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Monday, September 01, 2014

OT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney

Lester Rodney was a crusader for equality and instrumental in integrating baseball as sports editor with the Daily Worker in the 1930s, says ESPN in a recent video on its website. The Daily Worker is the predecessor to this news website, peoplesworld.org.

At the time African American players were banned from the major leagues, says the mini-documentary. It was Lester Rodney that had a “simple but seemingly impossible dream” - to end more than a half-century of segregation in the big leagues, says ESPN’s Outside The Lines program. For Black History Month, OTL reported on this white Communist sportswriter who “crusaded for baseball integration a decade before Jackie Robinson broke the color line.”

He was at the center in the fight for baseballs integration, said sports historian Larry Lester in the video.

“There was no one in the main stream press promoting the integration of baseball like Lester Rodney was,” he said. “He was a soldier and the press was his sword and he was able to galvanize masses of people.”

At age 25 Rodney was hired as the Daily Worker’s first sports editor. He immediately launched a relentless campaign to end the Jim Crow policy that kept baseball segregated….

Rodney, the Daily Worker and supporters led petition drives, rallies and demonstrations for baseball’s integration. Rodney reported about white players and managers who also admitted it was time to integrate. In the face of skepticism Rodney persisted and millions joined the cause….

Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 01, 2014 at 10:52 AM | 4087 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   1. frannyzoo Posted: September 01, 2014 at 04:37 PM (#4783223)
Good for ESPN! (and I heartily dislike 99.9999% of what ESPN does and is about). Okay, time to flee the thread!
   2. mcauliffe Posted: September 01, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4783229)
Nothing that the relentlessly PC ESPN network does surprises me. Next they'll do a segment on Stalin.
   3. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4783275)
Red flags fly forever, comrade.
   4. Morty Causa Posted: September 01, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4783277)
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?
   5. CrosbyBird Posted: September 01, 2014 at 05:55 PM (#4783286)
Assume that Martin was casing a job. What’s Zimmerman’s judgment then—good or poor?

Still poor. Poor if Martin had been a mass-murderer; poor if Martin had been saintly.

I don't have any problem with Zimmerman saying "that's suspicious" (unless black=suspicious, which I am not assuming on Zimmerman's part) and contacting the police. I don't have any problem with him calling up some of his friends and letting them know to keep an eye out.

I have a problem with someone other than a police officer with a gun following a potential criminal. I don't think that decision ends well even close to enough of the time for it to be anything but poor judgment.

EDIT: for clarity
   6. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 01, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4783287)
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 #5, 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.

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.
   7. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 05:59 PM (#4783290)
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.


Andy, is this parody? You just went on a screed in #6313 in which one of the main things you were hung up on was the "fact" (made up in your head) that neighborhood watch people carry guns. Now you post the evidence that you were wrong about that, and you... highlight it as if it supports the point you were making?

This is your #6313:

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.

   8. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 06:09 PM (#4783297)
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.


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.


If I'm remembering my Magnum Force and Star Chamber right, a vigilante is typically thought of as one who takes the law into his own hands including avenging crimes, rather than have the accused go through the criminal justice system. I suppose there are probably broader definitions to include something as benign as a neighborhood watchman. But regardless, Zimmerman wasn't avenging any crimes, and didn't shoot Martin as some sort of punishment for being (in Zimmerman's mind) a potential burglar.
   9. Greg K Posted: September 01, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4783300)
I think at its most basic vigilante is just someone who takes law enforcement into his own hands.

Whether it's because its revenge, or the belief that the criminal doesn't deserve his day in court, or because he/she feels the justice system is corrupt or ineffective, or that there aren't enough cops around to do the job correctly, the motivation isn't the key element.
   10. Cargo Cultist Posted: September 01, 2014 at 06:59 PM (#4783323)
Guys? None of this matters. He was acquitted. Let it go.
   11. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: September 01, 2014 at 07:11 PM (#4783331)
Nothing that the relentlessly PC ESPN network does surprises me. Next they'll do a segment on Stalin.

Yep. I'm sure the dopes who make up 90% of the posts in these threads love them.
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: September 01, 2014 at 08:05 PM (#4783347)

wait, is it bad that someone was ahead of the curve in wanting all people to have a fair shot at playing major league baseball (among other things)?
   13. bobm Posted: September 01, 2014 at 08:24 PM (#4783356)
wait, is it bad that someone was ahead of the curve in wanting all people to have a fair shot at playing major league baseball (among other things)?

How much influence and/or impact did he really have on Rickey?
   14. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 08:36 PM (#4783360)
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.
   15. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 01, 2014 at 09:16 PM (#4783381)
Andy, is this parody? You just went on a screed in #6313 in which one of the main things you were hung up on was the "fact" (made up in your head) that neighborhood watch people carry guns. Now you post the evidence that you were wrong about that, and you... highlight it as if it supports the point you were making?

Here's what I wrote in 6313:

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.


As C-Bird noted in #6361, in response to me:

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.


The point being that while the DOJ issues guidelines and coordinates with these NWGs, you get some of those groups that don't follow their guidelines. Not surprisingly, Zimmerman's group was one of those that obviously didn't, since he was carrying a gun.

And it's also why I said that those NWGs and Citizen Patrols should be much more strictly regulated and forced to comply with common sense DOJ guidelines like not going around with guns. We saw what happened in Florida when Zimmerman didn't follow that guideline.
   16. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 01, 2014 at 09:19 PM (#4783385)
wait, is it bad that someone was ahead of the curve in wanting all people to have a fair shot at playing major league baseball (among other things)?

Howie, just consider the source of the comment that you were replying to. Little Baby Joey is just having another bad brown diaper day.
   17. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 01, 2014 at 09:30 PM (#4783387)
And it's also why I said that those NWGs and Citizen Patrols should be much more strictly regulated and forced to comply with common sense DOJ guidelines like not going around with guns. We saw what happened in Florida when Zimmerman didn't follow that guideline.

Under what possible theory can the Federal (or State) Government regulate citizens voluntary activity that is fully within their Constitutional Rights? Those DoJ Guidelines aren't binding - and never could be - and neither would similar efforts by the local government. They just indicate on what conditions DoJ or other governmental units might coordinate with, or even fund, some Neighborhood Watch activity. Might be an effort to co-opt them a bit, too, but there is no way the Feds can validly regulate people keeping an eye on their own neighborhood and other public space.
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: September 01, 2014 at 09:34 PM (#4783390)
Well, I'm gonna go ahead and give atta-boys to anyone who fought that integration fight, influential or not. Other issues are other issues; the guy got this one right.

I've mentioned before that my parents got married in Brooklyn in 1946. My mom once told me that as children of powerless immigrants, they could not imagine questioning authority. Their parents had the "No Irish Allowed" signs to deal with, after all, when they arrived, and the Depression was no picnic for anyone. She said as soon as the Dodgers said they had picked Jackie Robinson for the 1947 squad, she and her neighbors supported him.

If people wonder how a somewhat racist country in general wound up with so many white fans in Brooklyn accepting Jackie so quickly, that's your answer. So many were newer immigrants who were just trying to make their way in a new world.

That said, more power to those who pushed for equality when the default position was a feeling of powerlessness.

   19. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 01, 2014 at 09:46 PM (#4783395)
And it's also why I said that those NWGs and Citizen Patrols should be much more strictly regulated and forced to comply with common sense DOJ guidelines like not going around with guns. We saw what happened in Florida when Zimmerman didn't follow that guideline.

Under what possible theory can the Federal (or State) Government regulate citizens voluntary activity that is fully within their Constitutional Rights?


That's what an entire class of restaurant and motel owners said prior to 1964 about forcing them to accept entire classes of customers against their wishes. We're talking about a political question whose answers aren't set in stone, but by the three branches of government.

Those DoJ Guidelines aren't binding - and never could be - and neither would similar efforts by the local government. They just indicate on what conditions DoJ or other governmental units might coordinate with, or even fund, some Neighborhood Watch activity. Might be an effort to co-opt them a bit, too, but there is no way the Feds can validly regulate people keeping an eye on their own neighborhood and other public space.

What would my theory be? Change one or two justices on the Supreme Court, and restore some sensible gun regulations. That'd be a start.
   20. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 01, 2014 at 09:51 PM (#4783403)
Well, I'm gonna go ahead and give atta-boys to anyone who fought that integration fight, influential or not. Other issues are other issues; the guy got this one right.

Irwin Silber's bio on Rodney, Press Box Red, should be required reading for anyone who wants to go beyond the myth that Branch Rickey was acting independent of any political context. For nearly a decade the Daily Worker and the African American press were nearly alone in fighting to bring baseball into the 20th century.
   21. CrosbyBird Posted: September 01, 2014 at 10:32 PM (#4783420)
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.

Encounters in which laypeople with guns pursue anyone rarely end positively. I don't need to predict the future; I just need to pay attention to the past.

That's foresight, not hindsight. And there is little better name for acting with lack of reasonable foresight than "executing poor judgment."
   22. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 10:56 PM (#4783425)
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.**
No, Andy, WTF are you talking about? Yes, neighborhood watch organizations generally liaise with the police. Indeed, that's generally the point of their existence. That doesn't make them government agencies. You'll notice nothing on that page on the police department's website says anything at all about that. You'll notice it doesn't cite any statutes, any rules or regulations. Not on that page, not in the "manual."

(Indeed, if you read the "manual," you'll see this right at the outset: "This manual has been created for citizen organizers and law enforcement officers that work with community members to establish watch programs. The material contained within covers a number of topics and provides suggestions for developing a [sic] watch groups. However, please incorporate topics and issues that are important to your group into your watch.") Number of times the word "regulation" appears in the "manual": 0. Number of times the word "rule" appears there: 1. ("At the Meeting: Set ground rules, such as time allowed for speaking and adhering to the agenda"). Number of times the word "statute" or "statutory" or "authority" or "legal" appears there: 0.)

Neighborhood watch organizations are simply a group of volunteers who get together to, well, watch a neighborhood. They have no legal authority of any sort, no statutory basis, are not part of law enforcement, are not governmental, have no government funding, are not created by the government, not run by the government. The government has no power, right, or authority to create any sort of "regulations" for neighborhood watch groups.
   23. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 11:09 PM (#4783431)
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.
"Required to register"? This isn't Cuba, Andy. People don't need permission from the government to form volunteer organizations and have meetings, or to keep an eye out around their neighborhoods.

Which is why I described Zimmerman as a vigilante.
You described him that way because you didn’t know the meaning of the word. Vigilantism involves extrajudicial punishment.

In a sane world, characters like him wouldn't even be allowed to carry a cap pistol,
Well, I don't know what "characters like him" means, and neither do you -- but in any case, Florida, like all sane states, allows anyone who meets basic requirements to obtain a carry permit and allows anyone with a carry permit to, well, carry. It has nothing to do with neighborhood watches. Approximately a million Floridians carry weapons (or are entitled to).
   24. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 11:18 PM (#4783434)
The point being that while the DOJ issues guidelines and coordinates with these NWGs, you get some of those groups that don't follow their guidelines. Not surprisingly, Zimmerman's group was one of those that obviously didn't, since he was carrying a gun.
No, the point being that everything you say is, of course, wrong. The DOJ did not "issue guidelines." This is a pamphlet put out by the National Sheriff's Association -- a private, non-governmental group -- paid for in part by a grant from the DOJ. If you bothered to read the thing you linked to (which is not on the DOJ's website), you'd see this at the beginning:

Grant Statement: This document was prepared by the National Sheriffs’ Association, under cooperative agreement number 2005-MU-BX-K077, awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Please don't let this go on for as long as you went on about the state of copyright law. You're simply wrong here.
   25. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 01, 2014 at 11:22 PM (#4783436)
No, Andy, WTF are you talking about? Yes, neighborhood watch organizations generally liaise with the police. Indeed, that's generally the point of their existence. That doesn't make them government agencies.

And I never said they were "government agencies", or that they had any "mandatory" rules. But the better ones work in close coordination with police departments, and would have nothing to do with a clown like Zimmerman, no matter how much he wanted to be a part of it. For one thing, they'd follow the government's non-mandatory guidelines and tell wannabee cops like him to leave their guns at home.

And BTW if you look on page 5 of that DOJ manual, you'll see that the NSA helped to start those Neighborhood Watch programs nearly 70 years ago, "in response to a multitude of requests from sheriffs and police chiefs all over the country". It also states that "Funding was sought and obtained from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration part of the U.S. Department of Justice, and thus, the National Neighborhood Watch Program was born."

   26. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 01, 2014 at 11:30 PM (#4783440)
   27. Morty Causa Posted: September 01, 2014 at 11:36 PM (#4783442)
I have a problem with someone other than a police officer with a gun following a potential criminal. I don't think that decision ends well even close to enough of the time for it to be anything but poor judgment.

There raises interesting questions. First, though, I've heard many of you here express beliefs in natural rights. Here, you state this is if it were a natural wrong. Absolute, all-encompassing and brooking no exceptions. Are you against someone carrying a gun or having a gun? What if those prior burglaries had been armed burglaries? Why do you assume burglars and robbers aren’t violent—or place the burden on someone to act as if they weren’t. Why is this duty at that point in the dynamic?

Encounters in which laypeople with guns pursue anyone rarely end positively. I don't need to predict the future; I just need to pay attention to the past.

Many people either carry guns on their person or in their cars, and there are many instances where it doesn't come into play at all. If it does, well, that's what the law that allows you to have them in the first place contemplates--and what the jury here must have decided: that it's okay if used with legal justification. That's what self-defense is about and has been about for hundreds of years, isn’t it?

Why do you feel that it is better for someone to be beaten to death than defend himself with force? And I'm not now referring only to Zimmerman and Martin, but as a general proposition, since you state your distaste in terms of an absolute prohibition. Imagine it's a mother fearful of the break ins who is the one monitoring her neighborhood. Does that change your view? She shouldn't carry protection? Or, is it that she can carry but only if she has the foresight to predict that she won't need it?

That's foresight, not hindsight. And there is little better name for acting with lack of reasonable foresight than "executing poor judgment."

Sometimes #### happens no matter what. Not being able to insure a perfect outcome in which no one is foreseen to suffer injury doesn't mean you can’t do anything at all. If a person is monitoring his neighborhood, yes, there's a possibility of violence, just as there would be if he did nothing at all. Society and its laws do not require a person relegate himself to playing passive victim for fear that someone might get hurt. That's not the rule we live by—legally or otherwise. A person can monitor his neighborhood, and that certainly contemplates someone who is the subject of monitoring taking offense and raising objection--and the objection that can possibly take the form of violence. Conflict dogs our every endeavor, and often that can be envisioned as ultimately physical. Which side do you come down on? That he not be given the right to monitor and inform the police? That he be allow to do so, but only unarmed? What?
   28. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 01:00 AM (#4783457)
The point being that while the DOJ issues guidelines and coordinates with these NWGs, you get some of those groups that don't follow their guidelines. Not surprisingly, Zimmerman's group was one of those that obviously didn't, since he was carrying a gun.


I understand that Zimmerman wasn't part of a neighborhood watch group.
   29. CrosbyBird Posted: September 02, 2014 at 04:12 AM (#4783475)
There raises interesting questions. First, though, I've heard many of you here express beliefs in natural rights. Here, you state this is if it were a natural wrong. Absolute, all-encompassing and brooking no exceptions.

I do not. I said it represents poor judgment under the specific circumstances of "pursuing someone not imminently dangerous without force of law." Were Zimmerman acting in direct defense of imminent harm to himself or another person, I would likely feel differently. (Perhaps not. It depends on his training. Although if Zimmerman couldn't subdue a high school kid with a serious size and weight disadvantage, it remains poor judgment unless the kid is doing something particularly terrible; odds are, he will become another victim unless he's willing to kill.

Are you against someone carrying a gun or having a gun? What if those prior burglaries had been armed burglaries? Why do you assume burglars and robbers aren’t violent—or place the burden on someone to act as if they weren’t. Why is this duty at that point in the dynamic?

No; Irrelevant; I don't assume they are non-violent; I place the burden on people without formal training and without an essentially limitless power structure supporting them to defer to people who have those advantages whether the guy they would consider following is non-violent, a little violent, or a mass murderer.

Many people either carry guns on their person or in their cars, and there are many instances where it doesn't come into play at all. If it does, well, that's what the law that allows you to have them in the first place contemplates--and what the jury here must have decided: that it's okay if used with legal justification. That's what self-defense is about and has been about for hundreds of years, isn’t it?

I am not arguing against Zimmerman firing the gun, but the conduct that led to a confrontation where Zimmerman fired the gun. The former may or may not be self-defense (I am comfortable accepting the result at trial); the latter is foolhardy given the level of knowledge Zimmerman had at the time and the nature of the threat posed by Martin (not imminent).

Why do you feel that it is better for someone to be beaten to death than defend himself with force?

I don't feel this way. I favor the use of firearms in self-defense. I do not favor laypeople acting against criminals or potential criminals other than to look, to listen, and to report, without engaging, except in the most extreme cases.

Sometimes #### happens no matter what. Not being able to insure a perfect outcome in which no one is foreseen to suffer injury doesn't mean you can’t do anything at all.

You are correct. You can observe and report. You can caution others as to the potential danger.

Hey, you can even pursue the person if you want to, because there's no law against it. But it's a foolish and dangerous thing to do, and there's a good chance you're going to get hurt because as a private citizen, it's highly unlikely that you have the specialized training to properly handle a really bad person. It's highly unlikely that you're well-trained enough to fire your weapon under stress in a way that doesn't represent a risk to innocent bystanders.

Zimmerman is going to have to live for the rest of his life with the knowledge that he killed an unarmed teenage boy without a serious criminal record. Assuming his story is perfectly accurate, he might have died himself if Martin had been able to get to the gun first. And if he had left matters to the professionals, Martin would likely still be alive.

And harm to one or both parties is a likely enough result when you follow a stranger who might be a criminal, without backup, and without the power of the badge, that it's a foolhardy thing to do.

Which side do you come down on? That he not be given the right to monitor and inform the police? That he be allow to do so, but only unarmed? What?

I think I've answered this question in prior posts already, but if not, and the rest of this post isn't perfectly clear, I'll say it one more time.

He can monitor and inform the police, armed or unarmed, and such behavior is worthy of commendation. He can legally follow (not harass), armed or unarmed, and such behavior is almost always foolhardy... and should there be a poor result, he may be responsible morally and legally for the harm his negligent behavior causes. (I'm not certain whether Zimmerman should have been held criminally responsible for the death of Trayvon Martin, but if I'm on a civil jury, I'm voting in favor of the plaintiffs in a wrongful death case.)
   30. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 02, 2014 at 06:55 AM (#4783480)
University of Minnesota requests that no "Redskins" name or logo appear on the jerseys, helmets, scoreboard, program, paraphernalia sold at the stadium , or to be spoken by the stadium announcer during Washington's game there against the Vikings on November 2nd.

Or as the late John Foster Dulles once said to a hostess at a luncheon, "MY, WHAT LOVELY C-H-I-N-A".
   31. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 02, 2014 at 07:19 AM (#4783483)
The point being that while the DOJ issues guidelines and coordinates with these NWGs, you get some of those groups that don't follow their guidelines. Not surprisingly, Zimmerman's group was one of those that obviously didn't, since he was carrying a gun.

I understand that Zimmerman wasn't part of a neighborhood watch group.


Here's what the National Sheriffs' Association---the group that instigated the Neighborhood Watch Program over 40 years ago---had to say about that:

George Zimmerman not a member of recognized neighborhood watch organization

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.


If there's any question that legitimate Citizen Patrol volunteers go unarmed, that should settle it. Once again, a few creeps like Zimmerman with cowboy mentalities can put a perfectly good concept into a bad light, as Sanford's police chief recognized when he announced this new policy. It was quite an eloqent re-iteration of the principles behind a legitimate Neighborhood Watch program:

Sanford bans guns from neighborhood watch patrol after Zimmerman case

SANFORD -- More than a year and a half after Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, the city of Sanford is making major changes to its neighborhood watch program, including banning volunteers from carrying guns while on patrol, and forbidding them from pursuing anyone in their neighborhoods.

Sanford's new police chief, Cecil Smith, said the neighborhood watch program as it was operated while Zimmerman was part of it was dysfunctional and had no accountability.

"In this program, it is clearly stated that you will not pursue an individual," Smith explained. "In this new program, it clearly indicates that you will not carry a firearm when performing your duties as a neighborhood watch captain or participant."

Smith said when he took over as Sanford's chief of police in April, the neighborhood watch program Zimmerman was part of was still operating the same way it was when he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin more than a year earlier.

Though Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder in July, Smith said the program needed to be re-evaluated, so he stopped it completely until changes could be implemented.

"We've seen this happen already, where an individual was declaring that under the auspice of neighborhood watch, he was performing a duty that he wasn't," Smith explained, calling the previous state of the program dysfunctional, disorganized and disjointed.

"There was really no accountability. There was no true recognition. There were concerns with regards to training. There were concerns with how the program was being run," Smith continued. "We put a cease to the neighborhood watch program, essentially, in the manner it was in before, and what we're doing now is really, truly revamping the entire program, starting from scratch."

In addition to the ban on guns and following suspects, the revamped neighborhood watch program in Sanford Additionally, will include mandatory background checks. It will also include designated block captains who will have direct lines of communication with a new division of officers created to work with neighborhood watch members. Before the new rules, a civilian was the liaison between police and watch volunteers.

Smith said the new program is really just getting back to the basics of what neighborhood watch is supposed to be.

"Neighborhood watch is a very simple organization. It's about neighbors helping neighbors, talking to neighbors about ways to make their neighborhood safe. That's it," Smith said. "Again, do I think I'm going to make every person happy about our requirements that you don't be armed? I'm not going to make everyone happy, but not everyone has to be part of the program."


So what was that point about governments having "no authority" over neighborhood watch groups?
   32. BrianBrianson Posted: September 02, 2014 at 07:30 AM (#4783487)
If right-wing tribalists and left-wing tribalists want to have a fight over what to call the NFL team in Washington, I say great. Most things they fight over result in the government doing something or other destructive. I'd much rather ring-wing tribalists spend their money on football paraphernalia than sending it to a Super-PAC for creationist education, I'd much rather the left-wing tribalists spend their time writing angry letters to the editor about team names than about the evils of vaccines.
   33. zonk Posted: September 02, 2014 at 07:51 AM (#4783491)
I'd much rather the left-wing tribalists spend their time writing angry letters to the editor about team names than about the evils of vaccines.


Is anti-vac really a lefty thing?

I was under the impression that the anti-vac crowd was a really motley crew of far right, far left, far libertarian, etc
   34. Group Captain Mandrake Posted: September 02, 2014 at 08:04 AM (#4783495)
Yeah. One of the most prominent anti vaxxers was that goofball right wing congressman from Indiana who's name escapes me. Sort of the GOP version of Jim Trafficant.

Edit Dan Burton
   35. zonk Posted: September 02, 2014 at 08:20 AM (#4783498)
Ahhh.... Dan Burton.

The watermelon forensics guy.

Even setting aside that and the vaxxer stuff, he's got to be in the team photo as one of the biggest eye-rollers to serve in congress in recent memory. I have a vague recollection that he also had a rather pronounced predilection for muscling various entities into paying his fees for entering charity golf tourneys he so enjoyed.
   36. Lassus Posted: September 02, 2014 at 08:23 AM (#4783499)
The anti-vaccination crowd is one of those things where fringe left, right, and libertarian all manage to bend around on the edges and land solidly in the same pit of total, proud stupidity.

By sheer numbers, I have no idea.
   37. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 02, 2014 at 08:23 AM (#4783500)
So what was that point about governments having "no authority" over neighborhood watch groups?

There was no such point. Governments have "authority" over everyone. The fact that they have authority over NW groups vitiates your argument; it doesn't support it.

The point was that NW groups don't exercise governmental or police powers. I think you need a remedial class on state authority, civil society, and private associations, and their relative authority, because you're obviously completely confused about the matter. The primary reason for your confusion is that you want government authority to reside anywhere you think it should, which gets us back to our usual position -- whims, not principles.
   38. BDC Posted: September 02, 2014 at 08:23 AM (#4783501)
To revisit nine-year-olds and automatic firearms, an AP piece over the weekend caught my attention:

Arizona has long had a strong pro-gun culture, including weapon ranges that promote events for children and families. Some of these ranges offer people the thrill of firing weapons such as the Israeli-made Uzi that are heavily restricted and difficult for members of the public to obtain.

The Scottsdale Gun Club in recent years has allowed children and families to pose with Santa Claus while holding machine guns and other weapons from the club. Children as young as 10 are allowed to hunt big game such as elk and deer in Arizona, provided they have completed a hunter safety course.


Interesting to me, in our culture, is that we have Puritanical laws cordoning off young adults from tobacco and alcohol and weed and gambling, and (not to yank anybody's chain, honestly :) from sexuality. The slightest hint that anyone underage might be participating in one of those recreational aspects of life is either taboo or brings the state crashing down around their ears or provokes scandal. Now, this recent shooting has provoked some scandal, but of the sort "maybe we should wait till they're 12 to let them fire full-automatic weapons," not "OMG OMG OMG a child is engaging in an adult activity we're doomed." Fascinating.
   39. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 02, 2014 at 08:28 AM (#4783504)
Interesting to me, in our culture, is that we have Puritanical laws cordoning off young adults from tobacco and alcohol and weed and gambling, and (not to yank anybody's chain, honestly :) from sexuality. The slightest hint that anyone underage might be participating in one of those recreational aspects of life is either taboo or brings the state crashing down around their ears or provokes scandal. Now, this recent shooting has provoked some scandal, but of the sort "maybe we should wait till they're 12 to let them fire full-automatic weapons," not "OMG OMG OMG a child is engaging in an adult activity we're doomed." Fascinating.

Well, sure. The country is in decline, and the almost inexplicable growth in gun nuttery over the last 35-odd years is a primary factor in the decline.
   40. BDC Posted: September 02, 2014 at 08:29 AM (#4783505)
The country is in decline

For once, you got me agreeing :-D
   41. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 08:39 AM (#4783509)
Interesting to me, in our culture, is that we have Puritanical laws cordoning off young adults from tobacco and alcohol and weed and gambling, and (not to yank anybody's chain, honestly :) from sexuality. The slightest hint that anyone underage might be participating in one of those recreational aspects of life is either taboo or brings the state crashing down around their ears or provokes scandal. Now, this recent shooting has provoked some scandal, but of the sort "maybe we should wait till they're 12 to let them fire full-automatic weapons," not "OMG OMG OMG a child is engaging in an adult activity we're doomed." Fascinating.

If your point is that people freak out too much about kids smoking and drinking, then yes, you're correct. Gambling and sex are more complicated because of the involvement of a second party, and the inability of a minor to give consent.

Well, sure. The country is in decline, and the almost inexplicable growth in gun nuttery over the last 35-odd years is a primary factor in the decline.

10 year olds have been hunting and otherwise using guns in this country for hundreds of years before there was a US. So, that's going to be a hard one to pin on a post-1979 decline.
   42. Lassus Posted: September 02, 2014 at 08:43 AM (#4783512)
10 year olds have been hunting and otherwise using guns in this country for hundreds of years before there was a US. So, that's going to be a hard one to pin on a post-1979 decline.

Not for SBB it's not going to be.
   43. bunyon Posted: September 02, 2014 at 08:44 AM (#4783516)
To the extent that we're in decline*, I think the gun-nuttery is a symptom not a factor. People sense things are amiss and in a lot of folks that causes fear and caution. Thus, the guns. Firing guns is a powerful feeling and gives one a sense of both real and imagined security (that is, a well trained armed man is more secure than an unarmed man, but not by as much as many in the US think and few have the requisite training).


* I generally agree there are a lot of fundamental problems in the US at the moment. I don't necessarily think it is a sign of ultimate collapse or anything. We've been down before. We have gotten up. Someday we won't. Today is not that day. Unless it is. There really is no way to know but I think just throwing up one's hands and declaring it over is a terribly cynical and cowardly act.
   44. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 08:52 AM (#4783520)
To the extent that we're in decline*, I think the gun-nuttery is a symptom not a factor. People sense things are amiss and in a lot of folks that causes fear and caution. Thus, the guns. Firing guns is a powerful feeling and gives one a sense of both real and imagined security (that is, a well trained armed man is more secure than an unarmed man, but not by as much as many in the US think and few have the requisite training).

There's a lot of truth to that. Though, I think you over-estimate the training required for simple home or self-defense. Most armed encounters happen at something like 5-15 feet. If you can point and shoot, you've done about all you need too.

No amount of range training is going to prepare one for the stress, however. Which is why you see allegedly trained LEO, scatter rounds all over the place when forced to fire. I would guess that your average concealed carry permit holder isn't noticeably worse with a handgun than your average cop.
   45. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 08:55 AM (#4783521)
The point being that while the DOJ issues guidelines and coordinates with these NWGs, you get some of those groups that don't follow their guidelines. Not surprisingly, Zimmerman's group was one of those that obviously didn't, since he was carrying a gun.


I understand that Zimmerman wasn't part of a neighborhood watch group.


Here's what the National Sheriffs' Association---the group that instigated the Neighborhood Watch Program over 40 years ago---had to say about that:

George Zimmerman not a member of recognized neighborhood watch organization


Yes; I posted that link yesterday. It shows that Zimmerman wasn't part of a neighborhood watch group.

I guess I'm not understanding your point. Why did you say "Zimmerman's group" above, when we know he wasn't part of any group?
   46. bunyon Posted: September 02, 2014 at 08:56 AM (#4783522)
Again, hunting with shotguns and small caliber rifles is not the same as shooting an Uzi. Any of you big strong men out there who haven't been trained should not step up to fire automatic weapons if offered the chance. A single shot gun is dangerous but manageable by an average 10 year old with some teaching and competent supervision. An Uzi is a different game.


Is there really nothing else to discuss in politics but Zimmerman and guns?

I read an article predicting that Putin is gambling that NATO is hollow and that, if not stopped in Ukraine, he'll ultimately attack one of the newer NATO members on the risk that we won't respond. I happen to think there is truth to that. If, say, Russia invades Latvia, I think there is a good chance NATO makes a token effort at resistance and then collapses. I hope not, but I'm not convinced the philosophy of the member states really contemplates all out war anymore. I think it would be a hard sell to convince western Europe or, even, the US, from engaging in war with Russia over states that for much of living memory were Soviet.

I could be wrong. Hope I am in both my assumption of Putin's goals and our reaction. But it just feels like hope, not reality.

Thoughts?

   47. bunyon Posted: September 02, 2014 at 08:59 AM (#4783523)
There's a lot of truth to that. Though, I think you over-estimate the training required for simple home or self-defense. Most armed encounters happen at something like 5-15 feet. If you can point and shoot, you've done about all you need too.

No amount of range training is going to prepare one for the stress, however. Which is why you see allegedly trained LEO, scatter rounds all over the place when forced to fire. I would guess that your average concealed carry permit holder isn't noticeably worse with a handgun than your average cop.


I think that's right. But I also think of it not just in terms of shooting accuracy. The strategy of self- or home-defense is not pursuit. Very few of us (including a lot of cops) are good enough gunfighters to puruse an armed subject with a gun. I think this is a big reason cops shoot so quickly. They know they aren't that good. Moving around in a gunfight is a good way to die. At home, a civilian has the luxury to hunker down and put his gun on a narrow doorway. A cop pursuing an armed subject is in a bad spot and they try very hard to avoid that. There are, obviously, many other issues at play but that shouldn't be forgotten. A lot of cops are armed well past their training.
   48. BrianBrianson Posted: September 02, 2014 at 08:59 AM (#4783524)
Is anti-vac really a lefty thing?


Maybe not, but data is sparse. It is certainly my subjective impression is that anti-vaxxing is mostly a leftwing, tribal thing. Maybe I should've used anti-GMO?
   49. zonk Posted: September 02, 2014 at 09:06 AM (#4783525)
To the extent that we're in decline*, I think the gun-nuttery is a symptom not a factor. People sense things are amiss and in a lot of folks that causes fear and caution. Thus, the guns. Firing guns is a powerful feeling and gives one a sense of both real and imagined security (that is, a well trained armed man is more secure than an unarmed man, but not by as much as many in the US think and few have the requisite training).


I very much agree that this is the root of it...

I grew up in a rural area and most of my extended family are gun owners - if nothing else, almost everyone had a .22 to blast critters eating the garden or whatnot. My dad has had a gun virtually all my life - but the only time he talked about it was showing it to me, going over basic safety, etc... the sort of thing you do if you're a responsible gun owner and don't want a horrific accident. However, the last few years - he's gotten very vocal about it. He's also squarely in the Bill O'Reilly/country's going to hell demographic.
   50. bunyon Posted: September 02, 2014 at 09:09 AM (#4783527)
I grew up in a rural area and most of my extended family are gun owners - if nothing else, almost everyone had a .22 to blast critters eating the garden or whatnot. My dad has had a gun virtually all my life - but the only time he talked about it was showing it to me, going over basic safety, etc... the sort of thing you do if you're a responsible gun owner and don't want a horrific accident. However, the last few years - he's gotten very vocal about it. He's also squarely in the Bill O'Reilly/country's going to hell demographic.

Some of that is probably age. It seems to me that pretty much everyone sort of hardens at some point - usually near retirment - and becomes a caricature of themselves. I'm hoping that this foreknowledge will safe me but I'm doubtful. Some do avoid it but they are very much the exceptions.
   51. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 09:12 AM (#4783529)
Is anti-vac really a lefty thing?

Maybe not, but data is sparse. It is certainly my subjective impression is that anti-vaxxing is mostly a leftwing, tribal thing.


I know of only one major party candidate who offered anti-science ignorance on this particular topic.
   52. BrianBrianson Posted: September 02, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4783530)
Perhaps, though there's a lot of rightwards anti HPV-vaccining that doesn't extend to whooping cough.
   53. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 09:35 AM (#4783536)
Again, hunting with shotguns and small caliber rifles is not the same as shooting an Uzi. Any of you big strong men out there who haven't been trained should not step up to fire automatic weapons if offered the chance. A single shot gun is dangerous but manageable by an average 10 year old with some teaching and competent supervision. An Uzi is a different game.

Literally no one is defending letting a 10 y.o. shoot a full-auto Uzi. That was pure stupidity.

A semi-auto Uzi would be quite manageable. A pistol round fired from a carbine size gun won't have much kick at all, unless it's full-auto.

I think that's right. But I also think of it not just in terms of shooting accuracy. The strategy of self- or home-defense is not pursuit. Very few of us (including a lot of cops) are good enough gunfighters to puruse an armed subject with a gun. I think this is a big reason cops shoot so quickly. They know they aren't that good. Moving around in a gunfight is a good way to die. At home, a civilian has the luxury to hunker down and put his gun on a narrow doorway. A cop pursuing an armed subject is in a bad spot and they try very hard to avoid that. There are, obviously, many other issues at play but that shouldn't be forgotten. A lot of cops are armed well past their training.

Concur.
   54. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 09:37 AM (#4783539)
Perhaps, though there's a lot of rightwards anti HPV-vaccining that doesn't extend to whooping cough.


I guess we should have asked Bachman which vaccines caused retardation. I bet she shored up support in the Christian Scientist demographic though.
   55. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 09:38 AM (#4783540)
I read an article predicting that Putin is gambling that NATO is hollow and that, if not stopped in Ukraine, he'll ultimately attack one of the newer NATO members on the risk that we won't respond. I happen to think there is truth to that. If, say, Russia invades Latvia, I think there is a good chance NATO makes a token effort at resistance and then collapses. I hope not, but I'm not convinced the philosophy of the member states really contemplates all out war anymore. I think it would be a hard sell to convince western Europe or, even, the US, from engaging in war with Russia over states that for much of living memory were Soviet.

I could be wrong. Hope I am in both my assumption of Putin's goals and our reaction. But it just feels like hope, not reality.

Thoughts?


I wish Hillary was President instead of this worthless chump.

We need to send U.S. ground forces to Poland, and the Baltics yesterday. Should have been done when the Crimean invasion happened.

Germany and the UK need to send troops too, but I'm not holding my breath.
   56. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 02, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4783546)
The anti-vaccination crowd is one of those things where fringe left, right, and libertarian all manage to bend around on the edges and land solidly in the same pit of total, proud stupidity.

As in, "They're all out to get us except me and thee. And sometimes I'm not so sure about thee."

-------------------------------------------------------

Yes; I posted that link yesterday. It shows that Zimmerman wasn't part of a neighborhood watch group.

I guess I'm not understanding your point. Why did you say "Zimmerman's group" above, when we know he wasn't part of any group?


Zimmerman's actual membership in a NWG seems to be in some dispute---a dispute where one side (Zimmerman) may well have been lying and another side (the NWG) may have been engaging in CYA to distance themselves from Zimmerman.

Again, from that first link in #31:

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.


The truth is that after reading these conflicting claims, I have no idea who's telling the truth, since both of the major parties involved obviously have a stake in their stories.

And in many ways, it doesn't really matter at this point, since either way Trayvon Martin's not coming back to life. The only real point is how to seal off these NWGs from (a) people like Zimmerman, and (b) anyone who feels the need to carry a gun while engaging in NWG activity, like that "Mac" bozo in Philadelphia whom GregK quoted yesterday in the August OTP thread. The Sanford police seem to have taken these sorts of preventive measures, and I'd hope we'd all agree that other NWGs should also follow suit.
   57. Ron J2 Posted: September 02, 2014 at 09:48 AM (#4783550)
(From last thread, Re: Sam being cut)

#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.
   58. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4783551)
The only real point is how to seal off these NWGs from (a) people like Zimmerman, and (b) anyone who feels the need to carry a gun while engaging in NWG activity. The Sanford police seem to have taken these sorts of measures, and I'd hope we'd all agree that other NWGs should also follow suit.

I fail to understand why people should forfeit their legal rights when joining a NWG. I fail to understand why anyone would join a NWG that would prohibit you from carrying a firearm, if you were legally allowed to do so, since you can be the "eyes and ears" of the police w/o any affiliation.

On the other hand, it makes total sense to train NWGs to not follow people, or confront them.
   59. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4783553)
#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.

Financially, are you better off being on an NFL practice squad, and maybe getting in 3-4 games, or starting a full season in the CFL?

Which is more likely to get you a full-time NFL gig?
   60. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 02, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4783554)
We need to send U.S. ground forces to Poland, and the Baltics yesterday. Should have been done when the Crimean invasion happened.

Hey, don't forget Syria while you're at it. We can probably get a bulk discount on weapons and be out of there by the end of the month, at least if we put Rumsfeld and Cheney back in charge. And everyone will greet us as liberators, just like in Iraq.
   61. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 02, 2014 at 09:59 AM (#4783555)
The only real point is how to seal off these NWGs from (a) people like Zimmerman, and (b) anyone who feels the need to carry a gun while engaging in NWG activity. The Sanford police seem to have taken these sorts of measures, and I'd hope we'd all agree that other NWGs should also follow suit.

I fail to understand why people should forfeit their legal rights when joining a NWG. I fail to understand why anyone would join a NWG that would prohibit you from carrying a firearm, if you were legally allowed to do so, since you can be the "eyes and ears" of the police w/o any affiliation.


Maybe you should take that up with the DOJ and the police, since they're the ones issuing those no-guns guidelines. Let the Zimmermans of the world get their thrills from video games and cowboy movies.

On the other hand, it makes total sense to train NWGs to not follow people, or confront them.

For which naturally they'd need a trusty six shooter to act as their Linus blanket.
   62. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:00 AM (#4783558)
Hey, don't forget Syria while you're at it. We can probably get a bulk discount on weapons and be out of there by the end of the month, at least if we put Rumsfeld and Cheney back in charge. And everyone will greet us as liberators, just like in Iraq.

Are you daft?

What is the parallel between Syria, and 4 NATO nations?

Do you think US troops wouldn't be welcomed in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia?
   63. Greg K Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:10 AM (#4783564)
Financially, are you better off being on an NFL practice squad, and maybe getting in 3-4 games, or starting a full season in the CFL?

Presumably he'll be wanting to follow Cameron Wake's path. After getting cut from an NFL team out of college Wake came to the CFL and 2007 won Rookie of the Year and defensive player of the year, then won defensive player of the year again in 2008 before going to the Dolphins in 2009 where I think he's made a fair amount of money.

Of course I would guess that it's much more common for guys to get into the team from the practice squad. That must happen to a bunch of guys every year with all the injuries.
   64. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:10 AM (#4783565)
Is anti-vac really a lefty thing?

Maybe not, but data is sparse. It is certainly my subjective impression is that anti-vaxxing is mostly a leftwing, tribal thing. Maybe I should've used anti-GMO.
My sense is that on an individual basis, there are people in the left and right opposed to vaccination. Some religious folk, some crunchy granola people. But as an organized campaign against vaccination, it's a leftist anti-corporate thing. (Just like the GMO stuff.) As well as a trial lawyer thing.
   65. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:10 AM (#4783566)
Do you think US troops wouldn't be welcomed in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia?


There is zero reason to do anything in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia beyond what our current president is doing. Do you believe Putin and his tanks are going to be rolling into any of those countries any time soon? What on Earth do you think putting US troops there (above and beyond what NATO may have there) does?

What do you think will happen if Obama continues on his current course? Russia is not going to attack NATO. Like no kidding, not happening, and if it did we would crush them - a few troops in country would make zero difference in threat level or outcome.
   66. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4783568)
The anti-vaccination crowd is one of those things where fringe left, right, and libertarian all manage to bend around on the edges and land solidly in the same pit of total, proud stupidity.


The most prominent vaxxer is Jenny McCarthy. She's a blond bubbleheaded "starlet" from Hollywood. So people assume it's a "left" thing. JFK, Jr is also another prominent vaxxer. And he's a Kennedy, ya know. I've seen no real breakdown that shows vaxxer stupidity leans any way but stupid. There are plenty of home schooling Christianists who are anti-vaxxers too.
   67. zonk Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:15 AM (#4783569)
I think daft is thinking that Russia would actually invade a NATO member - Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are; Ukraine isn't.

I don't see what possible good putting actual forces in Poland/Baltics would possibly do - it's NOT a free deployment and on the absolutely miniscule chance that Russia would start a shooting war with NATO, it wouldn't be won or lost based on how many US divisions are present on the ground anyway.

It wouldn't be anything more than expensive bluster and do absolutely nothing to resolve the existing situation...
   68. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4783571)
Hey, don't forget Syria while you're at it. We can probably get a bulk discount on weapons and be out of there by the end of the month, at least if we put Rumsfeld and Cheney back in charge. And everyone will greet us as liberators, just like in Iraq.

Are you daft?

What is the parallel between Syria, and 4 NATO nations?


The idea that unilateral U.S. military intervention is any real answer. As part of an international force, it's another story, but you added that purely as an afterthought.

Do you think US troops wouldn't be welcomed in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia?

First tell me exactly what you think they'd be doing there as a unilateral force, and for how long.
   69. Lassus Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4783572)
JFK, Jr is also another prominent vaxxer. And he's a Kennedy, ya know.

JFK Jr.'s been dead for 15 years.


By this point, I can only imagine that snapper sees war efforts against China, Russia, or whoever as a return to a world he never knew that he wanted to exist in, morally, financially, globally, all other ways. The nostalgia is strong with this one, but it's not going to happen.
   70. BrianBrianson Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4783574)
Ferguson police are using body cameras

Although it remains to be seen how often footage will be "lost", or cameras will be mysteriously "off".
   71. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4783575)
My sense is that on an individual basis, there are people in the left and right opposed to vaccination. Some religious folk, some crunchy granola people. But as an organized campaign against vaccination, it's a leftist anti-corporate thing. (Just like the GMO stuff.) As well as a trial lawyer thing.

Can we just pre-empt this stupid sub-thread by agreeing that the entire anti-vax crowd is a bunch of loons, no matter what nominal part of the political spectrum they may occupy on other issues?

----------------------------------------------------------------------

JFK, Jr is also another prominent vaxxer.

And here I thought 'twas beauty that killed the hunk. I didn't realize it was a vaccination that caused his plane to crash.

EDIT: a booster shot to Lassus
   72. zonk Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4783579)
Do you think US troops wouldn't be welcomed in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia?

First tell me exactly what you think they'd be doing there as a unilateral force, and for how long.


I think even before that first --

Have Poland/Estonia/Latvia/Lithuania actually asked for US/NATO forces?

Again - they're member nations of an alliance that exists expressly TO provide mutual assistance to member states. They're not US vassals and at least in theory - NATO doesn't exist for the purpose of putting the US sphere of influence on paper somewhere.

There are mechanisms, I'm sure, for member states to ask for force deployments for whatever reason -- the US did so regarding Afghanistan (and Iraq, but for obvious, perfectly legitimate and correct reasons - invading Iraq didn't meet the qualifications).

It's not - and should not be - the US decision to deploy forces to Poland/Baltics... It's THEIR decision to ask and then an alliance decision how to proceed.
   73. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4783583)
It's not - and should not be - the US decision to deploy forces to Poland/Baltics... It's THEIR decision to ask and then an alliance decision how to proceed.

I'm afraid that may be a bit too subtle a point for our armchair Zimmermans to digest.
   74. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4783584)
JFK Jr.'s been dead for 15 years.


Does he have a kid? One of the Kennedys is a big vaxxer I think.

It's apparently RFK, Jr. All Kennedys look the same to me.
   75. The Good Face Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4783587)
Here's the NYT's latest on the UK rape scandals. Yes, plural. Go figure, the same things have been happening in other towns as well.

It has highlighted another uncomfortable dimension of the issue, that of race relations in Britain. The victims identified in the report were all white, while the perpetrators were mostly of Pakistani heritage, many of them working in nighttime industries like taxi driving and takeout restaurants. The same was true in recent prosecutions in Oxford, in southern England, and the northern towns of Oldham and Rochdale, where nine men of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Afghan origin were given long prison sentences in 2012 for abusing up to 47 girls. Investigators in Scotland have reportedly uncovered a similar pattern of abuse.


Another case of poor whites getting the shaft, in a very real and literal sense. They lack the social or financial capital to move to better areas and to the local authorities they're just chavscum (white trash); better to let their children get raped and trafficked than to risk being seen as racist. Not like they have any clout to push back. But at least they're really getting to enjoy the benefits of diversity. Those lucky duckies.
   76. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4783588)
The most prominent vaxxer is Jenny McCarthy. She's a blond bubbleheaded "starlet" from Hollywood. So people assume it's a "left" thing. JFK, Jr is also another prominent vaxxer. And he's a Kennedy, ya know.


JFK Jr? John John? He's been dead 15 years.
   77. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4783590)
JFK Jr.'s been dead for 15 years.


Or so THEY would have us believe.
   78. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4783592)
JFK Jr.'s been dead for 15 years.


Does he have a kid? One of the Kennedys is a big vaxxer I think.

That's RFK Jr. you're thinking of. JFK Jr. was childless.

EDIT: I see you made a belated purchase of your own coke.
   79. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4783593)
It's apparently RFK, Jr. All Kennedys look the same to me.


First you're anti-Semitic, then you're anti-Irish (or maybe just useless rich white parasites). Oy/faith & begorra.
   80. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4783598)
Women fighting over the right-to-recline force Delta Airlines plane to divert in THIRD mid-air seat row in just a week

Klipin recalled hearing the woman say: 'I don't care about the consequences; put this plane down.'

Another traveler who spoke to ABC's Good Morning America described the woman as 'nuts,' saying that she launched into a tirade about her dead pets.

'She said, "I lost two dogs in the last month. I want her [ the reclining passenger] off of here, or I'm going to leave; or I want you to stop the plane.'

The stewardess went to talk to the pilot, who made the decision to land the plane 'out of an abundance of caution,' according to a Delta spokesman.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2740459/Unruly-passengers-force-Delta-Airlines-plane-divert-THIRD-mid-air-fight-reclining-seats-just-week.html

   81. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:44 AM (#4783599)
Another traveler who spoke to ABC's Good Morning America described the woman as 'nuts,' saying that she launched into a tirade about her dead pets.


Further proof that the woman was nuts: she got upset when someone tried to recline her seat.
   82. Lassus Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:44 AM (#4783600)
Another case of poor whites getting the shaft, in a very real and literal sense. They lack the social or financial capital to move to better areas and to the local authorities they're just chavscum (white trash); better to let their children get raped and trafficked than to risk being seen as racist. Not like they have any clout to push back. But at least they're really getting to enjoy the benefits of diversity. Those lucky duckies.

You never did answer how you were going to determine who was to be let into or kept out of your non-rapey utopia.
   83. Lassus Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4783604)
'She said, "I lost two dogs in the last month. I want her [ the reclining passenger] off of here, or I'm going to leave; or I want you to stop the plane.'

"OK, there's the door."
   84. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4783605)
You never did answer how you were going to determine who was to be let into or kept out of your non-rapey utopia.


No Muslims.
No Catholics.
No football players, obviously.
No Air Force members.
I've heard some stories about the Orthodox community in Brooklyn.
   85. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4783609)
Another case of poor whites getting the shaft, in a very real and literal sense. They lack the social or financial capital to move to better areas and to the local authorities they're just chavscum (white trash); better to let their children get raped and trafficked than to risk being seen as racist. Not like they have any clout to push back. But at least they're really getting to enjoy the benefits of diversity. Those lucky duckies.

It's axiomatic that the modern liberal cares far more about alleged "racism" than about the plight of average white people. We see it play out here virtually daily. Their relentless hectoring has apparently gone so far as to chill the UK authorities ... and here we are.

You want to talk about "rape culture," well here we have the real thing.
   86. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4783610)
   87. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4783612)
If there's any question that legitimate Citizen Patrol volunteers go unarmed, that should settle it.
Yeah, no, it doesn’t “settle" anything. First, it isn’t “what the National Sheriffs’ Association had to say about that:” It’s what thegrio.com says about it; you didn’t quote the creepily-named NSA.

Second, you need to learn to read what people say, and not what you want them to have said: “Zimmerman was not a member of any group recognized by the organization…” But so what? The NSA doesn’t have any regulatory authority; the consequences of it not “recognizing” an organization are nil. It’s like saying that your store wasn’t “recognized" by the National Booksellers’ Association. That neither means that you weren’t a “legitimate” bookstore nor that you didn’t sell books nor that you weren’t authorized to sell books; it doesn’t mean anything at all. If you had bothered to read the whole link you quoted, rather than desperately trying to salvage victory for a position you’ve taken that was incorrect by googling isolated quotes, you’d see this: “But registration with the USAonWatch-Neighborhood Watch Program … is not a requirement for forming a group." It goes on to explain that registration will allow you to access the NSA’s neighborhood watch resources, ”But it’s not mandatory. A group of people can get together in an apartment building and say ‘we’re going to watch out for each other.’ And that’s it.” Indeed, it goes on even further: “As Zimmerman acted as part of an unofficial group (or perhaps alone),¹ he was free to make decisions without the benefit to his community of being vetted by police."

Third, you need to learn to read what people say, and not what you want them to have said. If you read the NSA’s press release as excerpted by thegrio, all they say is that carrying a weapon is against “principles” or “tenets” of neighborhood watch, not that it violates some sort of rules, regulations, or laws.

¹ Again, and I don’t know how to say this so that you understand it: Zimmerman was not “on patrol” when the incident happened; he was on his way to the store. Even taking the NSA statement for more than it means, the NSA is not saying that anyone who volunteers for a neighborhood watch program agrees to remain unarmed at all times; all it's saying is that while on patrol, they generally don’t carry weapons.

as Sanford's police chief recognized when he announced this new policy…. So what was that point about governments having "no authority" over neighborhood watch groups?
Andy, Andy, Andy. Again you misread things because you’re trying to win rather than trying to learn. Not only do you misunderstand the idea of a neighborhood watch program, but you misunderstand the concept of separation of powers. Legislatures pass laws; police chiefs don’t. Let me explain to you what the Sanford police chief is actually saying: that if you want to work with the Sanford police, you have to follow certain requirements. That’s what the police chief has authority to do. That’s all he has authority to do. He does not have authority to tell licensed people that they cannot carry weapons — even if he tried, and even if the Second Amendment allowed it, state law in Florida preempts any such local law, regulation, or ordinance. And the First Amendment does not allow police chiefs to issue edicts about the existence of private volunteer organizations. All he’s saying is that if you don’t follow their requirements, you’re on your own. (Normally, the police will liaise with the groups, will provide some informal instruction and training and organizational tips and such. Like in that “manual” you found.)
   88. The Good Face Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4783613)
You never did answer how you were going to determine who was to be let into or kept out of your non-rapey utopia.


Was that a serious question? A serious answer would involve a long dialogue just to set the perimeters, but for a nutshell version, nobody gets in unless they're either filthy rich (in which case I would soak them with fees) or they have useful skills that the country has decided it needs, and even then they are weighted by their language skills, educational background, relative wealth, etc.

So what compels you guys to defend child rapists and the liberal policies that created and protected them? Is your tribalism truly so great that you have to spin this?
   89. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4783614)
Andy, since you’re being willfully ignorant, let me explain what the whole “no weapons” thing for neighborhood watch groups is actually about: liability.

(1) If a member of a neighborhood watch program carries a gun, and as a direct or indirect result, is killed, his survivors are going to sue the other people in the program. If the police helped the program get organized, his survivors are going to sue the city, too. His survivors are going to claim that he was negligently trained, that if the program members had only told him not to carry a gun, he wouldn’t have tried to pursue the ’suspect' in question and wouldn’t have been injured. (Doesn’t matter whether it’s true; the lawsuit will be filed and will be expensive.)

(2) If a member of a neighborhood watch program carries a gun, and as a direct or indirect result, a ’suspect’ is killed, the ’suspect’s' survivors are going to sue the shooter, and other people in the program. If the police helped the program get organized, his survivors are going to sue the city, too. The ’suspect’s' survivors are going to claim that the shooter was negligently trained and supervised, that if he had somehow been prevented from carrying a gun, if the shooter had been trained only to call the police and then walk away, the ‘suspect’ would be alive because the professionals in the police department would never have shot the guy [heh]. (Again, doesn’t matter whether it’s true; the lawsuit will be filed and will be expensive.)

It’s the same reason that the dispatcher didn’t order Zimmerman (contrary to what people have claimed) not to follow Martin: if they gave him an order, and then he was injured or killed as a result of the order, the city would have been sued for negligently telling him that. Thus, they said, “We don’t need you to do that,” to make clear that if Zimmerman followed Martin, it was Zimmerman’s choice rather than the result of their instruction. But also if he didn’t follow Martin, it was also his choice rather than the result of their instruction.
   90. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4783615)
It's axiomatic that the modern liberal cares far more about alleged "racism" than about the plight of average white people...

You want to talk about "rape culture," well here we have the real thing.


Wait. What's to blame for this? Fear of being called a racist, or "rape culture?" You really need to decide which shibboleth you want to whinge about here. It makes less sense than your usual diatribes the way you're trying to get digs in at both racial awareness and feminists lobbying against rape. It's almost as if you think they're all the same thing. Maybe you should invade and colonize them.
   91. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4783617)
I think even before that first --

Have Poland/Estonia/Latvia/Lithuania actually asked for US/NATO forces?


Yes. 5 Months ago.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10737838/Ukraine-crisis-Poland-asks-Nato-to-station-10000-troops-on-its-territory.html
   92. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 02, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4783621)
What's to blame for this? Fear of being called a racist, or "rape culture?"

Sounds like fear of being called a racist, or appearing "racist."

The rape culture remark was a dig at the utter hypocrisy on the matter of modern liberals who, from all indications, caused an actual rape culture to obtain and persist in several UK towns.
   93. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4783622)
Wait. What's to blame for this? Fear of being called a racist, or "rape culture?"

Both. A deeply misogynistic fundamentalist Islamic culture, that sees non-Muslim women as sub-human, and Muslim women as little better, and liberals too afraid of being "racist" to recognize this.
   94. Lassus Posted: September 02, 2014 at 11:05 AM (#4783627)
Was that a serious question? A serious answer would involve a long dialogue just to set the perimeters, but for a nutshell version, nobody gets in unless they're either filthy rich (in which case I would soak them with fees) or they have useful skills that the country has decided it needs, and even then they are weighted by their language skills, educational background, relative wealth, etc.

I'll assume this is what you have in mind for the US as well. Be curious to see the outcome of any country who went this way, British Isles included. I'm not entirely convinced it would work the way you want, but a super-rich John Galtian nation seems rather unattainable. But it may be, I'm just not sure the current makeup of the world can bend this way for anybody.


So what compels you guys to defend child rapists and the liberal policies that created and protected them? Is your tribalism truly so great that you have to spin this?

As your main point in bringing this up this entire story is to land gleefully on "TELL ME, HAVE YOU STOPPED RAPING CHILDREN?" I'll just let you bask in that for your own benefit.
   95. formerly dp Posted: September 02, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4783630)
A deeply misogynistic fundamentalist Islamic culture, that sees non-Muslim women as sub-human, and Muslim women as little better, and liberals too afraid of being "racist" to recognize this.
What tenants of Catholicism compelled church leaders to engage in a decades-long global conspiracy to allow rapey priests to continually rape little boys?
   96. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 02, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4783631)
The rape culture remark was


A meaningless, empty cheap shot at your "modern liberal" bugaboo that lights up your ass even when it's completely counter to the conversation at hand. Feminists concerned with rape culture are not lining up to justify or rationalize the horrible decisions of the British system that failed to identify and prosecute these rapes.
   97. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 02, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4783633)
Feminists concerned with rape culture are not lining up to justify or rationalize the horrible decisions of the British system that failed to identify and prosecute these rapes.

But it is interesting that the Duke Lacrosse incident got a whole lot more media coverage and Feminist outrage than these British cases.
   98. Ron J2 Posted: September 02, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4783639)
Financially, are you better off being on an NFL practice squad, and maybe getting in 3-4 games, or starting a full season in the CFL?


Pretty sure you're better off financially on the NFL practice squad. But you get to play in the CFL and (as Greg K notes) sometimes the opportunity to play is a huge deal.

The downside of going the practice squad route can be seen with Casey Printers. Went from CFL star to NFL practice squad. Never was able to turn that into an NFL job. When he finally went back to the CFL he simply couldn't do the job any longer..
   99. Lassus Posted: September 02, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4783642)
Both. A deeply misogynistic fundamentalist Islamic culture, that sees non-Muslim women as sub-human, and Muslim women as little better, and liberals too afraid of being "racist" to recognize this.

Someone has already taught us that calling out religion is a non-starter, and it wasn't the liberals. They're all terrible, and I haven't any problem saying certain Muslims have been extra-especially terrible, and I don't mind telling fellow liberals they should say so. I'm pretty certain this doesn't slow down the tempo by which folks feel the need to dance the jig around raped girls chanting "LIBERALS RAPED YOU, LIBERALS RAPED YOU WHEEEEEE!" Do as thou wilt.
   100. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 02, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4783643)
A deeply misogynistic fundamentalist .. culture, that sees ... women as sub-human, and ... women as little better,


This is true of more or less all three Abrahamic religions. The more "traditional" and "conservative" the given sect, the more it applies. The most "traditionalist" and "conservative" religion at play in the world today is, of course, Islam.
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