G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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As you might have read, the homeowner who shot and killed Renisha McBride is a guy named Ted Wafer. He’s been charged with 2nd degree murder, manslaughter, and unlawful use of a weapon. The 2nd degree murder charge in Michigan is not as stringent as the one in Florida. The murder charge against George Zimmerman required proof that he shot Trayvon Martin with ill will, spite, and hatred.
The most damning evidence presented thus far is that Wafer fired the gun while his screen door was closed and perhaps locked, according to Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy. It is my *opinion* that Wafer was being truthful when (if) he told police that he accidently shot McBride. It seems like he has downplayed that statement since he obtained legal counsel. I believe that he was frightened or scared that someone was banging on his door at 4 a.m. which is why he took a shotgun with him. Taking the shotgun from his bedroom to the front door is a good objective clue that he was frightened to some degree. I do not think that McBride herself scared Wafer. But he was in an uncertain situation, took a gun with him to the door, and it fired without direct intent or malice.
1.) The screen door is damning evidence that Wafer committed manslaughter, but it also points away from a second-degree murder charge. The Michigan manslaughter statute reads:
A person who wounds, maims, or injures another person by discharging a firearm that is pointed or aimed intentionally but without malice at another person is guilty of manslaughter if the wounds, maiming, or injuries result in death.
Just putting on an investigator’s cap here, if Wafer wanted to commit murder and ensure that he killed McBride, he likely would not have fired through a screen door.
2.) This made me think of something that happened to a kid who I grew up with. Right after high school the kid was living with his girlfriend in an apartment. He also happened to sell weed which made him a target. One night, a girl knocked on the apartment door. The guy’s girlfriend answered and two other guys rushed into the apartment, put a gun to the girlfriend’s head, and started asking for the weed and the money. This happens a lot, I’m sure. The guy I know ran back to his bedroom and grabbed his shotgun. One of the intruders followed, and the guy turned around and blasted the guy in the chest, killing him. Point being, it is not unreasonable to think that a young woman is being used as a ploy to gain entry into a house. Though perhaps the media has helped blow up these stories to make them seem much more common than they actually are, there too are stories of people claiming distress in order to get people to open up their doors and to rob them or do them harm. In the case of Wafer and McBride, a 4 a.m. knock only increases the confusion and the skepticism from the homeowner. I don’t think it is unreasonable to be very skeptical at that point, risk factors for a bad outcome are increased across the board.
3.) I mixed it up a little bit on Facebook with Jamelle Bouie, a writer at, I think, The Daily Beast or The American Prospect, Jamil Smith, a producer for Melissa Harris-Perry’s show, and the inimitable Toure. I had documented how Toure responded to me asking if alcohol in McBride’s system justified her killing. The next day, as I was following comments on the McBride case on Twitter, both Smith and Bouie tweeted almost identical forms of the same question: “does McBride being drunk mean that she deserved to die?”
I commented how it was almost like the three of them were the same person. I got flak for that for saying that “all black people are alike”. But whatever.
McBride’s blood-alcohol level was 0.218 which is insanely high. As Grerp pointed out on Twitter (Grerp lives in Michigan), the state of Michigan has enacted laws that add extra punishment on those who have extremely high BAL in the event of a traffic accident, which is what McBride was in.
Now, does a high BAL mean that McBride deserved to die? No – as they say, deserving has nothing to do with it. Did McBride deserve to hit a parked car just because she was drunk? No, but she did. And she did hit a parked car because being that drunk increases the odds of all sorts of bad things coming your way. It increases your odds of getting in a wreck. It increases your odds, especially if you’re a woman, of being raped. It increases your odds of getting into an argument. It increases your odds of mistaking someone else’s house for your own. It increases your odds of getting into a bad situation where the other party involved in the situation is not privy to the same information you are, but the high BAL makes it such that you can’t really explain yourself all that well. A high BAL increases risk all across the board in numerous ways. So does McBride’s high BAL mean she deserved to die? What, are there no other options for how alcohol could have factored into her death?
4.) In a McBride family press conference yesterday the family attorney Gerald Thurswell said that someone in McBride’s family had said that maybe McBride thought that Wafer’s house was her own house. I had mentioned the other day that some web sleuths found both houses which both sit on their respective corners and which are both light brown in color and very similar looking. This seems, in all likelihood, to be the reason that McBride showed up on Wafer’s doorstep. That crushes the narrative thus far that McBride was looking for help. Thurswell said that McBride had gone up to one other house to look for help, but that resident had said that at a vigil for McBride. The report has not been corroborated. Regardless, it was a 0.8 mile walk from the wreck to Wafer’s house, and there are a bunch of other houses in between.
McBride’s reasons for going to Wafer’s house are important both factually and also symbolically. Symbolically, “she was just looking for help” has the power of “he was carrying only Skittles and iced tea”. That is the hook; it’s what has helped to make sure that Ted Wafer is now royally fucked even if he either was defending his home or he accidentally shot someone. If the latter, he still deserves to go to jail since wielding a firearm irresponsibly. But, the “she was just looking for help” piece helps activists turn this into some sort of race case. “He didn’t want to help her,” they say, because she was black or whatever. And then they refer back to two other recent cases of black people seeking help – Glenda Moore and Jonathan Farrel. Those cases, just like Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till, help prime people to think that Wafer was racist.
5.) An ex-girlfriend of Wafer’s said that Wafer was not racist but that he had a temper and liked to drink. But their relationship ended in 1995 and Souriall indicated that she had not seen Wafer since that time. It seems that Wafer had filed a restraining order against Souriall on 1/26/95. Souriall responded by filing a restraining order on Wafer 5 days later. You can go look those documents up through this portal.
This exposes another dark side of journalism. This ex-girlfriend was reached because her name is the only one out there in the ether that is associated with Wafer. She should not be the first person out there giving her opinion on the guy. But the way that journalism works – the tools which people have available to them – makes it such that people who’ve had bad dealings with certain individuals are the ones who are most likely to give their viewpoint on the person and also the ones who are easiest to contact. I say that even though I tried to contact this woman as well. I’m part of the problem.
6.) I spoke to Rick Jones, the Michigan senator who wrote all of the state’s self-defense laws in 2005. Jones says that based upon the evidence presented so far in the case, he does not believe that those self-defense laws protect Wafer. Jones reiterated that someone had to be “breaking your door down” in order for those laws to apply.
This is an especially notable hatchet-job from The New York Times. The headline reads “Health Law Rollout’s Stumbles Draw Parallels to Bush’s Hurricane Response” because that way instead of thinking of the mess that Obamacare has made, we’ll divert our attention to how bad of a president Bush was. And the reason we know it’s just a diversionary tactic is because the Times doesn’t establish that anyone actually compared Obamacare to Katrina until halfway through the piece. The reporter, Michael Shear, mentions the link in the second graf and then spoke to a top national security official in Bush’s White House. I wonder if the guy had even thought about the link until it was mentioned to him by the reporter:
Republicans readily made the Hurricane Katrina comparison. “The echoes to the fall of 2005 are really eerie,” said Peter D. Feaver, a top national security official in Mr. Bush’s second term. “Katrina, which is shorthand for bungled administration policy, matches to the rollout of the website.” Looking back, he said, “we can see that some of the things that we hoped were temporary or just blips turned out to be more systemic from a political sense. It’s a fair question of whether that’s happening to President Obama.”
The president’s top aides vehemently reject the comparison of Mr. Obama’s fifth year in office to the latter half of Mr. Bush’s second term. They say Americans lost confidence in Mr. Bush because of his administration’s ineptitude on Hurricane Katrina and its execution of the war in Iraq, while Mr. Obama is struggling to extend health care to millions of people who do not have it. Those are very different issues, they said.
Besides all of that, there is one big difference between Bush’s failure during Katrina and Obama’s failure in Obamacare. Bush was forced to confront a natural disaster with maybe a week’s worth of warning. How long has Obama had to rollout Obamacare and the website? Barack Obama Hates Americans.
Here I am calling out the liberal media for missing the mark when Rod Dreher at American Conservative seems not to have learned any lessons from Trayvon Martin. Jumping the gun on Nov. 7, Dreher wrote:
Good Lord: a 19 year old black woman in a (mostly white) Detroit suburb got into a car accident at 2:30 in the morning, went onto the porch of a nearby house to ask for help, and was shot and killed, allegedly by the homeowner, who thought he was being attacked. The victim’s family says she was shot in the back of the head, apparently as she was leaving. Rania Khalek comments:
Dearborn Heights police initially told McBride’s family that her body was found dumped near Warren Avenue and Outer Drive, but that story quickly changed. Not only are police refusing to release the identity of the man who shot McBride, they’re now saying she was mistaken for an intruder and shot in self-defense on the homeowner’s front porch. Even if that’s the case, and there’s reason to believe it’s not, the shooter still failed to call 911 after shooting an unarmed woman in the head, instead leaving her there to die. Does that sound like the behavior of a law-abiding gunowner who made a tragic mistake?
No, it does not. I believe in Stand Your Ground laws, but based on what we know now, I fail to see how this could remotely be justified. This story bears watching, vigilantly. My thanks to the reader who sent it to me.
Here is Dreher parroting along inaccurate pieces of the Zimmerman case story at a time when a lot of other people were too, and here he is expressing viewpoints indicating that he had changed his mind on the case.
To push the point here a little further, Dreher, a former newspaper man, bought several untruths hook, line, and sinker. Why does this continue to happen? Are everyone’s B.S. meters broken or what?
We don’t know that McBride “went onto the porch of a nearby house to ask for help”. People who came to McBride’s rescue after her car wreck said that she fled the scene. She may not have been going to “look for help”. She might have been running from the cops who can either be seen as help or hindrance, depending on your level of intoxication (even the McBride family attorney has acknowledged that McBride was likely over the legal intoxication limit). The people who came to help McBride also said that McBride said she wanted to go home. One internet sleuth found pictures of McBride’s home and also the house where she was shot. Both sit on their respective corners of the street, and both are light brown in color. The houses look very similar*. It is not unreasonable to assume that McBride thought she was entering her own home rather than merely waiting on the porch and quietly explaining that she needed help from a car wreck that occurred over a mile away. So imagine the thinking of both McBride and the homeowner. Did she think that a stranger was in her own house? How did she respond to that?
And the Dreher takes for granted the family’s narrative. We should have learned by now that victim’s families are not reliable narrators. Maybe we can trust their motives, but we can’t trust their statements.
Kym Worthy, the Wayne County prosecutor, will hold a press conference tomorrow to update the state of the investigation.
*I’ll wait until after Worthy’s announcement to publish that on the blog.
One of the more subtle racial angles in the
Regina Renisha McBride case involve the “accusation” that the shooting occurred in a predominantly white neighborhood. People like Toure like to play dumb when it is pointed out to them that McBride probably had alcohol in her system when she allegedly tried to get into another person’s home, but they’ll run with the pointless statement that the shooting occurred in a “predominantly white neighborhood”.
@ChuckGLP Yes it appears there was alcohol in McBride’s system. Does that justify killing her?
— Touré (@Toure) November 13, 2013
Take this from Jezebel on 11/6/13. Laura Beck wrote:
Last Saturday morning at around 2:30am 19-year-old Renisha McBride got into a car accident in Dearborn Heights, a predominately white Detroit suburb. Because her cell phone battery was dead, she went to nearby home for assistance. That might seem like the reasonable and understandable thing to do, but it was the biggest mistake of McBride’s short life.
It is true that Dearborn Heights itself is predominantly white. But it just so happens that the neighborhood in which McBride was shot is predominantly unwhite. Here are some of the first names of people who live on the street on which McBride was killed: Ahsan, Ridwar, Salame, and Saif.
AP, via ABC News, offers more:
The northeast section of Dearborn Heights neighbors Detroit’s far west side and is a diverse area that’s home to white, black and Arab-American residents. The neighborhood where the shooting took place consists mostly of well-kept bungalows and small ranches, and is near a community college branch campus and a mosque.
Salam Salame, who lives next door to the house where McBride was killed, said she and her family were sleeping and didn’t know what had happened. She said police had been out on Tuesday canvassing the neighborhood.
Salame described her neighbor as a good man who lives alone.
“He never did anything to bother anybody,” she said.
One thing I marvel at is that Detroit local papers never called that neighborhood or that city predominantly white. This exposes an always interesting divide in how local outlets are typically concerned with facts while national outlets are typically concerned with “nationalizable” issues like race. There is a tipping point with these kinds of stories. If a local crime story can attract just enough attention from the national press – and any case where a white or white-looking person kills a black person will reach this threshold – the case will automatically be spun around and checked out for any and every possible racial angle. Every piece of evidence will be interpreted with a bias towards a racially-motivated white killer. All of that being said, this case won’t make it to the big leagues as the Trayvon Martin case did because there just isn’t the same marketing push and also because a large enough percentage of the population still respect castle doctrine (even as plenty of people are erroneously claiming that this is a ‘stand your ground’ case).
Compare the similarities in the presentation of some of the arguments in both the McBride case and the Martin case. “He was carrying Skittles and iced tea” = “She was looking for help after a car wreck.” “What does it matter if he had THC in his system?” = “What does it matter if she was drunk?” “She was shot in the back of the head” = “Zimmerman fired two shots”/”Martin was trying to get home”/the entire now-ridiculous theory that Zimmerman was beating up Martin. “This is a ‘stand your ground’ case” = “This is a ‘stand your ground’ case”.
In all of the liberal jerking of knees yesterday in response to Richard Cohen’s article Slate’s J. Bryan Lowder was, to an extent, one voice of reason. Lowder wrote:
Let me be clear here—I am not interested in defending Richard Cohen generally against the larger criticisms I mentioned up top. I am definitely not a fan. But I’m also not a fan of a willful-seeming, mob-like misreading of a piece of writing in the service of self-satisfied smugness, especially when the piece—as confusingly written as it is—is worth serious consideration for what it reveals about the troublingly different ways people identify and conceptualize racism in this country.
But the mightily angry Ta-Nehisi Coates doesn’t buy Lowder’s argument. As a side note to Coates’s two pieces on Cohen yesterday, Coates repeatedly said that he understood that Cohen wasn’t saying that he gagged at the sight of interracial couples like Bill de Blasio and his wife. I don’t happen to believe Coates. I think he actually did think at first that Cohen gags when he sees miscegenation or that he is sympathetic to people who do gag at the sight. I don’t know whether or not Coates writes his own subheadings, but the one attached to his first blog post about Cohen’s article read “Richard Cohen says the interracial de Blasio marriage makes him “gag.”" And Coates’s response in his post reads like he’s taking Cohen at face value. But then, poor phrasing and misreading are central to this whole argument.
Coates lays out a litany of grievances against Cohen. In 1986 the WaPo columnist wrote a column in which he said he supported some luxury store owners’ who banned black youth from their stores because they were more likely to steal. Cohen wrote about Trayvon Martin calling his hoodie “the uniform of crime”. Cohen also recently watched “12 Years a Slave” which caused him to reflect on how he had been indoctrinated in his childhood to think that slaves were grateful for their benevolent slaveowners.
But there are differences between those positions and the position which knee-jerkers attribute to Cohen.
Take the nuances that Cohen tackled with his columns on black youth in jewelry stores, Trayvon Martin’s hoodie, and stop-and-frisk. Now, compare the issues contained in those stories to miscegenation. Is being OK with shopkeepers making business decisions in their own private shops or homeowners being suspicious of a certain type of person in a certain type of clothing style the same as becoming nauseous at the sight of an interracial couple? No, they aren’t. Opposition to interracial relationships is opposition to something that two other people decide to do for themselves. Accepting the reasoning of a shopkeeper or a neighbor to keep an eye on a certain person because of their own personal knowledge and about crime and their own experiences is not abstract in the way that opposition to interracial relationships is. The shopkeeper is adopting a policy that he thinks – rightly or wrongly – decreases his chances of getting robbed or beaten.
Liberals paint anyone who holds any of these positions with the broad brush of “racist”. But, as a starting point to a more nuanced and fruitful discussion, they should be able to recognize that there are different motivations for such ideas and actions.
Liberals are up in arms about Richard Cohen’s article on Chris Cristie and the Tea Party. Cohen wrote:
Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all. (emphasis added)
Confusion ensued because of the use of the word “conventional” which can mean either normal or traditional. In this case, since it is very clear that Cohen is shitting on conservatives he
clearly means “traditional views”.
Conservatives should have the grievance with Cohen on this column, but for some reason liberals have circled around and made it about themselves. They’re casting the article not as yet another attack on the perceived bigotry of conservatives but as a guy with conservative ideas “gagging” at the sight of an interracial couple. I haven’t seen a liberal yet step out to offer an unqualified defense of conservatives against such attacks (not that I think conservatives need liberal defenders).
At Business Insider, Josh Barro came close when he went with the mushy-mouthed headline “Richard Cohen May Have a Problem With Interracial Marriage, But Few Conservatives Do”. But Barro still failed to pick up on Cohen’s point. Ta-Nehisi Coates seems to have misread Cohen as well. HuffPo thinks Cohen wrote a racist column. There are a bunch of others, and there are more from liberals who do understand what Cohen meant but who still have issue to take with him. Except, those liberal columnists don’t really try to counter the argument that Cohen shat upon “conventional” people i.e. conservatives. They’re upset he even broached the topic of Bill de Blasio’s interracial marriage.
Cohen has gone in on conservatives before in this manner. Here’s a column from New Year’s Eve 2012:
It is conservatism that is both intellectually exhausted and nearly indefensible. It is the movement of the ideologically ossified, of gun zealots and homophobes, of the immigrant-phobic and the adamantly selfish. It insists that government must be small (an impossibility!), education must be local (a stupidity) and that debt, no matter what the reason, is immoral and reckless. The movement has lost its reliable monster. Godless communists have been replaced by the church ladies of Planned Parenthood. History giggles.
It is rare that so many pundits misinterpret the same column in the same way. But when you consider the choices — either having to defend yet another prestige press columnist calling conservatives bigots without much evidence or misreading the columnist and calling him a bigot — then we gain more understanding into why this colossal misinterpretation might have happened. The truth is that conventional liberals — pundits and the public alike — do actually think that most conservatives gag at the sight of interracial couples. Some, like The Nation’s Greg Mitchell and WaPo’s Ezra Klein, say that opposition to interracial marriage was conventional back in 1957. But don’t a lot of liberals think that conservatives pine for 1957? Funny then that Cohen is getting grief for stating the conventional liberal opinion.
1. Lori Gottlieb, author of “Marry Him!” got bamboozled by Obamacare. (h/t James Taranto)
2. Yasha Levine who is Mark Ames’ Robin has a post at NSFWCorp about the libertarian influence on hatred for the TSA hate which, Levine argues, is responsible for the LAX shooting. Just leaving aside the argument about the causes of the shooting, Levine pulls quotes from a blogger named Steven Frischling who claimed to have interviewed a bunch of TSA agents who said they had been called Nazis, fascists, rapists, etc. by people at the airport. HuffPo put up an article in 2010 using those exact same quotes from Frischling. But HuffPo editors pulled that piece completely because they had issues with Frischling’s sourcing. At the least, this shows that even HuffPo has higher journalistic standards than NSFWCorp.
But going back to Levine’s argument – he might not want to cherry pick which ideologies or political stances to blame for criminal outcomes. Many more murders and maimings have been carried out based upon justifications provided by leftism which either tacitly and sometimes directly support violent redistribution. What comes about if you scream to people through a bullhorn that this group over here – the 1%, white people, etc. – has taken resources from that group over there?
3. NYT Room for Debate, “The Cost of Being an Artist“. One contributor named Nisha Asnani wrote:
More structured organizations that empower artists and teach them about fund-raising and business skills like The Field, where I work as communications manager, are also vital for our creative culture. The Field is the kind of place that endeavors to make New York a more friendly and supportive city for artists and those who love artists.
After that, we need someone to work to make Las Vegas more friendly and supportive of sex workers and people who love them.
4. I got into a heated discussion on Facebook with someone about the Renisha McBride case out of Dearborn Heights, Michigan. McBride was the 19 year-old black woman who got into a car wreck at about 1:30 in the morning and allegedly went up to a man’s house looking for help a few hours later. My interlocuter said something like “omg this black woman was shot in the back of the head just because she was asking for help after a car accident.” I then pointed out that the reports that McBride wasn’t shot in the back of the head but rather in the face, but my interlocuters came back with “that doesn’t even matter why does this happen to black people”. There’s a pattern here. The back of the head shooting narrative was inserted by McBride’s family (see: Trayvon Martin), but then when the narrative turned that aspect of the case never mattered anyway. I waffle between being depressed and amused by these things.
By the way, Cenk Uygar of The Young Turks was one of the first to circulate the lie that George Zimmerman said “fucking coons” on the non-emergency phone call back on Feb 26, 2012.
The general lack of outrage within the NFL to Richie Incognito’s racially-charged comment to Jonathan Martin did seem strange, and now we have an explanation:
One of the most curious aspects of the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin story is how race has become very much a part of it outside the Dolphins locker room — in the media and among fans and observers — but not at all so far within the Dolphins locker room.
Think of this:
Richie Incognito left Jonathan Martin a voice mail that, among other things, called Martin a “half-n—-r.” And Dolphins players of color, knowing of the voicemail, have expressed no problems with Incognito.
“I don’t have a problem with Richie,” Mike Wallace said. “I love Richie.”
“I don’t think Richie is a racist,” cornerback Brent Grimes said.
“Richie Incognito isn’t a racist,” tight end Michael Egnew said.
ESPN analyst and former Dolphins wide receiver Cris Carter has know Mike Pouncey since the player’s childhood. Today Carter said on air he recently spoke to Mike Pouncey and the center, who is Incognito’s friend, addressed race.
“They don’t feel as if he’s a racist, they don’t feel as if he picked on Jonathan repeatedly and bullied him, but if they could do it all over again there would be situations that they might change but they’re very, very comfortable with Richie,” Carter said.
“They think it’s sad, not only that Jonathan’s not on the football team, but also that Richie is being depicted as a bigot and as a racist.”
How is this possible?
Well, I’ve spoken to multiple people today about this and the explanation from all of them is that in the Dolphins locker room, Richie Incognito was considered a black guy. He was accepted by the black players. He was an honorary black man.
And Jonathan Martin, who is bi-racial, was not. Indeed, Martin was considered less black than Incognito.
“Richie is honarary,” one player who left the Dolphins this offseason told me today. “I don’t expect you to understand because you’re not black. But being a black guy, being a brother is more than just about skin color. It’s about how you carry yourself. How you play. Where you come from. What you’ve experienced. A lot of things.”
Another former Dolphins employee told me Martin is considered “soft” by his teammates and that’s a reason he’s not readily accepted by some of the players, particularly the black players. His background — Stanford educated and the son of highly educated people — was not necessarily seen as a strength or a positive by some players and it perpetuated in the way Martin carried himself.
And so — agree with it or not, comprehend it or not — this is a reason the Dolphins haven’t turned on Incognito as a racist.
1. Yet another case in which Benjamin Crump is involved that is starting to look more and more like a lie. A former leader of the Valdosta, Georgia NAACP decided to investigate the death of Kendrick Johnson, the kid found rolled up in a wrestling mat at Valdosta High School. At the very least, the woman independently investigating this found that the complaints from the kid’s parents, their lawyer and Ben Crump that police and the school were “stonewalling” were unfounded. From the article:
Web addresses to donation sites were given during the call and people were urged to send money to the family so they could fund the legal fights, but as far as Touchton is concerned, the information they were asking for had already been released.
The investigator said she’s received threats for not playing for her pre-assigned team. If the allegations of falsehoods are true, this now makes Ben Crump an accomplice to four civil rights case lies: Martin Lee Anderson, Trayvon Martin, Marco McMillian, and Kendrick Johnson. When will he ever be right, and why is he always wrong?
2. We’re at the point where it’s OK to openly talk about how the President has direct influence on columns written by opinion journalists. This is a taunt – the powers that be are showing us their incestuousness and telling us that we’re not going to do anything about it.
3. An article praising retired basketball player Allen Iverson for his countercultural heroism.
Taken together, our findings suggest the generous extensions to paid leave were costly, had no measurable effect on outcomes and regressive redistribution properties. In a time of harsh budget realities, our findings have important implications for countries that are considering future expansions or contractions in the duration of paid leave.
5. Woman conducts experiment to show how scared people are to offend Muslims. (h/t JayMan)
6. Interesting article on the family structure of NBA players. The average black NBA player is less likely to have been born to a single mother and in poverty than the average black person. Noncognitive skills and height are two explanations for this difference.
7. A true feminist argument: Let men choose whether or not to be fathers both emotionally and financially.
For the morning crowd, our effort to get to the bottom of the Red Lobster receipt ordeal has come to fruition. Even though handwriting analysis isn’t smoking gun proof, having two analyses of handwriting samples from both parties involved is more data than we’d otherwise have. Take these pieces of information along with Devin Barnes’s denial that he wrote “nigger” on Toni Jenkins’s receipt and also factor in that Jenkins is saying that she now believes Barnes when he says he didn’t write the word, and we have a pretty solid idea of what’s going on.
Jenkins said she felt bad for Barnes since he’s now received threats and such. When I asked her if she’d then offer up half of her $11,000 cash gift to Barnes since he didn’t do anything wrong she said that she wished she could split the money but that she’d spent it all on a car. I didn’t follow up and ask her about selling the vehicle.
I really took interest in the Zimmerman case after an article published at the Orlando Sentinel cited two voice forensics experts who claimed that George Zimmerman was not the person screaming on the infamous 911 phone call. Besides my (and many others’) immediate skepticism that it’s hard to compare a scream to a normal voice, I also thought that comparing only one normal voice sample from Zimmerman — and not one from Martin because there was no known normal voice sample from him at the time — that a crappy piece of software like the one used in the voice analysis would only naturally reject Zimmerman’s voice as a match. A crappy piece of software would probably incorrectly reject a lot of voices, but there would be a lot of doofuses who wouldn’t think about that limitation of the inquiry. What I’m getting as is that it’s good to at least try to analyze two normal exemplars — such as the ‘normal’ handwriting of both Jenkins and Barnes — rather than just compare that of Barnes to the receipt. I’m not making this argument to defend my article — it is what it is; as mentioned, there’s still some very slight room to doubt that Jenkins wrote “nigger” — but rather because I’m still fascinated by the limitations of that Orlando Sentinel article.
In my opinion, the worst player in this saga is, without a doubt, Red Lobster. I hold back from saying that Jenkins is the worst player without a doubt because of that tiny possibility that she’s not lying either. But Red Lobster is a different type of player here. They should have doubt of some sort too — they don’t have to believe Barnes all the way, but they shouldn’t automatically believe Jenkins all the way. But they clearly support Jenkins all the way and therefore blame Barnes entirely which would be a huge error if consumers actually cared.