Saturday, December 5, 2020

Pence meets with researchers at CDC in Atlanta

A powerful storm will bring rain, wind, and snow to the area later today.

President Trump to rally for GOP Senate candidates in Georgia


From ZeroHedge:

These Are The Hypocritical Government Officials Who Demand You Stay Home While They Party

Authored by Daisy Luther via The Organic Prepper blog,

Little is more annoying than seeing a wealthy government official solemnly telling you to stay home, forgo time with your family, and stop working while losing tons of money in missed wages.

Well, except for one thing. It’s more annoying when that government official is telling you to hunker down while they’re out partying in one luxurious location or another. I’d say that is far more annoying to watch those people tell us, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

It reminds me of The Hunger Games, in which people at the Capitol enjoy frivolous pastimes while the peons in the other Districts must spend their days doing menial jobs to provide for the wealthy, lest they be beaten or killed by “Peacekeepers.”

Here are some particularly egregious examples of hypocritical government officials who want you to sacrifice while they celebrate. The list is by no means comprehensive.

Open Blog - Weekend

 Yeah, to heck with the "cult of overwork."

Friday, December 4, 2020

Lutheran school gives up plan to reopen after Racine Health Department says school would be fined

From The Journal

The former Family Literacy of Racine facility, and former parish school for St. Richard of Chichester Parish, 1510 Villa St., is now operated as Renaissance Lutheran School-Villa.

RACINE — A private elementary school in the City of Racine, Renaissance Lutheran School-Villa, has backtracked on a plan to welcome students back to the school building while a city ordinance prohibiting in-person schooling remains in effect.

Renaissance Lutheran School-Villa, 1510 Villa St., sent a letter to its families on Monday saying that students would be welcomed back to the school building on Dec. 8. But, after being contacted by the City of Racine Public Health Department, the school on Friday abandoned that plan.

The Health Department informed Lutheran Urban Mission Initiative, Inc., the organization that runs Renaissance-Villa, that the Safer Racine ordinance is still in effect, even though the public health order closing schools is not. The ordinance orders all school buildings in the City of Racine to be empty of students and staff from Nov. 27 to Jan. 15 amid rising case rates of COVID-19 locally and statewide. 

Any school that opens its doors to students prior to Jan. 15, according to Public Health Administrator Dottie-Kay Bowersox, will be cited $250 for each day it is illegally open.

Read more:

Bond Fire Explodes to 4,000 Acres, Massive Flames Threaten Homes

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We don’t know where the mysterious monoliths come from. But we do know they’re art.

Renowned AI researcher says Google abruptly fired her, spurring industrywide criticism

Can your employer require you to get a COVID-19 vaccine to go to work?

If you're wondering whether your employer can require you to get a COVID-19 vaccine to return to work, the short answer is yes. But that doesn't mean employers won't face a "legal minefield" if and when they decide to implement a vaccination policy.

Although employees can be required to take a test as a precondition of their returning to work, according to trial attorney Misty Marris, "there is no world where there is a COVID-19 mandatory vaccination policy that doesn't have exceptions to it."

Marris, who deals heavily in employment law, is the co-managing partner of the New York office of Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP.

As the U.S. waits for the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, as well as Moderna, to get emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, employers have to be ready to set up a framework for how employees will be allowed to come back safely.

For both public and private employers this may mean encouraging employees to get vaccinated or implementing mandatory vaccination programs.

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which has issued guidance to employers throughout the pandemic, says the virus meets the standard of a "direct threat."

Since the virus is deemed a direct threat, employers have the ability to implement health checks in the workplace that would not normally be allowed under federal law in pre-pandemic times, according to Marris. This means employers have the ability to take someone's temperature before they come in or tell someone that they need to leave because they are exhibiting symptoms.

"While there is nothing that says it's illegal" for an employer to have mandatory vaccination program, that doesn't mean it isn't a thorny, thorny road."

Read more:

Police escort Edinburg High football player from game for hitting referee

Americans Embrace Marijuana, Legalizing Cannabis In Five Additional States | NBC News NOW

House passes bill to decriminalize marijuana, set up steps to wipe out convictions

Adam Eidinger, founder of, speaks during the groups’ protest in front of the U.S. Capitol on Monday, April 24, 2017, to call on Congress to reschedule the drug classification of marijuana.
Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

 The House passed a bill Friday to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and set up a process to expunge past convictions.

The Democratic-led chamber approved the measure in a 228-164 vote. Only five Republicans and one independent backed it. Six Democrats voted against the bill.

It marks the first time the House has voted to remove cannabis from the Federal Controlled Substances Act. The legislation also includes provisions to boost entrepreneurship in the legal marijuana business, including among people of color disproportionately harmed by decades of federal drug law enforcement.

It is unclear now whether the GOP-held Senate will have any appetite for taking up the bill. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the Kentucky Republican plans to hold a vote on the legislation.

In a statement following the vote, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the legislation is “part of a broader movement to address inequities in criminal justice, business and more.” He encouraged his chamber to support the bill.

The effort to decriminalize marijuana nationwide comes as more states legalize it for recreational or medical use. Fifteen states have now legalized the substance. Four — Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota — did so during the 2020 election alone.

Thirty-six states have authorized marijuana for medical use.

Democratic Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Barbara Lee of California, co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, have described the bill as one step toward repairing the damage done by the war on drugs. Writing to House lawmakers earlier this month, they called it a “critical issue of racial justice.”

Speaking on the House floor Friday, Blumenauer said Congress needs to catch up with the rest of the American people.

“We’re here because we have failed three generations of Black and Brown young people, whose lives can be ruined, or lost, by selective enforcement of these laws,” he said. “This legislation will end that disaster.”

The legislation would require federal courts to expunge marijuana arrests and convictions and resentence Americans after a judicial review process, according to Blumenauer’s office. As marijuana would no longer be considered a federal controlled substance, possession of it would not be a cause for deportation.

The legislation would create an excise tax on marijuana sales to fund reentry services for formerly incarcerated people and substance-use treatment. It would also put funding into efforts to increase equity and access to loans in the marijuana business.


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‘It’s a good idea’: Fauci praises Biden’s 100-day mask plan


Fauci also confirmed that he accepted Biden’s offer to become the president-elect’s chief medical adviser.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, on Friday praised President-elect Joe Biden’s proposal for all Americans to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his incoming administration — calling the plan to blunt the surging U.S. coronavirus outbreak a “good idea.”

The remarks from Fauci came after Biden announced the proposal in an interview with CNN on Thursday, during which he said he would ask Americans to cover their faces in public for “just 100 days … not forever.” He predicted that widespread adoption of the personal mitigation measure would result in a “significant reduction” in Covid-19 caseloads.

Read more:

Madison decriminalizes cannabis consumption in public, asks for state to do the same

From JSOnline:
Laura Schulte
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MADISON – Residents of Madison will now be able to possess and consume small amounts of marijuana under a series of ordinances passed by the city's Common Council. 

The ordinances will allow people 18 or over within Madison to possess up to 28 grams of cannabis on public or private property, beginning on Friday. Those in possession of the substance will also be able to smoke it or consume it by other means, with the permission of the homeowner, landlord or tenant.

The ordinances do not allow cannabis to be smoked in areas already deemed non-smoking, like the inside of bars and restaurants, and does not allow the possession or consumption of synthetic chemical cannabinoids. 

They also allow for the possession of paraphernalia for cannabis use, such as bongs or pipes, but ban consumption in a motor vehicle while in operation by both the driver and passengers, within 1,000 feet of a school and on a school bus. 

The legalization of the substance in the city is a big step forward and long overdue, said council member Michael Verveer, the representative for the city's 4th district, which includes much of Madison's downtown.

Read more:

Wisconsin Supreme Court rejects Trump's election lawsuit

From JSOnline:
Patrick MarleyMolly Beck
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MADISON - The state Supreme Court rejected a request Thursday by President Donald Trump to revoke the certification of his loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

The 4-3 decision left room for Trump to bring a new challenge to the election results and the president quickly did so. But the high court's ruling provided a serious setback for him because even some of the dissenting justices signaled they do not support Trump's call for throwing out hundreds of thousands of ballots.

Conservative Justice Brian Hagedorn and the court's three liberals declined to take the case he filed directly with them because state law requires election challenges like his to be filed in circuit court.

"We do well as a judicial body to abide by time-tested judicial norms, even — and maybe especially — in high-profile cases," he wrote. "Following the law governing challenges to election results is no threat to the rule of law."

Read more:

Let's Party in CABO!

 Austin mayor was vacationing in Cabo when he said residents ‘need to stay home'

In early November, as health officials warned of a impending COVID-19 spike, Austin Mayor Steve Adler hosted an outdoor wedding and reception with 20 guests for his daughter at a trendy hotel near downtown.

The next morning, Adler and seven other wedding attendees boarded a private jet bound for Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where they vacationed for a week at a family timeshare.

One night into the trip, Adler addressed Austin residents in a Facebook video: “We need to stay home if you can. This is not the time to relax. We are going to be looking really closely. ... We may have to close things down if we are not careful.”

In hosting the wedding and traveling internationally, Adler said he broke neither his own order or those established by Gov. Greg Abbott.

But at the time, the city was recommending people not gather in groups of more than 10, and the day after Adler’s departure, Austin’s health authority warned that “it’s important that we drive the (COVID-19) numbers down in advance of Thanksgiving.”

As he pressed the public to help stop the spread of the virus in recent weeks, Adler had not previously disclosed details of his private actions. He gave no indication in his Facebook video that he was outside the city as he discussed Austin’s rising number of cases and reviewed the number of hospital patients.

Read more:

Open Blog - Friday

Next Friday is Gray Friday. 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

California governor to impose regional stay-at-home orders

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Wisconsin lawmakers have failed to reform juvenile corrections for years. Will a teen's death in a Racine jail push them to act?

From JSOnline:

Rory Linnane
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

After 16-year-old Maricella Chairez died in a Racine County jail cell in 2017, local officials did little to address her death — and their own failures. 

Now, Wisconsin lawmakers, responding to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation, vow numerous reforms in the juvenile justice system statewide, including more thorough investigations of jail deaths. 

“While Maricella’s story is unique, the issues she faced are not,” said Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine. “Maricella’s story shows us that despite the progress we’ve made, and made since her tragic death, more work remains.” 

The Journal Sentinel investigation found numerous failures by authorities who downplayed Chairez’s reports of sexual assault, jailed her when she escaped traffickers, held her in an unsafe environment without proper mental health care, and were late to check on her the night she killed herself at the Racine County Juvenile Detention Center. 

Gov. Tony Evers’ office did not answer questions about Maricella’s death and the proposed reforms, referring the Journal Sentinel to the Department of Corrections. A spokesman for the department did not allow department officials to be interviewed in recent weeks. 

Lawmakers from both parties who serve on committees on corrections and children’s issues said the Legislature could make several changes to reduce youth incarceration and address suicide hazards. 

Read more:

Trump Superspreads Christmas Cheer at White House Party

UPDATE: City of Racine extends COVID-19 ordinances through June

From The Journal

RACINE — The Safer Racine and mandatory mask ordinances have been extended through June 2021.

The discussion and adoption occurred at the meeting of the City Council on Tuesday. Aldermen Jeffrey Peterson and Henry Perez voted against the extension.

The council also voted to extend the city’s Declaration of Emergency through June 30. Only Perez voted against that motion.

Limited options

In the 10 days before the meeting, 10 area residents died of COVID. The city also reported just under 6,000 cases.

Alderman John Tate II, president of the City Council, called for a more responsible Racine.

He explained that people have been gathering in groups, especially on holidays, which has led to large spikes in COVID-19 cases.

As a result, Tate said, the city has no alternative but to try to limit the spread in whatever capacity is available.

“Nobody wants to shrink business capacity,” Tate said. “But because people aren’t doing what’s necessary to stop the spread, the only option is where we can’t have them gathering — that’s all that’s left.”

“We talk about people having personal responsibility,” Tate said. “We’re here because people aren’t being personally responsible.”

Read more: