How much should a mind-reader cost!


O’Brien got hers for free: How much should a mind-reader cost?

At a conference in Las Vegas, the GSA paid $3200 for such a performance. For the New York Times’ account of this matter, go ahead—just click here.

How much should a mind-reader cost? We’d say the GSA overpaid. On March 30, CNN got its mind-readers for free!

On that evening, CNN broadcast an hour-long special about the death of Trayvon Martin. The program was called, “Beyond Trayvon: Race and Justice in America.”

The program was hosted by Soledad O’Brien. She spoke to several skilled mind-readers, none of whom (we’re assuming) was paid.

The GSA paid $3200 for its mind-reader. Curtis Sliwa performs this service for free. For unknown reasons, CNN invited Sliwa to be one of the stars of its hour-long special. Before too long, this very dumb TV performer was mind-reading in this manner:
O'BRIEN (3/30/12): Let's begin with you, Mr. Sliwa. You obviously founded the Guardian Angels. And I think your name, it's fair to say, is synonymous with civilian patrols. What did George Zimmerman do wrong, and is there anything he did right that night?

SLIWA: He did nothing right, except wake up early that day and begin to stalk people through his paranoia he thought were looking to commit crime on his compound. A self-appointed watchman.


In the streets we call it mad dogs. He was on a mission. He was solo. He had all the furniture upstairs and rearranged in the wrong rooms.

I know everyone is fixated on hoodies. But I know a bunch of young men who wore different colors passed by with hoodies. He fixed on Trayvon. In his mind Trayvon was a hood, a hoodlum, an enemy of society. He has Skittles and iced tea going home. The guy felt it. Because you know, when you are in the street, you feel the instinct. Somebody is stalking you. Somebody is on your back. And Trayvon probably at a certain point just decided to stand his ground.
The GSA overpaid.

In this absurd and disgraceful performance, Sliwa did a brilliant job reading the minds of Zimmerman and Martin. He knew what Zimmerman woke up thinking; he knew what Zimmerman thought about Martin when he saw him that night. He also knew what Martin “felt” as events transpired that evening.

(For the record, Sliwa displayed a second type of clairvoyance, saying he knew that “a bunch of young [white] men” also “passed by with hoodies” that evening. How could be possibly know that?)

On a journalistic basis, Sliwa’s presentation was a disgrace. A journalist should have challenged what he said—but O'Brien simply posed a question to a different guest.

Sliwa’s mind-reading went unchallenged. Before the program ended, he showcased his skill once again:
SLIWA: Why are we fixated on the hoodie? Because it's thug-like. If you wear a hoodie like a thug, you suck in your bottom hip like you've got your trousers down to your butt. And all of a sudden, you're acting big and bad. Well, then you're acting like a thug.

No one is suggesting that Trayvon Martin was acting that way. There was a sea of hoodies that day. No, no, Zimmerman, he locked on Trayvon because he was on a mission. Trayvon didn't have to have a hoodie. He was going to take out Trayvon. It had nothing at all to do with the hoodie.
Contradicting much conventional wisdom, Sliwa said that Zimmerman didn’t react to Martin’s hoodie. But how could he be so sure of that? O’Brien never asked.

O’Brien let Sliwa’s mind-reading go. But then, she also accepted a piece of mind-reading by Harvard professor Charles Ogletree.

Ogletree may have been sharp at one time; we’ve been struck in recent years by the weakness of his presentations. At any rate, consider what happened when O’Brien asked him to comment on one part of Zimmerman’s 911 call on the night Martin died.

O’Brien played one specific part of the tape, then asked the professor to comment. We’ll include her introduction, where she promoted Ogletree’s recent book:
O’BRIEN: Joining me this evening is Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree. He's in Boston. His book, Presumption of Guilt, is about the wrongful arrest of another Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates.


I want to focus on the 911 calls. The call lasts a little over four minutes, but it's going to be something that everybody is focusing on in this case. Let's play a little bit of the call between George Zimmerman and the dispatcher.

ZIMMERMAN (audiotape): This guy looks like he's up to no good or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around looking about.

O'BRIEN: Professor Ogletree, I'll start with you. To me, at the end of the day, the most important question seems to be what was it that made Trayvon Martin suspicious to George Zimmerman, correct?
In truth, that is an important question. Why did Zimmerman call police when he saw Martin that evening? To use O’Brien’s language, what made Martin seem “suspicious?”

Question: Is it possible that Martin was behaving strangely this night, as Zimmerman told the dispatcher? Could that be what made him seem “suspicious” to Zimmerman? Like you, we have no way of knowing—and Ogletree doesn't know either. But O’Brien had played the part of the tape where Zimmerman said that Martin was behaving oddly.

Could something like that explain the initial phone call? In his response, Ogletree completely ignored what Zimmerman said on the part of the tape he had just heard. Instead, he did some inventive mind-reading. We’re working from the official CNN transcript:
OGLETREE (continuing directly): He was black, and he was a male, and Zimmerman saw him. This is what the book is all about, as you know, Soledad. It's not about Henry Gates. It's about the presumption of guilt. You look at someone's skin, you look at what they're wearing.

And when I talk in the book, I talked about the Trayvons of the world. And he has now become a legend. Every parent, every relative, every sibling, every stranger is going to say, "What do I do about my son or my daughter, what they wear, where they go?" It's going to change America's behavior.

And this was—in a sense, this was a presumption of guilt. He looked at his face, they saw him dressed, and they said, "That guy is up to no good." He did nothing wrong, but they said he was a man who did something wrong and now he's dead.
Ogletree couldn’t possibly know whether those highlighted statements are accurate. (They could be accurate, of course.) But so what? He got in several plugs for his book as he recited a novelized claim about the thoughts in Zimmerman’s head.

Presumably, this mind-reading came free of charge. At any rate, O’Brien never asked Ogletree how he could possibly know such things.

As we watched this CNN broadcast, we were struck by O’Brien’s almost total lack of journalistic instincts this night. No matter how foolish her pundit guests were, she made no attempt to challenge their statements. Jane Velez-Mitchell, a Headline News star, is one of cable’s Nancy Grace-style former prosecutors.

How dumb can these very dumb people get? At one point, Velez-Mitchell asked the world's dumbest known question:
O'BRIEN: Many of the conversations have moved from the facts of the case to race and racial profiling and conversations about George Zimmerman's ethnicity and also Trayvon Martin's race. Why is race such a big issue in this?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it shouldn't be, in the sense that we as a culture need to start moving beyond describing people just in terms of their race. And so I think this is an opportunity for us to really look at what do police departments do. Why do they always ask somebody who is reporting something suspicious is the person black, white or Hispanic?

What's interesting is in the police report, the victim, Trayvon Martin is described five times as a black male in one paragraph in the police report. Now, why are they constantly focusing on the victim being a black male? Is that sort of subliminal racism right there?
Why do police departments ask about race (and gender) in such circumstances? Could anyone but a cable “news” star be dumb enough to ask?

Back to the price of mind-reading: Did the GSA pay too much? O”Brien’s program was called “Beyond Trayvon,” but she devoted her opening segment to an interview with Benjamin Crump, the Martin family’s attorney.

(No one from Zimmerman’s camp appeared, nor did O’Brien explain this imbalance. Perhaps the Zimmerman camp declined an invitation. O’Brien didn't say.)

Did the GSA pay too much? When O’Brien spoke with Crump, he did some aggressive mind-reading too. More specifically, he put some very ugly thoughts in the mind of some unspecified persons (plural):
CRUMP: I have to say this very quick, because this is troubling. They ran a background check on Trayvon, who is dead on the ground. They don't run a background check on the guy who just shot and killed the kid in cold blood. In essence, what they did, they said that, “Zimmerman, your word is more credible, and we're going to accept that, just like you profiled him in that 911 tape, this is a little thug on the ground, and he really doesn't deserve a fair and impartial investigation.”
Wow. It isn’t entirely clear what Crump meant when he said that “they” ran no “background check” on Zimmerman—and O’Brien didn’t ask him to explain. But in that highlighted statement, Crump drew a very ugly portrait of what “they” said on the night of Martin’s death—and he didn’t say who he meant.

Who said that Trayvon Martin was just “a little thug on the ground?” That is a very ugly portrait—but of whom is this portrait true?

An actual journalist would have asked. O’Brien stared into air.

Crump mind-read in an ugly way. Presumably, he did so for free. Plainly, the GSA did overpay at its convention. But then, so did CNN if it hired O’Brien expecting journalistic behavior.

What went through Zimmerman’s mind that night? Like these TV stars, we have no real idea. How could we possibly know such a thing? How could these TV performers?


  1. Could the fanning of the flames against Zimmerman actually result in a change in our laws to give police more power to arrest and hold suspects? If we were to believe that this, also, would not eradicate racism, might new power given to the police be used disproportionally against blacks and other minorities? No, surely not, the NRA will abdicate their political power and allow strict gun-control laws, instead.

  2. I cant even finish readig this drivel.
    Zimmerman is a murderer of a child.
    He stalked him.
    He was told to stay in his car/vehicle
    INSTEAD he approached the boy and MURDERED HIM

    1. Zimmerman was not told to stay in his car. He was told "we don't need you to do that" when he replied "yes" to a question asking whether he was following the boy. He was not in his car at that point because the 911 tape shows heavy breathing, which does not occur while driving but rather suggests physical exertion.

      There is no evidence that he "stalked" the boy. He chased him. There is even less evidence that he murdered him. There are multiple eye-witness statements that Zimmerman was being confronted and then beaten by the boy. Murder involves intent to kill. Nothing in anyone's statements indicates an intent to kill the boy.

      The main complaint Martin's family has is that his girlfriend was not interviewed until a week later, after his son's cellphone records were found by his family showing that she was talking to Martin right before the killing. She was not a witness to the killing because he dropped the phone and it went dead, so she didn't hear the shot or the conversation. His family has used the delay in contacting the girlfriend to suggest that the police were not sufficiently thorough or were biased. However, there were already several eye-witnesses present who had been interviewed and it is unclear how the girlfriend's testimony sheds any additional light on the situation, since she did not see what happened and cannot say who approached who, whether it was Zimmerman who was being beaten, or why Martin was shot.

      Her statements do substantiate that there was a fight. A fight is not stalking and murder. It is manslaughter or self-defense depending on the circumstances.

    2. Her story supports Zimmerman's. She said she heard Martin initiate the conversation with "why are you following me". Not something someone says while they run away but definitely something someone says when he walks up to someone to confront him.

    3. The Real AnonymousApril 9, 2012 at 5:24 PM

      "Zimmerman was not told to stay in his car."

      How long are you going to peddle this bullshit?

      Zimmerman invited Sanford police to give a presentation about neighborhood watch to interested people in his neighborhood.

      During that presentation the group was told neighborhood watch is not to follow suspects and they weren't to be armed.

      You can claim Zimmerman had amnesia or chose to ignore the guidelines.

      One thing we do know for sure, his reckless behavior resulted in an unjustified death.

    4. "Zimmerman was not told to stay in his car".

      Why do you insist on picking at this nit?

      Yes, you are correct. In a technical, literal sense. But don't you see, that's only because Zimmerman didn't ask the dispatcher if he should hop out of his car and chase the youth. What do you suppose the dispatcher would have answered? It is a totally insignificant technicality that the dispatcher told him to stop only after he realized what Zimmerman was doing. It changes nothing.

    5. In a technical, literal sense, one should stop asserting "Zimmerman was not told to stay in his car" -- it isn't what happened.

      "What do you suppose..."

      Stick to the facts, give up mindreading.

    6. Yeah, you keep picking that nit. It changes nothing. I am not mindreading and you know it. I am making a very logical inference from the undisputed factual record.

      Tell me something. Would it matter to you, would your opinion be in any way altered if Zimmerman was still in his car when the dispatcher told him not to follow Martin?

  3. About that Henry Louis Gates thing:

    It seems to be a generalized article of faith among the left that Officer Crowley arrested Gates out of racist spite. My own take is that that particular imbroglio was most likely caused by Gates acting as a drama queen and that the issue here isn't race but class. Gates is a world-famous Harvard professor who has enjoyed his own PBS shows. He is, therefore, significantly up on the social scale over a cop like Crowley.

    Why am I so certain? Because Gate's behavior makes no rational sense. There was a problem with the lock on his door that made it necessary for him to break into his own house. Someone, seeing him do this and having no idea who he was, naturally calls the cops. If Gates were thinking clearly, he would realize that the cop was protecting his interest. Instead, according to Crowley, Gates refused to show him ID and started harassing him thus prompting Crowley to arrest him for disorderly conduct after he continued harassing Crowley outside. Maybe Crowley shouldn't have done that but Gates seems to have been quite the a-hole.

    The main reason I'm as confident as I am that this is the way it went down is Gates's own behavior after the fact. Gates only gave one interview about the incident and the reporter he chose to talk to was his daughter and heir Elizabeth. That is not the sort of person one goes to when one wants to face down hard questioning. That's who you go to when you want to be interviewed by a reliable sycophant.

    And yet, even with such an overwhelming home-field advantage, Gates still cannot come up with a coherent story about what happened.

    If you read it, please keep in mind that Gates is a communicator by profession. His expertise is supposed to be in clearly conveying ideas. One would expect him to give a blow-by-blow account of what happened thereby demonstrating the absurdity of his arrest. That part of the interview quite conspicuously is not there.

    My guess is that Gates was having a bad day and, being one used to having his ass kissed, decided to take out his frustration out on the low-class Crowley. Having been fined if not arrested for disorderly conduct myself, I can tell you that the threshold for being charged is quite easy to meet.

    But it is now gospel that Gates was "arrested for being in his home." Maybe. Still, I can't quite forget the following quote from his interview:

    "[Crowley] should have gotten out of there and said, 'I’m sorry, sir, good luck. Loved your PBS series—check with you later!' [laughter from both of us] If he would have given me his card I would have sent him a DVD! [more laughter]"

    Cough, cough.

    1. PS: I was introduced to Curtis Sliwa once. I'd like to say met but after the attempt by some Guardian Angel acting as his aide, he looked the other way and refused to acknowledge me thus coming off in the not-quite-exchange as a self-important jerk.

    2. The Real AnonymousApril 9, 2012 at 5:25 PM

      I'm going to attribute this totally irrelevant post to a bad batch of mushrooms!!

    3. Quoted from Bob's original post:

      "O’BRIEN: Joining me this evening is Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree. He's in Boston. His book, Presumption of Guilt, is about the wrongful arrest of another Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates."

      Do me a favor, Anonymous. If you're even in the mood to eat mushrooms, could you please make sure they're poisonous?

    4. The Real AnonymousApril 9, 2012 at 5:51 PM

      Funny guy!!

      They didn't waste our time discussing the Gates case the way you did.

  4. "What went through Zimmerman's mind that night? ...we have no real idea". "We" will NEVER know what went through Zimmerman's mind that night.
    What "I" know is that Zimmerman will lie his ass off to escape responsibility.
    The only other person who knows what happened that night is dead.
    Since "we" will never know what went through Zimmerman's mind, let us never draw any conclusions. Let us hammer the "liberal" media instead.
    What will forever be true is:
    1) Trayvon Martin is dead.
    2) Zimmerman killed him.

    p.s. "We" will never know what went through the minds of the killers in Tulsa over the weekend.
    So, draw no conclusions, please!

    Woke up this morning; got myself a gun.

    1. Dear king quaker,

      How do you know "Zimmerman will lie his ass off to escape responsibility"? Is it not possible that he was telling the truth when he said Martin attacked him? I think it's quite possible he was lying but also quite possible that he was on the level. How is it that you seem to "know" so much?

    2. I just killed someone. What should I tell the authorities? There is no one to contradict my story. My story will, of course, not be self-serving.
      Naivete is for children.
      Trayvon Martin is dead.
      Zimmerman killed him.
      Dispute that.

    3. Thank goodness we have a free mind-reader here to clarify Zimmerman's thoughts for us.

    4. King, don't you know that the ONLY thing worthy of discussion today is what Soledad O'Brien and her guests said TEN FREAKIN' DAYS AGO??

    5. Yeah, what happened 10 days ago is, like, *so* last month! Who cares!

      And if Bob Somerby discusses anything, that obviously implies he feels it's the only thing worthy of discussion!

      Any Anonymous idiot could tell you that! And now two have!!

    6. king quaker,

      I notice that you didn't really answer my question. No one doubts that Zimmerman killed Martin. The question is why and how. If it was by chance justifiable homicide he would not have to "lie his ass off." You seem to know for certain that Zimmerman killed Martin just for the sheer racist hell of it. I see no reason for that certainty.

      Would you kill someone screaming for his life when you knew the cops were on the way in a neighborhood where everybody knew you and some might be expected to look out the window as you pull the trigger? People do do crazy things like that but that is very much the exception, don't you think?

    7. Unless a fellow is as cool as a fish , the suffering of a person who takes as innocent a life as the life of a child through misadventure , may as easily end up as prelude to their own demise . One doesn't need to dig very far into the earth to find the sustenance from the actions of Dan White towards , Harvey Milk and George Moscone .
      The way this resolves there will always be one death , and no amount of flattery will bring the killer salvation . George Zimmerman has to live with a dead child on his conscience . If that doesn't burden him there is nothing human that can .

    8. Hieronymus,
      Quote any of my posts where I called Zimmerman a racist. I dare you.
      Now make sure you don't read my mind.

    9. king quaker,
      Here is the actually quote from my previous post:

      "You seem to know for certain that Zimmerman killed Martin just for the sheer racist hell of it. I see no reason for that certainty."

      See that word "seem"? That was put there to indicate how you were coming off to me while at the same time taking care not to make a definite claim. Therefore, I was not reading your mind or in any way misquoting you. I was merely inferring what appeared to be the case.

      I really don't get you. You have explicitly claimed that Zimmerman would "...lie his ass off to escape responsibility."

      That very definitely implies that you have reached some sort of conclusion. Very well then. What exactly would Zimmerman "lie his ass off" to prevent people from knowing?

    10. It just occurred to me that I misinterpreted king quaker's previous post. This is not entirely my fault since, if I have king quaker right, his response doesn't really make sense.

      See, king quaker says that Zimmerman would "lie his ass off," "From knowing exactly what happened."

      Well, what if Zimmerman is telling the truth when he says he was attacked by Martin while heading back to his car? Then he wouldn't have to "cover his ass" at all, correct? Therefore, whether king quaker chooses to realize it or not, he is clearing indicating a strong belief in Zimmerman's overwhelming guilt but seems utterly incapable of intelligently stating why.

      I guess he doesn't get out much.

    11. I see comprehension is not you strong suit. You asked the question: "What exactly would Zimmerman "lie his ass off" to prevent people from knowing?"
      I told you:
      1) From knowing what exactly happened.
      2) And to protect his ass.
      Only two people know exactly what happened. One of them is dead. The other (through human nature) will lie to protect his butt.
      You then claim that I said I know exactly what happened. Do you see the difference?
      I know it's hard, but think.
      There is an idiot in the discussion.
      It's not me.

    12. King Quaker,

      If Zimmerman was attacked as he claimed why would he lie his ass off?

      You apparently do not understand that by insisting that Zimmerman needs to "protect his ass" you are unambiguously implying that Zimmerman is lying when he claims he was attacked. That is, you are implicitly claiming that you knew what happened.

      I really don't know how I can make it any simpler.

      Again, if Zimmerman is telling the truth then why would he need to "lie" to "protect his ass"?

    13. The Real AnonymousApril 9, 2012 at 5:36 PM

      "Is it not possible that he was telling the truth when he said Martin attacked him?"

      C'mon man, absent forensic evidence we're asked to use our common sense.

      Who has the record of violence here?

      We know Zimmerman was arrested for battery on a police officer, was accused of domestic violence, and followed someone he felt was driving recklessly leading that person to say, according to police records, he was afraid Zimmerman was going to attack him.

      Martin had a removable grill, tatoos and a youtube video apparently showing him refereeing some fight. 150 pages of his facebook account were hacked and published without finding any references to criminality or violence.

      Its possible Martin attacked Zimmerman.

      I would too if I knew some stranger was following me with a gun and that would be my only possibility of escape.

    14. King quaker,

      Let me try again. You cannot honestly claim both that Zimmerman would "lie" to "protect his ass" on the one hand and also that you have no firm idea of what happened on the other. If one of them is true then the other cannot be true. If you are firmly convinced that Zimmerman has to "lie" to "protect his ass," then you are unavoidably denying that Zimmerman could be telling the truth when he says he acted in self defense because, if he is telling the truth, the need to "lie" to "protect his ass" is simply not there.

      All of this is extremely obvious and easy to understand to anyone with isn't 1) and idiot or 2) a jerk who doesn't want to.

      As for my "comprehension" problems, you may want to consider the possibility that my difficulty in this area is a direct result of your outrageously muddled thinking.

    15. Anonymous,

      How do you know Zimmerman's gun was visible?

      Do you have any evidence that Zimmerman pulled his gun when he first saw Martin and not when he was attacked as Zimmerman claims?

      How do you know he was the aggressor here?

      If someone was following me with a gun and I knew it, I would not attack them as that would be extremely stupid. I'd try to get away or, failing that, put my hands up and ask them what the problem was because my chances of survival would a lot better. Then I'd report him to police as a suspicious character.

    16. Real anonymous,

      Screaming that something is bullshit doesn't make it so. If you insist that someone is lying to "protect their ass," that presumes they have something to hide. If you presume that they have something to hide then you have made up your mind regarding their guilt and, therefore, are presuming to know what happened. You may not have all the details but you are presuming to know enough details to make a desisions.

      This is not hard to understand at all.

    17. The Real AnonymousApril 9, 2012 at 6:01 PM

      "How do you know Zimmerman's gun was visible?"

      Again, common sense.

      What's the first things cops do when they pursue a "suspicious" person who they have no idea is packing or not?

      They pull their weapons and pursue.

      Are you asking me to believe Zimmerman was packing for no reason?

      Do you really believe Zimmerman is that stupid?

      What in what we know about Martin's background leads you to believe he would attack someone unprovoked without feeling fear for his life?

      Could he have been any different than that motorist who told police he feared Zimmerman was going to attack him?

    18. Hieronymus,
      To repeat, comprehension is not your strong suit.
      I do not insist on anything.
      You ask why Zimmerman would lie and I gave two possible reasons.
      You say "If Zimmerman was attacked as he claimed why would he lie his ass off?".
      Just a quick reminder; Martin was killed while walking home with chips and a soda. His side of the confrontation will never be known.
      I urged you not to read my mind, but "implications" seem to follow everything I say.
      Two facts beyond dispute:
      1) Trayvon Martin is dead.
      2) Zimmerman killed him.

      BTW, if if's and but's were beers and nuts we could have a party.

    19. the real anonymous,

      You have admitted that you don't know what happened. "Common sense" is nothing like a conclusive answer.

      Cops, believe it or not do not always pull their guns out pursuing someone who's suspicious. You made that up.

      Martin's background is indicative but proves nothing.

    20. The Real AnonymousApril 9, 2012 at 6:21 PM

      "You have admitted that you don't know what happened."

      I've posted a reasonable scenario based on what we know from Zimmerman's police record and Martin's hacked facebook page.

      Its you who are playing word games without answering a single question the record raises.

      I don't blame you for slinking away with your tail between your legs.

    21. King quaker,

      Here is what you wrote:

      "What 'I' know is that Zimmerman will lie his ass off to escape responsibility. "

      So you "know" that Zimmerman "will lie his ass off to escape responsibility."

      But, you're not making any claim of knowledge.

      Perhaps you meant to write "If Zimmerman is guilt he will lie his ass off to escape responsibility"?

      That would have been clear.

    22. The Real AnonymousApril 9, 2012 at 6:32 PM

      "Martin's background is indicative but proves nothing."

      Again, what in Martin's background leads you to believe he would attack someone without provocation.

      Isn't it more reasonable to believe Martin felt threatened by Zimmerman the same way the motorist who told the cops he was afraid Zimmerman was going to attack him was.

      Again, feel free to use any facts we have about Martin including the 150 hacked facebook pages.

    23. The real anonymous,

      I didn't answer every question, but I did answer enough to show that you're on shaky ground.

      What you call "word games" I call logic.

      You also seem to have a strange idea of the meaning of the phrase "slinking away with [my] tail between my legs." Don't I have to leave first?

      You have blatantly dismissed any idea that Zimmerman may have a good case and is telling the truth. You are quite obviously closed-minded on the subject. When I asked, "How do you know Zimmerman's gun was visible?" you replied, "common sense." That is you were claiming to know that it was, in fact, visible. Calling your claim a "reasonable scenario," is bullshit. The truth is you were claiming fact.

    24. The Real AnonymousApril 9, 2012 at 6:40 PM

      "Cops, believe it or not do not always pull their guns out pursuing someone who's suspicious."

      Dude, really?

      Cops have fired at someone showing them their wallet for ID.

      41 shots to be exact!!

    25. The Real AnonymousApril 9, 2012 at 6:44 PM

      "I did answer enough to show that you're on shaky ground."

      You answered nothing to be exact. Maybe in this conversation you're having in your head you think you did.

      I can't account for that.

      Again, we have on record a motorist afraid Zimmerman was going to attack him.

      Why would Martin with no record of violence, be any different?

      Crickets is your answer

    26. The Real AnonymousApril 9, 2012 at 6:48 PM

      "You have blatantly dismissed any idea that Zimmerman may have a good case and is telling the truth. You are quite obviously closed-minded on the subject."

      I'm open minded. That doesn't mean I disregard the facts.

      Again, absent forensic evidence we've got to use common sense.

      What in Martin's record leads you to believe Zimmerman's story is anything close to the truth: he was attacked unprovoked.

      What in Zimmerman's record leads you to believe he wasn't the aggressor?

    27. Real anonymous,

      It still doesn't prove anything. For one thing we're hearing about what a great kid Martin was after being killed. People are generally loath to speak ill of the dead. The social consequences of dissing Martin at this point are grave. There could be lots of people biting their tongues.

      Also, I've encountered people with good reputations who were, to use an expression invented by Kurt Vonnegut to describe such types "sparrow farts."

      Martin could have resented being followed, failed to have seen the gun and decided to show Zimmerman what for. Adolescent males, even ones people like and generally make a good impression, are notorious for pulling that kind of stuff. I'm not saying it definitely happened that way. Never have. Only that it could have happened that way and that the possibility cannot, at this point, be plausibly ruled out.

      Do you agree that Zimmerman might--and I only say might--have acted under a reasonable presumption of self defense? Is it not at all possible that he's telling a straight story? I think he could be and I also think he could be guilty of murder.

      If you say anything other than yes, then you are claiming to know reality and any talk about suggesting scenarios is just a lot of gas.

    28. To answer your last question, I think the record shows that Zimmerman might very well be the aggressor in this case but that is far from conclusive. Just because you have a record of aggression in one place doesn't mean you're aggressive all the time.

      I have to run out now but will try and check back in later.

    29. The Real AnonymousApril 9, 2012 at 6:58 PM

      "I'm not saying it definitely happened that way. Never have. Only that it could have happened that way and that the possibility cannot, at this point, be plausibly ruled out."

      And you still haven't the pertinent questions:

      What in ZImmerman's background leads you to believe he wasn't the aggresor and what in Martin's background leads you to believe he was.

      You just mumble some bullshit about adolescent males.

    30. The Real AnonymousApril 9, 2012 at 7:02 PM

      " Just because you have a record of aggression in one place doesn't mean you're aggressive all the time."

      Yeah and just because you're packing doesn't mean you'd pull it out when pursuing a "suspicious" male who may turn and fire on you at any moment.

      Use your common sense dude, just like a prosecutor would ask you if you were on a jury.

    31. Yep. If we played the "it could have happened" game, there would be no sense in having laws. After all, anything "could have happened" as long as the perp can concoct a fairy tale.

    32. "What in Zimmerman's background leads you to believe he wasn't the aggresor and what in Martin's background leads you to believe he was."

      A few isolated incidents do not a personality make. They are disturbing, they are a potential indication but alone they are simply not enough.

      You might want to ask a lawyer about that.

      In any case, since none of you will allow that Zimmerman might be innocent, it's clear that you've made up your minds and my charge that you have decided that you know what reality is when none of us know what reality is is correct. You can throw all the temper tantrums you want but you're still stuck with that unfortunate piece of reality.

      You can see this story one way and only one way.

      You are angry, abusive, close-minded twits.

      And you're very good at it.

    33. The Real AnonymousApril 9, 2012 at 10:11 PM

      "You can see this story one way and only one way. "

      Hey I'd Iike to belive Zimmerman wasn't the guy who pursued a car through traffic causing his victim to tell police he was afraid Zimmerman was going to attack him.

      I'd also like to believe Zimmerman wasn't the guy fired from a "security" job at house parties for, as a fellow employee says, being "overzealous" and throwing a drunk woman across a room.

      I'd also like to believe Zimmerman didn't intefere with an arrest and wasn't charged with battery on a police officer.

      But being opened minded is not the same as ignoring the facts, not by a long shot.

      Sure its possible things occurred exactly as ZImmerman says they did but based on what we know about the two individuals involved, I wouldn't count on it.

    34. Braintree here from a public computer.

      Fine, real anonymous. And those are real concerns you cite. The one where he throws a woman is especially troubling.

      However, there are huge questions about the sequence we are supposed to believe. Usually when you call the cops it's because you want them to handle a problem rather than handling it yourself.

      I also don't see Zimmerman attacking Martin when he's been told not to, when he knows the cops are on the way and where neighbors can spot him. And I especially don't see him shooting Martin when Martin is supposedly screaming for help.

      And if Zimmerman is that big a loony tune then the issue shouldn't be so much about race as it about Amjerica's insanely lax gun laws.

      Have to run.

  5. nomatter_nevermindApril 9, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    Zimmerman did not call 911. He made a non-emergency call to the police. You only have to listen to the dispatcher answering the phone at the beginning of the tape to verify that.

    This is by far the most common error in reporting on the case. I'm disappointed, Bob.

    1. The non-emergency line to the police is routed to a dispatcher and routinely recorded?

  6. One of these days Chris Serino will testify under oath and sign an affidavit.
    I'll wait till I see it.

  7. It's been reported that George Zimmerman has launched a web site with a paypal account for those who would like to donate. It's

    At the moment it's "temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems."

    It would be great for us armchair experts if Zimmerman would use that site to lay out in detail his version of what happened. I'll be happily surprised if he does that.

    My source for this info is the UK Telegraph:

    1. Maybe Fox will hire him like they did Mark Furhman of OJ fame.

    2. I'm certain that ALEC and the NRA will hire him as the new spokesman for "Stand Your Ground" laws.

  8. Man tells police group yelled ‘Trayvon,' then beat him

    Police are investigating the “racially motivated” beating of a 27-year-old man who was walking home from midtown bars early Saturday when he said he was jumped by five to eight men who shouted “Trayvon” before the attack.

    We do believe that the crime was racially motivated,” Gainesville Police Department spokeswoman Cpl. Angelina Valuri said.

    The assailants were black, while the victim is white, Valuri said....

    During what he told police was a five-minute beating, he sustained injuries to the left eye, abrasions to his palms and a cut on his right kneecap, and Valuri said he would likely have “permanent disfigurement to the left side of his face.”

    1. Well, if that's what the white victim said, it must be true, David.

      One little detail you left out:

      "She said the victim had been drinking and could not provide a description of the attackers or their vehicle, only that it was a mid-size vehicle."

    2. nomatter_nevermindApril 10, 2012 at 8:43 AM

      Too bad the five to eight black dudes didn't stick around to give their side of the story.

      They were standing their ground.

    3. And remember, these "five to eight" black dudes all piled out of a "mid-size vehicle."

  9. nomatter_nevermindApril 10, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    Maybe they really like each other.