Florida Shooting Forces Debate Over The “Stand Your Ground” Law

Federal authorities have announced that they are now intervening in the investigation of the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida. That will certainly enhance the completion of forensic evidence, which we discussed earlier as critical to a case like this one. I have previously cautioned that this is not such an easy case as has been suggested, even with the 911 tapes. One of the greatest barriers is the Florida “Stand Your Ground” law.

I am as angry about this shooting as others. However, there remain difficult questions under the existing evidence. The intervention of the Justice Department adds an interesting element While racism has been alleged, the statement by the Justice Department notably does not lay out the basis for intervention and does not say that local police asked for the assistance. That may produce questions from the family why this is a federal matter as opposed to a local matter. While Zimmerman is described as “white,” his family has insisted that “George is a Spanish speaking minority with many black family members and friends.” That does not necessarily mean that this is not a hate crime or civil rights violation. However, it is possible that Zimmerman acted out of his zeal as a “watchman” as opposed to race — the stated view of the police chief.

The DOJ is clearly treating it as a racially motivated shooting since the Civil Rights Division, in conjunction with the FBI, is participating in the investigation. Justice Department spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa states “The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation. The department also is providing assistance to and cooperating with the state officials in their investigation into the incident.” Cooperating is a different matter than a request for assistance. If they were not asked for assistance by the police, the question is whether the Justice Department views the local police as itself somewhat suspect in the handling of the case. We previously discussed legitimate complaints about aspects of the police investigation.

The most significant issue is the Florida “Stand Your Ground” law. The law protects citizens in their use of lethal force in self-defense. The law, found in 20 states, is an expansion of the protection afforded under Castle doctrine or “Make My Day” laws for shootings in the home. I have long been a critic of those laws.

The key component of the law is that it allows lethal force when a person reasonably perceives a serious threat of harm and such force is reasonable under the circumstances. Zimmerman is likely to cite the fact that he was bleeding from the struggle — even though he outweighed the teen significantly and was armed.

The concern of these laws is that the use of reasonable force is already protected under the common law. The laws are read to offer broader protection than the common law, which already has ample protection for reasonable force. The law specifically negated the requirement of retreat under state law. The law states in pertinent part:

A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

That still allows for serious question over whether, even if Martin did struggle with Zimmerman, there remains the notion of a fear of serious bodily injury.

I have said that aspects of the case remains murky. That is not to say that an indictment cannot be brought on the existing evidence, as I has said before. Again, the most salient facts against him are (1) the statement on the 911 tape showing animus, (2) the disregarded instructions not to follow Martin, (3) the advantage in weight and possession of a firearm in the struggle, and (4) the lack of any weapon or proof of criminal conduct by Martin.

While the basis for the intervention by the DOJ remains a bit murky itself, it may help with the many unanswered forensic questions. I am most interested in (1) the trajectory of the bullet, (2) the distance of the shooting, (3) the extent of injuries beyond the bullet wound on both men, and (4) the forensic analysis of the background of the 911 calls. Additionally, some have argued that the tape of Zimmerman has him using a racial slur, though many others have said that he is actually saying “punks.” An audio forensic expert could answer that question, which would relate directly to the purpose of the federal investigation.

Source: Washington Post

269 thoughts on “Florida Shooting Forces Debate Over The “Stand Your Ground” Law

  1. “A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be


    Was George Zimmerman, acting in direct defiance of a police directive not to follow Trayvon and while apparently muttering “they always get away,” and perhaps also saying “f*cking coons,” trespassing on the property located between the residences where the fatal shot was fired? I bet he was.

  2. I believe that this shooting was, at least in large part, motivated by racism. Clearly audible on the 9-1-1 call is George Zimmerman muttering under his breath, “F**king coon,” which is about as racist as you can get.

    There is also ample evidence that the Sanford police did not follow procedure when this incident was investigated; Zimmerman was not tested for drugs or alcohol, and the police attempted to “correct” one of the witnesses who heard Trayvon Martin screaming by telling her that it was Zimmerman she heard.

    If we cannot rely upon local law enforcement to properly investigate incidents like these, it is incumbent upon higher authority to step in.

  3. “While the basis for the intervention by the DOJ remains a bit murky itself, it may help with the many unanswered forensic questions. I am most interested in (1) the trajectory of the bullet, (2) the distance of the shooting, (3) the extent of injuries beyond the bullet wound on both men, and (4) the forensic analysis of the background of the 911 calls.”


    All interesting points and likely revealing of the facts of the case, but do we really need all that if Zimmerman was actually muttering “f*cking coons,” as he approached that African-American teenager with a 9mm whom he outweighed by at least eighty pounds with demonstrated animus on his mind?

    That’s a cold front blowing in by any measure, as Bob Dylan might say, and I know which way the wind is blowing. Common sense is sometimes the best evidence.

  4. After hour of calls to congress this morning to ask if we have “due process” in our state now….I ask you, Professor…

    Don’t these laws effectively wipe out ‘due process’? It turns average people into judge, jury, and executioner.

    I’m solid that Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin, regardless of his zeal. He did so to a person he stalked. He didn’t need to retreat because nobody was pursuing him. He pursued Martin.

    Thus, I raise a very serious and troubling question, if I take a late night walk for whatever reason, walk completely in the public street to and from my desired location (around the block for instance), can a person simply decide they are threatened, chase me down, shoot me then have the officers ignore evidence of murder because they point to “stand your ground”?

    This is insane land. What is the use of constitutional protection if a state can so easily dismiss your life so that your porch chair is so valuable we can kill someone to protect it.

    How many more murders can be committed now if the aggressor can decide “stand your ground” means stalk down suspicious person.

    Joe Horn’s case is no different. He murdered 2 men, denied them their right of due process and…NO CHARGE!

  5. When has the DOJ ever needed a reason to intervene…. Oh yeah…. Wall Street….. How soon I forgot…..

  6. mespo727272,
    Even before that description, when Zimmerman is asked what Trayvon Martin is doing:

    “Are you following him?” the dispatcher asked. Zimmerman replied: “Yep.”

    I’ll let you lawyers hash this out but, as a martial artist…”stand your ground” isn’t the same as “follow him”. In our discipline, if you come to class and admit to getting into an altercation, the response from Zimmerman would get him thrown out. “you aren’t to follow and claim self defense, you can go now”.

    We deal with self-defense from a view that is not questionable legally. We always teach, avoid. This ‘stand your ground” is the inherent opposite of ‘self-defense’ if what George Zimmerman did was “stand your ground”. It become a useless and abuse phrase to the logic of any reasonable human being.

    But this phrase is what told me he was a racist:
    “This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something,”
    “It’s raining, and he’s just walking around looking about.”
    “Now he’s coming towards me. He’s got his hand in his waistband. And he’s a black male…Something’s wrong with him”

    the phrase: “and he’s a black male” while describing actions…
    this is seen by me as “guilty of being black male”…why?
    ‘he’s up to no good’
    ‘he’s on drugs or something’
    ‘he’s coming towards me’
    ‘he’s got his hand in his waistband’
    ‘he’s a black male’
    ‘something’s wrong with him’

    AT NO POINT…does he mention a threat.
    He never indicates that someone is threatening him.
    a black male coming towards you isn’t a threat.
    question: what if a white woman with a hoodie was walking through the neighborhood and was to turn and walk towards him? Perhaps she’s lost, needs a phone. But no…Zimmerman is adamant, “he’s a black male”

    This is what Zimmerman did, and it is clear from the newly expose phrased ‘f-ing coons’ that we see more. I don’t need that. I have enough with the above text.

  7. I think that law most certainly applies to Martin, NOT Zimmerman since Martin was in the right legally, and he had every right to defend himself against an armed attacker. Too bad Martin was not armed to shoot and kill Zimmerman and rid us of him. Instead, a good kid is dead, and an armed maniac is loosed upon US.

    I am also stunned to find out that Zimmerman was not given a drug and alcohol test after the shooting. I assume that cops get that as part of a routine as we do in aviation after any incident. It is absurd for Zimmerman to get a pass on this, which really calls into question the actions of the cops. This is more evidence of being shot while black, and most certainly warrants DoJ intervention as it did during the civil rights moverment when murder was routinely tolerated by local cops against all black citizens.

  8. A couple things: First, the “instruction” given by the 911 operator was ambiguous: “We don’t need you to do that.” Arguably, that was advisory, not mandatory.

    On the other hand, it seems that Zimmerman was doing more than standing his ground — he followed the kid, who appears to have been doing nothing other than “walking while black,” and confronted him. That would seem to be some kind of stalking to me. Moreover, Zimmerman didn’t just exercise his right to not retreat — he confronted the teenager who was moving away from the area, so it raises the question whether Zimmerman was really in a place he had a right to be — that is in a position that prevented Trayvon Martin from continuing on his way. On balance, it seems lilke Zimmerman caused the situation that he now claims caused him to fear imminent harm.

    I don’t think the problem is the “stand-your-ground” law, it is a person who went beyond what that law allowed. After all, Trayvon Martin had the right to be where he was, too, and had no duty retreat, although, apparently, he was effectively in the process of doing so when he was forcibly prevented from carrying that out.

  9. “the lack of any weapon or proof of criminal conduct by Martin.”

    Why am I reminded of the Sgt. Crowley-Professor Gates fiasco?

    Quite possibly because the police are claiming one thing happened when common sense tells us something quite different took place.

  10. Porkchop, I disagree that the problem isn’t the ‘stand your ground law’ not because of Zimmerman’s actions but because of the police department inaction due to this “law”.

    They wiped out due process!

    Evidence chain is screwed.

    There should be no place where the police simply look at a law and say, ‘we’re not going to investigate’ because….and then insert the excuses from this case.

    This is unacceptable. I cannot tolerate an ambiguous police force and consider myself protected under ‘due process’.

    From a defense point of view, Zimmerman’s case is easy…the evidence chain is screwed, I’ll pick apart ever gap between the day of the incident and now and discredit the police department.

    As someone who believes in vigorously defending people, there is a noticeable difference between defense and offense. I can support people defending their homes and property. Zimmerman’s murder of Martin does not match a reasonable defense of property or life. He’s a racist zealot and the police didn’t catch that because they hid behind a law.

    I don’t trust the police departments integrity at this point. But we’ll see…..

  11. I think the question on Justice department intervention may be on the behavior of law enforcement following the shooting rather than strictly on the shooter. It could also be that the Justice Department is feeling political heat and is reacting to that. There could be a question about whether or not the actions of law enforcement were affected by racial bias. I haven’t seen anything so far that indicates that. Also, I’ve not seen any announcement by law enforcement that their investigation is complete and, for example, that the shooting was found to be lawful. For all I can tell the investigation is continuing and at this stage the prosecutor and police not prepared to either “exonerate” the shooter or to make an arrest. Come on people, has no one at least ever watched “Law and Order” on TV? You’ve got to investigate. You’ve got to gather the evidence. Then, based on that, you move for an arrest and prosecution, or if the evidence does not support that, you do not. The “facts” publicly known so far, as told and re-told in the print and television media do not seem to lean in favor of the shooter. I’m not sure though that the police and prosecutor can use newspaper and media pundits’ spoutings as evidence. If the case goes to trial, I hope the prosecutor has more than just that to advance the state’s case. This is again a time when everybody pulls out their particular “political hobby horses” (thank you former Governor Kaine) to advance political agendas and send out fund raising letters for their respective organizations. A young man is dead. Sadly, we cannot bring him back. We can seek justice, however, but it should not be mob justice ruled by the street. The police and prosecutor must do their jobs, professionally and meticulously, in order to bring this about. We should expect that they will do that, that they are doing that.

  12. “He didn’t need to retreat because nobody was pursuing him. He pursued Martin.”

    Amen, Michael! Therein lies the rub that very few have paid real attention to so far. Zimmerman was pursuing him and CHOSE to remove himself from the safety of his vehicle. If someone were to follow me in their car and get out to confront me, I’m not sure I wouldn’t me confrontational right back at them.

  13. THIS testimony convinces me that Zimmerman committed a murder. The kid did not know why Zimmerman was even following him, and it sounds like Zimmerman assaulted Trayvon, not the other way around.

    Stand Your Ground does not apply if you are the assailant, Zimmerman stalked and confronted Trayvon with no justification; if this ear-witness testimony is true, Zimmerman should spend the rest of his life in jail.

  14. Excuse me,
    but it’s called “stand your ground”. It does not say: “pursue and arrest and murder if resisitance is offered”. He has committed murder for only those reasons.
    His place was in his car. When he left it, carrying a gun, etc then he was no longer protected by the FLA law, IMHO , NBAL you understand.

  15. This is the most I’ve read about the case. Most things were from local news or people talking about it. But what I have heard is that people were really angry that Zimmerman wasn’t arrested (let alone breathalyzed). So I’m going by what I heard. But my understanding of the law, is that this man should have been arrested on the spot. I thought the police would not be the ones to determine whether this was self defense. I thought the prosecutors would decide whether to pursue that, and if they did, the jury would determine guilt or innocence. I mean (from what I understand) he shot the guy, and he doesn’t seem to be denying it. There were no eyewitnesses (that I’ve heard). Doesn’t that mean automatic arrest???? And sort out the reality of self defense and the guilt or innocence later?

    I’m in Florida by the way, and that has always been my understanding of how the law works here. Please let me know if I’m offbase here (as I don’t like to be totally ignorant)!

  16. MCMcCullum,
    had not read your posts before my post.
    you sewed it up law wise IMHO. and righteous wise too.
    And the whole FLA police corps should get off their lazy butts and do some work sometimes. Write off so much as the prosecutor wants, is routine there, P. doesn’t like work either. And the labs are always cranky.

    Must be the climate.

    Nope, same here too, at least the cops are genuinely confiict avoiders.
    But they kill very few and defuse most situations. but duck a murder, nope.

  17. The fact that the police had Treyvons cell phone for 3 DAYS, while the child lay in the morgue shows absolute incompetence to me. They listed him as a John Doe and did NOTHING to investigate the identity of this dead youth. That seems to me to be highly suspect for racism or incompetence or both.

    The father was being badgered by the police to turn over his ‘lost childs’ cell phone, when they had it in their possession the whole freakin’ time. The police look like idiots and buffoons in this case.

    Lets see, shooting and dead teen in a neighborhood, a report from a father of missing teen in same neighborhood. No one connected these simple facts for days. The whole case is a horror story.

  18. Anonymously Yours: “When has the DOJ ever needed a reason to intervene…. Oh yeah…. Wall Street….. How soon I forgot…..”

    And voter suppression laws in a dozen states that amount to a poll tax and disenfranchise groups specifically protected by civil rights laws and statutes.

    If DOJ was doing it’s J-O-B there wouldn’t be any investigators from their Civil Rights Division to put on this case, DOJ would have to hire contractors.

  19. What leftsideannie said.
    It does look like the only investigation this matter is going to get is from DOJ, the problem with the local investigation is that, from all available information, there wasn’t one.

  20. This would not be the first time racist elements in police forces in the south have utilized “state law” as a ruse, shield, and cover for racist activity.

    The only hope, albeit thin, is that it is the last time.

  21. I will leave for others to discuss the specifics of this tragic incident.

    The structure of the ‘stand your ground’ self defense laws seem to open the possibility for serious questions in the mind of the public, at best, and mis-use, at worst.

    Mis-use of a firearm is not in anyone’s interest.

    It is hard for me to imagine the reasonable use of lethal force that does not also include the necessity to use lethal force. But how can one get to ‘necessity’ if it is possible to walk away from a situation?

    Everyone, perhaps, especially gun owners and those who support a personal right to keep and carry firearms, ought to be concerned about ‘stand your ground’ laws.

    Laws that lead to reckless use of firearms or the perception that the use of firearms is based on something less than necessity don’t make anyone safer.

    In the long run ‘stand your ground’ self defense laws can make responsible ownership of firearms more difficult or impossible.

  22. Michael Cheneywatch McCollum,

    I don’t disagree with you that the police department appears to have done a rotten job. I don’t have any sympathy for Zimmerman based on what I have heard, but none of us are privy to the actual investigation.

    But exactly what evidence are you concerned about? Alcohol & drug test results? I understand that if the guy turned out to have been high or dead drunk, perhaps it would have been easier to cast doubt on his purported judgment. Was there a struggle? Knowing whether the shooter was intoxicated would not tell you whether or not there was a struggle. At this point I think that we don’t know from news reports whether there was any physical examination of Zimmerman’s body for bruises, abrasions, or other signs of a struggle on his part.

    But even so, Zimmerman admits he shot this young man; presumably, the police have the pistol. The rest of the physical evidence is presumably still available — for example, as discussed above, the autopsy report and clothing would give information regarding bullet angle and perhaps distance between them.

    You seem to believe that the simple fact of a shooting alone, without more, provides a basis for an immediate arrest. This is a sympathetic case for such a rule, but it seems overbroad to me. I agree that this shooter seems suspect and unsympathetic, but if the shooting alone is sufficient to arrest, then that rule drags in a wide variety of shooters. What about, say, a woman who says she shot someone to protect herself from a parking lot attacker/potential rapist? Are you going to arrest the putative victim as a matter of course? Leaving aside the question of whether it is legal (and in Virginia, where I live, it is not) to carry a firearm while under the influence, would it matter to you whether the putative victim in such a case was intoxicated?

    I don’t know if the man is guilty or innocent. Based on news reports, I suspect he ultimately will be found guilty of homicide of some type eventually, unless something remarkable comes to light.

    I do question, however, the public rush to judgment on this. Let the justice system do its work.

  23. One criminal statute that was tailor made for the fundamental facts of this case is 18 U.S.C. § 249.

    The statute that applies to the police conduct is 18 U.S.C. § 241.

    These apply to modern “lynchings” and their cover-up in any way shape, or form.

  24. Pork chop: thank god we have new technology that the teen used that can document the timeline of events!

    Otherwise the ‘policemens pet’ Zimmerman, admirer of all cops everywhere and policeman wannabe would have gotten away with what appears to be a cold blooded murder.

  25. shano 1, March 21, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    The fact that the police had Treyvons cell phone for 3 DAYS, while the child lay in the morgue shows absolute incompetence to me. They listed him as a John Doe and did NOTHING to investigate the identity of this dead youth. That seems to me to be highly suspect for racism or incompetence or both.
    The history of that region, that department, and that community at large, indicates racial animus.

    The statutes I cited above, and this discussion by a U.S. Attorney, indicate how far and wide this problem still is.

  26. If you think this Zimmerman case is difficult for a federal prosecution, check out this one:

    A protracted state prosecution followed and, due to a number of difficulties with witnesses and evidence, Mardis pled nolo contendere in state court and received a fifteen year sentence in April 2007.

    From the outset, the [federal] case presented daunting challenges: there were no eyewitnesses to the killing; there was no direct physical or forensic evidence, not even a body; almost all of the potential government witnesses had perjured themselves during the initial investigation; and Dale Mardis had a close relationship with two young African-American men whom he had mentored since childhood.

    (U.S. v Mardis) Notice that a state prosecution had taken place and a 15 year sentence imposed.

    That did not stop the zealous feds involved. Justice prevailed.

  27. Civil rights group asking Floida Governor to suspend Zimmermans concealed carry permit. One would think this is a no brainer, but apparently not. The NRA has really screwed up the Justice system in any case…
    Elahi argued that action by Scott was essential in light of the “botched” investigation by the Sanford police, which accepted Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense despite numerous witnesses and other evidence that conflicts with his account. Zimmerman would then be able to contest the suspension at an administrative proceeding within 20 days.

    Thus far, Scott’s administration is defending its decision to keep Zimmerman’s permit active, arguing that “short of a permit holder being convicted of a felony, the state does not have the authority to revoke a permit.”

    Elahi also criticized the decision of Brevard-Seminole State Attorney Norman Wolfinger to send the case to a grand jury rather than charging Zimmerman himself. According to Elahi there is concern in the Florida civil rights community that these proceedings are secret, so the public will never no what evidence is or is not presented to a grand jury. If Zimmerman was simply charged, all proceedings would take place in open court.


  28. pork chop,
    you make a lot of assumptions on how it has gone, without any info on how it did. Dredd says he lay on a slab for 3 days with a John Doe tag on his toe.
    Does that sound like a forensic autopsy was performed. Does all else we’ve heard: the police did not take the weapon, they did not take him in for questioning and/or any processing, etc.

    You sound like a typical apologist for police who point to routine, but when routine is ignored or perverted in practice, you fail to see reality—-just coming with your standard song and dance.

    Don’t mean to demean, but the profile seems to emerge from your post.
    You don’t have to take sides, but don’t PRESUME it went down like you think it should have in usual cases in VA.

  29. In regard to the police investigation:

    There are early reports that the first officer or officers on the scene asked Zimmerman questions first rather than get him to give a comprehensive statement.

    It would seem at least possible that by questioning first the officers could have guided or limited Zimmerman’s statement of the facts. It is certainly possible that this ‘tainting’ of Zimmerman’s statement might have been thoughtless and innocent on the part of the officers and perhaps harmless. But doesn’t asking questions prior to getting a complete statement raise questions regarding the police investigation?

    In addition there are reports that officers on the scene corrected witnesses regarding who called for help. Doesn’t correcting witnesses undermine the possibility of getting clear, accurate statements from the witness regarding what was seen or heard?

    I don’t think one has to be an expert in police procedure or interrogation techniques to wonder if police were trying to conduct an impartial investigation or trying to reach a predetermined conclusion

  30. “But even so, Zimmerman admits he shot this young man; presumably, the police have the pistol. The rest of the physical evidence is presumably still available ”

    I don’t presume this at all. And physical evidence ‘still available’ from Feb 26th?…and its integrity is?

  31. Zimmerman was so well known that his profile, which every one doing his area was required to know—-could in fact have been: “Nut, walking gun looking for someone to shoot, caution, get him off our sheets if he blows up.
    Use castle routines.”

    Prejudicial, No, just realistic. He was trouble, but ev useful. At least kept the blacks off the streets. etc. That’s always a good reason down South.

  32. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/21/us/justice-department-opens-inquiry-in-killing-of-trayvon-martin.html?comments#permid=213:2

    “Mr. Zimmerman had reported a “suspicious” person to 911 shortly before the encounter, saying a black male was checking out the houses and staring at him. Mr. Zimmerman, a criminal justice major, often patrolled the neighborhood. He had placed 46 calls to 911 in 14 months, for reports including open windows and suspicious persons. ”

    Did you read carefully. Z. is a criminal justice major. Raises a lot of questions, none relevant but shows he needed a life.

  33. idealist707,

    Well, then, based on the news reports, let’s just hang the guy right now, shall we? No need for the prosecutors or grand jury to look at the actual evidence, whatever it may be.

    My ideals involve not jumping to conclusions. How about yours?

  34. (ah, Grand Jury. ) Really, if the state & the police have nothing to hide there should be a trial, out in public, for all to see.

  35. The Media, not this article, has characterized this vigilante variously as: Watchman, Neighborhood Watch Patrol, Watch Patrol. Nowhere has there been any evidence that any authority, be it town, police department, condo association, neighborhood association, confered any authority to this vigilante. He is out there with a gun playing cops and robbers and the cops knew about him in the past.

    The race angle. The factor is required for a Justice Department Prosecution. No race requirement or component if the schmucko was sued along with his superiors and town, for violation of the civil rights act for killling someone under color of law. If the vigilante had acted as a private actor in conjunction with public actors under color of law. Those facts might be proven here. The cops, by their previous conduct, and this days events, might have made him a private actor, acting in conjunction with them. The town has municipal liability under the civil rights act. 42 U.S.C. Section 1983. The plaintiffs can get attorneys fees under Section 1988 of that Title.
    Go gettem.

  36. LK,

    Points made on that…. My suggestion here is that lots of other things need to be done by the DOJ but the try and get them to action is like expecting molasses to pour out of a cold jar……

  37. Porkchops,

    It is amusing to see that you disengage your brain as soon as you sense a challenge. You are not alone on that here.

    Really hard to know how to get you to loosen up and listen with an open mind.

    It was you that made the assumptions that the police handling was in order just as it always is, and particularly in Virginia.
    Note; I say assumptions, as you offered no citations of proof at all.
    I challenged you on that grounds solely.

    I have opinions, and for the moment the reported facts in the press show that no investigation was done at all by the police; contrary to your assumptions. Just read the media, and what’s been cited here by Dredd and several others.

    You are welcome as they say to your opinions, and to cite them here.
    But when no facts are shown, then you can be challenged fairly on the basis of contrary facts.

  38. Idealist,

    You base your opinions on “the reported facts in the press”. It may surprise you to learn that the press often gets the facts wrong, particularly in criminal investigations. I am acutely aware of that after 30+ years practicing law. We have prosecutors, grand juries, and trial courts (and defense attorneys) for a reason — to get the facts. Maybe it is different in Sweden.

    You conveniently ignore the statement in my first post that I don’t know if the shooter is guilty or innocent of a crime and the statement that based on the reports he probably will be found guilty of some form of homicide. But of course that depends on whether the facts reported in the press are really facts.

  39. At the time JT posted things were a bit different, in the sense that he said:

    While racism has been alleged, the statement by the Justice Department notably does not lay out the basis for intervention and does not say that local police asked for the assistance.

    I have found a letter from the City of Sanford that says:

    The City of Sanford is committed to insuring that justice is served and, therefore, the City of Sanford has contacted the United States Attorney General’s Office for assistance in this matter.

    (Letter, PDF). That may explain why DOJ, in addition to the national outcry, got involved.

  40. I still say Obama said to Holder: “Calm this shit down, I don’t want to lose my brothers’ votes.” and Holder sends the cavalry.

    I just wish big O would pull out posthaste from Afghanistan.
    But the SS, DoD, FBI and the CIA would have a new turkeyshoot.
    Or as we saw in the video: “What’s my agenda?” , “Bomb Baghdad!”,
    “You got it.”.

    Can we make a sidebet; that Civil Rights is the smallest division in the DoJ?

  41. Damn good digging Dredd.

    Now if you could just convince Pork Chop that there has been no investigation in Sanford by the “poooo-lees”. He’s got 30 years law practice and says press reports are shit sources. Got any other proof.
    You who digs in DA and other files.

    Good man. I’ll vote for you. What cha runnin’ for??

  42. “Smokin'”?
    “Only when I torch cars with Whitey in’em”.
    “Thas fine, can I help”?
    “Seein’ youse my buddy, you get firsties.”
    Care to continue the dialogue anyone?

    Just trying to do justice to “porgy and bess” which was written after several months of study on site by George Gershwin in “disadvantaged” communities. If you want to see some white ones, google Disfarmer or go to disfarmer.com. people are beautiful. corporations are evil. very simple.

  43. I believe the Troy Davis case caused OWS to grow tremendously last fall. The people are intense, they know injustice. This case adds more fuel to the fire.

  44. This young man’s life extinguished by execution. Compelling legal arguments aside, my tears drop steadily as a mother, American Citizen and decent human being.

  45. The DOJ is clearly treating it as a racially motivated shooting since the Civil Rights Division, in conjunction with the FBI, is participating in the investigation. Justice Department spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa states

    bet tv newsreaders love it when her name shows up on their teleprompter.

  46. Anybody else curious that during 911 call Zimmerman says Martin has his hand in his waistband? (I presume it is supposed to create the possibility of going for a gun that was tucked in his waistband.) How do you do that when you are on your phone and carrying iced tea and Skittles?

  47. sheafferhitorian, I would agree with you except there is enough in the news that I have doubts about the adequacy of the local investigation.

    I admit, I do not know what really happened. I don’t think anyone knows at this time. But now is the time to try to preserve the evidence that still exists.

    I don’t doubt that the federal decision is essentially political. But isn’t the whole point of government to respond to legitimate concerns of citizens?

    I think the kindest think one can say about the local investigation is that since their view is that there was no crime then they did not investigate very much. Those with a more cynical view might make far less charitable remarks.

    Sure its political when the administration responds to the outcry of citizens. In this case it appears that the questions and concerns are reasonable.

    This is an example of politics when it works.

    Unless your are prepared to argue that DOJ cannot be trusted to make an impartial investigation, I think you ought to get on board and say this is good news.

  48. Pete,
    “Justice Department spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa states

    bet tv newsreaders love it when her name shows up on their teleprompter.”

    XO like you’re scarfing up some spit, CHI like KI, TL like TL;
    The rest is clear.

    Do you believe me? Have you heard their versions, or do they ignore it by redacting.

    wonderful, you should try pronouncing gambian indian, kurdish, turkish, colombian, eritrean, ethiopian, somalian, iraqi, iranian,lebanese, moroccan, etc. I have several more, but you get the idea.

    PC requires cosmopolitan capabilities. Think of Herodotos.

  49. @sheaffer: Hard to support such quick Federal action for such obvious political purposes.

    I do not care why the right thing is done, just that the right thing is done.

    The whole point of us having the power to elect politicians is that we expect the politicians to try and please us so we will vote for them again. If they are not motivated by their own moral outrage, then by our own design we want them to be motivated by OURS.

    I feel outraged at this murder. I am not the same race, age, or economic class as anybody involved in it, but I feel outrage nonetheless. I do not make the stupid assumption that Obama or Holder are incapable of outrage, but in the event that they are, I am glad they feel motivated by ours, and it would be racist bigotry to attribute their actions to racial solidarity when the more universal moral outrage at a blatant stalking and killing of a young man is their most likely motive.

  50. Tony C. 1, March 22, 2012 at 7:57 am

    The whole point of us having the power to elect politicians is that we expect the politicians to try and please us so we will vote for them again. If they are not motivated by their own moral outrage, then by our own design we want them to be motivated by OURS.
    Tru dat.

    We have evolved into The Kingdom of Etch-a-Sketchia, a suburb of Bullshitstan.

    A Plutocracy with little regard for “the little people” together with impunity for the ruling elite.

    Constitutional laws become disrespected in such premises.

  51. TPMMuckraker
    ALEC, NRA Pushed ‘Stand Your Ground’ Legislation At Center Of Trayvon Martin Killing
    Ryan J. Reilly March 22, 2012

    Florida was the first state in the country to pass such a bill, but they weren’t the last. And like many legislative trends, this one has its roots in the conservative American Legislative Exchange Counsel (ALEC).

    Minutes documenting a 2005 meeting from an old ALEC website provided to TPM by the Center for Media and Democracy and Common Cause show that Marion Hammer of the National Rifle Association (NRA) pitched model legislation to ALEC’s Criminal Justice Task Force. An old NRA update also documented the meeting. “Her talk was well-received, and the task force subsequently adopted the measure unanimously,” the NRA wrote in an Aug. 12, 2005 post on the NRA website.

    As Matt Gertz writes over at Media Matters, Florida’s law is “virtually identical” to the so-called “Castle Doctrine Act” proposed by ALEC and the NRA’s suggestion.

  52. Focus Must Be Narrower
    by Adam Winkler, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law and the author of “Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America.”

    Stand Your Ground laws, which eliminate the longstanding legal requirement that a person threatened outside of his or her own home retreat rather than use force, are the latest manifestation of the political strength of the gun rights movement. First adopted in Florida in 2005, Stand Your Ground laws, drafted and promoted by the National Rifle Association, have since been enacted in some form in more than 20 states. The Trayvon Martin shooting suggests that, in the rush to adopt these laws, lawmakers and gun advocates have gone too far in authorizing the use of deadly force.

    Although the facts of Trayvon Martin’s death remain uncertain, we know that George Zimmerman, who was active in the local neighborhood crime watch, suspected Martin was a criminal and shot him on a Florida street. Despite being instructed by police to stay away, Zimmerman confronted Martin. The situation escalated quickly into violence. The police have yet to arrest Zimmerman, apparently because Florida’s Stand Your Ground law entitled Zimmerman to use deadly force.

    Florida legislators, however, insist the Stand Your Ground law does not provide a defense for people like Zimmerman, who pursue and confront someone. Florida Senator Durrell Peadon, who sponsored the law, said that Zimmerman “has no protection under my law.” According to state Representative Dennis Baxley, “There’s nothing in this statute that authorizes you to pursue and confront people.” The law, Baxley notes, was designed only “to prevent you from being attacked by other people.”

    The problem is that nothing in Peadon and Baxley’s law says this. It provides that any person may use deadly force when “he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another.” So long as someone reasonably thinks he or someone else is in danger, he can shoot to kill, regardless of whether the shooter is the one who initiated the hostile confrontation.

  53. is it me or is it incredibly irresponsible for an attornety to state that zimmerman may be a police informant (as in above video….)????

    so Zimmerman is apparently set up to be everyones coatrack….

  54. Opponents Of Florida’s 2005 ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law Predicted ‘Racially Motivated Killings’
    By Judd Legum on Mar 21, 2012

    Seven years ago, opponents of the “Stand Your Ground” legislation predicted it could lead to racially motivated killings. From Reuters, April 2005:

    “For a House that talks about the culture of life it’s ironic that we would be devaluing life in this bill,” said Democratic state Rep. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach. “That’s exactly what we’re doing.” […]

    Critics say the measure could lead to racially motivated killings and promote deadly escalations of arguments.

    “All this bill will do is sell more guns and possibly turn Florida into the OK Corral,” said Democratic state Rep. Irv Slosberg of Boca Raton.

    These objections, apparently, did not persuade Rep. Dennis Baxley, the bill’s chief sponsor and someone who hasn’t show a great deal of empathy for racial sensitivities in the past.

    Baxley is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and has advocated for the production of a Florida license plate honoring “Confederate Heritage.” He also argued against removing a racial slur from the Florida state song.

  55. What I have found interesting is what media outlets that are “REALLY”” covering this story and what media outlets are covering this story.

  56. Well, maybe I will be the outlier liberal here, but I agree with at least the spirit of the Stand Your Ground law. If I am legally required to retreat when threatened, that makes threats a legal means of restricting my access to public space. Why should THAT be legal?

    Everybody has the right to public spaces, and a legal demand that I retreat means I can be discriminated against and intimidated into leaving.

    I believe in self-defense; if some bully doesn’t want me there, tough shit. I should be allowed to stay, and if he rushes me, I should be allowed to defend myself with lethal force, I should not be required to retreat.

    Perhaps the law is worded wrong, but in spirit, a legal requirement to submit to intimidation and retreat is even more wrong, it violates your right to liberty and assembly and public spaces and undermines my right of self-defense and legalizes threats and intimidation.

    Zimmerman is still wrong, he deserves a jury trial, but there is no way any law can be interpreted to allow what he did; he admits he was following the kid and that he confronted and cornered an unarmed kid and shot him. He was the aggressor, only a rigged jury would buy a self-defense argument from a man with a gun against an unarmed child.

  57. Tony C.1, March 22, 2012 at 10:00 am
    I have to think on this some. I agree with you mostly, except that I believe the ‘spirit’ of this law is to protect those already in danger of being victimized…ie; being attacked. For the law to work, in actuality, it needs to be understood by everyone and backed up in the courts ( that would take serious magic IMHO) ….and unfortunately it looks too wobbly and wonky and too easy to ‘use’ by the wrong party…hence a good idea with horribly harmful shoes…..

  58. also; “I believe in self-defense; if some bully doesn’t want me there, tough shit. I should be allowed to stay, and if he rushes me, I should be allowed to defend myself with lethal force, I should not be required to retreat.”…….

    suppose the party in the ‘right’ is not the largest, the strongest, the one with the most resources ….? This law makes victims.

  59. @Woosty: What is right or wrong does not depend on the physicality of the person, on either side.

    Physical assault is already against the law. In some states (perhaps all, I don’t know), “assault by intimidation” is against the law as well.

    My point is simply that if somebody is telling me they will kick my ass, and they rush me with a baseball bat, I should not be required by law to turn tail and run.

    In my self-defense classes, I have put on the ground decisively by a woman a foot shorter than me and a hundred pounds lighter than me, and I am pretty damn sure she can’t lift what I can lift.

    I agree the law as it is written probably does make victims, but the idea that nobody can be required by law to back down from a bully seems like the right idea to me. The opposite law, that one is legally required to retreat, ALSO makes victims; it means one race or group can effectively seize a park and exclude another race or group.

    Anybody should be allowed to exercise their courage and remain where they are and ignore slurs cast at them, and if attacked, anybody should have the right to respond to violence initiated by another with violence of their own, without fear of legal punishment because some bureaucratic coward thinks there is no shame in running away.

  60. Who is NRA a front for?
    Woosty, what’s the difference between a citizen, a watch guard and a police informant? NLT= not living there, is why I ask.
    And what happens to coatracks? N I thought informants were members of crime groups, not police groupies/wannabe’s, Huh?

  61. Very simple, using a lethat weapon carries a built-in verdict of guilty.
    Whoever wields it has the burden of proof at least.
    And gun carrying should be abolished, and the NRA should be banned (I should hope, HA!).
    Any other wishes for today?

  62. @idealist: I take it you do not believe in self defense.

    Ensuring that law-abiding citizens are unarmed is an invitation to predators, whether they are armed or not.

  63. Tony, don’t let yourself get caught in the need to discuss these items as “liberals” or other.

    “required to retreat” v “stand your ground”
    as a martial artist, I have a view on this that isn’t ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’
    1. Life is delicate, even for jackasses.
    2. Ending a life is not hard.
    3. Maming is even easier.
    3. Society lives because we’ve surpassed our need to simply beat each other and our brains have created options.
    4. One option, retreat.
    5. Next option, engage
    6. If engaging, how to engage. If retreating how to retreat.
    7. Make a decision and remember…Rule Number 1, 2, 3.

    Now, I’m quickly simplifying the old supposed Shaolin code (one my school lived by), “Avoid rather than check, Check rather than hurt. Hurt rather than maim. Maim rather than kill. For all life is precious, nor can any be replace”

    From my view, the whole question is based in ego.

    There simply is no need for such a standard to exist. We have ‘self-defense’ protection and that wasn’t enough for these lawmakers. GOPers want to shoot bad guys. They want this justified by law…which means the law itself is ‘prejudice’ prima facie.

    “legal requirement to submit to intimidation”
    isn’t the same as ‘retreat’. Intimidation is a very subjective condition. I’ve met people intimidated by me who had no need to feel such a bad feeling. It doesn’t mean they are being threatened. I don’t feel intimidated so I can’t easily identify with the feeling these days, but I was a youth. It is something to be aware of in in our culture, but if you can’t make a distinction between killing for intimidation and killing over a mortal threat, NO, I don’t want to give you the luxury of executing.

    “self-defense”…isn’t the same as trying to hold onto a public space. You’re overlapping a few things here than aren’t inherently joined. This is confusing your articulation.

    “I believe in self-defense; if some bully doesn’t want me there, tough shit.”
    Sorry, all ego. Self-Defense has nothing to do with “doesn’t want me there”. I believe you are properly righteous about confronting bully behavior in the public space. But that isn’t ‘self-defense’. That’s territorial. You don’t have such a need to hold a park space that you should be given the option to kill. You already have the right to defend yourself.

    I’ve focused on this twitchy ‘self-defense’ discussion for over 20 years. I’ve spent years helping friends, colleagues, my children, and others deal with self-defense while working overtime to sooth their mustang minds that haven’t bridled the real threats from perceived threats. In fact, we even practice real versus perceived threats as part of our curriculum.

    I do appreciate you sharing your view however, I’m not rushing you…don’t shoot.

  64. SwM and others who may have reacted to my prrevious question.

    Of course it is the gun industry, including all retailers etc who are paying NRA’s freight. And here’s a NYTimes article about the NRA and their lack of a hot issue. As they write, you can pass a law admiting concealed weapons in church only one time.


    Wonder how many of the increase in such related murders in FLA are “real” and how many are staged? As it is, it’s just a permit to commit murder.
    On your husband when he comes home late. “The lights were off, I said George, and got no answer. So I did just what he told me to do. I fired the gun.”

    This one is terrible to contemplate. Doesn’t the police have any responsibility to report people whose judgement is in question. It can’t be the first screwball 911 call recorded. Screwy this.

  65. @Michael: Sorry, all ego.

    No it isn’t, it is simple equality. I have just as much right to be there as anybody else.

    Plus I am not talking about confronting bullying behavior, which suggest I am taking some action against it. I am talking about inaction, I do not have to back down, I can stand against them.

    Self-Defense has nothing to do with “doesn’t want me there”.

    Yes it does. If somebody is threatening to hurt me if I do not leave, I can ignore them. If they attempt to carry out that threat, I have the right to defend myself.

    That’s territorial. You don’t have such a need to hold a park space that you should be given the option to kill.

    No more territorial than the people trying to eject me! Besides, I never said I would kill over the park space. I have a right to be there, and if somebody wants to risk their life to get me out, then that risk was not MY choice, it was theirs. I will stand my ground, and if they attack me I will fight, win or lose.

    If somebody attacks me, they may lose their life. You are the one that is confused, I would not kill for a space: I would kill if I were attacked. THEY would be the idiot deciding it was worth assaulting me to deny me the space, and thereby risking their life.

    I am not a coward, and being legally required to act like one would cause me mental distress and the loss of the respect of people I care about. It would victimize me.

    I reject your Shaolin creed. I have exactly as much right as the next person to liberty and freedom, and no citizen has a greater right than me to a public space by dint of force. I have no responsibility to soften the consequences of their decisions; if they think their life is precious, they should not risk it by deciding to assault others to get their way.

  66. I don’t care if you reject any creed. Your assertion about ‘right to the public space’ has nothing to do with “self defense” in any legal fashion.

    If I buy tickets to a theater show, (presume right to be there) and I’m thrown out, should I shoot the bouncer who removed me if he works for the talent but not the venue? of course not. I have a right to be there apparently, I’m being asked to leave and I want to assert my right…Pull out the gun?…or would I find a venue authority to counter the visiting talent’s bouncer?

    Perhaps you aren’t a lawyer, and I know I’m not…but I can run you down the ‘right to public space’ road all day long and never meet your right to ‘self-defense’ in the process. Because they are not joined at the hip.

    ” If somebody is threatening to hurt me if I do not leave,”
    Threatening to hurt you is a different act! It is already illegal under existing non ‘stand your ground’ laws.

    “If they attempt to carry out that threat, I have the right to defend myself.”
    again, has nothing to do with a public space, your right to travel freely..you have transcended to ‘threat’. Threat is already covered!

    If you can’t make a distinction between your “right to be in a public place” and a “threat to hurt”…then you aren’t capable of convincing me you have am unconditional right to pack heat. You are a danger if this is how you are merging these concepts.

    Conflating two points doesn’t make your point.

    And nobody called you a coward…that is silly.
    But the idea that you’d yank “coward” out…says much about the macho nature of this conversation. I can introduce you to lots of cowards in the military brass if you think ‘retreat’ means coward. ‘retreat’ is an effective option. When you make ‘retreat’ so unbearable a concept that it must be removed from the books, you have set up a nice egofest based on shallow ignorant views of ‘retreat’.

    “I will stand my ground” is pure ego in its best displayed form!
    is it your ground? no..its our ground.

    “I have just as much right to be there as anybody else.”
    Completely different matter than self-defense.
    That has nothing to do with self-defense. You are conflating.
    You can take this with your local law enforcement, officials etc. If you are unable to enjoy the same public space as others, there are ways to handle that have nothing to do with your ‘self-defense’. In fact, for long term changes, you should involve more of the community. That is long term community self-defense. The rest is ego.

    “I have a right to be there, and if somebody wants to risk their life to get me out, then that risk was not MY choice,”
    Passes the buck on your part of the experience. Demonstrates your predetermined kill motive no less. “risk their life” shows you have very little value for others in dispute. You are the center of the universe?

    I have no doubt you are not a ‘coward’ but your words are filled with fear, insecurity, and it just confuses your examination of the distinctions between one set of rights and another.

    CONFLATION:Conflation occurs when the identities of two or more individuals, concepts, or places, sharing some characteristics of one another, become confused until there seems to be only a single identity — the differences appear to become lost

    If you will stop conflating the right to be in the public, macho and all, with the right to defend if under attack, you will go much further. The fact you are merging these so seamlessly is exactly why people are going to resist this “stand your ground” view.

    And as for your snipe about a creed….it isn’t your creed, so there is nothing for you to reject It is a moral guidelines for people with deadly skills and power. When you’ve had as many lives in your hands as I have, including the assholes you fear, then you realize this is all shallow fear based talk. I’m not interested in your macho nonsense. It is all your baggage as clear as day.

    As a person trained in how people can be harmed, I have a responsibility. It is no different than owning a gun. I take that role very seriously and have had to obey the creed for its best wisdom. It has saved others.

    The fact you don’t get it, shows what is wrong with your take.
    No where in the creed does it say, “cede life” to anyone. It is a moral guideline for responsibility with power. That you don’t get it, only makes my point about your self-defense understanding and a measured an appropriate response.

    …a boy is dead as a result of this bullshit. I’m being very forward with you because I’m not interested in padding this conversation.

    Self Defense: Defending self against attack or threat.
    Not same as:
    Defending right to be in a public space.

  67. McCollum,
    Inscribe it in bronze please, or better yet, run some posters, I’ll pay for setting them up.
    And can you open a shop in Stockholm—not that it’s needed here to cool off the machos, just for the police perhaps.

    But your creed needs sharing, as well as the difference between the two condepts you summarize at the end.

  68. “But your creed needs sharing, ”
    My wife just suggested I explain the creed, so I will

    First the entire creed can be summarized as “measured and appropriate response”. This is why it it seems silly for someone to “reject it”.

    From the Shaolin view, which is a Chuan Buddhist school:
    “Avoid rather than check, Check rather than hurt. Hurt rather than maim. Maim rather than kill. For all life is precious, nor can any be replace”

    Avoid what?
    That which needn’t your involvement.
    Spelled out. Do I need to be in this mess or will it solve itself. Is there a real threat? Someone really being harmed or potentially? Does this rise to the need of my involvement…if not…avoid conflict. No need to complicate what might be fine without me.

    However, sometimes this isn’t so possible. Sometimes you cannot or should not avoid a conflict. Thus you:
    Check: This lets any person threatening you that you have now sought to avoid a problem but that didn’t work and you still would like no problem but are making it clear you are not going to ignore it.
    Example: a bar I was in about 5 years ago had a tough talker in the bar and my friend tells me, “mike, go show him whats up.” as he snickered. I looked over and two men were getting heated but they weren’t serious about fighting. “nah, they got it”.

    When a 3rd guy stepped in, I stood up to see if there needed to be balance here in case it was getting out of control. I was…checking. I wasn’t avoiding.

    It died down, we all went home, no punches thrown. Just bullshit macho nonsense, not atypical for the area.

    In other examples check has been, “no, you aren’t going to do that, I suggest you leave her alone and back away.”
    I’m not threatening him. Nor am I provoking further angst. I am however engaging this with patient examination of motive (what I call the twitch….I don’t like twitchy types that can’t control themselves)

    Guy decided to take a jab at me because “how dare you tell me how to handle my girlfriend, jerk!”

    He missed. Does that give me the right to blow him away? How stupid would that be? and a waste of a life. He’s a dumbass, but he’s someone’s dumbass. I didn’t avoid his violence, nor did I feed it. When he noticed I could avoid being hit fairly well, he lost interest.

    But even though the ideal resolutions happen most often, there are times when they don’t. There are times where force is necessary and there is little time to run through the committee. A simple chin na wrist lock, thumbs or fingers, elbows, all these become my tools. Your body joints are my friends in a fight. They’re vulnerable and easy to harm. I’ve had to do so in the past and it isn’t something to giggle about, rave about, nor put on a notch. It is a sickening feeling to successfully break an arm, knock someone out, and then walk away thinking, “was just trying to enjoy a night out”

    I’d rather break your wrist than shoot you. But first, I’ll simply use your own self interest to back off by locking up your wrist, elbow, shoulder, neck, whatever I can get. I will apply only the amount necessary to get you to stop telling you all along the way, “you don’t want this and I don’t want this. Shall we stop?”

    Now, mostly when you have a man on the ground with his arm locked behind him, pressed up against a vehicle, wall, etc in full lock…they don’t want their arm broken, eyes gouged etc. So don’t. If you’ve won, stop. Subdue until law enforcement arrives. Been there, done it.

    There are very very few chances even the most experience fighters need to maim anyone. But it does happen. Having someone who is so bent on fighting that they will sacrifice a broken arm, leg, eye puncture, etc. Fights have no script. They are potentially deadly each time. I’d rather break your leg than kill you.

    Never had to, Probably never will have to. It is a concept that is utterly foreign to me. But being right on the threshold is not. Having the option, certainly is not. I’m a hot blooded Scot. What tough guy Tony rants about isn’t foreign to me. Of course we defend our brood and our home and all that. Its second nature. But with responsibility and maturity, you gain clarity.

    I’ve met too many people who at an older age regret their younger mistakes. I take it as my portion of this life to not deny someone that later life to reflect. I know I don’t like every choice I made, I’m sure you have regrets too. What if in those moments we had our life snuffed out. Cut someone off and get shot in the head because they ‘had a right to the lane’.

    This is why it is important to check one’s ego at the door when discussing violence and responsibility.

  69. Tony C,

    Your idea of standing up to bullies doesn’t work so well in a state where everyone could be carrying a concealed weapon.

    Maybe you want to run that risk but is this the advice you would give your son or grandson? And I guess there is no reason to ignore girls, is this the advice you would give to your granddaughter?

  70. @Michael: No, it is you that is doing all the conflating. I have never argued for anything except the right to defend myself against attack with deadly force.

    It is not insecurity, and I do not care if you think it is macho. Hurl all the insults you want at me, I have the right to defend myself against attack.

    And I am not “passing the buck,” I am assigning responsibility correctly.

    I did not say retreat wasn’t an option, I said being legally required to retreat victimizes me, it makes standing up to a bully a crime, and that is wrong.

    You do not seem capable of comprehension.

  71. @Curious: I have not said people should stand up to bullies at all costs. You are misinterpreting my comments. I would not risk my life against somebody with a drawn weapon.

    My comment is that a LAW that DEMANDS I retreat before intimidation victimizes me and supports intimidation as a tactic of discrimination, that if I WANT to stand and fight, or push back, I should have the right to do it. I agree with the spirit of the Stand Your Ground stance, you can defend yourself, you do not HAVE to retreat if you do not want to retreat.

  72. @Michael: Laws that require you to retreat in the face of a threat are laws that make standing up to a bully a crime. Read the Turley piece above, where it says, “The law specifically negated the requirement of retreat under state law.”

    Obviously Turley believes Florida (and other states) have a requirement of retreat. So you try again.

  73. Tony C.
    And I’m getting involved in your fight, which McCollum says I should not do.
    See how stupid I am.
    If you have respect for the law, the five centuries experience with common law should be enough This new law which you support, has been around since 2006. The NRA supported it , it was great for the gun dealers and the burial parlors—-and guys like you who won’t take no shit from nobody.
    How old are you? Excuse me for asking.

  74. From NYTimes comment today.
    “West Palm
    Florida, especially South Florida, is a place where many people fell free to act out their hostilities. When I moved here seven years ago, I could not understand why people were so quick to flip their middle finger at someone they didn’t know or otherwise provoke you over minor issues. I understood when a local unarmed man was shot to death during a dispute at the scene of a minor traffic accident. The shooter was not arrested because he ‘felt threatened’. I saw how easy it was for anyone to get a gun in this state, including criminals. This allows little people with low self-esteem to feel important enough to say and do things that they would not have if they did not have a gun on them.
    I am not an advocate of taking everyone’s gun away; but gun lobbyists, who have most Republicans in their pocket, have extracted most of the common sense out of gun laws. ”

    TONY C.

  75. you recite turley? I said…RECITE THE LAW THAT REQUIRES DEMAND and you quote Turley?

    “appeal to authority fallacy”
    as awesome as Prof Turley is, that isn’t the authority you cite.

    Duty to retreat is not “demands retreat”
    It is a demand that you consider your role to de-escalate not escalate. By reminding you of a duty to retreat, it is reminding you to de-escalate. You’ve turned it into ‘taking on the bullies’ which means you have willfully engaged in escalation. This makes you culpable for the outcome. Later, when a jury is considering your involvement, your desire to escalate should be considered by a jury, not by you.

    That is the case before us in a ‘stand your ground case’

    Did you want that fight?
    Did you BULLY BAIT?
    i’m an expert bully baiter, bud…I know this game inside out. I have your numbers all in front and can punch them like a dial because you wear your junk on your front. You are culpable in your attitude alone…the bully isn’t the only one in the mix if a bully baiter is there.

    “duty to retreat”
    this idea is to make sure we can later discern your intention. These ‘stand your ground laws’ put the right of execution hands of people who have little training to decide the right to life.

    Having you out there with such flippant views about escalation does one thing, adds to the uncertainty of safety that you claim you seek.

    I’m not here to insult you. I’m not calling you a coward, I’m saying your comments reflect unsettle fears I simply don’t calculate in my experiences in street fights, bar fights, and even a soccer riot. I live in a ‘tough’ part of town by some standards and yet, I have few issues ever because I simply read the threats as they are. I don’t fidget in public when even full blown fights are in play. Having a gun twitching around definitely does not help when conflicts arise. It is already hard enough to guarantee that police officers will handle the job professionally and they go through years of specified training.

    A sense of threat is subjective and self-defense can be a tricky argument. I know the difference between defense and offense…can’t claim defense when you’re out bully hunting. Just doesn’t compute.

    I’m all for your home, property, and or other location you were equally discharged to protect or found as your ‘castle’.

    But public space? No, you don’t get to take that away from us in your personal challenge to your perceived “bully”

    Bully and intimidation are subjective
    If you escalate in that room, that property, in a park, you should be brought before the public no different than anyone else and we should know if you escalated this event.

    If you did, you should bear your responsibility and NO MORE. Nobody should require you sacrifice your life, another life, to simply retreat. You didn’t lose anything except the right to have a jury give you a good bill of health. That doubt was proscribed by a legislature.

    If that is the standard you want, hope you never get perceived as the intimidating bully because you set a ball in motion that arranges your fate.

    “stand my ground” is not stand OUR ground and decide for us. Public space is public for a reason.

    Zimmerman’s case doesn’t align here because he went hunting. But you have described escalation in so many of your comments its hard to accept a ‘right’ to decide for the rest of us what will occur when safety matters. You already have the right to defend.

  76. idealist707, in the paste few days, I’ve read so many silly comments that confuse offensive behavior with defense.

    “standing up to bullies”
    Who doesn’t support that? I have yet to see a code cited that allows you to be put in jail for standing up to a bully. If you escalated the event though, yes, you probably got accounted for. And this is how justice should work. It is equally for your benefit. I’ve been through it. The prosecutors, grand jury, or other gets to make sure you are clear.

    “stand your ground”
    takes this away and gives it to the citizen. I’ve lived in some very strict countries where getting into a fight will be much worse for you than the US. And even there, defending myself wasn’t questioned. I stood up to someone and wasn’t even treated poorly during the investigation afterwards. So this is all a canard used to promote gun sales to people who feel afraid of the world. NRA pulls this shit along with the ‘they’re gonna take your right to defend away’.

    fear based politics doesn’t help us. these laws don’t help us. Zimmerman’s case isn’t the only one. Turning out a bunch of vigilantes so they can buy more guns. what a country!

  77. McCollum,
    I was popular because I could dance, and girls liked that.
    Some of the boys didn’t. One fullback type put me up against the jukebox.
    I bought a gun the next day, but he never showed up. If I had faced him, one or both might have died.

    Speaking of survival. Guns should be banned.

  78. @Michael: You say you are not a lawyer. If you do not believe Turley’s column is an accurate reflection of the law, why bother reading it?

  79. idealist707,
    and that is the point. you know that another day came. but lets take it out of your context for a moment…and no guns.

    I was about 19 or so and at a pub when a guy jumped a friend of mine. My friend is a bit of a twit and talks shit…but thats it. not a fighter. when the guy hit him, I lost it. He hit him for no reason to show off to a girl standing near by. Purely senseless. I went too far in my opinion after I had him under control already. I was pissed. Fortunately for us all, we both survived that day and no serious harm was done in the end. In those days, you didn’t even get a call from a prosecutor if the pub owner didn’t mention it. People just dusted off and moved on.

    I was pissed. I had upper hand, pure self-defense claim because of his attack by every account including the guy starting it. I know because weeks later he apologized to me and I to him. “Mate, I had that coming. I’m sorry. You were just doing what was right.” He apologized to my friend that night moments after hitting him because I said if he didn’t do so immediately the hand and eyes were mine. Arm already was mine.

    This is no way to have control over others without others being able to say, ‘you’re bringing it too’

    We have a society. I understand that the governmental breakdown frustration Tony conveys leads to these laws. It doesn’t matter if its a thick city area or patchy rural area, things happen and people are vulnerable to the aggression of people malicious intent. I’m not unsympathetic to his view at all. I’m sure there are many points in there we agree and got lost.

    We should be held accountable by our peers, not ourselves.

  80. @idealist: I am retired. Earlier than most; but retired nonetheless. I have a grown, married daughter who has a child.

    I do not carry a gun. I do own guns. I served in the military. I was not an officer. I earned the top available score in my marksmanship training (along with some others, about 5% of the class). I do not hunt; a friend of mine gets me out every few years to shoot targets with him. I am still pretty accurate with a pistol or rifle, even though I never practice. My memory is very good for such things.

  81. “@Michael: You say you are not a lawyer. If you do not believe Turley’s column is an accurate reflection of the law, why bother reading it?”

    THE LAW?
    There is no “the law”…there are laws.
    Which law are you subject to? Cite where you have a ‘demand’ to retreat. Not some ‘general’ law statement. Different states have different ‘demands’. You said you were being ‘demanded’ upon.

    Thus, cite the law.

    Turley’s comment about the Florida law are contextual.
    Red herring question answered, “because Prof Turley is a legal genius”

    And just because I’m not a lawyer doesn’t mean I don’t know law or specific laws as they’ve applied to me. You ask why I read Turley? I read lots and lots of law. Lots of my family including parent are lawyers. You sort of get surrounded by very litigious people. Try being in an argument with a parent for a lawyer. Try signing a contract with a wife who is a lawyer. Its a hoot.

    My brother served in a state senate as a staffer…hmmmm….lawyers…there everywhere.

    Still doesn’t tell me which “demand” is placed on you.

  82. “Police Chief in Sanford, Fla., Stepping Aside Amid Shooting Controversy

    The police chief at the center of a fatal neighborhood watch shooting says he is stepping down temporarily because he has become a distraction.” (NYTimes)

  83. And if you’re asking why I read turley:
    “Some of us have been very critical of these laws as unnecessary and based on a misrepresentation of both the criminal and common law. ”

    ” Now politicians in Pennsylvania have latched on a new gimmick: a law called “stand your ground”

    Find plenty of criticisms…but no law he references that “demands” you retreat.


  84. @Michael: You are not worth discussing anything with; you are incapable of admitting when you are mistaken. Obviously retreat laws exist, or they would not have been referenced by Turley as having been overridden by the Stand Your Ground law in the first place. He is simply not that careless. There is no need to escalate that caution to “legal genius,” he is a teaching professor of the law, that is sufficient.

    You do not know what you are talking about, and I won’t waste any more time on somebody so afraid to admit an error that they will resort to just making shit up.

  85. @Blouise: What do you think makes sense? He is claiming there is no such thing as a requirement to retreat. Turley specifically mentions that the SYG law overturns a requirement to retreat. Do you think Professor Turley is mistaken on that point?

  86. One interesting aspect of the law not much discussed involves the draconian penalty legislators have attempted to impose on a plaintiff convicted of a “forcible felony” in connection with the incident who sues a defendant who successfully invokes the protection of the statute:

    (a) The losing party, if convicted of and incarcerated for the crime or attempted crime, shall, as determined by the court, lose any privileges provided by the correctional facility, including, but not limited to:
    1. Canteen purchases;
    2. Telephone access;
    3. Outdoor exercise;
    4. Use of the library; and
    5. Visitation

  87. “Obviously retreat laws exist,”
    Yes, retreat laws exist. You are talking about a demand upon YOU. I asked you to recite the law that DEMANDS you retreat.

    You said you were demanded upon to back down from a bully. I asked you what law, you reference Turley.

    And I love this: “You do not know what you are talking about,”
    No, I know exactly what I’m talking about, I don’t know which law YOU are talking about.

    For a military man with so fast a display of marksmanship, you sure can’t hit the target.

    You are on a legal blog and I’m engaging you about the distinctions of self-defense. You get your buzz in a whirl and fall apart. Its cute, but not necessary.

    “You do not know what you are talking about,”
    Well I guess neither does Professor Turley who shares the same views on this topic that I have. Fascinating.

    (note: don’t fall for your own strawman about ‘retreat laws exist’. those were yours)

  88. Tony, you were referencing “a legal requirement to submit to intimidation and retreat is even more wrong”

    Turley never referenced a law that does this…so I asked you …which law requires you submit to intimidation?

    Or is that your hyperbole?

  89. @Michael: If retreat laws exist, then people are required to retreat. Since I am a citizen and I do travel, I can be subject to such (state) laws from time to time. Thus at times I personally am required to retreat, if retreat is possible, rather than stand my ground against an assailant.

    If you do not think that is correct, you are incapable of basic logic.

  90. ” If retreat laws exist, then people are required to retreat.”

    First, Tony, we’re adults, there’s no need to quit on each other with two completely different sets of experiences.

    If you are a military person, you clearly have chosen at some point to get training and feel confident in your training with firearms, no? But along with that you were bound by the UCMJ. You had rules along with your duty that were in place for a reason, you were given power.

    Why you’d argue against a check on that power, is beyond me outside what I’ve simply grown to consider ‘macho bullshit’ aka “I don’t have one gun, I got guns!” a form of bragging about power. It isn’t unlike Zimmerman’s quest for glory. You aren’t my mental image, but your words don’t make a good case for ‘stand your ground’ if their based on the false notion that you have to ‘submit to intimidation’. I’m working out of the context YOU mentioned.

    I have said you do not have to ‘submit to intimidation’. But…that if you stand up to it, you have to calculate the consequences of your engagement. You dispute that? It is basic math.

    Where we collide is that I don’t trust every tom dick and harry out there to be deputy and executioner. I’m quite aware of the risks and have been in the middle of them myself. “don’t know what you’re talking about” falls apart with my many years of experience in fights, conflicts and riots.

    We also collide on the intersection between “coward” and “retreat”. I’ll leave you to your own interp of that, but they aren’t the same. A retreat one moment or day can be the wisest move you ever made if you are even an offensive player. Draw them in, pop them after. This goes on and on.

    Knowing when to retreat is basic martial wisdom.
    It shouldn’t elude the conversation.

    “I reject your creed”
    Because you don’t understand it. Its ok, its internal kung fu. Not that external stuff you’re doing. “I don’t have a gun, I have guns”! Brav-Fuckin-O

    Maestro, I relent, you have won. You are the master of the moment. Hope you stand your ground well.

    But I’m going to go with that softy, Prof Turley on this one. Let us know when you’ll be in the public square so I can ‘retreat’.

  91. Now, now, Tony.

    As a lawyer and a martial artist, perhaps I can clear this up.

    Under common law, there is a duty to retreat – i.e. a requirement that a person retreat from an attack if possible and allows the use of deadly force in self defense only when retreat is not possible or when retreat poses a danger to the person under attack. This 1) is not universal to all jurisdictions and 2) is a standard applied to the burden of proof to determine reasonableness when claiming self-defense as an affirmative defense. The Florida law operates exactly as Professor Turley described it – it removes the attempt to mitigate violence by retreat from the equation of determining reasonable action. This “duty to retreat” however is a duty in the absolute sense you seem to think it is. You don’t have to wait for an opponent to strike the first blow or run away at the first sign of confrontation. You have to show you tried to avoid violence until such a time that violence became unavoidable.

    However, by in large (I might quibble a bit on a detail here or there), what MCM is saying about the nature of self-defense from a martial arts standpoint (and a legal standpoint) is correct. Self-defense does not include your “right to escalate”. The legal keys to self-defense are reasonable and proportionate response to a threat. If I kill an attacker coming at me with a knife, that is a reasonable and proportionate response to the threat. If I kill a kid I outweigh by 100 pounds because he comes at me with a bag of Skittles, that’s an unreasonable and disproportionate response. What you fail to recognize here Tony is that good martial arts training actually requires a higher standard for taking maiming or lethal action than the law often does. Where the law is written in general terms as to what a reasonable person would do in a threatening situation, a properly trained martial artist is going to evaluate the situation in greater detail because they are trained to stop a situation using the minimally required force. Killing someone is actually fairly easy. Stopping them or deterring their attack with a minimal amount of damage to them (and minimal amount of risk to you) is where the training comes in.

    MCM’s logic is fine.

    It’s your understanding of the duty to retreat that is flawed.

    Self-defense is not just an affirmative defense, but an inalienable human right.

    This instant case does not pass the self-defense smell test. Nothing about Zimmerman’s actions seems reasonable. The Martin boy’s actions do not add up to pose a reasonable threat. Zimmerman was “hunting” and his reactions to the police request that he stand his ground indicate that in addition to the what Trayvon was saying on the phone the girl.

  92. Gene, thanks for the articulation you just shared.

    My martial training saved my life many times and many lives because of that code. It tempers the mind to focus on what is required.

    I’ll never see it differently at this point because to whom much is given, much is expected. As you said, it isn’t hard to harm, so it requires very delicate care.

    I’ve been scorned by my sibok for my bully baiting. I know very well what I’m talking about when it comes to escalation and keeping it hidden even. To the outside viewers its one thing…my sibok knows me better than I know myself and his wisdom never failed me in critical life situations. Each asked for a tempered mind, clarity about the need to engage, and care for life. Take away any of these, and there isn’t much I can count on!

  93. Glad you got here Gene H.

    MCM was so good that thought you might be using him as a sockpuppet to give Tony C a hard time.
    I am most impressed, OT, with the view of martial arts which M CM reveals, and the firm ground you provide for future discussions.
    Good work all.
    And thanks MCM for sharing your life with us, as well as your creed.

    To Tony, think of your grandchildren, and think of Gene’s admonition of comparable response. I think your daughter would prefer see you retreat.

    That’s what is scary about the SYG law. You are a threat. BANG.
    And a prosecution is no comfort to this family or the son.

  94. “MCM was so good that thought you might be using him as a sockpuppet to give Tony C a hard time.”

    Not really. You wouldn’t Gene H. this was just a screwy way to say that MCM was damn good.

  95. lol, thanks idealist. I’m simply speaking from experience. the rock under my feet that isn’t based on extended beliefs first.

    also, lawyers are sort of rhetorical martial artists…problem solution….very dynamic ways of viewing kung fu across wide ranges of disciplines. my law knowledge is based in family osmosis and real life cases where I had to explain what happened and listen and read verdicts that weren’t removed from my experience. I’ve seen good people pay the price for stupid mistakes that started from macho bullshit. They are wonderful people.

    I got nothing but love for Tony C. He’s speaking from the heart. Rather he speak up and be challenged than harbor unchecked views. I need my views checked, but checked before maimed, maimed before killed.

  96. @Gene: It’s your understanding of the duty to retreat that is flawed.

    No it is not, Gene. I understood it precisely as you wrote. A duty to retreat is a duty to run from a fight, if retreat is possible, which is what I just wrote in a previous post. I regard that as an injury to my psyche, I believe I should NOT have to retreat if I am attacked even if retreat is an option: I should have the right to stand my ground and fight. Whether or not the attacker is killed in that fight is really beside the point, as far as I am concerned, the “duty to retreat” is a requirement that I accede to violent coercion if that is possible and I think that is wrong.

    In my opinion and my morality if somebody else attacks me violently, and I swing back and crush his throat with the blade of my forearm, I have done nothing wrong, even if I could have escaped him instead. He assumed the lethal risk of fighting me by striking me, or swinging a bat at me, or whatever attack upon me he perpetrated.

    I think a duty to retreat is a wrong standard to apply to the reasonableness of self-defense.

  97. @William: I’m not sure who you are addressing; I am not a member of the NRA and no money of mine supports any gun lobbyist in any way. I do not think of a gun as an extension of myself, I think of a gun as a tool. I am no more attached to it, or enamored of it, than I am of a potato peeler.

  98. MCM,
    You maybe should have been a lawyer. But that was meant as admiration, not advice.

    But it is your sibok and this self-discipline which could be fascinating to me.
    Suggestions to following up, preferably self-study. Finding a reputable sibok (guess that would be needed at one point) would not be easy.
    It’s like finding a good therapist. Studying any form of esoterica requires a leader/monitor at times when the waves roll and the winds blow and darkness falls. Rumi and others have recommended it.

    This book might interest you. You may have seen it when Mike S. reviewed it.

    Takes a few moments to download. 40 pages should give you the drift.
    You seem to read people and situations very well, but maybe this will give you something.

  99. “A duty to retreat is a duty to run from a fight, if retreat is possible, which is what I just wrote in a previous post.”

    No. It’s not. It’s a duty to avoid violence until it becomes unavoidable. It is not a duty to run away. I realize that it is a fine distinction, Tony, but it’s an important distinction. You don’t have a right to escalate. Period. End of story. If you think your staying in a public place is reasonable in a given circumstance? Make your case. Reasonableness is the standard. However, your right to be in a public place does not equate for you to having a right to be belligerent about it as an appropriate and reasonable response in the face of a threat.

    “I think a duty to retreat is a wrong standard to apply to the reasonableness of self-defense.”

    And in the wrong jurisdiction, Tony, your ego and refusal to acknowledge the standard of judgment applied to determining reasonable action could get you prison time. Your belief and the operation of the law are not the same thing. Feel free to be as indignant about it as you like, but the legal fact of the matter is you’re wrong.

  100. Common law on retreat, unless retreat is not possible—-with exception to someone entering your house (my home is my castle) is the edict from 1500 england, the king’s men shall handle disputes.

    Then we got duelling idiots like Andrew Jackson.

    And now those who would die to preserve their right of not retreating.
    Or in some cases pursue or attack and use the new law.

    Sounds like we go back to 1400s or the caves again.

    Conflict is universal. But this encouragement to confront and vent (not you Tony) is a cancer which has and will kill many.

  101. Gene H.
    This was important for my understanding.
    “No. It’s not. It’s a duty to avoid violence until it becomes unavoidable. It is not a duty to run away. I realize that it is a fine distinction, Tony, but it’s an important distinction. You don’t have a right to escalate. Period. End of story. If you think your staying in a public place is reasonable in a given circumstance? Make your case. Reasonableness is the standard. However, your right to be in a public place does not equate for you to having a right to be belligerent about it as an appropriate and reasonable response in the face of a threat.”

    Will save it for later.

    PS Tony, doesn’t your own words seem odd. “breaking a throat with the side of your arm and (killing?)…… ” seem (överilad) extreme to me.
    How do you get along with this stance in this competitive world. I know, you will say, very well iindeed. Well, if you don’t get it, you don’t get it.
    Took my 75 years to understand myself, and am still working at it.

  102. Gene,
    I agree with your take on the retreat issue. This “stand your ground” law is an ALEC law that is used to sell more guns. How many people have been killed since this law and similar ALEC laws in other states have been approved?

  103. raff, I don’t think it is ALEC trying to sell more guns. It is much more subtle than that, and much more important. It is a way to keep the millions of gun owners in line so they will “know” which side to vote for. It is not about money as much as it is about power and control. Gun sales are chickenfeed compared to what the ALEC crowd wants to take from the rest of the 99%.

  104. Gene H:

    good point, removing yourself from a possible confrontation is the best way to avoid a confrontation.

    Why escalate when you can just say excuse me and be on your way. It is pretty easy to get into a fight any numb skull can do that. If they other person grabs you then kick his ass but only enough to subdue him.

  105. I have been reading Tony C’s post for at least 2 years. Tony C is not a gun nut … never has been. He is certainly not an NRA pusher or a fear monger.

    This was a most interesting discussion and I thank you all.

  106. “Your belief and the operation of the law are not the same thing. ”

    This is the distinction exactly.
    I have beliefs too:
    “It is better to sweat in practice than to bleed in battle.”
    And from the wise Funakoshi “To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the highest skill; to subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill.”

    See, I’m a hot blooded fighter by nature. Grew up that way defending people who couldn’t from about 5th grade. The kid was pigeon toed and reading ‘nerd’ books according to the bully. For no reason he gets hit and I dared to stand up and say, “no!”

    I got my nose broke! But I stood there with a bloody nose and my fist in good Scottish pugilist form like my dad. But he didn’t hit the other kid again and stopped fighting. I wanted so bad to hit him again but didn’t know if I was allowed to. The violence had actually stopped but I was sort of suspended in the action for a while.

    The ambiguity of knowing how or when or if you can defend yourself can end a life. If not your own, someone else. I went home that day and got scolded for getting in a fight. It was forgiven when I explained I was defending pigeon toed James. (nothing wrong with this condition in my eyes now, but that is what stood out to us all.)

    But by the 4th or 5th time this occurred, I went from reluctant to quick draw. It was the difference between ambiguity and cocky. Gin ji du li, golden rooster stands on one leg. Very proud form indeed. Pride kills though.

    By 19, I was fighting often and to complicate matters, I had now been trained in a few different forms of fighting and was like a cinder. I hadn’t really gotten serious at that point in trying to discipline myself just my skills. Skills were everything. What was lacking inside was an integrity sound enough to even extend beyond the bully in care. That wouldn’t come till I was near 30 and had to consider long term consequences I didn’t care about at 19.

    See, what Tony might not appreciate here because I’m not concerned with his anecdotal feelings on the matter…I’ve seen very good men go to prison for bad choices on a good day. Their macho shit caught up with them while doing what we’d think of as the nice day. Tony might never have such a moment and I am not questioning anything about him personally, only this character he’s presenting of ‘I don’t have a gun, I’ve got guns! don’t make me submit!”

    They weren’t being bullies but the bullshit chest puffers who actually made it worst to show how they weren’t going to submit. Some are dead.
    Deescalation is a thrilling art that I think is beyond conventional fighting. Its meta fighting if you will. The art of fighting by not fighting.

    Brings a good story up….
    A boat in route on the river had group of people on board and after a bit of time a bully on board the boat started harassing the passengers by asking if any of them knew how to fight. He was intimidating them even threatening to rob them if he wanted. He was out of control.

    He came upon one passenger who answer, “why yes, I have studied fighting arts, what art do you study?”

    “I’m tough, I’m highly skilled and I can defeat all the styles, what style do you study”

    “I have sought to master the art of winning by not losing.”

    “What sort of art is that?! You can’t even form basic logic!”

    “My friend, over there is a small island, perhaps I can show you?”

    The braggart told the ferryman, “head over there, I want to see this”

    The passenger then said to the ferryman, may steer us to that island.

    “yes” and the passenger turned the boat towards the island.

    “I’m sure you’re eager to demonstrate your great skill, we’ll be right there” said the passenger to the braggart.

    He steadied the boat towards the shallow waters and drew the oar up to the island to hold the boat close to shore and said, “Shall we?”

    The braggart eagerly jumped ashore and said, “lets go!”

    The passenger pushed the boat away from the island with a good shove of the oar and the boat quickly started back down stream.

    “HEY..WHERE ARE YOU GOING!? You can’t do that. I thought you were going to show me the Art of Winning by Not Losing!?”

    “I just did.”

  107. MCM,

    In re your story.

    I’ve seen “Enter the Dragon” many, many times and Bruce always called it his style “fighting without fighting”. :D That’s one of my favorite scenes in the whole movie.

  108. “I’ve seen “Enter the Dragon” many, many times and Bruce always called it his style “fighting without fighting””

    if you email me I can see if I can send you the tapestries that this comes from. Old block print stories. Each panel a part of the story.

    and yes, it is the art of fighting without fighting. My son calls it the ‘jedi’ way now. lol

  109. Greg, ever hear the story of the Japanese Tea Maker?
    He had the unfortunate day upon him when he offended a Samurai.
    Demanding a duel to restore his honor, the Samurai ordered the Tea Maker to be ready at dawn. The Tea Maker feared for his family and any harm. He had no training and no sword.
    So he went to the sword master to at least learn how to hold the sword if he was going to die. The swordmaster agreed to give him a sword and began to show him how to hold the sword when he realize that the Tea Maker would not master this enough to be even fundamentally prepared for a duel.
    Thus he asked, “can you perform the Tea Ceremony?”
    “Yes, maestro, I can”
    He then told him to arrive the next morning before dawn and perform the Tea Ceremony, sword at his side, as and face his death calmly without hesitation or fear. The Tea Maker woke the next morning, did precisely as the swordmaster advised. The Samurai arrived at dawn to see the Tea Maker performing the Ceremony, considered the scene, turned and walked away.

  110. MCM,

    I’m sure it does come from an older story. I’m a huge Bruce Lee fan and his innovation in the martial arts is without question, but just the same, his true innovation (beyond realizing that traditional styles were a limitation on expression) was in synthesis and application of lessons – not original thought. He didn’t reinvent martial arts so much as created a new way of thinking about martial arts. I’d love to see the panels though. If you have Facebook, I have a profile created there (Gene Howington) I use for public communication and you can send them to me there. I prefer to use that channel. However, if you don’t have FB, with your permission I can send you an email to the address you sign in to WordPress for posting with instead.

    BTW, Spike TV recently aired an excellent documentary on Bruce Lee called “I Am Bruce Lee”. If you get the chance, I highly recommend it. It had a lot of great vintage footage and interviews with family and friends that were most insightful about the man.

  111. Thank you for the time, Gene.
    Yes, Bruce brought something special to the martial arts. A chance to practice it without shame and hiding.

    Before that, when I’d head around different parts of Missouri, Nebraska and Arkansas was a young man, if I used any of what I learned “don’t pull that Japanese crap!” (they didn’t say japanese, fyi)

    Of course I used whatever solution called for, but it wasn’t thought of very well. Then Bruce Lee came along and was a star! The best news was that my teachers finally started making a living.

    I’m actually working to study with some MA kin of Bruce’s teacher Yip Man’s son Ip Chun. The Wing Chun theory is also aligned with this principle we are generally talking about, appropriate measured response. No waste of energy, no desire to damage unnecessarily. Direct…to the point.

    What I enjoyed about Bruce Lee’s public image was how he explained taoist principles like ‘water in the cup’, form and formless thinking to a western audience. Though I don’t think he was very tied in with the Chen family I draw my taiji from, it is essentially the same concept. No need to do much when the attacker is doing all the work. Enjoy some chai.

  112. http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/Carol-City-High-School-Students-Hold-Trayvon-Martin-Walk-Out-143836476.html


    The first closes its video with a still of Trayvon; the eyes, the eyes of Christ.
    Does he see you failing him again? This world has gotta change.

    And, no I don’t buy or dig portraits of dog’s eyes, orphin eyes, the Japanese pop ones, nor other maudlin stuff. But his caught me.
    Just to let you know I haven’t gone over the top—-this time.

  113. @Gene: You seem to be arguing with somebody besides me. As I said in my first post on this topic above, I agree with the SPIRIT of the SYG law.

    I have NEVER said my opinion was the law, and I do not confuse what I think is morally correct with what the law actually is: They often diverge. I am not an idiot, I know full well that I cannot rely upon what I believe as fair to be implemented in the law, and often the law is the exact opposite of what I believe is fair.

    That said, you say this: “It’s a duty to avoid violence until it becomes unavoidable. It is not a duty to run away.”

    I am not a lawyer but I disagree on the face of the language: It is a duty to retreat if that is possible to avoid violence. In my view, “retreat” is synonymous with running away.

    You then say, “You don’t have a right to escalate.”

    I never claimed that I had such a right. What I have claimed all along is that I should have the right, everywhere, to stand my ground and not retreat to avoid violence. There is no fine distinction to be made; in some states retreat is legally demanded, and I think that is bad law.

    In my opinion (not in the law) if somebody assaults me or attempts to harm me, I should not have any responsibility to avoid violence by retreating in any way. In my opinion (not in the law) if I choose to stand and fight an assailant, and in the heat of battle he is harmed or killed, I should not be liable in any way, even if I had the option of fleeing (or “retreat”) instead.

    Forget how the SYG law is written or being used, this is a philosophical question, and a binary choice, either you believe somebody should be punished for refusing to retreat, or you believe that retreat, when available, is their choice to make and they should not be punished for refusing to retreat.

    If you want to make arguments for the crowd, feel free, but you do not seem to be arguing with me about the philosophical point I am making.

  114. “Martin has been swooped up this quickly, linked with names from the annals of history. “We can name names all the way from Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin,” said Hannibal Duncan, 32, who told about black friends who had been profiled repeatedly and, in one case, beaten by police. “At some point, we’ve got to find some kind of way to stop it.”



    I like your reasoning. It fits into a very sophsticated method of controlling voters, which has become a science, literally, since WW 1.

    Won’t say it’s exclusively Republican either.
    Big O and H are playing the race card, but thank god, it is the people who are outraged, and justly so.

    There is probably many such buttons to push, which you have discovered.

  115. @Idealist: PS Tony, doesn’t your own words seem odd.

    No. The blade of your arm is the outer bone of your forearm; it is very tough and relatively sharp, and if you strike with it, you are less likely to break it than when hitting with the small bones of the hand, and more likely to do serious damage. It was common terminology in my martial arts classes.

    The point of those words were that in a fight, even a defensive strike can miss, hit an untrained opponent in a vulnerable spot and crush the windpipe or the carotid artery, and kill them. Even an untrained defender has a sharp bone in their arm and might swing wildly and connect with a lethal blow. The death of an assailant is not necessarily intentional.

  116. ” In my view, “retreat” is synonymous with running away”

    Running away is hyperbole to retreat.

    If you think this as a military man, you also don’t understand military strategy. Oh yeah, you aren’t an officer….so how would you get that?

    I guess all those professional generals…they’re wrong too. Retreat = Running away.

    You aren’t a lawyer, yes. But you are also ego with bullets.

    “Running away” projects everything that is morally out of balance inside. You are stuck on macho and that is exactly what we are arguing against.

    “my opinion”
    doesn’t even match the existing “duty to retreat” laws. So not exactly sure what law you are so afraid of, because now you’ve moved this into “my opinion” land.

    I get that your ego can’t back down. I’m very glad you were not Commander in Chief or we’d be stuck in Iraq and Afghanistan still.

    Good luck with all that Tony. I hope you sleep well at night.

  117. Mongol military legend Genghis Khan was a big old coward. He used retreat on a regular basis as a form of attack. Feigning retreat was one of his prime techniques. SunYi, aka SunTzu, he was a big old yellow belly nincompoop! He too…taught and believed in the art of retreating.

    Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba, big old pussycat. Scared to the bones apparently, most of the style is retreat form.

    I’m very glad you’re moral center is superior to mine. I’m glad you’ll be the one standing there while I retreat. I’ll be hiding under mama’s belt hoping the rain will stop.

    You’re a hoot.

  118. In arguing for a moral ground, by which we actually craft and interpret laws, one person arguing for an individual right may be correct to themselves but we live in a society. That individual isn’t necessarily wrong because despite social convention they are not in line with the whole.

    But that isn’t what we are saying to you about “the law”
    We are arguing that your position is morally incorrect, not that you are…but your stated position. You state “retreat = running away” …responds from me “no it doesn’t.” I get that YOU think it does. But that is a non-starter for any conversation if after I provide examples you simply decide to be intellectually stubborn without support in the empirical world.

    Our beliefs aren’t really up for social scrutiny but our public actions are. So what your internal matrix says only matters where it meets my social policy needs. My social policy needs in public spaces require a reasonable level of security that isn’t codified to favor the aggressive alphas who think their rules are superior to the social order. We have a term for that type of person: sociopath.

    I don’t think you are such a person, fyi, I think you are passionately arguing for a moral change where ‘bullies’ don’t run the world. But to the very non-violent out there…WE’RE THE BULLIES. To them, we’re the one in our testo-fest “as my wife calls it”

    See, she’s watched me change from what you describe to your ideal to whatever I am today. 35 years ago I’d have been standing in the middle of the space instantly. That’s ridiculous behavior that is indistinguishable from the conceptual bully presented in your scenarios.

    In arguing for a moral ground to stand on, I’d think you would realize that since we are talking about the “spirit” of a law, morality, etc, if you want to be held free of liability, then you can’t do that while fuzzing the lines of accountability. “I don’t want to be held liable” for premeditated violence is your argument. You premeditated that your option could be violence and would be if…you wanted to get your ego rocks off on the unfortunate sap who dared pick on you that day. Yes or no?


    I feel as if I’m beating up on you and don’t want to. I think your premise is not very well considered at all in terms of how your culpability will be viewed. You seem to want something from your society while not accepting you are in a society. I’m in a society too. I have developed my views along that reality. Social constructs may break down or be feeble so I’m sure what integrity I have left at my age is sound enough to figure it out. But if you’re asking the community to give you a pass for aggression because you decided you were going to teach a lesson that day, then 1. I think you have some social blinders on, 2. You stereotype opponents in binary terms and they aren’t binaries, and 3. You have some unsettled past conflicts that you seek to settle in the next match.

    That third one can be a real mofo I promise you. Unsettled conflicts are the number one reason people die today, Fact. Settle them, brother Tony C. I love your spirit, your esprit d’corp is unquestioned. But please listen to your martial brothers here too. I’m not superior to you. I’m just a man. I do know what I am talking about when it comes to settling those lions inside. I tend no less to bullies today than in the past. Today they wear suits and ties and own my friends mortgages or utilities. Rarely does the street seem to be the most violent place in many lifes, their bank accounts are murdering them.

    Good luck Tony. You have a strong conviction. Hope you’ll consider these words.

  119. Tony,

    You can try to weasel out of it however you like, but you simply didn’t/don’t understand the duty to retreat. Physical retreat is not required so long as you can make a reasonable case for not retreating, your conflation notwithstanding. The standard is reasonableness. And, no, you weren’t arguing a “philosophical point”. You were simply wrong. Just like you’re wrong in understanding it now. Not that I’d ever expect you to admit that based upon your past performance. That would be, in fact, one of the last things I would expect. I’d expect the Sun to turn into cream cheese before I’d expect you to ever admit you’re wrong about something. Thanks for trying to create a false dichotomy though. That was mildly entertaining.

  120. This man was TOLD by the 911 dispatcher to STAY IN HIS CAR and wait for the police. He chose to get out and confront the youth who by all reports I’ve seen was not a threat to others in what he was doing so this is NOT a case of self defense. The “Stand Your Ground” law therefor doesn’t apply and this is a case of manslaughter. I’m a gun owner and this is the type of vigilanty crap that will be used to punish RESPONSIBLE gun owners.

  121. Geraldo knows why this kid was murdered. It was his parent’s fault.

    “But I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies. I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.” – Geraldo Rivera


    Guns don’t kill people. People don’t kill people. Hoodies kill people.


  122. @Gene: On the contrary, I have admitted I was wrong within this forum in the past; you have not. You accuse me of your crime. You cannot point at anything in this thread where I have not been arguing the philosophical point; I said in the beginning, and I quote myself, I agree with at least the spirit of the Stand Your Ground law.

    Not that I agree with it as written, which I also explicitly stated, and not that Zimmerman did anything but commit a murder, which I also explicitly stated as my belief.

    You are the one that is wrong: The law means what is says in plain English, I have been in court often enough to know that, and if the ability to retreat clearly existed and was not taken is considered a reason to REJECT the reasonability of a self-defense argument, then I am right: FAILING to retreat when violently attacked carries a legal risk which I do not think should exist.

    It is obvious on the face of it.

    I do not believe that escalation is warranted or anybody should have the right to shoot if they “feel threatened.” That is bullshit, the only fair standard for responding with force is if an actual, unprovoked assault was executed or attempted. Under those circumstances, I believe a duty to retreat is bad law.

  123. Tony,

    “FAILING to retreat when violently attacked carries a legal risk which I do not think should exist.”

    Actually, you are still creating an absolute condition that simply does not exist. Cherry pick yourself all you like. “If I am legally required to retreat when threatened, that makes threats a legal means of restricting my access to public space. Why should THAT be legal?” – Tony C. First, that’s not a philosophical question. That’s questioning a legal standard that you’ve improperly defined from the start. Second, in short Tony, it isn’t legalizing threats to restrict your access to public space. You are still conflating the duty to retreat into something that it isn’t. The standard is still reasonableness. If it is unreasonable for you to be expected to leave a public place, that in itself is sufficient to mean that physical retreat is not required. The duty to retreat is perhaps poorly named (much like global warming), but it is a duty to avoid violence until violence is no longer reasonably avoidable. Nothing less, nothing more.

    Nice try. And by nice I mean really sad and pathetic. Try that Rove tactic on somebody else. The fact that I’m very rarely proven wrong isn’t because I’m always right. It’s because I’m trained to look at all sides of an argument and choose the winning argument before speaking. Your premise in this instant is based upon a faulty definition of duty to retreat. It is not literally a duty to run away no matter what you seem to think. I’ll stipulate that it’s a reasonable error based on layman’s knowledge of the common law and the name of the doctrine, but it is an error nonetheless.

  124. Tony,

    I join those who give Travon Martin a face bere. The face of us all.
    The victims of all that is foul in our society, our religions and our institutions.

    As I intimated earlier, and others confirm this notion, you are a victim of prior abuse**. MCC came to peace with his, as he tells us. Would that you could too. To borrow a word, you conflate retreat with defeat—a binary choice for you. You also conflate defeat with dishonor. Dangerous conflations.

    Xerxes, the Persian head of the then known mightiest army, stood on the steppes of today’s Russia, and screamed aloud to the Scythians: “Why don’t you stand and fight”? They replied by messenger: “Because we will defeat you this way best.” (Rough paraphrase)

    **Or you were never enlightened on the sweet path of reasonableness.
    Like I never learned until a week ago (actually) the futility of using aggressive arguing as my final strategy when reasonableness failed to win.
    So we are fairly closely related in our needs to win—–whatever the situation
    Just as perhaps Gene H. is, but he fights so far in the short time I’ve been here the “right” fights which I can’t analyze, but he can.

    You think you may win by wiggling here, and retain your concept of justice. . But retaining it, you remain on the path of great danger.

  125. MCM
    An interesting parallel you draw between the aggressive individuals who attack us with the corporations and other interests who mistreat us. (poor paraphrasing).

    This can perhaps explain our need for heros of the Superman type, who can right the wrongs which we can not, and revenge us on these demons who plague us.

    Can this be also a reason, we glorify our existing or would be representatives as they campaign? And also become so disappointed when some who don’t preach (but have perhaps promised) no longer appeal or satisfy our emotional needs for righting the wrong.

    Playing to all segments of discontent by pointing out scapegoats seem the tactics in dominance with the Repug prez candidates.
    As well as flashing their magic swords which will slay the demons: women’s unchecked lusts, contraceptives, health care, death panels, ——add at will.

  126. @Michael: Retreat is running away, militarily or otherwise.

    We retreat when we believe the cost of an exercise is not worth the gain, or that the gain cannot be had. It is a tactical accounting decision, not a moral or emotional statement. In war, the “cost” is the lives of soldiers, resources, time and ammunition. All of those are expendable resources. (Including my own life at one point.) Together they constitute a budget, and the generals decide how much to spend of each in order to achieve their immediate military objectives. If the cost in a battle appears to be higher than anticipated, that puts the budget of future goals in danger of being depleted, and relative priorities must be assessed. The current goal might be abandoned in order to preserve resources for more important future goals, or a reassessment of future goals and what is achievable with a new budget.

    My life is the same as a military battle. Eventually it will be expended. In the meantime I choose my battles: I will, in most circumstances retreat from a weaponized opponent, especially if I am the only person at risk. I am loathe to retreat if others are at risk, my wife, a child, my mother, a sibling. Because the risk is greater, both to me psychologically, and to them.

    To me psychologically because I would literally rather be dead than be the man that retreated and left my wife or child to be murdered.

    I have no urge to protect my ego at the cost of the truth: Retreat is running away.

    Sometimes there is good reason to run. But simply avoiding healable pain or injury from something like a fistfight is not, for me, a good reason. Often (IMO) it is better to suffer temporary pain if it means one will be seen as a difficult mark. That is a statement that does not meet with wide acceptance on this site, when I have expressed it as a political strategy, but I believe it: In the long run, one goal is to not be seen as a perpetual victim, somebody that can be bullied into submission and will never fight back or exact any price from the bully.

    That is my personal philosophy. If you want to pretend “retreat” is something other than running away from a battle that will cost too much: Well you do what you must to salve a fragile ego. I see it for what it is, even if I am engaging in it, because I see no reason to lie to myself.

  127. @idealist: I am in no danger, in fact the opposite. My refusal to be victimized has served me well, and society well. Criminals (including a murderer) are in jail because I think punishment is more important than mere money, women and children and even businesses are safer because of it. Sometimes, suffering pain in order to exact punishment is the best thing one can do, both figuratively and literally. If that were not true, we wouldn’t have cops and soldiers.

  128. Tony C.
    All very well in theory, but as we see in Florica, it has empowered some to exact a penalty of death at their own unsupported decision—and walk away by saying “I felt threatened.”
    Now keep your personal ideas, but let’s not sanction this law or others like it in so far 22 states. Some might even be near you.

  129. Apologies, my laptop is somehow not in sync. Missing some posts and getting some. I posted here just now and it is gone now. Odd.
    Guess it ís part of the host problems we experienced last week.

    Will see if I can piece together it all.

  130. No, had two closely aligned threads opened. Closed the other one

    Tony C..

    We are apparently of two different personality types. Gene H. and MCM have tried convincing you. Why should I do any better.
    Do you believe in astrology? I don’t, but at times find the profiling there in agreement with observation as to personality type.
    Got two experts on tap—–as friends. What’s your birth date. Can see what they say. That’s all they say they need.
    PS Have not given them mine. Just friends.

    PPS I did the electrical design of a B-52 base south of Bangkok in 65-66.
    It was only money, not patriotism, also did 2 years as a SigOff, due to the draft alternatives—-a bit of a UCMJ by the manual soldier. But was I later effected by the info reachiing me? Yes. Did I have conscious self-doctrines? No.
    Interesting to compare without rancor getting in the way. Or scorn.

  131. Rick Santorum visited a firing range Friday during a campaign stop in West Monroe, Louisiana. The GOP presidential primary candidate took a few shots at a paper target, to applause from the crowd.

    As he began firing, a woman shouted, “Pretend it’s Obama!”

    Santorum, who was wearing headphones, told reporters later he hadn’t heard the comment.

    “It’s absurd,” he said. “No, we’re not pretending it’s anybody, but shooting pistols. It’s a very terrible and horrible remark, and I’m glad I didn’t hear it.”

    NBC reportedthat the U.S. Secret Service was looking into the comment.

  132. After reading that earlier, I made up a dialogue of the SS agent questioning on the spot the lady who uttered it.
    Won’t bore you, unless entreated—no hopes there.

    But it was fun trying to imitate the jargon and speech patterns on each of the two sides, with a view of being funny.

    An alternative to facing the facts that every crowd is not only filled with camera bugs, but also folks who might be carrying dangerous hate in their minds. Don’t guess the metal detectors are any help there.

  133. “I would literally rather be dead than be the man that retreated and left my wife or child to be murdered.”

    You make up some lively scenarios to avoid what people tell you. Where did anyone say you had to retreat and leave your “wife and child to be murdered”

    Everything you are saying about “retreat” is so off base right now that it is virtually impossible to get you to understand ‘duty to retreat’. You’ve got a narrow view of retreat and NO, sorry, it isn’t in line with full military strategy.

    You’ve got it wrong about “retreat” = “running away”
    “Running away” is an exaggeration (since the word hyperbole seems to be too big for you)

    I have never run away from a fight.

    Retreat and Advance are equal parts of a tactical matrix.
    You and I are not smarter than all the great military theorists and applicants who have tried, tested, and taught, retreat tactics FOR OFFENSIVE PURPOSE.

    You are blabbing about ‘budgets and generals’ but clearly don’t understand the tactical advantage of a retreat. You’re stuck on stupid here.

    I don’t know what messed up scenario you have in your head where any mention of retreat has you then subsequently paint a “i don’t want to abandon my kids and wife” garbage. You aren’t required to do that under “duty to retreat”. If you’re going to talk in a circle despite the facts, then you’re credibility is rather compromised here.

    That you consistently give a negative bias towards “retreat” shows your knowledge of it to me, night and day. You don’t understand “retreat”. You have a singular definition that always comes out exaggerated, “running away”. This is completely false.

    Retreat is the partner of Advance. They simply mean move forwards and move back. Moving back doesn’t mean run away, that is abandon. You should go back to your former military advisers and ask for a brush up. Your explanation is feeble as is.

    In a pure 1 to 1 fight, retreat can bring an opponent off balance. It can cause an opponent to over compensate in striking distance and in ability to retain their own resources.

    In a military campaign it has the same effect. Effective military leaders for centuries have used ‘retreat’ to draw apart a larger military. They aren’t “running away and abandoning their wives and children”. That is such an exaggeration that it shows where you’re unable to understand ‘retreat’.

    As idealist707 pointed about Xerxes, larger armies found it hard to defeat smaller ones because they can use ‘retreat’ to pick off larger groups. The Scythians weren’t “running away” in the context you describe. They were simply moving back so the Persians could move in to the vacuum and then attack the drawn out armies.

    Everything you’re projecting about this fear of “retreat” is exactly why these laws are so flawed. Citizens like you were already authorized to protect your families as you describe. You’re ignoring that. You’ve had a lawyer tell you flat out you are wrong, then you jump to “opinion” mode.

    If you were to be facing 3 opponents at once, if you think you’re going to “stand your ground”…then you’re a fool. It would be wiser to spread them out. I know…I’ve done it. It wasn’t 3, it was either 7 or 8 and one by one they fell. But by having to keep coming into an area that I had just retreated from, they couldn’t do it side by side…but one in front of another. I essentially fought 1 person…8 times.

    This is the tactical use of retreat, and you can now continue your personal redefining of terms as you wish. Next up…”squirrel will mean cat” – Fuzzy tail, 4 legs, and teeth. Close enough right? Who needs language when you can fudge it so much.

    My great great great great x 40 grandfather, Guilleaume L’Conquerant was victorious in the Battle of Hastings by the effective use of retreat. His action drew Harold out from their defensive locations and to higher ground. He then was able to annihilate them with the Norman cavalry.

    One key reason to retreat is to lead them to a more favorable area or even to draw them out of a public gathering. The old “lets take this outside” mindset.

    Nobody truly fights without retreat. Punch thrown “advance” drawn back to recoil is “retreat”. It is forward and back. Not your yellow belly coward image of “retreat”.

    So long as you keep “retreat” to mean “running away” you’re going to be locked in a false impression. I’d suggest you go get some military strategy training. You clearly didn’t pass that part of the class.

    You aren’t smarter than Master SunYi:
    “The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.”

    Book 10
    “In a position of this sort, even though the enemy should offer us an attractive bait, turning their backs on us and pretending to flee.” But this is only one of the lures which might induce us to quit our position.
    it will be advisable not to stir forth, but rather to retreat, thus enticing the enemy in his turn; then, when part of his army has come out, we may deliver our attack with advantage”

    Tony, I understand its hard to admit defeat. But for those who seek no victory, it is as easy a task as breathing. I’m not writing much of this for you but for others who are reading along with us and for a nice fresh examination of the benefits of creating a vacuum in a combat space.

    I have zero qualms about offering my experience of the use of retreat because I know it is as essential as advance. The yin and yang of motion, forward and back. Not “running away!”

    My deepest apologies for relentlessly beating on your feeble constructs, I feel as if I’ve totally taken advantage of your lack here and it is wrong. I admit I shouldn’t take advantage of your inability to retreat. I can only offer my apologies for letting you be my fish in a barrel for a day.

    I knew when you first spoke you were exactly the type who thinks standing your ground is advantageous to victory and are exactly the type I find easiest to defeat because it is an incomplete fighter. In fact, my training is almost entirely focused on dealing with numbskulls just like that who think “ALL FORWARD” is the wisest tactic. That makes half my job easiest. They’ll do all the rest. They are the easiest to lead no less. They are not even a binary at that point.

    Good luck.

  134. Idealist707
    “Gene H. and MCM have tried convincing you”

    Actually I can’t admit I’ve sought that route. I’m simply answering the responses and thinking aloud. Then considering you and others instead of worrying of Tony can admit he’s incomplete in this view (as am I).

    He hasn’t offered much outside of “retreat=running away” no matter how many riffs he gets at it.

    Writing out concepts is what I enjoy doing. It gets the cobwebs off the grey matter.

  135. Statement of Robert Zimmerman, father of Neighborhood Watch volunteer:

    “The tragic events of February 26 are very sad for all concerned. The Martin family, our family, and the entire community have been forever changed.

    The portrayal of George Zimmerman in the media, as well as the series of events that led to the tragic shooting are false and extremely misleading. Unfortunately, some individuals and organizations have used this tragedy to further their own causes and agendas.

    George is a Spanish speaking minority with many black family members and friends. He would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever. One black neighbor recently interviewed said she knew everything in the media was untrue and that she would trust George with her life. Another black neighbor said that George was the only one, black or white, who came and welcomed her to the community, offering any assistance he could provide. Recently, I met two black children George invited to a social event. I asked where they met George. They responded that he was their mentor. They said George visited them routinely, took them places, helped them, and taught them things and that they really loved George. The media portrayal of George as a racist could not be further from the truth.

    The events of February 26 reported in the media are also totally inaccurate. Out of respect for the on-going investigation, I will not discuss specifics. However, the media reports of the events are imaginary at best. At no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin. When the true details of the event become public, and I hope that will be soon, everyone should be outraged by the treatment of George Zimmerman in the media.

    Our entire family is deeply sorry for the loss of Trayvon. We pray for the Martin family daily. We also pray that the community will grieve together and not be divided by more unwarranted hate.

    The Zimmerman family will have no further contact with the media prior to the resolution of the investigation. It would be greatly appreciated if the media would respect our privacy.”


  136. MCM

    Yes, it is. Great fun. To in essence explore your own mind as well.

    Two short examples which came when reading your latest.

    JT’s mention of fencing. A sport which is based on advance and retreat.

    Politics, where leaving what appears to be attractive weaknesses can be sucker traps, etc.

    Certainly the Repubs seem to ónly advance now. But what did they do after 2008? They retreated, regrouped, rearmed and made a plan for advancing. Results? 2010 House victory. And a gridlocked Congress.

    Thanks for the pleasure of following your reasoning. Enlighting, truly.

  137. @Idealist, re astrology: as I have told others in the past two years on this forum; I am an atheist, I do not believe in anything supernatural at all. I am a full time research scientist at a large university in a “hard-science” discipline.

  138. “Thanks for the pleasure of following your reasoning. Enlighting, truly.”
    Oh I’m damn near plagiarizing great thinkers…barely an original thought to me.

    Just like that link above though, its the ‘tasted the peach’ concept. I can show you a peach, I can describe the peach, but you won’t know it until you tasted it. Thus, ‘have you tasted the peach’ brings us to our personal experience which can’t be secondary.

    “JT’s mention of fencing. A sport which is based on advance and retreat.”
    Wonderful thread, haven’t posted on it but read and enjoyed it. Yes, fencing uses tonnes of retreat methods and none of them involve running away.

    Bill’s comment about about ‘toe tapper’ for instance is a technique he saw me use years back that made him laugh so hard he fell out his chair at a match. “toe tapper” means I would advance, put my lead foot on the opponents foot “a tap” and he’d instinctively react to his toe by looking down. Not necessarily at his toe, but that direction. And close behind the toe tap would be an upward coming arm or palm strike. A classic one two.

    Why does this work? Because we react in very universal ways to attack. We protect the same areas instinctively. One of those instincts has been conditioned by the tough guy don’t back down thinking. I consider it a ‘nurture’ condition not inherent but all the same. When someone won’t ‘back down’, they are doing MORE of the work than I am in a fight. I simply find their center of gravity and let them do the rest. They are classically the easiest to fight because they have eliminated certain valuable tactical tools including ‘retreat’.

    I’ve feigned being wounded, limping, retreating, and all sorts of methods without even thinking about them. Its a well conditioned set of tools, imo. I thank my teachers for their wisdom, which never failed me. My failures are mine, my successes are theirs.

    In Politics:
    Yes, I believe it works in the same way. Retreating to collect might be one aspect, but also a feigned retreat works wonders. I’ve read so many mails on list that were thrilled some other group was ‘retreating’ when they were not. Silence can be deafening.

  139. @Michael: I haven’t backed down or redefined anything; anybody that cares about the facts can look at the first post I made on this and see I have been talking about my opinion from the beginning. There is just nothing else worth replying to in any of your lying drivel.

  140. One lie here is the idea that you have only talked about your opinion. You have claimed that there is a law that demands you run like a sissy and leave your family to the bad guys. You have ranted about laws that don’t exist. You have claimed something about ‘duty to retreat’, been corrected, done nothing to adjust your assessment of law and then doubled down.

    “only my opinion” is horseshit.

  141. Your opening salvo wasn’t “opinion” it was a statement about facts:

    -“Everybody has the right to public spaces, and a legal demand that I retreat means I can be discriminated against and intimidated into leaving.”

    You are interpreting law. You are telling us what something means. You are responded to that this isn’t the accurate reading of the law. You then fall back claiming “i’m just talking about my opinion”

    -“I believe in self-defense; if some bully doesn’t want me there, tough shit. I should be allowed to stay, and if he rushes me, I should be allowed to defend myself with lethal force, I should not be required to retreat.”

    This portion is your opinion. The response to this opinion is that the law does not proscribe your right to defend. You avoided this and rambled on about your passionate opinion again, even after being told no law required this, you doubled down with yes it does.

    -“Perhaps the law is worded wrong, but in spirit, a legal requirement to submit to intimidation and retreat is even more wrong, it violates your right to liberty and assembly and public spaces and undermines my right of self-defense and legalizes threats and intimidation.”
    Completely made up standard since no law exists that demands you submit to intimidation. I asked you to cite a law that does, you cite Turley.

    -“My comment is that a LAW that DEMANDS I retreat before intimidation victimizes me and supports intimidation as a tactic of discrimination,”

    another statement of opinion about a law that doesn’t exist. You again made up something and fought against it. Again hit with the fact it doesn’t, you avoid.

    “Laws that require you to retreat in the face of a threat are laws that make standing up to a bully a crime”
    False, corrected by a lawyer and yet…you tell that lawyer he is wrong. Your relationship to the facts is a tenuous one.

    You’ve been wandering between facts and opinion and then fall back on opinion when the facts didn’t match your case. Your disingenuous nonsense hasn’t baffled me at all. You have no center.

    And if you’re a scientist…you aren’t applying it here. You’re living in anecdotal reference only. No Scientist relies upon anecdotal reference to make a case, silly.

    Biggest lie you told all week: “You do not know what you are talking about”

  142. @Michael: You do not know me; and any attitude or characteristic you attribute to me as fact is a lie. So take your pick. You are just another lying asshole posting for your self-aggrandizement; just another braggart that wants to feel good talking about himself. I am still waiting for something of substance, which you obviously cannot provide.

    And btw, “retreat” in the military is specifically withdrawing from a battle; it is ending a fight by leaving. It is not “maneuvering,” which is what you described. As long as you remain engaged in a fight you have not “retreated.” By your definition, the word becomes indistinguishable from maneuvering. They are different words because they describe different intents.

  143. Tony
    “On the contrary, I have admitted I was wrong within this forum in the past;”

    Janet Jackson:
    “What have you done for me lately”

    Gene owned your legal understanding and you had no integrity to admit he clarified the law and you were wrong about the law. This level of dishonesty is quite stark when you start calling me a liar.

    You have yet to point out a single lie I’ve told when you throw out “liar”.

    This level of your response is the quality we expect from advocates like you. You just represented them very poorly. When the legal facts don’t match your case, you fall back to “opinion land”

    You also asserted comments were made by me that weren’t. “retreat laws don’t exist”, “jonathan turley said” etc. You made that up as if it were my comment then argued against it. This is called a ‘straw man’ its a form of lying because you insinuate I’m making that claim when I didn’t. I said there is now law that fits YOUR description. That is a fact. Prove me wrong with a law and I’ll leave here forever. “subject to intimidation” will never be found in our laws. You made that up…aka lied about the law, then argued against it.

    Your insults do nothing to my argument. You can’t confront the argument, so you engage in fallacy. “red herring”, “special pleading”, “strawman”, “ad hominem”, you’ve engaged in them all to support your argument. Your constructs are feeble and I have no qualms telling you that.

  144. Mr Tony C,
    I haven’t seen you make an honest response to these two yet. Your pride seems to have your mouth tied up. They’re right, you’re wrong. You’re too proud to admit it. Then you try to impugn their words. Haven’t seen much honesty out of your arguments. You’ve falsely restated most of their claims back to you.

    You won’t admit that.

  145. Bill,
    Don’t mind him. His relationship to the real world is tenuous.

    Yes, at least 3 or 4 times he asserted comments as if they were mine when I didn’t make them. This is a dishonest technique, ‘straw man’.

    Nothing new. Then he throws out “lying drivel” etc.

    Let him believe what he wants. He’s a classic relic of self-delusion.

    Have a good weekend and smile.

  146. MCM
    Those blinded by opinions are also deaf to their own words, have an instandly erased memory, and return to ROM for reassurance of acceptable concepts—although not willing to admit “defeat”.

    Your previous to being interrupted by Tony C was worth comment, will think a while. The realization of our basic patterns as beasts is amazing. Much we learn perhaps as we grow, but much more is there to be learned. Can’t judge your caliber, but the content is fascination.

    You are like most of us, tuned to out emotions emitted from our guts.
    Many needs are important, but after air, food in next. Just so, being aware of signals from the stomach in its energy needs are well founded
    And that our warning signals of primary life conserving value should use these same pathways and reaction system in the brain is also well motivated.

    Just a minor sidepoint. Humans can not develop faster brains. Faster nerves means thinner nerves. Thinner nerves mean more sensitive to noise. Thicker nerves vote, and are thus noise resistant, more reliable but slower. An interesting medical fact.

  147. Tony C.

    If you see this, don’t be so fearful and prestige bound. Give me your birthdate and I’ll see what these charlatans say. Might be fun. If it is then will not bait you. Will do mine to and expose it also.

    As for being a scientist, don’t be so stuckup. What discipline?. How many papers have you published?. What journals?

    And do you believe as some scientists that the universe may not be uniform as to constant laws. And how do you conceive of what it is outside of the universe, or before time started flowing. If the universe is infinite, how large is that? If it is finite, what lies outside? Or are there forces greater than those we can perceive in the sub-atomic particle world.
    Stringers say they are enormous. What’s your position on strings?

    Can I guess you are in the chemical field?

    Kindest regards to a fellow fallible human. Welcome to our world.
    Would that you would join us on equal footing as to pride and prestige equality. Abandon your needs and breathe the fresh air. Feel the caress of freedom and the warmth of the human family. We are dependent.
    That’s why so few are hermits.

  148. BTW, for anyone interested, Spike TV is re-running “I Am Bruce Lee” tonight (3/23). I cannot suggest it enough for martial artists, fans of MA movies, or those simply interested in philosophy (Bruce was down with philosophy).

  149. more lies…Tony I specifically wrote many times that I’m basing my comments on your words and that I don’t know you personally. I’m addressing your words as offered. I don’t expect you’ll admit that.

    Lets look at what this self-aggrandizing prick wrote to you Tony:
    “I do appreciate you sharing your view however”

    “I’m not here to insult you. I’m not calling you a coward, I’m saying your comments reflect unsettle fears ”

    Your comments portray you. Popping up the whole “you don’t know me” shows you didn’t actually read what I wrote. I frequently said, “THIS ISN’T ONLY ABOUT YOU!” This is about the mindset you are projecting.

    “and any attitude or characteristic you attribute to me as fact is a lie.”
    Only if you’re a liar. I’m addressing your whole “I won’t back down” bullshit. So unless you are a liar, then the only lie in play would be yours. I’ve said your gung ho bullshit is a sign. That is an opinion based on observing your twitchy trigger finger.

    You make comments like: “I would kill if I were attacked.”
    I called this petty statement out as premeditation…It is premeditation. I indicated that this is a sign of your personal flaw. If you don’t want to be judged by your words, then don’t say stupid shit like this.

    You can personally attack me all night, weekend, and for the rest of your unnatural life. I’m very sensitive to it obviously. I can tell how deep you are under my skin. I almost can’t sit still I’m so bothered right now. lol

    Your debating acumen dwarfs even the finest minds. How do you contain so much awesome in such a big head? It must hurt. If only I could achieve the level of settled spirit you have, I would truly be a real boy. Wow.

    ” just another braggart that wants to feel good talking about himself.”
    really? like “I don’t have a gun, I have guns!”
    Pot Kettle Hypocrite
    “THEY would be the idiot deciding it was worth assaulting me to deny me the space, and thereby risking their life.”
    very humble

    Humility alert:
    ” I earned the top available score in my marksmanship training (along with some others, about 5% of the class). I do not hunt; a friend of mine gets me out every few years to shoot targets with him. I am still pretty accurate with a pistol or rifle, even though I never practice. My memory is very good for such things.”

    funny to be asked to comply with a standard I also didn’t ask for. I don’t care if you’re humble, honest, or even accurate. You’re far more entertaining in your twist-in-the-wind form anyway. I think I’ll rename you “Ad Hoc”

    Your amazing integrity…such a flawless intellect, so honest, so pure. When confronted with the facts, you retreat to opinion.

    Don’t stand down, Tony. Show us that mighty chest of power…humble man.

  150. MCM
    Was going to make a personal point about gut feelings.
    My guts have been cut off from me as to feelings until this my 75th year.
    Incredible? True. Am just now beginning to feel them.
    You understand as do I that communicating with gut feeliing people was impossible.. It was all role playing on my part, and people sensed it

    Now the reactions to my changed tone on voice, an alive face, a living body language, etc is greeted with smiles and pleasure in their replies to me.

    Wonderful that it could be done this late.

    Juat thought would reinforce it by disclosing it. I even feel now my slight anguish at this self-revelation. But joining the human race is scary.

    It’ s almost 2 AM here. so must quit for now. Back tomorrow to follow Tony’s fear of being seen a coward. Is his problem the same as the homophobes who really are concealing their gayness from themselves (as alleged)? So in Tony’s case, he is afraid of his own reteating would force him ot face his own (in his eyes) cowardice. How sad, he can’t consider and be reconciled that we all must face defeat and fear and retiring from assault. Does he realize he is not the ultimate warrior? He is a distant relative to the Greeks in the Trojan war, bear your shield or be buren on it.
    No honor otherwise. Thus honor was all for them. As Homer relates i’m told.

  151. MCM
    He’s getting incoherent now. More emotion driven, prestige bound, self-reassuriing, quite pitiful to see.

    Wonder why he did not flee. But his attitude prevents rational thought.

  152. to the other Cognatives here:

    “You then say, “You don’t have a right to escalate.”

    I never claimed that I had such a right. ”

    This is what the boor here can’t figure out: “I would kill if I were attacked.”
    I would kill if I were attacked makes no qualification of the “attack”. Now I have already presumed this is in context of “deadly force” because that is what the law pertains to. But the person speaking gave his final verdict before combat. To me, this is premediation that devalued life before attack. I cannot therefore trust his word that he was acting without a desire to kill. Knowing first hand that not all attacks, or even most of them, require deadly force, I’m suspect as to his intentions. Yet, conflating ‘self-defense’ with an intent to kill is a bad mix to place a good faith support.

    Stated from another view: “I would only kill another person if it was the only way to save or prevent harm to another life”

    Not the same thing.

    Rewrite from the boor’s main argument:
    “I would like to make sure the law would not penalize me if I had to take a life to prevent the harming of another, including myself. If I was in a place I was rightfully allowed to be and had to stand up to a threat, I don’t believe I should be sanctioned if I felt in reasonable consideration I had to hold the space for the safety of myself or others.”

    Of course, then you’d be told…you already have that.

    It is important that intentions are clear when assessing the level of liability of one’s actions. With proscribing these investigations, the community is left to the power of the one who took life. I don’t like to be judged harshly either when having to answer for harming. Yet it is still the right thing to do.

    If a life is lost, the idea of proscribing an investigation is absurd. That is one of the parts of this Florida law that created the mess Sanford is in now.

    What Prof Turley and many of us are arguing for is stated clearly:
    “The laws are read to offer broader protection than the common law, which already has ample protection for reasonable force.”

    Ample Protection for Reasonable Force
    The boor wants Unreasonable Force while already amply protected. He wants the license to kill without sanction if he can claim he wanted to stand his ground. He blankets this in the idea that other laws (duty to retreat) require him to submit to a bully, leaving his wife and children in danger.

    Many failed nations used to subscribe to only: “Retreat is not an option”
    Rome, British Empire, Ottomans, Persia, USSR, United States.

    And to the boor….
    In arguing how the term “retreat” is used in the military is different than how a “retreat” is USED in the military. When “feigning retreat”, you are still retreating, but not for weakness, not because you lack resources, not because you are confused, but because you want to control the meta space. That you have been unable to grasp this all along in the conversation, is not surprising to me now. It is something that I’m quite used to with boors. One context, one level, one topic only please. It is a hell of a time dealing a multidimensional cross platform player in life.

    Retreat isn’t only an option, it is an amazing tool that is not “running away”.

  153. idealist707,

    It is easy to fluster certain proud people. I don’t know what is in his head, that’s his space, not mine.

    in speaking with a friend who is a former SERE instructor, this overly firm mind is one of the things addressed in SERE. In the Korean war, many captured troops had been brought up in this ‘firm stiff’ mind. Turns out though, they cracked first. SERE teaches to be flexible with the people who have captured you. This tough guy projection is easy to break. All tough guys can be broken, all of them. We’re only mortal.

    It is the flexible mind and construct that will survive the longest. All good martial art is based in adaptation not “I’ll do this when x happens.” People who think like that get hurt more often than not. It is in this area that we train the longest. The art of it is exploring all of these areas. One day, you simply hit another area of though that is not based in the ‘kick someone’s ass’ motif.

  154. @Idealist: And do you believe as some scientists that the universe may not be uniform as to constant laws.


    And how do you conceive of what it is outside of the universe, or before time started flowing.

    I do not. As a scientist, I am comfortable with the answer that I don’t know. I do not have to invent an answer.

    If the universe is infinite, how large is that? If it is finite, what lies outside?

    First, the universe can be finite with nothing outside of it; it could be a four dimensional sphere, so that if a projectile travels far enough in one direction it will end up where you started.

    But that isn’t necessary to know, really. The observable universe is more than we will ever explore, even optically. I am also okay with leaving such mysteries to future generations, it is my educated opinion, at the moment, that there is not enough information available to do anything but wildly speculate about those things. And even further than that, we have no clue as to how to generate the information that could help provide the answers. We won’t be building a particle accelerator the size of our galaxy, for example. So it is up to somebody in the future, perhaps, to figure that out. Or perhaps it will never be known, civilization may collapse in the next thousand years.

    Or are there forces greater than those we can perceive in the sub-atomic particle world.

    It depends on what you mean by “perceive,” but in general I do not believe that any forces exists that cannot be measured.

    Stringers say they are enormous. What’s your position on strings?

    My position is that string theory is utter bullshit and a tragic waste of physicists. I believe there is nothing testable in it, and never will be. I subscribe to a form of loop quantum gravity that has the potential to produce actually testable hypotheses. String theory is a fad that has led to a dead end. It won’t go anywhere, and in twenty more wasted years, the money (for grants and research) will move elsewhere. That will happen faster if one of the alternatives (LQG) starts making testable scientific progress, which I expect it will.

    While we are on the subject, I do not believe in the Big Bang or Inflation, either. I do not believe in Dark Matter, I do not believe in Dark Energy, and I am just beginning to think that maybe the Higgs boson does not exist. Have you heard the neutrinos are cycling through forms much faster than was expected? Experiments to test that were just recently devised, and provided another surprise.

    The best theory of physics we have ever had is in trouble, and nobody on the planet knows how to fix it. It is interesting times, I think.

  155. @Michael: It is easy to fluster certain proud people.

    I am not flustered. I answer violence with violence, ridicule with ridicule, insult with insult. Funny how you say, “I don’t know what is in his head,” immediately after asserting that I am “proud” and immediately before claiming my mind is “overly firm.” You’re a simpleton.

  156. Simpleton John Timony chimed in on this:


    “At the time the Florida law was working its way through the Legislature, proponents argued that a homeowner should have the absolute right to defend himself and his home against an intruder and should not have to worry about the legal consequences if he killed someone. Proponents also maintained that there should be no judicial review of such a shooting.

    But I pointed out at the time that even a police officer is held to account for every single bullet he or she discharges, so why should a private citizen be given more rights when it came to using deadly physical force? I also asked the bill’s sponsor, State Representative Dennis K. Baxley, to point to any case in Florida where a homeowner had been indicted or arrested as a result of “defending his castle.” He could not come up with a single one.”


    This was one of my points above. There hasn’t been a threat on people who were defending themselves before this law. He then states something even more to my liking:

    “The only thing that is worse than a bad law is an unnecessary law. Clearly, this was the case here.”

    The irony here is I am one of Timony’s critics from his handling of WTO events in Philly and Miami. His tough guy stuff showed up there too. Fire brings fire.

  157. Tony C.

    You were suckered again:

    MCM said::
    “No tony,
    I made a general comment about certain proud people then a specific about not knowing your state of mind. If the shoe fits, wear it.”
    Problem: You looked for an attack signal, and being focused on detecting and analyzing that, you don’t read the actual signals. And make conclusions based on misunderstood data. Wonder how you perform in less stressful scientist situations.

    MCM is an expert. Your chances in mental combat are null. But your “pride” keeps you in an untenable situation, because abandoning a position would shatter your world, you feel deepest..

    Listen and read what I say, Tony.

    I was in the same position as you all my life until about 5 weeks ago.
    I had a position which was “me”, which was my all, had to be maintained in spite of all input to the contrary. Not the same as yours, but same as to type of fixated life strategy. What was mine?

    To prove my worth as a human being, I had to prove that I was smarter.
    That I had to know more than others. To “be” right. To start and end the contact from an “above” position. To give lectures instead of contact.
    Not being an expert I used my agile memory and mind to collect expertise outside the area of the common man, in my case medicine, biology, etc and also science in areas that interested me. I became a nerd, but withouu nerd contacts—as even they abhorded me.

    When I accepted the idea that thet was an unnecessary hindrance, I faced the problem of what am I if not superior? What are my characteristics, my personal qualities, my real feelings which were hidden even from me under the costume. What is an ordinary person like?
    Where can I stand? All unknown. Having been cut off, without real contact, empathetic observation, empathetic feelings (self-imposed altruism existed), etc it wasn’t easy to know where or how to begin.

    It was for a time a fearful situaltion. Having taken off my costume, I did not know how I appeared to others, nor actually how I “was”. Gradually, (no further mention now,) I have found more and more of myself—and the reaction from others are proof that they like what they see.
    Before it was approval of my role, now it is approval of me.
    Thus my feelings in my guts are more accessible than anytime earlier in my life. I am healing and entering the human race cautiously.

    And, I’ve had gestalt therapy help to do this. No theories, just help in experiencing life in a different position or in another manner.
    Try it, you’re worth it.

    Hope this helps you.

    Your position on LQG is as mine. The difference is that as a fan of Lee Smolin I am not a scientist. But that gives me the freedom to enjoy one of Lee’s happiest discoveries, and use it myself. To use associations outside the box to suggest solutions inside it.

    Good luck finding the real you. Give yourself the chance. Your need for respect is crippling you. Let your need be replaced but acceptance of being vulnerable, not every blow to your self-image is fatal, as you fear.
    It will quiet the mind and allow you to argue your case better.

    It always helped my Kerstin. I haven’t gotten there yet. Only became aware of another crippling strategy 8 days ago, which requires integrating in this renovated me.

    Good luck to us both.

  158. Tony,

    Another thing you need to evaluate and abandon
    You, when pressed on your ideas, pull out your bonafides as a way of “proving ” the worth of your ideas.
    Your being this, that, and the other, is irrelevant in defense of ideas.
    There is no rank here. Even the protessor can be and is challenged, even by such legal mites as I. Surely you are disgusted when you hear some higher-ranking person use it as a way to end all discussion.

    You say: I have military experience, I have been using this attitude for XX years, I am a scientist with many achievements. ETC.

    Well, goody for you, says your opponent. Let me hear the arguments all these achievements have equipped you with.

    The proof then falls back on argumentation, not necessarily he who has the best facts, nor the “correct” answer—-but he who ARGUES BEST.

    So when you pull rank, you are simply saying I have no good arguments left.

    Good luck in abandoning that “losing tactic”. One down makes it easier to do more. Remind yourself of each barrier passed or mountain climber.
    That is very needed when changing things around.

  159. Tony C.

    I put the bait out of seeming to require you to prove your scientific capability.

    You could and should have replied: Irrelevant to the subject under discussion.

    You instead gave my questions the dignity of answering them—-thus confirming your need for that support in your internal world.

    Do you see how you can be suckered. Not defeated as such, but demeaned and dishearted—-ultimately.

    I preach at you, you feel. Let me tell you, this sermon is meant as much to aid me, as to aid you.

  160. @Idealist: Hope this helps you.

    No, not at all.

    You are mistaken, I reply as I feel. If you want to talk about science, I love science. You say, you put out the bait: Fuck you. I am not playing chess, I am trying to have a conversation, and dumb fuck idiots like you cannot help but start insulting, preaching, and making completely unfounded assumptions about me (Oh, Tony, you are just like I was before I became a much better person than you!) and then try to treat me for the disease that infects you.

    Congratulations, you tricked me into thinking you were a sincere scientific conversationalist; I gave you the benefit of the doubt and responded with civility, and then you confessed it was all a con and you were just another scheming jerk trying to trick me.

    Same thing goes for MCM: He preaches the value of retreat in order to attack me; he is a keyboard hypocrite. Although I am not intimidated in the least, just look at his posts, one after another. Looks like classic bullying behavior to me.

    As for my biographical note: It was you looking for my beliefs and why I believe what I do, and whether I believe in the supernatural, and I told you what I have told other people. Then you vilify me for that?

    I have no psychological need for confirmation of my conclusions, scientific or otherwise, from anybody except the people I know personally that are qualified to understand me. I engage in conversation for completely innocent reasons: You might have heard of an article I hadn’t, or video I didn’t see, or we might have a common interest.

    I do not need your support or belief or acceptance, I know what I know and it is justified with logic. And now I know something new, that you are a dishonorable liar and cheat that cannot be trusted and deserves nothing from me.

  161. “Problem: You looked for an attack signal, ”

    Way back up there, I wrote that for a long time I’ve been working with people about this “twitch” (aka looking for an attack signal is excellent language).

    That “always alert” status leads to apophenia (seeing patterns that aren’t there). FEMA Camps become concentration camps when you have this pattern run you too much. Always looking for the fight is a sign in my experience. It is a sign of unfinished anger. Somewhere, someone got frightened, hurt, offended, and is waiting to take it out on the next “attack signal”.

    And I was being serious when I said I don’t know Tony’s mind or emotion. His words are all I can go by. I take much of what he says to be his sincere emotion about the topic. I can even identify with that passion. I just disagree with the mindset that seeks the hardest road first out of compensation. The easiest road to peace is always the best road. Anything less and you should be reviewed by your peers after any such event to see if you “brought your shit” that day.

    Also, I do stick to what I know. It is the best way to deliver the goods. I read this Turley blog every day. I don’t sit here and argue as a lawyer, because I’m not one. But as also mentioned above, that doesn’t mean I don’t have law experience as plaintiff, defendant, witness, legal courier, and a martial artist. I’m not at all vague about laws in states I visit or live because I tend to cooperate with law enforcement related to martial arts standards. I have to know what my legal requirements in their district are.

    Just like registering a gun, if I move into a neighborhood and get into a fight with an average joe who has never taken a single fighting class, I might be held to a higher standard if questions start arising about the conflict. Since I’ve had training in de-escalation, I have to employ it. All the attacks on “duty to retreat” were extraneous redundancies mixed with a big old dose of PreJudice. prejudice in a law is the worst form of law.

    But lets take this out of the legal realm that Tony avoids in his argument and stick with “opinion” world. My opinion about the difference between “self-defense” and “arriving with an agenda” comes from first hand experience. There is nothing to brag about. No brag in almost killing someone who attacked you. It is sick, not funny. No rocks to get off.

    While the ego fest might distract, I invite Tony and others to consider the moral structure of the argument. Tony’s “I do not care why the right thing is done, just that the right thing is done” is not very scientific. I do care why the right thing is done, because as a scientist I need to repeat the experiment and evaluate the data. Why is it that Jonathan Turley is someone I respect and not simply admire his legal chops. Because he not only does the right thing mechanically with the law, but he seeks the proper moral center in the law too. The “why this is right” is always made clear by Prof Turley.

    Without being distracted by the ego part of it, lets examine the rewards and punishments of the “self-aggrandizing egos” in our two arguments.

    1. Tony C wishes (feel free to correct if this isn’t accurate) to be able to ‘stand his ground’ free of liability if an aggressor seeks to remove his ‘right’ to be in a place he was authorized to be and he kills him. He specifically wants no “demand to retreat” placed upon him if he were to fear for his life or that of others. He seems convinced that such protection didn’t already exist and that the “spirit” of stand your ground was most important because someone has to be able to stand up to bullies or they will rule the world and he will lose his right to be where he should be.
    This was wrapped in “I will kill if attacked” and “tough shit” towards the bully’s outcome.

    2. My argument was, even if I could have all that room, I should make sure I have a check on my reaction to an event because I think the community knows what standard is best. I am no island. I argued for a limited use of force to match with only the amount necessary to end the situation including avoiding it all together. Each step I take would merely be determined by the live action, not a pre-ordained desire to whip out weapons and be Wong Fei Hung.

    I ask, ultimately on stance alone, which has more humility.
    I know that my teachers are right because for a life time I have chosen Option 1 while they advised Option 2. Repeatedly I was wrong about my self-centered desire to harm ‘bad guys’ and ‘right the wrongs’ etc. This has ultimately been disregarded as “macho shit” by now in my life. I’ve had guides to get here, 2 women in my life who loved me more than I loved myself. I didn’t care what happened to me before they came in my sphere. My wife looked on in fear when I had to confront a man in front of a store who was calling his wife the c-word and threatening to beat her in front of the store. That look of fear for my well being never appeared in a fight I had been in before…it rattled me worse than a punch.

    When this ‘macho’ mind takes over, innocent people get hurt on a greater ratio than when people take minimum action in a fight or avoid the fight all together. 95% of all potentially violent interactions in the world are going to be bluffs or posturing with no real threat of violence. A conditioned mind can discern the difference by examining many different factors including posture, language, eyes, etc. As a fighter, I look for that ‘twitch’ that says he’s for real or he’s just talk. Almost all, virtually everyone is bluffing or posturing to simply get some respect or deflect a potential threat.

    If every time my cats hissed at each other a gun had to come out…lots of dead cats would be around. But most hisses are simply warnings. I also sought above to say a few times, it doesn’t matter if Tony manages to get through life with his mentality about deadly force because for every Tony, there’s a not-Tony that has the same legal leeway and he isn’t so lucky. He goes to the morgue for his macho while his children suffer.

    Case in point in Florida, David Jones, who was shot over a park fight that never had to turn deadly. His daughter needs him but he’s dead. I’m sure that big military man had training too. I’m sure he thought his skills would get the better of his aggressor and he is dead.

    So despite the appearance that I’m looking to ‘defeat’ Tony here, the truth is I want him to go home every day and die of natural causes.

    It like the old Japanese story:
    A wealthy gentleman went to the priest to ask a blessing on the occasion of his grandson’s birth. He asked the priest to provide a blessing for the family.

    The priest wrote out: Father dies, son dies, son dies.

    The wealthy man was upset at this blessing. He screamed, “what sort of blessing is that!”

    The priest replied, “I was merely asking for a blessing for the natural order. See, son dies before father, or his son dies before his father, the great suffering will consume the family. But if the natural order is preserved, there will be less suffering upon the family”

    The wealthy man was surprised yet thankful to hear this blessing and thanked the priest for his wisdom

    Macho gets people killed. But even if I remove the argument about macho from ‘retreat’, I think my greatest point to Tony about retreat is that there is no shame in retreat because it is simply a movement. While calling me a ‘self-aggrandizing ego’, Tony was arguing for ego in ‘running away’. He was arguing to save his ego, not his life.

    As I said above, advance and retreat, are motions. They lack emotion. “running away” is a rather charged way of saying “retreat”.

    “you’re a simpleton” is actually fine with me. Truth might not match that, but I admire simpletons. Their world seems easier somehow. Less burdens when you don’t have to think about consequences. I seek simple resolutions to complex problems. Occam’s views were worthy, no?

    Our foreign policy in America has too many “retreat is not an option” mindsets in play when it comes to invading and conquering. Sarah Palin and others rail for more war in Iraq and Afghanistan by bleating “retreat is not an option” and “why are we going to run away”

    They are stuck on stupid.

  162. “Same thing goes for MCM: He preaches the value of retreat in order to attack me; he is a keyboard hypocrite”

    Haus, we aren’t in combat. We’re in discussion. Can you distinguish the difference? Please provide proof of your explanation. (essay please)

  163. “He preaches the value of retreat in order to attack me;”

    False. There is no preach here and the value of retreat is being discussed to save lives. “attack” …might want to consider some of your own comments. At NO POINT have I suggested you can’t insult me. You have done so from the beginning, so what. I’m not worry about those comments, they’re just comments. You’ve claimed I have no ability for basic logic, I’m a simpleton, etc. So i wouldn’t get too frothy about ‘attack’ when you’re doing it.

    I have been no such hypocrite as I haven’t suggested you should refrain from insults. If this is your idea of combat, I suggest you stay at the keyboard and leave the gun toting to cops. Your life on the street might not be met with rhetoric.

    I have openly challenged your macho approach to ‘stand your ground’. Yes, I did this directly and to the point. No games. If idealist707 has a view on this, so be it. But I’m deadly serious about the need to understand the value of retreat in a real life combat role.

    If you’re now going to start convulsing about “keyboard” combat, I think its time you drink some chai and relax. This is not combat. This is discussion.

    And you can throw all the “Fuck you” comments around that you want, just words big guy, just words.

    Fact is I’ve been very sincere that you are wrong about ‘retreat’ as ‘running away’ and have ample support from far greater military minds than you and I in that reality. It is from them that I learned that retreat isn’t cowardly. You can rant about that all you wish but you’re flat out wrong. Retreat isn’t cowardly any more than Advance is brave. It is forward and back.

    I will agree with idealist707 though that you are utterly predictable in your irascible responses and that is something I know I can provoke because I understand that matrix. I’m not here to do that with you. I am challenging your claims about ‘retreat’. That you think this means I should retreat is rather humorous actually because we aren’t in combat.

    And I already said, I understand the desire to stand your ground…that isn’t rocket science. Froth away if you must but you’re a classic case of tense for no reason. I challenged your macho and you only got more macho. It is easily predictable that you’re a danger in a public setting with that mindset. Froth at that assertion all you want but you’re the one who put it out there.

    “classic bully”
    “fuck you”
    “treat me for the disease that infects you.”
    lots of froth there, Tony. You have some issues that should be rested. I don’t mind telling you that and it isn’t bullying you to say so.

    “I engage in conversation for completely innocent reasons: ”
    And so do others, haus. It isn’t only your world, your blog, or your experience. Welcome to sharing it. It seems painful to you, but it doesn’t have to be.

    Rest well Tony, you’re well loved and highly respected in your …domain.

  164. MCM,

    I tried the sharing approach. I tried his needs relate to mine, we are equally human in wanting to retain sefl-respect. But apophenia affiicts him
    The use of the word “bait” seems to have colored his thinking thereafter.
    All I offer is thereupon pronounced evil, deceitful, etc etc.

    He is in need of major help, which he denies. Catch-22 in reverse.
    He feels he is healthy and we are sick—-rots a ruck with that attitude.
    He won’t answer direct questions like I asked about his specialty, published papers, journals, etc.

    He is beyond reach, I fear.

    Your points well taken and appreciated. You’ve been where I never will.

    As have admitted, I have been afraid of all, not just bullies. And it persists in spite of being able to open and reach out now.
    Wonder where Tony C.’s fear is? Does he himself know? Doubt it.
    Like my body-gripping fear of being abandoned in the crib. It has only appeared 2 times in my life, completely unexpected,, but now getting OT.

    Fear is healthy. And should be acknowledged or it will steer you badly at times.

  165. Telling people “fuck you” is childish. Stop the alpha male garbage, Tony. You have people discussing a different view with you and you’re dishing out insults but then can’t take them. There is no need to say, “fuck you” to anyone here who has spoken to you. Someone has a different view of this than you do. You look and sound like a bully when you say this to idealist707. I haven’t seen him be violent or pushy with you. He’s discussing the topic with you. You say you think people shouldn’t back down then demand they back down from you. That is a bully.

    Idealist, I’m sorry someone had to address you this way. Please be nice to this disturbed man. He seems at a breaking point on the topic. Thank you

  166. MCM and Tony C.

    Am getting out because the respective personal threads get entangled and tangled (also). All debates should be one on one.

    As for Tony. Keep your ideas. Hope they don’t spread.

    As for my implying my sickness is your sickness—it isn’t sickness to me.
    Sorry you feel it was. Was trying to disarm the demon of “retreat” for you. Playing therapist again. MCM thought your words of scorn on that were meant for him—but it was I who uttered the comparison.

    BFN Lurking with interest.

  167. Idealist707,
    Fear is a proper response to a threat. It is in how one handles the fear that counts. Anyone who is too fearful might freeze or make mistakes and one who is void of fears might not value the assets at risk properly.

    What is also lost in this is why I’m advocating a different take. When a fight is threatened anywhere near me, I really seek to know the nature of the suffering in the aggravated person. This is where the center of the storm is, right? Knowing that others are afraid is secondary. What is it that the aggravated party is seeking? What calms that desire? It might be reasonable, no? It might be unreasonable but can be met with reason. All these are in play in any real conflict.

    Note above that I frequently wrote comments to clarify Tony’s position so I made it clear I understood the desire not to back down to a bully, to cede space we feel rightfully inclined to occupy etc. At no point does Tony seek to acknowledge outside his argument instead, “i reject your creed”, “I’m military”,”I’m a sharpshooter”, etc. He’s a very very defensive writer at least.

    But whether he sees it or not, it is the idea that this “conversation” would require ‘retreat’ or that he’s being ‘attacked’ while he is actually simultaneously attacking, that is indicative of how we can trust his ability to ‘stand his ground’ and do so with reasonable force. If he can’t distinguish a criticism in public forum from an “attack” require retreat, then I can’t support his view on these laws as sound. Clearly he overstates his opponent’s case.

    He argues for a standard different than mine. Fine, fair to do so. I’m arguing for a standard that would care less if I’m egotistical or modest. Either way, I’m up for your review. In his standard, he should be preordained to harm at the fullest extent should he feel “intimidated” or “attacked”. Under that standard, would I be sitting here with a bullet in my gut by now?

    Idealist especially was not violent. Out of the entire conversation, you’ve not been an alpha, a testo-fest, wanking, twitchy, threat. And yet, “fuck you” is the response. Quite telling.

  168. Thank you Sharon.

    I have been actually worried since yesterday, and will express my fears to MCM.

    Back off, please. . Give it up, for his sake. He might just go and blow his head off if the realization hits him too hard. Better let him go his way.
    He’s staggering and desparate now. We don’t to see him fall.

    As long as he isn’t beating his wife and the kids it ain’t major.
    Change? Nah. Impossible.

    Again Sharon. Your input welcome, not just because you give me support.
    But because you indicate what’s expected here.. My first (almost) blog life experience.

  169. I don’t get why Professor Turley keeps saying Zimmerman disregarded the dispatcher’s instruction not to follow Martin, when there’s actually no indication that he kept following after the dispatcher told him not to, and indeed, the 911 tape indicates that he almost certainly DID stop following.

    Can someone help me out with this?

  170. GWLaw99grad,

    In the transcript after Zimmerman is told “we don’t need you to do that” and he responds “okay” he then says “he ran” presumably about Trayvon. So the question next for me is, if this call happened where Zimmerman stated he was, passed the clubhouse, past the left turn and mailboxes, where he claims he was sitting.

    Considering the witness account of a confrontation, Zimmerman had to have exited his vehicle, thus he had to have kept following him. It seems more of an inductive statement than observed in the call.

    “what’s your name”
    “george….he ran”
    description of where George is located follows before the call ends.

    “these assholes always get away” would also lead me to believe he at least sought to pursue. This is my read from the transcript itself.

    Now, adding to this mix the comments from witnesses about a confrontation, Zimmerman had to have exited his vehicle. I’m not sure the public has been given much more than that.

  171. It’s clear that he exited his vehicle and ran for about 10 seconds, but that he stopped after the dispatcher told him too. During the two minutes of conversation that followed, it’s quite obvious he wasn’t running after anyone.

    He said “he ran”, not “he’s running”.

    And he said “I don’t know where this guy is”.

    He was on the phone with the dispatcher for 2 minutes from the time he originally said “he’s running” and then got out of his car. That’s more than enough time for Martin to have gotten back to the house where he was staying.

    It’s obvious, therefore, that Martin did not beat feet home. He stuck around for some reason, either because he didn’t think Zimmerman was really a threat, or he wanted to get into it with him.

  172. “he didn’t think Zimmerman was really a threat, or he wanted to get into it with him.”

    we have no indication of Martin’s mindset about “get into it” with anyone. we do have mindset statements from Zimmerman about “assholes always get away”.

    and where do you read that he “got out” of his car? he was in a truck.
    “if they come in through the gate, tell them to go straight past the club house, and uh, straight past the club house and make a lef, and then they go past the mailboxes, that’s my truck..”

    “what address are you parked in front of”
    “I don’t know it’s a cut through so I don’t know the address”

    Nothing indicates he left his vehicle in this call itself.

  173. I, a 60 year old white woman who wears what we used to call a hooded sweatshirts (hoodies) takes walks every day and evening including through gated communities. I have never been chased, harassed injured or threatened, accused of being on drugs or something, not even so much as asked what am I doing there. This particular situation is racial. I too think we must await the surfacing of a decent investigation and flesh out the facts, but this has obvious racial overtones that must not be ignored.

    My son who works with at risk youth told me there is a script when being confronted by police and security element. Avoid cops at all costs, walk away, be brief, be polite, answer questions in a specific way. I was horrified when I learned this was necessary for many children in the community to learn. Sadly it is a tool to use until these horrible racial divides disappear. I have never been stopped by police, hauled out of a car and had the shit beaten out of me for being who I am.

    This young man Trayvon is known to be a wonderful kid and I applaud his parents for raising such a great kid. Even so I worry more desperately about the harmless but less likable mouthy, pissed off (with good reason) kids who don’t do well in school are not particularly warm and who are just kids being kids. Are they to be executed as well because they wear hoodies and are not so polite? They too deserve justice and should not be threatened with murder for being in the world.

    When I grew up the police were the good guys, there was this sense of decency. But in years following I have myself witnessed way too many police harassing youth/adults for being nothing more than who they are. For every story like Trayvon’s there are hundreds like it that have not come to light.

    Justice for Trayvon. Justice for all. Isn’t this America still?

  174. MCM,
    missed this nice post, particularly this:
    “….When a fight is threatened anywhere near me, I really seek to know the nature of the suffering in the aggravated person. This is where the center of the storm is, right?….”

    That’s where it is. If we all could keep it cool and look for the center.
    Just concentrating on that can calm your reaction and help finde the best, most peaceful way out.

  175. From New York State Law, Penal Code, Part 1, Title C, Article 35, paragraph 15:

    2. A person may not use deadly physical force upon another person under circumstances specified in subdivision one unless:
    (a) The actor reasonably believes that such other person is using or about to use deadly physical force. Even in such case, however, the actor may not use deadly physical force if he or she knows that with complete personal safety, to oneself and others he or she may avoid the necessity of so doing by retreating; except that the actor is under no duty to retreat if he or she is:
    (i) in his or her dwelling and not the initial aggressor; or
    (ii) a police officer or peace officer or a person assisting a police officer or a peace officer at the latter’s direction, acting pursuant to section 35.30; or
    (b) He or she reasonably believes that such other person is committing or attempting to commit a kidnapping, forcible rape, forcible criminal sexual act or robbery; or
    (c) He or she reasonably believes that such other person is committing or attempting to commit a burglary, and the circumstances are such that the use of deadly physical force is authorized by subdivision three of section 35.20.

    The exceptions do not invalidate the duty to retreat, at least for me. Read the language. If somebody is swinging a bat and threatening to bust my head if I do not leave the park, because he doesn’t approve of my kind, he is about to use deadly physical force and I am required by New York law to leave, rather than engage.

    Specifically, I do not think the bat swinger is committing any of the crimes listed, I am not in my home, I am not a police officer.

    So if I stand there, when I could have left, and deflect the bat and in the ensuing fight the bat swinger falls and breaks his neck and dies, I am not assured of being able to claim it was self-defense: I may be prosecuted for murder or manslaughter, because the bat swinger did allow me a safe path to retreat: Accede to his demand and leave the park.

    What is “in my head” is that I disagree with this law, and I agree with the spirit of standing one’s ground, which I mean in the literal sense. Unlike the New York State law, I believe I should have the right to refuse to leave, and literally stand there. Let the bat swinger approach and make his move, and if he does that, and I defend myself, and in the struggle he dies, it should not even be possible to call that a “murder” instead of a “self-defense.” He swung a bat at me! Nevertheless in New York, the possibility clearly exists, because lethal force is not legally justifiable if a safe path of retreat exists. Lethal force in self defense is not protected if you could have walked away from the fight.

    Now everybody feel free to try and twist the words of this law to say something it does not say, or claim my hypothetical is flawed, or whatever you need to do to continue feeling like you are right and I am wrong. I understand, your ego just cannot bear to be wrong.

    Lawyers and all, jump in: Lawyers can be wrong too, in every case tried, some side loses. Even if the lawyer is right, judges can be wrong, Turley’s blog is filled with judges and lawyers misinterpreting the law. In a child custody case I attended, the judge read the law from the bench and told the lawyer the law would be interpreted exactly as written (which meant, “you lose.”)

    This law reads as it is shown, and some DAs and some judges will interpret it as literally as it appears, without nuance. As long as it is on the books, New York is a state where you may not be able to claim “self defense” if you could have walked away. In my opinion, that is bad law.

    As far as “run away” being hyperbolic, that is a quibble without a difference. The “duty to retreat” is not a duty to maneuver, or to change position, it is a duty to leave in order to avoid battle while under threat of assault, and if you do that by backing away, walking away, or running away, the result is the same. If you do not turn tail, and you choose to stand there and wait and see if he actually assaults you, then you might be denied the claim of “self defense” should he end up inadvertently dead.

    What is NOT “in my mind” is any right to escalate, or attack, or provoke an assailant (other than by my mere presence), or to shoot because I “feel threatened.” What IS in my mind is what I consider common sense: If I am not the aggressor, and I get attacked, anything that happens to the aggressor happened in self-defense and I should not be denied that claim of self-defense because I could have avoided the fight by running away.

  176. @Idealist: He won’t answer direct questions like I asked about his specialty, published papers, journals, etc.

    I post anonymously, for a reason. I am a non-tenured research scientist at a large university, which happens to be politically polarized and filled with vindictive people above me fighting over many, many tens of millions of dollars, including the tiny fraction that funds my department, my lab, my research, and the team upon which I serve.

    When the elephants dance, the mice get crushed, and these people are political animals that really care nothing about scientific merit (unless it comes with positive publicity and reflected glory). I post anonymously out of caution.

  177. Tony C.

    But some people pull guns and fire when they have the “stand your ground to give them a way out. Very few would depend on their martial law skills as you do.

    But the law has to take into account the great majority, which hope you realize do exist. Shoot when in doubt had been in force in Europe since 1000 to 1500 AD. Then the king said NO.

    Hopes this helps us all in this dilemma. Thanks for the law citation.
    I reply because feel you deserve the courtesy. BFN

  178. Tony C.
    Smolin touched on that in his book, “The problem with physics”.
    (It might have been trouble instead of problem, but never mind)-
    A low profile is certainly wise. And sorry for the taunt, My apologies for the low assault. You are indeed a scientist, but a poor arguer as most of us are. Your latest only supports your opinion. But that’s OK. That WAS(?) your purpose?

  179. @Idealist: Your latest only supports your opinion.

    That is your opinion; I think it speaks to the truth of my stance, it shows the facts to back up my claim, the law says you must withdraw from battle if you can safely do so. There is no magic in interpreting the law, a central tenet of the law is that it means what it says in plain and common English. How else would you interpret the New York State law, without redefining the words into meaning nothing at all?

    Because that is what would have to be done, redefine “you must retreat” into “it is okay to stay and fight.”

    Thanks for the apology, I apologize in kind for my insults.

  180. Tony,

    The key you’re missing here is the very specific use of the word “deadly” in the NYS law. There is a difference between reasonable force in self-defense and deadly force. Nothing – I repeat NOTHING – in the NY statute prevents you from kicking someone’s ass in self-defense. It prohibits you from killing them if you have the option of leaving and provides several exceptions, all of which is in line with the common law doctrine. Again, you’ve conflated an absolute that doesn’t exist. You’re cherry picking and to no greater avail than before. You still don’t understand the duty to retreat. It’s becoming clear that part of why you don’t understand it is that you don’t understand the hierarchy of violence either, hence, you do not understand proportionate response.

  181. @Idealist: And here, on Smolin’s blog, is the latest and hottest indictment of String Theory. F-Theory is now a zombie, and String Theory is once again a mathematical pastime with no link to reality.

  182. @Gene: It sounds like you are saying that if I fought instead of left, and in the fight I threw my assailant and he landed badly and broke his neck and died, or my routine choke hold initiated a stroke or heart attack that killed him, there is absolutely zero chance I could be prosecuted for even manslaughter in New York State. That there is absolutely zero chance a zealous prosecutor that wants to make an example of me might pull this statute out, claim I had a duty to retreat, and thus I sacrificed my claim of self-defense. That there is zero chance any judge would agree with him.

    If that is what you are saying, then I simply do not believe you; because it would mean, as I said, that these words really mean nothing. Martial arts are an inherently lethal force, just like a knife or gun. Sure, you can use all three to stop somebody without killing them, but martial artists are trained to maim and kill. If the fight resulted in a death, it is pretty obvious deadly force was used, even if inadvertently.

    I still believe this is bad law. It does not say, “may not intentionally use deadly physical force,” it says “may not use deadly physical force.”

    Other than some blocking, dodging and deflection action, almost any strike or throw one makes is potentially deadly physical force.

  183. There you go painting arguments in absolutes again. Every fight, like every case, is different. Appealing to probability is a formal logical fallacy. I don’t give a shit what you believe, Tony. You still don’t know what you’re talking about in re the duty to retreat. Conflate it however you like to make you think you do though. Like I said earlier, I’d expect the sun to turn in to cream cheese before I’d expect you to admit you’re wrong. Unlike MCM, I’ve seen your act many times before, but even he has picked up on your predictable flaw.

  184. Tony,

    I’d like to reward your above post quoting the New York law by saying, thank you for posting the law which references the conditions you’d be living under. This along with that in that post you explained your position without the chest puffing language. I don’t begrudge the chest puffing language, mind you, puff away. I don’t begrudge your desire not to retreat.

    To reward the toned down version, I’d like to tell you why, in my very vain self-centered position, it was more useful. Because the topic is self-defense, because I have many years practical fighting experience and street/club fighting experience, and because I found value in life after someone showed me mine too was worth something, my whole offering to this is that treating ‘retreat’ in a negative way inhibits our ability to use it wisely.

    When that term or any term gets loaded with our personal ‘stuff’, it is hard to tell if the person can fully utilize it. Retreat is a part of a matrix of combat techniques. Advance, retreat, delay, surprise, confuse, and many more aspects are needed to engage mindfully in any combat, one-to-one or between nation, no difference. When someone argues to remove one because they think it is “weak”..(well perhaps they could give a good argument for this but…) they’re running up against many centuries of tried and tested sciences on military tactics.

    And the attempt to distinguish between ‘military’ service training and ‘martial arts’ training becomes useless when they actually are derived from the same location, the need to attack or defend and the science behind attaining victory.

    The context we’re discussing this is in is important. Self-defense. You have no qualms busting up theories about physics. I applaud you. My knowledge of physics is pedestrian at best. I’m able to understand the concepts discussed because I’ve always allowed that to flow without hesitation to tune in. But I haven’t done the math, or the practical application.

    Kung Fu – Effort towards a study over a period of time. “Time-Energy”
    There are only a few areas where I have truly applied my sciences, and martial arts is one of them. I did this to walk back from the pathological need to “stand my ground”. It is the “stuck on stupid” I mentioned earlier. “I challenge you to a fight!” would be the general statement from opponent (not literal) and my body would say, “fuck yeah!”

    But what were the rules in our day? “he who throws the first punch”
    well..that’s not hard to get. nation states do that all the time.
    Problem? It totally abdicates self-control to other people. All it results in is reactionary behavior. I can’t afford that, you can’t afford that, and others cannot afford that.

    I’m under the full presumption that you’re going to run most of this topic through a moral matrix that says, “I know I’m a good guy” or something to that equivalent. You know best what your morals really are. I have no doubt that you’d be more honorable than most. I ask that you move it away from you and ask, “do I trust others to be able to be disciplined enough inside to see that the threat upon them is not worth taking a life? that this hasn’t risen to that level?”

    This is what I do when even checking a conflict now. Sometimes, just chiming in or getting in the middle and reacting makes it worse when a second longer of patience and everyone goes back to auto-pilot. Again, anecdotal, but I’ve been there. My desire to kick the ass of a bully is at least as strong as yours. It has been my life long conviction. I don’t have “cheneywatch” in my name because the bully is favored…he’s a thug who hides behind real fighters.

    I sought to challenge your view in good faith. I razzed you and you razzed back. Nothing here is personal for me outside the “fuck you” jabs that needn’t go that far. There is truth to the notion that ego is easily provoked because it needs to defend. It isn’t personal, that is scientific. Ego’s are the protective cocoon that keeps us safe. It can also drive a battle to unnecessary loss.

    Taste the peach
    You can teach me all day long about physics, do the math in front of me, but until I do that myself, walk through the failed formulas, learn what constructs hold up, and taste its fruit, your descriptions will be esoteric at best.

    Like a veil from which I cannot see, I know you are able to see physics in a multi-dimensional manner that gives you flexibility to see its parts and whole. I don’t worry if you get the whole or think you get the whole, because I can see you can maneuver through its matrix.

    Likewise, in martial application and theory, I have applied myself in many different areas including logical fallacy, or as I sometimes call it…the house of feeble constructs.

    Just like martial arts, when the application fails it should be retooled or dismissed. It is a science not unlike yours. The basic equations become larger formulas with permutations and the ongoing examination of its integrity. I’m not your local dojo type. I love to travel the world to visit with my teachers and engage this topic. We discuss any conflicts we’ve been through and look to see what can be learned in it. “was energy wasted, time wasted, resources wasted, what was the goal, what was the loss?”

    Master SunTzu is misunderstood by those with ambition to win a war because he didn’t teach along those lines. He taught specifically to stop war. In fact, many characters that describe these terms like “wu shu” the wu is a composite character that basically means “stop the beating” It is a defensive mindset from so many angles.

    I know you aren’t interested in going out and being all gung ho to shoot someone. Your words reflect a person frustrated with policy that allows bad behavior to ruin the lives of perfectly good folks having a perfectly good day. I am with you there. I think there are areas we can examine that would produce this much easier than “stand your ground” laws will ever do.

    I think there are areas of the Castle Doctrine I might easily agree with depending on the language of the statute. Killing someone because they stole your horse used to be a no-brainer. Killing them because they were stealing your TV is not. Assuming all precautions were taken to not be a target, things do happen and if you’re in your own home…that is your last safe place.

    Now what Gene is getting at, and I concur, is that there was already plenty of protection for this under old laws that didn’t need to be tweaked. I think it is rather pathetic that ALEC and NRA can gin up money over and over again by claiming “they’re going to take your rights” then raking in the dough. To give you a similar criticism in my MA experience, dojos or ‘self-defense’ classes exploiting women and children’s fears to teach them bullshit karate that will defend against nobody who s really dangerous and fills their heads with trophies and belts. We call these “belt factories” in the field. No diff than the NRA, turns lots of people out on the street who are more dangerous to themselves and others.

    Your matrix might be discounting this as “that’s not me” and you’re right. But it is still out there on a daily basis all the same. I run into it all the time in the US. Most of my local experience is DC, Maryland and Virginia based, lately. People are being hyped up in Virginia from time to time by local con artist radio jocks into buying and packing up on guns and bullets because “Obama is going to take away your right to defend yourself and Eric Holder said…”

    This plays to the fears of people and does little to do to protect them.

    As Gene said, and I’ve experienced, you’d have to show me a case where a person was convicted of assault or more while not backing down from a bully who was threatening them or someone else and that they had the opportunity to END the combat without loss of life. Lets drop the retreat part and simply talk about it from proportional response. If you can find me a story where a person was convicted in a self-defense situation and they didn’t back down, I’d love to see that case. I’ve been exactly a person who didn’t back down in a public space, was defending others not myself (standing?) wasn’t asked to do so. Before it even became a glint of a trial in anyone’s eyes, the prosecutor was clear I had no choice given the conditions of the environment and all the mutually intersecting testimonies.

    I’m not here to belittle you. I was bantering your belittle phrases out of good jest and you can throw them back at me all you wish. I will say, I know others might not get that joke, but we can. I’m Scot through and through, We love self-deprecating humor. It is just a form of humor to us. As the Gascon said once, “you have this before you and the best you could come up with was,…big nose?”

    But shouldn’t get in the way of this serious conversation. And frankly, I care enough about both Jonathan Turley’s blog and Trayvon Martin and his family to not exploit this for ego. I’m serious with you, mate. We need all hands on deck for the best of our society and thinking in terms of “mine” isn’t suitable for public policy discussion in some contexts.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on m-theory. Is it also a fad? Do you see these theories as unavoidable steps in our developmental understanding or are they boutique examinations of physics that have more financial and wizbang value than real scientific understanding of the nature of our quantum universe?

    More important do you believe people who say, “I could never learn that?”

  185. MCM,

    “Now what Gene is getting at, and I concur, is that there was already plenty of protection for this under old laws that didn’t need to be tweaked.”

    Yep. I believe that is the heart of JT’s contention as well.

    BTW, it’s really nice to have someone else posting here who seems to actually understand Sun Tzu in the proper context. Despite his fearsome reputation, the man was about attaining victory without conflict wherever and whenever possible. I find that he and Machiavelli are two of the most misunderstood and misrepresented strategists quoted today with Miyamoto Musashi following at a close third.

  186. I have been thinking over my life and the times I was cornered into a physical confrontation. There really have been very few. The last time was a few years ago when I chased down and tackled a purse snatcher in a parking lot. After I had him down and was sitting on him and had him in a leg lock hold, I heard a bystander say, “Did you see what that old guy did? He nailed the thug’s ass?” I suspect that at least part of the reason no one ever tried to get physical with me after about the fourth grade was my size. By the time I was in high school, I was already well over six feet and fit. FWIW, I am the same size as the average NFL linebacker in both height and weight.

    My forte has always been to use words. Funny, I have extracted confessions from people in a matter of minutes after others have worked on the situation for hours or days. I have read Sun Tzu as well as Milton Erickson. Verbal ju jitsu as it were.

  187. This is one of the things I do often with my congressional contacts, clarify language and what is unnecessary. I haven’t a full battery of legal knowledge like you or others do, but I do love language and its meta. When a law already does TaskA, writing it to perform TaskA to PersonA’s approval seems silly.

    And yes, I’m a big fan of Musashi as well.
    In the lead up to the Iraq war, I was surrounded by lots of gung ho former military buds who said George Bush is right to invade Iraq. To each of them I said, “So then SunTzu was wrong?”, knowing each of them claimed at least to be well versed in the Art of War.

    “no, you just have to read what he’s saying and you’d realize we can win!”
    one poor sap said to me.

    “but Master SunTzu was adamant, the greatest militarist can be seen by the lack of conflict, where as the poorest…’seize cities’. It is an admission of failure when you have to invade, then even more to be bogged down for 10 years. All this could have been avoided if that adviser to King Hilu had been acknowledged.

    I abhor its use in ‘sales’. Anyone who tries that around me gets a pretty swift rebuke.

    Musashi, whole other world. I’d love to see a major motion picture of his life. A truly interesting character in history. One point in my life I started tracking down the factual realities behind the classic Shaw brother and other kung fu films. Many stories aren’t just made up heroes but real people who left myths behind like Wong Fei Hung, Bei Mei, and Huo Yun Jia. Bruce Lee’s character Chen Zhen is a fictional character who is supposedly a student of Huo Yun Jia. At the time that movie came out I was learning from Jinwoo academy teachers and his role was so inspirational to us because he featured a classic photo of Master Huo Yun Jia in the movie.

    I had long assumed the characters were simply fictional. As I found many were not, though myth had set in, a whole world opened up. And that is just in the Chinese arts world. Trying to learn Togakure Ryu, you have to also get a full history course in all the shoguns, great warriors and its a whole lesson all over again. I admit, I’m very rusty there after years because I didn’t spend as much time on it. Iga mountain is home to one of my teachers and that is about all I know about that. lol

    This is my life’s interest along with understanding SCOTUS decisions and general semantics.

    Same here, Gene, Very much appreciate your words. I’ve been reading Turley’s blog for a while but rarely spend the time reading the comments because I read his posts via mail.

    Great to meet you!.

  188. @Michael Cheneywatch McCollum 1, March 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    “we have no indication of Martin’s mindset about ‘get into it’ with anyone. we do have mindset statements from Zimmerman about “assholes always get away”.

    “Assholes always get away” could simply be referring to the people who have been burglarizing their homes over the past year, the incidents that let Zimmerman to call the police about Martin’s unusual presence in the closed neighborhood. Everybody seems to think they can read Zimmerman’s mind based on his actions. What about Martin? He had ample opportunity to get away from Zimmerman and to the safety of the indoors, but he obviously chose to stick around.

    “and where do you read that he ‘got out of his car? he was in a truck…Nothing indicates he left his vehicle in this call itself.

    Car, truck, who cares. It was actually an SUV. I drive an SUV, I call it a car, not a truck. Some people call them trucks. Anyway, you can clearly hear on the tape that he opened his “truck” door and then closed it. Then you can hear wind or heavy breathing in the phone for a few seconds until shortly after the dispatcher tells him they don’t need him to follow Martin, and he’s obviously short of breath during that time while saying things to the dispatcher. Then the wind stops, and Zimmerman starts talking normally again.

  189. “Everybody seems to think they can read Zimmerman’s mind based on his actions.”

    You overstated what I said. I didn’t say we could READ his mind. I said we have an indication of his mindset and none of Martin. “these assholes always get away”….is an indication of his mindset at the time. I didn’t say, “he also wants and omelet for breakfast”

    Zimmerman actually gave us LOTS and LOTS of information about his mindset in this call by descriptions that are above the obvious. “he’s on drugs”, “he’s up to no good”, “and he’s black”.

    All of these tell us how he sized up the situation.

    And specifically, I said, WE HAVE NO INDICATION OF MARTIN’S MINDSET.

    SOME-doesn’t mean all
    NONE-means none

  190. ““Assholes always get away” could simply be referring to the people who have been burglarizing their homes over the past year, ”

    he didn’t make a general. He said “these assholes”….meaning Trayvon was one already.

  191. Think how deep a discussion of a racist fracas/murder can get.
    I say “racist” in the sense NOT of black vs white (or whatever dipole you wish to post)—–but RATHER the WE VS THEM one.

    Would that this could be recorded and gone through some time later.
    It does, for obvious reasons, not display the rich resources underlying the words. But in the enlightenment it provides me, and perhaps others, it has been noteworthy.

    Thanks, everybody. It was a grand and glorious combat of ideas—-but not meant solely as intellectual when I say “ideas”.

  192. You overstated what I said. I didn’t say we could READ his mind. I said we have an indication of his mindset and none of Martin. “these assholes always get away”….is an indication of his mindset at the time. I didn’t say, “he also wants and omelet for breakfast

    Yes, we have an indication that can be interpreted in many different ways. If you take isolated statements out of context, sure, you can interpret it in a way that is very unfavorable to Zimmerman.

    “Zimmerman actually gave us LOTS and LOTS of information about his mindset in this call by descriptions that are above the obvious. “he’s on drugs”, “he’s up to no good”, “and he’s black”.”

    Zimmerman said “he’s black” in response to the dispatcher’s question “Is he white, black or hispanic”. As for the other stuff, we have no idea what Martin was doing, except that Zimmerman indicated he was milling about in the rain looking at houses. The likely explanation for this fairly unusual behavior is that he was talking on his phone (using a headset, according to the girlfriend) and didn’t want to go back to the house yet. But to an outside observer in a community that has had many recent burglaries, this behavior could easily appear strange, hoody or not.


    Yes, actually we do. We know that he had ample time to get back to the house where he was staying, but chose not to. We know that he told his girlfriend that he didn’t want to run. We know that he stuck around to ask Zimmerman why he was following him. All those things could indicate a attitude of someone who is more concerned about his “honor” than his safety and who doesn’t want to take any crap.

  193. We do have some inclination of Trayvons mindset. Talking to his girlfriend he was frightened of the man stalking him, and determined to walk fast but not run since his friend was urging him to run away….. He was happy to have lost the man when that all changed with Zimmermans appearance yet again. Trayvon was talking on the phone and something interrupted that phone call. He did not get to say good by to his friend.

  194. All Trayvons friends say he would be the LAST person to pick a fight. that is his ‘form’.
    He has no record of picking fights, unlike Zimmerman who had been previously charged with assault on a policeman and domestic violence.

    I do not see this boy changing overnight to pick a fight with a stalker.

  195. @Michael: Ultimately what one needs to know about M-Theory is that it does not exist, it is not written anywhere, it is a hypothetical string theory. I do not know how much you already know, so I will write for a non-mathematical audience. Advance apologies to any string theorists for oversimplifications. To my knowledge, the following analogy is original with me (although it is also obvious):

    Let us work in the familiar three dimensional realm. Suppose I have a thin (but stiff, and opaque) plastic circular disk. Now, I arrange a fixed light so this disk casts a sharp shadow. What shape will the shadow be?

    If the disk is suspended perfectly square to the light rays, the shadow will be a circle. However, if I skew the disk 45 degrees relative to the light rays, you will see an ellipse. And if I hold the disk parallel to the light rays, the shadow cast is a thin line (perhaps even a thin rectangle, if the shadow is sharp enough).

    Three different shapes, all generated by the same underlying object. Now here is where the dimensional terminology comes in. A shadow is two dimensional, it has no thickness. We call it a “projection” of the disk. In order to create these different shapes (line, ellipse, circle) we need another dimension, a third dimension in which to rotate the disk.

    This is akin to what Witten did with string theory; there were several competing ten dimensional string theories that seemed incompatible, with no way to choose between them. Witten showed that if he gave himself another dimension, the five reigning ten-dimensional theories could all be “shadows” cast by the same 11 dimensional theory.

    Now let us put a slight complicating twist in our analogy: Suppose we did not have the full circle as one of our shadows. Suppose we had, instead, exactly five different sized ellipses; from thin to medium fat.

    For ellipses, it is easy high school algebra and geometry to unify them; we can classify those shadows as one universal equation, the equation for an ellipse. They are all projections of an ellipse. But if we can only look at shadows, we can not be certain the “generator,” the object casting the shadows, is actually a perfect circle if we never SAW a perfect circle. It might be an ellipse itself! So all we can justifiably guess about this object is that it is an ellipse, with a shape somewhere in-between the fattest shadow ellipse we saw, and a full circle. (Technically a full circle is also an ellipse, with coincident foci).

    And that is not the end of our uncertainty. The equation for an ellipse has a parameter called the “eccentricity” that governs how fat the ellipse is; from a line to a full circle. In our analogy, that number would be directly related to a physical value; the angle of the light rays striking our disk. Now, we saw exactly five shadows, but our equation will generate an infinite smooth progression of ellipses from a straight line all the way up to a full circle. So, why did we see only five? Why those particular five? So even though realizing all of our ellipses could be generated from a single object might be a huge insight, that generalization is not the end of our investigation; we still must understand the return path, from our general insight to our specific, observed manifestations: Why did we see these particular five ellipses? Is the thin rectangle a physical possiblity? How about the full circle? In some sense, the equation is an over-generalization of the reality we observed; there may be other constraining factors, yet to be discovered, that would explain why all we see is five ellipses instead of millions of them.

    So this is akin to what happens with M-Theory. There might be an 11 dimensional theory, but all we see of it is five ten dimensional shadows. String theorists do not know how to write down M-Theory, and Witten’s work does not provide any clues. So M-Theory is incomplete, all we know is things about M-Theory (constraints it must obey). We have no complete mathematical description of the generating object.

    Further, like those ellipses, the generalization to M-Theory does not tell us what specific projection of M-theory results in our specific, observed universe (or if you need the full hypothetical M-theory to describe our universe). None of the five shadow theories was testable before M-Theory or since M-Theory. The number of possible string theories has been calculated in various ways, but essentially there are more “shadows” and variations of M-theory than there are atoms in all of the observable stars in our universe, with no way of choosing between them to describe our universe.

    Maybe somebody will have a breakthrough and find something that makes M-theory more than just a hypothetical theory, but it has been fifteen years, with literally thousands of the best physics and mathematical minds on the planet working on it full time, and thus far it remains untestable and incomplete. So …. Good luck with that.

  196. @Michael: More important do you believe people who say, “I could never learn that?”

    Yes, if you focus on the “I” in that statement. Learning that gets beyond rote memorization and demands a person build a working computational engine in their brain (I am speaking literally about neural connections) has an emotional component; the student has to care about the subject being learned.

    Most people can tell if something is just too esoteric for them to personally care enough about to devote something like a tenth of their expected lifetime (or more, in my case academically, and probably in your case for martial arts) to becoming that different person. If they are not in love with the idea of being that different version of themselves, they can’t learn it, because they won’t devote the life hours to the process.

    So I suppose I might add the unheard qualifier to their statement: “I could never (care about that subject enough to make the sacrifices necessary to) learn that.”

  197. MCM and Tony C.

    Re could never learn.
    I was told by my algebra teacher at 14 that I could not learn it.
    Thus that has been transferred to an “inabllity” to learn mathematics.
    Tony C. says it can be, if given the love and time.
    What MCM was implying by his question escapes me.
    Can you clarify MCM?

    Am still concerned with such questions for personal reasons.

    Will send your sting “lecture” to my former astronomy teachers at the institute. at Stockholms University.
    One gave (perhaps avoiding the issue), accord to that strings had some validity.
    It was evening course for laymen. First cosmology, and then special objects: jets, black holes (why black holes have no hair), quasars, neutron stars, supernovas, etc. Fun, but absorbing the surface without the basis was difficult to convey or understand.

    Just getting us to understand relativity and 4 dimensions was difficult.
    Your finish with 10 to infinity numbers of possible shadow theories was why I came out against it when it was mentioned in passing in the course.
    So much had I grasped in my own readings.

  198. “Yes, actually we do. We know that he had ample time to get back to the house where he was staying, but chose not to.”

    you can’t read mindset from that and you don’t know that he ‘chose not to’. Where do you get this? None of that gives ‘mindset’. We know nothing of his mindset, sorry. ‘ample time’ according to whom?

    I could suggest he was afraid, but I have no evidence of that. I can tell you a person identified as ‘girlfriend’ said something. But with George Zimmerman we have his words, a tape, and lots of innuendo in his phrases to tell you his mindset.

    I’m curious how stacking facts about where someone was and their destination gives you mindset if you think we don’t have that with George Zimmerman.

  199. Shano, yes, I have said, discounting her testimony as hearsay for a moment, we have nothing direct. Relying upon hers is a ‘appeal to authority’ fallacy. I trust her, but being critical of “what we know”, I don’t know anything from her words. She could just as easily make that up.

    An actual audio recording exists of Zimmerman’s call, no recording of her call exists that I know of outside connection verification.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t trust her, just that I cannot rely upon her comments in the way I can with the Zimmerman conversation. We have no other information about what Martin’s mindset.

  200. @Michael: you’d have to show me a case where a person was convicted of assault or more while not backing down from a bully…

    I find that an unreasonable standard of proof. The law is a statement of conditions for punishment, we can ponder those conditions and conclude that the punishment is unfair without any examples of that unfairness ever coming to pass.

    For a real life example, consider Obama’s recent decree that he can assassinate American citizens, including on American soil, without any due process, simply by declaring them a terrorist. Gene cannot point at any such actually executed Americans on American soil, I cannot, but I wager Gene, like me, thinks that is utterly wrong. Does Obama actually have to do it before we will consider the law wrong?

    Demanding to see something has been abused is unreasonable, the simple logical analysis of the language proves it could be abused, and that is what makes the duty to retreat a flawed law.

    I put no faith in the justice system, although I have never been punished by it myself, I have enough experience employing the system to know that it can be capricious, corrupt and callous. We just saw, on Turley, a Muslim judge denying freedom of speech to somebody he didn’t like. The New York State situation I outlined earlier, with an overzealous DA and judge, would not even be as unconstitutional as THAT was, it would be simply an interpretation of the “duty to retreat” law as it is written. IMO it is naive to consider such an interpretation beyond the pale.

  201. Tony,
    great explanation and I fully grocked that.
    Its the math I haven’t learned. I have a good friend who teaches physics and he has done lots to show me that there is an inner logic in these formulas. He had some large formula on the board once and said, “let me walk you through this” and when he did, I got it. It was very object oriented which I can do. I just wish I hadn’t been convinced I couldn’t do the math.

    I deal with abstracts fairly well, perhaps better than absolutes even.

    “Thus that has been transferred to an “inabllity” to learn mathematics. ”
    This is important to understand…”transferred an ‘inability'” is great language. It is extremely common. I’m trying to interact with more math geniuses. I asked good questions in school about math and got turned down to the book, “do the lessons” style. Raise my hand again and ask…only to have it happen again. Then you move on to something else.

    So in my case, I chose liberal arts studies, rhetoric, speech, theater, law, literature, etc. Martial arts is also a ‘liberal art’ in that it seeks to reform you, raise you to a better person than you were before. Law has been around me my whole life, so though I’m not a lawyer, I follow the logic easily.

    It would be valuable if our society got rid of this “transferred inability”. I love that handle, hope you don’t mind if I lift it for better. I find this common in martial training with other students and my juniors. When we are dealing with some physical realities, its not hard to say, “can’t do” but most “can’t do” thoughts are unreasonable and completely unchecked. I use to think I couldn’t do a full 360 kick until someone who knew better took me step by step through it until I did it. Then my brain realized it could, it was no problem.

    Richard Bach once wrote the phrase: “Argue for your limitations and sure enough they are yours”
    I really live by that phrase. I can’t have a baby, because I don’t have a womb. But there are other things I can do that a lifetime of messages tried to say I couldn’t. Math is one of those and I think it applies to many people who feel locked out of the mathematical world.

    Tony, thanks for the great explanation.

  202. back to the topic of Zimmerman:
    The discussion of whether Zimmerman is a racist is also important to examine. Who says he has to be a racist to act on a racial view? If his view is based in racial bias, he needn’t have swastika on his forehead. This means he could have as many ‘black friends’ as he can produce and yet still harbor racial stereotypes that deny the human rights of another person when acted upon.

    If he believes he is not a racist, it doesn’t mean that Trayvon Martin wasn’t pegged for his skin color. He could simply be ignorant and buy into stereotypes. Means he won’t be a racist, but he will still be a walking civil rights violation waiting to happen.

    There again is this binary conversation going on in the media about whether he is a racist. To present that he is not, “my black friend” is produced. If I’m a jury member and you pitch that to me, I’m balking. I can hear the testimony of the friend, but I don’t conclude he isn’t acting on race.

    If Trayvon Martin is dead because of stereotyping who was a threat, it is racism that killed him. He was guilty of being black first, hoodie next, and walking through a neighborhood that white people could walk through and get less implication. That can still happen and Zimmerman not be a ‘racist’.

  203. “you’d have to show me a case where a person was convicted of assault or more while not backing down from a bully…

    I find that an unreasonable standard of proof.”

    If the premise of the ‘stand your ground’ fears is that prosecution would occur for ‘standing up to a bully’, then I have to look at cases where someone was charged related to doing so. If not, its theory world where no real threat of prosecution exists.

    now, Tony, I know you’re arguing that you simply don’t want to have to back down. But you suggested that you don’t want this based on the fear of prosecution. I’d have to see a case that got prosecuted as such before I could determine there was a need to modify the code as it was.

  204. “I put no faith in the justice system, although I have never been punished by it myself, ”

    I haven’t been punished by it, but I have been reviewed by it and I do have faith in many areas of the justice system because the evidence supports that I should. I’ve been accused of things I haven’t done and been cleared, accused of things I have done that weren’t necessarily criminal and cleared after being investigated, and a plaintiff who has successful stopped aggressive businesses, abusive clients, etc. It isn’t a perfect system, but it has its moments.

    “For a real life example, consider Obama’s recent decree that he can assassinate American citizens, including on American soil, without any due process, simply by declaring them a terrorist. Gene cannot point at any such actually executed Americans on American soil, I cannot, but I wager Gene, like me, thinks that is utterly wrong. Does Obama actually have to do it before we will consider the law wrong?”

    we do have examples of in that example, 2 people dead in Yemen, a non-war zone to US. I know the US is waging war there anyway, but I can point to examples of why not in that case.

    Claiming that someone is at risk for prosecution in defending themselves would require proving someone has been penalized under the original paradigm which has been around for generations. Can’t find any because that isn’t what happens in cases that lead to convictions. The convictions I can point to would involve disproportional response. That is how they get tried. “Person A didn’t need to kill Person B over ActionC” is how they approach it. If they prove it, then a conviction is expected.

    I’d love to see a case where a person did what we consider the reasonable thing, was prosecuted anyway, in order to understand a threat I know doesn’t exist. I’ve been investigated just like that, it was a fair investigation, not fun but fair, so its hard to convince me that such a threat exists.

    Comparing it to a presidential power when I can point to endless abuses of power, might not be the best thing to support the argument. I will acknowledge that you are saying, “you don’t need an actual case for an actual threat to be dealt with”

    But the supporters of these bills DID suggest threats and fears in order to promote these changes, even if you don’t subscribe to those fears.

  205. @Michael: I can say the same thing about learning martial arts, or many other things. Stephen King (the author) says it about writing: When asked in an interview about what aspiring authors should do, King responded, “Start writing.”

    When asked to expound upon that, he said (and I speak from memory), “Here’s the problem. People say they want to write a book. But that isn’t true, because if you want to write a book, just sit down and start writing. What they really mean is, they want to have written a book, and published a best seller, and be an author being interviewed by you. Real authors love to write. I write every day, and that is how I got good enough to be published. So if you want to be an author — start writing.”

    I find the same thing is true about martial arts, painting, acting, music, weight lifting, gymnastics, target shooting, cooking, whatever. Some people think they want to be a great expert in such a niche, but they don’t love the process of becoming that person, the endless practice and training or classes or the prodigious time investment. Well, in King’s terms, they don’t love the writing, they love the idea of having written. That’s why they show up for class, and after a few weeks, drop out. The class still did them good, because it taught them what they needed to know: They don’t love the process enough to finish it; the personal price of obtaining the skill is just too high.

  206. Tony,
    “They don’t love the process enough to finish it; the personal price of obtaining the skill is just too high.”

    This is very true of a few disciplines I’m in, not just MA. Very well said.

    I stuck with that particular task. It was the lathe I carved myself with. It wasn’t intentional at first either, my location had to do with much of it. I was around the very few who were teaching in the US at the time. It exploded afterwards. It was frowned upon as “that jap shit” by many I’d run into. I hated that. If I used my feet in a fight in Arkansas, I got treated like some ‘feriner’.

    Nobody had heard of Carlos Ray Norris and Bruce Lee was unheard of. I was young, but they were unknown. These guys had come back from WWII and Korea with Tae Kwan Do, Karate, and Judo. They knew about that much about it. But it was worth it. Many, as you know, were given basic fundamental hand to hand. This serves many people for many reasons.

    But as you did with math, I did with this ‘art’. It isn’t an art to me but a science. The science of not fighting. Sticking with it resulted in me getting beyond block, punch kick, beyond this form, that form, beyond I hope to master this style, that style, beyond I want that next belt or even degrees. Knowing that after 3rd Dan, etc its like being a 33rd degree mason. You’re already a mason, the degrees…are about hanging around really. 3 is enough for a mason, 3 is enough for a martial arts black belt degree. After that, if you’re gauging titles and belts, wrong interest in my book. In much of what I know, I have no real belt there because it was ‘sharing wares’. Instead I have a few core teachings that I continue to add on to that are like trees. Specializing in that effort over a lifetime, I might one day get a glimpse into it’s inner workings. It is like a beautiful onion that blooms over and over and makes you cry layer after layer. lol

    Now, in physics, I’m sure there is a science discipline you didn’t specialize in but could fairly easily shuttle to because of the like disciplines found in the related sciences. I’d be curious what you’d mention instead of listing anything.

    Self-defense is why all martial artists got started in my experience. They wanted to stop being afraid of the world, not necessarily afraid for themselves but for others even. I’ve often cared less for my own survival as I did for the safety of others who mattered everything to me. Eventually, time balanced that out and there is no distinction between self-other when it comes to safety. I even care for the safety of my opponent now.

    This was the essence of transcending the ‘other’ paradigm. I’m not other, I’m me. To subjective nature, I’m other, or me. Truth is, we are all one, merely perceiving ourselves as divided.

    Argument is no different that martial kung fu. Step by step, only placing foot on stable stances, even faked ones. Knowing where to balance the center. Understanding where to place one’s energy and where weakness exists. Following what is introduced without introducing. (very important one) Not getting caught in form instead of studying what is present or as I call it, “so”.

    In its suchness, each argument has a form, an underlying logic that carries truth and dispels feeble construction in favor of integrity.

    That being said, my reason for wanting less chest puffing in the space, even when justified is that it helps make distinctions when we’re done picking up the bodies. It is already hard enough with police officers and military action. Who did what can become very foggy even when captured on tape.

    In many fights, I didn’t think. I reacted based on a real threat, aka someone hit someone already. Had someone along that way wanted to simply shoot without notice, I’d have been gone long ago. I know that happens but thankfully not to me. Where guns or knives have appeared in a conflict, there are some variations but I’ve never had someone just cold shoot anyone in front of me (hope I never will). Warning signs were present in all other cases. “I’m gonna’s” started way before that. Those can be dealt with. Dealing with them in a poorly considered way leads to disasters.

    Perceived threats might have drawn me closer, but it was the real threat that made me act. I had to learn the difference over many many years, many many failures no less, just like any science. Good thing is I had trained physically in conditioning to be ready for that. I also listened to my teachers in understanding the psyche of a fight. Understanding what the average person does versus an experienced fighter was important. What percentage of the population can even do this?

    All martial art is built in ‘problem’-‘solution’. And when students would come along to learn how to defend themselves, we didn’t expect them to have to stay until they became ‘masters’. most of the time.

    I saw my teachers explain to poorly disciplined parents who were just trying to find a form of ‘soccer’ to entertain their spawn that this wasn’t a nursery or day camp. The parents had no idea what we were doing. “I want him to become a great kicker, ” said one dad to a teacher I was with. “Ok, I’ll teach him to fight without kicking.” The dad didn’t dig this and said he’d take him to another school because “this was stupid”. When he went to another local school and they said a really good kicking teacher was at our school. lol

    “but he won’t teach him to kick, he said! I told him I wanted my son to become a great kicker” the dad complained.
    “of course not, he should learn to stop fights or end conflict, not become a great kicker. That isn’t a very lasting ambition. You can come here, but I’d go back there and listen to what he’s saying. He’s a respectable teacher.” They came back about a week later. 4 years later that kid was still with us as he was becoming a really good artist. He was a damn good kicker but he had also learned that was just a tool. It is like being a great screwdriver, ya know. Hammers think differently.

    If officers have to go through so much training to guard the public space, where they are free of the ‘duty to retreat’, then how will we gauge the training of someone advocating “stand your ground”? They spend many many hours seeking to master de-escalation. And yet, still make collective mistakes that are leading to more training.

    These states who passed laws so far didn’t require that level of training. They required the minimum amount of safety, some of the laws related to their ownership, brandishing, or transporting. But there wouldn’t be lots of training in behavior analysis, deception detection, crowd control would be a big one. Zimmerman’s case will show what’s wrong with these laws even without his apparent pursuit. His lack of judgment is on display and he’s just one person out there…

    We just opened up a standard to the public we are still trying to get right with the trained folks.

    “but they don’t love the process of becoming that person,”
    as my teacher said to me, ‘the map is not the territory’

  207. @MCM

    “you can’t read mindset from that and you don’t know that he ‘chose not to’. Where do you get this? None of that gives ‘mindset’. We know nothing of his mindset, sorry. ‘ample time’ according to whom?”

    Sure I know what he “chose not to do”. He had at least 2 minutes from the time Zimmerman announced “he’s running” to get to the house where he was staying. That’s ample time for a 6’3″ football player to run a couple hundred yards. He obviously “chose not to,” because if he had chosen to run home, Zimmerman never would have seen him again.

    “I could suggest he was afraid, but I have no evidence of that. I can tell you a person identified as ‘girlfriend’ said something. But with George Zimmerman we have his words, a tape, and lots of innuendo in his phrases to tell you his mindset. I’m curious how stacking facts about where someone was and their destination gives you mindset if you think we don’t have that with George Zimmerman.”

    “The fact that he stuck around for at least 2 minutes indicates pretty clearly to me that he probably wasn’t terribly afraid.”

  208. MCM
    Enjoyed your post to Tony C. One item touched on something I’m experiencing in current life searching for myself. Don’t know what you’ve read about my search, but won’t take your time with explaining it.

    Just will quote and relate. You wrote:
    “This was the essence of transcending the ‘other’ paradigm. I’m not other, I’m me. To subjective nature, I’m other, or me. Truth is, we are all one, merely perceiving ourselves as divided.”

    I have contact with many foreigners, primarily from the ME, of different cultures and religions, as well as Swedes. We see each other often.
    I am first of all looking to find our who they as a human, thereafter finding myselff in them through a non-analytical process. I don’t pick it apart, but search to see what resonates in my guts. You see, my guts have been frozen since childhood until the last weeks of my life and have not been in touch with myself.

    But back to others. This process has made them become open towards me, and are accessible to me with all due respect from me, but I also feel them as a part of me.
    This is perhaps what some might call empathy..

    I feel what you wrote quoted above, is somehow involved.

    Again, I see life through them, not such as through their eyes, but in someway letting their experiences and perceptions guide me on previously unknown paths..

  209. The mass confusion this law is causing may be due merely to the fact that the law fails to recognize the obligation to exhibit the kind of danger which would rise to the level of self defense that justifies self defense, and fails to recognize the danger to another if the need for self dense is interpreted subjectively, and then constitutes the right to kill.

    Such mass confusion in this case can erode the protections in DNR cases, for example, or euthanasia cases where pulling the plug is at issue, or in cases where defective DNA results supports rights of abortion in parental rights.

    This case is not simply about the Zimmerman case in that, at least, in theory, there is still no right to kill in America, for any reason. This case erodes probable cause to “invent self defense perception” as the right to kill.

    Hence, mass confusion, and mixed messages.

  210. Forcing confrontation in order to produce the threat that justifies self defense under the law is not out of the imagination of circumstances to which this law can apply, nor is the situation where rape, or in self defense of children outside the scope of law, as written.

    But how it applies in circumstances of police brutality, for example, or varying sizes, or power of the protagonists is a legitimate concern.

    In addition, what happens when language differences become the misunderstanding upon which confrontation is based, and becomes a factor in interpretation of events as they transpire.

    Not exactly a Kiss principle bright line rule unless vigilantism is encouraged.
    The self defense argument for Zimmerman, to begin with, pivots on a legal right to carry, and then use, under the pretense of monitoring the community for safety though little has been said of that interesting nuance in the case. Trayvon and others have been pursued so that others could act, supposedly, in self defense and justifcation even though they were the pursuers. Rather like rewarding the hunter for killing, isn’t it?

    Who is the hunter and why, and who is the hunted, and why, matters in acts of aggression! It always has – until the Zimmerman-Trayvon case!

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  212. I listened to the Hannity Zimmerman interview again and I realized something that could result from the SYG laws that is worse than anything I had previously imagined, and that will in fact come true if serious efforts are not made RIGHT NOW to prevent it.

    SYG says that if a person gets off under the law, after a SYG hearing before a judge, then no prosecution can happen of the person who “committed the stand-your-ground self-defense act” AND — and here, we have a real problem emerging — NO CIVIL ACTION can then be brought against anyone for the death or injury caused at the time of the comission of the stand-your-ground self-defense act.

    OK, but guess what: The person who committed the SYG act could then SUE the people who wanted him prosecuted, claiming that those people tried to get him prosecuted by SLANDERING HIM.

    IOW, if George manages to convince a single judge 51% that he killed Trayvon Martin in SYG self-defense, then no civil action can be brought by the family of Trayvon Martin for killing him, but George is free to sue NOBLE, CNN, Sabryna Fulton, Tracy Martin, Jesse Jackson, AL Sharpton, the NAACP, all witnesses against him who gave statements to the police, and any lawyers who helped the Fulton/Martin family get this case assigned to Angela Corey, for:

    Libel, slander, hate crimes, false arrest, terroristic threats, defamation, interference with trade, malicious prosecution, “false light,” intentional infliction of emotional distress…

    Don’t you see it? I see it. George got on Hannity and demanded an apology from Sharpton and Jackson for claiming that he, the killer of Trayvon Martin, was a racist.

    In spite of all George’s prayers that this case not divide America, it has the potential right now of utterly destroying America. It has the potential right now of not only utterly neutralizing the rule of law but of setting up a state where people are free to kill but not free to complain of being killed. I see it coming.

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