ChrisWeigant.com

Thank You, Bernie

[ Posted Wednesday, June 8th, 2016 – 15:25 UTC ]

Senator Bernie Sanders, barring extraordinary unforeseen circumstances, is not going to be president. He has fallen short of his goal of winning the nomination of the Democratic Party. No tricky delegate math is going to save him now. His campaign is now over, whether he wants to admit it or not quite yet. But I for one am thankful he ran, and thankful for what he did manage to accomplish. Because though his campaign is done, his political revolution should continue.

I should note that I say "extraordinary unforeseen circumstances" because that is what it would take for Bernie to win the nomination at this point. Hillary Clinton could become physically unable (by a medical emergency, for instance) to run for president before the convention -- but that is a truly despicable thing for any political candidate's supporters to wish for or pin their hopes on. It's not just despicable, in fact, it is downright inhumane to even contemplate. The only other circumstance which could lead to Bernie being nominated is something Bernie himself declared he was "sick and tired of hearing about" -- the F.B.I.'s report on Clinton's "damn emails." If she's indicted on serious charges before Democrats meet in Philadelphia, Bernie would be the obvious choice to replace her. But for Bernie supporters to now cling to this thread as their only real hope is to disavow their candidate's professed wishes, in fact. Bernie's refusal to attack Clinton's email problems is now seen in one of two ways -- as a huge political mistake (maybe he could have won if he had pressed the attack on her); or as the finest moment of his campaign, when he lived up to his promise of running solely on the issues and not descending into the muck of personally tearing down his opponent, outside of his agenda. How you see Bernie's strategic decision depends on how cynical you are about politics, in some ways.

I personally choose to see things optimistically. Bernie accomplished something to be proud of, even if he fell short of achieving his goal. Bernie Sanders proved that a real Populist (or even a Democratic Socialist) can inspire millions across the country with a vision of progress that (for once) includes Main Street and not just fatter profits for Wall Street. That, to me, is an enormous achievement.

Bernie fell short of his goal, but not by that much. In the end he got 1,876 delegates to the Democratic National Convention, a little over 500 short of the 2,383 he needed to win. He did far better than others who have run ideologically-similar campaigns in the past. Bernie's agenda and rhetoric wasn't all that different from John Edwards (who spoke of the "two Americas," rich and poor), or Dennis Kucinich, or Howard Dean, or even Jesse Jackson. They all ran similar campaigns, thematically -- but none of the others ever even won 600 delegates to the convention. Bernie got over three times what any of them did. That is the magnitude of his accomplishment, in historical context.

Bernie Sanders absolutely reawakened and invigorated what used to be called the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party." By doing so, he yanked the entire party back to mainstream issues that they used to support on a routine basis. None of what Bernie proposed was radical, no matter how hard the press and his opponents tried to paint him as a "fringe" candidate. Virtually all of the issues he championed poll extraordinarily well with the American public -- the very definition of "mainstream" in politics. To some, Bernie was nothing more than a joke, but to many others he was a candidate who finally talked about goals most Democrats seem to have forgotten about in the past few decades. Sanders had a big impact on the rest of the party, from his opponent (who shifted towards Bernie's position on a number of issues during the campaign) all the way up to the president (who only recently decided to support expanding Social Security, instead of cutting it). Bernie's influence on the party's agenda will not end because he didn't win the nomination; it is here to stay. For which I definitely want to thank Bernie Sanders.

Bernie has paved the way for future Progressive (and Populist) candidates within the Democratic Party. His campaign proved something many thought impossible a year ago -- that a presidential campaign could be run without super PACs and big donors, and instead rely on small donations from people who strongly agree with the candidate's agenda. Everyone loves to decry "big money" in politics, but Bernie has now proved "small money" can be just as powerful. Bernie Sanders took on the Clinton money machine, and he fought it to a draw. Clinton couldn't simply outspend Bernie, because Bernie had just as much money as she did -- which was famously raised "twenty-seven bucks at a time." Bernie blew away all small-donor campaign records, and by doing so proved that it could indeed be done. Candidates have been trying to achieve this feat for decades, even pre-dating the internet. Jerry Brown ran his 1992 campaign by always reeling off his "800 number" whenever in front of a camera, for example. Others had similar successes using whatever technology was available, but Bernie showed the power the internet can have in today's politics like no other candidate has ever previously done. He matched Clinton's campaign chest in a way many thought absolutely impossible.

Bernie's revolution can and should grow beyond him, but Bernie himself will still provide a lot of leadership for the movement. Revolutions should always be bigger than one person, but at the same time revolutions can sometimes fall apart absent any leadership at all (as Occupy Wall Street did, achieving nothing more than changing the terms of the political discussion with their focus on the "99 percent" and the "one percent"). The next steps for such a revolution are getting much more involved in the nuts-and-bolts of politics -- grooming Progressive candidates for House and Senate races, for instance. And in working with whatever Congress emerges from the November elections. This is where Bernie will play a large leadership role, by helping to shine the spotlight on his entire agenda, made real in actual legislation. If Democrats regain control of the Senate, Bernie will be perfectly positioned to take on the role of pushing the entire party to actually propose laws that help average Americans. He'll have the wind at his back when he does so, because his ideas have all generated so much excitement within the ranks of the Democratic Party. That's something other Democrats are going to respect in Congress next year.

Which is why I am thankful for Bernie's run for the White House. I am thankful he got as far as he did, and he won as many votes as he did. I have seen many other Populist candidates fall far short of what Bernie achieved, and been disappointed in the Democratic electorate at large as a direct result -- for decades. This time around, I am gleefully optimistic that Bernie truly represents the future of the Democratic Party. Not only did he win over 10 million votes in the primary season, but he overwhelmingly won the votes of the youngest voters. They will ultimately determine where the Democratic Party heads in the decades to come, and Bernie's message inspired and uplifted them like no other candidate has ever managed. So, yes, I am thankful that Bernie achieved all this even though he didn't win the nomination. It bodes well for the future, and it bodes well for the next Progressive candidate to run (likely in an election without the complication of a family dynasty candidate).

Thank you, Bernie, for proving that all of this could indeed happen. Thank you for getting as far as you did. Thank you for reawakening a wave of excitement within the Democratic Party. Thank you for championing a list of issues that I could heartily agree with, and for refusing to be distracted from your agenda by the usual mudslinging and other negative campaigning tactics so common in politics today. Thank you for not selling out to big donors. Thank you for showing that all of this was even possible in today's political environment.

Thank you, Bernie, for running -- and for running the way you did. We'll all remember you and your campaign for a long time to come.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

86 Comments on “Thank You, Bernie”

  1. [1] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i think the best thing bernie can do now is encourage more democratic populist candidates to run for lower offices, from state houses to mayorships to congress. the democrats are currently in a deep, deep hole when it comes to lower level government positions nationwide, and a grassroots populist movement might just make a dent in the hegemony of the establishment in small government, from the tea party republicans to the rahm emanuels and kevin johnsons.

    JL

  2. [2] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Just did some comment maintanence, and rescued two from the filter worth pointing out. The first is from Paula, who noted that I was being quoted in Blue Nation Review. By Peter Daou, no less! Thanks for pointing it out, Paula!

    :-)

    And the second is from new user (I think) "MyVoice".

    First off, thanks for the vote for "Poor Donald" -- I like the simplicity of it too!

    And second, welcome to the site. I apologize that your first comment was held for so long, but from now on you should be able to post comments and see them appear instantly. Just don't post more than one link per comment, because multi-link comments get automatically held for moderation (which can take awhile).

    Again, welcome to the site MyVoice!

    :-)

    -CW

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    nypoet22 -

    Yeah, I agree. Also, maybe inspire some Dems to actually vote in midterms! That could be a positive change worth making...

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    Sheesh.
    Good column, but I have to say I'm disappointed that the media and voting shenanigans didn't merit a mention despite the probable impact they had on vote totals and turnout (and your predictions). Considering the board of AP is made up of Hillary donors, like the people in charge of the election in CA, I would have thought the drastic polling miss would have been a red flag that qualifies as political news a pundit would ponder.

    I take it you weren't one of the many forced to use a provisional ballot that weren't counted in the returns as so many registered Dems and independents were?

    The shenanigans all over the country during the primaries and the establishment Supers actions before voting even began may well have been the deciding factor.

    Undemocratic machine politics is nothing short of despicable... and the blowback may be decisive in November.

    I probably just missed your column on the subject, right?

    "None of what Bernie proposed was radical, no matter how hard the press and his opponents tried to paint him as a "fringe" candidate"

    Apology accepted.

    "revolutions can sometimes fall apart absent any leadership at all (as Occupy Wall Street did"

    Come now... Occupy was targeted for destruction through force. You're better than revisionism.

    "because his ideas have all generated so much excitement within the ranks of the Democratic Party. That's something other Democrats are going to respect in Congress next year"

    Thanks for the needed laugh.
    Somehow, I doubt they're going to be happy about Bernie laying bare their corruption and abandonment of the principles the Party once held, and creating openings for challengers to their gravy train.

    Go Jill Stein!

    A

  5. [5] 
    Paula wrote:

    Chris: I think after a few days of decompression Bernie will begin to feel really good about what his campaign accomplished.

    Glad you rescued the alert re: being quoted at BNR! It seemed to appear on the page, then it disappeared...

    Also, did you get my email from last week?

    A: RE: Occupy, Sam Sedar did an interview on the The Majority Report podcast with Micah White, about his book The End of Protest, A New Playbook for Revolution. He was one of the guys at AdBusters that put out the call for people to show up in NY and participated in Occupy. Very interesting insights.

  6. [6] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    It was interesting to hear Crooked Hillary say that she called Bernie and congratulated him. Really? That's right out of the fraudulent Trump University's scam playbooks that the Mexican judge released. Put the other person in the position of having to say "thank you" in order to get the upper hand. She's been doing her opposition research.

  7. [7] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I really wanted Bernie to win although I never really believed that he would (could?). To my eternal shame, I also wanted the Orange Clown to win the GOP nomination. I thought it was OK that he was kinda sorta really racist because at least he was better than the Cuban Canadian, but Donald "if you quote me, you're lying" Trump is actually too racist. #NeverDonald

  8. [8] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW and gang

    If you haven't yet, check out the blog post by Bill Moyers on HuffPost about Debbie "payday lender" Wasserman Shultz and the governor of Connecticut running the Dem convention.

    Wow.

    I don't think the establishment sales pitch is going over very well.

    And don't skip the comments.
    They make me look like a cuddly kitten.

    A

  9. [9] 
    altohone wrote:

    PS

    I keep forgetting to mention...

    Remember back a few months there was discussion about Hillary maybe needing Big Dawg Bill's help?

    Well, after causing more harm than good, Billy was put out to pasture and Obama was called in to save the day.

    Gotta feel sorry for Obama.
    He thought his boot licking days were over and he could just shoot hoops.
    But now he's tasked with pressuring Bernie and quelling the ongoing uprising... and maybe it's me, but he just doesn't seem all that into it.

    And, you have to wonder what he's being promised in return.
    What do you get a man who has everything?

    A

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Because though his campaign is done, his political revolution should continue.

    Oh it will.. Thru Trump...

    Hillary Clinton could become physically unable (by a medical emergency, for instance) to run for president before the convention --

    Or indicted....

    Bernie's refusal to attack Clinton's email problems is now seen in one of two ways -- as a huge political mistake (maybe he could have won if he had pressed the attack on her); or as the finest moment of his campaign, when he lived up to his promise of running solely on the issues and not descending into the muck of personally tearing down his opponent, outside of his agenda. How you see Bernie's strategic decision depends on how cynical you are about politics, in some ways.

    Considering how Bernie has been trashed so much around here of late, it's hard to determine..

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    . I thought it was OK that he was kinda sorta really racist

    "Of course, you can PROVE that, right?? Oh that's right, I forgot.. You were absent the day they taught LAW at Law School"
    -Tom Cruise, A FEW GOOD MEN

    heh

    No facts required around here. Just hysterical emotionalism with more than a dash of incoherence... :D

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's interesting to note that Republicans has seen RECORD voting in their primary and Democrats have seen their vote totals DROP by 1.5 million votes..

    And now that the Dem Candidate is a Status Quo candidate, the very DEFINITION of an Establishment Candidate.....

    That will only increase the bitterness and resentment of Democrat voters..

    I have said it from the very start..

    This is a Status Quo/Establishment VS Anti-Establishment election..

    And the vast majority... let me say that again for the cheap seats... the VAST MAJORITY of Americans are in the Anti-Establishment mood...

    Clinton's only POSSIBLE campaign strategy is, "VOTE FOR ME BECAUSE I HAVE A VAGINA!!"

    And that's just sad.....

    It's going to be President Trump in a landslide... You heard it here first...

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hillary Clinton could become physically unable (by a medical emergency, for instance) to run for president before the convention --

    Or indicted....

    I need to finish reading before I comment. :D

    Me culpa...

    But for Bernie supporters to now cling to this thread as their only real hope is to disavow their candidate's professed wishes, in fact.

    Not at all...

    Once we had more information on the damage that Clinton has done to the United States, Bernie himself stated that there are serious allegations that and that they should be FULLY investigated and taken WHERE EVER that investigation leads....

    I mean, take a step back and view things objectively..

    Haven't you wondered WHY Putin was able to completely and utterly humiliate Obama and the US in The Crimea & Syria???

    Haven't you wondered HOW Libya could become so destabilized so quickly???

    It's because Putin and the mullahs had a DIRECT feed into the entirety of the United States State Department thanks to the SecState's hackable AND hacked UNsecure email server...

    No other conclusion fits ALL the facts....

    Bernie understood this, but he understood it too late..

    If he had come to realize the facts sooner, we might be talking about Dem Candidate Bernie Sanders...

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    I don't think the establishment sales pitch is going over very well.

    I gotta go with Biga on this...

    Bernie Sanders accomplished one thing and one thing only..

    He showed the establishment EXACTLY where their weaknesses are... He showed the Democrat Establishment exactly where they need to send their storm troopers..

    The next Democrat Party candidate is going to be even MORE establishment than Hillary Clinton...

    If that's possible...

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Clinton's only POSSIBLE campaign strategy is, "VOTE FOR ME BECAUSE I HAVE A VAGINA!!"

    Millennials still not that excited by prospect of first woman president

    Hillary Clinton and the Associated Press have declared that Hillary Clinton is the Democratic president nominee. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders hasn't given up, but it would take several miracles for him to become the nominee at this point.

    So why aren't millennial women excited by the prospect of seeing the first female president in our lifetime? Precisely because the woman who might take that honor is Hillary Clinton.
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/millennials-not-that-excited-by-prospect-of-woman-president/article/2593336

    Younger voters aren't going to vote with their vaginas..

    They are going to vote with their heads and their hearts...

    They are going to vote for Donald Trump...

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "There'll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary" - Lindsey Graham

    What with the Orange Menace broadcasting his textbook racism, it is nice to see that the rest of the GOP has decided to behave like civilized humans while running against Hillary's message of love. They would never call her their enemy. They just HATE the woman.

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    "There'll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary" - Lindsey Graham

    "There will come a time when love of country will trump Party slavery"
    -Michale

    They would never call her their enemy.

    But, of course, Hillary is HAPPY to call Republicans her enemy...

    They just HATE the woman.

    What's not to hate??

    She is an incompetent, dishonest, duplicitive, hate-filled, bigoted, racist, self-centered, greedy, lying rhymes-with-witch..

    Like I said..

    What's not to hate???

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    She is an incompetent, dishonest, duplicitive, hate-filled, bigoted, racist, self-centered, greedy, lying rhymes-with-witch..

    For the record, that's not just me talking.. Upwards of 70% of Americans feel the same way about Hillary...

    Including MILLIONS and MILLIONS of Democrats...

    Are ALL those tens of millions of Americans wrong??

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Hear, hear, raise your glass to Bernie Sanders. I've admired him for years. He hasn't introduced a lot of legislation but he's steered a lot of other politician's bills in a better direction. A genuine Democrat from a now mostly forgotten tradition of social progress = opportunity + fairness. Turns out he knows how to run one hell of a National Campaign. too!

    I didn't vote for Bernie in the primary. I voted strategically, to throw a sabot into the gear train of The Yellow Haired Goon. It didn't work, but I think Bernie would have approved, or at least understood, the motive of my forlorn hope. Trump with nukes...I don't like the sound of that.

    For the love of God Bernie, don't go down the 3rd Party Trail. Hillary, find a leadership role for this guy.

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    I didn't vote for Bernie in the primary. I voted strategically, to throw a sabot into the gear train of The Yellow Haired Goon.

    The 3rd Grade playground is alive and well.. :D

    Trump with nukes...I don't like the sound of that.

    Hillary with nukes sounds even worse...

    http://historyinfographics.com/branco-toon-4/

    Because, if Hillary has the codes, you can bet that Putin and the mullahs will have them an hour later...

    For the love of God Bernie, don't go down the 3rd Party Trail. Hillary, find a leadership role for this guy.

    So you DO think it can happen too!!! :D

    Wouldn't that just be so totally awesome!! :D

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:
  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    I voted strategically, to throw a sabot into the gear train of The Yellow Haired Goon.

    "Four hundred years ago on the planet Earth, workers who felt their livelihood threatened by automation flung their wooden shoes called sabots into the machines to stop them Hence the word sabotage."
    -Valeris, STAR TREK II, The Undiscovered Country

    :D

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    I voted strategically, to throw a sabot into the gear train of The Yellow Haired Goon.

    Doesn't it bother ya'all at all that you are stoopping to the same immature playground mentality that ya'all always accuse the Republicans of having??

    Huh?? Not even a little???

    {sssiiiggggghhhhhhh}

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Opinion: Big data reports Latino support for Trump on the rise at 37%
    http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/opinion/2016/06/07/opinion-big-data-reports-latino-support-for-trump-on-rise-at-37/

    Like I said...

    Trump..... Landslide......

    :D

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sanders supporters warn Obama: Don't try to stop Bernie
    Some of the Vermont senator's backers think the president is trying to end the Democratic fight prematurely.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/bernie-sanders-supporters-obama-224105#ixzz4B5t1th99

    Looks like Bernie supporters are calling out Obama...

    Forget CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

    DEMOCRAT PARTY: CIVIL WAR...

    THAT is where the fun is at!! :D

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    One thing to keep in mind..

    Hillary CAN'T win without the DNC's ace in the hole..

    The SuperDelegates...

    If Sanders can turn enough SDs his way, *HE* will be the Dem nominee...

    It makes absolutely NO SENSE for Bernie to drop out of the race before FBI Director Comey issues his recommendation..

    Anyone who CALLS for Bernie to drop out before that recommendation is issued is simply putting PARTY before COUNTRY...

    It's THAT simple, people...

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    Back in the last FTP you condemned the Left Wingery violence quite nicely...

    You said, "Democrats, that's not who we are...."

    Sorry Liberals, A Violent Response To Trump Is As Logical As Any
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jesse-benn/sorry-liberals-a-violent-_b_10316186.html

    There really is no difference between Demcorats and Republicans...

    Michale

    Apparently, SOME Democrats think that that IS exactly who Democrats are...

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Woops.. Crappy editing..

    My bust....

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    Counterpunch.org has an article titled "Where are all the missing CA primary votes" that's worth a read.

    Truckloads of ballots that have yet to be counted.

    Issues just a hop, skip and a jump from your house just itching for reality based political commentary.

    A

  30. [30] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    NYpoet22 (1) and CW (3)-
    Great idea! A grassroots movement controlled by average citizens to support anti-establishment candidates for Congress. Why didn't I think of that?
    I bet even if an organization like that had a really bad name that people would still take advantage of the opportunity to continue Bernie's revolution in 2016 increasing voter turnout both in 2016 and 2018.
    If you can find such an organization you should inform citizens about it now while there is a lull in the presidential contest. It might even be possible to find a way to get someone like Ralph Nader involved.
    It would be a shame if there were such an organization if the inevitable barrage of what should Bernie supporters do now articles did not include the option of such an organization.

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Great idea! A grassroots movement controlled by average citizens to support anti-establishment candidates for Congress. Why didn't I think of that?

    "There is mimicry and there is mockery and THAT was definitely mockery.."
    -Dr Leonard McCoy, STAR TREK, Yesterday's Son

    :D

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Counterpunch.org has an article titled "Where are all the missing CA primary votes" that's worth a read.

    My experience in San Francisco: I walked up four blocks to my poling place. No line, I was the only one there and the people manning it seemed to know what they were doing. Easy.

    It's interesting that Al Franken is being brought up as a possible VP pick...

  33. [33] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Before I even begin reading these comments, here is something I should have posted yesterday, right after this article went up:

    Thanks and a big hat tip to ListenWhenYouHear for the comment which I reflected (that's writer-speak for "stole", heh) in my own second paragraph above, about Bernie and the "damn emails."

    I had never heard it put quite like that, but when I read it, I immediately thought "That's right -- that's exactly how I feel about it, too."

    So just wanted to publicly thank ListenWhenYouHear for putting that bee in my bonnet.

    -CW

  34. [34] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    altohone [4] -

    I used to be registered independent in CA, but changed it to Dem a while back, so no I didn't have to use a provisional ballot, but I saw plenty of them being handed out (two people in front of me both got one).

    CA had an "open" primary for a very brief time, where it didn't matter what you were registered as, you could just request whichever party's ballet you felt like at the polling place. At the time, I read a funny story in the paper about thousands of people in CA who had registered as the (completely non-existent) "Rock And Roll Party". So that's what I regestered as. Woo hoo! Party on, Wayne!

    Heh.

    But then they closed up the primaries again for a period, and I definitely wanted to vote in the 2008 Dem primary, so I changed my registration and haven't changed it back since. At some point, I believe, the Dems decided open primaries were OK, but the GOP stuck to the closed idea. So now, anyone from any party (or no party) can vote in the Dem primary, but they have to request a Dem ballot. The GOP primary, however, is only open to registered GOPers. If the GOP opened up its primary, we wouldn't have this problem because anyone could just walk up (once again) and request any party's ballot.

    Good point about the media, should have leaned on that one a bit harder. I have been reguarly hitting them on the subject of their treatment of Bernie all along, though.

    As for Occupy, sure, the demonstrations were taken apart by force, but the revolution they stood for could have outlived that body blow if they had been better organized. But their governing structure (90% needed to agree on anything, 10%-plus could veto) just wasn't working. I followed their general meeting notes quite closely, and saw them descend into pointless bickering and was sad when they essentially lost control of their message when every other liberal cause tried to shoehorn their way into what they stood for. OWS successfully changed the framework of how we talk about inequality -- which is a momentous and major achievement, given how corporatized the media is -- but they just couldn't get their act together to sustain any kind of revolution. I'm hoping the Bernie movement is (a lot) more successful in this regard, which I think you'd agree is a good goal to reach for.

    Paula -

    I will check my email. Got a link to that Seder podcast? Sounds interesting.

    altohone [8] -

    I read that DWS article. I have contacts in CT that I'm going to have to call to ask about their governor. It was an eye-opening article on that front, that's for sure (not so much on DWS, I've known about her all along).

    [9] -

    What Obama gets out of it is he gets to hit the campaign trail once again. He loves campaigning, remember, because he's always been at his best doing so. His poll numbers continue to go up, which also helps Hillary. It's a mutual-benefit thing, I think.

    TheStig [19] -

    See above on CA history. I voted GOP in one primary, for mischief. There was some fire-breather on their ticket, so I voted for him (easier to beat in Nov). He won his nomination, and the Dem beat him easily.

    :-)

    Being in a political party is not like a religion. People should be able to change parties every day, if they so wish...

    Michale [21] -

    OK, now that was funny, I have to admit!

    Michale [22] and TheStig [19] -

    Nice use of sabot! Glad to see others love etymology too!

    :-)

    altohone [29] -

    The local news has been covering the ballot situation, I'm waiting to see what happens...

    -CW

  35. [35] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    CW,

    I am honored that you used my comment in your article and really appreciate your acknowledgement of it!

    Russ

  36. [36] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @russ,

    kudos on the citation. i'd suggest you nudge CW into giving you a guest column; i think you'd handle it well.

    for the record, you also changed my point of view on the trayvon martin killing. prior to your commentary, i hadn't considered that the degree to which the event was misrepresented by the media might be a deciding factor. i still think all prior and subsequent evidence shows that zimmerman is dangerous, manipulative, abusive, possibly mentally ill and has no business owning a weapon of any kind. however, your critique of the media narrative moved me to take a different perspective toward his claims of self-defense. regardless of whether or not he instigated the situation (i think he did), once your life is in danger you've got the right to defend yourself.

    you have a keen mind, and i for one would like to read more of your views.

    JL

  37. [37] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    ListenWhenYouHear [35] -

    OK, now I'm really embarrassed -- I cited your login name incorrectly in my initial acknowledgement (wrote "While" not "When") -- sorry! It has now been corrected. Mea culpa.

    Your comment was one of those "big picture" things that I hadn't thought about, but when I did found you had framed it perfectly. I only regret not citing you directly in the article itself.

    :-)

    -CW

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    JL,

    regardless of whether or not he instigated the situation (i think he did), once your life is in danger you've got the right to defend yourself.

    In other words, NOTHING matters or is relevant except the last 5-10 seconds before the weapon is discharged..

    Hmmmmmmmm

    Where have we heard that before??? :D

    you have a keen mind,

    :^/

    {ssiiiggghhhhhh}

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    JL,

    regardless of whether or not he instigated the situation (i think he did), once your life is in danger you've got the right to defend yourself.

    In other words, NOTHING matters or is relevant except the last 5-10 seconds before the weapon is discharged..

    Hmmmmmmmm

    Where have we heard that before??? :D

    you have a keen mind,

    :^/

    {ssiiiggghhhhhh}

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    White House calls FBI Investigation of Hillary Clinton a "criminal investigation" for the first time...

    "That's why the president, when discussing this issue in each stage, has reiterated his commitment to this principle that any criminal investigation should be conducted independent of any sort of political interference and that people should be treated the same way before the law regardless of their political influence, regardless of their political party, regardless of their political stature and regardless of what political figure has endorsed them,"
    -White House Spokesperson

    It's not as if EVERYONE with more than 2 brain cells to rub together DIDN'T know that it was a criminal investigation..

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    It's OK... I get it..

    It's not WHAT is said.. It's WHO says it...

    It's a bear I must cross.. :D

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    It's not WHAT is said.. It's WHO says it...

    no, it's the needle in a haystack principle. if person A says one thing that's right and one thing that's wrong, while person B says one thing that's right and twenty-seven things that are wrong, i am more likely to notice the thing that's right when it's said by person A than person B. Later, B ;)

    JL

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    no, it's the needle in a haystack principle. if person A says one thing that's right and one thing that's wrong, while person B says one thing that's right and twenty-seven things that are wrong, i am more likely to notice the thing that's right when it's said by person A than person B. Later, B ;)

    But yet I was RIGHT about everything to do with the Zimmerman shooting..

    Dead on BALLZ accurate on EVERY aspect of the incident and the investigation..

    So, your "twenty seven things WRONG" is like the SPAM accusation..

    Complete and utter BS.... :D

    Like I said...

    Ya'all aren't interested in the FACTS..

    You can't admit that YOU were wrong and *I* was right..

    But when someone else... someone with a -D after their name says the *EXACT* same thing I said???

    You are practically falling all over yourself and GUSHING to say the '-D' person was right..

    I get it.. I understand and forgive you...

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    But yet I was RIGHT about everything to do with the Zimmerman shooting..

    no, you weren't.

  45. [45] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    things michale was wrong about concerning george zimmerman:

    1. zimmerman was not innocent
    2. zimmerman was not entitled to behave like a cop
    3. zimmerman was not entitled to disobey the advice of the cops
    4. martin was not a thug, hoodlum or any more violent than any other regular teenager
    5. martin was unarmed
    6. zimmerman had a history of racism
    7. zimmerman had a history of violence
    8. zimmerman had a history of domestic violence
    9. zimmerman had a history of sexual abuse
    10. martin legally was still a minor

    i'm sure i could get to twenty-seven if i worked at it, but you get the point. if you can't even acknowledge the basic facts that happen to go contrary to your thesis, nobody's going to listen to anything you have to say, even if a piece of it does happen to be valid.

    JL

  46. [46] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    11. when martin first confronted him in his car, zimmerman failed to identify himself in any official capacity
    12. when martin confronted him the second time, zimmerman still didn't identify his neighborhood watch role.
    13. when a verbal altercation began, zimmerman continued to escalate verbally until a physical confrontation ensued.
    14. zimmerman is and was an adult.
    15. zimmerman is politically connected in lake county, and was given the benefit of the doubt BEFORE it was determined that he acted in self-defense.
    16. a prosecutor found cause to convene a grand jury on the case.
    17. a grand jury voted that there was probable cause to indict zimmerman
    18. at the moment the same can't be said for hillary clinton

    need nine more?

    JL

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh Jeeze...

    We going to do THIS again???

    {sigghhh}

    1. zimmerman was not innocent

    A person is INNOCENT until proven guilty in a court of law..

    Zimmerman was NOT proven guilty..

    Ergo, he is innocent..

    You are wrong..

    2. zimmerman was not entitled to behave like a cop

    Zimmerman DIDN't behave like a cop. He behaved like a Security Officer, which he was. Observe and report..

    You are wrong..

    3. zimmerman was not entitled to disobey the advice of the cops

    Zimmerman DIDN'T disobey the advice of cops.. Zimmerman IS entitled to disregard the advice of a police dispatcher..

    In THIS case, Zimmerman DID choose to follow the advice of a police dispatcher.

    You are wrong..

    4. martin was not a thug, hoodlum or any more violent than any other regular teenager

    Martin's history of violence, criminal activity, drug use and thuggery is well documented..

    You are wrong..

    5. martin was unarmed

    I never claimed Martin was armed. Whether Martin was armed or not is not relavant..

    You are correct here, but it's not relevant...

    6. zimmerman had a history of racism

    This is an out and out bullshit lie..

    You are wrong and you really should be ashamed...

    Wife is calling me to dinner.. I'll get to the rest in a few....

    Michale

  48. [48] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    19. nobody but martin and zimmerman knows who really threw the first punch.
    20. nobody but martin and zimmerman knows who shouted for help.
    21. nobody but martin and zimmerman knows what else happened prior to the moment of the shooting.
    22. prior to any contact with martin, zimmerman told the police “These assholes, they always get away.”
    23. less than five minutes passed between zimmerman hanging up the phone and trayvon martin being dead.
    24. the fact that the media distorted the issue in martin's favor doesn't make martin guilty
    25. the fact that the media distorted the issue against zimmerman doesn't make zimmerman innocent.
    26. the sanford homicide detective recommended zimmerman be charged with manslaughter.
    27. it took the jury 16 hours on two days to find zimmerman not to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
    28. martin's friend warned him by phone that zimmerman might be a rapist, and advised him to run.
    29. martin had no objective reason to disbelieve his friend's assertion that zimmerman might be a rapist - he hadn't identified himself otherwise.
    30. nobody can ever know for sure what aspects of zimmerman's story are true and what aspects are false, because there are no other witnesses.

    so sure, you were right, the mentally ill, abusive, sexual predator who acted as if he were an officer of the law but never was one, who never identified himself as anything other than a stalker or a rapist, could not be convicted because there was sufficient evidence of self-defense to constitute reasonable doubt. i guess ya got me.

    JL

  49. [49] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i'm not writing more on this topic, so if you want me to read your reply, keep it to three posts or less, ya spammer ;)

  50. [50] 
    Paula wrote:

    JL: Bravo!

  51. [51] 
    Paula wrote:

    JL: Great breakdown of the events -- I'm bookmarking this!

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK let me rip thru the rest of these because it's past my bedtime..

    7. zimmerman had a history of violence

    No more a "history" than any other sentient person..

    Even if true, not relevant..

    8. zimmerman had a history of domestic violence

    Not at the time. You are wrong...

    9. zimmerman had a history of sexual abuse

    More bullshit..

    10. martin legally was still a minor

    Not relevant to anything...

    11. when martin first confronted him in his car, zimmerman failed to identify himself in any official capacity

    Even if true, not relevant to anything...

    12. when martin confronted him the second time, zimmerman still didn't identify his neighborhood watch role.

    There was only one confrontation.. You are wrong again..

    13. when a verbal altercation began, zimmerman continued to escalate verbally until a physical confrontation ensued.

    Pure fantasy.. No facts to support.. You are wrong again...

    14. zimmerman is and was an adult.

    Relevance??? Yer REALLY reaching here...

    16. a prosecutor found cause to convene a grand jury on the case.

    Yes, she did.. And that cause was hysterical racism from the black community and hysterical racism ONLY...

    15. zimmerman is politically connected in lake county, and was given the benefit of the doubt BEFORE it was determined that he acted in self-defense.

    Load of crap.. Zimmerman's father was a justice of the peace.. *I* have more political connections than Zimmerman does..

    You are wrong...

    18. at the moment the same can't be said for hillary clinton

    And this has WHAT exactly to do with the Zimmerman shooting??

    Face it, Joshua.. You are wrong.. You were wrong about EVERYTHING then and you are wrong about everything now..

    The ONLY issue that I brought forth was an issue you CANNOT address..

    Your political bigotry...

    Ni ni, sunshine.. :D

    Michale

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    i'm not writing more on this topic,

    "Brave Sir Robin ran away...."
    "Bravely ran away away..."
    "When danger reared it's ugly head..."
    "He bravely turned his tale and fled..."

    -The Tale Of Sir Robin

    :D

    You have been taking coward lessons from Full O Shit Bashi... :D

    You learned well... :D

    BWWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA :D

    Regardless of what you won't address, you have already conceded that *I* was right about the Zimmerman shooting...

    That's all I need to hear.. :D

    Michale

  54. [54] 
    Paula wrote:

    I don't concede you are right Michale. Not that it matters.

    The bottom line is Zim was armed, Trayvon was not. It may be absolutely true that at the point Trayvon was beating Zim up, Zim feared for his life. That can happen when you're a jumped up cop-wanna-be who thinks the teenager over there can't hurt you and then it turns out he can and is, so you pull out your big fat gun and you shoot him.

    Zim was in his thirties. Presumably an adult. And we can't know if Trayvon feared for his life because he's dead. The adult with the gun started the entire thing and shot his way out of it in the end. He created a situation where someone else became angry and afraid and fought back. Then started winning.

  55. [55] 
    Paula wrote:

    He created a situation where someone else became angry and afraid and fought back. Then started winning.

    Which, btw, is another reason all this gun-carrying and concealed carry stuff is stupid and dangerous. Because we who are going through life, minding our own business, have to now worry about nuts like Zim who might be carrying guns and exercising poor judgement with them. The make us all less safe, not more.

  56. [56] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    Thanks for the response.
    Glad you didn't have any issues.
    Seeing others having issues suggests the many reports are accurate though, so I hope it merits a mention beyond the comment section at some point.

    Reports of Dems, not just independents, being forced to vote provisional is something the changing structure in CA doesn't really explain.

    And the similarities of problems across the country, plus the many other red flags like traditionally accurate exit polling not matching results in areas with computer voting (as in no paper ballots like CA) seems a bit odd.
    The voter purges in NY that triggered Deblasio's audit and outrage or "outrage", missing voting machines and computers... fishy, fishy.

    "Good point about the media, should have leaned on that one a bit harder"

    Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see any leaning on that specific media issue at all.

    On Occupy, I still think "fall apart" is inaccurate when it was taken apart by force.
    I'm not denying the flawed organizational structure and bickering, but it is kind of hard to sort such things out when you are prevented from meeting and so many were in jail or dealing with bogus court cases.
    I also wouldn't discount the role of the official infiltrators prior to forcible removal.
    The federal involvement (with Obama's blessing)certainly suggests concerns about them overcoming the organizational flaws.

    On Moyers blog post on HP about DWS, what shocked me most was Moyers language. He is a reform from within insider and generally more diplomatic, but he came across as angry. Very unusual.

    On Obama, he may love campaigning (though he looked peeved to me) and he may be thinking about his legacy and poll numbers (though irrelevant for someone never running again)...
    ... but the need for his help was the point I was hoping you'd address. And, I still am.
    There's nothing wrong with help from friends, but Obama's help taking turns with the pickaxe to shatter that glass ceiling puts yet another asterisk next to that historical event for Hillary... just my opinion.

    Finally, the ballot thing remaining in the local news is problematic.
    People with national exposure (ahem) avoiding connecting all the dots from the problems all over the county (some of which are noted above) seemingly favors the non-story angle the DNC is hoping will be maintained.
    I'm not convinced the outcome would have been different, but it's not impossible.
    A couple of those narrow wins going to Bernie instead, and narrowed vote and delegate totals may have altered the narrative.

    Journalists and pundits working on the assumption the results couldn't have been affected and not looking into the pattern of problems pretty much guarantees the assumption remains unchallenged.

    At this point, most would classify this as sour grapes territory, but if the local news stories in CA become relevant, I hope you will at least share.

    The shenanigans also may be a factor in Bernie's decision to make your prediction about his concession speech wrong. Perhaps an inquiry by someone of prominence (ahem) to the campaign about the kind and number of reports to their fraud number/email would be enlightening?
    A simple request for info or comment for a potential column isn't a departure from your shtick... just basic research. No need to write the column if there's no there there.

    A

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    Paula,

    I don't concede you are right Michale. Not that it matters.

    It doesn't matter...

    Joshua's race-based character assassination of George Zimmerman is completely irrelevant to the point..

    This was a legitimate case of self-defense..

    Joshua now realizes this..

    And we can't know if Trayvon feared for his life because he's dead.

    We DO know that Martin wasn't in fear of his life. Because he was talking to his GF up to the point he was shot.

    Martin was pissed, not afraid. If Martin had been afraid for his life, why did he LEAVE the safety of Brandy Green's house (where he was staying) and return to confront, then attack Zimmerman??

    THAT's the point none of you can address because you are looking at the issue thru racist eyes...

    The Sanford shooting was a legitimate case of self-defense...

    ANYONE with more than two-brain cells to rub together and not blinded by racism, concedes this..

    These are the facts. And they are indisputable..

    Michale

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's funny how no one here wants to address MARTIN's racism or hatred of gay people..

    THAT was the entire basis of Martin's attack on Zimmerman..

    But ya'all ignore that and just concentrate on the color of Martin's skin rather than they lack of his character..

    Dr Martin Luther King would be very ashamed of ya'all...

    Michale

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's funny how no one here wants to address MARTIN's racism or hatred of gay people..

    THAT was the entire basis of Martin's attack on Zimmerman..

    {{ccchhhiirrrrpppppp}} {{cchiiirrrrrrrpppppp}}

    Once again... Concession via omission...

    I'm used to it..... :D

    Michale

  60. [60] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    nypoet22

    I appreciate the compliment. I have to say that the Trayvon Martin case was such an eye opener at how the media in some cases have stopped simply reporting stories in favor of creating stories. The whole "hoodie" meme that resulted during the Martin case is a great example of this. People heard the 911 tape of George Zimmerman reporting a suspicious person and it sounds like GZ goes off on WHY he thought Martin was up to no good...he was wearing a hoodie and had brown skin! What we did not know was that NBC, whose version of the 911 call every news outlet apparently decided to use, had edited the 911 recording so that you do not hear the call receiver asking GZ to describe what the person was wearing and what he looked like! So instead of realizing that GZ was answering very specific questions, we are made to believe that GZ was saying what made Martin seem suspicious.

    Also, there was no grand jury in the Martin case. The prosecution chose not to use one because they weren't seeking first degree murder charges (which requires a grand jury), and because there was absolutely no evidence or witnesses that supported any charges being filed. They only filed charges after the governor caved into public pressure and ordered GZ be indicted. Yes, GZ is a tool, has "short man" issues, and has a history of domestic violence....but that should not have been enough to ignore the fact that there was NO evidence to support the charges! You could not ask for a more textbook case of self-defense. No wonder GZ didn't need to testify in the trial, the prosecution offered nothing that did not fit under the legal definition of "self-defense" 's umbrella.

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    ! You could not ask for a more textbook case of self-defense.

    Geeee... Where have I heard THAT before...

    Oh yea... I used those EXACT words myself within a day or so of the shooting, after talking to some of the responding officers...

    But, I don't have a '-D' after my name, so that means I have no credibility... Despite over 2 and a half decades in the field....

    They only filed charges after the governor caved into public pressure and ordered GZ be indicted.

    Once again.. word for word what I said above...

    Gods, I hate the hypocrisy from people that I USED to respect...

    Michale

  62. [62] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michale,

    I have found myself on a quite a few occasions being in full agreement with you on the points that you bring up regarding the subject at hand, but in total disagreement with the snarky over-generalizations that you make about the group/liberals/Democrats immediately after that. Your arguments should be able to stand on their own merits. It's the insults (and, yes, they are insults) that people either end up responding to, or they keep people from responding completely because they are no longer fully in agreement with you. Just FYI.

  63. [63] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    CW [37]. No worries, I didn't even catch that!

  64. [64] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    nypoet22

    The media's handling of Ferguson and the Michael Brown shooting was almost as bad as the Martin case. I believe that it is the media's responsibility to educate the masses as to how things like police officers being investigated after an officer involved shooting are conducted; or to explain how public records laws work. But it actually felt like the press was intentionally withholding these explanations to keep the masses worked up and angry.

    Early on, the press focused on a case report that was released that showed that Officer Wilson had written only a few words about the shooting call in his report, but that was it. It made it seem like the officer hadn't bothered to fill out his report, and people speculated that it was so he could get his story straight. Not once did I ever see an article bring up the point that public record laws only require the police to release records that are NOT part of an active investigation. Those that are part of an ongoing investigation are exempt from being released. The fact that it was released showed that the report was of no real value to the case. Nor was it ever explained that an officer who shoots someone will not actually fill out the police report regarding the shooting. Instead, they will be interviewed by detectives and those detectives will take the officer's statements and handle the paperwork. If the officer fills out the report stating what happened and it is determined that he needs to be charged for the shooting, the report would basically be a written statement that was taken without the officer being first read his Miranda rights. The Constitution protects from us from self-incrimination, and the entire case against the officer could be tossed if that statement was used. Not having the officer fill out the report is done to protect the Prosecution's case against the officer and the officer's Constitutional rights.

    The police released the video of Michael Brown committing strong-armed robbery that was recorded just ten minutes before Brown was killed. I read countless articles raising the question of whether the video was released by the police in an attempt to discredit Brown's character. They completely ignored that the video had been released in response to a public records request by a member of the media. The police had agreed not to charge Brown or his friend, Dorian Johnson, for the theft in exchange for Johnson's testimony as to what he witnessed. That meant the theft case was no longer active, and therefore the video had to be released under the state's public records laws. The police had to release it or they would have been violating the law. To claim that they were trying to damage Brown's character by releasing it was completely untrue. HuffPost, which I typically enjoy reading, actually had an article entitled something to the effect, "Ferguson Police Chief Lies About Reason for Videos Release". The chief gave a press conference in response to all of the accusations surrounding the video's release and said that the video had been requested in a public records request, so he had to release it. The author of the article argued that no where on the public records request was the video identified or requested. The police chief was a liar and the Ferguson police could not be trusted! Then at the bottom of the article, the author stated that the video had been responsive to a request made for "all records regarding Michael Brown", but that it wasn't specifically requested! So, the chief hadn't lied -- the author of the article had!

    The video was completely dismissed as to having anything to do with Michael Brown's shooting by the media. You could not ask for a better piece of evidence showing Brown's frame of mind just minutes before he would encounter Officer Wilson.

    The other problem I had with how the Brown case was reported on was that no one ever bothered to point out that almost all of the witnesses gave identical accounts as to what they had witnessed -- both the ones that thought Brown was trying to surrender and those that thought Brown was charging Officer Wilson when Brown was shot -- they all said the same thing! Now it might seem strange that I say that two seemingly and completely different scenarios were actually identical, but hear me out. Regardless of whether the witness believed Brown was raising his arms up to surrender or they believed Brown was charging the officer, the physical movements described for each scenario are identical; it's the witnesses' perspective as to what they thought Brown's motives were for those movements that are different. Brown moving forward to charge the officer and Brown moving forward to drop to his knees in surrender are the same movements. Those witnesses that saw Brown struggling with Officer Wilson prior to the first shot being fired all believed Brown was charging to attack. Those that only witnessed what occurred after they heard the gunshot believed Brown was trying to surrender. Again, it all boils down to perspective. Brown never yelled, "Don't shoot! I surrender", so we can never know for sure what his intentions were.

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    Listen,

    It's the insults (and, yes, they are insults) that people either end up responding to, or they keep people from responding completely because they are no longer fully in agreement with you. Just FYI.

    While your words are wise, they fall on deaf ears.. But not mine...

    It's the insults that I endure that brings about the insults you read from me.

    This subject matter is a perfect example..

    You are saying, VERBATIM what I have said since the day of the shooting...

    Yet, because you have a '-D' after your name and I don't, your words are treated as gospel and I am just called names..

    Oh well, it's a bear I must cross.. :D

    Excellent points on the Michael Brown incident..

    It's funny... Both those people, Brown and Martin, would be alive today if they hadn't committed vicious felonies..

    But that fact is ignored and they are judged, not by the content of their character, but by the color of their skin..

    That's what makes this all so frustrating...

    Michale

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    Your arguments should be able to stand on their own merits.

    You would think so, eh? :D

    And with rational, logical and objective people, they DO stand on their own merits...

    But racism is never logical, never rational and NEVER objective...

    Michale

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    Listen,

    I have found myself on a quite a few occasions being in full agreement with you on the points that you bring up regarding the subject at hand, but in total disagreement with the snarky over-generalizations that you make about the group/liberals/Democrats immediately after that.

    If more people here in Weigantia could say the former then I could PROMISE you that you would see virtually none of the latter....

    "For those that will be our friends you will find no more faithful a friend than the United States Of America. For those that would do our citizens harm and make war? We can be faithful to that as well.."
    -President John Patrick Ryan, EXECUTIVE ORDERS

    That about sums it up perfectly..

    Michale

  68. [68] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @russ,

    i didn't bring up the ferguson case precisely for the reasons you mentioned. officer wilson had no prior incidence of poor policing decisions, found himself in a clearly life-threatening situation and panicked. as soon as evidence of that came out, i realized this was not the same as the other incidents. whether brown was going to charge or surrender nobody knows, but he put himself in that situation and made himself a target. institutional racism in ferguson is less about that particular case and more about how the authorities treat the community overall. the reason the faulty narrative of a suspect shot while surrendering was generated and believed to begin with is that the authorities in ferguson had a long and established pattern of racism that bred mistrust from the citizenry, which was uncovered in the federal investigation. wilson's actions were just as much a consequence of that pattern as brown's were.

    as to michale's pattern of following fallacy with insult, it's not just the snarky tone that makes him wrong, it's dishonest argument. if he presents twenty fallacious arguments and one valid one, then exaggerates any acknowledgement of the valid argument to include every fallacious argument, it's near impossible to have a reasonable discourse. prior to the martin incident, zimmerman was put in a program to avoid prosecution for assaulting a police officer, was served a restraining order for abusing and threatening violence against his former fiancee, and based on his cousin's testimony engaged in sexual abuse of minors, as well as regularly making racist comments to his mom. just because the media misrepresented some events of the shooting itself doesn't render all rest of this information invalid. zimmerman stalked and harassed an unarmed teenager, who retaliated with violence and was killed. self-defense couldn't be disproved beyond a reasonable doubt, that's the reality of our constitution and you're right that a conviction would have been improper given the full body of evidence. but in that particular case, based on all supporting evidence, the heart of the media narrative was essentially right in spirit, in spite of itself.

    JL

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    i didn't bring up the ferguson case precisely for the reasons you mentioned. officer wilson had no prior incidence of poor policing decisions, found himself in a clearly life-threatening situation and panicked

    It's ignorant statements like this that cause the problems in these types of discussions..

    There is absolutely NO (none.. zero... zilch... nada) factual evidence to even HINT that Darren Wilson "panicked"...

    as to michale's pattern of following fallacy with insult, it's not just the snarky tone that makes him wrong, it's dishonest argument.

    You mean the "dishonest" argument where I said, WORD FOR WORD, exactly what Listen said??

    That "dishonest" argument??

    The problem is you are completely and I mean COMPLETELY ignorant of the issues involved here..

    . zimmerman stalked and harassed an unarmed teenager

    Once again, BS statements like this cause the problems in these discussions.. Not any actions on my part..

    There is absolutely NO (none.. zero... zilch... nada) factual evidence to even HINT that Zimmerman "stalked" anyone. In this context, "STALKING" is a legal/criminal term and has absolutely NOTHING to do with Zimmerman's actions...

    The facts also clearly show that it was Martin who harassed Zimmerman, not the other way around...

    self-defense couldn't be disproved beyond a reasonable doubt,

    And ANOTHER completely ignorant and bigoted statement totally UNSUPPORTED by ANY facts at all..

    Does your "vast experience" in the LEO career field tell you this?? :^/

    In the Sanford shooting, there was NO DOUBT that it was self-defense...

    That's the determination that Sanford PD made, that's the determination that the facts PROVED...

    but in that particular case, based on all supporting evidence, the heart of the media narrative was essentially right in spirit, in spite of itself.

    Complete and utter bullshit... The media narrative from beginning to end was nothing but fantasy, BS and lies..

    You see my point, Listen??

    It's hard NOT to be snarky when confronted by such utter ignorance and bullshit claims that are passed off as reality...

    Jeeeze...

    Michale

  70. [70] 
    Michale wrote:

    One really has to wonder if a white cop can shoot a black person and not be racist or "panicked"..

    It's this type of blatant racism that Dr King was talking about when he made his famous quote...

    Michale

  71. [71] 
    Michale wrote:

    . zimmerman stalked and harassed an unarmed teenager

    Even if Zimmerman WASN'T on-site security, he was well within his rights to approach Martin and ascertain Martin's bona fides...

    *EVERY* action Zimmerman took that night was legal, moral and ethical...

    NO ONE can factually claim the same of Martin...

    Michale

  72. [72] 
    Michale wrote:

    Listen,

    Now you know why I often react the way I do..

    I have been dealing with this kind of racism, bigotry and hatred for over 10 years...

    It makes one testy...

    Michale

  73. [73] 
    Michale wrote:

    "And, btw, no candidate is "pure and good". Are you? Coz I'm not. And certainly no politician is -- human beings are flawed."
    -Paula

    Yea.. Like Zimmerman....

    Michale

  74. [74] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    nypoet22

    the reason the faulty narrative of a suspect shot while surrendering was generated and believed to begin with is that the authorities in ferguson had a long and established pattern of racism that bred mistrust from the citizenry, which was uncovered in the federal investigation.

    I have to disagree. This narrative was not what the local news outlets were reporting, it was the bigger new outlets that spun this story. I found only one news story that reported a witness had seen Brown attacking and pushing Officer Wilson back into his vehicle and the ensuing struggle. The national media ignored this witness even though the witness claims that he met with lots of reporters sharing his account of what happened. Why? I think it was clearly because that would go against the narrative that the media were wanting to report.

    Also, to say that Officer Wilson "panicked" is incorrect. Attempting to disarm a police officer is consider to be an "use of deadly force" by our legal system. That is because the courts recognize that 96% of officers who lose their gun during a struggle will be killed by that gun (98% will be shot). Michael Brown had already tried to take Officer Wilson's gun from him just seconds before, so it was actually quite reasonable for Wilson to respond to another attempt with deadly force of his own. The media loves to point out how rarely an officer in an officer involved shooting death is charged with a crime -- and that low percentage is viewed as proof that the system is rigged. But why is that low percentage of indicted officers viewed as proof that our nation's police officers are actually extremely well trained in the use of deadly force? People want the police to use non-deadly measures when people drive their car towards an officer or refuse to stop charging at an officer with a knife in their hand after being repeatedly commanded to do so. When responding to a use of deadly force, we cannot expect officers to not respond with deadly force, themselves.

    As for the DOJ's report, it attacked many of the city's ordinances as being unfair and prejudicial towards the black community. The report criticized the city for how the courts were draining the poorest citizens with fines for all sorts of minor infractions. The one key fact that seemed to be ignored by everyone was that these ordinances could be changed by the city council at any time, but no one from the community had even bothered to try. The city's black community makes up over 75% of the population, yet there are no black individuals on the city council. The city's voters enjoy extremely low property taxes, but they have to make up for those lost revenue somehow. It was strange to read the DOJ faulting the police for enforcing the city's laws. The report tried to paint the motives for the ordinances as being intentionally prejudicial against blacks, but failed to give concrete examples as proof. How victimized was the black community really if they never bothered to complain or sought to change these unfair laws?

  75. [75] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Whoops, meant to say :

    "But why ISN'T that low percentage of indicted officers..."

    My bad!

  76. [76] 
    Michale wrote:

    Also, to say that Officer Wilson "panicked" is incorrect. Attempting to disarm a police officer is consider to be an "use of deadly force" by our legal system. That is because the courts recognize that 96% of officers who lose their gun during a struggle will be killed by that gun (98% will be shot). Michael Brown had already tried to take Officer Wilson's gun from him just seconds before, so it was actually quite reasonable for Wilson to respond to another attempt with deadly force of his own. The media loves to point out how rarely an officer in an officer involved shooting death is charged with a crime -- and that low percentage is viewed as proof that the system is rigged. But why is that low percentage of indicted officers viewed as proof that our nation's police officers are actually extremely well trained in the use of deadly force? People want the police to use non-deadly measures when people drive their car towards an officer or refuse to stop charging at an officer with a knife in their hand after being repeatedly commanded to do so. When responding to a use of deadly force, we cannot expect officers to not respond with deadly force, themselves.

    What HE said...

    As for the DOJ's report, it attacked many of the city's ordinances as being unfair and prejudicial towards the black community. The report criticized the city for how the courts were draining the poorest citizens with fines for all sorts of minor infractions. The one key fact that seemed to be ignored by everyone was that these ordinances could be changed by the city council at any time, but no one from the community had even bothered to try. The city's black community makes up over 75% of the population, yet there are no black individuals on the city council. The city's voters enjoy extremely low property taxes, but they have to make up for those lost revenue somehow. It was strange to read the DOJ faulting the police for enforcing the city's laws. The report tried to paint the motives for the ordinances as being intentionally prejudicial against blacks, but failed to give concrete examples as proof. How victimized was the black community really if they never bothered to complain or sought to change these unfair laws?

    EXACTLY!!!

    People blame the COPS for enforcing the LAWs that the city government created...

    It's ridonkulous!!!

    It's like the Eric Garner death in Staten Island.. People castigated Patelona for enforcing the RIDICULOUS law of loose cigarettes..

    But it was DeBlasio's inept and moronic administration who CREATED the law..

    LEOs are simply the enforcement instruments of the political government.. Blaming the cops for enforcement of ridiculous laws is like blaming the bag boy at the supermarket for for the high cost of meat...

    I would be VERY interested in your take on the Duboes/Tessig shooting in Cincinatti, Listen..

    It's another text-book case of justified use of deadly force by an LEO and closely mirrors the Darren Wilson shooting. They even have VIDEO that proves that use of deadly force was justified..

    But Tessig was still charged with murder... :^/

    Michale

  77. [77] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's like jumping into a time machine and seeing my exact same comments back when these discussions first came up.. :D

    Michale

  78. [78] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michale,

    Tessig is going to have to convince a jury that it was reasonable for him to believe that his life was in danger of being taken if he did not stop Dubose from driving off -- and I honestly don't think he will be able to based on the video. Tessig's reaching into the car was a poor choice for the officer to make, and that really made it where it was his own actions that put his life in danger and not Dubose's actions. Dubose wasn't trying to run Tessig over, nor did it appear that Tessig was being dragged, but rather he wasn't letting go. I think that Dubose's attempt to flee was foolish and that people must realize that they are putting their own life at risk when they choose to resist arrest, but I have no problem with Tessig having to defend his actions before a jury.

    As for the Eric Garner case, a court issued a warrant for Garner's arrest and two officers tried to arrest him the day before, but Garner resisted arrest then and the two officers decided not to try to physically engage Garner, as he was a very large man. So they left and came back the next day -- bringing over a dozen other officers with them! This served two purposes:

    1. The show of force with that many officers would hopefully make Garner realize that he had no chance of getting away so he would consent to being arrested.

    2. If Garner did resist, the police would have enough manpower to physically compel Garner to comply with as little risk of injury to the officers and Garner as possible.

    On a side note: I believe Garner's death was resulted from what is called "excited delirium" -- which includes positional asphyxiation. Our bodies are hard wired for the "fight or flight" response to physical threats. Some scientists believe that our bodies might have an emergency shut off switch that kicks in to prevent us from suffering an extremely painful and gruesome death. Imagine a caveman struggling to get free from a giant tiger that has him pinned down. The caveman struggles as hard as he can to get free, but when it is obvious that he is about to be tiger chow, his body shuts itself off so that he doesn't suffer. That's pretty much the theory behind "excited delirium".

    In all of the cases:
    -- the victim has violently fought to get free from an overwhelming physical response, but have been caught and restrained
    -- they are held face down on the ground with a couple hundred pounds of body weight on top of them and are handcuffed with their arms behind their backs
    -- they are upset to the point of being manic; screaming bloody murder as they fight to get free..
    -- they suddenly become very calm, they stop screaming and become quiet....and they go into complete respiratory and cardiac failure.

    In most cases, the victim is over weight/heavy and has some history of asthma or other breathing problems. Their deaths are so sudden that even if medics are standing right there, once the body begins shutting itself off, there is no way to reverse it. There are multiple cases that have been in the news that fit this: the young lady whose parents called police to take her back to the mental hospital who fought the officers wildly until they got her contained in cuffs...at which time she went silent and was dead before they knew it. There was the large adult male with Down Syndrome that refused to leave a movie theater and his care taker called police to help him get the gentlemen into their van. He fought the police who restrained him chest down on the ground, was screaming mad....and then...well, you know what came next. While it is sad that these people suddenly just died while in police custody, it is pretty fascinating that our bodies might have this dormant "safety shutoff switch" hard wired into our DNA.

  79. [79] 
    Michale wrote:

    . Dubose wasn't trying to run Tessig over, nor did it appear that Tessig was being dragged,

    No, Tessig wasn't being dragged because he shot Dubose before the dragging could commence..

    We can discern 2 facts from the video and the aftermath..

    1. Dubose had a hold of Tessig...

    2. The vehicle was in drive...

    These 2 facts are sufficient for a reasonable person to conclude they risk serious bodily injury or death...

    Having said that, it WAS stupid for Tessig to reach into the car.. It was a rookie mistake...

    But that shouldn't result in Tessig being charged for the shooting... Just because Tessig reached in, doesn't give Dubose the right to murder him...

    At worse, Tessig should face some administrative sanction and remedial training...

    As to the Garner incident.. You won't find me disagreeing with you...

    Michale

  80. [80] 
    Michale wrote:

    Having said that, it WAS stupid for Tessig to reach into the car.. It was a rookie mistake...

    But that shouldn't result in Tessig being charged for the shooting... Just because Tessig reached in, doesn't give Dubose the right to murder him...

    Allow me to give you an example from a personal experience..

    While on Okinawa, I rolled up on a domestic one time. They drill into us at the academy, DO NOT RESPOND TO A DOMESTIC ALONE!!!... Once on scene, my backup was still 3mike out.. Things sounded like they were escalating inside so I thought my presence would calm the scene..

    Stoopid rookie mistake..

    I entered the residence and made contact with male subject who was getting the shit kicked out of him by a little Filipino woman... I got the two apart and shoved the woman back and she landed in the kitchen...

    I turned to the husband to check his injuries and he looked at me, his eyes got real wide.. I whirled around and saw the woman exiting the kitchen with the largest damn meat cleaver in the galaxy..

    I drew my weapon and shot her.

    Now, if I had waited until backup arrived, it's all but assured that the shooting wouldn't have happened...

    But the shooting was ruled a Good Shoot because I had no choice AT THAT MOMENT..

    Granted, I had my ass reamed six ways from sunday and was put on desk duty for 2 months... But it was STILL a good shoot...

    So it is with Tessig.. He made a rookie mistake that, had he NOT made it, it's entirely likely that Duboes would still be alive today..

    But THAT doesn't change the fact that it was DUBOES' actions that directly put Tessig's life in danger...

    It was a good shoot...

    And the ONLY reason that Tessig was charged was because, like Michael Brown, Duboes was black...

    Cops don't have the luxury of stopping time and analyzing every minute detail...

    "You don't have time to think. If you think, you die..."
    -Tom Cruise, TOP GUN

    Michale

  81. [81] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michael,

    I give the DA in the Ferguson case my highest compliments in his handling of the Michael Brown case. He did it in a brilliant way in order to silence any one trying to claim the prosecution was protecting Officer Wilson. There is no doubt that based on the evidence, there were not going to be any charges brought against Wilson. But because the press had already created its own version of what occurred by twisting what limited information it had, I believe the grand jury was called specifically to appease the public's rage and to hopefully prevent a race riot from occurring. The DA allowed anyone who claimed to be a witness an opportunity to testify, convinced Wilson's attorney to allow him to testify as to what occurred, and made the entire grand jury transcript available to the public -- something which is never done, but that was necessary for this case.

    As for your personal case compared to Tessig's, you had an undeniable threat to your life as well as the husband's life coming at you with a deadly weapon. Tessig? He's going have to be able to verbalized exactly how his life was in peril when he chose to fire his gun, and the jury has to believe that it was reasonable for him to have thought that at the time. Not sure he'll be able to do that, honestly. Just FYI: I am married to a police officer. I was a 911 call receiver for a few years (lost my job after I tried to complain when I was forced to enter a call improperly by a supervisor because the suspect was black).

  82. [82] 
    Michale wrote:

    He's going have to be able to verbalized exactly how his life was in peril when he chose to fire his gun, and the jury has to believe that it was reasonable for him to have thought that at the time. Not sure he'll be able to do that, honestly.

    I respect your opinion.. But, based on the video, I don't think Tessig will have a problem proving that beyond a reasonable doubt..

    To be perfectly frank, I would be surprised if this actually goes to trial.. Now that the emotions have passed and all 17 of Duboes children have gotten their ghetto lottery payout, there isn't any reason to go ahead with another kangaroo trial..

    Just FYI: I am married to a police officer. I was a 911 call receiver for a few years (lost my job after I tried to complain when I was forced to enter a call improperly by a supervisor because the suspect was black).

    Don'tcha just hate that... I was somewhat lucky.. Back in my day as an LEO, there wasn't this huge obscene politically correct push we're seeing today...

    Michale

  83. [83] 
    Michale wrote:

    Even without the video, it's clear that Duboes grabbed Tessig and the vehicle was in drive..

    That's all that is needed to determine that Tessig's fear of imminent bodily harm or death was reasonable..

    It was a good shoot...

    Just FYI: I am married to a police officer.

    Does he read cw.com??? I would LOVE to hear his thoughts on my LEO/military/security related comments..

    Michale

  84. [84] 
    Michale wrote:

    Does he read cw.com??? I would LOVE to hear his thoughts on my LEO/military/security related comments..

    Other than the fact that I am an arrogant prick..

    I already know that.. :D

    Michale

  85. [85] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michael,

    No, he doesn't read CW. But I knew you had ties to law enforcement just by your style of debating issues. Some of the ways you will twist your comments when your argument fails in order to make it sound like we were saying the same thing the entire time is EXACTLY like the way he argues! It drives me bonkers, to say the least, but I can be just as stubborn, so I cannot really complain too much. I know he'd appreciate your not jumping on the bash the police band wagon that the press has gotten all too comfortable dragging out at every opportunity.

  86. [86] 
    Michale wrote:

    No, he doesn't read CW. But I knew you had ties to law enforcement just by your style of debating issues. Some of the ways you will twist your comments when your argument fails in order to make it sound like we were saying the same thing the entire time is EXACTLY like the way he argues!

    Thanx.... I think.. :D

    I know he'd appreciate your not jumping on the bash the police band wagon that the press has gotten all too comfortable dragging out at every opportunity.

    I know, right!?

    Michale

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