OUR SILO AND THEIRS: Did Ricky Ray Rector really say that?

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2021

But also, did Rittenhouse do that?: We're opposed to capital punishment. In fact, we always have been.

That said, we're also opposed to mindless Storyline / Narrative / Script. We're opposed to Perfect Stories, especially when such treasured stories aren't especially accurate.

Bret Stephens starts his column today with a long-standing Perfect Story. The return of this story reminds us of a basic fact about our journalism—memorized script never dies:

STEPHENS (11/24/21): It’s been nearly 30 years since then-Gov. Bill Clinton took a break from the campaign trail to oversee the execution of death-row inmate Ricky Ray Rector. Morally, it may have been repugnant to kill a man so mentally handicapped by a failed suicide attempt that he set aside the pecan pie of his last meal because he was “saving it for later.”

Politically, it was essential.

By the early 1990s the American left had spent a generation earning a soft-on-crime image in an era of growing lawlessness. In 1988, Mike Dukakis secured the Democrats’ third landslide loss thanks in no small part to his stalwart opposition to the death penalty. Four years later, it was difficult to imagine any Democrat reaching the White House without a literal blood sacrifice to the gods of law and order.

On the one hand, it's true! The late Ricky Ray Rector was executed in Arkansas in January 1992. He was executed for having committed a particularly heinous murder, following which he had shot himself in the head, creating a diminished mental capacity.

Also, Candidate Clinton did leave the campaign trail to be present in the state, serving as governor, when the execution occurred. That said, did Rector really "set aside the pecan pie of his last meal because he was 'saving it for later?' " 

Anyone familiar with the human cultural practice will recognize that as a classic Perfect Story. That doesn't mean that the story is false. It does mean that intelligent people should wonder whether it's true.

We're fairly sure that we researched and wrote about that Perfect Story maybe ten years ago. It seems to us that we emerged from that exercise doubting the accuracy of the iconic, widely loved story, which emerges again today. 

Did the late Ricky Ray Rector really say that? We have no idea. 

None of this bears on the morality of capital punishment, a practice we've always opposed.  It does speak to a different moral question:

It speaks to the way our mainstream press corps tends to favor these Perfect Stories—the stupidified stories which vastly simplify the events and issues which constitute the real world. It speaks to the way they tend to favor such simplistic tales, even when the stories in question aren't especially true.

It also speaks to a basic point we've long urged you to recognize:

Much as "rust never sleeps," Narrative / Storyline / Memorized Script never dies.  Perfect Stories will always return, as this one does today.

According to anthropologists, our brains are wired for Perfect Stories, for the vastly stupidified tale. This brings us to a second question:

Did Kyle Rittenhouse really do that?

We refer to the ugly, stupidified stories we posted yesterday afternoon. In this case, these remarkably ugly, stupid stories came from one particular wing of the "mainstream press." 

They came from the people we're now asked to listen to, respect and believe here in our own liberal / progressive / Democratic / blue world. 

We refer to a series of accounts, from six different people, of what Kyle Rittenhouse supposedly did in Kenosha last summer. Below, we'll repost two of those accounts, one by Professor Johnson, one by Malcom Nance.

If you were watching The ReidOut last Friday, you saw these people offer these highly tendentious implied accounts. Today, though, we ask a simple question:

Is this anything like what Kyle Rittenhouse actually did? Did Rittenhouse really do this?

JOHNSON (11/19/21): The first thing that occurred to me after this ruling is, "Oh, well, okay, now it's just open season." Like if I'm walking around and I'm a white nationalist, you know, coward little kid with an AR-15, and I see someone drive by with a Black Lives Matter bumper sticker and I feel threatened, I can open fire. 

If I go by a youth group standing outside a local Target and they're chanting, "Black lives matter," and I feel threatened, I can open fire. 

[...]

NANCE: What he did, by his very action of going out, going to a protest across state lines, being within a group of armed men, performing what they call the Korean on the rooftop, right, defending a position, whether it's a business or other, where they were not invited, and then getting into this fight where he killed two men and wounded a third, that is now the template on how to protest against Antifa or Black Lives Matter or any other person that they consider, in the white supremacy-world, race traitors.

Is that what Rittenhouse actually did? More specifically, is that anything like what Rittenhouse actually did?

Did he see someone with a bumper sticker and feel he could open fire? Did he see a youth group chanting "Black lives matter" and decide to open fire?

Did he kill two men because he considered them to be race traitors? Is any of this anything like what actually happened that night?

We aren't telling you what to think about what Rittenhouse did. We're asking you what you think about the various things six people said on last Friday evening's "news program."

We regard their conduct as all-too-human but extremely bad.  That said, conduct like that suffuses our liberal "news orgs."

This morning, in the rest of his column, Stephens is essentially saying that the liberal / progressive / Democratic / blue world is probably in a world of hurt because of the various dumb and dishonest prescriptions coming from tribunes like these.

Stephens plays a few other familiar cards as he offers this assessment. One concerns a Perfect Story the mainstream press corps concocted in 1988 about Candidate Dukakis.

Having said that, Standard Group Script is very powerful—and it's often bogus. Over the course of the past year, a wide array of scripts emerged about what happened in Kenosha. 

Sadly, it seems to us that The Others were actually more fully informed about the wide range of those events than our blue tribe has been. In this case, we think their silo released more information than ours.

We'll explore that claim next week. In the meantime, we ask you this:

What do you think about people who go on TV and say the things those progressive tribunes said? All six angrily said that Rittenhouse had crossed state lines, an utterly meaningless bit of fully stupidified script.

We think their conduct is dumb-beyond-dumb, though also thoroughly human. Beyond that, we think that Stephens' overall assessment is quite likely accurate. 

According to experts, recitation of script is pleasing and fun, but stupidification kills.


76 comments:

  1. Thanks for documenting a very small sample of the liberal atrocities, dear Bob.

    As for "what Rittenhouse actually did", we'll admit that we're impressed by what that boy did.

    Three times in a row he successfully defended his life from deranged, mouth-foaming rabid liberals.

    He didn't freeze. He didn't panic, he didn't snap. He did everything right, under the circumstances; that boy, with no military training. Pretty amazing, we must say.

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    1. This is a sample of the kind of thing viewers will hear over on Fox. In what way does this constitute better facts than in our Silo?

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    2. Rittenhouse was exhilarated after shooting those men. How amazing was that?

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    3. There's no such thing as "better facts", dear dembot.

      We examine facts. Goebbelsian dembots spread lies. And that's all there is to it.

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    4. And this is the problem with watching Fox News. They insist that everything they say is correct, even when it is politically motivated tripe.

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    5. What we said, dear dembot, is our opinion; our opinion based on undeniable facts.

      What your goebbelsian dembots say is simply a bunch of lies. And you don't have to take our word for it, read dear Bob's posts.

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    6. Mao needs a quick visit to the DC Holocaust Museum. He shows a major lack of respect for the atrocities committed by Hitler when he calls his political opponents "Goebbelsian". What Goebbels did bears no resemblance to anything in American politics and use of his name trivializes the evil of Hitler's regime.

      Survivors of the Holocaust used to visit public schools in order to tell children what happened to them and how it affected them and their families. Mao obviously did not have that opportunity or he wouldn't so callously borrow a name that is infamous just because he lacks sufficient imagination to find his own description of Democratic policies.

      Unfortunately, owning the libs by trampling all over things that decent people care about is part of the conservative approach to politics. And I think deficient human beings like Mao enjoy such behavior. It may even be why he is part of the right -- the permission to behave badly.

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    7. Republicans would poop their pants if there was a muslim or person of color or non right wing shooter that, after killing someone, was attacked in order to neutralize them, and that muslim or person of color or non right winger shot and/or killed those people trying to neutralize them (again, after killing someone) but then got off scot-free by claiming self defense.

      This is how morally repugnant Rittenhouse defenders are. "Right wing" is just another term for "no integrity".

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    8. Mao, good to know that what you say is based on "undeniable facts" while" Goebelsain liberals spread lies." "That's all there is to it." Although you sound like a simpleton that way.

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    9. Yes indeed, dear dembot, we're an unsophisticated, ordinary person.

      ...and we're mighty surprised, honored, and, frankly, overwhelmed that an intellectual titan like you, an ubermensch, really, takes time from his busy dembot schedule to read our humble comments. And even to reply, occasionally!

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    10. AC/MA, Mao is mocking you.

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  2. Bret Stephans is not liberal. Reviving a story like this to slime Bill Clinton, who is not running for anything and was in all major respects a fine president, is reprehensible. Whatever purpose Stephans had for doing this, Somerby doesn't examine.

    Did Rittenhouse really shoot two unarmed men and then wound another man who was trying to stop him from shooting more people? Yes, he absolutely did. The only question is how he would be made to answer for his crime. The FACT of him shooting those people is beyond dispute. The only question is what those deaths mean, to Rittenhouse and to the American people. Obviously they mean nothing to Somerby.

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    1. Bret Stephens is not just not a liberal, he is a hardcore right wing conservative whose main raison d'etre is to own the libs. He thinks he is a cool dude, but in reality he is a virulent parasite on society. Kind of makes Somerby look bad, quoting him so often here, don't you think?

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    2. anon,2:23, no I for one don't think so. Stephens is a conservative and I don't agree with him on a lot of things, but he attempts to make reasonable arguments. Your characterization of him as a "parasite on society" sounds vicious, and fascistic. To a lot of Republicans, Stephens is a traitorous RINO. And how do you know that "he thinks he is a cool dude?" Where do you get that?

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    3. I read Bret Stephens, he does not make reasonable arguments, he makes arguments designed to trigger liberals, and he often is self referential in a way that makes it clear that he thinks he is a cool dude - a hero even.

      Repeating Republican talking points is a right anyone has, just do not expect anybody actually reasonable to take you seriously.

      Furthermore, opposing the death penalty is not soft on crime, and if you are not able to understand that, stop playing footsie and just join the Republican party.

      Listen we all see through all the "I am not a right winger, I just want reasonable, rational arguments" morons that comment here; it is sometimes amusing, but mostly it is tedious.

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    4. "he attempts to make reasonable arguments"

      Why do none of his attempts succeed? It makes me think he isn't really trying.

      Mitt fucking Romney is a RINO to MAGAheads, and he was the Republican presidential nominee. So what?

      Saying that someone "thinks he is a cool dude" means that he has a self-satisfied tone and perhaps adopts popular mannerisms and sayings, while also being pretentious. Like that teacher in high school who tied a sweater around his waist or shoulders. Never going to be cool and never going to know he's not.

      Not surprising that you don't do nuance, AC/MA.

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  3. Rittenhouse was rewarded for his violent acts by getting to meet Trump, who gave him his blessing and showed the alt-right that he is still their guy. What a country we live in!

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  4. "Did he kill two men because he considered them to be race traitors? Is any of this anything like what actually happened that night?"

    He killed two men because he sucked at being a medic. Is that explanation any better? Those two men are still dead.

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  5. "This morning, in the rest of his column, Stephens is essentially saying that the liberal / progressive / Democratic / blue world is probably in a world of hurt because of the various dumb and dishonest prescriptions coming from tribunes like these."

    And yet it is Stephens himself who is reviving these stories in order to harm Democrats and bolster the right. His purpose for doing this has nothing to do with storyline and everything to do with kicking Democrats. Because you look at the effect of someone's actions, not their stated reasons, to decide their motive. Cui bono.

    This is the same technique Somerby uses here daily. He pretends to be helping the left find better messaging, present truth, but he is actually repeating conservative memes and talking points in order to damage Democratic prospects and block their goals. Somerby does not have the interests of the left at heart when he repeats Stephens slur under the guise of talking about storyline.

    Exposing storyline is a pretense. This is a culture war (according to Somerby) and Somerby is on the wrong side. He doesn't give a shit about Democrats any more than he does those men Rittenhouse shot, or the ruined life of a 17 year old co-opted by the alt-right. And Rittenhouse's MOTHER took him to visit failed presidential candidate Trump. Because Rittenhouse has propaganda value for a little while, after which he will be dropped like a pariah, because who needs a baby sociopath without a GED? Hint: no one.

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  6. The murdered men didn't have to be actual race traitors to deserve being shot. They just had to be there, supporting a protest of the shooting of another unarmed black man.

    All protesters now have a target on their backs. They don't have to have actually done anything. Guys with guns are going to a turkey shoot. No one asks whether the turkeys did something bad to deserve being shot. It is enough that they are there and turkeys. It is open season on protesters because the alt-right has decided it is time to use their guns, and authorities are giving them permission -- showing them that nothing will happen to them if they engage in violence.

    Notice how Somerby has said nothing about Charlottesville or about the Arbery trial. These are not the outcomes they are seeking. These trials are holding the right accountable. Rittenhouse is getting huge attention from the right, while the other trials are being ignored, because those other trials are inconsistent with their attempts to exercise power and intimidate the left. (They tried and have failed.)

    Every time Somerby opens his mouth to defend a miscreant (now Rittenhouse, yesterday Roy Moore), he is attempting to assert the power of the right wing to intimidate its political rivals. That is what Somerby is doing here. It is ugly, it is wrong, it has nothing to do with Somerby being liberal and everything to do with Somerby embracing the dark side. This should be obvious with his embrace of Stephens today.

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  7. "In this case, we think their silo released more information than ours."

    But how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? Their silo spews a great deal of bilge too. You have to know the facts before you can tell what is fact and what is a lie.

    Somerby tells lies here himself. If you think he is going to help identify which are lies over on Fox, think again.

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  8. I see, is this Bret Stephens offering his unsolicited advice to President Biden to pull a Sister Souljah and stab his most loyal constituency in the back? Nice of TDH to bring it up.

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  9. Here is a review of the political use of self-defense laws and the current violence on the right:

    https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/11/the-impunity-is-the-point

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  10. "The principle that canonizes Rittenhouse as a saint for defending his city from rioters, and the mob that stormed the Capitol as martyrs, is the principle that the slaughter of the right’s enemies is no crime." Adam Serwer

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/11/unsurprising-outcome-rittenhouse-trial/620742/

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  11. This use of guns in place of social skills and civility seems to be happening wherever there are permissive gun laws:

    "Officers responded to the restaurant just after 9 p.m. Friday where they were told that the suspect, identified as Charles Doty Jr., 53, became upset when he was told that his pepperoni pizza would take ten minutes to make. According to the report, 'he got upset and demanded a free bread stick order and went outside the business to wait for the pizza,'" reported Camruinn Morgan-Ramsey. "When Doty Jr. returned, he had the rifle in hand and was pointing it at employees, demanding his pizza immediately, the report reads. Doty Jr. reportedly stopped an employee who was trying to leave the Little Caesars, asking 'where in the hell he thought he was going,' and a woman waiting in line ended up giving him her pizza in an attempt to get him to leave."

    According to the report, police later tracked him down and arrested him. He is charged with aggravated assault and especially aggravated kidnapping.

    "He comes walking back in and hasn't pointed at anybody yet. I was taking care of a female customer and she was just getting ready to leave, then he gets the gun. He pointed at me saying, where is my damn pizza? I want my pizza," said former Little Caesars employee Kimberleigh Smith. "I was shocked it was over a six dollar pizza."

    Tennessee's Republican-controlled legislature recently enacted what is known as a "permitless carry" law, allowing people to carry handguns without any training or licensing from the state — although that law does not apply to long guns like the AK-47. Federal background check laws still apply, although these can be circumvented by buying guns through private sales without the involvement of licensed dealers; websites like Armslist.com exist to facilitate these unchecked gun sales."

    Somerby may consider this self defense too (against slow pizza delivery, which no doubt made this man very frightened).

    From Rawstory

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    1. What are your thoughts on one Darrell Brooks allegedly murdering 6 and injuring 61 -- without any guns whatsoever, dear dembot? In a state ruled by liberals, incidentally.

      Would you describe it as, perhaps, a mostly peaceful protest? Please enlighten.

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    2. Is what Charles Doty did anything like what Nance and Johnson described? I think so. And I think they have Rittenhouse pegged too.

      Rittenhouse went to a rally, picked off a few men there, shot someone who tried to stop him, and then walked away without any police attention (they let him go). That sounds like open season on protesters to me.

      Somerby doesn't explain what he considers to be different about what Rittenhouse did. I feel pretty sure it entails believing the lies Rittenhouse told on the stand, and presented by his defense attorneys, about him being a medic and feeling frightened (when the video shows him behaving in an exhilarated, exuberant manner after shooting an unarmed man).

      I think Somerby is being duped by the right. He clearly doesn't know which "facts" to believe and so he has chosen Fox's version of events. That is the side that is calling for open season on protesters, that issues "joke" liberal hunting licenses.

      What kind of liberal chooses to believe political opponents over members of his own party on matters involving strongly held values -- like not shooting people for no good reason.

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    3. Hey, lookie here:
      "A New York City man, who was out on parole for a prior gun-related conviction, on Tuesday walked up to a 13-year-old boy on his way to school and shot him in the neck, authorities said.

      Hubert Wiggs, 36, was not only out on parole for a 2010 firearms and illegal drug conviction, but he was also out on bail for possession of an illegal firearm in 2019, NYPD Assistant Chief Kenneth Lehr said Tuesday during a presser following the incident."
      https://www.foxnews.com/us/new-york-city-parolee-shoots-boy-neck-guns

      Surely it's all the fault of Tennessee's Republican-controlled legislature. Right, dear dembot?

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    4. When it happens in TN, it is.

      No one suspected you are a gun control supporter, Mao.

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    5. Oh, yeah? Thank you, dear dembot. In that case, surely, liberals and the liberal culture should be held responsible for the New York City man, who was out on parole for a prior gun-related conviction, on Tuesday walked up to a 13-year-old boy on his way to school and shot him in the neck.

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    6. That is illegal in both NYC and TN. What is your point? It is the open carry part that is problematic in TN. The man there never shot his gun. He only used it to coerce, steal and kidnap, under threat. That threat is made more possible by open-carry laws.

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    7. What the man allegedly did in TN is illegal in TN, open-carry or not. Just the same as shooting people in the neck is illegal in NY.

      So, what is your point, dembot?

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    8. If people are not walking around with guns, they will not be able to intimidate others when they lack the patience to wait for their pizza, or are cut off in traffic, or suffer any of the other slights of modern society. Suicides and domestic shootings would go down if people didn't have guns in their homes. My point is that states that restrict guns have better stats on crime and gun accidents that places that do not restrict guns. Your posting of a single example does not address such stats at all. However, my posting of an example of misuse of a gun in a public place does, since such events would be much less frequent without open carry laws.

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    9. "Open carry laws" are not for criminals, they are for law-abiding people. We see absolutely no reason to believe that criminals would be inconvenienced by the lack of "open carry laws", or that "open carry laws" somehow affected Mr Doty's alleged behavior.

      The New York City man, on the other hand, "was not only out on parole for a 2010 firearms and illegal drug conviction, but he was also out on bail for possession of an illegal firearm in 2019".

      Now, this is something the New York Democrat-controlled legislature does specifically for criminals. It releases criminals to the streets, where they shoot kids in the neck.

      Don't you think that, all things considered, the New York Democrat-controlled legislature is a far more dangerous wrongdoer than Tennessee's Republican-controlled legislature?

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    10. Mao,
      All across America, the 2nd Amendment gives you the right to shoot police officers.
      The snowflake police need to suck it up, or work politically to get the Constitution amended.
      When you take a clear-eyed look, it really shows the police hate America.

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  12. Somerby asks:
    “Is that what Rittenhouse actually did? “

    Then two paragraphs later he says:
    “We aren't telling you what to think about what Rittenhouse did.”

    (?)

    He claims “We're asking you what you think about the various things six people said on last Friday evening's "news program."”

    You cannot think about what they said without thinking about what Rittenhouse did, because they are talking about what he did, and you cannot judge the validity of what they said without thinking about the thing they are attempting to describe.

    It should also be noted that both Johnson and Nance are engaging in speculation. They believe that this incident and its outcome will embolden others in the future. Whether that is true, or justifiable speculation, is a matter of opinion.

    Also, Nance is not Johnson. When Nance says “what he did”, he is not saying that he (Rittenhouse) did the things Johnson mentioned. Nance is clearly speculating that what Rittenhouse did will influence future behavior.

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    1. mh/corby/anonyomous -all the same dumbshit troll.

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    2. Ow, ow ow ow, the stupid...it burns!!!

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  13. Clinton was fulfilling his duty as Governor, not indulging in blood lust during a campaign. He took time AWAY FROM his campaign because he was still governor and that was his job.

    Suggesting that a man who has incapacitated himself during a botched suicide after a heinous murder should be exempted from responsibility for his crime is ludicrous. He was not mentally handicapped when he committed the crime. If anything, his incapacity seems to have blunted the emotional impact of the execution on him, a mercy other criminals do not get.

    But use of this anecdote to attempt to smear Clinton is nakedly partisan and offensive, since this man's execution is being used for political purposes.

    Shame on Somerby for repeating this garbage and shame on Stephens for bringing it up.

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    1. These death penalty cases result in a lot of appeals and litigation. It's basically liberals who oppose the death penalty. One major argument of the anti-death penalty legal position is that it's wrong to put to death a person who is mentally incompetent. The issue isn't necessarily whether the person was competent at the time the crime was committed; it can be whether they are incompetent at the time of carrying out the sentence. The liberal position is anti-death penalty. It isn't a "smear" against Clinton to fault him for not stopping that execution. By the way, not imposing the death penalty is not the equivalent of not holding someone responsible for his crime; the alternative is life imprisonment, which is a form of holding someone responsible for murder. Shame on you for your knee jerk, ineducated take on this.

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    2. The argument about mental incompetence doesn't apply to someone who was not incompetent when he committed the crime that got him the death penalty. Notice how carefully both Somerby and Stephens avoid telling readers what that crime was in this case.

      Clinton was Governor but he didn't have the ability to stop the execution just because he personally may not have supported the death penalty. It depends on the laws in Arkansas.

      Shame on you for implying that the sentence given by the judge can be set aside on the whim of the Governor. This man wasn't given that alternative, no doubt because of the heinous nature of his crime (again, unstated).

      Shame on you for pretending that Somerby cares one little bit about this man's fate except as a cudgel to beat up liberals with, including Clinton, whom he does not defend. Shame on you for pretending that Stephens is any kind of liberal, when that is pure fantasy on Somerby's part. Shame on you for ignoring the point of the excerpt, which had nothing to do with the death penalty or the prisoner's mental status, but was intended to make Democrats look like hypocrites.

      You are the very last person on this blog who has any standing to call anyone else here (including David and Cecelia) uneducated (a word you misspelled).

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  14. The left admires victimhood more than they ought to, IMO. In the case of Rittenhouse, the right is doing the same thing. Rittenhouse is a victim of the unfair media. That's why he's being extolled.

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    1. Admire is the wrong word. People on the left care about other people. That doesn't mean we would wish victimhood on anyone or that we "admire" it.

      It does seem like the right uses victimhood for political purposes. Rittenhouse is being "extolled" because members of the gun culture identify with him. It isn't as if the media has ever encouraged any of the students guys with guns pull. So, Rittenhouse isn't get any different treatment than any other yahoo who committed multiple murders with a semiautomatic weapon he wasn't supposed to have. That doesn't make him any kind of victim. On the left, we see him as a predator.

      Your odd choice of words is noted.

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    2. "Admire" is the right word. Trayvon Martin was basically a juvenile delinquent, yet a street in Miami was named for him. Being a victim was his only achievement. Matthew Shepard is another person admired for having been a victim.

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    3. Matthew Shepard was killed for being gay. That goes beyond "victimhood".

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    4. @6:13 Shephard is admired for being a gay VICTIM. Compare that with, e.g., Cole Porter and Steven Sondheim, who are admired for being great song-writers, who happened to be gay. Or, Peter Tchaikovsky, a great composer, who happened to be gay. These men had huge achievements. The only thing Shepard accomplished was being victim.

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    5. No, he is mourned because he was murdered for being gay. He was 21 when he was murdered, so comparisons to adult achievements are ridiculous. His murder was particularly brutal. He never got the chance to do the things Porter, Sondheim or even the local insurance salesman got to do. He was murdered by bigots and that is why his name is familiar to those who care about human rights.

      You are working way overtime to advance an unsupported thesis. You keep suggesting that these people who are remembered (because they were turning points in the movement for gay rights, for example) are "admired". No one is admired for being killed. But they are mourned and memorialized because they come to stand for the need for change. It is shocking and unthinkable that any young man should be murdered the way Matthew Shepard was.

      But you keep digging that hole, David.

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    6. Keep in mind that David voted twice for the biggest crybaby whiney loser professional victim who ever darkened the face of the earth. Not only does David admire this perpetually aggrieved victim crybaby, he thought it would be neat to make him the leader of the free world. Just keep that in mind when conversing with gruesome David.

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    7. Somerby says he admires MLK and Malala, but he doesn't support their causes. For example, he doesn't support civil rights in our time, he doesn't support education, and he attacks both black writers and female journalists and professors whenever he can. I can't help wondering what MLK and Malala would think of Somerby. Not much, I suspect.

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    8. There's no shame in being a victim of or calling attention to a victim of an unjustifiable homicide. Trumpsters do the same thing with Ashli Babbitt, do they not, Davy?

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    9. @7:37 - Thanks for the example. I don't think Ashli Babbitt is nearly as famous a person as Matthew Shepard or Trayvon Martin. No city is naming streets after Babbitt.

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    10. Of course the point is not which victim is more famous than the other. Don't be an idiot. The point is sometimes a victim is justifiably a victim. There's nothing wrong about Shepherd being admired for being a gay victim or Babbitt being admired for being a victim of her cause, is there? You are weaponizing the word victim as Rush Limbaugh did for so many years. It may be justified in some cases but not in the Shepherd case at all. You've taken your accusations of victimhood too far in this case and crossed the line into arrogance and cruelty.

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    11. @10:07 PM
      Do you actually admire someone for being victim? Are you nuts, dembot?

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    12. Q. How many Right-wing accusations are really confessions?

      A. All of them, Katie.

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    13. "The left admires victimhood more than they ought to, IMO."

      Let me know when they throw a temper tantrum because black people's votes counted in an election, just as much as their votes did.

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    14. @8:37 Lester Maddox, George Wallace, the murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi, KKK lynchings... These were done by Democrats. However, LBJ deserves enormous credit for his Civil Rights law. Of course it passed with more support from Republicans than from Democrats.

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    15. Don't pretend that the Republican and Democratic parties of the 1800s and early 1900s are similar to those of today (or the 1960s when LBJ was President).

      This is why our nation's history needs to be taught in schools. So that Republicans cannot pretend that the current party was responsible for civil rights progress. Because Lincoln was a Republican and the Republicans instituted reconstruction after the civil war, the bastion of white supremacy in the South was Democrats. These "Southern Democrats" stood in the way of civil rights and progress toward racial equality. They obstructed the election of liberal presidential nominees. Finally, they left the Democratic party in the mid-20th century and those with racist views became Republicans. That is why the South is solidly red today. Lester Maddox and George Wallace were Southern Democrats and do not reflect today's party any more than the Republican party of today reflects Lincoln's values.

      So, David, your presentation is technically true but neglects the larger context of what happened. It isn't as if Republicans today are not the party of racism and intransigence on hunan rights. They are. And the Southern Democrats of the 1950s are not representative of today's Democratic party either.

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    16. @11:06 There's plenty of racism today, but it goes in various directions. One indication of racism a century ago was that some light-skinned non-whites chose to pass as white. Today, large numbers of whites seek to pass as non-whites. See "Survey: 34% of white college applicants lied about their race to improve chances of getting accepted" https://www.thecollegefix.com/survey-34-of-white-college-applicants-lied-about-their-race-to-improve-chances-of-getting-accepted/

      Their lies were motivated by college admission practices that discriminate against white and Asian applicants. Lawsuits are pending on this issue.

      Also, a number of current-day Democratic policies hurt blacks substantially, including
      -- opposition to alternative schools or school choice
      -- support of minimum wage laws
      -- Opposition of Trump enterprise zones
      -- support for increased illegal immigration

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    17. I would bet that the 34% correlated with holding conservative political views.

      A college student should be worried that if a lie on their application is discovered, their admission will be rescinded, as is the practice at most universities.

      Admission procedures are such that the applicant's race is not revealed until after the admission decision has been made.

      Your lack of trust in the fairness of admission policies is noted. Encouraging applicants to lie does a disservice to young people who are just establishing their philosophies of life.

      In contrast to university stats, 78% of applicants lie on job applications in some way. Needless to say, that is a very bad idea too.

      And then there is this:

      https://www.insider.com/experts-question-study-on-white-college-applicants-lying-about-race-2021-11

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    18. "Admission procedures are such that the applicant's race is not revealed until after the admission decision has been made."

      Now, that's an obvious lie.

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    19. Thanks for the link, Corby. There may be reasons to doubt the study, but the article doesn't give any.

      BTW your first sentence is merely a statement of your prejudice.

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    20. The article gave plenty of reasons.

      Notice how David starts out by making the tediously stupid argument about southern Democrats in 1960's and all the great republicans of that bygone era, and suddenly you find yourself debating a dubious claim that has Crazytowne USA all atwitter?

      Notice how David never acknowledges the absolute truth of this"

      Don't pretend that the Republican and Democratic parties of the 1800s and early 1900s are similar to those of today (or the 1960s when LBJ was President).?

      This is one of David's favorite hobby horses - whites and Asian americans are the true victims of discrimination today - and you will never get him off it.

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    21. David,
      Conservative Democrats were racists.
      Conservative Republicans are racists.
      This isn't Republicans vs. Democrats.
      This is Conservatives vs. Humanity.

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  15. This podcast is about how to address violent crime without depending solely on policing.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/23/opinion/ezra-klein-podcast-patrick-sharkey.html

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  16. Somerby keeps telling us to listen to The Other. But then he sets a poor example. He refers to opinions different than his own (whatever those may be, since he never states any) as dumb-beyond-dumb and stupidification. He makes no attempt to understand where his own "tribe" is coming from (assuming you believe his assertion he is liberal).

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  17. Before you consider the Arbery trial convictions a victory for justice, consider this:

    "The former prosecutor charged with misconduct in the Ahmaud Arbery case was booked into a Georgia jail the same day three men were convicted of murdering the Black jogger.

    Former Brunswick Judicial Circuit district attorney Jackie Johnson turned herself in Wednesday morning at the Glynn County jail and later released on her own recognizance after she was indicted last week on a felony charge of violating her oath of office and a misdemeanor count of obstructing police, reported the Associated Press.

    The 49-year-old Johnson allegedly used her authority to discourage police from making arrests in the 25-year-old Arbery's killing.

    Three men -- Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan -- were found guilty Wednesday afternoon on a variety of charges, including murder, in the killing.

    They were not charged in the killing for 74 days and only after public outcry following the online leak of a video of the fatal confrontation."

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    Replies
    1. What point, that the justice system works fine?

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    2. Do you think things are fine when a major crime such as murder is overlooked for 74 days and only prosecuted after public outcry (after a video was leaked)? Do you think things are fine when the District Attorney is put in jail over such an incident? Maybe in Russia...

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    3. We don't know that any part of your bullshit story is true (most likely none of it is), but if, hypothetically, it was true, then yes, we do think it proves that the system works fine.

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    4. Rittenhouse feared for his life. That doesn't sound like a would be medic. That sounds like a police officer who saw a 12-year old black boy with a toy gun.

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  18. Newman discussed class interests in the past election and the creation of the white working class, as described here by Yastreblansky:

    https://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2021/11/class-interests.html

    There is, of course, no reason why these white families, isolated by their companies, couldn't return to urban centers where jobs are more plentiful. It has always puzzled me why people stay stuck in bad situations without taking the effort to change their lives.

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