Good for Goose and Gander? Or Just Foul Play? – The Bush Doctrine Redux

by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

Ex-goose. Presumed cooked.
Ex-goose. Missing.
Presumed cooked.

There is an old adage, “What’s good for the goose is [not] sauce for the gander” or as phrased today “What’s good for the goose is [not] good for the gander”. The implication being that what is good for one is good for all or not good for all if stated in the negated form.  A case out of Florida provides a perfect example to give this adage a workout.

The goose is former President George W. Bush. 

The member of the gander in this case is William T. Woodward of Titusville, Florida. Woodward is charged with shooting three of his neighbors, two of them fatally, over the 2012 Labor Day weekend. 

His defense? The sauce.

Woodward’s attorneys are asserting Florida’s “Stand Your Ground’ law and the Bush Doctrine.

Let’s examine this case in the light of the history and consequences of “Stand Your Ground”, the Bush Doctrine and how an equally controversial foreign policy stance might impact a domestic criminal proceeding.

Stand Your Ground
Jeb Bush Photo by Gage Skimore
Former Florida
Gov. Jeb Bush

The controversial so-called “Stand Your Ground” Law came to the forefront of national media with the Trayvon Martin case.  Although his killer, George Zimmerman, and his attorneys decided not to pursue a “Stand Your Ground” hearing, that case was when many people first heard of this law. It probably won’t be the last. In 2005 when this law was adopted by Florida, Florida state Senator Steve Geller warned that it ran the risk of encouraging people to think that “you ought to be able to kill people that are walking toward you on the street because of this subjective belief that you’re worried that they may get in a fight with you.”

Originally enacted in 2005, the bill was signed into law by then Governor Jeb Bush and was sponsored by Florida state Representative Dennis Baxley and state Senator Durell Peadon, Republican allies of the former Governor. This so-called model legislation has been pushed for nationwide on a state-by-state basis by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a shadowy 501(c)(3) corporation that allegedly promotes “limited government, free enterprise and federalism” through sponsoring “model legislation”. Funded by the notorious Koch Brothers and such corporations as private prison industry giants GEO Group, Inc. and Corrections Corporation of America, ALEC has been described in less euphemistic language by John Nichols writing for The Nation as a “collaboration between multinational corporations and conservative state legislators” that pursues goals of privatizing government services, reduction and elimination of corporate taxes and regulation, seeks to classify environmental and animal rights activists as terrorists, and works hand in glove with the National Rifle Association (NRA) in “promoting gun rights”.  Gun rights such as the incredibly expansive “Stand Your Ground” laws.  It should be noted as a sidebar that ALEC is also behind the also controversial Citizens United case which greatly expanded corporate personality and essentially allowed unlimited corporate spending in election advertising. To put it bluntly, ALEC is an organization with a corporatist/fascist agenda. An agenda that would benefit by an increase in gun violence as a rationale for promoting the privatization of government services and institutions like prisons and law enforcement. For more information on ALEC, see the joint venture between The Nation and the Center for Media and Democracy called “ALEC Exposed“.

To put “Stand Your Ground” in context, first consider that the common law doctrine of self-defense provides that 1) a citizen may use reasonable force 2) in defense of themselves, 3) others and 4) sometimes property 5) under imminent threat by an attacker and 6) may be justified in using lethal force in certain objective circumstances such as a reasonable fear of imminent serious injury or death, but 7) also has a duty to retreat or evade if possible.

It should be noted that this provides an affirmative defense.  This means that the defender may be charged with a crime but that the crime may be excused due to the mitigating circumstances of self-defense.

The first major modification of this doctrine came in the form of the Castle Doctrine, which although it has older roots in some disparate case law dating as far back as the late 19th Century has also been sponsored more recently by ALEC and the NRA. While it varies from state to state, the notable distinctions are that it 1) removes the duty to retreat or evade in your own home, business and/or vehicle and 2) sometimes provides immunity from criminal charges and civil suits for 3) what would otherwise be self-defense in one’s own home.  There are some general qualifiers to this doctrine which may (but not always) include: 1) the intruder must be making (or have made) an attempt to unlawfully or forcibly enter an occupied residence, business, or vehicle, 2) must be acting unlawfully, and 3) the occupant(s)/defender(s) of the home must reasonably believe the intruder intends to inflict serious bodily harm or death upon an occupant of the home although some states apply the Castle Doctrine if the occupant(s)/defender(s) of the home reasonably believe the intruder intends to commit a lesser felony such as arson or burglary and 4) the occupant(s)/defender(s) of the home must not have provoked or instigated the intrusion and/or an intruder’s threat or use of deadly force.

Often packaged and sold with the Castle Doctrine laws is the “Stand Your Ground” provisions at issue in the instant case.  To further differentiate “Stand Your Ground” from the common law doctrine of self-defense, “Stand Your Ground” essentially removes the duty to retreat regardless of where you are.  Or as Former US Attorney Kendall Coffey told NBC, “The ‘Stand Your Ground’ law is a license to kill. [. . .] The ‘Stand Your Ground’ law has become a huge obstacle to preventing exactly this kind of self-appointed vigilantism—this kind of vigilante justice. It used to be if you shot somebody in quote-unquote ‘self-defense,’ you were protected. But in 2005, Florida decided to become the pioneering state to extend this kind of self-protection to wherever the heck you go…”

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, as of 2012, the number of so-called justifiable homicides in the state had tripled since Jeb Bush signed the “Stand Your Ground” law in 2005. It appears Florida state Senator Steve Geller was prescient in his warnings. Perhaps he is related to Uri Geller.

The Bush Doctrine
Former President G.W. Bush
Former President
G.W. Bush

The Bush Doctrine describes a foreign policy stance adopted by the George W. Bush administration and primarily constructed by neoconservative hawks like Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and the “think tank” known as Project for the New American Century (PNAC). While the Bush Doctrine is a little (but only a little) more complicated than a doctrine of preemptive warfare,  it has four primary features: unilateral action in place of cooperative action or consensus building (because we are the John Wayne of Nations, naturally), attacking countries that harbor terrorists (which, considering terrorism is a tactic, essentially means whomever the administration wants to attack and can even remotely paint with a broad brush), preemptive warfare and promote (ironically) democratic regime change (which the last time I checked was interfering with the sovereignty of a foreign nation in addition to being next to impossible to impose by external force given the nature of the term “democracy”). Perhaps not so coincidental, Jeb Bush was a signatory to the original statement of principles issued by PNAC.  However, for the purposes here, it is the preemptive warfare component of that disastrous doctrine that is relevant. Citing Enoch v. State, No. 1D10-3443, July 27, 2012 and the Bush Doctrine, attorney Robert Berry has requested a “Stand Your Ground” hearing to clear his client William T. Woodward of the charges against him in the fatal shooting of two of his neighbors and the severe wounding of a third man.

The Case of William T. Woodward
William Woodward Defendant
William T. Woodward

A neighborhood feud culminated in a “preemptive strike”.

At 12:30 AM on Sept. 3, 2012, police arrived to 1950 Smith Drive in Titusville, Florida to find that William Woodward had snuck up on his neighbors and shot them while they were having a Labor Day barbeque. The incident started with a fight over an allegedly stolen roll of duct tape before exploding into gunfire.  In the aftermath, Gary Lee Hembree dies on the scene and Roger Picior later died from their injuries. The third victim, Bruce Timothy Blake, survived. He had been shot sixteen times.

As with many such situations, this was the result of ongoing conflict. Before the shootin, police had responded numerous times to the ongoing dispute. Woodward and Hembree even went to court before Judge John D. Moxley, who did not issue an injunction or any other court orders. In the motion filed by Woodward’s attorneys, it says that in the hours prior to the shooting that Hembree, Picior and Blake were yelling at Woodward, calling him names and saying “Come on boys. We’re going to get him. We’re going to get him, all three of us.” This kind of behavior had been allegedly ongoing for over a month. The question is was this an imminent threat a reasonable person would take as a threat imminent of death or necessary to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. Stealing a roll of duct tape in and of itself is not a felony. Insofar as imminence is concerned though, there is no concrete legal definition.  As Assistant State Attorney Wayne Holmes explained “As with many things in not only the law, but life in general, you’ve got to have a certain amount of flexibility. [. . .] There’s a certain amount of ability to take the facts, whatever they may be and apply it to that law. Sometimes it fits perfectly; sometimes it doesn’t fit at all.” Does this seem to fit? Woodward’s attorney Robert Berry told Florida Today that “[he thinks] legally that term has sort of been evolving especially given changes of our government’s definition of ‘imminent. It’s become more expansive than someone putting a gun right to your head. It’s things that could become, you know, an immediate threat.” [emphasis added]

Did the definition of the word imminent change with the Bush Doctrine?

According to OED, “imminent” means “about to happen”.  “Could” as the past tense of “can” means “used to indicate possibility”.  One is a statement of probability, the other a statement of possibility. Likely versus might. I don’t think the meaning of the word changed, but that there are those with a vested interest in changing the definition in a polar and nonsensical manner.  Keep that in mind the next time you hear a politician use the word “imminent”. You have been and will continue hearing that word a lot from politicians in days recently past and in the near future.

Did the original common law doctrine of self-defense need to be changed at all?

I don’t think so. It served its purpose and it served it well. Those acting in reasonable and proportionate self-defense did not go to prison for their actions.

Can a questionable national foreign policy stance be used to bolster an affirmative defense or a serve as an excuse for exculpation in a “Stand Your Ground” hearing over an individual’s – not a state’s or Federal – actions?

Unlikely, but it illustrates the common macho/cowboy ideals behind such “thinking”. However, the cloudy and certainly propagandized distortion of language used in formulating a poor foreign policy stance neither translates into either a semantic drift in the English language nor a properly asserted affirmative defense or exculpation of an individual’s actions. As Melbourne, Florida attorney Kepler Funk said “it was ‘valid’ that Woodward would want an independent jury to make this decision rather than a judge, but felt it was unlikely the court would convene one for this pretrial hearing. ‘It’s novel for sure, and I’m all for thinking outside the box, so I commend him for that.  I don’t know the court’s going to grant the motion though.”

Is what’s good for the goose good for the gander?

Is what’s good for the goose not good for the gander?

What do you think?

Source(s):, Raw Story,, The Daily Mail (UK), PBS, The Nation (1, 2), Enoch v. State, No. 1D10-3443, July 27, 2012. (FindLaw), ALEC Exposed, Jeb Bush photo by Gage Skimore, Oxford English Dictionary and Wikipedia (various references).

~submitted by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

105 thoughts on “Good for Goose and Gander? Or Just Foul Play? – The Bush Doctrine Redux”

  1. Well, when you strip out the relevant history, what you have is an uninformed opinion.

    Also, the argument is that the traditional common law doctrine of self-defense was perfectly adequate and resulted in less gun deaths which is backed up by the Florida data which – since you have a problem understanding statistical significance – shows a 250% increase. I’ll provide a little more perspective:

    These laws lower the cost of using lethal force,” says , an economist with Texas A&M University who examined stand your ground laws. “Our finds that, as a result, you get more of it.”

    Advocates for the laws, like Republican state Rep. Dennis Baxley, who sponsored Florida’s version, says such legislation allows good people to defend themselves.

    “They’re doing what they are supposed to do, as a good citizen,” he says. “They’re stopping a violent act. And that’s what I want the statute to do at the end of the day.”

    Marion Hammer, a former president of the National Rifle Association, said the laws have been effective and are working exactly as designed. A analyzing the Florida statute has found no increase in violence as a result of the law.

    Because murder is a rare phenomenon, the numbers in any given state can be hard to analyze. It can be difficult, for example, to disentangle the effects of stand your ground statutes from other trends, such as natural fluctuations in the crime rate. Until now, there has been little attempt to rigorously study these laws at a national level.
    Comparing States

    This chart, based on data provided by Texas A&M researcher Mark Hoekstra, compares homicide rates in states that have stand your ground laws with homicide trends in states that don’t have the laws. The vertical y-axis represents an adjusted homicide rate that takes into account a state’s population, pre-existing crime trends and other factors.

    [chart omitted, viewable at source below]
    Hoekstra recently decided to analyze national crime statistics to see what happens in states that pass stand your ground laws. He found the laws are having a measurable effect on the homicide rate.

    “Our study finds that, that homicides go up by 7 to 9 percent in states that pass the laws, relative to states that didn’t pass the laws over the same time period,” he says.

    As to whether the laws reduce crime — by creating a deterrence for criminals — he says, “we find no evidence of any deterrence effect over that same time period.”

    Hoekstra obtained this result by comparing the homicide rate in states before and after they passed the laws. He also compared states with the laws to states without the laws.

    “We find that there are 500 to 700 more homicides per year across the 23 states as a result of the laws,” he said. There are about 14,000 homicides annually in the United States as a whole.

    The fact that more people are being killed doesn’t automatically mean the law isn’t working. Hoekstra says there are at least three possible explanations.

    “It could be that these are self-defense killings,” he said. “On the other hand, the increase could be driven by an escalation of violence by criminals. Or it could be an escalation of violence in otherwise nonviolent situations.”

    But which is it?

    Hoekstra checked to see whether police were listing more cases as “justifiable homicides” in states that passed stand your ground laws. If there were more self-defense killings, this number should have gone up. He also examined whether more criminals were showing up armed.

    In both cases, he found nothing. There were small increases in both numbers, but it was hard to tell whether there was really any difference.

    So if the numbers on justifiable homicide and criminals using lethal force don’t explain the rise in homicide, what’s causing the increase?

    “One possibility for the increase in homicide is that perhaps [in cases where] there would have been a fistfight … now, because of stand your ground laws, it’s possible that those escalate into something much more violent and lethal,” says Hoekstra.

    It’s important to remember that the data Hoekstra is analyzing depend on how police classify shootings. Police guidelines likely vary from state to state, and police in different places may be interpreting shootings differently in light of stand your ground laws.

    Still, based on the available data, it appears that crafters of these laws sought to give good guys more latitude to defend themselves against bad guys. But what Hoekstra’s data suggest is that in real-life conflicts, both sides think of the other guy as the bad guy. Both believe the law gives them the right to shoot.

    In a separate of death certificates before and after stand your ground laws were passed in different states, economists at Georgia State University also found that states that passed the laws ended up with a higher homicide rate.

    That study also tracked the increased homicides by race. In contrast to the narrative established by the Trayvon Martin shooting — many people believe black men are more likely to be the victims of stand your ground laws — this analysis found the additional deaths caused by the laws were largely concentrated among white men.

    The NRA, which has backed these laws, referred a request for comment to Howard Nemerov, a gun-rights activist who often represents the NRA viewpoint on television. Nemerov offered a technical analysis, which has not been reviewed by academic experts, in which he said concerns about the law were flawed.

    Stanford law professor , on the other hand, praised the study done by Texas A&M’s Hoekstra. Donohue has been studying crime and violence for more than two decades and is working on his own independent analysis of stand your ground laws. So far, he says, he’s getting the same results Hoekstra did.

    “The imperfect but growing evidence seems to suggest that the consequences of adopting stand your ground laws are pernicious, in that they may lead to a greater number of homicides — thus going against the notion that they are serving some sort of protective function for society,” he says.

    And in murder cases, Donohue says, the laws might end up being a refuge for some defendants.

    “I’ve been hearing from defense lawyers around the country that if they happen to have a criminal defendant in a stand your ground jurisdiction, pretty much no matter what happens, you can say, ‘Well, I shot the guy, but I felt threatened and had a reasonable basis for fearing injury to myself,’ ” he said.” – NPR

    Still using all the muscles but the important one, eh, Sqweak?

    That was a rhetorical question.

  2. @GeneH:

    Well, when you strip out all the Bush, ALEC, Koch Bros., and preemptive strike stuff, all you really have is your OPINION that SYG laws go too far, to the extent of permitting vigilantism. To which, I expressed my OPINION, with a quote from Andrew Branca, Esq.,asking:

    To put it another way, it’s hard to get too worked up about an increase in the number of justifiable homicides occurring if the right people–the aggressors who initiated the deadly fight on an innocent–are doing the dying. When that’s the case, Stand-Your-Ground is working just fine, and the justified homicides will stop when criminal aggressors stop committing acts of aggravated violence on lawfully armed citizens. It’s the criminals’ call.

    But, I am from Texas, and down here we have something called the Texas Defense:

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  3. Your approval of what I do is not required.

    However, simply saying SYG laws aren’t wrong isn’t an argument proving they are right. That’s just a statement of belief, no more meaningful than saying you believe in Santa.

    And no one mentioned racism except you, Sqweakly. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Always with the diversion.

    Do try to keep up.

  4. @geneh:

    Run along, lil’ troll. Run along.

    No. I think I’ll stick around. Heck, I had to invest almost 20 frigging minutes verifying that ALEC is even involved in SYG stuff, which BTW, they call “The Castle Doctrine.” (Plus, The Koch Brothers have promised me overtime and a bonus trip to a day spa!)

    But that doesn’t get into the merits of the case, as they say. It looks to me like most of what ALEC does is try to reduce legal liability in the tort system and promote the heck out of privatization. Both aims which I thoroughly disagree with.

    But, that doesn’t mean that everything they do is wrong. And it certainly doesn’t mean that SYG laws are either wrong, or racist. Or supportive of the Prison-Industrial Complex. Heck, Obama even voted to “enlarge” Illinois’s Castle Doctrine law to include a “no-legal liability” language.

    However, I do give you some Squeeky Points for getting the order of ALEC and Florida legislation right! It looks like many people have Florida laws based on ALEC, instead of the proper ALEC based on Florida timeline.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    (PS: Each Squeeky Point mean that I will pass up a chance to say something sarcastic when you mess up! It’s redeemable immediately, and has no expiration date.)

  5. “I am arguing that element (7) of the standard law produces an unfair advantage to bullies.”

    In the example, the bully died, Tony. I don’t see how that’s an advantage. The law doesn’t just act to protect the angels, but the bad man as well. The rain falls on the just and unjust alike. The rest, I hate to say it, is just macho posturing. I know you’ve had some MA training. You should know better than to think your ego in asserting dominance over the by nature mutual control of a public space is not a sufficient reason to deploy deadly force. Killing someone should always be the very last resort, even if your feelings are hurt and even if you have to walk away.

  6. “Perhaps using Bush, ALEC, the Koch Bros., and preemptive strikes was more the fallacy of guilt by association”

    No. It’s not. ALEC and the Kochs are behind the proliferation of SYG laws and the Bush administration is responsible for the Bush Doctrine. When a law or claim is controversial, one cannot make an objective analysis without knowing the history that led to it.

    “The thing is, my concept of the “straw man” fallacy is that it consists of sending the person you are arguing with, off to attack something other than your basic argument.”

    Your concept of the straw man fallacy is simply wrong. You don’t get to make up your own definitions.

    “I haven’t really seen any nexus between ALEC for example, and SYG laws.”

    You haven’t looked hard enough.

    In March 2012, CMD reported that NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer helped draft the Florida law in 2005, and “stared down legislators as they voted” to pass it. Just a few months later, Hammer presented the bill to ALEC’s Criminal Justice Task Force (now known as the Public Safety and Elections Task Force), and the NRA boasted that “[h]er talk was well-received.” The corporations and state legislators on the Task Force — which was chaired by Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer of long guns — voted unanimously to approve the bill as an ALEC “model bill.” Since becoming an ALEC model it has become law in dozens of other states, and the number of homicides classified as “justifiable” has dramatically increased.

    Researched and annotated by The Nation and the Center for Media and Democracy. It can be found here as well as in the two nation articles previously cited for this column. I highly recommend “How ALEC Took Florida’s ‘License to Kill’ Law National” by John Nichols.They do a great job of exposing ALEC for what it is – an organelle for promoting corporatism/fascism and its various agendas.In addition, Elaine has written some wonderful columns here on ALEC. Search the site for them.

    “post hoc, ergo propter hoc”

    Yet another fallacy you don’t understand properly. Correlation is not always causation, but when the NRA drafts and ALEC not only approves of the language but adopts is as the “model bill” language they in turn pass on to their conservative allies in state houses? That’s both direct correlation and linear causality.

    As an aside.I know most every logical fallacy possible, formal and informal, inside and out, forwards, backwards and upside down. It’s part and parcel of being an expert on argumentation and persuasive language (including propaganda). You are bringing a stick to a gun fight.

    Run along, lil’ troll. Run along.

  7. Dredd:

    “We owe nothing, she insists, to anyone, even to members of our own families. She described the poor and weak as “refuse” and “parasites”, and excoriated anyone seeking to assist them.”

    I have read many/most of her writings and to and to my knowledge she has never said that people are not free to give to charities or help other people if they so desire.

    “My views on charity are very simple. I do not consider it a major virtue and, above all, I do not consider it a moral duty. There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them. I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue.”

    Playboy, March 1964

    “The fact that a man has no claim on others (i.e., that it is not their moral duty to help him and that he cannot demand their help as his right) does not preclude or prohibit good will among men and does not make it immoral to offer or to accept voluntary, non-sacrificial assistance.

    It is altruism that has corrupted and perverted human benevolence by regarding the giver as an object of immolation, and the receiver as a helplessly miserable object of pity who holds a mortgage on the lives of others—a doctrine which is extremely offensive to both parties, leaving men no choice but the roles of sacrificial victim or moral cannibal . . . .

    To view the question in its proper perspective, one must begin by rejecting altruism’s terms and all of its ugly emotional aftertaste—then take a fresh look at human relationships. It is morally proper to accept help, when it is offered, not as a moral duty, but as an act of good will and generosity, when the giver can afford it (i.e., when it does not involve self-sacrifice on his part), and when it is offered in response to the receiver’s virtues, not in response to his flaws, weaknesses or moral failures, and not on the ground of his need as such.”

    In other words, in regards to charity, its up to you to give or not give.

    How much do you give Dredd, to charity, every year? Or how much do you just give to a person you know is having a hard time? I know Objectivists who do just that, they give to individuals who are having a hard time.

    But they give it to the mother of 3 who is working 2 jobs and taking night classes, they dont give it to a crack whore. But the money is theirs and that is their choice, if you want to help the crack whore, well it is still a free society.

  8. Gene says: Example: A moves to attack B in an open air park, but B is within easy running distance to their car before A could reach them. Instead B stays put and being a trained martial artist kills A with his bare hands. B claims to have been in fear for his life.

    That would be manslaughter under the traditional rule …

    [emphasis mine].

    Precisely my point. I am B. A is an aggressor. A moves to attack me in a place I have every right to be. Under the “traditional rule” I am legally required to run, which means be driven from the park, rather than meet the charge of A. I am legally required to run because if I fight, I may accidentally kill A and get charged with manslaughter even though he started the altercation.

    Your question was did that law need to be changed, my answer is yes, that is unfair and it allows gang members to be the de facto owners of a public park, pool hall or whatever.

    I am not arguing for the current crop of SYG laws, I am arguing that element (7) of the standard law produces an unfair advantage to bullies. A legal responsibility to evade if possible means that, even though I am the one attacked, I have “broken the law” by allowing myself to be assaulted!

    We wouldn’t apply that standard to rape, we call it blaming the victim. We do not say a woman is guilty of a crime for putting herself in a situation in which she might be raped, like walking home from work alone at night.

    I will additionally argue that if “A” attacks me, I doubt he would lose his life and I would not intentionally kill him, BUT that possibility exists: As you know the human body has many fragilities and some blows or falls can be inadvertently lethal. But I think in your hypothetical “A” was the aggressor and assumed that risk by charging me.

  9. dREDD:

    Sorry Dredd, you arent right on this. Rand is not the mother of NeoConservatisim.

    It was Leo Straus.

  10. @geneh:

    Maybe you are right about me making an erroneous straw man claim. Perhaps using Bush, ALEC, the Koch Bros., and preemptive strikes was more the fallacy of guilt by association??? The thing is, my concept of the “straw man” fallacy is that it consists of sending the person you are arguing with, off to attack something other than your basic argument. I saw an example of the straw man fallacy listed in Wiki yesterday where the Creationists in Louisiana used a “Darwin-associated-with-racism” example, to dump evolution.

    Here, it appeared to me that you were using “Bush-ALEC-associated-with-SYG” stuff in the same way. Sooo, if i have mislabeled what you were doing, it was not intentional. Whichever, I haven’t really seen any nexus between ALEC for example, and SYG laws.

    Which may be yet another fallacy called “post hoc, ergo propter hoc.” In this fashion, “Conservative state legislatures passed SYG laws after ALEC lobbied them, therefore ALEC is what caused the SYG laws.” To check this out, I went to Wiki to read about ALEC, and then to the ALEC website to see what they had to say about SYG laws:

    I spent about 15 minutes there and didn’t see anything. I scanned through 48 pages of tort reform inanity, but there wasn’t any SYG stuff there. I didn’t even see 2nd Amendment stuff there thru the search function. Maybe I just didn’t read far enough, but the link is above in case you want to double check me.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  11. Bron 1, September 7, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    “What, then, are the core principles of neoconservatism?

    Because they regard the nation as the primary unit of political value and because they identify the “public interest” with the purpose of government, they regard moral good and virtue to be that which works—not for the individual, but for the nation. Morality is therefore defined as overcoming one’s petty self-interest so as to sacrifice for the common good.

    Horsesh*t, not to mention Bullshi*t.

    Ayn Rand is the mother of American neoConservatism:

    Her psychopathic ideas made billionaires feel like victims and turned millions of followers into their doormats …

    It has a fair claim to be the ugliest philosophy the postwar world has produced. Selfishness, it contends, is good, altruism evil, empathy and compassion are irrational and destructive. The poor deserve to die; the rich deserve unmediated power. It has already been tested, and has failed spectacularly and catastrophically. Yet the belief system constructed by Ayn Rand, who died 30 years ago today, has never been more popular or influential.

    Rand was a Russian from a prosperous family who emigrated to the United States. Through her novels (such as Atlas Shrugged) and her nonfiction (such as The Virtue of Selfishness) she explained a philosophy she called Objectivism. This holds that the only moral course is pure self-interest. We owe nothing, she insists, to anyone, even to members of our own families. She described the poor and weak as “refuse” and “parasites”, and excoriated anyone seeking to assist them. Apart from the police, the courts and the armed forces, there should be no role for government: no social security, no public health or education, no public infrastructure or transport, no fire service, no regulations, no income tax.

    Atlas Shrugged, published in 1957, depicts a United States crippled by government intervention in which heroic millionaires struggle against a nation of spongers. The millionaires, whom she portrays as Atlas holding the world aloft, withdraw their labour, with the result that the nation collapses. It is rescued, through unregulated greed and selfishness, by one of the heroic plutocrats, John Galt.

    (Ayn Rand: Patron Saint of The Plutocracy). The neoCon ideology is of the 1%, and is the antithesis of the 99%.

    “The common good” is anithema to them.

  12. Dredd,

    Perhaps reversible wasn’t the best word but it was accurate and I thought about that the instant I hit post. Psychology is malleable is perhaps a better choice. That is something that will be dealt with in depth when I write the column on the psychology of persuasion and propaganda. I’ve been meaning to write that for the last 10 months, but every time I think I’m ready to write it, some new research comes out that I want to see if I can incorporate into the article. Eventually, I suspect I’m just going to have to say “I’m writing it now no matter what research come along”. 😀 Just as memetics can propagate a bad idea, they can just so propagate a good idea.

  13. Gene H. 1, September 7, 2013 at 6:16 pm


    Maybe not. Psychology is reversible.
    I am not sure I know what you mean.

    The doctrines / dogmas of psychology have changed over time, as have physics, astronomy, medical science, and a host of others.

    But the mommas and pappas, big brother, homeland, fatherland, motherland, and the like constitute a family affair.

    You are not going to dis my mommie and daddie are ya?

  14. Blouise,

    Yep. And if you’ll notice, whenever one of us writes about the Kochs or ALEC, that’s almost always instantly.



    Thanks, but you handle trolls your way and I’ll handle them my way.



    Pretty much what raff said. The duty to retreat or evade is 1) conditional on possibility, 2) based on an objective reasonable actor standard and 3) is meant to save lives regardless of the side of the equation proves “victor”. The duty is not absolute. Were it absolute then the argument that it infringes upon liberty would hold some merit, but this is an instance where every situation is going to be a little different and because of that a certain amount of judicial discretion is required.

    Example: A moves to attack B in an open air park, but B is within easy running distance to their car before A could reach them. Instead B stays put and being a trained martial artist kills A with his bare hands. B claims to have been in fear for his life.

    That would be manslaughter under the traditional rule and justifiable homicide under SYG.

    Example: A moves to attack B in a closed car park. B has no reasonable avenue of retreat. B stays and kills A with a handgun for which B has a legal concealed carry permit. B claims to have been in fear for his life.

    That would be excusable self-defense under the traditional law and justifiable homicide under SYG.

    The duty to retreat is based on an objective reasonableness standard that is entirely rooted in circumstance.

    SYG is based on a subjective fear standard.

    You can prove the objective, but not the subjective.

  15. The people have been dumbed down for so long. Our schools fail to teach the purpose of America. Our forefathers created documents to protect and guide America but we are letting our ancestors down. It is far better and a lot easier (for the lazy ones) to follow our forefathers advise and the Bible instead of incompetent men with their codes, rules and regulations produced by the B.A.R. 0f attorneys.

Comments are closed.