The Freddie Gray Case, Update 35.7.2: None Are So Blind…


Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 8.57.17 PMIn the aftermath of a verdict like that delivered in the Caesar Goodson case, stealth tends to be stripped away. People reveal their true colors.

As I’ve often written, progressives, for it is virtually universally progressives that are social justice true believers and sympathizers, are usually woefully uninformed about the facts of such cases, and the Goodson case is no exception. This tends to be so because they consume only reliably progressive news and opinion sources, which tend to produce comments like that of the late Pauline Kael, a writer for The New Yorker, who, horrified by the defeat of George McGovern by Richard Nixon is said to have observed that result was impossible because she didn’t know anyone that voted for Nixon. I’m sure as a New York journalist she didn’t, which is the point: such people wrap themselves in a progressive bubble, impervious to other ideas, to any and all contrary evidence, to the truth.

The same is true with the Freddie Gray case (the SMM Gray case archive is here) and its separate trials. Anyone paying attention only to progressive sources would believe only the social justice Narrative. Goodson’s acquittal, therefore, would come as a shock. Every left-thinking person knows that the innocent Freddie Gray, a person of color, was the helpless victim of an evil police conspiracy. How could any of them have possibly been found not guilty? It’s an outrage! A miscarriage of (social) justice!

Continue reading

Book Review: Liberty’s Last Stand


Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 8.15.19 PMLiberty’s Last Stand, by Stephen Coonts, Regnery, 2016.

Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. . . . The right of the citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against tyranny, which now appears remote in America, that historically has proven to be always possible.’

Hubert Humphrey

Humphrey, one of the most prominent Democrats of the last century, recognized the importance of upholding the Constitution, particularly the Second Amendment, because Freedom cannot be taken for granted. That’s a lesson contemporary Democrats choose to ignore, as they recently did in a sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives, behaving like an undisciplined mob in the hope of destroying the rights to keep and bear arms and due process. The Age of Obama has inspired, and been filled with, such sordid scenes.


Continue reading

Movie Review: Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)


Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 3.35.35 PMIndependence Day: Resurgence (2016)

Directed By: Roland Emmerich

Written By: Roland Emmerich, Dean Devlin, Nicholas Wright, James A Woods, James Vanderbilt


Liam Hemsworth: Jake Morrison

Jeff Goldblum: David Levinson

Bill Pullman: President Whitmore

Brent Spiner: Dr. Brackish Okun

Jessie T. Usher: Capt. Dylan Hiller

Maika Monroe: Patricia Whitmore

Sela Ward: President Lanford

William Fichtner: General Adams

Vivica A. Fox: Jasmine Hiller

Charlotte Gainsbourg: Catherine Marceaux

Deobia Oparei: Dikembe UMbutu

Judd Hirsch: Julius Levinson

I thoroughly enjoyed Independence Day (1996).  It’s fascinating, and a little daunting, to realize I saw that movie two decades ago. Time indeed flies. It’s a movie one can see again and again. Its slightly corny emotion and appeal to patriotism and the nobility of humanity doesn’t go out of style. God grant it never will, something that doesn’t seem a sure thing these days.

Continue reading

Great Oration Matters


Daniel Hannan

Daniel Hannan: Great Orator

As a teacher of the mother tongue–American, not British, English–I honor and appreciate those that truly speak well. I, a Texan, live in abject fear of saying “ya’ll,” and mortal fear of the double plural “ya’ll, ya’ll.” Every teaching day, I struggle to require of my students such exotica as consonants, so that instead of this: “eh ih ih auh oo?” they must say instead: “when is this paper due?”

Not a great orator

Not a great orator

When media talking heads–who usually speak from an orifice other than their pie-holes–proclaim Barack Obama the greatest orator since Demosthenes, I shake my head in frustration. Actually, they don’t make that comparison. Most have no idea who Demosthenes was, nor do they have a clue how to pronounce his name, so they don’t try. Take the link, if you please, to see what a great orator Mr. Obama isn’t.

But if you wish to see and hear a truly great orator, take this link to see a 13 minute speech by Conservative Briton Daniel Hannan. You’ll see what I mean, and perhaps have a renewed appreciation for logic, clarity, and sincerity. Think of it as a palette cleanser for the mind.

Watcher’s Council Results For 06-24-16


Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 6.50.54 PMAs a member of the Watcher’s Council, I nominate one of my own pieces every week for our weekly literary contest, having no idea whether it will find favor, and knowing well the uniformly high quality of the competition. I am always surprised, and humbled, when my colleagues choose one of my wretched scribblings, as they did this week. By all means, take the links and read the rest, some of the finest work on the Internet.

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.

“Americans have the right to choose to be unarmed and helpless. Be my guest.” – Ted Nugent

“The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.” – Jeff Cooper, Art of The Rifle

“There are no dangerous weapons. There are only dangerous men.”– Robert A. Heinle

This week’s winning essayStately McDaniel Manor’s A Post-Orlando AR-15 Primer is one of those rare gems of the blogosphere – a very well written, compact, information packed source of practical knowledge by someone who knows what he’s talking about. Here’s a slice:


The recent Jihadist slaughter of Americans in Orlando is a crisis Mr. Obama and his sycophantic minions are determined not to allow to go to waste. Accordingly, he has come up with a typically Obamite plan to deal with Islamist terror: disarm law-abiding Americans who pose no threat to anyone. Fox News reports: 

Being tough on terrorism — particularly the sorts of homegrown terrorism that we’ve seen now in Orlando and San Bernardino — means making it harder for people who want to kill Americans to get their hands on assault weapons that are capable of killing dozens of innocents as quickly as possible,’ Obama said in his weekly radio address. ‘That’s something I’ll continue to talk about in the weeks ahead.

Hillary Clinton, who has never seen an anti-liberty, gun control idea she did not embrace, was true to form:

As the article is on the SMM site, I’ll cut this short. To read the rest of the article, take this link, or merely scroll down.
Continue reading

The Freddie Gray Case, Update 35.7: Caesar Goodson Acquitted On All Counts


Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 10.21.01 AMOfficer Caesar Goodson has been found not guilty of all charges. Judge Barry Williams used the three days between closing arguments and this morning–06-23-16–to good effect, producing a careful and professional ruling, available in PDF form here. I recommend that anyone interested in learning how the courts should function read Judge Williams’ verdict and its clearly expressed justification. I will be referring to parts of it.

For everyone that loves the Constitution, liberty and the rule of law that makes liberty possible, any joy over the verdict should be tempered with the knowledge that these cases are not yet over. The careers and lives of the officers still hang in the balance. Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby’s decision to pursue these cases without clear, sufficient evidence to prove the elements of the excessive and overlapping charges has caused enormous damage, far more than most imagine. The damage continues. There will be no winners, but more on that later. First, a sampling of comments from various sources:

Continue reading

The Freddie Gray Case, Update 35.6: The Prosecution Suborns Perjury


credit: legalinsurrection

credit: legalinsurrection

Now we know. From nearly the beginning of this case, such as in Update 5: Probable Causeless, I’ve written that the warrant affidavits–the probable cause statements supporting the requests for warrants for the arrests of the officers–were devoid of probable cause of any crime. In fact, they were virtually identical, cut and pasted, having no specificity toward the supposed crimes committed by the individual officers.

Major Sam Cogen credit:

Major Sam Cogen

I’ve repeatedly written that the man that signed the affidavits, Major Sam Cogen of the Baltimore City Sheriff’s Department, had no apparent involvement in the investigation and therefore, by signing the affidavits, was essentially committing perjury. Anyone signing such a document swears that everything in it is not only the truth, but the complete truth. If he had no actual knowledge of the investigation, claiming that he did by signing those affidavits, was essentially, and in fact, perjury.

Now we know; he had no involvement at all. Fox reports (thanks to regular reader Marc for the media links!):

Continue reading




Epiphany–noun: (1) a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3) an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure (b) a revealing scene or moment.

I had one of these last night while thinking about what I wanted to do for my weekly education article. There is never a lack of material, but I try to avoid the overdone and common. And then it came to me, a sudden burst of insight, an epiphany: write an article about epiphanies in education, and encourage readers to add their own! Let’s do just that, shall we, gentle readers? If not, I’ll send “does not work and play well with others” notes home to your mommies.

It is epiphanies teachers live for, those “light bulb” moments when a student suddenly “gets it.” It’s impossible to tell when they will happen. A teacher may be presenting the most brilliant lesson they’ve ever conceived, sure that it will advance the knowledge and understanding of their students, but see not glimmer of insight. Yet, at the strangest times, kids suddenly sit up straight, a look of delighted wonder engulfs them, and a thousand watt bulb flares into life above their pointed little heads. I know this could also be a hormonal release at the thought of a girlfriend, but usually, it’s an epiphany, and often, they’re anxious to share it.

Continue reading