Category Archives: Hypocrisy

What Did Donald Trump Imply? (Guest post!)

I’m not a lawyer. I’m a mom. More specifically, I’m Amy’s mom. She’s swamped with work, so I’m pinch-hitting.  [Thanks, Mom! – ed.]

Like many people I was appalled by Donald Trump’s apparent incitement to violence as part of the speech he gave in Wilmington, N.C. on August 9. On August 10, both the Washington Post and the New York Times led with reports on the implications of this speech, and both papers editorialized about it.

With a hat tip to linguists professor Geoffrey Pullum for the context, here’s what Mr. Trump said:

Hillary wants to abolish
— essentially abolish —
the Second Amendment.
By the way,
if she gets to pick her judges… [long pause]
Nothing you can do, folks. [long pause]
Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.

Many people, myself included, felt that this was a call to assassinate Hillary Clinton. In political speeches, as in stand-up comedy, timing is everything, and Professor Pullum’s insertion of the pauses is important. After Mr. Trump says, “Nothing you can do folks,” he pauses, as if he were thinking about what he had just said. As if he were saying to himself that possibly there is something that can be done [about his ridiculous claim that a president can single-handedly abolish part of the U.S. Constitution]. He then says, “Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is [something you can do], I don’t know.”

The Trump campaign says that interpreting this as incitement to violence is nonsense. He was merely saying that people who value their Second Amendment privileges should be sure to vote in November. But if you watch the video of this passage of the speech (there are dozens on YouTube), you will see someone (red t-shirt or polo shirt) sitting behind and to the left of Mr. Trump whose jaw drops. He can’t believe Trump just said that. If you keep watching, you’ll see that this same guy breaks into a big smile and turns, laughing, to the woman sitting next to him. What’s Mr. Red Shirt thinking? “Wow! Did Trump just give us permission to go out and shoot Hillary?” Or is he thinking, “Yeah, he’s right. We gotta remember to vote on November 8.” As the sportscasters sometimes say, “You make the call.”

The Washington Post editorialized as follows:  “If Mr. Trump were not a major-party presidential candidate, his comment Tuesday might have earned him a stern visit from the Secret Service.”  The New York Times’s editorial reminds us of the New Hampshire delegate to the Republican Convention, Al Baldasaro, who said that Ms. Clinton should “be put in the firing line and shot for treason.” “That comment,” says the Times,” wound up on the Secret Service’s radar. Mr. Trump’s comment should as well.”

What does the law say about these kinds of remarks? Check out 18 U.S.C. § 879, which says

(a)Whoever knowingly and willfully threatens to kill, kidnap, or inflict bodily harm upon-  [(1), (2) and (4) a former President, member of the former President’s immediate family; President, Vice-President, President-elect and immediate families; a person protected by the Secret Service…]

And then there’s subsection (3):

(3) a major candidate for the office of President or Vice President, or a member of the immediate family of such candidate

Ms. Clinton qualifies under three of the four subsections: immediate family of a former president, major candidate for president, and a person under the protection of the Secret Service.

So what’s going to happen to a person who “knowingly and willfully” threatens to kill, etc. someone listed in sections 1 through 4?

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

Two things are pretty clear to me and to many other people: Donald Trump threatened the life of Hillary Clinton, and such threats are illegal and subject to fines, imprisonment, or both. Two major newspapers have said or implied that Mr. Trump should be at least investigated under 18 U.S.C § 879, but, somehow, I doubt that he will be. I would be investigated if I said that. You would, too. But probably not Donald Trump.

White/class/athlete privilege at its most vile.

Brock Turner raped an unconscious woman.  He got a six-month sentence.  That’s enough white privilege right there:  how many people of color are serving 5- and 10-year sentences for non-violent crimes?  Actually, how many working class people?   How many stoners of all colors?

That wasn’t enough, though.  With the lowest sense of self-awareness outside the Trump campaign, Turner’s father argued in a letter to the Court that

incarceration [was] not the appropriate punishment for Brock [because it would be] a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.

Seriously?  Let’s count up the other crimes that can be committed in under 20 minutes that will still get you a significant sentence.  Stealing a car?  Burgling a house?  Hell, you can kill someone in less then 20 minutes — a gunshot takes under one second.   Who will stand up at the next murder trial to argue that life in prison is a steep price to pay for 0.20 of a second out of 20 plus years of life?

The letter goes on to parody itself by complaining that Brock no longer enjoys eating “big ribeye steak[s]” . . . or “his favorite snack.”  Seriously?  We have represented a class of inmates in solitary confinement.  They are no longer enjoying ribeyes with their dads.  Shall we calculate how long their crimes took and let them out?

I have no words.  OK, maybe a few.

 

 

School Policy Says It Can Kick Out Students With Gay Parents

Given the debate and confusion in our society about marriage and human sexuality it is vital that Trinity families agree with and support the school’s traditional, Christian understanding of those issues.  Therefore, when the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home is counter to the school’s understanding of a biblical lifestyle, including the practice or promotion of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) lifestyle or alternative gender identity, the school should have the right, in its sole discretion, to deny the admission of an applicant or discontinue enrollment of a current student.

Source: School Policy Says It Can Kick Out Students With Gay Parents | ThinkProgress

Waiting to hear how they’ll handle adultery, swearing, mouthing off to mom and dad, lying, and coveting thy neighbor’s fancy new electronic devices.

‘Imbeciles’ and ‘Illiberal Reformers’ – An NYT Book Review Mini-Rant

‘Imbeciles’ and ‘Illiberal Reformers’ – The New York Times Book Review

Trigger warning:  The review contains a discussion of “eu”genics.  May lead to depression at the unlikely prospect that the American elite will ever be anything but entitled assholes.  May also cause excessive swearing and the urge to vomit.

The book under review examines the people and law behind the notorious Buck v. Bell decision, in which Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, writing for an 8-1 majority, endorsed the practice of sterilizing people perceived to be of lower intelligence — called, in the law and in his decision, “imbeciles.”

The tone of this review is that not only is forced sterilization wrong but that it is somehow shocking to find support for it amongst the progressive elite of the turn of the 20th Century.

“Imbeciles” examines one of the darkest chapters of progressive reform, and “Illiberal Reformers” looks at the perils of intellectual arrogance in dealing with explosive social issues.

The review concludes in the future warning tense:

Buck v. Bell “has never been overturned.” In a world where the Human Genome Project is currently mapping heredity at breakneck speed, that fact alone should send shivers down the spine.

No, dear readers, the intellectual arrogance that puts people’s life at risk based on their cognitive and physical abilities does not live in a dystopian future of genomic discrimination.  It has tenure and a chair with a name at Princeton — endorsing the murder of infants with disabilities — and is currently at work in many state legislatures around the country, trying to pave an easy path to physician-assisted suicide for people with disabilities.

Image: Cartoon showing woman in a wheelchair looking at two entrances to a building: on the left, a door labeled "Suicide Prevention Program" that is up a set of steps; on the right a door labeled "assisted suicide" which is up a ramp with the international symbol of accessibility.

Cartoon credit:  Amy Hasbrouk, Toujours Vivant/Not Dead Yet.

Why is it so easy to see now that Buck v. Bell was wrong and evil, but not to come to the same conclusion about Peter Singer and the urge to make suicide easier for people with disabilities?

 

 

Imagine for a moment . . .

. . . that CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) published a photo of Donald Trump with a scattering of bullets next to his head.  How about a Black Lives Matter tweet with photos of police and bullets?  Heads would explode.  Pundits would rant.  Investigations would be launched.  Conservatives would be outraged.

But this?  It’s apparently acceptable for a leading conservative cause to use this image:

Image: copy of tweet from NRA with showing photos of a black woman in a red-checked suit jacket and a white woman in a green turtle-neck and black suit jacket with four bullets arrayed next to the photos.  Text reads:  "sounding off on one of the most ridiculous anti-gun schemes introduced in some time.

Why isn’t this terrorism?  If terrorism is “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims,” this certainly qualifies.  Violent intimidation in pursuit of political aims.  The only silver lining is that they are losing and this shows their desperation.

Texas Governor Orders Founding Fathers/Constitution Display Removed from State Capitol (but the Nativity Can Stay)

The governor of Texas removed an approved display involving the Statue of Liberty because . . . Texas has a budget surplus that it would like to redistribute to ACLU lawyers?

Source: Texas Governor Orders Atheist Display Removed from State Capitol (but the Nativity Can Stay)

BTW the headline originally read, “Texas Governor Orders Atheist Display Removed  . . .” but there’s nothing anti-God there, just pro-America and pro-Constitution.  Honestly, the full-support-for-civil-liberties-lawyers theory is the only one that really fits.

Things that are like Kim Davis

things that are like kim davis

{Image: the image is a Word table that can be viewed at this link.}

Things that are not like Kim Davis:

A person being drafted involuntarily into the military asserting conscientious objections to serving in the military.

The difference: the word “involuntarily.” Davis’s situation is like a pacifist enlisting in the all-volunteer army and then asserting conscientious objections to serving in the military.

It is illegal to discriminate on the basis of religion, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-2(a), which is defined as

all aspects of religious observance and practice, as well as belief, unless an employer demonstrates that he is unable to reasonably accommodate to an employee’s or prospective employee’s religious observance or practice without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business.

42 U.S.C.A. § 2000e(j) (emphasis added). So if you’re a county clerk and you want to wear a yarmulke or headscarf to work, you can because it will not affect the conduct of the employer’s business. If you are a pharmacist, the whole point of the employer’s business is to sell medicine, so you cannot require your employer to accommodate your Christian Scientist beliefs by removing one of your primary job duties.

Kim Davis is not a conscientious objector; she’s a person refusing to do her job or possibly a person who has the wrong job.

Update:  Eric commented

One difference: when Kim Davis took her job, issuing gay marriage licenses was NOT part of her job.

My easy and, I think, correct response was that issuing marriage licenses was part of the job.  That should be the end of the discussion.  But it made me think:  how would I handle Kim Davis’s case if it were a real case — as opposed to a publicity stunt — and she came to me for legal advice?  Distasteful as I find her religious views, I would advocate a role for her that did not require her to personally issue marriage licenses to people she did not approve of.*  There appear to be a number of employees in the clerk’s office willing to issue all legal licenses; if the office could permit her to refuse to issue such licenses “without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business,” I think that would be permitted.  The distinction is like a Wal-Mart employee who won’t sell guns — which should be permitted as it’s an enormous store with plenty of other tasks — and a gun store employee who won’t sell guns — which will cause undue hardship as the employer would be paying the employee to do nothing.

The problem with this analysis for Davis is that she apparently instructed the rest of her staff not to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, which did cause hardship in that the entire office ceased to be able to do one of the things it is tasked with doing.

*******

*The test for religious accommodation requires sincerity but sadly not consistency, so she can decide to disapprove of gay and lesbian couples, while continuing to issue licenses to people of other (and different) faiths, divorce(e)s, child abusers, tax cheats, lusters, gluttons, sloths, greedy bastards and other sinners, deadly or otherwise.