July 17th, 2013

Racism and paranoia: something about the Zimmerman case continues to get my goat…

…big time.

I keep trying to stop writing about the case and focus on other things, because there are surely plenty of important ones. But my frustration and anger is actually building rather than letting up, which is a surprise because the verdict was at least the correct one.

I promise myself (and you) I’ll stop writing about this soon and get on to other things, but just one more…just one more. Like potato chips, only nowhere near as tasty—in fact, not tasty at all.

What is it that irks me so very much even at this late date? A lot of things, actually (some of which I’ve written about already)—but in particular it’s the amount of disinformation everywhere, disinformation that’s authoritatively parroted by the left and right alike at times. So much that people “know”—and in fact are righteously, adamantly certain they know—is false.

Like vampires, these memes are hard to kill, and are even repeated by those who are basically behind the verdict and Zimmerman, and who should know better. But apparently there’s a lot of lazy, slipshod thinking and writing out there, as well as purposeful lying.

I’ve already dealt with the “followed” meme, from which so many others flow. And today William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection talks about a related meme, the “Zimmerman was told not to get out of his car” falsehood, here. Of course, there’s also the “Zimmerman the racist” theme, the “open season on black youths” theme, and too many others to list, most of them based on nothing more than the political leanings of the speaker combined with an abysmal ignorance (or feigned ignorance) of the facts of the case and the law. And some of this comes from lawyers as well.

It makes me angry, because although I can tolerate plenty of disagreement, I can’t stand it when people spread lies or misunderstandings that could be cleared up by doing just a minimum of research, and the public swallows it whole. I don’t pretend to know exactly what happened every moment between Zimmerman and Martin that night—there are some things we’ll never know—but I at least try my best to learn as much as I can from the information we do have and not to misstate the facts, and to use logic in analyzing what those facts might mean. I have respect for people on either side of the issue who do the same, but they’re nowhere near as numerous as they should be.

That’s why last night when I happened across the following exchange on Hannity between Juan Williams and someone I’d never heard of before named Leo Terrell, I felt as though Terrell was channeling me in his obvious frustration with Williams’ ignorance and sloppy reasoning. What’s all the more surprising is that it turns out that Terrell, a lawyer, is apparently an extreme liberal who usually disagrees vociferously with all conservative positions. But for some reason, this time he’s in agreement with what is usually thought of as the conservative side, and he seems to know his facts about the case. Watch what he does to Williams:

Curiously satisfying, at least to me.

Now let’s get to another issue—the fact that Zimmerman had called 911 many times before. Our very own commenter “Mitsu” gave particular weight to that fact yesterday, writing about it in comment after comment. I offer a few here:

These facts are quite easy to ascertain: Zimmerman became a member of the neighborhood watch in September 2011, long after most of his eccentric calls to 911 were made. How many times have YOU called 911? To say that his 911 behavior wasn’t odd is to stretch credulity.

You [neo]…make no mention of [Zimmerman's] 46 calls to 911. If you can read the 46 call record and conclude Zimmerman was a completely run of the mill, ordinary, responsible and level-headed member of a neighborhood watch, I have to say I think your judgement of that is at variance with most people’s.

And in this comment of Mitsu’s, he refers to Zimmerman’s “obsessiveness, his paranoia, his incessant calls to 911.”

My response to all of this can be found here, but I’ll just summarize it as saying that we have no idea if Zimmerman’s call numbers were unusual, given the situation in the neighborhood where he lived, since we have nothing to compare it to (such as, for example, calls to 911 by other neighbors).

But the exchange made me curious. Was there indeed something unusual about Zimmerman’s making so many calls? Not that it is relevant to Zimmerman’s guilt or innocence—it is not, at least not in the legal sense. But I wanted to know nevertheless.

So I did some Googling. Until yesterday, I’d never read this in-depth article from Reuters about the Zimmerman family when George was growing up, and (more to the point) what exactly had been happening in Zimmerman’s neighborhood prior to the night he killed Martin.

Please do yourself a favor and read the whole thing. But here’s an especially relevant excerpt (amazing that we have to turn to Reuters for this sort of thing; who would have guessed it?) [Emphasis mine]:

By the summer of 2011, Twin Lakes [where Zimmerman lived] was experiencing a rash of burglaries and break-ins. Previously a family-friendly, first-time homeowner community, it was devastated by the recession that hit the Florida housing market, and transient renters began to occupy some of the 263 town houses in the complex. Vandalism and occasional drug activity were reported, and home values plunged. One resident who bought his home in 2006 for $250,000 said it was worth $80,000 today.

At least eight burglaries were reported within Twin Lakes in the 14 months prior to the Trayvon Martin shooting, according to the Sanford Police Department. Yet in a series of interviews, Twin Lakes residents said dozens of reports of attempted break-ins and would-be burglars casing homes had created an atmosphere of growing fear in the neighborhood.

In several of the incidents, witnesses identified the suspects to police as young black men. Twin Lakes is about 50 percent white, with an African-American and Hispanic population of about 20 percent each, roughly similar to the surrounding city of Sanford, according to U.S. Census data.

One morning in July 2011, a black teenager walked up to Zimmerman’s front porch and stole a bicycle, neighbors told Reuters. A police report was taken, though the bicycle was not recovered.

But it was the August incursion into the home of Olivia Bertalan that really troubled the neighborhood, particularly Zimmerman. [His wife] Shellie was home most days, taking online courses towards certification as a registered nurse.

On August 3, Bertalan was at home with her infant son while her husband, Michael, was at work. She watched from a downstairs window, she said, as two black men repeatedly rang her doorbell and then entered through a sliding door at the back of the house. She ran upstairs, locked herself inside the boy’s bedroom, and called a police dispatcher, whispering frantically.

“I said, ‘What am I supposed to do? I hear them coming up the stairs!’” she told Reuters. Bertalan tried to coo her crying child into silence and armed herself with a pair of rusty scissors.

Police arrived just as the burglars – who had been trying to disconnect the couple’s television – fled out a back door. Shellie Zimmerman saw a black male teen running through her backyard and reported it to police.

After police left Bertalan, George Zimmerman arrived at the front door in a shirt and tie, she said. He gave her his contact numbers on an index card and invited her to visit his wife if she ever felt unsafe. He returned later and gave her a stronger lock to bolster the sliding door that had been forced open.

“He was so mellow and calm, very helpful and very, very sweet,” she said last week. “We didn’t really know George at first, but after the break-in we talked to him on a daily basis. People were freaked out. It wasn’t just George calling police … we were calling police at least once a week.”

In September, a group of neighbors including Zimmerman approached the homeowners association with their concerns, she said. Zimmerman was asked to head up a new neighborhood watch. He agreed.

Less than two weeks later, another Twin Lakes home was burglarized, police reports show. Two weeks after that, a home under construction was vandalized.

The Retreat at Twin Lakes e-newsletter for February 2012 noted: “The Sanford PD has announced an increased patrol within our neighborhood … during peak crime hours.

“If you’ve been a victim of a crime in the community, after calling police, please contact our captain, George Zimmerman.”

On February 2, 2012, Zimmerman placed a call to Sanford police after spotting a young black man he recognized peering into the windows of a neighbor’s empty home, according to several friends and neighbors.

“I don’t know what he’s doing. I don’t want to approach him, personally,” Zimmerman said in the call, which was recorded. The dispatcher advised him that a patrol car was on the way. By the time police arrived, according to the dispatch report, the suspect had fled.

On February 6, the home of another Twin Lakes resident, Tatiana Demeacis, was burglarized. Two roofers working directly across the street said they saw two African-American men lingering in the yard at the time of the break-in. A new laptop and some gold jewelry were stolen. One of the roofers called police the next day after spotting one of the suspects among a group of male teenagers, three black and one white, on bicycles.

Police found Demeacis’s laptop in the backpack of 18-year-old Emmanuel Burgess, police reports show, and charged him with dealing in stolen property. Burgess was the same man Zimmerman had spotted on February 2.

I think I’ll just stop there, although the article doesn’t. I believe I’ve made my point. Paranoid, calling 911 too much? Hardly. And if Zimmerman was reporting a lot of suspicious black men—well, that’s because there were a number of black men that had been wandering around Twin Lakes acting suspiciously.

I said the article doesn’t stop there. It goes on to complete the narrative with a very brief description of the Martin killing, adding the almost-obligatory, “[Zimmerman] disregarded police advice against pursuing Martin.” However, the article was written on April 25, 2012, before too many of the details of that night were known (although the writer should have figured it out properly just from the evidence in the emergency call).

At any rate, we can now piece these things together and get a fuller portrait. That portrait reflects well on Zimmerman, and poorly on those who would torment him and tarnish his name further for propaganda purposes. Too bad they are so numerous.

107 Responses to “Racism and paranoia: something about the Zimmerman case continues to get my goat…”

  1. Richard Aubrey Says:

    It’s good to point to this article.
    We can presume Mitsu, John Dunne, et al, already know it, from clues in their misdirection.
    You can tell when somebody’s ignorant versus when somebody’s done his homework and is lying.

  2. T Says:

    Neoneocon,

    “I promise myself (and you) I’ll stop writing about this soon and get on to other things . . . .”

    Now I must disagree. First, it’s you blog; write about whatever you choose (as you well know). Most importantly, keeping a controversy alive is important because it points out the error of the myths. Whether unintentionally inaccurate or exercises in misdirection, when the topic is left to die, the unchallenged myths become reality.

    In the current administration this is called “investigation into the matter,” and it’s precisely why I oppose special prosecutors for scandals such as the IRS debacle. Once a special prosecutor is appointed, the entire investigation becomes secretive. I want these continually out in the open, available for public comment . . . and outrage.

  3. Paul in Boston Says:

    I came across this illuminating article a while ago. The fact that Zimmerman was often described as a member of a neighborhood watch should have alerted people right away to the fact that there was a crime problem in his community. Otherwise, why have a watch? I tried pointing this out to a few people but they couldn’t make the connection.

  4. davisbr Says:

    I posit that what’s really getting your goat isn’t the Zimmerman case per se, Neo.

    But rather the frustration that comes with knowing that you are totally, incontrovertibly in command of the facts of the case – i.e., that you are right …that you are correct – but you find yourself having to argue (or incessantly re-inform), the relentlessly clueless who are loudly “expressing their opinion“.

    Without apparent result.

    What was that Greek archetype about the gift from the god of accurately knowing the future? Coupled shortly after with the curse of never being believed?

    The idiots have [the power of] feelings.

    You have facts and reasoning, Cassandra. Loser.
    .
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    The West is dying.

  5. Gringo Says:

    A further point about Zimmerman’s getting or not getting out of his vehicle. He was in a common area of the place where he owned a home. As such he had every right to get out of his vehicle.

  6. parker Says:

    Epic post neo!

  7. Ray Says:

    What astonishes me is the fact that black on black crime is rampant, black on white crime is common but white on black crime is rare. So what does the media fixate on? A rare white hispanic shooting a black young man. They don’t care that thousands of blacks are killed by other blacks every year. Blacks commit almost half the murders in the US and over 90% of those murders are other blacks and the media is unconcerned.

  8. sharpie Says:

    That was better than morning coffee.

    You would have made a great lawyer, Neo.

  9. Eric Says:

    Neo,

    If Mitsu needs something for his position, he’ll hold onto it no matter what. When that something is discredited on merit, he’ll fall back to saying it’s all opinion anyway, not merit, and then claim more people agree with his opinion, so his opinion has more merit.

    I get the same thing when I debate the Iraq mission.

    It’s not just an issue. It’s their identity. Deviating from the party line, whether on Zimmerman or Iraq, threatens their identity. They can’t do it.

    But Zimmerman isn’t just an issue for us either. I think it grabs you for the same reason it grabs me. This issue strikes at our identity. Because it’s not really about race. The fundamental social-cultural and legal underpinnings of the American working middle class are under attack. Like I said to Geoffrey Britain, it’s all there with Zimmerman. We’re all Zimmerman.

    Paul in Boston,

    If they’re like Mitsu, he wrote a lengthy comment rejecting neighborhood watches as an illegitimate ‘vigilante’ application of policing power that should be reserved to official police (NYPD in his case) only, which is another party line. He doesn’t acknowledge proactive policing either. He won’t judge Zimmerman from Zimmerman’s position.

    As Richard Aubrey pointed out, it seems Mitsu and people like him have an adversarial view of truth.

  10. davisbr Says:

    There are no “white Hispanics”, Ray.

    That is a newly coined term, and isn’t going to net you any affirmative action perks. There is no such sub-group.

    It’s a specifically racist term, coined by liberal graduates of J-school. Who monolithically vote Democrat. It’s meant to divide people, and incite hatred. It is purely about race-baiting.
    .
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    In East LA, the war is between blacks and browns. They know who they are, regardless of the depth of their melanin content.

  11. Michael Adams Says:

    Fifty years ago, I heard, both personally, and quoted in media, the idea expressed by some Southerners that “There are n*****s and there are Colored folks.” Its pretty inelegant, was was held up as yet another example of ignorance and bigotry etc. In fact, if racism is the belief the you can judge a book by it’s cover, and a man by his color, then this clumsy expression is the diametrical opposite of racism. The educated Southern liberal, or the Northern one, for that matter, might well have said it better, but they were too educated to be able to grasp the concept.

    Certainly, long-time Black residents of New York who moved to the suburbs, when huge numbers of low-skilled Southern Blacks moved in, drawn by welfare benefits more generous than Southern wages, understood the idea, and would have probably expressed it in about the same terms.

    Today’s Leftists, more intent on destroying bourgeois society than in any improvement in race relations, refuse to see what some Blacks and a number of Conservative Whites see plainly, the savage culture, utterly hedonistic, parasitical on the people who work, sucking their blood both through government benefits and theft, may be predominately Black, but do not represent the entirety of our Black citizenry. Furthermore, as always, the savages can not, will not, absolutely refuse to live peaceably with their more settled neighbors. The Spanish and the agrarian Indians who lived in Texas before the coming of the Comanche, who had just made common cause with the horse, would have described a similar plague of savages.

    By the time that the Spaniards had worked it out with Moses Austin to bring in 300 Redneck families to form a buffer between “Comancheria” and Mexico, most of those Indians had been driven further south killed off, or had died out from European infectious disease.

    Today, people who do not understand, in combination with people who do not want to understand, constantly speak of “savage rights,” although not in those terms. Honesty is, after all, a foolish bourgeois notion. But, there is is. Call the cops on a burglar, you are a bigot. Move out of your neighborhood, leaving the house to the mortgage company, is “White Flight.” even if you are Black. Communists, like Holder and the O’Boy, love to use these terms of opprobrium to denounce anyone who demands that their government protect them from the savages. Hustlers like Sharpton and Jackson encourage settler Blacks to identify with the savages, send their kids to indoctrination centers, (sometime still called ‘schools’, where they can be inculcated in the savage world view. This will only stop when we understand what they are doing to us, and demand that they stop doing it.

  12. London Trader Says:

    The Leo Terrell video is one of the best clips I have seen since this case began. Thanks for posting it.

  13. Mr. Frank Says:

    All the racial pot stirring of Holder and Obama is taking blacks’ eyes off the crushing effect of the Obama economy. Between 2005 and 2010 median net worth of black households dropped from $12,124 to $4,955. White net worth dropped from $134,992 to $110,729. One has to guess there has never been a setback for black households so great since WW II, and yet Obama is supported by blacks no matter what.

  14. physicsguy Says:

    I think davis and eric hit at what’s bothering you, Neo. the irrationality is so pervasive and up front, that’s it’s hard to let it go.

    I have fought my own such battles at my college while being on the “environment” committee. Here’s a place where it would seem facts about energy usage, engineering options, etc, would rule the day. However, to the liberal mind it’s all irrelevant if it goes against their, as eric points out, “identity” One gets caught up in rational arguments while making the mistake that these people give a f**k about what you are saying. Climate models failing at the 98% confidence level; Zimmerman not really the racist he is purported to be…. it’s all the same to these people.

    As you said long ago, “a mind is a difficult thing to change” especially when it is shut.

  15. Bernard Says:

    An EXCELLENT ANALYSIS from the American Thinker, “Hate Crimes Indeed” by Jeffrey T. Brown. Excerpts:

    “We are forever being told by the left about how awful this country is for anyone who is not white.  Blacks are being gunned down in the streets by non-blacks.  Except they’re not.  Muslims are being discriminated against wholesale, and are afraid to leave their homes.  Except they’re not.  Gun owners are violent crazies bent on mass murder, except they’re not.  Christians are trying to force their religion on us.  Except they’re not.  …

    “At the root of these accusations is hatred by the left of its political and ideological enemies.  They hate the lot of us. …

    “What made the Zimmerman case so useful to the race-baiters and hate mongers is that it was, unfortunately, the only example which presented itself despite years of decrying endless, violent, and invisible, racism in our country at large. …

    “Indeed, lethal non-black on black violence is so infrequent a phenomena in this supposedly uber-racist country with a black president, that when it became clear that the facts were not quite as the hate mongers could wish, it became necessary to distort them to fit the narrative that would then be spoon fed to the left’s mindless cult members. …

    “Once it started to become clear just what sort of young man Trayvon Martin had become in life, it became necessary to portray him with complete and utter dishonesty in death. …

    “Similarly, George Zimmerman was not who the left needed him to be, so NBC did what NBC has done so often in the past in service to the left.  With malice, they created the falsified evidence they needed. …

    “And now that a jury has managed to somehow see through all of that to the truth, the haters and liars are outraged. …

    “The left has absolutely no problem with blacks killing blacks.  That is the acceptable price paid for the dependency wrought by destruction of the black community through liberal policies. … “

  16. Eric Says:

    Re Leo Terrell,

    He sounds like a lawyer defending the integrity of the law distinct from his political beliefs.

    I have been told that lawyers are priests of the civil religion that holds together our legal-rational society.

  17. Ira Says:

    1. Leo Terrell is an attorney here in Los Angeles (I think his office is in Beverly Hills), who has a very strong sense of justice that he always expresses passionately. He used to have a radio show. The Wikipedia article on him is pretty good. In my few on the street encounters with him he has been very modest. On most issues he ends up in the same camp that is mostly populated by liberals, but, as seen in this case, he passionately expresses his views even when they are shared more by conservatives than by liberals.

    2. Why does EVERYONE appearing on FOX with Juan Williams constantly interrupt him?

    3.

    What is it that irks me so very much even at this late date? A lot of things, actually (some of which I’ve written about already)—but in particular it’s the amount of disinformation everywhere, disinformation that’s authoritatively parroted by the left and right alike at times. So much that people “know”—and in fact are righteously, adamantly certain they know—is false.

    What irks me is the fantastic leaps people are making even with the facts that they get right. For many with whom I’ve discussed this case, Zimmerman should have been convicted based on just these facts: GZ had a gun, and TM did not. For “more sophisticated” folks, GZ should have been convicted on those facts and the added fact that TM had a right to be where he was. There is no shaking them from these beliefs even when you explain that those facts are not inconsistent with the evidence that TM initiated the violent portion of the confrontation and that GZ acted out of fear of great bodily harm.

    In writing this I just figured out what is irking me. These folks have been reversing the burden of proof. That is, wherever there is an element of doubt, they have been resolving it against the defendant (GZ) in this case.

  18. neo-neocon Says:

    Ira:

    That’s why most people are incapable of being lawyers or judges. I have come to believe most people’s minds have a great deal of trouble keeping concepts like that straight in their minds.

    Jurors have to try to think that way—to take the actual facts and apply them, plus the law, to a particular situation, and make judgments based on that. It’s actually a rather difficult task, especially in a lengthy trial with a lot of information. One thing that actually works in jurors’ favor (as opposed to people reading about a case in the newspaper) is that jurors are flooded and immersed in the information, at least for a while. It’s a very intense experience and helps them focus. It’s astounding that they get it right as often as they do.

    People just reading bits and pieces in the media now and then, and spending only a little time thinking about it, and also exposed to a great deal of misinformation and downright lies, can have a more difficult time keeping it straight.

  19. Mitsu Says:

    Neo,

    Thanks for posting that article. That certainly puts Zimmerman’s 911 calls into better context, and it has shifted my opinion about how obsessive he was. It’s also worth noting that Zimmerman did actually observe one person who did actually turn out to be a criminal.

    However, the article you quoted above doesn’t fully explain Zimmerman’s 911 calls. Starting in 2004 (long before the events noted above), he’s calling 911 about stray dogs, open garage doors, children playing in the street, animals, as well as suspicious activity. The record of calling starts long before the crime spree noted in the article you posted, and it’s not always about anything even remotely related to preventing crime. The guy is just a bit out of the ordinary when it comes to use and possible abuse of the 911 system.

    We don’t know for certain exactly what Zimmerman did after he hung up with the dispatcher. Zimmerman’s own story is rather odd: at one point he claimed that he got out of his car to find a street sign so he could tell the police where he was. Later, the defense dropped that explanation. Zimmerman has said that Martin came “out of nowhere”, “from the darkness”, and also that he jumped “out of the bushes”. I personally find this implausible; it sounds like Zimmerman is just making up something to excuse the fact that he was probably following Martin. While we don’t have conclusive evidence he followed Martin after the dispatcher told him he didn’t need to do that, we also have no evidence he didn’t follow him.

    To my mind, Jeantel’s description of Martin asking Zimmerman why he was following him is far more plausible. I believe what happened is Zimmerman did continue to follow Martin or at the very least stood still while Martin came up to him, and he wasn’t returning to his car. The fight occurred away from the vehicle — just around the corner from where he was parked. There’s no way to know for certain if Zimmerman was walking back to his vehicle at that point but I see no reason to believe his story that he was. In this case it’s a matter of judgement and despite Neo’s insistence that there’s “no evidence” that Zimmerman followed Martin — I think there is — I find Zimmerman’s account of Martin appearing “out of nowhere” or “from the bushes” makes no sense. If Martin was coming back from the direction of the townhome where he had been staying, how could he have positioned himself to jump Martin? This would have required some degree of preplanning and Jeantel didn’t indicate Martin said he was making any such plan to ambush Zimmerman. The scenario just doesn’t hold water, it seems quite implausible to me. Somehow Martin would have had to make his way back to some “bushes” without Zimmerman seeing him do so. How?

    What we do know with a fair degree of certainty is that Zimmerman was afraid Martin was a burglar and Martin was afraid of Zimmerman and he didn’t know why he was following him. There was fear on both sides.

  20. physicsguy Says:

    Mitsu, there you go again, to quote Reagan. Your whole argument rests on the veracity of Jeantel, and I think Neo, in a previous thread, demolished any credence this 19 year old possibly could have. She certainly destroyed it herself on the witness stand.

  21. neo-neocon Says:

    Mitsu:

    The “animals” calls are mostly explained, I believe, by a problem in the neighborhood regarding a vicious dog that Zimmerman and others had been dealing with, beginning in 2009 (in fact, according to the article, he was originally told to get a gun because of this dog). A lot of the calls on the list, by the way, are not 911 calls, but are simply calls to report problems of a non-emergency type. Zimmerman did not even live in Twin Lakes until 2009, so it’s only after that that we’re talking about that neighborhood, and it was after the problems had already begun there. Before that we have no information on the neighborhood where he lived, but it is highly possible that it may have been an even worse one.

    “Fear on both sides” is, once again, a complete non sequitur. Irrelevant. Sometimes fear is justified and sometimes it is not. And Zimmerman’s call on the night he killed Martin expresses more frustration than fear, IMHO. Plus, if you listened to Jeantel (the only witness, whether she be reliable or not, to what Martin may have felt) what Martin felt that night doesn’t sound much like fear but rather like annoyance and anger. Martin certainly didn’t act like a person who was afraid—he did not call police or his family to tell them, and he did not go home when home was quite nearby and he had the opportunity to do so.

    But it’s irrelevant, as I’ve written before in response to you: what is relevant is both men’s actions in response to whatever emotion they may or may not have felt. Martin reacted in a way that was unreasonable and actually illegal. Zimmerman called the police and was waiting for them when he was attacked by Martin. That’s what the evidence shows, whether you like it or not.

  22. Mitsu Says:

    >Your whole arguments rests on the veracity of Jeantel

    Not entirely. I’m factoring in Zimmerman’s varied descriptions of Martin jumping “out of the bushes” or “out of the darkness” — this is of course just my personal opinion, but these varied and rather vague descriptions just sound like someone making something up, to me. I’m also factoring in the implausibility of Martin coming back, hiding in the “darkness” or the “bushes” or whatever, in such a way that Zimmerman would not have seen him, at all. This scenario just doesn’t strike me as plausible given the layout of the scene:

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/14/2748048/interactive-map-of-trayvon-martin.html

  23. raf Says:

    Another thing I find disconcerting is those people trying to use Zimmerman’s actions to affirm a need to revise the “stand your ground” laws, bringing back the “duty to retreat” if possible. Under a “duty to retreat” doctrine, if it were true, as they say it is, that Martin thought Zimmerman was a threat (“Martin was afraid of Zimmerman”), then Martin would have had a duty to retreat and call the police, instead of confronting Zimmerman. In this case, it was apparently Martin who was “standing his ground.”

  24. Mitsu Says:

    >actions

    I’ll agree with you that Martin’s response to Zimmerman, if he indeed did initiate the fight (which I think is, as I’ve said before, more likely than not given the evidence), was illegal and Zimmerman’s was not. I’m simply stating that my interpretation of the evidence is that Zimmerman acted in a way that was not entirely prudent.

  25. Ann Says:

    I do remember reading early on about all those burglaries and break-ins in Twin Lakes and how Zimmerman became involved in neighborhood watch because of them.

    What appalls me is that the MSM never picked up on this. Especially infuriating when you consider that living in such an environment is something not many of that MSM will ever experience. Indeed, they likely live in a place like Chevy Chase Village in Maryland, which has its own private police force patrolling the area 24 hours a day.

  26. neo-neocon Says:

    Mitsu:

    Look, and listen (and by the way, that quote at around 1:45 is that Martin “jumped out from the bushes”—not that he was hiding behind them, but from the direction or general location of the bushes). It was also very dark that night, as Zimmerman makes clear (also raining, by the way), and Zimmerman had not known Martin’s whereabouts at that point until that moment of the exchange of words and then the sudden blow. There is absolutely nothing implausible about his story. Watch the whole thing.

    I don’t have the date of this interview (the video does not identify it well enough), but I am under the impression it occurred very shortly after the killing, perhaps even the next day. I think it is with the police.

    You should realize that at that time Zimmerman had no idea what evidence the police would ultimately be able to gather, and yet his story never wavered afterward and is virtually entirely in accord with the physical and other evidence. The only point on which it varies with any evidence, as far as I know, is that Jeantel had a slightly different version (which she told much later, under suspect circumstances, and which she ended up changing) of the words of each man when they first spoke.

  27. Sgt. Mom Says:

    The thing that angers me so much about the Martin-Zimmerman thing is that every blessed thing we first heard in the media bout them turned out to be a flat-out lie. That the neighborhood was a gated community, and Martin was just an innocent and promising honor student, and that he was hunted and gunned down mercilessly, and that Zimmerman was obviously a bigot as was shown on the edited 9-11 call … oh, and that picture of the 12-year old Martin is still being used constantly.
    Every one of those items turned out to be so wrong as to be an outright lie. It constitutes a Goebbelsian lie, because it seems like at least half the population and just about all the black community believes it.

    As regards Michael Adams comment … years ago, one of my active duty friends (who was black and from the deep south) told me what his grandmother had said, many times: “They is black, an’ they is white … an’ then they is trash!”
    (I tried to write it just as he said it, quoting her.)

  28. Eric Says:

    Following or pursuit requires contact at least by sight. Zimmerman lost sight of Martin while still in his truck.

    By the time he exited his truck, Zimmerman believed Martin was gone, escaped.

    The next time Zimmerman had contact with Martin was when Martin ambushed him.

  29. southernjames Says:

    “What we do know with a fair degree of certainty is that Zimmerman was afraid Martin was a burglar and Martin was afraid of Zimmerman and he didn’t know why he was following him. There was fear on both sides,” says Mitsu.

    So what? Really. So what? What, precisely, is his point?

    What he and the other dissemblers, useful idiots of the Left, and various and sundry other propagandists refuse to acknowledge, is that if Zim was a racist, or scared, or was “profiling” TM, or stupidly failed to return to his vehicle, etc….., it DOES NOT MATTER. Why? Because this is not a negligence case. He keeps trying to trying the dodge of making this into some sort of “proximate cause” or “comparative fault” situation.

    People, stop taking the bait.

    ALL that matters is whether a jury unanimously believed, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Zim was not acting in justifiable self defense, when he shot TM. They concluded that the evidence did NOT support the state’s theory that Zim was not acting in self defense. NOTHING else matters. NOTHING.

    Everything else, including Juan Willaims shameless posturing, and Mitsu’s completely irrelevant posts, are simply “look, a squirrel.”

  30. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “There are n*****s and there are Colored folks.” Michael Adams reporting on personal anecdote and quotes in media.

    “The world is divided into two races — the decent and the indecent.” Victor Frankl

    Ray,
    It is not that the media is unconcerned [ or unaware] about black on black crime, it is that reporting on those stories does not advance their agenda.

    neo,
    If it is true that, “most people are incapable of being lawyers or judges” then implicit to that assertion is its corollary; most people are incapable of reason and logic. And if so, what hope for a democratic republic attacked by the Gramscian tactics of the left?

    Mr. Frank,
    All the racial pot stirring of Holder and Obama [in the Zimmerman case] is also taking our eyes off the NSA, IRS and Benghazi scandals…

    Interesting that those subjects have just about dropped off the radar screen…what a coincidence!

  31. expat Says:

    Mitsu,
    You do know that a police interrogation technique is to talk about false evidence to see whether the person being question changes his story to make it fit the “evidence.” Police told Zimmerman, after taking his story, that they had videocamera tapes they would evaluate. Zimmerman didn’t change his story; he said, Thank God.

    Why don’t you take on the people who worry about Martin but don’t seem to care a bit about the little boys who will grow up learning that it’s cool to call girls hoe’s and whites crackers. Why not take on the people who want affirmative action for collehe admissions and jobs but don’t care whether they can read or even speak enough English to fill out the application forms. Martin’s death was not the only tragedy; his development from an undoubtedly adorable little boy into a wannabe thug is also a tragedy. Unfortunately, the latter is not a one off, and nobody gives a shit about it.

  32. carl in atlanta Says:

    Three comments in one (if I may):

    1. Very good blog post, Neo. I too watched and read about this trial closely and share your frustrations (as do many others here, no doubt).

    2. Speaking for myself only, Juan Williams has long-since worn out his welcome and I hope and expect that Fox will not renew his contract. He’s no longer intellectually honest (if he ever was) and is now quite tedious to listen to.

    3. To everyone: Ace has a great post up today discussing Holder’s recent comments and the savaging of Richard Cohen by the Left. It’s well worth reading , here if you haven’t already read it.

    Regarding the “Hoodie” meme, his analysis includes the following:

    Among the poor — poor whites, poor blacks, poor Hispanics, poor “White Hispanics” — there is a big difference between the Aspirational poor and the Accepting poor. A poor person who advertises himself as a striver, an achiever, is not usually perceived as a threat.
    A poor person, on the other hand, who signals himself as part of the sad, cynical, violent thug culture — and every race has some version of this — is perceived as a threat. I might not be able to see a white guy’s Neck Tattoos and Iron Cross earring at the same distance I can spot someone’s skin color, but the moment I do see the Neck Tattoos and Iron Cross earring, I am in fact labeling that guy as “Likely threat, seems to advertise his identity as being based in Prison Culture. Do not approach.”
    There is a very big difference between people who advertise themselves as I’ve Got Nothin’ to Lose and those who advertise themselves as I Do In Fact Have Something to Lose. The fact that the latter sort of person has skin in the game himself makes him nonthreatening — he’s not comfortable with impulsive life-changing criminal decisions either.
    But the first sort of person is all but advertising he doesn’t think much of his own life and therefore, of course, doesn’t think much of others’ lives, which is the dangerous thing.
    And anyone who adopts the cultural signifiers of a population which moves back and forth from prison without being too discomfited about it — whether it’s blacks’ prison-denim styling, or a white dude with Neck Tattoos — is signaling that they aren’t afraid of prison. And anyone who fails to read that as “…and therefore aren’t much deterred by the prospect of imprisonment” is just an idiot.

  33. parker Says:

    I do not pretend to know what motivated GZ or TM fthat fateful night. Shamelessly, GZ’s motivations and character have been psychoanalyzed by everyone from politicians to pundits to Jeantel and to Mitsu. Literally hundreds of millions of people have formed opinions about GZ based mainly on talking points and innuendo. All aimed at depicting white Americans as a racist lynch mob in waiting; portraying 21th century America as still mired in the days of Jim Crow. Race relations have been set back to the days of the Rodney King incident. How sad and disturbing.

  34. neo-neocon Says:

    southernjames:

    Actually, it is NOT all that matters.

    Let me explain. It’s all that matters legally. But there are many people who understand that (in fact, Mitsu is one of them) but are arguing that Zimmerman is still culpable in some other sense—moral or ethical or practical or what-have you—rather than the legal one.

    And even if they “accept” the verdict (Jimmy Carter is a good example, as was Juan Williams in that clip I put in the post), they think it was wrong in some other, vaguer sense. They perpetuate all sorts of lies and misunderstanding and misstatements and misreadings in pursuit of that argument.

    And so it all matters in what you might call the court of public opinion.

  35. RickZ Says:

    Michael Adams,

    “There are n*****s and there are Colored folks.”

    Chris Rock from 17 years ago (1996).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3PJF0YE-x4

    “There’s black people and there’s n***as.”

    Inelegant? No, Truth.

  36. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Martin was afraid of Zimmerman”

    Really? I don’t think so. Martin saw Zimmerman’s “following him” as an opportunity to open up a can of ‘wupa**’ on Zimmerman. A fatal mistake.

    The criminal mind is constitutionally unable to cope with a tough minded citizen. The criminal mind counts on the fair minded, reasonable, ‘live and let live’, “can’t we all get along”, “they’re a child of God too”, mind-set of the law abiding.

    Criminals don’t see that mind-set as something to aspire to, they see it as something to take advantage of…

    There is a wonderful scene in the 1966 Paul Newman movie “Hombre”, in the lawless west, that illustrates this point. Newman plays a white man raised as an Apache and he lacks the unconscious cultural baggage of white men’s ‘fair play’.

    The marvelously wicked Richard Boone plays an unrepentant villain, who fails to comprehend what he’s dealing with and has Newman and the other people he’s traveling with besieged. It’s a bit of a ‘Mexican standoff’ and he approaches Newman under a white flag. They don’t see eye to eye and Boone starts to go back.

    Newman then stops Boone by asking him how he plans to get back without first being shot? Boone is stunned and raises the issue of the white flag, Newman responds with in effect; “that’s your idea not mine” and then shoots and seriously wounds a panicked Boone in the back, as he tries to get away. Effectively neutralizing Boone as a serious threat.

    The movie IMO is a marvelous study in human nature and a greatly under-appreciated classic.

  37. neo-neocon Says:

    Geoffrey Britain:

    It takes a great deal of skill and finely honed logic, as well as attention to detail and verbal skills, to be a lawyer. That most people can’t do it doesn’t mean most people are not capable of some logic, if they are motivated to use it. There are degrees of these things.

    However, I think this relative difficulty with logic and critical thinking is a real problem with a democratic republic when those who are tasked with teaching and informing (educators and journalists, for example) and being leaders (politicians) are deceptive propagandists and/or manipulators. It means the public is swimming against the tide of swill coming at it, and must work overtime to overcome it. It’s extra difficult.

  38. Mac Says:

    To davisbr, 4:11pm, re “white hispanic”: this is something I’ve been trying to get out for a while. In today’s “diversity”-obsessed climate, there actually is, officially, such a thing. I just discussed it in a post on my blog (5th or 6th paragraph). But a quick summary is that the Dept of Ed, at least, publishes a list of racial categories which schools are obliged to use. A few years ago they removed “hispanic” as a race and made it a yes/no flag associated with race.

    So “white hispanic” is right out of that structure. There is nothing that says you can’t also be, for instance, an “asian hispanic.”

    Of course I don’t know whether the journalists using the term are aware of this or not. But it would not be surprising if they are, as I’m sure the big media have, um, diversity mavens on their staffs.

  39. Ymarsakar Says:

    I can understand why people can’t let this go, on either side.

    It’s something I’ve already dealt with emotionally some years past.

    I have yet to be surprised by anything the Left has done here. Some of the facts of the case was interesting, but only in a sort of educational sense for lethal force justifications and lawfare.

  40. neo-neocon Says:

    Mac:

    How about Jewish Hispanics? The Inquisition was awfully interested in them (actually, technically, it was interested in Jewish Hispanics pretending to be Christian Hispanics, or something like that).

  41. Holmes Says:

    It bothers conservatives because it is Alynskyite tactics applied, not just to the political arena, but to the Court Room.

  42. RickZ Says:

    neo-neocon Says:

    It takes a great deal of skill and finely honed logic, as well as attention to detail and verbal skills, to be a lawyer.

    Uhmm, neo? Both our president and vice-president are lawyers; wel,l one gave up his license. What’s their excuse?

  43. Ira Says:

    neo-neocon Says:
    July 17th, 2013 at 4:44 pm
    Ira:

    That’s why most people are incapable of being lawyers or judges. I have come to believe most people’s minds have a great deal of trouble keeping concepts like that straight in their minds.

    Unfortunately, “most people” even includes lawyers. For example, a huge percentage (perhaps a huge majority) of the so-called expert lawyers on CNN-HLN seem to be reversing the burden of proof. More sad to me, “most people” even includes some of my law colleagues.

  44. Ymarsakar Says:

    I wonder if Mitsu needs to blame Zimmerman as a way to forget Mitsu’s own sins against humanity. Was it truly proper supporting someone like Obama that got so many Americans killed?

    How many Zimmermans would it take to forget that kind of guilt.

  45. Mac Says:

    In the official tallies of Diversity World, Neo, Jewish doesn’t have a place. Jews are just “white,” I suppose. The WASP mandarins of a hundred-plus years ago would have been distressed: had they played such games, they would no doubt have considered Jewish, Italian, and Irish as “races” to be tracked.

    True about the Inquisition (in Spain)–conversos, I think the term was.

    Amen to your 6:29 comment. I think that’s what really gets me: with a seriously uninformed majority that votes, we are in trouble.

  46. Ymarsakar Says:

    One of the ways I negate Leftist propaganda is to completely separate their method of transfer via a router, aka blogs like this one.

    I don’t hear it. I don’t see it. I don’t need to think about it.

    In this fashion alone, can one purify one’s soul of external evils. Well, the other option is to go meditate up on a mountain while I practice chi gong and physical exercises, seeing no human for months on end. But that’s a bit too austere for modern humans, in my view.

    The internet is a very useful tool for martial artists that wish for solitude, but also information. It disconnects you from the world, but in a good way. For the world is full of evil, distractions, and temptations which will cloud your judgment.

  47. neo-neocon Says:

    Ira:

    But I think in the case of those lawyers it’s sophistry, a sort of 2+2=5 mental trick they use to keep their belief system intact.

    Most of them know better and are capable of better. They choose to pretend (perhaps even to themselves) that they don’t.

  48. T Says:

    It takes a great deal of skill and finely honed logic, as well as attention to detail and verbal skills, to be a lawyer. That most people can’t do it doesn’t mean most people are not capable of some logic . . . . (neoneocon @ 6:29)

    Neo and Geoffrey Britain,

    Let me also offer this opinion. People use certain critical thinking skills all the time in daily life (at least to some extent). Plumbers, electricians, homemakers running a household all require such. The question I have asked is whether or not these same people can transfer those critical thinking skills from the venue in which they are used to another venue.

    Certainly, Neo’s comment about a jury being immersed in the evidentiary proceedings helps, but remember the OJ jury was just so immersed and yet they rendered an abominable and racist verdict.

  49. Ira Says:

    neo-neocon:
    You’re comment at 6:57 p.m. is probably correct. It’s such a shame because when such lawyers reinforce the misconceptions of non-lawyers in this regard, the unravelling of our society accelerates. It’s a good thing we have, as you noted above, at least the few liberal lawyers like Leo Terrell, about whom we discussed above, who passionately lay things out correctly in this connection.

  50. Ymarsakar Says:

    I think if lawyers are as smart as they think they are, they would know that being a Democrat would let them make more money in the bank than being anything else.

  51. Eric Says:

    Neo: “southernjames: Actually, it is NOT all that matters.”

    southernjames, you actually answered why the Zimmerman controversy still matters after court in a previous thread. You discussed in a comment how every action by Zimmerman was reasonable, proper, and squarely within our rights. In other words, Zimmerman’s actions were normal.

    Mitsu and others like him are saying, well, okay, Zimmerman’s actions were technically legal (for now!) but they were still wrong. More, Zimmerman’s ‘imprudent’ actions provoked Martin’s actions. So while Martin acted illegally, he was justified by Zimmerman’s actions.

    In other words, they are seeking popular censure of Zimmerman and his ‘imprudent’ actions. That’s not a legal judgement, but it is a normative judgement.

    Why does that matter?

    Changing laws follow changing norms. Organizational policies, with their punitive and regulatory measures, follow changing norms. Customs change. Taboos change. Values change. The lines of living and thinking are thus redrawn.

    You personally don’t agree to it? Doesn’t matter. You don’t personally get to veto the general will of We the People.

    Legal gay marriage, for example, arose from the normative change process.

    By this process, Zimmerman’s judgements, decisions, and actions that were reasonable, proper and prudent on the day he encountered Martin will be made taboo, then outlawed.

    The problem is everything Zimmerman did that day was normal, even essential, from a working middle class perspective.

    When Mitsu says Zimmerman was imprudent, he is saying the norms of working middle class America are imprudent. When our norms are taboo and outlawed, good-bye working middle class America.

  52. Eric Says:

    Add: How do we save the norms of working middle class America? Step one, win the narrative contest.

  53. rickl Says:

    Good post, neo. No, I’m not tired of this case either, not by a long shot. A commenter said the other day that this was the most important trial in the U.S. since the Scopes trial in the 1920s, and I’m inclined to agree.

    This trial was about so much more than the conflict between Zimmerman and Martin. While I’m sure that malicious prosecutions often occur around the country, I’ve never seen such a brazen example in a high-profile trial with national media coverage. And the media themselves took sides, and have been lying and twisting the facts of the case from the beginning.

    Then we have Obama’s irresponsible and inflammatory remark, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.” Thus he telegraphed to his supporters which side they should take. Eric Holders Justice Department assisted the “Justice for Trayvon” rallies and protests in the spring of 2012. Those acts insured that this would be a racially polarizing trial. Obama and Holder show no concern whatsoever about that.

    Prosecutor Angela Corey called Zimmerman a “murderer” after he had been acquitted of all charges. That’s unusual and unprofessional, to say the least. She essentially called into question the legitimacy of the whole process, since it didn’t give the verdict she wanted.

    There have been numerous news stories in the past few days about white people being assaulted by blacks around the country. I think this will now become a permanent part of life, and I have said all along that this is more worrisome than riots, which tend to be localized and short-lived.

    Finally, as I have said before, it seemed to me that the very concept of self-defense itself was on trial. Now we hear calls for repeal of “stand your ground” laws (even though that was not a factor in this case), as well as more calls for gun control (of course). One gets the impression that certain people don’t believe that law-abiding citizens should have the right to defend themselves from street thugs. Of course, the most violent cities in the country are governed by Democrats, and in many cases, black Democrats. They also have the strictest gun control laws. One also gets the impression that law-abiding citizens cowering in fear is a feature, not a bug, in certain circles.

  54. parker Says:

    “One also gets the impression that law-abiding citizens cowering in fear is a feature, not a bug, in certain circles.”

    Yes rickl, that is a feature. It will smooth the process of subduing the populace the morning after Kristallnacht.

  55. Eric Says:

    rickl: “One gets the impression that certain people don’t believe that law-abiding citizens should have the right to defend themselves from street thugs.”

    The part that worries and angers me the most is the campaign against proactive, preventive, or prophylactic measures to preserve your space (stand your ground) and protect self, family, home, and community.

  56. rickl Says:

    I’m listening to Mark Levin, and he just said that if Zimmerman is harmed, he will hold Obama and Holder responsible, because of the atmosphere they are fostering.

  57. John A. Fleming Says:

    neo says: “… people … are arguing that Zimmerman is still culpable in some other sense—moral or ethical or practical or what-have you …”

    I think it’s this. People independently, on their own, organizing to protect themselves is a threat to the foundational power of the State. We loaned our powers to the government to secure our Liberties. Our government, with the acquiescence of voters (a minority of the people) have re-purposed those powers and the tax money that supports them, for other things. If the government now fails to do its core job, the people will either replace the government, or take back the powers. Government actors like any bureaucracy, and government dependents, prefer a monopoly, they do not want to compete for and justify their exercise of these powers.

    The power to guard and protect, can be usurped to control. This same power is also rightfully used to resist control. Some people just think the government should have a monopoly on policing, and they fear more the inconsistent and unpredictable results of the people guarding themselves than the corruption that always comes with a monopoly on power.

    Second, nobody likes to be surveilled. It’s a free country, we ought to be able to walk anywhere in public without harrassment. But when you’re a stranger in these parts, it’s polite for you to behave extra properly and with extra consideration for the residents. Impolite behavior of a stranger brings surveillance from the residents. Those who favor TM’s side, focus on the annoyance of being watched by a stranger. But when TM took actions to conceal himself from GZ, TM was no longer the polite visitor, and the surveillance intensity increased. Opposing penalties, play on, no harm, no foul. And that’s where it should have stayed, until TM decided to forego politeness for a punch in the snoot and some cranial dribbling.

    You don’t like something, a polite and friendly conversation about it with your fellow citizens is the best choice. TM chose … poorly.

    In my opinion, GZ did nothing wrong. Not a thing. TM, through immaturity and a malevolent streak nurtured by his culture, brought this all down on himself.

  58. Eric Says:

    southernjames: ““What we do know with a fair degree of certainty is that Zimmerman was afraid Martin was a burglar and Martin was afraid of Zimmerman and he didn’t know why he was following him. There was fear on both sides,” says Mitsu.

    So what? Really. So what?”

    ‘So what?’ is right. Mitsu’s point is irrelevant.

    First, backing up a step – contra Mitsu’s assertion, that Martin was afraid of Zimmerman is not a certainty. Evidence points to Martin being angry, not afraid. Mitsu is imputing that Martin was afraid, then labeling his assumption a certainty.

    That’s just Mitsu. He’s established here that he considers his imagination to be facts.

    But as I said, whether or not Martin was afraid is irrelevant. His fear would only be relevant if contact was continuous and his actions were defensive, ie, Zimmerman followed Martin in his truck and then left his truck to chase Martin on foot in a continuous sequence of unbroken contact. Think an episode of ‘Cops’ with a vehicle chase transitioning into a foot chase into a takedown.

    Mitsu imagines that Martin fought because he was desperate, frightened, and trapped by Zimmerman chasing him down like the Terminator.

    Except contact was broken. Zimmerman lost sight of Martin while Zimmerman was still in his truck. Zimmerman was still sitting in his truck when he believed Martin had gone.

    At that point with contact broken, if Martin was afraid, the reasonable course would be escape and continuing to his father’s girlfriend’s home.

    But if Martin was angry and looking to fight Zimmerman, then the reasonable course would be to do exactly what he did.

    Basically, when contact was broken, that ended the sequence of events where Zimmerman spotted and tracked Martin in his truck while on the phone with non-emergency.

    When Martin ambushed Zimmerman on foot, it was a new contact. Martin initiated the contact and he was the aggressor. Even if Martin was afraid, which is not a certainty because he was more likely angry, his actions were not defensive.

    Martin’s possible fear is only relevant in a defensive context, which did not exist for him when he attacked Zimmerman. Zimmerman was on the defensive when Martin initiated the new contact.

  59. sharpie Says:

    A good lawyer is of course a good logician. But greatness here is not as necessary as most people thing. Consider a trial. Only the closing argument presents a chance to be a logician. And that opportunity is rather limited since too much logic loses the jury.

    (Side bar: The opening statements are, as one judge put it “the picture on the puzzle box” and basically a bunch of “the evidence will show” statements. The logic of opening statements are reduced to “my client good; their client bad.” And also remember that both opening and closing arguments are not evidence.)

    A trial lawyer needs good evidence more than fancy logical footwork.

    And good evidence results from preparation. Good lawyers are those who are able to prepare ON TIME. You have to be able to work fast because there’s a lot of work to do.

    When we think of law logic we think of opinions by an appellate court. That’s where the logic comes in. Logic is more the domain of judges and not so much of lawyers.

    I would also consider “the rubbing irritation,” that won’t let a person quit: call it inability rather than ability. It’s stubborness not to let a matter go and not just persuade but demolish the opposition. To win. That is the answer to the question to be or not to be.

  60. T Says:

    Eric (@7:40) wrote:

    “Mitsu and others like him are saying, well, okay, Zimmerman’s actions were technically legal (for now!) but they were still wrong . . . . ”

    As I’ve noted before on this blog, when arguing with a leftist/Progressive, regardless of the subject matter, the argument is always about their need to prove their moral superiority.

    Zimmerman’s actions were legal but still wrong? By whose standards? Why, Mitsu’s and others like him/her, of course!

  61. southpaw Says:

    Neo, you can’t let it go because you don’t tolerate dishonesty well.
    Juan Williams embodies this popular and misguided notion that juries are meant to decide justice based on situations, political correctness, whatever sense of fairness pops into ones head. But not the law. It can’t be healthy for a society to be as ignorant as Williams. In Juan’s world, an ideal legal system would be one where a poll of ignoramuses like himself is used to decide crime and punishment.
    The widespread attitude that justice is arbitrary and subjective bothers the hell out of me. People in the media who claim to have law degrees, yammer on and on about how justice wasn’t done because one person is dead, and the person who killed him is not being punished.
    If the law doesn’t appeal to their own sense of fairness, the law is obviously wrong, and it’s the duty of the jury to right this wrong, and apply social justice, according to Juan and like minded people It’s hard to let go of this because this nothing matters to people like Juan except getting what you want, and they cannot understand how it amounts to lawlessness, and injustice – the exact opposite of what they believe they’re defending.

  62. I Callahan Says:

    But my frustration and anger is actually building rather than letting up, which is a surprise because the verdict was at least the correct one.

    Nope, no surprise. If you’re You’re reacting to how so many others can’t see the logic that you do. I know, because I’ve become more angry myself in the last few days.

    I see stuff on Facebook, on TV, etc., and they don’t even TRY to be honest anymore. It absolutely infuriates me. And I noticed that I needed to vent, so I started putting stuff on Facebook proving my point. I don’t know if some of my friends are reading it or not, but they have to read past my posts to get to others. Which means I know I’m somewhat getting through.

    Great post, as always Neo.

  63. Mike O'Malley Says:

    Mitsu Says:
    July 17th, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    >actions…

    I’ll agree with you that Martin’s response to Zimmerman …. was illegal and Zimmerman’s was not. I’m simply stating that my interpretation of the evidence is that Zimmerman acted in a way that was not entirely prudent.

    I’m please to learn of your reconsidered opinion of this matter Mitsu.

    I agree with you, Zimmerman’s actions were not entirely prudent. But what were they? Zimmerman’s actions were not reckless. Neither were they criminal. But what were they?

    I reflected upon the fact that not a single neighbor left the safety of their homes and rush out to aid the man calling for help. Witnesses called 911. One witness call out for Trayvon to stop beating Zimmerman and was ignored. If some neighbor had instead rushed outside to restrain the belligerents Martin would likely be alive today … or that Good Samaritan might have ended up dead, injured or mutilated. Now those witnesses acted prudently.

    Reflecting on the prudence of Zimmerman’s neighbors recalled for me an incident from almost 50 years ago, the rape and murder of Kitty Genovese. According to the New York Times reporter who back in late March 1964 reported the story, 38 neighbors heard Kitty Genovese scream for help. At the start of the attack Genovese screamed, “Oh my God, he stabbed me! Help me!” Her cry was heard by several neighbors. One neighbor, Robert Mozer, shouted at the attacker, “Let that girl alone!”. The attacker ran away only to return ten minutes later. The attacker returned wearing a 1960′s version of a hoodie, a wide-brimmed hat to shadow his face. He systematically searched the parking lot, train station, and an apartment complex. Eventually, he found Genovese, wounded and barely conscious. None of the neighbors had opened a single locked door to allow the seriously injured young women to find refuge. The attacker stabbed Genovese several more times. While Genovese lay dying, the attacker raped her. He stole about $49 from her and left her in a the hallway. The attacks spanned approximately half an hour.

    Some minutes after the final attack a witness, Karl Ross, called the police. Police arrived within minutes of Ross’ call. Kitty Genovese was dead when they arrived.

    At trial the attacker confessed to and described the murder and rape of Kitty Genovese and of two other women along with numerous other burglaries and rapes.

    One would expect that the other than prudent George Zimmerman would have saved Ms. Genovese’s life if he had been present. Ms. Genovese would have turned 78 ten days ago …

    Some five decades ago American was troubled by the “Genovese syndrome” and the diffusion of bystander responsibility.

    Today no few American’s vilify and mock George Zimmerman as a less than a man because he didn’t take his beating “like a man”. Today no few American’s vilify George Zimmerman as a “profiling” “stalker”, a child murdered, a racist civil rights violator and a “crazy-ass cracka”.

    How long before too many of us dismiss the plight of some future Kitty Genovese and deride such a victim for not accepting her brutal fate “like a woman”?

    Zimmerman’s actions were not entirely prudent. What were they?

  64. T Says:

    As a follow-up to my recent comment about our “moral superiors” see Andrew Klavan’s article at pjmedia:

    http://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan/2013/07/16/journalism-beneath-contempt-2/?singlepage=true

    Several quotes:

    . . . what we have in our news media is a cabal of over-educated but under-smart elites under the hilarious impression that one power-hungry party is out for the good of mankind and the other staunchly opposed.

    —-

    This is not a political problem, it’s a cultural one. Leftist journalists trained by leftist professors and encouraged by leftist entertainers to slavishly serve the aims of leftist politicians. This circle will not be broken by the cowards and hapless fools on the other side of the political aisle, but only by new educators and new journalists and new culture makers who refuse to conform, rebels who respond to the ceaseless barrage of cynical and racist distortions with facts and moral truths.

    Emphasis above is mine, and this, Neo, is precisely why bloggers like yourself and commenters such as we have an obligation to keep this issue alive!

  65. T Says:

    Mike O’Malley,

    Well written. One addendum to your thoughts:

    “Today no few American’s vilify and mock George Zimmerman as a less than a man because he didn’t take his beating ‘like a man’.”

    A man doesn’t “take a beating;” a man fights back. To Hell with those who would vilify a man who fought back.

  66. Mike O'Malley Says:

    Thank you “T”.

    .

    Some maliforous plague, some illness festers in unchurched(1) America.

    .

    (1) is “unsynagogued” a word?

  67. Promethea Says:

    Why do people like Mitsu want so badly to persecute Zimmerman? They are part of the mob who scream for blood.

    BTW, Instapundit had a good link today to the murder of innocents by people like Mitsu.

    http://thecampofthesaints.org/2013/07/16/the-house-of-special-purpose-3/

    Mitsu, really, you are filth.

  68. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    I try to get away from all the TM/GZ chaos by taking a few hours away from the computer. It was nice. There is a life beyond what’s happening in politics.

    But it won’t go away. Back at the computer the first things I see are that people are being attacked in Trayvon’s name. Also demonstrations and property damage are occurring. The stakes are being raised by the Obama administration.

    This was a wonderful post, neo. Followed by many great comments. The issues here – the individual’s right to self defense, a community’s right to protect itself, and the problem of black youths who are ending up in prison or dead in large numbers – are very important and need to be advocated for/solved if at all possible. Additionally, this case is the perfect example of the mendacity of the MSM. They are not reporting news they are producing a propaganda narrative. It is crystal clear to any who choose to examine the facts. I think that is what infuriates so many of us here because too many LIVs accept it as truth or honest reporting. We realize that it is hard to get the truth out or even to have two sides of an issue aired. It really is a battle for the minds of the uncommitted, the LIVs who are the ones who tip the balance in national elections. It feels like we are losing. But we can’t give up.

  69. expat Says:

    My husband was flipping channels tonight, and I saw a few minutes of Anderson Cooper talking with two black Democrat operatives. They were going on about the difficult position Obama is in as the first black president in having to represent blacks and yet be president of all the people. They were talking about why he is now silent on the outcome of the trial, and they went back to the Gates case and beer summit. They also mentioned the if-I-had-a-son comment.

    So apparently, these stupid initial comments indicate Obama’s real concern for blacks, but the president of all the people is constrained in following up. Does all this BS mean that Obama is feeling some pressure from all this? Are these jerks being sent out by Valerie Jarrett to protect him? We always knew that Obama was a rabble rousing activist who liked to keep his voice low and vote present. Are Valerie et al afraid that others may be catching on to this now? Could people be starting to wonder why Travon is so important but the 61 people killed in Chicago (including a mother and her 5-year-old child don’t show on Obama’s radar screen.

    BTW, Jeantel is now saying that Martin was the attacker. Did anyone see her on Sharton’s show this evening?

  70. expat Says:

    Forgot the P in Sharpton. Sorry.

  71. RickZ Says:

    expat,

    Keep out the ‘P’ and replace with ‘LE’, as in Sharleton. (Ebonics spelling, what can I say?)

    * * * * *

    This trial has solidified the racial divide in this country, a deliberate racial divide as we can plainly see. The race hustlers and baiters, from Preezy Skeezy on down, draw their lifeblood from such conflict. At this point, I do not see any hope for a reconciliation. We have two Americas alright, just not the two to which John Edwards referred.

    What we see happening with Zimmerman is what happens when community organizing goes national, when social justice replaces The Rule of Law. We have the mob, and it must be satiated. (Zimmerman must be guilty of something!)

    Oh, and notice how all of those Obama scandals are now off the radar screens of the media? They are using this case as a deliberate distraction to cover Owebama’s @ss at the expense of America.

  72. southernjames Says:

    Couple of points:

    First, Eric mistates my position: “You discussed in a comment how every action by Zimmerman was reasonable, proper, and squarely within our rights. In other words, Zimmerman’s actions were normal.”

    I most certainly did not. For all I care, Zim was unreasonable, abnormal, and improper; in addition to being stupid, foolish, cowardly, negligent, dumb, and maybe even a wannebe cop. In fact, maybe he’s GAY!! Or a wannebe gay! Or a gay Hater! Maybe he is a transexual too. Or a Tranvestite. Maybe he is really a woman named Georgette, who dressed like a man, and that is why he couldn’t fight off the 12 year-old cherub. Let’s navel gaze about THAT one, shall we?

    None of that has anything to do with whether Zim was guilty of murder! God, this is like pounding my own f–king head into Zim’s pavement. This is my whole problem with this road that even our hostess (who I agree with 99.9% of the time) is insisting on going down – this re-trying the case in “the court of public opinion.”

    Screw the “court of public opinion.” Why? Because the “court of public opinion” is controlled by emotions and ill-informed non-fact based opinion, and media spin. The “public opinion” Court “evidence” and “arguments” are skewed one way, and one way only. I said “So What?” in response to Mitsu, because all anyone is “re-trying” is Zim.

    However, if, whether Zim was a “wannebe cop” is in any way shape or form relevant, than whether TM was a “wannebe thug,” is equally relevent. And should be given equal weight. But neither should be given ANY weight.

    If we’re going to explore the inner character, thoughts, history, background, and motivations of one – then the other one is fair game too. But that is not how it is playing out in any of the media – conservative as well as the 90% liberal.

    So I refuse to play the game. In a court of law, Zim was found “not guilty.”

    So people want to parse whether there should be a comma between “ass” and “cracker” and if there is, what does our navel gazing and chin stroking pondering tell us about that? F that. It is irrelevent.

    Just my two cents.

    Since I’m not Art whatisname, my second point will be in a separate post.

  73. southernjames Says:

    Second point.

    Somebody pointed out that nobody came running outside to try to physically break up the fight, and isn’t that awful, or something.

    Well, from my perspective, I’ve got a “pre-Zimmerman” outlook, and a “post-Zimmerman” outlook.

    Before this witch-hunt and show trial took place, demonstrating again that we have crossed the Rubicon and are now a nation of men and not laws…..this is how I think I would have formerly handled the situation if I had been an eye witness:

    I would have called 911, but as an overweight, out of shape, 50-something guy whose last fight was back in the 7th grade, I am not physically jumping into the fray. I’m much less likely to succeed in fighting TM than Zim is, and he’s getting pounded. However, as a resident of the Gunshine State, I do have a CCP and I’m a pretty decent shot at close range.

    I probably would have gone outside with my concealed carry S&W .38+P revolver, and yelled at the top of my lungs to TM “Get the F–k off of him, you son of a b, or I’ll blow your head off.” Since I would be bluffing, as I would not have actually shot him had he ignored me, hopefully what would have occured next would be TM getting up and running away. Or getting up and standing there.

    But….this is where Mitzu and his fellow travelors win. Those who want us to become passive Euro Sheep. What if under my scenario, TM hopped off the racist white cowardly wannebe cop who wasn’t entirely “prudent,” and charged me like a crazed drug addled wannebe thug? And what if I shot him as he charged me — in what used to be considered, WITHOUT QUESTION or further involvement by our amusingly named ‘depart of justice’ — “self defense.”???

    Now, I’d be getting Zimmerman’ed along with Zim. A “mob” of white men ganged up on the sweet young cherub. He’s dead now, so he can’t counter my story, they’ll be bleating. The prosecution is filling out false affidavits stating that TM was standing still, trying to surrender to me and his last words were “please don’t shoot me sir.”

    And if a racist all white jury finds me not guilty, the Mitzus of the world, are putting me on public trial, anyway. Aided and abetted even by Neo, who willingly engages. So…am I going into hiding now, with my familly?

    What is MY racial history? Well, I fired an incompetent black secetary a couple of years ago. She hated my guts, even before I was able to get rid of her. Oh god, how I would dread the thought of her being interviewed on CNN, gleefully lying thru her teeth about how racist she thought my work environment was, while pursuing her 15 minutes of fame. ETC.

    Nope, Mike O’Malley or whoever raised the issue of somebody running outside to try to talk sweet Trayvon into just eating his skittles…..

    This Soviet show trial/witch hunt learned me an important lesson. I’m calling 911, and then just “sheltering in place.” Just like the Statists want me to. I have a wife and kids to think about, so it can’t be just about me. And I’m the wrong pallor, political persuasion, and gender to risk getting Zimmermaned.

  74. Steve Says:

    Basically, whenever you hear a dem talking, you just have to assume they are lying.

  75. Eric Says:

    southernjames,

    Apologies, I should have linked your comment that I had in mind:
    http://neoneocon.com/2013/07/16/et-tu-wsj/#comment-628865

    When I read your comment the 1st time, it was with a cluster of comments that had value judgements. Rereading your comment, I’ll take out the value judgement of proper. Reasonable straddles the line. Your main point in the comment was Zimmerman’s actions were squarely within our rights, and from that standpoint, normal.

    Even though you called out Neo for it, your 2nd comment illustrates well why it matters that she does engage Mitsu. It’s the critical narrative battle of the normative war. Ignoring Mitsu doesn’t deflate the destructive narrative Mitsu and those like him are advancing outside of Neo’s blog. But engaging Mitsu constructively helps build a narrative that might be useful in holding the line protecting our norms … and rights.

  76. Eric Says:

    expat: “BTW, Jeantel is now saying that Martin was the attacker.”

    On the Piers Morgan show, Jeantel said “creepy ass cracker” meant Martin thought Zimmerman was a police officer or security guard, which if true, would mean, well, Martin believed he was attacking a police officer or security guard.

    We have to take everything Jeantel says with a grain of salt, of course, but I’m willing to place more weight on her interpretation of the meaning of Martin’s language than her interpretation of events at the scene.

  77. Ymarsakar Says:

    Zimmerman had a slight problem in that he was afraid of confronting Martin and thus was engaged in a sort of easily misinterpreted function (following someone in his car).

    If Zimmerman had more advanced firearms, H2H, training as well as criminal psychology, he could have obtained much better info through interviewing the unknown denizen on the street rather than relying on 911 and the cops. Since, well, 911 and the cops aren’t that reliable for stopping crime.

  78. Eric Says:

    Mike O’Malley: “Zimmerman’s actions were not entirely prudent. What were they?”

    The dying embers of traditional middle-class America being stamped out to make room for a new America where the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

    http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/05/14/are-you-a-sheep-or-sheepdog/

  79. southernjames Says:

    Eric – point well taken, with regard to why I guess I need to concede that it does matter that someone with Neo’s intelligence and gifts take on the challenge of engaging with the Mitzu’s of the world. I neither have the skills nor the patience. Neo, I withdraw my earlier criticism of you for participating in the court of public opinion re-trial of this case.

    Lord willing, I will never face having to be tried in a criminal court of law, let alone be re-tried on t.v. and in the internet blog comments. As we saw with that poor hapless Paula Deen, no doubt I have SOME sort of past conduct or words, that could be used to paint me as a monster, if spun in just the right way. As probably we all do.

    That is what is horrifying about all of this. After Zim made the stupid, “non-prudent” error of not RUNNING back to his truck after he got out and saw that TM was no longer in sight; or, not getting out of his truck in the first place but staying safely locked in it, with his windows up thereby negating any value of him being a neighborhood watch volunteer that evening — according to the “narrative,” his only LEGITIMATE alternative, if he could not out-fight TM once he was attacked – - was to keep on screaming for help and mercy and hope that TM would let up; or if not, that some sort of help would arrive before he had front teeth knocked out, a jaw broken, or knocked unconscious, or even shot with his own gun, I suppose.

  80. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Mitsu has been banging his seemingly-pointless little drum about Zimmerman being “imprudent” and “not blameless” for several threads now, and is succeeded in his real goal — derailing all intelligent conversation about this complex subject into a group effort to bang some sense into his apparently-senseless head. Mitsu is not senseless at all. He is making every thread all about him on purpose. He used to do this shtick routinely on this blog when the prevailing discussions were about the not-yet-passed Affordable Care Act — repeating over and over again some seemingly-innocuous piece of nonsense, ignoring the efforts of everyone to point out to him that it’s nonsense, repeating it over and over on new threads in apparently-intelligent language that makes it LOOK as if he could be reasoned with, ignoring the responses, repeating it some more to collect more responses to ignore . . . ad nauseam. Thus he successfully derails and controls what might otherwise be fruitful discussion. I say, let Neo expose his nonsense — she is doing so brilliantly. The rest of us should resist his efforts to hijack every thread by ignoring him.

  81. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    urgh. *has succeeded

  82. Ymarsakar Says:

    http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/king-of-the-jungle-what-if-you-were-at-the-bottom-of-an-urban-food-chain/

    Is my own personal judgment of Martin’s OODA processes.

    Mrs Whatsit,

    Certainly. I thought for awhile that other people have plenty of time to discourse with Mitsu, so I did’t have to. It would also be boorish to pile on top of our wise Mitsu priest of the Truth here with my labors. It would be better to leave him to decide his duels without the guns of the ship trained on him.

    Of course, target sighting and data analysis will proceed unrestrained. Just because one chooses not to discourse with the target, does not mean we are refusing to follow the target down the street.

    Imprudent black slaves in Florida will know their place once the laws are changed to favor prudent actions. If you do’t follow the code… you will be on the list. Be forewarned and Obey Now, for the Utopia of Obama is soon hence existent.

  83. Ymarsakar Says:

    Ignoring Mitsu denizens is like ignoring crime. Isn’t effective. However, if you appoint a special prosecutor and give him the means to target evil and destroy it, then it is different.

    Deputies and Sheriffs were often recruited, not from the lawyer or pacifist population, but from the town’s denizens themselves. To think of it, a slave being promoted to overseer his fellow slaves. What a thought. A slave knows when slaves should be given water and food and medicine? Perish the thought. The Leftist alliance will not allow overseers like Jackson to determine the lot of their property, nor will they allow whities or blackies like Zimmerman to determine the comfort of Property. Those Northern Republicans keep stealing our stuff.

  84. southernjames Says:

    I agree Mrs Whatsit.

    The troll succeeded in getting my goat by attempting to convert this case into a comparative fault situation, like in a civil negligence case. TM may have been “more” illegal than Zim, and other such b.s. Where, one side may be 60% in the wrong, but golly gee whiz, that means the other side is still 40% in the wrong! This of course is simply an irrelevant “dodge” as it is entirely unrelated to the standard used in trying a person accused of murder, at least in a nation of laws as opposed to a nation of where our standard should be: how do low-information people who watch Oprah feeeel about it. “Larger” truths, not the actual truth. That is what matters now.

    I was in Tampa a few days ago on business, and some local rag was lying on the conference room table, and the screaming headline was “Zimmerman — GUILTY, of at least SOMETHING!” With a subheading – “Why is he not receiving at least some punishment?”

    That is the mentality we face now. The public is being whipped into a frenzy by our very own government, in concert with its cheerleaders in the media, to foment distrust in the outcome of our judicial jury trial system, because the outcome wasn’t what the mob wanted. And so now we have cries for the Govt to take mattters into its own hands and find SOME way to punish this man anyway. Sickening.

  85. Ymarsakar Says:

    Mitsu is sort of like a trained animal. Barks on command does tricks.

    http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/teenagers-in-the-jungle/

    No mitsu commenter over there, on that topic, you see. Why? Command wasn’t given for the “trick”.

    http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/more-useless-chunks-of-meat-walking-around-thinking-they-own-the-place/

    All you got to do to be “prudent” is to be like her. Stand Down. Take your beating like a white man (oops, woman).

    See…. no Mitsu there. It was “prudent” after all. It followed the Code.

    Follow the Code… or else.

  86. T Says:

    Not to derail this conversation, but an interesting sidebar:

    William Vallicella (Maverick Philosopher) has a post from 2010 about the concept of weakness falsely considered as justification (“The Left tends to assume . . . . that mightlessness makes right.”)

    By extension. any minority group is an underdog (weak by definition as a minority), and Martin, as a black 17 yr old could not possibly be culpable because a minority is always the weak underdog.

    Vallicella offers the following example:

    Suppose a knife-wielding thug commits a home invasion and attacks a man and his family. The man grabs a semi-automatic pistol and manages to plant several rounds in the assailant, killing him. It would surely be absurd to argue that the disparity in lethality of the weapons involved diminishes the right of the pater familias to defend himself and his family.

    which is precisely what the Mitsus are arguing—they would say that the homeowner was not justified in using a firearm because the home invader was only armed with a knife, just as they argue (or at least imply) that Zimmerman had no right to use a firearm to defend himself against a (possibly lethal) beat-down. Once again, it is their “superior” moral standards which should apply however falsely reckoned those standards might be.

    Read the whole thing:

    http://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com/maverick_philosopher/2010/04/weakness-does-not-justify.html

  87. DNW Says:

    Jeantel admits in an interview that she believes Trayvon hit first.

    Q: “Who hits who first in your mind?”

    A: “In my mind? I believe Trayvon. It was Trayvon”

    She also says outright (again as she did in court) that Martin said, “Ok, I’m at the back. I’m almost at my daddy fiancee house”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/17/rachel-jeantel-huffpostliveinterview_n_3610921.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

    No other conclusion is possible if she is believed, than that Trayvon Martin went back in search of, and in order to, confront Zimmerman.

    And if Jeantel is correct in her understanding of who hit who first, Martin returned to, confronted, and then physically assaulted and battered Zimmerman. (Of course myself and many others – and those at much greater length than I – have been suggesting that the available evidence implied this, since March of 2012)

    When Jeantel says that she believes that Trayvon struck Zimmerman for being a wannabe cop who was presuming to follow him in what she seems to assert was viewed by Trayvon as a black neighborhood (in context she cannot be talking about the gloom as “black”), it is the interviewer who tries to prompt her with the suggestion that Zimmerman’s presumed attempt to “detain” Trayvon, may have included laying, or attempting to lay hands on Trayvon.

    She basically just rolls over that suggestion, and whether it sticks to her story or not, others can judge.

    The second segment promises to reveal how and why Zimmerman should have taken his whupping like a man – or something … whatever, in any event, it is that allows itself to be whupped unprovoked.

    I may be able to bring myself to watch it later.

  88. T Says:

    “The public is being whipped into a frenzy by our very own government, in concert with its cheerleaders in the media . . . .” (southern james @ 11:54)

    and we buy into the game when we chastize the media for NOT doing its job.

    This presupposes that, at one time in the past, the media produced fair and unbiased reportage. This is not true. Whether the pamphleteers of the 18th century, the newspapers of the 19th century or the electronic media of the 20th and 21st centuries, the media complex has always been a cheerleader for one cause or another. The solution is NOT getting the media to do its job, cheerleading IS its job. The solution is to create many alternate media outlets to get a different message out.

  89. Eric Says:

    Mrs Whatsit,

    I disagree. Sure, Mitsu is using us. We’re using him, too. He’s teaching us. What we learn from Mitsu, we can use out there.

    Why should only Neo be getting the benefits of exercise? She’s been kind enough to open her fine dojo to us free of charge. I don’t believe Neo’s intent is to have us sit on the side admiring her sparring. We should get on the mat.

    For that matter, why should only Neo be pushing back to protect our norms and values? They’re our norms and values, too.

    A tweak I recommend is an increase in the affirmative defense of Zimmerman’s judgements, decisions, and actions and what they represent in the big picture, distinct from the minutiae of the criminal case.

    The Mitsu’s are ultimately about changing the world. Think globally, act locally. Eyes on the prize. Reification. I accept that as far as it goes. The game was made Marxist before I was born. I’ve been an activist, too.

    For them, Zimmerman and Martin are grist for the mill, a means to an end. Mitsu, more likely than not, will pull the same intellectually dishonest shenanigans away from Neo’s critical eye. But at this point in here, he’s not re-trying the criminal case. He’s trying to secure concessions for a popular censure of Zimmerman for a normative judgement, which then can be applied to alter our way of life.

    Reification.

  90. Ymarsakar Says:

    By breaking society’s limiters on human freedom, it is also possible to break the Left’s coercive force as well. Forcing them to use naked physical force instead.

    Totalitarian tyrannies get most things done not by physical force, but by the population enforcing its own cage.

    Take a look at North Korea for an example of how things get done.

  91. DNW Says:

    Eric Says:
    July 18th, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    “Mitsu['s] … not re-trying the criminal case. He’s trying to secure concessions for a popular censure of Zimmerman for a normative judgement, which then can be applied to alter our way of life. ”

    Precisely. Reconstituting humanity through community values and all of that. They never tire of it. It’s the only game they have, the only reality they acknowledge, insofar as they can be thought of as a “they” which is composed of what were traditionally viewed as persons.

    But then that is what they aim to overthrow. What then would a postmodern progressivist social world actually look like? Try to imagine their testosterone purged, evolving values, polymorphous perverse collective, of selves that hold the self to be an illusion.

    What there is there, to their there? LOL

  92. T Says:

    “What then would a postmodern progressivist social world actually look like? Try to imagine their testosterone purged, evolving values, polymorphous perverse collective, of selves that hold the self to be an illusion.”

    Sounds pretty much like the Borg to me.

  93. Eric Says:

    DNW: “The second segment promises to reveal how and why Zimmerman should have taken his whupping like a man”

    The thing is, Zimmerman did absorb the beating for a while, first trying to break free from Martin and calling for help. From the evidence, Zimmerman actually exercised exceptional restraint while his life was in danger.

    I’ve read some wags comment jokingly (or seriously) that if Zimmerman was actually a cop, he would have emptied his whole clip into Martin in reflexive reaction to Martin’s 1st aggressive move.

    From Zimmerman’s account, the nature of the beating (head on concrete) and Martin’s words made him believe his life was in danger, but what finally made him draw was Martin made a move for the gun with a threat.

  94. Eric Says:

    DNW: “What there is there, to their there?”

    Well, what is there to us here?

    The Zimmerman political controversy (distinct from the legal case) and its naked attack on middle-class culture is compelling us to think critically about our norms and values. Who we are.

    The Left’s purpose is to use this critical process to reprogram us, but we don’t have to follow their script.

    We can use the critical conditions the Left has manufactured to think critically about ourselves our way, by following our script, and emerge from the Zimmerman controversy more aware, united, and stronger in our identity.

  95. neo-neocon Says:

    Mrs Whatsit:

    I understand your point about ignoring Mitsu, but I disagree with you.

    Arguing with someone like Mitsu is very good exercise. It sharpens the mind. It prepares arguments for encounters in the non-cyberworld on the subject, because although Mitsu is a unique individual he also is very typical in many ways. So many commenters have responded to him with excellent posts that make excellent general and specific points. Whether he changes his mind or not, it’s not a waste of time to engage with him on issues like this that are very important. And in my opinion, although Mitsu is troll-like he is not a troll; I think he sincerely believes most of what he says, and is actually trying to puzzle things through. You may disagree with that evaluation of mine, but that’s been my impression over time.

  96. Ira Says:

    Eric Says:
    July 18th, 2013 at 1:06 pm
    DNW: “What there is there, to their there?”

    Well, what is there to us here?

    The Zimmerman political controversy (distinct from the legal case) and its naked attack on middle-class culture is compelling us to think critically about our norms and values. Who we are.

    The Left’s purpose is to use this critical process to reprogram us, but we don’t have to follow their script.

      
    Damn. It’s getting worse. This morning I ran into a neighbor that I hadn’t seen since last Thursday.

    Me: How you doin’?
    Her: Oh, I’m still distraught over the verdict.
    Me: What abou. . .
    Her: Oh, I know the jury followed the law. But they should have convicted Zimmerman anyway.
    Me: But . . .
    Her(Putting one hand up in a wave goodbye, and putting the other hand over her face): They just should have convicted him. I can’t talk about anything.

  97. Eric Says:

    Neo: “he also is very typical in many ways.”

    That’s the key to Mitsu’s value. His position stands out for its unoriginality, but also its accuracy of copy.

    Mitsu reminds me a lot of the student Democrats when I was in college. Not all of them, but most of them. Their group was far larger and more polished than the campus GOP, rivaling the student governments. The campus GOP was just like any other student club.

    While they had an impressive organization, what struck me about the Dems was how doctrinaire they were. When they spoke as Democrats, it was like turning on a radio and hearing canned recordings of talking points. I don’t believe the Dems were simply following marching orders like the radical Leftists, who literally read their positions from newspapers during debates, but it seemed like it.

    The GOPers, on the other hand, while their views were Republican, were more individualistic and less polished in their positions, in that they had to justify them on their own.

    Both groups were equally smart and educated kids, but it was clear the Democrats did less thinking for themselves as (it seemed) a trade-off for better polish and a more effective organization.

    The individuality and lack of uniformity was a reason the campus GOP struggled like an ordinary student club.

    Anyway, that’s a tangent, but Mitsu does remind me a lot of the student Democrats I knew in college.

  98. Eric Says:

    southernjames: “convert this case into a comparative fault situation, like in a civil negligence case.”

    We have to assume there will be a civil suit, or there is already one in the works, no?

    “That is the mentality we face now. The public is being whipped into a frenzy by our very own government, in concert with its cheerleaders in the media, to foment distrust in the outcome of our judicial jury trial system, because the outcome wasn’t what the mob wanted.”

    Channeling Max Weber’s typology, we’ve always relied on legal-rational authority, which is another hallmark of American middle-class culture. But the Obama administration came into power with charismatic authority and is using it now.

    If you’re unfamiliar with Weber’s charismatic authority and want an easily digestible explanation, I recommend this lecture from a Yale professor:
    http://oyc.yale.edu/sociology/socy-151/lecture-19

    If you’re too impatient to sit through a 50 minute video, a link to a transcript of the lecture is on the lower left.

    The professor uses Obama as an example of charismatic authority. You probably won’t be surprised at some of his other examples.

  99. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Mitsu as tackling dummy. Hadn’t thought of that.
    But after a while, you need–keeping to the football metaphor–a blocker to deal with first. Then maybe two.
    IOW, he’s getting easy. Too easy.

  100. DNW Says:

    Eric Says:

    July 18th, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    DNW: “What there is there, to their there?”

    Well, what is there to us here?”

    That’s not exactly parallel to what I had asked.

    What there is there, to our “there” is a real world of objective or at least inter-subjectively verifiable facts and values, which results – having served as informing predicate – in the political free space we have for so long enjoyed. That clearing was made and kept open for the rightful exercise of individual initiative, and was designed by people who were “realists” (if moderate) in the philosophical sense of the word. Meaning of course that they believed that the world existed independently of their minds and that class objects had an existence that was not completely the product of the superimposition of an arbitrary cultural construct.

    Our “there” is then a real world with real people having real rights.

    Theirs is, apparently, not.

    What is it then? What does it generate?

    Well the weird thing about postmodern liberalism and I was far from the first to notice this, (though I once thought I might have been) is that their extreme relativism logically reduces, in effect, to a kind of subjective idealism – the only irreducible “reality” for them being in the final analysis, the unexamined and unjustifiable urges that well up as felt within them. Unjustifiable or self-justified, for them it amounts to the same thing.

    They often blithely talk as if there is nothing really “there” to reality. You even see that attitude or presumption brought to bear in discussions on the nature of physical reality in popular magazines and online journals.

    One asks then, what is their project in aid of? What do they take for “real” and on what basis?

    I think that they can answer that question – sort of. But they don’t dare while they lack complete coercive power.

  101. Eric Says:

    DNW,

    The prospect that they’re driving to dismantle and replace the current order without knowing their end-state, or they do know and it’s something approaching the ovens at Auschwitz, is even more frightening.

  102. Ymarsakar Says:

    Even if the Left wins, Islam will destroy them and become our masters anyways.

    I doubt the Left has the power to withstand Islam.

  103. David Says:

    I find it shocking that Juan does not know the facts of the case.

    Here is a good place to start

    http://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/2013/07/16/zimmerman-verdict-part-2-the-unarmed-teen/

    Also listen to an alternate Juror

    http://commoncts.blogspot.ca/2013/07/video-alternate-george-zimmerman-juror.html

  104. Eric Says:

    David,

    Juan doesn’t want to know them. He knows what, from his perspective, he needs to know.

  105. Ymarsakar Says:

    Changing the world is easier than changing yourself. After all, you just need blackmail or gold or a gun and you can make people in the world obey, thus changing the world.

    However… what would you have to do, what level of effort would it take, to change yourself?

  106. Mike O'Malley Says:

    Eric Says:
    July 18th, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Mike O’Malley: “Zimmerman’s actions were not entirely prudent. What were they?”

    The dying embers of traditional middle-class America being stamped out …

    Yes.

    George Zimmerman’s action were neighborly. They were the actions of a free and responsible citizen of an American community. George Zimmerman’s actions were quintessentially American.

    The President and his political allies seem to maintain that Americans have no individual right to self defense. In their view it seems Americans have no ‘right’ to defense other than to be defended by the state, but only to the extent that the state sees fit to defend them. Thus Mr. Zimmerman’s rights to self defense and to the presumption of innocence are nullified. All civil and personal rights proceed from the state in their view (as maintained by Cass Sunstein). In my view, underlying this broad and relentless political effort to gut the individual right of self defense is an attack on the unalienable right to life, at one with the left’s refusal to defend the right to life of an unwanted child even after a failed late term abortion.

  107. Mike O'Malley Says:

    neo-neocon Says:
    July 18th, 2013 at 1:15 pm
    Mrs Whatsit:
    I understand your point about ignoring Mitsu, but I disagree with you.
    Arguing with someone like Mitsu is very good exercise. It sharpens the mind … So many commenters have responded to him with excellent posts that make excellent general and specific points.

    You write this like a true liberal … and a wise conservative Neo!

    I offer a hat-tip and an appreciative smile.

    Thank you for the reminder.

    We all need honest, informed, articulate and intelligent interlocutors it we wish to test and explore our own ideas and to avoid serious error that comes so naturally with a point of view.

    ,

    neo-neocon Says:
    July 18th, 2013 at 1:15 pm
    … in my opinion, although Mitsu is troll-like he is not a troll; I think he sincerely believes most of what he says, and is actually trying to puzzle things through.

    And thank you for vouching for Mitsu’s sincerity. We would do well to appreciate his gift.

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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