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Zorro's Journal
Zorro's Journal
July 31, 2023

DeSantis Says He Would Eye U.S. Ban of TikTok If Elected President

GOP presidential contender calls confronting China a top economic priority

Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis said if elected he would look at a national ban of TikTok, the popular video sharing app, citing a growing threat to the U.S. from China.

“I am inclined to not want TikTok in the United States,” DeSantis told The Wall Street Journal in an interview following the release of his economic plan that identifies confronting Beijing as a priority. “I think it’s creating a security vulnerability for us. I think they are mining a lot of data.”

The Florida governor also said he would work to oust Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell before his post expires in 2026, adding to his continuing criticism of the Fed, and said he would support rules governing how the central bank sets interest rates.

On TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, DeSantis also cited the impact the service can have on children, calling it “very very toxic.” But he stressed he wouldn’t go as far as the Restrict Act, a bipartisan measure introduced in the Senate that would allow the president to take action against an array of foreign software and services from U.S. adversaries.

“At the end of the day I don’t want big brother to be getting into everybody’s apps,” he said. “It’s about vulnerabilities to our country.”


"...I don’t want big brother to be getting into everybody’s apps..."

Yes he does. You know he does. Because TikTok is "woke".
July 31, 2023

California Opens Privacy Probe Into Who Controls, Shares the Data Your Car Is Collecting

Data can be used by insurance companies, city planners or by brokers offering it for sale

California’s new privacy regulator said Monday it is embarking on its first-ever enforcement action: a review of the privacy practices of connected automobiles.

The California Privacy Protection Agency—created under a ballot initiative in 2020 and the only regulator in the nation solely dedicated to privacy issues—will examine the growing amalgamation of data collected by smart vehicles and whether the business practices of the companies collecting that data comply with state law.

“Modern vehicles are effectively connected computers on wheels. They’re able to collect a wealth of information via built in apps, sensors, and cameras, which can monitor people both inside and near the vehicle,” Ashkan Soltani, the agency’s executive director, said in a statement.

U.S. regulators’ scrutiny of the data lags behind such efforts in Europe, which has forced automakers to update software to limit the collection and protect the privacy of consumers.

July 31, 2023

The 'Johnny Appleseed of election fraud' wants to upend voting in America

The ‘Johnny Appleseed of election fraud’ wants to upend voting in America. Why he’s focused on California

Douglas Frank grinned as a high-pitched whine filled the sanctuary of a small Hemet church.

Holding an aluminum rod he said represented America, Frank quickly passed his fingertips over the metal, causing it to vibrate and build resonance.

The whine grew into a howl.

“There are lots of us patriots going around the country spreading truth in America. And while we’re spreading the truth ... it’s resonating,” said Frank, who left his job as an Ohio high school teacher to make scores of presentations across the country falsely claiming the 2020 election was rigged. “And it’s getting louder, county by county, state by state around the country.”

Frank’s demonstration followed a frenetic speech filled with baseless claims about suspicious voting trends and secret algorithms used to steal elections. He proposed a strategy for pressuring elected officials through protests and packed public meetings to abandon the use of election machines or resign.

July 31, 2023

DeSantis unveils new economic policy that targets China, taxes and regulations

Source: Associated Press

In a new policy plan unveiled Monday, Republican presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis is taking aim at China with a “Declaration of Economic Independence” that also targets taxes, regulations, spending and education.

Speaking in a New Hampshire warehouse, the Florida governor promised to boost the economy and fight for the middle class.

“We will take back control of our destiny — and ensure that our future is as proud, independent and free as our past,” he said at Prep Partners Group, which coordinates warehousing, distribution and other logistics for other companies.

DeSantis said he would wrest economic control from China by ending the nation’s preferential trade status, banning imports of goods made from stolen intellectual property and preventing companies from sharing critical technologies with China.

Read more: https://apnews.com/article/desantis-new-hampshire-economic-policy-plan-2024-4778aaef01f19dbf14f8070965c14cca

Also from the article:

On the education front, DeSantis said he will stop incentivizing “useless degrees” by making universities responsible for the loans their students accrue. His plan also would promote vocational and apprenticeship programs that educate “artisans and engineers” instead of “politicized administrators and bureaucrats.”

I wonder if History major DeSantis would consider history as a "useless degree", since it doesn't really fall into either the "artisan" or "engineer" categories...
July 31, 2023

Ron DeSantis So Disappointed Black Republicans Don't Know How Good Slaves Had It

Keep digging, Ron.

There are five — count ‘em, five — Black Republicans in Congress, and not even they have sunken in place enough to defend Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s Lost Cause, which is not just his sputtering presidential campaign but his racist assertion that enslaved people might’ve picked up a few skills while in bondage, such as blacksmithing and, I guess, long distance running.

Wednesday, Rep. Byron Donalds remarked, most diplomatically, “The new African-American standards in FL are good, robust, & accurate. That being said, the attempt to feature the personal benefits of slavery is wrong & needs to be adjusted. That obviously wasn't the goal & I have faith that FLDOE will correct this.”

The backlash was swift: DeSantis spokesperson Jeremy Redfern called Donalds a “supposed conservative,” and Christina Pushaw, his campaign’s rapid response director, asked snidely, “Did Kamala Harris write this tweet?” (Obviously not.)

DeSantis, ever the master politician, responded in the most insulting way possible. He said Thursday, “At the end of the day, you got to choose: Are you going to side with Kamala Harris and liberal media outlets or are you going to side with the state of Florida?”

But Donalds is a Black man from Florida so if he has concerns, maybe someone who’s not a Jim Crow racist would listen? Of course, this only further bolstered Donalds’s vocal support for Donald Trump, who’s crushing DeSantis nationwide and in the state they both pollute.

July 31, 2023

NASA reports unplanned 'communications pause' with historic Voyager 2 probe carrying 'golden record'

NASA's historic Voyager 2 probe is experiencing an unplanned "communications pause" after the space agency revealed that the spacecraft's antenna was inadvertently pointed into the wrong direction.

Mission control transmitted a series of routine commands on July 21 that had the unintended effect of triggering a 2-degree change in Voyager 2's antenna orientation, NASA announced on Friday. As a result, the deep-space probe's ability to receive commands or transmit data back to Earth has been disrupted.

The spacecraft first launched into orbit in 1977 carrying a "golden record" to act as a time capsule if it encounters any extraterrestrial lifeforms.

The issue has prevented Voyager 2's data transmission from reaching the array of giant radio network antennas known as the Deep Space Network, whose team of ground controllers are similarly unable to communicate with the probe.


July 30, 2023

A Drag Queen Is Taking Over The Christian And Gospel Charts On ITunes

And it's all thanks to wacky MAGA preacher Sean Feucht!

The number one song on iTunes this week is Jason Aldean’s “Try That In A Small Town,” not because it’s a particularly good song (content aside, it’s terrible, and I have no problem admitting when I think terrible people have good voices or wrote a catchy tune) but rather because the Right ran out and bought it in order to “own the libs.” You know, because we’re not so hot for lynching jams.

But two can play at that game!

Last week, the very ridiculous MAGA preacher Sean Feucht, whom you may remember from his COVID lockdown-era shenanigans and the rumors that he was Lauren Boebert’s sidepiece, pitched a fit about Christian musician Derek Webb’s recent musical collaboration with drag queen (and fellow Christian musician) Flamy Grant.

“If you're wondering the end goal of the deconstruction movement in the church, then look no further than former worship leader @derekwebb's new collab with a drag queen.” he wrote on Twitter. “These are truly the last days.”

It is very normal to believe in an almighty deity who would look down on Earth and say, “What? Someone is singing songs with a drag queen? Not on my watch! Time to pack it all in — start vacuuming up the righteous so we can explode the entire giant universe I created!”

“End goal? Baby, we’re just getting started,” Grant retorted.

July 30, 2023

The Secret History of Gun Rights: How Lawmakers Armed the N.R.A.

They served in Congress and on the N.R.A.’s board at the same time. Over decades, a small group of legislators led by a prominent Democrat pushed the gun lobby to help transform the law, the courts and views on the Second Amendment.

Long before the National Rifle Association tightened its grip on Congress, won over the Supreme Court and prescribed more guns as a solution to gun violence — before all that, Representative John D. Dingell Jr. had a plan.

First jotted on a yellow legal pad in 1975, it would transform the N.R.A. from a fusty club of sportsmen into a lobbying juggernaut that would enforce elected officials’ allegiance, derail legislation behind the scenes, redefine the legal landscape and deploy “all available resources at every level to influence the decision making process.”

“An organization with as many members, and as many potential resources, both financial and influential within its ranks, should not have to go 2d or 3d Class in a fight for survival,” Mr. Dingell wrote, advocating a new aggressive strategy. “It should go First Class.”

To understand the ascendancy of gun culture in America, the files of Mr. Dingell, a powerful Michigan Democrat who died in 2019, are a good place to start. That is because he was not just a politician — he simultaneously sat on the N.R.A.’s board of directors, positioning him to influence firearms policy as well as the private lobbying force responsible for shaping it.

July 30, 2023

CA bar suspends 1,600 attorneys for violating rules set up after Girardi allegedly stole millions

More than 1,600 attorneys have been suspended by the California State Bar for violating rules about client trust accounts that were set up after disgraced L.A. attorney Thomas Girardi allegedly stole millions of dollars from his clients.

The Client Trust Account Protection Program, which went into effect last year, requires attorneys to register their client trust accounts annually with the state bar, complete a yearly self-assessment of their practices managing client trust accounts and certify with the state bar that they comply and understand the requirements for safekeeping funds.

After the reporting component is fulfilled, the state bar will then begin compliance reviews and investigative audits when appropriate.

Originally, more than 1,700 attorneys were found in violation of the rules and enrolled as “inactive” with the bar, meaning they’re not legally allowed to practice law. As of Thursday afternoon, that number has dropped to 1,641 after some of the attorneys fulfilled their requirements, according to Special Counsel Steven Moawad, who works for the bar’s attorney discipline system.


July 29, 2023

When Patton And MacArthur Burned The Bonus Army Veterans' DC Camp Like It Was Atlanta To The Sea

On July 28, 1932, the US Army 12th Infantry regiment commanded by Douglas MacArthur and the 3rd Calvary Regiment, supported by six battle tanks commanded by Major George Patton, violently evicted the Bonus Army from their Washington DC encampment. This horrible treatment of impoverished veterans shocked the American public and demonstrated the utter indifference of Herbert Hoover to the desperate poverty the nation faced, helping to seal his overwhelming defeat that fall that ushered in the widespread change of the New Deal that would follow.

The Great Depression absolutely decimated the American working class. Unemployment shot up to 25 percent by the winter of 1933, while underemployment affected perhaps an additional 25 percent of workers. Herbert Hoover was simply unable to deal with these problems. Hoover was a man with a long humanitarian record, but he was very much a Progressive in a period where the voluntarist response to social problems that movement valued no longer worked. (Look how labels change!) Charges that Hoover didn’t care about the poor are overstated. But he simply could not accept any large-scale state involvement in solving the problem. By the summer of 1932 he had slightly moved off his position, but widescale social programs were anathema. Even more horrifying to him was worker activism and protest.

In 1924, Congress passed the World War Adjusted Compensation Act that granted World War I veterans a one-time pension check — in 1945. President Calvin Coolidge vetoed this bill because of course Coolidge would veto a bill that gave anyone a dime, but Congress overrode the veto. But by 1932, those soldiers needed that money now. They faced unthinkable poverty. They could not feed their families. What difference did it make if it was 1932 or 1945, veterans thought. So they began to demand the immediate payment of their bonus. The bonus was not a huge amount of money. It paid veterans $1 a day for service while in the US and $1.25 in Europe, up to a maximum of $500 in the US and $625 in Europe. That $625 is about $8,000 today. This was not going to make people rich. But it was something at a time when something was exactly what was needed.

As the Depression deepened, Congress did allow veterans to borrow against the value of the certificates. Originally, they could borrow up to 22 percent of the total, but in 1931 Congress expanded this to 31 percent. Congressional support for paying the entire bonus grew. In January 1930, 170,000 desperate veterans applied for the loans —in nine days. Veterans struggled with what must have been PTSD, as Veterans Administration studies in 1930 and 1931 showed that veterans had unemployment nearly 50 percent higher than non-veterans of the same age. Beginning in 1930, Congress began exploring new bills to help veterans, but none became law. Then, on June 15, 1932, the House passed the Bonus Bill that would grant the bonuses immediately.

As Congress debated the Bonus Bill, veterans descended on Washington, demanding the immediate payment of the bonus. Organizing this protest was an organization you might not expect today — the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The VFW had few members in the early 1920s. But after 1929, its membership exploded because it supported the immediate payment of the bonus, while the American Legion, a proto-fascist anti-worker organization in addition to supposedly advocating for veterans, opposed it. They created a Hooverville in what is today Anacostia Park. Despite being in Washington during the summer, they maintained sanitation. They did not welcome non-veterans or other radicals who might want to turn the event to their purposes. To stay in the camp, people had to prove their veteran status and eligibility. They could however bring their families. Approximately 20,000 veterans traveled to Washington during the summer of 1932.


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