Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thursday is in the Books: a Lunatic, a Former President on the Run, the Captain Returns, and Just Another Night With Richie

According to NBC News, the trial of Jimmy Holmes, which was originally scheduled for this month, has now been pushed back to the middle of October. The cause is many fold as the maneuvering by both defense attorneys and the prosecution has begun to resemble the sort of double dog dare insults which precede a playground fight between two third graders. Holmes, as we know, is the bright young bulb who walked into an Aurora, Colorado theater in July of 2012 and opened fire on the audience. By the time he was done 12 were dead and 70 were wounded. The National Rifle Association maintains the weapons he used should be available to every citizen so we can defend ourselves against a dangerous, over reaching, federal government. The movie playing that night was  titled, "The Dark Knight Rises." Brother Holmes dressed himself in all black before beginning the assault.

Right now everyone is waiting on a second psych evaluation which the prosecution requested. Apparently the first, which hasn't been made public, showed Holmes was and is a little too crazy and it could prove detrimental to the state's death penalty case. It is the only conclusion one can make after the D.A. argued the first exam was full of, "numerous deficiencies." The results are expected in July.

Predictably, the defense is still fighting the second set of tests, even though Judge Charles Samour allowed them. At this point Holmes' attorneys are threatening to take their objections to the Colorado Supreme Court which might delay things even further. In addition there will be an April hearing where the defense will make a gaggle of challenges to current Colorado death penalty statutes.

All this is maddening to the survivors and families of the victims who are clamoring for the proceedings to begin sooner than later. NBC quoted Samour as saying, "I understand those wishes, but there's nothing I can do about it. I'm not going to allow things to be rushed." In real world language that reads--I'm not going to give the defense any excuses to have the trial overturned on appeal because I fucked up.

The NBC report noted the judge expects to issue around 6,000 juror summonses before the gruesome circus begins. It is probably for the best. They'll no doubt have to sift through at least that many people before finding 12 souls who can lie well enough to convince both sides they haven't already made up their minds about what to do with Mr. Holmes.

Meanwhile, the location of Viktor Yanukovych, the deposed president of Ukraine, remains a mystery. CNN reports he was last seen in the eastern provincial city of Kharkiv, although the mayor of that burg claims he hasn't seen him in days. It seems the rumor which had him hiding out in a Hitler style bunker located in a monastery was just that--a rumor. An Orthodox church spokesperson is saying it was all tabloid/social media nonsense. A warrant for his arrest on charges of, "mass murder" has been issued.

At the same time the Russians are starting to loom large on the horizon. Vladimir Putin has ordered  military exercises near the border with Ukraine involving 150,000 or so troops and the Foreign Ministry in Moscow is issuing ominous statements. One said, the new government is acting, "rashly" and accused it of "discriminating against ethnic Russians by excluding them from the reform process." Another complained, "A course has been set for suppressing those who disagree in different regions of Ukraine with methods of dictatorship and terror." There you go. Two great reasons for an invasion--discrimination against ethnic Russians and defense of different regions which disagree with the new government and are being, "suppressed." Nurse, the scalpel please. The prospect of an Eastern Ukraine, or Nuevo Ukraine, or some such place is looking more and more likely each day.

Indeed, it looks like we are nearing the tipping point when some beset upon party, no matter how small, or fictional invites Russian troops to storm across the frontier, because--you know--they never go where they aren't invited. Then we can look for them to end the dispute with all the subtle nuance we've come to know and expect from them. Hey, why not? We sent an army into Iraq on the pretense Saddam had weapons of mass destruction--and that foul fabrication didn't even attempt explain how he'd deliver any of them to American shores. In comparison, the Ukrainian chaos is happening on Russia's south western flank, where the headquarters of their Black Sea fleet is located.

Then, in Italy, Captain Francesco Schettino showed up on the island of Giglio. It isn't his first visit. Two years ago he ran the cruise ship, Costa Concordia, onto the island's reef for reasons never fully explained, nearly capsizing it. 32 of the passengers died while he abandoned his post on the bridge for a safer view of the disaster.

Yesterday he told the media, "I am here to tell all of you what you were told was a lie. I am here to restore the truth." Schettino was charged with manslaughter as a result of the maritime debacle. The NBC report did not say how he planned on restoring the truth, or if he made any attempt to do so other than showing up.

Finally, American pro football player, Richie Incognito continued his rampaging ways. A neighbor in Scottsdale, Arizona called police to report Incognito's $300,000 Ferrari had been vandalized. When the cops showed up, Incognito told them not to worry about it, he had done the job on his own vehicle with a baseball bat. There was no explanation of why, other than perhaps he is Richie Incognito and nearly as nuts, although not as well armed--at least not yet--as Jimmy Holmes.

Incognito is currently unemployed, but can sign with any NFL club who needs an offensive lineman in desperate need of psychiatric help on March 11th. In his younger days he was kicked off two different college football programs because of his behavior. Most recently he was implicated in the brutal hazing of former teammate Johnathan Martin and various members of the Miami Dolphins staff. In 2009 NFL players voted him the dirtiest player in the league. His last contract earned him a seven figure salary each and every year.

So, there we have it. Just another Thursday in the books.

Where would we be without them?

The bar, as always, is open.


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