Mindless Mask Mandates Are Over

BY Joseph Mercola TIME April 27, 2022

This new ruling means Uber, airports and airlines will no longer enforce mask-wearing – and it’s exposed what may be the greatest scam in history based on the lowest form of scientific evidence. They are facts we’ve known since the beginning of modern medicine.

Story at-a-glance

  • April 18, 2022, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle voided the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national mask mandate on airplanes and public transit. The lawsuit was brought by the Health Freedom Defense Fund
  • The mandate was unlawful because the CDC did not have the statutory authority to issue such a rule. The implementation of it also violated administrative law
  • As a result of the court ruling, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest, Spirit, Jet Blue and United Airlines have announced they will no longer enforce mask wearing on their flights. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) also will not require masks to be worn at airports
  • Uber has also issued a statement saying masks will no longer be required to be worn by either drivers or passengers, as has Amtrak
  • For all of modern medicine, it’s been known that surgical masks do not block viruses. Yet for some reason, long-standing knowledge and scientific evidence was completely ignored and science “rewritten” in the sense that authorities simply declared that masks would work

After more than two years of unscientific insanity, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle has finally voided[1],[2] the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national mask mandate[3] on airplanes and public transit. The lawsuit was brought by the Health Freedom Defense Fund (HFDF), which noted that “There are legal guardrails in place to protect our basic liberties and rights — even during a pandemic.”[4] And, indeed, this was the message of the court as well.

The CDC had initially issued a “strong recommendation” to wear masks on planes and public transportation in October 2020,[5] and then turned it into an “order” at the end of January 2021.[6] As noted by Leslie Manookian with the HFDF:

“When flight attendants announced — repeatedly on each flight — that compliance is required ‘by federal law,’ did you ever wonder: what federal law? I did. And it led us at the Health Freedom Defense Fund to file suit against the mandate in federal court. With assistance from our lawyers at the Davillier Law Group, we learned there is no “federal law” compelling masks for travel.

The CDC does not have the statutory authority to issue a sweeping mandate requiring masking. Nor does the agency have the authority to penalize Americans for non-compliance.

The Biden administration claimed its mask mandate was rooted in authority granted under the Public Health Service Act. However, a careful reading of that law shows Congress never intended to grant such sweeping powers. In fact, the law is limited and specific …”

The CDC had extended its mask requirement as recently as April 13, 2022,[7] despite pressure from airlines, the hospitality industry and Republican lawmakers to end it. The mandate was scheduled to expire May 3, 2022, but was lifted, “effective immediately,” April 18, 2022, following the court’s verdict.[8] As reported by NBC Chicago:[9]

“The 59-page ruling[10] from the Florida judge said the CDC failed to justify its decision and did not follow proper rulemaking procedures that left it fatally flawed.”

CDC Acted Unlawfully

In short, the mandate was unlawful because the CDC did not have the statutory authority to issue such a rule. The implementation of it also violated administrative law.

The administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which dictates the procedures the federal government must follow when implementing certain agency policies. The Biden administration erred in failing to seek public notice and comment on the policy … [Mizelle] also ruled that the mandate violates that APA’s prohibitions on ‘arbitrary’ and ‘capricious’ agency actions because the CDC had failed to adequately explain its reasoning for implementing the policy …

The fact that the CDC and White House have been doing what they know they cannot legally do says a lot about the state of our nation. Lawlessness reigns at the highest levels. As reported by CNN:[11]

“The first part of the judge’s 59-page ruling[12] turned on the meaning of the word ‘sanitation,’ as it functions in the 1944 statute that gives the federal government the authority — in its efforts to combat communicable diseases — to issue regulations concerning ‘sanitation.’

Mizelle concluded that that the use of the word in the statute was limited to ‘measures that clean something.’ ‘Wearing a mask cleans nothing,’ she wrote. ‘At most, it traps virus droplets. But it neither ‘sanitizes’ the person wearing the mask nor ‘sanitizes’ the conveyance.’

She wrote that the mandate fell outside of the law because ‘the CDC required mask wearing as a measure to keep something clean — explaining that it limits the spread of COVID-19 through prevention, but never contending that it actively destroys or removes it.’

Mizelle suggested that the government’s implementation of the mandate — in which non-complying travelers are ‘forcibly removed from their airplane seats, denied board at the bus steps, and turned away at the train station doors; — was akin to ‘detention and quarantine,’ which are not contemplated in the section of the law in question …

‘As a result, the Mask Mandate is best understood not as sanitation, but as an exercise of the CDC’s power to conditionally release individuals to travel despite concerns that they may spread a communicable disease (and to detain or partially quarantine those who refuse),’ she wrote. ‘But the power to conditionally release and detain is ordinarily limited to individuals entering the United States from a foreign country.’

She added that the mandate also did not fit with a section of the law that would allow for detention of a traveler if he was, upon examination, found to infected.

‘The Mask Mandate complies with neither of these subsections,’ the judge said. ‘It applies to all travelers regardless of their origins or destinations and makes no attempt to sort based on their health.’

Mizelle added that, additionally, the administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which dictates the procedures the federal government must follow when implementing certain agency policies.

The Biden administration erred in failing to seek public notice and comment on the policy … She also ruled that the mandate violates that APA’s prohibitions on ‘arbitrary’ and ‘capricious’ agency actions because the CDC had failed to adequately explain its reasoning for implementing the policy …

Other lawsuits that have been filed targeting the mandate … have failed … Unlike … other cases where judges were weighing emergency or preliminary orders, Mizelle was considering the legality of the mandate on the merits.”

At CDC’s Request, White House Justice Department Is Appealing

Immediately following Mizelle’s ruling, the Justice Department stated[13] it would appeal if the CDC determines that the mask order “remains necessary for the public’s health.” In response, the lead plaintiff, Health Freedom Defense Fund (HFDF), issued the following statement:[14]

“DoJ’s statement is perplexing to say the least and sounds like it comes from health policy advocates not government lawyers. The ruling by the US District Court ruling is a matter of law, not CDC preference or an assessment of ‘current health conditions.’

If there is in fact a public health emergency with clear and irrefutable science supporting CDC’s mask mandate, does it not warrant urgent action? Why would DoJ and CDC not immediately appeal?

HFDF is left with no option but to conclude that the Mask Mandate is really a political matter and not at all about urgent public health issues or the demands of sound science. While DoJ and CDC play politics with Americans’ health and freedoms, HFDF trusts individual Americans to make their own health decisions.”

Unfortunately, the CDC doesn’t see it that way, as the DOJ announced late Wednesday, April 20, 2022, that the CDC had asked them to appeal, and that it had been filed in a Tampa, Florida, federal court.[15] At the same time, the CDC issued a statement saying they’d done it to “protect their public health authority beyond the ongoing assessment”:[16]

“It is CDC’s continuing assessment that at this time an order requiring masking in the indoor transportation corridor remains necessary for the public health … CDC believes this is a lawful order, well within CDC’s legal authority to protect public health.”

Pope Francis wants Catholics to rediscover this book of the Bible

Pope Francis’ general audience in St. Peter’s Square, April 27, 2022

Pope Francis urged Catholics on Wednesday to rediscover a book of the Bible that offers “valuable teaching on the alliance of the generations.”

In his general audience address on April 27, the pope praised the Book of Ruth’s positive depiction of relations between a woman and her mother-in-law.

“I invite you to rediscover the Book of Ruth. Especially in the meditation on love and in catechesis on the family,” he said.

“This short book also contains valuable teaching on the alliance of the generations: where youth shows itself to be capable of restoring enthusiasm to mature age — this is essential: when youth restores enthusiasm to the elderly — and old age discovers it is capable of reopening the future to wounded youth.”

The live-streamed catechesis was the seventh in a cycle on old age that the 85-year-old pope began in February. His own advanced age was apparent at the start of the audience as he walked slowly and with assistance to his white chair on a raised platform in St. Peter’s Square.

 Pope Francis’ general audience in St. Peter’s Square, April 27, 2022 | Vatican Media.
Pope Francis’ general audience in St. Peter’s Square, April 27, 2022 Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.
Vatican Media.
Vatican Media.
Pope Francis’ general audience in St. Peter’s Square, April 27, 2022
Vatican Media.

The pope, who was forced to cancel engagements on Tuesday due to knee pain, remained seated at the end of the audience to greet individual pilgrims, rather than taking his customary walk among them.

“I apologize if I’m going to greet you while sitting, because this knee is still not healing and I can’t stand that long,” he explained. “Please excuse me for this.”

The pope was speaking for the second time this week about the Book of Ruth. On Monday, he reflected on the four-chapter book in the Hebrew Bible in an address to Missionaries of Mercy.

On Wednesday, he focused on the relationship between Ruth, a Moabite woman, and Naomi, her elderly Israelite mother-in-law. When Ruth’s husband died, Naomi encouraged her to return to her people, but Ruth decided to stay among the Israelite people and, with Naomi’s blessing, married a man called Boaz.

“Look how many ‘miracles’ accompany the conversion of this elderly woman,” the pope said. “She converts to the commitment of making herself available, with love, for the future of a generation wounded by loss and at risk of abandonment.”

“The points of reconstruction are those that, on the basis of the probability drawn by commonplace prejudices, ought to generate insuperable fractures.”

“Instead, faith and love enable them to be overcome: the mother-in-law overcomes her jealousy for her own son, loving Ruth’s new bond; the women of Israel overcome their distrust of the foreigner (and if women will do it, everyone will); the vulnerability of the lone girl, faced with male power, is reconciled with a bond full of love and respect.”

The pope then urged pilgrims to strengthen their relationships with their own mothers-in-law.

The Unique Crosses of Infertility, Miscarriage, Pregnancy, and Motherhood

I was in the thick of planning three baby showers for close friends of mine when I broke down. I fell to my knees in an empty sanctuary following a marriage workshop, and sobbed. It occurred to me that I’d never given consideration to the potential hardship of a couple’s fertility journey. I never thought […]

Source: The Unique Crosses of Infertility, Miscarriage, Pregnancy, and Motherhood

The Illusion of Evidence-Based Medicine


How the government stopped worrying and learned to love propaganda

In 1990, a paradigm shift occurred in the development of new medicines and treatments. An idea so big, that it was supposed to encompass the whole of medicine. It was to start initially at the level of pre-clinical and clinical trials and work all the way through the system to the care and management of individual patients. This new concept for how medicine would be developed and conducted is called evidence-based medicine (EBM). Evidence-based medicine was to provide a more rigorous foundation for medicine, one based on science and the scientific method. Truly, this was to be a revolution in medicine – a non-biased way of conducting medical research and treating patients.

Evidence-based medicine

Evidence-based medicine is “the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients.” The aim of EBM is to integrate the experience of the clinician, the values of the patient, and the best available scientific information to guide decision-making about clinical management.

So, what the hell happened?

There is a big flaw in the logic of evidence-based medicine as the basis for the practice of medicine as we know it, a practice based on science; one that determines care down to the level of the individual patient. This flaw is nestled in the heart and soul of evidence-based medicine, which (as we have seen over the last two years) is not free of politics. It is naive to think that data and the process of licensure of new drugs is free from bias and conflicts of interest. In fact, this couldn’t be any farther from the truth. The COVID-19 crisis of 2020 to 2022 has exposed for all to see how evidence based medicine has been corrupted by the governments, hospitalists, academia, big pharma, tech and social media. They have leveraged the processes and rationale of evidence-based medicine to corrupt the entire medical enterprise.

Evidence based medicine depends on data. For the most part, the data gathering and analysis process is conducted by and for the pharmaceutical industry, then reported by senior academics. The problem, as laid out in an editorial in the British Medical Journal is as follows:

The release into the public domain of previously confidential pharmaceutical industry documents has given the medical community valuable insight into the degree to which industry sponsored clinical trials are misrepresented. Until this problem is corrected, evidence based medicine will remain an illusion.

This ideal of the integrity of data and the scientific process is corrupted as long as financial (and governments) interests trump the common good.

Medicine is largely dominated by a small number of very large pharmaceutical companies that compete for market share, but are effectively united in their efforts to expanding that market. The short term stimulus to biomedical research because of privatization has been celebrated by free market champions, but the unintended, long term consequences for medicine have been severe. Scientific progress is thwarted by the ownership of data and knowledge because industry suppresses negative trial results, fails to report adverse events, and does not share raw data with the academic research community. Patients die because of the adverse impact of commercial interests on the research agenda, universities, and regulators.

The pharmaceutical industry’s responsibility to its shareholders means that priority must be given to their hierarchical power structures, product loyalty, and public relations propaganda over scientific integrity. Although universities have always been elite institutions prone to influence through endowments, they have long laid claim to being guardians of truth and the moral conscience of society. But in the face of inadequate government funding, they have adopted a neo-liberal market approach, actively seeking pharmaceutical funding on commercial terms. As a result, university departments become instruments of industry: through company control of the research agenda and ghostwriting of medical journal articles and continuing medical education, academics become agents for the promotion of commercial products. When scandals involving industry-academe partnership are exposed in the mainstream media, trust in academic institutions is weakened and the vision of an open society is betrayed (BMJ).

The corporate university also compromises the concept of academic leadership. No longer are positions of leadership due to distinguished careers. Instead, the ability to raise funds in the form of donations, grants, royalty revenue and contracts, dominates the requirements for University leaders. They are now must demonstrate their profitability or show how they can attract corporate sponsors.

As the US government, particularly NIAID, controls a significant amount of the grants and contracts of most academic institutions in the USA, NIAID employees also can determine what research is conducted and who is funded to conduct that research.

US government employees also control the narrative. Take for example the use of the media, CDC and the FDA to control the narrative about early treatment for COVID-19. By now we should all know about the corruption of the early clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine. On the basis of these faked studies, one of the safest drugs in the world was recommended to not be used in an out patient setting – most likely, in order to increase vaccine acceptance. Or how our government used propaganda to control the use of ivermectin by such tactics as calling it unfit for human use and labeling it as a “horse wormer.” All indications are that these efforts by the US government were to dissuade early treatment to stop vaccine hesitancy.

Beyond our government skewing evidence-based medicine for their own purposes, then there is the university system, which is more interested in generating income than creating a research program that is free from bias.

When You Baptize, Do It Right

For a valid baptism, it’s crucial to use the trinitarian form: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The proof is right there in Scripture.

Among some Christian denominations, the assertion is made that baptism should be administered “in the name of Jesus only.” The historical arguments for Jesus-only baptism are interesting, but suffice it to say for now the Fathers of the Church were unanimous in support of the Trinitarian formula for baptism.

The Council of Florence (1439) in Session 8 declares the proper form of the sacrament of baptism:

Holy baptism holds the first place among all the sacraments, for it is the gate of the spiritual life; through it we become members of Christ and of the body of the church. Since death came into the world through one person, unless we are born again of water and the spirit, we cannot, as Truth says, enter the kingdom of heaven. The matter of this sacrament is true and natural water, either hot or cold. The form is: I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

A great number of Christian authors and sources concur, including but not limited to the Didache (7:1, A.D. 70), St. Justin Martyr (The First Apology, 61, 150), Tatian the Syrian (The Diatesseron, 55, 170), St. Irenaeus (Presentation of the Apostolic Preaching, 3, 180), Tertullian (On Baptism, 13, 200), and St. Hippolytus (The Apostolic Tradition, 21, 215).

The Fathers and this Council of Florence were simply following the plain teaching of Jesus Christ from Matthew 28:16-19:

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. . . . And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

It seems as plain as can be, but as is the case with virtually all Christian doctrine today—thanks to the confusion foisted upon the world by the Protestant revolt 500 years ago—there are objections. Many among the various “Jesus only” sects will point out multiple biblical texts that appear to contradict a trinitarian baptismal formula, mostly from Acts:

And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 8:14-16).

And [Peter] commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 10:48).

On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 19:5).

What gives?

Adult Baptism | The Church of England

The key to understanding begins with context. In Matthew 28:16-19, shortly before he was to ascend to heaven, Jesus was teaching the apostles alone—”the Eleven”—the proper form for the sacrament of baptism. In Acts 2:38, in contrast, Peter was proclaiming the truth of Christ to thousands of Jews, specifying baptism “in the name of Jesus”—not to contradict the clear instructions Jesus had given him about the form of baptism, but rather to distinguish Christian baptism from other kinds with which they would have been familiar. For example, there was the baptism of John the Baptist, and there were the many and varied “baptisms” of the Jews and Jewish sects (such as the Essenes). Indeed, even pagan Mithraism practiced a kind of baptism.

This is why you’ll notice two different arrangements of words proclaiming Christ’s baptism in those four texts from Acts. “In the name of Jesus Christ” and “in the name of the Lord Jesus” are a hint that the inspired author was not giving us the proper form for the sacrament; rather, he was making a general declaration that it is Jesus’ baptism to which all are bound.

Many Christians wrongly think the word baptism is an exclusively Christian term. In the first century, it was not. As I mentioned above, “baptisms” were common practice among the Jews.

While [Jesus] was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him; so he went in and sat at table. The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner (Luke 11:37-38).

The Greek word for “wash” here is ebaptizthe.

For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they wash their hands, observing the tradition of the elders; and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they purify themselves; and there are many other traditions which they observe, the washing of cups and pots and vessels of bronze (Mark 7:3-4).

The words for purify and washing in verse 4 are baptisontai and baptismous, respectively.

Baptism Service High Resolution Stock Photography and Images - Alamy

Given the ritual-washing “baptisms” that were prevalent in the first century, is it any wonder that Peter and the apostles in the book of Acts would want to distinguish between sacramental baptism “in Jesus’ name” and other kinds of “baptisms”?

Some respond to this argument by saying that the apostle Paul commanded: “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col. 3:17). Peter adds: “the name of Jesus Christ . . . there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10-12).

So shouldn’t we baptize “in the name of Jesus”? And the answer is yes! It is precisely because we can be saved only “in the name of Jesus” that we must baptize the way he taught us: in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps a deeper look at one of the four texts from Acts we cited above will serve to clarify things for us. In Acts 19, Paul happens upon a group of “disciples” in Ephesus:

While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

When Paul discovered these “disciples” had not “heard that there is a Holy Spirit,” he immediately asked what form of baptism they had received. The implication here is that if they had been baptized with the proper form, they would have heard of the Holy Spirit, because he is included in it! When Paul found out they had received only “John’s baptism,” he immediately had them baptized “in the name of the Lord Jesus”—that is, with Jesus’ baptism, which is done “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

EXPLOSIVE: Erroneous Code Was Present on Dominion Election System Software After Being Certified by the EAC

An election report from Tennessee was recently issued by the US Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) that claimed an erroneous code was found on Dominion software that had been certified by the EAC. 

How does system software get certified with erroneous code on it?

There appear to be a few issues with the voting machines used across the US.  We’ve already reported on the fact that voting machines were put in use in Pennsylvania without being properly hardened.

TRENDING: Biden Regime Announces Creation of “Disinformation Governance Board” Under the Authority of Homeland Security with a Lunatic in Charge

We know these machines are not properly ‘hardened’ because experts discovered software on the machines that would have prevented the machines from being certifiable.  When machines are hardened they are certified with the most up-to-date software needed for use and without any software that should not be there.  In the case of election machines used throughout the US, the machines should not be put in use with any extra software loaded on them.

Recently a report was published on issues identified in an election in Tennessee.  An error was identified on the voting machines and systems related to erroneous code.  The real issue is the systems had been certified by the EAC.  How could the EAC certify these machines?

The voting machine audit firms are paid by Dominion to certify their machines per the video below.

Fauci Says US is “Out of the Pandemic Phase”

 By Cristina Laila Published April 27, 2022

Dr. Fauci on Tuesday told PBS’s Jody Woodruff that the US is “out of the pandemic phase.”

“We are certainly right now in this country out of the pandemic phase,” Fauci said. “Namely we don’t have 900,000 new infections a day and tens and tens and tens of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths. We are at a low level right now.”

“So, if you’re saying, are we out of the pandemic phase in this country, we are. What we hope to do, I don’t believe, and I have spoken about this widely, we’re not going to eradicate this virus,” he said. “If we can keep that level very low, and intermittently vaccinate people — and I don’t know how often that would have to be.”

Fauci continued, “That might be every year, that might be longer, in order to keep that level low. But, right now, we are not in the pandemic phase in this country. Pandemic means a widespread, throughout the world, infection that spreads rapidly among people. So, if you look at the global situation, there’s no doubt this pandemic is still ongoing.”

Wisconsin County Takes the Lead in Banning Private Funding of Elections

By Matthew Vadum April 27, 2022

Wisconsin’s Walworth County has become the first local government in the state to ban the acceptance of private monies or grants for use in the administration of elections.

Approval of the measure came after 16 states enacted legislation to ban or regulate the acceptance and use of private funds by public election officials. Good-government advocates have been incensed that a Mark Zuckerberg-funded activist group, the left-wing Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL), flooded election offices in Democratic Party strongholds with millions of dollars in an apparent effort to drive up voter turnout for that party in 2020.

In 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump, a Republican, beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin by 22,748 votes. But in 2020, Joe Biden, a Democrat, beat Trump in the state by 20,608 votes, according to Ballotpedia figures. Critics claim the assistance provided by CTCL to Milwaukee and other heavily Democratic jurisdictions in the state may have put Biden over the top.

The Walworth County Board of Supervisors adopted Ordinance 1271 (pdf) on April 21, banning the private funding of elections. Walworth County is located in the southeastern part of the state, bordering Illinois on the south and between Kenosha and Janesville, Wisconsin.

Epoch Times Photo
Attorney Erick G. Kaardal. (Courtesy Erick G. Kaardal)

“This is a win for Wisconsin voters,” said Erick Kaardal, whose public interest law firm, the Thomas More Society, takes partial credit for the new ban. The Thomas More Society represented the Wisconsin Voters Alliance, which worked with cities and counties on ordinances that specifically ban the acceptance of private funds in elections, he said.

The county had to act because the Wisconsin Election Commission and the state’s executive branch have refused to bar private money from election administration, Kaardal said. This means “the burden has fallen upon cities and counties to protect themselves from outside interference by illegal money sources,” he said.

“The people understand that the right to vote is a cornerstone of a free society and that the biased intervention of those who want to influence the outcome with their dirty dollars is not to be tolerated,” Kaardal added.

The governor has been on the wrong side of the issue, he said.

“Despite a plethora of condemning evidence documenting and verifying rampant election improprieties, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has vetoed the corrective election legislation that has been passed,” Kaardal said in a statement.

Kaardal was referring to Evers’s veto earlier this month of eight electoral integrity measures approved by the state’s GOP-controlled legislature in Madison in response to widespread complaints about irregularities in the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin. Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman is leading a government investigation into the election. Republicans said the bills were needed to deal with problems identified in an audit by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau and by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty.

Evers was dismissive of the legislation, saying the vetoed measures were “passed under the guise of needing to reform our election system because elected officials in this state have enabled disinformation about our elections and elections process.”

drop box ballot
Residents drop mail-in ballots in a ballot box outside of the Tippecanoe branch library in Milwaukee, on Oct. 20, 2020. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Republican state Sen. Alberta Darling criticized Evers, saying, “It’s clear the governor didn’t even bother to read these bills and wants to lump any election reform as a conspiracy theory.”

According to Kaardal, Wisconsin’s election bribery law, Wisconsin Statutes section 12.11, already forbids municipal clerks from receiving money to increase in-person and absentee ballot opportunities within the municipality. Walworth County’s ban on private grants or donations earmarked for elections is consistent with Wisconsin Statutes section 12.11, he said.

Kaardal’s firm is also suing Milwaukee’s acting mayor, former mayor, and city clerk in connection with an election bribery scheme stemming from CTCL grants, as The Epoch Times reported.

The complaint alleges that the city’s acceptance of money from CTCL to selectively facilitate in-person and absentee voting and to purchase and place absentee ballot drop boxes constitutes bribery and is contrary to Wisconsin’s election bribery law and other state and federal laws.

3 Fears that Paralyze Potential

Fostering the growth of young leaders is something I’ve found to be one of my greatest passions in life and a primary goal of my ministry, Unashamed Impact. I wanted to look at some of the common hindrances that I’ve experienced in my own journey of purpose. I’ve also seen some of these hindrances locking up the greatest potential of many around me. If you find yourself struggling with the issues below, I ask that you sincerely take a meaningful moment to address them. We can’t change what we’re not willing to confront.

  1. Apprehensive Communication

Our communication can be muddy for various reasons. Here are just a few.

  • Hesitation and uncertainty will keep us from clear communication. Say what you mean, mean what you say, and say it boldly. If you don’t believe in what you’re saying, there’s a good chance others won’t either.
  • Sometimes we have not yet sufficiently consolidated the ideas we are trying to share with others. Make sure your thoughts are in order before presenting your ideas. If the concept isn’t simple and clean, it may get lost in translation. If you are not already clear about the idea, you will not be able to communicate it clearly to anyone else. What are you trying to accomplish, and how do you want to go about it?
  • Assumed Expectations

One of the most common causes for communication breakdown is failure to get on the same page. What are your expectations? Make the gray areas clear so nothing is left to assumption. What are your plans for each person’s involvement, and what are the anticipated results? What is the end? What is the process or route to that end? This is not only “good business,” but it is also an important key for effective and influential relationships in all realms. Make sure everyone is looking at the same map from the beginning – with the same picture of expectations.

  1. Fear of Failure

Holding back for fear of failure is very common. This fear continually rears its ugly head to block us from our full potential.

  • The pressure to meet the expectations of others can be crippling. Focus instead on the fact that as God calls us, He also enables us and equips us for the work He has given us.
  • A poor self-image, or not seeing ourselves as God sees us, can prevent you from accomplishing the very thing you’ve set after. A lot of people drop out of the race early from the simple fear of “measuring up.”
  • The possibility of failure is always in front of anyone who steps out in some new direction. But it is those who risk pushing the limits who get to see how far they can really go. Sure, mistakes will be made, but they’re proof that you’re trying. Let’s learn from our mistakes! A healthy leader’s approach to making a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct it, and learn from it. This literally can turn a failure into a success.
  1. Cowering to Opinions

What people think about you is none of your business – yes, none of your business. You take care of your character, and your reputation will take care of itself. You can never truly be who you are if you’re constantly driven to be who you think people want to see. You’ll soon find that you cannot please everyone. It’s the quickest way to lose yourself and the unique qualities that make you you.

Just be a first-rate version of you instead of trying to be a second-rate imitation of someone else. Be true to deep principles and don’t worry about people’s shallow opinions. A leader is one who goes the way and shows the way – staying principle-centered rather than people-centered. How can we change the world if we are busy trying to look just like it? We diminish our genuine effectiveness trying to be anyone other than ourselves.

Break free from the chains of people’s opinions. Develop a healthy self-talk instead. What do you think about yourself? Self-awareness is the ability to think about how we think, and the fact that you can separate yourself from your thoughts and review them proves that you are not your thoughts. Even our own opinions of ourselves can often be just as shallow as what others think. So instead of being bound by the opinions of others and ourselves, begin to develop a healthy meditation of yourself first. The opinion that matters is God’s! He has called you and He is at work in you to will and to do His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). You are His project and all that matters is what He sees as your full potential (Eph. 2:10).

Pause and Reflect:

Think about the main points of this article and pray about your answers to these questions:

1.  Where have I been uncertain in communication due to hesitation and wrong assumptions?

2.  Where have I been so afraid of failing that I refuse to get out of the boat and walk to Jesus?

3.  When have I cowered to shallow and fickle opinions – of others and myself?

Pope Francis updates canon law on dismissal from religious institutes

The statue of St Peter inside the Vaticans St Peters Square Jan 19 2015 Credit Bohumil Petrik CN 2 CNA 1 29 15
St. Peter holding the keys. | Bohumil Petrik/CNA.

Pope Francis issued an apostolic letter on Tuesday bringing Church law up to date on the rules for dismissal from religious institutes, in light of the updated penal law on sanctions related to clerical sexual abuse and other crimes.

The letter, known as Recognitum librum VI and issued motu proprio (on the pope’s “own impulse”) on April 26, modifies one sentence from canon 695 of the Code of Canon Law.

The pope explained that the modification makes the line consistent with the major revisions made last year to Book VI of the code’s penal law, which classified some crimes differently and introduced new crimes.

The new text of canon 695 §1 says: “A religious must be dismissed from the institute for the delicts mentioned in can. 1395, 1397, and 1398, unless in the delicts mentioned in can. 1395, §2-3 and 1398 §1, the superior decides that dismissal is not completely necessary and that correction of the religious, restitution of justice, and reparation of scandal can be resolved sufficiently in another way.”

The Code of Canon Law defines a religious institute as “a society in which members, according to proper law, pronounce public vows, either perpetual or temporary which are to be renewed, however, when the period of time has elapsed, and lead a life of brothers or sisters in common.”

Canon 1395 of the new code refers specifically to “a cleric living in concubinage” and clerics who continue in some other external sin against the sixth commandment (“You shall not commit adultery”) which causes scandal, as well a cleric who “forces someone to perform or submit to sexual acts.”

Canon 1397 of the Church’s law details the punishments for a person who commits homicide, gravely wounds another person, or procures an abortion.

Canon 1398 deals with clerical sexual abuse of a minor and the distribution of pornographic images of minors.

Pope Francis said that he made the change after hearing from the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

The Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts is not itself a lawmaker, but assists the pope, who is the Church’s supreme legislator, in drafting and interpreting canon law.

With the change, canon 695 now refers to the appropriate canons in the revised Book VI of the Code of Canon Law, which came into force on Dec. 8, 2021.

The reformed penal code introduced new crimes in the area of economic and financial matters to canon law and moved the canons concerning the crime of sexual abuse of minors and crimes of child pornography from the section on “crimes against special obligations” to that of “crimes against life, dignity, and freedom of the person” in Book VI.

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