Saturday, October 12, 2013

When two and two does not equal four

Some people in Seattle might remember an incident a few years ago in which an older white male was tending to a "garden" within one of those streets that diverts around a circular patch and meets on the other side; apparently he strung out a hose across one side of the street along with other gardening equipment. Three young black females in a car tried to drive through the street; the white male demanded that they take another route, but they refused. An altercation ensued during which the man turned his hose on the girls; one of them called a black male acquaintance, claiming that they were being attacked and needed his assistance. The black male arrived at the scene, apparently "deduced" that the girls' sanctity was under threat, and proceeded to punch the white man in the head, from which he later died of brain trauma. The black male was arrested and convicted in this death. The three girls walked away as if they played no part in the incident at all.

Incidents like this always bother me. Not that I would absolve the black male of his actions; I don't think much of people whose mode of "discussion" is brute force. Still, he probably wasn't thinking about going out and punching--let alone kill--someone that day when he received that fateful call. Perhaps the white male was wrong for blocking the street; on the other hand, the girls obviously had no appreciation for his volunteer work. Who initiated the physical confrontation is unclear, but the girls were seen performing some blow-by-blow exertions before their male friend showed up; in Seattle, some of these "girls" think nothing of throwing a punch at a police officer who stops them for jaywalking. The fact is that a man died because they wanted him "hurt." And they escaped any and all culpability in the matter.

More recently in the news was the case of several ultra-Orthodox Jewish rabbis and their "henchmen" arrested in New Jersey for running a "service" for women in need of a quick and painless "official" divorce (known as the "get") from recalcitrant husbands. Of course, the men to whom the "service" was applied usually found the procedure protracted and painful. According to a CBS News report, one of the rabbis told undercover agents that "basically what we are going to be doing is kidnapping a guy for a couple of hours and beating him and torturing him and then getting him to give the get. We take an electric cattle put it in certain parts of his body and in one minute the guy will know."

Now, the FBI would not be investigating this case unless there had already been victims. Knowing who the victims were, they also probably knew who those ex-spouses were who happily paid tens of thousands of dollars per beating or cattle prod procedure. Yet there is no indication that any of them were arrested and charged with a crime; legally, they are just as guilty as those who conduct the "service." Yet despite being the primary "beneficiaries" of the "service," they are not being judged by anyone, by the law or the media. I wouldn't be surprised if some people think they are "victims" too.

These stories are examples of how omission is just as bad as lies. In some cases, putting two and two together does not always equal four, because the first two numbers in the equation were not necessarily the correct ones; all too often people think two-plus-zero--meaning only one side is heard--equals four. Sometimes the only whole number in the equation is wrong. We are told, for example, that Ariel Castro--who was convicted of the kidnapping and rape of three women--died in his jail cell of "auto-erotic asphyxiation"--the same method of "accidental" demise that ended the life of actor David Carradine. Of course, this merely enhances the sense of the Puerto Rico-born Castro's perversity. The "evidence" of this is the fact he was allegedly found with his pants down. It turns out that the coroner found no evidence of anything other than deliberate suicide, that the guards falsified prison logs, and likely invented the auto-erotic story in a failed attempt to cover their fundaments.

At his sentencing, Castro claimed that he was a "good person" and "not a monster." His ex-sister-in-law has suggested otherwise, but I am not so readily willing to accept that only one side is guilty in a dysfunctional relationship as most people seem to be, and I've given my reasons for this several times on this blog. Castro also claimed that his relationship with the victims--Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina De Jesus--was "mostly" consensual and he never beat or tortured them. He further asserted that "we had a lot of harmony going on in that home." He makes it sound as if it was a regular Manson Family arrangement.

The three women all played their part for the media. But consider their ages when they were "rescued": Knight was 32, Berry was 27, and De Jesus was 23. This "arrangement" had been going on for a decade. Castro was not an "imposing" figure; his mug shot shows a homely, pudgy man who was only 5-3. Yet these women claim that they were unable to overpower him or simply escape in all that time? My own dealings with adversity throughout my life (without the assistance ofthe many support mechanisms women can avail themselves) has made me skeptical of the stated "facts." Maybe--just maybe--they "accepted" the "arrangement" for their own reasons, and chose to escape once they saw "the light." We saw the same dynamic in the (eventual) conversion of the Manson women; by the way, I'm reading a so-called "biography" on "Squeaky" Fromme, and I'll have something to say about that at a future time.

Earlier in the year there was a local case in which my cynicism and unwillingness to accept the assumed "facts" got the best of me. Yes, James Lee DiMaggio apparently committed the arson to cover-up the murder of the family of a 16-year-old. He is alleged to have kidnapped the girl and taken her in hiding to some wilderness camp ground, where he and the girl acted "suspiciously' and the authorities were notified. DiMaggio was found by FBI agents and killed in still not entirely clear circumstances. The girl was, of course, rescued.

But something "stinks" here. While it is apparent the alleged kidnap victim "seemed" nervous to several people at the camp, who wouldn't when it dawned on a person the enormity of what had just occurred back home? I wouldn't expect the Seattle Timesor any other media outlet to delve too deeply into the dark underbelly of the mind, of course. But something is just not quite "right." I don't think this the usual murder and "kidnapping" case. Maybe the girl complained of being "abused" by her mother, or she didn't approve of a different kind of relationship between DiMaggio and her daughter. Don't act so "surprised" by this--this plot device isn't just standard movie fare. What would drive a man--supposedly so close he was practically a member of the family--to set fire to a house, killing a mother and young son, and then attempt to escape with an attractive, blonde 16-year-old? Rather than being a "victim," was she some kind of jailbait "Lolita"? We really haven't heard all that much out of her since, at least nothing that makes sense of the event.

I suppose some people will be offended by thought that is contrary to the accepted narrative, but that is one of the reasons why I chose the name of my blog what it is
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