Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I will add my recent thought on global politics:

I want Captain America to get a new partner named Brexit.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

So despite finding that Hillary's server was a breach of security and exposed classified information to hacking from enemies, they're recommending no action be taken against her. Because what reasonable person would know such things?

Then again, her husband raped a bunch of women and skipped off into the sunset, so who is surprised? They are above the laws of normal human beings.

153 (edited by Slider_Quinn21 2016-07-05 16:12:47)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I love how excited Hillary supporters are.  The head of the FBI called her actions "extremely careless" and explained exactly how she'd lied to the public about what really happened.  She didn't ask for permission, she didn't hand over all her emails, and a lot of the emails were classified at the time.  And they're celebrating because their candidate won't be going to jail.

Hillary's only excuse now is that she was utterly incompetent.  And she's probably gonna be president.  It's unspeakable.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

It was strange. He outlined a whole case against her which seemed so tight that I was starting to think that he might recommend indictment... and then he took a sharp turn in the opposite direction. His speech made no sense. And not only that, the idea that they've never pursued anyone in a similar situation has already been shot down all over the internet.

I'm sure that they pulled their Clinton strings again, threatening to murder anyone in their way. It's how they roll.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Hillary's only excuse now is that she was utterly incompetent.  And she's probably gonna be president.  It's unspeakable.


Yeah, because as bad as she is the Republicans have nominated someone even worse

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I wouldn't say "worse" really. I mean, if he has a body count on his resume, it is less well known than Hillary's.

They're both horrible, but in their own special ways.

157 (edited by Slider_Quinn21 2016-07-05 22:51:13)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

pilight wrote:

Yeah, because as bad as she is the Republicans have nominated someone even worse

Which is unspeakable in its own right.  This should be the easiest race.  She's unlikeable, she's seen as universally untrustworthy, and the FBI called her incompetent at the only job she's supposedly done well at her entire career.  And she's gonna win because the Republicans essentially forfeited.  It's driving me nuts.

In other news, Obama once again called her the most qualified candidate in history.  I'm stunned that he's tying himself to her at this level.  He doesn't have to do this.  And it's making me respect him so very little.

She was a lawyer.  Then she married Bill Clinton.  His name got her a job as a NY senator where she accomplished nothing.  Then she lost a presidential bid to a no-name congressman.  Then she was an incompetent Secretary of State.  Where are the qualifications?

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Yesterday Trump was praising Saddam Hussein as a great leader based on the number of people he killed.  That's much worse than Hillary Clinton participating in the routine deceit that all elected officials engage in.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

This wasn't really routine. This was pretty big. And again, it is only one of a long list of crimes committed by the Clintons. Rape and murder aren't routine.

I'm not defending Trump. Please don't connect my comments about Hillary to any sort of Trump support.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Trump is the world's biggest idiot.  Yesterday should've been all about condemning Hillary, and he found a way to make it about another idiotic thing he said.

If you listen to Hillary speak, she's completely stopped talking about herself.  She doesn't have to.  She could've been fully indicted and would've still been able to win against him because he'd find a way to screw it up.

What's funny is that I think the point Trump was trying to make (that we can't keep taking out dictators with no plan afterwards like we did with Saddam, Gaddafi, and how Hillary will handle Syria and not expect the continued rise of terrorism) is actually valid.  Praising Saddam is probably the worst way to carry that point across.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Hillary was the brains behind Libya, and that was a disaster.  Now she's going to be the brains behind toppling the regime in Syria.  It's going to go just as well.  When you destabilize a place, even if it means getting rid of a monster, then people are going to cling to something that makes them feel safe.  For many in the Middle East, that's ISIS.

162 (edited by chaser9 2016-07-06 15:59:54)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Our best hope is a freak accident at the debate takes out both of them.

Or building a portal to a parallel universe.

Hmmmmmm. Excuse me, I need to look over these equations one more time.

--Chaser9

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

chaser9 wrote:

Our best hope is a freak accident at the debate takes out both of them.

I definitely don't want anyone to get hurt, but I did wonder what would happen if both were killed at a debate.  Would the election be suspended until new candidates can be chosen and campaign?  Would both VP candidates become the nominees and choose their own VP candidates?  I honestly have no idea.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I mean... they don't have to be hurt. There could be a hack of some sort that exposes the full evidence of crimes committed by them... which really only works in movies, I guess. In real life, undeniable proof of crimes would mean nothing.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Yeah I'm just curious if we'd get Biden vs. Ryan (since they're the most known of the non-candidates) or if we'd get, say, Newt vs. Warren. 

In other news, another terrible day for Hillary.  Comey all but said she was too dumb to understand the difference between something that was classified and something that isn't.  I know people love her because she's not Trump, but that honestly seems to be the only reason to vote for her.  I almost think the Republicans would be better off doing something drastic at the convention and let the Trump people freak out.  I think pretty much anyone but Donald would be able to beat her.  I know the polling doesn't really show that, but if Trump isn't there to distract from her, I think her candidacy falls apart.  The Trump people would freak out, but they'd come around.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I don't know if the Trump supporters would come around or not.  He might have a proxy run as a small party candidate, which would accomplish the same thing as him being the Republican nominee.  Plus they'd be throwing out every shred of legitimacy the primary process has.  How will they be able to justify all the tax dollars spent on primaries that don't mean anything?

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

There is still a chance that the delegates will rally behind Cruz. The rules allow for these things to happen, so technically it's all part of the process. I'm not sure how people would react to that. Trump's supporters would probably freak out, but that doesn't mean that the election would be lost. A lot of people hate Hillary. Even democrats. Those people would probably vote for a reasonable candidate before her, even if they don't agree with his beliefs.

Meanwhile, a lot of conservatives won't vote for Trump anyway. The idea that we're all supposed to get excited about him because he has an R next to his name is absurd. We've tried that in the past, and it failed. Now we have a loon running, who does not represent our beliefs as much as he represents his own self interests, and we're supposed to support him just because.

Right now, the election is lose/lose. If some last minute play by delegates pulls Trump out of the running and puts someone like Cruz in his place, the whole game will change. Delegates are working to change the rules. This could be seen as betrayal by voters, but even if those Trump supporters hate the delegates, would they necessarily hate the candidate? I think it would depend on who was put in.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

If they put in someone that Trump just beat in the primaries, then the GOP rank and file are likely to react very badly.  The result might well be worse than letting Trump lose.  It will be yet another sign that the Republican party insiders are out of touch with their own voters.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Maybe. But I really don't think that it would be worse than letting Trump lose. Letting Trump lose means Hillary in the White House. There is much worse than you can get than her.

It would cause a stir, sure. But there is a significant number of republican voters who don't support Trump, and who would cheer at his being booted. If the threat is that they would lose a chunk of the voters in order to run with this gamble, they have nothing to lose by doing it. They're going to lose a lot of voters by having Trump running. I'm not going to sign my name to a candidate because they tell me to. If Trump gets the nomination, they have a few months to convince me that it's worth swallowing a bucket of broken glass, just to keep Hillary out of office... and I might prefer drinking broken glass to Donald Trump.

I know me some conservatives, and I don't know many Trump supporters. It seems like he's doing what Obama did, which is energizing a group of people who like flash and show, but who aren't normally out there paying attention. Would those be the voters that the republicans are out of touch with?

It would be messy, sure. But it's going to be messy anyway at this point. If they put the right person in, they could pull it off. Paul Ryan would not be that person. Rubio would not be that person. Jeb would not be that person. Christie would not be that person. But Cruz? He's not like the others. They might be able to pull it off with him.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I don't know.  Whenever I talk to anyone about why they're voting for Hillary, every single person says "because she's not Trump."  So if you give the people an alternative to Hillary, that person could win.  I still think there are circumstances where Bernie could win if he was able to get on ballots in all 50 states. 

They've basically found the two worst people in the country to run for president.  So almost anyone should hopefully be able to beat them both.  Since Hillary's speeches are exclusively about how dangerous Trump is and she refuses to talk about her record anymore (since it's a disaster), I don't even know how Hillary would be able to campaign against Cruz or Ryan or whoever the Republicans pick.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Informant wrote:

I'm not going to sign my name to a candidate because they tell me to. If Trump gets the nomination, they have a few months to convince me that it's worth swallowing a bucket of broken glass, just to keep Hillary out of office...

I feel that's what the Republican Party has been asking their constituents to do for decades (ever since Bush the elder).  I haven't felt them say "vote for me"; it's just "do you really want that other guy?"  Once he got beyond Hillary, that is where Obama succeeded in his first general election; the thrust was about voting for hope and change instead of the emphasis being against his opponent.  I do think Obama's hope and change line was bunk, but it was a positive message and worked.

Hillary in office won't feel much different than a 3rd term of Obama. If you're okay with the country's trajectory, then just keep riding it.  I do think Trump will be different; he already has been.  Is that better?  I don't know.  He's made a large number of mistakes (both in the election and his life), but I don't think he's the monster that the media (and his blundering) has made him out to be.

If you're worried about the world going to hell under him, then you don't realize just how bad we're already going to hell.  The Democrats and Republicans aren't going to be able to use business as usual to hold it together forever; and working with law enforcement, I can tell you unequivocally that since January violent crime in my area has spiked to levels I haven't seen since Hurricane Katrina.  The resurgence is not because of Trump; the largest contributing factor seems to be this Black Lives Matter business that has emboldened the criminal elements.  They know law enforcement is being rendered toothless by politics; there is no fear of repercussions.  It's been going that way for decades, but now it's dropped off a cliff.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I agree. The problem with Trump is, his views change from year to year and minute to minute. He supports abortion, but he doesn't support abortion. He's liberal, but he's conservative. All of his sneaky, underhanded, slimy tactics would work in our favor if he actually believes half of what he says, but how much of it is real and how much of it is just saying whatever he has to in order to get elected?

If he were a crazed lunatic who secured the border, did away with abortion, lowered the taxed, got rid of Obamacare, built up our military, and put an end to the paranoia that is building into a literal race war in our streets, then he'd be a swell crazed lunatic. But if he's a wild card. We know he's crazy. We just don't know which flavor of crazy he is. It's Russian roulette. I know that if Hillary gets elected, we get the bullet. If Trump gets elected, it could go either way.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Did you guys hear the crazy NYT story about Trump (which I admit I'm too lazy to look up right now)?  Word is that he's considering quitting early if the polls don't get better later in the election cycle because he wouldn't be able to take the embarrassment of actually losing the election (presumably because he thinks quitting is better than losing - something he'd presumably blame on a rigged system).

(Which would certainly play into the fact that Trump is simply a Clinton puppet sleeper agent designed to destroy the Republican party enough that Hillary can win but that's neither here nor there).

The crazier thing was that they asked him about quitting if he *won* and he didn't discount it.  That plays into the theory that Trump wants no business being president and just wants to win.  I could see that (or quitting a few months into the job when he sees how hard it is) and then it'd be a matter of whether or not you trust whoever Trump picks as a VP.  Which is funny because, as I've said, I'd trust just about anyone over these two.

What's interesting is that it could be the best of all worlds.  #NeverTrump Republicans would get to vote for him knowing he'd never take office.  Trump people would vote for it either assuming he'd never quit or not knowing about it at all.  If the Trump campaign was sophisticated at all, they could target #NeverTrump and try to get a few of them in key states to understand that the guy might never do anything in office.  They aren't so it won't matter, and the idea of him quitting might actually scare off his base.

It is an interesting thought, though.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

According to rumors, that could leave us with President Christie.

**shudders**

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I'm surprised Trump wants Cruz to speak at the convention; nobody must have reminded him of Pat Buchanan's speech at Bush's convention in 1992.  In that speech, Buchanan went off Bush's middle of the road message and pushed hard on social conservatism.  Historians tend to partly blame that for why Bush lost to Clinton.

Today those kinds of speeches don't seem to mean as much, but it's pretty nutty to believe Cruz is ever going to do Trump any favors.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I heard that the delegates wanted Cruz to speak. It may not have been Trump's choice. Cruz hasn't backed Trump, and isn't likely to, after what Trump said about Cruz's wife.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

TemporalFlux wrote:

If you're worried about the world going to hell under him, then you don't realize just how bad we're already going to hell.  The Democrats and Republicans aren't going to be able to use business as usual to hold it together forever; and working with law enforcement, I can tell you unequivocally that since January violent crime in my area has spiked to levels I haven't seen since Hurricane Katrina.  The resurgence is not because of Trump; the largest contributing factor seems to be this Black Lives Matter business that has emboldened the criminal elements.  They know law enforcement is being rendered toothless by politics; there is no fear of repercussions.  It's been going that way for decades, but now it's dropped off a cliff.

It's a crying shame that the cops have to be a little more circumspect about just shooting the uppity black folks.  "No fear of repercussions" is what's led to the many, many deaths of unarmed black people at the hands of over-aggressive cops.

In any event, violent crime rates in the US are at historically low levels, even below the Leave It To Beaver 1950's.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

The number of unjustified shootings has been blown up in the press. Looking at the actual facts of many of these cases which have people rioting in the street shows that a lot of these shootings were justified.

Sorry, but black or white (and yes, white people have been killed too. It's just that nobody cares), people need to respect the police, not get in their faces and refuse to comply because they feel justified in being asses. A simple traffic stop is life and death for cops. When someone threatens their safety, they are justified in shooting. Hell, if someone threatened my safety, I would shoot them too.

And "unarmed" means nothing. People can cause severe bodily harm without a gun. I'm no George Zimmerman fan, but if someone slammed my head into cement repeatedly, I wouldn't feel bad about shooting them either.

Also, not all of these were unarmed suspects.

I absolutely do not support every shooting by every cop. But people have been mixing justified shootings in with unjustified shootings, and picking and choosing which details to report and which not to. The incredible lack of investigation and education in these stories directly led to the shooting in Dallas. The building of such a toxic environment (mostly for political gain) made this man feel justified in shooting white people and cops. That is unacceptable, and directly linked to the messages put out by leaders in this country. When they react to violence, riots and looting with understanding and support, they add to the "us vs. them" mentality.

And they usually do it before any investigation, and with no knowledge of the situation beyond Twitter hashtags. It benefits them, so they don't care. It is disgusting. And it is disturbing that when you suggest that people get facts before they riot, they assume that you're racist. Since when is information racist?

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

pilight wrote:

It's a crying shame that the cops have to be a little more circumspect about just shooting the uppity black folks.  "No fear of repercussions" is what's led to the many, many deaths of unarmed black people at the hands of over-aggressive cops.

I just hope that you're prepared to shoot someone to save your own life or someone you love, because one day you may not have the police to come do your dirty work when you scream for help.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

TemporalFlux wrote:
pilight wrote:

It's a crying shame that the cops have to be a little more circumspect about just shooting the uppity black folks.  "No fear of repercussions" is what's led to the many, many deaths of unarmed black people at the hands of over-aggressive cops.

I just hope that you're prepared to shoot someone to save your own life or someone you love, because one day you may not have the police to come do your dirty work when you scream for help.

You say that as if they'd be there in time to do something other than fill out paperwork now.  How privileged you are that your encounters with cops have been positive.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Informant wrote:

And "unarmed" means nothing. People can cause severe bodily harm without a gun. I'm no George Zimmerman fan, but if someone slammed my head into cement repeatedly, I wouldn't feel bad about shooting them either.

That's a pretty good example of the problem.  If George Zimmerman didn't want to get his ass kicked he shouldn't have confronted the random stranger in the middle of the night.  Cops do the same thing, they escalate situations then claim self defense when the person fights back.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Actually, you just highlighted the problem perfectly. Lack of information, and quick outrage.

All evidence suggests that Zimmerman didn't confront Martin. Martin had a clear path back home, but circled back and confronted Zimmerman, physically assaulting him before Zimmerman shot him. The shooting was justified.

Sorry, but seeing a suspicious person (and by that, mean that he fit the description of someone who had been committing crimes in the neighborhood, not that he was suspicious because he was black) and following them to see where they go is not a crime. It is not grounds for taking someone's life.

To put it clearly, I can't shoot someone for walking on the sidewalk behind me. I can shoot them if they are slamming my head into cement repeatedly.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Zimmerman was in his car when he spotted Martin.  If he hadn't gotten out to cause trouble, he would have never been in a position to get beat up like that.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Was Zimmerman legally allowed to get out of his car? It is as simple as that.

What you're saying is that because Martin was a thug, Zimmerman's rights no longer apply.


The fact is that George Zimmerman (a member of the neighborhood watch) spotted a suspicious person, walking not on the sidewalk, but close to the houses and looking into windows. He called 911 and reported this person (don't know about you, but I don't typically call 911 before I intend to make trouble). He followed Martin at a distance (not confronting him, as you say) to see where he was going. He apparently even walked up to the next street to get an address for the 911 operator. After that, he was told that he didn't have to follow the suspect and he apparently turned around.
During all of this time, Martin had a clear path home and the time to get there. He wasn't being chased or threatened.

After Zimmerman turned around, Martin assaulted him. That means that Martin turned around, pursued Zimmerman and physically endangered his life.

Your entire argument is crap. You're saying that because you're on Martin's side, Zimmerman's rights didn't apply. You say that Zimmerman had no right to follow someone suspicious, yet Martin had the right to kill someone that he thought was suspicious (and this is a clear distinction. Zimmerman did not assault Martin or threaten his life. Martin threatened Zimmerman's life in no uncertain terms).

What you're saying is that the law didn't apply to Martin because... he was black and the rules applying to him wouldn't fit your narrative?

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Informant wrote:

Was Zimmerman legally allowed to get out of his car? It is as simple as that.

What you're saying is that because Martin was a thug, Zimmerman's rights no longer apply.


The fact is that George Zimmerman (a member of the neighborhood watch) spotted a suspicious person, walking not on the sidewalk, but close to the houses and looking into windows. He called 911 and reported this person (don't know about you, but I don't typically call 911 before I intend to make trouble). He followed Martin at a distance (not confronting him, as you say) to see where he was going. He apparently even walked up to the next street to get an address for the 911 operator. After that, he was told that he didn't have to follow the suspect and he apparently turned around.
During all of this time, Martin had a clear path home and the time to get there. He wasn't being chased or threatened.

After Zimmerman turned around, Martin assaulted him. That means that Martin turned around, pursued Zimmerman and physically endangered his life.

Your entire argument is crap. You're saying that because you're on Martin's side, Zimmerman's rights didn't apply. You say that Zimmerman had no right to follow someone suspicious, yet Martin had the right to kill someone that he thought was suspicious (and this is a clear distinction. Zimmerman did not assault Martin or threaten his life. Martin threatened Zimmerman's life in no uncertain terms).

What you're saying is that the law didn't apply to Martin because... he was black and the rules applying to him wouldn't fit your narrative?

No, I'm saying I don't take Zimmerman at his word like you do.  Only two people know what happened between them and one of them is dead.  Zimmerman had every reason to make Martin seem like the aggressor, and himself as acting in self defense.  He wanted to avoid prison, and the jury bought it.  I have a very hard time believing someone in a neighborhood watch doesn't know the address of the neighborhood he's watching.  Only one of the two had a criminal record, and it wasn't Martin.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

The truth is that there is no truth we can reach. George Zimmerman was and remains a deranged, abusive thug with a lengthy history of domestic violence. Trayvon Martin was most definitely a thug with a history of violent behaviour. We don't know who threatened to kill whom and Zimmerman's account most definitely cannot be trusted given the long list of incidents in his life, but we also can't declare that the opposite of Zimmerman's story is therefore the truth. We don't have any facts.

What is certain is that Zimmerman stopped Martin, Martin demanded to know why Zimmerman was following him -- followed by a series of events that led to Martin dead on the ground. It is possible that Zimmerman belittled and attacked Martin and then shot him dead; it is possible that Martin responded to an inappropriate (but not illegal) question by attacking Zimmerman and then shot him. The fact that Martin was a low-level drug dealer and a thug doesn't change the fact, however, that he was unarmed and simply walking the streets and that Zimmerman targeted him, followed him and instigated whatever led to the outcome. The fact that Martin was not the second coming of Jesus does not justify shooting him. Zimmerman was acquitted because there simply wasn't enough evidence to say one way or another if it was self-defense or not and the absence of evidence required that the jury declare him innocent.

Zimmerman has proceeded to continue his life in which he's assaulted and threatened his girlfriends but, admittedly, also saved someone from a car wreck. He is an appalling human being, but whether he murdered Martin or not isn't something we'll ever know.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Actually, Martin had been suspended from school for possession of marijuana and of stolen property. So he had a history.


Regardless, the difference between you and me is that you believe what you believe regardless of facts and information. I approached the situation with an open mind, listened to all of the 911 calls, read the reports, listened to the witnesses, looked at the maps of the area, looked at Zimmerman's injuries and how Martin was shot, and based on all of the information available, I came to an educated conclusion. You don't care about any of the actual facts. You will fight to the end to believe what you already believed going into this story, which is an opinion most likely based on catchy headlines and mangled news reports.

I never took anyone at their word. You did.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

What is certain is that Zimmerman stopped Martin, Martin demanded to know why Zimmerman was following him -- followed by a series of events that led to Martin dead on the ground.

There is actually no evidence to suggest that Zimmerman confronted Martin. We have Zimmerman's 911 call, which suggests that he wasn't approaching Martin or planning to confront him. After that ends, we have a witness who described who was on top of whom during the fight, delivering blows. The witness described Zimmerman screaming for help during the fight.

The fact that Martin was a low-level drug dealer and a thug doesn't change the fact, however, that he was unarmed and simply walking the streets and that Zimmerman targeted him, followed him and instigated whatever led to the outcome.

Given the situation, what should Zimmerman have done differently? Following a series of burglaries in the neighborhood, he spotted someone who fit the description of the suspect, acting strangely and looking at/into houses as he went along. He called 911 and had a pretty rational conversation with the operator. He didn't act as though he was out of his mind or planning to do anything drastic during that conversation.

So if you were walking through your neighborhood and saw someone acting strangely around the homes of other people, would you call the police? I don't think that qualifies as instigating. It doesn't justify Trayvon Martin on top of Zimmerman delivering blow after blow (according to a witness, who described the tactic as "ground and pound"). At that point, Zimmerman has a reasonable fear for his life, which justifies a shooting. I've had training in what is justified and what isn't, and based on all of the available information, this seems pretty justified. It wasn't just a lack of evidence, it was the sum of the evidence available.


Again, I don't like Zimmerman. I think he's a douchebag. But the fact that I don't personally like him doesn't mean that he's guilty of stalking a kid and killing him. Martin was shot at very close range, after Zimmerman had sustained injuries. If Zimmerman had been hunting the kid down, his gun would have been drawn the whole time and he probably would have fired before he had the crap beaten out of him.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Informant wrote:

Actually, Martin had been suspended from school for possession of marijuana and of stolen property. So he had a history.

That's a far cry from a history of violent confrontation resulting in mandated anger management classes, like Zimmerman had.  A school suspension is not a criminal record in any event.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

The city had a program to keep kids out of jail by trying to deal with these things through the school system. The kid had a history.


Okay, so let's say that both of them had pasts. Cool. How does that change any of the evidence in this case?

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

FWIW, I never said Zimmerman stalked the kid.  I don't think he ever intended for it to go down the way it did.  My guess as to what happened is that Zimmerman tried to intimidate Martin, emboldened by his gun and the knowledge that cops will virtually always take the word of a white dude over that of a black kid.  Martin responded by getting pissed off and whaling on Zimmerman.  Having gotten in over his head, Zimmerman pulled his weapon and fired.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Two questions:

1. What evidence is that conclusion based on?

2. Does anyone else think that we either need to do away with racial classifications or clarify these classifications? Half the time, Hispanic/Latinos are considered white and half the time they're considered "brown". Zimmerman is genetically of mixed races, but is usually just referred to as "white". Is that because it's easier to make this into a racial crime/hate crime if he's just "white"? I mean, Zimmerman isn't exactly a pale blond guy.

I don't think that race has anything to do with it. Say we're playing into the hick stereotypes of the cops here (which we are apparently doing), they're going to pull up to that scene and see a black kid and a Mexican. Since these cops are so racist, they're not going to think "Wow, that Mexican just saved the day!", they're going to think "Gang war!"


And I know that Zimmerman isn't Mexican. I'm not the racist one here. The imaginary cops are. I hate racist imaginary cops. They're the worst. They make all other imaginary cops look bad.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Well, just to jump in here.  As a native of Dallas, this week has been pretty crazy.  I watched the Alton Sterling videos and basically watched the Philandro Castile shooting live (I happened to be on Twitter when everyone was posting the Facebook live video).  And people grouped it together because it was cops shooting black people, but I found the situations to be wildly different.

- The Sterling one looks the worst because he didn't seem to be resisting arrest - he was just a huge guy who didn't want to be thrown to the ground.  The video makes it look bad but there's a couple different things about the story that can change the narrative a bit.  I haven't heard confirmation but I've heard that "Gun!  He's got a gun!" is one cop and the one that shot was the other.  In that case, it's a horrible mistake but the shooting makes sense.  It's a guy protecting his partner.  The shooter was misled but thinks he's saving a life.  Even in that case, he shot him way too many times (and whoever shot "Gun!" was incorrect).  Both should be prosecuted IMO and let the courts decide.

- The Castile one is another example of a cop making a mistake.  Castile definitely shouldn't have been shot, and the cop who shot him *knew it*.  If you watch the video, he yells "FUCK!" a ton.  He knew he made a mistake, and he knew it was going to ruin his life.  Doesn't justify it, but it definitely doesn't mean he went out that night to gun down black people.  Castile told him he had a gun and reached for his ID.  Something in the cop's mind misinterpreted it and he made a mistake.  Just like people make a mistake when they accidentally kill someone with a car or any other weapon.  Again, he should be prosecuted and the courts should decide how guilty he is of a crime.

They're very different scenarios but have two key things in common.  In both instances, a black man died because of a mistake by the police, but in both cases the mistake makes sense in the moment.  So to me it's more of a situation of unprepared police making awful, horrible mistakes.  Instead, the media paints it as "black people are being hunted by the police" which isn't the case in either situation.

But I monitored the situation on social media, and many upset black people were saying that the police were at war with black people.  "Leaders" in the black community (not all actual leaders, just people with big voices) implied that was the case.  And I saw many people on Twitter saying that someone needs to do something.  And when you convince people that there's a war on the police, Dallas happens.

What's stupid about the Dallas situation is:

1. Dallas PD had nothing to do with any of the shootings, and has been regarded by black leaders (actual leaders) as being one of the exemplary departments in the country.  DPD has been involved in BLM protests, both helping to plan and helping to protect protests.

2. There are an insane number of people on social media calling Micah Johnson a hero.  Even though he put future black lives in danger no matter what you think the police agenda is.  If you think police are at war with black people, then now they are going to be even more trigger happy.  And if you think police are good people doing a scary job, then their job is now that much scarier.  And people make mistakes when they're scared.

The whole thing is a disaster, and I'm a little upset that black leaders (including Obama) aren't doing more to try and fight the anger in the black community.  That's not to say they shouldn't be angry or scared - that's completely justified.  But when people are calling a mass murderer a hero, you're emboldening future mass murderers.  And while I've seen tons of black people calling out the idiots that are calling him a hero, I'm not seeing enough of it.

I think the primary problem with BLM is that there's no central leadership.  No one is able to speak for Black Lives Matter.  And so no one can speak *to* Black Lives Matter.  If there was a leader, he/she could condemn the shootings and preach peace.  And maybe that would calm people down. 

Because people used to wait until cops were cleared of charges before they rioted/protested (Rodney King, Ferguson, etc).  Now, there's no wait.  Someone dies and riots/protests happen.  The system needs to change, but shouldn't we wait to see if the system changed?  Shouldn't we see if the cops in Louisiana and Minnesota get charged?  And if they're charged with murder (whether they're found guilty or not), doesn't that mean the system changed?  Wouldn't that be a step in the right direction?

I believe there needs to be less shootings of black men by the police, but I understand that being a policeman is a can't-win job that is crazy dangerous.  And that any decision they make can and sometimes does result in the loss of a life.  I both sympathize with BLM and back the blue.

And I don't understand why those two things are mutually exclusive for so many people.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Informant wrote:

What is certain is that Zimmerman stopped Martin, Martin demanded to know why Zimmerman was following him -- followed by a series of events that led to Martin dead on the ground.

There is actually no evidence to suggest that Zimmerman confronted Martin. [...] Given the situation, what should Zimmerman have done differently? [...] So if you were walking through your neighborhood and saw someone acting strangely around the homes of other people, would you call the police? I don't think that qualifies as instigating.

According to the girl that Martin called before Zimmerman killed him, she overheard the start of the exchange between Martin and Zimmerman. Martin noticed Zimmerman following him and Zimmerman was close enough that Martin could ask him, "What are you following me for?" at which point Zimmerman demanded, "What are you doing around here?" Which means that Zimmerman wasn't observing at a distance; he got up close, he wanted a confrontation. You make it seem like all Zimmerman did was call the police as opposed to what he did, which was call the police and then pursue Martin because Zimmerman fancied himself a police officer.

And I would not call the police because I would not find it strange for an unfamiliar black teenager to be walking through the streets, even recently burglarized streets, because being unknown to me and being black are not characteristics that threaten me. The fact that Martin was high on marijuana is also not frightening to me as being high and being a teenager aren't exactly unusual circumstances and plenty of teenagers get high without breaking and entering, nor would I be bothered to call the police just because of someone's personal lifestyle decisions. I would call the police if someone were levering front doors and windows open with a crowbar.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

They're very different scenarios but have two key things in common.  In both instances, a black man died because of a mistake by the police, but in both cases the mistake makes sense in the moment.  So to me it's more of a situation of unprepared police making awful, horrible mistakes.  Instead, the media paints it as "black people are being hunted by the police" which isn't the case in either situation.

But I monitored the situation on social media, and many upset black people were saying that the police were at war with black people.  "Leaders" in the black community (not all actual leaders, just people with big voices) implied that was the case.  And I saw many people on Twitter saying that someone needs to do something.  And when you convince people that there's a war on the police, Dallas happens.


I haven't had time to do enough looking into the most recent cases and research every angle, so I can't really form an informed opinion about either case. But I think that in these situations, people have been bunching them all together, as you say, and it's created a toxic and dangerous atmosphere. Justified shootings are being tallied with unjustified shootings. Shootings with racial components are being bunched with shootings without racial components. Some shootings (anyone with light skin) are ignored completely in the grand tally.

The fact is, every situation is different. There is no organized war on black people, otherwise this would be entire police departments littering the streets with bodies. That isn't the case. And it's dangerous to group every situation together. It's dangerous to schedule protests and fuel anger without having the facts and the details. If something is legitimately unjustified, I wholeheartedly agree that something needs to be done. However, it takes work to figure these things out. Cops are held to the same laws as us, but they're not like us. We don't put our lives on the line every time we leave home in the morning. We're not asked to approach life threatening situations.

The will be justified shootings.
There will be unjustified shootings.
There will be mistakes.
There will be outright murders.

It is so important that we don't just read a headline and jump to conclusions based on emotional reactions.


2. There are an insane number of people on social media calling Micah Johnson a hero.  Even though he put future black lives in danger no matter what you think the police agenda is.  If you think police are at war with black people, then now they are going to be even more trigger happy.  And if you think police are good people doing a scary job, then their job is now that much scarier.  And people make mistakes when they're scared.

The whole thing is a disaster, and I'm a little upset that black leaders (including Obama) aren't doing more to try and fight the anger in the black community.  That's not to say they shouldn't be angry or scared - that's completely justified.  But when people are calling a mass murderer a hero, you're emboldening future mass murderers.  And while I've seen tons of black people calling out the idiots that are calling him a hero, I'm not seeing enough of it.

I think the primary problem with BLM is that there's no central leadership.  No one is able to speak for Black Lives Matter.  And so no one can speak *to* Black Lives Matter.  If there was a leader, he/she could condemn the shootings and preach peace.  And maybe that would calm people down.

A very real problem here is that the "leaders" that we're talking about are politicians and activists who make a living on fear and hostility. They aren't trying to keep level heads, because they benefit from paranoia. Keeping people divided makes them easier to control. Making people believe that it's "us" versus "them" keeps everyone in convenient little boxes. It makes sure that there is a "black vote" or a "female vote", even though the notion of all black people or all women thinking the same or believing the same is absurd.

President Obama could have easily helped to calm the emotions over the past few years. He could have pushed for level heads and for people to wait for information. He could have strongly condemned further violence and tried to quell the racial paranoia that has been steadily building into a literal war in the streets.

But he hasn't. Instead, he has talked out of both sides of his mouth. Supporting the outrage, but saying that he didn't support the violence (while really not *not* supporting the violence). He has done nothing to bring people together. He has only worked to keep emotions simmering, because it benefits politicians and activists is that division continues. I believe that there is leadership here, and I believe that they are getting exactly what they want from all of this. They don't care about bodies in the streets, they care about bodies in the voting booths.


And I don't understand why those two things are mutually exclusive for so many people.


Those things aren't mutually exclusive. Believing in justice isn't a crazy notion. It doesn't have to be a black vs. white thing. It doesn't have to be cops vs. citizens thing. There is no war between black people and police, there are instances of wrongdoing on both sides, but those instances do not represent a majority on either side. The environment that has been created here is making people more tense, more divided, and more likely to kill more people, both black civilians and police officers.





ireactions wrote:

According to the girl that Martin called before Zimmerman killed him, she overheard the start of the exchange between Martin and Zimmerman. Martin noticed Zimmerman following him and Zimmerman was close enough that Martin could ask him, "What are you following me for?" at which point Zimmerman demanded, "What are you doing around here?" Which means that Zimmerman wasn't observing at a distance; he got up close, he wanted a confrontation. You make it seem like all Zimmerman did was call the police as opposed to what he did, which was call the police and then pursue Martin because Zimmerman fancied himself a police officer.


There are a couple of problems here.

First, the girlfriend's testimony is destroyed by the fact that her story changed and she lied on the stand. Now, nobody knows what to believe or what not to believe from her.

But let's say that a version of her story is true. It doesn't invalidate what Zimmerman said at all, and it doesn't mean that Zimmerman suddenly decided to change his whole attitude after hanging up with the 911 operator and started fancying himself a cowboy.

The sidewalk where the confrontation took place is T-shaped, with no street (it's off the street, with houses lining the top and sides of a sidewalk). Trayvon was spotted by Zimmerman, apparently walking closer to the buildings than was normal, and looking around suspiciously. He called 911 and tried to provide information about where he was and where Martin was going. This was off the street, mind you. The directions got a little muddled, and Zimmerman was trying to keep an eye on where the then-suspect was headed and provide that information to the 911 operator.

You say that her overhearing this conversation between the two men means that Zimmerman was actually pursuing Martin closely. I disagree. The path leading to Martin's home branches off from the top of that T and heads downward in a straight line. He had a straight path to his home, where he could lock the door. He had a phone from which to call 911 for help. He had a lot of options that he didn't take.

The girlfriend doesn't say that she heard Zimmerman confront Martin, yelling "freeze!" like you see in the movies. She doesn't say that she heard Trayvon get hit. She says that she heard Trayvon start the conversation. So this would seem to support the scenario where Trayvon turns around to confront Zimmerman, doesn't it? I'm not sure how you're getting to the conclusion that this means that Zimmerman was in pursuit. Wouldn't the person who initiates contact be the person who presumably "wanted a confrontation"?


And I would not call the police because I would not find it strange for an unfamiliar black teenager to be walking through the streets, even recently burglarized streets, because being unknown to me and being black are not characteristics that threaten me. The fact that Martin was high on marijuana is also not frightening to me as being high and being a teenager aren't exactly unusual circumstances and plenty of teenagers get high without breaking and entering, nor would I be bothered to call the police just because of someone's personal lifestyle decisions. I would call the police if someone were levering front doors and windows open with a crowbar.

You're making this racial, and there's no evidence that Zimmerman was motivated by race at all. In fact, the only time that there appears to be the possibility of racism involved here is when Martin reportedly referred to Zimmerman as a "cracker".

And the funny part about all of this is that while people discount the recent burglaries in the area, Martin had recently been suspended for possessing some of that stolen property. He apparently fit the description of the suspect there because he probably was the suspect there! (he was caught on camera in a restricted area of the school, I believe, and painting the letters WTF on a wall. When school officials searched his locker for the paint, they found the stolen items as well as a screwdriver. It was taken into police custody, but charges were never filed because of that program that I mentioned earlier, where they tried to reduce the crime rates by dealing with issues in the school)

Of course, this part wasn't reported on all of the news shows.

There is a blurring of lines here, where people are mistaking narrative for evidence. We can't do that. We have to use the facts that we have on hand, not what we're being told by Trayvons parents and their lawyers after the fact. There is no evidence of racial motivation. There is no evidence that Zimmerman pusued Martin, or that the gun was drawn until Zimmerman was on the ground having his head bashed in. Zimmerman says that he didn't go for the gun until Trayvon reached for it... There's nothing to disprove that, but you can discount it if you want.

The questions are these:

Discounting all of what Zimmerman says, let's say that he approached Trayvon and asked him what he was doing in the area.
Does that give Martin the right to pin Zimmerman to the ground, delivering punch after punch (as the witness reported seeing) and slamming his head into the cement (as his wounds verify), while Zimmerman scream for help (backed up by initial police reports of what Zimmerman told them, and neighbors who heard the cries... there is even a recording of that on one of the 911 calls)?

Zimmerman could have been the biggest racist in the world. He could have been following Martin. He could have even asked him what he was doing there. Even if all of that were true (which the evidence does not support), it doesn't mean that once Zimmerman is on the ground, having his head pounded into the cement, he isn't justified in shooting Trayvon. You are not allowed to use deadly force because you don't like how someone looks or how they speak to you. You are allowed to use deadly force once there is a reasonable fear for your life. It doesn't even appear as though Zimmerman shot Martin when that threat was merely perceived. The shot was fired after life-threatening injuries were sustained, and after calling for help as neighbors retreated into their homes.

It was a justified kill. There is no evidence to suggest otherwise, and that's what I'm interested in. The evidence. The witnesses. The facts that we do have, and not the narrative that was created in the press afterward.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Informant wrote:

I'm not sure how you're getting to the conclusion that this means that Zimmerman was in pursuit.

Zimmerman spotted Martin and called 911. Two minutes into the call, Zimmerman remarked, "He's running." The operator asked Zimmerman which way, Zimmerman got out of his car. The operator asked if he was following Martin, to which Zimmerman replied, "Yeah."

That's not jumping to a conclusion, that's a statement of fact. Zimmerman was pursuing Martin. He said so himself. As for Rachel Jeantel (not Martin's girlfriend), she lied about her age and she lied about why she didn't go to Martin's funeral, but her account of the phone call didn't change.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Was Zimmerman running when he said it? There is a difference between pursuing someone (with the goal of catching them) and walking in their direction to tell the cops which way they went.

If Trayvon is running and Zimmerman is not, Zimmerman isn't pursuing him. Only Michael Myers plays it that cool.


During the 911 call (I just listened to it again), Martin comes toward Zimmerman with his hand in his waist band, and then something in his hand. After coming toward Zimmerman, Martin runs. The operator asks which direction, and Zimmerman gets out of his car to look. He is not running. He seems to be looking around, but he lost sight of Trayvon. The operator tells Zimmerman that they don't need him to follow and Zimmerman says okay.

There is no pursuit here. Distant following, maybe. But by this point, Trayvon could be home if he kept running.

And nothing here shows any good reason for Trayvon to then be on top of Zimmerman, beating him.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Your bias is betrayed by your asymmetrical use of names.  You often call Martin by his first name, as you would a child, while you always call Zimmerman by his last name, as you would an adult.  Why?  Because you want to portray Zimmerman as the cool headed grown up in the situation.  You may not even be conscious of it.  The notion of black as being undeserving of being treated equally with white is deeply ingrained in many people.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Or... Trayvon was usually referred to by  either his full name or his first name in the press (justice for Trayvon) while Zimmerman was usually referred to by either his full name or his last name (the Zimmerman trial). So by your standards, I showed Martin more respect than most do, just by using his last name to begin with.

Your bias is made clear by the fact that you're not interested in actual facts or evidence and keep hanging your hat on wild accusations of racism.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:
Informant wrote:

I'm not sure how you're getting to the conclusion that this means that Zimmerman was in pursuit.

As for Rachel Jeantel (not Martin's girlfriend), she lied about her age and she lied about why she didn't go to Martin's funeral, but her account of the phone call didn't change.


Sorry. Didn't see this part at first.

Her details tend to shift. In some versions, Trayvon uses the racial slur. In others, he doesn't (which she says his mother wouldn't want to hear. I personally think slurs were the least of his problems). Her telling of what she heard Zimmerman say changes, leading me to believe that she didn't hear it very well at all.

She also lied about not watching the news coverage of the story, which we know because there are deleted tweets from her, showing that she was watching the coverage. It just gets hard to pin down the details and what she is saying when and why.

That said, I think there is a version of the truth in there. And I don't think that it conflicts with Zimmerman's story.

Rachel Jeantel says that Trayvon told her that there was a crazy-ass cracker (or whatever it was) was watching him. She urged Trayvon to run.

Zimmerman tells the 911 operator that the guy was running. He moved up the walkway to see where the guy was going. The operator says not to follow the guy and to meet the officers near the mailboxes. Zimmerman agrees.

According to Zimmerman, he started to walk back to his car and Trayvon jumped out of the bushes, asking him what his problem was. He said he didn't have a problem.

According Jeantel, she heard Trayvon ask Zimmerman why he was following him. She has different versions of what Zimmerman said in reaponse, so she probably hear much of this clearly.

Those two accounts phrase the encounter differently, but they don't contradict each other.

Zimmerman's account has Trayvon then saying "you have a problem now" and hitting him. We have nothing to confirm or deny this, but his injuries support the claim that he was hit in the nose, and we have eye witness testimony supporting Zimmerman's claim that Trayvon was then on top of him, beating him while he screamed for help.


So the details are hazy, but the stories don't really conflict. Jeantel couldn't see where Trayvon was going or what he was doing. She confirms that he initiated the conversation that she heard, which lines up with what Zimmerman said. Neither of them have to be really lying here.

It still doesn't paint the picture of Zimmerman being in pursuit though.