Saturday, July 27, 2013

Justified Victim or Out-of-Control Vigilante ?

     Since a juror of the case has finally come forward I have decided I will not be silent on the issue of the Zimmerman trial- the biggest travesty which has recently gone through our judicial system in the U.S. Even if I throw out the obvious problems this trial presented- racial profiling, concealed weapon, unnecessary force, unlawful surveillance (i.e. stalking) or even improper jury selection, it is incomprehensible to me that a man could shoot and kill an unarmed person, go through a murder trial with admission of the actual crime and yet walk away exonerated. Whatever the decision of the jury, who were decidedly not peers to Zimmerman or Martin in any sense of the word, I have concluded that there was nothing in Zimmerman's actions that evening which can be viewed as non-prevocational behavior. I also cannot help but view Martin as a victim since he is the one who has been buried by a family devastated by the loss of their son. Up until the moment of confrontation with a stalker, Trayvon Martin had shown quite a bit of promise for his future. Those are irrefutable facts as I see it.
     If the evidence presented had been done properly then a totally different profile of Zimmerman would have emerged in my estimation. It would have been an open and shut case if all the evidence was presented and not just what was agreed upon by those who were only trying to win a case for their client. Trayvon was not present to talk to a lawyer about what happened that night so we can only go by who actually witnessed the event, firsthand or secondhand. The operators at 911 cannot interpret who was crying for help that night but the strongest witnesses put on the stand were those of two women- the mothers of these two men- queried of whose voice cried for help on the call. The jury and judge that presided needed the wisdom of Solomon for this one. Instead, there was a standoff. Both women say it was their son's voice. This illogical presentment of circumstantial evidence gives us a sense that the trial achieved nothing and should have been thrown out as a mistrial by the judge. Obviously, they weren't both telling the truth.
There is enough real racism in this world without making it up where it does not exist.
-Craig Silverman
     As it stands, Zimmerman cannot be retried in a court of law for the same crime twice. If this is allowed to escalate into another one of those civil cases- which could veer way off course- it may turn a clear case of murder into an issue of racial bias instead. This causes our country to be divided on issues that never seem to be resolved and especially in this case I feel that it is almost irrelevant. Placing this case on the burning hot plate of racial bias will most likely only skew the facts further, I imagine. As far as Zimmerman goes, I do not believe that the word innocent should be applied to someone who has taken another person's life. However anyone wishes to view this man as a person, he is definitely guilty of manslaughter- that is a fact that cannot be interpreted any other way.
Standing up for what I believe is right !
The Castle Lady
A man does not look behind a door unless he has stood there himself. - Henri du Bois

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Immigation and True Reform

     I've read all the commentary before the current Reform Bill was passed and have read quite a bit of the flak published since it was passed. The Washington Post writer, Rubin Navarrette recently wrote a long and comprehensive piece which came the closest to a proper criticism of the outcome concluding that we still need immigration reform ! That should tell you something. Let's back all the way up, however, and examine a few aspects no one even wants to look at anymore because it would mean that everyone failed to come up with an answer.
     The truth is that the original immigration bill worked because people came here not to change our government or seeking asylum but to embrace the country and its constitution, as is. We didn't have amendments then. What we had was a bill of rights and very few taxes. I lived in San Diego long enough to witness runs of illegal aliens across the Tijuana border, under cover of night, being systematically shot at by border patrol on the TV newscast nearly every night. If we only look at our Mexican border issue concerning immigration, however, we are doing a disservice to the people who come here with the express purpose of making the U.S.A. their home. They may not necessarily want to come here because our streets are lined with gold. Perhaps there is something back in the old country they can no longer abide and feel they need a safe haven. If so, they'll fill out the proper paperwork and do all the necessary matriculation to be able to stay here safe and secure. That's the theory, anyway.
     In recent news an Ethiopian immigrant known in Denver as Habteab Berhe Temanu was spotted by a fellow countryman, Kiflu Ketema, who recognized him as a former Red Terror prison guard who, as one of many, tortured and killed dozens of political prisoners throughout the 1970s. He made it to America and has been living here for more than a decade under an assumed name which was done with falsified documents using another man's identification to gain actual citizenship. His real name and background were exposed in Federal Court in Denver recently and after he admitted that his real name was actually Kefelegne-Alemu Worku and that he, in fact, had committed all the atrocities which  Kiflu Ketema had accused him he went on further to say, "I apologize for my errors. I simply wanted to live in America." Judge John Kane has urged him to withdraw an offer to plead guilty and to say he wants to go to trial instead. This judge is being kind to a man who, if he does plead guilty, will have his citizenship revoked and be deported to his country where he has already been tried, in absentia , and sentenced to death. Does this sound like the type of immigration reform that is desirable ? This man is not a legal citizen.
      The United States has gone through a series of immigration reform bills which have never been enforced in the truest sense. We have never spent enough money for the right or best border patrol and apparently no one thinks it's necessary to pledge allegiance to our country in order to be a bonafide citizen, anymore. Necessary paperwork to become a legal citizen is feasible for those who will go through the proper channels in order to do so. It also reduces the chances that felons and criminals from other countries gain access and credibility in our country. Ellis Island was the original station by which each individual coming to the U.S. was checked for disease and papers from the old country if they had them. (WOP originally was tagged to many Italians who came to the U.S. without a passport!)  Observing our official language has been eroded statewide and just by the sheer number of illegal immigrants- 11 million strong at current calculation- we have a language barrier issue that is unprecedented. The current reform bill will be the most difficult reform to enforce ever. What do you think the chances are that it will be enforced properly? Check into U.S. immigration reform history and you'll have the answer.
     In France the official language is so carefully guarded to avoid this problem that every bit of published or printed matter is sent to a control center in Paris for approval before it can be distributed anywhere within France's borders. They are serious about making sure that the official language of Le Francais is protected and enforced. Why is that important ? So that, no matter where you come from in this world, we can ascertain your sincerity of purpose in being here by making sure that you can be understood by everyone regardless of where you came from, your personal situation or state of emergency- if that applies. Official languages are kept for a very good reason and observance shows respect for the wishes of the majority of the people who live in said country. Personally, I won't even travel to an area in which English is secondary without learning the language good enough to be understood by the natives. It is a common old world courtesy and should still be observed in my estimation. It's polite if nothing else.
     Why don't we just go back to the beginning and start all over again? I'm buying my ticket to Ellis Island right now. English should be a cinch.
Bisous émigré !
The Castle Lady

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Snowden- Man Without a Country

     I remember my first English Lit class when I started High School. The story presented in that first day of class was Man Without a Country. None of the students could relate to it because every single student in class had been born in the country of the United States. After that first class I had a healthy respect for the fact that I was born in the 'greatest country in the world'. This was impressed upon me, and I'm sure I can speak for everyone in that class as well, by the fact that the teacher of said class ( his surname was Gulizia- Italian ) pressed the idea strongly into our heads that this could never happen to a United States Citizen unless you became a proven traitor to the country.
    Reading an article the other day comparing Snowden to Daniel Ellsberg made me shake my head. Later on, I did find a rebuttal to that idea and I was glad to see it. There is no comparison. (If you want to read the article just Google The Washington Post and Jonathan Capehart, the journalist that wrote it.) What I want to say here is that Capehart could've gone much further in many aspects. Daniel Ellsberg exposed the government through the Pentagon Papers directly to the government. He didn't hand the bureau he worked for to the man on the street for a nickel. He never left the country because he didn't do anything that would necessitate the need to leave the country. Neither did Snowden- an independent contractor, no less- until the rest of the world found out, after he went on the lam, that the U.S. was spying on everybody. You can thank Snowden for that. It's ironic that he has been cornered in Russia. They don't hate us, they hate him. Big difference.
     Can't you just hear all the South American presidents and dictators all snickering together and saying, "Tell him....hee hee hee...tell him....hee hee hee... we'll take him if he can get someone to provide him with a visa to get here. Haw haw." Instead of turning himself in, after he was basically spurned out of Hong Kong with a slinky, he makes his way toward Russia. I'll bet he thought that he couldn't be touched there. Now that Obama has gotten Mueller safe in his padded cell and sworn in Comey, who hates sneaky surveillance with a passion, I'm sure that they'll let bygones be bygones. Pay no attention to those files charged behind the iron curtain, Eddie !
     I hope this will be a good lesson to all who think they can get away with this type of treason to the United States. He's not a hero, folks. This one is a coward. This is the home of the free and the brave- not the running with a bone for their life.
Just my two cents worth,
The Castle Lady