I Suppose It’s Sort of Comforting To Know That Princeton Is Just As Irredeemably Corrupted As Harvard And Yale

Princeton

Yes, it’s Rittenhouse again.

Sorry.

The case has proven to be a revealing test on integrity, civic literacy and whether bias has led to stupidity for much of the nation, including its institutions. And much of the nation has flunked.

Take Princeton...please. Its woke dean, Amaney Jamal, sent out an email to the campus on November 20 (I’ve been telling you I’m behind!) about the Rittenhouse verdict.

“Last August, Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed two protestors and wounded a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin. During his trial, he emotionally broke down on the stand, saying he was acting in self-defense. Today, he was acquitted of all six charges against him, including three of which were homicide related,” the email began.

Wrong, Tiger-Breath, as Johnny Carson might have said! First, there is little evidence those shot were “protesters.” They were all convicted felons, and what was going on wasn’t a protest, but rioting. Law-breakers like riots. Second, Rittenhouse’s emotional display on the stand isn’t why he was found not guilty by reason of self defense. The evidence is what acquitted him, and the applicable laws.

Then the Dean added that Rittenhouse was a “minor vigilante carrying a semi-automatic rifle across state lines, killing two people,” and stated that she “fail[s] to comprehend how he could be “declared innocent by the U.S. justice system.”

Continue reading

November Ending Ethics, 11/30/21: Unethical Appeal, Buried Corruption, The Usual Hypocrisy, A Supreme Court Threat, And That’s Not All…

Bye November

I’m currently weighing whether to try to get up the Ethics Alarms Best and Worst of 2021 this year, after several years in a row of failing to find the time and energy…I am also re-watching “Clickbait” in preparation for the special Ethics Alarms Zoom discussion that, I hope, will soon be scheduled for some tome in the next 31 days. As regular readers here know, my ambitions sometimes exceed my grasp.

Heh. Sometimes...!

1. Oh look, a frivolous appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, because #MeToo, or something…The prosecutors who unethically used improperly obtained evidence to put Bill Cosby prison are now asking the United States Supreme Court to throw out the appellate court ruling earlier this year that overturned his 2018 conviction for sexual assault on due process grounds. Cosby was released in June after serving less than three years of a three-to-10-year sentence. He should not have served any time at all. A ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that Cosby’s rights had been violated when the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office pursued a criminal case against him despite a binding “non-prosecution agreement” given to him by a previous district attorney. Cosby’s rights were violated, raping scum that he is.

Notice how feminists, civil rights activists on the left, anti-Trump fanatics and others who have a monopoly on Truth and Right (or think they do) increasingly want the law to yield to “justice”? There is no valid basis for this appeal. Zip, none. The lawyers filing it should be sanctioned for unethical conduct, just as Trump lawyers who filed suits to flip-flop the 2020 election without evidence have been sanctioned.

2. Speaking of the 2020 election, the shady dealings of Joe Biden’s son, quite possibly with Joe’s knowledge and even facilitation, were, we now know, kept from the public just long enough to ensure Donald Trump’s defeat. Today, Senator Chuck Grassley took to the Senate floor to expose more smoking gun documentation. Here’s the video:

Of course, none of the news networks, except maybe Fox, will run it, and I assume the major print sources sill ignore it. The situation is not helped by the fact that Grassley is 88 and has no business being in the Senate. He’s pretty sharp for 88, which is like saying Jane Fonda is pretty hot for 83. I don’t want to see her do a sequel to “Barbarella”, and I don’t want to have to watch Grassley stumble through an important presentation.

Continue reading

So: Facebook Decided That Kyle Rittenhouse Was Guilty, And Enabled False Media Narratives. Now What?

Facebook-Censorship

Facebook announced shortly after Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested after the Kenosha shootings, “We’ve designated the shooting in Kenosha a mass murder and are removing posts in support of the shooter.” At this point, there had been no investigation, no assessment of the evidence, and, obviously, no trial. Nonetheless, Facebook, which purports to be a protector of free speech and expression (but is not), decided to cut off debate as well as access to mitigating facts in the incident, and leave the field to one side only. Guess which? Here’s a hint: it’s the side that almost all of social media and Big Tech uses its power and influence to support. (See: 2020 Presidential election)

Want to begin with Facebook’s declaration that two deaths under still undetermined circumstances is a “mass murder”? Ironically, a jury that had far more information before it ultimately determined that this wasn’t a murder at all. Never mind: Facebook removed pro-Kyle Rittenhouse posts, including posts from legal scholars attempting to explain why the teen could well have a valid self-defense claim. Then the platform manipulated its search engine so you couldn’t find any non-negative references to Rittenhouse that slipped through.

Continue reading

“The Twelve Lies Of Rittenhouse”

Sadly, this is how my mind works and has always worked, if you can call it “working.” Once I wrote in the previous post that my mention of twelve lies in regard to the Kyle Rittenhouse case suggested a Christmas song parody, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head until I wrote it. Fortunately, there were more than twelve lies to play with, or the challenge would have been impossible.

Here it is; do with it as you choose. The video above is provided so you can sing along: Continue reading

Take The Ethics Alarms Rittenhouse Case Pledge: “I Vow To Slap Down The False Narrative Whenever I Encounter It, Forever!”

Witherspoon tweet

The five jagged prongs of the fantasy version of the Rittenhouse case are 1) He carried a semi-automatic weapon “across state lines” to cause trouble; 2) the teen is a white supremacist, hence a racist, and was “hunting” virtuous social justice crusaders justly and peacefully protesting ; 3) the three men he shot were innocent victims, and two of them were murdered, 4) the rioting Rittenhouse was opposing was a protest over a white police officer brutally killing an unarmed black man, and 5) the jury’s failure to convict resulted from the inherent racism of the justice system.

Within those prongs are at least (let’s see…) twelve lies that can no longer be excused by confusion over the facts. Nor is it an excuse that someone like Witherspoon has been reading and watching the wrong news reports (as well as getting her political views from within a progressive bubble), because every American knows or should knows that such sources cannot be believed or trusted.

Continue reading

Thanks, Professor: We Needed That

Professor Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr. is criminal law specialist who trains Harvard Law students and practices law. He has just issued a superb explanation and analysis of the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict—fair, objective, and best of all, readable by those whose eyes usually glaze over at legal scholarship.

It should, in a just and sane society, permanently shut up—embarrass, even— the politicians, celebrities, and social media dolts who are still calling the jury’s verdict “racist” or an indictment of the legal system. Of course, it won’t. If there is a more annoying example of people loudly braying uninformed opinions about a technically complex matter that they know little or nothing about, I can’t think of it right now.

On “The View,” ABC’s depressingly popular “gullible idiots watching progressive idiots” news show, panel leader Whoopi Goldberg (because in the land of the blind…well, you know the metaphor), declared that Rittenhouse was a murderer. People will take that as authority, you know. She played a video of Anthony Huber’s father on CNN holding an urn containing his son’s ashes and emoting bitterly against Rittenhouse going free, as if the lament of a parent in such situations ever is anything but an irrelevant appeal to emotion. Then, armed with this irrefutable “evidence,” Whoopi gave her verdict on Rittenhouse, saying of Huber (who was shot while beating the teen with a skateboard), “He saw someone get shot. He thought he was doing the right thing. So … even all the excuses in the world does not change the fact that three people got shot. Two people were murdered. To me it’s murder. I’m sorry.”

I’m sorry too, Whoopi. I’m sorry you lack the sense of responsibility to keep your opinions on issues you don’t have the knowledge and background to understand to yourself, and instead wield them to make the public stupid. I’m sorry you believe “thinking you are doing the right thing” is ever a justification for doing the wrong thing (and you don’t believe that yourself: were the men who lynched Emmett Till blameless because they thought they were doing the right thing?). You have no way of knowing what Huber thought anyway. I’m sorry you are so ignorant that you can say something like “if he shot them and they died, then he’s a murderer,” which is redolent of your failure to take the initiative over the years to fill the gaps in your high school dropout education. Mostly I’m sorry that you’re not getting enough work as an actress and comic, both occupations you’re brilliantly qualified to do, so you’re stuck with being an incompetent pundit for a living.

Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Comment Of The Day: A Rittenhouse Verdict Inventory…Part III: Facts Don’t Matter”

jojo

Russian dolls-style Comments of the Day can be the best feature of Ethics Alarms, when erudite commenters do a tag-team job on complex issues. So it is in this case, with Humble Talent taking off from Steve-O’s astute chain reaction observation.

What is remarkable to me is that the conversations about Rittenhouse’s travails somehow never explored the fact that all three of those he shot were felons with significant criminal records. The first I realized this was when I was directed to Ann Coulter’s piece.

While it is irrefutable that this information should not have been brought to the jury’s attention because it was inherently prejudicial, it is also irrefutable that the fact that the three men were 1) violent lawbreakers and 2) white fatally undercuts much of the Left’s narrative, as mapped out by the news media. It is particularly weird that now, after the verdict and when the proclivities of the three men have finally been widely revealed, the Rittenhouse-Deranged are still talking about them like they were peaceful demonstrators who wanted nothing more than to ensure racial justice, social equity, rainbows and moonbeams for all humankind. Actor-activist (good actor, fatuous activist) Mark Ruffalo’s tweet was a classic of the genre: “We come together to mourn the lives lost to the same racist system that devalues Black lives and devalued the lives of Anthony and JoJo.”

Huh? “Jo-Jo” raped five boys. It’s awfully hard to “devalue” the life of someone like that, who has had negative value to society. If Ruffalo knows this, then his tweet is demented. If he doesn’t, then it’s irresponsible. Either way, shut up and act, Mark.

Here is Humble Talent’s Comment of the Day on the post (by Steve-O-in NJ), “Comment Of The Day: A Rittenhouse Verdict Inventory…Part III: Facts Don’t Matter”

***

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 Kyle’s group, quote, “niggers”.

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.

Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: A Rittenhouse Verdict Inventory…Part III: Facts Don’t Matter

dominos

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.

Continue reading

To Be Fair, Sometimes Twitter Justifies Its Existence: The Hilarious Maria Shriver Takedown

SG-Rittenhouse-SG-Shriver-GW-Ted-Kennedy-1200x630

Maria Shriver, once a Peabody and Emmy award-winning journalist for NBC News and now an occasional guest host, took to Twitter to post, “I’m trying to take a beat to digest the Rittenhouse verdict. My son just asked me how it’s possible that he didn’t get charged for anything. How is that possible? I don’t have an answer for him. The idea that someone could be out with a semi-automatic weapon, kill people, and walk is stunning. I look forward to hearing from the jury. This is a moment for them to explain how they came to their decision.”

Shriver’s brain fart is reminiscent of Jimmy Carter’s fatal debate fantasy on 1980 when he claimed that had been discussing nuclear policy with his daughter Amy. If anything, Shriver’s tale is more unlikely: her sons are 24 and 28. Aren’t these products of the best private schools better educated than to be mystified by the basics of criminal law? And how could Shriver think that Rittenhouse wasn’t charged with any crimes?

Knowing a hanging curve right over the plate when he sees one, Ted Cruz, as they like to say of Republicans, “pounced.” He tweetstormed,

Continue reading

Weekend Ethics End Notes, 11/21/21: Rittenhouse Hangover Edition

July 5 Hangover

Arghh. Here’s one more thing to blame on Kyle Rittenhouse: in focusing on the deranged reactions to the verdict yesterday, I missed the opportunity to flag the anniversary of a landmark in world ethics: the beginning of the Nuremberg war crime trials on November 20, 1945. The trials were conducted by an international tribunal made up of judicial representatives from the United States, the Soviet Union, France and Great Britain. The defendants faced charges ranging from crimes against peace, to crimes of war, to crimes against humanity. The trials lasted 10 months and consisted of 216 court sessions.

There is no question that had the war turned out differently, it would have been Allied generals and officials facing war crimes charges. It is often said that the trials were unprecedented, but there was a precedent, and it was cited as one at the time: the 1865 trial of Capt. Wirz, the Confederate Commandant of the Andersonville prison. That trial raised many of the same ethical issues as its successor. I have serious reservations about the ethics of the Nuremberg Trials, and I am sure that in this I am reflecting the objections of my father, a WWII veteran who felt they were the height of hypocrisy. “All wars are crimes against humanity,” he said.

On October 1, 1946, 12 Nazi leaders were sentenced to death. Seven others were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 10 years to life, and three were acquitted.

1. Sorry, more Rittenhouse ethics offenses:

Continue reading