Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/30/2021

Many New York City municipal employees have gotten the jab ahead of the deadline, but at least 26,000 reportedly remain “unvaccinated”. Meanwhile, according to the latest polls, a majority of American voters think that Dr. Anthony Fauci should resign his position.

In other news, the parents of a young Pennsylvania woman who received more than twenty stab wounds have gained the right to sue authorities who ruled her death a suicide.

To see the headlines and the articles, click “Continue reading” below.

Thanks to Dean, Nitzakhon, Reader from Chicago, SS, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. I check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

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‘House Of Horrors’ Mom Says She Checked On Abandoned Kids Left With Sibling’s Corpse ‘Every Two Weeks’

Gloria Williams, 35, the mother of three siblings who were abandoned months ago in a Texas apartment along with the body of their deceased sibling says she checked on the children “every two weeks.”

CNN affiliate KHOU reported that Williams – who is currently behind bars for her involvement in the death of her 8-year-old-son, Kendrick Lee – told the outlet she “didn’t do it.” Williams claimed she didn’t even know the child was dead. Court documents, however, suggest Williams “altered, destroyed and concealed Kendrick’s body to get rid of evidence,” according to KHOU.

The outlet asked Williams why she left the three kids – aged 7, 10, and 15 – alone, she claimed she “checked on them every two weeks.”

As The Daily Wire reported, authorities say 31-year-old Brian Ward Coulter allegedly beat the child to death and that the mother, 35-year-old Gloria Yvette Williams, allegedly helped in a cover-up. The two adults allegedly abandoned the children months before they were found.

Coulter was charged with felony murder, and the complaint accuses him of “unlawfully, intentionally and knowingly commit the felony offense of injury to a child by intentionally, knowingly and recklessly causing serious bodily injury to Kendrick Lee, hereafter styled the Complainant, a child younger than 15 years of age, by striking the Complaint with the Defendant’s hand, and by kicking the Complainant with the Defendant’s foot, and while in the course of and furtherance of the commission of said offense did commit an act clearly dangerous to human life, to-wit: striking the Complaint with the Defendant’s hand and kicking the Complainant with the Defendant’s foot, and did thereby cause the death of Kendrick Lee.”

The Daily Beast, which has dubbed the story a “house of horrors,” reported that Williams became “somebody else” when she met Coulter. Linda Smith, the grandmother of one of the surviving children abandoned in the apartment. Smith, whose son is the father of one of the kids, said she took in Williams and her kids for a few months in 2014. Smith said she eventually asked Williams to leave for “promiscuous behavior” but said that at the time Williams was a loving mother. She said that changed after Williams met her current boyfriend, Coulter.

“All of this happened after she met him,” Smith said. “When I saw her picture [on the news], she was like somebody else. I couldn’t imagine her ever being like that. I never saw her like that. She wasn’t like that when she was around me.”

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Police Increase Presence At Shopping Malls, Crowded Areas In Northern Virginia Amid ISIS Terror Threat: Report

 

Law enforcement officials in Northern Virginia have increased their presence at shopping malls and other crowded venues this weekend in response to a possible ISIS terror threat.

CBS News reports:

Police said the increased law enforcement presence will be in place through the Halloween weekend and ahead of Virginia’s gubernatorial election. Law enforcement officials said they are acting out of an abundance of caution, and as they learn more about the threat, the increased law enforcement presence could be extended through Tuesday’s election.

“We have increased our police presence throughout the county to include major thoroughfares, transit hubs, shopping plazas and shopping malls,” Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said on Friday. “It’s just our responsibility to have a greater presence, to be more aware and to ask the community to have their eyes and ears peeled for suspicious activities.”

John Cohen, who is the top counterterrorism official at the Department of Homeland Security and the head of the department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis, warned that U.S. officials have seen a surge in ISIS activity ever since Democrat President Joe Biden’s disastrous pullout from Afghanistan in August.

Cohen said, “Right now we’re seeing a dramatic increase — or an increase — in online activity by media operations associated with different al Qaeda elements and Islamic State.”

Colin Kahl, undersecretary of Defense for policy, told the Senate Armed Services Committee this week that ISIS-K and al-Qaeda have increased their capabilities ever since the withdrawal, and that they may soon have the ability to attack the U.S.

“I think the intelligence community currently assesses that both ISIS-K and al Qaeda have the intent to conduct external operations, including against the United States. But neither currently has the capability to do so,” Kahl said. “We could see ISIS-K generate that capability in somewhere between six or 12 months. I think the current assessments by the intelligence community is that al Qaeda would take a year or two to reconstitute that capability.”

Kahl said that the U.S. needed to “remain vigilant” against the threats, and that U.S. intelligence had “considerable evidence” that the two terrorist groups “have the intention to do so.”

“It is our assessment that the Taliban and ISIS-K are mortal enemies,” Kahl claimed. “So, the Taliban is highly motivated to go after ISIS-K. Their ability to do so, I think, is to be determined.”

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Tech Company On Biden Vaccine Mandate: We ‘Resisted Vaccine Requirements,’ But ‘Must Now Comply’

On Tuesday, Lumen Technologies, formerly known as CenturyLink, sent an email to employees telling them that “as a condition of employment,” they will have to be fully-vaccinated by December 8, given the company’s status as a federal contractor.

In the email, the company noted that they “have worked hard to avoid vaccine requirements,” but because they are a federal contractor, they must abide by the Biden administration’s “far-reaching” mandate.

“As you know, we have strongly encouraged COVID-19 vaccinations since they became available but have equally resisted vaccine requirements,” the email stated. “Based on government regulations, our status as a federal contractor and our support of our customers — many of which are also federal contractors — we must now comply with presidential orders to require vaccines within Lumen.”

“We have tried to avoid this action and preferred to encourage voluntary vaccination, but the rules and regulations are clear, and complying is the only business decision we can make,” the email continued.

After encouraging employees to continue reading with an open mind before making any job decision, and noting that the company greatly values its employees, Lumen stated that the only possible exceptions to the mandate would be “a sincerely held religious belief or medical condition.”

The email added that even “work-from-home employees” who work “directly [or] indirectly with covered federal contracts” are subject to the mandate, and that it is “a condition of employment.”

The Daily Wire reached out to Lumen for comment, but as of this reporting, they have not responded.

On September 9, the White House issued executive orders regarding vaccination requirements for all federal workers, as well as for federal contractors:

…in light of the public health guidance regarding the most effective and necessary defenses against COVID-19, I have determined that to promote the health and safety of the Federal workforce and the efficiency of the civil service, it is necessary to require COVID-19 vaccination for all Federal employees, subject to such exceptions as required by law.

As for contractors, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force later detailed: “Covered contractors must ensure that all covered contractor employees are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless the employee is legally entitled to an accommodation. Covered contractor employees must be fully vaccinated no later than December 8, 2021.”

However, during a Wednesday press briefing, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients stated that the December 8 deadline has some flexibility:

But even once we hit those deadlines, we expect federal agencies and contractors will follow their standard HR processes and that, for any of the probably relatively small percent of employees that are not in compliance, they’ll go through education, counseling, accommodations, and then enforcement.

So, these processes play out across weeks, not days. And so, to be clear, we’re creating flexibility within the system. We’re offering people multiple opportunities to get vaccinated. There is not a cliff here. And the purpose, I think, most importantly, is to get people vaccinated and protected, not to punish them.

The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.

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Gas Prices Have Risen By $1.25 Per Gallon Since Last Year

Gas prices in the United States have risen year-over-year by roughly $1.25 per gallon.

According to AAA’s National Average Gas Prices tracker, the cost for a tank of regular gas was $3.40 as of October 29. One month ago, the average was $3.19; one year ago, the average was $2.14. The price of diesel fuel has also risen significantly — from $2.37 last year to $3.63 today.

California, which will effectively ban the sale of certain new gas-powered lawn equipment as soon as 2024, is facing a price of $4.59 per gallon — up from $3.18 one year ago. The Daily Wire reported that gas prices in one California town have reached $7.59 per gallon.

During a recent town hall on CNN, President Biden said that his administration does not have a “near-term answer” for reducing fuel costs.

“My guess is you’ll start to see gas prices come down as we get by — going into the winter — I mean, excuse me, into next year, in 2022,” Biden said. “I don’t see anything that’s going to happen in the meantime that’s going to significantly reduce gas prices.”

Earlier in October, however, the United States Energy Information Administration’s winter outlook predicted the largest winter heating price increase in thirteen years. Nearly half of American households that warm their homes with natural gas can expect 30% higher heating expenditures than last year’s season.

“We are very concerned about the affordability of heat this winter for all customers, but in particular those who struggle every day to afford their utility services,” National Consumer Law Center staff attorney Karen Lusson commented to The Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, Biden — who campaigned on the promise of making America “the world’s clean energy superpower” — recently argued that the $1.75 trillion version of his social welfare bill would “set the United States on course to meet its climate goals.”

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What Undermined Biden’s Popularity?

On June 1, Joe Biden’s job approval rating was 53.3% in the RealClearPolitics polling average, with a net approval of plus-11.3. In modern politics, plus-11.3 net approval is impressive. Donald Trump never posted a number that high, and Barack Obama only did so at the very beginning and end of his two terms in office. Unfortunately for Biden, the initial good feelings that marked his first few months have long since disappeared, and as of Oct. 28, his net approval had descended to minus-9.7 percentage points. That 21-point drop has turned Biden into a drag on his party’s midterm ambitions instead of the touted asset some had initially pictured.

Amid a summer and early fall full of depressing news, it’s no surprise that Biden’s approval plummeted. The more interesting question is why it fell so far so fast. Which event pushed Biden below water? Was it the rise of the coronavirus delta variant just as Americans were starting to return to life unmasked? Or was it the chaotic exit from Afghanistan, which left 13 Americans dead in a devastating terrorist attack and saw the Taliban reassert control over the country with shocking speed?

Our assessment of RealClearPolitics averages and YouGov/Economist polling is that it was both.

Although Biden’s approval was already falling, the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan accelerated the decline.

Afghanistan began to dominate the news on Aug. 13, 2021. To be sure, major news organizations reported on the Taliban’s march across the country in the preceding weeks, but it was only as the Taliban closed in on Kabul that the story took top billing. From Aug. 13 through Aug. 23, the New York Times featured Afghanistan as its top story every day. The rise of the delta variant seems to have already taken a significant toll on Biden to that point, with about half his decline in approval occurring before Aug. 13. On June 9, Biden stood at 54% approval and 41.1% disapproval in the RCP average, giving him a net rating of plus-12.9. By Aug. 12 — the day before Afghanistan took over the new cycle — his net approval had dropped 8.7 percentage points to plus-4.2.

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Kemp On Vaccine Mandate Lawsuit: ‘Won’t Allow’ Fed To Make Georgians ‘Choose Between Their Livelihood Or A Vaccine’

On Friday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) and state Attorney General Chris Carr announced their intention to file a complaint against the Biden administration over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors.

According to a press release from Kemp’s office, the complaint, which will be filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia (Augusta Division), “explains how the Biden Administration’s unprecedented, unlawful, and unconstitutional COVID-19 vaccination mandate for federal contractors has placed Georgia’s state agencies and elected officials, including Governor Kemp, the Georgia Department of Agriculture, and the University System of Georgia, in an untenable situation.”

“Polling shows 70 percent of unvaccinated Americans say they would quit their jobs if their company required the COVID-19 vaccine. From an employer’s perspective, 9 in 10 fear significant reductions in their workforce if they had to implement vaccine mandates. We will not allow the Biden Administration to circumvent the law or force hardworking Georgians to choose between their livelihood or this vaccine,” Kemp stated in the press release.

In a tweet announcing the complaint, Kemp wrote in part: “We won’t allow the federal gov’t to circumvent the law or force hardworking Georgians to choose between their livelihood or a vaccine.”

Carr echoed Kemp’s sentiment, noting that the mandate “places immense burden on our state.”

Kemp and Carr are joined by several other states, including “Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, Utah, and West Virginia,” according to the release.

On September 9, the White House issued executive orders regarding vaccination requirements for all federal workers, as well as for federal contractors. The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force later detailed: “Covered contractors must ensure that all covered contractor employees are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless the employee is legally entitled to an accommodation. Covered contractor employees must be fully vaccinated no later than December 8, 2021.”

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Maher Torches People Who Change Words Because They Can’t Deal With Reality: ‘Repeat Kindergarten’

Liberal HBO host Bill Maher slammed woke people during this week’s episode of “Real Time,” saying that they need to stop changing words just because they cannot deal with reality.

Maher specifically mentioned eight words that people need to stop redefining: hate, victim, hero, shame, violence, survivor, phobic, and white supremacy.

“Comedian Hannah Gadsby characterized Dave Chappelle’s controversial Netflix special as hate speech dog-whistling,” Maher said. “Well, dog whistle refers to when someone puts things in code because they’re afraid to come out and say what they really think. That’s what you get from Dave Chappelle? That he’s afraid to say what he really thinks? And it’s not hate speech just because you disagree with it. Nor is it phobic. Phobic comes from the Greek word for something one fears irrationally, like spiders or germs, but now is used as a suffix for anything you just don’t like.”

“Also in the category of, ‘we just don’t like it, so we’re pretending it’s something else,’ is the word ‘violence,’” Maher later added. “Last year, there was a staff mutiny at the CBS drama ‘All Rise’ when some of the writers — I’m sorry, I meant victims — took issue with a scene where two women are in an elevator and a naked man gets on, and they just continue talking calmly. And if you think that’s offensive, you should see how the guy pushed the button. But the writers on this show found the scene objectionable and sent off an email saying, ‘Two women would not commonly continue a conversation with a naked white guy running into the elevator. That is violence.’ No, it’s not. Violence is when it hurts. It usually involves leaving a mark of some kind. Of course, innumerable things can lead to violence, but I’m sorry, you can’t take that word and use it for stuff that’s just scary to you or just verbal, which is something I literally learned in kindergarten. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but…if you don’t know how that one ends, you need to repeat kindergarten.”

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Expert on U.N.’s COP26: Climate Panic Is Bad for People and the Planet

As the United Nation’s COP26 summit gets underway on Sunday, a lone voice is pushing back on the existential threat of so-called climate change and most of the left-wing media, who will provide non-stop doomsday warnings.

That voice is Bjorn Lomborg, a Dane who is president of the Copenhagen Consensus and a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, “a public policy think tank promoting the principles of individual, economic, and political freedom.”

Lomborg’s latest book is False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet.

The Wall Street Journal is publishing commentaries from Lomborg leading up to and during the United Nation’s event where leaders from around the world, including President Joe Biden and 13 members of his cabinet, will call for making climate change the greatest threat facing humanity and the planet:

Looking at much of the media reporting ahead of this week’s climate conference in Glasgow, you’d think the world was subject to biblical plagues—blasted by fires, floods, hurricanes, drought and disease. But as Bjorn Lomborg has explained recently in these pages, while global warming does pose problems, it is hardly the unmitigated disaster often portrayed. At times, the solutions activists propose can be far worse than what they’re trying to prevent.

Lomborg argues that humanity has solved much more dangerous problems than climate change over the past century, and can continue to do so.

In other words, “the climate changes, but so can we.”

The Journal expanded on that theory:

For instance, raising the height of dikes would protect 99.99% of the people global warming threatens with floods as sea levels rise. Innovations like this don’t get rid of every risk that climate change poses, but the policies necessary to do that—if they’re possible to adopt at all—can make things worse.

The poor would suffer most from the effects of global warming—such as starvation, disease, heat death and flooding. But the regulations that climate activists advocate would hit them even harder, as Mr. Lomborg details. Take malnutrition deaths: Economic growth has lowered such deaths dramatically over the past 30 years and likely will continue to do so over the next 30. Climate change slightly slows that descent by shrinking crop yields, which even stringent climate regulations couldn’t prevent entirely. In the process these measures would slow growth, keeping as many as 80 million people in poverty in 2030 who otherwise wouldn’t be—causing even more malnutrition deaths.

This high cost to the world’s poor is a large part of why carbon emissions won’t be eliminated any time soon. The developing world wants access to consistent cheap energy, which means fossil fuels. Right now, the air pollution from the burning of renewable resources like wood, dung and cardboard kills 700,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa a year. And more than half a billion Africans lack access to electricity. To give a sense of how much electrifying Africa would increase emissions, each year California uses more electricity on its pools and hot tubs than the 44 million inhabitants of Uganda use for all purposes.

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26 FDNY firehouses out of service over vaccine mandate staff shortage

The FDNY shuttered 26 fire companies citywide on Saturday due to staff shortages caused by the COVID-19 vaccination mandate, according to furious elected officials, who ripped the move as “unconscionable” — and could have catastrophic consequences.

The shutdown came amid a pitched battle between City Hall, which on Monday will start enforcing a mandate that all city workers have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and jab-resisting firefighters, many reportedly saying they were already sick with the coronavirus and therefore have “natural immunity.”

Nicole Malliotakis (R-SI, Brooklyn) said 26 companies shuttered — five in her district — and laid the blame on  Mayor de Blasio.

“If someone dies due to a slower emergency response, it’s on Bill de Blasio and his overreaching mandates. I hope this fool fixes it ASAP!” she tweeted. Some residents rallied outside of the Ladder Company 149 in Dyker Heights to support the firefighters.

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