September 28, 2016

"And I say this very regretfully as a liberal Democrat who has spent a legal career defending the indigent in criminal court..."

The "I" is The Kenosha Kid, writing what is the top-rated comment on the cover story in the NYT Magazine. The article is titled "Baltimore vs. Marilyn Mosby/In the midst of a national crisis of police violence, Baltimore’s state’s attorney gambled that prosecuting six officers for the death of Freddie Gray would help heal her city. She lost much more than just the case." Here's the whole comment, which begins with a quote from the article:
"When she started her campaign to become the city’s top prosecutor a year before, she was a 33-year-old corporate lawyer working for an insurance firm... In conversation with half a dozen prosecutors who worked with Mosby, no one could remember any of the cases she handled before her election."

Anyone who has spent a career in the criminal courts knows two things for certain:

1) a lawyer needs to be both very good, even brilliant, and must acquire the battle-tested seasoning of years of jury trials in order to be more than barely competent in that arena;

2) stories like Mosby's are becoming increasingly frequent. California is about to elect the first female, black/biracial US Senator, Attorney General Kamala Harris, a purely political animal with no special qualifications except for most favored status as a part of the Willie Brown political machine in California.

Harris was plucked from the obscurity of an undistinguished, embryonic career and groomed for political success. If she has any exceptional qualifications besides her gender and her racial background, i.e., "diversity," it is not apparent.

And I say this very regretfully as a liberal Democrat who has spent a legal career defending the indigent in criminal court. At some point, our attorneys general (and justices -- Clarence Thomas, anyone?) need to be more than affirmative action diversity symbols and have more than a rudimentary knowledge of that portion of the system they are to lead.
ADDED: Other top-rated comments are even more brutal. From the first few, there's v rocha:
Light weight bully who thought success was just being black. She overcharged and followed her instincts for gain to higher office. Law school students could tell you she was way off base.
From uld:
I appreciate you stating up front that you are friend of Mosby and you intend to present a friendly portrait. Saved me time from reading any further.

Instead of offering this puff piece, the NYT could have offered a portrait of how a city official could lose her courage - give in to the publicity of the moment - and not tell the community from the outset that as tragic as Freddy Gray's death was, no crime had been committed.
From Here There:
Why is so much effort spent to humanize a rogue prosecutor who kept trying cases against defendants long after there was any chance of a conviction? Had she done it to reporters, or "activists", you'd still be howling for her scalp but because it is cops it is somehow OK. Would you depict Mike Nifong with a glass of white wine in hand? Maybe if Nifong was black and part of a political power couple?
And here's John:
The election of a person without real competence or judgment to a public office of importance has its costs. That is true if the person is elected because people are angry and want to 'tear things down' as in the case of Trump, or because a candidate is politically correct and photogenic and fits a narrative of how things should be, and breaking glass ceilings as with Mosby. Unfitness and lack of competence has a cost, Baltimore, as it does to the country as a whole.
The photograph of Mosby is, indeed, very lovely. As for the glass of white wine, it's there in the first paragraph, spinning our sympathy alongside the lovely photograph:
A little before 7 the other night, the prosecutor Marilyn Mosby stopped by my house in Baltimore for dinner. She was coming straight from work in one of her customary gray pantsuits, and because I was already nursing a beer, she took off her jacket with a sigh and poured herself a glass of white wine. Then we stepped onto the back deck to throw a few burgers on the grill. This being a September evening, you might imagine the yard in raking light and breezy autumnal aspect, but it was actually pretty swampy, the oppressive tonnage of summer humidity not yet given way to season’s end, so as soon as the burgers looked about done, we ferried them inside and settled at the island in my kitchen to eat....
Oh, man. That's some richly purple prose. (The author is Wil S. Hylton.) I feel like I'm checking out the first page of a novel I would absolutely refuse to read. I love the notion of imagining the yard "in raking light." The light's not going to rake those leaves. Pick a different adjective... or cut out all the adjectives maybe... like "autumnal"...

I'm distracted into thinking about the good novel I am actually reading this week. From page 2 of that:
All the officer patients in the ward were forced to censor letters written by all the enlisted-men patients, who were kept in residence in wards of their own. It was a monotonous job.... After the first day he had no curiosity at all. To break the monotony he invented games. Death to all modifiers, he declared one day, and out of every letter that passed through his hands went every adverb and every adjective. The next day he made war on articles. He reached a much higher plane of creativity the following day when he blacked out everything in the letters but a, an and the. That erected more dynamic intralinear tensions, he felt, and in just about every case left a message far more universal....

120 comments:

mccullough said...

These are political positions. Being a great trial lawyer doesn't mean much as far as budget and priorities.

The Cracker Emcee said...

Well, the "national crisis" is fabricated bullshit so it isn't terribly surprising that the fabricated bullshit prosecutions fail.

Curious George said...

"Baltimore vs. Marilyn Mosby/In the midst of a national crisis of police violence, Baltimore’s state’s attorney gambled that prosecuting six officers for the death of Freddie Gray would help heal her city. She lost much more than just the case"

What a steaming pile. Mosby didn't care if blacks burned Baltimore to the ground. SHe only cared how this would advance her career. It was a "Jesse Jackson/MLK moment...she jumped on the opportunity. And failed.

David Begley said...

Clarence Thomas graduated at the top of his class at The College of the Holy Cross. He was selected to be inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu; the Jesuit school equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa. I'm tired of him being slandered because he is black, Catholic and conservative.

Phi Betta Kappa and Alpha Sigma Nu are earned; not handed out based upon diversity.

The above being said, Barack Obama was never qualified to be President and even he wasn't Phi Beta Kappa at Columbia.

Nonapod said...

Being a confessed liberal, it's depressingly not surprising that this person singled out Clarence Thomas as an "affirmative action diversity symbol" rather than... say... Sotomayor. Why are liberals so depressingly predictable?

Clayton Hennesey said...

I'd have to say the analysis holds true for Loretta Lynch, who appears to have been chosen as Attorney General solely because she was a BBBW who could make the creamiest word salad in town.

Birkel said...

David Begley:

The Collectivist Left cannot help themselves criticizing Justice Thomas. You'd have better luck teaching that pig to sing than convincing a Leftist that Clarence Thomas is brilliant.

And that Justice Thomas is brilliant is beyond question by anybody who dispassionately reviews his record, or his writings, or his speeches or asks the other Justices their respective opinions about the man.

But in order for that comment to be up-voted, Justice Thomas must be unfairly maligned.

Sebastian said...

"2) stories like Mosby's are becoming increasingly frequent." Huh? You mean, all the the other elected black officials turned out to be supremely competent, thoroughly ethical, non-race-baiting noncareerists?

"California is about to elect the first female, black/biracial US Senator, Attorney General Kamala Harris, a purely political animal with no special qualifications except for most favored status as a part of the Willie Brown political machine in California." On the left, identity is qualification enough.

"If she has any exceptional qualifications besides her gender and her racial background, i.e., "diversity," it is not apparent." Ditto. All this talk about qualifications: must be a con plant masquerading as liberal Dem.

"And I say this very regretfully as a liberal Democrat who has spent a legal career defending the indigent in criminal court." But the regret never turns into active opposition to the AA hires, now does it?

"At some point, our attorneys general (and justices -- Clarence Thomas, anyone?) need to be more than affirmative action diversity symbols and have more than a rudimentary knowledge of that portion of the system they are to lead" No, they don't. The left just needs their votes. Knowledge has nothing to do with it. In fact, ignorance is a bonus, all the better to take down the system.

Yes, Clarence Thomas was an AA appointment. But he has shown himself more than up to the task.

sykes.1 said...

This is a problem that is afflicting all of our institutions, including our research universities, our civil service and our military. Obama's administration is especially afflicted. Of course, the Congress has always been a den of fools. But deploring Mosby's obvious incompetence isn't enough. We need to recognize that our critical institutions are increasingly ineffective and prone to failure. The recent Pentagon decision to Syrian Arab Army is a particularly troubling example of institutional stupidity. What were the people in charge of our forces thinking? The recent failed coup against Erdogan might have had some American participation, too. The fact that the coup leaders used Turkish planes based at Incirlik is very suggestive of American involvement.

People like Moby are very dangerous. Given enough of them in positions of power, and they could lead us into a losing war with a major power. Or they could destroy of medical system. They have largely wrecked our educational system all the way from pre-K to post doc.

tommyesq said...

Catch 22?

MadisonMan said...

Clarence Thomas was an AA appointment.

AA appointments can be qualified. Justice Thomas was, as noted upthread. The most qualified, at the time? I suppose that's depending on how you define the qualifications.

quizbowla said...

"California is about to elect the first female, black/biracial US Senator, Attorney General Kamala Harris, a purely political animal with no special qualifications except for most favored status as a part of the Willie Brown political machine in California."

Point of information: The first biracial female senator, sure. But, Carol Moseley-Braun of Illinois was the first black female senator. (And, given what we know about race in this country, Moseley-Braun likely had some European ancestors, just not any European ones in the immediate past.) She was elected way back around the time Clarence Thomas was getting on the Supreme Court. "Year of the Woman" they called it then.

Jake said...

The Clarence Thomas reference was gratuitous and lame. I presume designed to demonstrate his bona fides as a liberal.

Big Mike said...

And I say this very regretfully as a liberal Democrat who has spent a legal career defending the indigent in criminal court. At some point, our attorneys general (and justices -- Clarence Thomas, anyone?) need to be more than affirmative action diversity symbols ...

Some day a social liberal will find himself or herself able to look past the skin color of Clarence Thomas and see the man who is standing there. Some day. Perhaps. Maybe.

But it would be a good idea for social liberals (including you, Professor) to read the story about how Clarence Thomas was appointed by George H. W. Bush. The idea was to have Thomas replace a white justice, to provide balance to Thurgood Marshall. Then Marshall retired early.

Tank said...

In the midst of a bunch of fluffy white (racist) stuff, this nugget:

Stokes admires Mosby, but over dinner he laid out a pretty simple theory to explain city elections. “It’s black and white,” he said with a laugh. “This is Baltimore! The only time the issues matter is when two candidates of the same race are competing.”

Oh.

As one who followed the trials very closely, they made it clear that there was NO EVIDENCE THAT THE POLICE DID ANYTHING WRONG. No charges should have been brought. The Times still tries to make it seem that a better prosecution, or more cooperation from the police, would have given the State a better chance at trial. Well, maybe, if there were some evidence, I mean any at all, I mean ... sigh.

Ann Althouse said...

"we ferried them inside and settled at the island in my kitchen to eat"

You have to use a ferry to get to the island.

Big Mike said...

@Nonapod, good point. I think there really is room for a wise Latina on the Court because it doesn't have one at the moment.

Brando said...

Brutal, but spot on. When she first announced the charges, I figured maybe they had something on these cops, but it soon became clear they had squat and yet still pushed this for political reasons. Fortunately the judge and jury showed enough respect for the law to not convict. But this amounts to harassment and makes the prosecutor dangerous.

rhhardin said...

Baltimore's mayor isn't too bright either.

rehajm said...

The election of a person without real competence or judgment to a public office of importance has its costs. That is true if the person is elected because people are angry and want to 'tear things down' as in the case of Trump, or because a candidate is politically correct and photogenic and fits a narrative of how things should be, and breaking glass ceilings as with...

Marilyn Mosby now possesses vast experience in public service. Present Democratic company suggests she has a real future in elected office.

damikesc said...

While the comment is overdue...why the dig at Thomas?

Does anybody argue that Thomas doesn't provide deep and cogent arguments in his decisions? He doesn't talk much during arguments, but so what?

I figured maybe they had something on these cops, but it soon became clear they had squat and yet still pushed this for political reasons.

I had doubts (prosecutions during mob violence seldom are good prosecutions) but her grandstanding immediately afterwards made me think the whole thing was utter BS.

Laslo Spatula said...

"I feel like I'm checking out the first page of a novel I would absolutely refuse to read."

It's the New Era.

Every writer dreams of writing The Great American Article.


I am The Replacement Laslo.

Mac McConnell said...

"Turkish planes based at Incirlik is very suggestive of American involvement."

Too obvious, unless Obama is an Islamist. Besides the CIA have been very competent in the past fomenting coups in that part of the world, not weak pretend coups. Most likely a Russian black flag operation to give Islamist Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan a reason for a purge.

Michael K said...

Justice Thomas was, as noted upthread. The most qualified, at the time? I suppose that's depending on how you define the qualifications.

How do you define them?

The police officer in Tulsa is another example of a racial prosecution. She will be acquitted. I just hope someone defends her pro bono so w=she is not one more victim of leftist lawfare.

Guildofcannonballs said...

I should like to think a rudimentary knowledge, of a system one is to lead, could be seen as a gift by the gifted intellectually were their end-goals based upon more than currying today's favors.

Improvement instead of wicked maintenance, based upon deep philosophical principles including especially our Lord Jesus Christ.

A terribly difficult, nay near impossible return to the principles that have proven to have produced greatness as opposed to a lazy confirmation of archetypal penumbras codenamed "Envy/Lust/Greed" which are to be heard cackling even in the greatest of days most heralded enclaves.

Such is man and women.

Brando said...

"I had doubts (prosecutions during mob violence seldom are good prosecutions) but her grandstanding immediately afterwards made me think the whole thing was utter BS."

The thing about it is that while it was clearly politically motivated, it was also incredibly stupid--if she didn't have enough to get convictions (or at least plea bargains) it would just blow up in her face, sending a message to the entire city that (a) she's incompetent at her job; (b) she's abusing the power of her office, which won't appeal to blacks who already believe the authorities rig the system against defendants; and (c) nothing, ultimately, will have been done about the fact that a guy died in police custody and nobody knows for sure how. But at least the state harassed six cops on trumped up charges, and wasted taxpayer money in the process.

Mike Sylwester said...

Hillary Clinton's proposed classes to harrange police officers about their implicit racism will not address the main problem.

It's more important that African Americans attend classes to teach them not to resist or escape arrest and not to attack police officers.

bwebster said...

That quote at the end of your post tickled faint memories, so I checked the link and..."Catch-22". Being of a certain age, I read this in high school, as did my cohort of what would now be called "nerds" but then were just "those weird kids". "Eat your liver!" became one of our catchphrases (so to speak); several of our group bought a 1/4-page slot in our high school yearbook our senior year and had printed there a photo of them recreating Da Vinci's "Last Supper" (in a comical modern setting) with an "Eat Your Liver!" banner stretched across the front of the table.

What can I say? It was 1971.

It has been decades since I've read the book; probably a good time to revisit it. ..bruce..

Hagar said...

"Raking" in this context means slanting.

Matthew Sablan said...

Is this a classic case where "better than nothing" is a high standard?

I think the desire to "do something" caused her to prosecute earlier than it was even possible to have enough information to make a good decision to prosecute or not. It felt like during the trial, we learned new things that made it more and more obviously a bad decision.

David said...

"If she has any exceptional qualifications besides her gender and her racial background, i.e., "diversity," it is not apparent."

Good looks. Harris and Mosby are both good looking women.

Hagar said...

Why are all these NYT/New Yorker articles so long?

Darrell said...

Given that the case should have never moved forward---given the police officers innocence to the charges--how much worse would it have been for her to actually get convictions due to special skills in court. Affirmative action worked in this case. Justice was served.

Ann Althouse said...

"AA appointments can be qualified. Justice Thomas was, as noted upthread. The most qualified, at the time? I suppose that's depending on how you define the qualifications."

This connects back to the subject of who's "qualified" to be President. How minimal a standard is "qualified"? In affirmative action, the assertion is always made that you're selecting from a set of applicants who are qualified and then and only then are you letting race be a plus factor, part of the whole person who will be given the slot for which there are too many qualified applicants.

In the presidential election, we're already down to 2 candidates (sorry, Gary), and we could be looking at all the factors, deciding between the 2. But the Clinton supporters are still trying to apply the "qualified" standard. It would keep us from looking at all the factors relating to Clinton, if there's only one qualified candidate at this point.

But "qualified" is an adjustable concept. In law school admissions, for example, we might say that there's a minimum LSAT score or a minimum "first year predicted average" (which is a calculation that combines LSAT score with GPA). But if that first filter did not produce a diverse enough pool of applicants, we would probably change that standard. I hasten to add that at my school, we would not speak of that initial pool as those who are "qualified" to go through the program. I think people here would acknowledge that the initial standard could be and would be lower if it were necessary to assemble a class, and that we wouldn't regard that class as unqualified.

Roughcoat said...

I feel like I'm checking out the first page of a novel I would absolutely refuse to read.

Heh. That's very good. Perfect, even.

Ann Althouse said...

Here's a blog post from a few days ago that looks at the idea of "qualified" to be President.

MayBee said...

I hasten to add that at my school, we would not speak of that initial pool as those who are "qualified" to go through the program. I think people here would acknowledge that the initial standard could be and would be lower if it were necessary to assemble a class, and that we wouldn't regard that class as unqualified.

This amuses me.
We aren't lowering our standards and taking in people who we previously thought were unqualified. We are broadening our search to include people who are differently qualified.

Bob Ellison said...

Yes, the "qualified" standard is misapplied, and the term misused.

You gotta be qualified to play violin for a great orchestra, or to run a sewer line, or to manage a water treatment plant.

"Qualified" doesn't apply well, as a term, to politicians or even most lawyers. We look for character, knowledge, talent, and experience for these things.

The President could be any fool who never held a real job and got into HLS through AA.

dbp said...

Speaking of good novels (that are not 50 years old) I just read Lightning Rods
by Helen DeWitt. Available in Kindle at Amazon--use the Althouse portal.

It threads a fine line between social satire, dark humor and well, it is kind of porny. I believe the author deliberately wrote it in a fairly simple style with a distinct lack of "purple prose" which itself furthers her authorial intent.

Ann Althouse said...

""Raking" in this context means slanting."

Yes, "raking light" is light that creates sharp contrast by coming in at an angle. But that is not my point. I said: Pick another adjective. The writer triggers a ridiculous thought that's beside the point he's trying to make. It's the same problem with saying you "ferried" the hamburgers to the "island." "Ferried" just means "brought" or "carried" in that context, but we were laughing hysterically about it here at Meadhouse.

The writer is describing the yard in autumn. Don't say "raking" in that context!

Roughcoat said...

Death to all modifiers, he declared one day, and out of every letter that passed through his hands went every adverb and every adjective.

I seem to recall Ernest Hemingway writing something similar in an essay on writing -- something along the lines of advice to writers, or some such. I'm presently reading "The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway." The man is a master of clarity and concision. He is unmatched in his ability to set a scene, to describe his surroundings, in simple, direct language. No wasted motion in his prose. Read, e.g., "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber." A masterpiece of the short fiction genre.

Ann Althouse said...

The writer wasn't even describing the actual yard in question but imagining the reader imagining what the reader might think yards are like in September — specifically: not hot and muggy. So it was silly even to bring up — so conspicuously padded — and what reader imagines that it's cool and crisp in Baltimore in September. September isn't even reliably crisp in Madison. Any given day could be hot and muggy. The writer is musing about the idea of autumn. The message is that he's poetical, but the poetry is bad.

MayBee said...

Marilyn Mosby and Wendy Davis were darlings of the media and supposedly the new role models for tough women. They both flamed out, proving their lack of substance and the lack of actual support.

Rick said...

(b) she's abusing the power of her office, which won't appeal to blacks who already believe the authorities rig the system against defendants;

This is false. There is a very large percentage of people who believe the appropriate remedy for rigged outcomes against you is rigged outcomes against people you hate. As long as Mosby is seen as misusing her authority for blacks she'll be reelected.

dbp said...

I should note as well that when we toured The College of the Holy Cross with our oldest daughter, they listed many famous graduates but notably not Judge Thomas. This was not a factor in the girl deciding to study elsewhere, but did leave a sour taste in my mouth. It is entirely possible that they know their audience, most of the students come from famously lefty MA and didn't want to scare-off potential applicants.

RigelDog said...

As a career prosecutor, I agree completely with the main point---you do need years of experience with the entire criminal justice system to competently head a large prosecutor's office. Understanding the police systems, the judges, the art of the jury trial, evaluation of evidence, strength and weaknesses of witnesses,how and when to cut a deal, how to spot rising talent in your new hires, how to negotiate local politics...

Unknown said...

So I'm curious now about the "diversity" process. Let's say that the law school sets its standards and discovers there are no Mormons, say, in their upcoming class... but there is one that has a 3.6 GPA, right below the 3.7 cutoff (for example, I have no pretensions or knowledge as to the actual numbers U-Madison uses). Would the law school find a way to include that Mormon? We all know that if it were a case of a black person, they would. Hispanic, sure. Asian? I don't know.

I suspect devout Christians are likely a minority there, so does any of this "diversity" stuff look for them? How about conservatives? Or is diversity only skin deep?

--Vance

traditionalguy said...

The system still worked, but only because of the right to Trial by Jury.

The ideal is having seasoned professional Prosecutors at the top. But we are in an era of unqualified Prosecutors being selected to be elected by Soros funded political black vote buying Machines. That is being done as a public way to say FU to the White Community's Law.

The only way out of this is to wait for ethical black lawyers to rise to the top in the DA Offices. And that takes 20 to 30 years.

Laslo Spatula said...

"A little before 7 the other night, the prosecutor Marilyn Mosby stopped by my house in Baltimore for dinner. She was coming straight from work in one of her customary gray pantsuits, and because I was already nursing a beer, she took off her jacket with a sigh and poured herself a glass of white wine from the box in the refrigerator.

"Lordie Lord, It sho is tough, being a Big City Prosecutor all the day long."

The pressures of the day found themselves as little beads of sweat along her upper lip, like dew on a lipsticked leaf.

"Ize jess don'ts unnerstand whats they all wants from me. Peoples askin' me questions, like how the hells do I know? Can't I just tells them who goes to jail and thens they just do it?"

Her hand shook lightly, like a leaf in a tree blown by a very soft breeze.

"I sho is tired, gettin' criticalized and all by the White People. They just mad that a Sista has some power, you feel me? I went to SCHOOL, mothefuckas, I is a lawyer."

Her eyes shined like late-afternoon sun through the branches of a tree. With leaves. In the sun.

"Evrybody thinks I only gots this job 'cause I is black. It makes me hurt a little, you know? I sees hows the white folk in the hallways they looks at me. They looks at me like Ize don't belong. Like I ain't good enough for their Law-Type Stuff. One of my Law Perfessers back in school told me that, no matter what I did, white people woulds nevers think its enough, because I is black. And ain't dat the truth...."

Laslo would know where to go from here.

I am The Replacement Laslo.

MayBee said...

If you were Freddie Gray's family and you had to choose between a multi-million dollar settlement or a prosecution of a bike cop who put him in the van, which would you choose?

Hagar said...

I don't know I would go into hysterics over it. It is just bad cotton candy/"It was a dark and stormy night" writing which apparently is to be expected from the NYT judging from the articles posted here. The authors must be paid by the word.

tim in vermont said...

"The 'Great American Article'" LOL

Brando said...

"This is false. There is a very large percentage of people who believe the appropriate remedy for rigged outcomes against you is rigged outcomes against people you hate. As long as Mosby is seen as misusing her authority for blacks she'll be reelected."

Half the cops charged (including the first one taken to trial) were black. I imagine the "get back a the white system" sentiment in the black community of Baltimore lost a bit of steam watching that man face trial.

Unknown said...

Laslo writes well... here goes.

It was a dark and stormy night, after a rakish autumnal day. Ann turned away from her window in disgust and sipped at her glass of white wine. Meade was outside, trying to get one last photo of a bug on a flower, to post to the blog. Ann suddenly stopped, holding up her glass and looking at it. "Mosby!" she muttered. "Why the heck am I drinking the exact same thing that idiot prosecutor is reputed to like?"

Meade came in, brushing some mud and grass trimmings off of his finely creased pants, though not as finely creased as David Brooks likes in a man. This evening, they were going somewhere--but where? There was a roast of Milo Yannopolis on campus (and the chances were that it would really be a roast; the College Democrats were there to express their usual support for free speech). There was a sporting event the college was putting on. But sports are so crass, unless they are wearing pink for breast support or something like that. Meade was always in favor of supporting breasts. Or there was a Trump/Clinton debate watching party, which offered the promise of a fight or at least rotten fruit flying through the air.

"No," thought Ann. "I think I'll do something more fun!" And so she went to the closet to put on her favorite.....



/let your imagination continue. Or the story.

--Vance

dbp said...

"...so as soon as the burgers looked about done, we ferried them inside and settled at the island in my kitchen to eat."

He should have taken the metaphor one more step.

We ate slowly, enjoying the almost imperceptible currents of artificially desiccated cool air as it washed away the oppression of the day.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

"Ferried" just means "brought" or "carried" in that context, but we were laughing hysterically about it here at Meadhouse.

I didn't laugh hysterically, but I did snort in an amused fashion.

Purple prose used in an attempt to salvage a politicos career.

Beta Rube said...

It was love at first sight.

Unknown said...

incirlik is where the turks have combat ready f16s and they have a officer in the caoc with veto auth for all allied air ops w/o explanations..usually pkk anti kurd ops. its a paperwork day

Ann Althouse said...

Mark Twain began a book with:

"No weather will be found in this book. This is an attempt to pull a book through without weather. It being the first attempt of the kind in fictitious literature, it may prove a failure, but it seemed worth the while of some dare-devil person to try it, and the author was in just the mood.

"Many a reader who wanted to read a tale through was not able to do it because of delays on account of the weather. Nothing breaks up an author’s progress like having to stop every few pages to fuss-up the weather. Thus it is plain that persistent intrusions of weather are bad for both reader and author.

"Of course weather is necessary to a narrative of human experience. That is conceded. But it ought to be put where it will not be in the way; where it will not interrupt the flow of the narrative. And it ought to be the ablest weather that can be had, not ignorant, poor-quality, amateur weather. Weather is a literary specialty, and no untrained hand can turn out a good article of it. The present author can do only a few trifling ordinary kinds of weather, and he cannot do those very good. So it has seemed wisest to borrow such weather as is necessary for the book from qualified and recognized experts—giving credit, of course. This weather will be found over in the back part of the book, out of the way. See Appendix. The reader is requested to turn over and help himself from time to time as he goes along."

AReasonableMan said...

More black concern trolling. There are a hell of a lot of whites who have advanced politically who I wouldn't give a job. Why not write about George W. Bush's complete unpreparedness for office? It had a lot bigger and vastly more negative effect on the country.

Dude1394 said...

This will be the outcome as our SJW move through the workplace. As more and more positions are obtained through political/social connections and less on merit.

Our children will have a very tough go of it. Unless they are in the clique.

Ann Althouse said...

The Appendix to Twain's "The American Claimant":

WEATHER FOR USE IN THIS BOOK.

Selected from the Best Authorities.


A brief though violent thunderstorm which had raged over the city was passing away; but still, though the rain had ceased more than an hour before, wild piles of dark and coppery clouds, in which a fierce and rayless glow was laboring, gigantically overhung the grotesque and huddled vista of dwarf houses, while in the distance, sheeting high over the low, misty confusion of gables and chimneys, spread a pall of dead, leprous blue, suffused with blotches of dull, glistening yellow, and with black plague-spots of vapor floating and faint lightnings crinkling on its surface. Thunder, still muttering in the close and sultry air, kept the scared dwellers in the street within, behind their closed shutters; and all deserted, cowed, dejected, squalid, like poor, stupid, top-heavy things that had felt the wrath of the summer tempest, stood the drenched structures on either side of the narrow and crooked way, ghastly and picturesque, under the giant canopy. Rain dripped wretchedly in slow drops of melancholy sound from their projecting eaves upon the broken flagging, lay there in pools or trickled into the swollen drains, where the fallen torrent sullenly gurgled on its way to the river. “The Brazen Android.”—W. D. O’Connor.

The fiery mid-March sun a moment hung
Above the bleak Judean wilderness;
Then darkness swept upon us, and ‘t was night.

“Easter-Eve at Kerak-Moab."
—Clinton Scollard.

The quick-coming winter twilight was already at hand. Snow was again falling, sifting delicately down, incidentally as it were. “Felicia.” —Fanny N. D. Murfree.

Merciful heavens! The whole west, from right to left, blazes up with a fierce light, and next instant the earth reels and quivers with the awful shock of ten thousand batteries of artillery. It is the signal for the Fury to spring—for a thousand demons to scream and shriek—for innumerable serpents of fire to writhe and light up the blackness.

Now the rain falls—now the wind is let loose with a terrible shriek—now the lightning is so constant that the eyes burn, and the thunder-claps merge into an awful roar, as did the 800 cannon at Gettysburg. Crash! Crash! Crash! It is the cottonwood trees falling to earth. Shriek! Shriek! Shriek! It is the Demon racing along the plain and uprooting even the blades of grass. Shock! Shock! Shock! It is the Fury flinging his fiery bolts into the bosom of the earth.—

“The Demon and the Fury.” —M. Quad.

Away up the gorge all diurnal fancies trooped into the wide liberties of endless luminous vistas of azure sunlit mountains beneath the shining azure heavens. The sky, looking down in deep blue placidities, only here and there smote the water to azure emulations of its tint.—

“In the People’s Country.”—Charles Egbert Craddock.

Ann Althouse said...

There was every indication of a dust-storm, though the sun still shone brilliantly. The hot wind had become wild and rampant. It was whipping up the sandy coating of the plain in every direction. High in the air were seen whirling spires and cones of sand—a curious effect against the deep-blue sky. Below, puffs of sand were breaking out of the plain in every direction, as though the plain were alive with invisible horsemen. These sandy cloudlets were instantly dissipated by the wind; it was the larger clouds that were lifted whole into the air, and the larger clouds of sand were becoming more and more the rule.

Alfred’s eye, quickly scanning the horizon, descried the roof of the boundary-rider’s hut still gleaming in the sunlight. He remembered the hut well. It could not be farther than four miles, if as much as that, from this point of the track. He also knew these dust-storms of old; Bindarra was notorious for them: Without thinking twice, Alfred put spurs to his horse and headed for the hut. Before he had ridden half the distance the detached clouds of sand banded together in one dense whirlwind, and it was only owing to his horse’s instinct that he did not ride wide of the hut altogether; for during the last half-mile he never saw the hut, until its outline loomed suddenly over his horse’s ears; and by then the sun was invisible.—“A Bride from the Bush.”

It rained forty days and forty nights.—Genesis.

Maguro said...

The system still worked, but only because of the right to Trial by Jury.


As a matter of fact, the only officer to elect a jury trial was the only one who was not acquitted. His trial ended in a hung jury, and Mosby would have had another go at him had the bench trials not gone so badly. If a different judge had ended up hearing these cases, who knows how it would have turned out.

Bob Boyd said...

I went to my bed hungry that night thinking, Damn those burger fairies! But there, beneath my pillow, a new dime shone like a silver island in a white sea. Nice!

Ann Althouse said...

Charles Egbert Craddock wasn't just a real person. She was a lady: Mary Noailles Murfree.

Watch out for any writer who uses the word "azure." Unless some word play or alliteration or something like that is involved, avoid it like the ebon plague. And Egbert Craddock uses it in 2 sentences in a row: "Away up the gorge all diurnal fancies trooped into the wide liberties of endless luminous vistas of azure sunlit mountains beneath the shining azure heavens. The sky, looking down in deep blue placidities, only here and there smote the water to azure emulations of its tint."

That's just nutty!

Ann Althouse said...

I mean 3 times.

Rusty said...

Points, Althouse, if you can tell me what was the literary source for "The Kenosha Kid".

buwaya puti said...

Re "raking" - it depends on the context you are accustomed to seeing it. If, for instance, you are devoted to Naval fiction like C.S.Foresters, you would find the need to avoid a "raking broadside". And etc.

AllenS said...

Why, just yesterday, with a raking light, I was raking leaves.

AllenS said...

A short sentence with 3 commas. Count 'em.

buwaya puti said...

I get the impression that you may not enjoy HP Lovecraft.

Rick said...

Brando said...
Half the cops charged (including the first one taken to trial) were black. I imagine the "get back a the white system" sentiment in the black community of Baltimore lost a bit of steam watching that man face trial.


If by a "bit of steam" you mean three people changed their opinion I agree. Cops being black may mean something to you but it doesn't to the protesters or radicals.

buwaya puti said...

I like a strong raking light for much photography. I especially like it to backlight flowers, if I can find a darkish background. You can get them to appear as if they are internally neon-lit.

Birches said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TWW said...

Surprised you are just now reading "Catch 22" (maybe re-reading)- Irving Washington

Roughcoat said...

It rained forty days and forty nights.—Genesis.

Ah, yes, the Bible -- the gold standard for narrative clarity and concision.

Every aspiring journalist should read Genesis 14 as a lesson in great reporting.

Preferably read the NKJ version.

JAORE said...

Or is diversity only skin deep?

In my former agency we made a big deal about diversity. Lot's of talk about how it was oh so much, much more than racial/gender based. Yet EVERY single measurement on achieving diversity was hiring and promoting women and minorities.

Ask yourself where SJW's find jobs (IF they find jobs). In HR, that's where. The downturn will continue for years to come.


Amadeus 48 said...

Regarding the comments section at NYT magazine, the contrast between the readers' picks and the NYT's picks is hilarious. Althouse has noted the top readers' picks. The NYT's picks are coming from a different place, Mosby as a courageous public official trying to do right versus the readers' picks' craven, under-qualified political hack trying to appease the mob. Well, the commenters are a self-selecting group, but the NYT is still trying to f*ck that chicken.

Francisco D said...

ARM,

Do you really think that GW Bush was unqualified to be President after serving effectively as Governor of Texas. Where do you get this idea?

His first opponent flunked out of two graduate programs. His second opponent was a blatant opportunist who specialized in marrying rich women and faking injuries to get out of Viet Nam.

Brian McKim & Traci Skene said...

Obsessed over Catch 22 in 1975, I think. Brought a folding chair with me to the unemployment office, so I could read it while in line for two hours. Finished it, then bought the Cliffs Notes, then went to the library and delighted in a yuuuge spread about the movie that was in Life magazine.

Char Char Binks said...

This is what happens when writers get paid by the word.

Henry said...

"we ferried them inside and settled at the island in my kitchen to eat"

docked is the correct verb.

Brando said...

"If by a "bit of steam" you mean three people changed their opinion I agree. Cops being black may mean something to you but it doesn't to the protesters or radicals."

I think you're right as far as most protesters and radicals are concerned, but I noticed in Baltimore (I was living there until this summer) there were almost no protests with each acquittal and hung jury, certainly not as big as they were in spring of 2015 when the Gray news first came out. I think when the trials got underway and people started to discover that there was no "rough ride" and the cops weren't a bunch of white guys, that took some fire out of people's bellies. Activists still wanted to make some noise, but you didn't see nearly as many people joining in now that this was underway.

FullMoon said...

AReasonableMan said... [hush]​[hide comment]

More black concern trolling. There are a hell of a lot of whites who have advanced politically who I wouldn't give a job. Why not write about George W. Bush's complete unpreparedness for office? It had a lot bigger and vastly more negative effect on the country.


What a novel idea ! Very fresh.


cubanbob said...

MayBee said...
If you were Freddie Gray's family and you had to choose between a multi-million dollar settlement or a prosecution of a bike cop who put him in the van, which would you choose?

9/28/16, 9:50 AM"

The fact that a jury would award monetary damages to someone who made his living selling poison to other people's children is in of itself an obscenity. What is the compensation for? Loss of income? Why would a court compensate for illegal gains? As for other claims, whatever they may be the fact that he was a career criminal actively engaging in crime negates any claim for damages. Even if it provable the cops killed him, the appropriate punishment is prison without economic compensation.

JAORE said...

"The fact that a jury would award monetary damages to someone who made his living selling poison to other people's children is in of itself an obscenity. What is the compensation for?"

Hush money.

Owen said...

Love the weather stuff by Twain et al.

Agree that PC and AA tend to operate through HR. The host is parasitized at its weakest points, that is, where objective tests of merit are least available. ROI is a kind of immune response, so line positions with profitability goals are the last to be invaded.

n.n said...

People are publicly acknowledging the basic logic that [class] diversity is institutional racism, sexism, etc. Next, the basic logic that Pro-Choice (i.e. selective, opportunistic) is a quasi-religion instructed by gods in the twilight zone and organized (i.e. Church) by the State. They're not discovering principles, as much as they are experiencing the threat of anti-native policies, progressive wars, trials by sodomy and abortion, trickle-up poverty, health penalty tax, etc.

cubanbob said...

Blogger AReasonableMan said...
More black concern trolling. There are a hell of a lot of whites who have advanced politically who I wouldn't give a job. Why not write about George W. Bush's complete unpreparedness for office?"

Gee Bush was a two term governor unlike a jumped junior state senator like the still completely unqualified, incompetent and still unprepared AA guy currently in the White House. Sarah Palin is better prepared for the presidency than the current AA guy and the felonious traitor seeking the job.

damikesc said...

The thing about it is that while it was clearly politically motivated, it was also incredibly stupid--if she didn't have enough to get convictions (or at least plea bargains) it would just blow up in her face, sending a message to the entire city that (a) she's incompetent at her job; (b) she's abusing the power of her office, which won't appeal to blacks who already believe the authorities rig the system against defendants; and (c) nothing, ultimately, will have been done about the fact that a guy died in police custody and nobody knows for sure how. But at least the state harassed six cops on trumped up charges, and wasted taxpayer money in the process.

Looking back at Mike Nifong, the lust for power overrides logic. He brought forth a case with literally zero supporting evidence and considerable contradictory evidence just to get re-elected.

I also assume she could say this was because the justice system is racist (the acquittal of the cop in Ferguson didn't hurt the prosecutor in the eyes of his/her supporters) and be forgiven for presenting an incredibly weak case.

Half the cops charged (including the first one taken to trial) were black. I imagine the "get back a the white system" sentiment in the black community of Baltimore lost a bit of steam watching that man face trial.

I honestly empathize with black cops heavily. The mob hates them even more than white cops, IMO.

Why not write about George W. Bush's complete unpreparedness for office?

Successful governor of a very large is unqualified?

Where does that leave Obama?

Big Mike said...

His first opponent flunked out of two graduate programs. His second opponent was a blatant opportunist who specialized in marrying rich women and faking injuries to get out of Viet Nam.

@Francisco D, point of correction. Kerry did not fake his injuries in Vietnam. The first came from mishandling his own ordnance. Although he lobbied for, and received a Purple Heart, the cut was quite literally fixed with a band aid. The third came from taking a splinter in the ass from his own grenade. The injury was not faked, but does remind us all that after you throw a hand grenade into a small village's winter supply of food that it is important to duck.

Big Mike said...

@damikesc, one difference between North Carolina, a right of center state, and Maryland, a far left of center state, is that Nifong lost his job and was disbarred but there is no chance in Hell that the same fate awaits Mosby.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said... So it was silly even to bring up — so conspicuously padded — and what reader imagines that it's cool and crisp in Baltimore in September.

Don't these publications usually pay authors by the word?

Brando said...

"@damikesc, one difference between North Carolina, a right of center state, and Maryland, a far left of center state, is that Nifong lost his job and was disbarred but there is no chance in Hell that the same fate awaits Mosby."

I don't know how well the overall political leanings of each of those states transfers to the makeup of their respective bar associations. North Carolina's bar might be as leftist as Maryland's.

Also, Mosby's husband is politically connected, and the racial angle could work in her favor--I think her career is stalled, but I doubt she gets disbarred (though she'd deserve it for something like this).

AReasonableMan said...

Francisco D said...
Do you really think that GW Bush was unqualified to be President after serving effectively as Governor of Texas.


So did Rick Perry. It is a very limited office. No one is working under the impression that Rick Perry would be an adequate president.

Where do you get this idea?

From his remarkably comprehensive failure as a president.

Why does Althouse insist on trolling the problems with black lives, about which she seems to know almost nothing, while ignoring the collapse of poor white society, both compared to previous norms but also relative to rising populations in Asia. Presumably Althouse knows something of this population.

AReasonableMan said...

damikesc said...
Where does that leave Obama?


Most successful Democrat president since FDR.

dbp said...

ARM: "No one is working under the impression that Rick Perry would be an adequate president."

No one? I would bet more than half the readers here think Perry would be incomparably better at the job than Obama has been.

It is however true that the Governor of TX is not a particularly powerful office.

Rick said...

Blogger AReasonableMan said...
More black concern trolling. There are a hell of a lot of whites who have advanced politically who I wouldn't give a job. Why not write about George W. Bush's complete unpreparedness for office?"


This argument parallels the position that BLM's criticism of police is illegitimate because blacks kill more blacks than police do. Both arguments it's illegitimate for the issues to be addressed until some other problem is addressed first.

Revealingly while the logical position is exactly the same ARM reaches different conclusions in each case. Why it's almost like his positions are determined by who benefits politically rather applying consistent principles.

William said...

I don't think this will cost her among black voters. Coleman Young, Sharpe James, even Marion Berry were able to get reelected. It might even help her if this prosecution stimulates white flight from Baltimore and thus solidifies the base. Can anyone point out a black politician who lost support among the black community for being too blatantly anti white?....,I would be encouraged if sometime, somewhere a black politician would step up and say that there is more to fear from criminal behavior than from police misconduct. It has never happened, and, if it should happen, that politician would be soundly defeated by some rival with a crips background to prove street cred.

AReasonableMan said...

Rick said...
Revealingly while the logical position is exactly the same ARM reaches different conclusions in each case.


Demonstrate where I did this.

William said...

Off topic literary observation: the only two 19th century novels that I can recall where black characters had speaking parts were Huckleberry Finn and Uncle Tom's Cabin. Huckleberry Finn is a fine novel, but you can't even write Jim's name anymore. Beyond that, that last chapter, where Tom Sawyer plays childish games with Jim's imprisonment, subverts the whole purpose of the book. As I understand it, Uncle Tom is used more as a term of opprobrium and is seldom read. I know I haven't read it........Gone With The Wind is now considered a racist novel, but the black characters have their own volition and force. They are not acted upon but they themselves act upon the protagonists of the novel. They get to be heroes and villains with their own center of gravity. Lillian Hellman is not considered a racist, but in her southern plays blacks are strictly courteous door openers and coat holders.

Gahrie said...

Harris was plucked from the obscurity of an undistinguished, embryonic career and groomed for political success.

It worked for Obama.

Smilin' Jack said...

When I read that Freddie Gray died of a broken back and a crushed larynx, I thought, "Well, obviously, suicide." But then I read that he was handcuffed at the time, and I'm not sure even Houdini could have accomplished that. So his death remains a mystery. Thank God those cops were acquitted, though, so they can help find the real killers.

Robert Cook said...

I thought that passage you quoted seemed familiar: CATCH-22! It's a sometimes difficult book, but almost always very entertaining as it achieves the status of masterpiece!

I haven't read it in nearly 30 years; perhaps it's time to re-read it.

Robert Cook said...

"Well, the 'national crisis' is fabricated bullshit so it isn't terribly surprising that the fabricated bullshit prosecutions fail."

Actual crises often seem "fabricated" to those whose lives are comfortably untouched by them.

Robert Cook said...

"His first opponent flunked out of two graduate programs. His second opponent was a blatant opportunist who specialized in marrying rich women and faking injuries to get out of Viet Nam."

As opposed to GW Bush, whose daddy got him into the Texas Air National Guard...to get out of Viet Nam.

buwaya said...

"the only two 19th century novels that I can recall where black characters had speaking parts were Huckleberry Finn and Uncle Tom's Cabin."

Vanity Fair (Miss Swartz)

buwaya said...

"I thought that passage you quoted seemed familiar: CATCH-22! It's a sometimes difficult book, but almost always very entertaining as it achieves the status of masterpiece!"

I never found it difficult as such. How so?

Bruce Hayden said...

As opposed to GW Bush, whose daddy got him into the Texas Air National Guard...to get out of Viet Nam.

Complete lie. Popular on the left, but repeatedly debunked. At the time, pilot slots in the TANG were going begging, since they required a much more significant commitment than did other alternatives. Plus, Bush did volunteer to go to Vietnam at one point.

Robert Cook said...

"I never found it difficult as such. How so?"

It's hard for me to recall now...it being decades since I read the book. I just have a vague memory of it being sometimes a tad slow going. Perhaps I'm collecting into my own memories the opinions of people I know who've tried to read it and didn't like it. I do recall enjoying it very much for the most part, and then thinking the chapter "The Eternal City," the chapter where Yossarian walks through the the devastated city, was a knockout, and really blew my mind. That's when I decided the book was a masterpiece.

Robert Cook said...

@Bruce Hayden: where has it been "completely debunked" that Bush's father helped him get into the Texas Air National Guard? Given Bush's low score on the pilot aptitude test, the lowest acceptable score, was the TANG that desperate for pilots they would scoop Bush up without some higher influence?

As to your assertion that "...Bush did volunteer to go to Vietnam at one point," where is there evidence of this? Bush may have claimed--then or later--that he "wanted to go to Vietnam," but is there evidence he filled out the paper work? If he wanted to go, why wasn't he sent? In cursory Googling, I see that "others" claim Bush wanted to go to Vietnam but didn't have enough flight hours to be approved. Well, assuming for argument's sake Bush really did make any kind of claim he wanted to go to Vietnam--whether he just mouthed off about it or actually filled out a formal request for transfer--we can be sure he knew he didn't have enough flight hours to be approved, and thus his alleged claim of a desire to go was a pretense, a feint at appearing gung ho. It's easy to act brave when you know there's little chance you'll be required to prove yourself.

Roughcoat said...

Bush flew the F-102 Delta Dagger, an interceptor-type fighter designed to defend the CONUS against Soviet bombers. It was not designed for air-superiority combat (i.e. fighter v. fighter) nor ground attack and consequently turned in rather average performances in both roles during its limited deployments to Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. It is for that reason unlikely that that Bush's F-102 squadron or Bush himself would have deployed to the war theater. National Guard fighter units were/are typically tasked for the home defense of CONUS. Also it bears mentioning that the F-102 was a very difficult plane to fly -- even dangerous. Pilots trained and experienced in flying the F-102 were valuable assets and generally not transferred to other aircraft types.

Roughcoat said...

I like Bush but I will say that there are good reasons for arguing that he was unsatisfactory as president. His military service, however, is not a a good reason to dislike him. He served honorably and well, flying the most dangerous plane in the USAF's inventory. Just strapping on the F-102 and getting it off the ground required a degree of bravery that most us will never need. The issue of Bush's military service is a non-issue in the same sense that Obama birtherism is a non-issue.

Jupiter said...

"In the midst of a national crisis of police violence, Baltimore’s state’s attorney gambled that prosecuting six officers for the death of Freddie Gray would help heal her city. She lost much more than just the case."

Am I the only person who thinks that an opportunity to "heal" Philadelphia is not a sufficient excuse for bringing false charges against six blameless police officers? Never mind her bad judgment. The woman isn't just a reckless idiot, she's also an amoral criminal. I hope she lost more than just the case.

Jupiter said...

“Without real, substantive reforms,” she said, “we could try this case 100 times, and cases just like it, and still wind up with the same result.”

Has it crossed her mind that what she is criticizing is either the evidence she presented, or the black judge who heard it?

Something tells me crossing her mind is a short journey, but one that is seldom made.

Bruce Hayden said...

Apparently, some of the pilots in Bush's TANG unit were selected to go to Vietnam, but he apparently was not, because he apparently did not have enough flight hours. His volunteering to go was corroborated by multiple people, including two TANG colonels and several fellow pilots. The interesting thing there is that Dan Rather's producer, Mary Mapes, apparently knew this from at least 1999, but still pushed the Bush was a coward story despite it. And, that Cook still subornly sticks to her story, debunked so thoroughly in 2004. (Some of the cooboration comes from the CBS report on Mapes' and Rather's fake but supposedly accurate story that got both of them fired).

JAORE said...

Ahhh Cookie. Trotting out the old Fake but too Juicy to be Abandoned bit.

Sammy Finkelman said...

>> who kept trying cases against defendants long after there was any chance of a conviction?

She preferred to have the croiminal justice system find them not guilty rather than withdrawthe charges herself. But she deserves credit for not trying too hard to win.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Jupiter said...9/28/16, 8:35 PM

Am I the only person who thinks that an opportunity to "heal" Philadelphia [sic - should be Baltimore] is not a sufficient excuse for bringing false charges against six blameless police officers? Never mind her bad judgment. The woman isn't just a reckless idiot, she's also an amoral criminal. I hope she lost more than just the case.

So is Barack Obama and especially Eric Holder, who pushed Florida into trying George Zimmerman. So in general is Barack Obama because although the Justice Department found taht the witnesses alleging Michael brown in Ferguson had no credibiliy, it was played down, so taht till today's say it is cited as an example of policemen killing people. What's going on is the opposite of healing because that can only come from the truth.