Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member


icymist's Journal
icymist's Journal
January 25, 2023

Feds: 3 South Florida nursing schools sold 7,600 fake degrees; 25 charged

MIAMI – Three now-shuttered South Florida nursing schools sold more than $100 million worth of fake nursing diplomas, leading authorities to charge more than two dozen people, federal prosecutors said Wednesday afternoon.

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.
January 25, 2023

Sorry, Twitter, but Florida's war on books is no joke. Ron DeSantis wants to keep kids from reading

For those who are paying attention, it's been obvious for some time that Florida's mega-MAGA governor, Ron DeSantis, is aggressive with book bans because he would just prefer it if kids didn't read books at all. So while it was infuriating, it was not surprising to read that the investigative journalism team at Popular Info had discovered that teachers in Manatee County, Florida were told that every book on their shelves was banned until otherwise notified. Failure to lock up all their books until they could be "vetted" by censors, teachers were warned, put them at risk of being prosecuted as felons.

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.

January 25, 2023

The People Who Don't Read Books

During Kanye West’s spectacular plummet last fall, my friends and I would often marvel at the latest outrageous thing he’d said. And we would send around clips of what were, in hindsight, terribly suspect comments he’d previously made. One such example was “I am not a fan of books,” which Ye told an interviewer upon the publication of his own book, Thank You and You’re Welcome. “I am a proud non-reader of books,” he continued. That statement strikes me as one of the more disturbing things he’s ever said. Ye’s patently reprehensible anti-Semitic tirades rightly drew the world’s scorn. But his anti-book stance is disturbing because it says something about not only Ye’s character but the smugly solipsistic tenor of this cultural moment.

We have never before had access to so many perspectives, ideas, and information. Much of it is fleetingly interesting but ultimately inconsequential—not 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. “I’m very skeptical of books,” he expands. “I don’t 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.”

It’s a galling sentiment, every bit as ignorant and arrogant as Ye’s 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 also—through his highly publicized philanthropy and conspicuous association with the “effective altruism” movement—as a moral genius. The title of that profile: “Sam Bankman-Fried Has a Savior Complex—And Maybe You Should Too.”


No paywall:
January 18, 2023

Gunfire damages North Carolina substation, no outage caused

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina utility said an electricity substation was damaged by gunfire early Tuesday but that it caused no power outages.

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 Sheriff’s Office. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation was notified, and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force responded to conduct a parallel investigation, the release said.

January 2, 2023

Could retaliation be the reason Republicans want to retain Jan 6 Committee documents?

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:

As of next week when the Committee dissolves, the Committee will no longer exercise control over this material, and thus cannot ensure enforcement of the commitment to maintain the confidentiality of the identity of the witnesses. Pursuant to long-standing House rules, the official records of the Committee will be archived and pass into the control of the National Archives. We fully share [...] concern for the safety, security, and reputations of
our witnesses.


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.

Profile Information

Member since: Fri Jan 9, 2004, 11:45 AM
Number of posts: 15,888

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»icymist's Journal