atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3300: Political trial

George Zimmerman has been charged with second degree murder. That's the AoSHQ post on it.

Here's Karl Denninger's.

Denninger's piece gives me pause, because he defines Murder 2 thus: "killing of another human being during the commission of a felony that is imminently dangerous to human life".

For example, if Guy A and Guy B rob a store, and Guy A shoots the store owner dead, Guy B can be charged with Murder 2.

If that's accurate, this charge doesn't make any sense in the Zimmerman/Martin case.

Look: in order for Zimmerman to be guilty of Murder 2, he and Martin must have colluded to commit some felony or other.

In our case of the two Guys, then: Guy A and Guy B rob a liquor store, and while trading fire with Guy A the store owner kills Guy B; Guy A flees and is later caught. In this instance the store owner lives and Guy B is dead; what happens then is Guy A is charged with Murder 2 in addition to whatever other charges he garners from the robbery attempt.

It doesn't fit that Zimmerman has somehow committed Murder 2 when he was defending himself. The legal theory that has to be applied for a Murder 2 charge to be correct means Zimmerman was somehow comitting a felony before Martin was shot.

What's the felony?

Zimmerman was lawfully carrying his firearm, so it can't be a gun charge. He didn't try to rob Martin and it seems he wasn't harassing or otherwise assaulting Martin. (Merely following someone does not count as "assault"; certainly it does not rise to the level of justifying an attack.)

Martin's attack on Zimmerman could itself be the felony, but if you apply the law correctly, Zimmerman's response is self-defense--not an act committed in collusion with the felonious conduct but in response to it, in defense against it.

So I don't know WTF is going on here--and I'm not entirely certain the prosecutor knows, either--because this doesn't make any f-ing sense to me.

* * *

This kind of thing is one reason I waited to say anything about the case. The initial reports were both incorrect and as inflammatory as possible; as time went on we learned that the initial repots from the mainstream media were full of distortions and outright lies.

* * *

Denninger also has a good post up today on why cell phone service costs so damned much in America.

Well, why it costs so much if you have to have all the lastest bells, whistles, and gewgaws, that is. If all you want or need is an appliance for making and receiving a few phone calls while on the go, you can get along quite handily with a $20 Tracfone and a couple fivers a month for talk time.

My current phone cost $40 in 2008. I pay $7 a month for service. Four years of cell phone service cost me $378; that's three months of the AT&T service Denninger mentions, for the iPhone, with data package etc, at $120 per month.

In fact, I've been with Tracfone since November of 2002. I've bought three phones in that time (the initial phone; one because the first got wet and died, one because I wanted to upgrade). I've spent perhaps $790 on talk time/service days; the first phone was $80, the second $30, the third $40. Add some cash for rough figuring and say I spent an even thousand dollars on cellular eight and a half years. works out to about $10 per month, all told.

This kind of thing is perfect for someone like me who doesn't use his cell phone all that much and doesn't need (or care) to have an e-tether keeping him constantly connected.

And it's a hell of a lot cheaper than any of the major carriers, to boot.


* * *

This is how cheap cellular access actually is, by the way: they keep giving me bonus minutes, and I don't know why; I buy a 60-minute card, I get 60 bonus minutes. I think it's because this phone came with "double minutes" for the life of the thing.

I have almost a day of talk time on the thing, because the minutes roll over if you don't use them. I'm at the point now that I could have a 20-hour conversation on the thing and still have plenty of talk time left to last me until July, when my service period is up and I need to add more service days.

I keep thinking about just spending the $150 and buying a 365-day card, except for one thing: That's $12.50 per month where I'm only paying $7 per month right now...and the 365-day card includes 350 minutes, which would probably double to 700 minutes, thus exacerbating the so-called "problem" of having so much talk time on the phone. (Where four 60-minute cards will cost an average of $21 each with tax, and add "only" 480 minutes.)

What I don't have with this service is all the apps and cool gewgaws. I've got a phone which can take blurry photos, but as its primary mission is to make and receive telephone calls reliably I really don't care about the rest of it. Sure, it's not "cool" and no one is going to be admiring my cell phone; but if I were to lose it I'd be more pissed off about losing the talk time than the phone itself.

In the case of a busted phone (or if I just want to upgrade) the talk time can be moved to a new one. In fact, Tracfone has a rather nice-looking phone for not a lot of money that might be a good upgrade for me.

...just as soon as I take care of the 50,000 other things that I have to worry about first.

* * *

Borepatch discusses the Hob's Choice that faces us in November. SCOMF or "Obama Lite"? Borepatch neatly encapsulates my own thinking on this; as bad as another four years of Obama would be, four years of Romney is not likely to be much better on any front, including Supreme Court appointments.

...while handing the mainstream media (the propaganda apparatus of the Democrat party) a handy scapegoat for the failures of Obamanomics. "It's not Obama's policies! It's because Romney [did XYZtheta] that the economy continues to suck ass!"

At this point I think it's probably better to reelect Obama and let the Democrats suck it than to elect a Republican and give them a scapegoat. They won't be able to get much traction with "It's still Bush's fault!" when Obama is in his second term.

I'm not going to vote for Obama, though. I'm just refusing to vote for Romney on the theory that perhaps the GOP will stop serving us dogshit on a plate if we start refusing to eat whatever they put in front of us.

I'm probably wrong, but I have to try.

This idea that it's somehow Romney's "turn" to run for President because he failed to get nominated in 2008 is bullshit. If you look at how the Democrats do things, they rarely have the same people in the primaries twice. (One exception being Jesse Jackson, who ran in the Presidential primaries repeatedly.) None of this stuff where, "Okay, Teddy Kennedy ran last time and didn't get it, so this time we'll nominate him!"

This "it's his turn" idiocy is why McCain got the nomination in 2008 and the GOP lost. He tried for the nomination in 2000 and was not selected, so when 2008 came around--well.

I forget who it was who pointed out that if we keep voting for the shit, that's all the GOP will give us...but whoever said it was dead-on right, and I'm tired of enabling this stupid crap.

* * *

North Korea is a third-world shithole, and they're about to test an ICBM.

I am not as worried about North Korea as I am about Iran, and that might be an error. NK is contained; there's not a lot they can do without seriously destabilizing the region and if a shooting war starts, it's going to be bad for them in the long run even if they have the continued support of China.

But any sane country (I assume that NK is, at least, somewhat more sane than Iran) is only going to boundary test, not actually try to start real hostilities. NK's saber rattling has garnered them concessions and international aid in the past. The Clinton administration was squishy and eager to help NK; it's probable that--having seen how weak the Obama administration is--NK expects merely to get some food aid and perhaps more money out of this.


* * *

I needed Xanax before bed again last night, but primarily as a sleep aid, not anti-anxiety. My anxiety level was only slightly elevated, but it was enough to keep me from relaxing enough to fall asleep. So I took half a tab of the stuff.

And it knocked me on my kiester, too: I woke up this afternoon but fell asleep before I could get up; next thing I knew it was after four. WTF.

Naturally I woke up with a headache which is now sapping my will to live. I can't win.

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