Elizabeth Holmes as seen by those who knew her best

Letters sent to the judge (public because they were officially filed in the case) reveal a more positive side of Elizabeth Holmes, now sentenced to serve 11 years in Federal prison (but maybe Joe Biden will pardon her?). But the letters also reveal a lot about their authors and show that Elizabeth Holmes’s capacity for self-delusion might not be unique.

From the father of her children:

Liz and I met at a friend’s Fleet Week charity event in the fall of 2017. …

When our dog Balto had been carried away by a mountain lion from our front porch Liz had faith that he could still be alive. She searched for 16 hours in brambles, and poison oak to find him. It was only once she saw his lifeless body that she could come to realize that he was gone. It crushed her.

Her selflessness knows no bounds. … So much of what has been written about Liz is untrue.

Her nightmare of being raped at Stanford was replaced by the nightmare of 12 monstrous years with Sunny which was then replaced by the nightmare of losing her life’s work and the vilification to follow. It’s been a long road of hardship for her.

Many people will make arguments that you should have leniency to ensure she can help others, to ensure she can invent great things or lift up a woman facing the unimaginable reality that she has been raped, and incarceration will limit her capacity to do those things.

From her dad:

Church was a very important part of our life together. Even that became an adventure. The priest at Holy Trinity in Washington DC conducted a children’s Mass with a little blue puppet known as Mr. Blue. We learned a lot from Mr. Blue.

We only learned of the true nature of Sunny Balwani’s abuse after she finally left him in 2016. … For us as a family, one painful lesson is how critical it is for rape and abuse victims, as well as the families of the victims, to understand how vulnerable they are to abuse and control, how that plays out over time and how to psychologically respond to that. … Elizabeth’s relationship with Mr. Balwani was not one of conspiracy as the media contended. The relationship was one of fear, control, and submission.

Personal wealth has not been a motivator for Elizabeth in her life.

From a pilot and military drone pioneer:

(For the record, I agree with Mr. Blue! It is the investors in Theranos who should be imprisoned, not the young Stanford dropout whom the investors believed was more capable than the file cabinets full of chemistry PhDs at Philips, Siemens, Roche, et al.)

From Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey:

I knew Ms. Holmes for about six years before charges were brought against her. We first met at a public policy conference hosted by the late Senator John McCain, bonding at a dinner when we discovered we were both vegan – there was nothing to eat, and we shared a small bag of almonds. … she was not only sincere about her interests but a person who would indeed dedicate herself to making positive contributions in the world beyond her company. … I believe that Ms. Holmes has within her a sincere desire to help others, to be of meaningful service, and possesses the capacity to redeem herself.

From Timothy Draper, bigshot venture capitalist (partner more famous due to various encounters with Silicon Valley females, all of whom were having sex with a slate of other guys (when do these folks have time to work?)):

I am a venture capitalist and have been one for over 35 years. I have seen a wide variety of companies in a wide variety of industries. Some succeed and some fail. We backed Tesla, when it was just an idea on paper, agreed to an investment in Skype when it was an entirely different business than the one they ended up with, backed Baidu when no other US investor was even looking at China. When we backed Theranos, we knew it was a long shot. Elizabeth, at 19 came to us and said, “We will change health care as we know it.” She told me how passionate she was about the need for change, and said she would be making the sacrifice of dropping out of Stanford to create the business.

Now we have a horrifying situation. A potentially great entrepreneur with extraordinary vision is being condemned by society for taking that enormous risk, sacrificing everything and failing, by not properly communicating her side of the story to the public.

Elizabeth has a lot of brilliance in her. She will continue to be a positive contributor to society. Her vision for healthcare was only partially portrayed in her efforts at Theranos, and her ideas could save millions of lives over the course of the next few decades. Restraining her would be a travesty. People have asked me if I would back her again. My answer: Not as a CEO, but as an entrepreneur and Chief Science Officer, absolutely!

Who agrees with me that this Draper guy is the one who should be imprisoned? A college dropout as Chief Science Officer? “Vision” as a substitute for achievement?

Jessica Ewing, a former product manager at Google, reminds us that it is women who are the real victims:

And when I saw Elizabeth do that, I questioned my own life. What was I doing with my time, why couldn’t I do something at a larger scale that helped more people? Elizabeth inspired me to start my own company, Literati, which helps kids find books and become stronger readers. We all need heroes that look like us.

(Speaking for myself, it would be a challenge to regard anyone who looked like me as a hero.)

Speaking as a woman who has raised $60M in venture capital, I can confirm it is not easy. It is not easy for anyone, but I feel it’s worth noting that approximately 3% of venture capital goes to women CEOs.

$60 million in capital for a kids’ book club service?!? The home page shows that they send out Women Who Dared, a book that is available for free in our kids’ book club service, a.k.a. The Palm Beach County Public Library. How are the investors ever going to get a return from this when the competition is funded by an infinite river of property taxes?

Note the contempt by this elite feminist for “the masses”:

I’m not sure what actual purpose decades in prison would serve Elizabeth. She is not a threat to society and does not require further rehabilitation. She has already lost her net worth, has been mocked, ridiculed, and has seen her genuine effort to achieve her soul’s highest purpose turned into home entertainment for the masses. In short, I believe my friend has suffered enough for her sins, and putting her away would effectively do nothing but discourage more women from starting businesses

(The lowest risk and highest return business for a young woman to start in California involves meeting with venture capitalists, but no pitch deck is required. See Litigious Minds Think Alike: Divorce litigators react to the Ellen Pao v. Kleiner Perkins lawsuit for a calculation of the child support profits available by formula under California law.)

Jimmy Carter’s Director of the CDC weighs in. Just as today’s CDC figured out that cloth masks and bandanas were effective PPE against an aerosol virus, such that vulnerable people could feel free to leave their COVID-safe homes, yesterday’s CDC figured out that the best place to look for scientific knowledge is not among those who actually studied science, e.g., by going to grad school in science and then working as a post-doc:

I was impressed by her scientific knowledge… Ms. Holmes has scientific gifts …

He ultimately joined what he refers to as Theranos’s “Board”. I’m not sure if this was a medical advisory board or the corporate board. Either way, I think that he is more deserving of prison than Holmes.

More on the subject of why women have to lead differently, stretching the truth as necessary:

A couple of letters down, Andrew Goldberg agrees that “It’s incredibly difficult to be a startup founder, let alone a female startup founder.” How does Andrew know? He/she/ze/they was originally Angelina Goldberg and switched to a male-sounding name in order to escape prejudice?

A woman who knew Holmes as a Stanford undergraduate writes “my own experiences had led me to believe that the justice system favored men” (94 percent of Californians collecting child support, i.e., the victors of the winner-take-all family court system in that state, identify as women in Census data (source)). She reminds us of who the real criminal in U.S. society is: “we have seen our democracy nearly overthrown”.

It is almost impossible for a woman to get ahead, writes Genta H. Holmes, Bill Clinton’s U.S. Ambassador to Australia:

She contradicts my theory that the real villains of the story are the professional investors. In fact, it is “social media” that we should blame:

Scanning through the 281 pages of letters, the overall portrait is of a deluded person and the authors of the letters show that delusion is an all too common human trait. Even after the exposure of Theranos in Bad Blood, the letter authors haven’t processed that the person with no scientific or engineering training was not and is not on track to make a scientific/engineering difference to the 8 billion humans who infest what used to be a great planet.

Retail investors weren’t harmed by the Theranos fraud. I’m not sure that patients were harmed by the Theranos fraud, other than being worried for a few days in between a Theranos test and an accurate blood test. I guess the 11-year sentence has to be understood also in the context of Holmes’s refusal to plead guilty. The whole criminal justice system is set up with long sentences for those who insist on rolling the dice at trial, thus forcing the government to work. The idea is that the accused will plead guilty and receive what used to be the standard sentence for someone who had been convicted at trial. Holmes will thus serve 3 years for what she did at Theranos and 8 years for trying and failing to pin all of the blame on Sunny Balwani, the old guy with $40+ million with whom she was having sex.

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Will Harvard apologize for discriminating based on skin color if this is found unconstitutional?

The Supreme Court is pondering the fate of Harvard’s race-based admissions system (see It was okay to discriminate against white people, but maybe it is not okay to discriminate against Asians and What is Harvard’s argument for race-based admissions in the #StopAsianHate age?). From the Bad Guys (TM):

Here’s part of an email from the Harvard president, sent on Halloween:

When Harvard assembles a class of undergraduates, it matters that they come from different social, economic, geographical, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. It matters that they come to our campus with varied academic interests and skill sets. Research and lived experience teach us that each student’s learning experience is enriched by encountering classmates who grew up in different circumstances.

Harvard is not alone in believing that we are more than our test scores and that our unique perspectives bring a wealth of educational benefits to a high-quality educational enterprise.

See if we can guess an ethnic group that is less than its members’ test scores…

The legal battle we have waged, which reaches its apex today, is as important to other colleges and universities, and to society, as it is to us. Educators and scholars, civil rights organizers, historians, and education advocates stand with us. Leaders in business and technology stand with us. Former military officers and the heads of the nation’s service academies stand with us. Their voices—ringing out in amicus briefs—are part of a chorus that has risen across our campus and throughout our country in defense of forty years of legal precedent, as well as the history of the 14th Amendment.

Today, individuals of great skill will argue in favor of our cause inside the highest court in the land.

Mediocre individuals were apparently scheduled to argue against Harvard’s Great Cause.

We now await the final decision of the court with earnest anticipation. Whatever it is, we will honor the law while also remaining true to our values.

Translation of “remaining true to our values”: “We will find a workaround so that we can continue discriminating against these Asian nerds without running afoul of the law.”

This academic bureaucrat is proud of the work that he has done for decades in sorting student and faculty applicants by skin color. Suppose, however, that the Supreme Court rules that the sort-by-skin-color policy is unconstitutional. By inference, then, Harvard and its bureaucrats have been depriving applicants of their constitutional rights to be judged by factors other than skin color. The big question for today: Will the president of Harvard and lesser bureaucrats offer an apology?

Speaking of unconstitutionality and appeals, what happened to the Biden administration’s appeal of Judge Kathryn Mizelle’s finding that the CDC’s mask order was unconstitutional? Joe Biden never apologized for violating Americans’ constitutional rights, I don’t think. The appeal was filed in April (heritage.org). In the meantime, it looks as though Joe Biden actually could legally order Americans to #MaskUpSaveLives. The courts seem to agree that this can be done via the TSA if not the CDC. “Supreme Court leaves TSA mask requirement ruling in place” (The Hill, Halloween):

The Supreme Court on Monday let stand a ruling that allows the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to require mask-wearing on planes, trains and other forms of transport.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found no merit in Corbett’s claim and affirmed the TSA did have the agency to maintain security and safety within the transportation system, including imposing the masking requirement.

Biden has the power to keep us safe and secure! But why didn’t he reimpose the airport-and-airline mask order on November 1 after the Supreme Court failed to intervene? Even if most airline passengers are vaccinated we don’t want people gathering unmasked and breeding a vaccine-resistant superbug that will be deadly to the unvaccinated, as happened with Marek’s disease. Even if Democrats can control the entire United States and force everyone to get accept COVID-19 vaccinated there will still be billions of unvaccinated and/or unboosted folks in poor countries who would be vulnerable to the superbug that we created via our policy of widespread vaccination followed by mass gatherings.

Is Joe Biden following the Science, but waiting until after the election to bring the masks back?

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It was okay to discriminate against white people, but maybe it is not okay to discriminate against Asians

“In cases challenging affirmative action, court will confront wide-ranging arguments on history, diversity, and the role of race in America” (scotusblog.com):

In 2003, the Supreme Court ruled in Grutter v. Bollinger that universities may consider race in their admissions processes as part of their efforts to achieve diversity on campus. On Oct. 31, the justices will hear oral arguments in a pair of cases asking them to overturn Grutter and outlaw race-based affirmative action in higher education altogether.

The challengers urge the justices to rule that the Constitution and federal civil rights laws bar any consideration of race in college admissions. But the universities at the center of the dispute, as well as their supporters, counter that overruling Grutter would have sweeping effects well beyond university admissions, affecting everything from the performance of U.S. businesses to the practice of medicine in an increasingly diverse society.

Both of the lawsuits were filed in federal court in 2014 by a group called Students for Fair Admissions, which describes itself as “dedicated to defending the right to racial equality in college admissions.” The group was created that same year by Edward Blum, a stockbroker and conservative activist who, though not a lawyer, has backed other prominent lawsuits challenging the consideration of race in undergraduate admissions as well as a challenge to the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act. SFFA says it has more than 20,000 members.

The two universities being challenged are Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. But according to Harvard’s brief, over 40% of all U.S. universities — and 60% of selective universities — consider race in some form during their admissions process. The cases being heard on Monday could affect all of them.

“Consider race” = “discriminate by race” and it was legally okay for decades despite a U.S. Constitution that apparently barred such discrimination, at least for the government and its affiliates. I wonder if we can cut through all of the briefs that have been filed in this case. Can the issues be summarized with the following?

  • It is settled law that discriminating against white people is okay and, in fact, something to be proud of.
  • Asians now wear the “people of color” mantle.
  • It is not okay to discriminate against one subgroup within “people of color” in favor of another subgroup within that victimhood category.
  • Universities are not just discriminating against white people (permissible/legal/praiseworthy), but they’re also discriminating against Asians (impermissible/illegal/deplorable).

Who wants to bet on the outcome of these cases?

The current ruler is on the side of the righteous:

The Biden administration, which filed a “friend of the court” brief supporting the universities, pushes back sharply against SFFA’s suggestion that the universities’ consideration of race as one factor in their admissions programs is inconsistent with the court’s decision in Brown. SFFA’s “persistent attempts to equate this case with Brown trivialize the grievous legal and moral wrongs of segregation,” U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar writes.

The Ivy League schools from which the Supreme Court justices graduated are on the side of the righteous and, in fact, are the most eager and aggressive sorters of applicants by skin color.

So if we think of courts as helping the powerful, this one should go in favor of righteousness (continued racial discrimination).

On the other hand, it is tough to think of a way for the justices to write a decision that would allow continued discrimination against whites (the oppressors) while forbidding discrimination against Asians (successfully established in the victimhood category). The previous decision was absurd: “Court expects that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.” Via this approach to Constitutional law we could say that slavery is permissible right now because we’re in an inflation crisis and high wages are driving up prices, which then drive up wages in a spiral. Since we can’t stop indexing government spending to inflation, the only way to break the spiral is for 25 percent of working-age Americans to be enslaved. “Court expects that 25 years from now, the use of slavery will not longer be necessary to stop the inflation spiral that was launched in 2021.”

Because I am not creative enough to envision how a decision barring discrimination only against Asians could be written, my prediction is that race discrimination by these universities that get taxpayer money will be outlawed.

A Harvard job ad for an astronomy professor requires “Statement describing efforts to encourage diversity, inclusion, and belonging, including past, current, and anticipated future contributions in these areas” and “Demonstrated strong commitment to teaching, advising, and broadening institutional diversity is desired.”

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A friend’s teenager learns about the American legal system

A recent chat group discussion:

  • [18-year-old son] got off his second speeding ticket. Had an attorney. His friend has two tickets and got off neither. He learned a valuable lesson. That the Justice system is best if you have money.
  • That lesson does not apply in family court.

Noted.

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Supreme Court ruling will encourage holdouts to move to Florida and Texas?

“The Supreme Court Has Made a Grave Mistake on Guns” (NYT, from November 2021 but updated to reflect the recent ruling):

The Supreme Court will soon decide whether Americans have a constitutional right to carry loaded concealed weapons in public and in public places, wherever and whenever they believe they might need their guns for self-defense. Practically, that could mean everywhere and at all times.

The announcement of such an absolute and unfettered right would be shocking and disquieting to most Americans, not just to Americans in the many states where the people, through their elected legislatures, have for centuries restricted the carrying of handguns in public. It would also be concerning to many Americans who support gun rights. They, too, would understandably be unsettled and frightened by the idea that everywhere they went, their fellow citizens might be carrying loaded guns.

Suppose that someone had been considering moving from shutdown-loving NY, CA, or MA to a state with open schools, e.g., FL or TX. He/she/ze/they might formerly had said “I will stay in California dodging the unhoused, the pit bulls, the unhoused with pit bulls, the pit bull poop on the sidewalk, etc., and paying 13 percent state income tax (while receiving no public schools for my kids), because I am afraid of being in a place where lots of ordinary citizens have guns.” But if the Supreme Court ruling is as impactful as the media hysteria suggests, the gun-free paradises of CA and NY will no longer be gun-free.

Or will this trend be counterbalanced by a Supreme Court ruling on abortion? Already I have heard of a computer science professor objecting to a conference being hosted in Texas on the grounds that if a pregnant person attending the conference needs an emergency abortion, he/she/ze/they wouldn’t be able to get abortion care (the current Texas law actually allows abortions in the event of medical emergencies, according to Wikipedia).

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ACLU gives us a new definition of chutzpah

The non-profit organization that actually wrote the op-ed that got Amber Heard in legal difficulties now wants to profit from the trial after which Ms. Heard was ordered to pay more than $10 million in damages for the defamatory content that the non-profit org authored. From Newsweek:

On June 1, Depp’s lawyers filed a motion with New York state’s Supreme Court expressing opposition to a request made by the ACLU. “Respondents’ request for in excess of $86,000 in “expenses” associated with their Court ordered document production is not only exorbitant and unreasonable, but unsupported by New York law,” the lawyers wrote.

The motion came shortly after the ACLU requested that Depp pay the organization over $86,000 for legal costs during the trial, which involved Depp’s lawsuit and Heard’s countersuit. According to court documents obtained by KFMB-TV in San Diego, the ACLU is demanding that Depp pay $86,256 after several ACLU witnesses testified in the trial, as well as reimbursement for documents the ACLU provided following subpoenas by Depp’s legal team.

If we combine the above with “The ACLU Says It Wrote Amber Heard’s Domestic Violence Op-Ed and Timed It to Her Film Release” (Jezebel) we get a new definition of chutzpah.

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Who paid for the consequences of the ACLU-authored, Amber Heard-signed op-ed? You did.

From the New York Post:

Multiple sources said the “Aquaman” star had to switch legal representation and is relying on her homeowner’s insurance policy to cover the cost of her current attorneys in the case.

The bill for Heard’s attorney has mostly been footed by The Travelers Companies under terms of the actress’s insurance policy, sources said.

A vice president of the insurance firm, Pamela Johnson, was spotted in the Fairfax, Virginia, court with Heard multiple times throughout her trial. Neither Johnson nor Travelers returned calls from The Post.

When your next homeowner’s insurance bill arrives, remember that part of the increase will be to cover the loss occasioned by the op-ed that the ACLU wrote.

(This post assumes that Amber Heard will never pay the judgment against her and that the legal bills, as is typical for American litigation, were in the same ballpark as the amount at issue, i.e., $10 million per side.)

Here’s a question: will Travelers sue the ACLU to get its money back? The words that the jury found to be defamatory were actually authored by the ACLU, not Amber Heard. (As noted in Don’t let the ACLU write your op-eds and other lessons from the Amber Heard libel trial, the ACLU has at least $750 million with which to reimburse Travelers.)

“Anatomy of a Hit Piece” by Asra Q. Nomani (former Wall Street Journal journalist) lays out a timeline and contains some email excerpts:

From the ACLU:

“I’d like your and Amber’s thoughts on doing an op-ed in which she discusses the ways in which survivors of gender-based violence have been made less safe under the Trump administration, and how people can take action.” .. “If she feels comfortable, she can interweave her personal story, saying how painful it is, as a GBV survivor to witness these setbacks.”

The op-ed that the jury found libelous was approved by all of the best legal minds of the ACLU, it seems, including the ACLU national legal director, David Cole. And, as it happens, the version that was published was actually toned down from the ACLU’s first draft.

If you want to know why your auto insurance rates are going up, see “Geico must pay $5.2 million to woman who got HPV from sex in man’s insured car, court rules” (NBC):

Geico must pay a Missouri woman $5.2 million after she caught HPV from unprotected sex with her then-boyfriend in his insured automobile, a state appellate court ruled.

The woman — identified in court papers only as “M.O.” — said that she “engaged in unprotected sexual activities in Insured’s vehicle” in November and December 2017 and that he “negligently caused or contributed to” her catching the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted infection, court papers said.

I don’t understand how the above dispute could be sorted out by an arbitrator, court, or even Ketanji’s panel of biologists seeking to define “woman.” The only way to determine that a disease was transmitted in the insured vehicle would be to establish that the woman who suffered $5.2 million in damages (nearly as much as if she’d been killed) never had sex with anyone else anywhere else. The vehicle’s DNA is not going to be embedded in the HPV that is now living inside this woman. Science says “HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women get the virus at some point in their lives” (CDC), which means that the typical person who has had sex has suffered $5.2 million in losses even if he/she/ze/they did not get sued by a child support profiteer.

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Don’t let the ACLU write your op-eds and other lessons from the Amber Heard libel trial

“Legal victory for Johnny Depp after he and Amber Heard found liable for defamation” (CNN, today):

Depp sued Heard, his ex-wife, for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Though Depp was not named in the article, he claims it cost him lucrative acting roles.

The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million dollars in punitive damages.

It seems that the CNN reporters did not do a lot of research. In fact, Amber Heard did not write the op-ed that proved expensive. “The ACLU Says It Wrote Amber Heard’s Domestic Violence Op-Ed and Timed It to Her Film Release” (Jezebel, April 28):

ACLU staffers actually ghost-wrote The Washington Post op-ed at the center of the trial, in which Heard claimed to be a survivor of domestic violence, and they pitched on her behalf, timed to the release of Heard’s then-upcoming film, Aquaman.

Lesson 1 is therefore “Don’t let the ACLU write your op-eds”? (Lesson 1a is “Don’t believe CNN”? They don’t even mention the ACLU, whose role was apparently central.)

What other lessons can we take away from this tawdry spectacle? Also from Jezebel:

Today, on Day 11 of the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial, the American Civil Liberties Union revealed in damning testimony that Amber Heard has given just $1.3 million to the organization after promising in 2016 to give $3.5 million of her divorce settlement to the organization—and her ex Elon Musk donated nearly half of that money ($500,000, to be exact).

Could Lesson 2 be “Don’t rely on the promises of a family court plaintiff”?

Separately, why is the ACLU involved in domestic violence? Here’s a list of civil liberties:

freedom of conscience, freedom of press, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, the right to security and liberty, freedom of speech, the right to privacy, the right to equal treatment under the law and due process, the right to a fair trial, and the right to life. Other civil liberties include the right to own property, the right to defend oneself, and the right to bodily integrity.

Maybe it is the “right to security”? But the typical domestic violence plaintiff (as distinct from domestic violence victim), like Amber Heard, is seeking cash, not security.

Also, is “right to life” a civil liberty? That sounds like “pro-life” and the ACLU is on the opposite side (see the abortion section of ACLU.org, which we learn that “the burden [of abortion restrictions] falls hardest on … LGBTQ+ people” (maybe Ketanji’s panel of biologists can explain that!)). How about “right to bodily integrity”? Is the ACLU opposed to forcing experimental injections on people? Far from it! “Civil Liberties and Vaccine Mandates: Here’s Our Take”:

Far from compromising civil liberties, vaccine mandates actually further them.

Circling back to Amber Heard, a domestic violence victim turned philanthropist, could the ACLU pay for the mess that they got her into? Their 2021 annual report lists assets of $748 million.

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City of Boston spent taxpayer funds on the legal defense of a policy that 9 out of 9 Supreme Court justices found unconstitutional

Back in January: City of Boston happy to fly rainbow and Islamic flags, but not a Christian group’s flag

Today in the NYT… “Supreme Court Rules Against Boston in Case on Christian Flag”:

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday that the city of Boston had violated the First Amendment when it refused to let a private group raise a Christian flag in front of its City Hall.

One of the three flagpoles in front of the building, which ordinarily flies the flag of Boston, is occasionally made available to groups seeking to celebrate their backgrounds or to promote causes like gay pride. In a 12-year period, the city approved 284 requests for the third flag.

It rejected only one, from Camp Constitution, which says it seeks “to enhance understanding of our Judeo-Christian moral heritage.” The group’s application said it sought to raise a “Christian flag” for one hour at an event that would include “short speeches by some local clergy focusing on Boston’s history.” The flag bore the Latin cross.

The Appeals court decision says that the lawsuit was originally filed in 2018. Thus, to avoid the horror of a Christian-themed flag blocking a billboard for one of the city’s “essential” marijuana dispensaries, the City of Boston paid lawyers for years to defend a policy that not even a single Supreme Court justice found constitutional.

The Appeals court document is also interesting for the list of organizations who hate seeing a Christian flag so much that they’re happy to toss out the U.S. Constitution. Examples of folks who filed amicus briefs in support of the city’s unconstitutional behavior:

  • Anti-Defamation League
  • Central Conference of American Rabbis
  • Hindu American Foundation
  • Maine Conference, United Church of Christ (they also hate Jews in Israel)
  • Men of Reform Judaism
  • National Council of Jewish Women
  • Christ; People for the American Way Foundation (it is not “the American Way” to follow the American Constitution?)
  • Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
  • The Sikh Coalition
  • Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ (again with the Israel-haters; I’m not sure that this name is accurate because I never heard anyone in New England who attended a UCC church mention either “Jesus” or “Christ”)
  • Union for Reform Judaism
  • Women of Reform Judaism

Not strictly related, but why do we Jews have so many different organizations? And why isn’t there a Reform Judaism-related group for those who do identify neither as “Men” nor “Women”? Also, what happens when a member of Men of Reform Judaism becomes a “woman” (as the term is defined by Ketanji’s panel of biologists)? Does she have to switch to the “Women of Reform Judaism” group?

The Person of Color (identified as such by the media) who is the current Boston mayor gets into the spirit of Islam today:

See also “Boston City Council approves protest restrictions proposed by Mayor Wu” (Boston Globe, March 30, 2022) for how Mx. Wu has enhanced freedom of speech.

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Joe Biden asks to speak to Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle’s manager

“Biden administration to appeal ruling striking down transit mask mandate” (Washington Post, today):

The Biden administration will appeal a federal judge’s decision that struck down the mask mandate on public transportation, officials announced Wednesday.

The Justice Department filed notice of its plans to appeal after U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle of Florida on Monday concluded that the mandate exceeded the statutory authority of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The ruling blindsided the White House and sparked days of debate within the administration about how to proceed.

In other words, the muscular Vanquisher of Corn Pop has asked to speak to the young judge’s manager!

Separately, as long as we’re talking about COVID Karens, I still can’t figure out why people who want to wear masks in public are in public to begin with. They’re afraid of COVID-19 so they put on a cloth mask or a non-fitted N95 mask after leaving the house. But if they’re afraid of COVID-19, why did they leave their houses in the first place? Karen visits a Florida theme park is an extreme example of this conundrum.

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