Nashville Residents Repaint BLM ‘Mural’ to Celebrate Juneteenth

Residents from across Nashville celebrated Juneteenth by repainting a 350 foot ‘mural’ dedicated to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. 

Because the painting was dedicated to the BLM movement, some residents across Nashville found the idea to be controversial. The BLM movement has ties to Marxism, and many supporters sparked riots across the country last summer. 

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Commentary: Big Tech Only Has Itself to Blame for Republican Rethinking of Antitrust

Smartphone with display of social media apps

There are few, if any, political issues that now generate the breadth and intensity of bipartisan backlash as does the rise of Big Tech.

During Donald Trump’s presidency, the major parties largely diverged on their specific grievances against the woke Silicon Valley monopolists who serve as gatekeepers for America’s 21st-century public square. Republicans, by and large, focused on censorship of conservative online speech. Democrats, by contrast, tended to focus on economic concentration; the five American corporations with the largest market caps, for example, are tech behemoths Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google Alphabet, and Facebook. This divergence has stymied efforts to rein in the Big Tech oligarchy on issues such as Section 230, the 1990s-era provision permitting platforms to engage in publisher-like content-moderation decisions without being legally treated as publishers.

Conservatives still have myriad concerns with Big Tech’s noxious brew of speech suppressions, shadow bans, and unaccountable deplatformings. Those concerns are both legitimate and justified by Big Tech’s ever-expanding list of misdeeds. But there is an emerging sea change in the way conservatives conceptualize the relationship between Big Tech’s unfettered content-moderation leeway and the sheer economic clout wielded by the relevant corporate actors.

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Lumber Futures Drop After Sustained Rise, Signaling Potential Price Drop for Consumers

Lumber

Lumber futures plunged further this week, seeing a price drop that hit 20% in a sign that the lumber market may finally reverse course from its dizzying price spike that occurred over the last few months.

The reversal was likely driven in part by a drop in homebuilding, which was down nearly 10% last month; general home repair also saw a similar decline.

Lumber manufacturers over the past several months have also been producing record levels of supply in response to the price surge.

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College President Derides ‘Critical Race Theory’ Criticisms, Lauds Its ‘Widely Acclaimed Scholarship,’ Asserts ‘Critical Race Theory Is the New Communism’

Dr. Elliot Stern

Dr. Elliot Stern, president of Saddleback College, a public community college in California, issued an open letter commemorating Juneteenth that also voiced support for Critical Race Theory.  

Amid thoughtful comments on the historical significance of Juneteenth and the importance of commemorating Emancipation, Stern equated the ongoing backlash against Critical Race Theory to the “Red Scare” of the 1950s: 

“Politicians create bogeymen of scholars of race study and are passing laws to prevent schools from teaching widely acclaimed scholarship,” he wrote. “Critical Race Theory is the new Communism.”

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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Nestle, Cargill in Human Rights Lawsuit

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Nestle USA and Cargill could not be sued for alleged human rights abuses that occurred overseas.

The plaintiffs, six Mali citizens enslaved as children on Ivory Coast cocoa farms supplying the food giants, sued Nestle and Cargill for damages, alleging the companies had aided and profited from child labor. The court ruled the corporations could not be sued for the overseas abuses.

“Nearly all the conduct they allege aided and abetted forced labor—providing training, equipment, and cash to overseas farmers—occurred in the Ivory Coast,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the majority opinion.

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Idaho University Campus Ministry Students Encouraged to Take ‘Anti-Racist’ Classes

Two students walking on Northwest Nazarene University campus

A Christian university’s Student Government Association is recommending students take “helpful classes” related to “anti-racism.”

The Northwest Nazarene University Student Government Association sent out an email referring students to an anti-racism guide that promoted several social justice courses. This document, sent out in an October 19, 2020, email obtain by Campus Reform, was authored by SGA Campus Ministries.

This anti-racism guide contains a long list of poems, books, videos, and articles on the topic of racism. Many of these resources originate from widely-known proponents of critical race theory, such as Ibram X. Kendi and Robin Di’Angelo.

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As Biden Seeks to Limit U.S. Oil Production, Reliance on Russian Imports Rises

Within months of President Joe Biden halting the Keystone Pipeline, pausing new oil and gas leases on federal lands, and imposing further restrictions on U.S. oil companies, U.S. oil imports from Russia set a new record in March.

According to International Energy Agency, U.S. imports of crude oil and petroleum products from Russia reached 22.9 million barrels in March, the highest level since August 2010. They had reached over 25 million barrels in April 2009.

Crude oil imports from Russia in March stood at 6.1 million barrels, making Russia the third-largest oil exporter to the United States.

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60 Catholic Democrats Accuse Bishops of Weaponizing Eucharist Against Biden

Catholic church worship

Catholic congressional Democrats are accusing U.S. Catholic bishops of weaponizing the Eucharist against President Joe Biden.

Sixty Catholic Democrats issued a “Statement of Principles” Friday warning U.S. bishops against “the weaponization of the Eucharist.” Signers included Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro and New York Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez.

Most of the Democrats who signed the statement appear to publicly support abortion in direct conflict with Catholic Church teaching.

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GOP Reps Hope to Discourage Pelosi from Imposing More Abusive Rules with Lawsuit over Metal Detector Fines

Louie Gohmert and Andrew Clyde

Two Republican lawmakers are suing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the fines they’ve been slapped with for violating her oppressive security screening rules.

Following the riot at the Capitol on January 6, Pelosi had magnetometers installed outside the chamber, and demanded that all House members be subjected to security screenings every time they enter.

Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) say Pelosi’s security measures are abusive and unconstitutional, and unless someone stands up to her “totalitarian” edicts, the abuses will only get worse.

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Conservative Sues Twitter, California Officials, and Biden Campaign Consultants For Colluding to Deplatform Him

Screen cap of Fox News interview

Conservative political commentator and attorney Rogan O’Handley is suing former California Secretary of State and now U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, current Calif. SoS Shirley Weber, Twitter, Team Biden campaign consultants SKDK, and others, for coordinating to deplatform him from Twitter after he tweeted his concerns about the 2020 election.

The Center for American Liberty in conjunction with the Dhillon Law Group, Inc. filed the federal civil rights lawsuit on Thursday in the United States District Court in Central California.

O’Handley spent years developing a verified Twitter account with 440,000 followers only to find his account permanently suspended at the direction of the Secretary of State’s office, according to a press release from Center for American Liberty.

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Portland Police Department Says It Doesn’t Track Gang Activity as Gang Violence Rises

Silhouette of person holding gun up

A spokesperson for the Portland Police Bureau told the Daily Caller News Foundation Thursday that the department doesn’t track gang activity despite reports detailing an increase in gang violence in the city.

Police officials estimate half of the 470 shootings that have injured more than 140 people in Portland, Oregon, this year were gang-related, the Associated Press reported June 10. Law enforcement officials have been investigating multiple shooting incidents a week where between 50 and 70 shots were fired as gang attacks increase.

“In Portland, ‘gang violence’ is not a category of crime,” a department spokesperson told the DCNF Wednesday.

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Commentary: The Inevitable Fruits of Critical Race Theory

Captured in a metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia primary school, seated amongst his classmates, this photograph depicts a young Asian-American school boy, who was in the process of creating a drawing, and was choosing from a box of crayons, the colors he’d use in order to bring his ideas to life. It is important to know that these objects are known as fomites, and can act as transmitters of illnesses.

A black man went on a multistate shooting spree recently. The suspected gunman, Justin Tyran Williams, said he specifically targeted white men in his rampage that left five wounded. “Basically, [Williams] explained throughout his life, specifically white males had taken from him, and also what he described as military-looking white males had taken from him,” Columbus (Georgia) Police detective Brandon Lockhart testified Monday.

A racially motivated mass shooting would be the number one news story on CNN . . . were the races reversed. But a black man intentionally shooting white men is just not that interesting to those outside of conservative media.

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IRS Denies Tax Exemption to Christian Group, Associates Bible with GOP

Woman's hands with Holy Bible and taking notes

A top Internal Revenue Service official told a Christian group that “Bible teachings are typically affiliated” with the Republican Party as a rationale for denying its application for tax-exempt status. 

The Texas-based Christians Engaged filed an appeal on Wednesday to the IRS’ denial, objecting to the tax agency’s assertion that it is partisan. 

In a May 18 denial letter, IRS Exempt Organizations Director Stephen A. Martin said Christians Engaged is involved in “prohibited political campaign intervention” and “operate[s] for a substantial non-exempt private purpose and for the private interests of the [Republican Party].”

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Commentary: Only National Conservatism Can Unite the West and Contain China

Person waving flag outside of window

“Europe will be your revenge,” are the purported words of West German Chancellor Conrad Adenauer to French Prime Minister Guy Mollet in 1956. The quip was related to America’s siding with Egypt and the USSR during the Suez Canal Crisis against Great Britain, France and Israel. Regardless of Adenauer’s precise intention, the quote underscores the fact that the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) has always suffered fissures, even if it held together long enough to win the Cold War and longer still, for NATO and the EU to expand into Central and Eastern Europe.

Whether the Suez Crisis in the 50s, Charles de Gaulle’s unilateral withdrawal of France from NATO’s high command structure in the 60s, Willy Brandt’s overtures to the East via Ostpolitik in the 70s, or Reagan’s placement of strategic intermediate range nuclear warheads in West Germany in the 80s against the wishes of the German left, European-American rivalries and conflicts of interest have always been part and parcel of the Atlantic Alliance. And yet the alliance remains important, because North America and Europe share indissoluble bonds that cut across religious, political and cultural history. Modern democracy — despite its relativization and ‘deconstruction’ by progressive historians — was incubated in the West. For this reason alone the alliance is of value: because Western nations share a common heritage. Commonality breeds loyalty and fosters cohesion, both of which are necessary for the preservation of norms and traditions. Europe and North America have a lot in common with one another, and therefore they share a collective interest in preserving what makes them unique within the vast panoply of human political arrangements.

During Trump’s presidency, left wing media wisdom dictated that Trump had sullied America’s relationship with the EU and NATO by calling the former out as a trade rival and the latter —Germany in particular — as a freeloader on American security guarantees. But as European political columnist Jorge Gallarza pointed out in Newsweek, the prospect of a Biden Presidency — and with it, Biden’s wisdom and appreciation of the true importance of the American relationship with Europe — does not appear to have tipped the geopolitical scales towards Anglo-European rapport. In January, the EU signed a trade deal with China that could have just as easily been postponed until Biden took office to allow for the president’s feedback. Likewise, well after Biden won the election, President Macron of France pontificated — in typical multilateral idealism fashion — about Europe’s future role in world affairs as one of “strategic autonomy.” The writing was on the wall: in a world in which China is on the rise and America appears to be sputtering, Europe will be largely neutral.

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Checks and Balances Project Attracts Criticism over Links to Public Relations Firm

Sentara Norfolk General

Watchdog blog the Checks and Balances Project (CBP) is facing criticism over its links to the Tigercomm public relations firm. On November 9, 2020, the Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) signed a contract with Tigercomm during a conflict with major Virginia health care network, Sentara. On November 13, CBP published its first story about Sentara. This month, The Washington Post and The Virginian-Pilot reported on the ties between Tigercomm and CBP.

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Atlanta Area Among Country’s Fastest-Growing New Home Construction Markets

Light trails on a suburban highway

A recent National Association of Realtors report shows the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta metro area is experiencing new-home growth amid a national housing shortage.

The area ranked fourth in the country for metro areas with the most single-family home building permits over the past year.

Metro Atlanta real estate agent Allahva Panton has seen a large increase in real estate sales in the Atlanta area, but not so much in Sandy Springs or Alpharetta.

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Developer Sues City of Norfolk in Casino Dispute

Cordish Companies

Cordish Companies is suing the City of Norfolk for $100 million, alleging in its complaint that in a 2013 agreement to develop the Waterside property, the city promised to support Cordish’s effort to build a casino if casinos were legalized. The city is supporting a different proposal led by the Pamunkey Tribe, approved by the voters in November 2020. City Attorney Bernard Pishko said the complaint is not based in fact.

The Cordish lawsuit states, “Instead of keeping their contractual promises to ND [Norfolk District Associates, a Cordish LLC], Defendants, motivated by a personal agenda, conspired with the Pamunkey Tribe, Yarbrough, and Golden Eagle to deprive ND of its rights to develop a casino at Waterside.”

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Seven Months Later, Georgia County Officials Have Not Produced Chain of Custody Records for 316,000 Absentee Vote by Mail Ballots Deposited in Drop Boxes in 2020 Election

Seven months after the November 3, 2020 presidential election, state and county officials in Georgia have failed to produce chain of custody records for more than 317,000 absentee vote by mail ballots deposited in drop boxes located around the state for that election.

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Michigan to Fully Open Tuesday

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has once again ditched her COVID-19 reopening plan, announcing the state will drop its COVID-19 restrictions on June 22. Her previous plan dropped restrictions on July 1.

“Today is a day that we have all been looking forward to, as we can safely get back to normal day-to-day activities and put this pandemic behind us,” Whitmer said in a statement.

Whitmer thanked those who received vaccinations. She also thanked medical staff and other frontline workers. 

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Tweet by Georgia Public Broadcasting Writer Reveals More Chain of Custody Document Discrepancies in Fulton County Absentee Ballot Transfer Forms

A tweet by Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) News writer Stephen Fowler on Saturday revealed more chain of custody document discrepancies in Fulton County’s absentee ballot drop box transfer forms.

The tweet included a partial image – the very top only — of two transfer forms Fowler claims were part of an open records response GPB News received on Wednesday from Fulton County election officials.

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Some Virginia Colleges Will Continue to Prohibit Marijuana on Campus to Protect Federal Funds

Virginia Commonwealth University

Some Virginia universities intend to prohibit marijuana on campus grounds after it becomes legal for recreational use for adults age 21 and older in the state.

Although the commonwealth will allow legal possession beginning in two weeks, the plant still is illegal at the federal level and a schedule I drug under the controlled substance act. If a university allows marijuana on campus, some universities worry it could threaten their federal funding.

A spokesperson from James Madison University told The Center Square the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices will continue to address incidents of marijuana on campus because use and possession are illegal under federal law.

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Florida Gas Prices Up 48 Percent over Last 12 Months

According to publicly available data, average gas prices in Florida have increased approximately 48.0% over the last 12 months. The current price of a gallon of regular gas, as of June 20, was $2.96. This is up from $2.00 per gallon reported one year ago.

The chart below shows the 12-months trend of average gas prices for the United States and Florida. Since March 11, 2021, the average price of gas in Florida has trended below the national average. As of June 20, the U.S. average is $3.07 per gallon.

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Ohio Senate Approves Legalized Sports Betting

Cleveland Browns football defense

Sports bettors in Ohio are a step closer to being able to stay in state to place a wager after the Ohio Senate passed a bill legalizing sports betting and e-bingo.

If passed by the House and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine, Senate Bill 176 brings Ohio in line with neighboring Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia and Pennsylvania by allowing sports bets through retail or online sportsbooks.

The legislation passed Wednesday with a 30-2 vote.

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Top Georgia Democrats Flip on Voter ID Amid Push from Manchin for Identification Rules

Raphael Warnock

Georgia Democratic rockstars Stacey Abrams and Sen. Raphael Warnock have both made major reversals on their feelings about voter identification, flips that could signal shifting Democratic priorities about voter ID as the Senate considers a sweeping voting bill that could include identification measures.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin this week proposed several additions to the controversial For the People Act, a bill that, if passed, would allow Congress to exert significant control over most U.S. elections.

Among the measures Manchin has suggested are voter ID rules, which would require identification at the polls but would allow voters to use a variety of documents to prove their identity.

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Florida’s Unemployment Rate Increases in May

In the most recent data released by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) on Friday, the May unemployment rate in Florida was 4.9%, up .1% from the unemployment rate in April. 

 Although the the number of individuals who qualified for unemployment rose from 488,000 in April to 503,000 in May, the labor force increased by 72,000 people during the same time. 

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Parental Rights Bill Awaiting Governor DeSantis Signature

Woman holding her child.

One of the 24 bills officially submitted to Governor Ron DeSantis Friday was the parental rights bill (HB 241). If it is approved by DeSantis, the bill would establish and expand parents rights related to the health care and education of their minor child or children.

One of the major changes the bill brings to the current law is the expansion in parents rights over their child’s school records that currently sits primarily in the hands of schools and their districts. Two of these rights – in Section 5, Section 1014.04 (a) and (d) Florida Statutes – include the right to direct the education and care of his or her minor child and the right to access and review all school records relating to his or her minor child.

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New Poll Says Minnesotans Don’t Trust Governor to Handle Crime

Gov. Tim Walz

A poll conducted by the American Experiment shows that a majority of Minnesota residents don’t trust Governor Tim Walz to take care of crime. According to the findings of the Thinking Minnesota poll, 55% of Minnesotans do not approve of Governor Walz’s response to the riots that have been taking place in Minneapolis. This is almost opposite of the results of the June 2020 Thinking Minnesota poll, where 59% of Minnesotans approved of Governor Walz’s handling of the riots.

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Mark Green Proposal Would Stop Foreign Adversaries from Buying Land Near U.S. Military Bases

Mark Green

  U.S. Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-07) has introduced a bill that would, if enacted into law, direct the U.S. Secretary of Defense to produce ongoing reports about foreign land purchases around U.S. military bases. This, according to a press release that Green and members of his staff published on his…

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