Sunday, July 28, 2013

Reflections on the Zimmerman Case

Things would be different if Trayvon was white!!

Really?  I don't think so.  Note the similarities, particularly this from the prosecutor:

“I just hope it’s not a message to this community,” she sniffed, “that you have the right to shoot an unarmed 17-year-old kid for breaking into a car.”

What did Yogi Berra say?  Deja vu all over again.

If I had a black son, he'd look like...

This.  Oh, jeez!  Is this racist??!!  I don't care what color your son is.  What of the content of his character?  How does a parent let their kid get to a point where the kid suffers outcomes such as Trayvon Martin's?  I know my kids do not dress or behave in a manner anyone would call "suspicious".  That's because of how I sought to raise them.  Which leads me to...

Profiling is GOOD!

Way back when I was in high school, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, there was an event day at our school called "50's DAY".  Everyone was encouraged to dress like they did in the 1950's and the day culminated in a 50's Dance that night.  In a very uncharacteristic move for me and my chums, we all bought into this particular school spirit episode and dressed and acted the part all day long.

So there I was, Vitalis in my mop, T-shirt with a pack of Luckies twisted in the sleave and blue jeans with the cuffs pulled up (couldn't afford a leather jacket, damnit).  With mirror shades upon my face, and an unlit Lucky in my mouth, I strutted my way from class to class.  A shop teacher, who happened to also be a bishop of some Christian denomination, grabbed me, the ciggie and hauled me off to the office.  Upon my arrival, I immediately came into range of the school cop (with whom I had some contact in the past), the dean (ditto) and the principle.  Still in the clutches of the bishop, the cop said, "What do we have here?"  I said to him, "Yo, Ken!  What's the problem wit dis guy?" as I pointed to the bishop.  "You'd better watch yourself, young man!  Don't make things worse!"

It dawned on me right away that my get-up had the officer fooled.  I pulled off my shades and mussed my hair and said, "Wait a minute!  It's me!  ART!"  I could see that they then realized who I was and they began to laugh!  "OH!  It's 50's Day!"  "Yeah!"  I said.  "Just showing some school spirit, like you guys say I should!"

I was profiled.  I was dressed like a 50's greaser and they treated me like one.  Naturally I sued them and that's why I'm the rich man I am today. 

No.  I just dealt with it and realized that how one dresses and acts gives off impressions we don't always intend, and more importantly, sometimes they do.

Profiling is the learned lessons of our experiences.  To ignore those lessons can needlessly put us in jeopardy.  It isn't judging a book by its cover.  It is recognizing that the book in question very much resembles the one with which we were hit, and greater scrutiny is in order to confirm the presence of danger or eliminate the need for concern.

But the reverse is a lesson well learned also.  If I wish to deflect attention, I dress to blend in, act in a manner that does not draw attention and basically, "be good".  Those whose duty it is to stand guard against bad behavior will look away from those who do not trigger their profiling sensors.

But while dress and behavior don't guarantee criminal activity is imminent, they do naturally activate those sensors some among us insist we should ignore.   And when we do ignore them , another terrorist bomb explodes, another mass shooting occurs, another rape, another robbery, another mugging...and some actual cases of well behaved, good students of character are scrutinized, detained, arrested and sometimes killed when mistaken for someone else.  Was Trayvon one of these?  The known facts don't suggest such, but for the sake of the incident on that dark, rainy night, his dress and manner played a major role in the final outcome.  Had his parents made an issue of how he dressed, behaved and carried himself, and had he accepted those teachings, none of this would have happend.  That bishop shop teacher didn't haul everyone to the office.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Faces of True Idiocy

When I heard that Charlie Pierce wrote another piece on the Zimmerman case, I just knew that Geoffrey would be citing that drivel as if it was true insight, an accurate reflection of reality.  One idiot praising another. 

Just focus first on that excerpt from Pierce's piece of self-satisfying ooze around which Geoffrey frames his post.  Notice the fiction necessary to come to Pierce's conclusions.  Nothing in that puke resembles the reality that the facts of the case illuminate.  "Stalked"?  Pierce and Kruse-Safford enjoy calling the mere moments Zimmerman was out of his vehicle "stalking".  The entire period from when Martin left the convenience store to the time he was shot does not allow for anything an honest person could call "stalking".

There is nothing in the facts that suggest Zimmerman was doing more than looking out for his community.  Some may recall a rather infamous incident in New York a few decades ago, wherein a woman was attacked in the night, her screams heard by many, but her demise guaranteed by their inaction.  Idiots like GKS and Pierce would chastise those people.  But here, one man takes it upon himself to do a bit more than whine about crime in his neighborhood and he is to be crucified by lesser individuals like Pierce and lil' Geoffie because the situation resulted in death.  And these pathetic idiots would suggest that not only was Zimmerman pleased with the opportunity to have shot and killed someone, but now would take his RIGHTEOUS trial verdict as license to kill more people.

The absolute arrogance and hideous self-righteousness of Pierce and GKS to ASSUME racist intentions on the part of Zimmerman is disgusting and serves nothing but to satisfy their own unjustifiably massive egos and twisted sense of morality. 

If Zimmerman is guilty of anything in this incident (based on all the facts that have been available for some time now), it is of being less than perfect in his handling of the situation in which he found himself.  Martin, however, is guilty of having brought about his own death.  We know, for example, that he had a cell phone, as he used it to talk to the prosecution's "star" witness.  If he felt at all threatened by Zimmerman's scrutinizing of his behavior, a call to the cops would have been the proper move.  The cops would have had two people calling them about the same thing.  Instead of a fatal bullet wound, there likely could have been laughs all around.  "No way!  I called the cops on YOU, dude!"  Instead, he chose to play the role evidence shows was the reputation he was creating for himself.  It got him killed. 

The Pierces, Geoffreys, Al Sharptons, Van Joneses and others like these race-baiting, morally bankrupt idiots will continue to stoke the very sentiments against which they claim to fight.  They each do it for self-serving reasons, not caring the least for the people who actually are affected by real causes of their sufferings.  They sicken me.  That they don't sicken themselves says a ton about each of them.  May God have mercy on them all.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Taxes And Subsidies: A Guest Post by Bubba

MA's note:  I have always found Bubba's comments to be so good as to leave me wondering why he does not have his own blog.  For whatever reasons prohibit his decision to do so, I have agreed to allow him the opportunity to post here when he is so compelled.  Copying and pasting from his email wasn't allowing his links to work, so I simply typed out everything (adding one link as indicated in paragraph two) as if I was posting myself.  What follows is from Bubba:


In a recent conversation about another subject entirely, Dan Trabue mentioned the question of what qualifies as a "fair" or "right" level of taxation.

It appears he was referencing a long dormant conversation elsewhere, and I've asked Marshall to let me provide a guest post here to continue the conversation.  (MA's note:  Dan may have been referencing this more recent conversation, on the same subject.)

Dan wrote, "I do not believe there is such a thing as a morally and rationally 'right' tax rate, at least at the upper end.  I think obviously, it would be wrong to tax people so much that they can't afford to live so, for instance, at the lower end of the pay scale, a family with very meager income - say $10,000 - probably should not be taxed much or any because all their income is simply being used to survive.

"But a 'right' tax rate for a person making $400,000/year? $1 million?  I do not believe there exists a 'right' rate, God has not told us and logic does not dictate to us one right rate, so I can't give what doesn't exist."

The only clear line that Dan draws is at taxing people "so much that they can't afford to live", but I wonder, would it be okay to tax even that remaining amount, if the government provides a subsidy that covers living expenses?

Suppose that the minimum cost of living in a given area is $50,000 for a family of four -- two adults, two children -- an amount that's just above what's listed for the Bronx, at a "living wage calculator" maintained by an urban planning professor at MIT.

Dan writes that it would be wrong to tax a Bronx family of four so much that they would end up with less than $50,000 a year, but what if the government provided that amount as a subsidy?

To Dan and those who would agree with him, I ask, would you have any moral objections if the government taxed all four-member families in the Bronx at 100 PERCENT if the government turned around and subsidized all these families with a guaranteed income of $50,000 a year?

What could those moral objections possibly be?

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Got to Fight It!

Saw "The Heat" over the weekend with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.  Liked it.  Plenty of laughs if crude humor doesn't bother you.  But it opened with the Isley Bros, and that was cool.