Closing Thought–31Aug21

We all have seen the chaos at the Kabul airport with Afghans rushing and pushing to get the Hell out of the country to avoid any Taleban retaliation….so this report makes the situation even more bizarre…..

US gave Taliban lists of names. Some lawmakers and military officials have been outraged by reports that American officials gave the Taliban lists of names of Americans and Afghan allies so they could get past the group’s checkpoints, Politico reports. With the Taliban’s history of killing collaborators with foreign forces, one defense official describes the move as putting the Afghans on a “kill list.” National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne acknowledged that the US has “shared information with the Taliban that has successfully facilitated evacuations from Kabul.”

Seriously?

The US gave the names of people trying to avoid the Taleban….what part of that makes sense?

I question the wisdom of this move…..

And now the last soldier is out and has turned off the lights…..

Taliban guards at Kabul’s airport and officials at the Pentagon have confirmed that the last US planes have flown out. Celebratory gunfire erupted across the Afghan capital marking the symbolic end of 20 years of war, with the Taliban back in power, the AP reports. In Washington, the US confirmed the withdrawal of its last troops, which faced a self-imposed Tuesday deadline. In announcing the completion of the evacuation and war effort. Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, said the last planes took off from Kabul airport at 3:29pm Washington time, or one minute before midnight in Kabul. The evacuation effort, set to end Aug 31, was wrapped up a full day early, with military equipment loaded onto transport planes before the last US service members flew out, reports the New York Times.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

What Is This ‘Booster” Thing?

There is lots of opposition to the vaccines….and now we learn that a ‘booster’ will probably be ready by this Fall……but why a ‘booster’?

A good question since all the info available is confusing us mere mortals and making the dialog even more mind numbing….

What exactly is a booster shot? According to Emily Landon, associate professor at UChicago Medicine, “Boosters are offered to people who got the full course of a vaccine and developed a good response initially, but it waned over time” (via UChicago News). A third round of COVID-19 vaccine shots has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifically for those who are immunocompromised. Booster shots, on the other hand, pertain to the general public.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are categorized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. They function by prompting the body’s natural immunity response in our cells to create and fight off a specific protein known to cause COVID-19.

When it comes to the upcoming booster shots, representatives from both Pfizer and Moderna explain that they have more than one type of booster shot in development (via WUSA9). Some being developed are the same as the initial two doses administered, while others are different and contain variations that cater specifically to the emerging virus variants.

In her Q&A series, Emily Landon goes on to stress the importance of sticking with the same vaccine manufacturer from which individuals received their first two doses (via UChicago News). Therefore, it’s advised that individuals not mix their original Pfizer or Moderna vaccine with a different brand of the booster shot, if possible. Once official approval is obtained from the CDC and FDA for general population usage, individuals should schedule their booster shot eight months out from the date of their original second dose.

Read More: https://www.healthdigest.com/493776/how-is-the-covid-19-booster-different-from-the-original-vaccine/

This for those that are still resistant to getting a vaccine…..

It can feel like the battle lines have been drawn: on one side, those who have been vaccinated, and on the other, those who haven’t.

But things are never that black and white. Even among those who have been vaccinated, many people still have concerns and questions about the vaccine. And among those who haven’t, their reasons for not getting the jab vary from concerns over potential side effects, to a fear of needles, to simply not being able to take time off work. The roughly 30 percent of eligible Americans who have yet to be vaccinated are not all anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists, and treating them as such could make them even less likely to get the shot.

We’ve collected some of the most common concerns with vaccination mentioned by people who are vaccine hesitant, and we’ve provided evidence-based responses to each one. If you or someone you know share any of these concerns, click through to see what information is out there to help you make this important decision.

Still Unsure About Getting The COVID-19 Vaccine? Start Here.

Help keep you self and your family safe in these times……

Get all the info then make your decision….

FYI–We all have heard about the Delta Variant…..and now yet another is poppinbg up….

Another coronavirus variant has been detected, say researchers who caution against becoming too concerned but suspect it’s better at getting around immunity protection than delta. The researchers spotted the C.1.2 variant in May in South Africa, Reuters reports, and published their work this month. It has not been peer-reviewed, but the findings have been forwarded to the World Health Organization. The variant has reached most of the country’s provinces as well as England, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, New Zealand, Portugal, and Switzerland. It’s related to the C.1 variant that hit South Africa earlier in the year, per the Hill.

In C.1.2, scientists see “concerning constellations of mutations,” calling it “highly mutated beyond C.1 and all other” variants of concern. The researchers said the new variant is 44 to 59 mutations removed from the original Wuhan Hu-1 virus. WHO lists it, and three other variants, as being “of concern.” Researchers can’t answer many questions about C.1.2 yet. But they say it shares many mutations with other variants linked to greater transmissibility and reduced susceptibility to neutralizing antibodies—though the mutations aren’t mixed the same way. One of the study’s authors said such mutations can be expected as a pandemic progresses. “This virus is still exploring ways to potentially get better at infecting us,” he said.

For God sake (if you believe in God) make your decisions based on facts and not the word of some babbling pastor or an overweight, over paid talk show host.

Be well

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those Endangered Voting Rights

Golly be!  WiFi has returned after Ida….

The 60s have come and gone and still voting is not as it should be….IMO this is happening because Civil Rights leaders settled and moved on….and the damn silly policy of state’s rights….after all it is the 21st century.

Red states are trying their best to limit who votes through gerrymandering and through assault on voting out right.

A right that all citizens have a right to indulge themselves for whatever candidate…..instead of making it easier for the people to exercise their right to vote…..these states are trying to limit who, when and where they may vote….the people have to jump through imaginary obstacles set up by these assailants on their rights.

Some have asked how can this assault be happening to the people…..it is made possible because the right of a citizen to vote is not directly protected in the Constitution.

Voting is an American principle and a basic democratic right that should be protected, promoted, and practiced, which is why many people are surprised to learn that the U.S. Constitution provides no explicit right to vote. This leaves voting rights vulnerable to the whims of politicians, and some citizens with fewer rights than others.

A majority of Americans want something done about voting rights…..

Hours after the Senate GOP once again blocked debate on the For the People Act, progressive organizations on Wednesday released the results of a survey showing that a majority of U.S. voters—including nearly three-quarters of Democrats—want President Joe Biden to “take a more active role in the fight” to pass the sweeping voting rights legislation.

Conducted by Data For Progress, Equal Citizens, End Citizens United, and other progressive groups, the poll found that 51% of U.S. voters—including 74% of Democrats, 42% of independents, and 30% of Republicans—would be more likely to support Biden if he is able to convince the Senate to pass the For the People Act, which the survey describes as “a bill to reduce the role of big money in politics, end dark money, strengthen the freedom to vote for all eligible citizens, and ban partisan gerrymandering.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/08/11/poll-majority-us-voters-want-biden-fight-key-voting-rights-bill

Not to worry…..there is the DoJ that is there to protect our voting rights, right?

Nope not at all……..

In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), stripping the Justice Department of the powers it had for five decades to curb racial discrimination in voting. The Election Assistance Commission was left without commissioners for years and frequently faces bills in Congress that would end its existence entirely. Many schools skip civics education, contributing to the decline in voter turnout in local and primary elections.

Voting should be simple exercise for the citizens of this nation….but that is not necessarily true….

Voting should be a simple process in which any registered citizen can easily participate. However, this is not always the case. Voter identification and registration requirements, as well as the machines that voters use, vary widely between states. States and counties design their own ballots, pursue their own voter education, and have near-complete authority over their state voting policies and procedures. With over 10,000 different jurisdictions, voters and potential voters are much more likely to cast a counted vote in some states, some counties, and some areas of the country than others, simply based on the difference in standards for each election. Elections in many states are rife with lost and incorrectly counted votes, and many voters are incorrectly told that they cannot cast a ballot. 

Since voting is regulated by the states, there is little the national government can do if voters are intimidated or harassed at the polling booth. With the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision to strike down section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, and Congress’s unwillingness to act to restore key components of the Act, a Right to Vote Amendment is needed to further enforce voting rights.

Let’s be clear….all this Red State assault on voting is not and has never been about free and fair elections…..

“Republican party and its candidates got fewer votes in the last seven of eight presidential elections,” he said, noting that new Census data shows the country growing more diverse.

“Take how this is played on the ground for Texas. Republicans trying to suppress the vote. Why would they be doing that? People of color make up 95% of the population growth. As those trends combined with the current platforms of these two political parties, it would seem that the Republican Party faces a binnary choice, or losing many future elections. That’s a buy in. It turns out and many experts and analysts warning about this, the Republican Party trying to find, well, not this way or that way but a third way,” he explained. “Lying about its losses and suppressing democracy itself so it could win rigged elections.”

(rawstory.com)

The whole states rights thing is destroying an institution in this country….the right to fair and open elections…..I have no use for the states rights thing and I have made my opinion known on this issue…..https://gulfsouthfreepress.wordpress.com/2021/05/05/those-states-rights/

This nation needs an amendment that will guarantee the right to vote…..The Right to Vote Amendment will guarantee all American citizens at least 18 years of age a constitutionally protected individual right to vote. Much like the rights to speech and religion, a constitutionally protected right to vote will be difficult to limit without showing a strong need for the limitation to exist.

Time is quickly running out for any action to protect the citizen’s right to vote….the Dems must go it alone if necessary….

The window for action to protect voting rights from the GOP’s nationwide assault is rapidly closing as Democrats—despite controlling both chambers of Congress and the White House—fail to take the steps necessary to pass federal legislation that would expand ballot access, restore the gutted Voting Rights Act of 1965, and end partisan gerrymandering.

Progressive warnings about the implications of continued inaction on voting rights have grown increasingly dire in recent weeks as state governments—nearly two dozen of which are completely dominated by Republicans—prepare to redraw their 10-year congressional maps for upcoming elections and implement new ballot restrictions.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/08/06/fascist-gop-threat-grows-dems-verge-historic-failure-secure-voting-rights-0

Do the Dems have the guts to do what is needed and necessary?  Or will they keep chasing the pipe dream of bi-partisanship?

Democrats have publicly united around a legislative response to Republican efforts to roll back voting access in various states — a bill called the For the People Act.

Known as HR 1 in the House, where it passed in early March with only a single Democratic defection, and S 1 in the Senate, where it’s co-sponsored by every Democrat except West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, it’s a bill that Democrats and allied outside advocates argue is urgently necessary to save the country not only from voter suppression, but also from gerrymandering and the malign influences of big and dark money in politics.

“If our democracy doesn’t work, then we have no hope — no hope — of solving any of our other problems,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said last month. “We will fight and fight and fight to get this done legislatively. Failure is not an option.”

Beneath this public unity, however, some in Democratic and electoral policy circles have misgivings about the bill, however well-intentioned it might be. Jessica Huseman recently wrote at the Daily Beast about a set of objections to one section of the bill from election administrators, who said, under cover of anonymity, that it contains various poorly written and confusing requirements that could be difficult or even impossible to implement. (Democratic aides say they’re working on addressing those concerns.)

https://www.vox.com/22346812/voting-rights-bill-hr1-for-the-people-act

Since Georgia is the ground zero for voting rights….there is an attempt to stop the theft….

Preventing Election Subversion Act of 2021, a bill introduced by Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) that seeks to fill that gap.

It doesn’t prevent Georgia’s elections board from removing a local election official, but it does impose some procedural safeguards intended to prevent local officials from being removed for partisan reasons. Among other things, it allows such officials to sue for reinstatement in federal court.

Additionally, the bill would make it a felony to harass or intimidate election workers in order to interfere with their official duties. GOP lawmakers in some states, including Texas, are pushing legislation making it harder for election workers to remove partisan observers who disrupt an election. Warnock’s bill would subject the worst-behaved election observers to criminal charges.

Realistically, Warnock’s bill has a long way to go before it becomes law. Warnock is reportedly in negotiations with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to include safeguards against “election subversion” in a package of voting rights reforms that enjoys Manchin’s blessing. As the most conservative Democratic senator in an evenly divided Senate, Manchin is key to advancing any meaningful voting rights legislation.

https://www.vox.com/22616752/raphael-warnock-georgia-sb202-voter-suppresion-voting-rights-supreme-court-atlanta-fulton-county

A valiant attempt but will go NOWHERE…..the votes are not there in the Senate….plus then if it were to make it into law there is SCOTUS to contend with…..

The legislation, known as the “John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act,” is now a focus of the House and is expected to be part of the voting rights package negotiated in the Senate to win over West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin’s support. The bill would restore a provision of the Voting Rights Act meant to address racial discrimination that was gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013. Doing so has long been a goal of lawmakers, and one that seemed only remotely possible after Democrats obtained narrow control of Congress while winning the White House.

Still, legal experts remain skeptical that any amount of procedural legwork by Congress would be enough for the current Supreme Court and its 6-3 conservative-liberal majority.

“Whichever way congress would go in trying to amend the Voting Rights Act and reestablish some form of preclearance, it’s going to have a Supreme Court where at least some members are going to be extremely skeptical of congressional power in this area,” said Rick Hasen, law professor at University of California, Irvine.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/11/politics/congress-democrats-john-lewis-voting-rights-supreme-court/index.html

NO amount of proposed laws will do anything but provide some cover for Dems in the next election.

This will do nothing to protect everyone’s right to a fair election or make it possible for everyone to vote.

I think they, Dems, will do something but like in 1965 it will not be enough.  We should not expect too much progress on this issue from the Dems…..they will once again display their spinelessness to the nation.

There was a small bright light, especially in Georgia….

A federal judge has found that a part of Georgia’s sweeping new election law that broadly prohibits the photographing of a voted ballot is likely unconstitutional. US District Judge J.P. Boulee on Friday granted a preliminary injunction on that section of the law, meaning it cannot be enforced for now. In the same order, he declined to block a number of other provisions that mostly have to do with monitoring or photographing parts of the election process. From the AP:

  • Lawsuit was filed by election integrity group. The judge’s order came in a lawsuit filed by the Coalition for Good Governance, an election integrity group, and others. Boulee wrote that the plaintiffs in the lawsuit “have shown a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their claim” that the broad ban on photographing a voted ballot in both public and nonpublic places violates their First Amendment rights.
  • Other parts of the law. The new law, known as SB 202, also adds a voter ID requirement for mail ballots, shortens the time period for requesting a mail ballot, results in fewer ballot drop boxes available in metro Atlanta and gives the State Election Board new powers to intervene in county election offices and to remove and replace local election officials. There are currently eight federal lawsuits challenging parts of the 98-page law enacted earlier this year, including one filed by the US Department of Justice.
  • “An overreach by lawmakers.” “The Court’s striking of the Photography Ban was an important first step in demonstrating that SB202 is an overreach by lawmakers who prefer ballots to be counted behind closed doors, blocking the important oversight of the press and public,” Marilyn Marks, executive director of the Coalition for Good Governance, said in a statement.
  • Other provisions allowed to stand. Boulee declined to block another photography provision that prohibits the photographing or recording of the face of a touchscreen voting machine while someone is voting. He also declined to block provisions that require that absentee ballots be requested at least 11 days before an election and prohibit observers from communicating any information they see during absentee ballot processing to anyone other than election officials.
  • Raffensperger calls it a win. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has repeatedly said the law will stand up to court challenges. “This decision is a clear victory for Georgia voters and common-sense election integrity reforms,” he said in a statement.

AS the Gulf South readied itself for yet another devastating hurricane marches across the US in support of voting rights were taking place…..

Thousands of people rallied across the US on Saturday to call for sweeping federal laws to wipe out election legislation advancing in some Republican-controlled states that could make it harder to cast a ballot. Many activists view the fight over voting rules as the civil rights issue of the era. But frustrations have mounted for months because two expansive election bills have stalled in the US Senate, which is split evenly between Democrats and Republicans. The rallies Saturday were intended to increase pressure on Democrats to rewrite procedural rules that would let them muscle the legislation through without Republican votes, the AP reports.

A great effort but I fear it is falling on deaf ears….Washington is about retaining position and not the benefits of voting for those back home.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”