Three teen-agers have been in the news!


Multimillionaire moral cipher peddles Rachel Jeantel: Here at THE HOWLER, we aren’t bashers of Rachel Jeantel. We hope she goes on to live a long, productive life.

Three teenagers have been in the news. She is the only one left.

One such teen is Jahar Tsarnaev, who graces the new cover of Rolling Stone. Everybody said he was the sweetest kid going. He went off in a surprising direction—although, in fairness, quite a few young people did violent things in the 1960s in reaction to the war in Vietnam.

Tsarnaev has said that he was reacting to America’s wars around the world. His decision and his behavior made no sense, but teenagers can be exceptionally stupid. Plus, he had an apparently crazy older brother.

Another such teen is Trayvon Martin, who died last year. A few weeks ago, his long-time stepmother, Alicia Stanley, appeared with Anderson Cooper to speak about what he was like.

Stanley seemed like a thoroughly decent person, which doesn’t mean that she is necessarily right in all her judgments. That said, she painted a picture of Trayvon Martin as a decent, loving young person.

That may be who he was—we have no way of knowing. But watching Stanley made us think of what everybody said about what a sweet kid Jahar Tsarnaev apparently was in his everyday dealings.

Whether you’re a Muslim kid growing up in Cambridge or a black kid growing up in Miami, there are plenty of people and forces around which may take you off in directions which may not serve you well. You may end up doing things that contradict other parts of your nature.

Trayvon’s stepmother struck us as a good, decent person. The country is full of such people.

By way of contrast, Chris Matthews seems to have sold his soul a very long time ago. (Personally, we like him.) It’s hard to avoid this judgment, unless you are a professional journalist who wants to appear on cable.

Think names like Walsh and Corn.

In our view, Matthews played a larger role than any other broadcast journalist in the ugly, twenty-month process which sent George Bush to the White House. By last night, though, he was serving a new corporate master.

Clinging to his $5 million salary, Matthews played tape from the Piers Morgan show, then oohed and aahed about how great that third teenager turns out to be when she isn’t on the witness stand.

Midway through the show, Matthews teased the upcoming segment:
MATTHEWS (7/16/13): Witness for the prosecution! When Rachel Jeantel testified, many thought she damaged the prosecution`s case. Many did.

But last night, we got another side of her altogether. So why didn’t the prosecution do a better job of preparing this young woman for her day in court?
At MSNBC, the corporate line has the maggots saying that the prosecution had a good case but failed to present it well. In various ways, this is manifest nonsense. But the graspers and grabbers, young and old, are all going to say it.

They are paid to say these things. They will say them well.

After a break, Matthews was back, selling these corporate wares. Soon, he played tape of Jeantel talking about the injuries that were dished to Zimmerman.

When she said, “That’s not bashing,” she seem to be referring to the beating Zimmerman took. We will remove the bleeps inserted by Matthews’ producer.

To watch the full segment, click here:
MATTHEWS: Jeantel also talked about Zimmerman’s injuries.

JEANTEL (videotape): When somebody bash somebody, like, blood people? Trust me, the area I live, that’s not bashing. That’s just called whuppin’ ass. You got your ass whupped.

MATTHEWS: Well, was Jeantel better able to express herself on television there than in the jury room, or in the courtroom? What does that say about the prosecution case? Did they fail to better prep her before her testimony?
Has Matthews ever been more craven? In that presentation, his producers had him suggesting that Jeantel came across well on Monday night as she talked about the ass-whuppin’ Zimmerman took.

If only the prosecutors had prepared her to be more like that!

Matthews will do and say anything if it serves the current line. At MSNBC, the current line is to blame the prosecution for blowing a very good case. Matthews was willing to pretend that it was the prosecutors’ fault that Jeantel didn’t come across well on the stand.

If only they had let her talk about all that ass-whuppin’ Zimmerman took! So this deeply fallen multimillionaire was willing to say.

Below, you see the fuller text from the Morgan program. If you are currently being brainwashed by MSNBC, you are supposed to believe that this represents Rachel Jeantel at her jaunty best:
JEANTEL (7/15/13): When somebody bash somebody, like, blood people? Trust me, the area I live, that’s not bashing. That’s just called whuppin’ ass. You got your ass whupped.

MORGAN: Would Trayvon, if he had been attacked or had been confronted, and he was scared, would he have “whupped ass,” as you put it?

JEANTEL: Whupp assssssss.

MORGAN: Could he—would he have done that? Could he have done that?


MORGAN: Would he have defended himself if he'd been in that position?

JEANTEL: Yes, in my mind-well, in reality, Trayvon, before his death, he thought I was still on the phone. I could have called out for help or something.
At this point, Jeantel went off on a tangent that didn’t seem to connect to the question.

We hope Rachel Jeantel goes on to lead a good, constructive life. We aren’t big believers in bad people around here.

That said, Matthews and Morgan are deeply fallen people. The younger money-grabbers on Matthews’ channel are corrupting themselves as well.

Maddow is becoming an obvious moral cipher. Hayes is losing altitude fast. They are now being told to say that the prosecutors mishandled Jeantel.

That is a crazy thing to say. Grabbing for the golden ring, a gang of deeply horrible people will stand in line to say it.


  1. Oh, I get it Bob. There is some sort of "parallel" among Trayvon, the girl he was talking to on the phone, and the Boston Marathon bomber.

    Why? They are "teens in the news" whose grandmothers and friends said nice things about them.


    1. Another version of the Somerby end-zone dance.

    2. Yep, and how long is this dance going to go on.

      Of course, there are differences between Martin and Tsarnaev as well.

      One was walking home from a convenience store. The other learned how to make anti-personnel bombs, made two of them, then put them in the precise place at the precise moment to cause the most death and injury.

      But hey, they are both just crazy, mixed-up kids whose grannies loved them.

    3. Um, I think Bob's point was that having Mom, Gramma or step Mom say nice things about you doesn't prove very much.

      Also, Trayvon was, according to Zimmerman, standing on someone's lawn and looking at their residence in the rain in a neighborhood where there had been a rash of burglaries. When he saw Zimmerman looking at him his response was to 1) glare at Zimmerman, 2)walk towards him and 3) then run away. Zimmerman said he looked drugged and Trayvon did indeed have THC in his system according to the autopsy. Trayon's only injuries, apart from the gunshot wound, were abrasions on his hands apparently from pummeling Zimmerman.

      Trayvon, according to Jeantel had made it to his father's place. Yet the site of the killing is halfway or more towards the location of Zimmerman's initial sighting.

      So, you see, Zimmerman had no legitimate reason for his actions. Trayvon is completely innocent and an obvious victim of racial profiling.

    4. Gee, Hieronymous, how often have you written that before?

      Well, for the umpteenth time, you've recited the Zimmerman/TDH Defense Tribe's case brilliantly.

      Just like Bob wants you to do to breath life into a dying blog. You play "follow the leader" brilliantly!

    5. "Um, I think that Bob's point was ...." Zzzzzz.

    6. Somerby's blog was doing OK before you came along Anonymous . . . before all of you Anonymi came along. Use a goddamned name. It's not that hard.

    7. Anonymous at 6:25,

      I keep repeating those facts because people like you keep ignoring them. I will keep repeating them as long as boneheads like you keep pretending they don't exist.

      You and many of the others are reverse bigots who care not about evidence but only your righteous hate.

    8. Anonymous at 6:25,

      Let me ask you a question: Why don't you care that TM was on someone's lawn, in the rain, looking at the residence in a neighborhood that had had a rash of burglaries? Why is that not important to you? On what grounds do you think GZ was racially profiling TM? How would TM's behavior be any less suspicious if he were white? Why was he so apparently angry when he noticed GZ watching him? Why would he approach GZ and then run away?

      And if TM had reached his father's place, as Jeantel says he did, how is it that the fatal scuffle occurred several buildings away if it was not TM now stalking GZ?

      You will not answers these questions because there are no good ones. You are a bigot.

    9. HB,

      I'm not a bigot, so I'll answer your questions.

      1. Why don't I care that TM was on someone's lawn, looking at the residence in a neighborhood that had houses burglarized? Because I don't know that's what TM was doing. I just know that GZ reported that's what TM was doing, and GZ is an interested party. In any case, it doesn't matter to the criminal case, which concerned a matter that took place on public property.

      2. On what grounds do I think GZ was racially profiling TM? I don't know that GZ was racially profiling TM, and if he was, I have no access to GZ's mental state. I know GZ reports that TM is black in response to a query. It doesn't matter because private citizens are allowed to profile anyone they want in any manner they want.

      3. How would TM's behavior be any less suspicious if he were white? I have no idea. I don't know what TM's behavior was, and he was actually there. How would I know how suspicious a hypothetical white teenager would be? I can assume that if GZ knew that previous burglars were young and black, then he'd be more suspicious of someone black. Should I assume that GZ would be less suspicious of a white kid in the dark, in the rain, in a hoodie, looking into a previously burglarized house?

      4. Why was TM so apparently angry when he noticed GZ watching him? Apparently angry to GZ, you mean? Are you asking why TM was angry or why TM appeared angry to GZ? On what basis could I answer either question?

      5. Why would TM approach GZ then run away? I don't know. I'd have to ask TM if that's what happened, and if it did why it did.

      6. If TM reached his father's place (actually the place his father was staying), how is it that TM was killed several buildings away? I don't really know that TM reached his father's place, but if he did, I'd have to ask TM why he left safety and confronted GZ.

      6b. There's that stalking again.

      You're right. There are no good answers to your questions. Why would you believe a narrative built on bad answers?

    10. 1. GZ didn't know what TM was doing either. But wouldn't you agree that TM's behavior was at least suspicious and worth reporting? Since GZ was being as a racist monster who stalked TM only because he was "profiled," I think GZ it has everything to do with the case.

      2. Again the prosecution's case is that GZ was profiling TM.

      3. You don't know what TM's behavior was but you DO KNOW what GZ reported and reported in real time w/o any foreknowledge that this was going to explode. You are dodging the issue by saying that you're not sure but since GZ did report suspicious behavior, even if you don't believe him, would TM's behavior not have been suspicious? And exactly why do you think GZ would lie and report suspicious behavior that did not occur?

      4. Since TM is reported by GZ that he was "glaring at him and that this is well known I thought you would know who I was referring to. My bad. But isn't that odd for a supposedly innocent party? I mean, if I was seen standing on somebody's lawn I would recognize it as suspicious even if my intentions were honest.

      5. Again, GZ reported this in real time. What cause do you have to doubt him? Saying you have to ask TM (which we obivously cannot) evades the issue.

      6. TM is dead so we can't ask him. But I cannot conceive of a scenario where he fights GZ w/o tracking back and attacking him. Can you?

      Exactly, do not believe GZ because the case against him is built on bad answers. That is why the jury was right to acquit.


    11. 1. Excuse me that should read Since GZ was being TRIED as a racist monster, etc.

    12. I was rushing through my previous replies because I was at the end of my lunch break.

      Deadrat, you do not seem to realize that you have proven my point that you do not have a case against GZ. You do not have any clear answers to my challenges. All you have are evasions and excuses and appeals to ask a dead person. The fact that you insist that GZ is guilty is clearly based on hatred for GZ and nothing else. I have not the slightest doubt that if the facts actually supported the charges against Zimmerman you would happily show how very much at my expense.

      In America in order to convict someone you have to have clear and convincing evidence, not a bunch of excuses for obvious holes in the prosecution's case.

      Until you can actually show that George Zimmerman is guilty please stop insisting that he is.

      Thank you.

    13. If you think deadrat has been "insisting George Zimmerman is guilty," than you have a terrible problem with reading comprehension H.B.

      That's OK. It's endemic here.

      I admit that deadrat doesn't make it easy on you. He's a bit like our host that way.

      deadrat may be seen in these threads tilting either way (if that's how you're inclined to view things, I mean: that there are really "two sides" to things [there really aren't!]), depending on whether it's pro-Zimmerman comments making up stories with absent facts, or anti-Zimmerman comments making up stories with a different set of assumed facts.

      In either case, the common thread is the assumption of facts not in evidence. deadrat doesn't seem to like them. It's hard to disagree.

  2. Oh, Mathews went on to be even more objectionable.

    He accused the CNN juror of being "politically correct" over her being UNpc enough to say she felt sorry for Jeantel's lack of preparation, education, and obvious distaste for her role.

    He then accused the juror of being "biased for George".

    1. Chris Mathews = reliably low hanging fruit.

  3. "In our view, Matthews played a larger role than any other broadcast journalist in the ugly, twenty-month process which sent George Bush to the White House."

    Was wondering how long it would take Somerby to bring up the 2000 election.

    1. Thirteen years later, Bob still doesn't get what happened in 2000, and no, it wasn't Chris Mathews.

      And what happened was that Al Gore, and even John Kerry four years later, violated a cardinal rule of politics that has been true since the Founding Fathers thought it was a good idea to let (certain) people vote:

      Both Gore and Kerry let the other guy define who they were. And by not fighting back themselves, they both looked like wimps.

    2. Why shouldn't he bring it up. We're still living through the goddamned effects of it.

  4. "Personally, we like him."

    Wait, what? Is this a joke?

    1. Matthews is likeable on a personal level. He can be very charming when he isn't saying awful things. You don't have to go back to 2000. Look at his treatment of Hillary Clinton in 2008.

    2. 4:37, "Personally, we like him" is supposed to erase 15 years worth of stuff Somerby has written about Matthews, as he makes his new point that we really shouldn't judge him, or the Boston Marathon bomber for that matter.

      But hey, let's forget that Somerby spent a decade and a half calling Matthews an utterly unprincipled, money grubbing shill for whomever pays him seven-figure contracts. After all, "personally" he "like(s) him."

    3. For the love of Christ Anon 6:37 (and by the way, there's a pull-down menu for name/URL):

      Are you new around here (or are you just being willfully obtuse?) One of Somerby's recurring theme's has been that "likable" people can do horrible things.

      And for the rest of you Anons: thanks for vindicating TDH's point about the brain-deadening effects of tribalism.

    4. I refer you to his closing line:

      "Grabbing for the golden ring, a gang of deeply horrible people will stand in line to say it."

      "Deeply horrible people" but "likable" (sic). Being the loyal Somerby apologist/tribalist, I'm sure you see no inconsistency at all in that.

    5. 4:37 here.

      So we're agreed it's a joke, right?

    6. Bob can speak for himself, of course, but I'd guess he'd say that personable people can do and say despicable things, and that it's a tribal thing to judge a person's actions harshly and thereby conclude that he's not fit for inclusion in the circle of humanity. You know, like Bob and me. And maybe you.

      His other lesson is that when people do and say despicable things that fit your prejudices, it's a bad idea to ignore the fact that the words and deeds are still despicable.

    7. Like I said, cacambo, "personally, I like him" is suppose to erase in the Somerby Tribe's mind 15 years of deeply personal things Somerby has written about Matthews and his character, and even some deeply personal things he said about him in this very post.

      I'm glad to see you are a warrior in his tribe.

    8. Have you considered that Somerby was being ironic in the context of blogging about how family and acquaintances always describe the subject of a news interview as being the salt of the earth?


  5. Hey, Bob...Your BFFL Jeralyn Merritt says today that Timothy McVey was "not evil", and pledges the same slanted coverage for Boston bomber Jahar Tsarnaev as she gave Zimmerman. Could we get a few words about that?

    1. He's already said this site is not into classifying people as good or bad.

    2. Oh really? Want me to pull some quotes Somerby has written about Rachel Maddow, Maureen Dowd, Lawrence O'Donnell and some of his other favorite targets?

  6. So, McVey, who killed over 100 innocents was not evil, but Trayvon Martin had it coming. Somerby's idea of the better part of liberal reporting might need some scrutiny.

    1. Somerby said Martin had it coming. Damn, must have missed that.

  7. Whuppp dat cracka's asssssss Trayvonn!!

  8. At MSNBC, the corporate line has the maggots saying that the prosecution had a good case but failed to present it well.

    Thank you for coming up with the word I've been searching for for weeks.

    1. Bob is back in drill Sargent mode. Hayes, I am going to rip your eyes out and skull fuck you!!

    2. But don't forget, Gregg, Chris Matthews may be an MSNBC "maggot" but "personally, we like him."

  9. I would not like to see George Zimmerman put through any more than he already has endured, and civil rights charges are not going to happen, but I would hypothetically love to celebrate the day after the Obama justice department fails in its witch hunt after the truth defeats them and exonerates Zimmerman a second time (third if you count the failed FBI racism witch hunt)

    1. Yeah, Obama and his Kenya-Muslim-Socialist mafia is the real and actual source of George's misery.

      What a maroon.

  10. "Here at THE HOWLER, we aren’t bashers of Rachel Jeantel. We hope she goes on to live a long, productive life."

    Holy shit. Well that's mighty white of you Bob. Seriously, WTF?

  11. I wonder how Bob Woowards or Peggy Noonan's grannies would feel about their grand kid's antics in the IRS scandal? Since it's all Zimmerman all the time around here, I guess we'll never know. I wish Bob would get back in his car.

  12. Lots of Bob-bashers appearing out the woodwork. Bob must have struck a nerve.

    1. Gotta be it! Bob has "struck a nerve." Can't possibly be that he is as full of shit as anyone else bloviating on this particular topic off the top of his head.

      But hey, I bet his hits are up! They certainly couldn't have gone down much further.

    2. What do hits have to do with anything. You see any ads on this site?

    3. Dipso, give your brain a workout and try to think of the many ways, besides ads, that a guy who has been blogging for 15 years would want to boost his hits.

    4. And just to give your brain some information, according to the people track these things, The Daily Howler gets 17,400 unique visitors PER MONTH. Divided by 30 days, that's 580 different people per day.

      The average daily time spent by each visitor is 35 seconds. Let that sink in. 35 seconds. Not enough time to read one of Bob's lengthy screeds through, let alone comment. And remember, that's average, not median. With the few folks who spend hours here arguing back and forth, it's like figuring the average income in a bar that Bill Gates has just walked into.

      For a blog that focuses on national issues and has been in business for 15 years, do I have to say that's pathetic?

    5. "do I have to say that's pathetic?"

      Nope. But you do keep on spending your time coming here to say so, old timer.

      Anyway, so the argument goes something like this, it seems:

      Lots of other people aren't reading The Daily Howler, so that shows you it's no good.

      With "thinking" like that, it's a wonder how you manage to keep you own life together, never mind dispensing your wisdom to others...

  13. The more that Rachel Jeantel talks about her conversation with Trayvon that night, the more convinced I am that she helped egg him on to double back and ambush Zimmerman. In fact, if not for her phone call, Trayvon might have simply gone home and called it a night, and would still be alive today. I wonder if she is conscious of that and feels any degree of guilt over the subsequent death of her friend.

    1. Holy baseless speculation batman!

    2. She did testify she didn't worry about not hearing from TM after the call because she thought he just got in a fight.

  14. It was obvious that the defense outclassed the prosecution. It wasn't that either case was particularly strong, but the defense did a much better presentation. The defense played the jury very well, of that there is little doubt.

    As it has been in the past, the state believed it had the case in the bag; therefore the presentation was incomplete or sloppy. Take your pick.

    There was no proof that Mr. Martin was guilty of anything, regardless of the manipulations of the defense. Mr. Martin was not on trial; Mr. Zimmerman was on trial.

    One thing is certain; Mr. Zimmerman was armed and Mr. Martin was not. Mr. Zimmerman committed a crime. Mr. Martin did not. If a person seeks out another to harass him for something he has not done and then shoots that person for the wrong reasons; it is a crime not an act of self-defense.

    The dominant description of the events that took place on that early evening was that of Mr. Zimmerman. Since Mr. Martin was not available to describe his perception of the event, one either took Mr. Zimmerman's word or not. Mr. Zimmerman's description of the events was self-serving to say the least. The conflicting details of Zimmerman's various stories were not important; it was the intent of the stories that mattered.

    1. Zimmerman committed no crime that night. Trayvon Martin committed a serious violent crime, and caused his own death

    2. gcwall, It doesn't get any slicker than this: if a person harasses someone for something he hasn't done and then shoots that person for the wrong reasons, it is a crime. And sometimes if a person harasses someone for something he has done and then shoots him for the right reasons.

      Good thing you made that comment about some person, eh? Because there's no solid evidence that Zimmerman was such a person.

      We have only Z's version, and yes, it is self-serving, but that doesn't mean that version is wrong. Doesn't mean it's right either.

      But how far lost do you have to be to think that Zimmerman's stories aren't important but that the intent of those stories are what matters?

  15. Dear God the stupid in this article. Possibly the worst yet. Read at your own risk.

    1. As a public service, the 5 ways

      1. The special prosecutor didn't impanel a grand jury. Maybe, but the real problem is that the local state attorney didn't impanel one immediately. When your office gets a special delivery package marked "Caution: Clusterfuck Inside." you forward it, immediately. After six weeks go by, Corey gets appointed, and she automatically has one foot in a bucket. Hard to win a race that way.

      2. They should have gone for manslaughter instead of 2nd degree murder. This is the best point made, although the authors think that 2nd degree murder requires "predetermined animus." Oy. What was required was climbing Mt. Depraved, and Z was always seemed too much of a bumbler to make that ascent.

      3. Poorly prepared prosecution witnesses. Would preparation have helped? Hindsight in operation. Hard to say.

      4. The scream as Martin's. The authors are probably right on this one. The prosecution knew they couldn't get the taped scream validated as Martin's, and how much would that have helped beyond an emotional impact? They had to know that the defense had five witnesses prepared to turn this one around on them.

      5. Allowing Martin to be put on trial. But did that happen in the courtroom? The article doesn't even discuss the topic under this heading, choosing instead to claim that the prosecution should have poked more holes in Z's story. But that always would have been an uphill battle without Z on the stand. The dumbest thing in the article is quoting a defense attorney's claim that the prosecution should never have entered Z's admissions into evidence. Instead the man says they should have established nothing more than the fact that Zimmerman shot and killed Martin, thus baiting Zimmerman into testifying. But they wouldn't have had to establish those facts. The defense would have stipulated to them, and then asked for a directed verdict on the grounds that the prosecution hadn't made out the crucial elements of unlawful homicide and commission with a depraved mind.

      Let's face it, any untested strategy suggested is no worse than the one that actually failed.

  16. Wow. So Trayvon was a terrorist.

    A new low, Bob.

    1. Reading comprehension in his commenters has never been something Somerby's been lucky with, but yes, you represent the nadir.

  17. AnonymousJuly 17, 2013 at 7:50 PM wrote:

    "Gotta be it! Bob has "struck a nerve." Can't possibly be that he is as full of shit as anyone else bloviating on this particular topic off the top of his head.

    But hey, I bet his hits are up! They certainly couldn't have gone down much further."


  18. As a farewell to commenting here (or visiting Mr. S's posts except on a lark), here's something:

    "There is the cousin-in-law who got a job as a cop and then was quietly let go like two weeks later for reasons no one will tell me, and who now plays shoot-em up video games all day. His new milita-member duty is mocking people who call a “magazine” a “clip” and informing them that if they can’t name all the parts of weapon correctly, they have no business having opinions about it."


    A magazine is not a clip. Okay. In car, out of car, when that "We don't need that" came. All hangs on such detail!

    Well, yes, detail DOES matter. Accuracy is crucial. But also only in contexts that are larger. Mr. S's and his acolytes' context is not one in which anyone with heart and soul will linger for long.


    1. LOL
      Now run along and don't you ever stop being a good hearted, soulful, non-masculinist OK? The rest of us will get what's coming to us.

    2. I will miss you, mch. I often disagreed with you, but you stated your positions clearly and sometimes passionately. I appreciated seeing those positions laid out. I think your comments forwarded the discussions.

    3. "acolytes" Oooh, we're shamed.

      Go, you empty-headed condescending twit, quickly.

      Not that we believe you for a minute, of course. This comments section at time seems almost exclusively trolled by those who've promised "farewell" but never ever can tear themselves away. Looking forward to more of your supposed anti-masculinist nonsense.

      As you are also an anti-Anonymous, I am certain we can rely on you to pretend that you're a different person though when you return under a new moniker. "Confused" is taken, please note.

    4. Don't let the door hitcha where the good Lord splitcha.

    5. Goodbye cruel Dauly Howler comment section

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  20. The hits keep coming.

    Eugene Robinson: "The conversation we need to have is about how black men, even black boys, are denied the right to be young, to be vulnerable, to make mistakes. We need to talk about why, for example, black men are no more likely than white men to smoke marijuana but nearly four times as likely to be arrested for it — and condemned to a dead-end cycle of incarceration and unemployment. I call this racism. What do you call it?"

    See what he did there? He is suggesting that Trayvon Martin should have a "right" to break someone's nose and smash their head on concrete.

    Oh sure he not-so-cleverly shifts to "marijuana" as his example, but he was referring to Trayvon Martin and his brutal attack on George Zimmerman which was the subject of his piece.

    Give "black boys" a "right" to do what Martin did? To brutally beat a man and cause his own death as a result?

    Sane people will pass on that Mr. Robinson.

    1. Yes, individuals do have the right to kick the butt of some creepy guy who is following them, day or night. Mr. Zimmerman may not be some things, but he is creepy.

    2. Anonymous on 7/18/13 @ 2:17, See what you did there? You turned Robinson's call for a conversation about the uneven application of the law into a call for the right of black kids everywhere to beat people brutally.

      gcwall, I tried to find "creepy guy" in the Florida statutes on justification for assault. It's not there, even if the creepy guy follows somebody in public.

      Sane people will piss on you both. Oh, sorry, that should be pass on you both.

    3. It is sane to remain passive when being followed? It is insane or cowardly to permit or not confront a person who is following. Of course, the best alternative is to increase distance from the follower, if one can.

      Although one will not find "creepy guy" in Florida statutes, it is an accurate depiction. I would not allow him to babysit.

      Gentleman Zimmerman returned six times to the single Woman's home that was broken into, to make perfectly certain that she was feeling alright. What a guy.

      ( snark )

    4. It is far from clear that Zimmerman continued to follow Martin after being told not to. Martin according to Jeantel's testimony supposedly made it to his step mother's place. If that is true (and she is, after all, the prosecution's witness) then Martin must have turned around, stalked and attacked Zimmerman because the attack took place several buildings away from where Martin was headed and supposedly had arrived.

      If anyone thinks they have a more plausible scenario, please feel free to spill it.

    5. Jeantel's testimony was all over the map. Yes, she was a prosecution witness and very necessary to establish the timeline. But you talk about a loose cannon . . .

      She was also miles away in Miami. She had no idea where Martin was. And if he made it from the point Zimmerman said he first spotted Martin to his stepmother's place within a couple of seconds while talking on a cell, then we should be mourning the death of a certain Olympic gold medalist.

      Anything is "plausible" and we can think of any scenario that fits the narrative we want to believe.

      Now to me, it doesn't seem plausible that an alleged "thug" would have run away to his step-mom, then doubled back to fight the guy while still carrying his candy and soft drink.

      But my common sense apparently doesn't work like yours does.

    6. The thug wasn't worried, he was offended, and when he got a good look at the little 5'7" scared cracker on the phone to police, he was feeling strong.

  21. For the purpose of historical clarity, it should be noted that the vast majority of anti-Vietnam War protestors were peaceful. In some instances when there was violence it was instigated by government agents who sought to discredit the peace movement.

    The few splinter groups such as the SDS and Weathermen were more of a pain in the butt for both sides of the debate than actual threats.

    The anti-Vietnam War protests began to gain in strength when middle-class Americans joined the anti-war protests. Acts of violence no matter which side was responsible weakened the movement as it reduced passion among the advocates. As long as movement participants believed they were on the right side of history and humanity the movement grew. Because of the draft many more families across the economic spectrum were harmed by the war.

    While it is partially true that the anti-Vietnam War movement began on college campuses and among politically aware individuals, it was not long before mainstream America joined in what became perceived as a moral and reasonable argument to end the war.

    Wars of attrition are fought to stalemates, which is a great and unnecessary expense for doubtful gains. Kicking some small country's butt now and then just to show the world that we can is not a military strategy, it is a symptom of a psychological problem. The inability to learn from history and the reapplication of failed tactics are problems of cognition, not a display of reason or wisdom.

    One must be careful not to assume that all the macho bluster and sabre rattling employed are reasonable or practical means of achieving a positive outcome; they are the result of detachment from reality and a lack of intellectual vigor.

  22. She also.said she believes Zimmerman tried to detain Martin which is why Martin hit Zimmerman in the face.
    People usually do things for a reason.
    Zimmerman followed and tried to detain Martin because he profiled Martin as a criminal and Martin resisted because he had no idea who Zimmerman was or why Zimmerman was attempting to detain him.
    Reading Zimmerman's statements and media interviews I thought that was what happened.

    The unprovoked attack never made sense. The only way one can force it to.make sense is to do.what Somerby does here, attribute it to some mysterious events in Miami that "turned" Martin.

    For Zimmerman, however, this is the third time he's been involved in a dispute that got physical and EACH time he said he was attacked.

    Is it unreasonable to resist detention by a stranger who isn't wearing a uniform and doesn't identify himself? I don't think so, and I've never been to Miami, so there was nothing that happened there to "turn" me.

    1. All based on speculation without evidentiary support.

    2. "For Zimmerman, however, this is the third time he's been involved in a dispute that got physical and EACH time he said he was attacked."

    3. Well, except she spoke to him and listened to the series of events preceding.

      There's nothing in thecphysical evidence that contradicts her theory. I find her just as credible as Mr. Zimmerman. More, actually, because Mr. Zimmerman is self-interested, and while his previous altercations weren't allowed in ( an evidentiary rule I agree with, BTW) there's nothing barring ME from using them.
      I don't buy the "latent propensity for violence" theory that is neccessary to explain an unprovoked attack.
      Hoofbeats, horses, not zebras.
      I was amused when Zimmerman's brother provided a motive post-trial. The gun running and drug sales he invented MIGHT provide a reason for Martin to attack Zimmerman. Even his brother is searching for a motive. That's because there isn't one, in Zimmerman's version.

    4. 4 minutes, a continued casual conversation with racial overtones, and a historical real, not latent propensity for fighting constitute a herd of horses without a zebra in sight

  23. What's the operating assumption of those who believe Zimmerman's account of an unprovoked attack?
    Did Martin set out to attack someone that night, or was this more of a latent, inherent affinity he had to bizarre fits of murderous rage?

    1. He liked fighting, had a history of starting fights, was offended that a cracker was staring at him, sized him up, and went to town on him not considering that there may be a gun. whoops.

  24. relying on what she says she heard, which is Martin saying "get off me" and then the phone dropped.
    You're choosing to discount that and believe Mr. Zimmerman's recitation of an unprovoked attack.
    I am not. I don't find her any less credible than George Zimmerman. Why would I?

    1. The problem is that Jeantel says she heard this at the same time that Zimmerman was still on the phone with the police dispatcher.

  25. I also think the "inner city kid who went bad and turned to wilding" is a narrative, a well-worn groove.
    I would think people would be skeptical of it, however, considering that it was JUST in the news, in an excellent documentary about the Central Park rape, where this EXACT narrative led to really tragic consequences.
    I'm baffled why there hasn't been more questioning of the unprovoked attack theory of this case. I think it's an ordinary inquiry, and I'm pleased witness Rachel is raising it as an issue. Why was there such vehement push-back to the idea that ZIMMERMAN acted without rational, individual cause (profiled) from Zimmerman's supporters while Zimmerman's account of an unprovoked attack BY MARTIN was swallowed whole?
    There's a double standard being used here. Martin is assumed irrational, motivated by secret rage or undisclosed criminal intent (drug and gun running) while Zimmerman is assumed completely rational. That's a huge problem for me.

    1. Not to quibble over words, "rational or irrational" are hard to apply to George Zimmerman.

      I will say that his actions were damned stupid. He had no idea who he was "following" or how he might be armed when he got out of his truck with a gun.

      And even if you take the TDH Zimmerman Defense Team's account at face value (which is hard to do), he sure picked the wrong guy to follow and got his butt whupped mighty easily.

    2. Put Martin's actions in the context of a kid who was fascinated with fighting, who bragged about decking a school bus driver, and who was interested in how to knock someone down with a single punch -- this is the content of his cell phone. Just because the prosecution chose not to introduce this as evidence during the trial doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Also consider the things Jeantel has been saying since the trial about the possibility of his whupping Zimmerman.

      Are you now saying that it is Zimmerman's fault he was not a better fighter?

      Why is no one willing to consider the possibility that Martin beat Zimmerman because he thought Zimmerman was a gay man cruising to pick up a partner? That is a plausible motive and consistent with what Jeantel has been saying lately. It is also plausible Martin wanted to try out some of the techniques for fighting he had been exploring with friends in his texts.

    3. "Are you now saying that it is Zimmerman's fault he was not a better fighter?"

      No. I'm saying that hitting someone in the face is a perfectly rational response to an attempt to restrain someone. Recall, Martin does not know what is going on. Martin knows only that Zimmerman is first watching him and then following him.
      I'm saying there is nothing in the physical evidence that contradicts the girl's account, and what she says she heard, Martin saying "get off me", buttresses her impression of events.
      I'm saying I find the girl more credible than Zimmerman. Zimmerman is self interested. He doesn't want to be arrested. Zimmerman has also relied on a story that involves him being attacked "first" TWICE prior to this event.
      I have absolutely no reason to believe that Martin went from walking thru a lot talking on a cell phone after watching half a basketball game to crazed killer who had it in for George Zimmerman for no reason.
      To me, ascribing a motive to Martin like "latent tendency to random violence" is exactly the same as ascribing a motive to Zimmerman like "racist".

    4. Jaentel has a timeline problem Somewhere in the 7:13 to 7:15 time frame, she says she hears the words, "Get your hands off me" and "Get off of me", in what she says is Trayvon's voice. ...

      7:11:33 — Zimmerman tells the police dispatcher that Trayvon Martin is running.
      7:11:59 — In reply to the dispatcher's question, "Are you following him?" Zimmerman says, "Yes." Dispatcher states, "OK, we don't need you to do that." Zimmerman replies, "OK."
      7:12:00 - 7:12:59 — Jaentel calls Martin again at some point during this minute.
      7:13:10 — Zimmerman says he does not know where Martin is.
      7:13:41 — Zimmerman's call to Sanford police ends.
      7:16:00 - 7:16:59 — Martin's call from Jaentel goes dead during this minute.
      7:16:11 — First 911 call from witness about a fight, calls for help heard.
      7:16:55 — Gunshot heard on 911 call.

      The timeline is from "The Shooting of Trayvon Martin" in Wikipedia.

    5. 4 minutes, and the physical confrontation started at the top of the T where Zimmerman's flashlight was found, still on. Tray meandered , hid, chatted on the phone, and attacked.

    6. "Jaentel has a timeline problem Somewhere in the 7:13 to 7:15 time frame, she says she hears the words, "Get your hands off me" and "Get off of me", in what she says is Trayvon's voice. ..."

      You haven't established anything of a "timeline problem". There's at least a 2 minute gap. 7:13.41 to 7:16.

    7. "sounded like wet grass"

    8. Knowing how to fight with one's hands is not a crime, nor is it unusual for young males to be interested in knowing how to defend themselves.

  26. "here Zimmerman's flashlight was found, still on"

    He dropped the flashlight to restrain Martin.

    Look, it's fine with me if you want to believe Mr. Zimmerman's version of events, the unprovoked attack. You have to assign some sort of social science theory to do that, however, which is exactly what you're claiming has been done to Zimmerman re: race bias. Martin has some sort of sub-surface rage that sprung up when he spotted this person following him.

    I think it's much more likely that Mr. Zimmerman attempted to restrain him, like police do, and Mr. Martin hit him in the face.

    1. Zimmerman is going to try to restrain someone 6 inches taller who both Zimmerman and Jeantel said started the verbal confrontation AND the physical one directly after that, knowing he has a gun and stands to get shot. Keep grappling for something that makes sense.

    2. So what was he doing if he wasn't going to, at the very least, restrain Martin until the cops came.

      And yeah, a guy packing a gun is never a match for a guy six inches taller --- and 40 pounds lighter.

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