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Quarantine Cafe: Die Hard Edition | Main | The Morning Report - 12/22/20 [J.J. Sefton]
December 21, 2020

Monday Overnight Open Thread (12/21/20)


(Photo H/T Legally Sufficient)


The Quotes of The Day

Quote I

For months the CDC has been telling us that the elderly are the most vulnerable, but now they are recommending that 100 million so-called “essential workers,” which means healthy people working at everything from liquor stores to telephone companies, that they can get the vaccine before our grandparents can; that members of Congress like me, we can get the vaccine before at-risk seniors can. People like my aunt, who is imprisoned in her own home because of the danger that if she catches the disease, she could die. This is immoral and bad health policy. I had planned to take the vaccine but will now stand in solidarity with our seniors by not doing so until they can. I urge my colleagues in Congress who are under the age of 65 and healthy to join me. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)

Quote II

"This is not an easy, straight-line process," Murphy said at his regular coronavirus briefing in Trenton. "It is one of the most ambitious federal government initiatives ever undertaken, and folks have to understand that." Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ)

Quote III

“Please don’t leave us. We’re in a desperate time in New York right now. We need you. You’re important to us. We want you to stay.” Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-NY)

Maybe Congress Critter Suozzi could ask nicely like this.

Quote IV

“The first thing we have to note about this whole plan is that it wasn´t even necessary for it to take into effect to notice why this is such a bad idea. Financing huge social programs with taxpayers' money (or in this case, oil revenue money) might work for some time, but inevitably the state will run out of money at some point making it impossible to maintain the funding for these ambitious programs>" Activist and attorney Jorge Galicia

Quote V

"When ethically irreproachable COVID-19 vaccines are not available … it is morally acceptable to receive COVID-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process," The Vatican's doctrinal office.



If you have 56 free minutes go ahead and watch. You can watch this. Just remember you'll never get those back however. (See Quote II)


Generally, The ONT is not my rant thread. Oh sure I piss and moan like the rest of you about today's current state. However, this story has me in a rant mode. Why do we hate the little Karens of government? 'Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.'

The mom, Jessie Thompson, didn't understand why it was up to the school to decide what her kids did after leaving school property. She offered to sign a liability waiver. This did not move the needle and the issue came to a head this past week.

I'll let Thompson take it from here. She's a surgical neurophysiologist, which means that she monitors a patient's nervous system during surgery. In an email with the subject line, "It's Over!" she wrote:

Hi Lenore,

Just wanted to give you the final update.

We quit.

I pulled the kids and I'm homeschooling.

The school was making me go into the office to show my ID at dismissal. That worked for a time, until one day I forgot my ID.

When the secretary (who has known me for three years) said to me that she couldn't let me take the kids, I responded, "Just try to keep my kids from me" and then told my kids to exit the office.

My kids stood there, not knowing whether to listen to their mother or the secretary. I had to ask them twice to exit. That was the day I stole my kids from their school, because after all, the school has the primary authority and I, the parent, am only so lucky to be given access to the kids when the school allows.

The next day, my kids were all held in their classrooms until I showed my ID (to the same woman who has known me for three years), at which time she called each classroom individually to tell the teachers they could release the kids.

The following day, I refused to show my ID until they dismissed my kids, per the usual dismissal routine, and did not hold my kids hostage in order to play games with me.

They called the police.

I had about a 30-40 minute interaction with two police officers, almost being arrested at one point. I was successful that day, as the police instructed the office secretary to dismiss my kids and then I showed my ID before leaving with them.

The officers informed me that if I did the same thing the following day that I would be arrested.

And so for the next two weeks, the school held my kids in their classrooms, hostage, until I, their mother, showed my ID to a secretary who has a three-year history with me. Emphasis Added

My attorney was unable to have that stop and I just couldn't take it anymore.

This lawsuit was going to cost us $10-15,000.

So my homeschool journey begins.

Wish me luck!

Thanks for your help. It was quite a ride.


I do wish her luck. Her case has me thinking about Voltaire's observation that "those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."

The absurdity here is not just that kids can't cross a street by themselves. It's also that the mom picking up her kids must show proof that she is the person everyone knows she is. As if the ID is more reliable than her own kids saying, "Hi mom!"

And the cruelty is that those rules allow the secretary—and cops—to torment the mom while claiming this is just for safety's sake.

Why didn't the police tell the school's secretary to grow up and allow the children to leave? The problem with most schools I have found is that they cannot think outside of the box. Rules are rules they will tell you. Unless it affects them.

The school secretary doesn't deserve a job interacting with the public let alone dealing with children.

The police should grow some balls and tell Karen they have better things to do, like sit behind a parked semi trailer with their radar guns. Rant over.


An interesting read about the Chinese Kung Flu vaccine and current treatments.

I’m the Executive Director for the COVID-19 Early Treatment Fund (CETF), an organization that funds researchers from all over the world pursuing promising drugs against COVID. We have a 12-member scientific advisory board of highly qualified scientists and physicians including one of the world’s top coronavirus experts. This 3-minute video describes our work. We have raised over $5M, all from individuals and private foundations including the Skoll Foundation and theFluLab. We’ve evaluated more the 60 grant proposals and funded 14. This gives me a bird’s eye view of many of the most promising treatments.

I recommend everyone get vaccinated as soon as possible as prevention via vaccination is much better than any of the treatments.

If I wasn’t yet vaccinated, here’s what I would do if I learned I was COVID positive based on current scientific evidence:


Silly Moron, of course there are several sets of law in this country.



Of course they (Congress) didn't have time to read and digest their latest boondoggle. The COVID-19 Stimulus Bill Would Make Illegal Streaming a Felony

Perhaps most surprising, according to the text of the bill being circulated, illegal streaming for commercial profit could become a felony.

It's been less than two weeks since Sen. Thom Tillis released his proposal to increase the penalties for those who would dare stream unlicensed works. In doing so, the North Carolina Republican flirted with danger. About a decade ago, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) made a similar proposal before it ended up dying as people worried about sending Justin Bieber to jail. (No, seriously.) But Tillis' attempt has been winning better reviews for more narrowly tailoring the provisions toward commercial operators rather than users. That said, it's had very little time to circulate before evidently becoming part of the spending package. If passed, illegal streaming of works including movies and music tracks could carry a penalty of up to 10 years in jail.

That's not the only change to copyright law, either.

The spending bill also appears to adopt a long-discussed plan to create a small-claims adjudication system within the U.S. Copyright Office.

Advocates have long sought to give copyright owners some recourse to infringement outside of the expensive federal court system, though the so-called CASE Act has engendered some pushback from those weary of throwing certain disputes to unaccountable bureaucrats working for an agency suspected of favoring industry. Some critics believe the alternative dispute system to be unconstitutional, though by making the system opt-in and non-compulsory, advocates hope that it will survive any legal challenge and ultimately lead to swifter resolution over takedown notices for copyright material posted online. The CASE Act previously passed the House by a 410-6 vote before being blocked in the Senate by Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).


This is one of those "I have good news and I have bad news stories." California may lose a congressional seat. Some other states are probably picking up their blue votes.

Eureka! We found that gold you hear about in California. And it just left.

California lost so many people in the last decade that when the census numbers are all tabulated, it could lose a congressional seat. Even the state’s Rose Bowl game just left for Texas.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the California Department of Finance says the state grew by only 21,200 residents in the past year, the lowest since 1900.


No, Hell didn't freeze over. But AOC and Ted Cruz did agree on one thing.

This isn’t just a problem within Democratic circles. Congress always does crap like this when they want to pass something huge. They waive the rules they created for show, which dictates how much time members must have to digest a bill before having to vote on it, and then force members to vote on the bill without knowing what’s really in it. Which we all know is Pelosi’s preferred way of passing big bills.


The Insurance Industry conducts plenty of studies. One of those studies? What vehicle owners are most prone to a DUI?

Driving while intoxicated is undoubtedly one of the worst things you could do. It's responsible for about 10,000 deaths in the United States annually, which equals roughly one person every single hour. Statistically, drivers of certain vehicles are more often cited for driving under the influence than others, and the list is mostly made up of trucks and vehicles in the premium or luxury segments. With all that said, Ram 2500 drivers are by far the worst offenders.

A new study conducted by insurance comparison aggregator Insurify shows the data from about 2.7 million insurance applications to determine which vehicles are most likely to transport drivers cited for DUI. Each application requires drivers to disclose vehicles being driven on the policy and recent driving history, which gives analysts insight into the moving violations of drivers during a specific time period.


According to Paste Eatin' Uncle Joe and California Congress Critter Eric Swallows We have nothing to fear about China.


The discovery of U.S. spy networks in China fueled a decadelong global war over data between Beijing and Washington.

Around 2013, U.S. intelligence began noticing an alarming pattern: Undercover CIA personnel, flying into countries in Africa and Europe for sensitive work, were being rapidly and successfully identified by Chinese intelligence, according to three former U.S. officials. The surveillance by Chinese operatives began in some cases as soon as the CIA officers had cleared passport control. Sometimes, the surveillance was so overt that U.S. intelligence officials speculated that the Chinese wanted the U.S. side to know they had identified the CIA operatives, disrupting their missions; other times, however, it was much more subtle and only detected through U.S. spy agencies’ own sophisticated technical countersurveillance capabilities.

The CIA had been taking advantage of China’s own growing presence overseas to meet or recruit sources, according to one of these former officials. “We can’t get to them in Beijing, but can in Djibouti. Heat map Belt and Road”—China’s trillion-dollar infrastructure and influence initiative—“and you’d see our activity happening. It’s where the targets are.” The CIA recruits “Russians and Chinese hard in Africa,” said a former agency official. “And they know that.” China’s new aggressive moves to track U.S. operatives were likely a response to these U.S. efforts.

This series, based on interviews with over three dozen current and former U.S. intelligence and national security officials, tells the story of China’s assault on U.S. personal data over the last decade—and its consequences.


Because the Chinese Kung Flu wasn't bad enough now we are subjected to this "sammich".

McDonald's China Has A Spam and Oreos Burger, It Seems

Goodness. In what sounds like a dare, McDonald’s China is offering a Spam burger with crumbled cookies.

As pointed out by Daniel Ahmad on Twitter, the burger will go on sale in China starting December 21 and will apparently be limited to 400,000 Spam Oreo sandwiches.


I bet you can get a better sammich at Waffle House.

These Photos From ‘Waffle House Vistas’ Capture Fascinating Scenes Of Late-Stage Capitalism

“I am a photographer that is incredibly interested in the built environment. And not just what we build, but why we build it. What are the power dynamics? What does it say about what we value? I’ve long argued that you can look out of a window and see how we value each other as people, or if we value each other as people at all…”

When photographer Micah Cash first set out to take photos out of Waffle House windows across the Southeast, he was simply looking for a conceptual framework to talk about income inequality, social mobility, and the working class. What he ended up finding was a subject in itself — a regional restaurant chain that held uncanny weight in the lives of those who frequented it.

“What came out of the project was this… other half,” he notes. “Not quite nostalgia, but people’s true appreciation for a place where they can be themselves and where they were accepted and that accepted them amongst all the hardships in their lives.”




It's not too late for you to put this under my Christmas tree on Christmas Day.


Since we are talking about Christmas gifts. Maybe this guy will get a gift certificate for the local driving range.


RIP KT Oslin, Country Star.


The ONT Musical Interlude



Eventually Karma does catch up. Even with a Genius Award Winner.

A St. Paul man has been charged after allegedly carjacking five people in the span of an hour and 10 minutes in Minneapolis.

His arrest and charges were part of the “carjacking crackdown,” in which the Minneapolis Police Department and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office announced they had arrested approximately 50 people for the crime.

Carjacking Crackdown: Minneapolis Police Chief, Henn. Co. Sheriff Announce 50 Arrests

Brandon Lee Rock, 20, was charged in Hennepin County with five counts of first-degree aggravated robbery and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon.

According to the criminal complaint, Rock was with a young boy on the morning of Nov. 27. At 7 a.m., the two of them approached a man on the 1300 block of 7th Street southeast in Minneapolis. Rock was holding a handgun and pointed it at the man, who was getting into his car. He demanded that the man give them his wallet, cell phone, and car keys.


People like to shop local if they can. This guy did something about it.Tonight's Feel Good Story of The Day.

Jonathan Sandals is the founder of Sook, which emerged from his realization that due to the pandemic closures, he had no easy way to shop at his favorite local businesses.

"If I wanted to buy a jacket in Ballard or Seattle, I would have to visit 20 individual websites for small businesses rather than shopping for them in one place," Sandals told My Ballard. "It's because of this problem that the small businesses we love are getting eaten alive online by larger corporate retailers who are a one-stop-shop."

So, he created Sook, a Google Chrome extension that aggregates product listings from numerous small store websites in one place and makes it easier to "browse online and buy from the boutique next door."


Tonight's ONT has been brought to you by Killjoys.


Notice: Posted with permission by the Ace Media Empire, AceCorp, LLC and Shelves-R-Us. Tonight's content has neither been approved or disallowed. For what that is worth.

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