Bunin Review: The FIRE’s “Mighty Ira”

Ed. Note: Our intrepid TV and Movie Critic, Harris County Chief Public Defender Alex Bunin, reviews the new movie by FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, “Mighty Ira,” which is now available in virtual cinema through Angelika Film Center through Oct. 22. On Oct. 23, it will be available to stream on Amazon (free on Prime), iTunes, and Google Play and on Oct. 27, it will be available on DVD and Blu-ray.

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No Busts But Bare Shelves

A client of mine years ago owned a bodega in the South Bronx. He wanted to lead a successful, law-abiding life as a local businessman, and used to obsess about the quality of his tomatoes. But he grew up on the streets and realized that it was hard to sell tomatoes, or anything else, if kids from the neighborhood stole them from his carefully tended bins.

He kept a handgun and a bat behind the counter. He wouldn’t hesitate to use them. He wasn’t going to be killed by a robber and he wasn’t going to let his precious tomatoes walk out the door unless they were purchased. It wasn’t a commentary about life in South Bronx, but a very firm grasp of reality. Kids would rob him blind if he let them. He was not going to let them. Continue reading

Was the 1619 Project Squandered By Its Falsehoods?

By this point in time, reactions to Nicole Hannah-Jones’ “1619 Project” have largely been divided into two camps. One camp is filled with history scholars who have pointed out that her claims are largely false, baseless and ahistorical. The other camp doesn’t care much about facts or history because they like, or at least feel compelled to like lest they be called racists by their dear friends, the message.

That the New York Times “quietly” changed one of the most ridiculous claims, which Hannah-Jones denied making to her discredit, either proved the point or proved nothing, depending on how dedicated to the secular religion of social justice one was. But is there a middle ground, where one can appreciate the “message” without getting hung up on the boldly false assertions that will make up the curriculum in woke school districts? Nicholas Guyatt tries to find it. Continue reading

Judge Hurd Rejects “All Men Are Guilty”

The facts in Doe v. RPI are of the sort that typically make a federal judge cringe. No one needs to know this much about the sexual claims of college students. It’s not that they don’t know it happens, but no one wants the image in their heads. Nonetheless, Judge David Hurd in the Northern District of New York told the ugly conflicting stories.

Both Doe, the male student, and Roe, the female student, agree that she plied him with vodka to get him drunk while she remained sober, and they then had consensual sex, as they had numerous times before. What happened after that is in dispute.

However, Doe eventually gave in and had sex with Roe again. Plaintiff claims that he remembers only pieces of this round of intercourse, but he claims to distinctly remember that Roe asked him to put his hands around her neck, even though this made him uncomfortable. Plaintiff eventually complied, if only briefly. Roe agrees that she requested that plaintiff put his hand on her neck and provide pressure, but she claims that this happened during their first, consensual encounter on that night. Continue reading

Cattle Calls And Elevator Racism

New York’s Chief Judge, Janet DiFiore, called for a study to be done to ascertain the extent of racial bias in the court system.

DiFiore said in June that her request for the report was spurred by the killing of George Floyd and came two days after a Brooklyn court officer allegedly posted a racist illustration depicting President Obama with a noose around his neck, which Johnson says “peeled the lid off of long-simmering racial tensions.”

Long-simmering, indeed. Continue reading

The Evil DiFi (And Us)

Some years ago, people marched for racial equality, and to a huge measure, helped to make the nation better, more equal, even if there remains much work to do. We now have a name for these people. White Supremacists.

As July 4 and its barbecues arrived this year, the activist and former N.F.L. quarterback Colin Kaepernick declared, “We reject your celebration of white supremacy.”

The movie star Mark Ruffalo said in February that Hollywood had been swimming for a century in “a homogeneous culture of white supremacy.” Continue reading

The Biden Wars Have Begun

As Trump’s hopes of ever being invited to dinner by the old guard of Palm Beach swirl around his gold-plated toilet bowl, sucking with it the possibility of Republicans holding the Senate, the real battle for the future of a nation has begun. The shot heard round the capital has now been fired.

Every new president has around 4,000 political appointments to make across the executive branch — and for Democrats, who actually care about governing competently, it’s important to fill those jobs with people who know what they’re doing.

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The Crash of Real Problems

It’s not that the Virginia lege isn’t trying. The problems it’s addressing are undoubtedly real and serious, even if they also happen to be unduly popular at the moment. Cops profile. Cops use traffic stops as pretexts for searches. Sometimes, they just make up reasons to stop people, because they can. This happens disproportionately to black people, and minor problems, a headlamp out for example, end with serious problems. Something must be done.

This is something.

The legislation bars police from stopping drivers for a wide range of vehicle equipment infractions — from tinted windows and faulty brake lights to loud mufflers and objects dangling from rear view mirrors. Continue reading

Seaton: Mr. Graham’s Circus Comes To Washington

The Senate Judiciary Committee, ostensibly a bipartisan group tasked with advising and giving consent on Presidential judicial nominations, packed up and left town this week for Mitch and Lindsay’s Traveling Circus. The star act was, of course, Judge Amy Coney Barrett and her confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Ringmaster Lindsay Graham started the party Monday by letting everyone know his team had the votes to do what they wanted, so this would go either the easy way or the hard way. Committee Democrats responded by complaining how unfair the thing Lindsay’s team wanted to do was and they were all mean, no good poopy-pants. Continue reading

Short Take: Should Vance Be Anti-Racist?

There is a serious question whether it’s wise to pursue Amy Cooper for falsely reporting an incident in the third degree. For one thing, she’s already suffered substantial consequences for what happened without benefit of due process. Yeah, yeah, we all know how every woke anticarceral activists wants her to be burned at the stake. No need to explain why killers deserve our empathy but Cooper deserves life plus cancer. We got it.

For another thing, we’ve promoted the notion that women are entitled to feel threatened, even if irrationally, to make false claims because that’s “their truth” twisted by the litany of excuses as to why it’s too hard to be rational and honest when one’s emotions run rampant. Except when it’s caught on video against a black guy, in which case every absolute tenet of social justice flips on its head and the woman becomes the criminal. Continue reading