Lead by former Republican Congressman Justin Amash, libertarians across the U.S. are in absolute freak-out mode over “vaccine passports,” an initiative being created and worked on by 17 private companies – but not the federal government – as a way for businesses to protect themselves, their employees, and their customers by knowing who has been vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus that has killed more than 550,000 Americans.
While not a Biden administration initiative, the White House supports the poorly-named “passports” and is co-ordinating efforts to develop and roll them out.
The travel and tourism industry, and businesses like restaurants, concert facilities, and others where large numbers of people gather are anxious to re-open fully and safely, but proof of vaccination apparently is just too much for libertarians and many conservatives, including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Jim Jordan, to handle.
Amash on Twitter is calling the idea of the passports “dystopian.”
No vaccine passport. It doesn’t get much more dystopian than being required to show your “health papers” wherever you go.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) March 30, 2021
To be clear, the federal government is not requiring anyone to be vaccinated, contrary to conspiracy theories circulating. Nor is it requiring the passports and it is not involved in maintaining the data.
“Vaccine passports are not a new idea,” US News reports. “Frequent international travelers might be familiar with vaccine cards, which are typically a yellow paper showing a persons’ vaccinations. Certain areas require proof of vaccination against illnesses like yellow fever or tuberculosis.”
US News also notes that “Andy Slavitt, a senior adviser to the White House coronavirus team, said on Monday that it’s not the role of the government to create such a passport or hold that kind of data on its citizens.”
Amash and others, especially libertarian groups, are being mocked on social media for apparently not realizing that state and local governments in the U.S., and the federal government along with governments around the world for at least a century have required proof of vaccinations against many diseases.
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) March 30, 2021
— Prasad Jallepalli, MD, PhD (@jallepap) March 30, 2021
As it happens, vaccine passports are yellow. Anyone who travels regularly to “exotic” destinations is familiar with the requirement to demonstrate proof of vaccine for yellow fever or other diseases.
Libertarians spend a lot of energy to free themselves from world travel. pic.twitter.com/FS02d8nm1k
— Karen Leavitt (@kleavitt) March 30, 2021
Have these people never attended a school?
Ihad to get the MMR shot three times because mom lost my vaccination card, then I did (twice).
Vaccine requirements aren’t new.
— Yellowdog 4 H2O in GA (@TNYellowDog) March 30, 2021
Interesting that so-called libertarians focus exclusively on their individual “freedom” but never on the costs of the negative externalities of their “freedom.” Whether it’s seat belts, guns, masks, vaccines, a refusal to act in the common interest imposes significant costs 1/
— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) March 30, 2021
Libertarians, 2021: “COVID Vaccine passports are tyranny! We have always stood for freedom!”
Libertarian Party, 1988: “Children with HIV should be banned from schools, doctors shouldn’t have to treat them and companies should be allowed to test all employees.” pic.twitter.com/s58iSvKk8W
— Christian Christensen (@ChrChristensen) March 30, 2021
I also needed to be tested for tuberculosis, syphilis and gonorrhea, in addition to the vaccines.
— guan 🐰🐕🇪🇺 (@guan) March 30, 2021
[after a year of not seeing family and friends, staying home, watching people you care about die, massive unemployment, the economy devastated…]
Govt: Here’s a piece of paper that will help prevent more suffering. Hold on to it.
Libertarians: THIS IS DYSTOPIAN YOU FASCIST
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) March 30, 2021
The GOP and Libertarians are quite hysterical over what they assert is a threat to civil liberties posed by #VaccinePassports, but not upset by the very real threat to civil liberties posed by #VoterSuppression laws.
Make it make sense.
— Victoria Brownworth #GetVaccinatedStayMasked (@VABVOX) March 30, 2021
Libertarians are wholly incapable of putting anything in proportion, conferring upon even the most reasonable public safety measures the label of fascism/Naziism. Unsurprisingly, they also tend to be upper middle class white dudes who’ve encountered few serious obstacles in life. https://t.co/XfBWxCVoHY
— The Cascadian Pragmatist (@PNWPragmatist) March 30, 2021
These clowns can’t even get their own abuse of analogies right. If the vaccinated folks are the ones wearing the stars, then who are the KY libertarians in this story? https://t.co/fkUUnw5caM
— Sheer Ganor (@sheerganor) March 30, 2021
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Federal Judge Hands Down First Sentence of 1/6 Insurrectionists: Florida Man Gets 8 Months in Prison
The first person to be convicted in a January 6 insurrection case has just be sentenced to eight months in prison, far less than the 18 months federal prosecutors had requested. The judge told him he inflicted “a damage that will persist in this country for several decades.”
Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, of Tampa, Florida pleaded guilty in June to one felony count of obstructing an official proceeding. He could have been sentenced to a maximum of 20 years.
Hodgkins “was seen carrying a large red ‘Trump 2020′ flag on the floor of the U.S. Senate during the Capitol riot,” NBC News’ Pete Williams reports.
“Although you were only one member of a larger mob, you actively participated in a larger event that threatened the Capitol and democracy itself,” U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss of Washington, D.C. told Hodgkins.
“The damage that was caused that way was way beyond a several-hour delay of the vote certification,” Judge Moss said. “It is a damage that will persist in this country for several decades.”
Mona Sedky, an assistant U.S. attorney, told the judge Hodgkins’ goal in entering the Capitol “was to disturb the election process and disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.”
While in the U.S. Senate on January 6, in addition to carrying around a Trump 2020 flag Hodgkins took a selfie with the “QAnon shaman.”
The criminal complaint against Hodgkins includes this “selfie.”
‘Let Me Finish’: Psaki Smacks Down Doocy for ‘Loaded and Inaccurate’ False Claim of Admin ‘Spying’ on Facebook Pages
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was forced to take a far more assertive tone after Fox News propagandist and conspiracy theorist Peter Doocy accused the Biden administration of “spying” on millions of American’s Facebook pages.
The White House this week announced that just 12 people are responsible for 65% of all the false and misleading coronavirus disinformation. The number came from a report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, not from any efforts by the administration to “spy” on Americans.
“For how long has the administration been spying on people’s Facebook profiles looking for vaccine misinformation?” Doocy asked.
“Well, that was quite a loaded and inaccurate question, which I would refute,” Psaki responded. “Well Peter first of all, as you know, we’re, we’re in a regular touch with, with a range of media outlets, as well as – let me finish,” she was forced to add after he repeatedly tried to talk over her.
“As we are, as we are in regular touch with social media platforms,” Psaki continued. “This is publicly open information people sharing information online, just as you are all reporting information on your news stations.”
Doocy: For how long has the administration been spying on people’s Facebook profiles looking for vaccine misinformation?
Psaki: That was quite a loaded and inaccurate question pic.twitter.com/RB2ySmebU1
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 16, 2021
Pence and Pompeo Speaking at Far Christian Right Conference to Promote Possible Presidential Candidacies
Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo, two of the most far right Christian conservatives in the former Trump administration are pursuing possible 2024 GOP presidential runs by appearing at some of the most anti-LGBTQ events on the Republican political circuit.
On Friday both the former vice president and former secretary of state will speak at The Family Leader’s Summit in Iowa. The event includes an anti-LGBTQ hate group as a sponsor. The Family Leader, while not a Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate group, has for years worked to attack LGBTQ Americans.
The Family Leader has been linked to both Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, the latter being an anti-LGBTQ hate group. Family Leader founder Bob Vander Plaats is among the more homophobic Christian activists in the nation.
“He has publicly compared homosexuality to pedophilia, compared the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage to past rulings on slavery, and supported conversion therapy to ‘cure’ LGBTQ youth,” a 2015 op-ed in the Des Moines Register recorded. “His organization, the Family Leader, has long been affiliated with the Family Research Council, an anti-gay hate group (as designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center). He has consistently orchestrated attacks against those providing resources and education to prevent the bullying of LGBTQ students. And earlier this month, Vander Plaats delivered a keynote address at an event with pastor Kevin Swanson, who says the Bible calls for the punishment of homosexuality by death.”
Like Vander Plaats and The Family Leader, Pence and Pompeo are Christian dominionists, eager to sever the wall between church and state and trying to create a theocratic nation with laws based on the Bible.
Both Pence and Pompeo attended an End-Times Bible study group at the White House, and talk very openly about their faith and how it informs everything they do.
25 GOP legislators on #FLS21 stage, being thanked by @theFAMiLYLEADER lobbyists for work on bills. Biggest applause when bill RE critical race theory mentioned. #ialegis #iapolitics pic.twitter.com/xdd9Kq1Pgd
— O. Kay Henderson (@okayhenderson) July 16, 2021
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