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January 1, No Statue is Safe: Virgin Mary Set Ablaze in Boston



This Day in History | 1968

Atlanta Braves slugger Henry “Hank” Aaron hits the 500th home run of his career in a 4-2 win over the San Francisco Giants.

Good morning Middle America, 

Is nothing sacred? We regret to inform you that the answer seems to be no. Our position has been pretty clear when it comes to the erasure of history and defacement of statues in this country. We can totally understand the desire to rip down statues honoring Confederate generals and officers, so long as it’s done in a legal and democratic way. If they were put up in spite, taking them down in spite isn’t going to fix the problem. Taking them down by lawful means, would be the biggest and the best way for the universe to give these traitors the middle finger. Otherwise their enablers and those clinging to the whitewashed version of history can always claim that tearing down a statue of General So-and So was an illegitimate act. And they won’t be wrong, at least according to the letter of the law. 

That said, we have several stories today tha coincidentally are legal related. Jeffery Epstein accomplice Ghislane Maxwell is set to appear in court today (virtually) for her arraignment on international child sex trafficking charges. This, as we are learning new information about her desperate last moments of freedom. 

More fallout from the Roger Stone Commutation. The Judge in the case, Amy Berman Jackson says she wants a full review of the presidential order. We don’t know where they are headed with this. The Constitution is pretty clear about the clemency powers of the executive branch. Article II, Section 2, Clause 1, of the Constitution, under the Pardon Clause. The clause says the president “shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” While the president’s powers to pardon seem unlimited, a presidential pardon can only be issued for a federal crime, and pardons can’t be issued for impeachment cases tried and convicted by Congress. Elections have consequences. And presidential elections have enormous consequences. 

Finally today, Disneyland in Hong Kong is shutting down, due to COVID-19 concerns, again. The closure came just a couple of days after Disneyworld reo-opened in Florida. 

Read all about it

-Fraser Dixon

Virgin Mary Statue Set on Fire at Boston Church

(The Boston Herald) – A statue of the Virgin Mary was set ablaze outside a Boston church Saturday night, said police who are investigating the arson incident.

Officers at 10 p.m. responded to a call for a fire in the area of 284 Bowdoin St. in Dorchester.

On arrival at St.Peter’s Parish, officers saw that a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary had been set on fire.

Someone had lit plastic flowers on fire, which were in the hands of the Virgin Mary statue, according to members of the Boston Fire Department Fire Investigation Unit. That caused the statue’s face and upper body to get burned, according to officials.

The Rev. John Currie, pastor at St. Peter’s Parish, said a prayer next to the Virgin Mary statue Sunday afternoon.

“This is obviously someone who’s disturbed, someone who has a troubled soul,” Currie said of the unknown suspect.

“I know Our Lady in heaven is looking down at the soul, or whoever it might have been, and saying, ‘I love you,’ ” he said. “If you need help, come get help. We’re here for you.”

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Alleged Epstein Accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell Tried to Flee From FBI Agents 

(CNBC) – Federal prosecutors told a judge Monday that Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite charged with helping the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein feed his craving for underage girls, tried to flee apprehension from FBI agents right before they arrested her this month.

Prosecutors revealed Maxwell’s effort in a court filing as they argued that she is likely to flee the United States if granted bail of $5 million, or even more.

Prosecutors cited the millions of dollars that Maxwell has held in “dozens” of overseas bank accounts, her citizenship in France, and the fact that she tried to hide from FBI agents who arrested her in a $1 million New Hampshire hideaway purchased under under the name of a legal entity to conceal the actual owner.

“There will be no trial for the victims if the defendant is afforded the opportunity to flee the jurisdiction, and there is every reason to think that is exactly what she will do if she is released,” prosecutors wrote in a filing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan in advance of Maxwell’s detention hearing there Tuesday.

They called Maxwell “an extreme risk of flight.”

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Roger Stone’s Judge Demands Clarification on Commutation, Wants a Copy of Trump Order

(Law and Crime) – A federal judge on Monday issued an eyebrow-raising order related to the legal fate of President Donald Trump’s longtime confidant and former political adviser Roger Stone.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, in a minute order, asked for clarification as to the exact scope of the controversial commutation handed out by the 45th president last Friday night.

“The parties are ORDERED to provide the D.C District Court by July 14, 2020 with a copy of the Executive Order commuting the defendant’s sentence and to address the question of the scope of the commutation, in particular, whether it involves the sentence of incarceration alone or also the period of supervised release,” Jackson wrote in the brief directive.

We now know what the Trump order said: “I commute the entirety of the prison sentence imposed upon the said Roger Jason Stone Jr. to expire immediately; I also commute the entirety of the two-year term of supervised release with all its conditions; and finally, I remit any unpaid reminder of the $20,000 imposed.”

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Hong Kong Disneyland to Close Again, Days After Disney World Reopens

(New York Times) – Hong Kong Disneyland will close again on Wednesday to comply with a government-directed rollback of public activities in the region after an increase in coronavirus infections, the Walt Disney Company said on Monday. Disney called the closing of the theme park “temporary” and said its resort hotels at the Lantau Island complex would remain open.

With attendance of 6.5 million last year and an estimated 5,000 employees, Hong Kong Disneyland is the smallest park in Disney’s portfolio. Shutting it down again means little for the company’s bottom line. In fact, the theme park and resort hotel property has lost money for the last five years. Losses totaled about $13.5 million last year. Pro-democracy demonstrations in the city have resulted in a sharp decline in tourism.

But it is re-closing at a highly awkward time for Disney. Over the weekend, Disney executives in Florida cited the smooth reopening of Hong Kong Disneyland and other Disney parks in Asia as evidence that the company’s largest resort, Walt Disney World, could reopen safely, even as coronavirus cases in Florida surge to alarming levels. On Monday, Florida officials reported 12,624 new infections, one of the largest daily jumps in the state since the pandemic began.

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