The George Zimmerman Show Trial

It CAN happen here. Or at least in Florida.

It CAN happen here. Or at least in Florida.

Before George Zimmerman was charged with the second degree murder of Trayvon Martin, the suspicion was already growing that powerful people, much of the news media and perhaps one entire political party was attempting to take his freedom and life for ideological, partisan or political gain. Then came the bizarre and unprofessional public statements by Florida prosecutor Angela Corey, unequivocally proclaiming her alliance with the Martin family and her certainty of Zimmerman’s guilt—neither of which sentiments were appropriate or ethical. Now that we have seen and heard the state’s case, there is little doubt that Zimmerman, contrary to American principles of justice, is being required to prove his innocence, rather than be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. There are reasons for this, not the least of which is that the President of the United States decided to dictate that getting to the bottom of the “Why is Trayvon dead?” conundrum was a matter of national importance, but none of them are honorable,  fair, right or ethical.

I  give Martin’s parents, civil rights activists, the President and even some of the media the benefit of the doubt, to the extent that I believe they may have, at one time, plausibly believed that Martin’s death was not adequately investigated before authorities made the decision not to charge Zimmerman, and also that there were elements of racial profiling and bias in his murder. But once racial politics had begun, the demagogues began ranting, the shameless Congressional Black Caucus members had seen the opportunity for TV time and the President’s Machiavellian political advisors saw an opportunity to energize Obama’s “base” (translation: there was a chance to sew racial divisiveness, distrust and hate to spur turnout in the black community for the President who was going to bring us together), the result of the investigation was a foregone conclusion. It didn’t matter that Zimmerman’s shooting of Martin looked like self-defense, albeit in a confrontation Zimmerman caused himself. It didn’t matter that the evidence couldn’t possibly support a conviction of second degree murder beyond a re3asonable doubt. People in high places with famous names or TV shows and columns were throwing the R-word around—racist—and nobody wants to have that linked to them. Ask poor, silly, Paula Deen.

George Zimmerman had to be charged—that is, he had to be charged because there was nobody in Florida with both the power and the integrity to stop him from being charged. The New Black Panthers and Maxine Waters and Al Sharpton and Spike Lee and legions of vicious fools on Twitter were seeding violence, and race riots before a national election would not be good for our first black President.

U.S. justice was being dictated by the mob.

It still is. Last week, Judge Debra Nelson, presiding over Zimmerman’s trial, rejected the motion by Zimmerman’s defense team to dismiss the case before a single defense witness had been called, because the prosecution had not met its  burden of proof. Media analysts were quick to note that such motions are routine, but this one wasn’t: it was obvious and undeniable that the prosecution’s case could not support a verdict of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A courageous, fair and ethical judge would have dismissed the case: Judge Nelson did not. Judges usually default to the position that we should let the jury decide, but when the evidence won’t support a legitimate guilty verdict, as in this case, that position is irresponsible. In a case like this, there are two possible jury decisions: not guilty, and a mistake. A fair and ethical judge has an obligation not to allow the jury to make a mistake that will take away a citizen’s freedom, and juries do make mistakes. In this case, there are already too many extraneous influences and biases that could distort the jury’s ability to be objective and fair—fear, for example, that Spike Lee will publish their home addresses on Twitter, leading them to be hunted down by vigilantes wearing Trayvon hoodies.

Because Zimmerman was charged, I wanted to believe that the state’s case was more than it appeared. It was worse than I could have imagined. Its star witness, Rachel Jeantel, admitted to lying, couldn’t read the letter she dictated herself, and was obviously hostile to the defense. Her testimony bolstered Zimmerman’s case for self-defense more than it did than the State’s; for example, she confirmed that it was Martin, not Zimmerman, who initiated a direct confrontation.   Another prosecution witness testified that indeed it was Martin who was on top of Zimmerman in the tussle before the fatal shot. The judge had to instruct the jury to “ignore” (sure) a statement by the lead investigator that he believed that Zimmerman’s account of events was truthful. The prosecution was reduced to the pathetic stunt of calling the victim’s mother as an “expert” to claim that the muddled voice shouting for help on the recording of the fight was her son, as if there was any chance in the world that she would say otherwise. I’m sure she would also testify, as my mother would have, that her son was a good boy, would never hurt a fly and was shot by Zimmerman while making a plea for taking in abused pets and unilateral disarmament.

You can read the analyses of three attorneys who concluded, as anyone objective would, that the State’s case is shockingly inadequate, here, here, and especially here. Why then, is Zimmerman being tried? Conspiracy theories are rife, and I hate conspiracy theories, but the facts demand some theories, and the conspiracies make more sense than most. One is that the politicians and state leaders in Florida want to forestall African-American anger by having a high profile trial that shows the world why Zimmerman can’t be convicted. If this is true, Florida’s politicians and state leaders are even dumber than those of the other states. The people screaming for Zimmerman’s head don’t care about evidence or trials, and a jury verdict in Zimmerman’s favor won’t mollify them at all. The trial may be high-profile, but the average person (and certainly the below-average person, which is what the bulk of the Twitter vigilantes appear to be) isn’t going to watch it carefully or thoroughly. You can’t blame them:  Rachel Jeantel’s monotonous, inarticulate testimony could be used in place of CIA waterboarding on terrorist suspects. Moreover, the news media continues to distort the case by its reporting. How it is that alleged progressives think that railroading a man into prison for a crime he didn’t commit while inflaming racial animus in the process advances progressive causes, civil rights, social justice or any virtuous objective baffles me, and the answer, whatever it is, points to something dark and destructive at that end of the political spectrum.

George Zimmerman is hardly an innocent figure in all this. His zealotry and poor judgment culminated in death of a young man, but if he was properly a murderer in the eyes of the law,  there appears to be no way to prove it. His trial is, as James Taranto correctly diagnosed, a show trial, and that should repulse everyone.

___________________________________

Sources: WSJ, ABC, Talk Left, Legal Insurrection

Graphic: Codoh

226 thoughts on “The George Zimmerman Show Trial

  1. “The people screaming for Zimmerman’s head don’t care about evidence or trials, and a jury verdict in Zimmerman’s favor won’t mollify them at all.”

    In case they need encouragement:

    BREAKING NEWS – Los Angeles, California- While receiving an award from BET, Jamie Foxx states that if George Zimmerman is acquitted, then people from every major U.S. city should “publicly display their outrage”. He went on to explain that rioting, looting, and indiscriminate violence is acceptable as long as you feel within your heart it’s for a good cause.

  2. There are those who think equal rights under the law aren’t enough. They aren’t opposed to racism and discrimination as long as the shoe is on the other foot. How is this helping? Why this interest in keeping hate a division alive?

  3. Doing a non-scientific survey of my friends (most of whom are attorneys), I have noticed a sharp division of opinion among gender and racial lines. Most of my male white friends believe this is a show trial and Zimmerman should be released. My friends of color think he should be incarcerated for some crime – given that Zimmerman initiated the encounter (this is regardless of gender). My female white friends have a bit more of a struggle with this, but tend to focus more on the fact that Martin had a can of soda and Zimmerman had a gun, so it is hard to imagine that Zimmerman can be guiltless – even if the media attention and State have been unfair toward Zimmerman.

    I mention this only because I saw the same split among racial lines during the OJ trial. I was in law school and in the main TV room when the verdict was announced. All of the black law students cheered and all of the white law students gasped in disbelief.

    I don’t think we have made much, if any, progress on this issue unfortunately

    • Nor will we, as long as there is money, publicity, and political capital to be made on keeping the tensions around, to be inflamed as necessary.

    • Ugh. So you are saying that despite legal training, bias completely obliterates knowledge and legal reasoning in blacks and a disturbing number of women? Because there’s no getting around it, the two arguments you cited are, to be blunt, idiotic, and from a legal perspective, jaw dropping.

      “Initiating the encounter” has nothing to do with making anyone guilty of murder, or eliminating the need for self-defense. And this was not a fight between a gun and a coke can. I’ve briefed these cases, and reviewed the law. If someone is placing me in fear of my life with their hands and fists, and I have a gun, I can use it, and the fact that he is unarmed with one matters not one bit—no matter who initiated the encounter, or who was at fault. The issue is not whether Zimmerman is “guiltless”—he was wrong, and created a situation that led to a boy’s death, but those aren’t the elements of 2nd degree murder.

      • Beth is absolutely right. “Stubborn racial pride” as you described it in another post, frequently trumps all, even legal training. George Zimmerman should be acquitted, but he won’t be, and even if he were it wouldn’t surprise me if the DOJ were waiting in the wings to charge him with violating Martin’s civil rights, same as what was done to the Rodney King officers. Unfortunately at this point the national narrative has taken on such a life of its own that sometimes the authors of that narrative feel the need to sacrifice people to make sure it doesn’t stray from its course.

        • Yeah well there’s only two destinations when the ‘national narrative’ based emotionalism takes precedence over rationalism and due process.

          Arbitrary despotism guided by the caprice of a tyrant or guided by the ever changing moods and trends of an frenzied mob. Or both.

          OR

          Civil War.

          Which would you like?

          If prefer we stop race baiting and stop emotion baiting and stop acting like its a foregone conclusion and try to stop it before the emergency.

          • I would prefer we stop both as well, unfortunately, race-baiting is a sure way to get certain communities to fall in lock-step behind a cause or candidate (Obama)and emotion-baiting a sure way to get others (gun control). There isn’t going to be a second civil war, and talking about one makes you a magnet for titles like “teabagger,” so the most likely outcome is No. 1, at least until such time as the current raice-baiter in chief is out of the White House. Perhaps the next president will undo some of this. Perhaps not, depending on who the voters in this nation elect. The unfortunate fact is that, as long as race and emotion baiting work, which they always will to some degree since we are not Vulcans, this nation will never make decisions based only on what provides the greatest good for the greatest number. Hopefully we can reduce these things to the point where we are not electing only good-looking liberals spouting feel-good platitudes, but I really don’t hold out too much hope for that, given the relative failure last year to prevent it.

      • I was at Gtown Law during the OJ trial Jack. There must have been at least 75-100 students in the lounge at the time the verdict was announced. The reaction was jaw dropping and it has stuck with me through my legal career.

          • I was working, and the reaction in the office was the same, WTF? Let’s not forget Ron Goldman, who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and got cut up like a carcass laid out for butchering. Yes, Mark Furman sounded like a racist pig, but he was the 18th officer on the scene, and the idea of him planting evidence was preposterous. Still, the jury just slid by that litle set of facts.

      • I agree with you on the law here, but you have to remember that we all bring our own social baggage around with us. My attorney friends of color have all experienced multiple (if not systemic) discrimination in their lives. Gender to me is the most interesting twist here. Most women are smaller than men and are generally taught to avoid physical confrontations. Most of us are against (or choose not to) carry weapons other than pepper spray or maybe an alarm whistle. Most women who see suspicious characters would call the police and would never even think to get out of a vehicle — against the advice of 911 — and approach somebody. So, to us, “stand your ground” laws make little sense. So even if we agree on the law’s application here, we have to conclude that Zimmerman should be charged with something (perhaps not second degree murder), because the one indisputable fact that we know from this whole debacle is that Zimmerman initiated the encounter.

        • Nice multi-sentence justification for throwing objectivism, rationalism and rule of law out the window in favor of letting feelings rule the day.

          God help us.

            • Odd.

              Seems to me this line “… So even if we agree on the law’s application here, we have to conclude that Zimmerman should be charged with something…” endorses a specific end-state that doesn’t line up with rationalism but with emotionalism, sort of implies you do think something should happen to Mr. Zimmerman whether or not he was in the right defending himself.

              That tells me you were justifying. (Which is explanation, by the way)

              • Correct. I don’t think he should be convicted for second degree murder. However, there are no doubt other laws that this idiot broke. I don’t anything about FL law, so I don’t know if the jury can inquire about lesser laws that may be applicable or not. But absolutely — this guy broke some law.

                  • I don’t know what he is guilty of – that isn’t my job. If I were the prosecutor or the police, I would be investigating whether there are any lesser crimes that may be applicable other than homicide – that’s what any reasonable officer of the court should do in this situation. If I were on the jury, I would ask – although the Judge may instruct the jury that they are limited to the charge at hand. At a minimum, the assault and battery FL statutes look pretty broad (I just looked at them).

                    • I don’t know what he is guilty of – that isn’t my job.

                      Really?

                      However, there are no doubt other laws that this idiot broke.

                      Then how about you shut your idiot-hole, harpy.

                      You are apparently a member of the “find SOMETHING to convict on so we get the outcome that makes us feel good” school of law.

                      Again I find myself disgusted that you are admitted to the bar at all.

                  • I am assuming he’s guilty of something — he’s obviously guilty of something. He got out of his car (against the advice of 911) and shot an unarmed teenager who was guilty of looking like he didn’t belong in the community. That is not the sort of thing that innocent citizens do — ever. It might be as simple as he’s guilty of a misdemeanor, but yes, this idiot committed a crime. Are you seriously defending him? There is grey here you know — you can say that the evidence doesn’t support a murder conviction but there might be a lesser more appropriate charge. That would be a more principled stance than the crap you keep spouting off.

                    • Yikes, Beth. He’s guilty of bad judgment. He’s guilty of creating a dangerous situation by playing Jr. cop. But his gun was legal. He called 911. It is not against the law not to take a 911 operator’s advice. It is not illegal to be suspicious of strangers in a gated community…you know, I live in a cul de sac, and if there are teens I don’t know hanging out around my house, or late at night in the parking lot of the church by my house, I call 911, and sometimes I go out to ask them why they are hanging out. Is that illegal? And if I had a legal fun (In VA, I could) and one of the kids jumped me and was banging my head against the asphalt, and he saw the gun in my pants and went for it and I shot him , what would be my crime?

                      I think you need to think this through a bit more.

                    • Jack — the only reason he got jumped (assuming that’s the truth) is because he got out of his damn car. He wasn’t protecting his own property. He was out playing vigilante (or junior cop if we want to be more polite about it). I never said anything about the gun. We only have his word on what was said to Martin. Maybe he was the one who made Martin feel threatened and in a position where Martin had to defend himself? Because of the lack of evidence, I could never support a murder conviction given that the burden of proof is obviously on the prosecution. But there’s ALSO a lack of credible evidence supporting his self-defense claim — so what really happened here? So, okay, I agree with you — maybe he can only be “proven” guilty of creating a dangerous situation that led to a teenager’s death. We know for a fact he did that. That’s worthy of at least a brief stint in county jail. And if it isn’t, then there is something really wrong with the system.

                    • Uh, Beth, you still have no concept of the fact that it is NOT a crime to get out of your car and ask someone why they are in a neighborhood where they are not recognized residents.

                    • I am assuming he’s guilty of something — he’s obviously guilty of something.

                      Even if you have no idea what it is, he’s guilty of something godsdamnit.

                      Seriously, what did you pay for your law degree? I only ask because I think you were over-charged.

                      He got out of his car (against the advice of 911) and shot an unarmed teenager who was guilty of looking like he didn’t belong in the community.

                      Okay, to start with, the 911 operator had no authority. None. Zip. Zilnch. Nada. It doesn’t matter if the operator told him directly that he had to go home, it carries no weight because the operator had no authority.

                      That ignores the fact that by the time the operator said that, he was already out of his car.

                      And he shot an unarmed teenager that towered over him, who initiated the attack and who was on top of him beating the unholy monkeyfuck out of him. He didn’t shoot him because he “didn’t look like he belonged”, but because he was in the process of doing grave bodily harm. Zimmerman called the cops because Martin was wandering around – in the pouring rain – off the walk-paths and looking into windows.

                      You bet your ass that’s someone who maybe the cops should chat with, especially since there had been a recent series of break-ins in the neighborhood, and if I need to get out of my car to make sure the cops know exactly where to look for the suspicious little shit, you bet your ass I’d get out of the car to keep an eye on him.

                      That is not the sort of thing that innocent citizens do — ever.

                      Really? Remind me to never – ever – live even remotely near you, because you would be even more worthless at helping neighbors avoid being burglarized than you are at applying the law.

                      And sister, that’s fucking saying something.

                      It might be as simple as he’s guilty of a misdemeanor, but yes, this idiot committed a crime.

                      If that were true, you could list for me the exact offense and detail how you know it is true based on evidence we have available to us.

                      But you can’t do that, because it isn’t true. It is a complete crock of shit and further proof that the rule of law means fucking nothing to you. You demand an outcome that pleases you, law-be-damned. And again, that fucking sickens me.

                      Are you seriously defending him?

                      Yes. Yes I am.

                      If I found myself on my back, being beaten by someone roughly half a foot taller than me and who was obviously in better physical shape than myself, I would have done the exact same thing.

                      And let me tell you something else, you self-righteous cow – I wouldn’t feel any any guilt or regret or even sorry for the little shit’s family at their losing someone.

                      Because if you duplicate the entire situation but remove the pistol, Zimmerman would be dead of have spent a considerable amount of time in a trauma ward.

                      And if you think that is untrue, you are certifiably insane.

                      There is grey here you know

                      No. No there really isn’t.

                      Not if you accept that it is permissible to take a life in the defense of your own.

                      you can say that the evidence doesn’t support a murder conviction but there might be a lesser more appropriate charge.

                      No, you can say that, because you are an incompetent hack who shouldn’t be allowed within a mile of a fucking courtroom.

                      That would be a more principled stance than the crap you keep spouting off.

                      No. No it wouldn’t.

                      I say that for a couple of reasons. First there is the fact that there is absolutely no direct evidence – and in fact no indirect evidence – to suggest guilt of any sort on the part of Zimmerman.

                      How the fuck you ever became admitted to the bar baffles me. You have proven here that the rule of law means exactly shit to you. You have no ethical foundation for the application of the law, and I actually think that if it suited you or a client you would actively suborn perjury. Such is my utter lack of regard for you as either a lawyer or even as a person.

                      If I thought for a second that I could trust your state bar to do anything about your feckless moral turpitude I would fly there and file a complaint in person.

                      But I don’t think they would do anything about you, so I won’t even fucking bother opening a link to their website.

                      You disgust me in ways I don’t even possess the profanity to begin to describe.

                    • he got out of his damn car.

                      So Beth thinks that Zimmerman’s liberty to walk in his own neighborhood is restricted somehow because of… I don’t know… Because of feelings, I guess?

                      Or simply because she is a moron.

                      Guess which option I find more likely to be true…

                    • I love how Traybots completely ignore that he had a history of crime which included assault and battery and burglary, a history of using and selling drugs, a history of fighting mma style, and a history of being confrontational. Trayvon fashioned himself as a “gangsta” and sought-out that lifestyle. Just because some of this evidence was erroneously denied admissable does not negate its veracity and applicability. The state fought to exclude all this evidence not because it was prejudicial but it would expose the lies and false narrative foisted upon the public by some very powerful people within the DOJ and Black civil rights leadership.

                  • He refused to stay in his car. He shot an unarmed man who had a right to be their because he was visiting his father, There is nothing worse that a “wanna be cop” They are losers who want to be important!

                    • a) He didn’t refuse anything because he can’t be ordered to do anything by a damned 911 operator. They have. No. Authority. And it was HIS NEIGHBORHOOD. Are you suggesting he isn’t allowed to walk freely WHERE HE LIVES?

                      b) He shot an unarmed man who was trying to beat him to death. What the fuck do you require he wait for before he’s allowed to defend his own life?

                      c) Yes, and the boy actually got home to his fathers, AND THEN WENT BACK TO CONFRONT MARTIN. And I don’t care if he’d lived there for years, anyone wearing a hooding casing homes is somebody I would like the cops to maybe stop and say hello to.

                      d) Funny, when offered the chance to become a citizen officer (think “Police Academy 4”, but with less hijinks) he turned it down. You’d think someone who was a “wanna-be cop” would jump at that. Actual police powers? You bet they would. Also, his goal wasn’t to become a cop. It was to be a PROSECUTOR. Okay, I’ll grant that maybe THAT could show him to have a propensity to sociopathic behavior, but only that one single point.

                    • Absolutely right! Zimmerman had no right to be judge, jury & executioner there! Fight fists with fists, or stay in your car. Gun against fists is unfair!

                    • Jill, please. That’s an absolutely dishonest and counter-factual description of what happened. Zimmerman had a right to be suspicious (whether he was correct of not). He had a right to follow a stranger (whether it was reckless or not.) He had a right not to back down when confronted (whether it was wise of not.) And he had a right to use his gun if he felt in danger of being beaten, (whether it was the best thing to do or not.) “Judge, jury & executioner” suggests that he set out to shoot the kid, and that’s complete supposition without proof.

                  • Ablative, do you think it would have been possible for you to express your disagreement, nay, even condemnation, of Beth’s viewpoint without revealing yourself to be a sexist prick?

                    • “Getting out of his car and approaching a stranger, questioning a stranger, observing a stranger snoop into other people’s houses, killing an assailant in self-defense”

                      There, I corrected your errors for you.

                      Now, could you please list the crimes Mr. Zimmerman committed?

            • So under Beths’s scenario, a jury of all women would actually help the prosecution. Maybe I have just become cynical but in the end, I believe the gender of this jury will unfairly become a huge issue. It’s going to be too easy for those who do not like the decision (whatever the decision) made my the all female jury to suggest that a group of women can’t get together, look at the evidence and come to an objective opinion based on facts.

              • And given Ablative’s litany of dated, sexist slurs against Beth (“shrew,” “harpy,” “cow”), I’ve little doubt he would be the first person to jump on the “an all female jury can’t be trusted” line of argument if the verdict doesn’t go his way.

                • So Beth must not be insulted, because she’s a woman?

                  Which one of us has a low opinion the the female gender again, because you seem to think they are delicate flowers who should not be harmed in any way shape or form…

                  And for the record, knob-hole, I treat everyone the same until they prove to be worthless. Beth crossed that line ages ago, and so I treat her with abject disdain.

                  If she weren’t a moron, I might not treat her like shit. She gets what she earns, just like everyone with me. Race, age, gender, or sexual preference do not matter at all. It is how they act that determines how I act towards them, and nothing else.

                  That you seem to hold a different view suggests far more about how YOU perceive others than it does about me.

                  • I don’t know why you’re pretending to be stupider than you actually are. You know that the specific insults you used against Beth were sexist (“harpy,” “cow,” “shrew,” “whore”). Your argument is equivalent to saying that it’s OK to call someone the n-word as long as you’re only directing it toward one black individual, and that wouldn’t be evidence that you hold anti-black views in general. Sexist insults harm all women, not just the woman you’re directing them to, just as racist insults harm all members of that race, not just the person you’re directing them to. Had you stopped at calling Beth a “moron” or something similar, that would still be uncivil, but it wouldn’t be sexist. You intentionally chose words that were meant to demean Beth as a woman, not just as a person you hold in contempt.

                    Wow, I can’t believe I just had to explain that to someone.

                    • ” Your argument is equivalent to saying that it’s OK to call someone the n-word as long as you’re only directing it toward one black individual”

                      Oops. Didn’t see you already addressed that.

        • Well we do bring baggage, but education is designed to help us reason past it. How does sending an unjustly convicted Hispanic man to jail do anything to cure past discrimination?

          (By the way, though the media keeps mentioning it, the Stand Your Ground law is not a part of this case.)

        • Beth, please stop writing as though you represent all females. You do not.
          “Most of us are against…weapons…”
          “Most…would never think to get out of a vehicle…”
          “…to us, “stand your ground” laws make little sense.”
          “…we know…that Zimmerman initiated the encounter.”
          You are wrong, wrong, wrong and, uh, wrong.

          • “Beth, please stop writing as though you represent all females. You do not.
            “Most of us are against…weapons…”
            “Most…would never think to get out of a vehicle…”
            “…to us, “stand your ground” laws make little sense.”
            “…we know…that Zimmerman initiated the encounter.”
            You are wrong, wrong, wrong and, uh, wrong.”

            She didn’t say all,she said most. I agree with her on all of the above but weapons. I want to be able to protect myself. It would be foolhardy to exit a vehicle in face of probable danger. “Stand your ground” can be and has been abused. And Zimmerman did initiate the encounter. That last is my opinion,not fact,since I didn’t witness it.

                • No. There ARE contexts where it is ridiculous: most women are smaller than most men. But in the realm of gender=based beliefs—I think it’s latent sexism, leading to grotesque ‘superior gender’ displays like the one Christiane Amanpour allowed in a male-bashing panel on ABC (because as we all know, “most women” wouldn’t screw up the country like men have. A particularly dubious proposition when the prominent examples out there are Hillary “What difference does it make?” Clinton, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Elizabeth “What’s a law license?” Warren and Nancy “I saw global warming!” Pelosi. Yeah, they’re real trustworthy.) When women accept negative generalizations without shouting sexism, I’ll be more willing to tolerate the ones they find useful without surmising the same.

                  And yes, the double standard ticks me off.

      • Precisely, Jack. It is, admittedly, easier to shoot someone than to beat them to death, but both are possible, which we seem to have lost sight of. Frankly, I would be very “concerned” (Read: scared witless) if someone was beating my head into the sidewalk.

  4. The Sanford Police department’s initial decision not to charge Zimmerman and their failure to forward this case to the Prosecutor’s office was a huge lapse in judgement. This is the root cause of the extreme overreaction by the Public, the State and the Media.

    Listen (link below) to the GZ interviews with Investigators Singleton and Serino on 2/26, night of shooting, 2/27 and 2/29., there were inconsistencies in his versions of how the events transpired, the timing of those events and his physical location, to question the Self Defense claim.

    A witness version controverted GZ account, in the days following the shooting.

    Lesson learned from this are for PDs not to treat claims of self defense lightly.
    trayvon.axiomamnesia.com/audio/george-zimmermans-statements-sanford-pd-audio/

    • All true. It still can’t justify:

      1. The assumptions of racial profiling
      2. The distortion of the tapes
      3. The ultimate decision to charge.
      4. The charge itself.
      5. The statements from various national public officials about a local matter.

      Nor should Zimmerman have to pay the price because local police made a snap judgment that may well have been correct. You don’t have trials when you can’t prove the charge, no matter what anyone may “think.”

      • Zimmerman is the pawn in this scenario, but not a victim. These cases take a life of their own, and have little to do with actual facts.

        If this case were properly handled to begin with, and the evidence evaluated and documented by the Prosecutor’s office, they may have decided GZ’s claim of Self Defense was justified. We’ll never know.

      • It wasn’t a “snap” judgment. The police investigation took well over a week – a very long time when you know what weapon was used and who fired it.

        They even tried the old “We have new evidence you didn’t know about, so why don’t you admit what you did” trick. They said they found quality video of the incident.

        You know what Zimmerman’s immediate response was?

        “Thank god.”

        Even me, a man who is cynical to a literal fault and who tends to not believe anything anyone tells him and who really does make a habit of assuming the worst in people would, upon hearing that response to that claim, conclude that yeah, this guy probably fired the weapon in self-defense.

  5. “If they can’t get past their baggage and apply the law, they have no fucking business being in the BUSINESS of law.”
    *************
    EXACTLY right.

    They sound to me like a bunch of dumbasses who don’t deserve the education they got.
    Probably wound up behind a register in the music department of Barnes & Noble.

  6. “Doing a non-scientific survey of my friends (most of whom are attorneys), I have noticed a sharp division of opinion among gender and racial lines. ”
    *************
    That’s pretty frightening in itself, that people supposedly educated in the law are too stupid or too biased to apply it.

    In my experience, those who are “sure Zimmerman is guilty of something” are:

    1. Those lacking the sophistication of intellect required to effectively analyze the evidence.
    2. Those who get their “news” from Jon Stewart
    3. Sheep
    4. Idiot Liberals
    5. Blacks who aren’t allowed their own opinion
    6. Spoiled, immature douchbags championing the underdog to alleviate their white guilt and privilege.

    • Just out of curiosity, do you know any conservatives who only get their news from Fox News, are sheep, are idiots, who only spout the same opinions as the rest of their white friends, or are spoiled, immature douchebags? Because I do — I’m just wondering if you’ll admit that as well. That was the whole point of my original post — I see a sharp division along racial lines (and to some extent gender lines) — regardless of education. I find that frightening. So should you.

      • Yes, it is frightening that entire segments of society are allowing race baiters and emotion baiters to literally control their opinions about things and are keeping them from thinking through this entire situation rationally.

        Because God knows if everyone were to think through this rationally, it would be relatively open and shut.

        But no, there is political power to be squeezed from dividing our nation just a little more and enticing people’s misplaced and manipulated emotions into distrusting each other just a little more.

      • I can’t answer for others, but I rely on the internet to find objective news and if that is not possible I search for point and counterpoint sites and weigh the arguements in terms of what is most objective. Facts always out-weigh emotion and soft arguements such as social justice and White privilege. It is interesting that you only point out Fox. Most of the Conservatives I know disagree with how blindly ideological Fox has become just as they diagree with MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, ABC, etc. As far as there being a sharp line along racial lines, how can that not be expected when there is far more Black on White racial crime that goes unreported and yet the arguement is always that Whites are racist and responsible for the Black underclass. I am sorry, but from where I stand, concepts like White privilege and Critical Race Theory are being advanced to deny the civil rights of an entire class of people. Those concepts would have some validity in the absence of 50+ years of Affirmative Action, special racial programs, employment preferences, etc. But there is no longer any valid excuse of blaming others for the sins of the past.

  7. There is actually a ton of info out there that you have never heard from the MSM.
    It’s there if one wishes to avail oneself of the facts.

      • You don’t get to shoot people through the heart because you “think” they might burglarize your neighbor’s house. You do know that, right?

        • Did you know you can shoot them if you think they are trying to kill you?

          And shots to the center of mass (you know, where the heart is) is EXACTLY how you are taught to fire a weapon in a self defense situation. Something you would know if you were not – and I really am starting to feel like I’m repeating myself here – mind-rapingly ignorant.

            • My reply was to Beth.

              “You don’t get to shoot people through the heart because you “think” they might burglarize your neighbor’s house. You do know that, right?”

              No, one does not have the right to shoot another person because they “think” that person might burglarize a neighbor.

              That is NOT a description of the events in leading to this trial, as much as Beth would like to dumb it down to that scenario.

              • I didn’t say that was the facts. Again people, I would find him innocent of the current charge. But Zimmerman has a huge “reasonableness” problem. Reasonable people don’t get out of their cars to investigate suspicious people who are not committing crimes when they know the police are en route.

                  • No, a jury gets to make that call. If I were on the jury, I wouldn’t convict on second degree murder but I also would conclude that it is unreasonable to get out of the car under these circumstances. That’s what juries get to do — interpet and draw conclusions from the facts that were presented. You many conclude differently.

                    • Except a jury doesn’t get to decide reasonableness of behavior that isn’t illegal, such as let’s say, getting out of a car.

                      Because I guess in your quest to convict-Zimmerman-for-anything-at-all-costs has somehow led you to believe he can be convicted for what you consider to be unreasonably stepping out of his vehicle.

                    • Tex — that is not what I’m saying at all. Do I think he should be convicted of murder? No. Do I think he committed a lesser crime? Probably. But it’s the prosecutor’s job to put on that case. If that doesn’t happen, than he deserves to walk. But, even if he is found to not have committed a crime, there might be an appropriate civil case against him for negligence.

                    • And yet you fail to mention a single action of his that has been a violation of any law.

                      You obtusely beat on the he-got-out-of-his-car drum as though that somehow opens the door to some conviction of another crime.

                      But it doesn’t. Open your eyes.

                      Bringing up a civil trial as though that is what you have been discussing is moving the goalposts.

                    • “She asserted that BECAUSE women are WOMEN, they AUTOMATICALLY know better the fear of being followed.”
                      Yes. And the reason for that is… “Women are generally smaller then men and make easier targets — especially for sexual attacks.”
                      ““behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex”

                      Fear of being followed is a fact for women. Generally men aren’t followed anyway. This has got nothing to do with social roles or stereotyping. How many men are beaten,raped or killed in these types of circumstances? Show me a woman who isn’t frightened about being followed and I’ll show you one who is a 300 lb. Sumo wrestler

                    • Find me a man who doesn’t worry or become concerned about being actively and intentionally followed. Physical safety is a concern for everyone (except for maybe those who have prepared for it, which by the way being prepared is not gender specific either).

                    • “Find me a man who doesn’t worry or become concerned about being actively and intentionally followed. Physical safety is a concern for everyone (except for maybe those who have prepared for it, which by the way being prepared is not gender specific either).”

                      Granted but you must admit that this happens much for frequently to women and it’s reasonable to assume that women are more fearful of it happening. Men aren’t nearly as likely to have this happen so I think we women can be forgiven for generalizing.

                    • Leading back to Beth’s comment, that Women have a better grasp on what Mr. Martin (a man) speculatively felt than men do.

                      A sexist comment.

        • You’ll be hard pressed* to prove Mr. Zimmerman shot Mr. Martin through the chest because he thought he was burglarizing a neighbor’s house barring a 180 turn around and shocking confessional by Mr. Zimmerman (which won’t happen).

          I think you’ll find it more likely* that Mr. Zimmerman shot Mr. Martin through the chest because he thought he was having his face smashed in and head head pounded against concrete.

          *”be hard pressed” should be read as “find it impossible”; and “more likely” should be read as “pretty much assured”

          I love how the convict-Zimmerman-at-all-costs-for-any-reason crowd has to openly lie about what happened in order to sound like they have a basis in fact.

          • “I think you’ll find it more likely* that Mr. Zimmerman shot Mr. Martin through the chest because he thought he was having his face smashed in and head head pounded against concrete. ”

            But Tex,by Zimmerman’s own admission, he was able to move off the concrete and onto the grass thus no longer in danger of skull cracking.

            • Being able to move off of concrete and onto grass is hardly a statement of “I’m no longer in fear of my life”. Just because he managed to squirm from one location to another doesn’t mean he’s safe.

              • “Being able to move off of concrete and onto grass is hardly a statement of “I’m no longer in fear of my life”. Just because he managed to squirm from one location to another doesn’t mean he’s safe.”

                No,but you said he shot him because he was afraid of having his head cracked open on the cement. That’s no longer the case on the grass.

                • First of all, that you are quibbling over that shows that the convict-Zimmerman-for-something-anything-at-any-cost crowd doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on. My commentary there and elsewhere clearly indicates he was in reasonable fear for his life.

                  Additionally, if you do wish to quibble, I actually didn’t say he was afraid of having his head cracked open on the cement.

                  • Your commentary shows that you were overstating your case. You might have a valid case, but when you attack someone who points out an inconsistency in your argument, it makes it look like your argument is crap.

                    • Here’s Karla’s first comment:

                      “I think you’ll find it more likely* that Mr. Zimmerman shot Mr. Martin through the chest because he thought he was having his face smashed in and head head pounded against concrete. ”

                      But Tex,by Zimmerman’s own admission, he was able to move off the concrete and onto the grass thus no longer in danger of skull cracking.

                      and second comment:

                      “Being able to move off of concrete and onto grass is hardly a statement of “I’m no longer in fear of my life”. Just because he managed to squirm from one location to another doesn’t mean he’s safe.”

                      No,but you said he shot him because he was afraid of having his head cracked open on the cement. That’s no longer the case on the grass.

                      I think I see a pretty big inconsistency there and I don’t see any words being put in your mouth.

                      You overstated the case. Karla pointed it out. You attacked her and pretended she didn’t call out an error you made. Looking at Zimmerman’s statements, he was in fear for his life, butn no, he was not thinking that he needed to shoot Martin to stop his head from getting bashed into concrete.

                    • You are ridiculous TGT.

                      I’ve already shown how my assertions are all based on Mr. Zimmerman claiming to be in reasonable fear for his life.

                      Karla attempted to refute that by showing he ended up on grass. That doesn’t change his claim to be in reasonable fear for his life, nor does it change that the fight at least partially if not mostly occurred on concrete.

                      Because that is such an irrelevant detail to whether or not Mr. Zimmerman was in reasonable fear for his life, is why I have called her, and now you, out for quibbling.

                      And again, when I described what was occurring the “face…smash…head…concrete” comments, I still never said, “he shot Mr. Martin because he was scared his skull would crack on concrete”. That is an invention of Karla’s to try and make the ‘concrete’ detail a make-or-break component of the discussion (which it isn’t as demonstrated above).

                      My stance has been, he shot Mr. Martin because he had reasonable fear for his life.

                      If you wish to continue quibbling, by all means, continue. It’s still ridiculous.

                    • tex,

                      Your general point was fine. You overstated it and Beth pointed it out. We all accidentally do that sometimes If you’d acknowledged that you’d overstated, you would have been fine. There was plenty of support for your main position.

                      I still never said, “he shot Mr. Martin because he was scared his skull would crack on concrete”

                      You did say: “I think you’ll find it more likely* that Mr. Zimmerman shot Mr. Martin through the chest because he thought he was having his face smashed in and head head pounded against concrete.”

                      I see the implication in your sentence, his head was getting smashed into concrete => he feared for his life because of this.

                    • “You did say: “I think you’ll find it more likely* that Mr. Zimmerman shot Mr. Martin through the chest because he thought he was having his face smashed in and head head pounded against concrete.”

                      I see the implication in your sentence, his head was getting smashed into concrete => he feared for his life because of this.”

                      Exactly.I was going to look up Tex’s quote but I checked to see if you already had.

                    • Ah. I understand the error now. I shouldn’t have used a dry commentary on what anyone can blatantly see was obviously the situation as a rhetorical device to highlight Beth’s blatantly obvious obtuseness on this.

                      You are correct. I amend my comment to this:

                      “There’s next to no possibility you can prove that Mr. Zimmerman shot Mr. Martin because Mr. Zimmerman thought he was burglarizing houses barring an unexpected and unlikely confession by Mr. Zimmerman to that effect.

                      Based on the all the obvious things we do know, you will *rationally* and clearly conclude that Mr. Zimmerman did fire on Mr. Martin because, as Mr. Zimmerman indicates, he was reasonably in fear for his life.”

          • No — I don’t think that’s the case here — but there are a lot of people who would be okay with that scenario playing out.

            • So you just thought you’d get a random opportunity to vilify some stance that hasn’t even even made?

              That’s a strawman and an especially egregious one at that.

  8. Thanks Finlay, I seriously was wondering what has changed, if anything, as far as the frequency of break-ins and burglaries in the neighborhood where Trayvon was killed, since he was shot. Wish we had a reliable source…

  9. I don’t think Zimmerman is guilty of murder- perhaps manslaughter.

    I think the episode proves more the unintended consequences of ‘stand your ground’, and the issue with neighborhood watchmen carrying guns. I know I would be extremely uncomfortable if I knew Joe from 4 houses down was walking around at night with a gun, with zero training and no non-lethal alternatives. You can’t just jump straight to ‘gun’ unless you confirm that the other person is a threat, and even then you don’t close in on them and confront them in close enough range for a ‘tussle’. I sincerely think that if Zimmerman had been carrying a Taser, or a bottle of pepper spray that you can buy for $5, the situation would not have escalated so quickly and perhaps Martin would still be alive.

    As for ‘stand your ground’, my problem is that it doesn’t seem to have any regard to necessary force. I personally think that a self-defense… er, defense… should have to demonstrate that the person made a good-faith effort to defuse the situation and/or use minimum force.

    • Mr. Zimmerman having his face beat in and head pounded on concrete wasn’t enough suspicion of threat to “jump straight to gun” for you?

      What standard then do you allow an individual to protect themselves and not in your mind be guilty of “at least” manslaughter.

      Guess what folks, this was simply self defense. I’m sorry it doesn’t fit your America is a racist nation narrative or it doesn’t fit your America’s judicial process is broken narrative. Even if it has all the ingredients you need for it.

  10. I have one more comment and then I’m done on this subject. I find it interesting that Zimmerman’s supporters believe — without a shadow of a doubt — that he was being viciously attacked. Amazing.

    • I have one more comment and then I’m done on this subject.

      Why? Are you finally getting tired of proving what a feckless pile of crap you are?

      I find it interesting that Zimmerman’s supporters believe — without a shadow of a doubt — that he was being viciously attacked.

      You mean besides the wounds on the back of his head and on his face, and the FUCKING EYEWITNESS YOU IGNORANT WHORE!!! that says the guy in the hoodie was on top and was raining blows down?

      You are the most fucking ignorant person I will meet this week.

      You might be the most ignorant person I will see this month, and in a couple of weeks I will be at a family wedding where actual socialists will be in attendance.

      Amazing.

      You really have no idea how true that one single word is.

      • I’m not offended by MeatHead. I’m constantly amazed that he goes after anyone who disagrees with his reasoned discourse even a little bit (see above — I think Zimmerman should be acquitted), but whatever.

        The problem with this whole case is that there is: (1) conflicting and/or inconclusive evidence about everything combined with (2) a subpar State investigation followed by (3) charges that were politically motivated. Yes, Zimmerman had some injuries, but the testimony in this trial was that they were “insignificant.” Okay, how significant do they have to be before you can pull out your gun and shoot someone? Is this a subjective or an objective test? What if it is subjective, but the person in question is looney tunes? Who started the conflict? Where’s all the DNA evidence? Oh right, the State screwed that up too. It was dark outside — so eyewitness testimony (ever so reliable in the best of circumstances) is especially crappy. Same goes for the audio recordings.

        Despite all of this people still are willing to go out on a limb (one way or the other) and say that he is absolutely innocent or absolutely guilty — not only of these charges but of any criminal conduct. Such confidence. The State should have brought manslaughter charges or dropped the whole thing.

        Martin was no peach (suspended from school and evidence of prior burglaries and marijuana use) but Zimmerman was no saint either. Prior arrests (for violence), multiple calls to 911, and a poor decision to leave a safe vehicle even though police would soon be on the scene. (I don’t remember exactly, but I think the police arrived 8 minutes after the initial call.) I think that decision speaks volumes. Should he have gotten out of his car if Martin was committing an act of violence? Sure — that’s what any citizen should do. Should he have gotten out of his car to question a teenager who just looked suspicious? No. A reasonable person would call the police and then wait for police to arrive.

        • see above — I think Zimmerman should be acquitted

          You think he should be acquitted of Murder 2 – you say with certainty born of abject ignorance that he is guilty of something and seem quite annoyed that he’s going to get off scot free because damnit, someone died and that is wrong and someone should be made to pay.

          conflicting and/or inconclusive evidence about everything

          There is nothing said in court that has even remotely contradicted Zimmerman’s statements to police – statements that have remained very consistent and in fact when (falsely) threatened with the existence of video of the incident, his response was of complete relief, as if he knew it would show his story to be completely true and thus end the entire ordeal.

          a subpar State investigation

          It is odd that every time this is mentioned there is never any point that can be specified as to how the investigation was “subpar”, save the claim that ‘because he wasn’t arrested immediately it proves a poor investigation.’ Sometimes the cops actually don’t arrest people who haven’t done anything wrong. Shocking concept, I know.

          Yes, Zimmerman had some injuries, but the testimony in this trial was that they were “insignificant.” Okay, how significant do they have to be before you can pull out your gun and shoot someone? Is this a subjective or an objective test?

          Yes, testimony by an ME who had previously been removed from her position due to, shall we say, performance issues, who was put BACK into an ME job by – what a shock – Angela Corey, and whose only exposure to Zimmerman’s injuries were the photographs taken the night of the incident. I would also point out the bugfucking insanity of requiring that injuries actually BE life-threatening before being allowed to use deadly force to protect yourself. If you were fucking COMPETENT, you would know that the Florida statute for Self Defense doesn’t require ANY injuries. At all. Period. Only reasonable fear, and having someone who is bigger, stronger, and in all-around better physical condition than you on top of you raining down blows is pretty much the definition of “reasonable fear”.

          No. A reasonable person would call the police and then wait for police to arrive

          No, that’s what YOU would do, and calling you “reasonable” is like calling World War II “a minor disagreement”.

          • “Only reasonable fear, and having someone who is bigger, stronger, and in all-around better physical condition than you on top of you raining down blows is pretty much the definition of “reasonable fear”.

            No. A reasonable person would call the police and then wait for police to arrive

            No, that’s what YOU would do, and calling you “reasonable” is like calling World War II “a minor disagreement”

            If that’s your def of reasonable fear (bigger, stronger, and in all-around better physical condition ) then it WOULD be reasonable to wait for the police.

            • Karla, not waiting for the police to arrive is no crime, and is completely irrelevant, UNLESS you can prove, not speculate, but prove, that he did not wait for the police BECAUSE he wanted to shoot the kid. Nobody can prove that. In Florida, at least, what matters is not HOW the two ended up fighting, or HOW Zimmerman ended up in fear for his life, but whether or not he did.

              Other Bill just sent me this link: http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/09/opinion/jones-zimmerman-trial/index.html?hpt=hp_t4

              It is, in my opinion, jaw dropping. This is an educated individual, but her analysis of the case is simpleton-biased, and had progressed not one inch from the “Justice for Trayvon” trope. A kid was shot, he’s black, it must be about race, and it’s murder, simple as that, and if the guy that killed the kid isn’t convicted and locked up, we don’t have social justice. She is assuming everything. If a black kid gets shot by a white guy, it has to be about race. If the white guy isn’t convicted, blacks can’t get justice. Little nuances like evidence, self-defense, when a death doesn’t mean a crime–she doesn’t care. She hasn’t been paying attention. She really says “I knew it was never going to be that simple” (though she thinks its simple.) Locking citizens up shouldn’t be simple, and isn’t. “A boy is dead..that’s murder. Why don’t you say so?”

              She’s an ignoramus, and CNN puts her mind-rotting screed on its website.

              • “Karla, not waiting for the police to arrive is no crime, and is completely irrelevant, UNLESS you can prove, not speculate, but prove, that he did not wait for the police BECAUSE he wanted to shoot the kid. ”

                No,it’s not a crime but my response was to Meatshield saying his definition to reasonable was spot on but Beth’s wasn’t. If you see a man who is physically superior to you,you don’t confront him.You wait in the car. There’s nothing
                unreasonable about that.

                • Yet that is still irrelevant. What IS relevant is that Mr. Zimmerman DID get out of the car. And what matters then, is that it is NOT illegal to do so, nor is it wrong to do so.

                  Continuing along that line of attack on Mr. Zimmerman’s behavior is grasping for straws and illogical.

                  • It was relevant to AM’s specific claim. This subpoint was about reasonableness, not about legality. From the evidence I’ve seen, what Zimmerman did that night was legal, but his behavior was also unreasonable.

                    • “It was relevant to AM’s specific claim. This subpoint was about reasonableness, not about legality. From the evidence I’ve seen, what Zimmerman did that night was legal, but his behavior was also unreasonable.”

                      Thanks tgt. That is what I was trying to say.

                    • Fair enough. From a reasonableness angle, it is quite subjective. Both assertions may be equally reasonable, we’d need to delve further into the factors going into the conclusions of reasonable behavior.

                    • Defending his behavior, or pointing out that it probably can’t be shown to be illegal? Defending him against criminal charges isn’t defending his conduct.

                    • “Defending his behavior, or pointing out that it probably can’t be shown to be illegal? Defending him against criminal charges isn’t defending his conduct.”

                      Defending his behavior. Saying that his actions were reasonable. This is pure speculation but would he have approached and man who looked as if he could squash him like a bug if he hadn’t had a gun? I know, I know. Just my thoughts.

                    • What is 100% fair to say is that Zimmerman has been made the victim of a race-grievance, media-fed, partisan effort to make the case a national referendum on profiling, race and equal justice, and that is unjust and wrong.

                    • “Defending his behavior, or pointing out that it probably can’t be shown to be illegal? Defending him against criminal charges isn’t defending his conduct.”

                      But I’m not talking legality. I’m talking reasonableness. The question was one of if his actions or thoughts were reasonable.

          • What is being argued but not said is that Zimmerman is culpable because he should not have shot that kid regardless if he was being battered and feared for his life. I don’t understand this line of thinking and the thought process that allows one to arrive at the conclusion that it should be illegal to defend yourself with a gun. This is an ideological position and not one based in common sense or natural law.

              • There is no evidence that the bullet was intended to kill….if he has a right to shoot, the law doesn’t hold him responsible for knowing Martin’s anatomy or guessing what kills and what disables.

                • “There is no evidence that the bullet was intended to kill….if he has a right to shoot, the law doesn’t hold him responsible for knowing Martin’s anatomy or guessing what kills and what disables.”

                  True. And in the midst of a battle one can’t really take aim. And if Trayvon really told George he was going to kill him and proceeded to try and do so I can understand it. Strange that neither assumed the other might be armed.

        • Beth, I have to commend your patience and dignity in response to Meatshield’s disgusting, mysoginistic ranting at you. Apparently calling women “whores” simply because you find their arguments contemptible is within the “ethics” of this site?

            • Oh, I see. So as long as you’re only calling one woman a “whore,” the term totally loses all sexist connotations. Just like I can call any individual black person I hate a “n—-r,” or any gay person I hate a “faggot,” and it’s not bigoted at all. And anyone who dares to call me out for that is the one with the REAL problem.

              I’m curious: when you wrote your comment, did you actually think you were making a compelling argument, or did you know it was bullshit but wrote it anyway, hoping no one else would notice?

            • “No, I call BETH that.

              Beth is not, last I was aware, all women.”

              To use sexist,misogynistic slurs against one woman reveals this attitude toward all women. If I were to refer to Trayvon as a nappy headed, N word I would be revealing my racism.

          • Why do you find Beth so helpless that you need to keep this up? I’m a woman and I find what he says inappropriate, but it isn’t going to keep me awake all night either.

            • Did he say Beth was helpless? Did he say this was the worst thing ever? No. He called out inappropriate behavior. I thought that’s what Ethics Alarms was all about.

        • “Martin was no peach (suspended from school and evidence of prior burglaries and marijuana use) but Zimmerman was no saint either. Prior arrests (for violence), multiple calls to 911, and a poor decision to leave a safe vehicle even though police would soon be on the scene.”

          Yours is a sound,reasoned response,Beth. If Martin’s priors can be used against him then Zimmerman’s are fair game also. Zimmerman’s priors for violence especially stand out. Guessing here but the scrape on the back of the head would be conducive to a sound punch in the nose that knocked him down onto the pavement,not so much with having his head repeatedly bashed onto the ground.
          How was Martin to know his life wasn’t in danger? Did Zimmerman identify who he was? If someone was following me after dark,gets out of his car and comes for me I would be alarmed. I might throw the first punch (for all that’s worth,lol.)
          As it sets,nothing was proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecution,at least that’s how I understand it. And Trayvon isn’t here to give his side of the story,unfortunately.

          • Here’s guessing you’ve never been in or seen a fight on concrete. It takes a fair amount of abrasive force OR repeated blunt trauma to open up the wounds visible on the head of Mr. Zimmerman. Not simply a “sound punch in the nose that knocked him down onto the pavement…”

            • That’s a sexist comment. Men don’t know what it’s like to be followed?

              Women automatically know what it’s like to be followed simply because they are women?

              • Not all, but, in general, women do look at someone following them differently than men do, whether they had previously been followed or not. There are different risks for men and women. There’s a different culture here.

                  • No. You don’t know what “sexist” means. Acknowledging that we live in a sexist society where women need to be afraid of men following them, is not sexist. What’s sexist is the fact that this is the society we live in.

                    • “behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex”

                      Here’s what Beth said:

                      “Exactly. Women know what it’s like to be followed — it’s terrifying.”

                      I’ve indicated that men to, being actively and intentionally followed have just as much reason for worry and serious concern for their safety, and subsequently also know what it’s like to be followed.

                      That Beth singles out women and generalizes upon all of them emotions that belong to a subset (a subset that, through experience, upbringing and situation applies, not due to the mere fact that they are women) of them IS sexist, because those emotions are not IN BORN TRAITS.

                      It IS an ATTITUDE based on the STEREOTYPE that a WOMEN ARE TERRIFIED of being followed, *because* they are WOMEN.

                      Not because of simply being actively and intentionally followed, otherwise Beth wouldn’t have singled out women. That Beth’s comment also insinuates that either A) Men Don’t know what it’s like OR B) Because women ARE women, they automatically know.

                      That IS a sexist comment.

                      Beth defended this with “Women are generally smaller then men and make easier targets — especially for sexual attacks.” And pretends that’s what she asserted declaring “It’s a FACT!”

                      Spiffy, I won’t contend against that. But that’s not what she asserted. She asserted that BECAUSE women are WOMEN, they AUTOMATICALLY know better the fear of being followed.

                    • “Here’s what Beth said:

                      “Exactly. Women know what it’s like to be followed — it’s terrifying.”
                      From that comment alone I can come up with 2 interpretations. 1.) She’s saying that fear is exclusive to women or 2.) It’s much more common for women to know what it’s like. I took it to mean the 2nd.
                      When you start slicing and dicing words you can end up making someone say something they actually didn’t. Why not just ask Beth what she meant?

                    • Tex: You’ve now written more text about what I supposedly “meant” than what I actually said. My comment is not sexist and it’s not even controversial. Yes, the vast majority of women fear getting attacked when we’re alone, or on a dark street, in a parking garage, etc. The point was not worthy of a treatise by me (because it’s common knowledge) nor a lengthy – if any – criticism by you. If you want, continue to attack me because I don’t think Zimmerman acted responsibly. Reasonable minds obviously disagree there.

                    • Beth,

                      The reason your comment does matter is because it wasn’t a stand alone comment. It was directly referencing people’s ability to empathize with what you speculate Mr. Martin’s emotions may have been. Your comment in context means that women are inherently better at understanding Mr. Martin’s (a man) *supposed* terror simply because of the fact they are women, for no other reason. That is sexist (especially in light that if your comment ISN’T Sexist, then it’s dumb. Because men would be far more apt to anticipate Mr. Martin’s *speculated* emotions because HE was a man).

                      Either it does mean what I’ve discussed or it’s a dumb comment.

                    • Beth,

                      I will continue to hound you because the very original assertion you made that I took you to task on was this:

                      “we have to conclude that Zimmerman should be charged with something”

                      That has nothing to do with the ‘reasonableness’ sidebar which you are currently pretending is the only thing you’ve been discussing.

                      Nay.

                      Since that original irrational and frankly unjust comment has yet to be repudiated by you, I can only assume you still hold it; ALL following commentary, including your commentary on ‘reasonableness’ or ‘responsibility’ being affected and clouded by that assertion.

                    • Tex: Correct. I do think he should be charged with something. If I were the prosecutor, it would NOT have been second degree murder. Most likely, it would have been manslaughter or aggravated assault – maybe even some sort of criminal negligence. I won’t back down from that. The reasonableness problem (and Zimmerman does have a BIG reasonableness problem) is related to my belief there. A jury has the right to disagree when it reviews the evidence presented, you have the right to disagree, and, in fact, I could be dead wrong. But that doesn’t make me an uninformed idiot.

                    • Beth,

                      How was Mr. Zimmerman negligent?

                      Just like the evidence and testimony doesn’t support murder, I seriously doubt the evidence and testimony can support aggravated assault.

                      Manslaughter? That might hold some ground if approached from an involuntary manslaughter angle. But again, the prosecution would have been hard pressed in light of testimony and evidence to prove that Zimmerman did not fire his weapon in Self-Defense out of reasonable fear for his life.

                      So again, your phraseology of “he should be charged with something” in the context of all else you’ve said continues to imply that “damn the evidence and testimony available, let’s try and get him on anything”.

                      You could say this and be fine: “I think the evidence shows Mr. Zimmerman was not in reasonable fear for his life, therefore his use of a firearm in self-defense was excessive, so he should be charged with Involuntary Manslaughter.” That’s a nice rational approach compared to ‘get him for something!’

                    • “How was Mr. Zimmerman negligent?”

                      He followed someone he suspected of a crime while carrying a gun, despite his neighborhood watch training that says you should do none of those things. The outcome could have been anticipated and prevented by any reasonable person. If you suspect someone of burglary, do you really think they’re above slugging you? Martin may have started the physical altercation (and this isn’t established fact, it’s the word of a man who had previously assaulted an officer and lied in court about his finances and passport), but Zimmerman still acted in a negligent manner to begin with.

                      I am glad he didn’t get convicted of murder, and I think the protesters are being ridiculous–the jury acted to the best of their ability, and the prosecution introduced the lesser charges way too late in the game–but this case isn’t as open-and-shut as you’re making it out to be,

                      Your sexism charge is just you being willfully obtuse.

                    • The words you want are “reckless” and “irresponsibly.” Negligent is a term of art, and I don’t see it here. Negligenc has nothing to do with second degree murder.

                      The prosecutors didn’t “introduce” manslaughter…they tried a hail Mary when they realized they hadn’t proven what they charged, and tried to trick the jury into defaulting to another change they hadn’t argued or proven.

                      It was open and shut, always was. No evidence, fake accusations of racism and hate, unethical charge, bad case. I can’t see why you think otherwise. He was foolish, reckless, irrational and stupid, but that still doesn’t make him racist or murderous.

                    • “It was open and shut, always was. No evidence, fake accusations of racism and hate, unethical charge, bad case. I can’t see why you think otherwise. He was foolish, reckless, irrational and stupid, but that still doesn’t make him racist or murderous.”

                      If Zimmerman did murder Trayvon he’s a very clever man. He got away with the perfect crime.

              • “Women automatically know what it’s like to be followed simply because they are women?”

                Come on. She didn’t mean it the way you make it sound. I was saying I would be scared if being stalked and she agreed that women share that feeling. Women,for the most part,are defenseless against being overpowered by men. The amount of beating,rapes and deaths attest to that.

                • Sure, if you want to explain it that way. Of course your subtle shift of terms from ‘followed’ to ‘stalked’ it interesting. I don’t know many men who wouldn’t be concerned/alarmed/worried by actually being ‘stalked’.

              • It’s not sexist — it’s factual. Women are generally smaller then men and make easier targets — especially for sexual attacks.

    • 1.People who think Zimmerman as being railroaded are what I would call “objective,” not his “supporters.” That implies approval.
      2. You don’t have to believe he was viciously attacked. The State has to prove it wasn’t self-defense and that Z was out to get the kid. And the evidence has never supported that.

          • Oh, I’m sorry. Have I offended your delicate sensibilities? DO I make you sad?

            Tough shit, princess. Grow a spine. I’m being a jerk because Beth is being – again – an ignorant, disingenuous toolbag who thinks being utterly, willfully uninformed makes up for being wrong.

            • However contemptible you find her arguments, Ablative, nothing justifies your woman-hating insults, which are unethical and reveal a lot of nasty things about your character and possibly your upbringing. You’re not just being a “jerk,” you’re being a mysoginistic bastard, and perpetuating memes that say women are to be devalued not simply for being wrong or uninformed, but for doing so while BEING WOMEN, as if that somehow adds to their sins.

              • No, I use gender-specific insults to personalize the experience. I have a list I used for guys that are as stupid as Beth, but tgt hasn’t comments in a while.

                But thanks for trying, Sparky. The “White Knights Hoping For Pity Sex” party is down the hall. Go try your drivel there.

                • That you automatically assume a man standing up against sexist slurs must be “hoping for pity sex” says everything about how deeply fucked up your mind is. Keep digging, you’re only proving yourself to be a warped mysoginist.

                  • Chris, every single comment you have posted on this thread has been standing up for Beth against perceived sexist comments. Not a single post on the content of an argument or on the original post. It’s basically the definition of white knighting, and it’s sexist as well.

                    • “Chris, every single comment you have posted on this thread has been standing up for Beth against perceived sexist comments. Not a single post on the content of an argument or on the original post. It’s basically the definition of white knighting, and it’s sexist as well.”

                      I’ve been standing up for Beth as well. What does that make me?

                  • “That you automatically assume a man standing up against sexist slurs must be “hoping for pity sex” says everything about how deeply fucked up your mind is. Keep digging, you’re only proving yourself to be a warped mysoginist.”

                    You’re a good guy,Chris! 🙂

                    • Thanks, Karla.

                      I do apologize for not sticking more to the topic of this post, but I am conflicted about a lot of the particulars. I was all on-board the “Justice for Trayvon Martin” train until it became more clear that Trayvon probably started the physical altercation, though I do still think Zimmerman acted stupidly and provoked him. I would vote not guilty were I on the jury, but I do think the prosecution should have at least brought a criminal negligence charge against Zimmerman for tailing someone with a gun.

                    • Chris — thank you for your comments. I appreciate it. Although I am now so overwhlemingly wanting to have sex with you now given your white knight defense, I am unfortunately married. 🙂

                    • I do apologize for not sticking more to the topic of this post…

                      I doubt half my comments are on the main topic of any post. Bad logic and bad behavior in support of a position is often more interesting than commenting on the obviously unethical/ethical behavior that Jack calls out/celebrates.

                    • I agree. Some of the best comment threads have been tangetial to the original post and topics. This is a colloquy, at its best. If there is something worth saying, say it, as long as it arises legitimately from the post. I delete the comments that nakedly use posts as a pretense to expound on a pet political topic (you would not believe how often this happens), but that wasn’t the case here.

                    • Karla, your reading comprehension needs some work, every comment Chris made was defending Beth, you on the other hand both defended Beth and made arguments related to the post. See the difference?

                    • Alas, Beth, now I must troll another blog and defend other helpless dames in hopes of pity sex. That’s how that works, right? 😉

                    • brian,

                      Karla, your reading comprehension needs some work, every comment Chris made was defending Beth, you on the other hand both defended Beth and made arguments related to the post. See the difference?

                      There’s a difference there, but it doesn’t support your position.

                      Chris isn’t trying to protect Beth from the mean man; he’s simply calling out an asshole’s misogyny.

                    • Seriously TGT, if you do not see Chris’ comments as in part coming to the defense of Beth it’s willful ignorance. See the nice little buddy buddy commentary they have going on now?

                    • brian,

                      I was going to make those same comments, I just came in to late. I actually did make one of those comments before I read the rest of the thread and saw it was covered already.

                      If Chris had called out racist language directed toward a black person, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

                    • Exactly, you stopped commenting after you read someone else addressing the issue, Chris on the other hand kept on defend and showing support for Beth exclusively without addressing any other argument, position, or issue. It’s classic white knighting.

                    • Exactly, you stopped commenting after you read someone else addressing the issue, Chris on the other hand kept on defend and showing support for Beth exclusively without addressing any other argument, position, or issue. It’s classic white knighting.

                      I don’t follow your logic. If Chris hadn’t made the comments, then I would have. Would that have made me a white knight? No. It would have made me a guy who calls out stupid shit.

                    • tgt, if all 6 of your comments on this thread had been solely making the same general point about sexist comments and defending the women whom they were made about then yes, it would have been white knighting.

                      But you would not have done that, as is evidenced by your comments here. You comment on all aspects of an argument you find questionable. It’s was the single focus of defending Beth from sexist remarks with no consideration for any other aspect of the 100 plus commentary that makes his behavior different from both Karla’s, yours, and others who took exception to the sexist comments. He is not white knighting simple for calling out sexist remarks.

                    • Does anyone else find it fascinating that brian is so much more offended over alleged “white knighting” than over actual misogyny? It’s so strange that he’s spent so much time criticizing me for calling out Ablative’s sexist comments, and zero time criticizing Ablative’s sexist comments themselves.

                    • “Does anyone else find it fascinating that brian is so much more offended over alleged “white knighting” than over actual misogyny? It’s so strange that he’s spent so much time criticizing me for calling out Ablative’s sexist comments, and zero time criticizing Ablative’s sexist comments themselves.”

                      yep

                    • brian,

                      I sometimes only comment about a single issue in a post. When someone repeatedly does the thing they’ve already been criticized for? Yea, that’ll happen.

                      That Chris only dealt with this issue does not mean he’s trying to usurp female power.

                      Chris,

                      I find it pretty entertaining. White knighting is a thing, but it’s normally paired with calling out the misogyny. Have the sexists started using it as a way to discredit valid criticism of them?

                    • Also, brian, I did eventually comment more specifically about the Zimmerman case, though to be fair that was after it was pointed out that I was going off-topic. I only focused on Ablative’s comments because I didn’t see anyone else pointing out the obvious sexism (more people have stepped in to do so now), and I felt that I didn’t have much else to add about the Zimmerman case that hadn’t already been said.

            • Well,at least you admitted to being a jerk.I’m not offended. Beth has had the civility to not respond in kind. You are pro-Zimmerman. That’s fine. I’m not going to shoot you down and resort to calling you ugly names over it. Grow up.

                • I’m not sure AM has ever been accused of being rational. That his general position is lined up with rationality here is evidence that blind squirrels do find nuts.

                    • I don’t see a cheap shot. I think your defense of AM as being rational is wrongheaded. Just because he’s on the right side of any given argument doesn’t mean he got there rationally.

                    • Uh, in this instance, I was calling out her false identification of AM as “Pro-Zimmerman” as though this is a personal dispute where personal loyalties *should* govern how this is approached.

                      It is not. It’s a trial. That some people are using personal loyalties to govern their opinion of the outcome of this is an error on their part.

                      Because it is a trial, it must be approached rationally. That is how AM is approaching this trial. Hence, my correction of her characterization of AM being ‘Pro-Zimmerman’, when in actuality, he is being ‘pro-rationalism’.

                    • The Pro-Zimmerman label has been forced on objective observers by the initial and continuing “Justice for Trayvon” stuff, which automatically places anyone who doesn’t think Zimmerman should be presumed guilty as anti-justice, anti-Trayvon, and pro-Zimmerman, and that stinks, frankly. Zimmerman is an ass, and got an innocent kid killed. That doesn’t make him a racist or a murderer. Some people, label them as you like, have a vested interest in making the case about race. The exact same scenario could have played out with tow white men, and there may well have been no charges, no trial, and no threats of riots.

                      Pointing this out, and resisting—sorry, but its true—“somebody has to pay” justifications of a kangaroo trial and charges illicitly brought—does not in any way make one a “Zimmerman supporter.” It’s not a game or a team sport. If reasonable doubt is the standard, the prosecution has no case for a 2nd degree murder conviction.

                    • “The Pro-Zimmerman label has been forced on objective observers by the initial and continuing “Justice for Trayvon” stuff, which automatically places anyone who doesn’t think Zimmerman should be presumed guilty as anti-justice, anti-Trayvon, and pro-Zimmerman, and that stinks, frankly. ”

                      You’re right. I didn’t think how loaded that term is. But with AM’s hysterical rantings it seemed to fit.

                    • “Because it is a trial, it must be approached rationally. That is how AM is approaching this trial. Hence, my correction of her characterization of AM being ‘Pro-Zimmerman’, when in actuality, he is being ‘pro-rationalism’.”

                      Sorry. My mistake. What with AM’s rabid tearing Beth apart,spewing foam all over I just thought he must be in love with Zimmerman.

                    • I don’t have a problem with your disagreement with “pro-Zimmerman.” My problem was solely with your comment that AM was “pro-rationalism.” To me, this looks like AM has a belief about what occurred. Base on his history, that the belief lines up with rationality seems to be mere coincidence.

                    • I don’t think for this discussion (being in the context of a trial – which must be approached rationally) you can divorce the two components of the assessment from each other. (that is the ‘pro-zimmerman’ comment is an error component, and the ‘pro-rationalism’ comment is more accurate components).

                    • That being set aside, using your own disagreements with his assertions in the past as a barometer of his rationality or irrationality is highly questionable.

                      TGT: YOU’RE IRRATIONAL!

                      AM: NO YOU’RE IRRATIONAL!

                    • Irrationality is only questionable if you’re not rational. 🙂

                      AM denies reality and ignores basic logic. That’s irrational. Hell, he thinks that making sexist comments doesn’t suggest sexism. Rationality isn’t his strong suit.

                      If we can’t determine whether AM is rational or I am rational, then we can’t determine whether the moon is made of green cheese or not. AM’s arguments are that bad.

                    • That’s still just a cheap shot.

                      AM’s aggressive nature and less-than-civil methods seem to debase his arguments. But taken for their substance, he’s pretty spot on on many topics.

                      No one person is 100% rational 100% of the time, just like no person is 100% irrational 100% of the time. We all make mistakes, even I think I might have erred once, maybe twice, in these forums.

                      But, I don’t think your blanket condemnation of AM is fair or accurate.

                    • M’s aggressive nature and less-than-civil methods seem to debase his arguments. But taken for their substance, he’s pretty spot on on many topics.

                      His conclusions are sometimes right, but not because of his logic. When his desired results and preconceived beliefs match reality, he’s good. When they don’t, he’s not.

                      No one person is 100% rational 100% of the time, just like no person is 100% irrational 100% of the time. We all make mistakes, even I think I might have erred once, maybe twice, in these forums.

                      I’m not asking for 100% rationality. But calling AM rational is like calling Comcast timely. It happens, it may even happen most of the time, but it fails to occur too frequently for it to be an appropriate label.

                      But, I don’t think your blanket condemnation of AM is fair or accurate.

                      I think he’s someone who has difficulty separating what he thinks from what is. That’s lots of people. If he wasn’t such a ass, I’d probably be considerably more forgiving.

                    • “I’m not sure AM has ever been accused of being rational. That his general position is lined up with rationality here is evidence that blind squirrels do find nuts.

                      That’s just a cheap shot.”

                      Did you call AM on his cheap shots at Beth? If so I missed it.

                    • Karla,

                      I don’t think we should lump my shots at AM with his shots at Beth.

                      My shots attacked him directly, while many of his shots linked being a female with an opinion to being a whore.

                    • “I don’t think we should lump my shots at AM with his shots at Beth.

                      My shots attacked him directly, while many of his shots linked being a female with an opinion to being a whore.”

                      Yes,of course. As I see it,AM is the only one guilty of cheap shots here.

                    • TGT,

                      That is very presumptuous of you to assume that ‘when AM is right’ it is by accident and through no rational process. Again, simply because the conclusions he reaches on many topics don’t line up with your world-view doesn’t mean he’s wrong or irrational, may mean you are wrong or irrational.

                      Karla,

                      I don’t think I’m under any obligation to call out AM’s ‘cheap shots’ (which they aren’t ‘cheap shots’; they were outright insults and had little to do with the substantive points he made juxtaposed to the insults). I am however compelled to call out TGT’s cheap shot, since the cheap shot he took was aimed directly at asserting a premise he feels undermines a point I made about this discussion.

                      His cheap shot, based on shaky assumptions of AM’s thought processes was meant to imply that he is only accidentally ‘pro-rationalism’. It was a cheap shot because it’s unfounded and simply a playground tactic of “yeah, well I disagree with this guy, so he’s wrong, nanner nanner, therefore my conclusion is right, nanner nanner”.

                      TGT couldn’t argue against the self-evident truth that rationalism does lead to the view that Zimmerman cannot be logically convicted of anything and that AM has so far pointed out every single REASON why he cannot be rationally convicted. TGT doesn’t want to accept that, so he took a cheap shot by associating AM’s points with previous disagreements with AM and blanket condemning those disagreements as simply AM’s ‘irrationality’.

                    • tex,

                      Please stop making up what you think I think.

                      That is very presumptuous of you to assume that ‘when AM is right’ it is by accident and through no rational process. Again, simply because the conclusions he reaches on many topics don’t line up with your world-view doesn’t mean he’s wrong or irrational, may mean you are wrong or irrational.

                      He’s irrational because his arguments are irrational. It’s not driven by conclusions not being the same. I pointed out a specific piece of irrationality in this thread.

                      TGT couldn’t argue against the self-evident truth that rationalism does lead to the view that Zimmerman cannot be logically convicted of anything and that AM has so far pointed out every single REASON why he cannot be rationally convicted. TGT doesn’t want to accept that, so he took a cheap shot by associating AM’s points with previous disagreements with AM and blanket condemning those disagreements as simply AM’s ‘irrationality’.

                      What? You think I got upset and lashed out? You think I want Zimmerman to be convicted of something? Stop pretending I’m some childish devil. I don’t want innocent people convicted of crimes, even idiots.

                      Your comment that AM was pro-rationalism is stupid. No matter how many aspersions you cast on my character or how many fictions you create about my thought processes, this isn’t going to change. AM’s rationality is tied to whether rationality yields his desired conclusions. For instance, when talking about Gay marriage, he’s completely off the reservation. Logic leaves him completely. It’s not that his conclusions are wrong, it’s that the logic he uses to back up his conclusions is horrific. I’m not sure how many times I can say that, but, at this point, I expect you’ll claim I just don’t like his conclusions again.

                    • TGT,

                      “Please stop making up what you think I think.”

                      Sorry, just reading your commentary.

                      I hardly asserted you wish to see Zimmerman convicted of anything. I did assert that your preconceived disregard for AM’s thought processes clouded your ability to see that he has shown point by point REASONS why there is no rational way Mr. Zimmerman can be convicted. My commentary directly addresses your disregard of his clear rationality in this, it has nothing to do with your personal opinion of the trial. In fact, based on you not chiming in pro or con, I actually assumed you have taken the rational route and seen that Mr. Zimmerman cannot be fairly convicted. When I said you didn’t want to accept that he has pointed out every REASON, I didn’t mean for it to be taken that you disagreed with the REASONS, but that you refused to accept that he has demonstrated rationality in this topic which, by the way, is the one I am specifically referring to when I say that AM’s stance is not ‘pro-Zimmerman’, but ‘pro-rationality’.

                      “For instance, when talking about Gay marriage, he’s completely off the reservation. Logic leaves him completely.”

                      Citation please. I may have missed something:

                      he made some commentary about inconsistent politicians nothing you haven’t done.

                      he answered a question, you didn’t like his answer but an answer it was (and not an irrational one, and not even about gay marriage)

                      no comments here

                      none here and that’s one of the longer ones

                      His only comment was to use a justification touted my homosexual marriage proponents in a reductio ad absurdum support of polygamy Tactics you use often, and effectively.

                      no commentary on homosexual marriage I believe he only discusses what ought and ought not to be newsworthy

                      he discusses the free market from a hyper-libertarian mindset no commentary on homosexual marriage

                      by far the longest discussion on gay marriage He chimed in twice, once to imply he doesn’t oppose gay marriage while directly stating he doesn’t like in your face tactics, the second time to light-heartedly insult you

                      he didn’t weigh in here

                      or here.

                      crickets…

                      crickets…..

                      crickets…….

                      the silence is deafening

                      should we even continue?

                      Are you certain this isn’t confirmation bias hard at work?

                      “It’s not that his conclusions are wrong, it’s that the logic he uses to back up his conclusions is horrific.”

                      From what I’ve observed, he generally questions other people’s conclusions and works backwards from there towards their premises, ultimately revealing some flaw in their reasoning. His style of constantly hammering and hammering and hammering from several angles to reveal inconsistency can be infuriating, but it isn’t irrational. I think you let his overly aggressive identification of who he considers (and regularly demonstrates) illogical to cloud your opinion.

                    • I hardly asserted you wish to see Zimmerman convicted of anything. I did assert that your preconceived disregard for AM’s thought processes clouded your ability to see that he has shown point by point REASONS why there is no rational way Mr. Zimmerman can be convicted.

                      I didn’t mean for it to be taken that you disagreed with the REASONS, but that you refused to accept that he has demonstrated rationality in this topic which, by the way, is the one I am specifically referring to when I say that AM’s stance is not ‘pro-Zimmerman’, but ‘pro-rationality’.

                      I have never claimed that AM’s commentary here wasn’t valid reasoning. My point has been that his rationality on this topic is a one-off. He’s not generally pro-rationality. I think it’s akin to a politician who’s for restrained spending when his party is out of control, but spends like a maniac when his party has control. That politician isn’t a deficit hawk, even if he’s acting like one right then. He’s not pro-balanced budget; he’s pro-self-interest.

                      Gay marriage
                      I screwed up here horribly. This was confirmation bias. I take that point completely.

                      I also will retract my general commentary on here until I get a chance to see whether I’m completely full of shit, or just partially full of shit.

                    • “I have never claimed that AM’s commentary here wasn’t valid reasoning. My point has been that his rationality on this topic is a one-off. He’s not generally pro-rationality.”

                      Here’s the comment that led me to believe you were specifically stating that he only accidentally has the right answer this time and his right answer is not based on rationalism.

                      “That his general position is lined up with rationality here is evidence that blind squirrels do find nuts.”

                      I read that as implying that his position isn’t based on rationality, only that it lines up with conclusions that would be achieved rationally. The last phrase is self-evident in its accusation that he’s accidentally found the right answer, not found the answer via a deliberate rational fashion.

                      All else after that is an expose that you don’t think he’s rational because you don’t think he has demonstrated in the past that his conclusions are reached via rational methods. This requires examples on your part. I’ve always felt, of his comments and assertions on here, that it feels like he has about an 20:80 ratio of actually asserting his own conclusions and demonstrating them to spending time questioning other people’s assertions in a manner that exposes flaws.

                      Of that 20 percent, I’m not certain that many of them were achieved irrationally. Barring a webcrawl of the past 6 months of commentary (and believe me, just do the gay-marriage one last night was tedious), I don’t think you can substantiate your claim that he is generally irrational, which is why I called it a cheap shot. But I don’t think I can substantiate my claim that he is generally more rational that not, because I don’t want to engage in the same web-crawl again. However, my assertions of rationalism here were specifically in the instance of this topic of discussion.

                      Of the 80 percent, his aggressive hammering, hammering, hammering method of forcing people to answer questions that expose flaws in their reasoning, it is easy to miss the rationality there because of the vitriol and name calling. But peel those layers away and it is apparent.

                      That being said. I stand by my original commentary to Karla: Believing that Mr. Zimmerman cannot be fairly convicted in this trial is not being “pro-Zimmerman”, it is being “pro-rationalism”. In this instance, AM has given point by point reasons why he cannot be fairly convicted…that IS rational.

                      When Karla asserts that a person who knows there cannot be a fair conviction is simply being “pro-Zimmerman” she is falsely attributing to the person with that view the notion that they have elevated non-legal, non-rational considerations to greater importance than legal/rational ones. It is an inaccurate assertion given AM’s clear demonstration of rationalism in this topic.

                      Just to say rational one more time: rational.

            • Well, AM doesn’t offend me because he’s just a jerk who uses expletives and slurs to cover up his own biases and holes in his arguments. But, his overuse of foul language and slurs is inappropriate for an ethics blog. I’m sure he’s turned off readers and possibly could damage your professional reputation. Sincerely — the shrew/harpy/cow/fucking moron

              • And your fecklessness moreso.

                Every “fact” you have tried to use has either been a) opinion or b) wrong.

                If you would try to not be so godsdamned stupid, I would probably tone it down.

                Sadly, you have yet to do anything that even remotely suggests that you are capable of even the tiniest amount of research on the topic you are speaking of. You have literally been wrong about every single thing you have said here except perhaps two points – that Zimmerman should be acquitted of Murder 2, and that it would be POSSIBLE for the state to convict on Manslaughter, and even on that second point you’re wrong because the State can not – in fact has not in any way shape or form – failed to disprove the elements of Self Defense.

              • Beth—I was lucky enough to be absent when most of the invective was flying around. The line I would like to draw is between pure namecalling, which will get a comment banned here, and invective linked to substantive argument, which I tend to tolerate up to a point. I think the use of incivility undermines the effectiveness of arguments, generally, but that stylistic use of vulgarity cane be tolerable. A-M overshoots the line sometimes, but he has build up some tolerance points with a lot of well-reasoned and substantive posts. I’ll take your note, and I’m thinking about it.

  11. Pingback: Some Thoughts On The George Zimmerman Trial | Alas, a Blog

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