Wednesday, December 31, 2008

From The Honorable Sis. Cynthia McKinney: Oh What A Day!!!

The Honorable Sis. Cynthia McKinney

VIDEO: The Honorable Sis. Cynthia McKinney On CNN Discussing Attack Of Her "Pleasure" Ship By Israeli Navy

December 30, 2008: Oh What a Day!

I'm so glad that my father told me to buy a special notebook and to write everything down because that's exactly what I did.

When we left from Cyprus, one reporter asked me "are you afraid?" And I had to respond that Malcolm X wasn't afraid; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn't afraid. But little did I know that just a few hours later, I would be recollecting my life and mentally preparing myself for death.

When we left Cyprus, the Mediterranean was beautiful. I remember the time when it might have been beautiful to look at, but it was also filthy. The Europeans have taken great strides to clean it up and yesterday, it was beautiful. And the way the sunlight hit the sea, I remember thinking to myself that's why they call it azure. It was the most beautiful blue.

But sometimes it was rough, and we got behind on our schedule. We stayed on course, however, despite the roughness of the water and due to our exquisite captain.

There were no other ships or boats around us and night descended upon us all rather quickly. It was the darkest black and suddenly, out of nowhere, came searchlights disturbing our peace. The searchlights stayed with us for about half an hour or so. We knew they were Israeli ships. Who else would they be?

They were fast, and they would come close and then drop back. And then, they'd come close again. And then, all of a sudden there was complete blackness once again and all seemed right. The cat and mouse game went on for at least one half hour. What were they doing? And why?

Calm again. Black sky, black sea. Peace. And then, at that very moment, when all seemed right, out of nowhere we were rammed and rammed again and rammed again the last one throwing me off the couch, sending all our food up in the air; and all the plastic bags and tubs--evidence of sea sicknesses among the crew and passengers--flew all over the cabin and all over us. We'd been rammed by the Israelis. How did we know? Because they called us on the phone afterwards to tell us that we were engaging in subversive, terroristic activity. And if that if we didn't turn around right then and return to Larnaca, Cyprus, we would be fired upon. We quickly grabbed our lifevests and put them on. Then the captain announced that the boat was taking on water. We might have to evacuate. One of my mates told me to prepare to die. And I reflected that I have lived a good and full life. I have tasted freedom and know what it is. I was right with myself and my decision to join the Free Gaza movement.

I remembered my father's parting words, "You all will be sitting ducks." Just like the U.S.S. Liberty. We were engaged in peaceful activity, a harmless pleasure boat, carrying a load of hospital supplies for the people of Gaza, who, too are sitting ducks, currently being bombarded in aerial assault by the Israeli military.

It's been a long day for us. The captain was outstanding. Throughout it all, he remained stoic and calm, effective in every way. I didn't know how to put my life jacket on. One of the passengers kindly assisted me. Another of the passengers pointed out that the Israeli motors for those huge, fast boats was U.S. made--a gift to them from the U.S. And now they were using those motors to damage a pleasure boat outfitted with three tons of hospital supplies, one pediatrician, and two surgeons.

I have called for President-elect Obama to say something. The Palestinian people in the Gaza strip are seeing the worst violence in 60 years, it is being reported. To date, President-elect Obama has remained silent. The Israelis are using weapons supplied to them by the U.S. government. Strict enforcement of U.S. law would require the cessation of all weapons transfers to Israel. Adherence to international law would require the same. As we are about to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, let us remember that he said:

1. The United States is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world, and
2. Our lives begin to end the day we remain silent about things that matter.

I implore the President-elect to not send Congress a budget that contains more weapons for Israel. We have so much more to offer. And I implore the Congress to vote "no" on any budget and appropriation bills that provide more weapons transfers, period.

Israel is able to carry out these intense military maneuvers because taxpayers in the U.S. give their hard-earned money to our Representatives in Congress and our Congress chooses to spend that money in this way. Let's stop it and stop it now. There's been too much blood shed. And while we still walk among the living, let us not remain silent about the things that matter.

We really can promote peace and have it if we demand it of our leaders.

The shock, awe and heart attacks that followed Madoff's confession that he was 'running a Ponzi scheme' drew as much anger for the money lost and the fall from the moneyed class as for the embarrassment of knowing that the world's biggest exploiters and smartest swindlers on Wall Street, were completely 'taken' by one of their own. Not only did they suffer big losses but their self-image of themselves as rich because they are so smart and of 'superior stock' was utterly shattered: They saw themselves as suffering the same fate as all the schmucks they had previously swindled, exploited and dispossessed in their climb to the top. There is nothing worse for the ego of a respectable swindler than to be trumped by a bigger swindler. As a result, a number of the biggest losers have so far refused to give their names or the amount they lost, working instead through lawyers fighting off other losers.
--James Petras

"And advanced forms of biological warfare that can 'target' specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool."
--PNAC, Rebuilding America's Defenses, p. 60

The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can "throw the rascals out" at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy.
--Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in our Time


Cynthia McKinney 'Power to the People' Campaign for President

Rosa Clemente, Candidate for Vice President

Green Party of the United States

John Judge
Press Secretary
McKinney for President 2008
240-491-3311 fax (Media Contacts)

Jesus Not Invited To The Inauguration???

Warren's Inauguration Prayer Could Draw More Ire

President-elect Barack Obama's choice of Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation drew one kind of protest. Whether the evangelical pastor offers the prayer in the name of Jesus may draw another. At George W. Bush's 2001 swearing-in, the Revs. Franklin Graham and Kirbyjon Caldwell were criticized for invoking Christ. The distinctly Christian reference at a national civic event offended some, and even prompted a lawsuit.

Warren did not answer directly when asked whether he would dedicate his prayer to Jesus. In a statement Tuesday to The Associated Press, Warren would say only that, "I'm a Christian pastor so I will pray the only kind of prayer I know how to pray."

"Prayers are not to be sermons, speeches, position statements nor political posturing. They are humble, personal appeals to God," Warren wrote. His spokesman would not elaborate.

Evangelicals generally expect their clergymen to use Jesus' name whenever and wherever they lead prayer. Many conservative Christians say cultural sensitivity goes way too far if it requires religious leaders to hide their beliefs.

"If Rick Warren does not pray in Jesus' name, some folks are going to be very disappointed," Caldwell said in a recent phone interview. "Since he's evangelical, his own tribe, if you will, will have some angst if he does not do that."

Advocates for gay rights protested Obama's decision to give Warren a prominent role at the swearing-in. The California megachurch founder supported Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in his home state. Obama defended his choice, saying he wanted the event to reflect diverse views and insisting he remains a "fierce advocate" of equal rights for gays.

The Rev. Joseph Lowery, a United Methodist who is considered the dean of the civil rights movement, said he hasn't yet written the benediction for the Jan. 20 ceremony. But he said "whatever religion the person represents, I think he has a right to be true to his religion."

Caldwell, also a Methodist, said no one from the Bush team told him what to say in his 2001 and 2005 benedictions.

The Houston pastor said he had "no intention whatsoever of offending" people when he quoted from Philippians and delivered the 2001 prayer "in the name that's above all other names, Jesus the Christ." In 2005, he still prayed in Jesus' name, but added the line, "respecting persons of all faiths." In the 2008 election, Caldwell supported Obama.

Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, who was a presence at presidential inaugurations for several decades, said it's wrong to expect members of any faith to change how they pray in public.

"For a Christian, especially for an evangelical pastor, the Bible teaches us that we are to pray in the name of Jesus Christ. How can a minister pray any other way?" Franklin Graham said. "If you don't want someone to pray in Jesus' name, don't invite an evangelical minister."

Graham, who in 2001 stepped in for his ailing father, ended the invocation with, "We pray this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit."

The lawsuit, which claimed that inaugural prayer was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion, failed in federal court. It had been filed by atheist Michael Newdow, who separately sued to remove the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.

Billy Graham, now 90, didn't say Jesus' name during presidential inaugurations, but made obvious references to Christ.

At Richard Nixon's 1969 swearing-in, Graham prayed "in the Name of the Prince of Peace who shed His blood on the Cross that men might have eternal life." In 1997, for Bill Clinton's inaugural, Graham prayed "in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."

Leaders of other traditions with experience in interfaith work said they respected Christians who felt strongly that they should pray in Christ's name.

But they argued that a request for some modification is reasonable for a presidential inauguration, considering it's an event representing all Americans.

Imam Yahya Hendi, a Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University who travels to Muslim countries on behalf of the State Department, said that at interfaith events, he refers to Allah, or God, as "almighty creator of us all."

Rabbi Burt Visotzky, a professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary, the flagship institution of Conservative Judaism, said he invokes "God" for interfaith prayer.

"I know that for Christians, Jesus is part of their Trinity," said Visotzky, who has taught at Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and at Protestant seminaries in the U.S. "For me as a Jew, hearing the name of a first-century rabbi isn't the worst thing in the world, but it's not my God."

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


See Also...

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special: Yes He Did...So Now What??? Defining The Obama Presidency...

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special:O Yes We Did!!! The Barack Obama Tribute...

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special: Barack Obama & The Hip Hop Effect On American Politics:


Get The Barack Obama Holiday Inaugural Gift Package By R2C2H2 Tha Artivist!!!

Origins Of Barack The Magic Negro...

Video: A Version Of Barack The Magic Negro Song

Video: NBC News Story On Barack The Magic Negro Controversy

Video: Rush Limbaugh Defends Barack The Magic Negro

Feel Free To Contact Rush Limbaugh:

Rush Limbaugh

The Rush Limbaugh Show
fax: 212-563-9166

The Rush Limbaugh Show
1270 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

When contacting the media, please be polite and professional. Express your specific concerns regarding that particular news report or commentary, and be sure to indicate exactly what you would like the media outlet to do differently in the future.

And Introducing The L.A. Times Article That Started It All...

The Illinois Senator Lends Himself To White America's Idealized, Less-Than-Real Black Man.

By David Ehrenstein
L.A.-based DAVID EHRENSTEIN writes about Hollywood and politics.

March 19, 2007

AS EVERY CARBON-BASED life form on this planet surely knows, Barack Obama, the junior Democratic senator from Illinois, is running for president. Since making his announcement, there has been no end of commentary about him in all quarters — musing over his charisma and the prospect he offers of being the first African American to be elected to the White House.

But it's clear that Obama also is running for an equally important unelected office, in the province of the popular imagination — the "Magic Negro."

The Magic Negro is a figure of postmodern folk culture, coined by snarky 20th century sociologists, to explain a cultural figure who emerged in the wake of Brown vs. Board of Education. "He has no past, he simply appears one day to help the white protagonist," reads the description on Wikipedia .

He's there to assuage white "guilt" (i.e., the minimal discomfort they feel) over the role of slavery and racial segregation in American history, while replacing stereotypes of a dangerous, highly sexualized black man with a benign figure for whom interracial sexual congress holds no interest.

As might be expected, this figure is chiefly cinematic — embodied by such noted performers as Sidney Poitier, Morgan Freeman, Scatman Crothers, Michael Clarke Duncan, Will Smith and, most recently, Don Cheadle. And that's not to mention a certain basketball player whose very nickname is "Magic."

Poitier really poured on the "magic" in "Lilies of the Field" (for which he won a best actor Oscar) and "To Sir, With Love" (which, along with "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," made him a No. 1 box-office attraction). In these films, Poitier triumphs through yeoman service to his white benefactors. "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" is particularly striking in this regard, as it posits miscegenation without evoking sex. (Talk about magic!)

The same can't quite be said of Freeman in "Driving Miss Daisy," "Seven" and the seemingly endless series of films in which he plays ersatz paterfamilias to a white woman bedeviled by a serial killer. But at least he survives, unlike Crothers in "The Shining," in which psychic premonitions inspire him to rescue a white family he barely knows and get killed for his trouble. This heart-tug trope is parodied in Gus Van Sant's "Elephant." The film's sole black student at a Columbine-like high school arrives in the midst of a slaughter, helps a girl escape and is immediately gunned down. See what helping the white man gets you?

And what does the white man get out of the bargain? That's a question asked by John Guare in "Six Degrees of Separation," his brilliant retelling of the true saga of David Hampton — a young, personable gay con man who in the 1980s passed himself off as the son of none other than the real Sidney Poitier. Though he started small, using the ruse to get into Studio 54, Hampton discovered that countless gullible, well-heeled New Yorkers, vulnerable to the Magic Negro myth, were only too eager to believe in his baroque fantasy. (One of the few who wasn't fooled was Andy Warhol, who was astonished his underlings believed Hampton's whoppers. Clearly Warhol had no need for the accouterment of interracial "goodwill.")

But the same can't be said of most white Americans, whose desire for a noble, healing Negro hasn't faded. That's where Obama comes in: as Poitier's "real" fake son.

The senator's famously stem-winding stump speeches have been drawing huge crowds to hear him talk of uniting rather than dividing. A praiseworthy goal. Consequently, even the mild criticisms thrown his way have been waved away, "magically." He used to smoke, but now he doesn't; he racked up a bunch of delinquent parking tickets, but he paid them all back with an apology. And hey, is looking good in a bathing suit a bad thing?

The only mud that momentarily stuck was criticism (white and black alike) concerning Obama's alleged "inauthenticty," as compared to such sterling examples of "genuine" blackness as Al Sharpton and Snoop Dogg. Speaking as an African American whose last name has led to his racial "credentials" being challenged — often several times a day — I know how pesky this sort of thing can be.

Obama's fame right now has little to do with his political record or what he's written in his two (count 'em) books, or even what he's actually said in those stem-winders. It's the way he's said it that counts the most. It's his manner, which, as presidential hopeful Sen. Joe Biden ham-fistedly reminded us, is "articulate." His tone is always genial, his voice warm and unthreatening, and he hasn't called his opponents names (despite being baited by the media).

Like a comic-book superhero, Obama is there to help, out of the sheer goodness of a heart we need not know or understand. For as with all Magic Negroes, the less real he seems, the more desirable he becomes. If he were real, white America couldn't project all its fantasies of curative black benevolence on him.


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W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special: Yes He Did...So Now What??? Defining The Obama Presidency...

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special:O Yes We Did!!! The Barack Obama Tribute...

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special: Barack Obama & The Hip Hop Effect On American Politics:


Get The Barack Obama Holiday Inaugural Gift Package By R2C2H2 Tha Artivist!!!

Body Of Evidence.

A.C. Thompson's reporting on New Orleans was directed and underwritten by the Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute. ProPublica provided additional support, as did the Center for Investigative Reporting and New America Media.

Edna Glover holds a portrait of her son, whose remains were found behind a police station.

In September 2005, roughly a week after Hurricane Katrina ripped into the Gulf Coast, a group of New Orleans police officers discovered the burned shell of a car sitting on an earthen levee overlooking the bloated Mississippi River. Inside the scorched sedan, scattered across the back seat, lay black ashes and bones. Human bones. A charred skull, shards of rib, an arm bone, clumps of roasted flesh. Equipped with a digital camera, one cop clicked off a string of photos of the tableau.

Eventually, the remains were stuffed into five red plastic bags and hauled to a temporary morgue in the tiny town of St. Gabriel, some seventy miles up the road from New Orleans, autopsy records show. At the St. Gabriel facility, a team of rescue workers and forensic pathologists gave the collection of body fragments a number--06-00189--and began trying to answer a pair of intertwined questions: who was this man, and how did he die?

Dr. Kevin Whaley, a forensic pathologist, had an immediate suspicion about the latter. "My first reaction was that it was a homicide," recalls Whaley, a Virginia state medical examiner who went to Louisiana as part of a federal disaster response team. "When I heard he was found in a burned car I thought that was a classic homicide scenario: you kill someone and burn the body to get rid of the evidence."

Whaley studied a full-body X-ray of the remains. "There wasn't very much left of him," Whaley says. "Pretty much most of him had gone to ash." He figures victim 06-00189 must have been burned at an extremely hot temperature, somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 degrees. Mixed in with the bones and cinders, the scan revealed, was a constellation of metal bits; the autopsy report notes "rib fractures with minute fragments of metal within the surrounding soft tissues." From the X-rays, Whaley couldn't tell if the metal chunks were the remnants of a bullet or a knife blade--either way, they looked to him like evidence of a possible murder.

In Whaley's view, the case should have been treated as a possible homicide. But Orleans Parish coroner Frank Minyard ruled the death "unclassified" after what appears to have been a cursory inquiry. And in the end no law enforcement agency ever probed the matter, and no media outlet ever reported on the enigmatic case of the burned man, who was eventually identified, via DNA analysis, as Henry Glover, 31.

If the NOPD ever bothers to learn who set fire to Glover, the department's first step should be questioning its own personnel: a trail of clues leads right back to the police force.

I've been able to reconstruct the final hours of Henry Glover's life from interviews with two eyewitnesses. On September 2, 2005, Glover was walking with his friend Bernard Calloway behind a shuttered Chuck E. Cheese pizza place in a run-down strip mall in the Algiers section of New Orleans. Suddenly, there was a shout--"Get out of here!"--followed by the crack of a single gunshot. The bullet pierced Glover's chest.

As Glover bled, Calloway ran and got Glover's brother, Edward King, who was at an apartment complex nearby. King tells me neither he nor Calloway saw the shooter, and he doesn't know why the crime went down. But King knows what happened next: he and Calloway began desperately searching for someone with a car who could drive Glover to a hospital.

When William Tanner came rolling down Seine Street in his white 2002 Chevrolet Malibu, King rushed into the road and pleaded with him to stop. A middle-aged junkyard helper and lawn mower repairman, Tanner didn't know King or the others, but he could see Glover needed immediate medical attention. "We picked [Glover] up and put him in the car," Tanner recalls. "He was still breathing. We thought he might have a fair chance of surviving."

Tanner says he made a snap decision that the nearest hospital--the West Jefferson Medical Center--was too far away and chose instead to drive Glover to Paul B. Habans Elementary School, a public school that had been commandeered by the New Orleans Police Department tactical unit, or SWAT team, for use as a temporary base. The police, Tanner thought, would know how to help the wounded man; at the very least, they'd be able to get him an ambulance. But when Tanner pulled his car into the school's semicircular driveway, things turned out very differently: rather than rushing to aid Glover, the officers treated everyone in the vehicle with hostility, according to Tanner and King.

"They put guns in our faces," says Tanner. He suspects the police "assumed [Glover] was looting and that's why he got shot. They assumed we were looters, too."

King tells me he frantically tried to get the officers to help Glover: "I was hollering, saying, 'My brother's shot!' They handcuffed us. I said, 'You're not worrying about my brother.' They said some bad words to us and started beating us. They were beating us for twenty minutes." Tanner and King say that they, along with Calloway, were seated on a bench and cuffed while a swarm of officers punched, slapped and berated them. One of the officers bludgeoned Tanner in the face with the butt of an assault rifle, they say. "Every time I'd look up or sit up, they'd beat me," King tells me, noting that about five officers, all of them white, participated in the beating.

Meanwhile, in the back seat of the car, Glover, a father of four, was sliding toward death as blood poured from his wound, according to King and Tanner. Both men insist the officers did nothing to try to save Glover, despite his obvious injury, and both firmly believe that Glover died that day in Tanner's Chevy.

When the officers finally decided to free the men, they held on to Tanner's car, Tanner and King say. Tanner recalls one officer saying, "The car is in police custody. It's under investigation," and yanking his jumper cables, Stanley toolbox and gas can out of the Chevy, while a second officer got into the car and drove away with Glover's body slumped in the back. Poking out of a pocket on the driver's dark cargo pants were two emergency flares, Tanner remembers.

Immediately after the incident, Tanner phoned his wife, who'd evacuated to Houston. "When William contacted me he told me they'd beaten him," Catrina Tanner, a state worker with the Louisiana Department of Social Services, recalls. "He was upset. He kept telling me that I wouldn't believe what was going on, that police were killing people." She continues, "He said the police drove off [in his car] towards the levee."

Carrying a laptop computer, a law enforcement source meets me in a quiet cafe. After ordering a cup of coffee, the source sits down at my table and slips a CD of photos into the computer. A grisly color image appears on the screen: spread across the seat of a burned auto is that human skull surrounded by ashes. These are Glover's remains, as they were found and photographed by cops from the Fourth District, which serves Algiers, this person tells me. The source, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, says the car is Tanner's Chevy, which was discovered on a levee a few hundred yards from the Fourth District station.

NOPD brass chose not to investigate the death at the time, the source says, adding that some police believed Glover was a looter, and that his body was burned up by officers who didn't want to smell the corpse as it decayed in the brutal Louisiana heat. "Have you ever smelled a dead body?" the source asks. "They smell horrible."

Scrolling through the photos, the source studies the damage to the car and notes that it takes an accelerant or an incendiary device to cause such extensive scorching.

In response to my repeated queries about the death of Henry Glover--including two sets of detailed written questions--NOPD spokesman Robert Young offers two sentences via e-mail: "The death of Mr. Glover was investigated by the Orleans Parish Coroner's Office independent of the New Orleans Police Department, who found no evidence to rule the death of Mr. Glover a homicide. Furthermore, the New Orleans Police Department did not receive any information to support or substantiate the information that you received from your sources."

The allegations about Glover's death don't startle Mary Howell, a New Orleans civil rights attorney who's been litigating against the NOPD for more than thirty years. During the 1980s, Howell sued the force over the torture and killing of African-Americans by west bank police, crimes that led to the jailing of three officers, a multimillion-dollar settlement and a significant shake-up in the department. Officers, explains Howell, "would tie people down and put a bag over their heads until they started to suffocate. It was the New Orleans equivalent of waterboarding."

In Howell's view the department remains seriously dysfunctional. "The things that happened with the police department during Katrina were shocking," she says. "They were disturbing. I wish I could say they were aberrant. But they were not. They are what happens when you have a department that is deeply troubled."

After Glover's death, Tanner left town. Since he no longer had a car, his mother-in-law drove from Texas to pick him up. At the time Tanner was keeping a video diary, and in a scene shot in a motel room outside New Orleans he wonders aloud about the fate of his Chevy. Only after Tanner and his wife returned home on September 29, 2005, did they learn that someone had incinerated the vehicle, along with Glover.

Tanner and his wife say Homeland Security agents, who were assisting NOPD during that time, alerted them to the location of their charred vehicle. Despite the state of the car, the couple was able to identify it by the license plate and the vehicle identification number.

Still disturbed by the incident, Tanner met with Althea Francois, an organizer with Safe Streets/Strong Communities, a local police accountability group, in the spring of 2006. After interviewing Tanner, Francois typed up a detailed two-page description of the episode, an account that mirrors what Tanner and King told me later in interviews.

Francois, who regularly documents incidents of police misconduct, found Tanner's story convincing. "I was appalled," she tells me. "As unbelievable as it sounds, I believe it. He had no reason to lie about any of this." Safe Streets, Francois says, "just didn't have the resources" to find Tanner a lawyer to file suit over the episode.

When I show up to meet with Glover's mother, Edna Glover, at her west bank townhouse, I get a surprise. Hoping to glean some new information about Glover's death, his sister, brother, nieces, nephews and cousins have all crowded into the living room to talk with me. A framed photo of Glover decked out in a white tuxedo hangs on the wall.

NOPD, Edna says, never contacted the family about her son's death. "We didn't hear nothing," she mutters. To her knowledge, police didn't interview anyone else about the crime, either. Glover's sister, Patrice Glover, is teary as she tells me, "We want justice done. That was my brother, and we all loved him dearly. We wanna know who did it. We're all still hurting." Patrice says her family, like Tanner, has been unable to find a lawyer willing to bring suit against the NOPD.

After leaving Edna Glover's home, Tanner takes me to see the skeleton of his car, which, more than three years after the hurricane, is still sitting by the river, rusting away in the swampy air. Here, in this broken city, certain things have a way of being forgotten.

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Katrina's Hidden Race War.

Katrina's Hidden Race War:

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's Official: Ill. Gov. Blagojevich Picks Burris To Succeed Obama In The U.S. Senate...

Blago: 'I Am Required To Make This Appointment'

By: Carrie Budoff Brown and Mike Allen of
December 30, 2008

Setting up a clash with Senate Democrats, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced Tuesday that he would appoint former state attorney general and comptroller Roland Burris to fill out President-elect Barack Obama's term in the U.S. Senate.

Saying Illinois should not be “deprived” of the representation of two senators, Blagojevich introduced Burris as “someone with unquestioned integrity.” The governor defended his decision to make the appointment as part of his gubernatorial responsibility to fill Senate vacancies.

“I would like to ask everyone to do one last thing: Don’t allow the allegations against me to taint this good and honest man,” Blagojevich said at a 3 p.m. press conference.

The move was met with a rebuke from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who said the Democratic Caucus would refuse the appointment from a governor who stands accused of selling the position to the highest bidder.

“Under these circumstances, anyone appointed by Gov. Blagojevich cannot be an effective representative of the people of Illinois and, as we have said, will not be seated by the Democratic Caucus,” Reid said in a statement.

In addition, Jesse White, the Illinois secretary of state, said he will not certify Burris as the replacement for Obama’s seat.

For his part, Burris said it’s inconceivable that the state of Illinois should start the new Congress “shorthanded,” with just one senator.

Burris also said he has “no relationship” to charges that Blagojevich tried to sell Obama’s Senate seat for personal gain and said of the governor, “In this legal process, you’re innocent until you’re proven guilty.”

Blagojevich's lawyer had said earlier that the governor did not plan to defy the Senate leaders and impose an Obama successor on them.

Rep. Bobby Rush, the longtime Southside congressman, attended the press conference and was called up to the podium by Burris where he unmistakably dared white officials to not seat an African-American.

“Let me just remind you that there presently is no African-American in the U.S. Senate.,” said Rush, an African-American, after Blagojevich and Burris had spoken. “Let me remind you that the state of Illinois…in their collective wisdom have sent two African-Americans to the United States Senate. That makes a difference. This is just not a state of Illinois matter…. But, indeed, by this decision it has tremendous national importance.”

As for Blagojevich, Rush said: “I would ask you to not hang or lynch the appointee while you castigate the appointer” — a line the governor appeared to appreciate, as he repeated it off-mic as he left the press conference.

He also said no senator would “want to go on record to deny one African-American from being seated in the U.S. Senate.”

Obama so far has not commented on Blagojevich’s move. But the comments by Rush, the senior African-American in the Illinois delegation, puts Obama in a difficult position.

Until the congressman showed up at the press conference, the president-elect and other Democrats had been able to isolate Blagojevich. Now Obama is caught between Senate leadership and two leading African-Americans in his home state.

Reid (D-Nev.) has said that Illinois Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn should make the appointment, and the Senate Democratic caucus signed a letter supporting that option.

Reid said in a letter to the governor: "Please understand that should you decide to ignore the request of the Senate Democratic Caucus and make an appointment we would be forced to exercise our Constitutional authority under Article I, Section 5, to determine whether such a person should be seated."

Blagojevich's lawyer, Ed Genson, had told a news conference Dec. 17 that the governor did not plan to try to make the appointment. "Harry Reid said that they're not going to accept anybody, so why would he do that?" Genson said.

Burris, 71, told reporters earlier this month that he only wanted to serve the remaining two years of the Senate term and would not run for reelection.

Burris was the first African-American to be elected to statewide office in Illinois, serving as comptroller from 1983 to 1991 and as attorney general from 1991 to 1995.

He also ran against Blagojevich for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2002 — winning the support of much of Illinois African-American political establishment, including then-state Sen. Obama.

Another complication in the selection is that Burris is a registered lobbyist in Illinois and Washington, D.C. His Chicago-based firm, Burris & Lebed, is registered in Springfield to represent clients ranging from Comcast to the Illinois Funeral Directors Association. In 2007, the firm was also registered to represent the Illinois Association of Mortgage Bankers. The firm is registered in both Springfield and Washington to represent MicroSun Technologies, an Illinois-based maker of battery and power supplies.

Burris’ lobbying partner is Fred Lebed, a veteran Democratic political operative who once served as executive director of the Cook County party and has also held a number of state government posts.

Blagojevich has been under pressure to resign from office, or at least relinquish his gubernatorial authority to fill Senate vacancies. He has remained in office, however, as he fights a federal corruption investigation and a legislative effort to impeach him.

The two-term governor has denied any wrongdoing.

It’s unclear whether Reid has the power to block Burris’ appointment. Senate leaders discussed the impending announcement on a conference call Tuesday afternoon.

John Fortier, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, wrote in a Politico Ideas piece this month that the Senate doesn’t have the power to reject the appointment.

“The Senate would have little recourse but to seat Blagojevich, as he meets the minimum constitutional qualifications for office,” Fortier wrote of the possibility that the governor might appoint himself. “But after seating Blagojevich, the Senate could then expel him by a two-thirds vote. The seat would be vacant again, and the new governor could make an appointment. Or by then, the Legislature might have changed the law to do away with appointments, in which case the seat would sit vacant until a special election was held."

The office of the Senate historian referred questions Tuesday to the Senate counsel, saying it is a legal matter.

© 2008 Capitol News Company, LLC

Jena 6's Mychal Bell Shoots Self In Chest After Being Arrested For Shopliftng...

Police: Mychal Bell Shoots Self Days After Arrest

Date: Tuesday, December 30, 2008
By: Associated Press

MONROE, La. - A teen convicted in the Jena Six beating case shot himself in the chest and was taken to the hospital Monday, days after his arrest on a shoplifting charge, police said.

Mychal Bell's wound isn't life threatening, said Monroe Police Sgt. Cassandra Wooten. The 18-year-old used a .22-caliber firearm in the shooting around 7:40 p.m., she said.

Wooten believes Bell was upset over media coverage of the arrest last week.

"I think he was upset over the incident ... and didn't want to be in the news again," she said.

Bell was one of a group of black teenagers who once faced attempted murder charges in the 2006 beating of a white classmate at Jena High School. The charges for all of the defendants were reduced.

The severity of the original charges brought widespread criticism and eventually led to more than 20,000 people converging in September 2007 on the tiny central Louisiana town of Jena for the largest civil rights march in decades.

Bell was in the news again after he was arrested on Dec. 24 and booked on charges of shoplifting, resisting arrest and simple assault, police said.

Police said Bell tried to steal several shirts and a pair of jeans from a department store and fled when a security guard and off-duty police officer tried to detain him. After they found him hiding under a car, Bell "swung his arms wildly" and one of his elbows struck the security guard with a glancing blow, according to a police report. He was freed on $1,300 bond.

Wooten said Bell was taken to a hospital in Monroe, where a nursing supervisor wouldn't release his condition. Wooten didn't have further details on the shooting.

One of Bell's attorneys in the assault case didn't immediately return a call Monday seeking comment on the shoplifting case.

In the Jena case, Bell eventually pleaded guilty to a juvenile charge of second-degree battery.

Bell, the only one of the six who has been tried, has been living in a foster home in Monroe and attending school.

Here's Another Version Of The Story:

December 30, 2008

Mychal Bell, center, one of the Jena Six, appears with attorneys Carol Powell Lexing, left, and Louis Scott leaves LaSalle Parish Courthouse in Jena, La., Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007. Bell, whose prosecution in the beating of a white classmate prompted a massive civil rights protest here was released on bail Thursday. His release came hours after a prosecutor confirmed that he will no longer seek an adult trial for the teen.(AP Photo By Alex Brandon)
By Barbara Leader
Louisiana Gannett News

MONROE -- Monroe police confirmed late Monday that Jena Six figure Mychal Bell was taken to LSU Health Sciences Center in Monroe with a gunshot wound to the chest.

Sgt. Cassandra Wooten said Bell apparently shot himself in the chest about 7:40 p.m. at his home with a .22 caliber weapon. She described his injury as not life-threatening.

Asked if Bell gave a reason for the self-inflicted wound, Wooten said, "he said he couldn't take it anymore; he was back in the media again."

Bell, 18, who lists his address as 109 Grayling Lane, Monroe, is free on bond following a Christmas Eve arrest on multiple charges, including shoplifting, resisting arrest and simple battery, related to an incident at Dillard's in Pecanland Mall in Monroe.

Bell was arrested less than one month after he completed a sentence for his role in the beating of a fellow classmate, Justin Barker, at Jena High School in 2006. The high school incident garnered national attention and led to a protest in the rural LaSalle Parish town that was attended by thousands.

In the Monroe incident, police said Bell and an unidentified male were spotted Wednesday by store security after they placed $370 worth of merchandise in a Dillard's shopping bag.

After the two separated, Bell left the store, was followed by a security officer and began running through the parking lot.

Police said Bell was discovered under a vehicle in the Sears parking lot.

Lt. Jeff Harris said Bell began "swinging his arms wildly" and delivered a glancing blow to the security officer with his elbow.

Bell was booked into Richwood Correctional Center and released on $1,300 bond. He will be arraigned at a later date. Each of the charges carries a possible penalty of up to six months in jail.

Louis Scott, a lawyer who has represented Bell in the past, said that preconceived notions on the part of Dillard's employees may have played a role in Bell's arrest.

"Dillard's has a tradition of being overly suspicious of young black males," Scott said.

Scott said that personal and court experiences have led him to that conclusion. "He should at least have the presumption of innocence," he said.

Dillard's has been accused of racial profiling in lawsuits in Texas, Mississippi, Kentucky and Georgia.

A Dillard's store manager in Monroe referred requests for comment to Roger Williams in the company's Little Rock, Ark., office.

A spokesperson who answered the telephone in Williams' office said he would have no comment on the matter.

Scott has not been contacted to represent Bell on the new charges.

"I am predicting that once all the facts are established, he probably will not be guilty," Scott said. "There has been more put on this young man than anybody can bear -- people trying to provoke him, trying to make him react.

"If he was going to break the law, I believe he would have done it before."

Scott, Bob Noel and Carol Powell Lexing of Monroe represented Bell when he pleaded guilty to second-degree battery for his role in the attack on Jena High School student Justin Barker in December 2006.

Bell was sentenced to 18 months in the custody of the Office of Youth Development for his part in the crime. Bell also served a sentence for three previous unnamed crimes.

Because he was a juvenile when he pleaded guilty to the previous crimes, Scott said Bell is not considered to have a criminal record.

More Jena 6 News On W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio:

My President Iz Black & Mychal Bell’s Free…Finally!!! W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special Report

We Decide 2008!!!

The Jena 6, One Year Later...

New Jena 6 Update...Marcus Jones' Updated Press Release...

Jena 6 Is Far From Over...Mychal Bell's Lawyer Sells Out Client For A Plea...

Jena 6 Far From Over...Marcus Jones, Father Of Mychal Bell Speaks Out Once Again...

April 27, 2008*Listen To The Latest Marcus Jones Interview (The Interview Is The First Hour Of Show) In Its Entirety By Clicking On The Following Link:

Special Jena 6 Post-Plea Bargain Show On W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio
To listen to the entire Attorney Louis Scott and Marcus Jones interviews as well as others on this case please visit the following link on-line:

Marcus Jones Sounds Off About Mychal Bell's Plea Bargain~

Father from Jena 6 Family Disagrees with Lawyer

Jena 6 Plea Bargain Deal Not A Win-Win...Tha Artivist Reports...

Jena 6 Defendant’s Plea Bargain Garners Mixed Response From Supporters, Experts And Onlookers...Tha Artivist Reports...

"Jena 6 Updates: Mychal Bell Plea Bargains" By Maroonsista:

11-25-2007~W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Exclusive~James Rucker Defends Color Of Change In Jena 6 Gate:

So-called Jena 6 Scandal More A Matter Of Bad Communication Tha Artivist Reports...

Artivist MCs Historic Jena 6 Forum @ Washington University In St. Louis...

The First Jena 6 Show On W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio:


Monday, December 29, 2008

In December 2008 W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Bought Us Back To The Future In The Spirit Of Sankofa...

One Full Year On The Air!!!

December 2008's Theme Is "In The Spirit Of Sankofa"

Sankofa Definiton Courtesy Of Norfolk Black History Month Website

Sankofa is an Adinkra symbol used by the Akan people of Ghana. Adinkra symbols are graphic representations of popular maxims or philosophical concepts. Originally they were used to decorate textiles, but they can now also be found on pottery and woodcarvings and in contemporary architectural design.

The Sankofa symbol depicts a mythical bird which holds an egg symbolising the future in its beak. The bird moves forwards while looking backwards to the past. The symbol is expressed in the Akan language as "Se wo were fi na wosan kofa a yenki".

Literally translated, this phrase means "It is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot". However, modern translations usually render it as "One must return to the past in order to move forward". In either case, the message of the symbol is that we must learn from the past in order to build a better future.

Check Out The Shows Again And Tell Your Friends!!!

12/28/2008~Topics: Brave Mothers Rally Against Police In-Custody Brutality/Homicides
Doing Business In The Age Of Obama

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12/14/2008~Topic: If Memphis Could Talk Part 4~April 4th, 1968, Another Perspective...

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12/07/2008~Topic: If Memphis Could Talk Part 3~Singing The Unsung Genius Of Larry Lee: Memphis Soul Music Legend & Jimi Hendrix's Best Friend

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Freddie's Dead!!! R.I.P. Freddie Hubbard, Another Jazz Gabriel Gone Too Soon...

Video: I Remember Clifford

Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty
Grammy-winning jazz musician Freddie Hubbard, whose style influenced a generation of trumpeters, has died at age 70. He suffered a heart attack last month. He is shown here around 1970.

Jazz Great Freddie Hubbard Dead At 70

Grammy-Winner's Style Influenced A Generation Of Trumpeters

The Associated Press
Dec. 29, 2008

LOS ANGELES - Freddie Hubbard, the Grammy-winning jazz musician whose style influenced a generation of trumpet players and who collaborated with such greats as Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, died Monday, a month after suffering a heart attack. He was 70.

Hubbard died at Sherman Oaks Hospital, said his manager, fellow trumpeter David Weiss of the New Jazz Composers Octet. He had been hospitalized since suffering the heart attack a day before Thanksgiving.

A towering figure in jazz circles, Hubbard played on hundreds of recordings in a career dating to 1958, the year he arrived in New York from his hometown Indianapolis, where he had studied at the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music and with the Indianapolis Symphony.

Soon he had hooked up with such jazz legends as Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley and Coltrane.

"I met Trane at a jam session at Count Basie's in Harlem in 1958," he told the jazz magazine Down Beat in 1995. "He said, `Why don't you come over and let's try and practice a little bit together.' I almost went crazy. I mean, here is a 20-year-old kid practicing with John Coltrane. He helped me out a lot, and we worked several jobs together."

In his earliest recordings, which included "Open Sesame" and "Goin' Up" for Blue Note in 1960, the influence of Davis and others on Hubbard is obvious, Weiss said. But within a couple years he would develop a style all his own, one that would influence generations of musicians, including Wynton Marsalis.

"He influenced all the trumpet players that came after him," Marsalis told The Associated Press earlier this year. "Certainly I listened to him a lot. ... We all listened to him. He has a big sound and a great sense of rhythm and time and really the hallmark of his playing is an exuberance. His playing is exuberant."

Hubbard played on more than 300 recordings, including his own albums and those of scores of other artists. He won his Grammy in 1972 for best jazz performance by a group for the album "First Light."

As a young musician, Hubbard became revered among his peers for a fiery, blazing style that allowed him to hit notes higher and faster than just about anyone else with a horn. As age and infirmity began to slow that style, he switched to a softer, melodic style and played a flugelhorn. His fellow musicians were still impressed.

"The sound he gets on just one note. I know he does all the flashy stuff and the high stuff and it's all great but ... he'd play `Body and Soul' on the flugelhorn and it was just that much better again than everyone around him," trumpeter Chris Botti said in an interview earlier this year.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Video: Body & Soul