Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jackson Investigation Intensifies

Picture taken 6/23/09: Jackson at rehearsal (2 days before death)

The investigation into the death of Michael Jackson is well under way. Los Angeles investigators took two bags of evidence from Jackson’s home today, and they made a brief statement that there were bottles of medications collected. Dr. Conrad Murray, who was paid $150,000 a month to provide care for the star, denied any wrong-doing on his part. In an interview with CNN, Jackson’s trainer, Lou Ferrigno, claimed that Michael seemed “lean and fit” during their training sessions less than a month earlier. Ferrigno said that Jackson looked as good as he has in “15-years.” New pictures released show Michael rehearsing and healthy-looking just days before his death.

Investigators will also be heavily focused on the circumstances surrounding the singer’s death to see if there was any gross negligence committed. How long did the doctor wait until he ordered the 911 call? Why was a professional cardiologist giving CPR to Jackson while he was on the bed? Even the 911 operator knew that the floor or a hard surface is normal protocol. What does the mystery 911 caller have to say? Allegedly he was one of Jackson's security guards.

CNN reported today that Murray was checking on Jackson every half-hour or so. The doctor will have to face questions like: why Jackson was not in a hospital receiving proper care, or what was Jackson’s condition? What drugs was Dr. Murray prescribing Jackson, and what drugs were in his system at the time of his death? Furthermore, investigators will be looking at the possibility that other Dr.’s may have been providing Jackson with drugs that may or may not have been found in the house.

These are all questions that the investigators will surely be searching to have answered. This is not jumping to conclusions on the part of investigators, this is just standard procedure. There very well may have been no crimes committed. However, you don’t have to be Dick Tracy to find the circumstances of death in this case, odd. Murray’s attorney, Ed Chernoff, claimed on CNN that the time lapse between when Murray found Jackson and when paramedics arrived was approximately 25 – 30 minutes. Chernoff completely downplays any negligence on the part of his client, and that Murray was not only Jackson’s personal physician, but a dear friend.

It will take at least two weeks for police to release any pertinent information about the case, and toxicology results—which will reveal what drugs if any were in Jackson’s body—will most likely take 4 – 6 weeks. Dr. Cyril Wecht (Forensic Pathologist) told CNN that "Jackson probably had up to three different drugs in his system which caused death by acute combination drug toxicity." Wecht estimated that Jackson’s system will show the drug demerol, but Chernoff adamantly denied that his client prescribed the drug. Wecht responded by saying, “Forensic Science will tell the story, not an attorney.” Currently, police have issued a statement claiming that Dr. Murray is NOT a suspect and that this is not a crime investigation, it is a death investigation. This official title will most likely not change until after the results from the toxicology report surfaces. However, this could simply mean that police don’t have enough evidence to file charges at this time.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

YOU CAN’T CHOKE THE TRUTH; The Revolution will be Twitterized

The protests in Iran have reached epically tragic levels today. More and more violent footage continues to stream in through Twitter and Facebook, despite the Iranian government’s attempts to slow-down and even shut-down internet access. Ahmadinejad “allegedly” won the election by receiving 62% of the vote, but many of the Iranian people feel that the election was rigged, and that Mousavi should have won. For the first time an Iranian elect campaigned with his wife. Mousavi appears to come from a more open-minded point of view. This has clearly scared and threatened the zealots; which also happen to be the elite. But this is not as much about Mousavi as it is about the people wanting a change from the current and past oppressive nature of the government!

Women especially have been oppressed in Iran, and they are playing a big part in the protests. Iranian culture has grown so much! No longer are they speaking of the utopian dream; they actually want democracy! This may be because nearly half the Iranian population is under 30 years old. This is because of the Iran/Iraq war. So many Iranian’s were lost that the Iranian government heavily encouraged their people to proactively procreate. In essence, the government created its own home-grown enemies.

Perhaps the most disturbing footage is that of a young Iranian woman by the name of Neda being shot in the chest by Iranian Government security forces. Neda literally means voice, rough translation: voice of Iran. Neda’s death has sparked the protesters and has made Neda a martyr, and in Iran that’s very bad news to those in power. (See link at the bottom for video footage).

This is absolutely SICK, and there is no better word to describe it. Iranian official’s have slowed internet connections and heavily restricted journalistic efforts. In order to enter Iran as a foreign journalist one must first get the proper credits, and then have the displeasure of having an Iranian appointed translator to report back to government everyday regarding what the foreign journalist said.

The latest disturbing footage shows amateur footage of night-raids on civilians by Iranian officials. The horrifying screams of civilian dismay and confusion remind me of another similar nightmare: Jonestown. But unlike Jonestown, this is much a more aggressive and brutal; if that’s possible. The screaming and sounds of terror from many go on and on for what seems like an eternity. When the society that you are a part of makes you a target there is no greater alienation! This is another example that each society is a cult of its own. This is the world we live in tonight people. I ask you: Does it have to be your family woken in the middle of the night at gunpoint for you to feel this? Does it have to be your mother shot dead in the street for this to interest you?

More reports have just come in that protesters are being thrown off bridges. Fire and chaos rained down in Iran’s capitol, Tehran, today. Yet, the big question remains: What will President Obama do? Republican’s have been quick to jump on Obama for not being vocal enough or taking action. They say that while this is happening the president was eating ice cream with his two children. What the critics fail to acknowledge is that U.S. intervention up to this point would have made us seems as antagonizes. The way this has played out is clearly a thorough discontent of the Iranian people. This move by Obama (to let the situation bolster itself) is brilliant! This is the right move for the president, because it lets the American people (and the world) weigh in, which includes the U.N.

Moreover, Obama has stated that this type of behavior by the Iranian government is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. The president is being smart, patient, and measured in his steps. It’s best for him to not say too much right now. Remember, you can’t “walk-back rhetoric.” However, you can slowly walk it forward. Let’s also remember that we are currently fighting a war in Iraq, a war in Afghanistan, a major economic crisis, and new threats from N. Korea (threatening that they are going to “wipe the United States off the map”). We need to see how this unfolds. The world knows what side that we are on. We do not want to step in only to not be able to back up our rhetoric later. Let us also remember that hasty and emotional moves are usually the wrong ones; such as us rushing into war with Iraq over bogus claims that they had nukes. Plus, why give Iran even more reasons to blame this on us. Oh yes, that would play right into the Iranian official’s hands.

We all wanted something different in our president, which is why we elected Obama. We must give him a chance to prove it. And don’t believe that Obama is not tough. In his first 100 days the commander and Chief gave the order to kill the three pirates, which saved Captain Richard Phillips. I would, however, like to see Obama use this opportunity to speak on democracy and human rights. I would like to see him go and do a big speech at the statue of liberty. This would be historic. Obama said that he wants to wait to see what happens or “how it will end.” I want him to come out and say, “This is how it’s gonna end!” However, I think that Obama and his administration have a plan, but they don’t want it revealed just yet. I have faith that he will do the right thing, but if he doesn’t, I will be the first to report it, I promise!

In the mean time, let us pray for the protesters in Iran, because this is far from over!

WARNING: Disturbing footage…