What, you think your god will protect you from getting covid-19?

Reports have emerged of a wedding held in the ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jewish community of New York City where thousands of people were crammed together indoors and tried to keep this violation of safety protocols secret from the authorities.

New York City officials on Monday announced that they would fine the organizers of a Hasidic Jewish wedding that was attended by thousands of people earlier this month, calling it reckless and accusing organizers of concealing it from authorities.

The New York Times reported that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said that those who planned the wedding took active steps to ensure that the thousands of participants would not reveal news of the wedding to city authorities.
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There is no fool like a rich fool

Many people have jumped on the Trump election fraud bandwagon to persuade people that they have a shot at overturning the election results in the courts provided people contribute enough money to finance the lawsuits. Some very wealthy people have taken the pitch and only later realized that they had got suckered.

Fred Eshelman, a North Carolina-based money manager and True the Vote donor, is suing True the Vote for $2.5 million for failing to show evidence of voter fraud this election year and not keeping him up-to-date on its efforts.

Newsweek’s Darragh Roche reports that Eshelman, who founded the company Eshelman Ventures LLC, “now wants his money back because True the Vote did not provide him with information about their progress and he believes they can’t achieve what they claimed.”

True the Vote called its efforts to challenge the 2020 election results Validate the Vote, promising lawsuits in seven battleground states and claiming that it would use “sophisticated data modeling and statistical analysis to identify potential illegal or fraudulent balloting.” Eshelman donated $2 million to True the Vote on November 5 and another $500,000 the following week. But now, Eshelman wants his $2.5 million back and is saying that when he asked for updates, he was “met with vague responses, platitudes and empty promises.”

Don’t these rich people do any research before shelling out such big bucks? If Eshelman had done some basic investigation, he would have realized that he was throwing his money down the drain because this group is really focused on voter-suppression.

Are vaccination certificates in our future?

Australia’s national airline Qantas has announced that once the covid-19 vaccines become readily available they will require proof of vaccination to fly on international flights. It is expected that other airlines will follow suit.

The airline’s CEO Alan Joyce said in an interview with CNN affiliate Nine News on Monday that the move would be a “necessity” when coronavirus vaccines are readily available.

Joyce said the airline was looking at changing its terms and conditions to “ask people to have a vaccination before they get on the aircraft.”

Whether a vaccine requirement for travel becomes the international standard is at this stage far from certain. There are also questions about whether governments would mandate such a move — and the legalities of doing so — before allowing international travelers into their countries.
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We have made contact!

Internet sleuths quickly set about trying to find the actual location in remote Utah of the monolith that was reported a couple of days ago by a helicopter crew that was surveying the area to count bighorn sheep. The crew did not reveal the GPS coordinates for the site, fearing that people would trek in the difficult terrain and get lost and even die. But that did not deter people from the thrill of the chase. And now, within 48 hours of that report, people have found it and gone to the site.
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Trump’s increasingly pro-forma complaints of election fraud

It looks like Trump has decided to slowly begin the process of conceding that he has lost the election and will be leaving the White House. In a peevish exchange with reporters, he said that he will leave if the Electoral College announces that Biden has got the most votes, though he insisted that such an ascertainment would be a mistake because the election was a fraud. Of course, it dos not matter in the least that he is saying he will leave because he will have to go whether he agrees to or not.


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When good turkeys go bad

While we are still in the Thanksgiving weekend, I thought I would have a turkey-related post. I wrote recently about the aggressive turkeys that hang around the place where I live and to whom I give a wide berth. Just recently, I was out for my walk and saw about ten of them spread out across the width of the street and slowly coming towards me. It was rather like those scenes in westerns where a gang of bad guys ride into town, park their horses, and then walk slowly down the main street to show that they are the boss. Like the residents in those towns who quickly move out of the way so as not to become a target of the gang, I too ducked into a side path and waited there until the turkeys strolled slowly past before coming out again and continuing on my way. I was not the only one taking evasive action. Two women with a young boy came out of their home, saw the turkeys, and quickly went back in and one of them advised me to take another route.
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Thanksgiving

Today is the American holiday known as Thanksgiving. It is a nice holiday when family and friends get together that is devoid of the crass commercialization that accompanies some other holidays like Christmas.

It is the occasion for some to reflect on the things that they are thankful for. There are many things in my life that I am very thankful for but the one that is uppermost in my mind at this moment is that Donald Trump lost the election and that there will be a new president who at least takes seriously the most dangerous crisis that we face, and that is climate change. Four more years of neglect on this critical issue, and even deliberately taking steps to make it worse as Trump was doing, would have caused serious damage.

The more immediate crisis to be dealt with is of course the covid-19 pandemic and here too it is a relief that the new president takes science seriously. My one hope is that people who are celebrating this holiday and Christmas really take steps to avoid the risk of spreading the virus. We will only know how well this turned out in late January, about the time that Trump walks or is dragged dejectedly out of the White House for the last time.

Diego Maradona has died

Considered one of the greatest footballers of all time, Maradona died at the age of 60 of a heart attack following brain surgery earlier this month.

Here he is scoring a goal for Argentina against England during their quarter-final match in the 1986 World Cup that Argentina went on to win and then go on to win the title. Even if you know nothing about football, you can appreciate the artistry, skill, and concentration on display as he weaves around the defenders and goal-keeper before gently putting the ball into the net. It is often called the greatest goal of the century.

Trump emerges from hiding to talk about the stock market

After constantly needling Joe Biden during the campaign about hiding in his basement while he was holding his rallies, the roles have suddenly switched with Trump avoiding public events while Biden has been all over the news holding press conferences to discuss his new administration and policies.

Except for very brief appearances to play golf or to make a short statement to reporters in the White House press room and not take questions, Trump has largely been in hiding. He did come out yesterday to talk about the only thing he cares about other than himself and that is the stock market which broke the 30,000 barrier for the first time. It shows how much he cares about this topic that he was able to recite from memory some statistics when on almost any other topic he has to read them off a teleprompter. (Click on the blue bird at the top right to listen to the comments without having to get the White House app.)

It is also curious that he seems to be taking credit for the market high when during the campaign he warned that if Biden were elected the markets would crash and people’s retirement savings would be wiped out.