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Friday Talking Points [264] -- Drop The Nuke, Harry!

[ Posted Friday, July 12th, 2013 – 17:19 PDT ]

OK, we've got somewhat of a backlog to take care of here, due to summertime laziness striking early this year. So we're just going to plow through the swirling storm of craziness as fast as possible. Insert your own "Sharknado" joke, if you feel so inclined.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid cried "Wolf!" this week... oh, wait, that can't be right... let me check my notes. Sorry for the snark, but the news that Reid is once again considering the "nuclear option" (or the "constitutional option" if you prefer) to end at least part of the rampant and unprecedented obstructionism from Senate Republicans wasn't exactly greeted with joy even among supporters of the idea -- because Harry's led us down this path before, only to wimp out at the end.

Reid is threatening to use a majority vote to end filibusters for presidential appointments (that's the "nuclear" part). This time around, however, he's not talking about doing so for judicial appointments, just positions in the executive branch (such as getting someone to finally head up the newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, for instance). So, in Cold War terms, this is not a city-buster of a nuke, more one of those "tactical, battlefield nukes" the military used to love to dream about. Like that photon torpedo hand grenade Kirk threw in that one Star Trek episode, say.

Of course, there are two schools of thought about using the nuclear option. One says that if Democrats go nuclear, then Republicans will return the favor once they get control of the Senate, in retaliation. After filibustering everything under the sun, the Republicans will change the rules and not allow Democrats to filibuster on anything. Or, even more immediate, the Republicans will have a hissy fit and refuse to do anything until the 2014 elections. The other school of thought is basically "It is impossible for Republicans to threaten to become more obstructionist because they already are obstructing everything." In other words, who cares what they threaten, because they'll just go ahead and do it anyway no matter what the Democrats do.

I'm of the second mind, personally. Republicans show absolutely no restraint, and anyone who expects them to do so in the future for any reason is a fool. So go ahead and drop that nuke, Harry! Start approving President Obama's nominees, as the Constitution says you are supposed to. Republicans will be Republicans no matter what you do, and you've already been suckered twice by "handshake agreements" that they won't. This epic battle may appear as soon as next week, so get ready for it.

OK, that was far too in-depth. Let's just zip through some other news items like a chainsaw through a flying shark, shall we?

Rand Paul seems to have a problem with an aide with white supremacist views, but he doesn't seem too worried that the voters of Kentucky will care all that much. Let's see what this does for his national aspirations, though, in a few years. The House Republicans had to drop food stamps in order to pass a farm bill, because they are openly bickering among themselves once again.

Speaking of Republicans bickering, immigration reform is causing some serious angst in the party, even leading Bill O'Reilly to castigate his own fans in exasperation. George W. Bush tried to talk some sense into House Republicans this week, without much notable success.

Speaking of House Republicans, one of them wants to -- are you ready for this? -- charge Barack Obama with criminal behavior because he delayed one aspect of Obamacare for a year. These are the people who have voted to repeal Obamacare more than three dozen times, and now they're going to hold Obama accountable for not implementing the program on schedule? It just boggles the mind.

The Republican War On Women has entered a frenzy phase, with so much happening in so many states that it now requires a scorecard to even keep up with it all. Emily's List has created just such a webpage, although I'm sure others are tracking all the War On Women battles as well (post links to others if you have them, in the comments). Astonishingly, in Iowa, women can be legally fired for being too attractive, it seems. Tampons are apparently more dangerous than guns, at least in the Texas statehouse. Who knew? More on this at the end of the column. Things have gotten so ridiculous that Republicans are attaching abortion restrictions to a motorcycle safety bill in North Carolina. Excuse me? Motorcycle safety? Abortion? What the...?

Sigh.

OK, we're still not getting through these fast enough. So let's speed the whirlwind up!

The First Amendment won a recent victory in court, so go out and chalk up a Bank of America sidewalk to celebrate! In medical marijuana news, a guy in Michigan has launched a trip in his wheelchair all the way to the White House, in an attempt to talk some sense into Barack Obama on the issue. More power to him. The student loans issue still hasn't been solved in Congress, but we're going to address this later in the column, so we just mention it in passing here. In Pennsylvania, a lawsuit is challenging the state's gay marriage ban, and the state isn't even going to defend it in court, apparently. So that might be a quick victory, although knowing the speed of the legal system, maybe not. Stay tuned.

And finally, we wrap this up with a book notice. Mark Leibovich has written a new book on Washington called This Town which does indeed sound interesting. From an extra-snarky review in Salon comes this ultimate teaser: "If you hate Washington, you really ought to read this book to hate it with more clarity and specificity." Heh. Sounds like a great summer read to me!

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

Elizabeth Warren is doing some impressive stuff as a senator, which is exactly why the voters of Massachusetts sent her there in the first place. Warren is pushing a bill on student loans that makes so much sense and is so breathtakingly brilliant that most politicians (and almost all of the media) are ignoring it as "not serious" (because "serious" ideas in Washington are the ones talked about at the right sort of cocktail parties, which Warren is obviously way too busy to attend). Warren is also pushing to reinstate the Glass-Steagall banking law, in her spare time. For all of this effort, Warren is due at least an Honorable Mention.

Attorney General Eric Holder has now realized that he went too far in putting the screws to journalists, and has announced that he's not going to be doing that sort of thing any more. While First Amendment (and Fourth Amendment) enthusiasts breathed a sigh of relief at the news, we just can't see giving the man any sort of award for doing what he should have done in the first place, sorry.

But our main award this week has to be renamed a bit. This week, in the spirit of cross-party solidarity, we're issuing our first Most Impressive Working Families Party Member Of The Week award. OK, so "MIWFPMOTW" is never going to roll off anyone's tongue, but then "MIDOTW" isn't exactly easy to enunciate either, so this isn't really a worry.

Kidding aside, this is the one story that everyone should really read this week. Because Portland State University instructors Mary King and Barbara Dudley assigned their senior class a project, and the fifteen students managed not only to come up with a great idea, but they've actually gotten it passed into law (at least, for a pilot program to begin with). Their great idea? Free college for all Oregon students. No student loans at all. Instead, students agree to what is essentially a payroll tax of three percent for their first twenty years of working. Seeing as how student loan payments are often much higher than this, it makes a whole lot of sense. Students who make a lot of money will contribute a lot to the "Pay It Forward" program, and students who make smaller incomes will pay less (but the same proportional amount).

The entire story is, once again, well worth reading, especially for those who have gotten a wee bit cynical about how government works these days. This school project only started last fall, and has now been passed by the state government. That is real change you can believe in, folks. In fact, this is the most heartwarming story of students getting things done legislatively since that guy got a "C" on his college paper and, in protest, got the United States Constitution amended.

This is a fantastic idea, and will change the lives of Oregon students in a big way if it works out and is fully implemented in the future. For trying something new, for trying something brilliantly innovative, and for following through and getting it passed into law, both the instructors and every member of the class deserve this week's award (whatever it's called -- since we don't know the political affiliation of all of them). Well done, and here's hoping your idea spreads like wildfire!

[Since the winners are not public figures, our policy is not to provide contact information for them, sorry.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

San Diego mayor Bob Filner this week offered up a public apology for what seems to be his habit of sexually harassing women who work for him. It's hard to tell, because full details haven't come to light, but he certainly sounds like he's done something pretty odious in his halfhearted apology video.

This isn't the only thing missing from the video, though. Also absent was the line "...and so, I am stepping down from office immediately." Which is why Filner is our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week, in fact.

There are consequences (or there should be) for misbehavior. Consequences include such things as a personal journey to discover why acting like a pig is no longer socially acceptable, to be sure. But they should also include taking real responsibility for your actions and doing what is best for your party, for your city, and for yourself. Filner should resign, after his admission of wrongdoing.

It's not like he will be barred from politics forever, after all. There are second acts in American political life -- just ask Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, or Mark Sanford (to name but a few recent examples). But before you get there, you've got to spend some time in the penalty box first.

Filner would have won the MDDOTW award for his admission alone. But he wins it twice over by refusing to do the right thing and step down immediately. For shame, Bob, for shame!

[Contact San Diego Mayor Bob Filner via his official contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 264 (7/12/13)

We're going to start positive this week, but then end on a negative note. Actually, we'll move through being negative to wind up in Crazy Town, for the last one of these, because Republicans led the way there.

As usual, these are offered up as talking points to any Democrat from those gathered around the water cooler to those sitting across from (shudder) David Gregory on Sunday morning television. Enjoy, and use responsibly, as always.

 

1
   Surplus!

Something just happened which definitely qualifies as news, but you wouldn't know that from watching mainstream news, who are busy with a plane crash and a trial in Florida. So any enterprising Democrat being interviewed can use a little shame to point this out in a television interview.

"Last month, the United States ran a surplus of over a hundred billion dollars. This was the largest such monthly surplus in five years, in fact. We are now on track to the lowest budget deficit since the recession hit, and it looks like Barack Obama's promise to halve the deficit is going to be met this year. Now, as I recall, television news covered all the bad economic news with a passion, but I have to wonder why this news item was greeted with a shrug this week. I guess 'things are getting better' isn't newsworthy, while 'things are getting worse' is, or something. But I just wanted to be sure your viewers were aware of the fact that June had a $116 billion surplus."

 

2
   Competence in government

This isn't really a partisan point, more a generic comment, but it still is a point worth making.

"I was struck this week by the repeated interviews of the chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, Deborah Hersman. It is refreshing to see such competence in a government official. Hersman, responding to the airline crash at San Francisco's airport, was unflappable while giving countless interviews to the press. She controlled the information flow and refused to join in the rampant speculation that always follows such a disaster in the media. It's a minor point, but one worth making -- this is how government should work. With competence, with respect for those involved, and with openness and endless patience for all the inane media questions that are sure to be asked."

 

3
   Give Oregon some credit!

The Oregon student loan experiment deserves a lot more good press than it has so far gotten. Help this along, whenever possible.

"While here in Washington, Congress missed an important deadline which doubled the interest rate on student loans -- an issue they're still bickering over, two weeks after the deadline passed -- the state of Oregon quietly moved in a new direction. Their new 'Pay It Forward' plan could become the template for how to get America's college students out from the crushing debt of student loans. Free college for all, with a payroll tax of three percent on earnings for twenty years after you graduate. That's a pretty innovative idea, and I will be watching the pilot program with great interest -- to see if this could be the solution nationwide. I think it's a shame how little media attention this brilliant idea has so far gotten, in fact."

 

4
   When Hillary is elected president...

This would be an amusing enough line for any Democrat to use, but coming from Bill O'Reilly makes it absolutely priceless. This can be used in response to just about any question on immigration that is asked.

"Well, on immigration reform, I'd like to read the advice Bill O'Reilly recently gave to a fan of his. In response to a letter urging Republicans to scuttle immigration reform, Bill responded, and I quote: When Hillary Clinton is elected president in 2016, will you say the same thing? Because that's what's going to happen if the GOP does not begin to put forth smart solutions to the country's problems. Unquote. That's not from some liberal voice, that's from Bill O'Reilly. Will we be sitting here in three years pointing back to the failure of immigration reform as having launched Hillary Clinton's victory? I'd like to hear a few House Republicans respond to that, personally."

 

5
   Rand Paul's racist staff

This one needs noting, just so we can all bring it up in about two or three years, when he launches his presidential bid.

"I noticed that Senator Rand Paul is defending his aide from charges of being a white supremacist. I don't know why anyone would get that idea, Paul essentially said, brushing off the man's history of proudly supporting the concept of secession, praising John Wilkes Booth, wearing a Confederate flag ski mask, and working as a radio host under the name 'Southern Avenger.' I mean, how could anyone possibly have any problem with a man who has written in the past that, quote, a non-white majority America would simply cease to be America, unquote. Rand Paul's support of his aide may not harm him in Kentucky, but my guess is it's going to be a much bigger issue if he actually does run for president in 2016."

 

6
   What time is it, Bob? Time to step down?

The Republican governor of Virginia seems to be in some hot water. No time like the present to point it out.

"I see that Bob McDonnell hasn't stepped down as governor of Virginia. He is maintaining that he did nothing wrong -- or at least, nothing illegal -- by accepting gifts such as a $6,500 Rolex watch, a $15,000 Oscar de la Renta gown for his wife, catering for his daughter's wedding, and five-figure checks made out to his relatives. The FBI hasn't concluded its investigation, so he hasn't been led off in handcuffs yet, but it's amazing that the man still thinks he can run the state after such graft has been exposed. McDonnell should look down at that $6,500 watch he's got, because I think what it's saying is: 'It's time to resign your office, Bob.'"

 

7
   Maybe if they brought tampon-guns?

And finally, we conclude with our "War On Women" talking point of the week. Oh, you just knew there was going to be one, didn't you?

"The Republican War On Women has gone from completely irrational to downright insane this week. North Carolina legislators seem to think that motorcycle safety and abortion are somehow connected, but the craziest thing -- so far -- this week was the news that women entering the Texas statehouse had to surrender their tampons before being allowed to enter the building. Guns were allowed in, but not tampons. This is what the Republican War On Women has come to -- police confiscation of personal hygiene products because Republicans are terrified that they'll be weaponized. Women could get it into their pretty little heads to throw tampons at Republican lawmakers, and that would just be icky. You cannot make this stuff up, folks. Guns? Fine, bring your gun into the building. Tampons? Sorry, not allowed. Maybe if someone made a tampon gun that would be OK, what do you think?"

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

100 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [264] -- Drop The Nuke, Harry!”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    Like that photon torpedo hand grenade Kirk threw in that one Star Trek episode, say.

    Ahem... WHICH episode would that be, eh?? :D

    No fair google'ing...

    As far as the nuclear option, you know my feelings on it. Democrats will live to regret it, because eventually the GOP WILL be back in control..

    In other words, Democrats are demanding all the rope they need to hang themselves.

    I am also constrained to point out that it was Democrats who perfected the filibuster/obstructionist technique against nominees during the Bush years...

    Now they are pissy and whiney because the GOP is so much better at it than they were...

    Speaking of House Republicans, one of them wants to -- are you ready for this? -- charge Barack Obama with criminal behavior because he delayed one aspect of Obamacare for a year. These are the people who have voted to repeal Obamacare more than three dozen times, and now they're going to hold Obama accountable for not implementing the program on schedule? It just boggles the mind.

    You think THAT is mind-boggling??

    What about a Democrats and our POTUS going on and on and on about healthcare reform that is going to save the universe, but then, "Oh well.. It's too complicated so we're going to delay it another year..."

    THAT is mind-boggling..

    Further, there is a certain logic about Obama committing a crime. I mean, a POTUS can't just ignore the law because it will be politically inconvenient... Can he??

    Oh wait, we are talking about Emperor Barack The First...

    What was I thinking...

    Awesome about those kids in Oregon.. That DOES sound logical and rational...

    Which is why it will never fly in Washington (DC, not State)... To many people acquire too much money and power by the status quo...

    There are consequences (or there should be) for misbehavior. Consequences include such things as a personal journey to discover why acting like a pig is no longer socially acceptable, to be sure. But they should also include taking real responsibility for your actions and doing what is best for your party, for your city, and for yourself. Filner should resign, after his admission of wrongdoing.

    Bill Clinton....

    'nuff said....

    I'll get to the TPs in a bit..

    Michale

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/14/us/obama-remark-is-complicating-military-trials.html?hp&_r=0

    Once again, Obama puts his foot in his mouth..

    Many, if not all, cases of military sexual harassment will likely be dismissed now..

    Great job, Obama. You acted stupidly!!

    Michale

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, Kevin... I guess THAT was a quick issue, eh?? :D

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    Kevin wrote:

    If you're gloating about what I think you are, I feel sorry for your lack of humanity.

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Lack of humanity??

    I am simply gratified that the victim of a viscous hate crime wasn't punished for doing nothing more than defending himself.

    Wanting to prosecute him and see him in jail for the rest of his life for that shows an appalling lack of humanity..

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    akadjian wrote:

    "I’m angry because there’s a justice system that somehow says that the killing of an unarmed boy by an armed civilian who defied police orders and pursued him, got in a fight, and then killed him when he was probably losing that fight is ok." - Brian Sims, State Representative, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

    The best quote I've seen so far on the issue.

    I accept that there likely wasn't enough evidence to convict him of murder charges, but this still doesn't make what Zimmerman did morally right.

    -David

  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    David,

    It appears that the 'Stand Your Ground' laws have worked to devalue human life, especially if you happen to be black, by lowering the standard of when the use of lethal force and the taking of a human life is permissible in a self-defense case.

    Here is the best quote that I have read on the issue, so far ... it comes from David Simon's latest post on his blog, The Audacity of Despair:

    "You can stand your ground if you’re white, and you can use a gun to do it. But if you stand your ground with your fists and you’re black, you’re dead.

    "In the state of Florida, the season on African-Americans now runs year round. Come one, come all. And bring a handgun. The legislators are fine with this blood on their hands. The governor, too. One man accosted another and when it became a fist fight, one man — and one man only — had a firearm. The rest is racial rationalization and dishonorable commentary."

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    but this still doesn't make what Zimmerman did morally right.

    Yes it did..

    A- Zimmerman did not "defy" police. A police operator has NO AUTHORITY to order ANYONE to do ANYTHING. Regardless of that, when the police operator ADVISED Zimmerman to break off pursuit, Zimmerman complied..

    B- Zimmerman didn't "get into a fight". Martin attacked Zimmerman as Zimmerman was walking back to his vehicle.. If Martin had lived and killed Zimmerman, he would have been charged with Murder with a Hate Crime special circumstance..

    C- Even if Zimmerman DID throw the first punch, he would have been justified in shooting Martin, given the circumstances. That is the law...

    The problem is, people like that Sims guy and everyone else who is against Zimmerman is reacting with hysterical emotion and completely ignoring the facts...

    The facts are clear..

    And NONE of them support your version of the event..

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    It appears that the 'Stand Your Ground' laws have worked to devalue human life, especially if you happen to be black, by lowering the standard of when the use of lethal force and the taking of a human life is permissible in a self-defense case.

    Stand Your Ground has absolutely nothing to to with this incident..

    SYG only comes into play when a person has an option to retreat. SYG allows them to utilize deadly force instead of retreating..

    Zimmerman had no option to retreat once Martin attacked him. So, SYG is not relevant.

    Again, if you ignore the hysterical and rampant emotionalism and just look at the facts, you will see that the jury made the right call...

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Stand Your Ground has quite a lot to do with this case for the reason I stated above.

    I'm afraid you are making statements that are not based on the facts of this case. Indeed, there are may pertinent facts about this case that will never be known and you should not presume to know things that you cannot know.

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Stand Your Ground has quite a lot to do with this case for the reason I stated above.

    Which reason was that?

    SYG just wasn't a factor in the Zimmerman case. None whatsoever..

    I'm afraid you are making statements that are not based on the facts of this case.

    A lot of people say that.

    But not ONE single person has been able to provide an example..

    Wanna be the first? :D

    I know all that is relevant...

    Apparently, the jury agrees with me. :D

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    You said,

    "I am simply gratified that the victim of a viscous (sic) hate crime wasn't punished for doing nothing more than defending himself.

    Wanting to prosecute him and see him in jail for the rest of his life for that shows an appalling lack of humanity.."

    It deeply saddens me to say that I never thought that I would ever read such a comment on this site.

    Help me understand what you believe is the standard in the US for the use of lethal force by a citizen and the taking of a fellow citizen's life. How low will your country go?

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Help me understand what you believe is the standard in the US for the use of lethal force by a citizen and the taking of a fellow citizen's life.

    If a person is not committing a crime and they reasonably believe that their life or the life of someone else is in danger, they have a RIGHT to self-defense.

    This is the standard for ANY civilized society...

    Are you saying that you would have preferred that Martin had killed Zimmerman???

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    If Zimmerman had been an off-duty cop, would we even be HAVING this discussion??

    Of course we wouldn't..

    Because A> it wouldn't have been in ANY (but local) news media at all..

    And B> ya'all wouldn't have a problem if it had been an off-duty cop that had made the call...

    So, why is it a problem with a security officer??

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    If a person is not committing a crime and they reasonably believe that their life or the life of someone else is in danger, they have a RIGHT to self-defense.

    You do realize that you are describing Trayvon Martin, here, don't you?

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Are you saying that a person has the right to use lethal force and take the life of another person in the case of a common assault?

    What about in the case of theft of property?

    Does all and any criminal activity provide a legal basis for the use of lethal force as a mean of self-defense?

    When a cop, who is trained to deal with situations involving the possible use of lethal force, shoots a civilian, there is a thorough investigation. That did not happen in the Zimmerman case until after there was enough pubic outrage to demand a thorough investigation.

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    You do realize that you are describing Trayvon Martin, here, don't you?

    Trayvon Martin DID commit a crime. A felony..

    Aggravated Assault with a Hate Crime special circumstance.

    That's what the evidence and the facts show..

    That's why the State lost it's case.. Because the State couldn't convince the jury to buy into hysterical emotionalism..

    The jury saw the facts and judged accordingly..

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Your comment #17 is outrageous and completely false.

    It should not be allowed to stand here.

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Are you saying that a person has the right to use lethal force and take the life of another person in the case of a common assault?

    There was nothing common about Martin's assault on Zimmerman.

    Regardless, it doesn't matter what you or I believe.

    If a person fears that their life is in danger, they can employ deadly force.

    If a jury of their peers decide that the fear was reasonable, the self-defense wins the day..

    Zimmerman said he was in fear of his life.

    The jury considered the facts and the evidence and agreed that such fear was reasonable.

    I fail to see the problem here...

    Does all and any criminal activity provide a legal basis for the use of lethal force as a mean of self-defense?

    If said criminal activity endangers the lives of innocent people?? You betcha...

    That did not happen in the Zimmerman case until after there was enough pubic outrage to demand a thorough investigation.

    It DID happen in the Zimmerman case.. A thorough investigation WAS done..

    And lo and behold, NOTHING changed.. No new evidence came to light that refuted Sanford PD's initial call...

    The only reason people say a thorough investigation wasn't done is because they didn't like the results..

    This is America. We don't persecute innocent people just to appease racist assholes...

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Your comment #17 is outrageous and completely false.

    It should not be allowed to stand here.

    I am sorry that you feel that way..

    But it is completely accurate and factual.

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Your comment #17 is outrageous and completely false.

    It should not be allowed to stand here.

    But it illustrates my point perfectly..

    No one here wants to know that it was Martin reacting out of racism, not Zimmerman..

    Ya'all only accept the facts you WANT to accept and ignore anything that doesn't fit your world-view...

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    This is America. We don't persecute innocent people just to appease racist assholes...

    I hope that wasn't mis-understood..

    The "racist assholes" I was referring to were people like Sharpton, Jackson, Crump and all the morons who are threatening and rioting...

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Trayvon Rally Leader: “Every F**king Cop Is a F**king Target” (Video)
    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2013/07/trayvon-rally-leader-to-crowd-every-fking-cop-is-a-fking-target-video/

    Ahh yes.. The calm and peaceful nature of the Anti-Zimmerman crowd...

    It's ironic that, if Zimmerman had been wrongly convicted, there wouldn't have been any riots. There wouldn't have been any threats..

    Strange how that is, eh?? :^/

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Your comment #17 is outrageous and completely false.

    It should not be allowed to stand here.

    But I completely understand the point you are trying to make..

    It's ghastly when people are falsely accused of racism, iddn't it??

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Invoking the Michale rule. More than 3 comments in a row w/o a response is a foul :)

    On a lighter note, Jim Obergefell is a former colleague. Thought this was a great inspiring story:

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/gay-in-maryland/gay-matters/bs-gm-ohio-couple-wed-on-bwi-tarmac-20130715,0,5144332.story

    -David

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Invoking the Michale rule. More than 3 comments in a row w/o a response is a foul :)

    Yea, I know.. What can I say.. All the great responses come to me AFTER I hit SUBMIT COMMENT

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Testing.. Testing...

  28. [28] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    "I’m angry because there’s a justice system that somehow says that the killing of an unarmed boy by an armed civilian who defied police orders and pursued him, got in a fight, and then killed him when he was probably losing that fight is ok." - Brian Sims, State Representative, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

    I think one of the reasons the verdict came back not guilty is because the government - perhaps bowing to outside pressure - insisted on trying the case as murder. a manslaughter argument fits the known facts much better, so perhaps the prosecution's time would have been better spent looking in that direction.

    neighborhood watch is a lawful activity, and there's no evidence that zimmerman went in looking to kill anyone. his pursuit, defying a police request to hang back, definitely instigated the fight, regardless of who swung first. killing another person without clear intent, in the improper conduct of a lawful activity, is practically a textbook definition of manslaughter.

    in my reading of the statute, self-defense doesn't apply when your own improper (even if not illegal) actions put you in a dangerous position to begin with.

    michale's right about one thing though. if zimmerman had been an off-duty law enforcement officer rather than an overzealous civilian, we wouldn't be having this discussion. this is probably because a real LEO would know better than to put himself in that sort of position to begin with, and would be trained to defuse such a situation before it escalated.

    ~joshua

  29. [29] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    neither stand your ground nor self-defense statutes are a license to instigate a fistfight while carrying a gun.

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think one of the reasons the verdict came back not guilty is because the government - perhaps bowing to outside pressure - insisted on trying the case as murder. a manslaughter argument fits the known facts much better, so perhaps the prosecution's time would have been better spent looking in that direction.

    I would have to disagree. Self-Defense is Self-Defense.

    One can't be found innocent of Murder II by reason of Self Defense and then be found guilty of Manslaughter... If Self Defense is a legitimate argument, then it is all encompassing..

    his pursuit, defying a police request to hang back, definitely instigated the fight,

    Assumes facts not in evidence..

    It's just as easy to say that Zimmerman's call to the police instigated the fight..

    Do you blame the person who is dialing 911?? Or do you blame the attacker that attacked because the person was dialing 911??

    this is probably because a real LEO would know better than to put himself in that sort of position to begin with, and would be trained to defuse such a situation before it escalated.

    Based on over two decades of experience in the field, I would have to say... no...

    I can easily see an off-duty cop being in that EXACT situation...

    Sees something suspicious. Get's on the phone to call for back-up and moves to a better vantage point to obtain better intel.. Advised by dispatch not to engage, to wait for back-up.. Moves off to a position to where they can report.. Is attacked by the subject as they are doing so...

    That is the sequence of events that occurred in Sanford FL.. That is what the evidence indicates occurred...

    Zimmerman did absolutely NOTHING wrong and nearly did everything right...

    My only beef with this entire incident is the interjection of race where absolutely NO RACIAL issue was present...

    And it's the same argument I ALWAYS make on incidents such as this..

    When you cry wolf on racism, you mitigate, excuse, lessen the impact of REAL racism..

    There was absolutely NOTHING racist about this incident, save the racist attitudes of the perpetrator, Trayvon Martin..

    But scumbag racist assholes saw a way to make some money and gain some fame by persecuting an innocent man who doesn't have a racist bone in his body..

    The guy took a black girl to the senior prom... He and his wife mentored SEVERAL black children. He went up against the Sanford PD when an officer's son attacked a black homeless guy.

    You tell me.. Are those the hallmarks of a racist!???

    neither stand your ground nor self-defense statutes are a license to instigate a fistfight while carrying a gun.

    Zimmerman didn't instigate anything. He was simply a conscientious neighbor looking out for his neighbors..

    The decision to start a fight was solely and completely the purview of Martin...

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    in my reading of the statute, self-defense doesn't apply when your own improper (even if not illegal) actions put you in a dangerous position to begin with.

    Missed this one...

    The law is this..

    If you are involved in a altercation where you are in fear of your life and you express a clear and unambiguous desire to disengage (such as screaming for help) and your opponent continues to beat on you, you are legally allowed to employ deadly force to save your life..

    Even if it was you who instigated the altercation..

    In layman's terms, it means you don't have to allow yourself to be killed just because you were stoopid enough to think you could take someone that was 3 times your size....

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I can easily see an off-duty cop being in that EXACT situation...

    are you seriously suggesting that you with all your police and military experience would not have displayed better judgment than george zimmerman? i find that extremely hard to believe.

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    are you seriously suggesting that you with all your police and military experience would not have displayed better judgment than george zimmerman? i find that extremely hard to believe.

    While I appreciate the vote of confidence :D what "bad judgement" did George Zimmerman exhibit??

    I'll give you bonus points if you can identify "bad judgement" that was NOT only visible in hindsight...

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    I can picture the EXACT sequence of events..

    Zimmerman tells his wife he is running to the store for a gallon of milk..

    He walks out his house and goes to his truck.. He sees a hooded figure, kinda out of it swaying around, who looks to be casing places.. He knows there has been a rash of break ins and home invasions so he contacts SPD and makes an effort to keep visuals on the subject..

    So far, textbook security officer practices..

    Zimmerman is attempting to keep tabs on the subject, but he is a little tubby and out of shape. Being not well-versed in surveillance procedures, he gives away his position to Martin.

    Martin is on the phone with Jeantel and tells her this "creepy ass cracker" (racism on the part of Martin established) is following him. Martin tells Jeantel he is right by his home and Jeantel tells Martin to just go home... "He might be a pervert!!" Jeantel tells Martin.

    We don't know what was said next, but we DO know that Martin did not elect to go home..

    Meanwhile, Zimmerman has been advised by police operator not to follow Martin. Zimmerman says "OK" and mutters under his breath that those "fucking punks always get away". He starts heading back towards his vehicle where he is accosted by Martin.

    Based on the forensic evidence, Martin throws a sucker punch that flattens Zimmerman.

    And the rest is pretty much agreed on by both Defense and Prosecution...

    Now, I ask you...

    In all of that, where did Zimmerman show any "bad judgement"??

    Sure, he could have ignored Martin and just went to the store... And Martin might still be alive today.. Or Martin might have robbed and killed someone in a few days.. A week.. A month.. A year... Evidence shows that Martin was WELL acquainted with drugs and guns and violence...

    And maybe that guy in Cleveland who rescued those 3 girls from captivity should have just walked on and minded his own business and not reacted to the suspicions he had...

    In HINDSIGHT, maybe Zimmerman should have done this or should have done that..

    But hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20....

    I say that maybe the racist assholes like Sharpton, Jackson and Crump should have NOT tried to make a quick buck persecuting an innocent man and stirring up racist calls where no racism existed..

    Maybe THAT is the "hind sight" ya'all should be considering and condemning, eh??

    I'm just sayin'....

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    akadjian wrote:

    a manslaughter argument fits the known facts much better, so perhaps the prosecution's time would have been better spent looking in that direction.

    nypoet- I believe he was also acquitted of manslaughter. This surprised me more than him beating the murder charge.

    Liz- Here's a post by Bill Moyers with a number of thoughtful other responses.

    http://billmoyers.com/2013/07/15/recommended-reading-trayvon-martin-murder-trial-reactions/

    -David

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Juror: 'No doubt' that George Zimmerman feared for his life
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/15/justice/zimmerman-juror-book/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

    Well, apparently the jury has spoken.. Again...

    Martin threw the first punch.

    Zimmerman fear for his life was reasonable.

    Maybe ya'all can accept this now.

    Maybe it's time to condemn the rioters and the racists who are trying to profit from this tragedy..

    Yea.. And maybe monkees will fly outta my butt too.. :^/

    Michale

  37. [37] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Hey Michale-

    While I'm not nearly as passionate about this as economic issues, I can see why people are angry.

    Think about it like this for a second.

    Suppose George Zimmerman were a 230-lb 30 year old black man. He follows a 17 year old white teenager because he thinks he looks suspicious carrying a gun.
    They get into a scuffle and black Zimmerman shoots the white teenager.

    Who goes to jail?

    If your answer in all likelihood is the black man, you win the prize.

    This is why people are angry. Because although the law doesn't say that there's different rules for different races, in reality, there are.

    This is the larger issue above and beyond the trial.

    If Zimmerman is really innocent, it's a shame he got caught up in these larger issues. Here, I sympathize with you. No one will likely ever know for sure but Zimmerman because his story is the only story. The jury believed him so I accept their opinion. But I can understand why people are angry.

    Their anger isn't really about Zimmerman's innocence or guilt or Martin's innocence or guilt, it's about different treatment for different races.

    In many ways, it's why people were so angry about the OJ trial. Because people felt like OJ received special treatment because he was black. (Me personally, I think it's more because he was a celebrity, but I understand the anger.)

    -David

  38. [38] 
    akadjian wrote:

    p.s. And by the way, I'm happy to condemn any rioters. That's not the way to bring about change.

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    If your answer in all likelihood is the black man, you win the prize.

    Assumes facts not in evidence..

    If the Zimmerman situation happened EXACTLY as it did, but Zimmerman was black and Martin was a white gangsta/thug druggie...

    There would NEVER had been any trial.. The SPD would have made the exact same determination and that would have been that...

    That's the part that ya'all simply refuse to see..

    There is ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE that race had anything to do with it, from the Zimmerman angle..

    But, the evidence DOES show that it was MARTIN that was being racist in his attack on Zimmerman.

    Why do ya'all ignore THAT??

    If Zimmerman is really innocent,

    IF???

    Their anger isn't really about Zimmerman's innocence or guilt or Martin's innocence or guilt, it's about different treatment for different races.

    But there WAS no different treatment of races.. Until those who make a LIVING out of stirring up racial crap MADE it about race..

    Remember Tawana Brawley??

    p.s. And by the way, I'm happy to condemn any rioters. That's not the way to bring about change.

    And yet, NO ONE here has done so...

    Why is that???

    And why is it that we didn't have to worry about riots if Zimmerman was wrongly convicted??

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    I hear Stevie Wonder is boycotting Florida...

    Stevie who???

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Tell you what... We can end this discussion right here right now..

    Give me just ONE fact. One verifiable, substantiated and relevant fact that would dispute Zimmerman's version of what happened..

    By verifiable, I mean something I can independently confirm..

    By substantiated, I mean is supported by at least 2 pieces of other verifiable, substantiated and relevant evidence...

    By relevant, I mean would have made a difference in the outcome where no other possibility would have made the same difference..

    You give me such evidence, I will drop this discussion and never speak of it again.

    But you can't because no such evidence exists. If there were, it would have been in trial.. So if it's out there, bring it in here..

    " If there is a voice of opposition out there, I want him in here!! NOW!!!"
    -JT Walsh, OUTBREAK

    You can end it all right now and be the hero of all Weigantia... :D

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Tell you what... We can end this discussion right here right now.

    You don't have to, Michale. As mentioned, I have no disagreement w/ the jury decision.

    My beef is with the fairness of the justice system.

    How come, for instance, white people commit more crimes, but the majority of people in jail are people of color?

    -David

    BTW ... great campaign from Howard University students

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH5bB8HUWFs

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    My beef is with the fairness of the justice system.

    Fair enough... er.. No pun intended..

    As long as we agree that, in THIS case, justice was served and the acquittal was in accordance with the facts and the evidence.. And that there is absolutely NO evidence of racism on the part of Zimmerman or the Sanford PD...

    If we are on common ground with those points, then you are correct.. We have no disagreement..

    As to the rest...

    How come, for instance, white people commit more crimes, but the majority of people in jail are people of color?

    I would question the assertion that white people commit more crimes in relation to black people. Once has to factor in the relative populations and percentages...

    As far as I know, it's not a simple 1 for 1 trade off..

    Be that as it may, I am sure there are sound sociological principles behind the facts you relay...

    Institutionalized racism against black people is dead.. It died the day we elected a black president..

    Now, institutionalized racism against the other races?? That's obviously alive and well..

    If MLK were alive today he would be abhorrent at how the black activists has taken up racism against other races...

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    How come, for instance, white people commit more crimes, but the majority of people in jail are people of color?

    I would venture to say, however, that the answer to YOUR question lies somewhere in the question that *I* asked.. And haven't gotten an answer...

    Towhit, why were there no concerns over rioting if Zimmerman was wrongly convicted??

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    akadjian wrote:

    And that there is absolutely NO evidence of racism on the part of Zimmerman or the Sanford PD...

    If we are on common ground with those points, then you are correct.. We have no disagreement..

    Whoa. The trial was not about the Sanford PD or whether Zimmerman is/was racist. It was just about whether he could be convicted of manslaughter or 2nd degree murder.

    why were there no concerns over rioting if Zimmerman was wrongly convicted?

    This is speculation. But I believe it's because, as I mentioned before, the anger is about more than the Zimmerman trial.

    I can't think of any situations where people protested over a single murder where the protests were really about the murder.

    What's your theory?

    -David

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    David,

    You don't have to, Michale. As mentioned, I have no disagreement w/ the jury decision. My beef is with the fairness of the justice system.

    Do you think the justice system was fair or a failure in this case?

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    Whoa. The trial was not about the Sanford PD or whether Zimmerman is/was racist.

    That's not how it was said at the beginning.. At the beginning, it was ALL about racism and how the Sanford PD and Zimmerman was racist...

    OK, so we agree.. There was absolutely NOTHING racist about Zimmerman or his actions or the actions of the Sanford PD.. The ONLY evidence of racism came from Martin himself..

    I don't expect you to concede that last part :D but it's true nonetheless.. :D

    What's your theory?

    About why there wouldn't have been any protests??

    I think it's self-evident...

    But if you think that the protests are about the injustice, but you ALSO think that justice was served, then we have a paradox here...

    Michale

  48. [48] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Do you think the justice system was fair or a failure in this case?

    I think that Zimmerman should have been charged from the start. After that, I think it was about as fair as could be given that much of the evidence came from the person who lived.

    I honestly don't think there was enough evidence to convict him of murder. Manslaughter, more likely. But I'll be honest and say I'm not sure what the burden of proof needs to be here.

    Does this mean Zimmerman is a good person? No. Does it mean he committed the murder? We may never know. Does it mean he's a racist or not? No, either way.

    All it means is that a jury found that there wasn't enough evidence to convict him of murder or manslaughter.

    What I do believe, Liz, is that, if you look at things statistically (which is one of the best ways to identify discrimination), the system does discriminate against black people.

    In the U.S., you are ...
    a) Much more likely to be stopped/questioned if you're black.
    b) More likely to be arrested.
    c) And more likely to be incarcerated (I believe for longer periods of time as well).

    Here, it's pretty easy to provide evidence supporting these claims.

    -David

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think that Zimmerman should have been charged from the start.

    Based on what?

    I honestly don't think there was enough evidence to convict him of murder. Manslaughter, more likely.

    If self-defense is a valid defense for Murder 2 (which it was) then it's a valid defense for any charge stemming from the incident..

    In the U.S., you are ...
    a) Much more likely to be stopped/questioned if you're black.
    b) More likely to be arrested.
    c) And more likely to be incarcerated (I believe for longer periods of time as well).

    If one looks at the racial makeup of criminals in the United States, those points make some sense, don't they??

    I mean, if you are looking for a Chinese guy who committed a crime, do you go to Harlem or Watts?? Or do you go to Chinatown??

    Conversely, if you are looking for a black guy who committed a crime, do you go to Chinatown?? Or do you go to Harlem or Watts??

    It's not profiling. It's good police work. AND common sense...

    Michale

  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Based on what?

    Based on the fact that he shot and killed an unarmed teenager with no eyewitnesses present.

    But, I guess that's how the law works in Florida.

  51. [51] 
    akadjian wrote:

    OK, so we agree.. There was absolutely NOTHING racist about Zimmerman or his actions or the actions of the Sanford PD.

    Now now ... don't twist words.

    No one was ever tried for racism.

    That doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    Me personally, I believe Zimmerman thought Martin "looked suspicious" because he was black.

    I also believe Sanford PD should have charged Zimmerman immediately. If he had been a 30-year old black man who had shot a 17-year old white person, I would bet everything I have on him being charged (if Vegas would give me odds).

    That said ... these are my beliefs. I can't prove them one way or another. Just as you can't prove your claim that Martin was somehow racist.

    What can be proven statistically is that the justice system overall is racist. The problem is that I'm not sure how any court resolves this issue.

    That's why laws are needed to protect against institutional racism.

    -David

  52. [52] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Based on what?

    Based on the fact that he killed a 17-year old kid and his story was highly suspicious.

  53. [53] 
    akadjian wrote:

    If one looks at the racial makeup of criminals in the United States, those points make some sense, don't they?

    Let's investigate.

    What racial makeup of criminals are you looking at?

    Not asking to try and go "gotcha" but as a starting point to see what we can make of the data. If you don't have, I can post some examples other folks have done.

    -David

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Based on the fact that he shot and killed an unarmed teenager with no eyewitnesses present.

    What about the aggravated assault w/ a Hate Crime rider committed by the subject.

    Shouldn't that enter into the equation at all??

    David,

    Me personally, I believe Zimmerman thought Martin "looked suspicious" because he was black.

    And the fact that Zimmerman took a black girl as his date to the prom, that Zimmerman and his wife mentored SEVERAL black kids, that Zimmerman himself went up against the entirety of the Sanford PD when a cops son assaulted a black homeless man...

    None of that comes into the equation at all??

    How come???

    That's why laws are needed to protect against institutional racism.

    You mean, like affirmative action?? THAT kind of "institutional racism"???

    Based on the fact that he killed a 17-year old kid and his story was highly suspicious.

    The story is ONLY highly suspicious to those who have a political agenda.

    To people who know the reality (myself, Sanford PD, etc etc) the story wasn't suspicious at all..

    It was highly logical and rational and, above all, supported by the near totality of the facts and the evidence.

    If you can show me ONE fact as outlined above that disputes Zimmerman's story, you would have an argument.

    But you can't...

    Michale

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    And the fact that Zimmerman took a black girl as his date to the prom, that Zimmerman and his wife mentored SEVERAL black kids, that Zimmerman himself went up against the entirety of the Sanford PD when a cops son assaulted a black homeless man...

    None of that comes into the equation at all??

    AND the fact that Obama's DOJ and FBI looked under every rock, crack and crevice and didn't find a SINGLE iota of evidence that Zimmerman was or ever has been a racist..

    Yet, you still think that Zimmerman targeted Martin because he was black..

    Based on what?

    Because Martin was black so it HAD to be that way???

    Michale

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    What about the aggravated assault w/ a Hate Crime rider committed by the subject. Shouldn't that enter into the equation at all??

    Sure, Michale, that could have been part of the investigation, too, if only to satisfy the likes of you.

    So, what's your point?

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    SYG just wasn't a factor in the Zimmerman case. None whatsoever..

    Then, why do you suppose that the judge included it in her instructions to the jury?

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    Then, why do you suppose that the judge included it in her instructions to the jury?

    She didn't..

    The only charges in her instructions were Murder II and Manslaughter..

    SYG is an affirmative defense that is an option for the defendant..

    Zimmerman's counsel opted to forgoe the SYG hearing. Considering the judge's gross antics during the trial, it's obvious that O'Mara made the right call...

    So, what's your point?

    The point is, all of the anti-Zimmerman crowd was yelling RACISM RACISM RACISM from day one, even though there was absolutely NO EVIDENCE of racism.

    Now we come to find out that the ONLY expression of racism came from Martin himself...

    Yet no one wants to acknowledge that...

    I mean, shouldn't someone, ANYONE, have the decency to apologize to Zimmerman for accusing him of racism??

    Michale

  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    You need to revisit the jury instructions.

    I was not one of those yelling racism and, furthermore, I believe that 2nd degree murder was an example of overcharging on the part of the prosecution.

    I'm coming at this from a whole other angle, in case you haven't noticed.

    Your problem is that you can discuss anything with anyone without attributing all the nonsense to me or anyone else not deserving of the attribution. That's why it's such a pain in the ass to try to have an intelligent conversation with you.

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Of course, I meant to say that " your problem is that you CAN'T discuss anything without ..."

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    Put it another way...

    If there was absolutely NO allegations of racism would there have been an outcry to arrest Zimmerman??

    Say that Zimmerman was black or Martin was hispanic..

    Would there have been a trial??

    Of course not..

    SPD's initial ruling would have stood and that would have been that..

    But, because of the PHONY and COMPLETELY UNSUBSTANTIATED accusations of racism an innocent man was persecuted and his entire family is in fear for their lives..

    ALL because some REAL racist assholes thought they could make a buck by instigating race riots.

    That is the WHOLE sad tale in a nutshell..

    FALSE and PHONY accusations of racism brought us to where we are now..

    It's THAT simple...

    Michale

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    I was not one of those yelling racism and, furthermore, I believe that 2nd degree murder was an example of overcharging on the part of the prosecution.

    Agreed.. And if I ever indicated that I thought you were part of that group, you have my sincerest apologies..

    Your problem is that you can discuss anything with anyone without attributing all the nonsense to me or anyone else not deserving of the attribution. That's why it's such a pain in the ass to try to have an intelligent conversation with you.

    Again, agreed.. :D

    I'll do better and try to listen to what you are saying rather than just assume I already know what you are going to say...

    Michale

  63. [63] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Thank-you, Michale. I really do appreciate that!

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    Thank-you, Michale. I really do appreciate that!

    No problem.. It's something I SHOULD be doing anyways.. :D

    Michale

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    WOW!!!

    According to Jeantel, Zimmerman could have been a "gay rapist"..

    Yes. Definitely after I say may be a rapist, for every boy, for every man, every -- who's not that kind of way, seeing a grown man following them, would they be creep out?
    And people need to understand, he didn't want that creepy ass cracker going to his father or girlfriend's house to go get -- mind you, his little brother was there. You know -- now, mind you, I told you -- I told Trayvon it might have been a rapist."

    -Jeantel, Martin's Girlfriend

    Racism and gay bashing, all in one statement..

    And that was the State's "STAR" witness???

    Are you kidding me???

    Michale

  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I don't usually like to drop links without commenting on them but, this one speaks for itself and goes to a lot of what we are discussing here and it's worth a read and, well, it really resonated with me ...

    It's the latest NYTimes column from Charles Blow, The Whole System Failed Trayvon Martin:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/16/opinion/the-whole-system-failed.html?hp&pagewanted=print

  67. [67] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Have you ever tried to put yourself in Trayvon Martin's shoes, just for the time starting when he realized he was being followed and thought about what Martin might have thought about that?

    We have some idea from the conversation he was having with his friend but, what might you have done if you were in exactly the same situation?

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    The system failed him because of the disproportionate force that he and the neighborhood watchman could legally bring to the altercation — Zimmerman could legally carry a concealed firearm, while Martin, who was only 17, could not.

    Really??

    So this guys solution is that MARTIN should have been armed to??

    Ignoring the fact of course that Martin had just purchased an illegal handgun...

    That is the exact kind of self-serving clap trap I am talking about Liz..

    The system didn't fail Martin.

    The system didn't force Martin to attack Zimmerman.

    The system didn't force Martin to smoke pot.

    The system didn't force Martin to make racist comments..

    The system didn't force Martin to engage in violence on a daily basis.

    The system didn't force Martin to commit burglary..

    The system didn't force Martin to have child pornography on his cell phone..

    The system didn't fail Martin..

    Martin failed the system. Martin failed his parents and his teachers..

    Moreover, Martin failed civilized society in favor of a gangsta/thug lifestyle where you take what you want and beat down anyone that gets in your way.

    Martin is dead because he failed himself...

    It's that simple...

    Michale

  69. [69] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Is it also your assertion, Michale, that Martin got precisely what he deserved?

    You know what, I don't think I want you to answer that.

  70. [70] 
    Michale wrote:

    Is it also your assertion, Michale, that Martin got precisely what he deserved?

    Martin tried to kill an innocent human being whose only "crime" was being conscientious and looking out for the welfare of his neighbors...

    Only in this fracked up country would someone like THAT be considered the "bad guy" and a thug/gangsta punk drugged out asshole be considered the victim..

    Do I think Martin got what he deserved??

    I was going to use the JACK NICHOLSON quote from A FEW GOOD MEN, but I'll just go with.....

    I think you know my answer.

    Michale

  71. [71] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I don't understand how comments like #68 can be allowed to stand on this site.

  72. [72] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Sorry, I meant to direct that last comment to Chris.

  73. [73] 
    Michale wrote:

    I don't understand how comments like #68 can be allowed to stand on this site.

    Not speaking for CW, but *I* would imagine that they are allowed to stand because they are factually accurate...

    Again, not speaking for CW... Just my own opinion...

    If you find something I posted that was factually inaccurate, by all means... Point it out...

    But it's interesting that all of this energy is being expended defending Martin and not one single comment about all the racist attacks on non-blacks committed in the name of Martin...

    People are being brutally beaten and property is being destroyed all in the name of Martin and no one here says "Boo"....

    Why is that???

    Michale

  74. [74] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I don't know what you're talking about, Michale, not surprisingly.

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/07/16/bay-area-musician-attacked-after-dedicating-song-to-trayvon-martin/

    This is the kind of disgusting stuff that needs to be stopped.. AND needs to be condemned...

    Just because a musician wants to dedicate a song to Trayvon Martin doesn't mean he should be attacked and assaulted..

    I don't agree with his dedication and his support of Martin, but if he does it non-violently, he should be allowed to do so w/o issue.

    The woman who assaulted him should be prosecuted to the fullest extent the law will allow and THEN some...

    Michale

  76. [76] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    That was terrible. I trust that this woman will indeed be prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law.

  77. [77] 
    Michale wrote:

    I don't know what you're talking about, Michale, not surprisingly.

    I was simply saying that, if you feel my statements are factually inaccurate, then point them out to me and I can explain to you why they are not...

    Michale

  78. [78] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm sorry, it's comment #70 that shouldn't be allowed to stand.

    Because it reflects poorly on you. :)

  79. [79] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Martin tried to kill an innocent human being whose only "crime" was being conscientious and looking out for the welfare of his neighbors...

    Based on what?

  80. [80] 
    Michale wrote:

    What's so ironic about this whole mess is that, if we extract the racist component, as ALL of us (even KEVIN!!!) agree is not part of the issue, then this entire trial would NOT have happened...

    How funny is that??

    Michale

  81. [81] 
    Michale wrote:

    Based on what?

    Based in the majority of the physical evidence, the electronic evidence, the forensic evidence and the eyewitness evidence...

    ALL of that evidence supports and substantiates all the other evidence...

    Do I need to bring out my CHAINS OF EVIDENCE doc??? :D

    Michale

  82. [82] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yes, that may be necessary ...

  83. [83] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    While I appreciate the vote of confidence :D what "bad judgement" did George Zimmerman exhibit??

    for starters, he ignored the instructions from the police dispatch when he lacked the training or expertise to legitimately decide otherwise. He chose to pursue, which he was also not trained to do, even though (as you said) he was out of shape and out of breath. He assumed that martin was a criminal element, which is also an assessment he was not qualified to make, regardless of whether or not that had been the case. he did not immediately (or ever) identify himself as acting in official capacity. for all martin knew or had reason to believe, zimmerman could have been a criminal himself. and that's just off the top of my head, there's probably much more. even if you didn't have law enforcement training, i believe there is no chance in hades you would have made the same errors in judgment.

    JL

  84. [84] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm sorry, it's comment #70 that shouldn't be allowed to stand.

    Because it reflects poorly on you. :)

    Yea, well what else is new?? :D

    All it says is that, if Martin had elected to go home as his GF told him to do, it wouldn't have happened.

    If Martin had elected not to smoke pot that night, it might not have happened..

    If Martin hadn't been kicked out of school for fighting, drugs and burglary, it wouldn't have happened..

    All Zimmerman did was investigate a suspicious person in a neighborhood that had seen a rash of burglaries...

    I fail to see the nefariousness of such an act... In any other instance, Zimmerman would have been applauded. Congratulated!! Be given the keys to the frakin' city!!

    But because of racists like Al -Tawana Brawley- Sharpton and Jesse -Never Met Help I Didn't Want To Frak- Jackson and Ben -Dewey Screwem And Howe- Crump an innocent man is persecuted and an entire country has to pay the price in racist attack after racist attack..

    Now, you tell me...

    Where is the justice in all that???

    Michale....

  85. [85] 
    Michale wrote:

    for starters, he ignored the instructions from the police dispatch when he lacked the training or expertise to legitimately decide otherwise.

    And Martin ignored the instructions of his GF to just go home..

    One is as relevant to the issue as the other...

    He assumed that martin was a criminal element,

    And turned out to be dead on ballz accurate. Zimmerman said that Martin looked like he was on drugs.

    ANOTHER dead on ballz accurate assessment..

    So maybe Zimmerman's training was not as lacking as you would believe.

    Zimmerman did what any good and trained security officer or off duty cop would have done..

    And I say that from experience...

    for all martin knew or had reason to believe, zimmerman could have been a criminal himself.

    And yet, Martin did NOT go home and did NOT call 911.. He chose to attack Zimmerman...

    i believe there is no chance in hades you would have made the same errors in judgment.

    Yer probably right..

    *I* would have followed Martin.. But I would have had my weapon out. When Martin had doubled back to attack {me} I would have ordered him to freeze and made sure he knew I was armed and ready to blow his dirtbag ass away...

    But, here's the thing..

    Zimmerman having bad judgement is not against the law..

    Zimmerman assuming that Martin was the scumbag criminal he was is not against the law..

    Zimmerman following Martin to maintain surveillance IS NOT AGAINST THE LAW...

    Martin doubling back to attack the "crazy ass cracker" IS against the law... With a Hate Crime special circumstance to boot..

    These are the facts that are simply undeniable...

    Michale

  86. [86] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Zimmerman having bad judgement is not against the law..

    but killing someone because of your own exercise of bad judgment, while acting in an official capacity, absolutely IS against the law. it's practically the textbook definition of manslaughter. i'm convinced that one of the reasons the jury bought self-defense is that the prosecution made an untenable argument for murder.

    Cross-examination is about knowing what to say and what not to say.
    ~my cousin vinny

  87. [87] 
    Michale wrote:

    but killing someone because of your own exercise of bad judgment, while acting in an official capacity,

    According to the rank and file, Zimmerman HAD no "official capacity"...

    And, if Zimmerman HAD an "official capacity" then he acted with GOOD judgment. Because a cop/security officer acting within "official capacity" is showing good judgement by keeping visuals on the SUBJECT...

    i'm convinced that one of the reasons the jury bought self-defense is that the prosecution made an untenable argument for murder.

    Self-Defense is all inclusive...

    You can't say that "self defense" was appropriate in a Murder Charge, but then turn around and say it's NOT appropriate in a Manslaughter charge..

    If Zimmerman felt in fear of his life then THAT is the ONLY point that matters in determining ANY charge..

    So it is with the law...

    Cross-examination is about knowing what to say and what not to say.
    ~my cousin vinny

    One of THE top 5 funniest movies of all time.. :D

    Michale

  88. [88] 
    Michale wrote:

    And STILL no condemnation of all the rioting and assaults in Martin's name...

    I'll ask again...

    WHY is that???

    Michale

  89. [89] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    And STILL no condemnation of all the rioting and assaults in Martin's name...

    i might condemn such riots if there were any to speak of. all the protest footage i've seen has been essentially peaceful, and those tiny pockets of violence that do exist were there yesterday, will likely be there tomorrow, and seem to have little if any relationship to the zimmerman case.

  90. [90] 
    Michale wrote:

    and seem to have little if any relationship to the zimmerman case.

    Other than the fact that they are BECAUSE of the Zimmerman case, eh?? :^/

    Jogger says he was attacked in retaliation for Zimmerman verdict
    myfoxdc.com/story/22850763/jogger-says-he-was-attacked-in-retaliation-for-zimmerman-verdict#ixzz2ZIGUr3Ed

    Witness claims youths yelled 'this is for Trayvon' in beating
    baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/blog/bs-md-trayvon-martin-george-zimmerman-monday-20130715,0,5135359.story

    CBS2/KCAL9 Reporter, Photographer Attacked During Crenshaw Protests
    losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/07/16/cbs2kcal9-reporter-photographer-attacked-during-crenshaw-protests/

    PA Business Graffitied with 'Kill Zimmerman,' Set on Fire
    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/07/16/Business-spray-painted-kill-zimmerman

    Zimmerman verdict: Protesters storm Wal-Mart in Crenshaw area
    latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-zimmerman-trial-protesters-storm-walmart-in-crenshaw-area-20130715,0,2522648.story

    There are none so blind as those who will not see...

    Michale

  91. [91] 
    Michale wrote:

    This must be a sign of the Apocalypse!!

    Jimmy Carter: George Zimmerman jury ‘right’
    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/jimmy-carter-george-zimmerman-verdict-94320.html

    Jimmy Carter agrees with me.... :D

    Michale

  92. [92] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's interesting that a lot of people are complaining about the Stand Your Ground law, even though it had nothing to do with the Zimmerman case..

    It's ESPECIALLY ironic because, according to statistics, black people in Florida gain far more benefits from the SYG law than any other race.. By a margin of 3 to 1...

    So, when AG Holder said that repealing the SYG laws would benefit black people, he was full of male bovine feces....

    Michale

  93. [93] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The story is ONLY highly suspicious to those who have a political agenda.

    Please ...

    It's highly suspicious because he killed a teenager after admitting on a 911 call he was stalking him without having seen him actually do anything.

    And his history of 911 calls about black teenagers.

    And I don't think there'd be any question it was suspicious too if Zimmerman were black and the teenager were white.

    Tell me they wouldn't have issued an arrest warrant for a black George Zimmerman under exactly the same circumstances. 17-year old white kid shot by a black man w/ a record. There's not even any question.

    That said ... We can go back and forth about Zimmerman/Martin all day and we're still going to wind up with me largely agreeing with you, but more importantly wanting to focus on the larger issue.

    Again ...

    1. The jury acquitted Zimmerman.
    2. Zimmerman went through due process. I'm good with the jury decision.
    2. No one will likely ever know if he really did it. But this doesn't matter according to our justice system. Again, I'm ok.
    3. It is very difficult to prove if a single person is racist or non-racist.
    4. Whether or not he was racist was never on trial.
    5. The much larger issue is racism in our justice system. Why are approximately 2/3 of prisoners in our country people of color when there are more crimes committed by white people?

    Why is this rarely brought up?

    Just as a side note, if the media were liberal, why wouldn't it focus on this last issue? Why would they consume themselves with the Zimmerman/Martin trial distraction? You never even hear them mention statistics like the above.

    Similarly, if the media were liberal, why wouldn't they focus on the issue of surveillance by our government? Instead of the endless distraction which is 'Where is Snowden?'

    I tell 'ya, Michale. I keep looking for this liberal media. And I just don't see it. I mean, I'm a liberal and it's sure not covering any issues I care about. It seems like 24/7 entertainment and idiocy.

    -David

  94. [94] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's highly suspicious because he killed a teenager after admitting on a 911 call he was stalking him without having seen him actually do anything.

    {{{siiigghhh}}}}

    David, that is just spin...

    There was no "stalking".. Zimmerman saw a suspicious person who was acting like he was on drugs, which turned out to be true..

    Zimmerman, being on site security in an area that has seen a rash of break-ins, contacted 9/11 and did what any good cop or security officer would do. Attempted to maintain visual on the subject.

    And his history of 911 calls about black teenagers.

    Why do you INSIST on bringing race into it when EVERYONE here has already conceded that, as far as Zimmerman is concerned, RACE had nothing to do with it!??

    Let me repeat that. As it pertains to Zimmerman RACE HAD NOTHING to do with the incident..

    Quit trying to make a racial issue of it.

    That said ... We can go back and forth about Zimmerman/Martin all day and we're still going to wind up with me largely agreeing with you, but more importantly wanting to focus on the larger issue.

    And what's the larger issue??

    Race??

    Give me ONE SINGLE PIECE of evidence that race had ANYTHING to do with it??

    Just ONE!

    You can't.. Because there IS no substantiated evidence that race is an issue.

    The ONLY reason you think race is an issue (which is strange since you already conceded that it's not) is because NBC News doctored an audio recording to make it LOOK like race was an issue.

    It is very difficult to prove if a single person is racist or non-racist.

    Yea?? Tell that to Mark Fuhrman...

    The ONLY reason you are saying that is because there has been ZERO evidence to support that Zimmerman is a racist and a BUTTLOAD of evidence to support that he is not a racist..

    Zimmerman is as racist as you are...

    Whether or not he was racist was never on trial.

    Really? Which trial? The one in the court or the one in public opinion..

    5. The much larger issue is racism in our justice system. Why are approximately 2/3 of prisoners in our country people of color when there are more crimes committed by white people?

    Since EVERYONE here has already agreed that RACE has nothing to do with the Zimmerman case, WHY is racism a "larger" issue OF the Zimmerman case??

    Further, you have yet to provide ANY evidence of your claim that more crimes are committed by white people..

    Finally, of ALL the assaults and murders against black people, 90% of them are committed by other black people...

    White on black assaults and murders run about 6%...

    Why would they consume themselves with the Zimmerman/Martin trial distraction? You never even hear them mention statistics like the above.

    You also never hear them mention the 90% stat either..

    How come??

    It seems like 24/7 entertainment and idiocy.

    Of course it is.. :D

    Michale

  95. [95] 
    Michale wrote:

    It seems like 24/7 entertainment and idiocy.

    We go with the "news service" we have, not the "news service" we want..

    Or, to paraphrase the caterer from THE FLINTSTONES:

    "I am the only {news service} in town!!"

    :D

    Michale

  96. [96] 
    Michale wrote:

    Whether or not he was racist was never on trial.

    I am also constrained to point out that if racist morons hadn't butted in and MADE race a factor in an incident that had NOTHING to do with race, there wouldn't have BEEN any trial!

    Do you agree???

    Michale

  97. [97] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I am also constrained to point out that if racist morons hadn't butted in and MADE race a factor in an incident that had NOTHING to do with race, there wouldn't have BEEN any trial!

    *sigh*

    That's exactly the point. If Zimmerman had been black, there would have been a trial. Without any pressure from anyone.

    Sorry, Michale. But race is a big issue in our country.

    There are two justice systems in our country. There's really not another way to explain why most of the people in jail are people of color while most crimes are committed by white people.

    Here's another great example though. This one is about media bias. When was the last time you heard about a black girl being kidnapped?

    It happens all the time. Just as much as white women being kidnapped. But what gets reported in the media?

    Missing white women.

    Half of the missing children in our country are non-white.

    But 80% of the news coverage of missing children is of missing white children. Missing blacks account for only 20%.

    That is racial bias which doesn't reflect reality. From the media.

    There's two media systems in our country as well. One, for white people. One, for people of color.

    Can I call out a single reporter for this?

    It's difficult because it's hard to prove unless you see that a reporter is writing story after story about white missing kids, and ignoring others.

    Interesting, eh?

    -David

  98. [98] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I guess what I'm trying to say Michale is that Zimmerman being acquitted says nothing about whether or not race motivated him.

    Or ... more importantly ... it says nothing about whether our justice system is racist.

    I don't care so much about the former. But what I'd really like to see is a national trial that talks about our justice system and brings these issues out into the open.

    Then, maybe we wouldn't have to fight these bigger battles over a smaller case.

    -David

  99. [99] 
    akadjian wrote:

    BTW ... This is hilarious.

    http://unrealnewsonline.com/2013/07/16/facebook-reports-more-unfriending-and-blocking-sunday-than-any-day-in-its-history/

    I think it's satire but might have a hint of truth to it. :)

    Makes me thankful for the people here! Whatever else happens we always seem able to set aside our differences in the interests of something like Star Trek or alcohol

    -David

  100. [100] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    David,

    That is so true. I think we are quite a unique bunch!

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