U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Markenzy Lapointe and representatives from FBI Miami and Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General spoke at a news conference in Miami Wednesday.
Authorities charged 25 people across multiple states in the scheme, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors have made 21 arrests. Those charged were from Florida, New York, New Jersey, Texas and Delaware.
From the state that's currently banning books from schools and students.
The facts of this situation are straightforward: A Florida law signed by DeSantis requires that every book available to students "must be selected by a school district employee who holds a valid educational media specialist certificate," in most cases, the school librarian. This may sound reasonable on its surface, but as the situation in Manatee County shows, in reality, it's about creating a bottleneck preventing books from getting into the hands of students. Even more importantly, it's about establishing the idea that books are inherently dangerous objects, to the degree that no student can be allowed to handle one without heavy-handed surveillance.
Moreover, even if the librarians in Florida are not themselves interested in being the reading police, they may feel they have no choice. DeSantis has made it quite clear what kinds of ideas he believes should be banned in the state of Florida. He doesn't want schools to acknowledge that LGBTQ people exist. He's banned the teaching of Black history classes on the grounds that lessons on people like Frederick Douglass or Rosa Parks, for instance, "have no educational value." He has been forcing schools to teach a lie, that racism is not the cause of racial inequality. With that level of pressure, it is no surprise that schools would simply err on the side of having few, if any, books available. If books return to the shelves, they may likely be heavily limited to those that portray the world like it's a 1950s sitcom, which pretty much guarantees they'll go unread, as such themes hold little interest to kids in 21st-century America.
When it comes to keeping kids from reading much, if at all, DeSantis' policy is a smashing success. He's established the idea that no student should ever be allowed to just grab a book and read on their own. He's stigmatized basic curiosity. Big Brother must always be watching, a reference kids probably won't get if "1984" is no longer a book readers can just pick up.
We have never before had access to so many perspectives, ideas, and information. Much of it is fleetingly interesting but ultimately inconsequentialnot to be confused with expertise, let alone wisdom. This much is widely understood and discussed. The ease with which we can know things and communicate them to one another, as well as launder success in one realm into pseudo-authority in countless others, has combined with a traditional American tendency toward anti-intellectualism and celebrity worship. Toss in a decades-long decline in the humanities, and we get our superficial culture in which even the elite will openly disparage as pointless our main repositories for the very best that has been thought.
If one person managed to outdo Ye in that season of high-end self-sabotage marking the end of 2022, it was the erstwhile techno-wunderkind Sam Bankman-Fried. In an ill-conceived profile from September, published on the Sequoia Capital website, the 30-year-old SBF rails against literature of any kind, lecturing a journalist on why he would never read a book. Im very skeptical of books, he expands. I dont want to say no book is ever worth reading, but I actually do believe something pretty close to that. I think, if you wrote a book, you fucked up, and it should have been a six-paragraph blog post.
Its a galling sentiment, every bit as ignorant and arrogant as Yes but even more worrisome because SBF is not an entertainer whose debut album was called The College Dropout. He is a supposedly serious young man who was celebrated in the corridors of power not only as a financial savant but alsothrough his highly publicized philanthropy and conspicuous association with the effective altruism movementas a moral genius. The title of that profile: Sam Bankman-Fried Has a Savior ComplexAnd Maybe You Should Too.
The damage comes after a gunfire attack on multiple substations in Moore County knocked out power to more than 45,000 customers for several days in early December. There have been no arrests in those shootings.
EnergyUnited said in a news release that an alarm early Tuesday alerted it to an equipment problem at the substation in Randolph County, northeast of Charlotte. It said crews found damage to the substation from an apparent gunshot and that law enforcement had been notified.
Investigators believe the attack occurred around 3 a.m. Tuesday, according to a news release from the Randolph County Sheriffs Office. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation was notified, and the FBIs Joint Terrorism Task Force responded to conduct a parallel investigation, the release said.
Bennie G. Thompson and Liz Cheney are trying to protect witnesses that have testified to the Committee by getting the documents put into the National Archives. This is evident in a letter to
Mr. Richard A. Sauber, Special Counsel to the President dated December 30, 2022:
So the Republicans want these documents.
I wouldn't put it past some of these people to want to have retaliation on their 'To Do' list. It's what the enemies of America would do. It's what the Mob would do. It's what Putin would do.