Saturday, September 30, 2023

After first hearing, House impeachment inquiry turns to securing Bidens’ bank records - Nicholas Ballasy


by Nicholas Ballasy

Comer issues three subpoenas targeting bank records for James and Hunter Biden.


House Republicans made an early case why they believe Joe Biden abused the power of his office, and now they are turning their attention to securing the bank records of the president’s son and brother.

Hours after finishing his first impeachment inquiry hearing, House Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., issued three subpoenas Thursday evening for the personal and business bank records of Hunter and James Biden.

Comer said the record demands are key to following the money from foreign sources to its final destination.

"One of those steps is gaining insight into where the Biden’s’ foreign money ended up, for what purposes," Comer said as the marathon hearing wrapped up. "Today, I will subpoena the bank records of Hunter Biden, James Biden and their affiliated companies."

A memo released Wednesday from Comer, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Oh.), and Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) alleged that "The Biden family and their business associates received over $24 million from foreign sources over the course of approximately five years."

During the hearing, Comer argued that Biden "abused" his public office for his "family's financial gain." Comer said for years Biden has "lied" to the American people about not speaking to his family about foreign business dealings.

As an example, Republicans on the committee cited wires showing a Chinese national paid $250,000 to first son Hunter. 

"What were the Bidens selling to make all this money? Joe Biden himself," Comer said. "Joe Biden is the brand."

Comer pointed to a payment record from Chinese nationals to Hunter from 2019 that listed his father’s home address in Delaware as the beneficiary address, which drew a direct response from the White House.

“Imagine them arguing that, if someone stayed at their parents' house during the pandemic, listed it as their permanent address for work, and got a paycheck, the parents somehow also worked for the employer…It's bananas…Yet this is what extreme House Republicans have sunken to,” White House spokesman Ian Sams wrote on X.

News reports said that Hunter Biden was not living in Delaware at the time of the Chinese cash injection, but "both the first son’s memoir and proposed guilty plea agreement placed him in California with his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, in the summer of 2019" according to The New York Post.  

Witnesses at the first hearing included United States Department of Justice Tax Division attorney Eileen O'Connor, George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley and former Assistant Attorney General and forensic accountant Bruce Dubinsky.

Comer said his committee has obtained "thousands of pages of financial records, emails, texts, testimony from credible IRS whistleblowers, and a transcribed interview with Biden family business associate Devon Archer all reveal that Joe Biden allowed his family to sell him as 'the brand' around the world to enrich the Biden family. Joe Biden showed up on at least two dozen occasions to send signals of access, influence, and power to those who were paying the Bidens."

Ranking Democratic committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) brought a government shutdown clock to the hearing that counted down to the deadline of midnight on Saturday, when federal funding runs out. The House has yet to pass a bill to fund the government.

During the hearing, Raskin called for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to testify before Congress along with businessman Lev Parnas but Republicans, describing them as “the insiders who know the origins of the lie upon which this sham impeachment is based and who worked to spread it.”

Republicans on the committee tabled the motion.

“The majority sits completely empty handed with no evidence of any presidential wrongdoing, no smoking gun, no gun, no smoke,” Raskin said.

Rep. William Timmons (R-S.C.) responded to Democrats who are arguing that the GOP lacks the evidence to link Biden to his son’s foreign business deals.

"The Congress has a duty to determine whether Joe Biden was a loving father taken advantage of by a delinquent son or a knowing participant complicit in the scheme and financially compensated for his role,” he said. “That's why we are here today, to answer that simple question.”

Turley testified that an impeachment inquiry of Biden is warranted but the “evidence currently meets the standard of a high crime and misdemeanor needed for an article of impeachment.”

Forensics expert Bruce Dubinsky described Hunter's reference to the "big guy" in a text message as a codename but stopped short of saying it was evidence of "corruption, fraud, or any wrongdoing."

He told the committee that "more information needs to be gathered and assessed before I would make such an assessment."

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-Oh.) mentioned that Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents from his two-terms as vice president could have a connection to his family's foreign business dealings. U.S. Attorney General has appointed Special Counsel Robert Hur to investigate the matter.

Turner said Biden's son Hunter had received payments from foreign countries like Romania, Russia, Ukraine and China. 

Turner asked Turley: “If there are in those documents that relate to, for example, the prosecutor in Ukraine or Burisma itself or other aspects of Ukraine or any of the parties or individuals obviously, that were making payments to Hunter Biden, that would be relevant, wouldn’t it?” 

In response, Turley said that “pre-office conduct” could be taken into consideration as part of the inquiry. 


Nicholas Ballasy


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Federal appeals court lets ban on transgender treatment for kids take effect in Kentucky, Tennessee - John Solomon


by John Solomon

Court rejected a temporary injunction as the core issues are litigated across the country.


A federal appeals court on Thursday allowed Tennessee and Kentucky to implement laws banning transgender treatments for minors, rejecting a preliminary injunction that would have allowed puberty blockers and gender-change surgeries to continue while the larger legal issues are litigated nationwide.

The ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was a major setback for the American Civil Liberties Union, which challenged laws passed by both states’ legislatures.
“The concept of gender dysphoria as a medical condition is relatively new and the use of drug treatments that change or modify a child’s sex characteristics is even more recent,” the court ruled in its 2-1 majority opinion.
“Prohibiting citizens and legislatures from
offering their perspectives on high-stakes medical policies, in which compassion for the child points in both directions, is not something life-tenured federal judges should do without a clear warrant in the Constitution,” it added.
Attorneys general of both states applauded the ruling as a victory for children and their parents.
“Tennessee’s law that protects children from irreversible gender-related medical interventions remains in effect,” Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti wrote on X.
In Kentucky, the ruling came a month before the gubernatorial election between GOP Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who supported the law, and Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, who vetoed it and was overruled by lawmakers.
You can read the ruling here:
The ACLU vowed to continue the fight, perhaps all the way to the US Supreme Court.
“Denying transgender youth equality before the law and needlessly withholding the necessary medical care their families and their doctors know is right for them has caused and will continue to cause serious harm,” the group said.

John Solomon


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The High Price of Biden’s Ransom Payment to Iran - Fred Fleitz


by Fred Fleitz

Weak leadership creates high likelihood many more Americans will be taken


Earlier this month, five previously imprisoned Americans left Iran as part of a prisoner swap agreement under which the U.S. released five Iranians from prison or dropped charges against them. Iran also received a $6 billion payment as part of this deal.

Although Biden Administration critics welcomed the release of the American prisoners, many criticized the $6 billion payment to release the American hostages because they claimed this was a ransom payment.

Biden officials vehemently denied this characterization, arguing the United States did not pay Iran anything because the $6 billion was Iranian funds released from a South Korean bank. Because this was Iran’s money, Biden Administration officials argued this could not be called a ransom payment.

Most mainstream reporters supported the Biden Administration’s spin on the prisoner swap and said Biden officials “unlocked” $6 billion in frozen Iranian funds from a South Korean bank to free the American prisoners.

Surprisingly, the ordinarily pro-Biden Washington Post editorial board disagreed. It contended in a September 18, 2023 editorial titled, “The Iran prisoner deal continues a miserable cycle of hostage-taking” that “these sorts of deals reward noxious regimes and encourage more hostage-taking.”

The Post editorial board was correct. It does not matter that the payment to Iran was not U.S. money or that this was frozen Iranian funds. When the United States arranges a transfer of funds to another nation to free unjustly detained Americans, the U.S. is making a ransom payment to free American hostages.

The Post also was right that the U.S. repeatedly paying ransom to Iran to free innocent Americans has set a bad precedent that will embolden Iran to take more American hostages.

Another bad precedent is how the Biden Administration created an equivalency between the Americans and Iranians freed in the prisoner swap.

The Americans freed by Iran were innocent and mostly U.S.-Iranian dual-nationals arrested on false espionage changes when they returned to Iran to visit relatives.

The five Iranians are criminals who committed serious violations of U.S. law.

Four were charged with stealing and/or attempting to illegally transfer military or nuclear technology to Iran.

The fifth Iranian – Kaveh Afrasiabi – was facing trial for violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act because he allegedly was paid $265,000 by the Iranian Mission to the UN to appear on American TV as a supposed neutral Iran expert.

This is at least the third time the U.S. has paid ransom to Iran to win the release of unjustly imprisoned Americans. In 2011, the Obama Administration paid Iran a $500,000 “bail” through Oman to win the release of three American hikers who accidentally wandered into Iranian territory and were charged with espionage. And in 2016, the Obama administration paid Tehran $1.7 billion in “pallets of cash” to free five Americans as part of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran (the JCPOA).

The Obama Administration objected to criticism that the $1.7 billion it paid to Iran in 2016 to free five Americans was ransom. Liberal late-night host Stephen Colbert mocked the administration over this when he said on his show, “a lot of people are saying this sounds like ransom because they know what the word ‘ransom’ means.”

One prominent Iranian official openly called for Iran to generate revenue by taking Americans hostage. In 2021, former Iranian Republican Guard Corps commander-in-chief Mohsen Rezaei called for taking 1,000 Americans hostage to get billions of dollars “to solve our economic problems.”

Moreover, claims by Biden Administration officials that they put in place procedures to ensure that the $6 billion payment to Iran would only be used for humanitarian purposes are laughable because money is fungible. The U.S. cannot stop Iran from spending these funds for purposes beyond humanitarian activities, such as funding its military or nuclear program.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi confirmed this in an NBC News interview when he said, “This money belongs to the Iranian people, the Iranian government, so the Islamic Republic of Iran will decide what to do with this money.”

Many experts believe it is sometimes unavoidable for the United States to pay ransom to free innocent Americans being held hostage by hostile countries.

President Trump takes a different view.  In a post on Truth Social, Mr. Trump strongly condemned the Biden Administration’s $6 billion payment to Iran. He noted that as president, “I brought 58 HOSTAGES home from many different countries, including North Korea, and I never paid anything.”

President Trump’s Truth Social post touched on a factor in the recent ransom payment deal to Iran that the Washington Post editorial board will never address: the vital role of strong U.S. presidential leadership.

America’s enemies are going to take U.S. citizens hostage and hold them for ransom when they believe they can get away with it and when America has a weak and indecisive administration.

This clearly was not the case with President Trump. Love him or hate him, America’s enemies and adversaries feared Mr. Trump as president. They saw him as prepared to use U.S. military force to protect U.S. interests and citizens. President Trump’s tough national security policies brought North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to the negotiating table and convinced him to halt his nuclear and long-range missile tests. Trump’s Russia policy probably dissuaded Russian President Putin from invading Ukraine during his presidency.

It seems clear that President Trump’s leadership also enabled his administration to win the freedom of a large number of innocent Americans held abroad without paying ransom.

The growing weakness of Mr. Biden’s leadership was evident at the UN General Assembly when, for the first time in memory, heads of state of the other Security Council permanent members chose not to attend engage in traditional meetings with the U.S. president on the sidelines of the UN session.

A growing global perception of weak leadership from the Biden Administration, coupled with the bad precedent of the $6 billion ransom payment to Iran, creates a high likelihood that many more Americans will be taken hostage for ransom before the end of President Biden’s term.

Fred Fleitz is vice-chair of the America First Policy Institute Center for American Security and a Newsmax TV contributor. He previously served as National Security Council chief of staff, CIA analyst and a House Intelligence Committee staff member. 


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Trump suing ex-British intel officer Steele over his discredited opposition research dossier - Charlotte Hazard


by Charlotte Hazard

A two-day hearing is set to occur Oct. 16.


Former President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to sue former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele over his infamous opposition research document on Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign.

The dossier, commonly called the "Steele dossier," has since been discredit and found to have false, misleading and/or inaccurate information.

“The president’s claim seeks remedies including that the inaccurate data contained within the Steele Dossier be erased or rectified together with the payment of damages,” Orbis Business Intelligence attorney Tim Lowles said in a statement, according to the New York Post

The Independent reports that a two-day hearing on the matter is set to occur Oct. 16. Trump is not expected to attend. 

The dossier was published by BuzzFeed News right before Trump took office in 2017.

It was publicly disavowed by the FBI in November of 2022. 

Steele, who subcontracted some of research,  still defends the dossier, according to reports. 

“What is being called the dossier was actually a series of single-source intelligence reports over a period of time, if you like, almost a running commentary on the election campaign and Russia’s perspective on it – and it comes from the Russian perspective of the telescope if you like,” he told the Oxford Union in March 2022.

“The sources were Russian. They were reporting on how Russia saw it. And of course, that may in some cases be rather different than how it was viewed in America at the other end of the telescope."

Charlotte Hazard


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Search engine optimization or political bias? Biden challengers nearly nonexistent in Google results - Greg Piper


by Greg Piper

Biden and token Democratic candidate Marianne Williamson place higher than Republicans in searches for GOP candidates. SEO expert offers nonpartisan explanations.



Republican presidential candidates' websites are practically nonexistent in generic Google searches for the party's 2024 bench, and not much better for the most viable primary challenger to Democratic President Biden, according to tests by a watchdog and Just the News.

For the conservative Media Research Center and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), it's unmistakable evidence of Google's bias for the incumbent just as primary voters are seeking more information about the candidates on the debate stage.

“Google is either the most incompetent search engine on the planet, or it is intentional. This is not a coincidence," MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider said in the group's analysis of its Sept. 20 and 25 tests, published hours before Wednesday's televised GOP presidential debate.

For search engine optimization (SEO) researcher Eric Goldman, co-director of Santa Clara University's High Tech Law Institute, "[o]ne of the least likely explanations is that Google is hacking these results to steer the election." 

He gave Just the News a handful of benign possibilities to explain the curious results.

"Search engine indexing and ordering is the kind of topic that would benefit from a proper academic study, not an advocacy stunt," Goldman wrote in an email, referring to MRC's tests.

Google told Just the News on Thursday that it couldn't attempt to explain until Friday the puzzling results, which also put Democrats higher than Republicans when searching for the latter.



The additional scrutiny from the political right comes at a particularly bad time for the world's dominant search engine. 

Whatever the result in the Justice Department's ongoing antitrust trial against Google, the company has already suffered a public black eye from revelation of its executives' embarrassing explanations of how the company cements its search dominance but speaks in code to minimize it.

Google is also a defendant in Democratic candidate and vaccine-skeptic activist Robert F. Kennedy's censorship lawsuit, though a federal judge denied his motion for a temporary restraining order last month, finding the removal of his YouTube videos did not "irreparably harm" him.

"Google poses a serious threat to democracy," former Psychology Today editor-in-chief and social media researcher Robert Epstein testified before the Arizona Legislature this month in a hearing on Big Tech election interference.

He said Google "can tell us to a high degree of certainty how many people are going to vote, how they’re going to vote, and who’s going to win."

Epstein runs an ongoing opt-in project that he told Just the News "monitors Big Tech content 24 hours a day through the computers of a politically-balanced group of 11,749 registered voters in all 50 states," which has thus far preserved "more than 45 million ephemeral experiences" that document how Big Tech manipulates elections.

Just the News largely replicated MRC's non-personalized tests while adding logged-in searches, which are influenced by search history and tracking cookies, to see whether they made a difference.

The two forms of searches also differ in how results are presented.

Google's incognito mode continually loads new results to the first page for several scrolls down, while users receive 10-result static pages while logged in.

Only GOP presidential candidate and former congressman Will Hurd – a prominent critic of former President Trump and polling dead last in FiveThirtyEight's Sept. 27 GOP average – appeared in non-paid search results for "Republican presidential campaign websites" within several incognito scrolls, the 25th result overall. He was on Page 3 while logged in.

For other GOP candidates: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis showed up more than halfway down first-page incognito scrolling (40th), and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy was at the very end (59th).

Ramaswamy's paid ad placed slightly higher than Hurd's organic listing. While logged in, DeSantis was on Page 4, Ramaswamy Page 6 and Sen. Tim Scott on Page 8, closely followed by former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's personal office.

Also in the Republican search, Democrat self-help author Marianne Williamson – not even listed in FiveThirtyEight's Democratic poll and 10 percentage points behind Kennedy in RealClearPolitics' Sept. 9-19 Democratic average – showed up ahead of Hurd incognito and just behind him logged in.

She was second to President Biden's No. 1 slot on "democrat presidential campaign websites" both incognito and logged in. Kennedy (46th) was behind Clinton's office (12th), Elizabeth Warren's Senate campaign (18th) and Sen. Bernie Sanders' personal website (29th and 31st).

Kennedy jumped to the 10th spot in the party-free search "presidential campaign websites," enough to reach the first page logged in, still behind Williamson (6th) and Biden (2nd). The first Republican in those results: DeSantis at 34th and Page 4.

SEO researcher Goldman said MRC's search queries were "not representative" and likely "low-volume," and the GOP candidates' domain names and websites may not be "SEO'd for those terms." Political campaigns often have trouble following best practices, as with emails that routinely go to spam, he told Just the News.

Because many were created relatively recently, the GOP websites "haven't had time to build a broad and deep network of inbound links from trusted third-party sites," compared to higher-ranking mainstream news coverage of the candidates that MRC called biased, Goldman said.

While decades of scrutiny have failed to find "smoking gun evidence" of bias in Google's ranking algorithm, Goldman credited Elon Musk with bringing such risks to the fore by "seemingly preferenc[ing] his political views" on X, formerly Twitter, after his purchase.

Psychologist Epstein sees far more than theoretical risks. He shared a "confidential progress report" with Just the News from his Digital Shield project, which started tracking ephemeral experiences days before the midterm elections.

It has found "substantial liberal bias in Google search results" but not Microsoft's Bing, twice as much liberal bias in YouTube's news-related video suggestions (75%) as news videos in general, "significantly more go-vote reminders sent to liberals than to conservatives on Google’s home page on Election Day" and far more election updates Twitter gave liberals compared to conservatives.

Over time, the project "will release more detailed data, along with state-by-state and race-by-race analyses," the report states.

Epstein asked Just the News not to publish it.

He also pointed to his peer-reviewed research dating to 2015 on the power of search engines, digital "personal assistants and answer boxes" and targeted Twitter messages to "shift opinions and votes."

Epstein has preprint research awaiting peer review on how Google's search suggestions, YouTube and online quizzes can shift opinions and votes.


Greg Piper


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RFK Jr. to announce independent White House bid in early October: report - Ben Whedon


by Ben Whedon

"Bobby feels that the DNC is changing the rules to exclude his candidacy so an independent run is the only way to go," one campaign advisor said.


Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will reportedly jettison the Democrats and soon announce plans to seek the White House in 2024 as an in independent candidate.

He is expected to make the announcement on Oct. 9 at a Pennsylvania rally, Mediaite reported. An adviser to the presidential candidate said his decision stemmed from what he considered unfair practices by the Democratic National Committee to stifle his candidacy.

"Bobby feels that the DNC is changing the rules to exclude his candidacy so an independent run is the only way to go," one campaign advisor told the outlet.

At present, Kennedy averages 14.9% support in the Democratic primary to Biden's 65.0%, according to RealClearPolitics. Hollywood guru Marianne Williamson places third with 4.9%.

Kennedy has long expressed frustrations with both the DNC and the Biden White House. In July of this year, he fumed at the administration's decision to reject his request for Secret Service protection.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.


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Saudis will reach a peace deal with Israel, even without the Palestinians - Reuters


by Reuters

Regional sources say that Saudi Arabia will proceed with normalizing relations with Israel regardless of Palestinian opposition.


 US PRESIDENT Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attend the Gulf Cooperation Council +3 meeting in Jeddah, last summer. (photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/REUTERS)
US PRESIDENT Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attend the Gulf Cooperation Council +3 meeting in Jeddah, last summer.
(photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/REUTERS)

Saudi Arabia will not hold up a peace deal even if Israel does not offer major concessions to Palestinians in their bid for statehood, three regional sources familiar with the talks said.

The Palestinians could get some Israeli restrictions eased but such moves would fall short of their aspirations for a state. As with other Arab-Israeli deals forged over the decades, the Palestinian core demand for statehood would take a back seat, the three regional sources familiar with the talks said.

"The normalization will be between Israel and Saudi Arabia. If the Palestinians oppose it the kingdom will continue in its path," said one of the regional sources. "Saudi Arabia supports a peace plan for the Palestinians, but this time it wanted something for Saudi Arabia, not just for the Palestinians."

The Saudi government and the US State Department did not respond to emailed questions about this article.

Netanyahu hails possibility of historic peace

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hailed the possibility of a "historic" peace with Saudi Arabia, the heartland of Islam. But to secure the prize, Netanyahu has to win the approval of parties in his a far-right coalition which reject any concessions to the Palestinians.

MbS said in a Fox News interview this month that the kingdom was moving steadily closer to normalizing ties with Israel. He spoke about the need for Israel to "ease the life of the Palestinians" but made no mention of Palestinian statehood.

 US SECRETARY of State Antony Blinken walks with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan during a visit to Riyadh, in June.  (credit: Ahmed Yosri/Reuters)
US SECRETARY of State Antony Blinken walks with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan during a visit to Riyadh, in June. (credit: Ahmed Yosri/Reuters)

Nevertheless, diplomats and the regional sources said MbS was insisting on some commitments from Israel to show he was not abandoning the Palestinians and that he was seeking to keep the door open to a two-state solution.

Those would include demanding Israel transfer some Israeli-controlled territory in the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority (PA), limit Jewish settlement activity and halt any steps to annex parts of the West Bank. Riyadh has also promised financial aid to the PA, the diplomats and sources said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said any bargain must recognize the Palestinian right to a state within the 1967 borders, including East Jerusalem, and must stop Israeli settlement building. However, all the sources said a Saudi-Israeli deal was unlikely to address those flashpoint issues.

Netanyahu has said Palestinians should not have a veto over any peacemaking deal.

Can Israel-Saudi peace deal get support of US Congress?

Yet, even if the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia agree, winning support from lawmakers in the US Congress remains a challenge.

Republicans and those in Biden's Democratic Party have previously denounced Riyadh for its military intervention in Yemen, its moves to prop up oil prices, and its role in the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who worked for the Washington Post. MbS denied ordering the killing.

"What's important for Saudi Arabia is for Biden to have the pact approved by Congress," the first regional source said, pointing to concessions Riyadh was making to secure a deal.

For Biden, a deal that builds a US-Israeli-Saudi axis could put a brake on China's diplomatic inroads after Beijing brokered a rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which Washington accuses of seeking nuclear arms. Tehran denies this.

"There was a sense that the US has abandoned the region," said one diplomat. "By courting China, the Saudis wanted to create some anxiety that will make the US re-engage. It has worked."



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Anthropology groups shut down sex discussion to protect transgender people - Greg Piper


by Greg Piper

American Anthropological Association and Canadian Anthropology Society play the eugenics card to silence academics previously targeted for cancellation but won't say how many members complained about their sex panel.


North America's largest annual gathering of anthropologists won't get to hear why sex remains a "necessary analytic category in anthropology," not replaceable by gender identity, because the idea is comparable to eugenics and would "cause harm" to everyone in the discipline.

That was the explanation the American Anthropological Association and Canadian Anthropology Society gave for canceling the session "Let's Talk About Sex, Baby" scheduled for their November joint conference in Toronto.

AAA President Ramona Pérez and CAS President Monica Heller provided few details in a Sept. 25 letter notifying the sexperts their session wouldn't happen, claiming the groups' executive committees received requests to review its content from "numerous members."

Their review determined its "ideas were advanced in such a way as to cause harm to members represented by the Trans and LGBTQI [sic] of the anthropological community as well as the community at large," the presidents wrote. "Going forward, we will undertake a major review of the processes associated with vetting sessions" at annual meetings.

The sexperts hit back in a public letter the next day, accusing the two groups of choosing to "forbid scholarly dialogue" by "an international panel concerned about the erasure of women." 


"What are they going to cancel next[,] teaching evolution?" pediatric gender clinic whistleblower Jamie Reed, who says she learned to "sex skeletal remains" as an anthropology major, wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

The anthropology groups escalated in kind, giving Just the News a statement Wednesday against "transphobia in anthropology" that accuses the panelists of making the same arguments used to justify "race science" a century ago. It did not specify how many members complained or what exactly they said, as the sexperts and Just the News sought.

Evolutionary biologist Colin Wright posted the letter the next day to X, prompting an exclamation-point response from platform owner Elon Musk.

Psychologist and bestselling author Jordan Peterson, referring to so-called gender affirming medicine, posted: "I'm not Transphobic[.] I just hate Butcher-surgeons And castrators."


San José State University anthropologist Elizabeth Weiss, one of the sexperts who posted the initial correspondence, told Just the News they didn't receive a response before AAA and CAS played the eugenics card.

"If the panel was so egregious, why had it been accepted in the first place?" she wrote in an email. "I do wonder if the issue is in part related to my other controversial stands against the reburial of skeletal remains presumed to be affiliated with Native Americans," Weiss said, referring to denunciations by her department, administration and activists dating to 2021.

She was the featured speaker at a National Association of Scholars event Friday on racial exclusion in science. The description says Weiss has faced "harassment, ostracism, and denial of access to museum specimens essential for her research work."

At least two other panelists were apparently also previous cancellation targets.

The University of Alberta abruptly terminated anthropologist Kathleen Lowrey's administrative role in 2020 because she was "not able to be effective." Lowrey, the panel's organizer, told Edmonton Journal she blamed the boot on her "gender-critical feminist" views.

Harvard professor and testosterone researcher Carole Hooven quit after her own department's diversity task force director publicly trashed her for recognizing the sex binary, but joined Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker's lab as an affiliate. (She had to drop off the panel for unrelated reasons.)

Despite the denunciation from AAA and CAS, the panel description remains on Page 1,300 of the preliminary program, the only public catalog of conference content, as of Friday. 

"Contesting the transition from sex to gender in anthropological scholarship deserves much more critical consideration than it has hitherto received in major di[s]ciplinary fora," the description begins. Sex is indispensable to "hominin evolution … contemporary artificial intelligence … the anthropology of education" and "debates within contemporary feminism about surrogacy."


Weiss's presentation emphasizes that "skeletons are binary" – a helpful determination in "both criminal abuse cases and archaeological cases, such as in recognizing infanticide practices" – but "people may not be."

She said "anthropologists should be (and are)" studying how to identify gender identity in skeletal remains, in part because of the "overrepresentation" of transgender people as crime victims.

Autonomous University of Barcelona professor Silvia Carrasco was slated to discuss "the intriguing disappearance of sex in the education against sex-based oppression, violence and exploitation" in Spain. 

De Montford University professor Kathleen Richardson's presentation focuses on how gender ideology obfuscates "disparities between men and women in tech arenas." It says the academic managerial class and tech sector are the 21st century "incarnation" of literary critic Walter Benjamin's 1935 quote on fascism giving the masses "an expression while preserving property."

The sexperts' protest letter cited the qualifiers in the panel description about the relevance of gender identity to certain specialties in anthropology, but also the real feminist struggles that are compromised when gender replaces sex. 

The cancellation letter's stated concern for the "scientific integrity of the program," which "anathematize[d]" the panel, "looks very much like an anti-science response to a politicized lobbying campaign," they wrote.

Rather than let the panelists debate their diverse "political commitments," AAA and CAS declared "war on dissent and on scholarly controversy."

The anthropology groups reinforced that concern in their Sept. 27 letter by invoking "the settled science in our discipline" and the threat of dissent to "vulnerable members of our community."

The boards accused the sexperts of "one of the cardinal sins of scholarship" by assuming that "sex and gender are simplistically binary," as reflected in Weiss's phrase "sex identification." At the same time, they declared there is "no single biological standard by which all humans can be reliably sorted into a binary male/female sex classification."

In perhaps the most incendiary comparison, the boards claimed that gender-critical scholarship serves the same function as race science, "to advance a 'scientific' reason to question the humanity of already marginalized groups."

AAA didn't respond to Just the News queries on its confidence that its membership largely agrees with its characterizations.

"This is a strawman argument and dishonest about our session and intent," Weiss told Just the News, noting that many anthropologists use "sex identification" rather than the boards' preferred "sex estimation," a term that acknowledges uncertainty, not gender identity.

It was particularly odd for them to single out her presentation because it acknowledges the importance of gender identity in criminal forensics, Weiss said. It can also identify "the harm transitioning does to individuals, such as abnormally osteoporotic bones in a young female who was on puberty blocking hormones and then transitioned to testosterone."


Greg Piper


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In chat with prominent Jews, Musk burnishes philo-semitic credentials - Bradley Martin


by Bradley Martin

Abraham Foxman, director emeritus of the Anti-Defamation League, called the event a “sad day for the Jewish community.”


The entrepreneur Elon Musk at the annual VIVA Technology conference on June 16, 2023. Credit: Frederic Legrand-COMEO/Shutterstock.
The entrepreneur Elon Musk at the annual VIVA Technology conference on June 16, 2023. Credit: Frederic Legrand-COMEO/Shutterstock.

During a live online discussion that ran for about 90 minutes, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk repeatedly claimed that he is a friend of the Jews, despite attacks, including from some Jewish organizations, that he gives antisemitism the run of the place on his social-network platform X (formerly Twitter).

“My entire life story is pro-semitic,” Musk said. He added that he attended a Jewish kindergarten in South Africa and visited Israel at 13 with his father. “I don’t know if I’m genetically Jewish,” he said. “I’m aspirationally Jewish. Let’s put it that way.”

Conservative political commentator and columnist Ben Shapiro and Ari Lamm—an Orthodox rabbi, scholar and podcaster who is a grandson of late former Yeshiva University president Norman Lamm—co-hosted the discussion with Musk.

The event was Musk’s idea, Shapiro said at the beginning. “One of the things that nobody can deny about Elon is that he’s willing to speak publicly on pretty much everything,” Shapiro said. “Tonight is no exception.”

Asked how X will respond to governmental backdoor pressure to censor, Musk said the social network’s policy is to resist such efforts to the extent that the law allows.

Among other speakers were former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin; Michal Cotler-Wunsh, Israel’s new special envoy for combating antisemitism; Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean and director of global social action at the Simon Wiesenthal Center; Rabbi Menachem Margolin, chairman and founder of the European Jewish Association; and author and activist Rabbi Shmuely Boteach.

Lamm, who is co-founder of SoulShop and CEO of the Bnai Zion Foundation, had harsh words for the Anti-Defamation League, which has criticized Musk and sought to dissuade those who advertise on the platform.

“We are the stewards of quite literally the most influential tradition of wisdom in the history of humanity,” Lamm said, calling the Torah the foundation of Western civilization. 

American Jewish conservative political commentator and columnist Ben Shapiro at the International Conservatism event in Tel Aviv on July 20, 2022. Source: Nadav Cohen Yonatan, GoLive.

He charged that Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national director of the ADL, “doesn’t even pretend to play in the field of great Jewish ideas and texts.” Instead, American Jews should look to leading Orthodox rabbis like Hershel Schachter of Yeshiva University and Osher Weiss in Israel as representative of their values.

“I feel at home when I call you Elon because Elon is a very popular name here in Israel,” Rivlin told Musk, calling in from Israel.

The former Israeli president asked where he thought the line should be between antisemitism and protecting free speech. Musk said he was open to ideas and his Jewish friends haven’t found the platform to be antisemitic.

“Probably, I have twice as many Jewish friends as non-Jewish friends,” the entrepreneur said. He added that sometimes sunlight is the best disinfectant for hatred, including antisemitism. Otherwise, people like Ye (Kanye West) can keep such sentiment hidden, he said.

Natan Sharansky. Source: YouTube Screenshot.

‘Absurd and outrageous’

Israeli statesman, activist and well-known refusenik Natan Sharansky spoke about experiencing a lack of free speech and extensive antisemitism in the former Soviet Union. He said he is shocked by how much antisemitism there is in the free world—manifesting as anti-Zionism on the far left and demonization of Jews as a people on the far right.

“This notion that Israel should not exist is absurd and outrageous,” Musk said.

Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s director emeritus, called it a “sad day for the Jewish community” when Jewish leaders were meeting with Musk. 

Foxman charged that Musk enabled “an explosion of antisemitism on X” under the banner of free speech, threatened the ADL with a lawsuit for “challenging his enabling antisemitism” and now has split the Jewish community.

Attorney Alan Dershowitz, who also spoke during the event, praised Musk for conducting an experiment “to see if we can survive in the marketplace of ideas without censorship.”

“No idea should be censored,” said the professor emeritus at Harvard Law School. “My suggestion to you is don’t listen to critics.”

He warned Musk not to let the platform drift too far to the right. “X has to be perfectly symmetrical,” Dershowitz said. “Don’t destroy it by being perceived as a right-wing reaction to left-wing excesses.”

Bradley Martin


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‘Crime Rates’ Aren’t Soaring in Israel. Arab Muslim Crime Rates Are - Daniel Greenfield


by Daniel Greenfield

40 murders for over 7 million people. Hell of a crime rate.


Israel has problems, but violent crime isn’t really one of them. The media unintentionally provides the best evidence of that.

Arab family of five shot dead as crime rates in Israel soar – Reuters

Five members of an Arab family were shot dead in their home in Israel, police said on Wednesday, in the latest in a wave of crime-related killings in Israel’s Arab communities that has reached a new peak this year.

Reuters predictably tries to blame Arab Muslim clan violence on Israel.

More than 180 Arab citizens in Israel have been killed in crime-related violence since January – a seven-year high – in a spate of killings that have continued unchecked, drawing accusations that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s religious-nationalist government was ignoring the bloodshed.

Arab Muslim villages are no-go zones and the locals don’t cooperate with Israeli police. Israel can’t magically solve murders in no-go zones. And these aren’t so much murders as disputes, clan rivalries and such.

What does Israel’s murder rate look like without the Arab Muslim colonial population?

The number of homicides among non-Arab Israelis has risen by more than 50 percent since the start of 2023, up from 26 at the same time last year to 40 so far this year.

This spike in killings parallels the crime wave engulfing Israel’s Arab community, which has already seen a record 163 people killed so far this year.

Among non-Arabs – including Jews – 66 percent of cases have seen the perpetrator brought to justice, in contrast to just 10 percent in the Arab community, where many known killers still walk free.

Haaretz, a leftist anti-Israel paper, is trying to hype the numbers as much as it can, but that’s in a nation of 9.3 million. New York City, which is a bit smaller, had hundreds of murders.

Israel has a Jewish population of a little over 7 million. It has 40 murders among “non-Arabs” which includes Jews and potentially a bunch of others.

40 murders for over 7 million people. Hell of a crime rate. Up from 26 too.

Israelis, if you believe the media, are horrible warmongers who live to oppress and kill. Yet their murderous proclivities are up there with a small English village (the real kind, not the fictional kind where someone is always being murdered.)

Israel doesn’t have a murder problem. It has a violent outside population problem.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.


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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Biden impeachment inquiry launches with focus on 3C's: Corruption, Credibility and Coverup - John Solomon and Steven Richards


by John Solomon and Steven Richards

First hearing bolstered by massive dump of documents from criminal probe of Hunter Biden.


House Republicans on Thursday officially launch their impeachment inquiry against Joe Biden, hoping to convince Americans that the 46th U.S. president presided over a family influence peddling scheme that collected at least $24 million from foreign interests, ran a campaign that deceived voters in the 2020 election and oversaw a Justice Department that covered up crimes by his son and possibly others.

Months in the making, Thursday's hearing will showcase a familiar TV pundit on impeachments, George Washington legal professor Jonathan Turley, as well as former DOJ tax lawyer Eileen O'Conner and a forensic accountant who can walk viewers through the legal labyrinth of limited liability corporations and suspicious activity reports unearthed in Hunter Biden's business empire by congressional investigators.

In short, they will try to boil down a complicated array of evidence into a simple narrative about 3 C's: Corruption; Credibility; and Coverup.

"To date, the House Oversight Committee has uncovered how the Bidens and their associates created over 20 shell companies and raked in over $24 million dollars," House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer is expected to tell the audience in his opening remarks. "We’ve also identified nine members of the Biden family who have participated in or benefited from these business schemes.

"What were the Bidens selling to make all this money?" Comer is set to ask. The answer may be "Joe Biden himself." 

Democrats will most likely try to counter with well-honed arguments that Hunter Biden's operation involved petty tax crimes at best, unworthy of the impeachment standard of high crimes and misdemeanors. They may also continue to try and discredit the two longtime IRS Special Agents – one a gay Democrat – who blew the whistle on DOJ obstruction into their investigations of Hunter Biden.

"This is a sham and a charade," Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., tweeted ahead of the kickoff hearing. "..... They have the power. They just don’t have the evidence."

Ahead of the hearing, the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday approved the release of an extraordinary cache of documents chronicling evidence and disputes between the FBI and IRS agents and prosecutors in the criminal investigation of Hunter Biden.

The 700-pages were provided to the committee by IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler and offered what Chairman Jason Smith, R-Mo., declared was evidence that "Joe Biden’s political power and influence was, quote, the brand that Hunter Biden was selling all over the world."

The evidence pulled back the curtain on an extraordinary window into what federal agents and prosecutors believed were possible corruption crimes, including evidence that:

  • Hunter Biden did not pay taxes on some $400,000 in income he got in 2014 when he was hired by the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings, which U.S. State Department officials previously testified was deemed corrupt. Eventually DOJ allowed the statute of limitations to expire on that offense, according to memos and affidavits provided to Congress by the IRS agents.
  • Some of the activities representing interests of foreigners seeking to influence the Obama-Biden administration while Joe Biden was vice president were covered by the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), a federal law requiring disclosure of any lobbying activities on behalf of foreign powers. "Please focus on FARA evidence only," Delaware Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf emailed agents in August 2020 concerning a possible search warrant application.
  • Burisma Holdings hired Hunter Biden as part of an effort to escape corruption investigations in Ukraine by using the Biden family name and influence. In an email to Devon Archer, Vadim Pozharksyi—a Burisma executive—writes that “As to the HB [Hunter Biden] I do believe that we have to reach a reasonable balance here. I realize fully that his role… is of long term perspective and taking into account the political weight of our Directors we have to ‘use’ their personality carefully.” Pozharskyi also told Archer that they would put Hunter Biden on the Burisma website, “now or after his father has left our country.” He reminded Archer, “in some sense, we cannot ‘hide’ our directors.”

Republicans also hope to put Joe Biden's credibility on trial, especially his now-disintegrating claims that he never played a role in his family business deals, never met with Hunter Biden's associates and never had his family benefit from money from China and the CEFC energy firm.

The files released Wednesday showed Hunter Biden wrote in an email he was trying to make $10 million a year "for consulting fees and based on introductions alone" from CEFC over 3 years for a total of $30 million. He then explained that Chairman Ye Jianming of CEFC changed the deal to a "MUCH MORE LASTING AND LUCRATIVE," a company split 50%-50% between him and Hunter Biden. This proposal by the Chairman was "so much more interesting to me and my family," the younger Biden wrote. 

The IRS documents, including memos written by the two whistleblowers, show Hunter Biden-controlled or owned companies took in millions of dollars from China. James Biden, Hunter's uncle and the president's brother, told the FBI that Joe Biden once met with CEFC's top executives and that the family believed the chairman of CEFC was directly tied to China's communist president. Hunter Biden "portrayed CEFC to him as Chairman Ye was a protégé of President Xi," according to the FBI memorandum of James Biden's interview.

The impeachment inquiry also includes a text message from James Biden to Hunter Biden suggesting Joe Biden was often involved in the family business. In an affidavit to the committee, IRS Agent Ziegler suggested that agents believed there was evidence in a series of WhatsApp encrypted text messages that Joe Biden was involved in the CEFC business deal and others before it, but the FBI's interview with James Biden was constructed to avoid asking those questions.

To back up this claim, Ziegler attached a summary of one of the text messages between James Biden and Hunter Biden from 2018: "This can work, you need a safe harbor. I can work with you father alone !! We as usual just need several months of his help for this to work. Let’s talk about it. It makes perfect sense to me. This is difficult to fully vet without talking," the uncle wrote Hunter Biden. 

The final focus for the early impeachment inquiry are allegations from multiple FBI and IRS agents that the Justice Department – first under Donald Trump and then under Joe Biden – interfered with investigators in what amounted to a coverup. 

For instance, one memo stated that Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf ordered a reference to Joe Biden – referred to as Political Figure 1 – dropped from a warrant. “I have included this email I received as a ‘one off example’ of the constant concern with including anything related to former Vice-President Joe Biden,” Ziegler wrote the committee in Affidavit 2, which he provided to investigators. 

Ziegler also gave the committee a memo of a phone call with AUSA Lesley Wolf where he expressed frustrations over her office's decisions that tipped off the Bidens to a search warrant for Hunter Biden’s storage unit before it could be executed.

Wolf said that her office and DOJ-Tax management agreed that reaching out to Hunter Biden’s lawyers in order for them to voluntarily provide the materials instead of obtaining them in a warrant-supported raid would be the best course of action. Ziegler believed this tip-off was the wrong course of action because it allowed the subject of the investigation to "decide" what to turn over to investigators. 

Likewise, when IRS investigator Ziegler told Wolf that he was interested in the potential for foreign accounts, Wolf dismissed his concern, saying “there is no indication what‐so‐ever that the Subject has foreign accounts,” according to his notes and that they could rely on Hunter Biden’s lawyers to turn over foreign account information. 

Prosecutors also required agents to seek prior approval for interviews of certain witnesses. “I had brought up these interviews on multiple occasions dating back to August 18th, and now we are being prevented from doing it 4 days before,” Ziegler wrote in one email of the frustration.

“I don’t understand why DOJ-Tax Senior Management is needing to approve [redacted] and/ or witness interviews" Ziegler also wrote.

John Solomon and Steven Richards


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Impeachment memo: Biden family collected $15 million in foreign money, DOJ ‘obstructed’ probe - John Solomon


by John Solomon

Memo to lawmakers says Biden lied about his family business dealings and participated in helping his son make money.


The three House chairmen leading the impeachment inquiry against Joe Biden told fellow lawmakers Wednesday night that the president’s family collected at least $15 million in foreign funds and that there is evidence the Justice Department “obstructed” federal agents from pursuing evidence leading to the White House.

“Department of Justice personnel blocked avenues of inquiry that could have led to evidence incriminating President Biden and impeded efforts to prosecute Hunter Biden for tax crimes relating to foreign business arrangements that could have implicated President Biden,” Reps. James Comer, Jim Jordan and Jason Smith wrote in a 30-page memo to colleagues on the eve of the first impeachment inquiry hearing in Congress.

The memo, obtained by Just the News, accused Joe Biden of having extensive knowledge of his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings, lying about them to the American public, and allowing his family to profit from foreigners seeking influence from his roles as vice president under Barack Obama and now as president. 

“The President had knowledge of many of his family’s business dealings, and indeed participated in them by having phone calls and attending private dinners—including while he was Vice President—with his family’s business associates and foreign business associates who would pay his family millions of dollars for no identifiable product or service,” the chairmen of the House Oversight, Judiciary and Ways and Means Committee wrote.

The memo said congressional investigators have tracked bank records showing $24 million in foreign funds flowed to Hunter Biden‘s businesses and those of associates between 2014 and 2018, with $15 million of that ending up in the accounts of Biden family members or their businesses.

“These foreign business associates of the President’s family had interests in countries where then-Vice President Biden—and as President—played, and continues to play, an active role in formulating and implementing the foreign policy of the United States,” the memo alleged. “The President has not been truthful about his family’s foreign business entanglements.”

“Weeks before the 2020 Presidential election, then-candidate Joe Biden said on national television that his family did not receive any money from China. That was a lie. Joe Biden not only knew about his family’s work with Chinese nationals, business associates have confirmed that Joe Biden met with his family’s Chinese associates—including while he was Vice President,” it noted.

The memo also stated that one ground for the impeachment inquiry was evidence from IRS and FBI whistleblowers about interference in the probe.

“The Committees have also uncovered substantial information, including through whistleblowers, indicating that the Biden Administration has obstructed the criminal investigation into Hunter Biden,” the memo said. “This information includes evidence that Department of Justice personnel blocked avenues of inquiry that could have led to evidence incriminating President Biden and impeded efforts to prosecute Hunter Biden for tax crimes relating to foreign business arrangements that could have implicated President Biden.”

John Solomon


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