Monthly Archives: June 2012

Hot Air: Video: Working-class hero celebrates legality of gigantic regressive new “tax”

[Ed. note: go to the source link(title) to view a series of videos attached to this article]

Video: Working-class hero celebrates legality of gigantic regressive new “tax”

by Allahpundit, June 28, 2012

Hot Air

Says Amanda Carpenter, “If Obamacare was presented as a tax, it would have never passed.” Certainly true; the White House itself was careful to dismiss that argument in its talking points on O-Care in order to make Blue Dog Dems more comfortable with the bill. And yet here we are. By the numbers: 26 million people, 70-75 percent of whom make less than $200,000 a year, are now on the hook for a fat new “tax” thanks to a guy who swore he’d avoid new taxes on the middle class. Be sure to tell an undecided centrist friend before November.

If it makes you feel better, The One did have to endure 200-300 seconds of despair this morning.

Standing with White House chief of staff Jack Lew and looking at a television in the “Outer Oval” featuring a split screen of four different networks, the president saw graphics on the screens of the first two cable news networks to break the news — CNN and Fox News Channel — announcing, wrongly, that he had lost.

Senior administration officials say the president was calm.

A couple minutes later, White House counsel Kathy Ruemmler came to Outer Oval and gave him two thumbs-up. Ruemmler had gotten the correct information from a White House lawyer at the Supreme Court and from SCOTUSblog.com.

Some righties are arguing this afternoon that this decision was actually a big win for conservatives because we did, after all, carry the day on the Commerce Clause. Don’t get caught up in O-Care being upheld, as catastrophic as that might be, they say. Focus on the fact that the biggest weapon in the left’s constitutional arsenal for regulating the economy is a little smaller now than it was yesterday. Is it really smaller, though? For one thing, there have been “landmark” rulings imposing limits on the Commerce Clause before that never went anywhere precedentially afterward. The Lopez case in 1995 was supposed to herald a new golden age of limited federal power. Ten years later, it was politely distinguished away in the terrible, terrible Raich ruling — and that was without any conservatives on the Court being replaced by liberals in the interim. Beyond that, who cares whether Congress has to use the taxing power instead of the Commerce Clause to impose a mandate? To use the ol’ broccoli example, it’s apparently now unconstitutional for Congress to order you to buy veggies on penalty of paying a fine but it is constitutional for them to impose a “tax” on people who don’t buy veggies. You’re being forced into commerce either way; the distinction’s mainly semantic. As Jacob Sullum, who’s lamented the lameness of “Commerce vs. tax” formalism before, puts it, “We’re not locking you up for disobedience, we’re locking you up for failing to pay the tax on disobedience.” Yay?

The only compelling reason to be happy about the decision, it seems to me, is that by forcing Congress to frame future power grabs as “taxes,” it’ll be harder to pass them. Then again, this case stands for the proposition that Congress doesn’t have to frame them that way; the Court will re-frame the bill for them and uphold it on tax grounds even if the government explicitly and repeatedly denies that what it’s engaged in as taxation. And as for the supposedly valuable Commerce Clause precedent that was set here, I think con law Prof. Douglas Laycock has it right:

Laycock, a constitutional law professor at the University of Virginia, says it was unexpected that the Supreme Court made a distinction between activity and inactivity. But, he says, it’s hard to think of a situation where this will matter much…

What’s more, the fact that the individual mandate has been interpreted as a tax still gives lawmakers plenty of leeway. Congress might not be able to compel all Americans to purchase broccoli under the Commerce Clause. But, Laycock says, Roberts’ ruling has shown a way around this. “If Congress ever does need to mandate purchase of a product or service again,” he notes, “it can impose a tax for failing to buy it.”

Some conservatives seem to agree that the impact will be small. “Holding the mandate exceeds the scope of the Commerce and Necessary and Proper Clauses poses no threat to any other existing federal program or law that was not already in jeopardy,” writes Jonathan Adler, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University.

Read the opinion and you’ll find that Roberts and the other four conservatives stood by the holding in Raich. If they had tossed that and said it was wrongly decided, that would be a provocative ruling worth celebrating insofar as it might really herald a broad new trend towards limiting Congress’s regulatory power under the Commerce Clause. They didn’t. Not much of a win. And besides: What good is the prospect of future victories if you’re losing on cases as epochal as the ObamaCare decision? It’s like losing the Super Bowl but celebrating afterwards because your defense played well enough to make you think you might win some games next season. Who cares?

Needless to say, if O wins in November and gets to replace one of the conservatives on the Court, the exciting new precedent forbidding mandates under the Commerce Clause likely won’t live to see the end of the decade. Exit quotation via Timothy Carney: “They’ll trample Roberts’ Commerce Clause firewall when they need to. But his tax trick means they may never need to.”

Dyer: Govfall: Or, tell me again why federal courts are ruling on the validity of scientific theories?

Govfall: Or, tell me again why federal courts are ruling on the validity of scientific theories?

by J.E. Dyer, June 28, 2012, Hot Air

We in the US appear to be very close to becoming a theocracy.  The religion in question is not Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, nor is it even environmentalism.  It’s “government infallibilism,” or, as I like to call it, Govfall.  The central tenet of this religion is that government is competent to decide or rule on anything – anything at all, regardless of evidence or lack of it, knowledge or paucity of it, or understanding or dearth of it.

The branch of the US government that represents the proper use of Govfall’s main religious tenet isn’t always the same one (which, frankly, ought to be a clue for believers).  The judicial branch has been, as it were, on the throne of judgment for a number of decades, but Americans have also suffered a few presidents to seat themselves on it, like FDR and Obama.  (Contemporary accounts of FDR’s arbitrary morning decisions on what relationship the dollar should have with gold are a sort of emblem of that political theocrat’s brand of Govfall.)  Congress, which actually represents the people in their hamlets and villages, is rarely the infallible theocrat, but it has had its moments as well (and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi has certainly had a habit of speaking in a sort of goofy ex cathedra style).

The fundamental question is why we have come to accept this idea that government can and should rule on unproven theories about global cause and effect, and proceed to govern as if their propositions are “true.”  Setting aside the questionable nature of some theories, why should government take on this role?  Why should anyone?  What is it we think we know or need to accomplish, that we have agreed to submit our futures to this concept of Govfall?

The matter at hand is the D.C. court of appeals ruling on the EPA’s authority to kill economic activity in the name of global warmism.  The ruling describes the EPA’s opinion on global warming and greenhouse gases as “unambiguously correct” – which is a deeply silly formulation for characterizing any scientific theory, but would also have been considered, by our Founders and virtually all federal jurists up until the last 20-30 years, as comprehensively invalid language for any kind of judicial ruling.  Judges aren’t competent to make decisions for the public on this matter.  Their competence is in interpreting the law, not certifying scientific conclusions.

There is a difference, of course, between demonstrated harm and theoretical, yet-to-be-realized harm.  When trash piles up and emits gases into a local area, that can be detected and documented (although rarely “unambiguously,” which is a prohibitively humongous claim in the skeptical realm of science).  When toxic substances are detected in dead fish or decrepit urban trees – substances that actually kill forms of life, not just substances that advocacy groups don’t like – that too is often more certifiable than not, if not necessarily “unambiguous.”  The tradition of empirical, non-religious-based law has some remedies for demonstrated harm: property owners can sue polluters when the pollution, whatever it is, damages or impinges on the full rightful use of their property; legislatures can make laws prohibiting (or managing, as with fees and clean-up requirements) certain defined types of polluting activity.

But when there is no demonstrated harm, but only unproven theories about very generalized, potential, worldwide harm in the future, it is a central question why government, through any of its branches, should be doing anything about it.  This question gets at very basic things:  what we expect of our life in the world, and what we expect of government.

Do we expect human life in the world to need constant supervision from a central authority in order to ward off cataclysm?  Is our view of life pessimistic and fearful in this way?  Do we believe that we are an incontinent, destructive species, as unaware as infants of the damage we do?  Is there an unspecified cosmologic “judgment” hanging over us that we have to organize to avert?  Are we effectively insentient organisms in a system with predetermined processes and outcomes, operating in a universe of deadly limits and shortages?

As for government, do we agree that its job is to enforce on everyone a particular attitude about these matters?  We can’t agree among ourselves, from state to state or town to town, whether very present and material things like prostitution or abortion-on-demand should be legal, but we expect the central government to rule on an inchoate vision of what might happen in the future, however unlikely it may be, and then constrain everyone’s options – for just about everything – based on that ruling.

Why does there need to be an entity with the authority to do that?  We didn’t start our life as a nation with the idea that government should have that authority.  A state government, by its limited geographic nature, cannot effectively exercise such an authority, and our national idea is actually that the central government must not.  Our national idea is limited government and liberty of thought, conscience, and economic endeavor.

If we cannot behave, in our economic lives, as if we think catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is a much-falsified theory waiting for some solid proof, then we are not effectively free to think it.  We are constrained to behave as if we don’t.  That situation differs only by the jackbooted thugs at the door from the lifestyle of people under communist rule, in which you’re free to “think” whatever you want, as long as you say and do only government-approved things, and never speak about or live by your own beliefs.

Sometime in the last century, the weight of sentiment among those who aspire to government jobs, in any role in any of the branches, tilted toward the religion of Govfall.  It has become unendurable to them to think of the people out here doing things they disapprove of, and they have diligently enlarged the purview of government to encompass ruling on ideas and theories – always invoking the supposed disasters and wrongs that government power is either averting or redressing.

In the oft-invoked Galileo v. Pope analogy, today’s Govfall faithful, however much they may want to see themselves as Galileo, are actually “the Pope” (or, technically, the Roman Inquisition).  The Govfall believers are the people insisting on a single, cosmological orthodoxy, in spite of the continued lack of evidence for it and the strong arguments against it.  In the matter of global warmism, their orthodoxy is throwing into informative relief not only their religious attitude about man and the natural world, but the dangers of the religion of Govfall in general.

Just as the papacy could not be infallible on the matter of the earth’s and sun’s places in the solar system, so modern government cannot be infallible on whether the globe is headed for a man-made natural cataclysm.  No human organization can be infallible on something like that.  Being “the government” doesn’t confer special powers of insight or prophecy; it just hands a gun and a badge (or a black robe) to a bunch of ordinary people no smarter than the rest of us.  That’s why our Founders wanted government to be limited and constitutionally restrained: because nothing good comes from expecting too much of the government, or giving it too much to do.

The end result for Galileo and the Pope was that Galileo’s theory became the accepted one, and the papacy eventually changed its policy on inquiring into, or taking sides on, scientific questions.  The Catholic Church was undergoing the “Counter Reformation” throughout the precise period when Galileo lived and wrote, and ultimately, one of that reformation’s chief casualties was the idea of putting the imprimatur of the Holy Church on the material conclusions of politics or science.  Galileo’s personal story had an impact on that, but the change in attitude came at least as much from the Protestant Reformation, the Church’s recognition of internal corruption, the successful revolt of England’s Henry VIII against Rome, and the political turmoil on the continent from the Protestant-Catholic rift.

I see an analogy to these events in the religions of Govfall and global warmism.  Govfall, a cult of central, infallible authority, is the basic problem, and it is the thing that will have to change.  Warmism may well be a focused, singular precipitating factor – one that will be especially memorable in the centuries to come – but there are a number of others that highlight the sclerosis and unsustainability of Govfall.  What history tells us is that a political religion like Govfall is unsustainable.  In one way or another, the people, over time, decide against it.

The American people are waking up to the absurdity of a federal appeals court proclaiming that warmist theory is “unambiguously correct.”  The Govfall religion sits wrong with us, and the evidence of its pervasiveness is piling up.  In the end, it will not be Govfall that triumphs.  The ruling public idea of government will change, in favor of the wisdom of our Founders – and Govfall will fall.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at The Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Weekly Standard online, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative.

Fast & Furious

If you’re an American and you haven’t followed the “Fast & Furious” saga (Eric Holder’s, US Attorney General, plan to ???…), the following string of videos from Youtube should pretty much give you the whole picture. Even a comedian can tell you all you need to know about your current government in the White House. Guys, you really need to fix this in November, while you still have a chance. Holder is presently up for contempt citations from Congress. The present Obama administration should make you yearn for either Jimmah Carter OR “Tricky Dickie” Nixon again…

FP: Foster: The Rio future we avoided

The Rio future we avoided
by Peter Foster, Jun 21, 2012 – 10:44 PM ET, Financial Post.

Maurice Strong sees the cratering of his Stewie Griffin-style plan to rule the world

The “failure” of Rio+20 is a cause for celebration, even if you can’t afford the champagne and foie gras that ecocrats served themselves as their hopes for “Sustainia” retreated into the policy fog. A mostly “B” list of government leaders (No Barack Obama. No David Cameron. No Stephen Harper. No Angela Merkel) was set to adopt a pablum-filled 283-point “vision” on Friday that was finalized before they arrived.

“[N]othing less than a disaster for the planet,” declared Nnimmo Bassey, Nigerian poet and chair of Friends of the Earth International. “[A]n epic failure,” claimed Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International executive director. ‘[A] colossal waste of time,” chimed in Jim Leape, international director-general of World Wildlife Fund.

An umbrella group of NGOs bemoaned the official text’s lack of mention of “planetary boundaries, tipping points or planetary carrying capacity,” the very shibboleth’s of radical environmentalism’s zero-sum thinking.

Significantly, the mother and father of sustainable development, Gro Harlem Brundtland and Maurice “Chairman Mo” Strong, carped — or should that be gro-aned and mo-aned — from the Rio sidelines. Ms. Brundtland was the figurehead of the 1987 Brundtland report, which spilled sustainable development all over the policy map, while Mr. Strong orchestrated the 1992 Rio conference, which the current 50,000-strong flop is intended to commemorate.

According to Ms. Brundtland, Rio+20’s failure is due to the eurozone crisis and the power of Tea Party climate deniers.

Mr. Strong was flown in from China at UN (that is, taxpayers’) expense to be regaled by a group of corporations on Monday as a “very special guest of honour.” Mr. Strong is less than happy at the cratering of his Stewie Griffin-style master plan to rule the world, which has always clashed rather alarmingly with his problems in steering small companies, not to mention his implication in the UN/Iraqi oil-for-food scandal.

One wonders if these aged eco-doomsters were embarrassed by support from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who called for rich countries to eschew “materialist” desires and pursue “spiritual” development. Mr. Ahmadinejad also suggested that: “The collapse of the current atheistic order is reaching its time.”

Perhaps so — the social democratic replacement for God is certainly proving to have feet of clay in Europe — but it looks more than doubtful that Gaia’s green caliphate will be taking over, even if the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer, which looks down on Rio, was illuminated with green light for the conference.

The high priests of the new green world order crave cash, but calls for humanity to fork over for Gaia’s “services” are falling on deaf ears, and not just because of the global economy. One problem is that Gaia has no bank account. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, while ritually bemoaning the weakness of Rio+20’s outcome, declared this week that “Nature does not negotiate with human beings.” But then neither does she speak through a green self-elect. Gaia’s service fees would wind up in the coffers of the guys and gals who brought you not just oil-for-food, but a human rights system ruled by the world’s worst rights abusers, utterly corrupted climate science and peace in Syria.

The failure of Rio does not mean disregard for “The Environment.” Environmental protection is a branch of human protection. The environment has no value except for what it means to humans. The outrage that this observation will promote serves to prove the point. The environment can no more value itself than it can express outrage. Human development inevitably involves disturbance of land and potential pollution of air and water. The issue is never people versus the environment. It is the interests of some people vs. the interests of others. The question is one of balance, and that pollution should not be suffered without compensation. A bigger question is one of entirely bogus eco scares being manufactured as a rationale for payoffs to the very kleptocrats who are responsible for global poverty.

Canada should be justly proud of being in the vanguard of this return to balance both via its withdrawal from Kyoto and the environmental provisions of Bill C-38, which do not seek to trash safeguards — as alarmists have suggested — but to eliminate duplication, bureaucratic overreach, and the potential for sheer obstructionism.

Naturally, the threat of sustainable ideology is not over. Too many bureaucrats at the UN and national level are invested in it. Too much NGO fund raising relies on it.

Significantly, the official text talks of working with NGOs, despite their lack of political legitimacy. The text also still calls for more power for the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). At least there is no mention of a World Environmental Organization, which would have been just as useless but would have threatened endless further negotiations on purpose, membership, funding, etc. etc.

There remain calls to tie down a set of Sustainable Development Goals, which should be good for another hundred reports and a dozen conferences. An Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is also on the drawing board. This will reportedly do for biodiversity what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) did for climate science: pervert it for political ends.

The Rio+20 text was originally sold as promoting “The Future We Want.” However, the “We” in question was always a self-selected group of UN bureaucrats, alarmist NGOs, corporate rent-seekers and main chancers whose interests were sharply at odds with those of ordinary people. Rio+20’s failure should be celebrated as The Future We Avoided.

Pussified.

Stop stand-up urination for men, Swedish politicians urge

by Lauren O’Neil Posted: June 14, 2012 4:30 PM  CBC Community Blog

Some Swedish politicians say that standing up to empty one’s bladder is unsanitary and less healthy for a man than sitting down. (Blend_Images/iStockphoto)A Swedish political party is taking a stand against upright urination.

At a county council meeting Monday, the Left Party, or Vänsterpartiet, tabled a motion that would require office washrooms to be genderless with a sit-down-only requirement, reported the news agency Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå.

[more]

Cashill: What the Media Choose Not to Know about Trayvon

What the Media Choose Not to Know about Trayvon

By Jack Cashill, June 7, 2012

Unnerved by an unspoken mix of political bias and racial queasiness, the major media have chosen to know as little about Trayvon Martin as they know about Barack Obama.

As a case in point, consider this boy vs. man fable spun by the New York Times‘ Charles Blow:

A boy’s blood had been spilled on a rain-soaked patch of grass behind a row of mustard-colored condominiums by a man who had pursued him against the advice of 911 dispatchers. That man carried a 9-millimeter handgun. The boy carried a bag of candy.

Blow was writing seven weeks after Trayvon’s death.  He had no excuse for missing the actual story.  Worse, since he is a writer for the Times, his reporting has helped set the media tone worldwide

The media’s willful ignorance was on display again this past week.  In reporting this news of George Zimmerman’s return to jail, more than a few media outlets showed the dangerously deceptive image of Trayvon as 11-year-old cherub.  They did so in the assumption that the narrative was still theirs to control.  It is not.  The blogs, which have been doing the real detective work on this case, have long since taken control away from them.

The sites I have found most useful are the Daily Caller and theconservativetreehouse.com.  What follows is largely culled from those sites and their independent contributors.  By probing Trayon’s background and parsing his social media chatter, they have put together a picture of a disturbed young man that begins to makes sense of the events that unfolded on that fateful rainy night of February 26.

6:21

Trayvon Martin is seen on the security video through the 7-11 window approaching the store from the direction of the Retreat at Twin Lakes.  He had been staying there at the townhouse of his father’s girlfriend, Brandy Green.  In major media accounts, the helpful Trayvon ventured out in the rain in a mile-plus round trip to buy Brandy’s 14-year-old son, Chad, some Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea.  Not likely.

6:22

Trayvon, with his hoodie up, grabs two items from the shelves of 7-11.  One is the Skittles.  The other is Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail.  The media avoid the name of the real drink — possibly because of the racial implications of the word “watermelon,” but possibly to avoid probing the real reason for Trayon’s trip.

Trayvon, in fact, had become a devotee of the druggy concoction known as “Lean,” also known in southern hip-hop culture as “Sizzurp” and “Purple Drank.”  Lean consists of three basic ingredients — codeine, a soft drink, and candy.  If his Facebook postings are to be believed, Trayvon had been using Lean since at least June 2011.

On June 27, 2011, Trayvon asks a friend online, “unow a connect for codien?”  He tells the friend that “robitussin nd soda” could make “some fire ass lean.”  He says, “I had it before” and that he wants “to make some more.”  On the night of February 26, if Brandy had some Robitussin at home, Trayvon had just bought the mixings for one “fire ass lean” cocktail.

6:23

Trayvon pays for his purchases.  He then appears to point to an item behind the counter, but the clerk seems to reject that option.  Trayvon turns from the counter with a couple of dollar bills still in his hand.

6:24

Trayvon leaves the 7-11, but we do not see him walk in front of the store window back towards Brandy’s home.

6:25

Three squirrely young men enter the 7-11, all of them with their faces concealed in part or in full.  The clerk had to have been nervous.  One of the three (Curly) takes off his hat and shakes out his long, curly dark hair.  He is likely either white or Hispanic, or, like Zimmerman, a “white Hispanic.”

6:27

Curly appears to be holding the two bills Trayvon walked out with.  He approaches the clerk and buys two cheap cigars from behind the counter and then a third one as an afterthought.

6:28

Curly is the first of three to exit.  The others will follow in a minute.

6:29

Trayvon, turning as he walks, can be seen through the window heading back towards the Retreat at Twin Lakes and Brandy’s house.

7:09

Zimmerman calls police while watching Trayvon near the gated community’s clubhouse, less than a half-mile from the 7-11.  According to “Dee-Dee,” the girl Trayvon was periodically talking to on his cell phone, he was ducking in out of the rain.  She also said he put his hoodie up for the same reason.  In fact, though, Trayvon had his hoodie up inside the 7-11, and he was walking in the rain when Zimmerman spotted him.  The walk to this point should have taken 10 minutes.

It took 40 minutes.  Some background may help explain why.  Earlier that same month, Trayvon had been caught at school holding a bag with marijuana residue and a marijuana pipe.  He was suspended for the third time that school year, this time for ten days.  Trayvon may have been dealing as well.  As one online friend had communicated earlier, “Damn were u at a nigger need a plant.”

Trayvon was partial to “blunts,” street slang for cannabis rolled with the tobacco-leaf wrapper from an inexpensive cigar called a “blunt.”  As a tribute after his death, one friend posted online a photo of a homemade badge honoring Trayvon positioned next to a blunt.

It seems altogether possible that Curly bought at least one of those cigars for the under-aged Trayvon and took those visible dollar bills as payment.  Trayvon waited five minutes outside the 7-11 and did not leave until after Curly came out.  In the 40 minutes before Zimmerman spotted him, Trayvon could have scraped the tobacco out of the cigar, replaced it with marijuana, and smoked his blunt.

“This guy looks like he’s up to no good,” Zimmerman tells the police.  “Or he’s on drugs or something.  It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.”  Trayvon was on drugs or had been recently.  His autopsy showed the presence of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in both his blood and his urine.

It is possible too that Trayvon was up to no good.  “He’s just staring, looking at all the houses,” says Zimmerman.  Trayvon had a history.  On October 21, 2011, he received his second suspension that school year.  A security guard at his school saw Trayvon writing “WTF” on a hallway locker.  In looking through his bag for the marker, the guard found 12 pieces of jewelry, a watch, and a “burglary tool.”

Zimmerman did the prudent thing by reporting Trayvon to the police.  Ever since the Florida real estate bust, the Retreat at Twin Lakes had been troubled by vacancies, foreclosures, and renters of dubious repute.  The community had suffered numerous break-ins and home invasions, the perpetrators of which were all young men, most of them black.  “We report all suspicious persons & activities to the Sanford Police Department,” reads the standard neighborhood watch sign at the community’s gated entrance.  If Trayvon did not fit the bill, no one did.

7:10

“He’s coming towards me,” Zimmerman tells the police about Trayvon, who is now walking towards his truck.  He makes his first firm identification of Trayvon as “a black male.”  Adds Zimmerman, “He’s coming to check me out.  He’s got something in his hands.”  Zimmerman sounds a little anxious: “Please, get an officer over here.”

7:11

After Trayvon passes his truck, Zimmerman says, “Shit, he’s running.”  He is heading towards “the back entrance,” says Zimmerman.  That entrance is in the same general direction as Brandy’s townhouse.  A question that goes unasked is why Trayvon was running.

7:12

When asked by the dispatcher, Zimmerman agrees not to follow Trayvon, and his heavy breathing ends.  “He ran,” says Zimmerman.  Even if running slowly, Trayvon could have made it to Brandy’s house in a half a minute.  It was only 100 yards from the truck.

7:13

Zimmerman is hesitant to give out his address.  “I don’t know where this kid is.”  He looks around to see where Trayvon has gone, fails to spot him, terminates his call, and heads back to the truck.

7:14 – 7:16

These are the missing two minutes.  After receiving a call from Dee-Dee, Trayvon has come back to confront Zimmerman.  Their final confrontation takes place 70 yards from Brandy’s townhouse and only 30 yards from Zimmerman’s truck.  No one hunted Trayvon down.  Although he has kept the drink and candy on his person, Trayvon does not have a blunt with him.

According to the autopsy report, Trayvon was 5’11″ tall and weighed 158 pounds, the “ideal healthy weight” at that height being 160 pounds.  He was not the skinny little boy with the Skittles that half of America still believes him to be.  He was at least three inches taller than Zimmerman and only about 20 pounds lighter.

His home life a wreck, his school life in disarray, Trayvon had fallen victim to urban America’s lost boy culture.

This culture, which the media also choose not to see, has been shockingly destructive.  Citing Bureau of Justice statistics, black economist Walter Williams in a recent column notes that “between 1976 and 2011, there were 279,384 black murder victims.”  Of these, Williams estimates that roughly “262,621 were murdered by other blacks.”

Trayvon had “statistic” written all over him.  In the past year or so, his social media sites showed a growing interest in drugs, in mixed martial arts-style street fighting, in a profoundly vulgar exploitation of “bitches.”

Trayvon posed for one photo with raised middle fingers, another with wads of cash held in an out-stretched arm.  One YouTube video shows him refereeing a fight club-style street fight.  A cousin had recently tweeted him, “Yu ain’t tell me yu swung on a bus driver,” meaning, if true, that Trayvon had punched out a bus driver.

Zimmerman never saw the cute little boy that the TV audience did.  He saw a full-grown man, a druggy, a wannabe street fighter, the tattooed, gold-grilled, self-dubbed “No_Limit_Nigga.”

Media obfuscation may still work in the court of public opinion — it got Obama elected in 2008 — but it will not work in a court of law.  The truth will out.  When it does, the major media will lose a good chunk of whatever credibility they have left, and our nation may lose a good chunk of its urban real estate.
_________________________________________________

COMMENTARY: The portions of the truth that will out at trial in this case will be extremely important to the US national narrative that has surrounded this case. Cashill makes some significant observations, but he too speculates as to what Martin was doing prior to his fateful encounter with Zimmerman. Charles Blow of the NYT, is well known for his biased, pejorative columns and has little credibility with those who consider themselves to be balanced thinkers.

But certainly, Martin was not the innocent little black boy that the agendaists want you to believe. The public reactions in support of Martin smack badly of cognitive dissonance. What is a bigger concern, is where do black (and white) activists draw the line between overt agenda and the unwillingness to accept and take responsibility for certain truths. No one made Trayvon Martin follow the lifestyle depicted above. But a good many close to him are responsible for not removing him from it. It is not the state’s responsibility to shoulder the blame for one’s life choices. They are choices, after all, and for both Martin and Zimmerman, their choices most assuredly collided in time and space. The events of that evening are no more than tragic for both parties and there will be vindication, or not. To extrapolate this particular event to the level of a national narrative can only be an agenda. Choices. [Editor]

“”Your First Amendment rights can be terminated,” Chicago cop says…

Bob Sullivan, for MSNBC at Redtape.msnbc.com, reports:

The video is chilling, but it’s also a sign of the times.

“Your First Amendment rights can be terminated,” yells the Chicago police officer, caught on video right before arresting two journalists outside a Chicago hospital. One, an NBC News photographer, was led away in handcuffs essentially for taking pictures in a public place. He was released only minutes later, but the damage was done. Chicago cops suffered an embarrassing “caught on tape” moment, and civil rights experts who say cops are unfairly cracking down on citizens with cameras had their iconic moment.

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There’s always been a tense relationship between cops and cameras, but that relationship is being pushed to the brink now that half of U.S. adults carry smartphones, nearly all of them capable of filming and sharing visuals instantly with the whole world via the Internet. Cops at Occupy Wall Street protests — such as those at Zucotti Park in New York City — routinely deal with dozens of amateur photographers shoving cameras in their faces, many of them aggressive. It’s not hard to see how the cameras can escalate an already tense situation.

But First Amendment law is clear: Citizens in public spaces have a right to film things they see in plain sight. Courts have repeatedly upheld that right in high-profile cases.

(From files from the National Press Photographer’s Association)