Saturday, March 25, 2017

ABC 20-20 covers case of Noura Jackson in Memphis, and circumstantial evidence convicting her of "Matricide"

ABC 20-20 last night, in “Matricide”, covered the case of Noura Jackson, who was convicted for stabbing her mother to death in their home near Memphis early on Sunday, June 5, 2005.

She would be convicted of second degree murder on what seems like overwhelming circumstantial evidence.  But no DNA evidence was found linking her to the crime. (Some legal authorities see DNA evidence as actually still circumstantial.)  Some of the circumstantial evidence was quirky, such as her wearing long sleeves in summer heat to cover up her self-treatment for injuries during the incident.  She says “I have real hairy arms” and that she often shaves her arms, like a cyclist.  In the trial, she did not testify.

But she won a new trial because the prosecuting attorney broke a rule of criminal procedure by criticizing her not testifying, which is her constitutional right according to the Fifth Amendment.

She wound up taking an Alford plea, accepting the conviction for time served and not admitting guilt, and was released, although not for over a year.  She has settled with relatives for some of her mother’s estate.

Wikipedia attribution link for Beale Street, Memphis image, by Andreas Faessler, CCSA 3.0

Friday, March 24, 2017

ABC Nightline makes marriage reflexive

ABC Nightline (late Thursday night) covered the amusing topic of marrying yourself. “These Women Had Perfect Weddings for Themselves Without a Groom

Is that the ultimate expression of self-concept, marrying yourself?  My own father used to say, “You’re married to your records”.  Maybe it’s to my blogs, like this one.

So we have gay marriage, can we have reflexive marriage?   In French, the verb is already reflexive.  You marry yourself with someone.   “Elle s’est mariee avec Bill”.  She married Bill. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

"Truth and Lies: The Family Manson" on ABC 20-20

ABC 20-20 aired a 2-hour documentary “Truth and Lies: The Family Manson” (link ) about the life of Charles Manson, his crimes, and his followers, pretty much a companion to “Helter Skelter”.
Manson’s early life had a lot of petty crime, but he tried to become a music celebrity.  He believed he was deceived in a contract, and resented others in Hollywood who had a good life.

The documentary gives a step by step account of the Sharon Tate murders, with the home invasion and brutality, and other coverup murders, as well as the life of his followers on the “Ranch” and their attempt to “escape” in the Mojave Desert.  Manson would be arrested on car theft charges first, as his followers tried to prepared dune buggies for the coming race war.

The last part of the film shows the trials, with his female followers shaving their heads and making spectacles outside.  Many followers went to prison for life.  Manson’s death sentence was reduced to life but the film shows the old gas chamber.  Manson would be severely burned by an inmate in 1984.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Tom Price defends GOP's AHCA on CNN Town Hall

Wolf Blitzer and Dana Bash hosted HHS secretary Tom Price Wednesday night in a Town Hall, best link.
The biggest part of Price’s pitch was allowing consumers to avoid paying for specific coverages that they did not need (such as pregnancy for the elderly). 

Price also explained the anti-selection problem with pre-existing conditions and tried to defend the continuous coverage idea. 
But much of Price’s discussion concerned the ramp=up of premiums this year for people buying individual insurance from exchanges under Obamacare, to pay for other people’s behaviors and pre-existing conditions. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

"The Most Powerful Man in the World" (Vladimir Putin, mentor to Donald Trump; the World According to Fareed)

Wednesday night, CNN aired another one-hour documentary by Fareed Zakria about America’s enemies, “The Most Powerful Man in the World”, that is, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, best link.

The documentary is filled with invocations of the stirring Russian national anthem (in E Major) by Alexandrov  (age old wisdom of our fraternal people, popular wisdom of our forbearers, etc).   Or try this one, with the Russian Army and Putin speaking.

It starts with a 35 year old lieutenant colonel Putin holding fort in Dresden, E Germany when the Berlin Wall falls.  It then covers the corruption of the 1990s with Yeltsin at the helm, with oligarchs getting rich and ordinary people starving – so in a sense, people had been addicted to communism. Putin becomes Prime Minister and speaks in 2000.  He befriends George W Bush in 2001.  With rising oil prices, Putin pursues nationalism in a manner that predicts Trump, and life gets better for many working Russians in a statist capitalist system.  So Putin becomes popular.

Zakaria covers why Putin especially had it in for Hillary Clinton (as explained here , going back to the Arab Spring).  Hillary was seen as a “hawk” on foreign policy, in some ways more conservative than Trump (like  McCain would be, Fareed says).  He also maintains that Putin sees Trump as his own “Apprentice”.

Putin is still wildly popular in Russia, with his “Make Russia Great Again”.  Zakaria didn’t mention this, but LGBTQ  people became scapegoats in 2013, largely because :GBTQ is seen as excerabting Russia’s baby bust (when Putin says “leave the children alone”, he really means, don’t let them get the idea that  it isn’t important to have kids).

Putin is, ironically, seen as a sex symbol, even in his 60s, even given horseback pictures that betray that he has no hair on his chest.  And the teats are getting sloppy.  Milo will notice that.

Vladimir Putin appears once meeting with Al-Assad in the film “Cries from Syria” which aired on HBO right after Zakaria (Wordpress).

He didn’t cover the 2002 theater hostage crisis in Moscow.

Wikipedia attribution link for Moscow picture

Monday, March 13, 2017

Josh Garcia visits Singapore as "Little Island, Big Flavor" on his "Voyager" program for "The More You Know"

NBC’s “Voyager” travel show with Josh Garcia (as part of “The More You Know”) on Saturday mornings on March 11, on a half-hour episode called “Little Island, Big Flavor”.

Josh gets off a Carnival tour cruise (I don’t go on cruises – ships do not constitute sightseeing destinations) in Sinagpore, almost on the Equator, the cleanest big city in the world, known for its strict laws about public littering and conduct (and canings).

The link right now is here.  I do have the latest Flash so I don’t know why the video didn’t play.

Note the physical contrast between Josh and his host.  Despite the Hispanic name and Puerto Rican background, Josh (now 36) illustrates that some people from Spain had originally emigrated from northern Europe a millennium ago, to Galicia.

The episode shows the super modern buildings on the waterfront, and then Josh visits many little shops and buys shoes for his niece, calling her to get a shoe size.  He uses his selfie-stick a lot.  He also tries the food (like Anthony Bourdain would), eating whole crabs immersed in bizarre soups.

Wikipedia attribution link for dinnertime picture in Singapore by Allie Caulfield under CCSA 2.0.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

CNN: "Melania Trump: The Making of a First Lady"

On Friday, March 10, 2017, CNN aired “Melania Trump: The Making of a First Lady” with Randi Kaye.

The best CNN link seems to be here.

The most interesting portion was the coverage of the period when Donald Trump announced he would run in June 2015.

The episode covered the plagiarism scandal over her speech at the Republican National Convention.
But it also covered Donald’s courtship of her and the birth of Barron, who stood next to Donald when Donald accepted his win Election Night.  They were married in early 2005.

She did explain her legal immigration and citizenship in 2006.

She also explained her desired for activism against Internet bullying in social media.