Sunday Open Thread

Health care arguments in the Supreme Court, Trayvon Martin, and the Toulouse killings are still dominating the news. Dominique Strauss-Kahn's motion to dismiss the civil case brought by Nafissatou Diallo will be heard Wednesday. The hearing won't address the underlying allegations, only issues of diplomatic immunity.

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    I like Atlanta (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 08:34:50 AM EST
    I could easily live here.  Some parts of the South talk in low voices about how one day the South will rise again, and Atlanta got bored with all of them and just rose.

    People here are in general much happier and uplifted than where we live.

    If you like Atlanta then you'd love Nashville (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Slado on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 12:20:47 PM EST
    Easily the best city in the South IMHO.

    It has all the culture of Atlanta, fewer people in the metropolitan area, less traffic and the music industry.

    Many Nashvillians claim that Nashville is Atlanta before it got too big.

    It has the same natural beauty of Atlanta with rolling hills etc...

    Highly recommend it.


    Atlanta (none / 0) (#81)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 02:07:48 PM EST
    has a music industry too albeit a different kind and not as big.

    Some parts of Nashville are nice but for the most part no thanks. I like the Vanderbilt area. It is simply beautiful but the rest of it with the tacky country music souvenirs and places like Twitty City i could care less about and are really a net negative.


    There's a reason (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 02:14:12 PM EST
    we used to be called the "Empire State of the South" or some such.

    When the people came in with money, Atlanta said welcome to the south when the rest of the south was saying we'd rather starve than take money from yankees and starve they did.


    I Used to Go There... (none / 0) (#49)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:01:18 AM EST
    ...semi-regularly for work and loved it, it's like some odd chunk of the south that broke off and became liberated and dignified.

    Plus it has a fantastic nightlife.


    I'll stick to my mountains (none / 0) (#59)
    by the capstan on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 10:36:23 AM EST
    (where many or most of the natives did not 'rise' in the first place).  And if you live in Hotlanta and visit us, try to either negotiate our roads at something faster than a crawl, or else pull off the road, please.

    Throw us out-of-towners... (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 11:14:40 AM EST
    a frickin' bone and think of things to name a street besides "Peachtree"! ;)

    It's all in the (none / 0) (#67)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 11:39:08 AM EST
    suffix...coming from someone that worked in Peachtree Corners and lived on Peachtree Circle.

    Baa waa waa (none / 0) (#82)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 02:09:42 PM EST
    that's the biggest joke around here? How many streets have the name Peachtree in it? I know it's a lot but I forgot the exact number.

    I like driving in Atlanta (none / 0) (#70)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 11:52:45 AM EST
    Driving in Enterprise makes me crazy because of what I call NASCAR mentality.  Many times when I'm trying to pass someone they speed up.  It is as if everyone can't stop focusing on everything that everyone else is doing.  Here, everyone drives to get to where they are going, not to attempt to control others.

    Haha (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 02:17:54 PM EST
    I know what you're talking about with the NASCAR thing. There's something weird about that in a lot of towns in the south.

    The worst town for drivers that I have ever lived in was Greenville SC. They were just horrible. Still are horrible every time we go there.


    When I was a resident (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 02:22:57 PM EST
    I-285 had 3 lanes (no idea how many now). The posted speed limit then was 55, but it was well known I-285 had three actual speed expectations,  70-80-90 and pick your lane accordingly.

    You might be interested in the travels of one Pascual Perez of the Atlanta Braves who was famously nicknamed I-285 after traveling around the city for hours on I-285 in search of the stadium after being told you can't miss it. If I remember correctly he arrived in the 4th inning.


    I believe (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 02:30:38 PM EST
    285 has six lanes in each direction now. And it's still packed.

    I did the 285 loop one time when I missed my exit. My husband still laughs about me doing that.


    Although many (none / 0) (#91)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 02:46:15 PM EST
    would never admit to it, I believe making the loop has always been a rite of passage for new residents. I once took the wrong entrance ramp trying to go from the Big Chicken to Norcross on what became my Pascual Perez scenic route.

    Oh, the big chicken. (none / 0) (#93)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 03:02:17 PM EST
    A Marietta or is it actually in Smyrna landmark? I don't know if you know this but KFC actually wanted to remodel that location and modernize the appearance and there was a whole movement to "save the big chicken" and so the last time I went by there probably last year the big chicken is still there.

    I would do it (none / 0) (#101)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 09:54:48 AM EST
    We spent so much time in San Antonio I did the loop there just to understand the area better, get better bearings.

    I'm worried (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by kmblue on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 08:47:36 AM EST
    about the Supreme Court health care arguments and will be following them closely.  I don't like Obamacare because it doesn't prevent insurance companies forced to accept patients with preexisting conditions from charging astronomical premiums (like mine).  The thought frightens me, but I may have to "go bare" meaning having no health insurance.  I can't afford 920. a month in premiums.

    I'm with you but for different reasons (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Slado on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 12:24:29 PM EST
    The government shouldn't gain unlimited power through he commerce clause.

    If it does then it can compel us to purchase anything for the good of society.

    However I find the whole mechanisms of reform troubling as you do.  If the Obama administration wanted to take over health care then they should have done so.  Universal care with the freedom for Americans to purchase extra care through a private and separate system.  See England.

    Instead they tried to fix a broken system by leaving 95% of it in place and now we just will have a mess.


    I'm trying to monitor it too (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 12:38:30 PM EST
    Josh is having an MRI today while being sedated so he's not in the room at this time and won't be back for another hour probably.  Armando has a lot of writing about it today at Orange.  Not that I understand all the technical stuff at this point.  But it is there for future research if needed if we all must become experts on this.  I hope we can avoid that.

    Zimmerman's attorney says ... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Yman on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 03:02:30 PM EST
    ... Zimmerman called Martin a "f#cking goon" (as opposed to a "c00n"), which is a "term of endearment".


    Don't you like the breathless reporting (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by observed on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 03:27:52 PM EST
    of the fact that Zimmerman is hispanic?
    Apparently this means he probably can't dislike black people.
    Yep, that's been my observation!  bonk

    Actually (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 03:39:52 PM EST
    I keep hearing aboute race relations and it keeos getting reported that this was white on black crime. It wasn't.

    It's not being reported as ... (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 06:53:31 PM EST
    ... "white on black." Rather, it's a pretty clear case of vigilantism, racial profiling and racial bias, which it is. The only ones who've been so eager to call attention to Zimmerman's half-Hispanic ethnicity have been his white father and other white people. Why they think that's important, I don't know.

    Actually (none / 0) (#40)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 07:20:49 AM EST
    Even the New York Times, in a departure from their own policies, has referred to Mr. Zimmerman as a "white Hispanic". (Do they usually refer to Barack Obama as "half-white"?  No, they do not).

    Part of the problem, I think, is that in some cases Hispanics are only referred to as "Hispanic", while in things like the federal crime databases, whites and Hispanics are lumped together as "white" (so are those calling themselves "Arabic" too, I believe) which actually overstates the rates of "white on black" crime.  That was my point.

    I don't care if Zimmerman is white, Hispanic or green with polka dots, but the narrative being played out is that he is a white man who shot a black kid and the "white establishment" isn't doing anything about it.


    So you are saying (none / 0) (#44)
    by sj on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 08:31:14 AM EST
    then, that Hispanics are not white?  Whites and Hispanics are  "lumped together"?  Really?  You're going to go there?  Show me a racial designation of "Hispanic".  Maybe it will clear up some of my own still lingering confusion.

    Ethnicity is not race.


    I'm saying (none / 0) (#55)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:56:23 AM EST
    They are lumped together in the media when it fits a certain narrative and not lumped together when it fits a different one.  Again, see Barack Obama.  Why is he classified as the "first black president"?  He's just as much white as he is black.

    Maybe Zimmerman is a racist - I don't know and neither do you.  Maybe he's just a deluded paranoid. But the narrative that's being spun is amazing as part of an epidemic of white on black crime, when in reality, black males are many, many more times likely to die at the hanf of another black male.

    Maybe we could just focus on this particular story instead of telling it through a systematic prism.


    You must be white (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by sj on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 10:03:12 AM EST
    To have written that whole first paragraph.  

    I suppose I could be wrong, but if you're not white-white then you are even more confused than me.  


    The "narrative" (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by vicndabx on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 11:06:29 AM EST
    is not about the "epidemic of white on black crime."  Rather, it's about the short shrift crimes perpetuated against blacks get - and the assumptions apparent during the process.

    Shall we identify a group or issue you feel is often negatively impacted by a process and/or group of people and then discard the "systemic prism" you feel may be apparent?  Why talk about your issue at all if it does not seem....systemic?


    I don't think it takes a (none / 0) (#61)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 10:43:17 AM EST
    rocket scientist to understand that even if we didn't know Martin's or Zimmerman's race or ethnicity, we'd be able to conclude that this entire case has been badly, and maybe irretrievably, bungled.  From the questionable decision of George Zimmerman taking a weapon out on patrol, to his defiance of instructions from the 911 operator not to pursue an allegedly suspicious individual, to his decision to get out of his car and continue the pursuit on foot, to the police department's failures to observe any kind of standard protocol where a shooting results in death or injury - it was only a matter of time before George Zimmerman was going to visit tragedy upon someone, and the actions and inactions of the Sanford PD were going to improve the chances that he could get away with it.

    And yes, I am putting the burden for bad decisions on Zimmerman and the Sanford PD, because all Trayvon Martin was doing was walking back to his father's condo.  Based on what he allegedly relayed in that last cell phone call, he was the one in fear of the suspicious activity of what turned out to be George Zimmerman.  

    Now, we can add in all the racial and ethnic elements, but that won't change the result, it just adds a layer or five of ugliness.  I think there is a belief that referring to Zimmerman as "Hispanic" paints a picture in people's minds that there could not possibly have been any prejudice involved because "Hispanic" = "Brown," and we're not supposed to care when the brown people go after each other - only when they get one of us.

    And, of course, no one in the media is bothering to educate the masses about the differences between race and ethnicity - I guess that's too complicated.  

    As for why Obama is referred to as "black," it has a lot to do with how he identifies himself.  I shudder to think how Obama, who has had enough trouble "proving" that he is a Christian and an American citizen, would fare if he referred to himself as a white man.  Heads would explode.


    Just so (none / 0) (#76)
    by sj on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 12:26:25 PM EST
    I think there is a belief that referring to Zimmerman as "Hispanic" paints a picture in people's minds that there could not possibly have been any prejudice involved because "Hispanic" = "Brown," ...
    Thank you.  Moreover, by describing him as "white Hispanic" (which, like jbindc, I have seen) they are able to cast him in that brown light and keep "white" still somewhat ... white.

    It does get complicated (none / 0) (#78)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 01:55:01 PM EST
    From the first I heard about it, the local TV and newspaper headlined it 'white neighborhood watch captain kills black teen'. If the Zimmermans of George's generation do not self identify as 'white' they are right to set the record straight, aside from any ethnic relations point they are trying to make.

    No, as near as I can determine, this was (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by Anne on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 07:21:41 PM EST
    the result of a man who desperately wanted to be a member of law enforcement, but who got turned down because of his run-ins with the law, and who seemed to be hell-bent on becoming such a crime-fighter/solver, and so indispensible, that he could overcome the barriers to wearing that badge.

    I don't care if his heart was in the right place, or that he cried when he realized what he'd done; there just isn't any reason why he shouldn't have been taken into custody, blood and alcohol and gunshot residue screens done, photos taken, a formal statement taken, and so on.

    You know - in accordance with procedure when a shooting by one citizen results in the death of another.

    It stretches credulity beyond reasonable limits to believe that if this had been a white kid shot and killed by a black man, the full force of the law and all normal procedure would not have been brought to bear.


    Ah i see (none / 0) (#10)
    by observed on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 03:44:34 PM EST
    Well, I'm just reading some stories online from several thousand miles away.

    Actually depends on how you look at it (none / 0) (#38)
    by sj on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 12:58:49 AM EST
    It was a matter of some confusion for me as a kid.  My Spanish heritage gave me the ethnicity of "Hispanic" (or "chicano" on some forms) but a race of "White".  Not that it mattered much to some white kids who still considered me not-white.

    I identify as brown but MANY of my relatives and Hispanic friends identify as white.

    I think I view it as white on black crime.


    On the Census... (none / 0) (#51)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:22:53 AM EST
    ...I am a non-Hispanic white man.  So you would be a Hispanic white woman ?  Right ?

    Ditto for Jews, although they are not a race, there is clearly traits that are associated with the religion ?  Certainly some folks consider them their own race, but I think just the ones that don't like them.

    It's all so confusing and really who cares.

    No one is portraying this, or rather the press isn't pushing the white/black line.  Not sure what JB is watching or reading, but I have yet to see it portrayed as white on black.

    It's silly, he's got just enough, at least in the one demented photo they keep showing, spanish blood to keep this from going there.  Because it would seem that if a non-Hispanic white man had shot the kid, it would be more outrageous then a Hispanic shooting them because... I guess because the white ahole racist hate brown and blacks equally ?  Not really sure why.


    According to every Jewish (none / 0) (#84)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 02:14:59 PM EST
    friend I have when the subject has come up, Judaism is a religion but Jewishness is an ethnicity.  They emphatically reject the idea that they are Russian Jews or French Jews or Iranian Jews.  They consider themselves Jews whose families lived in those areas.

    So They Can Weed Out the Converts ? (none / 0) (#90)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 02:41:52 PM EST
    Ethnicity based on religion, funny, and true.

    as an ethnic (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by CST on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 02:57:26 PM EST
    but never-religious jew, it gets even more confusing.

    No I am not Jewish, and never was, but when my sister was pregnant and talking to her doctor, and she's sitting there in her Muslim headscarf and they asked her if she's an eastern european jew - the answer was yes.

    When it comes to things like hereditary diseases, among other things, ethnicity based on religion is a very real thing.


    And he just couldn't stop crying...boohooohoo. (none / 0) (#2)
    by Angel on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 03:09:35 PM EST
    I don't believe a word of it.

    I don't know about the crying, ... (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by Yman on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 04:24:08 PM EST
    ... or about whether he called him a "f#cking c00n" or "f#cking goon", but clearly he was not using it as a "term of endearment", as his lawyer is now arguing.  IMO, you do your client a disservice when you make public statements that can't pass the laugh test ... makes it hard for people to believe any other points you are trying to make.

    It's pretty clear what Zimmerman said. (none / 0) (#18)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 07:07:36 PM EST
    Oh, and according to the link provided, Craig Sonner is not George Zimmermans attorney. He's apparently a friend who happens to be an attorney. With friends like these ...

    Seriously, Zimmerman needs to hire a criminal defense attorney -- yesterday. The world is about to crash down on top of him, and he needs legal representation. His friends in the Sanford Police Dept., who let him walk away that night with the weapon used in the shooting, are going to be looking to save their own skins, and they'll throw him to the wolves to do so.


    According to other articles (none / 0) (#22)
    by Yman on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 07:58:32 PM EST
    ... Sonner is not only his friend, but is acting as his attorney.  But, yeah, ...

    ... with friends like these ...


    Well, his friend shouldn't be his attorney. (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 12:25:50 AM EST
    George Zimmerman is not being well-served by his friend here. He needs someone who:
    • Doesn't necessarily have a dog in the hunt personally, and can thus think dispassionately;
    • Is fully aware of the dire seriousness of his or her client's present legal predicament;
    • Holds absolutely no illusions about the nature of the very public accusations being directed at his or her client by the media, increasing numbers of public officials, and members of the general public at large in this particular case, and won't shy away from confronting them;
    • Can speak frankly with his or her client without fear of hurting his feelings or jeopardizing their friendship; and
    • Won't allow his or her professional judgment to be clouded or compromised by mutual experiences and personal relationships.

    I agree (none / 0) (#43)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 07:43:27 AM EST
    Although, as someone who has represented friends in the past, I think a lot of it comes down to how close they are.  If it's a very close friend, I would probably suggest someone else.  If it's more of an acquaintance or the guy you know from T-ball/your child's school, I don't think it's a big a problem.  I think it's more important to have someone with a lot of criminal/defense experience, which most lawyers do not have.

    And Most Importanly... (none / 0) (#54)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:52:34 AM EST
    ...realizes that there is no GD good reason to be out 'promoting' his friend/client.

    This is only going to work against him IMO, a friend isn't going to change minds.  He needs a black attorney, someone the public can view as independent.  A friend, even an attorney friend, is only making it worse.

    For example, 46 911 calls over 8 years, that is like 6 a year, one every other month.  That seems fairly normal for a neighborhood 'watch captain'.

    I'm not defending Zimmerman, but the press has gone bonkers, if some of the non-sense getting reported can be dispelled, it should be.  Like did one call a year involve a black man/kid, or did they all, if not, he should out saying Zimmerman only called on black people 10% of the time while the make-up of this city is 15% black.  I just made those stats up, but surely the attorney needs to get the race aspect out of this case ASAP.

    The thing I can't get past is why he left his car and why he was armed.  If Florida has a 'Stand Your Ground Law' why does Zimmerman get to intrude on Travon's ground and then shoot him, to me as I understand the law, Trevon was in the right had he attacked Zimmerman.  IOW even if Zimmerman story is 100% accurate,the SYG law would put him clearly in the wrong.


    "Black friend defends Zimmerman". (none / 0) (#3)
    by observed on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 03:09:53 PM EST
    Heck, and some of my best friends are [fill in the blank your least favorite ethnic/religious group].

    Can our national discourse get any lower?
    What next.. if you prick Zimmerman, he bleeds?
    Now THAT would be a better defense than any I've read yet.

    Which reminds me, I didn't get much response to a question posed in a thread a couple days back:

    1. What are the limits of free speech in regards to attempted vigilantism. Can a citizen accost a stranger and ask him business?  I would think that repeated interrogations would constitute some form of harassment.

    2. What about stalking in the name of vigilantism?
    Zimmerman was apparently stalking Martin, with no authorization. Could this constitute a crime?
    And pursuant to this question, wouldn't Martin have the first right of self-defense? If so, wouldn't Zimmerman's self-defense claim be invalid?

    i'm not an expert (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jbindc on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 03:36:32 PM EST
    But in your first question, you are talking about 2 different rhings. Barring any sort of of prior injunction or actual threat I would imagine, any private citizen can say just about anything they want to anyone else.  I can stand on the street corner and say "Come here now!"  Of course, ypu are not under any obligation to do so, but I can still say it.  Repeated talking of course would become some sort of harrassment, and if repeated over time, coyld result in some sort of restrainng order.  If I followed you down the block and keot talking to you, a police officer could step in and would probably warn me and detain me momentarily while you went on your way.

    I don't belueve you can argue that Zimmerman "stalked " Martin, as stalkinf has a specufic deginition


    Oops - hit reply too soon (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 03:38:07 PM EST
    Stalking involves reapted acts over time, so I don't think you can say Zimmerman stalked Martin.

    But he stalked him with a gun in his hand. (none / 0) (#12)
    by Angel on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 04:07:14 PM EST
    I can't chase someone down the street with a weapon on my person without there being some sort of crime committed, surely.

    "Stalking" refers to (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Peter G on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 04:19:21 PM EST
    a particular offense that has its own definition, as jbindc correctly stated. Following someone on a particular, single occasion may rise to the level of a sort of criminal harassment or threatening, but it isn't what is defined as "stalking."

    What I was after, yeah. Wanted to know what the (none / 0) (#15)
    by Angel on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 04:27:10 PM EST
    crime would be. Used stalking generically, not in the legal sense.  

    Who said he had a gun in his hand (1.00 / 0) (#42)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 07:42:14 AM EST
    Who said he had a gun in his hand when approaching Martin?

    Okay. Let's clarify. (5.00 / 0) (#94)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 05:26:04 PM EST
    When George Zimerman ignored the 9-1-1 dispatcher's directive to cease following Trayvon Martin and disembarked from his truck, he did so with a Kel-Tek 9mm semi-automatic pistol in his possession, while his quarry was unarmed.

    There. Is that better?


    Zimmerman meets that definition (none / 0) (#16)
    by waldenpond on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 06:45:40 PM EST
    It can be argued Zimmerman 'stalked' as he repeatedly harassed individuals in his neighborhood.  There were calls to the police complaining about his behavior.

    Zimmerman seemed to be a useful idiot for the police.  They liked him as he would approach inappropriately and question in ways they could not get away with.


    But I think "stalking" (none / 0) (#41)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 07:21:58 AM EST
    Has to be against a specific person repeatedly - not that he followed several random people on a one time basis.  I could be wrong, but that's how the legal definition seems to read.

    Same evening multiple events (none / 0) (#69)
    by waldenpond on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 11:50:31 AM EST
    It will be up to a jury whether his behavior is stalking of course.  If someone harasses a person on occasions 1 year apart, that isn't stalking.  If someone harasses someone 1 hour apart, that is stalking.

    Prosecutors can argue that following someone in a car is one event.  Calling the police to get them to harass someone who has done nothing to ramp things up, is close enough in time it would likely be considered the same event.  Getting out of your car after police have instructed you to not follow is a 'significant event' and could be argued to be a second incident.

    There are complaints against Zimmerman.  If they came from one person, that is stalking and prosecutors could demonstrate a history.


    The transcript I read (none / 0) (#79)
    by NYShooter on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 01:55:52 PM EST
    said that when Zimmerman told the dispatcher he was going to follow Travor, The dispatcher replied, "you don't have to."

    That doesn't sound like a direct order.

    "...after police have instructed you to not follow..."

    There are so many conflicting stories, I just pray this gets to a jury so that it's adjudicated properly and the truth is finally revealed.

    One thing I know I'm ready to pronounce a guilty verdict on....the insane, license to kill, "Stand Your Ground," Law.


    "OK, we don't need you to do that" (none / 0) (#86)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 02:20:14 PM EST
    is what the dispatcher said at one point.  No, not a direct order, but I don't think the dispatcher had the authority to give him a direct order.  The point is only that he wasn't going after Martin with any semblance of official police authorization but instead directly against advice.

    "Okay, we don't need you to do that," (none / 0) (#88)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 02:26:23 PM EST
    is what I have seen in multiple transcriptions of the 911 tape.

    Here is a link to one of them.


    ok, thanks. (none / 0) (#8)
    by observed on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 03:39:24 PM EST
    I understand your point about stalking.

    Okay, I'll play. (none / 0) (#19)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 07:09:05 PM EST
    Some of my best friends are Republican.

    MT (none / 0) (#5)
    by CoralGables on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 03:32:54 PM EST
    Here's another LeBron James story for you from an Oklahoma paper.

    LeBron James at Will Rogers Airport

    I managed to make the link to page 2 (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by CoralGables on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 03:46:21 PM EST
    Terrific introduction and overview (none / 0) (#21)
    by Peter G on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 07:48:30 PM EST
    for this week's upcoming oral arguments before the Supreme Court on the challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act by Lyle Denniston (a journalist, not a lawyer) over at SCOTUSBlog. Clear and fair.  Makes the case that these proceedings are truly historic in their likely impact on constitutional law.  Just brilliant.

    Meh (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 09:12:37 PM EST
    Balkinization utterly superior.

    Plus my stuff will be the  best.


    Is there bracketology for this? (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 10:11:35 PM EST
    Balkin and friends (none / 0) (#28)
    by Peter G on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 09:30:21 PM EST
    are writing for a legally trained audience, and they are advocating a position.  Denniston is introducing the issues to an intelligent, interested, but non-specialized audience, and not advocating for one side or the other.  I thought that would be of interest to a lost of TL readers who are not familiar with reading about Constitutional law at the Balkinization level.

    At "lot" of TL readers, that is (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Peter G on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 09:34:51 PM EST
    not "a lost of TL readers ...."

    I was snarking (none / 0) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 09:36:39 PM EST
    Check my last line.

    I didn't take your last line as snark (none / 0) (#32)
    by Peter G on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 09:50:31 PM EST
    I took it as a promise, and a fairly reliable one.  To my knowledge, Lyle Denniston is a prominent (semi-retired) journalist, but not a lawyer or law-school graduate.

    Weird (none / 0) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 01:09:23 AM EST
    Who am I thinking of then?

    BTW (none / 0) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 09:37:28 PM EST
    Denniston is a lawyer a pretty prominent one.

    He flatly denies it (none / 0) (#33)
    by Peter G on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 09:58:36 PM EST
    Surprising there is no mention of either (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 08:01:47 PM EST
    the Commerce Clause or "Necessary and Proper."

    Not in those terms, but ... (none / 0) (#25)
    by Peter G on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 08:36:41 PM EST
    the analysis most certainly does address those issues.  What Denniston says on the subject of the "Necessary & Proper" and "Commerce Clause" issues (without using those words) is this:  "Without exaggeration, the final ruling has the potential to be the most important declaration on how the Constitution divides up power between national and state governments since the New Deal days some three quarters of a century ago.  Without exaggeration, it could be the most important pronouncement on the federal "safety net" since the Social Security Act was upheld by the Court in 1937.  Without exaggeration, a decision to strike down all or part of the new health law could be the most severe rebuff of Congress's power over the national economy since the Sick Chicken Case in 1935.  ...
         "[In Tuesday's arguments concerning the validity of the individual mandate,] the biggest parade of history will march across the courtroom.
         "The federal government gets to open the argument that day, and its top Supreme Court advocate will seek to persuade the Court that history is on the government's side, that health care is in a crisis of national proportions, that Congress must have the authority to rise to such occasions, and that this controversy calls for judicial modesty.   For almost as long as there has been constitutional history, that attorney seems sure to argue, economic crises too big for the states to handle have been left to Congress.  If Congress was constitutionally disabled from enacting this law, it will have had to surrender core constitutional power, the Court may be told.
         "And then two lawyers for the challengers will take turns arguing that this case does not involve just another episode of familiar history, but rather that this is constitutional history starting over.  Congress, they will say, has never dared to so manage Americans' private lives as it now has attempted, without precedent and without even a hint of authority from the Constitution.  If Congress can do this, there is no invasion of private choice that will not be constitutionally tolerable, the Justices almost certainly will be told."

    The bots are winning (none / 0) (#23)
    by Edger on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 08:00:10 PM EST
    Craig Buckler at the online media company and information provider targeting Web Developers and Designers reports on a study done by the website security company Incapsula that finally the bots have broken through the digital ceiling...

    Web Bots vs Humans: We're Losing

    51% of all web site traffic is non-human. If you're reading this, you're in the minority. Unless you're a machine (check your ports -- if they're warm and moist, you're probably OK).

    And you thought politicians and talking heads were a problem?

    If we assume Incapsula report is over-estimated by a factor of 300%, malicious activity will still account for one in ten website requests. That's equivalent to the average number of all IE6, IE7, Firefox 3.x and Opera users combined. Nasty.

    Ooooohhh, baby... how are the wingnut evangelists going to deal with this? ;-)

    Stuff I didnt know: (none / 0) (#26)
    by brodie on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 09:05:11 PM EST
    Atty Gloria Allred is the mother of longtime tv legal analyst, the lovely feisty Lisa Bloom.

    Further, Allred admits to being 70 yo (looks no more than 50).  Her daughter Bloom stipulates to being 50 (could pass for 30).

    Impressive appearance by the pair on Peers Morgan Tonight, including Allred presenting Peers with a subpoena to testify under oath as to the matter of how many times he's been properly in love.  Ha!

    Replay at 9 pm Pacific.

    Please take your Allred fawning elsewhere. (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 10:13:48 PM EST
    This is an anti-Allred fawning blog.  

    Ms. Allred coldcocked Meg Whitman ... (none / 0) (#37)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 12:34:57 AM EST
    ... in the 2010 CA gubernatorial race with that housekeeper the Whitmans fired. She put Whitman in a political tailspin, and helped clear the way for a sober ans experienced Jerry Brown to become governor again at a most critical juncture in tCalifornia history.

    That makes her A-OK in my book.


    Good point. And who knows, (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by brodie on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 08:56:31 AM EST
    but for Allred and the housekeeper, we might not only have Whitman as gov, but probably Whitman as the clear favorite for Romney's VP.

    Saw Gloria at my school energetically supporting women's choice in a debate against some hardline cons about thirty years ago.  She's been out there fighting the good fight for quite a while, and she seems effective at getting the Right mad, as with one or two cranky posters here.

    It also looks like she was a good single parent judging by the way Lisa Bloom turned out and their obviously close relationship, a situation which must be doubly frustrating for her wingnut detractors.


    I think the cases she takes... (none / 0) (#52)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:34:57 AM EST
    to pay the bills detract from the good work and sully the image...Tiger Woods anyone?

    Was a big anti-pron crusader too if I'm not mistaken...anti-free speech.

    And that Rush thing was a classic case of ends not justifying the means...unsavory legal tactics.

    Point taken though that she is much more than just a civil rights law version of an ambulance chaser.



    Oh Donald (none / 0) (#45)
    by kmblue on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 08:34:42 AM EST
    Gloria is so shrill and stuff.  She should know her place. ;)

    Emphasis on the "and stuff," right? :-D (none / 0) (#96)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 06:51:55 PM EST
    Yeah, I have to admit that ol' Gloria loves to drag her fingernails slowly across a chalkboard. But when you're speaking up for those who'd otherwise have no voice, you often have to be obnoxious to gain our full attention. Nice and quiet people tend not to accomplish all that much.

    I was snarking (none / 0) (#100)
    by kmblue on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 05:59:40 AM EST
    Donald.  Like you, I'm fond of Gloria because she is a voice for the voiceless.

    Just in case anyone forgot (none / 0) (#50)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:09:43 AM EST
    "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
    -- Barack Obama, March 26, 2012

    The Great War on Reason and Intelligence rolls onward - or Moves Forward, or something... having had a democratic heart transplant.

    Is he really unaware... (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Dadler on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 09:44:44 AM EST
    ...that this fear has been internalized subconsciously by successive generations of Americans since the the middle of the last century?

    IOW, tell us something we don't know and just do your phucking job!

    Trust me, every modern human being, in the deepest recesses of their minds, carries that fear of nuclear annihilation.  And it affects us, physically and emotionally, like other subconscious fears and anxieties, in any number of unpleasant ways that we are unable to fully accept yet as people.


    Because every now and then - possibly (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 10:21:06 AM EST
    just in advance of some new incursion on people's rights, or an escalation of military involvement, or when the masses begin to push back against, and ask questions and express their fears of those in power - it helps to remind the masses that what we really need to fear is not the powerful, but the evil terrorists who hate us for our freedoms.  And that has evolved to "evil terrorists with nuclear weapons."  We've gone from the fear-of-planes-into-buildings to fear-of-nuclear-annihilation.

    I wonder what they will do when we are all but out of freedoms?  And what's worse than nuclear annhilation?  Galactic annihilation?


    Frijoles y Queso burritos annhiliation... (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Dadler on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 11:42:28 AM EST
    ...would be much worse.  I mean, without the staple of my diet, sheesh, how could I go on?

    In a hundred or so years, aliens will be our next fear, all those new planets they discover every day...just more fodder for the fear factory. Ahem.



    No problemo. (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 11:52:55 AM EST
    The universe is full of DFH's apparently... ;-)

    Ha! (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Dadler on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 02:05:28 PM EST
    What, is he... (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by desertswine on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 10:36:04 AM EST
    channeling Condoleeza Rice?

    The guy's amazing, isn't he? (none / 0) (#60)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 10:41:44 AM EST
    Blows me away! ;-)

    A couple differences stand out to me (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Farmboy on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 12:13:39 PM EST
    between what Obama said and the Rice quote you attribute to him.

    1. Rice was talking about Iraq, and implying that Saddam possessed nuclear capabilities - something that she knew to be false at the time. Obama is talking about North Korea which has publicly demonstrated their nuclear weapons capability.

    B. "But we're under no illusions. We know that nuclear material -- enough for many weapons -- is still being stored without adequate protection," is what he actually said, not what you quoted. This differs from what Rice said because, well, it has the virtue of being true.

    So, would you mind terribly explaining how making a factual statement equates to Obama waging war on Reason and Intelligence? Thanks.


    Sure. (none / 0) (#74)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 12:20:56 PM EST
    It's one of those "if it has to be explained" things that people who ask for it to be explained will never get, you know.

    You're welcome.


    But nuclear terrorism is a threat. (1.50 / 2) (#95)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 06:37:31 PM EST
    I don't worry about it on a daily basis, and I happen to think that the case against Iran is wildly overstated, particularly when we're not saying all that much about the mess that's next door in the nuclear state called Pakistan. But that doesn't mean that we should discount the threat of loose nukes on the world community.

    Honestly, Edger, while I don't believe for one nanosecond all the claptrap about our country being the "shining city on the hill" and the "last best hope for mankind," we're not ALWAYS the bad guys, you know. Far from it.

    Yes, I freely admit that we often only come about the right thing after we exhaust all other possibilities. But you appear to take an unseemly delight in the concept that Americans are perpetually bad actors who are almost wholly incapable of doing good. The fact that you direct your sniper fire at American politicians from your safe haven in Vancouver, B.C. tends to render it all the more annoying to me.

    I may not be the brightest guy in the world, but I think that I'm a pretty astute historian. I also happen to live in the only state in the country that was a sovereign nation fully recognized by the greater world community, and whose independence was fully extinguished by the United States in August 1898 against the expressed will of its own citizens.

    Therefore, I'm under no illusions about the terrible things my country has done in the past, and the malevolence that we're capable of projecting when led by people whose interests are less than altruistic.

    Further, most of us here are fully aware of the detrimental influence and corrosive effect that the U.S. military-industrial complex has had on American policy-making. There are a lot of us who work tirelessly to confront it, and who are actively committed to bring about better policy. We don't need Canadians to constantly remind us how awful we can be.

    You really want to make a difference? Why don't you start thinking globally but acting locally, as in north of the border where you live. There's plenty of work you can do to highlight the Harper government's synergetic energy policy, and to change the way things work in Ottawa so that Canadian corporate interests don't always align so neatly with U.S. corporate interests.

    (You know, we wouldn't have to be so worried about that damned Keystone pipeline down here, if Canada wasn't so willing to dig up its own oil shale up there in Alberta in the first place, in order to sell it to us. It's not like we have a gun to Canadians' heads and are taking it from them against their will.)

    I know our proximity to one another means that American policy often impacts Canadians, for better or worse. But your often relentless barrage of (sometimes very nasty) criticism about U.S. politics and politicians from north of the border is really starting to rub me the wrong way. It's not unlike how I feel when I listen to Catholic bishops lecture us about sexual morality and contraception and family planning. In both cases, when one is not directly involved in the game, one shouldn't presume to dictate the rules to those of us who are.

    Just sayin'. When Canada is so perfect, then I'm more than willing to listen to your advice. Until then ...



    A little defensive today are you Donald? (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 07:55:02 PM EST
    Easier to rag on me for reminding you of it than it is to criticize Obama and other politicians for treating you like a mindless child?

    Maybe if I lived in Iraq or Afghanistan you'd be more than willing to listen, since those countries - and many others - are "so perfect" after being the recipients of "freedom and democracy" delivered to them by the US Government at gun and bomb point?

    But no, probably not... you're probably tired of their whining.

    You might though - being the self anointed "pretty astute historian" that you are - do a bit of research to see if you can find out which "terrorists" in the big bad dangerous world out there have used nuclear weapons - and other terror methods - on civilian populations.

    Let us know what the terrorism death toll your research uncovers has been, will you?

    "3000 major operations, and 10,000 minor operations... bloody and gory beyond comprehension... we have organized death squads in countries around the world... operation in Afghanistan - biggest single operation in the history of the CIA secret wars... we produced the golden crescent - the largest source of heroin in the world... we count at least - minimum figure - six million people who've been killed [by CIA ops] in this long 40 year war that we've waged against the people of the third world"

    So I guess you think that the US (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 08:25:05 PM EST
    is so perfect that we get to hector the rest of the world in much the same way that you hector us, huh?

    I mean, don't you feel the slightest bit of embarrasment or shame or something everytime Obama gives some other country or the world in general the stirring lecture about democracy and freedom, knowing as we do that Obama has embraced and extended policies that are antithetical to the democratic underpinnings of this country?

    Sure, Donald, make this about Edger's Canadian background, because that invalidates his criticism; assume that he does nothing but blog, so that you can make him all talk and no action.  Really too bad that doesn't change what's right in front of all of our faces.

    We are the world, Donald; we can't build walls whenever those on the outside hit nerves we'd rather not acknowledge - that's no way to fix anything.

    From my perspective, we need every voice there is to help set things right, especially considering that our government isn't even listening to its own citizens.


    In defense of Obama (none / 0) (#98)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 08:09:33 PM EST
    at least he's "withdrawing" from Afghanistan this year...?

    You win the prize (none / 0) (#62)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 10:49:07 AM EST
    for the greatest provider of misinformation on the day. Keep up the good work.

    I thought (none / 0) (#65)
    by kmblue on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 11:26:13 AM EST
    Condi Rice said that.

    She did. (none / 0) (#66)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 11:35:11 AM EST