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    The latest evidence in the Trayvon Martin case is;
(1) that none of Trayvon's DNA was found on the gun that killed Trayvon despite the claim by Trayvon's killer that Trayvon had actually grabbed the gun prior to being shot, (2) that none of the killer's DNA was found under the fingernails of Trayvon despite the killer's claim that Trayvon had slammed the killer's head against a concrete sidewalk,
(3) that, despite the killer denying that the killer knew anything about Florida's Stand-Your-Ground law, the killer actually obtained an A in a class in which the Stand-Your-Ground law was taught, and (4) that the injuries which the killer claimed were inflicted by Trayvon were not serious, and did not reflect the blunt force trauma to the head that Trayvon's killer claimed he suffered.  
     Thus, it is clear, from the forensic evidence above, that Trayvon did nothing on the night he was killed to have justified a reasonable belief in the mind of Trayvon's killer that Trayvon was about to seriously injure or kill the killer of Trayvon.  Under Florida law, then, deadly force was not justified.
     So, if Trayvon was not threatening his killer with deadly force, why was Trayvon singled out for the special attention of a killer who referred to Trayvon as part of a group of  "f_ _ _ king punks" who always got away with committing crimes?  What crime did Trayvon commit on the night he was killed?
     It was the crime committed by all African-Americans in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. Civil War, i.e., the crime of simply wanting to be treated in the same manner as white people were treated.  It is that daily threat from African-Americans, i.e., of wanting America to live up to the full equality-for-all which is expressly manifested in its creed and constitution, that is a poke-in-the-eye to organizations like the National Rifle Association and the American courts which view equality for all as a mechanism which could put both organizations out of business.  After all, if personal merit was the sole criterion for advancement in the USA, carrying a loaded AR-15 to political gatherings would be viewed as a hallmark of insanity.  If equality for all were rigorously enforced by every state government, in addition to enforcement by the executive and legislative branches of the federal government, the courts would soon be out of business for disputes are the lifeblood of the courts.
     From the founding of this country, only one group, African-Americans, has continuously battled the courts to gain legal recognition of the fact that African-Americans should have equal rights.  All other groups in this country have benefited from the life-and-death struggle for equal rights by African-Americans.
     Even after the Civil War, when new constitutional amendments and new laws were enacted to provide African-Americans with equal rights, the courts turned a blind eye as non-African-Americans took up arms to violently deprive African-Americans of the rights they had gained in the Civil War.  It was a particularly virulent form of terrorism which focused solely on racial background in deciding who would live and who would die.  But more than just the genocidal targeting of African-Americans, that post-Civil War terrorism struck at the heart of the USA's goal of becoming a country where all people would be respected, and prevented the USA from realizing its stated destiny of E Pluribus Unum where different races of people from every country in the world would become one race of people based on justice.
     Perhaps, then, it is still the wish of the courts to nullify the post-Civil War amendments which granted equal rights for all, and that one of the groups pushing the agenda of the courts is the National Rifle Association.  Perhaps the killing of Trayvon Martin was a test case to determine if the post-Civil War terrorism against African-Americans could be re-ignited under the banner of Stand-Your-Ground laws.  If Trayvon's killer was just a tool of the National Rifle Association and the courts, then no African-American is truly safe from this time forward.  And if African-Americans are diverted, from their continuing battle with the courts over equal rights, by the need to ward off legalized lynchings which are inherent in the Stand-Your-Ground laws, then this day of July 4, 2013 might go down as the last time that all Americans could fully celebrate the American Independence Day.  It is a particular irony that one constitutional provision, the Second Amendment, could be used by right-wing organizations and conservative judges to nullify the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments in the 21st Century through the same violence which nullified the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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    This morning, I saw a CNN interview with two attorneys who I believed were named Hostin and Cevallos, and I hope I spelled their names correctly.  The defense attorney, i.e, Cevallos, claimed that he would not put the shooter of Trayvon Martin on the witness stand because the defense is already entitled to have the jury instructed on self-defense based on the evidence.  However, maybe that attorney needs to read the case of Montijo v. State, 61 So. 3d 424 - 2011, where the Florida appellate court of appeal for the 5th District, which includes Seminole County, Florida where the trial is taking place, held that a jury instruction was warranted in circumstances where the person claiming self-defense was the one being followed by an aggressive person.  
     In Trayvon's case, Trayvon was the one being followed by an aggressive person and so under the Montijo case, I cannot see where the trial judge would be able to provide the shooter with a jury instruction on self defense since the shooter was the one following Trayvon.  If the shooter is legally barred from seeking a jury instruction on self defense, based on the evidence presented so far, the shooter either has to change his story which relates that the shooter was following Trayvon, or the shooter has to accept not being able to obtain a jury instruction on self defense.  Thus, the shooter has a big legal problem under the Montijo case, and the prosecution should pound and pound the fact that the shooter claimed, in taped conversations, that the shooter was following Trayvon despite being told to stay away.

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    Rachel Jeantel, when questioned by the defense as to whether the phrase "creepy a_ _ cracker" was racist, denied that the phrase was racist.  Jeantel explained that the phrase meant that Trayvon viewed the person who subsequently murdered him as a "pervert."  And, Jeantel repeated the word "pervert" twice in her testimony, but the media has ignored that potential motivation for the shooter to have been obsessively pursuing Trayvon Martin on a dark night as Trayvon was making his way home.
     Understand that the shooter claims that he was on a mission to protect the neighborhood from crime, but at the 7 pm hour in which Trayvon was killed, most people were in their homes and apparently very watchful, as illustrated by the various witnesses who heard something and went to look outside.  Could it be that the shooter was not particularly interested in protecting the neighborhood, but in satiating a desire to rape an African-American male who was a minor and who looked vulnerable?  Is there a more perfect cover for a pedophile than to claim that he is part of law enforcement whose instructions must be obeyed by unsuspecting teenagers?
     The problem, according to Jeantel, was that Trayvon quickly categorized the shooter as a "pervert", and so the planned ruse did not work on the alert Trayvon.  Perhaps, at that point, the shooter was simply unable to control his pedophilia, and he apparently overpowered Trayvon, possibly using a taser, in order to subdue Trayvon as part of the effort to rape Trayvon.  That overpowering of Trayvon led to Trayvon stating, according to Jeantel, that the shooter should "get off" of Trayvon.
     Even the shooter's defense admits that after Trayvon was shot and killed, the shooter climbed on top of Trayvon's face-down, lifeless body and "spread" out Trayvon's arms.  Since the shooter had just been through a life-and-death struggle, during which he was forced to shoot Trayvon through the heart, why in the world would the shooter immediately climb back atop Trayvon and "spread" Trayvon's arms instead of seeking prompt assistance from every available source.
     The evidence of the shooter's taser might be in the autopsy report which lists a "cardiac monitor pad on the left flank" of Trayvon, a strange item given the fact that Trayvon was shot through the heart and would have been dead, without a heartbeat, long before the medical personnel arrived.  Even if the medical personnel were justified in placing the "cardiac" pad on Trayvon, why didn't the medical examiner remove that pad to examine the skin beneath the pad so that a complete report on the condition of Trayvon's skin could have been made?
     But there certainly should have been some analysis of any fluids which might have been on the clothes of Trayvon's shooter.  Instead, no toxicological tests were run on the shooter, but Trayvon's body was subjected to toxicological tests, and the results of those tests have been the subject of rampant speculation by the media.  If the shooter's clothes have not been tested for fluids, wouldn't it be fair for the clothes of the shooter to be examined for fluids, including blood and semen, so that the jury can have a complete picture of just why the shooter was fervently hunting down a teenager on a dark and dreary night in Florida?
       

Discuss

    In a case called Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372 (2007), the Supreme Court wrote that "When opposing parties tell two different stories, one of which is blatantly
contradicted by the record," a court must base its decision on the record.  Each night, after testimony in the Trayvon Martin case, people who claim to be attorneys bitterly disagree over whether Rachel Jeantel was a good witness, and generally over whether the prosecution is meeting its burden of proof.  Those attorneys' arguments are divorced from the two salient facts listed below, and all good attorneys, and everyone else in the world, know that the primary goal of any opposition is to divert attention away from the facts if those facts "blatantly" contradict the opposition's assertions.  
     Trayvon Martin's autopsy has two facts which cannot be explained by the defense.  One fact is that Trayvon Martin was shot directly through the heart. Either the shooter was capable of pinpoint accuracy while having his head bashed in against the concrete sidewalk, or the shooter fired the luckiest shot in the world, or the shooter told a lie about how Martin was murdered.  
     The second fact is that the autopsy report reveals that the bullet traveled in a direct line from the front to the back of Trayvon's 158 pound body.  If, as the defense asserts, Trayvon was leaning forward as he was bashing in the shooter's head on the concrete sidewalk, there is no conceivable way that the shooter could have held the gun in a manner which fired a bullet in a direct line through Trayvon's heart.  The bullet path would have had to be at an angle if Trayvon's posture, as he straddled the shooter, was also at an angle as  he leaned forward, according to the defense.
     And understand, that the burden of proof is on the shooter to demonstrate that he used deadly force in a justifiable manner.  The above facts from the autopsy report prevents the shooter from relying on the self-defense claim because the self-defense factual claim, as related by the defense, is "blatantly" contradicted by the above two facts from Trayvon's autopsy report.
     Just as supposedly experienced attorneys are opining about everything except the facts in Trayvon's autopsy report, the U.S. Supreme Court also has a nimble way of avoiding certain facts.  For instance, the Court refuses to acknowledge the fact that African-Americans are the only group to ever be systematically reduced to slavery on the soil of the United States.  So, while avoiding that unpleasant fact of history, the U.S. Supreme Court claims that we should all live in a color-blind society.  
     But the fact is that we don't live in a color-blind society, and never have lived in such a society.  Erasing the slavery history of African-Americans in this country provides the U.S. Supreme Court with several options; First, the Court can ignore the proof that African-Americans were part of the original people in what is now the United States prior to the arrival of any colonist, and second, the Court can go on pretending that African-Americans are just like everyone else in America, only darker and without the puritan work ethic that apparently existed, according to white historians, even though American slaves were doing most of the heavy lifting.

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    The U.S. Supreme Court, after disemboweling the Voting Rights Act yesterday, has granted new rights to the gay community by deciding that a key portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional and that a federal court's decision, regarding the unconstitutionality of California's Proposition 8, would remain in place.  Thus, the Supreme Court continues its history of defending the rights of everyone in the USA except for African-Americans, and that disdain for the civil rights of African-Americans appears to be pathological in nature by the unelected federal judicial branch of government.  
     Let me speculate on the possible reasons for the palpable hatred of African-Americans by the unelected Supreme Court justices.  Just suppose that somewhere in the annals of this country are documents which indicate that African-Americans were among the indigenous people on the North American continent when the first colonialists arrived.  Suppose that the indigenous status of African-Americans, as members of the original people on the North American continent, would have required the unelected Supreme Court to apply, to African-Americans, the same inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as was granted to all residents of the colonies by the Declaration of Independence.  Suppose that many Native Americans shared a blood kinship with the indigenous African-Americans in the same manner as Crispus Attucks, the first man to die in the American Revolution who had both Native American and African-American blood running in his veins.  
     What the above speculation means is that the unelected Supreme Court judges might have made a calculated decision to reduce an indigenous people to slavery as part of their view of how a proper society should be constructed with white supremacists in charge of the new and fabulously wealthy North American continent.  That new society, built on the backs of African-American slaves, continued unabated with the protection of the U.S. Supreme Court until the Civil War when the powers of the Congress were increased, the powers of the slave-holding states were reduced, and the powers of the unelected Supreme Court were altered by the post-Civil War amendments.  
     Having lost their pre-Civil War plenary power to declare what the law was, particularly concerning slaves and ex-slaves, the unelected Supreme Court set out to promptly undo the post-Civil War amendments and statutes through a series of judicial fiats in the Civil Rights cases/Slaughterhouse cases of the 19th Century.  But African-Americans never gave up on their vision of equality in the USA, and fought tenaciously until the Congress passed new statutes in the mid-20th Century which bypassed the barriers imposed by the unelected Supreme Court.  The striking down of the Voting Rights Act, on June 25, 2013, by the unelected U.S. Supreme Court was merely the latest legal effort to restrict the rights of African-Americans, while elevating the rights of all other groups in the USA, in order to insure that African-Americans remain in a subservient status in the USA under all other groups.
     Thus, in the view of the unelected federal judiciary, the Civil War, which was fought to grant African-Americans equal rights, had an undesirable outcome, i.e., equality for African-Americans, which must be reversed.  What is the rational basis for the above actions by the U.S. Supreme Court against African-Americans?  Perhaps some of the readers could provide a coherent explanation for the above hatred of African-Americans by the U.S. Supreme Court.        

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Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 09:01 PM PDT

Time for a Nation-Wide Boycott

by originaloldpro

    The U.S. Supreme Court once again served notice, with the destruction of the Voting Rights Act, that it remains the sole, implacable enemy of equal rights for African-Americans in the U.S. Government.  That history of entrenched bias, in the federal judiciary against African-Americans, commenced in the 18th-19th Centuries when the U.S. Supreme Court placed its stamp of approval on the slavery which was gaining traction in the states.  In 1857, the Supreme Court ruled in Dred Scott v. Sanford that African slaves, and their descendants, could not ever become American citizens, a decision which resulted in the Civil War.  After the Civil War, the Congress enacted constitutional amendments which gave African slaves and their descendants (a) the right to be free of slavery except for a glaring loophole called criminal convictions, (b) the right to due process, equal protection, and citizenship, and (c) the right to vote.  The U.S. Supreme Court then narrowed the scope of those amendments, and declared unconstitutional the first of the laws which sought to provide African slaves and their descendants with equality.
     In 1896, despite the Civil War changes to the Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court held that racial segregation was legitimate.  It took an additional 74 years before the Supreme Court ordered the immediate end to racial segregation in public schools.  In a 1982 case called Mobile v. Bolden, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that proof of a 15th Amendment violation in voting rights required proof of discriminatory intent.  And today, the Supreme Court struck down the Voting Rights Act which only required discriminatory effect for proof of a voting rights violation.
     Despite the wish of African-Americans to believe that all governmental entities pursue the goal of equality for all, the fact remains that the last plantation of slavery is that monstrosity which is the unelected federal judiciary.  We live, not in a free republic where every vote is accorded equal treatment, but in a hybrid governmental system where two-thirds of the government is elected while the judicial branch is appointed and beholden only to those who have considerable resources and power.  Abraham Lincoln, in his initial inaugural address, pointed out that when the federal judiciary rules on national questions instead of deciding issues between parties, the American People have permitted an appointed tyranny to control American national issues.
     It is therefore time for the American People to indicate their displeasure with this hybrid form of government in which the appointed federal judiciary can take away the voting rights of certain members of the electorate on a whim.  That displeasure should not take the form of marches or futile demonstrations of pique, but should result in a nation-wide boycott, for one day at the outset, to impress on the hybrid government that the American People deserve a government which is elected by the people instead of a government which is controlled by 9 unelected people.    

Discuss

    I give thanks for my personal family.  My personal family, like ALL African-American families, is composed of every skin color and of several of the religions found on Earth.  Yet, there is something in those different looking people, who have different beliefs, which binds all of us into a family which coalesces in times of trouble and which celebrates in times of joy.
     I give thanks for the human family at large.  Although the human wars are a blight on the history of the world, it is the peaceful times which demonstrate how creative and unique are these beings called humans.  In the absence of wars, the people build and devise inventions which contribute to the upward mobility of all humans and which augers well for a future based, not on war, but on justice and fairness.
     I give thanks for the Kossacks.  I have only been on this site for a short time, but my respect for the reasoned discourse of the Kossacks only grows with each passing day.  The Kossacks are passionate and imbued with those characteristics of zealotry which sometimes results in raucous language.  But spirited exchanges are the very essence of a democracy, and it is that love for democracy which forms the basis for the existence of the Kossacks.
     Therefore, on this, the 22nd day of November, 2012, I give thanks for all of the above, and lest I forget, I give thanks to God for my life and for the lives of all others.  Although we often appear insignificant in our individual quests, I am persuaded that each life makes a monumental contribution to the pathway which leads to the ultimate success of human beings.  As Faulkner wrote, man will not only endure, he will prevail.  And Dr. King stated that the arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.    

Discuss

    The Cuban Blockade has succeeded in insuring that Cubans cannot import any modern U.S. cars, but it has not stopped the Cuban people from reducing infant mortality and other health-related issues.  The Cuban medical treatment, of what appears to have been an advanced stage of prostate cancer in Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, can only enhance the reputation of Cuban oncologists.  Thus, while economic blockades may retard the importation of material goods, they rarely interrupt a society which is intent on investing in its people.
     From all outward appearances and from its insistence on ending the Israeli economic blockade of its ports and border crossings, Hamas is also seeking to advance the economic well-being of the Gazan people. Just as President Obama has stated that no country would tolerate its people being under constant rocket attack, the international community has recognized that an economic blockade is an act of war which seeks to starve the economic vitality of a country.
     Thus, just as Israel has a fundamental right to be free of rocket attacks on its people, Hamas has a fundamental right to be free of the economic blockade imposed on it by Israel and Egypt.  If the Israelis lift the economic blockade of Gaza, and if Hamas fails to stop the firing of rockets into Israel, then no one would quibble with a heavy-handed quashing of any rocket fire into Israel from Gaza.  But, for now, give Middle East peace a chance by lifting the economic blockade of Gaza!      

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Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 07:42 AM PST

Outside the Eden Boundary

by originaloldpro

    Christians are taught that the reason for mankind's expulsion from Eden was the original sin of disobedience, i.e., engaging in evil practices along with engaging in good practices.  Catholics believe that the entire human race is stained by the original sin of Adam and Eve, while Protestants modify the Catholic doctrine by claiming that the sins of each person replicates the original sin of Adam and Eve.  
     Both original sin doctrines, whether Catholic or Protestant, are apparently based on the profound notion that sin is concerned with the actions of the Earth's ruling class, and not just the sins of the individual.  Thus, Adam and Eve were expelled from the presence of God, i.e., Heaven, for an error which violated the universal theory of governance, i.e., that those who would rule the Earth must reflect the good impulses of mankind, and not just the baser instincts of mankind.
     David, the psalmist, wrote about the blessed nature of humans in which there is no guile, and Jesus praised Nathanael for lacking any guile.  Thus, the paramount quality of any governmental entity, which would be a just government, is the absence of deceit and hypocrisy.  The United States underwent a horrendous Civil War because, while it published documents which extolled the rights of every human being, the United States authorized slavery within its borders.  The U.S. Civil War was the United States' application, to God, for re-entry into Eden through the abolition of slavery and the enactment of laws guaranteeing equality for all people, following decades of living beyond the Eden boundary.
       

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Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:15 PM PST

Fire hardens Mettle

by originaloldpro

    When I was a young individual, I attended school with Jews, but I never knew any Muslims.  The Jews I knew were typical students, with some Jews being very studious while most were just good people.  The problems I would later encounter would not be with those Jews whose ancestry was beyond question, but with those people who aspired to be Jews but for whatever reason were not recognized as Jews.  Those who wanted to be Jews, but who were not accorded status as Jews, were intent on proving their ehtnic bona fides, and they could be as irascible as most people become when something desired is denied.
     The difference between the Jews whose status was unquestioned, and the aspirational Jews seems to be analogous to the circumstances in which the Israelis and the Gazans find themselves.  The modern Israelis, since the Balfour Declaration almost 100 years ago, have acquired the backing of the international community in securing their rightful place. The modern Israelis are visited by potential American Presidents, and feted at every turn by the movers and shakers and the other creators of ordered liberty.
     The Gazans, on the other hand, are constantly told that patience is a virtue, that they should accept their plight in life because the modern Israelis must have their safety guaranteed.  The Gazans, who aspire to be treated like the Jews in Israel, are denied that status in much the same manner as the aspirational Jews.    

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