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Obama executive order ends protection for about immigrants via the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA)

Supreme Court Decisions: Immigration and Affirmative Action Rulings Today

U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a presidential immigration order and a challenge to use of race in the University of Texas’ admission process.

Supreme Court Decisions: Immigration and Affirmative Action Rulings Today

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday morning upheld race as a factor in college admissions and denied President Obama’s effort to allow some undocumented immigrants to obtain work permits to stay in the United States.

Originating from two Texas cases before the court, the decisions will directly impact millions of Americans.

In the first decision issued Thursday, the court upheld the University of Texas policy that uses students’ race as a factor in determining admissions, ruling that in limited instances, race can be used to promote a diverse student body. The case is Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.

In the second, United States v. Texas, the Supreme Court split, 4-4, effectively leaving the lower court’s ruling in place, ending protection granted by the Obama administration for about 11 million immigrants via the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). The president wanted to allow undocumented immigrants whose children were born in the United States to apply for work permits and temporary residency.

President Barack Obama expressed disappointment in the DAPA ruling.

“Our founders conceived this country as refuge for the world. Welcoming wave after wave of immigrants kept us youthful and dynamic and entrepreneurial. It has shaped our character and that has made us stronger. But for more than two decades now our immigration system, everybody acknowledges, has been broken. And the fact that the Supreme Court wasn’t able to issue a decision today doesn’t just set the system back further, it takes us further from the country that we aspire to be.”

A decision involving a third Texas case, focused on abortion rights and regulations for abortion clinics and doctors, is pending and is expected before the end of June.

Together, these three cases deal with some of the United States’ most vexing, contentious issues — abortion, illegal immigration and affirmative action.

Due to the sudden and untimely death of Justice Antonin Scalia, only eight justices weighed in on these cases. Coincidentally, Scalia died while vacationing in Texas. In the event of a 4-4 decision, the ruling issued by the lower court will stand. (The college admissions case was decided by seven justices; Justice Elena Kagan excused herself due to a conflict.) Scalia’s absence, however, likely did not affect the outcome of United States v. Texas.

These decisions hold far-reaching implications for the American people. And that import comes with intense emotions among advocates on opposing sides of the abortion rights, undocumented immigrant and affirmative action questions.

Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt

Demonstrators have gathered in Washington, D.C, to make their voices heard on the matter of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which was argued before the court on March 2, 2016. In 2013, Texas passed the nation’s strictest regulations on abortion providers. The law requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital 30 miles from his or her clinic, and requires clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers.

Because those standards cannot be met in about 20 percent of the state’s counties, the law dramatically reduces a woman’s access to abortion providers.

The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of those provisions in the law.

» learn more in this report on Texas Patch

United States v. Texas

The state of Texas challenged the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, announced in November 2014, that allows undocumented immigrants with U.S.-born children to apply for three-year work permits enabling them to stay in the United States. United States v. Texas was argued before the Supreme Court on April 18, 2016.

The federal government argued the state had no standing to challenge an executive order. Nonetheless, a federal judge with anti-immigration leanings granted an injunction requested by GOP lawmakers in Texas to stop implementation of the policy.

Thursday’s decision effectively nullifies the president’s executive order.

» learn more in this report on Texas Patch

Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

Does a university need to consider race to achieve a diverse student body? That was the question at the heart of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which was argued before the Supreme Court on Dec. 9, 2015. The justices ultimately decided in favor of the university.

Abigail Fisher, of Sugar Land, Texas, was denied admission to the university and accused the school of preferential treatment for some minority college applicants.

Her entire family had gone to school at UT and she said she’d always dreamed of going there, too. The university countered that Fisher lacked the academic qualifications for admittance regardless of any affirmative action policy. Most of the students with lower grades than Fisher who were granted admission were white.

Fisher was recruited by an activist to take her case to court. The case reached the High Court in 2013 and was sent back to the lower courts for review.

» learn more in this report on Texas Patch

Source: Will County News

AFSCME’s demands come first. Prisoners be damned

 AFSCME’s demands come first. Prisoners be damned
6/23/2016 Austin Berg
A June 20 debate over the water bill at Western Illinois Correctional Center in Mount Sterling, Ill., offered a window into the mentality of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees when dealing with Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The union’s strategy? Win at all costs. Even if it means harm to incarcerated Illinoisans.

The state owes the city of 1,900 residents more than $300,000 for water service, according to the West-Central, Ill., Herald-Whig. On June 20, Mount Sterling City Council held a debate over whether the town should shut off the water at Western Illinois Correctional Center. Prison supporters came out in force to oppose the water shutoff, as it would in all likelihood mean the shuttering of the prison facility and a loss of jobs.

Mike Oeser, a chief steward with AFSCME Local 3567 and a worker at the prison, testified before the council to this effect.

But his speech quickly became troubling.

Oeser suggested that if Mount Sterling did choose to shut down the water supply to the prison, it would be much more effective if Mount Sterling joined forces with other Illinois prison towns and asked them to do the same.

“If you intend to pursue this shutoff action, everyone in our community and everyone in every other adversely affected community would benefit by you building a coalition,” Oeser said.

“Danville, Decatur, Galesburg, Canton, Pittsfield, Lincoln, Logan, Jacksonville, these are all small communities I’m sure are in the same place. If we fight this alone, this is one of those losing battles.”

Exposing thousands of incarcerated Illinoisans to squalid, dangerous conditions for political gain. That is the course of action put forth by Oeser.

The Mount Sterling example proves a disturbing reality about the mindset among those in the state’s largest government-worker union: AFSCME’s demands come first. Prisoners be damned.


Austin Berg
Writer

Source: Will County News

The U.S. like England fed up with establishment, media, and loss of sovereignty/ Summer of Chaos

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch testifies during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, in Washington, D.C. Lynch will succeed Eric Holder to be the next U.S. Attorney General if confirmed by the Senate. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)Private Twitter exchanges obtained from #BlackLivesMatter leader DeRay McKesson’s hacked phone seem to indicate that Attorney General Loretta Lynch is at least passively participating in the upcoming “Summer of Chaos” aimed at shutting down both the Republican and Democrat National  Conventions in July.

By shutting down conventions and creating chaos into November, #BlackLivesMatter activists want to so disrupt the process that President Barack Obama has an excuse to implement martial law and cancel the election.

An exchange between McKesson and #BlackLivesMatter activist Samuel Sinyangwe revealed this:

@samswey: I wanted to touch base with you about the summer of chaos. So far we have 2,000 people being bused in from different cities and another 6,000 to 8,000 expected to drive into Cleveland for the convention.

@samswey: They will not be ready for the type of crowds we are bringing in and they will blame Trump for it, especially if we shut it down. The GOP will have to replace him at that point or we will continue the disruptions nationwide.

@deray: I will pass the info along. Good work, Sam. You never let us down. If (sic) so important we stop Trump. He will destroy everything we have worked so hard for and we can’t trust Hillary. She’s never proven she really cares about what we want.

An exchange between McKesson and fellow #BlackLivesMatter leader Johnetta “Netta” Elzie followed. It implicated Lynch:

@Nettaaaaaaaa: Have you spoken with Mrs Lynch recently about the plan for the summer and fall leading up to the elections

@deray: We spoke two weeks and they us to start pushing how racist Trump is now instead of waiting so the others can start getting the protesters ready to shut both conventions down.

@deray: We have to make sure that use our voices to keep people disrupting Trump all summer and through the fall so martial can be declared before the election.

@deray: I spoke with Sam earlier today and he confirmed that there will be around 10,000 protestors disrupting convention. Plans are being made for earlier cities as well for upcoming Trump events. Ads have already been placed looking for people to help. I know you don’t care for them but this is the time we need our white allies doing a lot of work for us. They are the ones who will listen best.

@Nettaaaaaaaa: That will put fear in the GOP and the country when they can’t have their convention for all their racist supporting Trump. We’ve worked too hard and closely with the Obama administration to have that racist ass take all and away and Hillary sure don’t give a damn about us.

@Nettaaaaaaaa: You know I can’t stand those white allies, but you right this is the best to use them. They hang on every word you say and will do whatever is asked. I just hate all that kiss ass they try to do. Like that changes who they are.

@deray: We have a lot of white allies volunteering for Trump’s campaign to pass along information to us before it’s made public so we know when rallies are coming up before they are announced. That way we can plan major disruptions in those cities in advance. We just have to keep our names out of this and let these people do the work for us by pushing how Trump’s racist ways will destroy black lives in America.

@Nettaaaaaaaa: That’s all those white people are good for in my eyes. I couldn’t imagine even pretending to like that racist ass Trump even to get info on his events. I’ll be glad when we shut his ass down.

@deray: With the support we have from Mrs Lynch and the help we’ve got from Sam and others it won’t be hard to cause enough disruptions to stop the elections. He can’t be president.

@Nettaaaaaaaa: They always thought you was playing when you said we could win. Call me later when you’re not too busy.

@deray: If we can get both conventions shut down for messing over Bernie and for having racist Trump, then get martial law declared so Obama can stay in office we will win. Call you soon when I get to my dads so I can use his landline and we can talk more on this.

Here is McKesson’s Twitter page:

deray

And here is Elzie’s:

Netta

McKesson acknowledged that his phone was hacked and explained in his Twitter feed how it happened.

DeRay McKesson's twitter

 

 

deray2

deray4

Fascist globalist billionaire George Soros has already funded a number of anti-Trump protests through Moveon.org and Open Society Foundations, and also funded #BlackLivesMatter protests in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland. His fingerprints are all over this over this effort as well.

And if Lynch is involved, the there is no question she is involved with Obama’s knowledge and his blessing.

An already eventful election season promises to get even more so beginning next month.

 

Source: Will County News

Tennessee expands gun rights to carry in schools

Educators and other full-time staffers at Tennessee’s public state universities and colleges will soon be able to carry handguns on campus after Governor Bill Haslam allowed a bill to become law on Monday without his signature.

The bill that the Republican governor allowed to become law had little opposition in both houses, easily passing 69-24 in the House and 28-5 in the Senate last month. The law will go into effect on July 1.

The law, which affects 50 state institutions, was opposed by both the State Board of Regents and the University of Tennessee system.

Gun control on college campuses is a growing focus in the national debate over access to guns.

Including Tennessee, 10 states now allow guns on campus, although the Tennessee and Arkansas laws allow only faculty and staff to carry handguns, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks policies in all 50 states.

In Georgia, Governor Nathan Deal, a Republican, is expected on Tuesday to either sign or veto a measure that would allow licensed gun owners ages 21 and over to carry concealed handguns on the campuses of public colleges and universities in that state.

On Aug. 1, 2016, a so-called campus carry law takes effect in Texas, allowing people 21 and older with a concealed handgun license to carry handguns in classrooms and buildings throughout the University of Texas system.

In Tennessee, anyone carrying a gun under the new law must have a permit and notify local police or campus security, whichever has responsibility for law enforcement on campus. Students are not allowed to carry handguns on campus.

The law does not allow handguns to be carried into arenas and stadiums during school-sponsored events, and guns are barred in meetings related to disciplinary or tenure matters.

Haslam had said he did not believe the state should get involved in such local matters, but chose not to veto the bill.

“Although SB 2376 does not go as far as I would like in retaining campus control, the final version of the bill included input from higher education and was shaped to accommodate some of their concerns,” he said in a Monday statement.

Proponents said the bill will lead to greater safety on campuses. Opponents voiced concern about the safety of students, faculty and visitors on campus.

(Reporting by Tim Ghianni; Editing by Ben Klayman and Matthew Lewis)


Adam Tamburin, The Tennessean , WUSA 12:28 PM. CDT June 18, 2016

At 8 a.m. Monday, police at the University of Tennessee will start registering employees who want to carry guns on the Knoxville campus, signaling the start of a new era for public schools across the state.

A law opening college campuses to guns goes into effect July 1. Institutions, working alongside law enforcement, have scrambled to rewrite policies, develop new programs and work through hypothetical hiccups to meet the deadline.

Under the law, full-time employees — including professors and staff members — with the necessary permits can carry concealed handguns with them on campus. But anyone who wants to carry will have to register with campus or local law enforcement first.

“I really have no idea what response we’re going to get,” said Troy Lane, chief of police at UT Knoxville. “I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if we have very few people, but I can’t say I’d be real surprised if we have a lot of folks show up.”

Colleges and universities across the state have had to fast-track development of the new policies and paperwork surrounding the law in a matter of weeks. Gov. Bill Haslam allowed the legislation to become law without his signature in May.

Challenges at smaller schools

Navigating the new intricacies of the law and constructing new policies have been especially daunting for the state’s 13 community colleges and 27 technical colleges, where administrative resources pale in comparison to state universities. Mary Moody, the Board of Regents’ general counsel, told a group of board members the process has been “very awkward.”

Most community and technical colleges do not have their own police departments, which means those schools will need to coordinate with local law enforcement to keep track of who is allowed to carry a gun on campus.

And the skeletal staffing at some technical college sites will test the limits of the law’s confidentiality requirements, which allow administrators on campus to track who’s carrying a gun as long as they don’t keep track of those who report directly to them. The problem, Moody said, is that at some technical colleges, administrators might count every employee there as a direct report.

“It’s making it very difficult to implement the registration process on many of our campuses,” Moody said.

The law authorizes, but does not require, training sessions for employees who decide to carry guns on campus. Police at UT Knoxville already have scheduled a series of optional training sessions, but similar offerings would be all but impossible at most community and technical college campuses.

“Many of our schools do not have the resources,” Moody said. “They’re going to be taxed to the limit just to monitor all of this.”

The UT system and universities in the Board of Regents system — including Middle Tennessee State, Tennessee State and Austin Peay State universities — are each developing their own policies.

The challenge seems less pronounced at the universities, according to interviews with several officials. Buddy Peaster, chief of police at MTSU, said he doubted the law would be burdensome for his department, which will keep track of MTSU employees who decide to carry guns.

Peaster said his department would start taking registrations from employees later this month. He expected a small fraction of the more than 2,000 eligible employees at MTSU to take advantage of the law.

“I don’t see hundreds and hundreds of people here wanting to carry on campus,” he said. “I was not really in favor of this law, but I don’t think it’s going to be the end of the world because we have it.”

Campus law enforcement officers will need to adjust their training surrounding a mass shooting response to account for the reality of more people legally carrying guns on campus, said Roane State Community College Police Chief Tom Stufano.

“Our biggest challenge with this is not necessarily having the guns on the campus,” he said. “People having guns is not the issue, it’s when they use the guns that’s the issue.”

Stufano said his department will encourage employees who are carrying guns to use their weapons as a “last, last, last resort” in the event of an active shooter, a sentiment other law enforcement officials shared. He said that police officers are still the best options to respond to an active shooter because of their extensive training.

Across the state, about 27,000 full-time college employees will be eligible to carry guns when the law goes into effect, according to a January estimate by the UT system and the Board of Regents.

College officials voiced strong opposition to the law as it worked its way through the General Assembly earlier this year, warning that putting more guns on campus could lead to more accidental shootings or might hamper law enforcement’s response to an active shooter. But few seemed surprised when it passed by wide margins in both chambers.

Instead, they seemed resigned to the fact that firearms would ultimately become a fixture on their campuses. They worked together with the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police to secure a change to the bill that put liability on the permit holder rather than the college in the event of an accidental discharge. Another change allowed law enforcement to keep track of the employees who opt to bring their guns on campus.

In a letter explaining why he allowed the bill to pass into law without his signature, Haslam cited those amendments, which made the law more palatable to college leaders and law enforcement.

An ongoing trend

Tennessee’s General Assembly has worked for several years to expand gun rights and cut the number of places where people can’t carry their weapons. Proponents of those efforts say that “good guys” with guns could prevent or stop shooting deaths on campus.

Mass shootings, like the one that killed 49 people in Orlando this month, tend to strengthen resolve on either side of the debate.

In 2013, in the shadow of the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., Tennessee lawmakers passed the so-called “guns-in-trunks” bill, which allowed gun owners to keep their guns locked in their cars anywhere, including university parking lots. And in 2015, lawmakers passed a law that allowed people to carry guns in parks.

State Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, who sponsored the college employee gun law, said he was considering the issue following a mass shooting last October that left 10 dead at an Oregon community college.

Several other states have taken similar steps to expand gun rights in recent years. The National Conference of State Legislatures began tracking efforts to allow guns on campuses five years ago after flagging the trend.

Eight states allow people to carry firearms on public college campuses, according to a tally kept by the conference. Tennessee and Arkansas, which aren’t included in that tally, have laws allowing only employees to carry.

Suzanne Hultin, a senior policy specialist for the conference, said about a dozen states a year take steps to expand gun access to college campuses. Generally, one or two of them succeed each year, and she doesn’t expect that to change — at least in conservative states like Tennessee.

“It’s been pretty consistent,” she said. “I imagine the next couple years will remain along the same trend lines we’ve seen.”

The trend probably was set into motion by decades of victories for the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups, according to Adam Winkler, a law professor at the University of California Los Angeles and the author of “Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America.”

“The NRA needs new battles to fight,” Winkler said. “It’s kind of left to argue for guns in the few places where they weren’t allowed: colleges, restaurants and bars,” parks and other places.

“These are areas where it was thought to be acceptable for there to be restrictions on guns for decades,” Winkler said.

State Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, who sponsored the law in the House, has indicated he is ready to push further against the remaining restrictions on guns on campus. He told The Tennessean earlier this year the “important next step” is to allow students to go armed on campus as well.

“My intention is to eliminate all gun-free zones, whether it’s the legislature or a college campus,” Holt said.

While Peaster, the MTSU chief, acknowledged that students might one day wind up with the right to carry guns on campus, he cautioned that would “complicate things from a number of angles.” He added that safety on campus is more complicated than people on either side of the gun debate might think.

“People on both sides of this issue are looking for an absolute guarantee of safety,” he said. “I don’t think people’s safety and security in life is going to be found by carrying or not carrying.”

 

Source: Will County News

Privacy in Chicago Public Schools latest rules

The extensive transgender policy issued yesterday includes sexual health classes, such that students WITHOUT a uterus will be taught about menstruation with a room full of REAL girls.

You’ve got to read ALL of the news reports in the link below to see how FAR these idiot “educators” have gone.  As you read, you’ll think that you’ve arrived on an alien planet! Note that the policy also accommodates students who say they have NO gender, and ALL of this nonsense claimed by students MUST be concealed from the confused students’ own parents.

Chicago Schools Force Co-ed Hotel Rooms for Trips (click for extensive specifics)

WEDNESDAY, MAY 04, 2016

Chicago Schools Force Co-ed Hotel Rooms for Trips

The Chicago Public Schools announced its latest Gay Agenda advancement yesterday.  Students, faculty, staff, volunteers and adults just visiting schools are free to use any restroom, locker room or shower of their choice regardless of their biological sex.  As for school sponsored out-of-town trips, any student from kindergarten to high school may find themselves with opposite-sex students in overnight accommodations.

— From “Chicago schools to allow transgender students to choose facilities” by Justin Madden, Reuters 5/3/16

The move by the third-largest U.S. public school system comes during a national debate over equality, privacy and religious freedom as some states have passed or proposed legislation that supporters of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights say is discriminatory.

“Chicago Public Schools, like much of the country, has become far more aware of the needs and experiences of the transgender community, and it’s crucial for CPS guidelines to reflect our commitment to promoting safe and inclusive schools,” Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson said in an emailed statement.

Chicago’s new guidelines allow students to participate in school programs including overnight field trips and physical and sexual health classes that correspond to their gender identities and to dress and be addressed in a way that corresponds with their identities.

T

From “Transgender CPS students to use bathroom that matches gender ID” by Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times 5/3/16

In 2014, CPS declared that all transgender students in the district must be provided with the same opportunities for physical education, sex ed, sports and all school events as any other student. The district isn’t the first in Illinois to spell out rights for transgender students, but as the largest in the state, its changes certainly will make an impact.

The update, developed with help from the Lurie Children’s Gender and Sex Development Program, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health and Lambda Legal, spells out that they also must get to use the restroom and locker room of their gender identity. Anyone who identifies as a girl should share hotel rooms on overnight field trips with girls, and the same for kids who identify as boys. And anyone who requests more privacy will be accommodated, including students who are questioning their gender identity.

Similar rules will apply to adults who are transgender or questioning their gender. Adults will have the added protection of not being outed as transgender by co-workers or human resources staffers unless they have given consent.

From “Chicago schools say transgender kids should use bathrooms matching identity” by Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY 5/3/16

The new policies, announced Tuesday, provide for the first time clear guidance on restroom, locker room and overnight trip accessibility as well as guidelines for transgender employees and adults at the nation’s third largest public school district.

Students and employees within Chicago’s school district, which includes 392,000 students and 660 schools, will have access to restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity. The school district also says anyone who wants more privacy—regardless of the reason—will have access to a single-stall when it’s available.

The new guidance replaces a less specific policy that noted use of locker rooms and restrooms would be handled on a case-by-case basis at the school level. It also clarifies, for the first time, that adult employees and volunteers won’t be denied the opportunity to participate in overnight trips due to their transgender status. The district’s policy states that adults, regardless of gender identity, cannot share hotel rooms or other accommodations with children other than their own.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From “CPS updates guidelines for transgender students and employees” by Juan Perez Jr., Reporter, Chicago Tribune 5/3/16

Students who do not identify as [either] male or female, and students who are questioning their gender identity should receive special accommodations, the guidelines state. Students who have “a need or desire for increased privacy” should be provided with “reasonable alternative arrangements” that can include the use of a private area or a single-stall restroom.

Under the updated guidelines, students and employees have a right to be addressed by the “name and pronoun” that corresponds with their gender identity.

Students and employees also won’t be required to obtain court orders or gender re-assignment to modify their official records to correspond with their stated identities, and students’ requested names and genders will be added to other information contained in a district database.

Roughly the same privacy guidelines apply to students, but CPS staffers are barred from disclosing a student’s transgender or gender nonconforming status — including the student’s preferred name or gender pronoun — to “other staff members, parents, guardians or third parties” without a student’s permission or legal authorization.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Federal Government Survey Shows ‘Sexual Orientation’ is Learned Behavior, NOT Genetic

And read Gay Agenda Increases Suicides of Young Men: Study

In addition, read Transgenderism is a ‘Delusion’ According to Victims and Professionals

The Chicago Public Schools announced its latest Gay Agenda advancement yesterday.  Students, faculty, staff, volunteers and adults just visiting schools are free to use any restroom, locker room or shower of their choice regardless of their biological sex.  As for school sponsored out-of-town trips, any student from kindergarten to high school may find themselves with opposite-sex students in overnight accommodations.

Source: Will County News

Air Force removes God from Flag Ceremony/assaults retired Senior Master Sgt. Oscar Rodriguez, a 33-year veteran

An Air Force to Be Reckoned With

June 20, 2016 Tony Perkins Washington Update

Video at the end

The retirement ceremony of Master Sgt. Chuck Roberson was a memorable one — but not for the reasons this veteran airman and his family had hoped. After dedicating his career to his country, the last thing Roberson wanted was to turn a proud moment into a national storyline about the military’s hostility toward faith. Unfortunately for him, that’s exactly what happened, thanks to the stunning intolerance of the commanding officers at Travis Air Force Base. Like many service members, Sgt. Roberson wanted to include the traditional flag-folding speech as part of the festivities. And while the Pentagon officially scrubbed God out of the text in 2005, plenty of service members still opt for the original version at their celebrations — usually without controversy.

That changed in April when Roberson (to the disgust of his superiors) invited retired Senior Master Sgt. Oscar Rodriguez, a 33-year veteran, to deliver his moving version of the flag-folding speech at the retirement. Despite having the base’s approval for Rodriguez to attend, squadron commander Lieutenant Colonel Michael Sovitsky made no secret of his disapproval and tried desperately to block Rodriguez from participating. When that failed, Sovitsky did the unthinkable. While video cameras rolled, four uniformed airmen, stood up during Rodriguez’s speech, surrounded him, and dragged him from the building.

Friends and family could hardly believe their eyes. Not only had Sovitsky ruined a day that Roberson would never get back, but he treated Rodriguez like a common criminal for exercising the rights both men spent their careers defending. “It was one of the most humiliating experiences of my life,” Rodriguez said later. “To have the Air Force assault me and drag me out of a retirement ceremony simply because my speech included the word ‘God’ is something I never expected from our military.” Once the video went viral, base officials scrambled to explain. In their version of the facts, “Rodriguez ignored numerous requests to respect the Air Force prescribed ceremony and unfortunately was forcibly removed. We will continue to investigate the situation fully.”

The Air Force Reserve chimed in too, insisting that it “respects and defends the right to free speech and religious expression.” Of whom? Certainly not Christians, who are being driven out of the service while perversion and secularism are welcomed in. “Why do you think people are leaving [the Air Force] in droves?” the officiating officer at Roberson’s ceremony wrote on Facebook.” Because the guys in the trenches are subjected to nonstop stupidity from commanders who don’t deserve the rank, respect, or support of the people they’re in charge of.” Now, anxious to spare other Christians the same humiliation, Rodriguez is demanding the base’s apology, as well as assurances that those responsible for violating his rights would be punished.

As our own Lt. General Jerry Boykin (U.S. Army-Ret.) pointed out, no one is forced to attend a retirement ceremony. So to suggest that it’s unconstitutional to speak God’s name — the same God our troops invoke in their military oaths — is ridiculous on its face. Our friends at First Liberty Institute, who are representing the retired master sergeant, make it quite clear that, “The fact that Mr. Rodriguez was going to mention the word ‘God,’ at the behest of the retiring service member, is an insufficient basis to silence him, much less commit assault and battery against him, followed by forcibly dragging him away. Ironically, Mr. Rodriguez’s speech was also going to state that our nation’s flag ‘stands for the Constitution… freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of speech.’ Yet Lt. Colonel Sovitsky and/or the four NCOs arbitrarily, unreasonably, and discriminatorily denied many of those very freedoms to Mr. Rodriguez.”

Military bases aren’t faith-free zones. Walking onto an installation like Travis’s doesn’t mean you surrender your First Amendment rights — whether you’re a private citizen or active duty. Think of the message that sends potential recruits! Uncle Sam wants you to sacrifice your life for freedoms you can’t enjoy. Meanwhile, this is just more evidence of Obama’s culture of religious hostility that even conservatives couldn’t believe. How many more veterans will have to be publicly assaulted before people stand up and demand justice for our Christian service members?

Join us in demanding an apology from Colonel Raymond Kozak, commander of the 349th Air Mobility Wing, to Senior Master Sgt. Oscar Rodriguez, along with his assurances that those responsible will be held accountable. Sign our petition here!


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

 

Source: Will County News

Democrats don’t like 2nd amendment/Believe in all powerful Big Government

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Democratic Congressmen from the US House of Representatives have chosen to act like a disenfranchised minority and copy the dysfunctional, obstructionist tactics of their Republican counterparts by holding a “sit-in,” until the House Leadership agrees to hold a vote on their gun control agenda.  In turn, the Republican Leadership has chosen to censor coverage of their civil demonstration.  As both Congressional Republicans and Democrats have been empowered by the American People to represent their interests in the legislative process, the situation does little except demonstrate how both sides hijack government for their agendas.

That said, Democrats appear to be pushing for reasonable provisions, including tighter background checks and curbs on the sale of weapons to people on government watch lists.  In turn, Republicans, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Susan Collins, seem willing to compromise.  Unfortunately, the threshold to be placed on a watch list like the “no-fly” list, can very low and random while the process for appealing the placement of one’s name on the list is nearly non-existent.  Clearly, compromise is needed to protect People’s Second Amendment Rights and Right to Due Process under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Furthermore, it is important to recognize increased responsibility on behalf of gun owners and sellers is not enough to address violent crime.  Increased legal restrictions on the sale and ownership of guns cannot eliminate violent crime.  The reasons people chose to engage in violent attacks need to be addressed, which is a challenge that political officials avoid.  While gun advocates can be blamed for resisting even the most reasonable measures to safeguard the public from those who will abuse their Second Amendment Rights to attack others, the single-mind pursuit of increasingly tighter bans and legal restrictions on gun ownership creates resistance.

The failure to defend the civil liberties of one is a failure to defend the civil liberties of all.   This is particularly true when it is inconvenient or offensive to do so.  For the sake of ease and self-interest, it is tempting to simply reason away the rights of others, or even deny their existence, yet the failure to defend the freedoms of others undermines the freedoms of everyone.  When it comes to addressing gun violence, the need to balance Second Amendment rights with gun control measures is no different.

Just as free speech and religious freedom from government persecution are civil liberties, so is the right to own and bear arms.  Americans are accustom to hearing the “civil liberty” term attached to Left-wing causes, but that does not disqualify gun rights from their status as civil liberties.  Civil liberties, also known as cultural or social rights, are fundamental rights afforded to all citizens of a nation.  Civil liberties in the United States are derived from the Bill of Rights.  Where the First Amendment establishes the freedom of expression as a civil liberty, the Second Amendment enshrines the right to own and bear arms as a civil liberty.

Consequently, Congress nor the President nor the Supreme Court has the authority to undermine the Civil Liberties of the American People by denying people their right to purchase, own, and use guns in a responsible manner.  Instead of seeking to bar people from their civil liberties without Due Process, public policy must seek to encourage responsible gun ownership and use.  In order to address the negative impact guns have on communities throughout the United States, both advocates for gun rights and advocates for gun control need to pursue a balanced legislative agenda.

A balanced agenda for the gun lobbyists should include:

1.  The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Shew v. Malloy to overlook a Connecticut ban on certain semi-automatic weapons and large ammonization magazines demonstrates a failure to protect civil liberties.  One major purpose of the Second Amendment is to protect people from government and military oppression.  As the military has automatic weapons and the Second Amendment was created, in large part, to counterbalance the might of the military, the Second Amendment guarantees citizens can own these weapons.  Instead of banning semi-automatic weapons and large magazines, i.e. violating people’s civil liberties, the focus should be on restricting dangerous people from buying such weapons via higher level permitting for more dangerous weapons.

2.  Embracing wait periods on sales of shot guns, pistols and automatic guns that can used in a heated moment to cause mass causalities.

3.   Identifying when the government has a compelling state interest to restrict an individual’s Second Amendment rights.

4.  Embracing more extensive background checks for automatic weapons.

5. Obtaining subsidies for gun safety training as part of a requirement for carrying permits to encourage safe handling of guns.

6. Gun owners must handle their guns responsibility.  When they are not using their guns, they need to store them in a safe and secure means.  As such, public policy should clarify and increase the legal penalties for negligent gun owners whose weapons are lost or stolen and never reported lost or stolen.

7.  Crafting a streamlined process that allows individuals, who have had their Second Amendment Rights restricted due to criminal records and mental illness, to restore their Constitutionally guaranteed rights.

8.  Restoring the full Second Amendment Rights of law-abiding citizens who are 18 and over by allowing them to purchase handguns and shotguns where they are prohibited from doing so.

9. Obtaining subsidies for permitting to alleviate the financial constraints that impede the Second Amendment Rights of the poor.

Source: Will County News

Women vs. Transwomen Cultural Death Match

Women vs. “Transwomen”: Cultural Death Match

Women vs. Transwomen Cultural Death Match
Written By Laurie Higgins“Sex-rejector”: Human who rejects his or her objective, immutable biological sex
“Proverts”: Those who affirm and promote perversity as good

Tacoma “trans” sideshow

Get your popcorn, pick a seat, and watch the circus sideshow that just took place in Tacoma, Washington, where a group seeking to find a negotiated settlement between women on one side of an absurdist cultural divide and sex-rejectors and proverts on the other. In this sideshow, proverts shriek obscenities at women who don’t want men in their showers and call their shrieking civil disobedience.

In between hurling epithets and obscenities at women who want nothing more than a modicum of privacy in which to engage in private activities, sex-rejectors and proverts scream “Transwomen are women.”

Actually, they’re not.

Are “transwomen” women?

“Transwomen” are men who want to be women and masquerade as women via wearing women’s clothing, jewelry, make-up, and/or hairstyles and having their bodies artificially altered. They are no more in reality women than 60-year-old women who wear the clothing and hairstyles of 25-year-olds and have their bodies artificially altered are in reality 25-year-old women. And it is no more hateful to say sex-rejecting men are not women than it is to say that a 5’7” white man is not a 6’5” Chinese woman—even if he really, really, really wants to be one. Reality exists, and affirming it is not hate speech.

As “progressives” have relentlessly averred, sex and “gender identity” are two wholly distinct phenomena. Sex is an objective, immutable, scientifically verifiable phenomenon, whereas “gender identity” refers to a person’s feelings about their sex. The vast majority of people accept their sex, and a minority wish they were the opposite sex. “Gender identity” is a rhetorical and social construction created to give existential heft to immaterial desire.

 “Gender,” sex, and safety

Gender:

Sex-rejectors and proverts claim their central concern is the safety of sex-rejectors. Male sex-rejectors rightly claim they are at risk if they go into men’s restrooms and locker rooms masquerading as women. Of course, in the service of their safety, they could choose not to masquerade as women. “Progressives” argue that clothing, hairstyles, jewelry, and makeup are arbitrary social conventions imposed oppressively on men and women starting at birth and based on their objective sex. If that’s the case, then there is no reason for men who wish they were women to adopt these oppressive, arbitrary. socially constructed conventions. In fact, by acquiescing to these conventions, don’t sex-rejectors merely reinforce the very stereotypes against which they rebel? In the service of safety, why not reject the arbitrary social conventions associated with the sex they wish they were?

Sex:

Leftists say that biological sex per se is meaningless. In their view, nothing necessarily derives from it. Modesty and the desire for privacy have no intrinsic connection to biological sex per se. There is no need to respect it even in private facilities. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that those who believe that feelings of modesty and the desire for privacy are inextricably linked to biological sex se are the equivalent of racists. In other words, those who believe that biological sex is imbued with meaning are ignorant bigots. If that’s the case, then why do sex-rejectors demand to use opposite-sex facilities? What’s the big deal about the sex of the persons with whom they shower? If—to them—physical embodiment as male or female is ultimately meaningless, and if—to them—all outward expressions of maleness and femaleness are arbitrary social conventions, then why can’t sex-rejectors use the private facilities that correspond to their sex, thereby respecting the feelings of those who believe biological sex per se has meaning?

If objective, immutable biological sex has no intrinsic meaning, and if the outward expressions of sex that all societies develop to recognize, reinforce, and celebrate sex differences (i.e., gender) are arbitrary, socially constructed and meaningless, then are fake breasts, vaginas, and penises meaningless constructions as well? And if they’re not meaningless, if they have meaning related in part to modesty and physical privacy, why should restroom-usage correspond to fake bodies as opposed to real bodies?

Moreover, if fake breasts, penises, and vaginas have no more intrinsic meaning than real breasts, vaginas, and penises, then why construct them? Why go through the pain and expense of removing and adding body parts? And why these particular body parts? What’s so special and meaningful about breasts, vaginas, and penises? Why not be creative and invent new decorative, non-functioning body parts? Why do sex-rejectors who believe that biological sex per se has no meaning and who believe that social conventions associated with sex are ultimately arbitrary, oppressively imposed social conventions feel the need to remain so narrowly embodied within the binary?

True “trans” goal

In addition to choosing not to masquerade as the opposite sex, sex-rejectors could also use family restrooms in stores and restaurants and shower at home rather than at health clubs in order to better protect their safety. That they reject all these options reveals what their real goal is. Their real goal is to remove all cultural signifiers of the existence and meaning of objective, immutable biological sex. This goal requires restructuring grammar, censoring speech, and eradicating sex-segregation everywhere. And it requires universal compliance with their draconian cultural edicts.

The exaltation of subjectivism and autonomy has brought us to this cultural precipice. Sex-rejectors believe subjective feelings and their autonomous will—not biology—determine sex. And sex-rejectors believe they alone have the right to decide the criterion that determines whether humans are entitled to physical privacy. They proclaim that physical privacy should be accorded to humans based not on their sex but on their feelings about their sex. Other humans demur.

When a lesbian panelist in the Tacoma sideshow says she doesn’t want to shower next to a swinging “d**k,” a provert commands her to “shower at home.” Why can’t those instructions be given to sex-rejectors who don’t want to shower with persons of their same sex? Why should the desire to be the opposite sex supersede sex in private areas?

Conclusion

The manifest contradictions that inhere the sex-rejecting movement reveal the truth that biological sex matters. Sex rejectors unwittingly testify to the profound importance and desirability of sex differences when they endure painful surgeries and sterility-causing cross-sex hormone-doping and refuse to use restrooms and showers with persons of their same sex. Societies provide sex-separated facilities in which private activities related to intimate bodily functions and undressing take place because biological sex per se matters.

Source: Will County News

Tonia Khouri (IL-11) gets Illinois State Crime Commission 2016 Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2016
Contact: Mary Kate Knorr
Phone:815-768-9632
Tonia Khouri (IL-11) Named Illinois State Crime Commission 2016 Award Recipient
Khouri is a 2016 recipient of the Award of Excellence in County Government.
(AURORA, IL) – The Illinois State Crime Commission presented Congressional Candidate Tonia Khouri with the 2016 Award of Excellence in County Government at the annual “Salute to Those Who Make A Difference” Awards Dinner on Wednesday evening.

“Tonia’s continued excellent work on behalf of the citizens’ of DuPage County in judicial and public safety, as well as her service in mass and public transit, health and human services, and finance is indeed most appreciated,” said Jerry Elsner, ISCC Executive Director. “Our commission, and the law enforcement community, sincerely appreciate her efforts and her support of our mission.”

ISCC aims to combat public corruption and strengthen the criminal justice system here in the state of Illinois. It has accomplished important goals pertaining to crime prevention and anti-terrorism, amongst other areas, and boasts a diverse membership of influencers in government, law enforcement, education, labor, business, and public policy.
Public safety remains an issue of utmost importance to Khouri and has topped her list of preliminary items to take to Washington, D.C. when she is elected to Congress.
“As I’ve traveled our district over the past nine months, I’ve heard time and time again that public safety is a concern for many Illinoisans,” said Khouri. “I am so grateful to the ISCC for recognizing my work to foster safe communities in DuPage county and I look forward to continuing that work at the federal level come November.”

Source: Will County News

New Technology using DNA

 

Published on Nov 12, 2015

Geneticist Jennifer Doudna co-invented a groundbreaking new technology for editing genes, called CRISPR-Cas9. The tool allows scientists to make precise edits to DNA strands, which could lead to treatments for genetic diseases … but could also be used to create so-called “designer babies.” Doudna reviews how CRISPR-Cas9 works — and asks the scientific community to pause and discuss the ethics of this new tool.

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Geneticist Jennifer Doudna co-invented a groundbreaking new technology for editing genes, called CRISPR-Cas9. The tool allows scientists to make precise edits to DNA …

Q: What is “CRISPR”?

A: “CRISPR” (pronounced “crisper”) stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, which are the hallmark of a bacterial defense system which forms the basis for the popular CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology. In the field of genome engineering, the term “CRISPR” is often used loosely to refer to the entire CRISPR-Cas9 system, which can be programmed to target specific stretches of genetic code and to edit DNA at precise locations. These tools allow researchers to permanently modify genes in living cells and organisms and, in the future, may make it possible to correct mutations at precise locations in the human genome to treat genetic causes of disease. In September 2015, the Zhang lab demonstrated successful harnessing of a different CRISPR system for genome editing, called CRISPR-Cpf1, which has the potential for even simpler and more precise genome engineering.

Q: Where do CRISPRs come from?

A: CRISPRs were first discovered in archaea (and later in bacteria), by Francisco Mojica, a scientists at the University of Alicante in Spain. He proposed that CRISPRs serve as part of the bacterial immune system, defending against invading viruses. They consist of repeating sequences of genetic code, interrupted by “spacer” sequences – remnants of genetic code from past invaders. The system serves as a genetic memory that helps the cell detect and destroy invaders (called “bacteriophage”) when they return. Mojica’s theory was experimentally demonstrated in 2007 by a team of scientists led by Philippe Horvath.

In January 2013, Feng Zhang at the Broad Institute and MIT published the first method to engineer CRISPR to edit the genome in mouse and human cells.

Q: How does the system work?

A: CRISPR “spacer” sequences are transcribed into short RNA sequences (“CRISPR RNAs” or “crRNA”) capable of guiding the system to matching sequences of DNA. When the target DNA is found, Cas9 – one of the enzymes produced by the CRISPR system – binds to the DNA and cuts it, shutting the targeted gene off. Using modified versions of Cas9, researchers can activate gene expression instead of cutting the DNA. These techniques allow researchers to study the gene’s function.

Research also suggests that CRISPR-Cas9 can be used to target and modify “typos” in the three-billion-letter sequence of the human genome in an effort to treat genetic disease.

CRISPR
An artist’s depiction of the CRISPR system in action.
Illustration by Stephen Dixon

Q: How does CRISPR-Cas9 compare to other genome editing tools?

A: CRISPR-Cas9 is proving to be an efficient and customizable alternative to other existing genome editing tools. Since the CRISPR-Cas9 system itself is capable of cutting DNA strands, CRISPRs do not need to be paired with separate cleaving enzymes as other tools do. They can also easily be matched with tailor-made “guide” RNA (gRNA) sequences designed to lead them to their DNA targets. Tens of thousands of such gRNA sequences have already been created and are available to the research community. CRISPR-Cas9 can also be used to target multiple genes simultaneously, which is another advantage that sets it apart from other gene-editing tools.

CRISPR-Cpf1 differs in several important ways from the previously described Cas9, with significant implications for research and therapeutics.

First: In its natural form, the DNA-cutting enzyme Cas9 forms a complex with two small RNAs, both of which are required for the cutting activity. The Cpf1 system is simpler in that it requires only a single RNA. The Cpf1 enzyme is also smaller than the standard SpCas9, making it easier to deliver into cells and tissues.

Second, and perhaps most significantly: Cpf1 cuts DNA in a different manner than Cas9. When the Cas9 complex cuts DNA, it cuts both strands at the same place, leaving ‘blunt ends’ that often undergo mutations as they are rejoined. With the Cpf1 complex the cuts in the two strands are offset, leaving short overhangs on the exposed ends. This is expected to help with precise insertion, allowing researchers to integrate a piece of DNA more efficiently and accurately.

Third: Cpf1 cuts far away from the recognition site, meaning that even if the targeted gene becomes mutated at the cut site, it can likely still be re-cut, allowing multiple opportunities for correct editing to occur.

Fourth: the Cpf1 system provides new flexibility in choosing target sites. Like Cas9, the Cpf1 complex must first attach to a short sequence known as a PAM, and targets must be chosen that are adjacent to naturally occurring PAM sequences. The Cpf1 complex recognizes very different PAM sequences from those of Cas9. This could be an advantage in targeting some genomes, such as in the malaria parasite as well as in humans.

Everything You Need to Know About CRISPR, the New Tool that Edits DNA

Top image: Screenshot from this MIT video explaining CRISPR

CRISPR, a new genome editing tool, could transform the field of biology—and a recent study on genetically-engineered human embryos has converted this promise into media hype. But scientists have been tinkering with genomes for decades. Why is CRISPR suddenly such a big deal?

The short answer is that CRISPR allows scientists to edit genomes with unprecedented precision, efficiency, and flexibility. The past few years have seen a flurry of “firsts” with CRISPR, from creating monkeys with targeted mutations to preventing HIV infection in human cells. Earlier this month, Chinese scientists announced they applied the technique to nonviable human embryos, hinting at CRISPR’s potential to cure any genetic disease. And yes, it might even lead to designer babies. (Though, as the results of that study show, it’s still far from ready for the doctor’s office.)

In short, CRISPR is far better than older techniques for gene splicing and editing. And you know what? Scientists didn’t invent it.

CRISPR/Cas9 comes from strep bacteria…

CRISPR is actually a naturally-occurring, ancient defense mechanism found in a wide range of bacteria. As far as back the 1980s, scientists observed a strange pattern in some bacterial genomes. One DNA sequence would be repeated over and over again, with unique sequences in between the repeats. They called this odd configuration “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats,” or CRISPR.

This was all puzzling until scientists realized the unique sequences in between the repeats matched the DNA of viruses—specifically viruses that prey on bacteria. It turns out CRISPR is one part of the bacteria’s immune system, which keeps bits of dangerous viruses around so it can recognize and defend against those viruses next time they attack. The second part of the defense mechanism is a set of enzymes called Cas (CRISPR-associated proteins), which can precisely snip DNA and slice the hell out of invading viruses. Conveniently, the genes that encode for Cas are always sitting somewhere near the CRISPR sequences.

Here is how they work together to disable viruses, as Carl Zimmerelegantly explains in Quanta:

As the CRISPR region fills with virus DNA, it becomes a molecular most-wanted gallery, representing the enemies the microbe has encountered. The microbe can then use this viral DNA to turn Casenzymes into precision-guided weapons. The microbe copies the genetic material in each spacer into an RNA molecule. Cas enzymes then take up one of the RNA molecules and cradle it. Together, the viral RNA and the Cas enzymes drift through the cell. If they encounter genetic material from a virus that matches the CRISPR RNA, the RNA latches on tightly. The Cas enzymes then chop the DNA in two, preventing the virus from replicating.

There are a number Cas enzymes, but the best known is called Cas9. It comes from Streptococcus pyogenes, better known as the bacteria that causes strep throat. Together, they form the CRISPR/Cas9 system, though it’s often shortened to just CRISPR.

 

It is a more precise way of editing the genome…

As this point, you can start connecting the dots: Cas9 is an enzyme that snips DNA, and CRISPR is a collection of DNA sequences that tells Cas9 exactly where to snip. All biologists have to do is feed Cas9 the right sequence, called a guide RNA, and boom, you can cut and paste bits of DNA sequence into the genome wherever you want.

DNA is a very long string of four different bases: A, T, C, and G. Other enzymes used in molecular biology might make a cut every time they see, say, a TCGA sequence, going wild and dicing up the entire genome. The CRISPR/Cas9 system doesn’t do that.

Cas9 can recognize a sequence about 20 bases long, so it can be better tailored to a specific gene. All you have to do is design a target sequence using an online tool and order the guide RNA to match. It takes no longer than few days for the guide sequence to arrive by mail. You can even repair a faulty gene by cutting out it with CRISPR/Cas9 and injecting a normal copy of it into a cell. Occasionally, though, the enzyme still cuts in the wrong place, which is one of the stumbling blocks for wider use, especially in the clinic.

…and way more efficient…

Mice whose genes have been altered or “knocked out” (disabled) are the workhorses for biomedical research. It can take over a year to establish new lines of genetically-altered mice with traditional techniques. But it takes just few months with CRISPR/Cas9, sparing the lives of many mice and saving time.

Traditionally, a knockout mouse is made using embryonic stem (ES) cells. Researchers inject the altered DNA sequence into mouse embryos, and hope they are incorporated through a rare process called homologous recombination. Some of first generation mice will be chimeras, their bodies a mixture of cells with and without the mutated sequence. Only some of the chimeras will have reproductive organs that make sperm with mutated sequence. Researchers breed those chimeras with normal mice to get a second generation, and hope that some of them are heterozygous, aka carrying one normal copy of the gene and one mutated copy of the gene in every cell. If you breed two of those heterozygous mice together, you’ll be lucky to get a third generation mouse with two copies of the mutant gene. So it takes at least three generations of mice to get your experimental mutant for research. Here it is summarized in a timeline:

But here’s how a knockout mouse is made with CRISPR. Researchers inject the CRISPR/Cas9 sequences into mouse embryos. The system edits bothcopies of a gene at the same time, and you get the mouse in one generation. With CRISPR/Cas9, you can also alter, say, fives genes at once, whereas you would have to had to go that same laborious, multi-generational process five times before.

CRISPR is also more efficient than two other genome engineering techniques called zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs). ZFN and TALENs can recognize longer DNA sequences and they theoretically have better specificity than CRISPR/Cas9, but they also have a major downside. Scientists have to create a custom-designed ZFN or TALEN protein each time, and they often have to create several variations before finding one that works. It’s far easier to create a RNA guide sequence for CRISPR/Cas9, and it’s far more likely to work.

…and can be used in any organism

Most science experiments are done on a limited set of model organisms: mice, rats, zebrafish, fruit flies, and a nematode called C. elegans. That’s mostly because these are the organisms scientists have studied most closely and know how to manipulate genetically.

But with CRISPR/Cas9, it’s theoretically possible to modify the genomes of any animal under the sun. That includes humans. CRISPR could one day hold the cure to any number of genetic diseases, but of course human genetic manipulation is ethically fraught and still far from becoming routine.

Closer to reality are other genetically modified creatures—and not just the ones in labs. CRISPR could become a major force in ecology and conservation, especially when paired with other molecular biology tools. It could, for example, be used to introduce genes that slowly kill off the mosquitos spreading malaria. Or genes that put the brakes on invasive species like weeds. It could be the next great leap in conserving or enhancing our environment—opening up a whole new box of risks and rewards.

With the recent human embryo editing news, CRISPR has been getting a lot of coverage as a future medical treatment. But focusing on medicine alone is narrow-minded. Precise genome engineering has the potential to alter not just us, but the entire world and all its ecosystems.

Source: Will County News