June 30, 2020

Yelm Councilor James Blair responds to rally reports,
Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen upstaged his appearance!

“March For Our Rights 3 rally at Heritage Park in Olympia on Saturday [June 27]. Here, five-year-old Gresham Davis cheers on a speaker as he attends the rally with his parents, Brandon and Aimee Davis of Olympia.”
Credit: Tony Overman, The Olympian.

  • Editor’s note: I post news stories about Yelm that are published in local, state, national and international news media so that you, the reader, can be informed about what is being said about our community.
  • Last Sunday morning, I posted the headlines of many Yelm news alerts received about the surprise appearance of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen at a conservative rally in Olympia on Saturday, which quoted a Facebook post by Yelm city council member James Blair, who was a scheduled participant.
  • Mr. Blair wrote to me saying he preferred I reached-out to him for comment.
  • On Sunday evening, I responded to Mr. Blair and offered to publish his Guest Entry of what he wished to share with Yelm Community Blog readers, and have received no reply to-date.
  • My invitation still stands for Mr. Blair to submit a Guest Entry for publication on this blog.
  • In fairness to set the record straight, Mr. Blair did post this on his Facebook page, “Here’s the article that should have been written. Thank you, Rolf Boone.” [an excerpt from The Olympian in today’s print edition is posted below].

“Those at rally share details of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s surprise appearance”

“Saturday’s rally was called “March for Our Rights 3,” which was held at Heritage Park in downtown Olympia.”

“Event emcee and guest speaker, Matt Marshall, and Yelm City Councilman, James Blair, both attended the rally.

“Cohen was dressed in a strange hillbilly costume,’ Blair said in an email to The Olympian Sunday morning. ‘(Cohen) was noticed by quite a few people throughout the event prior to going on stage, and (some) raised red flags. It was when I actually heard his voice I had my suspicions it was him. Others identified him as well.’

“Organizers and others tried to get Cohen off the stage, but security guards, which they thought were there for the rally, suddenly prevented them from getting to the stage, Marshall said. They finally broke through security, but Cohen quickly exited to a privately hired emergency medical vehicle, he said.”

“‘There were people throughout the crowd with communication devices in their ears, and cameras on the crowd, which is not something that normally happens at these events,’ Blair said in his email. ‘All of those people, along with the individuals who were singing along with Cohen in the crowd, all disappeared when they retreated off the stage to the ambulance and left.'”

“‘I haven’t been contacted by anyone claiming to be associated directly with Cohen,’ he said in his email. ‘However, in the last 12 hours my post has been distributed throughout many social media channels, with who knows what commentary. I’ve had hundreds of people calling me a racist, Nazi, and white supremacist, none of which has any ounce of truth,” by Rolf Boone, The Olympian. Read more

“The Washington State Three Percenters, who organized the rally, also addressed the performance on their Facebook page, calling it a “display of disgusting antics.” 

“‘We of the WA3% were appalled at the performance of an entertainer adorned in clown-face, who — much to our group’s mutual repugnance — voiced a series of racist and antisemitic jokes and songs, while on the stand,’ the organization wrote. ‘This display of disgusting antics was neither condoned nor accepted by WA3%, and we disavow any affiliation with this lamentable individual. Our ranks enjoy the membership of every race, religion, and creed, and such despicable behavior is NEVER allowed within our group, and if it ever arises, it causes the immediate dismissal of the perpetrator.'”  

June 30, 2020

European Union officially denies U. S. passengers entry due to our virus threat!
Yelm will also see less European visitors here in Summer 2020.

Immigration Comntrol
Credit: MSNBC

“European Union formally bars U.S. travelers due to coronavirus threat”

“NBC News’ Richard Engel reports on the list of countries whose virus levels are deemed low enough to allow people from those places to travel into the European Union, which has been mostly sealed off since March,” on Stephanie Ruhle, MSNBC. Click here

+ European Union bars travelers from U.S. citing coronavirus concerns – The move is a sign of how the U.S. is seen by Europe and elsewhere as a global coronavirus hotbed.

+ Why Americans shouldn’t be surprised that Europe is blocking them. It was “embarrassing,” a “blow to U.S. prestige,” and a “stinging rebuke to the Trump administration’s management of the coronavirus scourge.”

+ E.U. could lose billions by blocking Americans, but U.S. COVID-19 rates made it ‘inevitable’

+ U.S. becoming further isolated by COVID-19 crisis

June 30, 2020

Candidates Virtually Debate for 10th Congressional District Set for July 1, 7-8:30pm

Credit: Getty Images, via Tacoma’s News-Tribune

“10th Congressional District candidates to debate virtually July 1”

“Candidates for the open 10th Congressional District seat will debate online July 1.

“The Nature Conservancy in Washington and the Washington State Wire are hosting the debate, which will focus on the climate, the environment, economic policy and social justice.

“It’ll be from 7 to 8:30 p.m., moderated by Washington State Wire publisher DJ Wilson.

“Anyone can attend, but free advance registration is required at washingtonstatewire.com.

The 10th Congressional District encompasses most of Thurston and Pierce counties and part of Mason County,” by Alexis Krell, The Olympian. Read more

June 30, 2020

Local and State News + Tips for June 30, 2020,
* Thurston’s virus cases continue to skew toward young people,
* CDC says U.S. has ‘way too much virus’ to control pandemic,
* Berlin: America’s relationship with Germany may never be the same again!

U. S. Coronavirus cases precipitously rise!
Credit: Johns Hopkins University. Data through June 28, via CNBC


Thurston County coronavirus cases continue to skew toward young people

In the coronavirus-era, removing graffiti along public roadways is a low priority

Washington State Fair Makes Accommodations Due to COVID-19

Former Yelm grocer Hal Wolfe noted for idea of a Business Week program for high school students decades ago

South Thurston County location under consideration for ‘Sea-Tac-size’ airport – Public comment can be sent to the Thurston County commissioners.


CDC says U.S. has ‘way too much virus’ to control pandemic as cases surge across country

World’s dominant strain of coronavirus ‘is 10 TIMES more infectious than the one that jumped to humans in China’ because it mutated so its vital spike protein doesn’t snap as often in the body, scientists say

COVID-19 data: What the numbers mean and how to tell if the coronavirus is spreading

How Pandemic Stress Can Hurt Your Health

Elderly More Likely to Suffer Pandemic Loneliness — Unless they Feel Younger Than Their Age

The TSA Just Announced This New Airport Security Requirement

Bold Action Required to Defeat Second Wave of COVID-19

Nearly half the U.S. population is without a job, showing how far the labor recovery has to go

Traveling for July 4? Here’s what to pack in the age of coronavirus, experts say


A Sun Belt time bomb threatens Trump’s reelection

Five reasons Donald Trump is losing, with the proof

You should see this VoteVets ad just out –  WOW!

America’s relationship with Germany may never be the same again, Berlin warns

Trump’s growing re-election threat: Republican skeptics

Iran issues arrest warrant for Trump over drone strike that killed Qasem Soleimani

Judge rejects Roger Stone request to delay prison term

June 29, 2020

Every American should be outraged and concerned,
Attorney General Barr has become Trump’s personal attorney, not America’s!

Attorney General William P. Barr at the White House on April 1.
Credit: Jabin Botsford, The Washington Post

All the worrisome things happening at the DOJ could be just the tip of the iceberg

Barbara McQuade Trump fires Geoffrey Berman, exposing Barr’s bully tactics and lies in the process

U. S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman was investigating Giuliani and Trump’s Deutsche Bank debt

65 faculty members from AG Barr’s law school [GWU] alma mater say he has ‘failed to fulfill his oath of office’ Calls for Barr’s Censure, Resignation

Congress Should Subpoena William Barr and Geoffrey Berman – TIME Magazine, by Joyce White Vance, distinguished professor of the practice of law at the University of Alabama, a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama and an NBC News and MSNBC legal analyst.

William Barr hasn’t just destroyed the purpose of the DOJ, he’s eaten the department’s soul

Inside William Barr’s Effort to Undermine N.Y. Prosecutors

Barr’s botched effort to remove a prosecutor who probed Trump allies

“Make no mistake,” said Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) in reaction to the news, “Bill Barr will go down in history as having aided and abetted the most corrupt president this country has ever seen.”

James Comey: Geoffrey Berman upheld the finest tradition of the SDNY office

New DNC ‘Descent’ ad encapsulates all the ways Trump has ‘brought America down with him’ Click here for the ad.

Republicans literally try to drown out judiciary hearing on AG Barr by pounding the dais

“Bill Barr Is Eroding the Rule of Law. Don’t Let Him Get Away With It.”

“We are living in a troubled time where people are faced with a daily struggle to protect their families. The words of a federal prosecutor may seem to involve a remote threat, but our most fundamental rights are at stake here. The decay at the Department of Justice impacts all of us.”

There is no future in this Department of Justice, the one that is led by Bill Barr. He has destroyed the public’s ability to have faith in the integrity of prosecutions. Typically, conversations about ethical conduct involving DOJ employees are about avoiding the appearance of impropriety, not about actual impropriety,” by Barbara McQuade and Joyce Vance, New York Magazine. Read more

June 29, 2020

Local and State News + Tips for June 29, 2020,
Plus the current state of Trump’s Presidency –
“If the Deep State hates Trump, why aren’t more officials speaking out?”

Coronovirus Outbreaks by State
Washington is one of 34 states across the U.S. where coronavirus cases are growing by 5% or more, based on a seven-day moving average, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.”
Credit: Johns Hopkins University via CNBC


Could Doomsday Bunkers Become the New Normal?

Thurston schools working on details so students can safely return to class in the fall

Pair of Yelm FFA Members Honored With State Star Farmer Recognition

Lockdowns Tamed Road Traffic. Here’s How Cities Aim to Keep It Down. [private vehicle usage is up while public transit use is down, hence Yelm’s heavy traffic]

Former U.S. Defense Secretary Gen James Mattis urges Washingtonians to wear masks

At least 40 people went to a party — and one had COVID-19, Washington officials say

To help address state budget shortfall, Commissioner Franz Announces Pay Freeze, Furloughs at DNR


What could be causing your fatigue — and how to fight it

How the World Missed COVID-19’s Silent Spread

8 Survival Tips That Could Save Your Life


Working-class white women are turning on Trump

If the Deep State hates Trump, why aren’t more officials speaking out like Bolton?

In ‘God, guns and Trump’ country, simmering doubts about the president

Only 26 Percent of Americans Trust Trump for Coronavirus Info, Poll Shows

U.S. Must Release Children From Family Detention Centers, Judge Rules – The order, which cited the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, applies to children held in the nation’s three family detention centers for more than 20 days.

Paula White Says Faith Advisers Have Urged Trump Not to Talk About His Deep Faith

Op-Ed: Who China’s Xi Jinping really wants to win the 2020 U.S. election – China!

New U.S. coronavirus cases break record; Pence cancels campaign events in Arizona, Florida

GOP Senator Questions if Fox News Even Wants Donald Trump Re-Elected

COVID-19 is not a ‘black swan’ event around the world, but it is for the United States

The data is in: Fox News may have kept millions from taking the coronavirus threat seriously

June 28, 2020

Yelm City Council member James Blair makes national news for his Facebook post!

“This post is by a city council member in Yelm, Washington. Earlier this afternoon [Saturday], Sacha Baron Cohen [reportedly] crashed the event of Washington 3% – a right-wing group of armed insurrectionists and white supremacists – in Olympia.”
Credit: Shannon Watts Tweet

“Did comedian Sacha Baron Cohen crash rally in downtown Olympia?”

From The Olympian this morning:

  • Editor’s note: The phrase attributed to both Aesop and the Book of Proverbs “You Are Known By The Company You Keep” is one Blair now faces from public blow-back on his Facebook posts and Twitter, which also landed him in The Olympian.
  • Councilor Blair is now experiencing what high profile people know – that the way one handles their public life is to not separate and apart from their private one.
  • Blair’s public actions also reflect on Yelm, as an elected official.
  • Event organizers should screen/control their stages/performers better!
  • The following is the story as reported by Rolf Boone, The Olympian:

“Social media was abuzz Saturday evening with chatter that comedian Sacha Baron Cohen made a surprise appearance during a conservative rally in downtown Olympia earlier in the day.

“The rally, which was billed as “March for Our Rights 3,” took place at Heritage Park for most of the afternoon. About 500 people attended the rally, according to Washington State Patrol troopers at the scene.

“Videos on Twitter appear to show a man in costume, similar to something Cohen might wear, singing a satirical song that poked fun at political beliefs.

“Yelm City Councilman, James Blair, thinks it was the comedian, according to his own Facebook post.

‘Sacha Baron Cohen pulled a (expletive) stunt at the March For Our Rights 3 event,’ Blair says in his post.

‘He came on stage disguised as the lead singer of the last band, singing a bunch of racist, hateful, disgusting (expletive),’ Blair writes. ‘His security blocked event organizers from getting him off the stage, or pulling power from the generator. After the crowd realized what he was saying, and turned on him, his security then rushed the stage and evacuated them to a waiting private ambulance that was contracted to be their escape transport.’

Cohen most recently is known for a cable TV show called, “Who is America?” That show, like a lot of Cohen’s humor, lures unsuspecting public figures into awkward situations,” by Rolf Boone, The Olympian. Read more

  • Yelm Council member Blair was further mentioned in these publications:

The Daily Beast: Sacha Baron Cohen Pulls Epic Prank on Right-Wing Militia Event

The Olympian: Those at rally share details of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s surprise appearance

USA Today: Did Sacha Baron Cohen prank a conservative rally with a racist singalong?

Rolling Stone: Sacha Baron Cohen Pranks Far-Right Rally, Fools Crowd With Racist Song – Actor dons multiple disguises – wealthy PAC head, bluegrass singer, photographer – in fooling “March for Our Rights 3” rally in Olympia, Washington

The Hollywood Reporter: Sacha Baron Cohen Appears to Prank Conservative Rally, Performs Onstage

The Seattle Times: Sacha Baron Cohen, in character, seems to have performed a racist song at a right-wing Olympia rally

June 28, 2020

Inspiration and hope for the future on this Sunday morning:
God Bless America, America the Beautiful, & Climb Every Mountain,
Sung by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square
Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

“God Bless America – Mormon Tabernacle Choir”

Click here

“America the Beautiful (arr. Mack Wilberg) – Mormon Tabernacle Choir”

Click here

“Climb Every Mountain (2012) – Mormon Tabernacle Choir”

Click here

“My Country, ‘Tis of Thee – Mormon Tabernacle Choir”

Click here

The Prayer – Katherine Jenkins and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Click here

Somewhere, from West Side Story – Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Click here

What a Wonderful World – Bryn Terfel and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Click here

June 27, 2020

Governor and Health Secretary pause all counties moving into Phase 4

Washington Governor Jay Inslee - News release

“Inslee and Wiesman announce pause on county progressions to Phase 4”

  • From the Office of Governor Jay Inslee News Release:

Gov. Jay Inslee and Sec. John Wiesman announced today the Washington State Department of Health is putting a pause on counties moving to Phase 4 though the “Safe Start” phased approach. Rising cases across the state and concerns about continued spread of the COVID virus have made Phase 4, which would essentially mean no restrictions, impossible at this time

Eight counties were eligible to move from Phase 3 to Phase 4 before the pause. 

“Phase 4 would mean a return to normal activity and we can’t do that now due to the continued rise in cases across the state,” Inslee said. “We all want to get back to doing all the things we love in Washington during the summer, and fully open our economy, but we aren’t there yet. This is an evolving situation and we will continue to make decisions based on the data.” 

“The best thing Washingtonians can do to slow the spread of the virus and save lives is to wear facial coverings, continue to maintain physical distancing and good hygiene practices,” Wiesman said. “Now that testing supplies are available, it is critical to get a test if you have any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.”

Wiesman sent a letter to local and tribal health leaders throughout the state on Saturday.

The letter states:

“Dear Local and Tribal Health Leaders,

“I am writing to let you know Governor Inslee and I have decided to pause progression to Phase 4 statewide. 

“We decided to prohibit any counties from moving into phase 4 at this time due to increasing COVID-19 activity across the state and significant rebounds in COVID-19 activity in several other states. The changes between Phase 3 and Phase 4, especially with regards to gathering size and occupancy rates, could further increase the spread of COVID-19 in our state, even in communities that have very low rates of disease. The progress we’ve made thus far is at risk, therefore we are making the prudent choice to slow down our phased approach to reopening.

“In the next couple of weeks, I will work with Governor Inslee and his team to assess the need for a modified approach for moving beyond Phase 3. I will communicate that decision to you when we have more information. Counties that are currently able to apply to move from Phase 1 or 2 are still able to apply when eligible.

“Thank you for your continued work to protect the health of Washingtonians during this unprecedented time.”

Read more

June 27, 2020

Tips for Yelm area readers – June 27, 2020

The Toll
COVID-19 deaths approach 125,000
By Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee


+ Yelm To Go! has changed their name Eat Local Yelm

+ From Thurston Strong: Thurston County businesses are eligible to received 1. Up to 100 disposable masks per establishment (you can request more if you run low), 2. One 1-gallon jug of hand sanitizer per establishment.

+ Here are the places kids can get free meals during the summer – Yelm School District has partnered with the Rotary Club of Yelm for a “Ten Weeks of Summer” program that delivers meals from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays.

+ No, wearing a mask won’t give you carbon dioxide poisoning

+ Drinking hand sanitizer kills three people, blinds another, New Mexico officials say [be forewarned!]

+ TSA whistleblower says agency isn’t doing enough to keep officers, passengers safe


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