Nine out of ten journalists say, “Guilty!”

Audio experts are working around the clock to find more Zimmerman racism hidden in the 9–1–1 tapes. Maybe if they play them backward…

Good news for Neighborhood Watch celebrity, George Zimmerman. The Associated Press reports that in 23 years only 2,000 people have been exonerated after being wrongly convicted of a serious felony.

Each year there are nearly one million felony convictions, over 10,000 times more than the 90 innocent defendants wrongly convicted. The findings are particularly encouraging for Zimmerman as he faces criminal prosecution for second–degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin and simultaneously a trial–by–media for the same offense.

The miscarriage of justice rate compares very favorably with the hospital medical error rate of 18 percent, where presumably the doctor doesn’t have any animus toward the customer, as opposed to prosecutors who do.

And public opinion is starting to come around. A new Rasmussen Reports national survey found 40 percent think Zimmerman acted in self–defense.

This finding is in sharp contrast to a survey of mainstream journalists that found 85 percent believe Zimmerman should already be doing time in Guantanamo.

Then when it appears justice may finally be allowed to take its course, the Washington Post uses a discredited CNN idea to attack George.

You may recall CNN reporter Gary Tuchman examined Zimmerman’s 9–1–1 call and discovered RACISM! Which is to be expected from someone with a white father. Using “one of the most sophisticated audio edit suites in the broadcast news business” CNN heard Zimmerman saying “(bleeping) coons” after technicians “enhanced” the recording.

Naturally to demonstrate even–handed news judgment, the tape was played for viewers about 300 times during the segment. As the reporter intoned, “Listen closely for “coon,” a word only bigots use. Remember it starts with a ‘c’ and ends with ‘oon.’”

Except the word wasn’t “coon.” Two weeks later, with much less fanfare, CNN re–enhances the tape and sure enough Zimmerman was saying “(bleeping) cold.”

How fortunate Zimmerman didn’t have to hide in the weeds to observe Martin. I can only imagine what the media would have done if George had muttered something about being bitten by a (bleeping) chigger.

Which brings us back to the sound–enhancing WaPo and its recording of a witness call, which FBI analysts have already termed “inconclusive.” The WaPo recycles the lie that Zimmerman ignored an order from the dispatcher. And in a nice touch, writes “…cursing under his breath, Zimmerman got out of his truck and began to follow (Martin).” But, thanks to CNN, we know Zimmerman was cursing the weather, a common activity worldwide, and not Martin.

Martin’s father heard the WaPo tape and told police the voice was not his son’s, But that was before lawyers got to him and visions of wrongful death lawsuits began dancing in his head. In contrast, the WaPo’s expert — who wouldn’t have known Trayvon if the kid had approached him at 7/11 and asked for a loan to buy Skittles — imagines Martin yelling, “I’m begging you!” “Help me!” And then, “Stop!”

Since the story was written by two females, I won’t fault them for their lack of expertise when it comes to fight dynamics. But in the real world the person who lands the first punch usually wins. Since witnesses place Martin on top of Zimmerman repeatedly punching him “MMA” style, it’s reasonable to assume his was the first punch.

Someone winning a fight is also not the one calling for help. The puncher is usually concentrating on pounding the punchee. Evidence shows Zimmerman’s back was wet from ground contact and he had a broken nose, two black eyes and cuts on the back of his head, so Trayvon evidently was doing a thorough job.

You can find the recording on the Post website and identifying any one element is like trying to isolate a single razzberry in a Spike Jones recording. One of the edited audio segments purports to be Martin’s “Stop!” But I’ve been in recording studios for 35 years and I hear “Help!” in both recordings, which stands to reason since Zimmerman is losing the fight.

But this is where it gets interesting. The “expert” asserts those 45 seconds aren’t Zimmerman calling for help during the fight, but Martin pleading with Zimmerman not to shoot him AFTER the fighting was over.

So by his reckoning, the fight is concluded. Zimmerman has his gun out. Martin begs for his life for almost a minute and then Zimmerman executes him in cold blood.

But lab results reveal the gunshot was so close it burned Martin’s skin. We know there was a single shot. If the entry wound is low and travels upward, it supports Zimmerman. But even without that information, if the fight was over and Martin was pleading for his life, chances are he would have been backing or running away, putting distance between himself and Zimmerman.

Common sense would dictate waiting for the evidence and using practical experience to evaluate it, but the Post, along with the majority of the media, has already found Zimmerman guilty and they want us to join them.

Red China, Economic Powerhouse

This has nothing to do with the post, but I love this photo.

China, home of the one–child policy, has come up with another single–digit initiative designed to cement its place among the first rank of nations in this our new century.

The Peking Municipal Commission of City Administration and Environment has decreed a “new standard for public toilet management.” Henceforth public restrooms in the capital city are limited to a maximum of two flies per stall.

Never having enjoyed a Chinese public toilet myself, I don’t know if the Chinese boast both urinals and toilets or troughs and bottomless holes (no pun intended). Would a hypothetical urinal, being smaller, be limited to a single fly? For that matter, since a handicapped stall enjoys so much extra space would it be granted the privilege of three flies instead of just two?

I’ve been in some domestic gas station bathrooms that would have seen marked improvement from the imposition of a two–fly rule — the worst being in Arkansas, an otherwise lovely state. Other grim facilities were encountered in Trinidad (the heat doesn’t help), Mexico, a Polish train and about every third Port–o–Let. But frankly, in most instances the olfactory conditions were such that I didn’t have time to conduct a fly head count, so I don’t know if the Municipal Commission rule would have helped.

Precise policy enforcement details remain vague at this point. It is unknown if fly inspectors (Chinese, not TSA) will average the total number of flies in the bathroom across available stalls or if there will be strict geographic enforcement with accompanying “no–fly” zones.

Xie Guomin, who is in charge of the insect census decree, explained, “We will not actually count fly numbers. The regulation is specific and quantified, but the inspection methodology will be flexible.”

Two Grooms Does Not a Marriage Make

Homosexual marriage is the unholy product of a union between “living Constitution” and “living Bible” propagandists.

John Hawkins, proprietor of Right Wing News, recently selected his favorite quotes from C. S. Lewis. One has a great deal of relevance with regard to President Obama’s recent embrace of homosexual marriage.

 “No man who says I’m as good as you believes it. He would not say it if he did…The claim to equality, outside the strictly political field, is made only by those who feel themselves to be in some way inferior. What it expresses is precisely the itching, smarting, writhing awareness of an inferiority that the patient refuses to accept. And therefore resents.” 

Coverage of Obama’s announcement stressed how his views evolved, but truth be told his view didn’t so much “evolve” as revolve. In 1996 when Obama first ran for the Illinois State Senate, he was a strong supporter of homosexual marriage. Now, like the earth around the sun, choose–your–own–plumbing marriage has done a complete orbit of The Obama and arrived where it began.

That a peripheral question like this could have any role, however large or small, in a presidential election is yet another indicator that we live in a decadent age. Homosexual marriage is the Rosemary’s Baby of political questions: The unholy product of a union between the “living Constitution” and the “living Bible” crowd.

“Living Constitution” advocates interpret the document to support whatever faculty lounge fad is currently making the rounds in intellectual circles. In the last 50 years the Constitution has gone from a document protecting individual liberty to a grimy little pamphlet protecting the sexual proclivities of the libertine set.

The Bible has not fared any better. It could not be more clear on homosexual practices, yet there are clergy who take it upon themselves to breathe a little life into that dusty scroll. The Post quotes the Rev. Clement Aapengnu of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church claiming, “Who has the authority to define what marriage is?”

For starters I would have said the church does, based on the Bible, but if one doesn’t regard the Bible as the inspired word of God, then the book becomes just an ancient collection of folktales. We don’t take child–rearing advice from Hansel & Gretel, so why consult the Bible for a definition of marriage?

In fact that’s pretty much the take of the Post’s “religion” columnist Lisa Miller who wrote last week, “On the specifics of what constitutes a “good” or “right” kind of family, the Scriptures offer no guidance at all.”

The interesting question is why make the change now? Obama was going to carry Hollywood and San Francisco anyway, why take a chance on alienating red state voters?

Each time homosexual marriage has been put before voters it has, without exception, lost. North Carolina, the most recent state to vote, ratified man–woman marriage by a landslide 61 percent.

In its top–down campaign of sexual enlightenment, the media drags out various polls that show when the choice is binary between regular marriage and imitation marriage 51 percent support imitation marriage. When offered “civil unions” as a third option, support for homosexual marriage plummets to 38 percent.

This, however, is not good news for social conservatives. There is essentially no difference between civil unions and marriage. Just as the marriage of male and female by a justice of the peace has all the rights and privileges of a wedding in a church, the civil union is essentially the same as heterosexual marriage.

Even worse, as we saw in California, once they get “civil unions” the homosexual lobby terms it  “second class” marriage and uses its existence to prove discrimination in the courts.

You don’t have to be a Wal–Mart shopper to fall prey incoherent thinking with regard to homosexuals and the family. Mitt Romney, to his credit, opposes both homosexual marriage and civil unions. But then Romney says he does not oppose two random homosexuals who decide it might be fun to play house and adopt a child without even the formality of marriage.

If your basis for defining marriage is the “feelings” and “love” of the interested parties, then no coherent intellectual argument can be made to define numbers of wives or husbands and, with a bit of evolving, their ages. It’s not a slippery slope, this change is a leap into the abyss.

Currently Obama reassures the religious that he supports a same–sex marriage law that is “respectful of religious liberty.” Which sounds a lot like what he said regarding forcing religious institutions to cover abortion and contraception before the passage of Obamacare and we know how that turned out.

Clogged traffic arteries are genetic

Police in Prince William County, VA just released a list of the most dangerous intersections and I discovered that on a single trip to Chantilly I managed to drive through the most dangerous intersection in Manassas, the most hazardous in Manassas Park and the third most threatening in the rest of the county.

This is because I live in the land of “you can’t get there from here.” Northern Virginia residents have only a very limited number of through streets and major thoroughfares. Drivers are forced to crowd into a handful of routes when they want to go east or west and even fewer when they want to go north. Any tourist ever stuck on I–95 knows what I’m talking about.

There is no way to plan a route avoiding dangerous, packed intersections because there are no alternatives. Much of this can be blamed on what I call the Stonewall Jackson school of traffic engineering: “Why Stonewall whipped the Yankee’s behind using this very road network. There is no need to improve on perfection.”

In effect this means replacing a one–lane corduroy road with a winding two–lane asphalt design is viewed as a technological breakthrough rivaling that of the flush toilet.

And it’s not going to get any better where I live.

County planners are in the process of approving a 22–acre mixed use development that will have 360 apartments, two hotels and an office building. And oh yes, there will be only a single exit from the development linking it to neighboring roads.

Once more state and local government succeeds where national government and Richard Branson failed. The county and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) have managed to monetize space. The right to drive into or out of a parcel of land makes it extremely valuable, because curb cuts are rationed tighter than ethics at a GSA convention. Gaining permission for that vital absence of concrete curbing often requires a lobbyist.

I’m sure the thinking here was you can drain a bathtub with a single exit, why not a real estate development? Yet the same planners would not approve a movie theatre with one exit and they wouldn’t approve a shopping mall interior with a single exit either. Maybe we should give the fire marshal authority to approve road and development design. Installing a sprinkler system in your car would be a small price to pay for more efficient transportation.

Fortunately, due to cul–de–sac laden, backward road design theory, most of the crashes here are low speed encounters. According to a press release from TomTom, the GPS people, the Washington, DC area has the most congested traffic and slowest average speeds in the nation.

Many drivers serve a positively organic role in the Capitol’s traffic circulatory system, functioning as automotive plaque that clogs the artery and slows us down.

I recently returned from a trip to Dallas and traffic there was a revelation. At 4 PM on Friday I was driving down LBJ Freeway and Central Expressway, two major thoroughfares that are packed daily with rush hour traffic. Auto density was the same as on I–95, but guess what? I was moving at speeds in excess of 40 mph! I felt like a Swiss neutron racing the speed of light.

What’s more, I passed two sets of parked police cruisers with their lights flashing and traffic did not grind to a complete halt. I know this is hard to believe for DC drivers, because here any blinking light more intense than a turn signal has a tendency to stupefy motorists. The sun glinting off a jack handle while changing a flat, the reflection from a trooper’s radar detector or shiny bling worn by someone waiting for AAA all cause motorists to immediately hit the brake.

The only hint of good news regarding our congestion is the number of teenagers who don’t have or want a driver’s license is at an all time low. Unfortunately, those with a new license are going to be just as incompetent as the rest of their family. This is because in Virginia getting a driver’s license no longer requires actual driving in a car with a grim state trooper waiting for you to make a mistake.

Instead teenagers are supposed to drive for 40 hours with their parents beside them and follow parental advice. Later, when they get the coveted license, teenagers can boast:  “I drive whatever speed I like in left lane, just like peepaw.” “I always slow down when a car is stopped on the shoulder. It might be Uncle Tran.” “Mom says leave three car lengths between me and the car ahead at a stoplight, in case I start to roll while texting.” Or “Like granny, I always brake when approaching a green light, because you never know.”

And driving incompetence, with its accompanying congestion, will be passed down from generation to generation just like a genetic abnormality.