Patterico's Pontifications


NYC: 9/11 Tribute in Light Canceled Due To Covid Concerns

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:17 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The first time in 18 years:

Tribute in Light, the world’s beloved twin beams of light, will not shine over lower Manhattan as part of this year’s 9/11 commemoration. This incredibly difficult decision was reached in consultation with our partners after concluding the health risks during the pandemic were far too great for the large crew required to produce the annual Tribute in Light. We hope to resume this iconic tribute for the 20th anniversary. In a spirit of unity and remembrance, the city will come together for a “Tribute in Lights” initiative to inspire the world and honor the promise to never forget.

After further inquiry, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum elaborated:

Due to impacts of COVID-19, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and Michael Ahern Production Services (MAPS) made the very difficult decision to not move forward with Tribute in Light this year. This year’s cancellation stems from health and safety concerns and underscores the far-reaching consequences of the global health crisis.

As the pandemic continues to surge throughout the country, it was necessary to consider the health and safety of the nearly 40 stagehands who work in close proximity to produce Tribute in Light. For multiple weeks in August and September, crew members work hours-long shifts at Battery Parking Garage to prepare for the production on the night of September 11. The facilities and the complex installation which requires stagehands to work closely together do not align with recommended COVID-19 health and safety precautions.

Unfortunately, the decision to cancel has resulted in a petition at, that calls on New Yorkers to congregate together in peaceful protest at Ground Zero with flashlights in hand:

There is No Reason to not have the lights as a tribute to those who lost their lives or Loved ones on that Horrible September Morning. The nonsense about Covid safety is just that NONSENSE! Why don’t we just consider it a peaceful protest against radical Islam!!! Bring your masks and Flashlights!!! This Year On September 11th Ground Zero will have lights with or without your Support!

After months of witnessing mass protests throughout the streets of NYC, and with bowling alleys, gyms, museums, and cultural institutions set to reopen next week, it seems odd that the preparation to assemble lights on a building is a bridge too far.

And where is Mayor DeBlasio on this? Has he urged organizers to continue with the tribute on behalf of the city and the victims of the attacks? Well, I can’t find a comment from him specifically addressing the issue, but this was his take this week on why enormous protests during the pandemic should be treated differently than other events or issues during a pandemic:

“The protests were an entirely different reality,” de Blasio said recently, claiming it is “apples and oranges” to say New York City is engaging in a double standard by giving anti-police activists free rein around the city while also imposing strict lockdown measures on businesses.

He added, “A national phenomenon that was not something that the government could just say, you know, go away, something that really came from the grassroots. And, obviously, it had profound meaning, and we’re all acting on the meaning of those protests.”

Even earlier than that, a reporter asked de Blasio whether there is “one set of rules for protesters and another for everyone else.”

You bet, said the mayor.

“When you see a nation, an entire nation, simultaneously grappling with an extraordinary crisis seeded in 400 years of American racism,” de Blasio said, “I’m sorry, that is not the same question as the understandably aggrieved store owner or devout religious person who wants to go back to services.”

Priorities, people. No wonder people are fleeing the city in droves.


Trump Raises Doubts About Whether Kamala Harris Is Eligible To Be Vice-President

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:21 am

[guest post by Dana]

No one should be surprised that Trump would choose this tactic once again to raise suspicions about Kamala Harris, who was born in the US to a Jamaican father and Indian mother, and whether she is eligible to be the vice-president:

“I just heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements and by the way the lawyer that wrote that piece is a very highly qualified, very talented lawyer.

“I have no idea if that’s right. I would have assumed the Democrats would have checked that out before she gets chosen to run for vice-president.

“But that’s a very serious, you’re saying that, they’re saying that she doesn’t qualify because she wasn’t born in this country.”

The reporter replied there was no question that Ms Harris was born in the US, simply that her parents might not have been permanent US residents at the time.

“I don’t know about it,” Trump said. “I just heard about it. I’ll take a look.”

It’s interesting to note the order in which Trump comments, and how he comments for the benefit of his base. First, he says that he heard she doesn’t meet the requirements (to be vice-president), then follows that with praise for John C. Eastman, the lawyer who wrote the op-ed that got the birther 2.0 ball rolling for Trump. The President then tries to appear as if he has a neutral, hands-off position in this, by saying that he has no idea if the claim is true. Me, I’m just a bystander! Except that he immediately follows that by raising doubts about whether Democrats did their due diligence on behalf of the American people to actually make sure Harris meets eligibility requirements. How can we really know they did what they were supposed to do?? This is followed by his attempt to link the very seriousness of the matter with the double-false claim that Harris doesn’t qualify because she wasn’t born in this country. Moreover, he doesn’t know about it, yet he will take a look at it??? The only reason he would say that he will “take a look at it” is to gin up suspicion in his base that Harris doesn’t meet the requirements and to instill the belief that the Democrats are trying to pull a fast one on the American people. Oh, please.

Trump’s senior legal advisor Jenna Ellis got into the act as well by pushing doubts about Harris’s eligibility. She took it a step further though by telling ABC News that

…she believes Harris’ citizenship is “an open question, and one I think Harris should answer so the American people know for sure she is eligible.”

You can read Eugene Volokh’s counter to Eastman’s op-ed here. He lays out the history of the legal standards for eligibility and determines that the American people can be assured that Harris is indeed eligible to be the vice-president.

While Harris herself has not publicly commented on the President’s provocation, Biden’s campaign released a statement:

“Donald Trump was the national leader of the grotesque, racist birther movement with respect to President Obama and has sought to fuel racism and tear our nation apart on every single day of his presidency,” Biden rapid response director Andrew Bates told Fox News in a statement. “So it’s unsurprising, but no less abhorrent, that as Trump makes a fool of himself straining to distract the American people from the horrific toll of his failed coronavirus response that his campaign and their allies would resort to wretched, demonstrably false lies in their pathetic desperation.”

Every Republican in Congress should publicly condemn the President for pushing this nonsense because it is not representative of the GOP (or at least, once upon a time), but they won’t because unfortunately, we’ve already seen a large swath of Republicans across the country happily provide a home for birtherism, and the tactic paid off handsomely. So why would Republicans condemn it now when the presidential election is a mere 82 days away?

P.S. At least Sen. Lindsey Graham, while avoiding taking the President head-on, reiterates that Harris is indeed an American citizen, therefore eligible to be the vice-president.


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