Not Sure Why

Finland and Sweden seem to be thinking about joining NATO in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s overt aggression toward and threat of invasion of Ukraine.

Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin:

We retain the option of applying for NATO membership. We should uphold this freedom of choice and make sure it remains a reality….

And

Sweden’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Anne Linde also asserted that Russia does not have a veto on whatever alliance Sweden chooses to join.

It’s hard, at this date, to see why either nation—or any other—would want to join NATO.

Flaw?

The People’s Republic of China government requires everyone attending the Beijing Olympics next month to load a tracking app on their cell phones:

Those who attend the Olympics, including athletes and journalists, are required to download the app and upload their health and vaccination information to track potential outbreaks of COVID-19.

The Citizen Lab, based in the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, has identified what it terms a security flaw.

No Law

…but merely convenience. Australia’s immigration ministry makes Australia a nation ruled by men and not by law.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke made clear in court documents concerning his second revocation of Novak Djokovic’s entry visa that the law counts for nothing.

Hawke didn’t dispute Djokovic’s claim of a medical exemption from rules that travelers to Australia must be vaccinated against Covid-19…. Hawke, who canceled Djokovic’s visa on Friday, said allowing the player to stay could sway some Australians against getting vaccinated.

Additionally,

Hawke didn’t refute Djokovic’s contention that he posed a negligible health risk, documents showed.

Military’s Attack on Religious Freedom

The US military is flatly refusing even to seriously consider members’ requests for religious accommodation requests regarding excusals from getting vaccinated against the Wuhan Virus. Members who apply are getting boiler plate denials of their requests. Every single one of them; no request has been granted to date.

The Chief of Staff for the USAF, for instance, is insisting that

vaccination is the least restrictive means of furthering the military’s compelling governmental interest.

The business is on appeal through the USAF (and Navy and Army) internal appeals processes; I strongly suspect members will wind up in Federal courts after the DoD appeals processes rubber stamp the service chiefs’ decisions to deny.

The Senate and the Republic

Senator Jeff Merkley (D, OR) has said the quiet part aloud (to coin a phrase). His immediate venue is the coming Progressive-Democrat effort to Federalize our nation’s elections, which by our Constitution are set by each State’s own legislatures and only modifiable under narrow circumstances by the Federal Congress.

You can think of January as a moment when two different forces are converging. One is the functionality of the Senate and the other is the functionality of our republic.

Child Abuse

Now the New Orleans government is requiring children as young as five years old to get vaccinated, whether they need it or not, whether their parents want it for their children or not.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell said she is implementing the policy “to keep the omicron variant at bay,” amid surging cases in Orleans Parish.

And

“The vaccine mandate will expand to include children ages 5-11,” she said. “We will require proof of vaccination or negative tests at bars and restaurants and other locations for everyone ages 5 and older.”

Ultimatums

Russian President Vladimir Putin has them, so far centered on his buildup opposite Russia’s border with Ukraine.

“Further movement of NATO eastward is unacceptable,” Mr Putin told a press conference on Thursday.

This is the Kaiser presuming to order Poincaré/Viviani and Asquith not to respond to his buildup opposite the French border.

And this:

Mr Putin warned that Russia’s actions would depend not only “on the course of the negotiations, but on the unconditional provision of Russia’s security, today and in the future,” he said.

Contempt

A Wall Street Journal piece centered on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D, NY) supposed plan to bring President Joe Biden’s (D) and his Progressive-Democratic Party’s “Build Back Better Act” to a Senate floor vote in January, and therewith dare Senator Joe Manchin (D, VA) to vote against it, had the following highly instructive bit buried toward the end.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D, WA), Chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, castigated Manchin over his decision regarding the Progressive-Democrats’ reconciliation bill:

We cannot hang the futures of millions of Americans on the words of one man who represents a state that has a tiny percentage of the country’s entire population.

Seth Moulton’s Symbolism

Congressman Seth Moulton (D, MA) had some thoughts on “saving Ukraine” in his Sunday WSJ op-ed. He began by announcing that our options are limited.

At this point, US options are limited. President Biden has already said he won’t send more troops.

Then he listed some things we could do, anyway, to show our support for Ukraine.

  • First, dramatically increase the speed of weapons procurement for Ukraine, and do so publicly. Washington must clearly articulate to the world how the weapons we provide will force Mr. Putin to incur substantial losses of Russian troops right away, not merely over time.

Insisting on your Rights is Uncooperative

That’s the view of one lawyer.

It seems that the actor Alec Baldwin wanted a search warrant before he would turn over his cell phone to the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department. Supposedly, Baldwin asked for one even before the sheriff asked for his cell in the apparent expectation that the sheriff would be asking.

Lawyer Christopher Melcher says that’s being uncooperative.

It is spin by Alec’s lawyer to say that he suggested the warrant. He refused to provide his phone without a warrant. That is not cooperation or a proactive suggestion.