TUESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2022
But also, childhood's end: We were struck by an accurate statement in today's New York Times—but also, by the latest possible evidence of childhood's (unfortunate) end.
We'll start with the accurate statement.
The analysts rushed the accurate statement to us even as we continued to slumber. We were intrigued by the headline on the news report in question:
Friend Who Bought Kyle Rittenhouse’s Gun Gets Reduced Charges
As it turns out, the young man who purchased a rifle for his 17-year-old friend won't be going to prison. Mainly, though, we were struck by an accurate statement in this part of the report:
BOSMAN (1/11/22): During Mr. Rittenhouse’s trial, Mr. Black told the court that he bought the gun on a trip with Mr. Rittenhouse to northern Wisconsin, where Mr. Black’s family owned a hunting property, and stored it at his stepfather’s house in Kenosha for Mr. Rittenhouse. He said that on the day of the shooting in August 2020, as protests were unfolding in Kenosha, he and Mr. Rittenhouse brought their guns from Mr. Black’s stepfather’s house and drove downtown, where they cleaned graffiti and, at night, guarded used-car lots.
Say what? Rittenhouse was "guarding used car lots" on the unfortunate night in question? We congratulate the Times' Julie Bosman for speaking with such specificity—for making an accurate statement.
(Bosman attributes these statements to Rittenhouse's friend, but these statements are not in dispute.)
For the record, the Times has published such accurate statements in the past. That said, within the punditry of our liberal tribe, it has been more common to say that Rittenhouse "crossed state lines" in order to "take his gun to a protest," where he cast himself in the role of a "vigilante."
What did Rittenhouse actually do that day and that night? Given the way we liberals tend to behave, we think it's worth recalling:
As Bosman notes, he spent several hours that afternoon scrubbing graffiti off a Kenosha school. That evening, he helped guard a trio of used car lots, one of which had been subjected to extensive arson the night before.
(His lifeguard job was in Kenosha. His father, and several other relatives, lived there.)
Around midnight, Rittenhouse attempted to walk four blocks from one of the used car lots to another. He was carrying a fire extinguisher as he did. He had received a phone call asking him to help extinguish some newly-set fires at the second lot.
As he attempted to walk those four blocks, he was suddenly chased by Joseph Rosenbaum, a tragic figure who had been setting fires in the streets that night and who, earlier that evening, had apparently threatened to kill Rittenhouse and others.
Earlier that day, Rosenbaum had been released from a hospital where he had been receiving treatment for serious mental health issues. He was unable to join his girlfriend upon his release because she'd been granted a protective warrant barring contact between them "after a fight in which he knocked her down and bloodied her mouth."
As we'll describe at some point this week, Rosenbaum had suffered terrible sexual abuse as a child. Later, he had visited terrible sexual abuse upon five children, for which he'd spent most of his adult life in prison.
Now he was chasing Rittenhouse through the streets as Rittenhouse carried that fire extinguisher. Unless you watch our tribe's "cable news," in which case you can see a prominent and trusted professor saying that Rittenhouse had been pursuing him!
In these and similar ways, our own lost tribe has created a series of ugly, novelized morality tales over the course of the past dozen years. Disgracefully, we keep trying to get people thrown in jail on the basis of our fabulized narratives.
In these ways, our own tribe has shown the limits of human capability and morality at such times as these. The other tribe has also been wildly misfiring, in ways our own tribe widely discusses.
We were struck by Bosman's accurate statement because we've read and heard so many other statements which basically aren't. We keep hearing that Rittenhouse "crossed state lines" to "attend a protest," where he played the role of a "vigilante."
Members of our own lost tribe continue to make these claims in comment sections. Almost surely, they make these statements because they believe that the statements are accurate.
The other tribe is deeply invested in a separate array of misstatements at this point in time. Our tribe is also deeply invested, though our tribe's fanciful tribal tales carry a different hue.
Are we the humans possibly reaching a point called "childhood's end?" Are we reaching a place where our limited capabilities no longer allow us to function even minimally within the boundaries of "the American experiment?"
Only time will tell! But even as The Others keep insisting that Donald J. Trump won the election, our own infallible liberal tribe spills with semi-delusional ideation like that outlined below.
We quote a second report in this morning's Times. That news report starts like this:
CORASANITI AND EPSTEIN (1/11/22): When President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris deliver major speeches on voting rights on Tuesday in Atlanta, there will be notable absences in the crowd.
[S]everal leading voting rights and civil rights groups are pointedly skipping the speech, protesting what they denounced as months of frustrating inaction by the White House—which they said showed that Mr. Biden did not view Republican attacks on voting rights with sufficient urgency.
“We do not need any more speeches, we don’t need any more platitudes,” said James Woodall, former president of the N.A.A.C.P. of Georgia. “We don’t need any more photo ops. We need action, and that actually is in the form of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, as well as the Freedom to Vote Act—and we need that immediately.”
We assume that Woodall is a good, decent person. Unfortunately, while The Others seem to think that Donald J. Trump won the last election, our own tribe often seems to think that President Biden won a working majority in the United States Senate.
As everyone knows, he didn't! Indeed, fifty Senate seats out of a hundred is only a technical majority, to the extent that it's a majority at all.
It doesn't come close to the sixty votes you need to get most measures passed. It ceases to be any sort of majority if even one of those fifty senators refuses to vote in the way Biden might prefer.
Can anybody here play this game? Casey Stengel once famously posed that question.
It seems to us that the answer may be no. As our failing society nears an experiment's end, we'll focus this week on our own tribe's recent behavior, as well as on the cockeyed work of Others.
Our own leadership is very soft. That's journalists and academics alike.
What makes us say such a thing? On Sunday, we stumbled upon the perfect answer—we read the New York Times!
We read the essays in the Sunday Review. We reviewed the responses by the two focus groups the Times had tried to conduct.
Is the American experiment nearing an end? Only time will tell, of course, but the skill levels of both major tribes are extremely poor at this time, and the mutual loathing is general.
Tomorrow: "Within hours, the three men and the teenager who shot them were assigned roles in the country’s churning partisan drama."
Rachel Maddow did a good job yesterday of detailing the fraud committed on behalf of Trump's campaign as supporters in three states mailed forged documents to the national archives saying that Trump had won the election in Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin.ReplyDelete
"Say what? Rittenhouse was "guarding used car lots" on the unfortunate night in question? We congratulate the Times' Julie Bosman for speaking with such specificity—for making an accurate statement."ReplyDelete
No, Rittenhouse was not guarding used car lots. Bosman accurately reported the defense's statements about what Rittenhouse was doing. That doesn't mean that was what he did. It means it is what Rittenhouse, assisted by his defense attorney, told the court and reporters he had done.
Don't forget that Somerby previously told us that Rittenhouse was carrying a fire extinguisher and trying to put out fires (such as in the dumpster pushed by Rosenbaum) and he was carrying a first aid kit and asking others if they needed any first aid (because that is how medics work, they go around asking random people if they need help). Which means that Rittenhouse was carrying (1) an AR-15, (2) a fire extinguisher, (3) a medic kit while also guarding several used car lots (because the word lot was pluralized). And if you don't believe that, he was also rescuing stray puppies while feeding the homeless and babysitting lost children.
And Somerby calls the defense remarks true, on what basis? They were not corroborated by video shot at the scene and they were contradicted by people such as the car lot owner, who said he did not ask Rittenhouse to guard his lots and other protesters who said that Rittenhouse was running around, not staying and guarding the lot, and the men who were actually guarding the lot also said he wasn't with them. But Somerby calls this the truth because Rittenhouse, on advice of his defense attorney, said it was what he did. And Somerby always believes these 17 year olds who cross state lines to shoot protesters with an AR-15.
Note the remark about buying the gun to go hunting. Who hunts with an AR-15? Not even people in Wisconsin. And not a single mention that it was illegal for Rittenhouse to own such a gun and illegal for someone else to buy it for him.
"(His lifeguard job was in Kenosha. His father, and several other relatives, lived there.)"ReplyDelete
While Rittenhouse's father and other relatives lived in Kenosha, he no longer held a lifeguard job there at the time of the riots. He had applied for a job working at a community center, which was why he was removing graffiti (it wasn't out of the goodness of his heart, as implied).
Here is a description of the evidence from the prosecutor's perspective, which Somerby disappears here:
Black, Rittenhouse's friend, was up on the roof at the car lot. Rittenhouse was not there, but was out on the street taunting Rosenbaum, who threw a bag containing underwear and sandwiches at Rittenhouse and was then shot in the back and killed by Rittenhouse.
Bosman previously wrote for the New York Times:Delete
"At the time of the shootings, Mr. Rittenhouse was employed part-time as a lifeguard at a recreational complex in Pleasant Prairie, Wis., which borders Kenosha.
Mr. Rittenhouse testified at his trial on Wednesday that he was studying nursing at Arizona State University.
Jay Thorne, a spokesman for the university, said in an email that Mr. Rittenhouse had enrolled in an online program that allows students to take classes before seeking admission to the university. The online program is not affiliated with the university’s nursing school or any other degree program, he said. The session in which Mr. Rittenhouse is enrolled began on Oct. 13."
The shooting was August 25. Shortly after his acquittal, the University said that Rittenhouse was no longer enrolled in the online program and had no further connection with the university at all.
Rittenhouse did not have a GED and was a high school dropout at the time of the shooting, not a nursing student at ASU or anywhere else. This is only one of the things he lied about on the stand.Delete
Here is where Somerby employs the opposite of spark-of-life reporting. He tarnishes the victim shot by Rittenhouse, in order to make Rittenhouse's actions seem justified. No one has argued that Rosenbaum wasn't mentally ill, but whatever he did to his girlfriend has nothing to do with his encounter with Rittenhouse, who was taunting him before the shooting.ReplyDelete
Rittenhouse tried to portray himself as a medic (with his mother's borrowed first aid supplies). Someone with actual medical training wouldn't be out on the street taunting a mentally ill man.
Somerby talks about Rosenbaum's problems in order to portray him as dangerous (he was unarmed), but less than 5% of mentally ill people commit violence, a figure that is lower than for the general public. Bizarre behavior doesn't entitle anyone, even Rittenhouse, to shoot and kill a mentally ill person. Rittenhouse sought out Rosenbaum and interfered with his activities on purpose. And then Rittenhouse shot him under the pretext of self-defense against a man who had not harmed anyone else at that riot.
Somerby knits his own fabulized narrative portraying Rittenhouse as justified in shooting Rosenbaum (and what about the others he shot after that?). In fact, he works way overtime doing so. What liberal has done that during this aftermath of Rittenhouse's trial? No one except Somerby, although lots and lots of conservatives have made Rittenhouse into their poster boy for boogaloo.
I can only comment on Bob, in agreement with the above. I don't know how to figure out what happened in Wisconsin enough to comment on the specifics though. For all I know he's got the correct timeline. But I'm not smart enough to say.Delete
You see it all the time on this blog. As soon as Bob reads something about mental illness in a story his brain stops working. Like, he really thinks blaming racism and violence on the mentally ill is some kind of naturalist, post-ideological philosophy. This is the same erudite analysis offered by the Batman cartoons, where all the villains are locked up in an insane asylum. This strategy feels good to articulate but I don't see Bob ever offer more than his own blog for supporting evidence.
Arguably, we are all in a sick society and the more social workers the better. But sometimes, evil isn't natural, it's not a perennial cause of oppression. Racism isn't natural. Hating transgender people is taught not learned. Much of the evil we face is artificial, it has organizations, ideologies, fundraising. Bob rarely points this out. He knows it's true but it's in conflict with what he wants to say, so he doesn't say it.
"our own tribe often seems to think that President Biden won a working majority in the United States Senate."ReplyDelete
Somerby isn't much of a political analyst. He suggests that the Georgia voting rights groups do not understand what is going on in Congress. In fact, they are using their absence to gain publicity for the issue. They are putting pressure on Biden and the elected Democrats in order to give them cover for strongly pursuing the voting rights bill by changing the filibuster rules. They are making it clear that they mean business.
I find it a bit racist for Somerby to interpret their political actions as ignorance of what has occurred with Manchin and Sinema, and how close the margin is in the Senate.
Somerby displays not only his own ignorance, but hostility toward the progressives and voting rights activists who are both demanding action over this issue which is central to maintaining our democratic system.
Somerby is being a huge asshole today, doubling down on his support for Proud Boy wannabees while insulting black voting rights activists in Georgia (including former State Representative Stacy Abrams, currently running for Governor).
Note the way Somerby clings to the 60 votes required instead of discussing filibuster reform. He pretends those 60 votes are immutable, a fixed reality that cannot be changed, as if Democrats had not been discussing reform since taking control of the Congress last January. Not hard to guess how Somerby feels about such reform, when he won't even acknowledge that it exists. Who is the child here?
He crossed state lines with internal polling data.ReplyDelete
Do you think it is a coincidence that Wisconsin helped get Trump elected, that Wisconsin computers were hacked before the 2016 election, that it has an active militia movement and an outrageous conservative governor whom Democrats tried to recall. The shooting there and the riots were symptomatic of unrest there.Delete
If you think there wasn't help from Russia in winning Wisconsin in 2016, you are wrong. Analysis after the election showed that sufficient black voters stayed home and progressive voters went for Jill Stein or wrote in Bernie in key precincts sufficient to sway the election and give the state to Trump. These were the voters targeted by social media campaigns conducted by Russia using bots, troll farms and funding from Russia.
Rittenhouse was a pawn, but conservatives sure as hell worked hard to win Wisconsin for Trump with a little help from Putin.
Biden is doing horribly, speaking of polling.Delete
I doubt he will run again, so polling is perhaps not much of a priority for him.Delete
Biden is doing great on the economy, if you want to speak about something other than an election more than two years away.Delete
"The Others seem to think that Donald J. Trump won the last election, our own tribe often seems to think that President Biden won a working majority in the United States Senate."ReplyDelete
Setting aside that (1) technically speaking the Democrats have a majority in the Senate, and (2) no one from our tribe is unaware of the obstruction by Manchin and Sinema, whereas there is no basis whatsoever for Trump's lie that he won the 2020 election, these two sets of beliefs, placed in opposition by Somerby himself, are not at all equivalent.
This bit of both-sides-ism and what-about-ism are manufactured by Somerby and in no way alike.
But what are Somerby's motives for suggesting that they are? If liberals don't pursue their agenda in Congress, even with the slight majority they have, are they supposed to curl up and play dead with Republicans who refuse to engage in good faith bipartisan cooperation to achieve legislation?
Somerby has never discussed the local level attempts by Republicans to restrict voting rights in numerous states that is motivating this legislation. Rachel Maddow has done a good job explaining it. If Somerby were any kind of liberal, he would understand what is going on, but he either doesn't or is pretending not to. You can decide which. In either case, this is a bad faith article, one that curries favor with red voters and the conservative trolls that now populate his blog comments. It is time for Somerby to admit that whatever else he may be, he is no liberal. It is time for Somerby to stop repeating his own big lie.
It would be more interesting if you addressed the substance of his claims.Delete
This is what Somerby said:Delete
""The Others seem to think that Donald J. Trump won the last election, our own tribe often seems to think that President Biden won a working majority in the United States Senate.""
The rest of my comment explains why Somerby's characterization of what "our own tribe" (e.g., liberals) think is wrong. That is the substance.
Somerby is saying that it is incorrect for liberals to believe that Democrats won a working majority (with Kamala Harris's vote in the Senate). Democrats won 50 seats. That +1 for the V.P. is a majority. On every single vote taken in the Senate, any senator can vote any way he or she wants, so the fact that votes are not all 50-50 with Harris breaking the tie results from the freedom to cast ballots as those elected see fit.
As I explained, there isn't a single liberal on this planet who doesn't understand that Manchin and Sinema have been blocking the Democratic agenda in the Senate. Why on earth would Somerby think that Democrats don't understand that reality?
And this IS the SUBSTANCE of Somerby's claim as stated in the sentence I am disputing.
The implication of Somerby's statement is that the lie believed by Republicans is similar to the lie Somerby attributes to Democrats. That cannot be true if liberals don't believe what Somerby attributed to them. And, lo and behold, they don't!Delete
I do agree that it is not particularly interesting when Somerby tells his own lies about liberals.
That is most certainly not the substance of what has been written here. Nowhere close. The "substance of Somerby's claim as stated in the sentence I am disputing"??? That is not the substance muchacho.Delete
I find you to be a little impertinent.
I think that's your problem, at this point.Delete
You don't call an adult person of any gender muchacho, especially if you don't know them. I think you are another obnoxious troll.
And the substance of today's post remains unaddressed.Delete
(muchacho has been gender-neutral for at least 15 years.)Delete
How would you know?Delete
My pot dealer is Latina.Delete
And you have once again completely avoided any substance presented by Somerby.Delete
You never addressed the substance of what he writes directly. You indirectly attack him with ad hominems and diversions about how he classifies himself politically. Diversions that completely avoid the point. You do this every single day.Delete
"My pot dealer is Latina."Delete
Sorry, but it's Latinx. "Latina" is a word WHITE SUPREMACISTS use. It's like the OK hand-gesture.
In some areas, young Latina lesbians like to be called "LatinZZZZZ", (sometimes with 4 Z's but usually 5). They actually hate the term 'Latinx'.Delete
Nobody cares if they hate 'Latinx'.Delete
That only means that they have internalized WHITE SUPREMACY and become carriers of WHITE SUPREMACY.
Liberal-pwogwessives know what's good for them. Liberal-pwogwessives will force them to be Latinx, and be happy about it.
"We were struck by Bosman's accurate statement because we've read and heard so many other statements which basically aren't. "
Don't worry, dear Bob. We're certain that the neglectful dembot Julie Bosman will be properly disciplined and spanked by your cult's High Priests.
And all necessary precautions will be taken to ensure that no accurate statements will discredit the pages of any liberal-goebbelsian publication ever again.
Somerby's opinions of reporters depend on whether what they write agrees with his preconceived notions about events.Delete
Somerby is confusing Rittenhouse with Antifa again.ReplyDelete
Antifa was in Kenosha helping the community. Rittenhouse was the teenager who "lost it" when he saw people protest the mistreatment of black people by the police.
Let's remember that Biden lied about having support on voting rights and more. He used this lie to quiet down activists and whip them into line behind the moderates. Now that the lie is exposed, The Daily Howler attacks the activists. Oh, you actually believed Biden? You took the president at his word?ReplyDelete
Thank you for admitting Biden won the 2020 Presidential election. This country could use more like you. A hell of a lot more.Delete
Who would believe anyone who says they can pass a voting rights law in a Senate with 50 Republicans?Delete
That's like when the Dems tried to have the Senate charge trump with treason. Sure, there may even be 10 Republicans who have a problem with treason against the United States, but there was no way all 10 would be United States Senators.
I'd be surprised if there were any Republican Senators who have a problem with treason against the United States of America.
“Maybe they’ll believe us next time. Or maybe people will just keep calling us naive,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)Delete
Biden got suckered by the "Big Lie" that there is a Right-winger who believes in something other than bigotry.Delete