But what one should expect with journalistic “mistakes” is that they sometimes go in one direction, and other times go in the other direction. That’s exactly what has not happened here. Virtually every false story published goes only in one direction: to be as inflammatory and damaging as possible on the Trump/Russia story and about Russia particularly. At some point, once “mistakes” all start going in the same direction, toward advancing the same agenda, they cease looking like mistakes.
A Libertarian friend of mine, David K. Williams, likes to say: “Government is largely malevolent.” He posts this frequently on social media, along with a link to a story about some bureaucrat or petty tyrant making life harder, worse, or both for ordinary folks trying to do ordinary things. I think I will take after my friend David in this practice.
Today’s illustration is this outrage from a school district in Virginia. A mom has been criminally charged for the way she tried to protect her daughter from ongoing bullying at school. I’m confident this mom will not be convicted of anything. In a sane universe, which we may or may not inhabit, the charges will be dropped, and whoever decided to cite and or charge her will be tarred and feathered and humiliated.
But there is a more important point here. This is government. This is the mentality of government. A mom trying to protect her baby against bullying that school administrators were powerless or apathetic to remedy, puts a recording device in her daughter’s pack. It gets discovered.
Mom gets charged not only with felony wiretapping, but with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Let me be clear. This is not only outrageous rubbish, it is a manifestation of the controlling mentality. The mentality that exists mostly in government. Did any of the busy-bodies who reviewed this situation think: “Wow. Poor kid. Poor mom. What can we do to help solve this situation?” No. The execrable jackals were afraid of being embarrassed. They were ticked that a parent might permeate their sanctum. Someone went to the rule book and combed through, looking for ways to punish the rabble and make an example.
This is not unique. This is not rare. This is what happens when citizens challenge authority.
It is a mentality that can thrive only in the public sector. In the realm of free exchange, when a company abuses you, you can look to a competitor. In the realm of regulated living, when the bureaucrat takes an interest in you, you can only pray that he’ll apply a little soap as he goes about his business. Please read the story linked below and get mad, then take action.
The phone number for Norfolk Public Schools is (757) 670-3945
The phone number for the Norfolk Police Department Chief’s Office is (7575) 664-3277
The phone number for the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office is (757) 664-4444
Something about the Denver DA’s decision not to file charges in the case of Denver East High cheerleaders being forced into the splits stretches credulity. Last summer, a disturbing phone video hit social media and then news channels showing a high school coach, helped by team members, forcing young women in obvious pain down into a split position. One athlete, 13-year old Ally Wakefield was in obvious agony, and cried out “please stop” nine times. The forced stretching tore ligaments and muscle tissue. She required medical treatment and months of physical therapy. This disturbing 30-second video shows her ordeal.
A parent’s letter of complaint to Denver Public Schools took months to prompt DPS to investigate. Only after news stations got involved did officials take action against several involved parties. Five East High and DPS employees, including one of the district’s lawyers, were placed on leave. Ultimately, the coach was fired, and East High’s principal and athletic director resigned. Three ousters and administrative disciple of a district lawyer raise obvious and still unanswered questions about the chain of events and the far reaching ripple effects.
The Denver Police Department and DA’s office opened an investigation last August. On Saturday, October 14, the DA’s office released a statement on its website that no charges would be filed. If Friday night is the traditional dumping ground for releasing embarrassing political stories, Saturday must really be the hoped for graveyard of bad news. DA Beth McCann’s full statement announced:
The video of the incident involving the injured student that has been widely disseminated is painful to watch. However, after a very thorough and careful review of all of the evidence gathered in the investigation and the statements of many members of the cheerleading squad, I have concluded that the evidence does not support the filing of criminal charges. In order to prove a charge of criminal behavior, the case must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
There are differing opinions regarding the use of this technique of cheerleading training. While I believe the technique should not be used, that is not the standard of proof for a criminal case. Most of the cheerleading squad participated in the technique that day, and there are differing accounts of the circumstances.
The individual involved should not be a coach in high school sports and he no longer is. The principal and athletic director of the school have retired and resigned. The message should be clear that this type of technique has no place in high school cheerleading coaching. The bad judgment of the coach, however, does not constitute a prosecutable crime.
Several things are remarkable about the statement. First, it asserts that use of the technique in the video is subject to opinion and debate. However, she asserts, the man who committed the acts should not be a coach, and now, she reassures, he’s not. Two other jobs also were ended for good measure. These sound like dire consequences for something that ostensibly is debatable.
DA McCann allows in her own view the stretching technique was inappropriate, but then asserts that that is not the legal standard, which is, that evidence must prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. That is an illogical connection. First, despite McCann’s reference to “differing accounts, the evidence of what happened is irrefutable. It was witnessed by millions. Second, the patent unreasonableness of what happened in the gym that day is evidenced by public outrage and three terminations. Further, it’s unclear what differing opinions McCann might have received, but if prosecutors want expert opinion on the reasonableness of the actions, they can consult NFL cheerleader Bria Petty who says this is awful and in all her years in the sport, she has never seen anything close to it. Or they can consult Dr. David Jewison, a team physician for several Division I college sport teams, who says it is absolutely wrong and inappropriate.
Finally, if the DA’s office wants to trifle with something as technical and irrelevant as the applicable law, they should peruse Colorado’s statutory definition of assault, which occurs when “a person knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person.”
This disturbing case raises several questions that need answers from DPS and the the Denver DA. Why were the athletic director and the principal implicated in the supposedly isolated bad judgment of a coach? How did a district lawyer fall under suspicion and scrutiny? Why is the video evidence of what happened and an athlete’s documented injury insufficient to charge a case and take it to a jury?
New York Times columnist Brett Stephens, long of the Wall Street Journal, appeals: “Repeal the Second Amendment.” The Federalist’s David Harsanyi answers: “Come and get them, Brett Stephens.”
Harsanyi shows why it’s always good to carry solid ammunition. You never know where you might be mugged, by whom.
To date, we have suspended the officer from the blood draw program. We have already replaced our blood draw policy with a new policy. All remaining officers on the blood draw program have reviewed, and are operating under the new policy and protocol.
Whether the arrest was lawful or not, the nurse was calm and professional. The cop escalated the situation with a sudden outburst of temper and force in a hospital ER room. Why was that not grounds for immediate suspension? What possible justification could any “investigation” uncover for his brutish behavior?