Pritzker Wilts Hours Before United States Supreme Court Review, Double-Talks About-Face on Churches – Wirepoints

Caught with hand in cookie jar of political goodies, Gov. P. thrashes about and, God save us, fibs.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker Thursday abandoned all restrictions in his emergency pandemic order related to religious services. The Illinois Department of Public health released replacement, voluntary guidelines.

The retreat came hours before the State of Illinois was due to file its response with the United States Supreme Court to an appeal by two Illinois churches for emergency relief from his stay-at-home order.

That appeal would have been handled by Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Elena Kagan who, according to a report by FOX News, could have either handled the case themselves or referred it to the full court. But now the state has told the Court that the churches’ request is moot because the mandatory rules have been dropped. The full text of the state’s response does nevertheless include the state’s argument on the merits of its defense.

So, he admits nothing. Moreover:

Pritzker’s announcement that he had reversed positions was uncandid, to say the least.

In his prepared remarks at his daily press conference Thursday he said only that IDHP was posting the new voluntary guidance, but never said his mandatory restrictions were being cancelled.

He then ducked and equivocated [like the cookie monster] when asked specifically, burying the fact that he was abandoning mandatory restrictions. [Such a clod] When finally asked directly whether the new guidelines would be enforced, he said, “As you know, I have never encouraged any police enforcement or any other kind of breaking up of gatherings.”

But that’s not true.

The fibbery went to new heights.

While Pritzker has gone back and forth on whether enforcement of his order would be left to local officials, his most recent action was to threaten local police and enforcement officials who don’t enforce it. Chicago has been enforcing the order, sending police to break up church services, making parking for churchgoers impossible and fining churches. It was “like the Soviet-style KGB” said one pastor about how police tried to break up his service.

Lawyer in the case with something to say about this:

Pritzker can spin it as he wants, but here’s how counsel for some of the churches, Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society, correctly put it:

This is a total and complete victory for people of faith. The Illinois’ governor and his administration abused the COVID-19 pandemic to stomp on the religious liberty of the people of Illinois. By issuing guidelines only and not the previously announced mandatory restrictions, he has handed a complete victory to the churches in Illinois.

Quite something. Yesterday’s Sun-Times called it “an against-the-odds bid,” Chicago Trib had nothing that an on-line search could uncover. Move on, nothing here, it seems, as of Friday early afternoon . . .

In praise of homeschooling

For home-schoolers and wannabe’s, a long read and maybe much appreciated.

In mid-March, Kansas became the first state to close its schools for the remainder of the academic year. The following week, my own state of Virginia became the second. Since then, 46 other states and Washington, D.C. have followed suit, and the rest, whatever their hopes, remain closed as of early May.

Even if the public health situation improves in the next few weeks, as some optimists hope, school is out. Graduation requirements are waived, final exams are cancelled and our state department of education has encouraged schools to drop grading altogether. Virtual instruction has commenced, but participation in it is largely voluntary and sporadic. [Emphases
added
]

But taken as a whole, what does this situation say for the present system(s)? For the future, that is.

What will it do for the very idea of educational credentials? Diplomas go blah? Won’t mean a thing if ain’t got that swing . . .

Chicago Police Bang On Church Doors To Stop Services, Film Everyone Who Arrived

This caught my eye in this story of at best clumsy regulation-(I won’t say law’) enforcing at this church with worshipers behind locked doors, in part to keep the ‘hood’s marauders barging in:

After the incident, Lewis [the pastor] wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney John Lausch to complain about what happened and ask for assistance, saying Lightfoot “is defiant of the U.S. Constitution and our freedom to worship” and “has a history of defying the law.”

“She is one of few former US Prosecutors in the US to be censured by the 7th Circuit Judge Rovner and the entire 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for defying their order,” he noted.

Say wha’? Our mayor defied an order? We should hear more about this aspect of her law-related history.

Twitter Adds Fact-Check Notices to Trump Tweets on Mail-In Ballots

WSJ does nice, calm enough job reporting and dissecting this story, at the end with this key notation:

The mistake [in its own fact-check] raised questions about Twitter’s ability to serve as an independent service to fact check statements by Mr. Trump or other political figures . . . Late Tuesday, Twitter updated its language [changed its story] to remove reference to Nebraska [which mailed applications for
ballot, because of Covid, and not ballots] and instead stated that “five states already vote entirely by mail and all states offer some form of mail-in absentee voting.”

Yes. Its ability is one issue, it’s becoming a commentator is another. But free market of ideas (freedom of speech) is at the heart of even anti-social media, namely the assumption that everything said is target for rebuttal and God knows what else.

White House defends, but does not explain, watchdog firings – AOL News

AP editorial has chapter and verse about Trump’s firing IG’s, but reports without pursuing White House defense that points up AP’s interest less in firings than in Trump:

“When the President loses confidence in an inspector general, he will exercise his constitutional right and duty to remove that officer — as did President Reagan when he removed inspectors general upon taking office and as did President Obama when he was in office,” [White House lawyer] Cipollone wrote.

Reagan and Obama did it? Why wouldn’t the AP editorial/opinion piece, thorough in spelling out the current situation, not be thorough in the White House defense of itself? Slippery fellows, and I mean the AP writers and editors.

Vatican announces special year devoted to Laudato Si’ | News Headlines | Catholic Culture

I hope to follow this program, mainly to see if it brings up objections to draconian measures prescribed by the very committed.

That is, to see if there are attempts to weigh and balance the costs of resisting climate change, comparing them with costs of it.

Pope Francis: truly human communication must build communion – Vatican News

Pretty gooey stuff here. What would St. Paul say? Not to mention the Savior Himself.

“With the gaze of Christ”

Diverse and United includes a never-before-published chapter entitled “With the gaze of Christ”. In it, Pope Francis reflects on the Gospel account of Jesus’ encounter with the rich young man who asked Jesus how to obtain eternal life. The Gospel of Mark recounts a significant detail of their meeting: “Jesus, looking upon him, loved him”.

This, writes Pope Francis, reveals something about Jesus’ style: the Lord is not focused primarily on what the man is saying, but upon the man himself. This reveals how necessary it is, for truly human communication, “to enter into contact with the world and with others, and to build relationships”.

Golly. Not for the first time, this Catholic wonders what the heck is he talking about?