In 2019, Andrea Anderson’s primary birth control method had failed, so she called her health care provider to ask for a prescription to Ella, an emergency contraceptive tablet. But when she went to the local McGregor Thrifty White pharmacy in Aitkin County, Minnesota, pharmacist and local pastor George Badeaux refused to fill the prescription, citing his religious beliefs. He told her that a pharmacist working the following day could fill her needs if a snowstorm didn’t prevent the pharmacist from getting to work.The desperate woman ended up driving three hours round trip to Brainerd during a snowstorm to get her pregnancy-terminating pills.
I am having a hard time reconciling these two criminal trial sentences with basic ethical principles like fairness, equity, and consistency. Maybe you can help.
I suspect you never heard of the Corey Pujols manslaughter case in Florida, where a black Dunkin’ Donut manager was sentenced for killing a 73-year-old white man. There were no national headlines or special network reports after the May 4, 2021 incident at a shop in Tampa, Florida. There were no protests or angry demonstrations or riots; no organization called “Old White Guys’ Lives Matter” took up his victim’s cause.
Vonelle Cook was a regular customer at the doughnut store, and not a welcome one: he was often cranky and abusive. On this visit he began berating staff members for the service he received at the store’s drive-through window. Asked repeatedly to leave, Cook parked and entered the shop while store manager Corey Pujols told another store employee to call the police. Cook began arguing with Pujols across the counter, and then Cook called Pujols a “nigger.” Pujols came out from behind the counter to confront Cook. Pujols, 27, warned the old man “not to say that again,” and true to his character and mood, Cook repeated the slur. Pujols punched him in the jaw; Vonelle Cook fell backwards onto the floor, hitting his head and sustaining fatal injuries. He died in a hospital three days later. Cook never touched or tried to strike his attacker Pujols.
Pujols was charged with manslaughter, but agreed to a plea deal in which he accepted the lesser charge of felony battery. Under the sentence imposed this week by Judge Christine Marlewski of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court, Cook’s killer will be on probation for three years after he completes two years of house arrest, and must perform 200 hours of community service as well as attending anger management courses.
Fair? Proportional? Consistent?
Andrew Warren, the state attorney for Hillsborough County, was satisfied, saying that the result “holds the defendant accountable while considering the totality of the circumstances — the aggressive approach and despicable racial slur used by the victim, along with the defendant’s age, lack of criminal record, and lack of intent to cause the victim’s death.”
From the news accounts, it appears that that the fact that Cook was not an admirable citizen and that he will not be greatly mourned by the community was also taken into consideration. He was a registered sex offender who had served time in prison after being convicted of crimes including child abuse, possession of child pornography and sexual activity with minors.
Now let’s consider and contrast the sentence imposed on former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin—22 years and six months—and the relevant factors the two cases share and do not share.
Of course, his comment does embody the warped logic of hate crime laws, which we now should recognize as one of the early victories of those who want race and color to confer special advantages in society. I think the word Jose was looking for wasn’t hate but anger, as fury, at least as explained repeatedly by the profilers on “Criminal Minds” when they encountered a death by overkill, is the approved diagnosis with death’s like Garcia’s. I will assume that anyone who tries to stab me to death one, two, three or five times doesn’t like me very much. And frankly, those extra stabs after I’m dead won’t bother me at all. Hey, go crazy, man! It’s your time and energy you’re wasting!
A Minnesota community is confused.
What a surprise.
The city council in the Minnesota city of International Falls voted unanimously last week to prohibit dressing its sort-of famous statue of Smokey the Bear in seasonal attire during teh year as the local tradition has been for decades. Smokey will no longer don earmuffs in the winter, or fishing gear in the summer, or the wags responsible will face fines. No, the iconic anthropomorphic bear cannot sport any garb other than his traditional blue jeans, belt, buckle and “campaign” hat, with his shovel in hand.
On July 2, 1863, during the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg with the fate of the Union and the United States hanging in the balance, Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia tried to break through the line of General George G. Meade’s Army of the Potomac at Cemetery Ridge, Culp’s Hill and Little Round Top. More than once that day, only luck and chaos prevented July 2 from marking the end of the nation as we know it, and from preserving slavery at least a little longer.
All accounts of the battle on July 2 are full of the word “confusion.” Robert E. Lee ordered Lieutenant General James Longstreet to attack by moving his troops up the Federal left flank while General A.P. Hill’s corps threatened the center of the Union line. If coordinated properly, General George Gordon Meade wouldn’t be able to move his troops to reinforce the Union left, where Lee instructed Lieutenant General Richard S. Ewell to make diversionary attacks and launch an all-out assault if possible. Lee’s plan, if successful, would force the Union army to surrender the positions it held on the high ground south of Gettysburg after the first day of the battle, and the entire Civil War might have been won by the South in a day.
Today I arranged my day so I could watch the Boston Red Sox (who are on a roll) play the Minnesota Twins in a day game at the Twins’ park. Minutes before the game, it was called off, though the sun was shining and a crowd was on-hand. Why? Well, Daunte Wright, 20, was killed by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota., about 10 miles northwest of Minneapolis.
This has, or should have, nothing whatsoever to do with baseball, or any other activity in the Twin Cities or anywhere else. It is a local law enforcement event, and as of now, it is impossible to determine what happened with certainty. Never mind, though: Black Lives Matter has decreed that every death of a black man or woman in a confrontation with police is by definition an undeniable example of race-motivated homicide, and the proper response is to riot.
First and foremost, the proper response is never to riot. Protesting and demonstrating are seldom the proper responses either. Second, rioting, demonstrating, protesting, and making accusations about an event before it has been made clear what in fact occurred, is irresponsible, dangerous and indefensible always, with no exceptions.
The female police officer shot Wright yesterday afternoon after pulling his car over for a traffic violation and discovering that he had a warrant out for his arrest. The police tried to detain Wright; he briefly struggled with police, and then he stepped back into his car, apparently trying to flee.
Of course he did. In the vast majority of these police-involved deaths with black Americans involved, the eventual victim resists the lawful orders of police. George Floyd did it. Mike Brown did it. In such cases, I bristle when I am told, as I heard one activist say today, that the community should “honor” the victim by not rioting. Those who get shot or killed as a direct result of resisting arrest should not be “honored,” because that is not honorable conduct. It is anti-social conduct that ruins some lives and ends others.
Body-camera video released by the police department shows the officer shouting, “Taser!” before firing her gun. She is then heard on the video saying, “Holy shit. I just shot him.”
And the Court is right! But this is a really stupid law. According to Minnesota law, “‘mentally incapacitated’ means that a person under the influence of alcohol, a narcotic, anesthetic or any other substance, administered to that person without the person’s agreement, lacks the judgment to give a reasoned consent to sexual contact or sexual penetration.”
Wait, what? Does that really mean that a woman who is incapable of thinking straight or fighting off an amorous creep intent upon getting some cheap sex is mentally incapacitated and incapable of consent if she has been made blotto by a date who kept telling her she was drinking non-alcoholic punch that was really laced with vodka, but if she drank the exact same amount knowing what was in the punch, she isn’t “mentally incapacitated” even if she can barely speak or move to defend herself?
The Minnesota Department of Transportation held a contest last month to name eight new snowplows. 122,435 Minnesotans voted in the Name a Snowplow contest, which the organizers narrowed down to 50 top vote-getters. Each ballot allowed up to eight submissions.
After the voting concluded, the eight names receiving the most votes were announced winners. Here are the 50 top names and the votes they received:
Jensen explains that while one would typically look to the “UCOD” or “Underlying Cause Of Death” for classification purposes rather than the “immediate” cause or the “intermediate” causes. The practice the CDC had always required in classifying deaths was to use the UCOD.
But for the Wuhan virus, the CDC practice of 17 years was changed, and physicians were told, “If someone had the pandemic virus, it doesn’t matter if it was actually the diagnosis that caused death. If someone had the virus, they died of it.” Stroke? Multi-organ failure? If the deceased tested positive for the Wahun virus, that was the cause of death. Franson and Jensen uncovered examples where victims of a fall were called pandemic casualties. Drowning victims. One “Covid 19” victim died after being thrown from a speeding automobile. About 800 of the 2,800 death certificates examined indicated that the virus was not the underlying cause of death. That’s a 40% overstatement.
It isn’t just Minnesota that’s doing this, either. It’s every state, and the whole country.
In St. Anthony Minnesota, someone sent home owner Kim Hunt an anonymous letter reprimanding her for decorating her home with the modest Christmas lights seen in the top photo above. Three other residences in the neighborhood received the same letter:
I detest that sappy Ray Stevens song, and have since the first time I heard it. But I have to try something…
1. There’s no whining in baseball! Note to MLB players: heroes and role models don’t whine. Players have been making excuses for their flaccid play—of course, only the players who aren’t playing well are complaining—that the lack of a crowd makes it difficult to bear down during games. The Red Sox broadcasters, including two former players, keep talking about this over and over again. Two games ago, Red Sox newcomer Alex Verdugo, in his second season, made a great catch to take away a home run, and the only cheering to be heard (I’m not including the fake crowd noises) was coming from Verdugo himself. “In a normal game, he’d be getting a standing ovation! A curtain call out of the dugout!” said Dennis Eckersley.
Oh, cry me a river. These guys are supposed to be professionals, and they get millions of dollars to play a game for living, one they supposedly love. I don’t believe they need crowds screaming to “get up” for big moments, and if they do, something’s wrong with them. Every kid who played sandlot baseball manged to perform at his or her best because that’s what competitors in any game do.
Then there’s Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez, who is off to a miserable start. His excuse? Part of the MLB protocols during the pandemic prohibits players from in-game use of video equipment. Martinez is used to looking at videos of his at bats during games to pick up on any flaws in his swing, so he has complained that not being able to have access to the usual devices is contributing to his slump.
Not surprisingly, the former players in the booth have not been particularly sympathetic to his plight, having played in those dark ages when baseball players just played baseball during the games.
2. Telling us all we need to know about “Defund police,” the current Democratic Party, Minnesota, the former co-chair of the Democratic National Committee, and the mainstream media…MN Attorney General Keith Ellison recommended last month that women not call police to report when they’ve been raped. Ellison, who coincidentally has been accused of rape himself, said,
“If you’re a woman who’s been a victim of a sexual assault, and the assailant ran away, wouldn’t you rather talk to somebody who is trained in helping you deal with what you’re dealing with, as opposed to somebody whose main training is that they know how to use a firearm? Right?”
That’s the kind of statement I would expect from a teenage social justice warrior like David Hogg. Ellison is the top law enforcement official in the state, and his definition of a police officers is that that their main skill is using a gun? Continue reading →