In a recent interview, Democrat policy advisor and former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice shared the warmth of her love for her son, despite the political differences between them.
“I have a 23-year-old son whom I love dearly,” she told NPR on Tuesday, “whose politics are very, very different from my own and from the rest of the family.”
Rice’s son, John David Rice-Cameron, is an outspoken supporter of President Trump. He served as the president of his College Republicans chapter at Stanford University, the same university from which both of his parents graduated.
This is in sharp contrast to his parents, both of whom are Democrats. Ian Officer Cameron (his father) is a former executive producer with ABC News, and Susan Rice has an extensive history with the Democrat party.
Rice served on the National Security Council for former President Bill Clinton, as foreign policy advisor to Democratic presidential nominees such as John Kerry and Barack Obama, as Ambassador to the United Nations from 2009 to 2013 in the Obama administration, and as the United States National Security Advisor from 2013 to 2017.
“My son and I will have some robust disagreements over some matters of policy, not all,” Rice continued. “And yet, at the end of the day, you know, I love him dearly and he loves me.”
In an interview back in 2018 with Fox News, Rice’s then-20-year-old son said the same of his mother: “My mother and I have a great relationship, and my mother believes strongly in the free and respectful exchange of ideas.”
According to Rice-Cameron, it was his parents’ encouragement of open debate and discussion that led him to listen to counter voices, like Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, and it was ultimately the Tea Party movement that led him away from his parents’ liberalism into conservatism.
Mother and son pointed to areas of agreement among them. “We agree, for example,” says Rice, “on the importance of the United States playing a responsible, principled leadership role in the world.”
And Cameron-Rice has echoed the same: “…we agree that America is the greatest nation the world has ever seen, and thus, we believe that America has an important role to play as a force for liberty and justice on the world stage.”
They find disagreement “on most of the standard Republican/Democrat disagreements,” said her son.
“We disagree on things like choice,” says Rice. “I’m pro-choice. He’s pro-life.”
In the same NPR interview, Rice had been speaking of the national divide being experienced right now between two opposing political parties. She blamed the White House for this division:
“…we are now burdened with leadership in the White House that thrives on dividing us and pitting Americans against each other. We absolutely have to move past that to a point of a recognition that we are all in this boat together, we sink or swim together.”
Turning to her disagreement with her son on the abortion issue, Rice stated, “That’s the kind of difference that we ought to be able to respect.”
Rice is currently on Joe Biden’s shortlist for vice president.
Five teenagers were awarded the Medal of Heroism Award on Monday for actions that likely saved the life of a King County Deputy.
Deputy Elliott had been off-duty, driving her patrol car home around 1 AM on July 18th when she was flagged down at the scene of an accident involving multiple vehicles, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office. Witnesses reported that a drunk driver, who was stumbling away from the scene, had caused the accident.
When Deputy Elliott approached the man and told him he was not allowed to leave, he put up his fists in a fighting stance and began to struggle with her. At one point she was able to radio for help, but the man then grabbed Elliott’s neck and placed her in a headlock.
It was at that moment that five teenagers intervened. They had been walking by the events when they saw Deputy Elliott struggling to free herself from the headlock.
The teenagers yelled “get off of her” and pulled the suspect away from Deputy Elliott. They were able to pin him to the ground so that Deputy Elliott could handcuff him.
“Moms and Dads, you should be proud of these kids!” wrote the King County Sheriff’s Office in a Facebook post shortly afterward.
We acknowledge no one in this photo is wearing mask, but please read on and you'll see why. It's an incredible story….
Posted by King County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, July 21, 2020
The suspect was arrested for felony assault of an officer and DUI, and had several other warrants for his arrest.
Deputy Elliott walked away with only scrapes and bruises.
The five boys – Darrell Swilley, Isaiha Sansaver, Dominic Sansaver, Tyran Powell, and Kai Tavares – range in ages from 16 to 19 years old.
On Monday, August 3rd, Sheriff Mitzi G. Johanknecht and Auburn Police Chief O’Neil presented the Sheriff’s “Medal of Heroism” Award to the boys. In a Facebook post of the event, the Sheriff’s Office said of the boys, “We can’t thank these fine young men enough. They are true heroes.”
Last evening, 8/3/2020, Sheriff Mitzi G. Johanknecht, along with Auburn Police Chief O'Neil, presented 5 teenagers with…
Posted by King County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, August 4, 2020
The Minnesota Voters Alliance has filed a lawsuit against Minnesota Governor Tim Walz for his recent mask-wearing mandate because it conflicts with a 1963 Minnesota law prohibiting the wearing of masks in public places.
A July 22nd executive order requires Minnesota residents to wear a mask or face covering in almost all indoor public spaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Conversely, Minnesota Statute 609.735 prohibits the wearing of “a robe, mask, or other disguise” that would conceal one’s identity in a public place. A violation would result in a misdemeanor.
Walz’s recent executive order mandates the use of masks in all public indoor spaces and businesses, including common ares of multi-residential buildings, public transportation, and when working outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained.
Those exempted from the order include children under the age of 5, those who have health conditions or a disability that make it difficult to wear or remove a mask, and anyone who has trouble breathing.
Those found in violation of the order could be cited with a misdemeanor and fined up to $100. Businesses who fail to comply could face criminal charges and a fine of up to $25,000.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court on Tuesday. It directly challenges the conflicting laws, asking for clarification ahead of the primary election on August 11th so that citizens participating in their First Amendment rights will have clarity on how to conduct themselves.
“…the State of Minnesota has created conflicting laws where people are criminally prosecuted for wearing a mask and for not wearing a mask,” said the plaintiff’s attorney, Erick G. Kaardal. “The executive and legislative branch must decide which law prevails.”
The governor’s office has defended the executive order, pointing out that a provision within the order already clarifies that the order is not at odds with current Minnesota law: “Wearing a face covering in compliance with this Executive Order or local ordinances, rules, or orders is not a violation of Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 609.735.”
Attorney General Keith Ellison, also a defendant named in the lawsuit, gave his full support for the governor’s decisions regarding COVID-19. “I stand behind the legality and constitutionality of this executive order. We will defend it strongly in court just as we have so far successfully defended others in court.”
Underneath the concerns about the two conflicting laws and the ability of Minnesota residents to vote next week, however, is a deeper concern about the government’s adherence to the Minnesota Constitution and the coherence of the entire legal system.
“We’re not debating the science behind masks,” Representative Jeremy Munson said in support of the lawsuit. “We’re really talking about the legislative process and the abuse of power by the governor.”
State Representative Tim Miller has also stated his support for the lawsuit. “What the governor is doing both here and with the emergency powers is either unconstitutional or certainly against the laws of Minnesota.”
Walz declared a peacetime emergency on March 13th of this year at the beginning of the COVID-19 shutdowns nationwide. He legitimized it, and his ability to procure emergency powers as a result, by calling the pandemic an act of nature.
According to Kaardal, Governor Walz has issued 75 executive orders.
In the proceedings of a separate lawsuit filed by business owners against Governor Walz in July, Kaardal told the governor, “you have to work with the legislature, you have to work with the agencies and you have to work with the judges. You can’t do it all on your own and to ignore these legal limitations you’re acting like a monarch. It’s not good. You have got to stop now.”
When a 38-year-old woman in Melbourne was approached by a constable about wearing a face mask on Monday evening, the woman attacked the officer.
The woman had not been wearing a face mask, and the constable had approached her to request that the woman wear one.
According to the Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton, the woman “hit the head – smashed the head – of the police woman several times into a concrete area of the ground.”
The 26-year-old female constable sustained a concussion and was missing a clump of hair by the end of the assault.
The woman was fined $200 and will face court in March of 2021.
Commissioner Patton used this instance as an example of the widespread violent resistance being experienced by Victoria law enforcement. “They’re not wearing a mask. They’re approached and asked the reason why not and then to react like that is just completely over the top.”
The BBC has reported that Melbourne police officers are facing regular harassment for the enforcement of COVID lockdown rules.
Patton stated that Melbourne has “this continual minority of people who are knowingly – not by mistake, but are knowingly – doing the wrong thing and putting people’s lives at risk by doing so.”
“On at least four occasions this week,” Patton explained, “we’ve had to smash the windows of cars and pull people out to provide details,” when those people resisted being questioned by authorities about the current COVID restrictions.
Melbourne is currently under heavy restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID. The wearing of masks is mandatory and residents are only allowed to leave home to shop, exercise, provide medical care, or for essential work purposes. On Sunday, a curfew was put into place between the hours of 8 PM and 5 AM.
All nonessential businesses are closed for six weeks as a result of the state of disaster declared by Australia on Sunday.
“Our members are being tested,” Commissioner Patton said, “at roadblocks, at sites, but they are holding the line and helping the community and they won’t be pushed and shoved by people like this.”
Victoria – the state in which Melbourne resides – has made up over half of Australia’s 18,300 COVID cases. The COVID death toll for the entire nation stands at over 230.<
“Two weeks ago, my life as I knew it changed in an instant, and my family will never be the same,” began Judge Esther Salas in an emotional video she released recounting the day her son was killed and her husband shot at the front door of their New Jersey home.
The Salas family had been celebrating the 20th birthday of their only son, Daniel Mark Salas. She called the weekend celebration “a glorious one, filled with love and laughter and smiles.”
Judge Salas took a moment to take a deep breath and compose herself before continuing.
She reflected on a conversation she was having with Daniel in their basement on Sunday, July 19th. Daniel told her, “Mom, let’s keep talking. I love talking to you, Mom.”
The next moment, the doorbell rang, her son went upstairs to answer, and then she heard bullets and someone screaming “No!”
A man disguised as a FedEx driver, complete with a package in hand, had shot both her son and her husband.
Daniel had thrown himself in front of his father and taken the shooter’s first bullet.
Judge Salas’ husband was shot three times. He has undergone multiple surgeries and remains in the hospital recovering at this time.
The shooter was later identified as Roy Den Hollander, an “anti-feminist” lawyer who had once argued a case before Judge Salas. He was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound the day after his attack on the Salas family.
Salas is a U.S. District Court Judge in New Jersey, the first Hispanic woman to be appointed to the seat.
In her video statement, Salas explained that “federal judges’ addresses and other information is readily available on the internet,” and that this poses a real and urgent danger to the safety of federal judges and their families.
“We may not be able to stop something like this from happening again, but we can make it hard for those who target us to track us down.”
According to Salas, Den Hollander had been able to obtain from the internet where Judge Salas lived and what church her family attended.
“My son’s death cannot be in vain,” she said, “which is why I’m begging those in power to do something to help my brothers and sisters on the bench.”
She asked that lawmakers “work collaboratively to find a solution that will safeguard the privacy of federal judges.”
Stay-at-home orders. A worldwide pandemic. Unemployment. Tense race relations. Protests and riots. Police departments defunded. The summer heat.
It’s no wonder cities like New York City, Philadelphia, and Chicago are reporting greater homicides and shootings than have been seen in previous years. Dozens of other cities are reporting the same. According to a recent Wall Street Journal study in which 50 of the nation’s largest cities were analyzed, homicides are up 24% this year.
It’s been an intense year for the entire world, so an increase in crime rates shouldn’t come as a total surprise. But it should give us pause.
Over the weekend New York City surpassed the number of shootings in the entire year of 2019 (777 shootings as of the end of July, compared to a total of 776 shootings overall for 2019).
There have been over 1,000 shootings in Philadelphia (of which, 240 resulted in death).
And in Chicago, 2,240 people have been shot, 440 of which resulted in death.
According to the Wall Street Journal report, homicide rates have increased both for cities which are accustomed to high rates of violence and for those cities which are not.
Conservatives and liberals are blaming different causes for this increase. The right, including President Trump, have blamed movements to defund police departments and a general attitude of hatred toward police officers for contributing toward a disregard for law and order in our cities.
Conservatives propose solutions such as strengthening police departments (rather than defunding them), and cracking down on riots and violent crime.
The left, however, has pointed to poverty as a main cause for increased violence.
U.S. House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came under fire from House Republicans after declaring earlier in July that “Crime is a symptom of a diseased society that neglects its most marginalized people, and we do not solve that problem with police.”
Ocasio-Cortez continued: “Maybe if we…give people repeated stimulus checks so that they feel like they can stay in their homes, maybe we’ll see a mitigation of crime.”
For the left, the solution to crime is to fund community efforts such as education, social work, and housing programs.
For perspective, Forbes pointed out that in 1990, New York City had a reported 2,262 homicides. While rising crime rates should give us pause, we can still be thankful that we are still experiencing lower crime rates than in decades past.
Protestors in the streets of Portland burned Bibles in front of the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse on Friday night as protests continue unabated since late May.
Video of the Bible-burning activity was posted to Twitter:
Video was also captured of the American flag being burned while crowds cheered:
The July 31st protest is largely being reported as mostly peaceful. According to Fox News, “protestors were quick to chastise rogue actors.”
The Portland Police Bureau reported that “the crowd was subdued” through the night, but some lit fires, climbed the federal courthouse fences, and “threw objects and chanted.”
“There was no police interaction with the crowd,” the report ended.
Sean Feucht, a worship leader in Northern California, is partnering with local churches in Portland to host a worship event in response to the violent events in Portland. In a Fox News interview, Feucht said of the event that “it’s going to be peaceful, it’s going to be full of love, we’re going to sing, we’re going to worship.”
Feucht went further to say that “we’re hoping that even through our worship that we can start to change the atmosphere over that city.”
In response to the Bible burnings, Feucht tweeted that “Burning Bibles won’t stop what God has planned for Portland!”
Feucht has been hosting worship events up and down the California coast over the past month in response to the California government’s ban on worship during the COVID pandemic. His events have drawn hundreds of people and have been marked by celebratory worship, the preaching of the Gospel, salvations, and water baptisms.
The worship event in Portland will be held at Waterfront Park on August 8th.
Florida residents Jose Freire Interian and his wife, Yohana Anahi Gonzalez, were arrested on Wednesday for violating quarantine orders after being diagnosed with COVID.
They were charged with breaking quarantine during a public health emergency and violating emergency management – both considered second-degree misdemeanor charges in Key West.
Key West City Manager Greg Veliz said of the arrest, “If the law allows someone to be arrested for violating a quarantine order and they continue to thumb their nose at the law – yeah, they should be arrested.”
As reported by the Miami Herald, the couple tested positive for COVID on July 15th and were required by the Florida Department of Health to self-isolate for 14 days.
On July 20th, the couple was reported to have gone to the grocery store. The activity was reported to authorities and the couple was ordered again to stay home until July 31st.
On Wednesday, Interian took his dog for a walk. A neighbor recorded his activity on video and submitted the video to the police. Police officers showed up later that afternoon with arrest warrants for both Interian and Gonzalez.
The couple posted bail on Thursday and have a court date for August 10th. If convicted, they could face up to 60 days in jail.
While these arrests have been rare nationwide, they do raise concern about the power of the state over citizens’ activities during a health emergency.
Florida Statute 381.00315 does give the State Health Officer the power to subject any individual who “poses a danger to the public health” to isolation or quarantine, enforceable by law enforcement.
Interian and Gonzalez have not been the only ones who have faced arrest for violating quarantine.
A couple in Kentucky was placed on house arrest, complete with ankle monitors, earlier this month after the wife tested positive for COVID.
In Hawaii, out-of-state travelers are required to quarantine for 14 days. 182 people have so far been arrested for violating quarantine orders.
Sean Feucht, a California-based worship leader, has invited Governor Gavin Newsom to pray with him on the steps of the California State Capitol on September 6th, reports First Liberty Institute via Twitter.
When California issued a ban on singing and chanting in worship services in early July as a preventative against COVID, Sean Feucht responded with a petition called “Let Us Worship.” Within a single day, the petition had gathered over 2,500 signatures. By the fourth day, there were almost 7,000 signatures.
Sean Feucht then began leading large gatherings of worship services in response to California’s ban on singing and chanting in worship services in early July. He has traveled up and down the California coast, hosting worship events in numerous California cities.
Media outlets have largely celebrated the Black Lives Matter protests occurring nationwide to promote social change, and city governments have allowed these protests to continue for weeks. When it comes to churches, however, the media and government have been far harsher.
Feucht has been critical of how Newsom and nationwide media have treated churches in recent weeks in comparison with their positive treatment of protests.
Most recently, Feucht was interviewed on Fox & Friends about these “Let Us Worship” protests. “…at best, it’s hypocrisy and at worst, it’s bigotry…”, he said of the government’s discrimination against churches.
He said that the government’s restrictions on churches is a double standard since protests have not been handled in the same, strict way as church gatherings.
“We need bold and courageous pastors that are not only going to stand on our Constitutional rights to worship,” Feucht continued, “but they’re going to stand up against the insanity of these laws…”
The “Let Us Worship” protests have been marked by joyous singing and music, prayer, and baptisms, unlike the race protests that have been overcome by violence, destruction, and crime.
Feucht is next headed to Portland, Oregon on August 8th to partner with local church leaders to worship and pray over a city that has been rocked by violent protests for several weeks.
There is no word yet on whether Governor Newsom has responded to Feucht’s invitation to pray on the steps of the State Capitol.
Feucht tweeted that this would be a great opportunity for Newsom to show his equal support for protests and prayer meetings.