Mitt Romney often looks as if he is uncomfortable around regular, everyday people. His grins tend to resemble that of a grimace. What would happen if a voter gave him a big bear hug, and swept him from his feet???
Much has been written about the recent death of Florida teen, Trayvon Martin, over the last several days. The response to this shooting tends to vary depending upon where you are reading about the story. On websites like the Huffington Post, the majority of the posts – that are being let through – are in support of the family and their quest to see Zimmerman brought to justice. There are other sites, however, where the heavy hand of censorship is not present and that’s where you will find the Zimmerman apologists and those justifying his actions. What none of these people can tell me, however, is this:
What authority did Zimmerman have to approach Trayvon? In one “discussion” I was asked:
Do you remember any times when you had to confront an aggressive, angry black kid with an attitude?
Let’s ignore the ignorance of this question, and instead ask, Why did Zimmerman have to confront Trayvon? He is not a cop, a sheriff, or a deputy. He was not wearing an uniform to announce or display that he was in a position of authority (because, AGAIN, he is not in one). He was just an average looking CIVILIAN, stalking a young man who was not familiar with the inhabitants of the neighborhood he was visiting.
What I find most dumbfounding about the police investigation is that they seem to have accepted Zimmerman’s word from the start. They’ve said that the evidence that they’ve gathered points to self defense, the strongest “evidence” seems to come from Zimmerman. With the reports of witnesses being LED to provide statements that are consistent with Zimmerman’s assertion of self defense, one would have to seriously question their claim.
Here is what we have to consider when it comes to SPD’s dynamics with the shooter; Zimmerman is very well known to them having made dozens of calls, over the last year, while in his self-appointed position of neighborhood watch captain. It stands to reason that he has become relatively friendly with the cops that patrol that neighborhood. It also stands to reason that his relationship with real law enforcement officers buoyed him in his position of pseudo cop. Something told Zimmerman that he had the same authority as an actual cop. You know, cops who have actually gone through training and have actually earned the right to approach, question and detain suspects? The kicker here is that it seems as if law enforcement has given him that cover.
Escalation of Violence
Zimmerman apologists have suggested that Trayvon should have not run away from Zimmerman, because it makes him look guilty, and that he should not have engaged in a physical altercation with his pursuer. After all, if he would have just listened to the strange man stalking him through the rain and darkness, maybe he would still be here. Let’s just pretend that is even remotely rational for a moment. Even if the case is that George Zimmerman ran after Trayvon and didn’t lay his hands on him first, is it really OK to escalate from a fistfight to gunfire? Do we want to live in a country where that is a rational next step?
Law enforcement officials cite bruises “consistent with self defense” as their proof that Zimmerman, indeed, acted in self-defense. But, where is the proof that Zimmerman could have reasonably assumed that he was in danger of losing his life? If anything, he may have been in danger of losing a fight, but again is that really grounds to shoot someone? We all know, at this point, that Martin did not have a gun, a knife, a sword, a crossbow, a catapult, an IED, or any other deadly weapon. Did Zimmerman think he was going to kill him with his bare hands? Does law enforcement?
In the end, it seems as if this case will rest squarely on the controversial Florida law, “Stand your Ground” which reads:
A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
Wow. Can you be any more broad? And is LE saying that Zimmerman was at risk of “great bodily harm” when Martin has few signs of a struggle present on his body? It is no wonder that this law met such strong opposition from prosecutors and law enforcement officials when it was introduced into legislation in 2005.
Florida’s elected leaders ignored the overwhelming opposition of prosecutors and law enforcement to the law, including the National District Attorneys Association, the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, multiple State Attorneys, and police chiefs from cities like Miami and St. Petersburg. (Source)
Yup, I think we can safely call this law a license to kill and/or a get out of jail free card.
For me, this all circles back to the first question I posed in this post: What authority did George Zimmerman have to approach Trayvon Martin? What means did Trayvon Martin have to defend himself from George Zimmerman and why is there any expectation that he should not have been able to?
There are several petitions circling the internet to bring George Zimmerman to justice, but even if 99.9% of the population of the United States sign that petition, I fear that it won’t make a difference. If it is found that George Zimmerman acted in accordance to the laws of Florida, as it is written, he will remain free. Stand Your Ground has thrown all, that should be, common sense into question. Therefore, it is a real possibility that the only true justice seen in this case will come in the form of repealing this Freedom to Kill and claim Self Defense law.
Here is a link to sign a petition to repeal this law: Speak Out Against and Repeal All ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws As of now, it only has 39 signatures, so we have a long way to go to get it well circulated. I will sign it and make it 40. I hope that you will do the same, and pass it along.
Rest in peace, Trayvon Martin. May your death not be in vain.
This week Alexandra Pelosi debuted a new video on Real Time with Bill Maher. This video was meant to give contrast to last week’s video which showed Pelosi in Mississippi speaking with lower income conservatives. Many conservatives expressed outrage that Pelosi and Maher would “cherry pick” conservatives in order to show the party in the most negative light possible. Personally, I think that the party does that on its own, with or without the video… but, that’s another story altogether.
Before showing last week’s video, Maher promised that he would send Pelosi into the inner city to get the “other side’s” view. Last night, he kept his promise of a new video and showed the audience Pelosi’s latest installment. Instead of going to the inner city, however, she just went right across the street, from her residence, to the Welfare office where she interviewed several black men and one white woman. All were seeking government assistance in one form or another. One guy said he didn’t know what he was applying for, he just wanted whatever he could get. Another guy was asked why he was voting for President Obama and he said because he’s black, which contrasts the white conservative who said that he didn’t like President Obama because he is a “half-breed.”
All in all, this week’s video showed people who voted democrat because of their belief that they will get handouts if they do, again contrasting the conservatives who say that they would rather go without than have help. I am sure that the video outraged many liberals, but we all know that these people exists on both sides. The problem tends to come in when we try to paint an ENTIRE party with the same brush based upon the most negative, ignorant elements that exists within each party. This puts everyone on the defensive and we spend more time fighting stereotypes than being productive. (Which, I imagine, is by design.) I frequently post on the Huffington Post with my avatar showing me as a black woman, and while I have never once signed up for any government assistance programs and have never been on food stamps, people have implied that I am only a democrat because I want handouts. I don’t want handouts because I haven’t needed them, but I DO like the idea of a safety net considering the state of the economy.
In the end, the questions we have to ask are: Are all lower income conservatives racists who will not support a black president? No, but many are. Are all lower income democrats looking for a handout? No, but many are. That is what the videos showed, that these elements do exist and these people are voters. (Of course, many conservatives also accept handouts, but don’t acknowledge it as a handout… but, again, that’s another story.)
While I support the IDEA of what Maher and Pelosi have been trying to accomplish, I feel as if they didn’t go far enough to create context. In the case of this week’s video, I also do not believe that they did an adequate job of giving an exact contrast to the Mississippi voters that they interviewed. In MS, you clearly saw them speak with working class people, who we honestly do not know whether or not they accept any form of government assistance, or not. Considering that at least 40 percent of the people who receive food stamps live in households with at least one wage earner, that is a question that needed to be asked given this week’s trip to the welfare office in NY. Since Pelosi didn’t interview all food stamp recipients last week, this week’s video didn’t make sense in context.
Another place the video missed is when showing the doorman lament about those at the welfare office not having a job. In context, you would need to consider the jobless rate and whether or not jobs are available for those able bodied individuals. And you would have to also consider whether or not ALL of those going to the office aren’t working, as pointed out above. In the end, however, the men didn’t act as if they had any interest whatsoever in actually working. One man said he didn’t want a job, but a career… As if those are any easier to get.
Pelosi made a good point when referencing that we spend 700 billion on defense, in comparison to the 70 billion spent on government assistance programs. I also think she made a good point when she referenced the billions given out in corporate welfare. These are things that she should have discussed with the anti-handout crowd in MS. Republicans, that they vote for, support corporate welfare while stating that poor people don’t deserve any help. It would have been interesting to hear their take on that.
After it was all said and done, I was left feeling as if Ms. Pelosi really could have done a better job. The first video seemed as if she took the time out to travel through MS to find different people to speak with. (Although conservatives will argue that they were all the same TYPE of people.) The second one seemed as if it was hastily thrown together, and frankly, lazy. She only made one stop and it was to speak only with people looking for a handout.
Maher and Pelosi have managed to piss people off, showing those of whom both sides would rather keep buried, out of sight and out of mind. My issue with the video is completely different, however. I don’t mind that these people were unearthed, only that the videos lacked depth and context. As I’ve already said, I support the idea of what they did, so I am not offended… I imagine many black people will be because they may feel as if Maher and Pelosi are purposely playing into the stereotype that black people want handouts. Which is the argument that the right is making, only it’s for their side. So, there you have it. Something people on the left and right can come together on. And they said it couldn’t be done!
In closing, am I the only one amused by the fact that the welfare office had a DOORMAN? Really?
As posted by Outlandish, a user on the Huffington Post:
Republican base belief system.
You have to believe you know what women want but deprive them of the right to choice.
You have to believe that a man who has no core belief system is one of you because he described himself as a severe conservative.
You have to believe that those privileged from birth achieve success all
On their own!
You have to believe that wars are good so long as the rich make money out of them.
You have to believe that tax cuts for the wealthiest creates jobs and subsidies to job exporters are vital for America’s future.
You have to be against government programs, but expect your Social
Security checks on time.
You have to believe that government should stay out of people’s lives, yet
You want government to regulate only same-gender marriages, what a woman
Does with her uterus, and what your official language should be.
You have to believe that pollution is OK so long as it makes a profit.
You have to believe in prayer in schools, as long as you don’t pray to
Allah or Buddha!
You have to believe that only your own teenagers are virgins and het ro.
You have to believe that a woman cannot be trusted with decisions about
Her own body, but that large multi-national corporation should have no
Regulation or interference whatsoever!
You love Jesus and Jesus loves you and, by the way, Jesus shares your
disdain of LGBT’s and Obama!
You have to believe that society is color-blind and growing up black in
America doesn’t diminish your opportunities, but you wouldn’t vote for a
You have to believe it is wise to keep contraceptives out of schools, because we
All know if teenagers don’t have access they won’t get pregnant.
You have to believe that a man can dictate what women’s’ rights should be.
You have to believe that the ACLU is bad because they defend the
Constitution, while the NRA is good because they defend 1 section of the Constitution.
You have to believe that socialism hasn’t worked anywhere, and that
The Nordic block and Australia don’t exist.
You have to believe that the federal government doesn’t have the right to mandate healthcare.
But states have the right to disenfranchise voters.
Crystal Lee Sutton, whose courageous efforts organizing Southern textile mills inspired the award-winning 1979 film “Norma Rae,” passed away on Friday after a long battle with brain cancer. Sutton’s story is particularly tragic because after fighting her whole life for rights of working Americans, her health insurance wouldn’t cover the medications she needed:
She went two months without possible life-saving medications because her insurance wouldn’t cover it, another example of abusing the working poor, she said.
“How in the world can it take so long to find out (whether they would cover the medicine or not) when it could be a matter of life or death,” she said. “It is almost like, in a way, committing murder.”
Although Sutton eventually received the medication, the cancer had already taken a toll on her.
More from ThinkProgress:
NOTE: This is the first installment of our series — Meet Your Insurance Company Executive: An Interview with Wendell Potter.
Yesterday, ThinkProgress talked with Wendell Potter, Cigna Health Care’s former Communication Director, about a common and widespread practice among insurance companies called “rescission.” As the former Cigna executive explains, rescission is the insurance industry practice of finding reasons — even reasons as flimsy as typos on your enrollment form — to cancel your coverage when you get sick. According to Potter, insurance companies are saving billions by rescinding coverage from Americans who purchase individual insurance:
POTTER: If they determine that you might have left out something that they consider pertinent on your application and might have indicated that you would have had some illness or might get an illness down the road, and you’ve been getting treatment and submitting claims to your insurance company, they will go back and look at that application and they will often rescind or cancel your policy even if you’ve been paying your premiums on-time, every month, for years. You will be left holding the bag with the responsibility of paying all of your medical care when insurance companies do this. They’ve been doing it for many years and saving billions of dollars as a result of this.
The Washington Post recently highlighted other examples of rescission:
Woman Lost Her Home Because Coverage Was Canceled For Condition She Didn’t Have. “For Teresa Dietrich, it was fibroids. The Northern California real estate agent was left to pay $19,000 after Blue Cross said she did not disclose a diagnosis of the benign uterine tumors. But Dietrich said the doctor who had written ‘fibroids’ on her medical record never mentioned his suspicions to her. The bills destroyed her credit and cost her her home – and, in a comically cruel twist, the surgery proved the doctor was wrong. ‘They said I had a condition I didn’t even have,’ Dietrich said. ‘And they canceled me.’”
Woman Saddled With $25,000 Debt For Not Disclosing Condition She Didn’t Know She Had. “The untimely disappearance of Sally Marrari’s medical coverage goes a long way toward explaining why insurance companies are cast as the villain in the health-care reform drama. ‘They said I never mentioned I had a back problem,’ said Marrari, 52, whose coverage with Blue Cross was abruptly canceled in 2006 after a thyroid disorder, fluid in the heart and lupus were diagnosed. That left the Los Angeles woman with $25,000 in medical bills and the stigma of the company’s claim that she had committed fraud by not listing on a health questionnaire ‘preexisting conditions’ Marrari said she did not know she had.’”
Woman Denied Coverage For Gall Bladder Surgery Because Of Husband’s High Cholesterol. Washington Post: “In a pending case, Blue Shield searched in vain for an inconsistency in the health records of the wife of a dairy farmer after she filed a claim for emergency gallbladder surgery, according to attorneys for the family. Turning to her husband’s questionnaire, the company discovered he had not mentioned his high cholesterol and dropped them both. Blue Shield officials said they would not comment on a pending case.”
Rescission is widespread – an investigation by the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations found that three insurance companies alone (WellPoint, UnitedHealth and Assurant) cancelled more than 20,000 policies in the last five years.
Yes America, it’s true. The media is giving power to the most ignorant segment of our country. Of course, the first clue that these people were not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier is when they decided to call themselves “Teabaggers.” While they may be a great source of entertainment for those of us who have more than two brain cells to bump together, the topic of health care is an important one. These people are grossly uninformed, misinformed, and generally motivated by their fear of the unknown. Never once do they consider that perhaps they know so little because they are so overwhelmingly brainless. Oh, and that they refuse to get their news from anywhere other than right-wing propagandists and Fox News – who are bought and paid for by the same corporations that have brought us to the brink of disaster.
They believe that czars are bad, generally because it is an unfamiliar word in their vocabulary. When informed that Reagan also used czars, and that czars were expanded under George W. Bush, the crowd expressed dumbfounded confusion and disbelief. Their level of skepticism increased further as they were educated on the roles of the czars here in America. That they wield no executive power and act as advisers. Not to mention that most of them have been confirmed! Dubiously, one man questioned, “and you know this how?” If Glenn Beck didn’t say it, it must not be true. One woman worried about whether or not they are given land to lord over (like those czars that Caesar had back in “Roman Times.” )
Another deep thinker also contributed to the discussion about czars, stating that, “in Russia, czars are kings. I want people to know that in America, Jesus is king.'” I wish that the guy interviewing her would have said, “many people believe that Jesus was a socialist.” But, he may not have gotten out of there alive.
A man goes on and on about abortions and how black women make up a high percentage of said abortions. But this has nothing to do with race.
A man wielding a wooden cross, typically used for cross burnings by the KKK, states that he had no clue that the rally was going on. He goes on to ask the people around him if they wanted to sign the cross, which already had several signatures. But, this has nothing to do with race.
More mention of President Obama being a Muslim, and not a Christian as he states. But, this has nothing to do with race.
A man holds up a tall sign that proudly states, “Joe Wilson for President.” He changed his mind after he was informed that Joe Wilson actually voted to pay the hospital bills of illegal immigrants that visited the Emergency Room – with taxpayers money.
A man states that there are simply not enough doctors in America for everyone to receive health care. That we would be 200,000 doctors short! When asked what should be done for the millions of Americans who lack coverage, he didn’t have a solution. Especially when there is no solution that would conjure up more doctors. In other words, those without health care, feel free to rot.
A woman states her belief that President Obama is interested in building an army of 2 million people who will be as well armed as the military. She goes on the repeat the false claim, even as she is corrected. I guess she also believes in FEMA Death Camps.
A man states that Hitler wooed all with his fancy words, just like President Obama. Does this mean that all educated men with charisma should be out of the question for the presidency in the future?
A woman whose been in the health care industry 20 years claims that the, “Bury Obamacare with Kennedy” signs are simply “sarcastic.” While another individual goes on to state that the sign was okay, because the Kennedy’s had “done other stuff too,” though he could not think of any of that stuff “off the bat.”
And finally, ignoramuses attending the rally believe that being a communist, fascist, and socialist are all the same thing. Practically interchangeable. To top it off, when further questioned about just WHY they are protesting, most of them can’t come up with an even halfway coherent response.
There are other blatant examples of the overall ignorance of the crowd. All brought together by the hard work of Glenn Beck and Faux News.
These are the people keeping us from having a REAL health care debate. And their “representatives” are allowing it to happen!
At the end of the video, a woman is in a tizzy about how she is frustrated that they aren’t being listened to by the government, as a whole…
God help us if they ever are.
Surprise, surprise. So, he was for it before he was against it? Joe Wilson’s bridge to no where.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Just how pathetic do you have to inflate numbers to that degree? And if you would lie about that, what else are you lying about? Things that make you go, “mmmm!”
Republican Teabaggers, in all of their intellectual dexterity, descended on the US Capitol today. A crowd numbering 5,000 or 2 million people (I’m sure official numbers are due shortly) came from near and far wielding well written and thought provoking placards meant to make a strong, unified statement!
The classiest of such placards stated:
Such a touching display of human decency. Keep it classy, Teabaggers.
Well what can I say, really? The TB’s are fed up and are putting their foot down!
No wasteful spending.
No fiscal irresponsibility.
No Gov’ment hands on their gov’ment Medicare.
NO PUBIC OPTION!
No Siree! Not on their watch!
Now, as an American, I can understand how it’s difficult to know when it is the right and wrong time to make a stand. Especially when Fox News hasn’t spelled it out for you by way of ominous music, misleading/untruthful headlines and big scary looking pictures of mean people who don’t look like you. If only Glenn Beck had been on FN those 8 years that Bush was president. Maybe things would be different!
At any rate, that’s the past. This here is about the future of these United States of America!
Now, while today is the first time I’ve heard about this so called “Pubic Option” that Obama insists on cramming down our throats, I personally don’t see the problem with free bikini waxes. Especially if it is followed by a free Teabagging session! That said, I am a reasonable person. So, for the betterment of this great nation, I am willing to side with the republicans on this one. No Pubic Option!
There! A compromise with the Republican Party: Yes We Can!
All joking, snarkiness and sarcasm aside, I am simply amused by this movement that the republican party has embarked on. At the same time, I’m forced to ponder… Just where was this anger and outrage when the Bush Administration happen to lose billions of dollars in Iraq? When I say “lose” I don’t mean that they placed a bad bet on a Super Bowl game. I mean that they have no clue where it is! It’s just somewhere in the abyss… That abyss, of course, may start with an H and end with an N, but hey, now is not the time for speculation!
Furthermore, where was this outrage when the deficit began to grow under Bush/Chaney, helped along by huge tax cuts given to the wealthiest people in the country? Now, I know that Dick Chaney said that Reagan proved deficits don’t matter, but how is this theory working for the average American today? Better yet, if Reagan proved that deficits indeed don’t matter – what’s the problem with, theoretically, increasing the deficit in a way that will help Americans when we need it most? Are we really concerned with the wealthy more than we are concerned with the middle and lower class in this country? Or was Chaney saying whatever he needed to say to get people on the side of fiscal irresponsibility?
Not to mention, years and years before the financial crisis came to a head last year, economists warned that we were headed for trouble. Big trouble. Yet, the Bush Administration, and their republican controlled congress, stayed the course. They did not stray from their ultimate objective. An objective that had nothing to do with me, you, our grandparents, nor our grandchildren. An objective that lined the pockets of Big Oil, Big Pharmaceuticals, and Big Business in general.
I can still remember quite well, republicans brushing off any mention of wasteful and irresponsible spending in regards to the war and the Bush administration as a whole. When, in June of 2007 the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a report that stated the US Government was committed to spending $1.1 trillion with companies holding government contracts, there was not one peep out of these so-called fiscal responsible TB’s.
More than $200 billion in taxpayer money was spent on projects for which only one or a handful of companies submitted bids, the committee found.
That figure has more than tripled since 2000, according to the report, and now comprises more than half of all government spending outside of entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Teabaggers, can you spell “Disingenuous Hypocrite?” Probably not.
A picture is worth a trillion words:
God bless Amercia, indeed.