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A lot happened during Holy Week 2021 to Christ’s faithful.

They, too, suffered afflictions, some more serious than others, all because of coronavirus.

London

On Good Friday, a Polish Catholic congregation in Balham, south London, received a visit from the Metropolitan Police which ended their service:

Too many people showed up:

The BBC has more on the story:

The Daily Mail also featured a report, including a lot of photos. It points out the service was only going to be 30 minutes long.

I can see the social distancing problem, so why didn’t the cop just ask for some people to leave and the remaining congregants could then spread out a bit in the pews?

Looks like another soft target for the police: obedient Christians with little command of the English language. 

The BBC reports that people living near the church called the police (emphases mine):

Police say they were called to reports of large groups of people queuing outside Christ the King church on Balham High Road.

The video went viral:

Video of officers addressing the congregation, from the altar of the church, has been circulating online.

The church said all “government requirements have been complied with”.

A representative of Polish Catholic Mission Balham, which runs the church, added worshippers “obeyed” the police “without objection”.

“We believe, however, that the police have brutally exceeded their powers by issuing their warrant for no good reason,” the spokesman added.

“We regret that the rights of the faithful have been wronged on such an important day for every believer, and that our worship has been profaned.”

On Saturday, the Archbishop of Southwark, John Wilson, visited the church to discuss the incident.

Rector of the Catholic Polish Mission, Stefan Wylezek, said he intended to contact the Met to discuss how the situation was handled

No fines were issued to worshippers.

The Met said it was “engaging with the church authorities” in connection with numerous events taking place at the church over the Easter period.

Incidentally, the next day, more protests about the proposed policing bill took place:

I’m tempted to make a comment, so I’ll refrain.

Canada

Now let’s cross the pond for more Holy Week stories.

Our first stop is Calgary, Alberta, where, coincidentally, another Polish pastor was targeted.

On Holy Saturday, Pastor Artur Pawlowski, the head of Calgary’s Street Church in Alberta, Canada, was holding a service at the Fortress (Cave) of Adullam when the officers entered the building.

This is because, according to local media, Pawlowski has violated coronavirus regulations before. He:

has been charged multiple times under Alberta’s Public Health Act for breaching Covid-19 regulations.

‘We expect that all places of worship across Alberta follow the CMOH restrictions and we thank everyone who continues to do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 this holiday weekend and throughout the pandemic.’

CTV News reported that officials from the City of Calgary Bylaw Services were also in attendance, alongside city police … 

Churches in the area can hold services but must keep attendance below 15 per cent and follow guidelines including wearing masks and social distancing. 

However the controversial pastor was praised by some on social media who see pandemic restrictions as infringing on their right to religious worship.

Ezra Levant, the founder of far-right commentary website Rebel News, said Pawlowski’s response was ‘how you handle police who enter a church without a warrant.’  

Here is Levant’s tweet, along with a video taken at the church showing the main confrontation (H/T to the Gateway Pundit):

Fox News reported what Pawlowski said:

“Get out of this property immediately,” he says in the video. “I don’t want to hear anything … out immediately.”

Most of the officials don’t engage Pawlowski, but an unidentified woman seems to try and explain their presence. Pawlowski was not having it.

“Out!” he yelled. “Out of this property … immediately until you come back with a warrant.” The officials and officers slowly exit the building, and Pawlowski followed them.

“Nazis are not welcome here,” he then says. “And don’t come out without a warrant.”

The pastor also called them “Gestapo.”

The second video follows. The pastor says that the Canadian government is trying to take people’s rights away and will succeed if people do not rally together to stop it:

The Church of Adullam is a group of churches in North America which offer spiritual refuge to those experiencing brokenness in their lives:

We aim to provide a safe place of help, hope, and healing for all who enter the cave.

At Adullam, we believe deeply in the power of community. We believe community in the church means an ongoing fellowship of connectedness with Jesus by His spirit taking his rightful place among the people as King.

The church also provides food to those in need.

Its name comes from 1 Samuel 22:1-2:

1 David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him.

On Easter Sunday, the Calgary Police Service issued a statement:

United States

The US also had sad Holy Week episodes.

Texas

The following story broke on Lazarus Saturday, the day before Palm Sunday. Technically, it did not take place during Holy Week — rather two weeks before — but it circulated during that time, especially when the Gateway Pundit featured it on Monday, March 29.

Dr Taylor Marshall, a husband and father of eight children, converted to the Catholic faith. He was mainline Protestant. He is an author who also broadcasts on YouTube:

In the video, Mrs Deirdre Hairston, mother of a one-year-old with another baby expected later this year, described her experience at Holy Trinity Church in Dallas. She has been permanently barred from entering that church — her parish church — again:

She says that, during Mass, the pastor approached her — the assistant pastor was saying Mass — and told her that she had to wear a mask or he would call the police. Mrs Hairston purposely sat in the back row of chairs. She had her baby with her and wanted to be able to make a quick exit should the baby start crying.

She told Taylor Marshall that she was not wearing her mask because she did not feel well, which isn’t surprising, given that she is in the early stages of pregnancy.

She went to receive Holy Communion with her baby in her arms. She returned to her chair to pray, the Eucharist still in her mouth, when she felt a rough tug on her arm.

It was a police woman who said she was going to put handcuffs on her. Remember, she was holding her baby at the time!

Hairston asked if she was under arrest. The police woman said that she was not.

Here’s the clip:

Texas has not had a state mask mandate since early March.

Therefore, she was under no legal obligation to wear one, although businesses can ask a person to do so.

Hairston and her baby left the church. In the video, it appears as if her husband shows up — a man wearing shorts and a polo shirt. The police woman tells him that the church is a business. He tells her that it is not, under 501c(3) rules. She insists that it is.

Anyway, the family left, and Mrs Hairston can no longer attend that church — her parish church!

I love this tweet addressed to the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Dallas:

The CBS affiliate in Dallas/Fort Worth picked up the story on Monday and reported:

Cell phone footage shows Hairston asking what crime she has committed, to which police replied she was “trespassing on a business.”

Hairston said her parish-priest, Father Ryan called police.

Once outside, Hairston said the usher ran to her car and took photos of her license plate as police were taking her information. She also said she was issued a ticket for trespassing.

Holy Trinity, which serves the uptown community near Oak Lawn and Lemmon Ave. responded on March 29, two weeks after the incident and two days after Marshall shared the interview on Youtube.

In it, they state that Hairston wasn’t arrested or ticketed, merely issued a trespass warning. They also said the pastor of the parish has required masks at Mass out of concern for the health and welfare of its entire congregation. Hairston and her husband said that isn’t true. They said it wasn’t required – only encouraged.

How can Holy Trinity ‘encourage’ it when the parish priest calls the police? As for ‘concern’, has he no concern for a pregnant mother who isn’t feeling well?

In the video, Hairston and Marshall discuss what impact incidents such as these might have on church attendance.

Some Catholics are angry:

This might even unintentionally encourage Catholics to attend other churches.

And, lo, here’s a Twitter exchange on that very subject:

Too right.

New York

My final news story — a sad and violent one — took place in Manhattan on Monday of Holy Week.

Vilma Kari, a 65-year-old woman of slight build, was on her way to church on Monday when a man at least twice her size pushed her to the ground and began kicking her in the head.

Ms Kari is an American of Filipino heritage. Her attacker is black.

Here’s the video. Watch the security guards of the nearby building close the door on the scene:

People were outraged that the security guards did not come to her rescue:

On Wednesday, March 31, the NYPD arrested the perp:

That also angered people, especially when they found out he killed his own mother and was out on parole:

The New York Post reported:

Bystanders did nothing to help an Asian woman as she was being beaten in broad daylight in Manhattan this week — and didn’t even bother calling 911, police said Wednesday.

An NYPD spokesperson said it had zero records of a 911 call from Monday’s unprovoked attack — when convicted murderer Brandon Elliot, 38, allegedly kicked a 65-year-old victim to the ground and repeatedly stomped on her face outside 360 West 43rd Street.

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Det. Michael Rodriguez said police on patrol drove by and saw the victim after she was attacked.

“They came upon the victim after she was assaulted,” he said.

Outrage has mounted over the caught-on-camera beatdown — the latest in a disturbing trend of hate crimes against Asian Americans — after at least three staffers inside the building were caught doing nothing to thwart Elliot.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said detectives would be interviewing those on video tape who witnessed the assault first hand.

“I fully understand the public’s anger,” Shea said about the bystander inaction …

The staffers who witnessed the attack have since been suspended as an investigation plays out …

The victim, Vilma Kari, suffered a broken pelvis and was released from the hospital Tuesday.

Early Wednesday morning, police nabbed Elliot — a homeless man who was out on parole for murdering his mother in 2002 — for the alleged hate crime.

The New York Post had an article on Elliot, who lived near the building in front of which he assaulted Ms Kari:

Brandon Elliot, 38, who lives in a nearby hotel that serves as a homeless shelter, was arrested early Wednesday and hit with a number of charges, including assault as a hate crime and attempted assault as a hate crime, police said.

He was caught on video mercilessly punching and kicking the 65-year-old victim in front of an apartment building at 360 West 43rd Street around 11:40 a.m. Monday, yelling “F–k you, you don’t belong here,” according to cops and police sources.

In April 2002, Elliot was charged with murder for using a kitchen knife to stab his mother, Bridget Johnson in the chest three times in their East 224th Street home in the Bronx, according to previous reports.

The deadly attack took place in front of Elliot’s 5-year-old sister, sources told The Post. It’s unclear what led to the slaying.

Johnson, 42, died a couple of days later.

Elliot was convicted of murder and sentenced to 15 years-to-life in prison.

He was denied parole twice — first at a February 2017 hearing and again in December 2018, according to a state Department of Corrections official.

But the following year, he was approved for release in September and sprung on lifetime parole two months later.

Also:

Kari is Filipino American, according to Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez.

Elliot is expected to be arraigned in Manhattan criminal court sometime on Wednesday.

A resident at the Four Points by Sheraton — the West 40th Street homeless shelter where Elliot was staying during the alleged attack — said he knew the brute well after spending time with him at another shelter.

“He told me he was [a] diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic,” the man, who declined to give his name, told The Post. “He’s quiet. He doesn’t talk much. He is really paranoid. He has mental issues.”

Elliot’s latest bust comes in the wake of a surge of attacks against Asian victims in New York City and elsewhere.

That is because of coronavirus. Shameful and ignorant on so many levels.

UPDATE — April 6: The two security guards have been fired. However, under their union’s — SEIU’s — procedures, they can appeal, although that could take weeks or months, according to a union official. The perp, Elliot, will be arraigned on April 21.

——————————————————————————–

All of these incidents happened because of coronavirus or coronavirus restrictions.

May the Risen Lord Jesus look graciously upon His believers who have been afflicted during the past few weeks, particularly those profiled here. May He give them sustained hope and healing, especially during this Easter season.

Late on Sunday, March 7, 2021, President Trump visited Manhattan, specifically Trump Tower.

The Daily Mail reported:

Trump, 74, was said to have returned to the Big Apple to ‘look under the hood’ of his family firm as New York prosecutors continue a probe into the business. 

On Monday night, the investigation spread to Chicago when the Manhattan district attorney subpoenaed documents from a company that invested in a skyscraper built by the former president in the city. 

The inquiry – one of several involving the former president – poses the biggest current legal threat to Trump. 

The ex-president was pictured arriving alone to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue on Sunday night flanked by Secret Service and NYPD, but had not been seen again until he left the building on Tuesday. 

The article has plenty of great photos.

The following tweets recap his trip:

Here’s the video of the presidential motorcade and the NYPD Counterterrorism Unit:

He walked in via the main entrance:

During his stay, a group of supporters gathered in front of Trump Tower, briefly blocking Fifth Avenue:

Here’s the video, which shows a photo of the group holding up a gigantic ‘TRUMP 2024 – Save America’ flag:

Trump left the following day to return to Palm Beach:

Here’s the video:

On Thursday, March 11, at Mar-a-Lago, he met with Sen. Rick Scott (R-Florida):

On Friday, March 12, he played golf …

… then returned to Mar-a-Lago:

He spoke that afternoon at a benefit for Big Dog Ranch Rescue. His daughter-in-law Lara Trump was there. This was a mini-rally with a very enthusiastic crowd of women:

This video shows more of Mar-a-Lago’s interior:

Why is there more of a sense of positive energy emanating from these photos and videos than from the present administration in Washington?

The incoming Biden administration, headed by an Irish Catholic male who is proud of his origins, has promised that, as a result of the coronavirus crisis:

This did not go down well with all Biden voters:

Agreed.

However, a few hundred miles away from Washington, DC, another conflict took place in New York City.

Tara Szczepanski, an American journalist who is part Polish and part Filipina, had an unfortunate brush with leftist radicals:

The New York Police Department offered no help. They told her to stay six feet away:

This took place on Sunday, January 10, 2021.

Gateway Pundit reported:

Antifa domestic terrorists marched through the streets of New York City on Sunday claiming to own the public space, chanting, “Our motherf*ckin streets!”

A Trump rally was allegedly being held near Columbus Circle in the heart of Manhattan.

For whatever reason, this young woman was attacked:

Antifa goons surrounded a female journalist on 25th and Broadway, hit her with umbrellas and knocked her camera out of her hand.

The left-wing terrorists threw eggs on the woman’s head as she screamed for help.

This is what happened:

Apparently, she sinned for being an alleged Trump supporter. It’s unclear if that is even true:

Regardless, America is supposed to be the land, constitutionally, where one has freedom of speech and association.

At the same time, on the West Coast, Andy Ngô, the intrepid independent journalist tracking Antifa, has written a book which radicals want to see banned:

Andy Ngô has risked life and limb over the past few years in his quest to expose the radical Left.

My thoughts go out to him in Oregon and to Tara Szczepanski in New York.

Biden and Harris will have a lot of uniting and reconciling to do.

Last Thursday, I wrote about Bevelyn Beatty, who painted over provocative street signage in front of Trump Tower around two weeks ago.

A few days later, Eric Metaxas, a Christian conservative, interviewed her at length. I would like to thank one of my readers, michaelh, for this link:

This is an excellent video, just over half an hour long:

She discusses her personal Christian journey, helped along by her good friend Edmee, who was also part of the group of ladies smearing black paint over the B in BLM in front of Trump Tower.

She explains why no Christian should be associating with or supporting BLM: they don’t believe in family, they don’t believe in saving black lives and they do not like black men.

She discusses the horrific crime rates in New York, particularly under Mayor Bill de Blasio and says that she is seriously considering leaving.

And, yes, Bevelyn talks about her and her friends’ experience in front of Trump Tower, their arrest and their excellent treatment by the police.

Bevelyn is feisty. She’s got spark. She’s a committed Christian.

Eric Metaxas says that the US needs a thousand more like her.

I couldn’t agree more.

When she and her friends finish helping to ‘take back’ America, maybe they can come to cities in England. I am sure many would like to hear her speak and learn more about her journey in faith.

Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City, allowed — in fact, advocated — that a pavement message be painted outside Trump Tower two weeks ago:

This tweet comes from de Blasio’s wife:

Since then, the message has attracted much opposition — and, no, it is NOT A MURAL:

New Yorkers continued to take action against the message.

On Friday, July 17, 2020, a few people painted over the first part of the ‘Lives Matter’ message with blue paint, in support of the police, which De Blasio is starting to ‘defund’:

Four arrests and charges were made.

Not surprisingly, the blue paint met with opposition, from people who no doubt want to defund the police.

Gateway Pundit reported (emphases mine):

Onlookers shouted at them hysterically as they did it.

NBC New York reports “the alleged vandals threw the paint in what appeared to be a coordinated effort involving about 10 people around 4 p.m. Friday. There were plans going around on social media with a group of people discussing doing the stunt.”

This is the second time the mural has been defaced since it was painted with the assistance of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. On Monday, it was splattered with red paint.

Unlike the rioters and looters that took over his city recently, he has made it a priority to arrest those who dare to vandalize it. In fact, Mayor de Blasio has seemingly been more concerned with protecting the tacky painting than about the rising crime in the city since he tied the hands of his police force.

“Maybe our GREAT Police, who have been neutralized and scorned by a mayor who hates & disrespects them, won’t let this symbol of hate be affixed to New York’s greatest street. Spend this money fighting crime instead!” President Donald Trump tweeted

I left off the end of the sentence which included the word ‘mural’.

Please. It’s not a mural. A mural is painted on a WALL, not a pavement or sidewalk.

But, as Gateway Pundit stated, de Blasio wants more of the same pavement signs going up around the city.

On Saturday, July 18, a small group of black women, led by Bevelyn Beatty — wearing Jesus Matters tee-shirts — staged more civil disobedience in front of Trump Tower, protesting the street signage:

Ms Beatty and her friends were widely supported by other Americans as she tried to douse the first part of ‘… lives matter’ with black paint:

Here’s the full video — 12 minutes long — showing how a woman drove the small group into Manhattan with a lot of black paint, gloves and paint rollers in the back of a station wagon:

Bevelyn Beatty says at the end of her commentary:

Trump 2020!

During the painting, her friend Edmee says that ‘the devil’ is in charge of the country. Too right. Her friend means protesters and those trying to destroy America.

During Beatty’s attempt to deface the first word in the message, one policeman slipped on the thick paint and fell over.

Look at the number of cops present:

Beatty is from At The Well Ministries:

She offers online Bible studies:

Instead of yelling ‘Defund the police’, she was saying ‘Refund the police’ as law enforcement officers tried to stop her:

She also shouted, ‘Jesus matters’ while spreading welcome paint over the street message.

It’s unbelievable that de Blasio allows all this mess around what once was a great city:

Despite what de Blasio claims, horrific crimes are still taking place in New York City boroughs, such as this one involving a man who stabbed his ex-girlfriend and hurt her little boy, a toddler. This happened in the Bronx:

Both mother and son are all right, fortunately. You would not know from the video, though:

Back to Trump Tower now. The mayor, as he said above, gets clean up crews in to wash the paint off before it dries. The yellow paint looks pristine before the next group paints over it.

This is what happened to Bevelyn and Edmee:

The two women are likely to be charged with criminal mischief. The policeman who slipped and fell on the paint was treated at Bellevue Hospital.

It looks as if the paint protest is likely to go on for the foreseeable future:

Sure enough, another defacing happened afterwards:

A pro-police Back the Blue march took place on Brooklyn Bridge the same day:

More to come, I hope.

They might be small in number right now, but a growing number of doctors involved in the coronavirus outbreak are wondering about the wisdom of nationwide lockdowns.

In some countries, lockdown did not make much difference to the number of deaths.

On May 14, France’s Prof Didier Raoult posted a study from Spain which showed that those who kept working outside the home were less at risk of falling victim to COVID-19. Replies follow:

Why we were told the world over to stay indoors, I do not understand. It runs counter to everything we’ve been taught over 120 years with regard to fighting epidemics:

This chart comes from another source and has more testimony about New York’s lockdown:

A doctor from Paris can corroborate that households staying indoors did get COVID-19 more often than those who did not. People were already infected before lockdown and did not show symptoms until later on.

On Tuesday, May 26, RMC — France’s talk radio station — interviewed Dr Robert Sebbag, a specialist in infectious diseases, who works at the famous Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris. The interview is a little over 19 minutes long.

Sebbag worked on the COVID-19 ward and said that if one family member was admitted to hospital with coronavirus, others from the same households were also infected days later.

He said that this led him and his colleagues to believe that general lockdowns are a bad idea. He explained that politicians were afraid of the number of deaths from this novel (new) coronavirus and decided to impose blanket lockdowns:

He said that the hospital, in the early days of the outbreak, was very gloomy indeed, with a seemingly endless number of COVID-19 patients being admitted. He, his colleagues and hospital staff were worried that they would be completely overwhelmed:

He thinks that an assessment needs to be done of how COVID-19 was handled in the first half of this year. While he personally thinks masks are a good idea, he objects to the restriction on nursing and care home visits, which he says are essential for patient well being, especially among the elderly:

Presumably, care home administrators can work out a system for visiting, perhaps requiring that healthy family members and friends make an appointment before visiting.

The greater question there surrounds infected patients being discharged from hospitals into care homes. This happened in the US, the UK, France and Germany. The very real pressure on the hospitals meant that they had to discharge elderly patients before they were fully recovered to make room for new COVID-19 patients. As such, care homes were overwhelmed with infection in some cases.

People rightly wonder if we will get a second wave. Some medical experts say no. Some say yes. Others say that we have to find a way of treating patients effectively so that coronavirus is no longer a fatal disease. The honest answer at this point is that we do not know whether there will be a second wave of infections.

As lockdowns are fully lifted in the coming weeks, we will all have to take greater responsibility for our own behaviour in a COVID-19 world. I dislike referring readers to the BBC, but they did have a good article on Sunday, May 24: Health Correspondent Nick Triggle’s ‘Coronavirus: How scared should we be?’ It is well worth reading.

For a start, we do not live in a risk-free world:

Prof Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at Edinburgh University, says the question we should be asking is whether we are “safe enough”.

“There will never be no risk. In a world where Covid-19 remains present in the community it’s about how we reduce that risk, just as we do with other kinds of daily dangers, like driving and cycling.”

We might become more dependent on our ‘least worst’ options in managing that risk:

Statistician Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, an expert in risk from Cambridge University and government adviser, says it has, in effect, become a game of “risk management” – and because of that we need to get a handle on the magnitude of risk we face.

There are two factors that influence the risk we face from coronavirus – our risk of becoming infected and, once infected, our risk of dying or becoming seriously ill.

We should also keep in mind that, for most people, coronavirus is relatively mild:

… only one in 20 people who shows symptoms is believed to need hospital treatment …

Think of it this way:

If your risk of dying was very low in the first place, it still remains very low.

As for children, the risk of dying from other things – cancer and accidents are the biggest cause of fatalities – is greater than their chance of dying if they are infected with coronavirus.

During the pandemic so far three under 15s have died. That compares to around 50 killed in road accidents every year.

In the months to come, there will likely be tests and tools, such as this one from University College London, that can help us assess our individual risk of catching this unpredictable and sometimes fatal disease.

The most important aspect, even more than the dreaded mask, is hand hygiene. Wash hands regularly and thoroughly with soap or soap gel, then dry them well. Damp or wet hands create a good atmosphere for viruses and bacteria.

Also keep hands away from the face, the best receptor for infections.

Because of coronavirus lockdowns, the world’s hospitality industry is being destroyed, including restaurants.

On May 3, 2020, the New York Post published two stories of interest on how Manhattan’s top chefs are stepping outside of the box to cook for others.

‘Out-of-work chefs are leaving NYC to cook for billionaires’ tells us that they have sought alternative employment during the continuing lockdown (emphases mine):

Out-of-work chefs from Jean-Georges, Daniel, Eleven Madison Park, Per Se and Gramercy Tavern are being poached by talent agents and even real estate brokers to work for wealthy families since the coronavirus shutdowns have eviscerated the restaurant industry, sources said. The supply of quality chefs is so abundant that some wealthy people say they’re getting cold called about the latest candidate.

“I received a call out of the blue asking if we wanted to hire a top chef who had worked for Jean-George’s,” one billionaire real estate developer told Side Dish.

For unemployed chefs, it’s often the only way for them to make money doing what they love at a time when sit-down dining is prohibited by the state lockdown.

One of them is Ian Tenzer, 29, formerly a sous-chef at three-star Michelin restaurant Eleven Madison Park, named the world’s best restaurant in 2017, more about which below. He told the newspaper:

I was laid off six weeks ago. It just wasn’t possible to stay, no matter how much the chef wanted to keep us. I can’t stand not working. I miss being in the kitchen.

Working as a private chef has always been a part of the industry I had thought about working in and, at this point in my career, it’s a good choice economically and professionally.

Even so, he misses the camaraderie that being part of a brigade brings:

When you work in a restaurant, you are part of a team. There are peers you look up to and others you teach. The team becomes your family and you learn to love everyone. That’s the hardest part about leaving [the restaurant job].

On the other hand, salaries are often significantly better, as the article explains:

Indeed, chefs who choose to work in private homes stand to get a 20 percent to 30 percent pay raise, as well as other perks including better hours, sources said. Sous chefs at top restaurants can earn between $120,000 and $200,000 a year working full-time for a family, compared to closer to $100,000 working at a restaurant.

Personal chefs also commonly earn discretionary bonuses, especially if they are being asked to shelter in place with their families during the COVID-19 pandemic, says David Youdovin, chief executive of Hire Society, which helps individuals recruit private staff.

“The vast majority of restaurant chefs are grossly underpaid, and seldom receive benefits,” and now clients are being “very generous and accommodating,” Youdovin said.

Of course, some families are nicer than others:

One drawback is that you never know what kind of family you’ll get, chefs said. Some families are “lovely, adventurous and curious,” but others can be quite the opposite. They can be rude and “even physically and verbally abusive. I have heard horror stories,” said one chef who asked to remain unnamed.

At least two upmarket estate agents, also out of work during lockdown, have been placing chefs with families:

Brokers Dolly and Jenny Lenz, who deal in high-end real estate, say they have sourced two top chefs for two different families who have rented Hamptons estates to wait out the crisis. People quarantining in rental homes are often looking to hire chefs, nannies and housekeepers to shelter in place with them during this time, Dolly Lenz said.

As going to someone’s house for a traditional interview is verboten at the moment, food is dropped off and interviews are done online via video conference:

… chefs are preparing tastings in their own homes and then dropping them off at their prospective employer’s front door.

This social-distancing measure, along with virtual interviews by Zoom or FaceTime, are making it tough for both the chefs and families to determine if they are making a good match, Youdovin said.

Goodness knows when restaurants will regain normality. Even where they are open in Europe, social distancing remains in place in many countries. That means having a full complement of tables is impossible and could be for months to come.

With that in mind, Ian Tenzer’s former employer, Eleven Madison Park, has a new outreach policy: ‘Eleven Madison Park chef will keep feeding needy New Yorkers’.

It revolves around ‘family meals’, a term restaurants use for the lunches and/or dinners they provide to their staff.

Head chef Daniel Humm began feeding the city’s hungry before the coronavirus outbreak and is now feeding many more:

Humm, whose three-starred Michelin restaurant was named the world’s best in 2017, is amping up his role at a non-profit, Rethink Food NYC, to become its top chef and inaugural partner as it expands nationally.

Before COVID-19, Rethink turned restaurant waste into meals, feeding 15,000 people a week. The non-profit now serves 25,000 meals a day.

Post COVID-19, restaurant staff at Eleven Madison will make extra “family meals” for Rethink to feed needy New Yorkers.

If every restaurant does this, we could end hunger,” said Matt Jozwiak, Rethink Food NYC’s executive director and founder, who formerly worked at Humm’s Michelin-rated restaurant.

Currently, Humm has turned Eleven Madison Park into a food commissary to help make meals for Rethink to distribute during the crisis.

Yes, if every restaurant did that, they really could end hunger.

I get tired of watching restaurant reality shows and documentaries with all their waste. Hell’s Kitchen, Masterchef: I’m looking at you. The other night, I watched a 2018 French documentary on TF1 about upmarket caterers. A top pastry chef told his staff to throw out a vat of hazelnut caramel syrup because it had one burnt hazelnut in it. Madness. Fine for him, but it could have been given to a homeless mission in Paris, which could have used it for a week in their desserts.

Some restaurateurs say that insurance companies restrict giving away food before serving for reasons of health safety. Perhaps insurers should let up on that policy in a reasonable way: documented mutual consent between a donor restaurant and a recipient organisation.

At any rate, it’s encouraging to see some good is coming out of the coronavirus crisis.

Several days ago, James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas issued a request for information about coronavirus cases from people in the know:

On March 27, O’Keefe and a colleague visited a few hospitals in New York and New Jersey. They asked for a test at the first hospital, as they’d been travelling around the United States. The nurse on duty at the rear entrance said that no one gets tested for coronavirus, not even the health workers. She told the two men to self-isolate.

Project Veritas managed to speak with other health workers. Essentially, this interesting video is a bit of a mixed bag. Everything and everyone is calm. Anyone expecting sensational scenes — the sort that the media whip up on the news every day — will be disappointed, which is why I am posting it:

On Thursday, March 26, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was unsure whether a state-wide quarantine was a good idea. New York state’s economy is crippled.

The New York Post reported (emphases mine):

“We closed everything down. That was our public health strategy,” said Cuomo during an Albany press briefing. “If you re-thought that or had time to analyze that public health strategy, I don’t know that you would say ‘Quarantine everyone.’”

It’s the third day in a row that Cuomo has publicly mused about quarantines and how best to eventually restart the Empire State’s shattered economy.

But Wednesday, Cuomo’s answer during an hour-long news conference about quarantines — which are backed by city and state health officials — took a new turn as he speculated it might have spread the disease.

“I don’t even know that that was the best public health policy. Young people then quarantined with older people, [it] was probably not the best public health strategy,” he said. “The younger people could have been exposing the older people to an infection.”

So far, New York has clocked 37,258 confirmed cases and 385 deaths from COVID-19.

Cuomo’s staff told the New York Post that he had read a column in the New York Times by a professor from Yale University, Dr David Katz, who is doing a study on risk stratification.

Cuomo’s staff said that the governor referenced Katz’s article in his press conference two days earlier:

There’s a theory of risk stratification that Dr. Katz who’s at Yale University is working on, which is actually very interesting to me,” Cuomo told reporters then. “Isolate people but really isolate the vulnerable people. Don’t isolate everyone because some people, most people, are not vulnerable to it.”

He added: “And if you isolate all people, you may be actually exposing the more vulnerable people by bringing in a person who is healthier and stronger and who may have been exposed to the virus, right.”

That said, he is wary of reopening New York for some time yet, because the apex of the pandemic in the state is still two or three weeks away.

Once the FDA approves an antibody test for COVID-19, Cuomo would like New York residents to take it. If they are immune, then they can return to work:

“Younger people can go back to work. People who have resolved can go back to work,” Cuomo again said Wednesday. “People who — once we get this antibody test — show that they had the virus and they resolved can go back to work.

“That’s how I think you do it. … It’s not [that] we’re going to either do public health or we’re going to do economic development and restarting. We have to do both.”

Mass self-isolation will prove to be a huge mistake on many levels.

Theodore Roosevelt served as president of the United States between 1901 and 1909.

He had the misfortune of succeeding William McKinley, who had been assassinated in 1901, by an anarchist, Leon Czolgosz in Buffalo, New York, on September 6 that year.

When Roosevelt, as the vice president, took presidential office upon that great tragedy, he said:

I will take the oath. And in this hour of deep and terrible national bereavement, I wish to state that it shall be my aim to continue, absolutely without variance, the policy of President McKinley, for the peace and honor of our beloved country.

He kept the succession as smooth as possible, so as to avoid any further unrest or disquiet.

He also accomplished many other things, besides being the man for whom the Teddy bear is so named. Theodore Roosevelt loved nature and was the first president to set aside land for national parks for the preservation of American flora and fauna.

He was considered so great a president that his image features on Mount Rushmore.

His presidency is a lesson to those who would espouse the Left and the Democratic Party. Although Theodore Roosevelt was a Republican, he pioneered the working man, the forgotten majority.

Trust busting

Almost as soon as he was sworn in, he began working against large corporate monopolies which operated under notional trusts, such as Standard Oil. They worked against the average American. Roosevelt targeted corporations with what he called ‘bad trusts’, including railroads, and sought to rid them of monopolistic practices.

Included in this were large meat packing firms, which he sought to regulate through his second term in office. Americans were outraged by what they had read in Upton Sinclair’s account of Chicago’s meat packing plants in The Jungle. If you haven’t read it, it’s well worth your time. Never mind that Sinclair was a Leftist. He spoke the truth.

He was also the first president who sought food safety regulations for the American consumer. Thanks to his efforts, Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act.

My late grandmother, who was born in the late 1890s, was very conscious of contamination in foodstuffs. Interestingly, although she was a Democrat through and through, she never spoke a bad word against the Republican who was president during her formative years when she learned to cook at home and at school.

Press corps room

He was also the first president to give the press corps their own location inside the White House, having had empathy for them standing outside on a rainy day. As such, he invented the presidential press briefing, providing the first American sound bites. It should be noted that he expelled those members of the media whose coverage he felt was adversarial.

Progressivism

The notion of progressivism came from Republican Theodore Roosevelt — NOT the Democratic Party.

This is something I also learned in US History class in secondary school.

I was most bemused when, many years ago, I heard the Democrats adopt the word ‘progressive’. It has nothing to do with them! Nor do the principles, if we can call them that, which they espouse.

Civil rights

Six weeks after his inauguration, Roosevelt invited one of my favourite Americans, Booker T Washington, to dinner at the White House. If he were alive today, Booker T Washington would give a tongue lashing to anyone in minority neighbourhoods who favoured gangs and celebrity culture over an educated life. He was the black leader of his day, and it would be useful to all Americans if the US education system spent more time on Booker T Washington than on radicals and identity culture, both of which he would have abhorred. Washington was a man of education who advocated pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps, something every American of every creed and colour would do well to heed.

Big stick diplomacy

President Trump has revived Theodore Roosevelt’s policy of ‘speak softly and carry a big stick’. The policy involved one of never bluffing, to strike hard when necessary and to allow the adversary to save face in defeat.

Too much to enumerate

There are too many of Theodore Roosevelt’s winning policies to include here. You can read more of them at Wikipedia.

Ancestry

Before we get to Theodore Roosevelt’s thoughts on the Bible, it should be known that his Dutch ancestor, Claes (Nicholas) Martenszen van Rosenvelt, arrived in New Amsterdam — the original name for New York City — between 1638 and 1649.

We cannot be certain whether Nicolas was of noble blood as his name would indicate or if he took the name of his local landlord in the Netherlands, as was common practice at the time.

In any event, Claes’s son — also named Nicholas — became a New York City alderman. He was the first to change the spelling of the family name to Roosevelt.

From there, the rest was history. His sons Johannes and Jacobus were the progenitors of the Hyde Park (Dutchess County) and Oyster Bay (Long Island) branches of the family.

The Hyde Park branch of the family were Democrat and those from Oyster Bay were Republican. Each branch married into other respected families of the early American period, including the Beekmans, the Latbrobes and the Schuylers.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was Theodore’s fifth cousin. Eleanor Roosevelt, FDR’s wife, was Theodore’s niece.

The gist of the matter

Despite his privileged upbringing, Theodore Roosevelt never forgot the supreme importance of the Bible, which comes to us courtesy of Brainy Quote:

This reminds me of Paul’s time in Athens, when the Apostle debated among the intellectually curious during his time in Athens (Acts 17, here and here). Some were entertained, some interested. Few absorbed his message.

May we never trifle with God’s Holy Scripture, nor with His Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

We might have material knowledge today, but will such knowledge save us for eternity?

Theodore Roosevelt, a great president and a member of the Reformed Church in America, warned us to reconsider what we know and whether it will bring us to eternal life.

Even after he had a serious operation during the time of the Great War, he continued to walk three miles to church.

Roosevelt died in 1919.

In 1922, his biographer, Christian F Reisner, wrote:

Religion was as natural to Mr. Roosevelt as breathing.

Years earlier, the president’s sister attested to her brother’s affirmation of Christianity, saying that the Bible was the first of the books chosen for his Smithsonian-sponsored trip to Africa.

Roosevelt, a member of the Oyster Bay branch of the family, spoke to the Long Island Bible Society in 1901. He said (emphases mine):

Every thinking man, when he thinks, realizes what a very large number of people tend to forget, that the teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally—I do not mean figuratively, I mean literally—impossible for us to figure to ourselves what that life would be if these teachings were removed. We would lose almost all the standards by which we now judge both public and private morals; all the standards toward which we, with more or less of resolution, strive to raise ourselves. Almost every man who has by his lifework added to the sum of human achievement of which the race is proud, has based his lifework largely upon the teachings of the BibleAmong the greatest men a disproportionately large number have been diligent and close students of the Bible at first hand.[305]

Truer words have not been spoken for some time.

May we heed that lesson, which is 118 years old.

Times change. Divine lessons do not.

Once upon a time, I knew a couple who attended Union Seminary in New York.

As it was a long time ago — so last century — and I was young then, I thought that all seminaries were theologically conservative.

How wrong I was.

This couple, although they conducted themselves conservatively in apparel and manners, were among the most left-wing people I’d ever met. She went to study Theology. He was going to become an ordained minister until he realised he could make bags of money in the private sector.

Someday, I will examine Union Seminary here in more detail.

For now, this is what they got up to on Tuesday, September 17, 2019.

This is not from The Onion or Babylon Bee. It’s from the seminary’s own Twitter feed.

Read it and weep:

Our Lord Himself warned against false teachers, yet, this is how Union Seminary justifies their pagan pseudo-pantheism:

I cannot help but wonder where that leaves their vegetarian and vegan students.

I hope the following is not in any seminary’s future:

The thread garnered excellent replies from the devout:

What about Jesus’s withering the barren fig tree?

Guess Jesus has some repenting to do regarding that fig tree.

It’s time to return to Holy Scripture, folks, before it is too late:

Yep, they will ask for redemption one day.

Pray it’s not too late:

The reply was in response to ‘a few potted plants from Home Depot’ rather than the sentiment.

There were other calls to repentance, such as this one:

Then someone recalled that Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a student at Union in 1930 and loathed it. A female cleric had a go at him:

Even a pagan thinks Union’s veggie worship is weird:

There were some funny plant-based puns, such as this:

But, ultimately, it comes down to this — a return to the Bible and its doctrine. Otherwise, these students and their professors could meet with a dreadful judgement from On High:

Pray not only for Union Seminary but for the countless others around the world that have turned to Gaia, rejecting Holy Scripture and Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and Advocate with the Father.

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