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Travel site calls Jerusalem an ‘Israeli settlement’

jerusalem western wall flag

A European reservations website has been listing Jerusalem – recognized by the United States and some other countries as Israel’s capital – as an “Israeli settlement.”

Michael Freilich, chief editor of the Joods Actueel newspaper in Belgium, said, “I thought it was a hoax until I checked it out and saw it with my own eyes.”

He said he had been tipped by a reader about the treatment of Jerusalem by Booking.com.

The Times of Israel reported the company made a correction on Tuesday, acknowledging it to be in Israel, after Freilich wrote the company asking about its characterization.

Booking.com has not responded to Joods Actueel’s query, Freilich told the Times, but fixed the subject of his query within a few hours of his sending the email.

President Trump created an international furor last year when he decided to let take effect a 20-year-old American law that simply designated Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Arab nations erupted in anger and some antagonists even said the move disqualified the U.S. from participating in any peace talks regarding the Middle East.

However, since then several other nations have made the same acknowledgment and a U.S. Embassy facility now is open there, with bigger facilities in the planning stages.

In fact, Israeli sovereignty in the western part of the city is internationally recognized. It is Israel’s control over the eastern part, which the Jewish state annexed in the 1980s, that is disputed by some of the country’s critics.

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Limbaugh: Facebook claim to find ‘bad actors’ just a ‘crock’

 

Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh

It didn’t take long after Facebook claimed on Tuesday to have found and removed nearly three dozen accounts “involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior” for talk-radio icon Rush Limbaugh to detect the scent of spin.

Facebook, which just days ago lost nearly 20 percent of its value – or more than $100 billion – because it was not meeting financial projections, said it didn’t know who was behind “the latest fake products.”

But it said it had “evidence of some connections between these accounts and Internet Research Agency accounts we disabled last year.”

“Today we removed 32 pages and accounts from Facebook and Instagram because they were involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior,” the company said. “This kind of behavior is not allowed on Facebook because we don’t want people or organizations creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are, or what they’re doing.”

It all links to claims that Russians used American social media companies to try to influence the 2016 election, or even destabilize the Trump presidency after he was elected.

As part of the companies’ campaign to take over a tighter control of what messages appear on their sites, they have cracked down on conservative and Christian comments and sites, creating questions in Congress about whether, as monopolies, they need to be regulated.

Facebook had faced interrogations from Congress earlier this year about its marginalization of conservative voices.

The company said the pages it erased Tuesday didn’t appear to support or oppose any specific officials or parties.

But Rush Limbaugh, under the headline, “What a crock, Facebook,” said the company is making the moves to reclaim support from leftists, who still blame social media companies for not doing enough message-control during 2016 to prevent Donald Trump’s election.

And there’s more.

“Facebook is doing this for a second reason, and that is they’re already beginning to set the table, make excuses for Democrats losing the next election. Folks, do not doubt me on this. Whereas the Drive-By Media and the Democrat Party has done everything they can to destroy the integrity, honor, and the perceived validity of the U.S. electoral system, if they win the next election, I guarantee you there will be no problem with the American electoral system.

“It will have been said to be fixed. When the Democrats win, the accompanying news stories will be, ‘Ways were found to defeat the Russians’ attempt to elect Republicans!’ ‘Working with our partners,’ the Democrats will say, ‘We found a way to make the Russian attempts to steal our elections fruitless and worthless!’ Because no election they win will ever be said to be tainted by their media … Only elections they lose. So with Facebook now saying, ‘Hey, guess what? We have found… We have found the same kind of bad stuff the Russians were doing in 2016! We found it here, and we’re gonna start getting rid of it,’” he said.

“There’s no reason to mention this, unless you’re trying to buy back goodwill between your buddies on the left who are blaming you for letting the Russians steal the election.

“I think Facebook is already starting to make excuses for losing in November. Why else report this stuff? You know, the whole American electoral system, do you realize how corrupted it has been now by the Democrat Party and the media? The perceived integrity and the honesty, the validity of the American electoral process has been destroyed by these people and this mindless pursuit of the Russians tampering with the outcome of the election, which there has been no evidence for and there will not be any evidence for because it is not possible to do.”

He added, “I maintain to you that the Democrats will never, ever lead anybody to think that an election they win is illegitimate. So with Facebook now warning everybody that they have already spotted similar conniving attempts to pollute our elections in November that they saw in the 2016 election, it tells me that there’s one and maybe two things going on.”

He added, “If they are setting tables and the expectation for the Russians again tampering with this election, they’ve gotta be doing this thinking they’re gonna lose. Because I’m here to tell you they would never take action at any time that would cast doubt on their victory. They simply wouldn’t do it. Unless they’ve got some grand scheme to say, ‘The Russians did it! The Russians are out there trying to screw us, but we found a way to beat ’em back. We Democrats outsmarted ’em. You can trust us to keep the Russians out of our elections.’ Maybe they can do that. I wouldn’t put it past ’em.”

 

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Congress candidate calls Melania Trump a ‘hooker’

(BREITBART) — Mark Roberts, a congressional candidate in Oregon, suggested Monday that First Lady Melania Trump is a sex worker — and as the post has gone mega-viral on Twitter, the Silicon Valley company’s inaction provides a clear view of how its “hate speech” rules are selectively enforced only against conservatives and populists.

Roberts, running as an independent against Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), attacked the First Lady in response to a tweet by Turning Point founder Charlie Kirk contrasting the size of Mrs. Trump’s and Michelle Obama’s personal staffs.

“There are thirty-nine fewer staffers dedicated to The First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS) than under Obama,” tweeted Kirk. “There are only five staffers dedicated to Melania Trump vs. forty-four staffers who served Michelle Obama.”

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More than 450 in Florida ordered to surrender guns

gun

More than 450 people in Florida have been ordered to surrender their guns months after a new gun law took effect.

Passed shortly after the Parkland school shooting in February, the law temporarily strips gun owners of their gun rights and weapons if a judge rules they are a threat to themselves or others, reports WFTS-TV, the ABC affiliate in the Tampa Bay area.

About 200 firearms and 30,000 rounds of ammunition have been confiscated in the state since the law was enacted in mid-March, according to Sgt. Jason Schmittendorf of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

A five-member team assigned to risk protection cases in Pinellas County has filed 64 risk protection petitions, the station reported, with a total of 467 in the state as of July 24.

The majority of risk protection cases in the county have involved people with histories of mental illness who threatened to hurt themselves, not others, WFTS said.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri explained to the station why he decided to devote an entire unit to carry out the new law.

“It’s a constitutional right to bear arms, and when you are asking the court to deprive somebody of that right we need to make sure we are making good decisions, right decisions and the circumstances warrant it,” he said.

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which oversees gun permit licensing, a little more than a quarter of risk protection cases filed so far involve concealed license firearm holders whose license temporarily is suspended once the order is granted.

Attorney Kendra Parris told WFTS she believes the law violates the U.S. Constitution.

She points out the law has impacted people who don’t have histories of violence or mental illness.

“These are individuals who are often exercising their First Amendment rights online, who are protecting constitutionally protected speech online,” she said. “Maybe it was odious, maybe people didn’t like it but they were hit with the risk protection order because of it.”

Parris noted the well-publicized case of University of Central Florida student Chris Velasquez, who had a risk protection case filed against him in March after he praised mass shooters online. Another case involved a minor who had a dream of killing.

The lawyer represented both in court, defeating petitions that would have prevented them from possessing a gun for at least one year. Neither owned a weapon at the time of the petition.

“The people whom I’ve represented fought back because they care about their future not because they cared about owning firearms,” Parris told WFTS.

She advises narrowing the law to apply to people with proof of gun ownership or those who have histories of attempting to purchase one. And she things apparent threats posed by respondents should be confined to cases of an “imminent” threat.

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Kardashian: Trump ‘has done something amazing’

(DAILY CALLER) — Kim Kardashian West told late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel that President Donald Trump “has done something amazing” and so she has “nothing bad to say about the president” on Monday night.

As The Hill reports, the reality star met Trump in May as she came to ask for a presidential pardon for Alice Johnson, who was in jail for life after being convicted on a drug charge.

“I knew that there was only one person in power who could make this change, who could get this woman out of prison, so I went for it,” Kardashian West said on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Trump had Johnson released from prison in June.

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College dean attacked for having GOP friend

(CAMPUS REFORM) — A University of Georgia professor issued an apology to those he had “offended” when he congratulated an old friend on becoming the state’s Republican candidate for governor.

Charles Davis, dean of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at UGA, sent the offending tweet shortly after Brian Kemp won the GOP primary Tuesday night, noting that he had been friends with Kemp since childhood and considers him a “nice guy.”

“I went to high school with GOP guv candidate @BrianKempGA. We played YMCA ball from childhood. Politics be damned. He is a nice guy, always was. Kind to a fault,” Davis tweeted. “He’s a friend, always has been, and will be when we’re old(er) and grey(er). That’s how all this should work, people.”

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‘This is catastrophic for Democrats’

supreme-court-wikipedia-feature

A $3,000 settlement has been reached in a lawsuit brought by an Oregon state worker over mandatory union fees she was charged over the years, the first of many similar results expected because of the Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate those mandatory fees and payments.

The AP reported the settlement was between Debora Nearman, who works for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the state’s Service Employees International Union.

The report said the case marks “the first refund of forced fees since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in late June that government workers can’t be required to contribute to labor groups.”

Nearman brought a case against the union on First Amendment grounds.

WND had reported when the Supreme Court ruling was released, it was a major blow to organized labor that also will weaken support for Democratic political candidates.

“This is catastrophic for Democrats,” commented Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano regarding the 5-4 decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.

The court ruled states are not allowed to force government workers to pay the equivalent of union dues, called “fees,” if they opt not to join a union.

The decision overturned a 40-year-old precedent.

Nearman had claimed the state’s requirement that she pay fees was improper, especially since the political organization opposes her political and religious views and “even led a campaign against her husband Mike when he successfully ran as a Republican candidate for the state Legislature,” the report said.

Hundreds of similar cases right now are in various stages of development, confirmed Patrick Semmens, of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. One is a class-action lawsuit by 30,000 state employees in California who could, if the 9th Circuit rules in their favor, be due an estimated $100 million.

Semmens told AP while Nearman will get about $3,000 back, a statute of limitations prevents her from collecting earlier payments.

AP reported that the SEIU chapter involved in the case has 72,000 members and spokeswoman Jill Bakken confirmed the court ruling triggered a drop in membership.

But the high court’s ruling was on behalf of Mark Janus, a child support specialist for state government in Illinois.

“I’m thrilled that the Supreme Court has restored not only my First Amendment rights, but the rights of millions of other government workers across the country,” he said when the decision was announced. “So many of us have been forced to pay for political speech and policy positions with which we disagree, just so we can keep our jobs. This is a victory for all of us. The right to say ‘no’ to a union is just as important as the right to say ‘yes.’ Finally our rights have been restored.”

Even though many union workers vote Republican, their leaders are heavily Democratic, and union coffers regularly fund Democrats running for office.

Janus filed his case in Illinois in 2015 with free legal representation from the Illinois-based Liberty Justice Center and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

“Big loss for the coffers of the Democrats,” said President Trump.

The majority opinion said the state’s “extraction of agency fees from nonconsenting public-sector employees violates the First Amendment.”

Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority: “Fundamental free speech rights are at stake. Abood [the previous precedent] was poorly reasoned. It has led to practical problems and abuse. It is inconsistent with other First Amendment cases and has been undermined by more recent decisions.”

Janus had objected to many of the public policy positions that the union was pursuing. Yet some $535 was taken out of his pay annually and given to the union to fund its activities.

Alito pointed out the court has held “time and again that freedom of speech ‘includes both the right to speak freely and the right to refrain from speaking at all.’”

He continued: “Compelling individuals to mouth support for views they find objectionably violates that cardinal constitutional command, and in most contexts, any such effort would be universally condemned. Suppose, for example, that the state of Illinois required all residents to sign a document expressing support for a particular set of positions on controversial public issues – say, the platform of one of the major political parties. No one, we trust, would seriously argue that the First Amendment permits this.

“Perhaps because such compulsion so plainly violates the Constitution, most of our free speech cases have involved restrictions on what can be said, rather than laws compelling speech. But measures compelling speech are at least as threatening.”

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