Applauding The Chauvin Verdict Is Premature

The jury deliberated for 10 hours, and the verdict is in, convicted on all counts. Derrick Chauvin is going to prison. The country can breathe a collective sigh of relief. The Twin Cities and other places won’t burn. The Justice System works. No, the System failed, and it did it big time. 

Do I think Derrick Chauvin was innocent? In a June 2020 post, “A Different Perspective,” I expressed the thought it might’ve been intentional murder. There were reports Chauvin and Floyd worked at the same club and might’ve known each other. A grudge leads to Chauvin’s deadly measures. Just indifference didn’t seem to explain what happened. I never thought he was innocent.

The problem is the handling of the trial. If ever a case needed a change of venue, this was it. It had every element needed to move the proceeding elsewhere. Massive publicity was only the beginning. The Twin Cities already had experienced riots over this murder. A police precinct station torched. Ignoring fear and possible intimidation isn’t an option. It’s not as if there weren’t other options, such as Duluth, available.

Judge Peter Cahil, entering his courthouse, saw the fences and concrete barricades. Did he think they were there for decoration? He had to be aware of the combustibility of the Twin Cities area. Continued demonstrations and unlawful occupation of part of the county continued throughout the process.

Under similar circumstances, a judge granted O.J. Simpson’s defense a change of venue. Judge Cahill ignored the cloud of fear overhanging the Twin cities, even though this could lead to the intimidation of jurors or witnesses. Cahill made his first error.

If his courthouse fortifications didn’t give Cahill pause, it indeed came into play when the jury was selected. A dismissed juror put it this way, “I was sort of thinking it’s going to snowball; it’s going to get bigger and bigger as the days go by, and I don’t know if I want to deal with all that comes with that,” he said in court. “The media attention, the people outside the courthouse, all the guards and stuff, it’s just a lot for me to take in.” Joseph H. Low IV, a Los Angeles criminal defense and civil trial lawyer, told ABC News that he expects the bolstered security to continue to have a chilling effect on selecting a jury.

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Before You Leave Home

Comments by tfjp on the last post are worthy of discussion. Rather than a simple reply, the vaccine-proof controversy needs more deliberation. A mobile proof of immunity is often if somewhat inaccurately, referred to as a vaccine passport. The idea has stirred up a lot of resistance across the nation. Indeed, the concept of a passport conjures up the idea of all sorts of fears of government interference and knowledge of your personal information. I share these concerns. Nowhere in the post”Getting Out Of Jail,” did I advocate for the U.S. government to issue a single form of immunity proof and make it mandatory to show it to participate in life. The hope was to voluntarily get people together and agree on a single standard of proof.

The point is made we already have the proof of vaccination. Those little white paper CDC cards we received when we got our shots show it to anybody needing to know. The cards are flimsy but no different from Social Security or Medicare Cards. To preserve them, take the card to Staples or OfficeMax for free laminating. Problem solved.

We discussed what day to take our cards for laminating as we did with our Medicare cards, but I got a news alert; Phizer says we will likely need a booster shot. No problem, we have empty lines on our cards. Just add the booster info. Not possible on a laminated card. Hoping a CDC that designed these flimsy cards will develop a system of issuing new cards showing your vaccine history to replace your now useless card is truly an act of faith. Better not to mess with your card.

Perhaps a real-life example of travel in the Covid Era will illustrate the problems. For the last two years, we’ve had cruises to Iceland canceled because of the Pandemic. We noticed recently, Iceland is open for visiting for those with proof of Covid Immunity. At present, they will accept our CDC cards. Sounds great. Now we have to get there from Phoenix. The rule is to get on a plane; you need a negative Covid test. Checking with American Airlines, they recommended a quick turnaround $119 test. Be sure to start the process at least five days before the flight. When you get to the airport, you’ll wait in line to check test info. 

The lines could be shorter or avoided if we emulated TSA Pre-Check for those with proof of immunity. American suggests the Verifly App. to upload your test info. It could help with American Airlines and some other Airlines, but at present vaccine, proof doesn’t work getting you on a plane. At the moment, it only shows Covid Test results. However, if rules are changed to accept evidence of immunity along with e of test results, the app can do it. After all, why do the immune need a covid test?

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Are Things Getting Even Stranger?

In the last post, I explored the “Holt Doctrine,” whereby a news outlet could exclude any information not conforming to its idea of truth. This exclusion, of course, is highly subjective and has no place in real journalism. Now, something else seems to be a play in some parts of the media. If some news is embarrassing to the side you favor, don’t bring it up.

Since Biden’s inauguration, we have been our Southern Border flooded with children seeking asylum. Young children’s images of being dropped from the 14′ border fence and a crying child wandering in the desert have appeared in some places. Photos have emerged of children penned in overcrowded conditions. The press excluded from investigating. All this after President Biden undid the Trump Administration’s procedures. All this cries out for answers. 

Yet three of the four Major weekend news shows never saw the Border even come up. Only Fox News, Sunday with Cris Wallace, discussed the situation with the governor of Texas. CBS’s Face the Nation, ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, and NBC’s Meet the Press were free of Border questions. When a similar situation occurred during the Trump Administration, it played endlessly across the major networks.

Only Trump negotiated arrangements with Mexico gained control of the problem. As soon as Biden took power, he undid the agreements. Even though the situation looks like a crisis, the president hasn’t visited the Border. He delegated his Vice-President, Kamala Harris, to run point on the Border, but she hasn’t gone there either. With a high number of positive covid tests among the children, health concerns are evident. Yet Biden’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Athony Fauci, or any of his staff have gone down there to investigate.

Can anybody imagine Donald Trump getting away with any of this? The networks seem to be working on the assumption if we play down or ignore a messy situation, the people depending on them for information won’t notice.

CBS’s Face the Nation did have time to promote the Networks signature news program, 60 minutes. However, a week-long controversy over a 60-Minute segment blasting Florida Republican Gov. DeSantis over an alleged “pay for play vaccine scam,” was never mentioned. Florida Democrats involved in giving the contract to a grocery chain roundly debunked the story. That probably played a part in not bringing it up. 

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A Holt Jolt & Other Observations

“I think it’s become clearer that fairness is overrated,” so said Lester Holt, the anchor of the NBC Nightly news. “Before you run off and tweet that headline, let me explain a bit. The idea that we should always give two sides equal weight and merit does not reflect the world we find ourselves in. That the sun sets in the west is a fact. Any contrary view does not deserve our time or attention.” Sounds right until you put his statement in perspective. Even sunrises and sunsets are viewed differently at the South Pole than in New York. 

The problem of this kind of statement from a journalist (The nightly News is a news show, not an opinion) is who chooses what and who to exclude. Most things in the news aren’t as straightforward as 2 & 2=4. Providently, we have a test case of the “Holt Doctrine” in CCN’s recent news special, “COVID WAR: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out.” The six doctors responsible for the previous Administration’s COVID-19 response reflect on the past year with CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. 

This group of doctors formed Trump’s medical team, and he initially relied on their information and advice. Given billions of dollars annually, the federal medical establishment is there to protect us against epidemics. These were the “experts” to use “science” to guide us safely through a crisis.  

On the special, the doctors informed Gupta Trump thwarted them from doing their job. The President gave mixed messages and put the economy before deaths. After the initial lockdowns, Trump called for re-opening. Instead of relying on this team, “there were too many parallel streams of data,” Birx said. 

“These parallel data streams, you think they originated with Scott Atlas?” Gupta asked. Dr.Atlas, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, joined the Administration as an advisor in August 2020. Supposedly misleading information coming from Atlas was enough for Birx to refuse to attend meetings with him. I told people I would not be in a meeting with Dr. Atlas again,” she said. “I felt very strongly that I didn’t want an action that legitimized in any way his position.”

There you have it; these doctors setting forth the “science” but were foiled by Trump and his Rasputin, Dr. Atlas. This alliance, according to Dr. Birx, lead to tens of thousands of additional deaths. Thank goodness for Dr. Fauci. “The decision we made on January 10 to go all-out and develop a vaccine, may have been the best decision that I’ve ever made with regard to intervention as the director of the institute,” claimed Dr. Fauci.

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