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Friday, August 01, 2014

OT: Politics, August 2014: DNC criticizes Christie’s economic record with baseball video

As Gov. Chris Christie prepares to cap off his trip to New Hampshire tonight with a fundraiser at a minor-league baseball game, the Democratic National Committee has released a online video taking a swing at the Republican governor’s handling of New Jersey’s economy.

The clip is modeled after an old-time newsreel — the kind that would have been shown in movie houses when Babe Ruth ruled the baseball diamond in the 1920s.

It notes that under Christie — a possible candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2016 — New Jersey has among the highest property taxes and slowest job growth in the U.S.

“On his economic record, Chris Christie strikes out,” the video’s narrator says.

Bitter Mouse Posted: August 01, 2014 at 09:10 AM | 6359 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: new jersey, politics, video

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   6301. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 01, 2014 at 12:14 AM (#4783021)
But you might allow as how some would compare & connect the events, in terms of lethal attitudes in this country.

Well *of course* that's true. Stupid ass gun #### and the relentless discussion of and obsession with stupid ass gun #### was behind both of them. I think it took about two comments before I noted exactly that about Brown.

But that doesn't mean there isn't a massive difference in analysis and implications as between a private citizen and an agent of the state.

   6302. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 12:32 AM (#4783023)
an op-ed article by a cop (with no evidence of actual behavior against him other than that article)
If Barry Bonds said, "I used steroids. So nyah, nyah," I would not demand that you produce witnesses to his use of steroids before you could say that he used steroids. Similarly, when someone says, "If you don't want me to assault you, don't argue with me," it is ludicrous of you to demand witnesses to this person's conduct before concluding that he engages in the conduct he said he engages in.

Moreover, as I pointed out in my initial cite to the Op/Ed, you will note that no other police officers stepped up to say, "No, that's not true. That's not how we're trained. We don't hit people for arguing with us. It's outrageous that this guy would smear cops with such an essay."


Well, if you don't see any evidence of any "Zimmerman mentality", then why wouldn't you want to hire him as a policeman? Is it just your (perfectly reasonable) intuition that he's a walking powder keg?
No.
   6303. BrianBrianson Posted: September 01, 2014 at 05:07 AM (#4783037)
Is there anyone who can write a reasonable defense of Israel's announcement that it is seizing a thousand acres of land privately owned by Palestinians and declaring it state land? I was not critical of Israel's response the last month but this seems unthinkable to me.


For what it's worth, the Israeli army claims the land wasn't privately owned, though of course, I have little faith in either party here to be entirely truthful. As a response to the three kids getting killed there, I am actually really not sold on the "Israel should one-sidedly give all the concessions, and trust that Palestine will then negotiate a peace once Israel no longer has anything they want"-position. Certainly the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza gives no real reason to believe that's likely.

Which is a lot more like "I have a hard time being critical of a bad choice from a roster of bad choices" than "I think this is a good choice".

   6304. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 01, 2014 at 08:28 AM (#4783047)
an op-ed article by a cop (with no evidence of actual behavior against him other than that article)

If Barry Bonds said, "I used steroids. So nyah, nyah," I would not demand that you produce witnesses to his use of steroids before you could say that he used steroids. Similarly, when someone says, "If you don't want me to assault you, don't argue with me," it is ludicrous of you to demand witnesses to this person's conduct before concluding that he engages in the conduct he said he engages in.


A player with a cooperative "trainer" can easily juice up for years without detection, as Bonds was able to do before BALCO. A policeman with 17 years on the force who "routinely" engages in "routinely" hostile behavior towards citizens is not going to remain unknown within the community he's been patrolling, or un-outed as a brute after he writes a nationally distributed op-ed piece like Dutta's. Your entire "case" against him depends on your assumption that his writing was based on the way he "routinely" acts, rather than as a simple warning based on common sense, much as every sensible parent would give his or her child the same sort of warning.

Beyond that, one (or a hundred) Barry Bonds doesn't mean that 95% of ballplayers are juicers, let along "routine" juicers. "A few people have been known to do it, therefore everyone / 95% of them must do it" isn't exactly a rigorous form of proof. But then it's clear that this isn't about proof, it's about your primal need to vent against cops. Your simplistic zero cost "solutions" to "routinely" bad policing certainly demonstrate that for you this isn't about actually improving police work, it's just another excuse for mounting a soapbox.

Well, if you don't see any evidence of any "Zimmerman mentality", then why wouldn't you want to hire him as a policeman? Is it just your (perfectly reasonable) intuition that he's a walking powder keg?

No.


Okay, now that "he's a walking powder keg" has been eliminated as a reason for refusing to hire him, then what is your reason? Is it just that he doesn't seem bright enough?
   6305. BDC Posted: September 01, 2014 at 08:29 AM (#4783048)
To both DMN and Bear, I think this is a matter of "of course" on both sides. Of course, within the legal system, there is an enormous difference between a cop and a semi-vigilante, and between assault and WTF. But most people don't live inside the legal system, and boundaries between these categories tend to elide, rhetorically and politically. The bottom line is what does it take to get you shot in this country, and what kind of people are likeliest to get shot over what kinds of provocations, and who should be toting guns around to begin with, that sort of thing: all major political questions.
   6306. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 01, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4783072)
I think this is a matter of "of course" on both sides. Of course, within the legal system, there is an enormous difference between a cop and a semi-vigilante, and between assault and WTF. But most people don't live inside the legal system, and boundaries between these categories tend to elide, rhetorically and politically.

Exactly. Which is why, among other things, the distinction between a wannabee cop like Zimmerman and a "real" cop isn't as important as it's being made out to be. After all, as long as our legal system permits "neighborhood watch" systems to operate within the law, the same questions about acceptable behavior are (rightly) going to arise.

The bottom line is what does it take to get you shot in this country, and what kind of people are likeliest to get shot over what kinds of provocations, and who should be toting guns around to begin with, that sort of thing: all major political questions.

Political questions whose resolutions get stalled for the most part by "law and order" politicians whose supporters for the most part never have any sort of conflict with the police in their everyday lives, and have little or no sense of identification with those who do. The Fergusons (and Zimmermans) of the world don't exist in a political vacuum.
   6307. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 01, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4783073)
P.S. It's time for Brown Diaper Doper Baby Joey to pop in to remind us that we're now in a new month, and a new OTP thread.
   6308. Howie Menckel Posted: September 01, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4783075)

fwiw, AP All-America team 2013 had two 1st team defensive ends:
- Michael Sam, Missouri, 7th rd pick, cut by Rams
- Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas, undrafted, cut by Seahawks

   6309. CrosbyBird Posted: September 01, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4783096)
Exactly. Which is why, among other things, the distinction between a wannabee cop like Zimmerman and a "real" cop isn't as important as it's being made out to be.

There is a vast difference between an individual private, untrained actor and an agent of the state with formal training and a specific professional mandate to the protect the public. Zimmerman acted poorly* and the government responded with an investigation and trial; exactly what we'd expect a reasonably-behaving government to do. The Ferguson situation involved a poorly acting officer, and the response was everything we'd expect a racist, corrupt government to do. Zimmerman wasn't given any authority by anyone but himself so even the worst interpretation of events involves only one bad actor with very little actual power whose behavior was condemned enough for him to face trial for murder. Ferguson involved a large group of people with power all acting in concert to prevent the initial actor from facing justice.

There are parallels that one can draw with regards to race, and it's part of the discussion, to be sure, but it's completely reasonable to object to the Ferguson incident on entirely non-racial grounds.

*The most charitable interpretation of events still involves Zimmerman getting himself into a situation in which he lacked the proper training and didn't have anyone else to back him up if things went badly. Even if you assume no no evil intent, he displayed pretty poor judgment.
   6310. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 01, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4783100)
Having your kid go play at the church is apparently illegal in Florida.
   6311. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: September 01, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4783105)

Having your kid go play at the church is apparently illegal in Florida.


No, it's the same old ####. Contempt of cop. I love it how one can be arrested and charged only with resisting arrest. I mean, I can sort of see where resisting arrest can be a crime, but it can't be the only crime. If there was no crime prior to the arrest you resisted, what was the arrest for?
   6312. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 01, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4783108)
She wasn't "resisiting arrest." She was "obstructing." Basically, she had the audacity to either 1) hang up on a cop to go onstage and do her job, or 2) take another call and have the cop be disconnected. The first is his story, the second is hers. And all of our "liberal media bias" true believers really need to take a peek at the close of the linked Reason coverage in order to see how the media is "covering" this.
   6313. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 01, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4783113)
Exactly. Which is why, among other things, the distinction between a wannabee cop like Zimmerman and a "real" cop isn't as important as it's being made out to be.

There is a vast difference between an individual private, untrained actor and an agent of the state with formal training and a specific professional mandate to the protect the public.


I'm not denying those differences, and since you've spelled them out there's no need for me to repeat them.

But there remains the fact that those "neighborhood watch" groups are (1) allowed to operate by the state; (b) set their own regulations; and (c) set their own criteria for hiring.

And as a result, you get a wannabee cop like Zimmerman who carries around a gun and assumes (in his own mind, anyway) many of the functions of a beat cop.

The question to me is why these ad hoc vigilante groups aren't (1) much more heavily regulated; and (2) even allowed to carry guns on their neighborhood rounds. Second amendment considerations aside, you can see what happens when you combine vigilantes and guns. You get morons like Zimmerman who wind up killing civilians with a gun he never should have been allowed to be carrying in the first place.

That's not to say that many neighborhood watch groups aren't extremely helpful, such as many of the ones you see in Washington and other big cities. Similarly, the unarmed Guardian Angels were a helpful supplement to the NYC subway cops during the high crime era of the 80's, when their presence on the trains alone deterred much criminal behavior. But when these vigilante groups don't sufficiently regulate and control their own members, it's hard to make that much distinction between their behavior and the "routine" behavior of real cops of the sort that people here have been complaining about.
   6314. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 01, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4783118)
She wasn't "resisiting arrest." She was "obstructing." Basically, she had the audacity to either 1) hang up on a cop to go onstage and do her job, or 2) take another call and have the cop be disconnected. The first is his story, the second is hers. And all of our "liberal media bias" true believers really need to take a peek at the close of the linked Reason coverage in order to see how the media is "covering" this.

Sam, do you really think that the "liberal media" BS is ever going to stop? And do you ever think the whole goddam nanny state mentality surrounding parenting is ever going to ease up? If the paranoid protectiveness of today had been around 50 years ago, 90% of the parents in America would have been in jail.
   6315. Morty Causa Posted: September 01, 2014 at 12:45 PM (#4783120)
I'm not exactly clear on this holding that Zimmerman acted in poor judgment. What did he do and when that was an act of poor judgment? And what standard is being used to judge him as acting in poor judgment. It can't be simply because something untoward eventuated. It has to be something that makes him accountable. Why would one think Zimmerman display poor judgment? What must be assumed to determine someone is acting with poor judgment? Is reporting to the police that he’s observing someone in his neighborhood acting suspiciously acting with poor judgment? Is that it? I think the authorities actually depend on citizens doing that sort of thing, even encouraging people to report exactly that sort of stuff, if tons of PSAs are to be taken at face value. If he’s allowed to report suspicious activity in his neighborhood, and the police encourage that we do that, what was wrong with doing that? If that isn’t his act of poor judgment on his part, what is, then?
   6316. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4783129)
After all, as long as our legal system permits "neighborhood watch" systems to operate within the law, the same questions about acceptable behavior are (rightly) going to arise.

Neighborhood watch programs and the people that comprise them are given no police powers, so no -- the "same questions about acceptable behavior" are not going to arise.

Other than among the racially obsessed, of course. That was and is the only complaint the modern liberals have with George Zimmerman -- that he's a different race than Trayvon Martin. Had he been black, no cause celebre; had Martin been Hispanic or white, no cause celebre.

George Zimmerman did not exercise the power of the state and, as a result, was orders of magnitude less dangerous than the cops referred to in the op-ed. He killed one person, in self-defense. He wasn't even remotely the most dangerous private citizen out there, much less as dangerous as the state.
   6317. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4783132)
There is a vast difference between an individual private, untrained actor and an agent of the state with formal training and a specific professional mandate to the protect the public.


Yes; Andy breezes over this to make a bizarre link between Zimmerman and a cop.

Zimmerman acted poorly* and the government responded with an investigation and trial; exactly what we'd expect a reasonably-behaving government to do.


Actually, the actual authorities on the ground level looked at the evidence and decided not to prosecute him because he had a valid self-defense claim. Then the lynch mob got involved and a special prosecutor was appointed and things went downhill from there, as he was put on trial despite the lack of evidence to support the charges. And when he was rightfully acquitted after wrongfully tried, Eric Holder continued to fan the flames by dishonestly claiming that there was still a chance Zimmerman would be tried federally when Holder knew damned well that there was no evidence to support a federal prosecution.

If there's a "link" between Zimmerman and Wilson, or a lesson to be learned (yet again), it's that the lynch mob will settle for nothing less than a trial even if the evidence doesn't support one. Which is abominable. No decent and fair minded people should nod approvingly as a man is given a "day in court" that he doesn't deserve, his liberty hanging in the balance. We used to understand that in this country.

   6318. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4783134)
No, I think "conservative" America has eaten it's own dog food about being the "real victims" and will continue to believe as much with little reference to reality.
   6319. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4783136)
Yes; Andy breezes over this to make a bizarre link between Zimmerman and a cop.

If you were debating the relative merits of Camembert and Brie, the modern liberal would find a way to bring George Zimmerman into the festivities.
   6320. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4783137)
That was and is the only complaint the modern liberals have with George Zimmerman -- that he's a different race than Trayvon Martin.


Other than that whole "stalking an unarmed teenager in the streets, picking a fight with him and then shooting him dead when he felt he might not beat the boy in the fight he started." I mean, aside from all that, right?
   6321. Morty Causa Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4783138)
When did that happen? And what evidence do you have for that?
   6322. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4783139)
Other than that whole "stalking an unarmed teenager in the streets, picking a fight with him and then shooting him dead when he felt he might not beat the boy in the fight he started." I mean, aside from all that, right?

Yes, aside from all that. Teenagers and young adult males (and for that matter, children) are routinely killed by guns and fights in this country in all imaginable permutations and combinations of "He started it" -- to no fanfare.
   6323. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4783143)
But there remains the fact that those "neighborhood watch" groups are (1) allowed to operate by the state; (b) set their own regulations; and (c) set their own criteria for hiring.

And as a result, you get a wannabee cop like Zimmerman who carries around a gun and assumes (in his own mind, anyway) many of the functions of a beat cop.

The question to me is why these ad hoc vigilante groups aren't (1) much more heavily regulated; and (2) even allowed to carry guns on their neighborhood rounds. Second amendment considerations aside, you can see what happens when you combine vigilantes and guns. You get morons like Zimmerman who wind up killing civilians with a gun he never should have been allowed to be carrying in the first place.


That's a neat soapbox you've mounted based on a fun set of facts that exist only in your head.

Zimmerman was not part of any "neighborhood watch." And the neighborhood watch in his community were NOT allowed to carry weapons, and they're supposed to call in perceived threats, not follow them. (I also understand that this is the case in most or all neighborhood watches, though I haven't researched that.)

Quoting:

When 28-year-old George Zimmerman was discovered by Sanford, Florida police standing over the body of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, they accepted Zimmerman’s claim that he killed in self-defense as a neighborhood watch captain. Now, through a statement released by the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) — the parent organization of USAonWatch-Neighborhood Watch — it has been revealed that Zimmerman was not a member of any group recognized by the organization. Zimmerman violated the central tenets of Neighborhood Watch by following Martin, confronting him and carrying a concealed weapon. [RDP: Actually while Zimmerman did initially follow Martin as we can see from the 911 call, there's no evidence that Zimmerman "confronted" Martin.]

“In no program that I have ever heard of does someone patrol with a gun in their pocket,” Carmen Caldwell, the Executive Director of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade, told theGrio. “Every city and municipality has their own policies. Here in Miami-Dade we train people only to be the eyes and ears of their communities. Not to follow and most definitely not to carry a weapon.”

....

The tragedy of Trayvon Martin’s death at the hands of someone who claimed to be a Neighborhood Watch captain will not alter the structure of the organization. Yet, “Our condolences go out to the family, because this was not necessary,” Tutko said of the Trayvon Martin shooting.

“The only change will be to use this as an example of what not to do,” he confirmed.

“Neighborhood Watch — the way we teach it, and the way it has always been — is based on the premise that we don’t carry weapons, nor do we intervene in any incidences,” the leader continued. “Because what that does is escalate a situation and makes a volunteer another victim. We’ll use this sad event as a bad example, but we won’t be changing any literature or protocols.”

http://thegrio.com/2012/03/21/zimmerman-not-a-member-of-recognized-neighborhood-watch-organization/

   6324. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4783146)
I'm not exactly clear on this holding that Zimmerman acted in poor judgment. What did he do and when that was an act of poor judgment?


Let's start with the bleedin' obvious: Continuing to stalk Martin after the 911 operator told him specifically not to.
   6325. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4783147)
Sam, do you really think that the "liberal media" BS is ever going to stop?


Not any time soon. The first step, as they teach in any recovery program, is admitting that there is a problem.

Until liberals admit that liberal media bias exists, the problem will continue.
   6326. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4783148)
I'm not exactly clear on this holding that Zimmerman acted in poor judgment. What did he do and when that was an act of poor judgment?


He followed around and provoked a confrontation with a kid for no good reason, a kid who didn't know he had a gun, and then when he was losing a fistfight with the kid he shot him dead.

I say "no good reason" because _at worst_, if everything Zimmerman suspected Martin of was true, Martin was simply a potential burglar. Not a killer, not a would-be rapist, nothing like that.

Zimmerman is scum, a danger to the community, and if I knew people who knew him I would advise them to stay far away from him.
   6327. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4783150)
But there remains the fact that those "neighborhood watch" groups are (1) allowed to operate by the state

What does this even mean? Under this construction, private citizens are "allowed to exist by the state." So what? Does that mean the state is responsible for Ted Bundy's 30 murders?
   6328. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4783151)
Let's start with the bleedin' obvious: Continuing to stalk Martin after the 911 operator told him specifically not to.


Well, no, actually there's no evidence of that.

I have nothing but scorn and contempt for Zimmerman, which is why it's annoying having to defend him against the factually bankrupt charges leveled at him by liberals. He did enough wrong that we don't have to invent things that he didn't do.
   6329. Kurt Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4783152)
And all of our "liberal media bias" true believers really need to take a peek at the close of the linked Reason coverage in order to see how the media is "covering" this.


You're deluding yourself if you think most liberals/Democrats/whatever you want to call them would agree with you and me that there's nothing wrong with letting a ten year old out by herself. Or that there's nothing icky/bad mother-ish about being a stripper.
   6330. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4783153)
What does this even mean? Under this construction, private citizens are "allowed to exist by the state." So what? Does that mean the state is responsible for Ted Bundy's 30 murders?


Right. Members of NW groups aren't allowed to do anything that other citizens can't do. They are given no special powers, rights, or privileges.
   6331. formerly dp Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4783154)
Until liberals admit that liberal media bias exists, the problem will continue.
Your evidence of systemic liberal bias in the mass media is what again? The perception of media bias tends to be in the eye of the beholder-- liberals will selectively perceive media coverage to be biased in favor of conservatives, and conservatives will selectively perceive media coverage to be biased in favor of liberals. This is just another example situation where you're disavowing your own hyperemotionalism and biases on a subject.
   6332. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4783155)
I think this is a matter of "of course" on both sides. Of course, within the legal system, there is an enormous difference between a cop and a semi-vigilante, and between assault and WTF. But most people don't live inside the legal system, and boundaries between these categories tend to elide, rhetorically and politically.

Exactly. Which is why, among other things, the distinction between a wannabee cop like Zimmerman and a "real" cop isn't as important as it's being made out to be. After all, as long as our legal system permits "neighborhood watch" systems to operate within the law, the same questions about acceptable behavior are (rightly) going to arise.
I don't know what "permits neighborhood watch systems to operate within the law" means. How could one forbid people from seeing things?

But, as always, you are wrong; the distinction is much more important than it's being made out to be. Agents of the government have special rights, powers, and duties, both de facto and de jure, that private citizens do not possess. A cop can legally detain people, give orders in some circumstances, and use force against those who don't comply with those orders. They get 'investigated' by their friends and ''prosecuted' by their friends, if at all. They can arrest people (and use force to do so), up to and including lethal force, in a much wider set of circumstances than people can.


EDIT: Or, what CB said in 6309.
   6333. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 01, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4783158)
Let's start with the bleedin' obvious: Continuing to stalk Martin after the 911 operator told him specifically not to.

A 911 operator has no authority to prevent a private citizen from doing any lawful thing the private citizen wants to do. Nor is there any reason to believe that a 911 operator is any more competent at ascertaining a situation than a private citizen.
   6334. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4783160)
She wasn't "resisiting arrest." She was "obstructing." Basically, she had the audacity to either 1) hang up on a cop to go onstage and do her job, or 2) take another call and have the cop be disconnected. The first is his story, the second is hers. And all of our "liberal media bias" true believers really need to take a peek at the close of the linked Reason coverage in order to see how the media is "covering" this.
Actually, according to the linked piece, she was charged with both resisting ("without violence," which is an even more bogus charge than regular resisting arrest, if that's possible) and obstruction.

As for your sneering at the liberal media meme, the "The government is here to protect children" fits in nicely with that.

(Hint, people: do not call the police unless you want someone beaten, shot, or arrested. The police are not there to help you. They are there to use force on behalf of the state. WTF did the stupid grandmother call the cops? The kid was 'missing' -- and I use the term loosely -- for 2½ hours.)
   6335. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: September 01, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4783164)
A 911 operator has no authority to prevent a private citizen from doing any lawful thing the private citizen wants to do.


Still bad judgement, which was the sub topic. Something doesn't have to be illegal to be bad judgement.

Nor is there any reason to believe that a 911 operator is any more competent at ascertaining a situation than a private citizen.


"I'd like to report a suspicious person prowling around the neighborhood. I'm going to follow him so he doesn't get away"

"No, don't do that" is always sound advice regardless of the particular circumstances.
   6336. CrosbyBird Posted: September 01, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4783166)
I'm not exactly clear on this holding that Zimmerman acted in poor judgment. What did he do and when that was an act of poor judgment? And what standard is being used to judge him as acting in poor judgment.

I would consider approaching any random stranger and questioning his right to be in a particular spot in public space as very likely to be poor judgment. If you're wrong about him being a bad guy, you're going to be harassing an innocent guy. If you're right about him being a bad guy, then a physical confrontation is quite possible.

Zimmerman engaged a potential criminal not currently putting anyone at risk without backup and without the authority of a badge. That's a pretty foolish thing to do no matter how noble his intentions were.

If you need to step in to prevent an assault or worse, perhaps you can justify acting rather than waiting for the police to show up. That a terrible thing did happen isn't the proof that Zimmerman was wrong, but it demonstrates the danger and why it should take an extreme situation to intervene.
   6337. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4783167)
But there remains the fact that those "neighborhood watch" groups are (1) allowed to operate by the state; (b) set their own regulations; and (c) set their own criteria for hiring.
As always, you are completely confused about facts and law, which is probably why you keep mistakenly calling Zimmerman a "pretend policeman" and the like. A neighborhood watch group is not a governmental agency. The government has no more say over one's existence or operation than it does over a book club or cub scout troop.

It doesn't have any "criteria for hiring" because it doesn't hire anybody in the first place. It's a volunteer organization, a group of people in a neighborhood who get together and agree to take turns keeping an eye out.

And as a result, you get a wannabee cop like Zimmerman who carries around a gun and assumes (in his own mind, anyway) many of the functions of a beat cop.
No. Not right in any respect.

The question to me is why these ad hoc vigilante groups aren't (1) much more heavily regulated; and (2) even allowed to carry guns on their neighborhood rounds. Second amendment considerations aside, you can see what happens when you combine vigilantes and guns. You get morons like Zimmerman who wind up killing civilians with a gun he never should have been allowed to be carrying in the first place.
(1) There's nothing to "regulate." You don't seem to grasp the nature of a neighborhood watch program, as I explain above.
(2) You don't know the meaning of vigilante.
(3) They're "allowed to carry guns on their neighborhood rounds" because anyone with a carry permit is allowed to carry a gun. (Note that Zimmerman wasn't on any rounds when the incident happened; he was on his way to the store.) If you want to eliminate gun carry, that's a separate fascist issue, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with the neighborhood watch.
   6338. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4783170)
Other than that whole "stalking an unarmed teenager in the streets, picking a fight with him and then shooting him dead when he felt he might not beat the boy in the fight he started." I mean, aside from all that, right?
Who needs evidence when the accused is whitewhite Hispanic, right?
   6339. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4783172)
Let's start with the bleedin' obvious: Continuing to stalk Martin after the 911 operator told him specifically not to.
That's pretty amazing: In only 13 words, at least four obvious errors, either things that are verifiably wrong or unsupported by the factual record:

1) There was no 911 operator.
2) She didn't "tell him specifically not to" do anything.
3) He wasn't "stalking" Martin.
4) He didn't "continue to do" anything after the call; he was heading back to his truck.
   6340. Howie Menckel Posted: September 01, 2014 at 02:35 PM (#4783173)
Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-the-killing-of-trayvon-martin/2013/07/03/0d76c176-e368-11e2-80eb-3145e2994a55_story.html

"Are you following him?” the operator for the Sanford police’s non-emergency line asks Zimmerman. “Yeah,” he says. The dispatcher on the phone tells him: “We don’t need you to do that.”

Capehart: Those who fault Zimmerman have latched on to this back-and-forth with Sean Noffke, the operator, as proof that Zimmerman defied a direct police order. Not so. Noffke testified on the first day of the jury trial that it is dispatchers’ policy not to give orders to callers. “We’re directly liable if we give a direct order,” he explained. “We always try to give general basic ... not commands, just suggestions.” So, “We don’t need you to do that” is different than a more direct “Don’t do that.”

Under cross-examination, Noffke added more context to his “suggestion” when asked whether his requests for updates on what Martin was doing encouraged Zimmerman to follow the unarmed 17-year-old. "It’s best to avoid any kind of confrontation, to just get away from the situation,” Noffke said.

.........

this article goes further:

http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/07/in-busting-zimmerman-myths-jonathan-capehart-perpetuates-the-greatest-myth-of-all/

"Capehart correctly debunks the myth that the police ordered Zimmerman not to follow Martin. But in so doing, Capehart does not address the most important part of the myth — that Zimmerman was in his car at the time. In so doing, Capehart assumes a fact which we know not to be true. Zimmerman was not in the car at the time of the comment “we don’t need you to do that.”

the link then has the transcript indicating that Zimmerman - wisely or not - already was following Martin at the time of the "we don't need you to do that" comment.

geesh, Zimmerman is difficult to "defend" but the whole narrative of him sitting in his car, getting a direct order from a 911 operator, then getting out of the car to go "hunting" is ridiculous. there's still a case to be made criticizing his behavior, so why do people need to keep making stuff up?

   6341. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4783174)
I say "no good reason" because _at worst_, if everything Zimmerman suspected Martin of was true, Martin was simply a potential burglar. Not a killer, not a would-be rapist, nothing like that.
Yes, and? That would seem like a "good reason," if in fact he "provoked" Martin at all. I would hope that if my neighbor saw some guy that he thought was casing my house (at a time when there had been a string of burglaries in the neighborhood), that he wouldn't shrug and say, "Oh well. Probably just a burglar. Not my problem."
   6342. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 01, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4783180)
Who needs evidence when the accused is whitewhite Hispanic, right?


You're hung up on race here. Not me. I have a problem with the armed man following people through public streets, starting fights and then shooting them dead. But hey. I'm sure some creeper starts trailing your kids around in the tape van you'll be cool with that.
   6343. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4783182)
Yes, and? That would seem like a "good reason," if in fact he "provoked" Martin at all. I would hope that if my neighbor saw some guy that he thought was casing my house (at a time when there had been a string of burglaries in the neighborhood), that he wouldn't shrug and say, "Oh well. Probably just a burglar. Not my problem."


Sure, if your neighbor simply calls something in, and doesn't set out with a loaded gun to follow the "suspicious person."

The fact that Zimmerman knows he has a gun but Martin doesn't is huge in the moral blame I lay at Zimmerman's feet.
   6344. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4783183)
I would consider approaching any random stranger and questioning his right to be in a particular spot in public space as very likely to be poor judgment. If you're wrong about him being a bad guy, you're going to be harassing an innocent guy. If you're right about him being a bad guy, then a physical confrontation is quite possible.
I agree with that statement. If you assume that Zimmerman was doing certain unwise things, then you can describe him as doing unwise things. But they are assumptions, not fact. Zimmerman did not say that he approached Martin and questioned his right to be in a particular spot in a public space; indeed, he claims that it was in fact Martin who did that, to him.
   6345. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 03:13 PM (#4783186)
I agree with that statement. If you assume that Zimmerman was doing certain unwise things, then you can describe him as doing unwise things. But they are assumptions, not fact. Zimmerman did not say that he approached Martin and questioned his right to be in a particular spot in a public space;


Well, no, it was even worse than that; Zimmerman accused Martin to the non-emergency operator as being a suspected burglar who was looking around as if he were casing houses. You can say that Zimmerman never told Martin that, but Martin seems to have understood that Zimmerman was focused on him and calling in about him; we see that from the 911 call when Martin approaches his car.

Why you feel the need to absolve Zimmerman of any and all fault for provoking the incident I don't know.
   6346. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 01, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4783187)
You can tell immediately if a person is more interested in the facts or their agenda if they describe what Zimmerman did as "stalking" Martin.
   6347. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 03:19 PM (#4783188)
Zimmerman also said a couple of times that Martin had his "hand in his waistband," when we know Martin had no weapon. My WAG is that Zimmerman was lying about that, maybe to plant the seeds for justification of force later.

Either that or (as likely) Zimmerman was to the point where he was interpreting innocuous movements from people as "suspicious." Again just a WAG, this time supported by the 50 some odd calls Zimmerman had placed to police over the years to report various things, from suspicious persons to more nanny type things such as loud parties. Who even makes one or two such calls, let alone 50? Zimmerman was on heightened paranoid do-gooder alert, which is why I say he is dangerous to his communities, and lo and behold we see in Martin's death why.
   6348. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4783189)
Why you feel the need to absolve Zimmerman of any and all fault for provoking the incident I don't know.
I don't think that any of Zimmerman's acts, as described by Zimmerman or as supported by evidence at the trial, would constitute "provoking" the incident. Neither factually nor legally.

That doesn't mean that Zimmerman didn't do something; it just means that nothing we know would fit that description. That claim relies on assuming facts not in evidence.
   6349. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4783190)
Neither factually nor legally.


I agree not legally.
   6350. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4783195)
Zimmerman also said a couple of times that Martin had his "hand in his waistband," when we know Martin had no weapon. My WAG is that Zimmerman was lying about that, maybe to plant the seeds for justification of force later.
He said it once when he was on the initial phone call (and then repeated it when he did the police video walkthrough a few days later after the fact), but he never once tried to cite that as justification for the shooting, unlike cops.
   6351. CrosbyBird Posted: September 01, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4783198)
Zimmerman did not say that he approached Martin and questioned his right to be in a particular spot in a public space; indeed, he claims that it was in fact Martin who did that, to him.

The 911 call indicates that Martin started to approach him and then started running away. When Zimmerman started following Martin, that's the moment of poor judgment in my book. This requires no assumptions about systemic racism or individual racism, or calling Zimmerman a "stalker." I think it is quite possible that Zimmerman makes the same decisions if it's a white kid in a hoodie.

My impression of events without any sort of mind-reading is that Zimmerman knew about recent crimes in the area and was doing his regular neighborhood patrolling when he saw a young kid in a hoodie walking around in the rain. He decided to call 911 and follow this kid. At some point, there was a struggle and Zimmerman shot Martin. Pretty much everything else is speculative: whether Zimmerman was "injured enough"; who first escalated to physical force; whether Zimmerman honestly feared for his life; whether Zimmerman singled out Martin on the basis of his race; etc.

I could see how a jury, with access to better information than I can possibly obtain for myself, could go as far as manslaughter or some lesser form of homicide and as low as an acquittal. I don't see how any reasonable jury could convict of murder without some much more blatant evidence of premeditation in light of the reasonable doubt standard, and I think the prosecution committed a grave error in overcharging. If they pursue lesser charges, perhaps Zimmerman gets convicted.

But with the information we have, and before a single punch is thrown or a bullet is fired, we know Zimmerman put himself in a very avoidable position where he could have been seriously injured or he could have seriously injured someone else. To me, that's already plenty of evidence for me to convict someone of the relatively minor offense of "executing poor judgment."
   6352. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4783199)
#6350, I realize he didn't try to cite it as justification for the shooting. That fact did give me pause in noting the waistband comment, but I still found the waistband comment interesting for the reasons I noted. I concede that we can't draw anything from it, which is why I used the "WAG," which is shorthand for "I have no evidence for this, but here's what seems plausible to me." It's also plausible, I agree, that Zimmerman really did see Martin do this and it legitimately raised Zimmerman's eyebrow.
   6353. CrosbyBird Posted: September 01, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4783200)
Just to be clear, if there's a conflict that results in someone getting shot, it almost always means that both people made serious errors in judgment. It is possible for someone to behave in such an extreme manner that another person never has the opportunity to safely disengage, but those situations are exceptionally rare.

You have to believe pretty extreme things about Zimmerman to assume that he'd have shot a friendly and compliant Martin. You have to believe pretty extreme behavior on the part of Martin to assume that Zimmerman carries no moral responsibility for what happened.
   6354. Greg K Posted: September 01, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4783202)
I used the "WAG," which is shorthand for "I have no evidence for this, but here's what seems plausible to me."

Out of curiosity what does WAG stand for? Presumably IHNEFTBHWSPTM is not feasible as an acronym.
   6355. dlf Posted: September 01, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4783205)
I don't think that any of Zimmerman's acts, as described by Zimmerman or as supported by evidence at the trial, would constitute "provoking" the incident. Neither factually nor legally.

That doesn't mean that Zimmerman didn't do something; it just means that nothing we know would fit that description. That claim relies on assuming facts not in evidence.


Darn shame that the one witness who could have best provided the relevant evidence just so happened to be dead. Oops.


Out of curiosity what does WAG stand for? Presumably IHNEFTBHWSPTM is not feasible as an acronym.


Wild ### guess

Edit: nanny removed the other word for a donkey
   6356. Greg K Posted: September 01, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4783207)
Wild ### guess

Thank you kindly.

I try to learn something new everyday, I wouldn't have thought it would be possible in another Zimmerman-infused page.
   6357. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 01, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4783245)
But there remains the fact that those "neighborhood watch" groups are (1) allowed to operate by the state; (b) set their own regulations; and (c) set their own criteria for hiring.

As always, you are completely confused about facts and law, which is probably why you keep mistakenly calling Zimmerman a "pretend policeman" and the like. A neighborhood watch group is not a governmental agency. The government has no more say over one's existence or operation than it does over a book club or cub scout troop.


What the #### are you talking about? Just to take one example: In Washington, Neighborhood Watches have a page on the police department's own website, and Neighborhood Watch Groups are trained by the DC police at regularly scheduled meetings. These groups have been connected with government organizations for over 40 years, and expanded their connections and coordination greatly after 2001.**

In addition, the Department of Justice has a 37-page Neighborhood Watch Manual with the imprimatur of not only the DOJ, but the National Sheriffs' Association.

It doesn't have any "criteria for hiring" because it doesn't hire anybody in the first place. It's a volunteer organization, a group of people in a neighborhood who get together and agree to take turns keeping an eye out.

Here's what that DOJ manual has to say about the "Citizen Patrol" units of Neighborhood Watch groups. It's on pages 16 & 17 of that manual:

Patrol members should be trained by law enforcement. It should be emphasized to members that they do not possess police powers and they shall not carry weapons or pursue vehicles....Members should never confront suspicious persons who could be armed and dangerous.


But yeah, these groups are totally disconnected from law enforcement. And there's no such thing as the Mafia.

**On page 10 of the DOJ manual, the Neighborhood Watch "Chain of Command" example shows the "Law Enforcement Liason" standing alone at the very top of the chain.

   6358. Greg K Posted: September 01, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4783265)
Here's what that DOJ manual has to say about the "Citizen Patrol" units of Neighborhood Watch groups. It's on pages 16 & 17 of that manual:


Or this exchange recorded from an actual Neighbourhood Watch meeting in Philadelphia!

Mac: Uh, quick question about the uniform situation. Now, I like to cut my sleeves off. It's kind of my look. So I'm wondering if the tailor is provided for us, or I'm left to my own devices.
Neighbourhood Watch Leader: We don't have uniforms. Now, but...Yes?
Mac: Will you be providing the weapons?
Neighbourhood Watch Leader: No.
Mac: Oh! I get it.
Neighbourhood Watch Leader: Okay.
Mac: We go buy the weapons. We tell you how much we spent, and you reimburse us. Great.
Neighbourhood Watch Leader: It doesn't work like that.
Dee: You gotta give him a receipt.
Mac: Oh, I would make a copy of the receipt.
Dee: You give them the original
Mac: I would give them the original and I would keep the copy? That seems stupid.
Dee: That's how reimbursement works.
Mac: If something happens to the weapons, I'm #### out of luck?
Dee: You just ask 'em for the original back. I'm sure they got a system.
Mac: Why would they keep the original? I'm the one that bought the gun.
Dee: Oh, it's a gun now.
Mac: It's always been a gun, Dee.
Neighbourhood Watch Leader: Excuse me. Hi. We don't carry weapons. We're just a neighborhood watch.
Mac: Wait. So you people don't apprehend criminals?
Neighbourhood Watch Leader: If we see anything suspicious, we call the police.
Mac: The police? The police. The streets are flooded with the ejaculate of the homeless and you people are counting on the police? Clearly we are gonna have to handle this ourselves, Dee. You, sir, have wasted my time, and the time of my associate. Dee, get my coat.
   6359. Morty Causa Posted: September 01, 2014 at 05:38 PM (#4783271)
I would consider approaching any random stranger and questioning his right to be in a particular spot in public space as very likely to be poor judgment.

Is that what happened? Was Martin a random stranger? Are you claiming this as a categorical stricture? Because if it is, it seems to be so broad and vague as to amount to a wholesale condemnation of behavior that is not only blameless but possibly beneficial, behavior that is encouraged as a matter of being a good neighbor, and, moreover, which law enforcement depends on. Almost anything you do conceivably has a potential downside to it. What if someone decides not to confront that stranger, or even report him to authorities, and that stranger immediately thereafter commits a crime? Was that poor judgment? This seems to me a setup that allows reversion to preconceptions and predispositions. It doesn’t get us anywhere conceptually.

But with the information we have, and before a single punch is thrown or a bullet is fired, we know Zimmerman put himself in a very avoidable position where he could have been seriously injured or he could have seriously injured someone else. To me, that's already plenty of evidence for me to convict someone of the relatively minor offense of "executing poor judgment."

Assume that Martin was casing a job. What’s Zimmerman’s judgment then—good or poor?

Say that nothing at all happens. That Martin just went home. Or that the police show up, question him, and decide he’s okay, and let him go home. How do you then evaluate Zimmerman’s judgment?

Is the right, wrong, or indifference of Zimmerman’s judgment dependent solely on what the upshot is?
   6360. Morty Causa Posted: September 01, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4783274)
Posted the above on the new thread.
   6361. CrosbyBird Posted: September 01, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4783278)
But yeah, these groups are totally disconnected from law enforcement.

Some of them are, actually. You can do all of the organized work to set up a neighborhood watch and get buy-in from the local law enforcement, but you also can just get a bunch of guys to walk around the street with bats. There's no requirement to register, only incentives.

Still, at the time of the incident, Zimmerman wasn't acting within the boundaries set by any "official" Neighborhood Watch guidelines. They don't follow people. They don't patrol with weapons. Eyes and Ears.
   6362. CrosbyBird Posted: September 01, 2014 at 05:53 PM (#4783283)
EDIT: Moved to September thread
   6363. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 01, 2014 at 05:53 PM (#4783285)
But yeah, these groups are totally disconnected from law enforcement.

Some of them are, actually. You can do all of the organized work to set up a neighborhood watch and get buy-in from the local law enforcement, but you also can just get a bunch of guys to walk around the street with bats. There's no requirement to register, only incentives.


All the more reason why those groups should be required to register and coordinate with official law enforcement officials, and follow explicit guidelines in their behavior, in particular the part about not carrying weapons.

EDIT: coke to C-Bird for #6362, meaning every word of it.

Still, at the time of the incident, Zimmerman wasn't acting within the boundaries set by any "official" Neighborhood Watch guidelines. They don't follow people. They don't patrol with weapons. Eyes and Ears.

EDIT: Also moved to September thread.

Which is why I described Zimmerman as a vigilante. In a sane world, characters like him wouldn't even be allowed to carry a cap pistol, let alone patrol the street carrying a loaded gun while looking out for "suspicious" characters.
   6364. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 08:35 PM (#4783359)
The 911 call indicates that Martin started to approach him and then started running away. When Zimmerman started following Martin, that's the moment of poor judgment in my book.
It may not require assumptions about racism, but it requires a bunch of hindsight. If you listen to the police call, there's no real sense that it's a dangerous situation or anything; only after the fact was it obvious that it would be one.

My impression of events without any sort of mind-reading is that Zimmerman knew about recent crimes in the area and was doing his regular neighborhood patrolling
No, he was on his way to the store; he wasn't on patrol.

ETA: Reposted in September thread.
   6365. Ron J2 Posted: September 02, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4783533)
#6261 The CFL has been the usual landing spot for the guys not quite big enough to play DE but not quite fast enough to play LB.

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