Archive for the ‘equality’ Tag

If I Sentenced Oscar Pistorius   12 comments

I would, as an American, half a world away from all the action and media frenzy, if any, be almost a sequestered juror. Some of you who have read my prior coverage of the trial may doubt that, but I challenge any of you to cite any examples of my reporting something that had not yet been testified to in court. As I said: sequestered. Almost.

Not only can’t I discern the accents of the South African newscasters, the so-called best of the best — and there are numerous accents, not just one — but the technical acumen exhibited by SABC, as an alum who’d made it to the NFL might say, “THE South African Broadcast Network (goofy smile),” can only be equated to the middle-school TV production done by my younger son’s seventh-grade class in 2001.

As compared to most of the developed world’s media, whatever story they try to spin on one side or another (if any) is completely overshadowed by the comical presentation of its production teams. I have been, for all intents and purposes, a sequestered reporter. I have watched reporters gargle, towel off, blot their underarms, button their blouses, fix their hair (or dearth thereof), and scratch their balls.

As to sentencing. In matters of domestic violence, as a husband who has never lifted a hand to his wife of nearly 35 years, I tend to err on the harsh side. Therefore, I would not blink, and I would give him 25 years, the maximum allowable sentence for the crime of which he was convicted. (Note to Judge: He is no longer the accused; he’s a convict. YOU convicted him!) I would make this concurrent with the gun charges, because an out-of-shape 60-year-old Oscar Pistorius would be of limited danger to women or anyone else, and he would have very limited earning power at that age as well. He will have paid for his crimes.

The witness the other day who argued that prison was an improper place for Oscar Pistorius because “they have condoms there” was still silently cracking people up Friday morning when Roux first opened his pie-hole to argue Mitigation. So the jolly old weasel defense attorney played the “Oscar the Handicapped Victim” card to the max, and tried to soften up Judge Masipa by using his whiny, condescending offerings of paybacks and deterrents to society that would pay not even lip service to the real victims in this case, whining about how the killer’s debt is to society. Society, society, society. Then he brought up Ubuntu, and quoted a story in it of a goat. He equated Reeva Steenkamp with a fucking GOAT. The man is insane. Get this goddamned turkey away from the microphone. If Roux ever slept with a female of his own species, he’d know the difference between Reeva Steenkamp and a fucking goat!

I think the final undeserved slap in the face to the Steenkamps was the claim that Pistorius be given leniency was because although there were no shower rails at either the convict’s home or in the prison’s showers, his home shower came with a stool or a bench so he could wank freely between the two, and in addition be able to balance on his arse while using one or both hands, hence keeping his arms in shape to continue to work out all of his upper and lower appendages and limbs, or what remain of them. And that’s being nice to him.

On the dark side, Pistorius, with his snake-like eyes, knew VERY well who and what part he was shooting at. He’d accused her of messing around on him, even though she’d had very few (and longer-term) relationships compared to him, she’d reportedly been heard or commented to a friend that he had recently raged at her, “go ahead, fuck them all if you want,” or words to that effect, which is why he was shooting at that height. Do you think he was trying to hit a fucking pygmy in the head? If he were shooting at an adult’s chest, he’d be shooting at about 48″ off the ground. His first shot, the one that hit her in the hip, was 34″ from the floor. All shots were about the same height, within three inches. Isn’t anyone curious about his target? His first one was pretty close – the one that hit her in the hip. Just a couple of inches off target.

I was honestly very surprised to hear Gerry Nel request a minimum sentence of ten years. Even if he wants to squeeze Masipa for 15. This was a heinous crime, and the spolled, pampered little shit who committed it deserves some serious time. I figured a guy nicknamed “The Pit Bull” would have looked to rip off a bigger bite than that.

I’ve got friends who did more time than that in tougher prisons for simple possession of a joint.

What the hell kind of deterrent is ten years supposed to be? The suggested punishment doesn’t seem to fit the crimes. Let’s remember, we’re talking about multiple felonies. He’s now got three strikes on him. In many states, he’d get mandatory life without parole under the “Three Strikes You’re Out Law.” Three felony convictions, you’re out of society, and in for life.

 Your comments are requested. Please note this was published IN ADVANCE OF the Tuesday morning Oct. 21 session.

Only a special kind of mother could possibly know this   2 comments

A couple of my most beloved friends lost their baby last week. It was neither totally unexpected nor do I believe was it totally unwelcome, given the other possible outcomes of this tragically ill-fated pregnancy that began on an otherwise magical night in the most #becausefutbol moment of both of their young lives. (If you haven’t seen the ‘maternity ward’ commercial that ran on ESPN during the World Cup, find it on YouTube, then apply it to the NFL.)

This piece is about the mother. The word – mother – doesn’t seem to carry the weight to justify its mass, sitting there on the page, or the monitor, whichever. Less so on the monitor, because the black type means a small array of switches have been set to zero; their circuits have been broken; their value nil.

I would imagine that in a way my friend must somehow feel the same, although God Himself knows she’s got no reason to. She’d spent most of the spring preparing her body; her heart and her nature, her soul if you will, and her mind have always been prepared. She’s been mother material for longer, I’m sure, than the decade or so that I’ve known her. And, to be perfectly honest, we’re so diametrically opposite in just about every way, if we were really close friends, I’m convinced she would hate me. I just love her because she’s always had this aura or something. Maybe she gives off a maternal pheromone; I have no idea.

Other than family, I’ve only met one other woman in my lifetime, really, whom I would describe in those terms. While the one central to this event has been fortunate – she’s always been put on a pedestal by her husband, and rightfully so; the other, not so much — sadly, she was abused by virtually every male who ever got within arm’s reach of her. You wouldn’t know either one’s background by the way they love their children, the way they hold their heads up when they’re with them — their blessings, their treasured gifts. Interestingly, they both have three. I love them both. I just hurt for them in different and indescribable ways.

Now, I need to interject that through the winter, we’d found out my younger son’s wife was pregnant with their first child, a boy, whose gender we found out at an ultrasound the morning after the Super Bowl in February. So I was pretty excited that I was going to be a grandfather for the first time in July, which I did, B”H, on July 7th.

Back to the end of April, when my friend central to this story told me she was pregnant, I had somehow sensed (divined?!) it for no apparent reason, and I was wild with excitement, because I’ve got a sense for that (and earthquakes – don’t ask), and I posted this on my Facebook page:

I’ve been thinking [friend – not named] is pregnant for two full weeks now, and didn’t want to impose by asking her or her husband, who’s also a friend. The last time I had this premonition was this morning, oddly enough in the shower. I wasn’t thinking of her (she’s like a sister, people, come on), but I got that feeling again, and she just confirmed that today, without my having to ask. The oddest thing is, I’ve done that with one of her previous kids. She’s the only person I’ve ever been able to detect twice, but about the 10th-12th person I’ve been able to make the call on just out of thin air.

By the time May came around, I’d expected to hear or see, in the form of a cute Facebook post, what my friends’ baby’s gender was going to be, and I enquired and was told they believed it was a girl, but there were problems and the outlook didn’t look good either way, pending some more tests. I tried to swallow my heart back down. Prayers and requests for same go out immediately, literally around the globe. Older son in Jerusalem to Western Wall, holy sites in Hebron, other friends to mosques and churches….

More painful days of even more painful tests told them their baby had a “not uncommon” (1 in 6000) genetic disorder, and would likely not survive until birth, but a small percentage may live as long as 10-12 years, require 24/7 care and have the mental capacity of an infant. This could have a permanent effect on their family, their three kids would be scarred for life, and they could end up among the least fortunate, God forbid. The kind of stuff that runs through your mind when there’s absolutely not one blessed thing you can do to make any kind of constructive difference….

I was dying to give her the one thing I could, but I couldn’t! It was only a suggestion. The suggestion every single woman I spoke to about this said they would give their daughter, and what they would do themselves! But being a progressive — being in favor of a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body, all I could do was shut my mouth and respect her decision to follow her own beliefs. She’s a smart woman, has graduate degrees; she’s a scientist. She knows her options. But if she follows her beliefs as religiously as she does, with so much conviction, then I have to follow my belief, which is a woman’s right to choose, as religiously as she does hers. What an incredibly difficult real-life test for a confirmed, dyed-in-the-wool, blue-state progressive liberal Democrat from Brooklyn named Levine. I hope I never have to take one like it again.

That aside, I tried to put myself in her place when her husband told me, knowing her child had died inside her, going into the hospital and being induced (as my son’s wife had been just days before), going through I don’t know how much painful sweating, agaonizing labor and having a natural birth (as I witnessed my wife do twice) and knowing that after everything she and her body and soul put into it, there was nothing more than a lifeless body that never breathed the air, a child she loved and now had to bury without ever hearing him cry, I don’t think I could survive something like that. I would be a total and complete wreck. Just give me the needle and don’t take it out. Where on earth does one find the strength?

This is the kind of stuff that a special kind of mother’s character is built on. The heroine doesn’t need a name, she doesn’t need a philosophy or a specific belief or anything, she doesn’t need a background. This is about a woman’s – a mother’s – superhuman strength of mind, body, and character. This goes so deep into the makeup of her character, it is an eye-opening, mind-expanding, cathartic thing for me, as a male, to really sufficiently identify with in any kind of way. All I can do is try to imagine what it must feel like.

Except I can’t.

 

I’d Rather be Pissed Off Than Pistorius   6 comments

When (you) ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You’re invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal…
How does it feel to be on your own, with no direction home,
Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone?

— Bob Dylan (1965)

 

Oscar Pistorius’ defense may have blown their client away as the former runner’s murder trial continued Monday. Dr. Meryl Vorster, a forensic psychiatrist who joined the team ten days ago, took the stand and presented her psychiatric evaluation of the defendant. Oscar’s head may now be found gathering no moss on a highway near Pretoria.

She expected the court to believe Oscar was traumatically assaulted when he had his legs amputated at 11 months and could not talk. At the time he had parents and other relatives to console him and soothe him; he was, after all, a baby, and even though his mother was an alcoholic (ask anyone who’s ever been to an AA meeting what an “intermittent drunk” is), she did retain the basic ability to hold and cuddle her child and do basic mom stuff. Except for the boozing it up part.

The mother had an anxiety disorder, and she instilled that into her children, keeping a loaded gun underneath her pillow. The kids grew up seeing the outside world as threatening. Even more so because mommy dearest called the police about imaginary intruders every time one of the kids closed a sock drawer.

It was stressed to young Oscar that he should never allow himself to be seen as disabled and apparently was teased occasionally when kids were aware he was different. (Was anyone out there NOT teased at one time or another?) The need to conceal his disability caused Oscar more anxiety.

He was 15 when his mother died, and he stayed alternately with one family member or another or one friend or another for short periods of time, but never landed anywhere, and never had another primary adult attachment figure, according to Dr. Vorster’s report.

Oscar grew up with few strong emotional ties, and broke off relations with his father when he was 21, although he maintains relations with his siblings. When at home in Pretoria, he felt quite alone, and would frequently invite guests to stay over, but they didn’t always take him up on it. He had kind of an odd demeanor to him, and if the witness list is any indication, they needed their space.

Hence, he had few long-term relationships and relies on social media to remain in touch with his friends and siblings. Vorster further stressed that as he gained notoriety, he would have to prepare more and more for his appearances so he wouldn’t embarrass himself, of which he was dreadfully fearful.  He needed to be in a controlled environment. He was caught in a loop.

So, today, given her diagnosis of the defendant with a psychological disorder / mental illness, and the fact that it was brought forth and entered into evidence by Oscar’s own team and accepted by the court, Dr. Vorster becomes star witness for the State in its application to give Oscar Pistorius, murderer, killer, public threat, a 30-day ticket to The PsycHotel, all expenses paid. (You do have insurance, don’t you?*) #ThingsTheyWouldSayOnlyInAmerica

This has turned into a very interesting game of chess. Roux better be on his game today. No one up there on the ceiling or beyond is going to help him today either.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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.

Jodi Arias: Running With The Devil of untreated mental illness   16 comments

I found the simple life ain’t so simple, when I jumped out on that road.
I got no love, no love you’d call real, ain’t got nobody waitin’ at home….

— Van Halen

Jodi Arias had a big problem keeping her life simple. It began in her childhood, and it is securely locked behind one of the psychological coping mechanisms she’d developed to shield herself from the intolerable mental anguish of whatever cost her self-esteem before she even turned 15. This was a crucial time of her life, during which she needed attentive parenting — extra attentive, because rather than blossoming into a woman, she was wilting and dying inside. But she got no love, no love she’d call real; and there was nobody waitin’ at home.

Where did she go first, as a 15-year-old? Into the claws of an 18-year-old goth kid who believed he was a vampire, and wanted to take Jodi to San Francisco “to find some real vampires and live together forever (in death).” [Editor’s note: Outside of Hollywood (or Vancouver) movie sets, there are no goddamned vampires!] We are talking about the number one low-life reject in her little town, dressed in black when it was over 100 degrees in the shade, who stood out like a bent left ring finger. That hookup was short-lived, as he cheated on Jodi and she moved out. He was her first in many ways.

Foreign exchange student

Next, she IMs her way into a relationship with a kid in Costa Rica who had the same last name as Jodi, and she’s enrolled in an exchange program and living with his family. So, the cultural exchange program naturally turns to the exchange of bodily fluids, he gets her a ten-dollar ‘promise ring,’ and he immediately takes possession of her.

After Jodi returned, they continued to communicate as ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’ until he came to California for his part of the foreign exchange program, staying with some relatives in Redding, about a hundred miles south of Yreka and ironically the town from which Jodi rented the car she used to make that last trip to Mesa. While the guy from Costa Rica was visiting California, he and Jodi got more serious, but he became overtly controlling of her, berating and falsely accusing her when she exchanged innocent hi-hi’s with a male classmate who worked at an ice-cream drive-thru window in Yreka. That was the end of that.

Intercourse With The Vampire

And, so Jodi went back to GothBoy with the belief that Sept 23, 1997 was going to be the end of the world, thanks to Town Drunk With Bible, who she inexplicably latched onto, and she just wanted to prepare Juarez so he/they could… I don’t know what. Escalate their relationship to anal sex and probably other demeaning acts while introducing her to KY Jelly to facilitate same, it appears. Then she splits town again and makes her way down the California coast, supporting herself with a series of waitress jobs.

This friendly, intelligent, attractive girl who had a future if she’d just applied herself toward developing her talents, or if her advisor in high school would have spent some time with her, was headed into the decaying orbit that would consume the totality of her life.

BREAKING NEWS: Significant breakthrough in abnormal psychology

Jodi Ann Arias’ capital murder trial in Phoenix is a study in abnormal psychology. (I’m so glad I passed that in college.) But as all science does over a lifetime, the studies, causes, and treatments of mental illness have morphed almost beyond recognition. There are whole new methods of identifying and isolating specific syndromes, and new reasons and cures for diseases are discovered every time we seem to turn around.

Last week, Lancet ran this story that appears to change the profile of five major psychiatric disorders previously thought not to be related: autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia.

Thanks to embryonic stem-cell research, the work of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, and the geniuses who worked on the decoding of the human genome, we now have a landmark discovery which can reasonably cause mental health professionals to believe Jodi Arias’ many personality disorders are genetic in nature.

Jodi’s dissociation from reality – pathology

In addition to the above specific groups of mental illness, there are the many dissociative disorders, which also afflict Jodi, and make her everything she shouldn’t be, specifically Dissociative Identity Disorder, which affects self-esteem. Dissociation is a universal response to overwhelming trauma, according to Marlene Steinberg, MD, a prominent published psychiatrist who specializes in this field. I would love to see Jodi’s results on the adult DES test.

I’m very anxious to hear what Dr. Samuels has to say, and whether this will alter his diagnosis of Ms. Arias. If anyone in this case is competent to relate this discovery to the mental illness that turns a talented, intelligent, demure, and — let’s face it — knockout gorgeous young woman into the Queen in Aliens, it is Dr. Richard Samuels, PhD. 

(Note: I have no idea how this completely unrelated line appeared here. I would credit it to a KUI error and a proofreading mess-up.)

— At this point I’ll spare you the gory details of their illicit sexual relationship; we’ve already got TMI. —

Flash-bang adrenaline grenade

Although I have major doubts that Jodi indeed planned this poorly-choreographed attack, I agree that Jodi Arias is ultimately responsible for the death of Travis Alexander. But I still fail to see how a 5’5″ (1650 cm) 125- to 140-lb. (~60 kg) woman could effect as much damage as she apparently did to someone the size of Alexander, who worked out and outweighed her by 60-80 pounds of upper-body muscle. Especially within the timeline we’ve been given thanks to date and time stamps on the photos:

5:29:20  intentional face shot of Travis in shower (break of 1:10)
5:30:30  intentional (deleted) “Calvin Klein” shot of Travis sitting in shower (break of 44 seconds)
5:31:14  accidental picture as camera hit the floor (break of 1:02)
5:32:16  accidental picture of Jodi’s foot in blood, Travis is dead. (Total elapsed time: 2 minutes 56 seconds.)

So, we’re to believe that Jodi Arias was cognizant of what happened? The entire killing took 62 seconds – the length of a commercial! If that’s not the primal reaction of someone who’s in immediate fear for her life, and blacked out by her own adrenaline, then space-time must have curved for the minute and two seconds it took for her to effect 27 stab wounds, two more that Travis blocked with his hands, a gunshot wound, and a cleanly slit throat, presumably in one continuous motion, from ear to ear. And then pick him up and drag him down the hall as soon as the mortal combat was over, kicking the camera in the process. It does not fit that a person in their right mind could achieve that.

Had Jodi Arias not been in the blackout state she referred to as “a fog” during those few short seconds it took to inflict all that damage on Travis Alexander, she would never have reacted the way she did. She must have been terrified to the extent of having a seizure. Why not run out the door instead of into the closet? Because her brain did what human brains do under massive stress – it blanked out, and the animal instinct of survival came roaring in from her hypothalamus and turned her into something like The Tasmanian Devil on Angel Dust.

After hearing two more weeks of incredibly detailed testimony, I’m getting a little weary of watching Jodi Arias, her fencing with Juan Martinez, his teeth gritting like a mad dog’s, and I’ve become tired at looking at The Bride of Frankenstein and her sister the cop, with the Hitler comb-over. Let’s get this redirect done in a day or two at the most, let’s let Juan Martinez out of his doghouse, and on to the jury’s questions for Jodi. That could be a pivotal point in the trial, since there are a lot of missing puzzle pieces to put into place.

Then we’ll get to hear from the forensic psychologist, which should be an adventure in abnormal psych.

Final note: If Joe Arpaio doesn’t give Jodi Arias food and water during this trial, a basic civil right, I will fucking report him for violations of the Geneva Conventions*, The U.N. Conventions on Human Rights, and the United States Constitution. Also, the little fucker’s looking for a Habanero pie in the face if I ever have the opportunity.

* If Americans are subject to The Patriot Act, then the fucking Geneva Conventions cover our rights. The Patriot Act effectively enforced martial law.

Thoughts on the Jodi Arias trial….   36 comments

I’ve been paying almost feverish attention to the murder trial of Jodi Arias in Phoenix while resting a nagging hamstring injury at home. Today the judge called in sick, so the trial resumes Tuesday, due to Presidents’ Day. I woke up early this morning to watch the coverage, but wasn’t too disappointed when the session was called off; now I’ve got a five-day weekend to fill in and study up on the parts of the trial I’d missed – everything leading up to the point where Arias took the stand in her own defense, less the YouTube videos I’ve watched of a few other witnesses.

At the pace this trial’s been progressing, I’m betting Jodi won’t get through her direct testimony until the end of next week. If I were her, I would need at least a weekend to chill before facing Juan Martinez. I’d sooner line up with no pads against Ray Lewis than be cross-examined by this guy.

In reading the blogs of both Arias and Alexander, untouched since their last posts in May of 2008, something in Alexander’s lengthy post caused me to stop and re-read it three or four times to fully absorb.

The following three paragraphs appear in Travis Alexander’s blog, in his last post, dated May 18, 2008. The title of the post is “Why I want to marry a Gold-Digger.” I’ve highlighted the text to which I refer below in bold. All spelling and grammatical errors are per the original:

“In the midst of all of this however I have learned a lot about what matters most to me in finding a wife. There are many qualities of course that are an absolute must. Spirituality, mutual physical attraction, the ability to communicate effectively, wants children, etc. but there is one thing that I have come to appreciate as much or more than all the others. I don’t know how to label this quality except to say that it is the quality to appreciate the qualities in me.

There are a lot of things us quirky humans find endearing, that everyone else could care less about. The way we mispronounce a word, how we slurp our soup or snort when we laugh. Those types of things I feel are important. However it is not what causes love, it’s a by product of love.

People fall in love for too many reasons to count. Usually it is a combination of reasons. But I want someone to fall in love with me because I am a man of ability and achievement. Not because I have a lot of friends (not saying I do) but for the reason people want to befriend me, not because I have tons of money (not saying I do) but because I have the ability to earn a ton of money. Not because of my accomplishments but because I am a man of accomplishment. In fact I wouldn’t want to marry anyone if they loved me and these were not at least some of the reasons why.”

I think it’s pretty clear that Travis loved himself, and he loved loving himself. He wasn’t looking for a wife in any of the girls he dated; he was looking for a disciple to worship him. He wanted a woman to adulate him, to be in wonder of him, to be in awe of him.

From the moment he got his claws on Jodi Arias, he attempted to mold her into himself. PrePaid Legal, baptizing her into his cult, and stuffing his dick into her whenever, wherever, and however he pleased. In a car on the freeway, on the phone so he could jerk off and properly make love to himself (and spray it all over the room, huge loads, 15 ‘pumps’ according to the phone sex tape). He had a willing participant in all his fantasies, and he needed her to keep his ego fed. But in doing so, he had to keep her on the sly, lest any of his Mormon friends (who thought him to be a pious Temple Member) see what a complete fucking phony he was.

Two of the four times Jodi cited as times he’d been physical with her, he knocked her to her knees; once he kept her down. Forcing her to kneel before him; tying her to a tree and ramming his dick up her ass; making her wear LITTLE BOY’S UNDERWEAR while he was fucking her in the ass; ejaculating in her face on the porch of her home and throwing her a piece of chocolate; shooting a huge load down her throat; making her dress like a slut (her words) and go out in public looking for toys to incorporate into his filthy fantasies — all those are things abusive men do to humiliate their victims. Jodi Arias is a victim. (Just in case anyone thinks there’s only one victim in this case.) And I’ve not seen anything to convince me otherwise.

The fact that he made that post at that particular time in their relationship reveals the depth and breadth of his pathological need to be adulated, admired, loved, revered, respected, and worshiped. If you read further into his last blog post he also reveals how he planned to do that, and by this time, he had a number of girls on strings, presenting himself as a virgin to the inexperienced 18-year old when he was 29; as a pussy-hound who went “damn the LDS, full speed ahead” and wanted to shoot porn flicks with Jodi, and we have yet to hear from the other fish he had on the line. And there were others. There had to be. There always are. But Jodi, she was the biggest fish in a quickly-evaporating pond for Alexander, because he was getting older, and she had already acted out her pathological willingness to be molded into what her previous Mr. Right Now wanted – the breast implants from her 20-years-older former lover who wouldn’t show his face.

All the foregoing, and a lot more, including Travis’ revelation to Jodi of the trip to Cancun with another woman, contributed toward setting the final scene in this sick, macabre drama. I don’t know what was in Jodi’s mind the day of the crime, and I can’t wait to hear her describe the events that unfolded in the few days immediately preceding it. Anything she did afterwards is, by definition, after the fact and immaterial because she had to have been in some kind of shock to kill the much bigger Alexander, and she wasn’t even in her right mind, whatever was left of it, afterwards.

Some of the evidence looks pretty bad, but whatever she went back to Mesa for, she and Travis had a good long ride and accompanying filthy photo session before something went incredibly wrong, and I think it was Travis’ violent over-reaction to Jodi’s dropping the camera that burned the fuse down and ignited the charge in one or both of them. Because until then, at least according to the pictures and the file-dates on the SD card (I don’t know why HLN and them keep calling it a SIM card) that was in the camera, they seemed to be having a rollicking good time.

There are a number of scenarios I can see, wherein Travis gets violent with Jodi. But I can’t see Jodi Arias as the monster the prosecution is trying to establish that she was. I just don’t see her as the antagonist. Whenever she appears before Travis, it’s not to start a fight; it’s to have “make-up sex,” and get a mouth or an ass full of Travis as an extra added bonus.

The entire case sickens me. Travis’ hypocrisy, which turned out to be fatal for him; Jodi’s poor self-image and her willingness to submit to deep and repeated humiliation at his hands; and finally the effect of Travis’ hypocrisy on the other girls he dated, and the shit they had to put up with before discovering what was really lurking under his Magic Underwear. To me, Travis Alexander is just another brick in the wall any female associated with him ever had to climb. Except for the degree of severity, all of us XY types are essentially alike.

I can’t begin to get into the mind of a woman who could submit to this kind of torture; I’ve had, and still have, female friends who use a curious term to describe their leapfrogging from abusive/failed/doomed relationship to abusive/failed/doomed relationship: “serial monogamy.”

The first time I heard the term was from a friend, a couple of years ago. Then, recently, I heard another friend describe herself using the same term, and even more recently I’ve heard it used again. And when I look back at the patterns of some of my high-school and college friends, I can associate the concept to even more women. All the  documentation on it seems to point towards one of those basic personality traits humans have supposedly developed and evolved with over the eons – natural selection, survival of the species, Darwinism.

But isn’t it really just an excuse to rationalize promiscuity?  it sounds a lot more to me like drug addiction, only the poor addict has no idea what the hated drug she so desperately craves is going to do next time she swallows it. The only way I’ve ever seen a story like this end is in tragedy. Let’s hope the death toll in this case isn’t unfairly doubled by an Arizona jury.

*** I would like to acknowledge the gentle corrective action applied to me by one of the friends to whom I referred two paragraphs up. In addition, I would like to apologize to anyone I unintentionally offended with my misstated conclusion. In my own defense, I think it was an inherent fault in my Y chromosome, but that’s no excuse.

Please feel free to leave your opinions. In fact, I encourage and welcome your comments. All comments, however, are subject to approval before publishing. COMMENT SPAMMERS WILL BE FOUND AND EXECUTED.

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