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IN VERMONT, SOME OCTOBER SCARLET

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HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS WHO ARE VAX-DENIERS?
Posted 10.7.21
FRED RYAN

SHAWVILLE, QC | Have you noticed that, amid all the uproar and dispute over Covid and vaccinations, there is one health field in particular which has a surprising share of vax-deniers protesting assaults on their personal liberty.


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CORONA NUMBERS UPDATED
WORLD: OVER 240 MILLION.
DEATHS - OVER 4.9 MILLION.
U.S.: 44.9 MILLION.
DEATHS: 724,000.
CANADA: CASES - OVER 1.676 MILLION.
DEATHS - 28,468.

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HCR LATEST REPORT
Posted 10.16.21

VOTING RIGHTS IN AMERICA UP FOR SENATE NOD NEXT WEEK

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told his colleagues that on Monday evening he plans to bring up the Freedom to Vote Act and to try to get it through the Senate.

The Republicans are determined not to let Democrats level the electoral playing field.

While Democrats in the House, where legislation can pass with a simple majority vote, have passed voting rights laws, Democrats in the Senate have to deal with the filibuster, which enables senators in the minority to block legislation unless the Democrats can muster 60 votes.

Republicans are dead set against voting rights laws.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has called voting reform "a solution in search of a problem," driven by "coordinated lies about commonsense election laws that various states have passed."

Are the 33 election laws 19 states have passed to restrict the vote really "commonsense election laws"?

Today, Meridith McGraw at Politico reported that America First Policy Institute (AFPI), a think tank of former Trump officials, says the priority for a second Trump administration would be new election laws. The president of AFPI, Brooke Rollins, who was in the Trump White House, said election reform would be top priority. Trump argues, without evidence, that the 2020 election was stolen. But, Rollins said, Trump might not have to push voting restrictions because the states have passed them already.

In 1776, the Founders declared "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…."

There have always been fights over who should have a say in our society, and until 1870, most voters in the United States were white men. After the Civil War, in 1870, the Republicans then in charge of Congress expanded the pool of voters to enfranchise Black men attacked by white gangs and undermined by white legislators.

In that year, the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution declared that "the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." That amendment also gave Congress power to enforce that amendment.

Almost immediately, white southerners determined to prevent their Black neighbors from affecting society through their votes began to keep Black Americans from the polls. By the early 1960s, fewer than 5 percent of eligible Black voters were registered in Mississippi, and when organizers tried to help them enforce their right to vote, white gangs and government officials harassed them, occasionally to the point of murder.

Appalled at the violence playing out on the streets and then again on the evening news, lawmakers in 1965 passed the Voting Rights Act. It required that states with a history of discrimination get preapproval from the Department of Justice to change state election laws. The measure passed on a bipartisan basis.

But the impulse to expand voting rights in America would face a backlash in 1986, when Reagan Republicans realized they were in danger of losing control of the government and thus losing the 1986 tax cuts. Republicans began to talk of cutting down black voting under a "ballot integrity" initiative in 1986, and new voter restrictions in Florida paid off in the 2000 election, when Republican George W. Bush won by a handful of votes there after many more votes had been suppressed.

When Democrats tried to shore up voting with an expansion of voter registration at certain state offices in 1993, with the so-called Motor Voter Law, Republicans exploded. A New York Times writer said Republicans saw the measures "as special efforts to enroll core Democratic constituencies in welfare and jobless-benefits offices." As Democrats began to focus on expanding voting rights, Republicans focused on restricting the vote.

By 1994, losing Republican candidates were charging that Democrats won elections with "voter fraud." In 1996, House and Senate Republicans each launched yearlong investigations into what they insisted were problematic elections, helping to convince Americans that voter fraud was a serious issue and that Democrats were winning elections thanks to illegal, usually immigrant, voters.

When voters nonetheless reelected Democratic president Bill Clinton in 1996, Republicans did their best to undermine his presidency -- and eventually impeached him -- but the elevation of biracial Democrat Barack Obama to the White House in 2008 prompted a new level of attacks on the electoral system. The Supreme Court in the 2010 Citizens United decision permitted a flood of corporate money to flow into the electoral system, and then, in the 2013 Shelby v. Holder decision, it gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

With Justice Department preclearance out of the way, states promptly began to pass discriminatory election laws. In 2021, in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, the Supreme Court said such laws were not prohibited, thus greenlighting the new election laws passed by Republican-dominated states after voters choose Democrat Joe Biden in 2020.

And so, here we are. Republicans are trying to regain control of the government by making sure their opponents can't vote, while Democrats are trying to level a badly tilted playing field. If the Democrats do not succeed in passing a voting rights law, we can expect America to become a one-party state that, at best, will look much like the American South did between 1876 and 1964.

OUR NATION WILL NO LONGER BE A DEMOCRACY.

There are currently three voting measures before Congress. The For the People Act is a sweeping measure that cuts back on voter suppression, ends partisan gerrymandering, curbs dark money in politics, and combats corruption. The House of Representatives passed this measure in early March 2021 and sent it to the Senate, where Republicans blocked it using a filibuster.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore the protections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court gutted in the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision. The House of Representatives passed this measure in late August 2021 and sent it to the Senate, where it sits under threat of a filibuster.

In the Senate, Joe Manchin (D-WV) expressed misgivings about the voting measures and vowed to hammer out a voting rights bill that could attract the votes of ten Republicans and thus break a filibuster. He and a number of Democratic colleagues announced the Freedom to Vote Act in mid-September 2021.

If there are ten Republicans to support the measure, we have not yet seen them.

The Senate will vote on the Freedom to Vote Act on Wednesday.

Heather Cox Richardson
Letter from an American

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Ode for Dr. Fauci

Adrienne Fisher

<1>Vaccinate before the virus can duplicate
for when it does, it doesn't hesitate
to mutate to try to obliterate
those of you, who refuse to vaccinate

To those of you who then congregate,
the virus will use your body to replicate,
filling your lungs it will mutate, then propagate
causing your death earlier than your former fate.

So rather than allowing it to imitate
Let's wear a mask to help to mitigate
our risk, then empower our bodies to eradicate
this evil virus when all decide to vaccinate!

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Ode for Dr. Fauci

Adrienne Fisher

<1>Vaccinate before the virus can duplicate
for when it does, it doesn't hesitate
to mutate to try to obliterate
those of you, who refuse to vaccinate

To those of you who then congregate,
the virus will use your body to replicate,
filling your lungs it will mutate, then propagate
causing your death earlier than your former fate.

So rather than allowing it to imitate
Let's wear a mask to help to mitigate
our risk, then empower our bodies to eradicate
this evil virus when all decide to vaccinate!

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Posted 10.4.21
Just Outside Washington

FRANK BERNHEISEL

THE GREAT OVERTURNING YET TO COME

Robert Reich is one of my favorite commentators and I check his website for the latest. Be sure to read this piece on the overturning of ROE VS WADE...

FRANK'S COMPLETE ARCHIVES
Click Here

Posted 10.4.21
Just Outside Washington

FRANK BERNHEISEL

THE GREAT OVERTURNING YET TO COME

Robert Reich is one of my favorite commentators and I check his website for the latest. Be sure to read this piece on the overturning of ROE VS WADE...

FRANK'S COMPLETE ARCHIVES
Click Here

Posted 7.19.21
Just Outside Washington

FRANK BERNHEISEL

CALIFORNIA DREAMING? NOT!

My friend Janie, who lives in San Diego County, recently complained that her old California is gone, which she attributes to illegals and great wealth. But for me, I think nothing ever stays the same.

FRANK'S COMPLETE ARCHIVES
Click Here

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SINGLE-PARENTING, EARLY EDUCATION
Posted 6.17.21
FRED RYAN

SHAWVILLE, QC | We are learning more than expected from the pandemic -- from scientific insights to generalizations about well-being and good mental health. As we slog through levels of lockdown, mental health problems seem only to grow. Our kids, for example, feel isolated and stressed, struggling to focus on their on-line lessons.

FRED'S COMPLETE ARCHIVES
Click Here

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THE TROUBLE WITH DEMOCRA$Y
Posted 6.9.21
FRED RYAN

SHAWVILLE, QC | Lend me your attention for a moment. This is not about local -- only issues, not about Covid, hockey, nor low moisture in our crops. This is about money, and money is the Trouble with Democracy.

FRED'S COMPLETE ARCHIVES
Click Here

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PSST! LOOKING FOR A QUICKIE?
5.6.21
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
Posted 5.3.21

THIS SUCKS
Posted 5.3.21
I WISH I'D SAIDTHAT
Posted 5.3.21

I WISH I'D SAID THIS TOO
Posted 5.3.21

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LOOSE TONGUES ENDANGER LIVES
Posted 5.30.21
FRED RYAN

SHAWVILLE, QC | The two world wars past gave us plenty of public messaging about "idle talk" which might reveal secrets to under-cover enemy agents. Every subject, from call-up notices to departure times -- anything which might give our enemies an edge -- was included. "Loose tongues endanger lives" was a common public message.
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Posted 5.25.21
Just Outside Washington

FRANK BERNHEISEL

THE FRENCH HAVE FIGURED OUT A BETTER MED WAY

As one gets older, it seems like we spend more time at the doctor's offices. Even when there is nothing specifically wrong, there are visits, periodic general practitioner checkups, lab visits for blood extraction, dental cleanings, dermatologist examinations, and more.

FRANK'S COMPLETE ARCHIVES
Click Here

MEMORIAL FOR THE VICTIMS OF . . . WHAT?
Posted 4.30.21
FRED RYAN

SHAWVILLE, QC | Among the surprises of this month's federal budget was a doubling of funds for Harper's "victims of communism" 2010 memorial in Ottawa. With a total of near $7 million, this should be one heck of a memorial.

FRED'S COMPLETE ARCHIVES
Click Here
LCC WRITER: HI-5! TO COVID VAX TEAM IN VIRGINIA
Posted 2.18.21
FRANK BERNHEISEL

This morning Kathy and I received our second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Hooray!

PROTEST ... WHERE IT COUNTS!
Posted 2.1.21
FRED RYAN

SHAWVILLE, QC | Two street protests against pandemic restrictions in Quebec, in Fort Coulonge and Shawville, have stimulated public comment. And criticism -- many participants, generally, were not following the health rules (masks and a two-metre distance). The SQ were careful to warn protestors of the rules, without aggravating emotions and stimulating further disturbance.
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STOPPING COVID-19 ~ WITH VALIUM?
Posted 1.12.21
FRED RYAN

SHAWVILLE, QC | One of the lesser-noted effects of Covid-19 and its lockdown is the sudden and widespread proliferation of scientific expertise. There's a touch of sarcasm here.

FRED'S COMPLETE ARCHIVES
Click Here

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10 POST-PANDEMIC LESSONS
Posted 1.1.21
FRANK BERNHEISEL

Zakaria celebrates America's resilience, which he says gains strength through chaos and crises. He also downplays the idea that despots like China's Xi Jinping do better than democratic leaders pointing out covid-19's leap around the world was due to China's suppression of lifesaving data. Also, that authoritarian regimes including Khamenei's Iran, Erdogan's Turkey, and Bolsonaro's Brazil, ruled did badly.

FRANK'S COMPLETE ARCHIVES
Click Here

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OUR 30TH ANNIVERSARY
Posted 12.28.20
ROSS MURRAY

I'm writing this on the day of our 30th wedding anniversary. Deb and I were married on December 15, 1990 in Sherbrooke. That wasn't the original plan.
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ON KEEPING WITS ABOUT US
Posted 12.23.20
FRED RYAN

SHAWVILLE, QC | Lesson number one: The pandemic's lockdown may be teaching us a thing or two, despite it's costs. One lesson is obvious: how deeply we all depend upon contact and communication with others. The opposite side of that coin may be that we also are learning to live with our own selves, without the contact we took for granted in the past.
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WHY ENVIRONMENTAL REGS ARE NEEDED
Posted 12.17.20
FRANK BERNHEISEL

As many as 12,000 children were exposed to drinking water with high levels of lead, which cause long-term health problems. The water supply change also caused an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease that killed 12 people.

FRANK'S COMPLETE ARCHIVES
Click Here

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WHAT'S WRONG WITH "SOCIALISM"?
Posted 11.15.20
FRED RYAN

SHAWVILLE, QC | American friends are certainly now on the road to a healing presidential term. The Republicans may rant about individual counts, but we can also be certain that they are busy studying their playbook, "How to Sabotage a Democrat President."
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JANE DOES THE LAUNDRY

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GALLERIES

WINTER SOLSTICE
This is one of 30 short poems in the chapbook Placing No Markers by Jason Krpan. You can download the book for free at Bookfellows.