Liberty Rising Brief: Iran Emboldened

Liberty Rising Brief: Iran Emboldened

“The true source of our suffering has been our timidity.

We have been afraid to think… Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.” ― John Adams

WEEKEND RECAP:

Daylight savings shaved an hour off the weekend, and the change reignited a decades-old debate: to Spring Forward or not?

The daylight saving system began in 1918 and was codified in 1966 through the Uniform Time Act, then in 2005 voted to extend daylight-saving time by two months.

Every state has partaken in the debate, leading lawmakers to present legislation to make daylight-saving time the year-round standard. However, a bipartisan group of senators released the bill this time last year, and it has yet to make progress.

The arguments for and against the Spring Forward schedule range from convenience to safety.

Individual states, like Colorado, are considering legislation to alter the state’s time observance. Similar to Arizona and Hawaii, which observe standard time year-round.

Colorado Senator Ray Scott reflected on his experience with this type of legislation, he said,

I get more emails, I get more texts, I get more social media, I get more of everything on this issue than if I had proposed a way to lower your taxes by 20%. It’s unbelievable to me.

Share your argument for or against the observance of Daylight Savings in the comments below.

Meanwhile, the Russia-Ukraine War is continuing to pose new problems. The latest involves Big Tech companies, including Instagram. Beginning today, the platform will be blocked in Russia, cutting 80 million users off.

Meanwhile, policy and foreign affairs experts are describing the situation as a digital iron curtain.

According to the Wall Street Journal,

Just over two weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin on Friday ramped up its war on outside information about the invasion, saying it would start blocking Instagram. It called the photo-sharing app’s parent company, Meta Platforms Inc.,an ‘extremist organization’ for allowing violent statements about invading Russian troops.

Putin also restricted access to Twitter and criminalized the spread of “false information” regarding the Russian military and government.

Regardless of Putin’s policies, western companies are pulling out of Russia on their own. For instance, Netflix and Google are limiting services.

The creation of so-called “digital borders” has presented barriers to free speech and in particular, investigative journalism especially during wars.

As reported by the WSJ,

China has a massive censorship and filtering system sometimes called the ‘Great Firewall.’ Iran blocks a large number of foreign media and social-media sites. Turkey and other countries have tried to force social-media companies to remove content they find objectionable through tough local laws.

This raises the question of ethical obligation and the role western countries must play as representatives of the US and liberty.

Some US companies within the field of medicine, have decided to continue operations in Russia because of a moral imperative. For instance, makers of drugs, vaccines, and medical equipment have announced an ethical obligation to continue providing their products and services.

Reports of limited medical resources, especially amid attacks on hospitals have emerged from Ukraine.

At a Johnson & Johnson investor conference, Chief Financial Officer Joseph Wolk said,

If our products don’t get to the patients in need, people will die or have severe consequences.

Similarly, Bayer AG’s drug and crop divisions are continuing operations in Russia. A spokesman said,

A suspension of deliveries for cancer or cardiovascular patients would not be ethically justifiable and would heavily impact the civilian population of Russia.

However, according to the Wall Street Journal, “Russia isn’t a big market for Western healthcare companies. Sales in the country account for less than 2% of the companies’ worldwide total, according to analysts and companies. Russia imported about $700 million in U.S. pharmaceutical products last year, according to S&P Global Inc.’s market intelligence unit.”

Still, the ethical question for medical companies and social media platforms persists.

Now, for the underreported news of the weekend: Iran.

While the country has been described as emboldened numerous times within the last year, new attacks continue to provide proof.

As reported in the last week, Iran Nuclear Deal negotiations came to a halt. This was predicted at the onset of Russia’s invasion, as communication with Moscow was stalled.

However, less than a week after the failed new deal, Iran is already making moves. This weekend, the country launched 12 missiles toward the US consulate in Erbil, Iraq. Fox News reports,

All U.S. personnel were accounted for at the consulate complex and no casualties were reported near the unmanned consulate in Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq.

Also, Iran claimed responsibility for 12 ballistic missiles intended for  Israeli “strategic centers.”  

Although the US has developed a non-combat role in Iraq, Iran continues to want American forces to exit entirely.

Meanwhile, the State Department revealed it’s spending $2 million A MONTH to provide private security for former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and another top aide due to threats from Iran.

According to the Associated Press,

Pompeo and Hook led the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran and the report says U.S. intelligence assesses that the threats to them have remained constant since they left government and could intensify. 

One last piece of underreported news: more military members have died from the Covid-19 vaccine than the virus itself.

Within a newly released report, an army doctor is exposing the adverse effects soldiers experience.

He testified that many soldiers were being injured by the COVID shots. [He] also testified that the shots were not effective in preventing infection. About 75-80% of soldiers getting infected were “double vaxxed” compared to only about 15% of soldiers who had not received the shots.

These findings emerged upon the announcement of a required fourth vaccine dose. Pfizer is calling it “necessary,” since three shots are not enough.

That’s it for today. Happy Monday morning!