Why bother? Florida will let him go free again.

Didn’t we all know this guy was going to be trouble, like, forever?

Former neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman was arrested following a domestic violence incident on Monday, according to multiple reports.

Authorities confirmed to The Orlando Sentinel that Zimmerman had been taken into custody.

TMZ also confirmed that Zimmerman was involved in the domestic violence incident in Orlando. …

Update, 3:30 p.m. EST: Law enforcement sources told TMZ that Zimmerman’s girlfriend claimed that she was pregnant, making the domestic violence charge an automatic felony. Zimmerman reportedly was not eligible for bail.

Update, 5:14 p.m. EST: ABC News reported that Zimmerman was charged with aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief in connection with the incident.

So he murders Trayvon Martin and gets away with it. Then a few months later, he pulls a gun on his ex-wife and her father and gets away with it. Now, he’s busted for assaulting his pregnant girlfriend and threatening her with a shotgun.

This is one of those situations where you ask, “who does this guy have to kill before he is finally put away?” But thanks to the state of Florida, he already knows he can get away with murder. So I’m sure he thinks, “What’s the big deal? I only pulled a shotgun on a pregnant woman. I didn’t shoot her. Which I would have done if she threatened me with a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles.”

Florida is such a cesspool.

 

Should congressmen be drug tested before they are paid?

I ask the question because of this:

Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., pleaded guilty Wednesday to possession of cocaine and was sentenced to one year of supervised probation.

“I’ve hit a bottom where I realize I need help. And I have aggressively pursued that help,” Radel said, as he admitted in District of Columbia Superior Court that he purchased 3.5 grams of cocaine.

The freshman congressman, who represents a solidly Republican district in southwest Florida, said he’ll enter a rehab program. He will also pay a $250 fine on the misdemeanor charge.

So what does that have to do with a congressional paycheck?

The House over the summer approved an amendment by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) that would let states drug test people on food stamps. The amendment passed by voice vote, meaning members’ individual yeas and nays were not recorded. Radel later voted in favor of a broader food stamps bill that included Hudson’s measure.

How these guys can stand to see themselves in the mirror amazes me.

 

George Zimmerman: Killer on the loose

Trayvon Martin is dead. Minutes ago, a Florida jury let George Zimmerman, the guy who killed him, walk.

A Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman of charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter Saturday night in a case that alternately fascinated and appalled large segments of a spellbound nation.

The gun culture rules Florida. I’m sure they’re very proud of themselves. But if Martin had been the neighborhood watch volunteer, and Zimmerman had been the guy with the can of iced tea and the bag of Skittles, Martin would now be on death row.

Think that’s an exaggeration?

If you’re an older white man and you catch your wife cheating on you with another man, you get to kill him, then go free.

If you’re a black woman and you fire a warning shot to scare off a physically abusive husband who’s aggressively coming at you, after saying, “If I can’t have you, no one will,” then you get to go to prison for 20 years. …

This past March, Ralph Wald, 70, got up in the middle of the night, saw his wife Johanna Lynn Flores, 41, in the living room, the arms of his neighbor, Walter Conley, 32. Wald grabbed his gun and shot Conley in the back, three times, killing him. Ward later claimed he thought Conley, a known lover of his wife’s, was raping her. He used the the Stand Your Ground law to bypass justice. On May 30, Ralph Wald walked out of court a free man. …

Three years ago, 31-year old mother of three, Marissa Alexander, acted in self-defense, hurting no one, and received a 20-year conviction. Within 12 minutes, the jury found her guilty of aggravated assault, even though her estranged abusive husband admitted in his deposition, she had every right to do what she did.

That’s what they call justice in Florida. The state’s a moral cesspool.

Stupid is as stupid does in the Sunshine State

Bobby Jindl, the Republican governor from Louisiana, says that in order for the GOP to be successful, it has to stop being “the stupid party.”

Marco Rubio, the Republican senator from Florida and Jindl’s likely opponent for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, is having none of that (from GQ):

GQ: How old do you think the Earth is?

Marco Rubio: I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.

WRONG!

The correct answer is: “The Earth is billions of years old.”

If you’re a politician, your answer doesn’t have to be any more precise than that. If you’re a scientist, your answer is, “about 4.5 billion years old.”

If you say the number of years of the Earth’s existence is less than the number you’d have if you calculated half of the federal minimum wage for a year (Yes, this is a test and you have to figure that out because that’s an important subject, too*), or there are multiple theories on the subject, you cannot be taken seriously and have no role in the political arena, and you are disqualified from calling yourself a scientist.

(*Just kidding. The number is 7,540: one half of $7.25 an hour in a 40 hour week for 52 weeks. Creationists say the Earth is 6,000 years old. Creationists are stupid. And their party lost big in the election.)

Blocs of votes blocked

After the fiasco of 2000, you’d think Florida would have gotten its act together by now:

Don’t expect election results from Miami-Dade County anytime soon.

The county’s beleaguered elections supervisor told reporters Wednesday night that her employees, still processing thousands of absentee ballots, won’t finish until Thursday.

Supervisor Penelope Townsley acknowledged that mistakes had been made in the elections process, according to Miami Herald news partner WFOR-CBS4. She spoke after another day during which elections workers fed thousands of pages of ballots into scanning machines.

With the presidential race settled — but Florida still too close to call — Miami-Dade’s lack of final results have left a much-mocked blank spot on the long-decided electoral map.

There’s a troubling trend here. Virginia, Ohio and Florida all have Republican governors. In Tuesday’s election, northern Virginia, northern Ohio and South Florida, Obama strongholds, all reported screw ups in the voting process where machines didn’t work and people stood in line for hours to get their votes cast. And Republican legislatures have gone out of their way to introduce legislation to make it harder for people, particularly in minority areas to cast votes.

At a certain point, these consistencies across state lines become too blatant to ignore.

And that’s my conspiracy theory for the day.

Zimmerman arrested; Stand Your Ground law still exists

An arrest has been made. The shooter has turned himself in. If there’s a conviction, a lot of people will think this is over.

But the law that allowed this to happen and allowed George Zimmerman to walk free the night of the killing still stands. And people are going to keep dying in Florida and every other state that followed it’s lead, until the “Stand Your Ground” laws are eliminated.

It will be interesting to see what comes of this:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Amid furious public pressure to make an arrest in the killing of Trayvon Martin, the special prosecutor on the case went for the maximum Wednesday, bringing a second-degree murder charge against the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot the unarmed black teenager.

George Zimmerman, 28, was jailed in Sanford – the site of the shooting Feb. 26 that set off a nationwide debate over racial profiling and self-defense – on charges that carry a minimum of 25 years in prison and a maximum sentence that could put him in prison for life.

Shoot to kill when you’re nervous in Florida

The Washington Post has a history of the “Stand Your Ground” law: the law that let George Zimmerman murder Trayvon Martin and walk away.

The focus of the Martin case has been race, and race is a major factor here. But people seem to be forgetting that this law, which has spread throughout the country since 2005 when Florida first introduced it, is allowing the shooting of people of all races throughout the country.

The story focuses on a drunk 23-year-old who was shot when he knocked on the wrong door. He survived, but get this. Before he took the bullet to the chest, he supported the law. But that’s the way it usually goes, right?

In the seven years since it was enacted, the Florida law and others like it have become an effective defense for an increasing number of people who have shot others, according to state records and media reports.

Justifiable homicides in Florida have tripled, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement data. Other states have seen similar increases, FBI statistics show.

In the five years before the law’s passage, Florida prosecutors declared “justifiable” an average of 12 killings by private citizens each year. (Most justifiable killings are committed by police officers; those cases, which have also tripled, are not included in these statistics.) But in the five years after the law passed, that number spiked to an average of 36 justifiable killings per year.

Neither the state nor Florida’s association of prosecutors declares the jump in justifiable homicides to be a direct result of the new law, but the state public defender’s association does draw that connection, as have advocacy groups opposed to Stand Your Ground laws.

So the state and the state’s prosecutors are pretending not to see that the law is murder. But Jeb Bush, who signed the bill as governor and is expected to run for president in 2016 knows defending the law in the Martin case is losing issue:

Asked about the Martin case last week, former governor Jeb Bush, initially an enthusiastic backer of the legislation, said, “Stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn’t mean chase after somebody who’s turned their back.”

Would be nice if he thought of that when he signed it into law.

FOOTNOTE: The story also refers to a case where a 69-year-old black guy shot and killed a 41-year-old white guy after an argument about kids skateboarding in a park. The black guy was arrested two days after the shooting and a judge will decide this month if the case goes to trial. The shooter should be convicted and jailed, but two things. 1) We’ll see if “Stand Your Ground” is allowed here. 2) Of course the black guy was going to be arrested. That’s how it works in Florida.

Florida: a state of insanity

Florida allows people to carry guns on the street and shoot whomever they want without repercussion.

Florida also allows employers to fire employees for no reason. Check out this story about a Deerfield Beach law firm from the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale:

For the past few months, some employees have worn orange shirts on pay-day Fridays so they’d look like a group when they went out for happy hour.

This Friday, 14 workers wearing orange shirts were called into a conference room, where an executive said he understood there was a protest involving orange, the employees were wearing orange, and they all were fired.

The executive said anyone wearing orange for an innocent reason should speak up. One employee immediately denied involvement with a protest and explained the happy-hour color.

The executives conferred outside the room, returned and upheld the decision: all fired, said Lou Erik Ambert, 31, of Coconut Creek, a litigation para-legal who said he was terminated.

“There is no office policy against wearing orange shirts. We had no warning. We got no severance, no package, no nothing,” said Ambert. “I feel so violated.”

Florida is a dangerous state filled with lunatics. There is no reason to ever go there. Want to go to Disney? Fly to California.

Trayvon Martin and the presidential election

Official portrait of US Senator Marco Rubio of...

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. (Wikipedia)

If George Zimmerman is ever charged in the vigilante murder to Trayvon Miller, he’s going to use the following as his defense. And, given the total irresponsibility of the Florida law, he will walk (from Mother Jones).

Florida also makes it easy to plead self-defense in a killing. Under then-Gov. Jeb Bush, the state in 2005 passed a broad “stand your ground” law, which allows Florida residents to use deadly force against a threat without attempting to back down from the situation. (More stringent self-defense laws state that gun owners have “a duty to retreat” before resorting to killing.) In championing the law, former NRA president and longtime Florida gun lobbyist Marion Hammer said: “Through time, in this country, what I like to call bleeding-heart criminal coddlers want you to give a criminal an even break, so that when you’re attacked, you’re supposed to turn around and run, rather than standing your ground and protecting yourself and your family and your property.”

Again, the Sunshine State was the trendsetter: 17 states have since passed “stand your ground” laws, which critics call a “license to kill” or a “shoot first” law. The law has been unpopular with law enforcement officers in Florida, since it makes it much more difficult to charge shooters with a crime and has regularly confounded juries in murder cases; many Orlando-area cops reportedly have given up investigating “self-defense” cases as a result, referring them to the overloaded state Attorney’s Office for action. A 2010 study by the Tampa Bay Times found that “justifiable homicides” had tripled in the state since the law went into effect.

Don’t be surprised if the state of Florida does nothing in this case, because its legislature and its governor pushed through a Medieval murder bill.

How stupid is the law?

In 2010 an unarmed man was shot and killed at a park near Tampa in a dispute over skateboarding rules. The victim’s 10-year-old daughter watched her father die. A judge is currently considering whether the shooter merely stood his ground.

In 2008, a 15-year-old boy was killed during a shootout between two gangs in Tallahassee. Nobody was held accountable for the crime because a judge, citing the law, dismissed the charges.

And in January, a former Broward County sheriff’s deputy shot and wounded a homeless man inside a Häagen-Dazs ice cream shop in Miami Lakes. He said the man was threatening him and his family. Police said charges were unlikely in that case as well.

In fact, the number of justifiable homicides has significantly increased since the law went into effect, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

If that’s the case, it seems the outcome will be that Zimmerman will be charged by the federal government on a civil rights violation or a hate crime. It’s possible he’ll avoid criminal prosecution in Florida, but there is some lawyer somewhere who’s looking at the civil courts and will bring a case against Zimmerman, the local Neighborhood Watch organization and the Sanford police department.

And the killing could end up being an issue in the national presidential campaign. As posted earlier, if Mitt Romney has to make a deal with one of his current opponents to get enough delegates for the nomination, one outcome would be that Rand Paul of Kentucky gets the nod for the vice presidential slot.

But if Romney doesn’t have to deal with his opponents, forget Ron’s son and consider the political calculus.

Hispanics are the fastest growing population group in the U.S. The Republican Party has gone out of its way this campaign to alienate that segment with its kick em’ out and build a wall red-meat immigration demands. Right now, the numbers show that Hispanics are overwhelmingly moving to Democrats and Obama.

So how does Romney stop that hemorrhage of voters?

He picks the U.S. senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, as his running mate. Rubio, of Cuban heritage, is a tea party favorite. If Romney picks a person with a Latin name as his Number Two, he stanches the bleeding. But Rubio offers more, since he’s from Florida, a swing state. Rubio turns it from leaning Democrat to leaning Republican. That means Obama has to spend more money to stay competitive, and Florida doesn’t look good for Democrats. The northern part of the state is essentially the Deep South. Retirees seem to be hostile to Obama. And the state was one of the hardest hit in the housing market collapse. Strategically, a Rubio pick makes a lot of sense for the GOP.

Some would say that Rubio has only been in the Senate a couple of years, but that’s irrelevant. The GOP isn’t shy about putting someone untested on the ticket. Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin come to mind. And the Republicans pretty much will end any criticism of inexperience by uttering two words: Barack Obama. The president wasn’t in the U.S. Senate that long.

Rubio will bring some baggage, but this is what applies to the Martin case (from No More Mr. Nice Blog):

Rubio was in the Florida House of Representatives from 2000 to early 2009 (he became the House Speaker in 2006); the bill passed the Florida House 94-20 in 2005, then passed the Senate unanimously and was signed into law by then-governor Jeb Bush. Rubio, needless to say, voted in favor of the NRA-supported bill. …

Now Marco Rubio clearly wants to be vice president of the United States, or at least position himself to run for president in the near future by being the GOP running mate this year. So would somebody please ask him about the Trayvon Martin shooting, and about the bill he supported? I say this because I bet he won’t dare to defy the gun lobby and the far right by questioning the application of the “castle doctrine” in this case, which clearly involves a shooter who wasn’t threatened.

The shooting has national implications. This is not going away anytime soon.

The Romdroid wins Florida

So, anything interesting happen in the Sunshine State yesterday?

Bolstered by superior resources and a relentlessly aggressive style, Mitt Romney won a decisive victory in the Florida primary Tuesday night, dealing a major setback to principal rival Newt Gingrich while putting himself back into a commanding position in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

So another major setback is dealt. Seems that’s happening every primary and caucus. Wonder what the next major setback will be? In the meantime, it looks like this is the frontrunner again: