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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.

As March blew in like a lion and with coronavirus vaccines being distributed, the UK and the US began looking towards a post-pandemic future.

UK

On Monday, March 2, Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a statement and held a press conference later in the day to announce that schools would reopen on Monday, March 8.

He laid out what he calls a ‘roadmap’ for the next few months, with businesses reopening in stages from April through the summer.

It’s not worth detailing here, because this, as with everything else, is likely to be hijacked by SAGE scientists and psychologists.

Boris maintains that the Government, advised by SAGE, is relying on data not dates, yet, there are tentative dates associated with each stage, the next one being in early April.

Outside of school reopenings at this point, the rest is subject to change.

On the subject of schools, who could forget that schools in England opened the first Monday in January only to be closed by the end of that day? What a palaver!

Katherine Fletcher, one of the new Conservative MPs from 2019, representing the northern constituency of South Ribble, studied biology, qualified as a safari ranger in Africa, worked in banking and ran her own business before entering politics.

She opined on Budget Day, March 3, that her constituents were unhappy with the financial cost of lockdown. She also said they ‘get’ that they had to be locked down:

just because some bat in China got a nasty cough a couple of years ago.

This is Northern plain speaking at its best:

Also note the fairy lights at the top left of the video. Indoor fairy lights seem to be a post-Christmas lockdown trend. Bob Seely MP (Isle of Wight) has them, too.

She added (emphases mine):

this Government have done eye-wateringly massive things quickly to protect people, their families and their work from the consequences of bats and biology.

It is also honest to say that this help has cost us a fortune. This Conservative Government have been fair in protecting people when the awful things happened, but the sums of money required are—wow—massive. It is our money. When I say that it is costing us a fortune, I do mean “us”. It is not Government money or some nebulous concept; it is our money raised by our taxes on our hard work and our business innovation. At some point, we will have to pay this massive support backnot all in one go and not at any price. I commend the Chancellor’s honesty today in setting out two broad themes on how to keep us on an even keel with our money and the nation’s finances.

As individuals, we will have to push back some potential gains to future years, such as freezing salaries, paying a bit more tax, and asking the bigger businesses to contribute a bit more without making us as a country too different from our international peers in the G7. As the Government, we will have to continue to be careful about how we spend our money, but when we do spend money, we should spend it to invest. This statement shows that we will focus on areas that will help us grow our businesses and our communities. We are putting in place the foundations for a future economy to boing back, never mind bounce.

Today’s announcements of investments, super deductions and capital investment plans will boost business investment by enormous sums with world-leading measures. This Government are supporting people to invest to grow their business, creating good jobs across the country. Measures today such as the UK infrastructure bank in Leeds—it is the wrong side of the Pennines, but still amazing—and the levelling up fund will make the UK and Lancashire the best place in the world for innovative businesses to set up and grow. Freeports will help us get our goods to the world, and Help to Grow is brilliant. It will give everyone access to new skills and technologies and boost their businesses, no matter how small they are. I would have run with open arms to these measures when I was running my business.

On a personal note, the people of Leyland want me to thank the Chancellor hugely for the announcement today of the £25 million investment in our town …

That’s all for the UK this week.

United States

Two states — Texas and Mississippi — lifted their states’ mask mandates.

Alabama

It was thought that Alabama would join them, but on Thursday, March 4, Governor Kay Ivey said she would be extending it through April 9, then lift the order.

NBC reported:

Gov. Kay Ivey said the extension would give businesses time to implement their own policies and make any necessary adjustments before to the deadline.

The current order requires people to wear masks in public whenever they are within 6 feet of someone else from a different household. Face coverings are also required in schools and colleges for both employees and students in the second grade and above.

Once the order ends next month, masks will no longer be mandated.

“There’s no question that wearing masks has been one of my greatest tools in combatting the spread of the virus,” Ivey said at a news conference Thursday.

“And even when we lift the mask order, I will continue to wear my mask while I’m around others and strongly urge my fellow citizens to use common sense and do the same thing. But at that time, it will become a matter of personal responsibility and not a government mandate,” she added.

Ivey said the state had kept the mask order in place for a “generous amount of time.”

Texas

On Monday, March 2, Governor Greg Abbott announced that Texas was opening up, mask-free, effective Wednesday, March 10:

Here is his announcement:

The Texan has a more nuanced view of what the lifting of the state’s mandate means. It will be left to individual counties, businesses and health-oriented places to mandate mask wearing:

Abbott said that his executive order will allow county judges to impose other restrictions if COVID-19 hospitalizations rise above 15 percent in the state trauma service area that covers their county — though not with a penalty of jail time or fines with any mask mandates

businesses may still require employees and customers to wear face coverings and request law enforcement to remove violators for trespassing.

“Removing statewide mandates does not end personal responsibility or the importance of caring for your family members,” said Abbott. “Personal vigilance to follow the safe standards is still needed to contain [COVID-19]. It’s just that now state mandates are no longer needed.”

… According to the New York Times, Texas follows 12 other states that currently do not have mask mandates.

Mississippi

The lifting of Mississippi’s mask mandate and reopening of all businesses went into effect on Wednesday, March 3.

Governor Tate Reeves announced his reasons:

Absolutely!

Joe Biden: ‘Neanderthal thinking’

Readers will not be surprised that the three aforementioned governors are Republican.

Before Texas and Mississippi lifted their mandates, the CDC warned that restrictions should remain in place (more here):

On Wednesday, mask-happy Joe Biden accused the governors of ‘neanderthal thinking’:

Thankfully, Daily Wire reported what Biden said, as it is somewhat difficult to hear his words:

“I think it’s a big mistake. Look, I hope everybody has realized by now these masks make a difference,” Biden said. “We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way … we are able to get vaccines in people’s arms. We’ve been able to move that all the way up to the end of May to have enough for every adult American to get a shot.”

“The last thing, the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime everything is fine, take off your mask, forget it. It still matters,” he continued. “As of yesterday, we have lost 511,874 Americans. We’re going to lose thousands more.”

“We will not have everybody vaccinated until sometime in the summer. We have the vaccine to do it; getting a shot in someone’s arm and [giving] them a second shot,” he concluded. “It’s critical – critical, critical, critical – that they follow the science. Wash your hands, hot water, do it frequently. Wear a mask and stay socially distanced. And I know you all know that. I wish the heck, some of our elected officials knew it.”

The Gateway Pundit offered this take:

Biden criticized the governors for allowing people to work and feed their families as “Neanderthal thinking.”

Dementia Joe knows that Florida, Texas and Mississippi will expose the big lie that lockdowns and masks slow the spread of Covid.

True. We’ve already seen proof of that in South Dakota and Florida.

Tate Reeves wasted no time in responding.

Shortly after Biden made his announcement, Reeves tweeted:

Reeves credited President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed for his decision. He said that over 700,000 people in Mississippi, with a population of 2.97 million, have now had the vaccine. He told Neil Cavuto that the number of positive cases in the state has dropped dramatically over the past two months. He also asked, ‘If not now, then when?’

On Thursday, March 4, he told Fox News that Joe Biden should get out of Washington DC once in a while to travel to middle America. He said that Biden’s message of ‘Neanderthal thinking’ reminded him of Hillary Clinton’s ‘deplorables’:

Glad to see that these governors are sticking to their guns, especially Tate Reeves.

We have to learn to live with coronavirus, something I’ve maintained for nearly a year.

Last weekend, the summer chaos and unrest affecting Portland, Kenosha and Washington, DC spread to other cities.

Rochester

This city in upstate New York was disrupted by violence on Friday, September 4.

This was in retaliation for the death of a local man in March. Police were attempting to take him into custody.

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (via MSN) reported:

Daniel Prude died in March of asphyxiation after Rochester police officers trying to take him into protective custody pinned him to the ground while restraining him on March 23. The death has been ruled a homicide and is under investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office.

Video of that interaction was released Sept. 2 and has prompted daily protests by people outraged over it. The union representing the seven police officers in the video has said the cops were following protocols

A hostile march took place:

The article has photos of the mob disturbing outdoor diners who wanted a pleasant evening out:

Several thousand people marched down East Avenue from downtown, and turned right on Alexander Street before approaching restaurants with diners eating outside at around 9:35 p.m.

Video footage shows protesters crowding the landing at Swan Dive on Alexander Street. Some cleared tables of people eating outside, causing the diners to get up and leave. A chair was thrown toward the building and a number of protesters can be heard decrying that behavior.

Minutes later, members of the group crossed the street and entered an outdoor seating area at Ox and Stone, where several large groups of diners were seated. Chairs were overturned and glasses were shattered on the tables as protesters motioned for the dining groups to get up and leave.

Here’s a video, also included in the article:

Protesters also lit a fire:

The next day, a city councillor blamed Rochester Police for the violence (hmm):

Earlier on Friday, it appears as if people were filling jerrycans with petrol then hiding them in rucksacks.

This photo was taken at the same petrol station:

Protests continued the following night:

Louisville, Kentucky

Because of coronavirus, the Kentucky Derby, which takes place at Churchill Downs, was postponed to Saturday, September 5.

Spectators could not attend this year, but one group, not interested in horse racing, showed up across the street:

Interesting. In the UK, walking around in paramilitary uniforms is illegal, although the police ignored one group in London dressed that way this summer.

Their spokesman gave the group’s grievances to the police guarding Churchill Downs. Afterwards, they left:

Dallas, Texas

On Saturday, ex-Democrat Brandon Straka, a hairdresser from New York City, held a rally in Dallas.

Straka founded the #WalkAway movement to encourage Democrats to leave their party in support President Trump. #WalkAway has been growing by leaps and bounds in the past year:

Unfortunately, a BLM protester assaulted #WalkAway’s security guard. Police arrested the security guard!

Afterwards, Brandon and his organisers were en route to the police station when they were set upon by violent protesters. Note that the protesters are supposed to be gay-friendly and feminists. Therefore, does #WalkAway have the ‘wrong kind’ of gays and women because they support Trump?

Fortunately, this sad episode seems to have had a just ending:

I was struck by the sentence (two tweets above) saying that all the Dallas news stations were there when protesters were chasing Brandon and his team.

How does that happen?

This article, ‘Reality Hacking Caught By Patriots — The GuginoGate Timeline’, explains. It tells the story of how a 75-year-old activist, Michael Gugino, had a confrontation with police in Buffalo, New York, on June 4 this year.

Interestingly, an NPR reporter was also there at the scene. The article has a photo of both men talking to each other before the confrontation.

The media reported that the man was trying to shake the hands of the policemen, but a closer view shows him with a mobile phone in his hand. It looks as if he was filming their weapons, a definite no-no:

Most of the media outlets covering the story said that police knocked an innocent, elderly man to the ground for no reason.

However, the New York Post ran an article saying that, according to Buffalo’s mayor, the man was disobeying requests from the police to leave the area.

In any event, he was rushed to hospital:

But I digress. I only meant to illustrate that media must be getting tip-offs on where to be and when.

—————————————————

OAN has a two-part series by Jack Posobiec on what might happen as the presidential campaign season progresses. I haven’t seen it, but this is the trailer:

As for Portland, Oregon, here is more information on the shooter, whom the Feds shot fatally in Washington State last week:

Team Trump have put out a new advert:

On a much brighter note, I’ll close with the Trump flotillas:

MAGA!

Heartfelt thanks to all the many ex-Democrats who now intend to vote for President Trump. They are always welcome aboard the Trump Train.

There is a possibility that we will not have a vaccine for COVID-19.

It’s disappearing too quickly:

For those who have co-morbidities, a case of COVID-19 may prove fatal or leave lasting physical damage, especially to the lungs.

While coronavirus cannot be dismissed outright as not being serious, Texas statistics show that there have been far fewer COVID-19 deaths in the state than there have been from influenza. A physician, Dr Andrew Bostom, put together death figures for the two:

COVID-19 also does not affect children as much as flu or pneumonia:

This is why the Trump administration — as is the UK government — is encouraging the reopening of schools this autumn:

I understand the fear about the possibility of children carrying coronavirus home with them from public transport or an adult in the school.

In England, we had only one school closure since lockdown began. The children of essential workers and those who were under supervision by social workers were allowed to continue going to school. On June 1, all English children were strongly encouraged to return to school to finish term, which ended in July.

Here is the school near Bristol that closed in the middle of May:

The BBC reported that the school, for pupils with special needs, did not have measures in place making it COVID-19 safe. As a result, two teachers contracted the virus.

The closure was temporary, and everyone was tested for the virus.

Therefore, it is better to reopen schools than to keep them closed. The damage done in terms of falling behind academically can be hard to reverse. Children are also much safer in school than at home, especially when home is a dysfunctional environment.

On Friday, I posted about bogus coronavirus test results in Florida.

Now spurious test results are showing up in Texas:

On July 16, 2020, the Washington Examiner reported (emphases mine):

“probable” cases for people who were never tested were counted as confirmed.

“Since we report confirmed cases on our dashboard, we have removed 3,484 previously reported probable cases from the statewide and Bexar County totals,” Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the state health agency, said to the Austin American-Statesman.

In May, Dr Deborah Birx, who appeared with President Trump and Dr Anthony Fauci in America’s coronavirus briefings, ‘suggested’ that:

the actual number of coronavirus cases could be inflated by as much as 25% …

Steve Eagar, news anchor for Fox 4 in Dallas posted a Twitter thread about the discrepancies in Texas:

I’m glad this is seeing the light of day.

When you start putting together the various pieces of the coronavirus crisis puzzle, little makes sense.

These replies to Steve Eagar’s tweets illustrate the strangeness of this ‘crisis’:

Moving on to California, which is under a new lockdown encompassing most of the state, here are a few insights:

With regard to California’s state schools, it appears as if funding will be withdrawn if schools continue to stay open. The autumn term does not sound promising. This article has a screenshot of a comment from an anonymous Orange County school board member, who says, in part:

… based on the actions of the Governor, we are FORCED to do distance learning for the first semester, I fear he will try to push to the end of the calendar year. If we simply ignore, we have been told our funds will be cut … 

The article concludes with this observation, another illustration of the madness surrounding this ‘crisis’:

Got it? Gavin Newsom – release felons, make it impossible to protect yourself, shut Churches and School down completely.

Thanks to SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts who tried to split the baby refusing to assert the rights of Churches to operate – his cowardice is enabling people like Gavin Newsom to run amok. The other four Liberals we expected to rule against religious and academic freedom.

Meantime? Gavin’s kids get to go to school.

That’s because they attend a private country day school.

The stench surrounding coronavirus reeks more every day.

If you live in the United States, there’s only one solution: move to South Dakota. They had no lockdown, no masks and few coronavirus deaths:

Do I need to add that Kristi Noem is Republican?

I intend to return to my reviews of Cannes restaurants.

However, so many strange news stories have appeared that it is worth taking note of a few.

Apple bans LifeSite News

Today, I happened across this tweet:

On July 31, LifeSite News reported:

A little over one week ago, Apple approved LifeSiteNews’ application to publish our news on their Apple News platform.

Today, without warning, Apple News abruptly reversed course, telling LifeSite that they had deleted our channel and all of our content from their platform.

Apple claimed that LifeSite’s channel “didn’t comply with our Apple News guidelines.” Specifically, they stated that LifeSite’s “[c]hannel content shows intolerance towards a specific group.”

Planned Parenthood, perhaps?

Apple would not say:

“We don’t yet know the reason for Apple’s decision to delete our channel,” said LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief John-Henry Westen. “However, at a time when there is growing evidence that tech juggernauts are engaging in concerted censorship against even mainstream conservative viewpoints, Apple’s decision – made unilaterally, and without opportunity to appeal – is frightening.”

“It goes without saying that LifeSite would never promote intolerance or hatred against any group,” Westen continued. “However, in our current divisive political climate, even mild expressions of common conservative viewpoints are often written off as de facto hatred and intolerance. We certainly hope that this is not what Apple is doing. However, we urge our readers to contact Apple, and to respectfully demand that they reinstate LifeSite’s channel.”

Anyone who would like to support LifeSite in being reinstated can sign their petition.

LifeSite first applied to be listed on Apple News in November 2018. It took six months before they were accepted. Now they have been denied.

This is pure censorship.

Think of it this way:

El Paso shooting

Speaking of guns, Karl ‘Market Ticker’ Denninger has an excellent essay on the El Paso shooting, which took place on Saturday, August 3, 2019.

‘On El Paso’ is worth reading in full. Denninger makes salient points about the American shootings that cause the most outrage — and which are most easily cleared up.

Inner-city shooting cases rarely get solved (emphases in the original):

The clearance rate (that is, the odds of getting arrested if you shoot someone) in Chicago is 9%.  In Atlanta, 12%.  In almost every other major city (Baltimore anyone?), it’s roughly the same.  Yeah, if you go insane and start shooting people in a WallyWorld en-masse you’re either going to jail and will get the needle or will just get shot where you stand.

But if you shoot people one at a time you have a ten percent chance of getting caught; 9 out of 10 times you get away with it.  I know people who were close with someone who got shot, the dead person was not a gang member or otherwise engaged in activity that typically gets you shot (he was an ordinary businessmanand the perpetrator has not been identified or arrested a full year later.

That is not uncommon.  In fact it’s not only common it’s a 90% probability if you get plugged in a major city right here, right now.

He says that is why law-abiding Americans need guns:

If that doesn’t force your pea-sized brain awake long enough to realize that the cops are worthless in solving crimes and their best, highest and only calling is to zip your ass into a black bag and haul it away after you get killed then you are too stupid to deserve to be able to reproduce.  There is only one way to stop that sort of crap and that is for you to stop it, personally, if someone intends to whack you or someone you love.  To do that, especially if you’re not a 20 year old body-builder male, you’re going to need the only equalizing force ever invented by mankind and you better know how to use it too.

It’s called a gun.

Yet, as he points out, the small town or suburban mass shootings generate all the leftist outrage.

Of course, their cry is always for gun control. However, Denninger explains why gun control will not work:

… cut the crap on the “gun control” nonsense.  Just over the border, a few miles away, there are more guns than you can shake a stick at — everyone of them unregistered in America because they’re in Mexico.  Juarez is an insanely violent area, and it’s right there.  You want a gun and can’t pass a background check here, get it there.  93% of crimes go unreported in Juarez.  Without a real wall and enforceable border, what’s to stop you from bringing that gun here?  Hell, the Mexican you buy it from might have gotten it courtesy of Eric Holder, our former AG, who has never been held to account for running many guns into Mexico!

Every Demonscat on the planet has jumped on this demanding “more gun control” without even waiting for the bodies to reach room temperature.  Yeah, right.  You can blow me, lefties.  Your fantasy-land nonsense would prevent nothing.  Go look in Mexico; there is exactly one legal gun store in the entire country and it takes months to get paperwork processed to buy one.  Possession of even one firearm or one round of ammunition is good for a five year prison sentence there.

That does exactly zippo to prevent all those who want to murder from acquiring and using them in Juarez.

Since it is proved that just a few miles south the most-restrictive gun laws imaginable do exactly nothing to prevent hundreds of murders every year in that city alone no, I will not consent to any further infringement of the 2nd Amendment. 

Ben Carson’s visit to Baltimore

Dr Ben Carson, who heads HUD, visited Baltimore last week.

Karl Denninger wrote another great piece, ‘How Come Nobody Is Quoting Carson?’

Although the highly-experienced brain surgeon did not implore the city’s underprivileged youths to stop shooting each other, he did offer — unreported — advice on how to get ahead in life:

What did he say as the solution to poverty (which NPR did not report, as you can see)?

1. Finish High School.

2. Get married.

3. Don’t have children until you have accomplished #2.

Now does this somehow deal with the Federal Government impoverishing people by running fiscal deficits?  No.  But at a micro level — that is, individual people, not macro policy — he’s right.

Absolutely, but because this is a middle class way of living, this will get ignored.

That said, who would know best about those points? Ben Carson himself. The good doctor was raised by a single mother. He almost went to the dark side as a youth, then found religion and did his best to not only graduate from high school but also to go on to university and medical school — to become a brain surgeon, no less.

Denninger expands on the good doctor’s points:

… for the ordinary, average person they mean a lot.  And by the way, remember this rule that I drilled into my daughter:

“1 + 1 can be more than 2.  That’s the only real magic you will ever find in the world, but it is real, provided you choose wisely.  However, 1 – 1 is always 0 and can, if you choose poorly, be worse than that; it can be negative.”

One of the problems with this advice in today’s world is that there are an awful lot of zeros or worse walking around — of both sexes.  And by the way, almost without exception every one of those Hollywood “stars” or pro sports players in any league, ever, are all less than zeros in every respect except for being rich and if you emulate them without being rich first you will be destroyed.

He and Dr Carson are 110% correct.

Please share this advice with your children, if you haven’t already.

Cloud computing and Capital One

This year, a former Amazon.com employee hacked into Capital One Financial Corp. customer data that Amazon.com was storing on its cloud services.

On July 29, Bloomberg reported:

While the complaint doesn’t identify the cloud provider that stored the allegedly stolen data, the charging papers mention information stored in S3, a reference to Simple Storage Service, Amazon Web Services’ popular data storage software.

An AWS spokesman confirmed that the company’s cloud had stored the Capital One data that was stolen, and said it wasn’t accessed through a breach or vulnerability in AWS systems. Prosecutors alleged that the access to the bank data came through a misconfigured firewall protecting one of its applications.

Paige A. Thompson was arrested Monday and appeared in federal court in Seattle. The data theft occurred some time between March 12 and July 17, U.S. prosecutors in Seattle said.

Karl Denninger posted a hard-hitting article about this. Don’t miss ‘I TOLD YOU SO: “CLOUD” IS INSECURE’.

You bet it is. Yet, we have friends who store their personal — including financial — data on the cloud! No!

Denninger explains:

There you have it.  The bank had data that was highly confidential and let another company with thousands of people who could access it, none of whom the bank knew by name or could vet, have said data by intentionally putting it on that other firm’s computer systems in the name of “cloud computing.”

One of those people did allegedly access and steal it.  It doesn’t matter how they did so; the fact that the data was there provided the “honeypot” and a large base of people who knew it was there instead of said data being on your own corporate infrastructure behind access controls that you, and only you, are responsible for.

Gee, how dumb are you?

How many times have I pointed this out?  Dozens

Once you use a “cloud provider” it’s not your data anymore despite your claims otherwise.  The data is, in fact, accessible by anyone who has administrative access at the cloud company and they don’t work for you nor can you vet them.  Further, those people working there now know the data is there which gives them a big fat “target list” to take a crack at.  Those people with that knowledge and at least some expertise in getting in, including perhaps even direct credentialed access through ordinary administrative procedures number in the thousands at large firms like Amazon or Microsoft if not tens of thousands and you not only can you as the “customer” not vet them you have no idea who the hell they are.  Some of them probably aren’t even American citizens! H1b (not this time, but you can bet in general) for the win!

[[Update 7/30 6:50 AM: It appears that the person who did the “hacking” not only was employed by Spamazon the individual claims to be here in the US illegally.  So how’d they get the job?  Spamazon, for its part, disclaims responsibility and says “it wasn’t hacked.”  Disclaim whatever you want Amazon; the fact is the data was on your box and was stolen by what appears to be an ex Amazon employee.  Such a wonderful job of vetting you do eh, never mind all the SJW/insanity connections allegedly present with this individual too.]]

Congratulations Capital Zero, 100 million records stolen because you were ****ing stupid and put saving a buck in front of data security.  This should be treated by banking regulators as criminal negligence; ditto for any other firm that has its data stolen after employing such a “cloud” environment where there was any expectation of privacy or protection of said data.

This is why you don’t use cloud computing for anything you give a crap about and has to be kept secure …

Yes, yes and yes!

You can read more about the hacker and see photos at the Daily Mail. Definitely worth viewing.

If you think you cannot provide enough resilience on your home computer, think again. This is what one of Denninger’s readers says (emphases mine):

I can buy multi-terabyte drives for a couple of hundred bucks (obviously price varies as a function of quality, intended use, etc.) just about anywhere. For a thousand bucks I can set up a pretty-near foolproof, multi-terabyte, automated RAID system with access times for any computer on my own network that have gotta be less than up- and downloading from the cloud.

Where exactly is the alleged cost savings for anyone to store any data “in the cloud”?

Spot on. If you cannot build it yourself, hire an expert.

———————-

And thus concludes my news in brief.

You couldn’t make it up.

On Thursday, December 27, the good Lord took Richard Arvin Overton, America’s oldest veteran and living male, to his heavenly rest.

Mr Overton was 112 years old and died of pneumonia-related complications.

A God-fearing churchgoer, he was of the old school in his daily habit of smoking Tampa Sweet cigars — up to 12 — and enjoying whisky. He was still driving a car at the age of 109.

This intriguing video shows us more about this good man, who served his country during the Second World War:

Black History Heroes honoured him on Veterans Day this year:

Prior to that, Richard Overton, a lifelong Texan, received other public honours, as Wikipedia tells us:

Overton gained media attention during the 2013 Memorial Day weekend when he told Fox News he would spend his Memorial Day “smoking cigars and drinking whiskey-stiffened coffee.”[11] On that same Memorial Day, Overton met with Texas Governor Rick Perry. Overton was also invited to the White House where he met with President Barack Obama, and to the Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, where he was singled out by name for praise by the President.[5][12][13]

During an NBA game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies on March 24, 2017, Overton was honored during a half-time break.[14]

Overton is the subject of a 2016 documentary, Mr. Overton, in which he is interviewed about his daily routine, thoughts on his longevity, and his military service.[15][16] On May 3, 2016, he became the oldest surviving American veteran after the death of Frank Levingston.[17][18][19]

On his 111th birthday, the University of Texas club feted him with a luncheon. Biography reports that he said:

111, that’s pretty old, ain’t it. I can still get around, I can still talk, I can still see, I can still walk.

His home city of Austin — the Texas state capital — even officially designated his birthday as Richard Overton Day. How cool is that?

Richard Overton was born to Gentry Overton, Sr. and Elizabeth Franklin Overton Waters on May 11, 1906, in Bastrop County, Texas. He was a great grandson of John Overton Jr., whose father served as a political adviser to President Andrew Jackson.

Wikipedia provides us with details about his tour of duty during the Second World War:

Overton enlisted into the U.S. military on September 3, 1940 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.[8]

He served in the South Pacific from 1940 through 1945, including stops in Hawaii, Guam, Palau and Iwo Jima. He left the U.S. Army in October 1945 as a technician fifth grade.[9]

He earned several service medals, including the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the US Army Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.

After the war ended, Overton worked in furniture shops before taking on a position with the Texas Department of the Treasury, as it was known at the time.

He married twice and had no children.

In 2016, his relatives launched a GoFundMe campaign so that he could continue to live in his own home rather than go to an assisted living facility. The GoFundMe campaign was wildly successful and raised more than $200,000 as of 2017. Biography says that Home Depot and Meals on Wheels also made their own donations. Ultimately, Richard Overton was able to have his house refit to accommodate his changing health circumstances and enable round the clock care at home.

Biography tells us that, when asked if he had any secrets to a long life:

Overton simply replied that he has none. “I don’t have a secret,” he told People. I am here because the man upstairs wants me to be here… He put me here, and he decides when it’s my time to go.”

Well said!

His funeral will take place in Austin on January 12, 2019; KXAN has details. His house could well be turned into a museum — his dying wish.

Richard Overton honoured God, his country, his family and his fellow citizens.

One cannot say better than this …

… other than to add: may he rest in peace.

Sal from New Media Central recently tweeted about the Democrats’ hypocrisy on elections, noting their persistent attacks about Russian collusion in the 2016 election and their push to get non-citizens registered to vote in the US:

It makes no sense until we consider one thing.

Democrats need non-citizens’ votes.

This was an issue long before 2016. You can find out by doing an online search with these words: Democrat says we need non-citizens to vote.

Pennsylvania

GOPUSA, representing the Republican Party, posted an eye-opening article about Pennsylvania from the Washington Times, dated July 13, 2018 (emphases mine):

Abdel showed up at his local Pennsylvania motor vehicle office to take his driver’s license test — and walked out having registered to vote, even though he is not a citizen.

He said his command of English isn’t good and the computer system was unclear, but he somehow managed to sign up even though he knew he shouldn’t.

Then there was Angelo, who figured he could vote because he joined the U.S. military, even though he wasn’t a citizen. He, too, signed up at the Pennsylvania motor vehicle bureau and registered as a Democrat. He then voted nearly every year from 2001 through 2014.

He finally wrote to Allegheny County asking to be stricken from the rolls, saying he had been ineligible all along.

Angelo and Abdel are some of the more than 130 people the county has nixed from its voter lists in recent years after discovering they weren’t U.S. citizens and should never have been allowed to register, much less vote, according to a report being released Thursday from the Public Interest Legal Foundation.

Non-citizens applying for US citizenship often walk back their previous voter registration:

only when they did try to seek citizenship or some other immigration benefit — and learned that illegal registration or voting, both felonies, could be hurdles for their applications.

Voter registration at the motor vehicle office started at the federal level — i.e. across the US — in 1993, during Bill Clinton’s presidency:

Under the 1993 federal “motor voter” law, people who show up to renew licenses or transact other business at motor vehicle bureaus are supposed to be asked if they want to register to vote. The form relies on the honor system for people to swear they are citizens.

The goal of the law was to boost election participation — but it also muddied voting lists.

Indeed.

Texas

Not every state with illegal voters wants to strike them from the rolls.

On June 7, GOPUSA reported on Houston’s rolls. Houston is a Democrat city:

Ann Harris Bennett, registrar for Harris County in Texas, is battling to keep secret the names of non-citizens who signed up to vote and, in some cases, may have even cast ballots. In a federal court filing last week she said people can be removed for other reasons, but there is no requirement she erase names of people even after they tell her they aren’t citizens.

“Once a person is officially registered to vote, a state may only remove them from the voting list if: the person dies, changes residence, asks to be removed from the list, or becomes ineligible under state law because of criminal conviction or mental incapacity,” Ms. Bennett said in court papers. The National Voter Registration Act “does not create any obligation for a state to conduct a list maintenance program to remove the names of voters who may be ineligible due to lack of citizenship.”

Maryland

In 2013, Think Progress posted an article, ‘Why You Have Nothing to Fear From Non-Citizen Voting’, which concerned an election in Takoma Park, Maryland:

Non-citizens may soon be voting in our nation’s biggest city — at least in local elections — and that’s got voter suppression groups like the Election Law Center sounding the alarm. Don’t listen to them.

As New York City considers whether to expand the franchise to non-citizens, it’s instructive to look at the experience other municipalities, like Takoma Park, Maryland, have had with non-citizen voting.

ThinkProgress spoke with two experts on non-citizen voting: Montgomery County (MD) Council member George Leventhal and Maryland State Sen. Jamie Raskin (D). Both individuals helped initiate Takoma Park’s non-citizen voting policy in 1991.

The city-wide referendum was approved, putting the non-citizen voting policy into place in 1992. The referendum passed because of redistricting. Many non-citizens resided within the redrawn district boundaries.

Regardless, it isn’t right, even if it’s only in local elections and even if non-citizen voting numbers continue to be low.

California

The latest city to adopt non-citizen voting is San Francisco, after three goes at a referendum. Keep voting on the same thing and the Noes will turn into Yesses.

As in Takoma Park, Maryland, this measure is only for local elections — school board, in this instance — but how many ineligible voters are also voting nationally?

Conclusion

I don’t have a solution to illegal voting, other than Pennsylvania’s example of purging electoral rolls of ineligible voters.

Many Americans clamour for voter ID.

That won’t work, either. Who, in a corrupt district, is going to check voter ID? No one.

P.S. – population count and political influence

There is another dimension to the Democrats’ love of illegal aliens, which is to increase population not only for Congressional representation but also Electoral College votes:

This is what Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Alabama) said:

We’re probably in the neighborhood of about 15 million illegal aliens in America now. 15 million comes out to roughly 20 congressional seats and 20 electoral college votes. Each congressional seat has roughly 700,000 to 800,000 people in it. [Emphasis added]

So, if you count illegal aliens in the Census for the purposes of distributing political power, that’s the number of congressmen per state or … the number of electoral college votes per state, you’re talking about … 20 electoral college votes and congressmen that are taken from states that follow our laws, that help our border patrol agents, and help our ICE agents … shifting those 20 congressional seats and 20 electoral college seats to states like California that have large numbers of illegal aliens in them. [Emphasis added]

I personally believe that’s wrong, on a policy level, but I also believe it violates the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution because it dilutes the voting power of citizens who live in states that don’t harbor an enormous number of illegal aliens. [Emphasis added]

—————————————————————————————–

P.P.S. — On a lighter note, here’s another great tweet from Sal:

The video is excellent — please watch his float go by!

As I wrote yesterday, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania spent part of Saturday, September 2, 2017 in Texas, meeting with officials but, more importantly, talking with Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Yesterday’s post has a news update.

Today’s post has photos and videos. Trump definitely made more friends in Texas with that trip.

This image comes courtesy of The_Donald from someone who saw it on a left-wing Houston website:

This is how the day went.

First, the media kerfuffle over the First Lady’s footwear showed no signs of abating. A particularly scathing — and inaccurate — article appeared on Yahoo, ‘Melania Trump wears $1,590 dress and stilettos (again!) for second trip to Houston’:

On her first visit to Houston after the hurricane, the first lady took a lot of flak on the internet and elsewhere in the media for her shoes. Although she tried to pull together a utilitarian look for the occasion, her stilettos threw people off.

False. The Trumps did not go to Houston last week. They went to Corpus Christi and Austin. Houston was too waterlogged and emergency crews too busy.

The New York Post described Saturday’s stilettos:

Defying the fashion scolds who expressed horror at her footwear earlier in the week, Melania Trump chose a pair of snakeskin Manolo Blahnik pumps for her stroll to Air Force One Saturday as she headed once again toward the Hurricane Harvey disaster zone.

Trump Organization employee Lynne Patton, who also made a video last year about her family’s long association with Trump, tweeted:

Speaking of footwear, here’s an irresistible digression:

It wasn’t just Mrs Trump’s shoes that freaked out the media. They also had a go at her for wearing sunglasses on a cloudy day in Washington, or as the press pool put it, ‘dark’. Well, it was sunny down South.

She took two caps with her: one for Texas and one for Louisiana, which had an appliqué of the state on the front.

Mrs Trump’s office provided this statement afterward, which details where the First Couple went and who they saw:

Then the Trumps, Dr Ben Carson (Secretary for Housing and Urban Development) and Betsy DeVos (Secretary for Education) left from Joint Base Andrews and arrived in Houston later that morning. They flew in to Ellington Field, Texas (another video here) and went from there to the NRG Stadium, one of the big shelters for Harvey victims. This video shows what the residential area looks like (25 seconds in).

At NRG Stadium, the Trumps made many new friends. There were lots of selfies. The children particularly gravitated towards the president. I bet it killed CNN to cover this:

(By nightfall, CNN’s — and MSNBC’s — coverage returned to Russian collusion, with no further mention of the Texas-Louisiana trip.)

This was in the play area of the stadium’s shelter. CBSN’s video has a bit more footage than CNN’s of the kids when the Trumps entered. They can’t get to him quickly enough! You can also see Governor Abbott with a little girl on his lap. He’s giving her a ride in his wheelchair:

First Lady Melania has young admirers, too:

The Trumps handed out hot dog and potato chip lunches to grateful Houstonians. (Vegetarian options are unpopular in the city.)

Before doing so, Trump answered a few questions from the media. This is important, because he told the media, ‘Have a good time, everybody’, not the hurricane victims (25-second mark):

The president revived a joke from the Republican primary season in 2016 about the size of his hands:

Look at all the men. They can hardly wait to shake Trump’s hand, talk to him and get a selfie. More from CNN (no doubt fuming):

This video shows more of Trump’s new fans. Skip to the five-minute mark. More conversations, more selfies:

At the beginning of this video, Trump sat and spoke to a little lad enthralled by a camera:

Governor Abbott was also delighted to be able to meet with so many people:

Trump was asked to autograph the wall in the rescue centre before he left. He duly obliged.

The Trumps then went to Pearland (pron. ‘Pear-land’), where they helped distribute supplies in a drive-through operation at the First Church of Pearland. Admittedly, Trump tells the first man — but only him — ‘Have a good time!’ As the man’s wife (?) was busy filming the president, it could be they are not suffering immense loss but needed interim emergency supplies. Note that Trump loads the vehicles himself:

This next video is touching. A lady tells Trump she prays for him every day. Note how she keeps her hand on his arm:

A young woman wrote into The_Donald to say that the lady is her great aunt:

My great-aunt got to meet President Trump and he helped load her car with supplies. She says he was one of the most compassionate people she ever met!

The president also thanked the church’s volunteers and reminded them that he officially proclaimed Sunday, September 3 as a national day of prayer (another version featuring huge cheers is here). Senator Ted Cruz, Trump’s last Republican rival last year, stands on the right:

Afterwards, the Trumps went to meet with residents of a neighbourhood impacted by Harvey, which is in the first minute of the video below. Trump spoke with them for several minutes to listen to their experiences:

The Trumps also took time for a photo opportunity. Incidentally, the shirt the man is wearing below came from Infowars in a limited run post-election:

I’m not sure whether this next video was filmed at the beginning or the end of the Texas visit, but the first couple also spent time with the US Coast Guard:

The Trumps then flew to Louisiana, where they were welcomed by Governor and Mrs John Bel Edwards (another copy of the video is here):

They went to the National Guard Armory in Lake Charles to thank the military, first-responders and Cajun Navy for their efforts in helping people affected by flooding there once Harvey turned into a tropical storm. They also received a briefing on progress thus far.

Here they are arriving at the armoury. You’d think film or pop stars were inside the vehicle. I’ve never heard a crowd cheer a president and first lady so loudly and enthusiastically:

In Lake Charles, the First Lady got support for her footwear:

This short video has various clips of the crowd and Trump speaking to various people involved in the relief effort:

The next video shows Trump met people and shook hands until the last moment before returning to Washington:

Ultimately:

These are some of the best photos ever. As soon as the woman in the pink shirt saw Trump, she screamed, ‘Dooonaald!’ and grabbed his arm, which she held onto. Everyone who met the Trumps showed incredible enthusiasm, which I hope will translate into electoral support when the time comes.

While she was taking the selfie, she said, ‘I just met my President!’:

Here’s the selfie. In my humble estimation, it’s the photo of the year. This cannot be scripted:

Brief interview:

The Left — Dems included — won’t like that one bit. Those ladies are far from alone.

You can see more photos from the day at The Conservative Treehouse, the Daily Mail and BT.com.

One week after Hurricane Harvey, and President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania were finally able to visit Houston and other affected cities nearby.

Many Americans online have been saying they have never seen a president and first lady so involved in helping their fellow citizens in person. Accompanying the Trumps were Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr Ben Carson and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Last week, Trump pledged $1m of his own money to the relief effort.

He has sent a letter to Congress requesting $7.85 bn be allocated to relief. Congress will vote on the funding this week.

Although flood water is receding in places, tens of thousands of Texans are in grave difficulty.

As of Thursday, August 31, 2017, more than 10,000 people were staying in relief centres in Houston.

The Texas Tribune interviewed Houstonians seeking shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Between 6,500 and 8,000 people are staying there indefinitely. Ten thousand had been there at the height of the storm. One enterprising woman has found a job at the convention centre as a cleaner. Others are contemplating starting from scratch:

Haley Gray and her family arrived at the Houston convention center early this week after their Channelview home flooded.

“It was almost like a river,” she said.

She and her sister’s seven children were rescued by a helicopter and have been at the shelter for four days. On Thursday, they were relocating to a hotel. From there, they’ll begin to figure out what to do next. Gray is on disability and helps take care of her sister’s kids, ages 1 to 11. The family’s car was likely totaled in the flood. Most of their belongings were ruined. Like many, they must now chart a new life with few resources and a cloud of uncertainty hanging over their heads.

“I don’t think we’re going to be able to go back because it’s pretty bad,” she said as her nieces and nephews crowded around her.

On Saturday, September 2, the city’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, ordered a mandatory evacuation of 300 people who are still in their homes in flooded areas in West Houston. Some of the homes in this area were flooded when water from the Addicks and Barker-Cypress reservoirs had to be released last week.

The convention centre is one of seven large shelters run jointly by the city, Harris County and the Red Cross. Around 20 other smaller shelters are also open, however, officials would like to have residents transfer to NRG Stadium, southwest of downtown. The Trumps visited the stadium on Saturday.

Mayor Turner met with President Trump on Saturday and was one of his hosts in Houston along with Governor Greg Abbott. Turner called his meeting with Trump ‘productive’:

At NRG Stadium, the Trumps toured the facility and helped serve a hot dog and potato chip lunch. They also spent time talking with dozens of people, including children. Pictures and videos coming tomorrow.

After leaving Houston, the Trumps, Carson and DeVos went to Pearland (pron. ‘Pear-land’), where they helped distribute supplies to people driving up to the First Church of Pearland. Many people expressed their thanks to Trump, who spent time talking with some of the drivers before loading their vehicles.

The group left Texas to fly to Louisiana, where they spent time in Lake Charles, hosted by Governor John Bel Edwards and his wife.

Trump took a political risk with this trip. Last week, Turner, a Democrat, made no acknowledgement of Trump’s $1m donation and his Twitter feed expressed pessimism about federal money. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Houston) was among those at the airport to see Trump off. Neither is a Trump ally, even after his visit. And, there seems to be some negativity from the two Democrats towards the Republican governor, Abbott. Another Republican there was Trump’s primary rival from 2016, Senator Ted Cruz. Louisiana’s governor, John Bel Edwards, is a Democrat, but, fortunately, he has no complaints about Trump’s handling of Harvey efforts so far.

Elsewhere outside of Houston, some residents are without power. The Daily Caller reported:

Beaumont, a city of roughly 120,000 residents, is still without clean water or power, according to a CNN report. And the Associated Press reported Saturday that seven toxic waste sites in and around Houston have flooded.

The Guardian reported:

The scale of the disaster loomed clearer on Friday as rescuers worked their way through the 300-mile swath of south-east Texas drenched by Harvey. Some communities remained submerged; others lacked water and power. Texas officials estimate more than 185,000 homes were damaged and 9,000 destroyed. The Red Cross said 42,000 people were in shelters. At least 45 people have died.

Helping state and federal teams are groups of volunteers, including the Texas Navy and the Cajun Navy. Cajun Relief has a good article explaining how they know where to go:

The Texas Navy and Cajun Navy are fully controlled and dispatched by this organic army of tech and creative volunteers sitting behind their computers and working around the clock by organizing into shifts. If you’ve ever listened in on their Zello channel at 2am, you’ve heard one of the shifts dispatching boaters.

Here is how the whole system works.

First you need to have person to rescue. These requests come to the volunteers from their Zello app channel, called the Texas Navy. They also come by the hundreds as Inbox request sent to them from victims needing rescue through the Texas Navy Facebook page. Each request is entered into a database by one of the support team members and then vetted by another. Each of these team members are sitting in their own homes, which can be states and even countries apart. Once the need has been confirmed the dispatch team, some of them sitting in coffee shops possibly near you, advise boaters where to perform rescues.

Along with directing the boaters to perform a rescue, the citizen team also tracks where the water will be moving so they can pre-stage the boaters ahead of time. The boaters may get the glory but without the enormous efforts of citizens sitting behind their computers and using social media and technology to direct them many more thousands of lives would have been lost because boaters wouldn’t know where to go.

These dispatchers, researchers, messengers, managers and coordinators have never met, but by using technology and learning to work together they’ve had an enormous impact by saving flood victims lives.

You can see photos of the dispatchers following the article. What a diverse group of people who live all over the United States, from screenwriters to school bus drivers to small business owners.

The Texas Baptist Men and their female volunteers are busy, too. They have a mobile shower facility, which is a great idea. There are separate cubicles for men and women. The volunteers also supply fresh towels — and, afterwards, copies of the Bible:

So many unsung heroes are working around the clock, such as the owner of the Trump Truck:

So many people are getting the immediate help they need to survive. There is very little crime right now, largely because Texans won’t hesitate to shoot when necessary and, in Houston, because of Turner’s midnight curfew for everyone. It is still in effect.

Trump could well be right when he says that a lot will get done in the next six months thanks to such a positive spirit in the midst of disaster.

Videos and tweets coming tomorrow.

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