TRENTON -- Gov. Chris Christie has been a steadfast supporter of President Donald Trump, whom he often refers to as a personal friend. Despite defending Trump throughout the campaign and his early months in the White House, Christie doesn't think Trump is infallible. "What's your biggest disappointment in Donald Trump?" MSNBC's Joe Scarborough asked the governor…
Rep. Matt Gaetz kicked off his "Florida Man Freedom Tour" today in an apparent quest to see how low a human being can descend.
Turns out it's pretty low.
Gaetz spoke Saturday in Brevard, FL at the same time it was announced that Florida was setting its new record for COVID-19 cases during the pandemic. The same guy who infamously wore a gas mask in Congress to ridicule the seriousness of the coronavirus in May 2020 was at it again.
Florida Today reported on the latest Gaetz drivel:
"As Gaetz discussed vaccines and mask mandates, he mocked the COVID-19 delta variant, which caused Brevard County to break a COVID record this past week. He said he had the "Florida variant," which gives him the skills of "hunting, fishing and hugging your family."
As if that wasn't enough of a knee-slapper for a room full of followers who photos showed to be largely wearing no masks, Gaetz added this insight about the nation's leading infectious disease authority:
"He then called Anthony Fauci a "sniveling little twit," and criticized him for "flip-flopping" on the CDC's recommendations for facemasks and social distancing, Florida Today reported.
Gaetz also rattled off the standard MAGA fare, making false claims about voter fraud and railing about "the government, "big tech", "big pharma" and other groups were failing the United States, warning the crowd that these groups did not put America first. He also criticized critical race theory and the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by the CDC."
And of course, there was the obligatory end to Gaetz's monologue: "Donald Trump won the election! This is Donald Trump's Republican party," he said to cheers and applause," the media report noted.
In its reporting of the event, Florida Today offered this interesting perspective as well:
"The Florida Man Freedom Tour follows his America First tour that Gaetz launched on May 7 with U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) in The Villages, a large retirement community that has been a popular speaking location for conservative figures.
"Since then, three locations in California cancelled the duo's events as recently as July 17, citing concerns of safety and a lack of prior knowledge that Gaetz and Greene would be the speakers.
"A Hilton Melbourne Beach Oceanfront official said Saturday the hotel did not know Gaetz would be speaking as that the event was registered under the Logan Circle Group.
Harvard Law professors emeriti Laurence Tribe and Alan Dershowitz have have had a long-running public feud.
Here's how The Harvard Crimson described the situation in February of 2020.
"When Harvard faculty members disagree, they often do so in polite speeches at faculty meetings and formal letters to deans. Harvard Law School professors Laurence H. Tribe '62 and Alan M. Dershowitz argue differently, though. The pair of legal scholars has spent the past several weeks engaging in a public, personal feud unlike perhaps any other at the University, sparked by Dershowitz's decision to defend President Donald J. Trump in his Senate impeachment trial," the student newspaper reported.
Both men spoke to the newspaper for the story.
"I thought that he had become a bit of a publicity hog and a celebrity seeking fellow who cared less about justice than about fame and fortune," Tribe said of Dershowitz. "Although I am hesitant to call out a friend and former colleague as being a danger to democracy, I finally decided that Alan Dershowitz because of his – at least, former – credibility had become such a danger that I could no longer hold back, and I, therefore, began to feel quite free to say what an idiotic argument I thought he was making."
"He is a zealot and a partisan," Dershowitz said of Tribe. "The critical senators seem to accept my argument, or at least to take it seriously. And I would expect that fellow academics would do the same."
But on Saturday, Tribe praised Dershowitz for scolding Laura Ingraham during an appearance on Fox News about vaccine mandates.
"Finallly, @AlanDersh pushes back against this evil lunacy," Tribe posted to Twitter, tagging his colleague.
"However badly he has previously disgraced himself, I'm truly happy he has at long last put these monsters in their place. Why? Because some people still take him seriously," Tribe explained.
Vegans who object on ethical grounds to receiving COVID-19 vaccines in the United Kingdom have raised the issue loudly enough that it has recently garnered coverage from several top media outlets there.
The issue is whether British employment law would shield employees from being forced to take a "jab" over their objections -- possibly linked to animal testing of vaccines -- that mirror the views of those taking exception on religious grounds. It could affect American companies in that country and possibly those in the U.S. if the issue is raised here.
Here's how the U.K. Evening Standard framed the issue:
An estimated half a million Britons who do not consume animal products would not have to adhere to so-called "jabs for jobs" rules under employment laws, it has been claimed.
Big firms, including Netflix and Google, have already told many US staff they must be vaccinated before returning to work and Foreign secretary Dominic Raab said on Thursday that the rule was "smart policy."
"While the UK Government has introduced legislation stating care home staff must be jabbed. The Covid vaccine does not contain animal products, but all medications currently go through animal testing. Ethical veganism was ruled to be a protected characteristic at a tribunal last year.
"A spokesman for Lewis Silkin, a law firm, told the Telegraph: 'Some ethical vegans may disagree with vaccinations on the basis that they will inevitably have been tested on animals. Ethical veganism has previously been found to amount to a belief, capable of being protected.'"
"The protections mean that vegans and people in other categories, including some religious groups as well as those with certain disabilities or medical conditions, could mount a claim of constructive dismissal if forced to get the jab.
The issue has not yet been as high profile in the U.S., but with an increasing trend of companies requiring employees to become vaccinated to return to work, similar issues related to religious objectors -- and possibly groups such as vegans -- could surface soon.
Here's how the issue was summarized by the Prinz Law Firm in Chicago:
"Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, individuals have the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of religion. As part of their religious beliefs, many individuals object to vaccines. Employers are required to accommodate religious observances and practices, unless doing so imposes an undue hardship on the business.
"Religion" is very broadly defined and encompasses not only organized religions, but also informal beliefs. "Religion" under the law can also encompass non-theistic and moral beliefs.
In Chenzira v. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 2012 U.S. Dist. Lexis 182139 (S.D. Ohio, 2012), the court recognized that veganism, in some circumstances, may constitute a sincerely held religious belief. That court exempted an employee from a flu shot requirement.
Once an employer determines that a true religious exemption exists, the employer must make an accommodation for the employee. Such accommodations may include reducing a mask requirement, modifying work duties to comply with social distancing, adjusting an employee's schedule, or allowing an employee work from home."
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