AMERICA GATHERS AGAIN… WSJ: July Fourth Delivers Huge Crowds, but Who’s Complaining?
This weekend, Firemen’s Park in Waterloo, Wis., had an estimated 3,000 visitors at its peak, about 1,000 more than pre-pandemic holidays. […]
This Fourth of July saw crowds across the country clamoring for a regular holiday weekend.
In Southport, N.C., local businesses were so overwhelmed by lines and crowds that many vendors ran out of goods by Saturday afternoon, said Trisha Howarth, the town’s July Fourth festival co-chairwoman. […]
The busiest air travel period since the pandemic began went relatively smoothly after severe storms caused hundreds of cancellations and thousands of delays last week. The number of people passing through airports Thursday and Friday outpaced levels on the same days in 2019, a pandemic first.
Almost 2.2 million people were screened by the Transportation Security Administration on July 2, but with July 4 falling on a Sunday—in previous weeks the busiest for air travel—this dropped below 1.7 million on the holiday itself. […]
The weekend’s demand stretched hotels, which face labor shortages and a demand boom, said Chip Rogers, president and chief executive of the American Hotel and Lodging Association trade association. […]
This weekend, smaller teams of housekeepers and concierge workers welcomed a near-normal flow of visitors into America’s hotels. Mr. Rogers said he expects that when numbers are released they will show that hotels were at an estimated 70% occupancy nationwide.
“In some places, where there’s 100% demand, hotels are having to cut back on the number of rooms they can offer because of the labor shortage,” he said.
A patriotic shopper set off a storewide ensemble of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a Walmart in Texas over the holiday weekend, a video posted to social media showed.
The event took place in a Haslet Walmart where a video posted to Tik Tok shows dozens of men, women and children of all ages stopping to sing the National Anthem amid their shopping. Some held their hands over their hearts as they belted out the patriotic tune under a banner of American flags hung from the ceiling.
“Very patriotic scene in Haslet, Tx Walmart 7/3/21 someone started singing the National Anthem and people joined in,” the caption on the video, shared by Raised Right, read. “God bless Texas and God bless the USA!”
AMERICA’S RULING CLASS ATTACKED THE COUNTRY… Hate For America Has Never Been Higher With Some Of The Most Powerful People
The Washington Post published an opinion article claiming that the “Statue of Liberty has never quite measured up.” Art and architecture critic Philip Kennicott argued that the statue is “ambiguous and ambivalent” and “a symbol of hypocrisy or unfulfilled promises.” He said that the statue faces outward as a welcome sign to European immigrants, but argued that these immigrants were seen as superior to black Americans.
In their annual reading of the Declaration of Independence, NPR declared that the document reads differently following the nationwide protests during the summer of 2020. The outlet wrote that the Declaration of Independence is “a document with flaws and deeply ingrained hypocrisies.”
The New York Times wrote a piece about how the American flag is now divisive for some people given that supporters of former President Donald Trump waved it “fervently.” The article described the flag as something that was “once a unifying symbol” but is “now alienating to some.” […]
“Are you ambivalent about celebrating July 4?” USA Today’s headline read. “You’re not alone.” The article quoted Fordham University critical race theory law professor Tanya K. Hernández, who said that minorities are hesitant to participate in Fourth of July festivities. […]
Moreover, National Geographic insinuated that firework celebrations are racist.
“Scientists found that vulnerable people and communities of color are disproportionately exposed to air pollution from firework celebrations,” the outlet said.
Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters dragged the Declaration of Independence on Twitter.
“July 4th… & so, the Declaration of Independence says all men are created equal. Equal to what? What men? Only white men?” Waters said. “Isn’t it something that they wrote this in 1776 when African Americans were enslaved? They weren’t thinking about us then, but we’re thinking about us now!”
Democratic Missouri Rep. Cori Bush complained that the U.S. was on “stolen land” and that “black people still aren’t free.”
“When they say that the 4th of July is about American freedom, remember this: the freedom they’re referring to is for white people.,” the congresswoman said. “This land is stolen land and Black people still aren’t free.”
Ted Cruz Rips Cori Bush Over ‘Stolen Land’ July 4 Tweet, Says It Is Full Of ‘Divisive Lies
TED CRUZ: Hateful, divisive lies. The Left hates America. Believe them when they tell you this. Two years ago, Colin Kaepernick tried to spread the same lies on July 4. I responded with the wisdom of the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass […]
2/x Frederick Douglass loved America. He rightly denounced the grotesque evil of slavery, which in 1852 was tragically still legal. But, thanks to the heroic leadership of Douglass & other abolitionists—and a bloody Civil War—we ended that abomination.
3/x Douglass closed, “I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. While drawing encouragement from ‘the Declaration of Independence,’ the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age.”
4/x Douglass rightly—and ferociously—called out injustice. But contrast Douglass’s hope, optimism, passion for justice, and unifying call for America to live up to her grand ideals with the “Squad’s” angry, hateful, consistently anti-American venom.
5/x All of us should reject fear & anger. We should fight to further our Nation’s founding promise that “all men are created equal.” And we should be encouraged by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s exhortation, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
“I agree with you. I think that they should ask her about what Cori said. They should ask President Biden about what Cori said. I find it interesting that Republicans are always having to answer questions about what one of our members said. They should be having to answer questions about what Cori said yesterday.”
AMERICANS BARRED FROM ENTERING THEIR OWN CAPITOL BUILDING… STARS AND STRIPES: Capitol, symbol of democracy, closed on Independence Day
WASHINGTON — As it has been for nearly 16 months, longer than any time in the nation’s history, the U.S. Capitol is closed to most public visitors.
The one-two punch of the coronavirus pandemic that shuttered the Capitol’s doors in the spring of 2020 and the deadly insurrection by then-President Donald Trump’s supporters[sic] on Jan. 6 has left the icon of American democracy unopen to all but a select few.
As the rest of the nation emerges this July Fourth holiday from the pandemic for cookouts and fireworks that President Joe Biden is encouraging from the White House, the people’s house faces new threats of violence, virus variants and a more difficult moment.
“What is heartbreaking about it is that the Capitol has been forever our symbol of democracy — enduring through the Civil War, through world wars, through strife of all kinds,” said Jane L. Campbell, president and CEO of the United States Capitol Historical Society.
Congressional leaders are working intensely to try to resume public tours at the Capitol in some form, but any reopening probably will come with new protocols for health and safety for the millions of annual visitors, 535 lawmakers and thousands of staff and crew that work under the dome and its surrounding campus.
MEANWHILE… HERE’S WHAT OUR LEADERS IGNORED… 184 Die Over Independence Day Weekend As Violent Crime Continues Its Rise
Gun violence over the Fourth of July weekend resulted in 184 people killed and 464 injured across the United States, according to data from Gun Violence Archive.
The data shows injuries and homicides caused by gun violence during a 72-hour period, from the evening of Friday, July 2 to the evening of Monday, July 5, according to Gun Violence Archive data.
In Chicago, 13 people were killed and 64 people were injured, data from the Gun Violence Archives shows. The most shooting attempts occurred in Chicago – 51 of the 490 incidents.
In Baltimore, three people died and six people were injured, while in New York, seven people died and 40 people were injured due to gun violence.
HERE’S A LOOK AT ACTUAL THE HOMICIDE DATA… WE’RE ON TRACK FOR THE HIGHEST MURDER RATE SINCE THE MID-90s… JOHN SEXTON: Shootings and homicides are up creating a political problem for the left
Last week, AH Datalytics created a dashboard designed to track the year-to-date murders in cities around the country. What it currently shows is a 17.9% increase in homicides nationwide compared to last year. The amount varies by city but murder is up in 69.4% of the cities tracked.
Of course the year isn’t over yet and the trends could change, but if you assume an 18% increase in murders this year over last year, then the end result would be the highest raw number of murders nationwide since 1993 […]
One factor the graph above doesn’t include is the increase in population over time. That matters because as the population grows the raw number of murders actually represents a smaller per capita murder rate. If you correct for population growth (using the same 18% assumption for 2021) then the per capita murder rate at the end of 2021 will be the highest we’ve seen since 1996.
Teacher’s Union With 2.3 Million Members Vows To Support Critical Race Theory Education Across The Country
The National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest teachers union, has approved a plan to implement Critical Race Theory (CRT) in 14,000 school districts across all 50 states.
A document obtained by Manhattan Institute Fellow Christopher Rufo shows that the union approved a plan to spend more than $127,000 to “oppose attempts to ban critical race theory and/or The 1619 Project.” […]
The NEA’s plan will include funding for publicizing information about CRT, money for “a team of staffers for members who want to learn more and fight back against anti-CRT rhetoric,” and will promote critiques “cisheteropatriarchy,” “anthropocentricism,” capitalism, and “other forms of power and oppression at the intersections of our society.” NEA president Becky Pringle also said she’d make public statements in support of CRT.
Another business item adopted by the union includes a task force to explore “the role of law enforcement in education,” including a collaboration with groups that support abolishing police presence in schools. The plan, according to the document, would “result in increasing the implementation of culturally responsive education, critical race theory, and ethnic (Native people Asian, Black, Latin(0/a/x), Middle Eastern, North African, and Pacific Islander) Studies curriculum in pre- K-12 and higher education.”
The document additionally promises to join with Black Lives Matter and call for a rally October 14, George Floyd’s birthday, to support “a national day of action to teach lessons about structural racism and oppression.”
NY POST: Largest US teachers union vows to ‘fight back’ against CRT critics
The largest educators union in the country has vowed to “fight back” against those opposed to teaching critical race theory in schools and reiterated its support of the controversial “1619 Project.”
The National Education Association, which boasts 2.3 millions members, recently passed a resolution claiming it is “reasonable and appropriate” to include CRT in curriculum — and pledged to create “a team of staffers” to help teachers “fight back against anti-CRT rhetoric,” according to Fox News.
To boost the effort, the NEA will work to publicize “an already-created, in-depth study that critiques white supremacy, anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity, racism, patriarchy … capitalism … and other forms of power and oppression,” according to the NEA site.
“We oppose attempts to ban critical race theory and/or The 1619 Project,” the NEA said.
CHRISTOPHER RUFO: Joy Reid: Critical race theory is only taught in law schools. NEA: Actually, critical race theory is our #1 priority and we want to implement it in all 50 states and 14,000 local school districts.
MORE FROM RUFO, WRITING IN NY POST…
Over the weekend, the National Education Association (NEA) held its annual Representative Assembly, with delegates from across the United States voting on priorities and allocating funding for the upcoming school year, with the ideology of critical race theory — a form of race-based Marxism — taking center stage.
The union, which represents 3 million public school employees, approved funding for three separate items related to this issue: “increasing the implementation” of “critical race theory” in K-12 curricula, promoting critical race theory in local school districts, and attacking opponents of critical race theory, including parent organizations and conservative research centers.
This is a significant reversal. For the past month, liberal pundits and activists have insisted that critical race theory is not taught in K-12 schools. This was always a bad-faith claim — critical race theory has made inroads in public schools for more than a decade — but the NEA’s official endorsement is the final nail in the coffin.
In the resolution, the union agreed to publicly “convey its support” for critical race theory, oppose restrictions in state legislatures, and use schools for political activism. The delegates pledged to “join with Black Lives Matter at School and the Zinn Education Project” to hold a “national day of action” on George Floyd’s birthday, recruiting teachers to hold political demonstrations and “teach lessons about structural racism and oppression.”
The resolution also promised to develop a study to critique “empire, white supremacy, anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity, racism, patriarchy, cisheteropatriarchy, capitalism, ableism, [and] anthropocentrism” — that is, adopting the most fashionable and intellectually bankrupt ideas from the universities and bringing them into grade-school classrooms.
DELTA VARIANT WILL HELP CREATE HERD IMMUNITY, SAYS GOTTLIEB… FORBES: Delta Variant Could Push U.S. Covid Immunity To 85%, Says Former FDA Head
“Given how transmissible this variant is,” Gottlieb told CBS News’ This Week it’s likely about 85% of the U.S. population will end up with some level of Covid-19 immunity.
With about 55% of the population at least partly immune due to vaccination and one-third of Americans having been naturally infected, Gottlieb noted that millions of Americans remain vulnerable and now have a “choice in terms of how [they] acquire immunity.”
Even those immune through natural infection are at heightened risk, Gottlieb said, pointing to data showing immunity among individuals naturally infected with Covid-19—and particularly those who are older—declines after about eight months. […]
“I wouldn’t be declaring mission accomplished. I think this is going to be a long fight,” Gottlieb said Sunday. “You’re seeing a decoupling between cases, hospitalizations and deaths because there’s so much immunity in the population—not just through vaccination—but also through prior infection… But this is likely to become an endemic virus. We’re going to have to deal with it.”
Pfizer Vaccine Is About 30% Less Effective Against Delta Strain, Early Israeli Data Suggests
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is reportedly about 30% less effective in protecting against the new delta variant of the coronavirus, amidst a surge in infections in Israel.
While the Pfizer vaccine proved to have a 94% effectiveness rate against the coronavirus between May 2 and June 5, it’s efficiency rate dropped to about 64% between the months of June and July, Mediaite reported.
While initial research by the Maccabi Healthcare Services (MHS) in March showed that two weeks after individuals received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, there was a 99% efficacy rate in preventing COVID-19 and a 91.2% rate of preventing against infection, Israel’s Health Ministry announced on Monday that the efficiency rate had dropped to 64%, Haaretz reported.
IMPORTANTLY…. IT’S STILL GREAT AT PREVENTING HOSPITALIZATION AND DEATH… HAARETZ…
The ministry added that the vaccine is 93 percent effective in preventing hospitalizations and severe symptoms.
FAUCI STARTS JONESING FOR MASKS AGAIN… MEET THE PRESS: WATCH: If you’re going to a place with a low vaccination rate, “go the extra mile” and wear a mask even if you’re vaccinated, Dr. Fauci says on #MTP. Dr. Fauci: “Vaccines are not, even as good as they are and highly effective, nothing is 100%.”(VIDEO)
Thousands Injected With Salt Water Instead Of COVID Vaccines In India
A fraudulent scheme administered saline water to around 2,500 people who thought they were getting vaccinated against COVID-19 in India, it was reported Monday.
The scammers rolled out at least 12 fake vaccination drives in the state of Maharashtra, where they charged fees ranging from $10 to $17 for the shots of salt water from those willing to get a jab of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, according to The New York Times (NYT).
“They were using saline water and injecting it. Every fake vaccination camp that they held, they were doing this,” Vishal Thakur, a senior official of the Mumbai police department, said, according to CNN.
“We have arrested doctors. They were using a hospital which was producing the fake certificates, vials, syringes,” the official said.
The scammers allegedly operated in the period between late May and early June, until authorities launched an investigation into the fake vaccination drives after receiving a number of complaints, Thakur added.
Fourteen people have been arrested on charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy and attempts at culpable homicide, local police said. Authorities estimated the scheme generated up to $28,000.
MARYLAND GOV IS IN A FIGHT TO *NOT* TAKE FEDERAL CASH… JAZZ SHAW: Judge orders Maryland to continue paying federally enhanced unemployment benefits
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan was one of many GOP governors around the country to order an early end to federally enhanced unemployment benefits ahead of the projected termination of the program in September. That didn’t sit well with some of the litigious people currently receiving those benefits, so a couple of groups of them lawyered up in a predictable fashion and took the Governor to court. On Saturday, they found a judge willing to consider their demands and he issued an injunction, forcing the state to continue paying the extra benefits while the court reviewed the complaint. The plaintiffs claim that a failure to maximize their benefits however possible is a violation of both state law and the state constitution.
FLASHBACK… JUNE 28… THE VERDICT IS IN… STATES WHO STOPPED PAYING WORKERS TO STAY HOME GOT PEOPLE BACK TO WORK… WSJ: Americans Are Leaving Unemployment Rolls More Quickly in States Cutting Off Benefits
Missouri cut off payments as of June 12, joining three other states as the first to do so. Seven states followed with an end on June 19, and this weekend, benefits are expiring in 10 more states. Four more states will curtail benefits by July 10.
The number of workers paid benefits through regular state programs fell 13.8% by the week ended June 12 from mid-May—when many governors announced changes—in states saying that benefits would end in June, according to an analysis by Jefferies LLC economists. That compares with a 10% decline in states ending benefits in July, and a 5.7% decrease in states ending benefits in September.
WSJ EDITORIAL BOARD SOUNDS ALARM OVER BIDEN’S 32-YEAR-OLD FTC CHAIR… Lina Khan’s Power Grab at the FTC
Independent federal agencies have power over American life that the Founders never imagined, and that reign is about to expand with a vengeance in the Biden era. Witness the unprecedented power grab engineered last week at the Federal Trade Commission by the new chair, Lina Khan.
The events didn’t get much attention because the press cares more about politics than governance. But on a series of 3-2 votes, the Democratic commissioners turned agency tradition upside down and gave themselves vast new powers to harass business.
The agency eliminated the long-standing role of the agency’s chief administrative law judge in presiding over fact-finding and rule-making. Now Ms. Khan, or someone of her choosing, will preside. The Democrats also killed the requirement that the FTC staff get a majority vote of the commission to start an investigation. Now only a single commissioner can sign off. Subpoenas can also fly at Ms. Khan’s discretion.
The commissioners rescinded the bipartisan Obama-era FTC statement, adopted in 2015, that the agency follow antitrust law as it has evolved in the courts. This is a sure signal that the three Democrats are planning to dump the consumer-welfare standard for antitrust that has prevailed for decades. Instead the agency will replace it with some new standard it hasn’t specified. Also on the chopping block is the “rule of reason” the Supreme Court has applied to antitrust law for more than a century.
This is the handiwork of Ms. Khan and Rohit Chopra, who is still a commissioner but has been nominated by Mr. Biden to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Ms. Khan is a 32-year-old academic who has no experience running anything. She helped write the October 2020 House Antitrust Subcommittee report on Big Tech and has called for breaking up large firms. Now she’s teeing up the FTC to stretch its powers in a way it hasn’t done since the 1970s and 1980s before it was rebuked by Congress and the courts.
WSJ: Ransomware Hackers Demand $70 Million to Unlock Computers in Widespread Attack
The boss of the company at the heart of a widespread hack that has affected hundreds of businesses said he briefed the White House and that attackers are demanding a single $70 million ransomware payment.
The cyberattack that started to unfold Friday is estimated to have hit hundreds of mostly small and medium-size businesses and tens of thousands of computers. It quickly set off alarms in U.S. national security circles over concern that it could have far-reaching effects.
On Monday, Fred Voccola, the chief executive of Kaseya Ltd., whose software was targeted in the attack, spoke with Deputy National Security Advisor Anne Neuberger about the event while the company was still scrambling to restore services to its customers, Mr. Voccola said. Mr. Voccola told the White House that Kaseya wasn’t aware of any critical infrastructure that had been hit by the ransomware or of any victims related to national security, he said in an interview Monday. […]
About 50 of Kaseya’s customers were compromised and about 40 of those customers were sellers of IT services, known as managed service providers, Mr. Voccola said. By breaking into MSP’s, the hackers were able to expand their impact, performing what security experts call a supply-chain attack.
Security companies estimate that hundreds of organizations, all of them customers of those 40 or so service providers, have now been hit by the ransomware, making it one of the most widespread incidents to date. But almost all of them are small and medium-size organizations, cybersecurity experts said, with the impact often not immediately apparent to the wider public.
CALLING ALL PATRIOTS: As the July 4th celebrations continued into Monday, Americans were still grilling hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken wings and more. What’s your favorite 4th of July food? Let us know in the form.