UNNECESSARY DEATH BECOMES US, ESPECIALLY THE YOUNGEST OF US: “Michael Dunn stands trial this week for the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Jordan Davis after Dunn complained that Davis was playing loud music. Dunn is expected to raise the defense that gained notoriety after the death of Trayvon Martin, Stand Your Ground. (If Martin were still alive, he would turn 19 Wednesday.) Martin and Davis are two of at least 26 children and teens who have died in Florida Stand Your Ground cases. Stand Your Ground laws that have proliferated in at least 20 states are associated with vigilantism, authorizing violence by individuals who perceive a “reasonable” imminent threat to their life, without any duty to attempt retreat. But they have also taken the lives of a dramatic number of young victims. Out of 134 fatal Florida cases analyzed by the Tampa Bay Times in which the Stand Your Ground defense was raised or played a role, 19 percent saw the deaths of children or teens. Another 14 involved victims were 20 or 21. And another 8 teens were injured in nonfatal cases. The Tampa Bay Times last updated its database last year, and there have likely been more such deaths since.” (via Think Progress)
WHERE DO THE CHILDREN PLAY?:
FOR REPUBLICANS, LONG LINES ARE A SIGN OF SUCCESS, BECAUSE FREE MARKET? ALSO, WOULDN’T WANT EDUCATED KIDS VOTING, WOULD WE?: After years of complaints by supervisors who struggled with historically long lines at the polls in 2012, lawmakers last year expanded the list of early voting sites to include fairgronds, civic centers, courthouses, county commission buildings, stadiums, convention centers and government-owned community centers. But when the city of Gainesville -- which is heavily Democratic -- asked if it could use the University of Florida student union for early voting in next month's municipal elections, the state said no. ‘The Reitz Union is a structure designed for, and affiliated with, a specific educational institution,’ says an advisory opinion from Maria Matthews, director of the state Division of Elections, which is run by a Scott appointee, Secretary of State Ken Detzner. ‘The terms 'convention center' and 'government-owned community center' cannot be construed so broadly as to include the Reitz Union.’” (via Tampa Bay Times)
BECAUSE WE LIKE FUNDING THE CHANCES OF SNOWBALLS IN HELL: “It started last week, when Buddy's staff was explaining its plans to raze Tinker Field to make way for the Florida Citrus Bowl — a $3 million plan I was amazed no one had bothered to mention back when they were tallying up the costs to renovate the Citrus Bowl. That's when I discovered a couple of other big-ticket sports items — new deals for the Orlando Magic and the Orlando Solar Bears at the Amway Center — tucked into the agenda. Dyer had portrayed them as housekeeping details — amendments meant merely to ‘more accurately reflect the operations and usage of the buildings.’ They weren't even scheduled for discussion. But when I peered inside, I saw big money at stake: hundreds of thousands of dollars meant to benefit these pro-sports organizations that no one was questioning. For instance, the Solar Bears deal lets the team keep $389,000 more in concession revenues and licensing fees — money that currently goes to the city. The city also agreed to give the team a $100,000 ‘advertising payment’ each year for the next two years. Yet part of the staff-provided summary described the financial impact as ‘$0.’” (via Orlando Sentinel)
PERHAPS YOU SHOULDN’T BE PRAYING TO CAMELS ANYMORE?: “Archaeologists from Israel’s top university have used radiocarbon dating to pinpoint the arrival of domestic camels in the Middle East -- and they say the science directly contradicts the Bible’s version of events. Camels are mentioned as pack animals in the biblical stories of Abraham, Joseph and Jacob, Old Testament stories that historians peg to between 2000 and 1500 BC. But Erez Ben-Yosef and Lidar Sapir-Hen of Tel Aviv University's Department of Archaeology and Near Eastern Cultures say camels weren’t domesticated in Israel until centuries later, more like 900 BC. ‘In addition to challenging the Bible's historicity, this anachronism is direct proof that the text was compiled well after the events it describes,’ reads a press release announcing the research.” (via Fox News)
START PRAYING TO A NEW GOD:
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