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MichMan's Journal
MichMan's Journal
December 21, 2021

Nicholas Sandmann reaches settlement with NBC

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed against NBC by Covington Catholic graduate Nick Sandmann.

Sandmann announced the settlement in a tweet, saying the terms of the agreement are confidential. This is Sandmann's third settlement with a major news outlet following media coverage of a viral video featuring him at the Lincoln Memorial in January 2019.

Documents filed Friday in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Kentucky show both parties agreed to dismiss the case without a judgement from the court.

Court records show Sandmann has filed suit in federal court against eight major news outlets including The Washington Post, CNN, NBC, The New York Times, CBS News, ABC News, Rolling Stone and Gannett. In January 2020, CNN settled. In July 2020, The Washington Post settled.


December 10, 2021

Opinion: Vaccine mandates may be only remedy for Detroit's disrupted classrooms

Long-term, only a vaccine mandate for employees and students will allow for consistency of learning," Nikolai Vitti wrote in an email to the Free Press this week. "... If we do not move to a vaccine, the challenges disrupting school ... will not end."

Statewide, 61.5% of Michiganders of all ages have gotten the first shot; in Detroit, it's 44%. Broad public access and literal vaccination house calls haven't moved the needle much. (Any Detroiter older than 12 can receive the shot at home by calling 313-230-0505. Vaccines for kids are also available at the Detroit Health Department) The Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was approved for teenagers this spring, and for children 5-11 last month. But just 17.5% of Detroiters aged 5 to 19, and less than 5% of Detroit kids 5-11 have received their first shot.

Vitti listed mask requirements, the expense and operational distraction of testing, quarantines triggered by COVID-19 outbreaks, and employee burnout among the chronic pandemic contingencies that continue to disrupt classroom instruction. It's those last two that prompted the district to switch to virtual learning every Friday this month, after outbreaks shut down multiple school buildings.

The closures will also allow time for deep cleaning of school buildings, Vitti said; When I pointed out that public health authorities have long since debunked such cleaning rituals as an effective COVID-19 mitigation tactic, he conceded the point, but added that the community has "continued to raise concerns about cleanliness after positive cases and outbreaks were identified." Vitti had hoped to encourage vaccination by offering staffers $500 bonuses, but it hasn't been enough. National teacher unions have supported vaccine mandates, but the Detroit Federation of Teachers hasn't embraced that position.

December 7, 2021

Gov. Whitmer says President Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate a 'problem,' report says

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, in her strongest public remarks to date about President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate for employers, said Monday that the requirement is "a problem" for her and state government, according to a published report.

The Daily News in Greenville reported Whitmer as telling business leaders in Montcalm County that she had the same concerns as some of them that the mandate, if enforced, could lead to workers, including those in state government, walking off the job.

"We’re an employer too, the state of Michigan is," Whitmer was reported as saying. "I know if that mandate happens, we’re going to lose state employees. That’s why I haven’t proposed a mandate at the state level. Some states have. We have not, we’re waiting to see what happens in court."

“But we have a lot of the same concerns that you just voiced and it’s going to be a problem for all of us,” Whitmer added.

November 26, 2021

New maps spark debate over majority-minority districts

DETROIT (AP) — Adam Hollier is a lieutenant in the Army Reserves, a paratrooper, Detroit native, a Democrat and a Black man. He is also a state senator who represents a majority-Black district that stretches across the northeastern edge of his economically battered and resilient hometown. That critical mass of Black voters, Hollier argues, ensures he has a chance to be elected and give voice to people who have long been ignored by the political system.

For Hollier’s 2nd Senate District, that means some of its Detroit neighborhoods would be grafted on to mostly white districts, and his own seat would stretch across Eight Mile Road, the infamous boundary between Detroit and its first-ring, majority white suburbs. Its Black voting-age population would drop to 42%.

Hollier, like other Black lawmakers, is furious, saying that move jeopardizes Black elected officials. “By and large, Black people vote for Black people and white people vote for white people,” Hollier said. “It’s just the reality. It’s got nothing to do with me. Draw maps that majority-Black communities can win.”

Increasing competition is one of the goals of Michigan’s commission, which voters created in 2018 after decades of partisan gerrymandering controlled by Republicans. The commission also is tasked with considering representation of minority communities and following the Voting Rights Act. “What we have done is taken those areas and divided them into multiple districts so that there’s actually more districts where minority voters will be able to elect their candidates of choice, which should actually have the effect of increasing the representation among the African American community,” Szetela said.

November 26, 2021

GoFundMe pulls page aimed at raising $5M bail for Waukesha Christmas parade suspect

I hope this James Norton who tried to start the GoFundMe for Darrell Brooks was just trying to be an agitator and wasn't really serious. False Flag ?

GoFundMe pulls page aimed at raising $5M bail for Waukesha Christmas parade suspect, as victim’s cancer diagnosis is revealed after her death

A medical examiner determined that one of the victims, Jane Kulich, was battling uterine cancer, but had not been diagnosed with the disease, CBS News reported.

During a court appearance on Tuesday, Brooks was ordered held on $5 million bail — sparking swift backlash given prosecutors previously admitted Brooks was only able to rip through the parade route after being sprung on an “inappropriately low” bond. At the time of the parade massacre, Brooks was out on $1,000 bail after he was arrested earlier this month for allegedly attempting to run over the mother of his child with his car.

According to screengrabs first shared by Law Enforcement Today, the bail also spawned a fundraising effort on Brooks’ behalf. Set up by a person going by the name, James Norton, the page insisted Brooks was a victim of a “racist” justice system and used hashtags including #RacismIsReal and #BLM.

“On November 21st, 2021 our dear friend Darrell Brooks was arrested for allegedly driving his car into a parade, as someone who knows Darrell personally I can tell you that he would NEVER do such a thing and I know he is innocent of what he was charged with,” Norton wrote, per the screengrabs.

“Clearly there is more to the story the media is not telling us and I am seeking to raise the bail so Darrell can be released and speak his truth to his side of the story in this tragic situation that sees another black man behind bars in a purely political and racist trial.”

A spokesperson for GoFundMe on Wednesday confirmed to FOX Business that the page has since been removed from the platform. The person attempting to raise money for Brooks has also been banned from using GoFundMe for future fundraisers.


November 25, 2021

District Attorney files charges against teens in racially motivated SEPTA attack


The District Attorney’s Office on Thursday charged four teen attackers with multiple crimes for what SEPTA Police claim was a racially motivated attack on the Broad Street Line, which was captured on video Wednesday.

SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel III said Thursday authorities were able to identify the four suspects through the transit system’s network of 28,000 cameras, a slew of public tips, and a parent who reported their own child as someone involved in the incident.

Hours after the attack, the District Attorney’s Office charged each of the four teenagers, whose ages range from 13 to 16, with aggravated assault, ethnic intimidation, criminal conspiracy, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and disorderly conduct, an office spokesperson said. One of the alleged attackers was also charged with robbery for trying to steal one of the victim’s Airpods.

Nestel previously said there was no sign that the victims provoked the attackers in any way. SEPTA police have been in touch with the suspects’ families, he said. According to the transit agency, the attack took place around 3:30 p.m. near the Erie Station on the Broad Street Line while the train was in transit. In a video, which was later posted on social media, a group of Black girls is seen yelling at a teenager, whom the Philadelphia School District said was a Central High School student.

Nestel said the suspects were yelling at a total of three teenagers, all Asian students from Central, when a fourth teen stepped in to defend her peers. The attackers turned their attention to the fourth teen, banging her head against the subway doors and continuing to hit her as she lay on the train floor.
November 16, 2021

More than half of Detroit public school students are considered chronically absent this school year

"More than half of Detroit public school students are considered chronically absent this school year from district schools.

The district's chronic absenteeism numbers have dropped a few percentage points from pandemic levels last year, when 59% of Detroit students were chronically absent. But 57% of students are still considered chronically absent, compared with 45% before the pandemic. A student is considered chronically absent in Michigan if they miss 10% or more days of school. "This continues to be, in my mind, our greatest challenge," Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said during a Nov. 9 school board meeting.

The slightly improved numbers this year were expected because the district has resumed in-person school after more than a year of conducting school virtually. But the high rate of chronically absent students is notable for the district, which once held the highest rate of chronically absent students of all big districts in the country.

Nearly 58% of students were chronically absent in the 2013-2014 school year. Under new leadership, the district worked to get more students in their seats more often, reaching a 45% chronic absenteeism rate before the pandemic hit.

Chronic absenteeism is a complex problem for school districts. Students often don't show up for reasons that aren't willful: Some struggle with getting a ride to school. Other, older students may unexpectedly have to watch young siblings.

"Chronic absenteeism, for us, has not been a new challenge because it is directly linked to poverty," Vitti told the Detroit Free Press in an interview in August. "The pandemic exacerbated what was already a challenging situation."

November 4, 2021

The inflation tax is not only real, it's massive

"If you are under the impression that the “inflation tax” is only an allusion to the shrinking impact inflation has on the purchasing power of your income and savings, you should continue reading.

Inflation is a real tax, just as real and at times nearly as important as the individual income tax. While inflation clearly does reduce the purchasing power of your earnings and fixed-income asset values, it also redistributes purchasing power from businesses and households to the federal government. And in today’s economy, with inflation running at 5.4 percent, the inflation tax is no small matter. The amount the government will collect from the inflation tax in 2021 exceeds $1.9 trillion.

Most people understand that inflation can redistribute income and wealth. For example, many probably are aware that unanticipated inflation benefits borrowers at the expense of creditors. When inflation is higher than expected, borrowers repay debt with future dollars that have less purchasing power."

November 4, 2021

White House walks back Biden comments on migrant families payments

"The White House on Thursday walked back President Biden's comments from the day before that the administration would not be paying migrants separated at the border during the last administration $450,000 each, clarifying that the government would be willing to settle out of court with those families.

"If it saves taxpayer dollars and puts the disastrous history of the previous administration’s use of zero tolerance and family separation behind us, the president is perfectly comfortable with the Department of Justice settling with the individuals and families who are currently in litigation with the United States government," White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

Biden on Wednesday was asked about reports that his administration was contemplating a payment of roughly $450,000 per person for separated migrant parents and children. "That’s not gonna happen," he told reporters when asked about the reported plan.

Jean-Pierre on Thursday asserted Biden was reacting specifically to the $450,000 figure that was mentioned when he was asked about it. "As press accounts to date indicate, DOJ made clear to the plaintiffs that the reported figures are higher than anywhere that a settlement can land," she said.

Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy asked Biden on Wednesday if the payments could encourage migrants to flock to the U.S. "If you guys keep sending that garbage out, yeah," Biden said. "But it’s not true."

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a statement suggested Biden had not not briefed on the actions of his own DOJ, and it further argued the president would be turning his back on a core campaign promise to provide a measure of justice for those separated under the Trump policy. "

October 23, 2021

Canada says EV tax credits would cause 'serious' harm to auto industry

Washington — The Canadian government argued in a letter to congressional leadership Friday that "the protectionist elements" of proposed electric vehicle tax credits would damage the North American auto industry and aren't consistent with existing trade agreements.

Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng told lawmakers and officials in the Biden administration that the two nations' auto supply chains are deeply integrated, and the proposed credits "would cause serious and irreparable harm" to both the Canadian and U.S. auto industry.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is accompanied by Mary Ng, Canada's Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, as they arrive for a meeting with Ethiopian women entrepreneurs, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020.
"If passed into law, these credits would have a major adverse impact on the future of EV and automotive production in Canada, resulting in the risk of severe economic harm and tens of thousands of job losses in one of Canada’s largest manufacturing sectors," Ng wrote in the letter obtained by The Detroit News. "U.S. companies and workers would not be isolated from these impacts."

Ng stressed the interconnected nature of the two auto economies: Every vehicle assembled in Canada contains around 50% U.S.-made parts, the two countries are the top importers of each others' auto exports, and the two countries agreed earlier this year to collaborate on sourcing critical minerals needed to make electric vehicle batteries. She also wrote that the proposed policies are inconsistent with trade obligations under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and that a weaker Canadian automotive sector would negatively impact the Great Lakes region in particular.

"Canada and the United States share the common objectives of transitioning to green economies, combating climate change, and ensuring the vehicles, components and critical minerals of the future are produced here in North America," she wrote. "Canadian unions and labour standards are as robust as those in the United States. Therefore, it is imperative that Canadian assembly, including Canadian unionized assembly, is not discriminated against and is eligible for the maximum incentive available."


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