I don't have the full transcript but our President didn't speak stupidly.
In a related story about neighborhood watches, the AP incites me with this:
Violent incidents involving neighborhood watch volunteers are rare but not unheard of. In 2009, two armed neighborhood watch volunteers in Bluffdale, Utah, got into a dispute; one took out his gun and shot the other, paralyzing him.
Those daffy neighborhod watch vigilantes! Somewhat more contemporaneously, I am surprised the AP ignored this story from January of this year - for reasons I can't fathom, CNN posted news of the subsequent arrest as a related story on an article about Trayvon Martin, which is how I heard about it; here is what the AP missed:
Wednesday started like any other school day for Harry "Mike" Ainsworth. He dropped his two boys at their Algiers Point bus stop around 7 a.m., gave them a warm goodbye and began to walk back home. But the morning turned tragic when Ainsworth was shot to death after he jumped on the hood of car to try to stop a carjacking in the 500 block of Vallette Street.
Ainsworth's sons, ages 9 and 10, heard the gunshots and saw their father stumble to a nearby lawn and collapse, according to Bill Ainsworth, the victim's brother. The boys rushed to their father's side, only to watch him take his final breath.
Meanwhile, the gunman ran from the scene. He remained at large Wednesday night.
Police described the suspect as 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-8 and 140 to 150 pounds. He wore a black hat during the shooting, but police provided no additional information about his clothing.
Police said the incident began when the shooter walked up to a woman who was sitting in a gray Saturn preparing to leave for work. The man knocked on the window and asked for the time. When she turned, the man pulled out a black handgun and demanded she get out of the vehicle. She did, and the gunman got in and closed the door.
When Ainsworth saw what was happening, he jumped on the car's hood. The gunman then shot Ainsworth and abandoned the vehicle. Witnesses told investigators the suspect was seen running toward Opelousas Avenue, said homicide commander Lt. Gary Marchese.
Since the woman was reportedly out of the car and (probably) out of harm's way, I question Ainsworth's decision making here.
Ainsworth, a 44-year-old contractor, spent much of his free time volunteering for police causes, his brother said. He was a member of COPS 8 -- Citizens' Organization for Police Support -- a group that raises money and provides supplies to the NOPD's 8th District, which patrols the Central Business District, French Quarter and Faubourg Marigny. In October 2010, he founded a separate police-support group to help individual officers in need of assistance, Bill Ainsworth said.
"He was a Christian. He helped people," Ainsworth said of his brother. "He tried to make the city a better place. That was his main drive."
That Mike Ainsworth died trying to prevent a crime came as no surprise to those who knew him.
"This was far from the first time he's done it," Bill Ainsworth said. "Anything at all, people starting to get in a ruckus, he would go there and break it up."
COPS 8 is more of a fund-raising effort, but there is also an Algiers Point Neighborhood Watch; I saw a story mentioning he was a member, which seems likely in any case. Which should have been good enough for the AP, except that for obvious reasons there is no news value in the Ainsworth killing. The Trayvon Martin killing illustrates the ongoing institutional and individual racism that is central to the liberal view of America so it generates a national conversation and Presidential rumination. A black kid shoots a middle aged white father in New Orleans and there are no broader lessons.
AND ONE MORE THING: I have read that the police were in possession of Trayvon Martin's cell phone. Even if it is password protected, it can't take three weeks to get a warrant and have the phone cracked by the phone company, or to get the phone records. So how can it be that Trayvon's girlfried went undiscovered for three weeks, only to be conveniently found by the Martin's attorney *after* the 911 tapes were released?
[Martin family attorney] Crump said Martin got off the phone with the girl for a few minutes because it started to rain and he was running to get under shelter.
The two reconnected via cellphone for the last time at 7:12 p.m. for four minutes. Police say they arrived at the scene at 7:17 to find Martin dead, Crump said.
The girl told Crump that Martin told her he was being followed and that she had encouraged him to run.
"She knew details about what went on because he was telling her," Crump said.
He said the girl heard the initial confrontation between Martin and Zimmerman.
"Trayvon said, 'Why you following me, man?'" and Zimmerman said, 'What are you doing here?'" Crump said.
He said the girl could tell by Martin's voice that he was then pushed. She thinks Martin's cellphone headset came off and then the call was disconnected, Crump said.
He said that when she called back, the girl did not get an answer and knew nothing else until she heard of her friend's killing on the news.
The girl was so traumatized after learning what happened that she was unable to attend Martin's wake and had to be hospitalized, Crump said.
The police should have gotten her statement before the tapes were out. The Martin family attorneys are officers of the court in addition to being advocates for the family, but I know what I would tell my client before I deposed her in a case like this, especially with the 911 tapes at hand. Well, if I were a lawyer and had clients...
In any case, the attorney's story is that the girl was freaking out for three weeks but no one knew she had been talking with Trayvon moments before he was shot until Trayvon's dad leafed through his cell phone records. Yeah - the young lady never blurted out "OMG! I was talking to him just before he was killed!" to her mother or anyone else.
Whatever. I don't need to believe the family attorneys to believe that Zimmerman acted badly and that the Sanford police couldn't investigate rodeo clowns.
THIS IS INTERESTING... From RadarOnline:
The Sanford Police Department never questioned Trayvon's girlfriend, even though her parents contacted the cops to tell them she wanted to come in for a sit down interview.
That reinforces my lack of confidence in the competence of the cops and the credibility of the attorneys.
She will be speaking to the grand jury.
SERIOUSLY, I'M STOPPING... An Obama headline:
Obama calls for 'soul searching' in Trayvon case
Ahh, geez, its so dark in there and me without a flashlight. I guess I will search the FBI Uniform Crime Reports instead.
Hmm, violent crime arrests in 2010, for offenders under 18: 27,983 whites and 29,754 blacks (also 628 Asians, who are either non-violent or too clever to be arrested).
And what are the relative populations? Great question - from a report on abortion I learn that, as of 2005, there were roughly 6.4 million non-Hispanic white women and 1.7 million black women between the ages of 15 and 19.
So for a very quick and dirty approximation I will assume equal numbers of males and females, that all violent criminals are male, and that 15-19 is a fair proxy for "Under 18".
Which means that 0.44% of all whites males aged 15-19 were arrested in 2010, compared with 1.76% of young black males. That is a 4-1 ratio.
And the lesson is what? Well, this isn't exactly a comparison of lightning strikes to bee stings, but still - the vast majority of young men on the street, including young black men, won't be arrested for a violent crime in the next year, which suggests they are unlikely to commit one during any one passing encounter (of course, in most violent crimes the victim and assailant know each other and your odds of becoming a target may also vary depending on whether you look like Clint Eastwood or Don Knotts...).
On the other hand, Jesse Jackson had the numbers on his side:
“There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps... then turn around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”
Yeah, him and Obama's grandma. I have read that Mr. Jackson has since distanced himself from that sentiment because cranks like me keep vexing him with it. Maybe we can get him to disavow this one too:
“Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up.”
So now I can sneer at welfare recipients on April 15 (that is the day that half of Americans pay income taxes, for those who find that reference confusing)? Thank heaven Rush Limbaugh didn't say that or Media Matters would never let go. FWIW, I deplore the attitude Jackson is promoting here.