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by spocko

Trayvon’s Family Might be Required to Pay Zimmerman’s Lost Wages

9:41 am in Uncategorized by spocko

My friend Lisa Graves, the executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy and the publisher of ALEC Exposed, was on Disrupt with Karen Finney this weekend. Here is a link to the whole show. 

I want to share with you a part of the story I haven’t seen anywhere else. 

..if Trayvon’s family does not prevail in a civil suit and this claim is invoked, under that law, they would be required to pay George Zimmerman’s attorney’s fees and lost wages. It would require the victim’s family to pay the killer. And pay for the killer’s wages. That’s the law in over two dozen states in this country now.

So ,for everyone hoping that the Martin family might have a shot at winning a civil case, it’s not going to be easy.

I also want to point out that the Center for Media and Democracy is a GREAT group, I’ve been a fan for decades. They were responsible for getting 33 corporations to leave ALEC by showing them that the disgusting “Kill at Will” laws pushed by the NRA were not in line with the companies’ brand.  If you donate to them you are supporting a group that is taking effective action in exposing and blocking organizations that push nasty bills like “SYG” all over the country.

Cross posted at Spocko’s Brain

by spocko

Why is Nobody Talking about the Good killings The “Shoot First” Law Encourages?

3:08 pm in Uncategorized by spocko

Yesterday I saw a photo stating, “84, 499, 989 Firearm owners killed no one yesterday.”

I thought that was an excellent point. Why focus on the 11 people firearm owners did kill yesterday? I’m such a negative thinker.  So I started thinking, “If I was the gun lobby, or ALEC- their legislation vendor –how would I put a better spin on the Trayvon Martin shooting.”  Here are some of my totally fabricated parody stories and ideas:

“Why is nobody talking about the GOOD killings the ‘Shoot First’ law encourages?“-

A lament from ALEC member Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

“Everyone is looking at the one bad example of the law being used, but hundreds of people have used it to successful get rid of that annoying neighbor or rival drug dealer. That’s a big plus for any community. The prisons don’t get filled up either, that’s a win-win for a cash strapped state.

The down side? “I do have to remember to slowly take out my cell phone in public.”

Asked about future plans to extend “Shoot First” laws into Government buildings the Gov. hedged, “I have no plans to change the law that bans guns  at the Capitol building or to remove the metal detectors and full-time security guards where I’m at most of the time. My hands are tied when it comes to changing laws protecting me. If I did, my wife would kill me.” He then quickly added, “I mean she would be mad at me. She really wouldn’t kill me, kill me, or shoot me, shoot me–especially since I don’t let her have a gun, I mean what with the way we argue…” he trailed off.

“How will this shooting increase gun sales?”

An NRA super lobbyist perspective on the George Zimmerman witch hunt, by Marion Hammer

“How will this shooting increase gun sales”, was my first thought. said super-NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer upon hearing of the shooting of Trayvon Martin shooting. “I’m color blind, except to green. The roles could have been reversed as far as I’m concerned, my next question was, “Was the shooter using a lightweight Kel-Tec 9mm or the heavier more expensive Glock? Is he a lifetime member or just a yearly member of the NRA? How many ‘safety’ classes have we sold him?”

“How To Legally Kill Your Annoying Neighbor In 32 States!*

A How To Guide.

Future joint ALEC/NRA Seminar: “How to Get Away With Murder. Legally” – The George Zimmerman Story. How to use language, the law and dress to avoid suspicion and prosecution.

    • The 3 Things you Must Know before talking to the police.Use the same language the police use for a “good shoot”
      “He angrily reached into his pocket…
      “I felt threatened for my life. I had no duty to retreat. It was my right to stand my ground.
      “This is a defensive wound…”
  • Know your real Weapon — The Law!
  • Why You MUST shoot to Kill – (Avoiding the, “His Word Against Mine” problem)
    • What makes you a law-abiding citizen shooter outside your home, vs. a law-breaking hood you might encounter? The surprising answer!
  • Clothing to wear outside your home while preparing to Defend your Ground
    -Avoid “ethnic” clothing, “bling,” hoodies, baggy pants
    -Pro-tip: Observe what off-duty cops wear and copy them
    -How to look like a banker out walking, not a gangster out robbing
  • Why it’s better to be wrong than dead by shooting first in the following states.

Twenty-five states, including Florida, have “Stand Your Ground” laws, containing provisions that generally allow the use of deadly force in self-defense with no duty to retreat when outside the home. The twenty-five states with these laws are:

Alabama Louisiana South Carolina
Arizona Michigan South Dakota
Florida Mississippi Tennessee
Georgia Montana Texas
Idaho Nevada Utah
Illinois New Hampshire Washington
Indiana North Carolina West Virginia
Kansas Oklahoma
Kentucky Oregon


Another seven states have limited “Stand Your Ground” laws that extend to specific locations outside the home, including a vehicle or place of business or employment. These laws, however, are not as broad as the Florida law:

Alaska Iowa Pennsylvania
Connecticut Missouri
Hawaii North Dakota

Other States Are Considering “Stand Your Ground” Legislation

In 2012, legislation is or was pending in six states (Alaska, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska and New York) that would eliminate the duty to retreat outside of the home. The Iowa bill has already been passed by the House of Representatives; the Minnesota bill was vetoed.

Three additional states (Indiana, New Jersey, and Oklahoma) considered related legislation this year. The Indiana legislation, which has been signed into law, allows the use of force to resist law enforcement’s entry into one’s home.

* Source of list of states, Legal Community Against Violence

Of course Gov. Scott Walker NEVER said these things. They are totally a function of my overactive mind. However I will point out that Walker is a member of ALEC and did sign the Shoot First law.  And Marion Hammer NEVER said those things. However she does get $190,000 a year from the NRA and in 1996, Hammer told the New York Times that the solution to ending the gun control debate in the United States was to “get rid of all Liberals.”

Have a safe weekend. Hopefully you won’t be one of the 22 dead.

by spocko

Are Violent Racists Good Customers? Who Profits from the Trayvon Shooting?

4:01 pm in Uncategorized by spocko

Following the Fox News story of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin killed by 28-year-old George Zimmerman, the comments section of Fox News exploded with racist and violent comments. Such as:

[...]Trayvon Martin Protest - Sanford

How long will it take to get all of those little blk curly nappys out of the White House bedding so that the next POTUS can sleep without that Creepy Crawly feeling .


They should have a hunting season in Florida for these drug crazed gang members.

Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs collected a bunch of them and notes the number of “likes” the comments get and says, “The right wing base is sick to its core.”

In Presidential politics it pays to court violent racists, they vote. But since I’m interested in the intersection of politics, business, technology and speech I wondered who else courts these people and why:

“Are violent racists good customers? Are they good for business? Which businesses? What do they buy?”

I don’t know the exact answers to all these questions, but I know a few.

Q: Are violent racists good customers?

A: Yes! I wonder what percentage of the people buying guns because of a 2008 rumor that President Obama was going to take them were also the same violent racists posting on Fox?

Q: Are they good for business?

A: Yes! Especially if you are in the weapons and ancillary businesses. Sales of guns spiked when Obama was elected, and are spiking on the fear of his re-election.

Q: Which businesses?

A: “Security” industries. If you are in the business of selling guns, your response to any shooting is — buy more guns! So instead of taking a tragedy like Trayvon Martin being shot by George Williams as an opportunity to suggest that the wording for ALEC Castle Doctrine Act model legislation law needs to be re-evaluated, you keep pushing the same “stand your ground” laws for years.

Q: What do they buy?

A: Guns, alarms and beyond. The defensive security industries also benefit from cranking up the fear. A report of a home invasion? Dispatch the alarm salesmen! But “passive” and defensive products are positioned by the gun lobby as for wimps. They suggest anything less than the ability to take immediate control of the situation is going to “let your family down.” Read the rest of this entry →

by spocko

Want To Do Something About ALEC? 6 Suggestions For Activism That Match Your Personality

9:04 pm in Uncategorized by spocko

This week I helped produce a segment on ALEC for Angie Corio’s new radio show In Deep the show airs Friday night in Monterey KRXA 540am 8-10p, tomorrow (Sat)10a-12noon in DC WPWC 1480am
Listen to the podcast

What if you are so outraged at ALEC’s hidden activities with corporate lobbyists that a simple call, click or letter though the usual channels isn’t enough? I’ve got some ideas for you.

One thing I’ve found in my years on your planet is to recognize people’s unique talents when you ask them to help you. I’m a communications guy with an understanding of media, technology and corporations so I use those skills for the causes I support. But there are lots of different activist methods for people with unique skills they can use to fight the right.  So let’s match some skill sets and interests to ways you can get involved.

1) Are you the performer type? Do you enjoy speaking in public? Do you run to the microphone to ask questions at lectures?
You can be the “talent” who is the focal point of a citizen activist team’s video story.

2) Are you a filmmaker and knows how to put together a short edited video with a few titles and load it up on YouTube?
You can be the “director” who films the “talent” and preps a video to go viral.

3) Are you a researcher and writer? Do you know exactly what to say when someone is “answering” a questions with words that are clearly a dodge, a lie, or an obfuscation on a topic that you know something about? But would you rather write these pithy, witty responses down on your computer than say them out loud to someone in public?
You can be the “screen writer” who educates the “talent” on the issue for their questions in a public forum and ensures the “director” has a solid narrative and a point of view.

4) Are you a connector? Someone with lots of friends and followers on social media. Do you know how to throw a good party to support a cause or fight back?
You can be the “producer” who introduces the “talent” to the “director” and “screen writer” and suggests they work together.

I’ve been training small teams like this to go to town halls and other locations. It really can be an amazingly powerful group. As you can see, I use the terminology of Hollywood because in our current environment so much of what gets covered by the media is theater. Politicians are always performing, saying what they think the audience wants to hear. Their people know how to stage manage events. They know what people like to see, they want to “control the box” by dictating the venue, the attendees, and if they are pretending to be open, only the “right” kind of media are allowed in. They will use all the methods at their disposal to block teams like this because they have the potential to create Macaca Moments.

There is a huge opportunity for teams like this in all sorts of situations, not just the events that are scheduled and stage managed by organizations like ALEC. ALEC has a hilarious “media policy” which, if actually enforced equally, even Fox News couldn’t attend.  If you are interested in training sessions for people who want to participate in these teams contact me at spockosemail AT gmail. com.

But what if your talent isn’t in any of these areas and you still want to help?

5) Are you a financial type who understands accounting disclosure laws for public companies, foundations and non-profits?
Boy can you be helpful!  I know some CFOs and accounting GAAP experts who know all the tricks on how to legally hide things, which means they also know how to force some errors and look for others to fall into the loopholes they fixed.

Corporations donate millions of dollars to ALEC. They often hide their donations. What kind of methods can you suggest that can uncover these donations? Has a company revealed info in a quarterly document that nobody noticed? Might you suggest a method of questioning of the corporations in shareholder meetings about these expenditures? Sure some institutional shareholder fund managers understand that buying politicians and legislation has a great ROI for the long term, but maybe they want that cash this quarter. Maybe they are a corporation that says one thing in public, but funds the opposite in private by giving to ALEC. Shouldn’t the CEO be asked about the apparent disconnect between their stated mission statement and where they are spending the shareholders money?

Two of my favorite financial writers are William Black and David Cay Johnston but I’m sure there are other people working in finance (or retired) who could educate someone enough to know what to look for and ask about in a forum where it can’t be ignored. Maybe you need to team up with some “talent” and a “director” to get the story out there after someone asks your questions. This is necessary because you can be pretty sure that the financial press or the main stream press aren’t going to ask those questions.

6) Are you the laser focused type who likes to get down to specifics and have action items you can accomplish RIGHT NOW?
Well have I got something for you! Right now there are a couple of bills going through the Florida House that have ALEC fingerprints all over them (maybe they remembered to take the header off this time.)

The title of these two Florida “Education” bills are designed to be misleading. They play on parent’s feeling of loss of control over their kid’s education while taking any semblance of local democratic control away.  They do this because not many people would vote for the:

“We Will Steal Your Kid’s School, Remove Your Local School Board and Replace them with Unelected for-profit Corporate Executives Who Have A Fiduciary Responsibility to Enrich The Corporation Bottom Line Instead of Provide a Quality Education To Your Kids While Setting Up A Potentially Worse Performing School that Your Kids Probably Can’t Get into Anyway Because of Their Low Test Scores” bill.

So they call them House Bill 1191, or the Parent Empowerment Act — and HB 543, or the Parental Involvement and Accountability in the Public Schools Bill.
Now right now these bills are at the stage where they are supposed to get public comment. That’s you! So if you are in Florida, call your legislator now.
And I’ll bet there are ALEC Bills coming to your state too! Follow @ALECexposed for updates or go to for more details.

All of these skills can be used if you actively want to challenge, defund and hamper the funders and leaders of an organization like ALEC.

Good luck.


Spocko is a media activist who trains people to tell their stories to the press and public.