Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Why Jodi Arias Deserves To Die

Jodi Arias is currently in the final phase of trial proceedings in the State of Arizona for the 2008 slaughter of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander.  The murderess has been convicted of pre-meditated murder, which aligns her with the death penalty or life.  As the slaughter of Mr. Alexander was deemed extremely cruel in the second phase of the trial  she moved closer to the death or life. In the third and final phase of the capital case the murderess was given the opportunity to address the jury at a podium illustrate redeeming qualities which suit her for life and not death.

Throughout the trial proceedings, Jodi Arias, has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that she suffers from some kind of personality disorder, that her mental status and constitution is warped beyond repair.  Megalomaniacal and narcissistic are two of the most popular words used to described her.  Watching her performance, for it is little else but, one is hopelessly mesmerized by what an unmitigated loon she is, how cold and unfeeling she is and how divorced she is from "reality": that phenomenon to which most normal people pay homage.  She truly has opened up an entirely new category of sick and depraved which should be studied for decades to come. 

This woman stabbed her ex-boyfriend, after sex, almost 30 times, cut his throat from ear to ear and also shot him in the head.  There has been consistent debate about the order of the slaying but either way you portray it-shooting first, stabbing afterwards or stabbing first and shooting afterwards, there is a level of depravity and sickness which is completely divorced from humanity.  The anger that it took to pull off such a feat makes one quiver with fear and trembling, to know that a human being is capable of such an act.

When the murderess took the stand to defend her life it was the rambling of a crazy person completely divorced from the act for which she had been convicted.  She did a presentation, yes, a presentation of her life from birth to  her twenties in which she showed pictures of her family and friends and ex-lovers.  She begged for mercy not for herself but for her family who would undoubtedly suffered untold pain were she to be executed.  She talked about the things she could do in prison to help other women were she given life instead of death.  She talked about starting a book club, helping others to learn Spanish, and donating her hair to Locks of Love for cancer stricken patients and oh, yes, the kicker, since she was a survivor of domestic violence, she wanted to sell t-shirts.  This woman claims the man she mercilessly slaughtered abused her.  There was no corroborating evidence of this none-what-so-ever.  Many domestic violence survivors have been insensed that she would dare invoke such status.  She also claimed she was abused as a child, another case for which there was never presented any corroborating evidence. 

Why does this murderess deserve to die?  Her kind of sickness and depravity cannot be permitted to exist in this world.  We cannot allow society to be threatened by such sickness and depravity.  The gravity of the situation is called to order by the fact that this murderous mistress is masquerading as a demure young maiden, broadcasting the blatant lie that she could not be capable of the gross and heinous act of violence she committed.   With each stab she took at Travis Alexander, what humanity she had at the time evaporated, until finally when she slit his throat from ear to ear, all her humanity dried up.  The Jodi Arias that existed before the slaying is not the Jodi Arias that existed after the slaying.  Such a gross and heinous act of violence cannot help but interminably change a human being into a monster.  You cannot come back from such a thing, especially when you file it away under "that never happened".  This demure murderess did not show any redeeming qualities at her presentation.  Locks of Love will go on after she is dead and buried; someone else can start a book club; someone else will teach women Spanish and domestic violence survivors can carry on without her.  As for her art, she did have some skill in drawing, too f-ing bad.  Most artists turn to their art in times of stress and upset particular during affairs of the heart.  Why did not this looney murderer paint and draw instead hacking and slicing?  Because art was not as important to her or play such a "mitigating" role as she would like us to believe.  So, let someone else draw.  The world will get on just fine without her art. 

Travis Alexander had throngs of people in the courtroom and outside the courtroom routing for justice.  Jodi Arias could barely find witnesses to support her.  Had she a throng of people begging for her life, I would say ok, give the bitch a chance...well, no I wouldn't I would still advocate her death, but I would be a little more impressed.

Curiously enough, one thing that was conspicuously absent from her presentation was any reference to God or Universal energy.  Most prisoners find God in jail and in the five years she has been incarcerated there has been no mention of God or forgiveness.  Even a posturing in this regard could have been used to prop up her stone-faced person.   Without such an offering for what reason should her life be spared?  She has offered nothing to evince value in her life.  She has manipulated and construed to an extent which is flagrant and unmitigated.  She has thoroughly enjoyed the limelight for a gross and heinous act of violence.  And we should spare such a life?  No, we should not.  Society would not be made better with her existence, society would have one less depraved individual in its midst. 

The death penalty is for gross and heinous acts of violence.  That is what I always thought.  The process is flawed, though. All through trial the jury is advised that emotion is not an invited guest.  All decisions are logical and based upon empirical data.  Yet at the end the murderer is allowed to make an emotional plea to the jury; the defense is allowed to invoke morality and judgment appealing to the emotions of the jury. FLAWED!  The fact that this unrepentant murderer can stand up and plead for her life is insolence of the most grievous kind. HOW DARE she be given the opportunity to weigh her life in the balance against that of her victim. Did her victim have the opportunity to plead for his life?  Did she spare him any mercy as she jabbed the knife into his flesh over and over and over and over again?  Did she give him the opportunity to show what he could accomplish were he given the opportunity to live?  When she slit his throat and dragged his naked body into the bath tub and left it to rot and calmly cleaned herself up and left the house, was she thinking about the children he might have had or the lives he could have changed? Nope.  So why on earth should we even pretend to offer her the same dignity?  There is no mercy here.  She has proven she is unworthy of mercy.  The qualification for mercy is a "pure and contrite" heart.  Such is conspicuously absent in Jodi Arias.  "Off with her head"!

-Justice for Travis Alexander


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lop-sided Relationships

I was born when the sun was passing through the constellation, Libra. One of the symbols of Libra is the scales, the scales of justice that establish and protect balance.  As a Libran my constitution is one that is drawn, consciously or subconsciously toward balance.  I very often see both sides of an issue, drawn to neither one nor the other but taking value from each.  (This also accounts for the Librans terrible reputation for being indecisive!)

Balance applies to virtually every aspect of life, without balance disorder and chaos would ensue.  Currently the world financial systems are out of balance and this is causing reverberations throughout the world.  Practically every world economy is off balance.  This balance is further thrown off kilter by the growing ferocity in the disparity between rich and poor.

 But let us talk about relationships, shall  we?  Balance also applies to relationships.  When two people find themselves attracted to each other and decide to come together whether for an anonymous hook-up or an extended period of time, they hardly realize their attraction is based on a conception (or lack thereof) of balance.  This primordial phenomenon is based on positive, negative and neutral energy. To some extent we learn about this in chemistry.  But these three currents, positive, negative and neutral move far beyond chemistry.  They apply to almost every aspect of life.  For example, relationships.  Women represent the negative force of life. This is completely unrelated to "negative" connotations.  In this regard, negative means that which receives, nurtures, that which provides all the complicated and necessary attributes that allow things to grow and mature or re-act.  Men on the other hand represent the positive force of life; that which makes, distributes, gets, that which is active and moves outward, that which  acts

Both negative and positive aspects have the same work to do, one being as important and vital as the other but they do it in different ways.  The male force or the positive force sends out, the female or negative force receives.  One acts, the other re-acts. The male acts by sending or projecting his seed into the vagina.  The vagina then re-acts by processing  or receiving  and nurturing the seed. In this respect sending is positive, receiving is negative.

So relationships, successful relationships, that is, are based upon and established by balance.  When learn this in chemistry when we mix chemicals together. If there is a balance the potion is successful. If there is no balance or harmony between the chemicals...well that's when accidents and explosions happen.  But what happens when a personal, familial or intimate relationship is out-of-balance, when it is lop-sided (one side is heavier than the other)?  The same thing that happens in chemistry: there are accidents, flare-ups, and explosions!

There are different kinds of lop-sided relationships such as the May-December relationship, the Income or Class relationship, the Inter-racial relationship, the Religious/Political relationship  and the Education relationship, to name a few.  All these relationships contain disparities between the parties, all real, not imagined. When there is disparity that means the balance is thrown off. Very often in lop-sided relationships the balance of power is thrown off, one person has more power than the other and using it over the other.   Understand, power is NOT just about money.  Humans are constructed in such a way that we are able to manipulate power on different levels, so that it can be physical, emotional, mental or spiritual.

In a May-December relationship, the disparity is in age: one person is older than another.  There is a disparity of seven months between May and December.  In these relationships one person is significantly older than the other.  Let us set the bar a ten years. When there are ten or more years between the parties in a relationship that is one decade of culture, one decade of knowledge, one decade of experience, one decade of maturity that one of the parties does not have.   And let us face it, the true nature and attraction of May-December relationships is S-E-X! These relationships hardly survive outside the bedroom. 

In a Class or Income relationship one party is makes more money than the other or comes from a "better" class of people than the other.  This is exacerbated if the man is the one making less.  While some form of attraction may draw them together, until "love" is established and firmly planted, differences in class and income can cause significant problems in a relationship.  The way a couple handles money can be an indicator of how healthy or unhealthy the relationship is.  One cannot be a spend-thrift while the other is a penny-pincher. 

I include Inter-racial relationships here because, despite progress in the status of African-Americans in the United States there is still a gross disparity in race relations between Blacks and Whites.  Statistics in virtually every area of American life, bare this out.  I hardly think it possible for this not to affect an inter-racial couple. They can be attracted to each other and in love as they want to be but when society impinges upon  your relationship from the outside, it cannot help but cause problems.  I could be completely wrong here, but I suspect there was some tension in the Loving household, between Richard (white) and Mildred (Black)  (Loving v. Virginia, the landmark civil rights case that determined that barring inter-racial marriage was unconstitutional).

Religious/Political relationships can cause severe intensity particularly where the upbringing of  children are concerned.  These two things, Religion and Politics, were are told, should not be discussed among strangers or in introductory relationship because of the fire and intensity they invoke.  To be in a relationship with this sort of intensity (where it is a dealbreaker) would simply predict an early end.

The Education component here is similiar to the class or income issue.  No one likes to feel stupid or ignorant.  When one party is obviously more intelligent, learned, well-read or educated than the other it can make the other feel  insignificant or even left out.  This  is not a good feeling to nurse. 

I would be intrigued to know the success rate of lop-sided relationships. I would prognosticate the success rate as relatively low, success being ten years or more.  If we look at the media we have a pretty good view of May-December relationships, from Ivana Trump to Demi More to Halle Berry, all (previously) connected to younger men a decade or more younger.  There are a few things that will permit a lop-sided relationship to not only survive, but thrive. They are

1.  Maturity-this only comes with age and/or experience.
2.  The ability to communicate your thoughts, concerns and desires.
3.  Empathy-the ability to connect with,  absorb or experience another's feelings.

These three things will allow any relationship to succeed, even when forces are impinging from the outside.  Romeo and Juliet were ill-fated, so too were Tony and Maria from West Side Story, an adaption of Romeo and Juliet.  Romeo and Juliet were "from two households, both alike in dignity,"  they were from the same class, socially.  Tony and Maria, while they too were from the same "same side fo the tracks", suffered the additional indignity of race between the whites and the puerto ricans.  Romeo and Juliet's families were like the Hatfields and the McCoys.  Each couple's love was not permitted to survive because of forces outside their relationship.  It would be nice to have these stories revisted to see them survive and continue their relationships even in the presence of outside forces beating on them like waves against a craggy shore.  In such an instance I would suspect only removing themselves from the presence of their families and environment would give them succor and allow the love they have to blossom.

Balance contributes to the success of all things:  day and night, good and evil, feast and famine. When things fall out of balance there is a price to be paid for the restoration of balance.  Let us be mature, communicative and empathetic in our relationships, no matter what their nature. Let us keep things, in balance.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Most Scenic Beaches in the World

I was previously not a beach person (being black and all) but our boss took us on a 9 day cruise in the Carribbean. I have a terrible problem with motion sickness so the cruise was abject misery for me, but the stop in St. Thomas was fantastic.  The island is loaded with delicious duty free shopping opportunities.  We were lucky enough to get a tour guide who took us to a small beach which was sparsely populated.  It was glorious!  The magnificent and stunningly clear azure waters of the Carribbean (yup, we were on the Carribbean side, not the Atlantic) were amazing.  It was sort of a grotto beach, tucked into an inlet.  After lullying around in the salt water, upon exiting I felt like I have just been to a spa.  Now I love the beach, but  I am a beach snob, though.    I abhor beaches with throngs of people crawling around like roaches.  Now I harbor ambitions to visit some of the  most scenic beaches of the world.  Here are some of them:

1.  Anse Source D'Argent, La Digue, Seychelles. Splendidly scenic!  I could die here!

2.  Fernando de Noronho, Brazil (archipelego).  I could build a little hut and be very happy here!

3. The Beaches of Mauritius, Africa.  Now, this is glorious!

4.  Phi-Phon Don Beach, Thailand.  Heaven on Earth!

5.  West Railay  Beach, Thailand.  I can see me walking this beach!

6.  Zakynthos Beach, Greece

7.   Whitehaven Beach, Queensland, Australia.  Ever since I saw "Rabbit Proof Fence", I have no use for Australia.  But this beach is worthy.

And let us not forget the beaches of Aruba!

If the world does not end on December 21, 2012, lol, I'll See ya on the beach!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Let's Go Beat Up A Woman!

Yeah, let's go beat up a woman! Yep, you heard me, let's go beat up a woman.  They are doing it all over the South.  In many states (primarily of the Southern persuasion and who are also among the poorest and least educated in the country) they are beating up women by launching relentless attacks on their reproduction rights and healthcare.   They are feverishly chipping away at Roe v. Wade by attaching all kinds of restrictions on reproductive care such as no late term abortions or abortions after 5 months  (which, I think, is a viable compromise considering the intensity of the issue) to taxing women who take advantage of abortions to forcing them to view the ultrasounds and 24-72 hour waiting periods for abortions and "anti-abortion consutlations".  This is actually rather cunning and clever, qualities usually associations with Republicans.  Rather than attach Roe v. Wade directly they are going in through the back door as it were, using the "rights" of the State to regulate its citizenry, over the

At the same time they throw still more punches at women by preventing them for obtaining insurance and/or insurance through employers (objections coming from...where else but "religious" folk) which cover reproductive health, including contraception.  They also do not want young girls understanding reproductive health or have access to contraception so they block sex education in secondary schools.

This faction apparently prefer their women barefoot and pregnant, at home taking care of the chilin's.  Somehow they did not get the memo that women have come a long way and are perfectly capable of deciding for themselves what they wish to do when they become pregnant.   Anti-abortion folk seem to think when a woman chooses abortion she does so lightly and without any susceptibility to emotional pain or a whit of morality.  For many women there is a grievous amount of emotional pain over terminating a pregnancy, which does not go away with the fetus, but trails them most of their lives.  They make a decision they feel is right for them, a decision they must live with for the rest of their days.  As far as I am concerned that is a sort of purgatory which cannot be escaped.   Just as each of us must one day answer for the way we spent our energy during incarnation, so too must these women account for their decision.  Abortion is between a woman and her God.

For those who believe otherwise, where are they when the child is born?  How much money per month are they contributing to the welfare of the child?  Have they opened or promised  their hearts and homes to these unborn?  What kind of funds have they set aside for the education of the child?  How much and to what degree are they willing to be responsible for the child?  They believe they have the authority to dictate the decision that a woman can make regarding her reproduction health and welfare so why are these people not volunteering to save these unborn by taking them into their charge and care, if they are so concerned?

This issue of pro-life, abstinence only education, no access to contraception can be lumped into the same category as gay rights.  They are judgment calls, efforts by zealots to gain control over the behavior and constitution of their fellow men whom they believe are morality and ethically bankrupt.  The majority of these people come from "The Heartland" of America, vast spaces of the American landscape devoid of culture and personality.  They eschew the "refinements of society" and progress because, in a sense, they consider them a pathway  to  Sodom and Gomorrah.  But were they more astute they would understand progress is the path of life itself.  As Gibran says in The Prophet, "life moves forward, not backward, nor tarries with yesterday."  Progress brought us the printing press, the Enlightenment and the Reformation; progress brought us untold medical and scientific advances; progress has made our government more equitable, just and representative; progress has brought our world closer together (if only from the standpoints of communications;  progress is inevitable and necessary.  Without it we would still be groping around in the Dark Ages

Women are fighting back but they need more help, more help from the sane folks in the rest of the country.  The anti-abortion faction wants to wield the power of government when it comes to abortion but they want to deny the power of government when it comes to gun control;  they want to deny the power of government when it comes to government itself  and taxation;  they want to deny the power of government in the life of the individual. So much inconsistency.  But such is the case with insanity.
anti-abortion proposals by state, be sure to read the comments.
effect of anti-abortion laws in question
states by anti-abortion, pro-abortion.
  a brief history of abortion in the 
late terms bans and fetal based on fetal pain assertions

Friday, March 2, 2012

How Insensitive

Billy Crystal told a joke at the latest Annual Academy Awards regarding the Oscar nominated movie, The Help.  He said (and I am paraphrasing) that after he saw the movie, he wanted to go out and hug a black actress but being in Hollywood he had to travel for 45 minutes before he could actually find one. There was, of course, laughter but the laughter was not uniform.  Mixed in was nervous and unconfortable laughter, the kind that makes you wonder if you should actually be laughing after the initial humor wears off and you realize the joke was tainted.

There were black folk, myself included, who felt the joke was in poor taste and badly delivered.  This of course, launched the white folk into their defense mode where they say black folk are being too sensitive.  I always find such a position from white folk curious.  I mean think about it for a moment:  a white person is going to tell a black person they are being too racially sensitive?  Really?  I can see one black person telling another black person they are being too racially senstive.  I can see one Asian person telling another Asian person they are being too racially sensitive. Why is this?  A person who identifies with another must have a common ground or identity with which to identify.  When a woman is experiencing that time of month, her man very often tells her she is being too sensitive.  Yet he has no idea what a period feels like emotionally or physically.  Upon what grounds does he base his authority to tell her she is being too sensitive? 

Now do not misunderstand me.  I will be the first one to admit there are times when black folk are being too sensitive, myself included.  I remember my first car, a jeep grand cherokee, Laredo.  When people would say to me, "that's a nice car," I often said to myself, "what they are really saying is, "that's a nice car for a black person."  When we moved into our new office at work it was rather sparsely decorated.  An employee from another law firm came down to see our new digs.  I happened to mention to her jokingly, that our office looked like a bail bond office.  She said, "I've never been in a bail bond office".  I thought to myself, "bitch, neither have I."  But to clarify matters in our little town, a crop of bail bond offices have popped up on main street and in the business district.  Since I walk and drive around town I see them close up.  They are always sparsely populated with a desk and maybe two chairs. 
At any rate, I often catch myself wondering if there are times when I am being too racially sensitive.  What folks need to understand about racial sensitivity (folks who don't understand it, that is), is that the sensitivity exists for a reason.  It is based upon a history of mistreatment, oppression and exclusion, that sadly, still exists today.  Were racism and prejudice actually a thing of the past, white folk would be on point.  But facts such as Billy Crystal alluded to in his joke are present and potent.  Why people think it is funny that there are few black actresses in Hollywood is where the insolence creeps in.   There are few black actress in Hollywood, few roles for blacks in Hollywood, period.  How many Black filmakers are there?  How many Black senators are there?  How many senior level black executives are there?  How many black partners at law firms are there?  Hell, forget about black folk for a moment and ask the same of any minority, women included!  This question stretches across every aspect of American society.  And yet,  WE are being too sensitive. 

No doubt some of us minority folk are too sensitive.  But whence cometh this sensitivity?  Are we imagining it?  Is racism and prejudice actually a thing of the past?  Are we truly in a post-racial world?  The answer is a flat out No, on all points!  Were this so, the structure and foundation of American society would reflect it.   There are still echelons in American society where you will not see a face of color.     If you are not a minority and claim no empathy or association with one, then what do you know of their sensitivity?  Perhaps it is time for white folk to stop challenging minorities for being too racially sensitive and to ask themselves are they being too insensitive.