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Monte Sereno Revisited

Critique of local reporting

A local paper recently reported on the murder of Raveesh “Ravi” Kumra in Monte Sereno.

(Read the article here.)

Given the headline used, let us hope that this same paper does not one day report on our demise.

The deceased is still chilling in the crime morgue and his obit-headline reads “Debauchery detailed in court files.”

Rarely does any paper so blatantly vilify the victim.

The “Facts of death (are) still secret” but the victim’s private life, as “detailed in court files,” is already recounted, in tabloid font, in the local paper.

The tenuous link to Alameda being “One 22-year-old prostitute from Alameda is already in jail, accused of being an accessory to (the) murder.”

Given the besmirching of the deceased, the murder could be more accurately described as an assassination by morality vigilantes.

Although “Debauchery” is the centerpiece of the headline, there is nothing in the associated article that satisfies the denotative or connotative meaning of “Debauchery.”

“Debauchery” involves the loss or destruction of virtue or innocence.

The article claims that the deceased trucked with “prostitutes” and “female companions;” no evidence of virtue or innocence there.

The article attempts to morally taint the deceased by twice mentioning Ravi’s numerous “Illegitimate children.”

Was the reporter aware that over forty percent of the children born in this country are illegitimate i.e. born out of wedlock?

In some U.S. subcultures the illegitimacy rate is 80%.

Is the reporter ready to brand all illegitimacy as moral turpitude or just Ravi’s contribution?

A past Mayor of San Francisco and a former Governor of California both have illegitimate children; are they too implicated in “Debauchery?”

Is the reporter saying that illegitimate children are morally wrong?

MR Kumra is reported to have had millions of dollars, certainly sufficient resources to support a whole nursery of illegitimate children.

Who would be better suited as a patrimony target than MR Kumra?

Incongruously, the reporter seems to disapprove of Ravi providing “Condos for his ‘female companions’ and presumably the resultant offspring.

Should Ravi not have provided housing?

The reporter lards the article with pejoratives.

Instead of “illegitimate” children the reporter could have said “single parented children.”

Instead of “sordid and debauched lifestyle” the reporter could have said “uninhibited free spirited”or “unconventional” or “liberated.”

The reporter pays Ravi a back-handed compliment when reporting “Ravi has never treated anyone fairly in his life, except for his whores.”

Ravi reportly treated “whores” fairly, when most of society and law enforcement does not, would the reporter have preferred that Ravi did not treat them “fairly?”

The reporter, describes Ravi as having a “turbulent life.”

“Turbulent?” Isn’t that a synonym for an exciting life with expensive options?

Isn’t the “turbulent” life something we extol and strain to get glimpse of when we read the lurid tabloids and paparazzi rags?

Warren Beatty had a “turbulent” life; we envy that don’t we?

Wasn’t Beatty’s philandering the basis for Carley Simon’s YOU’RE SO VAIN?

Added to Ravi’s list of misdemeanors was his “chronic use of marijuana.”

Marijuana use, a pot head, right here in River City? Shocking!

One wonders if this wasn’t a mercy killing; it sounds like Ravi would have died of acute marijuana toxicity had his murders not gotten to him first.

The reporter points out that even Ravi’s divorce was a “sham divorce designed to hide millions of dollars in assets.”

Many high-end divorces actually cost millions of dollars in assets, to his credit, I would think, Ravi’s divorce saved him millions of dollars in assets; can this be such a nefarious thing?

Apparently the priggish reporter does not approve of a “sham divorce” to save assets.

Half of all marriages end in divorce; many due to sexual ennui, mid-life crisis or the need to spend more time with a lover; do these divorces exercise moral superiority over Ravi’s “sham divorce?”

The reporter points out that Ravi used funds “to pay for escort services, prostitutes … and other personal expenses.”

Who was supposed to pick up the tab? Remember Ravi did not work for the Port of Oakland; he was an entrepreneur.

Ravi’s peccadillos are reminiscent of former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer who had a proclivity for $1000 per hour rendezvous with primo pulchritude as a frequent flyer with Emporers Club VIP.

Rather than lying on marble—Spitzer now hosts his own show on Current (soon to be Al Jazeera) TV and is adjunct faculty at City College of New York teaching "Law and Public Policy."

The subtext points to Ravi’s biggest crime: wealth.

This is what Hayek referred to as “the moral opprobrium cast on the gains which make risks worth taking but which only few can win . . . the envy of those better off.”

The reporter details the opulence Ravi enjoyed: a Mercedes, a sprawling 7000 square foot tile-roof mansion on carved into a wooded hillside (Ravi was not environmentally friendly), his “gated estate (he was elitist and exclusionary) in one of Silicon Valley’s most exclusive (he was snobbish) enclaves.”

The Italians have an expression: “L'occasione fa il ladro” that is to say: “The occasion makes the thief.”

The reporter seems to imply that Ravi brought it on himself.

Now that reporter has discredited the deceased, what would the reporter be willing to disclose regarding the accused?

Will this journalist assiduously review and report on the accused court files as well?

Eventually Ravi’s murders will get their day in court; but, should any potential juror survive the voir dire process given he or she has read this lurid description of the deceased and his wealth?

Jeffrey R Smith

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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