vote and run for office in a democratically elected government,” said Wang, as reported by The Guardian.

In recent months, Hong Kong has undergone a dramatic transformation, seeing its once mostly independent institutions such as schools, legislature, and news media, all come under more control of the Chinese government.

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In December, prominent Catholic media mogul Jimmy Lai was arrested in Hong Kong after he allegedly was caught committing fraud.

Retired Hong Kong bishop Cardinal Joseph Zen has been a top critic of the persecution of China’s Catholics. He has spoken out harshly against the Vatican-China deal, saying it is “the murder of the Church in China,” and that it showed the Vatican “selling out the Church to China.”

Zen also called out China’s national security law. He said in a recent interview that it makes it easier for the Chinese Communist Party to go after city protestors and further erodes the independence of Hong Kong.

“I went through the whole text of the law,” said Zen in an interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo. “It’s easy to tell you in just one sentence: ‘Now they can do anything,’” he added.

“We are at the mercy of this new commission … We don’t have religious freedom because we don’t have freedom.” 

In December, the CCP replaced all traces of religious references with CCP-style alternatives at a well-known Catholic pilgrimage site, which was done as part of increased targeting of the Catholic Church after the Vatican signed a secret deal with China.


  democracy, hong kong, jimmy lai, joseph zen

News

Schumer, Pelosi demand Trump be removed from office by 25th Amendment

‘What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president. This president should not hold office one day longer,’ Sen. Chuck Schumer declared.
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 3:11 pm EST
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shutterstock.com
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By Calvin Freiburger

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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Democrat Congressional leaders Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) called for invoking the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution to forcibly remove President Donald Trump from office Thursday, less than two weeks before Trump will be stepping down on his own accord.

“What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president. This president should not hold office one day longer,” Schumer declared, Axios reports. “The quickest and most effective way — it can be done today — to remove this president from office would be for the Vice President to immediately invoke the 25th amendment. If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president.”

“If the vice president and Cabinet do not act, Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment,” Pelosi agreed. “That is the overwhelming sentiment of my caucus and the American people, by the way,” in the wake of Wednesday’s “acts of sedition and acts of cowardice.”

These calls (joined by Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger) come a day after dozens of protesters broke into the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday, following the “March to Save America” rally where the president said supporters would march “over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” where “we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen-and-women” who were meeting to formally object to the certification of electoral votes from a handful of states.

As covered live by LifeSiteNews, viral videos showed groups of protesters engaging in physical altercations with police, pushing against security barricades, breaking through a window, trespassing in congressional offices, and climbing on walls, causing the vote certification to be suspended and lawmakers to be evacuated from the chambers. While LifeSite’s on-the-ground reporting indicates many were allowed to enter and simply walked through the building (which is normally open to the public) after the initial breach, one woman was fatally shot by capitol police.

Trump subsequently told the breachers to “go home in peace” via tweets and video message (which Twitter flagged as potentially dangerous), yet a coalition of Democrats and establishment Republicans quickly decided that Trump had “incited” the violence, some by blaming his call to march to the building (which was a pre-planned part of the event, advertised prior to Trump’s remarks), others by blaming Trump’s refusal to concede in the first place.

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National Review’s Andrew McCarthy, a former Trump supporter who rescinded his endorsement of the president this week and contends (without explaining how) that Trump incited the violence, nevertheless admits that removing Trump via the 25th Amendment would be unconstitutional, as it is meant “to deal with a specific kind of dire situation, namely, when the president is by some medical emergency rendered unable to perform the duties of the presidency.”

Aside from the law, the political reality remains that such an action (which would further inflame political divisions rather than calm them) would only accelerate Trump’s departure from the presidency by a matter of days. After Congress certified former Vice President Joe Biden’s formal victory, Trump confirmed he would abide by the outcome in an “orderly transition on January 20.”


  25th amendment, adam kinzinger, chuck schumer, democrats, donald trump, march to save america, nancy pelosi, presidential transition

News

Catholic priest in inspiring message of hope tells Christians how to survive ‘evil’ Biden administration

'We are the children of light,' he said, 'and we're going to keep fighting'
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 2:56 pm EST
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Fr. Jeffrey Kirby during a Nov. 29, 2020 homily in Our Lady of Grace Parish in Lancaster, South Carolina. Grace Lily Productions / Youtube
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By Pete Baklinski

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LANCASTER, South Carolina, January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic priest is warning Americans who believe in God of the “dark” four years they have before them under a Biden administration that he says will commence an all-out assault on religious freedom that will especially target Christians, resulting in persecution.

“We have a dark four years coming as a Church, and we need to get ready,” said Father Jeffrey Kirby, a moral theologian and philosopher who is pastor of Our Lady of Grace Parish in Lancaster, South Carolina, in a Dec. 29 homily.

Before warning how a Biden administration will affect Christians, Fr. Kirby chastised members of his own parish for voting for a leader who calls himself Catholic while supporting abortion among other evils.

“Some of you, I know, voted for someone who is now going to suffer (hurt) and persecute the Church for the next four years. That on top of the fact that he supports the utter slaughter of the unborn,” he said.

“What have you done? What have you done to your Church,” Fr. Kirby cried out with a loud voice.

“Look at and watch as our religious sisters will be dragged through the courts, as contraception will be set to be imposed upon them. Watch how our hospitals disappear, because we will not follow government dictates. Watch how our support of unwed mothers disappears because of constant and unreasonable regulations. Watch as mother Church shrinks. Watch how she is treated by this government, this coming administration. And those of you who voted for such an administration bear the responsibility of what you have done, because we are in for it, folks. And they're already getting ready,” he said.

“Have you seen the appointees? Some of the most aggressive anti-Catholic anti-organized-religion leaders in their various states. And this is what we're in for. To the righteous, to those who believe, also get ready because we're going to have a very difficult next four years,” he added.

While the priest warned that Christians are going to “lose so much” in the upcoming “time of darkness,” he also offered a path of hope forward.

“We are the children of light,” he said, “and we're going to keep fighting.”

Fr. Kirby put forward St. Thomas Becket as an example of how Christians should engage with the Biden administration.

Thomas Becket, a 12th century English martyr, rose from humble origins to become King Henry II’s most trusted and powerful subject after the King made him his chancellor at age 36. The King and his Chancellor had a deep relationship with one another that transcended their offices. It was said that they had “but one heart and one mind” and some describe their behavior as like two schoolboys at play. Beckett rose to become an archbishop (1162) and leader in the Church.

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When Henry, in 1164, attempted to strike at the privileges of the Church through the Constitutions of Clarendon, Beckett refused to endorse the offending document, adopting a position of uncompromising resistance. There followed six years of persecution that climaxed in Beckett being brutally murdered by four knights on Dec. 29, 1170, while praying vespers in his Cathedral. When the knights stormed the Cathedral and asked, “Where is the traitor?” the saint is said to have calmly replied, “Here I am, no traitor, but archbishop and priest of God.”

President Donald Trump invoked Becket on the saint’s feast day last month,  praising the martyr for opposing the king while asserting the rights and privileges of the Church.

“Thomas Becket’s death serves as a powerful and timeless reminder to every American that our freedom from religious persecution is not a mere luxury or accident of history, but rather an essential element of our liberty. It is our priceless treasure and inheritance. And it was bought with the blood of martyrs,” said Trump in his Dec. 29 “Proclamation on 850th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket.”

“On this day, we celebrate and revere Thomas Becket’s courageous stand for religious liberty,” Trump said. “To honor Thomas Becket’s memory, the crimes against people of faith must stop, prisoners of conscience must be released, laws restricting freedom of religion and belief must be repealed, and the vulnerable, the defenseless, and the oppressed must be protected. The tyranny and murder that shocked the conscience of the Middle Ages must never be allowed to happen again. As long as America stands, we will always defend religious liberty,” he added.

Fr. Kirby in his homily said Becket’s life and death “exemplifies and emphasizes the utter importance of religious freedom, that a person can follow their conscience that they can worship God however he or she may understand him.”

The priest said the saint should inspire men and women of faith to stop being “wimps” when it comes to living out the faith without compromise.

“If we truly believe, I pray that we do, that Jesus Christ has given us the most powerful message ever given to humanity, I pray that we will be unshakable, immovable, uncompromising in our defense and explanation and sharing of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and in the rights of the Church,” he said.

Fr. Kirby said that by following the saint’s example of fortitude, Christians during the Biden administration “will be able to speak the truth even as they try to silence us.”

He warned that unless good men and women publicly witness to the truth, America will continue sliding into a demise of Communism where Christian views on “natural marriage, the personhood of the unborn, authentic religious liberty” will be no longer tolerated and stamped out.

The priest urged those who try to live righteously in the ways of the Lord not to fear the suffering that will surely come, but to see it as an opportunity for witness.

“It's going to be a glorious suffering, because with every suffering God will just be endowing his Church with more grace. And it will be precisely our sufferings that will inspire other believers, the lukewarm perhaps, to themselves find true faith, or perhaps those who have no faith to begin to ask what's different about these people, why are they so vocal. And they begin to ask questions to perhaps come into the faith,” he said.

Fr. Kirby called Saint Becket a “providential figure” for Christians regarding “what we are called to do” during the Biden Administration.

“It is now time for us to find our voice. It is once again important that we see the heroism of this martyr and find in our hearts the strength and the grace to speak the truth and to find that fortitude in ourselves,” he said.

“Never forget that the only thing evil needs to succeed is for good people to remain quiet. The only thing that evil needs to conquer is for holy people to remain quiet. So, find your voice. Say a few prayers to St. Thomas Becket. And then begin to speak the truth.”

The priest said that as “we walk through these next four years, I pray that we find the strength to give a glorious witness to the power of what the Church can be, because our enemies think they're going to destroy us. We will be here until the Lord returns. But, we have to suffer a little bit. We have to rely more on his grace and we're going to keep saying ‘yes’ and we're going to take that grace and every time they think they've knocked us down, we're going to turn back around and do even five more things more gloriously.”

“So, we ask for that grace. We ask for the intercession of his holy one that we might give as strong a witness as he did to speak the truth always, in season and out of season,” Fr. Kirby concluded.


  biden administration, catholic, faith, jeffrey kirby, joe biden, martyrdom, religious freedom, resistance, thomas becket

News

Cdl. Cupich condemns Capitol protests, remained silent over violent BLM riots

The events ‘should shock the conscience of any patriotic American and any faithful Catholic,’ the archbishop of Chicago said.
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 2:31 pm EST
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Michael Haynes Michael Haynes Follow
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CHICAGO, Illinois, January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Blase Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago, posted a strongly worded statement in response to the recent protests seen at the Capitol, calling them a “national disgrace.” However, when Black Lives Matter protests throughout the nation turned violent last year, Cupich had remained silent.

Cupich’s long message on Twitter dealt with protestors entering the Capitol building yesterday, while the election certification was ongoing. The cardinal wrote that the events “should shock the conscience of any patriotic American and any faithful Catholic,” adding that the “eyes of the world look on in horror.”

He added that over “many months we have witnessed the deliberate erosion of the norms of our system of government,” and highlighted the “sacred right” of “peaceful protest.”

“Violence” is the “opposite” of “social progress,” Cupich continued, saying that “politics is the peaceful resolution of conflicting points of view.”

The cardinal also asked for prayers for the woman who was shot during yesterday’s events, events which he termed “rioting.”

However, despite his string of tweets condemning the protestors entering the Capitol, the cardinal was markedly silent during the nation-wide Black Lives Matter (BLM) riots, which caused widespread destruction and physical harm. At the time, Cupich issued a statement on the death of George Floyd, which served as the catalyst for the BLM riots, in which he briefly declared himself to be “horrified” at the violence in Chicago in the aftermath of the killing, but added that he was not surprised.

“I do not know what it means to be ‘other’. But I know there is a way to fix it,” the cardinal declared, before effectively dismissing all discussion about the morality of the violent riots: “And the fix begins when we stop talking about the proportionality of ‘their’ response and start talking about the proportionality of ‘ours’.”

“We do not need a study of the causes and effects,” Cupich claimed.

A few days later, Cupich gave an address at a meeting organised by Illinois state governor Pritzker, in which he called for peace, not from the rioters, but towards them: “we need peaceful action to stop the hatred that has ended the lives of countless black Americans.”

He equated racism to COVID-19 and commented that “[r]acism is the red thread that runs through the binding that holds America back from reaching its promise: equality and justice for all.”

In fact, the cardinal also employed the now famous term “peaceful protesters” when describing the violent riots, asking that the “aims” of the rioters be not ignored: “No one should allow themselves to dismiss the aims of peaceful protesters because some among them exploited the anger by engaging in criminal acts. Nor should we dismiss the legitimate work of first responders and law enforcement, despite the dangerous overreactions of some against protesters and journalists reporting on these demonstrations.”

The “peaceful” protests which Cupich referred to saw over 700 police and law enforcement officers injured by mid-June alone, and by late September over 300 rioters had been charged for offenses “under the guise of peaceful demonstrations.” Antifa rioters violently made a stronghold in Portland, Oregon, burning and causing destruction to the city, while the Associated Press issued guidance that riots should no longer be called that, but termed unrest instead.

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Writing for LifeSiteNews back in August, Mary Ann Kreitzer described how “Chicago, once under the thumb of gangsters like Al Capone, has new mob bosses, Marxist overlords with their mob strategy.”

Commenting on the BLM riots, Kreitzer noted, “While they scream about love, they assault those with whom they disagree and destroy property indiscriminately, actions they would likely avoid as individuals.”

Despite all of this, Cardinal Cupich sent out tweets seeming to favor the rioters, with only one message that seemed to express disapproval of violence — that being a retweet of one of Pope Francis’s tweets.

In fact, in October, Cupich repeated his earlier comments by writing in the Chicago Tribune that “[i]t has been a summer of anguish for Black Americans.” He decried the “systemic racism” in society, even claiming that Catholics “cannot turn away from the church’s own history” in the matter.

Cupich’s article highlighted the shootings of two black Americans by police, yet he did not address the wider issue of violent crime, which saw 492 criminal homicides in 2019. (Most recent figures available.)

It is unclear why Cupich rebuked one set of protestors, yet almost lauded another.

The Lepanto Institute presented research which showed that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), through their Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), were actually funding four organizations that supported riots and whose goals include not only defunding police, but even killing them.


  black lives matter, blase cupich, storming the capitol

News

Florida congressman refuses to concede fight against ‘systematic’ fraud in powerful speech

‘States that do not run clean elections should be stripped of their electors,’ said Rep. Matt Gaetz last night.
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 1:39 pm EST
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Rep. Matt Gaetz Screenshot
Raymond Wolfe
By

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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — In a speech delivered during Congress’s certification of the 2020 electoral votes last night, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL) doubled-down on his strong condemnation of “systematic,” “repeated” election fraud.

“We came here today to debate, to follow regular order, to offer an objection, to follow a process that is expressly contemplated in our Constitution, and for doing that we got called a bunch of seditious traitors,” Gaetz said.

“Now, not since 1985 has a Republican president been sworn in absent some Democrat effort to object to the electors, but when we do it, it is the new violation of all norms, and when those things are said, people get angry,” the Florida lawmaker continued.

“People do understand the concepts of basic fairness, and no competition contest or election can be deemed fair if the participants are subject to different rules,” he said.

For months, watchdog groups like the Amistad Project have charged swing states officials with creating a “two-tiered system” that overwhelmingly benefited Democratic voters in 2020.

The Amistad Project has argued that “local election officials in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and other states created a two-tiered election system by accepting private funds,” “in the form of strings-attached grants that imposed strict conditions on the way recipient jurisdictions managed their elections.”

The group found that a non-profit funded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg contracted with officials across battlegrounds states, disbursing tens of millions of dollars almost exclusively to Democratic areas, likely illegally.

“This fraud was systemic, it was repeated, it was the same system, and I dare say it was effective,” Gaetz said.

“We saw circumstances where, when Democrat operatives couldn’t get the outcomes they wanted in state legislatures, … they went and pressured and litigated and usurped the constitution with extra constitutional action of some officials,” he also noted.

As outlined repeatedly by LifeSiteNews, state administrators, courts, and other officials fundamentally altered election procedure in various states, circumventing the constitutional authority of state legislatures.

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Rep. Gaetz added that “this election saw an unprecedented amount of votes that could not be authenticated with true ID, with true signature match, and with true confidence for the American people.”

In Wisconsin, for example, state election officials encouraged voters to mark themselves as “indefinitely confined” due to COVID-19, allowing them to skip photo ID requirements. Although courts subsequently ruled against this approach, over 100,000 voters may have obviated legal safeguards inappropriately as a result.

“In 2016, Democrats found out that they couldn’t beat Donald Trump at the ballot box with voters who actually show up so they turned to impeachment and the witness box, and when that failed, they ran to the mailbox,” Gaetz continued.

“Our Article III courts have failed by not holding evidentiary hearings to weigh the evidence. We should not join in that failure. We should vindicate the rights of states,” he said. “We should vindicate the subpoenas in Arizona that have been issued to get a hold of these voting machines, and we should reject these electors.”

Gaetz’s speech was met with applause from his GOP colleagues, over 60% of whom voted against Biden electors.


  2020 election, election fraud, matt gaetz, voter fraud

News

BREAKING: Facebook, Instagram ban Trump ‘indefinitely,’ as digital purge begins

Shopify even deregistered Trump’s campaign stores which used the e-commerce platform.
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 12:20 pm EST
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Michael Haynes Michael Haynes Follow
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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — In an unprecedented move, social media giant Facebook has banned President Donald Trump from its platform “indefinitely,” alleging that he is seeking to “undermine” the transition of power to Joe Biden.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the news on his Facebook profile this afternoon: “The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden.”

The Big Tech company was referring to hundreds of protestors entering the Capitol building yesterday, while the official counting of the electoral college vote was ongoing. Blame has been leveled at Trump for promoting the protests, though evidence is now emerging suggesting that antifa activists were actually involved in inciting the crowds.

Zuckerberg continued: “His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world. We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect — and likely their intent — would be to provoke further violence.”

Zuckerberg wrote that while Facebook “allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules … the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.”

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“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”

The move comes hours after Twitter suspended the president’s account for 12 hours, having deleted some of his tweets for the first time ever shortly before. Some of the president’s messages still remain, in which he urged protestors to “respect the Law.”

Despite the president calling for peace and posting a video repeating the same call, telling supporters to “go home,” Twitter claimed that the video posed “a risk of violence.” If the tweets are not removed after the 12 hours suspension is lifted, then “the account will remain locked.”

While Trump’s video message yesterday was removed by YouTube, his account still remains on the video platform at time of writing.

However, it is not just social media companies who are launching a digital purge of the president’s online presence, as Shopify has deregistered the Trump Store, claiming that Trump had violated the company policy of promoting violence.

In a statement made to TechCrunch, the company said: “Based on recent events, we have determined that the actions by President Donald J. Trump violate our Acceptable Use Policy, which prohibits promotion or support of organizations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause. As a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump.”

Visitors to TrumpStore.com and shop.donaldjtrump.com are now greeted with error messages.


  facebook, instagram, mark zuckerberg, shopify, social media, social media censorship, twitter

News

Pontifical council re-issues document claiming unity between Catholic and Lutheran doctrine

The republication marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s excommunication
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 12:04 pm EST
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Pope Francis next to a statue of Martin Luther placed in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall. October, 2016.
Michael Haynes Michael Haynes Follow
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VATICAN CITY, January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) and the Lutheran World Foundation (LWF) have released an updated version of their joint document on justification to mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s excommunication from the Catholic Church.  

Luther was excommunicated from the Catholic Church in 1521 by Pope Leo X, but the PCPU and the LWF chose to mark the 500th anniversary by releasing a new Italian translation of their document, the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ). Announcing the news, the PCPU said it demonstrated the “commitment to walk together on their common journey from conflict to communion.”

In an interview with Vatican News, the secretary of the PCPU Bishop Brian Farrell, explained the deliberate timing of the document’s release: “We have done this because we are in the 500th anniversary of a very important moment in the history of the Church. As you know in these days we have celebrated the 500th anniversary of the excommunication of Luther, so we thought that would be a good anniversary in which to publish this: to show that we’re not in the same place.”

The original document was agreed to in 1999, and a statement released at the time mentioned that Lutherans and Catholics had made “a consensus in basic truths of the doctrine of justification.” It called for “continued dialogue” in order to reach “full church communion, a unity in diversity, in which remaining differences would be ‘reconciled’ and no longer have a divisive force.” 

Bishop Farrell welcomed the fact that such an eventuality seemed to be occurring: “We’re very far ahead from where we were 500 years ago and down the centuries,” he said. “We are on the road away from conflict towards communion. And that communion grows as we reach new understanding and new agreements between us.”

The English translation of the JDDJ declares that a new common understanding reached by Catholics and Lutherans regarding the doctrine of justification, means that “the remaining differences in its explication are no longer the occasion for doctrinal condemnations.” 

As Farrell described it: “we do have the same doctrine and it basically says this: ‘together, we Lutherans and Catholics, confess that by grace alone in faith in Christ’s saving work, and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit who renews our hearts and makes us capable of doing good work’.”

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An annex to the original JDDJ stated that in light of the agreement, “the mutual condemnations of former times do not apply to the Catholic and Lutheran doctrines of justification as they are presented in the Joint Declaration.” This change has been effected by employing “insights of recent biblical studies” as well as “drawing on modern investigations of the history of theology and dogma.” It is these aspects which, according to the JDDJ, have fulled “the post-Vatican II ecumenical dialogue.”

Lutherans and Catholics have engaged in a “common listening,” the text adds, which has led to a “consensus in the basic truths,” and “differing explications in particular statements” which are supposedly compatible with that consensus.  

The 20th century theologian Dr. Ludwig Ott, described how the Lutheran concept of justification departs from the Catholic teaching through the “conviction that human nature was completely corrupted by Adam’s sin, and the original sin consists formally in evil concupiscence. Luther conceives justification as a juridical act by which God declares the sinner to be justified, although he remains intrinsically unjust and sinful.” 

On the contrary, Fr. William Most notes that the Catholic teaching “means the reception of (sanctifying) grace for the first time. This grace changes us, making us share in the divine nature (2 Peter 1. 4) which is far different from being totally corrupt.”

Farrell also mentioned another document in connection to the JDDJ, namely “From Conflict to Communion,” a joint work between the PCPU and the LWF released in 2017. In the foreword to that work, the two groups stated that “we must confess openly that we have been guilty before Christ of damaging the unity of the church.”

Five ecumenical imperatives are outlined within it, but none of them deals with the primacy of the Catholic Church or Catholic teaching. Instead, emphasis is repeatedly placed on “unity” and “encounter with the other.”

The new translation and increased ecumenical ties, come as the latest steps in an increasing number of actions undertaken by Pope Francis, in order to align the Catholic Church with the Lutherans. Back in 2016, Francis took part in a commemorative event in Sweden to mark the 500th anniversary of Luther’s nailing of his 95 theses to the door of the castle church of Wittenberg. Prior to his trip, Francis had received a mixed group of 1,000 Lutherans and Catholics in the Vatican, speaking from a stage which bore a statue of Luther, and claiming “it is not licit” to “convince [non-Christians] of your faith.”

A year later, the Vatican announced it was issuing a stamp depicting Luther at the foot of the cross, in order to commemorate the Protestant revolt.

Then in January of 2020, Lutheran Evangelical Reverend Michael Jonas stated that in a private audience, Pope Francis had “stressed” how “Catholics and Protestants are very close to one another in what they do in their public worship.”

In response to the Pope’s increasing celebration of Lutheranism, Bishop Athanasius Schneider noted that “We have already had an infallible response to the errors of Martin Luther: the Council of Trent.”


  crisis in the catholic church, ecumenism, lutheranism, pope francis

News

People traveling to Canada need negative COVID test or be quarantined in government camp

‘Persons who are travelling from a country where PCR testing is unavailable will be required to report to a designated Public Health Agency of Canada quarantine facility for the duration of their mandatory 14-day quarantine.’
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 9:48 am EST
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Air Canada airplane Shutterstock
Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

Editor’s note: This report has been updated with new information sent to LifeSiteNews from Transport Canada.

TORONTO, Ontario, January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Starting today, all air travelers going to Canada must present a negative PCR or LAMP COVID-19 test to their airline before being allowed to board their flight.

On December 31, Canada’s Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced the new entry requirements for air travelers entering Canada, which take effect January 7.

“Our government remains committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians. These new measures will provide another layer of protection for Canadians as we continue to assess public health risks and work to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Canada,” said Garneau of the new measures.

Transport Canada originally said that should one not be able to obtain a molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test in the country he is leaving from, an airline is allowed to let a person board, but upon arrival into Canada, he must report to a government-approved COVID-19 quarantine camp and stay there for 14 days.

“Persons who are travelling from a country where PCR testing is unavailable will be required to report to a designated Public Health Agency of Canada quarantine facility for the duration of their mandatory 14-day quarantine. Delays in obtaining test results does not apply,” said Transport Canada. 

However, a Transport Canada media relations person  told LifeSiteNews that they have now provided new clarifications on this aspect in a news release and backgrounder

Transport Canada now says that should one not be able to obtain a PCR or Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) COVID-19 test in the country they are leaving from within 72 hours of departure, this will mean an “automatic denial of boarding by the airline operating the flight to Canada.”

“All travellers coming to Canada must present proof of a negative laboratory test result for COVID-19 to the airline prior to boarding a flight to Canada. The test must be performed using one of two types of COVID-19 tests — either a molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) — and must be conducted within 72 hours of the traveller’s scheduled departure to Canada," reads the clarified guidelines.

“Failure to do so will mean an automatic denial of boarding by the airline operating the flight to Canada.”

According to the government press release from Transport Canada, the new requirements apply to passengers who are five years of age and over, who must produce a negative PCR or LAMP test “within 72 hours of departure, unless the testing is unavailable in that country.”

Transport Canada says violating "any instructions provided" when entering Canada is an “offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to up to six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines.”

The government says the new measures are being put in place through an “Emergency Order on Mandatory Isolation under the Quarantine Act.”

For those who test negative, they still must complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine, and upon arrival must provide to border agents with an “adequate plan for isolation to avoid infecting others,” which must be electronically submitted.

The sudden change of entry requirements into Canada appeared to catch airlines off guard and has been blasted by the world’s top airline trade association, the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

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The IATA criticized the Canadian stated the new testing requirements are “the worst of both worlds” as passengers still need to quarantine upon arrival.

“It is both callous and impractical to impose this new requirement on travelers at such short notice. Moreover, it is completely unrealistic to mandate that airlines check passengers’ compliance with the new rule, as it cannot be the airline’s role to determine if a passenger tried their utmost to get tested or not,” said the IATA in their press release.

“Canada already has one the world’s most draconian Covid-19 border-control regimes, including travel bans and quarantines. Even though COVID-19 testing is an internationally accepted risk-mitigation strategy, there are no plans to adjust the current 14-day quarantine rule nor eliminate the temperature checks airlines are required to perform on passengers wishing to travel to Canada.”

The IATA went onto say that “no explanation has been provided” why only PCR tests are permitted, especially given they are not “readily available in many countries.”

“While the industry for months has been calling for systematic testing to reopen borders without quarantine measures, these pleas have fallen on deaf ears, especially in Canada,” said the IATA.

The organization added that the “way forward” is through a “well-planned and coordinated introduction of testing inbound travelers, as a replacement for quarantine measures.”

National Airlines Council of Canada CEO and President Mike McNaney said the sudden change in entry requirements was done without prior industry consultation.

“Over the course of the pandemic, the Canadian aviation industry has been calling on the government for months to introduce a coordinated and systematic testing regime, in conjunction with industry, in order to avoid a rushed and disjointed rollout of testing requirements,” said McNaney in a press release.

“Today’s announcement occurred without prior coordination with industry, and with many major operational and communication details still to be determined.”

In the fall of 2020, the Government of Canada (GoC) solicited feedback and information from industry service providers to build “Federal Quarantine/Isolation sites” which could be used for “other requirements” besides coronavirus-imposed quarantines.

According to the government, the current sites were to be “used to address the requirements for international travelers not having a suitable place to isolate.”

This news prompted Randy Hillier, Independent Ontario MPP for Lanark, Frontenac & Kingston, to question why such sites were needed to be built.

Public Health Canada is currently managing sites nationwide that are designated as “quarantine sites (DQS)” for the COVID-19 fourteen-day quarantine, which can “lodge up to 1600 travellers.”

These sites are in Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Winnipeg, Regina, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Fredericton, St. John’s (Newfoundland), and Whitehorse.

Toronto Constitutional lawyer Rocco Galati was asked by LifeSiteNews about the GoC’s RFI for “Federal Quarantine/Isolation sites.”

Galati told LifeSiteNews that “straight out of the gate” he predicted “in one Twitter paragraph” what was to come because of COVID-19. 

Galati referred LifeSiteNews to a March 17, 2020 tweet he wrote shortly after the Ontario provincial government enacted COVID-19 emergency orders. 

“Covid19 frenzy. A waltz in the global totalitarian tip-toe to new world order. Parliament closures, Court shutdowns, soldiers out. Banking/Corporate bailouts. Facts/science do not add up. Death toll, elderly and immunocompromised victims, marginally no diff than any other flus,” wrote Galati on March 17 on his Twitter page. 

In recent days, several high-profile politicians have been caught red-handed after they traveled abroad over the Christmas break.

Finance minister Ontario MPP Rod Phillips recently resigned after it was discovered he traveled out of Canada for a vacation to St. Barts.

Phillips’s resignation is not the only one regarding high-profile government officials in senior roles who were caught jetting off to warmer climates for Christmas vacations.

growing list of offending politicians and senior staff members has made headlines in recent days.

Although it is technically not illegal to leave Canada to travel, the perception of an elected official doing so while telling people to stay home is seen as a double standard and hypocrisy by many Canadians.

Contact information

Minister of Transport – Marc Garneau

Parliament Hill Office
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Telephone: 613-996-7267
Fax: 613-995-8632
Email: [email protected]


  canada, coronavirus restrictions, covid-19, designated quarantine sites, lockdowns, marc garneau, quarantine

News

Unarmed woman fatally shot by Capitol police identified as 14-year military veteran

Protestors rushed to help Air Force veteran Ashli Babbit, who was escorted out of the building and pronounced dead shortly after being shot
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 8:33 am EST
Featured Image
Ashli Babbit johnwaynegodbless / YouTube
Raymond Wolfe
By

WASHINGTON, D.C.,January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) –An unarmed woman shot and killed by U.S. Capitol police yesterday has been identified as Ashli Babbit, an Air Force veteran of fourteen years who completed four tours of duty during her service. 

Babbit, a California native, was killed after entering the Capitol building while members of congress were scheduled to be debating on the certification of the results of the Electoral College. 

A graphic, widely-viewed video posted online by a fellow protestor shows her being fired upon while trying to enter a hallway in the Capitol through an interior window. Law enforcement can be seen intermingled with the crowd of Trump supporters surrounding Babbit, looking on.

Protestors rush to help Babbit, who was escorted out of the building and pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

In another video, U.S. Capitol police can be seen casually forfeiting a barricade around the Capitol building, allowing protestors to gain access.

Babbit, who encouraged Republicans today on Twitter to “start winning” is remembered by her husband as a “great patriot.”

Axelrod, a pro-Trump media personality who knew Babbit as a "great friend” described her as “someone that did not judge me,” he said. “She was not antifa or some far-right winger.”

Three other people are reported to have died during the events yesterday, all from undisclosed “medical emergencies.”


  ashli babbit, storming the capitol

News

BREAKING: Congress certifies 2020 election for Biden, Trump promises peaceful transition of power

'Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th'
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 5:14 am EST
Featured Image
Donald Trump | Joe Biden White House/Flickr | mark reinstein/Shutterstock.com
David McLoone David McLoone Follow
By

January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump has committed to “an orderly transition” of power following the decision of Congress to confirm the electoral vote for Joe Biden as the next president of the U.S.

Vice President Mike Pence announced the results of the vote earlier this morning, pronouncing that Biden has finished with 306 electoral votes against Trump’s 232, giving Biden more than the baseline 270 votes necessary for the presidency. 

In a tweet sent using White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino’s account, after Congress certified the vote, the president said that “[e]ven though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.”

Trump continued, declaring that he is not yet done fighting for the true outcome of the election process: “I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”


  donald trump, election 2020, joe biden

Opinion

Evidence arises that Antifa planned Wednesday’s Capitol storming

There must be a complete and thorough inquiry into the mob action.
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 9:40 pm EST
Featured Image
Melissa Tate / Twitter
Thomas Lifson
By Thomas

January 7, 2021 (American Thinker) — First, to state the obvious, there is no question that Trump-supporters criminally entered the Capitol and behaved abominably. All who breached the inadequate protective perimeter must be prosecuted to the full measure of the law. Throw the book at them!

But there are grounds for suspicion that provocateurs, anxious to discredit Trump, his supporters, conservatives, and those who question the integrity of the presidential vote may have been the point of the spear in violently attacking the Capitol. Rowan Scarborough reports in the Washington Times:

Trump supporters say that antifa members disguised as one of them infiltrated the protesters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

A retired military officer told The Washington Times that the firm XRVision used its software to do facial recognition of protesters and matched two Philadelphia antifa members to two men inside the Senate.

The source provided the photo match to The Times.

One has a tattoo that indicates he is a Stalinist sympathizer. antifa promotes anarchy through violence and wants the end of America in favor of a Stalinist-state. "No more USA at all" is a protest chant.

XRVision also has identified another man who, while not known to have antifa links, is someone who shows up at climate and Black Lives Matter protests in the West.

(LifeSite Note: The above allegation has been retracted. The persons identified, although having been present at Antifa, BLM events, are not known to be active in those organizations.)

Video available on Twitter (for now) shows a crowd at one door the Capitol and Trump-supporters shouting "That's Antifa!" and trying to stop a black-clad person with a helmet that says "Trump" on its back (suitable for news cameras) from breaking into the building.

Twitter video screen grab (cropped).

This dramatic photo of a black-clad younger climber does not resemble a middle-aged Trump-supporter. It is someone who prepared and probably trained.

Whoever participated in this incursion is a criminal and ought to be prosecuted. Mobs are a terrible thing and can become intoxicated, egged on into behavior most individuals in the mob would not plan and would regret later. That does not excuse them for responsibility, but it does heighten the payoff if and when an agent provocateur acts in order to enflame opponents into self-destructive acts.

There must be a complete and thorough inquiry into the mob action. I wish that I had more faith in the FBI.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.


  2020 election, american thinker, antifa, voter fraud

Opinion

13 days before Biden inauguration, Democrat rep demands Trump impeachment

The one thing the left has always proven is that, just as it is vicious when it loses, it's also vicious when it wins.
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 9:33 pm EST
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Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). Eli Wilson / Shutterstock.com
Andrea Widburg
By Andrea Widburg

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January 7, 2021 (American Thinker) — With Congress having spoken, Biden is officially the incoming 46th president of the United States. This means that Trump has two weeks left in office. One would think that would be sufficient for the left, but the one thing the left has always proven is that, just as it is vicious when it loses, it's also vicious when it wins. That's why leftists are still trying to impeach Trump or get him booted out under the 25th Amendment.

On the impeachment front, Ilhan Omar (D-Somalia) has drafted up yet another set of impeachment articles against Trump. In a tweet that you can visit if you like, but that I will not reproduce here, she wrote:

I am drawing up Articles of Impeachment.

Donald J. Trump should be impeached by the House of Representatives & removed from office by the United States Senate.

We can't allow him to remain in office, it's a matter of preserving our Republic and we need to fulfill our oath.

Ilhan Omar felt no obligation to fulfill her oath by investigating claims of election fraud, to prove that Biden won fair and square, which would have placated angry Trump-supporters, or to reveal that, in fact, there was serious election fraud that deprived Trump of his rightful victory.

Nor does Omar explain how Trump's reiterating that the election was stolen constitutes an impeachable offense. That angry supporters, tired of being insulted, ridiculed, and ignored acted out does not impugn Trump.

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But reasons never matter. Omar lives to see Trump impeached (again). Forty years from now, Trump will have passed on to his Maker, and Omar will be a doddering old congresswoman, but she'll still be trying to impeach him.

Meanwhile, other Democrats are still trying to get Trump knocked out under the 25th Amendment on the ground that he's incompetent. According to them, Trump "egged on" his supporters.

Again, Trump said nothing more than what he's said since November 4: the election was stolen from him by blatant fraud. And again, his supporters are angry because the establishment, rather than providing an open and honest investigation has said, "Shut up. You're stupid."

In other words, if anyone led to this uprising, it's not Trump; it's the establishment. It's the media, the political class, the NeverTrumps, the RINOS, and all the others who refuse to acknowledge that a republic cannot survive if people do not trust the political system. They are the ones who are fanning the flames higher and higher.

Today, I got a text from someone who was once my dearest friend, accusing me, personally, of being responsible for events in the Capitol. She's a waste of my time, so I told her to leave me alone.

However, I've watched her on Facebook for the last year. She enthusiastically supported every Black Lives Matter march. She excused Antifa and the riots. She was incensed that Jacob Blake, having attacked police with a knife, ended up in a hospital. She wept for George Floyd, an ex-felon who died from a drug overdose while the police restrained him in a manner perfectly consistent with their training.

She, a white-collar worker who was grateful to give up her commute and work at her kitchen table, was gung-ho for closing restaurants, gyms, hairstylists, and every other small business. What did it matter to her? She ordered her supplies from Amazon and let her gray hair show.

She squashed the working class and the independent businesses and cheered on a year of violence, fire, riots, looting, and other destruction. And then, after the election, she used Facebook to ridicule and insult those who looked at the numbers and thought, "Something's wrong here."

And now she, and her ilk, have the temerity to blame me and to blame Trump when people who have been destroyed, discounted, disparaged, and ignored for the past year finally speak up? I don't think so.

I'm not condoning violence. We do not live in the simple, low-infrastructure world of 1776, a world in which most people were able to subsist on their own land with some hunting on the side, or through their close community connections.

Today, we live in a nation of 330,000,000 people who are entirely dependent on a vast, complicated, computer-run infrastructure. Any revolution now leaves our country looking like Syria in two weeks. To all the hotheads, think this through. It cannot end well.

We've got to figure out how to make this work. Having said that, where we are today is not Trump's fault, and it's not mine. Leftists drove the country to this point, and now they're squeezing the last drops of power out of what they've done.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.


  2020 election, american thinker, donald trump, ilhan omar, impeachment, voter fraud

Opinion

Did ‘vanishing votes’ lead to alleged Democrat Senate wins in Georgia?

This is the one claim that Democrats, NeverTrumps, and quislings of all sorts have failed to challenge.
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 9:26 pm EST
Andrea Widburg
By Andrea Widburg

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January 7, 2021 (American Thinker) — There are a lot of theories floating around about election fraud. I should know because I've written about some of them. Generally, proving affirmative fraud is difficult to impossible because Democrats hold all the information. The one indicator that there may be election fraud that's impossible to disguise is vanishing votes. More of them turned up in the wee hours of Tuesday night. Additionally, a mathematically inclined friend walked me through other ways in which those numbers don't add up.

Briefly, when it comes to vanishing votes, votes should always be additive. You can get fewer votes than your opponent, but no voter walks in and casts a negative vote for you (taking away a vote) or a "transfer vote" (transferring your vote to your opponent). When the numbers start walking backward, something is amiss.

On November 3, multiple screen captures of vanishing vote counts on television and subsequent data analysis by the Data Integrity Group have shown Trump losing votes already cast in all of the contested states. Some disappeared entirely; some ended up in the Biden column.

Significantly, this is the one claim that Democrats, NeverTrumps, and quislings of all sorts have failed to challenge. It's out there.

In my last post about vanishing votes in Georgia, I wrote about 5,000 vanishing Perdue votes. I woke up Wednesday to discover that according to live video fees on CNN, Perdue lost 32,400 votes. Much as I hate to rely on YouTube (we conservatives really need to start uploading to Rumble), here's the evidence:

My math friend (AES, you know who you are), pointed out something very strange about those numbers. I'm going to try to replicate here what he said:

If you know a number, and know what percent it is of "X," you can figure out what "X" is by dividing the known number by the percentage. Thus, if you have 4 eggs, and you know that they’re 50% (i.e., 0.5) of the total number of eggs, you can calculate the total by dividing 4 by 0.5, which equals 8. So 4 is 50% of 8, just as 8 times 0.5 is 4.

It's the same idea with votes and percentages.

Image

As you see in the above screengrab, Perdue had 774,723 votes, which constituted 45% of the total vote at the time:

774,723 ÷ 0.45 = 1,721,607 (rounded).

Ossoff's total votes, when divided by his 55% of the total, should produce the same number, except they don't:

945,050 ÷ 0.55 = 1,718,273 (rounded).

The difference between those two results is 3,334. Go figure! (I did, several times, and kept coming up with the same results.)

Please note, additionally, that neither of these numbers yields the number you get when you just add Perdue's votes to Ossoff's.

774,723 + 945,050 = 1,719,773

At a guess, there's some rounding going on with the percentages that would explain these discrepancies. But again, you'd think the precision of computer calculations would do away with this craziness.

If that's not confusing enough, now look at the update:

Image

The update shows three changes: Perdue's total dropped by 32,400, Ossoff's percentage went up to 56%, and Perdue's percentage dropped to 44%. Ossoff's vote count remained unchanged.

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The percentages still add up (56% = 44% = 100%), but the mathematical theory articulated above again breaks down. Perdue's and Ossoff's vote tallies, when divided by their percentages, should yield the identical number and, once again, they don't.

Perdue's new, lower number, when divided by 0.44, goes this way. 

742,323 ÷ 0.44 = 1,687,098 (rounded)

Ossoff's number, when divided by 0.56, should also yield 1,687,098. Except it doesn't. Instead, this happens:

945,050 ÷ 0.56 = 1,687,589 (rounded).

That's a difference of 491 — which is definitely peculiar, although less than the 3,334 under the first set of numbers.

And of course, both those numbers are different from what happens when you just add together each candidate's vote totals:

945,050 + 742,323 = 1,687,373

The numbers remain funky when you do what AES did and use precise percentages:

Image

As you can see, when all these funny numbers happened, Ossoff had a large lead, so Perdue's vanishing votes merely increased Ossoff's lead. In that way, the funny numbers are inconsequential.

The point here isn't that the 32,400 inexplicably vanished votes made Perdue lose because, according to the two screen shots, he was already behind. The point is that, despite everything being on computers, nothing adds up. It's this kind of thing that makes people crazy.

If someone credible would explain precisely what's going on, people would stand down. It's entirely possible that there's a reasonable explanation for both the vanishing votes and the above discrepancies. But no one is giving us that reasonable explanation. Because there's an information vacuum, people will fill it by fair means or foul.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.


  2020 election, 2020 elections, american thinker, david perdue, georgia runoff elections, jon ossoff, kelly loeffler, raphael warnock, voyeurism

Opinion

A lie on the Senate floor: McConnell insists no voter fraud in 2020 election

There are mountains of evidence.
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 9:14 pm EST
Featured Image
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), soon to be ex–majority leader.
Patricia McCarthy
By Patricia McCarthy

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January 7, 2021 (American Thinker) — The soon-to-be minority leader of the Senate today lied to the American people when he said there was not sufficient evidence of fraud to overturn the election results or the certification votes of the Electoral College. There are mountains of evidence, especially from the six contested states. McConnell betrayed the president, his supporters, and his own constituents who only just re-elected him in November. His recent re-election is probably why he felt comfortable breaking faith with the 74 million Trump-supporters.

He will never be re-elected again. The same goes for each and every Republican in Congress who is afraid to stand up for what is right and true. Those are the ones who go to Washington to get rich, not to represent their districts. God forbid they ruffle the feathers of the media, the propaganda arms of the left. God forbid they not be invited to the D.C. cocktail parties for swells. They like being a member of the self-appointed elite. Once there, they lose all allegiance to "the people." The same is now revealed, is true of Mike Pence, the V.P. we all thought was on the side of right. We were wrong.

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Trump was and is different. He was and is the real deal, a man of and for the people. Nothing enrages the D.C. elite more than a true believer. He did things differently, better. He showed them up. He made the sick economy explode for everyone. He secured the border despite the constant pushback from the left. He engineered four peace deals in the Middle East. He did rebuild the military and transform medical care for our veterans. And he has the passionate support of the kind of people the left loathes.

Sure, they enjoy lives of luxury but rarely give any thought to the people who facilitate their privileged lifestyles: the truck-drivers, farmers, factory workers, gardeners, the servants they all employ. Those people are meant to be invisible to the likes of them, and they are. The governing elites have no respect for the millions of people who make their own lives so fabulously comfortable. They don't think their votes should count, so they made sure they did not count.

For four years, they planned Trump's defeat. Nothing would stand in their way this time, even if their cheating was made evident and obvious, which it was. And they're not even embarrassed. They're defiant. They may have stolen the Georgia Senate election just as they stole the presidential election, blatantly and fraudulently.

Now that they have secured the total takeover of America, the future, as Biden so aptly put it, means that "dark days are ahead." Indeed, there are very dark days ahead. The left's hatred of Trump, bolstered by the left's illegal tweaking of the swing states' election laws, successfully fomented the most egregious vote fraud ever to occur in the United States.

The Democrats must be thrilled at the success of their swindle. The spineless right just capitulated as usual. There will likely never again be a free and fair election in this country. Who cares about this consequence of the left's cheating? Certainly not a single Democrat.

On the first day of the new Congress, they voted not to reform any election laws. Of course they did! They are all in on the cheating and proud of it. Why do they oppose any audits of the election? Isn't that clear to every American by now? If they wanted to prove that Biden won, wouldn't they support the recounts, the audits? Of course, they would. But they do not because they all know they stole the election by nefarious means. Rather than prove that Biden's win was legitimate, they've chosen to embrace the lie. Those on the left and the right have chosen to embrace the lie that Biden won the 2020 election.

The capitulation of the Republicans in Congress may actually presage the end of America as founded, the left's goal for decades. While the left is Machiavellian, the right is infuriatingly naïve. The left abandoned any pretense of scruples long ago. The right pretends scruples exist at all in our government, even while they eschew them themselves.

Therein lies the explanation for the predicament in which we find ourselves. The left? Pathologically immoral quest for tyrannical power over others. The right? Moral but cowardly quest for equanimity as if it were an attainable state of being in the world today. We are at an impasse.

Mitch McConnell is the perfect representation of everything that is wrong with the Republican Party; with a few noble exceptions, they are the craven party. McConnell, like his like-minded colleagues of the spineless variety, is the reigning symbol of all that is wrong with the GOP. He is loyal to no one but himself and his equally docile, go-along-to get-along anti-Trump Republicans.

If this crowd thinks it will politically benefit from their treachery, they are in for a surprise. 

This once great nation is now becoming a third-world nation in which all elections are rigged. The Soviet Union ("It's not who votes, it's who counts the votes." —Stalin), Castro's Cuba, and Chávez's/Maduro's Venezuela are frightening precedents. The list of murderous Marxist regimes throughout the world is long and genocidal. This is the path that apparently half of the population of the United States has now embraced. Forgive them, for they know not what they do. But these know-nothings may well be the death of us all.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.


  2020 election, american thinker, mitch mcconnell, voter fraud

Blogs

French government increases police surveillance of general population

Population surveillance records set up by law enforcement bodies may include information regarding ‘political opinions, philosophical and religious beliefs, or trade union membership.’
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 4:45 pm EST
Featured Image
Shutterstock
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

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PARIS, France, January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Police surveillance of the French population is set to increase as new measures quietly installed by the government last month were approved on Tuesday by the Council of State, the highest administrative court that has the power of assessing the legality of decisions made by the administration.

The new dispositions were published discreetly on December 2 with the signatures of prime minister Jean Castex and interior minister Gérald Darmanin. The next day, an internet news outlet specialized in digital news and new technologies exposed the move, revealing that under the government decrees, population surveillance records set up by law enforcement bodies may include information regarding “political opinions, philosophical and religious beliefs, or trade union membership.”

Surveillance records may now also include “health data that reveal particular danger,” such as mental health problems or psychiatric internment.

The decrees modified existing dispositions by allowing surveillance records to extend to groups and associations: “legal entities” as opposed to individuals who to date were the only people on whom “files” could legally by started.

These government measures are executive decisions over which Parliament has no control and is not consulted. For the French, they came out of the blue at a point in time when the government and the presidential party “La République en marche” were facing demonstrations against a “global security law” presently still under discussion. The draft law aims to allow private agencies to carry out police missions, as well as drone surveillance, and would prohibit citizens from posting footage showing identifiable law enforcement personnel online.

Contrary to the proposed security law, the government decrees published on December 2 cannot be opposed or discussed by the political representation and civil society. Their only option was to take the texts to the Council of State.

Left-wing entities such as Amnesty International, the communist labor union CGT and other trade unions, as well as left-wing media criticized the decrees for having shifted and enlarged the rights of the police. Activities of the historic “Renseignements généraux” — the French equivalent of the “Special Branch” — which kept voluminous (and sometimes frankly fanciful) data files about political activists and opponents as well as potential terrorists were so decried that the body was dissolved in 2008, to be replaced by a new entity that also absorbed the “DST” or counter-espionage agency.

Surveillance has continued in a different form, not always with success as regards Islamic terrorism, as supposedly dangerous individuals with special “S” files have been able, over the years, to participate in deadly attacks.

The fight against terrorism is certainly one of the aims of the controversial government decrees, but under cover of security, personal beliefs, convictions, health data covered by medical confidentiality and mere “opinions” are now susceptible of being filed by law enforcement bodies, while until now only “activities” posing a threat to public security could be registered.

In other words, only active “radicals” could in principle be identified, registered and monitored. Now, professing certain beliefs (Islamic, but also Christian or Catholic) or political preferences (such as monarchism or anti-LGBT convictions, in theory), allows the French police or “gendarmes” to gather and keep information for future use and ongoing surveillance of individuals and groups.

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Such surveillance involves monitoring internet and social media use, including the collecting of posted images and comments under aliases. The use of artificial intelligence to collect such information is implicitly permitted. The long list of collectible data includes personal photographs (not excluding facial recognition, according to some critics), all manner of identifying information regarding personal documents, home addresses, family status (including information about minor children), sporting activities, behavior and life habits, nationality, social status, addictions … And, of course, “religious practice and habits.”

Interestingly, a person’s gender, “sexual orientation,” race and ethnicity are not included in this seemingly exhaustive list.

Official police files will also be permitted to contain complete information — and individual files — about people having had “direct and non-fortuitous” contact with registered individuals and groups. To date, such information was very limited and would be registered in “dangerous individuals” personal files.

The decree is in fact so widely worded that very large numbers of individuals and groups could be subject to very detailed surveillance without any judiciary control whatsoever, especially in a context where the French Republic has opted for strenuous defense of the culture of death and is at the same time tightening control of education and home-schooling.

Besides several trade unions and syndicates, two Christian groups decided to take the decrees to the Council of State in order to obtain their “suspension” through an emergency procedure. Both “VIA,” formerly known as the Christian Democrat Party (PCD) presided by Jean-Frédéric Poisson, a former presidential candidate in the most recent election that saw Emmanuel Macron ascend to power, and the Fondation de Service politique which stands for Christian and conservative values, underscored the grave derogations to human rights and individual fundamental liberties that the decrees will allow.

The right not to be in any way subject to “interference because of one’s opinions, even religious opinions” was in particular enshrined in France’s “Universal declaration of human rights” in 1789 (although that did not prevent the French Revolution from persecuting Catholics and mass-killing priests and religious).

The Council of State published its decision rejecting all emergency recourses against the decrees on January 4, including those of VIA and the Fondation de Service politique. The interim relief judge observed that while the filing of political opinions, religious beliefs and trade union membership had not been previously submitted to the special digital liberties commission (CNIL), this was not a problem in his view as it is “coherent” existing surveillance of such “activities,” which is “legal.”

But actions are actions: surveilling opinions is based on “presuppositions,” VIA-leader Jean-Frédéric Poisson commented on Wednesday. The decrees would allow the state to collect data about the opinions of citizens who would be considered as “a priori” threatening public security.

Nor did the judge find the wording of the decrees too wide: reserving this surveillance to persons and groups who pose a danger to public security and the safety of the State is safeguard enough, he wrote.

It later emerged that the said interim relief judge, Mathieu Herondart, was the cabinet director of a former justice minister under Emmanuel Macron, Nicole Belloubet, from 2017 to 2020.

Both Jean-Frédéric Poisson and the Fondation de service politique have announced that they will take the affair to the European Court of Human Rights.


  france, gerald darmanin, jean castex, jean-frederic poisson, surveillance

Blogs

Untangling the accounts of what happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6, and some perspective

How should pro-lifers view what is unfolding in America? What will we think 6 months from now? And, there is still a lot we don't know.
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 3:55 pm EST
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Jim Hale / LifeSiteNews
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – How should the pro-life movement respond to the strange events that unfolded in Washington, D.C. yesterday? How should Americans and non-Americans feel about what happened inside and outside the U.S. Capitol, and what does it mean for American civil discourse moving forward?

First, to state the obvious: LifeSiteNews – and the pro-life movement, I’ll add – has never and will never support senseless violence. Abortion is a terrible act of violence against innocent unborn children, and our opposition to that unjust killing is what motivates us to peacefully fight for the complete abolition of abortion.

There is a lot we don’t know about what transpired yesterday, and we will likely find out more in the coming days and weeks. Everyone should have an open mind and be ready to reconsider his opinions in light of new facts. The full truth of what happened may very well make a small group of Trump supporters look bad – but it also may very well make leftists, Antifa, and the Capitol police look far worse. We don’t know and there is no possible way to know right now exactly what happened. And why did Capitol police (or Secret Service?) shoot and kill – apparently in cold blood – a 35-year-old Air Force veteran who is now being vilified by mainstream media, as if she somehow deserved to be killed because she believed in “far-right conspiracy theories”?

Context about the U.S. Capitol

Some context: the U.S. Capitol is generally open to visitors during business hours. Anyone who has ever participated in a lobby day or been a tourist in Washington, D.C. knows this. People wander into the U.S. Capitol and its Senate and House office buildings all the time. There are separate staff entrances so the people who work there don’t have to wait in line with everyone else. Visitors are required to go through security, which is a bit like a pre-9/11 airport (metal detectors and your bag gets X-rayed).

You can be asked to leave or arrested if you block the hallways. People get arrested inside the Capitol all the time, usually as part of peaceful, planned civil disobedience protests. Obviously, the coronavirus has changed things, but during the ancient “normal times” the buildings were quite open to the public. (As a side note, pro-lifers who have protested outside the U.S. Supreme Court on abortion-related decision days are accustomed to going through the minimal security in the National Archives, which is next to the Court, to use the bathroom.)

The House and Senate chambers are not open to the public or even most Capitol Hill staffers. Suffice to say shirtless people inside the legislative chambers are not a normal sight, nor is it normal for visitors to root through congressmen’s desks.

It seems the Trump supporters who entered the Capitol yesterday didn’t go through security, possibly because Capitol police simply stood down. In at least one instance the Capitol police actually opened a barricade for protestors to stream through; it’s unclear why.

From the footage that I’ve seen, it seems that the biggest difference between the majority of the protestors who entered and wandered around the Capitol and any other visitors on any other pre-coronavirus day is that the former did not go through security, thus likely making authorities (understandably) nervous. 

Windows were broken, certain parts of Congress were vandalized. I’ve not seen any pro-life leaders condoning that and obviously LifeSite does not either.

People scaled the walls and scaffolding. Some who were there have told LifeSite journalists that this was dramatic and unnecessary because the doors were literally open for people to stream through.

I’ve attended many Marches for Life, a number of them as a LifeSite journalist, and also reported on the 2017 pro-abortion Women’s March and the 2017 inauguration of President Trump. (I was not in D.C. yesterday, though.)

The Women’s March literally featured a speaker, the singer Madonna, who said she’d “thought an awful lot” about blowing up the White House. It also had its fair share of people (mostly peacefully) “storming” or rushing buildings.

The Senate confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh were disturbed by dozens of abortion supporters who interrupted the hearings and were then hauled away and arrested by police. After Kavanaugh was confirmed, abortion supporters stormed the U.S. Supreme Court and tried to break into it by banging on the doors.

When I was reporting on the ground for LifeSite at Trump’s 2017 inauguration, there were police in full riot gear. Anti-Trump protestors lit cars on fire, smashed Starbucks windows, and generally trashed the city. A colleague and I were given tickets to an Inaugural Ball. We had to walk about seven blocks of closed roads (any inauguration is a crazy time to be in D.C.) that night, past small groups of Occupy Wall Street types who were beating drums and burning American flags. My soul felt very uneasy. My colleague and I were in ballgowns and very clearly going to a fancy event. Several leftist agitators literally hissed at us and made rude comments. Thankfully, that was all we experienced. 

‘A total crushing anti-Free Speech effort that treats Trump-supporting groups like Branch Davidians’ is coming: Federalist’s Ben Domenech

Ben Domenech of The Federalist published a fantastic analysis of yesterday’s events in his newsletter The Transom.

“What happened yesterday didn’t depress me the way it seemed to depress other people,” he wrote. “Maybe that’s because I don’t view the institution of the Capitol as sacred the way others do. As a former staffer, I’ve known too many stories about the nooks and crannies where Ted Kennedy did stuff to get too verklempt about it. And the invaders stayed inside the velvet ropes in Statuary Hall, which I actually care about. But it’s disturbing for a lot of reasons, two in particular that stick out.”

He explained:

The first is a comment from an apolitical friend who wandered into the room where the roiling crowd was on the screen in the early afternoon yesterday: “Is that Black Lives Matter?” No, it’s not - but also, it is. An apolitical viewer of the summer of 2020 would learn one distinct lesson: if you want to be heard, if you want to be listened to, you need to go into the streets, make a ruckus, set things on fire, and tear down icons of America. This disrespect will be welcomed, hailed, and supported if your cause is just and your motives are righteous.

Just about everyone who showed up on Capitol Hill yesterday believed that about why they were there. The only difference between the horned man standing in the Senate chair and the smiling man hauling the Speaker’s podium out the door and the fellow who attempted to tear down Andrew Jackson’s statue or the criminal who set fire to Saint John’s church is a matter of jersey color.

Domenech’s second reason is that “The iconoclasm of the right is a real development and it is here to stay. You’ll wish for the old man in the tricorn hat waving a Cato Constitution when you see the new right blasting statues with graffiti.”

I’m not sure if I agree with his second reason, but I most certainly agree with this:

The breach yesterday has been long in the making. Even as a young staffer I was shocked at how unsecure the Capitol was – there are numerous gaps in their security that you will easily witness if you spend any time there. It’s only the intimidating columns, the confusion about which door you can use, the institutions and norms that keep people at bay. And those, alas, are now gone. They are dead, they are in the ground, and they are not coming back.

And this:

What will happen next is obvious: A total crushing anti-Free Speech effort that treats Trump-supporting groups like Branch Davidians. An effort to restore the fundamentally unserious neocons as the voice of reason in the room. A hardening of the bounds of the People’s House to keep people away from politicians. A use of any levers of government power – including audits, regulation, and lawfare – to harass conservatives now categorized as seditionists and terrorists by the incoming president who falsely claims to want to unite the country. And above all, a doubling down on all the policies and efforts put in place to crush exactly the type of people who showed up at the Capitol yesterday in a foolish, desperate attempt to make themselves heard.

I hope Domenech publishes the full text of his newsletter, which one usually must pay to read, at The Federalist or somewhere else because his analysis is so spot-on that I think the world needs to read it.

Our country has reached a dark moment and crossed into uncharted waters. Things are only going to get darker, especially now that a Biden regime is just weeks away. In six months, how will we look back on the events of January 6? What will we think of them in a year? It’s impossible to know, really. We’re still piecing together the facts of what happened, who did what and why, and what bad actors were involved.

Where do we go from here?

The best course of action for freedom-loving pro-lifers, I believe, is simply this:

a.) Pray for America and strive for sanctity in our daily lives.

b.) Love your family, and love your neighbors.

c.) Speak truth to power, no matter the cost, gathering inspiration from people like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Bishop Athanasius Schneider.

d.) Prepare for darkness and more persecution knowing however that in the end Christ will be victorious.

e.) Continue to condemn senseless political violence (and acknowledge it is far from concentrated, normal, or prevalent on the American “right,” no matter what mainstream media tell us), voter fraud, and tyranny in all of its many forms.

LifeSite will continue to bring our readers fearless reporting on issues of life, faith, family, and freedom. Please pray for all of our journalists and staff, that we may prudently and accurately report what is happening in America and around the world.

RELATED:

LifeSite VP: I was in DC today. Here’s what I saw, and what I think about it.

What just happened in Washington, DC?

Yesterday was historic – and not in a good way


  abortion, capitol hill, january 6, joe biden, president trump

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Yesterday was historic – and not in a good way

Patriots rallied, Antifa and its handlers created an incident, and Mike Pence betrayed us.
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 1:54 pm EST
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mark reinstein / Shutterstock.com
Steven Mosher Steven Mosher Follow Steven
By Steven Mosher

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Yesterday began with a peaceful MAGA rally.  

President Trump spoke at length detailing how the election was stolen in key swing states—and it was stolen. Then he encouraged the crowd to walk to the Capitol in a peaceful demonstration of their displeasure with what was arguably the most corrupt election in American history.

It goes without saying that the President did not call for violence.  You can watch the speech for yourself.  The president has never, in all of the hundreds of rallies that he has held, incited his rallygoers in that way.  The atmosphere at the rallies is more along the lines of a kind of family reunion for forgotten Americans.  Those of us who support him are happy warriors for truth, bearing zero resemblance to those on the Left.  

That fact did not, of course, stop the media talking heads and the politicians from falsely blaming Trump and his supporters for what happened then.

Mingled in the crowd were members of the terrorist group, Antifa, who were there precisely to commit violent acts as part of a “false flag” operation.  We have copies of the notices that Antifa organizers had sent out to their followers to infiltrate the crowd wearing MAGA gear and evidence that they were waiting for an opportunity to strike.  One retired FBI agent reported seeing a bus disgorge an entire busload of Antifa.  

These instigators were in the lead when the crowd reached the flimsy metal barricades surrounding the Capitol building that had been set up by the Capitol Police.  The rallygoers respected the barricades, but the Antifa plants began pushing these aside and encouraging others to do so. In some cases, the Capitol Police simply stood aside and let the crowd in.  Some of the scenes look like opening day at Disney World, with the crowd walking— not running— calmly towards the building as the police seemed to lead the way.

At this point, President Trump sent out a video message to his supporters asking them to end the rally and leave.  He reminded them that “we are the Party of law and order” and that they should “respect the law and our great men and women in blue.”  

This was not a message that Twitter wanted the world or Trump’s supporters to hear.  They quickly took this video and another tweet down. (All who are concerned about social media censorship should note that Twitter has now censored the sitting President of the United States for the first, but undoubtedly not the last, time.)   

Over the years, I’ve been in the Capitol building a hundred times.  It’s one of the most secure buildings in the world.  It’s definitely not a building that you can “storm” or “breach”—as Trump supporters are accused of doing.  All the Capitol Police would have had to do keep the unarmed protesters out and secure the building is to lock the heavy steel doors.  Instead, they let them in.

One video, obviously staged and filmed for publicity purposes, shows the Capitol Police opening an exit door, encouraging the crowd to come in, and then running away. The Capitol Police, I should note, work for Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell.

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Pictures from inside the Capitol do not show those inside rioting or engaging in destructive acts, although several interior windows were reportedly broken by Antifa activists.  Facial recognition technology has linked some of the Capitol rioters to Antifa/BLM activists in Philadelphia and Arizona. Congressman Matt Gaetz courageously pointed this out during his floor speech. 

Finally, although this is being widely reported as a “violent” assault on the Capitol building, there have been to date no injuries reported among the Capitol Police force, members of which were seen taking selfies with some of Trump’s supporters inside the Capitol.  

On the other hand, one unarmed demonstrator, a 14-year Navy veteran by the name of Ashli Babbit, was shot and killed by plainclothes police.  They inexplicably fired through a window on a closed door.  May she rest in peace.

Do not expect any George Floyd-style eulogies for this poor women, however.  The media can barely bring itself to mention her name.  They are too busy attacking Trump supporters for causing “chaos” by walking around inside the Capitol and engaging in seditious acts like praying in the House chambers for their country.

The media prefer to celebrate things like Leftist agitators rioting in front of the White House and pulling down statues, like they did last summer.  These are the kinds of acts that make Obama “proud”, as he said at the time, and get you included in Nike commercials. 

Was the entire episode staged?  It certainly seems that way to an increasing number of people.

In any event, the incident proved enormously useful to those who wanted to quickly certify the fraudulent election.  Following the supposed “riot”, a number of Republicans backed off of their commitments to challenge the election results in key states.  The Democrats—and some Republicans--came back to the House chambers with (pre) prepared speeches about how Trump and his supporters were engaging in an “insurrection” and threatening to overturn the “will of the people.”  

As for Mike Pence, who was presiding over the counting of the electoral votes, he used the “violence” to justify handing over power to those who stole the presidential election—and continue to steal elections.  

The plan—which I understand Pence had earlier agreed to—was to send the dueling slates of electors back to the contested states for the state legislatures to decide which one to certify.  His action in doing so would have been justified by a longstanding rule laying out the Vice President’s role in counting electoral votes. 

For decades, this rule has read that the Vice President would, before any votes are counted, “ascertain that [the] certificates are regular in form and authentic.” This rule would clearly have given Pence the authority to introduce competing slates of electors and send these back to the states.

Instead, without telling the President and his team, Pence changed the rules concerning how the electoral votes would be counted to avoid having to introduce or address the rival slates of Trump electors.  

The “Pence rule” cedes the authority to determine which “certificates are regular in form and authentic” to the House Parliamentarian, who provides the House with guidance on parliamentary rules and procedures.  The only votes that will be “announced”, the new rule reads, are those that the “Parliamentarian’s advised me is the only certificate of vote … from an authority of that state purporting to appoint or ascertain electors.”

The House Parliamentarian, of course, is appointed by the Speaker of the House, who is none other than Nancy Pelosi.  What this means is that, for whatever reason, Pence let a member of Pelosi’s staff adjudicate the slates of electors.  The outcome was a foregone conclusion.

It is hard to put into words the depth of the betrayal that I feel.  Pence has always portrayed himself as utterly committed to the pro-life, pro-family, pro-American cause.  

And yet it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that, for whatever reason, he conspired with Nancy Pelosi and, of course, Mitch McConnell, to betray the very voters who put him in office in the first place.  Not to mention the 75 million voters who voted in November, the pro-life cause, religious freedom, the Second Amendment—indeed, every principle he has long claimed to support.

Does he intend to run for president in 2024?  Good luck with that.

As far as I’m concerned, he belongs right up there with Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr.  

Steven W. Mosher is the President of the Population Research Institute and the author of Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream is the New Threat to World Order


  donald trump, election 2020, mike pence, storming the capitol, voter fraud

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I wish more Catholics in Scotland loved Mass more than they fear (a tiny risk of) death

There are Catholic Scots who are so frightened of the virus that they would rather nobody at all went to Mass, even though there is no evidence that anyone in Scotland has been infected at public Masses since they resumed in mid-July.
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 12:30 pm EST
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Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

EDINBURGH, Scotland, January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) —  I think I broke a law yesterday. 

I’m not sure. Maybe I just violated a rule. Or failed to follow government advice. At any rate, I went to Epiphany Day Mass, thinking it would be my last opportunity to attend Mass in person for weeks. I had no idea that public worship had been suspended from 12:01 AM that morning, and I don’t think the priest did either. 

Earlier this week, the First Minister announced that public worship in Scotland would not be permitted until February 2. I duly reported this, and when I saw news that the ban did not come into effect until Friday, January 8, I sent a correction to an editor.  

By then an English Conservative MP, Sir Edward Leigh, had written a letter to the First Minister pointing out that banning religious worship without evidence it was a threat to public health is a violation of Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Scottish Catholic bishops added their mild protest, worth quoting at length:

... [W]e are also perplexed by the decision, given that the stringent measures taken since last March to ensure public safety in our churches have been effective. No evidence has been forthcoming to justify the inclusion of places of worship as sources of infection. Without such scientific evidence these restrictions will appear to Catholics to be arbitrary and unfair. Moreover, significant number of other sectors similarly restricted last March alongside public worship – such as construction, manufacturing and elite sports - have now been left free to continue in operation.

We also note that, in England, the essential contribution of public worship to the spiritual welfare of all citizens during this crisis has now been endorsed by the decision not to close places of worship while the Scottish Government has apparently retreated from this view, causing dismay and confusion.

We are very aware of the disappointment these closures will cause not only to our own Catholic community, but to many of our fellow-Christians and those of other faiths in Scotland. We wish to emphasise again the spiritual, social and psychological benefits provided by continuing public worship, and we ask for these to be taken into full account in future decisions. Public worship is a human right and is a duty humanity owes to God. More concretely, Catholics need the Eucharist and the Sacramental encounter with the LORD as necessary to their spiritual wellbeing and their ultimate salvation.

While we unequivocally share the common goal of protecting public health, we urge the Scottish Government, when the present measures are reviewed later in January, to reconsider these restrictions in the light of the above concerns.

But instead of reconsidering, late on Tuesday night the Scottish Government moved up the ban on public worship to Wednesday, thus leaving Catholics at risk of a £60 fine for attending Epiphany Mass. I wonder if the Scottish government had only just learned that there was an Epiphany Mass, and that January 6 is usually a Holy Day of Obligation in Scotland, or that religious folk don’t restrict their public religious observances to the weekend. Naturally, I also wonder if this was their way of showing the Auld Kirk who is boss. 

I must say, learning about the late-night date-switch made me very cross, and I hadn’t enjoyed a lengthy period of good mood to begin with. Sir Edward Leigh’s fraternal intervention—he is the President of the Catholic Union of Great Britain—was taken with ill grace by those Catholic Scots whose hatred for English “Tories” far outweighs their love for the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar. I had been reading their thoughts, and the thoughts of other Catholic Scots who believe more in the efficacy of the lockdowns than in the unique virtues of public worship, with deep shame.

It’s all so cowardly. There are Catholic Scots who are so frightened of the virus that they would rather nobody at all went to Mass, even though there is no evidence that anyone in Scotland has been infected at public Masses since they resumed in mid-July. It would surely be strange if there was: for five months most church-going Catholics in Scotland assembled in well-ventilated churches built for 200 or more in groups of 40, masked, hands sanitized at the door, praying at least six feet apart from each household group, entering through one door, leaving through another. Some parishes even suffered from over-enthusiastic lay volunteers who hissed at suspected infractions, alienating Catholics who dislike being nannied at Mass. My community was more fortunate: we had just one mild-mannered (if large) young man to tick off names on the reservation list, give instructions, and watch the spy. 

Oh yes, there was a spy. This unpleasant—or perhaps just disturbed—woman would come into the church to count our numbers and report to goodness knows whom. I am ashamed to say that she, too, is a Catholic, and her behavior was not something I expected in a country where Catholicism was brutally oppressed for 233 years and then marginalized for 200 more.  

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As of December 26, Scottish churchgoers were forced to halve our numbers to 20, and one priest I know coped with that by saying two short Masses in the same time it usually takes him to say one. He had already added a 5pm Mass. On that first Sunday Mass of 20, I kept looking over my shoulder to see if the spy had sneaked in to count. 

It would be untrue to say that I never expected anything like this to happen in my lifetime. I received the sacrament of Confirmation before the sudden fall of the Berlin Wall, and while pondering what my new responsibilities might entail, I decided they included running the risk of being martyred by Communist invaders. Despite my ordinary 1980s Catholic education, I had read a lot about the martyrs, and I believed a martyr’s crown was worth any unpleasantness Mr Chernenko could devise. So, yes, it has occurred to me that a civil power might one day criminalize public worship. 

What did not occur to me was that this could happen in a Western democracy, especially one that should be chastened by its long history of oppressing and marginalizing religious minorities. But an even worse surprise is that there are Catholics so frightened of dying in a few months of a respiratory illness (instead of in a few more years of cancer, heart failure, dementia or pneumonia) that they are firmly opposed to re-opening their churches to anyone, even when there is no evidence that public worship, carried out in the above-mentioned circumstances, spreads the disease. This terror seems strange in people who purport to believe in an eternity of bliss after death. 

“Any risk, no matter how small, must be avoided” typed one of my fellow Catholics, apparently without shame. Had she forgotten all the Middle Eastern Christians who have regularly risked (and often lost) their lives to attend public worship during her lifetime? Had she forgotten what the martyrs of Soviet Communism were willing to risk for Christ? Does she think the underground Church in China is, in fact, just asking for it? And is she completely insensitive to the pain of fellow Scots in great distress because regular reception of the Eucharist is the only thing standing between them and mental collapse?   

From 1613 until his arrest in 1614, St. John Ogilvie, a Jesuit priest, celebrated underground Masses for courageous Scottish Catholics. His flock were willing to risk prison, heavy fines, and the rack for the sake of attending Mass. The Catholic Relief Act came into effect in Scotland in 1793, sparing us from such punishments, although anti-Catholic prejudice carried on into the 20thcentury. What has happened since then to turn so many of us into cowards? And when will the bishops apply to the European Court of Human Rights? 


  catholic, christian persecution, freedom of religion, lockdowns

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What just happened in Washington, DC?

Instead of being polite and allowing themselves to be steamrolled, those whom Washington elites view as ‘deplorables’ did something that got the attention of the nation and the world.
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 8:09 am EST
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Night falls in the U.S. capital, Jan. 6, 2021 Jim Hale / LifeSiteNews
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

LifeSiteNews is facing increasing censorship. Click HERE to sign up to receive emails when we add to our video library.

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Pundits and Politicos rushed to express outrage over the “storming” of the Capitol yesterday, showcasing their presumed moral superiority.

However, yesterday’s events are unsurprising given the fact that for many, it has felt as if our entire nation has been under martial law for nearly a year. We have been atomized, deprived of church attendance and all other social functions. Schools have been shuttered. We’ve even been denied comforting sick loved ones on their deathbeds.

With millions of small businesses wiped out and tens of millions thrown out of work — as many as 25 million at one point — while elites continued their lives of privilege unruffled, the most powerful and prosperous nation in the history of the world has felt like a third world country.

Heartland America remembers scenes of lone surfers and joggers, moms taking their kids to playgrounds, Christians sitting in their cars in church parking lots, and peaceful pro-life abortion protesters being ticketed or arrested and hauled off by police — despite practicing common sense social distancing.

We can’t forget how cities encouraged citizens to snitch on their neighbors suspected of skirting lockdown orders. And with police departments cracking down on worshipers, retailers, and restaurateurs simply trying to survive, the U.S. has begun to feel more like communist East Germany under the Stasi’s reign of terror rather than the land of the free and the home of the brave.

We have watched in stunned disbelief as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brazenly ripped apart President Donald Trump’s speech as he wrapped up his 2020 State of the Union Address.

We’ve endured the constant hypocrisy of our elected officials’ “Do as I say and not as I do” attitude as they wag their fingers at us. Americans are sick of being scandalized by leaders such as California Governor Gavin Newsom or White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Deborah Birx enacting strict measures and then disregarding their own rules.

We’ve watched in horror as governors and big city mayors condoned and excused destructive violence against private property and then treated those who tried to protect themselves as criminals.

Normal people living peaceful lives, who don’t have a racist bone in their bodies, suddenly have been deemed racists, with everything they do and say judged to be the product of systemic racism.

Catholics suffered having their faith demeaned during Supreme Court nominee confirmation hearings by senators who suggested their Catholicism disqualified the nominees.

The nation watched President Donald Trump targeted by congressional investigations, the FBI and CIA, and hostile media for his entire presidency, while the demonstrably criminal Hillary Clinton skated by, her traitorous actions swept under the rug.

We’ve watched the most pro-life president in the history of the United States, whose list of economic and diplomatic accomplishments is unmatched, be attacked endlessly.

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And now many have legitimate concerns that the presidential election has been stolen, and they further believe that those in authority, whether Republicans or Democrats, have done nothing about it.

The political duopoly which runs Washington, together with a kowtowing media industry, have boxed in the average American, constantly reaffirming their judgment against those they deem to be “Deplorables.”

The people who came to Washington today are tired of being given the brushoff; they are Americans, and they did what good Americans do when their leaders prove themselves unfit for the jobs: They took matters into their own hands.

Instead of being polite and allowing themselves to be steamrolled, they did something stunning that got the attention of the nation and the world.

“We’ve been betrayed by Congress, we’ve been betrayed by the judiciary, we’ve been betrayed by our local governments,” one man who entered the U.S. Capitol today told LifeSiteNews.

“You come to the end of your rope. What else am I supposed to do?” he asked. “This was a chance to be a voice for the legitimacy of votes. Finally there was a chance, and we took that chance.”

Good for him. Good for them. And good for us.

“Smug DC elite disrespected 63 mil voters, dismissing them as deplorables & smelly Wal-Mart trash, and subverted their will for 4 years. When 74 mil doubled down on Trump, they wrote them off as chumps & racists,” tweeted Paul Speery, Former D.C. bureau chief for Investor’s Business Daily, Hoover Institution media fellow.

“And now they wonder why they'd be angry enough to storm the Bastille?” he asked.

The photo at the top of this story tells an important story, revealing how Washington elites view regular Americans.

 


  2020 election, deplorables, donald trump, election certification, storming the capitol

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Example of Belarus appears to further highlight the folly of national lockdowns

President Aleksander Lukashenko claims that last year he rejected an offer of nearly $1 billion from the IMF in exchange for imposing a hard lockdown on the country
Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 7:57 am EST
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Belarus President Aleksander Lukashenko ToskanaINC / Shutterstock.com
David McLoone David McLoone Follow
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MINSK, Belarus, January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – With the U.K. and other European countries making a seemingly never-ending series of announcements about new COVID crises and increased lockdown measures, Belarus - a country which has never imposed a hard lockdown - continues to report low rates of COVID cases and a comparatively prospering economy.

Back in March last year, as countless countries across the globe began to shut down their economies and mask up their citizens “just-in-case", President Aleksander Lukashenko bucked the trend by opting not to close down Belarus’ economy at all, and employing a targeted approach to screening and quarantining COVID positive individuals. 

Belarus’ largest news agency, BelTA, reported that, alongside screening, prioritising the healthcare system from being overburdened helped keep any outbreak under control: “[t]hanks to the preventive efforts and the bed space reserve, Belarus has been able to keep the situation within the scope of the resource capacity of the healthcare system.”

These proportional methods appear to have served the country well throughout the course of 2020. Off-Guardian reports that, of the 9.5 million citizens in Belarus, only 1,263 are recorded as having died from COVID-19. That number accounts for little more than 0.01% of the population.

The online news outlet contrasted the number of excess deaths during 2020 in Belarus, which avoided lockdown, with that in England and Wales, which did impose a national lockdown. When the population difference is accounted for, Belarus had 36% less excess deaths than England and Wales. The Off Guardian notes that this would mean that if “Belarus had the same excess death rate as England and Wales another 3,149 deaths in Belarus would have been observed.”

According to the latest data from Worldometer Belarus has a death rate of 157 per million population, whilst the U.K. has a death rate of 1,135 per million.

Although a number of mainstream media outlets have lambasted Lukashenko as “reckless” for his approach to lockdowns, the data on Belarus’ handling of COVID suggests a different story. 

“So far Belarus is coping with this. God willing, we will keep going at such a pace, and as experts say, flatten the curve and have the incidence of the disease fall among the population,” Lukashenko said back in April 2020. 

“But what if they, let’s say, recommend us to impose some measures up to the curfew? I stress once again: if such a need arises, we will impose the curfew, isolate cities, towns and villages. But is the country facing such a problem today?”

“No, it doesn’t,” he answered. “Therefore, we will not shrug off the recommendations, but we must act accordingly, based on a set of recommendations, our own experience” the Belarussian leader said. Referencing the harsh lockdown restrictions imposed by his European counterparts, Lukashenko said that there “is no room for hit-or-miss or just-in-case strategies.”

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Following worldwide national lockdowns last year, Belarus reached out to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial support amid the global economic downturn, seeking to buffer itself against its own potential financial troubles. Belarus was only one of around 80 countries that had requested immediate financial aid from the institution through its “Rapid Financing Instrument,” a mechanism by which IMF member states can quickly receive emergency financial assistance. 

But Lukashenko claimed that the IMF then approached him with a financial package worth “ten times more than it offered initially as a token of commendation for our efficient fight against this virus.” In exchange for a “COVID Relief Aid” package worth $940 million, the president said that the IMF required him to impose a number of harsh lockdown conditions on the public.

Lukashenko has refused to incorporate the conditions attached to the money and the country has thus never received the $940 million aid fund. “I am convinced that we may suffer more from panic than from the virus,” he said last year. 

According to the IMF, Belarus’ GDP was supposed to dip by 4-6% in 2020, but such a crash has not materialised, with the economy remaining largely unperturbed during the course of the past year. 

“The IMF continues to demand from us quarantine measures, isolation, a curfew. This is nonsense,” Lukashenko said last year. “We will not dance to anyone's tune.”

“We hear the demands, for example, to model our coronavirus response on that of Italy. I do not want to see the Italian situation to repeat in Belarus. We have our own country and our own situation,” the president said.

The IMF’s director of communications Gerry Rice admitted, in a press briefing in September last year, that “no agreement was reached, and we have not found a way to bridge significant differences about the appropriate response to the present challenges” whilst arranging a COVID relief package with Belarus. He added that “we [the IMF] sought assurances for steps to contain the pandemic in line with WHO recommendations.”

The WHO’s guidance, which the IMF relies on for distributing emergency COVID funding, for nations implementing COVID-19 measures is contained in a document entitled “Considerations in adjusting public health and social measures in the context of COVID-19.” The guidelines stipulate that governments “ensure public health measures such as isolation and quarantine are undertaken to reduce onward spread.” The document also suggests that governments enforce “wearing a mask where appropriate, and physical distancing” at the lowest levels of perceived risk of the spread of the virus.

As the perceived risk of spread increases, the guidelines suggest measures such as the “[c]losure of non-essential businesses or remote working as much as possible,” and that “[i]ndividuals should stay at home and limit social contact with people outside the household.”

The Belarussian experience contrasts starkly with that of its neighbors in Europe, whose closing of national borders and halting of industry has seen record economic crashes

Britain has seen the largest economic slump in its recorded history, and the largest drop amongst the biggest world economies, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). During the height of the national lockdown, between April and June, the U.K. recorded a 20.4% contraction in economic growth, followed by Spain, at 18.5%. These two normally prosperous countries both instituted tight lockdown restrictions in March last year, with Spain enforcing the regulations by placing the army on the streets.


  aleksander lukashenko, belarus, covid-19, lockdowns

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Episodes Thu Jan 7, 2021 - 12:48 pm EST

Though works alone do not save man, they are ‘the necessary fruit of faith’

By Mother Miriam
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In this episode, Mother Miriam talks about having authentic faith.

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