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Sun, 25 Oct 2020
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Portland protesters topple statues of Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln in 'Day of Rage'; police declare riot

Protesters toppled statues of former presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln
© The Oregonian/OregonLive
A group of protesters toppled statues of former presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln and shattered the entrance to the Oregon Historical Society in Portland's South Park Blocks late Sunday before moving into other areas of downtown, smashing storefronts and engaging in other acts of destruction.

Police declared the event a riot and ordered people rampaging through the city's streets to disperse but did not directly intervene until nearly an hour after the first statue fell. The crowd scattered when police cruisers flooded the area, and officers in tactical gear appeared to make several arrests.

Protest organizers had promoted the event on social media as an "Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage." Monday is the federally observed holiday of Columbus Day, but many states and cities now recognize the day instead as Indigenous Peoples Day over concerns that Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas helped launch centuries of violence against indigenous populations.

Comment: Despite the no photos no filming rules, word got out on social media:

Trump weighed in on the rioting:
US President Donald Trump mocked authorities and rioters in Portland calling them "fools" while sharing footage of the so-called "Day of Rage" in which alleged indigenous activists tore down statues of former presidents.

The US president's bombastic multi-tweet broadside began early Monday morning, after a night of violence once again reduced central Portland to something resembling a warzone.


Rob Slane: Escaping the Covid Vortex

supercell storm in kansas
© Robert Sinner / LSM / Barcroft
If you can cast your mind back to the beginning of the year, you will hopefully recall that Britain, despite its many and growing problems, was still a relatively peaceful, relatively prosperous, relatively free, relatively law-governed society. In little more than half a year, much of that has simply gone and we have become a country where:
  • The Government runs our daily lives in minute detail
  • Neighbour is increasingly set against neighbour
  • Local economies and businesses are being decimated
  • Unemployment is sky-rocketing
  • The mental health of millions is deteriorating
  • Old people are dying alone and unloved
  • People who are ill cannot get treatment
  • People who may be ill cannot get a consultation
  • The education of children is a shambles and their futures hugely uncertain
  • We can be (and have been) denied permission to see members of our own families
  • We face extortionate fines if we break arbitrary and irrational rules
  • The rule of law has been trampled on by those charged with protecting it
  • We are compelled to wear a covering over our respiratory passages
  • Parliament is effectively dead
  • Bizarre and sinister measures are imposed to change the way we interact with one another
  • Our lives have been utterly overturned
  • The spiritual, social, economic and psychological fabric is being torn to shreds
None of this is remotely a rational response to a virus which leaves 99.9% of those who get it in the land of the living. Lockdown was a poisonous spring, from which all manner of entirely foreseeable disasters flow, and as these turgid waters proceed, the whole thing resembles nothing less than a huge social and psychological experiment conducted against a people and against what it actually means to be human — an attack on the Imago Dei.


GOP win: Appeals court rules Wisconsin absentee ballots must be delivered to clerks by 8PM on November 3

© Getty Images
A federal appeals court has blocked a lower-court decision to extend the deadline for counting absentee ballots in battleground Wisconsin. The decision is considered a win for Republicans who wanted the election night deadline to stand, under state law. However, Democrats are expected to appeal the decision Thursday to the Supreme Court.

If the appeals court ruling stands, absentee ballots must be delivered to Wisconsin election clerks by 8 p.m. on Election Day, adhering to state law.

Last month, U.S. District Judge William Conley ruled that any ballot that arrived in clerk's offices by Nov. 9 will be counted, as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3.

The 7th Circuit Court judges initially upheld Conley's ruling on Sept. 29, rejecting the Republicans' standing to intervene. After the Wisconsin Supreme Court affirmed that standing, the same three-judge panel delivered Thursday's ruling, according to the Associated Press.

A federal court of appeals has reinstating Wisconsin's Election Day receipt deadline and rule out the possibility of accepting ballots through email. "This is a huge victory for Wisconsin voters who reasonably expect timely and secure election results," said Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.


Despot Whitmer says Michigan won't rush to get results on Election Day, calls it an 'artificial deadline'

whitmer mask
© Ann Arbor News via AP
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wears a mask with the word "vote" displayed on the front during a roundtable discussion on healthcare in Kalamazoo, Mich.
The governer's comments come just days after the FBI revealed a group of anti-government vigilantes had plotted to kidnap her.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Sunday said her state will not rush to ensure all the results of the 2020 presidential race are counted on Election Day, Nov. 3 -- a date she appeared to imply was artificially set.

The Democratic governor made the comments during an appearance on CBS' Face the Nation, while discussing the election's expected surge in mail-in votes amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Asked by host Margaret Brennan how long it will take Michigan to declare the winner of the race, Whitmer would not give a definitive timeline.

Comment: Whitmer seems to be suffering from delusions of grandeur.


Suicide spike in Japan shows mental health toll of COVID-19

japan workers
© Kyodo
Job-seekers wait for consultation at a public employment service in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward in June. When the economy started reopening, portions of the population were left behind, such as laid-off workers or those who continued to be stuck at home.
The number of suicides rose in Japan in August due to more women and school-aged children taking their own lives — offering a first glimpse into the consequences of the mental health strain brought about by COVID-19 around the globe.

Japan is among a few major economies that releases timely data on suicides as it is a persistent societal issue. The numbers hint at what may be going on around the world as countries grapple with the fallout from mass unemployment and social isolation that's impacting certain groups of people more than the rest.

Sociologists have long warned that the economic and social disruption wrought by measures to contain the coronavirus could cause more deaths than the pathogen itself. In Japan, the suicide rate has been falling but it remains a top cause of premature deaths — this year, suicide has taken over 13,000 lives, while total COVID-19 fatalities number less than 2,000.

According to government statistics, the number of suicides in August increased by 15.4 percent to 1,854. Although making up a smaller proportion of suicides, the number of women taking their own lives jumped by around 40 percent. The number of suicides by students in elementary to high school more than doubled to 59 from the same period last year.

The mental health toll looks set to be one of the pandemic's most insidious legacies given the difficulty of grasping or measuring the magnitude of self-inflicted harm until it is too late. Major economies like the U.S. and China don't report official data on suicides until years later, though experts have predicted a wave of such deaths this year while anecdotal evidence abounds on social media platforms.

Comment: Suicide will account for just a fraction of the deaths caused by lockdown, not Covid. In the U.S. at least 1/3 of all excess deaths during lockdown have been a result OF the lockdown. Probably more, since many probably get falsely attributed to Covid.

See also:

Black Cat

Apollo co-founder and CEO, Leon Black may have funneled as much as $75M to Jeffrey Epstein

Leon Black Epstein Apollo Global
© Fox News
Leon Black, chairman and chief executive officer of Apollo Global Management LLC, speaks at the Milken Institute Asia Summit in Singapore, on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016.
New reports suggest that Apollo CEO Leon Black may have funneled as much as $75 million to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein before supposedly cutting ties in 2018.

The initial report published by the New York Times uncovers a number of alleged payments from Black to Epstein made through several companies.

A company that owned Black's yacht wired $22.5 million to a company in 2017 that managed Epstein's private jet - a move that raised questions at Deutsche Bank, the report said.

Other transactions passed through Black-owned businesses, according to the report, including a company that Black used to buy much of his billion-dollar art collection. The total amount of money that Black may have funneled to Epstein is around $75 million, which may have allowed Epstein to continue building wealth following his first criminal case.

Comment: Some more background on the Black-Epstein relationship:

Mr. Potato

Poking fun at Karens, gay people & the woke: Comedian Bill Burr finally injects some much needed life into the dreadful SNL

comedy social commentary Bill Burr
© REUTERS / Mark Blinch
Bill Burr takes up the mantle of George Carlin
Saturday Night Live has become a haven for limp, politically correct comedy, but this weekend Bill Burr burned down the house with a searing monologue that came with a New York Times health warning.

Bill Burr, a brilliant and curmudgeonly stand-up comedian who refuses to kowtow to the politically correct, went scorched earth in his SNL monologue on Saturday night by taking on cancel culture, self-serving white women and their performative woke posturing, and Gay Pride Month.

Burr's monologue was apparently so incendiary the New York Times felt it needed a trigger warning, "Burr used his opening monologue to mock some sensitive topics - feel free to skip this section if you find that style of comedy distasteful."

Star of David

Tel Aviv: Tensions, clashes take over anti-Netanyahu protests

protest lockdown israel netanyahu
© Tomer Neuberg/FLASH90
Israelis protest against Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at Dizengoff Square Tel Aviv on October 10, 2020
The largest and "central" protest took place in Habima Square in Tel Aviv with hundreds and possibly thousands of protesters in attendance.

Tens of thousands of protesters went to the streets on Saturday night, only this time, each was a tad closer to home than Balfour Street in Jerusalem due to the current coronavirus restrictions.

Expressing their continued dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's leadership and government corruption for the 16th straight week, demonstrators nationwide at over 1,000 locations cried out, "This is Balfour, too," arguing that their lack of proximity to Netanyahu's official residence does not make a difference to the movement.

Comment: Cunning Bibi has survived so many political crises. Will this be the one that brings him down?


Covid marshals will use body cameras to catch rules breaches at weddings, parties and pubs

mask indoors

Keep your mask on indoors
Covid marshals have been ordered to target weddings, parties, pubs and restaurants with body-worn videos to film evidence of breaches, under new Government guidelines.

The marshals - who the Government suggests should have security guard training - will be expected to call in police or council inspectors to enforce any breaches at premises they visit.

Dubbed "Covid Wombles," they will be issued with a checklist of Covid measures to ensure compliance in restaurants, pubs, bars, takeaways, shops and branches, tourist attractions, "close contact services" like hairdressers and nail bars, "wedding receptions and celebrations."

Comment: Welcome to Nazi England.

The Government suggests council marshals could operate a yellow card system, where they issue up to two warnings before businesses face fines or even closure.

They will also be expected to prevent mixing between groups in pubs, clubs and streets after the 10pm curfew, encourage social distancing in "busy night-life areas" and tell members of the public to wear masks.

Light Saber

France's anti-maskers: the faces behind the movement

paris mask protest
© AFP - Christophe Archambault
Protesters hold up face masks and shout slogans during a protest against the mandatory wearing of face masks on the Place de La Nation in Paris on August 29 2020.
For many, face masks provide protection from the coronavirus. For others, they are a "muzzle" aimed at enslaving the population. Anti-maskers use social media to challenge what they consider to be a "health dictatorship". FRANCE 24 joined some Facebook groups to learn more about the movement.

Some people take off their face masks as soon as they set foot outside, others forget them at the bottom of a handbag or buried in a pocket. But there are also those who never wear them, proudly claiming they are "anti-mask" despite the fact that it is mandatory to wear a face mask outside in many cities and towns across France, including Paris.

Manuella*, interviewed by FRANCE 24 via a dedicated anti-maskers Facebook group, is in this latter category. Since the start of the Covid-19 health crisis, the 57-year-old artist living in the Cévennes in southern France has never bought a single mask. "Unthinkable," she says of the prospect. In shops, pharmacies or banks, she concedes she "yields to the rules" by covering the lower half of her face with a bandana. "But in the street, a mask is out of the question."

Fiona* says she will never give in. In a post published on September 29, she claims to have been fired for refusing to wear a mask.

Comment: See also: