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Doug Berger 0:04
In this episode, we look at some wrong hot takes on the Kyle Rittenhouse case and ask why it was treated differently than the Breonna Taylor case in 2020. President Biden was threatened by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops again, over his pro choice stance, but the pope stepped in to provide cover. We then get an update on Ohio’s terrible congressional district maps. And yet another anti abortion bill that isn’t needed. I’m Doug Berger. And this is Secular Left.
Doug Berger 0:56
Hello, welcome to another edition of secular left. I’m your host, Doug Berger. And hopefully this gets out to everybody by the week of Thanksgiving, working hard on it. As some things that we I want to go over today. The first thing is about this guy. Right here. Kyle Rittenhouse. He’s the 17 while he’s now 18, at the time of his crime, he was 17 years old. And he took an AR 15 to a protest Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year, and ended up getting into kerfluffle with a few people shot to shot three people killed two of them. And just this week or no last week, he was acquitted of all charges. His defense was that he did it in self defense. So just so we know, in our fractured justice system, we have somebody can take a gun, travel across state lines to a protest mind you, knowing that it was a protest, to help out and pro tect property and kill a couple of people and get off scot free because of self defense. Only in America and simply because Rittenhouse is white. You know, part of the in during the trial. He was he when he was on giving his testimony they put him on the stand. He he was asked if he was looking for trouble. And he said no, he wasn’t looking for trouble. But again, he went to a city that I think this was at the time that this happened maybe might have been the second or third night where they were protesting. And he decided that he wanted to help out his father, supposedly his father and some other family members live in Kenosha, and it’s only 30 minutes an hour away from where he currently lives with his mother. Who by the way, is the one that bought the gun for him. The law the rifle. And so you know, and then if you look, I’ll share this other picture with you have him on that night. And there he is with his rifle, walking the streets of Kenosha with another Yahoo want to be soldier. And and so that’s what he was doing. You know, he claims he wasn’t looking for trouble. But, you know, bringing a long rifle to a protest in a city that’s being riled by racial tensions. It’s like bringing in a bringing an open can of gasoline to a forest fire that you want to help put out. And that’s not how that’s not how it works. You know, you’re not supposed to be able to do that. You know, and some of his defenders were saying, Well, you know, it’s second amendment, he has the right to have a right. Well, the thing is Wisconsin law is a little murky on whether or not he was having it whether it was illegal for him to have that rifle that night. They make in the Wisconsin law. It stipulates that anyone under the age of 18 is not allowed to have a rifle, but it makes exceptions for Hunting. And we all can tell that Kyle was not hunting that night. He was not hunting for food, put it that way. The analysis the hot take I have, and you know, I’m nobody. So you know, you can take whatever I say with a grain of salt. You know, he said he wasn’t looking for trouble. But he’s a 17 year old with a ar 15 with a police fetish. It was a dangerous place to be that night.
Doug Berger 5:30
And having a gun made it even more of a dangerous situation. So he created the dangerous situation that he eventually found himself in that caused him to shoot three people killing two what I had said, my initial comment was, yes, it is perfectly innocent for a 17 year old to travel to another state with an AR 15 To protect property, because he has a police fetish. Of course, he shouldn’t have to suffer any consequences for killing two people. And of course, the people on Twitter didn’t appreciate my comments. For some reason. I don’t know. One of the people here and I’m going to show them here. Here I’m going to show some of these comments that I got on Twitter was this gentleman here. He says he was cleaning graffiti, stopping fires at De escalating situations. Sorry that a pedophile threatened to kill him throw an object at him and try taking his gun. I suppose we all should mourn the death of a five time child rapist. Great take bro. And then I made another comment. And he said do you normally defend child rapists. So this is one of the right wing defenses of Kyle Rittenhouse was that each of the people that he shot, there was a reason he shot down. I know the one gentleman the first gentleman that was murdered, was a convicted child child rapist or pedophile. The other guy I think had a criminal record and the third guy had a criminal record. And so they brought all this out. Of course, they don’t understand that. That has nothing to do with whether or not Kyle Rittenhouse did what he did. And that it was no cop, you know that it was legal? You know, how would he know that these particular people had these these criminal records. And if he did know ahead of time, and he shot down, then it definitely is murder. Definitely premeditated murder, which is worse than what he was charged with. He was charged with accidental murder initially, but this would have been this would have made it premeditated murder if he had known that he didn’t know who any of these guys were. So their criminal record wasn’t relevant. It’s a tactic by the right wing to discredit the victims here. Another comment that I wanted to share. And this came from people who assume that I didn’t know the details of the case, I hadn’t been following it, that I just totally make up random comments out of whole cloth. I mean, I’m sure there’s some people that do that I don’t. But this person says seems like you’re very knowledgeable about the case. Could you run it down for me why he was there? What’s his connection to the city and all the events since the morning in that fateful day? Ah, and also could you explain to me how he acquired the weapon and what state it’s from. So basically, what this is attempting to do, is basically, what the defense was trying to do, was everything that he did that night was legal, and that somebody tried to hurt him. And he committed, you know, he did self defense. All right. And again, like I stated at the beginning, he showed up at a protest. And with a gun to protect property. You know, who does that? Especially a 17 year old? Who does that? Really? You know, you have kids that go to these Black Lives Matter protest. They throw rocks or milkshakes or, or punch a Nazi, you know, but they don’t ever take guns with them. So why would you take a gun? You know, and they’re like, well, to defend myself. Well. Taking a gun to defend yourself against somebody who doesn’t have a gun means that you’re being the aggressor. And that is one of the things that the prosecution got wrong is they didn’t you know, they weren’t able to prove that he was the aggressor. The first gentleman that he shot and killed, had mental health issues. And yes, he was chasing after him. He didn’t need to be shot though he had mental health issues.
Doug Berger 10:26
The guy threatened to kill Rittenhouse as, as you normally would, if you saw somebody with a gun at a protest for something that you were trying to support. And that’s why the other two guys got involved because they saw Rittenhouse shoot this first guy. And they thought that Rittenhouse was shooting people randomly shooting people which he technically was randomly shooting people. And he’s like, he’s like an active shooter. So they’re going after him to try to neutralize the problem. And so Rittenhouse gets to be self have self defense. You know. Another comment here that another Twitter comment that I got was I initially had written the tweet, and I got it, I mistyped it, I say killing three people. And it was killing two people. And so of course, grammar Nazis had to come in. And so yeah, it’s very important about this case where and then you had the people that were like, and once again, I have to remind someone that not only is traveling from one state to another legal is, is in fact perfectly normal. And nobody was saying that traveling to another state wasn’t illegal. Traveling to another state with a firearm, crossing state lines with a firearm that you weren’t legally allowed to have. Make is a criminal offense. It doesn’t matter if you have family in another city, if you’re not legally allowed to have a gun. And you have one that’s illegal, it doesn’t matter. You know, it’s just, you know, people do this as they they harp on points that are irrelevant to the overall case. And so then you get the other comment, you realize his friend lives in the area, and they literally walked to the protest. Yeah, he walked to the protests, right by cops. Here’s a 17 year old with a rifle. And the other guy also had a rifle. And the cops just like Oh, go ahead… See, that’s another thing too that people on the right gloss over is the cops did nothing that night to stop Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse should have been detained. You know, he looked 17 You know, he didn’t have all that equipment that that other guy had on and in the picture that I shared. It’s like he also had his med kit with him. Well, big deal. A lot of soldiers that serve have med kits on them. It’s like part of the part of the kit, you know, part of your uniform and equipment is you have a first aid kit with you. And then trying to say he was being a medic. Okay. Whatever. I mean, he didn’t support. I mean, he wasn’t there to support the the Black Lives Matter people. He was there to protect property, as he says in the trial. So I don’t know who he was gonna. And then he’s clean and just, it’s just bizarre. That whole defense was just bizarre. And so I just wanted to share some of those comments. When I get into arguments on the internet. That’s typically what happens. So that’s basically all I wanted to say about Kyle Rittenhouse. The right wing welfare system will take good care of him. You don’t have to worry about him having a job or making money he’s going to have a job and make money in the right wing universe somewhere. I mean, he already got offered internship jobs from some really credible people in Washington like Matt Gatez. So he’s gonna be okay Rittenhouse will be. Okay. The other thing that I wanted to point out before I leave this topic is that the the notion of self defense and I wanted to bring up the story of Breonna Taylor, if you remember, Breonna Taylor was murdered by police in 2020 last year. What happened was that Breonna Her boyfriend were sleeping. And somebody was trying to break into the apartment. It happened to be police. They mistakingly were serving a warrant to look for drugs at Brianna Taylor’s apartment.
Doug Berger 15:18
And so they’re pounding on the door. It’s three o’clock in the morning, I believe pounding on the door. Of course they’re dead asleep. They don’t come to the door. So the police use the battering ram break in the door and storm in. Well, Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend also had a gun. And he and he wakes up and notices people are breaking into his into the apartment. So what if for everybody remembers the fine folks at the National Rifle Association. You know what they said? You got to have a gun to defend yourself. So he takes his gun and he fires at the direction of where these people are coming into, into the apartment. His his bullet hit a cop in the leg. Naturally, the cops all the cops returned fire. Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend was not injured. But Breonna was murdered. She was killed by multiple rounds from the police. Okay. What happened was that the prosecution, the DA, or I think it was the grand jury or I think it was a grand jury elected not to prosecute the cops. Because they said that the cops were…. It was an act of self defense. Because Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend fired first huh? Yep. Because Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend fired first. The cops were allowed to act in self defense. Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend then was charged with attempted murder of a police officer. But yet, in Wisconsin, Kyle Rittenhouse. Pretty much the same situation where you have a gun and you feel threatened. And you fire your gun and kill somebody. He got off scot free. Not once but twice. Because the guy with the skateboard that was murdered, wasn’t allowed to act in self defense. But Kyle Rittenhouse was and I think the only difference is it’s because Kyle Rittenhouse is white. Now people were gonna say, Doug, the laws in Wisconsin and Kentucky are different. Doesn’t matter. The logic is the same. You know, if Kyle is allowed to act in self defense, why wasn’t Brianna Taylor’s boyfriend allowed to act in self defense? And I think we know the answer to that. And unfortunately, it’s it’s a sad day. No, I mean, we all know the justice system is broken. We have a two tier justice system. You know, actually three tiers you have rich people. And then you have white people and then you have black justice. And that’s how it works and it needs to be fixed. But but we know why the Breanna Taylor case was different than Kyle Rittenhouse.
Doug Berger 19:04
This is secular left
Doug Berger 19:13
as I’ve explained before in previous episodes, Joe Biden is a flaming Catholic. He’s very devout. He goes to mass. Just the other day when he was in Europe for four G G seven Summit. He went to Rome, well because it was in Rome. And he visited with the Pope and a personal audience with the Pope. And as I said before, he’s been he has not been in favor of abortion. However he does. He has said publicly that he will not stop a woman from choosing to have one. He won’t use the government to stop a woman from having one which is I explained is a proper way for a politician. Religious politician to act, you know, to separate your religious beliefs from public policy. Especially when you have when we have a secular government that has separation of church and state. Catholics are known to be extremely anti abortion. The US Council of Bishops here in the United States, it’s made up of all the bishops and cardinals have here in the United States that they govern the Catholic Church here in the United States. They’re like one tier below the Vatican put it that way. They are very conservative, they’ve been conservative for quite some time. And one of the things that comes up from time to time is that a lot of Conservative Catholics want to deny communion for politicians who support abortion. From my point of view as a secular humanist, I don’t give a crap about whether or not they give politicians communion. You know, that’s something for them and their religion to deal with. It’s a personal thing between them and their religion. All right. When it affects public policy, that’s that’s when I when I care about it, but if they want to not give Communion to Joe Biden, President Biden, that’s up to them. It’s wrong, it should be wrong. The Pope has indicated that, that they don’t agree with that stance of denying communion. But the US Council of Bishops, they are very conservative, and that’s one of the thing that they were considering. They had a conference or you know, get together last week to decide whether or not they were going to issue an Edict denying communion to any politician that supported abortion. So and it’s something that a lot of Conservative Catholics wanted to see done. But then we had this article from the National Catholic Reporter says after more than a year of intense debate on a country contra controversial document, originally intended to target pro choice Catholic politicians like President Joe Biden. The US bishops on November 17, instead approved a milquetoast. That’s their word, milquetoast test text summarizing Catholic teaching communion. The 30 page document was passed by the bishops at their November 15, to 18th assembly here, wherever that was, I have a link in the show notes. So if you want to read the whole article, you can. Only a day after the Vatican ambassador to the US address the prelate and told them to tamp down divisions among themselves. The document makes only one oblique reference to lay people who, quote, exercise some form of public authority, unquote. And this is basically the pope exercising his power over the bishops telling them, we’re not having that. Don’t do it. And so they listened, which they should.
Doug Berger 23:46
But the other part of this article was even more interesting to me, as a secular Massimo, and I’m terrible with Italian fagioli, a goalie. A theology professor at church historian at Villanova University, told the National Catholic Reporter that the events of the past year risked turning the Catholic Church in the United States into a partisan and sectarian institution. Already Is. Attention, Massimo it already is. And then they have his quote, especially when the president of the US CCB shows a partisan understanding of movement for social and racial justice in the US. And he was referencing a controversial November 4 speech in which the Head Bishop Gomez denigrated modern social justice movements, such as anti racism groups like Black Lives Matter, as Marxist inspired anti Christian pseudo religions. Huh. fagioli said the communion document controversy signals the risk of an escalation from a culture war, Catholicism from a culture war, Catholicism, that Polit politicizes, the sacraments to a full blown Evangel eventually lady, evangelical Asian, sorry, have us Catholicism in the sense that US conservative white evangelicals, similar to how conservative white evangelicals operate, and the loss of a Catholic sense of the church. So basically, being anti social justice, it goes against the Catholic sense of the Church, which is partially true. The Catholic Church has been at the forefront of a lot of social justice movements. They’ve been against the death penalty. They’ve been against war. feeding the hungry, helping the poor, you know, a lot of those things. So when you have a conservative, and such as bishop Gomez, denigrating groups, particularly black lives matter. Yeah, that’s a problem. And that would be a problem for me too. But again, like I said, it’s there between them and their religion. I I don’t have I don’t have. I don’t have a coin in this fight, saying go, I don’t remember. But anyway, so basically, they back down. They’re not going to deny communion to President Joe Biden. And I think probably his meeting with the Pope might have had something to do with that. Maybe I just think that we shouldn’t politically recognize the Vatican. We shouldn’t have ambassadors to them. Simply because it’s a religion. It’s the Catholic religion. And they should be treated just like any religion here in the United States, with Government Neutrality. So good news. Joe Biden can still stay a member of the church. appreciate that.
Doug Berger 27:28
Hello, this is Doug host of secular left reminding you that I like to be validated. If you like this podcast and want to thank me, feel free to buy me a coffee, go to buymeacoffee.com/secularleft and donate some cash to help make this a better show. To validate me as a person. You’ll feel better in the morning.
Doug Berger 27:51
And finally, in this episode, I have a few short takes from the state level here where I live in Ohio. The first one is the maps, the electoral maps that have been worked on by the state legislature the past couple of months, happens every 10 years after the census. The problem here in Ohio is that voters voted twice in overwhelming numbers to make it as independent and less susceptible to manipulation than in the past. And the Republican majority supermajority in the legislature totally ignored the will of the people and passed maps quickly and without much input from anybody else. Because the Democrats in the State House did not support the maps. They are now only going to be four if they survive court because there’s going to be lawsuits. Of course, if they survive court court oversight. They’ll only last for four years and then they’ll have to come back and do it again. Because that was part of the the cost the constitutional amendments that were passed in 2015 and 2018. The Congressional I just want to point out the congressional maps were introduced and passed in five days with no input from the Democrats. The last the I think it was the 2020 vote was a it was majority Republican. It was like 53% people voted Republican and something like 49% voted Democrat in the state overall. So you would think that We have 15 congressional seats after the 2020 census, we lose one because of the loss of population. So you’re thinking a 53 to 49. Breakout, you’re looking at an eight to seven seat ratio, eight Republicans, seven Democrats. No. What they ended up introducing and passing in five days was a 12. And 2 seat map. You had 12 Republican seats and two Democrat seats. One of the things they did was they divided up Cincinnati into like three or four different congressional districts. They did the same with Columbus. They claim that they couldn’t put the city in one district, but what it is, is that they’re trying to dilute the black vote and democratic votes, and minority votes. So the big cities they divided up. The other thing that I wanted to point out is that Marcy Kaptur, who is the representative for the ninth district in my area. Unfortunately, I don’t live in her district, but it’s like right next door. I have stupid Bob Latta. Anyway. She had the most wildly gerrymandered district until this year, it went from Toledo, the city center of Toledo, along the shore of Lake Erie, over to Lorain and Cleveland. And they originally when they originally did that, it forced progressive star Dennis Kucinich edge and her to compete for the seat. She won eventually won the seat. Because that’s the other thing they do when they change the seats, they look at who they want to get rid of. So they combine districts to force people to fight each other. And anyway, so with this new map, they kept the entire city, Lucas County in the ninth District, which is a change, but they moved her, her district to the west, to incorporate the most red rural area of Ohio, the northwest corner is just and so they’re going to have a Republican run against her. And it leans Republican, that that district now will lean Republican, and so she could possibly lose, or it might be so close, that they can do their shenanigans about stolen elections and all that bullcrap that they tried to do.
Doug Berger 32:48
So that’s one thing, and she’s been there. She’s been in the house for a long time. And that’s one way of getting rid of her. They claim to be getting rid of her. But they also claim that then that’s a competitive race, which technically, it’s true, but it’s not. But so that that’s going on. The other thing, too, is that Senate Bill 157. And its aim is to create a database of what bill sponsors called botched abortion cases, and criminalized physician in action. And basically, it would force doctors to report failed abortions. It’s a reporting system. And and they claim that we will know who and when this happens and will provide for safer abortions in the future for anyone who desires them. The problem is that the Ohio Department of Health already collects that kind of information. And anytime that there’s an abortion performed in the state, doctors have to fill out lengthy paperwork on it. And, and this is what’s required already in Ohio’s Administrative Code since 2012. In the post abortion care report for complication to be filled out by the physician who provided care, the physician must list the facility where post abortion care was provided. And when the abortion was performed, the date of the abortion, weeks of gestation, all complications, one of which is death, duration of treatment, and includes a space for remarks from the physician. Administrative Code also requires that the physician determined viability, something that is reported in the ODH annual reports. According to the state data, failed abortions are statistically rare, and none of the small number of reported cases in 2020 have occurred in viable pregnancies. That means that they’ve occurred before 22 weeks, which is the arbitrary line of viability in Ohio so what the forced birthers on on in the Senate Ohio Senate, which includes Senator Terry Johnson of McDermott, cited a report from the Christian policy organization and hate group, Family Research Council touting the data collected in nine other states or similar legislation. And a CDC report showed 143 deaths after live births and involved in abortion in the past 12 years. Johnson also said the bill addresses technological improvements, which he could, which he said could lead to earlier fetal viability, but also comes at a time when passage of abortion bills is more likely. And what this is, is this is Republicans ignoring the science again, concerning abortion. There is very little, it happens. Very, it’s very rare that a baby can be born prior to viability and survive. It takes a massive amount of intervention, or a baby that is less than 21 weeks, less than 20 weeks to be born and to survive. It has happened sometimes women go into premature labor. That’s why we call them preemies. premature children, because they’re born before viability would before the all the lungs are developed and the brain, you know, the head, everything’s developed. And so you know, as babies probably about that big, a lot of times very small, very tiny. And, and they have to massive amounts of labor and intervention to make sure that that baby survives. And they do that. Abortions are totally a different thing. Abortions are performed. And it removes the fetus from the mother. The baby is not a baby is not born, when an abortion is performed. And abortion is not performed when a woman is in labor to give birth. Because that would be after viability. And that would be illegal. But these force birth people don’t. They just don’t.
Doug Berger 37:37
They just don’t acknowledge that. You know, that’s there. They’re doing the they’re they’re pandering to their religious base. All right, it’s the same thing that they do when they give money to those fake pregnancy counseling services that try to force women to to not get an abortion by telling them poppycock, stuff like, like having an abortion will cause breast cancer or something like that. So, so this Senate Bill 157, it’s not needed. It’s already in the law that this stuff has to be reported. It’s just one more way that they are sticking it to women. And when you have gerrymandered districts, it’s really hard to get rid of these people. It really is. And we need to start, we really need to pass some Voting Rights Act in the Congress, we need to federalize our election system, so that we can get fair districts, fair elections, and so we can start protecting people’s rights. You know, abortion is still legal. It’s an a, it’s a it’s a right. And it’s being taken away on a daily basis by force birth, Republicans. You know, the same people that complain about their guns being taken. They don’t they don’t bat an eye, taking away the right of a woman to make choices about her reproduction. And so that needs to change in this country. It really does.
Doug Berger 39:17
Thank you for listening to this episode. You can check out more information, including links to sources used in our show notes on our website at secular left.us. Secular left is hosted, written and produced by Doug Berger, and he is solely responsible for the content. Send us your comments, either using the contact form on the website or by sending us a note at comments at secularleft.us Our theme music is Dank and Nasty. Composed using Ampify Studio See you next time
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Secular Left © 2021 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.
Produced, written, and edited by Doug Berger
Our theme music is “Dank & Nasty” Composed using Ampify Studio