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Archive for March, 2012

Al Sharpton went down to Florida

Posted by Lissa on March 26, 2012

Al Sharpton went down to Florida
He was looking for a story to steal
‘Cause this hustler of race
Never yet saw a case
In which racism wasn’t revealed.

(“The Devil went down to Georgia”, the Charlie Daniels band. Slightly altered.)

Oh boy. I have not wanted to touch the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman story with a ten foot pole. However, this blog is at least partially about news/politics, and it’s definitely about guns and gun rights, and this happened pretty damn close to me. Therefore, in no specific order, here are my random thoughts:

1. The “Stand your ground” law in Florida is a GOOD and SENSIBLE law. It is inherently stupid to insist that a victim, upon being attacked, must try to turn and run away before defending oneself. If I am carrying grocery sacks or a baby and someone rushes at me with a knife, it is stupidity of the highest order to demand that I turn my back and wait to get tackled from behind as I run before drawing a weapon to defend myself.

I want to point this out first and foremost. We don’t have all the facts at the moment, but whatever details emerge about the confrontation between Martin and Zimmerman does not change that the law is SENSIBLE and REASONABLE.

2. The “Stand your ground” law specifically exempts situations in which you provoke the violence against yourself, unless it’s actually becoming deadly violence. In Lissa’s-layman’s terms, if you start a fight and get your ass whupped, it’s no more than you deserve … UNLESS the person you started a fight with is actually about to kill your ass. You’re not required to lie there and get killed even if you were a stupid freakin’ jackhole who started the fight.

A lot of the next few points were either drawn from or partially formulated by this Ace post, which I recommend you read in its entirety.

3. The shot with LeBron and his friends in hoodies made me want to throw up. If you take that slant on the story, this evil white guy – WHITE, not Hispanic, dammit!! – followed a young black kid wearing a hoodie and gunned him down in cold blood . . . for the temerity of being a black male in a hoodie. I’ve seen Emmett Till mentioned. I would like everyone to join me in a collective vomit.

Read the 911 transcript (available at the Ace post). The way the media is spinning the story, you expect it to go something like this:

Zimmerman: There’s a suspicious kid in my neighborhood. He’s black and wearing a hoodie and therefore must by definition be a criminal and a drug fiend so I’m going to kill him.

Um, not so. The dispatcher ASKS Zimmerman whether Martin is “black, white or Hispanic” and then ASKS Zimmerman what Martin’s wearing. It was an attempt to get a physical description to give to the incoming cops.

4. All that being said, the story still looks pretty bad – innocent young black kid shot to death for looking suspicious. HOWEVER – and this is a BIG, HUGE “HOWEVER” – WE DON’T YET KNOW ALL THE FACTS. I think there are two basic likely scenarios:

a) Zimmerman accosted Martin and tried to detain him until the police arrived. Martin, seeing a strange man – obviously not a cop – grabbing at him resisted being detained and responded with physical violence deemed necessary to defend himself. Zimmerman, being on the losing end of the altercation, drew his weapon and killed Martin.

I’d think in this case that he would go to jail. It’s obviously not premeditated, but you can’t start a fight, draw a gun when you lose, and not get jail time.

b) Zimmerman confronted Martin (not accosted, confronted). Martin responded with physical violence; he initiated the fight. Zimmerman, assaulted and bleeding, drew his weapon and fired to defend himself.

In this situation – B – I personally think that Zimmerman acted stupidly. I don’t believe in walking up and confronting what you think is a potentially dangerous and drug-ridden criminal; it’s moronic and foolhardy. It is NOT, however, a crime. And however stupid and ill-advised it may be to walk up to someone and demand, “What are you doing here?? Are you a criminal??” or whatever it was Zimmerman said in this scenario, if Martin responded by attacking Zimmerman than he is morally justified in defending himself.

The last few points I’ll quote directly from Ace:

5. If the facts are as the media reports them, then it does seem like Zimmerman was following around a kid who wasn’t doing anything illegal at all. Then again, if the facts were as the media reported them, the Duke Lacrosse Team was guilty of violent gang-rape.

While the liberal media screams, once again, “Trust us, and forget all about our hitting the Panic Button time and time again before!,” some of us would like to see what the facts really are before coming to a conclusion.

6. As a general matter, and inescapably, the law of self-defense is a very thorny thicket. The media would like to simplify the law and simply declare that anyone who shoots anyone else is guilty of murder (because they would like to ban all guns, period, and this is a cutesy manner of achieving that goal through the back-door).

But these laws are inescapably thorny and these cases are inescapably very dependent on actual facts.

At the heart of every self-defense case are a pair of related questions: Did the defendant reasonably believe his safety was in jeopardy when he struck the fatal blow? And, based on the circumstances, did the defendant act lawfully, within the accepted safe-harbors for the use of lethal force in defending one’s life (or another’s life)?

Facts, not ginned up racial outrage or general anti-gun animus, answer these questions.

Given what we think we know (and remember, the media has lied before): it appears that the kid was unarmed, the guy can’t rely on self-defense to save his life.

Further, it appears (again, appears) that Zimmerman initiated the contact/confrontation, not the kid, so the “stand your ground” law is not even relevant in the case.

But that’s how it appears, at the moment, and for a whole year the media was pretty sure that drug-addled, mentally-imbalanced nightcrawler Crystal Gayle Mangum was a pretty solid citizen and dependable witness.

We’ll see how this plays.

Various inarticulate, charity-hire racists don’t need a sober assessment of the facts, because their conclusions are animated by racism — the party of the Disfavored Race is always guilty. (Even when the member of the Disfavored Race is only an honorary member of that Disfavored Race.)

Although America has brought shame to some racists, others flaunt their racism proudly.

We’ll have to do something about that. What is this, the 50s?

If I were the praying type, I would put Trayvon Martin, his family, George Zimmerman and his family all in my prayers. Since I’m not, I just feel sad and sorry and like the whole damn thing is a ***damned waste.

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Three-picture Thursday: A cat and his recliner

Posted by Lissa on March 8, 2012

Mommy mommy don’t go!!!

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Don’t smother me in blankie; come back and cuddle!

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Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…….

20120308-064108.jpg

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Our President is an amazing narcissist

Posted by Lissa on March 6, 2012

I know, it’s shocking news, right? Nonetheless, that fact struck me anew during his podcast with Bill Simmons (the Sports Guy). SG is a big Obama fan, so I’m not surprised the interview got a little fawning, but over and over I’m reminded how Pres Obama thinks he is the alpha, the omega and everything in between.

Some samples:

Right from the very beginning —

Bill Simmons: Welcome to the White House. Very proud to have the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, on the B.S. Report. This is your first podcast?

President Barack Obama: This is — well, I used to have my own podcast.

BS: What?

Obama: When I was U.S. Senator I was way ahead of the curve on the podcast thing.

No “thanks for having me”, or wry “well, I’ve done harder interviews”; no, he has to point out that he did a podcast way before everyone else.

Obama: — doing good. And I knew about Jeremy before you did, or everybody else did, because Arne Duncan, my Secretary of Education, was captain of the Harvard team. And so way back when, Arne and I were playing and he said, I’m telling you, we’ve got this terrific guard named Jeremy Lin at Harvard. And then one of my best friends, his son is a freshman at Harvard, and so when he went for a recruiting trip he saw Lin in action. So I’ve been on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon for a while.

BS: Are you taking credit for “Linsanity”? It kind of feels like you are a little bit.

Obama: I can’t take credit for it, but I’m just saying I was there early.

Dude. This is not about YOU. This is about JEREMY LIN. But no, all our president can say to be complimentary is that he saw this coming before everyone else did. (Note: he does say some nice things about Lin later, but only AFTER he’s given himself a big pat on the back.)

BS: Have you noticed that there is a notable difference in the way people defend you, since you became the president, when you’re playing?

Obama: No, because I’m always getting knocked around. I don’t know what people are talking about. Reggie Love, my former aide who played at Duke and he’s now getting his MBA, he answered anybody who said that people took it easy on me when they played with me. He said, nobody takes it easy on Obama because if he beats them, they won’t hear the end of it. [Laughter.] And it’s true. I will talk about folks just to make sure that they don’t take it easy on me.

Seriously? You just admitted that you rag on people that you beat, that you are in essence a sore winner. You’re not doing yourself any favors.

BS: I always wanted to — I have never heard you answer this question. You probably have, but I’ve never heard the answer. You’ve thrown the first pitch in front of like 60,000 people. You’re obviously wearing a big bulletproof vest under your suit. You’ve got all these people staring at you.

Obama: Completely stressful.

BS: Is that the most stressful thing you have to go through?

Obama: It is about the most stressful thing.

BS: Because if you ground it, it’s on YouTube for the next 10 years.

Obama: Absolutely. And, like you said, you’ve got to wear this bulky vest, and what happens is, they just hand you the ball. [Laughter.] They say, “Here,” and you walk up. If you had three tries, you’d be fine. You’d throw a fast strike somewhere in there. But if it’s that first ball, each time I go up there my thinking is, All right, I’m just going to blaze this thing in. And then I’m thinking, Man, if I throw a grounder that’s going to be a problem. So then I end up kind of lofting it up a little bit and —

BS: So you throw a changeup.

Obama: Yes, it clears the plate but it’s not what you’d like. During practice, you’re throwing heat.

Our president thinks that throwing out the first pitch is about the most stressful things he has to go through. Good God I hope the mullahs and Putin don’t stumble across this interview.

So on, and so forth. I think I pulled out the most interesting examples; if you’d like to know more about his fandom for Jordan or his conversations with NBA players, go ahead and read the whole thing.

Just remember – it’s not about sports, it’s about OBAMA. And don’t you ever forget it.

P.S. Two more notes:

1) To give Pres Obama some credit:

BS: Well, how much flexibility do you have with the vest? Like, do you have full, or do you have to go like sidearm?

Obama: It’s a little bulky. You kind of — I give credit — when I think about George Bush and the pitch he threw —

BS: At 9/11. Post-9/11.

Obama: — at 9/11. Unbelievable pitch.

BS: Right down the middle.

Obama: Right down the middle. And huge credit for that. I give that guy a lot of props for that one.

Nicely said, and nice of him.

2) And finally, a pair of anecdotes regarding his relations with women:

a)

Obama: Well, first of all, I don’t watch network news or cable news. So in the morning, when I’m working out with Michelle, it’s on SportsCenter. This is the one thing that she allows me —

BS: That’s nice.

Obama: — to control is SportsCenter. So that pretty much keeps up the family on whatever has happened the night before.

b)

BS: What’s the most fun sport for the team that came in? Like, what are the funniest group of athletes?

Obama: Well, you know what’s fun is when the women basketball players come in, because they’re all gorgeous and they’re all 6-foot-5 and wearing high heels. And so they’re walking around through the West Wing and everybody is wondering what the heck is going on. And when Maya Moore and the Connecticut Huskies came, we actually went down to my little basket down here and we played a game of HORSE.

BS: You played with them?

Obama: Yes, we played a game of HORSE. Now, Maya is always annoyed that I point out that I beat her. She was wearing high heels and a skirt at the time. [Laughter.] So I’m not sure if that counts.

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RIP Andrew Breitbart

Posted by Lissa on March 2, 2012

Wow. An absolute shocker, a terrible blow to the conservative movement, and a devastating loss for his family.

For a blogger like me who takes care to stay anonymous, Andrew Breitbart had amazing courage. He dared the world to mock him; he threw himself at the biased media and reveled in the battle.

I don’t think we’ll find another guy like him any time soon.

I’m so sorry for his family and loved ones.

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Did he really just SAY that?!? (UPDATED)

Posted by Lissa on March 1, 2012

As I placidly munched my almond-decorated salad yesterday, a couple opened the office door and came in. Elderly, well-dressed and polite, they asked if the lady could use our bathroom, as the doctor’s office had closed for lunch and she really needed to go. I waved her in the direction of the facilities and made polite conversation with the man while he waited.

When he talked about the hopelessness of inflation and degradation of the currency, I politely agreed but optimistically argued that perhaps the euro falling apart and the reappearance of the Greek drachma would be a harbinger of more common sense.

When he talked about scummy politicians who don’t read the Constitution, I inquired if he was in favor of a Constitutional amendment imposing term limits and discussed why that might be a good or bad idea.

But then . . . when he said he had no faith in the system and talked about power-hungry politicians . . . this phrase came out of his mouth:

“And our illustrious colored leader in Washington . . .”

I have no idea what the rest of the sentence was. I blanked.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a real live person – not a stereotype on TV – use that word. I was floored.

Now, to give the guy his due, he was definitely old enough to have lived in the times when “colored” was the polite term to use. It’s like the word “retard,” which is now a mean and nasty slur but was once the polite and kind descriptor (as opposed to “idiot” or “moron”).

I held myself to a blank expression and polite attention for the next few minutes until they left.

UPDATE: Thank you for the comments, everyone. I think I should have emphasized that the italics were in the originals and not added by me. The dude sneered the term, with emphasis. That’s what really threw me. I don’t think too highly of Pres Obama, as you know; when I consider his skin color, it’s because I see him as an “affirmative action” candidate, in that I truly do not think a white man with identical accomplishments (or lack thereof), mentors, baggage and history would have been elected. But I am *not* used to hearing people denigrate the man and his position with color-laden pejoratives.

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