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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Trump official FORCED to answer brutal question live on air

Hear what Herschel Walker said about his residency

‘I live in Texas’: Herschel Walker speech adds to Georgia Senate run problems | Georgia | The Guardian

‘I live in Texas’: Herschel Walker speech adds to Georgia Senate run problems

"Republican candidate’s reference to his out-of-state home opens him to same attacks that dogged Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania

Herschel Walker
Herschel Walker: ‘I was sitting in my home in Texas, and I was seeing what was going on in this country.’Photograph: John Bazemore/AP

In a campaign speech earlier this year, Herschel Walker, the Republican candidate for US Senate in Georgia, said: “I live in Texas.”

Walker will face the Democratic incumbent, Raphael Warnock, in a runoff next Tuesday, a contest triggered after Warnock won on election day but did not pass 50% of the vote. Polling puts the two candidates near-level, with early voting at record levels.

Control of the Senate has already been decided but victory in Georgia would give Democrats outright control by 51-49.

Endorsed by Donald Trump, Walker has ridden controversies over his business record, alleged encouragement of abortions, family relationships, and more.

A football star for the University of Georgia, he went on to star for the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL. Earlier this month, CNN reported that he was benefiting from a tax break on a Dallas home described as his principal residence.

On Tuesday, CNN returned to the well, reporting that in January, while discussing immigration policy in a speech to Republicans at the University of Georgia, Walker said: “I live in Texas … I went down to the border off and on sometimes.”

Walker also said: “Everyone asks me, why did I decide to run for a Senate seat? Because to be honest with you, this is never something I ever, ever, ever thought in my life I’d ever do. And that’s the honest truth.

“As I was sitting in my home in Texas, I was sitting in my home in Texas, and I was seeing what was going on in this country. I was seeing what was going on in this country with how they were trying to divide people.”

CNN also said Walker gave at least four interviews about his Georgia run from his Texas home.

Republicans have been burned by a similar issue already this year, in another close race vital to control of the Senate. In Pennsylvania, the Democratic candidate, John Fetterman, focused on questions about whether his opponent, the TV doctor Mehmet Oz, actually lived in New Jersey. Fetterman ultimately won convincingly.

The US constitution says senators must be 30 years old, a citizen for nine years, and “shall … when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which he shall be chosen”.

When CNN first reported Walker’s Texas tax break, Anthony Michael Kreis, a law professor at Georgia State University, told the network: “This is more of a political problem than a legal one … where Walker can be painted as a carpetbagger.”

This week, however, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that a legal complaint had been filed, urging “state investigators … to probe whether … Walker violated the law by receiving a tax break on his Texas home meant for primary residents of that state even as he runs for federal office in Georgia”.

The paper noted that Walker registered to vote in Georgia in August 2021, shortly before declaring his candidacy.

Nikema Williams, chair of the state Democratic party, told the AJC Walker may have “lied about being a Georgia resident”.

“Georgians deserve answers,” said US congresswoman said, “and Walker must be held accountable for his pattern of lies and disturbing conduct.”

The Walker campaign did not comment."

‘I live in Texas’: Herschel Walker speech adds to Georgia Senate run problems | Georgia | The Guardian

Biden poised to make Avi Kwa Ame a national monument in Nevada - The Washington Post

Biden to honor tribes with Nevada national monument, his biggest yet

"Tribes, environmentalists and many local officials support protecting nearly 450,000 acres around Spirit Mountain, but some developers warn it could hamper renewable energy projects

November 30, 2022 at 6:00 a.m. EST

The night sky looms over the Knob Hill area of the proposed Avi Kwa Ame national monument in Boulder City, Nev.
The night sky looms over the Knob Hill area of the proposed Avi Kwa Ame national monument in Boulder City, Nev. (Kyle Grillot for The Washington Post)

SEARCHLIGHT, Nevada — From the highway, Spirit Mountain — a 5,642 foot-high peak — appears gray. But at times, it glows a majestic pink. For the Fort Mojave and 11 other tribes, these mystical rocks are the site from which their ancestors emerged.

“There’s a spiritual connection that makes us Mojave people,” said Tim Williams, chair of the tribal council. “If it’s not protected, our generation will not have done our job.”

Two decades ago, Congress preserved the mountain — called Avi Kwa Ame (ah-VEE-kwah-may) in Mojave — and 33,000 acres around it as wilderness. Now the Biden administration is readying a proclamation that could put roughly 450,000 acres — spanning almost the entire triangle at the bottom of the Nevada map — off limits to development under the 1906 Antiquities Act.

President Biden will commit on Wednesday at the White House Tribal Nations Summit to protecting the area, according to a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the decision was not yet public.

The transformation of this 700-square-mile wedge between California and Arizona is likely to rank as the largest act of land conservation that Biden will undertake this term. The designation enjoys the support of tribes, local officials, environmental groups and the rural business community but has frustrated some renewable energy advocates, who warn it could undercut the nation’s climate goals.

Sitting between the Mojave National Preserve on the California side and Lake Mead National Recreation Area along the border of Nevada and Arizona, the monument will provide an expanse that will allow desert tortoises, bighorn sheep, golden eagles, and dozens of other species to live and migrate uninterrupted.

“This is the missing link connecting the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Plateau,” said Neal Desai, a senior project manager for the National Parks Conservation Association who has been working for more than a dozen years to protect the area.

Wind and solar companies, Desai said, will have to stay on the other side of the monument boundaries.

When it comes to having a chance to protect this much land, he added, “This really doesn’t happen very often. Not at this scale.”

In mid-November, nearly 250 people gathered at the Aquarius casino resort in Laughlin, Nev., for a two-hour public hearing with officials from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management to discuss the prospective monument. A little more than two months before, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland had visited the area and held a roundtable on the topic with Rep. Susie Lee (D-Nev.).

Amid a standing-room-only crowd at the casino, only about half of the monument’s backers got time to speak.

“Today is special,” Williams said. “We’ve established a map. It’s been a collaboration of a lot of different people, a lot of organizations … This is something that you don’t see every day, especially in this day and age, in this type of political environment, you don’t see this type of collaboration. And it’s here, and it’s now.”

Tribes spread out along the Colorado River have adopted resolutions endorsing a monument, including 27 of 28 tribes in the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada and all 21 in the Inter Tribal Association of Arizona.

Several sent representatives to Laughlin, offering their two-minute testimonies about how ancient sites in the area are still an active part of their lives. Artists, environmentalists, birdwatchers, dark night-sky preservationists, hunters and off-road-vehicle enthusiasts also showed up to voice support for the monument.

Frank DeRosa, vice president for policy and public affairs for the solar energy firm Avantus, said he supported the creation of a monument, but asked BLM to consider “a modest request” for a small adjustment to the map — a “sliver,” he called it, that “avoids all cultural and environmentally sensitive areas” so renewable energy companies can access transmission infrastructure from a long-decommissioned coal-fired plant in Laughlin.

This expanse of Nevada offers some of the best prospects for clean energy development in the country. The canyons here produce tremendous wind, and the sun shines 292 days per year, usually without any cloud cover. The area also boasts dozens of mining claims for rare earth elements, now coveted by the clean tech sector.

Four massive solar farms loom along U.S. 95 between Las Vegas and Searchlight. More than 100 turbines from the White Hills wind farm in Arizona are visible from some of the higher points within the proposed monument.

The Avi Kwa Ame map, as it’s been drawn, prevents similar projects from breaking ground. In previous negotiations between the town of Laughlin and Avantus — then called 8minute Solar Energy — the tribes agreed to exclude 23,000 acres from their proposal so a large solar project at the southern tip of Clark County could continue. But they would not make similar concessions for an area abutting California’s Dead Mountains Wilderness, on the grounds that the area is sacred.

Redrawing any portions of the plan now, Williams said, was not an option. “All the resolutions, all the agreements, were based on that map being presented as final.”

A week ago, according to an individual familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations, the chief of staff toNevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) met with an official from the White House Council on Environmental Quality to discuss the coming proclamation. Sisolak’s aide raised concerns about whether hunters and had sufficient input into the process, this person said, and what impact the designation would have on renewable energy development.

Biden officials assured the governor’s office that hunters could continue to sustain artificial water sources, known as guzzlers, to attract bighorn sheep, according to the senior administration aide. The officials added that the state would be allowed to access and maintain existing infrastructure — including water resources and electric transmission lines — under any monument designation.

Sisolak hasn’t taken a public position on the monument. The Democrat-controlled Nevada legislature passed a joint resolution in 2021 supporting it, and the lieutenant governor, who is also a Democrat, has been championing the economic benefits of Avi Kwa Ame since the spring.

For decades, activists had been working to safeguard key tribal, cultural and ecological lands in this region in a piecemeal fashion. But that strategy changed in 2017, when President Donald Trump scaled back three national monuments and voiced his support for industrial development.

“This was a big shift for the whole environmental community,” Desai said. “Not only did the Trump administration have a different outlook on public lands use, but we were seeing site-specific threats.”

In 2018, Crescent Peak Renewables — the American subsidiary of a Swedish wind power company, Eolus Vind AV — sought to build 248 wind turbines on 32,500 acres of BLM land in southern Clark County. Trump administration officials rejected the proposal, dubbed the Kulning Wind Energy Project.

Crescent Peak tried again last year, seeking access to just 9,300 acres to erect 68 turbines in a scaled-back version of the project. But BLM designated the application as “low priority,” effectively killing it.

“If we don’t do something, we’re going to lose this landscape,” said Alan O’Neill, a retired former superintendent for the Lake Mead National Recreation Area who consults for the National Parks Conservation Association.

The Fort Mojave tribe passed a resolution in September 2019 calling for protections of their ancestral lands extending far beyond Spirit Mountain, in a 381,300-acre national monument. By the time Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) introduced a bill supporting the plan this year, the proposed size had expanded to 443,671 acres.

Monument supporters got a boost when Interior laid out a 10-year plan for locally led efforts to restore and conserve the country’s lands, water and wildlife in May 2021. The “America the Beautiful” initiative promised to protect 30 percent of the country by 2030.

That’s when Kim Garrison Means, an artist, curator and college art instructor who lives in Searchlight (population 348), began going door-to-door to talk to residents about the proposed monument and to find out what it would take for them to support it

Garrison Means, who lives a mile away from her nearest neighbor, said she talked to nearly everyone in town, making the case that people who loved their rural way of life needed to support this measure.

“It was still pretty covid-y at the time. Some people hadn’t seen other humans for quite some time,” Garrison Means said. “We did a lot of listening.”

She said she found strong support for protecting the land around Searchlight from industrial development. “You don’t appreciate what you have until people want to make changes to it.”

While wind and solar companies promise good-paying construction jobs, the Avi Kwa Ame activists contend that having this national monument on their doorstep will welcome what Garrison Means calls “gentle economic growth” — businesses related to camping, hunting, birding, hiking, stargazing and other forms of outdoor recreation.

“It was surprising how together our community was,” she added. “It didn’t matter what flag they were flying outside their house, people wanted to protect this land.”

Biden poised to make Avi Kwa Ame a national monument in Nevada - The Washington Post

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Oath Keepers Leader Found Guilty of Seditious Conspiracy in Jan. 6 Case - The New York Times

Oath Keepers Leader Convicted of Sedition in Landmark Jan. 6 Case

"A jury in federal court in Washington convicted Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the far-right militia, and one of his subordinates for a plot to keep Donald Trump in power.

Stewart Rhodes wearing a hat that reads “Oath Keepers,” a blue shirt and an eye patch.
Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers militia, in 2016.Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, and one of his subordinates were convicted on Tuesday of seditious conspiracy as a jury found them guilty of seeking to keep former President Donald J. Trump in power through a plot that started after the 2020 election and culminated in the mob attack on the Capitol.

But the jury in Federal District Court in Washington found three other defendants in the case not guilty of sedition and acquitted Mr. Rhodes of two separate conspiracy charges.

The split verdicts, coming after three days of deliberations, were nonetheless a victory for the Justice Department and the first time in nearly 20 trials related to the Capitol attack that a jury decided that the violence that erupted on Jan. 6, 2021, was the product of an organized conspiracy.

Seditious conspiracy is the most serious charge brought so far in any of the 900 criminal cases stemming from the vast investigation of the Capitol attack, an inquiry that could still result in scores, if not hundreds, of additional arrests. It carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Mr. Rhodes was convicted of sedition along with Kelly Meggs, who ran the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers at the time of the Capitol attack. Three other defendants in the case — Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watkins and Thomas Caldwell — were found not guilty of sedition.

Mr. Rhodes was acquitted of two different conspiracy charges: one accusing him of plotting to disrupt the certification of the election on Jan. 6 and the other of plotting to stop members of Congress from discharging their duties that day.

A charge that traces back to efforts to protect the federal government against Southern rebels during the Civil War, seditious conspiracy has been used over the years against a wide array of defendants — among them, far-right militias, radical trade unions and Puerto Rican nationalists. The last successful sedition prosecution was in 1995 when a group of Islamic militants was found guilty of plotting to bomb several New York City landmarks.

The Oath Keepers sedition trial began the first week in Federal District Court in Washington in early October when Jeffrey S. Nestler, one of the lead prosecutors in the case, told the jury in his opening statement that in the weeks after Joseph R. Biden Jr. won the election, Mr. Rhodes and his subordinates “concocted a plan for an armed rebellion to shatter a bedrock of American democracy”: the peaceful transfer of presidential power.

Mr. Nestler also closed the government’s case last week, declaring that the Oath Keepers had plotted against Mr. Biden, ignoring both the law and the will of the voters, because they hated the results of the election.

“They claimed to be saving the Republic,” he said, “but they fractured it instead.”

In between those remarks, prosecutors showed the jury hundreds of encrypted text messages swapped by Oath Keepers members, demonstrating that Mr. Rhodes and some of his followers were in thrall to outlandish fears that Chinese agents had infiltrated the United States government and that Mr. Biden — a “puppet” of the Chinese Communist Party — might cede control of the country to the United Nations.

The messages also showed that Mr. Rhodes was obsessed with the leftist movement known as antifa, which he believed was in league with Mr. Biden’s incoming administration. At one point during the trial, Mr. Rhodes, who took the stand in his own defense, told the jury he was convinced that antifa activists would storm the White House, overpower the Secret Service and forcibly drag Mr. Trump from the building if he failed to admit his defeat to Mr. Biden.

Prosecutors sought to demonstrate how Mr. Rhodes, a former Army paratrooper with a law degree from Yale, became increasingly panicked as the election moved toward its final certification at a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6. Under his direction, the Oath Keepers — whose members are largely former law-enforcement officers and military veterans — took part in two “Stop the Steal” rallies in Washington, providing event security and serving as bodyguards for pro-Trump dignitaries.

Throughout the postelection period, the jury was told, Mr. Rhodes was desperate to get in touch with Mr. Trump and persuade him to take extraordinary measures to maintain power. In December 2020, he posted two open letters to Mr. Trump on his website, begging the president to seize data from voting machines across the country that would purportedly prove the election had been rigged.

In the letters, Mr. Rhodes also urged Mr. Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act, a more than two-century-old law that he believed would give the president the power to call up militias like his own to suppress the “coup” — purportedly led by Mr. Biden and Kamala Harris, the incoming vice president — that was seeking to unseat him.

“If you fail to act while you are still in office,” Mr. Rhodes told Mr. Trump, “we the people will have to fight a bloody war against these two illegitimate Chinese puppets.”

As part of the plot, prosecutors maintained, Mr. Rhodes placed a “quick reaction force” of heavily armed Oath Keepers at a Comfort Inn in Arlington County, Va., ready to rush their weapons into Washington if their compatriots at the Capitol needed them. Mr. Caldwell, a former Navy officer, tried at one point to secure a boat to ferry the guns across the Potomac River, concerned that streets in the city might be blocked.

Mr. Rhodes tried to persuade the jury during his testimony that he had not been involved in setting up the “quick reaction force.” But he also argued that if Mr. Trump had invoked the Insurrection Act, it would have given the Oath Keepers the legal standing as a militia to use force of arms to support the president.

On Jan. 6 itself, Mr. Rhodes remained outside the Capitol, standing in the crowd like “a general surveying his troops on the battlefield,” Mr. Nestler said during the trial. While prosecutors acknowledged that he never entered the building, they claimed he was in touch with some of the Oath Keepers who did go in just minutes before they breached doors on the Capitol’s east side.

Even with the convictions, the government is continuing to prosecute several other Oath Keepers, including four members of the group who are scheduled to go on trial on seditious conspiracy charges on Monday. Another group of Oath Keepers is facing lesser conspiracy charges at a trial now set for next year, and Kellye SoRelle, Mr. Rhodes’s onetime lawyer, has been charged in a separate criminal case."

Oath Keepers Leader Found Guilty of Seditious Conspiracy in Jan. 6 Case - The New York Times

Man Charged In Brookhaven Antisemitic Graffiti Case: Police | Brookhaven, GA Patch

Man Charged In Brookhaven Antisemitic Graffiti Case: Police

"Brookhaven Police said graffiti images were spray painted on various buildings throughout the area of Dresden Drive.

Brookhave Police investigate after receiving repeated calls of graffiti displaying antisemetic remarks.
Brookhave Police investigate after receiving repeated calls of graffiti displaying antisemetic remarks. (Shutterstock)

ATLANTA, GA — A 25 -year-old Peachtree Corners man is being charged in connection with two antisemitic graffiti incidents near Dresden Drive, Brookhaven Police said Tuesday.

Anthony Freshwater is being charged on suspicion of four counts of criminal damage to property-hate crime, vandalism at a place of worship and three counts of loitering and prowling, police said.

An investigation into the incidents began on Nov. 1, when officers responded to Dresden and Apple Valley Road due to antisemitic graffiti found at multiple locations, police said.

Various comments were spray painted on the side of a private townhome near Apple Valley, underneath an overpass on Dresden, University Baptist Church and on exterior windows of local businesses, police said.

The Brookhaven public works department removed the graffiti, police said.

Brookhaven investigators used close-circuit TV to locate a suspect, who was seen walking along Dresden overnight on Nov. 11, police said.

Freshwater was arrested Monday at his home in Peachtree Corners, police said. He was booked into the DeKalb County Jail.

“There is no place for hate in Brookhaven, whether it is antisemitic graffiti or any other kind of divisive rhetoric which seeks to target, marginalize or stigmatize any racial or ethnic group," Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst said in a news release. “We have come too far collectively to allow the actions of one or more persons to try to reverse the progress we have made. I commend the Brookhaven Police Department for their tireless work and dedication, which led to an arrest of this heinous crime.”

Man Charged In Brookhaven Antisemitic Graffiti Case: Police | Brookhaven, GA Patch

🚨 Herschel Walker's campaign dealt fatal blow days before election

Proud, Scared and Conflicted. What the China Protesters Told Me. - The New York Times


Proud, Scared and Conflicted. What the China Protesters Told Me.

"In more than a dozen interviews, young people explained how the events of the past few days became what one called a “tipping point.”

A protest in Shanghai on Sunday drew crowds and a heavy police presence.
The New York Times

They went to their first demonstrations. They chanted their first protest slogans. They had their first encounters with the police.

Then they went home, shivering in disbelief at how they had challenged the most powerful authoritarian government in the world and the most iron-fisted leader China has seen in decades.

Young Chinese are protesting the country’s harsh “zero-Covid” policy and even urging its top leader, Xi Jinping, to step down. It’s something China hasn’t seen since 1989, when the ruling Communist Party brutally cracked down on the pro-democracy demonstrators, mostly college students. No matter what happens in the days and weeks ahead, the young protesters presented a new threat to the rule of Mr. Xi, who has eliminated his political opponents and cracked down on any voice that challenges his rule.

Such public dissent was unimaginable until a few days ago. These same young people, when they mentioned Mr. Xi online, used euphemisms like “X,” “he” or “that person,” afraid to even utter the president’s name. They put up with whatever the government put them through: harsh pandemic restrictions, high unemployment rates, fewer books available to read, movies to watch and games to play.

Then something cracked.

After nearly three long years of “zero Covid,” which has turned into a political campaign for Mr. Xi, China’s future looks increasingly bleak. The economy is in its worst shape in decades. Mr. Xi’s foreign policy has antagonized many countries. His censorship policy, in addition to quashing challenges to his authority, has killed nearly all fun.

As a popular Weibo post put it, Chinese people are getting by with books published 20 years ago, music released a decade ago, travel photos from five years ago, income earned last year, frozen dumplings from a lockdown three months ago, Covid tests from yesterday, and a freshly baked Soviet joke from today.

“I think all of these have reached a tipping point,” said Miranda, a journalist in Shanghai who participated in the protest on Saturday evening. “If you don’t do anything about it, you could really explode.”

In the last few days, in interviews with more than a dozen young people who protested in Shanghai, Beijing, Nanjing, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Wuhan, I heard of a burst of pent-up anger and frustration with how the government implements “zero Covid.” But their anger and despair goes beyond that, all the way to questioning the rule of Mr. Xi.

Two of these people said that they don’t plan to have children, a new way to protest among young Chinese at a time when Beijing is encouraging more births. At least four of the protesters said that they were planning to emigrate. One of them refused to look for a job after being laid off by a video-game company in the aftermath of a government crackdown on the industry last year.

They went to the protests because they wanted to let the government know how they felt about being tested constantly, locked inside their apartments or kept away from family and friends in the Covid dragnet. And they wanted to show solidarity for fellow protesters.

They are members of a generation known as Mr. Xi’s children, the nationalistic “little pinks” who defend China on Weibo, Facebook and Twitter. The protesters represent a small percentage of Chinese in their 20s and early 30s. By standing up to the government, they defied the perception of their generation. Some older Chinese people said that the protesters made them feel more hopeful about the country’s future.

Zhang Wenmin, a former investigative journalist known under her pen name Jiang Xue, wrote on Twitter that she was moved to tears by the bravery of the protesters. “It’s hard for people who haven’t lived in China in the past three to four years to imagine how much fear these people had to overcome to take to the streets, to shout, ‘Give me liberty, or give me death,’” she wrote. “Amazing. Love you all!”

As first time marchers, most of them did not know what to expect. A Beijing protester said that she was so tense that she felt physically and emotionally exhausted the next day. More than one person told me that they needed a day to collect their thoughts before they could talk. At least three cried in our interviews.

They are proud, scared and conflicted about their experiences. They have different views about how politically explicit their slogans should be, but they all said that they found shouting the slogans cathartic.

Miranda, who has been a journalist for eight years, said that she couldn’t stop crying when she shouted with the crowd, “freedom of speech” and “freedom of press.” “It was the freest moment since I became a journalist,” she said, her voice cracking.

All the people I interviewed asked me to use only their first name, family name or English name to protect their safety. They had felt a relative safety when marching with others just days earlier, but none dared to put their name to comments that would be published.

The slogans that they recalled chanting were all over the place, illustrating the wide frustration with their lives. “End the lockdown!” “Freedom of speech!” “Give back my movies!”

Quite a few of them were taken aback by how political the Saturday protest in Shanghai turned out to be. 

They were equally surprised, if not more, when more people returned on Sunday to request the release of protesters who had been detained hours earlier.

All six Shanghai protesters I spoke with thought that they were going to a vigil on Saturday evening for the 10 victims who died in a fire Thursday in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region in China’s west. In the beginning, the atmosphere was relaxed.

When someone first chanted, “No more Communist Party,” the crowd laughed, according to Serena, a college student who is spending her gap year in Shanghai. “Everyone knew it was the redline,” she said.

Then it became increasingly charged. When someone yelled, “Xi Jinping, step down!” and “C.C.P., step down!” the shouts were the loudest, according to Serena and other protesters who were also there.

In Beijing, a marketing professional in her mid-20s with the surname Wu told her fellow protesters not to shout those politically explicit slogans because that would guarantee a crackdown. Instead, she shouted slogans that urged the government to implement the rule of law and release detained Shanghai protesters.

A protester in Chengdu and one in Guangzhou, separated by 1,000 miles, both said that they were stopped from shouting slogans that other demonstrators deemed too political and were told to stick to the Covid-related demands.

For many of them, this weekend was their first brush with the police. A protester named Xiaoli in Chengdu said that she had never seen so many police in her life. After being chased by them, she said that she could hear her heart beating fast when she passed by officers on her way home.

It was clear that many protesters blame Mr. Xi for the extremely unpopular “zero-Covid” policy. A young Shanghai professional with the surname Zhang said that Mr. Xi’s norm-breaking third term, secured at last month's party congress, spelled the end of China’s progress. “We all gave up our illusions,” he said.

He cried when he mentioned an old man’s question during this year’s Shanghai lockdown, “Why has our country come to this?” Mr. Zhang, who said that he grew up poor in a village, was grateful for the government’s assistance in his education. “I thought we would only move upward,” he added.

The young protesters are most conflicted about the impact of their actions. They felt powerless about changing the system as long as Mr. Xi and the Communist Party are in power. They believe that many people in the public supported them because the unyielding Covid rules have violated what they see as baseline norms of Chinese society. Once the government relaxes the policy, they worry, the public’s support for protests would evaporate.

At the same time, some of them argued that their protests would make the public aware of their rights.

No one knows what the protests will become — a moment in history, or a footnote. The official state media has kept quiet, though some pro-government social media bloggers have pointed fingers at “foreign forces.” Police have enhanced their presence on the streets and called or visited protesters in an attempt to intimidate them. 

I asked Bruce, a Shanghai finance worker in his 20s, whether the protests meant that people have changed their view of Mr. Xi. He responded, “It was probably not because the public’s opinion of him changed, but because those who are critical of him have spoken up.”

Proud, Scared and Conflicted. What the China Protesters Told Me. - The New York Times

Monday, November 28, 2022

Televangelists: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Georgia Voters React To Walker In New Warnock Campaign Ad

Opinion | What If We Just Ignore Donald Trump - The New York Times

If We Ignore Donald Trump We Might See Who He Really Is

Jason Andrew for The New York Times

By Patti Davis

"Ms. Davis is an author and a daughter of President Ronald Reagan.

When I was about 8 or 9, I was bullied ruthlessly in school by a boy in my class. I faked being sick so I wouldn’t have to go to school, but my parents figured out that something was going on and my father came in to talk to me. I confessed to him that I was scared of my tormentor, and what followed was a lesson in the beauty of ignoring another person. He explained that bullies crave attention and that if they are ignored, they sort of deflate. He then showed me how frustrating it is to feel like you’re invisible, by ignoring me when I tried to speak to him. It worked. I returned to school, I ignored the bully and he gave up his attacks on me.

Donald Trump is like the abusive boyfriend or ex-husband who won’t go away. In that situation, one would take out a restraining order, but obviously we can’t do that with Mr. Trump. So how about not making him the predominant news story? I have noticed, to be fair, that he is a little less predominant, but let’s face it, he is still everywhere in the news. I understand that announcing his candidacy for president is news. But does it have to be a front-page story? Does the end of his exile from Twitter have to dominate the day’s coverage? Does every move he makes, every ridiculous statement he utters, have to be reported?

With each news story, each segment on television, we are giving him the elixir that keeps him going — attention. There are plenty of things going on in the world that are more important than Donald Trump. We have a planet to save. Russia is still waging war on Ukraine, and still imprisoning American citizens like Brittney Griner. The West is running out of water. There are mass shootings so often it’s hard to keep track of them. Just to name a few really important issues.

What if there was a collective pledge among responsible news organizations to take Donald Trump off the front pages, to not talk about him every single day? He would huff and puff and try to blow the house down, but no one would be paying attention. Think of how much calmer the waters would be. Think of how many other stories would get the bandwidth they deserve.

It’s not easy ignoring someone who keeps barreling onto the world stage, determined to create chaos and eviscerate the democracy we depend on, but it is often the only remedy that will work. The person being ignored will find himself alone on a battlefield he created, with only his own voice bellowing around him. Linger on that image for a moment — Donald Trump all alone in the wilderness, with only his own voice to keep him company.

There was a very satisfying end to the story of my school bully. My parents insisted that I had to invite everyone in my class to my birthday party — I couldn’t be rude and leave him out. We had my birthday parties at our ranch and the entertainment was a man with a horse and a dog, who had trained the dog to ride on the horse and do other tricks. Then the kids would get a chance to ride the horse for a few moments. My former tormentor burst into tears and recoiled at the idea of getting on a horse. He was terrified, and everyone started laughing at him.

Every bully has something they’re scared of. Every bully has something that knocks them off their game and reveals the weaknesses they’ve worked so hard to hide. All the media has to do is turn away from Donald Trump and we will see who and what he truly is. Aren’t you at least curious?"

Opinion | What If We Just Ignore Donald Trump - The New York Times

Sea level rise follows an East Coast island community that already moved once - Washington Post

On the edge of retreat

"An island community moved to the mainland. Now the fast-rising sea is following — a warning for the rest of the East Coast.


Monthly data for all contiguous U.S. tide gauges from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sea Level Trends page were analyzed over 1993-2021, with 1993 chosen to match the first full year of the satellite sea level record. Linear trends were calculated using an approach that takes into account autocorrelated errors, following the methodology that NOAA has outlined for analyzing sea level trends.

For each site, we required that at least 70 percent of years have complete data (i.e., 12 monthly values); this affected 19 sites out of 103 in the contiguous United States. All trends have an associated uncertainty; for Virginia, this ranges from +/- 1.15 millimeters per year at Kiptopeke, Va., to +/- 1.47 mm per year at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, where data are unavailable after 2017.

Different methods exist for calculating sea level trends. We also examined 1993-2021 trends calculated by the University of Hawaii Sea Level Center for a select group of U.S. tide gauges, and trends calculated over a slightly different period (1990-2020) by the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level. In most cases, the results are similar, especially for the U.S. East Coast.

There is no long-term tide gauge record at Oyster, Va., and it is not clear which existing Virginia gauge would most closely reflect the changes there. The nearest record, at Kiptopeke, shows seas rising by 4.7 millimeters per year, somewhat lower than other Virginia records. This could reflect lower rates of land sinking or some other factor related to the placement of the gauge, according to Molly Mitchell at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. (Subsidence rates are not expected to change greatly going forward, and this would not affect future trends related to climate change.)

Hampton Roads is about 30 miles from Oyster and is generally a benchmark for the region. The trend there is also the midpoint among the five Virginia sites in our analysis, with two sites showing lower rates and two showing higher ones.

Sinking land is a factor in many U.S. tide gauge readings, not just in Virginia. U.S. sea level rise rates are highest on the Gulf Coast, where land subsidence rates also tend to be the highest because of oil and gas and drinking water extraction, and other factors. However, satellite trends suggest that sea level rise offshore is also elevated along the Gulf Coast, just as it is along the southeastern U.S. coast.

Global gridded sea level data is from the NOAA Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry; the mapped data show trends from late 1992 through early 2022, as calculated by NOAA.

The 1959 aerial photo of Hog Island is from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center; Hog Island’s 2022 satellite imagery is from Planet Labs PBC; historical maps of Hog Island are from NOAA’s Historical Map & Chart Collection. Calculations of area changes to the Virginia barrier islands are from Robbins et al, Geomorphology, 2022.

John Muyskens contributed to this report.

Photos courtesy of the Eastern Shore of Virginia Barrier Islands Center Inc., Donna Fauber, Lisha Bell and the Division of Work and Industry, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

Design and development by Hailey Haymond and Jake Crump. Editing by Monica Ulmanu, Katie Zezima, Joe Moore, and Angela Hill. Copy editing by Mike Cirelli."

Sea level rise follows an East Coast island community that already moved once - Washington Post