During Wednesday’s House subcommittee tech hearing, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) questioned Amazon’s usage of the radical Southern Poverty Law Center to deem eligible charities for donations, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said he would look to alternative options.
Gaetz layed out a list of charities that focus on Christian and Jewish causes as charities unjustly labeled as “extremists” by the SPLC — to which Bezos said he accepts Gaetz’s criticism and “would like a better source if I can get it.”
One of the groups unjustly labeled as a hate group by the SPLC is the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal group focused on defending religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and free speech. Their cases have included defending Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker sued for sticking to his religious beliefs.
Senior Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom Jeremy Tedesco spoke to SaraACarter.com about the SPLC and Bezos’ potential switch.
“The SPLC actively lobbies corporations to harm and economically discriminate against groups and people they don’t like,” Tedesco said. “Amazon needs to stop being an active participant in a system that’s ultimately bad for everyone.”
ADF is labeled as an “extremist group” for using “‘religious liberty’ legislation and case law that will allow the denial of goods and services to LGBTQ people on the basis of religion,” according to the SPLC’s site.
ADF regularly defends mistreated groups and individuals — from nuns being forced to fund abortion to female athletes having their locker rooms infiltrated by males in the name of social justice.
Due to this label as an extremist group, Amazon does not allow customers to select ADF as a recipient of their charitable donations through Amazon Smile — a portion of the site that lets customers donate 0.5% of their purchases to different charities and organizations.
Gaetz asked the billionaire CEO why groups like Catholic Family News and the American Family Association are also excluded — the radical group also once designated world renowned brain surgeon and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson an extremist.
“I’m just wondering why you would place your confidence in a group that seems to be so out of step and seems to take mainstream Christian doctrine and label it as hate,” Gaetz said to Bezos during a Wednesday House subcommittee hearing virtually attended by Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and others.
“I would like suggestions on better or additional sources,” Bezos answered. Gaetz responded saying he should “divorce” with the SPLC.
ADF’s Tedesco noted people on the left and right have said the center is “completely discredited” and that “we welcome Bezos’ recognition that this is a bad system.”
He referenced a petition by the National Center for Public Policy Research calling on Amazon to end their usage of SPLC’s opinionated conclusions.
“There is so much power in the hands of a few companies like Amazon and there is a ground swell for them to end partnerships with far left groups,” he said. “Something that exists to smear and stop people who disagree with their views is something they can’t do for much longer.”
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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’
Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social, “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”
Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”
It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.
Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.
And the escalation of war is visible.
Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.
Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.
Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”
Morning. Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.
— Oleksiy Goncharenko (@GoncharenkoUa) January 26, 2023
The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”
F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.
Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.
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