Thursday Reads

Good Morning!

Last night, George Zimmerman, the man who shot unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin and triggered nationwide outrage was booked on second degree murder charges and is now in Seminole County jail. He will appear before a judge this morning.

George Zimmerman arrived at the Seminole County Jail this evening, about two hours after officials announced that he will face a second-degree murder charge in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Special Prosecutor Angela Corey announced the second-degree murder charge at the State Attorney’s Office in Jacksonville tonight, more than six weeks after Trayvon and Zimmerman’s fatal encounter.

If convicted, Zimmerman would face up to life in prison on the first-degree felony charge. He arrived at the Seminole County jail about 8:30 p.m. tonight, greeted by a throng of reporters shouting questions.

George Zimmerman's booking photo

I’m not a doctor, but I’ve seen broken noses before. Zimmerman’s doesn’t look like the ones I’ve seen, but as I said, I’m not a doctor.

I just have a few more links related to this story. Trayvon Martin’s parents have behaved with dignity and grace during a time that for them can only have been nightmarish. Via Raw Story, yesterday, they reacted to the arrest and charging of the man who killed their son in an interview with the AP. When asked what they would do if they had an opportunity to talk with George Zimmerman.

“I would probably give him the opportunity to apologize,” said Sybrina Fulton, Travyon Martin’s mother. I would probably ask him if there was another way he could have helped settle the confrontation that he had with Trayvon, other than the way it ended, with Trayvon being shot.”

Tracy Martin, the boy’s father, said he would ask Zimmerman what his motive was.

“Why was he patrolling the neighborhood with a 9mm gun?” he said. “What was it about my son that made him suspicious? What made him decide to disobey the dispatcher, who is trained to handle 911 calls? Why does he feel his life is so altered and does he understand that he altered his own life by refusing to stay in his vehicle? Was it really worth it? Was it really worth taking an innocent child’s life?”

The right wing site the Daily Caller, which has had access to Zimmerman family members reported that George Zimmerman used the My Space handle “datniggytb.”

George Zimmerman, the Hispanic Floridian who killed black teenager Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, had a MySpace account whose username was “datniggytb,” The Daily Caller has learned.

According to a family member whose identity The Daily Caller has agreed not to reveal for safety reasons, the “datniggytb” name is not a racial slur, but a friendly nickname that referred to George himself.

“That was an old nickname his black friends gave him,” the Zimmerman family member said. “He didn’t have an issue with the profile name.”

The family member at first denied that George had a My Space account, and later came up with the “black friends” explanation. I hope someone in the Justice Department reads The Daily Caller.

In other news, the US Justice Department has filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Apple and three publishers for conspiring to fix the price of e-books in order to force Amazon to charge higher prices.

The announcement, made in Washington by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Sharis A. Pozen, the acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, capped a long investigation. The inquiry hinged on the question of whether publishers, at the urging of Steven P. Jobs, then Apple’s chief executive, agreed to adopt a new policy in 2010 that in essence coordinated the price of newly released e-books at the price offered in Apple’s iBookstore — typically between $12.99 and $14.99.

At the time, Apple with its blockbuster iPad was trying to challenge Amazon’s hold on the e-book market. Amazon, the online retail giant, had become a kind of Walmart for the e-book business by lowering the price of most new and best-selling e-books to $9.99 — a price meant to stimulate sales of its own e-reading device, the Kindle.

Publishers, looking for leverage against Amazon, saw Apple as their white knight. The Justice Department complaint, using language that could have been inspired by a best-selling white-collar crime novel, describes how executives from the publishing companies met to discuss business matters “in private rooms for dinner in upscale Manhattan restaurants,” tried to hide their communications by issuing instructions to “double-delete” e-mails, all the time complaining of Amazon’s increasing influence over the e-book market.

Ultimately, the Justice Department charges, the publishers and Apple conspired to limit e-book price competition, increasing Amazon’s e-book retail prices and causing “consumers to pay tens of millions of dollars more for e-books than they otherwise would have paid.”

Three publishers have already settled with the Justice Department. As a Kindle owner, I’ve long hoped this would happen. Steve Jobs made me pay more for books, and I strongly resent it.

Yesterday, while promoting “the Buffet rule,” President Obama used the sainted Ronald Reagan as a stick to beat Republicans with. From Raw Story:

He described for the audience the actions of one of his predecessors in the Oval Office, a president who “gave a speech where he talked about a letter he had received from a wealthy executive who paid lower tax rates than his secretary, and wanted to come to Washington and tell Congress why that was wrong. So this president gave another speech where he said it was ‘crazy’—that’s a quote—that certain tax loopholes make it possible for multimillionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary.”

“That wild-eyed, socialist, tax-hiking class warrior,” he said, “was Ronald Reagan.”

Mitt Romney is still struggling to convince women that He and other Republicans aren’t waging war on them. He’s trying to do this by accusing the Obama administration of a war on women, but he can’t articulate how that war works, according to Talking Points Memo.

The campaign faced a number of questions in [a] press call as to just how Obama’s supposed “War on Women” worked, none of which produced a direct answer. Asked by TPM on the call to explain how another president taking office in January 2009 might have affected the gender gap in job growth, Romney adviser Lanhee Chen only said that the pattern was unusual compared with other recessions and that he believed a president like Romney would have gotten different results….

Chen was pressed again by another reporter to explain why women were disproportionately affected and what “difference in policy” would have changed the equation.

“The president’s policies in general, whether it’s Obamacare or Dodd-Frank or any of the policies they have pursued have really hurt both men and women,” he said. “This president has demonstrated that he’s doing everything in his power to scare away job creators and that’s had a disproportionate impact on women. That’s just a statistical fact.”

Asked a third time to explain the origins of this gender divide and how Romney would tackle the ratio of job losses specifically, Chen again said “it is a fact” that women have suffered disproportionately but offered no specific answer.

“[Romney] would undo the damage that President Obama has done,” he said. “He would take the economy in a very different direction and, as a result of that, produce very substantial job gains and growth for men and women.”


Dakinikat covered that story really well yesterday, so if you haven’t read her post yet, be sure to check it out.

RNC chairman Reince Priebus announced yesterday that he isn’t backing down on his comparison of the notion of a Republican war on women to a war on caterpillars. Politico:

Reince Priebus said Wednesday he has no intention of taking back his “war on caterpillars” comment that landed him at the center of criticism last week — in fact, the chairman of the Republican National Committee vowed he’d gladly “double down” on the remark.

“I’m not going to walk back — I’ll double down on it,” Priebus said on MSNBC when asked whether he wanted to walk back or clarify his choice of words. “This war of women is a fiction that the Democrats have created, and the real war on women is the war that this president has put forward on the American people by not following through on his promises, by having women disproportionately affected by the Obama economy.”

He continued, “Go read Anita Dunn’s book if you want to go read about a war on women in the workplace — go read that book and you’ll see what the White House’s record is on women.”

Yes, Obama treated women working in the White House like shit. I read Confidence Men. So because Obama is a dick, Priebus wants us to vote for the party of personhood bills, vaginal probes, and birth control bans? A plague on both their houses.

Remember “killer bees?” A beekeeper in East Tennessee was stung 30 times by “partially Africanized bees” AKA “killer bees.”

Africanized bee swarm

A swarm of as many as 100,000 bees attacked a Tennessee beekeeper last month, and genetic testing of the angry critters has now revealed that they were partially Africanized bees. This is the first time that Africanized bees have been found in Tennessee.

Africanized bees, often referred to as “killer bees,” are a hybrid cross between the bee species normally found in America and African honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata), which were originally introduced to the Americas as a productive source of honey. But the African honey bees take over hives wherever they spread, killing the hives’ original queens and hybridizing with resident populations. The hybridized Africanized bees are significantly more aggressive than other bees and more likely to attack in massive swarms when defending their nests. Their stings are no worse than those of other bees, but the sheer number of them can create more life-threatening situations, especially in anyone who is allergic to bee stings.

According to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, genetic tests on the recent swarm found that the bees were less than 17 percent Africanized, which is why they are considered “partially Africanized.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture considers truly Africanized bees to have 50 percent African genetics.


In related news, Africanized bees are suspected in a recent Texas swarm that attacked three people and a horse. The horse, which was observed almost completely covered in bees, later died from allergic reactions to the stings.

Finally, Connie from Orlando (AKA ecocatwoman) sent me a link to an interview that Terry Gross conducted yesterday with singer/songwriter Carole King. I grew up listening to Goffin-King songs, so I plan to listen to it ASAP. The occasion for the interview was her memoir A Natural Woman.

King, a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, has written for everyone from Little Eva to Aretha Franklin to James Taylor. Her 1971 solo album Tapestry spent 15 weeks at the top of the charts, and stayed on the charts for more than six years.

But King was just 15 when she and three classmates formed a vocal quartet called the Co-Sines at James Madison High School. At night, she attended disc jockey Alan Freed’s concerts — a veritable “who’s who” of rock ‘n’ roll performers — and later set up a meeting with Freed, an internationally known rock promoter she thought could help her break into the songwriting business. Freed told her to look up the names of record companies in the phone book.

She recounts the story in her new memoir, A Natural Woman, explaining that she called Atlantic Records and arranged a meeting. Soon after, she wrote her first big hit — the Shirelles number, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” — with Gerry Goffin, who would later become her husband.

So in honor of the woman who helped to create the soundtrack to my pre-teen and teenage years:

Now what’s on your reading and listening list today?

33 Comments on “Thursday Reads”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    The Book Club met last night and I can attest that the 11 women here are fighting mad about the war on women. They don’t need to be told, they know.

    Not one is voting for Romney, nor do any of them support the GOP agenda, and two of them are Republican women who openly declared the GOP debates as a “joke”.

    Romney is indeed “in trouble” with the female voters. The women in my group are all accomplished women in their own right, college educated and holding well paying jobs. They are “tuned into” the dialogue and resent the backward slide the GOP is proposing concerning women’s access to healthcare and a dilution of their rights.

    Though we are a diverse group by age, we all seem to be on the same page overall. Some have college aged daughters while others have daughters who will soon be facing college and they are furious that any proposals to cut money out of the education budget.

    Just a microchosm of how the GOP in their quest for “austerity” is going down with portions of the electorate.

    Not because they are MA citizens, or even “liberal” leaning voters, but because they are women who definitely know what is at stake here.

    • bostonboomer says:


      You know what drives me nuts? The media/political types are now trying to claim the the war on women is just some meme that the Obama campaign started. They didn’t start it. It was women who talked about it, after listening to the Republican candidates and watching all the states enacting ALEC-written anti-woman laws. Obama wouldn’ t be talking about women if we hadn’t made so much noise.

      I hate the corporate media! I know I shouldn’t listen to Morning Joe, but this morning my radio happened to be tuned to MSNBC and they were all dismissing the war on women as just some made-up nonsense! It makes me so furious!

    • ANonOMouse says:

      “You know what drives me nuts? The media/political types are now trying to claim the the war on women is just some meme that the Obama campaign started.”

      Yeah, I’ve been pushing back against that meme quite a lot lately. I suppose they think Obama campaign members forced Rick Santorum to come out so vehemently against birth control and choice or forced GOP legislators around the country to push an anti-choice, anti-BC coverage in healthcare agenda. All of the GOP POTUS candidates supported ON THE RECORD the Personhood Amendment. All except Romney signed the Personhood Amendment Pledge. That amendment would effectively make many kinds of contraception, including the pill, illegal. Undoubtedly the Obama Campaign will use this, they should use this, but they didn’t create this, the religious zealnuts of the GOP/TP created this, which they will likely make a prominent plank (why should this year be any different) in the 2012 Republican Party Platform.

      • peggysue22 says:

        Exactly right. Are the Obamabots going to capitalize on the GOP’s stupid anti-women tilt? Of course. But a woman would need to be blind and deaf not to realize that this is what the greatness of Rick Santorum has wrought. Yes, he was leap-frogging the other wing nuts–Bachmann, Perry, etc. but Ricky brought his own Puritan twist with a Catholic chaser. No one hogtied him. No one beat him over the head. And no one in the Republican Party had the guts to stand up and say: ‘No! That’s enough, that’s going over the line.’ Including Mitt Romney.

        There have been 1100 pieces of anti-women legislation introduced in the last year to 18 months, many at the state level. These are attempts to roll back everything from equal pay to family leave to equating a woman’s life with a zygote. And didn’t we all love the transvaginal probe!

        To pretend that there is ‘not’ a War on Women is to say: don’t trust your lying eyes. That is not to say that Barack Obama is a champion for women’s’ rights. He is not. He’s already proven during that healthcare debate that women can be sold down the river–for the ‘greater good,” meaning anything that works to his advantage.

        But the GOP? They’ve stepped in it good! And no, women will not forget.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I’m with you Peggy. Of course you knew that. 🙂

  2. bostonboomer says:

    I’m listening to the Carole King interview right now, and it’s fabulous! I’m tempted to buy download her memoir right now!

    • bostonboomer says:


    • ecocatwoman says:

      I spent a bunch of money online last night after listening to the interview – 2 CK CDs & her memoir and then more CDs & another book, just for good measure. Can’t wait for the book to arrive.

  3. foxyladi14 says:

    We will remember in November,getting closer every day. 😉

  4. peggysue22 says:

    BB, you’ve given me a heads up on the African bee arrival. I’m allergic to bee stings. A hornet sting a couple of years ago made my hand look like a lobster claw. Not pretty. I carry an Epi-pen in my purse, just in case.

    The news definitely got my attention!

  5. Talking about profiling, am I the only one who wonders about George’s style of hair…growing up in the 80’s and in Florida, I knew many skinheads…just saying.

    • propertius says:

      JJ, That speculation is pretty hard to reconcile with this:

      and, as you’re probably aware, most skinheads aren’t particularly fond of Hispanic, either.

      • I was being cynical…and snarky…and making a comment about profiling…that is all.

      • bostonboomer says:

        It certainly isn’t difficult to reconcile with what I’ve seen and read so far from Zimmerman’s family members. They are clearly wingnuts, since they only have contact with far right sites and Fox News. If you read the letter the the Daily Call posted, it’s a pretty strong possbility that George is surrounded by people who are racially predjudiced. And then there’s the images he chose to post on his website–grafitti posted on a back student center building and signs from a protest organized by a Koran-burning nutball preacher….

      • bostonboomer says:

        Also–the white supremecist groups are cheering Zimmerman on. Presumably they know his Mother is from Peru. It’s been discussed all over the place.

      • propertius says:

        Okay, but just in case you’re probably going to need one of these:

        since the formality of a trial seems to be superfluous.

        In case you can’t tell, that was snark and cynicism, too.

    • northwestrain says:

      Reminds me of the skin heads from the Hayden Lake, Idaho area. Rural WA also has pockets of skin heads — their hate targets are the Native Americans. So yes — Zimmerman’s hair style. . .

    • propertius says:


      There’s no evidence that Zimmerman has had any involvement with any of the white supremacist groups that are trying to capitalize on this situation, anymore than Trayvon’s family has had anything to do with the NBPP.

      Like you, I admire the dignity and restraint shown by Trayvon’s parents throughout this ordeal. I just think it’s too bad that level of dignity hasn’t been shown by bloggers, the lame-stream media, and the publicity hounds of the Left and the Right.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Why did he post their signs and graffiti then? Why did he call Sean Hannity? Why does the family communicate through The Daily Caller? You’re known by the company you keep.

        • @ BB Another hint for me was that the quote he uses on the bottom of every page on his real Zimmerman website is one that is frequently used by racist white supremacy sites. There was an article on C&L by Karoli who made that connection…

          @propertius As far as George being Hispanic meaning he can’t be part of a white racist organization…and let me tell you, just because a person is “Hispanic” does not mean he can’t be racist. Many of you may or may not know that there are a lot of racist Hispanic people who hate blacks.

          Look, I could give a rats ass about what anyone thinks about the things that I say or write about this matter. I am in a bad mood, and if that seems a bit bitchy so be it. I feel like shit right now anyway…(And it is probably fair to say that you could give a rats ass about how I am physically feeling at the moment anyway…ugh.)

          Frankly, the only thing I have wanted since I have been following this story…since the beginning when it first happened, was an investigation, an arrest and a trial, and if there wasn’t the kind of outrage people have voiced on blogs and all over the media, Zimmerman would still be a free man with a concealed gun permit.

          BTW Regarding the length of rope needed for a “drop” and yes, snark or being cynical is something we all are free to have. I am not sure if you are referring to a lynching rope for Zimmerman or for myself…but just remember this:

          There is a young man who was killed. He was unarmed. He was pursued and confronted by a man who disregarded the 911 operator request to stop following the “suspicious, drunk…up to no good… man…wearing a dark hoodie.” (Zimmerman’s words.)

          Zimmerman should have been arrested from the very beginning, and if anyone thinks that a person can just follow and confront a kid, and then shoot him dead…and not face some sort of criminal investigation…including charges, must have a desire to live like some kind of gunfighter in a wild west gun totting world.

          And what ever I say, or anyone says for that matter, about the need for a charge and arrest in this case is about as useful as screaming into the wind. All for nothing.

          Damn, I should have stayed AWOL and not come back online. Fuck it I am going back to bed…ugh.

  6. From the Daily caller link:

    While the family member insisted that George “had forgotten all about that page,” TheDC confirmed that the account was actively being used every day between April 6 and April 11. By default, MySpace shows a “last login” date on its users’ pages.

    Zimmerman’s page was marked “private,” meaning that outsiders were unable to see his status updates, photos, or personal messages. But five details, other than the username “datniggytb,” were visible.

    One was a photograph, which TheDC’s family source said depicted George Zimmerman and his wife Shellie on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. “The picture is a couple of years old,” the family member said. In the image, Zimmerman is wearing a knit cap with the embroidered initials L.A.F.D., which stand for Los Angeles Fire Department.

    Another was a slogan at the top of the page where a MySpace user’s real name is usually displayed. Instead of “George Zimmerman,” however, it featured a Latin proverb: ”Si vis pacem, Para bellum.” Translated into English, it means “If you wish for peace, prepare for war.”

    The remaining details identified the page’s owner as a 28-year-old Male from Lake Mary, Florida — all details that describe Zimmerman.

    The “datniggytb” MySpace account was deleted while TheDC was engaged in the second of three phone calls with the Zimmerman family member on Wednesday.

    Read more:

  7. northwestrain says:

    The news about the killer bees interesting. This is a case of hybrids turning into monsters. At an Animal behavlor conference in the mid 90s I talked to an individual who had studied the African bees in Africa — he said those bees weren’t killers. It was only when the bees escape from a research facility & crossed with local bees that the hybrids showed the extreme behavior. This is a cautionary tale about introducing alien species into any ecosystem.


    Carol King — one of my favorites!

    BB — great mix of news.

    Amazing — the GOP thinks that simply lying about THEIR war on women’s health etc — That women will ignore reality. Which alternative reality are these dim bulbs living in? The fundamentalist Mormons male are able to keep their female slaves so isolated and cut off from the rest of the world. The rest of US women do understand the implication of this war on women. The female enablers — are they really females? They belong to some sort of “other”.

  8. BB thank you for bringing up the way Trayvon’s parents have handled themselves in all of this. It is such a stark contrast to the way the Zimmerman camp has reacted. I don’t know, that is just my thoughts.

    (I’m feeling real bad right now…don’t know if it is just the hormones or what, but I am going awol for a while.)

    • peggysue22 says:

      Lie down, put your feet up and get some rest, JJ. I’m telling you these surgical procedures take their toll. You’ll have good days and bad days. Take it from Auntie Peggysue [who had a six inch slice in her abdomen last year].

      Take care of yourself. And yes, the hormones are the added Devil.

    • Beata says:

      JJ, don’t push yourself to do more than you can handle right now. My mother used to say that women need to learn to “baby themselves” when they are feeling unwell. I agree. We certainly do our share of “babying” others. So please take it easy. Cuddle up, rest, and suck your thumb if you feel like it. 🙂

      • dakinikat says:

        I have a new philosophy. If it is something I wouldn’t want my daughters doing or it is something I would want my daughters doing is my guiding deciding factor. Works well for dealing with men. If I wouldn’t want my daughters bringing them home why would I ? Same with treating myself gently.

      • Beata says:

        Good philosophy, Dak. I don’t have a daughter, so I will have to create one in my mind.

        Re: My above comment – I realize now my mother was saying, as women, we must nurture ourselves. Chances are no one is going to do that for us. Smart lady, my mother. We so often forget to really take care of ourselves, even when we aren’t feeling well. We are too busy putting other people’s needs before our own. It does take a toll.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I agree with Beata’s advice.