The Trayvon Martin thread

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fyodor
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by fyodor »

D.A. Ridgely wrote: But we are on balance more passionate than rational as a species.
Yeah, well we're not as bad as Klingons!!!
Your optimism just confuses and enrages me. - Timothy
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Ayn_Randian
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Ayn_Randian »

thoreau: i object to all of the conclusions related to Zimmerman's culpability. its just more culture war bullshit.
It has the effect of making me want desperately to do the opposite of what Green Day is suggesting I should want to do. Billy Joe Whassname may have created a generation of war mongers. - Jason L
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fyodor
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by fyodor »

While I do take DAR's and thoreau's points, I'm also glad AR jumped in as he did, as I was kinda thinking the same thing and was wondering if there was something... I was missing.

The guy is being tried in the court of public opinion, and I don't know if it behooves us (or even benefits the cause good conversation on the topic) to join in with that without damn good reason.*

I haven't followed the case past the first paragraph or so of a few articles I've read, so I don't claim to know a whole lot about it.

I've gotten the impression that Zimmerman was scared of the kid for little to no good reason, and he followed him when someone from the police (911 dispatcher?) told him in no uncertain terms not to.

I also get the drift from some of the tangential conversation on this thread that as a gun carrier, Zimmerman had perhaps additional responsibilities not to cause a confrontation that could result in the possession of his gun being at risk, and his decision to follow the kid may likely reflect irresponsibility in that regard.

I find myself wondering to what extent his irresponsibility in following the kid while armed necessarily puts him at blame (and I do mean legally) for whatever happened in the final confrontation, which we apparently, it seems, know little about.

*ETA: Not saying that that "damn good reason" has to rise to "beyond a reasonable doubt." Consider it the rules of evidence for enlightened conversation! :)

EDIT: added a couple of words to be more copacetic (not that anyone seems to be noticing anything I'm saying today anyway! Think I'll go find a mirror and see if I see anything...)
Last edited by fyodor on 27 Mar 2012, 13:18, edited 2 times in total.
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thoreau
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by thoreau »

Ayn_Randian wrote:thoreau: i object to all of the conclusions related to Zimmerman's culpability. its just more culture war bullshit.
Do you say this because you think that the conclusions are wrong? Because you think that we lack the information to know if the conclusions are wrong? Or because you think that, even if we have the information, the reasoning used with that information cannot lead to reliable conclusions? Those are 3 distinct possibilities. In the later 2, the conclusions might actually be right, but we do not know if they are right. In the first, we have some way of knowing that the conclusions are wrong.
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dhex
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by dhex »

i blame jesse jackson.
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thoreau
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by thoreau »

Regarding discourse in general, rather than this specific case:

Although I am a college professor, I do not insist that every comment in a discussion meet the standards of a college essay. Although I am a scientist, I don't mind a bit of idle, low-stakes speculation. Hell, right now in another thread I'm speculating on genetics and behavior in cats. These are all casual conversations undertaken for fun, and I keep them distinct from my professional work. I don't teach anything about genetics or animal behavior, and even if I did I could still speculate idly after hours. Likewise, I see no reason why people must adhere to the same standards as lawyers when discussing a criminal case in the news. Yes, there are good reasons to be cautious, but there are degrees of caution, and it is not always necessary to use the same presumptions and strict standards as a lawyer involved in the case.

Besides, while professions have rules concerning caution about conclusions, professionals usually also have professional opinions more detailed than "We cannot say for certain until all of the facts are in and properly examined." I assume that lawyers with experience will have opinions on the likelihood of a case being decided a certain way, or the likelihood of a certain argument or tactic being effective. I assume that lawyers don't just say "Well, we cannot draw any conclusion at all until the jury decides." How could they make effective decisions if they didn't let themselves acknowledge (even in private) that certain arguments are unlikely to be effective or that the evidence against them on some particular point is quite strong? Likewise, in my own work, I can't draw any strong conclusions until the experiment has been done, and replicated, and critiqued, etc. However, I can and do have opinions on which approaches are more likely to be successful, which hypotheses are more plausible, and these informed opinions are necessary for the conduct of my work. There's no professional obligation to be born yesterday.

Put it this way: The jury found reasonable doubt, so we can all agree that it was proper to release OJ from jail. But how many people, based on what they know, would want him marrying their sister or cousin? Obviously the legal standard is that there was reasonable doubt so the law cannot treat him as a criminal (though the law can and did hold him civilly liable). That doesn't mean that the rest of us have to assume it's safe to be around him.

To go back to the Martin case, I'm open to the possibility that, when all legally admissible evidence is examined concerning Zimmerman's actions, there will be reasonable doubt as to whether all of the necessary elements of a murder charge have been proven, and so it will be necessary and just to release him. That doesn't mean that I'll be interested in moving to any subdivision that has him on the Neighborhood Watch. A jury's finding of reasonable doubt does not obligate the rest of us to empty out our brains.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Aresen »

thoreau wrote: I do not insist that every comment in a discussion meet the standards of a college essay.
Now THAT is setting the bar low! :lol:
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Mo »

dhex wrote:i blame jesse jackson.
I'm not sure if you're joking, but you're pretty much dead on. I find it telling that the people on both sides of the aisle were outraged at Zimmerman until Obama said something and Jackson & Sharpton got involved. I wonder why that is ...
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fyodor
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by fyodor »

Mo wrote:
dhex wrote:i blame jesse jackson.
I'm not sure if you're joking, but you're pretty much dead on. I find it telling that the people on both sides of the aisle were outraged at Zimmerman until Obama said something and Jackson & Sharpton got involved. I wonder why that is ...
The shrinks call it "balance." Public officials should take care not to create backlashes. If they're concerned with what they're commenting on and not just their own public image, that is. (Although it may be sufficient to assume that those in question were merely giving in to temptation.)

ETA: Of course, here we usually call it The Sports Bar! :)
Last edited by fyodor on 27 Mar 2012, 13:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Ayn_Randian »

Mo wrote:
dhex wrote:i blame jesse jackson.
I'm not sure if you're joking, but you're pretty much dead on. I find it telling that the people on both sides of the aisle were outraged at Zimmerman until Obama said something and Jackson & Sharpton got involved. I wonder why that is ...
It must be racism. That's gotta be it.
It has the effect of making me want desperately to do the opposite of what Green Day is suggesting I should want to do. Billy Joe Whassname may have created a generation of war mongers. - Jason L
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Mo »

Ayn_Randian wrote:It must be racism. That's gotta be it.
Actually, I was implying it was partisanship. Got a better reason for why the National Review went from being anti-Zimmerman to strongly anti-Martin right after Obama's statement?
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Ayn_Randian »

Mo wrote:
Ayn_Randian wrote:It must be racism. That's gotta be it.
Actually, I was implying it was partisanship. Got a better reason for why the National Review went from being anti-Zimmerman to strongly anti-Martin right after Obama's statement?
Apologies. I get sensitive. It's definitely partisanship, though.
It has the effect of making me want desperately to do the opposite of what Green Day is suggesting I should want to do. Billy Joe Whassname may have created a generation of war mongers. - Jason L
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Mo »

Though I think it would be naive to think race isn't playing a part in it, as evidenced by "Ooh, scary black kid must be guilty because he has tattoos" and "Wearing a hoodie means you're asking to get shot".
Last edited by Mo on 27 Mar 2012, 13:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by dhex »

i work with a lot of people with tattoos - that part of that link was a little confusing. maybe people are less tattooed in florida?

anyway, jesse jackson is always a catalyst for misplaced rage, in both himself and particularly his opponents.

"spontaneous" rallies in nyc and other areas are a bit odd as well.

all that said, america is fucked up about race.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by thoreau »

Yeah, partisanship is a factor, but let's not pretend that race doesn't matter, or that race itself doesn't get intertwined with partisanship.
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fyodor
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by fyodor »

Tattoos don't have to be on a black kid to scare Republicans.

Though I'm sure it helps!
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Kolohe »

dhex wrote:i work with a lot of people with tattoos - that part of that link was a little confusing. maybe people are less tattooed in florida?
I can't imagine that's the case, but Florida does only have one city on this list
dhex wrote:"spontaneous" rallies in nyc and other areas are a bit odd as well.
Not really, in the sense it's a clear issue to galvanize and rally behind and be a proxy for many other things. Once upon a time anti-war protests did the same thing, (with a (mostly) different audience) but we have a different President now.

ETA: which is to say, can you imagine how bad of an unresolvable shitstorm this would be if there were Republicans in charge of the US DOJ?
Last edited by Kolohe on 27 Mar 2012, 14:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Kolohe »

[delete dupe post]
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Mo »

Kolohe wrote:ETA: which is to say, could you imagine how bad this would be if Republicans were in charge of the USDOJ?
Yikes.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by dhex »

i was being tongue in cheek about the spontaneous/"spontaneous" rallies bit. it works much as you've said. (hence some ows folk trying to horn in on it in nyc)

as for the tattoos, "a black kid with tattoos is obviously not threatening as tattoos are about as common as shoes these days" seems obvious here, but i live in a different culture.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Ayn_Randian »

thoreau wrote:
Ayn_Randian wrote:thoreau: i object to all of the conclusions related to Zimmerman's culpability. its just more culture war bullshit.
Do you say this because you think that the conclusions are wrong? Because you think that we lack the information to know if the conclusions are wrong? Or because you think that, even if we have the information, the reasoning used with that information cannot lead to reliable conclusions? Those are 3 distinct possibilities. In the later 2, the conclusions might actually be right, but we do not know if they are right. In the first, we have some way of knowing that the conclusions are wrong.
We lack the information to make conclusions responsibly.

Your post after this is true generally, but when you are calling someone a murder with very little evidence, I consider that over the line when it comes to speculation. Would you do that with a person accused of rape? (See: Duke Lacrosse, Dominique Francon) Further, branding someone as such amongst others contributes to the Culture War, and even if you do it in your mind, you are harming yourself.
It has the effect of making me want desperately to do the opposite of what Green Day is suggesting I should want to do. Billy Joe Whassname may have created a generation of war mongers. - Jason L
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Hugh Akston »

Ayn_Randian wrote:Would you do that with a person accused of rape? (See: Duke Lacrosse, Dominique Francon)
Now that is a pitch-perfect example of RC's Law.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Mo »

BTW, I would never know the NBPP existed were it not for the conservative media. I do not mean that as a compliment. I doubt the NBPP has a membership that exceeds that of the KKK or even the Nazis that wanted to march in Skokie.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Jennifer »

The facts, as I know them, are these: a teenager walking to visit his aunt and uncle was shot and killed by a man with a proven history of going out of his way to find criminal suspects whether they exist or not. I also know it's probably anti-feminist to slap the "scaredy-cat racist pussy" label on Zimmerman but I will anyway, because if the mere sight of a little eight-or-nine-year-old black boy walking down the street is all it takes to frighten you enough to call 911 solely to report a little eight-or-nine-year-old black boy walking down the street, you are indeed a scaredy-cat racist pussy (too bad Zimmerman didn't live in my neighborhood; he'd've dropped dead from a black-induced fear aneurysm years ago, and Trayvon Martin would still be alive.)

I know that on the night Trayvon Martin died, the scaredy-cat racist pussy called 911 to report an incredibly suspicious-looking individual engaging in the incredibly suspicious behavior of walking in the neighborhood where his aunt and uncle lived; I know 911 ordered the racist pussy to stop following the teenager; I know the racist pussy ignored this; I know the teenager was frightened enough to call 911 because he was being stalked by said racist pussy; and I know at the end of it all the teenager was dead.

And, as I mentioned earlier in this thread, the only way Zimmerman comes out looking blameless is if anyone supports the solipsistic idea that Zimmerman and his fears and vapors are all that matter. He has the right to be frightened of any black male he sees, he has the right to just assume they must be up to no good because they can't possibly have any legitimate reason to be walking on the street, he has the right to stalk those frightening black males, and if those black males have the gall to act scared or defensive, Zimmerman has the right to stand his ground (in the middle of a public right-of-way) and kill the teenager carrying candy to his aunt and uncle's house.

If I were being considered for the Zimmerman jury, of course, then what I wrote here would surely disqualify me from service. If I were a law student writing a homework-brief, my commentary here would deserve a failing grade. But there's not a chance in hell I'll be called to sit on that jury OR apply for admission to any law school, so I feel not the slightest shred of guilt over my commentary and speculations here, nor over my open admission that my sympathies lie entirely with the dead teenager rather than the wannabe-badass wannabe-cop who's such a fucking racist coward, he has actually called 911 to report a prepubescent black kid walking home from elementary school.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Aresen »

fyodor wrote:Tattoos don't have to be on a black kid to scare Republicans.

Though I'm sure it helps!
I'm fairly sure that Team Red is OK with members of the military having tattoos.
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