Sorry, my titling cells have taken the day off.
1. As I Was Saying...
America was originally settled by white Europeans, mostly from England, France, and the Netherlands. Those persons brought their religious, moral, and civic values with them. Those values are embedded in America’s political structure as expressed in the Constitution of the United States and the various state charters. Had the populace been of another stock, it’s unlikely our political order would be what it is.
Herschel Smith, who really belongs in the blogroll, expands on the religious aspect:
I was never concerned about the character of Trump. I was concerned about the lack of the world view associated with being a Christian. I reject out of hand the obscene, stupid and insulting phrase “co-religionist.” You don’t get to do a few things like a Muslim and declare yourself a Christian (John 3:8). It involves a change of heart, and then quite out of your control and necessarily, a change of world and life view over time.
The Christian worldview flows from the Ten Commandments and the Two Great Commandments to which they’re anchored. Yet those constraints appear weak even among many self-described Christians. Consider one only: Thou shalt not steal. Surely that would also forbid accepting goods stolen by some third party. Yet at this time, perhaps one American in three is a receiver of stolen goods, the “active agent” of the theft being a government.
Without a renascence of that worldview, the United States will never recover its Constitutional order.
2. Yet More Evidence That Bad Things Come In Threes.
First it was the Galaxy Note 7 tablet. Then it was the Galaxy S7 cellphone. You’ve got to feel at least a little sorry for Samsung:
Samsung and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission are recalling 2.8 million of Samsung's top-loading washing machines after reports that 730 units exploded, resulting in nine injuries, the CPSC announced today on “Good Morning America.”
“We’re talking about ... a very serious hazard of the top of these washing machines completely blowing off,” Elliot Kaye, the chairman of the CPSC, told “GMA” Investigates in an interview that aired Friday on “GMA.” “It is a lot of reports.”
Kaye said the tops of the affected units weren’t “secured enough based on a design failure. And the top just completely blows off.”
The recall affects 34 of Samsung's top-loading models that were sold from March 2011 to November 2016.
I own a Samsung television, and since the news about the Galaxy explosions (quasars?) I’ve been sitting just a little farther away from it than previously. Maybe I’m not far enough away yet.
3. Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied.
That’s an old principle of Anglo-American law. It finds its American expression in the Sixth Amendment:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
In this case, that right also pertains to persons who aren’t parties to the court action:
CHARLOTTESVILLE — A federal court jury decided Friday that a Rolling Stone journalist defamed a former University of Virginia associate dean in a 2014 magazine article about sexual assault on campus that included a debunked account of a fraternity gang rape....
The lawsuit centered on [Sabrina Rubin] Erdely’s 9,000-word article titled “A Rape on Campus,” which appeared online in late November 2014 and on newsstands in the magazine’s December 2014 issue. Opening with a graphic depiction of a fraternity gang rape, the story caused an immediate sensation at a time of heightened awareness of campus sexual assault, going viral online and reverberating through the U-Va. community.
But within days of the article’s publication, key elements of the account fell apart under scrutiny, including the narrative’s shocking allegation of a fraternity gang rape. The magazine eventually retracted the story in April 2015, and Eramo’s lawsuit came a month later, alleging that the magazine’s portrayal of her as callous and dismissive of rape reports on campus was untrue and unfair.
The story was a lie from the first word to the last. Nicole Eramo wasn’t the only victim of the slander. Erdely’s malice toward fraternities and men generally could not have been better documented. The members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity her story accused were badly defamed, and all of UVa’s fraternities were placed under extremely restrictive rules on the basis of Erdely’s fabrication.
But wait: Surely Rolling Stone should be allowed a few words about the matter, right? Well, here they are:
In a statement after the verdict, Rolling Stone said that the magazine, for nearly 50 years, has aimed to produce journalism “with the highest reporting and ethical standards, and with a humanistic point of view,” noting that Erdely’s story attempted “to tackle the very serious and complex topic of sexual assault on college campuses.”
“In our desire to present this complicated issue from the perspective of a survivor, we overlooked reporting paths and made journalistic mistakes that we are committed to never making again,” Rolling Stone said in the statement. “We deeply regret these missteps and sincerely apologize to anyone hurt by them, including Ms. Eramo. It is our deep hope that our failings do not deflect from the pervasive issues discussed in the piece, and that reporting on sexual assault cases ultimately results in campus policies that better protect our students.”
Yet another lie from the first word to the last. Rolling Stone is the epitome of irresponsible pseudo-journalism. Its editors’ sole regret is that they got caught. If there’s a publication more inclined toward sensationalism and less inclined to perform “due diligence,” I’m unaware of its existence.
4. Concerning The Witnesses.
This Thursday piece included some fairly harsh words about the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I meant them when I wrote them, and in the context of the event I described, I mean them still. Yet it’s important that I state the following explicitly:
- Witnesses are sincere about their beliefs and sincerely believe others would benefit from them.
- Not all Witnesses are obnoxiously aggressive or won’t take “go away” for an answer.
- Proselytes for other creeds (e.g., Mormonism) have at times been just as hard to deflect as the Witness I described.
- As is often the case, excessive “sales pressure” from a few has probably resulted in an undeserved bad reputation for the Witnesses generally.
Please bear that in mind.