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Archive | July, 2013

Trayvon/Zimmerman In Reverse: What if A Black Man Killed a White Teenager?

Commenting on the George Zimmerman trial, America’s first half-black President, Obama stated:

On the other hand, if we’re sending a message as a society in our communities that someone who is armed potentially has the right to use those firearms even if there’s a way for them to exit from a situation, is that really going to be contributing to the kind of peace and security and order that we’d like to see?

And for those who resist that idea that we should think about something like these “stand your ground” laws, I just ask people to consider if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr Zimmerman, who had followed him in a car, because he felt threatened?

Obama also stated:

I think the African-American community is also not naive in understanding that statistically somebody like Trayvon Martin was probably statistically more likely to be shot by a peer than he was by somebody else. So folks understand the challenges that exist for African-American boys, but they get frustrated, I think, if they feel that there’s no context for it – and that context is being denied.

And that all contributes, I think, to a sense that if a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, that, from top to bottom, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.

Or it might not have.

Meet Christopher Cervini killed by two gun shots.

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Meet Roderick Scott the man who killed him:

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YNN Rochester reports on the verdict:

Not guilty: The verdict in the manslaughter trial of Roderick Scott. After more than 19 hours of deliberations over two days, a jury acquitted the Greece man in the shooting death of Christopher Cervini, 17, last April. [Jury Finds Roderick Scott Not Guilty:]

Mr. Obama’s speech-writer clearly has not been doing his homework.

“I just want to say thank you to the people who believed in me, who stood by me,” Scott said following the verdict. “I still have my regrets for the Cervini family; it’s still an unfortunate situation for them. I am happy that at least this chapter is over.”

As deliberations dragged on over two days and the jury asked for testimony to be read back, Scott admits he didn’t know how it would all turn out.

“I was nervous of course,” he said. “You never know what direction this whole thing is going to turn, so I have no idea. But it worked out and I feel that justice (was) served today.”

Cervini’s family members say justice wasn’t served. They say Christopher was murdered in cold blood, that he’d never been in trouble and Scott acted as judge, jury and executioner.

“The message is that we can all go out and get guns and feel anybody that we feel is threatening us and lie about the fact,” said Jim Cervini, Christopher’s father. “My son never threatened anybody. He was a gentle child, his nature was gentle, he was a good person and he was never, ever arrested for anything, and has never been in trouble. He was 16 years and four months old, and he was slaughtered.”

Scott says he acted in self defense when he confronted Cervini and two others saying they were stealing from neighbors cars. He told them he had a gun and ordered them to freeze and wait for police.

Scott says he shot Cervini twice when the victim charged toward him yelling he was going to get Scott.

“How can this happen to a beautiful, sweet child like that?” asked Cervini’s aunt Carol Cervini. “All he wanted to do was go home. And then for them to say, he was saying, ‘Please don’t kill me. I’m just a kid,’ and he just kept on shooting him.”

Comments T.Kevin Whiteman at Liberty Unyielding:

[...] It was verified during Scott’s murder trial that he called 911 before the bloody confrontation took place. It was also determined that he opened fire with his legally owned firearm only as a last resort when he reasonably believed his life was in danger.

Still another similarity between the two cases was Scott’s testimony that there had been a rash of break-ins in the area. Scott testified that on the morning of the fatal encounter he observed Cervini and two other youths breaking into a neighbor’s vehicle. Scott says he ordered the suspects to freeze and wait for the arrival of the police.

He insists that he opened fire on Cervini only when the teen “charged” him and was screaming that he was going to get Scott.

After Scott was acquitted, family members of the deceased child claimed that justice had not been served by the verdict. They shared their belief that their son’s killer had taken it upon himself to act as judge, jury, and executioner.

But this is where the similarities between the two cases end. There were no marches, no vigils, no mobs crying “No justice, no peace.” There were no riots or revenge beatings of lone black men by gangs of white teens. There was also no statement by the president — whose named coincidentally was Barack Obama — or other efforts to inject his personal biases into the outcome of the trial. ["Obama’s double standard on race challenged by the 2009 shooting death of a white teen by a black adult"]

For the record the Scott decision, like the Zimmerman decision, was the correct one.

However, like Dana Loesch, we are wondering: where is the outrage from the “progressive” racial bigotry machine?

Outrage peddlers are silent because this story doesn’t fit the narrative of racial strife. Al Sharpton can’t Tweet about his photo ops with Jay Z and Beyonce over instances of justice like this.

So do Sharpton, NAACP, Piers Morgan, Stevie Wonder, etc, etc, all believe that Roderick Scott is a murderer? That he should have been denied his ability to defend himself? Are they really wanting to reintroduce Reconstruction-era suppression on the ability and right to self defense? [The Double Standard On The Zimmerman-Martin Case | RedState]

Perhaps this is because the Zimmerman case, unlike the Roderick case, distracts attention from the nihilist in chief’s attacks on the American Republic, capitalism, and freedom.

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National Service: Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Public Happiness

FDR created the Civilian Conservation Corps, JFK the Peace Corps and Bill Clinton, AmeriCorps, Bush set about creating USA Freedom Corps (concerned with eveything except freedom to pursue your own happiness).

Ariana Huffington in National Service: The Ultimate Shovel-Ready Infrastructure Project, quotes John Bridgeland, the former director of the White House Domestic Policy Council under President George W. Bush:

In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson expressed our right to the pursuit of happiness. But he was not simply referring to the right to pursue personal, momentary pleasure fueled by a culture of material goods. The happiness to which he was referring was the right to build a prosperous life within a strong and vibrant community. The happiness of which he wrote was the public happiness. [!!!]

She goes on…

The Founders, writes Bridgeland, “understood that such sacrifices and work were necessary to bind the country together, as well as unleash a market of talent and compassion to address social needs and keep society functioning.” So it was the act of giving back, of service, of civic engagement that literally helped build and unite this huge new experiment of a country of disparate parts and races and languages. And, correspondingly, it’s the diminution of that spirit that’s behind the feeling so many have that the country is coming apart, hopelessly polarized and no longer indivisible.

[...]  “Our generation wants to push and dream for something big,” Matthew Segal, co-founder of Our Time, a national advocacy group for young people, told Amanda Terkel, “and few policies make more sense than allowing idealistic young Americans to serve their country via nursing, teaching, disaster relief, park restoration, and infrastructure repair.” It’s about both a very necessary paycheck and a sense of purpose in life.

 

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Lessons from Zimmerman Tragedy — For Gun Owners

Writes Paul Hsieh on The Single Most Important Lesson Gun Owners Should Learn From The George Zimmerman Case – Forbes

Part of the ethos of responsible concealed weapons permit holders is to avoid getting into dicey situations whenever possible. We should remain aware of our surroundings at all times. We should avoid getting into unnecessary conflicts. If conflicts arise, we should attempt to defuse rather than escalate them. If some jerk gets angry because he thinks we stole his spot in the grocery store parking lot, we should back down or remove ourselves from the situation — precisely because we recognize the deadly consequences if things escalate out of control.

Hsieh’s strongest point:

Some politicians and pundits claim the Zimmerman case demonstrates the problem with Florida’s “stand your ground” law. In contrast, supporters of “stand your ground” observe that this issue didn’t apply in the Zimmerman case. Instead, Zimmerman drew his weapon only after he was pinned to the ground and physically incapable of leaving.

My concern is separate from the legal issue of “stand your ground” vs. “duty to retreat” in self-defense situations. Instead, my concern is over how Zimmerman ended up in a situation where he had to use his weapon in self-defense, and what other gun owners should learn from that.

Worth reading the full article.

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Lessons From Sweden: Money Isn’t Everything — Except To Socialists

Writes Johan Norberg at the Spectator on Why Sweden has riots:

Low poverty and inequality, generous welfare benefits, and schools, universities and health care for free. A society in which you are not poor just because you don’t work.

All of them should have been very happy.

Obviously they are not. A welfare check is not a sign of self-esteem. The price of “free” money is giving up your political freedom.

The result? Young men with nothing to do and nothing to lose, standing on the outside, looking in, with a sense of worthlessness, humiliation and boredom. It’s not the first time that such a situation has ended in violence. When this happens in Sweden it shocks the left, because it shows that money isn’t everything. A government can supply you with goods and services, but not with self-worth and the respect of others. A government can fulfil all your material needs, but it can’t give you the sense that you accomplished this yourself.

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HORROR FILE: 911 American Museum Should Not Be Too American?

Fight at WTC Memorial over iconic flag-raising photo being overly patriotic – NYPOST.com:

This iconic picture of firefighters raising the stars and stripes in the rubble of Ground Zero was nearly excluded from the 9/11 Memorial Museum — because it was “rah-rah” American, a new book says.

Michael Shulan, the museum’s creative director, was among staffers who considered the Tom Franklin photograph too kitschy and “rah-rah America,” according to “Battle for Ground Zero” (St. Martin’s Press) by Elizabeth Greenspan, out next month.

“I really believe that the way America will look best, the way we can really do best, is to not be Americans so vigilantly and so vehemently,” Shulan said.

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Texas is 12th Largest WORLD Oil Producer

As a separate country, ‘Saudi Texas’ is now 12th-largest oil producer in the world; will likely be No. 9 by end of the year | AEIdeas

Rank Country March Oil Output, Barrels per day (M)
1 Saudi Arabia 10.85
2 United States 10.72
3 Russia 10.45
4 China 4.22
5 Canada 4.14
6 Iran 3.38
7 United Arab Emirates 3.22
8 Iraq 3.09
9 Mexico 2.87
10 Kuwait 2.80
11 Venezuela 2.48
12 Texas 2.41
13 Nigeria 2.37
14 Brazil 2.04
15 Angola 1.90

Chart Source: international crude oil production data 

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Ayn Rand’s Starnesville Come to Life

Statism is turning America into Detroit – Ayn Rand’s Starnesville come to life – Telegraph Blogs

Look at this description of Detroit from today’s Observer:

What isn’t dumped is stolen. Factories and homes have largely been stripped of anything of value, so thieves now target cars’ catalytic converters. Illiteracy runs at around 47%; half the adults in some areas are unemployed. In many neighbourhoods, the only sign of activity is a slow trudge to the liquor store.

Now have a look at the uncannily prophetic description of Starnesville, a Mid-Western town in Ayn Rand’s dystopian novel, Atlas Shrugged. Starnesville had been home to the great Twentieth Century Motor Company, but declined as a result of socialism:

A few houses still stood within the skeleton of what had once been an industrial town. Everything that could move, had moved away; but some human beings had remained. The empty structures were vertical rubble; they had been eaten, not by time, but by men: boards torn out at random, missing patches of roofs, holes left in gutted cellars. It looked as if blind hands had seized whatever fitted the need of the moment, with no concept of remaining in existence the next morning. The inhabited houses were scattered at random among the ruins; the smoke of their chimneys was the only movement visible in town. A shell of concrete, which had been a schoolhouse, stood on the outskirts; it looked like a skull, with the empty sockets of glassless windows, with a few strands of hair still clinging to it, in the shape of broken wires.

Beyond the town, on a distant hill, stood the factory of the Twentieth Century Motor Company. Its walls, roof lines and smokestacks looked trim, impregnable like a fortress. It would have seemed intact but for a silver water tank: the water tank was tipped sidewise.

They saw no trace of a road to the factory in the tangled miles of trees and hillsides. They drove to the door of the first house in sight that showed a feeble signal of rising smoke. The door was open. An old woman came shuffling out at the sound of the motor. She was bent and swollen, barefooted, dressed in a garment of flour sacking. She looked at the car without astonishment, without curiosity; it was the blank stare of a being who had lost the capacity to feel anything but exhaustion.

“Can you tell me the way to the factory?” asked Rearden.

The woman did not answer at once; she looked as if she would be unable to speak English. “What factory?” she asked.

Rearden pointed. “That one.”

“It’s closed.”

Now here’s the really extraordinary thing. When Ayn Rand published those words in 1957, Detroit was, on most measures, the city with the highest per capita GDP in the United States. [...]

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Capitalism Without God: Freedom Is A Secular But Absolute Value

Harry Binswanger has a great piece at Forbes

Do you share the widespread assumption that morality has to be based on  religion? If so, are you willing to check that assumption?

Both those on the Left and those on the Right, both the foes and friends of capitalism, take it to be axiomatic that only an external authority–God or “Society”–can ground morality.

I’m going to show you that’s wrong. I’m going to show the objective, absolute, secular reason why capitalism is the only moral social system. And the evidence that I’m right about this, the evidence that morality is absolute but secular, is contained, under the surface, in the positions of those on the Right, even when religious, and those on the Left, even when multiculturalist/relativist. In actual practice–pronouncements to the contrary notwithstanding–both sides appeal to and use secular morality to justify their political positions.

Read the rest:Capitalism Without God: Freedom Is A Secular But Absolute Value –

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