When the gun of Atlanta attorney Claud “Tex” McIver went off in a car and killed his wife Diane McIver, he insisted that he pulled out the gun when he thought that they have inadvertently driven into a Black Lives Matter protest. Police however believe that McIver intentionally shot his wife and then sought to cover up the crime with a friend who was driving the car. The case involves a series of factual and legal twists.
We have been discussing (and lamenting) the rollback of free speech in France where writers and speakers are now routinely prosecuted for what would be protected political or religious speech in the United States. The latest case involves Robert Menard, mayor of Beziers and a top adviser to Marine Le Pen, who has been found guilty of inciting hatred against Muslims.
Like many Bears fans, I watched the NFL draft with two expectations. First, there is the annual booing of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell who is justifiably the least popular commissioner in history for his years of ripping off fans and filling his own pockets (and those of his aides) at the expense of the game. Second, there was the third spot draft selection of the Bears. To everyone’s surprise, the Bears traded for a one spot jump with the 49ers, which took the team to the cleaners in the trade. It was the shocker of the draft to give away so many slots for Mitchell Trubisky from North Carolina, who was hotly debated as a top QB candidate given his limited playing time as a starter. I do not question Trubisky’s selection but the deal strikes me as much too sweet for the 49ers when they only dropped one slot. The Bears must have had intelligence that other teams were going to grab the second slot and Trubisky. Fans were still scratching their heads when the scandal broke. In 2015, Trubisky tweeted “Hell yeah, Go Packers.” The fans can deal with most scandals in the past of a GQ draft pick. Killing a hobo along the Ohio railroad tracks? Youthful indiscretion. Selling heroin to school children? Excessive entrepreneurial spirit. However, tweeting “Go Packers” as part of anything other than an ironic or menacing threat is a serious problem in a city where we are raised to root for two teams: the Bears and anyone playing the Packers. Trubisky has pledged to delete the tweet, but the damage is done. He is a cheesehead . . . and he is not even from Wisconsin.
There is a truly horrific crime in North Carolina. Former Spc. Marinna Rollins, 23, and Spc. Jarren Heng, 25, were charged this week with shooting Rollins’ PTSD service dog on videotape as they laughed. After tying Rollins’ therapy animal (a pit bull named Cam), the two giggle and laugh as Rollins shoot Cam five times.
I am a notorious news junky who prides himself on keeping abreast of news and issues around the world, particularly stories dealing with free speech and human rights. It was therefore with some shame that I listened to presentations yesterday at the ABA’s program on the horrific treatment of Myanmar’s Muslims. I was asked to moderate a panel on Rohingya by the Hon. Delissa A. Ridgway, Judge of the United States Court of International Trade, who remains one of the most influential figures globally in bringing together legal, political, and academic figures to discuss pressing problems in our world. Judge Ridgway is not just a friend but an inspiration for her tireless work for the rule of law around the world. You do not say no to Delissa Ridgway if you want to have any shot at the afterlife. However, I was not prepared for the heart wrenching account of the killings, rapes, and beatings of Muslims by extremist Buddhists in Myanmar. It is an on-going crime against humanity being committed on a daily basis in plain sight. The panel entitled “While the World Stands Idly By: Myanmar and the Threat of 21st Century Genocide” met at the Capital Hilton and was sponsored by the ABA Section on International Law. Below is a videotape on their worsening conditions in government camps.
I recently posted a blog column on the troubling image of President Donald Trump calling Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to congratulate him on his success in securing what are viewed as near dictatorial powers in the close recent referendum. Erdogan did not waste any time in using the powers. Turkish police have arrested 1,000 people suspected of being supporters of Erdogan’s main opponent, US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen.