Shorter Question Everything
For all of those people with a crazy Fox watching friend or family member – these two crimes are not the same thing. The people that murdered Christopher Lane got caught and charged right away. It’s very likely that they’ll end up in prison. The man that murdered Trayvon Martin wasn’t charged right away and likely wouldn’t have been charged at all if not for the public uproar about the travesty. The man that murdered Martin walked. I think most of us knew he was always going to walk on this.
So no, these two crimes are not “the same”.
• The Real Difference Between The Deaths Of Christopher Lane And Trayvon Martin: The obvious point: the cops made arrests in the killing of Lane, and there’s no controversy about that. The reason the killing of Trayvon Martin became a national scandal was that even though an unarmed young man was shot to death, the local authorities decided not to treat it as a crime. That was why it was a major news story. I want to make an additional point here. It wasn’t merely that George Zimmerman wasn’t arrested at the scene — it was that the decision not to arrest him was an implicit endorsement of what he did that night, a way of arguing that he’d been deputized by society to do what he did. It said that we have no problem with regarding a self-appointed para-cop as a person entitled to make life-or-death decisions — or at least we don’t have a problem if he shoots someone in a certain category of persons. And, of course, “stand your ground” laws exist precisely to deputize, as momentary citizen cops, large swaths of the population.
On that note…
• On Thursday a trimmed-down George Zimmerman went shopping for a “tactical shotgun” in Cocoa, Florida, touring a factory that makes the weapons and posing for photos with employees. According to TMZ, the former Neighborhood Watch captain was inquiring about the legality of purchasing one of the weapons for himself. A Kel-Tec tactical shotgun holds 12 rounds of 12 gauge shotgun shells. The weapons are typically used in home defense. Kel-Tec also manufactures the PF-9 handgun, which was the weapon Zimmerman used to shoot and kill unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in February of 2012.
• A real hero: Americans all the way to President Barack Obama are praising a new kind of hero in the country’s epidemic of school shootings: a secretary who talked a gunman into surrendering. Obama himself called Antoinette Tuff Thursday to praise her for her bravery and cool wits in Tuesday’s terrifying incident at an elementary school near Atlanta, Georgia.
• U.S. soldier apologizes for Afghan shooting rampage: A US Army sergeant who pleaded guilty to killing 16 villagers in a shooting spree in Afghanistan has apologized to his victims’ families and said his behavior was cowardice. Robert Bales, 40, choked back tears as he spoke at a sentencing hearing over the worst war crime by an American soldier in Afghanistan. Those gunned down included nine children. “What I did was an act of cowardice, behind a mask of fear, bullshit and bravado,” Bales said at the military courtroom, according to the Seattle Times. It was his first apology for the massacre. “I am sorry, truly, truly sorry, for what I did to those people,” said Bales, a father of two. “I murdered their families. If I could bring their family members back, I would in a heartbeat.” Bales, who came face to face with survivors of his rampage this week, is facing life in prison. He pleaded guilty in June to avoid the death penalty. The defense and prosecution are to give their closing arguments Friday. The six member military jury will then decide if Bales can ask for parole after serving 20 years behind bars.
Greenwald reality show
• Guardian’s Story Changes Again: Now They Admit David Miranda Did Have a Lawyer: Story moves from no lawyer to refused a lawyer to had a lawyer the whole time. Why is Greenwald lying?
• The Truth Continues to Trickle Out on the Greenwald Family Reality Show: I’m not sure if this can become more ridiculous, but I’m sure they’ll find a way to top it. You can be sure this event will continue to fuel Greenwald’s penchant for raking his tin cup across the prison bars of his own victimization — his sanctimonious, indignant hyperbole about how the big, bad U.S. and U.K. governments are trying to suppress his ability to deliver this (misleading) version of the truth to his paranoid, apoplectic herd of disciples. By overplaying this victim posture, Greenwald has skewed the debate he so desperately wanted to generate into a Kardashian-style tangent better reserved for the E! channel than serious news headlines. And given the utter inability to preserve any minuscule thread of journalistic integrity by following the basic rules of News Reporting 101 (such as “when in doubt, leave it out” for starters), Greenwald and The Guardian have descended to the same level of transparent fakery as seen on so many of TV’s staged and scripted “reality shows.”
• Former Secretary of State Colin Powell blasted North Carolina’s new restrictive voting law in a speech in Raleigh Thursday, warning it damages the Republican Party, “punishes minority voters and makes it more difficult for everyone to vote,” according to a report from the Charlotte News Observer. As Gov. Pat McCrory, the man who signed the sweeping bill into law earlier this month, sat in the audience, Powell lamented that the party will alienate voters it ought to court with restrictions like those found in the law. “I want to see policies that encourage every American to vote, not make it more difficult to vote,” Powell, a Republican, at the CEO Forum in Raleigh. “It immediately turns off a voting block the Republican Party needs,” Powell continued. “These kinds of actions do not build on the base. It just turns people away.”
• The U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday afternoon that it will file suit against Texas’s strict over ID law, under the Voting Rights Act. The Justice Department argues that Texas’s voter ID law violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which bars intentional racial discrimination in elections.
This is just craziness. The Affordable Healthcare Act – you know, Obamacare – was based on a frikken Heritage idea. Because having people do the responsible thing and be insured rather than go to the emergency room – the most expensive method of getting healthcare – was a responsible, republican thing. Or something. Now that the idea has been implemented, it’s back to the least efficient and most costly healthcare plan? Seriously, WTF…
• Jim DeMint: said uninsured Americans “will get better health care just going to the emergency room.”
• Russia urges Syria to cooperate on UN chemical arms probe: Russia said on Friday it had told Syria to cooperate with UN experts investigating reports of a deadly chemical weapons attack, and called on rebels to allow access to the area. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told US counterpart John Kerry in a phone call that immediately after the reports first emerged about the attack Wednesday, the “Russian side called on the Syrian government to cooperate with the UN chemical experts,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. “It is now up to the opposition to ensure safe access for the mission to the site of the alleged incident,” it added. It said both Lavrov and Kerry agreed on the need for an “objective investigation” into what happened.
• Lebanon’s health minister says at least 27 people have been killed and more than 358 wounded in twin blasts that exploded outside mosques in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. “So far, we have 27 martyrs and 358 wounded,” Ali Hassan Khalil said. He told Lebanon’s Al-Jadeed TV station that the explosions had caused widespread destruction in the city. The blasts went off near mosques in the predominantly Sunni city on Friday, when mosques were packed with worshippers for the Friday noon prayer. The first bomb went off near the al-Taqwa Mosque in Abu Ali square. Worshippers were exiting the mosque after noon prayers as the bomb went off. The second bomb went off outside the al-Salam Mosque in the Mina area of central Tripoli, causing smoke to rise above the area.
• Israel’s air force has bombed a target south of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, in retaliation for an earlier volley of rockets fired across the border towards Israel, the Israeli military and a Palestinian group in Lebanon say. An Israeli military source said the “terror site” bombed early on Friday morning was near Naameh, between Beirut and Sidon, but did not immediately provide further details. Four rockets fired on Thursday caused minor damage in northern Israel, but there were no casualties. An armed Palestinian group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), told Lebanon’s al-Manar television station that one of its bases south of Beirut had been targeted in the Israeli air strike, and that there had been no casualties. The PFLP-GC did not claim responsibility for or any connection to the earlier rocket attack.