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BLACKS BEHAVING BADLY II
(Affirmative Action black "expert" witness for prosecution BOMBS!)
Chauvin Trial Day 8 Wrap-Up: “I Ate Too Many Drugs” Video May Be Game-Changer
Once again the defense weaponizes prosecution ‘expert’ witnesses against the prosecution case.
State’s Witness: Sergeant Jody Stiger, Los Angeles Police Department, Expert Witness
Today’s testimony began with the continuation of the direct questioning by Prosecutor Schleiter of Sergeant Jody Stiger, of the Los Angeles Police Department, who has been retained by the state prosecutors as an expert witness on use-of-force tactics and policy.
You’ll recall that the direct of Stiger began yesterday afternoon and ran for 30 minutes, until Judge Cahill decided to call it a day. That direct continued today for about another 45 minutes, before the witness was turned over to the defense.
Here’s a leading indicator that state-paid use-of-force expert witness Stiger was ultimately more favorable to the defense than he was to the prosecutors who’d paid him $13,000 to provide his expertise to help convict Chauvin: Whereas the State spent about 75 minutes questioning their own expert, Defense Counsel Nelson spent more than 90 minutes doing so.
That’s right, so fond was the defense of the State’s expert, so strongly did the defense believe that the testimony of the State’s expert favored Chauvin, that they spent 20% more time engaged with that expert in front of the jury than did the prosecutors.
In fact, the disparity is even worse if we only look at substantive questioning. Any party who calls an expert witness has to take time to establish the expert’s credentials, training, experience, and then also the methodology used by the expert to form their opinion. In this case that took the state a full 20 minutes, meaning they only questions Stiger substantively about his expert opinion for 55 minutes.
In that context, the defense actually spent 65% more time with the State’s expert witness, in front of the jury, engaged in substantive questioning, then did the State that paid that expert.
Folks, when the disparity in engagement is that great, I’m not at all sure that the State shouldn’t refer Stiger’s bill over to the defense for payment—certainly by the end of his expert testimony it sure felt like Stiger was more a defense expert than a state expert.
I do want to make clear up front that Stiger did right by his client and said the magic words they wanted him to say: In effect, that in his expert opinion, to a reasonable degree of legal certainty, Chauvin’s use of force on Floyd was excessive.
But there are, of course, two sides to a legal fight in our adversarial system, and today with Stiger subject to the cross-examination of Defense Counsel Nelson we got to see the other side of the argument.
So, let’s jump right in.
Stiger Direct Questioning
Once again, the prosecution sought to present the jury with a narrative of events stripped of all context and circumstances—and I’ll say again I find this to be a terribly flawed legal strategy, because inevitably the defense gets to jump up and present the rest of the context. The result can only be a loss of credibility of the prosecution in the eyes of the jury.
In this instance, Schleiter framed the use-of-force narrative in an extremely narrow sense by defining what he called the “period of restraint,” essentially the period from when Floyd was proned on the street until Chauvin turned Floyd over to the paramedics, a period of some 9 minutes and 29 seconds.
The reason for this framing is to suggest that everything else that had happened with Floyd prior to the start of the “period of restraint” should be considered off the table for the purposes of evaluating the reasonableness of Chauvin’s use of force.
This is, of course, utter nonsense. A suspect who has been 100% compliant with arrest throughout is fundamentally a different (and much lower) risk for officers than is a suspect who has violently fought multiple officers for 10 minutes, to the point where the officers concluded their efforts to make a lawful arrest were futile.
To pretend that the officers who had just fought the violent suspect for 10 minutes are supposed to erase that experience from their brains the moment the suspect appears to have ceased resistance is simply ridiculous, even childish.
Another trick suddenly employed by the prosecution today is to move the goal posts on what they claim was Chauvin’s precise physical misconduct. Throughout the entire week and a half of the state presenting their case in chief they have been claiming that Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd’s neck.
Initially, according to the state witness MMA “expert” Williams, the placement of the knee on the neck constituted a “blood choke,” a use of deadly force upon Floyd. Later, the defense argued that this was constricting Floyd’s ability to breath, initially by compression of the neck, later by compression of Floyd’s whole body, and then all that augmented by purported “positional asphyxia.”
All those arguments were, of course, presented as if Floyd did not have a three-fold fatal level of fentanyl in his system, which effectively also kills via asphyxiation.
This line of argument took a body blow from the defense, however, when Nelson began displaying images of the knee placement from different angles showing that Chauvin’s knee appeared to be on Floyd’s shoulders and back, rather than on Floyd’s neck. Indeed, Lt. Mercil, the state’s expert on MPD use-of-force training and policy explicitly agreed on cross-examination that this appeared to be the case.
So what’s the state to do when a key facet of their narrative of criminal conduct is contradicted by their own expert? Move the goals posts, of course.
Today, however, Prosecutor Schleiter and his state-paid use of force expert Stiger began to avoid the claim that Chauvin’s knee was on Floyd’s neck, and instead started referring to Chauvin’s knee being on Floyd’s “neck area.”
What’s the “neck area”? Well, the shoulders and upper back!
Again and again we heard Schleiter and Stiger refer to “neck area,” “neck area,” “neck area,” as if repeating it often enough would fog our minds, and the minds of the jury, and we’d simply be unable to realize that the goal posts had been moved.
Pro-tip: Don’t do this in legal argument, especially if you know your direct questioning of your well-paid expert witness is going to be immediately followed by Defense Counsel Nelson’s cross-examination. We’ll cover how Nelson dealt with this act of sleight of rhetoric in a moment.
Another trick used by Schleiter to strip context from the dynamic confrontation with Floyd was to have expert witness Stiger reference the MPD policy on use of force, and read off three bullet points that policy highlights as guidance for a reasonable officer.
Specifically, those bullet points indicated that in deciding upon a use of force the officer should consider the severity of the crime at issue, whether the suspect poses an immediate threat of safety to the officer or others, and whether the suspect is actively resisting.
These are all reasonable guidelines for use-of-force. Schleiter’s deception, however, was to present these three bullet points as if they were not merely guidelines, but the entirety of the MPD use-of-force policy framework. As presented by Schlieter, these three bulleted factors were the only factors a reasonable officer should consider in determining use-of-force.
In fact, of course, these three factors are merely three important considerations within the broader totality of the circumstances. Arguably, an infinite number of additional factors could reasonably play a part in use-of-force decision making.
Again, this act of deception by Schleiter was doomed to fail the moment Nelson got hold of Stiger on cross-examination—and it did fail. We’ll cover that in more detail in a moment.
Schleiter pulled out another trick when he attempted to diminish the value to the defense of the presence of the angry mob threatening imminent violence at the scene. Specifically, Schleiter likes to suggest that a mob isn’t threatening or something to be concerned about unless they are actually throwing rocks or bottles, or actively attacking the officers.
So Schleiter will ask his witness, did you see the crowd throwing rocks or bottles or attacking the officers? And ,of course, the witness answers no, because the mob wasn’t doing that.
But is that the only conduct by a mob that can lead a reasonable officer to perceive a substantive threat of physical danger, to himself, his partners, EMS, even the suspect for whom the officer has a duty of care (to the extent mob attack interferes with that care)? Of course not.
Just as was the case with the bullet points falsely presented by Schlieter as representing the totality of factors an officer must consider, similarly throwing rocks and bottles and actively attacking do not constitute the totality of ways a mob can be threatening.
If you’re thinking Nelson had fun with that line of questioning on cross, you would be correct. More on that, again, in a moment.
In fact, we’ll do it right now.
For future reference and viewing pleasure, here’s the video of today’s direct questioning of Stiger by Prosecutor Schleiter:
The first shocker in all this was that despite the huge significance of this case, and the national profile it has seized, the state apparently managed to choose as a use-of-force expert witness someone who had never testified in any state or Federal court as a use-of-force expert witness.
I know you’re thinking I mistyped that, so I’ll repeat it:
Sergeant Jody Stiger, the state’s highly paid use-of-force expert witness retained to share his expertise with the jury in Minnesota v. Chauvin, one of the highest-profile police use-of-force prosecutions in American history, has never before testified as a use-of-force expert witness in any state or Federal court.
This. Was. His. First.
To say I just about fell out of my chair when I heard that would be an understatement.
It almost boggles the mind. Can the state really have thought it a good idea, in a case of this magnitude with such stakes—literally, both Chauvin facing possible life in prison and urban centers all over the nation facing an explicit threat of widespread rioting, looting, and arson—to retain as their use-of-force expert witness someone who had never before testified as such in court.
Does that make any sense?
Why? Is it possible they literally could not find another use-of-force expert witness willing to provide the testimony they wanted? This was their last option for the narrative they wanted told to the jury?
I don’t know if that’s the case, and of course I couldn’t know. If there’s an alternative explanation for how Sergeant Stiger got this of all cases to be his first outing as a use-of-force expert witness in court, however, I can’t imagine what it might be.
I will tell you this much, as someone who does expert legal consulting work myself, and that is that like any skill, you get better at it the more you do it. I’m a vastly more capable legal consultant on use-of-force cases in 2021 than I was in 1996, because of my accumulated experience. To put it another way, my first effort was nothing as capable as my most current effort.
And that lack of experience showed starkly in Sergeant Stiger’s first effort testifying in this case. That’s not a knock on Sergeant Stiger, who came across as quite likeable, it’s simply a reflection of the reality that experience matters, and in the context of providing use-of-force expert testimony in court, Stiger came into this trial with literally zero experience.
Zero. Experience. And it showed.
Nelson also touched on the fact that Stiger’s entire personal use-of-force experience was with the Los Angeles Police Department and the state of California, and not the use-of-force laws and policies of Minnesota. When pressed on this, Stiger answered that police use-of-force policies were pretty much standardized across the entire country—but this reply would be contradicted in later cross-examination by none other that Sergeant Stiger himself, ... offered or conceded to a variety of ways in which police use of force varied between jurisdictions.
Even more shocking to me, as someone who does expert consultancy and reports and such myself in my own work, Stiger’s preparation for his opinion, and his recollection of his own work product, was astonishingly sub-par.
In the context of the MPD training and policy materials he considered in coming to his opinion, for example, Nelson managed to disclose that the many videos embedded in MPD training slide decks were never considered by Stiger. Why not? Because Stiger had received PDFs of those slides, not the actual Powerpoint docs themselves, and so the videos could not be played.
I don’t even know what to say about that.
Folks, I charge a lot of money for my legal consulting work, and one of the reasons I do so is because when I take on a case I look at everything. Every. Thing. Nothing goes unconsidered. I can’t imagine looking at a subset of training materials and providing a purported expert opinion on the central issue in a trial that could see a man sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Another possible sign of Stiger’s lack of experience was the nature of the written report of his opinion that he’d delivered to his clients, as the work product of his $10,000 expert fee (later supplemented with a $3,000 court appearance fee).
Stiger’s total report of his expert analysis and opinion amounted to a total of 461 pages.
Impressive, right? Sounds like $10,000 worth of work product to me.
Except … of those 461 pages, fully 95% were appendices, mere attachments of the MPD training and policy materials that had been sent to Stiger by the prosecutors themselves.
Only 26 of the 461 pages were substantive analysis and opinion.
We’ve probably all heard the expression that all a consultant does is take your watch, glance at it, and tell you what time it is, and Stiger certainly got that part of the job right.
In another indication of Stiger’s poor grasp of the content on which he was supposed to be expert for purposes of his testimony in this trial, at one point Nelson began digging into the specific MPD use-of-force policies central to deciding if Chauvin’s conduct was reasonable, on the one hand, or worthy of a 40-year prison sentence, on the other.
As part of that discussion, Nelson focused on one particular policy, asking Stiger to confirm if that was policy number 5-303. In fact, that is one of the key MPD use-of-force policies in this case.
Stiger. Did. Not. Know. He literally told Nelson, “I don’t know the exact number.”’
Again, I just about fell out of my chair. It’s not like Stiger was having a casual conversation about MPD use-of-force policy at a dinner party. He’s accepted $10,000 to write a 26-page report on precisely these policies, and another $3,000 to show up in court and testify about them, in case with a multi-decade prison sentence and widespread rioting on the line—and he couldn’t remember the number of the key policy in that analysis.
Next Nelson switched over to asking Stiger about the US Supreme Court case of Graham v. Connor, one of the seminal USSC cases on police use of force. By the way, if you’ve never read it, you should, and you can find it here: Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (US Supreme Court 1989)
When Stiger had been pressed about variances in use-of-force law across jurisdictions, he’d pushed back by claiming that they were all basically the same, because they were all based on the legal standard of Graham v. Connor. Well, that’s true, on a macro sense, but it’s far from true on a micro sense, and in use-of-force law, folks, the details matter. A lot.
Nelson began this discussion of Graham by first using it to gut Prosecutor Schleiter’s earlier claim that the three highlighted bullet points in the MPD use-of-force policy—severity of crime, threat of suspect, resistance of suspect—were the only factors to consider. He did so by first having Stiger confirm that MPD policy was thoroughly based on Graham v. Connor, something Stiger could hardly deny both because MPD policy explicitly cited Graham and Stiger himself had just claimed that all law enforcement use-of-force everywhere was based on Graham.
Then Nelson dug into Graham. Isn’t it true that Graham is not limited to three bullet points of consideration in deciding if a use of force by police is reasonable? Well, yes, answered Stiger.
Isn’t it true, Nelson asked, that Graham itself says that the test of reasonableness under the 4th Amendment is not subject to exact definition, but requires careful attention to the facts and circumstances of each case, essentially quoting directly from Graham. That’s correct, answered Stiger.
And isn’t that because an officer’s use-of-force decision may well include those three bullet points highlighted by Schleiter, but it certainly is not limited to them? Again, the state’s own highly-paid use-of-force expert was obliged to agree.
In fact, asked Nelson, here again essentially quoting Graham, isn’t it true that the calculus of reasonableness must allow consideration of many factors and that officers are often forced to make split-second judgments in circumstances that are rapidly evolving. Right again, agreed Stiger.
In fact, the officer needs to consider the totality of the circumstances. Yes, answered Stiger. The subject’s actions. Yes. Before, during and after the use of force. Yes. Everything the officer knew at the time. Yes, again.
There are many layers to use-of-force decision making, including general training, the general surroundings of the event, the specific surroundings of the event, the type of force used, how long, the officer’s perceptions and actions, the suspect’s actions, officer training, personal experience, tactical advantages and disadvantages. Yes to all that, agreed Stiger.
Also, scene security, suggested Nelson, the safety and security of the officer, his partners, the public generally. Again, yes.
At this point it really began to feel like Stiger had been retained as a defense expert witness on use-of-force, rather than retained by the prosecutors who had actually paid him.
But it got worse for the prosecution.
Nelson asked if it wasn’t true that there were certain situations that by their very nature created an exceptionally heightened concern on the part of responding officers. Like a domestic [altercation].
Or like a robbery, or a shooting, Stiger helpfully suggested.
Sure, answered Nelson. So, sometimes an officer might have to be prepared for an increased risk.
I wouldn’t agree with that, said Stiger.
An officer should be prepared for the highest level of risk in every encounter.
So, every time an officer responds, there’s an inherent risk, it’s the nature of policing, and a reasonable officer has to be prepared for the risk level to change?
It’s hard to imagine more helpful testimony for the defense.
Nelson also again hit the point that MPD use-of-force policy was not a simple, binary framework, if A then B, if X then Y, as Schleiter suggested to the jury, but that in fact every single facet of that policy had qualifications. If time allows, as safety permits, and so forth. Again, Stiger was obliged to agree.
Nelson: Police don’t look at force in a vacuum, do they? Stiger: We should not. I look to the totality of the circumstances.
Among those circumstances, Nelson suggested, was what the officer knew going into the call important, correct? Correct, answered Stiger.
Do you agree that in this case, Chauvin was responding to a priority 1 call, backing up other officers (both of whom were brand new rookies, incidentally), code 3, lights and sirens, to deal with a suspect who was as much as 6 ½ feet tall and believed to be under the influence?
Reasonable for the officer to rely on that information, as it sets the stage, the inherent risk of responding to that call?
Is the fact of Floyd’s size of particular concern, asked Nelson?
I wouldn’t say so, said Stiger.
Well, Stiger answered, I’ve seen even small suspects be even more dangerous than large ones.
Holy. Cow. In other words, it’s not a case where an officer should not infer greater risk from a large suspect, it’s a case where an officer should infer that same risk from even small suspects.
Nelson then asked Stiger about the extent to which the information in the 911 call should have informed Chauvin’s decision-making. To this, Stiger responded that he had never heard the 911 call.
You read that right: the state’s highly paid use-of-force expert witness had never bothered listening to the 911 call that set this entire police response in motion, and which was the foundational information the officers brought with them in responding to the scene.
I. Can’t. Even.
But then Nelson scored huge when he dug into the specific knowledge that Chauvin brought with him to the scene, and in particular what level of force that knowledge would have privileged Chauvin to use against Floyd.
Chauvin had heard a priority 1 call, knew force was being used, heard scuffling over the radio, knew other officers were engaged in a fight, was called as backup to support them, knew the suspect was possible impaired, and 6 ½ feet tall, and when he arrived he saw Floyd and two officers at the back of the squad car, with the Floyd actively resisting their lawful efforts to place him in the squid car. Agreed?
Agreed, said Stiger.
Under your analysis of the MPD use-of-force continuum and policies, is it true that Chauvin would have been privileged to simply draw his Taser and use it on Floyd, to stop Floyd’s active resistance.
Yes, answered Stiger.
Nelson: But he didn’t do that.
Stiger: No, he did not.
Lesson for the jury: Chauvin not only didn’t use excessive force throughout his encounter with Floyd, he didn’t even use as much force as MPD policy allowed for. Instead, he used less force.
Naturally, the prosecution will make the legitimate point that just because Chauvin declined to use maximum permitted force upon arrival at the scene doesn’t necessarily mean he didn’t use excessive force later on, when circumstances had changed, but this was compelling cross of the state’s witness by any reasonable measure.
Then we had another incident in which Stiger seemed woefully poorly informed about his own $10,000 26-page report. Nelson asked if Stiger himself had not concluded in his report that the efforts of Lane and Keung to compel Floyd’s arrest had, because of Floyd’s active resistance, ended when they realized the “futility of their efforts.”
Stiger objected that he didn’t remember using those words in his report.
Would referring to your report refresh your recollection? Hands over the report. Stiger looks at it read, nods.
Oh, yeah, I did say “futility of their efforts.”
Folks, again, it’s not like Stiger didn’t know he was going to be testifying about his report today, nor that his report was, let’s face it, all that lengthy. I just don’t understand how he could be so poorly prepared.
Then Nelson dove into Stiger’s personal experience in making arrests of suspects. Isn’t it true that sometimes suspects lie in an effort to avoid arrest? Yes. They’ll bargain? Yes. They’ll make up complaints of distress? Yes. Should an officer consider not just the words, but also the actions, to see if those are consistent with the words? Yes.
When Floyd began saying that he couldn’t breath, wasn’t he at that moment violently fighting with the officers to prevent them from putting him in the squad car? Yes. Isn’t that conduct inconsistent with not being able to breath? Yes.
Lesson: the officers had good reason to believe that Floyd’s claims of difficulty breathing were a fabricated claim of medical distress.
Diving into Stiger’s personal experience on this issue, Nelson asked him if while making an arrest Stiger had ever had a suspect feign a physical ailment. Yes. Fake a heart attack. Yes. An officer has to consider if those claims are lies? Yes.
About Floyd’s denial of drug use during the arrest, Nelson asked if Stiger had observed white around Floyd’s mouth and whether that was consistent with someone using controlled substances? Yes. Common for users to deny use? Yes. Officers need to take that into account? Yes.
To counter the prosecution’s suggestions to the jury that Chauvin’s use-of-force could no longer be justified once Floyd was handcuffed and prone, Nelson asked Stiger if a suspect in handcuffs can still be a threat? Yes, answered Stiger. They can bite, kick, run. Yes.
They can get the officer’s weapon? Yes. Even if handcuffed. Yes.
The notion that a handcuffed suspect is no longer a threat is not correct, a handcuffed suspect can continue to present a risk? Yes, answered Stiger.
Then Nelson scored what many may perceive to be an important point, albeit I’m rather ambivalent about this one. Nelson played a short piece of video in which Floyd is prone on the street, and speaking in his muttering fashion.
What’s Floyd saying there, asked Nelson? Is he saying “I ate too many drugs”? Stiger answers he can’t tell.
No worries, Nelson is happy to play it again for Stiger. And the jury.
Stiger is still unsure if that’s what Floyd was saying, and Nelson lets it go—but the jury has heard the suggestion.
Later in the day, with a different witness, BCA Special Agent Reyerson, whose testimony I won’t spend much time on because it was so boring, Nelson would play the same video, and ask the same question. This time, the witness will agree—yes, Reyerson answers, it sounds like “I ate too many drugs” to me.
So damaging was this Reyerson testimony for the state that they actually re-called Reyerson as a witness for the sole reason of having him listen again, and give a different answer. Oh, now, says Reyerson the second, now it sounds like “I didn’t take no drugs.”
Well, OK. As I said, I’m ambivalent about Floyd’s statement on the merits, because I sure can’t understand what he’s actually saying. Although it must be said Nelson’s version will certainly appear reasonable to a jury that’s been exposed to the toxicology report on Floyd.
But in terms of legal strategy by the defense, this was brilliant. Not only did Nelson plant that seed in the jury’s mind that Floyd had eaten too many drugs and knew it, he got to play the audio for Stiger not once, but twice.
And then again a third time, for Reyerson.
And then the state itself played it for the jury a fourth time!
Then Nelson turned to gutting the prosecution’s suggestions that Chauvin’s conduct was criminal because he’d failed to de-escalate as required by MPD policy.
Isn’t it true that the officers initially considered hobbling Floyd when he kicked at them? Yes, answered Stiger. Did they? No. So they changed their mind? Yes. And hobbling would have been an escalation of force by the officers? Yes.
When an officer is considering using a higher degree of force, but then changes his mind and does not escalate, is that a form of de-escalation? Yes, answered Stiger.
So not only did Chauvin use less force than MPD policy allows when he arrived on scene, he was still de-escalating his use of force when Floyd was proned on the street.
You’ll recall that Nelson had previously asked MPD Use-of-Force trainer Lieutenant Mercil if there could be circumstances in which it was appropriate to forcibly restrain a suspect until EMS arrived, and Mercil had responded, that yes there were, and in fact he had done exactly that himself in his own career as a street cop.
Now Nelson asked Stiger if it would be appropriate for an officer holding a suspect in custody, and knowing that the suspect was in medical distress and required advanced medical care, to maintain restraint of that suspect until EMS arrived to ensure he received that care when EMS arrived. Yes, answered Stiger, that would be a reasonable use of force.
Then, after a short morning break, Nelson switched targets to the prosecution’s continued suggestions that the crowd observing Floyd’s arrest should have played no role in the officers’ perception of risk, their use-of-force decision-making, or their ability to provide appropriate care to the suspect in their custody.
Nelson turned to MPD training materials on dealing with crowds, confirmed that Stiger was familiar with those materials, and began to step through them.
Crowds are dynamic, according to MPD training? Yes. Can contain elements of different people, per training? Yes. Nonviolent crowds can quickly become violent? Yes.
Even 10-12 people, the dynamic can suddenly change? Yes. An officer needs to be sensitive to the potential risk even of a crowd that in the moment is peaceful? Yes. Engaging with the crowd can distract the officer? Yes.
Things a crowd says to the officer can itself create a perception of risk?
Stiger responds that words alone cannot justify a use of force (and this is correct).
But words said in a particular tone can heighten a reasonable officer’s perception of risk?
Risk, yes, says Stiger.
MPD trains officers to consider the potential signs of aggression? Yes. Like raised voices, tensing muscles, exaggerated gestures, pacing? Yes.
What if someone tells the officer they’d like to slap the f*** out of you, that could be perceived as a threat? Yes, answers Stiger.
Of course, some of the crowd, particular state witness Williams, were explicitly shouting such threats at the officers, as demonstrated in the collected videos of the event.
Nelson asked if an officer placing a knee on the base of the neck across the shoulder blades was an appropriate use-of-force technique in the correct circumstances. Yes, answered Stiger.
In fact, you were trained that way, asked Nelson? Yes.
Nelson asked if the MPD training materials reviewed by Stiger suggested that officers should take particular care providing CPR, if doing so required removing handcuffs (as it would), because the training informed officers that the suspect may come to and be agitated and ready to fight? MPD training does teach that, Stiger answered.
In fact, you have had that same training yourself? Yes.
A suspect was passed out, came to, and fought you more, you’ve had that personal experience as police officer? Yes, answered Stiger.
I feel obliged to remind readers at this point that Stiger is the highly-paid use-of-force expert hired by the PROSECUTORS to assist them in CONVICTING Chauvin. He is NOT a defense witness. Though you’d be hard press[ed] to know that, based on his testimony on cross-examination.
Then for the first time in my recollection Nelson touched on the fact that the medical examiner found no damage to Floyd’s neck whatever. Wouldn’t you expect damage if the weight place on the neck was substantial. Stiger prudently declined to offer an opinion.
And then Nelson used a little trick we’ve seen him use with other witnesses. That’s fine, he said, I get it. Better for us to ask a doctor that, right? Right, agreed Stiger.
Anybody doubt Nelson has a doctor lined up to say exactly that, and that the jury will perceive that even the state’s own use-of-force expert witness believes that the doctor’s opinion is more credible than the state’s expert?
Well, folks, this is getting really long, and I want to get it out to all of you sometime tonight, so I’m going to end my coverage of Stiger on cross right there.
I do encourage you to watch the video of that cross-examination, here:
Other State’s Witnesses
There were other state’s witnesses today after Stiger, but frankly they were pretty much mind-numbingly boring, so I won’t cover them in depth here, except in summary form. The other witnesses included BCA Special Agent Reyerson, the BCA case lead on the Floyd case, BCA Forensic Agent Mackenzie Anderson, who processed the crime scene and vehicles including the Floyd DNA of the blood and recovered drugs (defense did not bother to even cross-examine Anderson), BCA Forensic Scientist Breahna Giles, who did chemical analysis of the recovered drugs finding fentanyl, and Susan Mieth a private industry chemist who did chemical analysis of the recovered drugs finding fentanyl and methamphetamine (the defense did not bother to even cross-examine Meith). (read more)
BLACKS BEHAVING BADLY I
Capitol Protester Ryan Samsel ‘Severely Beaten’ By [black] DC Jail Guards Who Allegedly Told Him They ‘Hate All White People’
January 6th Capitol protester Ryan Samsel was “severely beaten” by DC correctional officers and is now “blind in one eye” and “has a skull fracture” and a “detached retina,” according to his attorney.
Samsel was also allegedly subjected to vicious racial abuse by “minority” officers, one of which told him, “I hate all white people and your honky religion.”
Samsel’s story is just one of many detailing vicious torture and abuse being meted out to Capitol protesters who have been detained in some cases for nearly three months.
The media smeared everyone involved in this mostly peaceful protest as “white supremacists” and now these “minority” jail guards appear to be convinced they’re taking racial vengeance on them.
Does anyone think Democrats would sit around silently if white jail guards filled with racial animus were beating the hell out of the handful of [Only] Black Lives Matter protesters who were jailed during the 2020 riots? (read more)
See also: THE DC GULAG
For weeks, Capitol riot defendants being held in Washington have complained that they are locked in their cells with virtually no human contact for 23 hours a day. But a startling, graphic account offered publicly in court on Tuesday by one such inmate, Ronald Sandlin, went further: alleging that guards have subjected those charged in the Jan. 6 events to violence, threats and verbal harassment.
“Myself and others involved in the Jan. 6 incident are scared for their lives, not from each other but from correctional officers,” Sandlin said during a bail hearing conducted by video before U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich. “I don’t understand how this is remotely acceptable,” he added, saying he was being subjected to “mental torture.”
In an unusual direct plea to the judge, Sandlin said another Capitol riot defendant, Ryan Samsel, “was severely beaten by correctional officers, [is now] blind in one eye, has a skull fracture and detached retina.”
Sandlin also described racial tension between minority guards and the largely white defendants, some of whom have been publicly accused [without evidence] of membership in or association with white supremacist groups.
WE WILL STARVE YOU AND YOU WILL LIKE IT
Has anyone told farmer Bill that cereal yields have been increasing with higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations?
Don't bother telling him. Mr. Bill foolishly follows the sick "science" of man-made global warming.
AN OBLIQUE REPLY TO A READER
", and because he knew from experience that no Jew could truly get the better of another Jew but would only antagonize him,"
- A. B. Yehoshua, A Journey to the End of the Millennium,a Novel of the Middle Ages
WHAT'S IN A NAME? (thoughts on Holocaust Day)
THE FIRST NAMES = "Endlösung" or "Final Solution"
THE CODE NAME = "Nacht und Nebel" or "night and fog"
"I never like this expression Holocaust; it seems to me inappropriate, it seems to me rhetorical, above all mistaken."
- Primo Levi
"Why the misprision — the monstrous catachresis — of "the holocaust"? In what conceivable way was this a "sacrifice or burnt offering"? Where, above all, was the freedom which is entailed in every meaningful notion of sacrifice?"
- J. P. Stern
"The word shoah falsifies the true nature of what happened. A shoah is a natural event beyond human control."
- Amos Oz
Read more: Geoffrey Wheatcroft, The Controversy of Zion or How Zionism tried to resolve the Jewish Question (1996) Sinclair-Stevenson, an imprint of Reed International Books, Ltd.
(above quotes from pages 261 to 262 from the copy in our private library)
WHITE WOMAN SHOT BY BLACK COP RULED A HOMICIDE
Ashli Babbitt officially ruled a homicide death;
the only one so far from the U.S. Capitol riots.
And officials are still hiding the name of the shooter.
— Sharyl Attkisson🕵️♂️ (@SharylAttkisson) April 7, 2021
THE FLOYD FOLLIES IV
What were the execs of these mighty companies thinking — these knights of the boardroom, these capitalist geniuses, these moral nonpareils — when they cancelled Atlanta’s turn to host the midsummer All-star Game to “protest” Georgia’s passage of a law that requires voter ID? Surely that they were striking a righteous blow against systemic racism. And then, the rest of the world realized — almost immediately — that Major League Baseball requires online ticket buyers to show ID when they pick up their tickets at any stadium… and that Delta Airlines requires passengers to show ID (duh) before being allowed to fly in one of their airplanes… and that various other corporations snookered into this latest hustle such as Nike, Coca-Cola, and Calvin Klein support forced labor in the Asian nations that manufacture their products.
They’re Woke, you see. The tentacles of Wokery have reached into every last compartment of American life now, more effectively even than the Covid-19 corona virus. Wokeness emerged on the scene in 2014 when the feckless teenager Michael Brown was shot to death by police officer Darren Wilson upon arrest in Ferguson, Missouri, an event that kicked off the [Only] Black Lives Matter movement. The moral panic BLM ignited proved to be a spectacularly effective device for repelling the truth of the situation, and many more like it, which was that Michael Brown resisted arrest, fought with, and menaced officer Wilson before getting shot.
The Woke moral panic that proceeded from this effectively suppressed two truths about police relations with Black America: 1) that Blacks committed crimes against life and property at a disproportionately high rate to their percentage in the US population, and 2) that the number of unarmed black people killed by police was statistically minuscule, and in most cases involved people resisting arrest or fighting with police. As the 2016 election approached, the Democratic Party realized it was in its interest to cultivate the Woke moral panic so as to marshal the Black voting bloc so crucial to victory at the polls.
With the help of their allies in the news media and the coddled faculty ideologues on campus, the Democrats fed this moral panic until it grew into an historic mass hysteria every bit as insane as the witchcraft hysterias of the Middle Ages in Europe. Then Mr. Trump came along, inflicting a savage trauma on the Left, and after his election, the news media and the campus crusaders were joined by very potently placed officers in the federal bureaucracy — especially the Intel Community, with its weapons for disordering public opinion, and the Department of Justice, with its ability to ruin lives and reputations — to crush Mr. Trump and everyone who opposed the Left’s will-to-power.
They kept it up for four years, using every device in the bureaucracy to drive Mr. Trump from office while deliberately gaslighting, hoaxing, misdirecting, and bamboozling the public. In the process, the Democratic Party became hostage to the worst elements among its supporters and foot-soldiers: the race hustlers, the gender-deranged, the criminal sociopaths, the limousine Marxists, the Wall Street swindlers, the Silicon Valley megalomaniacs, and even America’s foreign adversaries — as evidenced by the Biden Family’s lucrative dealings with the party that runs China.
In 2020, China gave the Democrats their greatest gift, Covid-19, a means to wreck the US economy and an excuse to pare away Americans’ constitutional rights to various freedoms of speech, published expression, movement, association, self-defense, and economic liberty. Finally, in managing to elect the inert and incompetent Joe Biden via ballot fraud the party went a scam too far.
All social hysterias run their courses. They run out of new gags, and out of new recruits. Their tropes grow tiresome, even comical, such as the Woke mainstays of “racism,” “misogyny,” and “white supremacy.” Their promptings reveal themselves as obviously dishonest. The punishments they seek seem increasingly warped and sadistic. The behavior they induce begins to look patently insane. That’s where America stands now.
To keep the flywheel of hysteria spinning during the Covid year of 2020, the Dems turned the death of George Floyd into a new-and-improved second coming of Michael Brown in order to juice BLM for the fall election. This time there were video cameras galore on the scene to capture what turned out to be an ambiguously deceptive storyline. Half the world flipped out at the sight of Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck at that Minneapolis intersection. It sure didn’t look good. Now that former officer Chauvin is on trial for Murder 2 and 3 plus manslaughter, the prosecution spent a week demonstrating indeed how bad that looked, with one witness after another who described how bad it made them feel to watch George Floyd die. Of course, watching anything die can be horrifying. It was, in essence, a wholly sentimental case for the prosecution.
The defense is ready to present facts that tell a different story: of a multiple violent felon and drug abuser hopped up on dangerous levels of narcotics and stimulants, with an impressively dire array of medical problems including Covid-19, who refused to follow police instructions, and in a manner that appeared deranged, leading to his being subdued by an approved police procedure to prevent harm to himself and others. The Minneapolis city council already queered the trial before it started by granting a $27-million settlement to the Floyd family, officially imputing guilt on Mr. Chauvin’s side. BLM has made it clear that they will not accept an acquittal.
Even a conviction is liable to inspire riots as the victory dance revs into the warm spring nighttime. Judging by last year’s BLM uprisings in city after city, the precedent has been established that mob violence is justified and holds no consequences. Something tells me that this particular error in political thinking will not be indulged this time around. The Woke hysteria and the hustles that grow out of it have shot their wad. Something else has awakened in this land: a recognition that we are in serious trouble, that our adversaries are having their way with us as we act stupidly, that we have become our own worst enemies, that being insane is not a virtue. (read more)
THE FLOYD FOLLIES III
Chauvin Trial Day 7 Wrap-Up: a horrible day for the prosecution
Prosecution visibly shaken after cross-examination of MPD force & medical experts
Anyone interested in a free podcast version of our daily legal commentary and analysis of the Chauvin trial can access the Law of Self Defense News/Q&A Podcast, available on most every podcast platform.
Overview: “911? I’d like to report a murder.”
Today was a terrible, horrible no good, very bad day for the prosecution, to a degree that I haven’t seen since the trial of George Zimmerman.
If you have no more than an hour to watch the video of today’s proceedings, then I urge you to spend 44 minutes watching the cross-examination of state witness Johnny Mercil, the state’s use-of-force training expert, and 22 minutes watching the cross-examination of Nicole MacKenzie, the state’s medical care training expert. In both instances the result can only be called a train wreck of a disaster for the prosecution.
Indeed, after the judge dismissed Mercil from the witness stand, Prosecutor Schleiter appeared visibly shaken and angry—and he ought to have, given the mauling his case just received. At one point Mercil testified the he himself had personally kept a suspect physically restrained until EMS had arrived on scene, behavior which the state has been arguing for over a week was misconduct on the part of Chauvin.
Even worse, not only did the cross-examination of MacKenzie by the defense also go badly for the prosecution, it went so badly that Nelson informed the court that he intended to re-call MacKenzie as a defense witness when he presented his case in chief.
There were two other witnesses today, neither of which went particularly badly for the state, although in the case of one of them I expect it was only because the prosecution was saved by the bell when the court recessed early in the day—that doesn’t save the prosecution, that witness will be back tomorrow, and I anticipate that the defense is going to have a field day with him on cross-examination, as well.
Morries Hall 5th Amendment Argument
But first some housekeeping. Before the jury was brought into the courtroom we heard some discussion about the complication of Morries Hall, the reported drug dealer in the Floyd’s Mercedes SUV, announcing he was going to plead the 5th if called to testify in the Chauvin trial.
Hall has a real problem. If he provided Floyd with the drugs that likely were actual cause of death, under Minnesota law Hall is looking at 3rd degree murder. Naturally, he doesn’t want to testify in the Chauvin trial only to have that testimony used against him in his own trial.
There’s no doubt that Judge Cahill will respect Hall’s right to assert the 5th. The only question is whether there might be some areas of questioning in which Hall could participate that do not incriminate him.
This seems to me unlikely, and of course Hall’s own attorney doesn’t want him to be compelled to say a word about anything, but Judge Cahill has asked the defense and state to write down the questions they’d like to ask Hall, and Cahill will decide if any of them will be allowed.
Incidentally, it’s worth noting that Hall “appeared in court” via video, and his background looked like jail to me—cinderblock walls, visitor notification signs, etc.
In any case, that’s where things sit with Mr. Hall.
State’s Witness: MPD Sergeant Ker Yang, Crisis Intervention Training Coordinator
I’m not going to spend much time here on Sergeant Yang, both because his testimony wasn’t very interesting, and because I want to get right to the juicy cross-examination of Mercil, and MacKenzie. I’ll only note that Yang’s testimony, focused on crisis intervention policies of MPD, did little to advance any narrative of guilt for the state, especially after the defense on cross of Yang was able to get him to concede that all these policies were contingent on practicability and safety of the scene.
In the interests of thoroughness, however, here’s Yang’s direct, cross, and brief re-direct testimony.
State’s Witness: MPD Lieutenant Johnny Mercil, Use-of-Force Trainer
OK, with Yang out of the way, let’s jump into the first explosive state’s witness of the day, MPD Lieutenant Johnny Mercil, presented as the state’s expert on MPD use-of-force policy and training.
Interestingly, Mercil testified at the start that he was currently on medical leave. A prior state witness police officer, Sergeant Evans, I believe, who took over the Floyd scene from Sergeant Ploeger, had also testified he was on leave. Maybe just a coincidence.
In any case, when not on medical leave Lt. Mercil works in the MPD training division in charge of use-of-force training and policy instruction. He was active in that capacity during the period preceding the Floyd events during which Chauvin would have received his department use-of-force training and policy instruction, which is what makes Mercil’s testimony relevant.
Mercil is also a genuine fan of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), saying (as many practitioners do, in my experience) that he had “fallen in love with the sport.” This was elicited on direct, led by Prosecutor Schleiter, no doubt to buttress Mercil’s credibility, as was the direct testimony of Mercil about his expertise in hand-to-hand force techniques as both a trainer and a street cop, and his mastery of MPD use-of-force policies. Little did Schleiter know how Mercil’s credibility would shortly boomerang on the prosecution.
Schleiter did his usual routine, where he portrayed use of force options as being cast in absolute and binary terms. If A, then B, if X then Y. Any variance of this was either out of MPD policy or at least “untrained by MPD” (an entirely different matter than being outside policy), and hence “wrong-act.”
Schleiter made use of the MPD use of force continuum, and presented it in the most childish and sterile context possible. If at this level of the continuum, officer can do this, but not that, correct. Mercil dutifully answered in the affirmative. But if at that level of the continuum, officer can do that, but not this. Again, yes.
Schleiter would also pose simplified and hypothetical scenarios only minimally representative of what occurred with Floyd and ask if the use of, say, a neck restraint in that hypothetical would be reasonable. Of course, the answer from Mercil, as intended that narrow and specific question, would be, no, unreasonable.
Missing from all of this direct, of course, was any context around the complex dynamics and circumstances that often surround a police use of force event. That Schleiter wants to avoid any such discussion is understandable, because doing so provides an appearance for at least reasonableness, if not outright justification, for Chauvin’s use-of-force decisions and conduct with respect to Floyd.
Another common routine from Schleiter when doing direct on state’s witnesses who have any purported use-of-force expertise is to show them the photo of Chauvin apparently (but perhaps not actually) kneeling on Floyd’s neck and asking, “Is this an MPD trained neck restraint?” Invariably the answer is in the negative.
That makes for a good headline, but in fact it’s not very informative on the actual issues of the case. Why? Because just because a technique may not be an “MPD trained” technique does not make it outside of policy, does not mean it was legally unjustified, and certainly does not mean it contributed to Floyd’s death—which is what the trial is supposed to be all about.
Once again, Schleiter touched on positional asphyxia, and once again I feel obliged to note that this doesn’t really help the state prove Chauvin’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in the context of Floyd’s ingestion of a three-fold fatal dose of fentanyl. Certainly, if I had to choose between two situations, one in which I was placed in a prone position while handcuffed for 10 minutes, and another in which I was forced to ingest a three-fold fatal dose of fentanyl, I know which I’d pick, and quickly. There’s simply no reasonable comparison between those two risks to life.
So, the direct of Mercil was really just more of the Schleiter show we’ve already seen with other state’s witnesses. Kind of checking the boxes, but not even all the boxes needed to support the state’s narrative of guilt—and always by only exposing the jury to half the context, which is a dangerous ploy.
Basing your narrative of guilt on only half the context is a dangerous ploy because we, thank God, enjoy an adversarial legal system, and that means the defense gets to pop right up and expose the jury to the other half of the context, the half consistent with a narrative of innocence—and, in this case, they get to do so with your own witness.
And that’s precisely what happened with Mercil, and in a big, big way.
Nelson began by asking questions related to Mercil’s time as a street cop, with a particular emphasis on the tendency of suspects being subject to arrest to come up with all kinds of nonsense about why they shouldn’t be arrested that day.
Dangerous job, being a police officer? Yes. Are people generally unhappy about being arrested? Very rarely are they happy, Mercil answered. Do suspects frequently engage in a wide variety of behaviors to avoid arrest, including fighting, arguing, making excuses? Yes, they do, answered Mercil.
Indeed, when asked if he himself had ever disbelieved a suspect’s claim of a medical emergency as an apparent effort to avoid arrest, Mercil answered that he personally had done so.
All of this, of course, undercuts the part of the prosecution narrative that is relying on Floyd’s purported pleas and excuses about claustrophobia and anxiety and crying out for mama. Perhaps all of that is real—but a reasonable officer must also consider that maybe much of it is simply an effort to avoid arrest.
Nelson also once again put the use of pressure and body weight techniques in a favorable light. The state wants to present Chauvin’s knee in a negative light, as deadly mechanical asphyxiation, or as a “blood choke” as attested to by MMA Williams. In fact, however, the use of pressure and body weight to restrain a suspect was adopted by the MPD because it was a lesser intensity of force than the prior practice of using strikes—either barehanded, or with batons, or even with weighted gloves—to compel compliance. Mercil concurred.
The take home message for the jury is that Chauvin’s knee, far from being a public execution in a public street, was a lesser force than would otherwise have been required.
Whereas Schleiter wants to pretend that all of Chauvin’s use of force and other decisions should have been based solely on the needs and desires of Floyd, Nelson once again had the state’s witness concede that under the MPD critical decision-making model the officer must consider a wide breadth of factors beyond just the suspect, including the officer himself, his partners, any bystanders—especially angry or threatening bystanders.
Schleiter had described use of force in a very static and binary way—once a suspect stops resisting, the officer should immediately stop his use of force, period. But Nelson got Mercil to agree that if that suspect had been forcibly resisting the officer only moments before, that would be a factor weighing in favor of continuing to apply force even after apparent resistance had ceased.
That is, it’s not just what’s happening in the moment that counts, but what happened prior to that moment, as well. (Schleiter pulled this trick again with the last witness of the day, a Jody Stiger from LAPD acting as an expert witness for the state, and I don’t expect it to work out well there, either.)
Additional factors that a reasonable officer would take into account in deciding how much force to apply and for how long included a disparity in size between the officer and the suspect—and as we know, the 6’ 6” 230-pound Floyd was substantially larger than the 5’ 9” 140-pound Chauvin—as well as the circumstance in which a suspect not only fought police, but fought multiple officers—exactly as Floyd did in this instance.
When asked if additional use-of-force factors included if the suspect was believed to be on drugs, and whether being on drugs could give a suspect exceptionally great strength, Mercil agreed to both statements.
When asked explicitly if any of the video of the event showed Chauvin placing Floyd in a “choke hold” (in this context meaning a respiratory choke but the term has been used with careless disregard for accuracy) Mercil was obliged to answer that it did not.
When asked if a carotid choke, or what MPD would refer to as an “unconscious neck restraint” required both of the carotid arteries to be compressed, Mercil answered that it did. So much for MMA expert Williams’ testimony to the contrary.
Further, when asked how quickly unconsciousness occurred when a carotid choke was placed, Mercil answered “less than 10 seconds.” Clearly, then Floyd was not being subject to a carotid choke for the large majority of the 9 minutes or so Chauvin had his knee in place, and likely never during that period.
When asked if Mercil trained officers that a suspect who had become unconscious could regain consciousness, get back into the fight, and perhaps even be more aggressive than previously, Mercil responded that he did.
This, of course, is a rationale for Chauvin maintain his knee across Floyd’s back even after Floyd lost consciousness.
As noted above, Nelson also explored with Mercil whether there were circumstances in which it would be appropriate for an officer to maintain a neck restraint for a substantial period of time, and Mercil conceded that there were.
Sometimes to maintain the neck restraint for however long it took EMS to arrive, asked Nelson? Mercil answered that he, personally, had maintained restraint on suspects for the duration required for EMS to arrive.
To ensure the point: The state’s own use-of-force expert testified on cross that he personally had engaged in use-of-force conduct that the state had been using to demonize Chauvin as an unlawful killer. That’s not a good day for the state.
Nelson also again re-emphasized the reality that the officer involved in a use-of-force event must consider not just the suspect, but also the presence of an angry and growing mob observing what might well look like an ugly use of police force, and Mercil agreed that was the case.
On the issue of providing timely medical care, an issue the state pushes with particular energy, Nelson had Mercil agree that while MPD policy is to provide care as soon as possible, that must take into consideration the safety of the scene, and that the MPD policy actually requires that it first be safe for the officer to provide care before the officer has the duty to provide that care.
Indeed, factors such as whether a suspect had just been fighting with the officers was huge in determining whether an officer could reasonably provide care—especially if that “care” would be chest compressions requiring the suspect to have their handcuffs removed. Mercil answered in the affirmative.
Later, on re-direct, Schleiter would attempt to diminish the damage of this bit of testimony by asking Mercil if bystanders merely taking videos would constitute a reason to not provide care. The answer, of course, was no.
But that merely provided Nelson with the lay-up opportunity on re-cross to ask whether a mob shouting insults and outright threats would constitute such a reason—and that was conduct of the mob in this event—and the answer to that, of course, was yes.
Similarly, Nelson hit back on the state’s emphasis on the whole “recovery position” narrative in the context of hypothetical positional asphyxia. Might there be circumstances that would prevent putting a suspect in a recovery position? Mercil answered that there were.
If that all sounds bad enough for the prosecution, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
It was at this point that Nelson showed Mercil a series of photographs captured from the body worn camera of Officer Lane, and showing Chauvin’s knee on Floyd from the angle down Floyd’s prone body.
Photo 1: Where’s Chauvin’s leg in this image? On Floyd’s neck? Or on his shoulder blades and back. Mercil: Shoulder blades and back.
And in photo 2? Same. Photo 3? Same. Photo 4? Same.
This, of course, fundamentally undercuts the prosecution’s narrative of guilt that it was Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck that killed Floyd.
Are there circumstances like those already discussed where would be appropriate to maintain presence of leg across shoulder blades and back in order to ensure control of the suspect? Yes, there are, Mercil answered. For as long as 10 minutes? It’s possible.
In other words, the use of the restraint can be justified not only to compel compliance of the suspect in the first place, but to ensure that the suspect maintains compliance moving forward—especially given the experience and concern that unconscious suspects can revive and be even more violent than they were prior, even if that restraint is being held in place for as long as 10 minutes. And that’s not just for the safety of the officer, but also for the officer’s partners, for bystanders, and even for the suspect himself.
Just devastating for the state’s narrative, and all of it coming from the state’s own MPD use of force expert.
It was after Nelson was done with cross that Schleiter attempted to salvage something from this train wreck for the prosecution by showing a still photo of the bystanders, pointing to some holding phones, and asking if people taking videos was a good enough reason to maintain a restraint. Mercil answered that video taking by bystanders was not a sufficient reason.
That’s when on re-cross Nelson pulled up the exact same photo that Schleiter had just used, and pointed out that in the picture MMA Williams was clearly being physically restrained from advancing on the officers by the arm of another bystander pulling him back.
Would the threat of imminent physical violence from bystanders be a sufficient reason to maintain restraint on a suspect? If the crowd is shouting that they’re going to slap the “F” out of you, that you’re a “p-word,” that you’re a bum, would that be sufficient to cause the officers to be alarmed about the prospect of imminent physical violence from the bystanders?
Yes, Mercil answered, it would.
There is, of course, more granularity in the actual video cross of Mercil, and I strongly encourage you to watch the whole thing, but that’s all I’ll cover in text form here.
Here’s the direct, cross, re-direct, re-cross, and re-re-direct of Mercil:
State’s Witness: MPD Officer Nicole MacKenzie, Medical Support Coordinator
But the state’s terrible, horrible no good, very bad day wasn’t over yet. Next up was the state’s MPD expert on medical issues, Officer Nicole MacKenzie.
Again direct was by Schleiter, and again he used the same old playbook. Provide half the context, in a childishly simplistic form that stripped out all context and certainly ignored the totality of the circumstances.
On direct, Schleiter had MacKenzie testify about how officers had a duty of care to suspects, that Chauvin had CPR and other training that would qualify him to provide emergency care, and that such care must be provided by the officer even if an ambulance has already been called. This was all particularly the case if the suspect was unresponsive, if the suspect was in handcuffs, if the suspect was in the prone position, and so forth.
And again, Nelson pimp-slapped him hard on cross.
Isn’t it true, Nelson asked MacKenzie, that you train officers to consider not just the suspect, but the totality of the scene? Yes, she replied.
Isn’t it true that police officers also have a competing duty of safety to themselves, their partners, to bystanders, that paramedics, for example, don’t have? To the point that if the scene is unsafe, if the officers haven’t already announced a code 4 “all safe,” that EMTs will stage a distance away until they are told safety has been achieved. Yes, MacKenzie replied.
And isn’t it true that the safety concern might come not from the suspect himself, but from angry bystanders? Indeed.
We keep seeing Nelson circle back to this reality, and it’s a potent view of the events around Floyd’s death. It raises the legitimate question of whether it was, in fact, the angry bystanders who in effect “killed” Floyd by interfering with the officers’ ability to provide Floyd with the attention and care which he’d otherwise have received.
Indeed, their angry presence compelled the paramedics to do a “load and scoot” of Floyd, delaying his effective treatment, and resulting in further delays when the fire department could initially not find the re-located ambulance.
Along these lines, Nelson also touched on a new issue, that of agonal breathing. This is a kind of “last gasp” desperate type of breathing a body near death engages in, and is generally considered an ineffective form of respiration and a sign of really desperate physiological condition.
Isn’t it true, Nelson asked, that agonal breathing could be misinterpreted by officers as just breathing? Yes, answered MacKenzie. Would this be a more likely misinterpretation if the scene was noisy, disruptive, had the presence of a loud angry mob? It would, answered MacKenzie.
Again: Did the mob effectively “kill” Floyd?
Nelson noted that one of the CPR training slides previously shown by Schlieter on direct questioning of MacKenzie had indicated that one of the reasons an officer could justifiably cease performing CPR was if the circumstances were not safe enough to allow continued CPR. Would this also mean that unsafe circumstances could justify not starting CPR in the first place, even where CPR would otherwise be warranted. Yes, answered MacKenzie.
A highlight of the cross of MacKenzie occurred when Nelson pulled up another slide from the training materials. This one showed a picture of a type I’ve seen many times, intended to illustrate in dramatic form just how lethal fentanyl is.
The picture showed a vial of heroine, with a small bit of powder in it—that small amount of heroine represented a fatal dose. Beside it was a second vial, with a much smaller amount of a powder—that represented a fatal dose of fentanyl. Finally there was a third vial, with a truly miniscule amount of powder—that represented a fatal dose of a particular common variant of fentanyl.
One can only imagine the effect this had on a jury that is naïve to the lethality of fentanyl, especially given that death by fentanyl overdose is the obvious explanation for Floyd’s death as an alternative to Chauvin’s death knee.
Naturally, recognizing the damage being done to their narrative of guilt, the prosecution raised an objection, and there was a lengthy sidebar. When Nelson returned to cross, he immediately moved on to another topic, so perhaps Cahill upheld the state’s objection to the vials image.
In any case, the next topic for discussion was also incredibly damaging to the state—and made even more so, as we’ll see.
Nelson began to explore the question of excited delirium with MacKenzie. This was a topic that MacKenzie trained MPD officers on, so she had expertise, and Chauvin would have received this training, so the knowledge is relevant to his decision-making with respect to Floyd.
You’ll recall that we can hear the officers discussing concerns about excited delirium on their BWC videos.
The importance of excited delirium for the defense is that it explains both a lot of Floyd’s erratic behavior, raises genuine concerns of super-human strength on the part of the already very large Floyd, provides a justification for the sustained restraint of Floyd’s entire body from foot to head as that’s part of the excited delirium protocol for police, and more.
Naturally, again seeing the damage done to their narrative of guilt, the prosecution objected, and there was another sidebar. When Nelson returned he again promptly moved on—but, we’ll learn, not because he was giving up on excited delirium—and not without having yet another line of questioning for MacKenzie that would prove severely damaging to the state.
Here Nelson began to ask again about the reasons that arriving paramedics might do a “load and scoot.” Why that approach, if the patient needs care?
One reason, MacKenzie answered, was that the patient might need immediate care that could only be provided at the hospital, such as emergency surgery.
Understood, replied Nelson, but might there be another reason?
Yes, answered MacKenzie. Unfortunately, and this might be hard to believe, she said, but there have been instances in which paramedics were attacked by an angry crowd. If that’s a concern, the paramedics might do a load and scoot purely for reasons of their safety.
Exactly as happened in the case of the paramedics arriving at the Floyd scene.
Wait, it gets worse.
Is one of the reasons the ambulance might do a load and scoot is not just the safety of the paramedics, but that the presence of an imminently threatening crowd would make it difficult or impossible for the paramedics to focus on providing proper care to their patient?
Yes, answered MacKenzie.
Boom. Again: Did the mob effectively “kill” Floyd?
And that was the end of Nelson’s devastating cross of MacKenzie.
Not that it was MacKenzie who was devastated, any more than Melcir had been devastated. Both were treated with respect by Nelson, and came across as genuine professionals.
Rather it was the state’s narrative of guilt that was devastated.
And it’s not over yet.
On re-direct by Schleiter we had a perfect, classic example of why a lawyer should never ask a question unless he knows the answer he’s going to get.
Isn’t it true, Schleiter asked MacKenzie, that officers shouldn’t expect to only have a duty to provide care under perfect circumstances? MacKenzie agreed. So far so good.
But then, in an effort to undercut Nelson’s characterization of the bystanders at the Floyd scene as constituting a hostile crowd, Schleiter asked MacKenzie for her definition of a hostile crowd.
Her answer: A growing contingent of people, yelling, being verbally abusive to those providing scene security, acting in manner that could interfere with care.
Boom. Exactly as the mob was conducting itself at the Floyd scene.
Again: Did the mob effectively “kill” Floyd?
And it’s still not over for the state.
It was at this point, when both sides had completed today’s questioning of MacKenzie, that it was revealed that the state had objected to Nelson’s asking MacKenzie about excited delirium. Rather than fight that objection, Nelson took a different approach entirely.
He informed the court that he intended to recall MacKenzie as a defense witness for his own case in chief.
That’s right. Not only was MacKenzie’s testimony, as a state’s witness, incredibly damaging to the state itself when Nelson was limited to the role of cross-examination, and limited by the state’s own scope on direct, Nelson was going to bring MacKenzie back as a defense witness, where he would be in control of the scope of direct, and the state would find itself limited on cross.
And that was it for state’s witness MacKenzie—until we next see her as defense witness MacKenzie.
I. Cannot. Wait.
Here is the direct, cross, and re-direct of MacKenzie:
The last witness of the day was one Sergeant Jody Stiger, of the Los Angeles Police Department, who has been retained by the state prosecutors as an expert witness on use-of-force tactics and policy.
I’m going to cover Stiger only quickly here, because the court day ended in the middle of his direct questioning, and the state’s direct of their own witnesses has not proven particularly enlightening even when the witnesses were apparently strong.
And, frankly, Stiger does not appear to be a particularly strong or impressive expert witness, so I don’t expect the state to garner much value from him. Sure, I expect he’ll say the words the state is paying him to say, and he did so today, but that’s what we routinely see that on direct from the state. (Although, that said, his direct today was pretty weak, really, and I don’t expect that to improve tomorrow.)
More to the point, if Stiger proves as weak on direct as he appears so far, I expect that Nelson will make easy and bloody work of him during cross-examination tomorrow. (read more)
THE FLOYD FOLLIES II
THE FLOYD FOLLIES I
Keith Ellison Owns This Unfolding Fiasco
Minnesota’s state attorney general, Keith Ellison, who knows how to count black and liberal votes, took over the Chauvin matter from Hennepin county attorney Mike Freeman last year.
Ellison knowingly exaggerated the facts of the case, inflamed race tensions, likely provoked many of the riots, and is responsible for elevating the arrest of a drug addict with 11 ng/ml of fentanyl into an international cause célèbre. If facts matter to you (as opposed to feelings) the cause of death has been ruled a fentanyl overdose for decedents having just 3 ng/ml of fentanyl.
The ex-con who passed a counterfeit $20 bill had 3 2/3 times the lethal dose of fentanyl. Mr. Floyd had less than a hour to live when the cops asked him to get out of his Mercedes Benz SUV. Mr. Floyd was a dead man walking and talking and resisting arrest.
That is why he was foaming at the mouth. That is why he began saying he couldn't breathe while he was sitting in the back seat of the squad car. His body was already shutting down. His breathing had already shifted into low gear.
The black rabble was told this was an example of police brutality, that this was due to systemic racism, that this arrest was a slow-motion lynching on a Minneapolis street. Those were lies.
The black rabble, thanks to Mr. Ellison and a venal mainstream media and Democrat politicians nationwide, is expecting a conviction whether or not the facts prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to warrant such a verdict.
The black rabble, acting on lies, believing the leftist narrative, and certain that Mr. Floyd was murdered, will burn down their neighborhoods along with the few stores that put up with the high rates of shoplifting in those communities.
Where I live, I can go 2 to 3 weeks without seeing a person with African genetics. There was just one black in my high school class of over 700.
Unlike most of you, I feel safe here.
P.S. I'm not a racist. I'm a realist.
THE X FACTOR
Ex-policeman implicates NYPD, FBI in Malcolm X murder
Letter written by former undercover NYPD policeman alleges his department and the FBI covered up details of the killing.
A former New York City police officer has, before his death, implicated the NYPD and FBI in the murder of civil rights leader Malcolm X on February 21, 1965.
A letter written by ex-undercover NYPD policeman Raymond Wood alleges his department and the FBI covered up details of the assassination, saying he was ordered to infiltrate the civil rights movement and had members of Malcolm X’s security detail arrested shortly before the killing.
On February 21, 1965, minister and civil rights activist Malcolm X, 39, was shot dead inside Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom in New York by assassins identified as members of the Nation of Islam. Three men were convicted of murder and imprisoned, and all were eventually paroled.
“I participated in actions that in hindsight were deplorable and detrimental to the advancement of my own Black people. My actions on behalf of the New York City Police Department were done under duress and fear,” said Reggie Wood, a relative who read Raymond’s letter aloud at a press conference on Saturday.
The letter said the arrests carried out in February 1965 by Wood meant Malcolm X did not have security at the entrance to the Audubon Ballroom where he was speaking that day.
It is unclear when Wood died, but he did not want the letter made public until after his death, saying he feared repercussions from authorities if he came forward with his allegations, according to Reggie Wood.
Ilyasah Shabazz, one of Malcolm X’s three daughters, said the new accusations should prompt further investigation.
“Any evidence that provides greater insight into the truth behind that terrible tragedy should be thoroughly investigated,” she said.
The NYPD said in a statement the Manhattan District Attorney initiated a review several months ago.
“The NYPD has provided all available records relevant to that case to the District Attorney. The department remains committed to assist with that review in any way,” it said.
The FBI did not issue a statement.
Malcolm X’s three daughters, alongside Wood’s family and civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, urged that the case be immediately re-opened.
“Ray Wood, an undercover police officer at the time, confessed in a deathbed declaration letter that the NYPD and the FBI conspired to undermine the legitimacy of the civil rights movement and its leaders,” a statement from Crump’s office said.
“Without any training, Wood’s job was to infiltrate civil rights organizations and encourage leaders and members to commit felonious acts. He was also tasked with ensuring that Malcolm X’s security detail was arrested days prior to the assassination, guaranteeing Malcolm X didn’t have door security while at the Audubon Ballroom, where he was killed on Feb. 21, 1965.”
The director of communications for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office released a statement saying: “Our office’s review of this matter is active and ongoing.”
Three Nation of Islam members were convicted in Malcolm X’s murder but last year the Manhattan DA began a review of those convictions after meeting with representatives of the Innocence Project. (read more)
THE FLOYD FOLLIES VI
Charles Barkley: Politicians Fuel Hatred Between ‘Whites And Blacks’ To ‘Keep Their Grasp’ On ‘Money And Power’
During the “Final Four Show” on Saturday, former NBA star and “Inside the NBA” analyst Charles Barkley said that politicians intentionally fuel racial divides in order to “keep their grasp on money and power,” and that the “system” is designed to foster hatred and to “scramble the middle class.”
“Man, I think most white people and black people are great people,” Barkley said during CBS’ coverage of Saturday’s March Madness games. “I really believe that in my heart.”
Barkley then continued to argue that our political system is set up to protect the power and wealth of those in government.
“But I think our system is set up where our politicians, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats, are designed to make us not like each other, so they can keep their grasp [on] money and power,” Barkley said.
“They divide and conquer,” Barkley added, saying that people are “stupid” to follow politicians who create issues in communities they “don’t live in.”
“I truly believe in my heart most white people and black people are awesome people,” he said. “But we are so stupid following our politicians, whether they are Republicans or Democrats, and their only job is, ‘Hey, let’s make these people not like each other. We don’t live in their neighborhoods. [We’ve] all got money. Let’s make the whites and blacks not like each other; let’s make rich people and poor people not like each other; let’s scramble the middle class.’”
“I truly believe that in my heart,” Barkley concluded.
This isn’t the first time Charles Barkley has made statements which appear to counter the political agenda of sports leagues like the NBA. In September 2020, Barkley “pushed back on a lot of the outrage that racial activists have been fomenting … over the death of [drug dealer] Breonna Taylor, noting that the case, while tragic, did not belong in the same category as the [fentanyl overdose] death of George Floyd.”
“It’s bad the young lady lost her life, but, you know, we do have to take into account that her boyfriend did shoot at the cops and shot a cop,” Barkley said. “So, like I said, even though I’m really sorry she lost her life, I don’t think that we can just say we can put this in the same situation with George Floyd and [serial burglar] Ahmaud Arbery, I just don’t believe that.”
That same month, Barkley slammed the “fools on TV” who were pushing the “defund the police” movement, saying that black people need police “when we have crime in our neighborhoods.”
“We have to really be careful on these, you know, I hear these fools on TV talking about ‘defund the police’ and things like that,” Barkley said. “We need police reform and prison reform and things like that because you know who ain’t going to defund the cops? White neighborhoods and rich neighborhoods.” (read more)
THE FLOYD FOLLIES V
Model, BLM Activist: ‘All Hell Will Break Loose’ If Chauvin Not Convicted, Buildings Will Be ‘On Fire’
Model and [Only] Black Lives Matter activist Maya Echols warned that Minneapolis would suffer riots and vandalism if former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin is not convicted for the death of George Floyd.
“If George Floyd’s murderer is not sentenced, just know that all hell is gonna break loose,” Echols said in a now-removed video (see below). “Don’t be surprised when building are on fire. Just sayin’.”
The social media influencer, a signed IMG Worldwide model, has nearly half a million followers on TikTok.
Last summer, riots erupted in numerous cities over alleged racism by police officers against black people. Businesses were destroyed and more than a dozen people were killed during the chaos.
While some protesters have condemned the violence, some prominent [Only] Black Lives Matter activists have publicly excused and seemingly supported the destruction of cities.
Ashley Gantt, a prominent [Only] Black Lives Matter leader in Rochester, New York, for example, made waves last summer when she said she did not “care if the whole city burned down.” The Daily Wire reported:
“If there was looting, if there was things on fire, that is not what is important. What is important is why these things happen,” Gantt said, telling the media they have a job “to make sure that’s the story that’s heard.”
She referenced the riots that swept metropolitan areas across the country the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. died, noting that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed just months later.
“I am just tired of you guys not putting the correct narrative out there,” she said. “I don’t care if the whole city burned down. We need justice.”
Gantt later attempted to soften her remarks, saying that “of course” she does not want people to set the city on fire, but she does want people to understand that when it comes to “sustainable change, sometimes we have to do whatever it takes to get it.”
In another recent TikTok video from Echols, the model boasts of her “[Only] Black Lives Matter” face mask that she likes to wear at her grocery store in a “predominantly white” neighborhood. Echols claims “conservatives” give her dirty looks for the mask and bragged that she stares them down and looks “down on them” since she’s usually taller and “they’re not gonna say anything to me.”
“My new favorite guilty pleasure is going to the grocery store with this mask on,” she starts the video, taking off her “[Only] Black Lives Matter” mask. “I live in a predominately white area …. and the looks I get from these conservatives are crazy, like y’all would be shocked. Like, the death stares I get. It’s so funny to me, though.”
“Like, I get so much pleasure out of seeing somebody upset because I’m saying my life matters,” Echols continues. “Like, it makes me laugh. And then I just look at them dead in their face, and usually I’m taller than them, so I just look down at them, and I look them in their eyes, ’cause they’re not gonna say anything to me.”
Chauvin is currently on trial for second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in relation to Floyd’s [fentanyl overdose] death. The former officer can be found guilty of all, some, or none of the charges since they are all separate.
Since he has no criminal history, Chauvin is likely looking at “serving about 12 1/2 years whether he is convicted of second or third-degree murder,” according to The Associated Press. The manslaughter charge, which has the lowest burden of proof, would bring a maximum of 10 years in prison.
After officers were notified that Floyd allegedly gave counterfeit money at a convenience store back in May, Chauvin and three other officers arrested and detained Floyd. Viral video shows that Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while detaining Floyd.
“Chauvin’s attorneys argue that Floyd’s drug use was a crucial factor in his death. The Hennepin County medical examiner reported after Floyd’s autopsy that the deceased had potentially lethal levels of drugs in his system,” The Daily Wire noted Thursday.
“Justice” apparently now means people riot in the street if they don’t get
the conviction that they want…😳 pic.twitter.com/yeZ62Y6fWN
— Kelly Campagna (@warriorwoman91) April 5, 2021
THE FLOYD FOLLIES IV
Can We Finally Stop Pretending that George Floyd’s Death Had Anything to Do with Racism?
The lie that George Floyd was murdered by racist police officers in Minneapolis has made its way around the world several times over, leaving countless violent riots and more than $2 billion in property damage in its wake, but it seems that the truth is finally putting on its shoes.
In June of 2020, 60 percent of surveyed adults deemed George Floyd’s death to be murder at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin. As of last month, a little more than a third of Americans believe that.
That’s a stunning near-reversal of public opinion. How did that happen?
The answer to the practical question as to what role the accused Derek Chauvin had in Floyd’s death will ultimately be determined by the courts in his ongoing trial, as it should be. Unfortunately, that question is of far less societal importance than the larger question looming around George Floyd’s death. It is a question that is rarely ever asked, and for which there is no such codified structure for honest investigation and judgment outside of today’s kangaroo court of public opinion overseen by politicians, celebrities, and the media.
That question is: What role, if any, did racism play in George Floyd’s death?
It has been taken for granted since the first video of Floyd’s arrest emerged that George Floyd was a victim of racial injustice. It was, according to the president of Axios, Cliff Young, an “acute crisis” that brought “racial justice to the forefront.”
The notion that Floyd’s death was a “racial reckoning” advanced, seemingly without opposition in the summer of 2020, with few stopping to ask what evidence exists to support the narrative. Rather than asking that question, millions mindlessly submitted to the explanation of systemic racism that was offered by [Only] Black Lives Matter, a well-funded organization that openly employs racial grievance as a substitute for Marxist class warfare, and which was supported by radical leftist politicians, celebrities, media outlets, and American corporate giants, all of whom later became apologists for, and, in some cases, accomplices to, the legions of arsonists, thieves, and violent criminals taking part in last year’s unprecedentedly destructive riots.
It was easy for the aforementioned parties to stimulate Americans’ imaginations toward understanding Floyd’s death as a result of racism. The initial videos taken by onlookers captured only the final moments of the confrontation between Floyd and the arresting officers, but given that little was known about the events leading up to those moments and that myriad relevant facts hadn’t yet been reported, the public accepted the story that white racist cops had racially profiled George Floyd, and, without sufficient provocation, used an unconventional restraining tactic that strangled the life out of him as he begged for an opportunity to breathe.
That narrative is, and always has been, pure nonsense.
The four officers involved, not all of whom were white, only engaged Floyd in response to a reported crime, and not while proactively patrolling the community. Racial profiling had nothing at all to do with this encounter.
The neck restraint used to immobilize George Floyd was not, in fact, a peculiar means of torture devised by Derek Chauvin to choke the life out of a minority, but a legal method of restraining suspects which was sanctioned by the Minneapolis Police Department, and which was only made obsolete after Floyd’s death.
And, despite the media’s curious lack of focus on this important fact, we also discovered very early on that George Floyd had a “fatal level of fentanyl” in his blood at the time of his death. “If Mr. Floyd had been found dead in his home with no other contributing factors,” chief medical examiner Dr. Andrew Baker said last June, he would “conclude that it was an overdose death.”
But perhaps more than anything else, the body cam footage released last summer should have disabused any reasonable person of the notion that racism had anything to do with this incident. In a concise and apt appraisal of the revelations to be seen in the released body cam footage, former ESPN sports writer Jason Whitlock wrote:
Here are the key takeaways from the footage:
• Floyd’s behavior escalated a routine arrest into a possible abuse of force.
• The George Floyd case is not a race crime. No rational person can watch that footage and conclude the police were motivated by Floyd’s black race.
• It’s going to be virtually impossible to convict former officers Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao of any crime.
• It will be equally difficult to convict Chauvin of murder. [emphasis added]
To be perfectly clear, there has never been even a single shred of evidence that the officers involved in George Floyd’s arrest were motivated by Floyd’s race. The released body cam footage simply made the absence of such evidence clearer. But nothing, it appears, could have stopped this carefully crafted and ambitious falsehood that both spawned and justified the blind fury that became manifest in the [Only] Black Lives Matter riots of 2020.
Today, large swathes of the American public have come to understand the aforementioned facts, despite the best efforts of the media to hide them. Hence, far fewer Americans believe that George Floyd was the victim of murder today than last summer, while more believe that Chauvin may have been guilty of negligent behavior in exercising his duties, and more still now claim to not know what happened at all.
In our judicial system, and as it should be, the moral space between the crimes of murder and negligence is a vast chasm. But the sad truth is that lawful adjudication for Derek Chauvin in court, where facts and evidence matter in shaping conclusions, will not matter to the millions of woke fanatics that have already concluded, without any consideration to facts or evidence, that George Floyd was murdered by racist cops. If Derek Chauvin isn’t convicted of murder, and the woke mobs don’t get their desired vengeance through the justice system for the race crime they imagine to have happened, we all know that we can expect more arson, thievery, and violence against innocent people and their property in countless American cities.
And perhaps saddest of all, we can expect that radical leftist politicians, celebrities, the media, and woke corporations will continue to be complicit in the promotion of that deadly and destructive lie, and will continue to placate the rioters committing these horrible atrocities by defending their actions as justifiable outrage.
Powerful forces are allied against the truth, and are actively seeking to silence anyone espousing it. But the truth remains, and while it may sometimes be slow to take hold amidst a moral panic like this one, it is relentless. The truth matters, and the truth is that George Floyd’s death, while unfortunate, has precisely nothing to do with racism in America. And anytime we hear others suggest that it does, we have a responsibility, however uncomfortable or impolite it may seem for us, to demand that they defend their wholly unsubstantiated belief with facts rather than emotional hearsay, however futile that may be for them. (read more)
THE FLOYD FOLLIES III
Derek Chauvin’s defense counsel Eric Nelson introduces the concept of
“camera perspective bias.” Minneapolis Police Chief Arradondo agrees
Chauvin’s knee looks like it’s on Floyd’s neck in the bystander video, but
appears to be on his “shoulder blade” in the body-cam video. pic.twitter.com/YoR2GWTdaH
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) April 5, 2021
THE FLOYD FOLLIES II
Chauvin Trial Day 7 – Where is Cause of Death Beyond a Reasonable Doubt?
Arguing Floyd Died of Asphyxiation Just Means Fentanyl Killed Him
Today marks a week and a half since the state has begun presenting their case in chief, and they have yet to nail down a key issue in this case—what, exactly, caused Floyd’s death?
We know they don’t believe that Chauvin intentionally killed Floyd, because Chauvin is not charged with an intentional killing—all the various charges against him, including the odd use of the term “murder” preferred by Minnesota, are unintentional killing crimes, at worst (e.g., felony murder, reckless homicide).
They sometimes suggest in passing Floyd was killed asphyxia, lack of oxygen to his tissues, perhaps induced by Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck, or pressure placed on Floyd’s body, or by positional asphyxia or purported failure to place Floyd in the so-called “recovery position.”
The problem with this approach is two-fold. First, it’s impossible to determine with any degree of certainty, much less beyond a reasonable doubt, that any of the physical actions of the officers, including Chauvin’s knee in the absence of any sign of leg trauma, actually caused any degree of asphyxia. One can speculate that cause and effect, but speculation does not get one to proof beyond a reasonable doubt—at least not in the context of an evidence-based alternative explanation for asphyxia.
And that’s the second problem with this approach. That alternative explanation is, of course, Floyd’s three-fold fatal levels of fentanyl. Fentanyl overdose kills by inducing asphyxia, because of the drug’s effect on suppressing respiratory function, as well as inducing foaming in the lungs. And the only person responsible for Floyd’s ingestion of overdose levels of fentanyl is Floyd.
To say, then, that Floyd died of asphyxia—as the state did yesterday through the testimony of emergency room physician Langenfeld—does nothing at all to direct fault to Chauvin or the other officers involved, and away from Floyd, because it is at least as likely—arguably far more likely—that this asphyxiation was the result of Floyd’s own conduct, not the conduct of the officers involved. That doesn’t get us to proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, or anything close to it.
Indeed, unlike Floyd, the officers could have no clear idea of exactly what Floyd had shoved into his mouth an ingested, what drugs he might have taken and still have in his system shortly before contact by police, how frequently and recently Floyd had been using or been “clean,” what Floyd’s tolerance to any given dose of drug might be, what co-morbidities—such as severe hypertension, cardiac disease, and cardiac artery occlusion—Floyd might be suffering from, and other factors that played as decisive a role, or a greater role, in Floyd’s demise than anything any of the officers did in the course of making Floyd’s lawful arrest.
At some point the prosecution is going to have to present evidence of the precise mechanism by which they believe Chauvin killed Floyd, that this purported mechanism of death was not otherwise lawful conduct by Chauvin, and that this purported mechanism of death is proven beyond a reasonable doubt despite the presence of perfectly obvious and evidence-supported alternative explanations for Floyd’s death that place no fault on the officers.
Will that day be today? Will that day ever come? Join us and find out! (read more)
See also: https://www.businessinsider.co.za/minneapolis-police-trained-to-use-neck-restraint-george-floyd-2020-7
(Scroll down to see image from MPD training manual, showing proper way to restrain a suspect showing symptoms of excited delirium (as Floyd was). The image shows a cop with his knee on the neck of a suspect lying on his stomach, with his head turned to the side, just like Floyd. CHAUVIN DID IT BY THE BOOK.}
THE FLOYD FOLLIES I
Chauvin Trial Day 6 – Will State Offer Proof of Cause of Death?
After a full week of state’s witness, we’ve not yet seen any testimony on Floyd’s actual cause of death
... We’re now entering the second full week of the state prosecution presenting it’s case-in-chief–where it is to meet it’s burden to provide Chauvin guilty of the crimes charged, and to do so beyond a reasonable doubt.
The first week consisted largely of the emotional–often, weeping and sobbing–testimony of bystander witnesses, who necessarily saw only a small portion of the officers’ interaction with Floyd, had only limited understanding of what was going on, and lacked vitally important facts about what the officers were doing to try to save Floyd’s life including having made a code 3 “lights & sirens” emergency call for paramedics, who were en route to the scene.
This was followed by the testimony of several Minneapolis Police Department officers who had negative things to say about Chauvin and his purported conduct, but whom similarly had knowledge of only a fraction of the relevant facts surrounding the officers’ interaction with Floyd, as well as of evidence-supported alternative explanations for Floyd’s death other than Chauvin’s knee.
Indeed, so far we’ve seen no testimony from state’s witnesses as to precisely how it is supposed to be that Chauvin caused Floyd’s death, or even contributed to that death in a wrongful manner.
So, this week I’m hoping the state will finally begin to share with us their evidence on the two core issues in this case, however rarely stated those issues may be.
First, what killed Floyd?
Was Floyd killed by mechanical asphyxia, by the officers compressing his chest and neck to such a degree that they effectively and intentionally murdered Floyd on a public street, in front of a crowd filming them? This seems to be unlikely to be the state’s theory of the case, as not even the state has charged Chauvin with a crime based on intentional killing.
Alternatively, did the officers kill Floyd by mechanical asphyxia but unintentionally, in a manner showing such indifference to a known risk of death or serious bodily injury that their conduct, even if unintentional, constitutes criminal recklessness, which could be the basis for the charges against Chauvin? If so, what’s that mean for the accessory charges against the other officers–were they accessories to an act of criminal recklessness? Is that even possible, legally speaking.
Again, whatever the state’s theory, they must prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, in the face of evidence-based alternative explanations for Floyd’s death, including his 3-fold fatal levels of fentanyl, presumably the result of his attempt to hide his illicit stash of fentanyl/methamphetamine pills via rapid ingestion when approached by police, his existing severe hypertensive and cardiovascular disease, his history of prior overdoses on similar drugs with similar physiological effects on his body, and his decision–despite his frail and overdosed condition–to fight lawful arrest against multiple officers for a full 10 minutes.
All of this in the context of the lack of any physiological evidence of mechanical asphyxiation, include a lack of any signs of trauma to Floyd’s neck.
Second, was Chauvin’s conduct, even if deadly, wrongful?
Even if we set aside the first question, and presume that it was Chauvin’s knee that was a causal factor in Floyd’s death, we also need to ask this second question, which is whether the use of that knee, in that manner, under those circumstances, was wrongful, or lawful. The Minneapolis Police Department use-of-force policies in effect at the time explicitly permitted a knee-on-neck restraint technique when dealing with non-compliant suspects–indeed, MPD training materials on restraint included illustrative photographs showing the precise technique used by Chauvin.
Further, officers are not only permitted but required to use force not only to protect themselves and the public, but to protect the in-custody suspect, even from himself. To the extent the officers believed Floyd was suffering from excited delirium–and we know they were, because they are heard discussing this concern on their body camera footage–the standard protocol is to completely restrain the suspect’s entire body to prevent the over-exertion believed to kill in cases of excited delirium.
Further, it is well recognized that overdose victims who regain consciousness often immediately respond with violence when they rouse, and thus steps to prevent this would be reasonable. This is all the more the case when the suspect is being restrained on the street in one of the busiest intersections of the city, with moving traffic mere feet away.
All of these are factors that could make Chauvin’s knee on neck restraint of Floyd entirely justified under the totality of the circumstances, and thus not the basis for criminal sanction even if it did contribute to Floyd’s death. After all, a patient who dies on a surgeon’s table dies at least in part because the surgery has opened them up–but we don’t put that surgeon in prison simply because his conduct contributed in some manner to the patient’s death, because the surgeon’s conduct itself was lawful.
Third, Was There A Criminal Delay in Providing Care?
A third potential theory of criminal liability on the part of the officers could be that there was a criminally reckless delay in providing apparent necessary care to Floyd. This was hinted at by some testimony last week–paramedic Smith, for example, expressed the opinion that the officers could have begun chest compressions before his ambulance arrived on scene.
I’ll note that delay of care was not the purported criminal misconduct laid out by Prosecutor Blackwell in his opening statement–rather, the claimed basis for criminal liability was mechanical asphyxiation, a completely different theory of the case. Is the state changing it’s theory mid-trial? If so, why? I mean, we may not know all the evidence the state will present in its case-in-chief, because that presentation is still occurring–but certainly the state knows what evidence it will be presenting. Should we not expect the state’s case in chief to be internally coherent?
Further, the question of delay in care is impossible to assess without taking into consideration all of the surrounding circumstances, including the officers’ awareness that they’d already made a code 3, emergency, lights & sirens, medical call, as well as the growing angry mob threatening imminent physical violence, to the point that Officer Thau was physically restraining the mob, that both Thau and Chauvin were reaching for their OC canisters, and now we’ve even heard testimony from the store clerk that he himself was obliged to physically restrain others in the mob.
Also a factor here is the danger that the 6′ 6″, 230 pound Floyd, if resuscitated, might be immediately physically violent. The soon-to-arrive EMS had the powerful sedative ketamine on board, a drug routinely used in such circumstances to protect not just the officers from the suspect, but also the suspect from the suspect. The officers had no such means at their disposal.
Even in the state’s opening statement by Prosecutor Blackwell, in which they are supposed to set out a broad view of their theory of Chauvin’s criminal liability, there was a great deal of emotive hand-waving, half-truths in the form of context-less citations of selected portions–but only selected portions–of the MPD policy manual, and a complete lack of any consideration of how the state intended to overcome Chauvin’s likely defenses–that is, that his conduct towards Floyd, first, wasn’t the cause of his death given the overdose and other facts, and second, even if a cause of death was nevertheless justified under the circumstances.
Again, the state will be obliged to make its case, and overcome the likely defenses, beyond a reasonable doubt.
So, here’s hoping that week we see the state either make progress in meeting this burden–or, alternatively, expose the central weaknesses in their case in chief. (read more)
WHAT IS AT STAKE
Before you allow Democrats with some complicit Republicans to destroy America, this is our land at its best. Let this not become our past.
The front rolled in right before dark. You could feel the change in the air as the barometric pressure dropped and the cattle who had been standing in the upper paddock eating the last of the pumpkins abruptly hunkered down to chew cud. My son and I were in the shop of the big barn working on a project. The doors were rolled back so we could watch the sunset. He stood at the band saw while I worked at the bench and neither of us spoke much after the day we had put in. Being together working on something for fun was enough. Inside my wife and the younger children were preparing our supper and every once in a while they would come in to check on our progress, the new puppy following them like a shadow. We were assembling a scale model of a cabin that my son plans on building for himself. Everyone would call it a tiny house today, but he refers to it as his getaway. I understand that and in a way I am excited for him to start his own life wherever it takes him. If he remains on the farm the cabin is a good start for a young man, out on the edge of the property with his own entrance he can learn what it’s like to live alone out from under the shadow of his parents while still doing what he loves. If he feels the pull to go on to something else he will have an asset that can earn him an income rather than to hit adulthood indebted. He’s thinking farther out than most kids his age and that, coupled with the skill sets he has already developed will serve him rather than forcing him to serve others.
Every year around this time swarms of tourists come up for the weekend to view the changing of the seasons, up here they call them leaf peepers. The expensive sedans and SUV’s with out of state tags are filled with well dressed out-of-staters who come to see the phenomenon in all its glory. This area in particular is known as one of the premier regions for fall colors because of the variety of hardwoods and the numerous rises and falls of grade. The process of color change is as much about light as it is chemical. As the days shorten chlorophyll production drops off and the glucose stored in the leaves begins to turn towards the red end of the spectrum reflecting light in an entirely different way than during the Summer. The change begins to show in the weakest trees- the saplings and the dying and in the lowest spots where the water concentrations are highest, along the rivers and in the bottom land and swampy bogs. Certain species begin to go before others, first the ash and the soft maple, followed by the poplar and the birches. The sugar maples with their heavy tops take the longest, putting on a month long striptease where they slowly give off vibrant displays of dropping their cover from the top of the crown to the bottom as if consciously trying to get every last bit of color squeezed out one leaf at a time. After the the fruit trees and the nut bearing ones step up on stage like the flurry near the end of a fireworks display- bright yellows, glittering purples, scarlet and magenta, then nothing. The oaks finish last, usually with a duller display of orange and umber as the metabolic wastes are left trapped in their foliage.
This year has been a stunner. Seven weeks of solid color so bright it hurts to look at it. The colors that started in the lower folds of the hills has progressed up the hill like a spectral fog enveloping the slopes in riotous hues until it reached the crest of our ranges and then moved on. Depending on the time of day, the color of the sky, the quality of the air the combinations of orange leaves and azure sky or lavender sunsets against aureolin canopies provide art school demonstrations of complimentary color wheels that literally take your breath away. I can’t tell you how many times I stop in the midst of splitting wood or building fence just to stare at it, my jaw hanging open at the sheer beauty on display, drifts of falling leaves scuttling downward on each breeze, twisting as they fall against the backdrop of dark forest and exposed ledge. The livestock appear to watch as well, heads rising in unison as a gust of wind cuts loose from the distant peak of Little Bear mountain, shaking the trees like an incoming wave and setting loose a confetti storm of falling leaves.
Towards the end of the evening, after we’d eaten and the rest of the family was settling in for the night, my son called me outside one last time. He had set up a couple of lawn chairs in front of the barn facing the Mink hills in the distance. The cloud cover was so low and so dense that you couldn’t make out the rock maples in the front yard and there was a darkness that surrounded us so completely you could feel it. A soft drizzle was starting, more like a mist than a rain, but you knew what was coming behind it. We sat there, the two of us, worn and tired but still filled with an awe that felt electric. My son is taller than I am, stronger too, but when I look at him all I can see is a toddler with bare feet, a boy with his hands up to the elbows in a stream, a teenager in a football uniform making a tackle and springing up from the turf with a smile on his face. This winter we will select and harvest the hemlocks for his cabin and drag them across the snow to the site where he’ll begin to build his life wherever it takes him. I hope that there will be many more nights where we’ll get to sit together in the dark and talk about books and weather, or spend evenings in the shop working together on other projects, but if not I will always have the ones we’ve shared.
At some point I learned that as much as we see of trees and forests above the ground that there is just as much that we do not see. Over fifty percent of the mass of a rock maple is found beneath the surface of the loam at its butt end. Here there is a hidden economy of roots and mycorrhizae. The functions are unseen at that level, but demonstrate their ceaseless work in the canopy above. A healthy forest is a thing of beauty, but it is the result of never ending functions and processes of a world that exists in the shadows beneath it. Our own societies and cultures are similar in that we are able to point to the lights and the rising cities as some kind of proof of our success and vigor as a people and a civilization, but that is certainly the result of the things we do not see- the thankless hours spent rearing children to be thoughtful and honorable adults, the toil and labor of individuals doing tasks of drudgery and endless repetition in order to keep the lights on, the water flowing, the streets in good repair. I can see the decay around the edges, the disease manifested in the body politic, the soured tones of every discourse, the fouled and polluted exchanges both economic and social and understand that the failures are deep and manifest. We live in a forest that has already had it’s finest display of autumn color and are entering a terminal phase. Winter is coming and you don’t need to be a farmer to see that.
The rain came heavy during the night and took down the last of the yellow leaves. The dawn was suffused with orange- the sky was filled with it and it leeched into every corner of the house awakening us in a surreal world that was more beautiful than the one we went to sleep in. Outside the two lawn chairs sit in front of the barn, empty, facing the distant hills and I can see us sitting out there in the dark together, my son and I, facing the darkness together, but only for an instant and then it is gone. Winter is coming and I think it will be a hard one, but who knows. The only thing I know for sure is that we have done everything we could to prepare for the future no matter how uncertain it may be and that will have to be enough. The roots are deep, the hard work has been done and no matter what comes next we can sleep at night knowing that life will go on as nature intends. In this, I am well pleased.
by Hardscrabble Farmer, 17 October 2014
A PERTINENT QUESTION
Wieviel ist zuviel?
(How many is too many?)
This title is a question spray painted throughout Germany since Comrade Merkel deliberately destroyed her country with untold waves of Asiatics, mainly from Syria to Afghanistan. She destroyed social cohesion, brought disorder leading to social decay, all to further the agenda of her masters, to the detriment of Germans.
The illegitimate Biden regime, actually the third Obama term, is doing the same to the United States.
Throughout this latest self-inflicted "Migration Crisis," politicians and their servile media stenographers keep giving irrelevant answers to the wrong questions. Of course, that is what they do with any crisis or controversy, both real and imagined.
The question is not, how many illegal economic migrants or sham refugees should we admit?
The better question is, why accommodate gate crashers who break our laws?
The question is not, are impoverished peasants fleeing violence deserving of admittance?
The better question is, can we afford to import more mouths to feed when our (unconstitutional) welfare state is already burdened with a huge native-born underclass?
The question is not, is America a charitable nation?
The better question is, should we impoverish ourselves, destroying our culture and way of life, to make room for people who will not join in the melting pot, who will refuse to be assimilated like so many previous immigrants, who willingly became Americans in every sense of the word?
One used to have to travel to our southern border states to find enclaves where "rancheria" music filled the streets, and third generation residents spoke no or broken English, and the poverty rate was astronomical. I have seen such squalor in Virginia and Iowa. Yes, in Iowa!
Nuevo Laredo, with its pot holed streets, roadside trash, used diapers left on park benches, and low-life thugs shouting, "¡Chinga tu madre!" at the drop of a hat, is now transplanted throughout our land. Is this the diversity we want?
Thomas Hobbes, wrote long ago of a time and place where life is, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Is that what you want for America?
Did you vote for the imminent and irrevocable destruction of America?
Was von Mises describing what Erich Fromm has called, "the infantile paradise?"
"Romanticism is man's revolt against reason, as well as against the condition under which nature has compelled him to live. The romantic is a daydreamer; he easily manages in imagination to disregard the laws of logic and nature. The thinking and rationally acting man tries to rid himself of the discomfort of unsatisfied wants by economic action and work; he produces in order to improve his position. The romantic ... imagines the pleasures of success but he does nothing to achieve them he does not remove the obstacles; he merely removes them in imagination ... He hates work, economy, and reason.
"The romantic takes all the gifts of a social civilization for granted and desires, in addition, everything fine and beautiful that, as he thinks, distant times and creatures had or have to offer. Surrounded by the comforts of European town life he longs to be an Indian rajah, bedouin, corsair, or troubadour. But he sees only that portion of these people's lives which seems pleasant to him ... The perilous nature of their existence, the comparative poverty of their circumstances, their miseries and their toil – these things his imagination tactfully overlooks: all is transfigured by a rosy gleam. Compared with this dream ideal, reality appears arid and shallow. There are obstacles to overcome which do not exist in the dream... Here there is work to do, ceaselessly, assiduously... Here one must plough and sow if one wishes to reap. The romantic does not choose to admit all this. Obstinate as a child, he refuses to recognize it. He mocks and jeers; he despises and loathes the bourgeois."
- Ludwig von Mises, Socialism
Globalists’ America-Last Agenda Focused on Crushing the Middle Class: Here’s How to Stop It
... Here are my priorities for 2021:
• Spreading the truth about the experimental non-vaccine being pushed by the establishment.
• Preparing for the coming economic onslaught of debt and hyper-inflation, which will create so much misery as to make people beg for something new. The globalists will be ready with their Great Reset, which will require the replacement of global currencies with a new digital non-currency.
• Preparing for food shortages and possibly water challenges. Bill Gates isn’t buying up farmland for nothing. He hopes to influence the food and water supplies. Most of the farm acreage he is buying is along waterways. There must be a reason.
• Finding a church that doesn’t focus on social gospel/social justice but recognizes the signs of the times and the urgency of the hour, which requires spiritual warfare to get Christians battle-hardened and prepared for persecution under the coming technocratic global governance.
• Rejecting and defying government restrictions based on falsified data about the Wuhan virus. Every minute spent defying these unconstitutional edicts and convincing others to do the same will pay dividends in freedoms preserved for your children and grandchildren. It starts with the mask. Take it off whenever possible. That means every store. Push the limits with your doctors as well. I have heard countless cases in which a doctor’s office tried to tell a patient to come masked and the patient refused, only to see the doctor back down.
• Find an alternative schooling option for your children that doesn’t involve brainwashing and training “global citizens.” We want our youth to be American citizens.
• Take stock of all your business relationships – where you bank, where you buy goods and services, where you find sources of entertainment – and cut off all that are actively supporting through money or policies the globalist agenda to destroy America by destroying its middle class and its Judeo-Christian values.
• Figure out a plan for how you will live in an increasingly hostile, totalitarian society. This involves things we never had to think about before. The most important one right now is the experimental non-vaccine that is being pushed by the government, media, many corporate employers, airlines, etc. If you ever had a dream of starting a small business, maybe this is the time to quit your corporate job and take the leap.
Even conservative media have been disappointing in their coverage of the experimental non-vaccines that our government has allowed to be put to market before they could even be tested for the long-term effects on human health. (read more)
See also: Western Civilization is imploding: Now is the time for all good men to make their stand
See also: Get ready for the next phase of the cancel culture: It will be the most diabolical yet
usaapay.com endorses the boycotts:
"How good it feels to win. How good it feels to see their outrage. How good it feels to see their grasp on power slip. How good it feels to hear their whining. It feels wonderful to see their moral turpitude on full display. I’m not outraged at their hubris either. I’m elated. They can’t hide it anymore the way they once were able to.
"Here’s how burdened and stressed their system is: The slightest out of the ordinary behavior by a citizen activist today generates such immediate response from those in office. There has never been a more wonderful time than now to be an activist. Every unpredictable act reveals how entirely out of touch and out of control they really are. Use the FOIA uncomfortably, hang posters uncomfortably, make the phones ring uncomfortably, post a website uncomfortably — such as the wonderful “Brad Little Is A Disgrace”. Their slightest discomfort is brilliant to watch. If you aren’t already being as active as you can be, you are missing out on the fun."
- Allan Stevo
THE SKY IS NOT FALLING IV
“The propensity of our contemporaries to demand authoritarian prohibition as soon as something does not please them, and their readiness to submit to such prohibitions even when what is prohibited is quite agreeable to them shows how deeply ingrained the spirit of servility still remains within them. It will require many long years of self-education until the subject can turn himself into the citizen. A free man must be able to endure it when his fellow men act and live otherwise than he considers proper. He must free himself from the habit, just as soon as something does not please him, of calling for the police.”
Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism
THE SKY IS NOT FALLING III
The race-baiters have gone into meltdown
The government’s race report has rattled the race-obsessed commentariat like nothing before.
The government’s new report on race and ethnic disparities has been met with an extraordinary bout of hysterics. The report’s conclusion – that there is no evidence of structural racism in the UK – has sent our race-baiting cultural elites into complete meltdown.
Some have smeared the reports’ authors as racist. Labour MP Clive Lewis compared them to the Ku Klux Klan.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, journalist Ayesha Hazarika said the ‘dreadful’ report made lots of black and Asian people feel ‘exhausted’.
Of course, what they really mean is not that they are tired of debating against those who do not believe Britain is institutionally racist – but that they can’t debate them. They have wildly exaggerated the scale of racism in the UK for their own divisive ends – and now that they are being challenged, they are trying to shut down the discussion altogether.
They are lashing out because their absurd narrative has been exposed. They are horrified that anyone would challenge their nightmarish view of Britain as a racist hellhole.
The truth, as all well-adjusted people know, is that Britain is among the most tolerant and open countries in the world – but hearing that drives the woke insane. (read more)
THE SKY IS NOT FALLING II
The Texas Neanderthals were right
Texas ditched the mask mandate and opened up – and it’s all fine.
In early March, Texas governor Greg ["Wind Turbine"] Abbott announced he was ending the state’s mandate for people to wear masks, and reopening businesses at full capacity. Media outlets went into overdrive to denounce him and predict catastrophe. CNN editor-at-large Chris Cillizza called Abbott’s decision ‘head-scratching, anti-science’. ‘Model projections for Texas show worst-case scenario without mask mandate’, warned an ABC TV station in [Democrat-run cesspool] Houston. Abbott’s move was part of a ‘bold plan to kill another 500,000 Americans’, screamed [trusted medical journal,] Vanity Fair.
[Leftist] Politicians also rushed to criticise Abbott. Former representative and failed presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke called his decision a ‘death warrant for Texans’. California governor Gavin Newsom said Texas was ‘absolutely reckless’ for lifting its Covid rules.
No less than [illegitimate] president Joe Biden felt obliged to speak out and condemn Abbott. ‘The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything’s fine – take off your mask, forget it. It still matters.’
Well, it appears the Neanderthals in Texas got it right, and Biden is the one whose thinking is caveman-like. Now, three weeks after Abbott’s order to lift the mask mandate went into effect, the Covid situation has improved in Texas. New cases are down, to their lowest level since June. Hospitalisations have fallen to their lowest level since autumn. Death rates have plummeted. Furthermore, the outlook for vaccinations in the state appears bright, with a record daily number of people receiving shots. Adults of all ages are now eligible for a vaccine jab, a faster pace than many other states.
Have Biden and the media apologised for slandering Texas? And have they learned that lifting mandates on mask-wearing and removing other restrictions does not lead to Covid-spreading? Of course not.
Instead, Biden cited an uptick in new cases nationally to bang on again about masks. ‘I’m reiterating my call for every governor, mayor, and local leader to maintain and reinstate the mask mandate’, he said earlier this week. ‘Please, this is not politics. Reinstate the mandate if you let it down.’ Biden’s plea came on the same day that CDC director Rochelle Walensky warned of ‘impending doom’. Holding back tears, she said: ‘Right now, I am scared.’
Overwrought emotionalism from the head of the CDC is not helpful, to put it mildly. Nor is a president insisting on state-mandated mask-wearing. Biden’s message implied that the latest increase in cases was down to states like Texas that have loosened restrictions on activity, but that is not true. In fact, the national increase was driven mainly by New York, New Jersey and Michigan – states that have imposed the most onerous of restrictions.
As it happens, there is no need for alarm in the US. Yes, new cases are up in some states, but far below the January peak. The levels are much too low to talk about a ‘fourth wave’.
With the rollout of [experimental gene therapy] vaccines in progress, it is important for any discussion of Covid’s spread to break down findings by age group. And here we find encouraging developments. Nearly three-quarters of those aged 65 and older have been vaccinated, a group that has accounted for about 80 per cent of all Covid-related deaths. Accordingly, hospitalisations and deaths among seniors have been reduced dramatically. The latest increase in new cases is concentrated among younger people. This spread from older to younger was seen in Israel as vaccines were implemented there, but proved to be a temporary phenomenon. Also, we know that younger people are much less likely to be hospitalised or die from Covid. That’s why it is unlikely the latest increase in cases will lead to a corresponding increase in deaths.
Rather than speak of ‘impending doom’, there are solid grounds for optimism, especially considering the unprecedented success of the [experimental gene therapy] vaccination programme. The speed of getting vaccine shots in people’s arms (about three million a day) is far outpacing the rise in new cases (some 68,000 a day). Nearly all adults who want a[n experimental gene therapy] jab will be able to receive one in April. Hesitancy about getting the vaccine is declining. Vaccines are approved for 16- and 17-year-olds, and are proving safe [with limited data] for 12- to 15-year-olds. Given the high percentage of those who already have antibodies from prior infections, effective herd immunity could come as soon as May, with a strong chance it will be here in the summer.
As Texas and other states show, removing mask mandates and lifting other restrictions do not lead to an increase in the spread of Covid. Yet politicians and the media keep repeating this claim. Among the factors fuelling the latest uptick in cases, the New York Times includes the fact that ‘Some mayors and governors have continued to lift restrictions and mask rules. Many Americans are behaving less cautiously.’
It is not that [unscientific] actions like wearing masks are completely unnecessary. But they do become a problem when they are imposed as strict government mandates rather than leaving it up to people’s own judgment, as Texas does. When Biden and others effectively politicise the wearing of masks, they create social divisions between the supposedly virtuous mask-wearers and the irresponsible [, according to the bedwetters and tyrants, liberty-loving] others.
The real issue is that Biden and many other elites don’t trust the mass of people. When the toll of state-mandated restrictions on our wellbeing is so great – in terms of job losses, small businesses going to the wall, a halt in student learning, and the non-treatment of non-Covid health issues – such limitations on us should be kept to a minimum. Today, as we see [experimental gene therapy] vaccines being rolled out at a rapid pace, the constraints on us should also be lessening. But as the constant gloom-and-doom from Biden and the CDC shows, the instinct of many in authority is to dismiss any signs of good news, so as to justify controls on a public they do not trust. (read more)
THE SKY IS NOT FALLING I
"The belief that it was possible to control people in order to control a virus produced a calamity unprecedented in modern times."
Why Is Everyone in Texas Not Dying?2021-04-03 a
m sitting at a bar in Texas, surrounded by maskless people, looking at folks on the streets walking around like life is normal, talking with nice and friendly faces, feeling like things in the world are more-or-less normal. Cases and deaths attributed to Covid are, like everywhere else, falling dramatically.
If you pay attention only to the media fear campaigns, you would find this confusing. More than two weeks ago, the governor of Texas completely reversed his devastating lockdown policies and repealed all his emergency powers, along with the egregious attacks on rights and liberties.
There was something very un-Texan about those lockdowns. My hotel room is festooned with pictures of cowboys on horses waving guns in the air, along with other depictions of rugged individualism facing down the elements. It’s a caricature but Texans embrace it. Then a new virus came along – as if that had never happened before in Texas – and the new Zoom class took the opposite path, not freedom but imposition and control.
After nearly a year of nonsense, on March 2, 2021, the governor finally said enough is enough and repealed it all. Towns and cities can still engage in Covid-related mischief but at least they are no longer getting cover from the governor’s office.
At that moment, a friend remarked to me that this would be the test we have been waiting for. A complete repeal of restrictions would lead to mass death, they said. Would it? Did the lockdowns really control the virus? We would soon find out, he theorized.
I knew better. The “test” of whether and to what extent lockdowns control the virus or “suppress outbreaks” (in Anthony Fauci’s words) has been tried all over the world. Every serious empirical examination has shown that the answer is no.
The US has many examples of open states that have generally had better performance in managing the disease than those states that are closed. Georgia already opened on April 24, 2020. South Dakota never shut down. South Carolina opened in May. Florida ended all restrictions in September. In every case, the press howled about the coming slaughter that did not happen. Yes, each open state experienced a seasonality wave in winter but so did the lockdown states.
So it was in Texas. Thanks to this Twitter thread, and some of my own googling, we have a nice archive of predictions about what would happen if Texas opened.
• California Governor Gavin Newsom said that opening Texas was “absolutely reckless.”
• Gregg Popovich, head coach of the NBA San Antonio Spurs, said opening was “ridiculous” and “ignorant.”
• CNN quoted an ICU nurse saying “I’m scared of what this is going to look like.”
• Vanity Fair went over the top with this headline: “Republican Governors Celebrate COVID Anniversary With Bold Plan to Kill Another 500,000 Americans.”
• There was the inevitable Dr. Fauci: “It just is inexplicable why you would want to pull back now.”
• Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke of Texas revealed himself to be a full-blown lockdowner: It’s a “big mistake,” he said. “It’s hard to escape the conclusion that it’s also a cult of death.” He accused the governor of “sacrificing the lives of our fellow Texans … for political gain.”
• James Hamblin, a doctor and writer for the [left-leaning] Atlantic, said in a Tweet liked by 20K people: “Ending precautions now is like entering the last miles of a marathon and taking off your shoes and eating several hot dogs.”
• Bestselling author Kurt Eichenwald flipped out: “Goddamn. Texas already has FIVE variants that have turned up: Britain, South Africa, Brazil, New York & CA. The NY and CA variants could weaken vaccine effectiveness. And now idiot @GregAbbott_TX throws open the state.” He further called the government “murderous.”
• Epidemiologist Whitney Robinson wrote: “I feel genuinely sad. There are people who are going to get sick and die bc of avoidable infections they get in the next few weeks. It’s demoralizing.”
• [Zionist, Neocon] Pundit Bill Kristol (I had no idea that he was a lockdowner) wrote: “Gov. Abbott is going to be responsible for more avoidable COVID hospitalizations and deaths than all the undocumented immigrants coming across the Texas border put together.”
• Health pundit Bob Wachter said the decision to open was “unforgivable.”
• Virus guru Michael Osterholm told CNN: “We’re walking into the mouth of the monster. We simply are.”
• Joe Biden famously said that the Texas decision to open reflected “Neanderthal thinking.”
• Nutritionist Eric Feigl-Ding said that the decision makes him want to “vomit so bad.”
• The chairman of the state’s Democratic Party said: “What Abbott is doing is extraordinarily dangerous. This will kill Texans. Our country’s infectious-disease specialists have warned that we should not put our guard down, even as we make progress towards vaccinations. Abbott doesn’t care.”
• Other state Democrats said in a letter that the decision was “premature and harmful.”
• The CDC’s Rochelle Walensky didn’t mince words: “Please hear me clearly: At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained. I am really worried about reports that more states are rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from COVID-19.”
There are probably hundreds more such warnings, predictions, and demands, all stated with absolute certainty that basic social and market functioning is a terrible idea. The lockdown lobby was out in full force. And yet what do we see now more than two weeks out (and arguably the lockdowns died on March 2, when the government announced the decision)? (read more and see data)
What’s striking about all the above predictions of infections and deaths is not just that they were all wrong. It’s the arrogance and confidence behind each of them. After a full year and directly observing the inability of “nonpharmaceutical interventions” to manage the pathogen, the experts are still wedded to their beloved lockdowns, unable or unwilling to look at the data and learn anything from them.
The concept of lockdowns stemmed from a faulty premise: that you can separate humans, like rats in cages, and therefore control and even eradicate the virus. After a year, we unequivocally know this not to be true, something that the best and wisest epidemiologists knew all along. Essential workers still must work; they must go home to their families, many in crowded living conditions. Lockdowns do not eliminate the virus, they merely shift the burden onto the working class.
Now we can see the failure in black, white, and full color, daily appearing on our screens courtesy of the CDC. Has that shaken the pro-lockdown pundit class? Not that much. What an amazing testament to the stubbornness of elite opinion and its bias against basic freedoms. They might all echo the words of Groucho Marx: “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?”
“The assertion that “conservative white evangelicals” are the driving force behind “vaccine misinformation” is nothing more than the next play from the divide-and-conquer playbook that has been used against vaccine injured families and the vaccine safety awareness movement for decades now. Rather than acknowledge legitimate concerns and have open honest conversations about the safety and efficacy of any vaccine, they seek to instead marginalize dissenting voices in an attempt to silence them.”
“Safety issues associated with the use of pharmaceutical products – including vaccines – do not discriminate based on race or religion. Diluting the issue in this way is proving detrimental to the cause of increasing confidence in the vaccine program as more and more people of all demographics see the suppression of effective treatments, the ill-effects of pushing this rushed-to-market pharmaceutical product, and the heavy handed threats of social and economical consequences for non-compliance rather than a willingness by health authorities to acknowledge and address the glaring scientific and moral problems associated with the implementation of the COVID vaccine program.”
- Jackie Schlegel, Executive Director of Texans for Vaccine Choice
Men, women and STEM: Why the differences and what should be done?
It is a well-known and widely lamented fact that men outnumber women in a number of fields in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). The most commonly discussed explanations for the gender gaps are discrimination and socialization, and the most common policy prescriptions target those ostensible causes. However, a great deal of evidence in the behavioural sciences suggests that discrimination and socialization are only part of the story. The purpose of this paper is to highlight other aspects of the story: aspects that are commonly overlooked or downplayed. More precisely, the paper has two main aims. The first is to examine the evidence that factors other than workplace discrimination contribute to the gender gaps in STEM. These include relatively large average sex differences in career and lifestyle preferences, and relatively small average differences in cognitive aptitudes – some favouring males, others favouring females – which are associated with progressively larger differences the further above the average one looks. The second aim is to examine the evidence suggesting that these sex differences are not purely a product of social factors but also have a substantial biological (i.e. inherited) component. A more complete picture of the causes of the unequal sex ratios in STEM may productively inform policy discussions.
discrimination, equality, gender, sex differences, STEM
Never has the issue of gender disparities been as widely discussed, or as bitterly contested, as it has been in recent years. From the Oscars to the political podium, from TV shows to the workplace, disparities are identified and debate inevitably ensues. In the occupational realm, one of the primary focuses of this debate has been the differential representation of men and women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths; see Box 1). This was epitomized by the infamous ‘Google memo,’ in which then-Google employee James Damore (2017) questioned the extent to which observed gender disparities in STEM are a product of workplace discrimination. The memo, and Damore’s subsequent dismissal from Google, provoked a great deal of discussion and debate about the causes of STEM disparities and the origins of human sex differences. Unfortunately, much of this debate was decidedly inaccurate in its presentation of the research on the topic. A great deal was said about bias and discrimination, but relatively little about other factors contributing to STEM gender gaps (e.g. Chachra, 2017). Furthermore, to the extent that other factors were mentioned – factors such as average sex differences in academic interests – these were typically attributed to socialization, rather than to biology or to a complex interaction between biological and sociological causes (e.g. Campbell, 2017; a notable exception is Eagly, 2017).
The goal of this paper is to redress the balance. We do not aim to provide a complete survey of the literature on sex differences in STEM; to do so would require a book-length treatment of the topic. Our goals are much more modest. The first is to argue that gender gaps in STEM are shaped to an important extent by factors other than workplace discrimination, including sex differences in preferences, aptitudes and within-sex variability. The second is to argue that these sex differences are not due solely or primarily to learning, socialization or culture. Biology matters as well.
Critics might respond that no one claims otherwise, and that to suggest that they do is merely to attack a straw person. We defend our emphasis, however, on three main grounds. First, it is far from clear that the only people rejecting a significant role for biology in shaping STEM gender gaps are made out of straw. As the psychologist Alice Eagly (2018) has noted, many feminist psychologists have rejected a role for biology in shaping any psychological sex differences. Second, although few experts explicitly deny that biological factors contribute to STEM gender disparities, these factors are often downplayed or ignored. Wang and Degol (2017), for instance, suggest that, although biological factors cannot be ‘definitively dismissed,’ socio-cultural factors are a more likely explanation (p. 123), and Cheryan et al. (2017) do not even mention biological factors in their analysis of the causes of the gender gaps in STEM. It would be easy for non-experts and policy makers to get the impression that, according to many experts, biology is essentially irrelevant. Third, even if everyone did agree that biological factors make a significant contribution (over and above simply encoding the effects of experience), it would presumably still be appropriate to make the case for this position, rather than simply accepting it in the absence of arguments and evidence.
We divide the paper into six main parts. First, we survey the research suggesting that men and women differ, on average, in their career and lifestyle preferences, and argue that these differences are due in part to biological influences. Second, we consider the possibility that men and women differ, again on average, in certain cognitive aptitudes – that men, for instance, score somewhat higher on most tests of spatial ability, whereas women score somewhat higher on verbal tests. Third, we look at the controversial suggestion that men are more variable than women in cognitive ability, such that there are more men at the top of the ability distribution, and more men as well at the bottom. Fourth, we look at the issue of gender discrimination, and argue that, although discrimination plays a role in shaping STEM gender gaps, it plays a smaller one than people often assume, and sometimes favours women rather than men. Fifth, we look at how the arguments and evidence in the first four sections might inform the discussion of policy interventions aimed at addressing STEM gender gaps. Sixth and finally, we consider whether the ultimate aim of such interventions should be to eliminate sex differences in STEM, or simply to eliminate bias and barriers, then let the cards fall where they may.
Sex differences in preferences and priorities
To begin with, we examine arguably the most important contributor to the differential representation of men and women in STEM: sex differences in career-relevant preferences. Specifically, we look at sex differences in interests and occupational preferences and sex differences in life priorities. Having sketched an origins-agnostic outline of these differences, we then make the case that biological factors play an important part in shaping them, and speculate about the evolutionary pressures that might have helped shape the biological contribution.
Interests and occupational preferences
A large literature in psychology shows that men and women differ, on average, in the kinds of occupations that interest them (Konrad et al., 2000; Morris, 2016). One of the most important recent papers on this topic was a comprehensive meta-analysis by Su et al. (2009). The paper focused on two main areas: occupation-relevant interests (e.g. interest in people vs. things) and preferences for specific STEM careers (e.g. engineering vs. mathematics). In both cases, the authors found substantial sex differences that, regardless of their causes, plausibly go some way towards explaining observed STEM gender gaps.
Occupation-relevant interests. Starting with occupation-relevant interests, by far the largest sex difference was that for interest in things (i.e. objects, machines or abstract rules) vs. interest in people. Members of both sexes can be found at every point on the things vs. people continuum; however, more men than women exhibit a stronger interest in things, whereas more women than men exhibit a stronger interest in people. Averaging across studies, Su et al. (2009) found an effect size of d¼0.93 for the people vs. things sex difference. This is notably larger than most human sex differences (Hyde, 2005; Lippa, 2010; Stewart-Williams & Thomas, 2013a, 2013b), and indeed than most effects in psychology (Eagly, 1995). To get an intuitive sense of the magnitude of the difference, if one were to pick pairs of people at random, one man and one woman, the man would be more things-oriented than the woman around 75% of the time.
The people vs. things sex difference immediately suggests an explanation – or rather a partial explanation – for the fact that men outnumber women in fields such as physics, engineering and mathematics, whereas women are at parity with or even outnumber men in psychology, the social sciences and the health sciences: the former fields are of interest to more men than women, and the latter to more women than men, and people tend to gravitate to fields that interest them most (Diekman et al., 2017; Yang & Barth, 2015).
Preferences for specific occupations. Research looking at preferences for specific occupations leads to a similar conclusion. As Su et al. (2009) report, males on average express considerably more interest than females in engineering (d¼1.11), and somewhat more interest in science and mathematics (d¼0.36 and 0.34, respectively). These differences are present by early adolescence and closely match the observed numbers of men and women working in the relevant fields. Su et al. (2009) point out that, if we make the reasonable ballpark assumption that people working in a given field tend to come from the 25% of people most interested in that field, sex differences in occupational interests would account for the entirety of the engineering gender gap and much of the gap in science and mathematics. In short, sex differences in occupational and academic preferences are far from trivial, and plausibly make a substantial contribution to observed occupational gender gaps.
Gender gaps in STEM – and especially in the higher echelons of STEM – may also be shaped in part by average sex differences in life priorities. As with occupational preferences, people vary a lot in their life priorities, and the full range of priorities can be found within each sex. Nonetheless, some priorities are more common among men than women, and others among women than men (Bolotnyy & Emanuel, 2019; Hakim, 2005, 2006; Konrad et al., 2000; Schwartz & Rubel, 2005). One longitudinal study found, for instance, that among adults identified as intellectually gifted in early adolescence, the average man reported placing more importance on career success and income than did the average woman, whereas the average woman reported placing more importance on work–life balance and making time for one’s family and friends (Benbow et al., 2000; Lubinski et al., 2014). These differences were particularly pronounced among people with children, apparently because women’s priorities shifted after they became mothers (Ferriman et al., 2009). Moreover, sex differences in self-reported priorities were evident in real-world behaviour. As Lubinski et al. (2014) observed, for instance, over the course of the last 15 years, the men in their sample spent an average of 51 hours a week doing paid work, whereas the women spent an average of 40.
Of course, sex differences in lifestyle preferences do not explain why the sex ratio is so much more male-biased in maths-intensive STEM fields than in most others. Still, the differences do plausibly help to explain the fact that, in STEM and elsewhere, men outnumber women among the minority in the higher echelons: rising to the top is a priority for fewer women than men, and thus fewer women than men are willing to make the sacrifices required to achieve that goal. To be clear, some women are willing to make those sacrifices, and the majority of men are not. However, more men than women are willing, and this is plausibly part of the reason that the sex ratio at the top is so often male-biased. Note that, according to one large US study (N 4000), the sex difference in career-mindedness is not a result of women thinking that career advancement is impossible for them. The average woman views advancement as just as achievable as the average man, but as less desirable (Gino et al., 2015).
[ ... ]
A mixed picture
In summary, it seems fair to say that the evidence for gender discrimination in STEM is mixed, with some studies finding pro-male bias, some finding the reverse and some finding none at all. What should we conclude? In our view, there are two main interpretations. The first is that the apparently mixed findings are not in fact inconsistent. Rather than there being uniform bias against women, or uniform bias against men, there are pockets of bias against both sexes (and presumably no gender bias at some institutions and in some cases). The second interpretation is that, at this stage, the findings are inconclusive: the jury is still out. But this in itself suggests that sex-based discrimination could not be hugely prevalent in STEM; if it were, it would be easier to detect a clear signal and the research would paint a more consistent picture of the situation. This, in turn, suggests that factors other than discrimination – in particular, sex differences in occupational preferences – are the main explanation for the persistence of gender gaps in STEM.
"They have been supporting this thing that they can see for themselves is complicit in evil, they intuit it… but psychologically they cannot let themselves see it, because to admit that what they see in front of their own eyes… to admit that it’s obviously as bad as it is, that the theory itself [systemic racism] is worse than bankrupt, it’s evil, requires going through the entire psychological process of admitting to yourself, and to others around you, that they got duped, and they carried water for that evil thing…. There’s a high psychological cost to admitting that you were dumb and got tricked, and there is a high social cost for both of those things as well.”
- James Lindsay
Preacher arrested for quoting from the Bible is awarded £13,000: Held for 19 hours after [homosexual] teens said he upset them
•John Craven, 57, sued for unlawful arrest, false imprisonment and human rights breach
•Told [homosexual] men in Manchester street: 'God hates sin but he loves sinner'
•He was arrested on public order offence but no action taken by police
•Christian group finances legal battle and police settle before court
A Christian street preacher was wrongly arrested and held in a police cell for almost 19 hours after quoting verses from the Bible.
John Craven, 57, recited from Revelation after two [homosexual] teenagers asked about his views on homosexuality.
But after he read from chapter 21, verse eight – which says sinners will burn in a lake of fire and sulphur – police arrested him on suspicion of committing a public order offence.
He was taken to a police cell where he claims he was denied food, water and access to medication for his rheumatoid arthritis.
He was fingerprinted, had to give a sample of his DNA and told he was being investigated for allegedly using insulting words with the intention of causing harassment, alarm or distress – which could have led to a six-month jail sentence.
Two days later, however, police told him there would be no charges and no further action.
Yesterday he was awarded £13,000 in compensation after a three-year legal battle against Greater Manchester Police which is estimated to have cost the public purse £50,000.
Mr Craven said: ‘I never intended to cause anyone harassment, alarm or distress. I preach the gospel, which means good news and the love of God for all.
‘At the end of the day God loves everybody, but homosexuality is a sin and I am not going to contradict the word of God.’ He added: ‘The actions of the police have left me feeling nervous and anxious.
‘I was in a cell on my own. I was fingerprinted, swabbed and had my photo taken. They took my shoelaces from me. They said I would not be interviewed until the next day and then they left me.’
The incident happened in 2011 when Mr Craven, who has been street preaching for 14 years, was at his regular twice-weekly pitch in Manchester city centre.
Mr Craven, who is married, said: ‘Two young lads asked me what God thinks of homosexuals. I told them whilst God hates sin, he loves the sinner and that according to the word of God homosexuality is an abomination. That is not my opinion, it is the word of God.
‘I quoted them Revelation chapter 21, verse eight, “But for the cowardly, unbelieving, sinners, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their part is in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death”.
‘This made them upset and they started to do obscene gestures to me. They were trying to provoke me.’
The [homosexual] boys then told a policeman his comments had caused them distress. The constable was alleged to have grabbed Mr Craven roughly by the arm before arresting him.
From the time of his arrest at 7.15pm until 9.30am the next day he was given nothing to eat before eventually being given a bowl of cereal.
Mr Craven won damages under the Human Rights Act using his entitlement to enjoy the freedom to manifest his religion and freedom of expression, including the freedom to impart ideas without interference by a public authority.
Colin Hart, director of The Christian Institute which funded Mr Craven’s case, said: ‘In terms of the infringement of religious liberty, it was one of the worst cases we have ever dealt with.’
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: ‘We acknowledge that we did make mistakes and, in particular, kept the claimant in custody for too long.’ (read more)
"How does this happen? Because Wokery above all is about status, and the elite schools exist to confer status on the young people who can get into them, who then move on into an adult life of high-status (high-paying) employment facilitated by their old school connections. In prior times, the elite schools accomplished this by offering a superior education via superior faculty and superior curricula. Lately, the emphasis has shifted to promoting sham moral superiority, because it is a shortcut to gaining power over other people — and nowadays, elitism is no longer about excellence, but just raw power over others."
- James Howard Kunstler
NOT APRIL FOOLS (Bat shit crazy Biden imports sexually active, even incestuous, minors from Central America. They are coming to schools and playgrounds near you, to interact with your own children.)
Kids in Migrant Camps Engaging in Sexual Activity, Sent to Hotels with Unvetted Caregivers
Children, even brothers and sisters, are reportedly engaged in sexual acts with each other in the migrant facilities housing thousands of illegal aliens in McAllen, Texas.
The American people would be shocked to see the inhumane conditions inside the facilities used to house thousands of migrants who continue to flood across the border, a source from inside the camp, who wishes to remain anonymous, warned InfoWars host Owen Shroyer.
“An anonymous source from inside a big illegal immigration facility is telling us that the children are engaging in sexual acts with one another, and brothers and sisters are engaging in sexual acts with one another. And, children are basically masturbating and doing sexual acts, which of course is a phenomenon, very odd that this would be going on,” Shroyer reports. “Not normal behavior, unless of course, they’re being subjected to molestation and rape and other sexual things on the journey."
Workers inside the facility are now separating the children from each other to ward off the promiscuity, Shroyer learned after staking out the camp along the devolving U.S. Mexico border for several hours.
“Now, we know that that is going on, but now it’s just happening blatantly, rampantly, and the people inside the facilities have to separate these kids because they are reenacting what’s been done to them on the trip with their brothers and sisters,” he said. “I mean, this is so diabolical. This is so heartbreaking that this is going on.”
After rescinding the emergency order used by former President Trump to construct a border wall, the Biden administration secured $86 million from the American taxpayer to contract hotels to house the migrants, Axios reports.
Biden also waived FBI background checks on caregivers of kids crossing the U.S.-Mexico border without their parents or legal guardians on Saturday, Associated Press reports.
It’s unclear whether the unaccompanied minors are being placed with caregivers who are their family, traffickers, or cartel, Shroyer cautions.
“We still don’t even know if these children are with their parents or who they’re with. And they’re getting put into hotels with these people,” he said. “So, who knows what could be happening to those kids. A woman goes in with three kids, she comes out with one. Would anybody even know? Would anybody even ask a question?”
The small break-off facility InfoWars staked out in McAllen, Texas, one of the dozens near the border, is now expanding, doubling in size.
The only force that can stop the invasion is the American People, Shroyer argues.
“Biden’s open border policy is facilitating child molestation. I don’t know how it can get much worse than this,” he said. “Let’s just be real about how bad this is. Folks, I’m telling you, call your local senators. Get in front of the city council. If there is a facility like this in your area, record it, film it, document it. This is devastation to America. A ticking time bomb, what’s going on with this open border.”
You can find more of InfoWars’ groundbreaking reports at www.banned.video and www.cantcensortruth.com. (read more)
NOT APRIL FOOLS (Bat shit crazy progressives deny science of sex chromosomes and gender-specific genitalia.)
Sen. Kennedy On CNN Reporter’s Claim That Gender Identity Isn’t Known At Birth: ‘A Boy Has A Penis, A Girl Has A Vagina’
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) mocked on Wednesday night a CNN report from this week that initially claimed a person’s “gender identity” can’t be known at birth.
“This is from one of its ‘breaking news and politics reporters’ called Devan Cole,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson said. “Cole was writing about South Dakota’s legislation on transgender athletes. Cole wrote this line, and amazingly, CNN published it. We’re quoting this directly from the CNN website. Here it is, ‘It’s not possible to know a person’s gender identity at birth, and there is no consensus criteria for assigning sex at birth.'”
“Meaning that for literally hundreds of thousands of years, human beings have been reproducing in caves, huts, hospitals, this little squealing human comes out butt naked, and no one has been able to determine whether this kid was a boy or a girl. No one has known! [Because] there’s just no way to know,” Carlson continued. “Because biology’s not real; totally fake. Is there some way to tell, if you were to have a baby — if you were to take time from your vacationing and your internet use and your weed smoke, if you actually decided [to] perpetuate the species and you had a child — how would you know if that child was a boy or a girl?”
Carlson asked Kennedy how to know if a baby was a boy or a girl.
“The person who wrote that is entitled to his opinion, but in my opinion, I think he’s been in lockdown too long,” Kennedy responded. “Sex is the language we use to describe reproduction. In humans, there are only two sexes — male and female. Males have the potential to produce sperm; females have the potential to produce ova. These are observable physical characteristics. Sex is not a spectrum. It’s binary; you’re either male or female. Now, I do believe that gender dysphoria exists. It’s rare, maybe one in 30,000 males, one in 100,000 females. Gender dysphoria is not an observable physical characteristic. It’s an internal feeling. It’s an internal feeling that a person of one sex has when he internally identifies with another sex. I think most Americans believe it’s wrong to discriminate against someone because of an immutable characteristic, like sex or race.”
Kennedy continued by discussing the Democrats’ “Equality Act,” saying that it was about controlling “education, religion, public accommodation, [and] speech.”
Kennedy later gave an even more direct answer about how to tell the sex of a baby at birth, saying, “I mean, it’s very easy to tell a boy from a girl. A boy has a penis, a girl has a vagina.” (read more)
NOT APRIL FOOLS (Bat shit crazy Mohammedan bullies terrorize Batley Grammar School.)
The price of your cowardice
The liberal elite’s failure to defend the Batley Grammar schoolteacher is a black mark against this nation.
The father of the Batley Grammar schoolteacher who was suspended for the supposedly blasphemous offence of showing his pupils an image of Muhammad has spoken to the Daily Mail. It makes for distressing reading. His son is an ‘emotional wreck’, he says. He ‘keeps breaking down and crying and says it’s all over for him’. Worse, he fears for his life. He fears for his family’s lives.
‘He is worried that he and his family are all going to be killed’, his dad says. ‘He knows that he’s not going to be able to return to work or live in Batley. It’s just going to be too dangerous for him and his family. Look what happened to the teacher in France who was killed for [not] doing the same thing. Eventually they will get my son and he knows this. His whole world has been turned upside down. He’s devastated and crushed.’
All that over an image. Over a cartoon. A man suspended from his job and hounded out of his hometown over a picture of Muhammad. A young family (the teacher is in his late twenties) living in fear of violent retribution over a caricature. In Britain in 2021, in this supposedly modern, post-religious nation, a public servant fears for his life because he showed his teenage pupils an image of a seventh-century prophet. What the hell is going on?
This is the price of liberal cowardice. What is happening in Batley is the logical conclusion of the liberal elite’s abandonment of the ideal of freedom of speech. The most shocking element of the Batley controversy is not actually the gruff protesters turning up to the schoolgates every day to demand the sacking of a teacher who offended their fragile sensibilities. It’s the broader establishment’s failure to defend the teacher, to stand by him, to insist on the right of educators to think freely and to engage their charges in open, critical discussion.
It is this craven turning away, this spineless reluctance to defend a teacher whose only offence was to exercise freedom of thought in his classroom, that will have fuelled this young man’s descent into such devastation and fear. For it is one thing for handfuls of religious extremists to shout abuse at you. But for society itself to abandon you? For the educational establishment to stare at its feet as you fear for your life? For the liberal intelligentsia – which is increasingly neither – to prevaricate and wonder out loud if maybe you are at fault for displaying an inflammatory image?
That’s the true kick in the gut. That’s what really illustrates the corrosion of liberty in 21st-century Britain. That’s what captures how broad and deep the crisis of freedom is right now.
Everyone, of course, is disturbed by the images of young Muslim men outside Batley Grammar arrogantly demanding the punishment of a teacher for allegedly offending their religious beliefs. These are indeed shocking and ridiculous scenes. The men represent an extraordinary combination of wimpish vanity and authoritarianism. Despite living in a largely secular society that doesn’t have blasphemy laws, they weirdly believe they have the right to wag their fingers for days on end at a school where an image of Muhammad was briefly displayed. It is equal parts perverse and laughable.
But at the same time, aren’t they only doing what we would expect them to? These are religious reactionaries, people who genuinely feel wounded when a kaffir disses Muhammad (though of course the schoolteacher, so far as we know, did no such thing). They are conforming to type. Is it those who are failing to do what they’re meant to do who should disturb us more. For their failures are the fuel of this mob.
Schools are meant to stand up for their teachers when wild accusations are made against them. But Batley Grammar has flat-out refused to do this. Instead it suspended the teacher and issued an abject apology for his display of the image of Muhammad – a depraved act of public contrition for a made-up crime of blasphemy. Teachers’ unions are meant to defend their members when they are unjustifiably suspended and targeted by reactionary mobs, but the teaching unions are maintaining a morally invertebrate silence on the Batley controversy.
Liberal commentators and self-styled progressives are meant to defend individuals who are howled down as blasphemers and threatened with punishment for speaking ill of gods, prophets or gospels. But this time they aren’t. Instead they’re stroking their chins in their comfortable offices, wondering if the protesters have a point, wondering if it’s appropriate to show kids ‘racist’ images related to Islam. The Huffington Post actually refers to the image displayed in the Batley classroom as a ‘racist caricature’. A supposedly liberal media outlet standing shoulder to shoulder with religious reactionaries to promote the idea that it is racist to depict or criticise Muhammad. All while a man fears for his life at the hands of radical Islamists. What ridiculous apologists for extremist religious censure.
These failures of liberal society horrify me far more than the noisy idiocy of the protesters outside the school. Sure, their enthusiasm to get a man sacked for offending against Muhammad is chilling. But it is the deadness of the elites, their inability to muster up any enthusiasm at all for the right to speak freely, for the right of schoolteachers to engage their students in critical discussion, that is properly alarming.
Yes, the protesters reveal that there are worryingly reactionary elements in our society. But the shoe-staring cowardice of almost every wing of the educational, political and commentating elites in response to a young man living in fear because he displayed an image of Muhammad reveals a far more serious decay in the values and institutions of our society.
Of course the two things are linked. It is the cowardice of the establishment that acts as a red rag to the mob. It is the liberal elite’s abandonment of freedom of speech and its embrace of the divisive ideologies of identitarianism and cancel culture that fuels today’s incessant, sectional cries for censorship of those who [are said to] give offence. It is supposed progressives’ startlingly uncritical promotion of bullshit terms like ‘Islamophobia’ that has helped to nurture the nonsense idea that it is racist to criticise Islam and which has fuelled the grievance industry whereby unrepresentative, self-elected Muslim groups are forever demanding the censure of anybody who is less than effusive about their religion.
Indeed, too many on the right seem to view the events at Batley Grammar as entirely alien, as a case of a foreign culture – Islam – interfering with the great British tradition of liberty. But listen to the protesters’ language. They talk about the schoolteacher ‘stirring up hatred’. They say kids must be ‘safeguarded’ from offence. They talk about their ‘wellbeing’. This is the language of the liberal establishment. These religious conservatives are weaponising the British elites’ own abandonment of liberty, and the institutionalisation of ‘hate’-policing and cancel culture, to advance their warped religious conviction that critics of their prophet must be punished.
The Batley crisis shines a light on the depressing unholy marriage between radical voices in the Muslim community who want to punish ‘blasphemers’ and a liberal elite that has traded in the ideals of freedom for new forms of thought-control, speech-control and clampdowns on so-called ‘phobias’. And as a result, a man is fearing for his life. His fear, his sense of devastation, is the price of your cowardice. The establishment’s moral failures over Batley Grammar are a black mark against this country. They should not be forgotten. (read more)
NOT APRIL FOOLS (Bat shit crazy black music-theory professor is taken seriously by some.)
Now even classical music is racist
A scandal involving an obscure music journal confirms that the crusade against whiteness is out of control.
In a world where, sooner or later, everything is racialised, it was only a matter of time before classical music became a target of the crusade against whiteness. So I wasn’t particularly shocked when I read this headline in the New York Times: ‘Obscure Musicology Journal Sparks Battles over Race and Free Speech.’
The obscure musicology journal in question is the tiny Journal of Schenkerian Studies. The journal’s editor, Timothy Jackson, a music-theory professor at the University of North Texas, is under fire for his hard-hitting response to the claim that the interwar Austrian-Jewish composer and theorist Heinrich Schenker personified the white racist attitudes that dominate classical music. Jackson’s university has launched an investigation into his behaviour, barred him from editing the journal, and suspended funding for the Schenker Center, which he runs.
Jackson has been vilified by the Twittermob and ostracised by his colleagues. Graduates who have previously worked with him are now worried that their association with this fallen professor could harm their career prospects. How did this all happen?
The story of the demise of the Journal of Schenkerian Studies began in the autumn of 2019, when Philip Ewell, a black music-theory professor, gave a talk at the Society for Music Theory in Columbus, Ohio. Ewell takes the view that classical music is compromised by its whiteness.
For Ewell, white supremacy is evident in the teaching, playing and interpretation of classical music. From this perspective, where everything is seen to involve white racism, all the values celebrated in classical music are expressions of whiteness; they are all coded in a ‘white racial frame’, says Ewell. So, the reason Beethoven enjoys such high esteem among lovers of classical music is not because of his genius but because, as Ewell explains, he ‘has been propped up by whiteness and maleness for 200 years’.
Ewell’s obsession with the invisible power of whiteness is matched only by his philistinism – he describes Beethoven as an ‘above average composer’. Evidently, the academic members of the Society for Music Theory enjoy being guilt-tripped about their privilege because they responded to Ewell’s address with a standing ovation. The society – whose members are overwhelmingly white – loved what they heard. Later, its executive board declared that ‘we humbly acknowledge that we have much work to do to dismantle the whiteness and systemic racism that deeply shape our discipline’.
In his address, Ewell drew attention to virulent racist comments made by Schenker. Like many Germanophile artists and intellectuals of his time – the late 19th and early 20th centuries – Schenker regarded other people with contempt. He dismissed the ‘filthy’ French, English and Italians as ‘inferior races’, regarded Slavs as ‘half animals’, and claimed that Africans had a ‘cannibal spirit’.
If all that Ewell had said was that Schenker personified the cultural and racial hatreds of his society at the time he was alive, few would have disagreed. However, he went a step further and implied that Schenker’s musical theory was also infused with a racist tone. He claimed that Schenker carried his racist views into his work, as allegedly expressed in his belief in the ‘inequality of tones’. In other words, Ewell offered a racialised version of the argument that you cannot separate politics from art. Ewell’s attack on white art is the functional equivalent of previous denunciations of ‘bourgeois art’ or ‘decadent art’.
Jackson, who has devoted years of his academic life to the study of Schenker, reacted angrily to Ewell’s attack. He devoted an issue of his journal to addressing Ewell’s claim that Schenker’s racial views were connected to his musical theories. Five of the essays published in the issue defended Ewell, while 10 opposed him. Jackson’s response was hard-hitting and arguably intemperate. He accused Ewell of using Schenker as a proxy for Jews and suggested that his critique of Schenker may well have been an example of black anti-Semitism.
Jackson’s response was a passionate academic defence of Schenker’s reputation. He points out how ambiguous Schenker was in relation to his own Jewish identity, that he desired to be accepted into the fold of Germanic culture, and that he subsequently had a change of attitude, concluding later in life that ‘music is accessible to all races and creeds alike’.
Whether or not one agrees with Jackson’s reply to Ewell, or with his assessment of Schenker, there can be little doubt that the tone and content of his reply were consistent with the normal standards of academic debate. Nor can there be any doubt that the reaction of the University of North Texas, its sidelining of Jackson and his journal, plays into the hands of those who want to silence Jackson and defame his reputation.
In the eyes of his detractors, and no doubt in the eyes of the Society for Music Theory, Jackson’s real crime is that, unlike them, he refused to roll over, apologise and embrace the myth of whiteness that is being peddled by guilt-tripping moral entrepreneurs.
Moral entrepreneurs like Ewell have acquired a commanding influence over how racism is perceived and understood. Yet Ewell’s use of the concept of the ‘white racial frame’ to understand classical music has little to do with racism. He himself stated that he is not interested in ‘negative stereotypes of blacks’ and their application to classical music. ‘What I stress’, he said, ‘is not so much black stereotypes as positive white stereotypes’, which supposedly create a ‘pro-white subframe’. For Ewell, detaching positive connotations from whiteness, or spoiling whiteness by delegitimising the cultural authority of someone like Beethoven, is the precondition for turning classical music into an inclusive project. The aim is not to deracialise classical music, but to reframe it in a different colour.
No doubt Ewell would find it difficult to grasp the attitude towards classical music displayed by the radical black activist and writer, WEB Du Bois. Du Bois admired the music of Richard Wagner, the notorious racist and anti-Semitic composer. For Du Bois what mattered was Wagner’s music. He said: ‘The musical dramas of Wagner tell of human life as he lived it, and no human being, white or black, can afford not to know them, if he would know life.’
Advocates of the idea that white supremacy infects classical music would no doubt like to deprive millions of people of the joy of being exposed to the kind of music that helped Du Bois to better understand the human condition. Ewell and the Society for Music Theory should be ashamed of their newfound roles as the academic police of music and culture. (read more)
NOT APRIL FOOLS (Bat shit crazy BC court turn into trans-Nazis and pronoun police.)
Father Arrested, Jailed For Contempt After Referring To His Daughter As ‘She,’ Voicing Dissent In Interviews
On Tuesday, the father of a biological girl who believes she is a boy turned himself into a Canadian court and was subsequently taken to jail after the Attorney General of British Columbia issued an arrest warrant for contempt after the father had insisted on referring to his daughter as his “daughter” and used the pronouns “she” and “her.”
Robert Hoogland, from Surrey, British Columbia, has a 14-year-old daughter. In February 2019, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada ordered that the girl receive testosterone injections without obtaining parental consent. “The court also declared that if either of her parents referred to her using female pronouns or addressed her by her birth name, they would be considered guilty of family violence,” The Federalist noted.
When she was in seventh grade, the girl’s school urged the girl to see psychologist Dr. Wallace Wong, who recommended the girl should begin taking cross-sex hormones at 13. Hoogland cited his daughter’s alleged history of mental health issues and refused to give permission. Doctors at BC Children’s Hospital decided the girl should receive testosterone injections.
Hoogland, disturbed by the possible effects of the hormone therapy, objected, but one of the doctors informed him that the girl’s consent was enough for her to begin receiving the hormones. Hoogland responded by seeking an injunction to stop the treatment, but Justice Gregory Bowdenruled in February 2019 that the girl was “exclusively entitled to consent to medical treatment for gender dysphoria,” adding, “Attempting to persuade (the girl) to abandon treatment for gender dysphoria; addressing (the girl) by his birth name; referring to (the girl) as a girl or with female pronouns whether to him directly or to third parties; shall be considered to be family violence under § 38 of the Family Law Act.”
Hoogland reacted, “The government has taken over my parental rights. They’re using (the girl) like she’s a guinea pig in an experiment … Is BC Children’s Hospital going to be there in 5 years when she rejects [her male identity]? No they’re not. They don’t care. They want numbers.”
The Federalist reported:
The evening of Bowden’s decision, Clark granted an interview to The Federalist in which he referred to his daughter as a girl, “because she is a girl. Her DNA will not change through all these experiments that they do.” Citing this statement — among other verbal “expressions of rejection of [Maxine’s] gender identity” — the BC Supreme Court convicted Clark of “family violence” in April 2019. Judge Francesca Marzari even issued an order authorizing Clark’s arrest “without warrant” by any police officer who might catch him referring to his daughter “as a girl or with female pronouns.”
In January 2020, Hoogland lost his legal appeal to halt the process his daughter was undergoing; the BC Court of Appeal ruled Hoogland’s comments did not constitute family violence, but “in general,” Hoogland must “acknowledge and refer to (the girl) as male,” and barred him from speaking to the media.
Hoogland told The Federalist in February 2020, “I had a perfectly healthy child a year ago, and that perfectly healthy child has been altered and destroyed for absolutely no good reason. She can never go back to being a girl in the healthy body that she should have had. She’s going to forever have a lower voice. She’ll forever have to shave because of facial hair. She won’t be able to have children… Sometimes I just want to scream so that other parents and people will… jump in, understand what’s going on. There’s a child—and not only mine, but in my case, my child out there having her life ruined.”
Hoogland conducted two video interviews with Canadian YouTube commentators. The first was removed, but the second, with Laura-Lynn Thompson, was not initially yanked because Thompson refused to do so. Justice Michael Tammen of the British Columbia Supreme Court ordered that Thompson’s interview be pulled. When Thompson balked, police were sent to her home.
“The judge (Tammen) warned the dad that if there are any further breaches of the bans and court orders, the lawyers for the teen might come back to court and seek to have him cited for contempt of court and face serious consequences,” The Vancouver Sun reported.
On March 4, 2021, Tammen issued a warrant for Hoogland’s arrest on the charge of contempt. Before he turned himself in, Hoogland told The Post-Millennial: “Perhaps saving children is a dream . . . but I don’t think so! As I was driving I saw children walking their dogs, I saw children playing together, and I saw a generation that needs their parents more than ever! I visited all my family homes… places where I grew up as a child. I remembered how much I loved my own parents and how much I needed their protection.”
Hoogland created a GoFundMe page which stated:
The far left issued an arrest warrant on Thursday, March 04! I will be turning myself in on March 16! I am fighting the far left based on a civil disobedience defense! I am now back in court for a five-day criminal trial that will last at least five days . . . From April 12-16. That trial that could land me in jail for up to five years for speaking truth about state sponsored child abuse. FYI . . . I am blocked from sharing any videos at this time that oppose the sterilization of children! Please watch the video I was finally able to post! I am the “Canadian” parent in this documentary!(read more)
“Ideology—that is what gives evildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination.”
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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