As the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen in parts of the United States, epidemiologists and public health experts have continued to remind people to practice personal safety measures, including wearing a mask.
Despite the warnings – as well as the numerous studies showing how face coverings are a relatively easy way to help prevent person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 – many have viscerally rejected the use of masks, even in privately-owned places like grocery stores where masks are mandatory.
Such is the case in bizarre video footage that has gone viral of a woman throwing a tantrum in an Oregon Costco and launching an impromptu sit-in protest at the retail warehouse after being told she must wear a protective mask.
The woman has since been dubbed “Costco Karen.” The name Karen has been adopted in recent months as a negative nickname for middle-aged white women who demand to speak to a store manager or throw histrionic fits in reaction to minor slights.
New ‘Costco Karen’ Sighting —throws 3-yr-old type tantrum— sits on the floor and won’t leave because “this is America..” —tries to lie about medical condition then changes her mind 🤦🏻♂️ pic.twitter.com/GLDmPDnGar
— Only in Vegas ➐ ➐ ➐ (@OnlyInLVNV) July 2, 2020
In video footage that has quickly spread on Twitter, the woman is seen with her mask dangling from one ear in the Hillsboro, Oregon, store before a grocery worker politely asks her to wear the mask in the proper manner.
After the woman initially claims that she has a medical condition, she eventually admits that she was lying before stating: “I am a United States citizen!”
In the video, the worker tells the woman: “You just have to tell me that you have one [medical condition]. Well then, you have to wear it. You have to wear your mask in public. This is private property.”
The shopper then angrily replies: “No, I am not a member of Costco!”
The worker then asks if she would like that taken care of before reiterating that the shopper must put on her mask.
“I will not,” Costco Karen declared.
“Well then, come back another time,” the worker responded. “That’s our policy.”
2nd half of video – GM shows up pic.twitter.com/m5mtrEOmhs
— Only in Vegas ➐ ➐ ➐ (@OnlyInLVNV) July 5, 2020
At that point, the shopper predictably demanded: “I want to speak to your boss.”
“He’s gonna require the same,” the employee patiently answered. “If you want to step outside here I’ll have him come meet you outside. You need to do that it’s our policy. We’re going to walk outside.”
Rather than simply honoring the simple request to exit the premises, the woman decided to throw a stunningly childish temper-tantrum by sitting smack-dab in the middle of the floor near the entrance, obstructing customers from entering and exiting the store.
Ever the patient Costco crew member, the employee asked: “Can I get you a chair outside? There’s a place to sit. Want me to help you up?”
The angry woman then stood up and shuffled aside by a few feet before resuming her protest.
Once the manager arrived, the irritated shopper let him have it with her grievances, insisting: “I’m not leaving. Do you want to carry me? I am an American. I have constitutional rights!”
Throughout the past year, “Karens gone wild” has become a veritable genre of social media videos – often with the subjects of the videos throwing tremendous fits over minor inconveniences or, in darker examples, creating disturbances with implicitly racist overtones.
In another recent viral video from North Hollywood, California, a woman similarly dubbed Karen can be seen lashing out at workers and team members at a Trader Joe’s store while violently taking out her anger on store property. She even goes so far as to scream at employees: “You f***ing b****! Democratic pigs! All of you!”
Opening day at Trader Joe’s in North Hollywood, Ca.
Karen is mad she was mask shamed… pic.twitter.com/pF3Zgj3w2E
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) June 27, 2020
Online audiences have reacted with bemusement to the growing list of Karen videos that have grown in number almost every day throughout the year and appear to show the sense of entitlement and resentment among the subjects of these videos.
Notable examples include Amy Cooper, who was dubbed “Central Park Karen” after telling that she was being assaulted by a non-violent Black bird watcher. On Monday, she was given misdemeanor charges of filing a false report with the NYPD.
Another breathtaking example from this past weekend is that of Melissa Rein Lively, a conspiracy theorist in Scottsdale, Arizona, who has been dubbed “Target Karen” and “Qanon Karen” after she attacked a display of face coverings in a Target store while cursing wildly at employees, customers, and facial masks. Lively streamed the disturbance over Instagram.
In a live-stream video filmed around that time, a disheveled-appearing Lively could be seen engaging in an unhinged racist rant and repeatedly using the n-word.
In video live-streamed shortly afterwards, the same woman can be seen engaging in a political rant about Donald Trump and “deep state politicians” toward officers who were called to her home in response to a separate disturbance. As officers calmly detained her – and even told her “I’m sorry” – she accused the officers of ethnic bias, telling the officers: “You’re doing it to me because I’m Jewish.”
Police came to her house and she was arrested on IG Live saying she is a spokesperson for QAnon & the White House and wanted the police to “call Donald Trump and ask him” because she can’t share any “classified information.”
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) July 5, 2020
FBI Seizes Capitol Building LEGO Set From Alleged Rioter’s House
Many of us know, either from our childhood or even our adulthood, that building and collecting LEGO can be a fun hobby that allows us to tap into our creativity in a relaxing, stress-free way.
But what if someone’s LEGO hobby is something much more nefarious – or even seditious in the eyes of the government?
Such may have been the case when special agents with the FBI confiscated a fully completed LEGO set of the U.S. Capitol Building from the home of Robert Morss, 27, whom they allege participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, according to court documents published by The Smoking Gun.
The large LEGO set is comprised of 1,032 pieces and was released in 2016 and is no longer available for retail. The agents seized the finished set along with other items matching those they believe Morss had in his possession when he allegedly stormed the building – including a neck gaiter, a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, a military-style satchel, a black tourniquet, and military battle dress uniforms.
The documents also note that he “had three different firearms including a handgun, a shotgun and a rifle” in his possession.
According to LEGO, the United States Capitol Building set “focuses on the structure’s neoclassical style facade, steps and lawns” and is “finished with a decorative ‘US Capitol’ nameplate.” In 2019, the product was “retired” – which has less to do with politics and more to do with the limited availability of the company’s unique product lines.
Morss, who is from Pennsylvania, was arrested last month on a range of federal charges. According to the Department of Justice, his alleged crimes “include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; obstruction of an official proceeding; civil disorder; and robbery of personal property of the United States.”
An FBI investigator’s affidavit notes that Morss joined rioters in direct confrontations with officers guarding the Lower West Terrace doors of the Capital in “an intense and prolonged clash between rioters and law enforcement.”
Law enforcement officers claim that they also found a notebook in Morss car that had instructions on a “Step by Step to Create Hometown Militia” that included a list of names, equipment, and sections on “ambush,” “battle drills,” and “formations.” The notebook also contained notes that said “bring assault rifle,” “4 magazines,” and “bring kit/body armor.”
However, the court documents do not indicate whether the LEGO set was deployed in tactical drills prior to the botched uprising.
The DOJ says that roughly 465 individuals have been arrested on charges related the events of Jan. 6.
Neptune, the Roman God of Water, ‘Emerges’ From Waves in Photo During UK Storm
If we were to believe our eyes, it would seem that the ancient Roman god of water himself made an appearance on the shores of New Haven, England, on a day of especially rough surf.
What appears to be the “face” of Neptune was captured on Tuesday when photographer Jeff Overs of the BBC was taking photos of waves crashing over the harbor wall in the port city.
Of course, one is free to believe that the ferocious deity emanated from the depths of the sea to remind us puny humans of his wrath.
But alas, it was likely a simple example of pareidolia – the phenomenon of seeing faces and figures in otherwise random or ambiguous everyday objects.
The photographer snapped the shot amid high tide and winds exceeding 50 miles per hour (80km/h), namely because of the violent nature of the shore.
“It’s become a popular location for photographers because the sea ‘boils’ in high wind against the sea wall,” Overs explained.
“The waves splash into the high wind and when blown back occasionally make patterns that look like ghoulish faces.”
Overs added that one of the small foreground waves even resembles a hand – albeit a pareidolic one.
“It’s a straight shot and I haven’t manipulated the image at all,” he added.
Lunar New Deal: GOP Lawmaker Suggests Altering Moon & Earth’s Orbit to Stop Climate Change
Texas Republican Congressman Louise Gohmert raised the eyebrows of his Congressional colleagues on Tuesday after seemingly suggesting that climate change could be combatted by changing the orbit of the moon, or even altering “Earth’s orbit around the sun.”
Gohmert, who has been decried as the “dumbest member of Congress” for his past absurdly anti-scientific comments regarding the ongoing pandemic and a number of other issues, has been a vocal opponent of progressive legislators’ attempts to put a “Green New Deal” on the government’s agenda.
However, his apparent suggestion of a “Lunar New Deal” to mitigate global warming could take the cake as his most hare-brained idea yet.
The comments came during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on four pending bills while questioning Jennifer Eberlien of the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, reports NBC.
“I understand, from what’s been testified to the Forest Service and the B.L.M. [Bureau of Land Management], you want very much to work on the issue of climate change,” the Texas congressman began.
“I was informed by the immediate past director of NASA that they’ve found that the moon’s orbit is changing slightly and so is the Earth’s orbit around the sun,” he continued.
“We know there’s been significant solar flare activity,” Gohmert said. “And so, is there anything that the National Forest Service or B.L.M. can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun?”
“Obviously that would have profound effects on our climate,” the lawmaker added.
Responding, Eberlein said with a smile: “I would have to follow up with on you on that one, Mr. Gohmert.”
“If you figure out there’s a way in the forest service you could make that change, I’d like to know,” Gohmert responded, without any trace of irony.
Longtime critics of the conservative legislator were besides themselves with bewilderment and mockery over the out-of-this-world suggestion.
On the opposite side of the aisle California Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu suggested that perhaps Marvel Comics superheroine Captain Marvel was up to the task.
“She can alter planetary orbits with her superpowers. I’m going to work on a bipartisan resolution asking for her help,” Lieu wrote on Twitter.
According to NASA, the Earth’s climate has changed throughout history for various reasons, including small variations in the planet’s orbit.
However, the agency’s website notes that this doesn’t discount the fact that anthropogenic or human-caused activities are the culprit of the current warming.
“The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over millennia,” the site says.