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Zorro's Journal
Zorro's Journal
November 3, 2021

Kyle Rittenhouse Claims Self-Defense After Shooting 3 Jurors

KENOSHA, WI—Arguing that he had no choice but to take the law into his own hands, Kyle Rittenhouse reportedly claimed self-defense Wednesday after shooting three jurors in his trial for multiple counts of first-degree homicide.

“Finding himself outnumbered by a mob of 20 jurors, Mr. Rittenhouse was forced to make the split-second decision to save his own life,” said defense attorney Mark Richards, who presented the remaining members of the jury with a series of photographs that he argued showed the dead jurors armed with water bottles, heavy stacks of evidence, and other potential deadly weapons they could have used to harm the teenager.

“Kyle came to this courthouse with the best of intentions, yet these courtroom agitators appeared to want to take his weapons away and potentially send him to jail for decades. So he made the smart and swift decision to protect himself and others. Frankly, any sane person put in his shoes would have done the same.”

Richards went on to share video evidence that he alleged showed members of the jury jumping out of their seats to riot the moment they saw Rittenhouse’s assault rifle.


November 3, 2021

Fried says DeSantis' call for session to block vaccine mandates is 'political stunt'

TALLAHASSEE – Saying his call for a special session to block vaccine mandates is a “fabricated political stunt,” Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Tuesday attacked Gov. Ron DeSantis for summoning lawmakers to the Capitol this month to defy President Joe Biden.

DeSantis wants lawmakers to meet beginning Nov. 15 to prohibit an expected federal vaccine requirement from affecting Florida employers. Fried, however, accused the Republican governor of calling the session primarily to appeal to a conservative voting base hostile to the Democratic White House.

“It is this proxy war that gets a special session?” said Fried, who is among three prominent Democrats challenging DeSantis in next year’s governor’s race.

“Unfortunately, this is just the most recent in a troubling series of taxpayer-funded stunts by the governor, meant to stir up his political base and score political points for his future presidential run,” Fried said.


November 3, 2021

The kids can handle America's real history. Why can't adults?

Not to idealize young people, but I suspect they have no need or desire of being treated like hothouse flowers.

Maybe white students deserve more credit than they get. Maybe — apologies to The Who — the kids are all right.

Leo Glaze seems to think so, based on a tweet I chanced upon last week. In it, he described himself as an educator who has spent his career in predominantly white private middle schools. “I think I teach ... history about as hard & honest as any teacher in America,” he wrote. “And when kids learn the truth about this country, they’re shocked and pissed off they’ve been lied to. Not uncomfortable.”

In so saying, he provided a voice, albeit by proxy, to the one group that’s been largely missing from the nation’s rancorous and ongoing debate over the teaching of African-American history. We’ve heard ad nauseam from lawmakers who say the subject must be banned because it makes white kids, yes, “uncomfortable.” And from parents who say it makes them ask painful questions.

But we haven’t heard from the kids themselves. If this teacher is right, maybe we should. Glaze, who told me by phone that he teaches at the Waverly School in Pasadena, said that in his experience, once kids — Black, white, brown and otherwise — learn this history, they tend to ask one thing: “How come they didn’t know this already? How come nobody ever told them this before?”

He’s convinced it’s not really because they’re too young. Rather, it’s because their elders themselves don’t know how to process America’s history of genocide, land theft, enslavement, rape, oppression and assault. Down that path lie stony truths that, of necessity, lend a mournful note to one’s singing of “God Bless The USA.”

November 3, 2021

UF restricted five more professors in cases against the state

“Someone has to have the chutzpah and political integrity to say this is not right,’’ a former USF professor says.

TALLAHASSEE — Last year, four University of Florida law professors who wanted to sign a “friend of the court” brief in a lawsuit challenging a new felons voting law were told that they could not identify themselves as university faculty members in the filing because it involved “an action against the state.”

In August, university officials told a UF professor of pediatrics that he couldn’t work on two cases challenging the state’s ban on mask mandates because participating in lawsuits against Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration would “create a conflict” for the university.

And on Monday, UF announced that three political science professors can be allowed to provide expert testimony in a voting access case against the state only if they do it without pay.

These actions show how the University of Florida has gradually moved toward suppressing the voices of its scholars who want to offer legal or subject-matter expertise in cases that challenge the policies advanced by the governor or Legislature.

November 2, 2021

Republicans Name Joe Manchin Employee of the Month

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In a big win for the senator from West Virginia, congressional Republicans have named Joe Manchin Employee of the Month for October.

Speaking to reporters at the Capitol, Manchin seemed overwhelmed by the award, saying that he was “humbled and honored.”

“When I work hard to keep benefits out of the hands of poor children, I’m not doing it to win a prize,” he said. “I’m just doing what I love.”

Kyrsten Sinema, the senator from Arizona, sent her congratulations to Manchin after learning that she had been the runner-up for the award.

“I knew it wouldn’t be easy beating a great competitor like Joe,” she said. “Maybe next month.”


November 2, 2021

MAGA Shit Fight May Land Marjorie Taylor Greene in Legal Hot Water

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) appears never to have paid Lin Wood for his legal work. That’s a potential campaign finance violation.

Two MAGA world luminaries who have spent the better part of a year promoting some of the same election conspiracy theories—Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and QAnon-aligned lawyer Lin Wood—are now pitted against each other in a dispute that could put Greene on the wrong side of a campaign finance violation.

Wood, the Georgia defamation lawyer who has floated some of the fringiest of fringe theories about ex-President Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss, posted a note on the Telegram messaging app over the weekend blasting Greene and claiming she still owed him for previous legal work.

But it turns out that Wood was not representing his former ally in her personal capacity. Instead, his services went to Greene’s campaign committee as it fought two defamation disputes. Worse still for Greene is Wood’s claim that the Greene campaign has never paid him, raising a number of questions about the legality of their arrangement.

A spokesperson for Greene, who handles communications for her congressional office and her campaign, did not offer comment.

Four campaign finance experts consulted for this article said Greene’s candidate committee—Greene for Congress—appears at minimum to have violated federal financial reporting laws. They also raised concerns about illegal corporate and in-kind contributions, with some experts pointing to two possibilities in other legal realms: breach of contract, and, in a word, “theft,” if Wood were to take an austere line in state court.

November 2, 2021

'Crying Nazi' Hijacks Charlottesville Trial to Rant About Antifa

White supremacist Christopher Cantwell is defending himself at the Unite the Right trial and using his cross-examinations to air conspiracy theories.

A white supremacist dubbed the “Crying Nazi” is causing chaos at the Unite the Right trial, hijacking the proceedings to press his personal conspiracies about antifa.

Midway through neo-Nazi Christopher Cantwell’s contentious appearance in court on Monday, a lawyer interrupted with an objection.

“I understand he is pro se,” attorney Alex Conlon said, referring to the fact that Cantwell is representing himself, “but this is not a podcast.”

Cantwell—who does indeed host a podcast—is among more than a dozen far-right figures being sued this month for their alleged roles in orchestrating violence at Unite The Right, the deadly 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Some of those defendants, including Cantwell, are representing themselves in court, after being dropped by their attorneys. That means Cantwell—who earned the nickname the “Crying Nazi” after video emerged of him blubbering ahead of his arrest—and co-defendant Richard Spencer have been able to speak at length during the trial, leading to chaotic outbursts.

Already, Spencer has confused two famous Black authors, while Cantwell has relitigated old conspiracy theories and used the n-word.


Sounds as if they have Bluto Blutarsky's legal skills...
November 2, 2021

Russia's Petty Race With the West Ends in Dire COVID Crisis

Russia seems to have botched its response to COVID in every possible way—and the consequences are disastrous.

After a devastating few months, the latest COVID surge is easing across much of the world. But while most countries are getting better, Russia is actually getting worse.

And for one main reason. “A significant percentage of Russians fear the vaccine more than the virus,” Anna Gotlib, a Russian-born philosopher and bioethicist at Brooklyn College, told The Daily Beast.

And the Russian government, rather than battling vaccine skepticism, has actually encouraged it. All in the hope of scoring a quick buck and owning the West.

Globally, authorities counted around 3 million new coronavirus infections last week—down from 4.6 million at the peak of the surge in early September. Deaths are declining, too. There were 49,000 COVID deaths last week, down from 69,000 six weeks ago.

In Russia, however, the trends are heading in the opposite direction, based on even the most conservative official figures. On Wednesday, the country of 146 million people set all-time official records for daily cases (around 36,000) and deaths (nearly 1,100).

November 1, 2021

UF's ban on professors testifying against state to be investigated, says accreditor

Source: Tampa Bay Times

The accreditor said she will be seeking information about a decision that blocked three professors from testifying in a case that challenges the state’s new voting-rights law pushed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

TALLAHASSEE — The body that sets the accreditation for the University of Florida said Monday it will be investigating the state’s flagship university over its decision to bar a trio of faculty members from offering expert testimony in a legal case against the state, to determine whether “academic freedom” and “undue political influence” standards were violated.

The public university said it blocked three professors from continuing to serve as expert witnesses in a case that challenges the state’s new voting-rights law because their testimony could pose a “conflict of interest to the executive branch of the State of Florida and create a conflict for the University of Florida.”

Belle S. Wheelan, the president of UF’s accrediting body, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges, said the decision may place the university’s actions in violation of “undue political influence” and “academic freedom” accrediting standards.

“Those are the two that we are going to be looking into. If we find something else, we can always look into them as well,” Wheelan said in an interview with the Times/Herald on Monday.

Read more: https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/2021/11/01/ufs-ban-on-professors-testifying-against-state-to-be-investigated-says-accreditor/

I think I just heard that UF is reversing its decision and will now allow the faculty members to testify. If true, guess they didn't want this situation to affect their accreditation.
November 1, 2021

Rubio takes Big Business to task over 'wokeness' a year before election

The Florida Republican proposed holding business leaders legally liable “when they abuse their corporate privilege by pushing wasteful, anti-American nonsense.”

ORLANDO — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is taking Big Business to task.

In an op-ed published Monday, the Republican from Florida called corporate America “the instrument of anti-American ideologies.” Rubio bemoaned what he described as corporate America’s “wokeness” — a catch-all phrase for being sensitive to social problems such as racism and inequality but which is also derided by critics as virtue-signaling or adopting neo-Marxist world views. He proposed holding corporate leaders legally liable “when they abuse their corporate privilege by pushing wasteful, anti-American nonsense.”

Rubio delivered a virtual speech later Monday before the National Conservatism Conference in Orlando in which he spoke about the declining economic fortunes of many Americans. He said changes to economic policies in recent decades have left many feeling divorced from the American Dream of obtaining good jobs and being able to raise their families in safe neighborhoods. He added, “that has to be addressed, because that dream is at the core of our national identity.”

Rubio’s op-ed and speech mark a break for the senator from the traditional pro-business stances that helped his political rise, which included an unsuccessful run for president in 2016. Rubio is facing re-election next year, and his expected Democratic opponent is U.S. Rep. Val Demings from Orlando. If he wins re-election, he is expected to be in the mix of Republicans running for president in 2024.


What a putz.

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