President Kennedy was assassinated on this date in 1963, easily my most vivid memory of any national event in my lifetime. I am not an admirer of Jack Kennedy as a President or a human being, but it is hard to imagine a more wrenching disruption of the nation’s course, spirit, fate and future than what occurred that day in Dallas.
We watched everything unfold for the rest of the week on our black and white TVs, from Walter Cronkite’s somber announcement that the President of the United States was dead, to the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, through to the D.C. funeral procession and John-John’s salute.
The day still represents traumafor me, and I am sure to many others of my generation: when Grace and I were planning our wedding in 1980 and November 22 was suggested as the most convenient date, I insisted on the 23rd instead. This is also the date that kicks off the dreaded holiday season, stuffed with milestones good and bad (I count seven between now and New Years), periods of anxiety, nostalgia and anticipation in between, and too much longing and memories of loss to bear.
I hate it.
1. Yes, it’s an unethical Christmas tree. In the town of Grimsby in North East Lincolnshire, the official Christmas tree has been taken down from the town center after a local uproar declaring the 10 foot, conical artificial tree a “national embarrassment.” It also cost a thousand pounds. The town’s explanation was, shall we say, confusing, with Councillor Callum Procter claiming,
There are great plans for celebrating the start of the Christmas period next week. Unfortunately, the Christmas Market tree was installed too early, and we understand that people were confused and thought this was our civic tree. The tree has been removed temporarily today and our contractors are reinstalling again, for free, ahead of the market next week. I’m looking forward to seeing people enjoying the illuminations, the market, and the revamped St James’ Square with the civic tree and the special lighting on the Minster as part of the Christmas experience.
Wait…the town is going to put the same tree back up, and everyone will like it because it won’t be “too early”? I am dubious. Here’s the tree:
2. Ironically, they were watching an Alec Baldwin movie at the time... In St. Louis, a 2-year-old child picked up a loaded rifle and shot his father in the back over the weekend. The incompetent and irresponsible gun owner was found dead at the scene.
Well, it’s better that he was shot than the child or some other innocent victim.
As Ethics Alarms has opined in past incidents of this sort, the laws punishing negligence and carelessness by gun owners are nowhere near severe enough.
3. Now if these defendants are acquitted, the outrage will be deserved. I don’t think there’s much chance of that happening, fortunately. Defense attorneys rested their case in the Ahmaud Arbery trial last week after calling just seven witnesses including the shooter, who testified that Arbery did not threaten him in any way before he pointed his shotgun at the 25-year-old Black jogger and killed him. The three men charged in the murder claim that they were making a “citizen’s arrest” of someone they believed had been committing burglaries in the neighborhood over the past several weeks. The Georgia law that permitted citizen’s arrests was repealed after Arbery’s shooting, but the jury must weigh the evidence under the law in effect at the time.
Judge Timothy Walmsley ruled at the end of the trial, as the case went to the jury, that Georgia’s prior citizen’s arrest law was only applicable if an arresting citizen saw a felony committed and acted immediately. That would seem to doom the defendants, who deserve to be doomed. It will, as Jonathan Turley notes, be an obvious target for appeal. However, I don’t see how any other interpretation of the law is realistic.
4. An ethics alarms test on Carlsbad, California, and the town flunks. On Route I-5 in Carlsbad, the doors of a traveling armored truck flew open and sent bills flying. The driver stopped and began harvesting the cash, but quickly other motorists braked and did the same, many with apparently no intention of returning it. Some did turn the money over, but the California Highway Patrol is working to identify drivers suspected of pocketing cash and has urged those who took bills to return them within 48 hours “to avoid potential criminal charges.” One couple has already been arrested.
This is how the John Wayne-Kirk Douglas Western “The War Wagon” ends, you know.
5. But wait! Jeffrey Toobin got HIS job back! Howard Robinson, 68, a tenured professor at Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Service, was fired after graduate student Andrea Morin filmed a video of him appearing to masturbate during a Sept. 10, 2020 class. The student reported that she saw Morin “from above his waist, and observed him for a period of 1.5 minutes, during which time he was shaking, breathing hard, and saying ..’oh fuck yeah.’”
Robinson is suing to get his job back, claiming that his erectile dysfunction and low testosterone levels make it “virtually impossible for him to get an erection or masturbate.” What Morin observed, the lawsuit alleges, was not the professor masturbating but struggling not to urinate due to an enlarged prostate and other medical problems.
Apparently he always says ‘oh fuck yeah” when this happens.
The student is also suing Fordham, claiming that school administrators tried to persuade her not to report the incident, and that the professor who replaced Robinson in the class failed her in retaliation. It was her only failing grade (her GPA was 3.52), and as a result, she lost her scholarship and did not complete her course of study in time to graduate in May 2021. The delay in graduation prevented her from receiving a raise at her job, the lawsuit argues. Morin also alleges that Robinson emailed Morin two days after his Zoom performance and asked her “how she was feeling,” and said he was “thinking about her.”
- Zoom strikes again! But at this point, you can’t have any sympathy for the technology’s victims, can you?
- I have to remind myself to again thank my son for deciding that he could make better use of the fund his grandparents left him than spending it on college. as in “wasting it on college.”
- When you have to embarrass yourself that much to get your job back, is it really worth it?
- Ew. Just…ew.