CCP Influence in Congress

A tall security fence surrounds the US Capitol ahead of US President Joe Bidens address to a joint session of Congress in Washington, on April 28, 2021. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

A tall security fence surrounds the US Capitol ahead of US President Joe Bidens address to a joint session of Congress in Washington, on April 28, 2021. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images) Thinking About China

Proposed protections in the House stalled by Democrats Anders Corr November 27, 2021 Updated: November 30, 2021 biggersmallerPrint

News Analysis

Members of Congress are finally pushing to remove the malign influence of foreign money from the U.S. political system.

Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas) recently introduced legislation to require think tanks to disclose foreign money they’ve received, according to a statement by Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), who’s pushing for a Truth in Testimony resolution that requires congressional witnesses to divulge their sources of foreign funding.

Those funded by the adversaries of the United States—including China, North Korea, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba—would face extra scrutiny.

Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) has proposed to prohibit lobbying by former members of Congress on the part of communist regimes. A group of House Republicans wants to strengthen the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

Some Democrats support these measures, but have done so quietly thus far. Josh Rogin, a journalist for the Washington Post who often writes on foreign influence issues, wrote an opinion piece published on Nov. 23, demanding that Democrats use their majority to take action on this bipartisan issue.

“Dozens of D.C. think tanks and other policy organizations take money from foreign countries and corporations without ever disclosing the details,” Rogin wrote. “The staffers who have received this financing then write policy papers and testify before Congress, posing as objective, disinterested experts.”

Banks said the proposed rules “would allow Committees to know when individuals are being paid for consulting or advising services to Chinese companies with internal CCP [Chinese Communist Party] committees or companies such as Huawei and Tencent.”

“It would also encompass witnesses who perform consulting work for oligarchs in … adversarial nations, which is often not disclosed under the Lobbying Disclosure Act [LDA] or FARA,” he said.

Epoch Times Photo
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) on Capitol Hill on March 27, 2019. (York Du/NTD)

The lack of transparency is even worse in the Senate, which doesn’t require witnesses to divulge foreign conflicts of interest—and apparently has no plans to do so.

Think tanks that refuse foreign funding, such as the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the American Foreign Policy Council, support additional transparency on the Hill.

Banks is leading demands for the House reform effort.

“Witnesses appearing before committees are often able to skirt disclosure requirements. … This is problematic considering [the] Chinese Communist Party’s disinformation operations in the United States include funding Washington D.C. think tanks,” he said.

“The U.S. China Security and Economic Commission has noted that a number of Washington D.C. think tanks and universities have received funding from Tung Chee-hwa, a vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, which is a group that directs the United Front Work Department.”

The rule changes would be a step in the right direction, but even they don’t go far enough.

U.S. Air Force Academy professor Jahara Matisek, whose forthcoming book, “Old and New Battlespaces,” addresses the issue of foreign influence in the United States, said, “From a national security perspective, all foreign money (and even big corporate money) should be kept out because it skews American democracy, not to mention skewing domestic and foreign policies that benefit other countries and elites at the expense of the average American.”

The most effective lobbyists for Beijing in Washington are U.S. corporations that export to China and want the U.S. government to look the other way on certain issues—the CCP’s multiple genocides, for example—so as to not derail the gravy train of $600 billion in annual U.S.–China trade and $2.3 trillion in U.S. institutional investments in China.

“U.S. national security is not taken that seriously by either political party in the US, precisely because the incentive structures are upside down,” Matisek wrote. “No politicians seem to be punished by their electorate for [bad] national security outcomes.”

So it would seem that even the Republican proposals don’t go far enough.

The penalty for lying on disclosure forms that they’ve proposed is only a ban on speaking before the same committee for three years. Perjury is a more serious offense, especially on matters of national security. Anyone who purposefully lies to Congress should spend time in prison.

Professors at U.S. universities, which receive extensive funding from China through individual student tuition that the CCP can turn on or off, would likely be exempt under the new rules.

Politically influential professors, who can make millions of dollars in outside contracts with foreign governments, should have to report this publicly. Professors at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government aren’t required to publicly disclose foreign funding, even as they often appear as media and congressional experts on national security matters.

Greater transparency about foreign revenues should also apply to corporate experts. Everyone who’s politically influential in the United States, if they receive any foreign money, should have to disclose that funding. At risk is the future of freedom.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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ANOTHER DESERT RETREAT

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

Only saw one vehicle/individual twice in 28 days while camping this time – obviously not counting a few necessary trips into town for food and supplies after deciding to extend the previously planned week of activities. (Just can’t work like I used to when younger and being stuck in the mud on a county road for a couple of days cut into the planned work schedule.) Undoubtedly another successful (though very challenging) desert retreat. Still evaluating what I learned from this most recent experience. There were challenging obstacles, frightening failures, and a host of disappointments that were ultimately and successfully negotiated under a simple one word suggestion of action (by a recently acquired and very good friend already): IMPROVISE.

Various carefully constructed plans unequivocally failed (primarily due to environmental elements such as rain, snow, ice and of course extremely strong rotating winds) with potential danger lurking at each subsequent step, so any approach to this situation had to be flexible in order to meander through the developing and quickly changing maze of difficulties. Prior plans were immediately abandoned to make room for the new approach. Yup, the answer was simple, logical and effective: TRASH PRIOR PLANS and IMPROVISE! Strange how in that deep pit of physical and emotional exhaustion, the angst and feelings of helplessness almost magically disappeared with just hearing that familiar word spoken by another. Especially when the activity is something I have always enjoyed, yet for whatever reasons, that simple solution had completely bypassed my cognitive awareness in that pit of despair. The feeling of growing helplessness gradually vanished with hearing that one word. IMPROVISE was a shinning beacon through the fog of doubt and apprehension and put everything into a crystal clear perspective for not only basic survival, but the continuation of a journey planned for months. [Wonder if “BIG D” truly appreciates how important and meaningful his one word suggestion was? Guess I’ll just have to keep thanking him until joining the blowing dust of this planet myself?]


FEELS GOOD WHEN YOU STOP BANGING YOUR HEAD AGAINST A BRICK WALL

So many things have become as clear as the stars in the Nevada desert sky. I’m through with wasting precious time and effort on matters without a chance of correction due to decades of systemic fraud, corruption and betrayal of MR WECs (Merced River Water Entitled Customers) of the Lake Don Pedro residential subdivision. Haven’t changed my opinion on this STATE SUPPORTED CRIMINAL CORRUPTION OF A PUBLIC AGENCY one bit, but rather, only how much more time I am willing to sacrifice in the failed attempt to educate/motivate other victims of this subsidized special benefit groundwater substitution program created to circumvent clear PLACE OF USE restrictions contained in water license 11395 which regulates use and consumption of Merced River water. (Mouthful yeah? lol) When the holders of such a precious license actually cooperate with intentional violators – well, that’s a big clue as to what is actually happening behind the scenes and the probability for corrective action under the current DEMO RAT political environment is minimal. Such obstructionism to the RULE OF LAW goes all the way to the STATE WATER BOARD where employees in particular divisions of expertise/authority can quite effectively prevent and/or sabotage legitimate investigations and corrective actions with impunity to the benefit of their third party special interests. All the while taxpayers pay for the grand deception of honesty in government and rule of law as they are routinely cheated and lied to on a daily basis. The Demo Rat method of operation.

Nope. Haven’t changed my political opinion at all, and not surrendering, rather just focusing on what I believe to be the best course of action for me personally at this juncture in my life as I certainly am not getting younger. (Although the desert in some ways does simulate such feelings as being young again – possibly due to all the new things being learned?) Life is too precious to waste on state protected cheats, liars and bureaucratic criminals. I’m tired of the ANTI-AMERICAN DEMO RAT DRAMA (impossible without a corrupted Main Stream Media – finally unmasked as the crucial co-conspirator it is) they talk and talk and talk about American values and the good things they do while waving the red, white and blue and screwing the American Citizen and Patriot at every imaginable opportunity.

Yes indeed, multiply my previous comments and opinions a 100 times or so as these DEMO RAT TRAITORS AND SUBTLE TERRORISTS MUST BE REMOVED FROM ANY POSITION OF GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBILITY ASAP IF WE ARE TO SAVE THIS GREAT NATION from its obvious direction towards destruction. THEY (DEMS) ARE WOLVES IN SHEEP CLOTHING WHO CONTINUALLY STRIVE TO DESTROY OUR AMERICA (emphasis on the all inclusive “OUR”) in any way they believe might be effective which necessarily operates through disinformation and surreptitious betrayal of legal American citizens at every level of government. And what have public schools been teaching impressionable students for many years? Effective correction takes time.


DEMO RATS will continue to fail miserably and will eventually exhaust the supply of traditional American compassion, sensitivity and understanding for activities now clearly identified and recognized as Anti-American, unconstitutional and an assault on our system of justice and Rule of Law. Freedom of Speech and the speaking of truth has been suppressed long enough by these tyrants and the time for public accountability is rapidly approaching. Stay informed and do what you can to save YOUR AMERICA……. but enjoy life and appreciate the blessings we all will continue to receive as American Citizens and Patriots of this indeed exceptional and God Blessed Nation.

My best to you and yours, Lew

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THE BELOW INFO-GRAPHIC IS LIKELY THE MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION EVER POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY REPRESENTING JUST ANOTHER OUTRAGEOUS EXAMPLE OF THE CONTINUING BETRAYAL AND EXPLOITATION OF THE AMERICAN CITIZEN

Yup, well worth the time it takes to enlarge each image and read the narrative. Frankly, this material has confirmed a number of things I have believed about this COVID-19 nightmare since the beginning and how it fits quite well with everything else these TRAITORS HAVE DONE, AND ARE CONTINUING TO DO to OUR COUNTRY. What do you think about such documented betrayal of the AMERICAN TAXPAYING CITIZEN by their own government and officials? – (Not to mention the threat to life on this planet with such “Gain A Function” research.) And not just that one treacherous politician either – don’t forget the commissioned and appointed vast armies of private consultants, corporations, companies, , blah blah blah….. all blurring the lines of responsibility and accountability for that coveted sanctuary of plausible deniability when the shroud of conspiracy is lifted. What about the Leftist brainwashing of our children in public school? (Referencing those schools not carefully monitored by TRUE EDUCATORS, parents, guardians, etc. Although this Anti-American process had certainly been slumbering in our public schools for decades despite clear warnings, only recently has “the country” as a whole observed and truly appreciated the resulting societal harm triggering yet another positive GREAT AWAKENING with proposed corrective action. )

The Rule of Law has been transformed into non regulated/enforced suggestions for the elite special interests while taxpayers are compelled to increasingly fund organizations and activities that are clearly in opposition to their own CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS? Have you considered all the rigged elections at every level of government in every State in OUR UNION? The outrageous and politically LEFT MOTIVATED Presidential impeachment frauds utilizing carefully constructed fabrications of truth mixed with the traditional propaganda of foreign governments? AND THEN THE EFFICIENT DISTRIBUTION OF SUCH DISINFORMATION ACROSS AMERICA by a corrupted Main Stream Media? (Well, perhaps once “main stream” but increasingly less so with each passing day.) Open borders which only fuel a host of other very serious economic and social problems for OUR COUNTRY and OUR LEGAL CITIZENS? Law enforcement and intelligence entities intended to DEFEND OUR COUNTRY reconfigured to target political opponents while true American patriots are fed a consistent barrage of disinformation from the current ANTI-AMERICAN appointed administration that is destroying OUR COUNTRY with DECISIONS AND ACTIVITIES that defy any basic concept of COMMON SENSE?

Sorry, bad day for self expression. I need to do something else. Later.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Right click the below image, open in new tab/window, then you can enlarge each image and read the narrative. Such utter betrayal!

Epoch Times Photo
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VOTE THEM ALL OUT TO SAVE YOUR COUNTRY

The political pendulum is in motion

And will correct recent BAD HISTORY

And while traitors scoff at “a little red wave

They’ll be hit with an ALL AMERICAN TSUNAMI!

Certainly there are always exceptions to any rule (or suggestion). There are a number of DEMOCRAT POLITICIANS whose courageous stand against their own misdirected Democrat party speaks volumes as to their overriding honorable character and duty to America and her LEGAL CITIZENS. NEVER-the-LESS, ANYONE supporting this Anti-American policy of the DEMOCRATS should be removed from office as soon as possible in an attempt to limit the INTENTIONAL DAMAGE to OUR COUNTRY and LEGAL CITIZENS – along with the massive global distrust being generated due to this CRIMINALLY APPOINTED FAILURE of a treacherous president. This blanket statement certainly also applies to all the RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) who have also betrayed this country as posers of true American conservative values when they swim in the same SWAMP. Just wanted to clarify that there are always exceptions to every rule ….. or in this case, suggestion. Essentially, what I am advocating is dumping EVERY SINGLE ANTI-AMERICAN POLITICIAN REGARDLESS OF PARTY AFFILIATION. (Assuming of course this country will have open and honest elections again.)

My best to you and yours, Lew

Strange times, yeah?

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

Biden Administration Warns States Federal Debt Crisis Might Trigger Recession

President Joe Biden delivers remarks in Washington on Sept. 3, 2021. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden delivers remarks in Washington on Sept. 3, 2021. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images) Executive Branch

By Jack Phillips September 19, 2021 Updated: September 19, 2021 biggersmallerPrint

The Biden administration has issued a warning that the pending federal debt crisis might trigger an economic recession that would affect economic growth and trigger job losses across the United States.

“Hitting the debt ceiling could cause a recession. Economic growth would falter, unemployment would rise, and the labor market could lose millions of jobs,” the White House said in a letter (pdf) to state and local governments that was released Sept. 17.

Arguing that Congress needs to raise or suspend the U.S. debt ceiling, the administration said the debt crisis may affect the country’s recovery after the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic. In July, Congress missed its deadline to suspend or raise the debt limit, prompting several recent warnings from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that her agency will exhaust its cash reserves.

“The U.S. economy has just begun to recover from the pandemic and a manufactured debt ceiling crisis would threaten the gains we’ve made and the future recovery,” the White House said.

If the United States defaults for the first time in its history should Congress not act, a number of federally funded programs could be stopped, the White House letter continued to say. That includes Medicaid, infrastructure funding, and disaster relief efforts.

“If the U.S. defaults on its obligations, the ripple effects will hurt cities and states across the country,” the letter added, further saying that the S&P 500 could plunge due to a prolonged standoff.

The warning comes after Congress approved trillions of dollars in spending and relief packages in recent months, while Democrats are currently pushing a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill designed to provide funding for a variety of new programs targeting social welfare, the climate, and some infrastructure projects. Because trillions of dollars have been injected into the economy, some have expressed concern that the measures are triggering a rise in inflation, which has rattled markets in recent weeks, although the Federal Reserve has said it believes the inflation spike is transitory.

Yellen recently spoke with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to try to get Republican senators on board with the debt limit increase. The GOP leader told media outlets, however, that he doesn’t believe any Republicans would vote to raise the debt limit.

“I can’t imagine a single Republican in this environment that we’re in now—this free-for-all for taxes and spending—to vote to raise the debt limit,” McConnell told Punchbowl News.

But some Biden administration officials have said they’re optimistic that Congress will take action in the coming weeks to avoid a crisis.

“We have seen this done in a bipartisan way consistently and the best way to do this is without a lot of drama, without a lot of self-inflicted harm to the economy and to our country, and that’s what we’re going to do,” National Economic Council Director Brian Deese was quoted by Bloomberg News as saying. “Now there’s a lot of posturing on this issue, but we’re confident at the end of the day we’ll get this done.”

The current national debt total is about $28.7 trillion. In July 2019, Congress suspended the debt ceiling, which prevents the federal government from taking on a certain amount of national debt for two years.

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China Is Using Wokeism to Erode American Democracy, Author Says

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The cover of "Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam," by Vivek Ramaswamy.

The cover of “Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam,” by Vivek Ramaswamy. US-China Relations

China Is Using Wokeism to Erode American Democracy, Author Says

By Frank Fang and Jan Jekielek September 17, 2021 Updated: September 17, 2021 biggersmallerPrint

The communist regime in China is using “wokeism” as a geopolitical tool to undermine U.S. democracy, said Vivek Ramaswamy, author of “Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam.”

“They [China] are using that to divide us, to use that as a kink in our armor to divide us from within, by getting corporations to criticize injustice here, without saying a peep about injustice over there and deflecting accountability for their human rights abuses,” Ramaswamy said in a recent interview with EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders.”

He said U.S. companies like NBA and Disney—who criticize social issues in the United States but remain silent on China’s human rights abuses such as those in Xinjiang—are in fact empowering communist China.

In 2020, Disney drew heavy criticism when it was revealed that it filmed a live-action remake of “Mulan” in China’s far-western region of Xinjiang, where Beijing has locked up over 1 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in internment camps. Several governments including the United States have characterized China’s oppression in Xinjiang as “genocide.”

The NBA was in hot water in 2019 after Houston Rockets then-general manager Daryl Morey voiced support for Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters in a Twitter post. The Chinese regime, which cast the protesters as “rioters,” suspended airing NBA games in retaliation, while Chinese companies cut ties with the league.

In an apologetic statement, the NBA said Morey’s tweet was “regrettable” and “deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China.” However, the league did not bow to Chinese pressure to discipline or fire Morey.

“What that has the effect of doing is creating a false moral equivalence between the United States and China,” he explained.

He added: “And that actually erodes our greatest geopolitical asset of all, that is not our nuclear arsenal, it is our moral standing on the global stage.”

Meanwhile, the Chinese regime has been “rolling out the red carpet” for companies that criticized injustice in the United States, Ramaswamy said. For example, he pointed to U.S. online lodging platform Airbnb, which has voiced support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Ramaswamy argued that Airbnb paid “a dirty bribe” to Beijing when it shared its guest data with Chinese authorities in exchange for being able to do business in China.

In March, over 190 global campaign groups wrote an open letter to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, asking the firm to withdraw its support for the 2022 Winter Olympics in China’s capital Beijing because of the communist regime’s horrific human rights records.

“Airbnb should not be encouraging a wider tourist industry to be supported and allowed to flourish at the expense of Uyghur and Tibetan rights,” the groups wrote.

Airbnb, who inked a partnership with the International Olympic Committee in 2019, is one of the organization’s 15 leading sponsors.

Ramaswamy said, “The way in which they [China] have turned our own companies into Trojan horses to undermine us from within is the flip side of the modern Battle of Troy. They’ve sent the Trojan horse in.”

The modern-day wokeism, which Ramaswamy characterized as a “culture of self-criticism,” has borne resemblance to old school Chinese communist politics, as well as former Chinese leader Mao Zedong’s Red Guards, he explained.

“This is a time of effectively living in a modern Red Guard revolution in America, except instead of the Chinese Red Guard pushing the philosophy of Marxism, the new Red Guard is pushing it through all of our major institutions, from the private sector to the public, they are pushing this new philosophy of wokeism,” he said.

He added: “Someone inside needed to sound the alarm bell.”

Mao instigated the Red Guards, who were Chinese high school and university students, to persecute those identified as “class enemies” of the communist regime, amid the Cultural Revolution that lasted 10 years until Mao’s death in 1976.

Ramaswamy warned that “American greatness” would be coming to an end if Americans weren’t able to reverse the trend.

He explained, “[We need to] harness and rediscover our own culture of excellence, our own culture of the unapologetic pursuit of excellence through our system of free enterprise, and through our democracy in ways that require seeing past the superficial demands of the woke movement.”

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“What caused the blaze is under investigation”

How many times have we read or heard this from authorities all over OUR NATION while the underlying causes to many of these hellish nightmares appears relatively easy to ascertain and understand? Answers often range from somewhere in between the responsible party’s LACK OF MENTAL CAPACITY (thus EXTREME NEGLIGENCE) all the way to the more obvious INTENTIONAL ACT to destroy LIFE AND PROPERTY in a high fire severity zone by means of an easy to produce single flame? (Please don’t forget the countless lives of innocent animals generally referred to as “wildlife” also routinely lost and mutilated.)

WHAT HAPPENED TO BASIC COMMON SENSE?

Shall we outlaw all matches, lighters, rubbing sticks, flint & steel kits, etc. or look past the actual lifeless tools and mechanisms employed to produce such routine catastrophic death and property loss, and rather, focus on “what” is actually utilizing these common tools as vicious weapons to produce the clearly avoidable destruction and resulting chaos? Could irresponsible, mentally incompetent, and power hungry evil human beings freely roaming this country without accountability for their outrageous activities (in defiance of BASIC COMMON SENSE) be part of the problem? I certainly think so.

My best to you and yours, Lew

PS: While on the subject of “irresponsible, mentally incompetent, and power hungry evil human beings freely roaming this country without accountability for their outrageous activities (in defiance of BASIC COMMON SENSE)” I also believe such individuals should be removed from public office as soon as possible.

Categories: Uncategorized.

FRUSTRATION ON BOTH SIDES, YEAH?

You know when I read the below article I thought – “how does it feel to be ignored when what you are saying is the truth and the responsible regulatory and enforcement authorities could care less?” What goes around comes around.

Yup, I’ve been waiting for many years to see that Merced Irrigation District (MID) 1993 shape file map of the PLACE OF USE FOR MERCED RIVER WATER per Water License 11395 for the Lake Don Pedro area which PETER KAMPA (and his treacherous Board of Defectors) FRAUDULENTLY used to MISDIRECT the LAKE DON PEDRO COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT for several years into developing an extremely expensive and subsidized GROUND WATER SUBSTITUTION PROGRAM (paid for by the MR WECS of the LDP residential subdivision, aka Merced River Water Entitled Customers) in order to circumvent decades old and very clear POU restrictions (as to where MERCED RIVER WATER COULD LEGALLY BE DIVERTED AND CONSUMED). Why? So as to furnish a special benefit “blended water” to all the LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission) ANNEXATIONS into the LDPCSD that KAMPA HAD WRONGFULLY set up (without board authorization, approval or EVEN KNOWLEDGE!) when betraying this community during his first tour of employment in the mid 1990s. When caught he abruptly resigned and moved to his next VICTIM CALIFORNIA SPECIAL DISTRICT up in Mc Cloud CA. Then later the 2014 Board of Directors unethically brought this CSDA (California Special District Association, board director), WEASEL and PROFESSIONAL CHEAT back to finish his LAFCO ANNEXATION work by providing a GROUNDWATER SUBSTITUTION PROGRAM created with government grants which were themselves based on patently FALSE INFORMATION. As the below article mentions, – it only took a couple of KAMPA “insiders” at the State Water Board to provide all the obstructionism required for KAMPA to move on to the next feeding ground. KAMPA AND HIS AGENTS ATTEMPTED TO SUBSTITUTE THE AUTHENTIC 1978 MID POU MAP WITH KAMPA’S FABRICATED MAP WHICH EXPANDED THE SERVICE AREA DRAMATICALLY! No charges what-so-ever. This state is so frigg’n corrupt, but hey, these cheats are everywhere…….look at the 2020 election – same sort of people don’t give a flying rat’s ass what honest American citizens think and believe.

Anyway, MID is apparently just getting a taste of its own medicine when it comes to the foreseeable and future rippling harm caused when “movers and shakers” intentionally avoid the truth and violate law to the benefit of whatever “special interest” is at hand.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Anyway, below is the article.

MID files lawsuit to protect water supply

Agency notes impact on farmers, multiple disadvantaged communities

By The Merced County Times On Sep 9, 202144

Merced Irrigation District has filed a lawsuit challenging the emergency drought curtailments issued by the State Water Resources Control Board last month. The lawsuit intends to protect MID water rights, local growers and multiple disadvantaged communities in eastern Merced County.

“As requested by Governor Newsom, we attempted to work cooperatively and proactively with the State Water Board in order to avoid the disputes that we knew would follow these unnecessary and illegal regulations. Unfortunately, the Water Board still hasn’t agreed to meet or even discuss our proposals,” said MID General Counsel Phillip McMurray.

The lawsuit was filed on Thursday, Sept. 2. It is among others filed by water agencies across the San Joaquin Valley last week.

Earlier this summer, months before the curtailments were adopted, MID joined with several other local water agencies and senior water rights holders in sending letters to the State Water Board. The letters proposed a variety of actions intended to address the drought, benefiting both water supplies and the environment. Without a substantive response, the State Water Board ordered curtailment of water rights for the Sacramento and San Joaquin river systems in August.

MID is one of the oldest irrigation districts and holds some of the most senior water rights in California. The District owns and operates Lake McClure on the Merced River. Water deliveries are made to about 2,200 growers farming on approximately 132,000 acres in eastern Merced County. Cities and communities within MID’s service territory include Merced, Atwater, Livingston, Winton, Le Grand,

Cressey and El Nido, as well as the Castle Airport and Aviation Development Center. Each of these communities are deemed disadvantaged by the state.

Concerned with significant impacts to disadvantaged communities and local growers, MID’s lawsuit was filed to protect the District’s water rights and supplies. The lawsuit states, among other things, that the State Water Board has acted arbitrarily and beyond its jurisdiction through its water right curtailments. In addition to harming disadvantaged communities, the State Water Board’s actions will directly impact and substantially harm hydroelectric production from New Exchequer Dam. The clean and renewable electricity generated at New Exchequer Dam benefits the statewide grid and the California Independent System Operator.

The following violations are among more than a dozen MID is taking issue with in the State Water Board’s actions:

• Failing for more than five years to show effort toward developing a methodology or process to address routine drought conditions, as ordered by a California Superior Court in 2018.

• Failure to adequately demonstrate the existence of an emergency as required by state law. ?• Excessive vagueness in the regulations, lack of clarity.

• Delegating essentially unfettered control and authority over the vast majority of water ?rights in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Watershed to a single staff member of the State ?Water Board, without boundaries of discretion or limitations of reasonable judgment.

• Ignoring directives of Governor Newsom, who ordered water right holders and the State Water Board to work together in good faith to fashion activities and policies to avoid the ?need for regulation.

• Violation of due process requirements.

• Lack of authority to regulate senior water rights on the basis of water unavailability or ?shortage.

• Failure to follow California’s established water right priority system, which guarantees that those with senior water rights be able to beneficially use those rights before those with junior water rights. “While there is little question about the current dry conditions in California, there is plenty questionable about how the State Water Board has gone about carrying out its response,” said MID General Manager, John Sweigard. “In the last drought, we were able to develop some significant compromises with the State Water Board that allowed us to take tangible actions for the benefit of MID, the environment and other water users in California,” he added. “For whatever reasons, this time around the State Water Board seems intent on ignoring facts, science and even California’s governor. It’s unfortunate for MID, the Merced River and everyone in the San Joaquin Valley and Bay Delta. Moving ahead, we will continue doing all we can to protect our growers and our local community from these orders.”

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LA County District Attorney Sued by Deputy DA for Defamation

Victims Rights Advocates to Launch Recall Effort Against George Gascon

Victims Rights Advocates to Launch Recall Effort Against George Gascon20 Share Now TelegramFacebookTweetEmailTellMeWeRedditCopy Link

Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami (R) and attorney Brian Claypool (L) held a press release in front of the Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles 
on Sept. 8, 2021. (Linda Jiang/The Epoch Times)

Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami (R) and attorney Brian Claypool (L) held a press release in front of the Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles on Sept. 8, 2021. (Linda Jiang/The Epoch Times) Southern California

By Linda Jiang September 13, 2021 Updated: September 13, 2021 biggersmallerPrint

A veteran prosecutor on Sept. 7 filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County, alleging he has been defamed and retaliated against by George Gascón, the district attorney in Los Angeles County, for being an outspoken critic of Gascón.

A day after formally filing his lawsuit, Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami of Los Angeles County detailed his allegations against Gascón at a press release in front of the Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles.

“I’ve served the community for over 15 years fighting for children, fighting for abused children. And it’s sad that in a matter of about eight months, somebody has destroyed all of that,” Hatami told The Epoch Times.

He further stated that many of Gascón’s policies have problems. “A judge already said he was making us do things illegal, unethical, and morally wrong,” he said.

In his indictment, Hatami specifically mentioned Gascón’s promise to stop enforcing California’s three-strikes law, end use of the death penalty, and create a review board to hold law enforcement officials more accountable.

Commonly known as “Three Strikes and You’re Out,” the three-strike law intends to intensify cracking down on repeat felony offenders, giving them a prison sentence of 25 years to life if they are convicted of three violent or serious crimes.

Hatami told The Epoch Times that Gascón had forced him to withdraw felony charges—such as causing great bodily injury—against offenders, even when evidence was too substantial to disregard.

“There are cases that I’ve filed, where I’ve gone to the autopsy, where I’ve been presented evidence in a preliminary hearing or grand jury, and he wants me to remove strikes, even though the evidence 100 percent supports that,” Hatami said.

Continued Retaliation

Hamati said that he suffered retaliation for criticizing and refusing to comply with Gascón’s “illegal” policies.

His attorney, Brian Claypool, listed five causes of action in the complaint, including retaliation, whistleblower retaliation, defamation Per Se, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and racial discrimination.

“Yesterday we filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit on behalf of Jon Hatami,” Claypool announced, adding that Hatami also sued Los Angeles County and Maxwell Szabo, spokesman for Gascón’s transition team.

“Mr. Szabo, on a local news station, made a direct comment that Jon Hatami is delusional and could be unfit for his practice of law. That statement alone is what’s called ‘Defamation Per Se,’ which means when we pursue this multimillion-dollar lawsuit, we don’t even need extrinsic evidence to prove damages,” Claypool explained.

A veteran prosecutor for the District Attorney’s Office who serves in the county’s Complex Child Abuse Unit, Hatami has handled more than 70 child abuse and murder cases and prosecuted the criminals involved. In particular, he was the prosecutor in the case of Jose Cuatro and Maria Juarez, a couple charged with murder and torture in the death of their 4-year-old son Noah.

Hatami was also one of two prosecutors in the high-profile trial of Isauro Aguirre and Pearl Fernandez, who were sentenced to death and life in prison without parole, respectively, for the torture and murder of Fernandez’s 8-year-old son Gabriel in May 2013.

On Nov. 18 of last year, Gascón said in an interview on Spectrum News 1 the only reason Hatami sought the death penalty in the Gabriel Fernandez case was because his ego had been hurt by Aguirre, that Aguirre had rubbed Hatami the wrong way, and that Aguirre had refused Hatami’s plea deal and Hatami sought the death penalty against him in retaliation. The statements were “knowingly false” and defamatory, according to the suit.

Hatami told reporters that Pearl Fernandez, who was recently sentenced to life imprisonment, requested a re-sentence under Gascón’s new policies, but he was warned by Gascón not to oppose Fernandez’s plea.

As soon as Gascón was sworn in as the county’s district attorney in December last year, he announced sweeping changes, including the elimination of cash bail for misdemeanor and some felony offenses and ending the death penalty.

The district attorney of Sacramento County, Anne Marie Schubert, once criticized Gascón for undermining the judicial system.

Previously, the Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA) of Los Angeles County brought a lawsuit against Gascón in December 2020. At the end of July, two veteran deputy prosecutors of Los Angeles County also accused Gascón of using his power to retaliate against subordinates.

Presently, 28 cities in Los Angeles County have voted no confidence in him. A “Recall George Gascón” campaign initiated by the voters is currently underway.

In response to The Epoch Times’ inquiry regarding Hatami’s complaint, Gascón’s office replied in an email, “Our office declines comment.”

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MORMON CRICKET SONG

Taking a break from the 100+ degree days lately (HA! just woke to rain this morning!) and wanted to present this LAME regarding the Mormon Cricket aka, Anabrus Simplex. They really are quite interesting in a creepy sort way. Funny too…. just like our “trap door spiders” here in Lake Don Pedro are incorrectly called Tarantulas, (reminded the European settlers of the Tarantulas back home when they settled here so the name stuck) so too, the Anabrus Simplex Katydids are incorrectly called Mormon Crickets. (Strange sentence/incorrect sentence?) Anyway, hope the project snags a laugh or two. Dang it! Just realized I left some stuff out…. (rather concealed some things….yes I got confused again with all the different video and audio files, revisions and layering. (Looks like I moved a video clip to a better position and ended up covering up audio much further below the page) Oh well, probably a benefit to viewers as it was way too long already. Little mini operas right? lol later

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