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April 01, 2012

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Split up all the loot. Paint everybody the same color. Start over.

;)

Emperor for a day? OK, I'll play.

I would bind Zimmerman to be the servant of the Martin family for life. His person, his property, whatever he has, is now theirs. To be used as they will.

They could release him at their discretion, otherwise he is bound to their service, until he dies.

If it was 100% clear that his killing of Martin was premeditated, he would simply hang, or be shot at dawn, or spend the rest of his life in a cell.

Since it's not, and the only thing provable is that he caused another man's unnecessary and avoidable death out of his own foolishness, he can live, but his freedom is forfeit, at the discretion of his victim's family.

Then I would appoint a black man to be chief of the Sanford police department.

Y'all can be thankful I am not emperor.

Our 4th grand-daughter on the way - have fun, McT and dr ngo - they are amazing.

Zimmerman should have to do volunteer work with students at inner city schools weekly for the rest of his life. Prison would be too easy.

Anything world-changing I could do in one day that wouldn't be immediately reversible after I left power would probably be pretty terrible.

OK. bearing in mind that I am not constrained by any particular laws, the first thing I would do is have Zimmerman put into custody. Not really sure if I would order the state or the feds to do so. Arrested or in protective custody? Not really sure, but he would not be free.

Next, I would state that the lawyers for both Zimmerman and the Martin family were prohibited from speaking to the media. I'd also extend that to anyone who would be a Zimmerman representative, including his father and brother. Since I'm doing the emperor thing, I would probably order all the media outlets to stop stating anything that is like an opinion, and be confined to only reporting the facts.

Finally, I'd launch a full investigation to find out who released Martin's school records as well as the any other of these leaks and make sure that the person(s) who did it lose their job and do community service.

I am assuming that the question of Zimmerman's innocence or guilt would be decided by a court of law (I guess it is kinda silly to limit myself like that, but that's how I roll) but these would be the immediate steps I would take.

After that,

Whoops, meant to write ... rather than a comma.

disband the military (yeah, unilaterally - they're not particularly defensive anyway)...then ban firearms (hunters can find another hobby)

A lifelong and staunch liberal, yet am I grateful that ckc is not emperor for life.

I have been a grandfather since 1988. It's a good thing.

I am too angry at modern Republicanism, and at the ugly proto-fascist mob that forty years of Mitchell/Atwater/Rove-ism has wrought from the Republican base, to be trusted as Emperor for a day. I'd like to believe that I could limit myself to the utter destruction of News Corp and all its holdings and affiliates; in my humble opinion, Rupert Murdoch and (the bad) Roger Ailes have done more damage to the nation I love, and in whose Army I once served, than Osama Bin Laden.

Haneda? Do they still have the "mental commitment seal" robot on display?

I understood the thought game to be emperor for the day in regard to how the Trayvon murder should be handled. In which case I agree with LJ.

If it's emperor in general...

I would find all the voters who voted for COngressional Republicans during the Bush years, take the budget deficet created by their Congress, divide it amoungst them, and make them pay it back.

I would remove every Tea party or anti-big government advocate from Social Security, Medicare, Meidcaid, vet's benefits, farm subsidies or any other big governemt program that benfits them.

I'd make the citizens of each red state pay out in federal taxes an amount equivalent to what their state takes in in federal tax dollars.

I would cancel the health insurance of every Republican voter.

I would undo the Republican voter supression laws.

I would accept the resigations of Scalia, Alito, Roberts and whatsname.

I would impose upon Fake News the requirement that they tell the truth.

Then I would ban puppy mills and factory farms.

If I were emperor for a day AND if my changes would outlast the the day I would implement 4 new constitutional amendments 1) Pass the ERA 2) State there is a right to privacy 3) Medical care is a basic right this includes all preventive care and non-emergency care. 4) Corporations are not people. They are also entitled to fewer copyright protections than original authors.

I would pass a law outlawing bullets and missiles. People would be free to chuck empty guns at one another to their hearts content, but any ammunition would be forbidden.

I would buy out control of hospitals from the Catholic Church and I would reinstate abortions in hospitals. It's harder to picket a hospital when 90% of the people entering are going there for other issues. As part of the right to medical care I would eliminate all conscience clauses, with the possible exception of performing an elective abortion. A hospital would be required to have on staff medical personnel who were willing and able to perform abortions. Birth control would be free, if an employer does not want to cover it they can sell their business or close.

If I am emperor, I would go big or go home.

1) First (copying a couple of other folks here) Zimmerman goes into custody.

2) The Stanford police chief, the detective(s?) who "investigated" on scene, and the States Attorney who made the decision not to take Zimmerman into custody are removed from office. And banned from work on the public payroll for life.

3) A reservation is established (I'm thinking one per state) where all NRA members, and anyone else so inclined, get to live. All adult (defined as over age 15) residents are required to carry guns at all times. There is no penalty whatsoever for using one on another adult (children are still off limits).
Residents can only leave if they can convince a panel (made up of long-time gun control advocates) that they have sincerely changed their minds on the wonders of guns for everybody. Or if they wish to emmigrate to the failed state (i.e. armed anarchy) of their choosing.

4) Once Zimmerman is out of jail, he is remanded to the local reservation.

Thanks for the comments. Laura is right, I was trying to confine this to the Martin case. I think Dr. Science's post after this probably gets at the issue a lot better than this, but my emperor for a day suggestion was meant to get at how the media is handling this. Being back in the states and watching the constant non-update updates, the interviews with all and sundry, the leaked information, and it really blew me away.

Dr Science quotes Ta-Nehisi Coates about the difference between the way a TV appearance makes you an expert, while a blog takes away that presumption. Still, he made this comment on a TV appearance when asked why he was appearing before the camera. This is not to claim that he's a hypocrite, it's to note that he seems to acknowledge that the way the media is treating this case requires some sort of intervention, hence my emperor for a day experiment.

I'm also wondering if there is anyone who would say that if they were emperor for a day would say they are happy with this state of affairs.

As for all those talking heads, it is hard to know which would be worse, whether they are just taking this line because it is what their public wants or whether they actually believe it.

Snarki,
A lot of renovation there, so its probably gone.

If I were God for a day, I'd rewind everything that happened from when Zimmerman first noticed Martin on, so that everyone could see what happened. Not that I'd need that, because of the whole omniscience thing. And then I'd decide what Zimmerman's fate would be based on what everyone would then know, and it would be universally regarded as Fair and Just.

So say we all.

Emperor? First thing I'd do is make sure no one could ever be emperor for a day, ever. And then I'd resign.

So say we all.

No, not all.

In my perfect world, what is already plainly known would be sufficient to find Zimmerman responsible for Martin's death.

Well, if I could keep it from happening, that would be the first order of business. Then I'd have Zimmerman evaluated psychologically, and thoroughly, and depending on that outcome, I'd pull his firearms license.

But, if I'm coming in just as Z is standing over M's body, having just fired, I'd have the FBI investigate (jurisdiction being a non-issue under Emperor McKTex) and bring charges as the evidence warrants. And, I'd still have Z thoroughly evaluated. The man well may be a paranoiac. Clinically speaking, that is.

If being Emperor meant also addressing deficiencies in the Sanford PD, I'd want to know if I could extend my powers to everyone who lets race inform their decisions. Then, I'd do the second half of what BobbyP wants done.

I think Slarti's emperor plan is by far the wisest.

As emperor, I wouldn't focus on Zimmerman; from a system perspective, he's not the problem. There are lots of evil or screwed up people in the world who do violence to the innocent. While Martin's death was horrible, the systemic problem is that authorities didn't do their jobs. I don't know how to fix that problem. And it seems that maybe fantasizing about unimaginable but completely unaccountable authority doesn't really help.

what is already plainly known would be sufficient to find Zimmerman responsible for Martin's death.

I'm probably veering way off topic here, but here goes anyway: yes, Z obviously was the shooter, and thus 'responsible' for M's death. In another context: I might shoot someone who invaded my home. I would be 'responsible' for that person's death.

Yet, in my circumstance, my conduct would be both legally and morally justifiable.

I infer that you impute to Z, based on what we know currently, some level of criminal responsibility (negligent homicide, involuntary manslaughter, one of the lower levels of culpability). For me, we still don't know enough, although I would agree that it doesn't look good for Z.

I think there are some things that are "plainly known" that have turned out to be untrue. Like this thing that Phil tossed into the discussion on the Trayvon Martin thread to the effect that Zimmerman outweighed Martin by 100 lbs, when in reality Zimmerman is clearly shown to be a rather svelt guy, in the same police video Phil was using as evidence that Zimmerman was unharmed.

Not picking on Phil in particular, here, but the Internet meme-go-round isn't the best place to source for a treatment of known facts.

What I ought to have tacked on to the end of the above is that what people think they know in this kind of case may well turn out to be untrue. So: barring omniscience, it's best to wait for the annoyingly slow wheels of justice to grind.

Which is not to say that the attention on this case was unwarranted, just that trying to micromanage the outcome isn't necessarily going to result in an outcome consistent with what actually happened.

So: barring omniscience, it's best to wait for the annoyingly slow wheels of justice to grind.

If the wheels are actually moving, then it is best. But the reason this case sparked so much outrage was that it was pretty clear that the wheels were not moving: the police department decided that there would be no arrests and the prosectors decided that there would be no trial.

There's one nice feature of the Canadian legal system that I've always been curious about. In Canada, anyone can show up in court and prosecute crimes; that role is not limited to the District Attorney. So, if local prosecutors are unwilling to make a case, you can show up in court and do it yourself.

Now, practically, this probably doesn't amount to much. Judges and prosecutors are symbiotic and I have no doubt that the average judge is more sympathetic to criminal cases filed by the local DA. Plus, successfully prosecuting a case without the support of the local police is hard (but you can subpoena I assume?), and, as always, money matters in court.

Nevertheless, I wonder how much of a difference adding that right to the American justice system might make. Maybe legislators would be more cautious about criminalizing so much behavior that shouldn't be criminalized if they felt the laws might be used against them without the shield of prosecutorial discretion. And maybe prosecutors would be less willing to abuse their discretion.

If the wheels are actually moving, then it is best. But the reason this case sparked so much outrage was that it was pretty clear that the wheels were not moving: the police department decided that there would be no arrests and the prosectors decided that there would be no trial.

I don't have any serious disagreements with any of this.

While Martin's death was horrible, the systemic problem is that authorities didn't do their jobs.

I thought this was a given as well, which is why the emperor for a day job posting started from now rather than a night one month ago. There seems to be a consensus here that there was something very wrong with the way all this has been handled by the authorities. It seems to also suggest that there will continue to be problems with the way events like these are handled so those are things that we probably have to live with for a while.

Yet, it seems that stirring the pot is the only option that is even considered by the media. So the emperor for a day notion is simply trying to figure out what can be done about how _we_ look at this case as well as answering McT's request for something to be posted. I guess you will need to go elsewhere to satisfy your factual discussion jones.

Coates is not going to talk about the case anymore, but anyone who thinks that there is some lacuna in the black community about black on black violence, you should do yourself a favor and read this post and

Strange, even going into the dashboard doesn't fix it. Here is the other recommended Coates post

Private prosecutions are also possible in the UK. In fact, there was one in the Stephen Lawrence case that actually had the effect of immunizing the murderers until a law was passed permitting double jeopardy that I blogged a bit about here.

BTW, thanks LJ, for this post. Bad manners on my part for not having said so sooner.

Maybe legislators would be more cautious about criminalizing so much behavior that shouldn't be criminalized if they felt the laws might be used against them without the shield of prosecutorial discretion. And maybe prosecutors would be less willing to abuse their discretion.

See also qualified immunity.

What I ought to have tacked on to the end of the above is that what people think they know in this kind of case may well turn out to be untrue.

Here is what I believe we all know about the case.

Zimmerman claimed to be acting as part of some kind of neighborhood watch. There is, in fact, a neighborhood watch program in place in the gated community where this all happened.

Neighborhood watch rules virtually always specify that you do not carry a concealed weapon when on rounds, and also virtually always specify that you do not initiate a confrontation with someone you think is suspicious. You call the cops, your job is done.

This is reinforced by the 911 call which is in the public record, where the dispatcher told Zimmerman that they did not need him to continue following Martin, let alone leave his vehicle and confront him, or get involved with him in any way.

All of what I've said here are, unless I am significantly mistaken, plain and well known facts.

What is conspicuously absent, from any account of the situation, is any indication that, prior to being confronted by Zimmerman, Martin was doing anything at all that presented a threat or danger, to anyone or anyone's property. He was walking.

So no, I don't agree that there is more we need to know to find Zimmerman responsible for Martin's death. He needlessly provoked a confrontation that ended with him shooting Martin.

Due to the particulars of the law in FL, this may or may not result in any kind of criminal action against Zimmerman. That's for the FL criminal justice system to sort out.

But as far as Zimmerman being at fault in the needless death of a 17 year old boy, as far as I'm concerned it is a no-brainer.

I might shoot someone who invaded my home. I would be 'responsible' for that person's death.

Martin didn't invade Zimmerman's home.

Context matters, it would seem. I agree with russell, because the entire situation was easily avoidable for Zimmerman, regardless of how it went down after he injected himself into Trayvon Martin's life. Maybe Zimmerman's not a racist. Maybe he's not even a murderer. But there's some unquestionable level of responsibility, given the choices Zimmerman made, fully on his own.

Here is an interesting piece from the always worthwhile CSM.

Black people's lives aren't like other people's lives in this country. It's more than a little limousine-liberalish for me to belabor that point, and black folks have their own world of crap to deal with without me adding my high dudgeon to their plate.

So I won't belabor it.

But it seems awfully likely to me that, if Martin was not black, he wouldn't be dead now.

Nobody here is emperor, or god, so let the wheels of the criminal justice system churn away, and we'll see where it all lands.

"Black people's lives aren't like other people's lives in this country"

I read the piece, and I can't find anything in it that is different than experiences non-black kids have all the time. Do you imagine that other kids don't get bullied, have teachers that don't listen to their explanations or don't want their parents to intercede because that might make it worse? I can assure you I have had almost that exact discussion with my grandson in the last few weeks. It isn't good, but it isn't because he is a hispanic white kid that it happened.

It is true that in someplaces, at some times, black youth are profiled, no doubt.

But it starts to be a reach when we start assigning every challenge of being a youth in society to race.

I can't find anything in it that is different than experiences non-black kids have all the time.

The difference is the likelihood of being killed.

And with that, I'm gonna lay offa this topic for a while, because I'm not black. At a certain point it can be kind of patronizing for white middle-class dudes like me to go on about the "experience of being black in America", and I'm not interested in crossing that line.

But that experience exists, and it's not the same as not being black in America.

Everything isn't about race, but race sure as hell is a factor in a lot of folks' lives.

But it starts to be a reach when we start assigning every challenge of being a youth in society to race.

I agree, but I don't see anyone doing anything remotely like that.

That aside, would you dispute the fact that blacks tend to be poorer than whites based on the fact that some whites are poor?

I'd do nothing; No concentration camps for political opponents, no bills of attainder, nothing. That's exactly what any ethical person entrusted with too much power should do: Refrain from using it.

Shame on you who think being appointed emperor entitles you to act like one.

Brett, given the clear hypotheticality of the proposal, you thinking that people should be shamed for voicing what they would do is way off base.

Brett, I completely agree with you! I thought I would never say that. But,.... (Of course)

Does having a gun qualify as being entrusted with too much power? Should an ethical person eschew having such power? Why not?

"Nobody here is emperor .."

Dang, just when it was my turn to be emperor, the rules change.

Here's my Emperor-For-A-Day schedule.

First, after being dressed in Emperor regalia and some further behind-the-scenes dithering over the precise formalities of my morning toilet, the Emperor (I observe the Nixonian third-person niceties) would declare with orotundity appropriate to the office, that in the interest of maximum transparency and full disclosure, the Emperor shall henceforth wear no clothes.

Kill another hour being disrobed by a Cecil B. De Mille cast of thousands.

Second, the Emperor would order Mr. Zimmerman to disrobe fully and remain so for the rest of his born days so that his previously concealed and holstered murder weapon may be displayed for all to see and all may know henceforth that he is certainly not glad to see us, permitting adequate get-away time.

The Emperor would order that Brett Bellmore also maintain a state of sansculotte to unconceal the armory on his person, but oh the Emperor's eyes ... His eyes! The Emperor must look askance! The Emperor must refrain from abusing his powers.

(Hey, Brett let's play Monopoly! I'll be banker. Brett: How dare you think this is a game! Me: How bout Scrabble? Brett: So you can try and abuse the power of spelling?)

By my stomach's reckoning, it's now lunch time and thus the Emperor would be served a formidably sumptuous feast at the end of which, commencing with two brisk claps of the Emperor's hands (only one day - we'll skip the nap) from his semi-reclining pose on his appropriately appointed palanquin (constructed of the varnished plank of Sarah Death Palin's remains, fully cushioned and pillowed to ease the Emperor's achy joints and sharp edges), an afternoon of debaucheries and earthly delights would be summoned for the Emperor's pleasure, hopefully extending into the shank of the Emperor's evening.

Then to bed, perchance to awaken fitfully.

Next morning, kicked to the curb, cloth satchel in hand, I would survey the insane scene before my eyes and go where the real money is -- to Zimmerman himself --- and offer myself up as his agent and ultimately political consultant, my hands splayed in elaborate presentation -- conjuring before his eyes the possibilities for him to get his piece and mine in Ayn Rand/gunslinger/Republican/FOX America.

Natch, my true motivations are opposite, leaning much more toward the sentiments expressed above by joel hanes, laura, russell, and company, except that I want to help the heightening of the contradictions along as much as possible from inside the domestic al Qaeda/Republican Beast.

I want to help bring Scalia's Emperor-like preferences expressed in his murderous admonition last week to the government's attorney---- "don't obligate yourself to that" --- "THAT" being the obligation of society and government to provide medical care to the indigent, the uninsured, and the poor --- brought to full fruition in all facts of American life, and then when those obligations are dispensed with, MY previous obligation, to which I have held myself these many years, to NOT bring full, bloody, violent vengeance down upon the heads of the Norquistian/Rand perps can be dispensed with as well.

Zimmerman, with my guidance, will start slowly. After a quiet period, to let the pink slime of his deed settle into the receptive and sadistic right-wing school lunch consciousness, we'll get the book deal signed with Regnery, begin easing ourselves onto the FOX talk-a-thons, perhaps gain a permanent seat next to one of the many fascist FOX blondes bloviating cheerfully about the issues of the day.

We'll seek and will receive the requisite photo-ops with the Sarah Death Palins, the various big-haired consigliaros of God's confederate plan for what used to be America, and perhaps begin writing diaries at Redrum.

I envision a reality show with Ted Nugent, Mike Huckelbee, Michelle Malkin, Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Perry, (Mitt Romney would guest star every other week to prove his vermin chops) in which Zimmerman and company would track down and kill some liberal of color and suspicious sexual persuasion with high-powered weaponry on an island.

Once a month, the producer (that'd be me, former Emperor) would let a RINO out of a cage to run for it with the above filth in hot pursuit.

Afterwards, over a raging campfire with the game on a spit, the assembled sadists would give each other libertarian herpes.

Then on to stumping with the republican candidates, I don't know, starting small, say in Georgia with the beclowned one who last week compared women to the pigs and cows on his farm as the scum rammed through yet another restrictive abortion (no exception for rape or if the woman found out the fetus was a Tea Party member) and then ... a political career for Zimmerman.

The opportunities, they dazzle.

Really, LJ? Saying being appointed "Emperor" doesn't entitle you to act like one is beyond the pale, but saying you'd throw a few million people into concentration camps is just peachy?

Well, I never did think I'd make a good "liberal", anyway.

We are all discussing this from a position of remarkably comprehensive ignorance. Basic facts such as Zimmerman's weight, or whether he recieved wounds, are barely visible behind the fog of ideological war and deliberately partial or fraudulent descriptions of the events.

How can anybody have the confidence to declare what should be done, under these circumstances?

No concentration camps for political opponents, no bills of attainder, nothing.

I think one of us wandered into the wrong thread.

How can anybody have the confidence to declare what should be done, under these circumstances?

Given that the actual possibility of being an Emperor is absolutely zero, I think the problem is that you are just too chicken to actually set out what you think. Alternatively, you may feel that there is no problem. But either way, man up and say it rather than trying to shoot the messengers.

How can anybody have the confidence to declare what should be done, under these circumstances?

It would depend on what one thinks should be done, right? Don't we have to do something or other, inclusive of nothing at all?

Certainly, one can't say confidently that Zimmerman should be summarily executed, but one might say with great confidence that there should be further investigation.

We do know some things about what happened even if we don't know everything, which is almost always the case with almost all things in life. Somehow we still manage to do stuff. Sometimes it even works well.

L.J., what I actually think is "Sic semper tyranis!": The only good emperor is a dead emperor, and many of the suggestions in this thread demonstrate why.

I've said what I think: None of us have enough information to make a judgmement, and this is no accident, we are discussing this in the midst of a propaganda war where anything goes, and the most shameless lies are just "ammo". You think you have enough information for judgment? You're the walking wounded in this war...

Tyrannis has two n's.

Phrase famously spoken by John Wilkes Booth immediately after he assassinated Lincoln.

And if you look at my imperial decrees, you will see that I set aside any legal questions, and address what is being said on both sides. Helps if you read what people write.

It doesn't mean "Take your foot off my neck"?

"The only good emperor is a dead emperor,"

I thought the only good Emperor was a series of imaginary Emperors who rotate daily through the job, so as not to monopolize and abuse power in one person.

You know, like democracy here in the U.S., wherein each of us shoots our mouths off and votes at will with no effect.

The First Amendment exercised and not a dead person in sight. By the way, Brett, who but an Emperor or John Wilkes Booth would tell us not to exercise out First Amendment rights, even lies and propaganda, in your words, on a blog.

Who made you the boss of us?

Zimmerman appointed himself Emperor over Martin's lifeblood.

The Second Amendment exercised and we've got ourselves a dead guy.

"How can anybody have the confidence to declare what should be done, under these circumstances?"

The Founders declared immutably what should be done 230 years ago, under ALL circumstances, and there shall be no deviation, regardless of circumstance.

I'm as good of an "anybody" as they were.

saying you'd throw a few million people into concentration camps is just peachy?

I'm confused.

Did I miss something?

Did I miss something?

I'm guessing Brett had this in mind:

A reservation is established (I'm thinking one per state) where all NRA members, and anyone else so inclined, get to live. All adult (defined as over age 15) residents are required to carry guns at all times. There is no penalty whatsoever for using one on another adult (children are still off limits).

Given the history of reservations and forcible population transfers, even in this country, that sounds...kind of horrific.

Or perhaps he was thinking of Laura's suggestion that she'd strip every Republican voter of health insurance, presumably condemning some fraction of them to death.

One mention is certainly enough to have Brett claim that it is every liberal's fantasy, certainly.

I think there would be very few Republicans if they had to live by the consequences of their own policies and "philosophy".

I think there would be very few Republicans if they had to live by the consequences of their own policies and "philosophy".

I imagine a great many sick people would change their professed beliefs about politics, religion, whatever if the consequences of not doing so was dying because they couldn't get healthcare. Nevertheless, I think it is pretty vile to threaten sick people with death unless they change their political beliefs. Even if their existing political beliefs are evil.

"One mention is certainly enough to have Brett claim that it is every liberal's fantasy, certainly."

Not at all. I'm simply asserting that, given dictatorial power, the only ethical response is to refuse to use it.

Brett, earlier

Saying being appointed "Emperor" doesn't entitle you to act like one is beyond the pale, but saying you'd throw a few million people into concentration camps is just peachy?

Well, I never did think I'd make a good "liberal", anyway.

Own your words Brett.

given dictatorial power, the only ethical response is to refuse to use it.

I hope it's clear that nobody is actually being given dictatorial power, nor is anyone actually claiming it.

It's like if someone said, "What would you do if you had all the money in the world?".

The fact that it would peg the GINI index at 1.0 is sort of beside the point. Because you aren't going to get all the money in the world. The actual, real-world consequences that would flow from your getting all the money are kind of moot.

You might, as Turb has done, note that some of the wishes that are expressed while playing that game are not, in your view, so great, but that's kind of a horse of a different color.

"It's like if someone said, "What would you do if you had all the money in the world?"."

It's like the response to that question was, "Force everyone to do what I wanted with the threat of starvation."

I mean, seriously, if LJ had meant that part of becoming Emperor was having your conscience surgically removed, he should have mentioned it. Or, based on some of the suggestions, it just went without saying?

Or perhaps he was thinking of Laura's suggestion that she'd strip every Republican voter of health insurance, presumably condemning some fraction of them to death.

I find it somewhat ironic that part of the RW smear campaign against health insurance (mandatory, with public involvement) was that it was allegedly Hitler's idea (conveniently forgetting their old bogeyman the arch-commie Otto v. Bismarck) and that the Holocaust was an inevitable byproduct of that. Stripping them of their evil federal healthcare should actually gain applause. Btw, maybe one should also remind the fans of assault rifles that their treasured toy got its name from Hitler personally ;-).

As for emperor for a day,

in the Martin/Zimmerman case: what has been said above, thoroughly investigate both the case and the actions of everyone involved, esp. in the police department and in the district attorney's office.
As a general rule, in any event where one party is killed or bodily harmed significantly, the causing party should be treated as a criminal suspect even if the claim of unforeseeable accident or self-defense is extremly strong. To act otherwise in my opinion opens too many loopholes. I do not say that suspects should be treated as guilty in the legal or moral sense but I also do not think there should eb any privileges.

Emperor for a day independent of this case?
There are few things that could not be reversed the next day, so no half-measures. There'd be a list of people to get what they deserve but did not get due to privilege. Few executions though, that would be far too lenient. E.g. Rumsfeld would end up deaf, mute, blind and quadriplegic with some incurable severe neuralgia. Oh yes, and a fund dedicated to keep him alive until he is at least a hundred years old. Do to them as they did to others should be the slogan. For some media personalities cutting of the tongue and smashing of every single bone in their hands would be on the list too.
I'd keep some rogue elephants for the late evening to deal with those that could not get the individual treatment due to lack of time. The rest wil be thrown before the driver ants.

From the above it should be clear that I should not be entrusted with this kind of power. It would not solve long term problems anyway since new -paths (socio, psycho, etc.) will step into the empty and still smoking shoes of their predecessors without much delay.

Before I forget it, I reserve GOP congressional leadership for me. I want to personally smash Eric Cantor's face to get that smug grin off it. And Boehner and Mitch would treted only marginally better.

[This is not be construed as condoning commitment of violence even against despicable politicians unless it is limited to public slaps in the face administered personally by people who personally became their victims. No tools except thrown shoes or hand-held light gloves (not the boxing variety)]

Brett, given the clear hypotheticality of the proposal, you thinking that people should be shamed for voicing what they would do is way off base.

This strikes me as quite wrong. If someone imagines they are emperor and decides that the first thing they'll do is, say, exterminate a hated ethnic group, I think that is clearly something one should be ashamed of. Obviously, thinking about it is much much less evil than actually doing it. But we shame people for certain expressing hypothetical plans all the time.

I'm not sure we can really blame the commenters who apparently long to kill thousands of their fellow citizens; as Matt pointed out early on, the whole question was structured so that you couldn't do much beyond violent revenge fantasies. So why should anyone be surprised that violent revenge fantasies are the natural result?

I'm not sure why we need to encourage public revenge fantasies at OW, but I'm sure mumble mumble mumble.

This is not be construed as condoning commitment of violence even against despicable politicians unless it is limited to public slaps in the face administered personally by people who personally became their victims. No tools except thrown shoes or hand-held light gloves (not the boxing variety)

No comfy chair?

I think that the threat the people would die if they had to live by their own policies and philosophy reflects on the policies and philosophy.

I think that sick people should be given healthcare. I don't care if those sick people are bad people, if they have different religious beliefs than me, if they have no money, is they have absurd political beliefs, etc.

Laura, if the powers that be decide that republicans don't get healthcare, that's not living with the consequences of republican policies. That's just vengeance. What we have right now is people living with the consequences of republican policies in many states. And you know what? Even republicans who suffer directly from republican policies don't change their minds. Because people can rationalize really well.

Not at all. I'm simply asserting that, given dictatorial power, the only ethical response is to refuse to use it.

So long as we're all clear that that's all it is. An assertion. Which, like every other assertion and opinion, is as worthwhile as any other.

Or are we all supposed to bow to your assertion given its obvious moral superiority or something?

Or are we all supposed to bow to your assertion given its obvious moral superiority or something?

I assert that we should.

But then I assert that we should not.

I'm fickle that way.

Even republicans who suffer directly from republican policies don't change their minds.

Tru dat. And there's no point in saying that they're stupid or deluded or evil, because they're not.

They just don't want the same things as, frex, me.

Saying they're stupid or deluded or evil would be like saying I'm stupid or deluded or evil because I support policies that would, for example, raise my tax burden. And from which I would likely not benefit directly.

Different people want different things, and their motivations are not solely based in self-interest.

The merit of the policies themselves is another question altogether.

It's like the response to that question was, "Force everyone to do what I wanted with the threat of starvation."

It's like Jonathan Swift actually did want the Irish to eat their own kids.

Also, not for nothing, but were/are all emperors bad? It seems to me they're about as good or bad as anyone else.

It's just that the consequences of their goodness or badness are larger than for most folks.

It's a tough gig, being emperor. It's all on you, no matter what happens. You can't even blame things on Congress.

We traded in our Leviathan for a republic. So, instead of obeying the dictates of an emperor, we herd cats.

You pay your money and you take your choice.

They just don't want the same things as, frex, me.

Saying they're stupid or deluded or evil would be like saying I'm stupid or deluded or evil because I support policies that would, for example, raise my tax burden. And from which I would likely not benefit directly.

This. Squared.

Basic facts such as Zimmerman's weight, or whether he recieved wounds, are barely visible behind the fog of ideological war and deliberately partial or fraudulent descriptions of the events.

so... why did "conservatives" a) decide that should side with the killer and b) defend him by being as obtuse as possible?

who gives a fnck about his wounds or his weight? dude stalked another person, confronted him, got into a fight with him, then shot him. simply because the kid was black. and this is what "conservatives" defend.

you people are ill.

Hartmut caveated:

"[This is not be construed as condoning commitment of violence even against despicable politicians unless it is limited to public slaps in the face administered personally by people who personally became their victims. No tools except thrown shoes or hand-held light gloves (not the boxing variety)]"

See, this is the difference between your liberal political correctness (completely discredited and ridiculed now via a long, deliberate discrediting process in the conservative establishment) which permits a certain amount of bloviating Peckinpahn/Carlin slow-mo violent imaginings regarding our opponents leavened with the inevitable humane backing off into more therapeutic nostrums -- for example -- there's nothing that a mother's love, some hot compresses, and a group hug won't fix. Perhaps counseling and less carnivorous diet might set these people straight.

Compare this, of course, with your average sullen conservative Republican NRA member (leaning his ample gut against the bar rail watching FOX news on the bar TV) who inevitably turns to you and provides his unsolicited opinion on foreign policy (pick a country) ... "What we oughta do is we oughta go in there and turn that place into glass" ... or social programs --- "You know what I'd do wit dese people .. I'd tell em to get a job or else starve; I'd force em to work or they can skip some meals. It's the blahs who are the real problem, you know."

Inevitably, too, six stools way, there's a well-dressedlibertarian (probably a Gun Owners of America member who thinks the NRA are a bunch of pansies) nursing a beer who chimes in with, "That's too good for them.", then a look around to see who else might be sitting there and he leans toward us conspiratorily and adds, "you know what I'd do with these homeless people, I'd (makes a motion of holding a machine gun and makes little kid machine gun noises with his surly mouth).... that's what I'd do. And these people who get their medical care from the gummint, why they oughta (here, raising the back of his hand, threateningly) be ..... Of course, the libertarian's Medicare card is stuck to his Guns Owner's of America card in his wallet.

You see the same types pontificating into the empty well of the House of representatives on C-Span.

Then the two bar patrons look at me to see what I'm made of and my first instinct is to feign a Liverpudlian Lennon accent and in a fruity voice request that they both "give us a kiss", and utter some urbane elitist banter regarding the alliterative cauterization of conscience among our more conservative citizenry, but instead I mutter something about, gee, fellas, it's not for me to judge; one doesn't know what another person has been through in their blasted lives until one has walked in their shoes; surely a society as rich as ours can afford a certain amount of obligation to the less fortunate, blah, blah, blah, effing blah.

Then I pay for their next round, excuse myself, go to my car, get my big clip automatic weapon out of the trunk, return to the bar and then, Zimmerman-like, take these motherf*ckers out because I just don't like the cut of their jibs.

After the mayhem and the smoke clears, the bartender (a politically correct liberal it turns out) peeks over the bar at me and says, "that's awfully passive-aggressive behavior on your part, sir. Whatever did your mother do to you? Take a Valium already."

See, all that's going on in this thread is exactly what happened in Zimmerman's mind right up until the moment he decided Emperor-like to follow and confront Martin against the warnings of the authorities.

It was all harmless up to that point. In our case, no one here is armed during the conversation and Zimmerman is under no threat of harm.

We're just bloviating.

It feels good.

Like it probably felt good for Ted Nugent to physically threaten from the stage Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton with a couple of pieces of heavy weaponry a while back.

Now, if I were a Zimmerman kind of guy sitting in the audience observing this display, I might have become suspicious at such behavior, thinking it harbored murerous intent, and followed Nugent up the to stage and demanded a "Who Goes There?". If Nugent made a threatening move, I'd have to react, wouldn't I? My choice of reaction, standing my ground, would be with a couple of whirling machetes, hacking Nugent's head off and then doing the same to Chuck Norris, who probably had a front-row seat at the concert and would feel compelled to intervene. Maybe I'd have to take out the bass player, too, probably am armed cracker who screws Nugent's wife while the man is teaching Hucklebee to play "Cat-Scratch Fever" at the Church of FOX, but things get messy when you're armed and looking for trouble, like Zimmerman was.

Or maybe Nugent, Norris, and the bass player just need a cookie and some warm milk.

O.K. Emperors. Judge me. I fear not.

Unlike the unfortunate Martin, I'll emerge unscathed.

I think what Phil meant by the "100 pound" difference between Zimmerman and Martin was what Zimmerman weighs while carrying.

dude stalked another person, confronted him, got into a fight with him, then shot him.

For the record, this is my analysis of the sitation, precisely. I'm still unclear on what additional information is needed.

In the state of FL, due to whatever reading they apply to the "stand your ground" doctrine, the above may not rise the to level of a crime. Which is certainly something that, were I a resident of FL, I would put some thought to. But I'm not, so it's not my personal hash to settle.

Net/net, as far as I can tell, what cleek has laid out are the plain facts.

And to venture beyond the plain facts to my personal opinion, yes, were Martin not black, none of the above would have happened. And while I present that as opinion, I don't see it as much of a reach.

Which, if so, makes Zimmerman no more or less racist than a pretty huge swath of the nation.

He's just the guy who took it to the level of stalk, confront, fight, and shoot.

shot him. simply because the kid was black.

Zimmerman shot Martin just because he was black?

You're going to have to walk me into that particular point, I think. Or not, as you choose.

you people are ill

What do you mean, "you people"?
/KirkLazarus

If I were emperor for a day I would tell the White House to fncking grow a pair after reading stories like this.

What a bunch of cry-babies, "Oooooh, we might be lampooned on Foxnews." Note to the White House: you will be lampooned on Foxnews no matter what you do! Shocking, I know.

Jeebus people.

Of course, I should read to the end of the article before commenting because it gets fncking worse. "This was the era of Glenn Beck, and the White House was terrified that Beck would get up and say this is all part of the nanny state,”......... The Era of Glenn Fncking Beck? Really?

And, of course, there's the whole Plan B thing. A$$holes.

If I were emperor, I would let all the injustice I see go on unabated, so as not to abuse my power, because I'm so moraliscious. (Tut-tut...)

What do you mean, "you people"?

i mean "conservatives", obviously. did you forget how to read?

did you forget how to read?

I'm going to have to review the posting rules to see where there's exceptions if you're vewwy, vewwy angwy.

I'm going to have to review the posting rules

oh ffs.

If I were emperor, I would let all the injustice I see go on unabated, so as not to abuse my power, because I'm so moraliscious. (Tut-tut...)

The reason I encourage revenge fantasies here is that we get words like this. You gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet, as Stalin is reputed to have said (though truth to tell, Stalin never seemed like an omelet kind of guy, more like a pelmeni and kasha kind of guy.)

I always just thought of Stalin as a guy who really enjoyed breaking eggs.

We can't make eggs in our house unless we let the three year old "bang" them, as he puts it. We just signed him up for the Future Dictators Association of America, where the networking opportunities are hard to beat.

Zimmerman shot Martin just because he was black?

Slart, I appreciate you tamping down things a bit, so this isn't to start a fight, but another way to look at this is if there were one and only one feature of Martin that you could change in order to change the outcome, what would it be? If you are Geraldo Rivera, you'd tell him that a fashion choice would be the answer. You could make him female, which gets to a whole nother argument. But it seems like the easiest thing to do would be to make him white. Hence, the 'just because he was black'. Alternatively, one could suggest that Martin have his own gun, but it is strange that this is never mooted as an option. I wonder why?

In the state of FL, due to whatever reading they apply to the "stand your ground" doctrine, the above may not rise the to level of a crime.

It's a lot more likely to if the shooter was black and the victim was white.

I know, right? Who could've predicted? (Or as a diarist at Kos put it, "Now we see what happens when a Black Man kills a White Man then asserts 'Self Defense'. He has to prove it. Other people in the opposite situation, not so much.")

From Phil's link, I found it interesting that the NRA "lobbied strongly" (assuming that's accurate) for the FL "Stand Your Ground" law. WTF should they care?

Also, people need to get a grip: "Trevor Dooley stood his ground, brandished his gun and killed a man after an argument over local skateboarding rules in a Florida town."

Skateboarding rules? Really?

Just by the numbers (also from Phil's link), it seems there is something rotten in Denmark.

The paper reviewed press accounts of 93 cases involving 65 deaths in confrontations in which the new law could be applied and found that 57 of them resulted in no criminal charge or trial. In seven others that went to trial, the defendants were then acquitted.

Call me crazy. (Could this law be renamed the "antagonize and shoot" law?)

WTF should they care?

seems like there's probably some overlap between fanatical gun owners and people who fantasize about Standing Their Ground.

Skateboarding rules?

The law just says you can use deadly force to defend yourself if you're anyplace you have the right to be, as long as you have reason to think you are in danger of bodily harm or death.

How you arrived at the point of being in danger of bodily harm or death is not addressed. I'm not sure it has any bearing.

Any of the attorneys here want to weigh in? I know Sebastian has offered his opinion that the use of stand your ground in Zimmerman's case, and presumably in that of Dooley, is crap. I'm curious to know exactly how far the "stand your ground" privilege extends.

As noted above, it's academic for me, I don't live in FL. I'd just like to know.

cleek - could be. I'll also note that taking a quick peek at the NRA's website was, well, less than comforting (or, less charitably, there's some seriously fncked up bullsh1t there).

russell - I understand, I was just noting the absurdity of someone being killed (in front of their 8 year old daughter no less) over skateboarding rules, it appears.

Skateboarding rules? Really?

The Times summary of the case seems a bit sparse. Somethings it didn't say
-Dooley is 71 years old
-Dooley was confronting skateboarders
-James, the father who was shot, intervened
-Before the shooting, James was on top of Dooley holding him down

The Times article gave me an image of a skateboarder packing heat.


Hence, the 'just because he was black'.

I appreciate what you're doing here, lj, but there's a whole lot of the story getting excised, there, in the name of brevity. I'd prefer not to do that.

BTW speaking of SYG, I just heard a bit of programming involving some legal experts, a representative of some local-ish right to own firearms group, and some other folks with irons in this fire.

They didn't agree on much, but the firearms-group guy made it clear that he thought SYG was irrelevant to this case no matter what version of events you subscribe to. I think he made some of the very points Sebastian made.

No worries, I understand. I'm kind of coming from this from the other side, in that it sometimes seems that there is too much information out there. Which will probably get me the accusation of wanting to dictate what everyone knows and thinks or some such crap. So it goes.

the firearms-group guy made it clear that he thought SYG was irrelevant to this case no matter what version of events you subscribe to.

I'm glad to hear that.

I would, personally, be very happy to hear people who are in favor of a broad reading of keep & carry weigh in to say "No, this is not what we had in mind".

Aforementioned programming was on the Diane Rehm show.

Guests John Velleco director of federal affairs, Gun Owners of America.

Elizabeth Megale assistant professor of law, Barry University Law School.

Dan Gross president, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

John Donohue III economist, lawyer and professor at Stanford Law School.

Velleco was the guy who said he didn't think SYG applied.

Btw, did you* hear that the NRA has a new product out since the Martin/Zimmerman case became a national issue? A hoodie with a special pocket for a gun. According to the source it was explicitly marked as NEW and seems not to have been in their webshop until recently.
These guys would have sold special anti-lice soap in KZ-friendly packages to European Jews in WW2. Don't excuse my Godwin.

---
Caveats for revenge fantasies are in part a recognition of the posting rules that explicitly threaten with instant ban the call for violence against anyone (a policy I usually agree with).

*i.e. anyone reading this

Is this thing on?

I don't know. What kind of noise does it make when it's on?

On what?

It sounds like this.

Funny, I thought more like this

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Whatnot


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