Sesquicentennial

It’s been a century and a half since the beginning of one of the (if not the) most consequential battles of American (and indeed, world) history. It was the beginning of the end for the southern cause, particularly after Grant took Vicksburg the day after the end of the battle, cutting the south in two and freeing him up to come east command the army that would eventually become the greatest the world had known up to that time.

[Update later morning]

Some thoughts from George Will.

The battle is also a sharp rebuke to those who claim that violence never solves anything. Ultimately, it solved slavery in America.

The Backwards Trial

resumes:

Unlike Zimmerman’s account, the accounts of the prosecution witnesses would change, abruptly and dramatically, and certainly not to Zimmerman’s benefit.

Following opening statements, the prosecution normally produces a succession of fact witnesses, people that can testify to the facts — the evidence — necessary to establish the elements of the offense and to prove that the defendant committed it. Their ultimate job is to leave no room for reasonable doubt. In this case, the prosecution must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman did not act in self-defense.

But this is the George Zimmerman prosecution: a backwards case where the roles of the prosecution and defense are reversed.

Normally, prosecutors are careful to fully question each prosecution witness to obtain all of the evidence their testimony can produce. They do this so that the defense is not able to reveal previously undisclosed evidence, which tends to suggest prosecutorial concealment. But during the first week of this case, the prosecution established a pattern of asking only the bare minimum of their witnesses. In virtually every case, defense cross-examination reveals a great deal the prosecutors avoided bringing to light, and that information either fully supports George’s Zimmerman’s unchanging account, casts doubt on the “narrative” — which is actually the prosecution’s case — or both.

This bizarre turn of events has caused the prosecutors, particularly Bernie de la Rionda, to engage in the spectacle of aggressively cross-examining their own witnesses, trying to get them to mischaracterize, ignore, disown, or soft-pedal their testimony.

Another and disturbing pattern established by prosecution witnesses is that of changing their testimony in significant and ethically questionable ways. A number of prosecution witnesses have testified to important changes in their prior testimony they never before mentioned — not in multiple law enforcement interviews or depositions. This directly suggests that they’ve not only been coached, but perhaps that the subornation of perjury is involved.

Why is this not prosecutorial misconduct?

Egypt

…and “smart diplomacy“:

The demonstrators maintain Morsi has become a power-hungry autocrat who is intent on making the Muslim Brotherhood Egypt’s permanent ruling party.

They also blame the Obama administration and U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson for propping up Morsi and facilitating the Muslim Brotherhood’s power grab.

“We are very critical of the Obama administration because they have been supporting the Brotherhood like no one has ever supported them,” Shadi Al Ghazali Harb, a 24-year-old member of Egypt’s Revolutionary Youth Coalition, told the Washington Free Beacon on Friday afternoon during a telephone interview from Cairo.

The White House is “the main supporter of the Brotherhood,” he said. “If it wasn’t for the American support this president would have fallen months ago.”

Al Ghazali Harb specifically dubbed Patterson “the first enemy of the revolution,” claiming “she is hated even more than Morsi.”

Activists hung pictures of Patterson with a red “X” drawn across her face at Egypt’s Defense Ministry during smaller protests Friday afternoon.

“She’s done a lot to harm our relations with the United States,” Al Ghazali Harb said.

This administration’s done a lot of harm to a lot of countries’ relations with the United States. Not to mention our national security.

But “Bain!!” and “War on women!” (not counting Muslim women, of course), and 47%!!,” and “dog in a crate.”

[Update a few minutes later]

I would assume that the administration’s excuse for not siding with the protesters (despite the biggest protest in the history of the world) is that to remove Morsi (e.g., via military coup) would somehow be “undemocratic.” This ignores the fact that Morsi’s government, regardless of how it came to power, is intrinsically undemocratic. There is no democratic way out of this mess. But at some point, the military knows that it will have to remove these nutjobs if it doesn’t want to get into a war with Israel that it can’t win. These protests will likely embolden the generals.

Theresa May

A face of cowardice:

British schoolgirls are being systematically gang-raped by Muslims and British soldiers are being hacked to death in the street by Muslims and yet this despicable gutless appeaser, Theresa May, thinks the way to solve the problem is to ban critics of Islam?

Neville Chamberlain was a heroic statesman by comparison.

It is very sad to see the pathetic state to which England has devolved. She wouldn’t stay long in her position if Cameron were (brain) alive.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!

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