PowerLine – Poll: Cruz has surged past Trump in Wisconsin | Make Bathrooms Great Again, Part 2
- American University law faculty members disgrace themselves
- Ferguson comes to Minneapolis, cont’d
- Poll: Cruz has surged past Trump in Wisconsin
- Understanding Trump, Part 2
- Make Bathrooms Great Again, Part 2
|American University law faculty members disgrace themselves
Posted: 30 Mar 2016 02:45 PM PDT
Recently, a student at American University Washington College of Law put a note on the door of a law professor stating “All Lives Matter.” This expression of what ought to be truism caused the AU law faculty to freak out.
Nearly sixty faculty members and staff signed a letter calling this an “incidence of intolerance.” A sounder position would hold that objecting to the statement “All Lives Matter” as a response to the statement “Black Lives Matter” smacks of intolerance because it places one racial group on a higher level than others.
The letter claims that “in context, the message appears intended by the messenger to be an attempt to silence and intimidate an opposing viewpoint, not an effort to communicate a different perspective” But how does saying “white lives matter” constitute an attempt to silence and intimidate people with an opposing viewpoint? The only rational sense in which the statement could be construed that way lies in the fact that it’s untenable to argue that all lives don’t matter. The note “intimidates” only because its logic is unassailable.
The letter suggest that because the sign was placed in the vicinity of “a flyer for a training program on police violence” and “near flyers for other social justice and racial equality events,” it should be viewed as intimidating. But the professors make no attempt to defend this non sequitur. If students are encouraged not to make certain political statements near flyers about “social justice,” then it is the flyers, not the statements (which may or may not be a response) that are tending to silence and intimidate expression.
The letter goes on to tell students how they should go about “hav[ing] a conversation about controversial issues.” “There is value,” they instruct, “in simply asking someone, ‘If you feel comfortable, I would like to talk to you sometime about X. I have been reading a lot about the topic, and I am interested in hearing your perspective,’”
Left unclear is whether students should go down on their knees when using this script.
It is scandalous that law professors would attempt to dictate how political discourse takes place. There is also an obvious double standard here. Apparently, adherents to the Black Lives Matter movement need check the comfort level of students and/or request to have a conversation before expressing their views on this set of issues.
Our friends Gail Heriot and Peter Kirsanow of the Civil Right Commission have sent a letter to the dean of AU law school about this matter. They state:
We write as two members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and not on behalf of the Commission as a whole. And while we are required to begin our letters with the preceding sentence under the Commission’s rules, we would have preferred to open with: What is wrong with your faculty and staff members?
We understand that a student put a note on a faculty member’s door that said, “All lives matter.” As law professors ourselves, we know that it is common for students to place cartoons, news clippings and other notes on faculty member’s doors. While this student did so anonymously, there was nothing particularly extraordinary about that.
The response of American University faculty and staff was nothing short of Orwellian. Nearly sixty members of the law faculty and staff signed a letter calling this an “act of intolerance,” because it refers to “all lives” rather than only “black lives.” This makes American University look foolish. Even sillier, the letter calls this obviously true statement—that the lives of all members of the human species are valuable—“a rallying cry for many who espouse ideas of white supremacy.”
While we know that President Obama has stated that “all lives matter,” we are not personally aware of any cases in which white supremacists (a rare species these days) have made that statement. But if some have, we note that they have likely also uttered such unobjectionable sentiments such as “Good morning” and “The sky is blue.” Equating a student making a legitimate and utterly unobjectionable point with a white supremacist is nonsensical.
The letter further states that it is unacceptable for a student to make such a statement anonymously. But what do you expect in an environment in which faculty members will accuse a student of uttering “a rallying cry for many who espouse ideas of white supremacy”?
We are embarrassed for your law school, especially because it is a law school. We hope that you share our sentiments.
(Emphasis in original; footnote omitted)
|Ferguson comes to Minneapolis, cont’d
Posted: 30 Mar 2016 02:34 PM PDT
John wrote about the the case of Jamar Clark in the aptly headed post “Ferguson comes to Minneapolis.” Clark was supposedly the victim of a police shooting on the evening just past midnight in the early hours of a Sunday morning this past November. Minneapolis police had been called to the scene of an assault that occurred less than two blocks from the nearest precinct station. Clark had beaten his girlfriend. When police arrived, Clark had returned to the scene and, according to police accounts, was interfering with the paramedics who were trying to treat his girlfriend. A scuffle with one or more of the police officers ensued, and one of the officers shot Clark.
There were various witnesses on or near the scene. Some said that Clark was already handcuffed when the police officer shot him. The Black Lives Matter crowd demanded “Justice for Jamar” before all the evidence was in.
Minneapolis police Chief Janee Harteau said that the department’s initial information is that he was not handcuffed. Videos capturing parts of the incident was available to investigators reviewing the case, but weren’t released until today. The state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigated the shooting as a matter of course and turned over its investigatory materials to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. Rather than submit the case to a grand jury, Freeman reviewed the materials and made the prosecutorial decision himself.
Today Freeman announced his decision. He has decided not to prosecute the case. Based on the evidence, I don’t know how he could have. Clark’s behavior was outrageous. Despite the claims of various witnesses, he wasn’t handcuffed at the time of the shooting. Clark attempted to grab one of the officer’s guns and as they tussled on the ground. Clark refused to desist; the officer feared for his life and asked the other office present to shoot Clark. According to the officer on the ground with Clark, Clark all but asked to be killed as the incident unfolded. Ferguson comes to Minneapolis, indeed.
Not that it matters to the Black Lives Matter crowd. The demand for lynch mob justice and the threat of violence in protest persist. The protests went under the moniker Justice4Jamar; the protests continue under the moniker Justice4Jamar.
Today the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office released its report and posted it together with the underlying materials here. Critical paragraphs from pages 2-3 of the report (footnotes and section heading omitted) read as follows:
MPD Officers Schwarze and Ringgenberg arrived on the scene from the 4th Precinct stationhouse, which is only 3 blocks away, and parked behind EMS Supervisor Trullinger’s Suburban. Because they were so close to 1611 Plymouth and the call was for ambulance assistance, the officers did not activate lights and sirens which, in turn, means that their squad’s video cameras were not automatically activated. Trullinger met the officers and told them that the person in the ambulance was assaulted by the person up on the curb who was interfering with the paramedics. Trullinger then went to the ambulance to talk with the paramedics and Hayes.
Ringgenberg and Schwarze approached Clark at 0049:16 and noticed his hands were in his pockets and told him to take his hands out. Ringgenberg took his gun out and held it down in front, not pointing at Clark. Clark started yelling, “What’s the pistol for?” The officers again and repeatedly told Clark to take his hands out of his pockets and he did not comply. Ringgenberg put the gun back in his holster and grabbed Clark’s right wrist while Schwarze grabbed Clark’s left hand. Schwarze had his handcuffs out but said he was never able to get them on Clark.
Ringgenberg had been trained in his prior work as a police officer in San Diego to take a suspect to the ground when he or she resisted being handcuffed because it was believed to be safer. After Clark resisted being handcuffed, Ringgenberg quickly reached his arm around Clark’s chest and neck and took him to the ground at 0049:29. Ringgenberg landed on his side on top of Clark, who was on his back.
Ringgenberg said he tried to move away from Clark to get in position to handcuff him. Ringgenberg felt his gun go from his right hip to the small of his back and told Schwarze, “He’s got my gun.” Ringgenberg said he reached back to the top of his gun and felt Clark’s “whole” hand on the gun. Ringgenberg repeatedly told his partner Schwarze, “He’s got my gun, he’s got my gun.” Ringgenberg recalled hearing Schwarze tell Clark to let go of the gun or Schwarze would shoot. Ringgenberg heard Clark say, “I’m ready to die.” Ringgenberg said, “That was the worst feeling ever because, it just, my heart just sank.” Ringgenberg believed he was going to die at that point because he had no control over his gun. Ringgenberg felt that Clark didn’t care what happened to him and remembered thinking that he didn’t want his partner to die with his gun. After Ringgenberg heard the round go off he remembered being able to roll away.
Schwarze said that as the officers approached Clark he had “this thousand yard stare.” Schwarze said that after Ringgenberg used the takedown maneuver, Schwarze maintained control of Clark’s left hand and was waiting for Ringgenberg to turn Clark over so they could handcuff him. Schwarze heard Ringgenberg say, “He’s got my gun” in a very “stern, excited like very serious” tone. Schwarze, who had his handcuffs out, then dropped the handcuffs on the ground and took out his gun. Schwarze said he put the gun to the edge of Clark’s mouth and said, “Let go or I’m gonna shoot you.” Schwarze recalled Clark looking directly at him and saying, “I’m ready to die.” Schwarze said the “only thing I could think of to do was to save our lives and anyone else in the immediate area so I pulled the trigger.” Schwarze said the gun did not fire because the slide was partially pulled back. Schwarze heard Ringgenberg saying “Shoot him” in a panicked voice so Schwarze pulled the trigger again and the gun fired.
The Star Tribune story on Freeman’s announcement in the case is here. Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges is a profile in cowardice. She can’t say whether she supports Freeman’s decision. Federal authorities continue their own investigation.
Quotable quote: “At Freeman’s news conference, Raeisha Williams, communications director for the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP and a City Council candidate, said to him, ‘If the city burns, it’s on your hands.’ Miski Noor, a Black Lives Matter organizer called for a nonviolent response and added, ‘I don’t think Raeisha is advocating [violence]. … I think her point is people are frustrated and are upset because yet again the justice system does not value black life.’”
A reader drove by the scene of the shooting today and emailed us the photo below. Israel, of course, has something to do with it.
|Poll: Cruz has surged past Trump in Wisconsin
Posted: 30 Mar 2016 01:56 PM PDT
A poll by Marquette Law School finds Ted Cruz well ahead of Donald Trump in Wisconsin’s Republican primary among likely voters. According to the poll, Cruz is at 39.6 percent; Trump at 30.4 percent; and John Kasich at 21.4 percent.
The survey was conducted before Scott Walker endorsed Ted Cruz.
On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton 49.2 to 44.9. And in the Senate race, Russ Feingold has a 3 point lead over incumbent Ron Johnson (again, among likely voters).
For the general election, Clinton outpolls Trump by 11 points in this survey of Wisconsin. She runs even against Cruz. Kasich defeats her by 9 points.
Is the Trump bubble finally beginning to burst? Is so, it’s bursting just in the nick of time.
|Understanding Trump, Part 2
Posted: 30 Mar 2016 11:59 AM PDT
The very interesting but anonymous proprietors of the Journal of American Greatness have replied to my post here last week, “Understanding Trump Better Than He Understands Himself?”
Very much worth taking in the whole thing, but here are a couple of highlights:
The estimable Steve Hayward says of us (and more generally about other pro-, or anti-anti-Trump, writers on the right) that he’s “wondering if these interpretations of the Trump phenomenon aren’t trying to understand Trump better than he understands it himself.” He seems to mean it as a criticism—if more of Trump that of us. We won’t presume to speak for any of the others Hayward names. But speaking for ourselves, we say: that’s absolutely what we’re trying to do! Thanks for noticing!
As I say, there’s a lot more here besides the obvious sagacity of finding me “estimable.” I’m having that added to my business cards today. Anyway, underneath the jaunty banter of the Journal’s reply are some serious arguments about whether Trump represents an inflection point in American politics that we ought not to miss, In other words, the ground of the Journal’s enterprise is looking beyond Trump:
Similarly, the root of Trump’s appeal can’t simply be that he’s taking on the establishment. Plenty of pols have tried that, including many in this cycle. Nor can it be his political inexperience or outsider status. Every cycle now includes as a matter of course at least a handful of candidates who see the presidency as an entry level job; this one was no different. Nor can it only be Trump’s willingness to say allegedly outrageous things.
Surely that has helped, the way that showmanship typically does, but far too little is paid to the content of those allegedly outrageous sayings in comparison to the alleged outrageousness itself. The commentariat and the Republican establishment is so deeply opposed to Trump’s message that they can’t admit, even subliminally, that it might be the primary factor in his rise. So instead of considering the simplest explanation for Trump’s popularity, they grope for alternatives while denying that he has a message at all. The very insistence that things so many voters find so sensible are outrageous is but another factor in Trump’s rise—and goes a long way toward explaining why no pol or pundit saw it coming.
Hence our project is less to understand Trump better than he understands himself than it is to understand the times, the necessary next steps, and the electorate better than the current class of professional political thinkers understands any of the three. This has proven less difficult than we anticipated.
The point—we cannot emphasize this enough—is not ultimately about Trump. He may win, he may lose. He may win and then fail in office. Who knows? We certainly don’t claim to.
What we can repeat with confidence is that Trump—and, for the moment, Trump alone—has shown the way toward renewal or rebirth. Perhaps of the Republican Party. Or perhaps of a new party. Perhaps of America as currently constituted. Or perhaps of something else. However incoherent or unprepared he may be, on the biggest issues facing the nation right now, he is right—or closer to right, when he speaks rightly—and all his enemies and rivals are wrong.
Good stuff. My only follow up for now is: When are you Trans-Trumpers (heh) going to come out of the closet? (Double-heh. Especially since I’m pretty sure I know exactly who you are.) Does someone need to start a self-help support group, Trumpers Anonymous? Do we need to have a code phrase, like “Are you a friend of Dorothy?”
|Make Bathrooms Great Again, Part 2
Posted: 30 Mar 2016 09:59 AM PDT
I was tempted to post this item without comment, but can’t resist:
Charges were filed Tuesday against a man who wore a wig and women’s clothing to disguise himself as he allegedly used a concealed camera to record “hours” of video of women in a Los Angeles-area department store restroom.
How do we know he was “disguised”? That might have been part of zirs “self-identification” regalia. What about “his reality”? I say both the police and reporter on this story are presumptuous cis-bigots.
Jason Pomare, 33, of Palmdale, was arrested Saturday after customers contacted security officers at a Macy’s store to report a man in the women’s restroom. The security officers contacted a deputy, who was on patrol at the Antelope Valley Mall when he saw a man matching the subject’s description leave the store.
When the deputy found the man hiding in a mall storage area, the subject was wearing a wig, women’s clothing and bra, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
“The deputy noticed he was wearing a wig and appeared to have breasts,” said Sgt. Brian Hudson, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Obviously this guy was a garden-variety perv. But what if he’d graduated from an advanced gender studies program, and knew how to spout the right line on this issue? Things might get interesting once pervs like this catch on.
More good sense here from Matthew Hennessey. Sample:
Gotham mayor Bill de Blasio—the Stringbean Sandinista—has issued an executive order allowing transgendered people to use any bathrooms they like “without being required to show identification, medical documentation, or any other form of proof or verification of gender.” This stands in stark contrast to the NYPD’s “if you see something, say something” policy on terrorism.
Fair warning: If you come to New York and you see a dodgy looking dude hanging around the little girl’s room, you’re better off keeping it to yourself. His reality is all that counts.