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Westlake Legal Group > Press Releases (Page 79)

Obligatory: The PETA “traditional masculinity is dead” ad

Westlake Legal Group m-1 Obligatory: The PETA “traditional masculinity is dead” ad vegetarian vegan traditional The Blog PETA Meat Masculinity ad

To cleanse the palate, it’s moments like this that make me pine for the rugged masculine bravado of the Gillette ad.

To make the point that vegetarianism isn’t effeminate I might have tried interviewing a few vegetarian soldiers instead of convincing some nerd to strap on a zucchini and dance for the camera. But maybe PETA has given up on fighting that stereotype. It’s indestructible, after all. The only thing left to do is embrace it and have fun with it. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for why they chose to make their point here with a bunch of doughy schlubs as actors instead of muscleheads. You’re not going to convince anyone earnestly that salads = virility. Might as well play it entirely for laughs.

Although they have tried earnestly elsewhere. Quote: “A psychologist might say a man needs counseling if he tries to prove his manhood by gunning down a 2-pound bird or killing a struggling fish.”

See now why they went with the zucchini-dong sight gag instead?

Speaking of the infamous Gillette ad, Sarah Quinlan has a question at Red State. What exactly is so offensive about it?

This ad was not an attack on masculinity. The only explicit reference to any kind of masculinity is at the beginning when the voiceover refers to toxic masculinity…

The ad then encourages men to be the best they can be and shows ways they can do so, from stepping in to stop bullying to calling out inappropriate behavior to being supportive fathers actively raising kind and confident children.

These actions — which show empathy, protector status, moral integrity, and the courage and strength necessary to do the right thing — are the embodiment of traditional masculinity and should be encouraged.

True, the ad doesn’t target any male behavior which most people would call virtuous. There is some behavior targeted, though, like catcalling or boys being allowed to rough-house that many would call “traditional” for good or ill. I think the worry is that the culture will over-correct in response to the #MeToo moment by elevating what’s seen as “venial sins” of masculinity to mortal ones. (If you share the opinion that catcalling is no big deal, google around for many, many arguments to the contrary.)

What really bugs people is simply the fact that a razor company would choose to engage on these terms. The ad is fine on its own. The idea of being hectored on social consciousness about masculinity when you’re trying to buy farking toiletries is less fine. Especially if you’re a political activist or a news junkie, you feel bombarded by this kind of scolding 24/7. Can we not have a reprieve even with respect to bathroom activities? Do I need to make sure the toilet paper I’m using is woke before wiping? If I’m to be nagged about masculinity, I’d rather it be by a feminist sincerely committed to the cause than by some corporation’s garbage ad team that’s calculating it’ll be good for profits.

Your exit quotation comes from Bridget Phetasy:

Westlake Legal Group b-2 Obligatory: The PETA “traditional masculinity is dead” ad vegetarian vegan traditional The Blog PETA Meat Masculinity ad

The post Obligatory: The PETA “traditional masculinity is dead” ad appeared first on Hot Air.

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‘Fyre’ torches ‘influencer’ culture

“Fyre” — Netflix’s version of a pair of dueling documentaries — is positively bonkers, a feature-length look at the planned Fyre music festival that went spectacularly awry. But beyond the first-person accounts, it’s a larger examination of the ability to sell consumers an image, and an “influencer” culture built around turning eager social-media users into marketing ambassadors.

Westlake Legal Group cnn_topstories?d=yIl2AUoC8zA 'Fyre' torches 'influencer' culture   Westlake Legal Group cnn_topstories?d=7Q72WNTAKBA 'Fyre' torches 'influencer' culture   Westlake Legal Group cnn_topstories?i=bLiqQ_DDXeQ:kqw4Tmk7Q_4:V_sGLiPBpWU 'Fyre' torches 'influencer' culture   Westlake Legal Group cnn_topstories?d=qj6IDK7rITs 'Fyre' torches 'influencer' culture   Westlake Legal Group cnn_topstories?i=bLiqQ_DDXeQ:kqw4Tmk7Q_4:gIN9vFwOqvQ 'Fyre' torches 'influencer' culture

Westlake Legal Group bLiqQ_DDXeQ 'Fyre' torches 'influencer' culture

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NBC: Ocasio-Cortez all in on attacking moderate Dem incumbents

Westlake Legal Group aoc-jd NBC: Ocasio-Cortez all in on attacking moderate Dem incumbents The Blog purity campaigns progressives Justice Democrats Henry Cuellar Hakeem Jeffries Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ah, purity campaigns — the projects from which neither party ever learns any lasting lessons. The group Justice Democrats recruited Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to run against Joe Crowley in a ridiculously safe Democratic seat as a way to shake up the status quo and gain a little political traction. Crowley, who had been part of the House Democrats’ leadership clique, fell asleep at the switch and lost his primary, leading to Ocasio-Cortez’ easy layup in November.

Now, NBC reports, AOC has joined up with Justice Democrats again for a new recruiting drive aimed at generating primary challenges against her new colleagues in the House Democratic caucus. The group launched this video today for their #OurTime effort, heavily featuring their new — and only — star:

Under the program, activists can nominate potential candidates for the group’s backing. In the video, Ocasio-Cortez recounts how she was nominated by her brother and became interested in running while participating in environmental protests with Native Americans activists at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota.

“Everybody knows someone in their life that is already an amazing public servant,” Ocasio-Cortez says in the video, which also features her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, and spokesman, Corbin Trent. “Nominate that amazing public servant to take their service to the halls of Congress. Give them that nudge.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s participation in the Justice Democrats’ program could be a source of tension on the Hill, where members backing primaries against their colleagues is rare.

Gee … ya think? Ocasio-Cortez has already hinted at an effort to unseat fellow New Yorker Hakeem Jeffries, although that’s apparently less about ideology than it is about personal score-settling. At that time, Ocasio-Cortez objected to the reporting of support for challenges to Democratic incumbents in general and Jeffries in particular, but her participation in this video makes her general intent more than clear, and her denial last month less than credible.

NBC notes that Henry Cuellar will be a particular target this time around, as the group searches for a true-blue progressive to challenge him in a mostly moderate Texas district. Of course, on principle, it’s tough to argue with this:

In the new video, Justice Democrats executive director Alexandra Rojas says “running in competitive primary elections in Democratic-held seats is important” while Trent, the Ocasio-Cortez spokesman, warns that a 97 percent re-election rate for incumbents leads to “electoral atrophy” without primaries.

“The reason we want to keep doing Democrat vs. Democrat primaries is because it’s a way to move the Democratic Party in a more progressive direction and make Democrats more accountable to their base and not just corporate donors,” Waleed Shahid, spokesman for Justice Democrats, told NBC News.

In practice, however, this rarely works out well — and Ocasio-Cortez isn’t a particularly good example of the rare win. She owes her seat in Congress to the same dynamic that got Republican Dave Brat his seat four years earlier: a lack of attention from an ensconced incumbent of a leadership clique. Eric Cantor had lost focus on his constituents, allowing for the shoestring Tea Party challenger to get a surprise win in the 2014 primary — a good cycle for the GOP anyway. Brat only held the seat for two cycles, however, as the R+6 district didn’t apparently respond well to Brat’s hardline Freedom Caucus conservatism.

Brat didn’t turn out to be a bellwether of a more conservative wave in the American electorate. Ocasio-Cortez almost certainly won’t be a bellwether of a more progressive wave, either. Democrats did a good job in the last cycle in appealing to moderates, especially in the suburbs where Trump’s popularity has declined over the last two years. A purity campaign aimed at sidelining moderates within the Democratic Party will result in a more pure minority rather than a more representative majority, which of course suits us just fine.

The post NBC: Ocasio-Cortez all in on attacking moderate Dem incumbents appeared first on Hot Air.

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Man who shot Kate Steinle appeals gun possession conviction

Westlake Legal Group Jose-Ines-Zarate Man who shot Kate Steinle appeals gun possession conviction The Blog kate steinle Jose Ines Garcia Zarate felony

Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate shot Kate Steinle on a San Francisco pier in 2015. In November 2017, he was found not guilty of all but one count of felony possession of a firearm. Now his attorneys are attempting to have that conviction overturned. From ABC News:

A Mexican national who touched off a fierce immigration debate over his role in the shooting death of a woman walking on a San Francisco pier is seeking to overturn his felony gun possession conviction. It was the only charge he was found guilty of after a jury acquitted him of murder.

Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate had been deported five times at the time of the shooting and was wanted for a sixth deportation proceeding.

Lawyers for Garcia-Zarate filed the expected appeal last week in state court. He contends he didn’t know a gun was in his hands because it was wrapped in a T-shirt when it fired and he dropped it almost immediately after picking it up. He argues in court papers that he can’t be convicted of illegal gun possession.

CBS San Francisco has a bit more on what Zarate is claiming in an attempt to overturn the conviction:

In an appeal filed last week with the state Court of Appeal in San Francisco, Zarate argues that his rights were violated when trial judge Samuel Feng failed to give the jury an instruction on the theory of momentary possession.

That instruction advises jurors that gun possession is not illegal if the possession was for only “a momentary or transitory period” and for the purpose of disposing of the firearm.

Zarate contends that he picked up a package wrapped in rags under a swivel chair he was sitting on at the pier, did not know he had a gun until it fired accidentally, and then immediately threw the gun into the bay to stop it from firing.

Zarate was released from prison with no attempt to hold him for ICE so he could be deported again because of San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy. As for the shooting itself, there was evidence that Zarate didn’t intend to shoot Steinle. Specifically, the bullet bounced off the pavement only about 12 feet from where he was sitting on a bench. The murder charges brought by prosecutors were a stretch.

The jury chose not to convict Zarate of manslaughter, according to one alternate juror, for a couple of reasons. First, manslaughter would have required that a crime was being committed when the gun went off. Prosecutors claimed that crime was brandishing a weapon, but Zarate claimed the gun was wrapped in a t-shirt and that he didn’t know what it was when he picked it up. He had told a local news reporter he was aiming the weapon at some sea lions, which suggests he knew what it was, but the alternate juror who spoke to Politico said the prosecutors never made the case he’d been brandishing prior to the shooting.

The involuntary manslaughter charge that the jury was read included two key requirements: 1) A crime was committed in the act that caused death; 2) The defendant acted with “criminal negligence”—he did something than an ordinary person would have known was likely to lead to someone’s death.

The jury members were not free to select the crime for part (1)—they had to use the one chosen by the prosecution, and the prosecution chose that crime to be the “brandishing,” or waving with menace, of a weapon. As a juror, I found this choice puzzling, because the prosecutor presented absolutely zero evidence of brandishing during the trial. I don’t think we even heard the word “brandishing” until it was read as part of the charge during the jury instructions at the trial’s end. No witnesses ever saw the defendant holding a gun, much less brandishing it. Given that baffling choice by the prosecution, the manslaughter charge was a nonstarter for the jury. Had a different precursor crime been chosen—for instance, the unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon—the outcome might have been different.

The gun itself was stolen from a car belonging to a Bureau of Land Management ranger. Zarate claimed he didn’t steal it but just found it under a bench on the pier, wrapped in a t-shirt. That may or may not be true but there’s no proof either way so it was another element of reasonable doubt about his intent.

Zarate was sentenced to time served on the gun possession charge. He had spent about 30 months in jail during the trial. He is now facing two federal charges related to gun possession but his case has been put on hold until the Supreme Court rules on a similar case from Alabama.

The post Man who shot Kate Steinle appeals gun possession conviction appeared first on Hot Air.

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