A Chinese submarine launches a missile in an offshore blockade exercise during the third phase of the Sino-Russian “Peace Mission 2005” joint military exercise, held Aug. 23, 2005 near China’s Shandong Peninsula. (China Photos/Getty Images) Australia
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda mouthpiece The Global Times has called for Beijing to plan a missile strike targeting Australia if its military comes to the aid of Taiwan in an attack.
The message—which appeared in an op-ed published by The Global Times’ vocal Chief Editor Hu Xijin—comes after the CCP “indefinitely suspended” high-level economic talks with Australia on Thursday.
“Given that Australian hawks keep hyping or hinting that Australia will assist the U.S. military and participate in war once a military conflict breaks out in the Taiwan Straits, and the Australian media outlets have been actively promoting the sentiment,” Hu wrote. “I suggest China make a plan to impose retaliatory punishment against Australia once it militarily interferes in the cross-Straits situation.”
“The plan should include long-range strikes on the military facilities and relevant key facilities on Australian soil if it really sends its troops to China’s offshore areas and combats against the People’s Liberation Army,” he added.
“China has a strong production capability, including producing additional long-range missiles with conventional warheads that target military objectives in Australia when the situation becomes highly tense.”
Hu is a vocal and often a controversial commentator on a range of issues affecting the CCP.
His comments come after the National Development and Reform Commission suspended the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue, which came after Foreign Minister Marise Payne terminated the Belt and Road Initiative agreement signed between the Commission and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, saying they were “inconsistent with Australia’s foreign policy.”
Experts, however, argue that the cancellation of the Strategic Economic Dialogue will have little effect on Australia, especially since talks between ministers and their Chinese counterparts have been frozen since April 2020.
Further, Australian exporters are already busy pivoting away from the China market to avoid further exposure to economic coercion from Beijing.
Meanwhile, last month, Australian Home Affairs Secretary Mike Pezzullo issued a stern warning for the country to be strong and prepared, saying the “drums of war” were beating in the region.
“Today, free nations continue still to face this sorrowful challenge. In a world of perpetual tension and dread, the drums of war beat—sometimes faintly and distantly, and at other times more loudly and ever closer,” he wrote in an op-ed.
“War may well be folly, but the greater folly is to wish away the curse by refusing to give it thought and attention as if in so doing war may leave us be, forgetting us perhaps.”
Joseph Siracusa, adjunct professor of the history of international diplomacy at Curtin University, called the The Global Times op-ed a “threat of physical violence” against Australia, and said the federal government needed to demand an apology, or potentially evict the Chinese ambassador.
“This wasn’t written by somebody in some ivory tower, or some big glass building in Beijing. It was written by somebody on the ground, and then they passed the draft up to them, and then they got approval,” he told The Epoch Times, noting that The Global Times was not a mere newspaper with rogue editors, but a representative of the CCP leadership.
“The Australian government should demand or call the Chinese ambassador to the foreign minister’s office to explain. Then I would ask him to repudiate it. And if he doesn’t, I’ll give him 48 hours to leave the country,” he said, referencing moves by the Czech government who last month evicted several Russian embassy staff.
“We’re not going to close the Embassy, what we’re going to do is we’re going to throw the ambassador out of the country. I think he’s the guy that has been orchestrating the hate campaign against Australia. No doubt in my mind.”
Chinese Ambassador Cheng Jingye has been at the forefront of Beijing’s “wolf-warrior” diplomacy against Australia, and made the initial threats of retaliation last year in response to the government’s calls for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
Prescriptions drugs collected during the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)s Take Back Day event are placed into plastic bags by members of the DEA in White Plains, New York on April 24, 2021. (Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images) US News
Mexico’s Fastest-Rising Cartel Trying to Establish Foothold in US: Feds
A notorious Mexican drug cartel is attempting to gain a foothold in the Seattle area and the Pacific Northwest, according to federal drug investigators.
Mexican criminal group the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación, or CJNG), has been on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) radar in recent years, and now, officials from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Homeland Security Investigations say its operations extend nationwide, with notable activity in Washington state.
Mexico’s fastest-rising cartel has a presence in at least 20 Mexican states, as well as Mexico City, with its base of operations in Jalisco and Colima.
According to the Insight Group, CJNG, established in July 2010, is known for its aggressive use of violence and its public relations campaigns. It uses videos and social media to threaten rivals while promising civilians that it won’t prey on them with extortion and kidnappings.
DHS officials say the cartel is currently the primary group behind a drive to bring illicit fentanyl into the United States. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is 100 times more potent than morphine.
Robert Hammer, the special agent-in-charge with the DHS’ principal investigative arm, told KOMO News that the cartel is “a huge threat to the stability” of the Seattle area and the Pacific Northwest.
Hammer noted that the group has illegally displayed its weaponry and armoured vehicles in Mexico through recently published videos, in which members also praise the cartel’s boss Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes—alias “El Mencho.” El Mencho has become one of Mexico’s most wanted, and is also one of the DEA’s most-wanted fugitives, with a $10 million price on his head.
“The display of weapons shows one thing,” Hammer told the news outlet. “But if you actually go back and look at what they’ve done with those weapons, what they’ve done with the mass killings, what they’ve done with the destruction of a human to convey the message that they are not to be messed with.”
“Whether it’s ripping the fingernails out of somebody’s hands as sending a message to them or tying them up in a tree in the middle of Central Washington to die or dismembering them and shipping their remains off, they’re there to deliver an effective message,” Hammer added. “Which is don’t mess with us.”
CJNG, Hammer continued, is trafficking fentanyl not only in the Seattle region but in middle Washington and Southeast Washington.
In the past, fentanyl had mainly been mixed into heroin to boost the high, but now it’s often pressed into small blue tablets and stamped with “M30” to closely match the color and markings of prescription oxycodone pills.
Buyers may be unaware the pills contain fentanyl, of which a 2mg dose can be fatal.
Homeland Security Investigations in the fiscal year 2020 seized 6,105 pounds of fentanyl nationwide, making 31,915 criminal arrests alongside operations.
“I think it’s something that should be eye opening to some of the stories that have taken place across this region,” Hammer said. “It’s not limited to just downtown Seattle. This is really a regional problem that we’ve seen with the cartel activity and its requiring a multi-faceted approach by law enforcement to get after it.”
As the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence demands answers about the mysterious “Havana syndrome”—a neurological sickness that hit U.S. embassy workers in Cuba and elsewhere—an expert told NTD’s “The Nation Speaks” that he believes the phenomenon is “absolutely” the result of a deliberate attack and called for accountability.
Gary Miliefsky, a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and publisher of Cyber Defense Magazine, said he is certain U.S. diplomats in Cuba were years ago targeted by some kind of an ultrasonic weapon.
“Absolutely,” Miliefsky said when asked if he thinks the health symptoms dubbed “Havana syndrome” were the result of deliberate hostile actions. “They recorded the background noises and sounds during the attack. And it sounded to me exactly like what’s known as an ultrasonic weapon.”
U.S. authorities have struggled to understand the mysterious attacks since they were first noted in 2016, when diplomatic and intelligence personnel in Cuba first began reporting disturbing symptoms including head pressure or vibration, and dizziness, sometimes followed by visual problems and cognitive difficulties.
“For some of these patients, their case began with the sudden onset of a loud noise, perceived to have directional features, and accompanied by pain in one or both ears or across a broad region of the head,” reads a State Department-sponsored study into the phenomenon by the National Academy of Sciences.
A 19-person committee of medical and scientific experts involved in the study considered chemical exposures, infectious diseases, and psychological issues as being behind the symptoms, but concluded that the most likely cause was directed microwave energy.
“Overall, directed pulsed RF (radio frequency) energy, especially in those with the distinct early manifestations, appears to be the most plausible mechanism in explaining these cases among those that the committee considered,” the report found.
The report didn’t suggest that microwave energy was part of a deliberate scheme targeting U.S. personnel, but noted that “the mere consideration of such a scenario raises grave concerns about a world with disinhibited malevolent actors and new tools for causing harm to others, as if the U.S. government does not have its hands full already with naturally occurring threats.”
Miliefsky insisted that what happened to diplomatic and intelligence personnel in Cuba “was a weapon based attack.”
“It’s an experiment on human subjects to hit somebody in the brain with that level of ultrasound damage to their ears, potentially causing brain damage,” Miliefsky added. “It’s an absolute bioweapons attack that needs to be regulated, stopped, defended against, and I think Cuba should admit they did it, but they never will.”
Dr. Linda Birnbaum, former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, was part of the standing committee that produced the report. Asked in an interview on “The Nation Speaks” whether, as some sceptics have contended, the Havana syndrome is merely the result of a “hysteria,” she insisted it was not.
“My belief is that the committee felt there was something real going on,” she replied, while acknowledging that “we are not 100 percent sure of actually what happened.”
Birnbaum added that she was disappointed that, following the publication of the report, the matter was not pursued more vigorously by U.S. authorities.
Her remarks come as the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee have vowed to “get to the bottom” of the mysterious directed-energy attacks, which are reportedly on the rise.
Committee Chairman Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Vice Chairman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) confirmed in a joint statement on April 30 that there’s an apparent rise in the incidence of directed-energy attacks on U.S. personnel.
“For nearly five years, we have been aware of reports of mysterious attacks on United States Government personnel in Havana, Cuba, and around the world,” Rubio and Warner wrote. “This pattern of attacking our fellow citizens serving our government appears to be increasing. The Senate Intelligence Committee intends to get to the bottom of this.”
Their statement comes after media reports saying incidents bearing the hallmarks of Havana syndrome attacks had taken place in Washington, including just outside the White House and in Miami. One of the alleged energy attacks took place on the south side of the White House in November, and is believed to have sickened a White House aide, CBS reports.
Rubio and Warner said in their statement that the Senate Intelligence Committee has “already held fact-finding hearings on these debilitating attacks, many of which result in medically confirmed cases of Traumatic Brain Injury, and will do more.”
CIA Director William Burns, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee in late February, committed to investigating the phenomenon.
“I will make it an extraordinarily high priority to get to the bottom of who’s responsible for the attacks and to ensure that colleagues and their families get the care they deserve,” including treatment at Walter Reed National Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health, Burns said at the time.
Warner and Rubio said in their statement that they welcomed renewed investigation by the CIA into the incidents, noting that it was important “to better understand the technology behind the weapon responsible for these attacks.”
“Ultimately, we will identify those responsible for these attacks on American personnel and will hold them accountable,” they said.
A Colorado Springs police officer goes to help a person who was in a different mobile home to be able to get to her car from behind the crime tape in Colorado Springs, Colo., on May 9, 2021. A gunman opened fire at a birthday party in Colorado, slaying six adults before killing himself Sunday. (Jerilee Bennett/The Colorado Springs Gazette via AP) US Regional News
At least seven people were killed, including a suspected gunman, during a birthday party over the weekend in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Colorado Springs Police said in a news release Sunday that a suspect drove to the party, located inside a mobile home community, and entered the residence before shooting at around 12:18 a.m. Sunday morning. Officials said that the suspect, who wasn’t named, is believed to be the boyfriend of one of the victims.
“This is something you hope never happens in your own community, in the place that you call home,” Colorado Springs Police Chief Vince Niski said. “When these types of unspeakable acts happen, there is nothing that can be done to fully rebuild what was lost or replace those who are no longer with us.”
Authorities believe the gunman also took his own life following the shooting.
Officials said that there were children attending the party who were not injured. Police said the children are now with family members, according to a police news release.
“Today we find ourselves mourning the loss of lives and praying solemnly for those who were injured and those who lost family members in a senseless act of violence on Sunday morning,” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers in a statement. “We think too of the emergency personnel who responded to a horrific scene and we keep them in our prayers today. We ask the public’s patience with the investigation and we seek the sensitivity of our media partners as CSPD completes a thorough investigation to provide answers to the families and friends impacted by this tragedy.”
The names of the victims and the suspect will be released at a later date by the local coroner’s office, officials said.
Anyone who has information about the shooting can call the Colorado Springs Police Department at (719) 444-7000 or Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (719) 634-STOP (7867) or 1-800-222-8477.
The latest shooting in Colorado is sure to prompt calls for new gun-control legislation at the state and federal level.
Several weeks ago, a gunman opened fire at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, killing 10 people. After that incident, as well as a mass shooting incident in Atlanta, President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress issued a series of gun-control proposals, while the House of Representatives passed two gun background check laws.
Colorado Democrats in the state Legislature also introduced three new gun-control measures in May, including a bill that would require licensed gun dealers to obtain approval from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation on whether a background check is complete before a firearm can be transferred.
One bill would rescind a state law prohibiting a local government from imposing bans on selling, purchasing, or possession of a firearm; and another bill would create a state Office of Gun Violence Prevention to “coordinate and promote effective efforts to reduce gun violence and related traumas and promote research regarding causes of, and evidence-based responses to, gun violence.”
Convicted murderers facing parole instead of life in prison, a rise in homeless encampments bringing danger to local residents, and failed public school policies: these are just a few reasons some Californians say they want to recall their elected officials.
Since the campaign to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom successfully gathered enough verified signatures to qualify for a recall election, local campaigns statewide have been picking up steam as more and more residents become fed up with the way they’re being treated by public officials.
“It’s a lot of work, but if you have the money, you probably are going to succeed at getting the signatures,” Joshua Spivak, a senior fellow at the Hugh L. Carey Institute for Government Reform, told The Epoch Times.
A total of 17 California recall campaigns have already launched this year. And while some point to the success of the Recall Newsom campaign as newfound encouragement for their own local efforts, it’s not the only reason.
Failed criminal reform policies are prompting recall efforts of the district attorneys of both Los Angeles and San Francisco, while a councilman in Los Angeles is facing scrutiny for his handling of the homelessness crisis. Organizers are building upon the successful grassroots efforts of the Newsom recall campaign as inspiration that their efforts too might succeed.
No Second Chances
Desiree Andrade became co-organizer of the campaign to recall Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón after her son’s killers had their sentences reduced.
“Before Gascón took office, these gentlemen were facing life without parole and possibly the death penalty,” Andrade told The Epoch Times.
But she says that’s no longer true. The case was pending when Gascón was elected last year and he ordered his prosecutors not to seek special enhancements under any circumstances—significantly reducing potential sentences—as part of his reform efforts.
Andrade’s 20-year-old son Julian was viciously murdered in Azusa in 2018, when five convicted suspects thought he stole their marijuana. The suspects repeatedly beat and stabbed Julian in his home until he was unconscious, then drove him up a mountain road before throwing his body off a cliff. When they heard him still struggling below, they attacked him again, according to prosecutors.
The suspects were eventually charged with murder, residential robbery, and kidnapping by then-District Attorney Jackie Lacey. The charges also included an alleged special enhancement of “lying in wait.”
Andrade said Gascón campaigned on second chances—but his policies don’t protect the victims of brutal crimes, like her son. The initial ruling has “drastically changed,” she said, with the five suspects now facing reduced sentences of 20 years under Gascón’s new statutes.
“I believe that second chances are for … little things, not a murder,” she said. “A murderer does not deserve a second chance. You took somebody’s life. That’s huge, you know. We’re not selling a lollipop here.”
Andrade attended the court hearing when the enhanced charges were dismissed. She told Fox 11 at the time that she saw the defendants “smirking from ear to ear” when they learned they’d have reduced sentences.
Prior to the recall effort, many of Gascón’s reforms faced heavy criticisms. He announced he would seek to get rid of the death penalty, no longer prosecute children as adults, block three-strike charges, and significantly downsize and rename L.A.’s hardcore gang unit.
In March, Gascón responded to the recall effort against him, saying on Twitter that the attempt is “fueled by conservative media, law enforcement unions & other ‘tough-on-crime’ types.”
But Andrade, who is a registered Democrat, disagrees.
“I disagree with the way he thinks, and so it’s not a partisan issue here,” she said. “It’s not about, you know, being a Republican, Democrat, Independent, whatever you want to be; that has nothing to do with this. This is about what’s right and what’s wrong.
“It’s unfortunate that conservative media is the only one that reaches out and cares about us victims. You don’t have any Democratic news media reaching out to us.”
Andrade said the effort will need 590,000 signatures to meet the required threshold to trigger a recall election but will aim for twice that number to account for unverified signatures. They’ll have 180 days from the start of the petition to collect them.
“As you can see with Gascón, they’ll need an enormous amount of signatures, and they could be able to get it,” said Spivak. The greater challenge, he said, is winning.
Recall Chesa Boudin
From 2011 to 2019, Gascón was the district attorney in San Francisco—where his successor, Chesa Boudin, is also facing a recall campaign.
Richie Greenberg, organizer of Recall Chesa Boudin, told The Epoch Times that Boudin has simply followed Gascón’s lead. “He set the tone for Chesa to then come in and continue this completely upside-down dismantling of the criminal justice system,” Greenberg said.
Greenberg estimates that the recall effort has collected more than 12,000 signatures since it began in March. He said they’ll need to gather roughly 51,000 signatures by Aug. 11 to qualify for a recall election, but are aiming for a 20 percent cushion to compensate for those that might not be verified.
Greenberg identifies as a moderate Republican, but he said the campaign is mainly a “Democrat-led” effort, based on “spot random audits” of the recall petitions.
“We’ll pull out like 25 or 50 out of the thousands that have come in, and then we go and we have access to the voter database. And we see that we’re getting 50 [to] 70 percent of people who are signing the petition are registered Democrats,” Greenberg said. “So this is not a Republican or conservative signed petition.”
According to Boudin, however, it’s “a Republican-led recall effort.” He told a local news station in a statement that “the same people who opposed my election, and the reforms that came with it, are now trying to undo the will of the voters.”
“I’m staying focused on what I promised to do: serving my community, building a more fair and equitable justice system, and fighting for the safety of all who live here,” he said.
Boudin has implemented progressive reform policies prohibiting cash bail, decreasing prison populations, and accentuating rehabilitation over incarceration.
His approach to criminal justice has come under heat from constituents and victims of violent crimes. They cite the recent case of a man who was arrested twice for felony domestic violence. The suspect was released without charges, before allegedly killing a 7-month-old baby.
That suspect wasn’t the only one to get off without charges, they say. From October to December last year, the San Francisco Police Department made 131 arrests for felony domestic violence; Boudin dismissed 113 of them, they say.
Greenberg sarcastically called Boudin “an excellent defense attorney.”
“He doesn’t know how to hold a criminal—someone being accused of crimes—accountable,” Greenberg said.
San Francisco is seeing a spike in violent crime and property theft, he said, because the DA is “greenlighting criminals” to come into the city and “do virtually whatever they want,” knowing “they’re not going to be prosecuted.”
However, the San Francisco Police Department’s crime data indicates otherwise. From Jan. 1 to April 25, a comparison between 2020 and 2021 shows that rape, robbery, assault, and larceny theft have decreased, while burglary, car theft, and arson have gone up.
Julia Edwards, a spokesperson for San Franciscans Against the Recall of Chesa Boudin, told The Epoch Times that “a small group of wealthy individuals are trying to overturn the choices voters made just 18 months ago.”
“These endless recalls will keep us all in a state of constant campaigns and distract from the important issues facing San Francisco,” she said via text. “Our committee is working to combat the lies and disinformation of the recall proponents who are trying to prevent our elected officials from doing their jobs.”
Greenberg says his campaign has provided the blueprint for other efforts in the area, including several San Francisco School Board members who are facing recall efforts fueled by parental outrage over the handling of their children’s education during the pandemic.
“My recall effort became a template for the school board recall because it uses the same format,” he said, pointing to the various methods his campaign uses to gather signatures, like robocalling and sending mail-in petitions to registered voters.
In Los Angeles, Councilman Mike Bonin is also facing a recall effort, led by fed-up residents who say his homeless policies have brought crime and filth to their neighborhoods. Bonin, who took office in 2013, is under fire for the way he’s handled the homelessness crisis in the city’s 11th district, which includes Pacific Palisades, Marina Del Rey, Brentwood, Westchester, Venice Beach, and Hollywood.
Heidi Roberts, co-organizer of the Recall Mike Bonin effort, told The Epoch Times that the recall campaign is the result of a “seven-year track record of broken promises.”
“His broken promises and inaction on this huge humanitarian crisis which is homelessness has impacted the lives of everybody in the district, whether they’re living in a house or living on the streets,” Roberts said.
Bonin has faced failed recall attempts before—but this year, organizers are confident they’ll be able to gather enough signatures to hold a recall election, based on circulating Change.org petitions garnering over 40,000 signees.
Responding to a previous recall effort in 2017, Bonin said he was “confident the vast majority of my constituents approve of what we have done together.”
“My job is to represent their interests and values, and not be distracted by right-wing radio hosts, or by my former opponents and their supporters, who have been calling since election night for a recall that would cost the taxpayers of Los Angeles millions of dollars,” he said.
But Roberts said the councilman’s “containment zone” policies have brought a homelessness problem to the district that’s spreading.
“It started with Venice. … Now it’s seeping out to the rest of the district, and it’s the second-largest [homeless community], second only to Skid Row,” she said. “And it’s deep in residential neighborhoods—I mean, our elementary schools have encampments surrounding them.”
Residents have repeatedly reported problems with the homeless, including the threat of crime, fire, and public health issues. They cite a recent arson attack by a homeless person—who allegedly set a doctor’s house on fire in Venice Beach, which left her dog dead—as the latest in a long string of offenses committed by the homeless in their neighborhoods.
Roberts said many residents “are just fed up,” and called the recall campaign “the only tool that we have in our war chest at this point to stop the decimation of our community.”
The grassroots volunteer effort has not filed with the Department of Elections yet. But Roberts said she expected the paperwork to be filed within the next three months, after details are worked out with attorneys.
“It’s so different from the recall Newsom campaign, because it’s not a partisan effort and it has nothing to do with Mike Bonin’s politics,” she said.
According to Roberts and co-organizer Alan Resnik, the problem lies primarily in the councilman’s handling of the homeless. In Venice Beach specifically, Bonin has drawn scrutiny from community groups who say the bridge housing facilities there, which he supported, only attract more homelessness, drugs, and trash.
“People are dying on the streets,” Resnik told The Epoch Times. He said a different approach is needed to solve the problem and “help people on a large scale.”
Once they file, Roberts and Resnik will have 120 days to gather nearly 30,000 signatures to trigger a recall election.
McALLEN, Texas—With Border Patrol agents overwhelmed by family groups and unaccompanied minors, more illegal aliens are escaping into the interior of the United States and fewer drugs are being seized.
During April, more than 177,000 illegal immigrants were apprehended by Border Patrol, according to preliminary Customs and Border Protection (CBP) numbers, as provided to Jaeson Jones, former captain in the Texas Department of Public Safety.
A further 42,620 illegal aliens escaped arrest by Border Patrol, which are known as “gotaways.”
During February and March, the gotaway number was around 30,000 per month, or 1,000 per day. That’s now up to almost 1,400 per day.
“What gotaway numbers really signify is the level of infiltration coming into the country that’s getting past CBP at the border,” Jones told The Epoch Times.
The gotaway number is generally considered a conservative amount, as many more are believed to have slipped through undetected. The number is calculated from agents submitting information on anyone they observed getting away, or they noticed clues (including tracks or debris) signifying that someone has gotten through, or from cameras or sensors.
The gotaway numbers don’t reflect the number of illegal border-crossers who run back to Mexico if they’re chased—those are counted separately as “turnbacks,” and for April, that number was around 14,500. Most likely, those people will continue to try until they get through.
The increasing gotaway number reflects Border Patrol’s focus being forced into humanitarian care as single males and females slip through the gaps.
“But it also signifies something else and that is that more drugs are also flowing into the country. If you can’t catch the people, you can’t catch the dope either,” Jones said.
The number of gotaways is being reflected in the issues that counties north of the border are currently facing.
At least five Texas counties have issued declarations of local disaster, while one school district is warning its parents to “please be watchful of your children as they are playing outside, walking home from school, or generally out of the house.”
Landowners and ranchers dozens of miles north of the border have long dealt with illegal aliens traversing their land as they try to evade Border Patrol highway checkpoints and law enforcement. They commonly leave gates open, which mixes stock; destroy fences and gates; light fires; break into properties; and steal valuables.
But today’s human smugglers and illegal aliens evading capture are different. The smugglers are armed, and the illegal aliens are often convicted criminals.
While the Biden administration has called the unprecedented surge in numbers a “challenge,” neither the president nor the vice president has visited the border.
On April 25, when a reporter asked Vice President Kamala Harris why she hasn’t visited the southern border, she replied, “I’m not going to play political games.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on May 4, “After coming into office, our administration immediately jumped into action to address the influx of migrants at the border—something that began during and was exacerbated by the Trump administration.”
However, the number of total apprehensions by Border Patrol this April (177,431) is 10 times the apprehensions from April 2020, when Border Patrol caught 17,106 people. In 2019, during the previous crisis, the number was 109,415.
Legislators in Arizona and officials in the state’s largest county clashed anew this week over election audit subpoenas, with county officials refusing to hand over routers and claiming they do not have passwords to access administrative control functions of election machines.
Arizona’s Senate told Maricopa County on Friday that it would issue subpoenas for live testimony from the county’s Board of Supervisors unless it received the materials that are being withheld.
“We’ve been asked to relay that the Senate views the County’s explanations on the router and passwords issues as inadequate and potentially incorrect,” a lawyer for the Senate said in an email to county officials.
The Arizona Senate subpoenaed a slew of election materials, such as ballots, following the 2020 election. Lawmakers also issued subpoenas for election machines, passwords, and other technology.
The county has also informed the Senate’s audit liaison, former Republican Secretary of State Ken Bennett, that it does not have passwords to access administrative functions on Dominion Voting Systems machines that were used to scan ballots during the election.
“They’ve told us that they don’t have that second password, or that they’ve given us all the passwords they have. They’ve also told us that they now can’t, as they promised a couple weeks ago, provide our subcontractors with the virtual access to the routers and hubs and other things at the Maricopa County tabulation and election center, as was part of the subpoenas,” Bennett told One America News at the site of the audit in Phoenix.
John Brakey, a Democrat who is serving as an assistant to Bennett, told the broadcaster that he was “blown away” by the password development.
“It’s like leasing a car and they refuse to give you the keys. They’re supposed to be running the election. You know what’s wrong? Sometimes these vendors have too much power, and we’re voting on secret software, and that’s why this recount down here is very important,” he added.
Jack Sellers, the Republican chairman of the Maricopa County board, said Friday that he is angered by allegations of corruption and would not address every allegation, but would speak to the password issue.
“The specific password and security tokens Ken Bennett referenced this week provide access to proprietary firmware and source code. Elections administrators do not need to access this information to hold an election, and we do not have it in our custody,” he said in a statement.
The county board called an emergency meeting later on Friday. The board was going to consider legal advice and litigation regarding its non-compliance with the Senate subpoenas.
In a response to the Senate’s lawyer, Allister Adel, Maricopa County’s attorney, said that the county has “already produced every password and security key for the tabulators that is [sic] within the County’s possession.”
“It does not have any others,” Adel added. The county is working to figure out if there is “a safe manner” to get the Senate information from the routers without risking non-election data.
Dominion, whose machines are used in about half of U.S. states, did not respond to a request for comment. The company has said it supports forensic audits by federally-accredited laboratories and that Cyber Ninjas, which is leading the Arizona audit, is not verified.
Both Dominion and Sellers noted that Maricopa County contracted its own audits, one for machines and another for ballots.
But Brakey, the assistant Senate liaison, has called the description of those audits misleading. The ballot batches were picked beforehand and auditors only analyzed a small percentage of the ballots cast in the election, he said, while the machine testing could only determine whether the technology was working well at the time of the review.
“They claim that’s an audit. I call it fatally flawed,” he told One America News.
Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone, meanwhile, joined other county officials in decrying the Senate’s attempt to obtain the routers.
“Its most recent demands jeopardize the entire mission of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office,” he said in a statement.
“We are talking about confidential, sensitive, and highly-classified law enforcement data and equipment that will be permanently compromised. The current course is mind-numbingly reckless and irresponsible. I look forward to briefing them on the horrendous consequences of this demand and the breadth of its negative impact on the public safety in this County.”
That’s what I initially thought while shaking off a night’s sleep and waking up to the national news. You know, the REAL NEWS by One America News Network? (Channel 347 on DirecTv) – not that MSM (Main Stream Media) FAKE NEWS which only produces and distributes the DNC’s leftist propaganda and outrageous made up narratives boasting distorted information as fact but all the while refusing to acknowledge the horrendous amount of election fraud and ballot manipulation that had transpired in the 2020 election. And the result? The embarrassingly foolish appointment of a demented has been sellout crook politician and a far left “window dressing” opportunistic traitor to the American ideals of truth, honor and justice – all just to blur the continuing attempt to explain away the obvious truth: it is not a matter of systemic racism that is tearing this country apart, but rather, systemic political corruption of the DNC and its “off the track supporters” both within and outside government. (Similar to “it’s not a gun problem, but an idiot problem”) EASY TO BE CONFUSED Nah, the report was actually about election fraud and how the DNC wrongfully took the White House through a rigged election – yet the methods were strangely similar as to how a subsidized groundwater substitution program was wrongfully established to circumvent 40 plus years of very clear STATE WATER LICENSE RESTRICTIONS on where Merced River water could be transported and consumed. There was no legitimate misunderstanding of the applicable law. Just plain intentional violation of law because it NOT ONLY could be done – but, it COULD BE DONE WITH IMPUNITY while the innocent suffered needlessly.
ISN’T THE CONTINUING COVERUP FAR WORSE THAN THE ORIGINAL VIOLATIONS OF PROVIDING MERCED RIVER WATER OUTSIDE THE MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT PLACE OF USE UNDER THE WATER LICENSE?
Although intentional violation of law is certainly a bad thing for elected and appointed local government officials to orchestrate and perpetuate for decades (and they should eventually be held responsible/accountable even if only documented in some form of a “LIABILITY FREE STATEMENT”) the COVERUP (once again) appears to be every bit as bad – and likely much worse – because it only continues to blur the distinction between RIGHT and WRONG, FAIR and UNFAIR, ETHICAL and UNETHICAL, LOGICAL and ILLOGICAL, LEGAL vs ILLEGAL, etc, while simultaneously increasing the detrimental consequences for thousands of honest legal American citizen property owners who have been financially victimized by such activity since the formation of this CALIFORNIA SPECIAL DISTRICT FRAUD CALLED: LAKE DON PEDRO CSD.
RED FLAG ATTACKS, DNC propaganda, MSM denying the truth and perpetrating the concept that outrageous election fraud is only “A BIG TRUMP LIE”, cancel culture, the de platforming of truthful voices, purging of conservative expression…..COVID-19 excuses for the convenient suppression of freedom……all of it……just BULLSHIT to distract legal American citizens from what is happening to OUR AMERICA…AND WHAT PLAYERS ARE RESPONSIBLE.
Yeah, guess I am just an old broken record with the needle stuck in a groove only repeating the same material over and over and over again. BUT IT IS AN IMPORTANT REPEAT FOR EVERYONE as I believe such intentional law violations and continued deceptions by government entities and officials also have a DIRECT INFLUENCE ON A PERSON’S PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH AND ENJOYMENT OF LIFE, LIBERTY and THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. Think about it. Continuous and increasing stressors combined with the frustration that obvious cheats and liars continue to prosper and evade accountability while the victims of such activity only pay more and more to only receive less and less. Less of everything – including the enjoyment of life itself! THIS IS SO WRONG – TO EVERYONE INVOLVED.
The lies and deceptions by the Tuolumne and Mariposa County LAFCOs which formed the LDPCSD (to apparently exploit water license 11395 for their own purposes of rural development with the escalating financial costs surreptitiously slipped to the subdivision property owners for perpetuity), have charted a decades long course of district dysfunction and community turmoil all because they violated their oaths of office and refused to obey clear state law. Oh well, that’s life yeah?
My best to you and yours (because you sure aren’t going to get it from government entities that conceal their own public annexation records or post on the internet patently incorrect information while trying to score further government grants for continued misappropriation to the same third party special interests that started this nightmare 50 years ago. Lew
Have more OUTSIDE MID PLACE OF USE LAFCO ANNEXATIONS been provided water service since the LAKE DON PEDRO CSD was admonished by the State Water Board for continuing to violate the water service restrictions contained in the MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT’s water license 11395 by providing river water outside the subdivision? How would the legally entitled MERCED RIVER WATER USING “mandatory customers” of the LDPCSD even know if this were happening without the continued publication of the OUTSIDE MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT POU water report in the monthly agenda packet? (Add more LAFCO ANNEXATIONS for water service then develop more expensive groundwater wells, then add more LAFCO ANNEXATIONS…..and develop more expensive groundwater wells…..FOLKS EVEN A CHILD COULD UNDERSTAND SUCH METHOD OF OPERATION IS UNSUSTAINABLE IN A DROUGHT PRONE REGION WHERE GROUNDWATER WELLS FOR SUSTAINED DEVELOPMENT ARE UNRELIABLE!
THE OUTSIDE MIDPOU REPORT – prior to SNEAKY PETE KAMPA’s UNETHICAL RETURN AND ABOLISHMENT OF THAT REPORT WHICH LEGAL CUSTOMERS COULD USE TO MONITOR THE DISTRICT’S EXPANSION OF OUTSIDE POU SERVICES, documented all the properties outside the subdivision and golf course that were receiving water that had to be produced from groundwater sources in order NOT TO VIOLATE THE WATER LICENSE. (Please recall that the State of California water officials eventually discovered (after multiple attempts to prematurely end the investigation and hide the known results) that there were EVEN MORE PROPERTIES INVOLVED than the LDPCSD had been reporting for many years! In other words, the BIG CHEAT was EVEN BIGGER THAN WHAT WAS KNOWN FOR DECADES!
SO? HAVE MORE OF THESE LAFCO ANNEXATIONS BEEN PROVIDED WATER SERVICE QUIETLY?
I’ll ask again……HAVE MORE OPOU LAFCO ANNEXATIONS BEEN ADDED TO THE OUTSIDE PLACE OF USE INVENTORY OF SPECIAL BENEFIT WATER SERVICES SINCE THE ADDITIONAL STATE VIOLATIONS WERE MADE PUBLIC?
Have more of these LAFCO ANNEXATIONS been quietly provided water service which obviously only increases the groundwater demand for a SPECIAL BENEFIT WATER SERVICE – thus requiring even more 1/2 million dollar groundwater wells with the added operational expenses in production, monitoring, testing, treating and reporting to the State Water Board?
How would ANYONE KNOW without that report?
Yet “THEY” want to raise our already over priced water service (due to the substantial cost increases in supplying this subsidized special benefit)?
WHY NO SPECIAL BENEFIT WATER SERVICE ZONE JUST FOR THESE LAFCO ANNEXATIONS?
Why after over 40 years of this “hide and seek” deceptive water service management hasn’t a SPECIAL BENEFIT ZONE been established to provide services to these LAFCO ANNEXATIONS which cannot by law receive MERCED RIVER WATER ONLY? DUH! Why isn’t there an OUTSIDE MID POU SPECIAL BENEFIT ZONE where all these LAFCO ANNEXATIONS that need water for development can simply pool their resources (share the costs) and provide that more expensive water required for their OUTSIDE POU DEVELOPMENTS?
Seems to me if these folks (outside the legal service area) who want water service for their developments (like the entitled “MANDATORY CUSTOMERS OF THE RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION who can legally receive Merced River water) – they should be organizing to form their own special benefit zone where they fund the endeavor and could therefore exclusively determine who would or would not be provided that special benefit since it would be THEIR RESOURCES FUNDING THE BENEFIT!
WITH SKIN IN THE GAME LAFCO ANNEXED PROPERTY OWNERS MIGHT BE MORE FRUGAL WITH WATER
THEY WOULD THEN ACTUALLY HAVE SKIN IN THE GAME WITH THEIR OWN MONEY! Why should the subdivision residents who do not need that more expensive groundwater blended concoction for water service pay for all those added costs?
They would then have actual SKIN IN THE GAME (instead of a subsidized special benefit water service paid for by the thousands of residential subdivision owners who do not require such a special benefit). since it would be their own combined resources providing the service.
Who would like to bet money, marbles or chalk if such a SPECIAL BENEFIT ZONE OF SERVICE were established – those involved property owners would also be very concerned and careful about providing services in excess of what they could afford to produce and deliver? Seriously – it’s easy to demand more and pay more WITH SOMEONE ELSE’S MONEY!
In other words, let the LAFOC ANNEXATION PROPERTY OWNERS control and manage their own LAFCO ANNEXATION volume of water service? They want a new residential subdivision? Let them drill the 1/2 million dollar wells to provide the water. And then the replacement well when the original fails. Let them explain to others wanting water why it is cost prohibitive.
Some might say such a SPECIAL BENEFIT ZONE might not work for one reason or another – but why? Because LAFCO ANNEXATION PROPERTY OWNERS don’t want to pay their fair share for what they consume!
So is it better to continue this absolute sham of legitimacy while ACTIVELY CONCEALING PERTINENT FACTS FROM NOT ONLY THE CUSTOMERS PAYING THE BILLS, but from the governmental entities providing the grant money for the groundwater wells being used for other political purposes? (Covering up LAFCOs INTENTIONAL VIOLATION OF STATE WATER LAW FOR DECADES?
) Is that why the LDPCSD continues to provide INCORRECT SERVICE BOUNDARY INFORMATION ON ITS WEBSITE TO OTHER GOVERNMENT ENTITIES IN ORDER TO GATHER MORE GRANT FUNDS THAT ARE ONLY DELAYING THE INEVITABLE COLLAPSE OF THIS ENORMOUS FOOTHILL WATER EMPIRE SCAM PAID FOR BY THE MR WECS of the subdivision?
MERCED RIVER WATER ENTITLED CUSTOMERS = MR WECs!
My best to you and yours, Lew
PS: Notice the similar pattern at the uncontrolled southern border which is only going to cost all legal citizens of this country billions more in added costs with escalating and expanding social difficulties? So sad, for all involved. Later
Only thing I can figure is to again scam some federal or state grant money by once again completely misrepresenting the facts of the situation. The LDPCSD needs more groundwater wells in order to circumvent the Merced RIver water restrictions in the Merced Irrigation District water license 11395. Check out the LDPCSD’s website. It states the POU map was a production by Mariposa County – WRONG! The Planning Department Head and LAFCO Executive Officer told me years ago that map was not produced by Mariposa County or its LAFCO. It was produced by the LDPCSD and provided to LAFCO. If LAFCO is the only government entity which can change a special district boundary, why was the county of Mariposa and its LAFCO just accepting whatever nonsense the LDPCSD could plot when they were fabricating PLACE OF USE MAPS FOR MERCED RIVER WATER like ballots in the 2020 presidential election?
Seriously, this is extremely corrupt business going on here – applying for government grants with intentionally presented FALSE AND INCORRECT INFORMATION REGARDING THE SERVICE AREA AND ACTUAL PLACE OF USE FOR MERCED RIVER WATER — ESPECIALLY WHEN ONLY RECENTLY REVEALED IN A CALIFORNIA STATE WATER BOARD INVESTIGATION WHICH REPEATEDLY ATTEMPTED TO CLOSE THE INVESTIGATION WITH FURTHER FALSE INFORMATION FROM THE FORMER GM/TREASURER PETER KAMPA WHO HAS SERVED ABOUT 20 YEARS WITH THE CALIFORNIA SPECIAL DISTRICT ASSOCIATION! CSDA WHICH IS ASSISTING WITH ADVERTISING FALSE LDPCSD MAP INFORMATION TO THE INTERNET WORLD! Outrageous.
Also notice some of the links to important map information do not work! Gosh, could it be because they present conflicting information with the ongoing scam of misrepresenting district boundary facts to State and Federal entities in order to obtain more grant money in order to develop more 1/2 million dollar groundwater wells needed to provide subsidized groundwater substitution for all those LAFCO ANNEXATIONS outside the water entitled subdivision that Pete KAMPA wrongfully setup over 20 years ago when lying and cheating here at the LDPCSD the first time during 1994-1997? See? It never ends because “THEY” refuse to admit they got caught in a gigantic water empire scam to be quietly funded by the already victimized property owners of the residential subdivision.
Still say those who receive a special benefit of more expensive water service should pay for every bit of the added costs for that special water service – or annex into the residential subdivision and be subject to another layer of government regulation through a PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION, violation committees, CC&RS, annual assessments, a governing board of directors…..blah blah blah.
Subdivision property owners have been paying for that water since the beginning of this LAFCO – LAND DEVELOPER SCAM.
THEY DIDN”T WANT SUBDIVISION PROPERTY WITH OUR WATER
ONLY OUR SUBDIVISION WATER ON THEIR PRIVATE PROPERTY!
This is insane, yet it goes on and on and on with ABSOLUTELY NO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR INTENTIONAL CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. Welcome to the absence of law and order…..but their time is coming. Just keep holding on – these cheats and liars will eventually be recognized and dealt with for exactly what they are – cheats and liars pretending to be public servants working for the good of all citizens. What a bunch of frigg’n frauds. later!