Archive for July, 2013

How Much is That Doggie in the Window?

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

On Second Thought, You Can Keep It

Something I wrote this morning:

Last night I dreamed of some very strange events, and this morning, I asked God if it meant anything. I think he has given me the answer, and I will try to present it here in a brief form that doesn’t take up a lot of room.

I was in the home of my late aunt, who died from lung cancer. She used to smoke unfiltered Pall Malls, and she refused to quit. She told my father it was the only thing in life that gave her pleasure.

For some reason, I went to her house to do laundry. I approached the machine with my clothes in a bag, thinking I was ready to go, but there was a mixed-race lady by the machine, and she took the bag and started sorting. I wasn’t ready at all. I had a wool jacket in the bag, and the whites and colors were mixed. She set the jacket aside, saving me the huge expense of replacing it after ruining it in a washing machine, and she put the other stuff in separate piles.

I looked in the washer, and I saw a puppy inside it. At least, I thought it was a puppy. It had black skin. It wasn’t like the brown skin of people we call “black.” It had no color at all. It was like a piece of seasoned cast iron. It was dusted with ash. It had holes where its eyes should have been, and it had a crooked, gaping mouth. Blue-white light came out of its mouth and eyes. I don’t know where it got that light. Maybe it had been stolen from God.

I thought it was cute, which is bizarre. There was nothing cute about it. While the woman was helping me with my laundry, I tried to take a photo of it and post it to Facebook, but the photos didn’t come out well, and it didn’t look cute at all.

After I woke up, I asked God if the dream meant anything, and here is what I came up with.

I believe the washing machine symbolizes my efforts to get clean; to get free of iniquities, which are the inclinations which cause me to sin. The “puppy” is a demon which is behind one of my iniquities. I thought it was cute, so it has to be an iniquity I hold onto deliberately, thinking it’s harmless or even beneficial. This iniquity doesn’t cause me a great deal of suffering, so I don’t think it matters, and I don’t fight it. As a result, this creature stays with me, and it can hold the door open for other demons, which are worse.

Jesus told us we have demons. He said that when a demon leaves a man, it walks in dry places and then returns, and when it returns, it brings seven demons worse than itself. On the other hand, if we receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit, then God himself inhabits us. And the Bible says the Holy Spirit has seven parts.

I think the thing I saw may represent gluttony. I have a very negative attitude toward gluttony, but it may be that the jokes I make concerning it have made it feel welcome. Gluttony, by itself, is not going to ruin my life. But what if it holds the door open so I can’t get rid of bigger problems? What if I am inadvertently giving these things power?

There are many inquities Christians think are cute or harmless. Gluttony, gossip, laziness, denying our spouses sex, bearing false witness, verbal cruelty, and so on. Maybe they’re not so cute after all. Maybe we need to voice our opposition to them openly, because the spirits that drive these things can’t hear us when we say things in our minds.

A nail enters a board in a very small way. The tip of the nail is sharp, and it doesn’t do much damage at all. But it enables the rest of the nail to enter easily.

If we want to hear the voice of God, we have to quiet the other voices.

Gluttony killed my aunt. She was a glutton for tobacco smoke.

The Zimmerman Crucifixion Ends

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Now the Bottom-Feeders Can File a Civil Suit

The Zimmerman mess really got to me.

Back when I heard about it, all I knew was that some guy had shot an unarmed black teenager. I had no reason to form an opinion, but it didn’t sound good.

Later on, I heard more facts. Zimmerman followed Martin (notice I don’t say “George” and “Trayvon,” the way the attorneys did). Martin was in his own father’s neighborhood. He was just walking around.

Then, after a disgracefully long time, the injuries were revealed. The press sat on them for a long time, and eventually, some outfit released a grainy video suggesting Zimmerman MIGHT have had injuries. Hmm…maybe there was more to this case than I knew.

Then the photos came out. Zimmerman was bloody. His head had lacerations on the back. His nose appeared to be broken. This was starting to look like self-defense. But by then, people had made up and closed their minds. That’s true on both sides of the issue, but it is much, much more true of the anti-Zimmerman crowd.

Zimmerman was arrested. Surely the police had found new evidence. They implied that they had. I waited for the probable cause hearing, thinking there would be some blockbuster revelation. I looked at the affidavit Angela Corey’s boys put together. It was false! It contained lies, omissions, and baseless conclusions carefully crafted to create an excuse to arrest Zimmerman. I was amazed. How could they put a slimy, scandalous document like that before the press and the court? And I’m not alone. Alan Dershowitz says Corey should be disbarred for this and other unethical actions.

I watched the hearing, and there was absolutely nothing new. Zimmerman said he was attacked and beaten. There was no evidence to the contrary. That’s self-defense. “Stand Your Ground” doesn’t even come into play. This was classic self-defense, under the common law we inherited from England in the 1500s. No ambiguity. No gray areas. Cut and dried. The case should have been dismissed right there, and the prosecutors should have been disciplined.

As time passed, I kept waiting for the state to mention new evidence that suggested Zimmerman was guilty. It never came. The man’s clothes were wet on the back, so clearly, he was on the bottom in a physical scuffle. He only shot once, although his gun held 8 rounds. There was no evidence that he did anything illegal prior to the scuffle. He was out walking around, which the 911 dispatcher didn’t like, but there was no police order requiring him to stay put, and if there had been, ignoring it would not affect his ability to claim self-defense. It was irrelevant.

Not one witness saw Zimmerman do anything illegal. They never claimed to. Yet here he was, in hiding, under an illegal bounty which the authorities chose not to investigate or punish. Spike Lee and Roseanne Barr published his parents’ address, inviting violence. They had to move. No one seemed to care.

Cell phone evidence came out (although the State’s Attorney illegally withheld much of it, and the judge kept much of it from the jury). It showed that Martin was a mean, rebellious kid. He fought. He bragged about how good he was. He was exactly the kind of kid who would attack someone for following him, and that means there was reasonable doubt (to put it mildly) that Zimmerman provoked the scuffle. And somehow, Zimmerman’s charges remained in place.

At some point during the last year, I realized this was a crucifixion, not a trial. The state didn’t bother trying to meet its obligation to protect the defendant from unfair treatment. On the contrary, they lied. They concealed. They helped the persecutors. They joined them.

I started speaking out. I’m not stupid. I’m a lawyer. I saw everything I needed to see to conclude, firmly, that the state could not prove this was not self-defense. I put stuff on Facebook. I probably wrote about it here.

I lost Facebook friends, which is amazing. They didn’t want to hear about the law. They were not interested in facts. They said silly things. They accused Zimmerman of “stalking” Martin, and they said Martin acted in self-defense. I’m sorry, but that’s idiotic. Stalking involves repeated acts that have no legal justification. Stalkers follow people over and over, AND they make credible threats. It’s impossible to stalk a person in ten minutes. Zimmerman was just walking behind this guy to keep him in sight so the cops could find him. If that’s stalking, then every cop and security guard in the US is a stalker. If you see someone in your yard, and you walk out and follow him, you’re a stalker, and if he beats you, you have to let him continue as long as he wants. If he puts an eye out or gives you brain damage, tough.

Everyone who has dropped me or said nasty things about me is black. On the other hand, I have black and Puerto Rican friends who agree with me, and they’re just as annoyed as I am. They don’t speak up much, but they realize Zimmerman was accused falsely.

I don’t know if people think I’m a racist. Maybe they just disagree and get tired of the things I say. But it’s disappointing. This case was not close. In two minutes, I can make anyone understand why the verdict was correct. But people I would like to respect can’t stand still that long. It’s easier to play the victim.

If Zimmerman had lost, it would be a big blow to potential crime victims all over Florida. We would know that every act of self-defense involving a black assailant would be suspect. As it is, there may be a chilling effect which will cause people to hesitate and lose their lives.

This case, after all, can be summarized quickly by looking at three dispositive facts.

1. There is no evidence that Zimmerman did anything to justify being beaten.

2. There is ample evidence that when he was shot, Martin was engaging in an illegal activity which put Zimmerman in reasonable fear of immediate serious bodily harm.

3. There is no evidence that Zimmerman’s use of force was excessive or unreasonable. When someone is on top of you giving you a beating, you have to shoot. You can’t take a gun out and wave it, because he may be able to take it from you, and then you’re finished.

That’s the whole case. The other stuff is utterly irrelevant.

I am not one bit ashamed of defending George Zimmerman. Someone has to speak out for the victims of the state. Someone has to contribute to their defense. Sometimes silence is aiding and abetting. I will never have to explain why I sat on my hands and bit my tongue while a man who appeared to be innocent went through years of public torment.

So that’s how I feel.

Incidentally, I learned something very useful from the trial. It’s a little sick, but it’s not my fault. It shows how laws have unintended consequences. In Florida, sentences are enhanced when crimes involve firearms. So if I’m ever attacked, instead of defending myself with a gun, I’ll have to pull out the razor-sharp knife I carry. As bad as guns are, they are extremely humane compared to knives. I’ll have to try to disembowel my attacker or sever his windpipe. That’s horrific. But if I rely on the gun as my weapon of choice, I’ll add a huge amount of time to the sentence I could potentially face. A woman in Florida got 20 years for shooting a hole in her own wall. Zimmerman would have gotten a minimum of 9 1/4 years if he had been convicted of manslaughter.

So if you live in Florida, carry a knife or a sword cane (which is legal). It’s a bad situation, and I would much rather scare someone off with a gun, but there it is.