UAE Condemns “Heinous” Killing Of Iran Scientist In Rare Break From Israel-Gulf Axis

UAE Condemns “Heinous” Killing Of Iran Scientist In Rare Break From Israel-Gulf Axis

Tyler Durden

Mon, 11/30/2020 – 18:50

Last Friday’s assassination of top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is putting immense strain on the newly ‘normalized’ ties between the United Arab Emirates and Israel. 

The UAE late on Sunday issued a statement strongly denouncing the attack that it called a “crime” that could destabilize the region. This after Tehran has vowed to retaliate, yet without giving details of what form this might take.

The UAE “condemns the heinous assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, which could further fuel conflict in the region,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said, as cited in Bloomberg.



Cleric holding an image of slain nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, via PBS.

“The state of instability our region is currently going through, and the security challenges it faces, drive us all to work towards averting acts that could lead to escalation and eventually threaten the stability of the entire region,” it added.

Signed on September 15, the ‘Abraham Accords’ opened up formal diplomatic relations and economic dealings between Israel and the tiny oil-rich Gulf country for the first time in history.

Bahrain was also involved, and Sudan is said to be the next Arab League member to normalize ties, with the State Department now urging Saudi Arabia to follow.

As Bloomberg notes of the significance of the UAE condemning this latest attack:

“The denunciation late Sunday was significant both because of the historically strained relations between Sunni Gulf Arab states and Shiite Iran, and the fact that Tehran has blamed the attack on Israel, which recently signed a normalization deal with the UAE.”

Jordan is also the latest regional voice to condemn the brazen assassination which occurred east of Tehran last week.

Some current and former diplomats in the West have also condemned the killing, widely suspected to have Israeli or even US intelligence involvement, as it sets a precedented that could open tit-for-tat illegal assassinations as a modus operandi for score settling among rival powers in the region.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/37mgJ9l Tyler Durden

Georgia’s Raffensperger Suddenly Concerned About “Illegal” Out Of State Votes

Georgia’s Raffensperger Suddenly Concerned About “Illegal” Out Of State Votes

Tyler Durden

Mon, 11/30/2020 – 18:30

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) – who President Trump last Thursday called an “enemy of the people” for allegedly making some type of “deal” with Democratic operative Stacey Abrams over ballot harvesting – said on Monday that he’s suddenly concerned with progressive groups trying to sign up new voters in advance of a Jan. 5 Senate runoff which could flip the GOP-controlled chamber blue.

“These third-party groups have a responsibility to not encourage illegal voting. If they do so, they will be held responsible,” said Raffensperger, who added that his office is allegedly investigating efforts by America Votes, Vote Forward and the New Georgia Project to encourage people living outside Georgia to register to vote in the state.

Raffensperger also said his office has launched several investigations into accusations of fraud committed during the November election.

On Thursday, President Trump slammed Raffensperger – telling reporters: “You’re not allowed to harvest, but I understand the secretary of state, who is really an enemy of the people, the secretary of state, and whether he’s Republican or not, this man, what he’s done, supposedly he made a deal and you’ll have to check this, where she is allowed to harvest but in other areas they’re not allowed.”

Stacey Abrams – the failed GA gubernatorial candidate who failed to concede – has been credited with helping to register 800,000 people to vote in Georgia for the 2020 election, though she claims it wasn’t done through ballot harvesting, a process by which an individual will collect ballots from voters and turn them in.

Biden ‘won’ Georgia by 12,670 votes.

Meanwhile, the odds of Democrats gaining control of the Senate are currently at 29% according to PredictIt.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2Vkg2YD Tyler Durden

Lockdowns and Leviathan

Newsom

As of today, the 10 million residents of Los Angeles County can no longer legally congregate with people outside of their immediate family, unless it’s for the purposes of outdoor protest or religious gathering. Playgrounds—you know, those places in California’s abundantly pleasant outdoors where children, who are disproportionately unlikely to contract, transmit, or suffer from COVID-19, can feel like human beings for brief respites—are once again banned, unless they are attached to schools (which are almost all shut) or day care centers. Restaurants cannot accept even outdoor customers.

All this despite the fact that L.A. County’s seven-day positive-test rate for the novel coronavirus is at just 6.9 percent, which would rank around 38th in the country if the County of Angels was a state. The overall positivity rate in California is even lower, though that hasn’t stopped Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state’s largely Democratic political class from enacting some of the harshest clampdowns in the United States.

How did we get here, and how can we get out? Such forms the bulk of the debate on today’s Reason Roundtable. Also up for discussion: media hysteria, President-elect Joe Biden’s crappy Cabinet picks, and what Unorthodox can teach us about voice, exit, and coronavirus.

Speaking of plagues: Right the hell now is your final opportunity to submit questions for Roundtable podcasters Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and Katherine Mangu-Ward, to be addressed during our annual Webathon, which starts presently. Please email stumpers to podcasts@reason.com before December 1. You’ll be glad you did!

Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor.

Music: “government funded weed” by Black Ant.

Relevant links from the show:

Anthony Fauci: ‘Close the Bars and Keep the Schools Open,’” by Robby Soave

Americans Are Starting a Staggering Number of Businesses During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” by Eric Boehm

Pandemic Rules Are Only for the Little People,” by J.D. Tuccille

Paul Krugman Thinks Holding Religious Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Like ‘Dumping Neurotoxins Into Public Reservoirs,’” by Jacob Sullum

SCOTUS Blocks New York’s COVID-19 Restrictions on Houses of Worship, Saying They Are Not ‘Narrowly Tailored,’” by Jacob Sullum

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock Urged People Not To Travel for Thanksgiving Shortly Before Boarding His Flight,” by Christian Britschgi

Masks Have Helped To Blunt the COVID-19 Pandemic in Kansas,” by Ronald Bailey

Senseless Restrictions on Outdoor Activities Undermine the Goal of Curbing COVID-19,” by Jacob Sullum

Americans Are Nowhere Near Herd Immunity to COVID-19,” by Ronald Bailey

Glenn Greenwald on Biden, Free Speech, and Leaving The Intercept,” by Nick Gillespie

Will Obama Torture Apologists Make a Triumphant Return to Joe Biden’s White House?” by Scott Shackford

Joe Biden’s Secretary of State Pick Has Been an Avid Backer of American Military Intervention,” by Christian Britschgi

If Joe Biden Is Serious About Criminal Justice Reform, He Won’t Pick Merrick Garland for Attorney General,” by Damon Root

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Drone Photography Potentially Protected by First Amendment

From today’s decision by Judge Robert Pitman in National Press Photographers Ass’n v. McCraw (W.D. Tex.), in which plaintiffs brought a First Amendment challenge (among other challenges) to the Texas statute limiting drone photography (note that this doesn’t deal with normal trespass law, which might cover certain drone usage that is physically over private property):

The Surveillance Provisions [Sections 423.002, 423.003, 423.004, and 423.006] declare it unlawful to “capture an image of an individual or privately owned real property in [Texas] with the intent to conduct surveillance on the individual or property contained in the image.” …

Plaintiffs are challenging the use of UAVs for the purpose of newsgathering and recording, “which is necessarily included within the First Amendment’s guarantee of speech and press rights as a corollary of the right to disseminate the resulting recording.” ACLU of Ill. v. Alvarez (7th Cir. 2012). Plaintiffs have plausibly alleged that the surveillance provisions are burdening expressive conduct—taking photos and video for newsgathering purposes. To the extent that Defendants argue that “surveillance” is distinguishable from photography and therefore the surveillance provisions are not prohibiting protected expressive conduct, that argument only highlights the dispute over the vagueness of the term “surveillance.”

Content-based restrictions on First Amendment protected activity “are presumptively unconstitutional and may be justified only if the government proves that they are narrowly tailored to serve compelling state interests.” A regulation of speech is content-based if it either “applies to particular speech because of the topic discussed or the idea or message expressed,” or discriminates between speakers in a way that “disfavors” certain speakers from exercising their First Amendment rights.

Plaintiffs have sufficiently pled that the Surveillance Provisions apply speaker-based discrimination and are thus content-based. Plaintiffs argue that because the Surveillance Provisions exempt certain speakers from liability, other speakers such as journalists face liability because of the type of speaker they are. Certain individuals are permitted to capture UAV images under the Surveillance Provisions, such as professors,students,professionalengineers,andinsurancecompanyemployees.

Defendants argue that these exemptions are not speaker-based discrimination because the same person could be permitted to use a UAV for an academic purpose, but not for newsgathering—regardless of that person’s identity. The Court disagrees that Defendants’ distinction means the Surveillance Provisions are not speaker-based. The regulation is not speaker-neutral just because one person may simultaneously fall into multiple categories of speakers under the Surveillance Provisions. Instead, the Surveillance Provisions are discriminating based on the type of speaker someone is at the time they are using a UAV because of the exceptions listed in Section 423.002….

{Plaintiffs also argue that the Surveillance Provisions are content-based because they include exemptions based on the purpose of the images captured with a UAV, such as “professional or scholarly research,” operations and maintenance of utility or telecommunications facilities,” and “mapping.” Defendants argue that because the same image can be prohibited or allowed under the Surveillance Provisions based on how it is being used, the content of the image is not the discriminating factor. Because there is also speaker-based discrimination requiring the application of strict scrutiny, the Court does not reach this issue.}

As a result, the Court should apply strict scrutiny. See Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc. (2011). Even assuming that Defendants will demonstrate a compelling government interest, Plaintiffs have plausibly argued that the Surveillance Provisions are not narrowly tailored to protect this interest in light of the numerous exceptions included in the Surveillance Provisions. Plaintiffs question why government interests in privacy and public safety are implicated for journalists using UAVs, but not for other individuals exempted under the Surveillance Provisions. The Court agrees that some of these exceptions leave open the question of whether the Surveillance Provisions are narrowly tailored. As a result, Plaintiffs’ complaint has plausibly alleged that the Surveillance Provisions impermissibly impose content-based restrictions….

I’m inclined to agree that the speaker classification here is content-based, because the only explanation for the preference for certain speakers is that the government expects them to produce content that it sees as more valuable than the content produced by other speakers.

The court also concluded that the Surveillance Provisions were “impermissibly vague because they do not define the term ‘surveillance'”:

[A]t no point do Defendants attempt to define the term “surveillance” or point to any authority or evidence that outlines what type of UAV use is prohibited under “surveillance.” They argue that Plaintiffs have not shown their actions would violate the Surveillance Provisions, but never take a stance on whether the activities at issue would be prohibited by the Surveillance Provisions.

Defendants instead argue it is a factual inquiry as to whether Plaintiffs’ conduct is prohibited by the Surveillance Provisions, not a question of whether the provisions are themselves vague. However, Defendants never indicate what interpretation of the Surveillance Provisions should govern such a factual inquiry, and instead only assert that “[o]rdinary persons are perfectly capable of understanding the meaning of the word ‘surveillance.'” With multiple possible broad dictionary definitions from Plaintiffs, and  no clarity offered from Defendants, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have plausibly pled that the Surveillance Provisions are unconstitutionally vague.

The court then turned to the No-Fly Provisions, which ban the use of drones “over a correctional facility, detention facility, or critical infrastructure facility” or “over a sports venue,” and ban “drones from ‘mak[ing] contact with’ such a facility or to allow it ‘to come within a distance … that is close enough to interfere with the operations of or cause a disturbance to the facility'”:

Plaintiffs plead that the No-Fly Provisions violate the First Amendment as an unconstitutional restraint on expressive conduct. In the alternative, Plaintiffs also plead that the No-Fly Provisions impose an incidental restraint on protected conduct, in which case intermediate scrutiny applies. Under intermediate scrutiny, regulation is only permissible if the government has the power to enact the regulation and the regulation (1) “furthers an important or substantial government interest” that is (2) “unrelated to the suppression of free expression” and (3) narrowly tailored to advance that interest. Plaintiffs have sufficiently pled facts to plausibly allege the No-Fly Provisions are unconstitutional under intermediate scrutiny.

Even assuming the No-Fly Provisions further an important government interest and that interest is unrelated to the suppression of free expression, which the parties dispute, Plaintiffs have adequately pled the No-Fly Provisions are not narrowly tailored. While Defendants have pointed to government interests that may be sufficient to meet the first requirement of an important or substantial government interest, Plaintiffs allege that the exemptions for commercial interests in the No-Fly Provision undercut the purported importance of these government interests.

The Court agrees that Plaintiffs have plausibly raised questions as to how these government interests could be threatened by newsgathering but not by commercial activities. This inconsistent prohibition of UAVs indicates that the No-Fly Provisions are restricting more speech than necessary to achieve the government’s alleged interests.

Plaintiffs have also plausibly pled that the No-Fly Provisions are vague and overbroad because “commercial purpose” is not defined in the exemptions from the No-Fly Provisions and is often construed to exclude newsgathering. Plaintiffs cite multiple dictionary definitions of “commercial” that do not provide clear guidance on whether photojournalism is included. For instance, “the buying and selling of goods” seems less likely to include photojournalism. Whereas Plaintiffs assert that other dictionaries define “commercial” to mean any moneymaking enterprise, seemingly more likely to include photojournalism within the definition.

But the court rejected the plaintiffs’ claims that the No-Fly Provisions were preempted by the federal scheme for regulating aviation safety.

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Liquidity Reversal: The Rotation Trade Speed Bump

Liquidity Reversal: The Rotation Trade Speed Bump


Tyler Durden

Mon, 11/30/2020 – 18:25

Real Vision managing editor Ed Harrison is joined by editor Jack Farley to evaluate the value rotation trade and the challenges it will face in the coming months. As November comes to a close – a month that saw record-breaking appreciation in value stocks, cyclicals, and small-caps – Ed and Jack analyzes how rising COVID-19 hospitalizations will impact economic behavior. They then look at liquidity going forward, and how monetary conditions will affect markets over the next few months, incorporating Ed’s interview with Michael Howell and Jack’s upcoming interview with Teddy Vallee. Ed and Jack close by discussing the Government Accountability Office’s report on incorrect jobless claims data, as well as GM’s partial back-pedaling out of its deal with controversial electric vehicle manufacturer Nikola.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3mqIt2X Tyler Durden

“Absolutely Crazy” – Sub-Zero Freezer Demand Erupts Ahead Of Vaccine Distribution 

“Absolutely Crazy” – Sub-Zero Freezer Demand Erupts Ahead Of Vaccine Distribution 

Tyler Durden

Mon, 11/30/2020 – 18:10

Demand for sub-zero freezers has erupted over the last month following encouraging COVID-19 vaccine developments from Pfizer and the German firm BioNTech.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has to be stored at -70 degrees Celsius – standard commercial freezers don’t get that cold – forcing many hospital systems across the country to panic buy these special freezers from refrigerator-maker So-Low Environmental Equipment. 

Dean Hensler, vice president of So-Low, told CNBC’s Squawk on the Street that “right now we are out of everything.” 

Hensler said the anticipation of coronavirus vaccine distribution had unleashed a massive buying wave of ultra-cold freezers by hospital systems that plan on storing then distributing the vaccine. 

Last week, Pfizer-BioNTech filed for emergency use authorization with the FDA for approval – a meeting had been scheduled for Dec. 8, 9, and 10 – Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the first doses of the vaccine could be shipped out within hours of the EUA approval.

Reuters quoted President Trump on Thursday evening, saying the vaccine could begin delivery as soon as next week. 

The largest hurdle for a nationwide vaccine rollout is the expanding need for cold storage. 

“We had heard that the Pfizer was going to have to be stored at minus 70. We took it upon ourselves to say, ‘Hey, listen, we’ve got to do something about this,'” Hensler said. 

“Our phones started ringing off the hook the day it … got out to the public. That inventory we had built was gone like in three weeks, so now we’re building everything per order,” he said. “We’re running about six to eight weeks on delivery right now. It’s been crazy. It’s been crazy.”

“We’re going to work Friday after Thanksgiving,” Hensler said. The way the company sees it, he said, “The quicker we can get freezers out, the more people can get vaccinated, and we can get back to the old normal, rather than this new normal.”

Earlier this week, UPS announced it would produce thousands of pounds of dry ice per day and provide cold storage facilities and transportation for COVID-19 vaccines. 

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/33vVlO5 Tyler Durden

Lockdowns and Leviathan

Newsom

As of today, the 10 million residents of Los Angeles County can no longer legally congregate with people outside of their immediate family, unless it’s for the purposes of outdoor protest or religious gathering. Playgrounds—you know, those places in California’s abundantly pleasant outdoors where children, who are disproportionately unlikely to contract, transmit, or suffer from COVID-19, can feel like human beings for brief respites—are once again banned, unless they are attached to schools (which are almost all shut) or day care centers. Restaurants cannot accept even outdoor customers.

All this despite the fact that L.A. County’s seven-day positive-test rate for the novel coronavirus is at just 6.9 percent, which would rank around 38th in the country if the County of Angels was a state. The overall positivity rate in California is even lower, though that hasn’t stopped Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state’s largely Democratic political class from enacting some of the harshest clampdowns in the United States.

How did we get here, and how can we get out? Such forms the bulk of the debate on today’s Reason Roundtable. Also up for discussion: media hysteria, President-elect Joe Biden’s crappy Cabinet picks, and what Unorthodox can teach us about voice, exit, and coronavirus.

Speaking of plagues: Right the hell now is your final opportunity to submit questions for Roundtable podcasters Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and Katherine Mangu-Ward, to be addressed during our annual Webathon, which starts presently. Please email stumpers to podcasts@reason.com before December 1. You’ll be glad you did!

Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor.

Music: “government funded weed” by Black Ant.

Relevant links from the show:

Anthony Fauci: ‘Close the Bars and Keep the Schools Open,’” by Robby Soave

Americans Are Starting a Staggering Number of Businesses During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” by Eric Boehm

Pandemic Rules Are Only for the Little People,” by J.D. Tuccille

Paul Krugman Thinks Holding Religious Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Like ‘Dumping Neurotoxins Into Public Reservoirs,’” by Jacob Sullum

SCOTUS Blocks New York’s COVID-19 Restrictions on Houses of Worship, Saying They Are Not ‘Narrowly Tailored,’” by Jacob Sullum

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock Urged People Not To Travel for Thanksgiving Shortly Before Boarding His Flight,” by Christian Britschgi

Masks Have Helped To Blunt the COVID-19 Pandemic in Kansas,” by Ronald Bailey

Senseless Restrictions on Outdoor Activities Undermine the Goal of Curbing COVID-19,” by Jacob Sullum

Americans Are Nowhere Near Herd Immunity to COVID-19,” by Ronald Bailey

Glenn Greenwald on Biden, Free Speech, and Leaving The Intercept,” by Nick Gillespie

Will Obama Torture Apologists Make a Triumphant Return to Joe Biden’s White House?” by Scott Shackford

Joe Biden’s Secretary of State Pick Has Been an Avid Backer of American Military Intervention,” by Christian Britschgi

If Joe Biden Is Serious About Criminal Justice Reform, He Won’t Pick Merrick Garland for Attorney General,” by Damon Root

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Drone Photography Potentially Protected by First Amendment

From today’s decision by Judge Robert Pitman in National Press Photographers Ass’n v. McCraw (W.D. Tex.), in which plaintiffs brought a First Amendment challenge (among other challenges) to the Texas statute limiting drone photography (note that this doesn’t deal with normal trespass law, which might cover certain drone usage that is physically over private property):

The Surveillance Provisions [Sections 423.002, 423.003, 423.004, and 423.006] declare it unlawful to “capture an image of an individual or privately owned real property in [Texas] with the intent to conduct surveillance on the individual or property contained in the image.” …

Plaintiffs are challenging the use of UAVs for the purpose of newsgathering and recording, “which is necessarily included within the First Amendment’s guarantee of speech and press rights as a corollary of the right to disseminate the resulting recording.” ACLU of Ill. v. Alvarez (7th Cir. 2012). Plaintiffs have plausibly alleged that the surveillance provisions are burdening expressive conduct—taking photos and video for newsgathering purposes. To the extent that Defendants argue that “surveillance” is distinguishable from photography and therefore the surveillance provisions are not prohibiting protected expressive conduct, that argument only highlights the dispute over the vagueness of the term “surveillance.”

Content-based restrictions on First Amendment protected activity “are presumptively unconstitutional and may be justified only if the government proves that they are narrowly tailored to serve compelling state interests.” A regulation of speech is content-based if it either “applies to particular speech because of the topic discussed or the idea or message expressed,” or discriminates between speakers in a way that “disfavors” certain speakers from exercising their First Amendment rights.

Plaintiffs have sufficiently pled that the Surveillance Provisions apply speaker-based discrimination and are thus content-based. Plaintiffs argue that because the Surveillance Provisions exempt certain speakers from liability, other speakers such as journalists face liability because of the type of speaker they are. Certain individuals are permitted to capture UAV images under the Surveillance Provisions, such as professors,students,professionalengineers,andinsurancecompanyemployees.

Defendants argue that these exemptions are not speaker-based discrimination because the same person could be permitted to use a UAV for an academic purpose, but not for newsgathering—regardless of that person’s identity. The Court disagrees that Defendants’ distinction means the Surveillance Provisions are not speaker-based. The regulation is not speaker-neutral just because one person may simultaneously fall into multiple categories of speakers under the Surveillance Provisions. Instead, the Surveillance Provisions are discriminating based on the type of speaker someone is at the time they are using a UAV because of the exceptions listed in Section 423.002….

{Plaintiffs also argue that the Surveillance Provisions are content-based because they include exemptions based on the purpose of the images captured with a UAV, such as “professional or scholarly research,” operations and maintenance of utility or telecommunications facilities,” and “mapping.” Defendants argue that because the same image can be prohibited or allowed under the Surveillance Provisions based on how it is being used, the content of the image is not the discriminating factor. Because there is also speaker-based discrimination requiring the application of strict scrutiny, the Court does not reach this issue.}

As a result, the Court should apply strict scrutiny. See Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc. (2011). Even assuming that Defendants will demonstrate a compelling government interest, Plaintiffs have plausibly argued that the Surveillance Provisions are not narrowly tailored to protect this interest in light of the numerous exceptions included in the Surveillance Provisions. Plaintiffs question why government interests in privacy and public safety are implicated for journalists using UAVs, but not for other individuals exempted under the Surveillance Provisions. The Court agrees that some of these exceptions leave open the question of whether the Surveillance Provisions are narrowly tailored. As a result, Plaintiffs’ complaint has plausibly alleged that the Surveillance Provisions impermissibly impose content-based restrictions….

I’m inclined to agree that the speaker classification here is content-based, because the only explanation for the preference for certain speakers is that the government expects them to produce content that it sees as more valuable than the content produced by other speakers.

The court also concluded that the Surveillance Provisions were “impermissibly vague because they do not define the term ‘surveillance'”:

[A]t no point do Defendants attempt to define the term “surveillance” or point to any authority or evidence that outlines what type of UAV use is prohibited under “surveillance.” They argue that Plaintiffs have not shown their actions would violate the Surveillance Provisions, but never take a stance on whether the activities at issue would be prohibited by the Surveillance Provisions.

Defendants instead argue it is a factual inquiry as to whether Plaintiffs’ conduct is prohibited by the Surveillance Provisions, not a question of whether the provisions are themselves vague. However, Defendants never indicate what interpretation of the Surveillance Provisions should govern such a factual inquiry, and instead only assert that “[o]rdinary persons are perfectly capable of understanding the meaning of the word ‘surveillance.'” With multiple possible broad dictionary definitions from Plaintiffs, and  no clarity offered from Defendants, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have plausibly pled that the Surveillance Provisions are unconstitutionally vague.

The court then turned to the No-Fly Provisions, which ban the use of drones “over a correctional facility, detention facility, or critical infrastructure facility” or “over a sports venue,” and ban “drones from ‘mak[ing] contact with’ such a facility or to allow it ‘to come within a distance … that is close enough to interfere with the operations of or cause a disturbance to the facility'”:

Plaintiffs plead that the No-Fly Provisions violate the First Amendment as an unconstitutional restraint on expressive conduct. In the alternative, Plaintiffs also plead that the No-Fly Provisions impose an incidental restraint on protected conduct, in which case intermediate scrutiny applies. Under intermediate scrutiny, regulation is only permissible if the government has the power to enact the regulation and the regulation (1) “furthers an important or substantial government interest” that is (2) “unrelated to the suppression of free expression” and (3) narrowly tailored to advance that interest. Plaintiffs have sufficiently pled facts to plausibly allege the No-Fly Provisions are unconstitutional under intermediate scrutiny.

Even assuming the No-Fly Provisions further an important government interest and that interest is unrelated to the suppression of free expression, which the parties dispute, Plaintiffs have adequately pled the No-Fly Provisions are not narrowly tailored. While Defendants have pointed to government interests that may be sufficient to meet the first requirement of an important or substantial government interest, Plaintiffs allege that the exemptions for commercial interests in the No-Fly Provision undercut the purported importance of these government interests.

The Court agrees that Plaintiffs have plausibly raised questions as to how these government interests could be threatened by newsgathering but not by commercial activities. This inconsistent prohibition of UAVs indicates that the No-Fly Provisions are restricting more speech than necessary to achieve the government’s alleged interests.

Plaintiffs have also plausibly pled that the No-Fly Provisions are vague and overbroad because “commercial purpose” is not defined in the exemptions from the No-Fly Provisions and is often construed to exclude newsgathering. Plaintiffs cite multiple dictionary definitions of “commercial” that do not provide clear guidance on whether photojournalism is included. For instance, “the buying and selling of goods” seems less likely to include photojournalism. Whereas Plaintiffs assert that other dictionaries define “commercial” to mean any moneymaking enterprise, seemingly more likely to include photojournalism within the definition.

But the court rejected the plaintiffs’ claims that the No-Fly Provisions were preempted by the federal scheme for regulating aviation safety.

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“Copyright Troll” Richard Liebowitz Suspended (on Interim Basis) from S.D.N.Y. Bar

From an order issued today (see pp. 8-10 of Usherson v. Bandshell Artist Management):

This matter comes before the Committee on Grievances for the Southern District of New York … to consider the imposition of discipline against respondent Richard Liebowitz … based upon charges brought against him by the Committee on August 5, 2020 …. Given the current status of the investigation as confidential, both the Charges and the investigation underlying their imposition are referenced without detail in this Order.

The full Committee [on Grievances for the Southern District of New York] (consisting of Chief Judge McMahon, Judges Castel, Daniels, Nathan, Stanton, Vyskocil, Magistrate Judges Aaron, Cott, and McCarthy, and the undersigned as Chair) has now reviewed [Respondent Richard Liebowitz’s] submission, as well as the record developed during the Committee’s investigation. After careful deliberation, the Committee is unanimously of the view that the Charges are strongly supported by the record. What is more, the Committee is unanimously of the view that interim disciplinary measures against Respondent must be put in place immediately….

The record in this case—which includes Respondent’s repeated disregard for orders from this Court and his unwillingness to change despite 19 formal sanctions and scores of other admonishments and warnings from judges across the country—leads the Committee to the view that recurrence is highly likely. In short, in light of the nature and seriousness of the Charges, the strength of the record supporting those Charges, and the risk and danger of recurrence, the Committee concludes that an interim suspension of Respondent from the practice of law before this Court pending final adjudication of the charges against him is warranted.

In the exercise of its discretion, the Committee will defer the final adjudication of the charges against Respondent currently pending before this Committee, as well as any other charges this Committee sees fit to bring against Respondent in the future as part of these disciplinary proceedings, until after Respondent has had an opportunity to present his defense to the Charges at an evidentiary hearing before a Magistrate Judge of this Court.

Accordingly, for the reasons set forth above, Respondent is hereby suspended from practicing law in the Southern District of New York, effective the date hereof, pending the outcome of these proceedings and  until further order of this Court. It is further ordered that Respondent is commanded to desist and refrain from the practice of law in the Southern District of New York in any form, either as principal or agent, clerk or employee of another; that Respondent is forbidden to appear as an attorney or counselor-at-law before any judge or Court in the Southern District of New York; that Respondent is forbidden to give another an opinion as to the law or its application or advice in relation thereto as to any matter in the Southern District of New York, all effective the date hereof, until such time as disciplinary matters pending before the Committee have been concluded and until further order of this Court.

This decision may have been related to the June 26 referral by Judge Jesse Furman in Usherson, in an opinion that began thus:

Richard Liebowitz, who passed the bar in 2015, started filing copyright cases in this District in 2017. Since that time, he has filed more cases in this District than any other lawyer: at last count, about 1,280; he has filed approximately the same number in other districts. In that same period, he has earned another dubious distinction: He has become one of the most frequently sanctioned lawyers, if not the most frequently sanctioned lawyer, in the District. Judges in this District and elsewhere have spent untold hours addressing Mr. Liebowitz’s misconduct, which includes repeated violations of court orders and outright dishonesty, sometimes under oath.

He has been called “a copyright troll,” McDermott v. Monday Monday, LLC, No. 17-CV-9230 (DLC), 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184049, at *9-10 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 26, 2018); “a clear and present danger to the fair and efficient administration of justice,” Mondragon v. Nosrak LLC, No. 19-CV-1437 (CMA) (NRN), 2020 WL 2395641, at *1, *13 (D. Colo. May 11, 2020); a “legal lamprey[],” Ward v. Consequence Holdings, Inc., No. 18-CV-1734 (NJR), 2020 WL 2219070, at *4 (S.D. Ill. May 7, 2020); and an “example of the worst kind of lawyering,” id. at *3. In scores of cases, he has been repeatedly chastised, warned, ordered to complete ethics courses, fined, and even referred to the Grievance Committee. And but for his penchant for voluntarily dismissing cases upon getting into hot water, the list of cases detailing his misconduct—set forth in an Appendix here—would undoubtedly be longer.

But as the opening paragraph notes, the precise charges are not currently public.

For more on the Richard Liebowitz saga, see some of these posts.

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“Dark Winter” Was A CSIS Scenario Code-Name Covering Biological Weapon Use Against America

“Dark Winter” Was A CSIS Scenario Code-Name Covering Biological Weapon Use Against America

Tyler Durden

Mon, 11/30/2020 – 17:50

Authored by Michael Snyder via TheMostImportantNews.com,

Could it be possible that the phrase “dark winter”  has some sort of deeper meaning that most of us are not meant to understand?  We have heard that phrase over and over again in recent weeks, and usually it has been used in discussions regarding the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic.  But it also turns out that “Dark Winter” was also a code name for a high level simulation that was conducted back in 2001.  That simulation envisioned a scenario in which a widespread smallpox attack was unleashed inside the United States.  As you will see below, the simulation was “designed to spiral out of control”, and the hypothetical consequences were absolutely disastrous.

The reason why this is a concern is because so many of these “simulations” and “exercises” end up mirroring real life events that happen at a later date.

For example, most of you have probably heard about Event 201 by now.  On October 18th, 2019 a group of prominent individuals gathered in New York City to simulate what would happen during a worldwide coronavirus pandemic

Event 201 simulates an outbreak of a novel zoonotic coronavirus transmitted from bats to pigs to people that eventually becomes efficiently transmissible from person to person, leading to a severe pandemic. The pathogen and the disease it causes are modeled largely on SARS, but it is more transmissible in the community setting by people with mild symptoms.

Of course COVID-19 started spreading in China just a few weeks later.

We have seen this same pattern happen so many times, and now we are being told over and over again that a “dark winter” is ahead.

For example, Joe Biden specifically warned us about a “dark winter” during the final presidential debate in October

Joe Biden warned at Thursday night’s presidential debate that the U.S. was “about to go into a dark winter,” echoing the concerns of public health experts who caution about increased daily Covid-19 case counts converging with the annual flu season.

“We’re about to go into a dark winter. A dark winter,” Biden said. “And he has no clear plan, and there’s no prospect that there’s going to be a vaccine available for the majority of the American people before the middle of next year.”

It is interesting to note that he repeated the phrase twice.

It is almost as if he was determined to make sure that he said it correctly.

And then he started using the phrase over and over again on the campaign trail and he kept using it even after the voting was over.

For example, here is an instance where he used the phrase on the Monday after the election

Joe Biden on Monday warned that a “very dark winter” is approaching as the U.S. coronavirus case count nears 10 million.

“There is a need for bold action to fight this pandemic,” Biden said in Delaware. “We’re still facing a very dark winter.”

I never thought too much about his use of that phrase, but could it be possible that it is actually some sort of a code word or signal?

We do know that it was a code word for a high level exercise that was held in 2001.  The following comes from Wikipedia

Operation Dark Winter was the code name for a senior-level bio-terrorist attack simulation conducted on June 22–23, 2001.[1][2][3] It was designed to carry out a mock version of a covert and widespread smallpox attack on the United States. Tara O’Toole and Thomas Inglesby of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies (CCBS) / Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and Randy Larsen and Mark DeMier of Analytic Services were the principal designers, authors, and controllers of the Dark Winter project.

It is interesting to note that smallpox is a highly infectious disease that involves sores appearing on the skin.

For those that have read my latest book, you already understand why that detail is so important to me.

And as I already mentioned above, this exercise was specifically designed “to spiral out of control”

Dark Winter’s simulated scenario involved an initial localized smallpox attack on Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with additional smallpox attack cases in Georgia and Pennsylvania. The simulation was then designed to spiral out of control. This would create a contingency in which the National Security Council struggles to determine both the origin of the attack as well as deal with containing the spreading virus. By not being able to keep pace with the disease’s rate of spread, a new catastrophic contingency emerges in which massive civilian casualties would overwhelm America’s emergency response capabilities.

Could it be possible that Biden and others are using the phrase “dark winter” to signal that something is about to spiral out of control?

I don’t know.  I am just asking the question.

In Operation Dark Winter, the spread of smallpox also resulted in a “massive loss of civilian life”

The disastrous contingencies that would result in the massive loss of civilian life were used to exploit the weaknesses of the U.S. health care infrastructure and its inability to handle such a threat. The contingencies were also meant to address the widespread panic that would emerge and which would result in mass social breakdown and mob violence. Exploits would also include the many difficulties that the media would face when providing American citizens with the necessary information regarding safety procedures. Discussing the outcome of Dark Winter, Bryan Walsh noted “The timing–just a few months before the 9/11 attack–was eerily prescient, as if the organizers had foreseen how the threat of terrorism, including bioterrorism, would come to consume the U.S. government and public in the years to come.”[4]

So let me try to summarize what we have learned.

Operation Dark Winter envisioned a scenario in which a highly infectious disease that causes sores on the skin spirals out of control and causes a “massive loss of civilian life”.

And suddenly Joe Biden and other elitists have begun repeating this phrase over and over again as we head into 2021.

Be sure to bookmark this page so that you can refer back to it later.

Reality is often stranger than fiction, and the table has been set for some really, really strange things to happen.

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Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/39sctYz Tyler Durden