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Tue, 20 Oct 2020
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Darren Grimes under police investigation after interviewing historian David Starkey

Darren Grimes
© Jeff Gilbert
Darren Grimes has described the investigation as 'an abuse of taxpayers' money'.
Darren Grimes is being investigated by police on suspicion of stirring up racial hatred over an interview with the historian David Starkey that he published, it has emerged.

Mr Grimes, a conservative commentator, has been asked to attend a police station to be interviewed under caution after publishing a podcast in which Dr Starkey said slavery was not genocide because there are "so many damn blacks".

It has been warned that the investigation, by the Metropolitan Police, will have a "chilling effect" on free speech, while Mr Grimes has described it as an "abuse of taxpayers money".


7 years in prison for something your interviewee said. It's bad enough that an offhand comment, while arguably insensitive, has ruined the career of the historian, but that a journalist who is simply doing his job could be imprisoned due to the subject of his reporting is simply mind-boggling. The death of free speech is at hand.

See also:


Yelp will flag businesses accused of racist behavior; conservatives point out major flaw in new policy

© Chris Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images
'Enabling this feature is a terrible decision for small businesses all across America'

Yelp, a website and an app where users rate businesses, will now flag businesses that have been accused of "overt" racism. Yelp announced on Thursday a new alert that will warn users when "someone associated with this business was accused of racist behavior."

"As the nation reckons with issues of systemic racism, we've seen in the last few months that there is a clear need to warn consumers about businesses associated with egregious, racially-charged actions to help people make more informed spending decisions," Yelp said on the company's blog. "Now, when a business gains public attention for reports of racist conduct, such as using racist language or symbols, Yelp will place a new Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert on their Yelp page to inform users, along with a link to a news article where they can learn more about the incident."

Comment: As if the lockdowns haven't done enough to small businesses in the US, now this. Guilty until proven innocent is not a way to run a review site, and many businesses will never recover from an undeserved smear campaign. Americans will be lucky if any small businesses exist in their country in the next decade.

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A failed experiment: The lockdowns must end

Masks sale
© Stephanie Keith/Getty Images
Lockdowns are typically portrayed as prudent precautions against Covid-19, but they are surely the most risky experiment ever conducted on the public. From the start, researchers have warned that lockdowns could prove far deadlier than the coronavirus. People who lose their jobs or businesses are more prone to fatal drug overdoses and suicide, and evidence already exists that many more will die from cancer, heart disease, pneumonia, and tuberculosis and other diseases because the lockdown prevented their ailments from being diagnosed early and treated properly.

Yet politicians and public-health officials conducting this unprecedented experiment have paid little attention to these risks. In their initial rush to lock down society, they insisted that there was no time for such analysis — and besides, these were just temporary measures to "flatten the curve" so as not to overwhelm hospitals. But since that danger passed, the lockdown enforcers have found one reason after another to persevere with closures, bans, quarantines, curfews, and other mandates. Anthony Fauci, the White House advisor, recently said that even if a vaccine arrives soon, he does not expect a return to normality before late next year.

He and politicians like New York governor Andrew Cuomo and British prime minister Boris Johnson profess to be following "the science," but no ethical scientist would conduct such a risky experiment without carefully considering the dangers and monitoring the results. After doing so, a group of leading researchers this week called for an end to the experiment. In a joint statement, the Great Barrington Declaration, they predicted that continued lockdowns will lead to "excess mortality in years to come" and warned of "irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed."

Comment: See also:


Social isolation is damaging an entire generation of kids

sad child
© si Janko Ferlič
I read an advice article at Slate recently where a mom of a nearly five-year-old daughter wrote in to express concern that her child hasn't seen any friends in five months, since COVID-19 lockdowns began. She said:
Because of COVID, my husband and I have decided to skip [pre-K] altogether and teach her everything she needs to know before kindergarten ourselves. This doesn't worry me academically, but I am concerned about her development and the loss of the social interaction she was going to experience.
The advice columnist responded that the mom shouldn't worry about her child's social isolation, saying:
She is part of a whole generation of quarantined 5-year-olds. It'll take her a while to catch up once she reenters society, sure — but it's going to take everyone a while.
This resignation to ongoing government lockdowns, endless social distancing, mandatory mask orders, and travel restrictions — even as the virus wanes in the US — is damaging to our social and economic health, and may be particularly problematic for children who are separated from their peers.

Comment: See also:


The Constitutional reckoning of state lockdown orders

On October 3rd NPR reported that the Michigan Supreme Court struck down Governor Gretchen Whitmer's state of emergency and the powers it granted. NPR writes:
In a 4-3 majority opinion, the state's high court said she did not have that authority. "We conclude that the Governor lacked the authority to declare a 'state of emergency' or a 'state of disaster' under the EMA after April 30, 2020, on the basis of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, we conclude that the EPGA is in violation of the Constitution of our state because it purports to delegate to the executive branch the legislative powers of state government - including its plenary police powers - and to allow the exercise of such powers indefinitely," wrote Justice Stephen J. Markman on behalf of the majority.
Governor Whitmer has been one of the more heavy-handed executive figures during the pandemic. One of her policies went as far as to ban the selling of gardening supplies in stores that were still permitted to stay open.

More importantly, however, this court ruling was not the first of its kind but the third in a series of legal victories against lockdown orders. The first was a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that declared parts of Governor Tony Evers' stay at home order unconstitutional and the second was by a federal court that struck down Governor Tom Wolf's policies in Pennsylvania.

There is no doubt that the governors across the country have gone off the constitutional deep end in response to Covid-19, exercising powers that are not only unprecedented but unproven. These cases, notably in Michigan and Wisconsin, all share some important legal themes that may suggest the beginning of a constitutional reckoning for governors across America.


Family of woman who died of cancer after 'three months without face-to-face appointment' denounce health authority in Spain

Sonia Sainz-Maza
© Lydia Sainz-Maza/Twitter
The family of a woman who died of cancer after 'three months without a face-to-face appointment' have denounced the health authority in Spain's Burgos.

Sonia Sainz-Maza, 48, died on August 13, from colon cancer "without receiving the help she needed", claim her loved ones, adding she is another victim of the pandemic.

Sonia's sister, Lydia Sainz-Maza, told Spanish newspaper, El Correo de Burgos, that "the family doctor in Espinosa de los Monteros, Burgos, did not give her a face-to-face appointment for three months".

She added that "when she (Sonia) was given her diagnosis, it was "too late".

"We have lost our health rights," said Lydia, explaining that during the months before her death, Sonia repeatedly contacted her family doctor, "referring to severe pain and weight loss".


America on cusp of a Civil War: No matter who wins the election, there will be no peaceful transfer of power

Armed demonstrators in Michigan
© Getty Images/Scott Olson (file photo)
Armed demonstrators attend a rally in front of the Michigan state capital building to protest the governor's stay-at-home order on May 14, 2020 in Lansing, Michigan.
Failed plot to allegedly kidnap Michigan Governor is precursor for a larger political battle over the US' future where opponents lack any common ground and neither side is ready to accept an election result where they lose.

A foiled plot by 13 self-described "militia" to allegedly kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer underscores just how dangerous the political divide is in America today. Words that address areas of legitimate political disagreement run the risk of fueling partisan rancor in a country that appears to be on the cusp of civil violence the likes of which it has not seen since the rioting of the 1960's.

The case against the members of the "Wolverine Watchmen", a Michigan-based militia, is fairly straightforward — they are accused of plotting to kidnap Governor Whitmer. But the effort by leading Democrats, including Governor Whitmer and Joe Biden, to shift the blame onto President Trump, is not as cut and dry as they make it.

Yellow Vest

Anti-govt protests grow increasingly violent throughout Indonesia after mass arrest of student demonstrators

indonesia protest
© REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana
Some 400 people were detained following clashes between police and anti-government protesters in Indonesia on Tuesday, following the passing of a controversial new labor law.

Molotov cocktails, missiles, and water cannons were deployed by demonstrators and police respectively during the protests in response to the contentious law, which had been passed with the aim of stabilizing Southeast Asia's largest economy.

Eyewitness footage purports to show local government offices aflame, as protesters clashed with heavily armed riot police in a number of cities.

Comment: See also: World in Flames: Why Are Protests Raging Around The Globe?


DOJ sues Yale over alleged discrimination against Asian American and white applicants

© Michelle McLoughlin/Reuters
A view of Yale University campus
The Justice Department sued Yale University over claims that the school racially discriminates against Asian-American and white applicants in violation of federal civil rights law, numerous sources reported.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court in Connecticut and alleges that Yale "discriminates based on race and national origin in its undergraduate admissions process, and that race is the determinative factor in hundreds of admissions decisions each year," according to the Associated Press.

Comment: The DOJ is now moving on statements made in August, 2020

The Justice Department accused Yale University of discriminating against Asian American and white applicants

Star of David

The real cancel culture: Israeli organization Canary Mission's blacklists target student supporters of Palestine long after they graduate

anti bds canary list israel hasbara
© GWU SJP / Nikki Casey
When it comes to Israel-Palestine, full-blown authoritarian coercion, like the blacklisting carried out by Canary Mission, is a part of life.

This July, a group of over 150 artists and intellectuals issued a public letter in Harper's Magazine warning of what they called a growing atmosphere of coerced ideological conformity in the U.S. Decrying an "intolerance of opposing views" and "a vogue for public shaming and ostracism," the letter went on to add that "restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation."

One of the people who found themselves agreeing with these noble sentiments was Hammam Farah. A Palestinian Canadian born in the Gaza Strip and raised between the United Arab Emirates and Canada, Farah spent years studying to become licensed as a therapist in Toronto. The letter resonated with him because he has had very intimate experience with what it feels like to have one's free speech stifled: attacks on his student pro-Palestinian activism have dogged Farah into adulthood, leading to recurring problems in his professional life.