28 thoughts on “Friday Open Forum!

    • I was just discussing this with some lawyers. The majority opinion is that there is no intent, and if it’s an accident, manslaughter is an unethical charge. One said “criminal stupidity, maybe.”

      • I’m thinking there has to be some statute that covers what she did but manslaughter, as written, just doesn’t seem to fit properly; therefore, I think what the prosecutors are doing is unethical and probably violating the Officer’s civil rights by blatant pandering to the hordes of idiots rioting in the streets.

        • Would involuntary manslaughter apply? Or is that only intended for intentional actions that you should have known could result in an accidental death, such as drunk driving?

            • Glad you asked. 609.205 is for second degree manslaughter if you cause the death of another “(1) by the person’s culpable negligence whereby the person creates an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another;”.

              It would appear that we have culpable negligence that created an unreasonable risk. The weakness is the it does not appear that Potter consciously took the chance of causing death.

              Other provisions in this statute deal with shooting someone you believe is a deer, setting spring guns and snare traps and a failure to control a dangerous animal.


      • Firing the city manager for suggesting Potter would get due process pretty much signaled this wasn’t going to be handled with anything actually related to justice in mind.

      • I believe the term, at least here, would be “criminally negligent homicide.” I think manslaughter might apply too, but usually that requires recklessness, and I’m not sure this reaches that level. To be reckless you have to know there’s a risk and consciously disregard that risk. That does not appear to fit the facts here.

  1. Where do we even start? Actually, I know where I’d like to start, and I’m sure it’s probably on everyone else’s mind too. Yesterday, the Democratic party, or at least an element of it, unveiled legislation which is history making, but not in what I think is a good way.

    I’m talking about Jerry Nadler and Ed Markey’s proposed legislation to add four justices to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has been nine justices since before the beginning of the 20th century. The last time anyone even considered anything like this was in 1937, when FDR considered asking for six more justices to pack the Supreme Court so that he could continue to push forward his ambitious New Deal programs which the court had been slapping down. He cloaked it in making the court more efficient, since justices tended to serve well past the average retirement age and would benefit from younger judges to help them along. Both his own party in Congress and the public saw this for what it was and the backlash was swift. The president would not get to stuff the Supreme Court with his own people.

    Still, some say that the message was sent and received, as associate Justice Owen Roberts, who had previously sided with the conservative block of the bench, known as “The four horsemen” sided with the liberal wing of the Court in the matter of West Coast hotel versus Parrish. We will really never know, since Justice Roberts took the unusual step of burning his notes and papers before the end of his life. Supposedly, however a memo he provided to Justice Felix Frankfurter indicates that he was planning to rule that way before FDR threatened to pack the court. In any case, FDR continued past two terms and was able to stuff the federal judiciary with his own people more than any president limited to two terms. The influence of his justices p and those appointed by his successor Harry Truman cast a very long shadow over the Supreme Court for quite a while, although not as long a while as you might think. In fact, Richard Nixon was the president who appointed Harry Blackmun, author and longtime defender of Roe v Wade, anytime arguably before the question of liberal versus conservative justices became so pronounced. It wasn’t until Carter nominated not a single Supreme Court Justice and Reagan and Bush the elder nominated five between them that the question of liberal versus conservative justices versus qualified justices became as pronounced as it is now.

    Somehow no president has had enough slots open during his administration since then to decisively move the court one way and give it either a solid liberal majority or a solid conservative majority. Part of that, no doubt, was due to justices hanging on to their seats long after they should have retired so as to not allow a President who disagreed with them to appoint their successors. That’s why Harry Blackmun hung on until Bill Clinton was safely elected, that’s why Antonin Scalia died in the saddle, and that’s why Ruth Bader Ginsburg ran and ultimately lost the race between the 2020 election and her 86-year-old, cancer ravaged body giving out. Neither party likes the idea of the needle moving farther away from them on the Supreme Court and possibly what they view as their significant and important accomplishments coming undone. The Democratic party is particularly bitter about it since they had counted on Hillary being elected right after Obama and being able to add more liberal justices on top of the two that Obama had appointed. They are also bitter because of the dangerous but ultimately successful gambit that Mitch McConnell managed to pull off after the death of Justice Scalia. As far as the Democratic party is concerned, Merrick Garland should be sitting on the Supreme Court right now and two more liberal justices should have joined him. We should be looking at a solid liberal majority on the Supreme Court and be watching Hillary lick her chops as she waits for the three remaining conservative justices to die or retire, in the hopes that either she in her second term or her successor can create a fully liberal Supreme Court.

    That dream has been pushed out of reach now, and instead the Democrats are facing a 6 to 3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court who is likely to get in the way of a lot of their plans. So, they are ready, willing, and able to use the political capital that they still have from this past election and the black lives matter movement to hopefully force a change now that they don’t want to wait for.

    It is risky, it is against the will of half the country, or at least a substantial block of voters, and it is a major break with precedent. It is almost certain that to make this happen they will need to eliminate the legislative filibuster. That’s both of very tall order and a fairly obvious step towards an attempt at one party rule and tyranny. It is also not wanted by some very liberal figures, including Nancy Pelosi, including reliably leftist Justice Stephen Breyer, including Justice Ginsburg in life, and including even Biden, who once pronounced the idea of packing the Supreme Court a boneheaded idea. Then again, Biden has historically gone whichever way the wind was blowing. Never mind, say the advocates of this plan, eventually we will bring everyone around that we need to, and this isn’t packing the court, it’s unpacking the court and correcting the judicial balance.

    I don’t know whether to laugh or try to pick my jaw up off the floor hearing all of this. It’s one thing to have a crazy plan for achieving and achievable goal. It’s one thing to have a crazy goal but a plan for achieving it that has a chance of succeeding. Having a crazy goal and a crazy plan for getting there is something that you expect from idealistic people in their twenties, not high ranking and long serving members of a legislature who know or should know how the game is played and what’s doable and what’s not with what resources. What is more, long serving public servants should know what the parameters of the government of this country under the Constitution and under all the precedents set up to now are and can be. This is always been a country of many interests and many voices. It’s also been a country where everyone eventually gets their turn at the wheel. It is not and has never been intended to be a one-party state where a few very large cities or a few oligarchs press their vision down upon everyone else, and everyone else does not get much to say about it. Yet that is exactly what the people behind this plan want. They want unshakable control of the executive, unopposable majorities in the legislature, and courts that will tell them everything they do is just fine.

    I ask you, name me one regime in history where one party rule was a good thing? I can think of quite a few in the 20th century, they range from the not so heavy-handed tyranny of Tito and Honecker to the very brutal tyranny of Chairman Mao, Nicolae Ceausescu, and some other names we don’t need to mention. I can also think of some tyrannies that hid behind the trappings of monarchy in the 19th century, where personal freedom was very limited. I can also think of the days of the French revolution where the upper echelon of government ranged from the simply brutal like Robespierre to the insane like Marat, and where the deprivations and decapitations finally had to end with “a whiff of grapeshot.”

    While you’re at it, please name me two or three regimes where limited free speech and disarmament of the populace led to anything good? I can’t think of a one, but the whole idea does make me think of the Armenian genocide, where it all started with silencing the leaders and collecting weapons. Then when your targets are unarmed, leaderless, and cowed, it’s that much easier to wipe them out.

    What bothers me is that what we are seeing now from this element of the democratic party should make everyone’s alarms ring. Too many alarms aren’t ringing, and too many are saying this is the way to go. I say beware, you never know which step toward tyranny will be the one that you can’t step back from

    • As you know, Nancy Pelosi announced that she would not let it come to a vote. This is widely interpreted to mean 1) she doesn’t have the votes and 2) polling shows that this won’t help Democrats in 2022.

      • It could potentially sink the Democrats big time in 2022. However, it might not matter if they can consolidate their power before then. It’s a dangerous game they are playing. I also think what it shows about where the Democratic party is headed is terrifying.

    • If this comes to pass I will no longer believe we have reasoned justice in this country we simply have majority opinion rule. The Supreme Court will be rendered irrelevant. I would like to ask Nadler and Markay what would stop Republicans from adding even more justices when the people return control of the Senate to conservatives. The only way such a plan could have longevity would require the thinking that the rules will be changed to suppress the ability of conservatives to get elected.

      • Of the three Democratic take-over plans, packing the Court is the least likely to happen. It’s essentially a bluff to try to bully the court out of striking down affirmative action and Roe. The public is against it, and they kind of understand it. It backfired on FDR. I’d say DC statehood is the most likely, but it will take the longest. Knocking out the filibuster just takes a majority vote, and the public doesn’t understand it at all, but that would require a wildly risky bet by Democrats that they are going to hold power—forever.

    • I wonder how the mob would react if a group of whites surrounded a black person’s home who is accused of harming a white person. Further the idea that one has a right to protest private citizens is ludicrous. We have the right to petitition government for redress that is all. Why are the cops not dispersing this crowd?

      • Probably come in force and provide a whole lot of “blackup,” although that doesn’t always work. A BLM march in a +/-70% white town not too far from me, featuring a lot of out-of-towners from Newark found themselves slap up against a wall of red, white, and green as word spread by tweet and text among the large Italian-American community that they might try to destroy the monument to Christopher Columbus that stands in front of the town hall. The local police got there just in time to prevent the two lines from meeting. It was a pretty tense hour, with insults and epithets thrown back and forth by both sides, but eventually the cops were able to convince both sides it was ah, in their best interests to disperse. That’s one of a very few examples of white people standing up to the black mob, because the black mob right now has a veneer of invincibility and a veneer of righteousness. It’s an unforgivable sin for any non-black person to call a black person a moulinon (Italian slang for black people, it literally means “eggplant”) and would justify them getting beaten or killed. However, it’s perfectly ok for a black person to call us wop or guinea or whatever, and we aren’t allowed to respond in kind.

  2. With all the efforts to throw law enforcement under the bus, dox them and their families, and deify the violent criminals they have to deal with, it’s interesting to note three particular recent exceptions to this trend:

    1) A Capitol policeman who died at his desk, apparently from a stroke, was deemed a victim of “insurrectionists”, based on a widely spread and persistent false narrative concerning his death. He was showered with accolades and given a state funeral.

    2) Another Capitol officer was killed, and one injured, attacked by a black nationalist. Again, he lay in state at the Capitol and was lauded by our politicians. The criminal was killed by another officer. The circumstances of the attack (again, by a nation of islam acolyte) are quickly “forgotten” by the media.

    This is not to diminish officers who die in service, and who should be honored as appropriate for that service. But let’s be honest, neither of the two were engaged in acts of notable sacrifice, bravery, or dedication to duty that might trigger honors far in excess of what is usually accorded the many officers who give their lives every year across the nation. A recent report indicates that the Capitol force may actually be in rather poor condition and inadequately trained. Telling schoolchildren to stay on the other side of the rope is generally not that taxing, perhaps.

    And lastly:

    3) A Capitol officer shot and killed a petite, unarmed woman trespasser in a public building. Everything about the incident was kept under wraps for months until we were finally told that after an investigation and review, which we are not allowed to see, nor know anything about (even the officer’s name), that there will be no charges brought. (Is James Comey freelancing for the justice department?)

    So, what causes the narratives for these incidents to so notably diverge from what we’ve been seeing as all too typical in other similar law enforcement situations across the country?

    You know the answer. These officers were in service to our betters, our overlords, the ones who really matter. Shut up, sit down, and don’t question your place in Biden’s, Pelosi’s, and BLM’s new America. Go home, nothing to see here.

  3. Yesterday, I finished the book, “Kingfish: The Reign of Huey P. Long” by Richard D. White, Jr. It should be required reading for everyone, especially for those would-be Progressive young people.

    I knew Long was corrupt, but I had no idea how totalitarian Louisiana became in just a few years. Long tossed free schoolbooks to children and bankrupted the Louisiana treasury with public works projects, but he did the people of his state no favors.

    After surviving impeachment as governor of the state, he went on to become a U.S. Senator, but still held control over Louisiana via his puppet in the Governor’s office. He literally told legislators how to vote, he nearly destroyed New Orleans over a vendetta against its recalcitrant mayor. He gerrymandered districts away to eliminate judicial positions for uncooperative judges. He waged war against the newspapers that criticized him. He fired city and state employees who disagreed with him and replaced them with his own people down to the elementary school teachers. He taxed companies that tried to fight him out of business, but gave huge perks to those that supported him. Though he cared not one whit about the Louisiana constitution, he slipped amendment after amendment in that gave him more and more power each time. He gained control of the elections, determined who was a qualified voter and his people won repeatedly through rigged elections. He went after his political opponents after they’d been defeated at the crooked ballot boxes by destroying their businesses. Professors at LSU learned what they could and could not say in class when he went after anyone, down to the student level, that criticized him.

    FDR briefly toyed with the idea of sending federal troops down there to secure the rights of Louisiana’s citizens before finally cutting Federal relief aid to the state on the assumption that the money would just go into Huey’s pockets and siccing both the FBI (J. Edgar Hoover’s file on Long was 2000 pages) and the IRS (which began building a Capone-esque tax evasion case against Long who almost certainly didn’t file accurate returns) on him. The only reason it didn’t go further was Long’s premature death at the hands of an unlikely assassin who may have just been a scapegoat for a ricocheted bodyguard’s bullet.

    It took decades to get Long’s people out of positions of power. Louisiana certainly still experiences the ripple effects of the regime of corruption and graft with which he rotted its government.

    Two chilling statements from the book I’ll share. Both from LSU professors who lived through the times.

    “If you get a man scared enough you won’t have to shut him up. He is already shut up.”

    “There are many things Huey has done that I don’t approve of. But on the whole he has done a great deal of good. And if I had to choose between him without democracy and getting back the old crowd, without the good he has done, I should choose Huey. After all, democracy isn’t any good if it doesn’t work. Do you really think freedom is so important?”

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