June 21, 2017

Wondering on Wednesday (v92)

Another Wednesday already?  Where does the time go?

As I expected, talk about everyone 'coming together' in the wake of the shooting in Alexandria lasted only a few news cycles; now, we get a very brief update on Steve Scalise's condition, and we move on to the latest severe weather threat.

I did have to wonder what on earth the punditry thought was going to happen when the Dems and Reps got ready to play their charity ball game? Were they expecting them to stand on opposite baselines glaring at each other or something? Did the multi-million dollar talking heads forget that this game has been played since the early 1900's, without rancor, to raise money for charity?

What was up with all of the amazement shown when the two teams knelt in prayer before the game began? And why was it seemingly so hard for people to understand that maybe the Congressmen (and women) are human beings, regardless of how different their opinions and ideas? Of course, that makes me wonder, if this had been a contest between the gangs from Infowars, Breitbart and Fox News on one team and The Washington Post, The Rachel Maddow Show, and CNN on the other, what would they have done under the same circumstances?

Last week also had me wondering about three widely publicized court cases: the Bill Cosby trial, the Jeronimo Yanez trial, and the Michelle Carter trial.

In the first case, the jury of five women and seven men deadlocked after some 50 hours of deliberation, and a mistrial was declared. The prosecution vowed to try the case again, but I wonder if the outcome will be different. That dozens of women have claimed Cosby did to them what he did to the alleged victim in this case - drugs as foreplay followed by unwanted sexual advances - may not matter when push comes to shove about sending America's Dad to jail. It's not just that those other women cannot bring criminal cases themselves, due to statutes of limitations, but even if their stories do come in as indicative of a pattern of behavior, it's that they might not be believed, anyway.

The second case involved the police officer who shot Philando Castile less than a minute after pulling him over for faulty brake lights, or because he resembled a suspect the police were looking for. Either way, Castile ended up dead after Yanez fired seven shots into the car (five of which hit their intended target) in which Castile's girlfriend Diamond Reynolds and her four year old daughter were passengers. The police video released after the trial was the second one to become famous in this case; the first was the one that captured the aftermath of the shooting, filmed by Reynolds. Yanez was found not guilty of second degree manslaughter and intentional discharge of a firearm that endangers safety.

Finally, the last case involved the Massachusetts woman who was charged with - and convicted of - involuntary manslaughter because she encouraged her boyfriend to commit suicide, after he had threatened to do so many times.  There were thousands of texts between the two teens presented as evidence, but it was phone calls the night of the suicide that led a judge to find her guilty. Carter, now 20 years old, could be sentenced to that many years in prison in August.

I can't help wondering how we can see a police officer acquitted of involuntary manslaughter after firing seven shots in the close quarters of a vehicle's driver's seat, while a woman is convicted of the same charge for firing only words across a communications network.

I have not been able to wrap my arms around this, and to be honest, I'm not sure I want to.