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Celerity's Journal
Celerity's Journal
December 1, 2022

FIFA opens new investigation of anti-gay chants from Mexico fans


DOHA, Qatar -- FIFA opened a second investigation on Thursday into potentially anti-gay chants heard from Mexico supporters during their 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia in their group stage closer.

"The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has opened proceedings against the Mexican Football Federation due to chants by Mexican supporters during the Saudi Arabia v. Mexico FIFA World Cup match played on 30 November. The proceedings were opened on the basis of article 13 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code," read a statement from the organising committee.

The news follows a similar proceeding by FIFA against the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) earlier in the tournament. Following a 0-0 draw with Poland in El Tri's group stage opener, FIFA announced that they had started an investigation on chants from Mexico's supporters. FIFA gave no timetable for dealing with the cases against Mexico and have yet to announce a resolution for the first investigation.

The FMF has previously been sanctioned by FIFA due to the recurring anti-gay goalkeeper chant that has been heard at El Tri matches. The chanting has occasionally been paused due to a three-step procedure put in place to halt the offensive shouts.

December 1, 2022

Beto O'Rourke has returned a $1 million check from FTX's Sam Bankman-Fried after the Crypto

billionaire was accused of fraud. THAT is leadership.


Sam Bankman-Fried was the 2nd largest Democratic donor in 2021-22 (after Soros)
December 1, 2022

Molly Jong-Fast: The GOP Is Surely Going to Let Donald Trump Slide Over White Supremacist Dinner

The usual suspects—Romney, Cheney, Christie—criticized the former president for dining with Nick Fuentes and Kanye West, while McCarthy excused him, MTG jabbed the media, and Fox News swept the ugly episode under the rug.



“I don’t think anybody should be spending any time with Nick Fuentes,” House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday outside the White House. McCarthy, however, stopped short of criticizing former president Donald Trump, whose support he surely needs to become Speaker in January. His comments came one week after Trump had dinner with Fuentes, a prominent white supremacist, and Kanye West, the rapper and designer whose partnership with Adidas was recently canceled after he made antisemitic remarks. “I think President Trump came out four times and condemned him and didn’t know who he was,” McCarthy said of Fuentes. When a reporter pointed out that Trump did not condemn him, McCarthy, personally, condemned Fuentes’s ideology, while saying that Trump “knew who Kanye West is,” but “didn’t know who Fuentes is.”

In the grand tradition of being a coward in GOP Congressional leadership, McCarthy made excuses for Trump, just as Paul Ryan did for Trump after the Charlottesville riots, when he said, “I think he made comments that were much more morally ambiguous, much more confusing.” You’d think that disavowing a white supremacist and Holocaust denier would be easy, since outright antisemitism isn’t officially embraced by the GOP. But Republicans have had trouble doing it. It’s very clear what Fuentes is. He’s indefensible; he’s compared himself to Hitler, used a racist slur for Black people, is pro-dictatorship, and recently told his livestream watchers, “I want this country to have Catholic media, Catholic Hollywood, Catholic government. I want this to be a Catholic-occupied government, not a Jewish-occupied government.” He subscribes to white nationalist ideas like the great replacement theory, calling it the “great replacement reality.”

Yet more than a week since breaking bread at Mar-a-Lago, Trump still hasn’t condemned Fuentes. Trump responded to the initial criticism by blaming West, “a seriously troubled man,” for bringing Fuentes, whom he said he “didn’t know.” As The Guardian reported, “Trump ultimately made clear that he fundamentally did not want to criticize Fuentes—a product of his dislike of confrontation and his anxiety that it might antagonize a devoted part of his base—and became more entrenched in his obstinance the more he was urged to do so.” The Mar-a-Lago dinner reportedly included some strife, as West—who goes by Ye—says he asked Trump to join his 2024 campaign as vice president. (Trump was “perturbed” by the idea, Ye later said.) But perhaps the most telling moment of the dinner came when, according to The New York Times, Trump turned to others and declared that he liked Fuentes. “He gets me,” the former president reportedly said.

Perhaps one shouldn’t want to be gotten by a white supremacist? Perhaps being understood by a white supremacist is the kind of damning indictment to be avoided. But wait, there’s more! As a source told Axios, “There was a lot of fawning back and forth” between Trump and Fuentes. And West later released a video about the dinner, saying that Trump was “really impressed” with Fuentes and adding, “Unlike so many of the lawyers and so many people that he was left with on his 2020 campaign, [Fuentes is] actually a loyalist.” It seems Trump, who could very likely be the GOP’s 2024 presidential nominee, doesn’t want to alienate his base, no matter how base they may be. Remember, candidate Trump, in 2016, refused to disavow David Duke after the former KKK leader endorsed him. (“I don’t know anything about David Duke,” Trump told CNN at the time.) As president, Trump didn’t condemn Charlottesville’s neo-Nazis or the Proud Boys.


December 1, 2022

How The Media Screwed Up The Midterms And Trump's Nazi Dinner

The press in America wants one thing when it comes to covering politics. And it isn't balance.


Two weeks ago, Donald Trump announced his third run for the White House. I had very little doubt he would run again. Trump craves the power and attention running will bring as well as the money. He also believes being a candidate will shield him from his mountain of legal troubles. I’m a little more dubious about that last part but we’ll see. The question I have personally been waiting to have answered was not, “Will Trump run again?” but rather, “Will the press retain a shred of dignity when he does?” The answer, it turns out, is a big fat, “No.” This does not bode well for the future of democracy.

Republicans (and only Republicans) are good for ratings, apparently

Back in March, a recording was leaked of CBS News co-president Neeraj Khemlani discussing the need to hire Republican talking heads because they were going to sweep the midterms. There are two curious things about this: the first is that, as far as I know, none of those Republicans have been replaced with Democrats now that the red wave has smashed into a blue wall. If hiring was based solely on the outcome of the midterms, logic demands CBS (and other networks) hire more Democrats. The second is that cable news did not rush out to hire Democrats in 2018 ahead of a historic blue wave. Instead, they spent months downplaying what was extremely obvious: Republicans were about to have a very bad election.

There were many signs that indicated that the red wave was an illusion this time around and that Republicans were about to have another very bad night. Despite this, the press clung to the red wave narrative until about 7 PM EST, and then they were apparently shocked that Democrats curb-stomped the GOP in most parts of the country. There was very little introspection and even fewer apologies. Media infallibility mode, activated. Fortunately, Donald Trump declared his candidacy soon after allowing the press to move on from what can only be described as a monumental failure. But if you think they’ve learned anything from the debacle, think again. Over the last two weeks, we’ve had an ugly preview of how the press is going to behave for the next two years, and it’s not going to be pretty. It started with, of all things, a wedding.

Dude, where’s my invitation?

If you haven’t been following the drama around Joe Biden’s granddaughter’s wedding, I envy your blissful ignorance and apologize in advance for ruining it. This kind of petty whining from the press is exactly why a fascist movement is thriving in the United States. Until this nonsense started, I had no idea Hunter Biden had kids, much less 5 of them, much less adult ones. Why? Because, frankly, I don’t care. As long as they’re not involved in politics or work in the White House, literally nothing they do concerns me. Not even if one of them, Naomi, decides to have her wedding at the White House. Over the years, there have been over a dozen weddings at the White House. I didn’t know that because, again, I don’t care. I promise you, the overwhelming majority of the country didn’t know, either because they also do not care. Nobody cared until the White House press corps wasn’t invited. Then they threw a temper tantrum.



November 30, 2022

Did Putin Astroturf the Libertarian Ron Paul Revolution?

Ron Paul’s campaign manager was recently convicted of funneling Russian money to Trump. Russia has long had an interest in Paul’s political movement.


On March 12, 2007, an obscure congressman from Texas announced his run for the Presidency of the United States. He was a fringe candidate running on the Republican ticket with little hope of winning a primary, let alone the nomination. Then—suddenly—Ron Paul was everywhere. Within a few months, Paul landed a spot on Real Time with Bill Maher, thanks to unprecedented online momentum that would capture the attention of the mainstream press.

Wired magazine detailed how Paul was taking over the web. The Washington Post ran the numbers, noting he was more popular on Facebook than his GOP primary rival John McCain, had more friends on MySpace than Mitt Romney, and garnered almost as many views on YouTube as Barack Obama (while also noting Paul’s low polling numbers.) Other outlets also highlighted the mismatch between real world and online popularity—such as the NBC News story, “An also-ran in GOP polls, Paul is huge on Web.”

When it came to online polls, however, Paul would win consistently and by a large margin—something that came to be known as the “Ron Paul Effect.” CNN’s Jack Cafferty observed Paul’s followers “at any given moment can almost overpower the internet,” something that had a Pavlovian effect on editors, who’d try to include his name wherever possible because it guaranteed a flood of traffic. The momentum continued through 2007, driving record online fundraising and eventually leading to Time magazine giving him the moniker “Candidate 2.0.”

The narrative that grew around Paul’s candidacy was that he was the product of the internet and Web 2.0—a presidential hopeful free from the clutches of establishment media gatekeepers. Some, however, had doubts about the authenticity of Paul’s momentum. Users of Reddit and Digg complained that bot activity was pushing Ron Paul stories to the front page, while downvoting anti-Paul comments and submissions (such as reports on his racist newsletters).

November 30, 2022

Meet the QAnon Leader Who Also Happens to Be a Groomer

QAnon leader Phil Godlewski carried on an inappropriate relationship with a minor that police records suggest turned sexual.


Believers in the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory are always on the hunt for the powerful pedophiles they imagine run the world—like the cabal of pedophiles they say controls the Democratic Party, or the one operating out of the imagined basement of a Washington pizzeria. But now, new court records reveal that QAnon leader Phil Godlewski has a criminal past of his own involving an inappropriate relationship with a minor that police records suggest turned sexual.

Thanks to an ill-conceived defamation lawsuit against a local newspaper, Godlewski has put his conspiracy-theory career at risk by inadvertently prompting the release of more details regarding his case, including lurid text messages and a video of his erect penis. Perhaps worse, according to his courtroom opponents, records suggest Godlewski has been caught both committing perjury himself and attempting to convince his own victim to do the same to ensure a “financial windfall” for them both.

Now, in a bombshell motion, the newspaper claims they’ve caught Godlewski breaking a bevy of courtroom rules and want him to pay $70,000 in legal fees and damages. As the case heats up and revelations spill out, it also offers a chance to see the kind of person who can profit from the persistent conspiracy theory.

QAnon has ruined families, inspired multiple gruesome murders, and helped power the Jan. 6 insurrection. But QAnon has also been a lucrative career for Godlewski, a Pennsylvania-based promoter of the conspiracy theory who speaks to his fans in lengthy, rambling livestream videos. With more than 600,000 followers on the social media app Telegram and 156,000 subscribers on the alternative video platform Rumble, Godlewski profits from encouraging his fans to sign up for financial arrangements like a multilevel marketing scheme that sells silver. Earlier this year, Godlewski used his QAnon earnings to buy a $1.7 million house.

November 30, 2022

Taking an Abundance Agenda Global

An industrial policy to advance all of America's interests, at home and abroad


Over the past two years, President Biden has pulled together an impressive if largely unheralded national industrial strategy that aims to make the American economy more competitive in the world and shore it up against the likes of China. But a key part of that strategy, last August’s Inflation Reduction Act, has precipitated something of a moderate diplomatic kerfuffle with America’s long-standing allies in Europe and Asia. More than anything else, this rift speaks to the need to tie America’s much-needed public investments at home with its wider geopolitical strategy overseas.

Allies like France, Germany, South Korea, and Japan object to the provisions that encourage American consumers to buy electric vehicles made in the United States. Under the IRA, only electric vehicles that have a certain portion of their batteries made in the North America with a certain portion of critical minerals like nickel, cobalt, and lithium mined or processed in the United States or nations with which America has free trade deals will be eligible for a $7,500 tax break. These governments worry that these requirements will put their own automakers at a competitive disadvantage vis-à-vis American companies.

They’re not wrong to worry about the way these incentives might affect their own domestic economies. Tesla has reportedly scuppered its plan to build a battery factory in Germany in order to take advantage of the IRA’s tax credits, for instance. Making matters worse for European allies, high natural gas prices brought about by the war in Ukraine have convinced many European industrial conglomerates to shutter their operations on the continent and move some of them to the United States.

It's not surprising, then, to see French President Emmanuel Macron call for “Buy European” provisions to protect the continent’s own automakers – or that the German government appears receptive to such a move. Likewise, South Korea’s ambassador to the United States says that his government is in a “very intense conversation” to resolve concerns over the way the IRA might hurt Korean electric vehicle manufacturers. Rumblings of discontent over the allegedly discriminatory nature of these provisions continue among European allies, but these objections are likely overstated in part to gain leverage in talks with the United States.

November 30, 2022

The Authoritarian Right Is Regrouping

In Moscow, Mar-a-Lago, and beyond, desperate men are mobilizing anyone they can to help them regain power. Events of the past few weeks in Russia, Brazil, and America show the global right in disarray. But these are not signs of defeat, as liberals might hope; they are the disorderly attempt by antidemocratic forces to stage a recovery.



By Tom Nichols

Going to Extremes

It’s been a bad year for authoritarians around the world, and November may have been their worst month yet. The Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to disintegrate into a series of disorderly retreats. Brazil’s far-right president was turned out of office. Millions of American voters kept a collection of antidemocratic candidates away from the levers of government.

We might want to see all this as a turning of the tide; my friend, the writer Jonathan V. Last—perhaps the only person capable of more pessimism than I—said this morning that he cannot resist a feeling of hopefulness. I hate to be the voice of caution here, because I want to believe the optimists will be vindicated. And I do think a collective faith in democracy will prevail. But I worry about the danger of complacency.

Over the past week, the global right has shown signs of trying to regroup after taking a hiding everywhere from the ballot box to the battlefield. Some of it seems little more than disorganized thrashing about, such as Jair Bolsonaro’s election challenge in Brazil and Kari Lake’s refusal to concede in Arizona. Donald Trump, meanwhile, is trying out a bolder version of his 2016 and 2020 race-baiting strategies by hosting a dinner for an anti-Semite and a racist—a pathetic and vulgar event that in a better political environment would be treated as yet another disqualification for participation in our public life.

Overseas, the Russians are not giving up in Ukraine, despite reports that they might quit their occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. (A Ukrainian official says there are signs that the Russians are pulling out; the Russians deny it.) I think it is possible that the Russian commanders have pitched a proposal to the Kremlin that they should withdraw as a matter of necessity. It would be a smart diplomatic move and a prudent strategic choice. But Vladimir Putin has demonstrated that he is a terrible strategist, and that he has no intention of ending this war.

November 30, 2022

Johan Sundberg Arkitektur designs "accessible yet exceptional" housing blocks in Sweden


Swedish practice Johan Sundberg Arkitektur has completed a cluster of timber-clad housing blocks in Ystad, Sweden, with facades of folding glass screens that allow their balconies to be turned into sheltered winter gardens. Called Hygrometern, the cluster of four blocks provides a mixture of 20 two and three-bedroom mid-budget apartments on a sloping site overlooking the Baltic Sea.

The project marks a change in scale for Lund-based Johan Sundberg Arkitektur, which is better known for designing luxurious villas and holiday homes, often in close collaboration with their owners. "We are proud and happy about the acknowledgment we receive for our luxury villas. But as we believe that good spaces can change people's lives for the better, we're expanding our practice to multi-family housing projects," said founder Johan Sundberg. "[Our] take on mid-budget, multi-family housing resulted in accessible yet exceptional dwellings proving that outstanding architecture can be achieved with modest means," he continued.

Hygrometern is organised into two square blocks at the east of the site and two long, rectilinear blocks at its centre, with the space in between each used to create planting and shared outdoor spaces overlooked by the apartments. Raised on a stepped concrete plinth, each two-storey block features a dedicated entrance into each apartment, with walled gardens for those on the ground floor and deeply recessed balconies for the first-floor dwellings.

While the entrance to the ground-floor apartments is through their front gardens, the first-floor spaces are accessed via galvanised steel staircases at the rear, which lead to a small area of deck access with additional seating. "The programme is spread across four distinct volumes, where the interstices form human-scaled outdoor spaces," said the practice. "A diverse range of sight lines, outdoor spaces and view contribute to the spatial qualities within the apartments," it continued.


November 30, 2022

New York City to Remove Mentally Ill People From Streets Against Their Will

Mayor Eric Adams directed the police and emergency medical workers to hospitalize people they deemed too mentally ill to care for themselves, even if they posed no threat to others.



Acting to address “a crisis we see all around us” toward the end of a year that has seen a string of high-profile crimes involving homeless people, Mayor Eric Adams announced a major push on Tuesday to remove people with severe, untreated mental illness from the city’s streets and subways.

Mr. Adams, who has made clearing homeless encampments a priority since taking office in January, said the effort would require involuntarily hospitalizing people who were a danger to themselves, even if they posed no risk of harm to others, arguing the city had a “moral obligation” to help them.

“The common misunderstanding persists that we cannot provide involuntary assistance unless the person is violent,” Mr. Adams said in an address at City Hall. “Going forward, we will make every effort to assist those who are suffering from mental illness.”

The mayor’s announcement comes at a heated moment in the national debate about rising crime and the role of the police, especially in dealing with people who are already in fragile mental health. Republicans, as well as tough-on-crime Democrats like Mr. Adams, a former police captain, have argued that growing disorder calls for more aggressive measures. Left-leaning advocates and officials who dominate New York politics say that deploying the police as auxiliary social workers may do more harm than good.


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