Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged Florida

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BREAKING: George Zimmerman Charged With Aggravated Assault After Allegedly Pointing Gun At Girlfriend

According to Caitlin MacNeal at TPM, Zimmerman was charged by Florida police today with “aggravated assault with a weapon, battery and criminal mischief after his girlfriend claimed he pointed a long-barreled shotgun at her inside their residence.” Zimmerman was arrested after pushing his girlfriend outside their home and barricading himself inside.

Filed under George Zimmerman crime florida please don't tell me you're shocked assault domestic violence

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott delays execution for Attorney General Pam Bondi’s fundraiser | The Raw Story

Mind you, this is a woman who is currently fighting to speed up executions in Florida. Except for when she needs to raise funds, of course. Then Marshall Lee Gore can wait.

Phyllis Novick, the mother of one of the women murdered by Gore, speaks for many of us when she questioned the priorities of the elected officials in Florida, saying, “What’s going on down there? It’s ridiculous.”

Indeed. What the hell, Florida?

Filed under Rick Scott Pam Bondi Republican Politics News Death Penalty Marshall Lee Gore Crime Justice Injustice Florida What the hell Florida?

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Report: George Zimmerman In Custody After Gun-Related Incident

He’s in “investigative detention” for domestic battery after allegedly threatening his estranged wife and her family with a gun. There is literally nothing else I can say at the moment, other than I’m sadly not surprised, particularly given his soon-to-be ex-wife’s assessment that Zimmerman feels “invincible” since his acquittal. The Orlando Sentinel has updates here.

ETA: Zimmerman is still being questioned by police. Apparently, Shellie Zimmerman called 911 saying George Zimmerman kept telling her and her family to “come closer” while he had his hand on his gun, and physically assaulted her father. Previously, she admitted to ABC News she was afraid of him and that he had been emotionally abusive. In her 911 call, she tells dispatch, “He continuously has his hand on his gun and he keeps saying ‘get closer,” and told her father, “Dad get inside the house George might start shooting at us.”

She also said, “I’m really really afraid. I don’t know what he’s capable of.” Police say the investigation is ongoing, but Shellie Zimmerman and her family are now unsure about pressing charges. 

Filed under George Zimmerman Shellie Zimmerman domestic violence abuse tw: abuse tw: domestic violence guns gun violence Florida news

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Florida Man Cites 'Bush Doctrine' After Pre-emptive Killing of Neighbors at Labor Day Cookout

Meanwhile, in Standyergroundland Florida…

And yes, he did also cite “Stand Your Ground” as a defense. He shot three people, killed two, and amazingly, the lone survivor survived being shot eleven times. 

Standing your ground with eleven shots into a single human being? Really? And citing preemptive war as a defense… I just don’t even know what to say to that.

Christ, this country’s gone mad.

Filed under Stand your ground gun violence Florida politics law lawblr guns William Woodward Titusville what is this I can't even

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Gun sales boom in Florida after Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Of course:

Doug Jackson, owner of Bill Jackson’s Shop for Adventure in Pinellas Park, said assault rifles and high-capacity magazines were selling particularly well.

When asked what was making sales increase so dramatically, Jackson said, “It’s the media driving it more than anything else.” Jackson said the issue was too sensitive for him to comment further. A manager at the home office of Shoot Straight, a chain of gun shops and ranges based in Apopka, declined to comment, saying he was too busy…

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that gun stocks were up, most notably Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. and Sturm Ruger, reversing losses that some gun manufacturers experienced Friday in the shooting’s immediate aftermath.

The Hyatt Gun Shop in Charlotte, N.C., racked up more than $1 million in sales Tuesday for the best single-day performance since the store opened in 1959, according to Justin Anderson, director of online sales. Topping the list was the Bushmaster AR-15, the model used at Newtown that sells for as much as $4,000 and had almost sold out, he said. Revenue at the shop, one of the largest U.S. gun stores, surpassed even the spike just after Obama was elected president in 2008, Anderson said.

Speculation over stricter gun laws will continue to boost sales, Anderson said. “It’s kind of the perfect storm for the gun industry,” he said. “When these things happen, even though it’s sad, it does pick up sales.”


I’m sure we can make provisions for other states as well.

Filed under Florida guns gun control politics AR-15

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Look, you know, God closes a door so that he can open up greater doors. I will continue to, you know, stand up and fight for this country. That’s my goal. And always remember, Abraham Lincoln only served one term in Congress, too.

Rep. Allen West, (R-Fla.) in a recent interview with NPR. He’s also compared himself to Harriet Tubman in the past, saying, “I’m here as the modern day Harriet Tubman to kind of lead people on the Underground Railroad away from that plantation into a sense of sensibility.”

Just. no.


You are not Abraham Lincoln or Harriet Tubman. 


And God did not open the door. The voters of Florida did. It’s labeled “Exit”

Filed under Allen West good riddance politics republican GOP Election 2012 lame duck Florida

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Judge revokes bail for George Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin case

A Florida judge on Friday revoked the bail for George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case, saying he had misled the court about his finances, and ordered him to present himself to the court within 48 hours.

Prosecutors alleged that Zimmerman, 28, hid from the court the fact that he had raised $135,000 on a website he set up before he was granted $150,000 bail on April 20. Zimmerman is facing second-degree murder charges in the shooting death of Martin, 17, in February.

In a hearing in Sanford, Fla., that Zimmerman did not attend, Judge Kenneth Lester said Zimmerman engaged in a “material falsehood” about his finances. Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda said Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie, led the court to believe they were penniless, which he called a “blatant lie.”

De la Rionda said the Zimmermans spoke in “code” about moving finances around during telephone calls while George Zimmerman was in custody.

Well, then. The court is typically less than amused when you lie, George. Remember that for your trial.

Filed under George Zimmerman Trayvon Martin crime race Florida Sanford

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Awkward: Tampa Asks Rick Scott to Ban Guns at RNC Convention

The Tampa City Council on Thursday said they would ask Florida Gov. Rick Scott to ban firearms outside the Republican National Convention later this year.

The council has already issued a citywide ban on items like pieces of wood, switchblades, slingshots, containers of bodily fluids and even squirt guns. A so-called “Clean Zone” around the convention area would prohibit string longer than six inches, glass containers, light bulbs, portable shields and gas masks. A smaller protest area would prevent demonstrators from having camping gear, bottles, cans and umbrellas. The Secret Service has said that only law enforcement will be able to carry firearms inside of the convention center.

But Tampa now needs Scott’s help because state law prevents local governments from regulating guns. City officials believe that Scott has the executive power to temporarily suspend that law.

"We believe it is necessary and prudent to take this reasonable step to prevent a potential tragedy," council member Lisa Montelione wrote in a draft of the letter to the governor.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has said that the state law makes the city “look silly.”

"The absurdity of banning squirt guns but not being able to do anything about real guns is patently obvious," Buckhorn explained last week. “Given the nature and the potential dynamic of this event, I think it would make sense that you would not want firearms introduced into that environment by people other than law enforcement.”

But… but… Second Amendment! Freedoms! Liberty! I WANT MY BOOMSTICK BEFORE OBAMA TAKES IT AWAY!

I love Bob Buckhorn’s comment. He’s right. It IS silly that the city can ban squirt guns and not real guns from certain places. 

Filed under Second Amendment Rick Scott Florida politics guns RNC Republican National Convention

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Too bad we can’t talk to Trayvon Martin about not being able to safely go to a 7-11 and back. 

But no, let’s all feel sorry for George Zimmerman, the man who shot an unarmed teenager who was on his way back from a 7-11 with Skittles and an iced tea. Because George Zimmerman can’t go to a 7-11 any longer - never mind the inconvenient fact that Trayvon can’t either. Because of your client, Mr. O’Mara.

Zimmerman’s life may suck now, but at least he still has it. Perhaps if Trayvon Martin still had his, this whole going-to-a-7-11 thing wouldn’t be a problem. 

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under SMH Seriously George Zimmerman Trayvon Martin no just no CNN media I have no pity Mark O'Mara Florida you've got to be kidding me justice for Trayvon

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COUNT 1: IN THE COUNTY OF SEMINOLE, STATE OF FLORIDA, on February 26, 2012, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, did unlawfully and by an act imminently dangerous to another, and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual, kill TRAYVON MARTIN, a human being under the age of eighteen, by shooting the said victim, and during the commission of the aforementioned Second Degree Murder, the said GEORGE ZIMMERMAN did carry, display, use, threaten to use or attempt to use a firearm and did actually possess and discharge a firearm and as a result of the discharge, death or great bodily harm was inflicted upon any person, contrary to the provisions of Section 782.04(2), 775.087(1) and 775.087(2), Florida Statutes.


From the issue capias filed by Special Prosecutor Angela Corey charging George Zimmerman with second degree murder.

It’s affirming to see it.

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under George Zimmerman Trayvon Martin justice crime justice for Trayvon Angela Corey Florida murder news

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We did not come to this decision lightly. We do not prosecute by public pressure or by petition; we prosecute by the facts of any given case as well as the laws of Florida… It is the search for justice for Trayvon that has brought us to this moment. We are not only ministers of justice, we are seekers of truth. Again, we prosecute on facts, not public pressure. We will continue to seek the truth throughout this case… Today, we filed an information charging George Zimmerman with second degree murder.
Special Prosecutor Angela Corey, disclosing George Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder.

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under Angela Corey Trayvon Martin George Zimmerman justice murder crime Florida Sanford injustice shooting

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Police Video Shows No Blood or Bruises on George Zimmerman

Imagine that:

A police surveillance video taken the night that Trayvon Martin was shot dead shows no blood or bruises on George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who says he shot Martin after he was punched in the nose, knocked down and had his head slammed into the ground.

The surveillance video, which was obtained exclusively by ABC News, shows Zimmerman arriving in a police cruiser. As he exits the car, his hands are cuffed behind his back. Zimmerman is frisked and then led down a series of hallways, still cuffed.

Zimmerman, 28, is wearing a red and black fleece and his face and head are cleanly shaven… In the video an officer is seen pausing to look at the back of Zimmerman’s head, but no abrasions or blood can be seen in the video and he did not check into the emergency room following the police questioning.

So… why is Zimmerman not in custody? A full roundup and debunking of rumors surrounding Martin’s murder here.

Filed under George Zimmerman Trayvon Martin crime politics racism murder Sanford Florida shooting

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Wherein the tighty-righty smear machine is tangled in its own racism

Anonymous asked you:
2012-03-27 11:11

Meg, I really need your help. Do you have links to the Trayvon Martin murder concerning the smear back-lash by certain right-wing outlets? A point-by-point dismantling of this blatantly false and blatantly racist “evidence” would be much appreciated for certain people in my social circle. I like how when the media actually reports on cases like this, the right-wingers call it “manufactured sensationalism”.

Meg at Cognitive Dissonance:


Yes, I have lots of links, info, and outrage.

First, I’m getting sick of the new meme regarding the media “ignoring” the “black on black” violence. Bernie Goldberg insists if both men were black, we wouldn’t know the name Trayvon Martin. He’s probably right. Why?

BECAUSE GEORGE ZIMMERMAN WOULD HAVE BEEN JAILED. No self-defense claim would have flown.

"What about all the dead black kids killed by other blacks?!" wails Heather Mac Donald of The National Review. I’m paraphrasing. Sort of:

Blacks commit 80 percent of all shootings in the city — as reported by the victims of and witnesses to those shootings — though they are but 23 percent of the population; whites commit 1.4 percent of all shootings, though they are 35 percent of the population. Add Hispanic shootings to the black tally, and you account for 98 percent of all of the city’s gun violence. In New York, as in big cities across the country, the face of violence is overwhelmingly black and Hispanic…

[T]he racial storyline that has been imposed on the shooting does not fairly represent contemporary America. That storyline is not just wrong, it is dangerous, because it only feeds black alienation and anger. Family breakdown, not white racism, is the biggest impediment facing blacks today, producing such casualties as the 18-year-old gangbanger who fatally shot a 34-year-old mother picking up her child from school in Brownsville, Brooklyn, last October. Sharpton and the national media didn’t show up for that killing, just as they don’t for the thousands of other black-on-black killings each year.

Screw examining the systemic explanations — let’s just chide people for the “racial storyline” while claiming “the face of violence is overwhelmingly black and Hispanic” because THAT’S NOT WRONG AT ALL. Perhaps examining the unequal criminal justice system, the incarceration rate of minorities, the efforts expounded by police in investigations dependent upon the race of the victim and perpetrator, and interactions with police in minority neighborhoods can shed some light on these statistics. 

Nah, let’s just throw some numbers out there about scary brown people.

On to the release of Trayvon Martin's suspension from school for traces of marijuana in an empty plastic baggie in his backpack. First, if the police department did indeed leak this information (and they need to get their pipes checked - lots of leaks lately) they may have violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act [FERPA]. The information in a student’s educational record, including disciplinary record, is not to be revealed without written permission.

Before any conservative naysayers exclaim: “But Meg! It says on the government’s socialist website with ‘free’ information that they can release the record to law enforcement! What about the weed?!” — the AP is on it, confirming Trayvon Martin has no juvenile record. Oh, and these things called facts show white youths are more likely to abuse drugs than black youths but black students, particularly black male students, are much more likely to be suspended and referred to the juvenile system

Of course, discussion of Trayvon’s maybe drug use fits nicely in with George Zimmerman’s claim he was suspicious and “on drugs or something.” The drug-crazed  brown man is an old canard:

Straight from The New York Times in 1914 — the only way to deal with drugs in the black community is to lock up “irreclaimable” users. As for marijuana:

Brown people are getting your kids hooked. Lock ‘em up. Does any of this ring a bell?

None of the alleged drug use matters, though. Zimmerman is not a cop, even if he aspired to be one. He didn’t observe Martin selling or using drugs. He just thought he was suspicious and up to no good. Neighborhood Watch captains are told to not carry weapons, and call 911 to report crime — not to confront alleged perpetrators because they aren’t police. However, Zimmerman thought differently. From the Miami Herald:

The recent shooting raised troubling questions about whether the homeowners association knew its volunteer was armed with a Kel Tek 9mm semiautomatic handgun. Many residents — black and white — question Zimmerman’s judgment and wonder why he would have engaged the teenager at all.

The answer may lie in police records, which show that 50 suspicious-person reports were called in to police in the past year at Twin Lakes. There were eight burglaries, nine thefts and one other shooting in the year prior to Trayvon’s death…

Since the beginning of the year, Zimmerman made 46 calls to police. His most frequent calls were to report “suspicious persons” — all of whom were black — including a skinny black male, about 7-9 years oldThe Orlando Sentinel reports:

Many of the calls start the same way — Zimmerman mentions the recent rash of burglaries in the area and identifies himself as a member of the neighborhood watch.

"We’ve had a lot of break-ins in our neighborhood recently and I’m on the neighborhood watch," Zimmerman said during one call. "There’s two suspicious characters at the gate of my neighborhood, I’ve never seen them before. I don’t know what they are doing. They are hanging out…loitering."

That day, the “characters” are two black men in a white sedan, Zimmerman tells the dispatchers. An officer is sent to check out the call, but it’s unclear if anything suspicious was uncovered. Another time he calls to report two black teens who match the description of suspects in recent break-in, who his wife saw and identified for police.

One of Zimmerman’s African American neighbors, Ibrahim Rashada, discussed his discomfort with Zimmerman’s zealotry in the Miami Herald:

[Rashada] does not walk around the neighborhood at all. "I fit the stereotype he emailed around," he said… “So I thought, ‘Let me sit in the house. I don’t want anyone chasing me.’” For walks, he goes downtown. [Rashada’s wife] listened to her husband’s rationale, dropped her head, and cried.

Zimmerman’s neighbors expressed frustration with police response and anger at his tactics. However, Zimmerman is not without his defenders:

Problems in the 6-year-old community started during the recession, when foreclosures forced owners to rent out to “low-lifes and gangsters,” said Frank Taaffe, a former neighborhood block captain.

"Just two weeks before this shooting, George called me at my girlfriend’s house to say he saw some black guy doing surveillance at my house, because I had a left a window open," Taaffe said. "He thwarted a potential burglary of my house."

Oh, really? You know this black man was going to burglarize your house? In the neighborhood invaded by “low-lifes and gangsters” no less… Taaffe’s emerged as one of Zimmerman’s primary defenders. There’s a lot of guilt by association and dredging up the supposed past in order to tarnish Treyvon Martin and black men in general. 

You wanna play that game?

Let’s play.

Frank Taaffe said George Zimmerman is just like him and a likable guy. Well, Zimmerman and Taaffe appear to have more in common than a pathological distaste for young black males strolling their neighborhood. Taaffe was arrested for Battery, Felony Trespass, and Domestic Violence. He’s also the respondent in multiple civil cases filed for non-support of children, “repeat violence,” and Domestic Violence from as far back as 1983, and as recently as 2008.

Zimmerman was arrested for domestic violence, resisting an officer with violence, battery on a law enforcement officer, and resisting an officer without violence. His father, a retired judge, insists his son is a good boy. These two men are smearing all people of color as “thugs,” “low-lifes,” and “gangsters.” Again, Trayvon Martin has no arrest record. None. But he’s a “thug.”

Certain elements stand alone. After being told not to pursue Martin by 911 operators, warned not to be armed as a neighborhood watch captain, muttering “these assholes always get away” and a racial slur, instigating a confrontation with an unarmed man, and shooting that unarmed man dead, George Zimmerman is still free and still armed. Witnesses state Zimmerman loudly reassured people it was “self-defense” and set his gun on the ground after shooting Martin. In fact, the lead investigator did not buy Zimmerman’s story, and wanted him charged with manslaughter.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who signed the controversial “Stand Your Ground” law in 2005 said this is not the proper application of the law. Bush said, “Stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn’t mean chase after somebody who’s turned their back." Like Zimmerman did.

Bush is not the only conservative to speak out. Columnist and commentator George Will said the law, “Tries to codify a right of self-defense that really confers upon citizens the illusion of these, that they have powers exercised by highly-trained police officers. Mr. Zimmerman says he was acting under this self-defense law, but he is said to have been recorded saying he pursued the person. You cannot be in pursuit and acting in self-defense." Like Zimmerman.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. even chimed in and said, “We all know there’s a racial component to this, and when the president highlights it, I don’t think it adds a whole lot. But nobody suggests that the president’s insensitive to the 17-year-old if he’d been white. I think the criticism by our guys was a little off-base.”

But it’s not about race, right? The fake photos originating from neo-Nazi sites, smearing Trayvon Martin’s name, calling him a thug via his alleged Twitter — that’s not about race, it’s perspective. Attempting to link Trayvon Martin and President Obama to the New Black Panthers isn’t about race, either. It’s not about race or politics when conservative site The Washington Free Beacon loudly proclaims “REGISTERED DEM KILLED TRAYVON" and "guns don’t kill people, Dems do." And we should feel sorry for Zimmerman because in many ways, "George has lost his life, too.

No. That would be Trayvon Martin. He’s the one who lost his life. You know, the one armed with Skittles, not a Kel-Tec 9 mm handgun.

Conservative blogger Dan Riehl writes the outrage is the fault of black leaders — not the guy who fired the gun. Seriously: “Said leaders, I use the term loosely, seem only interested in fueling outrage and a mob mentality for political gain. It’s sad to see so many black Americans still falling for it after so many decades. Their minds haven’t been freed, all that’s changed is the owners of the plantation. Too many would be black leaders are too happy to lead them down a path through a cotton field of ignorance and hate ending at the ballot box, before just going on and on with no real end in sight.” Disgusting.

Riehl also claims Obama is leading a “lynch mob” against Zimmerman since the Obama campaign sells hoodies. No word if Mitt Romney is also leading the mob with his fashionable “Believe in America” and logo zip-up and pullover hoodies:

Angry Black Lady rips Riehl (and others) apart on her site, Angry Black Lady Chronicles. And rightly so. Black men are persistently stereotyped as dangerous, hoodie-wearing thugseven though crime rates among black youth have fallen to record lows. Trayvon Martin’s crime appears to be "Walking while black" — a crime Bernie Goldberg or Dan Riehl will never be accused of, thanks to white privilege. Tommy Christopher writes:

This is the essence of the oft-misunderstood term “white privilege,” which is that even the least fortunate among us take for granted things that black people cannot. These don’t feel like privileges, because they’re really not, they are things that ought not be denied to anyone. It doesn’t feel like a privilege to catch a taxicab, or to walk around a store without being constantly watched and shadowed, or not to fear that any encounter with police could escalate to lethality… or to send your child to the store for a snack, confident he’ll return home without being mistaken for an imaginary criminal.

The murder of Trayvon Martin must spark a national conversation and one that must include people of color, for precisely the reasons outlined by Christopher. His fellow Mediaite columnist, Frances Martel, said, “[O]ur broken criminal justice system isn’t a black problem. It’s an American problem.” Until we acknowledge the existence of institutionalized racism, in a system serving liberty and justice for some, and then commit to real reform, Trayvon Martin will not be the last “suspicious person” gunned down for wearing nothing more than dark skin.

I hope this answers your question.



(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under Trayvon Martin race politics George Zimmerman Florida Sanford Bill Lee crime racism bigotry Frank Taaffe smear machine Bernie Goldberg hatred Dan Riehl drugs conservatives conservative Neighborhood Watch self-defense murder Lindsey Graham George Will Jeb Bush inequality injustice ask anon hoodies