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Zorro's Journal
Zorro's Journal
November 24, 2021

The Russian Public Is Being Primed for Another of Putin's Wars

The Kremlin’s propaganda campaign at home is getting people ready for a ‘reluctant’ move into Ukraine.

Domestic propagandists and state TV pundits are promoting the idea of an inevitable confrontation with the West as Russia’s military posture grows increasingly hostile, causing major concern for its nearest neighbors and NATO. Ukraine remains the crown jewel for the Kremlin and the Russian public is being primed for the intended absorption of more territories under the umbrella of the Russian Federation, while NATO is being accused of fomenting the potential escalation.

“World War III is knocking at our door,” warned one top propagandist.

Whether or not the Kremlin is planning to speed up its creeping assault against Ukraine’s Donbas region in the near future is a mystery even to the most knowledgeable experts with close access to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Nonetheless, they eagerly fulfill the Russian leader’s express intent to keep NATO—and the West in general—in a state of hypervigilance.

Ukraine’s non-affiliation with NATO remains at the top of the Kremlin’s long wish list, with Putin demanding “serious long-term guarantees that ensure Russia’s security” in the region. The real issue is not that NATO presents an acute threat to the Kremlin, but rather that its involvement stands in the way of Russia swallowing additional Ukrainian territories. Putin’s objectives with respect to subverting Ukraine remain the same, with two different paths to getting there: by securing Ukraine’s submission and undermining its sovereignty through unwarranted concessions from the West, or by escalating Russia’s military aggression.

State TV propagandist Dmitry Kiselyov—notorious for boasting that “Russia is the only country in the world that is realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash”—explained that Moscow’s moves are explicitly designed to affect the U.S. and NATO. On his Sunday show, Vesti Nedeli, Kiselyov said that Russia’s tests of its Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile and its recent anti-satellite test were “arguments” to reinforce Russia’s “red lines” with respect to Ukraine.


How the Republicans will respond if Russia invades Ukraine will be very telling...
November 24, 2021

Tucker Carlson Late To Work After Being Murdered By Hordes Of Violent Minorities Again

WASHINGTON—Huffing and puffing as he sprinted in over 30 minutes late to his 8 a.m. morning meeting, Tucker Carlson told coworkers he was late to work Monday because he got held up being murdered by hordes of violent minorities again.

“Hello everyone, I know I’m late, I would have been here on time if I hadn’t just been viciously disemboweled by several families of bloodthirsty illegal immigrants who came to this country to replace us and the American values we hold so dear,” said Carlson, who sat down and let out a labored breath before giving the Fox news staff a detailed description of over two dozen groups of minorities of all different races, genders, and sexualities who had brutally beat him to death at every stage along his commute.

“It’s just so annoying, I had my entire drive planned out to make it here early, but then dozens of illegals pulled me from my car and beat me to death at a coffee shop, gas station, and even on the interstate. I just kept telling them to go back to their country and let me go to my honest, hardworking American job, but they just kept slashing my throat or shooting me in the face and saying Joe Biden sent them. And now the whole day has to be pushed back. Typical.”

Carlson then proceeded to spend an hour in the bathroom, and upon exiting, told coworkers that an immigrant had beat him senseless in a stall and as retaliation, clogged the toilet.


November 23, 2021

Man on San Diego-Bound Flight Drank, Assaulted Flight Attendant & Smoked Marijuana: FAA

The proposed fines represent the latest salvo in the FAA’s attempt to crack down on unruly passengers on planes

A passenger on a short flight across California faces a more than $40,000 fine for his drunken behavior, which included assaulting a flight attendant and smoking marijuana in the bathroom, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The passenger is one of eight who faces fines for their unruly conduct in violation of federal regulations. When combined, the passengers face $161,823 in proposed civil penalties. The FAA does not have authority to file criminal charges.

The man, who was not identified, was aboard an April 15 Southwest Airlines flight from San Jose to San Diego. The FAA said flight attendants caught the man drinking his own alcohol, which is prohibited, and continued to do so even after being told it was illegal.

The agency also alleges the man sexually assaulted a flight attendant during the flight and, as the flight descended into San Diego, the man entered the in-flight restroom to smoke marijuana.


Throw the book at this asshole.
November 21, 2021

Florida's Republican lawmakers deliver another blow for DeSantis against the common good

Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, doesn’t often ask for help. He is a go-it-alone kind of guy who has largely chosen to tackle the coronavirus pandemic solo, making a calculated political wager on Darwinian logic, balmy weather and the hobbled common sense of many Floridians.

The results earned Florida top 10 status in per capita U.S. covid deaths — nearly 61,000 as of Friday. But, hey, at least the state’s economy is rolling!

Recently, though, DeSantis changed his tune out of necessity. He needed the power of the Republican-packed Florida legislature to help him officially free us Floridians from the tyranny of President Biden’s vaccine mandates.

On Wednesday night, during a legislative special session, lawmakers passed a package of bills making it harder for businesses to make sure their Florida employees are vaccinated, and impossible for local governments and schools to require masks or vaccines.


November 21, 2021

Republicans define themselves by misogyny and violence

When Donald Trump ran for president in 2016, Never Trumpers (now largely ex-Republicans) warned that he would corrupt the party in every way imaginable. His misogyny would morph in the party’s toxic masculinity and degradation of women, they cautioned. His infatuation with brutality and violence (boasting he would kill terrorists’ families, exhorting his supporters to slug protesters) would metastasize to the party as a whole. Boy, did those predictions pan out.

You only have to look at the vicious imagery showing the murder of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) deployed by Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.), the verbal attack on her from Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) last year — and Republicans’ defense of both — to understand that their refusal to dump Trump after the “Access Hollywood” tape came to light was merely the prelude to an era of normalizing violence (especially against women), culminating in the Jan. 6 violent insurrection (which many Republicans, including Trump, tried to paint as nonviolent).

Threats and portrayals of violence against women have turned into a badge of honor for a party in which traditional notions about gender (back to the 1950s!) have become a key predictor of Republican support. Casting men (even a Supreme Court justice nominee) as victims of aggressive, “nasty” or unhinged women accusing them of wrongdoing has become standard fare in the Trump party.

Trump’s ability to fan the flames of racism is well known, but equal to his party’s racist appeal is their reassertion of male power. Whether it is in setting up bounties to rat out women who seek abortions or constant denigration of women, misogyny has become as central to the GOP’s tone and tenor as xenophobia. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) accused feminists of taking away men’s masculinity, driving them to seek refuge in pornography. That’s coming from a sitting United States senator, an Ivy League law school graduate. He fans resentment toward women just as assiduously as Trump channels White grievance.


November 21, 2021

Marine Corps compliance with vaccine mandate on course to be military's worst

Up to 10,000 active-duty Marines will not be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus when their deadline arrives in coming days, a trajectory expected to yield the U.S. military’s worst immunization rate.

While 94 percent of Marine Corps personnel have met the vaccination requirement or are on a path to do so, according to the latest official data, for the remainder it is too late to begin a regimen and complete it by the service’s Nov. 28 deadline. Within an institution built upon the belief that orders are to be obeyed, and one that brands itself the nation’s premier crisis-response force, it is a vexing outcome.

The holdouts will join approximately 9,600 Air Force personnel who have outright refused the vaccine, did not report their status, or sought an exemption on medical or religious grounds, causing a dilemma for commanders tasked with maintaining combat-ready forces — and marking the latest showdown over President Biden’s authority to impose vaccination as a condition of continued government service.

“Marines know they’re an expeditionary force, and pride themselves on discipline and being first to fight,” said David Lapan, a retired Marine Corps officer and former communications chief for the service. Leadership, he said, should be alarmed that the Marine Corps ethos of always being ready for the next mission appears to be tarnished in this case. “Why,” Lapan asked, “did they decide not to follow a direct order?”


Discharge these insubordinate assholes.

November 21, 2021

The Most Bonkers Things Kevin McCarthy Said While You Were Sleeping

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) spoke for over eight hours Thursday night into Friday morning, breaking the record for the longest “magic minute” as he used his time at the mic to delay the final vote on the reconciliation bill.

While the bill passed Friday morning, McCarthy seemed to have an ulterior motive: ingratiating himself with the right wing of the party as he embarks on his bid for the speaker’s gavel, should Republicans win the House in 2022.

“I don’t know if Speaker Pelosi stays around,” he said during his grueling soliloquy. “The damage she’s doing is a lot. Personally, I hope she stays. I want her to hand that gavel to me. I want her to be here.”

The speech was replete with gruesome imagery of life under President Joe Biden: apocalyptic cities, a border so porous that children can’t play outside in their own backyards, Americans freezing to death due to high heating costs, China lapping the United States in innovation, baby carrots. (Yes, baby carrots.)


November 20, 2021

The Republicans Have Turned Congress Into Arkham Asylum

Not only is the Congress full of loons, many grossly unfit for office, but even those who are qualified on paper are now behaving in grossly irrational or unethical ways.

The Congress of the United States is not Arkham Asylum, the psychiatric hospital and prison in Batman’s Gotham City.

Though if you watched the mad ranting of Minority “Leader” Kevin McCarthy, who spoke on the House floor for eight and a half hours from Thursday night until early Friday morning, you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. For most of his speech there was almost no audience. For all of his speech he made no sense. His marathon babblefest achieved nothing whatsoever. But he blatherbustered on and on, full of, as Shakespeare would say, sound and fury, signifying nothing.

For a few hours during the address, McCarthy was surrounded by some other notable characters who seemed to wander in from a summer stock production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. There was Louie Gohmert, who once suggested we consider moving the moon as a way of controlling rising sea levels. Also there for a bit was North Carolina nitwit and serial liar Madison Cawthorn, the man who once said James Madison signed the Declaration of Independence and who urged conservative mothers to raise their boys to be “monsters,” spitting his chaw juice into a paper cup. Andrew Clyde of Georgia, who once compared the Jan. 6 riot to a “normal tourist visit,” sat next to Greg Pence, the MAGA-loving brother of the vice president Trump’s mob of normal tourists sought to hang.

Days earlier, McCarthy had been talkifying from that same lectern in an effort to protect Paul Gosar from consequences for posting an anime video depicting him killing congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Biden. Gosar is also noted for his ties to extreme right-wing groups, his support of insane conspiracy theories, and the fact that his siblings banded together to campaign against him because they felt he was unfit for office. Gosar is also a dentist, which makes things clearer. And worse.

Gosar, despite McCarthy chin-wagging, was ultimately censured by the members of the House who are actually willing to take a stand against murdering each other. Notably, that included only two Republicans. Similarly, hours after McCarthy’s nocturnal emissions came to an end, the bill he stood in opposition to—Biden’s Build Back Better initiative—was approved by the House of Representatives. (Yes, that’s right, McCarthy made the calculation that he should break the House record for the longest speech ever delivered from its floor by standing in opposition to providing hearing aids for the elderly, pre-K for children, home care for those who needed it, help for the environment, and more jobs for Americans.)

November 20, 2021

Can a Vastly Bigger National-Service Program Bring the Country Back Together?

The idea has a remarkably broad array of supporters, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Stanley McChrystal.

Linwood Holton, Jr., was not an obvious candidate to advance the cause of national reconciliation. He was a white son of the Old South, and grew up during the Great Depression, in Big Stone Gap, in the rural southwest corner of Virginia. His mother worked at home and his father ran a railroad that pulled coal out of the mountains.

During the Second World War, Holton served in the Navy in the Pacific, and, after he attended law school, he entered politics in Roanoke, where he gained a reputation for discomfort with racial segregation. After the Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, Virginia embarked on an ignominious campaign of “massive resistance,” in which it closed public schools rather than integrate them. Holton opposed the practice, and lost three campaigns for office between 1955 and 1965. But, in 1969, after assembling a diverse coalition, he became the first Republican to be elected governor of Virginia since 1874. In his inaugural address, he quoted Abraham Lincoln in calling for a society that operates “with malice toward none, with charity for all.” Months later, a court ordered the city of Richmond to achieve meaningful integration of its public schools. Many wealthy white students moved to private education, but Holton and his wife, who had four school-age children, enrolled them in majority-Black public schools.

By the end of his term, in 1974, Holton was out of step with Republicans, who had embarked on Nixon’s Southern Strategy of appealing to segregationists estranged from the Democratic Party. Holton was never elected to office again; he spent the rest of his career as a lawyer and as an appointee to various government posts. He died on October 28th of this year, at the age of ninety-eight, at home in Kilmarnock, Virginia. In an interview with the Washington Post before his death, he called his work on integration the “greatest source of satisfaction and pride for me.”

What inspires a person to transcend our tribal boundaries? What does it take to nudge members of separate racial and income groups to begin to appreciate one another’s perspectives and experiences? There is rarely a neat, single point of origin—a real-life Rosebud—in anyone’s story, but Holton’s offers clues about the source of his motivation: the suffering, for instance, that he witnessed, as a child, in the lives of Black mentors and caregivers. In a memoir, “Opportunity Time,” he wrote of a man he admired named John Cloud, a servant in a neighbor’s house, who was bullied by one of Holton’s white friends. Cloud, despondent, referred to himself with a racial slur. “I hardly heard what he said next,” Holton recalled. “It didn’t make any difference—the beginning of that sentence gave me pain that I still carry.” Holton’s daughter Anne identified another crucible. “He served in World War Two with folks of different races, and then came home to a segregated Virginia,” she told me, in a 2016 interview.

November 19, 2021

The G.O.P. Has a Bad Men Problem

How upbeat is the Republican Party about its prospects for taking control of the House and Senate next year? So upbeat that it apparently is cool with the fact that in three Senate races — Georgia, Missouri and Pennsylvania — it has leading candidates who have been accused of harassing, abusing, threatening or otherwise mistreating women.

Once upon a time, this situation likely would have provoked a major display of concern, or at least an attempt at damage control, by the Republican establishment. Instead many party officials are brushing off related questions like pesky bits of dryer fluff.

While the particulars of these cases vary — the allegations, the candidates’ responses, the warmth of the party’s embrace — the creeping not-so-casual misogyny is indicative of the dark path down which former President Donald Trump continues to lead the G.O.P.

It is not simply that Mr. Trump has long worn his shabby treatment of women like a perverse merit badge — a symbol of how the rules of decent society do not apply to him. He also has made the Republican Party a welcoming place for other like-minded men. As president, rarely did he confront a harassment or abuse scandal in which he didn’t make clear his sympathies for the accused and his skepticism of the accusers. Pity the poor harasser. So misunderstood. So persecuted by humorless prigs. It almost takes the fun out of groping random chicks.


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