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Self-Defense then, Legally Sanctioned Justifiable Murder NOW!

Thank you Marc Fiore for the great satirical video; keep them coming!

After the horrendous decision of the jury in the Zimmerman case, the light has been shined on the law that allows this kind of legally sanctioned mis-interpretation of self-defense. This tainted interpretation of self-defense has allowed a jury to use their underlying predisposition of a young black youth to completely obliterate their common sense and proper legal instructions for self-defense.

In Florida, the Stand Your Ground law (SYG) has allowed for and even encouraged/protected unwarranted vigilante behavior of its citizenry. Stand Your Ground law has been effect in Florida for 5 years and since that time the rate of justifiable homicides in Florida tripled; How are you liking that Floridians? This sad state of affairs should make all law-abiding Americans take pause and realize that a reversal is in order on this approach to self-defense.

The Stand Your Ground law essentially gives every citizen the right to kill based a perceived level of threat of bodily harm or possible death regardless of how unfounded that perception is to the reality of the situation. In fact, if a person invokes the SYG law in their defense then they are actually protected against civil law suits. Can you think how America would feel if O. J. Simpson had used SYG as a defense; was found not guilty (as he did in reality); and then was protected from any civil prosecution?

Before the “Stand Your Ground (SYG)” law was implemented in Florida the provisions for and instructions to jurors on self-defense were vastly different. A typical judge in Florida would inform the jury that the following conditions had to be met in order for the defendant to qualify for self-defense in the state of Florida.

“The defendant cannot justify the use of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm unless he uses every reasonable means within his power and consistent with his own safety to avoid the danger before resorting to that force. The fact that the defendant was wrongfully attacked cannot justify his/her use of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm, if by retreating, he/she could have avoided using that force.”

This was, and should have continued to have been, the standard by which  a law-abiding citizen could invoke a self-defense plea in a civilized society. The fact that Florida has ventured so far from this commonsense approach to self-defense (which has been a part of the American judicial system for many hundreds of years) is an abomination to justice and the health of The Social Compact.

That was the provisions for self-defense in Florida and in all states in America, but in came the Koch brothers money, the American Legislative Exchange Council(ALEC), and the irresponsible Republican and Democratic legislators of Florida and now they have the “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida. This law takes an ominous and irresponsible turn on self-defense and now gives legal cover for justified offense; aka murder. It turns or gives cover for John Q. Public to go from a law-abiding citizen who calls upon police to handle a perceived criminal situation and turns them into a legalized vigilante with a license to kill with the added caveat of extra protections from civil liability’

Today, a Florida judge (as was the case in the Zimmerman trail) currently instructs jurors that the following minimalist conditions need only apply in court as a justifiable reason to take the life of another Floridian:

“If the defendant was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he/she has a right to be; the defendant has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his/her ground and force with force including deadly force; if he/she reasonably believes that it was necessary to do so to prevent great bodily harm or death to himself or another, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.” Read more…

European Austerity Do Your Counterproductive Dance!

EuropeanAusterity

In 2009 Europe shared in the fiscal joy that was the crash of all crashes. The answer that the European Union, the bonds market, and the banks saw as the remedy for said fiscal crash was to slash government spending. This slashing approach to the Grand Recession was supposed to trim the budget in the attempt to minimize the debt and to reassure jittery bond market holders.

This approach to an economic downturn is commonly referred to as Austerity. Austerity is from the Latin word “austērus” or Greek “austērós” meaning “harsh, rough, and bitter”. While austerity was supposed to deliver stability, lower the debt, and revive the market of the European economy, what it actually delivered was severe and unconsciousable economic pain.

What Austerity delivered was a further shrinking of the European economy; it lowered governmental tax revenues, and was counter-productive in terms of addressing the depression. In fact, there has never been a major economy that grew by cutting; it is the fallacy that appears to never die. As you shrink an economy (which has its foundation in government) so do you shrink governmental revenue and thus stagnate the economy further! Can you say “Economy 101”?

Here is an attempt at a analogy; your company has just suffered a great economic loss and your answer is to address this loss is to cut your personnel, cut your inventory, reduce advertising, and to cut the services you offer. How exactly will this fix the problem of economic abyss?  If you get shrink the means in which you can make income; how do you recover?  The answer is you DON’T! Read more…

They Are Not Entitlements, Damn It!

Earned BenefitsThe Right (Republicans) are all sounding out the cries of the alarm that the rationale for their electoral drubbing this year is all related to the idea that Democrats are Santa Claus and everyone knows that you can’t beat Santa Claus. As Mitt so in-eloquently stated “There are 47 percent of the people…..  who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what.” The clear and unambiguous implication here is that the nation has become a bunch of leechers or in the philosophy of Ayn Rand  the nation is now made up  of “makers” subsidizing society’s “takers.” With this philosophy as the foundation of Republicon party, the right has found some extremely misplaced solace in the idea that their philosophies are not wrong; it’s just that America is made up of lazy bums that lavish at the teet of Big Gommerment “government”. You know “That that’s entitlement”, as Millard famously said!

Entitlement is what the Right “Republicons and Libertarians” call Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance. This elitist reference to our “social safety-net” needs to be halted and rewritten in all halls of our political debates. Merriam-Webster dictionary online defines an “entitlement” as belief that one is deserving or entitled to certain privileges and neither Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid  or unemployment fall under this umbrella. All of the so-called “entitlement programs” are funded by the very same Americans that receive them. They are all forms of social insurance that we collectively pay for and  therefore should collectively receive. The Republicon party and their great wordsmiths has stolen the essential visage of these programs to the point that even Democrats are referring to them as entitlements. They are not entitlements, DAMN IT! Read more…

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