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The white-Left Part 1: The two meanings of white

Wednesday, May 13, 2020


When I first heard that Trump was privately questioning the broadly agreed upon count of US coronavirus deaths, now quickly approaching a hundred thousand, saying that number was exaggerated, and they were really much lower. I wondered "How does that work in his mind?"

Surely, he wasn't doubting that thousands of Americans, roughly 85,000 (roughly indeed!) as I write this, that rang in the New Year with the rest of us, are now in body-bags, or coffins, after having tested positive for coronavirus, or having shown every sign of having succumb to COVID-19. Even I will agree that there is plenty of Fake News to be found, but surely, he doesn't think these people are faking their deaths? He must have another angle.

Then I remembered some commentary I heard on Fox News that argued that it was unfair to blame coronavirus for all these deaths because often there were contributing factors, or comorbidities involved, and knowing where Trump gets his Fake News, I thought: That must be where his mind is going!

When we hit that hundred thousand mark, is it really fair to say coronavirus has killed a hundred-thousand Americans? After all, most of those people were old and used up. You wouldn't get much for them in a wrongful death lawsuit. “Loss of Future Income? Give me a break! They're costing you money. You should pay me,” says the COVID's advocate.

It's like if you were apportioning blame or damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, in which Coronavirus, Diabetes, and Hypertension were all involved. You wouldn't say all damages should be paid only by Coronavirus, while letting the other parties get off Scot-free. That wouldn't be fair! That's how Trump, the businessman, would look at it. So, probably he is thinking that of that hundred thousand, coronavirus bears only a part of the blame, but is given all of it. Is that how he is arriving at a lower number?

Trump is threatening to sue China for coronavirus damages, whereas they are just another party damaged by the virus. That's stupid. That led me to thinking about how I would attempt to defend coronavirus is such a lawsuit, if I was the COVID's advocate.

It would be the height of folly to attempt to avoid paying any damages, given the mounting empirical evidence and death toll, but I think I could limit the damage to my client by arguing along these lines:

It's true that my client has amassed a small fortune through genome patents, name usage rights, and other deals with Big Pharma, and it would like to do the right thing. In settlement, COVID is willing to pay damages to every country equally, in so far as possible, for the deaths it is responsible for in each country. However, when the United States, despite certain obvious advantages with regards to economy, infrastructure, and health technology, summits a claim for 84,119 deaths, while South Korea summits one for 260 deaths, Norway for 229, South Africa for 219, Panama for 256, Israel for 264, and so on, I must protest, as the COVID's advocate, that this carnage in the US can not entirely, or even mainly, laid at my client's feet.

We recognize the requirement that a party seeking damages has to be able to show that they took such steps as considered reasonable and ordinary to limited the damages. For example, if someone scratched you, causing an open wound on a limb, and you sought no medical treatment, you didn't even apply first-aid, but instead let it fester unattended, until the limb had to be amputated, you can hardly lay that limb at the feet of the person who scratched you.

So, I would argue that if my client, coronavirus, a virus that is novel to all who have not battled it, and so really does treat all people as equals, has been found responsible for say 300,000 deaths worldwide, even with my client taking on board all the claims against other comorbidities that have contributed to COVID deaths worldwide, and the United States is but 5% of the world's population, then, even without taking into account the advanced state of economy, infrastructure, and medical technology in the United States, factors that should have limited the damages there, my client's responsiblity should be limited to that same death rate in the US. So 5% of 300,000, or roughly 15,000. The rest are due to the criminally negligent way “damage mitigation” was handled by the national leadership of the United States. Those deaths were cause because they didn't take my client seriously soon enough. They didn't take the steps to mitigate the damage that were taken in so many other countries. They looked on while the fire was kindling, and didn't call the fire department until half the house had burned down.

My client, COVID will accept responsibility for roughly 15,000 of those 100,000 American lives. For the remainder, perhaps you should sue the Trump Administration.

That's how I would argue the case if I was the COVID's advocate.

Clay Claiborne

Saturday, May 9, 2020

The murder of Ahmaud Arbery: UPDATE: Three racists indicted by grand jury

Was titled:
Arrest William 'Roddie' Bryan for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery now!

Then Titled:
William 'Roddie' Bryan arrested for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery

Racial slur used over Arbery's body. See UPDATES below.

On Thursday, two white men, Greg and Travis McMichael, father and son, were arrested and charged with the murder of the unarmed African American jogger Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia on 23 February 2020. This small modicum of justice was denied for 74 days. It came just two days after a video of the shooting, that Georgia authorities had in their hands since day one, was leaked and went viral on YouTube.

This video was shot by William 'Roddie' Bryan, a white neighbor of Travis McMichael, who also participated in the chase that ended Arbery's life. He should also be charged with murder, or conspiracy to commit murder.

Yesterday, William 'Roddie' Bryan had the audacity to hold a press conference, with his attorney. He is claiming that he was just a witness to the incident, and is calling upon the Georgia Bureau of Investigations to “Clear His Good Name.”

This is outrageous! William 'Roddie' Bryan is not an innocent man who came upon this scene and video recorded it as a good citizen. He was a willing participant, and active member of this conspiracy to commit murder, and should be arrested and prosecuted for this murder along with the two McMichaels. In the furtherance of this demand, I offer two proofs, both from the official Brunswick, GA files on the case.

The first comes from the Glynn County Police Department Incident Report.

At 0.19 in the video, Greg McMichael can be seen raising his .357 Magnum
to line up a shot just as the 'Roddie' moves to take him out of the frame.
I've never heard of a gangland killing where only the gangster that fired the fatal shot is charged with the crime, while his cohorts are listed as witnesses, but amazingly, that is exactly what the GCPD Incident Report on this crime does. It lists both the father, Gregory McMichael, who was armed with a .357 Magnum, and can be seen in the bed of the pickup truck, which bears the Gadsden flag and its “Don’t tread on me” motto, trying to line up a shot in the video, and William 'Roddie' Bryan, the armed neighbor who shot the video, and attempted to use his car to box Arbery in, as witnesses. This initial police report lists only the shooter, Travis McMichael, as a suspect. But even this very report shows that 'Roddie' wasn't just a citizen that happened on a scene and started shooting video. The police report states [bold added]:
McMichael stated he and Travis got in the truck and drove down Satilla Drive toward Burford Drive. McMichael stated when they arrived at the intersection of Satilla Drive and Holmes Drive, they saw the unidentified male running down Burford drive. McMichael then stated Travis drive [sic] down Burford and attempted to cut off the male. McMichael stated the unidentified male turned around and began running back the direction from which he came and 'Roddie' attempted to block him which was unsuccessful. Michael stated he then jumped into the bed of the truck and he and Travis continued to Holmes in an attempt to intercept him. McMichael stated they saw the unidentified male and shouted “stop stop, we want to talk to you”. Michael stated they pulled up beside the male and shouted stop again at which time Travis exited the truck with the shotgun. McMichael stated the unidentified male began to violently attack Travis and the two men then started fighting over the shot gun at which point Travis fired a shot and then a second later there was a second shot. Michael stated the male fell face down on the pavement with his hand under his body. McMichael stated he rolled the man over to see if the male had a weapon.
Actually, three shot gun blasts can be heard in the video.

Arbery was jogging while wearing a T-shirt and shorts, making it hard to carry a concealed weapon, and since he approached and struggled with a man with a shot gun without revealing a weapon of this own, it's hard to believe McMichael really rolled Arbery over to check for a weapon. Furthermore, the responding lead officer reported:
While in route I was advised there were shots fired and a male on the ground “bleeding out”. A short time later I was advised the male on the ground was deceased.
This implies that Arbery didn't die immediately, but “bleed out,” yet there is no indication that emergency medical services were called either by the “witnesses,” or the police. Greg McMichael was a retired cop, so he knew the drill. Probably, he turned over the body to confirm that Arbery was dead or dying. A living Arbery might tell a different story, and be a problem for them.
Screenshot from Incident Report for G20-11303

My second proof comes from the recusal letter of District Attorney George E. Barnhill. Greg McMichael has endorsed this account as an accurate description of the killing. After asserting “We do not see grounds for an arrest of any of the three parties,” the DA continued:
It appears Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael, and Bryan William were following, in pursuit [of] burglary suspect, with solid firsthand probable cause, in their neighborhood, and asking/ telling him to stop. It appears their intent was to stop and hold this criminal suspect until law enforcement arrived. Under Georgia Law this is perfectly legal,
So, it was three men in two vehicles involved in a common pursuit. Then he cites the Georgia law allowing citizen's arrest:
OCGA 17 -4 -60 “A private person may arrest an offender if the offense is committed in his presence or within his immediate knowledge. If the offense is a felony and the offender is escaping or attempting to escape, a private person may arrest him upon reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion.”
But these conditions weren't met.

In contradiction to Greg McMichael's claim that “there have been several Break-ins in the neighborhood and further the suspect was caught on surveillance video.” No break-ins or burglaries had been reported the preceding seven weeks.

Arbery was caught on video surveillance trespassing in an open construction site during his run. Just a foundation, really. This was reported to 911, but when the dispatcher asked “And you said someone’s breaking into it right now?” the man replied “No, it’s all open. It’s under construction … “ Then the caller said the man was leaving the site, “And there he goes right now.” To which the dispatcher replied, “Ok, what is he doing?” The caller said “He’s running down the street.” Then the dispatcher interrupted the caller's narrative, saying, “I just need to know what he was doing wrong, Was he just on the premises and not supposed to be?” That question was never clearly answered.

The Brunswick News has reported:
Arbery was an enthusiastic runner, according to friends and family. The former all-star linebacker at Brunswick High was often seen jogging in the community, according posts on the Facebook page, “I Run With Maud #JusticeForAhmaud).”
Is trespassing a felony in Georgia? Even if it is for a black man, I don't see the exigencies that called for these three armed men to attempt a citizen's arrest. This was not a lawful killing.
Screenshot excerpt from Barnhill's letter
There were three known members of this 2nd Amendment style lynch mob, and “2nd Amendment” is right! While these killers are trying to hide behind Georgia's “right to carry law,” students of history know that the original intend of the 2nd Amendment was not to assure all citizens, regardless of color, had a right to self-defense. It was demanded as an amendment to the US Constitution by Virginia to guarantee that the armed slave patrols that were so essential to the institution of racial slavery would continue under the new union. That is what the cryptic reference to “a well regulated Militia” was all about. I go into this history in some depth in Murders of Alton Sterling & Philando Castile: No 2nd Amendment rights for blacks.

According to a Change.org petition "Demand Murder Charges For Videotaper In Ahmaud Aubrey Death," William Bryan “also told police he helped chase Ahmaud and can be heard cocking his pistol on the video." This cocking sound can be heard ~ 0.13 into the video as the chase is coming to its fatal conclusion, indicating this innocent “witness” had also come armed to this shooting party. PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION.

Clay Claiborne

UPDATED 22 May 2020:

William "Roddie" Bryan was arrested yesterday for his part in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery. He was charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. That last charge is because "Roddie" attempted to box Arbrey in, as I reported abaove. The Brunswick News reported:
GBI investigators say Bryan, 50, took an active role in the pursuit of Arbery...Bryan followed Arbery in a vehicle during the final moments of the young man's life, videoing the scene as Arbery was fatally shot three times with buckshot at close range while struggling with Travis McMichael for possession of McMichael's shotgun.

However, GBI agents now say Bryan actively took part in the pursuit of Arbery. Between 1 p.m. and 1:20 p.m., Bryan allegedly made numerous attempts to cut off Arbery's escape, according to a GBI arrest affidavit.

“The accused did attempt to confine and detain Ahmaud Arbery without legal authority, by utilizing his vehicle on multiple occasions during the above time frame, with the intention of confining and detaining Arbery,” the affidavit reads.

UPDATED 5 June 2020:

After a seven hour hearing in Glynn County on Thursday, Magistrate Court Judge Wallace Harrell ruled that their was sufficient evidence to hold all three defendants over for trial. Among that evidence was testimony from GBI SAC Richard Dial that Bryan told police Travis McMichael said “fucking ni@@er” over Ahmaud Arbey's dead or dying body, representing an attitude completely unrelated, I'm sure, to the Confederate flag sticker on his tool box. He was also reported to have used this slur regularly on social media, as for example, when he said he loved his job because there “weren't any ni@@ers anywhere,” or said about another shooting it would be better if someone had “blown that ni@@er's head off.” Dial also said there was evidence of Bryan's racist attitudes in his communications. It was also reported that they hit him with the truck before they shot him.

Ahmaud and his Mom. He was born on Mother's Day, 1994

UPDATED 24 June 2020:
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting:
BREAKING: All 3 suspects indicted in Ahmaud Arbery shooting death

By Alexis Stevens
A grand jury has indicted the three suspects accused in the death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, the Cobb County District Attorney said Wednesday.

Travis and Greg McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan were previously charged with felony murder in the death of Arbery, who was shot in February in a Brunswick neighborhood. All three are being held without bond in the Glynn County jail.

The indictment returned Wednesday formally charges each of the three defendants — Travis and Greg McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan — with nine counts: malice murder; felony murder (four counts); aggravated assault (two counts); false imprisonment; and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment, the DA said.