“But even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten.” -- Supreme Court of the United States, November 25, 2020
When teaching law students about the Bill of Rights, professors often ask on the first day of class which is the first freedom protected by the First Amendment. The students invariably answer, “freedom of speech.” It is not. If the framers were trying to tell us which freedom is the first among equals, they did so by listing the religion clauses ahead of the freedom of speech.
The religion clauses prohibit the government from respecting the establishment of religion and from interfering with its free exercise.
This is not an academic issue. Recent events have demonstrated that the free exercise of religion is as threatened today as it was in 1791 when the First Amendment was ratified. Numerous state governors have targeted the free exercise of religion in their multifaceted assaults on personal liberty in the name of public safety. Last week, the Supreme Court put a stop to one of them.
Andrew M. Cuomo is the governor of New York. He has been foremost among his gubernatorial colleagues in his ubiquitous television explanations of his various executive orders restricting personal liberty during the COVID–19 pandemic. He even won an Emmy for his hundreds of television appearances during which he educated the viewing public on his understanding of the science behind the pandemic.
He attempted to educate the public, as well, on his understanding of the Constitution. That understanding is wanting.
Cuomo established a color-coded system to indicate the severity of the COVID-19 infection rate by ZIP code. Red is the most severe and calls for limiting worship to 10 people per indoor venue. Orange is the next level, and it limits worshippers to 25.
Since the governor did not deem the right to worship as “essential,” even though he deemed campgrounds and bicycle, food and liquor shops to be essential, he imposed his 10- or 25-person limit on all houses of worship, irrespective of the size of the venue. He imposed no numerical limitations on essential venues.
Thus, a small mom and pop liquor store could be packed to the gills with customers, but a 400-seat synagogue or a 1,200-seat cathedral would still be limited to 10 or 25 people. This was such an interference with the free exercise of religion that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, and three Jewish congregations in New York City collectively sued the governor in federal court in Brooklyn. They lost. Last week, the Supreme Court interceded in a splendid 5 to 4 decision that defended religious liberty in the face of government efforts to sweep it aside.
The court recognized that the right to worship is fundamental -- and has been the law of the land for many generations. Yet, its characterization as “fundamental” was a shot across the governor’s bow because, whatever he considers the freedom to worship to be, he ordered that it was not essential. The court held that by failing to characterize it as essential, while characterizing other choices as essential, Cuomo demonstrated a hostility to religion.
Stated differently, if having more than 10 or 25 people in a large synagogue or church is likely to harm public health, then why is having 500 people in a Walmart or folks packed like sardines in a liquor store not likely to impair public health?
Because the religion clauses are articulated in the First Amendment -- and because the freedom to worship is a natural right -- the government can only interfere with them by meeting a demanding jurisprudential test called strict scrutiny. This mandates that the government must have a compelling state interest it is attempting to serve by the least-restrictive means.
It also means that a fundamental right cannot be targeted when other rights that may or may not be fundamental are left to individual choices.
The Supreme Court’s ruling, which was released at 2:12 a.m., was a response to an emergency application. After the plaintiffs lost at the trial court, they asked the trial judge to enjoin the governor during the pendency of their appeal so their congregants could worship during the coming holidays. The court declined. Then the plaintiffs asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for a temporary injunction until that court could hear their appeal. It declined.
Then the plaintiffs threw their Hail Mary pass and asked the Supreme Court to enjoin Cuomo during the pendency of their appeal.
That pass ended up being a touchdown with no time left on the clock. The Supreme Court not only issued an injunction preventing the governor from limiting the number of worshippers at the religious venues that sued, but it did so in such sweeping, liberty-embracing language that will surely apply to all religious venues in the land.
Reading the court’s decision, and particularly the thoughtful and brilliant concurrence by Justice Neil Gorsuch -- who wrote that “government is not free to disregard the First Amendment in times of crisis” -- one can see that Cuomo lost this case because while he may understand the science, he does not understand the jurisprudence.
Freedom of religion is not the first freedom by mistake. It was the judgment of the framers that this freedom is as essential to human fulfillment as are any other free choices that free people make.
By failing to recognize that natural, historic and jurisprudential truism, Cuomo doomed his executive order to the ash bin of history.
The co-owner of a Staten Island bar spoke to "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Wednesday, hours after he was arrested and accused of disorderly conduct for remaining inside his pub when it was supposed to be shuttered under New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's "orange zone" coronavirus orders.
A mob of outraged supporters of Danny Presti and business partner Keith McAlarney gathered outside the Grant City establishment Wednesday night while Presti and attorney Lou Gelormino discussed the situation with host Tucker Carlson.
"We had a little meeting inside [the pub] yesterday," Presti explained. "I did have some guests in there. Sheriffs came in, seemed like a lot of them. We were really good with them. Really cordial. And after a while, they just wanted to take me out, [it was a] whole big ordeal."
Gelormino and Presti stressed that their frustrations are not with the New York Police Department (NYPD), which Presti said have been resourceful throughout the ordeal.
Presti said the agency that has been bothering them is the New York City Sheriffs Office, which is separate from the NYPD and operats under the auspices of the New York City Department of Finance.
The NYPD deal in criminal law while the sheriff's office is tasked with "serving and execute legal processes/mandates issued by the State courts, legal community and the general public," according to the city.
"There's a blockade, a literal blockade on a small business," Presti said of the sheriff's officers barring the entrance to the Grant City pub.
Prior to Presti's arrest, he and McAlarney locked the doors to their pub and were soliciting "donations" rather than billing their patrons, claiming to have found a "loophole" against the New York State Liquor Authority, which had pulled their license to sell booze as punishment for defying Cuomo.
The following is from a medical forum. The writer, who is a widely respected professional scientist in the US, prefers to stay anonymous, because presenting any narrative different than the official one can cause you a lot of stress in the toxic environment caused by the scam which surrounds COVID-19 these days. – Julian Rose
I work in the healthcare field. Here’s the problem, we are testing people for any strain of a Coronavirus. Not specifically for COVID-19. There are no reliable tests for a specific COVID-19 virus. There are no reliable agencies or media outlets for reporting numbers of actual COVID-19 virus cases. This needs to be addressed first and foremost. Every action and reaction to COVID-19 is based on totally flawed data and we simply can not make accurate assessments.
This is why you’re hearing that most people with COVID-19 are showing nothing more than cold/flu like symptoms. That’s because most Coronavirus strains are nothing more than cold/flu like symptoms. The few actual novel Coronavirus cases do have some worse respiratory responses, but still have a very promising recovery rate, especially for those without prior issues.
The ‘gold standard’ in testing for COVID-19 is laboratory isolated/purified coronavirus particles free from any contaminants and particles that look like viruses but are not, that have been proven to be the cause of the syndrome known as COVID-19 and obtained by using proper viral isolation methods and controls (not the PCR that is currently being used or Serology /antibody tests which do not detect virus as such). PCR basically takes a sample of your cells and amplifies any DNA to look for ‘viral sequences’, i.e. bits of non-human DNA that seem to match parts of a known viral genome.
The problem is the test is known not to work.
It uses ‘amplification’ which means taking a very very tiny amount of DNA and growing it exponentially until it can be analyzed. Obviously any minute contaminations in the sample will also be amplified leading to potentially gross errors of discovery.
Additionally, it’s only looking for partial viral sequences, not whole genomes, so identifying a single pathogen is next to impossible even if you ignore the other issues.
The Mickey Mouse test kits being sent out to hospitals, at best, tell analysts you have some viral DNA in your cells. Which most of us do, most of the time. It may tell you the viral sequence is related to a specific type of virus – say the huge family of coronavirus. But that’s all. The idea these kits can isolate a specific virus like COVID-19 is nonsense.
And that’s not even getting into the other issue – viral load.
If you remember the PCR works by amplifying minute amounts of DNA. It therefore is useless at telling you how much virus you may have. And that’s the only question that really matters when it comes to diagnosing illness. Everyone will have a few virus kicking round in their system at any time, and most will not cause illness because their quantities are too small. For a virus to sicken you you need a lot of it, a massive amount of it. But PCR does not test viral load and therefore can’t determine if it is present in sufficient quantities to sicken you.
If you feel sick and get a PCR test any random virus DNA might be identified even if they aren’t at all involved in your sickness which leads to false diagnosis.
And coronavirus are incredibly common. A large percentage of the world human population will have covi DNA in them in small quantities even if they are perfectly well or sick with some other pathogen.
Do you see where this is going yet? If you want to create a totally false panic about a totally false pandemic – pick a coronavirus.
They are incredibly common and there’s tons of them. A very high percentage of people who have become sick by other means (flu, bacterial pneumonia, anything) will have a positive
PCR test for covi even if you’re doing them properly and ruling out contamination, simply because covis are so common.
There are hundreds of thousands of flu and pneumonia victims in hospitals throughout the world at any one time.
All you need to do is select the sickest of these in a single location – say Wuhan – administer PCR tests to them and claim anyone showing viral sequences similar to a coronavirus (which will inevitably be quite a few) is suffering from a ‘new’ disease.
Since you already selected the sickest flu cases a fairly high proportion of your sample will go on to die.
You can then say this ‘new’ virus has a CFR higher than the flu and use this to infuse more concern and do more tests which will of course produce more ‘cases’, which expands the testing, which produces yet more ‘cases’ and so on and so on.
Before long you have your ‘pandemic’, and all you have done is use a simple test kit trick to convert the worst flu and pneumonia cases into something new that doesn’t actually exist.
Now just run the same scam in other countries. Making sure to keep the fear message running high so that people will feel panicky and less able to think critically.
Your only problem is going to be that – due to the fact there is no actual new deadly pathogen but just regular sick people, you are mislabeling your case numbers, and especially your deaths, are going to be way too low for a real new deadly virus pandemic.
But you can stop people pointing this out in several ways.
1. You can claim this is just the beginning and more deaths are imminent. Use this as an excuse to quarantine everyone and then claim the quarantine prevented the expected millions of dead.
2. You can tell people that ‘minimizing’ the dangers is irresponsible and bully them into not talking about numbers.
3. You can talk crap about made up numbers hoping to blind people with pseudoscience.
4. You can start testing well people (who, of course, will also likely have shreds of coronavirus DNA in them) and thus inflate your ‘case figures’ with ‘asymptomatic carriers’ (you will of course have to spin that to sound deadly even though any virologist knows the more symptom-less cases you have the less deadly is your pathogen.
Take these 4 simple steps and you can have your own entirely manufactured pandemic up and running in weeks.
They can not “confirm” something for which there is no accurate test.
As reports emerge of a likely “second wave” of COVID-19 outbreaks expected this Fall, and with such outbreaks the possibility of extended or intermittent lockdowns through the end of the year, if not longer, the need and demand for a vaccine grows.
It is unsurprising, thus, that several lawmakers have urged Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to “waive the restrictions on research with human fetal tissue” and to allow the National Institute of Health to “utilize human fetal tissue” in coronavirus research. For context, NIH-funded research using human fetal tissue obtained from abortions was banned by the Trump Administration in 2019. Conversely, some opponents of abortion have indicated their opposition to using aborted fetal tissue in developing a vaccine for novel coronavirus.
Several vaccines already in wide use for other diseases, such as rubella, are “made by growing the viruses in fetal embryo fibroblast cells,” which were “first obtained from elective termination of two pregnancies in the early 1960s.” So while “further sources of fetal cells” are not needed to make those vaccines, as the products are prepared using descendent cells, which are not and never were part of an aborted child’s body, they do, nonetheless, have a historical connection to aborted children.
Even strongly anti-abortion institutions, such as some religious groups, permit the reception of vaccinations produced from descendent cells if there are no alternative vaccinations available and if forgoing the vaccination causes significant risk to health, either to one’s own self, one’s children, or the population at large. Still, they note “the grave responsibility to use alternative vaccines” if available, and to voice reservation and demand further research into alternatives not reliant on descendant cells.
However, the COVID-19 situation differs somewhat. A parent accepting a rubella vaccination derived from descendent cells is quite distinct from actively developing a COVID-19 vaccine using the fetal tissue of aborted children. Even a praiseworthy goal—saving lives—does not justify cooperating in morally illicit means; the morality of an action is not determined solely by the good consequences of that action, let alone the good intentions of those involved. Instead, the moral permissibility of an action includes the desired end, the means chosen to that end, and the consequences, too; a permissible action must pass all the moral tests, not just some of them, no matter how significant or frightening the consequences.
For those who conduct medical research, it is important to remember that it is morally impermissible to directly cause the death of an embryo or fetus for medical research, just as impermissible as it would be to cause the death of a child already born. Similarly, it is morally impermissible to conduct medical experiments on embryos or unborn children, even if not resulting in their death, as it violates the dignity due them; the very same dignity due all persons, born or unborn.
Furthermore, even if a researcher is not directly responsible for the abortion, it is impermissible for them to conduct research on fetal tissue that they or their laboratory have obtained, even if there is a clear remove or distance between the agent of abortion and the research. Researchers may not cooperate in immoral actions, let alone provide tacit approval of such actions, by engaging in such research.
For the rest of us ordinary citizens, non-researchers, we must remember, despite any fears, that alternatives are possible. Research is underway to develop a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 that would not utilize fetal tissue, or even descendant cells, in any way. Just as a parent should articulate his concern and support for alternatives when grave health reasons prompt his acceptance of the rubella vaccine for his child, so ordinary citizens should now indicate their support—ahead of time, as it were—for vaccines which will not utilize aborted fetal tissue in research. There are alternatives, and those alternatives require no morally illicit action or cooperation with illicit action.
If we wish to avoid the unhappy situation in which an effective—but morally illicit—vaccine has been developed by utilizing fetal tissue, with use of that vaccine perhaps even required by law, then moral responsibility demands researchers and ordinary citizens acting now to support valid means of producing the vaccine and indicating, now, that they will not cooperate with illicit medical care. It would be far better if we reject immoral research which will later involve violations of the consciences of many, than to proceed a single step in that direction. Especially when safe, effective alternatives exist, if we simply choose to support and use them.
Yet another report from a senior Johns Hopkins lecturer's analysis concludes that the coronavirus had no overall effect on the total number of deaths in the United States. Genevieve Briand, a longtime professor of economics and statistics, was overrules by the hospital and was forced to withdraw her fact based report. However, the CDC statistics she sites proves her conclusions. Almost all of the seniors who died from hospital called COVID, would have died from other causes! How did she know this, because the same number of seniors died in 2019 as 2020, but with other causes, while in 2020, the same number died, but all with COVID 19 causes. We are to believe that seniors stopped dying of cancer, heart disease, strokes, injuries and a host of other causes of death that seemed to disappear in 2020!
It is unbelievable just how many lies our leaders are feeding us, and how gullible the American people have become. Sheeple is the best word for the American citizen of today. Americans are ready to throw away their liberties, fortunes and sanity for a lie, because fear rules the day, not common sense. Our forefathers are rolling in their graves, and so are the millions who died to defend our way of life.
Briand, who teaches Microeconomic Theory, Statistics and Econometrics, argued the significance of COVID-19 on U.S. deaths can be fully understood only through comparison to the number of total deaths in the country.
The CDC data showed there were 1.7 million total deaths in the United States between mid-March and mid-September, of which 200,000 are COVID-19-related. Briand examined the total deaths in each age group and the cause of death in her analysis.
"Surprisingly, the deaths of older people stayed the same before and after COVID-19," she found, according to the News-Letter report. "Since COVID-19 mainly affects the elderly, experts expected an increase in the percentage of deaths in older age groups," the report said.
But no such increase was seen in the CDC data.
"These data analyses suggest that in contrast to most people's assumptions, the number of deaths by COVID-19 is not alarming. In fact, it has relatively no effect on deaths in the United States," the report said. "This comes as a shock to many people. How is it that the data lie so far from our perception?"
The editor's note posted Friday explained that the News-Letter is an editorially and financially independent, student-run publication and its content is not endorsed by the university or the School of Medicine.
Briand's study, the News-Letter's article and its retraction have sparked considerable debate on social media amid controversy over how COVID deaths are determined, the reliability of government data and the complexities of statistical analysis.
Overall, the CDC says, just 6% of the people counted as COVID-19 deaths died of COVID-19 alone. Those who died of coronavirus, according to the CDC, had an average of 2.6 comorbidities, meaning more than two chronic diseases along with COVID-19.
The CDC estimates a 99.997% survival rate for those from birth to age 19 who contract COVID-19. It's 99.98% for ages 20-49, 99.5% for 50-69 and 94.6% for those over 70.
Briand found in her analysis that there naturally was a sudden increase in deaths early in 2020 compared to previous years that was due to COVID-19.
But she also noticed a significant decrease in deaths due to heart disease and all other causes.
"This suggests, according to Briand, that the COVID-19 death toll is misleading," the report said. "Briand believes that deaths due to heart diseases, respiratory diseases, influenza and pneumonia may instead be recategorized as being due to COVID-19."
The Johns Hopkins News-Letter article noted the CDC classifies all deaths that are related to COVID-19 simply as COVID-19 deaths.
"Even patients dying from other underlying diseases but are infected with COVID-19 count as COVID-19 deaths."
It's likely "the main explanation as to why COVID-19 deaths drastically increased while deaths by all other diseases experienced a significant decrease."
"All of this points to no evidence that COVID-19 created any excess deaths," Briand concluded. "Total death numbers are not above normal death numbers. We found no evidence to the contrary."
See Briand's webinar:
Briand was asked by the Johns Hopkins News-Letter to address the question of whether COVID-19 deaths can be called misleading since the infection might have exacerbated and even led to deaths by other underlying diseases.
She said that if the COVID-19 death toll "was not misleading at all, what we should have observed is an increased number of heart attacks and increased COVID-19 numbers."
"But a decreased number of heart attacks and all the other death causes doesn't give us a choice but to point to some misclassification," Briand replied.
The News-Letter clarified: "In other words, the effect of COVID-19 on deaths in the U.S. is considered problematic only when it increases the total number of deaths or the true death burden by a significant amount in addition to the expected deaths by other causes."
"Since the crude number of total deaths by all causes before and after COVID-19 has stayed the same, one can hardly say, in Briand’s view, that COVID-19 deaths are concerning."
Briand emphasized in the interview that while COVID-19 is a serious national and global problem, people should not forget about the tragic loss of lives from other causes.
America you are now a slave to the government you were to rule over. Your rights have been stripped away, your elected president that most of you voted for and who won in a landslide, has been ousted in a Deep State coup, and soon you will be forced to take vaccines, containing aborted babies, and sent to prison camps if you fail to comply. If you still don't take up arms against tyranny, you deserve whatever happens to you. Oh, if you want to know what's is coming for you? Then read our future, predicted by OUR GOD, 3,000 years ago HERE
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi (top inset) was killed in an ambush involving an explosion and then machine gun fire on a road between the countryside town of Absard and the capital of Tehran yesterday (the aftermath, top right). His death sent tensions in the regions skyrocketing as Iran accused Israel of trying to provoke a war by assassinating Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi. And, in an intervention that risks inflaming conflict even further, former head of the US's Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan labelled the assassination a 'criminal' act and branded it 'highly reckless'. Hossein Dehghan, who is a presidential candidate in Iran's 2021 election as well as an adviser to its supreme leader Ali Khamenei, echoed the claim that Israel was behind the attack and issued a warning. He said: 'We will descend like lightning on the killers of this oppressed martyr and we will make them regret their actions.' His stark warning follows reports yesterday that Trump (inset bottom left) has deployed the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (main seen last month) to the Persian Gulf alongside other warships in order to provide 'combat support and air cover' for soldiers withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan. The assassination came days after Secretary of State Mike Pompe met Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu (bottom) right and allegedly also traveled to Saudi Arabia for a covert meeting with the Saudi Crown Prince.
A British researcher claims to have excavated what was the childhood home of Jesus Christ, in a new book. Professor Ken Dark (inset), an archaeologist from the University of Reading, has spent 14 years studying remains under the Sisters of Nazareth Convent in Nazareth, Israel. He says a stone and mortar dwelling (pictured), which was first uncovered in the 1880s, was partially cut into a limestone hillside in the city by a skilled craftsman - likely Joseph, father of Jesus.