Archive for July, 2013

The essence of a catch 22

July 22, 2013

So, Ann Althouse had comments, and got rid of them.  Then she asked people what they thought of her decision.  She apparently didn’t like the answers she got, so she wrote:

Those who voted in the bottom 2 categories [hate the absence of comments]— more than the ones who voted in the top categories, the supportive answers — reinforce me in my decision to go it alone here.

Shorter Althouse: “I asked you what you thought of my decision.  Telling me you don’t like it makes me more invested in keeping to it.”

Some other thoughts:

The poll is radically unscientific. Those who have stopped reading because the comments are gone should not be here to take the poll. Everyone choosing the last option — “Without the comments, this blog means nothing to me” — is confessing to lying.

Wrong.  Some of those people could have stopped reading the blog, heard about the poll, and come back just to participate in the poll.  Others could be people who visit your blog to flip through and see if comments are back, but don’t bother reading anything other than on that issue.

Telling me what I write doesn’t matter except as a jumping off platform for commenters doesn’t work as an argument, directed at me, to bring back comments.

The pronouncements of people I can not respond to rarely interest me.  If you say something thoughtless, ignorant, or just logically suspect, can I respond, and point this out? No?  If you say something brilliant, can I cheer?  No?  Then what you’re saying, by virtual of that, immediately becomes less interesting to me.

Shorter Greg: Ann, you’ve become Eric Holder.  You’ve said you want conversation, but what you’ve instituted is a lecture.

The 345 people who voted to say that they “feel aggrieved” and see what I did as “wrong” also fail to speak appealingly to me.

Excuse me?  We’re not “speaking”, we’re picking among the words you’ve allowed us to have.  If you don’t like that answer, perhaps you should have offered a different one.  First you turn a discussion into a lecture, then you complain because you don’t like the words you put in our mouths?

I would have phrased it as “The lack of comments makes your blog less valuable to me.  If it continues that way, I will drift away over time, visiting less and less until one day I just stop coming at all.”  But that option wasn’t available, because you chose not to offer it.

See, that’s the kind of response that you can get when you have comments, rather than just a lecture.

Sorry, Professor Althouse, but you can either pick the allowed responses, or legitimately get offended at people’s responses.  Doing both is a failure of logic.

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The facts of the Zimmerman case

July 20, 2013

Elizabeth Scalia, blogging as “The Anchoress”, made some sadly uninformed comments about the Zimmerman trial.  I wrote this, and decided to post here so I don’t have to write this up again.  All feedback of a factual nature, either positive or negative, is quite welcome:

I am very disappointed in you, Elizabeth. Because it appears you’ve decided to comment on the Zimmerman case without bothering to actually find out what happened in the Zimmerman case.

So let’s consider some facts you appear to have missed, and see if you can come to a more enlightened opinion:

1: A neighbor of Zimmerman’s was home alone with her infant, when someone tried to break in. 911 told her to grab a weapon and hide. She grabbed a screwdriver, and hid in her room with her baby. Someone jiggled the handle on her bedroom door, robbed her house, and escaped, all before the police arrived.

Zimmerman and his wife befriended the woman, helped her deal with her terror, and bought her a new deadbolt. Then Zimmerman started the Neighborhood Watch program for their area.

2: Relying on police reports about burglary suspects, Zimmerman made multiple calls to the police about teenaged boys engaging in suspicious behavior. The result of those calls was that a black male teenager who lived in the complex was caught with stolen goods from multiple houses in the neighborhood. In one little irony, the kid was convicted in Judge Nelson’s courtroom (and if you don’t know that Judge Nelson was the trier of this case, you’re not qualified to comment on the trial, and should be embarrassed in yourself if you have commented on it).

3: Trayvon Martin was suspended from school twice. Once because he was caught with stolen jewelry in his backpack, the second time (which was why he was in Sanford) because he was caught with a used marijuana pipe in his backpack. The school security officers followed their boss’s policy of rarely reporting criminals, in order to get their boss awards for “cutting the crime rate”. (This came out because of this case.) If they’d actually reported the crimes, instead of just suspending Martin, he probably would not have been in Sanford that night.

4: Trayvon Martin’s cell phone had, hidden in a password protected file, pictures of him with jewelry on his bed, texts about his street fighting, texts from his younger brother asking to be taught how to fight, texts about buying and selling guns, and pictures of naked underage females.

5: The toxicology report on Martin said that he had the active form of THC in hsi bloodstream the night he died.

In short, Trayvon Martin was a thug. He was a crook, and he was a drug user. If Zimmerman had not killed him, the only real question is “would Martin have killed someone else before he got himself killed?” Happily, that answer turns out to be no.

6: George Zimmerman called the cops to say he saw someone wandering around, looking into the windows of a house where he knew the person didn’t live, acting strange, almost as if he was drugged.

If you have a problem with him making that call, your problem is with the whole idea of the Neighborhood Watch, not with George Zimmerman. The behavior he reported SHOULD be reported, it doesn’t matter if the person doing it is white black old or young.

7: Zimmerman tried to keep this suspicious character in sight. Eventually the person disappeared from his view, even when he stopped his car and got out. The person on the other end of his non-emergency police call told Zimmerman they “don’t need him to do that” (try to follow on foot), so Zimmerman went back to his car.

None of the above facts are disputable. You could, I suppose, try to claim that Zimmerman lied in his call, and Martin wasn’t really looking into any windows. But you would have to make that claim with zero supporting evidence.

So, please, tell us where Zimmerman displayed “bad judgment” in any of the above.

8: Zimmerman says he walked around in the area around his car, trying to find a street sign so he could tell the police who were on their way exactly where he was. Neighbors who lived there testified during the trial that it was hard to see street signs in the area, and that the street name had recently changed. In any event, Zimmerman got off the phone with the police.

9: Four minutes after Zimmerman lost sight of Martin, Martin confronted Zimmerman less than 20 yards from where Zimmerman’s car was parked. (Time information taken from phone records entered at the trial. Location taken from where Martin’s dead body was found.) If Martin had been trying to go home, he would have been there, safe and sound. If I understand Jeantel (the girl who was on the phone with Martin), Martin DID get to his dad’s girlfriend’s place, and then turned around and went back. In any event, given the amount of time Martin had to get home, the ONLY reason for him to run into Zimmerman at the place where he did was because he chose to seek out Zimmerman.

10: Martin confronted Zimmerman, Zimmerman responded defensively (rather than going on the offense and saying “why are you looking into windows of other people’s homes?”). We got that from Jeantel’s testimony. Then she claimed the call ended.

11: Zimmerman was struck in the nose, his nose was damaged, and bleeding. The back of his head was damaged from being struck into a concrete sidewalk. The defense’s forensic expert testified that the damage done to Zimmerman was potentially life threatening, that the police should have sent Zimmerman to the ER, and that if Zimmerman had died from his injuries, the police would have been sued, and lost. The prosecution’s witness, John Good, testified that he heard the screaming, went outside, saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, pinning Zimmerman down, and striking down at Zimmerman (he could not testify that he heard the blows hit). Good told Martin to stop. When he didn’t, Good said he was calling 911. Martin’s attack continued.

12: The witness who claimed that Zimmerman was on top said she was sure that the bigger person was on top, and since the only images she’d seen of Martin were the pictures from when Martin was 12, she assumed Zimmerman was bigger. This was false, as the defense demonstrated when they had Zimmerman stand next to a life sized cutout of Martin.

13: Martin was killed by a single shot to the chest. His shirt was in contact with the gun, but the gun was shot from two inches away from Martin’s chest (as determined by the powder burns on Martin’s chest). The hole in the shirt and the hole in Martin’s chest lined up to show that Martin was leaning forward when he was shot.

In short: Trayvon Martin confronted Zimmerman, punched him in the face, tackled him to the ground, and spent 40 seconds beating on him, inflicting potentially deadly damage on him, and giving no indication that he was going to stop until he had killed, or at least crippled, Zimmerman. Zimmerman then got his gun out, and shot his attacker, killing him.

There can be no “duty to retreat” when you’re pinned to the ground. Every state in the nation allows you to use deadly force to defend yourself when you can’t retreat, and are in reasonable fear of death. Zimmerman could not retreat, and was in reasonable fear of death.If you still think Florida has “some laws that should probably be reviewed” because of this case, it’s because you are taking the utterly fringe position that self defense should never be allowed.

I hope you will take some time to get yourself actually informed on this issue before saying anything more. And I hope you will offer George Zimmerman the apology he so richly deserves after your ill-informed and utterly unjustified hostile comments about him.

What tribe are you part of? Another comment on Zimmerman

July 17, 2013

“Whether it is because of conservative tribalism, race, guns, or something else”

It’s amazing how ignorant you are, Arthur. And it’s kind of sad the way you are so eager to show your ignorance.

“conservative tribalism”: Zimmerman was a 2008 Obama volunteer

“race”: both Zimmerman and I are humans, so we share the same race.  I’m pretty sure Martin was human, too, which means all three of us shared the same race.  (You, I’m not so sure about.)  If you mean “race” the way you leftist bigots and racists use the term, Zimmerman appears to share a lot more ancestors with Trayvon than he does with me

“guns”: plenty of thugs with guns.  I’m generally quite happy to see them arrested, and convicted,  Hell, Trayvon had texts saying that he was interested in both buying and selling guns

It is funny, because you almost managed to swerve into a truth.  Because (I hope) Zimmerman and I DO belong to the same “tribe”, the tribe of people who work to make the world a better place.  The tribe of people who are willing to go out of their way to help other, to protect others.  The tribe of people who are willing to take a stand against the barbarians of the night.

The tribe of people who are willing to stand against the Trayvon Martin’s of the world.

Trayvon Martin was a thief, and a drug user, and thug, a street brawler who liked to fight.  He was on a straight path to a worthless life, and the only real question was would he get killed before, or after, he killed someone else.  And on a dark and rainy night, his ego and his thuggish nature lead him to attack a good and decent man, at best because that man’s attempts to protect his neighborhood hurt Martin’s ego, pride, or feelings.

Happily, that good and decent man was armed, so instead of being beaten to death, or until he was crippled for life, he was able to defend himself, and the young thug died instead.  Sadly, he’ll probably have nightmares for the rest of his life.  Also sadly, some leftist inspired PoS will probably murder him, for the “crime” of having committed self defense at a time when our Dear Leader Obama needed a patsy to stoke racial tensions, in order to eventually get his voters out to the polls.

If you gave a sh!t about the other young men on Trayvon’s path, you’d be out there screaming “don’t be like Trayvon.  Build a worthwhile life, don’t be a punk, don’t be a thug.”  But you don’t care.  all you want is some talking points so you can pretend to be morally superior.

Comment on the Zimmerman case

July 17, 2013

“He bears some moral responsibility for Martin’s death for reasons William Saletan has enumerated”

The only problem being that the “reasons William Saletan has enumerated” were complete crap. GZ was attacked by Martin near GZ’s car. If Martin had wanted to go home, he would have gone home, and NOTHING would have happened.

One person, and one person only, cares the complete moral responsibility for what happened: Treyvon Martin.  There is absolutely nothing morally wrong with being suspicious of someone who’s acting suspiciously, EVEN if the person who is acting suspiciously happens to be a teenaged black male.

Punching someone, tackling him to the ground, and then beating on him because he hurt your feelings?  Completely and totally unjustified.  Get over it, and yourself.

I was out walking last night, and my path was about to intersect the path of a mid 20s female.  She stopped walking at reached into her backpack for something.  I gave her a nod and a smile, and bent my path a bit so there was a couple more feet of clearance between us.

Would I ever be a threat to her?  No.  Was I insulted that she was worried about it?  No.  Treyvon Martin is dead because he illegitimately chose to get bent out of shape.  That’s his problem, not George Zimmerman’s.

The, IIRC, last defense witness to testify was a woman whose house had been broken in to when she was at home with her ~7 month old infant.  911 told her to grab whatever weapon she could, and retreat to the safest place she could find.  She grabbed a screw driver, and went to her bedroom with her baby.  The robber jiggled her door handle before stealing things and going away.  George Zimmerman and his wife, as friendly neighbors, tried to help her.

GZ eventually helped catch the black teenage male who lived in the complex, and who was the robber, caught with stolen goods from multiple houses in his home.  Will left that out, since it detracts from his preferred narrative.

Treyvon Martin was a thief, caught with stolen jewelry in his possession.  He was on drugs the night he attacked GZ.  According to GZ, TM came to his attention because TM was acting like he was casing a house for later robbery, just like the previous teenage criminal GZ helped catch.  If you’re rich enough so that you can live in a place where the cops come quickly, and the criminals stay away, good for you.

But for you to look down your nose at George Zimmerman, a man who wasn’t as well off as you, and who was therefore putting his time and effort into trying to make his neighborhood a better and safer place to live, is contemptible.

You should be ashamed of yourself.