April 14 will always be the date that I associate above all else with Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, which occurred 157 years ago. Lincoln and the audience at Ford’s Theater laughed uproariously, as John Wilkes Booth knew they would, at the line “Why you sockdologizing old man-trap!” in the play the Lincolns and their guests were watching, “Our American Cousin.” Booth fired a single-shot derringer into the back of Lincoln’s skull, dreew a dagger and stabbed Major Rathbone, also in Lincoln’s box along with Mrs. Lincoln and Rathbone’s fiancee, in the arm, and dramatically leaped down onto the stage, shouting Virginia’s motto,“Sic semper tyrannis! (Thus ever to tyrants!) The South is avenged!” Booth caught his spur on a draped flag on the way down and broke his leg, but limped across the stage and out to waiting horse through a back stage exit. Lincoln never regained consciousness.
Not only was it the first and still most spectacular of the four Presidential assassinations [Notice of Correction: I originally wrote “five,” not because I can’t count, which is what usually happens, but because I was counting Reagan, because he was actually shot. Moron. Thanks to Steve-O-in NJ for alerting me, or I’d have to ban myself from the blog for passing on “misinformation”], Booth’s act and subsequent events, oddities and coincidences launched perhaps the first widespread political conspiracy theory. I wrote in 2010,
[A]s a teenager, I became fascinated by the Lincoln assassination conspiracy. A best-seller at the time was “Web of Conspiracy,” an over-heated brief for the theory that Lincoln’s War Secretary, Edwin Stanton, and others in the military were in league with John Wilkes Booth. The author, a mystery writer named Theodore Roscoe, was constantly suggesting sinister motives by asking questions like “The sealed records of the official assassination investigation were destroyed in a mysterious fire. Was the War Department afraid of what the documents would prove? Would they have implicated Stanton? We will never know.” This tactic is on view regularly today, used generously by the purveyors of modern conspiracies…
Then again, sometimes conspiracy theories, even unlikely ones, turn out to be true. There was sure a lot of smoke around Lincoln’s assassination (after all, there really was a conspiracy, as Booth had at least five co-conspirators working on his plot for months), and it didn’t help when Robert Lincoln, Abe’s son, was caught burning his papers and told the man who interrupted him (allegedly) that he was doing so because the contained proof that a member of his father’s own cabinet was involved in his assassination. Yet none of the components of the Lincoln conspiracy narrative have held up to scrutiny, except as tantalizing suspicions.
1. First, the rest of a story...Two weeks ago Ethics Alarms covered the story of Kychelle Del Rosario, a fourth-year medical student at Wake Forest School of Medicine, who appeared to admit in a tweet that she deliberately caused pain and discomfort to a patient because he had mocked her “preferred pronoun” pin. After her tweet was seen, circulated and attacked on social media, she deleted it in an attempted cover-up. Wake Forest suspended her pending an investigation, which is now complete. It’s conclusion: Del Rosario was grandstanding, implying that she stuck the patient a second time when she had turned the job over to a supervisor. “Our documentation verifies that after the student physician was unsuccessful in obtaining the blood draw, the student appropriately deferred a second attempt to one of our certified professionals. The student did not attempt to draw blood again,” the university stated.
But had she deliberately missed the vein the first time to punish the “transphobic” patient? Wake Forest believed her statements that she had not, saying, “Our review revealed that the description of the patient encounter on social media does not reflect what actually occurred. We also determined that all of our procedures were followed while caring for this patient.” For her part, Del Rosarion, who expects to be reinstated, said,
“For the event mentioned in the tweet, I was performing a blood draw on a patient and during our conversation they had shown dismay at my pronoun pin,” she said. “I calmly shared my thoughts about pronouns and did not escalate the situation further. When I was doing the blood draw, I missed the first time due to my inexperience as a student, and per our policy, my supervisor performed the successful blood draw the second time….[I] never intended to harm the patient.”