Russia warned the U.S. about the Boston bombers.

The press is calling the Tsarnaevs “Russians from an area near Chechnya.” This is incorrect. The Tsarnaevs are from Dagestan, a country in the Caucasus Mountains near Chechnya with which Russia went to war in 1999.

The AP in Russia reports that a series of violent incidents occurred while Tamerlan Tsarnaev was there in 2012: According to AP, in “February, 2012, shortly after Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s arrival in Dagestan, a four-day operation to wipe out several militant bands in Chechnya and Dagestan left 17 police and at least 20 militants dead. In May, two car bombs shook Makhachkala, killing at least 13 people and wounding about 130 more. Other bombings and shootings targeting police and other officials took place nearly daily [while Tamerlan was there]” The only part of Russia that Tamerlan actually visited was Moscow.

I guess his father is lying about what Tamerlan was doing while visiting him. He claimed Tamerlan slept a lot, ate, and visited relatives.

If the AP report is correct, then it looks as if Tamerlan went to “Russia” not for training but to participate in terrorist activity. Clearly, he didn’t need training. In fact, you might speculate that he went there to train others and not vice versa.

Russian authorities warned U. S. officials that Tamerlan was a dangerous terrorist last year after the violence in Makhachkala when he left to return to Boston. News reports are conflicting about what the FBI did as a result of the Russian information, but one thing they obviously did not do was discover that Tamerlan Tsarneav was as vicious as other Caucasian Islamic terrorists. (I have intentionally not used the term jihadist, because Caucasian terrorists are a complex mix of nationalists, fascists, and Moslems, among the most violent Moslems in the world—even more violent than the Taliban.)

This is insane. How could the FBI have let Tamerlan return to Boston? What kind of “intelligence” is the FBI using? All I had to do to find this out was to search Wikipedia and Goggle for “Chechen terrorist attacks.”

For that matter, how could the INS have let Anzor and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev immigrate in 2003? By that time they should have understood that Dagestan is a terrorist country. Terrorists from the Caucasus have committed some of the most heinous attacks on vulnerable civilians of all time. Only four years before the father and son came to the U.S., in 1999 Caucasian terrorists bombed several Russian apartment buildings, killing nearly 300 people. Immediately afterward, terrorist groups and sympathizers claimed the apartment bombings were “staged” by the Russian government in order to justify an invasion of Dagestan and Chechnya—exactly as the Tsarnaev parents now claim their sons were framed and that the Boston bombings were actually “staged” by the police.

One year before Anzor and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev came to the U. S., in October 2002 Caucasian terrorists invaded a crowded Moscow theatre and took 850 hostages. The Russians gassed them all. Again terrorist groups and sympathizers claimed the whole thing was staged by the Russians.

In 2004 Caucasian terrorists invaded a school in Beslan, Ossetia, taking 1,100 hostages, including 777 children. In the aftermath, as usual, there were charges of Russian involvement in the plot: defector Alexander Litvinenko (later poisoned with plutonium in his sushi) claimed that many of the terrorists had previously been imprisoned by the Russians, but were released so they could be used to stage the horrific event and thereby turn Russian public opinion against Chechens.

Isn’t it interesting that Anzor Tsarnaev and his wife now claim the brothers were framed by the Boston police?

There is something seriously wrong here. In 2003 the INS should have prevented Anzor Tsarnaev from immigrating here from terrorist Dagestan. Apparently, he asked for political asylum, claiming to have been persecuted in Russia because of ties to Chechnya. He may even have claimed to have been imprisoned and tortured in Russia. All of this should have been a dead giveaway to the feds that Anzor Tsarnaev was at minimum suspected by the Russians of terrorist ties. The truth is, it is possible that Anzor came here to establish terrorist cells. It would explain why he’s back in Dagestan now. The only explanation for his being permitted to enter this country is that the INS is staffed by incompetents who don’t know anything about history or geography. If they did they would have understood that Anzor was from Dagestan, not “an area in Russia near Chechnya.”

How could the FBI, the lead government agency in terrorism prevention, been unable to figure out that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a terrorist who had gone to Russian to take part in a terrorist plot?

And how can so many politicians now claim with confidence that the Tsarnaevs aren’t part of a larger conspiracy? How can they claim they planned additional attacks, but only on their own? If I wanted to be reelected in 2014, I would keep my mouth shut until the whole truth comes out.

This is not America . . .

President Obama is an eloquent speaker. On Tuesday, he uplifted our spirits with these words:

We also know this — the American people refuse to be terrorized.  Because what the world saw yesterday in the aftermath of the explosions were stories of heroism and kindness, and generosity and love:  Exhausted runners who kept running to the nearest hospital to give blood, and those who stayed to tend to the wounded, some tearing off their own clothes to make tourniquets.  The first responders who ran into the chaos to save lives.  The men and women who are still treating the wounded at some of the best hospitals in the world, and the medical students who hurried to help, saying “When we heard, we all came in.”  The priests who opened their churches and ministered to the hurt and the fearful.  And the good people of Boston who opened their homes to the victims of this attack and those shaken by it.

So if you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil — that’s it. Selflessly. Compassionately.  Unafraid.

Sadly, though, I no longer believe we are unafraid. America has caved in to terror, and we did it back in 2001. We panicked. We didn’t stop and do the job in Afghanistan, which included not only destroying Al Qaeda then and there, but also the Taliban, evil incarnate. Instead we adventured into Iraq, convinced that they had weapons of mass destruction (and I still think they may have had and distributed them around the world to other irresponsible regimes before we had a chance to find them).

But seven years later, we changed our minds about both Afghanistan and Iraq and announced our withdrawal—without having accomplished any of our goals.

This is not America anymore.

It isn’t just our foreign policy that’s un-American now. We’ve trashed the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We’re afraid of freedom. My proof is the popularity of the following popular witticism:

“The Constitution isn’t a suicide pact.”

If that remark doesn’t send a chill down your spine, you are too far gone to understand what I’m saying.

Freedom is a state in which fear must be constantly conquered, because freedom is based on uncertainty. Free people must be brave people. Free people are people who have emerged from their cocoons, because they are eager to take flight—into the wild, blue yonder. The wild is where freedom lies.

After the bombing on Monday, I turned off the TV and listened to a Pandora channel of Sixties songs. While I was dancing in the living room, I realized how different a time the Sixties were. It was a time when lyrics included lines like these from Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Free”:

Set your motor runnin’

Head out on the highway

Lookin’ for adventure

And whatever comes our way

Yeah, baby, gonna make it happen

Take the world in a love embrace

Fire all of your guns at once

And head into space

How naïve that sounds now. I can’t imagine any young person today who would even understand those lyrics. In 1967 everybody under 30 years old wanted to get away from the routine, try something new, see what they could discover, and “take the world in a love embrace.” The whole world. Its good and its bad. Its pleasure and its pain.

In 1967 we knew what freedom was: “nothing left to lose.”

Now America doesn’t care what freedom is. We’re afraid, so afraid we believe freedom is a suicide pact.

 

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Indian Country Justice—Part V

I know I’ve been wrong many times, but recently I learned just how very wrong I can be: I learned I’ve been wrong all my life about who I am.

In July 2011, my mother Wanda Jean Granot Cole passed away and left me to serve as the executor of her estate, which was promptly challenged in probate court. Since then there have been endless negotiations, an extensive inventory of personal property, and numerous third-party appraisals of the unexpectedly large collection of artworks, fine crafts, and historical documents my mother collected. In the process I’ve had to finger through 87-years worth of my mother’s papers, which include extensive genealogies she prepared for both sides of my family. A few times this dusty digging through her papers has turned up rather sad memories, but more often it has produced fascinating glimpses into the past.

Among my mother’s papers are about 100 letters written by and to my father Elmer Bob Cole while he served in the Army during World War II and after that in the Army of Occupation. My mother always told me that my father fought in the Battle of the Bulge—but that simply wasn’t true. Instead he served in the 103rd Division (Cactus Division) of the Third Army, field artillery, and fought in the Battle of the Upper and Lower Vosges.

I did a little research and learned that, like my father, mystery writer Tony Hillerman also served in the Cactus Division. Like my father, Hillerman was born in a small town in Oklahoma. So I bought a copy of Hillerman’s memoir, Seldom Disappointed, which includes vivid tales of  the war in Central Europe—very similar to the tales my father wrote home about. I also learned that Hillerman is of German ancestry, not Native American, as I had thought.

My mother left dozens of notebooks filled with her genealogical research, including a little research into her mother-in-law’s family, the Atteburys. I am named after my father’s mother, Katherine Attebury. Granny, as I knew her, believed herself to be as much as one-eighth Cherokee, because her father Thomas claimed to be (according to my mother) either “one-quarter or one-third” Cherokee (the math is my mother’s, not mine). My father also firmly believed himself to be at least one-sixteenth Cherokee—and so did I and everyone else in the family—both sides—so much so in fact that it was a source of friction between my proudly all-white Scots-Irish grandmother and my father.

To give myself a break from probate hell, I joined www.Ancestry.com and began to track my great-grandfather Attebury’s roots. It didn’t take long for me to find him in a pre-Civil War census in Arkansas (Indian Country) with a child slave in his household. This didn’t surprise me (although it offended me) because I knew that Cherokees were slave owners.

Then, several months ago, Ancestry.com began offering its subscribers DNA tests for ethnic origins. I got on the waiting list, and one day received a package in the mail with instructions to spit into a tube and then mail my spit to a DNA testing lab. I wanted to know just how much Cherokee I had in my DNA.

I imagine you can guess the answer. Exactly zero.

All my ancestors (except 2% unknown) are from the British Isles, Scandinavia, and Central Europe. I’m a Celt by way of the British Isles and Scandinavia and a Viking by way of the British Isles, Scandinavia, and Europe around the Baltic. Even my Jewish grandfather (whose name was Sephardic) seems to have had nothing but Central European origins.

It’s really a shock. As a child I grew up very proud of my Cherokee heritage (in those days I didn’t know they were slave owners). I also suffered from several humiliating incidents involving my racist grandmother, who thought I was “a dirty Indian.”

Now the mystery I have to solve is: Why did Thomas Attebury, a Confederate Civil War veteran, tell everyone in Oklahoma that he was at least one quarter Cherokee?

I have several speculations, but it’s going to take some in-depth research to uncover the truth.

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Let Me Lend You an Ebook for the Holidays

My mystery short-story collection, THE EVIL THAT MEN DO, is now available for borrowing from the Amazon Kindle Lending Library. Most of the stories were previously published in hardcopy and e-magazines, and most are fairly tongue-in-cheek, so the evil isn’t entirely out-of-character for this season. Only one, “At the Foot” is definitely a horror, rather like most of the murders I discuss in this blog.

Recently, the Authors Guild and other writers’ organizations have criticized Amazon for its lending policy. As a result, Amazon has established a generous fund to compensate authors for royalties that would otherwise be lost through its lending library. So, you don’t have to feel guilty about borrowing any author’s books, let alone mine. More than royalties I’m looking for readers–believe it or not. And if you read my work and like it, I would appreciate an email from you.

In addition, the ebook will be FREE for downloading between December 22 and December 26, so you can buy it for $0.00 and email it as a gift to someone else. Please take advantage of this offer.

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download a free app for Smartphones, iPhones, and iPads, as well as computers.

To borrow a copy from Amazon, you don’t need a Kindle and you don’t need an email from me, although I would love it if you would email me at ccm@ccmambretti.com to let me know you’ve borrowed it.

What would you do if you found your father after 50 years?

When I was 11 years and 1 week old, my father died in an auto accident. For whatever reason, my mother (who died this year) refused to discuss him or his life or his family with me. She lied to me and said my father’s half-brother refused to attend the funeral (although I now know he was a pallbearer), and she refused to take me to the funeral. Not only that, she would not take me to visit his grave, although almost 40 years later my sister said she visited the grave with my mother often.

Last week I discovered that Marquette University owns a scrapbook of my uncle’s that contains 43 of my father’s letters from World War II. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and received a battlefield commission, which was awarded at Fontainebleau.

I’ve just begun reading my father’s letters. To me, as a child, he was a rather formidable father, not a person. Now I’m learning about his love of his parents and brother, whom he called “my bud.” I’m learning who he was as a person. He writes about his father, a “peculiar man” who was the son of a U. S. Deputy Marshal in Indian Territory. He worries about his mother, a Native American woman who “passed” for white and who ultimately was excluded from his wedding to my mother, because my mother’s mother was a racist (and, ironically, discovered in time that she had married a Jew).

I am overwhelmed.

Medicare to the American People: “Die Slowly and Miserably!”

This post has nothing to do with crime or courts. It has to do with laws, though, and specifically the laws surrounding death.

In the past five years I’ve had to manage the deaths of two members of my immediate family. I use the word “manage” advisedly, because neither of them died instantly—no car wrecks, no heart attacks, no strokes. They died slowly while enmeshed in bureaucratic red tape.

Because of government regulations, my loved ones died traumatically.

Through this process I learned that while Alan Grayson may have been correct when he said Republicans want us all to “Die Quickly!,” the flip side of the death coin is that Democrats want us all to “Die Slowly!” and according to the rules set out by government agencies.

Sidebar: I have tried to warn everyone I know about the horrors awaiting them when their elderly parents begin to die, but no one will listen. Most people assume their parents have “taken care of things already”: that they have insurance, they have a living will, they have a regular will, they have siblings or relatives or neighbors who are watching out for them, or “they have long-term health-care insurance.” But I guess you have to go through it to understand that none of those “preparations” are a parachute. The government takes charge, no matter what the living will says, or the will says, or the insurance policies say, or even what the dying person says. So, I’m writing this as a public service. Ignore this post at your own peril!

Americans are not free to choose the way they die, any more than a condemned murderer can choose between the gas chamber and lethal injection.

Conventional wisdom says that when a person knows she’s going to die and her family knows, then mercifully they all have time to “come to terms” with the end of life. Conventional wisdom believes dying slowly is a good thing.

As usual, conventional wisdom isn’t wise. Dying slowly is just one damn thing after another.

Hospitals and Terminal Illness

When a person is admitted to a hospital for diagnosis of a serious problem, one of several bureaucracies tells the patient’s doctor what to do:

  • if the patient has private insurance, then the insurance company takes charge
  • if the patient is uninsured and eligible for Medicaid, then Medicaid takes charge
  • if the patient is insured through the Veterans Administration or Medicare, then the VA or Medicare takes charge

In all cases, the doctor’s first task is to diagnose the illness as quickly and inexpensively as possible. If the diagnosis is that the patient has a terminal illness, the doctor’s next task is to make a prognosis: how long will the patient live?

How Long Has He Got?

The nature of the terminal disease is all important in determining how long it will take for a patient to die. A patient with heart disease or cancer is especially problematic, because few definitive tests are available. Most doctors can only estimate how long it will take for a given patient to die, and the estimate is just that—an estimate.

This is the first catch in the system: unless the estimate is that death is imminent (6 months or less) the patient cannot be put into hospice care immediately, even though that is the most-humane thing to do. Why? Because the insurers and the government don’t cover hospice care if the patient could live longer than that. (And, BTW, Alan Grayson is sadly mistaken if he thinks the people in charge of hospice care are Republicans.)

Discharge from a Hospital to Hell

If the patient has private insurance, then an accountant in the hospital will consult the insurance company to determine what treatments are covered and how many days’ stay in the hospital are covered. Normally, no insurance covers hospital stays unless their purpose is for diagnosis and treatment. As soon as a terminal prognosis is made, the patient is promptly discharged from the hospital and for a limited time sent to a skilled-nursing home of the patient’s choice (approved by the insurance company) for “recuperation” from the hospital visit.

Sidebar: A friend told me that when her uncle was diagnosed as having a terminal illness, at his bedside and in front of him the doctor told her, “He can’t die in the hospital.” After that she had to scurry around to find a suitable nursing home for recuperation.It makes you wonder why state governments bother to collect statistics about the recovery rates at hospitals, doesn’t it? They kick out anybody who’s dying. 

If a hospital patient is on Medicaid or VA benefits when a terminal prognosis is made, a Medicaid or VA social worker will take charge. The patient will be discharged to a Medicaid-or-VA-approved skilled-nursing home for a limited period of time—if the patient is on Medicare, then to a Medicare-approved skilled-nursing home.

Recuperation in Skilled Nursing Facilities

Every stay in a nursing home for recuperation from a terminal prognosis by a hospital is a bureaucratic sham.

It is also a waste of money.

But that’s what our wonderful government insists on. The way the bureaucracy sees it: if you go into a hospital with a serious illness, then you cannot go home immediately even if you want to so you can die in privacy. You have to go into a bureaucracy-approved skilled-nursing home to lie in a hospital bed in a ward filled with other dying people so there can be no doubt in your dying brain that you aren’t long for this world.

Why does this happen? The government makes money from this: each skilled nursing home is licensed by the state and approved by the bureaucracies for a fee. The state and the bureaucracies employ thousands of people, including social workers, to inspect these facilities; they employ thousands of managers to oversee the social workers and other employees; and they collect income taxes from the money the dying pay or cause insurers to pay to these facilities.

Catch 22: You can never recuperate in a skilled-nursing home if you are dying.

So what happens when the social worker in the nursing home figures out that you aren’t getting any better?

Well, it’s simple: the social worker notifies the insurer, whether a private company or a government bureaucracy such as the VA, Medicaid, or Medicare. When the insurer hears that the patient isn’t getting any better under the care of the skilled nurses (surprise, surprise), then the insurer cuts off benefits.

Let me stress this fact: decisions about benefits are not made by doctors, nurses, or patients but by social workers and accountants. And “benefits” are all those things you need to die painlessly.

When benefits are cut off—usually with only a few days notice—the patient has to leave the nursing home or find a way to pay for an extended stay out of his or her own pocket. This is where the patient with private insurance is really screwed, because such patients usually have an estate (property, savings, investments) that disqualify them from Medicaid benefits that would permit an extended stay at government expense.

This is also where long-term health care insurance can kick in if the patient has it. The problem is that every elderly person I’ve known who enters a nursing home wants to leave it as soon as possible, n
ot lie there and rot in a ward of dying people. Everyone would prefer to die at home in their own bed with hospice services.

Limbo

At the point when a dying patient is dropped by the insurance company or government insurance agency, the family (if there is one) suddenly finds themselves in a horrible bind. (Not that they weren’t suffering already.)

In my experience, though, it is at this point that the family realizes they have few, if any, options. Not many people have the wherewithal to take responsibility for the care of a dying person in their home or the patient’s home. (The friend I mentioned earlier actually took care of her uncle in his home with the help of a paid companion until hospice services could be provided for him there. That a family should choose to do this is rare. Most families in that situation would have to endure months of a heavy burden with a dying relative in their own home.)

This is also the point at which the family may understand for the first time that they’ve been railroaded—by the doctors, the hospitals, the nursing homes, the social workers, the bureaucrats. All along most of these people have been smiling at them and saying, “There’s nothing to worry about. We deal with these issues all the time. Let us take care of things. You don’t have to contact Medicare (or Medicaid or the VA or the insurance company); we do that. We bill them directly. Everything’s covered,” and the naive family member sighs with relief.

Then the bill comes in the mail, and the notice of termination of benefits, and the demands for a personal guarantee of the patient’s pharmaceutical costs—with a requirement that your signature be notarized and witnessed by two other people.

Suddenly the bureaucrats turn blank stares upon you, when you ask where exactly the patient should go now that he or she can’t stay in the nursing home any longer.

Where to Die for More Than Six Months?

This is the single most-important question everyone should ask themselves today: where will I go to die?

Over a decade ago I heard for the first time about hospice care. Someone close to my mother died in hospice care. It sounded like a wonderful institution. But I didn’t give it any more thought than that—and this was a huge mistake.

Hospice care isn’t a place; it’s a service. Hospice workers go into a dying patient’s residence when the prognosis is that the patient has six months or less to live.

Hospice is only available through an insurer. In other words, if a patient has private insurance, then the insurer must cover hospice care or else hospice care isn’t available at all. If the patient is elderly, then hospice care is covered by Medicare or if destitute by state-specific Medicaid. There’s no such thing as private hospice, because of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement requirements. It’s the law.

Remember, hospice is only available if the patient has less than six months to live. If the attending physician can’t make that determination, then the dying patient has to go somewhere without the benefit of hospice-workers’ assistance. That means in many cases that a family member must care for the dying patient until a hospice social worker or nurse can be convinced that the patient’s condition has deteriorated sufficiently.

“That should be easy to do,” you say. Oh, yeah?

When my mother was diagnosed with a form of cancer that is inevitably fatal and was already in terminal, stage four, the doctors and nurses caring for her said, “To look at her you wouldn’t know she was sick at all.” The doctors gave her from “a few months to two years to live.” Hence, no hospice.

VA Hospice Benefits

One of my dying relatives was covered by the VA. Because I didn’t know anything about skilled nursing homes or hospice at the time, the terminal illness became a bureaucratic nightmare. If you have a relative who may be eligible for VA benefits, find out now. Find out what end-of-life care coverage the patient is entitled to.

VA hospitals don’t want anyone to die in the hospital any more than private hospitals do. They will try to kick your loved one out as fast or faster than a private hospital will. But to make things worse, there is no length to which the VA will not go to be able to ship the patient off to a nursing home if the patient has no living will that permits them to withhold life-sustaining treatments or is competent and requests treatment. (Some people don’t want to die, you know.)

My veteran relative became convinced—as a result of poor communication skills on the part of the case social worker—that because the VA would cover several weeks recuperation in a skilled nursing facility, it meant the disease was not terminal after all.

When Hospice Kicks In and You Kick the Bucket

My recent experience with hospice was not a good one. The hospice “team” (as they called themselves) bullied us all into doing what they wanted us to do, not what we wanted to do. At one point they even told me that I would not be “a good person” unless I followed their instructions—instructions that would have put a huge strain on my whole family’s emotional resources. I bowed to their demands.

The determination that hospice-care was called for, in this case, came from the administrator of the retirement community in which my mother lived—a bureaucrat, not a doctor. She contacted a hospice service (of her choice, not the patient’s or the patient’s family). As it turned out, my mother died in less than two weeks after the hospice care was initiated; and no one could tell that death was imminent until less than 48 hours before she died.

After the administrator’s first call, a hospice admissions nurse then visited the patient to make sure she was going to die soon enough. After that a social worker called me to introduce herself as the “team manager.” She demanded to know the most-intimate details of the patient’s life and our family. She also asked whether a pastor should visit the patient, but, even though I recommended no such visit, a “sister” soon showed up at the bedside to pray and sing hymns, which—had the patient been conscious at the time—would have disturbed her immeasurably.

Every day, a hospice nurse called me to describe the patient’s condition. Among the “comforting” tidbits the nurses shared with me was that dehydration (from lack of fluids) and starvation (because the patient’s stomach was involved in the cancer) cause the brain to produce endorphins, thus making dehydration and starvation pleasant. The nurses and social worker also decided when and what medications to administer. When the patient fell unconscious and began moaning, they decided more pain medication was unnecessary; instead they administered anti-anxiety drugs.

Finally, the social worker decided when a vigilant was required at the bedside. She also ordered my brother and I to get there as quickly as possible and to do some other things I would rather not discuss in public.

I was so distraught at that point that I blindly obeyed. It wasn’t until my mother died that I realized what bullshit it all was.

My dying mother and her family had no say whatsoever in how she was cared for after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Accountants and social workers made all the decisions. All of them. And at each step they decided to spend the least amount of money they could, to provide the least amount of care they could, and to administer the least amount of medication they could. They even decided that a woman who could best be described as a wiccan should have a Catholic nun pray and sing at her bedside.

Letter to the Casey Anthony Jury

Dear Jurors,


Thank you for following the law as the judge explained it to you. Thank you for respecting Casey Anthony’s rights as an American. Thank you for having the courage of your convictions.


As a former criminal-trial juror (sexual assault and kidnapping) I know what you must have gone through. Every night of the trial (and there were only three for me) I dreaded eventually entering into deliberations, convinced that I was going to be the lone holdout against the kidnapping charges. I feared I wouldn’t have enough courage to vote not guilty in the face of my eleven peers.


When court-watchers reported that you had returned to the courtroom on the second day of deliberations smiling and looking relaxed and confident, I knew that meant you had learned the night before that not only were you all in agreement on the capital murder charges but you had decided Casey Anthony was not guilty of first-degree murder, and you would not have to sit through a guilt-phase trial in which you would have to decide whether or not to sign a death warrant for one of your fellow human beings. Only a ghoul would be smiling at that prospect.


I predicted that if a jury did not convict Casey Anthony of first-degree murder and that even if a jury found her guilty of lesser charges, the media and the ignorant public would vilify them, no matter what the evidence in the trial proved or disproved. I also predicted that the attorneys for the losing side would turn on the jury. Of course, I was thinking most likely the defense attorneys would be the losers.


I have heard Jeff Ashton’s assessment that you just didn’t understand the forensic science and that the trial was too long for you to maintain your concentration. And I suspect now that Linda Drane-Burdick is launching an investigation to look for violations of the sequestration laws and inappropriate behavior in the deliberations.


But Jeff Ashton is the one who didn’t understand the science and couldn’t even tell the real science from the junk science. Jeff Ashton is the one who suffered most from the length of trial: as the defense case progressed he grew less confident and began squirming and making faces.


As for Ms. Drane-Burdick, it’s her job to make sure the jury isn’t guilty of misconduct, but I still think it’s incredibly unfair in this situation. I didn’t hear as much of the testimony or see as much of the evidence as you did, but even I became convinced there was no proof of murder, no proof of child abuse.


And, if you search the web for what happened to the jury foreman in the La Vegas trial of O. J. Simpson, you will see that Simpson’s attorneys caused the foreman to have to appear before a judge to explain himself when he spoke to the press after the trial.


By refusing to talk to the press you spared yourself from that sort of misconduct charges. And I hope that the State of Florida doesn’t bother to go after its own citizens who were just doing their civic duty. It can serve no purpose. Nothing can put Casey Anthony back on trial.


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I’m really tired of the seemingly endless ignorance of law.

The Casey Anthony verdict and sentencing has produced nothing but idiocy from the media and public in chat rooms and on call-in broadcast programming. This country is in very serious trouble. Ignorance of the law is what causes stupid people to stumble into law-breaking, to fall into the hands of unscrupulous law enforcement officials who may seek to lure them into speaking to them without an attorney, to serve on juries without any idea of what the defendant’s rights are, and for the press to publicly vilify citizens without basis.


But when people who claim to be lawyers go on TV and say stupid, incorrect things about the law, that is when you know that there may be no hope for the future of American justice.


This morning I heard so much stupidity, I didn’t manage to retain it in my short-term memory long enough to process it into long-term memory. Only two statements stuck:


1. Two lawyers asked, “If you lie under oath in a civil deposition can you be charged with criminal perjury?”



Yes, that is what they said they didn’t know. I am not a lawyer but even I know you cannot lie under oath in any legal proceeding without being liable for criminal perjury. That’s the definition of perjury, I’m quite sure. Perjury is a crime. What law school did these people attend?


2. “What you [an intelligent caller to a TV show] are saying is that you can never prove a circumstantial case without the evidence of the body [such as Caylee Anthony’s], and that would mean that you could never have proved Laci Peterson was murdered even though her body was found in the bay.”


The lawyer who said this hung up on the caller before she could respond. So I will respond on her behalf:


You can never prove a circumstantial case without sufficient circumstantial evidence. A little bit of speculation about a little bit of possible evidence won’t cut it.


The mere fact that a woman’s child’s body is found in the vicinity of duct tape and a plastic bag is not evidence that the woman murdered her child. It is sufficient evidence to prove that someone disposed of the body improperly. It is not sufficient evidence that the woman murdered the child with duct tape, especially when other circumstantial evidence suggests (not proves) that the woman killed the child with chloroform, and there is some limited circumstantial evidence that suggests (not proves) that the child may have drowned in the backyard pool. (Noticeably, by the time closing arguments came around the prosecution dropped their initial claim that Caylee was suffocated by chloroform, duct tape, and being in a plastic bag.)


Furthermore, there is absolutely no circumstantial evidence that Casey Anthony is the person who deposited the remains, the duct tape, and the bag in the woods. There is only some circumstantial evidence that the body was ever in her car, but she is not the only person with keys to the car, and the car is in her parents’ names. The fact that George Anthony knew how long the car had been abandoned at the bank before his daughter had an opportunity to tell him is circumstantial evidence that George Anthony knew when the car was abandoned in the parking lot all along.


The prosecution’s investigators were unable to find any circumstantial DNA evidence anywhere relating to Casey Anthony. This is not an unimportant fact, for several reasons in this age of DNA evidence:



  • People have been exonerated of murder by DNA evidence, especially when the defendant is male and the murder involves sexual assault. (Women have no such “presumption or proof of innocence” so if Caylee had really been kidnapped and raped, there would have been no exonerating semen to help Casey.)
  • DNA evidence of an unknown person’s DNA in a place where it should not be has also exonerated people. The investigators in Casey Anthony’s case did not look for DNA profiles of anyone other than the Anthony family, which—given Casey’s early claims of kidnapping is inexcusable. They behaved like the guy found crawling on his hands and knees under a street lamp looking for his car keys there, because it was too dark in the parking lot to find them there. And this is the primary reason why the remains could not possibly provide sufficient circumstantial evidence of guilt.
  • There is also circumstantial evidence that the meter reader moved the skull around in August, disturbing the evidence and possibly destroying the evidence of the person who deposited the remains—even if it was Casey. In addition, the meter reader testified that he saw the skull at least twice, maybe three times, in August and in December and at no time did he say there was duct tape anywhere near it. This is the second reason the “body” in this case could not provide sufficient circumstantial evidence of guilt.
  • The fact that George Anthony gave the police a wiped-down gas can on which no fingerprints could be found is circumstantial evidence that George Anthony did not want the police to find anyone’s fingerprints on the can.

The caller who was hung up on also said she suspected Casey Anthony had used chloroform as a babysitter, and that’s what killed Caylee. I suspect the same. However, the defense conclusively proved to me (and I know something about computers) that the computer search for “how to make chloroform” was made only in response to a MySpace comment of one of her boyfriends concerning “how to win girls with chloroform.”


Another stupidity—I just remembered—is the way all these lawyers are speculating about how and when Casey will be forced to tell the truth. Folks, she doesn’t have to say anything to anyone ever again.


In the civil suit against her brought by the horribly defamed Zanaida Fernandez-Gonzales all Casey has to say in the deposition is this: how and why she chose the name, even if it was something such as she found a document with the information on it, liked the name, and decided to use it as her fantasy nanny’s name. She made this decision in 2006, as I recall, two years before the prosecution claimed she premeditated her daughter’s death. She dreamed up the nanny as an excuse for taking Caylee with her when she wanted to spend the night with friends and not leave her with her parents or when she could not leave her with them because they were working. End of story. Zanaida Fernandez-Gonzales is exonerated in the eyes of the world, and Casey probably owes her damages.


Can we please quit this endless whining about Casey Anthony’s fate? How about a little media coverage of the Bill of Rights and how it protects every citizen—every resident—of this country from this kind of witch hunt?

Comment on Scott Peterson from “Voice of Sanity”

In Peterson’s case I believe the most likely scenario was that Amber called the Peterson house and Laci answered the phone. Later Laci confronted Scott with his philandering and they argued. He struck her and killed her—unintentionally. I even think he may have tried a C-section to save his unborn son. In the end, he wrapped the body in a blanket and tossed it in the bay. Murder, yes. First degree, pre-meditated murder, no.

 

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!

 

Utterly impossible and totally at odds with the prosecution’s own evidence. I’ll give you three valid pieces of evidence to prove it but first there’s a point that must be made. This trial taught me that most people (my working estimate is 98%) are as dumb as a sack of rocks. They don’t know how to think, how to make connections or how to come to valid conclusions. As a result, they confuse the immaterial with the material, the unrelated with the related.

Instead of learning to think they have learned to fake it. They make comments that may serve them well in other areas, but in the area of law they lay themselves as bare as they would discussing calculus or physics.

You can, for example, point out that there was no evidence that Conner was ever in the sea. They will counter with some irrelevancy about watching porn, dying his hair or playing golf.

If you ask them a question like, “If Scott had NOT ordered porn channels, would you stand up firmly for a verdict of not guilty?” They will, if honest, admit no. They still cannot grasp the reverse of this, that therefore watching porn does not go to a conviction, and similarly with the other irrelevant matters that the senile Delucchi allowed in.

OTOH, if there was solid evidence that Conner was never in the sea that would immediately lead to an inevitable conclusion that Peterson was innocent. This is a material fact, unlike most of the prosecution nonsense, but most cannot grasp this and, I fear, never will. They simply don’t have the skills needed. See Dunning–Kruger effect for more on this.

So what are the three pieces of evidence? Here they are:

1) Laci Peterson could not have been in the sea for more than 14 days at the extreme outside. 16 weeks is impossible – there would remain only a few scattered bones of hers and nothing of the baby. Read about this here:



2) Every witness in the trial gave testimony based on science or experience that the baby was full term. Drs Henry Lee and Cyril Wecht did the same, although they weren’t called to testify. This means that a baby aged 32 weeks and one day went into the water (allegedly) and a full term (37 – 40 weeks) came out. Here is a quote from Dr. Wecht:

“After Henry and I examined Laci Peterson’s body for nearly ninety minutes, technicians brought in the body of Conner Peterson…. The biggest issue was the baby’s body development. To obtain; an accurate estimate of age, we measured the baby’s length. Decomposition does not impact length because a person’s bone structure does not shrink from immersion. Conner measured about nineteen and one-half inches, which is technically within the range of a full-term baby. Plastic tape had been and still was wrapped around the neck and held there by a knot.”

3) Laci Peterson’s underwear had the seat only worn out. The front was intact, the seat was missing. This would have taken weeks and would not have happened post mortem. Read about this here:

http://sites.google.com/site/another9912/theevidence


So we have three unshakable pieces of evidence proving that Laci and Conner lived long after Dec 24th. This make Scott innocent, without a doubt. Every other piece of evidence, without exception, proves the same thing. Not one piece goes to guilt.

And yet, nothing I have said will make any difference to the dullards who hate him. For them, ‘evidence’ is just random phrases they use to shore up their shoddy conclusions. I note that, to this day, the jury themselves also cannot offer any reason to convict him other than prejudice and fear. What a sad state of things!

 

A Voice of Sanity.