The passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg dominated the weekend headlines, and will further destabilize an already whacky election campaign in its last six weeks. But the death of an all but unknown American may be more telling about the pitiful state of the country:
Nebraska bar owner Jake Gardner, charged in fatal shooting of unarmed Black protester, dies by suicide, attorney says
Way back on May 30th, in that hinge moment of the year when spring turned to summer and lockdown turned to looting, Jake Gardner found a mob of "mostly peaceful protesters" being mostly peaceful about the death of George Floyd outside his bar, the Hive & Gatsby's, in downtown Omaha. His windows were broken, and his dad was getting shoved around. Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine, using the surveillance footage, walked his audience through the critical moments:
Gardner came up, asking, "Who did that? Who pushed my dad?" Someone was heard in the video saying, "he has a gun on him," referring to Gardner. Kleine draws attention to the fact that windows are seen broken out of the bar.
Kleine said the video shows a group of people surrounding Gardner, tackling him and Gardner firing two warning shots. Kleine said Scurlock jumps on Gardner and and the bar owner fires another shot, fatally wounding Scurlock.
Kleine said Gardner is heard saying, "Get off me, get off me, please get off me," before the final shot is fired.
The County Attorney's conclusion:
Kleine said the determination has been made that the shooting was in self-defense.
That would appear to be correct as a point of law. But this is America in 2020, with an evil and politicized justice system. Protests continued and the weakling Kleine's worthless office came under pressure from #BlackLivesMatter - in particular an influential activist called JaKeen Fox who served on Omaha's LGBTQWERTY advisory board and enjoys a good cop killing. So a week later the County Attorney caved and washed his hands:
On June 1, Donald W. Kleine, the Douglas County attorney, announced his decision not to bring a case against Mr. Gardner. A week later, Mr. Kleine said in a statement that after hearing from local residents and elected officials that he would welcome an outside review "in this rare instance." He added, "I made a decision and I would not change that decision based on everything I know today."
Yeah, but who cares what you think? The minute he tossed it to a politically pressured "outside review", Jake Gardner's life was over. On Friday a judge signed off on the "special prosecutor"'s arrest warrant.
Mr Gardner had launched a legal defense fundraising appeal on GoFundMe. Can you guess what GoFundMe did next, boys and girls?
Yes, they shut it down. And in the craphole of American justice, if you haven't the money to fight a long legal battle, you can't win a long legal battle. Believe me, I know from experience. Ann Coulter summarizes the last four months of Jake Gardner's life thus:
Jake Gardner killed protester while defending his bar during BLM riots.
D.A. & police find shooting was in self-defense.
Under pressure, D.A. appoints black prosecutor to indict Gardner.
Gardner's GoFundMe page taken down.
Gardner commits suicide.
Will Mr Kleine and the other wretched poltroons of Omaha officialdom have a moment of regret over their actions? I won't even bother wasting your time with that, since we covered it more or less in an episode of The Prisoner of Windsor back in the summer.
Jake Gardner was a Marine and a Trump supporter. You can get a sense of him here, back in January 2017:
I won't link to the Twitterfeasting on his suicide. It is not yet true that half the country wishes the other half dead, but significant numbers certainly do.
The emails usually run something like:
Steyn, I'm a principled rock-ribbed conservative who wants to support other principled conservatives, but the only way I can do that is by sluicing my donation through a de facto monopoly run by woke billionaires opposed to everything I believe...
Thanks but no thanks, Mister Conservative. When I guest-host for Rush, we occasionally post some official audio from iHeart, as with my Donald Trump Jr interview. Thomas Ahern, another rock-ribbed conservative so rock-ribbed his rock-ribbed Twitter handle is "Western Patriot", doesn't care for the "audio controls" on such iHeart embeds, so demands:
The audio has terrible controls, PLEASE post audio on youtube
What kind of "Western Patriot" wants to transfer even more power to YouTube (which is a subsidiary of Google, which is a subsidiary of Global Thought Control, Inc)? What kind of "Western Patriot" will pledge his life, fortune and his sacred honor but only so long as he can do it on a monopoly platform owned by totalitarian control freaks? I take it Mr Ahern is a Rush listener. If so, all the years he's listened are negated by his wish to make Rush just another wholly owned subsidiary of Google YouTube. How much more of your country do you have to lose before you get serious?
Oh, and if you think Google/Facebook/Twitter/GoFundMe lean against conservatives now, you ain't seen nuthin' yet if they win in six weeks' time. God save us from Twitter dress-up "patriots". This cartel is already more powerful than your constitution, and will eventually nullify it.
~On a lighter note (there aren't many, but we strive to find them), John Hinderaker (of Powerline and the Center of the American Experiment) turned seventy over the weekend. I would have enjoyed a big non-socially-distanced beano at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, but, alas, the jubilations had to be vitual. Here are my Saturday-night birthday greetings to John:
~It was a busy weekend at SteynOnline, starting with the weekend edition of The Mark Steyn Show weighing the competing merits in a locked down world of Van Morrison and Boris Johnson; and how to have a floppo political campaign and still come out with a beach house and a Ferrari - plus Baptists and Cuties, Princeton's racism, Mickey Rooney's songwriting, and much more. My Saturday column marked the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Kathy Shaidle's weekend movie date considered a very particular woman's face, and hands, and wardrobe. Our Sunday song selection was in autumnal and elegaic mode. If you were too busy threatening to burn down the United States Senate this weekend, I hope you'll want to check out one or three of the foregoing as a new week begins.