Comment Of The Day: “Comment Of The Day: “Ethics And The Death Of Jordan Neely”

Further discussion of the Jordan Neely case is appropriate, as Daniel Penny, the US Marine veteran who apparently killed Neely, a homeless and mentally-disturbed man, while trying to protect passengers on a New York City subway train earlier this month, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter.

I expected that, and while the pressure being placed on authorities by race-hucksters trying to make this tragedy into George Floyd II probably played a part, I think Penny had to be charged. He used excessive force to engage in a defensible act of civic responsibility, and a man died. That’s manslaughter. “We believe that the conviction should be for murder because that was intentional,” said Neely family attorney Lennon Edwards said today. Right: it must have been intentional, because all white people are looking for excises to kill blacks. I can forgive the family for being angry, bitter, and legally ignorant, but Edwards’s statement is unforgivable.

Then there is the news media spin, with outlets like the Associated Press describing Neely as a “homeless street artist” to make him sound like he was restrained for painting portraits of subway riders without their consent. He was screaming at them and threatening them, and had harmed strangers before. The news media is already doing its Kyle Rittenhouse act on Penny. They want him to be tarred as a racist and murderer.

Here is Null Pointer’s Comment of the Day on Humble Talent’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Ethics And The Death Of Jordan Neely”:

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In order to live in a civilized society, citizens must agree to abide by a the rules of a social contract. No defecating in the streets. No fornicating in public. No random acts of aggression or violence. Things like that. Over the last few decades, a portion of the citizenry has decided to unilaterally rewrite the underlying rules of the social contract without any buy-in from the rest of the citizenry. What they don’t seem to understand is that this buy-in is necessary. If the vast majority of the citizenry does not agree on a new social contract, and the old contract is destroyed, then the civilization is destroyed. It reverts to fragmented tribal groups who refuse to cooperate with one another.

The attempt to normalize random acts of violence and aggression will never be agreed to by the majority of the citizenry. Safety is one of the base blocks in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. If civilization cannot offer a baseline level of safety to its citizenry, then there is no reason to buy into it. The entire reason people form civilizations is to obtain a baseline level of safety. If a civilization does not offer a baseline level of safety, then what reason is there for people to subvert their own desires, customs, culture and beliefs to a larger group? Especially when that larger group also demands a large portion of the fruits of individual’s labor to be handed over to them to support that civilization.

The civilization saboteurs can keep kicking the pillars out from under the civilization, but they will not be able to stop the collapse that occurs as a result. More riots may not have the effect they are hoping for.

18 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Comment Of The Day: “Ethics And The Death Of Jordan Neely”

  1. Too bad Mr. Penny (I hate the way they are calling him a “Marine.” He’s a former Marine, but they want to slime him further by making him a member of the macho, white supremacist, heteronormative U.S. military’s most macho branch.) didn’t simply shoot the guy with a gun. He tried a less lethal course and now he’s being held to some sort of professional standard of care that I doubt should apply. Shouldn’t it be at most negligent homicide? If he were a black guy, he’d be given a suspended sentence or be given a deal for time served later today.

    • If he were a black guy, he’d be given a suspended sentence or be given a deal for time served later today.

      Were he other complected, it’s not outside the realm of possibility he’d be proclaimed a selfless hero who bravely threw himself into harm’s way to help defenseless, total strangers; a White House invitation would most certainly ensue.

      Also possible? Neely did some serious and/or fatal harm, Penny chose not to intervene, and Lefty labels him a coward.

      Anyone believing this won’t have an effect on potential Good Samaritan activity, think again; seeing this as a possible outcome, potential Good Samaritans certainly will.

    • Other Bill,

      “Former Marine”?

      Have you ever asked a Marine?

      My understanding is that, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.”

      There are no “former Marines.”

      (Incidentally, I think I got this second-hand from Federal Judge Richard Kyle, who corrected someone who referred to him as a former Marine.)

      Semper Fi


  2. Just last year, California’s governor bragged about his $97 billion budget surplus. Now, California has defaulted on $18 billion they borrowed from the federal government. They were given COVID money to pay off the loan (???) but they spent it on other things, instead. Now they have defaulted in taxpayers in other states have to pay for it. In addition New York, Colorado, and Connecticut also are not paying off their loans.
    Now, the average per-capita income in the US is $56,000/year. Let’s look at the defaulting states.

    California $67,000
    New York $72,000
    Colorado $61,000
    Connecticut $77,000

    All the defaulting states are rich states. They are making poor states pay for their defaulted loans. One article I read explained that the money was siphoned off by fraud. The fraud stopped from 2013-2016 because the federal government gave them a grant to pay for software to stop it. When the grant stopped, California stopped using the software because they would rather let billions in aid be stolen than spend $2 million/year on software to stop it. This shows the problem with the government bureaucracy, no accountability.

    I don’t want to pay for California’s care-free attitude about taxpayer money. I want my state to put all federal taxes in escrow until these states are forced to pay their debt. I know that Washington will just cut off all federal aid to my state. Fine. we will just pay for those program with the ‘escrowed’ money. I am willing to bet that the federal taxes going to Washington is greater than the federal money flowing back to the state after paying for 2.2 million federal workers at an average salary of $77,000/year.

    • I would point out that safety comes before love and belonging in the hierarchy of needs diagram above. All those “Love is love” posters and demands for people to accept the LGBTQ+ communities’ propaganda based on the idea that people might kill themselves if every single other individual on the planet doesn’t rewire their brains to use the latest pronoun rules are talking about a need that is less important to people than basic safety. No amount of propaganda is going to rewire the basic needs inherent in humanity due to millions of years of evolutionary selection.

      Drug addiction is a choice. No one made anyone experiment with drugs.

      I would argue that untreated mental illness is also a choice. People CHOOSE not to take the medications that would minimize their symptoms. I have seen it with members of my own family who refused treatment for paranoid schizophrenia. These individuals are CHOOSING to be a danger to other people rather than take medication that would allow them to control themselves.

      Neely was offered treatment many times. He chose to continue living his life untreated, knowing it made him erratic and dangerous. He chose the path his life went down. I don’t see any reason to make Penny pay for this decision.

      The mentally ill have choices. Pretending that they don’t have any control over their state of mind is deliberately naive. I have known many people in my life who refused treatment for everything from bipolar disorder to paranoid schizophrenia. IT WAS A CHOICE. They made it. Just because they had periods where they were not lucid enough to be responsible for their actions does not mean they didn’t go through periods where they were lucid enough to know what refusing treatment meant. People need to be held accountable for the consequences of their actions. Putting the blame on the people who have to deal with those who refuse treatment while they are untreated is both unfair and unreasonable.

      • NP

        Congratulations on your COD and your reasoned post. Philosophically, except for death and most physiological conditions, I agree that all personal actions involve personal choice. Too many in society frequently assign victimhood as justification for deviant behavior or even illegal actions. This is particularly true of progressive politicians and media outlets if the situation fits their agenda. I agree that addiction is also a personal choice. In the area of mental illness, I am less firm in my agreement with your position. In cases involving mental defects, for me, it is less black and white. Not all mental illness conditions respond favorably to medication. While I am more inclined than not to excuse a person’s deviant behavior caused by a mental defect, I do not excuse those in society who chose to inflict untreated mental illness on society.

        Sometime ago in response to various abuses occurring in some mental hospitals, progressive politicians backed by the media shuttered most mental institutions. Rather than address the abuses and install safeguards to ensure treatments were necessary and proper, they declared the institutions evil. Once certified as evil institutions, they had to be eliminated. Then they did what they always do: they declared the problem solved and moved on in search of the next thing to complain about. What about the problem of releasing untreated mental illness on society? Well, the mentally ill are victims of society and their deviant behavior needs to be excused and accommodated. After all, progressives are the smartest and most caring in society and they know best.

        Most of society’s significant problems are complex. They do not lend themselves to simple solutions. This creates a problem for politicians, the media, and activists. To rally the populous, the problem and solution need to fit nicely into a sound byte so it can be repeated quickly and often. It is not important that the problem is not solved, or that the solution creates more problems. What is important for the politician is media exposure showing they are fighting for you, and that they care. They may even acknowledge that the solution may not be perfect, but “we have to do something”.

        • I think people have a right to go untreated, but they also have to accept the consequences of that action. If the consequence is violent behavior and jail time, they should not expect leniency due to their condition.

          People who want treatment should be given the opportunity to receive it. I don’t think it is ethical to lock up people against their will unless they have actually done something wrong. Most people with mental illness never harm other people. The ones who do harm others need to be dealt with instead of given a free pass to continue harming others. Menacing people on the streets shouldn’t be ignored just because someone is mentally ill.

          It is a complex problem.

    • Presumably it will have to be established by evidence in court, as in the Chauvin case. He was not allowed to use deadly force in such a situation, and there is a prima facie case that he did, since Neely died. The news media is already pushing that conclusion by referring in almost every story to the “deadly chokehold.”

    • I saw that, too. I wasn’t there and the videos shown on TV are not complete, I believe Penny released the submission hold as soon as Mr Neely lost consciousness, which is the intent of this type of choke hold if the person being held continues to be violent.
      As soon as Mr Neely blacked out, the hold was released, and Mr Penny and other bystanders put Neely into the recovery position, restoring blood flow.
      Some of this is speculative, as the news is being stingy about details and the uncut video hasn’t been shown.
      Excessive force would require Penny to continue the choke hold after Neely passed out. I haven’t heard anyone say that this was the case.

      • “Excessive force would require Penny to continue the choke hold after Neely passed out. I haven’t heard anyone say that this was the case.”

        Brendan, I think it’s been implied, and I even think there have been reports he held the chokehold despite being told the guy was unconscious or he should let him go. Much like the Chauvin case. Who knows, that may be wishful/biased thinking by the media.

        • 1. The law’s position is that you take your victim as you find him. If the guy had some special problem that made him especially vulnerable, that’s Penny’s bad luck. If the force kills someone when deadly force wasn’t justified, it’s excessive force.
          2. There is a reason why choke-holds have been banned in most police departments. They tend to kill people.

  3. “‘We believe that the conviction should be for murder because that was intentional,’ said Neely family attorney Lennon Edwards said today.”

    I suspect a manslaughter charge reduces the settlement value the family was hoping for.


  4. As Albert Mohler said:

    “What we’re looking at here is a massive breakdown of a society. And this is where we need to understand that it is simply implausible that you could have thousands upon thousands of persons who have basically exited from the rules of society still operating in some sense within the physical dimensions of that society and even within the confined constricting space of a subway. Something is basically wrong in this country when you have such a widespread problem and is basically acknowledged. And it has to be acknowledged. The man was actually on a list of the 50 persons of greatest concern, and yet the entire system seems to be absolutely shocked when the story ends tragically.”

    Emphasis mine.

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