Two separate questions about the Rittenhouse acquittal

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reacts to a reporter's question after remarks on the Havana Syndrome, which U.S. officials refer to as "anomalous health incidents", in the Benjamin Franklin Room of the State Department in Washington, DC, U.S. November 5, 2021. Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Reuters.

Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted on all counts in a Kenosha courtroom this week, successfully asserting self-defense against two counts of murder. Whether Rittenhouse committed a crime and whether he acted in a morally acceptable manner are two separate questions. Are Americans separating them appropriately? Josh Barro, Elizabeth Bruenig and Ross Douthat discuss the discourse: why have conservatives been rallying around Rittenhouse? Is vigilante justice conservative? Have certain voices on the left come to regret defending rioting and property damage last summer?

Then: Serge Schmemann joins the panel to talk about Havana Syndrome, the mysterious illness affecting more than 200 U.S. service personnel, mostly posted abroad. Sufferers say they’re experiencing ringing in the ears and a feeling of pressure in the head, among various other symptoms. Could this be the product of some secret Russian microwave gun? Or is it actually just a mass psychogenic illness caused by stress? And is the political infighting around the illness just a distraction from finding a way to help the afflicted? 

Finally: we take a deep dive into Ross Douthat’s new book about his experience with chronic Lyme disease. Why has the disease become so controversial? 

All that plus why turkeys are bad, why too-long blockbuster movies are even worse, and why it’s good Jerome Powell will stay at the Fed.




Sara Fay, Nisha Venkat