Contrary to all predictions, we got our 8 ft, real, live Christmas tree, and it didn’t cost any more than last year. The hero was 40-year neighbor Ted West, who grabbed what we needed at his annual church Christmas tree sale which sold out in less than two days.
It was between Bing and Johnny Mathis for the Christmas season musical kick-off. It had to be Bing.
1. When taste alarms don’t work…Here’s a mall Christmas display.
How do these kind of things slip by?
2. Speaking of slipping by… The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled that a jury room in Giles County named after the United Daughters of the Confederacy and decorated with a Confederate flag as well as a portrait of Jefferson Davis mandated the reversal of a jury conviction of a black defendant for aggravated assault. The defendant objected on the grounds that the jury could not hold fair deliberations in such a room. Though the the trial court disagreed, but the appellate court threw out the verdict, concluding that …[b]ecause the defendant established that the jury was exposed to extraneous information or improper outside influence and because the State failed to sufficiently rebut the presumption of prejudice, the defendant is entitled to a new trial.”
I guess they have really suggestible juries in Tennessee. I cannot imagine my deliberation on a a jury or on anything being influenced by the name of the room I was in or what was hanging on the walls. Prof. Volokh notes,
Juries have deliberated in this room for more than four decades. Presumably, every black defendant convicted in that courtroom can now object and secure a new trial. The Court did not address this issue. And other courts in the state, and probably throughout the south, may have similar deliberation rooms, or even courtrooms. If these opinions catch on, countless convictions will be vacated.
The Ethics Alarms verdicts are that a) it is ridiculous that the jury room wasn’t purged of Lost Cause propaganda decades ago, and b) the court’s ruling is irresponsible virtue-signaling.
3. More tales of The Great Stupid…And speaking of virtue signaling, in Linlithgow, Scotland, a pub named The Black Bitch has changed its name to The Black Hound, because the old name has “racist and offensive connotations.” But it doesn’t, of course, unless the historical and local context of the name is ignored, and unless the self-explanatory sign accompanying the name is somehow confusing, which it isn’t. There is a local legend about a “black bitch” that is commemorated with a statue in town, and the word “bitch,” rather than the slur, means…well, you know.
On the plus side, it’s good to know that the Great Stupid isn’t just lowering IQs on this side of the Atlantic. [Pointer: Curmie]
4. More res ipsa loquitur… In Georgia, Gwinnett College Professor Bruce Carroll has been charged with shoplifting items worth nearly $700 from Target over the past three months. That’s a felony. He’s caught doing so on security footage, so the “alleged” requirement is a bit silly. Prof. Carroll chairs the criminal justice department at the school. What more needs to be said?
5. Oh yeah, this’ll teach ’em. The Biden administration will announce this week that no US government officials will attend the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. That’s being called “a diplomatic boycott” of the games being hosted by the brutal regime that also wrecked the world economy by covering up its Wuhan virus outbreak. The idea is that this boycott would allow the US to send a message on the world stage to China without preventing US athletes from competing. Democratic and Republican lawmakers have been calling for action to protest of China’s human rights abuses.
The message such a boycott will send is that the United States is gutless, and unwilling to take a meaningful stand against China’s international lawlessness and domestic brutality . Who cares what U.S. officials attend the Olympics? I doubt that the Chinese care very much, if at all. Now, if U.S. television networks don’t cover the games and U.S. athletes stay home, that will cost China prestige and money.