DeSantis-Backed Education Purge Begins After School Board Takeovers in Florida
"The new playbook of total ideological control is in full swing," said one free expression advocate.
Despite outcry from parents, teachers, and students, newly elected right-wing school board members in Sarasota County, Florida on Tuesday became the latest allies of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to oust a school superintendent over the district's adherence to public health guidance during the coronavirus pandemic.
Dozens of community members gathered at a school board meeting in Sarasota County on Tuesday evening to support Brennan Asplen, the superintendent of schools since 2020, whose contract was the subject of the meeting.
The board met the same day new members, including Chair Bridget Ziegler, were sworn in. Ziegler, a co-founder of right-wing group Moms for Liberty, was one of two dozen school board candidates who received an endorsement from DeSantis during the midterm elections. The majority of those candidates, who received $1,000 contributions from the governor, won their elections.
At the meeting, members condemned Asplen "for not pushing back on the mask mandate" that was in place for three weeks in 2021 after the school board voted 3-2 in favor of the mandate, making Sarasota County the first in the state to defy DeSantis' law blocking Covid-19 mitigation measures.
On Tuesday the board ultimately voted 4-1 in favor of negotiating a separation agreement with Asplen, after another board member, Thomas Edwards, warned the move would be a "carbon copy" of a similar ouster in Berkeley County, South Carolina earlier this month.
QAnon Influencer Sues Newspaper, Gets Exposed as Alleged Child Predator
QAnon leader Phil Godlewski accidentally outed himself as an alleged child predator after filing a defamation lawsuit against a local paper that exposed old court records to public scrutiny, according to a report from The Daily Beast. Despite Godlewski and QAnons obsessive fixation with pedophile cabals running the government, it seems in this case the call is coming from inside the house.
In 2010, Godlewski was charged as a result of his relationship with a 15-year-old girl, identified in records as B.D. According to police records and testimony from the victim, Godlewski began a sexual relationship with the girl in 2008, when Godlewski was 25 and working as a high school basketball coach near Scranton, Pennsylvania. B.D. reportedly stopped cooperating with law enforcement after Godlewski threatened suicide, and Godlewski ultimately pleaded guilty to charges of corruption of a minor, and served three months of house arrest.
By 2021, Godlewski had established himself as a major figure within the QAnon world, and was raking in cash hawking multi-level marketing schemes to his hundreds of thousands of followers. Godlewski reportedly purchased a $1.7 mansion using the funds this year.
After the Scranton Times-Tribune published a profile of Godlewski in 2021, Godlewski sued the paper, accusing B.Ds mother of fabricating the allegations in a financial ploy and calling the victim a conniving fraud. The accusations prompted B.D., now an adult, and her family to further cooperate with the Times-Tribunes response to the suit. This cooperation, as the Daily Beast reported, has exposed further details of Godlewskis misconduct.
Police reports and letters submitted by the girls parents indicate that at the time of the relationship, Godlewski exchanged hundreds of text messages with B.D., and bought her lavish gifts. In one text exchange, he told her he had realized that youre only 15, but quickly stopped caring.
Records show that Godlewski detailed his sexual desires and exploits with the teenager, telling her he would ever be sexually satisfied if we did it like 4-5 times a day. He allegedly used his work as a real estate agent to gain access to homes within which to have sex with the teen. Weve probably had sex in like 40% of the homes in northeastern Pennsylvania, Godlewski messaged her in one instance.
'This is just heartbreaking': People shocked at the image of three migrants discovered on ship's rudder
The Spanish coast guard rescued three African migrants found sitting on the rudder of the ship in the Canary Islands.
The image of three men discovered balancing on the rudder of a ship for 11 days across the ocean from Nigeria to the Canary Islands has left people in shock.
The three men were picked up Monday by Spain's Maritime Rescue Services from the rudder of the Alithini II ship. After displaying acute symptoms of disorientation, dehydration and hypothermia, they were all taken to a hospital on the island of Gran Canaria.
Two of the stowaways have been helped and put back on a ship to be deported to Nigeria. A local government spokesperson said that the third person is still recovering in a hospital. A law enforcement spokesperson told Reuters that the law in Spain states that if a stowaway doesnt seek asylum, they have to be sent back to the original port by whomever runs the ship.
The amount of people coming to the Canary Islands from the western region of Africa has skyrocketed over the past few yearswith many undertaking similar dangerous journeys.
Clarence Gilyard Jr, an actor and academic known for roles in such TV series as Walker, Texas Ranger and Matlock and films including Die Hard and Top Gun, has died. He was 66. The University of Nevada Las Vegas College of Fine Arts, where Gilyard was a film and theater professor, shared the news but gave no cause of death.
Gilyards career spanned more than 30 years in film, television and theater. His first movie role was as Sundown in the original Top Gun (1986), and he later made a lasting impression in 1988s Die Hard as Theo, the wise-cracking computer whiz baddie.
On television, Gilyard co-starred opposite Andy Griffith in legal drama Matlock from 1989-93, appearing in 85 episodes as private investigator Conrad McMasters. Then, from 1993-2001, he starred with Chuck Norris as Jimmy Trevette in CBS Walker, Texas Ranger.
story talks about how Louisville cops generate so many settlements that city can't get liability insurance. the taxpayer pays. This cop sexual predator gets away with a misdemeanor
A Louisville Metro Police officer tied up, kissed and groped a worker at a gas station while he was on duty. Now, the city is paying for it.
If the recent past is prologue, however, most of what House Republicans have in store will be bad-faith efforts to score political points.
On Nov. 2, Jordan, the presumed incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland alerting him to several potential topics of interest. The tone was accusatory.
Jordan wrote that in his hands, Judiciary would be looking into the departments targeting of journalists with Project Veritas, its one-sided enforcement of the FACE Act and the FBIs unprecedented raid on President Trumps residence.
Project Veritas is a right-wing attack group that uses a variety of deceptions, including fake identities and secret recordings, to investigate alleged wrongdoing by Democrats and the usual list of Republican cultural targets: teachers, doctors who work with trans kids, etc.
Jordan is interested in what happened when Project Veritas became entangled in a federal investigation after purchasing first daughter Ashley Bidens stolen diary for $40,000. The ACLU, while deploring Project Veritas deceptions, said it was troubled by the way the feds carried out the investigation. That could be fair game for a hearing.
On the other hand, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, or the FACE Act, should be left alone. It was signed into law during the Clinton administration to protect those receiving reproductive healthcare at heavily picketed locations such as Planned Parenthood clinics. As a sop to religious conservatives, houses of worship were included in the list of facilities protected by the law. MAGA Republicans now allege the law is being used to harass antiabortion demonstrators and is not enforced in cases of religious services being disrupted, though I could find no evidence of that.
Jordan et al. are also trying to make a political martyr of Mark Houck, an antiabortion activist who was arrested by the FBI after shoving a 72-year-old clinic escort at a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood in October 2021. Houck has pleaded not guilty to two counts of violating the FACE Act.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams hopes to combat crime by removing people with severe mental illness from the streets and subways, noting that the City has a "moral obligation" to help.
"The common misunderstanding persists that we cannot provide involuntary assistance unless the person is violent," Adams said during a 19-minute address at City Hall on Tuesday. "This myth must be put to rest. Going forward, we will make every effort to assist those who are suffering from mental illness and whose illness is endangering them by preventing them from meeting their basic human needs."
"No more walking by or looking away," he added.
A Shortage of Psychiatric Beds
Hospital administrators in New York City say there are not enough psychiatric beds to fulfill the need, according to The New York Times, which also reported that Gov. Kathy Hochul has promised 50 additional beds.
"We are going to find a bed for everyone," Adams said Tuesday, adding that the city would order hospitals to care for patients until they are stable, and discharge them only when there is a workable plan in place to connect them to ongoing care.
However, advocates for the homeless worry there will not be enough resources.
On Wednesday, Rep. Madison Cawthorn took to the House floor to deliver what will be his last speech before his 11th District seat turns over. Referencing prepared notes to compose his thoughts, Cawthorn departed with a firm warning not against the dangers of lax gun restrictions in North Carolina, but that of social media turning American men into "soft metrosexuals" unwilling to raise arms and fight.
"Our young men are taught that weakness is strength, that delicacy is desirable and that being a soft metrosexual is more valuable than training the mind body and soul," Cawthorn said in the opening of his speech. "Social media has weakened us, siphoning our men of their will to fight; to rise in a noble manner, square their jaws and charge once more into the breach of life to defend what they love."
Referring to what he views as a decline in his version of true masculinity as being a degrading force that's ushering America towards "the precipice of disaster," Cawthorn goes on to ask if we will "sit behind a screen" while these fancy boys of his nightmares lead to our ruin.
"I ask the young men of this nation a question," Cawthorn furthered. "Will you sit behind a screen while the storied tales of your forefathers become myth? Or will you stand resolute against the dying light of America's golden age? Will you reclaim your masculinity? Will you become a man to be feared? To be respected? To be looked up to? Or will you let this Nation's next generation be its final generation?"
Doctor Eric Salata found dead in a ditch with gunshot wound to the head shortly after third women accuses him of rape. Police say death is not suspicious.
A Florida doctor accused of sexually assaulting at least two of his patients after giving them laughing gas, Xanax and tequila has died.
Eric Andrew Salata, 54, was discovered in a ditch near his home in Naples with a gunshot wound to the head and a handgun next to his leg, ABC affiliate WZVN reported. He reportedly left two notes, his wedding ring and credit cards at his home.
Deputies with the Collier County Sheriffs Office were asked to do a welfare check after no movement was detected Salatas ankle monitor for eight hours, according to WZVN.
The Collier County Sheriffs office said his death is not considered suspicious, but authorities are waiting for the autopsy report before ruling it a suicide, according to multiple local media outlets.
Salata was arrested on Nov. 21 after two women ages 51 and 72 said they were sexually assaulted while undergoing cosmetic medical treatments at the Pura Vida Medical Spa, according to a press release from the Naples Police Department. He was charged with two counts of sexual battery to a physically helpless person.
Four monks including an abbot at a temple in Phetchabun province's Bung Sam Phan district tested positive for methamphetamine on Monday, district official Boonlert Thintapthai told AFP.
The monks have been sent to a health clinic to undergo drug rehabilitation, the official said.
"The temple is now empty of monks and nearby villagers are concerned they cannot do any merit-making," he said.
Merit-making involves worshippers donating food to monks as a good deed.
Boonlert said more monks will be sent to the temple to allow villagers to practise their religious obligations.
Thailand is a major transit country for methamphetamine flooding in from Myanmar's troubled Shan state via Laos, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.