The Great Liquidation

America is hanging by a thread.  A great liquidation is underway, with many of the structures that support American society..or, in some cases, any viable society…being kicked away, sold off piecemeal, or just wantonly destroyed.  I’m talking about physical structures, legal structures, and social structures.

I do not think it is too late to turn this trend around, but the situation is very serious, and I’m going to ask you to gaze into the abyss with me before I discuss some reasons for hope.

Consider:

–Significant parts of America’s energy infrastructure are being destroyed or targeted for destruction.  For example, the Indian Point nuclear plant, serving NYC, was closed in April, despite the fact that this closure will likely create grid instability–and will certainly result in the zero-emissions power it had previously produced being generated instead by sources which do generate emissions. (Yet at the same time, NYC is banning the use of natural gas in new buildings–which will further increase the demand for electricity!) The Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, the largest source of electricity in California, is also scheduled for closure in 2025.  The cost of Diablo Canyon was $14.5B in present-day dollars, and I estimate that this represents at least 50,000 person-years of labor.  Something like 1200 working lifetimes, being wantonly trashed. Only a society which is very rich (for now)–disrespectful of its past accomplishments–and uncaring about the future would act in this way.

And these examples represent only a small portion of the assaults being conducted on America’s energy infrastructure. Peaker plants which ensure continued output under tough conditions, are being closed, with much hand-waving about how ‘demand management’ will solve any problems.  Oil and gas production are being squeezed. Pipeline construction is being suppressed, at the same time Putin is given the US green light for a Russia-Germany pipeline.  Energy is being transformed from an American asset into an American vulnerability.

–Billions of dollars of America military equipment were abandoned in Afghanistan and are now in the hands of the Taliban.  If we use a conservative estimate of $40 billion, that represents at least 400,000 person-years of human labor, thrown away. But that’s not the worst of it, of course: much of that equipment will now be used against us or our allies.  There are already reports of formerly-American weapons on their way to Iran.

The effect of the horribly-executed Afghanistan withdrawal on our credibility as an alliance partner will be devastating.  While many foreign policy types expressed worry about what expecting Germany to pay a larger % of the NATO bill would do to our alliances, any imagined impact of that was trivial compared with the impact of the current debacle.  The negative effect on American military recruiting, also, will be considerable, as discussed by several commenters at this blog.  Overall, America’s actual and perceived power position in the world has been greatly reduced over the past few months.

–American manufacturing has been negatively impacted by numerous policy choices and social factors, and America is no longer the world’s facto ry: that role now falls to China.  We have become extremely dependent on China and other countries for many products and components of products–as we found out during last year’s Covid crisis when we were subject to threats that we would ‘burn in the fire of Covid’ if China should choose to deny us critical pharmaceuticals and ingredients thereof.  We have become highly dependent on other countries for electronics manufacturing, especially microchips: a single Taiwanese company, TSMC, acts as the ‘foundry’ for a whole range of chips produced to the designs of many different American companies.  A Chinese takeover of Taiwan could be devastating to our industry, and such takeover appears considerably more likely than it did a couple of months ago.

Manufacturing was, for a couple of decades, considered by the approved-expert classes to be an increasingly-unimportant industry, populated only by those with inferior and uncreative minds. There is some recognition growing lately that this field may actually matter. But American politicians generally have so little comprehension of how the economy actually works that it is hard to believe that any remedies that they propose will be efficacious ones.  As example #1, I give you Joseph Biden: a man who asserted that anyone who can mine coal can ‘learn to code’, and who apparently believes that manually shoveling coal into furnaces is an actual substantial occupation in America today.  Biden also said, referring to China: “They’re not competition for us.”  This was in mid-2019!

America has given up much of its potential in manufacturing. and the consequences are severe for national security and for millions of people.  

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In other words, SloJoe’s cabinet devised a fraudulent plan to invent an issue to give federal law enforcement a purported reason to come down on political enemies.
If that isn’t ‘Banana Republic’ style, IDK what is.


BLUF:
“Attorney General Merrick Garland unequivocally stated that he based his memo on the NSBA’s letter – which in turn, mobilized the FBI and US Attorneys,” Neily added. “If Secretary Cardona was truly involved in this ugly episode, it is a significant breach of public trust, and he should be held accountable.”

Education Secretary Cardona solicited NSBA letter comparing protesting parents to domestic terrorists: email

 Education Secretary Miguel Cardona solicited the much-criticized letter from the National School Boards Association that compared protesting parents to domestic terrorists, according to an email exchange reviewed by Fox News.

The email exchange indicates Cardona was more involved with the letter’s creation than previously known.

President Biden’s Department of Justice relied on the NSBA letter, which suggested using the Patriot Act against parents, in creating its own memo directing the FBI to mobilize in support of local education officials.

In the Oct. 5 email, NSBA Secretary-Treasurer Kristi Swett recounted that NSBA interim CEO Chip Slaven “told the officers he was writing a letter to provide information to the White House, from a request by Secretary Cardona.”

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THE DARTMOUTH REVIEW
The Right to Bear Arms: A Review

It took until 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller, for the Supreme Court to affirm that the Second Amendment, which states “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” does indeed protect an individual’s right to do so, outside of militia service and for non-criminal purposes.

This divergence between the right to possess and carry around a weapon as expressed in the Constitution and its recognition (or lack thereof) by individual states serves as the topic of The Right to Bear Arms: A Constitutional Right of People or a Privilege of the Working Class?, the newest analysis of Second Amendment history by noted appellate lawyer and scholar Stephen Halbrook.

From the very beginning of the book, it is clear that Halbrook, a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute and winner of three Supreme Court cases, commands voluminous legal experience. In the preface, Rothschild Research Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School Renée Lettow Lerner even goes so far as to say Halbrook’s work in the 1980s represented “a new birth of freedom” by single-handedly establishing the field of Second Amendment scholarship.

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Comment O’ The Day
Taibbi has a point. Politicians can falsely claim to be a climate, crime, or economics expert and the average voter isn’t going to offer stiff resistance to that claim. But if a politician claims high school graduation shouldn’t depend upon proficiency in reading, writing, and arithmetic you are going to get their attention. It’s something everyone capable of reading is going to have a fair amount of expertise in. And the ruination of our education system has reached the point where it’s impossible to ignore.
The remarkable thing is that when called out on this the politicians don’t admit they were wrong. They double down.

The Democrats’ Education Lunacies Will Bring Back Trump
Terry McAuliffe lost the Virginia governor’s race by saying, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what to teach.” If that was no gaffe, Democrats have a lot more significant losing ahead.


(it was no gaffe. It was a ‘freudian slip’ where you inadvertently tell a truth about yourself you wanted kept concealed)


On Meet the Press Daily last week, Chuck Todd featured a small item about the 23 Democrats not planning on running for re-reelection to congress next year. Todd guessed such a high number expressed a lack of confidence in next year’s midterms, and his guest, University of Virginia Center for Politics Director Larry Sabato, agreed. “This is just another indicator that Democrats will probably have a bad year in 2022,” said Sabato, adding, “They only have a majority of five. It’s pretty tough to see how they hold on.”

On the full Meet the Press Sunday, Todd in an ostensibly unrelated segment interviewed 1619 Project author and New York Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones about Republican efforts in some states to ban teaching of her work. He detoured to ask about the Virginia governor’s race, which seemingly was decided on the question, “How influential should parents be about curriculum?” Given that Democrats lost Virginia after candidate Terry McAuliffe said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what to teach,” Todd asked her, “How do we do this?”

Hannah-Jones’s first answer was to chide Todd for not remembering that Virginia was lost not because of whatever unimportant thing he’d just said, but because of a “right-wing propaganda campaign that told white parents to fight against their children being indoctrinated.”
This was standard pundit fare that for the millionth time showed a national media figure ignoring, say, the objections of Asian immigrant parents to Virginia policies, but whatever: her next response was more notable. “I don’t really understand this idea that parents should decide what’s being taught,” Hannah-Jones said. “I’m not a professional educator. I don’t have a degree in social studies or science.”

I’m against bills like the proposed Oklahoma measure that would ban the teaching of Jones’s work at all state-sponsored educational institutions. I think bans are counter-productive and politically a terrible move by Republicans, who undercut their own arguments against authoritarianism and in favor of “local control” with such sweeping statewide measures. Still, it was pretty rich hearing the author of The 1619 Project say she lacked the expertise to teach, given that a) many historians agree with her there, yet b) she’s been advocating for schools to teach her dubious work to students all over the country.

Even odder were her next comments, regarding McAuliffe’s infamous line about parents. About this, Hannah-Jones said:

We send our kids to school because we want our kids to be taught by people with expertise in the subject area… When the governor, or the candidate, said he didn’t think parents should be deciding what’s being taught in school, he was panned for that, but that’s just a fact.

In the wake of McAuliffe’s loss, the “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what to teach” line was universally tabbed a “gaffe” by media. I described it in the recent “Loudoun County: A Culture War in Four Acts” series in TK as the political equivalent of using a toe to shoot your face off with a shotgun, but this was actually behind the news cycle. Yahoo! said the “gaffe precipitated the Democrat’s slide in the polls,” while the Daily Beast’s blunter headline was, “Terry McAuliffe’s White-Guy Confidence Just Fucked the Dems.”

However, much like the Hillary Clinton quote about “deplorables,” conventional wisdom after the “gaffe” soon hardened around the idea that what McAuliffe said wasn’t wrong at all. In fact, people like Hannah-Jones are now doubling down and applying to education the same formula that Democrats brought with disastrous results to a whole range of other issues in the Trump years, telling voters that they should get over themselves and learn to defer to “experts” and “expertise.”

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This is the kind of academic we should always be on guard to watch for.
This is a real, actual ‘enemy domestic’ of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
And, they infest the schools and universities, filling our children’s mind with this collectivist, authoritarian statist, mush.

Read – carefully- what she wants. Her revisions are what’s called ‘positive rights‘. What she wants the government to do, in effect granting rights from goobermint power.

Her definition of how the 1st and 2nd amendment were written are defined by her and her ilk as ‘negative rights‘. Rights already possessed by the people, that the goobermint is restricted from abridging or infringing.

Remember, when more than one politician down through history has said: ‘Any government that’s large enough to give you everything is powerful enough to take it all away.‘ One should believe them.


REDO THE FIRST TWO AMENDMENTS

BY MARY ANNE FRANKS
Speech and guns: two of the most contentious issues in America today, with controversies fueled not only by personal passions and identity politics but by competing interpretations of the Constitution. Perhaps more than any other parts of the Constitution, the First and Second Amendments inspire religious-like fervor in many Americans, with accordingly irrational results.

As legal texts go, neither of the two amendments is a model of clarity or precision. More important, both are deeply flawed in their respective conceptualizations of some of the most important rights of a democratic society: the freedom of expression and religion and the right of self-defense. These two amendments are highly susceptible to being read in isolation from the Constitution as a whole and from its commitments to equality and the collective good.

The First and Second Amendments tend to be interpreted in aggressively individualistic ways that ignore the reality of conflict among competing rights. This in turn allows the most powerful members of society to reap the benefits of these constitutional rights at the expense of vulnerable groups. Both amendments would be improved by explicitly situating individual rights within the framework of “domestic tranquility” and the “general welfare” set out in the Constitution’s Preamble.

Making such an edit to the First Amendment would provide stronger and fairer protections for the right of expression, including by acknowledging, as many state constitutions do, that every person remains responsible for abuses of that right. (Such a modification would, for example, help undo the damage caused by the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United and remove constitutional barriers to reasonable campaign-finance laws that promote democratic legitimacy.) In addition, the implicit principle of the separation of church and state should be made explicit:

Every person has the right to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and petition of the government for redress of grievances, consistent with the rights of others to the same and subject to responsibility for abuses. All conflicts of such rights shall be resolved in accordance with the principle of equality and dignity of all persons.

Both the freedom of religion and the freedom from religion shall be respected by the government. The government may not single out any religion for interference or endorsement, nor may it force any person to accept or adhere to any religious belief or practice.

Both amendments would be improved by explicitly situating individual rights within the framework of “domestic tranquility” and the “general welfare” set out in the Constitution’s Preamble.

The Second Amendment’s idiosyncratic and anachronistic focus on militias and “arms” degrades the concept of self-defense. The right to safeguard one’s life should not be conflated with or reduced to the right to use a weapon, especially a weapon that is so much more likely to inflict injury and death than to avoid it. Far better would be an amendment that guarantees a meaningful right to bodily autonomy and obligates the government to implement reasonable measures to protect public health and safety:

All people have the right to bodily autonomy consistent with the right of other people to the same, including the right to defend themselves against unlawful force and the right of self-determination in reproductive matters. The government shall take reasonable measures to protect the health and safety of the public as a whole.

Mary Anne Franks is the Michael R. Klein Distinguished Scholar Chair at the University of Miami School of Law and the author of “The Cult of the Constitution: Our Deadly Devotion to Guns and Free Speech.”

Idealism is Killing Our Kids at School

Imagine this scenario for a moment. Pretend that we’re at a parent-teacher conference and the child is having problems at school.

T- I’m concerned that your child doesn’t study.
P- Children shouldn’t have to study.

T- I’m concerned about your child’s musical ability. Your child doesn’t practice his instrument for music class.
P- Children shouldn’t have to practice in order to make music.

T- I’m concerned about your child’s physical development. Your child doesn’t put in any effort in PE.
P- Children shouldn’t have to put in effort in their physical education class.

To most of us, this parent is such a naïve idealist that the exchange sounds ridiculous. If this discussion were real then we would be seriously concerned about this child’s future.

I don’t want to be the one who tells you the truth about Santa Claus, but we can agree that the world isn’t the way we want it. Sure, I wish there were a way we could build insightful minds and athletic bodies without effort. We all want that, but Utopia isn’t an option. Refusing to do the work hasn’t moved us toward that ideal. Refusing to do the work has only left us weak and ignorant. That wastes lives.

Now let me add another line to the dialogue, a conversation that I’ve actually heard.

T- I’m concerned about your child’s physical safety at school. We want to train school staff so they can stop violent attacks in school and then treat the injured.
P- Staff and students shouldn’t have to worry about violent attacks in school.

I wish this was a fantasy story, but that summarizes the complaints I’ve read about protecting our children.

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Maybe they’ll all go into ‘vapor-lock’ and spaz out.


The Left Goes Nuts as the Supreme Court Seems to Signal That Their Monopoly on Propagandizing Kids Is at an End

It has been a critical couple of weeks for the nation in the US Supreme Court. Last week, the Supreme Court heard the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health OrganizationThat case involves a Mississippi law that is a direct, head-on challenge to the pro-abort Roe legal regime. In that argument, it appeared there were five solid and six probable votes to strike down both Roe and Casey (read Justice Thomas Tears Into Pro-Abortion Lawyers With Hard Opening Questions for more color commentary). This week, the Supreme Court turned back a challenge to Texas’s heartbeat law; see Supreme Court Humiliates Biden, Refuses to Stop Texas Heartbeat Law, and Gorsuch and the Wise Latina Have a Public Spat. All in all, it looks as though abortion may cease to be a federal issue.

Perhaps just as critical to the nation’s future was Carson v. MakinThat case addressed whether a state can subsidize private school tuition and expressly forbid religious schools to participate in the program. You can read my take at this post: Supreme Court Seems Ready to Nuke Maine’s Law Discriminating Against Religious Schools.

While there was general wailing about the bum’s rush given the noble and Holy status of abortion, some of the most hyperbolic rhetoric was directed at the Maine school-choice case. This is how the always entertaining Ian Milhiser of Vox.com sees school choice. Headline: The Supreme Court appears really eager to force taxpayers to fund religious education. Subhead: Carson v. Makin appears likely to end in another transformative victory for the religious right.

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For your consideration…………..

Charles Cooke:
I’ll be teaching an online course: The History of the Second Amendment

Hullo, everyone. I’m just popping in to let you all know about an online course I’m teaching early next year called The History of the Second Amendment. It’s with a new startup called Chapter, which noticed that pretty much every course they were offering was either progressive or progressive-adjacent, decided that it didn’t want to become an echo chamber, and so asked me to teach one, too. I suggested the history of the right to keep and bear arms as a topic, they agreed, and here were are.

Chapter describes its system as “like a book club, but way more fun.” Each week, I’ll provide a reading list (which could be articles, reviews, videos, podcasts, or primary source documents), along with insights and tips on each one. There will be a community forum in which you can discuss each topic, as well as a rolling Q&A in which I will answer questions — both on their website and, if the topic warrants it, by video. Because people are busy, everything will be “asynchronous” — that is, you can take part whenever you’re free, rather than at times that are set by me. The course will last four weeks, it will cost $40 (actually: $35 for Ricochet members), and it will run the gamut.

— Week One will be on pre-Revolutionary America. We’ll explore how the right to keep and bear arms came over with the colonists from Britain, before making its way into the heart of American law.

Week Two will be on the Founding Era. We’ll ask why the Second Amendment was added to the federal constitution, what were the Founders’ intentions in including it, and what did militias have to do with a right “of the people”?

— Week Three will be on the post-Civil War period, during which the Second Amendment took on a new meaning — especially during the era of Jim Crow — and was changed by the 14th Amendment.

— Week Four will be on the Second Amendment as it exists today. We’ll cover contemporary American jurisprudence, the Heller decision, and the political rebirth of the right.

The course will start on January 24th, 2022. If it interests you, can sign up here: https://getchapter.app/@cooke/guns. And if it doesn’t? Well, I shall cry into my golf cart batteries. Chapter has agreed to knock $5 off the price for Ricochet members if you use the code RICOCHET when checking out, so if you do sign up, make sure you do that.

Next Step for the Parents’ Movement: Curriculum Transparency.
Parents have a right to know what’s being taught to their children.

In 2021, public school parents vaulted to the forefront of America’s fractured political landscape. Around the country, parents objected both to Covid-related school closures and to racially divisive curricula. Parental frustration helped secure sweeping GOP wins last month in Virginia, highlighted by Glenn Youngkin’s victory over former governor Terry McAuliffe. Youngkin has promised to rein in public-school radicalism and “ban critical race theory” on his first day in office.

Perhaps the central moment in the Virginia gubernatorial race was McAuliffe’s comment during a debate: “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” Like most Virginia voters, we couldn’t disagree more. Research shows that greater academic success follows when parents actively engage in their children’s education. To be sure, this doesn’t mean that we should decide the finer points of curricular design by plebiscite; nor does it mean that a minority of objecting parents should dictate school pedagogy. But public schools are institutions created by “We the People” and should be responsive to the input of parents and the broader voting public at the state and local level.

At a minimum, parents should be able to know what’s being taught to their children in the classroom. Transparency is a virtue for all of our public institutions, but especially for those with power over children. To that end, we have drafted a template—building on one of our earlier efforts at the Manhattan Institute and the work of Matt Beienburg at the Goldwater Institute—to inform state legislatures seeking to foster school transparency. The policy proposal is designed to provide public school parents with easy access—directly on school websites—to materials and activities used to train staff and teachers and to instruct children.

The last year and a half has demonstrated the need for transparency measures. As many public schools migrated to “virtual only” learning in response to the pandemic, parents received a first-hand look at the divisive, racialist curricula being taught to their children. They learned that public schools were forcing third-graders to deconstruct their racial and sexual identities, showing kindergarteners dramatizations of dead black children and warning them about “racist police,” and telling white teachers that they were guilty of “spirit murdering” minorities. These were not isolated incidents.

These revelations prompted parents to demand to know exactly what was being taught to their children. They felt that the public-school bureaucracies had been hiding controversial materials and exerting undue influence over their children, all in the service of fashionable left-wing ideologies.

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Harvard Study: Homeschoolers Generally Become ‘Well-Adjusted, Responsible’ Young Adults

Results of a study conducted by researchers at Harvard University found homeschoolers grow to be young adults who are generally “well-adjusted,” particularly showing characteristics of “responsibility” and social engagement.

Researchers Brendan Case and Ying Chen of the Harvard Human Flourishing Program discussed Chen’s analysis of data on more than 12,000 children of nurses in a recent column at the Wall Street Journal.

The researchers used the data gathered on the nurses, who had all responded to surveys from 1999 to 2010, to examine how school type, estimated independently through factors such as socioeconomic status, race, and region, affected adolescents on various long-term outcomes, including educational attainment, mental health, and social integration.

Case and Chen found that while the homeschooled students in their sample were 23 percent less likely to attend college than public school students, they were “33 percent more likely to volunteer, 31 percent more forgiving, and 51 percent more likely to attend religious services” as young adults than students in public schools.

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The author is a Harvard Professor, so you can see the low level that a university education has sunk to, when you have teachers who so openly lie. And what’s amazing is that they still lie in the age of the internet where just a little searching can find the facts of a matter.

While I have had my problems in the past in conversation with Attorney Branca on a gun control related subject (in reference to the definition of a ‘bullet core’ in relation to M855 ‘green tip’ ammo and federal law definitions of ‘armor piercing’ handgun ammo), his video reply to this article is on point.



Rittenhouse Verdict Flies in the Face of Legal Standards for Self-Defense

In a two-week trial that reignited debate over self-defense laws across the nation, a Wisconsin jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse for shooting three people, two fatally, during a racial justice protest in Kenosha.

The Wisconsin jury believed Rittenhouse’s claims that he feared for his life and acted in self-defense after he drove about 20 miles from his home in Antioch, Illinois – picking up an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle in Kenosha – in what he claimed was an effort to protect property during violent protests. The lakeside city of 100,000 was the scene of chaotic demonstrations after a white police officer shot Jacob Blake, an unarmed, 29-year-old black man, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

In delivering its verdict, a Wisconsin jury decided that Rittenhouse’s conduct was justified, even though the prosecution argued that he provoked the violent encounter and, therefore, should not be able to find refuge in the self-defense doctrine.

As prosecutor Thomas Binger said in his closing argument: “When the defendant provokes this incident, he loses the right to self-defense. You cannot claim self-defense against a danger you create.”

The Wisconsin jury disagreed, and its decision may portend a similar outcome in another high-profile case in Georgia, where three white men are on trial for the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery after they claimed the Black man was a suspect in a rash of robberies. Like Rittenhouse, the three men claimed they were acting in self-defense.

Self-defense arguments are often raised during trials involving loss of life. Juries are then asked to determine whether a defendant’s conduct is justified by principles of self-defense or whether the offender is criminally liable for homicide.

Complicating matters is that each state has its own distinct homicide and self-defense laws. Some states observe the controversial “stand your ground” doctrine, as in Georgia – or not, as in Wisconsin – further clouding the public’s understanding on what constitutes an appropriate use of deadly force.

Five elements of self-defense

As a professor of criminal law, I teach my students that the law of self-defense in America proceeds from an important concept: Human life is sacred, and the law will justify the taking of human life only in narrowly defined circumstances.

The law of self-defense holds that a person who is not the aggressor is justified in using deadly force against an adversary when he reasonably believes that he is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury. This is the standard that every state uses to define self-defense.

To determine whether this standard is met, the law looks at five central concepts.

First, the use of force must be proportionate to the force employed by the aggressor. If the aggressor lightly punches the victim in the arm, for example, the victim cannot use deadly force in response. It’s not proportional.

Second, the use of self-defense is limited to imminent harm. The threat by the aggressor must be immediate. For instance, a person who is assaulted cannot leave the scene, plan revenge later and conduct vigilante justice by killing the initial aggressor.

Third, the person’s assessment of whether he is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury must be reasonable, meaning that a supposed “reasonable person” would consider the threat to be sufficiently dangerous to put him in fear of death or serious bodily injury. A person’s own subjective view of this fear is not enough to satisfy the standard for self-defense.

Fourth, the law does not permit a first aggressor to benefit from a self-defense justification. Only those with “clean hands” can benefit from this justification and avoid criminal liability.

Finally, a person has a duty to retreat before using deadly force, as long as it can be done safely. This reaffirms the law’s belief in the sanctity of human life and ensures that deadly force is an option of last resort.

‘Stand your ground’

The proliferation of states that have adopted “stand your ground” laws in recent years has complicated the analysis of self-defense involving the duty to retreat.

Dating back to early Anglo-American law, the duty to retreat has been subject to an important exception historically called the “castle doctrine”: A person has no duty to retreat in his home. This principle emerged from the 17th-century maxim that a “man’s home is his castle.”

The “castle doctrine” permits the use of lethal force in self-defense without imposing a duty to retreat in the home. Over time, states began to expand the non-retreat rule to spaces outside of the home.
“Stand your ground” laws came under national scrutiny during the trial of George Zimmerman, who was acquitted in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

In that case, Martin, 17, was walking home after buying Skittles from a nearby convenience store. At the time, Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch volunteer who called police after spotting Martin. Despite being told by the 911 operator to remain in his car until officers arrived, Zimmerman instead confronted Martin.

It remains unclear whether a fight ensued, who was the aggressor and whether Zimmerman had injuries consistent with his claims of being beaten up by Martin. Zimmerman was the sole survivor; Martin, who was unarmed, died from a gunshot wound.

In the Zimmerman case, for example, under traditional self-defense law, the combination of first-aggressor limitation and duty to retreat would not have allowed Zimmerman to follow Martin around and kill him without being liable for murder.

But, in a stand-your-ground state such as Florida, Zimmerman had a lawful right to patrol the neighborhood near Martin’s home. As a result, during his trial, all Zimmerman had to prove was that he was in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury.

In Wisconsin, Rittenhouse was also able to put in evidence that he was in reasonable fear of death. “I didn’t do anything wrong,” Rittenhouse testified. “I defended myself.”

The prosecution was unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Rittenhouse was not reasonably in fear for his safety. This represents a high bar for the prosecution. They were unable to surmount it.

Ronald Sullivan is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.


If you haven’t figured this out yet for yourself, you’re behind.


THEY ARE AFTER OUR CHILDREN

The precepts of Critical Race Theory are only taught to law school students, right? Sure. And also to pre-schoolers. Check out this new program from the University of Texas called GoKAR!. KAR stands for Kids Against Racism. UT is looking for parents “caregivers” who have preschool children ages four to five. They must “identify as white.” This is so the four and five year olds can be subjected to an “anti-racism” curriculum. In particular, “GoKAR! creates opportunities for caregivers to engage in dialogue about anti-Black racism with their preschool-aged children at home.” How about if we read them Winnie the Pooh instead? Please?

Click to enlarge, via Minding the Campus:

One stated objective of the GoKAR! program is to “increase awareness of racism.” I have no doubt that this goal will be achieved. These four and five year olds probably have little or no awareness of racism, but when the University of Texas is done with them, race will be front and center in their lives. Liberals think that is a good thing. God knows why.

That’s race. Now on to gender. In California, public school teachers’ union members are stalking middle-school kids on the internet, identifying potential 12- to 14-year-old kids whom they can groom into the LGBTQ life through school organizations. Seriously. Abigail Shrier has the story, obtained through audio recordings from a conference of California’s largest teachers’ union. Here, as is generally the case, the teachers’ union is a source of great evil.

Last month, the California Teachers Association (CTA) held a conference advising teachers on best practices for subverting parents, conservative communities and school principals on issues of gender identity and sexual orientation. Speakers went so far as to tout their surveillance of students’ Google searches, internet activity, and hallway conversations in order to target sixth graders for personal invitations to LGBTQ clubs, while actively concealing these clubs’ membership rolls from participants’ parents.

You really should read Ms. Shrier’s post in its entirety. It includes lengthy quotes from union members that support that summary. For example:

Middle school kids, apparently, did not have endless interest in sitting around with their teachers during lunch discussing their sexual orientations and gender identities. “So we started to brainstorm at the end of the 2020 school year, what are we going to do? We got to see some kids in-person at the end of last year, not many but a few. So we started to try and identify kids. When we were doing our virtual learning – we totally stalked what they were doing on Google, when they weren’t doing school work. One of them was googling ‘Trans Day of Visibility.’ And we’re like, ‘Check.’ We’re going to invite that kid when we get back on campus. Whenever they follow the Google Doodle links or whatever, right, we make note of those kids and the things that they bring up with each other in chats or email or whatever,” Baraki can be heard to say. Beyond electronic surveillance of kids’ internet use, “we use our observations of kids in the classroom—conversations that we hear—to personally invite students. Because that’s really the way we kinda get the bodies in the door. Right? They need sort of a little bit of an invitation,” Baraki says in the clip.

It turns out that very few middle school kids are actually interested in being gay, trans or whatever. So radical teachers “stalk what they [are] doing on Google”–their words, not mine–and “use [their] observations of kids in the classroom” to identify children who might be vulnerable to the gay message, and entice them into the queer–their word–“movement.” All of this is at taxpayers’ expense, and, as one of the teachers caught on audio tape exults, they can’t be fired for stalking and grooming children.

However concerned you may be about the Left coming after your children, you can’t be paranoid enough.

And on the local front:

Violations of Missouri ‘Sunshine Law’ can result in some pretty heft fines. For the people who continually say ‘We don’t teach CRT!” they sure do a lot of complaining about people wanting proof.


Missouri Attorney General Sues Springfield School District Over Refusal To Turn Over Critical Race Training Records.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed suit against Springfield Public Schools for violating the state’s sunshine laws, saying SPS failed to provide documents his office requested after parents complained of lessons and curriculum based on Critical Race Theory (CRT).

On November 16, 2021, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed suit against Springfield Public Schools for violating the state’s sunshine laws. Schmitt says Springfield failed to provide documents his office requested after parents complained of lessons and curriculum based on Critical Race Theory (CRT).

In a press release announcing the action, the AG’s office said, in part:

Upon questioning by the Attorney General’s Office, Springfield Public Schools admitted that they’ve provided equity training to students in the GO CAPS program for the past three school years. In May of 2021, Springfield Public Schools reported that it had formed a “Culturally Relevant Curriculum Review” and adopted a Culturally Responsible Scorecard to implement a social justice evaluation of core curriculum, including math.

After the Springfield Public Schools School Board limited public comments and Springfield Public Schools announced that they would not release training materials to the public, the Attorney General’s Office filed a Sunshine Law request on behalf of concerned parents to find out exactly how frequently critical race theory and antiracism materials and teachings were supplied or taught to students.

In response, Springfield Public Schools provided a fee estimate that demanded an initial deposit of $37,000. The lawsuit alleges, “Springfield Public Schools violated § 610.026.2 [the Sunshine Law] by demanding a deposit for items or services other than copies as a precondition to making public records available to the Attorney General’s Office.”

Schmitt also put together a lengthy thread on twitter sharing details his office had learned about the teacher trainings.

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves Calls for Elimination of Critical Race Theory in Budget Proposal

Republican Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves released his Fiscal Year 2023 budget proposal on Monday, recommending that the teaching of critical race theory be eliminated from taxpayer-funded schools.

Under a section in the budget proposal titled “Improving Education,” Reeves headlined a section “Eliminate Critical Race Theory” and outlined how he believed the teaching to be a “vicious lie.”

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Memo Confirms National School Board Group ‘Actively Engaged’ with White House While Drafting ‘Domestic Terrorists’ Letter.

Biden Administration, School Board Association Colluded To Direct FBI Scrutiny at Parents Who Were Critical of School Boards.

Arizona school board president kept secret dossier on parents opposed to CRT and mask mandates that was discovered after he accidentally sent a link to a mom: Private investigator ran background checks and filmed parents.

A school board president in Arizona has been accused of maintaining a secret online dossier containing personal details about parents who opposed mask mandates and Critical Race Theory.

Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board President Jann-Michael Greenburg’s access to the Google Drive file was revealed after he accidentally displayed the link in a screenshot he sent to a parent in a heated email chain.

The drive contained files labeled ‘SUSD Wackos’ and ‘Anti Mask Lunatics’ among others in a sprawling database tracking the online activities of parents in the district.

The drive was set to public, allowing anyone with a link to view it, and the contents, including the Social Security numbers, financial information and divorce records of parents, quickly set off a firestorm of calls for Greenburg to resign, according to AZ Free News.

The district blames Greenburg’s father Mark, who shares a home and computer with his son, for creating the bizarre dossier, and the school board president has denied involvement, vowing an investigation by ‘forensic IT staff’.  [oh my foot, that’s a CYA smokescreen]

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