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31
Aug

toward justice

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. 
            – Martin Luther King

31
Aug

a daily dose of inspiration, and then some:

How we choose to treat our surroundings/community/environment will have a seismic impact across the globe. Yes, this ripple effect starts with us as individuals, and goes on to impact all of humanity. And humanity is our ultimate community.  Today, feel the responsibility you have to treat people and places with care. The future is our hands. All of our hands. (Yehuda Berg)

30
Aug

just my stupid heart

american heartThis is a follow up to my “Corporate American Heart” post.

This post will not be as much about insurance as it will be about the uncertainty of facing heart disease; and the repercussions of not paying attention to your health.

This is a very personal topic and story, but I want to tell it just the same.  Maybe reading about my stupidity will help someone else wake up, too.

I have been an ostrich when it comes to my health.  Well, maybe not an ostrich, more like Scarlett O’Hara: “I’ll think about it tomorrow.”  That type of attitude. 

Tomorrow is here.  

I had been nervous about my health for a few months, but I’d lulled myself into an invincible la-la land sort of self-apathy, I guess you could say.  I was too busy to stop and think.

Work, school, more work, blogging and burning the candle at both ends, literally.  I was so busy re-lighting the candle that the flame blinded me.  Then, as life is wont to do, it hit me head-long!  Flew in – whooosh!  and the little flames became a fire. 

So, yes.  This is a story about my stupidity.

A few months ago I got sick with a bad flu and went to the doctor with my hand out for antibiotics.  Doc said, “Not so fast, Andrea, your blood pressure is through the roof.”  I responded, “Is that so?”  “Correct,” says he. 

Well, I thought, it’s surely because I hate being in the doctor’s office.  So, I said,  “Well, it’s because I’m here, in your office, and you’re a doctor so I’m nervous.”  “Well, too bad Andrea”, says he, “here’s your antibiotics, and here’s a prescription to control the blood pressure.  I want to see you in a week.”  “Okay doc, thanks. Bye now” I said.  He says, “Nope, not so fast there, Andrea, because there’s something else that I don’t like, kiddo.  There’s a none too pretty growth there in your mouth.”  

Turns out, I have a huge cyst-like thing growing.  He says, “I don’t like the looks of it.”  He says, “You will see an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) and have it checked out?”  “Yes”, I promise him.

I got the antibiotic medication filled, went back to work, ignored the thing in my mouth, never filled the blood pressure prescription, and stuck my head back in the sand.  I never kept the follow up appointment with him either. 

I know, I know….I warned you about my stupidity. 

But the “thing” in my mouth was a concern.  So, I did see an ENT, though weeks later.

 The ENT said, “very common thing.”  It’s a result of years ago biting the back of my cheek.  And it all of a sudden, it started to grow into a huge ugly ulcer.  The ENT tells me that it’s nothing to worry about, but it’s very big and has to come out.   It protrudes out half an inch, and… well, let me spare you the details.  We need to surgically remove the damn thing.  So I say to the ENT, “Can we let it go, doc, for a little while?  I am too busy for this, okay?”   “Okay” he says, “for a little while.”

So a few weeks later, I got really sick with strep throat, and had to go back to see the doctor.  So, I say, “Can I just have a couple of antibiotics and call it a day, doc?”  He says, “We have a bigger problem – your blood pressure. Last time it was like 190 over 95,  now it’s 195 over 85.”  “Have you been taking your blood pressure medication”, he asks?   “No”, I admitted. 

Then he takes an EKG and insists I see a cardiologist.  Then, later I did keep my promise and I went back for another EKG.  Better results this time, but still concerns.    

Today my blood pressure is back to normal.  But, then I put my head back in the sand and kept putting off and putting off the visit to the cardiologist.  But, to their credit the cardiologist’s office called me every week to remind me to schedule my appointment.  So finally, I took time off of work, and got the Echocariogram, a stress test, and was given a 24 hour heart monitor to wear.  

I got the results last week.

The cardiologist tells me that echocariogram did not look bad, though I have a leaky valve. But, many people have this, he assures me, it is not cause for alarm. 

Okay, good. 

As for the stress test, it was okay as far as blood flow.  But, then, the cariologist, he gets up from his chair, puts his nose close to mine and says: “I don’t like this, Andrea.” He tells me, “Your stamina on the stress test is that of someone fifteen years older than you.”  He adds, “Do you have a death wish?” 

Snit.  I have not been exercising for the past year, it is true.  I spend my days and evenings in front of a computer.  He ordered me to excercise, or else.

Then he moves on to discuss the heart monitor results.  (I wore this heart monitor, called a “Holter” for 24 hours.) 

He says, in short, my heart rhythms are out of sync, are somewhat suspect, some abnormality.  But, not cause for immediate alarm, he says.  However, he insists that I see a “electrophysiologist” (this is a cardiologist with specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disorders).

His concern is to rule out what is called “Ventricular Tachycardia.”

My cardiologist believes I am not in immediate danger, and that I have the treatable version of Tachycardia called PAT, short for Paroxysmal Atrial Tachycardia.   The electrophyiologist, I am told, will want to hook me up to another heart monitor – for a longer period of time and see what’s really going on. 

This phase all starts next week. 

I’ll keep you posted. 

I have recovered from stupidity, by the way. (A recovering Stupido.)

30
Aug

goodnight, liberal lion

“Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince; and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”    

(Shakespeare, Hamlet)

27
Aug

score: Baez partial win, State: win-win

In the Casey Anthony case today, Judge Stan Strickland released his decision with regards to approving Tim Miller, of Equusearch, to be depositioned as a defense witness.  The Judge also ruled that the records pertaining to the 32 volunteer Caylee Anthony searchers may be reviewed privately at the law offices of Mark NeJame by both the defense and the prosecution.  If either side has cause to seek further information from any of the 32 volunteers, the Judge will consider arguments (motions), as needed. 

The defense was requesting the records of 3,000 of the search volunteers.  That request was denied.

Here is a link to Judge Strickland’s ruling:

http://www.wftv.com/pdf/20582267/detail.html

The Judge also ruled today that Leonard Padilla, Tony Padilla, Robert Dick, and Tracy McLaughlin were NOT acting as agents or associates of the defense, and will NOT be barred from testifying in the murder trial.  Tracy McLaughlin, it is rumored, spent a great deal of time with Casey Anthony and may have information that will not put Casey in the best light.

Here is link to the ruling regarding the Padilla associates:

http://www.wftv.com/pdf/20587563/detail.html

The much anticipated ruling related to the scheduling dates of the check fraud case is still pending.

25
Aug

2,000 pages of discovery released & a messy mix up

WFTV and other media outlets are reporting that the State turned over 2,000 pages of discovery to the Casey Anthony Defense Team today.  The Defense also recieved CDs with Photobucket images, a photo of the famous “Beautiful Life” (Bella Vita) tattoo, as well as FBI procedural documents.   It is not known when this discovery material will be made public. 

This document lists the State discovery items released to the Defense:

http://www.wftv.com/pdf/20547523/detail.html

In a seemingly messy mix up, Baez filed two motions in response to the State’s motion to set a trial date for the check fraud case. 

In the initial motion, filed on Friday, June August 21, 2009 (the same day as the recent hearing in the case) Baez requests an October 4, 2010 date (for the check fraud case).  Then, on June August 24th, Baez files yet another motion that argues for a November 2010 date.  The motion also indicates that the murder case will begin in June 2010.

Here is a link to the original motion filed on July 21, that requests the check fraud case be scheduled for October 4, 2010.  It is a short document and appears hastily written:

http://www.wftv.com/pdf/20547429/detail.html

Here’s a link to the amended motion which requests the check fraud case be held in November 2010: 

http://www.wftv.com/pdf/20547538/detail.html

It remains to be seen how Judge Strickland will rule on this matter; whether he will grant the Defense their request to postpone the check fraud trial until after the murder trial, or will schedule it sometime before June 2010. 

This is an important ruling and it is anyone’s guess when his decision will be delivered.

23
Aug

why we have to care

caylee with heart stickerThe popularity and interest in the Casey Anthony case defies logic to some people.  Have you noticed that?

Have you been asked “why do you care”, too?  Or maybe you’ve asked yourself why.  Maybe your husband or wife asked you, “So, why the obsession with this case?” 

I have been asked. 

Recently a good friend of mine – curious about my interest  – pressed me for an answer.   She said:

“With all the unrest in the world, all the turmoil, strife – all the heartache and misery that surrounds us each and every day – unemployment, the economy, the environment, not to mention the fact that every day so many children die or go missing in this country – why are you so interested in this case?   Aren’t you just getting caught up in the media hype that you believe created this circus in the first place?  You could be blogging about so many other things, why this case?”

It got me to thinking about what is really important to me.   And I fully realized that somehow I have fit this case into my life – in an important space in my life.  

There are many reasons why this case fascinates me.  The first of which is I am obsessed about seeing justice for a little child that I don’t know but fell in love with just the same.

And I wonder how you would answer?  Are you a little obsessed, too?  Are we all a little obsessed?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on why we have to care.  What intrigues you and keeps you interested in the case?

If you’d like to share your thoughts and start a conversation here, any comments you make will automatically post.  (Comments will only be moderated if necessary.)

Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts.

23
Aug

a perfect summer sunday

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken. (James Dent)

22
Aug

Cyber-Bully Poll

Have you ever been the victim of a cyber-bully?  Let us know by answering the anonymous poll to the right of this page.  The poll will be active until Monday, August 24th.  Thank you!

22
Aug

the casey anthony defense appears desperate in friday’s hearing

Friday’s hearing in the Casey Anthony case leaves one to ponder about the meaning of truth.

Mark Twain said:  It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.”

And so here we are once again – seemingly skirting the truth in the case against Casey Anthony, and I am left wondering about our legal system.   I am left speechless here, wondering why the court allows the defense to grope for any theory that fits their fancy to flout on any given day.  Now, I understand that case hearings, such as the one yesterday, are used to discuss motions and discovery items which may or may not become “evidence” in the case.  However, it is maddening nonetheless that these defense lawyers should be allowed to float theories out there made of whole cloth.  This brings me to infuriating item number one.

My infuriating item number one:  Casey is “innocent”

So says defense attorney Todd Macaluso, Casey Anthony is “innocent” because, he says, and I paraphrase here: substantial evidence has been discovered  that clearly suggests that Caylee had been placed in the area off of Suburban drive AFTER Casey Anthony was locked up.  Therefore, argues Macaluso, Casey is innocent, since they have proof that someone other than Casey placed the body there.  

Oh my.

It is anyone’s guess who this phantom person could be.  Could it be they would like to present the case that Tony Lazarro had a hand in placing the body off of Suburban Drive?  It could be the defense is posturing towards this as a viable alternative.  Will they try to use Tony Lazarro’s phone records and cell phone “pings” to prove he was in the vicinity and therefore could have been involved?   If this is a theory the defense plans to float – good luck to them, we know it’s just another piece of the whole cloth.

My infuriating item number two:  George Anthony barges into press conference and demands audience from NeJame

Although this happened on Thursday, one day before the hearing, it still is worth mentioning here, since it’s all connected.

Attorney Mark Nejame held a press conference with Tim Miller (of Equusearch) to discuss and reveal that as a result of photographs taken of the area where Caylees body was found, and in an attempt to disprove the defense theory that the body was dumped while Casey was sitting in jail, Miller and NeJame revealed that the area was under water during the time Tim Miller and Equusearch tried to find Caylee. 

Of course we know that hurricane Fay landed in Orlando on or around August 18th and proceeded to drench the area.  Tim Miller and his Equusearch volunteers were unable to search the area off of suburban drive as it was literally under water – in a literal lake effect. 

In a letter to the Orlando State attorney’s office, NeJame points out: “One could literally be within inches of an item and be blocked due to the thick and massive underbrush and foliage.”   He further asserts that the multiple photos of the area where Caylee was eventually found, shows a great deal of standing water.  NaJame’s letter also said: “When the search was conducted, the areas where Caylee’s remains were found were still in water, which is why the search in that specific place was called off by Tim Miller.”  Therefore, it was not feasible to search the area where Caylee’s remains were eventually found. 

Here is a link to NeJame’s letter: http://www.wftv.com/pdf/20480499/detail.html

Simply put, what NeJame and Miller are pointing out flies in the face of what the defense is trying to tout, hence it is not a theory that the Anthony’s can stomach

It appears the defense wants to make Tim Miller look incompetent, and this suits George Anthony, too.  George Anthony apparently likes the idea that it could have been a mystery killer that placed the body in the woods well after Equusearch was in the area, and while Casey was jailed. Whole cloth again.

My infuriating item number three:  Leonard Padilla, merely a security guard.

George Anthony took the stand to uphold the supposed idea that Leonard Padilla was somehow an agent of the defense and therefore should not be a witness in the case.  Jose Baez decided to put George Anthony on the stand yesterday to uphold this position.  

George Anthony happily agreed with Baez, asserting that Padilla was indeed hired as “security”.  George Anthony was either not able to recall the truth, or he simply dissembled  to serve his and Baez’s own purpose, which is to keep Padilla off of the witness stand at any cost. 

The fact is this:  Leonard Padilla came into the picture to post Casey Anthony’s $500,000 bond last year.  George Anthony now claims he didn’t know that Padilla came forward with $500, 000 bond to release his daughter from jail?  This is not only infuriating; it flies in the face of truth that anyone could now believe that Padilla and crew came all the way from California to act as security guards for the Anthony’s?  Judge Strickland, please, see through this mess, allow Padilla and crew to serve as witnesses.

My infuriating item number four: The Check Fraud Case:

This is an interesting piece of the story.  Casey Anthony has a right to stand trial on this check fraud case, but at issue is whether this case should precede the murder case.  There are double edged swords for the defense here.   First of all, the defense said that Casey Anthony has made “good” on the monies that were stolen, and that Amy Huizenga has been paid back – they said this in open court yesterday, in essence aren’t they saying that Casey is guilty of these charges?  Then, why not plea and get it over with? 

Here’s the rub, in my opinion with regards to this situation.  If the defense were to plea out this case, then Casey would have a “felony” on her record that the jury in the murder trial could consider.  But, if the defense is able to postpone this case until after the murder trial, then the prosecutors would not be able to bring up these past bad acts of felony for the jury to consider in the murder trial.

Then again, if this check fraud case goes to trial, with all the publicity that is bound to follow, it could harm Casey Anthony’s ability to secure a fair trial in her murder case – all the bad publicity from the felony case, presumably, could harm her.

I hope that Judge Strickland is able to make the right call here.  I have no idea what that call should or will be. 

Regardless, justice needs to be served and Casey Anthony should not be given any special privilege by being able to avoid trial on the check fraud case.

More to come next week as Strickland rules on the issues brought forth on Friday.  Stay tuned.

19
Aug

a corporate American heart?

american heartTomorrow I will be wired with a heart monitor and will have an echocardiogram, too.  Then, on Friday, a stress test.  The problem is I am so stressed about this whole thing – surely it’ll say BINGO: Stressed you are!

Seriously, I am not too worried, though it is nerve wracking nonetheless.  Millions of people lucky enough to have health insurance will have their hearts monitored and poked and prodded and peeked at on any given day of the week in this country.  So, it’s nothing to worry about, right?  Yeah. Right.  

My friend’s 17 year old son, who is a big strapping football player, 6’5” (perhaps taller), is coincidentally having the same testing on the same day (he in Ohio; I in Florida).   His testing is a result of a pulled muscle near his dear young heart; my testing is a result of my old heart that I have carried too long on my sleeve.   

He and I have insurance.  How lucky we are.

My heart is grateful for the insurance that I carry, but hurts to think that not all Americans have the same good fortune as I and could die sooner than I from heart disease that goes undetected. 

I remain hopeful that soon our country will wake up and know an equitable answer to this insurance crisis.  We are Americans; that means we have a responsibility to care for each other and remember that we are all equal – truly we are. 

Americans can solve the health care crisis, corporations cannot.  Corporations are bound by law to ensure their shareholders benefit monetarily – every breath they take, every move a corporation makes is to ensure profit for its shareholders, and therefore corporations are not bound to serve the good health or the goodwill of those living in America.

As wonderful as many corporations are, they are in business only to serve their bottom line.  I am not trying to be critical – I am stating a fact. Insurance companies, drug companies, or any other ancillary corporate entity will not solve this for us.  We must let our government try.  Unlike big corporate business, the government has the American people to please, not shareholders whose pockets need to be lined by law.  Shareholder profits will be made before care is given to our poor hearts.

18
Aug

my flamingo

Flamingo Gardens 015 I hope you love birds, too. 
 It is economical. 
 It saves going to heavan.

 
(Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886)

17
Aug

a daily dose of inspiration, and then some:

flower for blogThere comes a point in life when
you realize
who matters, who never did,
who won’t anymore, and who always will.
So, don’t worry about people from your past;
there’s a reason why they didn’t make it to your future.
   
(Author Unknown)

16
Aug

the clown before the storm?

clown_storms (2)

It’s been very quiet in the Casey Anthony case lately, though a hearing is set for August 21, 2009.

Perhaps this is the calm before the storm? 

Here in Florida there are two Tropical Storms brewing:  Ana (that’s Ah-Nah, not Ann-a, or so say the hurricane prognosticators!), and Bill – just plain Bill.  But, Bill could also be just plain scary.

They say that Ana is destined to stay a Tropical Storm, but Bill, they say, will become a Category 3 Hurricane.  It is anyone’s guess what will actually unfold in the coming days. 

Just as Ana and Bill approach Florida, new storms are brewing in the Casey Anthony case.  If weather permits (barring Ana or Bill landfall), August 21st will bring the media circus back to town as Corporate Camp Anthony prepares for a hearing in Judge Strickland’s courtroom. 

Jose Baez has filed three motions in his three ring circus.  The three motions are related to the following:

  • Request to certify Tim Miller of Equusearch, as a witness in the case. 
  • Delay the check fraud case until after the murder trial.  This motion may be granted to the Defense – bringing the fraud case before the murder case could be harmful to Casey Anthony’s right to a fair trial for the murder of her daughter, Caylee.  Also, the Defense claims they are too busy with the murder case to attend to this matter.
  • Lastly, Strickland will hear a motion for Protective order, intended to bar Leonard Padilla, Tony Padilla, Tracy McLaughlin, and Robert Dick from testifying in the case. Baez claims these individuals are covered under an attorney-client privilege and should not testify.

These all seem to be compelling items that may bring some thunder, lightning and heavy winds to Orlando

It is unclear whether Casey Anthony will be at the hearing, though it is presumed she will be.  

So, regardless if Ana and Bill stay away, it sure could be a stormy week in Orlando.

The hearing is set to begin at 9:30 a.m.

14
Aug

a daily dose of inspiration, and then some:

 Look and you will find it – what is unsought will go undetected.  (Sophocles)

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