Hope they’ve got their books straight.

Grassley Probes Televangelists’ Finances

Acting on tips about preachers who ride in Rolls Royces and have purportedly paid $30,000 for a conference table, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee said Tuesday he’s investigating the finances of six well-known TV ministers.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said those under scrutiny include faith healer Benny Hinn, Georgia megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar and one of the nation’s best known female preachers, Joyce Meyer.

Grassley sent letters to the half-dozen Christian media ministries earlier this week requesting answers by Dec. 6 about their expenses, executive compensation and amenities, including use of fancy cars and private jets.

In a statement, Grassley said he was acting on complaints from the public and news coverage of the organizations.

“The allegations involve governing boards that aren’t independent and allow generous salaries and housing allowances and amenities such as private jets and Rolls Royces,” Grassley said.

“I don’t want to conclude that there’s a problem, but I have an obligation to donors and the taxpayers to find out more. People who donated should have their money spent as intended and in adherence with the tax code.”

Those ministries that responded Tuesday either said they were cooperating or committed to financial transparency and following the law.

The investigation promises to shine new light on the kind of TV ministries that were crippled by sex and money scandals in the 1980s. Experts also say it stands out as an unusual case of the government probing the inner workings of religious organizations.

Most of those under investigation preach a variation of the “prosperity gospel,” the teaching that God will shower faithful followers with material riches.

Grassley’s letters went to:

_ Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries of Newark, Texas, a $20 million organization and prosperity gospel pioneer. Questions were raised about the transfer of church assets to a for-profit company, Security Patrol Inc., a $1 million loan from Gloria Copeland to the group, and a “personal gift” of more than $2 million given to Kenneth Copeland to mark the ministry’s 40th anniversary.

A Copeland spokeswoman released a statement saying the ministry is working on a response to Grassley’s letter, follows all laws and best practices governing churches and religious nonprofit groups, and “will continue to do so.”

_ Creflo and Taffi Dollar of World Changers Church International and Creflo Dollar Ministries of College Park, Ga. Grassley’s letter asks for records on private planes, board makeup, compensation and donations and “love offerings” to visiting ministers. In a statement, Dollar called his ministry an “open book” and said he would cooperate. He also questioned whether the investigation could “affect the privacy of every community church in America.”

_ Benny Hinn of World Healing Center Church Inc. and Benny Hinn Ministries of Grapevine, Texas, is asked about use of a private jet, a home in Dana Point, Calif. and “layover trips” while traveling on ministry business. Hinn did not respond to requests for comment.

_ Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and Bishop Eddie Long Ministries of Lithonia, Ga., was questioned about his salary, a $1.4 million real estate transaction and whether he, and not the board, holds sole authority over the organization. Long plans to fully comply with the Senate’s request, and his church has “several safeguards” to ensure transactions comply with laws governing churches, according to a statement from Long’s spokesman.

_ Joyce and David Meyer of Joyce Meyer Ministries of Fenton, Mo., who were quizzed about receiving donations of money and jewelry and the handling of cash from overseas crusades. They also were asked about expenditures at ministry headquarters, including a $30,000 conference table and a $23,000 “commode with marble top.”

The ministry’s lawyer released a statement describing the ministry’s work and public release of several years’ worth of audits. He also said the IRS found in October that the group continues to qualify for tax-exempt status.

_ Randy and Paula White of the multiracial Without Walls International Church and Paula White Ministries of Tampa, Fla. are asked about home purchases in San Antonio, Texas, Malibu, Calif., and New York, credit card charges for clothing and cosmetic surgery and the reported purchase of a Bentley convertible as a gift for Bishop T.D. Jakes, a prominent Texas preacher and televangelist. An e-mail to a spokeswoman for Jakes was not immediately returned.

Rest of article is here.

I have a problem with Prosperity Preachers. It’s just not the Christianity I grew up with; it’s foreign and hostile to the teachings that I learned as a child. They seem to be long on prosperity and very short on social/community empowerment.

Per NYTimes.com

Parsons to Depart as Time Warner Chief on Jan. 1
Published: November 5, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) — Jeff Bewkes will succeed Dick Parsons as the CEO of Time Warner Inc. on Jan. 1, the company announced Monday, completing a widely anticipated succession at the top of the world’s largest media conglomerate.

Parsons, who is 59 years old, will stay on as chairman. He had taken over in 2002, just as the company was reeling in the aftermath of its disastrous decision to be acquired by AOL. A former lawyer and skilled negotiator, he helped restore the company’s stature and rebuild its relations with Wall Street.

Bewkes, who is 55, was chief executive of HBO for seven years and helped transform the cable TV channel into a hugely profitable network that also consistently won critical acclaim with original programming including ”The Sopranos” and ”Sex and the City.”

Investors will now be looking to Bewkes to take dramatic action to revive the company’s long-suffering stock, which is still stuck at about the same level as when Parsons took over five years ago.

Bewkes had long been groomed as Parsons’ successor, with only the exact timing of the changeover yet to be finalized. Bewkes was named to the Time Warner board this year, and took the title of chief operating officer two years ago.

Parsons, one of the most prominent black executives in corporate America, has spent much of his tenure repairing the damage from Time Warner’s combination with AOL in 2000.

Rest of article here.

Not as hostile as Stanley O’Neal’s departure, but I’m still sad to see Mr. Parsons go.

Ever since she’s stumbled at the last debate, there has been a spinning directive by the Clinton campaign and her supporters – that they were picking on her because she was a woman.

Can you imagine Margaret Thatcher or Golda Meir or Benazir Bhutto whining about being picked on because they were a woman?

Of course not.

The latest hustler in this spin has been Geraldine Ferraro, who said in a NYTimes piece:

“John Edwards, specifically, as well as the press, would never attack Barack Obama for two hours they way they attacked her,” said Geraldine A. Ferraro, the 1984 vice presidential candidate who supports Mrs. Clinton. “It’s O.K. in this country to be sexist,” Ms. Ferraro said.

“It’s certainly not O.K. to be racist. I think if Barack Obama had been attacked for two hours — well, I don’t think Barack Obama would have been attacked for two hours.”

Um, did I imagine it when they all went after Barack Obama in Iowa that time in a debate? I guess it just didn’t happen. Sorry, Mrs. Ferraro, but IT DID HAPPEN to Barack Obama. But, I don’t recall Obama’s supporters going out saying that they were picking on him just cause he was Black. And, what do you think would have happened IF his supporters had said that he was being picked on because he was Black – it would be portrayed at a betrayal of American Ideals, blah blah blah.

For my ‘Sisters’ who still labor under the delusion that Hillary is a ‘Sister’, please note this. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Black women are only “SISTERS”, when it’s convenient for White women. If it’s not, then you know where you are shoved.

If you want to be ‘LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD’, then you go forth and take the punches. She was attacked last week, because she tried to give lame ass/have it both ways answers to hot button questions and straddle fences, when she wasn’t outright lying. And folks FINALLY began to call her on it.

There are sometimes where you have to stand back, look at a situation, and go WTF? What the hell is going on here? Some things just don’t pass the SMELL test.

Hat Tip: Booker Rising and Prometheus 6

As per NYTimes.com

African Orphans Weren’t, U.N. Says
Published: November 2, 2007

DAKAR, Senegal, Nov. 1 — Virtually all of the children a French aid group tried to fly out of Chad last week had been living with family members in villages and were not orphans of the Darfur conflict, as the group claimed, the United Nations said Thursday.

That finding was based on interviews conducted with some of the 103 children as the government and aid groups try to figure out where they came from and how to reunite them with their families. The plane carrying the children was stopped moments before it was scheduled to take off from Abéché, a small, dust-choked city that is the base of operations for dozens of aid groups working in eastern Chad.

“These were not orphans in the desert,” said Annette Rehrl, a spokeswoman for the United Nations refugee agency. “They were living with their families.”

A French aid organization, Zoé’s Ark, had claimed that the children were sick, hungry and abandoned, and had raised money from European families to rescue the children and place them temporarily in French homes. But checkups showed the children to be in good condition, Ms. Rehrl said.

“In the context of Chad these are healthy, well-fed children,” she said.

Six French aid workers and seven Spaniards serving as crew members of the plane that was to take the children to France on Oct. 25 have been arrested and charged with attempted kidnapping and fraud. Interviews were conducted with those children old enough to talk, and many were able to give basic information about where they had come from and with whom they lived, Ms. Rehrl said. But because the children are so young — they range between 1 and 10 years old — gathering specific information has proved difficult.

“When you ask a child what is his father’s name, he will say Daddy, not Robert or Muhammad,” said Inah Kaloga of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Using photographs and information in interviews the organization hopes to find the children’s families and reunite them, Ms. Kaloga said.

The majority of the children came from Chadian villages along the border with Sudan, but aid officials were not able to say if the children were Chadians or Sudanese. The border is long and porous, and the violence in Darfur, in western Sudan, and in eastern Chad has pushed residents of both countries into each other’s territory.

For now the children are staying at Abéché’s orphanage, where they are attended to by health and social workers, Ms. Rehrl said. She was quick to add that the children were there not because they are orphans, but because it was the only “child-friendly space available, with a courtyard and toys and places for them to sleep.”

The children had been asked about how they came to be in the custody of Zoé’s Ark, but Ms. Rehrl declined to describe their stories, citing confidentiality.

The scandal has caused outrage and brought condemnation across Africa, where it has a deep resonance from the colonial era, when slave traders, missionaries and colonial officials blithely separated African families with little regard for their wishes. In Congo, officials have suspended all adoptions by foreigners to examine their procedures more carefully, The Associated Press reported, and protesters angry about the actions of the French charity took to the streets in Chad.

The scandal has also raised tensions between Chad and France just as the European Union begins deploying a peacekeeping force in the region aimed at shoring up Chad, which has been increasingly drawn into the four-year-old conflict in neighboring Darfur.

In the close-knit world of aid organizations operating out of Abéché, the bizarre tale has brought a mixture of apprehension and anger. The Chadian government said this week that it planned to tighten its procedures for aid groups. The hullabaloo has proved a burden on already stretched aid workers, Ms. Rehrl said. Figuring out who these children are, where they are from and uniting them with relatives “will take several weeks, if not months,” she said.

Put on that tinfoil hat and tell me what reason you have for this happening. All the places where my mind can go to make ‘sense’ of this are very dark, and I just don’t want to believe that sort of evil exists in the world. So, if you have a sane, not-so-dark explanation of what was going to happen here, please tell me.

Related Articles:
French Charity in Dispute Over African Children

Chad Holds French Citizens Who Took 103 Darfur Children

Hey Fam,

We’re back on News & Notes this Wednesday. As always, I’d love to know what you’d love the blogger roundtable to talk about. This week’s guests include yours truly, Debra Dickerson of http://www.thelastplantation.com/ and blogs for “Mother Jones” and Desmond Burton of http://www.afronerd.blogspot.com/

Here’s what I’ve had in mind…

Some posts from Jack & Jill Politics over the past week

The Right Discovers The Jena Six

Genarlow Wilson Freed — Justice Served

Stanley O’Neal out at Merrill Lynch

GOP Bails on CBC/Fox News Debate – Surprised? NOT!

The Sharpton Debate

We Still Live in an Era of Black “Firsts”

Other ideas

No story on this, but a concept in my head related to a Dem debate question last week: what responsibility do citizens and the government have to intelligently zone so we don’t have people living in disaster-prone areas? New Orleans / Katrina vs. San Diego / fires vs. Atlanta / drought. These all represent cases of “development” going way to far and pushing up against the limits of (or in some cases provoking) the surrounding ecology

All top elected positions in Baltimore held by black women

Uganda: M7 Meets African American Legislators
“President Yoweri Museveni has appealed to black-american legislators to support the African development cause by supporting pro-African policies and programmes in the US Congress.”

Hat tip to Negrophile, whose Twitter feed acts as my Web 2.0 stock ticker for the state of black folks.

The further we move through time away from the historic Civil Rights Movement and legislation of the 1960s and 1970s, the less likely we are to encounter major “black firsts” in society. Obviously, the first black president spot has remained elusive, but we’ve been able to tick off many other positions, from chairman of the joint chiefs to CEO to quarterback and brain surgeon. Some white people have even managed to get their first black friend :)

I know some folks get rightfully annoyed at a focus on that one brother or sister attaining a modicum of power while millions more are left behind, but there is strength in “the one” as well. So it made me smile to see this story out of Tennessee. profiling Georgette Jones and Joanne Morrow, the first black female officers in the Collierville PD.

The article doesn’t just put on a smiley face for Jones and Morrow but provides some much-needed context on the near absence of black women from law enfocement

Women of color have not always been welcomed by the boys in blue. And law enforcement remains a profession dominated by white men.

In 2000, the National Center for Women & Policing tracked the statistics in its report “Equity Denied: The Status of Women in Policing.”

The key findings stated: “Women currently comprise 13 percent of all sworn law enforcement positions among municipal, county, and state law enforcement agencies in the United States, with 100 or more sworn officers. Women of color hold 4.9 percent of these positions.

Update @ 12:23, 6 November 2007:, thanks to a commenter on my blog, I’ve got to correct the charts (removed) and data. It turns out the 4.9 percent is of the overall law enforcement positions, not just 4.9 percent of women

Let’s focus on that math. All women of color comprise 4.9 percent of the 13 percent of law enforcement positions held by women. That’s 0.6 percent or 6 out of 1000. Check out these pie charts which dramatize the point even further. The 2001 version of the Status of Women in Policing report is online and offers this startling assessment:

Research shows that women officers respond more effectively to domestic violence incidents – which constitute approximately half of all violent crime calls to the police. Moreover, studies have found that up to 40% of police officers commit domestic abuse themselves. That means that 4 in 10 officers responding to the scene of a domestic violence incident may themselves be abusers.

From law enforcement to media ownership, there are certain key gatekeepers in our society who exert a disproportionate influence on the health of our communities. I hope what’s happened in Collierville, Tenn. is a sign of more to come.

In related news, check this out: all the top elected posts in Baltimore are held by black women.

Update @ 12:23, 6 November 2007
I was listening to WNYC today and heard part of the story of the NYPD’s first Asian American female officer, Agnes Chan. She’s featured in a new documentary, Tea and Justice, screening this Saturday at the Queens International Film Fest.

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So said Newsweek Magazine last week. But, I’ve been saying this for the past few months.

So while this Administration continues its LIES to try and justify an upcoming attack on IRAN, the REAL threat to GLOBAL SECURITY – PAKISTAN, remains low on the American’s public radar – a MISTAKE.

What happened today in Pakistan should trouble people who worry about Global Security.

Pakistani PM: State of emergency to last ‘as long as necessary’

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) — Pakistan will be under a state of emergency for “as long as it is necessary,” Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said Sunday, a day after Pervez Musharraf suspended the constitution and widened his powers as president and military chief.

In a commentary written for CNN on Sunday, opposition leader Benazir Bhutto called Musharraf’s plan “a step to entrench his dictatorship” and called for elections under an independent caretaker government.

But Aziz said it could be months before parliamentary elections — scheduled for January — will take place.

“The parliament could give itself more time, up to a year, in terms of holding the next elections,” Aziz said. “However, at this point, no decision has been made.”

The state of emergency had been imposed to “bring more harmony to the pillars of state” and to protect against extremism in the country, Aziz said.

Hundreds of people have been detained.

Earlier in the day, Musharraf’s spokesman, Information Minister Tariq Azim Khan, said on Dubai-based GEO TV that parliamentary elections would be delayed indefinitely.

Aziz stressed that despite the emergency measure, Musharraf’s government is “committed to pursuing our parliamentary form of government” and “making sure elections are held.”

Before imposing the state of emergency, Musharraf had vowed to hold elections no later than January 15.

The move has put the United States in a precarious position and has raised fears about widespread chaos in Pakistan, a nuclear nation.

Rest of Article Here.

Bhutto’s commentary on CNN.com-No Time for Dictatorship

Secretary of State Rice has indicated that there will be U.S. Review of Aid given to Pakistan, which has topped 10 Billion Dollars. I don’t expect for this to be anything more than some saber rattling from the USA. While they don’t have to like what Musharraf has done, the USA deals with a lot of not-so-nice folks. But, whatever his faults, Musharraf is OUR present devil that we know. If the USA could be assured that one of Musharraf’s opponents, who also happen to fall into the Moderate Muslim Category that goes against Islamist Extremism, like Mrs. Bhutto, could get complete control over the country, they’d back that person in a heartbeat. But, good or bad, Mr. Musharraf’s tenuous control is still control, and the alternatives could be worse for the USA. Keep an eye out for the happenings in Pakistan.

One of the reasons why we shouldn’t even be talking about IRAN, is because, whatever we have left of our Armed Forces, needs to be able to do something in Pakistan, in case it falls.

The Sharpton Debate

31 Oct 2007

Ta-Nehisi Coates:

This “black Jesus” paradigm has become even more useful in the era of the 24-hour news cycle. It allows a struggle — indeed, millions of people — to be boiled down to a single, preferably colorful, person. The problem is that the past 30 years have seen the rise of a generation of African Americans with unparalleled opportunities. From their ranks have sprung leaders in nearly every field. If there is a message in the Obama candidacy, it’s that being president of black America is irrelevant in an age when you could take the whole thing.

But the many competing and cooperating strains of black activism are impossible to capture in a sound bite or a five-minute “Crossfire” segment. Thus Sharpton is invoked as shorthand, as a way to avoid the time it takes to show complexity, nuance and humanity.

Charles King of NAN:

As Coates acknowledges, Sharpton is having a “banner year,” as even the poll he cited proves — a 50 percent approval rating is testament to his leadership. Even so, opinion polls are not a true measure of leadership. Great leaders do not always take the most popular positions. Think of Abraham Lincoln or Winston Churchill. Neither Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (the one black leader Coates gave short shrift to ) nor Malcolm X, for example, enjoyed widespread popularity within the black community until after they were tragically taken away from us. Same with Lincoln or Churchill.

In Coates’ last, desperate attempt to mislead the Post readers on Sharpton’s relevance, he examines his activities in the electoral arena, focusing on a subset of primaries in the 2004 presidential campaign. Coates claims that his run left him “far afield” of the White House — neglecting to mention that Sharpton won every black district in the District of Columbia, for example, as well as the city of Detroit.

Defining black leadership by presidential primary victories misses the point of Sharpton’s critical contribution to that presidential campaign — and his role as a national black leader. More African-Americans were attuned to the presidential campaign because Sharpton was a candidate. Like Shirley Chisolm and Jesse Jackson before him, Sharpton raised issues that no other presidential candidate would raise. He kept John Kerry and others honest when discussing how well this country was doing in protecting civil rights.

Polls show that Sharpton would likely do well if he were to run for office in New York City. However, that is not how he views role as a civil rights leader. In the spirit of Martin Luther King, Sharpton believes that he needs to be free to fight against injustice no matter where that fight takes him. He has been outspoken against friend and foe alike when they have been on the wrong side of justice issues.

They’re both right, although who can doubt that Coates is the better writer? Sharpton’s presence is a result of the laziness of the media in approaching black perspectives, but that also makes him relevant. It just doesn’t necesarilly make him representative. After disliking him for so long, I grew to appreciate his presence once I realized that he could draw attention to an issue that would otherwise go completely ignored.

The issue isn’t Sharpton. The issue is a racist media that thinks it can get everything it needs to know about black people from one person.

A recent Op-Ed by a Jena reporter that may have first appeared in the Christian Science Monitor is making the rounds on the Right wing blogs, supposedly “debunking” the Jena controversy, and has now even made it to ABC News’ website. The will to believe that the entire incident in Jena was a Sharpton/Jackson concocted conspiracy is so strong that Jimmie at Sundries Shack even described the fact-challenged opinon piece as an “article”:

Apparently, though, much of what’s being reported about Jena and the Jena 6, as the 6 students have come to be called, doesn’t appear to be completely true. Michelle Malkin has reprinted an article from the Christian Science Monitor written by a reporter lives and works in Jena. It’s worth a read, if for no other reason than to give you a side of the story that’s not likely to enrich Jesse Jackson and the rest of the professional race-baiters.

Well the “article” being referred to is almost identical to a piece in the Jena local newspaper that I made fun of months ago, and contains all the same amusing errors and what appear to be willful fabrications.

Myth 1: The Whites-Only Tree. There has never been a “whites-only” tree at Jena High School. Students of all races sat underneath this tree. When a student asked during an assembly at the start of school last year if anyone could sit under the tree, it evoked laughter from everyone present – blacks and whites. As reported by students in the assembly, the question was asked to make a joke and to drag out the assembly and avoid class.

Myth 2: Nooses a Signal to Black Students. An investigation by school officials, police, and an FBI agent revealed the true motivation behind the placing of two nooses in the tree the day after the assembly. According to the expulsion committee, the crudely constructed nooses were not aimed at black students. Instead, they were understood to be a prank by three white students aimed at their fellow white friends, members of the school rodeo team. (The students apparently got the idea from watching episodes of “Lonesome Dove.”) The committee further concluded that the three young teens had no knowledge that nooses symbolize the terrible legacy of the lynchings of countless blacks in American history. When informed of this history by school officials, they became visibly remorseful because they had many black friends. Another myth concerns their punishment, which was not a three-day suspension, but rather nine days at an alternative facility followed by two weeks of in-school suspension, Saturday detentions, attendance at Discipline Court, and evaluation by licensed mental-health professionals. The students who hung the nooses have not publicly come forward to give their version of events.

Myth 3: Nooses Were a Hate Crime. Although many believe the three white students should have been prosecuted for a hate crime for hanging the nooses, the incident did not meet the legal criteria for a federal hate crime. It also did not meet the standard for Louisiana’s hate-crime statute, and though widely condemned by all officials, there was no crime to charge the youths with.

Myth 4: DA’s Threat to Black Students. When District Attorney Reed Walters spoke to Jena High students at an assembly in September, he did not tell black students that he could make their life miserable with “the stroke of a pen.” Instead, according to Walters, “two or three girls, white girls, were chit-chatting on their cellphones or playing with their cellphones right in the middle of my dissertation. I got a little irritated at them and said, ‘Pay attention to me. I am right now having to deal with an aggravated rape case where I’ve got to decide whether the death penalty applies or not.’ I said, ‘Look, I can be your best friend or your worst enemy. With the stroke of a pen I can make your life miserable so I want you to call me before you do something stupid.’”

Set aside your disbelief at the fascinating series of coincidences required for this rendition of events for a moment. The most glaring omission connected to myths 1, 2, and 4 is the reaction of Jena
high’s black students to the nooses, which was to protest. The protest was why Reed Walters was called to the school in the first place.

JACQUIE SOOHEN: A few days after the nooses were hung, the entire black student body staged an impromptu demonstration, crowding underneath the tree during lunch hour. Justin Purvis, the student who first asked to sit underneath the tree, described how the protest came about.

JUSTIN PURVIS: It was like, the first beginning, in the courtyard, they said, “Y’all want to go stand under the tree?” We said, “Yeah.” They said, “If you go, I’ll go. If you go, I’ll go.” One person went, the next person went, everybody else just went.

JACQUIE SOOHEN: The school responded to the protest by calling police and the district attorney. At an assembly the same day, the District Attorney Reed Walters, accompanied by armed policeman, addressed the students.

Why leave that out? Because it changes the meaning of both the supposed “joke” at the assembly, Reed Walters later comments and calls into question the supposedly intimate relationship the noose hangers had with all their black friends. If everyone was so close at Jena, why did black students feel like they had to protest in the first place, thus “necessitating” Reed Walters visit, accompanied by police no less?

Yet, Crawford says:

Mr. Walters had been called to the assembly by police, who had been at the school earlier that day dealing with some students who were causing disturbances. Teachers and students have confirmed Walters’s version of events.

“Disturbances”. No mention or description of the nature of those disturbances, because the protest itself calls into question the idea that the white tree thing was a “known joke”. As for teachers and students “confirming Walters’ version of events,” “students an teachers” told Democracy Now something entirely different.

As for “myth” number 3, “local journalist” Craig Crawford might want to read the newspaper. Because the U.S. Attorney for Louisiana put the lie that “there was not hate crime” to rest a few weeks ago, while testifying to Congress.

U.S. Atty. Donald Washington also said for the first time that the hanging of nooses from a shade tree in the Jena High School courtyard in September, 2006, by three white students–a warning to stay away from the tree directed at black students that triggered months of interracial fights in the town–constituted a federal hate crime, but that federal authorities opted not to prosecute the case because of the ages of the white youths involved.

That particular “fact” would have been obviously false to anyone paying attention to the Jena Six case for even the last two weeks. Which is why Malkin and her followers had no idea.

Moving on:

Myth 5: The Fair Barn Party Incident. On Dec. 1, 2006, a private party – not an all-white party as reported – was held at the local community center called the Fair Barn. Robert Bailey Jr., soon to be one of the Jena 6, came to the party with others seeking admittance.

When they were denied entrance by the renter of the facility, a white male named Justin Sloan (not a Jena High student) at the party attacked Bailey and hit him in the face with his fist. This is reported in witness statements to police, including the victim, Robert Bailey, Jr.

Months later, Bailey contended he was hit in the head with a beer bottle and required stitches. No medical records show this ever occurred. Mr. Sloan was prosecuted for simple battery, which according to Louisiana law, is the proper charge for hitting someone with a fist.

Except if you’re black. In which case, the charge is Murder Two. As for Robert Bailey’s injuries, given the omissions and distortions already present in this man’s “reporting,” I’m going to trust the established version of events until someone reputable says otherwise. As for the “it’s not an all white party, it’s a private party” statement, well, how is either quality exclusive to the other?

Myth 6: The “Gotta-Go” Grocery Incident. On Dec. 2, 2006, Bailey and two other black Jena High students were involved in an altercation at this local convenience store, stemming from the incident that occurred the night before. The three were accused by police of jumping a white man as he entered the store and stealing a shotgun from him. The two parties gave conflicting statements to police. However, two unrelated eye witnesses of the event gave statements that corresponded with that of the white male.

This is my favorite. “This nice white man was walking and these niggers came and stole his shotgun which he just happened to be carrying for no reason!”

Moving on:

Myth 7: The Schoolyard Fight. The event on Dec. 4, 2006 was consistently labeled a “schoolyard fight.” But witnesses described something much more horrific. Several black students, including those now known as the Jena 6, barricaded an exit to the school’s gym as they lay in wait for Justin Barker to exit. (It remains unclear why Mr. Barker was specifically targeted.)

When Barker tried to leave through another exit, court testimony indicates, he was hit from behind by Mychal Bell. Multiple witnesses confirmed that Barker was immediately knocked unconscious and lay on the floor defenseless as several other black students joined together to kick and stomp him, with most of the blows striking his head. Police speculate that the motivation for the attack was related to the racially charged fights that had occurred during the previous weekend.

I’m not going to justify the attack on Justin Barker, but the kid walked away from the hospital and attended a school function later that day. Getting beat up sucks, but it’s not attempted murder, or conspiracy, or worthy of 15 years in jail.

Myth number 8:

Myth 8: The Attack Is Linked to the Nooses. Nowhere in any of the evidence, including statements by witnesses and defendants, is there any reference to the noose incident that occurred three months prior. This was confirmed by the United States attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, Donald Washington, on numerous occasions.

The only one that appears to be “true”. It is of course, a non-sequitur. What does whether or not the nooses were motivation for the attack have to do with the fact that the charges were excessive? It doesn’t.

“Myth” number 9, another “see no evil” approach:

Myth 9: Mychal Bell’s All-White Jury. While it is true that Mychal Bell was convicted as an adult by an all-white jury in June (a conviction that was later overturned with his case sent to juvenile court), the jury selection process was completely legal and withstood an investigation by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Court officials insist that several black residents were summoned for jury duty, but did not appear.

Oh right, this is the same Civil Rights Division that tried to keep black people from voting right? The one that couldn’t even retain it’s black employees because the atmosphere of racism was so thick they referred to it as a plantation? I’m sure they were very thorough. I wonder why no black jurors showed up? (Except I don’t, because my family is from Georgia.)

Myth 10: Jena 6 as Model Youth. While some members were simply caught up in the moment, others had criminal records. Bell had at least four prior violent-crime arrests before the December attack, and was on probation during most of this year.

Yeah, well in this country, even if you’re not a model youth, you have rights. I know that’s hard for some people to understand.

Myth 11: Jena Is One of the Most Racist Towns in America. Actually, Jena is a wonderful place to live for both whites and blacks. The media’s distortion and outright lies concerning the case have given this rural Louisiana town a label it doesn’t deserve.

Fantastic objective reporting there, Craig.

Myth 12: Two Levels of Justice. Outside protesters were convinced that the prosecution of the Jena 6 was proof of a racially biased system of justice. But the US Justice Department’s investigation found no evidence to support such a claim. In fact, the percentage of blacks and whites prosecuted matches the parish’s population statistics.

Yeah there’s no bias. None at all. That’s why the case against Mychal Bell was thrown out by a judge after Walters tried to prosecute him as an adult.

The most telling circumstance here is not the Jena reporter defending his town, but the Right Wing blogs who ignored the Jena Six controversy and the ensuing racist backlash almost entirely until someone told them there was no racism. Then, only then, did the issue become a priority. That’s because the Right isn’t interested in fighting anti-black racism as much as it is in justifying it. Unless there’s some way to cast black people as oppressing themselves, the Right will ignore it.

Malkin’s conclusion:

As with the Duke Lacrosse case, the truth about Jena will eventually be known. But the town of Jena isn’t expecting any apologies from the media. They will probably never admit their error and have already moved on to the next “big” story. Meanwhile in Jena, residents are getting back to their regular routines, where friends are friends regardless of race. Just as it has been all along.

Well, not exactly:

JENA, la. (AP) — The Nationalist Movement, which describes itself as “pro-majority,” will hold a rally in Jena, La., on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the group announced.

The organization issued a statement this week saying “Jena Justice Day to Empower the Majority” would be held on Jan. 21, 2008, the day set aside to celebrate the birthday of the slain American civil rights leader.

The statement said the Nationalist were “bringing their tools for empowerment to Louisiana to defeat the demands of Al Sharpton.” The events planned include a two-mile parade, speeches, ceremonies and petitions “as a centerpiece to abolish King Day.”

Huh. Imagine that. Oh wait, the Mayor of Jena already did, when he told white supremacists he appreciated what they were trying to do” by rallying.

But you know, there’s no racism in Jena.

I wonder if we’ll see Malkin there? I’m sure many of the protesters have read her writings at the white supremacist website VDARE.

From HuffingtonPost.Com

GOP ‘Scheduling Conflicts’ Postpone Another Black Voter Forum
October 30, 2007

In recent weeks, Republican presidential candidates have found time in their busy schedules to speak or debate before the Republican Jewish Coalition, “Value Voters,” conservative Floridians, even Wyoming Republicans, who hold virtually no sway in the primary race. They’ve also agreed to appear at the CNN/YouTube debate they at one point shunned.

But it appears that some GOP frontrunners are once again letting an opportunity to appear before African-American voters lapse, just as they decided to sit out a Black voter forum hosted last month by Tavis Smiley.

The Congressional Black Caucus Institute announced in September that it had scheduled a debate for November 4 on Fox News for Republican presidential candidates. But a spokeswoman for the group confirmed to the Huffington Post that it has now been postponed, with no new date set.

“The debate will not take place on November 4, and we’re still considering the debate schedule,” said CBC Institute spokesperson Georgella Muirhead.

Republican candidates have cited scheduling conflicts in resisting new proposed dates, Muirhead said.

“It’s the same issue they had with some of the other debates,” she added. “We’re getting a new working date, that’s what’s being considered.”

The CBC Political Education and Leadership Institute is a non-profit organization linked to the Congressional Black Caucus, which includes 43 African-American members of the House and Senate.

The leading GOP campaigns were coy about whether they planned to attend the rescheduled CBC/Fox News debate when contacted by the Huffington Post. Of the frontrunners, only Mitt Romney’s campaign said he was considering attending.

“The debate was canceled before we confirmed our participation one way or another,” said spokesman Stephen Smith. “We were considering this debate before it was canceled. As soon as we have rescheduled dates, we will consider them, it depends on when it’s scheduled.”

The campaign of Rep. Ron Paul said he would “try very hard” to attend the rescheduled event.

In September, the Huffington Post reported that the Republican frontrunners would all sit out the African-American voter forum at Baltimore’s Morgan State University. The debate’s hosts set up four empty lecterns to highlight the absence of the leaders in the race for the 2008 nomination. The candidates who did appear, such as Paul and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, criticized their opponents for failing to reach out to African-American voters.

Earlier this month, the question of reaching out to minority voters again emerged when Senator McCain confirmed he would attend a December Spanish-language forum hosted by the Univision network.

The CBC Institute has confirmed a January 17 debate on CNN featuring the Democratic presidential candidates. Earlier in the year, all but three of the Democratic hopefuls had boycotted another debate planned by the CBC Institute and Fox News after party membership objected to the idea of appearing on the conservative-oriented network.

Folks cannot be surprised about this in the least. It was going to be ON FOX NEWS – how fixed could it get for them, yet alas…they had ‘ scheduling conflicts’.

Hat Tip: Field Negro

I found this on the sidebar at Field Negro and thought it was of interest, because it points out AGAIN how this administration is against The Little Guy, and keeps on using his Uncle Toms to do the dirty work.

Dear *[field negro]*,

I’m coming to you as a big time reader (and troll, I never comment).

There’s an issue on my radar that has been overwhelmingly disregardedby the mainstream media. The Bush administration, helped by Uncle TomAlphonso Jackson, is eliminating downpayment assistance programs that have helped hundreds of thousands of people gain first time homeownership.

This is about modern civil rights, wealth creation and asset ownership. To me, breaking the chains of poverty means gettingthe downpayment assistance necessary help working families and adultsmove into their own homes.

Eliminating downpayment assistance is just another way to put Blacks into a modern day sharecropping systemon the apartment renting plantation. Unfortunately, fake liberal Dem Prez candidate Chris Dodd is siding with the Bush admin to close this program… here’s a little mini blog post I wrote below.

If you could help promote this issue or at least mention it, that’d be great. Keep doing what you’re doing, Field…Presidential hopeful Chris Dodd, Chairman of Banking, Housing & UrbanAffairs Committee, is making the remarkable move of closing down a Federal program that has historically helped hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged groups and the poor achieve first time homeownership.

Dodd is siding with Senate Republicans (like Senator Richard Shelby,R-AL no less) to give a slap in the face to Blacks and minorities across the country. Dodd is supporting Bush’s HUD Secretary AlphonsoJackson in his move to eliminate downpayment assistance programs.According to the GAO, the move to get rid of downpayment assistance programs will bar approximately 40% of African-American homebuyers from utilizing Federal Housing Administration insured loans. Also affected are potentially 30% of Latinos.

What Senator Dodd is doing will screw the poor, minorities, and many single parent mothers from ever owning a home. True progressives Rep.Maxine Waters and Rep. Barney Frank have showed their leadership insecuring a bill in the House to protect this program. In the Senate,Senator Dodd holds the keys.

Sign this petition and call Senator Doddnow. For more information on this issue, see below.[for blogs, often you may post the long portion of your text in a'below' or 'read more' section]Here’s the lowdown. Downpayment assistance programs allow nonprofits to assist home buyers in providing the minimum down payment requiredfor Federal Housing Authority (FHA) loans. Shutting down this program will effectively destroy the nonprofits seeking to help first time home buyers achieve their dreams of home ownership. From 2000 through 2006, more than 650,000 buyers got their down payments through nonprofits.

HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson believes with the recent foreclosures occurring because of subprime loans, an increased number of borrowers will seek downpayment assistance and place enormous fiscal stress on the FHA. However, Secretary Jackson is overlooking the fact that if downpayment assistance programs are shut out, even more borrowers will be FORCED into predatory loan agreements and subprime loans. The reality is, downpayment assistance programs are needed more than ever now, and to remove the program is to put families onto the street and to keep an entire segment of the population continually renting from landlords.

Write or Call Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Chris Dodd to tell him:”Please do not shut down the downpayment assistance program. This program helps hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged families acrossthe country achieve the American dream of homeownership.”Banking Committee Contact:534 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 P: (202) 224-7391 F: (202) 224-5137 U.S. Senator Chris Dodd Contact:448 Russell Building Washington D.C., 20510 Tel: (202) 224-2823 Fax: (202) 224-1083


The largest dam in Iraq is in serious danger of an imminent collapse that could unleash a trillion-gallon wave of water, possibly killing thousands of people and flooding two of the largest cities in the country, according to new assessments by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other U.S. officials.

Even in a country gripped by daily bloodshed, the possibility of a catastrophic failure of the Mosul Dam has alarmed American officials, who have concluded that it could lead to as many as 500,000 civilian deaths by drowning Mosul under 65 feet of water and parts of Baghdad under 15 feet, said Abdulkhalik Thanoon Ayoub, the dam manager. “The Mosul dam is judged to have an unacceptable annual failure probability,” in the dry wording of an Army Corps of Engineers draft report.

And then, no surprise, of course:

At the same time, a U.S. reconstruction project to help shore up the dam in northern Iraq has been marred by incompetence and mismanagement, according to Iraqi officials and a report by a U.S. oversight agency to be released Tuesday.

According to this WaPo article, the collapse of the dam could happen any day now. So this is the Bush administration, right? They were warned well ahead of time about the fragile state of the levees by officials both inside and outside the federal government. And a massive humanitarian disaster was…not…averted. This sounds like a disaster on a scale that would give that nasty old bizzatch Katrina nightmares. Wonder how well the Bush administration is dealing with this? What’s the status of security for the dam in case some crazy insurgents try to blow it up? How’s the contingency and relief planning — in case the worst happens (which, since Iraq is basically worst case scenario central right this minute, seems reasonable) going?

How many brown people are maybe about to die needlessly under the less than watchful, less than interested eye of George Bush and cronies this time, if forfend, the Mosul dam breaks? What terrifying, heartless face will “compassionate conservatism” manifest this time?

I’m confident that there is a lot more backstory to this article than meets the eye. And like the checkered, racist history of the levees and the continuing failure to protect New Orleans from the next hurricane, it probably wouldn’t make me feel better about the situation.

It broke this weekend that Stanley O’Neal is out at Merrill Lynch.

Risk-Taker’s Reign at Merrill Ends With Swift Fall
Published: October 29, 2007

The six-year reign of E. Stanley O’Neal at Merrill Lynch has been one of contradictions. He was a loner in an industry that places a premium on relationships. And he pushed Merrill into risky investments despite his experience as chief financial officer, where assessing risk was one of his responsibilities.

Now after an $8.4 billion write-down and an unauthorized merger approach to a rival bank, Wachovia, Mr. O’Neal has lost the confidence of his board and is expected to resign as chairman and chief executive as early as today.

Directors, having decided Mr. O’Neal should leave, met through the weekend to determine who should succeed him.

Rest of article here.

But, don’t feel too bad for Mr. O’Neal:

The Price of Any Departure Will Be at Least $159 Million
Published: October 27, 2007

Merrill Lynch’s directors may be weighing E. Stanley O’Neal’s future, but one thing is already guaranteed: a payday of at least $159 million if he steps down.

Mr. O’Neal, the company’s chairman and chief executive, is entitled to $30 million in retirement benefits as well as $129 million in stock and option holdings, according to an analysis by James F. Reda & Associates using yesterday’s share price of $66.09. That would be on top of the roughly $160 million he took home in his nearly five years on the job.

Rest of article is here.

Now, that’s what I call getting P-P-P-PAID! They could give me a pink slip in a nanosecond with that kind of severance check in the envelope.

I mean, seriouly speaking, can you even imagine the long arm of the law locking up a white under-18 teenager who got a consenting blowjob from another teenager separated by only 1-2 grades in school? There would be a whole lot of white kids in jail right this minute, fo’ sho’! Come on now. Let’s get real.

I am glad the law was changed in Georgia. It’s essential to protect our young people from danger, especially in the form of adult sex predators looking to victimize children. (Paging Dateline’s Chris Hansen) It’s also important to recognize the difference between an actual crime and normal teenage behavior when you see it.

One piece of context missing from this story is the ethnicity of the consenting young lady. How much do you wanna bet she was white and that this law was used as a form of legal lynching as a warning to other young black male high schoolers looking for a good time at their next New Year’s Eve no-parents house party? Because otherwise, you have to scratch your head at the illogical nature of the whole mess. Quite a bit of energy has been expended on prosecuting this young man and making an example of him. And it’s still unclear — Why?

From CNN:

In the decision, Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears wrote that changes in the law “represent a seismic shift in the legislature’s view of the gravity of oral sex between two willing teenage participants.”

“Although society has a significant interest in protecting children from premature sexual activity, we must acknowledge that Wilson’s crime does not rise to the level of culpability of adults who prey on children,” the court’s majority found.

“For the law to punish Wilson as it would an adult, with the extraordinarily harsh punishment of 10 years in prison without the possibility of probation or parole, appears to be grossly disproportionate to his crime,” the majority opinion concluded.

As some of you might recall, this unfortunate turn of events happened quite recently:

Monroe County Superior Court judge ruled that Wilson’s punishment was cruel and unusual and voided it on constitutional grounds.

The judge reduced the sentence to one year and said Wilson should not be put on Georgia’s sex offender registry, as the old law required.

Wilson’s jubilant attorneys had hoped that ruling would free him from state prison. But shortly after it was handed down, Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker announced he would appeal the decision, a move that kept Wilson behind bars.

The high court said unanimously that the decision to deny Wilson bail was correct.

Wilson’s plight drew pleas for his release, including from former President Carter, an ex-Georgia governor, and even some of the jurors who convicted him.

Well, according to the New York Times, Mr. Thurbert (Uncle Tom) Baker had this to say in response to the Georgia Supreme Court’s decision yesterday:

State Attorney General Thurbert Baker said he accepts Friday’s ruling.

Baker said he hopes the ruling will ”put an end to this issue as a matter of contention in the hearts and minds of concerned Georgians and others across the country who have taken such a strong interest in this case.”

Translation for Black People:

“All y’all negros and negro lovers around the nation can stop callin’, emailin’, bloggin’, writin’ me up in the papers, makin’ me look bad on the teevee, shakin’ your fingers at my momma in the supermarket, protestin’, generally raisin’ a ruckus and makin’ my life a living hell. I Give Up.”

We won, y’all!

Good luck, Genarlow and god speed.

Hat tip:WVON 1690 AM-Santita Jackson Show

From ABCNews.com

Giuliani Defends, Employs Priest Accused of Molesting Teens
October 23, 2007 7:00 AM
Brian Ross and Avni Patel Report

Presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani hired a Catholic priest to work in his consulting firm months after the priest was accused of sexually molesting two former students and an altar boy and told by the church to stop performing his priestly duties.

The priest, Monsignor Alan Placa, a longtime friend of Giuliani and the priest who officiated at his second wedding to Donna Hanover, continues to work at Giuliani Partners in New York, to the outrage of some of his accusers and victims’ groups, which have begun to protest at Giuliani campaign events.

“This man did unjust things, and he’s being protected and employed and taken care of. It’s not a good thing,” said one of the accusers, Richard Tollner, who says Placa molested him repeatedly when he was a student at a Long Island, N.Y. Catholic boys high school in 1975.

At a campaign appearance in Milwaukee last week, Giuliani continued to defend Placa, who he described to reporters as a close friend for 39 years.

“I know the man; I know who he is, so I support him,” Giuliani said. “We give some of the worst people in our society the presumption of innocence and benefit of the doubt,” he said. “And, of course, I’m going to give that to one of my closest friends.”

The accusations against Placa were made in testimony before a Suffolk County grand jury in 2002.

Tollner, now a mortgage broker in Albany, N.Y., says he was one of three people to testify about Placa.

“This man harmed children. He still could do it. He deserves to be shown for what he was, or is,” says Tollner.

Appearing publicly for the first time today on ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” Tollner says the abuse started when he and Placa were in the high school making posters for a Right to Life march.

“As he started to explain how these posters should be done, I realized that something was rubbing my body,” Tollner said. “After a minute or two, I realized that he’s feeling me, feeling me in my genital area.”

The grand jury report concluded that a Priest F, who Tollner says is Placa, abused the boys sexually “again and again and again.”

“Priest F was cautious, but relentless in his pursuit of victims. He fondled boys over their clothes, usually in his office,” the report said.

The report concluded that Priest F, and several other priests under investigation from the same Long Island, N.Y. diocese, could not be prosecuted because the statute of limitations had expired.

Several former students from the same high school say they were asked by the “Giuliani organization” to contact ABC News and vouch for Placa.

“There was absolutely not a hint of rumor of a speculation or a whisper, in four years, or in decades after of any sexual predatoriness on the part of Rev. Placa,” wrote Matthew Hogan in an e-mail to ABCNews.com.

Hogan says he recalls that Placa did give “special attention” to his former schoolmate Richard Tollner and remembers seeing Tollner in Placa’s office “laughing, on opposite sides of a desk with Mr. Tollner happily animated sitting up on the couch talking.”

But Hogan says the school area where Tollner says he was molested “was CONSTANTLY trafficked even on off days and hours.”

“I will gladly help take apart in public anything that seriously overlooks the above. I’ll be watching The Blotter like a hawk,” Hogan wrote.

In addition to the allegations that Priest F was personally involved in the sexual abuse, the grand jury also said that Priest F became instrumental in a church policy that used “deception and intimidation” to keep the church scandal quiet.

Placa served as a lawyer for the diocese in dealing with allegations of abuse against other priests and, according to the grand jury report, claimed he had saved the church hundreds of thousands of dollars in his handling of possible litigation.

Lawyers for alleged victims say Placa would often conduct interviews, in his priest garb, without making it clear he was the church lawyer.

“He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” said Melanie Little, a lawyer for several alleged victims of sexual abuse by other priests in the diocese.

“He was more concerned with protecting the priests, protecting the reputation of the diocese and protecting the church coffers than he was protecting the children,” said Little.

Since going to work for Giuliani Partners, the former mayor and the priest have continued to be close.

Placa accompanied Giuliani and his wife Judith on a trip to Rome earlier this year.

Through a spokeswoman at Giuliani Partners, Sunny Mindel, Placa declined requests to comment on the allegations to ABCNews.com.

Mindel also declined to specify what Placa does for the firm or how much he is paid.

OK, GOP MOTHERS out there.

Please tell me how you can support a man who stands by someone accused of molesting children. I would like to know.

You already knew what kind of character he didn’t have because he was a man who brought his whore to live in the house with his WIFE AND CHILDREN.

Now, you know that he’s PAYING a man accused of MOLESTING CHILDREN and defending it.

Please explain it to me.

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Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell

Special Contributors: James Rucker, Rinku Sen, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Adam Luna, Kamala Harris

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