Oh, Why Not? Let’s Start Off 2021 With “Mostly Peaceful Protests” Over The Police Shooting Of A Black Man In Minnesota! Will BLM And The News Media Use It As More Evidence Of Systemic Racism?

Idd

They’ll sure try!

Here is how the New York Times described the death of Dolal Idd:

“A Minneapolis police officer shot and killed a man during a traffic stop on Wednesday evening, the first killing by a member of the department since George Floyd’s death in May, a police spokesman said.”

Let’s see: subsequent accounts show that it was not, in fact, a “traffic stop”: police had been looking for Idd as part of a firearms investigation. The account was also misleading in that it didn’t mention that Idd fired on police officers first. And, as I guess I will have to keep writing since the news media will not (although I guarantee jurors in the George Floyd trial will hear it many times), it is far from clear that the sainted Floyd was in fact killed by a police officer.

Other than that, the Times reports is pretty accurate for modern journalism; only three major misrepresentations in a single sentence of 35 words.

Since any shooting of a black man by U.S. police is presumed to be based on racism, a mob of demonstrators appeared at the scene, blocking traffic for several blocks and starting a bonfire in the middle of the street. Authorities urged them not to riot or commit arson, and they did not, apparently because the temperature of ten degrees was too cold for them. Certainly the facts of the shooting couldn’t have had anything to do with it: most of the other police-involved deaths over the summer justified riots no more than this one did, but riots we got.

Multiple police vehicles had converged on Idd’s car. He tried to elude the police, and when he realized he couldn’t, started shooting at the officers. They shot back; of course, as I’m sure we will hear from Joe Biden or someone, they should have tried to “wing” him. Sadly, he was killed at the scene.

Such a loss. The Star Tribune reports,

In 2019, Idd was convicted of illegally possessing and firing a gun in Hennepin County. The charges say, in July 2018, Idd fired a gun in the basement shower of his parents’ home around 1 a.m. with two children sleeping nearby.

Idd’s mother told Eden Prairie police that her son was not permitted in the house because “he scares the children.” Police arrested him later in Bloomington with a 9mm handgun that had been reported stolen in North Dakota, according to charges.

We haven’t heard from Idd’s parents and friends since the shooting, but then Ben Crump hasn’t been hired yet to represent them. I’m sure we will soon be told that Idd was a wonderful human being who wouldn’t hurt a fly, and who was in the process of turning his life around until those racist police snuffed out his beautiful life. Just look at his picture (above)! Now who could believe someone with such a sweet face was trying to kill cops? Here’s another one that is being used by the media and a GoFundMe page:

Idd2

Anyone can see he was harmless! There has already been a vigil, as CAIR sensed an opportunity. Idd was a Muslim, and as we all know, Islam is a non-violent religion.

Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 9/16/2020: For Some Unexplained Reason, Police Officers Are Feeling Unappreciated

1. Even humor sites have to do better than this...FARK is an amusing news aggregator that headlines links to interesting stories from around the web with facetious comments, puns and snark, most of the time avoiding gratuitous political slant, This headline, however, was an outright deception:  Sure the police might have some bad apples, but a review of 2,400 cases only found misconduct 54% of the time.

If you read the story, you will find that those were not just cases, but cases in which innocent people had been convicted of crimes. A study showing 54% of all cases showing police misconduct would be a damning result, but if someone is wrongly convicted of a crime, there is likely to be misconduct somewhere in the process. For those cases, 54% strikes me as low. Moreover, while the headline implies that all of the misconduct found in the study was attributable to police, that’s not true either. The study found that in  the cases studied, 54% showed misconduct by police or prosecutors.

FARK’s headline was just gratuitous and unjust police-bashing. Not funny.

2. For the record…it’s 5:58 am, and I’m still furious over the cretinous response from the Boston sportswriter I discussed in item #4 of last night’s late warm-up. Continue reading

Sunday Ethics Apparitions, 8/16/2020: Triceratops? What Triceratops? What IS A Triceratops?

1. From the Ethics Alarms cultural literacy files. I remember this re- tweet by acclaimed novelist Joyce Carol Oates from 2015; I can’t believe I didn’t post on it then. (Pointer to Ann Althouse for reminding me of it today):

Now,  I would like to believe that Oates was joking (I’m not sure about Tilley), but she is not known for madcap humor. Apparently “Jurassic Park,” Steven Spielberg  and popular culture are beneath her, and she was so focused on literature in school that dinosaurs completely missed her attention. I regard this as being estranged from one’s culture, and I regard that as irresponsible.

2. Question: If Twitter is taking down tweets involving hate speech, why is unequivocal hate like this permitted? Robert Trump, the President’s younger brother, died yesterday. The President wrote,

“It is with heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight. He was not just my brother, he was my best friend. He will be greatly missed, but we will meet again. His memory will live on in my heart forever. Robert, I love you. Rest in peace.”

Yet the hateful, vicious “resistance” couldn’t rise to a moment of bipartisan decency. The hashtag #wrongtrump, is the second highest trending on Twitter, with more than 80,000  tweets last I checked. Among the the ghouls were journalist David Leavitt., ” who tweeted, “What did he promise the devil for the Grim Reaper to take the #wrongtrump ???” (5.7 thousand people “loved” the sentiment), and Bishop Talbert Swan, president of the Springfield, Massachusetts, branch of the NAACP (and a pastor, which will perhaps help illuminate my attitudes toward organized religion), who wrote “Dear Grim Reaper, You took the #wrongtrump.” That one got 10,000 hearts.

These are mean, bad people with dead ethics alarms. Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 6/9/2020: “If” And Silver Linings

Good Morning!

My father’s favorite poem, which I read at his funeral service at Arlington National Cemetery in 2010—-was it really that long ago?—is especially relevant and valuable now. Some of the woke-addled have “canceled” Rudyard Kipling because of his offenses against presentism (and because he ended “If” with female-excluding nouns). This is like cutting off your nose to spite your face, or perhaps lobotomizing yourself to spite your character. However you choose to describe it, not being able to channel “If” when all about you are losing their heads—like now—is a severe and unnecessary handicap.

1. “Forget it, Jake. It’s The Times.” Nobody at the Times protested, as far as we know, when the paper, over the weekend, ran a story titled, “Vote for Trump? These Republican Leaders Aren’t on the Bandwagon” that claimed, “Former President George W. Bush won’t support the re-election of Mr. Trump.”  The article attributed this revelation about George W. Bush’s intentions (and Jeb’s) to unnamed sources “familiar with their thinking.” This is the variety of fake news Ethics Alarms categorizes as Psychic News, based on mind-reading and nothing else. Speaking on behalf of Bush 43, a spokesman  told the Texas Tribune, “This is completely made up. He is retired from presidential politics and has not indicated how he will vote.” Ford reiterated this statement to the Times, indicating that the former president would stay out of the election and speak only on policy issues. Has The Times retracted or corrected its claim? Of course not.

I would personally be shocked if George or Jeb voted for Trump, given how much the Bush family hates him for his personal insults against them, but that doesn’t mean a newspaper can declare as fact that they won’t. Their other big scoops were that Colin Powell wouldn’t vote for Trump, against based on those who have read his mind, though we know he voted for Clinton in 2016 (he said so) and that Mitt Romney, who voted to convict Trump in the impeachment trial just to stick a metaphorical thumb in the President’s eye, would also abstain. Oh…I almost forgot Cindy McCain, who wouldn’t even invite the President to her husband’s funeral. The Times says she’s not supporting him either. Stop the presses!

The silver lining here is that the evidence that the mainstream news media is biased and untrustworthy is becoming so obvious that those who deny it increasingly brand themselves as fools or liars. Continue reading

Unethical…And Stupid…Quote Of The Month: Minneapolis Restaurant Owner Ruhel Islam

“Let my building burn, Justice needs to be served, put those officers in jail.”

—-Ruhel Islam, owner of the restaurant Gandhi Mahal, in Minneapolis, quoted by his daughter in the Facebook post above.

Is it my imagination, or has the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis generated even more idiotic quotes and responses than these events usually do?

The quote from Ruehl Islam sets some kind of a record: dumbest quote ever to be praised by someone who isn’t a closed-head injury victim, perhaps? The now completely ideologically-deranged New York Magazine, wrote of it,

Published on the restaurant’s Facebook page and since widely shared, Hafsa’s post asks people not to worry, and ends the update with a message of support for their neighbors. Hundreds have responded with messages of support and pride, with one person writing “thank you for living your public life with such integrity and continual love for your community.” Many others have shared similar comments about Ruhel, an immigrant from Bahar Mordan, Bangladesh….Ruhel’s words have been shared across social media by everyone from San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic Soleil Ho, a former Minneapolis resident, to television host and chef Andrew Zimmern and activist DeRay Mckesson, as a powerful expression of the value of human life over property.

Well, maybe if your goal is to engage in cynical grandstanding and signal warped virtues to a community gone nuts, such a quote isn’t so dumb. Surely regarding it as “a powerful expression of the value of human life over property” is, however. How, exactly, does shrugging off the illegal destruction of private property in a mass tantrum benefit human life? Let’s see: according to a local listing, these are the businesses damaged by the riots, or as CNN calls them, “mostly peaceful protests”: Continue reading

Ethics Dunces: John Harrington, Commissioner Of The Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, And Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey

John Harrington, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, announced today that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been arrested,  four days after the release of a video in which Chauvin was seen kneeling on the neck of African-American George Floyd, as he pleaded with officers to release him. saying he couldn’t breathe. Floyd was apparently correct, as he later died.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman told reporters that Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder. “This is by far the fastest we’ve ever charged a police officer,” Freeman said.

I’m sure the applause was thunderous. Because it took four days for these officials to act on what the video made screamingly obvious from the beginning, millions of dollars of property in the city have been destroyed by rioting. “I am not insensitive to what’s happened in the streets.” Freeman said, “[but] my job is to do it only when we have sufficient evidence.”

He had sufficient evidence to arrest and charge Chauvin the second the video was available. One day to make sure there were no hidden surprises, okay, maybe. Four? Outrageous.

Meanwhile, in this paragon metropolis of progressive values and logic, Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey’s government said that it is giving out masks to rioters. Previously, Frey had warned that allowing 25% capacity in churches would be “a recipe in Minneapolis for a public health disaster” due to the pandemic. Minnesota has prohibited gatherings of ten or more people…except when they are looting, burning and rioting, apparently.

Is this a great state, or what?

 

In-Between Ethics Warm-Up, Late 5/28/ Or Early 5/29/2020…

Good whatever-it-is…

One problem with having to take a nap every couple of hours is that all sleep patterns inevitably get wrecked, and that’s where I am now, awake and staring in the early morning or late night…what fun.

1. I see that we have riots in Minneapolis. The Third Precinct police station was set on fire; earlier, rioters burned down a six-story, 190-unit affordable housing project  slated to open in the spring of 2021. That development cost approximately $37 million. Never mind: MSNBC’s reliably ridiculous Ali Velshi told his viewers, literally as flames raged behind him, that “this is mostly a protest. It is not generally speaking unruly.” I would say this is unbelievable, but it only slightly moves the needle in the manner the current left-mainstream media regards reality as a flexible concept.

Meanwhile, there is absolutely no rational nor ethical justification for riots, ever, as a response to a single instance of police brutality, or in response to anything else. Nevertheless, we will get rationalizations and excuses from the usual suspects, as well as pious humming that it’s “understandable” for people to act this way. Not if rioters are to be regarded as adults, it’s not. They are harming innocent fellow citizens and business owners, and making matter worse, not better. The enablers and the apologists for such conduct should be duly marked, identified, and condemned, and no, the four rogue police officers who appear to have killed George Floyd did not “cause” the riots. The rioters caused the riots; it’s a choice, and an inexcusable one. The protests elsewhere demanding premature charges and the abandonment of due process regarding the officers are similarly indefensible.

This isn’t even a close call, and it is frightening that so few  are willing to articulate it without equivocation. Continue reading

Comment Of The Day #2 On “Evening Ethics Update, 11/7/2019: Dr. King Is Un-honored…” (Item #4)

Jutgory registered  the second Comment of the Day spawned by Kansas City returning one of its historic boulevards to its original name, less than a year after re-naming it for civil rights martyr, Martrin Luther King.  The first COTD on the topic is here.

Looking at the re-naming question from a totally different, and interesting angle, is JutGory’s Comment of The Day on #4, the Kansas City Street Name Battle, in the post, “Evening Ethics Update, 11/7/2019: Dr. King Is Un-honored, Virginian Republicans Are Non-Functional, Fox News Is Pro-Darkness, And Joy Behar Is Still An Idiot”…

I have thought quite a bit about the MLK issue and this post seems as good a reason as any to comment.

First off (a disclaimer): I am not a huge MLK fan. And, what I mean by that is that I find Malcolm X to be a much more compelling figure. It is not that one has to have a favorite civil rights leader. They can both be good, but MLK seems to be the civil rights leader that gained the White People Stamp of Approval. That’s really not MLK’s fault, but I prefer Malcolm X’s harsh realism to MLK’s lofty idealism.

Next, names are important. But re-naming something, as the case in KC, is often more important. My area is embroiled in such a naming controversy of late. For those not in the know, a lake in our area was recently re-named (sort of). The Lake had been named after the Secretary of War when local soldiers were surveying the area for settlement. The Secretary of War also served as a United States Senator, and rose to the level of Vice-President of the United States.

The problem is that he was an all around horrible individual, so horrible that even Andrew Jackson hated him. And, not only that, he both owned slaves and defended slavery. That, of course, was John Calhoun, the namesake for Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis.

Well, in the climate of “cancel culture,” that cannot stand. The City Council, in a virtue signaling “two-fer” and without much of any public input, decided to re-name the lake to “Bde Maka Ska” (your pronunciation may vary), its original name given to it by our Sioux Indian predecessors. Other parties quickly came in to assert their jurisdiction over the name of the lake. It was quickly changed back to Lake Calhoun. But, the chattering masses of the Facebook mob would have none of that; with the cat out of the bag, they are committed to Bde Maka Ska; Wikipedia also seems to have expurgated Lake Calhoun from its pages. Continue reading

The Shooting Of Justine Ruszczyk: How Mindless Tribalism Makes Justice Impossible

The shooter and the shot.

Former police officer Mohamed Noor  was sentenced last week to spend 12 and a half years in a Minnesota prison for shooting Justine Ruszczyk, an unarmed woman he killed while on patrol in 2017. I don’t see how anyone could read the facts of the case and not conclude that Noor was guilty of negligent homicide. I don’t see how anyone could rationally complain that his sentence was excessive, either.

 Ruszczyk, who was white—unfortunately this fact is relevant—and  soon to be married, called 911 twice to report what she thought was a sexual assault going on in the alley  behind her Minneapolis home. Officer Noor and his partner responded  to investigate.  Ruszczyk  came out to the darkened alley to meet them, presumably to explain what she heard or saw,  and was soon dead of a single shot, fired from the  open patrol car window by Noor.  At the trial,  Noor said he feared for his life when he  saw Ruszczyk approaching his cruiser and fired. “She could have had a weapon,” he said .

The reported crime, sexual assault, the officers were investigating  did not involve a weapon. If Noor’srationale was enough to justify shooting Janet Ruszczyk, presumably an officer could justify shooting anyone, at any time.

Prosecutors argued that Noor acted unreasonably by  firing at unknown  figure out his window without shouting a warning,  and that it amounted to third-degree murder.  Well, of course it did. He was convicted by a jury in April . Twelve years for recklessly killing an unarmed woman who was trying to be a responsible citizen is not an unreasonable sentence, and is within the sentencing guidelines for the crime.  Continue reading

Incompetent Elected Official Face-Off: Jackson, Miss. Councilman Kenneth Stokes vs. Minneapolis City Council Member Alondra Cano

worse

The mind-blowing conduct of Minneapolis City Council member Alondra Cano and the shocking words of Jackson, Mississippi City Council member Kenneth Stokes raise many questions. Who elects these people? How is it possible that individuals this ignorant of basic American values, this defiant of common decency, and this contemptuous of the responsibilities of elected officials acquire any power at any level of government?

I suspect that the answers, whatever they are, will be useful in diagnosing the dread illness that has created so many supporters for Donald Trump. The challenge for today, is simpler, if not necessarily easier: Which of these local embarrassments is worse? Let’s review their recent headlines, shall we?

Alondra Cano was an enthusiastic participant in the unethical and illegal Black Lives Matter demonstrations at the Mall of America and the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport after Christmas.  They were called “protests,” but the objects of the civil disobedience were unrelated in any way to the matter being protested, unless the objective was to do damage to ordinary American life—and it was—and to intimidate ordinary, law abiding citizens. This wasn’t courageous elected officials joining a civil rights march for a legal demonstration in the Sixties. Cano allied herself with racist thugs, against the system and the citizens she was elected to represent. Continue reading