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Week in Review: 2021 Nov 20

Kyle Rittenhouse hugging his lawyer after being aquitted of all charges.

Before I get started with the week in review, I have a quick note for the local readers. We are dealing with some technical debt at the Jeffersonian Report, and as of last couple of weeks the Peertube server has been in need of maintenance. As a result I have been unable to import the latest school board meeting. If you are interested you can watch it here. Due to the fact that we are so behind, we probably won't be able to put out our regular synopsis of the events that took place, but there is work being done behind the scenes to erase some of this debt and get us back to a good place.

I haven't done a week in review in a while, but this was a good week with a lot of moving parts so I couldn't just choose one news item for the week. I also recently rediscovered a content creator I used to follow on YouTube who does something called "This Week in Culture" every week which grabs trending videos from the social networks and puts together a story for each week. This week was the 71st week since he started doing this. I had never thought to check for him on Rumble until it came up in a discussion on CharlesTown.Social, but now that I have it allow me to share it with you here.

Kyle Rittenhouse

The past few weeks have had a lot going on. I will tell you upfront that as far as news is concerned, the most dominating story in my line of sight has been the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. We had planned to publish an article about the case on Monday to help our readers get caught up, but to do it proper justice and include all relevant context, I have had to delay that article for now. Last week, the jury were presented with the evidence and listened to witness and expert testimony, and this week started off with the closing arguments to the jury. This case is embroiled in politics and state abuse. Of course the legacy media is right there to argue the state's case for them in the court of public opinion. "Rittenhouse trial arguments worry mental health advocates" reads one AP headline. Allegedly an MSNBC reporter tried to follow the jury home on the third day of deliberations so they were barred from even re-entering the courthouse for the remainder of the trial. Joy Reid actually started off with a little dash of the truth on her show, but she quickly poured so much salt on that the dish is unrecognizable.

This is what we expected to happen, because I think we have to keep in mind when we're watching the criminal justice system at work, that it was designed to do exactly what it did today. Gun laws helped to enhance the design to allow this verdict to happen today. This country was built on the idea that white men had a particular kind of freedom and a particular kind of citizenship that only they have, that gives from the slave catchers on the right to inflict violence in the name of protecting property. That's like the foundational creation of the United States so it would have been shocking. I'm glad you mentioned the Derrick Chauvin verdict; that was the surprising verdict.

The court system worked today, and the Derrick Chauvin case was a surprising verdict if you followed the trial are about the only 2 things you can say approximate truth in this whole statement. This country was not founded on the right of white men to commit acts of violence to protect property. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal. Have there been obvious inequalities throughout history? Most certainly. Have we lived up to the idea since then? Not even close. But does that somehow indicate that what is penned in our founding documents is not what our fore fathers were aspiring toward? No way!

During deliberations there were protesters outside with bull horns. Both the defense and prosecution attorneys received death threats throughout the trial, and the state attempted on several occasions to abridge Mr Rittenhouse's constitutionally protected rights. They submitted evidence that had been manipulated, and during deliberation it came out that they may have actually doctored evidence before sending it to the defense during the discovery phase. I could go on, but I'll save that for the case specific report. At the end of the day, justice was served, and Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges on Friday.

January 6th protesters

On Saturday, Epoch Times reported that several of the 1/6 protesters were taken out of their cells on stretchers after they were injured by correctional officers. According to the family of one of the inmates, "They sprayed mace or some type of gas at an inmate and kept missing so it went into an intake that fed into other cells and the lady with the key left because she didn't like the gas, so the inmates were in the cells who were being fed the gas from that intake were locked in for like 15 minutes while it was going into their rooms and they couldn't see/breathe". I don't know if the intended target inmate was an 1/6 protester, but this is not the first time we've heard of poor conditions for the people awaiting trial for this supposed "insurrection" which the FBI has stated there is scant evidence for according to Reuters.

Though federal officials have arrested more than 570 alleged participants, the FBI at this point believes the violence was not centrally coordinated by far-right groups or prominent supporters of then-President Donald Trump, according to the sources, who have been either directly involved in or briefed regularly on the wide-ranging investigations.

I know that there were very likely some minor crimes committed that day, but this case has gone on for so long and there appears to be no end in site for hundreds of people awaiting trial. I'm curious how long this will be allowed to continue before constitutional lawyers step in and point out that the 6th amendment protects them from this kind of unending abuse.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.


Last week, the Fifth Circuit enjoined OSHA from enforcing the Emergency Temporary Standard related to a mandatory vaccination or test policy at businesses with more than 100 employees. Because so many circuit courts had cases pending on this issue there was a lottery held and on Tuesday the Sixth Circuit for the US Appeals Court has taken up the case. In spite of this, the executive branch is continuing with messaging to businesses that the expect continued enforcement at a company level while it's being sorted, and that is exactly what some businesses are doing. Legal analysts tend to believe that the challenges will hold in court and result in a permanent stay on enforcement of such a standard, but we'll have to wait and see.

Project Veritas

In case you have never heard of Project Veritas, they are an independent media outlet that uses undercover journalism and helps whistle blowers go public on political or media related issues. Earlier this month several journalists had their homes raided and material seized by the federal government. Now it appears the FBI may have even leaked information to the New York Times. It's reminiscent of that time CNN was posted up outside of Roger Stone's house during the early morning execution of an arrest warrant. How ever could they have known it was going to happen? Luckily it seems Senator Grassley has requested some answers by December 1st.

NSBA/AG Garland

The NSBA wrote a letter to the Biden administration and the Attorney General last month which we've reported on a few times. A FOIA request uncovered emails that indicated that the White House was actually in contact with the NSBA to help them with the language, and at the end of October, AG Garland testified in front of congress that the federal government was not going to be using powers derived from PATRIOT Act and other anti-terrorism legislation to target parents protesting the curriculum, dress code, or any other issue they see fit. He stated that the only interest of the Department was to investigate actual threats of violence. He also claimed that he first heard of the letter just like you and me through the news media rather than having it delivered to him in his official capacity. That's strange to me since he was one of the addressees, but we'll go with it.

Well this week it was revealed by House GOP members that in fact the federal government is using anti-terrorism techniques to assess threat levels in school districts around the country. The FBI Counter Terrorism Division appears to have disseminated in an internal email that they should apply a "threat tag" the day before he was speaking in front of congress that was leaked by an FBI whistle-blower.

The FBI’s “Counterterrorism and Criminal Divisions created a threat tag, EDUOFFICIALS, to track instances of related threats,” according to the email. “The purpose of the threat tag is to help scope this threat on a national level and provide an opportunity for comprehensive analysis of the threat picture for effective engagement with law enforcement.”

Jim Jordan discussed this with Dana Loesch on her show on Friday. There is still a question to be answered on why federal resources were ever even considered to be required for such a thing when there are local and state authorities that should be sufficiently capable of performing such an investigation if it is found that people are overstepping their protected right to free speech with real threats of violence which I have no doubt may be happening in some areas.

Local News

Earlier in the month a student from Washington High School named Anna Elizabeth Walker was selected to compete for a chance to represent WV in the US Senate Youth Program. This program is "a unique educational experience for outstanding high school students interested in persuing public service careers". According to the website it seems this year it will be online only, but if selected she will receive a $10,000 dollar scholarship from the government to attend I assume a school of her choosing.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to affect the safety of travel, indoor gatherings and access to government buildings, the 2022 United States Senate Youth Program Washington Week will be held online during the March 5 – 10, 2022 timeframe. The program will be a comprehensive public service, leadership and education experience including speakers from the three branches of government and the national media, and each delegate will receive the $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship in the name of the United States Senate. Additional details will be made available upon selection.

The Eastern Panhandle Transit Authority (EPTA) in coordination with Hagerstown Eastern Panhandle Metropolitan Planning Organization (HEPMPO), is seeking input on the proposed commuter bus service that would connect residents to the newly extended WMATA Metro Silver Line at the Ashburn Station for employment in the Washington, D.C. Metro area. The survey will be open November 15th through December 15th. The survey can be accessed on Office.com.

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Jamie Larson