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News From The COVID Front.

It’s been a while since we discussed the pandemic that has impacted everyone and seemingly every thing.

You are probably aware of the vaccine(s) that are now available, people getting the vaccines and data – that precious commodity that will show efficacy and side effects – is being collected.

However, there other issues as well going on of which you might not be aware.

A Federal judge has ruled that restrictions placed on gatherings and businesses by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf were un-Constitutional because they are too broad:

Hasan Verdict Upheld.

You may remember the “Fort Hood Shooter,” one Major Nidal M. Hasan:

On 5 November 2009, at Fort Hood, Texas, [Hasan] fired into a crowd of soldiers attending a pre-deployment Solder Readiness Processing (SRP) in a building dedicated to that purpose. [Hasan’s] attack killed thirteen individuals and wounded thirty-two.

Hasan was convicted in 2013 and sentenced to die.

On Friday, the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the verdict against Hasan. The appeal of the original decision is required by military law.

If you have forgotten how horrific the shooting was, the decision gives this background:

Mask Mandates Not Unconstitutional.

Are mask mandates Constitutional?

Many people think so but they may be wrong.

In 1905, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Jacobson v. Massachusetts, that as the first responsibility of the government is to protect the people in order they may enjoy their rights. The Court ruled that a statute mandating vaccinations for smallpox during a smallpox epidemic was therefore Constitutional.

Justice Harlan wrote in the decision:

We are unwilling to hold it to be an element in the liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States that one person, or a minority of persons, residing in any community and enjoying the benefits of its local government, should have the power thus to dominate the majority when supported in their action by the authority of the state. While this court should guard with firmness every right appertaining to life, liberty, or property as secured to the individual by the supreme law of the land, it is of the last importance that it should not invade the domain of local authority except when it is plainly necessary to do so in order to enforce that law. The safety and the health of the people of Massachusetts are, in the first instance, for that commonwealth to guard and protect. They are matters that do not ordinarily concern the national government. So far as they can be reached by any government, they depend, primarily, upon such action as the state, in its wisdom, may take; and we do not perceive that this legislation has invaded any right secured by the Federal Constitution.

Courts have used the Jacobson decision to support mask mandates today, 115 years later.

Now Judge Patrick J. Schiltz (D. Minn.), has rejected an argument by The Minnesota Voter Alliance as a group and individual members that mask mandates in Minnesota violate the Constitution, specifically the First Amendment. In his decision in the case of Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Walz, Judge Schlitz opines:

The Important Bill You Never Heard Of Passed In Florida.

Way back on June 20, 2020, Florida Governor Ron Desantos signed a bill that will have an impact on businesses and people who seek to get into business.

House Bill 1193 was called the “Deregulation of Professions and Occupations Bill” as it sought to eliminate some barriers for licensing in some professions. Far too often barriers such as continuing education requirements that have nothing to do with the actual business, are lobbied for by members of a profession to keep others out of that profession.

For example many states, including Florida require that people who engage in the business of African Hair Braiding get a cosmology license, even though the braiding doesn’t use chemicals, is completely natural, and the cosmology license educational requirements don’t teach braiding. This bill eliminates that requirement.

One of our favorites is that in Florida, you need a license to be an interior decorator. We can’t figure that one out.

“That chartreuse pillow looks wonderful with the beige sofa…..” requires a license?

Give us a break.

HB 1193 reduced the licensing requirements for many professions, and that is a good thing.

The impacts of “The Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act” include the following:

Eleventh Circuit Rules Florida Amendment 4 Meant What It Said.

In 2018, Florida voters passed Amendment 4 by a “super-majority” of 64.57%.

The amendment provides that “any disqualification from voting arising from a felony conviction shall terminate and voting rights shall be restored upon completion of all terms of sentence including parole or probation.”

Immediately after its passage, the Florida legislature passed a bill delineating what the “terms of sentence” means, including any fines, fees and restitution a convicted criminal may owe.

The “fines, fees, and restitution” caused an uproar as some people likened it to a “poll tax.” After all, they said, “what happens if the person can’t pay?

(Maybe they should have considered that before committing the felony?)

The State of Florida was sued by several felons to eliminate the payment of the legal financial obligations, (LFO’s,) alleging that the reenfranchisement laws violate the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Twenty-Fourth Amendment. The District Court said the plaintiffs had a good chance of winning based on the basis of the Equal Protection Clause in that some felons could afford to pay the LFO’s and vote, and some could not thereby excluding them from voting.

Governments Don’t Like To Lose.

Grace Community Church is what can be described as a “mega church” in Los Angeles County.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and California Governor Newsome put restrictions into place on meetings and church gatherings, Grace Community Church decided to agree to the restrictions, even though they felt that as a church they were an “essential service” within the community, participating in their community as well as teaching and feeding the souls of their congregants. As we noted, Newsome declared that churches must limit attendance to 25% of capacity or 100 people, (whichever is lower) and must “discontinue chanting and singing.”

(NOTE: According to Wikipedia, Grace’s weekly attendance in 2008 averaged 8,258. One hundred people would be 1.2% of the congregation at that time, and the church has grown since then.)

In fact, during the pandemic, Grace put their faith into practice:

Thus, during the pandemic, Grace Community Church voluntarily turned its focus away from in-person worship, to doing what it could to help the community. The majority of our staff worked from home—from March 19th through the end of May. And for those who were unable to work at all, Grace Community Church covered their hourly wages for two months.

Testing Too Much, Testing Too Little, Not Fast Enough…..

Ever get the feeling that no one knows what they are doing with the COVID-19 pandemic?

According to the New York Times:

Some of the nation’s leading public health experts are raising a new concern in the endless debate over coronavirus testing in the United States: The standard tests are diagnosing huge numbers of people who may be carrying relatively insignificant amounts of the virus.

Most of these people are not likely to be contagious, and identifying them may contribute to bottlenecks that prevent those who are contagious from being found in time. But researchers say the solution is not to test less, or to skip testing people without symptoms, as recently suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Defending Your Home From Protestors Is A Crime In California.

Allow us to introduce you to LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey. Lacey was elected in 2012 and has what can best be described as a “law and order” mentality.

On March 2, protestors came to Lacey’s home and onto her property somewhere around the predawn hour of 5:30 AM to ask for a meeting to discuss the “Black Lives Matter” issues.

Lacey and her family had been followed by people and had received death threats, threats that the police had investigated and only one of which was found to be credible. Of course, when you are the subject of death threats, you don’t have the time to figure out what is credible.

On that fateful day in March, protestors had lined up on the street, blocked sidewalks, gone onto the property shouted at Lacey’s house and then a group of three walked up to the door and was met by Lacey’s 66 year old husband David, who was carrying a weapon and told the protestors to leave. To emphasize the point, he raised the gun and pointed it at the three people illegally on his porch and this conversation took place:

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