Month: July 2013

The Neighborhood Zimmerman Watched

pic_giant_072213_SM_The-Neighborhood-Zimmerman_Watched-Sanford-article excerpted from the National Review-

From the start the facts seemed to be of little importance to the prosecution of George Zimmerman, whether at the State’s table in Florida’s 18th Circuit Court or in the court of public opinion.

The forces lined up against Zimmerman worked diligently to bury the background to his confrontation with Trayvon Martin in February of 2012 — namely, the rampant crime, frequently committed by black males, that had put his neighborhood on edge. As the “conversation” about the Zimmerman case and about race in America continues, these widely neglected facts should be exhumed.

George Zimmerman moved to the Retreat at Twin Lakes, in Sanford, Fla., in the summer of 2009. Two years into the Great Recession, the gated community of 260 townhomes was in the middle of a demographic transformation. The neighborhood was built to be a family-friendly option for first-time homeowners just a quick drive from downtown Orlando. The initial average price for a 1,400-square-foot townhouse was $250,000. By February of 2012 it had fallen below $100,000.

Large-scale foreclosures in the wake of the housing crash led investors to rent, rather than sell, the spaces, which brought a new, transient type of resident. The Tampa Bay Times noted that, by the end of February 2012, 40 of the homes were empty, and of those half were being rented.

As the type of resident changed, so did the type of visitor. Eight robberies were reported from the start of 2011 to the time of the Martin shooting, and dozens more burglaries were attempted. Neighbors frequently reported suspicious persons lurking about, possibly casing residences. Many of the suspects were black. In July of 2011 a black teenager stole a bicycle from Zimmerman’s front porch.

According to crime statistics obtained from City-Data.com, the larger community of Sanford had seen a steady uptick in burglaries, from 668 in 2007 to 945 in 2011. Robberies peaked at 199 in 2009, but with 159 in 2011, they remained at rates well above pre-recession years. For Zimmerman’s Twin Lakes community, the statistics were manifest as day-to-day problems — a story chronicled by Reuters in an exhaustive profile of Zimmerman published in April of 2012.

Zimmerman, who was known by local police to be a vigilant watchdog — he called police about once every two months, amounting to 46 times between August 2004 and the time of the shooting — assumed a new role in the community shortly after a particularly alarming break-in. In August of 2011 Olivia Bertalan locked herself and her infant son in an upstairs bedroom when two men — both black — broke into her house to try to steal her television. When police arrived, the would-be robbers fled.

Zimmerman came to Bertalan’s house later in the day, after police had left. He gave her an index card with his contact information and invited Bertalan to visit his wife, Shellie, who spent her days at home taking online classes, if she ever felt unsafe. He returned later with a lock to help secure the sliding backdoor that the burglars had forced open. When she appeared before the court as a witness for the defense, Bertalan said she was “very appreciative” of Zimmerman’s help.

Within a month of the break-in at Bertalan’s, another house was burglarized, and one under construction was vandalized. A group of residents spoke to the homeowner association, and at its request, Zimmerman agreed to coordinate a neighborhood watch with the assistance of the Sanford police. “If you’ve been a victim of a crime in the community,” read the Retreat at Twin Lakes’ February 2012 e-newsletter, “after calling the police, please contact our captain, George Zimmerman.”

That same month, Zimmerman called police after spotting a black teenager peering through the windows of a neighbor’s empty house — not for the first time. “I don’t know what he’s doing. I don’t want to approach him, personally,” Zimmerman told the dispatcher. Four days later, a different house was robbed. Police found the stolen items in the backpack of 18-year-old Emmanuel Burgess — the youth Zimmerman had reported to police just days before. The same boy had been one of the burglars at Olivia Bertalan’s house the previous summer.

The situation in Twin Lakes, Bertalan told reporters later, was frightening. “Everyone felt afraid and scared,“ she told Reuters. “People were freaked out,” she told Reuters. “It wasn’t just George calling police. . . . We were calling police at least once a week.” She says she and her husband talked with Zimmerman daily following the burglary at their home.

Frank Taaffe, a fellow neighborhood-watch captain for the Retreat at Twin Lakes, affirmed that the neighborhood had suffered a string of burglaries that were being committed primarily by “young black males.”

It was against that backdrop of fear and suspicion that Zimmerman and Martin met on February 26. It happened, in Taaffe’s words, during “a perfect storm.”

Anti-Zimmerman forces have done everything in their power to wash away any mention of that storm, because it indicates a much more complicated situation lingering in the background of the Zimmerman case than will fit any convenient narrative. Those who would discuss this case — and its implications for race relations — would do well to acknowledge that.

— Ian Tuttle is an editorial intern at National Review

Atheists Fear the Cross As Much As Vampires!

I really do believe that Atheists fear the cross as much as Vampires.  Indeed, in my opinion the real “vampires” are the socialist-leaning liberals currently leading this once great country of ours right down the path of destruction. Additionally, I think atheists fear God so much that the mere seeing or hearing His name, upsets them! Why? What is it that drives these “non-believers” of any deity whatsoever?

Last Saturday in Florida, a group of atheists unveiled a monument to their non-belief in God to  sit alongside a granite slab that lists the Ten Commandments in front of the  Bradford County courthouse.

FOX News reported that, “as a small group of protesters blasted Christian country music and waved  Honk for Jesus signs, the atheists celebrated what they believe is the first  atheist monument allowed on government property in the United States.”

‘‘When you look at this monument, the first thing you will notice is that it  has a function. Atheists are about the real and the physical, so we selected to  place this monument in the form of a bench,’’ said David Silverman, president of  American Atheists.

It also serves another function — a counter to the religious monument that the New Jersey-based group wanted removed. It’s a case of if you can’t beat ‘em,  join ‘em.

The White House, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, most of the state Capitol buildings in this nation, most of the court and other public buildings in this nation are built as to resemble the old pagan Roman and Greek buildings before the advent of Christianity. In addition to it, many public buildings are decorated with symbols that carry pagan symbolism – Roman and Greek gods goddesses like Fortuna, Justitia, Neptune, etc.  Some court buildings – like the one in Indianapolis – are decorated with the old Roman symbol of a battle ax and sticks, the fascia, the root of the word fascism and one of the symbols of Fascist Italy. Some of the older history textbooks written before 1933, copies of which are still kept at the Library of Congress, have a swastika on the cover; at the time swastika was just another pagan symbol. Our legal theorists write books where they look for legal solutions to the Roman law which was openly religious, based on the myths and the superstitions of the ancient Romans.

And yet, we do not see thousands of Christians spending money and effort and time in legal campaigns to try to destroy public buildings, or efface their decorations. Neither do we see Christians campaigning for purging the Library of Congress or sanctioning jurists for their reliance on the Roman law.

What is even stranger, we don’t see atheists campaigning against those religious symbols in public places. Curious because those same atheists are willing to spend millions of dollars purging the public places from the symbols of only one religion, Christianity; specifically – when those symbols are also connected to the history of our nation. Indeed, historical symbols in America are unavoidably Christian. “This nation was founded on fundamental Christian principles. “Atheists would rather destroy any historical memory than allow for a single Christian symbol to remain.

The situation with the cross erected by Marines at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in California is a memorial to four Marines who died while serving in Iraq. An organization called the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF) argues that free thinking should not be allowed when it comes to memorial symbols and that all symbols must be without religious meaning, i.e. atheist. It is not clear why MAAF has the word “military” in its name: It was founded and sponsored not by military personnel but by a group of die-hard environmentalists, (SEE). Not a single one of he directors and of the staff of SEE has ever been in the military. But MAAF claims they can speak for the Marines and for those four heroes for whose bravery and service the cross was erected as a memorial.

The cross is a historical symbol, when it comes to a nation which was founded on Christian principles. There is nothing magical about a cross – it doesn’t force anyone’s conscience into accepting any religion, and in itself it can’t produce religious persecutions. In fact, if anything, the cross as a Christian symbol symbolizes exactly the opposite: that religious persecutions are pointless. Jesus Christ died on the cross and yet that did not stop Christianity from conquering the globe. Even the Communists in the Soviet Union were rational enough to figure out that crosses as a historical symbol and monument are not dangerous, and therefore could be left alone.

But American atheists and “freethinkers” can’t think rationally. They have a superstitious fear of anything that resembles a Christian symbol; so much so that they will spend millions of dollars to remove those symbols from any place in this nation. Like the vampires in the horror movies, atheists tremble in fear when they see a cross. The reason for the fear is never clear, and never rational; but then, again, atheism has never been rational to start with.

In fact, there is an even deeper resemblance between atheists and vampires. Just like vampires, atheists are parasites: They can never build their own society; they have to borrow Christian capital. When the West was built to become the most prosperous and just civilization the world has ever known, and when America emerged to become a City on a Hill with liberty and justice for all, there were no atheists around to help build it. It was Christians who made America what it is today. The atheists appeared much later on the scene, only to consume what others have produced. And even today, American atheists never volunteer to go live in societies that were based on atheism – the Soviet Union and North Korea come to mind – but they prefer to stay here, in America, built originally on Christian principles. Just like vampires, atheists have no blood of their own but they like to suck the blood of a civilization created by Christianity.

I say we should keep the crosses. Not because they help us in our Christian endeavors – we are not so superstitious to believe that – but because they sow terror in the hearts of our modern vampires, the atheists. The more these monsters are terrified and scared, the better the chance America will return to its roots and its glory.  GOD Bless America. AMEN. ~ dfh  (Jersey Girl Today)