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Why Can’t The USA Mind Its Own Business?

First I would like to clear up the idea that the USA is not the big brother you can just call when there are bullies on the playground.  This concept that we have to “free the world” is obsolete and no longer works.  There are now more dead American Military in Afghanistan and Iraq has surpassed the amount of the dead in the September 11, 2001 attacks on American soil.  The idea that it was a winning idea to go to Afghanistan and rid them of the Taliban may have seemed like a good idea when the vengeful emotions after 9/11 burned fervently in American hearts and minds.  Twelve years later, our government continues the battle in Afghanistan and more of our stellar men and women in uniform as our representatives are dying for a needless war.  It is time for Iraq and Afghanistan to stand on their own two feet and make it or break it on their own.  Our big brother policy in Iraq fueled by the imagined issues of weapons of mass destruction has done nothing more for Iraq than to kindle the fires of issues between Shiite and Sunni struggles for power.  Now, Syria produces some images of biological weapons being used and suddenly we need to to get involved in the passionate civil war that has been raging there for a goodly amount of time.  As if somehow it is the USA’s number one issue to rid the world of biological weapons, weapons of mass destruction, and push freedom our style down the throats of people who are interested in only in establishing their own brand of freedom.

In Afghanistan, after the Taliban were removed from central governmental power, the Afghanistan tribal leaders held a loya jirga to decide if their King who has been in exile for decades would return to rule Afghanistan.  The King, in his infinite wisdom obviously knew that his people would make the decision on their own via loya jirga.  The administration of the USA government, who was President Bush Jr., said that they would not support monarchy rule in Afghanistan because, sadly, it was against the USA’s definition of democracy.  The meeting was held anyway and the King was not restored to power, but did mention that he respected loya jirga and it’s decisive direction in Pashtun culture.  At the same time, the Bush Administration alienated the number one homeless culture in the Middle East, the Kurds, by telling them that they could not gain control of Kirkuk, the ancient capital of Kurdistan.  The Kurds have a autonomous state in northern Iraq that the Bush Administration advised them to abandon in the name of USA bred “democracy”.  Of course, the Kurds did not follow that advise and is currently engaged in an agreement with a Bush company for trade of oil, which one could wonder, was the underbelly of the military action in Iraq.  Saddam Hussein did in fact gas many Kurds during his stint as Dictator.  I am unwilling to forget Halabja, where infants, babies, toddlers, mothers and fathers succumbed to a terrible attack via Al-Anfal campaign to repress Kurdish opposition.

It seems ill fitting that the USA would eagerly eye ending a civil war in Syria when there are others that could be helped.  I remember during “Where’s My Vote” protests in Iran against their leader recently elected by sham voting counts, many called to the Obama administration to help them with their problem.  As a result, the USA did not move to help them and consistently parades about thumping our chest over Iran’s need for nuclear power and the side benefit of nuclear weapons grade uranium to make them another nuclear power in the Middle East,  How tragic that we sacrifice a billion dollars to Pakistan, the number one producer of terrorists and terrorist sympathizers in the Middle East as madrassas grow like weeds there, but we are unwilling to help two of the major populations without homes or stability: Kurds and Palestinians.  The harboring of Osama Bin Laden and his wives in Pakistan was passed off with a very strategic strike of his compound and he was surgically “taken care of” by a Navy Seal team.  This military action caused Pakistan to save face by deporting his wives and killing the US informant via hanging to appease the American hating population.  If only the Palestinians sat on an oil reserve perhaps our view of the decades long war with Israel would be over and we would be enjoying “democratic” gas in our gas tanks.  Why can’t the USA mind its own business?  Because the government still believes that ancient idea of war being good for the economy trips us up at the door all the time.  When are you, as a USA citizen, going to say enough is enough?  Hopefully right after I do…enough is enough.

I wanted to wait before I posted this primarily due to its sensitive subject for so many people either pro or con for George Zimmerman and his guilt or innocence.  I don’t want to inflame either side but I also think that Rachel Jeantel is being displayed in an ugly light by most media outlets.  Rachel was on the phone with Trayvon Martin and he said that a “crazy ass cracker” was following him.  She was uncomfortable on the stand and had a bristly attitude which most media outlets misunderstood to be detriment to Ms. Jeantel’s character.  She was asked to speak up, repeat what she said for clarification, and was clearly upset by lines of questioning that echoed in pauses of uneasy silence.  It is unfair that Ms. Jeantel was unfairly judged by media and possibly the jury because of her strong and brisk personality.  I understood every word she said, I felt her frustration and her intolerance of not being listened to.  That is the majority of the problem with prejudice; the inability to listen, understand, and ask questions that clarify meaning for the listener.  That isn’t what this post is about.  This post is about Ms. Jeantel’s strong nature, standing her ground, and losing patience with the attorneys directing and cross examining her testimony.  Both sides failed to truly listen to her and she may have taken the presence of a bad attitude.  For centuries that has happened to women over and over again; if you are a sharp, strong, unmovable force to be reckoned with, there will always be one or two idiots that dismiss you as being a “bitch”.  This is why Ms. Jeantel will never be a victim.  She would not tolerate treatment of herself by others that is grating, abusive, and unworthy of her attention.  Ms.  Jeantel is the woman that shake the foundations of societal judgments that women are to be meek, take what they are given, and feel lucky to have two peanuts and a roll of toilet paper as a reasonable salary.

It is my opinion that once some people are confronted by a strong, no nonsense, pretty woman that they expect some amount of stereotypical yielding toward men.  Sometimes there are some people who can’t deal with strong women at all and label them as a bitch because she is not bendable toward their will and not her own free will.  It is especially hurtful prejudice toward women of any ethnic background, religion, culture, and success level.  The strong, unwavering woman to some people is unattractive because her tolerance threshold for ridiculousness is very low.  When a strong woman gets placed in uncomfortable circumstances, she stands up for herself and clearly draws a line in the sand that says “No.  You don’t get to treat me poorly”.  This is what Ms. Jeantel presented to the jury, defense team, and prosecution team and pretty much every home in America who cared about the case.  The cultural differences aside, there are some that prefer the fainting Victorian lady on her lacy bed.  The worst part of all this is not only that she was a woman not tolerating any crap, but she was a black, curvy woman that defied the pressure of either attorney to hamper her personality.  She was firm.  She was clear on the facts.  She had no patience with word games or spin flung by either attorney.  The problem was three fold: Ms. Jeantel is African American and expected to react poorly as a stereotype of being both a woman and a black woman, she is a teenager who has had enough (pardon my language) bullshit to last her a lifetime, and because she did not fit into a file box as a “hood rat” or uppity negro that just plays the system for what it’s worth.  She is a teenager that obviously doesn’t tolerate bullying, inappropriate behavior, or treatment that she feels is unwarranted.  Ms. Jeantel had the presence of being outside her comfort zone and her wall of defense rose quickly.

Now, if we observe without any preconceived information Ms. Jeantel’s testimony, the young teenage woman seems prickly and intolerant of her circumstance and the arena to which it played.  This is why Ms.  Jeantel is not going to be a victim, a fainting maid on her Victorian bed, or a door mat for someone to use and abuse.  Oh no, not Ms.  Jeantel.  She isn’t going to tolerate any such behavior and given that she is a strong woman, it’s going to be relationship based on what she deserves and doesn’t deserve.  She isn’t going to let anyone dog her down, hurt her, or pull her apart.  This creates an air of Ms. Jeantel that tolerates very little, gives very much, and loves her friends and mourns a friend.  The stereotype of a woman, especially a young woman teenager, is that we are supposed to have predefined responses to emotions like crying or getting angry in a way that is “ladylike” and “sweet”.  As much as I dislike the observation, but woman have been presenting as stronger in environments that are hostile.  They have to be because predators are always sizing up their prey, which Ms. Jeantel will never be because of her strength, love, and dedication to herself, her self esteem and attitude.  I can only hope that as she matures, so does her strength.

The New (Old) Face of Racism

In the wake of the trial of George Zimmerman, who was brought up for second degree murder charge in Stanford Florida for the killing of a young, African American Trayvon Martin, was found not guilty by a jury of six women.  Boiling over, the New and yet Old Face of Racism raises its ugly head across the country.  This is a new face of racism that holds old modus operandi that has plagued America for countless generations all they way back to the formation of the US and its exercised slavery that continued  even after the eloquence of the Declaration of Independence saying all men were created equal…except for my slaves, they don’t get rights. This is the echo through America’s history of racism, prejudice, and cruelty to those that are found to be lacking the “right” color.  The N word, which has been an insult since the beginning of the United States, is still used today not only by insulting racists, but also the African American culture to perhaps soften the blow of such a terrible word.  The fact that people still use this word in 2013 is telling to the stagnation of equality for the different oppressed races that live here in America in areas where the population is supremely racist calls to mind that the search for fairness will always be blind and grappling for stale arguments for racism.  In the 1940’s after Japanese war planes attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawai’i, Japanese Americans who had a love for the US, were interred in camps because of their race and the ignorance that plagues US history.  African Americans had to go to the back of the bus, different bathrooms, drink from different water fountains and be seated in the “black only” sections of eateries.  The “black only” schools, the “black only stores and white proms and “black proms” still exist today.  There are still places in Florida and other Southern states that have a sign saying:  Nigger don’t be here when night comes.  I have seen them.  African Americans suffered under the yoke of racism, so have many others.

African Americans have been oppressed heavily all over the US.  Native Americans, who were here before anyone else, were given blankets infected with smallpox to remedy the problem that white people wanted their land.  Gypsies in America are treated poorly because they are considered “dirty and disgusting” in many places in America.  In some areas, African Americans were ostracized by everyone had they chosen a white spouse.  Worst than that, African Americans, Native Americans, and other races are still fighting for their God given rights where pockets of racism live and flourish.  Just see how the Native Americans and African Americans and other oppressed people live in abject poverty because of racism.  To her dying day, my own mother used the word “gook” and “kike”  to Americans with “slanty eyes” or American Jews.  It seems that the undercurrent of cultural fear exists in America for anyone that might be a terrorist wearing hijab, or the Sikh head covering turban, and if your name doesn’t sound American you are the new Muslim enemy.  But it doesn’t stop there.  The fear of change and the ability to learn the truth about people who desire change are very different people.  The fact that white American racist fears what it cannot understand has become an excuse to be violent, angry, and hateful to people that may be different. This treatment hurts them, especially when people like former President Bush the son moves to have affirmative action equality found defunct because there is no prejudice against them.  The people have a tendency get emotional and distrustful of others because you spin the wheel of racism every time one meets someone new.  They have a tendency to get mad when they need FEMA help after Hurricane Katrina and don’t ever benefit from it.  Homes still stand wrecked.  In New Jersey, after Hurricane Sandy, Governor Christie fought to get help after the devastated areas appealed to him.  They got what they needed and wanted.  I could go on and on, listing how unfairly African Americans, Latinos, and other different looking races are oppressed here.

Its okay to feel wounded by decades of poor and nasty treatment.  I once worked as a warehouse manager for a small garden bench company.  My guys, who were all African Americans, were struggling to get the line moving because of some bad materials.  I left my office in my nice clothes, put on a apron, and dove in to help them out.  My boss, who was a white man, told me and I quote: “Don’t help them niggers, let them do the hard work.”  I was appalled.  I went to his boss and told him what my boss said and he,. being a white man, shrugged and answered “whatever the work that needs to be done, let the niggers do it”.  Three seconds after that I went to the NAACP, AFL-CIO and made complaints about this boss problem.  It was not long after that that the company fired me and closed it’s doors.  I know an African American family that changed their last name from White to Whyte to separate themselves from the last name of their defunct owner after the Emancipation Proclamation.  It has been centuries and that same view this wonderful family attracts from white people is still rude, prejudice and hateful.  Somewhere, sometime, perhaps now, is the time to draw the line of our tolerance level for racism as an American citizen and stick to it.  We need to say, “I’m not taking this anymore”.  Of course, the people have a right to be angry.  How many generations of KKK members have carried the torch of hatred?  Aryan Nation, too.  It’s the time to stand by our brothers and sisters and say “I am not going to settle for this kind of treatment by anyone toward anyone.

It’s time for America to grow up and put her big girl panties on.

When someone says “polygamy”, the ugly face of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints ruled by Warren Jeffs and the cookie cutter clothes and hairdos immediately come to mind.  The darker side of polygamy exists right there in the prairie dresses and teenage marriages that cast an ugly light onto a very real and often healthy polygamous relationships.  With the Warren Jeffs fiasco, other sects of the FLDS who have nothing to do with his brainwashing or underage marriages.  As a matter of fact, these families are not protected by any law and risk arrest that will lead to the scattering, shattering and cruel handling of a loving family that works.  A good example of such healthiness exists in the relationship of Kody Brown, Meri Brown, Janelle Brown, Christine Brown and Robyn Brown chronicled in TLC’s show “Sister Wives.  It also fails to shed a light on other practiced polygamy households that observe God’s word and works through their marriage and their children’s happiness.  Muslims have long approved of plural marriage and, as a matter of fact, I have had only two non-polygamous relationships in my life one with an ex and the other with my current spouse.  All other relationships have been open, outright polygamous, and relatively happy relationships as long as they can possibly last.  In America, many people are appalled and not supportive of such relationships mainly because what they can’t entertain in their own mind remains a mystery that has fear attached to it.  The fact that there is always a period in everyone’s life where we come to choose morality and healthy relationships as a plural family unit.  It does  work, it is natural, and should be delve into the word of God, there are many polygamous relationships that exist there.  The problem is that it happens in America and brings out the ugly haters of polygamy and what it stands for.  I have been married six times, and the current relationship I have is awesome and sharing of each other exclusively.  I can’t say that it is easy to be monogamous, my life seems geared toward that but I respect my current spouse and I enjoy a monogamous relationship.

Polygamy, also called “polly” is when a man takes on numerous wives to have a long family with.  That is the reality of polygamy, not the Warren Jeffs sect that chooses wives for men.  Even in other FLDS, Muslim, and Paganism faith based households are polygamous.  For Muslims, the man must be able to treat his first wife the exact same way as the second wife both spiritually, monetarily, and physically.  Polyandry is also called “polly” but it is a woman who has many men that she is married to.  Though polyandry is not supported in Abrahamic Faith, it is supported by many others under the order of “Harm none, do as thou wilt”.  There are just as many happy families living a polyandry lifestyle that is supportive and deeply loving of one another and children.  Not everyone is cut out to be accepting of sharing their woman or man with other women or men.  To some I have stumbled into on the internet, they are hateful to such lifestyle choices with great prejudice and disdain.  People who are monogamous are often abrasive to such relationships, spewing hatred and hurtful communication to those who have healthy polly lifestyles.

A great number of both polly relationships hide their definition to avoid the police shattering their family unit because it is illegal, but such laws are often helpful to a tunnel vision opinion that all polly families live in sin and degradation.  This is simply untrue, but people hang on to old ideas to resist any meaningful change of the status quo.  It is also interesting to note that when someone is arrested and charged with polly “crime”, the family is ripped apart and forced to fracture under the cruelty of such laws.  Marriage definitions for every one is rather different.  Some people believe marriage is only for procreation and making a family with children to raise. Some people define marriage through the lens of their religion, feeling it is of celestial importance to be fruitful and multiply in a plural marriage.  The hiding of polly lifestyles in the present time represents an array of unchanging puritan evangelism that is not flexible to the Constitutional right to pursue happiness.  The conservative bases of many churches of Abrahamic religions outlaw both kinds of polly relationships on the grounds that they are righteous and whoever fails to listen to them will burn in hell for all eternity.  Then there is the chugging little train that could where some Christians fail to accept anything remotely different than vanilla sexual relationships or different ideas about the holy definition of marriage.  Then there are always those people who peep into the polly life and come away with perversion accusations.  The fear of the unknown because it may mean change gets caught up in sensational stories of group sex with wives, husbands, and lovers because they seem to feel entitled to have the only right opinion.

Warren Jeffs and his cult have forced women into marriage with older men and some of those women were minors.  The sad reality of his kind of the FLDS is not at all FLDS are like that.  These are families that work and are helpful to children and each other.  Because of Jeffs, we are all lumped into a summary box filed by those who would oppress people with an oppressive religion that gives them the right to do what Jesus/Issa told them not to do: judge others lest ye be judged.   Being polly, being gay, and lumped sum filing of labels for those they feel are perverted will somehow one day include animal/human sex, molestation of children, and the sin of gluttony will prevail and all morals be damned.  That simply isn’t true because the real polly family is about love which is still a mystery to many.

As you probably know,  Jodi Arias’ jury was unable to come up with a unanimous vote on life or death.  The jury was split 8 to 4 for the death penalty.  Arizona law, as far as I can easily research, will only accept a unanimous jury ruling of life or death punishments.  Several of the jurists who were disbanded after being unable to unanimously decide on a sentence have discussed at length on media outlets telling why they couldn’t come up with a unanimous decision and just how difficult it was to manage in the jury room.  The problem that remains is a new jury must be picked and a very abridged version of the evidence and testimony.  It is highly doubtful that this brief version of the trial, as both sides do not call witnesses to the stand.  In Arizona, the finding of Arias in the verdict stage remains upheld and so does the intentionally cruel finding.  The only thing the next jury is going to have to decide on is if she should get the death penalty or life in prison with or without the option of parole.  On July 18th, the new jury will begin to be selected and it will be by their vote that Arias’ sentence is, but is that fair and can they be sure to get jurors who have never heard of Jodi Arias, Travis Alexander’s brutal murder at her hands, and the string of experts paraded to the stand to uphold the defense’s and prosecution’s proof of Arias’ alleged abuse.  That’s not the real question though that looms in anyone’s mind.  It is the delivery of the death penalty that has taken its toll on the jury, even though they were asked to sign a paper and prepare to vote for the death penalty.

All of this begs the question:  If you were on a jury, hearing the same amount of truth, expert testimony and a grueling 18 days long testimony of the perpetrator of the crime, and autopsy photos were put up on a large screen at a time in the trial where remembering the victim was important, would you be able to dole out the death penalty after all of that?  The testimony that took five months and five years to happen paraded the sexual lives of two people, listening and watching Jodi Arias lie on the stand, and after seeing her breakdown multiple times gave the four in the jury a sense that Jodi is a living, breathing, human woman who made the worst decision in her life and brutally murdered someone that she said she loved.  There was an enormous amount of evidence linking her to the crime, the fact that she admitted that she did it after telling two falsehoods to media outlets because she was defending herself are all a part of what those 12 people are going to decide is worthy of giving her a sentence that spares her life for prison or does not support her continuance and she gets sentenced to death.  There are three women on death row in Arizona one of whom was put there by prosecutor Juan Martinez.  If you were a juror, given the extensive parade of fact, fiction, and expert testimony, could you look into Jodi’s eyes and say: “This woman deserves the death penalty.  Could you do it?

There are things to take into consideration though.  First, Jodi did take the stand and tell her story which to a jury makes her human and personable to the extent that she made an terrible error and a fatal lapse of moralistic actions.  Remember, the jury that was hung did not hear the same things we heard about Jodi on every single news station and HLN.  We know more behind the scenes issues that the jury didn’t have access to.  Second, Jodi clearly has some issues that are psychotic in nature but that also is not enough to convince four jurors to give her the death penalty.  Finally, the jury was not sequestered and essentially had to follow that admonition the Judge Stephens relayed to them every day.  There are four people, who even upon signing an agreement that they could give the death penalty in the sentencing phase, chose not to do so.  The query now is, could you decide on death or life in prison with or without parole with a clear conscious?  I don’t believe that anyone knows really what they would do in such a circumstance unless they were actively in that place.  After watching every grueling day of the hearings, I am unsure I could give the death penalty.  I would not want to be responsible for the death of any one person, no matter how terrible the crime.  I also strongly believe that Jodi hasn’t ever learned that violence against another human being is wrong.  Jealousy is an evil, treacherous emotion that when unchecked can be horrifically manifest in ugly ways that are not productive.  I honestly also believe that Jodi has a serious mental illness that is characterized with a flat affect and an inability to properly grasp psychologically healthy relationships primarily because she has issues with acceptance of it.  Jodi was very good and hitting all of Travis Alexander’s buttons in order to create a unhealthy and unstable hold on him because she was the one who deflowered him and introduced him to sexual behavior that is not vanilla.  I would not be comfortable sending anyone to death, but I would have never made the jury cut because I couldn’t say that I would sentence her to death or life in prison with or without parole.  I also disagree with people who say she deserves what she gets primarily because I do not believe that incarceration helps anyone who may have a dangerous mental illness.  That illness needs to be treated and an adequate amount of therapy may make a change in her life, but as I have learned, violent offenders very rarely ever rehabilitate.  I think that is mostly because we don’t know enough about the brain and its inner workings to properly treat and rehabilitate violent offenders.

So on the 18th of July of 2013, Jodi Arias’ new jury will be constructed and the question of her sentence will become clear hopefully for her sake and the sake of the Alexander family who have suffered terribly waiting for this closure that they need to move on.  Forgiveness is not simple and it is a journey taken by the brave and courageous.

 

Those who are in prison for a decade or more have a higher chance of offending and it happens for ridiculous reasons.  While incarcerated most who have committed crimes that are felonies with long sentences are not given or afforded the training necessary to live a life beyond their sentence, they also are woefully unprepared for a life of freedom outside of prison.  In prison, the average long sentence of a decade or more does not prepare the newly released prisoner with the tools necessary to be responsible and productive members of society.  I say this because I’ve watched shows about lockup on MSNBC that clearly shows that prisoners being released after a decade or two in lockup can result in incarceration because they were not prepared for the stress of bill paying on a budget that is woefully hinged upon a felon actually finding a job on the outside that is going to make ends actually meet.  Not only that, but often spending that amount of time in prison forces inmates to become part of a gang on the inside and extends to the outside upon release.  It is also a reality of life behind bars that some of the worst offenders have mental illness that will go untreated on the outside of prison because drugs and counselling is often unavailable to the average inmate upon release.  A growing number of the people incarcerated are suffering from mental illnesses that, when untreated, land them back in prison or jail obviously the product of a destructive or self destructive cycle.  It is also a requirement that when you fill out an application for a job, you must answer the question “Have you been convicted of a crime” with yes and give some details about that.  That is what stops felons from getting a meaningful employment opportunity, the fact that no one in good paying jobs hires felons and also then contributes to the newly released re-offending.

The idea that somehow a felon, who had been a good inmate and stayed out of trouble while incarcerated, will not get a job that actually helps them with the pressure of meeting a bill’s due date.  They only employment that many find is inadequate and draws the felon into the trap of re-offending and being locked up yet again.  There are numerous ways that this can change for formally incarcerated.  Making health care available for the mentally ill could actually cut down the amount of people going in and out of prison.  The reality that mental illness is more common for those that cycle in and out of jail and prison needs to be spotlighted.  We also have a tendency to lock people away and forget about them, then release them into a hostile environment for a successful life without giving them training or other skills that they can use on the outside that would help success happen.  We “throw away” people who commit multiple crimes over and over in the prison system.  We have allowed our prisons to become a breeding ground for gang culture which only teaches them how to re-offend over and over again.  The crux of the problem may be that we need to invest in these people and train them for employment, stress of bill paying, and teach them what they need to do to live a productive and successful life without crime.  Sure, there will be those who cannot be helped or choose not to be helped.  What we fail to do is invest in them becoming productive and responsible.  We fail to invest in them because they are felons.  Instead, we are willing to pay for their decades in prison and are unwilling to give them the fighting chance they need on the outside.

Imagine that you have served the last 25 years in prison.  While you were incarcerated, computers are available to everyone, cellular phones became a necessity, smart phones are the personal data assistant, satellite powered television is in many homes, the internet was born, and dial up connections became extinct.  Imagine being released and not having the ability to get a decent job, handle the stress of responsible living, and having no trade to pedal for employers.  Imagine how hard it would be to get a job even in fast food restaurants.  Imagine if the only choice you had to succeed is to commit a criminal act so you don’t have to deal with the stressful reality of life.  Imagine that no one will give you a job because they just can’t trust a felon to do the right thing.  What would you be willing to endure in exchange for money that paid the rent?  What if you had no options?  In this day and age, we still throw people in a six feet by seven feet room and hope they learned their lesson.  When the released felon re-commits, we call him or her a lost cause because we are the ones that made that so.  We did nothing to help her or him to become something worth themselves.  Instead, we treat them like animals and pound that prison culture into their heads because we chose not to fill their head with some knowledge and a trade to fall back on instead of stealing cars, killing other gang rivals, selling drugs, armed robbery and other felonious crimes.  If we continue to invest just enough for their three hots and a cot, we get exactly what we give.

Nothing.

For the last four months, TruTV “In Session” and HLN have reported on very little but Jodi Arias and her trial which is scandalous due to steamy phone sex recordings, the nature of the brutal attack, and the fact that Jodi Arias is a professional liar.  I haven’t written a post since three weeks before the trial started.  A trial this long with so many monotonous testimony of Jodi Arias, the parade of experts who examined her according to lies she told, and the facts that are manufactured by Arias has become mundane and, if you will, stale.  The woman obviously has some psychological issues which she herself denies, but she presents well as having a lack of remorse and a very interesting flat affect.  Enter the jury, having sat for four months who were admonished to not follow the media reports of the trial, to not talk about the trial, and to not discuss anything with the media, and remember that four months have passed by where they missed time with work, family and possibly friends.  Deliberation of the jury to convict her of murder, then deliberation to reason if the crime was “especially cruel” and now the deliberation to come of what her punishment will be either life in prison or the death penalty.  Could it be that jurors are becoming tired of this long, drawn out, media showcased, trial?

It’s a large possibility considering that they were not sequestered nor have they deliberated for an inordinate amount of time on her guilt or innocence and whether the crime was especially cruel.  It could be that they are completely tired of the droning of Arias’ defense lawyer that is currently costing tax payers in Arizona a cool million dollars.  Personally, I wouldn’t blame them.  It is so transparently clear that this woman did this and then made up a juicy story to eliminate the pressing reason that Travis Alexander did nothing to deserve this and was, in fact provided by forensics, trying to get away from her.  She says she remembers nothing but shooting him in the head.  She was on the stand for eighteen days, sharing her life story that in large part was irrelevant to her charges, and fielded jury questions that numbered close to 200, and then paraded Travis Alexander as a pedophile and sexual deviant, abusive physically and mentally and that Arias suffered at his abuse like any shrinking violet would.  Then the parade of experts who based their examination on the two lies that home intruders killed him and she did it because she was an abuse survivor could only be reasoned with the silly notion that this was an adequate reasoning for committing a crime that involved 28 stab wounds and a nearly decapitating throat wound delivered in a time of “heat of passion” not deliberately planned focusing on manslaughter.  The jury heard testimony from one expert after another and the detective, they were presented with a medical examiners report and autopsy pictures, they were presented with evidence of  renting a car that is not “loud” or even her own that had “kool aid stains” in the passenger and back seats of said car, the forensic evidence, and the cross examinations of the last four months would have tired me out if I was on such a jury.  Jury fatigue is when the jury is actually tired of hearing about a case such as this one and winds up to be a very interesting premise for retrial if anyone could actually prove it.

So then, you’re asking yourself, “How will it help Arias?”  In two major ways.  One if the jury is fatigued and there is any misstep by the prosecutor or the free defense attorneys, she can appeal her conviction.  Two, if the jury lacks to be unanimous with their decision, this could lead to another jury being obtained and the appeals will fly afterward because of their misstep should they be hung.  The only way I can see this coming out good for the defendant is if they sentence her to life in prison.  The free public defenders seem to be leaning that way until Arias had a interview with a local news station saying that she wanted to die to get her freedom “sooner rather than later”, which prompted her attorneys to ask the judge to be excused from her case.  There is little, if anything, to do for such a difficult, spotlight stealing, lying defendant that undermines the strategy of her team of lawyers which occurs only because both Nurmi and Wilmott want careers after this debacle.  What happens to Jodi if she pleads for her life to the jury as Nurmi said she would and they just can’t find it in their hearts to send her to death row?  She regrets her lies in a small single cell on death row with crayons and colored pencils because the next big story other than her will come along and she will finally be secluded to deal with herself.  Sad but true.  The average time for execution is ten years in Arizona, which has to find a better way to execute prisoners before it can continue with death penalties after 1992.  Perhaps then she will feel remorse, but I highly doubt it.

 

NRA: Put Armed People In Schools

Another assault rifle was used to gun down 28 people in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, USA a week and one day ago.  Now, looking toward the NRA for a solution, they announce that people with guns should be in schools to protect from more people being killed in schools.  However, in a speech to the press, the NRA mouthpiece went on to say that gun owners were “demonized” in the press as an activist held up a sign in front of his face.   I posted about gun legislation way back when the “Joker” shot and killed people in a theater in Colorado, USA.  Please note, that the gunner in Colorado used tear gas to prevent those who were armed from shooting him in preparation for gun owners in the theater who might want to shoot back.  It would be reasonable to assume, should the same tactics be used in a school shooting, that those armed to protect the students and staff would be easily and successfully made irrelevant should the goal be to kill as many as possible.  The solution, which could have been addressed after Colorado, was not and surprisingly another shooting happened.  And what is sad is that the fact remains the exact same:  if someone who is mentally unstable cannot find a gun as his or her own, he or she will seek out where to get one and do what he or she desires with it regardless of how many checks we use to filter through people who should or should not own a .223 assault rifle.

So again, the question remains:  Are you going to use that assault rifle to hunt deer or just keep it in your home behind lock and key?

The answer is yes.  They are going to do whatever they want with an assault rifle because they can.  The people who are willing to use the assault rifle for nefarious deeds are going to use the rifle as well.  The only real point of the .223 rifle used in the Sandy Hook school is to kill humans, not grass eating, bounding deer in the forest during hunting season.  It was not created to be a shiny piece for someone’s collection, to show off behind glass, and to proudly retain because of the Second Amendment.  No, it wasn’t.  It was created and designed to be a killer of men, women and children.  It was meant to be an instrument of war, a reliable one so much more effective than our military arms currently being employed in Afghanistan, to kill and to maim a perceived enemy effectively and easily.  This is not a target weapon.  This is not a weapon that is pretty, sleek, or something to take on nice hunting trip with Uncle Willie.  This is a object of war, an object of the destruction of lives, a widower or widow maker, a device that kills.  Its owner, who has fervently passed all the checks necessary, puts it away for a collection piece.  A killer looks at it as a device to his or her means, the truest nature of the device–killing.

So, let’s just say, that we put people with guns in schools in order to protect the youth within.  Let’s just also say that these people are trained to relieve a threat to the school easily with the permission to discharge their weapon in the event of such a crime.  Do you want your children going to a school that permits the use of deadly force to protect them?  Do you want your son or daughter learning that the best way to protect themselves is via a gun, bullets, and permission to kill?  Is that a message you want to give to your children, that the only way they can be safe is to carry a thirty ought six and extra ammunition in their backpack?  Is it something you want your  children to see, every single day, in their school, patrolling the halls, waiting for that person that wants to mow down the innocent and himself or herself?  Is that what you want?  A lot of people don’t see anything wrong with that, a lot of people are standing behind the NRA’s great and intelligently contrived (they did have a week to come up with something and this is the best they could do) solution of arming school hall monitors with guns meant to kill.  Doesn’t anyone see the irony?

The NRA’s solution does not address the .223 in the hands of a person clearly not psychologically healthy.  It does not address the fact the last shooter killed his mother and obtained the .223 rifle and ammunition.  It doesn’t address that checks on someone’s psychiatric history isn’t working to keep guns from the wrong hands.  The waiting period just keeps the honest gun owners in a holding pattern.  It does nothing to accept responsibility that the weapon is available to the public en masse at your local gun store.  It doesn’t address that this weapon is out there and that taking particular precautions to easily foil a protector of lives is accessible to anyone doing a search for tear gas, flash grenades, and proper sight that would pinpoint the protectors and pick them off like flies.  No, that is not addressed because the best way to deal with the horse that got away is to batten down the stables and put a horse in charge.  That makes as much sense as, now that the damage has been done by a rifle which is solely used for death and destruction, arming people in schools to defend themselves from the item we desire to do nothing about.  One person, a responsible gun owner, can own that weapon and never use it or fire it.  He or she has that right under the second amendment.  I applaud that they are responsible really I do.  There is a chance that his neighbor is concocting a plan to obtain the gun and ammunition and visit his local mall.  If there is a will, there is a way.

What is the solution?  This gun doesn’t need to be on the market.  That’s one view.  Another would be that the gun should be owned by people with an extra security check and be locked with a gun lock at all times.  That’s a solution too.  How about this solution:  the gun isn’t for hunting deer and it certainly isn’t for showmanship at the local rod and gun club.  It doesn’t need to be available to be purchased by the average Joe Q. Public until the military is completely armed in such a matter that they don’t have to worry about muzzle heat up and particular bursts to prevent gun damage.  This gun is for military purposes, not at home amusement or collections, it is designed to kill.  Annoyingly enough, that will never happen because bulk is so much more important than quality weapons that are necessary for such a military function.  Now, let’s say that a whole bunch of owners get together with the .223 rifles they own and form a militia bent on protection, they begin to hang around schools and they begin to take matters into their own hands.  Well, my friends, that right is afforded to them by the Constitution and there isn’t anything really we can do about it.

Except homeschool my child, if I had one, and prevent him or her from thinking that the only way he or she can properly defend themselves is with 9 mm handgun.

 

 

 

 

 

So what is the “Fiscal Cliff“?  In short, it’s a term used to describe the Bush Tax Cuts expiration at the end of the year 2012 thus plunging us into a terrible recession because a) the payroll tax cut will go away, b) the tax cut for some businesses will go away, and c) the debt ceiling would rise.  Equivocal indications remain erroneous mainly due to the fact that debt cannot decrease if taxes don’t increase, the largest complaint at the creation of the cuts in 2003 mainly forgotten about in the hyperbole of why those cuts needed to happen in the first place.  Financial responsibility, applicable not only to private citizens but also the government, is preserved when debtors remit regardless of how staggering the debt might be.  In this case, financial pundits exclaim that this would lead to another immense recession if permitted to fall over the “Fiscal Cliff” and recovery would not be smooth nor simple.  So allow me a moment to end the nonsense and get right to the authenticity of claims that great financial woe latterly of the precipice of the cessation of these tax cuts.

Example:  I arrive at the supermarket with three coupons for cat food.  It would be incongruous to use all three coupons on the same bag of cat food, thus saving me $3.50 on one bag, because primarily you cannot redeem multiple coupons on the same product unless purchasing more than one of that product.  This is what is happening with the expiration of Bush Era tax cuts expiring at the end of this year.  Another example, if you will:  I have an electric bill of $91.50.  I cannot afford that, so I borrow from the rent column the amount I need to achieve satisfaction of the debt.  Then, while I’m paying the electric bill of $91.50, I fail to pay the entire rent debt and within several weeks, I am being evicted for failure to remit rent I agreed to in a legally binding document, the lease.  Final example:  In order for me to profit comfortably when I open my widget factory, I decide that since I can pay my employees two rolls of toilet paper and a couple of peanuts in China, I will move my factory there and let the cash flow of selling cheap goods for ridiculously low prices.  Meanwhile, back in America, my colleagues do the exact same thing.  All of the employees I could have hired in America are now without work and sufficient funds to remit the bills entering via the mail.  Frustrated with the idea that China got their jobs and to accurately protect themselves from financial ruin, most of those unemployed who have no more benefits if unemployment compensation have taken on a McJob at McDonalds or have begun working at WalMart as a cashier making around $8.50 an hour.  Thus, working two jobs without time or money to spare, the economy at large suffers in America for misplacing the widget company in China.  The Chinese spend money on local items because they aren’t working two jobs and need to sleep sometime lest they become zombies.  So, armed with this information, it would make sense that a) if one is worried about recession, make a tax cut available to companies in need of employees that keep businesses in America, b) responsibility for paying debts should fall squarely and fairly across tax brackets in order to field that revenue, and c: take steps to make it impossible to borrow money from funds that are already spent to avoid an eviction of sorts.

The term “Fiscal Cliff” is charged with deception to the point that a rather large media firestorm about it seems to have introduced it into our homes by way of sensationalism.  Irresponsible reporting by journalists is annoying because the term does spark mistrust and distrust in the financial market.  It doesn’t accurately depict the true nature of debt relief, which is to be responsible and pay one’s bills, while cycling over the fact that tax revenue is revenue enough to remit proper amounts to our debtors.  The cyclical revenue generation is based primarily on availability of employment, fiscal responsibility, and ability to pay.  Create tax cuts for companies to move back to the US from China and other countries substantial enough to provide disposable income that permits the companies’ ability to hire more employees.  Tax the people who can afford the tax amount, after businesses return, and let the 1% pay their share.  Decrease the salaries of Congress and the House of Representatives to remain modest enough to understand the plight every American citizen bears on payday.  You can’t pay down a deficit without income lest you’re robbing the landlord and feeding the electric company.

Before you buy into the “Fiscal Cliff” hype, understand that most of it is explained by people making more money than you or I will see in our lifetimes.  Also remember that they only way communication is achieved by some sectors of the population of America are to incite fear because that is how they get what they want.  They know who they are and often they prey upon the gullibility of the general population in a manner that is disgraceful, indignant and malignant.  A sad commentary on fear, on failure to remain responsible for your own debt, and another ploy by the elite on the population that can’t afford to become elite.  There is no reason to panic and there is slight cause to worry about a recession, but not enough to not plunge over the falls in a barrel of knowledge.

 

Sex Scandals In the USA

Petraeus, the current CIA Director, has sent in his resignation after admitting to an affair with his biographer and thus becoming a security issue has blown up the media like a small explosive.  Every channel is covering it and everyone has an opinion to share about how terrible it is that he would have done that.  Also note that the story is becoming a Peyton Place of sexual intrigue, the naughtiness become scandalous and shocking to the puritanical ideal Americans hold their public figures to.  Note the terrible echoes of negativity when one Twilight Saga star had sex with her much older Director in another film while still having a cohabitation relationship with her Twilight co-star.  Why is it that sex scandals splash our sensitivities and morality?  Because most Americans find sex to be a dirty thing, something that is meant for one person and one other person; not one person and many who they may be in love with.  It’s the hush-hush, oh my god factor that keeps the people talking, because of the intrigue and terrible nature that sex has become amazingly taboo.  Another General, Kelley, is now also being embroiled in scandal for answering someone with “Sweetheart” in an email.  The shock and awe that leaves the media whispering about the scandalous nature of cheating on your wife in important and visual jobs in the government heralds us back to the good ole days when Clinton had his own oral sex scandal and parents everywhere brooded that they had to explain what that meant to curious children.  A conversation most parents dread anyway.

The rest of the world, matured beyond high school or even elementary or intermediate school, rolls it’s eyes at us again.  Why?

Sex to us is taboo.  To the rest of the world, it’s a natural beautiful thing that two people share.  It’s just us that thinks that sex is a bad thing, a dirty thing, a terrible thing.  While most ignore the fact that infidelity is a real and terrible thing to do in monogamous relationships, there are some of us who understand that sex is something to enjoy, something beautiful, something wonderful that two people can share without having to be in love or married.  The puritanical ideal is obsolete, the larger amount of the people here still blush about menstruation, masturbation and blow jobs under a desk.

It’s annoying.  It’s annoying because the Petraeus security issue wouldn’t be an issue if sex weren’t so damn dirty, disgusting, and something one just doesn’t talk about on a casual basis.  Don’t get me wrong, I think infidelity is definitely a deal breaker for monogamous couples.  I really feel for the heartache Mrs. Petraeus is currently suffering every time a media outlet reports it, but at the base of the problem is that now she’s racked by the public opinion of her and her man.  It’s terrible that this is even news to be reported, because none of this would have been a big deal if we had the same opinion the French have, discretion is key.  Not that I support cheating, I really don’t, but I don’t think someone needs to be fired because they had sex with their biographer.

How immature is it?  Very.  It’s teenage crap and I’m more interested in more pressing issues like the fiscal cliff or even how Obama plans to create more jobs.  There are a variety of things I’m more interested in such as how the Congress and House are going to work together now they aren’t concentrating on making Obama a “one-term president”.  Isn’t there something better to report, something more important?  No, because while puritanical Americans want to hear the juicy details about affairs married men in the public eye have that familiar gaping delay the highway has when there’s a terrible accident in lane two.  It’s sad, it’s terrible, but this has only gotten worse since soap operas have been taken off television.

Which will probably lead to another post about minding one’s own business.