Chinese Infiltration of the Lone Star State

China’s growing influence in the US is noticeable to anyone who doesn’t ignore it, but what is even more concerning is China’s growing influence in our very own state of Texas.

Sun Guangxin, a Chinese billionaire connected to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), planned to build a wind farm on the 15,000 acres he owns in Val Verde County. In total Sun owns more than 144,000 acres of land, all of which is not only near the Texas border, but also Laughlin air force base. 

In June 2021, Governor Abbott signed the Lone Star Infrastructure Protection Act which prevented Sun, and anyone else connected to countries like China, Russia, Iran, or North Korea, from building critical infrastructure in Texas. However, the law does not do enough to protect Texas from foreign adversaries who use their financial resources to infiltrate Texas’ borders. Despite Abbot blocking Sun from building his wind farm, he still owns the land and could use it for other malignant purposes. 

Texas leads the nation in foreign-owned land with 4.4 million acres, which is more by far than any other state. Six states actually ban foreign ownership of farmland, but Texas still allows it. In Houston, Chinese investors are buying up homes not to live in the US, but to make money off Americans by renting out the properties.

Sun is not the only businessman or business connected to the CCP who is currently operating in Texas. There are many, and each one represents a potential national security risk to not only the Lone Star state, but to the country. 

DJI Technology Co. Ltd, a Hong Kong-based drone manufacturing company, has been under heavy scrutiny recently for the security risks its drones pose due to the company’s closeness to the CCP. China Chengtong Holdings Group Ltd, a state-owned enterprise, described DJI as China’s leading company that “adheres to the standard of Xi Jinping’s socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.”

DJI has sold its wares to many companies, local agencies, and even Federal agencies. During the tail-end of the Trump Administration, Washington made it a priority to mitigate the dangers that Chinese drones pose in the US. The U.S. Commerce Department added DJI to the U.S. government’s economic blacklist in December 2020, and in January 2021 Trump signed an executive order prioritizing their removal from service. 

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office operates four DJI drones as of 2018, according to data compiled by the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College. Across Texas 42 police departments use a total of 73 DJI drones.  

In addition to the business sector in Texas, the CCP has also tried to infiltrate our education system. In one of the CCP’s boldest moves in Texas, it attempted to use a Hong Kong foundation to fund the University of Texas’ China Public Policy Center (CPPC). 

The Center opened in Aug. 2018 and was tasked with making “fresh and enduring contributions to the study of China-related policy topics while advancing U.S.-China relations and Texas-China relations.” Former foreign service officer David Firestein, who proposed that the Hong Kong-based foundation China United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) funds the Center, currently leads the CPPC. The CUSEF’s leader is Tung Chee-hwa who is vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a united front organisation. United front groups are the primary agents used by the CCP for foreign influence operations, with hundreds of United Front and United Front linked groups operating in the US.

Luckily Senator Ted Cruz and the White House pressured UT not to accept the funding, but the fact that a major state university was about to fund a Chinese research institution using a CCP front organization’s money shows how much influence China has already seized in the US and in Texas.

Some dramatic acts were taken by the Trump administration to combat Chinese intelligence operations in the US. The Chinese consulate in Houston was a hotbed for spies and the theft of intellectual property by CCP agents before Trump closed it down in July 2020. This action led to frenzied scenes of consulate workers burning huge amounts of classified documents to prevent the US from getting access to them. 

Policymakers in Austin and Washington, DC must make combatting Chinese influence in America a priority, especially as China continues to increase its aggressive threats towards Taiwan, and continues to oppress Tibet, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong. Congressman Chip Roy has been vocal about this issue, and his Securing America’s Land from Foreign Interference Act would have prevented members of the CCP from buying US farmland. Even these efforts, had they been successful, would not be enough. Most of the influence China has gained in the US has been indirect through front organizations. The CCP now has allies in every layer of the US echelons of power. We must remain vigilant and on the offensive against the influence they have accrued. 

We welcomed Chinese capital into the US for decades for cheaper and cheaper trinkets made with Chinese labor, all in the hope that as a developed nation it would have to democratize. We bet wrong, and it is time to face that fact and reverse course before it is too late. We must begin decoupling, limiting Chinese investments coming into America, and bring manufacturing back from China to the US. China is now a threat to the US and we must treat it as such. Hopefully the current administration will have the backbone to do so, and we must call on our government to protect American citizens and infrastructure from foreign dangers. 

CCP Delenda Est

The Darsch Report: June 21 to 27

Armed man barges into Bexar County Elections Office

On Friday morning, June 25, a 24-year-old man, whom authorities suspect was hallucinating from drugs, barged into the Bexar County Elections Office after he had fired shots inside a nearby hotel room

According to Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, Jouwan D. Williams Thomas jumped over the counter in the office on South Frio Street around 10 a.m. and said he was being chased. The suspect went into a secured area before a SWAT unit and other law enforcement personnel quickly arrived and apprehended the suspect. No injuries were reported.

While Thomas didn’t open fire inside the elections office, he did fire several shots of a 9mm handgun that penetrated some rooms at a Quality Inn nearby, Salazar said. No injuries were reported at the hotel. Salazar said the suspect had a high-capacity magazine in the gun and a similar magazine in the hotel room.

Salazar said it was initially believed that Thomas fired shots because of a drug deal gone bad, but it now appears that he may have been suffering from a drug-induced incident. High-grade marijuana and possibly synthetic marijuana were found in the room.

State Sen. José Menéndez was in the back of the elections office for a meeting with officials when the incident happened, Salazar said.

“They were pretty scared,” Salazar said of the election staff. “They locked down, sheltered in place. Kudos to the elections staff.”

Texan Voter Fraud

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced on Friday, June 25, that the Election Fraud Unit arrested and booked Monica Mendez into the Victoria County Jail on June 23, 2021, after a Victoria County Grand Jury returned an indictment against her on 31 counts of election fraud.

Mendez is being charged on 7 counts of Illegal Voting (a 2nd Degree Felony), 8 counts of Unlawfully Assisting Voter Voting Ballot by Mail (a 3rd Degree Felony), 8 counts of Unlawful Possession of a Ballot (a State Jail Felony), and 8 counts of Election Fraud (a State Jail Felony).

The charges relate to eight mail-in ballots in a May 2018 water district board election in Bloomington, a town of around 2,500 residents near Victoria.

According to the press release, the Texas Secretary of State referred the case to the Attorney General’s Office after Bloomington residents raised allegations of illegal voting and other election code violations. One specific concern being that about 275 people, out of a town of 2,500, tried to register as new voters using the same mailing address, according to local government officials.

Other residents of Bloomington were supposedly threatened with rent increases if they did not vote for their landlord’s preferred candidate in the local water department elections.

Miami Condo Collapse

Rescue efforts continue in the search of all those missing after Thursday’s June 24 tragedy in which a Surfside condo collapsed.

As of Sunday, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced the death toll had risen to 9, and the number of people missing was reduced to 152. “We were able to recover four additional bodies in the rubble as well as additional human remains,” the mayor said.

Additionally, although the investigation has just begun, experts who have examined video footage of the disaster outside Miami are focusing on a spot in the lowest part of the condominium complex—possibly in or below the underground parking garage—where an initial failure could have set off a structural avalanche.

Called “progressive collapse,” the gradual spread of failures could have occurred for a variety of reasons, including design flaws or the less robust construction allowed under the building codes of four decades ago, when the complex was built. But that progression could not have occurred without some critical first failure. Close inspections of a grainy surveillance video that emerged in the initial hours after the disaster has given the first hints of where that might have been.

“It does appear to start either at or very near the bottom of the structure,” said Donald O. Dusenberry, a consulting engineer who has investigated many structural collapses. “It’s not like there’s a failure high, and it pancaked down.”

US Economy

Supported by positive news from the Federal Reserve and hopes that a good infrastructure deal would be announced soon, the stock market did well over the past week. The Dow Jones increased to 34,433.84 on Friday, increasing by +1,143.76 points, or +3.44 percent over its June 18 close of 33,290.08. The S&P 500 increased by +114.25 points or +2.74 percent on Friday to a record high of 4,280.70. In addition, the Nasdaq increased on Friday by +2.35 percent.

China Announces Crewed Missions to Mars

Last week the People’s Republic of China announced plans to send its first crewed mission to Mars in 2033 as it continues to boost its space ambitions in a battle with the U.S.

Wang Xiaojun, head of the state-owned China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, outlined the country’s Mars plans for the first time this month at a space conference in Russia, according to the academy.

It comes just weeks after China landed a remote-controlled rover called Zhurong on Mars, making it the only country after the U.S. to do so.

Wang said the first step in China’s plans is to use robots to explore Mars to sample its surface and help select a place to build a base. The next stage would be to send astronauts up to Mars to build a base station there. Then China wants large-scale Earth-to-Mars cargo missions.

China has earmarked 2033, 2035, 2037, 2041, and 2043 for such missions and said it would explore technology to fly astronauts back to Earth.

The revelation of China’s Mars goals comes after a string of successful space missions. China has begun construction of its own space station and earlier this month sent the first astronauts up there. It was the first time China sent a crewed mission to space since 2016.

NASA says it plans to send humans to Mars in the 2030s.

The Texan Border

Over the weekend, nearly 100 days after being appointed by President Joe Biden to address the immigration crisis at the southern border, Vice-President Kamala Harris visited an El Paso border facility.

During a press conference, Harris touted “extreme progress” made by the Biden administration in tackling the migrant surge despite inheriting a “tough situation” due to the “disastrous effects” of the Trump administration’s border policies. 

When asked why she visited El Paso instead of areas that have been more acutely hit, like the Rio Grande Valley Sector, Harris explained that El Paso was where a number of Trump policies, like the Remain-in-Mexico policy and child separation policies, were implemented. 

This comes as more than 180,000 migrants were apprehended at the southern border in May, an increase over the 178,000 encountered in April and 173,000 encountered in March—all representing the highest numbers in years. In addition, 173,000 in March was a big increase from the 100,000 migrants encountered in February.

With or without help from the Biden Administration, Governor Greg Abbott is continuing to promote the continued building of a border wall along the Texan-Mexican border. Over the span of about a week, Texas received $459,000 in private donations for the state’s planned wall at the southern border, the governor’s office said Wednesday.

This comes after the governor promised a $250 million “down payment” in state funds for the project.

The Darsch Report: February 24 to March 2

Coronavirus in San Antonio, sanctuary cities for the unborn, and new laws to distinguish pot from hemp.

San Antonio Coronavirus

Health officials in Texas have now confirmed three new cases of coronavirus in San Antonio, bringing the total number of cases up to six. Health officials are also waiting on four additional test results from people who are showing signs of the virus.

All of the infected people, including one evacuee from Wuhan, China, are currently being held in isolation at the Texas Center for Infectious Disease. Officials say the quarantine for this group will stop around March 2nd, as after exposure, it takes two to 14 days to potentially become symptomatic.

Despite the rise in infections, authorities are urging the general public not to overreact to the threat the virus may pose to the local community.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg says, “Let’s be clear. The most dangerous, damaging infectious disease is hysteria. And so, what we’re trying to do is make sure that we have a compassionate, human response to a crisis that’s happening, that we do so while all the while maintaining the safety of the public.”

With these cases, the total number of cases in the US jumps up to at least 53.

ACLU vs Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn

On Tuesday the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against seven Texas towns that have declared themselves “sanctuary cities for the unborn.”

The ACLU is filing the challenge on behalf of the Texas Equal Access Fund and the Lilith Fund, stating that the ordinance is unconstitutional for violating the “right to abortion” and the organizations’ “First Amendment rights,” says Anjali Salvador, a staff attorney for the ACLU of Texas. The ordinances label the two organizations as “criminal organizations” and ban from offering services, renting or buying property or having a presence in the cities.

“Under these local laws, our clients cannot speak up about abortion rights, recruit volunteers to help them do their important work, or congregate to share informational materials in these cities without worrying about getting sued,” Salvador says. “The laws intentionally and unconstitutionally obstruct our plaintiffs’ ability to do their jobs, impeding the advocacy work that is integral to their mission.”

In a statement, the Pro-Life group Texas Right to Life called the ACLU’s lawsuit “scattershot,” “desperate” and “baseless,” and accused the plaintiffs of “throwing a hodgepodge of complaints at the court and seeing what they can get to stick.” 

“We are confident the Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinances will hold up in court… In passing the ordinance, cities acted within their constitutional rights to self-governance and within the scope of current U.S. Supreme Court abortion jurisprudence,” Texas Right to Life stated.

California Lottery Shortchanges Schools

California state officials released a scathing audit of the California Lottery this week, alleging that the agency shortchanged schools by millions of dollars over the last four years and recommending that most of the money be repaid.

State Auditor Elaine Howle stated that the California Lottery failed to provide $36 million that should have gone to education in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2018.

“The Lottery has not followed state law, which requires it to increase its funding for education in proportion to its increases in net revenue,” State Auditor Elaine Howle wrote in a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature.

However, the auditor originally determined that the lottery should have provided $69 million more to education but reduced the amount to $36 million after hearing an explanation from lottery officials.

The California Lottery is designed so that 34% of sales revenue to go to schools and administrative expenses are capped at 16%, but a smaller percentage is allowed to go to education as long as lottery managers use “best practices.”

Lottery Director Alva V. Johnson disputed that the agency has shortchanged schools, saying he and the auditors have a “fundamental difference of opinion” over how to interpret the California State Lottery Act and the 2010 change in the law.

US Economy

The stock market had a terrible time this week with massive drops in many sectors of the stock market. The Dow Jones decreased to 25,409.36 on Friday, decreasing by -2,551.44 points, or -9.13 percent compared to its February 21st close of 28,992.41. The S&P 500 decreased by -271.67 points or -8.42 percent on Friday. In addition, the Nasdaq increased on Friday by -7.09 percent.

The stock market plunge comes on the heels of reactions to how coronavirus is affecting life both in and outside of China. With China shutting down major industrial areas to contain the infection, global supply chains relying on Chinese goods will suffer shortages and with the virus spreading globally consumers will be less likely to spend money in an effort to avoid areas where they might catch the disease.

Bexar County Weed

Last year Governor Greg Abbot signed into law a bill that made industrial hemp legal and ushered in a new definition to distinguish the material from the drug. The new law has prompted a need for new equipment to tell the difference between the two substances after the law inadvertently made it difficult to press charges in some marijuana cases.

Months later, Bexar County’s crime lab may become the first in Texas accredited to test the difference between hemp and marijuana.

The Bexar County Criminal Investigation Laboratory has submitted its new procedures to the American National Standards Institute, the agency that oversees national accreditation for forensic testing.

“The goal is to be the first in Texas to go online,” said Brian Cho, a forensic scientist who helped develop the new procedures. “An individual has been assigned to go over our documentation to verify our procedures and our data.”

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, who toured the crime lab Tuesday morning, said he was impressed by the new testing and excited for Bexar County to be among the first labs in the state to be accredited in the new procedures.

The Darsch Report: January 20-26

Impeachment, global disease, and pesky campus construction.

Trinity Tears up Lower Campus to Make Repairs

While visiting or living at Trinity, one may notice that it has become more difficult to find parking around campus and car passage through lower campus has been blocked. Trinity University is attempting to repair pipelines that run the potential risk of bursting in cold weather (an event that affected the Thomas and Lightner halls last semester) or may not be able to handle drainage needs for the school. Currently, work is being done on a pipeline that runs from the north side of the Bell Center to the Murchison residence hall while passing through the baseball field and lot P.

To make room for the construction and the equipment needed, all of lot U and half of lot P have been closed, leading to some frustration and confusion in the student body over parking now that there are fewer spots available. However, Jim Baker, director of Facilities Services, has stated that construction is on track, and he hopes the baseball field will be covered by Feb 5.

A Senate Trial Underway

In the US Senate this week, Adam Shiff and President Trump’s legal team have been presenting their arguments and defense regarding the impeachment. Shiff and his legal team presented arguments that Trump was rightly impeached and should be removed from office on the grounds actions taken by the Trump administration regarding Ukraine show clear evidence quid pro quo and abuse of the President’s power. Many of the senators during this part of the trial were visibly bored and some even fell asleep during Shiff’s presentation.

When Trump’s legal team came out to present their defense, a very different senate seemed to follow the proceedings. Going onto “Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria Bartiromo, Senator Lindsey Graham stated “I thought the first day the House managers were articulate, they were prepared. They created a compelling narrative, a tapestry regarding process and substance… [but] What happened yesterday, in two hours in the Senate the president’s defense team destroyed the narrative created in 21 hours regarding process and substance.”

Senator Graham went on to say that Trump’s team had better grounds legally because they pointed out that Trump was “denied the ability to call witnesses on his behalf, cross-examine witnesses, present evidence” for most of the House impeachment debate.

China Quarantines Millions

A new disease known as 2019-nCov, or the Wuhan/Coronavirus, is spreading throughout the People’s Republic of China and leading the central government to take decisive action to prevent further dispersal. So far the Beijing government has locked down at least 16 cities, mostly in Hubei province, with a combined population of 47 million people.

The disease is believed to have originated from Wuhan’s exotic open-air market and local delicacies involving snakes and bats and has over 3,000 confirmed cases worldwide with a least 2,744 in China. Of these cases, the Chinese government has also confirmed at least 80 deaths from the virus. The disease has also been confirmed in Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau, the United States, Taiwan, Australia, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, France, Vietnam, and Nepal. No deaths have been recorded outside of China.

The United States also announced on Sunday plans to evacuate staff and personnel that are still in Wuhan on a direct flight to San Francisco. The State Department warned that they would only book a limited number of US citizens on flights and that, if demand is high, then they will give priority to those at a higher risk of Coronavirus.

Texan Coronavirus

Throughout this week Texas has been giving its residents a few scares over potential Coronavirus cases with at least two separate cases over the past week. 

The first case was a Texas A&M student who had traveled to China and had been sent to a local emergency room over fears that he may have been infected. The student was displaying mild symptoms of the illness, but officials with the Brazos County Health District announced on Sunday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention results came back negative.

The other case to make headlines was a Baylor student who had traveled to China and has since displayed symptoms similar to the Texas A&M student but test results from the CDC have not yet been completed. 

Health officials in Texas and across the US urge residents not to panic over suspected or confirmed cases and to follow general preventative measures that should be taken for any viral infections.

Being Adopted and Colorblind in America

My name is Emma McMahan. I am Asian, though you wouldn’t know it from my name. McMahan is not an Asian name, but Irish because I was adopted at 8 months from Changsha, Hunan, China. My parents tell me they always wanted to adopt a baby from China, which is how I ended up living in the United States. As soon as I arrived, I became a naturalized citizen.

My parents took me home to a small town called Madisonville, Texas. The population at the time was just over 3,000 people. One might think that growing up in rural Texas as a person of color would be hard, especially since most small towns in Texas have a majority white population. This was not the case for me. Racial discrimination rarely affected me when I lived in Madisonville. In fact, it was when I moved to Houston that I started to experience racial discrimination. 

In Madisonville, I remember playing cowboys and Indians with my neighbors and my classmates at school. I always wore my cowboy hat or baseball cap wherever I went. When most people think of cowboys or American farm dwellers, a small, Asian girl does not come to mind. Nonetheless, I wore whatever my parents bought me to wear or what my younger brother Liam wore: jeans, t-shirts, overalls, some kind of hat, and of course, cowboy boots. 

My parents do not see me any differently because I am Chinese.

Even though I am racially and ethnically Chinese, I did not grow up with Chinese culture. I never learned Chinese in the home because my parents did not speak Chinese. For supper, my parents cooked me burgers, steak, beef stew, and spaghetti instead of rice or stir fry. My parents raised me in their Irish-American culture with a Texan twist. They did not force Chinese culture in my life because of my skin color. My parents wanted me to feel included in the family just as much as my brother, who is not adopted. 

My parents do not see me any differently because I am Chinese. Humorously, my mom often forgets that she adopted me. She tells me, “I always think of you as if I had you myself.” How much more inclusive could she be? My skin color never mattered to her, but she loves me because I am her daughter, regardless of what I look like.

This is where a fine line appears between race and culture. Some people like to comment on how “American” I am when they first get to know me. Race is race, but I’d say culture is much more important. One is not required to be a certain race to practice a certain culture. Racially, I am Chinese. Culturally, I am Irish-American-Texan. This is the beauty of America: you don’t have to be a certain race to practice our culture. My parents were colorblind while raising me, and still are colorblind. They always taught me what Martin Luther King, Jr. taught: never judge based on color. This colorblind approach has always stuck with me. I find racism deplorable because I’ve been taught to love others because of their personhood and character, not their race. 

You can’t change race, so why judge others for it? Judgment should always focus on character, not color. This is not to deny racial identity, but to focus instead on what means more. Culture is much more meaningful because culture can be chosen. Race should not define culture, either. While some may argue that race is a big part of culture, this doesn’t have to be the case in America. As an adoptee, I believe that my culture completes my identity more than my race does. My experience as an adoptee has shaped my colorblind attitude. Because my parents love me for my character, I learned to love others for theirs as well.

The Darsch Report: Sept. 2 – 8

San Antonio’s Hoarding Task Force

In San Antonio, all four fire deaths this year have involved hoarding, something that the San Antonio Fire Department plans to tackle. During a recent budget meeting with the city council members, San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood announced that the SAFD is working with other city departments to form a Hoarding Task Force that will help identify people in hoarding situations.

“We had a 49-year-old man die in a hoarder home,” Hood said. “It should have never happened.”

Hood would further explain to the council that because of the hoarding, it not only made it difficult for those inside the building to escape, but it also made it difficult for firefighters to enter.

“It makes it impossible for us to get in because the fuel load is so heavy,” Hood said. “Usually by the time we get there it is in a situation or in a state where no one would survive that fire.”

Hood said he hopes to have the task force up and running by 2020. The chief said that he wants to ensure that help and resources are available to people who are in dangerous hoarding circumstances.

“We all know someone like this,” Hood said. “So how can we identify them, and how can we help them put order in their living environment and ensure a safer house for them?”

Gov Abbott vs. Gun Violence

Despite efforts by many conservatives in the state legislature to stop talk of increased gun control, Governor Greg Abbott announced on Twitter on Wednesday, Sept. 4 that he would be taking executive action on the issue. The next day, Gov Abbott released a list of eight executive actions being taken to prevent gun violence with most having to do with reporting suspicious behavior.

Democratic legislators have also been putting out their proposals, holding press conferences on the issue and even demanding a special legislative session on gun control. The most high-profile of these Democrat proposals are so-called “red-flag” laws, in which guns could be confiscated without due process from those suspected to have mental health issues.

Second Amendment groups have already indicated that they are willing to put a fight if need be.

“Any solution that aims to take away more guns from more people is counterproductive. Gun-control laws don’t reduce crime. They don’t keep criminals from committing evil, despicable acts. And they certainly haven’t kept us safe,” Rachel Malone, the Texas director of Gun Owners of America said during a recent press conference.

With conservatives and gun owners beginning to line up against Abbott and Democrats on gun control, the governor and Texas legislatures should work with gun owners to find a solution that makes Texan communities safer while protecting their rights.

StemExpress CEO Admits to Selling Aborted Baby Parts

On Thursday, Sept. 5 StemExpress CEO, Cate Dyer, told a San Francisco courtroom that the company brokered beating fetal hearts and intact fetal heads to medical researchers.

The admission comes during court proceedings of Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit against investigators David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, who allegedly illegally filmed top executives and clinicians from Planned Parenthood who admitted to brokering aborted baby parts.

Daleiden and Merritt are part of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), a group of citizen journalists “dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances.” 

Some staff of Planned Parenthood Northern California are already under oath testifying that they “provided fetal tissue from the abortions she did at Planned Parenthood as a regular occurrence,” according to a summary of court proceedings, “[and] when asked if she had ever heard of StemExpress, Doe 7 said she had heard of cases in which StemExpress was involved and money was exchanged.”

Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society, who is representing Daleiden at the court, told Life Site News that’s StemExpress CEO’s admission is “gruesome.”

“If you have a fetus with an intact head and an intact body, and intact extremities, that is something that would indicate that child was born alive, and then had their organs cut out of them, or that that child was the victim of an illegal partial-birth abortion,” he said.

StemExpress and Planned Parenthood Northern California are currently the subject of investigations by the FBI and Department of Justice “for selling fetal organs and tissue against the law,” CMP said in a summary.

US Economy

The stock market did fairly well this week had is approaching near-record highs. The Dow Jones increased to 26,797.46 on Thursday, increasing by +435.21 points, or +1.65 percent over its August 29 close of 26,362.25. The S&P 500 increased by +52.25 points or +1.79 percent on Friday. In addition, the Nasdaq increased on Thursday by +1.76 percent.

Friday was also the release date for the August US jobs report during which the US stayed on par with Wall Street estimates.

  • Average hourly earnings increased by 0.4 percent in August and 3.2% over the year, better than expected.
  • The labor force participation rate increased to 63.2 percent, tying its highest level since August 2013.

Hong Kong’s Freedoms Are at Risk

In Hong Kong, protestors continue to march in the street against China’s efforts to increase control over the Special Administrative Region, demanding true democracy and autonomy from Beijing.

On Sunday, Sept. 8, thousands of protestors marched on the US consulate singing the Star-Spangled Banner, waving American flags and calling on President Trump to “liberate” their city.

“Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong,” many shouted before handing over petitions at the U.S. Consulate, “resist Beijing, liberate Hong Kong.”

Over a thousand arrests of demonstrators have been made over the past five months with an additional 2,100 injuries being reported. This coincides with reports from protestors that the Chinese and Hong Kong government are working with Chinese gangs to attack protestors as well as police pretending to be protestors during marches, accusations that the Hong Kong and Chinese governments deny.

In Hong Kong, we are also seeing censorship of the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) by the Hong Kong government. VPN provider Private Internet Access (PIA) has reported that its service has been blocked in the country

According to PIA, users in Hong Kong are either blocked from connecting to the PIA service outright or are allowed to connect but then prevented from accessing any websites.

 In support of Hong Kong, many protestors and congressmen are urging the passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which would protect Hong Kong autonomy as well as “establish punitive measures against government officials in Hong Kong or mainland China who are responsible for suppressing basic freedoms in Hong Kong, especially in connection with the abduction of certain booksellers.”

To continue standing as the bastion of such values as freedom and democracy that we claim to hold, we need to be the America that the people of Hong Kong believe in.

Trump Cancels Peace Talks

On Saturday evening, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to make an announcement about developments in the war in Afghanistan.

In the series of Tweets, Trump stated that he had planned on having a secret meeting with the President of Afghanistan and major Taliban leaders while at Camp David to work on facilitating peace in the war-torn country.

  However, Trump ended talks once damning information came to light. “In order to build false leverage, [the Taliban] admitted to an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people,” Trump tweeted.

“What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position? They didn’t, they only made it worse… How many more decades are they willing to fight?” he declared.

On Sunday, after their negotiating team held an emergency internal meeting in Doha, the Taliban said Trump’s decision to cancel the talks would only have consequences for the United States.

“More than anyone else, the loss will be for the United States–their standing will be hurt, their anti-peace position will be clearer to the world, their human and treasure loss will increase, and their political actions will come across as unstable,” the Taliban said. “Twenty years ago, too, we had called for understanding, and this remains our position today.”

After the talks were called off, the Afghan government blamed the Taliban, saying that the violence was making the peace process difficult.

Bill Flores is Retiring

On Wednesday, Sept. 4, the Republican congressman for Texas’s 17th congressional district, Bill Flores, announced that he will be retiring at the end of his term.

Flores marks the fifth Texas Republican congressman and twelfth Republican congressman to announce retirement in 2020.

Despite being in a district that President Trump won with 56% of the vote, Flores has committed to retiring and eventually being able to spend more time with his family.

In a statement, Flores said that he plans to return to the private sector, where he had previously worked as an oil and gas executive. He also said that he would focus on a number of issues in his remaining time in Congress, including securing the border, removing “the uncertainty related to the ‘Dreamers,’ helping pass the United States, Mexico, and Canada Agreement and paving the way for “the accelerated deployment of 5G technologies.”

In an election cycle where Democrats plan to expand their House majority and perhaps even take the Senate, Republicans will need to step up efforts to get conservatives, Trump voters and independents out to vote.