Oscar Pistorius in Wonderland   2 comments

8 May Morning Session:

Roux calls an anesthetist (not an anesthesiologist, who has an MD) to testify (speculate) as to the contents of Reeva Steenkamp’s stomach, which she was not qualified to testify about because, as she kept repeating, she was not a forensic pathologist. So where was the forensic pathologist? Ah, Wednesday. Must have been on the links, my lady.

She takes up a good bit of the morning, and then Roux pulls a bit of a shocker, but the effect is soon lessened, because AGAIN, he chose the least qualified clinician he could possibly find, save an intern, to testify — a social worker and probation officer who normally does assessments of children and adolescents after they’ve been arrested for commission of minor crimes. She specifies that she doesn’t treat the patients (clients) she sees, but just presumably listens and comforts. Also not expert witness material.

She said she first saw Oscar on Feb 15, 2013, the day after the murder — he told her he missed Reeva so much, and that he was heartbroken. Later on, he told her, she volunteered,  that he “accidentally shot her,” which is not the Oscar Pistorius we’ve heard come clean in court. After the assessment, her participation should have been over, but she wouldn’t let it go.

The social worker continued that it upset her that she’d read in the newspaper and heard in the media that he wasn’t sincere about his feelings, that he took acting lessons, was crying when needed, and that he was taking lightly what happened, so on Tuesday of this week she decided to come forward because she thought he was heartbroken and traumatized.

[Takes big step backwards] So, she’s got a reason to come forward — to improve Oscar’s public relations profile and counter the bad PR he’s been getting from everyone in the media for shedding crocodile tears, crying on cue, and taking acting lessons. In other words, she’s motivated. Nothing like having an expert witness who comes in off the street and wants to do something for you, is there?

She goes on to testify to Nel, “He (the defendant) kept saying he was sorry about the loss, about her parents, the loss, he loved her, etc. And so Nel correctly calls her testimony hearsay — it’s all the defendant’s emotions. Roux got up to object to the line of questioning, and the lawyers exchanged gentle feel-out jabs with the judge, and evidently Nel seemed to win, but ended up apologizing to the judge and slightly changed his tack.

He cried, talked about the future he says they’d planned together, the loss, that he was never going to see her again, her parents and what they’re going through, and she saw a heartbroken man who suffered emotionally. She was assigned to be his probation officer as a term of his bail, and they turned over a bunch of papers as evidence of those logs. He never said he was sorry for what he had done. never showed remorse and said he’s sorry for what he did, specifically. “I’m sorry for my loss. I’m heartbroken.” But she couldn’t speculate what a person’s emotions might be after he’d shot someone. He was traumatized, he was emotional, he cried. He talked and said how he misses Reeva. Didn’t talk that day about shooting her. Sorry about what happened, sorry for the loss — sorry for the parents, misses Reeva, spent a lot of time discussing his version of what had happened, and he talked a lot about his own feelings. She checked that he was seeing his psychologist, which he was, and had regular contact with him as his probation officer in person or by phone.

The last witness of the day was a ballistics expert whom some had called verbose before he took the stand. Verbose? Anyone remember President Clinton’s remarks to the Democratic Convention in 1996? He took a record 70 minutes. His 3300-word prepared speech went close to 6000 words. But he kept his audience mostly riveted. Mostly.

This ballistics expert, who was also not a forensic pathologist, talked endlessly about ammunition and how a gun works, he referred to a semi-automatic pistol as an “auto-loader” and never did talk about a safety mechanism of any kind. Not only that, but the moron didn’t even bring a demonstration gun that looked similar but was painted with a flame-orange barrel, maybe a plug in or a bar across the barrel, and a half-functioning firing pin. So there stood Captain Boring, trying to explain how a gun worked using a piece of paper. Nice.

In my mind, and in my notes, all we got from the firearms expert or ballistics expert was that a bullet could be deflected by up to 1-3 degrees by going through a door before ripping pieces of a human body to shreds. Great. For that I stay up til 6am, and the bastard didn’t even figure in drag coefficients OR the type of wood. Fraud.

The one-hour afternoon session with this guy should have gone until 4:15, according to agreements made with other court employees before they went on a two-week break, but it went exactly one hour, before Roux begged my lady to call it a day, after taking the 1-2 hour for lunch and returning at 2 , and then at 3 they’re done, jolly old fun.

That’s how they work the day away in the merry old trial of Oz.

Mercifully, the week in court ends tonight, Thursday night (early Friday morning) in the U.S., and so a very interested — some may say obsessed — crowd on Websleuth, DigitalSpy, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media that God knows I have no time for, will have a chance to celebrate Mothers’ Day in relative peace, as long as they don’t sneak in a nap after dinner so they can stay up all night to watch the barely competent witnesses line up for the defense on Monday.

REMEMBER YOUR MOTHER AND HONOR HER ON MOTHERS’ DAY.

YOU’RE LUCKY IF YOURS IS STILL AROUND.

 

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What’s Left to Prove in Pistorius Case?   11 comments

Streaming AC360 on CNN, waiting for the Pistorius trial to resume in about an hour, and wondering what the muse will hit me across the face with this evening. The latest Cadillac Escalade commercial comes on. The background music is pretty compelling: David Bowie’s “Fame.” Now, I’m not a particular fan of David Bowie – I don’t like his politics – but this particular tune is pretty slick. Great lyrics, some very fitting in this case. So, I click off this window and over to the CNN window, and there’s this shiny white Escalade pulling up in front of a shiny white house that looks spookily similar to Oscar Pistorius’ house. Huh? (Shakes head to ensure he’s not dreaming.)

It happens more often than we think; that we’re doing something, and our attention is distracted by a completely different thing, and then something within that distraction turns out to be somewhere between borderline related to or incredibly poignant given the unrelated thing we were involved in before we were first distracted. The subconscious mind works in strange ways….

Yesterday’s testimony was incredibly boring. I believe the only thing that came out of the entire day was the fact that the front door to Oscar’s house was left almost imperceptibly open. I don’t believe I’d heard anyone testify to that before.

Both daddy and daughter witnesses spun wildly detailed versions of a very simple story, hers slightly different than his. They were very difficult to listen to, and there was no surprise Mr. Nel let them both off pretty easily. All he really needed to do was ask one question to each of the defense witnesses on cross: “And your testimony means…. what…?” Upon receiving a shrug as a reply, I would cut the witnesses free in disgust and called whomever today’s leadoff batter is. Hopefully, he’ll be able to keep me awake past tea….”

— 00:10h PDT 6 May 2014 —

The live television stream from the courtroom doesn’t come on until the witness is already taking questions. The questions are all softballs. Naturally,the husband on the other side of the Pistorius house never did  hear a shot, just “crying,” which the witness described very adeptly as “crying.”

There’s weeping, sobbing, bawling, wailing, howling, all kinds of descriptive words one could use to describe a form of crying, and each has a different facet. This guy never heard of either term, in English or Afrikaans..

The woman describes something she heard  as “a bang sound. There’s no other way to describe the bang than as a bang.”

Not in EITHER language you speak??? Kitchen pots falling on tile make a “bang” sound. A garage door closing on a car makes a “bang” sound too. So does a firecracker. And so does an M-80, and a grenade. But to her, it’s all the same. She describes a bang about as well as her husband describes “crying.”

Are these people totally deficient, or are they lying? Both of them have watched the entire trial, because the whole world is, and they’re his (the defendant’s) neighbors, so of course they’re interested. They were useless; time-fillers.

The next friendly neighbor stated that she woke up to hear someone crying very loud, so loud he could been in her house (questionable analogy), and after waking her husband to see if he heard the screams, which he said he did but thought they happened in a dream, she said she told him  (55:30 mark) “…I thought that maybe a security guard had been shot.”

Curious, since she’d never mentioned hearing a shot, and I can’t imagine one single voice producing more decibels than a 9mm pistol. [Note to self: record witness’ impression of Oscar’s scream for use as ringtone.] For some reason, Nel didn’t catch that; maybe he was as bored as I was, listening to this tedious repetition of stuff we’ve heard so often before.

In the first place, I cannot understand how the people in the two houses next to Pistorius’ failed to hear the gunshots. Four gunshots in a bathroom, with a window open, at 0300 in the morning. Not a one of them. How can anyone take them seriously? They’ve all watched the trial, and they’re all testifying against anyone who said earlier that they’d heard the shots. So, what does that mean? That there was no gun? That Reeva Steenkamp wasn’t all shot up? That Oscar didn’t do it? How is Gerrie Nell letting them get away with this, and why, my lady, is the judge herself not getting involved in silencing these witnesses whose stories are to a great part made up specifically to dispel the prosecution’s case?

I suppose we’ll all get to see what goes down Thursday morning at Zero Dark Thirty Pacific Time, after a round of presumably peaceful elections in South Africa.

The Nine Faces of Oscar Pistorius   18 comments

I’ve made good use of the two week hiatus in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial, watching and re-watching the direct testimony and cross-examination of Pistorius, and keeping note of his lies and inconsistencies. There were a lot of them. I made up an Excel spreadsheet and kept score. Two pages, 30 instances of his contradicting himself, using faulty logic, or a combination of both.

Pistorius was sworn in at the 47 minute mark of Session 2 of April 7th. From the 3rd session of the following day, things were going fairly smoothly. By afternoon, he was digging his way out of the grave he had dug for himself with his own forked tongue.

To begin with, when he finally was convinced to do so, the former track star called 911. We haven’t heard a recording of the 911 telephone call, but let’s take Oscar’s word for it that the 911 dispatcher told HIM to take Reeva to the hospital, OK? How likely is that? Ask any 911 operator. So that, atop all other lies, is the first one. In point of fact, there was no 911 call made by the correctly accused.

Here’s the rest of the scorecard I came up with, complete with dates, sessions, and times, as gleaned from the YouTube recordings from SABC Digital News, to whom I give thanks for their extensive, though imperfect, coverage.

The Arm with the gun in it: On 4/11, Session 1, at 2:47 and again at 3:03:55, Oscar testifies “I had my firearm out in front of me.” Then, at the very beginning of the second session of April 14, he says, “I wasn’t holding the firearm out in front of me.”

The Balcony: On 4/9, the 5th Session, at 0:22:35 he said BOTH “I went out onto the balcony to get the fan,” and “I reached out onto the balcony to get the fan.” As Prosecutor Gerrie Nel pointed out so animatedly on the last day before the two-week hiatus, he EITHER went out OR reached out. He can’t have done both.

The Curtains: In that same session on April 9th, at 0:29:30, “I closed the doors, blinds, and curtains.” But a minute and 27 seconds later, he testified that he had previously “opened the doors and curtains.” Miraculously, the blinds opened themselves.

The Fans: In that very same session, at the 34-minute mark, there was unsureness as to whether there was one or two fans plugged into the extension cord in the bedroom. At 41:50, it is revealed that on his bail application, Oscar said there was only one fan.

Who Fired The Gun? On April 11th, at the 3:17:30 mark, Oscar Pistorius said, “I discharged the firearm.” But he must have forgotten he said that, because on April 14th, at 1:29:00 of the 2nd session, he said (and try to follow this), “The gun didn’t go off. I didn’t fire at it (the door). I fired because I was scared.”

The Mystery of the Toilet Door: This is the most bothersome of the contradictions, and I guess I’ll list them in chart form, because there are just more twists and turns and contradictions in this particular part of the story than there are in a Grand Prix race.

Date   Ses.  Time       Statement                                                                                                                     .

4/8        3        1:19:00    Heard door slam in bathroom

4/8        4        0:11:50    Pushed the door open but it was locked  *(Bulletin: door PULLS open)

4/8        4        0:13:00    Kicked the door

4/11        1        2:50:40    Heard someone kick the toilet door  *(Kick it open???)

4/11        1        2:50:55    Kicked the door closed  *(Ohhh, you CAN’T KICK IT CLOSED from the inside!!!)

4/11        1        2:54:00    I never ever said “kicked.”

4/11        1        3:16:55     I heard… wood moving / door opening

4/11        1        3:17:00     I didn’t say “door opening.”

4/14       2        1:02:00    I heard the magazine rack moving

4/14       3        0:16:00    Put my shoulder against the small wall and tried to rip door open  *(NOW he’s got it!)

4/14       3        0:46:50    Shoulder-charged the door      *(Nope, he doesn’t get it. Moron….)

4/15       2         0:13:29     THE LOCK ON THE TOILET DOOR WAS NOT WORKING.

* To clarify the above, 1. It was Session 2 (I corrected that before striking it out); and 2. I mis-heard the question, which was about the LIGHT in the toilet. The question came from the female associate judge, and I just blew this one. Very difficult accent for an American to make out sometimes. Thanks to the reader who pointed out the error.

So, as I think I’ve proven, Oscar Pistorius speaks with forked tongue. And this is a guy who said his story hasn’t changed from the beginning. Take a copy of his bail statement and compare it to any day’s testimony. You will find lies and inconsistencies. Pistorius has told so many lies his defense is steeped in them. Why this guy was allowed to take the stand in his own defense is inexplicable. But wait! There’s more!

There were five mentions of the Whispering Incident:

4/8       3        1:17:00     I whispered to Reeva

4/11      1        1:18:00     I whispered; told her in a soft tone.

4/11      1        1:21:00     I never whispered. I said it in a soft manner.

4/14      1       0:50:30     Nel: Did you ever whisper?

Pisto: No.
Nel: If someone said you were whispering, would they be lying?
Pisto: Yes.

So, extrapolating on all of the above, there is no longer a defense case. Nothing the defense says about contamination of the evidence will hold up. It doesn’t matter whether the duvet came first or the jeans did. The fan is sitting in exactly the spot it was at when it was originally put there, before the fatal showdown took place. The second fan was an invention after the fact to support Oscar’s claim that the scene was doctored, which doesn’t matter anyway, because he shot and killed her in the bathroom!

His contradictory testimony regarding everything and anything that happened between the bed and the bathroom should be damning enough to put this egotistical, disrespectful, misogynistic sociopath away for the rest of his miserable life.

At this point, I can’t wait for the verdict watch. Living on the west coast of the United States as I do, I’m planning on pulling all-nighters until the judge emerges from her chambers. Unless this goes like the Casey Anthony case did, I’m expecting a conviction and a sentencing of the maximum term.

 

Oscar Pistorius Murders Own Defense   2 comments

Oscar Pistorius’ defense died Wednesday morning, April 9, 2014, about 56 minutes into the opening session, and again the following day.

There are so many holes in his story, he makes the surface of the moon seem smooth. No reasonable person could possibly believe his story. Simple as that. This man is incapable of telling the truth.

Everything that the Olympic and Paralympic phenomenon has had going for him — his fame, his money, his ladies, all of it — was buried by the precision digging of The Blade Runner’s own tongue, which he cannot keep still.

You can watch the carnage here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vbz64-Ie0BM, or if you’re unable to watch the video, here’s a transcript, starting at the 56-minute, 29-second point:

Defense Attorney Roux: Mr. Pistorius, did you at any time intend to kill Reeva?

Oscar Pistorius: I did not intend to kill Reeva, my Lady, or anybody else for that matter.

Roux: (stunned silence) …(ponders second career)…(pees his robe)…(asks for brief recess to change his Depends) — returns after recess and hands the defendant over to the drooling, hollow-fanged prosecutor.

He could have said, “No.” He could have said, “No, my Lady.” He could have said, “No, My Lady, I did not intend to kill Reeva.” Or he could have given any number of answers and left out the highlighted text above.

Because if he didn’t intend to kill ANYBODY, then what did he think would happen to whomever was on the other side of the bathroom door after he put four 9-mm parabellum (for war) hollow-point slugs through it?

Thursday the bloodbath continued, with the virgin firing of a Glock 19 that was in Pistorius’ hands but he never pulled the trigger! The problem with that is Glocks have a double-trigger safety. It looks like a trigger within a trigger, and if you don’t have your finger on it, you simply cannot pull the trigger, period.

I know this because I owned Glocks for years. So, the gun went off, passive tense, because he never pulled the trigger, in a restaurant, in Oscar Pistorius’ hands, but the trigger was never pulled. So far Glock hasn’t recalled its guns.

The second — well, the second, third, fourth, and fifth — virgin firings of a weapon also happened, miracle of miracles, whilst a gun was in the hands of this very same fellow: Oscar Pistorius! Who’da figured?

There he was scuttling around the bathroom floor, chasing invisible burglars in the middle of the night, the way my cats chase invisible mousies. Only he had a cocked and locked firearm.

Now, he didn’t have his finger on the trigger, as he testified the previous day when he said straight out that he shot the gun, and he certainly didn’t pull it, but again, miraculously, four 9mm hollow-points somehow made their way out of the gun, through the door in a tightly-packed group, and into Reeva Steenkamp’s pelvis, humerus, and skull, killing her within seconds.

Earlier in the day, Pistorius was shown in a video taken on a gun range, with a .50 caliber handgun, shooting at and destroying a large watermelon. After shooting and obliterating it, Pistorius was heard on tape saying, among other things, that it was softer than brains.

I think we’ve seen that, like Jodi Arias, the defendant in this case is his own worst enemy. The only difference is that Jodi Arias was physically able to put her foot into her mouth.

 

MH370 to appear in “Close Encounters” Sequel   1 comment

It’s now been over a week since Malaysian Air flight 370 disappeared, and no one has any information to give the desperate families, who have been terrorized further by the media during the worst days of their lives. The sad fact is: no one knows where on earth the Boeing 777-200 has gone. Presuming, of course, that it’s still on earth. Even that theory is as reasonable as all the others.

First, it was presumed to be in the South China Sea, then Palau Perak, a tiny island in the middle of the Malacca Strait which is barely long enough to accommodate a wide-body, then the Bay of Bengal, the Gulf of Thailand, and the Andaman Islands. A couple of the TV speculators even suggested North Korea, which is theoretically possible, but very unlikely. And a couple of wackos even came up with an alien abduction theory.

Other theories included lithium batteries; the two Iranians with fraudulent passports, who had flown into Malaysia on their own passports; the one Uighur on the plane; the co-pilot’s violation of all post-9/11 regulations and inviting two hotties into the cockpit hoping he’d get a taste of theirs. Those are each numbers on the spinning wheel.

I’d like to know why the entire passenger manifest weren’t immediately run through Interpol, FBI, FAA, NTSB, and DHS databases as soon as it was known there was something very wrong with this flight.

The pilot had the best home flight simulator I’ve ever seen, and I’ve flown flight simulators ever since the graphics were green on black. Everyone’s talked about the pilot’s computer, but today was the first time anyone entered his house. He could have run a remote access program and wiped his flight plans out, and then run bit-by-bit disk-cleaning utility numerous times. What the Malaysians did was stand outside the house, humming a happy tune. “We don’t allow that in Malaysia,” but they’ve been known to execute pot-smokers with less than an ounce of weed. They supposedly needed a reason to enter the homes. WTF were they waiting for?

The international intelligence community seem to believe the crew was in full charge, in which case everyone in the passenger cabin would have had to be immobilized, including the flight attendants. It would be totally unreasonable to believe the entire flight crew was aware of what was happening. It could be why they reportedly climbed to 45,000′, above the flight ceiling of a 777.  But it doesn’t make any sense that the plane made it to 23,000′ in about the span of a minute, because this aircraft would have gone supersonic, and broken into pieces.

For every scenario, there seems to be a good reason to believe; but by the same token, there are reasons to debunk the scenario. Some of the actions of whomever was in control are still unexplainable. The flight changed direction and altitude at specific waypoints.

The latest theory is that the plane, which was thought to have only 7 hours of fuel — a lot less, practically, since the plane climbed to 45,000′ and then being pinged at 23,000′ and climbing back up to 35,000′ they’d be using too much fuel to stay in the air that long. But this 777-200 got over almost eight hours, despite their erratic flying and presumably spending valuable fuel doing so, and the plane was pinged either over the Himalayas, or southward towards Indonesia. No one claims to know how the plane’s last ping was to the northwest or to the south.

We could fill an NHL arena with 18,000 people, and probably find no two people whose theories are the same. For all we know, the alien abduction theory sounds as plausible as any. Does anyone know where Richard Dreyfuss has been for the last week?

More Specifics on my Kevorking Facebook on March 15th   Leave a comment

After a bit more reflection on how/when to Kevork my Facebook account, I’ve decided that sometime on March 15th, I will completely obliterate it. If you would like to remain in contact, please feel free to leave a comment on my blog, which remains visible to me alone unless I physically publish it. Or, I created a FB Event to which you’ve all been invited.

I did this because most of you don’t get my posts on your newsfeed.  I’m aware that some of my more religious/conservative friends don’t want all their friends and families to see the  “7 Words You Can’t Say on TV” all over the place, and I respect that. I can be a brutally honest commentator when it comes to things about which I feel strongly — socio-political issues, pretty much. In fact, everything I care about, in one shape or another, is social or political. Another reason why my commentary sounds like I’m angry. Mostly, I am — mostly. However, I am considered a Top Commentator on Facebook, Newsvine, and Disqus, which must say something about the targets I pick and the attitude I have.

Aside from what I’ve said before about my decision to kill that account, I’ve been pretty damned disappointed with people I went to school with four decades ago, because more often than not, we have a short FB interaction, and then everything else *poof* stops. I’ll send a message and I get shit like “too busy” to read  or reply, or I get nothing in return. But they post to Facebook every day without fail.

There are, in fact, only ten categories into which my 140 FB friends fall:

People I know from my K-12 years, or from the neighborhood.  I only ever hear from or interact with just a couple of them – literally, and I value those friendships. Some of those friendships are even closer than they were back in the day. The rest of them just stumbled across me or I them, leading to sharing a common memory or two, and that’s about the end of things we have in common forty years later. In point of fact, I never really had anything in common with them – they were a group of assholes who, in great part, made my public school experience fucking miserable.

People I know from college.  I’ve only connected with a few, but very few. Most of them don’t use Facebook or even have computers, for that matter. This is comprised of three or four guys from my college basketball team, and two guys from my college newspaper – my first editor, who now has a book in the libraries, and my photography editor. I love these guys.

People I’ve worked with. Except for an incredibly brave young woman from Shanghai who was my first and therefore my longest-term friend from the international transportation business (and who emigrated to Toronto with her family because, she told me, I introduced her  to freedom and opportunity in the west), you can take the rest of them and tie them to a fish hook, whether they’re here in the Bellingham area, or in Denver. One “friend” in Denver whom I recently blocked was a woman who hadn’t replied to me in a month because she was too busy working two jobs. But she found time to go to Las Vegas (she and her father, with whom I also worked, are gambling addicts) and she has the time to post to Facebook every day. Therefore, I kevorked her by writing a simple “Buh-bye,” and immediately and permanently blocking her. As for them, I’m fighting PTSD from the abuse I took from management for almost fifteen years. The boss is an alcoholic and a philanderer; and he takes annual child-sex vacations in Costa Rica, because the weather’s better there than in Bangkok or Manila. And the hotels are cheaper. I traveled with him as rarely as humanly possible. Once, on a business trip to Long Beach, CA., he asked me if I would be into (sex with)  a Japanese boy about nine years old. WTF???!!!

People in the media or politics.  These are relationships I truly care about. Norman  Goldman and I have virtually the same political views, were born in Brooklyn, went to a CUNY college, and knew some of the same politicians in Queens. Alan Boyle has one of the best jobs a journalist could possibly have: Science Editor for msnbc, and lives not too far south of me. Rude (as I refer to him) Pundit is one of the sharpest progressive commentators in the country, and has been a guest on numerous shows. One brilliant friend I met on Facebook was Postmaster-General of the U.S. under Bill Clinton. She and I share similar political views as well. There are a few others in addition to these four, but they’re the meat of the batting order.

Astronomy and NASA geeks.  These are some of my most fascinating and well-educated friends, and I love every one of them, many of them are overseas. I met most of them when we attended the Juno launch in August 2012, or I was turned on to them by domestic NASA geeks. I truly love those people. We’re geeks of a feather.

Medical Marijuana friends.  Fellow patients, activists, and proponents. What can I say about these friends? I love ’em all.

Overseas friends.  In Tunisia, The Philippines, Taiwan, and throughout Europe. Fascinating people, all of them, from vastly different cultures. My friend in Tunisia has taught me more about Islam, and I’ve taught her more about Judaism, than anyone I’ve ever known. One day she’ll be the secular president of her country, or whatever she wants to be. My friend in The Philippines is an incredibly talented astronomy geek, even though she doesn’t own a telescope. She is, however, a magician with her camera.

People I know from Washington state. Some of whom are the most fun people I’ve met west of the Hudson River. Some of them are also Medical Marijuana friends, or just friends who smoke up. It is legal in the Free State of Washington. A number of them were life-saving cardiac rehab therapists who helped me through one or both heart attacks I’ve had. One physical therapist who rehabilitated my replaced shoulder in 2003, 2005, and 2010. Some others are friends from the synagogue we attend. These people are pretty cool. I get their posts and they get mine. We exchange a lot of “Likes.” I hope to stay in touch with all of them.

Family.  This is a tough one. Although both of my sons and I communicate using Facebook, and a few cousins who occasionally answer me back or comment on my posts, it’s seems like I’ve been standing there in the snow and knocking on an empty door. They all know how to contact me. My phone number is incredibly easy to remember because of the word it spells. Same with my cell.

People of like mind.  This is probably the largest group, comprised of people who agree with me on my socio-political stance, and with animal lovers (including and especially cats, dogs, and dolphins), some of whom found me, some of whom I found myself. What a wonderful, diverse group of people. This group is comprised of people of all religions and ethnic groups, many of whom are overseas, but all of them care about many of the same things I do.

That’s about it for those ten categories, and that about covers all the pigeonholes my Facebook friends fit into. I don’t know what more to say, but I think I’ve said enough already. Which is why I leave this post open to comments — I’m interested in what people have to say. Other than that,

May Ceiling Cat be with you, srsly.

Posted 03/02/2014 by warrenlevine in Uncategorized

Anti-social networking. or why I’m killing my Facebook account   Leave a comment

To my Facebook friends, family, and real-world friends, whether we’ve seen each other in the last 50-odd years or not:

I’ve become pretty tired of spending most of my days and too many nights looking through posts and articles and commenting on Facebook to the detriment of other, more productive things. For one, writing a novel based on some real-world experiences I’ve had overseas, specifically in China.

Recently, I’ve grown to hate Facebook, and I’d like to explain why, so maybe some of you who have been sitting on the fence as I was might identify with me and jump down on one side or the other.

Facebook creates attention deficit, unless you’ve already got a case of it. It’s like ESPN morphed itself into the post-9/11 CNN News ticker, and that morphed itself into Facebook’s news feed. It shows you what it calculates you might be interested in, and makes you physically choose to see things from all the friends whom you follow in the order in which they’re posted. They’re taking liberties, and it’s affecting your life, as well as mine. I’m fucking mad as hell, and I’m fucking not going to fucking take it anymore.

Can you tell I’m sick of it?

Another of Facebook’s sins is that it fosters digital pseudo-relations between people. Example: You now only have to click when Facebook reminds you it’s someone’s birthday. And then, in return for the favor, the bastards self-servingly give you the option to send  a gift card from one of their sponsors to give it that little extra personal touch. Digitally, of course. But they’re sticking that digit right up your ass, and they’ve all got dirty, untrimmed fingernails.

OK, so Hallmark is an old medium, and between the cost of a card and a stamp, it’s five bucks per occasion. What’s more important is that you know the birthdays of people you really care about, and you either have their email addresses (lame) or phone numbers, so you can call them on your unlimited talk & text plan. This way they know they matter to you, and will hopefully extend the same courtesy when it’s your birthday.

You’ll notice if and when you see this post that I’ve begun purging my account by taking the time (before I wrote this) to manually delete as many of the pictures I’ve posted that Facebook will allow me to delete, including my profile and cover pictures.

I also deleted and/or blocked a couple of people about whom, under any circumstances, I didn’t give a fuck. So, if you’re reading this, I do value your friendship.

And  as you can probably guess, I’m about to shit-can my Facebook account for all of the above reasons, and some others I haven’t mentioned, although at some point I might. However I’m taking feedback via PRIVATE MESSAGES ONLY, but only for the next week or month, or whenever I stop getting the private messages asking where/how I can be reached online.

Posted 02/27/2014 by warrenlevine in Uncategorized

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