GET THE SCROLL DELIVERED DAILY The Big StoryHundreds of protestors were arrested Saturday in Australia and at least six police officers were hospitalized with injuries after thousands of people joined demonstrations across the country against continued COVID-19 lockdowns. Australia has implemented some of the most restrictive COVID-19 policies in the world since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020. Australians are barred from leaving the country except in cases where they have been granted individual exemptions. Travel between regions of the country is severely restricted, and as the libertarian writer Conor Friedersdorf recently reported, one of Australia’s six states is testing a new app that Australian citizens returning to the country after travel would be legally required to download. The way the “home-based quarantine app” works is that people who have downloaded it then receive random texts from state authorities alerting them that they have “15 minutes to take a picture of their face in the location where they are supposed to be. Should they fail, the local police department will be sent to follow up in person.” While most large public demonstrations have been criminalized in Australia under new public health statutes—including the protests Saturday, which were declared illegal days before they began—that hasn’t stopped Australians from organizing to protest lockdowns and vaccine mandates. In more than one instance, the military has been deployed as security at protests. On Saturday, more than 2,000 police officers were dispatched in Sydney, Melbourne, and other cities where demonstrations were taking place. Videos taken at the protests show police spraying protesters with “crowd control” irritants, while at various points protestors attempt to break through barricades and clash with police officers.\n\nRead it here: https://www.news.com.au/world/coronavirus/australia/violence-erupts-at-antilockdown-protests-as-public-clash-with-police/news-story/d410a994808c1e562a56bd31fde5ecf3\n\nToday's Back Pages: Who Gets to Have a Face?\nThe Resthe United States has begun “expulsion flights” to deport most of the 12,000 Haitians who entered the country illegally by walking across the southern border with Mexico. For now, many of the migrants remain camped out around a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, but some 320 migrants were flown to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Sunday, the Associated Press reports.\n\nThe Pentagon has admitted that a drone strike in Afghanistan last month killed 10 civilians, including seven children. The military initially claimed the strike had killed ISIS terrorists on their way to carrying out a suicide attack at the Kabul airport, less than three days after an attack there killed 13 American troops and at least 169 Afghans. Days after the U.S. retaliatory strike, as reports were spreading that the hellfire missile fired by the U.S. military had killed multiple civilians, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called it “a righteous strike” and insisted that “procedures were correctly followed.” But at a press conference last Friday, Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr., commander of U.S. Central Command, acknowledged, “I am now convinced that as many as 10 civilians, including up to seven children” were killed, and that “it is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS-K or a direct threat to U.S. forces.”\n\nBig surprise out of Russia, where elections keep everyone guessing about how large the ruling party’s margin of victory will be: Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party was down to 44% of the vote in parliamentary elections. That’s 10 points lower than what the party garnered in 2016 but still enough to hold onto its supermajority with more than two-thirds of seats in the Duma, the Russian parliament’s lower house.\n\nMeanwhile, on Friday Apple and Google caved to pressure from the Russian government and removed an app that Russian dissidents used to vote for the jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.\nRead more here: https://www.theverge.com/2021/9/17/22679425/apple-google-remove-navalny-smart-voting-app-russian-election\nRemoving the Navalny app from stores is a shameful act of political censorship.\nRussia's authoritarian government and propaganda will be thrilled.@google @Apple\n\n— Ivan Zhdanov (@ioannZH) September 17, 2021\nDemocrats can’t use the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation deal to push through controversial changes to immigration policy, according to the Senate parliamentarian, the official authority and adviser on the rules of the legislative body. Under reconciliation, Democrats would have needed only 50 votes instead of the standard 60. The ruling from the parliamentarian, who warned against using a shortcut to push through a “tremendous and enruding policy change,” is being ignored by some officials. “This ruling by the parliamentarian is only a recommendation,” Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted Sunday. “@SenSchumer and the @WhiteHouse can and should ignore it.”\nRead more here: https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-immigration-e590795e4593feccb2d966090a633be7\n\nFrance’s foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, is pulling no punches as the fallout continues over Australia’s decision to ditch a $37 billion order for nuclear-powered French submarines in order to join a new security pact with the United States and Britain. Le Drian has accused the United States of lying and negotiating the deal in secret; he called Britain a “fifth wheel” and said the country had engaged in its “usual opportunism” and accused Australia of “lies and duplicity.” In other words, the French are not at all pleased with the deal, which offers no immediate role or defense contracts for France in the new tripartite security arrangement focused on China and threats in the Pacific.\n\nShot: Jesse Walker, book review editor at Reason magazine, provides some much needed perspective on the threat posed by Jan. 6 Trumpist diehards:Next time you read one of those "NEW CIVIL WAR!" takes, ask yourself whether a movement that can't muster a reenactment society is likely to muster an army. https://t.co/Fzg2cKlu6H\n\n— Jesse Walker (@notjessewalker) September 19, 2021Chaser: And that’s not even counting all the undercover FBI agents who may have attended the rally! Earlier at "Justice for J6" defendants rally:\n\nPolice surround masked man reportedly armed with a firearm.\n\nHe tells them where the gun is, and they pull out his badge.\n\nHe's undercover law enforcement.\n\nWithout disarming or handcuffing him, police extract him from the event. pic.twitter.com/F1n4PeuXkt\n\n— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) September 18, 2021UPDATES & ANNOUNCEMENTS: The Scroll is off again tomorrow and Wednesday for Sukkot. We’ll be back on Thursday.\nThe Back PagesWho gets to have a face?\n\nNot school children in New York; they have to cover up even if it warps their childhood without offering them any protection. Not the workers at former President Obama’s birthday party or the Emmys—the help has to cover up so the beautiful and important people can enjoy themselves and their designer faces. And not San Francisco’s mayor, London Breed, who was caught on video last week dancing in a crowded club without wearing a face mask, in violation of her own city’s laws. “We don’t need the fun police to come in and micromanage and tell us what we should or shouldn’t be doing,” Breed told reporters Friday.\n\nIt’s a funny line, since Breed is mayor of a city that manages to combine some of the strictest lockdown rules and vaccine mandates in the country with squalor and anarchic lawlessness and open-air drug markets. But I suppose Breed is just following the example set by the former mayor of San Francisco and current governor of California, Gavin Newsom, who was photographed last year flouting his own state’s rules by dining maskless at the ultrachic French Laundry. The very next night after the Newsom affair, Mayor Breed, a quick study, had her own party at the restaurant. None of this requires any special secrecy or sneaking around since there is no price to be paid for getting caught.\n\nAt the Emmys last night, the dim, pallid stars of television were more than happy to pose with their beautiful faces alongside the masked handlers and assistants who stood ready on the red carpet to follow their every order. Nevermind the “public health” and the hypocrisy; there is something medieval about it, like a scene from a feudal estate where the nobles require their servants and courtiers to deface themselves as a gesture of servility.\n\nPeople who can’t afford to eat at the French Laundry, who don’t get invited to Obama’s birthday party in Martha’s Vineyard, can be fined, fired, and harassed online and in real life for breaking COVID-19 rules. Not so for the members of the American ruling class. For them, getting caught is nothing to worry about.\n\nThey are careless people, as F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote of the Jazz Age barons Tom and Daisy Buchanan. But what Fitzgerald ascribed to the United States’ 1 percent—a blithe disregard for the humanity of other people who did not share in their fortune—has come to characterize a far larger group of people, a class that includes public officials and minor celebrities whose privileges flow as much from their position as from their wealth: “They smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.” We are the other people.\n\n\nSend your tips, comments, questions, and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.