The Price of Black Man’s Life

Sign in Ferguson as riots erupt.

This decision seems to underscore an unwritten rule that Black lives hold no value; that you may kill Black men in this country without consequences or repercussions. This is a frightening narrative for every parent and guardian of Black and brown children, and another setback for race relations in America.”

Congressional Black Caucus head Rep. Marcia Fudge

Ninety-three percent of blacks are killed by other blacks,” Giuliani said, triggering a heated argument on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I would like to see the attention paid to that that you are paying to this.”

“Black people who kill black people go to jail,” Dyson said. “White people who are policemen who kill black people do not go to jail.”

“What about the poor black child that was killed by another black child?” Giuliani asked. “Why aren’t you protesting that?… Why don’t you cut it down so that so many white police officers don’t have to be in black areas?”

“When I become mayor, I’ll do that,” replied Dyson, exasperated.

“White police officers wouldn’t be there,” Giuliani said, “if you weren’t killing each other

Former Mayor of NYC Rudolph Giulani

Those two quotes or a variation of them pretty much encapsulate the debate about Michael Brown, Ferguson and the wider issue of blacks males, crime and the police. The issues are more complicated than those two statements assert but both are partially correct even if not exactly as the quoted intended.

The statistics for young black males are stark. Black males commit and are a victim of homicide at extremely disproportionate rate compared to White males or Asians. We can try to excuse it in a variety of ways but those facts remain. This is where the CBC head is correct, black lives have been cheapened. The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case or the lack of charges by the Grand Jury in the Michael Brown case did not demonstrate that Blacks lives are cheaper, this has been demonstrated for years by ignoring the rampant deaths of thousands of Blacks at the hand of other Blacks for years.

Black people around the country are rioting for the last two days and had been holding protest since August because of the Michael Brown shooting by Officer Darren Wilson but have been silent for the 136 homicide victims in the St. Louis area.  Just last October 19th siblings, 35-year-old Margaree Dixson and 29-year-old Jermaine Jones, were killed by gunshot 2 hours and a few blocks apart.  They were homicide victims number 109 and 110, in a little over month almost 20 other homicides have been committed, few of these ever get solved.

A local news station reported last week that 73% of the more that 136 homicides this year remain open.  A case remains open until an arrest is made but in cases where arrests were made only 8% was there an actual conviction, last year. The same story is repeated nationwide in NYC, LA, New Orleans, around the country.  This is a problem, it not just that Black lives are cheap, is that no one wants to come forward and identify the perpetrators, and they know this. As Nicole Rice, the sister of the two siblings killed explains in the interview:

No answers, no answers, all my answers are to God, I don’t know nothing, I know people talk, and I have clues to what their talking about,” Rice said. I don’t blame the police because they’re doing everything they can do to find out what’s going on, If anyone knows anything, just what you heard, that would give a motive, It goes back to my little niece, well she’s really my cousin, but i call her my niece and her murder has never been solved so you ask me if my brother rand my sisters will be? No. Because no one will talk.

“Snitches get stitches” as DeAndre Joshua, 20 found out he was shot and killed on the first night of rioting. His body was found inside his car, which had also been set on fire. Though no official confirmation has been made, DeAndre fit the description of one of the witnesses that provided testimony to the Grand Jury that heard the evidence in Michael Brown’s case. He is also a close friend of the other person that was accompanying Brown that day, Dorian Johnson. Regardless of whether this was related to any testimony he may have provided or just a victim of opportunity for someone with a grudge against him, he has become just another statistic that will be forgotten in the aftermath of the Riots.

Ms. Fudge is correct that Black lives have been cheapened, they are continually being cheapened everytime that the community hides their criminals from justice. They are cheapened everytime that a riot is started because someone broke their monopoly on killing blacks. Especially when that person was in the act of committing a felony which led to their death. Black lives are cheapened when they excuse all wrong doing by blaming race, poverty or the “white establishment” for every ill in their communities. Children are held to a higher standard of conduct than the one of  many black criminals.

When the Black community celebrates and elevates a petty criminal like Michael Brown, or Trayvon Martin it only ensures that other young Black youths will follow in those footsteps. It also means that because they have been convinced that the law devalues them that they will continue to ignore the law and this never ending cycle will continue. The CBC and Ms. Fudge know this, that is why they are trying as they have done with the Educational system by trying to establish a separate system of grading and disciplining Black students to downgrade aberrant or illegal behaviour.

David P, Goldman describes what is happening with the CBC and the new civil rights movement as follows:

To restate the “civil rights” argument in a clearer way: Young black men are disproportionately imprisoned. One in three black men have gone to prison at some time in their life. According to the ACLU, one in fifteen black men are incarcerated, vs. one in 106 white men. That by itself is proof of racism; the fact that these individuals were individually prosecuted for individual crimes has no bearing on the matter. All that matters is the outcome. Because the behavior of young black men is not likely to change, what must change is the way that society recognizes crime itself. The answer is to remove stigma of crime attached to certain behavior, for example, physical altercations, petty theft, and drug-dealing on a certain scale. The former civil rights movement no longer focuses its attention on supposedly ameliorative social spending, for example, preschool programs for minority children, although these remain somewhere down the list in the litany of demands. What energizes and motivates the movement is the demand that society redefine deviancy to exclude certain classes of violent as well as non-violent felonies.

Which brings us to the quote by Giulani, perhaps ironically is the fact the CBC ( Congressional Black Caucus) were instrumental in pushing for passing legislation that called for more cops and stricter mandatory sentences in the late ’80’s and early 90’s.  During those days crime was rampant, drugs and gang warfare was taking a terrible toll on the communities that they represented. In those days the cries where not about police brutality (though it did exist), but for more cops, tougher sentences, loosening of forfeiture laws. The laws that were passed then did have their intended effect, crime now is at the lowest levels in 40 years but had an unintended effect of targeting criminals which were disproportianately Blacks young males.

Rather than addressing the causes of why young Black males are committing more crime, the civil rights movement and the CBC kept blaming racism and the Establishment for the failures of their own community to address this problem. They still ignore the issue, instead they elevate the violent assaults of Trayvon Martin and Martin Brown  as noble young black male martyrs.

Michael Brown assaulted a police officer and attempted to remove his gun,  what purpose does the supporter of Brown think he was trying to do this? If, this is true do you really want that person in your neighborhood, if attacking a police officer is not out of bounds for him, do you think that attacking someone else would have been? The answer I get when these questions are posed is that he was unarmed and did not deserve to die for stealing cigarillos, but this does not answer the question is just deflects it and since most do not have to live in Michael Brown’s neighborhood it would not affect them either way.

Golda Meir the former Prime Minister of Israel once said about the Palestinian and Israeli conflict:

Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us (the Jews).

In many ways the Arab and Israeli conflict is a metaphor for the issues that afflict the Black community. A day will come when Blacks will love their children enough and value their lives enough to stop accepting violent or illegal behaviour as normal and start addressing those issues in their communities. When they realize that all Black lives matter, not just those few that die at the hands of non-Blacks and stop excusing themselves of the problem.

Here’s Police Chief of Milwakee-Police Chief Edward Flynn on the subject.

 

 

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Bread and Circuses

 

Elections are here.

The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a ‘warm body’ democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens… which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it… which for the majority translates as ‘Bread and Circuses.’

‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader—the barbarians enter Rome.”
Robert A. Heinlein

Robert A. Heinlein was a science fiction writer along with Isaac Azimov and Arthur C. Clarke were considered the “Big Three” of science fiction writers. He received 7 Hugo Awards presented for the best achievements in science fiction or fantasy works. He was described early on by Asimov as a “flaming liberal” but he went through a conversion displayed in his later novels and short stories. He recognized the reformation that the country was experiencing and he was critical about it. As a science fiction writer you not only try to envision and predict the future but to notice societal trends. You then utilize those trends to estimate the impact on society.

Bread and circuses was not a new concept, throughout civilization those in power have sought to prevent revolt, as well as distract the populace by ensuring they were fed and entertained. HIstory is littered with invasions, wars and conflicts over resources that one group had and another lacked and desired. Diplomacy was useful but one thing about diplomacy was the agreements rarely produced lasting resolutions, in many cases they only set up or were the cause of the nest conflict. The UN is ineffective because of this, we ignore it at our peril.

With the advent of democracy or representative governments as the de facto mode of governance in the world, particularly Western Civilization this is even more important now. The shift of power or the appearance of a shift from the centralized absolute power of the hereditary monarchs which prevailed until the 18th century to the representative democracies or constitutional monarchies of today has meant that those who can provide the bread and circuses for their people will continue to rule.

Today giving people what they want, though not necessarily what they need dominates every election in this country. Offering of bread ( free health care,  welfare, housing, higher minimum wages, college tuition, etc.) or  the circus(legal marijuana, abortion on demand, gay marriage, immigration, school reforms, etc.) decide elections. Little if any consideration is given to the long-term consequences of what is offered or given. Giving people what they want or convincing enough that what is offered is what they really want is used to gain, expand and maintain power by both sides.

Almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.”
Robert A. Heinlein

There is plenty of evidence of this; You have Union groups that force non-Union members to pay fees. You have gay groups that have managed to get the government to force others to host their weddings, make their wedding cake, take their photos despite the religious objections of those people. Now as has been done in Europe a couple is trying, with local government help, to have a Reverend officiated a gay marriage or face fines or jail.

We see this in the opposition to Voter Id laws; These laws are almost universal around the world, yet in US they are bitterly opposed. One of the main arguments is that minorities will be disenfranchised by these laws. As the witnesses for the DOJ recently testified:

It’s also the case that — well, yes, so it would, empirically more likely affect African Americans. Also, understanding within political science, that people who register to vote the closer and closer one gets to Election Day tend to be less sophisticated voters, tend to be less educated voters, tend to be voters who are less attuned to public affairs. That also tells me from the literature of political science that there are likely to be people who will end up not registering and not voting. People who correspond to those factors tend to be African Americans, and, therefore, that’s another vehicle through which African Americans would be disproportionately affected by this law.

Translation we need same day registration and voting because blacks are too ignorant or civic minded to register to vote beforehand. The words disparate impact, discrimination, privilege are used to hammer others who do not agree to consent with their views. If that fails threats of violence in the form of riots or physical violence are used. This was evident in 2010 during the Trayvon Martin Case, that forced the State to press charges against George Zimmerman, will it work this year in the attempts to charge Darren Wilson in Ferguson?

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”
Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

The effects of battling Global Warming are starting to felt in this nation, despite the fact that the World has not warmed in over 18 years. Policies implemented to combat CO2 production the bogeyman in the AGW theory, has meant that people are paying more for electricity and heating costs. In healthcare, the new Obamacare law is now also making healthcare unaffordable for many, the opposite of the law’s intent, while not denting the number of uninsured.

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”
Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

The Federal government has been printing money at a furious pace, this policy of Quantitative easing (QE), has meant that the rich have gotten richer while those in the Middle has stagnated. Trillions borrowed to pay for TARP, Porkulus and the millions now in the welfare system will mean that future generations will be socked with a huge bill to pay.

The middle class is the hardest hit, while the poor receive assistance from the government to ease or shield them from the results of such policies and the rich can afford it, it is the middle class which bears the brunt. Obamacare has truly become a tax-hit on  many families who are now paying thousands more in healthcare while receiving little or in many cases less coverage or benefits.

Food prices which is not used to calculate inflation, have soared. Ground beef prices are almost 40% higher than 4 years ago, bacon is twice as expensive as 4 years ago. In some instances the prices increases have been hidden by smaller packaging. A 5lb bag of sugar is now 4lb for the same or higher price. 16oz cans now contain 12oz, etc. But even this can’t hide that the cost have risen while wages have not.

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

Robert A. Heinlein

This is the reality we face, history has proven this time and time again. We can ignore history and keep saying to ourselves that we will get it right this time, until this time comes and goes and then we realized were did we go wrong? The answers are and have always been in front of us. We keep trying to re-invent the wheel but forgetting how the original used to work. Petty differences are the circuses used to distract us. Petty new rights are the bread used to attracts us, yet neither makes the wheel work any better or go any faster but boy can they be use to maintain their power.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
Robert A. Heinlein

Amen.

 

 

 

Imagine, an Obama as the Candidate he told us he would be

romney-2012-blog-image-hope-and-change

The euphoria and heady days of 2008 and the candidate for President Barack H. Obama are long gone. For many the Hope and Change that was promised has given way to cynicism, disappointments, blame shifting, name
calling, and to many horror at how things have turned out. For most, except the most partisan out there President Obama and his Administration have been a failure. We can argue as to the causes but the fact remains. Imagine what could have been had Candidate Obama had become President Obama. Before the election there were some doubts about Obama, veteran newscasters Charlie Rosen and Tom Brokaw expressed some of those in October 2008, and though some like Limbaugh have mischaracterized the conversation, the substance was that Obama was a somewhat unknown quantity. In the end they did as much of the MSM did in regards to Obama in 2008 and they just downplayed or ignored their instincts, choosing instead to join the bandwagon and helped Obama win the Presidency and a sweeping majority in Congress to boot.

Right after the election there were indications that something could be wrong, when Obama started doing press conferences with the non-existent seal of the Office of President-Elect of the US, a concocted title that he and his transition team would go on to use until his inauguration. But it was a meeting 3 days after his inauguration on January 20th, 2008 that set the tone for the rest of his Presidency. It was at this meeting with the heads of Congress that was meeting to discuss the stimulus package proposals, that President Obama told Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona, “I won” and House Republican Whip Eric Cantor, “elections have consequences!”. The meeting which was supposed to foster bi-partisanship, had turned into, something else. The Republicans which had been battered and powerless, having lost Congress and the Presidency would now be unified, and would ride the Tea Party wave into control of the one-half of Congress in 2010, effectively stopping Obama’s agenda and our current situation. Let us Imagine what it could have been had the uniter, moderate, consensus builder, bi-partisan, post-partisan Candidate that was elected in 2008 had actually been what was advertised.

  • 2009- After assuming office with the economy still mired in a Recession, Obama held a meeting with Congress leaders for proposals to help the country still mired in a Recession. As a result a package of tax-cuts and spending on infrastructure was devised, with the cost of package being off-set in part by the winding down of operations in Iraq.
  • In June, he expresses his full support of the Green Revolution Movement in Iran, supporting the Secular student and young Iranian movement to replace the Islamic Republic.
  • Obama also supported the Honduran Supreme Court, that sought to stop the President of Honduras Manuel Zelaya, who with the help of Hugo Chavez, was trying to change the Honduran Constitution to allow him to run for re-election which the Constitution did not allow. Following a similar tactic that the Presidents of Venezuela’s Chavez had employed to keep himself in power. The same thing was done in Ecuador and Nicaragua who changed their Constitutions to allow the President to run indefinitely,  de-facto dictators.
  • In July, when asked to comment on the arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates, a friend, Obama replied that it was a local law enforcement issue and as President it would not be his place to take sides.
  • In August he proposes a budget that starts to remove elements from the TARP and ARRA legislations to bring his baseline budget more in line with the Budgets before both emergency legislations.
  • In September he urges Congress to forgo the Mathew Shepard legislation as there was already Hate Crimes laws that were applicable not to mention State sanctions that did not require another Federal intervention.

 

  • 2010-After the loss of the Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy for 47 years after his death in January, President Obama formally asks his fellow Democrats in Congress to work with Republicans on the Health Care Bill. The people had sent a message and he got it, the present bill was not what the people wanted.
  • After announcing the end of Combat Operations in Iraq, due to the success the “Surge” in Iraq, Obama promises to work on a new SOFA agreement to monitor and assist the new Iraqi government past the current date of 2011. He explains that this small force was needed to ensure the hard-fought gains of the American Serviceman and Women during their intervention in Iraq.
  • In Afghanistan, the “good war”, he follows the advice of his military for a similar surge that proved a game changer in Iraq.

Now I was going to continue and to list other areas where Candidate Obama would have acted differently from President Obama, like after the loss of one half of Congress he would moderate his policies and be more inclusive, or how he would act more forcefully when confronted by malfeasance by members of his Cabinet (ATF, NSA, IRS, HHS, DOJ, VA, etc all had scandals). Perhaps, he would not insert himself into the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin shooting, while ignoring the mass killing going on in Chicago and other cities. He would not intentionally disregard laws that he was opposed to, simply because prosecutorial discretion allows him too, but at the end of the day as the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton exclaimed;

What difference at this point does it make?

As I was writing this blog piece, I was following the events of the plane that went down in the Ukraine. It appears that it was shot down, by whom? It is not clear, it could have been the Russians, the Russian backed rebels or even the Ukrainians who also have the capability. Whatever the circumstances a plane bound for Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam with almost 300 people had been shot down with not survivors. Among the dead were 23 Americans, over 100 children and this was his statement;

‘Before I begin, obviously the world is watching reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia-Ukraine border. And it looks like it may be a terrible tragedy. Right now we’re working to determine whether there were American citizens on board. That is our first priority.’

‘And I’ve directed my national security team to stay in close contact with the Ukrainian government. The United States will offer any assistance we can to help determine what happened and why. And as a country, our thoughts and prayers are with all the families and passengers, wherever they call home. ‘

Obama then jarringly quickly returned to his prepared remarks.

‘I want to thank Jeremie for that introduction’ he said. ‘Give Jeremie a big round of applause.’ ‘It is great to be in the state that gave us Joe Biden. We’ve got actually some better-looking Bidens with us here today.  We’ve got Beau and his wife, Hallie, are here. Give them a big round of applause. We love them.’  …’Jack Lew’s signature is actually on your money,’ he said, ‘although it’s kind of illegible. We teased him when he first became treasury secretary that he was going to have to fix his signature a little bit because it looked just like a caterpillar running along the bottom.’

In all his statement regarding the event was about 40 seconds long before he turned to the teleprompter and his speech about transportation and boosting infrastructure spending. Regardless of the reason for the crash, a mechanical malfunction, pilot error, or some freak natural event the crash and death of 300 individuals IS a tragedy. That this might be the result of human intervention and deliberate whether in error or not, President Obama’s disconnect was in full display. It was a shameful display with jokes and political attacks against the Republicans. The total disregard for human beings is nothing new to President Obama as displayed by his reluctance to address the current border situation. The masses of young children and adults coming in the country after a hazardous journey were many are dying on the way. Young girls are being raped to the point that the DHS Secretary Johnson is testifying that girls are given birth control before they embark to the US and when they arrive as reported here. Not only that but the law that the Administration is claiming that is forcing them to accept the illegals the “William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008” is not applicable to as many as 85 percent of the cases because the children are being smuggled into the country, in many instances with a parent,  and not victims of trafficking, making them ineligible for the protections afforded by the law. It is just another instance of the Obama Administration expanding the parameters of a law to suit its political purposes. You can read the Center for Immigration Studies explanation of the law, here.

Whether Obama the Candidate was just a dream foisted by a pliant and cheerleading MSM,  he was a good great con man who suckered the nation or a combination of both, maybe he just never existed, it was a projection in most of Americans. That is probably closer to the truth but just Imagine if that person existed was in charge today, just Imagine. If there is a lesson here is that something that seems to good to be true, usually is and that is particularly the case in politics. We need to vet our candidates well, or else they will become President or Senator or Congressman, and we want the candidate to be that person we choose, not an empty Bear in a suit who is now loose.

Race- Getting wrong again- The Case against Reparations

UPDATE!

Kevin Williamson writing for the National Review gives his take on the same subject, here’s an except:

It may very well be the case that African Americans will never, no matter what policies are enacted, catch up economically with whites. Even assuming that invidious racism were an entirely negligible factor, it is likely that economic development will tend to proceed along broad racial channels if, for example, people of various ethnicities tend to largely marry within their ethnic group, live in neighborhoods largely populated by co-ethnics, and engage in other social-sorting behavior that is racial at its root but not really what we mean by the word “racism.” If that is the case — and it seems that it is — then initial conditions will be very important for a very long period of time.

And that would be true even if there had been no slavery and no discrimination. Imagine, for example, that rather than having been brought to the colonies as slaves, the first Africans to arrive in the New World had come as penniless immigrants in 1900. If their incomes grew in the subsequent century at the same rate as those of white natives, then a century later they’d still be as far behind as they were when they arrived. Income gaps have been closed and closed quickly by some immigrant groups — notably European Jews, Vietnamese immigrants, and Indian immigrants — because their incomes across the first few generations grew much, much more quickly than the native rate. And though the hostility that often met these immigrants is not comparable to the experience of slavery and African Americans’ subsequent repression, it is worth appreciating that Jewish and Asian immigrants have not always been welcomed with universal warmth. The black experience is unique within the context of American history, but it is hardly unique within the context of the experience of other racial minorities in other societies throughout history.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/378737/case-against-reparations-kevin-d-williamson

 

The election season must be near, it is easy to tell as articles such as, the Atlantic’s  Ta-Nehisi Coates’, “The case for reparations“, get published and become the fodder for all the talking heads in the MSM. While it was not his intent he makes a good case as to why we don’t need reparations.  In his attempt to demonstrate the uniqueness of the “Black Plight” he rather shows how similar the experience is to that faced by other groups of immigrants and migrant worker who have thrived and persevered despite the obstacles they originally faced. After quoting the Bible, John Locke and another anonymous source he begins his essay thus:

“The state’s regime partnered robbery of the franchise with robbery of the purse. Many of Mississippi’s black farmers lived in debt peonage, under the sway of cotton kings who were at once their landlords, their employers, and their primary merchants. Tools and necessities were advanced against the return on the crop, which was determined by the employer. When farmers were deemed to be in debt—and they often were—the negative balance was then carried over to the next season.”

Peonage or debt servitude was very common and it was not limited  to blacks but many white farmers had similar arrangements and similar results. A real example of State sponsored Peonage would be like that which was instituted by the Spanish Crown in 1873 when it abolished slavery in Puerto Rico. Under the new law that emancipated the slaves, the slave owners were compensated by the government for their former slaves but it also decreed that the former slaves must work the land of their previous owner for a minimum of 3 years.  They would not be “free” until that time expired.  Though they would be compensated for their work, they could not leave until the peonage had been paid.  Those that did not stay on the land that was provided to them, as many did, without title to the property until their time was up would lose claim to the property and became fugitives. That is not what Mr. Coates describes, but a very common happening to this day of farmers borrowing money for expenses using the projected future crops, with the land as collateral.  If the crops failed or prices deviated many farmers found themselves losing their land to their lenders or bank.  But fallow land is not profitable so many lenders resorted to share-cropping , that would allow the farmer to remain and work the land while debts were paid and crops was the only collateral available to them at that point. In Mississippi for instance while 70+% of black farmers were sharecroppers so were 40% of white farmers.  By the 1920’s  the price of cotton was on a free fall which meant perpetual debts for both black and white farmers. Coates likes to use small anecdotes in making his case, but they leave out information,  is misleading,  incomplete or unverifiable. His anecdote on how the Ross family lost their farm due to back taxes, for instance does not have a date only that it was when Mr. Ross was a child.  He then talks about a story by the AP in 2001 detailing 406 victims throughout the South that the story determine were documented thefts of black properties.  Sad as that may have been 406 “thefts” out of the millions of farmers that existed in the South is hardly indicative of anything. Again he does not mention the story by name, or authors or provide a link. He goes on to detail how Mr. Ross was a smart kid but the better school was to far to walk and return in time to work the fields, this strikes me as a decision of convenience for him and his family. Whether the white kids had access to a school bus or not is immaterial as he was not prevented from attending this new school because of  busing, schools were segregated, but because it would be inconvenient to the family. The same thing happens with Coates’ anecdote about Mr. Ross horse. The story is meant to garner sympathy for a young child. But, does it do that.  Examining the story it is very strange that if the point was to relieve the kid of the horse that they would pay anything for it. Further, if you do a simple search about the prices of a colt,  you find that $17 is about the  price you would pay in 1933 for a 2-year-old colt.  A 6 month-old horse was worth about $8, he could buy 2 for the price of the one he lost or sold.  I can’t help but wonder if because, this was 1933 and the 4th year into the Depression that having a horse for leisure was an extravagant luxury during that time. Cotton had been falling from their high pre-Civil War highs when the South produced 3/4 of  the world’s cotton. In 1919 cotton hit its high 35 cent per bale before the bottom fell out of cotton prices. By 1933 the price was down to 5 cents per bale.  In fact the sharp decrease in prices of cotton in the 20’s led to the First Great Migration of blacks farmers to the North. Looking back at historical data, the avg. price of cotton between 1900 and 1945 was 14.6 cents,  from a high of 35 cents in 1919 to a low 5 cents in 1933 so the prices the Ross family was being paid are certainly within the range of what others were getting regardless of race. Cotton prices would not hit 50 cents a pound until the mid 1970’s, all of this information is readily available for Mr. Coates if he wanted to educate or inform the readers of plight of the farmers at the turn of the century. Living in a farm is hard work, regardless of race.  The years at the turn of the century were hard on farmers there is no need to try to insinuate that things were harder because of race.  The same hardships were faced by White sharecroppers as Black sharecroppers. Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty show, was suspended from his show on the A&E network,  was suspended  for his comments on gay relationships but in that same article he also said this:

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

There were calls by some to label Robertson for saying this, as it is against the prevailing story from people like Mr. Coates that Blacks left the South because of discrimination which drove them out of their farms and homes. The truth is a little more nuanced than that.  Is interesting that Mr. Coates choose to showcase Mr. Ross’ story and not someone from another southern State.  Mississippi was the first State to elect a Black Senator in 1870 and the second in 1875.  Their new Constitution in 1868, the  convention adopted universal suffrage; did away with property qualifications for suffrage or for office, a change that also benefited poor whites; provided for the state’s first public school system; forbade race distinctions in the possession and inheritance of property; and prohibited limiting civil rights in travel.   The reforms only lasted for 22 years until 1890 when a new constitution disenfranchised most blacks and poor whites but by that time fully 2/3 of Mississippi’s Delta  farmers where black. Blacks kept coming to the Delta area and it was not until first agricultural depression culminating in the early 20’s that the first Great Migration of  Blacks to the North occurred.  As falling prices of Cotton caused many Black and White farmers to sell their land in order to pay-off  debts.  Though many did remain as sharecroppers for another 20 years. Was discrimination part of the decision to leave the Delta farms and seek better fortunes in the North, probably but it was not until the economic conditions got dire that many made that decision.  The North needed labor, the South had excess labor as with Migration of workers economics was the driving factor. Mr. Coates continues with Mr. Ross’ life by detailing his efforts to buy a home in Chicago,  using  a Contract for Deed.  He tries very hard to make the practice seem nefarious, but that is far from the case. Contract for Deed or Land Contracts are still used to this day.  It provides people who have lack credit or have limited resources and opportunity to own a  property and are used quite frequently.  Are there risks involved sure for both the buyer and the seller. Depending on how the contracts are written a buyer risks losing his investments if he loses his job or some large expense like the boiler breaks down and he is unable to pay for the repairs.  Owners risk potential buyers leaving the property before the contract is finished in deplorable conditions that would require a capital expense before the property could be sold again. Either way Mr. Ross was able to purchase his home using this method despite his complaints against the way by which he bought the property. The complaint about lack  of access to equity in the house while on the Contract Sale is true, but if as Mr.Ross did, and buy out his home the equity did not disappear only his access to it while paying for the house. None of this would strike any other large group of immigrant out of the ordinary, Germans, Poles, Jews, Italians, Irish, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, etc all faced restrictions and lack of access to financing, areas where they could not buy a house at all and were steered to certain areas at one point or another. Mr. Ross’ story should be one about perseverance and success not as case for reparations.  It seems such a shame that rather than celebrating his achievements we are told to see his story as one of deprivation and envy because his journey should have been easier in Mr. Coates’ opinion.

“Contract sellers became rich. North Lawndale became a ghetto…” “According to the most-recent statistics, North Lawndale is now on the wrong end of virtually every socioeconomic indicator. In 1930 its population was 112,000. Today it is 36,000. The halcyon talk of “interracial living” is dead. The neighborhood is 92 percent black. Its homicide rate is 45 per 100,000—triple the rate of the city as a whole. The infant-mortality rate is 14 per 1,000—more than twice the national average. Forty-three percent of the people in North Lawndale live below the poverty line—double Chicago’s overall rate. Forty-five percent of all households are on food stamps—nearly three times the rate of the city at large. Sears, Roebuck left the neighborhood in 1987, taking 1,800 jobs with it. Kids in North Lawndale need not be confused about their prospects: Cook County’s Juvenile Temporary Detention Center sits directly adjacent to the neighborhood.”

This is one of Mr. Coates’ most spurious charges, he does not explain how Black home ownership created a ghetto with all the connotations that come with that charge.  If home ownership created a ghetto in North Lawndale, then perhaps the problem is the pressure that is put on Blacks to own a home when renting is better option.  Instead of pushing for higher rates of home ownership, especially of those on the fringes we should discourage it until they a stronger foundation (long-term employment, financial security, marriage, stability, substantial down payment) things that many first-time Black buyers lack, but feel pressure to commit to buying a home nevertheless. There segregation was policy practice against Blacks, as it was other groups but does policies are not in force now and have not been for decades.  Today’s segregated communities are the result, in many cases of governmental policies.  Free or subsidize Housing that directs the poor to certain neighborhoods, welfare policies that penalize recipients if they get married, obtain a job or move to another area and the lack of accountability of those that game the system. Making matters worse, has become permissive of lifestyle choices that while at pains to say it, sociologists have now recognized that the family unit is the a main contributor to many of the ills that Mr. Coates feel will be cure by re-desegregation.  Including lower crime rates, higher wealth and incomes.  It is the reason why Latinos the group most often compared, comparatively to Blacks have surpassed them in practically every category even though back in the 60’s they trailed Blacks and Whites by wide margins. Today Latino’s are reaching parity with Whites in all categories and are poised to supplant Whites as the largest Ethnic group. The rest of Coates’ long essay does not break any new ground, he tries to correlate poverty with crime as an excuse to the Black real problems with high crime in their neighborhoods.  One statement he made I want to address.  He writes the following:

“From the White House on down, the myth holds that fatherhood is the great antidote to all that ails black people. But Billy Brooks Jr. had a father. Trayvon Martin had a father. Jordan Davis had a father. Adhering to middle-class norms has never shielded black people from plunder. Adhering to middle-class norms is what made Ethel Weatherspoon a lucrative target for rapacious speculators. Contract sellers did not target the very poor. They targeted black people who had worked hard enough to save a down payment and dreamed of the emblem of American citizenship—home ownership. It was not a tangle of pathology that put a target on Clyde Ross’s back. It was not a culture of poverty that singled out Mattie Lewis for “the thrill of the chase and the kill.” Some black people always will be twice as good.”

Yes, Trayvon Martin had a “father”  and mother as did Jordan Davis and Billy Brooks Jr. but what they lacked was a family unit. All three were sent to stay with their fathers because they had become too much to handle for their respective mothers.  Being a sperm donor is easy, being a father is much harder.  Showing up after problems manifest themselves is failing in your duties as a father and should not be celebrated. Ethel Weatherspoon, like Clyde Ross bought a house in the North Lawndale area is she also to blame for the condition of the neighborhood today? Of course not, and neither are the rapacious speculators that sold them the house.  They wanted the American Dream to own a house and they did, using the method available to them as many others of limited means did before. That is the problem with Mr. Coates’ essay, with the exception of the despicable period of slavery, the hardships and triumphs  are the same that many other ethnic groups faced and are still facing. The Black experience is only singular in their estimation, as is their feeling that because of slavery their road should to success should have been paved, rather than a curvy, rock-strewn one with detours along the way.

The road to success is not straight. There is a curb called Failure, a loop called Confusion; speed bumps called Friends; red lights called Enemies;caution lights called Family. You will have flats called jobs. But, if you have a spare called Determination; an engine called Perseverance; insurance called Faith, and a driver called Jesus, you will make it to a place called Success!!- Anon.

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A Righteous Path

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds jacksonPulpthe weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.”

This is a famous line from the movie Pulp Fiction, it is attributed falsely to the Bible and Ezequiel 25:17, anyone who has watched the movie would know that hitmen Jules would recite this just before killing his intended victim. Trivia buffs might know that this line is an almost word for word copy from an earlier movie Karate Chiba in 1979 where Sonny Chiba plays a bodyguard that says this. Putting that aside the message contained within those words are something that we all should perhaps reflect upon.

As we are seeing currently with the ObamaCare roll-out and its noble goal of achieving health insurance for all, the inequities of man got in the way. So lies were told, bribes were given and we are left with a product that is having the complete opposite effect of its intended goal. Millions are losing their health insurance, though they were promised that would not happened and others are finding that the Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare official name is anything but Affordable. There are other assurances that looking at them now, may also be in jeopardy as other parts of the law have yet to take effect.

But it goes beyond the deceitful way used to pass the law, it is also how people were demonized because they disagreed and had the temerity of voicing that disagreement, or warning that has happened would happen. Great vengeance was used against those who tried to warn others, against following this path. People were intimidated, the IRS was used against others, reporters were harassed or silenced in an effort to conceal what many knew but were too afraid to mention.

The same thing happened during the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Case, from the on-set is was clear that though tragic it was a case of self-defense. You may be for gun control, you may see Zimmerman as stupid for following Mr. Martin or whatever but it was clear that whether Zimmerman was the initial aggressor or not, at the time of the shot it was self-defense. The jury also saw it that way and reached a verdict accordingly, that should have been the end of it. That it has not has little to do with the merits of the case or non-case in this instance but with men who have inserted other agendas into the case.

As the States codified their laws many used the English legal system which had codified a “duty to retreat” and negated any “self-help” instead it asked for a “civil resolution” of the matter dating back to 1381. Some states did not adopt this and instead used the doctrine establishes the doctrine that when a person, being without fault and in a place where he has a right to be, is violently assaulted, he may, without retreating, repel force by force, and if, in reasonable exercise of his right of self-defense, his assailant is killed, he is justifiable. This was specially true for frontier States and rural areas where getting a civil resolution was difficult, at best.

SYG laws are in force in 30+ states if not by statute by precedent, other States such as New York rather hypocritically, have Battered Wife Laws which ” lethal force can sometimes be justified even if the threat may not appear immediate,” removing the “duty to retreat.” Georgia’s law says a person is justified in threatening or using force if they believe it is necessary to protect himself or another person, but its ambiguity has led the Jesse Jackson Rainbow PUSH Coalition to sue the state to abolish the law as people have been convicted and freed by similar circumstances using the same statute. Read article:

The complaint was filed Monday in Atlanta by The Rainbow PUSH Coalition, which was founded by the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., and says the 2006 law is applied unevenly and allows people to use deadly force in self-defense as a preventive measure rather than as a last resort. The complaint also says the law is particularly harmful to racial minorities.

“The Act does not account for societal and cultural biases which result in a presumption of criminality (or presumptions of victimization) against certain socio-economic and ethnic groups which results in the unequal allocation of the presumption of the presentation of an eminent threat sufficient to justify the use of deadly force,” the lawsuit says.

The complaint here is one that was made against the SYG Law in Florida that it is a license to kill minorities. CBS news and other media outlets had a headline that “Justifiable Homicides” had nearly tripled since Florida’s law was passed. This appears to substantiate the claim against the law but if you look at the numbers; the average went from 12 to 35 in that time but that has nothing to do with the law itself. According to the Tampa Bay Times who accumulated all this information since the law’s inception there have been 119 deaths which have the defendant used the SYG law as a defense, that works out to 17 cases a year. Of those 44 have been convicted and 75 found justifiable, so in reality we can say that the increase is 9 per year, hardly 3 times as claimed. Of those 75 “new” justifiable deaths 25 were black defendants who also got acquitted at 64% compared to the White defendant’s 62% success rate. It appears on further examination that the law is not only equitable to everyone but preferential of black defendants. Here’s link to all the stats, thanks to Tampa Bay Times.

In the 80’s crime was rampant in the inner cities, civil rights groups like the NAACP, Urban League and others demanded solutions. The advocated stiffer penalties for drug dealers, specially those that dealt Crack Cocaine which was wrecking havoc in their communities. The supported mandatory sentencing laws, strict gun control laws with mandatory sentences for offenders, more cops and other tough on crime measures. That was then, this is now an unintended result of this war on crime is the disproportionate impact on the black population, particularly young black males. I can cite statistics but most have already heard them ad nauseam, this happened at the same time that the black community continued its pursuit of separating from the rest of the American society.

Many of todays civil rights leaders became infamous for promoting this separation and blaming its ills on their communities own lack of progress, advancement and poverty. Russell Simmons, Jay-Z., Dr. Dre to name a few used this to advance themselves by promoting and emphasizing what they saw as American Society’s lack of interest and support in their community. Rather than look inside, the community has blamed everyone else. That is why civil rights groups, such as Rainbow Coalition oppose that which they at one point demanded. SYG laws even if repealed will not aid the community, not like they intend anyhow. Repealing the law might mean that dozens of black assailants will not get shot at, but addressing the wider issue of why Black Americans are more violent could save millions. Stereotypes cannot survive in a vacuum, blaming racism for stereotypes will only get you so far, at some point those issues will have to be address, internally.

Many have claimed righteousness in the continued persecution of Zimmerman, after all who can defend a “child killer”. How many have stop to think that Zimmerman and his 9mm was the shepherd who tried to keep his flock safe and that the evil men are those that excuse violent behavior, promote a lifestyle that while profitable for them leads the sheep to slaughter. Sometimes the path of the righteous is not so apparent.

The Influential Forces of Wishful Thinking

A group of scientist develop a new theory in which they claim to have mathematical certainty.  The theory is peer-reviewed and accepted by the wider community.  Books are written, companies and governments use it to drive policy,  millions in grants are given but there is just one problem the mathematical formula on which it is based is flawed.  In fact in this case it was made up and it was plain to see to anyone that knew about the area of expertise but it passed peer-review and became accepted.  No I am not talking about Global Warming, or Climate Change or whatever it is that is being used now, but the science of “Positive Psychology“.

In essence the theory is that there is a constant ratio of  3 to 1 positive to negative emotions that will gain you  psychological bliss and avoid mental illness.  In other words for those that are depressed or having trouble dealing with life if you have a 3-1 ratio of Happy (positive)  thoughts  to negative thoughts your problems would disappear.  There is nothing new in that anyone from my grandmother on up will tell that, but what was new is that they could prove it and even had a mathematical formula to say so.

How was the theory of “Positive Psychology” and its formula taken down, did other psychologists, experts on the field found the glaring error?  Well no, it was HR executive Nick Brown who held a computer science degree from Oxford ;

After nearly twenty years in the position, stretched thin between technical duties and managerial headaches, he was looking for something new. So he jumped at the chance to transfer into human resources when it presented itself. The move didn’t deliver the change he was expecting, however. Still operating in a large bureaucracy—the same organization, in fact—Brown was now tasked with promoting staff welfare. But he had “little leeway to make decisions,” and was constantly signing off on stuff he “thought was just plain wrong.” Adding insult to injury, when charged with renewing his company’s suppliers list for training and coaching materials, he wound up interacting with “nuts” and “charlatans,” people who listed reiki and crystal healing among their interests, or resorted to “hand-waving” when selling their wares.

He was fed up. Coming up on fifty, his mother ailing, “the general BS, the constant, not particularly high, but nonstop level of moderate dishonesty,” was beginning to wear on him.

After attending a conference he ran into a talk by popular British psychologist Richard Wiseman, who had written a book called The Luck Factor.  Wiseman led him to the new emerging called positive psychology.  He enrolled on the program in the University of East London, and began poring over the original papers that developed the 3 to 1 ratio.

He had been poring over the original papers that informed Fredrickson and Losada’s 2005 article—papers written or co-written by Marcial Losada. They seemed “sketchy,” Brown says. In his research on business teams, for instance, “the length of the business meetings weren’t even mentioned.”

“Normally you have a method and the method says we selected these people and we picked these numbers and here’s the tables and here are the means and here’s the standard deviation,” Brown says. “He just goes: ‘Satisfied that the model fit my data, I then ran some simulations.’ The whole process was indistinguishable from him having made the data up.”

Nick found out that formula was actually that of  a 1963 paper by the American mathematician and meteorologist Edward Lorenz on nonlinear aspects of fluid mechanics, a subdiscipline of fluid dynamics—or the study of liquids and gases in motion.  What that meant was that researchers were drawing a correlation between the physical flow of liquids and the “flow” of people’s emotions.  All the conclusions and graphs were meaningless.

You can read the rest of the story here: http://narrative.ly/pieces-of-mind/nick-brown-smelled-bull/

How did the 2005 paper considered a breakthrough, get and pass peer-review, get acclaim without anyone but an under-graduate noticing, it didn’t others had pointed out the problems when the paper was published but they were ignored.  The temptation and wishful thinking that their theory could be proven and the path to mental health could be found was too much, even today with the mathematical formula debunked proponents say that their theories are still good, they claim they have lost the math but still have the theory and data, which is good enough.  But as the article points out the only theoretical support she had been the math equations.

The UN’s  IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) recent released its new report on Global Warming, Climate Change or anthropogenic global warming  (man-caused) in it while backing down on some the dire projections it had made in the past it doubled down on Humans being the cause.  Addressing the lack of warming in the last 15 to 17 years it has suggested 2 reasons, a statistical blip in the geological time, or the heat is trapped in the deep ocean.   Both have problems of their own, a blip in time forgets that many have suggested that the observed warming in the 20th century is blip of itself on a geological timescale where both CO2 and temperatures have been higher.  The ocean explanation is just as troubling because no rise in surface temperature have been observed since 2003 on surface temperatures, so how did the temperature get absolved by the deep ocean without first affecting the surface ocean.

There is no denying that temperatures have risen in the 20th century but such occurences are not unusual as fluctuations have occurred throughout time when mankind was not in any way  able to affect the it or before he even existed.  To summarize the report and its conclusions,  the Earth has not warmed as we thought it would, the disasters we scared everyone about are overblown, the computer models on which we rely could not predict the 15-17 year period of cooling despite higher CO2 concentrations, the sea has not risen in a markedly different way than in the past, the warming may decrease extreme weather not increased it,  and by the way we are now 95% sure that the warming was man-caused. You can read a scientific critique of the report here;

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/19/scientific-critique-of-ipccs-2013-summary-for-policymakers/#more-95880

Wishful thinking is not confined to scientist alone, as we all know the Trayvon Martin case was full of instances where wishful thinking drove the case.  In the beginning, George Zimmerman was considered a white man, as such many commentators wanted to use the case as proof of the latent White racism they all “know” exists.  When the pictures of a young Trayvon Martin surfaced there were those that used it to illustrate why a little boy would be scared and intimidated by Zimmerman and would never instigate a confrontation.  Recent pictures of Mr. Martin were ignored and in some cases called forgeries.

As new information in the case became available and Zimmerman was firmly established as a bi-racial man, the term White-Hispanic was used, thereby keeping the White racism in the confrontation.  The release of the 911 tapes to the public was used first after much trying to prove that Zimmerman used derogatory slurs (coon) and later to say that only a child could or would scream in agony and despair as those on the tapes.

Reporters, commentators and bloggers all came up with what they saw as convincing evidence that Zimmerman was guilty, from bizarre explanations such as humping a cabbage pal doll, to call analysis that overheard anything from conversations with non-existent accomplices, to hearing the cocking of the gun and even hearing a bird.  No matter how ridiculous some of these things were debated, discussed ad nauseam to the point that even the prosecution became party to some.

Perhaps the biggest instances of wishful thinking we those of the prosecution by filing charges against Zimmerman thinking it could win with the evidence it had and that of the defense in thinking that an acquittal would be enough to silence the voices of those calling for his head.

The trial ended with a predictable acquittal as anyone who had looked into the evidence  had determined and Zimmerman is still considered a guilty man who got away because of a technicality, a law that did not play a role in the case.  Trayvon Martin has become a martyr, celebrated around the country, a symbol of how wishful thinking can turn a troubled teen with a dubious past and problems into an angelic innocent worth admiration.  Meanwhile Zimmerman is a pariah hounded by detractors.

The story of the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman was tragic as it was fascinating for many.  The way it was presented by the media and the family, combined with the circumstances did not match the information that was available and then the evidence made it worse.   Not that it stop some from still believing as for me to quote Nick Brown;

“I just got a bee in my bonnet,” Brown says

P.S.

I have been following two other cases that I will do a write-up on soon the Merritt Landry case in Louisiana and the Kendrick Johnson in Georgia, if there are any interesting cases worth following dropped me a suggestion, thanks.

 

Facts have no Agenda, Truth can

In my about Boricuafudd on this blog I write this;

I have led an interesting life with a very diverse background that I often find gives me insights that perhaps provide a new way of critical thinking.  My aim is not to change anyone’s mind but to illustrate my thoughts and maybe how I arrived there, leaving you the reader to make up your mind.  I hope everyone that comes to this site enjoys it and leaves a comment and their insight so that we can share in the experience.

I wrote this to let the reader know that I don’t claim to know the truth, but I have some facts and this is what I feel is the truth to be.  Many people say that the Truth is universal, I think that truth can be molded by utilizing some facts and ignoring others by people with Agendas.

Let’s take the current battle going on in Congress, for instance.  While politics is the driving the debate, let’s take one aspect of the conflict; Obamacare.  To the opponents of the legislation they point out that it was passed on straight party line votes, that it was misleading as it claimed penalties which later became taxes after the Supreme Court decision, the legislation does not do what was promised by far in some cases, the employer mandate was delayed so should the individual mandate and it extremely  costly.  These are all some of the facts from which their Truth is that they are right in opposing the law.

On the other hand the proponents say that the legislation does what it intended to do, provide healthcare for everyone, it is the law of the land, the Supreme Court upheld the law and we won the election so get over it. Using these facts their Truth is that they are in the right to oppose any changes or implementation of the legislation.  As we see both have a set of facts that they used to arrived at their Truth, are they both right, wrong or something in-between and how do we determine the difference.  In this case it would depend of how you look at things, what your agenda is and which set of facts you favor.

The Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman case was another issue that divided the nation and had its sets of facts that some used to find the Truth.  For some the fact that GZ was not black, but TM was, that TM was unarmed, that GZ did not observe TM committing any crime, that he followed TM were enough to convict GZ.  Supporters of GZ pointed out the issues in the community, the conditions of that night, the actions of TM prior to the shooting to say that GZ was not guilty of what he was charged with.  They also point out that if it was not for the astro-turfed outrage by outside individuals (Media, Civil Rights groups) the case would have ended long before with no charges being filed.  Who had the Truth in their side, well GZ was acquitted but was that the Truth?

From the beginning bloggers on both sides used what facts were available to make their case both pro and con GZ.  Some decided to concentrate on the racial aspect, the fact that GZ had a gun while TM didn’t and of course the information provided by other posters.  Some of them were in Sanford or the vicinity and provided very detailed information that was used by others.  But as it is Human Nature and especially in a case like this, some of the information (facts) were just nothing more than rank speculation that was used because if fit the Agenda.

As a blogger I have been guilty as many others, we look for facts that will make my case.  While I do look for opposing facts and may try to discredit them with my own set of facts if I can, I think everyone should remember that while my position may be shared by others and it is the Truth as I know it,  there may be a different set of facts that lead to a different Truth.  Is it up to you the reader to make that determination, vet what I write and my set of facts.  As President Ronald Reagan once said:

Trust, but verify.