Biden orders federal employee, contractor vaccine mandate

Source: Fox 8 Cleveland

“President Joe Biden announced Thursday federal workers will need to ‘attest’ to being vaccinated or wear masks, regardless of COVID-19 community spread where they live. The unvaccinated employees will also need to comply with weekly or twice weekly testing, and could face travel restrictions. The mandate applies to all federal contractors as well. It does not apply to the military, though Biden says he’s working with the Department of Defense to add COVID-19 to the required vaccines list. It becomes the nation’s largest vaccine mandate, affecting millions of workers. The federal government is the largest employer in the country. The U.S. has about 2.18 million civilian employees and 570,000 others work for the U.S. Postal Service, according to 2020 data.” (07/29/21)

Revenge of the Masks

Source: Libertarian Institute
by Brian McGlinchey

“Just when the forces of rationality had seemingly established a beachhead in the public health domain, they’re back on defense again, as the CDC declares vaccinated and unvaccinated people should wear masks indoors in areas of the country experiencing high transmission, and every schoolchild should be condemned to wear a mask all day long. The moves, which come in response to surging case counts, seem to demonstrate an impulse that animates many questionable government policies: ‘We have to do something,’ regardless of whether that something can be reasonably expected to have a material impact on the problem at hand. Most public and media discussion of mask policy reflects a foundational assumption that may well be false — namely, that widespread, all-purpose mask-wearing has had any meaningful impact on slowing the spread.” (07/29/21)

Free Talk Live, 07/29/21

Source: Free Talk Live

“Morally Responsible :: River Dave — Old Man Jailed for Homesteading :: Ballot Initiatives the Solution? :: Microdosing :: Gratitude :: Welcome from Ridley :: Homesteading :: Adverse Possession and the Moors :: Competition :: Patents and Investment :: Open Source :: Paper License Plates :: Capitol Police to Arrest Unmasked :: Sydney COVID Crackdown Intensifies :: Show: 2021-07-29 Ian, Joa, Matt.” [Flash audio or MP3] (07/29/21)

UK Defence Ministry: Israeli ship targeted in attack off Oman

Source: The National [United Arab Emirates]

“An Israeli-owned merchant ship reportedly came under attack off the coast of Oman in the Arabian Sea, the British military said on Friday, but provided few other details about the incident. Israeli officials did not immediately acknowledge the incident, but it comes in a period of high tension between Israel and Iran as negotiations stall over Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers. Other Israeli ships have been targeted in recent months in a shadow war between the two nations, with Israeli officials blaming Iran for the assaults.” (07/30/21)

The Bad News And The Good News

Source: The American Conservative
by Andrew J Bacevich

“By and large, ordinary Americans like their history much as they like their milk: homogenized and pasteurized, with all impurities removed. Our preferred narrative of the past is the Ken Burns PBS version: plenty of drama and lots of human interest, but ultimately uplifting rather than subversive or discomfiting. Oh, yes, and packaged with an old-timey soundtrack. Whatever the particulars of their background or upbringing, ordinary Americans know that ours is the greatest nation ever. Greatness in this context does not imply grace or refinement or superior cuisine. It refers to opportunities seized, wealth accrued, power wielded, and privileges enjoyed, with more of the same still to come, as the Almighty Himself surely intends.” (07/29/21)

Hong Kong: Quisling police probe booing of Beijing regime’s national anthem at Olympic broadcast

Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar state media]

“Hong Kong police say they have begun an investigation into the booing of China’s national anthem in a shopping mall that was showing a live broadcast of the territory’s first Olympic gold in 25 years. Hundreds of people gathered briefly on Monday night in a shopping mall to watch Cheung Ka Long claim the Olympic men’s individual fencing title. Police said on Friday they fielded complaints that some people booed during the award ceremony when China’s national anthem was played, according to local media. At the subsequent medal ceremony, some fans initially booed China’s national anthem and then chanted ‘We are Hong Kong’ …. a senior police source said the investigation would cover ‘any insulting acts’ towards the national anthem. Hong Kong passed a law in June 2020 that criminalised the disrespect of China’s national anthem. Anyone found guilty of misusing or insulting the anthem can be jailed for up to three years and fined.” (07/30/21)

What Does the Unpublished Evidence Cited by the CDC’s New Face Mask Guidance Actually Show?

Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

“Two and a half months ago, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began telling people vaccinated against COVID-19 that they generally did not need to wear face masks in public places, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the new advice was based on two factors. First, vaccinated people were rarely infected by the coronavirus; second, such ‘breakthrough’ infections typically involved relatively low viral loads, meaning that vaccinated carriers were less likely to transmit the virus. When the CDC changed its advice again this week … Walensky alluded to evidence that casts doubt on the second point, at least as it relates to the especially contagious delta variant that now accounts for the vast majority of newly identified cases in the United States. But the CDC has not yet published that evidence, leaving unanswered questions about what it actually shows and its relevance to the role vaccinated people might be playing in the current case surge.” (07/29/21)

DC: Pelosi orders Capitol Police to arrest staff, visitors not wearing masks

Source: Fox News

“U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) were ordered to start arresting visitors and staff who refuse to wear a mask on the House side of the Capitol complex starting Thursday, according to a police memo issued by new USCP Chief Thomas Manger that was obtained by a member of Congress. Police were also advised not to arrest members of Congress for failing to wear masks but to report the lawmakers’ noncompliance to the House sergeant-at-arms, the memo says. Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., got a copy of the memo distributed at Thursday’s morning roll call from an unnamed police officer, she told Fox News. Police she’s spoken to are ‘very uncomfortable’ with this new directive that Cammack describes as ‘tyrannical.’ ‘This is such an overstep of Speaker Pelosi’s authority to basically make our Capitol Police arrest staff members and report on members [of Congress],’ Cammack told Fox News Thursday. ‘It’s absolutely unconscionable that this is where we’re at.'” (07/29/21)

When Government and Big Tech Collude Against the First Amendment: an Interview With Nadine Strossen

Source: CounterPunch
by Sam Husseini

Strossen: “[W]e’ve seen more and more of a coalescence between particular political and government leaders, putting increasingly overt pressure on the tech companies to censor speech that these politicians don’t like and that they would be completely barred by the First Amendment from directly censoring themselves. And yet, they’re outsourcing the censorship power, that at least with government exercises, we have recourse we can go to court and sue them under the First Amendment. We can’t do that when they pressure the social media companies to do their bidding.” (07/30/21)

Spain: Judge recommends Shakira face trial for allegedly avoiding extortion scheme

Source: WGNO News

“A Spanish judge investigating alleged tax fraud by Colombian musician Shakira recommended on Thursday that the case go to trial after concluding there is evidence that the pop star could have avoided her fiscal obligations [sic] to the state. … Prosecutors charged the singer in December 2019 with not paying 14.5 million euros ($16.4 million) in taxes in Spain between 2012 and 2014, when she lived mostly in the country despite having an official residence in Panama. Shakira, 44, denied any wrongdoing when she testified in June 2019. Her public relations firm said that she had immediately paid what she owed [sic] once she was informed of the debt by [sic] the Tax Office.” (07/29/21)