When a person says something that turns out to be damaging, some might tell that person to “engage brain before mouth.” Everyone at some point in their life says something they wish they could take back.
In Richard Mourdock’s case, many would say that is what he must have thought when he made a comment about pregnancy and rape. It is a comment that many Republicans are now backing away from the Republican Senate candidate from Indiana and has raised concerns that this could become a problem for presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
In fairness to Mourdock and his supporters, the damaging comment that was made was actually twisted around from its’ original intention. The problem for the GOP is that this is another candidate that has put the Republicans on defense and causing voters to reassess what their Republican party stands for.
One can surmise that it would be best for GOP candidates to do their best to refrain from making any comments when it comes to abortion and how it might relate to those who become pregnant through being raped. Now it may sound like I am losing my objectivity by focusing on the GOP only but Mourdock is just one example of how this topic has become toxic for the Republicans.
Going back to 2010, you may recall the trouble Sharron Angle got herself into when asked about if she supported abortion involving women who became pregnant through incest or rape. According to Angle, she opposed abortion because “God has a plan” and also suggested, albeit indirectly, that any pregnant rape victims should “turn a lemon situation into lemonade.” Many who followed closely that Senate race felt that her comments ended up contributing to her downfall.
In August of this year, Republican Todd Akin said during an interview about rape that “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down” and block pregnancy in cases of what he called “legitimate rape.” Though he apologized for making the comment, his own party treated him like a Leper and though pressured from them to drop out of the race decided not to step down.
Also in the same month, Pennsylvania’s Tom Smith spoke about his daughter’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy and likened it to conception through rape. Before seeming to qualify his defense, he said “No, no, no. Put yourself in a father’s position,” he said. “Yes, I mean it is similar.” Smith also explained eventually that “It’s life. I’m pro-life. It’s that simple.”
On Tuesday, during a debate against Democratic opponent Joe Donnelly, Mourdock was asked if he felt that abortion should be allowed in cases dealing with incest and rape. He said, “I struggled with myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something God intended to happen.” When the debate was over, Mourdock tried to clarify his remark by saying how horrible a thing like rape is and that he believes the act itself is not part of a divine plan.
“God creates life, and that was my point,” Mourdock said in a statement. “God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that he does.”
However, this did not stop Democrats from saying how insensitive the comment is and that this is evidence of an extreme view on women’s rights and abortion. Also, that presidential nominee Mitt Romney had made an ad in supporting Mourdock this week.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, said in a statement following the debate that “Richard Mourdock’s rape comments are outrageous and demeaning to women. Unfortunately, they’ve become part and parcel of the modern Republican Party’s platform toward women’s health, as Congressional Republicans like Paul Ryan have worked to outlaw all abortions and even narrow the definition of rape.”
Even Romney’s campaign distanced itself immediately from what Mourdock said and that they did not reflect its candidate’s views meaning Romney is against abortion but supports exceptions in cases involving incest and rape.
Though Democrats and many of the GOP are trying to distance themselves from Mourdock, he does have the support of others despite what he said. The anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List group not only backs his characterization and support his candidacy in an email but also accuses his opponent, Rep. Joe Donnelly, of twisting his words.
SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser wrote Wednesday morning that “Richard Mourdock said that life is always a gift from God, and we couldn’t agree more. To report his statement as an endorsement of rape is either willfully ignorant or malicious.”
Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the chairman of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, also came to the defense of the Republican candidate by saying, “Richard and I, along with millions of Americans – including even [Democratic opponent] Joe Donnelly – believe that life is a gift from God,” Cornyn said. “To try and construe his words as anything other than a restatement of that belief is irresponsible and ridiculous. In fact, rather than condemning him for his position, as some in his party have when it’s come to Republicans, I commend Congressman Donnelly for his support of life.”
Once again, the GOP has found themselves on the defense because of damaging comments made by one of their own. Though many have quickly decided to distance themselves from the Republican candidate, some have decided to continue their support of his character as well as his candidacy.
One has to wonder if this will not only hurt his chances come Election Day but Mitt Romney’s as well. Both Smith and Alkin are trailing in their races to unseat both incumbent Democrats. So far, Mourdock had a five-point lead over his opponent in the most recent Rasmussen poll.
However, according to an internal survey commissioned by Donnelly, it showed the Democrat leading Mourdock, 40-38. Will this latest incident hurt the Republican candidate’s chance for a victory or will the Democrats attack on Mourdock backfire and actually gain support come Election Day? What do you think?
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Mitt Romney Distances Himself From Richard Mourdock’s Rape Comments.
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Trump Adviser Peter Thiel Wants FBI And CIA To Investigate Google’s ‘Treasonous’ Behavior
He asked: “How many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI?”
Peter Thiel, one of Facebook’s Board Members and a close consultant for President Donald Trump, has called for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency to launch an investigation against Google after the San Francisco-based tech giant withdrawn from a high-value project with the military.
Trump’s adviser also questions the relationship between Google and the Chinese military, calling it “treasonous,” a new report from Axios last Sunday revealed.
In 2018, Google decided to withdraw from a contract between the tech superpower and the U.S. Department of Defense for the development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology citing that the projects have certain ethical issues that they cannot be involved in.
Thiel, who is also a board member on Facebook, wants the FBI and CIA to investigate how Google is used by foreign intelligence. He wants the government agencies to ask the company “how many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI?”
According to Axios’ report, there are no public documents that stipulate any infiltration by foreign intelligence of Google. However, they said that Thiel owns a company called Palantir, which works with the Trump Administration and has access to millions worth of government data, including American private information. Nonetheless, it is still unclear if Thiel’s assertions are motivated by any personal and classified knowledge he drew from his relationship with the White House.
“Number two, does Google’s senior management consider itself to have been thoroughly infiltrated by Chinese intelligence?” Thiel continued.
“Number three, is it because they consider themselves to be so thoroughly infiltrated that they have engaged in the seemingly treasonous decision to work with the Chinese military and not with the U.S. military… because they are making the sort of bad, short-term rationalistic [decision] that if the technology doesn’t go out the front door, it gets stolen out the backdoor anyway?”
Peter Thiel raised the said statements (or rather questions) during his talk at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C. The crowd-packed lecture was entitled “The Star Trek Computer Is Not Enough,” according to a schedule posted to the conference website.
If Thiel is indeed referring to Google’s 2018 decision, he is not the first person to question the company regarding its refusal to work with the US military. Earlier this year, General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, echoed similar sentiments as that of Thiel but did not specify the term “treason.”
Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee in March, Dunford said, “We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing there is that indirect benefit, and frankly ‘indirect’ may be not a full characterization of the way it really is. It’s more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military.”
Aside from targeting Google’s integrity, some attendees to Sunday’s lecture said that Thiel also attacked Americans saying that they were too fat and addicted to drugs, adding that, “the biggest problem in our society is the problem of political correctness.”
“American exceptionalism has led us to a country that is exceptionally overweight, exceptionally addicted to opioids, exceptionally unaware and exceptionally un-self-reflective,” Thiel said as transcribed by Keith Urban who attended the conference and previously worked for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Other reports said that Thiel also made comments on how American Ivy Leagues and top universities are losing their non-profit status. He also said that any links between Google and China, “need to be asked by the FBI, by the CIA, and I’m not sure quite how to put this, I would like them to be asked in a not excessively gentle manner.”
When asked for certain clarification, neither Google nor the team of Peter Thiel has responded to Z6Mag’s request for comments yet.
Homeland Security Hearing On Data Breach: CBP Seem To Not Know What They’re Doing
They’re not even sure when they knew about the incident.
The hearing conducted by the Department of Homeland Security this week that centers on the recent data breach that compromised images of American and foreign travelers from airports’ facial recognition system, proved that there are officials in the position who is incompetent regarding data security and technology in general.
A senior Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official proved unable to answer the most rudimentary questions about a recent data breach and instead of sending a capable expert from their office, the CBP sent John Wagner, the deputy executive assistant commissioner of the agency’s Office of Field Operations, who, according to critics, cannot and did not offer any intelligible answer even to the most rudimentary questions about the issue at hand.
According to other reports, Wagner does not know details of the breach, including those that involved their agency. For example, when asked whether the surveillance company at the center of the breach, Perceptics, first reported the incident to CBP, or whether it was the other way around, the senior official was not sure what to say.
Instead, he said: “I believe we asked them about it […] I need to verify this.”
He even admits that he has problems recalling even the most obvious details about the case. “My recollection seems to be that we asked them if any of our data was included in it, and they came back and said yes,” he said.
Interestingly, Perceptics and CBP seem not to have the same memory of what happened. In an interview with the Washington Post, Perceptics said that they discovered the data breach on May 13th and immediately reported the incident to the Federal Bureau of Investigation within the next 24 hours after their discovery. However, in a statement that the regulatory agency released last month, CBP said that they were only made aware of the data breach on May 31st.
Furthermore, it is also questioned why the CBP insisted in the statement that it released that none of the images included in the said data breach were found online and could not be traced to anybody when journalist and independent investigators have reported seeing the leaked photos online.
Emma Best, a journalist whose organization, Distributed Denial of Secrets, has cataloged the exposed data and made it available for public review, described the breach as one of the largest known involving a government contractor. It includes, for instance, hundreds of thousands of emails and documents, passwords, schematics, and equipment lists. “It’s virtually all of the company’s data,” she said.
“It spells out how their surveillance systems and services work, giving more than enough detail to reconstruct it. The cache covers border security and surveillance systems, along with systems for government and private facilities including CBP, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Pentagon,” she said.
To make matters worse, Wagner could also not tell Homeland Security whether their agency is monitoring and auditing their government contractors. When asked, he said: “I’m not aware of that. I don’t know.”
Furthermore, even if the notification procedure is an essential process in handling data breach cases, Wagner wasn’t also sure whether or not they should report to Congress what.
“We do report it to Congress if it meets a certain threshold,” he said. But when asked what the threshold was, he replied: “I don’t know offhand.”
“I believe it’s a hundred thousand,” he said. A hundred thousand of what—Files? Gigabytes? Victims?—it’s unclear. “I’ll have to get back to you on that,” he said.
Worse, instead of taking responsibility for the incident, Wagner is pressing the blame to their contractor saying that they were not informed about the data breach “for a significant amount of time” after Perceptics allegedly discovered the compromise.
When asked how long the breach went unreported, he told lawmakers, “I have that answer.” But then he added, “Let me look for that, and I’ll come back to you.” But he never did.
‘PragerU’ To ‘Youtube’: “We Will See You In Court”
PragerU challenges Youtube to see them in court as a response to the video streaming service’s denial of bias against Trump and the right-wing.
When Youtube denied political bias against conservative figures like President Donald Trump, PragerU, another politically motivated content creator, challenges the Google-owned video streaming platform to “see you (them) in court.”
Youtube claimed that the popular video-based social media platform has “no bias” against conservative politicians, following the investigative journalism group, Project Veritas, reported that they had removed a video allegedly exposing Google officials of political bias against Trump saying that Google is the only one that can end another “Trump situation.”
The video, which has since been removed from the platform by Youtube, shows a senior employee at the company appearing to admit that the company plans to interfere in the next presidential election to stop Donald Trump.
The video is still available in the Project Veritas website and featured undercover footage of a top Google employee, Jen Gennai, who preaches that the company, Google, should not be broken up because they still need to stop the reelection of the President and only they can prevent “next Trump situation.”
“Elizabeth Warren is saying we should break up Google. And like, I love her but she’s very misguided, like that will not make it better it will make it worse, because all these smaller companies who don’t have the same resources that we do will be charged with preventing the next Trump situation, it’s like a small company cannot do that,” the video revealed appearing to be said by Gennai.
In the same video, Gennai also appears to declare that Trump’s victory in the 2016 elections “screwed us (Google).”
“We all got screwed over in 2016; again it wasn’t just us, it was, the people got screwed over, the news media got screwed over, like, everybody got screwed over, so we’re rapidly like, happened there and how do we prevent it from happening again,” she added.
“We’re also training our algorithms, like, if 2016 happened again, would we have, would the outcome be different?”
Youtube’s ratio’d response
As a response, Youtube posted a tweet in the site’s official Twitter account @YoutubeInsider saying that they are applying their community standards equally to all accounts.
“We’ve had a lot of questions today…clarifying; we apply our policies fairly and without political bias. All creators are held to the same standard,” reads Youtube’s official tweet.
However, it seems like the tweet raised more eyebrows than expected as experts are saying that the clarification message by Youtube has been “ratio’d.” Ratio-ing is a twitter slang, which means a tweet gets more replies and comments than a retweet, which is indicative that the statement was controversial enough or the users do not agree with it.
James O’Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas, which exposed numerous scandals corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct by private individuals, corporations, politicians and government agencies, exposed the Twitter ratio of Youtube’s post in his tweet.
“The ratio on YouTube’s official response and CNN’s @brianstelter ridiculous assertions to @Project_Veritas makes the Soviet Union’s Pravda look honest,” writes O’Keefe.
“We will see you in court”
Similarly, PragerU, which has sued Youtube in the past for discriminatory practices, replied to YouTube in a tweet to face their lawsuit in the courts.
Asked for comments regarding their latest tweet, a spokesperson said that Google and Youtube have recently been targeting PragerU on the basis that they are conservative.
“The recent developments and leaks from Google insiders make it even more clear that they are intentionally targeting PragerU, simply because we are conservative. This is why we sued Google and YouTube, and we look forward to using this new evidence when we meet in court in late August,” the spokesperson said.
“Google is a bully and continues to lie about being a neutral public platform while deliberately targeting conservatives. They need to be held accountable, and we will continue to fight back both in the courtroom and in the court of public opinion. It’s disturbing that the entire mainstream media has completely ignored the issue of Big Tech censorship against conservatives. It’s clear the media doesn’t care about free speech, and they only care about pushing their left-wing agenda.”
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