Tuesday Highlights

OK. Back to it.

  1. A counter example for the “there are no stupid questions” hypothesis.
  2. A passing noted.
  3. Academic bigotry on display.
  4. Flaming taillights … somebody needs to make that a feature not a bug.
  5. Advice for those doing civil patrols or community watch services.
  6. Lewis Carroll and CEO publicity statements.
  7. Chutzpah defined.

All about the continuing Zimmerman kerfuffle, post verdict.

  1. You can be amused by Mr Obama’s upside down metaphor (stop the tide of gun violence) … which gets it exactly backwards. You don’t want to stop a tide when it’s going the way you want, and gun violence has been dropping for two decades, i.e., the tide is receding. Apparently Mr Obama is either unaware of that or wants more violence (more stupid or evil … pick one).
  2. The Congo-Somali problem, that is that which gets press isn’t the matters which more deserve the same.
  3. Grist for the discussion.
  4. What would have happened if? Well, you wouldn’t have the President trying to influence the case to the prosecution, nor the State of Florida switching to one of their top prosecutor teams, and so on.
  5. And when what you know about Public defenders comes from Law and Order … keep quiet.
  6. Some technical notes on self defense law.

21 Responses to Tuesday Highlights

  1. A counter example for the “there are no stupid questions” hypothesis.

    Not sure why this is a stupid question. If it did happen it would be fascinating to know what the offspring might be able to tell us about animal thought processes. I believe in the 70′s there actually was some scientist claiming he did it, but it turned out to be a hoax. Of course totally unethical but don’t pretend if it wasn’t done you’d be as eager as anyone to learn what the results are.

    Obama

    You don’t want to stop a tide when it’s going the way you want, and gun violence has been dropping for two decades,

    Errr yet the GOP is demanding more more more against illegal immigration even though that has been dropping dramatically (even possibly turning negative in some years!). I’m not exactly sure why we shouldn’t be wishing for fewer innocent deaths by gun violence just because we have fewer such deaths now than we used too. We have fewer auto fatalities per mile driven than we used too. Do you encourage your children to drink and drive and avoid seat belts because of that?

    4.What would have happened if?

    If a black person claimed self-defense after killing the only possible witness who could counteract such a claim? 10-20 years I’d say. Possibly not murder but probably manslaughter.

    The President had no undue influence on the prosecution. The prosecution was moved by public outcry but then why shouldn’t the prosecution be so moved? In many counties the prosecutor is actually elected after all! But Zimmerman benefited from a generous legal defense fund. What would have happened if Zimmerman had been charged from the outset and the case attracted no major attention? He probably would have been pressured to cop a plea either by a public defender or by a private attorney that would have broken his bank.

    IMO in most ‘alternative universes’ Zimmerman would have ended up worse than this one so his supporters should can the martyr routine.

  2. 6.Some technical notes on self defense law.

    I strongly suspect this may be the law but no juries actually follow it. Do you really believe that anytime ‘self-defense’ is claimed it’s really disproven beyond reasonable doubt to secure a conviction?

    Let’s look at OJ Simpson. Suppose he claimed that Goldman and Nicole came at him, Goldman with a knife. In the heat of the instant he used his own knife to kill both. I think a jury would have disbelieved such a theory and voted to convict. Yet could you really say it was impossible beyond reasonable doubt? Only 3 people were there and 2 are dead. Something like that could have happened, couldn’t it?

  3. Boonton,

    If a black person claimed self-defense after killing the only possible witness who could counteract such a claim? 10-20 years I’d say. Possibly not murder but probably manslaughter.

    The question was what would have happened if Mr Martin was white. Your suggestion is interesting because what you infer is that if Mr Martin was white then Mr Zimmerman would have been not white any longer as the press and the left assert but he’d be a black+hispanic and charged with murder and get 10/20. Hmm. Interesting but not I think where you intended to go.

    The President had no undue influence on the prosecution.

    I see. The President says during the trial something like “If I had a son, he’d look like Mr Martin” or was it “be like”. That can’t have any influence at all on a trial outcome. No sir. If he’d said the opposite (supporting Mr Z) or if a GOP President had pooh poohed during the trial you’d be talking influence. But the other way … oh no influence at all.

    But Zimmerman benefited from a generous legal defense fund.

    Which arose in response to the rediculuous outcry by the left.

    IMO in most ‘alternative universes’ Zimmerman would have ended up worse than this one so his supporters should can the martyr routine.

    Have you read any left wing commentators. They’re living in said alternative universe itself. Innocent until proven guilty and guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt … d’ya see anyone on the left commenting post verdict who seems to remember that? The Trib had an article quoting some young black girl asking her grandmother “am I next?” … Apparently the response wasn’t “well honey, as long as you can keep yourself from beating up middle aged Hispanic guys, pounding their head in the concrete, and when you spot that they carry a gun go for it yourself crying out ‘I’m gonna kill you’ along at night … no if you can not do that then you’re not next.” Geesh.

    Errr yet the GOP is demanding more more more against illegal immigration …

    Feel free to mock any GOP person wanting to stem the rising tide when the tide is receding. The problem isn’t wanting “less deaths by gun violence” but screwing up the metaphor. “Rising tide” should refer to a thing with a positive slope. When something is receding and you wish to stem the tide what that metaphor means you want to reverse the current trend. The trend is downward. Now, I realize the Democrat power base would benefit from the tide going up. So, stupid or evil? Looks like you think Mr Obama truly desires the tide to go down, which makes him stupid not evil … is that it?

  4. Boonton,

    Let’s look at OJ Simpson. Suppose he claimed that Goldman and Nicole came at him, Goldman with a knife. In the heat of the instant he used his own knife to kill both. I think a jury would have disbelieved such a theory and voted to convict.

    Was that a dry ice knife? It just evaporated away? Wouldn’t the second knife actually have to be produced to support that?

  5. Perhaps he grabbed the knife, took it with him as he made his way home and later just lost it. He figured no point trying to explain self defense since no one would believe him.

  6. Boonton,
    Is that plausible? You are attacked by a guy with a knife. You kill him with yours somewhat improbably never getting touched by your opponents knife (knife fighting in my understanding is distinguished typically by both parties not escaping unscathed). After killing the guy and (why?) your wife (why kill your wife exactly did she pick up the mysterious knife somehow?). Then you pick up the knife and leave the scene with it … and then discard it in a place where it is impossible to recover and your defense team improbably decides to make no attempt to discover and find, describe, locate possession of, or produce any forensic evidence at all that this knife ever existed. Hence, suggestions of the mysterious dry ice knife? There’s a reason why nobody would believe him. It isn’t probable. (Note: it is likely that a un-armed (no knife) defender would be attacked and wounded differently than in a fight between two men both with knives … any evidence of that? Wouldn’t you use that in your defense?) The point is any self-defense narrative is accompanied by forensic evidence consistent with that. Your knife suggestion lacks all of that.

    On the other hand Mr Zimmerman’s description is entirely plausible. And therein lies the difference. Let’s see. Mr Z was weaker, less fit, has bruises and contusions consistent with his story, Mr Martin had scrapes on his knuckles consistent with Mr Z’s story, screams identified by many witnesses as being Mr Z’s cries are heard on audio recordings of the event. This isn’t just “he said and can’t be countersaid” there is actual evidence that backs up his version and does not back up the prosecutors version. Whoops.

    By the way, do you think Mr Z has a valid (righteous) civil case against that network (ABC?) for broadcasting “he’s Black” 911 call having edited out the “Is he Black?” question from the 911 operator and alleging an unwarranted impugning racism charge? Is that defamatory enough to warrant a civil case for damages? Heck a goodly percentage of the liberals on your side of the aisle still don’t realize the edit took place.

    Can you explain a bit the plastic definition you on your side of the aisle have concerning race? Your side presumes Mr Zimmerman is white … with a South American mother and a black grandmother (or was it great grandmother)? Was it Ms Warren who you defend as Cherokee for her Harvard job application when no actual Cherokee ancestry actually exists but … Mr Z is white and Ms Warren is not. Explain that for me. A co-worker suggested that “any drop of white blood” makes one white, which likely means Mr Martin was white too by that definition, eh? The point of the question to stop my digression, is how do you define a persons race, since it seems so important?

  7. The question was what would have happened if Mr Martin was white.

    OK let me give you all my probabilities

    Zim – white Martin – black too high chance of no prosecution

    Zim – white Martin – white 50-50 chance of no prosecution

    Zim – black Martin – black probably good chance of prosecution but not as high as if both were white

    zim – black Martin – white almost no chance of avoiding prosecution

    The President says during the trial something like “If I had a son, he’d look like Mr Martin” or was it “be like”. That can’t have any influence at all on a trial outcome.

    It would appear it didn’t have any such influence. He also called it a tragedy, which if you think about it is actually prejudicial towards Zimmerman. A tragedy usually means something that was an accident, unintended, ‘fate’ if you will. If the position was that Zimmerman had committed cold blooded murder, that’s not a tragedy but a crime. But contrast his statement with people like Romney at the time (see http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57403438-503544/gingrich-romney-santorum-discuss-trayvon-martin/ for example). Much of the same sentiments were said by others. Granted they didn’t say their sons would look like Martin, but yes Mr. Obama has dark skin and it’s most likely any son he has would also have dark skin….much less than children Romney or Gingrich would have.

    Which arose in response to the rediculuous outcry by the left.

    But if he had simply been charged that night the case probably wouldn’t have gotten no attention and the end result would have been more likely a manslaughter conviction or plea. Again something like half the cops that night were inclined to charge him so it’s not like his innocence was so obvious and a foregone conclusion as the right likes to depict.

    Innocent until proven guilty and guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt … d’ya see anyone on the left commenting post verdict who seems to remember that

    Well Mr. Obama said we are a nation of laws and the jury has spoken. Not sure if you consider him ‘the left’. I see a lot of people on the right assuming Martin was guilty, even guilty of attempted murder which is strange since he will not be given an opportunity for any type of trial.

    The problem isn’t wanting “less deaths by gun violence” but screwing up the metaphor. “Rising tide” should refer to a thing with a positive slope. When something is receding and you wish to stem the tide what that metaphor means you want to reverse the current trend

    Granted an injustice was done to mathematics by said metaphor. Not a very great injustice, though.

  8. Boonton,
    Regarding your fantasy probability matrix of race/race … keep in mind Mr Zimmerman had a South American mother, black grandmother and great grandfather. If Mr Obama is black so is Mr Z. Or wait … Mr Obama is now not! a black President. He is white! Mr Z certainly would not normally be considered white unless the press and the left hadn’t pigeonholed him in a particular narrative. So your third entry is the actual probability.

    It would appear it didn’t have any such influence.

    I see. So the failure to actually influence is evidence of no attempt to influence. Interesting. Does that mean attempted crimes are never problematic? Bribing a law officer is legal if the guy still arrests you for example? Off topic, that reminds me of the Western judge announcing that the prosecution had bribed him in the amount of $5k and the defense had given him a $8k bribe … and that he was returning $3k to the defense and would try the case on its merits.

    But if he had simply been charged that night the case probably wouldn’t have gotten no attention and the end result would have been more likely a manslaughter conviction or plea

    He was charged with manslaughter and found innocent. Do you forget that intentionally? The reason he wasn’t charged is the cops and D/A didn’t think they had a case and … gosh, they were right. Odd that.

    Well Mr. Obama said we are a nation of laws and the jury has spoken

    And how is “we are a nation of laws” anyhow logically congruent to the statement innocent until proven guilty? Seems to me “we are a nation of laws” points not to presumption of innocence but more akin to saying that we (alas) have to stay with the verdict which which due process has arrived (even though we presume he is guilty). Not the same, but you knew that.

    I see a lot of people on the right assuming Martin was guilty.

    Well, as you point out he is not on trial. Guilty? Are you figuring that Mr Zimmerman got two black eyes, broken nose and lacerations on the back of his head spontaneously. Or that someone else beat the crap out of him? If Mr Martin survived I suspect there would be an aggravated battery charge at the very least.

    Granted an injustice was done to mathematics by said metaphor. Not a very great injustice, though

    The injustice was in the misleading impression given that gun violence on the rise and this rise must be halted. And yes, in the grand scheme of things it is not a very great injustice. It is just yet another small mistruth in a long line of the same.

  9. Boonton,
    So … is it now “if you have but one drop of white blood in your ancestry” you are white is the left’s notion on how race is defined?

    And we are still waiting for a American black President I guess.

  10. Plausible? No but possible. Why kill the wife? Well maybe he was mad. But then he would be innocent of one count of murder while being guilty of the other. That might also explain why you would leave the scene and take the knife with you. If you were justified in killing Goldman but unjustified in killing the wife you would rather not be connected to the killings at all. While the knife may absolve you of one murder it puts you at the scene of another. Then again you also have plain stupidity. When emotions run high people often behave absurdly.

    Z’s story may be more plausible but reasonable doubt includes the implausible but possible. (BTW, the screams were identified as both Z and Martin by witnesses and forensics could not come to a conclusion)

    By the way, do you think Mr Z has a valid (righteous) civil case against that network (ABC?) for broadcasting “he’s Black” 911 call having edited out the “Is he Black?”

    Probably not.

    Can you explain a bit the plastic definition you on your side of the aisle have concerning race? Your side presumes Mr Zimmerman is white … with a South American mother and a black grandmother (or was it great grandmother)?

    No it doesn’t. It does assume the initial handling of the case was influenced by the *perceived* race of the two parties. I think this is also true for how many people have lined up afterwards.

    Like it or not Zimmerman is seen as more white than Martin. Maybe a black grandmother would have labelled him black in the days of Jim Crow but in normal day to day interactions no one conducts geneological background studies of the people they meet in real time. That’s due to the fact that race is a social construct.

  11. Boonton,

    By the way, do you think Mr Z has a valid (righteous) civil case against that network (ABC?) for broadcasting “he’s Black” 911 call having edited out the “Is he Black?”

    Probably not.

    Is that an opinion you think is shared by liberals, i.e., networks should be freely allowed to defame character to raise racial animus without any fear of legal consequences?

  12. I see. So the failure to actually influence is evidence of no attempt to influence.

    What attempt to influence? Obama’s statements mirror just about everyone else’s (horrible tragedy, we all feel bad for the family that lost their son etc.) with the only addition of the ‘son would look like me’ element…which really would only apply to a speaker like Mr. Obama.

    So you alleged ‘attempt to influence’ yet you cannot demonstrate either influence or an attempt for that matter. (And ‘failure to actually influence’ is pretty suspect in this case, certainly the President can influence a case. For example, he could have ordered the Justice Department to pick it up. With Terry Shiavo Congress influenced the case by passing a law giving her parents special access to the Federal courts…with a President in this context ‘failure to influence’ means essentially no attempt to influence).

    He was charged with manslaughter and found innocent. Do you forget that intentionally?

    If he was charged initially he most likely wouldn’t have gone to trial, wouldn’t have gone with a legal ‘dream team’ and most likely woul dhave been put under a lot of pressure to take a plea by his lawyer.

    And how is “we are a nation of laws” anyhow logically congruent to the statement innocent until proven guilty? Seems to me “we are a nation of laws” points not to presumption of innocence

    since our law is premised on the presumption of innocence that would seem to be covered. You have yet to point to a single statement Obama made that counters Zimmerman’s presumption of innocence. Pointing out that Martin’s death is a tragedy, even being sympathetic to Martin himself hardly requires one to assume Zimmerman must be guilty.

    Well, as you point out he is not on trial. Guilty? Are you figuring that Mr Zimmerman got two black eyes, broken nose and lacerations on the back of his head spontaneously. Or that someone else beat the crap out of him?

    Getting gunned down trumps getting a black eye(s) IMO.

    Re: Mathematical ‘injustice’

    Obama’s statement:

    We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis.

    I don’t see any claim that the tide is ‘rising’. While it’s easy in speaking to make mistakes like depicting a problem as a rising problem when in fact its stable nothing here is indicating Obama was claiming gun violence was rising….only that we should try to stop it…which is the usual ‘good answer’.

    It is just yet another small mistruth in a long line of the same.

    Actually it’s yet another in a long line of claims of supposedly outrageous statements by Obama or Biden that upon scrutiny turn out to either be you distorting the original context, being ignorant of relevant facts or simply just blowing something up out of all proportion. In other words yet more evidence your claims in this area cannot be trusted and should not be trusted or given credibility.

  13. Boonton,

    If he was charged initially he most likely wouldn’t have gone to trial, wouldn’t have gone with a legal ‘dream team’ and most likely woul dhave been put under a lot of pressure to take a plea by his lawyer.

    He only got a “dream team” or whatever because liberals made a big racial thing about it and decided to get a star prosecution team.

    I don’t see any claim that the tide is ‘rising’. While it’s easy in speaking to make mistakes like depicting a problem as a rising problem when in fact its stable nothing here is indicating Obama was claiming gun violence was rising….only that we should try to stop it…which is the usual ‘good answer’.

    But it’s not stable, its receding. The “tide” (the rate of change) is going down. Stemming the tide (at the beginning of a recession) would refer to stopping the dropping economy. The “tide” is dropping so stemming it would normally mean stop the decrease.

    Actually it’s yet another in a long line of claims of supposedly outrageous statements by Obama or Biden that upon scrutiny turn out to either be you distorting the original context, being ignorant of relevant facts or simply just blowing something up out of all proportion. In other words yet more evidence your claims in this area cannot be trusted and should not be trusted or given credibility.

    I see. You’ve gone out an admitted that he is misleading the truth and giving the mistaken impression that gun violence is on the rise when it is not. Apparently however that misleading impression is not a lie or mistruth but in fact “being ignorant of relevant facts or blowing out of proportion”. Yet actually given you saying “when in fact it is stable” leads on to suspect that you have also been misled by Obama and you think he is not lying only because you believe his lies. Gotcha.

    since our law is premised on the presumption of innocence that would seem to be covered

    I see. So now Mr Obama will try to influence the Justice department to not seek further claims against Mr Zimmerman? We shall see.

    Getting gunned down trumps getting a black eye(s) IMO.

    And how is that relevant?

  14. He only got a “dream team” or whatever because liberals made a big racial thing about it and decided to get a star prosecution team.

    Star prosecution team? The imbalance here favors the defense. In other words, the difference between the state’s ‘best prosecutor’ versus an average one is not as great as the advantage between a public defender level and a dream one.

    But it’s not stable, its receding. The “tide” (the rate of change) is going down.

    Well if you’re going to kill the metaphor the tide is by definition not stable either. You just add the linguistic mash up by brining in the image of ‘stemming a recession’ meaning increase the positive.

    I see. You’ve gone out an admitted that he is misleading the truth and giving the mistaken impression that gun violence is on the rise when it is not.

    No I did the opposite, I gave the benefit of the doubt and assumed he said something like ‘stop the rising tide of gun deaths’ only to discover when I checked the quote directly he didn’t say that. I’m saying I can’t trust your evaluations of honesty on the part of Mr. Obama. Your partisanship is at such chronic levels that you’ve lost the ability to exercise any objective judgement. Example:

    I see. So now Mr Obama will try to influence the Justice department to not seek further claims against Mr Zimmerman?

    How does that follow? ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ means ‘not to be charged’? Errr no it only means you are innocent until you are charged and convicted of a crime. That’s all that is required by the rule of law and the presumption of innocence.

    And how is that relevant?

    You asserted its plausible for the right to assert Martin was guilty because Zimmerman was beaten up. Well Martin’s injuries from Zimmerman certainly meet that par.

  15. Boonton,

    Star prosecution team? The imbalance here favors the defense.

    Yah. That’s the design. Recall … “presumed innocent”. But note, you are conceding the initial point you were making about the star team, which is that he wouldn’t have got it without the big wash of liberal racism.

    In other words, the difference between the state’s ‘best prosecutor’ versus an average one is not as great as the advantage between a public defender level and a dream one.

    And … a big step further down the rung from “best prosecutor” to average PD we find … journalists and politicians.

    Errr no it only means you are innocent until you are charged and convicted of a crime.

    He was. He was found innocent. Double jeopardy anyone?

    How does that follow?

    Uhm. Well, for those whose partisanship is not a chronic levels like yourself, the statement made by Obama would indicate something like “that’s settled move on with your lives now” and an attempt to put oil on troubled waters and not what seems to be occurring which is that the feds (!?) will now decide that they need to get him for something someway somehow. ’cause you know “its a tragedy” therefore someone must pay.

    You asserted its plausible for the right to assert Martin was guilty

    I did not. Read what I wrote. I actually said he would likely be charged, not that he was guilty. And I haven’t said that Mr Z should not be charged, but that the police and D/A reviewed it and had decided initially that they didn’t have a case, and therefore there shouldn’t have been one. I don’t see anything that has occurred to counter that notion.

  16. Boonton,
    So are you amused by the recent liberal apologia for Mr Martin’s attacking Mr Zimmerman with the claim that Mr Martin likely assaulted Mr Zimmerman because he thought he might have been gay?

  17. Yah. That’s the design. Recall … “presumed innocent”.

    Not so much design. The state has an unlimited budget for experts, investigations, analyzing evidence etc. All a ‘star prosecutor’ can add over an average one is maybe some better rhetoric, snappier arguments etc. but that’s about it.

    The Defense is much limited in this regard which is why unless you’re able to layout $100K or so you’re not going to be able to challenge evidence effectively, put forth many complicated motions to frustrate the prosecutor’s case, engage in jury selection strategy, etc.. This is why if the case was initially charged but never got much attention an average defense for Zimmerman would have probably meant a plea deal or conviction whereas a ‘star prosecutor’ didn’t make much difference.

    He was. He was found innocent. Double jeopardy anyone?

    For what?

    ’cause you know “its a tragedy” therefore someone must pay.

    Romney called it a tragedy too. Are you saying a President Romeny would have been having the Feds ‘get him’? Or are you saying Romney lied by making an implicit promise he would have the Feds do that if elected? or are you saying that calling it a ‘tragedy’ doesn’t amount to an unfair ‘taking sides’….in which case your argument collapses yet again.

  18. More to the point do you have any actual criticism of President Obama here based on stuff he actually said or did? I notice whenever I ask you for specifics what I get is something accompanied with a demand that I read ‘between the lines’ or based on what you think he will do or say in the near future.

    If all of your examples call for imagination to be added then all you’re really giving us is your imagination.

  19. Boonton,
    No. Your objections typically call for imagination to stretch to not-the-ordinary usage of the words. Look if your basement taking water in but the pump is pumping water out faster. You wouldn’t say “stem the tide in the basement” because that would mislead your listeners into thinking that the level of water was rising not falling and this was a crises that needed immediate action. If there was standing water which was going down in that basement and you said “stem the tide” … that would be literally implying you want to slow (or reverse) the dropping water levels. At best that would be a misstatement … but if you were just trying to alarm people to spend more money on pumps and so on that would be, well and money was tight that would be stupid or evil too.

    Look this gives you the chance to jump on any and all GOP weasels who call illegal immigration a “tide” stupid or evil and liars (unless/until the illegal immigration rate again starts increasing).

  20. You have yet to support your assertion that Obama sided against Zimmerman.

    As for tide versus tide, the phrase is fine to use to address any problem you want to eliminate. An executive stating, “we have to stem the tide of shoplifting employees”, for example, can be said even if shoplifting employees are lower this year than last. In the context of a high emotion situation it becomes even more acceptable.

    I have no objection to Republicans saying they want to ‘stem the tide of illegal immigration’. I do object to making the immigration bill contingent on some massive increase in enforcement….esp. since we have some Republicans saying that the bill is objectionable because it ‘only’ reduces it by a factor of 50%….

  21. Boonton,

    An executive stating, “we have to stem the tide of shoplifting employees”, for example, can be said even if shoplifting employees are lower this year than last.

    No. That would be a mixed/misused metaphor. It would be misleading people to think that the situation is worsening.

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