“That’s reasonable doubt”

Guess who?

But could there be a scenario where he–wildly inappropriately–followed this guy, and brandished his gun, and then much to his surprise, the teenager tried to wrestle the gun away, and in the ensuing struggle, he got shot?

Does that seem the most likely explanation to me? No. Could I rule it out? Also no. And that’s reasonable doubt.

McArdle is saying that prosecutors are right not to bring charges against George Zimmerman, not because the “Stand Your Ground” law is written so bizarrely that it might make prosecution difficult, not because there is evidence that Zimmerman fired accidentally, but because she can imagine a scenario in which Zimmerman might have accidentally shot Martin.






202 replies
  1. 1
    Egg Berry says:

    McArdle is saying that prosecutors are right to bring charges against George Zimmerman

    Damn. And I thought her taking a leave of absence from the Atlantic would shut her up for a while.

  2. 2
    bago says:

    Who knew it was an offense to be Black With Skittles.

  3. 3
    vtr says:

    She should stick to economics and business, which she also knows nothing about.

  4. 4
    Chyron HR says:

    But could there be a scenario where the uppity nigra actually shot himself?

    Sounds good to me, case closed!

  5. 5
    OC says:

    Oh shut up Megan.

  6. 6
    Matthew Reid Krell says:

    And no, McMegan, that’s not reasonable doubt. It’s a “shadow of a doubt,” and jurors are specifically told that the two are different. “Beyond a reasonable doubt” is a lower standard.

    Since the sequence of events she describes is wildly inconsistent with the evidence we have, it’s hardly reasonable to conclude that it happened that way.

    And reasonable doubt isn’t even the relevant standard. Prosecutors have to prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. They do not have to prove that the affirmative defenses offered by the defendant are false beyond a reasonable doubt. HE has to prove them by a preponderance of the evidence.

    Can someone PLEASE report this woman for practicing law without a license? And then for practicing humanity without a heartbeat?

  7. 7
    quannlace says:

    Damn. She’s been watching too many episodes of ‘Murder She Wrote’

  8. 8
    Zandar says:

    Jesus seal the bulkheads and separate the saucer section. Sure it’s “reasonable doubt” because Zimmerman outweighed the kid by a hundred pounds and had a bag of Skittles.

    McMegan can just kiss the blackest part of my black ass.

  9. 9

    Wow. That is tortured reasoning right there.

    “If I can make up any implausible scenario, based on wholly invented facts, that would cause any juror to maybe acquit, then charges ought not be brought.”

    It seems to me that this principle might lead to too few cases being brought. Perhaps we could draw a supply and demand curve to help her understand.

    Obviously, Megan’s whole role in the public discourse is to spray perfume on whatever turn the right wing feels like foisting on us at the moment. But she is at least usually pretty good at layering her obfuscations in jargon and caveats, enough so that less informed readers might walk away thinking, “huh, I guess there’s some reason for the controversy over whether Elizabeth Warren’s arguments about medical costs are overstated/the Iraq invasion’s costs might not be that bad/the sun orbits the Earth/etc.” This is just astonishingly plain and stupid.

  10. 10
    piratedan says:

    McArdle – stretching the envelope of wrongness well past the gummy strip of sanity…..

  11. 11
    Egg Berry says:

    So, gastritis broke her …?

  12. 12
    g says:

    Jesus. What kind of person, when pondering the horrendous death of someone else’s child, thinks, “Oh, yes, well it is awful, but maybe the kid brought it on himself”?

  13. 13
    mingo says:

    I went there to read Ta-Nehisi, and noticed that she had a emission on the same subject. No way I was going to click on it, but I hoped someone with a stronger stomach would, and return to tell us just how bad she was. Aaaand sure enough…

    I am especially charmed by the passive voice “and, somehow in the struggle, he got shot” – just happened, no accounting for it, the universe is just that way, etc etc.

    thanks. (I think).

  14. 14
    replicnt6 says:

    @Matthew Reid Krell:
    Not to mention that this isn’t anything like the standard for arrest, which is really what the commotion is about. Nobody’s saying (well, nobody I’ve heard) that they should throw Zimmerman in jail without a trial. We just see ample justification for arrest and investigation, which the police seem disinclined to do.

    McMegan is _such_ an idiot.

    Well, I look forward to Tom Levenson’s 3000-word takedown.

  15. 15
    Matthew Reid Krell says:

    @g: Defense attorneys. It’s their job.

  16. 16
    KG says:

    and if nothing else, the fact pattern that she lays out would probably still be good enough for involuntary manslaughter to stick.

  17. 17
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    she can imagine a scenario in which Zimmerman might have accidentally shot Martin

    Oh I’m so sorry. Please excuse me for accidentally getting out of my car and chasing you down the street yelling racial epithets, and then shooting you. I’m afraid this happens all the time when you are clumsy like me. No harm intended, bro.

  18. 18
    Ben Franklin says:

    Julian–fair enough, and I certainly haven’t followed the case that closely.

    Megan has Reasonable Doubt that she knows enough to comment.

  19. 19
    Ozymandias, King of Ants says:

    Does she not understand that there is a difference between indictment and conviction?

    Oh wait, it’s McMegan . . .

  20. 20
    Mudge says:

    McMegan has said many disgusting things, but this is a new low. Being killed while attempting to wrest a gun from someone that has accosted you is still being murdered. This is neither an accident nor self defense.

  21. 21
    Gex says:

    Since we really can’t know that ANYTHING is true, there’s no such thing as a crime. Unless a white guy is the victim.

  22. 22
    Alison says:

    Christ, what an asshole.

  23. 23
    srv says:

    Is it reasonable that a writer for The Atlantic be stupider than their food mixer? No. Could I rule it out? Also, no. And that’s reasonable doubt.

  24. 24
    Ozymandias, King of Ants says:

    @Egg Berry:

    So, gastritis broke her …?

    Humanity.

  25. 25
    Nemo_N says:

    What if Satan took over the kid’s body and then used it to attack Zimmerman?

    That’s reasonable doubt.

  26. 26
    pragmatism says:

    mcmegs sez that media reports aren’t accurate but zimmerman claims that martin hit him from behind (which makes no fucking sense). then she says that eyewitness testimony is notoriously bad so we have to just believe zimmerman’s claim. “I’m just not sure I think it’s so ridiculous that it’s actually provably untrue”
    is that a new legal standard for prosecuting?
    fucking hell.

  27. 27
    BGinCHI says:

    THIS is how the terrorists win:

    http://livewire.talkingpointsm.....?ref=fpblg

    McMegan is also how the terrorists win, since defending stupidity and violence is a sure way of bringing down a society.

    Why work so hard to defend someone without knowing the facts? Isn’t that what the law and courts are for?

    Fucking ideologues.

  28. 28
    c u n d gulag says:

    OY!
    Megan McArdle – PI.

    That’s like having “Ironside” as your Running Coach!
    (Younger readers, Google that, if you want to understand it).

    She’d make Inspector Clouseau look like Sherlock Holmes.
    Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh!

  29. 29
    ABL 2.0 says:

    She is depriving someone of mass quantities of stupid.

  30. 30
    ChrisNYC says:

    Hilarious that she’s supposed to be laboring away at a book (!) but instead she’s pissing around in comments sections. Based on what I’ve read, Megan, I’d have to find for your publisher on the breach of contract claim when the manuscript is late.

  31. 31
    Professor says:

    Has anyone considered the possibility that MacMegan intentionally writes a shitload of crap just so she could get loads of click views?

  32. 32
    Anya says:

    Is there any topic that McArdle has a sensible opinion about?

  33. 33
  34. 34
    The Bobs says:

    McMegan is on vacation or something. The post at her blog was written by Julian Sanchez of CATO.

  35. 35
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    Reasonableness and McMegan are not within hailing distance of each other, and even if Reasonableness got close enough to give a shout, she’s got her fingers in her ears going “La, la, blackity, snort, blicket, la, la” so she’s not going to hear a thing.

  36. 36
    piratedan says:

    @ABL 2.0: she’s the literary equivalent of Otto from A Fish Called Wanda

  37. 37
    Brian says:

    I don’t think I would have much of an issue with this case specifically beyond that FL has a ridiculous law had the police done their due diligence and actually investigated at all. Granted then he would have been investigated and its looking bad right now but still.

    Race aside, I find it appaling that the police were like “eh he said its self defense. We are done here lets go get a coffee.”

  38. 38

    I also can’t rule out that the kid was murdered by Wolverine on a time traveling dinosaur… so, you know, reasonable doubt.

  39. 39

    Jesus.

    This stupid just doesn’t burn, it’s fucking NUCLEAR.

    Why does this moron have a job?

  40. 40
    b-psycho says:

    From the sounds of it, even if he had tried to wrestle the gun away Trayvon would’ve been in the right to do so, being the victim to George Zimmerman’s aggressor to anyone with more than two functioning brain cells.

  41. 41
    Tonal Crow says:

    So now Republicans are arguing that:

    1. A criminal prosecution must not be commenced unless the prosecutor is convinced that the case is (already) proven beyond a reasonable doubt; and

    2. A case is not proven beyond a reasonable doubt if there is any possible argument that the defendant did not commit the crime.

    Wow. Just wow. I mean really, wow! I mean, the rules governing criminal “justice” are pretty strongly tilted against defendants, and desperately need rebalancing. But that’s going too far, even for this civil libertarian.

    (Not that they really mean it. It’s just another Bush v. Gore-style for-this-case-only it’s-OK-if-Republicans-do-it-but-you-libtards-had-better-not-spit-on-the-sidewalk-or-it’s-10-years-to-life argument.)

  42. 42
    Malaclypse says:

    Does that seem the most likely explanation to me? No. Could I rule it out? Also no. And that’s reasonable doubt.

    I’m confident she applies the same standards of doubt to teenagers accused of shoplifting. I mean, it is logically possible that items fall into pockets, so that’s reasonable doubt, right?

    Or perhaps McMegan is simply unreasonable.

  43. 43
    scav says:

    Is she auditioning to be the lead pompom girl at mass lynchings or the Nuremberg Rallies?

  44. 44
    RP says:

    Great…now she’s pretending to be a lawyer too. It’s reasonable doubt, not any doubt. Dumba**.

  45. 45

    Oh God his father is on RevAl right now telling how at 9 years old Trayvon saved him from a house fire by pulling him out of the kitchen and getting the cellphone and calling 911. The interview with Trayvon’s Mother is just heartbreaking. She says she will not rest until she gets justice for her baby.

  46. 46
    chris says:

    This is pretty much conclusive proof enough for me to conclude that Megan McArdle is, in reality, a special needs student.

    The fact that one recent publication described her as a economist is one of my favorite examples of inflationary job descriptions ever.

    Surely no one will mistake her for a prosecutor.

    Please stick to overpriced and unnecessary kitchen accessories.

  47. 47
    gnomedad says:

    Zombie Einstein called to say that imagination is not a substitute for intelligence.

  48. 48
    Lavocat says:

    Um, no. This is not what “reasonable doubt” is.

    This person needs to turn to a dictionary and review the heading under the word “reasonable”.

    Query: is it beyond a reasonable doubt that this person has had more than her fill of Killer Konservative Kool-Aid?

  49. 49
    cmorenc says:

    It’s dangerous to wade into the thicket of McMegan’s illogic, but: here goes:
    EVEN UNDER HER HYPOTHETICAL ASSUMPTION, the reason there’s a tussle in the first place is: after Zimmerman doggedly pursued Martin in his car, Zimmerman jumped out of the car, and in the course of confronting Martin, Zimmerman brandished his gun at Martin.

    QUERY: What characterization does that give Zimmerman’s action in brandishing his gun at close range an unarmed Martin, whom Zimmerman pursued to the site of the confrontation? ANSWER: Assault with a deadly weapon.

    QUERY: What characterization that give Martin for responding to Zimmerman brandishing a presumably loaded weapon at Martin at close range by trying to wrestle the gun away from Zimmerman? ANSWER: Self-defense against an unprovoked assault by deadly force.

    QUERY: What characterization does that give Zimmerman if the gun went off during the struggle inadvertently, killing Martin? ANSWER: at best, aggravated manslaughter, at worst, second-degree murder.

    QUERY: What characterization does that give Zimmerman if he intentionally shot Martin in the chest, killing him? ANSWER: at best, second-degree murder, at worst, first-degree premeditated murder.

    NONE of the Florida law’s self-defense provisions apply to Zimmerman under ANY of McMegan’s proposed scenarios.

    /exit McMegan illogical world.

  50. 50
    dmsilev says:

    She really should confine herself to writing about overpriced kitchen gadgets.

    She’ll still get the mockery and scorn, of course, but at least it won’t be over a matter of life and death.

  51. 51
    kc says:

    This makes my heard hurt.

  52. 52
    kc says:

    Head, damn it.

  53. 53

    @Brian:

    Not to mention the fact that the Police Department left the kid lying dead in a morgue for three fucking days and didn’t even check his cell phone to find out who he fucking was and how to contact his fucking parents. It wasn’t until his father filed a missing persons report that they got round to telling him that his son had been dead in the fucking morgue for three fucking days.

  54. 54
    dm9871 says:

    Sheesh, to arrest the guy, you don’t need to prove something beyond a reasonable doubt. The standard is probable cause that the person committed a crime – it’s a very low standard.

  55. 55
    Gin & Tonic says:

    OT, but only sorta — CNN’s story on a white guy in Miss who pleaded guilty to a racial killing last summer seemingly accurately quoted him as saying he wanted to “go fuck with some niggers.” I was ready to give props to them for using hateful language to show the hateful nature of the crime accurately in their Web post. When I just now went to double check on the story, they edited it to say “go f**k with some niggers.” Kind of an … interesting … editorial decision.

  56. 56
    Nylund says:

    So there is a chance that a defense lawyer may spin a tale to convince a jury his client isn’t guilty so we should just not even bother having a trial at all. Is that her basic logic? Geez why bother charging anyone with anything?

  57. 57
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    McArdle, always willing to devote her time and efforts into arguing on behalf of the powerful.

    She’s a fucking sociopath.

  58. 58
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    Well, she’s crossed the line from “annoyingly stupid” to “utterly lacking decency or humanity” in just a few sentences. Quite an accomplishment.

    Way to go, McMegan. Consider me alienated.

  59. 59
    John O says:

    She must’ve thought the Simpson trial was a real farce!

    What a terrible human being.

  60. 60
    lamh35 says:

    Ya know what, I gonna have to change my name to AngryBlackLady3.0, because unlike ABL, I don’t have a medical issue, I am just really angry about this right now. I’ve posted this before, but I’m posting it again, because I whenever I read something about this case, I just wanna scream and rage at people who are not aware of how unfortunately common it is to be accosted, profiled or detained just for being Black, particularly a Black male. Please read the whole thing. It is worth your while.

    No Apologizes: On The Killing of Trayvon Martin And Being “Good”

    In the tragic murder of Trayvon Martin, there’s no safe place. There’s no real excuse to cling to. None of the usual dismissals work or fit. It’s just bad. Real bad. And sits there and stares at you with it’s cruelty and unfairness and ugliness and says, “Take this.”

    Take this load. And pick it up.
    Just take it. And accept it. And choke back the lumps in your throat. As it has happened before. And it will happen again. And again you will be told to “take this.”

    Take this burden and just accept it as your burden. It’s just “how it is.” You’re all statistics. Take these statistics. And black people get shot everywhere everyday by everyone. Police. Non-police. Crazy people. Bigots. Their parents. Other kids. Just take it. It’s part of your Life In America, Black People. Accept this tragedy and go through the motions of appealing to people’s decency and demanding justice and having protests and press conferences and crying and asking why and demanding answers and then eventually getting that bad dead cold thing that just sits there and says, “Take this.”

    Here’s your load. Pick it up.
    Pass it along to the children, so they can carry a bit of it too. Let it weigh down on their worlds. Let it rob them of their childhood and innocence. Tell them to take it, so they grow up faster and accept the unfairness in life and just give up. Be cynical and fatalistic. Be cold when it happens to the next person. Or be cold themselves when they do it to another person. And as they rob that person of what was once robbed of themselves and that person asks them why or looks for recourse or retribution or answers, they can stare back unblinking in the shadow of our common oppressors and say, “Take this load and pick it up.”…

  61. 61
    rea says:

    @Tonal Crow: If a case is not proven when there is any possible argument consistent with innocence, then could there be a scenario where a hijacker–wildly inappropriately–seized an airplane, and brandished his boxcutter, and then much to his surprise, a passenger tried to wrestle the boxcutter away, and in the ensuing struggle, the plane got crashed into a building?

  62. 62
    Kristin says:

    Remember when all the wingnuts were “tough on crime”?

  63. 63
    uila says:

    Her closing takes the cake:

    Moreover, I’m generally very uncomfortable that prosecutors should choose their prosecutions based on public outrage (for all that I’m aware that they already do). There have been a lot of remarkably shitty convictions secured that way, mostly against young black men.

    Let’s be real, the woman is a professional troll.

  64. 64
    Daaling says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t there irrefutable evidence that he followed the kid (911 tapes) but later told the police during questioning that the kid approached him unprovoked. Surely that on it’s own is grounds for arrest no?

  65. 65
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    OT, but only sorta—CNN’s story on a white guy in Miss who pleaded guilty to a racial killing last summer seemingly accurately quoted him as saying he wanted to “go fuck with some niggers.” I was ready to give props to them for using hateful language to show the hateful nature of the crime accurately in their Web post. When I just now went to double check on the story, they edited it to say “go f**k with some niggers.” Kind of an … interesting … editorial decision.

    @Gin & Tonic: Hey, one of those terms is monstrously offensive to the majority of Americans and another is a term that they use every day, might rile a few people up but no big deal, really.

  66. 66
    les says:

    It’s amazing that someone this stone stupid, can manage to be so vile.

  67. 67
    Socraticsilence says:

    No, Megan- that’s manslaughter and possibly negligent homicide.

  68. 68
    John PM says:

    Her philosophy seems to be: “Better to open one’s mouth and be proven a fool rather than remain silent and be thought a fool.” Unfortunately, only one person like her is necessary to hang a jury.

  69. 69
    Berial says:

    Some guys in Washington say some guys in Iraq have nukes pointed at your house, but the guys in Iraq say they got nothing. Reasonable doubt? No? Funny how these authoritarians always believe the powerful or ‘in’ group, huh?

  70. 70
    Catherine says:

    Jesus F. Christ, even for McMegan this is pathetic.

  71. 71
    presquevu says:

    Her first draft, in which the invisible hand of the market pulled the trigger, was rejected by her superiors as unflattering to them.

  72. 72
    Dave C says:

    Even under McMegan’s made up scenario, wouldn’t Zimmerman still be guilty since he was stalking a dude while brandishing a weapon? Is that not illegal?

  73. 73
    Judas Escargot says:

    Like many here, I’ve listened to the tape.

    I don’t give a damn how good your defense attorney is: A chase followed by three shots– two of them over the sound of screams for help– is not an ‘accident’.

    I used to assume McMegan was just emotionally retarded. My mistake: She’s an actual fucking sociopath.

  74. 74
    caring and sensitive says:

    That is NOT reasonable doubt. As the jury instructions I have heard too many times to count state, reasonable doubt is doubt based on reason. Not conjecture, not imagination, not fancy, but reason. Reason based on the evidence presented to the jury

  75. 75
    Tickraw says:

    @Daaling

    How dare you use facts! Hypothetical situations only!

  76. 76
    David Koch says:

    “Casey Anthony was innocent because there was a possible scenario were the baby’s mouth was duct-taped accidentally.” ~ McMeagan

  77. 77
    Amir Khalid says:

    So Megan McArdle reckons that if a man — defying a direct order from the police — pulls out his gun and approaches an unarmed you in a threatening manner, and you then try to wrest the gun away from him, it’s self-defense if he shoots you.

    There is no possibility whatsoever that George Zimmerman shot and killed a 17-year-old boy unprovoked. The police were quite right not to bother arresting Zimmerman or seriously investigate why he killed Trayvon Martin.

    Oh yeah, I can see where that makes sense. Absolutely.

    Aside from the fatal gunshot wound(s), did Trayvon suffer any cuts or scrapes during the fight where, Zimmerman claims, he bloodied a much bigger man’s nose and then laid him out on the grass? Pathologists do notice these things in autopsies.

  78. 78
    dollared says:

    Not a journalist, not an economist, not a lawyer. The trifecta!

  79. 79
    Mike in NC says:

    Could I rule it out? Also no. And that’s reasonable doubt.

    McMegan in idiot? No reasonable doubt!

  80. 80

    @Berial:

    Some guys in Washington say some guys in Iraq have nukes pointed at your house, but the guys in Iraq say they got nothing. Reasonable doubt? No? Funny how these authoritarians always believe the powerful or ‘in’ group, huh?

    That’s exactly it. I always think of the old Dave Chappelle skit about “reasonable doubt”. At the end of the day, it’s a joke about what standards people apply.

    When Megan’s looking at a black man murdered without any investigation by the local police– and, more to the point for her, leading liberals to criticize the investigation– she’ll concoct any made-up scenario to defend the cops’ actions. When the government wants to invade some foreigners’ place, it’s all, “let’s whack the people suspicious of the government’s case with two by fours.”

    Might makes right, to Megan. Her job is to justify whatever it is that those with might feel like doing. It’s sad to see that attitude trickle down to the Atlantic.

  81. 81
    Rick Massimo says:

    @quannlace: Actually, that “in the ensuing struggle, he got shot” passive-voice evasion is straight out of Goodfellas.

  82. 82
    taylormattd says:

    @Ozymandias, King of Ants: It’s not even indictment. How’s about probable cause to arrest him for christ’s sake?

    Jesus she is a complete fucking moron. Too stupid to breathe.

  83. 83
    kindness says:

    Where can I donate to burn down the Atlantic Magazine?

  84. 84
    David Koch says:

    “John Wilkes Booth was innocent because there was a possible scenario were Booth was merely cleaning his gun and accidentally discharged, striking the liberally tall Lincoln.”

  85. 85
    elftx says:

    she has not read of the eyewitness that saw him straddling the kid on the ground??
    some things mcmagladite just must ignore

  86. 86

    Check and see if your state has one of these “Stand Your Ground” laws. If so, contact your lawmakers and ask if they really want to legalize what happened to Trayvon Martin.

    Also, the “Million Hoodie March” is happening right now in Union Square in NYC. Live stream here.

  87. 87
    Kristin says:

    I do love that there’s a “Pink Himalayan Salt” tag.

  88. 88
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    I don’t think that Blenderella and T-NC will be on the best of terms at the next Atlantic writers’ meeting.

  89. 89
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Rick Massimo:

    Actually, that “in the ensuing struggle, he got shot” passive-voice evasion is straight out of Goodfellas.

    On the Today show this morning they were calling it “a fatal encounter”. I started to point out to my kids that a fatal encounter is when two cars collide in an intersection killing one of the drivers, without either one intending for that to happen. When a black person shoots a white person our news media call that “a murder” but when it’s the other way around…

    They finished the statement for me. Our news media are educating the youth of America, but perhaps not exactly in the ways they intend to.

  90. 90

    @pseudonymous in nc: She won’t notice, though.

    (Love “Blenderella”!)

  91. 91
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    I used to assume McMegan was just emotionally retarded. My mistake: She’s an actual fucking sociopath.

    @Judas Escargot: I used to feel sorry for her. Not anymore.

  92. 92
    Rick Massimo says:

    @Kristin: No. I remember when wingnuts were “tough” on crime committed by nonwhite people against white people – they still are.

    Tough on ALL crime? No; I don’t remember that ever being true.

  93. 93
    Al says:

    The only satisfaction in reading her work is moving on to the comments about her work. It’s a whole hilarious genre in and of itself.

  94. 94
    Kathy in St. Louis says:

    Her scenario also doesn’t apply because….Mr. George Zimmerman is not, in actuality, any type of police officer. He is practically, and I only say practically because this condo board is going to get sued up one side and down the other for letting this guy play pretend police, a self appointed vigilante, with who shot a kid to protect all those bikes in his complex.

    This is one of the saddest stories I’ve read in a long time, not only for the death and sorrow it’s brought to this family, but also because of the callousness I’ve read on the part of so many people whose comments I’ve read various places. Some of the jerkwads of this world act as though someone’s gerbil was killed, not someone’s son.

    I wonder how many of the pasty faced conservatives who are looking to excuse this guy would be just fine if this had been a black self-appointed police type who had shot a white high schooler cutting through from the local QuikTrip.

  95. 95
    delphi_ote says:

    Do we really live in a country where anyone white men can murder anyone else minorities in the middle of the street and get away with it as long as there are no witnesses? Public figures are actually arguing that this is not only law but ethical?

  96. 96
    Rick Massimo says:

    @elftx: I’m not sure she ignores these things or, as in her economic analysis, literally cannot be bothered to find them out.

    P.S.: It’s much more reasonable to believe that George Zimmerman banged himself in the nose and head to make it look like he was defending himself. Still not very reasonable, but much more reasonable. Funny how McMegan never considered that.

  97. 97
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @TooManyJens: Credit where due.

    And I think this is why so many people would like McArdle to go away and never write another word. What little compassion she displays is displayed on behalf of those who need it the least. She has neither humanity nor generosity, and we all know that for those negative qualities, she will continue to fail upward.

  98. 98
    Comrade Dread says:

    So… her ‘logic’ is that if an armed person who is not wearing a uniform or identifying themselves as a law enforcement officer chases me down illegally, stalks me, assualts me (in the course of illegally trying to detain me), and in the ensuing struggle where I attempt to defend myself, I am shot and killed, then there is no crime at all and he should get away scott free?

    I forgot, she lives in libertarian fantasy camp, where it’s common law that one should probably have brought a rocket launcher and/or paid a private police force out of pocket to protect oneself from other armed citizens

  99. 99
    Pavlov's Dog says:

    If anyone is feeling masochistic, read the comments at NRO on this story. Talk about people twisting themselves into pretzels trying to defend the killer:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....omment-bar

  100. 100
    Gex says:

    @Malaclypse: So basically, since it is impossible to prove a negative, literally anything could be true, so any random vomiting of words by a defense attorney would have to be construed as reasonable doubt.

    But again, as I said above, this only holds for when the defendant is pigment challenged most likely.

  101. 101
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    I forgot, she lives in libertarian fantasy camp

    She is the gate attendant to the gated community.

  102. 102
    Fwiffo says:

    Not only does she not understand the “reasonable doubt” standard, she doesn’t realize that “reasonable doubt” is the standard for juries to convict; it is not the standard for arrest.

    I guess she gets paid to be stupid?

  103. 103
    Hungry Joe says:

    Sociopaths are often portrayed as being shrewd, clever, even brilliant, but that’s because it makes for good copy and moderately compelling schlock fiction. But it’s possible to be both an idiot and a sociopath. Just for example …

  104. 104
    Sad_Dem says:

    Litlebritdifrnt:@Brian: Not to mention the fact that the Police Department left the kid lying dead in a morgue for three fucking days and didn’t even check his cell phone to find out who he fucking was and how to contact his fucking parents. It wasn’t until his father filed a missing persons report that they got round to telling him that his son had been dead in the fucking morgue for three fucking days.

    Well, to be fair, the dead body in the morgue was very uncooperatively refusing to have a criminal record or fingerprints that matched an unsolved crime. You know how hard it is to cook something up against a dead body like that?

  105. 105
    Jennifer says:

    The problem with McMegan’s defense here is the same as with every other conservative who has stood tall in defense of Zimmerman’s right to kill a kid because he was suspicious of him: it presumes Zimmerman had a right to “self-defense” that Martin did not also have.

    Zimmerman’s account is that the kid jumped him after he chased him down in his truck, which left him no choice but to kill the kid.

    But suppose you’re the kid. You’re walking along MYOB when you notice this guy staring at you and acting paranoid. You try to get away from him and he chases you down, so to protect yourself from what by all appearances seems to be a crazy person intending to do you harm and who clearly is not going to settle for just letting you go your own way, you jump the guy. And he shoots you.

    It’s clear as day here who was the hunter and who was the hunted, and even if Martin DID jump Zimmerman as Zimmerman claims, Zimmerman had given him reason to do so in his own self-defense. There’s no way that scenario in any way exculpates Zimmerman, because the whole thing would have never happened without Zimmerman chasing the kid with a loaded gun.

    You can only excuse Zimmerman’s weak-ass “self-defense” excuse if you first discount the idea that Martin had any right to the same.

    Which, of course, McMegan and her pals on the right are all too ready to do.

  106. 106
    cbear says:

    I’ve solicited McMegan’s legal advice in the comments section of the other blog and will hopefully be able to update you all soon:

    Dear Ms McArdle,
    I live in Florida and my wife recently threatened to kill me with her $1500 Thermomix Food Processor after I accidently tripped over her Salt Pig and broke her Figural Chicken Measuring Spoon Set.
    Based on your understanding of the Florida Stand Your Ground Laws, would I be justified in beating her to death with a Giant All-Clad Stainless Steel Saute Pan, or maybe stabbing her with a Rabbit Corkscrew ?
    Please advise soonest as she’s in the kitchen again.

  107. 107
    Brachiator says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    So… her ‘logic’ is that if an armed person who is not wearing a uniform or identifying themselves as a law enforcement officer chases me down illegally, stalks me, assualts me (in the course of illegally trying to detain me), and in the ensuing struggle where I attempt to defend myself, I am shot and killed, then there is no crime at all and he should get away scott free?

    Exactly.

  108. 108
    Egg Berry says:

    I believe cbear gets the win in the comments there:

    Dear Ms McArdle,
    __
    I live in Florida and my wife recently threatened to kill me with her $1500 Thermomix Food Processor after I accidently tripped over her Salt Pig and broke her Figural Chicken Measuring Spoon Set.
    __
    Based on your understanding of the Florida Stand Your Ground Laws, would I be justified in beating her to death with a Giant All-Clad Stainless Steel Saute Pan, or maybe stabbing her with a Rabbit Corkscrew ?
    __
    Please advise soonest as she’s in the kitchen again.

    Edit: I see he just posted this above. LOL

  109. 109
    JPL says:

    When Megan returns will it be to cover the Supreme Court rulings?

  110. 110
    Will says:

    But could there be a scenario where he–wildly inappropriately–followed this guy, and brandished his gun, and then much to his surprise, the teenager tried to wrestle the gun away, and in the ensuing struggle, he got shot?

    Good Sweet Jesus that’s dumb. Someone needs to let Megan know that not even Zimmerman himself is offering that version of events, so…no, that did not happen.

  111. 111
    Will says:

    @Jennifer:

    The law effectively is set up so the “winner” of one of these confrontations is automatically exonerated.

  112. 112
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @cbear:

    Based on your understanding of the Florida Stand Your Ground Laws, would I be justified in beating her to death with a Giant All-Clad Stainless Steel Saute Pan, or maybe stabbing her with a Rabbit Corkscrew ?

    I recommend using the pink Susan G Komen branded pistol. As Harry Truman so wisely said, “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”.

  113. 113
    rikyrah says:

    I want someone to explain why this woman has a job

  114. 114
    wrb says:

    The law effectively is set up so the “winner” of one of these confrontations is automatically exonerated.

    That’s the way of the west, podner.

  115. 115
    Winston Smith says:

    Could I rule it out? Also no.

    Actually, if Martin was shot trying to wrestle the gun from Zimmerman, there would be unambiguous forensic evidence.

    You don’t have to be a detective to figure this out either. Anyone who’s watched a crappy crime procedural would know this from some badly-written episode or another.

    McArdle is actually less intelligent than the average television viewer. That’s a feat, that is.

  116. 116
    4tehlulz says:

    3dg33 contrarianism like McMegs will be the death of us all.

  117. 117
    Corey says:

    Professional troll.

  118. 118
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @delphi_ote:

    Well it wasn’t long ago that white men could murder minorities in the middle of the street and get away with it when there were witnesses so I guess this is progress.

  119. 119
    Jay S says:

    I would think that McArdle could be dismissed from any criminal jury duty based on that comment alone. I’d say it was a brilliant preemption on her part if it wasn’t McArdle.

  120. 120
    Corey says:

    Also, it will be interesting to see how TNC reacts to this.

  121. 121
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Julian Sanchez is actually quite reasonable in his post. McMegan, however, is again off target by orders of magnitude.

  122. 122
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Fwiffo:

    Not only does she not understand the “reasonable doubt” standard, she doesn’t realize that “reasonable doubt” is the standard for juries to convict; it is not the standard for arrest. I guess she gets paid to be stupid?

    Oh yes. She gets paid to mouth whatever propaganda her masters ask her to mouth. It does not matter whether it is true, false, unknown, or unknowable, as long as it advances her masters’ interests. She is one of the innumerable Mouths of Sauron that populate our “liberal” media.

  123. 123

    I think a more apt phrase for McCardle’s “reasonable doubt” scenario would be “2nd degree murder”

  124. 124
    CT Voter says:

    Trayvon Martin was shot in the back. I twinge to think of what is left of Ms. McArdle’s conscience at this point. But hey, points for being a contrarian.

    How’s the kitchen working out, I wonder?

  125. 125
    CT Voter says:

    @wrb: Yes, because as the NYTimes pointed out today, it’s tough to get both sides of the story when one of the individuals, is, you know, DEAD.

  126. 126
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I’d like to hear Arglemcbargle’s “logic” if the situation were reversed and the black guy had somehow shot the white guy. I imagine there’d be less, or no, reasonable doubt to be concerned about.

  127. 127
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @cbear:

    I’ve solicited McMegan’s legal advice

    Awesome.

    That’s funny shit right there.

  128. 128
    LiberalTarian says:

    The authors of the law aren’t even giving him the defense! Duh.

    But Peaden said the policy was misunderstood and didn’t provide protection for vigilantes who take the law into their own hands.

    “He’s kind of stretching a whole bunch of things,” Peaden said of Zimmerman’s self-defense claim. “And if he has a gun, that’s premeditated. There’s nothing in the Florida law that allows him to follow someone with a damn gun.”

  129. 129
    Amir Khalid says:

    This New York Times story seems appropriate to a comment thread about Megan McArdle.

  130. 130
    PeakVT says:

    @rikyrah: Two words: useful idiot.

  131. 131

    Sometimes I think that people like Megan take stances like this because they simply can’t allow themselves to think liberals are right about something.

  132. 132
    AxelFoley says:

    Damn. Is it possible for a female to be a douchebag? Usually, we reserve that term for men.

  133. 133
    Mark S. says:

    I can imagine a scenario where OJ was holding a knife he was going to use to cut some gristle off a steak he was going to cook, and then both Nicole and Ron Goldman slipped on banana peels one after another and ended up getting killed.

    And that’s reasonable doubt.

  134. 134
    Brian says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: I am typically a somewhat defender of the police in their use of reasonable force, but being incompetent is a whole different story.

  135. 135
  136. 136
    Lizzy L says:

    She’s just wrong. IANAL, but, I’ve been on a jury, and I submit, she doesn’t understand the words she’s using. (“I do not think that word means what you think it means…”)

    As has already been noted, “reasonable doubt” applies to jury deliberations, it is not the measure police use when they are deciding whether or not to conduct an investigation.

    I didn’t know that the Sanford police left Trayvon Martin’s body lying in the morgue for 3 days, without notifying his family. Christ on a pogo stick, what’s wrong with these people?

  137. 137
    p.a. says:

    @Ozymandias, King of Ants: No shit. I came right to post this from this comment, so I may be repeating some others, but reasonable doubt is the standard for conviction in a criminal trial, NOT IN AN INVESTIGATION. I’ve been on Superior Court criminal juries, never Grand Juries. But I know several people who have. The person(s) being investigated DO NOT EVEN HAVE REPRESENTATION before a Grand Jury (or does this vary by state?). The standard is merely that there is some evidence a crime has been committed.

    And this person is a major writer at a magazine which was once considered an American intellectual institution.

  138. 138
    Darkrose says:

    @Ozymandias, King of Ants:

    @Egg Berry:

    So, gastritis broke her …?

    Humanity.

    I was going to say “conscience”, but that’s even better.

  139. 139
    struggling says:

    There seems to be a unanimous opinion here, and as a long time balloon juice fan i hesitate to tread in this mess, but maybe a small dissenting voice won’t create too much havok.

    For me the critical missing piece is hearing what Zimmerman told them happened at the time.

    It seems to me everyone is painting Zimmerman in the worst possible light, and I just don’t see it that way.. yet.

    It’s not too hard for me to imagine a scenary where this guy Zimmerman is trying so hard to protect his neighborhood from criminals (and the accounts i’ve ready, contrary to many sites making fun of him for being a kook — are that there really were a bunch of recent crimes and he actually caught one of the criminals with aid of police), and so Zimmerman was being a good citizen, if over eager and perhaps irresponsible.

    And here comes Martin, completely innocent of any wrong doing at all.

    And what happened was a terrible terrible tragedy. Martin sees a guy following him and thinks “this guy is stalking me and is going to rob/assault me” so he starts taking actions to avoid Zimmerman, and maybe to look tough to scare zimmerman away.

    In response, Zimmerman, on the lookout for the criminals who have been seen in his neighborhood, interprets these actions as confirming that martin is up to no good.

    So both guys are thinking, a confrontation with a bad guy is about to take place.

    By all accounts, no one was trying to hurt anyone but both guys were scared and agitated when they met.

    And we think that the first thing that happened is they angrily demanded from the other to know what the other was up to.

    Now until we hear from Zimmerman what he says happened next, I don’t see how we make a conclusion about whether what happened was a tragedy or a completely outrageous over reaction.

    One possible scenario I can imagine is that when the two got right up to one another — Martin saw a gun in Zimmermans waistband/pocket/holster, and fearing he was about to be attacked, lunged for the gun to keep his perceived attacker from pullling it on him. If a struggle for the gun ensued after that — I think we are talking about a horrible tragedy not a crime.

    Obviously there are also tons of scenarios that would make Zimmerman guilty of a crime, like if he pulled the gun on martin and threatened to shoot him, and then a struggle for the gun ensued. I still don’t know what kind of crime that would be, but it seems like it would be extremely reckless behavior.

    Note that I’m not claiming that there shouldn’t be a bigger investigation, or that the police did their job, or that neighborhood watch people should be carrying guns and confronting people.

    I just cannot get on board with this universal condemnation of Zimmerman as a murderous person. I think there is a real need for neighborhood watch people, and by all accounts he was putting himself at some jeopardy in trying to help the neighborhood — or at least that was his good intention. He wasn’t trying to hurt people — he didn’t go out looking to kill some innocent person — he was trying to help his neighborhood.

    I think if anything, this episode should teach us that neighborhood watch people should NOT be walking around untrained, with no clear identification for who they are. I think that’s the real lesson here — that plaincloth armed neighborhood watch folks confronting the public has a high likelyhood of ending tragically. Though that doesn’t make this a crime or even make zimmerman a bad person.

    Just my 2 cents.

  140. 140
    Tonal Crow says:

    @AxelFoley:

    Damn. Is it possible for a female to be a douchebag? Usually, we reserve that term for men.

    I dunno. How about “GOPhead” instead? Given that pretty much every GOP policy is awful, why not redefine “GOP” as an all-purpose expletive? We don’t have enough of those, and many of the ones we do have are sex-negative, so I don’t like to use them.

  141. 141
    Cluttered Mind says:

    It’s a real shame that Trayvon Martin is dead and Megan McArdle is still alive.

  142. 142
    Darnell From LA says:

    I haven’t seen white liberals this upset since a few of them were getting tazed and pepper sprayed for sleeping in parks. Don’t get me wrong, the “Apple-Hippies” aren’t nearly as upset about the shooting of this young black man as they were over the “Great UC Davis: Day of Pepper Spray”, but it’s close. Kudos, white libs. But I’m sure we see the return of your true white hot outrages this summer, when #OWS experiences REAL persecution in the form of plastic handcuffs.

  143. 143

    I have to say, if this argument has *any* merit, I’m appalled.

    It’s like, if you agree to go on an armed robbery (you all agree, no shooting – but you’re carrying guns), if someone gets shot, you’re *all* up for murder.

    Well, if you brandish a gun on someone, you’ve just started a fight. You’ve put a person in fear for his or her life. At this point, I feel it should be just like that armed robbery. You don’t get to play “take backs” if something happens that you didn’t want.

    I’m not a lawyer; I don’t know the law. But if that’s not the law, I’m sorely disappointed by the legal system.

  144. 144
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @struggling:

    there really were a bunch of recent crimes and he actually caught one of the criminals with aid of police

    There were eight burglaries in the course of a year. That’s not a crime wave. Zimmerman placed a tenth of the calls to the PD from that community: the PD released six calls of 46, and they’re all concerned with “suspicious” black men. He phoned in reports about open garage doors.

    He was a self-appointed cop with a history of following “suspicious” people, who, having been told not to follow Martin by the 911 dispatcher, did just that.

  145. 145
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @cbear: I’m going to quote your comment here, because the Internets are crying with laughter (or possibly laughing to keep from crying):

    Dear Ms McArdle,
    __
    I live in Florida and my wife recently threatened to kill me with her $1500 Thermomix Food Processor after I accidently tripped over her Salt Pig and broke her Figural Chicken Measuring Spoon Set.
    __
    Based on your understanding of the Florida Stand Your Ground Laws, would I be justified in beating her to death with a Giant All-Clad Stainless Steel Saute Pan, or maybe stabbing her with a Rabbit Corkscrew ?
    __
    Please advise soonest as she’s in the kitchen again.

  146. 146
    Jay S says:

    @cbear: Darn, she’s backtracking a bit, referencing jury instructions and all. It kind of blows up my non theory of looking for a lifetime exemption from jury duty. Maybe she’s afraid it was too obvious and had to cover her tracks. Clever, that one.

  147. 147
    The Moar You Know says:

    @struggling: Explain why Zimmerman called him a “fucking coon”. Right before shooting him.

    You know what happened here as well as I do.

  148. 148
    AxelFoley says:

    @struggling:

    It seems to me everyone is painting Zimmerman in the worst possible light, and I just don’t see it that way.. yet.

    Stopped reading right there.

  149. 149
    Provider_UNE says:

    @struggling:

    Listen to the 911 call Zimmerman makes to the police.

    What we know for sure is that zimmerman was in pursuit of the kid after the dispatcher told him “we don’t need you to do that”. He then PURSUES the kid who by all accounts is trying to get away from him (he called a friend on his cell and told her that some wierd dude was following him, she heard zimmerman confront Martin. Martin is DEAD.

    Zimmerman may have been scared, trying to do the brave thing, but ultimately it was he that asked for the confrontation with an UNARMED kid, started the entire ball rolling and the kid is now DEAD.

    These things we know.

    Thing is, if the cops had done their fucking job, taken Zimmerman into custody for arraignment and they were preparing for a trial, we would not even be having this conversation.

    Bottom line from what we know Martin had every right to take the gun away from Zimmerman and shoot him with it as he clearly felt threatened and had every right to be where he was.
    .

  150. 150
    Darkrose says:

    @lamh35: Thank you. Linked this on my blog because all I can do right now is rage.

  151. 151
    LiberalTarian says:

    @struggling: He had no authority to get out of his car and chase after the guy with a loaded weapon. Even if the guy had been a thief. Burglary of CDs, small electronics, etc. are not capital crimes.

    It is not self defense when you pick a fight with someone then shoot them when you realize you can’t take him in a fair fight.

    I feel compassion for Zimmerman. If someone had actually taken him to task and warned him of the repercussions of his behavior (local PD, I’m talking to you, there were complaints about him prior), he might not have shot a kid to death.

    But, no, don’t go excusing a paranoid man for accidentally killing someone because he was paranoid. And the kid? At best this is manslaughter, not a tragic accident. But when he chose to buy that gun and the bullets, and load that gun, he wasn’t after rabbits. He meant to use it. He did. It was a lot of things, but it wasn’t an accident.

  152. 152
    cbear says:

    @Jay S: Oh, she’s a slippery one alright. My theory is that she douses herself in Crisco oil from that over-equipped kitchen of hers before she goes out and pens these little missives to the masses.

  153. 153
    Riilism says:

    Can someone explain to me what an “Apple-Hippie” is? Preferably before this summer when my attention span will be diminished by an all consuming white hot outrage. Thanks…

  154. 154

    @Cluttered Mind: Not cool. Let’s not go all Ann Coulter on her.

  155. 155
    Mnemosyne says:

    @struggling:

    It’s not too hard for me to imagine a scenary where this guy Zimmerman is trying so hard to protect his neighborhood from criminals (and the accounts i’ve ready, contrary to many sites making fun of him for being a kook—are that there really were a bunch of recent crimes and he actually caught one of the criminals with aid of police), and so Zimmerman was being a good citizen, if over eager and perhaps irresponsible.

    I will reply to you with a passage from a book that had a great influence on me that hopefully will get through to you why “meaning well” doesn’t change the fact that a boy is dead:

    “Only ignorance! only ignorance! how can you talk about only ignorance? Don’t you know that it is the worst thing in the world, next to wickedness? — and which does the most mischief heaven only knows. If people can say, `Oh! I did not know, I did not mean any harm,’ they think it is all right. I suppose Martha Mulwash did not mean to kill that baby when she dosed it with Dalby and soothing syrups; but she did kill it, and was tried for manslaughter.”
    __
    “And serve her right, too,” said Tom. “A woman should not undertake to nurse a tender little child without knowing what is good and what is bad for it.”
    __
    “Bill Starkey,” continued John, “did not mean to frighten his brother into fits when he dressed up like a ghost and ran after him in the moonlight; but he did; and that bright, handsome little fellow, that might have been the pride of any mother’s heart is just no better than an idiot, and never will be, if he lives to be eighty years old. You were a good deal cut up yourself, Tom, two weeks ago, when those young ladies left your hothouse door open, with a frosty east wind blowing right in; you said it killed a good many of your plants.”
    __
    “A good many!” said Tom; “there was not one of the tender cuttings that was not nipped off. I shall have to strike all over again, and the worst of it is that I don’t know where to go to get fresh ones. I was nearly mad when I came in and saw what was done.”
    __
    “And yet,” said John, “I am sure the young ladies did not mean it; it was only ignorance.”

    I guess we should all just forgive and forget that George Zimmerman shot and killed an unarmed teenage boy. After all, it was only ignorance.

  156. 156
    Jamey says:

    The proximity of the words Megan and Reasonable keeps causing my browser to crash.

  157. 157
    eemom says:

    You know what’s fucked up about this?

    1. That an innocent kid is dead.

    2. That an ignorant racist asshole shot him.

    3. That an innocent kid is dead.

    4. That there’s any fucking QUESTION about whether this ignorant racist asshole should be in jail and charged with murder.

    5. That an innocent kid is dead.

    6. That we are terminallly fucked up as a society and collective failures as human beings.

    7. That an innocent kid is dead.

    8. That a stupid fucking clueless moron like McArdle has an opinion about this that anybody gives a shit about.

    9. That an innocent kid is dead.

    10. That the author of this post chose to exploit this tragedy to produce Exhibit Number Eleventy-Zillion in the neverending case, People v. Megan McArdle Is A Clueless Asshole, that he’s already won eleventy-zillion times.

    11. That an innocent kid is dead.

  158. 158
    Svensker says:

    From the comments over there:

    Dear Ms McArdle,

    I live in Florida and my wife recently threatened to kill me with her $1500 Thermomix Food Processor after I accidently tripped over her Salt Pig and broke her Figural Chicken Measuring Spoon Set.

    Based on your understanding of the Florida Stand Your Ground Laws, would I be justified in beating her to death with a Giant All-Clad Stainless Steel Saute Pan, or maybe stabbing her with a Rabbit Corkscrew ?

    Please advise soonest as she’s in the kitchen again.

  159. 159
    Gian says:

    the reasons you arrest and prosecute people for chasing a kid down, attacking him and then shooting him because he fights back are pretty simple.

    the act is anti-social, and evil.

    the other is that if the state refuses to take action, there’s a substantial risk that someone else will.

    “You can relax on both sides of the tracks
    And maniacs don’t blow holes in bandsmen by remote control
    And everyone has recourse to the law
    And no-one kills the children anymore.
    And no one kills the children anymore. ” R Waters

  160. 160
    danielx says:

    I can imagine a lot of scenarios in which McMegan meets a dreadful end. However, the operative word is imaginary.

  161. 161
    Mister Papercut says:

    @cbear: Someone will be in touch with you shortly to arrange delivery of your newly-won Internet.

  162. 162
    norbizness says:

    She sure is dumb!

  163. 163
    cbear says:

    @Svensker: Thanks, I’m kind of proud of it.

  164. 164
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Darnell From LA: Aren’t you white?

  165. 165
    cbear says:

    @Mister Papercut: People seem to forget that I won the Bronze for BJ Comment of the Year (circa 2009). The Academy seems to have overlooked my contributions to the craft these last few years, but I’m still out here winging it.

  166. 166
    Hugely says:

    i cannot but agree with @eemom – may heaven help us all

    i cant really type my thoughts cause im crying and pissed all at the same time

  167. 167
    Jason says:

    But could there be a scenario where he–wildly inappropriately–followed this guy, and brandished his gun, and then much to his surprise, the teenager tried to wrestle the gun away, and in the ensuing struggle, he got shot?

    Hell yes. That’s a possibility. If only there was some mechanism whereby a police officer could check out such a story. Some kind of process where you could find the people who were witnesses to the shooting and interview them. Perhaps some kind of gunpowder residue test or fingerprint or DNA test where you could see who had come in contact with the gun. Perhaps if the police had some sort of legal power to detain people who had just confessed to shooting someone, bring them into the station, and interrogate them to see if their story stands up to scrutiny.

    But, as policing expert Megan McArdle assures us, if a white guy — sorry, a whitish Latino guy — says he had to shoot an unarmed black kid in self defense, the police have to take him at his word. That’s just reasonable doubt.

  168. 168
    Ruckus says:

    @ABL 2.0:
    She is depriving someone of mass quantities of stupid.
    I don’t know there seems to be plenty to go around. She does seem to have more than her share though. OK more than 10 people’s share. OK, OK, 1000 people.

  169. 169
    trollhattan says:

    “wildly inappropriate”

    Wildly fucking inappropriate? That’s grabbing the receptionist’s ass while drunk at the staff Christmas party.

    Stalking and murdering some teenage kid is orders of magnitude worse than wildly inappropriate. McMegan truly can’t work up half a bother while, what, being so busy on her special project and all.

    Normally she’s merely mockable. Contempt, I haz it.

  170. 170

    because she can imagine a scenario in which Zimmerman might have accidentally shot Martin.

    Which reminds me of my friend’s ex-husband, who when confronted with her knowledge of his affair said (true story) “It was an accident.” Her response was,”What,you tripped and fucked her?”

    Can McMegan pleas go away, painfully if possible, now?

  171. 171
    Ruckus says:

    @rikyrah:
    I want someone to explain why this woman has a job

    I’d like someone to explain how someone this stupid manages to keep breathing.

  172. 172
    eemom says:

    @Hugely:

    heaven help us all

    Indeed. I love that song and it perfectly fits here.

  173. 173
    stratplayer says:

    God, McArdle is even stupider than I thought. Her ridiculous “accident” theory is a nonstarter because from the very beginning Zimmerman claimed he shot Trayvon in self-defense, not by accident. His own story makes it clear that he fired his gun entirely of his own volition. If he didn’t intend to shoot, he would have said so. He didn’t. McArdle is a fucking imbecile.

  174. 174

    @rikyrah:

    I want someone to explain why this woman has a job

    She repeats what the people who pay her salary want repeated.

  175. 175
    trollhattan says:

    @stratplayer: I’ll bet she’s considering decamping for New Hampshire after reading about “Two Guns” classing up the legislature.

  176. 176
    Ruckus says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):
    I know that wasn’t supposed to be a funny line but ”What,you tripped and fucked her?” just is.

  177. 177

    @Ruckus: We laugh over it all the time. We also call her ex “zipper boy” (“zips” to his face). I kinda like him, but i didn’t have to be married to him, LOL. Truth be told, they are friends now.

  178. 178
    Ruckus says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):
    She’s not the first to use that line, just like he’s not the first to cause it to be used.

  179. 179
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ruckus:

    it presumes Zimmerman had a right to “self-defense” that Martin did not also have.

    Well, duh. Martin was black. He’s got no fucking rights, not in that jurisdiction. Case closed.

  180. 180
    Larkspur says:

    @Jason:

    …If only there was some mechanism whereby a police officer could check out such a story….

    Excellent.

  181. 181
    Ruckus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Think you meant to respond to someone else?
    Was discussing the line ”What,you tripped and fucked her?” with the hip hop artist.

  182. 182
    Arundel says:

    What a fucking horror she is. This is a new low for her indeed- who the hell asked her to hypothetically defend this guy, this fucko with a vigilante complex, this guy who shot that kid dead? No really, who the fuck asked her to weigh in?

    This is a hundred times worse than abstractions-and her distortions- about economics and taxes. She’s literally blaming the victim, and I will never forget this- and it ought to haunt her professional career. “Maybe the kid had it coming”. Fuck her. To hell, what a rotten human being.

  183. 183
    Larkspur says:

    @Arundel:

    …No really, who the fuck asked her to weigh in?….

    Yeah, this is the bizarre part. She thinks of herself as a cool, logical, superior sort of intellect, and she pictures those people whose approval she seeks as applauding her dialectical purity. She thinks they respect her superordinate detachment: she can appreciate the artistry in the blood spatter pattern without being distracted by that bothersome wailing grief.

    Damn. I am annoying myself. However, I do not blame myself. Had Megan not swerved right the fuck in front of me, I would be my usual genial self.

  184. 184
    horse dave says:

    McGargle must get paid by how many liberals, progressives, and normal sentient people she can piss off. Her statements are consistently beyond stupid.

  185. 185
    burnspbesq says:

    Ms. Megan’s formulation is a roadmap for disguising jury nullification as reasonable doubt. Despicable on more levels than I have time to count.

  186. 186
    Cydney says:

    @kindness: I’m in as long as we get Ta-Nesisi and Fallows out first.

  187. 187
    Gex says:

    @Jay S: Good. Maybe if she keeps backing up, she’ll find there’s stuff that happens before anyone has to decide whether there’s reasonable doubt or not.

    If the police never take calls and never investigate, there will never be crimes because everyone’s innocent due to reasonable doubt! We could literally just solve crime like that. McArgleBargle is a genius!

  188. 188
    El Cid says:

    I could imagine a situation in which McAddled wrote something of value. I mean, I can’t imagine it with, like, words and stuff.

    But that’s good enough, might as well make sure to keep giving a worthless shit like her money, as opposed to the tens of thousands of people around the nation who could write something of much more value in such a space.

  189. 189
    AA+ Bonds says:

    LOL she’s an ugly little Goebbels

  190. 190
    Will says:

    @stratplayer:

    That’s exactly what I thought. Zimmerman didn’t claim it was an accident, he claimed self-defense. So why would Megan posit a theory that even Zimmerman disagrees with? Just plain stupid and ignorant.

  191. 191
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Ugh. McMeghan is horrible forever. The end.

    Stick her in the bag with Dana Loesch and Pamela Gellar and then drop the bag off the end of the nearest deep water pier.

  192. 192
    atlasfugged says:

    The the public outcry is over the fact that Zimmerman has not even been charged with a crime, not that he hasn’t been convicted. The family of Trayvon hasn’t even been given the chance to see justice done on behalf of their child.

    The standard by which charges can be made against Zimmerman and, if those charges call for an arrest, the standard by which Zimmerman can be taken into custody, is probable cause – that is that there exists a reasonable suspicion that a crime had been committed and that the accused is the likely perpetrator.

    Once charges are filed, then the prosecution has the duty to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant committed the crime with which he is charged.

    One thing I loathe about Megan McArdle is that she makes definitive statements, from on high, as if she is an expert at everything. She is an expert in economics. She is expert in American and international law. She is expert in climate modeling (unfortunately, the Twitterer who PWND her in that discussion closed his account). She is an expert in healthcare policy. She is an expert in the anthropological and evolutionary history of human diets. She is an expert in psychology (I wish she’d acquaint herself with the work of Dunning and Kruger). She is an expert in military policy. And, of course, she is an expert in gastronomy (Mmm… Rice and Cheese …).

    She can never, ever admit that she just doesn’t know some things, that there are some things that are outside her scope of knowledge and intellectual capacity, even when it’s obvious – beyond a reasonable doubt – that she doesn’t know very much of anything.

  193. 193
    atlasfugged says:

    Also, for those shocked that McMegan would take Zimmerman’s side in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, note that in November she went out of her way in defending Mike McQueary’s failure to intervene in and then report Jerry Sandusky’s rape of child:

    http://agonyin8fits.blogspot.c.....rians.html

    She actually implied that anyone who would have intervened to stop a child being raped would have to have been sociopathic. In Megan’s moral universe, stopping a man from raping a child would not be an act of compassion, but an indication of sociopathy. Is there any wonder that she would go out of her way to justify and defend the actions of Zimmerman?

  194. 194
    shpx.ohfu says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): I think he gets to fill in a square for that one.

  195. 195
    MattMinus says:

    @struggling:

    Not sure if trolling or just stupid.

  196. 196
    Alexander says:

    @uila:

    I feel the need to quote the same thing:

    Moreover, I’m generally very uncomfortable that prosecutors should choose their prosecutions based on public outrage (for all that I’m aware that they already do). There have been a lot of remarkably shitty convictions secured that way, mostly against young black men.

    Translation: if you think they should prosecute Zimmerman now, then you’re the one that doesn’t care about young black men, you racist!

  197. 197
    slippy says:

    Shorter All Conservatives: It’s OK to murder whoever we feel like, because we are fucking assholes who murder people whenever we feel like it.

  198. 198
    Jado says:

    @mingo:

    It was those pesky Cosmic Rays that pulled the trigger.

    Hey when those Cosmic rays have your name on them, not much you can do…

  199. 199
    Jado says:

    Serious question – Are the higher-ups at the Atlantic keeping her on as a sort of false flag operation? She spouts ridiculous, easily-disprovable tripe as a Voice of Conservative Thought, thus serving as an example of exactly how bankrupt that movement is?

    Are the higher-ups at the Atlantic actually Evil Geniuses?

    That actually makes more sense than the idea that she keeps her job based on merit…

  200. 200
    Jason says:

    @Jado: At this point, I’m open to the theory that she keeps her job because she’s the Atlantic’s equivalent of a Fox New liberal — strawman conservative, not too bright, makes the side look bad.

  201. 201
    IM says:

    @Larkspur:

    she can appreciate the artistry in the blood spatter pattern without being distracted by that bothersome wailing grief.

    Like, say, Dexter?

  202. 202
    IM says:

    @Jado:

    Wasn’t that the theory back then Kristol wrote (columned?) for the times? That hey wanted to make conservatives look bad?

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