Patterico's Pontifications

5/31/2021

Memorial Day 2021

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:28 pm



I hope everyone had a great day. We spent it tromping around our old stomping grounds in Marina del Rey, finishing it off with dinner at the King’s Head in Santa Monica. Thanks to the veterans who made such simple pleasures possible.

5/30/2021

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 174

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 12:01 am



It is Trinity Sunday. The title of today’s Bach cantata is “Ich liebe den Höchsten von ganzem Gemüte” (I love the Highest with my entire being).

Today’s Gospel reading is John 3:1-17.

Jesus Teaches Nicodemus

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

The text of today’s piece is available here. Here the words for the opening aria, and the beginning of the recitative, including the famous line: “God so loved the world!”

2. Aria A

I love the Highest with my entire being,
He also has the greatest love for me.
God alone
shall be my soul’s treasure,
in which my eternal source of goodness lies.

3. Recitative T

O love, which none other resembles!
O priceless ransom!
The Father has given his child’s life
over to death on behalf of sinners
and all of these, who heaven’s kingdom
had taken lightly and lost,
are elected to blessedness.
God so loved the world!

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

5/29/2021

Constitutional Vanguard: Other Police Shootings of “Unarmed Black Men” in 2019 from the Washington Post Database: No. 4: Jimmy Atchison, Josef Richardson, Christopher Whitfield

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:04 pm



The message of today’s missive — Part 4 of 5 in a series on shootings of unarmed black people in 2019 — is that sometimes you just don’t know what happened. I describe three shootings where the police have one narrative, and the victim’s family has another . . . and there’s really no way to tell who’s right, at least based on what we know now.

The description is admittedly not terribly illuminating, but it’s necessary for completeness’s sake. Just so the letter is not a waste of the reader’s time, I spend some time in the newsletter summarizing what we have learned in the previous three (paid) newsletters about many of the shootings of “unarmed” black people in 2019. It’s a pretty stark reminder that “unarmed” hardly means these individuals did not pose a deadly threat. The people I discuss include: a man who armed himself with an officer’s taser and tased the officer before being shot; a man who repeatedly attacked and punched officers after being tased, nearly knocking two of them unconscious; a man who attacked a store employee, breaking the employee’s tooth, and then attacked an officer who confronted him, knocking her to the ground; and several others. The details are in the missive, which is for paid subscribers who want to have facts like this at their fingertips to refute the distortions we see every day from those who hate the police.

Next missive, I’ll round out the series with a discussion of two incidents in which officers were criminally charged. It’s always good to keep in mind that not every shooting is justified.

Pretty soon I’ll be done with this series and will move on to a new topic, although I’m sure I’ll be revisiting this topic in the future. In general, I’m here to promote liberty, free markets, and the Constitution — but an important part of that is promoting the liberty to say difficult but true things that Big Media won’t tell you about. I hope you agree that’s a worthy goal.

Read the post here. Subscribe here.

5/28/2021

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:37 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Yay for the weekend! Here are a few news items to talk about. Feel free to share anything that would interest readers. Please make sure to include links.

First news item

As JVW noted, Boston Public Schools be crazy. (I think the post deserves to be widely read):

There is more at the Boston Globe article about these manipulative people plying their cultish psychobabble on impressionable young minds, all on the taxpayer dime. Read it at your own peril. It’s in equal measure aggravating and depressing and it serves as a sad reminder that so much of the education of our nation’s youth — especially in large urban bureaucratic wastelands — has been given over to credentialed chuckleheads. BPS has commissioned a report of the fiasco and key administrators are busy insisting that they knew nothing about any of this, so don’t expect any real repercussions just as long as BPS keeps the teachers’ union happy. Maybe some school systems really were better off over the last year when kids were kept away from campus and generally out of the clutches of ideologically-driven lunatics.

Second news item

ReTrumplican strong:

Third news item

Oh, stop it. We see what you’re doing and it isn’t what you’re saying:

Customers at one Northern California cafe were taken aback Monday morning after they got a glimpse of the new store policy that greeted them at the door.

“$5 FEE ADDED TO ORDERS PLACED WHILE WEARING A FACE MASK,” read the poster on the glass window at Fiddlehead’s Cafe in Mendocino…

Just below the large print were two additional notes on the poster that warned guests if they were “caught bragging” about their vaccines “an additional $5 fee” would be added to their bill. The sign claims the fees will be donated to local charities assisting domestic abuse victims…

Owner Chris Castleman…says that some customers have paid the $5 fee, while others have been outraged. Castleman blamed this outrage not on his mask fee but on the charitable component.

“I’ve been told this whole time that wearing a mask is a small price to pay,” Castleman said. “Some people get shocked by the sign but to see them turn around and get disgusted … when they’re asked to pay $5 [for charity], it’s not in their wheelhouse. It’s not something they’re choosing to do.”

Fourth news item

In a nutshell:

Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.), said she views her re-election bid as a referendum on the future of the Republican Party, with voters potentially facing a choice between what she sees as traditional conservative values and loyalty to former President Donald Trump.

Fifth news item

City residents should demand an audit. Help the homeless, but don’t line some bureaucrat’s pockets while you’re doing it:

In Los Angeles, city officials grappling with an ongoing homelessness crisis have turned to an idea that for decades was politically unpopular and considered radical: a government-funded tent encampment.

But the high public cost of LA’s first sanctioned campground — more than $2,600 per tent, per month — has advocates worried it will come at the expense of more permanent housing.

The campsite opened in late April on a fenced-in parking lot beside the 101 freeway in East Hollywood. The lot-turned-campground can accommodate up to about 70 tents in 12-by-12-foot spots marked by white squares painted on the asphalt.

According to a report by the city administrative officer, the new East Hollywood campground costs approximately $2,663 per participant per month. That’s higher than what a typical one-bedroom apartment rents for in the city, according to the website RentCafe. While the per-tent cost covers services, meals, sanitation and staffing, some are concerned that the city is investing too much in short-term Band-Aids over long-term solutions.

“If you can paint lines on a sidewalk for the same cost that you can give someone the rent for an apartment,” says Shayla Myers, an attorney with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, “I’m concerned that our city is making the choice to paint the lines rather than actually get people into housing.”

Sixth news item

A truly awful move:

U.S. President Joe Biden’s proposed 2022 budget omits a ban on federal funding for most abortions that has been part of government spending bills for decades.

The budget, released Friday, makes no mention of the “Hyde Amendment,” first passed in 1976, which has been included in federal spending bills since.

The amendment, which restricts abortion coverage for recipients of Medicare, Medicaid, federal employees, servicewomen and Washington, D.C., residents, could still be added to any final 2022 spending bill as it moves through Congress.

Biden, a life-long Catholic, supported the Hyde Amendment for most of his political career, but changed his position in 2019 while campaigning for president, saying the right to abortion was under assault in many states and increasingly inaccessible to poorer women.

Seventh news item

“Not Vaccinated”. JUST STOP ALREADY:

Untitled

Eighth news item

President Biden on the continuing rise of anti-Semitism:

“In the last weeks, our nation has seen a series of anti-Semitic attacks, targeting and terrorizing American Jews,” Biden said. “We have seen a brick thrown through a window of a Jewish-owned business in Manhattan, a swastika carved into the door of a synagogue in Salt Lake City, families threatened outside a restaurant in Los Angeles, and museums in Florida and Alaska, dedicated to celebrating Jewish life and culture and remembering the Holocaust, vandalized with anti-Jewish messages.”

Biden signed into law earlier this month legislation addressing anti-Asian hate crimes, which have increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, but legislation on antisemitic crimes has yet to pass. Several bills have been introduced by lawmakers on the issue.

…an analysis of Twitter posts between May 7 and 14 found more than 17,000 tweets that used variations of the phrase “Hitler was right,” the group said earlier this month. In addition, the ADL said, it received more than 190 reports of possible antisemitic incidents in the week after the fighting began, up from 131 incidents in the previous week. Last year, there were 327 reported incidents at Jewish institutions, including synagogues, schools and community centers, up 40 percent from 234 in 2019, according to the group.

“I will not allow our fellow Americans to be intimidated or attacked because of who they are or the faith they practice,” Biden said, noting that May is Jewish-American Heritage Month. “We cannot allow the toxic combination of hatred, dangerous lies, and conspiracy theories to put our fellow Americans at risk.”

MISCELLANEOUS

Do not miss Patterico’s stellar work at the Constitutional Vanguard: Police Shootings Are Said to Be “Disproportionate” for Certain Groups . . . But Disproportionate to What? The series is well worth your time.

Have a great weekend.

–Dana

Senate Republicans Vote To Block Bill To Form Bipartisan Commission

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:20 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s be very straight about the once formidable Republican Party and its members: it is now the ReTrumplican Party. Judge for yourself:

Senate Republicans blocked the House-passed bill creating a commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Although most Republicans were unified in their opposition to the bill, worrying that a commission would drag into next year and potentially affect GOP chances of retaking Congress in the 2022 midterms, six voted to advance the bill.

The vote to advance the bill failed by 54 to 35, well short of the 60 votes needed. Republican Senators Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney, and Ben Sasse supported advancing the bill. All but Portman voted to convict former President Trump on the impeachment charge of incitement of insurrection in February. GOP Senator Patrick Toomey was not present for the vote due to a family commitment but said in a statement that he would have supported advancing the bill.

Earlier this week, Mitch McConnell, the same GOP leader who said after the insurrection of Jan. 6: “former President Trump’s actions that preceded the riot were a disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty. Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,” poo-pooed the bill for a bipartisan inquiry into the events of Jan. 6. Instead, McConnell made a cynically political calculation :

McConnell told reporters Tuesday when asked if he would support any changes to the commission, “I think that this is purely political exercise that adds nothing to the subtotal of information. It doesn’t allow anyone to get away with anything. All of these aspects of it are being dealt with it one way or another already.”

The minority leader also accused Democrats of continuing to “litigate the former president into the future.”

It would add nothing to the subtotal of information?? How can he be certain of that?? Clearly, McConnell doesn’t want to see Trump held accountable for his involvement in the events of Jan. 6, nor does he want to see the ReTrumplican Party members further exposed for the corrupt and mendacious lot of loathsome lickspittles they are. But mostly, he doesn’t want to risk a GOP loss in 2022, let alone 2024. And remember, McConnell already said back in February that if Trump were the nominee, he would “absolutely” support him.

Anyway, while I very rarely agree with Chuck Schumer, he is spot-on here:

“Shame on the Republican Party for trying to sweep the horrors of that day under the rug because they’re afraid of Donald Trump,” Schumer said, noting that many Republicans continued to embrace Mr. Trump’s false claims that the election was stolen. “Senate Republicans chose to defend the ‘big lie’ because they believe anything that might upset Donald Trump could hurt them politically.”

–Dana

5/27/2021

Constitutional Vanguard: Rebutting the Claim that Black People Are Disproportionately Shot by Police

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:08 pm



We’re told that we must say “Black Lives Matter” and not “All Lives Matter” because black people are the ones who have the problem with being shot by police. Statistics do seem to show that they are fatally shot in numbers disproportionate to their percentages of the population. But do those numbers truly reflect the threat they pose to police officers, which in turn explains the percentage who are fatally shot?

The answer, it turns out, is no. This is what Big Media has not been telling you:

What if I told you that roughly 34% of unarmed victims of fatal police shootings are black — but 37% of known killers of police are black? Wouldn’t you conclude that police officers are killing unarmed black folks at a slightly lower rate than is justified by the actual threat black people are posing to police officers?

I think you would.

And, as you may have guessed, that is the reality in which we live . . . as I am about to show you.

This is the magnum opus I have been working on for some time. Don’t let the length fool you: it’s 3,374 words, but only about 2,000 of that is the main piece. The last 1,300-1,400 words are the mathematical breakdown of the statistics, both for the benefit of obsessives, and to allow people to check my work.

Which I hope you do, because I want to make sure I have this right. Because I plan to refer to it often in the future. To me, this is the Great Untold Story of why so many black people seem to be shot by police.

Read it here. Subscribe here.

Soon, I will finish my work for paid subscribers on the analyses of 2019 police shootings of unarmed suspects, and perhaps discuss all this in a podcast.

Putting Government in Charge of Speech to Own the Libs

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



There are two recent examples of so-called “conservatives” suggesting that we grant power to the government to control speech. For the good of the people, you understand. We’re from the government and we’re here to help decide what you can and cannot say. Could any principle be more conservatismer?

Most obvious and perhaps more concerning is Ron DeSantis’s signing of a bill to regulate social media. I’ll hand the mic to Mike Masnick of TechDirt:

We’ve talked about a bunch of states pushing blatantly unconstitutional social media content moderation bills, with Florida leading the pack as the most eager to waste taxpayer money on something so obviously bogus. As you’ll recall, at the end of last month, Florida really added some unconstitutional icing on the unconstitutional cake by exempting Disney (and any other company that owned a theme park in Florida) from the bill’s social media requirements.

The bill has a few different unconstitutional provisions, but the one getting the most attention is that it bans non-theme park associated websites from removing content or accounts from people running for office. There are also the ridiculous transparency clauses that have become stupidly popular of late, and which really serve as a smokescreen to allow users to sue websites for being moderated.

And despite tons of experts explaining why this is unconstitutional, Governor Ron DeSantis — who made this bill a key plank in his “look at me, I’m a MAGA culture warrior” platform — has now signed the bill.

Absurd. You can recognize that many decisions made by Twitter and Facebook are stupid without reacting by wanting to put the censorious morons who run our government in charge of our speech.

Today we have Mr. Federalist, David “The President Of The United States Should Not Wear A Mask” Marcus, explaining why the government needs to be in charge of regulating fact-checkers:

The First Amendment rightly renders government powerless to regulate news outlets’ publishing content from their own in house fact checkers — they are protected by freedom of the press. But third party independent fact checkers are another story entirely. [Huh? WTF? — Ed.] These are entities such as Lead Stories, Politifact, and even the Associated Press that offer their fact checking expertise to social media platforms so the latter can claim they are not making editorial decisions. But that only works if third party fact checkers are operating objectively and without bias. It is quite obvious that this is not the case. 

Um, everyone has freedom of speech, dude. It’s not just the press.

So what can be done about this dangerous situation? A new bill before the Michigan House of Representatives is a move in the right direction. The bill would require fact checkers to register with the government and carry insurance to cover payment to those who suffer financial damages as a result of a bogus fact check.

Laws like this can establish simple, uniform practices that fact checkers must abide by to provide fairness in the service they provide. 

Regulating the fact checking industry would provide much needed accountability to the American people. Furthermore, regulations that insist uniform standards be applied by third party fact checkers should not be difficult to abide by. It is fact checking after all, not opinion checking, or tone checking, or social responsibility checking.  

Facts are supposed to be stubborn. Either an article or post is factual or it isn’t. At the point at which fact checkers are citing lack of context, or concerns about methodology they are no longer fact checking and should not be allowed to claim the service they are selling is doing so. 

Regulating the fact checking industry would not be any kind of government censorship of the media; it would not deprive any publishing entity from running a fact check. It would merely ensure that companies which sell their fact checking services are applying objective standards when evaluating material.

“Objective standards” . . . as determined by politicians who hate having their lies fact-checked. Yes, that sounds like such a great idea! And so conservative!

Once again, many of the complaints about fact-checkers are sound. I have made these complaints myself, and this is an excellent summary of the problem as it relates to the way fact-checkers have treated sites that have published about the lab leak theory for the coronavirus.

But the solution is not putting people like Donald Trump or Joe Biden in charge of what you can say.

An actual quote from this piece begins: “This may seem antithetical to traditional conservative values of small government, but …” LOL. Ya think?

A truthful end to that sentence would be: “… but let’s be honest: nobody gives a shit about that stuff anymore in the glorious Trump era.”

What Happens When the Nutjobs Are Put in Charge of Educating Our Kids

Filed under: General — JVW @ 8:22 am



[guest post by JVW]

You won’t believe what has been going on in the oh-so-achingly-progressive Boston Public Schools:

As a Boston high school sophomore, Keondre McClay said he was pressured by the head of a district-sponsored youth advocacy program to attend an overnight retreat in Newton, where white adults asked the Black [sic] teenager to wrestle out his emotions on a gym mat with them. They said it would help him purge his trauma from experiencing racism.

McClay fled to his room. Jenny Sazama, the program leader, and other retreat participants chased after him. For more than an hour, he recalled recently, they hugged him on his bed and entreated him to return to the group “counseling” session while he hid under the covers screaming, “Please leave me alone!”

When they eventually left, he locked the door, but someone got the facilities manager to unlock it. McClay called someone to help him get home at midnight.

“I was, for lack of a better word, assaulted,” said McClay, now 21, a former student representative to the Boston School Committee.

This wasn’t some random occurrence that happened after a night of drinking or even an overreaction in the heat of the moment. This assault on young Mr. McClay was part of a particular form of therapy called, in an appropriately Maoist manner, “Re-Education Counseling” which Ms. Sazama had brought to the Boston Student Advisory Council program, the youth advocacy group to which Mr. McClay belonged. More details (all emphasis added by me):

In “RC,” students were encouraged to share intensely personal information in a group, and to cry, yell, or scream, with no professional follow-up. Twice-monthly sessions took place in the basement of Sazama’s home in Jamaica Plain, but the teens also participated in RC gatherings, like the one McClay attended, with adult strangers.

The sessions continued for at least 15 years, with little oversight by the Boston Public Schools, which hired Sazama as an outside contractor to run the council. Sazama, who holds no credentials to provide mental health care, is a lifelong devotee of RC and a leader in the international organization that promotes it.

Jenny Sazama has for nearly three decades run a program called Youth on Board, which in itself is an offshoot of the national YouthBuild USA nonprofit organization. YouthBuild describes its mission as “champion[ing] today’s opportunity youth who aspire to improve their lives and communities by building the skills and resources to reach their full potential,” and it receives taxpayer-funded grants from the Department of Labor. Youth on Board, who recently made its website private, advocates for allowing students to be involved in decision-making within school districts, and aspires to train students for these roles. It’s unsurprisingly big on social justice pabulum as a rationale for “giving kids a voice.”

Incredibly enough, BPS did not have a formal contract with Youth on Board and to the degree which they provided oversight it was merely by assigning an employee named Maria Estrada — who had once briefly worked for Jenny Sazama at Youth on Board — to the task. A concerned staffer allegedly challenged both Ms. Estrada and Ms. Sazama nearly a decade ago on the eccentric practices of Re-Education Counseling being used in student training, but the two women managed to ignore her concerns. If you have as low a view of most big city bureaucracies as I have, you won’t be surprised to find out that nobody at BPS is interested on commenting on the twenty-plus year association they had with Youth on Board. Ms. Sazama has subsequently left the organization.

And Re-Education Counseling is not just some anodyne therapeutical technique readily embraced by a wide cross-section of everyday Americans. Like so much in faddish modern education, it’s pretty controversial to anyone who is not a professional ideologue:

RC has taken root in Boston and nationwide among pockets of progressive activists, who view it as a vehicle for social change. Adherents see the cathartic release of emotion, or “discharge,” as a remedy for healing both personal distress and societal trauma. If enough people and organizations discharged regularly, the thinking goes, the world could end oppression and environmental destruction. That’s why its members often try to recruit others. It’s also why RC theory regards psychiatric drugs as toxic — they interfere with emotional release.

But RC’s emphasis on displaying emotions before an audience, which psychology researchers say increases susceptibility to manipulation, has led critics to deride it as cult-like.

There is more at the Boston Globe article about these manipulative people plying their cultish psychobabble on impressionable young minds, all on the taxpayer dime. Read it at your own peril. It’s in equal measure aggravating and depressing and it serves as a sad reminder that so much of the education of our nation’s youth — especially in large urban bureaucratic wastelands — has been given over to credentialed chuckleheads. BPS has commissioned a report of the fiasco and key administrators are busy insisting that they knew nothing about any of this, so don’t expect any real repercussions just as long as BPS keeps the teachers’ union happy. Maybe some school systems really were better off over the last year when kids were kept away from campus and generally out of the clutches of ideologically-driven lunatics.

– JVW

5/26/2021

Statement By President Biden On Investigation Into Covid-19 Origins

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:42 pm



[guest post by Dana]

[Ed. Really pressed for time, just throwing this up here now as a convo starter.]

Today from President Biden:

Back in early 2020, when COVID-19 emerged, I called for the CDC to get access to China to learn about the virus so we could fight it more effectively. The failure to get our inspectors on the ground in those early months will always hamper any investigation into the origin of COVID-19.

Nevertheless, shortly after I became President, in March, I had my National Security Advisor task the Intelligence Community to prepare a report on their most up-to-date analysis of the origins of COVID-19, including whether it emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident. I received that report earlier this month, and asked for additional follow-up. As of today, the U.S. Intelligence Community has “coalesced around two likely scenarios” but has not reached a definitive conclusion on this question. Here is their current position: “while two elements in the IC leans toward the former scenario and one leans more toward the latter – each with low or moderate confidence – the majority of elements do not believe there is sufficient information to assess one to be more likely than the other.”

I have now asked the Intelligence Community to redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion, and to report back to me in 90 days. As part of that report, I have asked for areas of further inquiry that may be required, including specific questions for China. I have also asked that this effort include work by our National Labs and other agencies of our government to augment the Intelligence Community’s efforts. And I have asked the Intelligence Community to keep Congress fully apprised of its work.

The United States will also keep working with like-minded partners around the world to press China to participate in a full, transparent, evidence-based international investigation and to provide access to all relevant data and evidence.

Yesterday China said that the case was closed as far as their country was concerned:

The U.S. and China staked out sharply opposing positions over how to trace the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, with Washington calling for a new round of studies to be conducted with independent, international experts.

Beijing, meanwhile, told an annual gathering of the World Health Organization’s decision-making body Tuesday that it considered the investigation in its country to be complete and said attention should now turn to other countries.

The dueling opinions, expressed during a meeting of nearly 200 governments, appear hard to reconcile and show the political tensions hindering an effort to find the source of a virus that first began to spread in China. Under global health regulations, China would have to give its consent for WHO to send international scientists into the country again for further studies.

Lack of cooperation from China, however, presents a bit of a hurdle for the WHO:

Earlier this year, a team of scientists convened by the WHO spent a month in China, as part of an effort to understand the origins of the pandemic.

A deeper inquiry into the pandemic’s origins is “a critical priority for us,” Andy Slavitt, the White House senior adviser for the Covid-19 response, said at a briefing Tuesday. “We need to get to the bottom of this and we need a completely transparent process from China [Oh. Okay.] We need the WHO to assist in that matter. We don’t feel like we have that now.”

But those efforts are up against a push by China to have the WHO shift that probe into other countries, contending that the pandemic may have originated elsewhere.

“Nothing can happen unless China says yes,” said Lawrence Gostin, faculty director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University. “The WHO has no power under international law to require China to comply. “

He added, “Given the relationship between China and the U.S., there’s a negligible chance that the Chinese would capitulate to U.S. requests for a full and independent investigation.”

P.S. “Currently, [in] the WHO-convened origins tracing study, China’s part has been completed,” a Chinese delegate told diplomats during a videoconference meeting on Tuesday. “China supports the scientists to conduct a global origin tracing cooperation. We call on all parties to adopt an open and transparent attitude to cooperate with the WHO in origins tracing.”

–Dana

5/25/2021

Today’s Republican Party: Marjorie Taylor Greene Just Can’t Stop Talking About Nazis

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:04 pm



[guest post by Dana]

I know, I know, why can’t I stop talking about the certifiable Marjorie Taylor Greene, you ask. I’ll tell you why: it’s not just because she’s a low-hanging fruit nutcase who can’t stop saying crazy things, but she is also representative of “today’s” Republican Party. You know, the Party that has transformed itself from a once-solid, once-principled entity to one that rewards liars who promote the Big Lie and punishes truth-tellers. That Republican Party. Greene is a well-known Republican firebrand, who is only too happy to push the Big Lie and protect Donald Trump at all costs when she’s not making absurd comparisons to Nazis…

First, there was this from Greene last weekend:

In an appearance last week on the podcast “The Water Cooler with David Brody,” Greene lamented to a nodding Brody about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to maintain a mask mandate on the House floor because of concerns many GOP members may not be vaccinated.

“This woman is mentally ill,” Greene said of Pelosi, D-Calif. “You know, we can look back in a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star and they were definitely treated like second-class citizens — so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany, and this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”

Ugh.

This morning she came up with a real lulu in response to an earlier report about a Knoxville grocery store’s new in-house Covid safety measures for shoppers and employees:

Food City announced it will soon allow customers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to shop without masks.

Beginning Thursday, May 20, vaccinated store associates and customers will not be required to wear a face mask inside the grocery store.

Employees who have been fully vaccinated will have a vaccination logo displayed on their name badge.

Food City advised customers who have not been fully vaccinated or those who prefer to do so as a safety precaution to continue wearing face coverings. The store will continue to encourage social distancing and provide hand sanitizer, cart wipes and enhanced cleaning procedures in all of its locations.

Per Greene:

It is pretty troubling that an elected official is so incredibly ignorant that she would accuse a private business that has actually lifted a mask mandate and is set to rely upon an honor system with regard to employees informing them as to whether they have been vaccinated with what the Nazis forced the Jews to do by making them wear the yellow Stars of David. I won’t insult your intelligence by pointing out the obvious differences. Suffice it to say, no one at Food City is going to be deporting any employee to a work camp, or worse, for not having a vaccination logo on their name tag.

Anyway, the hits just keep coming. Greene was at it again when she responded to a report that the University of Virginia was implementing their own Covid safety measures as students return to campus this fall:

University of Virginia students who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be barred from participating in in-person classes in the fall semester and cannot step foot on university grounds, school leaders announced Monday.

Students will have to provide proof of vaccination by July 1 if they want to take in-person classes or be on university grounds. Students can request a medical or religious exemption to the requirement. If granted, they will be required to take weekly COVID-19 tests and other health measures.

“This approach will enable our students to return to a residential academic setting where they can live, study, and gather together safely,” UVA President Jim Ryan and other university leaders said in an email message.

In late April, Attorney General Mark Herring issued a formal opinion that universities have the authority to require COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of in-person enrollment. The decision was written to provide guidance to universities establishing their protocol for the upcoming semester; however, an attorney general opinion is not legally binding, so a student could make a legal challenge to the university’s requirement.

Cue the Nazi comparison:

Not for the first time, Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy released a statement condemning Greene’s references to Nazis and Jews, saying that her “intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling.”:

“Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling. The Holocaust is the greatest atrocity committed in history. The fact that this needs to be stated today is deeply troubling.

“At a time when the Jewish people face increased violence and threats, anti-Semitism is on the rise in the Democrat Party and is completely ignored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“Americans must stand together to defeat anti-Semitism and any attempt to diminish the history of the Holocaust.

“Let me be clear: the House Republican Conference condemns this language.”

Other leaders in the Party also condemned Greene’s comments. This from Mitch McConnell:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also blasted Greene, calling her comments “outrageous” and “reprehensible.”

McConnell’s spokesman pointed out on Twitter that the Senate leader had previously slammed Greene’s “loony lies and conspiracy theories” as a “cancer for the Republican Party and our country.”

Presumably responding to McCarthy’s and McConnell’s condemnation of her, Greene pushed back in a long Twitter thread as if the leaders of her own conference hadn’t clearly stated that she was wrong and condemned her remarks:

The media and Democrats and everyone feeding into it is allowing them to hide the truth, which is the digusting anti-semitism within the Democrat Party.

2. At a time when the Socialist Democrats and the Jihad Squad are supporting terrorists Hamas, and their supporters are attacking Jewish people on the streets of America,

3. it’s never been more important than now to stand up against forced vaccinations and mask mandates that the left is using to discriminate against Americans who refuse to comply.

4. Their attempts to shame, ostracize, and brand Americans who choose not to get vaccinated or wear a mask are reminiscent of the great tyrants of history who did the same to those who would not comply.

5. And everyone feeding into it is allowing them to hide the truth, which is the disgusting anti-semitism within the Democrat Party.

6. The Democrats are the party of division, hate, critical race theory (pure racism), discrimination, totalitarianism, socialism, globalism, gender destruction, BDS, defunding our police, and ANTIFA / BLM terrorists.

7. I’m sorry some of my words make people uncomfortable, but this is what the American left is all about.

And they are America last in every single way.

–Dana

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