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Zorro's Journal
Zorro's Journal
November 12, 2021

Project Veritas and the Line Between Journalism and Political Spying

Documents show how the conservative group worked with lawyers to gauge how far its deceptive reporting practices could go before running afoul of federal laws.

WASHINGTON — Hours after F.B.I. agents searched the homes of two former Project Veritas operatives last week, James O’Keefe, the leader of the conservative group, took to YouTube to defend its work as “the stuff of responsible, ethical journalism.”

“We never break the law,” he said, railing against the F.B.I.’s investigation into members of his group for possible involvement in the reported theft of a diary kept by President Biden’s daughter, Ashley. “In fact, one of our ethical rules is to act as if there are 12 jurors on our shoulders all the time.”

Project Veritas has long occupied a gray area between investigative journalism and political spying, and internal documents obtained by The New York Times reveal the extent to which the group has worked with its lawyers to gauge how far its deceptive reporting practices can go before running afoul of federal laws.

The documents, a series of memos written by the group’s lawyer, detail ways for Project Veritas sting operations — which typically diverge from standard journalistic practice by employing people who mask their real identities or create fake ones to infiltrate target organizations — to avoid breaking federal statutes such as the law against lying to government officials.

November 12, 2021

An Air Force sergeant killed himself on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

The note he left is heartbreaking.

Kenneth Omar Santiago’s perfect smile dazzles on social media as he poses in his Air Force uniforms — flight suits to mess dress.

He accepts military awards, travels to far-off places, salsa dances and swims with sharks to oohs and aahs from friends in Lowell, Mass., his hometown.

“He’s got it all,” more than one commented.

Before Veterans Day, he posted a 1,116 word message, his longest yet.

Then, in a green T-shirt with an American flag emblazoned across his chest, the 31-year-old walked to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and shot himself.

November 12, 2021

Tesla is letting non-Tesla EVs use its Supercharger network for the first time

The pilot will kick off with 10 stations in the Netherlands

Tesla launched a pilot project in the Netherlands this week in which non-Tesla electric vehicles will be allowed to use its Supercharger network, representing the first time that the automaker is opening up its proprietary charging stations to EVs from other companies.

Tesla’s Supercharger network is often held up as the best possible example of an EV charging network: fast, reliable, and plentiful. But Tesla’s network is also exclusive to Tesla owners, meaning someone driving a Volkswagen or Ford EV wouldn’t be able to use it. But that’s now starting to change.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has, for years, talked about opening up his company’s vast Supercharger network to other electric vehicles. And over this past summer, he started revealing key details about how it would actually work. Now the company is ready to start the process by announcing its first pilot project.

November 11, 2021

Teen's Eyes Begin Glowing Red While Reciting Forbidden Knowledge From Book On Critical Race Theory

FORT MYERS, FL—His bedroom walls quivering and cracking the moment he opened the secret tome, local teen Charlie Donnell reportedly found his eyes beginning to glow red Thursday as he recited forbidden knowledge from a book containing critical race theory.

“The fact of slavery refuses to fade, along with the deeply embedded personal attitudes and public policy assumptions that supported it for so long,” intoned Donnell in a guttural moan, his rapidly whitening hair blowing back as if from an unseen wind as brightly colored flames leapt from the pages of the purloined copy of Faces At The Bottom Of The Well: The Persistence Of Racism.

“Indeed, the racism that made slavery feasible is far from dead in the last decade of 20th-century America; and the civil rights gains, so hard won, are being steadily eroded. Mortuis Resurrexerit Credent!”

At press time, a giant hole had opened in the floor and sucked a screaming Donnell into a dimension of unspeakable wokeness.

November 11, 2021

Japan's Subaru unveils first all-electric car, developed with Toyota

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Subaru Corp on Thursday unveiled its first all-electric vehicle (EV), the Solterra, the result of a two-year joint development project with its biggest shareholder, Toyota Motor Corp.

The sports utility vehicle (SUV) launch comes amid accelerating demand for EVs as nations around the world tighten environmental regulation to cut carbon emissions. Toyota last month announced its version of a battery electric vehicle (BEV), the bZ4X.

The technological shift away from internal combustion engines poses a challenge for smaller carmakers, such as Subaru, that are less able to fund expensive development of EVs. At the same time, it is an opportunity for top-tier automakers, such as Toyota, to draw smaller rivals closer.

"The EV market is not mature yet, so we will respond to it by deepening our cooperation with Toyota," Subaru CEO Tomomi Nakamura said during a launch event.

For now, he said, the Solterra would be built by Toyota in Japan and Subaru may move production to its main market, the United States, when it had sufficient sales volume.


November 11, 2021

Frustration, defiance in village to be abandoned to the sea

FAIRBOURNE, Wales (AP) — Like many others who came to Fairbourne, Stuart Eves decided the coastal village in northern Wales would be home for life when he moved here 26 years ago. He fell in love with the peaceful, slow pace of small village life in this community of about 700 residents, nestled between the rugged mountains and the Irish Sea.

“I wanted somewhere my children can have the same upbringing as I had, so they can run free,” said Eves, 72, who built a caravan park in the village that he still runs with his son. “You’ve got the sea, you’ve got the mountains. It’s just a stunning place to live.”

That changed suddenly in 2014, when authorities identified Fairbourne as the first coastal community in the U.K. to be at high risk of flooding due to climate change.

Predicting faster sea level rises and more frequent and extreme storms due to global warming, the government said it could only afford to keep defending the village for another 40 years. Officials said that by 2054, it would no longer be safe or sustainable to live in Fairbourne.


Wonder what will happen when Miami is forced to confront the effects of global warming.

November 11, 2021

You sanction us again? We'll freeze you, Lukashenko warns Europe, threatening to cut gas supply.

Source: Washington Post

MOSCOW — Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko threatened Thursday to cut gas supplies to Europe as the European Union weighs new sanctions on Belarusian officials and entities, in a sharp escalation of tensions over a migration crisis on the Belarusian-Polish border.

Lukashenko told Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko that if Europe imposes new sanctions, “you must not forgive them anything.”

Warning that Belarus would not tolerate the closure of its borders, he told “the leadership of Poland, Lithuanians and other brainless figures to think before speaking.”

European leaders blame Lukashenko for orchestrating the crisis in retaliation for European sanctions. They accuse him of opening Belarusian borders to migrants, mainly from the Middle East and North Africa, who are trying to reach Europe through Belarus.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/belarus-threaten-europe-gas/2021/11/11/970c725c-42df-11ec-9404-50a28a88b9cd_story.html

November 11, 2021

Trump Had A Chance At A $2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Too. He Threw A Fit Instead.

“It’s infrastructure week!”

Now, it really is — or so says Joe Biden. But let us remember an earlier time, before the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill last week, and before Democrats spent every week of the past several months haggling with each other to get their reconciliation package across the finish line.

We’re taking you back to the Trump era, when “infrastructure week” was a punchline rather than a reference to the actual sausage-making behind infrastructure negotiations.

A simpler time? Not so much.

Flash back to May 2019: Trump meets with then-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for a second discussion about infrastructure. This summit came about a month after their long-awaited first meeting, which then-White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would later describe as an “excellent” and “productive” conversation. Although Trump and the Democratic leaders agreed on a $2 trillion investment in roads, bridges and rural broadband, the group didn’t get into any hard specifics during that first meeting.

So the second meeting arrived full of promise. But then, almost immediately, all hope for an infrastructure bill was dashed. The then-President stormed out — after just three minutes. Trump and the Democratic leaders reportedly barely touched on infrastructure before the then-President threw a fit.


November 11, 2021

Trump and His Cornfield Still Haunt the GOP

You’ve probably seen reports that House Republicans are now considering stripping committee assignments from the 13 Republican members who voted for the bipartisan Biden infrastructure bill. It’s the latest DC GOP purity test. In a speech Monday at a National Republican Congressional Committee dinner ex-President Trump ripped into the 13 as traitors to the GOP and to him. One of them, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis – the sole Republican from New York City – was there in the crowd appearing “visibly shaken,” according to a source who spoke to The New York Post. It is another reminder that while Republicans have numerous advantages going into 2022, managing the GOP is inherently difficult with ex-President Trump’s ever-changing list of Republicans he wants to wish to the cornfield because they weren’t nice to him.

I find it hard to believe the GOP House conference will strip these members of their committee assignments. They didn’t do that for the even greater betrayal of those members who voted to investigate the January 6th insurrection. But as we’ve seen, a substantial number of those members have already been forced into retirement. You can’t cross Trump in today’s GOP. You can make vague comments. You can sigh a few times. But you can’t cross him. There are very, very few examples of any who have and still have any future in the party.

These are each key tension points that Democrats should be hitting over and over and over during the next twelve months.

Glenn Youngkin’s narrow victory in Virginia had many roots. A critical one, as I’ve noted repeatedly, is that the out party at the presidential level almost always wins the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races. But clearly Youngkin’s ability to not only hold but supercharge the Trump base while also keeping his distance from Trump was the sine qua non factor propelling him to victory. That’s not easy. And we shouldn’t underestimate the prowess of Youngkin and his campaign in pulling it off. But it’s even harder when you’re operating at the federal level. Youngkin didn’t have to make votes on infrastructure or January 6th committees. All these folks do. The key to Republican victory in 2022 is supercharged support from the MAGA base combined with the more passive disenchantment of a slice of the electorate that is downcast over the economy and COVID and not really thinking about Trump even if they don’t like him. The key for Democrats is to make it as hard as possible to straddle that divide.

Trump will give them countless opportunities.


November 11, 2021

Tucker Carlson's 'Patriot Purge' full of conspiracies and right-wing propaganda

Imagine if there had been a Fox News, or One America News, or Newsmax around during those dark days when Adolf Hitler was claiming all he wanted to do was make Germany great again.

Why is everyone getting so nervous? Isn’t that Autobahn a thing of beauty? Then there is the Volkswagen! Whatta car! And did you see that interview the Fuhrer gave to Tucker Carlson? How sensitive and thoughtful and funny the Chancellor was. We need that kind of leadership over here, don’t you think?

Jews? Concentration camps? Slave labor? All lies, all “fake news”! Just ask those happy folks in the Sudetenland. They wanted to be annexed.

Tucker Carlson, the Joseph Goebbels of the chattering classes, would have been right at home in Wolf’s Lair. But for now, his Fox News bunker will have to do.

Carlson, who has perfected the deer in the headlights gaze of wonderment, makes his living as a professional idiot. And you can’t deny he’s quite good at it, debunking COVID-19 vaccines, pimping racial replacement lies or promoting any other dog whistle that will cheer on his audience, who more closely resemble the vigilante recruitment scene from “Blazing Saddles.”


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