Archive for the ‘CNN’ Category

To the radical right: Your racism is showing

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

I wrote yesterday about Mychal Bell, he of the Jena 6, and his plea bargain to a charge of simple battery, after his court case for attempted murder was tossed out. I thought about how the radical right has risen up lately to bitch and complain about the massive protests held in Jena LA regarding the racist rightwingers overt racism and inequality in the justice arena.

Seems I am not the only one that has sat up and taken notice. The TomPaine.com article really set me on edge as I read it, noting how horrible it actually has become since all hell broke loose in Jena LA.

The NYT has done a comprehensive writeup as well on how far the fuckwits of the lunatic fringe are willing to go to stifle the voices that are protesting the racism and the problems within our justice system with regards to people of color. Read this and weep for our country:

 

But since the huge Sept. 20 rally in Jena, La., where tens of thousands protested what they saw as racism in the prosecution of six black youths known as the “Jena 6,” this country has seen a rash of as many as 50 to 60 noose incidents. Last Tuesday, for example, a city employee in Slidell, La., was fired after being accused of hanging a noose at a job site a few days earlier.

 

If that fact doesn’t bother you, I don’t know what will my dear reader. Since the 1880’s until the 1960’s there were around 4700 men and women lynched in our country.

 

Read that again: 4700 men and women were lynched in these United States of America. 70% of the victims were of course black. Is it a wonder then why the noose strikes terror in the hearts of African Americans?

 

These ‘noose’ incidents are not just occurring in the South either. As the TomPaine writeup states: incidents are also being reported in places like Minneapolis; Cicero, Ill.; Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Newark; Baltimore; and New London, Conn.(emphasis mine)

 

The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks hate crimes and hate groups. The SPLC’s Intelligence Project director, Mark Potok has this for us, regarding hate crimes and their rise:

 

These incidents are worrying, but even more so is the social reality they reflect. The level of hate crimes in the United States is astoundingly high — more than 190,000 incidents per year, according to a 2005 Department of Justice study.

 

And the number of hate groups, according to the annual count by the Southern Poverty Law Center, has shot up 40 percent in recent years, from 602 groups in 2000 to 844 in 2006.

 

It seems that the September rally in Jena — much as it was seen by many civil rights activists as the beginning of a new social movement — signaled not a renewed march toward racial and social justice, but a surprisingly broad and deep white backlash against the gains of black America.

 

So, it seems we are going backwards when it comes to equality among the races doesn’t it? Thousands of individuals rose up to point out the heinous acts in Jena. They pointed out how the law is not meted out evenly in Jena and they did it loud and proud, so the whole world took notice during the September rallies held in Jena LA. I was proud of them all, it made me happy to see that little town inundated with thousands of people, of every color, that wanted to show solidarity with the black teenagers being railroaded through the court system in Jena by a bigoted DA, judge and jury.

 

As a ‘woman of color’, the color brown my dear reader, I have long considered the Republican attacks on illegal immigrants as a bigoted issue that paints brown people as the big brown menace to blame for all things that ail America. The rights attempt to paint this issue as part of the ‘war on terror’ has made me sick to my stomach. Seems I am not alone in that regard either. From the TomPaine writeup:

 

But it’s also becoming true on a broader scale as well, with a rising tide of openly espoused ethnic bigotry manifesting itself in myriad ways, particularly on the immigration front, where Latinos are increasingly targeted by rhetoric emanating from the very highest levels of Republican leadership that manifests itself in a tide of hate crimes; and in the “war on terror,” which has provided for an opening for a variety of right-wing figures to spew hateful anti-Muslim rhetoric, with similarly predictable consequences.

 

Isn’t that interesting? Oh, its very interesting to me. I am glad that people are finally putting two and two together as it were. Even CNN has an article that points out how the FBI has stated that ‘hate crimes’ have jumped Eight Percent in the last year with racial hatred accounting for more than half:

 

Police across the nation reported 7,722 criminal incidents in 2006 targeting victims or property as a result of bias against a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic or national origin or physical or mental disability.

 

Disgusting no matter how you look at it, unless of course your a rightwing nutjob that still believes that people of color and gays are taking over the nation. It should also be noted that “Only 12,600 of the nation’s more than 17,000 local, county, state and federal police agencies participated in the hate crime reporting program in 2006”, which should also bother the hell out of progressives and people that despise bigotry and racism.

 

You want to know what really jacks my jaw? That people like Bill O’ Reilly feed the bigotry live and in living color nightly via our airwaves. They push the rightwing nutjobs into action with quotes like this one:

 

But do you understand what the New York Times wants, and the far-left want? They want to break down the white, Christian, male power structure, which you’re a part, and so am I, and they want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have. (emphasis mine)

 

Disgusting on every level wouldn’t you say? We are NOT a nation of just white, Christian, males. We are a melting pot of all colors, genders and sexuality. We are NOT a nation that should be governed by only the “all white boys club”. All of us should receive representation. Every Single Last One of Us. We All pay taxes, we all add to this nation in one way or another and we all deserve to have a voice. Our, the collective ‘our’, taxes are paying the salaries of those congressional representatives and that worthless man we call President. I will be damned if I will shut the fuck up so that the fearmongerer’s among us get to run this nation into the ground and take us back 200 years to when women and blacks were just considered “chattel” to be traded or used as the white, Christian males saw fit.

Crossposted at the UnCapitalist Journal

Judge tosses remaining conviction against Jena Six member

Friday, September 14th, 2007

Hot Damn! From CNN: A Louisiana appeals court Friday vacated the remaining conviction of a teenager accused in a violent, racially charged incident in Jena, Louisiana, his attorney said.

Bob Noel said the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Lake Charles threw out the conviction for second degree battery against Mychal Bell, saying the charges should have been brought in juvenile court.

The future of the case against Bell is up to the district attorney, who must decide whether to refile the charges in juvenile court, Noel said.

Bell, who is now 17, was 16 at the time of the fight in December 2006.

Earlier this month, a district court judge vacated a conviction for conspiracy to commit second degree battery, saying that charge should have been brought in juvenile court.

He left standing the second degree battery conviction, however.

Bell’s defense team would be filing a motion to get him out of prison, where he has been since his arrest in December, Noel said.

(more…)

Bush To Announce Troop Cuts…And Much More?

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

In a statement of the inevitable and the obvious, the President intends to address the American public to “announce” his intention to withdraw approximately 30,000 troops by next summer. Unfortunately, this move is hardly a policy shift as the troop reduction is necessitated by the established tour of duty time frames.

Further, in the absence of a plan to offset the impact of the troop reduction, one must wonder how long it will be before Iraq is once again in the midst of unmitigated civil war.

From CNN:

Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in the country, told Congress this week he could see troop numbers sliding by 30,000 — which would reduce the number of troops to pre-surge levels — by July 2008.

Administration officials did not specifically say the president would use the 30,000 figure — but one said he would “make clear there are challenges ahead in Iraq, but also enough progress” to reduce troop levels.

From The Associated Press:

In the speech, the president will say he understands Americans’ deep concerns about U.S. involvement in Iraq and their desire to bring the troops home, they said. Bush will say that, after hearing from Petraeus and Crocker, he has decided on a way forward that will reduce the U.S. military presence but not abandon Iraq to chaos, according to the officials.

In his speech, Bush will adopt Petraeus’ call for more time to determine the pace and scale of future withdrawals and offer to report to Congress in March, one official said.

As Petraeus and Crocker have, Bush will acknowledge difficulties, and the fact that few of the benchmarks set by Congress to measure progress of the buildup have been met, the official said. Yet, he will stress that a precipitous U.S. withdrawal would be a catastrophe for Iraq and U.S. interests.

In an unusual admission, Petraeus said he was not sure whether his proposal on Iraq would make America safer.

I’m rather baffled. Prior to the surge, the President indicated we needed more time to achieve important benchmarks. However, all indications are that few of the benchmarks needed to sustain the security success afforded by the surge have been achieved. As such, the American public is being asked to endorse the next six month extension…one of many such requests; each of which has failed to meet the established goals.

Toss in the fact that our top general hasn’t pondered whether our efforts in Iraq have made America safer and one has to wonder if anyone has a full grasp of our strategy…you know…the one that began in the aftermath of 9/11…the one that is supposed to combat terrorism and protect the homeland.

Frankly, one would be hard pressed to track the many revisionist rationales which have been brought forth in the wake of numerous miscalculations and persistent mismanagement.

In keeping with the absurd quality of this latest dose of rose colored rhetoric, I offer my own list of far fetched announcements voters would be justified to expect from the President in his national address.

Number One:

The President is also expected to announce that April will follow March in 2008…all but assuring that the President will complete his term without ever encountering the need to rearrange the months of the year.

Number Two:

George Bush will announce that the Axis of Evil will become the “Triangle of Terror” because he no longer believes “Aks us of evil?” should be phrased as a question.

Number Three:

The President will announce a snag in talks with North Korea on their “nucular” ambitions. While they are expected to cooperate in dismantling their nuclear facilities, they have remained silent on their clandestine “nucular” program.

Number Four:

In perhaps the most stunning development, the President is expected to announce his strong support for Austrian Prime Minister John Howard in the upcoming Australian elections.

Number Five:

George Bush will announce that those children left behind have had long enough to catch up…they either pick up the pace or suffer the consequences…we simply can’t wait any longer.

Number Six:

The President is expected to announce that he will join a think tank upon his exit from the White House. An unidentified source tells us that the think tank will be called WHAT NOW (With Hardly A Thought Needed Or Warranted).

Number Seven:

George Bush will announce his cameo appearance in the upcoming movie sequel, “Mission Impossible IV”, a move that signals he has finally decided to abandon plans to finish his ambitious epic tragedy “Mission Accomplished”.

Number Eight:

In his prime time appearance, the President will announce a moratorium on the “Ownership Society” until such time as the sub-prime/mortgage lending crisis has abated. The announcement is expected to include a conciliatory “Awww, your house got foreclosed…too bad…try again next time.”

Number Nine:

The President intends to ask Congress to introduce legislation enacting an amendment to the ADA which will require the widening of all restroom stalls to a minimum of six feet…a move intended to better accommodate those Americans who are afflicted with the disability of, and suffer the discrimination from, a chronic wide stance. Homosexuals will not be granted protected status under the amendment.

Number Ten:

Lastly, the President is expected to announce that General Petraeus is prepared to give the correct answer to the question, “Has the war in Iraq made us safer?”. Petraeus also understands that he will affirm that his revised answer was prepared without the oversight of, or influence from, the White House.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

Going To The Dogs: Pit Bulls, Primaries, & Politics

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

I’ve previously written about our “chain letter society”…my own hypothesis that our society has become obsessed with winning, the notion of number one, and all that can be associated with the position at the front of the line…such that little else seems to matter.

The process is initiated by parents who instill such thoughts in the minds of their children and then push them to attain nothing less. In my theory, over time, the mechanisms which hold a society together are eroded to the point that singular objectives overwhelm the pursuit of collective goals…devolving into the classic scenario of dog eat dog.

As I was sitting at my computer, surfing the web and experiencing a nondescript feeling of frustration, I suddenly realized the source. I’ve been watching a number of situations unfold that have all the makings of the growing excesses one might expect from a “chain letter society”…complete with healthy portions of self-serving irrationality.

Initially, the connecting points might not be apparent, but bear with me as I attempt to weave a coherent argument. Let me begin by identifying the topics of note. The first has been the anger directed at Atlanta Falcon quarterback Michael Vick as a result of his involvement with dog fighting. The second is the endless jockeying on the part of several states to enhance their position in the presidential primaries…and the third is the effort being launched in California to divide their presidential electoral votes based upon the percentage of the popular vote each candidate receives as opposed to the existing process of awarding them all to the candidate who garners the most votes.

The Michael Vick situation provides the necessary backdrop for discussing the other two issues. In the Vick case, from the outset, there was a clear and consistent criticism of his actions and countless people came to the defense of dogs which are abused or killed in such operation. I believe that reaction is valid and reasonable by most measures of civility.

As one deciphers the outrage, the underlying basis seems to center upon the imposition of injustice and the infliction of cruelty. Further, I would contend that most individuals believe it is wrong to subject these dogs to the whims of those who own them and who presumably seek the psychic rewards that may come from having the toughest dog in the circuit. In essence, the owner is consumed with the notion of Fido being number one…such that the welfare of Fido is secondary to the needs of his master.

In pointing to the Vick situation, it provides evidence of three things. One, most people have an innate moral compass which recognizes injustice. Two, most people dislike it when others live out their insufficient egos by victimizing those they can manipulate. Thirdly, most people have the ability to recognize when others are excessive in their pursuit to be viewed as king of the hill.

Pivoting to the other two news items, we begin to see signs of a subtle, though significant, inconsistency…an inconsistency which begins to distinguish and divorce individual self-interest apart from the need for a society to monitor and exhibit self-restraint and self-discipline. Further, the fact that we are now dealing with human beings as opposed to our canine companions is undoubtedly relevant to the analysis.

I believe it is safe to conclude that the actions of a society or some identifiable segment of that society reflect the predominant beliefs of its members. Such subsets can include our child’s soccer team or, with regard to the presidential primary, it can be an individual state. In both cases, it isn’t difficult to see the emergence of self-interest and the de-emphasis of self-restraint and self-discipline. Suddenly, the empathy which elicited a measurable compassion for our four legged friends seems to evaporate when the aggrieved are fellow human beings.

In our current societal construct, we have apparently elevated the principle of being number one to a desirable trait…one to which we do not attach the same outrage which was reserved for Michael Vick’s behavior with regard to his dogs…one which doesn’t seek to penalize those parents who act similar to Michael Vick with regards to their children and the traits they endeavor to instill within them.

Specifically, ingraining the instincts of a pit bull in our children with regard to success and the achievement of number one status suddenly supersedes the attachment of any deterrents to unbridled self-interest and the pursuit of dominant status. As such, we abhor the Michael Vick’s of the world whose actions are arguably selecting for the same outcome we embrace with regards to our children’s human interactions…actions and outcomes which of course are applied to entities like soccer teams and individual states. In the end, injustice and cruelty in our human interactions is therefore ignored and outrage can rarely be found.

It now becomes easy to see how our primary system is symptomatic evidence of the ailment identified by the concept of a “chain letter society”. It is also fraught with the pitfalls of any pyramid scheme…meaning that a select few can ascend to the top and getting there must be done upon the backs of those sacrificed in the process. Logic tells us only one state can arguably be first…but when the mechanisms of self-restraint are removed, chaos is bound to ensue. The objective of electing a competent president becomes inferior to the self-interests of individuals and groupings of individuals such that the fundamental goal is now fully obstructed and virtually irrelevant.

As if that isn’t a sufficient bastardization of the intent upon which our society is predicated, the scramble for success knows no bounds and is further evidenced in the effort to alter the equation for apportioning electoral votes in California, one of the largest states…one that has the potential to alter the entire election outcome in order to assure that the highest position can be secured.

Taking it a step further, those who are pushing this change are not doing so because they believe all states should adopt the same system. They are acting to obtain an advantage and their selection of the state of California can be equated with Michael Vick’s selection of superior dogs…which of course spells irrelevance…or in the case of the dogs, death…for those who haven’t chosen to participate in the rush for dominance regardless of ethical considerations as well as the well being of the existing entity…the United States.

As with the primary dates, when the selective altering of the electoral system overshadows the objective of preserving and promoting the national interest, then the nation becomes inferior to the self-interests of individuals and groupings of individuals such that the fundamental and primary goal is now fully obstructed and virtually irrelevant.

Michael Vick’s actions were wrong and they shouldn’t be condoned. The same is true of the efforts to alter the primary system and the distribution of electoral votes. All are indications of the ailment I’ve identified as our preoccupation with the precepts of a “chain letter society”. The struggle to be number one…whether that begins at home with the instruction of our children or whether it is has become a foregone reality which has infiltrated every fiber of our political system…is nothing more than a recipe for failure.

While we seek to defend Michael Vick’s dogs from the infliction of injustice and cruelty, we simultaneously have justice locked in our lethal jaws…attempting to shake from it any semblance of our commitment to the ethical treatment of our fellow human beings. Perhaps our outrage at the savagery of dog fighting is little more than a reaction to an unwelcome glimpse of our own bloodthirsty barbarism.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

When racism rears it’s ugly head in America…

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

People have to say and do something. If we don’t, we all are complicit. Down in Jena LA. there is such a case going on my dear reader. The Jena Six are black students from the local highschool who were charged with attempted murder. A CommonDreams writeup on this starts out with the following headline:

Injustice in Jena: The ‘White Tree’, A White Judge, White Jury, and White Prosecutor Calling White Witnesses Leads To Conviction of Black Youth

These are children. They are 16 and 17 years of age and somehow charging them with attempted murder smacks of a racist attitude to me,especially when you consider the school administrators and the local DA allowed the racist attitude to continue among the white students with their taunts and visible nooses swinging from the tree. A small blurb from the CommonDreams writeup:

In a small still mostly segregated section of rural Louisiana, an all white jury heard a series of white witnesses called by a white prosecutor testify in a courtroom overseen by a white judge in a trial of a fight at the local high school where a white student who had been making racial taunts was hit by black students. The fight was the culmination of a series of racial incidents starting when whites responded to black students sitting under the “white tree” at their school by hanging three nooses from the tree. The white jury and white prosecutor and all white supporters of the white victim were all on one side of the courtroom. The black defendant, 17 year old Mychal Bell, and his supporters were on the other. The jury quickly convicted Mychal Bell of two felonies - aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery. Bell, who was a 16 year old sophomore football star at the time he was arrested, faces up to 22 years in prison. Five other black youths wait similar trials on attempted second degree murder and conspiracy charges.

If the original ‘noose’ incident had been dealt with as a hate crime..perhaps none of this would of happened..but it wasn’t..and we are now at a cross road. The Jena high school principal found that the three white students were responsible and recommended expulsion. The white superintendent of schools over-ruled the principal and gave the students a three day suspension saying that the nooses were just a youthful stunt. “Adolescents play pranks,” the superintendent told the Chicago Tribune, “I don’t think it was a threat against anybody.”

Black students decided to resist and organized a sit-in under the “white tree” at the school to protest the light suspensions given to the noose-hanging white students.

The white District Attorney then came to Jena High with law enforcement officers to address a school assembly. According to testimony in a later motion in court, the DA reportedly threatened the black protesting students saying that if they didn’t stop making a fuss about this “innocent prank… I can be your best friend or your worst enemy. I can take away your lives with a stroke of my pen.” The school was put on lockdown for the rest of the week.

It all escalated my dear reader and black and white kids were attacked and beaten. The bottom line is this: The six charged were: 17-year-old Robert Bailey Junior whose bail was set at $138,000; 17-year-old Theo Shaw - bail $130,000; 18-year-old Carwin Jones - bail $100,000; 17-year-old Bryant Purvis - bail $70,000; 16 year old Mychal Bell, a sophomore in high school who was charged as an adult and for whom bail was set at $90,000; and a still unidentified minor.

What happened to the white guys? The white victim of the beating was later arrested for bringing a hunting rifle loaded with 13 bullets onto the high school campus and released on $5000 bond. The white man who beat up the black youth at the off-campus party was arrested and charged with simple battery. The white students who hung up the nooses in the “white tree” were never charged.

Tags: Jena Six, Racism

The Queen Of Mean Is Still Pulling Strings

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

In truth, I could care less about the estate of Leona Helmsley…but upon reading some of the instructions from her will on the internet this morning, I had to comment about the person that would leave these details and directives. Given the terms of the will, Helmsley, known unaffectionately as “The Queen Of Mean”, lived up to her nickname…even after her death.

NEW YORK - Leona Helmsley’s dog will continue to live an opulent life, and then be buried alongside her in a mausoleum. But two of Helmsley’s grandchildren got nothing from the late luxury hotelier and real estate billionaire’s estate.

Helmsley left her beloved white Maltese, named Trouble, a $12 million trust fund, according to her will, which was made public Tuesday in surrogate court.

She also left millions for her brother, Alvin Rosenthal, who was named to care for Trouble in her absence, as well as two of four grandchildren from her late son Jay Panzirer — so long as they visit their father’s grave site once each calendar year.

Otherwise, she wrote, neither will get a penny of the $5 million she left for each.

Helmsley left nothing to two of Jay Panzirer’s other children — Craig and Meegan Panzirer — for “reasons that are known to them,” she wrote.

“I direct that when my dog, Trouble, dies, her remains shall be buried next to my remains in the Helmsley mausoleum,” Helmsley wrote in her will.

The mausoleum, she ordered, must be “washed or steam-cleaned at least once a year.” She left behind $3 million for the upkeep of her final resting place in Westchester County, where she is buried with her husband, Harry Helmsley.

She also left her chauffeur, Nicholas Celea, $100,000.

OK, I’ll be the first to acknowledge that its a free country and Helmsley was entitled to do as she saw fit. I’ll even give her the benefit of the doubt and agree that she actually worked to earn some of the money held in her estate. Beyond that, I’m not sure I can find any other redeeming remarks to make about a woman who obviously spent the better part of her life angry, bitter, and vindictive.

No doubt Helmsley’s will was designed to fulfill each and every intention found in the expression, “her reach extended beyond the grave”. Such rancor is not only reprehensible, it is a restive reminder of a woman who apparently lacked the ability to see beyond her own self-absorbed persona…a woman who defined her worth solely in terms of wealth…and likely used that wealth to manipulate all those who came within striking distance of the virtual viper.

At the same time, I can’t help but think that Helmsley was a fool…perhaps a judgment I have no authority to make…but one I’ll proceed to offer with the confidence that my conclusion won’t be challenged by a long line of Helmsley apologists and defenders.

Assuming the reports are accurate that the estate was worth approximately $2.5 billion…the money designated for friends, family, her chauffeur, her canine confidante, and, of course, the upkeep of her granite gravesite…is as best I can tell a paltry sum of just over 35 million, not even two percent of her estate.

In fact, the money spent on her final resting place…when combined with the funds designated for its upkeep as well as the dollars left to her dog…almost matches all the money she left to living relatives.

To understand my calling Helmsley a fool, one story will suffice to illustrate my assertion. A few years back, Helmsley decided to relocate the remains of her husband. The decision was precipitated when the cemetery elected to construct a large group mausoleum that obstructed the view from the family plot.

Leona Helmsley, for years the imperious head of a multibillion-dollar real estate and hotel empire, will spend eternity in a $1.4 million suburban mausoleum with a magnificent view, alongside her beloved husband, Harry.

She previously moved her husband’s remains after becoming dissatisfied with his old neighborhood.

The expansive family mausoleum at Woodlawn was memorably described as a “tomb with a view,” but the sweeping vista disappeared when a public mausoleum — potentially filled with those “little people” who paid taxes — went up nearby three years ago.

An irate Leona called the new construction “a disgrace,” and resolved to relocate the remains of her husband and her son, Jay Panzirer.

She purchased a piece of land in Sleepy Hollow to construct a new mausoleum — and quickly alienated her husband’s new, living neighbors. A wooded section of the cemetery was stripped clean of trees in summer 2005.

The new construction lacked permits, and village officials quickly shut down the project, Zegarelli said.

The two sides worked out their differences — fines were paid and donations were made by the Helmsley group to repair some of the damage. Last August, the mausoleum was approved for the reinterment.

Please note the final paragraph…the one in which the true nature of Helmsley is exposed. Specifically, in the words, “fines were paid and donations were made”, the essence of Helmsley is revealed. Unwilling to see beyond her own desires and demands and unable to resolve issues amenably…Helmsley relied upon her money to buy the cooperation and congeniality of those she encountered.

Unfortunately, such a strategy rarely works with ones own family members…and the fact that she disinherited two of her grandchildren affirms that reality. Regardless, even in death Helmsley held fast to her beliefs and left the vast majority of her wealth to charity…and in so doing she confirmed herself to be a fool. Let me explain.

Anyone who has been around fundraising or worked with charitable organizations knows that those charged with the task of finding and finagling the necessary financial backing are masterful manipulators…and I say as much with no malice since it is a required skill. In my estimation, those who are successful at fundraising must be regarded as capable and competent pseudo-psychologists…and they must have the patience of Job.

Sadly, all too often, people like Helmsley succumb to the serendipitous swooning of these savvy shills…all the while believing that they are receiving the respect and the required restraint they desire and demand…but cannot obtain from those they encounter in the regular course of events…real life people who are often relatives with real feelings which are, on occasion, released in raw and unedited exchanges.

As we know, for a woman like Helmsley, there is little room for give and take…a debilitating condition which I believe she regularly exhibited…though I confess that I do not know the particular dynamics of its origin in her personality. Notwithstanding, this well-documented trait likely made her the ideal candidate for the donation dance…an artful exchange enacted by those able to convey the belief that one’s partner is the ideal lead…while all the while directing their every step until such time as they are furtively separated from the sought after and subtly solicited funds.

At the end of this dance, people like Helmsley are unconsciously convinced that what they have taken in the way of psychic soothing far exceeds the gift they give…and the process of give and take has been reduced to little more than a primal pampering reminiscent of the comforting coos of a nurturing nanny.

In designating that the lions share of her fortune be distributed through the Leona and Harry Helmsley Charitable Trust, Helmsley departed this life still enamored with the faulty notion that charity does not and will not begin at home. Fortunately, those strangers who may benefit from her great wealth will not be required to dance with the devilish diva. Tragically, her family and friends who acquiesced to her every whim will remain relegated to the sidelines…still dancing to the demands of a damaged and domineering demagogue.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

Newspaper Editor assassinated..In California

Monday, August 6th, 2007

Chauncey Bailey was the editor of Oakland CA’s Oakland Post. He was shot to death while he walked to work in the morning sunlight. The masked gunman walked up to him and calmly put 3 bullets into Mr. Bailey then boarded a van that pulled up to collect him. Mr. Bailey was dead before the ambulance arrived.

I read about this news item in a European newspaper, The Guardian. I don’t know what bothers me more..that a newspaper editor was assassinated in broad daylight in America or that the story is getting little attention in the MSM.

The group that is widely held as responsible for this murder/assassination is Muslim, precisely a black Muslim sect that Mr. Bailey, also African-American ,was investigating for financial irregularities. The sect, as noted by the Guardian, was: “founded by Yusef Bey, a black Muslim leader in Oakland whose followers preached a strict message of Islam and black political power. Bey’s followers have long been the subject of intense police and media scrutiny for their alleged use of strong-arm tactics in promoting their business interests and also shutting down stores that sold alcohol. Bey was also stridently anti-homosexual and awaited trial on 27 counts of sex crimes when he died of cancer in 2003.”

Mr. Bailey had written numerous stories about this specific group. This murder happened last Thursday and only now is getting attention outside the region where it happened. I of course googled Mr. Bailey’s name after reading the Guardian writeup. The San Jose Mercury News has been writing about it non-stop since it happened as has the SF Chron, but the large MSM publications like the LAT and the NYT are only giving it a one story writeup, and they don’t call this an assassination. Merriam-Webster defines as assassination thusly: to murder (a usually prominent person) by sudden or secret attack often for political reasons.

This isn’t a third world country where killing a newspaper editor is commonplace. This also isn’t something we have seen happen in my memory here in our country. Someone correct me if I am wrong. But it does eat at me and tug at my social conscience.

Some might label this as black on black crime. I see nothing of the sort in this case. It seems they wanted to silence Mr. Bailey and threatened him prior to his murder. To me it smacks of a gang who is hiding behind the cloak of religion. Whatever the case may be, its something that should bother all Americans;

If we allow the thugs to silence our media we have nothing or no one left to tell us the truth. Silence by intimidation and assassination is not acceptable in a free country like ours. BushCo uses different methods of intimidation to gain the same result, but at least the asshats in the executive branch haven’t resorted to killing our editors and reporters.

These thugs have however, and our police and law enforcement groups have to weed them out and bring them down. The federal arm of law enforcement should be involved as well and the full measure of the rule of law needs to be meted out to these brazen sumbitches.

This kind of bullshit can not be tolerated. Nor should we tolerate the silence of the MSM on this issue.

Mr. Chauncey Bailey spent his life uncovering the dirt and the scumbags among us and he deserves more from his colleagues and more from federal law enforcement. It begs the question: Is this being ignored because of Mr. Bailey’s skin color? I hope to god that isn’t the case because that would only make it even more heinous and glaringly obvious.

Tags: Your Black Muslim Bakery, Chauncey Bailey, media intimidation

Obama: I would unleash a ‘transformation’

Friday, July 27th, 2007

He would surely make history. But would Sen. Barack Obama’s election as America’s first black president transform the nation? Obama says yes.

Iowa a whole other presidential race

Friday, July 27th, 2007

The polls in Iowa are showing something very different from the national polls.

Congress passes 9/11 panel recommendations

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Read full story for latest details.


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