Wednesday Afternoon Open Thread

I'll be working the rest of the day, here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Okay. (5.00 / 10) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:58:51 PM EST
    We think teenage son is going to graduate. Waiting for "official" confirmation now.

    Thanks everyone for your statements of support and well wishes. I wish I knew everyone of you in "real life" and I could have you all over to my house.

    YAY! (5.00 / 7) (#2)
    by jbindc on Wed May 16, 2012 at 03:59:42 PM EST
    We will have virtual drinks to toast!

    here comes a cosmic (none / 0) (#12)
    by NYShooter on Wed May 16, 2012 at 05:31:49 PM EST
    fingers crossed


    thumbs up!


    This is great news! (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by Zorba on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:02:54 PM EST
    Our best wishes to him, and to you, Ga6thDem, and your whole family!

    Congratulations to your son. (5.00 / 5) (#4)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:27:52 PM EST
    My younger daughter is also graduating from high school on June 1. It's a big day for them both. As a dedicated parent, you should probably take a few bows yourself, too.

    It's a role not for the (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jondee on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:39:35 PM EST
    faltering or faint of heart. I know.
    Godspeed to you both.

    And I have to say, I do love what Shooter had to say the other day in regards to the emotional-mental crucible of the parenting of young people. I think he was dead-on: "make demands" as a parent that also pay homage to the dignity and potential of the young person and you'll be surprised at how they unfold..


    And congrats (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Zorba on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:46:58 PM EST
    to your daughter, and you, as well, Donald!  Graduating high school is a big milestone.  They're not "kids" any more (well, in some ways they are, but you know what I mean).  
    How are you dealing with the upcoming "empty nest"?

    We'll be fine. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 16, 2012 at 05:05:43 PM EST
    Younger daughter will be attending the University of Hawaii at Hilo over on the Big Island this fall, which is only an hour's flight away from Honolulu, so I'm sure we'll still have her around for a few weekends -- at least until she starts meeting people and making new friends at school.

    The fall semester at UH-Hilo starts in late August, so we'll be getting her fully provisioned and ready for dorm life this summer. But she knows Hilo very well, given that it's sort of become our family's home away from home, so it's not like she's going to someplace totally unfamiliar to her. I have every confidence that she'll do just fine.

    In the meantime, elder daughter returns home from Albany on Friday night, so we'll have a full house through the end of July. We're also heading to Vietnam next month for a couple of weeks. I'll have to let you know in September how that empty nest is working out.



    Too cool! (none / 0) (#11)
    by Zorba on Wed May 16, 2012 at 05:13:01 PM EST
    Full house for awhile, and Vietnam!  I envy you- you must let us know how that trip goes.  
    Sounds like you'll be too busy to "suffer" too much from the "empty nest," Donald.  (Although, prepare yourself- it's always a big milestone when your youngest leaves for college, even if it's only an hour away.)
    Be well, and enjoy having both of your daughters home!

    Congrats (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 16, 2012 at 05:40:01 PM EST
    to you and your daughter. People told me this would be hard but I had no idea exactly how hard it would be. Of course, my child is learning disabled which has made school an extra challenge for him.

    That's why I said "Take a bow." (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 16, 2012 at 05:56:11 PM EST
    You were there doing what every responsible parent does with their children -- encouraging him every step of the way, cheering and praising his successes, and occasionally picking him up, dusting him off and sending him right back out there whenever he fell down. You deserve the kudos, too.



    It is especially hard (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Zorba on Wed May 16, 2012 at 06:25:48 PM EST
    because, despite the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (and, before that, Public Law 94-142), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, most school districts are woefully inadequate in dealing with the learning disabled.  I speak as a retired special educator, who has done a lot of private tutoring and advising of parents with special needs kids, as well as acting as a parent advocate and attending many IEP meetings with parents.  In my experience, it has only gotten worse in very many ways since the No Child Left Behind Act of 1994.  School districts are simply not equipped, for the most part, to deal with many of the differently-abled, especially children with learning disabilities of various kinds that do not fit into easily-identified categories.  And, trust me on this, most school districts are not up to date on the newest research and findings in this area.
    Oh, well, I'm going on and on about this.  Suffice it to say, you have done well, and you deserve many kudos, Ga6thDem.  Best of luck to you, and especially to your son.

    Thankfully (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:04:18 PM EST
    GA pulled out of NCLB but it's too late for my son. I'm just glad that my younger son will not be having to deal with it.

    that's great news. I don't know how parents do it (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by ruffian on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:32:16 PM EST
    to tell you all the truth. My hat is off to all parents.

    Oh, this is such great news! (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Anne on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:13:02 PM EST
    Isn't it nice to be able to breathe again?  I swear, when we're going through these kinds of things, we don't realize that we've more or less been holding our breath - until we get through it or past it and all of a sudden, we can fill our lungs without feeling like we're going to choke.

    How wonderful that you all can share in your son's major accomplishment; my brother has learning disabilities and school was 12 years of constant struggle for him and for my parents.  Looking back, I'm not sure how we all got through it.

    Take it all in, enjoy every moment: here's to your whole family!


    Mitt Happens, Part MCMLXVIII: (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 16, 2012 at 06:08:38 PM EST
    Mitt Romney now says President Obama is to blame for the loss of jobs in the U.S. auto industry.

    You have to give Mittens points for sheer chutzpah. Most people wouldn't have the decency and balls to shovel the bull$Hi+ by the truckload like this guy is doing, and not be the least bit embarrassed or fazed when called on it.

    George W. Bush (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 16, 2012 at 06:16:44 PM EST
    endorsed Romney. If Romney was a decent politician he would be running from Bush like Bush had a contagious disease.

    Did you see the news clips? (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by NYShooter on Wed May 16, 2012 at 06:28:52 PM EST
    He was running from Junior at what Treckies would call "Warp Speed."

    The only visuals Romney allowed was with George, The Poppy.


    No (none / 0) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 16, 2012 at 06:37:35 PM EST
    I did not see that. Sounds like something worthy of looking up in google.

    I looked (none / 0) (#31)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:07:02 PM EST
    it up and yeah, it's funny but he is running from Bush, would not comment on Bush's endorsement and his campaign is trying to figure out what to do about the "Bush problem". It seems that they do not want W on the campaign trail(smart of them) but are unsure of what to do about the convention. If they are smart on that one they will have W call in sick.

    It's hard for Mittens to run from Bush ... (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 16, 2012 at 06:29:18 PM EST
    ... when he's campaigning upon the premise that he'd reimpose that administration's economic policies if elected.

    Have Revelations (none / 0) (#21)
    by jondee on Wed May 16, 2012 at 06:46:35 PM EST
    and the Book of Mormon prophesied that the country is required to endure a "purifying" economic catastrophe of cataclysmic proprtions?

    What sort of counterintuitive, against-all-available-historical-evidence information source are Bush, Romney & Co running on?


    Two birds. (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by lentinel on Wed May 16, 2012 at 06:54:10 PM EST
    If Romney was a decent politician he would be running from Bush like Bush had a contagious disease.

    The same should be said about Obama.


    Which reminds me, ... (3.00 / 3) (#23)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 16, 2012 at 07:31:08 PM EST
    ... how's that "Draft Ralph Nader 2012" campaign of your going?

    I simply (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by lentinel on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:50:12 PM EST
    can't stand it when Obama gushes over his unlamented, torturer, warmongering, lying, immoral predecessor.

    What does that have to do with Nader?


    Nothing. It has nothing to do (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by Anne on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:38:55 PM EST
    with Nader.

    It is, frankly, antithetical to the democratic process, and the idea that we all have the right to speak through our votes, to read Donald's condescending screed that is designed to shame people into perpetuating the dominance of a sick and dysfunctional two-party system.

    What Donald is really saying is, we don't matter.  That we can vote our conscience, but it will identify us a loony, leftist ideologues, who are, apparently, not worth listening to.

    After reading such reprehensible garbage, I can only assume that the horn Donald never stops tooting isn't pressed to his lips.


    That's fine. (2.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:20:38 PM EST
    Your objections are duly noted. But from my own perspective, you don't ever really offer anything remotely realistic or achievable as a viable political alternative. You come across as simply another self-alienating leftist ideologue.

    It's not that I necessarily disagree with your politics, because frankly, I don't and can't dispute what you're saying 90% of the time. But that said, your dogmatic impatience with the political scene underscores your failure to grasp the fact that most lasting and enduring socio-political changes are often achieved both gradually and incrementally. You seem to want it all, you want it yesterday, and you're not willing to compromise.

    You're like the malcontented fan sitting in the nose-bleed section at a pro football game, yelling incessantly about the lack of hail marys being thrown by the home team's quarterback. Well, by all means, enjoy the game from the cheap seats, to the extent that you can. Just don't expect the coach to be taking your cell phone calls with your play suggestions during the middle of the contest.



    Well, (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by lentinel on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:41:23 PM EST
    excuse my impatience with lying, pointless death and endless bullsh°t.

    You simply don't except my alternative, voting for someone in whom you believe as rational. I think it is at the heart of a democratic society.

    As for being a leftist ideologue - I don't know what that might be.
    I do not consider myself to be an ideologue. I know I am viscerally revolted by the behavior of the people who have assumed the presidency in these last few decades. That is not ideology.

    I don't like torture. And I don't like people who will not prosecute the torturers. Is that a "leftist" ideology in your mind?

    And I am certainly not "self-alienating" - whatever that might mean. I have not alienated myself from myself. But were I to vote for either of the candidates presented to me by the republicans or the democrats, I would be alienated from my right mind.


    Whatever (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by ScottW714 on Thu May 17, 2012 at 09:07:04 AM EST
    If it weren't for D's like you Donald, we might actually have one in the White House that more resembles Bill Clinton the GWB.

    The modern day Democrats have compromised away every core belief of the Democratic Party of yesteryear into the the modern day Republican light party and acting like that's some glorious feat.  It's not.

    Call me an ideologue or whatever other cheap shot you need to take.  But a day or two ago I posted all my issues with Obama to you and ABG, neither one could bother with more than insults and a 'serious' discussion about compromise.  LINK  I would love to read a response on how basic human rights and Constitution rights violations are things I should learn to compromise away, I really would.  I would also love to read which 'compromise' you feel was the most beneficial to democrats.

    And for the love of god Donald, you are not a coach or a player, and 60,000 fans are cheering you to bring home a victory.  Get over yourself, you horses a$$ and stop using nonsensical sports analogies to infer that you are better then others.  Just have the balls to say it, or drop it.


    Sometimes I wonder (none / 0) (#69)
    by CST on Thu May 17, 2012 at 09:15:02 AM EST
    If I'm remembering a different Bill Clinton than the rest of you.

    Donald (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 07:36:46 PM EST
    It should be noted that you are a Democratic party partisan and a Democratic party member.

    I hate both political parties and I have nothing but contempt for the current occupant of the White House just as I had nothing but contempt for Bush Jr.

    While I have some respect for you as a human being as I've seen many of your posts over the years, I think it takes tremendous chutzpah for you to complain about Romney lying when all you can do is "hold your nose" and support one liar over another. You'll note that I'm not even denying your accusations about Romney, I'm taking them at face value.

    As for me, I'll be voting third party or Paul this election no matter how "futile" that vote is. Much more of this crap and partisans who never hold their party to account for anything and soon my futile gesture won't be futile any longer.

    You are warned.


    Whatever, dude. (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:53:15 PM EST
    That's simply your perspective. If you want to effectively remove yourself from the political decision making this November and absolve yourself to yourself of any personal responsibility for the results -- which you are by voting third party-- then that's you're decision. Who am I to change your mind, when it's apparently already made up?

    Look, I've always been very upfront about my own political affiliations, and I'll make no apologies for them. I'm progressive but also pragmatic, meaning that I don't wrap myself in a liberal Shroud of Turin and harangue the choir about the way things really oughta be.

    Come campaign season, I'm the happy warrior who's not afraid to get my hands dirty and jump into the fray, mixing it up and doing whatever I can to move the ball forward from a progressive standpoint. If my ultimate goal can only be accomplished with three yards and a cloud of dust at any one time, then so be it.

    I'm not the type of guy who can sit in the balcony box like Statler & Waldorf, contemptuously casting aspersions upon everyone, or offering up false equivalencies about the two major political parties as an excuse for not really getting personally involved. Those are luxuries best enjoyed by those people who consider themselves to be above it all.

    And not to toot my own horn, but quite frankly, I have a personal track record of accomplishment to show for my efforts over the years, which include (a) getting good people elected and re-elected to high office (such as our current governor); and (b) leading the successful campaign to save the last stretch of relatively pristine coastline on Oahu's south shore, which is now preserved as a state park for everyone, rather than developed as a luxury resort complex for the wealthy few.

    So, you can warn me all you want. If you think your threats are going to get me or other Democrats to come hat in hand and begging for your vote, well, I wouldn't hold me breath, matey, if I were you.

    You can do whatever you want with your ballot, because ultimately, only you can weigh for yourself the import and impact of your own vote. Personally, I've got better things to do politically than waste my time arguing ideology.



    Donald... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by lentinel on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:59:35 PM EST
    Don't you think it is over the top to defame someone who votes his or her conscience, who votes for someone they would actually like to see as President as someone "effectively removing him or herself from the political decision making this November."

    I would make the counter-argument.

    It is people who insist that we vote for people in whom we do not believe and do not trust out of fear that are undermining the democratic process.


    Oh, dear lord... (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by Anne on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:09:20 PM EST
    for someone who claims not to be one of those people contemptuously casting aspersions, you've lobbed a whole lot of them here.

    And you do that a lot, Donald, especially when it comes to those who are choosing to either vote third party or withhold their votes; you can't wait to hector them about removing themselves from the political process, wasting their votes or - and this is my favorite - absolving themselves of any responsibility for how it all turns out.

    As opposed to people like you, who enable and perpetuate the continued existence of a sick political system that is increasingly unresponsive to the needs of the majority of the people.

    As far up in the air as your nose is, I hope you take the necessary precautions when going out in the rain; wouldn't want you to drown!


    Spoken like a true politician (none / 0) (#61)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 11:32:53 PM EST
    AND you don't even get anything accomplished for all your bluster.

    Ohhh , 20 some years on the public dime if I recall correctly, and you got ONE park created. Given a big enough budget deficit, and one can bet that park will go, one way or the other.
    To be fair to you as a LOCAL politician you don't have the power that someone in DC or the head of a large government agency acquires. So you have limits they don't. You can't do as much good, but you can't do as much damage either.
    I don't know much about your Governor, maybe he's a good guy, maybe not. What I do know is that you've done nothing to push your party to stand for much of anything other than acquiring power largely by trying to scare people about how much worse things will be if the Other Party is in power. That's not something to celebrate. And if you want to whine about how "I'll be responsible" for the "evils" of a Republican Administration should Mr Big Ears lose to the Mittster, I'd throw it right back at you and make you responsible for every promise that fool of a President of yours has broken, every unconstitutional law he has passed or executive order he has signed and every bit of the economy since the first full budget he's submitted. You did, after all, vote for him. Alas, in the current two party system the only way I could directly affect our slide into an authoritarian financial regime would be if I was to do something such as take up arms against the government. After all, as you are so fond of reminding people, voting your conscience makes you a fool, and you are always responsible for the current President unless you voted against him, and it's somehow morally upright to vote strictly along party affiliations.

     I wasn't threatening you, but your political party. Of course since you seem to self-identify with it so much, I suppose I could see why you might make that mistake. If Obama loses this election I will admit a certain sense of satisfaction: your haughty upturned nose will probably be turned down as tears stream down your face. And it won't be all that bad: The Mittster, after all, will at least be more honest about his control by the big finance people, so we won't be getting screwed by a guy pretending he is working for us. But buck up! I know you are a fighter, and will be right back at work the very next day to make sure your own corrupt piece of the American government (referring to your party here) is ready for the election of 2016!


    Mitt Happens, Part MCMLXIX: (none / 0) (#29)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:02:04 PM EST
    In which our Mittens defends J.P. Morgan Chase  and its Chair & CEO Jamie Dimon from criticism following the $2 billion loss reported by the bank last week -- which, by the way, was undoubtedly someone else's gain.

    Of course, judging by that standard, Mittens could also say -- with a straight face, natch -- that most of the money Bernie Madoff lost over the years was probably someone else's gain, too.


    And yet (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by jbindc on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:58:26 PM EST
    On "The View" , Obama praised Jamie Dimon by saying Dimon is "one of the smartest bankers we got," (despite the mega-bank losing $2 billion in speculative derivatives trades and leading the charge in the destruction of the economy.)

    Oh yeah - Obama's financial disclosure forms show that he has a "JPMorgan Chase Private Client Asset Management" checking account with a million bucks in it.

    So it isn't:t just Mittens.


    Well Jamie Dimon IS very smart. (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:30:58 PM EST
    He's also reckless and self-absorbed to a fault. I don't see those personal traits as mutally exclusive.

    And by way of disclosure, I'm a shareholder in JPMC, albeit one who supported the insurgent position (which failed in today's vote) that Dimon should be removed as Chairman of the Board if he's to remain as CEO. Does my current standing as a JPMC shareholder mean that I'm also precluded from commenting on what happened there last week?


    You may be a shareholder (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by jbindc on Thu May 17, 2012 at 06:38:31 AM EST
    But you are not helping shape policy (or leading  / not leading) on what to do about the recklessness of the banking industry.

    Do you see the difference?


    Preliminary ruling enjoining the (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by Anne on Wed May 16, 2012 at 07:47:28 PM EST
    enforcement of the NDAA's indefinite detention provisions.

    From Glenn:

    A federal district judge today, the newly-appointed Katherine Forrest of the Southern District of New York, issued an amazing ruling: one which preliminarily enjoins enforcement of the highly controversial indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act, enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Obama last December. This afternoon's ruling came as part of a lawsuit brought by seven dissident plaintiffs -- including Chris Hedges, Dan Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, and Brigitta Jonsdottir -- alleging that the NDAA violates "both their free speech and associational rights guaranteed by the First Amendment as well as due process rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution."

    The ruling was a sweeping victory for the plaintiffs, as it rejected each of the Obama DOJ's three arguments: (1) because none of the plaintiffs has yet been indefinitely detained, they lack "standing" to challenge the statute; (2) even if they have standing, the lack of imminent enforcement against them renders injunctive relief unnecessary; and (3) the NDAA creates no new detention powers beyond what the 2001 AUMF already provides.


    The court also decisively rejected the argument that President Obama's signing statement - expressing limits on how he intends to exercise the NDAA's detention powers -- solves any of these problems. That's because, said the court, the signing statement "does not state that § 1021 of the NDAA will not be applied to otherwise-protected First Amendment speech nor does it give concrete definitions to the vague terms used in the statute."

    As Glenn points out, this is only a preliminary injunction, but it's more than we've gotten lately.

    I can (none / 0) (#39)
    by lentinel on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:54:01 PM EST
    only hope that this is the beginning of a revolt against what has become of our country.

    Medical marijuana supporters swing election. (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by caseyOR on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:39:29 PM EST
    One of the biggest upsets in yesterday's Oregon primary was Ellen Rosenblum's trouncing of Dwight Holton in the Democratic race for Attorney General. Rosenblum garnered 63% of the vote. And, since the GOP did not have a candidate on the ballot (they did try to mount a last minute write-in) Rosenblum will be the next Oregon AG. She will also be the first woman to serve at Oregon's AG.

    Holton, a former U.S. Attorney, was the favorite of  the pundits and  the political insiders and  the district attorneys and law enforcement. He had most of the money and the early lead. He lost because of his stand on medical marijuana. He called our MM law a "train wreck" and pledged to "fix" it. As U.S. Attorney, he joined other U.S.As in attacking MM dispensaries and growers.

    Rosenblum, who is a retired judge, stated her support of Oregon's MM law and vowed to uphold it. Supporters of MM then donated around $200,000 to her campaign, and voters rallied to her campaign.

    Democratic voters in Oregon have been very clear that they do not want to see scarce public monies being used to prosecute marijuana cases. Somehow, Holton didn't get that message, and it cost him the election.

    both good candidates (none / 0) (#60)
    by ZtoA on Wed May 16, 2012 at 11:28:28 PM EST
    but she was my choice so I'm glad she won.

    Uh oh (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by jbindc on Thu May 17, 2012 at 09:09:05 AM EST
    The fears of many Republicans have come true.

    For thr first time in US history, non-white babies outnumbered white babies born

    was just about to post that (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by CST on Thu May 17, 2012 at 09:13:10 AM EST
    the beginning of the end of the Republican party?

    One can only hope.

    That being said, I wonder about the designation of "hispanics" as a minority group for the long term.  I mean 100 years ago, were Jews considered "white"?  In a generation or two, will we still consider white hispanics "non-white" if they barely speak spanish and look white?  I'm not sure.

    Still, interesting stuff.


    I wonder if the re-emergence (none / 0) (#71)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 17, 2012 at 04:05:25 PM EST
    of contraceptives are bad is just a coincidence?

    The (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by jbindc on Thu May 17, 2012 at 04:14:14 PM EST
    Quiverfulls will go into full court press mode now.

    Riding with the Kings. (none / 0) (#8)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:51:23 PM EST
    The NHL's No. 8 seed in the West, the Los Angeles Kings, continue to chew up and spit out the opposition during the 2012 Stanley Cup chase, notching their tenth win in eleven playoff games last night, a 4-0 rout of the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. The series now returns to Staples Center for Game 3 with the Kings up, 2-0.

    You are hereby forwarned, Rangers and Devils fans. Yes, the Kings are not a fluke and are really that good. And given the way they're obliderating the competition right now, I'd have to put them in the driver's seat to bring Lord Stanley's Cup back to Southern California, where it properly belongs -- if only because it clearly matches most of the decor found in Bel Aire and Beverley Hills homes.

    I'm just glad I don't (none / 0) (#9)
    by jondee on Wed May 16, 2012 at 04:53:52 PM EST
    live on the west coast or I'd wind up rooting for the Kings. And I don't like the Kings..

    The only good thing... (none / 0) (#25)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed May 16, 2012 at 07:38:18 PM EST
    ...the Kings have ever done was sending us Rob Blake.  

    Hockey is sooo last month (none / 0) (#27)
    by CST on Wed May 16, 2012 at 07:58:04 PM EST
    Go Celtics!!!  Woot Woot!!!

    Also, Jay-Z endorsed gay marriage.

    Go *home*, Celtics! (none / 0) (#38)
    by Peter G on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:53:46 PM EST
    Go 'Sixers!

    You're only saying that because ... (none / 0) (#47)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:34:35 PM EST
    ... the Bruins got unceremoniously bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the Capitals -- and thus for Boston fans, pro hockey is indeed "so last month."

    But hey, you still got Boston College, which won the NCAA men's hockey championship again this year. But then, that's so two months ago!


    I thought that went without saying (none / 0) (#58)
    by CST on Wed May 16, 2012 at 10:34:36 PM EST
    that's why I didn't say it.  At least the Celtics won!

    I'm sure there are things more annoying than the hoardes of 18 year olds that get shipped here every year.  I just can't think of any off the top of my head.  And I can say that because I left town for college, where I was very well behaved and never acted in any way that would be annoying to a native :)  In other words, not that into BC hockey.


    As the Zimmerman thread looks cooked (none / 0) (#28)
    by bmaz on Wed May 16, 2012 at 07:58:40 PM EST
    and closed for being over 200 comments, anyone have any idea what "intermediate range" could mean as far as the shot that killed Martin? Nobody seems to have anything more than that phrase, but on its face, assuming that is the correct phrase in teh ME report, it may complicate the self defense calculation some.

    I wondered that, too... (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Addison on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:18:39 PM EST
    Also, according to that same report, the knuckle injury reported earlier was (as per MSNBC): "a small abrasion, no more than a quarter-inch in size -  on his left ring finger below the knuckle". That's somewhat different from the impression the earlier reports left us of injured knuckles (with the implication being that said injuries were caused by punches), isn't it?

    According to this article from (none / 0) (#35)
    by Anne on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:34:11 PM EST
    USA Today:

    The autopsy report on Trayvon Martin shows he died from a single gunshot wound to the chest fired from "intermediate range," NBC News is reporting.

    NBC, which says it reviewed the report by the medical examiner in Volusia County, Fla., does not define "intermediate range."

    The autopsy also found one other fresh injury on 17-year-old Trayvon- an abrasion, no more than a quarter-inch in size, on his left ring finger below the knuckle.

    So, no definition of "intermediate range," and only one fresh injury on Martin's hands.

    Also, the NYT reports on the investigation into the shooting and finds:

    ¶ On the night of the shooting, door-to-door canvassing was not exhaustive enough, said a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation. If officers had been more thorough, they might have determined that Mr. Martin, 17, was a guest -- as opposed to an intruder -- at a gated community called the Retreat at Twin Lakes. That would have been an important part of the subjective analysis that night by officers sizing up Mr. Zimmerman's story. Investigators found no witnesses who saw the fight start. Others saw parts of a struggle they could not clearly observe or hear. One witness, though, provided information to the police that corroborated Mr. Zimmerman's account of the struggle, according to a law enforcement official.

    ¶ The police took only one photo at the scene of any of Mr. Zimmerman's injuries -- a full-face picture of him that showed a bloodied nose -- before paramedics tended to him. It was shot on a department cellphone camera and was not downloaded for a few days, an oversight by the officer who took it.

    ¶ The vehicle that Mr. Zimmerman was driving when he first spotted Mr. Martin was mistakenly not secured by officers as part of the crime scene. The vehicle was an important link in the fatal encounter because it was where Mr. Zimmerman called the police to report a suspicious teenager in a hooded sweatshirt roaming through the Retreat. Mr. Zimmerman also said he was walking back to the vehicle when he was confronted by Mr. Martin, who was unarmed, before shooting him.

    ¶ The police were not able to cover the crime scene to shield evidence from the rain, and any blood from cuts that Mr. Zimmerman suffered when he said Mr. Martin pounded his head into a sidewalk may have been washed away.

    ¶ The police did not test Mr. Zimmerman for alcohol or drug use that night, and one witness said the lead investigator quickly jumped to a conclusion that it was Mr. Zimmerman, and not Mr. Martin, who cried for help during the struggle.

    Some Sanford officers were skeptical from the beginning about certain details of Mr. Zimmerman's account. For instance, he told the police that Mr. Martin had punched him over and over again, but they questioned whether his injuries were consistent with the number of blows he claimed he received. They also suspected that some of the threatening and dramatic language that Mr. Zimmerman said Mr. Martin uttered during the struggle -- like "You are going to die tonight" -- sounded contrived.

    It's a long article and covers a lot of ground.


    Is that you, Quentin? (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Addison on Wed May 16, 2012 at 10:32:18 PM EST
    They also suspected that some of the threatening and dramatic language that Mr. Zimmerman said Mr. Martin uttered during the struggle -- like "You are going to die tonight" -- sounded contrived.

    The movie script quality to the dialogue ("you are going to die tonight" and "you got a problem?...you do now!" especially), as reported by GZ's father, has always made me suspicious. Moreso since the Tarantino-esque preamble to violence doesn't square with the "surprise attack from behind" story that has elsewhere been forwarded by people speaking on Zimmerman's behalf. Frankly, I feel it could just be CYA embellishment of a thing that didn't need embellishing -- maybe GZ felt TM was implying those things with whatever he did say? Or maybe for some reason TM decided he was going to actually kill this random guy on his way home from 7-11 to watch the second half of the NBA All-Star game? I dunno. It's weird and has always been weird.

    The rest of the quoted material seems like what everyone was expecting regarding the quality of the on-scene investigation.


    Intermediate Range (none / 0) (#42)
    by Raoul on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:59:35 PM EST
    Ooooh (none / 0) (#48)
    by bmaz on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:35:07 PM EST
    Thanks for looking that up. Pretty close to what I was thinking, but couldn't remember with any certainty.  Down to 6 inches allows for it still being very close quartered.  

    Gah. (none / 0) (#55)
    by Addison on Wed May 16, 2012 at 10:22:40 PM EST
    So that tells us nothing, then. 6 to 30 inches covers pretty much everything between Martin directly on top of Zimmerman and Martin and Zimmerman around 5.5 feet from each other and standing up. Another piece of forensic evidence that admits too many possibilities...

    Doug1111....calling Doug1111.... (none / 0) (#45)
    by Angel on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:24:32 PM EST
    Thank you, Anne. (none / 0) (#49)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:38:39 PM EST
    Those of us who don't have subscriptions to the NY times appreciate your recounting the relevant points of the article.

    Sloppy investigation on the night of the killing. (none / 0) (#54)
    by Angel on Wed May 16, 2012 at 10:05:20 PM EST
    They didn't secure Zimmerman's vehicle because they thought he was on foot.  What does that say about them questioning him about the circumstances surrounding the night's event?  No drug testing of Zimmerman either.  And we have since learned he had been prescribed medication that could have contributed to his behavior that night.  We'll never know what happened that night, I fear.

    New NYT story (none / 0) (#32)
    by SuzieTampa on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:09:45 PM EST
    uses anonymous sources to call the police work sloppy in the TM case.

    Angel, (none / 0) (#56)
    by NYShooter on Wed May 16, 2012 at 10:27:24 PM EST
     "sloppy" doesn't begin to describe their non-investigation. I'm surprised more hasn't been reported on this aspect of the case.

    Now, I don't claim to be any sort of expert on police protocol, far from it, but I do have police members, criminal attorneys, & emt's in my family. And, I have a lot of close police officer friends.

    So, from a layman's perspective, and with a lot of anecdotal involvement, I believe I can add some "off the record" experience.

    I'll write my opinions as we go along on this case, but for tonight, I'll start with this: The "Blue Line" is real, pervasive, and total. If GZ was considered "one of our own" you can throw out virtually anything they claim to have done as per the shooting. In fact, using lawyer parlance, they should be considered "hostile" investigators.

    One last thing: Anything I write is my opinion only. I will try to qualify my comments based on how strongly I feel about a situation, and how much is based on actual empirical knowledge.

    This case is going to be as fascinating as it is tragic.


    Well here's NYShooter to save us (2.00 / 4) (#59)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 11:15:42 PM EST
    That's nice NYShooter.

    You take a sloppy New York Times story that involves actual misstatements (per Jeralyns link) of facts and anonymous sources and combine it with your own prejudices to presume that the Sanford Police Department conducted a bad investigation or even used the "Thin Blue Line" to cover things up.

    Why don't you answer ONE question for me... the list of the prosecutions evidence is now out. How much of that is from the initial investigation by the Sanford Police Department?


    Is it reading or (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by NYShooter on Wed May 16, 2012 at 11:35:05 PM EST
    comprehension that's your problem?

    when you conduct your conversations in an adult, half-way educated manner we may have something to talk about.

    I addressed each of your hysterical misrepresentations in my comments.

    Don't take this personally.


    NYShooter (none / 0) (#63)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed May 16, 2012 at 11:43:41 PM EST
    I could ask the same of you. You started out making a very prejudicial statement, and such statements require quite extensive evidence.

    Once again, how much of the evidence that was collected by the Sanford Police Department is currently being used by Corey?

    Don't you think if it was utter crap they wouldn't be using any of it?


    Slayersrezo, let's make a deal, o.k? (5.00 / 3) (#64)
    by NYShooter on Thu May 17, 2012 at 12:30:27 AM EST
    Let's pretend we're friends and that we both want the same outcome. That outcome, first of all, would be a fair and open-minded Judge, ditto for the Jury.  And then, should the jury find Zimmerman guilty, he should receive the punishment prescribed by law. And, if the jury finds him not-guilty, he should be released to continue his life. And finally, whatever the jury decides, we should both hope the public accepts those findings in the spirit our founding fathers wished for when they were writing the Constitution.

    This is going to be a long, long ordeal, and I don't want to go through it feeling like I'm in  an, "anything goes, free-for-all battle."

    I like science, I like facts, evidence, and intelligent deductions. I also like opinions.....if they're based on the aforementioned things. If you state a fact, it should, as much as possible, be sourced or linked. If you state an opinion, it should be prefaced by, "I think, I believe, my gut tells me, whatever.

    What I don't like are personal battles. (I got a lifetime's worth from my Uncle Sam)

    Ending up, we're only human. There will be heated times, funny times, and everything in between. So, if we start as friends, let's see if we can't end as friends, regardless of how it turns out.

    I realize I didn't answer your questions, but there's plenty of time for that tomorrow, and the many tomorrows after that.

    So, can I call you "Slay" in the interest of brevity?
     You can call me "NY,"  or just "Shooter."



    Fair Enough (none / 0) (#70)
    by Slayersrezo on Thu May 17, 2012 at 01:07:02 PM EST
    Call me Rezo, as my name contains a character in the Slayers anime series.

    I'll call you NY, because you might be a gun-grabbing nut, and I would never deign to honor such a person with the title of "shooter".
    That's only partly tongue-in-cheek.

    We'll see where this goes, but my initial impressions after 3 or so months is that the Sanford department probably did a reasonable enough job(though not a perfect one), but needless to say that wasn't good enough to satisfy some people - for various reasons, good and bad - and so here we are.


    O.K. Rezo, good start (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by NYShooter on Thu May 17, 2012 at 06:43:44 PM EST
    So, let's talk about the Sanford P.D. Since neither of were there, neither of "knows" how good of a job they did. What I would like to know is how good of a job did they, in fact, want to do? Upon getting the news that a young, black, unarmed teenager was killed by a neighborhood watch leader, did they jump on this obviously serious, potentially explosive, tragedy and "move heaven and earth" to get to the bottom of it?
    Did they approach it as George Zimmerman is "one of our own," while the victim was just "one of them," probably up to no good, so let's just go through the motions and get it behind us?

    Like I said, we can't "know," but we can ask the question: what was their mindset going into it?

    Just for reference: Imagine if it had been a police officer who was shot and killed, and then imagine, what kind of effort they would have employed in finding the killer and bringing him to justice? Based on that assumption, and what the NYT article relates, would you still feel that the, "Sanford department probably did a reasonable enough job?"


    p.s. (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by NYShooter on Thu May 17, 2012 at 07:03:10 PM EST
     I may be a "nut," but, certainly not a "gun-grabbing nut." My "handle"  was derived as a tribute to a close friend of mine who died in the Viet Nam War. He was in the Navy (I was land-based) and he was the Catapult Officer on an Aircraft Carrier deck. He headed the team that "shot" the planes ( from 0 to 165 mph in two seconds) off the deck. Thus, the Catapult Officer was nick-named "The Shooter."

    I hope that puts your mind at ease.


    To answer your questions, NY (none / 0) (#75)
    by Slayersrezo on Thu May 17, 2012 at 11:30:52 PM EST
    A. It wouldn't be wise to take that NY Times story as evidence of anything.
    B. Angela Corey has every political incentive in the world to excoriate and prosecute anyone who might have been incompetent, slacked off, or performed below standard due to their own bias in the Sanford City Police department. Instead she uses tons of evidence from them to build her case,  and says they did a good job.
    C. I was waiting for the release of the discovery.

    I'd like to know what you think of it.


    Here's the problem, Rezo (none / 0) (#76)
    by NYShooter on Fri May 18, 2012 at 06:09:29 AM EST
    for every piece of evidence, and witness accounts, parallel, and opposing, deductions can be made. no matter what new tid-bit drops out, those who support Zimmerman, shout "ah ha!that proves it, let'm go now." And, those who don't, say, "wait a minute, that doesn't prove anything."

    What bothers me is the hair trigger assumptions people make based on inconclusive scraps of information.

    Here, I'll give you an example: The overwhelming assumption here is that the person yelling during the altercation had to have been Zimmerman. Makes sense that the guy getting beat up would be the one yelling for help. But, I've got a personal case that turns that on its head.

    When I was 18 or 19 years old I was out in a nightclub/bar with a bunch of friends. Needless to say I got pretty well wasted and, when nature called, I got up and went to the men's room. As I'm standing at the urinal I hear a voice and turned slightly to see who it was. Well, it turned out to be the one guy I really didn't want to see.The guy was a good 6 inches taller, and 50 lbs, heavier, than me. And, the guy had previously confronted me, and accused me of dating his girlfriend. Naturally, I denied it vehemently, and let him know how p.o'd I was for even being accused of such a thing. But, that was then, when we were sober, and tonight we were both zonked.

    So, as I turned around and started leaving I brushed against him, and you know how it is, a brawl broke out. Now, I'm no chicken heart, but he was twice my size and I knew that if I didn't drop him where he stood I was going to be "killed." Luckily, it was a tiny bathroom and that worked to my advantage because he didn`t have a lot of room to get me where he wanted me. So, I smashed him once, and then fell down on top of him as he fell to the floor. I had reached the point of no return. If I didn't finish him off, and he got back up, I was dead. In a panic I just pummeled and smashed his head and anything else I could grab. But....here it comes, I was the one screaming. "Hey, hey, help, somebody, help, in here, help, get in here!"

    Luckily the bartenders, bouncers, and my friends heard my yells and came in to break up the fight. I walked out without a scratch, and he left on a gurney with the emt's.

    I don't have to tell you what my point is, and I'm not saying that that's what happened between Zimmerman and Martin. But, if I'm the prosecutor I think I could lay out a pretty good story to the jury that would be, not only realistic, but very, very plausible.

    Let's wait for the trial; there's nothing like two good lawyers, direct, and cross, examinations to ferret out the truth.


    NY: I'm beginning to like you better but (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Slayersrezo on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:03:03 AM EST
    That is very much not the problem.
    The problem is, and has been JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS too soon. Which is what you seemed to be doing and what I called "foul" on.

    Let's take the Sanford Police Department, which you started off by attacking. Whether PD Serino is a loveable but incompetent Barney Fife OR he's a secretly racist Buffoon (take your pick) he still recommended that the case be brought to the state as manslaughter. In short, no cover-up on HIS part.
    Jeralyn, who is a lawyer and whom you are not accusing of being a racist pig seems to think Wolfinger did the right thing legally when he overruled Serino. If we want to go into second guessing about if the Sanford Police Department covered all the bases in their investigation well, have at it, but remember that they didn't have legal cause to impound the vehicle, the lack of toxicology tests on Zimmerman seem to be because its not standard procedure to do such things in these kind of circumstances, the alleged lack of interest in the cellphone contents is disputed*at the least!* and so , in the final analysis what seems to be the remaining complaint is that they didn't try to get enough witnesses.

    And for this Bill Lee is fighting for his job and reputation and being smeared with accusations of running a racist department. I wonder who is going to apologize to HIM when all is said and done?

    But that's not all. Two larger organizations have since taken over the investigation/prosecution and both of them would seem to have every political incentive in the world to flesh out and /or prosecute every misstep the Sanford Police department made. And yet, here it is months later, and no one has been accused of improper or illegal behavior.

    Clearly if the Sanford guys were Barney Fifes that level of incompetence would have been found by now. That they are racists who deliberately didn't investigate much might be harder to prove, but it's pretty much the only hope for those who hope to fault the Sanford Police Department in this.

    So yeah, I don't doubt the "thin blue line" exists in some cases. I've followed Baltimore crime most of my life. Sometimes the local cops have been the villians, other times they've been scapegoats. So it goes. But I very much doubt that "thin blue line" stuff was in play HERE in this case and so I bristle at those who would spit out accusations of that type with little or no evidence or reason to believe it whatsoever.

    At this point I really feel sorry for the Sanford Police Department. Barring more evidence, I don't suspect I'll be changing my mind.


    Hey, great points, all (none / 0) (#78)
    by NYShooter on Fri May 18, 2012 at 12:28:48 PM EST
    and you'll be surprised that I agree with almost everything you stated.

    But (you knew there had to be a "but")I don't agree with everything.

    In any case you deserve a carefully thought out response, and I'll do my best. But, not this minute.

    I got stuff I have to do, but I'll get back to you sometime later on today.

    (You're gonna but one tough cookie....I like that)


    C'mon Punk (none / 0) (#79)
    by Slayersrezo on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:07:50 PM EST
    Make my day ;)

    Lol, Rezo buddy, (none / 0) (#80)
    by NYShooter on Sun May 20, 2012 at 03:04:31 AM EST
    Would love to "make your day, but Jeralyn put a squash on that. Much as I've tried to be neutral in discussing the GZ/TM tragedy, by, you know, pointing out the difference between confirmed facts and personal opinions, regardless of how well thought out, she said things like my personal experience (like my bar fight story I told you) wouldn't be allowed.

    So, my friend, I know you'd like to kick my A$$, and I'd love the opportunity of you trying, it's gonna have to wait.

    Anyway, I'll be lurking around and if I see you saying something I just know you'd like to "get-it-on" with me about, I'll try to figure out a way.

    Finally, even though I know I could whip your sorry butt with one hand tied behind my back, but, with both hands (and my typing fingers) is too much even for this old shooter. LOL



    Master bassman Duck Dunn has died - rip (none / 0) (#53)
    by DFLer on Wed May 16, 2012 at 09:42:57 PM EST