The EU

Google says the EU requires a notice of cookie use (by Google) and says they have posted a notice. I don't see it. If cookies bother you, go elsewhere. If the EU bothers you, emigrate. If you live outside the EU, don't go there.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Local Responsibility

For John, BLUFWe have federalism, to split up governmental power.  But, to work everyone must be willing to take responsibility for area.  Federalism means local folks taking responsibility.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Daily Caller, Correspondent Anders Hagstrom, 25 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

A New York’s health commissioner contradicted coronavirus guidance from the White House on Wendesday, telling people who have been to New York City recently that they should not, in fact, quarantine.

Coronavirus task force member Dr. Deborah Birx on Tuesday urged anyone who had been to New York City recently to self-quarantine, as there was a significant chance they contracted the virus.  NY commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, however, said that part of the White House’s guidance wasn’t necessary.

“I would not follow that. I believe you should follow the guidance in general, you should social distance,” he said, according to Wall St. Journal reporter Jimmy Vielkind.

So, now we have a city health commissioner showing independence.  Up to now the local authorities have been saying that because the Federal was not out front, breaking trail in this pandemic, they couldn’t go forward.  See, for example, this item from WWL-TV.

New Orleans would have canceled Mardi Gras if feds had taken coronavirus more seriously, Mayor says.

This is about leadership.  This is about being a leader with vision.  This is about looking ahead and having the courage to act upon what you see.  This is about being willing and able to look ahead and around the corner.

While President Trump will take some hits for not being more forceful earlier, that is not an excuse for, cover for, state and local officials not jumping on the situation early on.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Comparing Health Care Systems

For John, BLUFIt is still early days in the Coronavirus Pandemic and no hard and fast conclusions should be drawn.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

In response to Worldometer Confirmed Cases and Deaths by Country, Territory, or Conveyance, which shows:

 NATION  Cases per 1 Mil  Deaths per 1 Mil 
 Sweden 30410

Someone on the Internet wrote:

Maybe Bernie’s right—Sweden is always doing better than us.
For my Brother Lance, that is sarcasm on the part of the writer.

Regards  —  Cliff

Retirees Activated

For John, BLUFRetired Military personnel are liable to call up even after retirement, but only up to a certain age.  Those in their 70s are exempt.  On the other hand, males 17 to 45, even without prior service, are liable to call up, in extremis, under the Dick Act.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Hundreds of active duty soldiers are also deploying to support field hospitals.

From ABC News, by Ms Elizabeth McLaughlin, 27 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

More than 9,000 retired soldiers have responded to the U.S. Army's call for retired medical personnel to assist with the response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, as hundreds of active duty soldiers deploy to support Army field hospitals in New York and Seattle.

Earlier this week, the Army sent a notification to more than 800,000 retired soldiers to gauge their willingness in returning to service in a volunteer capacity.  In a Pentagon briefing on Thursday, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville called the initial response "very, very positive."

Army Surgeon General Scott Dingle told reporters that these volunteers will "fill those holes" in military medical treatment facilities across the nation where some staff are now deployed to field hospitals, leaving vacancies in their traditional assignments.

"What we'll do is even though we get many volunteers, we then will walk through the process of certification, making sure that all certifications and credentials are straight," Dingle said.  "Then once we do that, we will plug them into all of our medical treatment facilities as required in support of the mission."

Notice in the last paragraph quoted that there is a mobilization process.  It isn't instantaneous.  The person activated needs to be transported to the new unit and then given a job.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Transgenders in Sports

For John, BLUFThe area of transgender is not one widely understood, but people tend to be quickly locked in, which is not helpful for rational discussion.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the case (No. 3:20-cv-00201 (RNC)):

SELINA SOULE, a minor, by Bianca Stanescu, her mother; CHELSEA MITCHELL, a minor, by Christina Mitchell, her mother; ALANNA SMITH, by Cheryl Radachowsky, her mother


Here is the lede plus three:

The United States files this Statement of Interest under 28 U.S.C. § 517, which authorizes the Department of Justice “to attend to the interests of the United States in a suit pending in a court of the United States.”  Id.  The United States enforces Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681, and has a significant interest in the proper interpretation of Title IX. The United States also enforces several other federal anti-discrimination statutes that, like Title IX, prohibit sex discrimination, e.g. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e-17, and the United States has a significant interest in the proper interpretation of these laws.  The United States also has a significant interest in ensuring that federal funds are not used to discriminate on the basis of sex and other protected classes.  See 20 U.S.C. § 1682.


Title IX requires that “[n]o person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, . . . be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”  20 U.S.C. §1681(a); accord 34 C.F.R. § 106.41(a).  Title IX’s prohibition against sex discrimination extends to athletics operated or sponsored by recipients of federal money.  34 C.F.R. § 106.41.  As a result, covered institutions must “provide equal athletic opportunity for members of both sexes.”  Id. § 106.41(c).

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC), however, has adopted a policy that requires biological males to compete against biological females—despite the real physiological differences between the sexes—if the male is a transgender individual who publicly identifies with the female gender.  CIAC claims that “federal law” requires this state of affairs.  CIAC 2019-2020 Handbook (CIAC Handbook), at 55, ciachandbook_1920.pdf; see also Defs.’  Initial Summ.  Issues at 7, ECF No. 63. So do the proposed student-intervenors.  See Mot. to Intervene at 11, ECF No. 36.

They are incorrect.  Title IX and its implementing regulations prohibit discrimination solely “on the basis of sex,” not on the basis of transgender status, and therefore neither require nor authorize CIAC’s transgender policy.  To the contrary, CIAC’s construction of Title IX as requiring the participation of students on athletic teams that reflect their gender identity would turn the statute on its head.  One of Title IX’s core purposes is to ensure that women have an “equal athletic opportunity” to participate in school athletic programs.  34 C.F.R. § 106.41(c); see also Cohen v. Brown Univ., 991 F.2d 888, 897 (1st Cir. 1993) (“Equal opportunity to participate lies at the core of Title IX’s purpose.”). Schools realize that purpose primarily by establishing separate athletic teams for men and women and by ensuring that those teams are on equal footing. See 34 C.F.R. § 106.41(b)-(c).  Because of the physiological differences between men and women, the existence of women’s sports teams permits women to participate more fully in athletics than they otherwise could.

This is a lawsuit to allow transgender females (those who believe they are true females, born in a male bodies).  These transgender females wish to compete in sports with other females.  I see possible outcomes:
  1. If you declare yourself female you can play with the girls.
  2. You play with those who have the same birth sex as you.
  3. If you meet a certain testosterone level you play with males, but below that you play with girls.
  4. There are no teams or leagues based on gender.
From a practical point of view, I support Options Two or Three.  However, if that isn't good enough for some, there is Option Four.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, March 27, 2020

Friday Food During Lent

For John, BLUFThis is a little late for today, unless you are going to have a little nighttime snack, but it does show flexibility in thinking.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Fromo the Boston Pilot, by Pilot Staff Member Gregory L Tracey, 27 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

As the people of Massachusetts find themselves under a stay-at-home advisory and are being urged limits trips outside -- even to the grocery store -- Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley has lifted the obligation for Catholics in the Archdiocese of Boston to abstain from meat on Fridays for the remainder of Lent.

In a message to the people of the Archdiocese of Boston sent March 26, Vicar General Bishop Peter Uglietto said, "One of the effects of the current events is uncertainty regarding what food products are available on any given day.  At this time, we are called to make the best of what we have at hand or is available for purchase.  Many people are using what they have stored in their freezers and on their shelves.  Others are depending upon pre-packaged meals or food delivered through support agencies, which are providing an important service for individuals and families in our communities, especially for children and our senior citizens."

"In light of these circumstances, Cardinal Sean is dispensing all Catholics in the Archdiocese from the obligation of abstaining from meat during the remaining Fridays of Lent," Bishop Uglietto added.

In the U.S., Catholics aged 14 and over are required to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and each Friday during Lent, and those who are 18 to 59 are required to fast as well on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

As these are disciplines, or practices, rather than doctrine, they can be waved at the local level, and were.  However, if you live outside the Boston Archdiocese you need to check with your local Ordinary to see what action has been taken in your Diocese.

On the other hand, this is no reason to abandon the seafood dinner you had planned for Good Friday, if you have the fixings, in my humble opinion.

Regards  —  Cliff

Triage in a Time of Pandemic

For John, BLUFWhen medical capabilities run short, some will get support and some won't.  The question is the rules to be followed.  For example, Italy saying no medical support to those 60 and over, seems to be arbitrary and wrong.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Pilot, by Ms Nancy Frazier O'Brien, 25 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus four:

Catholic ethicists and legal experts are sounding the alarm that the scarcity of resources such as ventilators and hospital beds during the current coronavirus pandemic could prompt health care decisions based only on age and disability -- and in some cases already is.

Decisions on life-saving care based solely on those criteria are unjust, discriminatory and a violation of federal civil rights law, they say.

One of the strongest and most persistent voices has been that of Charles Camosy, an associate professor of theological and social ethics at Fordham University in New York, one of the hardest-hit U.S. cities.

"It should not be up to physicians to decide whose subjective quality of life deserves to be prolonged," he wrote in a March 19 opinion piece in the New York Post.  "If rationing arrives, we must stand up unambiguously for the marginalized and vulnerable."

He was especially critical of the Italian government for reportedly recommending that health care resources be rationed by age and limited to those who "could enjoy the largest number of life-years saved."  Italy has had nearly 70,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 6,800 deaths as of March 25.

A short article with a lot of food for thought.

Regards  —  Cliff

Fair and Square

For John, BLUFOne's "Day in Court" should include a fair presentation of the facts.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Associated Press, 26 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

“Full House” actress Lori Loughlin, her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, and other prominent parents urged a judge Wednesday to dismiss charges against them in the college admissions bribery case, accusing prosecutors of “extraordinary” misconduct.

Defense attorneys for the famous couple and other parents still fighting the charges say the case cannot stand because investigators bullied their informant into lying and then concealed evidence that would bolster the parents’ claims of innocence.

I'm sorry, but her recent fame isn’t Full House, but, rather, When Calls the Heart.&nb; Is the AP trying to suppress the existence of the excellent Hallmark shows out there?

That said, the issue is prosecutorial misconduct.  For the Citizens, The People, of the United States, if the Government, representing The People, can't win fair and square it should abandon the case.  Maybe the prosecutors should recall the phrase "beyond a reasonable doubt."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff