How many “religious” exemptions to vaccination are phony?

In Northern California, the pastor of a megachurch hands out religious exemption forms to the faithful. A New Mexico state senator will “help you articulate a religious exemption” by pointing to the decades-old use of aborted fetal cells in the development of some vaccines. And a Texas-based evangelist offers exemption letters to anyone — for a suggested “donation” starting at $25.

With workplace vaccine mandates in the offing, opponents are turning to a tried-and-true recourse for avoiding a covid-19 shot: the claim that vaccination interferes with religious beliefs.

No major denomination opposes vaccination. Even the Christian Science Church, whose adherents rely largely on prayer rather than medicine, does not impose an official policy. It counsels “respect for public health authorities and conscientious obedience to the laws of the land, including those requiring vaccination.”

And if a person claims their privately held religious beliefs forbid vaccination, that defense is unlikely to hold up in court if challenged, legal experts say. Although individual clergy members have mounted the anti-vaccine bandwagon, they have no obvious justification in religious texts for their positions. Many seem willing to cater to people who reject vaccination for another reason.

If you “feel it’s real”…then go for it. But, if you’re just another copout looking to cover your buns, shame on you!

The Disinformation Dozen on social media

Researchers have found just 12 people are responsible for the bulk of the misleading claims and outright lies about COVID-19 vaccines that proliferate on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

“The ‘Disinformation Dozen‘ produce 65% of the shares of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms,” said Imran Ahmed, chief executive officer of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which identified the accounts.

After this story published on Thursday, Facebook said it had taken down more of the accounts run by these 12 individuals.

These figures are well-known to both researchers and the social networks. They include anti-vaccine activists, alternative health entrepreneurs and physicians. Some of them run multiple accounts across the different platforms. They often promote “natural health.” Some even sell supplements and books.

As usual, Facebook isn’t performing the simplest categories of self-checking misinformation and deception.

Read it and weep 2…even crocodile tears count

” The stunningly consequential accusation spelled out in the Democrats’ impeachment report represents the most sweeping effort yet to capture the span of President Donald Trump’s alleged offense and to boil it into a crisp indictment.

In effect, the 300-page House Intelligence Committee summary of witness testimony, timelines and phone records accused Trump of perpetrating one of the most serious political crimes in the history of the United States.

The report is a roadmap toward formal articles of impeachment — an argument to a nation split in two on Trump’s political fate that there is no alternative but to remove him from office 11 months before the next general election over his pressure on Ukraine for political favors.

Good riddance to this rubbish fake president!

Devin Nunes, GOP’s worst best example


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Take it far enough back and I have spent a fair piece of time with honest conservatives – a contradiction in terms for today’s Republicans – I participated in a few political actions with conservative friends who’d supported my own activities confronting American racism and more. Including being a founding member of the Young Republicans chapter in my home town BITD.

Cycle back to the 21st Century and ask anyone who says they’re a “traditional American conservative” if they’re a registered Republican. If they say, “yes” – then they spend more than tolerable time in their political life playing at “Let’s pretend I’m not a hypocrite!”

‘Nuff said.

Trump pressed the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden’s son


Mick Tsikas/AAP

❝ Donald Trump pressed the new leader of Ukraine this summer to investigate Joe Biden, multiple reports say, as Democrats condemned what they saw as a clear effort to damage a political rival.

It was the latest revelation tied to an explosive whistleblower complaint that sparked a showdown between congressional Democrats and the Trump administration. Trump officials have refused to turn over the complaint by a national security official or even describe its contents.

❝ Trump spoke to the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, on 25 July, about two weeks before the complaint was filed. On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump repeatedly pressured Zelensky to investigate Biden’s son, Hunter. In the July phone call, Trump urged Zelensky about eight times to work with Giuliani on the investigation, the Journal said…

❝ Serhii Leshchenko, an investigative journalist and former MP who advised Zelensky on foreign policy during the campaign, said: “There is nothing it could be besides this Biden stuff. It’s clear what they were talking about.”

He cited a Ukrainian readout of the 25 July phone call between the two leaders: “Donald Trump is convinced that the new Ukrainian government will be able to quickly improve image of Ukraine, complete investigation of corruption cases, which inhibited the interaction between Ukraine and the USA.”

Trump’s criminal behavior, his lies and deceit, are overlooked persistently, constantly, by his so-called base. The pejorative meaning of “base” obviously applies since his loyal followers don’t give a damn about the Fake President’s absence of ethics or principle.

Leshchenko also did an opinion piece published by the Washington POST behind a paywall. Which is why I referenced the GUARDIAN’s article for easier access.