The white owners of two small businesses based in Houston, Texas, are suing to block government policies privileging minority-owned businesses in city contracts. The policies also privilege women-owned businesses. However, the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), which represents the businesses, told Legal Insurrection it “made a strategic decision to focus directly on the race-based set-asides.”
Jerry and Theresa Thompson own Landscape Consultants of Texas and Metropolitan Landscape Management. Their companies compete for city landscaping contracts. However, because of the Thompsons’ race, their companies “cannot compete on equal footing with other businesses.”
Landscape Consultants, for example, has a $1.3 million contract with the city with an 11 percent set aside for minority-owned businesses.
This means that Landscape Consultants must take at least $143,000 of work away from its (largely minority) staff, even though they are capable of doing the work, and pay a competitor to do the work—solely because of the race of Landscape Consultants’ owner and the race of its competitor’s owner.
Legal Insurrection readers may recall that I reported State Farm, one of the largest insurance agencies in the country, was no longer accept applications for home and business insurance in California due to wildfire risks and the cost of rebuilding.
To stop more insurance companies from ditching California, the state’s insurance commissioner has approved plans for firms to use “climate change” as an excuse to gin up rates.
California will let insurance companies consider climate change when setting their prices, the state’s chief regulator announced Thursday, a move aimed at preventing insurers from fleeing the state over fears of massive losses from wildfires and other natural disasters.
Unlike other states, California does not let insurance companies consider current or future risks when deciding how much to charge for an insurance policy. Instead, they can only consider what’s happened on a property in the past to set the price.
…On Thursday, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said the state will write new rules to let insurers look to the future when setting their rates. But companies will only get to do this if they agree to write more policies for homeowners who live in areas with the most risk — including communities threatened by wildfires.
Breaking news on this Monday out of China where we have new data on the dumping of U.S. treasuries and what this means for the U.S. dollar dominance. Saudi Arabia also dumping U.S. treasuries at an increased rate over the past few weeks. What is going on?
Canadian House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota has apologized for honoring a Ukrainian man who served in Adolf Hitler’s Waffen SS forces during World War II, and calling him “a Ukrainian and a Canadian hero.”
Yaroslav Hunka, 98, a former member of the SS 14th Galician Division, was given a standing ovation in the chamber during the visit of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on Friday. The incident was heavily criticized by Jewish groups.
“On Friday, September 22, in my remarks following the address of the President of Ukraine, I recognized an individual in the gallery,” Rota said in a statement on Sunday. “I have subsequently become aware of more information which causes me to regret my decision to do so.”
Without mentioning Hunka by name, Rota reiterated that the Ukrainian man was one of his constituents. “I particularly want to extend my deepest apologies to Jewish communities in Canada and around the world. I accept full responsibility for my actions,” he said.
The civil rights complaint by the Equal Protection Project (EqualProtect.org) of the Legal Insurrection Foundatoin regarding two racially-discriminatory scholarships at Western Kentucky University has spread widely in the media, including initial coverage at The Chronicle of Higher Education, Fox News, and the Daily Caller.
While Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) campaigns for a Senate seat on a platform of earmarks for local causes, the 12-term Congressman has been busted steering millions in taxpayer dollars to for-profit defense contractors, many of whom have been political donors to his campaigns.
According to an investigation by Politico, Schiff "has offered an incomplete and potentially misleading account of his record on earmarks."
A POLITICO review of congressional earmarks and political contributions found that in addition to the money for homelessness and drug treatment, Schiff also steered millions to for-profit companies and raised tens of thousands for his House reelection campaigns from corporate executives and people connected to them. The review was mostly limited to publicly available data from the brief three-year window when corporate earmarks were disclosed.
In two particularly egregious cases, Schiff channeled millions in funding to Smiths Detection and Phasebridge, Inc., two defense companies within his district - with $6 million steered to Smiths Detection and $3 million to Phasebridge. Both moves would have been barred under reforms adopted in 2010. This financial maneuvering coincided with Schiff receiving $8,500 in contributions from PMA Group PAC and two family members of Paul Magliocchetti, founder and owner of the lobbying firm retained by both defense companies.
The recent sparring between Elon Musk and the despicable Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has cast considerable light on the successful attempts by Jewish groups to dominate America’s foreign as well as some domestic policies, in part by taking away the First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech so their behavior cannot be challenged. As readers of Unz will be aware, Musk has threatened to sue the ADL for as much as $22 billion for defaming him and doing material damage to his business interests while also falsely smearing Musk himself and the platform for allegedly providing an antisemitic haven for “hate speech.” In Musk’s view, the ADL has put pressure on potential advertisers not to do business with him and to engage in a total boycott of his social networking sites.
Greenblatt’s argument is that material that he considers to be anti-semitic should not be allowed on any public forum, to include Musk’s site X, formerly known as Twitter. If Greenblatt were concerned with public incitements to kill Jews or damage their property there might be a case to be made, but the fact is that such behavior is already criminalized. Greenblatt is much more expansive than that, condemning any criticism of Jewish group or even individual behavior or the actions of Israel, which have included various war crimes and crimes against humanity to include targeting and killing Palestinian children and harvesting the organs of Palestinian prisoners. Israel is also a nation that is increasingly ethnically exclusive and has a state religion that is intolerant and repressive of other creeds, to include minority Christians and Muslims.
New York’s City Council — which just passed a budget that’s already been deemed a flop — is now spending some of its time advancing a plan that could kill off monuments honoring figures such as George Washington.
The Democratic-led council’s Cultural Affairs Committee is set to hold a public hearing Tuesday on a proposal to yank artworks from city property dedicated to historical figures such as George Washington, Peter Stuyvesant and Christopher Columbus because of their controversial pasts.
But critics immediately branded the effort as cancel culture run amok.
After decades as one of the world’s largest recipients of United States foreign aid, the Egyptian government was nervous about how long the largess would continue at that level. But when the United States cut a sliver of the aid in 2017 over Egypt’s grim human rights record, stunning Cairo, Egyptian officials found an ally in Senator Robert J. Menendez of New Jersey.
He happened to be the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a position that Egypt evidently felt could help its footing in Washington. And even as he accused the Trump administration of being lax when it came to Egypt, prosecutors say he was doing favors for Egyptian officials who had gotten to know him through his then-girlfriend — signing off on arms sales and secretly helping it lobby Washington to release funding.
In return, according to a federal indictment of Mr. Menendez unsealed on Friday, Mr. Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez, received hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, checks and bars of gold.
It was a price that Egyptian officials clearly felt was worth paying.
Almost nine out of every ten Ukrainian draftees who enlisted in the army a year ago have either been killed or injured in combat, Ukrainian media reported on Friday citing a senior conscription officer in the Poltava Region.
Lt. Colonel Vitaly Berezhny, who is currently serving as the acting head of the territorial center for recruitment and social support, made this admission during a Poltava City Council meeting.
Sounding the alarm, Berezhny told meeting participants that “out of the 100 individuals who joined the units last fall, only 10-20 of them remain, the rest are dead, wounded or disabled.” Going from this statistic, he declared that the military was in urgent need of reinforcements.
He acknowledged that local authorities are facing significant challenges in their conscription efforts, having only achieved 13 percent of the mobilization plan. This places the Poltava at the bottom of the region’s rankings.
Aside from a Twitter-impulsive former Polish foreign minister gleefully suggesting the U.S. did it, the mainstream media commentariat had no inhibitions about openly blaming Russia through the fall of 2022.
A year later, however, the world still does not know “who done it.” Some critics suggest the probes may be getting into politically uncomfortable territory, with recent German reports pointing to a Ukrainian military connection to the blasts.
“Whether it’s instinctive or by direction, there is a clear attempt to simply bury this story completely,” said Anatol Lieven, the director of the Quincy Institute’s Eurasia Program, comparing the seeming lack of U.S. media interest to George Orwell’s “memory hole” in the novel “1984.”
“Obviously that is because the main theories that have been advanced for the responsibility of the sabotage, if true, would be imminently embarrassing for Western governments.”
For years, the Nord Stream pipelines have epitomized energy stability for Europe’s largest economy. Germany’s industries, households, and economic engine have heavily relied on the uninterrupted flow of Russian gas. However, overnight, a sudden and audacious disruption to this vital energy supply sent shockwaves across Germany, leaving it exposed and vulnerable.
The assault on these pipelines last year, allegedly involving American interference, has led to a surge in energy costs within Germany, and this is just the beginning. Industries grapple with unprecedented energy expenses, and consumers witness utility bills skyrocketing, contributing to widespread business closures and significant job losses. In addition to the grim economic outlook, the Ifo Institute has reiterated a projected 0.4% contraction for Germany’s economy in 2023. The prospects of a second-half recovery appear dim due to the country’s limited exposure to the post-pandemic services sector boom. While a 0.2% GDP contraction is anticipated in Q3, a full-blown recession is not yet on the horizon.
Nevertheless, Germany’s economic challenges persist. The nation’s economy remained stubbornly stagnant in the second quarter of 2023, failing to rebound from a previous winter recession, thereby solidifying its position as one of the world’s most fragile major economies. This Q2 stagnation aligns with earlier forecasts and signals a year-on-year adjusted GDP contraction of 0.2% for the same period. Germany, the primary economic engine of Europe, faces a bleak economic outlook, citing factors such as weakened purchasing power, diminished industrial orders, a slowdown in China’s economy, and the repercussions of aggressive monetary policy tightening. While some hold hope for a year-end resurgence, forecasts indicate that Germany may trail behind major Eurozone economies throughout 2023 due to these persistent challenges.
Findings in a new study challenge the mainstream narrative that COVID-19 vaccinations prevent long COVID. The study found that while previous infections reduce the risk of long COVID by 86 percent, vaccination status prior to COVID infection is irrelevant to a person's risk of developing long COVID.
“The notion had been that both previous infection as well as vaccination reduce the chances of subsequent long COVID should you become infected,” Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine and health policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told The Epoch Times.
These investigators have poured "cool water" on that concept, he continued.
Researchers from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, an over-500-year-old research university in Germany, found thatpeople with the highest risk of long COVID or post-COVID condition, as the authors wrote, were unvaccinated people infected with the Wuhan variant, followed by unvaccinated and vaccinated participants infected with the alpha variant.
While not explicitly discussed in the study, the study’s diagram and supplementary tables showed that with the exception of infection with the Wuhan variant, unvaccinated people tend to have a slightly lower risk of long COVID than their vaccinated counterparts.
A leaked U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) slide is garnering concern about the Chinese regime’s continued capability to produce naval vessels at an alarmingly faster rate than the United States.
The leaked graphic depicts shipyards in China as being able to build new naval vessels at a rate that's 232 times greater than that of the United States. The ONI confirmed its authenticity to The Drive, which first published the slide.
This outsized capacity to support China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy has caused some analysts to raise the alarm that the United States won't be able to close the gap for many years to come.
Retired Capt. James Fanell, a former director of intelligence and information operations for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, doesn't share the same level of pessimism, although he does acknowledge the challenges involved in rebuilding the United States' shipbuilding capacity.
He says closing the gap with the Chinese regime will require “a dramatic shift in the policy of unaccountable engagement that now characterizes the Biden administration.”
“The challenges are also greater than just political will,” Mr. Fanell told The Epoch Times. “There is an issue of America’s shipbuilding industry that has gone into disrepair since WWII.”
The SEC is now tracking your stock trades by your Social Security Number, and it shares the data with 3,000 outside agencies.
“A consolidated audit trail that accurately tracks orders throughout their lifecycle and identifies the broker-dealers handling them will provide us with an unprecedented ability to effectively oversee the markets we regulate,” said SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro.
The new rule becomes effective 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register. SROs are required to submit the NMS plan to the Commission within 270 days of the rule’s publication in the Federal Register. Once the Commission approves the NMS plan, the SROs are required to report the required data to the central repository within one year, and members of the SROs are required to report within two years. Certain small broker-dealers will have up to three years to report the data.
Voting machine company Smartmatic, which is suing Fox News and former President Donald Trump's top allies over their claims that the company's machines facilitated cheating in the 2020 US election, has been accused as uncharged co-conspirators in a bribery scheme in the Philippines.
According to court documents revealed by CNN, the Department of Justice has filed money laundering charges against former Filipino election administrator, Andres Bautista, who has been accused - along with unnamed Smartmatic executives - of illegal financial transactions.
The accusations levied against Smartmatic suggest attempts to funnel $4 million to Bautista, adding fuel to the allegations surrounding the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, and the lawsuits filed by Smartmatic against Fox News and former President Trump's allies.
The new allegations further complicate Smartmatic's defamation suits against various pro-Trump figures and media organizations, who have sought to underscore Smartmatic's ties to Venezuela and its involvement in foreign elections as defense in their ongoing legal battles.
Smartmatic has sued Fox Newsas part of a $2.7 billion lawsuit, in which they have demanded a full retraction and apology from the network.
According to Smartmatic spokeswoman Samira Saba, the Florida-based company "has never won a project through any illegal means," and that the claims in the Bautista case are "not related to Smartmatic election security or integrity."
Kennedy was asked by a voter at a town hall in North Charleston, South Carolina, this month whether he'd launch an independent bid for the White House. Although he has said he's determined to keep his ties to the party long associated with the Kennedy clan, the nephew of President John F. Kennedy and son of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy didn't rule out anything.
"They're trying to make sure that I can't participate at all in the political process, and so I'm going to keep all my options open," Kennedy said of the Democratic National Committee.
Democrats worry that a third-party candidate in a general election will pull votes away from Biden, who is facing low approval ratings, and help elect the eventual Republican nominee in 2024. The same concerns were expressed after Cornel West announced he would run as a Green Party candidate. And now the fears are growing as Biden remains neck-and-neck with the leading GOP contender, former President Donald Trump, in hypothetical matchups.
Burger King is facing calls for a boycott after the burger chain stopped advertising on Rumble over controversy involving Russell Brand.
On Friday, the News Movement reported that several big-dollar brands pulled advertisements from Rumble — including Burger King, HelloFresh, and Asos — because the company chose not to demonetize Brand, who is facing accusations of sexual assault.
The companies appeared to take action after the news outlet informed the companies that their ads were appearing on Brand's Rumble content.
"Burger King has paused all advertising on the channel while investigations into the allegations are ongoing," Burger King told the News Movement.
The decision to pull advertisements led to outrage on social media and demands for a Burger King boycott.
The workforce at the Los Alamos lab has now exceeded 17,270. More than half of them commute to work from other locations in northern New Mexico. The small community of Los Alamos nearly doubles during the work week, when all of the lab's employees are there.
Though various advancements in technology have changed the way work is done within the walls of Los Alamos National Laboratory, there are fundamental elements that have remained the same since WWII, such as the secrecy and sense of national duty.
Not all illegal aliens are entering the U.S. along the southern or northern border, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.
Over the past year, “more than 200,000 people from four countries” used a direct-flight parole program to enter the United States illegally, says Todd Bensman, senior national security fellow at the Washington-based think tank devoted to researching immigration issues.
Through a Freedom of Information Act request, or FOIA, Bensman says, he learned of the federal government’s “CBP One” mobile application parole program, which “permits inadmissible aliens to make an appointment to fly directly to airports in the interior of the United States, bypassing the border altogether.”
Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan is calling for the GOP to focus on winning some policies rather than squabbling over budget items.
During an interview on “Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria Bartiromo, Jordan noted that there’s less than a week until the government funding deadline. The House has only introduced four appropriations bills to establish the government’s budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. There are eight more that have yet to move forward.
The Ohio Republican also suggested possibly including something in a spending bill that may eliminate or reduce funding for Special Counsel Jack Smith’s operation.
“Well, there’s been, there’s been a fight over the number. What level we’re actually going to fund at? Look, I want to reduce spending too. I know what the debt problem is. But in a divided government, there’s been a number that’s agreed on to fund the government,” Jordan said.
The British Ministry of Defense has admitted that hundreds of UK Army tanks and armored vehicles could contain asbestos, a potentially hazardous material banned in the UK. Some of those tanks have likely been sent to Ukraine.
Over 2,000 pieces of equipment, including Challenger 2 tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and Bulldog personnel carriers, belonging to the British Armed Forces may have asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), according to the nation's Defense Ministry.
Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibrous silicate minerals that are resistant to fire and corrosion. It is also an excellent thermal and electrical insulator. However, when asbestos materials become damaged, tiny fibers could get stuck in the lungs, leading to asbestosis – a scarring of the lung tissue – and mesothelioma, a type of cancer.
As much as 25 percent of pharmacy chain Rite Aid's retail footprint could disappear in the coming days as one of the top 10 largest pharmacies in the United States negotiates with creditors over a chapter 11 bankruptcy plan that The Wall Street Journal says "would substantially shrink [Rite Aid's] operational footprint."
If all goes as requested by the company, Rite Aid will shutter between 400 and 500 of its U.S. locations. The company will also either sell or let creditors take over its remaining operations, though no final decision has yet been made.
The Philadelphia-based pharmacy chain currently faces more than $3.3 billion in debt and more than 1,000 federal lawsuits claiming it oversupplied the country with deadly opioid pharmaceuticals.
Rite Aid currently operates more than 2,330 stores in 17 states, which though it may sound like a lot, is substantially less than the footprints of rivals CVS Health and Walgreens.
Several Bay Area health agencies in California announced last week that mandatory masking would return to hospitals and health care settings for the fall and winter months.
Contra Costa, Sonoma, Alameda, and San Mateo counties issued mask orders for health care staff in hospitals and other care facilities. The orders start on Nov. 1 and last until April 30, 2024, officials said, citing recent increases in COVID-19, influenza, and other respiratory viruses that are typically commonplace during the colder months.
“Each year we see that higher rates of influenza, COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses that can cause severe respiratory infections occur annually between late fall and spring,” Dr. Karen Smith, the Sonoma County interim health officer, said in a statement last week.
Contra Costa Health Services CEO Anna Roth told the county's board of supervisors last week that the mandate will be enacted, according to local media reports.
The Biden administration on Monday announced a $2 billion loan for Poland that will go toward modernizing Warsaw’s military.
“Today, the United States is proud to announce the signing of a milestone $2 billion Foreign Military Financing (FMF) direct loan agreement to support Poland’s defense modernization,” the State Department said in a press release.
The State Department said the US would also provide $60 million in FMF funds to cover the cost of the loan. The press release described Warsaw as a “stalwart US ally” as Poland has become a major hub for arms shipments to Ukraine and spends more on its military than most European NATO members.
“In addition to its central support role in facilitating international assistance to neighboring Ukraine, Poland has demonstrated its ironclad commitment to strengthening regional security through its robust investments in defense spending,” the State Department said.