Vol. 13, No. 23 – Aug 12 – Aug 25, 2020 – Opinion/Editorial

∙Current, and some former, Ventura residents have sued the City over the removal of the statue of Junipero Serra from in front of City Hall. The Coalition for Historical Integrity filed its suit in Ventura County Superior Court two days prior to the statue being removed and put in storage with the hope of moving it to the Mission San Buenaventura. Ventura council members had predicted that the city would be sued either way whether they decided to remove the statue or keep it at the location in front of City Hall.

∙Oxnard Development Director Jeff Lambert has surprisingly left his position with Oxnard. A reason was not given. Lambert took the position in 2019 when leaving Ventura, where he held a similar position. He told the Breeze that he is going to start a consulting business to help builders get through permitting in Ventura County. I wish him luck.

∙In an effort to improve testing capacity for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ventura County fairgrounds will become the county’s newest drive-through testing site. The fairgrounds site will be able to collect up to 1,500 samples per day. Hopefully, it won’t take 7-10 days to get results –as it takes now, which makes the process somewhat useless.

∙As an Indiana school district welcomed students to the 2020-21 academic year, one of their students tested positive for Covid-19 on the first day of class. This also happened on the first day in Georgia. This is why many parents are reluctant to send their kids back to school.

∙Millions of dollars of American taxpayer money went to China from the Paycheck Protection Program because the economic relief legislation allowed American subsidiaries of foreign firms to receive the loans. According to a review by the strategy consulting firm Horizon Advisory, $192 million to $419 million has gone to more than 125 companies that Chinese entities own or invest in. Many of the loans were quite sizable; at least 32 Chinese companies received loans worth more than $1 million.

∙Five individuals were charged in an indictment with fraudulently obtaining more than $4 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and using those funds, in part, to purchase luxury vehicles.  Authorities have seized a Range Rover worth approximately $125,000, jewelry, over $120,000 in cash, and over $3 million from 10 bank accounts at the time of arrest.

∙A Houston doctor who praises hydroxychloroquine and says that face masks aren’t necessary to stop transmission of the highly contagious coronavirus has become a star of the right-wing internet. Donald Trump Jr. declared the video of Stella Immanuel a “must watch,” while Donald Trump himself retweeted the video.

Other claims that she has made should also be considered. Immanuel, a pediatrician, and a religious minister, has a history of making bizarre claims about medical topics and other issues. She has often claimed that gynecological problems like cysts and endometriosis are in fact caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches.

She alleges alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, and that scientists are cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious. And, despite appearing in Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress on Monday, she has said that the government is run in part not by humans but by “reptilians” and other aliens (this I can agree with).

∙It was not unusual for Garrett Foster to be at a protest against police brutality. And it was not out of character for him to be armed. Foster was carrying an AK-47 rifle as he joined a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Austin, Texas. Gun-rights supporters on both the left and the right often carry rifles at protests in Texas, a state whose liberal gun laws allow it. Later that night, Mr. Foster was fatally shot, but not by the police. The authorities said he was killed by a motorist who had threatened protesters with his car. In Texas, it is lawful to carry rifles, shotguns and other so-called long guns on the street without a permit, as long as the weapons are not brandished in a threatening manner. To me carrying these types of guns always projects a threatening manner.

Boris Johnson has admitted the government did not understand coronavirus during the “first few weeks and months” of the UK outbreak. The British PM told BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg there were “very open questions” about whether the lockdown had started too late. Mr. Johnson also spoke of “lessons to be learned” and said ministers could have done some things “differently”. How nice to have a leader willing to admit when he makes mistakes.

∙More than 40 people were infected with the coronavirus after attending a multiday revival event at an Alabama Baptist church, according to the pastor. “The whole church has got it, just about,” pastor Daryl Ross of Warrior Creek Missionary Baptist Church stated. The pastor said the churchgoers, including himself, tested positive after the congregation held a series of religious services featuring a guest pastor over several days.

∙A new poll released by NBC News shows who is more likely to say they wear a mask when leaving home. The NBC News/SurveyMonkey Weekly Tracking Poll found 97% of Democrats or people that lean Democratic say they wear a mask at least most of the time when they leave their homes and might be in contact with others. Republicans and those who lean Republican were at 70%. Who could have ever imagined that wearing masks and saving lives would be political?

∙In an abrupt reversal, President Donald Trump now is encouraging voters in the critical swing state of Florida to vote by mail after months of criticizing the practice, and only days after threatening to sue Nevada over a new vote-by-mail law. I’m sure this decision isn’t meant to favor his voting base.

∙A Senate GOP leader raised concerns on Wednesday over President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that mail-in-voting leads to mass fraud, arguing that Republicans should instead be encouraging voters to use the method in order to compete in a consequential election that will determine control of Congress and the White House. “Mail-in voting has been used in a lot of places for a long time (5-states only use mail-in voting),” Senate Majority Whip John Thune, the No. 2 Senate Republican, said in the Capitol.

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