Like his counterpart in the White House, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, (D, of course), is addicted to completely useless climate change measures. Last week he signed the bipartisan Clean Air Act, and in the subsequent celebration of this epic moment, a State Senator spouted rhetoric about waiting for Washington, D.C. to “save the planet.” Anyone who actually understands anything about the vicissitudes of climate change and the wildly complex interaction of factors affecting it knows that Washington, D.C. can’t “save the planet,” but Lamont’s state really can’t save the planet. The Manhattan Contrarian explains that Connecticut…
…has a population of only about 3.6 million. Its greenhouse gas emissions are in the range of about 41 MMTCO2e per year, which is well less than 0.1% of total world annual emissions of about 49,000 MMTCO2e. You could zero out Connecticut’s emissions entirely, and it wouldn’t even amount to a rounding error in the world total. Indeed, the increase that occurs each year in China’s CO2 emissions is a multiple of Connecticut’s total emissions. (According to Our World in Data here, from 2019 to 2020, latest years given, China’s CO2 emissions went from 10.49 to 10.67 billion tons, a one-year increase of about 180 million tons, or well more than four times the total annual emissions of Connecticut.)
Warning: reading this story is likely to make you feel hopeless. For this is what the hyper-racialization and resulting division of American society breeds, and it can only go in one direction from here. Hint: it will not be a direction that will lead anywhere good.
A brief summary:
In Windsor, Connecticut—I once spent a summer there!—Amazon contracted to have a warehouse built, with the promise of jobs and economic revitalization.
Over the past three months, workers building the Amazon warehouse claimed to have found nooses, or ropes that looked like nooses, or “noose-like” ropes at the construction site.
Protests have been organized by activists who have never seen the alleged nooses. Demands are being made for police to find and charge the noosemakers. The presence of the nooses, if they are nooses, is being called a “hate crime” by the local NAACP.
Local community activists have organized several demonstrations to demand that Amazon take stronger action to ensure the safety of Black construction workers. One such demonstration included members from the Huey P. Newton Gun Club and the New Black Panthers, who showed up at the construction site carrying guns. The armed activists said they were there to defend the Black workers and make them feel empowered to speak their mind.
Amazon and the other companies involved claim they have done everything they can. They have delayed construction twice, adding security (to protect workers from the nooses, apparently) and cameras at the site and putting up $100,000 in award money for anyone who can provide information about the nooses.
The police say their investigation has determined that there were only two nooses, with six others being ropes with the kind of loop often used in construction projects.
Chuck Bonniwell and Julie Hayden, a husband and wife team, co-hosted the “Chuck and Julie “show on KNUS AM TalkRadio in Denver. Riffing about the impeachment this week, Bonniwell said, “All right, here, a little after 1:30, talking about the never-ending impeachment of Donald Trump. Then he added, chuckling, ” You know, you wish for a nice school shooting to interrupt the impeachment news….” Julie quickly jumped in, saying, “No! No! Don’t even — don’t even say tha!. No, don’t even say that! Don’t call us. Chuck didn’t say that!”Still laughing, Bonniwell tried a save, finishing his handing sentence with “in which no one would be hurt.”
Jason Salzman of the Colorado Times Recorder, who said that after hearing Hayden’s plea for listeners not to call their complaints about her husband’s joke, he “called anyway.” Sandy Phillips, who lost her daughter in the Aurora theater shooting, posted on Twitter: “This guy should be fired. Total ignorance. Shootings hurt us all … just ask witnesses and first responders. You don’t have to be shot to be wounded.”
Bonniwell isued an apology the next evening after 24 hours of criticism on the “Chuck & Julie” Twitter feed, saying, “I made an inappropriate comment meant as a joke. I’m sorry it was not received that way.” Too late. KNUS fired Chuck and Julie later that evening:
Was this a fair decision?
I’m not sure it was. As I have held here on other occasions, those who take extemporaneously for a living, especially when they are expected to be amusing, are constantly walking a high wire. Occasional gaffes, including moments when certain metaphorical landmines are tread-upon or lines are crossed, are inevitable, and the more creative and bold the talent, the more likely such events are. A no-tolerance policy is unreasonable, and it is virtually always the ethical approach to treat the first such error with a warning or punishment short of dismissal. Virtually, because there may always be single gaffes that are so terrible and potentially destructive to the talent’s employer that firing is the only response.
Thus the question here is whether Chuck Bonniwell’s comment falls in the latter category. My view si that it does not:Continue reading →
The University of Connecticut chapter of the NAACP is circulating a video that shows two students walking through a parking lot blithely shouting out “nigger.” It also sent out a tweet stating, “If you have any information about this racist recording at UConn, please email email@example.com We will not tolerate racist behavior on this campus.”
To make a relevant point at the outset, this is not “racist conduct,” but racist speech at most. Racist speech is constitutionally protected (that First Amendment thingy), but you wouldn’t know it from the Connecticut law the two students have been charged with violating. It decrees:
Any person who, by his advertisement, ridicules or holds up to contempt any person or class of persons, on account of the creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race of such person or class of persons, shall be guilty of a class D misdemeanor.
Ridiculing individuals based on gender or sexual orientation is apparently just fine, though: it’s an old law. The charge is punishable by a maximum of 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $50, or both.
Jarred Karal and Ryan Mucaj, the two idiots involved, face possible expulsion from UConn for violating the school’s code of conduct. That’s a separate issue. A school has a right to make reasonable demands on student comportment, and civility, but what is “reasonable” is an ethical gray area. If the students thought they were alone, for example, I am not sure that a state school should be able to punish them. These morons were just shouting the offensive word into the air. Can they be punished for saying “nigger” in their dorm rooms, when they are alone? If the campus NAACP’s circulation of the video is what is disrupting the campus, why isn’t that a punishable offense? The NAACP circulating the video upset and offended more students than the parking lot shouts. Continue reading →
If something undesirable happens to an African American, the culture is pushing the norm that the misfortune ought to be presumed to be the result of racism until decisively proven otherwise. Similarly, if a white individual is responsible for a black citizen’s plight, deserved or not, the white individual’s motivations are also presumed to be based on racial animus.
Both presumptions are nothing less than sanctified bias and prejudice, as much so as racism itself.
A case study from Washington, D.C.:
About a hundred seventh and eighth-grade students from Shelton Intermediate School in Shelton, Connecticut were visiting the nation’s Capital last week. The group was supervised by twelve chaperones, and the itinerary included the usual museums, monuments and landmarks, including the newest attraction, the Smithsonian’s African American Museum.
While touring the museum, a male student leaned over a balcony and drooled or spit down on the visitors below. His saliva struck one of them, and the victim was black. As a result of the incident, the entire group was ejected from the museum. Continue reading →
Hayes and Komisarjevky, the Cheshire, Conn. killers
Steve-O-in NJ’s Comment of the Day on my post about the recent SCOTUS capital punishment opinion spawned another COTD. The immediate catalyst was my answer, within the post, to Steve’s query about what crimes I think warrant executions. One of my answers referenced the Cheshire, Connecticut home invasion and murders, which I wrote about extensively here.
“The Cheshire, Conn. murders.” This is the crime that broke my opinion of the death penalty. I was initially ultra-liberal on this issue, thinking that the death penalty was just not acceptable today, but moderated considerably.
My initial view was a rather unexamined belief, essentially unchanged from what I had expressed in a middle school essay a few years before the home invasion. In that middle school essay, I decried the state of Connecticut for “murdering” Michael Ross, a jolly good chap who killed 8 souls before the age of 24. (Stipulated, even in middle school, I conceded wooden jails of the Wild West, etc, could not reliably contain dangerous individuals, necessitating the death penalty.)
My main argument was that killing was WRONG. This was axiomatic, not allowing counter argument. The only mitigating factor for execution, the need to protect the public, was adequately addressed with modern maximum-security prisons.
Ross was the last criminal successfully executed by Connecticut, making the opportunities to reflect on an actual case study vanishingly rare. However, Connecticut had several placed on its death rolls, each hopelessly tied up in appeals (mostly by design). A distressing number of capital indictments came from prosecutors in Waterbury, the major city in northwestern part of the state. Waterbury has a unique reputation for corruption second to none (in a state with Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport, mind you); disgraced ex-governor Rowland was employed by the city when he was released from prison. Continue reading →
Transgender high school sophomores Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood came in first and second place respectively in the 100-meter race at Connecticutt’s State Open Finals this month. Miller also won the top prize for the 200-meter race. She and Yearwood were born male, but they now identify as females, whatever that means.
Wow, what a coincidence! The only transgender females running, and they finished first and second! What are the odds of that?
“Some parents within Connecticut’s high school track and field circle expressed outrage,” ABC News notes. Some?
It is astounding to me that any parents or runners—though the students are subject to daily PC brainwashing, so I’m sure that’s a factor—put up with the ridiculous and anti-competitive Connecticut Athletic Conference rules. They generously allow high school athletes to compete based on the gender with which they identify. Says ABC in another masterpiece of equivocation, “Critics say the rules give male-to-female transgender people a competitive edge over cisgender women — whose biological sex matches their gender identity — because some have higher testosterone levels than non-trans females.”
Oh, critics say that, do they? How about a slight edit: “Male-to-female transgender people have competitive edge over cisgender women whose biological sex matches their gender identity because some have higher testosterone levels than non-trans females.”
“I think it’s unfair to the girls who work really hard to do well and qualify for Opens and New Englands [competitions],” sophomore sprinter Selina Soule, who finished sixth in the 100-meter State Open Finals, told the Hartford Courant. “These girls, they’re just coming in and beating everyone. I have no problem with them wanting to be a girl.”
The abuser and his enabler, who is also a devoted champion of protecting women in the workplace for male predators unless the particular predator is useful to her.
Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn) was quick to demand the Rep. John Conyers resign when the facts surfaced of his habitual sexual harassment of staff and other women. She backed the shaming and eviction of Minnesota Senator Al Franken, another Democrat, based on allegations of sexual misconduct. She has been a vocal champion of the #MeToo movement on Capitol Hill.
But it has all been posturing, for Esty doesn’t embrace the actual principles of It’s Time or #MeToo. Like so many other employers, businesses and cultures, like NBC, CBS, Hollywood, the Weinstein Company, the Metropolitan Opera, the Trump White House, and, of course, the Catholic Church, Esty believes that sexual harassment and sexual abuse are unacceptable and a reason to point fingers and level accusations when someone else does it, enables it or ignores it, but when the abusive employee is your own and is a “high performer,” as in “a star,” it’s different somehow.
When she learned that her own valuable Congressional aide, chief of staff Tony Baker, had engaged in harassment and abuse of Esty’s own female staff members, Esty moved to protect Baker rather than the women. He was not dismissed from his position until three full months after his wrongful and illegal conduct was known to her, continuing to work with the same women he had threatened. Then she signed a non-disclosure agreement and paid him $5000, while also writing a glowing recommendation so he could be free to harass women someplace else. Baker got himself employed by Sandy Hook Promise, a gun control group, which dismissed him after the full story of the reasons behind his leaving Esty’s staff came out last week.
“You better fucking reply to me or I will fucking kill you,” Baker had said in a voice mail message to Estes aide Anna Kain. Kain was granted a restraining order against Baker after she signed a sworn affidavit that the Esty chief of staff punched and threatened to kill her. This and more was still not enough for Rep. Esty to see her way to firing him. Woke is apparently not the same as “awake.” Or sincere. Continue reading →
1. “The Rifleman” and “Fix the problem.” I recently was interviewed by a graduate student in organizational leadership and ethics. One thing we discussed was how popular culture in America once dedicated itself to teaching ethical values and ethics problem-solving, especially in shows aimed at young audiences. This is not so true any more; indeed, popular culture models unethical conduct at least as often today.
I told my interviewer about recently watching an episode of “The Rifleman,” the early ’60s TV Western about a single father raising his young son while being called upon to use his skill with a rifle to fight for civilization in the harsh frontier. In the episode, hero Lucas McCain (played by the under-rated Chuck Connors) had to deal with an old friend, now an infamous outlaw, who had come to town. (The ethical conflict between personal loyalty and an individual’s duty to society was a frequent theme in Westerns.) Lucas was a part-time deputy, and at the climax of the episode, his friend-gone-bad is prepared to ride out of town to escape arrest for his latest crime. Lucas tells him not to leave, and that if he tries to escape, Lucas will have to let his custom-made rifle settle the matter, as usual. (Peace-loving Lucas somehow managed to kill over a hundred men during the run of the series.) Smirking, his friend (Richard Anderson, later known as the genius behind “The Six Million Dollar Man”), says that he knows his old friend is bluffing. For Lucas owes him a lifetime debt: he once saved “The Rifleman’s” life. You’re a good man and a fair man, the villain says. “You won’t shoot me. I know you.” Then he mounts his horse , and with a smiling glance back at “The Rifleman,” who is seemingly paralyzed by the ethical conflict, starts to depart. Now his back is all Lucas has to shoot at, doubling the dilemma. You never shoot a man in the back, an ethical principle that the two officers who killed Stephon Clark somehow missed. We see McCain look at his deadly rifle, then again at the receding horseman. Then, suddenly, he hurls his rifle, knocking his friend off his horse. The stunned man is arrested by the sheriff, and says, lamely, as he’s led away. “I knew you wouldn’t shoot me.”
I love this episode. It teaches that we have to seek the best solution available when we face ethics conflicts, and that this often requires rejecting the binary option presented to us, and finding a way to fix the problem.
Of course, it helped that Chuck Connors used to play for the Dodgers, and could hurl that rifle with the accuracy of Sandy Koufax.
2. Here we go again! Now that anti-gun hysteria is again “in,” thanks to the cynical use of some Parkland students to carry the anti-Second Amendment message without having to accept the accountability adults do when they make ignorant, dishonest, and illogical arguments in public, teachers and school administrators are back to chilling free speech and expression by abusing their students with absurd “no-tolerance” enforcement. At North Carolina’s Roseboro-Salemburg Middle School, for example, a 13-year-old boy in the seventh grade was suspended for two days for drawing a stick figure holding a gun.
I drew pictures like this—well, I was little better at it—well into my teens. It’s a picture. It isn’t a threat. It isn’t anything sinister, except to hysterics and fanatics without a sense of perspective or proportion—you know, the kind of people who shouldn’t be trusted to mold young minds. “Due to everything happening in the nation, we’re just being extra vigilant about all issues of safety,” said Sampson County Schools’ Superintendent Eric Bracy, an idiot. How does punishing a boy for a drawing make anyone safer? It makes all of us less safe, by pushing us one step closer to government censorship of speech and thought.
Then we have Zach Cassidento, a high school senior at Amity High Regional School in Connecticut who was suspended and arrested —arrested!—for posting a picture of his birthday gift, an Airsoft gun, on Snapchat. He was not charged, but was suspended for a day from school….for posting, outside of school, on his personal account, the picture of an entirely legal toy gun (It shoots plastic pellets: my son has several of them).
The people who do this kind of thing to children in violation of their rights as Americans are the same people who cheer on David Hogg while signing factually and legally ridiculous petitions. They should not be permitted to teach, and this kind of conduct ought to be punished.
Where is the ACLU? For the organization not to attack these abuses is an abdication of the organization’s mission. Continue reading →
1 Again I ask: how does democracy survive this? It is so discouraging to read about facts that “the public has a right to know,” that are”fit to print,” or that must be revealed if democracy is not to “die in darkness,” and know, know, that they will not be honestly or properly covered by the mainstream news media for purely partisan and ideological purposes. It is doubly discouraging to know that so many Americans are either so brainwashed or without integrity to begin with that they will defend this betrayal…and even attack those who try to let the truth out.
There was a story published earlier this week by Politico, which is largely left-leaning but a major source of political news on the web. It was thoroughly sourced, and thoroughly shocking.
It described how Obama administration secretly quashed efforts to stop Hezbollah from funding its operations through criminal enterprises in the United States, deliberately sabotaging US law enforcement’s efforts to fight terrorist drug and money laundering operations, by curtailing long-standing efforts to interdict cocaine shipments in the U.S. by Hezbollah, the terrorist organization closely allied with Iran.
The federal and international effort to root out Hezbollah’s crime network predated the Obama administration:
The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.
But President Obama was determined to get his nuclear deal with Iran done in his second term, so this effort was suspended by executive directive. “This was a policy decision, it was a systematic decision,” said Politico’s on-the-record source David Asher, a Defense Department official charged with tracking Hezbollah’s worldwide criminal enterprise “They serially ripped apart this entire effort that was very well supported and resourced, and it was done from the top down.” Continue reading →