COVID 19 is ravaging Gaza while Israel blocks medical supplies

The collapse of their meager health care system is imminent:

A rapid rise in coronavirus infections in the Gaza Strip has reached a “catastrophic stage”, with the blockaded Palestinian enclave’s medical system likely to collapse soon, health officials warn. COVID is spreading exponentially in Gaza – one of the most crowded places on Earth – especially in refugee camps, and the health ministry has warned of “disastrous” implications.

A lack of coronavirus testing kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) is also complicating the fight, as Israel continues to impose restrictions on medical supplies reaching Gaza.

Joe Biden has a lot on his plate right now, but he can't wait until January 20 to take action on issues like this. He needs to fold Netanyahu's ears back over this obvious human rights violation, and tell him in no uncertain terms that using critical medical supplies as a "barter" will not be acceptable in the new administration. Mike Pompeo just spent several days with the Israeli leader, and no doubt Palestinian suffering was not on the agenda at all:

Monday News: Five thousand thirty four

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CORONAVIRUS RAGES ACROSS NC, 4,514 NEW CASES YESTERDAY: At least 336,775 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 5,034 have died, according to health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 4,514 new COVID-19 cases, up from 3,415 reported Saturday and breaking the state’s previous record of 4,296 cases reported Thursday. As of Sunday, 1,571 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19. State officials last week said patient counts would be higher due to a change in how the federal government reports hospital stays. About 7.1% of tests were reported positive on Friday, the latest day for which data are available.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article247359904.html

There is no pressure

I've been struck by the huge amount of whining from Republican lawmakers in the past several weeks. It typically goes like this. Trump or one of his hit-men puts in a telephone call to some bureaucrat somewhere and the bureaucrat caves. Then everybody circles their wagons to have the "pressure" conversation. "That administrator is under a lot of pressure from the President," pundits say. "It's terrible."

To which I say, bullshit.

Here's the truth: No one can put pressure on anyone else unless they're holding a gun to their head or something similar. Short of that, succumbing to pressure is just weakness of character and cowardice. It works like this. I call on the phone and lean hard on you to get you to do what I want. I coax, cajole, guilt-trip, threaten, whatever. I really, really, really want you do go along with me. I do my best to brow-beat you into going along.

What do you do? You have a couple of options. You can cave to my wishes and then say you were "pressured" into something you didn't want to do. You blame me because you don't have the spine to take responsibility for your cowardice. And it's easy to get the people around you to go along with your pity party. It's not your fault. The devil make you do it.

Or you can tell me to fuck off and then do what you really think is right.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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JOSH STEIN: HARD WORK MADE NC ELECTIONS "BUSINESS AS USUAL" IN VERY UNUSUAL TIME: When historians reflect on 2020, there will be plenty to characterize as unprecedented, out of the ordinary, and extreme. The North Carolina State Board of Elections’ approach to handling the election during a pandemic – despite histrionic partisan claims to the contrary – will not fall into that category. The board was charged with administering an election amid circumstances unlike any we’ve ever experienced. We take for granted just how complicated and miraculous a safe, fair, and free election where every legal vote is counted really is – even during a normal year. But pulling that off in the midst of the deadliest pandemic in a century? It was quite a tall order. When you look at the facts, you see that in the 2020 election, five and a half million North Carolinians, 75 percent of those registered, voted – the highest voter turnout percentage in over a century. It is as remarkable as it is boring – against all odds, exactly what is supposed to happen in an election happened. The process was fair, and the people spoke. I believe history will judge it the same way.
https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/josh-stein-hard-work-made-n-c-elections-business-as-usual-in-very-u...

Saturday News: Insurrectionists

WHITE SUPREMACIST/NEO NAZI CELL ARRESTED ON WEAPONS CHARGES: While the firearms charges against Duncan, Collins and Kryscuk were previously disclosed, Friday's release represents the first time prosecutors referred to the group's “ties to white supremacy.” According to the indictment, Collins posted frequently on the online message board platform called Iron March, which prosecutors said was used by neo-Nazi and white supremacy extremist groups. Collins spoke of recruiting for a group he described as “a modern day SS” located in the Northeast, and in 2016, he posted that he was organizing a paramilitary force. The indictment said Collins and Kryscuk would eventually discuss the three steps they felt were necessary to effect the change in the country they were seeking, including “knocking down The System, mounting it and smashing (its) face until it has been beaten past the point of death.”
https://www.wral.com/prosecutors-men-in-gun-conspiracy-had-white-supremacy-ties/19395165/

Alamance battleground: Sheriff adds felony charges to (peaceful) protest leader

And could land Greg Drumwright in jail for 3-4 years:

Twenty-three people were arrested, including the main march organizers. All of these people initially were charged with misdemeanors.

Now, Drumwright is being charged with felony assault with physical injury on a law enforcement officer and felony obstructing justice in addition to his previous charge of misdemeanor failure to disperse on command.

Here are a couple of truth-bombs: If you aren't allowed to connect your public address sound system to electric outlets at the venue (Courthouse), you will need a stand-alone generator. And that generator will need gasoline to function. It's as simple as that. But law enforcement saw an opportunity to escalate the situation by viewing the gas can as an incendiary device; fuel for a fire that was never going to happen. And in the process, they perfectly symbolized the core issue driving the Black Lives Matter movement itself: Police operating from a "worst case scenario" mindset when dealing with black citizens. An assumption of guilt that must be (somehow) proven wrong by the suspect, often in a matter of seconds before lethal force comes into play. I'll let Reverend Drumwright speak his mind, since Terry Johnson won't allow it in his fiefdom:

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