I’m sorry about the apparent obsession here with the Rittenhouse case, but I believe that the episode has ethical significance on many levels, particularly in the way it demonstrates that toxic progressive bias has headed into end game territory, sort of like with rabies when a victim becomes afraid of water.
What we are seeing and hearing is ugly and would be frightening if it wasn’t so self-evidently irrational. I guess we have seen other examples where political fanaticism causes vast numbers of previously functional Americans to blow out their critical reasoning fuses for all to see, but right now I can’t think of one so striking. Groups that cease to be capable of reason tend not to do very well after a while.
Yes, Steve-O-in NJ has another Comment of the Day, and yes, it’s long, but it touches perceptively on too many important matters to let go by. I especially admire his description of the “chain reaction.” (I could not disagree with his last sentence more, however.)
Here it is, on the post, “A Rittenhouse Verdict Inventory Of Ethics Heroes, Dunces, Villains And Fools, Part III: Facts Don’t Matter”…
So, the verdict is in and Kyle Rittenhouse walks on all charges. I thought about it, and as an attorney who has occasionally worked civil rights cases I do not see any bases for federal civil rights charges against him. Most of the federal civil rights statute has to do with punishing those who act under color of law to deprive individuals of their constitutional rights. Those statues are generally designed to bring down law enforcement officers who abuse their authority for no good reason. There is also the question of a hate crime, however, there has been no allegation nor proof that anyone he killed was a member of a protected class killed because they were a member of protected class.
The Federal statutes are simply not designed to give the federal government a second bite at every state murder prosecution that fails to make. I suppose the Feds could try to cobble together gun charges or terrorism charges (but that’s a very long stretch). However, they would still have to draw a jury pool from Wisconsin, and all of Wisconsin has now seen this trial and knows this would be just an attempt to punish someone for a crime he was already acquitted of. Jerry Nadler should have known better then to suggest this, but he was simply pandering to his base and his party’s base.
This was another classic domino situation of one breach of the law leading to more as described by the Hon. Guido Calabresi, senior judge of the Second Circuit Court of appeals, in an address at my law school graduation. Things were already tense in this country because George Floyd decided he would break the law and pass fake money, then resist arrest while high as a kite, then Derek Chauvin decided he would break the law and press George Floyd against the ground with his knee until he was fatally injured, then a huge number of people decided they would break the law and riot, then a whole lot of public officials decided they would break the law and fail to do their sworn duty to protect the people. While the nation was still reeling from this, Jacob Blake decided he would break the law and resist a lawful arrest, officers got heavy handed, and still more people decided they would break the law and riot, set fires, and destroy and ransack property that was not theirs to destroy or ransack. Kyle Rittenhouse unwisely decided to get involved in this mess, while armed. Three individuals with lengthy criminal records decided they would break the law and violate common sense and attack Kyle and try to kill him while he was armed for the rifle. Finally Kyle found himself with no alternative but to open fire, killing two and wounding a third.
This is not how it is supposed to be. An arrest is not supposed to result in a death. Individuals are not supposed to try to fight the police. Individuals are supposed to cooperate with law enforcement, then deal with the issue in court. People are not supposed to respond to an injustice by trying to ransack or destroy property that does not belong to them and that has nothing to do with the injustice.
Ordinary people are supposed to be able to go about their lives without the fear that they will be swept up in a de facto insurrection against the civil authority. The civil authorities are supposed to keep protests peaceful and limited to the point that it does not disrupt the lives of ordinary people. It should not fall on ordinary citizens to feel like they have to protect property through the use of violence.
Convicted criminals should not be using protests as a cover for stealing, assault, and general mayhem. Individuals should not attack one another like a pack of wolves trying to bring down what they think is prey. If individuals do attack one another, it should not come as a surprise when those attacked defend themselves. Mess with a horse, get kicked, mess with a bull, get the horns, and mess with an armed man, get a bullet in you.
It’s not supposed to come to this. Government generally could have probably stopped it from coming to this if they’d acted appropriately 7 years ago in Ferguson and 6 years ago in Baltimore. I don’t remember any of this happening in Ferguson, but I specifically remember in Baltimore that several armed citizens/tea partiers/whatever set themselves up to guard certain properties, since the police weren’t doing it. In fact the Baltimore Police Department wasn’t doing much because they were told not to do much. Things only ended there when officers came in from who knows how many other jurisdictions to put down this de facto insurrection.
It should have been ended much quicker. Government should have sent the message that “it doesn’t matter what you are angry about, violence and destruction of property can not and will not be of and the rule of law will not be overturned,” instead, government sent the message that “if you are angry enough and we agree with you, you can do whatever you want and we will look the other way.”
The Rittenhouse jury saw that, and sent the message that we won’t turn a blind eye on destruction and mayhem while we single those who do defend themselves out for prosecution. This nation is not grade school where the principal would constantly turn a blind eye to bullying, but would suspend any kid who fought back against the bullies.
It’s time for the ordinary people of this nation to take back control and take back their neighborhoods, and it just might have started here.
As to these discovered words of non-wisdom, why even bother? Keith Overbite is apparently channeling Dan Savage. Been there, done that, not impressed. Next! We all know Krappernick’s, and it got old 3 years ago. Next! In fact, none of these idiots is bringing anything new to the table. We’ve seen it, heard it, read it, and a lot of the ordinary people of this nation just aren’t buying it anymore. Maybe some folks will look back on last year through emotionally addled eyes and call it the greatest year in our history since 1967, when the black community said no more, and, aided by a lot of liberal allies, changed everything for the better. Those of us who were there will say otherwise.
I think our best year is probably going to be 2024, when Trump comes roaring back to finish unfinished business, and Biden goes down in history as 46th of 46.
11 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: A Rittenhouse Verdict Inventory…Part III: Facts Don’t Matter”
Thanks for the COTD, and 😀 I am not surprised you disagree with my last sentence, well, probably MAINLY with the first part, since you also don’t think too highly of Dementia Joe. I wish I had a better alternative, but I really don’t. Like it or not, the GOP isn’t a viable alternative to the Democrats without Trump’s adherents, and Trump isn’t going to just vanish without vindication. I don’t blame him, or I don’t blame him completely. Neither should the ordinary people of this nation. The Democratic Party weaponized a pandemic and ginned up riots to gain power, and they didn’t give a damn how many ordinary people with jobs, mortgages, and families, who didn’t give a damn about age-old racist grievances, that they destroyed in the process.
However, the narrative that they tried to rely on once in 2008, where a leftist hero rode a wave of popular discontent all the way to the White House, didn’t work here. The narrative they wanted now was that a steady old hero of the trenches whose time had finally come rode a wave of popular discontent by oppressed people who were sick and tired of being sick and tired all the way to the White House and threw out the dangerous demagogue who had led the country down the wrong path, with a still hipper, cooler black sidekick than Obama, and brought the country back to stability, justice, and honor, while righting a lot of old wrongs that had stood way too long. Only this narrative was missing one thing: competence, and within a year this “hero” proved to be a reverse Midas who turned everything he touched to shit, and his hip compatriot turned out to be so incompetent that she had to be shoved into the wings.
The American people have realized they were sold a bill of goods, and they don’t like it. The perfect narrative to follow this up with is that the exiled populist ruler returned, leading his own army of the angry, the vengeful, the cheated, and the just plain patriotic, to throw the usurper out.
Unfortunately, he’s not going to get to do like Heraclius, the Byzantine emperor who overthrew the tyrant Phocas. Phocas, unpopular with the people and deserted by his followers, was dragged before Heraclius in chains. Aghast at seeing what Phocas had done, Heraclius snapped, “Is this how you have ruled, wretch?”
Phocas shot back, “And will you rule any better?” That was a big mistake, and it turned out to be his last. Heraclius was so enraged at this defiance that he drew his sword and cut off Phocas’ head (thunk!) on the spot. It’s not wise to mouth off to someone you are in the position most unsuitable to mouth off to.
CNN is starting to backpedal…
Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream, (Bom, bom, bom, bom)
Make him the cutest that I’ve ever seen, (Bom, bom, bom, bom)
Give him two lips like roses and clover, (Bom, bom, bom, bom)
Then tell him that his lonesome nights are over!
The Chordettes. And also a reference to another CNN smearjob.
Great COTD, this is off topic a bit…
I don’t watch TV much, at all, I haven’t had cable for 2 years, but I was at a hotel and when we turned on the TV Fox News was on. I was really frustrated by the coverage. They were discussing the unrest caused by the trial, but showing unrelated video from last summer and the original riots that prompted Kyle to go protect property. If I would’ve stepped away from the TV I would’ve thought the film was of yesterday’s riots caused by this trial. Ick. They can do better. No wonder I shut off TV.
I don’t know if it makes any difference, but I was thinking about the left’s newly beloved “JoJo” and the narrative that Kyle didn’t have any business being on scene.
We knew, previous to this, that “JoJo” Rosenbaum had just been released from a mental health institution. We knew that he was off his meds. We knew that he had several prior convictions for molesting children. We knew that the bag that he threw at Kyle was filled with toiletries that he took home from the mental institution, and that he had that in part because he hadn’t even gone home to change. He was released the night of the riot and immediately went on about the business of rioting. We know that he appeared hyper aggressive all night, we know that he called some of the people in Kyles group, quote,
Aside from that last sentence, Kyle knew none of this, so it really shouldn’t factor into the actions of Rittenhouse on that fateful August night. But if we’re going to armchair quarterback the plays that Kyle was making, maybe it makes sense to ask questions like “What was “JoJo” doing there?” Because there are a whole lot of reasons to believe that he wasn’t even aware the Blake shooting had occurred.
Was “JoJo” a BLM supporter? No clue. I don’t know how he could have been though. The Jacob Blake shooting was on August 23rd, the night of the shooting was the 25th. I’m not sure how long Rosenbaum was in treatment, but I have the impression that the News isn’t playing in mental institutions. This coupled with his choice expletives lead me to believe that he probably wasn’t even have been aware of why he was rioting. Rhetorically, even if he knew the name Jacob Blake, and even if he knew it was a BLM event, he could not possibly have access to anything other than word-of-mouth information. He never went home, he didn’t have a phone on him.
But more importantly, people are saying things like “Kyle crossed state lines” as if that’s actually meaningful. People cross state lines all the time, and the vagaries of Wisconsin law permitted him to enter with the rifle that he possessed, if you even want to assert that he, and not the owner of the rifle, who was in the car beside him, possessed the rifle as it lay in the trunk of the car. Kyle crossed the state line about a mile from where he lived in Antioch, and drove 20 minutes down the road over to where he commuted to for work, so do something either stupid or brave, depending on your point of view, and understanding that the latter is hardly ever mutually exclusive of the former.
“JoJo” however, had an interesting wrinkle. It struck me during the Rittenhouse trial: A Rittenhouse supporter was detained outside the courthouse because he was open carrying, which was generally legal, but the courthouse was within x feet of a school, so while the carry was legal, police wanted to ask him questions. This is obviously a cover, any authority could probably understand that the guy was carrying in relation to the court case, and not the school a block down the road, but…..
That meant there was a school just down the road. Gears Grinding… Wasn’t the courthouse really close to Car Source 1? Why Yes! The Car Source lot that Rosenbaum was shot at was kiddie corner from the school. And Joseph Rosenbaum was a convicted child molester. And because of his sex offender designation, it was illegal for him to be within X feet of a school.
Again… Rittenhouse couldn’t possibly know any of this. But like I said, if we’re going to armchair quarterback this…. If the mental institution hadn’t released Rosenbaum into a riot, if he had been on his meds, if he had actually gone home instead of rioting, if he hadn’t been at the Car Source parking lot, which was explicitly illegal for him to be, even absent a riot… then he most likely would still be alive.
“JoJo” is dead because a mentally unwell person decided to break multiple laws, riot and be where he had no legal ability to be, and then chased and attacked a young man who was carrying a Smith and Wesson M&P15 and was shot for his trouble.
We can discuss whether or not you think Kyle was heroic, “JoJo” sure as hell wasn’t, and giving a pet name to a convicted pedophile is… sure as hell something, lefties.
The left is already decidedly too cozy with people like Roman Polanski et al. Stupid.
Saved me a post! Comment of the Day, and well-done, sir!
Great COTD, Steve, and in line with my thinking: “It’s time for the ordinary people of this nation to take back control and take back their neighborhoods, and it just might have started here.”
Maintaining an orderly livable community is not a spectator event, especially when civil authority breaks down or fails to act.