Watercooler National: Federal agencies tracking religious exemptions/ England ends all COVID restrictions

Citizens for Legitimate Government (CLG) provides links and brief excerpts from news reports in the national media.

25 Federal Agencies Tracking Employees With Religious Exemption Requests | 20 Jan 2022 | At least 25 federal agencies have implemented a system to track religious exemption requests for mandated vaccines, according to a review of Federal Register notices by The Epoch Times. The agencies include the departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, the Treasury, the Social Security Administration, the Federal Election Commission. The Heritage Foundation, a conservative group, earlier this week found that 19 agencies were either considering or have already implemented the tracking system. The group warned that the system may be a test pilot plan to monitor all federal workers. An Epoch Times review of Federal Register notices identified six additional agencies and confirmed that a total of 25 are actively tracking religious exemption requests from employees of federal agencies along with any contractors, consultants, interns, and volunteers associated with them.

Nearly Half of Democrats Would Back ‘Detention in Designated Facilities’ for Unvaccinated – Poll –Many Democrats would support fines for Americans who won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine and criminal punishment for vaccine critics – poll. | 19 Jan 2022 | Nearly half of Democrat voters would back measures requiring that the unvaccinated live temporarily in “designated facilities or locations” for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine, a recent poll has found. A national telephone and online poll from the Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports, which surveyed 1,016 likely U.S. voters, found that 45 percent of likely Democratic voters would support such measures for unvaccinated Americans. The poll, conducted on Jan. 5 and released on Jan. 13, also found that 59 percent of respondents who said they were Democrats would favor a government policy requiring that citizens “remain confined to their homes at all times, except for emergencies” if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine… Also, many Democrats would support even harsher measures, including fines for Americans who won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine and criminal punishment for vaccine critics.

England Ends All COVID Passports, Mask Mandates, Work Restrictions | 20 Jan 2022 | Restrictions including COVID-19 passes, mask mandates, and work-from-home guidance will be removed in England, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Wednesday. Johnson also suggested that self-isolation rules may also be thrown out at the end of March as the coronavirus pandemic becomes endemic. Effective immediately, the UK government is no longer asking people to work from home. The COVID pass mandate for nightclubs and large events won’t be renewed when it expires on Jan. 26. Also from Jan. 27, indoor mask-wearing will no longer be compulsory anywhere in England.

Belgium No Longer Recommending Moderna Vaccine for Those Under 31 Due to Risk of Heart Inflammation | 18 Jan 2022 | The nation of Belgium will no longer be recommending the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for citizens under the age of 31, after data show that using it for the first or second dose of vaccination may cause heart inflammation such as myocarditis. The decision was announced last week by the Belgian Vaccination Task Force. According to The Brussels Times, Danish studies indicate “vaccination with Moderna resulted in an increased risk of inflammation of the heart muscle in young men following the first or second dose in comparison with the Pfizer vaccine,” for those between the ages of 12 and 39.

Starbucks scraps vaccine mandate –Starbucks employs 228,000 people in the U.S. | 19 Jan 2022 | Employees at Starbucks are no longer required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Roughly a week after the Supreme Court reversed Joe Biden’s workplace vaccine mandate, the coffee chain is following suit, according to The Associated Press. “We respect the Court’s ruling and will comply,” Starbucks Chief Operating Officer John Culver wrote in a memo to employees.

California’s COVID gun store shutdowns ruled illegal | 20 Jan 2022 | Two California counties violated the Constitution’s right to keep and bear arms when they shut down gun and ammunition stores in 2020 as nonessential businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. Officials in Los Angeles and Ventura counties had separately won lower court decisions saying gun stores were not exempt from broader shutdown orders aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus early in the pandemic. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected both lower court rulings. The Second Amendment “means nothing if the government can prohibit all persons from acquiring any firearm or ammunition,” Judge Lawrence VanDyke wrote. “But that’s what happened in this case.”

Ukraine planning ‘false flag’ Donbass incident – militia | 19 Jan 2022 | Ukrainian commandos trained by Britain are planning a “series of terrorist attacks” in the Donbass to use as cover for a false flag operation, an official from the unrecognized Donetsk People’s Republic has alleged. Local Militia spokesman Eduard Basurin said on Wednesday that Kiev will stage a provocation to accuse Russia of invading the country… Basurin insisted that he had “reliable information” suggesting six groups of saboteurs from the 8th Special Purpose Regiment of Ukrainian Armed Forces (VSU) had been trained by specialists from the UK and deployed near the line of contact. Their targets would allegedly include gas and water supply as well as power stations.

Brzezinski becomes US ambassador to Poland –Son of infamous Cold War hawk takes up new role amid growing tensions with Russia | 19 Jan 2022 | Mark Brzezinski, son of former US national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, has been sworn in as US ambassador to Poland. Kamala Harris conducted the ceremony on Wednesday, which was attended by Brzezinski’s sister Mika and brother-in-law Joe Scarborough, both hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Brzezinski, who previously served as US ambassador to Sweden from 2011 to 2015, was nominated for the position in August and confirmed by the Senate last month. His father, Zbigniew, served as the national security advisor under former president Jimmy Carter and was well known as the architect of the Grand Chessboard theory of geostrategic power.

Declassified video shows US drone strike on civilians | 19 Jan 2022 | The Pentagon has released surveillance videos showing a US air strike that killed 10 civilians in the Afghan capital last year, one of the final American combat missions in the country as Washington ended its two-decade war. Published by the New York Times on Wednesday, the declassified 25-minute video shows the moment an Afghan aid worker and nine other non-combatants, including seven children, were killed in the US strike, all captured by two drones flying over Kabul during the August 29, 2021, bombing raid. While the military initially claimed the strike targeted members of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS [but still I-CIA-SIS]) who were transporting explosives – with one senior official deeming the operation “righteous” – it was later forced to backtrack and acknowledge that only civilians were killed in the attack.

Two US marines are killed and two others are critically injured after military truck crashes on highway in North Carolina –The soldiers had been assigned to the 2nd Marines Logistics Group which is based at Camp Lejeune | 19 Jan 2022 | At least two Marines have been killed and two others have been injured after a military truck crashed in North Carolina on Wednesday. The crash took place around 1pm at the intersection of US 17 and Highway 210 between Verona and Holly Ridge, according to WECT. The truck with the 19 Marines was making a right turn onto US 17 before they lost control and overturned. They were then thrown from the vehicle.

IRS to Require Facial Recognition to View Tax Returns [Right, but it’s racist to ask for an ID to vote. Because if elections were free and fair (as opposed to the November 2020 coup d’etat), the people would immediately put a halt to this insanity.] | 20 Jan 2022 | The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has partnered with a Virginia-based private identification firm which requires a facial recognition selfie among other things, in order to create or access online accounts with the agency. According to KrebsonSecurity, the IRS announced that by the summer of 2022, the only way to log into irs dot gov will be through ID dot me. Founded by former Army Rangers in 2010, the McLean-based company has evolved to providing online ID verification services which several states are using to help reduce unemployment and pandemic-assistance fraud… Brian Krebs’s application became stuck at the “Confirming your Phone” stage – which led to a video chat (and having to resubmit other information) which had an estimated wait-time of three hours and 27 minutes.

Arrest Warrants Count as ID for Illegal Migrants at Airport Security, TSA Says | 18 Jan 2022 | The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) disclosed to a congressional office that illegal migrants flying without proper identification can use an arrest warrant as an alternate form of identification when presenting to airport security, according to a letter the Daily Caller News Foundation exclusively obtained. Responding to Republican Texas Rep. Lance Gooden’s Dec. 15 inquiry about illegal migrants flying across the country, TSA Administrator David Pekoske explained that certain Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documents may be considered acceptable forms of alternate identification for non-citizens, including a “Warrant for Arrest of Alien” and a “Warrant of Removal/Deportation.” “TSA’s response confirms the Biden Administration is knowingly putting our national security at risk,” Gooden told the DCNF.

Nasdaq enters correction; oil nears $87 | 19 Jan 2022 | U.S. stocks fell across the board in another choppy session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost over 339 points or 0.96% and the S&P 500 slipped 0.97%. While the Nasdaq Composite lost over 1% slipping into correction territory, off 10% from its most recent record high. Oil closed at 86.96 per barrel, an eight-year-high.

Suspect in grad student’s grisly stabbing death is career criminal with rap sheet spanning both coasts –Shawn Laval Smith, 31, should be considered armed and dangerous, according to the LAPD. | 18 Jan 2022 | Los Angeles police have identified the suspected killer of 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer, a UCLA grad student stabbed to death at her furniture store job last week. Shawn Laval Smith, 31, should be considered armed and dangerous, according to the LAPD. Los Angeles County Jail records show Covina police arrested him on Oct. 27, 2020, on a misdemeanor charge. He was released on 1,000 bail… A law enforcement source tells Fox News Digital that Smith has a rap sheet that spans both coasts, including in San Francisco and South Carolina. His most recent charge is allegedly for shoplifting — and he landed in jail in San Mateo after allegedly assaulting a police officer.

Why I am no longer a tenured professor at the University of Toronto –The appalling ideology of diversity, inclusion and equity is demolishing education and business By Jordan Peterson | 19 Jan 2022 | (Opinion) I recently resigned from my position as full tenured professor at the University of Toronto. I am now professor emeritus, and before I turned sixty… I had envisioned teaching and researching at the U of T, full time, until they had to haul my skeleton out of my office. I loved my job. And my students, undergraduates and graduates alike, were positively predisposed toward me. But that career path was not meant to be. There were many reasons… First, my qualified and supremely trained heterosexual white male graduate students (and I’ve had many others, by the way) face a negligible chance of being offered university research positions, despite stellar scientific dossiers. This is partly because of Diversity, Inclusivity and Equity mandates (my preferred acronym: DIE). These have been imposed universally in academia, despite the fact that university hiring committees had already done everything reasonable for all the years of my career, and then some, to ensure that no qualified “minority” candidates were ever overlooked.

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