Leatherneck Blogger

Break out the champagne: State Department officials quitting over “complete and utter disdain for our expertise”

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By Robert Spencer
Jihad Watch
July 30, 2017

We can only hope that with the departure of these failed State Department officials, their failed policies will be swept out along with them. Chief among these is the almost universally held idea that poverty causes terrorism. The United States has wasted uncounted (literally, because a great deal of it was in untraceable bags full of cash) billions of dollars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt, and other countries in the wrongheaded assumption that Muslims turn to jihad because they lack economic opportunities and education. American officials built schools and hospitals, thinking that they were winning over the hearts and minds of the locals.

Fifteen years, thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars later, no significant number of hearts and minds have been won. This is partly because the premise is wrong. The New York Times reported in March that “not long after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001…Alan B. Krueger, the Princeton economist, tested the widespread assumption that poverty was a key factor in the making of a terrorist. Mr. Krueger’s analysis of economic figures, polls, and data on suicide bombers and hate groups found no link between economic distress and terrorism.”

CNS News noted in September 2013 that “according to a Rand Corporation report on counterterrorism, prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2009, ‘Terrorists are not particularly impoverished, uneducated, or afflicted by mental disease. Demographically, their most important characteristic is normalcy (within their environment). Terrorist leaders actually tend to come from relatively privileged backgrounds.’ One of the authors of the RAND report, Darcy Noricks, also found that according to a number of academic studies, ‘Terrorists turn out to be more rather than less educated than the general population.’”

Yet the analysis that poverty causes terrorism has been applied and reapplied and reapplied again. The swamp is in dire need of draining, and in other ways as well. From 2011 on, it was official Obama administration policy to deny any connection between Islam and terrorism. This came as a result of an October 19, 2011 letter from Farhana Khera of Muslim Advocates to John Brennan, who was then the Assistant to the President on National Security for Homeland Security and Counter Terrorism, and later served in the Obama administration as head of the CIA. The letter was signed not just by Khera, but by the leaders of virtually all the significant Islamic groups in the United States: 57 Muslim, Arab, and South Asian organizations, many with ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim American Society (MAS), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Islamic Relief USA; and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).

The letter denounced what it characterized as U.S. government agencies’ “use of biased, false and highly offensive training materials about Muslims and Islam.” Despite the factual accuracy of the material about which they were complaining, the Muslim groups demanded that the task force “purge all federal government training materials of biased materials”; “implement a mandatory re-training program for FBI agents, U.S. Army officers, and all federal, state and local law enforcement who have been subjected to biased training”; and moreto ensure that all that law enforcement officials would learn about Islam and jihad would be what the signatories wanted them to learn.

Numerous books and presentations that gave a perfectly accurate view of Islam and jihad were removed from coounterterror training. Today, even with Trump as President, this entrenched policy of the U.S. government remains, and ensures that all too many jihadists simply cannot be identified as risks, since the officials are bound as a matter of policy to ignore what in saner times would be taken as warning signs. Trump and Tillerson must reverse this. Trump has spoken often about the threat from “radical Islamic terrorism”; he must follow through and remove the prohibitions on allowing agents to study and understand the motivating ideology behind the jihad threat.

The swamp needs draining indeed. This news from the State Department, and the New York Times’ grief over it, are good signs that the U.S. is on its way back on dry land.

“The Desperation of Our Diplomats,” by Roger Cohen, New York Times, July 28, 2017:

WASHINGTON — On the first Friday in May, Foreign Affairs Day, the staff gathers in the flag-bedecked C Street lobby of the State Department beside the memorial plaques for the 248 members of foreign affairs agencies who have lost their lives in the line of duty. A moment of silence is observed. As president of the American Foreign Service Association, Barbara Stephenson helps organize the annual event. This year, she was set to enter a delegates’ lounge to brief Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on its choreography before appearing alongside him. Instead, she told me, she was shoved out of the room.

Stephenson, a former ambassador to Panama, is not used to being manhandled at the State Department she has served with distinction for more than three decades. She had been inclined to give Tillerson the benefit of the doubt. Transitions between administrations are seldom smooth, and Tillerson is a Washington neophyte, unversed in diplomacy, an oilman trying to build a relationship with an erratic boss, President Trump.

Still, that shove captured the rudeness and remoteness that have undermined trust at Foggy Bottom. Stephenson began to understand the many distressed people coming to her “asking if their service is still valued.” The lack of communication between the secretary and the rest of the building has been deeply disturbing.

An exodus is underway. Those who have departed include Nancy McEldowney, the director of the Foreign Service Institute until she retired last month, who described to me “a toxic, troubled environment and organization”; Dana Shell Smith, the former ambassador to Qatar, who said what was most striking was the “complete and utter disdain for our expertise”; and Jake Walles, a former ambassador to Tunisia with some 35 years of experience. “There’s just a slow unraveling of the institution,” he told me….

Going After Felons: DOJ Heavily Prosecuting Violations of Federal Gun Laws

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By Katie Pavlich
Townhall
July 28, 2017

During the Obama administration prosecutions of federal gun law violations dropped by nearly 30 percent. Since February, the Trump administration has already turned those numbers around.

According to the Justice Department, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, federal gun prosecutions are up by 23 percent in 2017 compared to last year.

“Following President Trump’s Executive Order to focus on reducing crime, I directed federal prosecutors to prioritize taking illegal guns off of our streets, and as a result, we are now prosecuting hundreds more firearms defendants,” Sessions released in a statement Friday. “In the first three months since the memo went into effect, charges of unlawful possession of a gun – mostly by previously convicted felons – are up by 23 percent. That sends a clear message to criminals all over this country that if you carry a gun illegally, you will be held accountable. I am grateful to the many federal prosecutors and agents who are working hard every day to make America safe again.”

President Trump signed an executive order in February directing the Department of Justice to bolster the laws on the books in order to reduce crime in cities across the country. Sessions followed up with a memo to all of the agencies under his jurisdiction at DOJ and demanded laws already on the books be rigorously enforced.

More on the numbers from DOJ:

In the three months immediately following the Attorney General’s memo – April, May and June – the number of defendants charged with unlawful possession of a firearm (18 U.S.C. 922) increased by nearly 23 percent compared to those charged over the same time period in 2016. The number of defendants charged with the crime of using a firearm in a crime of violence or drug trafficking (18 U.S.C. 924), increased by 10 percent.

Based on data from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA), in Fiscal Year 2016 (starting October 1), 11,656 defendants were charged with firearms offenses under 18 U.S.C. 922 or 924. EOUSA projects that in Fiscal Year 2017, the Department is on pace to charge 12,626 defendants with these firearms crimes. That would be the most federal firearms cases since 2005.  It would also be an increase of eight percent from Fiscal Year 2016, 20 percent from 2015, and an increase of 23 percent from 2014.

Gun rights groups have long called for harsher prosecutions for those who violate federal gun laws, specifically for individuals who engage in straw purchases and for felons who unlawfully purchase or possess firearms.

Doctor Urges Mother to Euthanize Her Disabled Daughter Instead of Caring for Her

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By Alex Schadenberg
LifeNews.com
July 28, 2017

Disability rights leaders and the Newfoundland government Minister responsible for disability issues are speaking out against the recent complaint by Sheila Elson after a doctor had urged her to approve assisted death for her 25-year-old daughter, Candice, with multiple disabilities.

Mother upset after doctor urged her to approve assisted suicide for her daughter with disabilities.

Peter Cowan, reporting for CBC News Newfoundland interviewed Emily Christy the head of the Newfoundland Coalition of Persons with Disabilities, who stated:

“I was shocked and terrified that this was actually happening in our province, and I think it’s the biggest issue — and a point of concern around medical aid and dying that the disability community has,” she said.

Christy said Elson and Lewis both deserve an apology, and health care professionals need to be better informed about the rules around assisted dying

Sherry Gambin-Walsh, the government Minister responsible for disability issues told CBC News:

“It’s not acceptable to government, it’s not acceptable to the individual citizens, families or our society. Disability is not to be confused with suffering.”

For Gambin-Walsh, who also has a 21-year-old with complex disabilities, disability and suffering are two very different things.

“As a mom, I can’t imagine. I would be appalled and disappointed, and I would have to collect my thoughts to determine how I was going to deal with it,” she said of Elson’s story.

“Disability can not, and will not, be used in discussions about medical assistance in dying.

Toujours-Not Dead Yet distributed a Press Release today: Disability Rights Activists Decry Newfoundland doctors suicide suggestion.

LifeNews.com Note: Alex Schadenberg is the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and you can read his blog here.

John McCain Joins Pro-Abortion Republicans to Defeat Senate Bill Defunding Planned Parenthood

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By Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com
July 28, 2017

Christmas is months away but Senator John McCain is already on the naughty list for pro-life Americans.

Senator McCain joined two probation Republicans to defeat the Senate bill that would defund Planned Parenthood. Called the skinny Bill to repeal portions of Obamacare, pro-life organizations and Senate Republican leaders hoped the bill would get enough votes to be able to land a repeal and defund measure on President Donald Trump’s desk.

But thanks to Senator John McCain the measure failed. Even though McCain frequently votes pro-life and has voted to defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business in the past, he joined pro-abortion Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine along with 48 Democrats to kill the measure.

According to the Washington Examiner, pro-life vice president Mike Pence was working with Senator McCain and the final hours leading up to the vote to no avail.

The major defeat leaves Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., with no clear path to even altering a law he once promised to undo “root and branch.” After voting down a repeal and replace proposal earlier this week, and then a “clean” repeal of Obamacare, Republicans couldn’t even muster the votes for a fallback bill that would have made just a few changes and was mainly seen as a vehicle to get the bill into a conference with the House.

Ahead of a dramatic vote that was in doubt until the final minutes, Vice President Mike Pence was seen working Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the Senate chamber. McCain flew into Washington this week from Arizona, where he was resting after a diagnosis with brain cancer, to participate in healthcare votes — and he ended up being a deciding vote against the bill. He joined Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, as well as 48 Democrats, with the bill failing 51 to 49.

A disappointed McConnell thanked members of the Senate for their efforts to reach a compromise, but said, “I regret that our efforts were simply not enough at this time.”

He declared, “It’s time to move on.”

The bill would have repealed the law’s individual mandate and temporarily scaled back the employer mandate and the medical device tax. It also would have defunded Planned Parenthood for one year.

“Passing this legislation will allow us to work with our colleagues in the House to work for a final bill to repeal Obamacare,” McConnell said after introducing the bill.

McCain apparently was worried that the House would merely pass the skinny bill and not work in good faith with the Senate to craft a full repeal measure even though pro-life Speaker Paul Ryan assured him that would be the case.

SIGN THE PETITION! Congress Must De-Fund Planned Parenthood Immediately

Last month, the abortion chain Planned Parenthood finally released its annual report.

The report shows increases in abortion numbers and taxpayer funding in 2015, alongside decreases in contraception, breast exams and overall patient numbers.

Planned Parenthood continued to maintain its status as the largest abortion provider in the United States. The abortion group performed 328,348 abortions on unborn babies, 4,349 more than the previous year, according to the report.

At the same time, it saw 2.4 million patients, about 100,000 fewer than the previous year and about 500,000 fewer than five years ago. Contraception services, which the abortion chain touts as its primary service, also dropped from 2.94 million to 2.8 million during the past two years.

Meanwhile, the abortion chain received more taxpayer funding. The report shows Planned Parenthood receiving $554.6 million, up from $553.7 million the previous year. This increase occurred while pro-abortion President Barack Obama was in power.

This pattern is consistent with its annual reports from the past several years. Abortions and taxpayer funding keep going up, while patient numbers and other services go down.

A recent congressional investigation into the abortion business involving its sales of aborted baby parts concluded with lawmakers recommended that Congress defund it. Planned Parenthood also has been caught in numerous scandals involving Medicaid fraud and failures to report suspected sex trafficking and sexual abuse of minors.

Earlier this year, Planned Parenthood leaders refused an offer to receive an increase in taxpayer funding if they stopped doing abortions. CEO Cecile Richards called the offer “obscene and insulting,” making it very clear that abortions – not women’s health care – are what really are important to Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood claims it is an essential provider of women’s health care, but its own annual reports show it continues to center its practices around aborting unborn babies.

President Donald Trump promised to sign a bill that would defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Recent polls also indicate Americans support the defunding efforts. New polling found 56 percent of Americans in battleground states want Planned Parenthood defunded.

The abortion company has also been exposed for selling the body parts of aborted children. The expose’ videos catching Planned Parenthood officials selling the body parts of aborted babies have shocked the nation. Here is a list of all 14:

  • In the first video: Dr. Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood commented on baby-crushing: “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
  • In the second video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Mary Gatter joked, “I want a Lamborghini” as she negotiated the best price for baby parts.
  • In the third video: Holly O’Donnell, a former Stem Express employee who worked inside a Planned Parenthood clinic, detailed first-hand the unspeakable atrocities and how she fainted in horror over handling baby legs.
  • In the fourth video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Savita Ginde stated, “We don’t want to do just a flat-fee (per baby) of like, $200. A per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.” She also laughed while looking at a plate of fetal kidneys that were “good to go.”
  • In the fifth video: Melissa Farrell of Planned Parenthood-Gulf Coast in Houston boasted of Planned Parenthood’s skill in obtaining “intact fetal cadavers” and how her “research” department “contributes so much to the bottom line of our organization here, you know we’re one of the largest affiliates, our Research Department is the largest in the United States.”
  • In the sixth videoHolly O’Donnell described technicians taking fetal parts without patient consent: “There were times when they would just take what they wanted. And these mothers don’t know. And there’s no way they would know.”
  • In the seventh and perhaps most disturbing video: Holly O’Donnell described the harvesting, or “procurement,” of organs from a nearly intact late-term fetus aborted at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose, CA. “‘You want to see something kind of cool,’” O’Donnell says her supervisor asked her. “And she just taps the heart, and it starts beating. And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think.”
  • In the eighth video: StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer admits Planned Parenthood sells “a lot of” fully intact aborted babies.
  • The ninth video: catches a Planned Parenthood medical director discussing how the abortion company sells fully intact aborted babies — including one who “just fell out” of the womb.
  • The 10th video: catches the nation’s biggest abortion business selling specific body parts — including the heart, eyes and “gonads” of unborn babies. The video also shows the shocking ways in which Planned Parenthood officials admit that they are breaking federal law by selling aborted baby body parts for profit.
  • Unreleased Videos: Unreleased videos from CMP show Deb Vanderhei of Planned Parenthood caught on tape talking about how Planned Parenthood abortion business affiliates may “want to increase revenue [from selling baby parts] but we can’t stop them…” Another video has a woman talking about the “financial incentives” of selling aborted baby body parts.
  • The 11th video: catches a Texas Planned Parenthood abortionist planning to sell the intact heads of aborted babies for research. Amna Dermish is caught on tape describing an illegal partial-birth abortion procedure to terminate living, late-term unborn babies which she hopes will yield intact fetal heads for brain harvesting.
  • The 12th video in the series shows new footage of Jennefer Russo, medical director at Planned Parenthood in Orange County, California, describing to undercover investigators how her abortion business tries to harvest intact aborted babies’ bodies for a local for-profit biotech company and changes the abortion procedure to do so.
  • The 13th video: exposes a Planned Parenthood medical director admitting that babies born alive after abortion are sometimes killed.
  • The 14th video: catches Planned Parenthood executives discussing gruesome abortion procedures and the sale of body parts from aborted babies for profit.

McCain Just Go Away, Please

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McCain you are quoted as saying you voted against Obama Care repeal because it would “screw” the people of Arizona. Perhaps they deserve a good roll over a barrel having “screwed” the rest of the country by electing you to another term in the Senate.

But in reality your “nay” vote is all about your ego. It is being reported that you would have no say, other than your vote, in the final wording of a new healthcare bill. To let that be the reasoning for your “nay” vote is petty even for you.

It is becoming crystal clear that after bankrupting the Savings and Loans industry your next project is to bankrupt all Americans.

So please, for the sake of the country immediately resign from the Senate.

South Dakota: Muslim pleads guilty to firearms charge after brandishing guns outside Christian event

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By Robert Spencer
Jihad Watch
July 27, 2017

Jaber also said “Be terrified,” and “be afraid” several times, as he pulled out gun after gun.

“And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may strike terror in the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know, whom Allah knows…” (Qur’an 8:60)

This was not an “anti-Islam” event, it was a Christian conference.

“Man pleads guilty to charge arising from anti-Islam event,” Associated Press, July 25, 2017

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A South Dakota man charged with making terroristic threats outside an anti-Islam event has pleaded guilty to a federal firearms charge.

Forty-six-year-old Ehab Jaber of Sioux Falls streamed a Facebook Live video from the April event. He held up guns while saying “if you want to be afraid, be afraid.” He wore a T-shirt saying “I am Muslim” and “I am only dangerous if you are stupid.”

A federal grand jury in May indicted him on a charge of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. State prosecutors also have charged him with making terroristic threats and possessing methamphetamine, after initially declining to charge him….

Minneapolis: After Muslim cop shoots unarmed woman, investigators search her home

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By Robert Spencer
Jihad Watch
July 27, 2017

Were they looking for something they could use to exculpate Mohamed Noor, the “diversity” hire who shot her? After all, the shooting has cast into sharp relief the consequences of keeping incompetent cops on the police force for their symbolic value. Are Minnesota authorities trying to save face by finding a way to blame the victim?

“Authorities Searched Damond’s Home; Law Prof Believes That Could ‘Cause An International Incident,’” KSTP, July 25, 2017:

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigators were granted permission to search Justine Damond’s home hours after she was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer, according to court records.

A criminal law expert can’t understand why.

“I don’t understand why they’re looking for bodily fluids inside her home,” said Joseph Daly, an emeritus professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, referring to one of two recently-released search warrant applications.

“Whose bodily fluids are they looking for? Is she a suspect? I don’t understand why they’re looking for controlled substances inside her home. I don’t understand why they’re looking for writings inside her home. The warrant does not explain that to me.”

“When I read that search warrant, I really cannot find probable cause to search her home,” he continued.

According to court documents, investigators applied for the warrant on the following grounds:

The property or things above-described was used as a means of committing a crime
The possession of the property or things above-described constitutes a crime.
The property or things above-described is in the possession of a person with intent to use such property as a means of committing a crime, or the property or things so intended to be used are in the possession of another to whom they have been delivered for the purpose of concealing them or preventing their being discovered.
The property or things above-described constitutes evidence which tends to show a crime has been committed, or tends to show that a particular person has committed a crime.

Asked if that means the BCA considers Damond to be a suspect, spokesperson Jill Oliveira replied via email:

“No, an individual involved in the incident.”

Daly, who said he has served as a visiting professor at the University of Queensland in Damond’s native Australia, believes concerned members of the public in both countries will be outraged by the BCA’s request to search the home….

Alien Gear Bashes Police for Shooting Armed Suspect ACTIVELY SHOOTING AT POLICE

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By Jenn Jacques
Bearing Arms
July 27, 2017

Um, they said WHAT NOW!?

Judging by their latest social media post, it’s safe to say Alien Gear Holsters just went full… well, you know.

The holster company took to their Facebook page this morning to sound off on the officer-involved shooting of Antoquan Watson, criticizing their use of force.

Watson, who was high on PCP, had opened fire on officers during a vehicle pursuit, even exited his vehicle to take aim at officers as he continued to fire at law enforcement.

Alien Gear obviously has a problem with the officers returning fire to stop Watson’s assault. Their FB post reads:

“A reasonable and prudent person follows a police officer’s orders; Angry people sometimes show reluctance, but is it ever okay to shoot someone 45 times?”

Our good friends at Blue Lives Matter report:

After getting hammered with criticism for almost 2 hours from pissed-off customers, Alien Gear Holsters deleted their comment and replaced it with a meme with no further comment, as if they are trying to pretend that their previous comment never happened:

The shooting initially occurred in March 2014 after police received a report that Watson had a gun inside of Pleasantville’s La Esconda II Restaurant, according to NJ.com.

According to a waitress, Watson bought two beers and appeared to be drunk and mumbling to himself and multiple people called to report seeing him holding his gun in his right hand, pointing it at the ceiling.

Officers responded and attempted to talk to Watson while he was in his vehicle, but he refused to roll down the window.

Watson then took off in his vehicle, leading police on a high-speed pursuit, running red lights and driving up to 85 MPH. He then started firing shots at officers while he fled.

Finally, another vehicle struck Watson’s car after he ran a red light, causing the vehicle to spin out and stall.

Watson then exited his vehicle and opened fire on officers.

Officers returned fire and were shocked when he appeared unaffected by the bullets and, assuming he was wearing body armor, it appears that at least one officer may have been shooting for his legs.

Once Watson was on the ground, you can see him still moving while he still had the gun in his hand, and officers continued to fire until he stopped lifting the gun.

An autopsy found that Watson was high on PCP.

There were seven officers involved in the shooting, and they hit Watson 45 times out of 69 total rounds fired between all officers involved in the gunfight. That’s less that one magazine of bullets per officer. As you watch the video, officers aren’t missing, Watson is just ignoring the bullets that hit him.

Criticizing officers for repeatedly shooting a man who was actively trying to murder them, while on PCP and unaffected by bullets, shows a complete lack of knowledge of gunfights. That’s not something we would expect from a holster company.

Considering that Alien Gear Holsters is critical of officers who were defending their lives during a gunfight, and the company’s apparent a lack of reasonableness, I can think of better holsters to spend my money on.

Let’s spread the word that we expect better from companies who want our business.

I’ll side with Blue Lives Matter on this one. It appears Alien Gear has little respect for the Thin Blue Line those in law enforcement walk each and every day on the job.

Watch the dashcam video and let us know what you think!

 

 

Blue Lives Matter reached out to Alien Gear Holsters to clear up what they meant by their post on Facebook.

They responded by blocking them.

UPDATE:

7:47 p.m.

Alien Gear has posted an apology across all social media platforms:

…but when people went after them for the non-apology, they tried again – this time, the CEO himself threw some girl under the bus to try to save face:

Too little, too late?

I’ll be honest – I’ve never liked their products, even more so after this, but instead of giving them any more press, I’ll just use this as an opportunity to say how much I love CrossBreed & Raw Dog holsters, and UnderTech UnderCover gear. 😉

Carry on and carry often, everyone!

10:54 p.m.

From Blue Lives Matter:

I, for one, can personally appreciate what appears to be a genuine apology. Alien Gear Holsters has now unblocked Blue Lives Matter (but didn’t tell us as far as I can see.)

If this was a mistake by one lone employee, it certainly escalated with the poor response prior to the message from the CEO.

Unfortunately for them, it appears that they may have used the poor employee’s advice again when making the final update. The company edited their initial apology and replaced it with the message from the CEO, rather than making a new post, which is an awful idea because they left all of the criticism of the non-apology in place and failed to notify people on Facebook of an update.

I am personally not going to boycott Alien Gear Holsters, and I believe that they just have an employee who is incompetent at PR on social media. Blue Lives Matter has only ever called for one boycott, and that was for Ben & Jerry’s after they decided to take a company position against police.

How you spend your money is your choice, but you now have what appears to be a sincere apology from the CEO to consider.

Arkansas Planned Parenthood May Have to Follow Pro-Life Law on Abortion Drugs After All

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By Micaiah Bigler
LifeNews.com
July 28, 2017

An Arkansas law that regulates dangerous abortion drugs is no longer blocked after a circuit court found that a lower court judge did not provide enough details to justify the block.

The state and the abortion business Planned Parenthood of the Heartland have been involved in a court battle over the law since December 2015. The law requires abortion facilities to follow Food and Drug Administration guidelines when administering abortion drugs. It also requires that abortion doctors who dispense the drugs maintain contact with another doctor who has hospital admitting privileges in case of patient emergencies.

U.S. District Court Judge Kristine Baker blocked the law, but a panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the order on Friday, according to the AP. The panel ruled that Baker did not provide enough evidence indicating the number of women who allegedly would be burdened by the law, the report states.

Here’s more from the report:

The panel sent the case back to Baker and said the judge should look into the number of women who would be unduly burdened by the requirement and whether it amounts to a “large fraction” of women seeking the abortion pill in Arkansas.

“The court correctly held that individuals for whom the contract-physician requirement was an actual, rather than an irrelevant, restriction were women seeking medication abortions in Arkansas. Nonetheless, it did not define or estimate the number of women who would be unduly burdened by the contract-physician requirement,” the 8th Circuit panel wrote. “Instead, it focused on amorphous groups of women to reach its conclusion that the Act was facially unconstitutional.”

A spokesperson said two Planned Parenthood abortion clinics cannot meet the requirements, and would shut down if the law goes into effect.

Last summer, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge asked the federal circuit court to overturn the judge’s ruling and allow the law to go into effect. The attorney general argued that the lower court judge’s ruling was based on “clearly erroneous” findings.

In the appeal, the state argued that abortion drugs can result in serious complications, including incomplete abortions and the death of the woman. The state attorneys said Planned Parenthood sometimes refers patients who are experiencing complications to other abortion facilities or the emergency room, but it “cannot guarantee another provider will care for the patient.” They argued that the state law is necessary to protect patients in such cases.

The abortion drug RU-486 has a high complication rate and can be deadly to the mother as well as her unborn child if complications are not treated. According to the FDA, at least 14 women have died and 2,207 women have been injured by the drug in America.

Rose Mimms, executive director of Arkansas Right to Life, previously told LifeNews that the abortion drug has killed almost 2,000 unborn children since Planned Parenthood of the Heartland moved in to Arkansas in 2012.

“It is clear that Planned Parenthood of the Heartland came to [Arkansas] to perform abortions,” Mimms said. “In Arkansas they are the primary provider of abortion using the chemicals known as RU-486, and they want to do it their way, not following the protocol that the FDA developed when the abortion drugs were first approved in 2000.”

New Arkansas abortion laws blocked by federal judge

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Fox News
July 29, 2017

A federal judge has blocked the state of Arkansas from enforcing four new abortion restrictions.

U.S. District Court Judge Kristine Baker issued a preliminary injunction late Friday against the new abortion restrictions, three of which were set to take effect Tuesday.

The laws include a ban on a common procedure known as dilation and evacuation. Abortion-rights supporters contend it’s the safest and most common procedure used in second-trimester abortions. Abortion activists also argued that doing away with the procedure would make it impossible for women to get an abortion in their second trimester.

Pro-life groups criticized the procedure, which is surgical, as “barbaric.”

The American Civil Liberties Union and Center for Reproductive Rights sued Arkansas over the restrictions, which lawmakers approved earlier this year. The two groups sued on behalf of Dr. Frederick Hopkins, a Little Rock abortion provider. The groups say the laws would make it nearly impossible for many women in the state to get an abortion.

“(The law) would essentially end access to second-trimester abortions in Arkansas,” Brigitte Amiri, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), told NBC News.

Similar bans are in effect in Mississippi and West Virginia and have been blocked by court rulings in Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. A ban approved in Texas will take effect in September and is also being challenged in court. The groups said the ban would have a devastating impact, while the state argued that alternative procedures are available.

“The threatened harm to Dr. Hopkins and the fraction of women for whom the Mandate is relevant clearly outweighs whatever damage or harm a proposed injunction may cause the State of Arkansas,” Baker wrote in her ruling.

Baker’s ruling also halted a law that would have imposed new restrictions on the disposal of fetal remains from abortions. The plaintiffs argued that it could also block access by requiring notification of a third party, such as the woman’s sexual partner or her parents, to determine what happens to the fetal remains. The state has said the law does not require permission or notice from those third parties before an abortion and includes several provisions that ensure notice or consent is not required to dispose of the fetal remains.

Baker said the law would dissuade doctors from performing abortions and create significant delays for women seeking the procedure.

Baker also blocked part of a law set to take effect in January that would ban abortions based solely on the fetus’ sex. The groups are challenging the law’s requirement that a doctor performing the abortion first request records related to the entire pregnancy history of the woman. The plaintiffs say the requirement would violate a patient’s privacy and indefinitely delay a woman’s access to abortion.

The judge also blocked a law that would expand a requirement that physicians performing abortions for patients under 14 take certain steps to preserve embryonic or fetal tissue and notify police where the minor resides. The new measure, which was also set to take effect Tuesday, would have raised the age requirement to less than 17 years of age.

The block came hours after a federal court panel cleared the way for Arkansas to enforce a law that will limit how the abortion pill can be administered. Baker blocked the 2015 law that required doctors who provide such pills to maintain a contract with another physician who has admitting privileges at a hospital and who agrees to handle any complications.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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