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31
Jul

play date with my niece!

It’s been a wonderful day because I played with my niece all day!

We planted a some plants, played hide n’ seek, Simon Sez; we searched for hidden treasures (Elizabeth wrote little notes around the house that lead to the treasure – a hat of mine that she’d had her eye on!), we played dress-up and had fashion shows with my mom as our happy audience; she taped silly things like “I love being weird” and taped them on my back, on my moms back, and on my dogs back, too.  One of my notes said, “I love Jazz” (my dog), another one said, “feed me a hot-dog.”  There were more funny ones but, darn, I just can’t remember them now.

Then, we went to the mall in search of a dress for another fashion show.  But then we passed a Day Spa and we decided to get pampered!

I got a pedicure, she got a manicure.  She chose a bright blue nail polish!  My toenails are red, but I wish I’d chosen blue – it was really pretty!

Then we found the perfect dress for her fashion show – a cute yellow romper. Then we went to the store “Claire’s” which is like a little girls candy shop…. she wanted everything there, of course.  She settled on a yellow headband and a yellow flower barrette, to match her dress!

Soon the mall closed, and we were off to the grocery store to pick up fixins’ for our hamburger & hot dog dinner. But, before that, we had to get down to business and have the fashion show!

I did her hair and make-up (red lips, rouge and purple eye shadow!), and it was so darn cute!  But, I forgot to get pictures.

I did get pictures of the earlier fashion show…. And, I got pictures of her manicure.

Oh, what a day!

a fashion show outfit!

Elizabeth gets a manicure!

30
Jul

georgia jaywalking mom gets probation; son’s killer is out of jail

You may have heard about this awful case about a mother, Raquel Nelson, 30,who was charged with second-degree vehicular homicide for the death of her 4 year old little boy?

On Tuesday, a Marietta Georgia judge sentenced her to one year probation and the opportunity for a new trial to clear her name.

Hold on, that’s only part of the story.

The story is this: In April of 2010, Raquel Nelson, anxious to get her children home before it got dark, was crossing a 4 lane highway with her three children.  Suddenly, one of her 2 daughters dashed off of the median and 4 year old, A.J., rushed after her.  That was when a van, driven by two-time hit-and-run driver, plowed into AJ, killing him.  Raquel and her daughter were struck also, but survived.

The driver of the car fled the scene.  The mother was charged; a jury found her guilty.

Her crime?  Jay-walking.

Raquel Nelson, say the authorities, had crossed the street away from the designated crosswalk, which was half-a-mile away.  (Her apartment was on the other side of the street, precisely where they crossed.)

The neighborhood, and residents of the apartment complex had long begged the city of Marietta Georgia to put a crosswalk there, it never happened.

AJ, 4. Credit: Today Show

Sometimes I am certain the government goes mad with power.  They sure did in this case.  Raquel, desperate and grieving the loss of her precious 4 year old, is ARRESTED and CHARGED!!!

What happened, you may ask, to the driver who killed the boy?  The driver who also FLED the SCENE.  The driver who has had 2 previous DUI’s?

What happened to him?

Well, he plead guilty to hit and run, and got six months.

Six months???

What is wrong here?

Here’s where this story gets incredibly maddening.  Raquel, found guilty of vehicular manslaughter, could have faced up to three years of prison, far less than the drunk driver who killed her son.

The driver who killed A.J., had been drinking, taking painkillers, and was blind in one eye. In addition, he was convicted TWICE before in prior hit-and-run convictions.  For his part in this 2010 crime, Jerry Guy, the driver, served six months of a five-year sentence for hit and run in this case.

Due to a huge public outcry, Raquel was spared prison time – the Judge gave her one year of probation with community service, and an opportunity for a new trial – to clear her name.

Raquel Nelson. Credit: Today Show

Given all these facts about the driver, the State Prosecutors choose to charge the grieving mother?

Well, the cold as ice State Attorney’s Office would say, “She admitted to Jay-Walking….”  Or, they’d say, “She admitted that she was wrong….”

WHAT?

I jaywalk everyday when I walk my dog.

For God’s sake, I never even think about Jay-Walking.  I know the police have passed me right by as I stand there waiting to cross the street with my dog.

Is it because I am white?

God help me for saying that, but something is very wrong here.  Although, the driver and the victims are black….  So. Maybe not.

But, Georgia is populated with some good ole’ Southerners.   So…. Maybe.

I do not know the make-up of the jurors, but not one of them has had to use mass transit as transportation.

This is clear over-prosecution, say legal experts.  There is NO evidence of ANY kind of negligence of the mother.

What kind of despicable government agency would even THINK to charge a woman who is out of her mind at having just seen her son die???

It makes me so mad.

Raquel Nelson, appearing on the TODAY show this past week, is the picture of grace when she said:

I’ve had to accept that he’s gotten six months, there’s nothing I can do about it.  I’ve had to forgive that portion of it. However, I think to come after me so much harder than they did him, it’s a slap in the face. This will never end for me.

“…Forgive that portion of it,” she said.  That’s why I say Raquel Nelson is the picture of grace.

By the way, the city of Marietta is considering putting in a crosswalk now.

I don’t want to be too cynical and say:  “Too little, too late.”

Well, I just did.

29
Jul

do the hustle

I hadn’t planned on writing about the Casey Anthony saga, but I do want to discuss a couple of interesting tidbits that have occurred of late.

The Orlando County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) has announced the amount of the bill it intends to slap like Henkel duct tape on Casey Anthony.

The OSCO is seeking reimbursement of $293,123.77 for its investigation of Caylee Anthony’s disappearance.  The cost is calculated from the day Cindy Anthony reported Caylee missing: July 15, 2008, until December 11, 2008, when the location of Caylee’s remains were located.

The State Attorney’s Office has filed a bill with a price tag of more than $141,000.   The amount of the costs that can be levied against Casey Anthony will be determined in court, on August 25th.  By that time, the final costs could reach in excess of $500,000.

And that’s only the beginning!  There are other lawsuits waiting in the wings, which is why Casey Anthony will have to do the hustle sooner or later.

The defense may well argue that it is unconstitutional to hold their client responsible for costs since Casey Anthony was found not guilty.  Not so in this case.  What Casey Anthony did was a fraud deliberately perpetrated by the dishonest mother of a supposedly missing daughter.  The fact that it was a fraud has been conceded by Jose Baez in open court.

The People of the State of Florida should not have to bear the burden of the costs of the investigation, period. End of story.

No matter.  Casey Anthony could make $500,000 from Larry Flynt’s Hustler Magazine if she chooses to bare it all in his centerfold.

Larry Flynt told Nancy Grace that should Casey Anthony do the hustle for the Hustler, she’d earn $500,000.  How perfect!  That would just cover the bill from Florida!

It’s anyone’s guess if this Hustler offer is being considered. (It’s a disturbing visual.)

Are the network wars for “the” interview going by the wayside?  It’s anyone’s guess.  The networks are falling over themselves to say they will NOT pay for interviews.  The have integrity, they yell from the rafters.  They have standards!  They are about real journalism, you know!  Uh, right.

You know what would bust the network’s hustle for a Casey Anthony interview?  The answer:  The Zenaida Gonsalez civil law suit.

If the law firm Morgan & Morgan has their way and can move forward on a videotaped deposition of Caseey BEFORE a network interview it would remove or lower an audience’s interest in seeing a network interview with Casey Anthony.

Wouldn’t that be just perfect?!

C’mon Morgan and Morgan, do the hustle!

28
Jul

Project runway……

My favorite show is back! I love this show….love watching the creative design process and the wonderfully colorful personalities on the show.  It brings back memories of my former career in the theatre, modeling and working with designers…..I get nostalgic and start missing acting and the theatre….

So, tommorow night I’ll write…..tonight I’m on the couch – working on my Xoom tablet during the commercials!

okay – gotta go…. the designers are using their own PJ’s to create their design! love it!

27
Jul

dearly departed one?

I’m going to tell you a story that you’re likely to not forget!

The story, written by Nastasya Tay, and published by the Associated Press, tells an eerie tale about a South African man who was thought to be as dead as dead can be, but was, in fact, very much alive!

The man, believed to be deceased, was carted off to the morgue, placed in a freezer only to wake up 21 hours later.  (It’s a wonder he didn’t die again from the smell.)

The story goes like this…. The “man” (he is not named in the article), after having suffered an asthma attack, for all intents and purposes, had died.

The family hired a morgue who came to take the poor man away.  The family set about to, sadly, prepare for all the things one most do when a loved one departs.  You see, the family had every reason to believe the man had died.

So, the morgue “driver” aka body-checker (slash) picker-up-of-bodies, came to the home to cart the newly departed one to his temporary resting place, in the morgue fridge.  But before the man could take that final ride to the morgue, the body-checker (slash) picker-up-of-bodies, checked to be sure the man was indeed no longer among the living.

Yes.  Dead he was, thought the body-checker (slash) picker-up-of-bodies.

Satisfied that his charge met the qualifications of being dead, the man was brought from his home to the morgue.

Fast forward 21 hours.

It was the next day when, at the home of the dearly departed, the loving family was making the sad funeral arrangements.  At the same time, however, at the morgue, the dearly departed was waking up and yelling up a storm.

Imagine how those morgue employees reacted?!

The morgue workers, wishing they had Ghostbusters on speed-dial, notified morgue owner, Ayanda Maqolo, of the situation.

Maqola, sensitive about saving face, put up a brave front for the morgue employees, snapped into action.

Later, Moqolo admitted, “I was also scared. But they are my employees and I had to show them I wasn’t scared, so I called the police.”

The brave police were not deterred, but Moqolo was grateful the police drew their guns.

And then, with the morgue workers and Moqolo in tow, the police entered the morgue with guns drawn, ready to face the ghost.

Moqolo said, “I was glad they had their firearms, in case something wanted to fight with us.”

Now, this accidental, less than merry, band of Ghostbusters threw caution to the wind, and faced the cries of “help me” from behind the freezer door of the morgue.   (Surely, it was the bravest of officers who opened the freezer door that night.)

Then, when at last the freezer door was opened, the man, looking as pale as a ghost, understandably asked, “How did I get here?”

It’s unknown what was said to the man in reply to the “How did I get here” question.  Perhaps they said, in unison, “Uh.  You. Were. Dead.”

Probably they were at a loss for words.

Later, Moqolo said, “I couldn’t sleep last night, I had nightmares.  But today I’m much better.”

Read the original article here.

26
Jul

the interview

There’s wild news, even wilder allegations about the amount of money to be made off of the Casey Anthony trial and verdict.

This evening I watched the Nancy Grace show (without the hothead herself – which is why I watched it), and the discussion about profiting and money was interesting, but not surprising, unfortunately.

The gist of the show this evening had to do with marketing Casey.  Making money and more money, and more and more money – we’re talking lots of money from Casey’s story.

There is an incessant beat, beat, beat of the drum, drum, drum as the major networks march (as fast as they can) to be the leader of the band and score the interview.  A band of goofballs.

Pictured: Jose Baez, Casey Anthony, Mark Geragos / Photo collage: TMZ

The Nancy Grace show quests discussed the terribly irony that with the acquittal, this story is no longer about a murdered two year old.  It’s a story about Casey.

Furthermore, the story is “sexy” because Casey, before she was arrested, was a pretty girl with a great deal of sex appeal, said the panelists on the show.   The reality we’re dealing with is that Sex Sells.

That’s the reality of marketing today – edgy, slick and sexy is what sells. And if the context of the story is salacious, it’s even better.

The panelists on the show made no bones about it, Casey Anthony stands to make money, and lots of it.

After her interview deal, she’ll have a book deal, and there will be more and more deal making until the story fades eventually.

This is the abhorrent reality of the marketing game.  And, the networks will gauge the public interest to be sure they hit the market when it’s hot and take full advantage of a promising and lucrative “deal.”

Deal or no deal, as I’ve said before, Casey Anthony, at the end of the day, has to live with herself.

The fact is, Casey has every right to profit as a result of being found not guilty.  No one likes it, but “it is what it is” or “what will be will be” or add your own cliche – it’s gonna happen, the pundits seem to be saying. They will milk this story for all it’s worth.

I’m not really convinced.  It’s difficult to fathom how the networks will be able to get away with it, given the groundswell of disgust that rises across the country when talk of Anthony profiteering comes up.

It will be interesting how it plays out.  One thing is certain, there will be many boycotts of any network or show that airs a Casey Anthony interview.

The question is, do the networks or the individual shows even care about the backlash?   Is the population of people who want to hear from Casey Anthony bigger than the population who will boycott?  I don’t have that answer, of course.

I hate to say it, but I think those of us who boycott will be a drop in the bucket compared to an audience interested in seeing Casey Anthony – in her own words.

According to TMZ, NBC is likely leading the band of miscreant networks:

Sources tell TMZ … NBC, ABC and CBS are all competing for the first interview.  Sources connected with the negotiations tell TMZ there is a “big price tag” for the interview.  We’re told the networks — which say they don’t pay for interviews — are offering to license photos and other material and pay big bucks … that’s S.O.P. in the network game.  (Note from Andrea:  SOP = Standard Operating Procedure)

We’re told NBC looks like the frontrunner so far, but ABC is in the game.  We’re told CBS “is a distant third.”  We’re told NBC is paying for Baez’ hotel room.

Baez spent part of the night Thursday in the Mandarin Oriental bar with famed lawyer Mark Geragos  — who knows a thing or two about high-profile cases.  We’re told Geragos gave Baez pointers on negotiating the deal.

Sources also say that Jose Baez in is acting as an agent to seal the deal for Casey, and himself. The scuttlebutt is that Baez is being mentored by Mark Geragos, in the pursuit of cashing in on “Casey” and her infamous notoriety.

Cindy and George Anthony allegedly turned down $250,000 for an interview – it wasn’t quite the amount of money they were looking for, thank you very much.

We may have to grit our collective teeth when it happens.  If the pundits are correct, we’re going to be bombarded with Casey Anthony, in the flesh.

I really don’t want to believe it.  I don’t think this is a done-deal yet…..

25
Jul

faith hope and love

I’m feeling a little under the weather tonight – exhausted mostly.  And, I just lost all the data in my iPhone as I was trying to update the software.  I figured out how to restore it, I think.  The phone seems to be righting itself.  It’s taking a long time, though.   I’d be lost without my iphone…. I have faith it will straighten itself out….

Anyway, I don’t have the energy to write tonight.   So, I’m leaving you with a passage from Corinthians, that I have loved since I was a child.

One of the bloggers here, Faith, shared this passage today.  And, I remembered how much I loved it, and how it made me feel to read it.

I am not one to read the bible, or go to church, or pray very much.  But I do have faith – in love especially.

In truth, I have only read pieces here and there from the bible, never the whole thing.

My bible is Shakespeare, poetry, and good fiction.  My personal God lives in everything and everyone, and of course, in Nature.

The interesting thing about this passage – no two versions of it are alike.  There is a vast differences from one version to the next.   I kind of like this version:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.   ~ 1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)

I have a great story for tomorrow, by the way…. you’ll love it!

24
Jul

crime and violence

I haven’t checked the actual statistics of which state in the U.S. is troubled with the highest number of murders, but it really seems to me that Florida has a groundswell of some of the most vicious crimes.

Having followed the Casey Anthony case for so long, I’d read the Orlando newspapers, see the television reports, and listen to the radio news on a daily basis.  It is plain that Orlando has its fair share of very violent crime – on a daily basis, too.  I’d focused on Orlando for so long, I’d missed a lot of what was going on crime-wise in my own neighborhood, in Broward County, Floria.

It’s all I can do to keep up with one case at a time – my work schedule won’t allow it, and I can barely keep up with my blog sometimes.  However, after reading the paper today and reading about the sickening terror in Norway in which 80, or so, young people were brutally murdered in the worst blood bath (in Norway), since the World Wars, a new reality about violence has sunk in.

Of course, when the violence has to do with children, it’s insanely heartbreaking.  It’s also unbelievable when children are the ones committing the violence.

Our local news has been filled of late with horrific and violent deaths of parents at the hands of their own children.  One story is worse than the next, and then the next one is even worse.

Parents brutally murdered by children who they’d nurtured for years.  This type of killing is called parricide, and this week in South Florida, two young men were charged with murdering one or both of their parents.

If that’s not bad enough, I was looking at my local online newspaper, the Sun-Sentinel, and happened to click on the mug shots of those who were arrested just today, and there were hundreds!   And, I think, boy I’m naive – I never dreamed there could be so many people arrested in a single day!

It’s big business for someone, isn’t it?  I guess the lawyers and the bail bondsmen do pretty well in this kind of atmosphere.

And after the terrific and carefree day I spent with my family and my dear little six-year old niece, this evening we were all sitting in my living room eating dessert when we heard three LOUD gun shots!  And then the police sirens where blaring and my brother went out to see what was going on, and he saw the police but no activity.  My neighborhood is safe, well I was robbed last year, so maybe it’s not that safe, but I have a sense that I’m safe in my community.  I hope it’s not a false sense of security, though.  Maybe it’s better to feel scared?

Violence is all around us.  Are there easy answers?  Hardly.  I don’t know of any. Do we build more jails?  That’s not a solution – the more jails you build, the more criminals you’ll have to fill them.  Build it and they will come would be true in this case.

My sister-in-law and I were talking about how to protect ourselves – she’s especially fearful of that because she’s a mom of a very beautiful six year old, my beloved niece.   And today the bad guys are so brazen they’ll try to hurt, rob, kill you in broad daylight.

The other side of this scary reality is the realization that it’s not wise to trust anyone, and I find that really sad.

Having to be afraid of a stranger – no matter if they’re young, old, or somewhere in between, is the new reality.  Well, maybe it’s not so new to other people, it is to me.

I’m an official airhead sometimes.

23
Jul

Work, work, work!

If I’d missed posting tonight it would be the first post missed since starting the post-a-post-a-day for 2011. I’m with my boss so that makes it better.

We have one more little job to do (Hateful Excel spreadsheet that won’t print right).

Anyway, it’s almost midnight so I’m outta here…..

PS… I’m posting from my phone! Ain’t technology grand?!

22
Jul

Congrats to Katie & William

Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Katie and William are engaged!  I missed the party.

I’m really not a heartless rogue – I can explain why I let work interfere with life – this one time…

I’ve been in the trenches.

It has been a rough couple of days at work because it’s getting down to the wire and I have more work than time.

I’m creating a new curriculum for a week and a half long new hire class.  The class begins Monday, the 25th, and I’m still writing the curriculum….  Oh God, oh God.

Realistically, I have about 3o more hours of work to do before it’s finished.  Guess what I’ll be doing this weekend?

I Left work tonight at 9:30.  Got to work at 8:30 this morning, after having left last night at 9:00, too.

It’s madness!  Today I spent 13 hours straight at my computer.  Well, no, that’s not entirely true – I did take a short break to pick up lunch at the Pollo Tropical (from the drive through) at 4:00 – ate most of it in my car.  (Curly fries fell on the floor in my new car, too.)  Oh, and I had rice, black beans, and chicken and guess what I did all evening?  Well, let’s just say, I didn’t have to go to the gas station to fill ‘er up.

Beans never sit well, but I love them.  If I could have kept going without lunch, I would have.  When my head felt like it was going crash down on my keyboard, I knew I had to eat!

Now I’m hungry again, darn it!

So, it’s back to work for most of tomorrow, and probably Sunday, too.

It’s not that I’m a bad time-manager (although time-management is an ongoing challenge), I simply agreed to this project because I wasn’t allowed to say no. The class is going to start whether I like it or not – so there ya go!

Anyway, because of work, I missed the engagement party.  I don’t usually put work before my life – I try to never do that, ever.  It’s important to have a work-life balance.  I’m generally pretty good at balancing that, I guess that’s why I’m feeling so guilty about missing the party that I hated so much to miss.

So, I want to send so much love to Katie and William.  Congratulations to you both!  Love you!

21
Jul

I say, looney tunes, I say…I say!

And the fallout over the acquittal of Casey Anthony for the murder of her daughter, Caylee Anthony, continues.

The looney tune opportunists are hunting for a quick buck.  There’s a $1,000,000.00 offer on the table by a producer by the name of Al Taylor.

Taylor originally said he’d spoken with Jose Baez about the deal, Baez flatly denies it.  Now, Taylor is saying he met with Casey Anthony.  He claims that the first thing Casey said said to him was, “Where’s my check?”

He also claims to have met with Casey on Tuesday, at a Palm Springs hotel.   It sounds like Wimpy when he says to Popeye, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”  Tuesday never comes and Wimpy gets a free hamburger every day.  Let’s hope Casey Anthony’s pay day goes something like that.

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

In other news, we heard a lot from the lawyer-with-the-nimble-middle-finger-in-your-face, Foghorn Leghorn, who tells us some bizarre and downright looney news:

Foghorn:  By George! Lookit here, that Casey girl, yeah, she be wantin’ to become a lawyer, I say, I say, that girl is, I say, I say, that girl is wanting to become a lawyer and she wants to work in my office! Lookit here, I say, like hell I telled her, I say, like, like, like, I say, like hell that’ll happen – but she can dream, can’t she now?  Hah!

And then, Foghorn, pulling a rooster out of his pocket, in response to the media incessantly asking where Casey is hiding out, says to the media:

Foghorn:  Lookit here now, I say, I say, the only way you’ll find out where Casey is hiding out, I say, I say, the only way you’ll find out is if this here rooster tells ya.  Cause, I say, you won’t be gettin it outta me, I say.

The media is hounding ole Foghorn now.  “How is Casey doing,” yells a bright journalist.  Foghorn says:

Foghorn: Well now, son, looky here and listen good, I say, listen good to me now.  The little lady is, I say she is, she is, a-learnin’ now howta grieve about her little girl now, I say.  Lookit here, we have some good grief coaches.  Good grief!  I tell ya, I say, we got us some good grievin teachers I say!   And she sure is a fast learner yes she is.  I say, there’s something kind of eeEEEEeeehh about a gurl, I say, a gurl who aint grieved.   I telled her, I say, you best be cryin’ now sister, I say, I say, the smilin’ will come later, when you’re rich, I say, when we’re rich.

My Confession (excuse for this post!)

Even though I sat down at the computer to write about some of the recent crimes and horrible murders that have plagued Florida lately, I deleted it all.

Children are being attacked and killed by adults.  Children are killing their parents. Husbands killing wives leaving orphaned children.  Strangers killing strangers…..

“Stop the world, I wanna get off!”

Some day’s these stories hit me harder than other days and Foghorn Leghorn takes the sting out – momentarily anyway.

20
Jul

update: Leiby Kletzky

The Missing Flyer for Leiby Kletzky

The Brooklyn District Attorney, Charles J. Hynes, announced today that a grand jury had handed down an eight-count indictment against the animal, Levi Aron.  Aron is charged with the horrific kidnapping, murder and dismemberment of eight year old, Leiby Kletzky.

The most serious of the charges facing Aron are two counts of felony murder.  They carry a maximum penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole.  Aron was also charged with three counts of second-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping in the first degree and one count of kidnapping in the second degree.

Aron is currently being held in a psychiatric ward at New York’s Bellevue Hospital.  His lawyers are suggesting Aron’s defense could be insanity; they have also made passing mention of “diminished capacity.”   A diminished capacity defense is a partial defense and suggests that although the defendant is not deemed “insane,”  they are not aware of their actions and do not have the capacity to comprehend actions they may have taken.  In this defense, the defendant does not refute they committed the crime, they only contend the state of mind (due to physical and/or emotional factors), was such that the defendant should not be judged to have committed premeditated, or felony, murder.

Attorney’s are claiming that Aron hears voices and must play very loud music to drown the voice out.  He also suffers from hallucinations.

The medical examiners office said the boy was drugged prior to being suffocated by Aron, who murdered the little guy after realizing there were hundreds of people looking for the him in the community.  Aron stated that he “panicked” after seeing the flyers that alerted the community that Leiby was missing.

The insanity defense is very difficult to prove. I don’t think it will fly in this case.  Well, it will be interesting what the defense comes up with in this awful case.

More on this story as it evolves.

As for the Casey Anthony case…. The madness continues with very little new news.

19
Jul

84 searches for chloroform – NOT! Give OCSO its CacheBack, please

It was much ado about nothing.

The brouhaha today regarding the initial dramatic testimony given by State witness John Dennis Bradley, the designer of the software “CacheBack,” that there were 84 searches for Chloroform, was a big story today.

But, this is a non-story.   It is neither an admission or a State error; nor was it an attempt to hang on to exculpatory evidence, as many reporters and bloggers have recently said.

Granted, this WAS dramatic testimony originally – it would have been damning evidence – had it been true.

The State of Florida corrected this in its rebuttal case.  Additionally, you may remember, it was never referred to in their closing arguments.  Why?  Because in its rebuttal case, the correct number of searches for the word Chloroform, using the UPDATED CacheBack software, was only ONCE.

One time. One search. Not 84 searches.  And this was made, although not abundantly clear by Linda Drane-Burdick, it was clarified when another expert computer witness testified during the State’s rebuttal case.

Casey Anthony, searched for chloroform ONE time – perhaps once is not enough to establish premeditation.  And that is the sticking point, too.  If the jury had considered 84 searches in their deliberations, it would have been a serious problem.  (The jury never considered any evidence, so we know this is a moot point, anyway.)

Oh, and although the chloroform search was singular, she also searched for:

  • Internal bleeding,
  • Ruptured spleen,
  • Death,
  • Self-defense,
  • Chest trauma,
  • Household weapons,
  • Hand to hand combat,
  • Neck Breaking, and
  • Internal Bleeding.

Might she have had murder on her mind?

Regardless, the State of Florida protected the record, I believe, by the testimony of the witness who said that when CacheBack had upgraded its software and analyzed the same data with the new and improved software, there were NOT 84 search instances.  There was only one.

It is in Mr. Bradley’s best interest to make hay out of this story to market his company and software. Perhaps he was getting unfavorable press as a result of the error that was exposed?

In deference to Mr. Bradley, he makes a good point when he stated that  although it was the Orange County Sherrif’s Office (OCSO) that had used his software to find the 84 Google searches, he points out that the OCSO should have validated those findings another way, but they did not do so.

Aha!  Now, he owns up.  Blame it on the OCSO.  How conveeeenient!

Uh, well, the OCSO was convinced this software was reliable!  They did not realize it would give back FALSE data.

When the software was updated, the test was rerun, and it was then discovered that his software, the earlier version, was not correct.

Isn’t it convenient for Mr. Bradley to blame the OCSO now?

I am not a lawyer, but it appears that had Casey Anthony been found guilty (of something) and convicted, this would NOT be reversible error because the truth of the matter is on the record in the rebuttal case.

And, if this was really an issue, Jose Baez would have made some comment about it, but I believe he has been largely quiet on this non issue.

Granted, Cheney Mason was quoted in the NY Times article as being appalled at this.   “Outrageous!” said the nimble-fingered Mr. Mason.  (I don’t think Mr. Mason caught all the testimony in this case, frankly.)

Mr. Bradley, the computer expert, believed that the State and the police were negligent in its work by not correcting the record.

The record was corrected.  It truly was much ado about nothing.  Kind of like Mr. Todd Macoluso having fun with the media by dressing a woman up in the same clothes that Casey Anthony wore in her release from jail, and running this “decoy” with a coat over her face, until she was out of sight on Orlando’s Executive airport.

It drove the news outlets into a tizzy!  All of a sudden the headlines began to sing:  “Casey Sighting in Orlando!”

Todd will have a good laugh over this for days to come!

18
Jul

little leiby kletzky

I almost didn’t make it to my computer tonight!  Came home from work and proceeded to fall asleep on the couch until 9:00 tonight!

I don’t have too much to discuss, since the night is nearly over!

Also, I’m a bit down tonight, too.  I applied to be a Big Sister in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization in my area.  But learned today that they have more Big Sisters than they have kids.  I was really, really looking forward to it.

After the Casey Anthony verdict, I resolved to get involved in the community and give back to kids in need.

I’m so disappointed.  There will come a time when they need Big Sisters again.  In the meantime, they need volunteers in other areas, so I’ll do that until there are more kids in the program.

I read an article today about Leiby Kletzky, a little 8 year old in Brooklyn New York, who was taken off the street, murdered and dismembered by a sick monster who pretended he was helping the young boy, who’d lost his way, to turn in the direction of his home.

It is incredibly sad.  Little Leiby Kletzky, had convinced  his parents that he was big enough to walk home from day camp by himself.  He desperately wanted his independence.  He finally convinced his parents to allow it.  They held dry runs, to make sure young Leiby could find his way home those seven blocks.

The big day came, and the loving mother waited patiently and waited and waited and waited for Leiby.  He never made it home.  Even after all the rehearsals, little Leiby Kletzy got confused and was lost.  And then, he happened upon a 35 year old, Levi Aron who appeared to be so helpful.

I am going to pass over the details, but I will tell you that Levi Aron suffocated the boy, dismembered him and placed him in his refrigerator.

This is the part that confuses me: This despicable monster is charged with 2nd degree murder.  SECOND degree?!  I don’t understand how Casey Anthony could be charged with 1st Degree Murder, but this crime is 2nd degree?

Is this fair?

I must be missing something.

In her article, “Mourning a Loss, Blaming the Bereaved” author Susan Doherty writes:

…comments on a New York Times article about the tragedy threatened to devolve into blamefest. What were the parents thinking to let such a small child out alone on the city streets? On the other hand, parents who hover over their children in a vain attempt to protect them from any possible danger are crippling them for life. And so on.

In addition to hoping the bereaved parents don’t read this nonsense (or hear the same sentiments from “concerned” friends and neighbors), I have been thinking about why we feel compelled to do this to each other–to kick our fellow parents when they are most vulnerable; to assume — and announce — that the way we would (or believe we would) respond to a challenge is the only legitimate way, and those who behave differently need to be sorted out.

For one thing, there is what psychologists call the “belief in a just world.” We look for reasons, however irrelevant, why unfortunate people deserve their misfortune, and why we would never be caught in the same predicament. This helps us feel safer in unpredictable and frightening situations, such as parenthood.

The “belief in a just world,” I think, is a syndrome that is very relevant and prevalent in so many tragic situations.  In the Casey Anthony case, we all held opinions and never hesitated to prognosticate about Cindy and George Anthony and how they should have behaved, or reacted these last few years.

I know it’s not fair to judge someones shoes unless I’ve walked in them… It’s really unfair for so many reasons.

There by the grace of God go I.

17
Jul

freedom

The clock in an Orlando jail struck midnight and the bars opened and out she walked with her freedom fighter, Jose Baez.

She is free. Casey Anthony, according to the laws of this wonderful country, can now walk into freedom unburdened by the fear of retribution or hate or those who would do her harm.

It is beneath us as citizens to spew hate at a free American citizen.  We are better than this.

It was a few minutes after midnight, exactly three years from her initial arrest, and Casey Anthony took long and quick strides behind Jose and into an awaiting car and toward freedom.

I watched how she walked as she left the jail.  As I watched the replay of her release from jail, I thought to myself, this is the first time Casey Anthony has been able to walk without chains and handcuffs!

Seeing her dart out of jail behind Jose, I noticed that her arms were not keeping time with her strides as she walked.  It was if her arms were stuck to her sides.  And then, I realized, she has not been able to walk like that in three years!  No wonder she seemed awkward.

Leaving the Jail Behind. Photo Credit: Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel

You can see in this picture just how odd her posture is as she walks.

It’s as if she’s not sure how to walk, and is placing her arms behind her body to be handcuffed.

This is not the same nimble girl we saw in so many trial-pictures.

Besides that, look at the guy in the uniform with the big gun!

Who did he think he might have to shoot with that gun?

Casey was found not guilty – how bizarre it is that her first taste of freedom happened with guns all around, helicopters in the air, law enforcement on horseback, the general public screaming, “MURDERER,” and the paparazzi click, click, clicking away, dressing the dark, hot night with continuous bursts of light.

Freedom is something I take for granted. I hardly think about it.  Tonight I am thinking about it and realize how grateful I am for my freedom.

How do we define freedom when we are already free?  I guess, the only way for me to define freedom, really, is to define what it is not.

Not being free is to not have keys to the bars on your door.

Esoterically speaking you could say that freedom means being alive.  Aside from that, three years in jail is the absence of freedom.

If my windows and walls were made of bars, I would not be…:

  • going to Target
  • taking a bike ride
  • getting a new car
  • eating toast with guava jelly
  • having a beer
  • wearing a hat
  • eating ice cream with chocolate sauce that becomes like a hard chocolate shell, then heaping whip cream on top of that
  • kissing my dog making loud smooch-smooch sounds
  • tasting warm chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven
  • falling asleep on the couch
  • chatting with neighbors and their kids
  • laughing when my dog yelps and moves his feet in the air during a bad dream
  • eating eggs with grits for dinner
  • eating chocolate for breakfast
  • playing dominoes
  • eating blueberries one by one
  • taking pictures of butterflies
  • playing solitaire on the computer
  • extra pickles on a hot pastrami & cheese sandwich
  • seeing a ballet
  • getting a tweet
  • meeting friends for lunch
  • going thrift-shopping
  • eating Filet Mignon medium rare
  • wearing a new outfit
  • eating a baked potato – loaded
  • loving the smell of fresh bed sheets
  • yawning because someone else did
  • hearing children laugh
  • blogging
  • painting my toenails black
  • paying bills and having money left over
  • getting a goody-bag from mom
  • reading Shakespeare
  • going to the theatre with friends
  • Googling
  • looking at old pictures
  • wearing pearl earrings with matching pearl necklace
  • having seven pairs of flip-flops
  • putting a banana, with strawberries, and blueberries and ice in a blender and then drinking it
  • watching a movie in the middle of the day and not worrying about things I should be doing or need to be doing
  • listening to James Taylor
  • watching my dog eat a treat
  • going to “Butterfly World”
  • enjoying a cold diet Dr. Pepper when it really quenches my thirst
  • finding a lost earring
  • having thai food
  • Seeing Degas paintings up close
  • getting a new Netflix movie in the mail
  • seeing a rainbow
  • falling asleep outdoors
  • brushing my teeth when ever I want to
  • voting

I could keep this list going.

I am so grateful for the little things.

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