New York Governor Cuomo: "I'm going to say to the orthodox community tomorrow if you don't agree then we will have to close down your religious institutions."

"I say [to a health officer] you're going to be stationed in front of Saint Peter's Church. The capacity is 150. You stand at the front door. When they go over you close the door and call me and if you have any problem this state police officer is down the block and he'll come help you."

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Today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that schools in certain "cluster zones" would be forced to close. But non-essential businesses in those "cluster zones" can remain open. Why? The Governor considered schools as bigger spreaders of COVID. Here, the Governor trumped the decision of New York City Mayor Bill DeBlaiso, which I wrote about last week (here and here).

The Jerusalem Post, a centrist Israeli newspaper, offered this description:

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that large gatherings of ultra-Orthodox Jews have been responsible for the outbreak of several COVID-19 "clusters" in the state, and threatened to close down religious institutions if they did not comply with regulations.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Cuomo used images of mass gatherings by ultra-Orthodox communities in the state to illustrate his claim about the risks of the spread of the coronavirus from such events.

He said that he would be meeting with religious leaders in Orange County, the location of the large Satmar community in the town of Kiryas Yoel; in Rockland County, which has large Satmar and Viznitz hassidic communities; and Nassau County.

"Orthodox Jewish gatherings are often very large and we've seen what one person can do," Cuomo said in reference to several super spreader incidents involving an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man.

"We know religious institutions have been a problem… Mass gatherings are the super spreader events. We know there have been mass gatherings going on in concert with religious institutions in these communities for weeks.

"I don't mean little violations… I'm talking about when they're only supposed to have 50 people outdoors and they had 1,000… You don't see masks and you see clear violation of social-distancing."

Cuomo said that if religious institutions in New York are to stay open they must agree to the conditions laid down by the state "whether it is the Jewish community, Black churches, or Roman Catholic churches," and said that tough enforcement was also needed.

The contents of this press conference will likely be cited in the near future. In this post, I will offer highlights of his remarks, based on YouTube's transcription feature.

44:28-45:54

Where does the virus mainly transmit. Dr. Zucker was on the phone, we asked him that question. Schools, which are also the place where different communities come together….Schools can be locations of transmissions. Religious gatherings, especially in these communities. New Rochelle, first hot spot, was an Orthodox Jewish man, who went to a temple. Hundreds of people. And then a wedding hundreds of people. Orthodox jewish gatherings often are very, very, large, and we've seen what one person can do in a group.

At that point, Cuomo started to talk about Judge Barrett's nomination in the Rose Garden.

48:46-48:58

We're going to close the schools in those areas tomorrow and that's that.

Cuomo moved on from closing schools, to the next category, "religious gatherings."

48:58-51:20

Religious gatherings. The city's proposal does not close religious institutions. We know religious institutions have been a problem. We know mass gatherings are the super spreader events. We know there have been mass gatherings going on in concert with religious institutions in these communities for weeks. For weeks. I don't mean little violations. You're only supposed to have 50, they had 55. I'm talking about, you're only supposed to have 50 outdoors, they had one thousand. These are pictures from the past couple weeks. And these are just emblematic. You've seen pictures like this for weeks. What did you think was going to happen? What did you think was going to happen? Religious institutions are mass gatherings and raise the greatest potential. Its schools and its large mass gatherings. Schools frankly, because they're students and that's where our heart goes, our priority goes. But in terms of numbers, it's large gatherings and large religious gatherings are large gatherings, these have been going on for weeks. You don't see masks and you see clear violation of social distancing.

As the Governor said "super spreader" events, an image of observant Jews wearing black hats appeared on his powerpoint presentation. And he said the photos were "from the past couple weeks."Cuomo Press ConferenceBut the photos use used were not recent. Not even close. One of the photos was from the 2006 funeral of Hassidic rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum. And the photo wasn't even from New York City. It was taken in the Orange County village of Kiryas Joel.

The Governor's staff simply found a clip art of Jews congregating. They all look the same, anyway.

 

 

 

 

Later, Cuomo realized the error.

51:20

Cuomo: When were these pictures from?

Voice off Camera: The one of the on the right is more recent.

Cuomo: Okay. But they are in the recent past. So this has been going on for weeks. We've been talking about it for weeks.

The Governor's spokesperson blamed a "staff error."

Cuomo wants to deputize members of houses of worship to close the doors after the space reaches capacity. The failure to provide religious enforcers–dare I call them Kapos–will result in shutting down the institution.

51:38-52:22

If we're going to keep religious institutions open it can only be with two conditions. One, the community must agree, whether it's the Jewish community, whether we're talking about black churches, whether we're talking about Roman Catholic churches. The religious community has to agree to the rules and they have to agree that they are going to follow the rules and they have to agree that they are going to be a full partner in the enforcement of the rules. That's condition one.

At several junctures, Cuomo repeated over and over again that he would personally meet with the Orthodox community. He did not plan to meet with any other denomination. Just the Jews.

52:22-54:32

I'm going to meet with members of the Ultra Orthodox community tomorrow. I want to have that conversation directly myself this cannot happen again. If you do not agree to enforce the rules then we'll close the institutions down. Uh, I am prepared to do that. Second after we receive the agreement an agreement is only as good as the enforcement. We have to have real enforcement in these clusters and the other statewide clusters. The enforcement will help the community. If the rule is no more than 50%of the people in a black church. I want someone at the door when 50% enter the church, a person there who says to the pastor you agreed to follow the rules. That's 50%. That's it or we close it down. It does not work without enforcement. But both of those condition have to be in place. And if I do not have the agreement, from the religious community directly as a starting point then we will close down the religious institutions. If they do agree to do it in partnership, then I want a real enforcement capacity. We're not going to make the same mistake twice. Tomorrow, I'm going to meet with the larger congregations. New York City, Rocklin, Orange, Nassau, and have that conversation that's step. One if we get past step then we need enforcement in place.

59:06-59:39.

I said from day one blame me blame me you have to revoke a bar  owner's license. Blame me if we have to close the temple because it's over 50 percent. I'll do it we have to close a Roman Catholic Church. I'll do it I had to close the St. Patrick's day parade. I did it. I'll do it. But none of these rules are going to make a darn if you don't have the enforcement.

Cuomo explained that he would not shut down schools by zip code. Instead, he would focus on specific "cluster" areas. This is a not-too-veiled reference to Chasidic communities.

59:40-1:02:00

Targeting by zip codes is imperfect. The virus doesn't travel by zip codes. Neighborhoods and communities aren't organized by zip codes. Zip codes can be arbitrary and can leave out that some communities that are infected. Zip codes can include communities that have a low infection rate. This is a zip code in Brooklyn. The white areas are inside the zip code but we have the infection rate by address you have areas in that zip code that aren't infected. You then have areas outside the zip code that are infected so the zip code is a template. Uh is rough justice but only rough justice. And we can refine that uh takes uh some review and analysis but look at the actual cases that you have again by address and make sure you're including the relevant zone, not just a zip code. You have to go a little bigger you go a little bigger. If you don't have an infection rate in certain communities, don't include those infection rates. So the zip codes uh as a starting place but we then want to have a team of epidemiologists and demographics people actually look at the maps and where the infection rate is and make sure where we're drawing the right circle or the right borders. And the Controller raised that point. And it's a good point. And the health officials agree. When we did New Rochelle we did a circle.

When the Governor said "This is a zip code in Brooklyn," the Powerpoint displayed a color-coded map of Zip Code 11210. This neighborhood is known as East Midwood. There were white cells, which referred to "no cluster." And the red cells referred to "cluster."

The Forward, a Jewish Magazine observed:.

He showed the location of positive coronavirus tests by address in the 11210 ZIP code, which includes East Midwood, a heavily Orthodox area, and Flatbush, which has a large Black community.

The cluster of positives hewed more closely to the Orthodox area of that ZIP code, where there are numerous synagogues and yeshivas.

Cuomo kept throwing in "Black churches" and the "Roman Catholic Church" to provide balance. But he expressed no interested in meeting with those organizations. I have not checked how many "black churches" are in those hot spot zip codes. I would wager zero.

Again, the Governor repeated that he would meet with Orthodox leaders.

1:03:40-1:05:19

I'm going to be meeting with the orthodox community tomorrow see if they will agree to live and abide by the rules and advocate compliance. If the rabbi advocates compliance that would be a very positive start. If the communities don't agree with the rules, which is possible, I had some conversations where some religious leaders believe they have herd immunity, which is not true. Some uh people believe uh have followed politics and think that masks are ineffective and this is all a hoax. That's not true. But if they don't agree then the state will take action. If they do agree, and we have the ability to enforce, then we will go with reduced guidance, 50 percent rules, primarily outdoors, etc. We're going to do statewide enforcement, state supervised with local resources, but enforcement has to be enforcement. We need better templates geographic templates than zip codes we also need better data on these schools in these hot spot zip codes. More testing. Faster testing so we find out exactly where we are. And we need to establish criteria for reopening.

The Governor wants a person standing outside the door of churches to monitor compliance.

1:13-32-1:13:51

But I want a person monitoring the attendance in a temple in a black church in a catholic church and if the rules are violated then action has to be taken at that  moment and that enforcement has to be in place.

A reporter asked the Governor if he had the "legal authority" to shut down the temples.

1:17:22-1:18:11

Reporter: Do you believe you have the legal authority to close down religious institutions? Wasn't there a recent court order barring you from doing that.

Cuomo: We believe we have the legal authority. We will assert the legal authority. We have been sued by the religious organizations. Our legal authority was upheld. I don't like getting into a litigious situation with the religious community. I have enough questions that I have to answer when I get to the pearly gates. I don't want to also be questioned as to why I was sued by the Catholic Church or the Jewish community for closing temples. I have enough issues on my plate. But yes we believe we have the legal authority.

Again, Cuomo said he would meet with Orthodox leaders.

01:22:11-1:22:43

Meet with the Orthodox community see if they will agree to live by the rules. If they do then we need to put in together statewide enforcement task force and the local governments have to give me enough personnel to make it work. And that will be statewide including New York City. Then redraw the geographic uh boundaries see what's in and see what's out.

And the Governor has lots of Jewish friends.

1:24:23-1:25:06.

You're dealing with government saying to religions you shouldn't have uh more than x people in your church or your mosque or your temple that's a politically uncomfortable situation. You know i have to say to the orthodox community tomorrow. If you're not willing to live with these uh rules then I'm going to close the synagogues. I have had a 30-year relationship with the orthodox community. It goes back to my father. Uh i have a very close personal relationship with them.

This sort of statement is the Jewish equivalent of, "I have lots of black friends."

The Governor actually admitted that his action is "right on the line of government intrusion of religion."

1:25:06-1:25:26.

This is the last thing I want to do. Forget the politics i don't care about that anymore. Personally i don't want to have this conversation. It's a difficult conversation. And you're right on the line of government intrusion on religion. So it's hard.

The Governor wants people to "close the door" to a church if too many people enter.

1:27:11-1:27:38

I'm the state person running the task force. I say [to a health officer] you're going to be stationed in front of Saint Peter's Church. The capacity is 150. You stand at the front door. When they go over you close the door and call me and if you have any problem this state police officer is down the block and he'll come help you.

And if the Orthodox communities do not play ball, the Governor will "close down" their temples.

1:29:16-1:29:40

You know I'm going to say to the orthodox community tomorrow if you don't agree uh then we will have to close down your religious institutions. I'm gonna have to say that to the uh black ministers that's not a comfortable conversation.

1:33:20-1:33:30

Think about it you're a local politician pick one: close temples, close mosques, close schools, close catholic churches, you know? No thank you.

1:33:58-1:34:24

Reporter: There are two concerts that are planned in Brooklyn this week in the ultra orthodox community are you going to close down larger venues this week

Cuomo: Well first of all it shouldn't be happening anyway. Period. It violates the existing law. You have to enforce the law statewide.

1:36:45-1:37:14

We agreed we would do this is the plan of action you were hearing it as soon as i could get it to you testing going forward do you want to see in schools you said there's not enough going on and the city at least the city schools were doing monthly random testing a certain percentage do you want to see something more than that and then how about the yeshivas or religious schools in these areas do you want to see more specific testing.

Stay tuned for more.

The Village of Kiryas Joel, the site of the funeral, gave rise to the Supreme Court case, Board of Education or Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet. Justice Scalia's memorable dissent began with a tribute to Rabbi Teitelbaum.

The Court today finds that the Powers That Be, up in Albany, have conspired to effect an establishment of the Satmar Hasidim. I do not know who would be more surprised at this discovery: the Founders of our Nation or Grand Rebbe Joel Teitelbaum, founder of the Satmar. The Grand Rebbe would be astounded to learn that after escaping brutal persecution and coming to America with the modest hope of religious toleration for their ascetic form of Judaism, the Satmar had become so powerful, so closely allied with Mammon, as to have become an "establishment" of the Empire State. And the Founding Fathers would be astonished to find that the Establishment Clause-which they designed "to insure that no one powerful sect or combination of sects could use political or governmental power to punish dissenters," Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U. S. 306, 319 (1952) (Black, J., dissenting)-has been employed to prohibit characteristically and admirably American accommodation of the religious practices (or more precisely, cultural peculiarities) of a tiny minority sect. I, however, am not surprised. Once this Court has abandoned text and history as guides, nothing prevents it from calling religious toleration the establishment of religion.

The Grand Rebbe could not have imagined the Governor's chutzpah.

NEXT: WeChat Ban: I Talk About It with UCLA Law Student (and Chinese Lawyer) Yan Zhao on the LegalTeaHouse Podcast

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  1. The dark cloud of anti-Semitism is always descending upon right wingers but always manages to land on Progressives and Democrats.

    1. Get your partisan lenses checked. They’re feeding you misinformation.

  2. I guess you can’t say “we are just making shit up at this point so this sounds about as good as anything else we could make up at this point…”

    1. People pushing superstition advancing an objection to ‘just making shit up?’

      This comment is inapplicable to persons younger than 12, who understandably may still be influenced by childhood indoctrination.

      1. “People pushing superstition…”

        You mean the superstition that Orthodox Jews in 2006 can spread covid in 2020? You’re just a shitty little bigot, Arthur.

      2. Tell us how you feel about Mormons and Orthodox Jews Rev. Be honest.

        1. Mormons and Orthodox Jews are and should be entitled to believe as they wish.

          If they want to choose superstition over reason, science, and the reality-based world, that’s their business — until they expect superstition-based arguments and positions to be treated with respect in reasoned debate among adults.

          1. What I find amazing is the old testament laws are based on 20th Century science. Don’t eat pork, or shell fish, men dont lay with men.
            Dozens of old testament laws solidly anchored in science, 2000 years in the future

            1. Pork and shellfish were pretty accepted foodstuffs in the 20th century.

              AIDS not being a thing in OT times, dunno what the issue is with men banging men that you’re tracking.

              1. Have we ruled out a person’s sexuality is their own, and God is just wrong?

                1. Do you think God hates shrimp? Or mixed fabrics? Are we all apostates whenever we don’t sacrifice cows and whatnot?

                  As is the general Christian dogma, I concur with the obvious answer is that much of the guidance in the OT applies to the nomadic Israelite society at the time.

                  1. Oh, the Ten Commandments don’t count? 🙂

                    1. I actually think the 10A are great as maxims for how to live. Maybe not exhaustive, but don’t think I don’t have Exodus 20-21 as one of the few Bible cites I remember.

                    2. ” the Ten Commandments don’t count?”

                      Not to people of religious brands that don’t have them; no, they do not “count”.

                      During the early post-Jesus period of the Christian church, the leadership debated whether membership in the Christian church was available to people who weren’t already Jewish. They eventually came down on the side that no, converts to Jesus’ church did not have to convert to Judaism first. This might have been done to improve recruitment since they could drop adult circumcision as a requirement to joining but the official policy was that Jesus brought his new faith to all people, so anybody who wanted to follow him could join the church directly without passing through a state of Jewishness first. Of course, back then the Christian Church was totally communist, and new followers were expected to turn over all their worldly wealth to the church leaders if they wanted in, so letting them keep their foreskin was kind of a small concession.

                2. “Have we ruled out a person’s sexuality is their own, and God is just wrong?”

                  Have we ruled out that ignoring people who claim to speak for God is just good, sound policy?

                  If God doesn’t like the gays being gay, He’ll do something about it, if and when He feels like it.

            2. You’re babbling.
              Yes, you can get sick from eating insufficiently-cooked pork, and the tribal peoples from 2500-3500 years ago might interpret that as God punishing the pork-eaters.
              But the lesson is to cook that pig thoroughly before you eat it, not to avoid it entirely.

      3. Your entire shtick is based on superstition implanted during childhood indoctrination, reinforced by in-group biases. Self-awareness not your strong suit, Kirkland.

      4. So the version of science you claim to support is ok with just making shit up?

      5. So you approve of deceiving the public when pushing a governmental policy, so long as the intended targets of that policy are those you disapprove of. How Bolshevik of you.

        Trotsky’s villa is still available. I heard they recently found some bloodstains, and the price just went down. Hurry, you can still get a bargain.

  3. “The Jerusalem Post, a left-leaning Israeli newspaper” — seriously??

    1. Agreed. If Prof Blackman has confused JP with Haaretz, I can see the description error. But not confusing the two.

    2. It is now. After Caroline Glick and Martin Sherman left, it drifted leftward a lot. Isi Liebler rarely posts anything there anymore.

    3. It was left leaning in 1932 when it was originally established as the Palestine Post.

  4. The Jerusalem Post, a left-leaning Israeli newspaper,

    But the photos use used were not recent. Not even close. One of the photos was from the 2006 funeral of Hassidic rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum. And the photo wasn’t even from New York City. It was taken in the Orange County village of Kiryas Joel.

    Blackman and Cuomo, equally skilled in just making shit up out of whole cloth.

  5. Seems to me that Cuomo has a point about the public health merits of the policy. Are you arguing he doesn’t? Or that positivity rates in NY aren’t going up? Or that he doesn’t have a responsibility to do something to address the situation?

    1. This blog attracts clingers who believe that religious claims transform bigotry, belligerent ignorance, unlawful conduct, lethal recklessness, and anti-social behavior into something other than bigotry, belligerent ignorance, unlawful conduct, lethal recklessness, and anti-social behavior. They contend that claiming a mission from God makes their bigotry a blessed thing. They claim that reliance on superstition provides a blanket pass with respect to public health obligations and laws of general applicability. They disdain science, reason, modernity, and education because they are convinced their fairy tale can beat up every other fairy tale. And they expect to be treated with respect by competent, reasoning adults.

      1. They should engage the leftwing religious rituals of hanging BLM banners and throwing molotov cocktails and Cuomo would love them.

      2. Sounds exactly like progressivism, but without the insistence that everybody else believe what they do, adopt their language rules, modify their lifestyles. Horseshoe theory sounding plausible. And, you remain the only ‘clinger’ here, demonstrably ignorant and antisocial by way of your complete disdain for the rights of others.

    2. “Or that he doesn’t have a responsibility to do something to address the situation?”

      He could send them all to nursing homes!

    3. “Are you arguing he doesn’t? ”

      I’m arguing that having big pictures of historically discriminated against religious minorities and saying “It’s THESE OTHER people who are spreading the disease” is… We’ll go with poor taste. There are stronger words that can be used.

    4. Civil rights don’t care about health policy merits.

  6. Of course it comes down to blaming the Jews. The Left always does that.

    Judge Strickland put his best: We don’t suspend our God-given rights enshrined in the constitution because of some yokel politician.

    1. “We don’t suspend our God-given rights”

      Competent adults neither advance nor accept superstition-based arguments in reasoned debate.

      Gullible children of all ages, on the other hand . . .

      1. No need to insult yourself, Arthur = Gullible children of all ages, on the other hand . . .

      2. Your in-group thrives on superstition-based arguments, as I pointed out, providing you with a short list. You had no response but an ad hominem, proving my point.

      3. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

        Yup. Jefferson, Adams, Franklin and all the other founding fathers were all “gullible children.”

        The ignorance and lack of self-awareness have reached new lows.

        That Trotsky villa in Mexico is still available.

        1. The text you quoted starts right out by saying “we assume these things that we can’t prove”…which is not how rational people debate.

  7. He is still an autocrat ruling by decree.

    1. So don’t vote for him next time.

  8. What? Blaming a different-looking religious minority for spreading disease? Say it ain’t so!

    1. It can’t possibly be true. Every one knows that diseases are spread by demonic possession, not microorganisms. Religious folk are the only ones with any means of fighting the disease!

  9. Hasn’t this buffoon Cuomo completely exhausted his credibility? His utter incompetence managed to get thousands of elderly killed in nursing homes. The man is an ass.

  10. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that large gatherings of ultra-Orthodox Jews have been responsible for the outbreak of several COVID-19 “clusters” in the state, and threatened to close down religious institutions if they did not comply with regulations.

    “Jews cause problems for the larger society, and the Jewishier they are, the worse. Hence, for the good of the rest of us, we will shut down Jewish gatherings.

    We do this with the hearty approval of the rest of society.”

  11. “Mass gatherings are the super spreader events.”

    Except they’re no problem for BLM protests and riots, only for the religious gatherings. “Super spreader” Jews invokes a subliminal reference to SS and Jews. Nice, Cuomo and staff.

    Anyway, the manipulation of all of us over rising case numbers is based on bogus science. Most of us are exposed to the flu without symptoms and would be cases were we to have been tested, but that would have been silly and perhaps erroneous. The PCR test being used to assess Covid positives is often wrong and cannot show active infection of any virus, only exposure at some point, according to the test’s Nobel prize-winning inventor.

    Hysteria and fascist dicta from on high over asymptomatic “cases” cannot be because of misguided policy. There is purpose to this huge disruption of economy, school, religious institutions, social life, shopping, and the rhythm of our lives, and it isn’t concern for our well-being.

    1. Insert: “Hysteria and fascist dicta from on high over asymptomatic to mild “cases” cannot be because of misguided policy.

    2. “Except they’re no problem for BLM protests and riots, only for the religious gatherings.”

      On your planet, the public health experts told people to go to either BLM protests and/or riots? See, that didn’t happen here, and you pretending it did does not make you somehow persuasive.

  12. Do defenders of the religious claimants in this context

    (1) deny that the clingers are belligerently ignorant and lethally reckless

    or

    (2) contend that cloaking the otherwise unlawful ignorance and recklessness in a claim of superstition entitles the clingers to act in an ignorant and reckless manner despite the law?

    Thank you.

    1. Are masks suddenly not effective, Kirkland?

      1. “Are masks suddenly not effective, Kirkland?”

        They don’t magically protect you from their safe place nestled in your pocket, no.

    2. One of these days Rev might read what is written at the top of each comment section and actually try being civil. I guess it won’t be today.

    3. Oh, how I love Cuomo.
      Oh, how I love Cuomo.
      Oh, how I love Cuomo,
      because he hates the Jews.

      — sung by ALK to an old Sunday School tune

  13. Do defenders against the loathing, slur-slinging, godless prosecutors in this and other contexts

    (1) deny their own faith in goodness, perhaps in God, and in the natural rights of self-determination, individual conscience, and the voluntary social contract, to the extent none commit evil or atrocity toward others? NO

    or

    (2) contend the truly intolerant name-calling haters and those preternaturally, almost sexually attracted to Big State, the Big Lie, globalism, scientism, universal surveillance, and technocratic governance are dark futurists, hateful control freaks, lovers of the synthetic, and anti-humanists? YES

    No law forbade gays from going to clubs, congregating at parades, or having sexual relations, even at the height of the AIDS epidemic. And that was a behavior-based transmission situation.

    We have flu epidemics every year, and the healthy aren’t quarantined, flu shots are not mandatory, cases are aymptomatic to a nuisance for most people, save for the elderly and immuno-compromised who can die from respiratory complications, and we reach herd immunity for that strain.

    1. Boy, are you going to hate the next half-century of American progress.

      1. And by “progress” you must mean techno-fascism run by oligarchs and State-appointed experts and in which everyone and their activities are tracked and controlled?

        I don’t hate stuff and people, as you do and constantly tell us so. If I live long enough to see this future you’re having wet dreams over, which is doubtful, friends and I would push back against the darkness and bring back some light and humanity, if only in our thoughts and prayers, because they matter more than a materialist and hedonist would ever understand.

        What we all collectively have allowed to happen to human society and consciousness and are allowing to further occur is a self-inflicted tragedy. I fail, additionally, because I cannot send you and people like you, creepy types who get excited over pain and punishment for those with whom they disagree and viscerally hate, any love or understanding.

    2. Did you go to a special school where they don’t teach history? Or was there a history class that you just didn’t pay any attention to?

      the complete lack of historical reference combined with the “my side is truth and liberty and your side is darkness and oppression” partisanship combine to form a most odious confabulation.

  14. I love how COVID is smart to avoid BLM rallies but haunt religious gatherings.

    It’s such a neat, special virus.

    “Don’t let COVID dominate your life.” – President Donald J. Trump

    1. Some people like to call it the Chinese Communist Party virus, but this seems to be wishful thinking.
      This virus kills old people and spreads by having people too vain to wear a mask to protect other people, and too “smart” to listen to competent professionals about what they should do. It’s a Republican virus!

  15. Prof Blackman, has this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jg-dDbgDpNI) run across your feeds yet? Cuomo’s staff refusing process servers at the governor’s office -could be hyperbolic on the Finger Lakes region attorney’s part. Cuomo’s well-wishes to your parents aside, the guy is an ass, his staff appear to be no better.

  16. Not so fast. The ‘ultra-orthodox’ (term from article) in Israel present the same challenges to governmental authorities (see link below). Are we now to compare Israel to the Nazis?

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/business/.premium-haredim-are-willing-to-sicken-and-die-with-the-help-of-israel-s-leaders-1.9195787

    I agree government should not be paternalistic, and should let communities handle their own risks. But pretending that the governor and mayor of New York are throwing darts at a dartboard is only encouraging non-compliance.

  17. The Jerusalem Post is not a left-leaning paper.

    1. It is certainly not ‘right’. If you want ‘right’, then read Arutz Sheva.

      1. Originally called “The Palestine Post”…

        “Independent in its editorial policies yet widely seen in Israel as politically right-of-centre, The Jerusalem Post has combined spare writing with economical headlines and careful editing to build a reputation for informative and thorough coverage. ”

        https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Jerusalem-Post

        1. Yeah, I read it daily, along with Times of Israel and Arutz Sheva.

          1. And do you read the comments section?

            The top comments of the article below are overwhelmingly anti-Biden, to the point of resentment toward American Jews.

            https://www.jpost.com/opinion/american-jews-should-reject-joe-biden-643781

      2. What do you read if you just want news without partisan slant?

  18. I do not understand how any Jew or Black can vote for the Democrat Party, their mortal enemy? If any can explain, I would like to understand better.

    1. “I do not understand how any Jew or Black…” there you go.

    2. The Republicans are even more repugnant, would be my guess.

  19. whether it’s the Jewish community, whether we’re talking about black churches, whether we’re talking about Roman Catholic churches [emphasis mine]

    What a sweet Freudian slip – Cuomo publicly conflating race with religion. He just can’t resist bringing race into every discussion.

    1. ” He just can’t resist bringing race into every discussion.”

      Assuming churches have races, that is.

  20. The last time a fascist executive started issuing orders that discriminated against the Jews, it did not turn out well.
    I do believe that there was an after action comment along the lines of “NEVER AGAIN!”.
    So now what?

    1. Der Trumpfenfuhrer is up for reelection in just a matter of weeks.

  21. If NY State’s Governor Andrew Cuomo closes down the Orthodox Jewish religious institutions, he’d damned well close down all the other religious institutions, as well.

    1. Just the ones doing things to spread the virus. The ones who’ve found a way to inject social distancing into their operations should be left alone.

  22. Cuomo wants to deputize members of houses of worship to close the doors after the space reaches capacity. The failure to provide religious enforcers–dare I call them Kapos–will result in shutting down the institution.

    Yeah, it’s hard to believe, but apparently you do dare call them Kapos. Dare I call you shameless?

    It’s not enough for you to argue that what Cuomo’s doing is overreaching and effed up? You have to imply he’s a Nazi, and that anyone who cooperates with him is the moral equivalent of a prison camp collaborator? That’s pathetic.

  23. I grew up in zip code 11210, in the blank area on Cuomo’s map. At the time, it was an Irish Catholic ghetto, but recently has had many more Blacks. The red area on his map is, I think, less notable for being Jewish and more notable for being the campus of Brooklyn College. That might be relevant to the existence of a covid hot spot.

  24. Quick question: Why would the Orthodox Community, or anyone in it, want to keep doing things that can spread the virus?

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