The Western Journal

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Stunning Mistakes Complicate Idaho College Murder Investigation

Idaho officials dealing with a quadruple homicide have made a series of major communication mistakes that could impact their ability to solve the case, according to some experts.

This month, University of Idaho students Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Kaylee Goncalves were killed in an off-campus house where they lived in the 26,000-person town of Moscow.

After finding the bodies on Nov. 13, police initially said there was no threat to anyone in the small community, but later walked that statement back, Fox News reported.

As of Friday, police still had no motive in the case, no suspect, and had not recovered the murder weapon, according to the New York Post. The last police update on the investigation was on Tuesday.

“Investigators have given out too much information,” said Joseph Giacalone, an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a retired New York Police Department sergeant, according to Fox.

The initial statement that no one should worry was labeled by retired NYPD Sgt. Herman Weisberg as a “big misstep.”

“They don’t have an identified suspect, and they still don’t have a motive, so until you have those two extremely vital pieces you can’t set the public’s mind at ease,” he said.

“I personally cringe when I see the media and the public’s demands for information outweigh the need to preserve the integrity of the investigation,” Weisberg said. “This is all because of the armchair detectives out there on social media.”

Weisberg added that the killer or killers could have discarded crucial evidence that investigators might have used to “weed out false confessions,” Fox reported.

Moscow Mayor Art Bettge contributed to the early deluge of questionable comments when he called the killings a “crime of passion.” He later walked that comment back.

Giacalone also had harsh words for Latah County Coroner Catthy Mabbutt, who has publicly detailed her conclusions about how and when the victims were stabbed.

“It was not only surprising but aggravating,” he said. “It is not her place to investigate this thing on TV and speculate.”

Police have said they are investigating comments that Goncalves might have made about having a stalker.

“We are not done looking into that piece of information,” Col. Kedrick Willis of the Idaho State Police said, according to the New York Post.

“We continue looking into the stalker issue and are asking for any information from the public on this topic,” said Aaron Snell, communications director for the Idaho State Police, according to Fox News.

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Op-Ed: Reject Democrats' Efforts to Turn American Citizenship Into Another Handout

November, the month when we celebrate Thanksgiving, is also the month that marks the anniversary of my naturalization ceremony to become an American citizen.

As a legal immigrant and a law-abiding American, I am thankful to call the United States my home. But I am shocked to learn about Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s proposal to erode the rule of law in our country by granting a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants.

After arriving in the U.S. as an immigrant and following all American laws and rules, I took the Oath of Allegiance to become an American citizen on Nov. 21, 2014.

I recall that just a day prior to my citizenship ceremony, then-President Barack Obama announced sweeping immigration reform to grant amnesty to nearly 5 million illegal immigrants. I was deeply disappointed to see an American president distorting the nation’s immigration system and undermining the legal pathway to enter the U.S.

After all these years, the Democrats have only strengthened their resolve to prioritize illegal immigrants over legal immigrants. For Democrats, those who enter the U.S. illegally appear to be more important than law-abiding, tax-paying immigrants.

Since President Joe Biden came to office and the Democrats gained control of the Senate, in addition to having a majority in the House of Representatives, illegal immigration has skyrocketed. I find it very disturbing to see that the Biden administration, with the support of Democrats in Congress, has opened the gates to illegal immigration. This is outrageous and unsustainable.

Democrats have relentlessly pushed for policies that have resulted in the massive inflow of illegal immigrants through our nation’s southern border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials encountered nearly 2.4 million illegal immigrants at the southern border in fiscal year 2022, which is the most ever recorded. Furthermore, there were 599,000 known “gotaways.”

Since Biden took office, it is estimated that 4 million illegal immigrants have crossed into the U.S. through the southern border. This is the direct result of the Democrats’ policy of keeping the border open.

Illegal immigration imposes a massive financial cost on Americans at a time when people are already suffering because of inflation and the energy crisis. It is estimated that the illegal immigrants who have entered our country through the southern border since Biden came to office will result in the staggering cost of $20 billion in taxpayer money each year.

But the true costs of illegal border crossings go far beyond the accounting of dollars.

Due to the complete lack of border security, there is an ongoing humanitarian crisis. A total of 856 migrants have died at the southern border in fiscal year 2022. Also, federal officials have seized 14,700 pounds of fentanyl coming into the U.S. through the southern border, which is seven times more than five years ago.

The absence of border security also opens the door to public safety threats. While dealing with the massive inflow of illegal immigrants, border officials have apprehended gang members, sex offenders and others with criminal records. Also, close to 100 non-citizens on the FBI’s terror watchlist were arrested while attempting to enter the U.S. through the southern border over the past year.

I am thankful to be in a country that welcomes immigrants who follow the law. According to the Department of Homeland Security, approximately a million foreign nationals follow our nation’s laws and rules to become permanent residents, and hundreds of thousands of people become naturalized U.S. citizens, every year.

To become an American citizen, one must submit to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services detailed information about one’s parents, spouse and children, education, employment, out-of-country trips, taxes, associations, military service and more. An applicant must also demonstrate good moral character. Foreign nationals who wish to come to the U.S. and pursue citizenship must diligently preserve years of records to accurately respond to questions on the citizenship application.

For Schumer to suggest that illegal immigrants — whose background and history may be unknown — should get a pathway to U.S. citizenship is an insult to legal immigrants.

Furthermore, the Democrats, in their effort to allow illegal immigrants to pursue U.S. citizenship and thereby obtain voting rights, wish to manipulate the electorate and create new voters. Their policies have caused havoc in the economy, which resulted in their loss of the majority in the House of Representatives. Schumer is trying to strengthen Democrats’ grasp on political power by generating new voters using a process that would convert citizenship from an achievement to a handout.

As a legal immigrant, I find Schumer’s proposal to be a personal affront. The American people must never allow our country’s immigration laws to be trampled under the feet of self-serving politicians like Chuck Schumer.

The Biden administration and its Democratic allies in Washington are destroying our country’s immigration process. As I suggested in an earlier Op-Ed, the Biden administration’s refusal to enforce our nation’s immigration laws is a slap in the face of law-abiding immigrants who go through extensive background checks and thorough scrutiny to receive the legal status to live and work in the U.S. and to become American citizens.

To protect American citizenship, we must secure the southern border and reject Democrats’ efforts to turn illegal immigrants into citizens.

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Op-Ed: Why I Warned Fortune 500 Companies That Funding Abortion Travel May Violate Federal Law

After the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs overturned Roe v. Wade and allowed the states to restrict abortions, some employers have trumpeted that they will pay an employee’s travel expenses (companion expenses included) if she must travel more than so many miles to terminate a pregnancy.

The amount of money being offered by some of these employers is enough for the employee to be reimbursed for aborting a fetus on a week-long European tour. One sporting goods company has announced that it will reimburse employees up to $4,000 for abortion-related travel expenses.

As someone who has been practicing employment law for the past 30-some years, I heard in these employers’ offers an unwitting announcement that they intended to violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and possibly the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Mental Health Parity Act as well. So last month, I sent multiple employers a letter warning them that such actions may violate the law and may result in charges of discrimination.

I’ve been warning employers for my entire legal career: Don’t force that employee to stay home because she’s pregnant. Don’t refuse to hire that employee because of her hijab. Don’t deny that dying employee the benefits she’s paid into for years. Rehire that technician you fired because of his race, that doctor you forced out on account of his age, that correctional officer you let go for rejecting sexual advances, that bus driver you axed because of his limp, that nurse you terminated for her religious views. Such warning letters sometimes work.

My October letter warned employers that funding abortion travel may violate non-discrimination laws. An employer that provides a benefit to an employee who wishes to terminate a pregnancy — but does not provide the same benefit to an employee who wishes to maintain a pregnancy or care for the health of her unborn child — violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Obama-era pregnancy discrimination guidance clarifies that Title VII does not require coverage for abortion. But “an employer [that] decides to cover the costs of abortion … must do so in the same manner and to the same degree as it covers other medical conditions.” An employer is not permitted to reward with cash benefits the formerly pregnant employee who returns from her medical travel having terminated her pregnancy while not rewarding at all the pregnant employee who returns from her medical travel still pregnant.

Responses to my warning letter have not been friendly. Some have chastised me for making “threats.” One caller demanded that I tell her my motivation for sending such a letter, but when I asked her name, she hung up on me and didn’t hear my answer. So, here it is:

I sent the letter because I want employers to obey the law. I want them not to subsidize abortion and certainly not to do so to a greater extent than they subsidize the maintenance of pregnancies, medical care for children in the womb, or the treatment of those with disabilities.

I want employers to refrain from subsidizing abortion because it may violate the law and because abortion hurts women. It is the rare pregnant woman who has an uncomplicated desire to end her child’s life. Motherhood is one of the great privileges and joys of being a woman, though it is a privilege with great costs.

Most women in a healthy environment want a relationship with their children. If we saw dogs or cats trying to abort their offspring rather than give birth, we would examine their environment to determine what was causing this aberration. I suggest we examine the environment of 21st-century women for an answer to the same question. More importantly, we must ask why employers still believe their employees must terminate pregnancies to advance in their workplaces.

Many women have abortions because they feel they have no choice. I know this because they’ve told me. But until recently, I did not imagine the coercion would come not only from their boyfriends but their employers — especially not made explicit in corporate HR policies.

Some Fortune 500 companies provide abortion travel benefits as if these female employees’ careers depend on it. A woman who aspires to be a mother and have a family life should hesitate to take a job with an employer who presumes that a woman would surely be willing to have an abortion to advance her career.

My answer to the caller’s question about my motivation goes further — well beyond my letter, beyond employment law, and even beyond pregnant women’s aspirations. I want to discourage abortion because I want to encourage life. I want human beings who have been conceived but not yet born to take their first breath, to enjoy the turning of autumn leaves, the winter freeze, the spring thaw, and the summer heat. I want them to have the opportunity to feel even the sadness sparked by a life full of wonder drawing to a close. I want them to hope for life everlasting.

I’ve known people whose lives look exquisitely happy and those whose quality of life seems bleak. Almost all of them — even those in adversity — want to live. We must not presume to choose death instead for the unborn.

Finally, my motivation includes a sober truth that yields another warning: We will all stand before our Maker and account for what we have done for the least of these, our fellow humans.

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Couple Receives Letter Revealing 'Secret Rooms' in Their 130-Year-Old House, Stunned by What They Find

A young couple received a surprise after getting a letter revealing hidden secrets in their home.

The couple, Courtney and Matt, are restoring a 130-year-old Victorian home that they bought from a historical society, according to the New York Post.

Courtney explained in a TikTok video that the letter, simply addressed to “purchaser,” came from someone in Canada who claimed to be the “last surviving member” of the family that once owned the house.

“I would like to … tell you about the secret rooms and a few things you may not have been told when you bought the house,” the letter read.

@living_in_history We have secret rooms!?!? #secretroom #secretroomcheck #historichome #livinginhistory #hiddencompartment ♬ original sound – Courtney & Matt

The first hidden compartment was a secret liquor cabinet above the fireplace in the parlor. By lifting a heavy mirrored panel, they found bottles of wine and an assortment of other drinks such as beer and sherry.

The caption to the video includes “#prohibition,” suggesting that the secret cabinet may have been used to hide liquor during the Prohibition era.

@living_in_history Part 2! #secretroom #secretcompartments #prohibition #hiddenbar #historichome #livinginhistory #thewatcherhouse ♬ original sound – Courtney & Matt

Moving on to the next secret room, Courtney followed the letter’s instructions to a bathroom upstairs.

Courtney described that bathroom as the “scariest room” in the house, but, showing an old photo of what it used to look like, she hopes to restore it to its former glory.

Some panels had already been removed from the wall across from the door, and Courtney explained that “really this is just like a kind of creepy attic space.”

The couple was already aware of the third secret area: an “old-school trunk room” directly across from the toilet.

Opening a small door, Courtney revealed a decent-sized room — not big enough to stand up in, but one that you could sit in comfortably or use for storage.

“We’re going to try and figure out how to use this space, but for right now it’s just kind of a cool, cool room,” Courtney said.

@living_in_history Part 3! #secretroomcheck #historichome #oldhousetiktok #historichomes #wegotaletter ♬ original sound – Courtney & Matt

The videos of the letter and the secret compartments have gone viral, with the first one garnering 2 million views, the second 1.5 million and the third 715,000 as of Saturday.

In another video, Courtney said she and Matt had gained tens of thousands of followers on TikTok in a matter of hours.

“We woke up this morning with 12,000 followers … but today we have over 50,000 and we’re completely overwhelmed,” she said. As of Saturday, the couple had over 90,000 followers.

Courtney added that there is another secret room in the house, but they couldn’t reach it because it was full of furniture.

In other videos, she has shown followers other discoveries in the home, such as an old music box and a trunk containing a parasol, boots and even a vintage bra.

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Climate Protesters Humiliated Moments After Gluing Themselves to Concert Hall Conductor's Stand - They Never Realized It Could Do This

Two climate change extremists in Germany made themselves laughingstocks when a disruptive protest didn’t go the way they planned.

The activists attempted to glue themselves to the conductor’s podium before a Wednesday classical music concert at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany, according to Deutsche Welle.

One of the activists lectured the crowd present for a Beethoven recital.

“Just as there is only one violin concerto by Beethoven, we have only this one planet whose boundaries we disregard so much that climate-related disasters are becoming more frequent and deadly,” the activist claimed, according to Deutsche Welle.

The activists’ plan to shut down the entire concert had a fatal flaw. The metal railing they were glued to wasn’t attached to the concert stage. Only the podium was.

Their error made it easy for venue security to escort the cultural vandals out of the premises, all to the applause of the show’s audience.

A man who appeared to be the show’s conductor walked out on stage as the crowd celebrated the removal of the cultural vandals.

Security merely picked up the metal railing, using the object to easily take the extremists off-stage.

It was hilariously simple, and anticlimactic:

The two activists were eventually detached from the metal railing and placed into law enforcement custody, according to Deutsche Welle.

The activists bragged about their planned stunt in a video published on the Twitter feed of “Last Generation,” a German climate extremist group.

Climate change extremists have targeted cultural expressions with similar disrespect, in some cases attempting to destroy historic works of art in museums in a bid to draw attention to their zealous beliefs.

Art vandals targeted a car painted by American artist Andy Warhol in Milan, as well as a painting by Charles Ray this month alone.

Art museums have been forced to buff their own security in the light of climate-motivated vandalism of priceless art, according to the New York Times.

It also just has to be noted that in most of these instances, the vandals/activists are never cheered or lauded. They’re typically met with, at best, apathy. At worst? They are chided or, in this particular instance, cheered only when they leave the stage.

It’s a bold strategy to try and convince someone to change their ways, let alone the radical and wholesale changes climate activists typically push for, by annoying them with petty vandalism.

Will it work?

Probably not.

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Washington Post Digs Up Picture of 14-Year-Old Jerry Jones at Little Rock School Desegregation Protest, But He Explains It All With 6 Words

A new report in The Washington Post uses the 1957 integration of North Little Rock High School as a pivotal moment in its analysis of why Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has not hired a black head coach.

The report includes an image that shows Jones, who was a 14-year-old high school sophomore at the time, watching the confrontation between white students who were trying to prevent black students from entering. The report notes that the protest against integration was taking place in the same time frame as the famed Little Rock Nine were integrating Little Rock Central High school.

Jones said he was a spectator, not a participant.

“I don’t know that I or anybody anticipated or had a background of knowing … what was involved,” he said.

Jones then just needed six words to describe why a young teenager may wander over to such a commotion.

“It was more a curious thing,” he said.

On Thursday, he was asked about the report, according to ESPN.

Jones said he merely wanted to know what was taking place.

“I didn’t know at the time the monumental event really that was going on,” Jones said. “I’m sure glad that we’re a long way from that. I am. That would remind me [to] just continue to do everything we can to not have those kinds of things happen.”

“Nobody there had any idea, frankly, what was going to take place,” Jones said, according to Yahoo. “I’ve got a habit of sticking this nose in the right place at the wrong time.

“It is a reminder to me of how to improve and do things the right way. … I’m not cavalier about it. I’m genuine about it.”

Much of the report focuses on the fact that the Cowboys have not had a black head coach. It is worth noting that the Cowboys have employed black assistant coaches and coordinators.

“What frustrates me most, he is in such a position and such a leader [that] if he would take a stronger stance, he could be the force of change. He could be that guy that pushes the NFL in another direction,” Dale Hansen, a retired Dallas sportscaster, said.

The report quotes Hansen as saying that if Jones hired a black head coach,  “I think there are a half a dozen NFL teams that would follow that lead. … He’s had the opportunity not only to change the Dallas Cowboys but the NFL and America.”

Jones said he supports diversity, saying in that area he “wants to be first in line.”

Asked if he had the ability to make a change in the NFL’s racial climate, he replied, “I do. What I’m saying is, I understand that.”

But Jones indicated that a head coaching job is not a prize to give away, but one that is earned.

“We are not born equal. Anybody that says we’re equal, well, you’re wrong. … Some of us can talk it better than others. Some of us were better quarterbacks in college,” he said.

“You got to figure your angle out. Lay awake, figuring it out. If you want it as bad — remember, you’re trying to get something that’s almost impossible to get, one of these jobs — you somehow got to figure the angle out. And that’ll separate the ones that can,” he said.

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