Friday, December 31, 2010

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Missing: Teena Marie (1956-2010)


Teena Marie & Rick James @ BET Awards

Black Talk Radio: Remembering Songstress Teena Marie

TMZ: Teena Marie Died During Sunday Nap  

Teena Marie @ Wikipedia

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Missing: Bro. James Moody (1925-2010)

James Moody Explaining The Inspiration For His Timeless Classic "Moody's Mood For Love"


Dizzy Gillespie - Moody's Mood For Love (Ft. James Moody) - HD


King Pleasure~Moody's Mood For Love

James Moody, Jazz Saxophonist, Dies At 85
New York Times
December 10, 2010

James Moody, a jazz saxophonist and flutist celebrated for his virtuosity, his versatility and his onstage ebullience, died on Thursday in San Diego. He was 85. 
His death, at a hospice, was confirmed by his wife, Linda. Mr. Moody lived in San Diego.
Last month, Mr. Moody disclosed that he had pancreatic cancer and had decided against receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

Mr. Moody, who began his career with the trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie shortly after World War II and maintained it well into the 21st century, developed distinctive and equally fluent styles on both tenor and alto saxophone, a relatively rare accomplishment in jazz. He also played soprano saxophone, and in the mid-1950s he became one of the first significant jazz flutists, impressing the critics if not himself.
“I’m not a flute player,” he told one interviewer. “I’m a flute holder.”

The self-effacing humor of that comment was characteristic of Mr. Moody, who took his music more seriously than he took himself. Musicians admired him for his dexterity, his unbridled imagination and his devotion to his craft, as did critics; reviewing a performance in 1980, Gary Giddins of The Village Voice praised Mr. Moody’s “unqualified directness of expression” and said his improvisations at their best were “mini-epics in which impassioned oracles, comic relief, suspense and song vie for chorus time.” But audiences were equally taken by his ability to entertain.

Defying the stereotype of the modern jazz musician as austere and humorless (and following the example of Gillespie, whom he considered his musical mentor and with whom he worked on and off for almost half a century), Mr. Moody told silly jokes, peppered his repertory with unlikely numbers like “Beer Barrel Polka” and the theme from “The Flintstones,” and often sang. His singing voice was unpolished but enthusiastic — and very distinctive, partly because he spoke and sang with a noticeable lisp, a result of having been born partly deaf.

The song he sang most often had a memorable name and an unusual history. Based on the harmonic structure of “I’m in the Mood for Love,” it began life as an instrumental when Mr. Moody recorded it in Stockholm in 1949, improvising an entirely new melody on a borrowed alto saxophone. Released as “I’m in the Mood for Love” (and credited to that song’s writers) even though his rendition bore only the faintest resemblance to the original tune, it was a modest hit for Mr. Moody in 1951. It became a much bigger hit shortly afterward when the singer Eddie Jefferson wrote lyrics to Mr. Moody’s improvisation and another singer, King Pleasure, recorded it as “Moody’s Mood for Love.”

“Moody’s Mood for Love” (which begins with the memorable lyric “There I go, there I go, there I go, there I go ...”) became a jazz and pop standard, recorded by Aretha Franklin, George Benson, Van Morrison, Amy Winehouse and others. And it was a staple of Mr. Moody’s concert and nightclub performances as sung by Mr. Jefferson, who was a member of his band for many years. Mr. Jefferson was shot to death in 1979; when Mr. Moody, who was in the middle of a long hiatus from jazz at the time, resumed his career a few years later, he began singing the song himself. He never stopped.

James Moody — he was always Moody, never James, Jim or Jimmy, to his friends and colleagues — was born in Savannah, Ga., on March 26, 1925, to James and Ruby Moody, and raised in Newark. Despite being hard of hearing, he gravitated toward music and began playing alto saxophone at 16, later switching to tenor. He played with an all-black Army Air Forces band during World War II. After being discharged in 1946, he auditioned for Gillespie, who led one of the first big bands to play the complex and challenging new form of jazz known as bebop. He failed that audition but passed a second one a few months later, and soon captured the attention of the jazz world with a brief but fiery solo on the band’s recording of the Gillespie composition “Emanon.”

Mr. Moody’s career was twice interrupted by alcoholism. The first time, in 1948, he moved to Paris to live with an uncle while he recovered. He returned to the United States in 1951 to capitalize on the success of “I’m in the Mood for Love,” forming a seven-piece band that mixed elements of modern jazz with rhythm and blues. After a fire at a Philadelphia nightclub destroyed the band’s equipment, uniforms and sheet music in 1958, he began drinking again and checked himself into the Overbrook psychiatric hospital in Cedar Grove, N.J. After a stay of several months, he celebrated his recovery by writing and recording the uptempo blues “Last Train From Overbrook,” which became one of his best-known compositions.
In 1963 he reunited with Gillespie, joining his popular quintet. He was featured as both a soloist and the straight man for Gillespie’s between-songs banter, sharpening his musical and comedic skills at the same time. He left Gillespie in 1969 to try his luck as a bandleader again but met with limited success; four years later he left jazz entirely to work in Las Vegas hotel orchestras.
“The reason I went to Las Vegas,” he told Saxophone Journal in 1998, “was because I was married and had a daughter and I wanted to grow up with my kid. I was married before and I didn’t grow up with the kids. So I said, ‘I’m going to really be a father.’ I did much better with this one because at least I stayed until my daughter was 12 years old. And that’s why I worked Vegas, because I could stay in one spot.” 

After seven years of pit-band anonymity, providing accompaniment for everyone from Milton Berle to Ike and Tina Turner to Liberace, Mr. Moody divorced his wife, Margena, and returned to the East Coast to resume his jazz career. His final three decades were productive, with frequent touring and recording (as the leader of his own small group and, on occasion, as a sideman with Gillespie, who died in 1993) and even a brief foray into acting, with a bit part in the 1997 Clint Eastwood film “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” set in Mr. Moody’s birthplace, Savannah. 
The National Endowment for the Arts named him a Jazz Master in 1998. His last album, “Moody 4B,” was recorded in 2008 and released this year on the IPO label; it earned a Grammy nomination this month.
Mr. Moody, who was divorced twice, is survived by his wife of 21 years, the former Linda Peterson McGowan; three sons, Patrick, Regan and Danny McGowan; a daughter, Michelle Moody Bagdanove; a brother, Louis Watters; four grandchildren; and one great-grandson. 

For all his accomplishments, Mr. Moody always saw his musical education as a work in progress. “I’ve always wanted to be around people who know more than me,” he told The Hartford Courant in 2006, “because that way I keep learning.”


"Jazz saxophonist James Moody dies at 85
Musician best known for 1949 hit 'Moody's Mood for Love'
The Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — Jazz saxophonist James Moody is best known for his 1949 "Moody's Mood for Love," but when he recorded the hit that eventually was elected into the Grammy Awards' Hall of Fame, he said, he was just "trying to find the right notes."

"When I made that record, I was a tenor saxophonist playing alto for the first time on record and I was trying to find the right notes, to be truthful. People later said to me: 'You must have been very inspired when you recorded that.' And I said: 'Yeah I was inspired to find the right notes!'" Moody told the San Diego Union-Tribune in February.

The song was later recorded by Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, Amy Winehouse and others. Bill Cosby, a longtime fan and confidante, called it a "national anthem."

On Thursday, Moody, who recorded more than 50 solo albums as well as songs with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and B.B. King, died at San Diego Hospice after a 10-month battle with pancreatic cancer, his wife said. He was 85.

"James Moody had a sound, an imagination and heart as big as the moon. He was the quintessential saxophone player, and his 'Moody's Mood for Love' will forever be remembered in jazz history side by side with Coleman Hawkins' classic 'Body and Soul,'" friend and collaborator Quincy Jones said in a statement Thursday. "Today we've lost not only one of the best sax players to ever finger the instrument, but a true national treasure."

His last album, "Moody 4B," was recorded in 2008 and released in 2010.

Moody was nominated for four Grammies. He received a 1998 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters award and a 2007 Kennedy Center Living Jazz Legend award. He has also been inducted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame.

Moody was "a titan of our music" who was "just impeccable, his musicianship, his soul, his humor," Wynton Marsalis said.

"Moody's Mood for Love," his interpretation of the 1935 ballad "I'm in the Mood for Love," was recorded in Sweden. In 2001, it was elected into the Grammy Awards' Hall of Fame in 2001.

Moody sang the song with Nancy Wilson on an episode of "The Cosby Show" in the 1980s. Cosby also featured the song in the 2004 movie "Fat Albert."

"He has taught me integrity, how to express love for your fellow human beings, and how to combine and contain manhood and maturity," Cosby told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

"James Moody is one of the blueprints that you measure yourself up against," said Laurie Ann Gibson, creative director for Interscope Records and choreographer for several lady Gaga music videos.

Moody, born in Savannah, Ga., joined Dizzy Gillespie's all-star big band in the 1940s. He was featured in the first episode of the PBS series "Legends of Jazz," and walked an invisible dog in the 1997 film "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" when he was cast by longtime fan Clint Eastwood.

Moody performed on stages around the world, including the White House, Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and London's Royal Festival Hall. His last public performance was Jan. 28 at a Grammy-sponsored show in Seal Beach.

Moody's talent wasn't confined to jazz — he was a member of the Las Vegas Hilton Orchestra in the 1970s, sharing the spotlight with everyone from Glenn Campbell, Liberace and the Osmonds to Lou Rawls and Elvis Presley.

Many of those artists sang "Moody's Mood for Love."

"James Moody is one of the blueprints that you measure yourself up against," said Laurie Ann Gibson, creative director for Interscope Records and choreographer for several Lady Gaga music videos.

A public funeral service is scheduled Dec. 18 at Greenwood Memorial Park, followed by a public celebration of his life at Faith Chapel in Spring Valley.

Moody is survived by Linda Moody, his third wife; daughter Michelle Bagdanove; sons Patrick, Regan and Danny McGowan; brother Lou Watters; four grandchildren and one great grandson.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. 50 Guys We Wish We Were In 2010

F**K You By Cee Lo Green

Son Of Ex-NBA Player Van Exel Charged With Murder

Tha Artivist Writes: Nick Van Exel Was A Consummate Showman & Exceptional Competitor...I used to enjoy him during his college days sadistically ripping the hearts out of chests and shredding the hopes and dreams of Memphis Tigers fans everywhere when he would decimate our team with his otherworldy scoring and hustle while playing for The Cincinnati Bearcats under Bob Huggins...He did it so often that he would make Anfernee Penny Hardaway cry more often than U.S. Rep. & Speaker of the House John Boehner...This is surely a tragedy of epic Greek proportions...My condolences to all families involved...

Son Of Ex-NBA Player Van Exel Charged With Murder

By DANNY ROBBINS, Associated Press 11 hours, 43 minutes ago

DALLAS (AP)—The 20-year-old son of former NBA player Nick Van Exel has been charged with capital murder in the death of a close friend, Dallas police announced Thursday.

Nickey Maxwell Van Exel was arrested Wednesday night and jailed on $1 million bond in the death of Bradley Bassey Eyo, 23. Police said Eyo was found on Sunday with a gunshot wound to his upper body near Lake Ray Hubbard, on the outskirts of Dallas.

Authorities later determined that Eyo was killed at a home in the Dallas suburb of Garland and that his body was dumped near the lake, police said.

Paul Johnson, the younger Van Exel’s attorney, told The Associated Press that his client told police he shot Eyo, a longtime friend and neighbor, while the two were engaged in “horseplay” with a shotgun. He said Van Exel didn’t know the gun, which belonged to his stepfather, was loaded.

After the shooting, Van Exel “panicked” and moved the body, Johnson said. Van Exel also tossed the gun in a creek, and it has yet to be found, he said.

“It’s a real sad situation,” Johnson said. “Emotions are running high, and, obviously, we recognize that some very bad decisions were made on how he responded.”

Johnson said he was contacted by Van Exel’s family on Tuesday and immediately started working with authorities. The younger Van Exel has not yet appeared in court or entered a plea.

The elder Van Exel played for the Dallas Mavericks from 2001 to 2003 as part of an NBA career that spanned 13 seasons and six teams. He is now working as player development instructor for the Atlanta Hawks, a job he began in September.

A call to the Hawks’ media relations department by the AP wasn’t returned. In a statement, the team said its thoughts were with the Van Exel family.

Johnson said he spoke to the elder Van Exel and that he and others who knew Eyo were deeply saddened.

“Bradley was like part of the family,” Johnson said.

The 2012 Election Begins Now

The 2012 Election Begins Now
 Dr. Jason Johnson

Now that the dust is settled on the mid-term madness, and Obama has successfully convinced the press that he has his ‘mojo’ back (even if the polls are still catching up) during the “Lame Duck Session” we can begin looking at what really will matter once the ball drops and 2011 begins: The presidential election of 2012. Republicans are already lining up with websites and bus trips through Iowa and while the president must sit back and watch the opposition has to prepare for a creative assault to make any headway in 2012. The catch will be, how will the new congress influence GOP candidate’s presidential ambitions?

The important thing to remember is that whoever the Republican nominee is in 2012 is actually helped or hamstrung by what the Republican Congress is able to do with or against Obama in 2011. This congress comes in with a stark choice: Reject everything the president does and hope the economy boots him out of office, or try to improve the economy with the president and hope a GOP candidate can take more credit than Obama. It is unlikely that House Speaker John Boehner (D-OH) with his orange colored tan and penchant for crying on camera will be as much a foil to Obama as Newt Gingrich was to Bill Clinton. Consequently Republicans are better off trying to stymie the president’s efforts than take control and credit because they lack the congressional leadership personalities to make those kinds of claims. So which GOP contenders can make the most of a Congress that will try to take “Do Nothing-ness” to new heights?

The Republican candidate who can best get political momentum out of a Congress that may have little to show for itself would be an outsider. Someone who is far removed from Washington politics that can portray themselves as a sheriff coming to town to clean up a mess made by Obama. Fortunately for Republicans they have nothing but outsiders at the forefront of the party so this won’t be much of an impediment. But which outsider can make the best case? Who will be making credible speeches in Iowa next summer preparing to make an official announcement in the fall?

The first issue to point out is that the GOP candidate has to be able to win on their own merits. Namely those who are Republicans or plan to vote that way in 2012 should avoid the ‘electable’ candidate at all costs. The man or woman who says vote for them because: “They Can Beat Obama”. That plan didn’t work with John Kerry against Bush and it won’t work in 2012 against Obama. This knocks out cookie cutter candidates like Mitt Romney (The Republican version of Al Gore) or Jeb Bush. Those who have legitimate records to run on or political charisma are Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin. And while not in any particular order they might have the best chance to capitalize on the new Republican Congress.

Newt’s masterful running of the GOP House in the 1990’s would give him a foothold by next summer to say that a strong president must be able to get things done with Congress as he did 17 years ago. Boasting a keen mind and a resume of economic success in the 1990’s Gingrich has a credible claim. Mike Huckabee, who in early polls is the only Republican with a consistent lead over Obama in 2012 has the charm and success in Arkansas to say that he can really change Washington D.C. with fiscally conservative policies bolstered by years of executive experience. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty may be the dark horse right now which works in his favor. Little known outside of the GOP he hails from the heartland where he’s seen the recession first hand and has a better handle on how to fix the problems real Americans face. Even Sarah Palin who I don’t believe will mount a credible run for president can make use of a resistant GOP congress by claiming that they, like the American people are stymied by Obama’s liberal agenda.

The real issue heading into the next year won’t be whether or not certain candidates will run, or if they have a chance to succeed. It will be whether or not they can successfully explain or justify their own Congress’s behavior in the coming months in a way that will position them best against Obama in 12 months. And they have to hope that he doesn’t simply outmaneuver them first making his re-election all but assured.

(Dr. Jason Johnson is an associate professor of political science and communications at Hiram College in Ohio, where he teaches courses in campaigns and elections, pop culture, and the politics of sports. He can be reached at

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Oprah Got Her OWN

Oprah Keeps Hand In Media With OWN, Snubs Politics
By LYNN ELBER, AP Television

LOS ANGELES – Oprah Winfrey wants to better the world in her own way, and that absolutely, positively excludes a political career.

The media powerhouse who threw her clout behind Barack Obama's presidential candidacy says she will never seek office. As she fervently asserts: "Arrgghhh! The very idea of politics. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no."

But a new, basic cable channel that bears her name and debuts at noon EST Saturday to 85 million homes across the land? That's a challenge she relishes as her syndicated talk show nears its conclusion after a singularly influential run of 25 years.

Politics is "having to live your life at the whim of somebody's polls," Winfrey said in an interview from her home near Santa Barbara. "I just feel like there's so much more ability for me, personally, to be able to effect change and to be able to influence through stories and ideas than I could ever do with politics."

She hopes to see the Oprah Winfrey Network — OWN — establish itself as a "force for good," a platform that helps people "see the best of themselves" on a broader canvas than her daily Chicago-based talk show.

With the Los Angeles-based OWN, as well as orchestrating a big finish in May for "The Oprah Winfrey Show," the talk show host said it's unlikely she'll have time for the Chicago mayoral bid of Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's former chief of staff. She and Emanuel haven't seen each other in town.

"It seems that everybody else in the world has run into Rahm except me," said Winfrey. She offered that she signed a petition to get his name on the February ballot when she was approached outside a Chicago gym.

As for Obama, Winfrey remains a steadfast booster.

"He's doing a great job, and I don't use the term `great' loosely," she said. "The amount of pressure and opinions coming at him from every direction, to be steadfast and solid in your own conviction about how you see this country and what you believe is possible for the future of this country. I think that takes a lot of guts."

When Obama presumably seeks a second term in 2012, "I would do whatever they ask me to do. I'm open," she said.

Winfrey, who caught flack from some fans for endorsing Obama for the Democratic nomination, said she hasn't thought about how the cable channel over which she presides as chairman might figure in the national election.

"I'm really just trying to get on the air," she said, lightly. "I'm trying to think of the role OWN is going to play on Jan. 2, and the 3rd and the 4th."

A pop culture force with a daytime podium that at its peak attracted more than 12 million viewers (it's at nearly 7 million this season), Winfrey has created careers and successful TV shows ("Dr. Phil," `'Dr. Oz"), energized the publishing industry with her book club picks and produced distinguished films ("Precious," `'The Great Debaters"), breaking ethnic stereotypes along the way.

The 56-year-old Oprah is acutely aware of what she might be losing even as she stakes out new TV turf to promote ideas and celebrities. She was initially reluctant to surrender her daytime show, but "what I realized is the `Oprah' show has had its time and its run and its ability to affect and influence, and that now it's time for something else," she said.

Rosie O'Donnell, Shania Twain, Sarah Ferguson and Winfrey's close pal, Gayle King, all have first-season shows on the commercially-supported OWN, which will offer a varied mix of talk and reality shows, film acquisitions and original documentaries. Included in the lineup: a cooking series with Cristina Ferrare, a sex advice show with Dr. Laura Berman, style makeovers with Carson Kressley, a series about the mother-daughter relationship of Naomi and Wynonna Judd, a "docu-reality" series about women prisoners in Indiana and the theatrical release "Precious."

Winfrey's hand is on the entire schedule but she'll also be onstage in such series as "Oprah's Next Chapter," in which she travels the world in search of interesting stories, and "Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes," a chronicle of her final talk show year. She will also be seen in the series "Oprah Presents Master Class" and "Your OWN Show: Oprah's Search for the Next TV Star."

OWN will be programmed around the clock, with repeats filling overnight hours.

On the cusp of her new media adventure, a Harpo Inc. joint venture with Discovery Communications (which has a reported $189 million commitment to the channel), Winfrey said she has shed any worries she had as OWN experienced an uneven and delayed gestation.

The channel starts with a modest base, taking over Discovery Health and its average 250,000 daily viewers. Among cable channels, heavyweights such as ESPN and USA average about 3 million prime-time viewers.

"I'm not afraid at all. I talked to my friend Gayle this morning and she goes, `You sure are calm for a girl who's going to launch a network,'" Winfrey recounted, then explained her approach: "It's like preparing to run a marathon and then the week before you run, you have to relax yourself in order to be able to take on the run."

Winfrey was at times serene as she talked about OWN and politics — and downright playful. Asked if she had talked to Obama recently, she took on a mock tone of hauteur.

"Well, as a matter of fact, the last time I spoke to him I was at the Kennedy Center Honors," Winfrey responded. But she dropped the Ms. Cool act as she giddily recalled being celebrated alongside a musician she adored as a girl: Paul McCartney. The two, sitting side-by-side during the ceremony earlier this month, ended up clasping hands.

When she and the former Beatle joined in on the chorus of "Hey Jude," Winfrey lost it.

"I was weeping, but weeping because I could feel the moment of myself as the 12-year-old girl on welfare in the ghetto of Milwaukee, Wis., having that dream and never imagining that the dream would take me to the balcony of the Kennedy Center holding Paul McCartney's hand. Is that unbelievable or what?"

Late this week, Winfrey visited OWN's L.A. offices for a final rally-the-troops meeting.

Then it's up to viewers who have so often approved what Winfrey gives them. She hopes they're patient as OWN finds its footing.

"This is the beginning, and the beginning of a great opportunity to use television for purposeful programming, which is the only reason I'm doing it," she said.



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Thursday, December 30, 2010

More Scott Sisters Coverage: Kidney Parole Condition Raises Ethical Questions

Kidney Parole Condition Raises Ethical Questions
By HOLBROOK MOHR, Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. – A debate is unfolding over an unusual offer from Mississippi's governor: He will free two sisters imprisoned for an armed robbery that netted $11, but one woman's release requires her to donate her kidney to the other.

The condition is alarming some experts, who have raised legal and ethical questions. Among them: If it turns out the sisters aren't a good tissue match, does that mean the healthy one goes back to jail?

Gov. Haley Barbour's decision to suspend the life sentences of Jamie and Gladys Scott was applauded by civil rights organizations and the women's attorney, who have long said the sentences were too harsh for the crime.

The sisters are black, and their case has been a cause celebre in the state's African-American community.

The Scotts were convicted in 1994 of leading two men into an ambush in central Mississippi the year before. Three teenagers hit each man in the head with a shotgun and took their wallets — making off with only $11, court records said.

After 16 years in prison, Jamie Scott, 36, is on daily dialysis, which officials say costs the state about $200,000 a year.

Barbour agreed to release her because of her medical condition, but 38-year-old Gladys Scott's release order says one of the conditions she must meet is to donate the kidney within one year.

The idea to donate the kidney was Gladys Scott's and she volunteered to do it in her petition for early release.

National NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous thanked Barbour on Thursday after meeting him at the state capital in Jackson, calling his decision "a shining example" of the way a governor should use the power of clemency.

Others aren't so sure.

Arthur Caplan, the director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, has studied transplants and their legal and ethical ramifications for about 25 years. He said he's never heard of anything like this.

Even though Gladys Scott proposed the idea in her petition for an early release and volunteered to donate the organ, Caplan said, it is against the law to buy and sell organs or to force people to give one up.

"When you volunteer to give a kidney, you're usually free and clear to change your mind right up to the last minute," he said. "When you put a condition on it that you could go back to prison, that's a pretty powerful incentive."

So what happens if she decides, minutes from surgery, to back off the donation?

"My understanding is that she's committed to doing this. This is something that she came up with," said Barbour's spokesman, Dan Turner. "This is not an idea the governor's office brokered. It's not a quid pro quo."

What happens if medical testing determines that the two are not compatible for a transplant? Turner said the sisters are a blood-type match, but that tests to determine tissue compatibility still need to be done.

If they don't match, or if she backs out, will she be heading back to prison?

"All of the 'What if' questions are, at this point, purely hypothetical," Barbour said in a statement from his office late Thursday. "We'll deal with those situations if they actually happen."

Legally, there should be no problems since Gladys Scott volunteered to donate the kidney, said George Cochran, a professor at the University of Mississippi School of Law who specializes in constitutional matters.

"You have a constitutional right to body integrity, but when you consent (to donate an organ) you waive that" right, he said.

Other experts said the sisters' incarceration and their desire for a transplant operation are two separate matters and should not be tied together.

Dr. Michael Shapiro, chief of organ transplants at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey and the chair of the ethics committee at the United Network for Organ Sharing, said the organ transplant should not be a condition of release.

"The simple answer to that is you can't pay someone for a kidney," Shapiro said. "If the governor is trading someone 20 years for a kidney, that might potentially violate the valuable consideration clause" in federal regulations.

That clause is meant to prohibit the buying or selling of organs, and Shapiro said the Scott sisters' situation could violate that rule because it could be construed as trading a thing of value — freedom from prison — for an organ.

Putting conditions on parole, however, is a long-standing practice. And governors granting clemency have sometimes imposed unusual ones, such as requiring people whose sentences are reduced to move elsewhere.

In 1986, South Dakota Gov. Bill Janklow commuted the sentences of 36 criminals, but only on the condition that they leave his state and never come back. In Florida, the governor and members of his cabinet voted in 1994 to reduce a convicted killer's sentence as long as he agreed to live in Maryland.

Whatever the legal or ethical implications of Barbour's decision, it thrust him back into the spotlight, after his recent comments in a magazine article about growing up in the segregated South struck some as racially insensitive.

In the article, Barbour explained that the public schools in his hometown of Yazoo City didn't see the violence that other towns did, and attributed that to the all-white Citizens Council in Mississippi.

Some critics said he glossed over the group's role in segregation. He later said he wasn't defending the group.

The Scott sisters' attorney, Chokwe Lumumba, said people have asked if Barbour, who is mentioned as a potential presidential contender in 2012, suspended their sentences for political reasons.

"My guess is he did," Lumumba said, but he still said the governor did the right thing.

Mississippi Rep. George Flaggs, an outspoken Democrat in the state legislature and an African-American, scoffed at suggestions that Barbour's motive was political and said the decision wasn't an attempt to gloss over the magazine comments.

Flaggs said Barbour suspended the sentences "not only to let this woman out of prison, but to save her life.

"If she doesn't get a kidney, she's going to die," he said.

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W.E. A.L.L. B.E. TV: Tha Artivist: Don’t Let Mississippi Make Jamie Scott Into A Martyr Like Clyde Kennard

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Scott SIsters Free? Barbour Suspends Scott Sisters’ SentencesThe Scott SIsters Free? Barbour Suspends Scott Sisters’ Sentences

Barbour Suspends Scott Sisters’ Sentences
by Ward Schaefer
Jackson Free Press
December 29, 2010

Gov. Haley Barbour has issued orders for the release of Jamie and Gladys Scott, sisters serving life sentences for a 1993 armed robbery. Barbour granted the Scott sisters an indefinite suspension of their sentences, which is "tantamount to parole," he said in a statement posted on his website this afternoon.

A large movement of civil-rights advocates and online activists has lobbied for the sisters' release, arguing that their sentences are disproportionately severe for an armed robbery that allegedly netted as little as $11. The sisters have spent 16 years in prison, and Jamie Scott is currently suffering from total kidney failure.

Reached by phone en route to the grocery store, the Scott sisters' mother, Evelyn Rasco, had to pull her car over upon hearing news of Barbour's order.

"Oh my God. You're kidding me," Rasco said. "Oh, please--oh my God." Rasco said that she had not been informed of the governor's decision but had plans to listen to Charles Evers' radio show this evening, on which Barbour is scheduled to appear as a guest.

Nancy Lockhart, a South Carolina-based activist who has worked with Rasco since 2005 to publicize the sisters' case, said that she looked forward to meeting the women she has only known through letters and phone calls.

"I am elated," Lockhart said. "I would like to thank Governor Barbour, and I can't wait to meet to meet Jamie and Gladys."

verbatim, from Gov. Haley Barbour:
Dec. 29, 2010


"Today, I have issued two orders indefinitely suspending the sentences of Jamie and Gladys Scott. In 1994, a Scott County jury convicted the sisters of armed robbery and imposed two life sentences for the crime. Their convictions and their sentences were affirmed by the Mississippi Court of Appeals in 1996.

"To date, the sisters have served 16 years of their sentences and are eligible for parole in 2014. Jamie Scott requires regular dialysis, and her sister has offered to donate one of her kidneys to her. The Mississippi Department of Corrections believes the sisters no longer pose a threat to society. Their incarceration is no longer necessary for public safety or rehabilitation, and Jamie Scott's medical condition creates a substantial cost to the State of Mississippi.

"The Mississippi Parole Board reviewed the sisters' request for a pardon and recommended that I neither pardon them, nor commute their sentence. At my request, the Parole Board subsequently reviewed whether the sisters should be granted an indefinite suspension of sentence, which is tantamount to parole, and have concurred with my decision to suspend their sentences indefinitely.

"Gladys Scott's release is conditioned on her donating one of her kidneys to her sister, a procedure which should be scheduled with urgency. The release date for Jamie and Gladys Scott is a matter for the Department of Corrections.

"I would like to thank Representative George Flaggs, Senator John Horne, Senator Willie Simmons, and Representative Credell Calhoun for their leadership on this issue. These legislators, along with former Mayor Charles Evers, have been in regular contact with me and my staff while the sisters' petition has been under review."


Sister's Kidney Donation Condition Of Miss. Parole
The Associated Press
Dec. 29, 2010

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has suspended the life sentences of two sisters convicted in 1994 for their roles in an armed robbery, but one sister's release is contingent on her giving a kidney to the other.

Gladys and Jamie Scott were convicted of leading two men into an ambush in central Mississippi in 1993. The men were robbed of $11 by three teenagers who hit both men in the head with a shotgun and took their wallets, court records said.

The Scott sisters are eligible for parole in 2014, but 38-year-old Jamie Scott "requires regular dialysis, and her sister has offered to donate one of her kidneys to her," Barbour said.

Barbour said in a news release that 36-year-old Gladys Scott's release is conditioned on her donating one of her kidneys to her sister.

Dan Turner, Barbour's spokesman, told The Associated Press that Jamie Scott was released because she needs the transplant. He said Gladys Scott will be released if she agrees to donate her kidney because of the significant risk and recovery time.

"She wanted to do it," Turner said. "That wasn't something we introduced."

Barbour is a Republican in his second term who has been mentioned as a possible presidential contender in 2012. He said the Mississippi Parole Board reviewed the case at his request and agreed with the indefinite suspension of their sentences, which is different from a pardon or commutation because it comes with conditions.

An "indefinite suspension of sentence" can be reversed if the conditions are not followed, but those requirements are usually things like meeting with a parole officer.

The Scott sisters have received significant public support from advocacy groups, including the NAACP, which called for their release. Hundreds of people marched through downtown Jackson from the state capital to the governor's mansion in September, chanting in unison that the women should be freed.

Still, their release won't be immediate.

Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps said late Wednesday that he had not received the order. He also said the women want to live with relatives in Florida, which requires approval from officials in that state.

In general, that process takes 45 days.

Listen To The W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio Specials:

Still Strange Fruit: 'The Eyes Of Willie McGee' Author Alex Heard & Major Scott Sisters Update (2nd Hour)...
All Eyes Are Still On Mississippi: Free The Scott Sisters!!!

Also On W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio...
***Check Out The Scott Sisters Update Featuring Sis. Nancy Lockhart 3/24/2010 (Starts In The 2nd Hour)***
W.E. A.L.L. B.E. TV: Tha Artivist: Don’t Let Mississippi Make Jamie Scott Into A Martyr Like Clyde Kennard

(Text) Tha Artivist: Don't Let Mississippi Make Jamie Scott Into A Martyr Like Clyde Kennard:

More Scott Sisters On W.E. A.L.L. B.E.:

More Civil Rights Movement On W.E. A.L.L. B.E. :

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Obama's Michael Vick Remarks Make Sense To African-Americans

Obama's Michael Vick Remarks Make Sense To African-Americans 
By Dr. Boyce Watkins 

Recently President Obama made a call to Jeffrey Lurie, owner of the Philadelphia Eagles. On the call, the president congratulated Lurie on his decision to sign Michael Vick. The president also noted that formerly incarcerated individuals deserve a second chance to contribute to our society and that Vick's success is a reminder of that fact. 

Critics of the president have, for some reason, decided that Vick's punishment should be a life sentence, and somehow find it problematic that the president made that one simple phone call. Even the less-than-thoughtful commentator Tucker Carlson said that he felt that Michael Vick should have been executed for his crime, a very telling statement regarding just how valuable members of the right wing believe a black man's life to be.

Mr. President, how dare you. How dare you presume that Michael Vick is a human being. I find it unconscionable that you would even attempt to argue that a man who has been convicted of a crime has any ability whatsoever to contribute to society and actually redeem himself. I must publicly condemn you for caring about the fact that Vick has a family that depends on him, and that he is deserving of any human rights whatsoever. After all, he was convicted of a crime and therefore undeserving of any semblance of American freedom for the remainder of his days on this planet.

OK, let's get serious. President Obama, like Michael Vick, has now been found guilty of what some might call "the audacity of compassion." President Obama didn't say that dog fighting is a good thing. He didn't say that Michael Vick is a wonderful guy. He didn't say that he wants to be soft on crime. All the president said, plain and simple, is that those who've been convicted of a crime deserve the chance to make things right and see their punishments eventually come to an end.

Michael Vick has proven President Obama correct by re-emerging as arguably the best player in the NFL. But the truth is that there are hundreds of thousands of Michael Vicks who don't have the opportunity to play professional football. Instead, they must check the little box on the job application that asks if you've ever been convicted of a crime, and soon find that their ability to obtain gainful employment is forever inhibited. Michael Vick is a walking manifestation of these men, and Obama's empathy for Vick speaks volumes on what our president thinks about the state of our corrupt and embarrassing criminal justice system.

Americans who want to condemn Michael Vick must take a second to realize that they are representing a set of values that are deeply inconsistent with the freedoms we purport to embody here in the United States. We spent years fighting the Nazi regime, but have dedicated ourselves to emulating those who chose to exterminate millions of Jews by standing silently while countless numbers of men, women and children are having their lives ruined by a criminal justice system that is designed to destroy them.

The United Nations has written reports condemning the United States for its commitment to mass incarceration and has accused the U.S. of blatant human rights violations for the way we treat those who've been convicted of a crime. The very public attacks on Michael Vick were interesting in that it seems that many Americans view the life of a dog to be more important than the lives of millions of men and women who are never released from the grips of prison, even after they've done their time.

President Obama's public support for Michael Vick was not a statement of approval. The president was not saying that he empathizes with the desire to commit crime or that he wants to free every prison inmate in America. Obama's statement was a bold vision for the pursuit of equity and liberty that reminds us of what our country can be. His words also present elected officials with the opportunity to help our nation return to reality: rather than simply believing that we serve as a beacon of light for free and Democratic societies, we can actually fulfill that lofty expectation with bold and intelligent reform of the prison industrial complex.

The answers to the incarceration problem in America are not simple. But what we all know is that the present system is not working. Barack Obama's decision to speak up in support of Michael Vick was truly presidential in nature and shows the kind of leadership we should expect from our president both now and in the future. Michael Vick and millions of others just like him deserve a second chance, and we should be glad that our president is smarter than Tucker Carlson.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and the initiator of the National Conversation on Race. For more information, please visit

Bad Timing For First Execution On Obama's Watch

Bad Timing For First Execution On Obama's Watch 
By Earl Ofari Hutchinson 

President Obama soon will have to face and make yet another tough and potentially controversial decision. The issue this time is the federal death penalty. Currently there are nearly five dozen prisoners sitting on federal death row. The majority of the condemned are African-American.

Since the federal death penalty was ramped up during the Clinton administration only three federal prisoners have been executed in the past decade, the most notorious being Oklahoma City mass bomber Timothy McVeigh. Clinton, though no opponent of the death penalty, did not have to sign off on a death warrant. McVeigh was executed on President George W. Bush's watch. Bush was a staunch backer of the death penalty signing off on a staggering 152 executions during his stints as Texas governor. But Obama likely won't have the luxury of evading making a decision on a death sentence as Clinton did or toughening it out and simply saying and doing nothing as Bush did. This is where it gets sticky.

The Bureau of Prisons which sets execution dates says that it will set a date for the execution of Jeffrey Paul convicted of the murder of a retired National Park Service employee in Arkansas in 1995. Obama has been conflicted on the death penalty and Attorney General Eric Holder has also has expressed reservations about the policy. Obama pushed legislation as an Illinois state senator that put severe limits on suspect interrogations and the type of crimes that the death penalty could be applied to. In his groundbreaking book, The Audacity of Hope, he made it plain that he did not regard the death penalty as a deterrent.

During his stint as Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton administration, Holder did a comprehensive review of the gaping racial disparities in the death penalty and called the findings "very disturbing." What was disturbing was that those most likely to get the death penalty were overwhelmingly African-American and Hispanic. Holder called for reforms that included giving federal prosecutors more freedom to seek or not seek the death penalty, and to not seek it in states that did not have the death penalty.

The lop sided racial imbalance in the death penalty sentences was clearly an issue that Holder sought to address in the mild reforms. The reforms probably did much too at least momentarily reduce the number of death penalties federal prosecutors sought, and this slowed down the flow to federal death row. The last federal execution was seven years ago.

But things have changed. Crime is not the dominant issue of a few years ago. There has been some softening in public attitudes on the death penalty, and the Supreme Court has barred executing the mentally disturbed and teen offenders. But public support of the death penalty support is still strong, executions are still carried out with little public outcry, and the fear of terrorist attacks is still a major public concern, and the public supports tough measures against terrorists. Holder has authorized death penalty sentences in some select cases.

President Obama has also taken a different public tact on the death penalty. During the presidential campaign, he rapped the Supreme Court's decision that ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in a child rape case where the child wasn't murdered and has made it clear that their are "some "heinous crimes" that warrant the death penalty":

The two questions then are: what are those crimes, and under what circumstances would Obama stand aside at the moment the inevitable appeal for clemency, commutation, or the postponement of a death sentence, in this case Paul's, landed on his desk for a decision? Paul's attorney is asking that the death penalty sentence against him be scrapped based on "severe mental illness" claim. That may or may not happen. If not that would clear the way for the execution which could legally be carried out within 120 days after the final court rejection of his filing for dismissal of the death penalty verdict. The final decision would then whether to intervene or not would then be up to Obama. So far neither Obama nor Holder has publicly given any indication of how they would proceed in such a case. 

Death penalty opponents, though, are not optimistic. There's the shifting conservative political climate, the fast approaching start of the 2012 presidential campaign season, and the issue Obama must deal with of how to apply the death penalty to the military commission he's proposed for terrorism prisoners at Guantanamo. The conflicting issues of terrorism, politics, and of course race make the decision over what, when and how to use the federal death penalty yet another tough decision that President Obama will have to face and make.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He hosts nationally broadcast political affairs radio talk shows on Pacifica and KTYM Radio Los Angeles. Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: and on and view The Hutchinson Report on

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Article On The Rojeni Revolution...

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio Special: Weds. 12/29/2010 @ 9pm c/ 10pm e*The Assassination & Resurrection Of A Black Panther: A Fred Hampton Story

 Celebrating 3 Years Strong & Still Got It Going On
***Radio Free Dixie For The 21st Century***

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December 2010 Theme: The Promised Land.

Air Date: Weds. December 29, 2010

Time: 9 PM C/10 PM E/7 PM P

Call-in Number: 646-652-4593


topic: The Assassination & Resurrection Of A Black Panther: A Fred Hampton Story

"Had the people been educated they would have said we don’t hate white people, we hate the oppressor whether he be white, black, brown or yellow."

“I believe I'm going to die doing the things I was born to do. I believe I'm going to die high off the people. I believe I'm going to die a revolutionary in the international revolutionary proletarian struggle.”

“You can kill a revolutionary but you can never kill the revolution.” 
  – Chairman Fred Hampton, Sr.

Featured & Honorable Guests...

Bro. William 'Bill' Hampton, Chairman Fred Hampton Sr.'s Big Brother & President Of The Fred Hampton Memorial Scholarship Fund


Chairman Fred Hampton Sr.'s Attorney & 'The Assassination Of Fred Hampton' Author Bro. Jeffrey Haas

The People's Lawyers: Flint Taylor (Seated) & Jeffrey Haas 

The Official "The Assassination Of Fred Hampton: How The FBI & Chicago Police Murdered A Black Panther" Website:

***Including FBI Informant William O'Neal In His Own Words***

Also Featuring Music From
Black Star
Simon & Garfunkel
The O'Jays
Dead Prez

For More Coverage On W.E. A.L.L. B.E.:

Daring To Struggle And Daring To Win…Remembering Chairman Fred, Sr., & Mark Clark 40 Years Later…

They ‘Remember Fred Hampton, 40 Years Later’...

Topic: You Can Kill A Revolutionary, But You Can't Kill The Revolution...Remembering Chairman Fred Hampton, Sr., & Mark Clark 40 Years Later...A Conversation With Chairman Fred Hampton, Jr.


Fred Hampton, Jr. Speaks About His Father's Murder


Contact An American Civil Rights Veteran Today:
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Tha Artivist



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