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Tue, 18 May 2021
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Cancel culture debate rages as 'American Idol' singer nixed over KKK-themed video... from when he was 12

american idol
© REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
'American Idol' contestant Caleb Kennedy has apologized and is leaving the singing competition after a video surfaced of him posing with a person in a KKK-style white hood.

Kennedy announced his departure from the long-running series, on which he was among the final five contestants, on Wednesday.

"There was a video that surfaced on the internet and it displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way," he wrote in a statement. "I was younger and did not think about the actions, but that's not an excuse. I wanna say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I have let down."

Kennedy had posted only a day before his announcement that he was in the studio "working on songs."

The video of Kennedy had previously been spread around social media after being posted to YouTube.

Comment: See also:

Light Saber

Virginia GOP lieutenant governor nominee slams critical race theory curriculum as 'nonsense'

winsome sears
Virginia Lt. Gov. nominee Winsome Sears, the first Black female Republican to participate in the race, told "Fox & Friends" on Thursday that critical race theory curriculum is "nonsense."

Sears, a Marine veteran, pushed back against teaching children to see White people and their families as "racist."

"It's going to be detrimental to our schools and not what we want. It supposedly is to help someone who looks like me and I'm sick of it, I'm sick of being used by the Democrats and so are many people who look like me," she added.

Former state delegate and Jamaica native Sears, 57, is the first Black Republican woman from her district to run for lieutenant governor. Her district is 60 percent Black.

Comment: See also:


CDC relaxes restrictions for vaccinated, unless they get reinfected

© AP Photo/Evan Vucci
President Joe Biden claps with Vice President Kamala Harris after speaking on updated guidance on face mask mandates and COVID-19 response, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Thursday, May 13, 2021, in Washington.
In a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people on Thursday, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.

"Today is a great day for America," President Joe Biden said during a Rose Garden address heralding the new guidance.

"If you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask," he said, summarizing the new guidance and encouraging more Americans to roll up their sleeves. "Get vaccinated — or wear a mask until you do."

Comment: What other rights will be denied to those who choose to refuse the experimental and risky vaccines?

Quenelle - Golden

More than a quarter of EU adults would refuse Covid vaccine, over 50% in France - poll

© REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
FILE PHOTO: Trays of syringes containing a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in France on March 26, 2021
Vaccine hesitancy rates in the EU are raising alarms, after a survey found that 27% of adults across the bloc said they'd be unlikely to accept a Covid-19 jab, amid a "failure" to persuade people of its efficacy and safety.

A Eurofound survey investigating vaccine take-up across EU member states flagged concerns about the success of messaging from health officials on Covid jabs, warning that the failure to fully convince the adult population to be inoculated could put the fight against the pandemic at risk.

Some 27% of those surveyed across Europe, including half of French respondents and 67% of those in Bulgaria, said they would be very unlikely or rather unlikely to get a Covid vaccine. There were big variations between states though, with people surveyed in Eastern European nations more likely to be more cautious about taking the jab. Hesitancy figures were above 30% in several states, including Croatia, Latvia, Poland and Slovenia.

Comment: That makes sense. Citizens in Eastern Europe are more likely to be familiar with insidious government propaganda campaigns. As for France, the Yellow Vest protests, that erupted in response to government mismanagement and corruption, enjoyed support from well over half of the population, and that reflects the deep mistrust French citizens have towards the ruling government.

Comment: The situation in the US is much the same with significant quantities of vaccines going to waste because people do not want them: Unused Covid vaccines piling up across US as those rejecting offer increase - Bloomberg

See also:

Blue Planet

Russian farmers about to reap ANOTHER bumper grain harvest - USDA

harvest wheat
Russia is projected to produce 85 million tons of wheat in the next agricultural season, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). That would make it one of the best harvests in post-Soviet history.

Russian farmers reaped a record wheat harvest of more than 86 million tons in 2017, with the overall production of grains reaching over 135.5 million tons.

The second largest wheat crop was harvested last year. It totaled 85.9 million tons, while production of all grains, including wheat, neared 133.465 million tons, according to Russia's Federal State Statistics Service.

Comment: The achievement is particularly notable because elsewhere in the world farmers are suffering a rise of crop failures and disease outbreaks that is increasingly threatening food stocks. In part, this is due to a rise in extreme weather and increasingly erratic seasons, but the issue has been made many times worse thanks to decades of deleterious agricultural practices, as well as the recent and ongoing lockdowns:

Star of David

Israeli media blasted by public after state TV broadcasts 'lynching' of 'Arab' by Jewish mob

israelis lynch arba Bat Yam israel
© Twitter / @LunaSafwan
Footage from Wednesday evening showed a man being dragged from his car, beaten and set upon by dogs in Bat Yam, Tel-Aviv
News that Israeli television broadcast the beating of a supposedly Arab man live amid the ongoing violence has drawn condemnation on social media, with users questioning Israel's reputation as the Middle East's only democracy.

Footage from Wednesday evening showed a man being dragged from his car, beaten and set upon by dogs in Bat Yam, Tel-Aviv, and was aired live by state broadcaster Kan.

While the violence was broadly condemned on social media, many commentators focused on the fact that Kan, the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, aired the horrifically violent footage live on national television.


120+ retired US generals sign letter questioning Biden's mental health, 2020 election result, warn of 'tyrannical govt'

Military Generals B
© Andrew Harnik/AP/Military Religious Freedom Foundation/NNDB/The Sun/KJN
Army Brig. Gen. Donald C. Bolduc • Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin
Vice Admiral John Marlan Poindexter • Major Gen. Joe Arbuckle
Warning that the US is in "deep peril" from a "full-blown assault on our constitutional rights," over 120 former top military brass have signed a letter outlining threats to its "survival," including Biden administration policies.

The open letter, published on Monday by a group called 'Flag Officers 4 America', questions the result of the 2020 election, President Biden's "mental and physical condition," and sounds off on a number of hot-button topics, including China, the Iran nuclear deal, critical race theory, and the border wall.

According to the group's website, the flag officers - comprising some 124 generals and admirals, many of whom have been out of uniform for decades - caution that this is a conflict "like no other time since our founding in 1776" between supporters of "socialism and Marxism" and supporters of "constitutional freedom and liberty."

Comment: That final comment perfectly encapsulates the elite's attitude. Here it is in another format, fully fleshed-out, let's say:

"Only 'vetted' political types make it to the top tier. None of the signatories of this letter are from within that elite tier, so who cares what some low-life right-wingers think about our regime! We rule, you obey. Got it?"

The open letter can be found here.


Ohio governor offers residents chance to win $1 million in lottery effort to boost COVID vaccination rate

© Justin Merriman/Getty Images
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine
Republican Gov. Mike DeWine is offering residents a chance to win $1 million as part of an effort to incentivize them to get a COVID vaccine.

The name of those who have received one of two shots will be put into a lottery, and five winners will be picked, staring May 26. The winnings will come from federal coronavirus relief funds, according to Politico.

Comment: What? Aren't these RELIEF funds to be equitably distributed?

"I know that some may say, 'DeWine, you're crazy! This million-dollar drawing idea of yours is a waste of money, but truly, the real waste at this point in the pandemic - when the vaccine is readily available to anyone who wants it - is a life lost to COVID-19."
Participants must be 18 or older.

Comment: They should be stipulating that for the vaccine.

DeWine also announced a drawing for 12- to 17-year-old vaccinated Ohio residents to win a full, four-year scholarship to a public university in the state, Politico also reports.

Comment: So how desperate are they? Dangling a lottery is a very low bar for many, a compulsion exploited via the combination of gambler's delusion and cognitive entrapment. Some see right through this ploy and offer constructive options for the money:

Arrow Up

American homeschooling is way up, and likely to stay up

"The home-schooling bump." That's what the Investigative Reporting Workshop is calling the sharp increase in the number of students whose parents switched them to homeschoolers during this very pandemic-themed school year.

The May 10 story, written by Sasha Fernandez and published in cooperation with WAMU 88.5 American University Radio, focuses mostly on the Commonwealth of Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

Yet the story notes that these results are not out of whack with the national trend of a serious spike in the number of home schooled children.

In the previous school year, Virginia had almost 40,000 registered homeschooling students. That spiked by over 21,000 students to nearly 60,000. In Maryland, homeschoolers jumped from 27,000 to 36,000.

In DC, the raw numbers are not impressive, but the percentage change is: from 389 to 764 homeschooled students, or a 96% increase.


US House Republicans propose bill to cut funding to schools that push critical race theory

Rep Dan Bishop
© Andrew Harnik/Reuters
Rep. Dan Bishop, (R., N.C.) speaks before a House committee meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.,, July 22, 2020.
A coalition of House Republicans will introduce two pieces of legislation Wednesday that are designed to push back the rising tide of critical race theory (CRT) in public education and the military.

Republican Representative Dan Bishop initiated the legislation, copies of which were obtained by The Daily Caller, and plans to share the proposals with former Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Russ Vought and other GOP members late Wednesday.

The first bill, called the "The Stop CRT Act," would cut off all federal funding to schools that incorporate CRT into their curricula. The legislation will also codify former former President Donald Trump's executive order that prohibited CRT from being promoted at the federal level. It stipulates that federal funds can't be directed to any entity that teaches or advances the ideas that "any race is inherently superior or inferior to any other race", that the United States is a "fundamentally racist country", and that an "individual bears responsibility for the actions committed by members of his/her race."