Today is October 11 and I am Dennis Michael Lynch. Below are my opinions on the stories grabbing headlines this morning. I hope you share this briefing as doing so will make you the smartest person in the room, in my opinion. And don’t forget to download the free DML App from the Google Play or Apple App Store to remain connected to me throughout the day.
1 – Damien Ferguson charged with murder of Georgia police officer working first shift
Fox News reports: A suspect in the shooting death of a Georgia police officer was arrested Sunday as investigators uncovered a potential motive for the killing.
Damien Ferguson, 43, was captured at his Alamo home and later charged with murdering Dylan Harrison, 26, early Saturday morning as the officer was working his first shift for the Alamo Police Department.
Harrison was gunned down outside of the station house in what investigators described as an “ambush-style attack.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation revealed Sunday that Harrison was likely murdered in retaliation for arresting a “known associate” of Ferguson’s across the street from the precinct on Friday night.
Damien Ferguson, who was wanted in connection to the shooting death of Alamo PD Officer Dylan Harrison has been taken into custody. A news conference will be held at the Wheeler County Courthouse later today, time TBD. pic.twitter.com/knJlkmSZOE
— GA Bureau of Investigation (@GBI_GA) October 10, 2021
Horrific – Officer Dylan Harrison age 26, was working his first shift as an officer with the Alamo Police Department, Georgia when he was gunned down outside the police station about 1 a.m. He is survived by his wife and their 6-month-old son. Pray for his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/UiibYTnobL
— New Jersey State PBA (@NJSPBA) October 10, 2021
A tragic day for law enforcement as we mourn the loss of Alamo, GA Police Officer Dylan Harrison, who was murdered in the line of duty. Only 26 years old on his first tour, Officer Harrison is a hero we will #NeverForget.
The DEA membership sends our deepest condolences. pic.twitter.com/hqCBisHCu9
— Detectives’ Endowment Association (@NYCPDDEA) October 10, 2021
DML: If the situation were reversed, there would be riots nationwide.
2 – Megachurch With Ferrari-Driving Pastor Gives Back $4.4M Pandemic Loan
The Daily Beast reports: A Houston megachurch, whose celebrity pastor is reportedly worth $50 million, has repaid the federal government $4.4 million in pandemic loans after going viral for the outrageous handout.
Lakewood Church, which is tax-exempt like most religious institutions, took $4.4 million in taxpayer-funded Paycheck Protection Program loans at the height of the COVID pandemic last year—all while senior pastor Joel Osteen flaunted his insane wealth. It caused “Osteen” and “Ferrari” to trend on social media as observers questioned the institution’s need for such a huge payout.
Lakewood, believed to be the biggest church in the U.S. with an average weekly attendance of 45,000, shut down in-person services last year and told the Houston Business Journal they had to go months without the “ability to collect substantial donations.”
On Friday, a Lakewood spokesperson provided bank statements to the Houston Chronicle showing that the church had fully repaid the loan.
Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church repaying $4.4M in COVID funds, 10 months after backlash over PPP loans https://t.co/f1phzkMTcu
— Houston Chronicle (@HoustonChron) October 8, 2021
DML: We report, you decide! Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
3 – Facebook exec says algorithms protect users from ‘more hate speech’
The New York Post reports: Facebook’s controversial algorithms protect its users from being exposed to extreme content, hate speech and misinformation, the beleaguered company’s vice president for policy and global affairs claimed in interviews on Sunday.
Nick Clegg defended Facebook against allegations from whistleblower Frances Haugen that its algorithms push clickbait and extreme content — but insisted the company would never be able to entirely eliminate misinformation and hate speech from its platforms.
“If you remove the algorithms… the first thing that would happen is that people would see more, not less, hate speech — more, not less misinformation,” Clegg told Dana Bash on CNN’s State of the Union. “These algorithms are designed precisely to work almost like giant spam filters to identify and deprecate bad content.”
CNN’s Dana Bash: “Did the algorithms that are in place amplify pro-insurrection voices ahead of Jan. 6? Yes or no?”
Facebook’s Nick Clegg: “I can’t give you a yes or no answer to the individual, personalized feeds that each person uses.” pic.twitter.com/MwLUwiYkLI
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) October 10, 2021
On NBC’s “Meet The Press,” he told Chuck Todd that the company rolled back “blunt tools” — such as reducing the circulation of videos, civic engagement opportunities and political ads — that had been inadvertently “scooping up a lot of entirely innocent legitimate legal playful enjoyable content.”
Clegg: “Some of them were very, very blunt tools which were basically scooping up a lot of entirely innocent, legitimate, legal, playful, enjoyable content.” pic.twitter.com/aFK3gQiSQr
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) October 10, 2021
DML: Freedom of speech is GONE.
4 – Docs: Nebraska Agency Secretly Tapped Planned Parenthood Ally To Shape Radical Sex Ed Curriculum
The Washington Free Beacon reports: The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) lied to parents when it claimed no outside activist groups helped draft controversial sex education guidelines, according to internal documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
A Nebraska Board of Education official successfully lobbied to appoint Friends of Planned Parenthood board member Lisa Schulze to work on the 28-member advisory team that assisted in shaping the curriculum. Schulze is deeply connected to advocacy groups that stood to benefit from the agency’s initial statewide sex-ed curriculum, which included lesson plans on transgender hormone therapy for kids as young as 10 years old. Schulze’s job at the Women’s Fund of Omaha, which has doled out more than $8 million to Planned Parenthood and local transgender clinics, was seen as a qualification, rather than a conflict of interest, to draft education policies for the state’s nearly 360,000 students.
“I want to make sure that Lisa Schulze is selected to help write the NDE Health Standards,” Deborah Neary, a state board of education member, wrote in an email to an agency employee. The agency rejected Schulze’s bid for the writing team but attached her to a 28-member advisory board. In March, the agency released standards that would have mandated that students would be taught about gender identity in 1st grade, transgender hormone therapy in 5th grade, transgenderism and sexual orientation in 6th grade, oral and anal sex in 7th grade, and “reproductive care”—a common euphemism for abortion—in 8th grade.
Officials rejected that draft following public outcry and criticism from Gov. Pete Ricketts (R., Neb.), but NDE pushed back against the notion the standards were shaped by outsiders. In a May fact sheet, titled “Points of Clarification,” NDE insisted the curriculum “was not written by activists” and that “Planned Parenthood is not funding or helping to write the Nebraska Health Education Standards.” Internal communications, obtained by the Free Beacon from a concerned parent, paint a very different picture. Emails and text messages from elected board of education representatives, NDE employees, and advisory board members show that activists were not only closely involved but disparaged parents and froze out teachers who were supposed to write the curriculum.
DML: Do YOU know who’s responsible for writing the curriculum in YOUR schools?
5 – Merck requests FDA authorization for COVID-19 antiviral pill
The Hill reports: Merck said on Monday that it has requested authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its antiviral COVID-19 pill.
Merck said in a statement that emergency use authorization was requested “for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults who are at risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.”
The pharmaceutical company said earlier this month that testing showed that molnupiravir, which is administered as a five-day treatment and was developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, reduced the risk of hospitalization by 50 percent.
“The extraordinary impact of this pandemic demands that we move with unprecedented urgency, and that is what our teams have done by submitting this application for molnupiravir to the FDA within 10 days of receiving the data,” Robert M. Davis, chief executive officer and president of Merck, said in a statement on Monday.
Today, we submitted an Emergency Use Authorization application to the U.S. FDA for our investigational #COVID19 #antiviral treatment. Read about today’s milestone: https://t.co/BHPzfkSw4K $MRK pic.twitter.com/y5WdTQnyHL
— Merck (@Merck) October 11, 2021
DML: If this works, then why do they need the vaccine?
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