Sunday Open Thread

R.I.P.. Mike Wallace. The CBS 60 Minutes icon has died at age 93.

Looks like Rick Santorum may be dropping out of the Republican primaries. Guess it will be Obama v. Romney.

NBC News President Steve Capus gives Reuters the network's version of how the editing mishap of the George Zimmerman 911 call happened.

As part of the investigation, the producer who edited the call... had cut the video clip down to meet a maximum time requirement for the length of the segment - a common pressure in morning television - and inadvertently edited the call in a way that proved misleading.

... the network's editorial controls - including senior broadcast producer oversight, script editors and often legal and standards department reviews of sensitive material to be broadcast - simply missed the selective editing of the phone call.

If you're online today and have something to talk about, here's an open thread.

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    Re: the editing "mishap". (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by lentinel on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 06:14:50 AM EST
    I just can't believe that time constraints is the reason that NBC aired the edited tape. After all, it was one sentence - which would take, what -- about four seconds - to have made clear that Zimmerman's reference to race was in response to a question, not an unsolicited declaration.

    I think NBC, or whoever edited this, knew what they were doing.
    They do have a record of inflaming public opinion - or presenting information in a way that leads the unwary viewer to draw the conclusion they want us to draw.

    Another pernicious example, one I have come to loath, is the facial expression that an on-air "personality" gives to a story after reading it to us. They frown, or smile, based on what we are meant to feel about the story. (Especially annoying to me is the annual "swimsuit issue" of that Sports magazine. Everyone is truly jovial. Including the women for which it must in reality appear to be one of the dumbest things that they have to contend with, while the guys act as if this is something special.
    How a commercial magazine gets all that free airtime is mind-boggling.)

    Or - when they announce a big marijuana bust. They look as if this is a good thing. Your government in action. While, in reality, most people (I would surmise) look upon this with disgust. I know I do.

    But - back to the Zimmerman case.  A case of needing those four seconds for some extra banter by the on-air shills? I don't buy it.

    Who benefits? (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 10:54:32 AM EST

    There is a certain presidential candidate that will benefit if the black community is energized.  Whatever else is true the edit was certainly helpful to the One's election prospects.



    I don't know (5.00 / 0) (#10)
    by lentinel on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:38:14 AM EST
    if I can feel that they did the "edit" to benefit Obama.

    Although, I did feel that Obama made use of the story in a way that I sense is a bit self-serving - that is, I can't see him referencing Trayvon Martin as looking like what his son would look like if Trayvon was indeed a predator who beat Zimmerman's head into the sidewalk. It appears as if Obama made his decision about how the story was to go and went public with it - not waiting for the facts of the case to be fully known.

    Maybe the network felt that the narrative to sell was that the white guy had attacked and killed an innocent black youth. So they did a little edit to support that point of view - it portrays Zimmerman as a racist.

    Zimmerman may in fact be a racist. Maybe he went nuts and shot an innocent young man.

    But it is not the right of a network to make these decisions about innocence or guilt of an accused individual - and to stimulate a mob justice mentality. But they do it all the time.

    But - to return to your premise - I think they did it to sell more soap rather than to boost Obama. I think they could care less about Obama - or Romney - or anybody.


    Predator? (none / 0) (#16)
    by ks on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 12:45:25 PM EST
    That's a pretty severe either/or scenario.  Innocent teen vs. predator?  Based on what we know so far, while the first may be subjective, there's hasn't been any evidence to suggest the latter.

    I seriously doubt that conclusion (none / 0) (#22)
    by ruffian on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 01:53:41 PM EST
    These days there is no telling who benefits from an energized black community, given the right's propensity to generate a backlash against that.

    Possible, ... (none / 0) (#59)
    by Yman on Sun Apr 29, 2012 at 06:14:27 PM EST
    ... but I really don't see how this helps Romney's chances

    Actually... (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by ks on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 12:29:10 PM EST
    While I think speculation on NBC's supposed "motivation", other than the usual be first with a hot story, is suspect I do know that newscasts are tightly edited down to seconds.  Watch a newscast/show and see how often they go over.  Almost never.  Taped bits have to be exactly timed to allow for on-air personality space and commercials.

    Exactly. (5.00 / 0) (#17)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 01:07:29 PM EST
    That's the way they do these broadcasts and have more or less forever.  And I see/hear audio particularly get edited down so they can get the key bits in and leave out everything that isn't essential All The Time.  That's without question what this producer thought he was doing.

    I also keep pointing out that it would make zero sense for them to do this with the intent suggested with stuff that had been out in the public domain and broadcast/printed/posted all over the place for DAYS already.


    Agreed (none / 0) (#20)
    by ks on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 01:27:32 PM EST
    Even shows that seem to be loose like the talk yakkers are tightly edited for time.  Newscasts/shows are above and beyond that.  

    The "bad intent" argument doesn't make sense for the reason you state.  The call was in the public domain when they broadcasted and the error could be easily caught which in fact is what happened so the idea that they purposely did seems far fetched.  


    You nicely sum up all the reasons NOT to (none / 0) (#21)
    by ruffian on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 01:51:31 PM EST
    watch broadcast news. I can't add more.

    But I do think the explanation given is valid. They also edited out a big portion of Zimmerman's descriptions right before the 911 editor asked the question. I can easily see an editor just taking out those 4 following seconds as well.

    And I can just as easily see them editing for effect.

    So I guess I cannot make a judgement.


    Mike Wallace, RIP (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by scribe on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 09:26:50 AM EST
    Just moving across the wires at 1020 AM ET.

    He had a long and distinguished career, served his profession well, and will be missed.

    NBC's says (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 10:41:24 AM EST
    .. the network's editorial controls - including senior broadcast producer oversight, script editors and often legal and standards department reviews of sensitive material to be broadcast - simply missed the selective editing of the phone call.

    The reason was not time, or "simply missed." It is the same reason that some people believe they hear a racial slur in Zimmerman's 911 call.

    The result of the editing fit what the people in the review process wanted to hear. They believed the shooting was race based and wanted proof. The edited tape provided it.

    If you're looking for evidence that ... (1.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 04:32:43 PM EST
    ... there's a possible ulterior motive -- not necessarily race-based -- at work in this case, I'd suggest that everyone look to the actions of both Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee and State's Attorney Norman Wolfinger on the night of the shooting.

    Seriously, who was George Zimmerman to both these men, that they would:

    • Rouse themselves on a Sunday night to head down to the Sanford police station;
    • Definitively determine within a relatively short amount of time that Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law was applicable here, before all the neighborhood witnesses had even been formally interviewed;
    • Overrule the professional judgment of their own chief homicide detective, who disbelieved Zimmerman's story and wanted him charged with felony manslaughter, and who has since gone public himself with his doubts; and
    • Order Zimmerman's release from police custody that very same evening?

    But for the premature (and perhaps preemptive?) decision making of Lee and Wolfinger -- who have since been relieved of duty as police chief and formally recused as lead prosecutor from the Zimmerman / Martin case, respectively -- one could argue plausibly argue that we wouldn't be presently engaged in this prolonged national handwringing about what would otherwise have been a local, central Florida tragedy.

    Again, who was George Zimmerman -- and perhaps by extension, the Zimmerman family -- to these two men?

    I'd offer that were we to learn the answer to that question, we might then come to understand how the initial investigation of the shooting fell off the rails in the first place, to the initial dismay of the victim's family and eventual chagrin and embarrassment of the police department and state's attorney's office, and why the subject of Trayvon Martin's death has since escalated into an often testy national discussion and emotional debate.



    Wolfinger vehemently denies such an affidavit (1.00 / 0) (#58)
    by pngai on Sun Apr 29, 2012 at 04:38:32 PM EST
    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/wpix-prosecutor-blasts-trayvon-martin-family,0,3855738.story?obr ef=obnetwork

    the Martin family said that a Sanford police detective "filed an affidavit stating that he did not find Zimmerman's statements credible in light of the circumstances and facts surrounding the shooting." The family said Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee and State Attorney Norm Wolfinger met the night of the shooting and disregarded the detective's advice, letting Zimmerman go.

    Neither Sanford police nor prosecutors have confirmed the existence of such an affidavit, which ABC News first reported. Sanford officials and special prosecutor Angela Corey's office declined comment. But Wolfinger, who stepped aside in the case last month, vehemently denies that any "such meeting or communication occurred" between him and Lee.

    "I have been encouraging those spreading the irresponsible rhetoric to stop and allow State Attorney Angela Corey to complete her work," Wolfinger said in a statement Monday. "Another falsehood distributed to the media does nothing to forward that process."


    pngai (none / 0) (#60)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 29, 2012 at 08:53:36 PM EST
    I just deleted several of your comments as being unacceptable attacks on the character of Trayvon Martin. If you want to comment here, you have to follow the rules. Character assassination isn't allowed. What's more, Zimmerman's lawyer has stated he would not attack TM's character. And you may not reprint articles in comments.

    This is not a TM hate site, so please don't treat it as one. My defense-oriented legal analysis is not a license to post the unfounded speculation and accusations you wrote about TM in the deleted comments. I am not banning you at this time, because you may not have realized that's not permissible here, but if you do it again, you will be banned.


    site rules (none / 0) (#61)
    by pngai on Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 07:24:50 PM EST
    Sorry for violating the rules, it was not my intention and I will comply with them in the future.

    Donald, be more careful (none / 0) (#46)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 04:45:15 AM EST
    and don't make allegations that are unsubstantiated. Wolfinger recused himself, he wasn't taken off the case. The issue was whether the police had probable cause Zimmerman's defense claim was not true. The only witness to the wrestling, John, told them it was Zimmerman who cried for help. Zimmerman had injuries consistent with his version of events. He was overheard by the first officer at the scene saying he had cried out for help.

    No one has seen an affidavit from homicide detective Serino. Even if that was his view, there's no reason why his opinion should override that of the other officers. He wasn't one of the officers first on the scene.

    Under Florida law, Zimmerman was immune from arrest unless police had probable cause his self-defense argument was not true.

    A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force...As used in this subsection, the term "criminal prosecution" includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.

    A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.

    There's nothing wrong with his father going to the police station. I sure would if my child were arrested. His father had been a magistrate in Virginia, not Florida.

    There is no evidence anyone pulled strings for Zimmerman.

    There was no reason to arrest him that night. They sent his and Trayvon's clothes for testing. They were waiting on an autopsy. He was not a flight risk. He took them on a walk-through the next day.

    The police didn't conclude their investigation until March 13 when they turned it over to the state's attorney's office, and they identified additional items that needed to be investigated, asking the Fla Dept of Law Enforcement to help. It has been helping since March 16. Investigations don't happen in a day. Wolfinger requested the grand jury convene on April 10.

    It's not their "fault" Zimmerman wasn't arrested that night, they followed the law. If anyone is to blame for the current tensions, it's the impatient public.

    There is no reason to accuse or speculate that either Wolfinger or Zimmerman's father were engaged in misconduct. If you want to do engage in such, you will have to do it elsewhere.


    That's true. Thank you for ... (none / 0) (#54)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 10:45:25 AM EST
    ... the clarification of the prevailing Florida statute regarding arrest.

    That said, I believe there is also another witness to the confrontation, a 13-year-old boy who was out walking his dog. His mother will not allow the media direst access to him, so we'll have to wait to hear what he has to say. According to some reports, his version differs markedly from that offered by "John."

    As far as Robert Zimmerman and Wolfinger are concerned, I've not accused either of them of misconduct. I only speculated as to a possible reason regarding why the state's attorney and police chief themselves made personal appearances that night for a routine homicide investigation. That the lead homidide detective disbelieves George Zimmerman's version of events is a matter of record; he filed an affadavit to that effect.

    To the extent that they are able, people have exercised their personal and political connections / clout in legal matters, whether civil or criminal, throughout history. As much as the public would like to believe otherwise, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, when done properly.

    There was nothing illegal about Mr. Zimmerman conferring with authorities about the disposition of his son. I won't address the ethical propriety of it, because personal ethics can be inherently subjective, in that what I wouldn't do, others would have no problem doing. And it was his son, after all. In that regard, you and I might well have done the same.

    But politics is another matter, and politics can and does often play a significant role in determining the course of legal investigations which, after all, hardly occur in a vacuum. Let's not kid ourselves otherwise.

    And thanks to the hornet's nest this case has become, politics may well be the determining factor regarding whether or not George Zimmerman ever does eventually face indictment in this matter, particularly if it comes down to a margin call and public pressure on elected officials.



    And it will be politics (none / 0) (#55)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 11:53:30 AM EST
    That will determine, if brought to trial, whether he is acquitted or convicted.  I don't think we will ever know if justice will truly be served.

    Really, did anyone expect (none / 0) (#23)
    by ruffian on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 02:08:01 PM EST
    Zimmerman to not describe the subject of his 911 call, whether the operator asked or not, or whether the subject was black, white or purple?  The fact that he told the operator the subject was black demonstrates nothing at all. Any racial elements, if present,  come into play when he decided to call follow Trayvon with a gun, call 911 at all and when the police decided not to charge Zimmerman.

    That said, I can certainly believe (none / 0) (#24)
    by ruffian on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 02:09:36 PM EST
    NBC news would be shallow enough to believe it did matter, so your point stands.

    As an adolescent news junkie (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by brodie on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 10:58:24 AM EST
    I can recall watching the first 60M broadcast in 1968 but have no memory of the stories covered in that inaugural edition.  Just Wallace and Harry Reasoner reporting or co-hosting during a time when there were only the big three networks and except for their occasional news docs a few times a year, prime time was devoted to entertainment shows.  Quite a welcome change to have a regular weekly program that would cover important issues and in more depth than the regular network nightly news.

    One of his most famous 60M interviews was with SS agent Clint Hill, although I suspect the narrow pro-establishment attitude of CBS brass prevented Wallace et al from asking the obvious related Qs about that event that went unasked in that broadcast.  

    A good long life and overall a good career in journalism.  Certainly a very memorable television personality.

    Agreed. It was gutsy programming (none / 0) (#9)
    by Towanda on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:37:28 AM EST
    that may need, for the younger 'uns, to be put in this context:  Only in 1963 did network prime-time news go to half an hour.  

    (Also CBS, which to do so had to first build up staffing at network news-feed sites nationwide, including in Dallas; had it not done so in 1963, we would not have had the remarkable experience then of an entire nation turning to its tv's for the first time to watch together as entertainment programming was preempted for news.  Not that tv was 24/7, as yet; that did not come until the late '70s or even the early '80s.)


    Yeah, prior to late 1963 (none / 0) (#14)
    by brodie on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 12:14:41 PM EST
    tv networks only had 15 minute short nightly news programs.  That was it M-F and I don't know if they aired any news on the weekends except for the Sunday morning interview fare.

    What Wallace and 60M did was make it safer for the networks to open up their p-t programming to more serious issue oriented shows.  Iirc, not long after 60M debuted, NBC offered a new monthly news magazine program which I recall was titled First Tuesday, though it didn't have the compelling personalities that 60M had in the complementary types of Wallace and Reasoner.

    So I have to credit Wallace et al for making tv more watchable and worthwhile, even as I recognize they didn't always apply their resources to the really big controversies of their times as they could and should have.


    Although, of course, we cannot ignore (none / 0) (#18)
    by Towanda on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 01:07:40 PM EST
    the predecessor of Edward R. Murrow at CBS and "See It Now."  But that had been gone for a decade, although its legacy was in mind for "60 Minutes."

    What's fascinating is the context: that early tv history had several solid starts on serious programming -- in the arts and sciences as well as in news -- that were met with such a backlash in the HUAC era as to end those early efforts, cow the networks (owing to the FCC hammer available), and turn the toob over to far safer pablum for the people.

    Others in the vast wasteland had wanted to try to revive those early efforts in the interim decade, and some historians do not give CBS much credit for being part of the cowed brethren for too long in the '60s 'til it was safe to do long-form ("tv magazine"), serious news again.  I would tend to side with those arguments, and clearly, it was a safer environment for CBS to do so when it did, based on the lack of backlash.  

    On the other hand, as you note, NBC waited even longer.  So CBS does deserve credit not only for bringing back such programming but also for doing it so well that it proved unassailable by the idjits and, as important, it was a ratings success, so it was a commercial success, so it did not again die.


    Clint Hill has a new book out. (none / 0) (#34)
    by caseyOR on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 06:12:21 PM EST
    It is a memoir of his time as Jackie Kennedy's Secret Service agent, and of the relationship he and Jackie had.

    I saw Hill interviewed on TV. Can't remember where, maybe with Brian Williams? I did not get the impression Hill's book reveals any new scandal.  He does discuss the events of November 22, 1963.


    The real scandal was that (none / 0) (#53)
    by brodie on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 10:39:38 AM EST
    of all the SS agents supposedly there to protect the president only the man assigned to protect the FL reacted as he should have.  

    The other scandal might be how no agents were publicly disciplined or called out for gross dereliction of duty by the Warren Commission (which, strangely, praised their response that day) and also perhaps how those agents and their colleagues have circled the wagon ever since.  Though some years back one assassination researcher somehow managed to get several of them on record about what went down that day.  But his efforts never have gotten traction in the mainstream accounts and his book was privately and quietly published with no repercussions for the SS.  

    As for Hill his emotional, guilt-ridden testimony to Wallace served perhaps unintentionally to distract the public from further questioning of the curiously lax SS behavior in Dallas and it's been that way ever since.  Our MSM just refuse to look into the obvious angle of security stripping that day.


    So, what did those SS agents who (none / 0) (#56)
    by caseyOR on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 03:21:47 PM EST
    spoke with that researcher say about the events of 11/22/63? Why was their response so, well, derelict?

    When looking at the film footage from that day, it is striking that only one SS agent, Hill, sprints to the president's car in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.


    Vince Palamara is the (none / 0) (#57)
    by brodie on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 06:18:54 PM EST
    expert researcher on the SS and Dallas.  I read his work in his hard copy publications.  He now has a blog (vincepalamarasurvivorsguilt) and plenty of videos on YT where you can check out his research and watch videos, including on the Clint Hill angle, about which there is quite a back story between the two.

    A real shame that all the relevant SS people including supervisors weren't compelled to testify at the time under penalty of perjury in an honest legal/investigory context.  But we got a coverup instead.


    R.I.P Thomas Kinkade (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by ZtoA on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:43:03 AM EST
    Thomas Kinkade, "Painter of Light TM" has died. RIP. I send his family my best wishes. He was 54 and supposedly died of natural causes. LAT link.

    He mass produced sentimental "happy" paintings, edition prints, prints and collectables. He was financially hugely successful. Well, maybe not at the end. He was very loud about being a big "C" Christian and used his Christian contacts to market his brand.

    He was an artist who artists loved to hate. The entire art establishment hated his art. And he was shunned and ridiculed. He hated everyone back and opened more mall galleries and produced more collectable plates, mugs, jewelry, even houses and subdivisions with buried electrical so that they would look like his paintings.

    The one thing I actually enjoyed about him was reading that he used DNA infused inks to sign his limited edition prints. Supposedly that made it a verifiable "Original" limited edition and supposedly one could have the ink tested to see if the print was indeed an original print. That is, until I heard of his fondness for urine marking. He was caught on tape (and I think arrested for public drunkenness) peeing on Winnie the Pooh at Disneyland while crying "This one's for you Walt!". But then again it made his DNA infused inks more meaningful.

    He had an interesting life and story and in the end went thru legal troubles, bankruptcy, separation from his wife and children, behavior like groping, heckling and urinating in public with lots of alcohol thrown in.  He defrauded his franchisees who accused him of using his Christianity (TM) to lure them into business. His cynical use of Christian contacts was despicable.

    He created highly lucrative collectables like Beanie Babies. Remember them? I overheard a man telling a clerk that he was collecting beanie babies to help finance his children's college educations. My daughter was 11 at the time, LOVED the toys, and heard him as well. Luckily she had more sense than him and it still is good for a laugh for us. I heard from a dealer in the know that Kinkade's market had seriously deflated, so it will be interesting to see what happens next.

    Beanie Babies??? (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 01:13:22 PM EST
    Wow. I remember that in the All Star game in Denver they gave away beanie babies to X number of people who got to the stadium first.

    I took some customers. They each got one. On leaving a guy was standing outside buying them. The next day there was a guy at DIA buying them from people leaving Denver.

    All of that made understanding the housing market and internet bubble easy!


    My cousin bought a dino one (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 04:42:13 PM EST
    at the beginning of the craze because she thought it was cute.  Many months later it was worth almost a $1000.  She had thrown it in the backseat of her car and forgotten about it, the car went through an immediate shakedown and that IPO was sold.

    Good for her! (none / 0) (#35)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 06:20:54 PM EST
    Beanies are around about $2.00 on Ebay.

    And does anyone ask (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by kmblue on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:47:03 AM EST
    "tough questions" now?  Hell no.  As someone who worked at CNN for 11 years, I speak with some authority on the subject.  It's all "he said, she said" across the board.  And that is not only sad, but tragic for our country.

    "Polls indicate Pennsylvanians (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by KeysDan on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 12:02:25 PM EST
    are just as torn about Santorum today as they were six years ago when he failed  in his re-election bid for a third term, losing to Bob Casey by 18 points--the widest margin anyone can remember."  (from the cited link).   Of course, that loss was in the general election, and this is the Republican primary for which Republican Pennsylvanians are not so much torn as prepared to reject him.

    Maybe, Tom Parsley (also from the cited link) age 64, a construction contractor and former supporter is representative of the primary voters: "He already lost Pennsylvania once, why not twice."  If Tom thinks he is "too extreme",  I am beginning to think that Rick is more of a boutique candidate, appealing to Opus Dei and others of a like mind.

    Anyone heard anything from Newt (none / 0) (#29)
    by Peter G on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 04:57:57 PM EST

    Gingrich? (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by KeysDan on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 10:01:11 AM EST
    Is he the guy with Seamus on the car roof who has the 9-9-9 plan? Or, is he the Texan with the bird's nest hair-do?  I get them mixed up--they  all seem to run together these days.  But speaking of Gingrich, TNT recently ran the 1973 neo noir, "The Long Goodbye", with  Elliott Gould playing  Phillip Marlow.  A good film.

    Aw, c'mon -- do we really have to ... (none / 0) (#37)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:51:28 PM EST
    ... hear from him?

    (Sigh!) And I was having such a nice evening, until you reminded us of the Newtball.


    Happy Holiday everyone (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 04:44:50 PM EST

    Matzo brei for breakfast (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Peter G on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 08:16:37 PM EST
    and roast lamb (cooked on the BBQ), with butternut squash, whole wheat couscous, and fresh steamed spinach for dinner.  Great food is just one of the benefits of a dual-heritage home. Happy spring holidays to all.

    Sounds good to me! (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Zorba on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 09:04:00 AM EST
    I love lamb.  (But then, I'm Greek-American and it's in our genes to love lamb.)  Our Easter (which we call Pascha) is this Sunday- a week later this year than Western Easter.  We'll have lamb, of course, which Mr. Zorba may do on the smoker/grill if the weather is cooperative, kritharaki (Greek-style orzo), tyropita (phyllo and cheese pie) or spanakopita (phyllo, spinach and cheese pie) or both, Greek salad, and maybe pastitsio, if I don't make both tyropita and spanakopita.  I haven't decided on dessert yet.  If I have time, maybe a galaktoboureko (a semolina-based custard in phyllo with a sugar/honey syrup poured on it).  Or else a pantespani (a Greek sponge-type cake with syrup).

    What time is dinner? (5.00 / 0) (#50)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 10:14:21 AM EST
    My calendar is clear for that day!

    LOL! (none / 0) (#51)
    by Zorba on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 10:15:56 AM EST
    It will be early in the day- lunchish, because we have another party to go to that evening.  (Gee, what a shame!)

    it's a shame you HAVE to eat all that food (5.00 / 0) (#52)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 10:25:39 AM EST
    Yum (none / 0) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:12:27 AM EST
    Elder Zimmerman was (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:25:33 PM EST
    a magistrate in Virginia, not Florida.  Magistrates in Virginia are not law enforcement, they're minor local officials.  I don't know why a retired former petty municipal official from Virginia would have any pull with Florida law enforcement.

    There's so much confusing and contradictory stuff flying around on this story, I've lost track of what Wolfinger did or didn't do, but last I remember, he vehemently denies having had any involvement in this whatsoever, and Sanford police say no officials came down to the station, they discussed all this via phone calls.

    From our "Material Girl" file: (4.75 / 4) (#1)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 02:00:59 AM EST
    Is there anyone in the Sacramento County (CA) District Attorney's office or county courthouse with enough common sense to realize how really phuquing stupid and insenstive they all look right now?

    Sacramento Bee | April 5, 2012
    Sacramento County DA locks up alleged sex assault victim -- "A 17-year-old Sacramento girl has been locked up for more than a week now for her failure to appear in court against a swastika-adorned defendant with a 20-year criminal history who is accused of three counts of raping and sexually assaulting her. Sacramento County prosecutors sought the material-witness warrant on the alleged rape victim, and two Superior Court judges have since ordered her detained to ensure her presence as a witness in a trial scheduled to begin April 23. The girl is being held in juvenile hall in lieu of $50,000 bail. She is scheduled for a hearing Friday in front of Judge Lawrence G. Brown to determine if she will remain in custody. She is entitled to a court hearing every 10 days."

    I fully understand the D.A.'s dilemma, because given the defendant's extensive criminal history and documented propensity for violence, he's clearly bad news. But honestly, arresting an alleged teenaged rape victim as a material witness, and then holding her in juvenile detention because she's unable to post a $50,000 bond to ensure her cooperation?

    Surely, there has to be a better way that the authorities can protect the general public from a human predator, than legally intimidating and incercerating one of his alleged victims. This is outrageous.

    In your opinion, should the D.A 's office (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 02:50:35 AM EST
    make a motion to dismiss in the interests of justice?  

    They already had to drop charges, once. (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 10:55:57 AM EST
    They've since refiled.

    I'm just saying that surely, there has to be a better and more humane way to secure the cooperation and testimony of an alleged and already-traumatized teenaged rape victim, than by incarcerating her as a material witness until trial.

    At the very least, why not use an electronic ankle bracelet to monitor her whereabouts while she's in foster care, rather than simply throwing her into a jail cell because it's convenient and easier?

    I'd really like to believe that our public officials anf judges can actually walk and chew gum simultaneously.


    of course they are but... (none / 0) (#38)
    by fishcamp on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:56:23 PM EST
    did you read the hush tips?

    OH... Tebow didn't die. (none / 0) (#40)
    by observed on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 08:28:45 PM EST
    I had read something about 30,000 attending Tebow service and I thought "that's nice. Not many people get 30,000 at their funeral".
    My mistake.

    My brother reports the message (none / 0) (#45)
    by oculus on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:31:37 PM EST
    tomessage to the toddlers @ his church was:  Jesus is alive!  How confusing is that?

    The elder Zimmerman (none / 0) (#41)
    by CoralGables on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 09:12:26 PM EST
    was also present the next day at the scene with an Orlando Sentinel reporter during a reenactment between George and the police. That stuck me as odd.

    That doesn't strike me as odd at all (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by sj on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 09:50:51 PM EST
    If my son was in terrible trouble I'd be there, too.  Unless he kicked me out.  Which he wouldn't.  Because when push comes to shove, we are each others' best support team.  I'd be doing everything I could on his behalf.  I'd probably make some mistakes, too.  Just like the elder Zimmerman.

    Unusual law enforcement (none / 0) (#44)
    by oculus on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:27:56 PM EST
    included the media!  And the parent of a 28-year old.