1. Well, THAT’s an easy question! At St Xavier Catholic Church in NYC over the weekend, the priest asked his flock, : “Do you affirm that white privilege is unfair…will you commit to helping transform our church culture” and embrace “racial justice.”?
The answer, of course, is “‘Bye!” No one should accept partisan and racist talking points from the clergy. This is an abuse of power, trust and position.
I think I’ll watch “Spotlight” again…
2. In case you were wondering, Ethics Alarms will have nothing definitive to say about the Kyle Rittenhouse saga, and won’t until I read a trustworthy account of what really happened. There seems no question that the original mainstream news media narrative that this was a white supremacist gun nut hunting peaceful protesters is the MSM misbehaving again. The backlash characterization of Ritterhouse as a brave citizen protecting local businesses from rioters also seems overly convenient. The video available suggests an element of self-defense, but it seems clear to me that the kid irresponsibly placed himself in a perilous position while provoking members of a less-than-rational mob. In the situation he voluntarily placed himself, Ritterhouse was likely to be killed or kill somebody. He was also violating the law by carrying his weapon when he was underage. Of course, the failure of the Kenosha police and the state to keep minimally endurable order also added to the deadly conditions.
3. Hey, Coup Plan E, good to see you! Where have you been?
The 25th Amendment arguments have been relatively scarce lately, although Maxine Waters mentioned it a week ago without referencing any disability. She appears to think that the Cabinet can just remove the elected President with a vote. My God, she’s such an idiot.
If the President had three strokes, he sure recovered quickly. And doesn’t it take astounding gall to try this chestnut again now, when the Democrats are running a candidate who could be legitimately removed by the 25th Amendment ten minutes after he took the oath of office?
4. Here come the dominoes! When I wrote two weeks ago about Utah deciding to join the District of Columbia in allowing law firms to include non-lawyer partners, I opined,
“When the D.C. bar decided to break the mold decades ago, everyone assumed that other jurisdictions would follow its lead, and soon doctors, engineers, scholars and accountants, among others, would be joining firms and allowing them to add new services. (Europe and Australia already allow such “multidisciplinary firms.”) It didn’t happen. Now, however, the dominoes might be starting to fall.”
Last week, the Arizona Supreme Court announced that it had approved the Bar Association’s proposal to eliminate its ethics rule barring non-lawyers from having an economic interest in a law firms or participating in fee sharing.
5. The Jacob Blake Rationalization? Last week, I heard an African American sports commentator, in the process of defending the NBA players’ theory that they should boycott the NBA season in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, “Nobody’s saying that Jacob Blake is a saint…” Is this a new entry for the Rationalization List? I assumed that the equivalent was already on the list, with either #2, The Comparative Virtue Excuse: “There are worse things,” or 19A, The Insidious Confession, or “It wasn’t the best choice.”
Yet neither exactly fits this framing trick, which is being well-used lately regarding Blake. No, he isn’t a saint; he was, in fact, an extremely unlikely candidate for sainthood. He had a long criminal record, a knife in his car or hand ( witnesses report the police were yelling at him to drop a knife ), had put one of the police in a headlock, had resisted efforts to taze him, and had a warrant out for him on charges of domestic abuse and sexual assault, also known as rape. The criminal complaint also said Blake had broken into the woman’s home and stolen her automobile and debit card. When the police were called, Blake was back at the house of that same woman, the mother of three of his children. She had called 911 and reported that he was at her house and had taken her house keys. Blake was shot by Kenosha police after resisting arrest.
As in the case of Michael Brown, the family of the target of police bullets, aided by attorney Ben Crump, put out a sanctified account of Blake’s fate, and the news media repeated it as truth, thus helping to spark the riots. Crump told the news media that:
…Blake “was helping to deescalate a domestic incident when police drew their weapons and tasered him. As he was walking away to check on his children, police fired their weapons several times into his back at point blank range.”
Wow, that almost makes him seem saintly! And it was completely false, except the part about the police shooting him, though the context of the shooting was conveniently absent. Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes of Wisconsin said, a day later, as quoted by CNN
Jacob Blake was shot in the back seven times in front of his children. And let me be clear, this was not an accident. This was not bad police work. This felt like some sort of vendetta being taking out on a member of our community…. The officers’ daily actions attempted to take a person’s life in broad daylight…The irony is not lost on me that as Jacob Blake was actually trying to deescalate a situation in his community, but the responding officer didn’t feel the need to do the same…
This is the way it is with saints; they get killed doing good. Did you know that President Trump caused the riots?
Various figures with influence in the black community then joined the Lt. Governor. NBA superstar LeBron James said “maybe” the officer who shot Blake “left the house saying that today is going to be the end for one of these black people. That’s what it feels like….for black people right now, we think you’re hunting us.”
Even with the news media doing its best, that approach was unsustainable. Sports activists and others began trying to shift the narrative, since police were called to protect a black woman, since Blake was obviously not targeted because of his race, and because he was resisting a legitimate arrest. Now we are being told that the protests are about “police brutality.” “They didn’t have to shoot him seven times,” my woke relative kept saying. The sports commentator said the same thing. So all the arson and violence and sports team boycotts are because the police should have only shot Blake once, if they thought he was reaching for gun, even if he wasn’t a saint.