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It sure seems that way to me.
Rachel Jeantel has been on the stand almost five hours now and Don West - he of the knock knock joke fame - seems to be in no hurry to let her off it.
For those who are following this case, this 19 yr old was the last person to speak to Trayvon before he was brutally murdered...er...shot to death by Zimmerman.
Talk about the law of diminishing returns! It seems to me that the longer he keeps her on the stand the trickier it gets for him.
To me she is a believable witness. And an entertaining one, too.

What do you think?

Wanna make this a live blog?

I am at work and may not be able to respond in real time.

Originally posted to JoanMar on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 08:25 AM PDT.

Also republished by Trial Watch.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (32+ / 0-)

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 08:25:19 AM PDT

  •  Thanks, re-posted to Trial Watch (11+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 08:30:58 AM PDT

  •  Any one who wants a live blog (4+ / 0-)

    go to Marinade Dave's Facebook page.
    https://www.facebook.com/...

    "Drudge: soundslike sludge, islike sewage."
    (-7.25, -6.72)

    by gougef on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 08:33:54 AM PDT

  •  As Someone Who Grew Up in Wisconsin (4+ / 0-)

    I find the term "badgering" offensive.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 08:42:08 AM PDT

  •  Don West doesn't seem to be a (13+ / 0-)

    very effective lawyer.

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 08:43:53 AM PDT

  •  prosecution took a risk (8+ / 0-)

    putting her on the stand. she didn't call police. she didn't attend the funeral. she can't read her own handwriting and she admits to lying under oath in the past.

    She's the prosecution's best witness, and the defense is making her look like an illiterate, bumbling, lying fool.

    •  She can't read cursive writing, she had someone (14+ / 0-)

      else actually write the letter for her.  

      If I was a woman on that jury, I would be pretty darn tired of the defense attorney; he is not that good, and is making her repeat and repeat, even after the judge made him move on to another question.  The girl was getting annoyed but did a subtle job of expressing it, and kept answering his questions.  I don't think she is well educated, but the fact that she is admitting using a different name, and that she can't read the cursive makes her seem very relate-able to me.

      And the old white man lawyer looks like skeletor.  Maybe it is not as obvious in person, but the TV lighting is doing him no favors.

      If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. & http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Okiciyap

      by weck on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:01:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and... (14+ / 0-)

        I don't think education level (or literacy) bear weight that makes someone a "bad" witness.

        Are they teaching cursive anymore?  It seems all the kids are using computers these days for reports and homework!!

        All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

        by kishik on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:07:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  many students no longer learn cursive, they print (13+ / 0-)

          and type their answers, when they aren't busy "bubbling" on standardized tests.

          If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. & http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Okiciyap

          by weck on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:14:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  sadly... (6+ / 0-)

            I seem to remember how I couldn't wait to learn cursive!! (third grade)... uh.  that was long ago!  ;-)

            but that answers my question though about why she may not be able to read cursive.

            All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

            by kishik on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:17:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm thinking cursive was developed to keep the (11+ / 0-)

              quill from dripping ink, it stopped making sense in classrooms in the 50-60's when many folks went to ball point pens.  But education changes slowly.

              It is a beautiful way to send a message and lots of folks still need to sign papers and checks, but holding on to cursive as an artform is where I see it going;  like developing your own photographs or carving chess pieces from wood.

              I think teachers can read bad printing more easily than badly executed cursive writing.  I don't hear too many lamentations, and they love when students print out their work!

              If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. & http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Okiciyap

              by weck on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:27:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  heh... (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                weck, JoanMar, blueoasis, Tinfoil Hat, Joieau

                that is something I never thought about (quill ink dripping)!  But makes perfect sense.  Besides which, during the quill cursive writing, who in the world could read that?  the f's looked like s's!   ;-)

                But yes, I can definitely see how going through homework and reports that are typed out on a page (via computer) makes it much easier on teacher's eyes.  And kid's printing makes it much easier, too.

                I started doing print-only in my homework in high school (pre-computer days).  I think my teachers were probably grateful for this.

                All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

                by kishik on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:36:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  "We hold thefe truthf to be felf-evident.. say, (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blueoasis, JoanMar, Tonedevil

                  Tom, all of your s's look like f's"  

                  (from some Stan Freeberg routine about the American Revolution).

                  If anyone knows a font that will actually display the 18th century "S" let me know.

                  On a serious note, the fact that the witness quickly admitted to and explained the discrepancy (was she a minor or not) and the lie (whatever it was) was in her favor. She was not defensive and comes across as truthful.

                •  Actually... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JoanMar

                  ...the f-like-an-s thing was based on positioning, and a holdover from romanic writing.  I think that the advent and spread of set type eventually got rid of it -- typesetters would rather have one s than two to keep track of, and it thus fell out of style and was ditched.

              •  And, dear God, surgeons using script = yikes nt (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JoanMar

                We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

                by Samer on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 12:42:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  My 14 yo learned cursive (8+ / 0-)

          in elementary school and used nothing but for some five years.  But, yeah, it's not as widely taught as it used to be, and most kids move straight on to print.

          NPR this morning in summing up yesterday's testimony said Jeantel had done a pretty decent job defending herself against West's assaults, though she did come close to losing her temper a couple of times.  Her false statements on the initial deposition don't look good, and the defense team may ultimately be able to use them to impeach her testimony before the jury, but a lot of what she says is corroborated by other witnesses and the physical evidence, so it still looks to me like the defense has an uphill battle.

          And you do get the sense the prosecutor is at the top of his game, while the defense is not.  Here's hoping they throw the key away on Zimmerman when this is all over.

          When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

          by litho on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:16:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I was surprised (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kishik, weck, JoanMar, Joieau, mimi

          at the poor handwriting of third graders I worked with. Cursive was non-existent. I also worked with kindergartners and they were never given actual practice with their handwriting. I finally asked the teacher if I could teach it during the "free period" of group time.  

          Be well, ~*-:¦:-jennybravo-:¦:-*~

          by jennybravo on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:50:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i don't have a cite for this, but i know someone (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JoanMar, Joieau

            who is a big maven of cursive and its different styles.

            she told me once that there's a study that people use more brain cells, whenthey write instead of type (and also when they use chopsticks over forks)

            i definitely people lose a sense of engagement and connection from typing that they have when writing.  

            i'm shocked to hear it's not taught anymore, at least under the justification that it is faster than printing.

            is it really such a big deal to teach it?

            Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson. (-9.75 / -9.05)

            by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 10:34:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, when you look at the things that (4+ / 0-)

              are and are not taught (funding, time allocation, new stuff like technology), it is hard to make the argument that teaching cursive is at the top of the list.

              So many things about our nation's children's education are messed up.

            •  I took to printing my work (6+ / 0-)

              in the 7th grade, when one of my teachers got all freaked out by my English course notebook being written entirely backwards. The flow backwards or forwards is the same, I could write as easily in either direction, so I did. Helped a lot at home for keeping my musings private from far too many nosy sisters.

              When the teacher demanded one day that we turn in our notes (I hadn't known she was going to do that), she really did get all strange. I told her it was perfectly legible - in my usual excellent cursive - if she'd just hold it up to a mirror. She must have thought I was some kind of witch.

              So I took to printing, while all the other kids in class were required to write longhand. She never marked me down for it either... §;o)

            •  It's not so much more brain cells... (2+ / 0-)

              ...as it is engaging different parts of the brain.  Writing engages more of the ... right side?  The artistic/creative part, while typing is more of a left-brain activity.  (I may have gotten the lobes reversed here.)

            •  well, when we tried to get our home-schooler to (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JoanMar

              learn cursive, he was already playing with a Mavis B speed-typing program on the computer, teaching himself to touch-type. he could REALLY not see the point of the cursive.

              he can sign his name in cursive (it looks like a 7yo); and says, yeah, he can read cursive "vaguely" -- I'm always real careful to be as clear as possible when I leave him notes...

              his printing and numbers are fairly legible but quite small, and not terribly uniform in size. makes math homework a thrill.

              we also ran into a certain amount of resistance because our (parental) letter forms were not EXACTLY the ones in his instruction book (98%?) and he'd get REAL worked up when we didn't use the "right" ones ourselves! real rigid period, apparently.

              one of these days we're gonna teach him a simple calligraphic hand, maybe he'll find that more artistically pleasing, as he does a LOT of drawing.

              "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

              by chimene on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 10:55:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  My reaction? White privilege writ large. (16+ / 0-)

        I have only seen segments of her testimony from yesterday that were shown on Lawrence O'Ds show last night, but I came away feeling that she was being battered by the attorney because she didn't speak "right" or react "right".  I actually think he overreached a bit when asking her why she hadn't attended the funeral; her response that she didn't want to see the body struck me as very natural, particularly for someone so young.

        My only concern is that with a largely white jury, they may be reacting from their privilege ("she's not articulate like me; she uses slang in a formal setting") rather than from their shared humanity.

        A reminder to myself when I feel discouraged: "Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little." Plutarch

        by DoReMI on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:10:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I misunderstood that part (0+ / 0-)

        My mistake, i apologize for that mistake.

    •  I beg to disagree. (10+ / 0-)
      and the defense is making her look like an illiterate, bumbling, lying fool.
      This perfectly illustrates the problem with the makeup of the jury.
      People are saying that she comes across as a very believable witness and you see a bumbling, illiterate idiot.
      Very telling.

      Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

      by JoanMar on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:05:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How so? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        weck, johnny wurster, Victor Ward, VClib
        This perfectly illustrates the problem with the makeup of the jury.
        People are saying that she comes across as a very believable witness and you see a bumbling, illiterate idiot.
        Very telling.
        I have absolutely NO dog in this fight - I happened across the trial coverage while trying to find coverage of either SB5 or the DOMA ruling - so, admittedly, I may have been ticked off by the 'gavel to gavel' coverage that was going on

        But - the tiny little bit of coverage that I saw - I didn't see the witness as particularly effective (and Yes, I agree - the prosecutor was kind of being a douche bag ... ) but the chyron that I saw was that this was a 'star witness' or some such thing -- what is telling, imo, is that if she IS a star witness - then I may be more concerned about he prosecution than any comment that I have about the witness

        "I want to keep them alive long enough that I can win them to Christ," - Rick Warren, Professional Greed Driven Scumbag

        by josephk on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:13:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the tiny little bit of coverage that I saw (15+ / 0-)

          Say no more.

          He's doing his job in trying to confuse her and discredit her testimony, she is clearly not an educated woman but she is going a fantastic job and her story is not changing despite his attempts.

          Is she refined and highly educated? No.  Is she credible?  Absolutely.

          He's trying his damnedest to crack the nut and she hasn't cracked.

        •  keep in mind... (11+ / 0-)

          the defense started on this witness yesterday... and now she's called back to the stand today.  We're not talking about the few minutes you saw, but hours she's been up on the stand.  Which also means hours that the jury and judge have had to listen.

          So that's the perspective from which many of us are commenting.

          and honestly!!!  headlines by media are meant to catch your attention somehow.  She is an important witness to the prosecution because she was the last person to speak to Trayvon.  And her account is also supported by other's accounts in their testimony - so I don't think the prosecution is laying all their eggs in one basket.

          All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

          by kishik on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:41:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fair enough (9+ / 0-)

            I probably should have avoided commenting on a matter that I literally have virtually no reasonable perspective ...

            "I want to keep them alive long enough that I can win them to Christ," - Rick Warren, Professional Greed Driven Scumbag

            by josephk on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:51:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  well... (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              weck, JoanMar, jennybravo, blueoasis, Tonedevil

              snark or not, of course you have a perspective.

              But based on your specific comments, they weren't reasonable in the context of the whole of the topic (meaning the current witness's performance on the stand).

              I saw some of her testimony live yesterday.  Didn't have the opportunity to watch much, but I happen to be able today.  I was going to turn it off because the defense attorney's tactics were driving me crazy, but I decided to leave it on.

              Following and listening to his repetitive questions and her answers, overall I think she's doing a good job.  And the prosecution also doing a good job in their support of her on the stand.

              All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

              by kishik on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:57:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We do have a habit of confusing education (10+ / 0-)

                with intelligence.

                Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

                by JoanMar on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 10:36:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Joan, I watched some today (2+ / 0-)

                  it is being covered in Florida on a few channels and YES
                  he was badgering the witness imo to trip her up.  He asked her the same question over and over and over phrased in different ways.  She is clearly tired and upset and if someone can't remember word for word and in which direction the wind was blowing and that came up.....then prosecution needs to really stop this badgering !!!!  

                  I am quite sure she feels under seige by the defense and people or at least some minorities still feel intimidated by whites going on and on and on with the same question worded a different way.

                  Made me mad.   She seems like some of the typical underprivleged youth in the south... Not un intelligent..just beat down and under educated.

                  We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

                  by Vetwife on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 04:59:22 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  it wasn't snark (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kishik, Tonedevil, Yasuragi

                I truly only caught the briefest snippets while channel surfing for news on a myriad of other topics - and You were right to point out that the jury is sitting there for hour upon hour and has a much different perspective than I have as a peripheral viewer - in that way - my perspective isn't worth much as to the specific question posed in the diary ...

                "I want to keep them alive long enough that I can win them to Christ," - Rick Warren, Professional Greed Driven Scumbag

                by josephk on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 11:08:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  ok...but (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tonedevil

                  I still say your perspective does matter.  :)

                  All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

                  by kishik on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 11:10:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Also keep in mind (7+ / 0-)

            That Zimmerman's story is the primary defense.

            These pieces as they weave and hold discredit his testimony.  And while the defense will make issue that she lied under oath remember that Zimmerman has as well regarding his finances.

            If third party witnesses discredit Zimmerman's story the jury has to see that Zimmerman's account is falsified and he has no defense.

        •  Are you in FL? Because I'm in the NE (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JoanMar

          with hundreds of channels, and have to pick it up on livestream on my computer.

          And the Prosecution doesn't write the chyron.  ;)

          "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

          by Yasuragi on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 12:55:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I would be (13+ / 0-)

        totally confused by the defense attorney's badgering if I was on the stand and I have a college degree. The jury may feel that way too.  I would think  that the defense is just twisting her words.  He is going way too far.

        Be well, ~*-:¦:-jennybravo-:¦:-*~

        by jennybravo on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:20:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  JM -- first of all, thank you so much for this. (5+ / 0-)

        I can't believe how little talk there is of this trial here.  But then... why would I be surprised?

        I think she was quite remarkable, and the disconnect (a chasm of misunderstanding, actually) between Jeantel and West was amazing.  I never had a moment when I couldn't understand her, or grasp what she meant.  Was he deliberately being stupid about her answers to try and discredit her?  (I mean, obviously, yes, but... was he really at all having so much trouble?)

        Yeah, she admitted to two lies, and gave the reasons, with which I completely sympathize.  But she held her ground, stuck to the story (any jury will member will recognize that as truth, I think), and contained her agitation.

        A lot of tweets were disgusting about her, but later the mood seemed to change (on most -- not all) and there was a fresh sense of respect and appreciation for her testimony.  And several folks in the courtroom tweeted that the jury was "riveted" by her testimony.  

        "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

        by Yasuragi on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 12:54:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would think they would be riveted. I hope they (3+ / 0-)

          were.  It's as close as anyone can get to a 17 year old kid's last minutes.  When I heard her quote Trayvon as saying, "Get off. Get off" -- I felt such a tangle of reactions.  On the one hand, I felt almost triumphant. I hadn't heard those words as part of the cell phone call before, and it seemed (and seems) to me that it's a powerful testimony to Zimmerman's aggression, and words that may help get some limited justice for Trayvon.

          At the same time it was just sickening. I felt sick.

          I'm surprised this witness has been as composed and capable as she is.  Going through these memories over and over has got to be really hard.

          --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

          by Fiona West on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 02:59:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Good that the mood on twitter changed. (2+ / 0-)

          It didn't change much on television.
          The racial divide was glaringly obvious.

          Thanks, Yas.

          Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

          by JoanMar on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 04:37:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  ive been on a jury (0+ / 0-)

        if someone on the stand admits to lying on the stand before, i'm not going to trust anything they say now unless it can be backed up by a second source.

        for all know she told the 100% truth this time around, but if i were a juror i'd have a hard time putting my decision in her testimony.

    •  I disagree (9+ / 0-)

      she's making him look foolish. He tries to switch who he's talking about to confuse her and she calls him out & corrects him. He's putting words in her mouth and she's saying that is not what I said. It's really getting old.
      Point taken though  - I feel sorry for her life circumstances, but I don't think I would weigh much into her testimony

      Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

      by hulibow on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:21:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But what do they think she's lying about? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JoanMar, Tonedevil

      I'm a bit uncertain what the point of asking her these questions is. Are they claiming Martin wasn't actually killed? They know what time he was shot and where, so I'm unclear what the point of the questions about grass and times, etc are about.

      Money doesn't talk it swears.

      by Coss on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 11:34:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My take... (0+ / 0-)

        The defense needs to show that Martin attacked Zimmerman, causing Zimmerman to have to shoot him in self-defense. Jeantel is testifying that Zimmerman attacked Martin. She says the last thing she heard was Martin saying "Get off me. Get off me." The defense is saying that she didn't say that originally and only added that to her story later, when the Martin family attorney interviewed her and planted that in her mind. If she really did hear Martin say "Get off me" that would take away Zimmerman's claim of self-defense.

        The defense also made a big point about Martin asking Zimmerman why he was following him. He kept characterizing that as Martin "confronting" or challenging Zimmerman, rather than just asking him. Same reason, if he can show Martin was the aggressor, (or even just introduce reasonable doubt that Martin might have been the aggressor) then Zimmerman gets off.

        •  Tough sell. (2+ / 0-)

          Male adult grabs gun with live round in the chamber and chases after an unarmed boy in his car for no actual reason.  Then the boy supposedly fights back and is shot to death, and the armed adult is the victim?

          Why didn't Martin have the right to self defense? I'm totally baffled by this logic and can't imagine anyone using this defense if the races were reversed.

          If someone comes at me with a gun and I defend myself with my hands and get killed for it, I'm to blame?

          Money doesn't talk it swears.

          by Coss on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 03:15:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Since when do we have literacy and legibility test (4+ / 0-)

      rules for being a witness in a trial to something she heard. The view from here says West is both attempting to abuse the witness and also warning all other possible witnesses that they can expect the same sort of crap. This is also addressed IMO to future witnesses in West cases, not just this one. Witnessing while black is now a problem again.

      •  oh jeez (0+ / 0-)

        if it was a white middle aged man who couldn't read cursive or had lied under oath before he'd be getting the same treatment. She's the prosecution's "star" witness. Any "star" witness gets that treatment in a murder trial.

        the defense's job is to discredit her testimony. I doubt it has anythin to do with her being black.

  •  He's not badgering the witness (12+ / 0-)

    How effective he's being, and his strategy with this witness, is another question.

    Black Holes Suck.

    by Pi Li on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 08:54:21 AM PDT

  •  thanks for putting this up!!! (16+ / 0-)

    I'm home (not because I really want to be!) and since I can't run around like I normally do, find myself plopped on the couch watching teevee.  So I'm able to watch this live (as opposed to reading news accounts).

    Let's not forget, this was her friend that she's known since, I think they mentioned, second grade??  That she knows that she is the last person who spoke with him.  That she knows and is living the pressure of being put into this situation.  And that her friend was murdered.  She is 19 years old.

    The pressure must absolutely be enormous.

    And yet, I think she is doing pretty well given the circumstances and (sorry to have to say this) dealing with the asshole West.

    ugh!!!!

    How many times is he going to have her repeat things over and over?  I can't imagine the jury is thinking there really will be an "aha" moment if it hasn't occurred yet in the five hours!

    All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

    by kishik on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 08:58:34 AM PDT

    •  TWB - Testifying while black. (6+ / 0-)

      Sorry, but I think West has gone way over the line with this witness.   Several times he'd ask her to repeat a response, usually stating his version, said version of course being favorable to the defense. And everytime she would respond with, "I didn't say that, Sir." and correct him. He was to my mind intentionally misstating her words to both frustrate the witness and distort her testimony.  
      Hard to watch. But she's sticking to her story and his tactics may well backfire.

      Thanks, but no thanks may well be the response in future cases from any potential witnesses who happened to view this grilling.

  •  Even judge seems to be a bit tired of him (11+ / 0-)

    and his tactic.
    My grandmother used to say, "you can't squeeze blood out of stones." That seems to be what he is trying to do.

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:09:38 AM PDT

  •  I wouldn't do what he's doing with her (15+ / 0-)

    He looks like he's badgering, even if technically it's not. And he's pissing off the judge, which is worse for him.

    I must be dreaming...

    by murphy on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:11:34 AM PDT

  •  This is bizarre (16+ / 0-)

    I switched listening to this instead of CSPAN because Washington pisses me off, but this guy holy shit. The judge is good and shutting down the tactics he's using...the other day he objected because he couldn't see and she told him to STFU and switch seats.

    Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

    by hulibow on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:16:07 AM PDT

  •  In the end, (14+ / 0-)

    IMHO, all of this is misdirection and irrelevant to the simple fact that a reasonable person would have followed the 911 dispatcher's instructions.

    I see a very beautiful planet that seems very inviting and peaceful. Unfortunately, it is not.…We're better than this. We must do better. Cmdr Scott Kelley

    by wretchedhive on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:17:11 AM PDT

    •  But Zimmerman didn't and he followed Trayvon. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yasuragi, JoanMar

      That started it.

      He was described by the woman who helped him set up his Neighborhood Watch as meek. Put a gun in his hand and he seemed a much braver man, willing to follow a Black kid "up to no good, on drugs or something," wearing a hoodie.  

      If I had one wish, Republican men would have uteruses.

      by Desert Rose on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 01:11:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  wretchedhive - it's all very relavant (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yasuragi, coffeetalk

      While we all wish Z would have stayed in his truck the fact that he didn't, after the dispatcher said "we don't need you to do that" is not a fundamental fact in this case. What really matters is what happened when the two meet face to face.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 01:27:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Watching now. Defense lawyer keeps putting (12+ / 0-)

    words in her mouth, trying to get Rachel to say Trayvon started the fight. The lawyer really is badgering her. And he doesn't look good doing it.

    "Let's stay together"--Rev. Al Green and President Obama

    by collardgreens on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:22:07 AM PDT

  •  He is really trying her patience. And mine, too. (7+ / 0-)

    Worst of all, he seems to be trying the judge's as well.

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:32:47 AM PDT

  •  CNN's "expert" reports that the (10+ / 0-)

    courtroom seems to be with Rachel.
    The jury is leaning forward and appears to be with her.

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:35:57 AM PDT

  •  I'm really impressed with the witness (10+ / 0-)

    I don't think I had that kind of strength at 19.  She is really not letting him box her into a corner at all.

  •  Rachel Jeantel is giving no fucks. (7+ / 0-)

    i'm pretty steamed at how she's being shaded on twitter. I've labled her detractors the "aintshit caucus."

  •  Personally, I think she has done a poor job for (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, Victor Ward, VClib

    Trayvon.  If this jury truly sat down believing that Zimmerman was innocent and has to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, this testimony hurts proving him guilty.  Can you reasonably say she is sure of what she has said?  It seems to me her story has changed numerous times and the defense is making it look as though she changed her story to fit a pro Trayvon narrative.  I hope I'm wrong, but to convict a man of murder beyond reasonable doubt is not easy.  In my opinion, her testimony seems to be making that harder.  I don't like the way she is being portrayed, but I think the Defense attorney is providing a good Defense for Zimmerman.  I'm more upset that the Prosecution didn't have her better prepared.

  •  I think she's believable (9+ / 0-)

    I agree with others who say she's absolutely holding her own and that's impressive for someone her age in that situation.

    If you haven't seen the incredibly surreal five minute "creepy ass cracker" exchange from yesterday, go find it somewhere.  It's hilarious.  In relating what Trayvon said to her on the phone, she quoted him as saying this "creepy ass cracker" was following him again.  But she was talking so low, mumbling, and maybe had a bit of an accent, so for several minutes this phrase had to be repeated and clarified, so it was said by the judge at least twice, the court reporter a couple of times, the prosecutor and again by Rachel.  

    The defense later was saying she didn't relate those words to Trayvon's mom, implying that she's changing her story, but it seems clear as day she cleaned up her language for her friend's mother.

    In other words, despite the fact that she's lied about stuff (mostly trying to hide from the whole situation) and doesn't tell everyone the exact same story, I find what she said on the stand the first day when answering the state's questions to be completely believable.  

  •  I think her discripancies actually make her more (9+ / 0-)

    believable.  She didn't want to go to the funeral of her friend, she didn't want to upset his mother, she lied.  That rings true.

    I also think she inadvertently  poked a big stick at the Investigating cops- "Why didn't you contact the police?"  and her answer, paraphrased, was,  "Everybody knows, via "48 hours," that if cops find a cell phone on a dead body they call the numbers on that phone.   So why didn't the police follow up on the cell phone?  Theres a very good question.

    Intellect and romance triumph over brute force and cynicism

    by Hill Jill on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 10:27:56 AM PDT

    •  Seriously? (0+ / 0-)

      She said it might have been Trayvon and now she said it is Trayvon so you believe more that it was?  At the very least it casts doubt on her own certainty.

      Reading DailyKos on Trayvon Martin is like listening to a Boston AM sports channel analysis of a Patriot games officiating.

      •  That's not what she said. The question (3+ / 0-)

        was resolved slightly later in the transcript when she clearly stated that it was Trayvon speaking. Also, the words "might have been" and "is" were never used.

        When you diss an entire blog on an issue, as you have done above,  it is  much better if you actually know what you are talking about.

        The last witness of the day corroborated her testimony with
        certainty.

         

        "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

        by rubyr on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 02:57:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wolf Blitzer mistating facts, as usual. (9+ / 0-)

    She didn't say she couldn't read, Wolf.
    She said she couldn't read cursive.
    Huge difference.
    It is interesting to me that the white commentators on CNN are very so unsympathetic to Rachel.
    Two guys just now seemed to be suggesting that her testimony should be discounted because of a perceived lack of intelligence.

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 10:44:36 AM PDT

  •  It is belaboring, but he is scoring points (5+ / 0-)

    that he will be able to use later with other witnesses and especially in closing.

    For example, the inconsistencies in the facts over the various times she told the story. I'm not sure you reconcile her statement that "cracker" is not an offensive racial term which she said at one point, with her testimony that she thought it was racial because Martin defined Zimmerman as a "creepy ass cracker" and the statement that she only said Martin defined Zimmerman as creepy (omitting the "ass cracker" point) because she didn't want the mother to hear that her son said those words. The fact that she decided not to mention that she heard "get off, get off" AFTER the "bump" sound the first couple of times she told the story in interviews is problematic.  I'm not sure her "I was rushed, and I didn't think it was important and they didn't ask me that specifically" is believable in light of the jury hearing that she specifically said,in the first interview, that the last thing she heard was the bump and then the phone cut off.  At one point it was the sound of "hitting somebody" and she didn't know who.  She added the notion that she "heard the sound of wet grass."  And today, when asked what sound made her think she "heard the sound of wet grass" she said it sounded like somebody rolling around on the ground.  

    Those are all little details, but they add up.  Unfortunately for the prosecution, this witness is not all that precise about details in her answers.  While she certainly is standing pat on the main points, the details are very "loose" and imprecise, and have changed over time (gotten more favorable to the prosecution).  

    West is doing what any defense attorney has to do:  (1) pin her down on EXACTLY what her testimony was in March and April of 2012 and is today (detail by detail); and (2) show each and every inconsistency he can find among the various times she has told the story.  

    Also unfortunately for the defense, her demeanor today (rolling her eyes, saying at one point "it's retarded" if I heard correctly, saying "get it?" to West) while not as bad as yesterday, still seems disrespectful to West, and we don't know if the jury sees it as that or not.  

    To all who say "she's doing great because he hasn't gotten her to change her story," I don't think I've every been in a trial where, in cross, you get somebody to admit to you that their testimony on direct was wrong.  She won't do it here, and West doesn't expect her to.  What he is trying to do is go through detail by detail, pin her down on EXACTLY what she said then and is saying now, and methodically compile a list of inconsistencies, or instances where she added facts to the story as more time passed, and use that to argue to the jury that she is now embellishing her story to favor the Martin family.  Nobody -- least of all West -- expects that she will say she's embellishing her story to favor the Martin family.  

    West may be pretty methodical about that, and not flashy and dramatic, but I think he's accomplishing what he wants to accomplish with her. With what he's accomplishing, plus the fact that she lied under oath about the hospital, I'm not sure the jury will think that they can rely on everything she says beyond a reasonable doubt.  

    •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Victor Ward, VClib

      And while I understand that this was a frustrating witness for the defence, I do think he would have been better served by emphasising the points he wished and then getting out of there. But that's more my style, and I know some attorney's, very effectively, prefer a more plodding and methodical approach. I also have some concerns about his demeanour at times.

      Your comment underscores an important point though. No matter what the jury may think of West, or this witness, these little details add up, and West is merely trying to create reasonable doubt. It may not mean much that she lied about her age, or about going to the funeral, or whether she thinks "cracker" is a racist term, etc...those things, taken individually, don't necessarily negate the rest of her testimony. But in the aggregate, they can tend to impeach her credibility as someone who is willing to bend the truth when it suits her purpose...or more perhaps damming, to suit her audience. His strategy is sound.

      I also think the TV commentators sound a bit ridiculous with all this talk about how people on the jury like her, hate West, West is wasting his time, she's so credible, etc.  Don West knows what he's doing, even if others might make different choices in how we would do it.

      Black Holes Suck.

      by Pi Li on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 11:21:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't completely agree (7+ / 0-)

      nor do I disagree.  Why?  Because no one knows.  I've tried more cases than I can count and the one thing I have learned that is consistent is you never know with a jury.  You just don't know what they consider important, or what they consider decisive.  People who claim to know are generally wrong.  I've had juries after the fact tell me what they decided upon, and it often turned out to be some small piece of nothing in the eyes of all the lawyers.  It's partly the CSI effect/partly the Perry Mason effect at play:  jurors expect some piece of evidence or some piece of testimony to "make it all clear" and if it isn't there, then they look for it.  
      The truth of it is this:  if the jury believes the overall meme of her testimony, i.e. that Trayvon was just out for a walk and a snack, heading home talking on the phone, a bit concerned that some guy was watching and following him, but nonetheless just heading on home and then that guy was there in front of him, then the rest of the little "off here or there" matters much less.  Lawyers often think inconsistencies matter more than they do.  And they can, but only when it makes the overall truth less certain.  From what I hear, nothing he's "impeached" her on has undermined the basic meme of her testimony, and it's been primarily collateral.  the big "lie" is that she didn't want Trayvon's mother to know she was older and she didn't want to say why she didn't go to the funeral?  Not going to make or break the case.  Plus, it's worse if he gets mad or expresses frustration than if she does, so in that regard he got a bit of the worst for it.
      I am a bit more concerned about her demeanor than her vocabulary.  She basically seems to be a shy, reluctant and not very confident witness.  If that's what the jury sees, they will cut her slack; but, if they see a "smartass" then they will not.  From what I've seen, and from what I've read, overall she's done ok.  But, remember, the prosecutor is using her less for her own "testimony" per se, then to set up the basic story, which he can use to tear down Zimmerman's story.  The timeline of her calls with Trayvon are now set in evidence; they can track his path (and he was on a straight line back home); the basics of what he said (being followed, heading home, won't run) are consistent.  The time the phone went dead.  Being on or at grass.  With all these witnesses, the prosecutor is building a geographic profile and a timeline that he hopes will make Zimmerman's story unravel, but which also ups the pressure on him to testify.  
      The reality with any witness is you take them as they are and you make the best of it.  And then you get them off and you move on.  

      •  People in general expect more consistency (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, Meteor Blades, Caipirinha, JoanMar

        from witness reports and memory than actually exists.  You could probably impeach some innocent person on what they had for lunch and who cooked it and who ate it with them, if there was a court case hanging on the outcome.  Especially when you start comparing descriptions of an event from immediately afterward to those presented a few days later, to a month later, to over a year later ...

        Nobody's perfectly accurate.  

      •  Thanks. I covered courts and cops for... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        T100R, a2nite, JoanMar

        ...several years in Colorado and I have served on five juries (small potatoes stuff). I was often surprised by what juries decided and quite surprised by the reactions of several jurors in two of the trials where I served.

        Anybody who is confident about their prediction of outcomes hasn't seen enough trials up close or talked to participants in those trials.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 02:06:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Turns out that Rachel's first languages - (9+ / 0-)

    yes, you read that right, languages - were French (Creole) and Spanish. English is actually her third language!
    Now who is stupid?

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 11:04:58 AM PDT

  •  Cultural Collision? (6+ / 0-)

    Rachel and her white lawyers are caught in a truly cultural collision with cultural, youth, and racial differences blocking all, or mostly all, communication.  The collisions are staggering to watch.

    •  It was more generational than cultural (0+ / 0-)

      Black Holes Suck.

      by Pi Li on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 11:22:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, it was cultural. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tonedevil, a2nite, Yasuragi

        It seemed to me that West was using Rachel and her  testimony to bond with the jurors.
        She was being painted as the outsider.

        Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

        by JoanMar on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 11:51:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  To what are you referring when you say "cultural"? (0+ / 0-)

          Her race?

          Black Holes Suck.

          by Pi Li on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 11:54:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That would certainly be a large part of it. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil, a2nite, Yasuragi

            Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

            by JoanMar on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 11:58:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hmmm (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Victor Ward

              So what about her demeanour is reflective of her race?  The mumbling? The disrespect to the attorneys? The not taking the proceedings seriously?

              I tend to think those thing are more a reflection of, as I said, age...and maturity, than her race.

              Black Holes Suck.

              by Pi Li on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 12:01:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  West was clueless (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DoReMI, JoanMar, a2nite, Desert Rose, Yasuragi

                Yes, she did mumble, but I think her peers would have understood every word and nuance.  Her/their use of the phone  and its mores (Trayvon would have hung up and told me he would call me back when the fight was over), calling a white man a cracker in a tense situation particularly if the guy was a 'creepy ass cracker', should be of no surprise to anyone.  West was clueless and deserved his "no sirs, yes sirs."

              •  I think her reluctance to come forward to (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                a2nite, JoanMar

                cops in racist Sanford is a clear cultural difference.

                And West's absolute inability to understand her when she was speaking perfectly clearly -- just not in terms he'd ever heard and wouldn't even try to parse -- that's cultural.

                The whole divide bewteen them (more of a chasm, actually) was "cultural."

                "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

                by Yasuragi on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 01:28:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  VClib
                  And West's absolute inability to understand her when she was speaking perfectly clearly
                  The court reporter actually had to ask her to repeat herself on multiple occassions, so I'm not sure she was quite as clear as you're making her out to be.
                  I think her reluctance to come forward to cops in racist Sanford is a clear cultural difference.
                  That is perhaps, true, but it was actually the "cops" who she said in her testimony she WANTED to talk to...not a defence attorney.  In any event, we were discussing the divide between her and West.
                  Yes, she did mumble, but I think her peers would have understood every word and nuance.  
                  Well, perhaps. But the issue whether the other people the courtroom, including the lawyers, court reporter and in particular the jury, understood her.
                  calling a white man a cracker in a tense situation particularly if the guy was a 'creepy ass cracker', should be of no surprise to anyone.
                  I don't think anyone was necessarily "surprised". The issue there was whether the comment was racist or not.

                  I'm not denying there was a divide, clearly there was. Kids mumble, don't take things seriously that they should, and have their own language.  I just think in this case it's more of a generational thing. Had she been a 40 or even 30 year old black woman I doubt you'd have had the same thing going on. And BTW, I didn't interpret her demeanour as lack of intelligence....on the contrary, I could tell her brain was working when she interrupted West to correct him when she thought he was trying to score a point on her. She's not stupid, she's just a kid.

                  But think frankly trying to ascribe the mumbling, disrespect, not taking it seriously etc. to be a result of her race is a little insulting.

                  Black Holes Suck.

                  by Pi Li on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 01:40:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You have me confused with someone else. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Pi Li, a2nite, JoanMar

                    I didn't.  You've quoted several other people in response to me.

                    I didn't say those things were on account of her race.

                    I said the entire disconnect was a "cultural" more than an age issue.  Yes, I agree if she'd been older it would have perhaps been a different conversation.

                    But I insulted her in no way, and as to the one thing you accurately quoted me as having said... you reply:

                    The court reporter actually had to ask her to repeat herself on multiple occassions, so I'm not sure she was quite as clear as you're making her out to be.
                    Yes: the court reporter has to be certain she gets every single word accurately.  She spoke softly, but I had no problem understanding her.  And I say that as a white NY native.

                    "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

                    by Yasuragi on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 01:59:07 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I'd call this a "cultural bias" (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    sukeyna, Yasuragi, a2nite, JoanMar

                    Because it stems from a language issue. As a non-native speaker of English, it's not surprising that folks in monolingual milieux would find her "unclear" or " hard to understand".  I encounter this in my job quite often, people who aren't prepared to or are unwilling to listen just the slightest bit harder to reach through accented English and then identifying it as a "lack" on the speaker's part, rather than a reflection of their own in generous listening skills is very, very common.  This is part of what we teach when we conduct so-called "cultural competence" trainings.  

                    It's a definite cultural bias, the expectation that everyone should speak English sans any trace of a "foreign" accent.

                    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

                    by a gilas girl on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 02:24:23 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  It certainly seemed so to me... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JoanMar, Tonedevil, a2nite

    but the Prosecution didn't object. I assume that's on the prosecutor?

    Money doesn't talk it swears.

    by Coss on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 11:31:31 AM PDT

  •  The chasm between reality and opinion is stark (0+ / 0-)

    Facts:

    To convict, the prosecution needs to establish that there is no reasonable doubt that Zimmerman killed in self defense.

    One of the key elements is the identity of the voice on the tape.

    This witness is put forward by the prosecution as one of the primary witnesses to this fact.  

    She has said under oath that she isn't sure if it was Trayvon.

    ________________

    Could anyone here send someone to jail considering this?  Why is it so unreasonable to think that Trayvon overreacted to Zimmerman, and then Zimmerman killed Trayvon.  If this is what happened, Zimmerman is not guilty of murder (maybe something else).  People here seem to want Z convicted based on the fact that he might be racists and/or that he pursued Trayvon Martin, but that isn't what is at question.

    Unless there is some better evidence to show that there is no reasonable doubt that Z acted in self defense, this case is lost.  They should never have charged Z with murder, but rather a lesser Felony.

  •  I believed her period..... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yasuragi, JoanMar, a2nite

    There are the facts that she WAS the last one to speak to this young man before his demise.... The defense kept trying to put Zimmerman in the car rather than in Martin's space but Get off of me is not in the car.....Defense was trying to wear her down but she was consistent in her answers.

    i thought one of the stupidest questions defense asked was, well you couldn't tell by the wind blowing and he was running if he was running towards the back entrance or not.  Well Hell, when you are on the other end of a phone you don't even know if a person is in the vicinity they say they are.....He had no reason to lie to her.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 05:10:28 PM PDT

  •  there was a lot of smoke and drama (3+ / 0-)

    but on the key facts of the case a lot of the evidence so far is remarkably consistent

    That's what counts. circumstantial evidence and eye witness testimony that makes it hard to deny any one piece simply because all of it adds up

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