WPCNR NEWS & COMMENT. By John F. Bailey. January 17, 2022:
Editor’s Note: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday is today. However, his spirit could not appear at the usual King breakfast in White Plains cancelled because of Covid.
There was a more important proceeding that is actually not proceeding why his spirit is dimmed this day .
He is in the Nation’s Capitol before a joint session of congress called at Dr. King’s request.
He had to appear in Washington D.C. today to address a joint session of the United States Senate on a situation of utmost importance to every man and woman of any color, position and race.
The man who spearheaded the civil rights movement in the 1960s has traveled on our behalf to address the President, the Senators, the Congress on the impending roll back of voting rights that could apply to every person, no matter who they are, unless the Senate acts to vote on the bill.
The session has been gaveled to order by the Vice President. President Biden is standing awaiting for Reverend King’s introduction. It will be interesting how Dr. King approaches the divided Senate which is at an impasse on the Voting Rights bill. It has been striking how few members of the joint houses of issued statements on Dr. King’s Birthday. Dr. King has appeared a solo figure at the entrance to the Senate chamber. Applause starts. Here is the President:
“I am proud to welcome to the Senate chambers, The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King,Jr.”
(Applause sustained, rising to a crescendo. Dr. King in black suit, clerical collar is walking slowly down the aisle hands at his sides turning his head left to right acknowledging the Senators with nods of his head. He looks the same as he did when when we lost him to an assassin’s bullet in 1968. The steadfast eyes that appear always focused on the sky, the big hands at his side. The din of applause is unlike any this reporter has ever heard in the Senate chamber. Dr. King approaches the podium circles and is welcomed by President Biden. Then Dr. King turns and approaches podium, rises. Looking at Senators, he acknowledges his accolade. He has no notes. No teleprompter. Now, Reverend King is about to begin. Here we go:)
“President Biden, Distinguished Senators, Republicans, Democrats, Vice President Harris, thank you on this historic moment in the history of the United States for inviting me to address you today. Today is a time where to paraphrase Charles Dickens observer of another tumultuous time that is the best of times it was the worst of times.
In my life on Earth I was fortunate to advance the cause of the Black Man resulting in the desegregation of schools, and emboldening more awareness of their rights and a new effort grew more fairness, restricting segregation in employment, housing, and increased programs for the Black Man.
This era since the mid-1960s has seen the greatest expansion of the economy, housing, education and success America has ever achieved.
I ask is it just a coincidence that this prosperity has come parallel to expanding education for those long denied equal education, training, and equal opportunity employment, and has seen more leaders of minorities elected to offices for the first time?
Parallel to this came the move for women’s equality that has greatly fueled the American Economic Engine the last 60 years. Our workplaces became more like the faces of America: white, Irish, Jewish, black, Latino, Asian, Muslim, Indian. More than at any other time, America today is the work of the votes of these citizens, because they could hold politicians accountable.
They voted for Republicans for President, Democrats for President, they decided.
You sit there before me and I ask you to dream another dream of the future of what will happen if the voting rights being denied by some 36 states through selective rules for registering voters and how votes are done are not preserved in the Voting Rights Bill you have before you.
I have a very different dream for states applying measures denying votes, requiring identification, proof of citizenship, all designed to make it impossible for persons present elected officials feel would not vote for them.
Let us tell it like it is: not vote for white politicians— would suffer a departure of persons of all nationalities (targeted by these measures) that would hurt the state workforce quality, ability and earnings potential.
(A wash of boos ,with vigorous applause)
How are you going to entice persons of the race you want in your workforce if they are going into a state that harasses Mexicans, Haitians, Muslims, Blacks, Indians, Asians for identification, restricted voting hours, only in-person voting. I see a vast declaration of independence by persons blatantly targeted by states seeking to preserve their whiteness in government and politicians in office who think that way and exclude persons of other races from voting.
(Catcalls, mixed with applause, applause slightly louder)
Senators and Congresspersons, I direct you to other consequences of suppression of voting rights: economics.
If you restrict voting and gerrymander districts to create a state unfriendly to change or to address their needs they are going to be poorer and not spend as much money. Your economies will not grow. Without a workforce educated and successful and involved, you will have nothing to offer companies. Your ability to tax will decline because you will have less people.
I have a greater dream today. When I and you see where America is today, what a more equal fair and accepting society we built the last 50 years, that I believe is what you have to see.
American is not worse for bringing the oppressed from other countries into our country. The facts are there to prove it. They build businesses, they serve in our restaurants, they host television shows, become doctors and nurses who have fought us through Covid.
The politics of hate and division have been with us just five years. Enyoying a horrifying atmosphere reminiscent of the Jim Crow era.
The endorsement of hate was introduced by the worst President of this country ever, Donald Trump, who sparked mass shootings of minorities ,school children. Instead of lynchings we now do shootings. We have heard on this Senate floor heinous threats of Senators on Senators.
(Wait Dr. King is raising his hand, pointing his finger. You can hear a pin drop, ladies and gentlemen.)
Now, I have a dream that must become real, this body should not be remembered as the one that took away voting rights in the United States of America.
This Senate should not be the one that strikes from the Constitution, Article 15, ratified in 1870 on February 3, 152 years ago.
(Voices are buzzing in the crowd, the tension is thick.)
- The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude
- The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation
(Roars, boos, applause intense, impassioned, vigorous fills the chamnber, I do not believe what I just heard, ladies and gentlemen.)
Is this Senate going to take the responsibility for surpressing the vote in elections this fall?
Ask yourself Republicans who have stood on the side of decency before, can you not summon an ounce of courage to vote to eliminate the filibuster. It just takes 2 of you, How about you Mitt Romney and Susan Collins? Just two.
Send it to the floor. Let the Senate have its say
Then you all will own it.
There’s a dream I want you to realize tonight. Better yet all Republicans should vote yes to eliminate the filibuster, then bring the Voting Rights to the floor, with the proviso that the filibuster will be reinstated. There I have given you a way to do it.
There’s even a greater dream. The Republicans can all vote to eliminate the filibuster and then repudiate the hate I saw in the 1960s by unanimously approving the bill, shaming the two Democrats refusing to vote to preserve voting rights.
(There is awed silence, ladies and gentleman.)
You do not have to be afraid, Republicans and Democrats. It is the easiest and the right way out of this fear of Trump wrath. He has no power unless you give it to him.
Right now he is a plantation owner who has enslaved you to do his bidding under threat of flogging. You are as enslaved as the Negroes of yore
(A din of angry boos coming from the Republican side of the Senate, ladies and gentlemen, some are walking out. Dr King waiting until the din subsides. He is reaching under the podium, he is withdrawing a book. It is The Bible)
I dream that all 100 of you have a sense –conscience and an awareness of history. An awareness of the holiness of the vote.
I suggest you listen to your mind tonight the voice within telling you what you should do. Please do not send America back to repression of the past and pave the way for God knows what.
May the almighty guide your decision.
I know, I KNOW, this dream has to come true, for persons white, Negro, Latino, Indian, Asian, Muslim, Arabic all the citizens and people who are in America because they love what it stands for and will always stand for –for them
NEW CASES PLUNGE FROM 25,294 TO 16,782
WPCNR COVID MONITOR. From the New York State Covid Tracker. Analysis by John F. Bailey. January 16, 2021:
.The number of persons infected by the 26,002 new cases the week of December 26 through January 1 did not materialize in the numbers expected two weeks later, (the time when the infectiousness of those tested positive the last week in December would start propelling the infections this past week to levels Westchester hospitals could not handle.)
The 26,002 infected 16, 782 December 9 through December 15, Saturday’s covid pass-along rate from those infected two weeks ago falls to spread rate to less than one other person. Vaccines continue to demonstrate the power they are giving Westchester vaccinated residents what they need to be covid-stoppers, resisting getting the infection in the face of 94,080 new covid cases in three weeks.
In Governor Kathy Hochul’s update this afternoon she demonstrated how non-vaccinated patients with Covid are filling up hosptals region by region.
“Below is data that shows how many hospitalized individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 were admitted for COVID-19/COVID-19 complications and how many were admitted for non-COVID-19 conditions:
|Region||COVID-19 Patients currently hospitalized||Admitted due to COVID or complications of COVID||% Admitted due to COVID or complications of COVID||Admitted where COVID was not included as one of the reasons for admission||% Admitted where COVID was not included as one of the reasons for admission|
|Central New York||322||246||76%||76||24%|
|New York City||5,806||3,086||53%||2,720||47%|
|Western New York||655||415||63%||240||37%|
In the Mid-Hudson region, made up of Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, Ulster Putnam and Sullivan Counties, there are 1,273 patients currently hospitalized, 804 of them are admitted due to COVID or complications of COVID, 63%.
A total of 469 were admitted to Mid-Hudson hospitals for reasons other than Covid, 37% The state fails to break this down by County in their news releases, so we cannot tell. Last week Westchester had 625.
This figure is usually given by Westchester County Executive George Latimer in his weekly covid briefing which this week does not take place until Tuesday due to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday observance.
The Hospitalization Rate last week was.5.5% on 11,450 infections the week of December 19 .The number of persons hospitalized last Monday was 625.
If the 26,002 COVID POSITIVES two weeks ago, hospitalize at that rate you may have approximately 1,430 hospitalizations from that massive record infections two weeks ago going into Westchester hospitals.
There has been little or no reporting on the hospitalizations on Long Island, where Nassau and Suffolk County have been infecting at 15 to 20% rates of all tested.
The 51.296 positives December 26 through January 8 will not reach that level. It should be noted that not all positives get infected at the same time or get hospitalized at the same time, these are just approximations of what these record infections for Westchester mean.
If, the 26,002 infected two weeks ago, hospitalize at 2-1/2 % there would be approcimately 700 hospitalizations.
WPCNR THE SUNDAY BAILEY. News and Comment by John F. Bailey. January 16, 2022:
it is ironic that 54 years after Dr. King was murdered that latinos, african americans, muslims, indians, immigrants are facing the loss of the vote due to the techniques of the post Civil War south. pretty soon the night riders will be back.
it is a national disgrace that the congress is not going to pass the voting rights act, even more a disgrace that two Senate Democrats are blocking that effort. it is even more a disgrace that no republican will break ranks and address this wrong. Where is the sanctimonious Mitt Romney on this?
Why not Democrats, just kill the filibuster for this one vote and bring the voting rights bill to the floor and vote it in. Then the “Fillibluster” can go back into effect? Where is the thinking?
Otherwise the congress is willingly destroying the constitution which guarantees the right to vote.
If they do not vote back in voting rights, the failure to do so should be taken back to the Supreme Court claiming that voting rights can not be restricted by new tests, voting procedures, identification procedures, hours restrictions, showing of papers, you name it.
Assuming the Supreme Court is presented with factual arguments that the procedures being challenged by some 36 states and presently allowed by the Supreme Court decision that is on a par with the Dred Scott decision that declared people were property, they have to make a judgment for the good, not based on state’s rights.
One wonders if these judges have ever read the Civil War history. Their decisions are so in keeping with the Solomonesque decision to declare a person property, the Dred Scott decision.
The effect of the judges letting the voting rights restrictions rushed on by legislature after legislature, the judges are saying “it is all right for you to live here for years but we want to make sure you’re a citizen, make sure you live here, and have papers to prove you are a citizen whom we think is suspicious.” Every person in the states with new voting restrictions should be subject to the same rigorous analysis. I wonder if that will happen, don’t you?
I have a voting restriction for all those states that are skyrocketing covid infections, because they do not demand vaccinations.
I say that in order to vote in those dead red and dying states, you must show prove of being vaccinated to be allowed in to vote. Some good might come out of that.
But of course, they won’t do that. That would mean many people unvaccinated could not vote They wouldn’t want that. It is such an obvious solution.
But the Supreme Court in their extreme prejudice to favor states’ rights (the main cause of the Civil War over slavery), would overrule that too as taking away their right to not die or get severely sick.
Speaking of disgraces. is this the dumbest Supreme Court in American history? This Supreme Court is making decision after decision that restrict, restore a balance of power to business and the party that appointed them, restrict women’s rights.
It is sickening to see the shabby cruelty of these notorious nine. Judge John Roberts will go down in history as the leader of the Court that destroyed the Constitution leading to the weakening of the country for a century, just as the Reichstadt did in 1938 making Adolf Hitler Chancellor of Germany.
The Supreme Court denying the Presidential mandate that companies over 100 must have their workers vaccinated is just plain stupid dangerous and means essentially in the long term taking away a President’s efficiency and ability to handle a national emergency with timely measures.
These Judges are not Plato’s “Guardians,” charged with making decisions for the good of the people.
The Judges of conservative didactic readings of the Constitution are sophists. Sophists are Plato’s word for persons creating arguments without facts or reason, just opinions to justify their political ends and arguments.
I remember when Judge Francis Nicolai in White Plains decided in favor of Councilman Larry Delgado when a voting machine jammed in 2001, giving zero votes to Mr. Delgado, which assured Glen Hockley of election to the Common Council.
Judge Nicolai pointing to his black sleeve, said, “I wear these robes to right wrongs.”
This Supreme Court is not doing that.
WESTCHESTER COUNTY EXECUTIVE GEORGE LATIMER issued this statement Saturday evening on the passing of Reginald Lafayette., Democratic Commissioner of the Westchester County Board of Elections. He was 69 years old:
“Today, the entire County of Westchester mourns the death of Reginald A. LaFayette. Reggie had a long and distinguished career as a public servant. He was politically brilliant, and it is without doubt that no person did more to bring diversity to City and County government than Reggie.
He was insightful and tempered; he was my friend for nearly 50 years starting when we were both young men in Mt. Vernon – where we both first became active in the community. We shared meals, advice and even coached a little league team together.
Today, the news of his passing seems surreal; tomorrow we go forward and we carry on and remember his legacy of working for voting rights, diversity and equal opportunity for all in government.
I grieve with his children, his many friends and colleagues.”
WPCNR COVID VIRUS MONITOR. From the New York State Covid Tracker. With Analysis by John F. Bailey. January 15, 2021:
A 5,000 + ? CASE DROP IN ONE WEEK? 35,297 TESTS SHOW 4,811 POSITIVES–13.6% –HAD BEEN AVERAGING 22% WESTCHESTER IS CUTTING DOWN THE COVID TOLL WITH FIRST WEEK IN MONTH OF 2,000 NEW CASES A DAY SINCE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
The Westchester County Covid Test Results of Westchesterites from Friday are in and they show the County dropping 5,000 cases or more from the 25,000 plus new covid cases a week, the county has seen in the last two weeks.
The first 6 days of the second week of January is another first: 6 days under 3,000 positive cases. In the six days through Friday, Westchester had 14,611 test positive an average of 2,435 testing positive a day.. The Saturday test results will be in Sunday afternoon, and now that the state is back to their 24 hour posting of results we do not have to guess using 2-day lag figures.
Even if Saturday tops 3,000 the county will still be under the 20,000 mark, snapping the unspportable 51,296 new cases the first two weeks of January. Masking and distancing and vaccinating may continue this very positive trend.
The figure of 18,300 tested Thursday and 16,997 covid tests is a record total– the last time the county tested this many persons was on January 14,2021, when they tested 16,000, and January 13, when the county tested 18,300.
As my colleague Brenda Starr of The Flash observed , this extradinary drop to 13% from the 20% the county had been averaging may be because many people are traveling and want to test positive. Tests were low the beginning of this week. However, the fact that the infection rate is lowering in with record numbers testing is showing that the vaccinations work.
Previously it was axiomatic that higher test quantities meant higher significantly higher covid cases. Thursday and Friday have stood that old reliable negative spin on its head. I take from this that persons without symptoms are testing more and vaccinated persons are testing which would prove that vaccinations work.
Now the county has to keep up its good behavior over the rest of this 3-day weekend, which may get a good assist from the big white headed Westchester Way.
The hospitalizations figure Monday to show another key indicator –how many of the 26,002 positives from the first week and the 25, 294 from last week will be affected by their covid infections.