Employers can’t require Covid-19 vaccination under an EUA – STAT

EUA Pfizer vial Covid-19 vaccination
A health worker holds a vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Pfaffenhofen, Germany. CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images

Ever since the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for two new vaccines, employers, schools, and other organizations are grappling with whether to require Covid-19 vaccination.

While organizations are certainly free to encourage their employees, students, and other members to be vaccinated, federal law provides that, at least until the vaccine is licensed, individuals must have the option to accept or decline to be vaccinated.

Knowing what an organization can or cannot do with respect to Covid-19 vaccines can help them keep their employees, students, and members safe and also save them from costly and time-consuming litigation.

Much remains unknown about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine

Even though the FDA granted emergency use authorizations for the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines in December 2020, the clinical trials the FDA will rely upon to ultimately decide whether to license these vaccines are still underway and are designed to last for approximately two years to collect adequate data to establish if these vaccines are safe and effective enough for the FDA to license.

The abbreviated timelines for the emergency use applications and authorizations means there is much the FDA does not know about these products even as it authorizes them for emergency use, including their effectiveness against asymptomatic infection, death, and transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease.

Given the uncertainty about the two vaccines, their EUAs are explicit that each is “an investigational vaccine not licensed for any indication” and require that all “promotional material relating to the Covid-19 Vaccine clearly and conspicuously … state that this product has not been approved or licensed by the FDA, but has been authorized for emergency use by FDA” (emphasis added).

EUAs are clear: Getting these vaccines is voluntary

The same section of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act that authorizes the FDA to grant emergency use authorization also requires the secretary of Health and Human Services to “ensure that individuals to whom the product is administered are informed … of the option to accept or refuse administration of the product.”

Likewise, the FDA’s guidance on emergency use authorization of medical products requires the FDA to “ensure that recipients are informed to the extent practicable given the applicable circumstances … That they have the option to accept or refuse the EUA product …”

In the same vein, when Dr. Amanda Cohn, the executive secretary of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, was asked if Covid-19 vaccination can be required, she responded that under an EUA, “vaccines are not allowed to be mandatory. So, early in this vaccination phase, individuals will have to be consented and they won’t be able to be mandatory.” Cohn later affirmed that this prohibition on requiring the vaccines applies to organizations, including hospitals.

The EUAs for both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require fact sheets to be given to vaccination providers and recipients. These fact sheets make clear that getting the vaccine is optional. For example, the one for recipients states that “It is your choice to receive or not receive the Covid-19 Vaccine,” and if “you decide to not receive it, it will not change your standard of medical care.”

What this means in practice

When the FDA grants emergency use authorization for a vaccine, many questions about the product cannot be answered. Given the open questions, when Congress granted the authority to issue EUAs, it chose to require that every individual should be allowed to decide for himself or herself whether or not to receive an EUA product. The FDA and CDC apparently consider this fundamental requirement of choice important enough that even during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic they reinforced that policy decision when issuing their guidance related to the Covid-19 vaccines.

This means that an organization will likely be at odds with federal law if it requires its employees, students or other members to get a Covid-19 vaccine that is being distributed under emergency use authorization.

State law often prohibits retaliating against an employee for refusing to participate in a violation of federal law. Organizations that require Covid-19 vaccination in violation of federal law may face lawsuits under these state laws not only to block the policy but also for damages and attorneys’ fees. Such potentially costly lawsuits can be avoided by refraining from adopting policies that require vaccination or penalize members for choosing not to be vaccinated.

Organizations are free to encourage vaccinations through internal communications, through educational events, and through other measures to urge employees to be vaccinated. They can take these measures so long as: (1) they are not viewed as coercive, (2) the organization makes clear the decision regarding whether to receive the vaccine is voluntary, and (3) the measures comply with the requirements in the EUAs and the related regulations for these products.

People across the world have had their lives upended during the last year. The urgency to return to normalcy is felt deeply by many. As decision-makers at organizations decide on their Covid-19 vaccination policy, they should be careful to not let this passion lead the organization to run afoul of the law.

Aaron Siri is the managing partner at Siri & Glimstad LLP, a complex civil litigation firm with its principal office in New York City. This article is not intended to provide legal advice but to offer broad and general information about the law.

Source: Employers can’t require Covid-19 vaccination under an EUA – STAT

Criteria for being allowed into the U.S. are secret

Transparency?

On the campaign trail candidate Joe Biden promised to create a “fair and humane” immigration system. Instead, the Biden administration has created a system in which the criteria for being allowed into this country at the Southern border a deep, dark secret. Would-be immigrants show up at the border with no idea whether they will be allowed in or sent back to Mexico, nor why.

Is it humane for families to trek for months across dangerous, cartel-controlled expanses with no rationale expectation of being admitted?

According to an Associated Press account today, the Biden administration releases most children traveling alone to relatives in this country and gives them notices to appear in immigration court. “Nearly 9,500 such children arrived in February, up 60 percent from a month earlier,” the story relates.

But six out of 10 families picked up by the Border Patrol in February were sent back across the border. The number of family arrivals in February topped 19,200, more than double the previous month.

The anecdotal lede on the AP story recounts how one family from Honduras with children ages 3 and 5 were given bus tickets to Oklahoma to join an in-law, while a mother from El Salvador and her 8-year-old daughter was “being banished to a violent Mexican border city with no food or money and sleeping on the concrete of a plaza.”

What is our immigration law? Who knows? It is a secret. Customs and border officers deport immigrants from Hidalgo, Texas. (AP pix)
http://dlvr.it/RwHJ6F

Leaked Photos Show Children Packed in ‘Terrible Conditions’ in Border Patrol Facility

An overflow facility in Donna, Texas, in an undated photo. (Courtesy of Rep. Henry Cuellar's office)

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) released several photos from an overflow tent facility in Donna, Texas, showing extremely crowded conditions as hundreds of illegal immigrants and minors pour across the border.

The photos show children sleeping on the floors along with makeshift beds.

Cuellar, whose office first shared the photos with Axios, told the news outlet that one “pod” held more than 400 unaccompanied male minors. The pods are supposed to hold a maximum of 260 people, he said.

The pods provide “terrible conditions for the children,” Cuellar added, saying these children should be moved to be housed and cared for by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Over the weekend, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited areas along the border, but his office restricted media access. A number of news outlets have said that their journalists and photographers have been denied access.

Cuellar told Axios that he didn’t visit the Donna facility himself, adding that the photos were provided to him as he attempts to raise awareness of the situation at the border.

Customs and Border Protection (CPB) agents are “doing the best they can under the circumstances” but are “not equipped to care for kids” and “need help from the administration,” he said. “We have to stop kids and families from making the dangerous trek across Mexico to come to the United States. We have to work with Mexico and Central American countries to have them apply for asylum in their countries.”

Epoch Times Photo
An overflow facility in Donna, Texas, in an undated photo. (Courtesy of Rep. Henry Cuellar’s office)
Epoch Times Photo
An overflow facility in Donna, Texas, in an undated photo. (Courtesy of Rep. Henry Cuellar’s office)
Epoch Times Photo
An overflow facility in Donna, Texas, in an undated photo. (Courtesy of Rep. Henry Cuellar’s office)
Epoch Times Photo
An overflow facility in Donna, Texas, in an undated photo. (Courtesy of Rep. Henry Cuellar’s office)

White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded to a question from a report about the photos.

“These photos show what we have long been saying, which is these border patrol facilities are not places made for children,” Psaki told reporters at the White House on Monday. “They are not places we want children to be staying for an extended period of time. Our alternative is to send children back on this treacherous journey. That is not in our view the right choice to make.”

“Children presenting themselves at our border who are fleeing violence, who are fleeing prosecution, terrible situations, is not a crisis,” she said in elaborating. “We feel it is our responsibility to humanely approach this circumstance.”

But over the past several weeks, Cuellar issued several warnings about the border crisis, saying that President Joe Biden’s administration needs to improve its messaging.

“You just can’t say, ‘Yeah, yeah, let everybody in’—because then we’re affected down there at the border,” he remarked, adding, “The bad guys know how to market this.” Cuellar’s district lies along the U.S.-Mexico border.

In a series of TV interviews on Sunday, Mayorkas fielded questions about how the White House is dealing with the surge along the border.

“We are expelling families. We are expelling single adults. And we’ve made a decision that we will not expel young, vulnerable children. I think we are executing on our plans​,” Mayorkas told NBC News’ “Meet the Press” on March 21.​

“We have a short-term plan, a medium-term plan, and a long-term plan, and the president and I have spoken to this repeatedly. Please remember something: That ​President ​[Donald] ​Trump dismantled the orderly, humane, and efficient way of allowing children to make their claims under United States law in their home countries​,” the secretary stated in response to a question about whether Biden’s statements encourage illegal immigration, without elaborating.

The Epoch Times has reached out to the White House about the photos.

Source: Leaked Photos Show Children Packed in ‘Terrible Conditions’ in Border Patrol Facility

Supreme Court Rejects Facebook Appeal in $15 Billion Lawsuit

The Facebook logo is displayed on their website in Bordeaux, France, on Feb. 1, 2017. (Regis Duvignau/Reuters)

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from Facebook that requested the court intervene in a $15 billion class-action lawsuit alleging the firm illegally tracked the online activities of its users when they are not on the platform, thereby violating the federal Wiretap Act law.

“Facebook’s user profiles would allegedly reveal an individual’s likes, dislikes, interests, and habits over a significant amount of time, without affording users a meaningful opportunity to control or prevent the unauthorized exploration of their private lives,” the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a ruling (pdf) last year, saying that Facebook users suffered a clear invasion of privacy.

https://www.scribd.com/document/499838180/In-Re-Perrin-Davis-Et-Al-v-Facebook-Inc-17-17486-No-85-9th-Cir-Apr-9-2020

The “Plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged a clear invasion of the historically recognized right to privacy,” the court ruled at the time. “Therefore, Plaintiffs have standing to pursue their privacy claims under the Wiretap Act, [the Stored Communications Act], and [the Children’s Internet Protection Act], as well as their claims for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.”

On Monday, the Supreme Court denied Facebook’s appeal, meaning the suit can go forward.

The lawsuit alleged that the Menlo Park, California-based tech giant had secretly tracked users’ visits to websites that use Facebook’s features such as the “like” or “share” buttons, even if the users did not click on either of the two buttons.

The litigation also accuses the company of violating the privacy rights of its users under California law, but Facebook’s appeal to the Supreme Court involved only the Wiretap Act. The 1968 law has also been invoked in lawsuits against Google and Microsoft.

Four individuals filed the proposed lawsuit in California federal court seeking $15 billion in damages for Facebook’s actions between April 2010 and September 2011. The company stopped its nonconsensual tracking after it was exposed by a researcher in 2011, court papers said. They further argued that Facebook unjustly collected the data and sold it to advertisers for a profit.

Facebook, in response, said it maintained privacy standards and should not be penalized for communications that users partake in, saying that the data was collected to show users better content and more targeted ads on its platform. It has further said the data was not collected in an unfair manner.

“Facebook was not an uninvited interloper to a communication between two separate parties; it was a direct participant,” the company said in a legal filing.

Facebook now discloses that it collects data when people visit websites with the firm’s plug-ins. It reached a settlement over its practices with the Federal Trade Commission about a decade ago.

The case is Facebook v. Davis, 20-727.

Source: Supreme Court Rejects Facebook Appeal in $15 Billion Lawsuit

Does anyone really know what time it is?

It is time to cast off our chains and free ourselves from slavery to the clock.

On Sunday morning we are required to spring our clocks forward an hour, if we wish to remain in sync with the rest of the nation, get to church and work on time and tune in at the proper time to our favorite radio and TV programs.

Mankind once worked from can till cain’t, as my ol’ grandpappy used to say — from the time you can see till the time you can’t — and farmers and ranchers such as grandpappy still do. But to make the trains run on time, we strapped ourselves to the clock, even though the clock is uniform and doesn’t change when the amount of daylight does.

Ol’ Ben Franklin, while serving as ambassador in France, accidentally figured out that this out-of-sync arrangement was somewhat uneconomical when he mistakenly arose one day at 6 a.m. instead of noon and discovered the sun was shining through his window. “I love economy exceedingly,” he jested, and proceeded to explain in a letter to a local newspaper how many candles and how much lamp oil could be saved by adjusting the city’s lifestyle to the proclivities of the sun.

Franklin observed:

“This event has given rise in my mind to several serious and important reflections. I considered that, if I had not been awakened so early in the morning, I should have slept six hours longer by the light of the sun, and in exchange have lived six hours the following night by candle-light; and, the latter being a much more expensive light than the former, my love of economy induced me to muster up what little arithmetic I was master of, and to make some calculations, which I shall give you, after observing that utility is, in my opinion the test of value in matters of invention, and that a discovery which can be applied to no use, or is not good for something, is good for nothing.”

Then he did the math, and exclaimed, “An immense sum! that the city of Paris might save every year, by the economy of using sunshine instead of candles.”

Thus, in 1918 in a effort to be more economical during the war, Congress borrowed from Europe the concept of daylight saving time — springing clocks forward during the summer and back in the winter. From shortly after Pearl Harbor until the end of the Second World War, the nation was on year-round daylight saving time, or war time, as it was called. National Geographic photo

Moving the clock forward in summer might well save a few kilowatt-hours in lighting, but in states like Nevada that savings is more than made up for with increased air conditioning costs and the fuel used to drive about more after getting off work.

One study found that springing forward causes enough sleep deprivation to cost the U.S. economy $435 million a year. The New England Journal of Medicine found an association between that one hour loss of sleep from daylight saving time and an increase in car accidents, as well as a 5 percent increase in heart attacks in the first three weekdays after the transition to daylight saving time, while an Australian study found an increase in the suicide rate.

In a probably futile gesture to end the charade, the state Legislature a couple of years ago passed Assembly Joint Resolution No. 4 that proposes to make Pacific Daylight Saving Time year-round.

“WHEREAS, Congress also found and declared that ‘the use of year-round daylight saving time could have other beneficial effects on the public interest, including the reduction of crime, improved traffic safety, more daylight outdoor playtime for children and youth of our Nation, [and] greater utilization of parks and recreation areas …’” AJR4 reads in part, also noting possible “expanded economic opportunity through extension of daylight hours to peak shopping hour. ”

It passed both the Assembly and Senate and was enrolled by the Secretary of State.

Changing to year-round daylight saving time might not save electricity, but it could increase productivity and prevent car wrecks.

Alas, as with everything else, the power to fix this lies in Washington, though I can’t seem to find this enumerated power in my copy of the Constitution. Perhaps it is outdated.

In another glaring example of the efficiency and sincerity of our elected officials, AJR4 passed, the morning newspaper reported that no one in Washington had ever heard of AJR4.

AJR4 concludes by beseeching Congress to amend The Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act of 1973 and allow each state to opt out, the same as Arizona and Hawaii have opted out, but rather than sticking with standard time, AJR4 would adopt Pacific Daylight Saving Time all year. Why should it get dark at 4:30 p.m. in the winter anyway?

Washington is in another century, much less a different time zone.

But the clowns in Carson City are dutifully at it again this year, working on legislation that might — if enough hoops are leapt through and the left coast Californians also indulge — keep Nevada’s clocks from hiccupping twice a year by staying on either standard or daylight saving time.

According to the Pahrump Valley Times, Senate Bill 153, if approved, has two prerequisites. First, moving Nevada to daylight time will only take effect with federal authorization. Also neighboring California must make the change, too. California voters OK’d the change in 2018 but the Legislature hasn’t acted.

The alternative of moving Nevada to year-round standard time also would happen only if California does the same.

Don’t hold your breath or waste much time contemplating the possibilities.

Versions of this tome have been posted since 2015.
http://dlvr.it/RvcCf0

Nevada may turn out the lights on daylight saving time

March 12, 2021 – 1:00 pm

The national debate over the twice-a-year changing of clocks from standard to daylight saving time and back is so persistent and predictable that you could, er, set your clock by it.

The subject is back before the Nevada Legislature again this year, with a substantial chance that lawmakers will see daylight to approve a change.

If only that would turn out the lights on the matter.

Senate Bill 153 would put Nevada on a path to observe either daylight saving time or standard time year-round; one sponsor of the bill called the current semiannual change “archaic in today’s modern age.” A similar effort passed easily as a resolution in 2015. The nation switches to daylight saving time at 2 a.m. Sunday, moving clocks ahead one hour.

The Nevada bill awaits a hearing in committee and comes with a hitch: Federal law, which allows states to skip daylight saving time entirely and observe standard time all year, as Arizona and Hawaii do, does not similarly permit states to make daylight saving time permanent.

So the Nevada bill, if approved, has two caveats: Moving Nevada to daylight time will only take effect with federal authorization and if neighboring California also enacts the change. Golden State voters authorized the move in 2018 but the Legislature hasn’t acted yet.

Moving Nevada to full-time standard time also would happen only if California does the same.

Hence, Nevada’s bill attempts to separate night from day with the option to go either direction. By tying Nevada’s change to action by California, it also sidesteps a concern of those who oppose the change for fear that a fractured time zone map would complicate life for those who live in the Far West, and who make up a big part of Nevada’s drive-in casino customer base.

Simplify, and conquer

The tactic is exactly how the Utah Legislature moved a similar bill through in 2020. Supporters there conditioned its implementation on federal action and on approval by at least four other Western states. That has already occurred, with Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming among 16 states to date where laws, resolutions, or voter initiatives have passed since 2018. Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee round out the list.

Utah proponents also sought to simplify the debate, which gets complicated because there are actually three choices: switch to full-time daylight saving time, to full-time standard time, or leave everything as is. In gauging support, they cast the debate as of question of more or less functional daylight time.

Action in states and Congress

The National Conference of State Legislatures, which has a standalone policy page tracking state action on the subject, counted 85 pieces of legislation on the subject in 32 states last year. And this year, a Senate bill with bipartisan backing is again before Congress: The “Sunshine Protection Act,” with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, as a prime sponsor, would make daylight saving time permanent year-round except for states on permanent standard time.

“Americans’ lifestyles are very different than they were when Daylight Saving Time began more than a century ago,” another supporter, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said in a release. “Making Daylight Saving Time permanent will end the biannual disruptions to daily life and give families more daylight hours to enjoy after work and school.”

Business interests

The first appearance of daylight saving time in the U.S. dates to 1916. The move was never about farmers or agriculture — cows, after all, don’t wear watches, and farmers opposed the time change because it upset their schedules. Rather, business interests thought an extra hour of daylight would mean more customers.

Proponents also made the argument that daylight saving time saved energy; it was observed year-round in the U.S. during World War II and again during the 1974 oil crisis, though it was reversed amid concerns that included students having to go to school in the dark. In 2005, Congress extended annual daylight saving time observance from six months to eight, March to November.

Energy savings remains official federal policy for the clock switching. The U.S. Department of Transportation, on a webpage last updated in 2014, says more daylight means lower electricity consumption, in addition to fewer accidents and less crime.

But increasing concerns and studies in the U.S. and elsewhere cite potential health effects and contrary findings — some find more accidents and workplace injuries occurring, not fewer, because of people not adjusting to the time change. Studies also question energy savings.

“As a seasoned family practice doctor I believe Daylight Saving Time is archaic in today’s modern age and desynchronizes our circadian rhythm, resulting in adverse health effects such as an increase in cardiovascular diseases, injuries, mental and behavioral disorders, and issues with the immune system including rising cortisol levels,” said Assemblywoman Robin Titus, R-Wellington, the GOP Assembly caucus leader. She cited “numerous studies demonstrating this in the U.S., Sweden, Denmark, and Australia.”

Titus is a sponsor of the bill to pick one or the other, along with Republican Sens. Pete Goicoechea of Elko and Joe Hardy of Boulder City.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine comes down on the side of full-time standard time, saying daylight saving time “is less aligned with human circadian biology.” Proponents of year-round daylight saving time tend to be advocates for outdoor recreation and businesses that benefit from more activity, such as service stations.

Nevada’s 2015 effort, which called simply for a one-way move to daylight saving time but carried less weight as a resolution, passed easily in both the Assembly and Senate. In 2021, a more flexible proposal, this time in bill form, could take the state in either direction.

At the end of the day, that could make it just as likely to pass.

Source: Nevada may turn out the lights on daylight saving time

More Big Tech Hypocrisy: Apple Blackballs Parler… Again!

The Apple logo is seen on the window at an Apple Store in Beijing, China, on Jan. 7, 2019. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Commentary – Roger L. Simon

“One more thing!”

How many times have the millions—or is it billions—of Apple geeks across the globe thrilled to those words as the geniuses from Cupertino unveiled yet another dazzling product?

Sometimes these new gizmos arrived a little late but almost always with a better result for the user than their competition. They were usually more elegantly designed as well.

Steve Jobs changed our lives with the Apple II, the iPhone and the rest, continuing into the present day when so many of us are hooked on what they do. (Are your ready for the Apple Car? When do we get our new AR goggles?)

Too bad the company is such a reactionary, morally narcissistic organization, admonishing and lecturing the world to be what they decidedly are not, while censoring those with whom they disagree.

The latest display of this nauseating hypocrisy came from them denying entry to the app store for the conservative-leaning social media site Parler, not once, but now twice.

From the fan site AppleInsider:

“The Cupertino tech giant pulled the app in the wake of the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol. At the time, Apple said Parler could return to the App Store if it changed its moderation guidelines to comply with its terms of service.”

As it came back online, Parler changed its community guidelines to new policies written by Chief Policy Officer Amy Peikoff. But an App Store review found that the updated policies and moderation practices were insufficient to comply with Apple’s rules, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

“‘After having reviewed the new information, we do not believe these changes are sufficient to comply with App Store Review guidelines. There is no place for hateful, racist, discriminatory content on the App Store,’ Apple wrote to Parler on Feb. 25.”

Commenters on AppleInsider pointed out the painfully obvious hypocrisy here, of which many readers of The Epoch Times are, I’m sure, well aware.

Facebook and Twitter were loaded with at least as many—I would bet hugely more due to their size—incendiary posts before the Jan. 6 Capitol event than Parler.

Someone using the amusingly apropos handle “1984called” put it this way:

“You have got to be kidding. Apple, seriously, putting out this statement and yet they allow Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and just take a look at the top hip hop songs on Apple Music. Disgusting. Apple is spitting in your face and telling you it’s raining.”

Not bad. That about says it all about their naked partisanship… but… dare I say it…

“One more thing!”

Apple, like its Big Tech brethren, has a horrendous record when it comes to the People’s Republic of China. For many years, until others pointed it out, Apple cooperated completely with the communist regime in order to manufacture its products in China.

The astonishingly onerous working conditions for their Chinese employees would never have been tolerated in most Western countries, but why would Apple have cared? It’s all about the bottom line.

And after all, they didn’t seem to mind that the same regime was well known — I’m certain to a high level and undoubtedly educated Apple executives— to have concentration camps in Xinjiang Province reeducating and doing far worse to their Uyghur and Tibetan population as well as Christians, political dissidents, Falun Gong practitioners and so forth.

For a long time, Apple barely even criticized this. I don’t even know if they have now.

And yet they take offense at social media sites like Parler, playing the censorship game as if they had some kind of moral high ground.

How shameful. How repugnant. How opposed to the Bill of Rights.

But, alas, “one more very depressing thing.”

The Apple hypocrites have us trapped. Those of us, like me, who have been on their ecosystem for years (I went on around 2003 when we were developing Pajamas Media and my co-founder, who handled the tech end, put us on Macs. I’m writing this on a MacBook Air.)

We could go off, but where we would we go? Are the other systems any better? Microsoft? Android? Oh, please.

Not only that, transferring to another system with all our devices and storage is a difficult task for most people, fraught with the possibility of losing valuable documents and information of all sorts, not to mention consuming tremendous amounts of time and incurring considerable expense.

Apple knows that. So they go on their merry way.

What are we to do?

The problem with Big Tech, in general, is that it evolved through people with great technical expertise and monumental ambition, but little knowledge of history and less knowledge of the human soul.

Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, co-founder of PJMedia, and now, editor-at-large for The Epoch Times. His most recent books are “The GOAT” (fiction) and “I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic If It Hasn’t Already” (nonfiction). He can be found on Parler as @rogerlsimon.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Birdpuk.com.

Source: More Big Tech Hypocrisy: Apple Blackballs Parler… Again!

39-Year-Old Healthy Utah Mother Dies After Taking Second Dose of Moderna Vaccine

A vial with the Moderna CCP virus vaccine is displayed at the corona vaccination centre at the University hospital in Magdeburg, eastern Germany, on Jan. 22, 2021. (Ronny Hartmann/AFP via Getty Images)

A 39-year-old healthy single mother from Utah died four days after taking a second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. 1.

According to KUTV, her family said that Kassidi Kurill “had more energy” than most people around her and was a happy person with no known health problems.

“I didn’t really cry when my dad died, I cry a lot for her,” her father, Alfred Hawley, a former Air Force Base fighter pilot, told the outlet.

Kurill was a local surgical tech for various plastic surgeons.

“I’m at a state in my life where I’m OK with that [emotion],” Hawley said amidst tears, “she was the one who promised to take care of me.”

“She was seemingly healthy as a horse,” Hawley said, according to Fox News. “She had no known underlying conditions.”

On the morning of Feb. 4, Hawley woke up to his daughter’s plead for help.

“She came in early and said her heart was racing and she felt like she need to get to the emergency room,” he said.

“[She] got sick right away, soreness at the shot location, then started getting sick then, started complaining that she was drinking lots of fluids but couldn’t pee, and then felt a little better the next day,” Hawley said.

Hawley said that her condition got worse: she said that she had headaches, nausea, and couldn’t urinate although she was drinking fluids.

He took her to the emergency room, where she got blood tests. Hawley said that then she became less coherent, and began to throw up.

In the evening they transported her to Trauma Center in Murray.

“They did a blood test and immediately came back and said she was very, very sick, and her liver was not functioning,” Hawley said.

The doctors attempted to stabilize her for a transplant, but her condition worsened to the point where she could no longer talk by the morning of the next day.

“They were trying to get her to a point where she was stable enough for a liver transplant. And they just could not get her stable,” he said. “She got worse and worse throughout the day. And at nine o’clock, she passed.”

Kurill’s family is waiting for an autopsy.

They set up a GoFundMe page named “Kassidi Kurill and Emilia Memorial Fund,” in her and her 9-year-old daughter’s honor.

KUTV led an investigation into COVID-19 vaccine side effects and found four reported deaths filed by the families and caregivers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told The Epoch Times in an email that as of March 8, over 92 million doses of mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 had been injected, with 1,637 deaths occurring following the injections.

The CDC states on its website that: “To date, VAERS has not detected patterns in cause of death that would indicate a safety problem with COVID-19 vaccines.”

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) was put in place in 1990 to capture unforeseen reactions from vaccines.

The Epoch Times reached out to Moderna for comment.

Source: 39-Year-Old Healthy Utah Mother Dies After Taking Second Dose of Moderna Vaccine

90,000 Ballots in Largest Nevada County Sent to Wrong Addresses, Bounced Back: Report

Clark County Election Department worker puts mail-in ballots collected from vehicles in a ballot box at the Clark County Election Department in North Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 13, 2020. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

More than 90,000 ballots mailed to registered voters in Nevada’s largest county were returned undeliverable, according to an analysis of election data by a conservative legal group.

Clark County, which includes the Las Vegas metro area, made the extraordinary move to mail ballots before the November general election to all the nearly 1.3 million active voters in the county, instead of just those who requested them. The county justified the move as helping people vote remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 450,000 voters cast their votes through the mail-in ballots. But more than 92,000 ballots were returned by the postal service as undeliverable, according to the Public Interest Legal Foundation’s (PILF) March 10 research brief (pdf).

The number is based on data provided in February by Clark County Voter Registrar Joe Gloria, the brief says. The Clark County Election Office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Mass-mail balloting is a step backward for American elections. There are millions of voter registration records with unreliable ‘active’ address information that will ultimately send ballots to the wrong place in a mail election,” PILF President J. Christian Adams said in the brief.

Prior to the election, PILF criticized such mass ballot mailings in states that hadn’t had such systems already in place.

The entire state of Nevada reported only 5,863 mail ballots returned undeliverable in the 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018 General Elections combined, the brief says, referring to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission surveys.

Adams also took aim at the H.R. 1 election reform bill that was recently passed by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.

The nearly 800-page bill would largely shift power over elections to the federal government. It would discard state voter-ID laws, allow for same-day voter registration, ban witness signature requirements for mail-in ballots, and require that mail-in ballots can arrive as late as 10 days after election day (as long as it is post stamped by election day). It would also make it a federal crime to “communicate or cause to be communicated” information that is knowingly false and designed to discourage voting and require a plethora of other measures.

Conservatives have made it their priority to oppose the bill.

“H.R. 1 does more harm than good for the American people and will leave them at a constant disadvantage to correct election system errors which ultimately impact their abilities to vote in a timely manner,” Adams said.

The bill “basically codifies everything that was irregular or outright wrong or the opportunities for fraud during last year’s election and makes it the law of the land,” Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita recently told Breitbart News.

Source: 90,000 Ballots in Largest Nevada County Sent to Wrong Addresses, Bounced Back: Report

Conservative Nonprofit to Launch $10 Million Campaign to Strengthen Election Integrity: Report

A voter arrives at a polling place in Minneapolis, Minn., on March 3, 2020. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Conservative nonprofit Heritage Action for America is on Monday expected to announce plans to spend $10 million on a wide-ranging election integrity campaign to strengthen voting laws in eight swing states, according to reports.

According to Fox News, the campaign will target Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, Texas, and Wisconsin, with the effort involving such initiatives as digital and television advertisements, as well as direct lobbying of state lawmakers.

“Fair elections are essential for every policy debate in the future,” Heritage Action Executive Director Jessica Anderson told the outlet in a statement. “We are working to help state lawmakers restore trust in our elections, ensure transparency, and protect the rights of every American to a fair election. This is our number one priority, and we are committed to doing whatever it takes.”

polling
A truck leaves a polling place in Warren, Michigan, on March 8, 2016. (Geoff Robins/AFP via Getty Images)

Heritage Action, which is affiliated with the right-leaning think tank The Heritage Foundation, seeks to turn “conservative ideas into reality on Capitol Hill,” the nonprofit says on its website.

“We do that by holding lawmakers accountable to their promises to advance the conservative principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense,” the organization says of its core priorities.

Election integrity came to the forefront in a dramatic way in 2020, with former President Donald Trump and his allies making claims that reduced security measures—primarily around mail-in ballots—led to fraud that cheated him out of victory.

In the broader debate about election security, conservatives—and Republicans in general—have tended to argue that casting a vote is a privilege of citizenship that should be safeguarded with secure processes and restrictions and that lowering requirements around voting opens the process up to fraud and abuse. Progressives—and their Democrat allies—tend to hold the view that barriers to casting a ballot should be as low as possible and that the kind of security measures pushed by conservatives, such as stricter voter ID or proof-of-citizenship laws, amount to disenfranchisement. Progressives often frame the debate as between voter suppression and expansion, while conservatives tend to see it as election security versus vulnerability to abuse.

In the wake of the 2020 election controversy, Republican and Democrat lawmakers across the country have been pulling in opposite directions by introducing legislation that either reduces barriers—and guardrails—to voting or seeks to strengthen election integrity, which can also make casting a vote more effortful or burdensome.

The Brennan Center for Justice, an advocacy group that pushes for progressive policies, counted 106 bills in 28 states designed to tighten voting standards so far this year, a significant jump from last year. At the same time, 35 states introduced a total of 406 bills to make voting less restrictive, also up from last year.

voting
Stickers ready to be passed out to residents after they vote in Beloit, Wisconsin, on Nov. 3, 2020. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A key law in this regard being pushed by Democrats is H.R. 1, or the For the People Act of 2021. It passed the Democrat-controlled House last week on a largely party-line vote of 220-210, with all Republicans voting against it.

The controversial election reform package, which spans nearly 800 pages, seeks to impose requirements on voting procedures across the entire country. Its provisions include transferring authority over how elections are administered from states to the federal government, mandating automatic voter registration in all 50 states, and legalizing nationwide vote-by-mail without the need to provide photo ID to obtain an absentee ballot.

Heritage Action, in one of its key election integrity policy fights, called H.R. 1 “Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s signature piece of legislation to rig the election system in favor of Democratic politicians by undermining America’s electoral process.”

The organization argues that the bill “interferes with the ability of states and their citizens to determine qualifications for voters, to ensure the accuracy of voter registration rolls, to secure the integrity of elections, to participate in the political process, and to determine the district boundary lines for electing their representatives.”

“The end goal of H.R. 1 is clear—to enshrine into law dubious electoral practices that enable and encourage fraudulent behavior, such as ballot harvesting, false voter registrations, duplicate voting, and ineligible voting,” Heritage Action says.

The Biden administration, which has strongly pushed for the bill, praised its passage, saying the legislation is “urgently needed to protect the right to vote and the integrity of our elections and to repair and strengthen American democracy.”

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden speaks about his administration’s COVID-19 response, in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington on March 2, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Biden has said he would sign the bill into law if it reaches his desk, which may be a tall order since the proposed legislation would need 60 votes to overcome the Senate filibuster, meaning 10 Republicans would have to buy in.

Republicans have roundly denounced the bill, with governors and state legislators across the country saying it would kneecap election integrity efforts.

A previous version of the bill had passed the Democrat-controlled House 234-193 at the beginning of the 116th Congress in 2019 but ultimately did not get taken up in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Source: Conservative Nonprofit to Launch $10 Million Campaign to Strengthen Election Integrity: Report