Obama Vs The Right – The Neverending Shit Show

Where is the line between disagreement and treason?

Many on the right, insist that Obama is terrible. And they throw the term treason around, in regards to him and his actions. Not at all surprising, as any word that fits, is usable in the bubble (no matter how irrelevant, or wrong, it may be).

But the fact is, if the roles of the current were reversed, and it was Obama’s democrats and the left that was in the place of the current right, there would be hell to pay. If it was Obama’s party that was crying fowel and keeping (and sacraficing) the nation over a disagreement, people would not stand for it.  They would use the word treasonous, and frankly, it would fit. Because from what I can see, that is exactly what this behaver amounts to.

Yet, somehow the right is the  “patriotic” side.

Don’t get me wrong, Obama is not without his flaws. He has disappointed me and many others in many ways, and has not lived up to the hype. Not to surprisingly in retrospect (I think many of us unknowingly wanted jesus, but were instead given a mere mortal, one of us). But even so, there are many things that could have changed, but didn’t.

Despite this, I can not throw the baby out with the bath water, and deny that his presidency has not been without its benefits. This new affordable care act, though far from perfect, is one example of the good he has done. Though a great plan would be to cover EVERYONE, this is a good start.

Obama does have a part in this, in not “selling” Obamacare to the masses nearly as well as the right has smeared it. But even so, the rights attempts to tear it down are not warranted.

When you see that a great majority of Americans will benefit from the act, the deliberate attempts to block it, send a clear message that the right does not give a shit about everyday Americans. It sends the message loud and clear, that there interest lies in the people that fund them, those that will be disadvantaged, the 1%.

If democracy is power by majority, and the right is deliberately sabotaging that for their benefit, I do not see how it could NOT be treason (funny how this fits with many other issues to *Cough* background checks!).

I wish the left would wake up from their slumber, and start speaking out. The republicans and the right are doing this with impunity, because the masses are allowing it.

SPEAK OUT!! Treat this like the treasonous activity that it is!

I guarantee that when someone is actually holding them accountable for their actions, they will relent. This is NOT a bullying attempt, this is just calling their bluff. THEY are the bully.

But only because the public is allowing it.

The Zimmerman Trial – Was Race A Factor? And Was Justice Served?

This trial is likley the biggest one of the year, it certainly is likley to be the most talked about and publicized one of the year, maybe of years to come. One thing is certain, almost everyone has heard about it and has formed an opinion about it, about Zimmerman and Martin, and about the whole incident/case itself.

I have written about this before, on the night of the trials end. At the time I was, like most others, feeling hot under the collar about the seemingly blatant failure of the justice system. But having had a while to “cool off”, I now wish to go though this again. Though some of my initial opinions will not have changed, some have.

This case, has proven to be an interesting one.

One of the most difficult parts about any trial, is getting past the emotions, and the bonds of the people in question. You see the parents, who naturally think the best of there child. Then you see the defense, the Zimmerman side, who’s family and friends also can see only the good in this person. So without the aid of direct witness’s to the crime, you only have one (the other was killed). And so without witnesses, pretty much the only thing you have to go on, is the character of the person’s in question.
The problem of course with that, is in this case, the only “character witness‘s” I seen from either side, were those that were FAR to close, to be unbiased. You need someone somewhat distant to the person’s life, to get a semi- accurate picture of them (co-workers, boss’s ect).

And looking at the case without the blinders of emotion, it also becomes not so clear cut.

One thing I have heard just recently (today on Dr.Phil), is that it is apparently against the policy’s of most Neighborhood watch programs to be armed whilst on patrol. Granted, Zimmerman apparently had a concealed weapon permit. And it is said that he was “on an errand” when the whole mess begun (not on watch, or so were supposed to think?).

Lets go though the details of the case, up until the end, where the details start to get murky.

We know that Zimmerman was driving “on an errand” when he spotted Trayvon walking down the street. Here, we have to assume that Trayvon was indeed, only walking though the neighborhood. But I really see no reason to believe otherwise.

In any case, Zimmerman gets suspicious and calls the police, informing them of the presence of a suspicious character in the area. Which is good. But now, Zimerman’s own words tell us that he decided to not wait on police to apprehend the “suspect”, but to do it himself.

And so, the case starts to get interesting. The details become muddy, like the puddles of rain water that fateful night.

We know that Zimmerman was chasing (at very least, following) Trayvon, from his 911 call, and Trayvon’s call to his cousin. Here, for me, is where things get messy.

From Trayvon’s phone call to his cousin, I am to conclude that he thought he had outrun Zimmerman, only to have him catch up and pick a fight. And from Zimmerman’s testimony, I am to conclude that Trayvon ambushed him, threatening to kill him.

And so you have to choose between the 2 sides.

I think that Zimmerman should have just kept an eye on Trayvon, and let the police do the policing. I feel that the many robberies in his area motivated him, and the presence of his gun gave him the courage and “balls” to confront this suspicious person. Unfortunately, I think that Trayvon proved a more worthy opponent then he had initially realized.

I personally, do not think Trayvon was initially, out to kill. I do not think that he threatened Zimmerman with death. I think that was invented for the trial.

I am going strictly on what Trayvon had in his possession. He had no weapon.  He had an Ice Tea and Skittles. Someone who is up to no good, it seems to me, would be carrying something to defend themselves with. But being he had family in the area, maybe he felt safe, walking alone. Again, an assumption, but Skittles and Ice tea sounds like the possessions of a munching stoner, NOT a murderer.

In any case, I have no doubt that a fight ensued. And I have no doubt that Trayvon probably ended up getting the upper hand in the fight. And I also have no doubt, that Zimmerman felt that his life was threatened by Trayvon.

Which is another key thing. He FELT that his life was threatened.

We know that Zimmerman obviously got more then he bargained for, he obviously didn’t think he would be on the short end of the stick. But I do not think that Trayvon intended to Kill him. I think he pissed him off, yes. But I sense he was just going to knock him out and be on his way.

I do not think that Trayvon told him he was “going to die tonight BITCH”.  I do not think that Trayvon “armed himself with the concrete sidewalk” (that is the most moronic argument I have EVER heard in my life!). And I do not think that Trayvon went for Zimmerman’s gun, I question if he knew he even HAD a gun (I know I would not go into a gun battle without a gun, let alone, NO WEAPON AT ALL). But I don’t have any doubt that Zimmerman felt his life was in danger.

And so you get into the difficult grey area. Both were in the right. Yet, both were in the wrong.

Trayvon was pissed off by Zimmerman, and so he went after him. He was “Standing His Ground” against an asshole who was provoking him. Zimmerman’s life was, in the legal sense, threatened, so he was in the right to pull the trigger. Its an interesting thing to ponder.

But to the questions that initially motivated this post:

1.) Was race a factor?

2.) Was justice served?

When it comes to race, it seems that the only opinions you are hearing (in regards to the case) are the extremes on either side.  Some say race had EVERYTHING to do with EVERY aspect of the case, some say race had NOTHING to do with ANY aspect of the case. All of the people saying the above, for the most part, are coming from biased positions. For example, members of the black community, and members of the white community (to put it PLAINLY in BLACK AND WHITE).

I think that the real extent of race’s role in the crime and trial, lies somewhere in the middle.

Zimmerman may not be a racist. However, like I said in my previous post (and as eluded to in president Obama‘s surprise press release), paranoia towards members of the black community, is still very much a part of life for black people in America. So while that may not be the SOLE reason Zimmerman zoned in on Trayvon that night, its a mighty big mistake to completely throw out the possibility.
The phenomenon of mistrust if so pervasive, it might have even been subliminal, in nature. You hear something so much, that your reaction may be automatic. Keep in mind, the action of giving chase is still personal. But its the initial reaction at the sight of Trayvon, that im speaking of.

As for the question that is, were the jurors racist? Again, looking at most of there backgrounds, you know that they likley do not have much (if any) ties with the black community. And they may not be racist. But they are a part of the same culture as George. If you see a certain race always on the news for committing crimes or other mischief, you may internalize the bias without even realizing it. We all have done it at some point in time.

I think race DID play a role in the crime and the trial. But I don’t think it was nearly as prominent as some think (or feel) its role was.

Was Justice Served?

That is an interesting question. One where there really is no right or wrong answer, just personal interpretation. When it comes to me, Trayvon’s parents, and anyone standing behind Trayvon, then no, justice was NOT served. When it comes to the Zimmerman party, then yes, justice was indeed served.

That’s the interesting thing about a trial. Its not necessarily about the truth. Its about who has the bigger bag of proof.

In this case, from the beginning, it was obvious who had the bigger bag of proof.

With no direct witness’s, and the most direct witness dead, all you had was the word of the defendant. The trial had testimony of friends and family of both sides, but again, this is automatically not good proof, because they are far to close to the 2 people in question.

And so you are left with a story, and some questionable evidence that happens to back it up, and no alternate view of the situation to shed light on it either way. In this sense, the trial was an easy win for one side.  Or lost before it even begun, for the other side.

So, was justice served?

In that the jury came to its conclusion and the gavel fell, Yes. Justice was served.

But was there Justice for Trayvon? No.

President Obama Says Trayvon Martin ‘Could Have Been Me’

A surprise press release from President Obama regarding the recent Trayvon Martin trial’s verdict, as well as a commentary on the problems of the African American community in general. And its not all just about the the negative, he also talks about potential ideas and solutions, to help ease the country’s racial tension.

A very thought provoking speech. I highly recommend viewing it in its entirety.

How Chicago is “Proof” That Gun Control Does Not Work

This is something I ran across somewhere. And by rights, its true. Chicago does have VERY strict gun laws, but still has a gun huge crime rate. Hence the dubbing “Chiraq” by some locals.

End of story? I would have thought so to.

I encourage all to watch the episode of Vice that visits Chicago. You will learn there, that though the city of Chicago has strict controls on weapons sold within it, THE LAWS DO NOT APPLY IN ITS SUBURBS. Nor does any law cover guns purchased in southern states (or anywhere else) and distributed in cities as far North as Toronto.

The message here is, what you see on the surface, is not always the WHOLE picture.

Terrorism VS Gun Violence – Have You Considered The Numbers?

We all by now, likley know about the recent news out about the NSA. They have their eye on you. Well, maybe not YOU per-say (me? defiantly lol). My last 2 entry’s were on this subject, as is this one, only im going in a new direction.

Why

I found this meme whilst surfing facebook, which I shared. If you read my 2 previous entry’s here on the subject, you will know why. But it also gave me another thought process.

As the meme illustrates, back in October 2001 (just after the attacks of September 11th), no one batted an eyelash when the Bush administration signed the Patriot Act. An act that almost eliminated the possibility of “private” communication between 2 parties. All in the name of fighting terrorism. With the attacks of the 11th still fresh in peoples minds, the trade off didn’t seem unreasonable.

Now I am going to switch directions.

Many instances of mass gun violence have occurred all over the US in the last while. Despite being rare in the grand scheme of things (the numbers of dead are tiny compared to the TOTAL amount of gun deaths that are unspoken), they have been happening more and more often. The most recent of these instances being Sandy Hook Elementary. At 27 dead, it was not the deadliest  of them all by numbers. But it struck a chord with many people, just because of the age of the majority of the victims (20 were children).

This, like all the other acts of violence in the past, provoked a call for gun control legislation. This time though, the age of the victims drove the issue to a feverish pitch, right up to the president.

One of the common responses to this was, you can not legislate with emotions. Basically, its a bad idea to enact a law banning an item (in this case, assault riffles and other such weapons in the catagory) just because of emotions. Basically, just because your pissed and upset that this guy did this, it is not a good reason to outlaw the gun.

But in October 20o1, people everywhere didn’t hesitate to drop there right to privacy, in the name of fighting terrorism. This HUGE change came in a time that was very much emotionally charged and uncertain. And this change affected all Americans.

Back in December 2012/January 2013, the call for gun control was feverish, warranted, with the events of Sandy Hook on the minds of all (me included). But again, the common thread of the debate from the opposition, is that NOW is not the time.

Both terrorism and gun violence affect the public, often random targets. The only difference is that the death counts are very different for the 2.

For terrorism, the most recent incident was the Boston Marathon bombing, which killed 3 and injured 264. Next in line is September 11th, with 2,977 fatalities in total, followed by the Oklahoma City bombing back in 1995 (165 dead).

For famous instances of mass gun violence, we have Virginia Tech with 32 dead, followed by Sandy Hook’s 27.

At first glance, the numbers seem to say a lot. Terrorism would seem to be the bigger threat, in terms of the number of victims. But is this the whole picture?

Lets play with the numbers a little.

Terrorism

Using http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001454.html as a reference, starting with Oklahoma City, I find that  3149 have perished by terrorism in the US since 1995.

OKC Bombing = 168

9/11 = 2977

Little Rock = 1

Boston Marathon = 3

Now lets look at gun violence.

Keep in mind, im not counting attacks OUTSIDE of the continental US (embassies etc).

Gun violence

Though this chart is a bit out of our timeline (it begins back in 1980 and ends in 2006), it still tells us A LOT.

Data

http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/ficap/resourcebook/Final%20Resource%20Book%20Updated%202009%20Section%201.pdf

If we start in 1995, the start of my timeline, we see that in that year ALONE, almost 40,000 people died due to gun violence.

Like any other post alike this that I write, I encourage all to it look up for yourselves, never take what you read on a blog at face value.

But consider that just a little over 3000 deaths attributed to terrorism have occurred, and the reaction was to pretty much eliminate what privacy the majority of Americans did have.

Now Gun violence in 1995 ALONE caused almost 40,00 deaths. Gun control would affect only a small percentage of all americans. But the ramifications of NOT having it, is affecting ALL americans.

Eliminating a constitutional right for just over 3000 deaths, is fine. But inconveniencing a small percentage of people, because of 40,000 + deaths, is far to much.

Who is over reacting?