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Judge Blocks Several Reforms From Radical Los Angeles DA George Gascón


Superior Court Judge James Chalfant issued a preliminary injunction blocking several reforms from radical Los Angeles DA George Gascón.

Los Angeles prosecutors took the Marxist DA to court for violating his oath of office with his unethical and unlawful reforms, and won a ruling.

The injunction will restrict Gascón from refusing to prosecute California’s three strikes law and will restrict him from dismissing special enhancement allegations.

“The District Attorney’s disregard of the Three Strikes law “plead and prove” requirement is unlawful, as is requiring deputy DA’s to seek dismissal of pending sentencing enhancements without a lawful basis,” Judge Chalfant said.

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Gascón said he will appeal the ruling.

“I never had any illusions as to the difficulty and challenges associated with reforming a dated institution steeped in systemic racism,” Gascon said in a statement. “My directives are a product of the will of the people, including survivors of crime, and a substantial body of research that shows this modern approach will advance community safety.”

In December, newly elected Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón announced radical policy changes that he claimed were backed up by “science.”

George Gascón was previously the DA of San Francisco and absolutely turned that place into a hell hole.

New changes announced:

1) End cash bail by January
2) Conviction integrity unit
3) No death penalty
4) Felony charging no longer seeking enhancements i.e. gang affiliation
5) Juveniles will not be tried as adults
6) Use-of-force review board to reopen fatal officer-involved shooting cases going back to 2012!





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George Blake, British Spy Who Betrayed the West, Dies at 98


He was born George Behar in Rotterdam on Nov. 11, 1922. His mother was a Dutch Protestant; his father, Albert, was a Spanish Jew born in Turkey who fought the Ottoman Empire in World War I and was wounded, cited for gallantry and given British citizenship. He settled in the Netherlands as a businessman.

When his father died in 1934, George went to Cairo to live with relatives, including a cousin, Henri Curiel, who became an Egyptian Communist leader. He was visiting in the Netherlands when World War II broke out in 1939. His mother and two sisters escaped to England, but he joined the Dutch resistance, running messages and gathering intelligence for two years.

Retreating to Britain, he changed his surname to Blake, joined the Royal Navy, trained in submarines and was recruited by Britain’s wartime Secret Intelligence Service as a novice agent. Fluent in Dutch, German, Arabic and Hebrew as well as English, he translated German documents and interrogated German prisoners.

After the war he studied Russian at Cambridge — by then, Philby, Burgess and Maclean had graduated into spy tradecraft — and his teacher, a native of pre-Revolutionary St. Petersburg, inspired in him a love of Russian language and culture, a step in his conversion. He was then sent to Germany to build a network of British spies in Berlin and Hamburg. Using the cover of a naval attaché, he recruited scores of agents.

Just before the Korean War began in 1950, Mr. Blake was sent to Seoul, South Korea’s capital, under diplomatic cover to organize another spy network. But he was captured by invading North Korean forces. Held for three years in North Korea, he was subjected to Communist indoctrination.

He later denied that this had influenced his conversion, insisting that the American bombing of North Korea had been the prime factor. “The relentless bombing of small Korean villages by enormous American flying fortresses” killing “women and children and old people” horrified him, he said. “It made me feel ashamed” he added. “I felt I was committed to the wrong side.”

Mr. Blake said he met with a K.G.B. officer in North Korea, agreed to become a Soviet agent and immediately began disclosing secrets. He wanted no pay, and to avoid suspicion he insisted on being given no privileges and released with other captive diplomats. As the Korean War wound down in 1953, he was repatriated to Britain and received as a national hero.



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George Clooney’s sci-fi flick bungles ending


“It’s the journey, not the destination” is a popular lie that’s printed on inspirational posters in guidance counselors’ offices all across America. The reassuring phrase is particularly egregious, however, when applied to movies, in which a bad ending can make the preceding two hours feel like a humongous waste of your time.

So it goes with “The Midnight Sky,” a good-up-to-a-point science-fiction film directed by and starring George Clooney. At the film’s most entertaining heights, it recalls the novels of Ray Bradbury and the Matt Damon flick “The Martian.” But its final twist is an extremely implausible, easy way out. 

You want your money back, but it’s on Netflix.

Running time: 122 minutes. Rated PG-13 (some bloody images and brief strong language). On Netflix.

Much has been said about Clooney’s 28-pound weight loss for the part, and deservedly so. The stud looks nothing like his old heartbreaker self, more closely resembling David Letterman after he retired from “The Late Show” and grew that crazy fisherman beard. 

Clooney’s grizzly character is a scientist named Augustine who chooses to remain on Earth even as it faces an environmental apocalypse. He’s dying of cancer and would rather finish out his last days working out of his Arctic base.

Augustine (George Clooney) tries to reunite Iris (Caoilinn Springall) with her parents in "The Midnight Sky."
Augustine (George Clooney) tries to reunite Iris (Caoilinn Springall) with her parents in “The Midnight Sky.”
AP

Settling into his bachelor routine — Clooney clearly prepared for this role for decades — Augustine discovers a little girl named Iris (Caoilinn Springall) hiding in a laboratory: She was been accidentally left behind when her family fled the planet. He needs to contact the spaceship her parents are on to come get her, so the pair dangerously embarks across the Arctic Circle to reach a powerful satellite communication base.

That plot is standard fare in the grand scheme of sci-fi, but it is undeniably well-directed by Clooney. He has a keen grasp of isolation and vastness, and the quietest moments are like black holes. Clooney builds suspense, too. Even though Augustine is (almost) the only person left, you always feel someone else might be lurking around the corner — thanks to both his performance and direction.

Felicity Jones as Sully in "The Midnight Sky."
Felicity Jones as Sully in “The Midnight Sky.”
AP

There are two other interwoven plots that come to be frustratingly important to the rotten resolution. Felicity Jones plays an astronaut named Sully who is returning to Earth with her crew, including David Oyelowo, after discovering another planet that can support human life. They should have stayed there! And some scenes are flashbacks involving Augustine and a fling named Jean (Sophie Rundle).

All of them are engrossing until the lame ending scene. Clooney’s film blasts off, but doesn’t land.



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What happens when officers brutalize George Floyd protesters? Apparently, very little


The Colorado Springs case involved multiple police officers hitting a man identified as Justin Salmons while officers restrained him on June 1. Investigators ultimately decided to exonerate all officers, giving only two of the five involved “verbal counseling.”  Video and investigation files ProPublica obtained revealed officer Robert Comstock fired pepper balls at Salmons; Officer Christopher Laabs pushed him to the ground; and Detective Andrew Rutter struck his leg. 

Other authorities involved included Officer Robert Thymian and Sgt. Keith Wrede, who was shown in a Facebook live stream advocating to “KILL THEM ALL” one month after the incident. Wrede was suspended for 40 hours and lost $2,044 in pay as a result of that video, which was posted using a pseudonym, ProPublica reported. Wrede “expressed a high level of regret for ever making comments of that nature,” and he told investigators interviewing him that he had been listening to Metallica’s “Kill ‘Em All” before the video.

In the June incident, ProPublica reported:

“In response to a public records request from ProPublica, the department released more than 120 pages of officer narrative surrounding Salmons’ arrest. According to the narratives, civilian Justin Salmons cussed at officers, refused to leave an intersection and ‘made rude gestures towards officers involving his crotch and hands,’ and did not comply with an order to get on the ground before the arrest caught on video. The officer who stuck Salmons’ leg said he ‘aimed at his common peroneal nerve to gain compliance.’”

Salmons told ProPublica police started shooting pepper balls at him after he went to check on someone officers had been chasing and it made him “supremely angry.”

“Police are supposed to protect you,” he told the journalism organization.

Police officers across the country, however, have been the subject of thousands of complaints regarding accusations they mistook their role to protect and serve as a right to terrorize. In one case not included in the ProPublica database, viral video shows Seattle protesters pouring milk over the head of a 7-year-old boy who had been pepper-sprayed during a daytime anti-police brutality protest on May 30. Seattle’s Office of Police Accountability, which viewed multiple videos from officers’ body cameras, determined a sergeant pepper-sprayed the child while targeting a woman grabbing a police baton, and trying to push a police line backward. The accountability office determined the use of force was “lawful and proper,” in a case report updated December 4. It said in the report:

“The picture of the Child standing in the middle of the street, crying, with milk running down his face is anunforgettable image from these demonstrations. It shows an innocent child who was a victim regardless of thecircumstances. That the Child suffered this trauma is something that OPA is extremely sorry for and that no decisionin an administrative investigation can ever remedy. Notably, NE#1 expressed similar regret at his OPA interview.This is one of the hardest cases that I, as the OPA Director, have had to consider during my nearly three years inoffice. Certainly, there has never been a case that received as many complaints. On one hand, the Child suffered aclear wrong when he was affected with the pepper spray utilized by NE#1. On the other hand, NE#1 usedappropriate force to prevent Subject #1 from breaching the line and could not have known that Subject #1 wasgoing to duck and that the Father was going to bring himself and the Child directly behind her, putting them in theimmediate vicinity of the disturbance. This is not said to blame the Father, as OPA does not believe that any parentwould knowingly place their child in harm’s way. These are simply incontrovertible facts.”

In another case, ProPublica brought attention to Seattle officers shown restraining and beating a protester on May 29. The city’s Office of Public Accountability (OPA) recommended one of the officers be disciplined for hitting a protester “with six to eight punches over six seconds” but considered another involved officer’s actions “reasonable, necessary, and proportional under the circumstances.” The difference between the two came down to a question of whether the officer’s actions were both consistent with policy and proportional under the circumstances, according to a closed case summary the OPA posted online. “Here, when evaluating the totality of the evidence, striking the Subject six to eight times simply did not mee these standards and in OPA’s estimation, was excessive,” the agency said.

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RELATED: 7-year-old maced at George Floyd protest and Seattle police arrest man who filmed





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Entertaiment

Lil Baby Threw George Floyd’s Daughter A Birthday Party


“We are very grateful for that.”

Following the death of George Floyd earlier this year, Lil Baby released the single “The Bigger Picture” in June of this year to show support and solidarity for the Black Lives Matter protest movement.

View this video on YouTube


UMG / YouTube / Via youtube.com

Six months later, the Atlanta rapper teamed up with former NBA player Stephen Jackson to give Floyd’s seven-year-old daughter Gianna a L.O.L. Surprise Dolls-themed birthday party, as Forbes reports.


Prince Williams / WireImage

Lil Baby posted some pics of the event to his IG Story.

Gianna’s mother Roxie Washington told Forbes, “This is a very difficult time for my daughter, so we’re very grateful that our extended family is creating such a special experience for Gianna on her first birthday without her father.”

Restauranteurs Ericka and William Platt of Atlanta’s Restaurant Ten and Rosie’s Café also helped put on the party, and Ericka told Forbes, “[‘The Bigger Picture’] is really about supporting children who lost their parents to violence. Lil Baby decided to sponsor Gianna’s birthday party and has been very supportive. We are very grateful for that.”

Jackson also opened up to Forbes about developing a close relationship with Gianna after Floyd’s death: “I think I adopted another child, God put me into this position. I’m going to do the best that I can.”

“I have dedicated my life to going to all 50 states and visiting areas that need resources and letting them know they have a voice,” Jackson, who was a close friend of Floyd, said.

“When I went to Minnesota to speak up for my brother, I inherited other people’s pain, who lost loved ones to police brutality and racism or who do not have a voice to speak.”


Brandon Bell / Getty Images

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T.R. Knight Talks “Closure” for George After Grey’s Return


Grey’s Anatomy continues to pull out all the stops with its familiar faces joining Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) on the sand. 

After the long-running ABC medical drama kicked off season 17 last month with Patrick Dempsey‘s stunning return as Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd, it wasn’t done with the surprises. On the Thursday, Dec. 3 episode, T.R. Knight was back as Meredith’s close pal George O’Malley, who died in the season 5 finale that ran in 2009.

In a Deadline interview that published after this week’s episode aired, Knight joined showrunner and executive producer Krista Vernoff to explain how the episode came to be.

As it turns out, George was the first character that Vernoff thought of to visit Meredith in dream sequences as she battles COVID-19. The producer explained that the concept came to her as she herself was walking on the beach, and she could picture “Meredith walking with her feet in the water with George.”

She continued, “That was the first image that came to me, and the joy that filled me up when it came, I believe, is translated on screen, and I believe we have given many millions of fans that moment of pure joy. Right now in our lives, in this pandemic, pure joy is rare, and so I’m so grateful to T.R. for coming and playing, and offering that to everyone, because I think it’s meaningful.”

Vernoff then presented the idea to Pompeo, who was immediately excited and suggested that the show bring back Dempsey as well.

“Ellen and T.R. are close, and George and T.R. were both always favorites of mine, and so he was my first idea of, as a fan, who do I want to see again?” Vernoff explained. “I wanted to see George, so that’s where it started.” 

For his part, Knight said he was “still trying to put into words how profound the experience was for me,” and that he missed not only his character but also the people he used to work with on the show.



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Grey’s Anatomy Brought Back George O’Malley


WARNING: This post contains spoilers for the current season of Grey’s Anatomy.

Season 17 of Grey’s Anatomy is in full swing, and this show can’t stop messing with us as usual. Meredith has COVID-19! She’s seeing Derek in her dreams! Wait, Derek’s back?!?

Derek returning in any form was more than any of us could handle. So that’s all that Grey’s Anatomy has in store for us this season, right?

In case you don’t remember, George died at the end of season five — and Knight talked to Deadline about how it felt to return to the show, too.


Scott Garfield / Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

“It was incredible, it was just an overwhelming feeling of love in that moment,” he said.


Randy Holmes / Walt Disney Television via Getty

“We were apart from everybody quite a bit because that was a drone shot, and so it was just the four of us, and the sun was setting, and this big fly buzzing around our heads, and it filled me with just a lot of joy.”


Randy Holmes / Walt Disney Television via Getty

OK, great. But who’s next? Is Izzie gonna come back too? The suspense is killing me! Guess we’ll just have to keep watching.


Randy Holmes / Walt Disney Television via Getty

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George Clooney Shares How His Wife Amal “Changed Everything” for Him


George Clooney was once the world’s most eligible bachelor. Now, he’s a family man. 

The actor sat down with CBS Sunday Morning‘s Tracy Smith and shared why he and his wife human rights attorney Amal Clooney, who he married in 2014, decided to build a life together. 

George, who is currently promoting his new Netflix film Midnight Sky, which he wrote and directed, explained, “There is no question that having Amal in my life changed everything for me. No question. It was the first time that everything that she did and everything about her was infinitely more important than anything about me.”

He also revealed that he didn’t plan to ask Amal to marry him, but that during his “out of the blue” proposal he ended up on his knee for “20 minutes” waiting for her to say yes. 

The Michael Clayton star joked, “I finally said, ‘Look, I’m gonna throw my hip out.'”



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George Clooney Uses A Flowbee To Cut His Own Hair


A man of even more talents than we previously thought.

George Clooney: actor, director, silver fox.


Kevin Winter / Getty Images

We can also add “practical king” to his long list of accomplishments, according to his latest interview.

Speaking with CBS Sunday Morning, he talked about life in quarantine, including the fact that he’s been cutting his own hair, though that has nothing to do with the lockdown.

Actor/director George Clooney tells @thattracysmith that he’s been cutting his own hair for years – by using the Flowbee haircutting machine https://t.co/SWYT8pFC8h

Yep, that’s right. Academy Award-winning, presumably very wealthy famous person George Clooney cuts his own hair with something called a Flowbee.


Michael Kovac / Getty Images

This is what they look like.


Amazon

Flowbee’s have been around since the 1980s.

A lot of people loved hearing something so relatable about one of the most famous people in the world, while others resented the fact that this man manages to look so good while cutting his hair with what is essentially a vacuum cleaner.

@goldengateblond For looking that good with nothing more than a friggin’ ancient Flowbee, God—and I cannot stress this enough—damn him.

Flowbee” became a trending topic on Twitter.

But George didn’t only talk about his hair. He also talked about his wife, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, and I was once again reminded of what a perfect couple they are.

“There is no question that having Amal in my life changed everything for me,” he said. “It was the first time that everything that she did and everything about her was infinitely more important than anything about me.”

The pair got engaged in 2014, but according to George they didn’t ever plan on getting married.


Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images

“We never talked about marriage when we were dating,” George said. “I asked her out of the blue, [and it] took her a long time to say yes. I was on my knee for like 20 minutes, I finally said, ‘Look, I’m gonna throw my hip out.'”

Obviously, Amal said yes and now they have twins Ella and Alexander, an experience he calls “unbelievable.”


Rachel Murray

Look at these two beautiful, accomplished people laughing together.

All in all, congratulations to George Clooney for leading what seems to be a really lovely life. And congratulations to Flowbee, since their stock has very likely gone up.


Village Roadshow Pictures

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George Soros’s Negative Interactions with the Jewish World



Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is a Senior Research Associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv. 

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,786, October 26, 2020

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: From a Jewish and Israeli point of view, there are two main issues to look at when analyzing the activities of American Jewish billionaire George Soros. The first are his damaging statements and actions against Jews and Israel, and the second are antisemitic attacks on Soros himself. For Jews, the problems that arise around these issues require fine tuning of their reactions to Soros’s statements and actions.

George Soros is a complex figure about whom there is much debate. Many of his activities around the world have no impact on Jewish matters, so there is no reason for Jews to enter into public disputes over whether he should be classified as a major philantropist or a king of speculators.

What does concern Jews, however, is that Soros spreads lies about antisemitism. At a rare meeting in a Jewish environment, Soros spoke before the Jewish Funders Network Conference in New York in 2003. He was asked about antisemitism in Europe and said, “There is a resurgence of antisemitism in Europe. The policies of the Bush administration and the Sharon administration contribute to that… It’s not specifically antisemitism, but it does manifest itself in antisemitism as well. I’m critical of those policies…” He blamed the “resurgence of antisemitism in Europe” on Israel and insisted that “If we change that direction, then antisemitism will also diminish.”

Nobody present at the meeting took him to task for his extreme and false blaming of the victim. Soros was ignoring the basics of Europe’s extreme antisemitism conditions, which have existed for more than 1500 years.

Soros, a typical Jewish masochist, added that he himself bears some responsibility for the new antisemitism. To bolster this point, he quoted Malaysian PM Mahathir bin Muhammad, who said, “Jews rule the world by proxy.” Soros said, “As an unintended consequence of my actions, I also contribute to that image.”

Abraham Foxman, then national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), called Soros’s comments on antisemitism “absolutely obscene.” Foxman said blaming the victim for Israel’s and the Jewish people’s ills was bigoted and biased.

Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations Malcolm Hoenlein also responded to Soros’s comments, saying:

Antisemites don’t need excuses. If the quote is accurate, it reflects a fundamental misunderstanding about antisemitism. It’s ridiculous and unacceptable to say that attacks on Jews are related to Bush or Sharon’s policies, while ignoring the real reason: a deep antipathy toward Jews in the Arab world and the occasional indifference on the part of European governments. Antisemitism in Europe reached a peak during the Barak government, during the Camp David 2 and Taba negotiations.

In short, Soros has a big mouth on issues that he understands little to nothing about.

Soros foundations fund a variety of bodies, including many Jewish and anti-Israeli organizations. NGO-Monitor has written a report on these donations, which vary greatly. According to the report, the Simon Wiesenthal Center received $450 from Soros while the anti-Israel Human Rights Watch received $100 million.

One issue about which Soros is heavily criticized is his interference in the internal affairs of many countries. The declared objective of his Open Society Foundations (OSF) is to “work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.” That translates into the OSF intruding into both closed and democratic societies. These intrusions include the large-scale funding of political NGOs.

The OSF grants money to political NGOs in Israel through its “Arab Regional Office (ARO)–Palestinian Citizens of Israel” department. The ARO, headed by Ammar Abu Zayyad, is one of a number of funding mechanisms for Israeli and Palestinian NGOs in the OSF network.

Soros is also involved in such activities outside Israel, for example by assisting organizations that are permeated by antisemitism. Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post claimed in 2016 that Black Lives Matter received “$650,000 from Soros-controlled groups over the past year.”

Republican US Senator Tom Cotton, in a speech on the Senate floor, accused the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a new think tank funded by Soros and fellow billionaire Charles Koch, of fostering antisemitism. Cotton did not provide details.

Criticism of Soros’s activities goes far beyond what has been listed here. The OSF made more than $1 billion betting against the British pound on Black Wednesday in 1992, for example—a speculation that forced the British government to pull out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). Another highly problematic move by Soros was his granting of more than £400,000 to a pro-EU group to help try and reverse Brexit.

Soros is also often criticized for bankrolling the successful campaigns of radical candidates for district attorneys in the US.

There is one Soros-related issue that the Jewish world cannot ignore. Many  articles about Soros attack him because he is a Jew. The Spanish-language Radio Television Marti network, for instance, which broadcasts pro-US content in Cuba, aired a report that called Soros a “multimillionaire Jew” of “flexible morals” who was the “architect of the financial collapse of 2008.”

In Europe, the effort to demonize him has been both fueled and harnessed by nationalist leaders like PM Viktor Orban of Hungary and politicians in formerly communist countries like Macedonia, Albania, and Russia.

“Antisemitism works by inversion. It works by lying. It works by conflating,” said Ruth Wisse, an emeritus professor of Yiddish literature at Harvard University and conservative writer. “And it’s so difficult to pull some of the threads apart. This is one of the most difficult situations one can be in: when you have a Jewish anti-Jew who is attacked by antisemites.”

For Jews, the problems that arise around these attacks on Soros require fine tuning. One person who ran into trouble on this was the Israeli ambassador to Budapest, Yossi Amrani, who condemned a Hungarian poster campaign attacking Soros. He said it encouraged antisemitism.

The next day, the Israeli Foreign Ministry came out with a statement that was highly critical of Soros, but did not explicitly say its ambassador had been wrong. The statement was an exercise in verbal acrobatics.

The FM’s statement said Soros was a legitimate target for criticism and that the ambassador had meant to denounce the campaign only as it could be seen as fomenting antisemitic sentiment. It then came down hard on Soros as anti-Israel, saying, “In no way was the statement meant to delegitimize criticism of George Soros, who continuously undermines Israel’s democratically elected governments by funding organizations that defame the Jewish state and seek to deny it the right to defend itself.”

This statement characterizes Soros’s activities very well. It means that Jews will have to go on confronting his many negative influences concerning Israel, stupid remarks on antisemitism, and so on.

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