Kyle Rittenhouse and Ethan Crumbley...


...but also, NAME WITHHELD: We've been thinking about various teenagers lately.  Some we won't mention today.

Before the week is done, we'll probably point you to more information about Kyle Rittenhouse, then 17. We're speaking of relevant information—information you would have heard about on Fox News, but not on MSNBC and not on CNN.

(News and information are tightly segregated now.)

Rittenhouse was 17 at the time. We've also been thinking about Ethan Crumbley, who was 15 years old, and badly disturbed, when he didn't get the help he badly needed. 

In each case, our general reaction has had us trying to try to lock these young people up. In the case of Crumbley, we also have his parents locked up. 

On TV, and in newspapers, former prosecutors are exploring the possibility that we could possibly get his guidance counselor locked up. Plus, the guy who let the Crumbley parents into that commercial building in Detroit. 

Karen McDonald is looking for a way to get him locked up. These Dimmesdales always know best.

We've also been thinking about NAME WITHHELD, who was one year older than us, and living two houses down the street, when he took his own life way back then, as a mere sophomore in high school.

We had vaguely heard, from our own mother, that he was unhappy and struggling to make friends and fit in. We don't recall how we learned that he had taken his own life, but he too badly needed help, and he too didn't get it.

For ourselves, it didn't seem to us that Rittenhouse should have been locked up. No, we didn't think that he had behaved like a "vigilante." We were more inclined to think that that reaction came from deep within us.

That said, we in our tribe are now strongly inclined to try to lock everyone up. This is the way we tend to react within our own failing tribe.

Does Rachel ever focus on anything else? Our tribunes have been selling us this pleasing product for the past five or six years. We're constantly told that we're days away from getting one of The Others locked up!

We talk about virtually nothing else. Then we wonder why average voters don't fall in line behind our otherwise empty worldview and our nonexistent societal plans.

It seems to us that this is the conduct of frustrated, failing people. We may present more information about Rittenhouse this week, but Crumbley's conduct help us remember what heartbreaking, maniacal murder can look like.

Our hearts go out to all the struggling kids who are badly in need of help. We don't think that locking everyone up—or falling in line behind prosecutors on TV—is the best or most attractive way to handle a meltdown like this.  


  1. "No, we didn't think that he had behaved like a "vigilante.""

    And we feel, dear Bob, that he did behave like a vigilante.

    Moreover, dear Bob, nowadays, when the police are being defunded and incapacitated, we predict vigilantism getting more and more widespread. And popular. For obvious reasons.

  2. From the outset of this disaster, two things were true about
    and obvious about Donald Trump. 1) He was happy to advance himself
    by accusing people of criminal acts and demanding they be jailed.
    2) He was quite willing to engage in criminal acts or demand others
    do the same in tribute to him. This does put the Democrats in a
    terrible position to be tarred as "partisans," though the only solution
    is to follow the law and have the courage to let the chips fall where
    they must.
    While moral nincompoops like Bob will smugly snark "Ha, who's
    the "lock them party" party now? This doesn't mean much. The Democrats did not chant "lock them up" at their political conventions
    (not that that bothered Bob when done to Hillary Clinton), nor do they appear interested in turning their constituents into a mob. Yes, the Media will sin in the name of "balance" but that defies any real interest on the situation that has evolved.
    Bob breezily dismisses Trump as a mental case ( as he obviously is),
    and makes that a permanent "get out of jail free" card, if you will. In events where Bob can't think of a ridiculous defense of Trump ( the election tampering phone calls, for instance, for which Trump should indeed be jailed), those events are simply ignored by his blog.
    These current high profile cases, in which there is indeed journalistic malpractice on all sides, are the only place where Bob can turn. We have a lot of facts in the Crumbly case that need to be established. The Rittenhouse case AND the Arbery Case (in which, predictably, Bob has zero interest) illustrate defendants and victims can have a chance at justice in the face of partisan coverage.
    I predict the Crumbleys are all rightfully in a lot of trouble. It is indeed possible the people at the school acted with criminal negligence, but all sides of the story, including the SEEMINGLY awful Crumbley's, are yet to roll in. What is notable here is that Bob Somerby has nothing to say about the horror of the crime or the unspeakable anguish of the victim's families.

    So we can only reflect on the mental problems of Bob Somerby, and hope he gets some professional help. And note in fairness the actions stemming from the mental problems that now arise every time he turns on his computer are not criminal, however craven.

  3. "Karen McDonald is looking for a way to get him locked up. These Dimmesdales always know best."

    McDonald is a District Attorney. It is her job to prosecute people who break the law. Criticizing her for that is ludicrous.

    Somerby doesn't seem to remember who Dimmesdale was in the novel The Scarlet Letter, or what his thoughts and reactions were to the trouble he got Hester Prynne into. He sounds pretty silly every time he makes this kind of reference, and he won't wake up to his mistake because he never reads his comments.

  4. "Then we wonder why average voters don't fall in line behind our otherwise empty worldview and our nonexistent societal plans."

    Like the infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better bill?

    I'm willing to believe that Somerby's worldview is empty, but he is incorrect when he tries to join our tribe simply by asserting his own membership. You have to believe in something to be a Democrat.

    The weirdness of calling the Democrats empty when the Republicans didn't bother developing a party platform in 2020 belies Somerby's namecalling today. It is the right that has no "societal plans" beyond getting rid of whatever Obama accomplished and the things liberals care about, such as Roe v Wade.

  5. Someone who knows Somerby well should contact his family and let them know how dark his mood has been lately. It would be bad if he were to follow the example of the high school neighbor who he is obsessing about today.

  6. Somerby frequently calls people “Dimmesdales”, but it doesn’t make sense.

    Arthur Dimmesdale was guilty of sin (extramarital intercourse with Hester Prynne). She became pregnant, so couldn’t hide her sin. He initially remained silent, but was tormented by the knowledge of his guilt. He eventually confessed and died.

    How does any of this apply to Karen McDonald?

    Has she committed a murder that we don’t know about? Has she harbored fugitives from justice?

    If not, then what is Somerby trying to say by calling her that?

    Do we not ask prosecutors to charge and try suspected lawbreakers? Isn’t that their job? Isn’t that the way our justice system works, a justice system in which Republican prosecutors frequently charge 15-year-olds as adults, but in cases that are not high-profile and which frequently involve black suspects.

    Doesn’t Somerby seem to be arguing for alternatives to police involvement in a case such as Crumbley’s? Doesn’t that sound very much like reallocating resources away from the police and directing them to other areas, mental health for instance, which is precisely what the reviled “defund the police” crowd were saying!

    It’s easy to suspect that Somerby’s objections to prosecutors and the police state are used as gaslighting, since he is only interested in this topic when it is a Democratic prosecutor (such as McDonald) or an “other” on trial. Otherwise, he rails against those liberals who wish to change the very abuses he claims to bemoan in our justice system.

  7. "Our hearts go out to all the struggling kids who are badly in need of help."

    How many hearts does Somerby have? He speaks for only himself when he cares more about the shooters than he does the victims.

    These shootings are not just caused by mixed up kids who are having problems dealing with adolescence. They are enabled by those who put guns in their hands and encourage their violent fantasies. The sense of outrage felt by these young men is fueled by entitlement arising from bad parenting. They succeed at schools where no one cares enough to notice the repeated warnings that such boys give to their friends, teachers, counselors and on social media. Tolerance of such language without intervention is another piece of the puzzle, and that is done by those around such boys, whose lack of concern "normalizes" violence to the point where they must shoot in order to get attention.

    But Somerby refuses to hold such kids accountable for their own actions. They surely know that murder is wrong. How do they get the message that such shootings are a way to get what they want, whether it is death by cop or notoriety or inclusion in the Proud Boys?

    Even a kid cannot be permitted to walk away from killing other human beings. They have learned that killing is easy and a way to solve their problems. When bears learn that, thet are tracked down and euthanized.

    Somerby apparently never learned that an important reason to lock some people up is to prevent them from harming other people, which is what happens when you let baby sociopaths become adult predators (as it happened with Trump).

    1. Crumbley is being called a hero on the incel websites, much as Rittenhouse has been called a hero on the alt-right. That isn't good for boys who are confused to begin with. And it breeds copycats.

    2. So as a psychology professor you’re buttressing a ridiculous anonymouse statement that equates Somerby’s desire for early intervention as being soft on crime…because…well…it’s Somerby.

      Do they pay you enough for that?

    3. Glad to see Bob finally get with "Defund the Police".
      Better late than never.

  8. Leftists oppose the "prison industrial complex" in part because it disproportionately locks up people of color for minor or non-existent infractions.


    Trump is not mentally ill - or the degree to which he is, is of little significance, he is corrupt to his core; what he and his cohort likely suffer from is unresolved childhood trauma. Furthermore, there is evidence that those on the Left have a larger anterior cingulate cortex - which makes them better at detecting errors and resolving conflict; right-wingers have enlarged amygdalas so they experience fear and paranoia to a greater extent. Brains have plasticity and it is unclear when these differences develop. We need to spend more money on helping those that suffer from childhood trauma, more on researching why right-wingers are so disturbed and cause so much wanton destruction.

    Rittenhouse is a psychopath, he has a history of violence, his actions are not surprising. He taunted Rosenbaum, then turned around and icily murdered him, then galloped off as if it was very enthralling for him. Then he killed another and shot another, both were trying to disarm him, he being a killer with a gun in a crowd. The verdict was an attempt by right wingers to decriminalize murder for White people, in no small part in recognition that protest is effective in achieving progress.

    Large cities have been slowly decreasing their police force over the last decade, which has been accompanied by a drop in crime. White suicide and White drug overdose, however, have been skyrocketing over the last decade; these people need help.

  9. There are plenty of mentally ill people in this country who weren't the Republican nominee for President in the last two elections. It's not the mental illness that draws Republican voters. It's the bigotry.