by Carl, 03/20/2012, 7:59 AM

- Nothing like financial lectures from The Seattle Times.

- What Everyone Should Know About Trayvon Martin

- I missed the earthquake over the weekend.

- Who would want a tour of anything with Dick Morris?

- The let doctors lie bills are among the most awful of the horrible anti-abortion bills.

- National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts means there will be exhibits throughout the area.

- The question on everyone’s mind.

43 Responses to “Open Thread 3/20”

1. MikeBoyScout spews:

Trayvon Martin was murdered in cold blood.
His murderer has not been arrested ostensibly because of the NRA written Florida statute:

776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.—(1) A person who uses force as permitted in s.776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.
(2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.

My friends take a look at the link Carl provided above and ask yourself, is there Probable Cause that the deadly force used against Trayvon Martin was unlawful?


Probable Cause
is not some high legal bar.

Why has the murderer of Trayvon Martin not been arrested???

2. MikeBoyScout spews:

What can you do about the travesty in the Trayvon Martin murder?

Send an empty Skittles bag to:

Police Chief Bill Lee
Sanford Police Station
815 West 13th Street
Sanford, FL 32771

3. MikeBoyScout spews:


Lawyer: Slain teen’s girlfriend heard altercation

Bernjamin Crump, a lawyer for the Martin family, says a 16-year-old girlfriend in Miami was on the phone with Trayvon at the time of the altercation and heard much of the confrontation between the black teen and George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who claims he killed him in self-defense.

Go read the whole thing. It’ll break your heart.

4. Roger Rabbit spews:

There They Go Again (TM)

“Conservative Republicans controlling the House unveiled a budget blueprint Tuesday that combines slashing cuts to safety net programs for the poor with sharply lower tax rates … by cutting Medicaid, food stamps, Pell Grants and a host of other programs …. To deal with the influx of retiring Baby Boomers, the GOP budget reprises a controversial approach to overhauling Medicare that would switch the program … to a voucherlike … approach in which the government subsidizes purchases of [private] health insurance.”

http://www.cnbc.com/id/46795491

Roger Rabbit Commentary: Republicans won’t be satisfied until the rich pay zero taxes and the poor and unemployed have to live on tree bark. Why would anyone vote for these jerks? Voting Republican is immoral.

6. Roger Rabbit spews:

@1 Florida’s attorney general announced this morning he is convening a grand jury. The DOJ and FBI yesterday announced a separate federal investigation. It will take time, but as a lawyer, I believe the facts as reported in the media support a prosecution in this case.

I don’t believe Zimmerman intended to kill the kid, but went too far in confronting him, and then stupidly pulled a gun and Martin was killed in the ensuing scuffle. Under the laws of most states, that would possibly support a charge of second degree murder or at least voluntary manslaughter.

This is why you can’t have officious citizens arming themselves and then trying to play cops and robbers out on the streets — they’re going to get themselves and/or others hurt.

Another unanswered question about this case is whether Zimmerman had been drinking and why police didn’t do a breathalyzer on him. There have been some suggestions that Zimmerman’s voice was slurred on the police tapes.

7. rhp6033 spews:

I was just checking the delegate counts for the upcoming primaries & caucuses, and I noticed something I thought was a little strange.

Texas has 38 electoral votes, and California has 55. But in the Republican delegate count, Califorornia Texas has 155 delegates, compared to Californias 172. And New York seems substantially under-represented incomeparison with the Electoral College, with only 19 delegates.

And although both parties have delegates from non-voting terratories (Puerto Rico, Guam, etc.), It is in those very territories where Romney is making a clean sweep of the delegates at stake.

I guess that this works as a method of making sure that the primaries reflect the Republican constituancy. But as a means of making sure that the eventual nominee can win a general election, it’s a lousy strategy. It rewards candidates who can do well in the states where Republicans have alredy done well in previous elections, but it penalizes those who can do well in states not usually not won by Republicans.

Of course, that might very well go a logn way towards explaining the current circus which is the Repubican primary. There is no extra credit for electability in the general election, the only rewards are given to those who can appeal to those who would vote Republican no matter who is the candidate.

8. MikeBoyScout spews:

@6, I have no way of knowing Zimmerman’s intentions prior to Zimmerman shooting and killing Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17 year old returning home from the store. We have a legal process in the state of Florida which is to be used to determine the facts, and ultimately the guilt of Zimmerman if he is accused of murder.

There is a very REAL problem with what has happened in Florida. Despite the fact that a young man was gunned down in cold blood the police in Sanford, FL failed to conduct an investigation and failed to arrest Zimmerman, the admitted shooter of the 17 year old Trayvon Martin. And after more than 3 weeks the Sanford, FL police department has still failed to arrest the shooter.

There are yet many questions to be addressed about the murder of Trayvon Martin, but we also need to be asking just WTF is going on in Sanford, Florida that young men are murdered in the street and the shooter is given a pass.

9. Roger Rabbit spews:

Sanford, Florida, is a city of 53,000 near Orlando. Its police department could use a good housecleaning, or maybe just disband it and turn policing over to the county.

10. MikeBoyScout spews:

“Stand your ground” law goes too far


You can’t say we weren’t warned.

Back in 2005, opponents of Florida’s first-of-its-kind “stand your ground” law said it wouldn’t be long before we’d see shootouts in the streets — all in the name of self-defense.

11. Southern justice needs to change spews:

Wishlist 1#

FBI cleans house disbands the Sanford
“wtf police” department and start over with a northern state black police chief :) and starts recruiting minority “northerners” to show how a police depatment is supposed to treat murder.

12. MikeBoyScout spews:

@11, You do know that just prior to dropping dead without being shot in the name of self defense Andrew Breitbart proved that Critical Race Theory is totally unsupportable because there is hugging.

13. rhp6033 spews:

# 11: Why was I just reminded of “In the heat of the night”?

Sidney Portier: “They call me MR. Tibbs…”

14. rhp6033 spews:

The next time some wingnut says that President Obama isn’t qualified to be President because his father wasn’t American, ask him about Nikki Haley. Both of her parents were immigrants. Would she be qualified, if she were to run for President?

15. Politically Incorrect spews:

@14,

Why don’t we just amend the Constitution to allow foreign-born folks to be prez? That rule was put into the original Constitution to keep Alexander Hamilton from ever being prez. He’s been dead for a couple of centuries, so the rule isn’t needed to keep him from being prez. It’s time to amend this part of the Constitution.

16. Roger Rabbit spews:

@15 Got someone in mind?

17. Dave spews:

@6 Roger Rabbit-

1) I agree with @6 (Florida’s attorney general is convening a grand jury…DOJ & FBI announced a separate investigation. It will take time)

2) I also agree that “as reported” it looks bad for the shooter and he “appears” guilty. However, people condemning someone with very little facts (meaning you weren’t there) is foolish. I agree that, at the very least, it appears he used excessive force and didn’t meet the requirements to “justify” the use of “deadly” force. However, there have been plenty of occasions where things looked one way and turned out another…

Again, I’m not saying he’s not guilty but I’m also not pre-judging him. You have to be able to objectively look at the situation, again without knowing all the facts it’s a bit difficult. This is not to advocate for (or against) him.

I’m simply bringing up things to be considered:

- We’ve heard what the youth said on the phone to his girlfriend but what did the shooter hear and see? Do any of you know with 100% certainty?

- When he said something on the order of “these (body part) always get away with it” doesn’t necessarily make it racist either. Are gangs a problem there? He could be referring to gang members “in general” (regardless of them being Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Etc.).

- Why didn’t they secure the gun as part of the investigation?? I’m not sure if that’s been accurately reported or not.

- Was he drinking is a good point as well @6

-It’s a little unusual for no arrest but not unheard of. He’ll be arrested when/if the determination is made that sufficient evidence exists to support a conviction.

- I disagree with saying citizens can’t be armed though. Guns are tools like any other tool and aren’t to blame for people’s stupidity. What if he’d used an arrow, sling shot, wrist rocket, baseball bat, etc? would that mean we need to get rid of those too? I have a handgun but I also have the common sense and training (via USMC) to assess a situation and determine when/if it would ever be needed.

- Similarly, stand your ground laws aren’t the problem. Again, it comes down to people’s common sense level as well as their level of training. With both of those in place you have no problem. The problem comes when either (or both) are lacking. Even some police have shown a lacking of one or both of those things (generally the common sense part) and been involved in either leaving a gun unsecured or using it inappropriately
————————
@14

You’re correct. There’s no decent reason for not allowing a foreign born person to be president and I’d support that change. With the amount of vetting (or digging up of dirt) available these days, there’s no reason to be afraid of some “scary” foreign person infiltrating our government to perform a coup d’état. I would think it reasonable to require a citizenship requirement of 10yrs or so though.

18. Roger Rabbit spews:

New Version of JFK Murder

A soon-to-be-published book by a former CIA analyst says Lee Oswald killed Kennedy to “prove his revolutionary credentials” to the Cuban government, which had denied him a visa, and that Castro knew about Oswald’s plans ahead of time. This information supposedly came from a high-ranking Cuban intelligence officer who later defected and was debriefed by the CIA.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/19/fidel-castro-jfk-assassination-book_n_1364770.html?ncid=webmail3

19. Dave spews:

Just to clarify,
In @17 above, I’m only referencing Roger Rabbit in 1) & 2). After that it’s just general comments regarding various things people have said.

20. rhp6033 spews:

# 18: Of course, since the source is purportedly a Cuban intellegence officer who defected to the CIA, everything we know about the allegation comes through the filter of the CIA. And remember that Howard Hunt’s (of Watergate fame)was reputed to have confessed to the JFK assassintion on his deathbed, as recounted by Hunt’s son.

I’m not saying that the CIA, Cuba, Russia, or the Mafia was beind the assassination of JFK. There’s enough smoke and mirrors so that we may never know. The reputed “gunmen on the grassy knoll” amy be nothing more than a diversion.

But the older I get, the less likely I believe that Oswald did this on his own. His trip to Russia, and subsequent return, tends to make Oswald look like an unsuccesful CIA agent and expendable stooge in any CIA-sponsored assassination attempt.

21. rhp6033 spews:

I believe that Florida is a state which requires a grand jury to indict. Police may hold a suspect for a limited period pending the convening of a grand jury, but since that period of time is rather limited the prosecutors tend to wait until they have their case developed before convening the grand jury – unless there is a good reason to believe that the person will flee or commit another crime, which would require a court hearing to hold them before they are bound over.

22. Michael spews:

@1
Florida’s (and Washington’s) Stand Your Ground law would apply to people like Trayvon Martin, when someone runs up to them and starts a fight with them. Not for the aggressors in the case.

The problem here is a handful racist local LEO’s, in a backwater town, in the backwater that is Northern Florida. Now that this case has national attention the LEO’s will get let go and Zimmerman will go to jail.

We should have just let the south go when we had a chance.

23. Blue John spews:

LEO?

24. Michael spews:

@11

FBI cleans house disbands the Sanford
“wtf police” department and start over with a northern state black police chief :) and starts recruiting minority “northerners” to show how a police depatment is supposed to treat murder.

That would be the job of the Federal Department Of Justice and they’d be playing the same sort of roll they are playing in Seattle, will soon be playing in Spokane, and played in reforming Rainier School in the 1990′s. We’re hardly ones to talk.

25. Michael spews:

LEO = law enforcement officer.

26. MikeBoyScout spews:

@17 Dave on 03/20/2012 at 2:52 pm,

Let’s you and I consider your points one by one, ok?

1) “what did the shooter hear and see?” We don’t know, and we may never know. There were 2 people that did know. One was shot dead by the other. What we do know is what Zimmerman reported on the 911 call. Have you heard it? Go read the transcript.

2) “He could be referring to gang members ” You’re right he could be. So what?

3) “Why didn’t they secure the gun as part of the investigation?” What Sanford police department investigation are you referring to?

4) “It’s a little unusual for no arrest but not unheard of. He’ll be arrested when/if the determination is made that sufficient evidence exists to support a conviction.” Friend, look up top @1. The law stipulates probable cause is sufficient. And you are correct, it is not at all unusual for murderers of black people not to be arrested.

5) “Similarly, stand your ground laws aren’t the problem.” No, such laws are a BIG problem. You speak of training. Can you find one state where a stand your ground law has been put on the books where additional training is mandated? You don’t need to go look, there is none. Ergo, such laws are problem by your own definition.

In closing, an asshole with a gun shot down and murdered a young man in cold blood as he returned home from the store. The police knew who shot the young man, and they let the shooter walk. That’s WRONG, horribly wrong.

27. Michael spews:

Florida’s (and Washington’s) Stand Your Ground law would apply to people like Trayvon Martin, when someone runs up to them and starts a fight with them. Not for the aggressors in the case.

At least one would hope.

28. Michael spews:

I wonder if Mr. Zimmerman considered himself a “sheep dog?”

http://tinyurl.com/88rfort
http://www.killology.com/sheep_dog.htm

29. YLB spews:

28 – Maybe in his own “mind” but in reality he turned out to be a jackass.

30. Michael spews:

@29
Wouldn’t that describe most if not all the “sheepdogs” out there, including the two I linked to?

31. Roger Rabbit spews:

@17 I believe I adequately qualified my statements @6, and I don’t believe I’m prejudging the situation; I only stated that if the reported facts are correct Florida’s “stand your ground” statute wouldn’t prevent a prosecution. What a jury would do with it is a different issue. Washington doesn’t have a “castle” law, but prosecutors in this state gave up trying to prosecute homeowners who shoot people in their own homes, even where the facts didn’t support legal self-defense, because juries simply won’t convict in such cases. This can work in reverse, too. It’s conceivable a Florida jury, self-conscious about their state’s image, would automatically convict any non-black who shoots an unarmed black, no matter what the facts are. Juries do weird things.

32. Roger Rabbit spews:

@17 “Similarly, stand your ground laws aren’t the problem.”

No, they’re not, because that defense isn’t available if you sought or instigated the confrontation. In fact, the entire self-defense doctrine is unavailable to instigators.

Prosecutors won’t even have to prove that Martin, not Zimmerman, acted in self-defense during the scuffle, because Zimmerman lost that defense when he got out of his car to confront Martin.

33. Dave spews:

@31,
I wasn’t intending the prejudging part to be directed at you. It’s my mistake irt pointing out in @19 that I was talking specifically to you in 1 & 2 but neglecting to notice that 2) said “(meaning you weren’t there)” which looks like I’m referring to you.

Anyway, I was agreeing with you and questioning others but I suppose a misunderstanding like this is more likely when trying to reply to one person “&” everyone as a whole in the same post. My bad

I really do need to go to bed and stop reading these posts… I have one more I’ll do tonight and that’s it LOL…

34. Dave spews:

@32, I agree that stand your ground laws aren’t the problem.

I think Zimmerman will say he was confronting Trayvon iot simply detain him for the arrival of the police so they (the police) could “get to the bottom of what was going on” but things got out of control and he thought Wyland was pulling a gun on him (bringing back self-defense). The problem is did he actually witness Wyland do anything that could be perceived as breaking the law. Or do you think that even matters?

35. Dave spews:

@26 Boyscout,

OMG… Seriously, can you please calm down? You’re “spewing” (pun intended) so much random visceral hatred that you are not thinking clearly…

Let’s you and I consider your points one by one, ok?

—> Ok, except you missed a few in the one-by-one attempt. Let’s go over the ones you spewed:

1) “what did the shooter hear and see?” We don’t know, and we may never know. There were 2 people that did know. One was shot dead by the other. What we do know is what Zimmerman reported on the 911 call. Have you heard it? Go read the transcript.

—> First, that transcript only goes half way to telling what the shooter saw/heard and is “far” from damning. In fact it will probably be used to demonstrate that the shooter wasn’t acting with ill “intent” because he was not acting elusive, he was preparing to meet with police when they arrived, and was asking for help (i.e. the police to come). He also says on the recording that Trayvon has “something” in his hand which shows he could’ve thought he saw a gun.

Second, being wrong is still negligent and possibly manslaughter but I think murder could be a hard case to prove in the absence of other evidence and/or witnesses. Especially if he can successfully demonstrate to a jury (with the help of that transcript btw) that he was concerned about

what was in the hand of Trayvon

. What he “thought he saw” will be a factor.

However, working against him will be what a reasonable person would’ve done in the same situation. following someone you think may have a gun is questionable. I assume he’ll say something to the effect of “I just wanted to keep him in sight until the police arrived“.

Third, before you spew anything irt this point I suggest you consult with someone who knows more about the law. Anyone, anyone? Perhaps Rabbit? I believe he said something about being at the bottom of the ocean (hopefully someone gets that).

2) “He could be referring to gang members ” You’re right he could be. So what?

—> Obviously, that goes toward countering the “hate crime” argument of racism that some people are already pushing.

3) “Why didn’t they secure the gun as part of the investigation?” What Sanford police department investigation are you referring to?
4) “It’s a little unusual for no arrest but not unheard of. He’ll be arrested when/if the determination is made that sufficient evidence exists to support a conviction.” Friend, look up top @1. The law stipulates probable cause is sufficient. And you are correct, it is not at all unusual for murderers of black people not to be arrested.

—> The investigation you started talking about.
—> Omg, seriously? Did “you” read @1 or just post it?… First, your definition of probable cause is about a light year from reality. Second, you proved “my” answer with what “you” say to refer to (@1). Read it again friend… It says: “immune from criminal prosecution” and goes on to say “As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.”

Those words mean something friend. In the real world the investigating agency has to acknowledge what those words dictate and follow the “rule of law” friend. that’s not to say he won’t get arrested and possibly convicted but it does mean that the process is a “methodical” one that will upset most spring-butt people ready to convict him without a trial.

5) “Similarly, stand your ground laws aren’t the problem.” No, such laws are a BIG problem. You speak of training. Can you find one state where a stand your ground law has been put on the books where additional training is mandated? You don’t need to go look, there is none. Ergo, such laws are problem by your own definition.

–> If you go back and slowly read my original post you should realize that I already covered the training issue. I said “The problem comes when either (or both) are lacking.” referring to common sense “and” training. That implies that I think adequate training needs exist and that if it’s not there it should be addressed. How would it possibly be addressed? Perhaps via training?…

In closing, an asshole with a gun shot down and murdered a young man in cold blood as he returned home from the store. The police knew who shot the young man, and they let the shooter walk. That’s WRONG, horribly wrong.

—> It’s a good thing we have you then. Why even have a trial, you’ve already figured it all out right? Ever heard of “the west Memphis 3″? There are countless other examples of “iron clad” cases that are later shown to be anything but so why don’t we let the facts play out before acting like a judge/jury?..

OMG… Please don’t take this the wrong way. I truly hope you are a young man that is still learning and developing his skills of reasoning and calm, sound judgement. I say again, reasoning and calm, sound judgement.

36. YLB spews:

When I heard about this “stand your ground” law I was reminded of this scene from Robert Altman’s classic western, McCabe and Mrs. Miller:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Ure1uMrqMRU#t=514s

This law enables murdering psychopaths.

Other people have called it a “make my day” law.

37. Steve spews:

If we’d had laws and cops like that ’round these parts, I might have rid this blog of trolls years ago.

38. MikeBoyScout spews:

@35 Dave,

Don’t preach to me about calm reasoning and sound judgment. You’re a nitwit.

39. MikeBoyScout spews:

The fathers of Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law implicated in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin say the man who shot him to death probably should be arrested and doesn’t deserve a self-defense claim of immunity.

Joe Scarborough, the former Republican Pensacola-area congressman and current host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, just took a brickbat to the authorities overseeing the Travyon Martin shooting. Scarborough, like almost every other observer, said he was shocked that Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee and State Attorney Norman Wolfinger have neither arrested nor charged George Zimmerman in the shooting death of the 17 year old on Feb. 26.

40. Dave spews:

@38. MikeBoyScout,
LOL… I guess you took what I said “Well, I did say please don’t take it the wrong way. I guess you did anyway.

Don’t preach to me about calm reasoning and sound judgment. You’re a nitwit.

–> Opinions vary. However, I suggest you take a look in the mirror then read my post again to learn from your mistaken logic (that I pointed out for you). That’s how you get better but you have to be willing to accept help. Remember: reasoning and calm, sound judgement.

@39- You really shouldn’t give that much weight to talk shows and other people who aren’t directly involved in the investigation…

Good luck.

41. No Time for Fascists spews:

Still, if it wasn’t for talk shows and other people who aren’t directly involved in the investigation, this shooting would have remained un-investigated.

What I cannot understand is the seeming lack of interest, the apathy about this case. A person is shot under questionable circumstances and so many people just shrug?

If the races were reversed, if it had been a white girl or a local politician killed, do you really imagine there would have been such a collective yawn from the police? From the public? From Fox News?
Do you think you would see SO many people just saying please calm down, nothing to see here, move along, let the authorities handle it cause they did so well already?

42. Roger Rabbit spews:

“Lawmakers are investigating three shadowy pharmacies in Maryland and North Carolina for diverting critical but scarce drugs from patients to wholesalers, who are then able to resell the medicine at sometimes big markups.

“Elijah Cummings, the senior Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, began a probe in October to discover why certain companies were selling cancer drugs at more than a hundred times their normal cost.”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46814168/ns/health-health_care/

Roger Rabbit Commentary: Another fucking market failure. Notice it’s a Democrat who’s investigating this heartless profiteering. You’d never see Republicans regulating these guys — so why would anyone vote for Republicans?

43. Dave spews:

Whoops. the Submit button was accidentally hit before the spew was ready.