As a prelude, I don’t know why some commenters are arguing that the 1876 William Belknap impeachment trial is a valid precedent for trying a private citizen no longer in office on a charge that has no other purpose but to remove that individual from his or her federal office. It’s just a bad argument, which is why Belknap has only been raised by desperate anti-Trump zealots. As I pointed out in the comments, an unconstitutional act doesn’t change the Constitution. There have been many, many unconstitutional actions by our government that were allowed to occur in the past (President Jackson’s defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court to forec the Trail of Tears is an especially egregious one.\); they still can’t be cited as proof that the actions were Constitutional, or precedent for violating the Constitution again. Balknap, who had resigned as Grant’s Secretary of War just as he was about to be impeached by the House, submitted to the Senate’s unconstitutional trial. I have always assumed this was because he was certain that he would be acquitted, so he could later claim innocence. (He was incredibly guilty.) Since he was acquitted, there was no occasion to challenge the trial, the issue being moot.
The entire system was in chaos in 1876; if the Belknap trial is binding precedent that a private citizen can be tried by the Senate to remove him from office when he isn’t in that office, why not make the same claim about the unconstitutional deal between Republicans and Democrats to install the loser of the 1876 Presidential election (Hayes) in the White House in exchange for removing federal troops from the former Confederate states?
1. An example of ethical trolling, I think:
Miller is getting all sorts of outraged responses from critics online who seem to have missed the critical fact that he was just quoting Maxine Waters’ call for harassment of Trump administration officials. Normally I regard deliberate posting of positions one doesn’t believe as unethical unless the poster makes the sarcasm or irony obvious. This one is obvious, unless the reader wasn’t paying attention to how irresponsible and vicious Democrats were in the past four years, and if the such a reader was that ignorant, he shouldn’t be involved in the discussion at all.
2. When does this kind of thing constitute a conspiracy? Salon (I know, I know…Salon) issued a cheap shot attack on Senator Tom Cotton alleging that he falsely calls himself a Ranger. Salon reported that Cotton and his campaign described him as having “Volunteered to be an Army Ranger,” a term traditionally reserved for soldiers who served with the 75th Ranger Regiment based out of Fort Benning, Georgia. The 75th Ranger Regiment requires its soldiers to complete a special eight-week selection process, and upon completing the course, soldiers are allowed to wear a distinctive tan beret with their uniform.
Cotton only attended the U.S. Army’s Ranger School, an eight-week leadership course that teaches service members light-infantry tactics. The school is open to volunteers from all of the U.S. military’s branches, including the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. Ranger School graduates are allowed to affix a “Ranger tab” — a symbol denoting the completion of the course — on their uniforms. But not the beret.
Oh. The Horror.
Cotton’s staff contacted Newsweek (I know, Newsweek) to point out that its 2015 story described female graduates of the Ranger School as Rangers. Thus warned, Newsweek went back and edited the old story, so now, instead of saying that the women will be Rangers, it says they will be “allowed to wear the tab.” (But not the beret.)
Say thank-you, Salon!
Being a “Ranger” and having earned a Ranger “tab” is often confused due to the similarity of their names. While the distinction is rarely brought up outside of military circles, it has been fiercely debated among veterans and encapsulates the nuances of military titles. To be clear, serving in the 75th Ranger Regiment or completing the Army’s Ranger School are both significant accomplishments.
How much clearer can you want? What’s really clear is the mainstream media and the left-wing activists (but I repeat myself) are already trying to take down Cotton, who has emerged as a potential leader in the Republican Party. [Pointer: 77Zoomie]
3. A Big Lie takes root. Last night, the local CBS channel covered a tribute to Kobe Bryant, as yesterday was the anniversary of his death. An African-American sports broadcaster ended the broadcast solemnly mourning Kobe’s America that was “gone forever” in the wake of subsequent transformative events: the pandemic, George Floyd, and “the insurrection.” What “insurrection”? There was no insurrection, just an incompetently executed and handled riot that had no effect on the government at all, was over with in hours, and which was dwarfed in significance and magnitude by actual take-overs of federal and state buildings by Black Lives Matters rioters over the summer. The media-wide effort to spread the–what,myth? Lie? Propaganda?—that the immensely stupid mob protest against the election was of epic significance is a work of public opinion manipulation in progress. Observe it accordingly.
4. Profiting from reporting your father to authorities? 18-year-old Jackson Reffitt reported his father to the FBI weeks before the attack on the Capitol. There seems to have been ample reason; Dad was a member of a radical right-wing organization, and he was planning on going to Washington, D.C., armed. “He would always tell me that he’s going to do something big,” Jackson told the Times. “I assumed he was going to do something big, and I didn’t know what.”
OK, he blew the whistle on his father. Reffitt the Elder was arrested on January. 16 and faces charges of obstruction of justice and of knowingly entering a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. The danger Jackson’s father seemed to pose to others is sufficient to make this an ethical act, though many, even most, of those praising the son are doing so for political rather than ethical reasons. It’s the next chapter that is problematical.
Jackson Reffitt, after appearing on CNN with Chris Cuomo, set up a GoFundMe page. “Every penny is another course in college or me saving it for years to come,” he wrote there. “I might be kicked out of my house due to my involvement in my dad’s case, so every cent might help me survive.”
He has now received $20,000 in gifts. For turning in his father. Yechhhh.
Hey Jackson! If you can find a reason to turn in your mother and two sisters, you’ll be able to make some real money!
5. Sometimes cancelling is ethical. Police in Simpsonville, South Carolina have charged Ariel Robinson, 29, and her husband, Jerry Robinson, both African-Americans, with murdering their their adopted child, Victoria Rose Smith with a “series of blunt force injuries.” The little girl was three.
Ariel Robinson won Season 20 of the Food Network show, “Worst Cooks in America” in August 2020. She is also a local comedian and aspiring television personality who posted frequently on social media in hopes of becoming an “influencer.” Earlier this month, Ariel complained about “white privilege” in reference to her three adopted children, all of whom were white like Victoria Rose, tweeting in part while adding hashtags for “white privilege” and “Black Lives matter”:
“In my house, my black children get treated the same as my white children, and my white children get treated the same as my black children. It’s a shame that when they go out into the real world, that won’t be the case.”
Presumably Ariel was planning on beating one or more of her black children to death.
The Food Network has deleted the 2020 season to remove all references to Ariel. I assume that her career as a comedian and TV personality will meet a similar fate.