Donald Trump with his sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, in 1990Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Chicago (Special to Informed Comment) – Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered the removal of two statues of Christopher Columbus after police and protesters clashed last week. The confrontation at the navigator’s monument in Grant Park resulted in injuries to both officers and demonstrators. According to NBC News, Chicago Police Department officials confirmed that the gathering was peaceful until a small group began throwing objects. Carting away the Grant Park Columbus came after some protesters had earlier tried to pull it down. The second one stood in Arrigo Park, in the city’s Little Italy neighborhood.
Lightfoot’s move has sparked much local and national criticism.
Some Italian-Americans are angry about the mayor’s decision, considering it an insult to their national pride and a fellow countryman. The city’s Italian immigrant community raised the money for the Grant Park Columbus and gifted it to Chicago in honor of its centennial during the Century of Progress and Second World’s Fair in 1933.
Speaking of Italian ethnic pride, Columbus did not have much of that. He swore loyalty to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, who controlled what was then called the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily. With the exception of a couple of short, unsuccessful French incursions there, Spain dominated southern Italy for generations. Historian H.G. Koenigsberger writes that the Spanish “with their contingents of Italian soldiers, sacked their cities [and] laid waste their countryside … Spain, holding Sicily [and] Naples, … dominated and stifled Italian political life.”
PETALING JAYA, July 25: The head of a think tank has questioned the wisdom of using the threat of harsh punishment to ensure compliance with SOPs set by the government in its fight against Covid-19.
Azrul Mohd Khalib, CEO of the Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy, asked whether the government could provide proof that long jail sentences or stiff fines would improve compliance.
“While it is tempting to use instruments of state such as fines and imprisonment to enforce measures such as home quarantines or compliance with SOPs, there is a problem with trying to strike fear or intimidate people into compliance,” he told FMT.
The use of fear could bring about discrimination and the blaming of victims, he said.
He also said the most likely to suffer strict punishments would be the poor.
“They will likely be jailed because they can’t afford to pay high fines. How does that help? We don’t need more people in jail as it increases vulnerability to infection.”
He also disagreed with putting the onus on businesses to ensure compliance.
“Businesses are already facing hardship through the loss of clients and customers. Many are facing closure and are struggling to survive.”
He said the government should instead improve its support of businesses to help them comply with the new regulations.
“Our dependence on the stick to beat others into submission rather than the carrot can prove to be our undoing,” he added.
He blamed the government for the complacency shown by members of the public.
“We are lulled into a false sense of security by the seemingly low reported data and the false perception that the cases largely involve non-nationals,” he said.
One day after a report that a respected Chinese virologist fled Hong Kong to accuse Beijing of a COVID cover-up, former Trump strategist Steve Bannon told the Daily Mail that scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other labs have defected to the West and are “turning over evidence” against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for their role in the COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed over 560,000 lives worldwide since last December.
“People are going to be shocked,” Bannon told the Mail (“from a yacht off the East coast of America,” the Mail would like us to know).
The 66-year-old then said that defectors are cooperating with intelligence agencies in America, Europe and the UK, which have been assembling evidence to challenge the CCP claim that the pandemic originated in a wet market – not in a lab home to scientists who have come under fire for manipulating bat coronavirus to be more transmissible to humans.
By Mark Muir
I was saddened to see an overall lack of leadership by our Mayor and City Council members last week regarding funding for public safety and marijuana sales in Encinitas.
Selling and cultivating marijuana in Encinitas
As a former City of Encinitas Fire Chief, I spent my entire 35-year career evaluating risks vs. benefits before taking necessary actions.
The use of any drug, be it medical or recreational, involves risk. Marijuana is not automatically safe just because a state declares it to be legal. In California, the line between safety and risk became instantly blurred.
I can unequivocally offer my professional experience in sharing the many personal and community risks of allowing marijuana businesses: impaired driving, fatal crashes, addiction, schizophrenia, psychosis, cognitive impairment, lower IQ, normalization to our youth, and reduced home values.
These risks strongly outweigh the benefits of a small sales tax increase, which will quickly evaporate with the costly rise in both law and code enforcement.
The Mayor and City Council (with the exception of Councilmember Kranz), were unwilling to oppose the upcoming Encinitas ballot measure on legalizing cultivation and distribution of Marijuana within our City.
In addition, the Mayor failed to publicly disclose that she has accepted money from the Marijuana ballot initiative organizers. These actions represent a catastrophic failure in leadership to protect our community.
If you want marijuana, order it online, if you want to live in a marijuana free city, get in line and vote against this initiative!
Defunding the Sheriff’s Department
As coronavirus cases continue to spike, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has tightened restrictions around the state ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend.
The governor announced Wednesday that indoor businesses including restaurants, wineries and theaters in 19 counties –including two in the Bay Area– must immediately close and cease operations for three weeks.
Citing a 32% spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations over the last seven days, Newsom announced plans to step up enforcement of health rules and use “strike teams” to ensure compliance at workplaces and businesses.
What does this mean for Bay Area counties? We examined their latest public health orders.
After initially planning to enter the next phase of reopening on July 1, Alameda County announced plans to temporarily pause its reopening process on June 30, citing spikes of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
The decision will prevent indoor dining, salons and barbershops and pools from opening, but it allows outdoor dining, religious and cultural ceremonies and summer schools to continue operating. Despite pulling back its plans to move into a phase which included “live sports without fans” to begin operating, Alameda County’s decision will not impact the Oakland A’s, who are reporting to the Coliseum this week for workouts in advance of Major League Baseball’s abbreviated season.
Alameda County has the highest number of coronavirus cases (5,977) of any Bay Area county, but it is not on the state’s watch list for further restrictions because it has met all data indicators including having a test positivity rate under 8% and having an adequate number of ICU beds and ventilators available to residents.
President Trump denies figuring out about an intelligence report that mentioned Russia paid a bounty to the Taliban to kill U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON – The White Home briefed a choose group of lawmakers Monday on intelligence reviews that Russia offered bounties to Taliban militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan, amid rising questions in Congress concerning the administration’s obvious inaction on the matter.
Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Chief Chuck Schumer demanded a categorized briefing for all Home and Senate members Monday, whereas the White Home downplayed the intelligence evaluation and mentioned President Donald Trump had not been briefed on the matter as a result of it had not been absolutely verified.
“Congress and the nation want solutions now,” Pelosi, D-Calif, wrote in a letter Monday to Trump’s CIA director and his Director of Nationwide Intelligence.
Pelosi and different lawmakers, together with some Republicans, mentioned they wish to know why Trump was not briefed on the intelligence evaluation and what steps the U.S. can take to punish Moscow for concentrating on American troops.
by Jake Dima
Four people have been charged following an attempt to dismantle a prominent statue of Andrew Jackson near the White House, the Department of Justice said Saturday.
All four of the men were purportedly caught on video allegedly either attempting to affix straps in order to bring down the monument or actively pulling the statue, according to the DOJ.
Lee Michael Cantrell, 47, Connor Matthew Judd, 20, Ryan Lane, 37, and Graham Lloyd, 37, were charged in connection with a June 22 demonstration that tried, but failed, to rip down a statue of Andrew Jackson, the 17th president of the United States, according to a DOJ press release.
“The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia will not stand idly by and allow our national monuments to be vandalized and destroyed,” Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin said in the press release.
“This Office remains steadfast in its commitment to protect the sacred First Amendment right of individuals to peacefully protest, but these charges should serve as a warning to those who choose to desecrate the statues and monuments that adorn our nation’s capital: your violent behavior and criminal conduct will not be tolerated.”
Guadalajara, Mexico, Jun 13 (efe-epa).- Amid the spike in infections due to the COVID-19 health emergency in Mexico, thousands of people demonstrated Saturday in at least a dozen states in the country, to demand the resignation of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).
In the second mobilization of 2020 planned for Saturday and Sunday, the protesters arrived in vehicles or motorcycles and carried banners with the messages “Get out López!,” “#AMLOveteYA”, “Fuchi! Guácala! Get out! AMLO!” and “I don’t know you, but we need each other to change Mexico,” as they honked their horns.
In the state of Jalisco, in the west of the country, ruled by the activist of the Movimiento Ciudadano Enrique Alfaro party, one of the main opponents of the president, the caravan traveled several kilometers from the main avenues of the city, where some 2,000 cars were observed.
The mobilization was called by the National AntiAMLO Front (FRENAAA), with the intention of demanding the departure of the Mexican president, who responds to “foreign interests,” they said.
According to the organization, in addition to Jalisco, the mobilizations will take place in more than 120 cities, mainly in the states of Puebla, Morelos, Querétaro, Mexico State, Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Guanajuato, Veracruz and Sonora.
“We are organizing on this citizen front to ask for the resignation of the president because in one year and eight months the government has not worked a single day for Mexicans and has only attended to an agenda of ‘Bolivarian foreign countries,'” Iván told Efe. Mendoza, one of the protesters.
He noted that the intention of the Mexican president seeks to bring an agenda of “communism to Mexico” and “return of a dictator.”
A caravan of motorists Tuesday evening cruised throughout Boulder, including just outside City Councilwoman Rachel Friend’s house, spooking her dog during a virtual meeting of elected officials and municipal staffers that was dominated by discussion of proposed local police reform.
The drivers, Friend said, made a bunch of noise and displayed a sign while driving down her street demanding the city overhaul its police department, and the councilwoman made a plea over the meeting’s broadcast for the activists to stop in part for the sake of her dog, saying she heard them and promised to oversee local law enforcement change.
Riley Mancuso said participants in the moving car rally were out “to show our support for de-funding, disarming and taking steps to disband the Boulder Police Department, immediately, in 2020, without waiting for the next budget.” They made their way down the streets of all the Council members, as well as City Attorney Tom Carr’s and City Manager Jane Brautigam’s.
The demonstration was the latest locally and just one of hundreds, perhaps thousands, that have occurred in the name of police reform and racial justice across the country in the days since a white Minnesota policeman, now facing a criminal murder allegation, was seen in widely circulated video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a black man who died during the arrest on May 25. The drivers acted following Monday comments from Boulder City Manager Jane Brautigam that this year, amid a pandemic resulting in economic damage that left the municipal budget in tatters, is not a good time to make changes to currently allocated police department funding, and such conversations should be started during the 2021 budget cycle.