Thursday, January 29, 2004

A Police Killing in Brooklyn

It is rough being black. We often kill one another for little or no reason, but we also live with the threat of being killed by cops. Timothy Stansbury was a young man enjoying himself at a party in the Louis Armstrong houses. He and two friends made the seemingly simple decision to go home and get more music. They used a rooftop shortcut to return to the festivities and Stansbury died as a result.

Two New York City Housing Police officers were on patrol when the young men reached the top of the stairs leading to the roof. Officer Richard Neri shot and killed Stansbury when the door to the roof opened. It is not clear who opened the door, but it is not in dispute that Timothy Stansbury should still be alive.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly immediately declared that the shooting was unjustified. They are getting a lot more credit than they deserve for making this common sense assessment, a result of the bitter legacy left by Rudy Giuliani. Rudy Giuliani responded to the police killing of another black New Yorker, Patrick Dorismond, by releasing details of Dorismond's juvenile police record. He came pretty close to saying that Dorismond deserved to be killed. The memory of Rudy gives Bloomberg a pass. He is often praised because he isn't as bad as Giuliani, which is damning with faint praise if I ever heard it.

Of course, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association is defending Neri and condemning Bloomberg and Kelly. According to the police union every shooting is justified. I suggest we make it easier for police and wear big bulls eyes on our clothes. We can then dispense with the formality of investigations. Police are rarely convicted when they kill innocent people anyway. The Brooklyn DA says he will seek an indictment, but here in New York cops usually choose trial before judges instead of juries. Why take a chance with the people wearing bulls eyes? Judges almost always find cops innocent and in the rare instance when they are found guilty the sentences are very light.

We are left with the usual scenario of police killings. Families mourn, the community demonstrates, and the cop goes free and eventually gets his job back. The least we can do is be honest. The system is set up to allow this sort of situation to continue because black life is devalued. Neri is like the average American, living in fear and/or hatred of black males. He fired his weapon for the simple reason that he saw a brown face on the other side of a door.

Black cops manage to patrol the streets and even disarm dangerous suspects without killing anyone, which brings me to another suggestion. Fire all the white cops. If our neighborhoods weren't patrolled by those who fear the people they are supposed to protect, Timothy Stansbury wouldn't be dead because he wanted extra CDs for a party.

You Don't Need No Stinkin' Job

It isn't important that millions of Americans are out of work. The august and very liberal Washington Post says so. In a January 27th editorial the Post said that a jobless recovery is no biggie. It certainly isn't if you are an already employed, dopey, inside the beltway lazy journalist. Read and weep.

"But the bigger question is whether jobless recoveries are a bad thing. They are, after all, the flip side of good news. There is less cyclical unemployment these days, so recessions are milder; fewer jobs are being created now because fewer jobs were destroyed during the downturn. Moreover, a jobless recovery means, by definition, that each worker is producing more. Higher productivity, in turn, is the best promise possible of higher wages and employment in the future."

Earth to Washington Post, Americans work their butts off. We are the most productive workers in the industrialized world but we get less time off than any workers in the industrialized world. By the way, our wages do not go up when our bosses make more money. When our bosses make more money they just ship jobs, blue and white collar, overseas.

The right wing have won. Even the "liberal" press agitates for greater corporate power at the expense of working people. The only thing left do do is work in Wal-Mart for minimum wages and in return get locked in at night. If the Washington Post has it way that is where we are all headed.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Sex Abuse Scandal at the Boys Choir of Harlem

This week I cover the Boys Choir of Harlem sex abuse scandal in my Black Commentator column. The whole sorry episode exemplifies much that is wrong in black communities. This crisis presents in microcosm how the lack of effective leadership weakens black institutions.

On January 22nd the Choir reached an agreement with the New York City Department of Education forcing Dr. Walter Turnbull to give up his title of executive director by February 17. He will then assume the role of artistic director. His brother, Horace Turnbull, must resign as executive vice president, also by February 17. The New York Times gives an update.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Howard Dean is Crazy!

If you read the main stream press you would think that was the case. Funny, but the media usually don't use unflattering photos, but with Dean they have been having a field day. The Iowa concession speech was no different from anything that happens with a fatigued candidate with a raspy voice. It would be interesting to go through footage of other candidates in similar situations. My guess is this would have been an out take for someone else.

I am very disappointed that liberal pundits like Joe Conason and Eric Alterman, both of whom wrote the book on conservative media bias, have completely succumbed and won't confront the media onslaught against Dean. If you wonder why the republicans win, stop wondering. Bush has made so many gaffes that a series ofbooks has been written about them. Anyway, Dean has been Gored and even liberal pundits won't point it out. If this is how the media continues to cover him he may not be able to recover.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Belated Thanks to

I am a little late thanking for recently posting two of my Black Commentator columns. One on Wal-Mart and its dubious claims of helping poor communities and the other on the execution of Charles Singleton, a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic. gives us a point of view often ignored by the mainstream media. This Orlando Weekly article gives a great list of web sites that provide all the news we need.
For Entertainment Purposes Only

To heck with John Kerry and Howard Dean. Let's talk about Michael Jackson. He is always good for a laugh. His pal, spoon-bending psychic Uri Geller, tells us that Jackson never molested a child. How does Geller know? Because Jackson denied being a molester, under hypnosis of course.

I can't tell you how relieved I am. Who needs judges and juries when you have Uri Geller. Now that we have settled this issue, Mark Geragos can devote his time to Scott Peterson and Leonard Muhammad can head back to Chicago. The rest of us will have to find our entertainment elsewhere.

Speaking of Peterson, did you know that California towns were competing for the right to host his trial? I kid you not. I read it in the New York Times so it must be true. I would have thought that no one would want news satellite trucks, blocked traffic and infamy. But what do I know? The lure of reporters with expense accounts must make up for the inconvenience.

Anyway, San Mateo County is the winner. America has now sunk to such a low that murder trials are seen as economic development tools. I can't force CNN and MSNBC to report real news, but I can and do turn the channel when I hear the words Laci or Scott.

How do the media determine which murder case should be over reported? I think it helps to have victims with names like Laci and mistresses named Amber. Oops. I have been paying attention. Et tu Freedom Rider?
Kerry Wins in Iowa

Well, is my face red. I had predicted a Kerry implosion, unfortunately I did so before anyone had the chance to vote. So, what happened in Iowa?

1. Never underestimate the power of the press.
2. It doesn't hurt to have a Kennedy on the campaign trail.

The media turned on Dean in the month leading up to the caucuses. Where was his wife? Where is his foreign policy experience? (He has as much as Bush had.) What about his temperament? What about those gaffes? Funny, the Bushisms contain enough gaffes for 10 candidates, but that didn't stop the media from sucking up to him.

What happens next? My predicting days are over, but I am worried about the effect of media bias on any democrat who is perceived to be the front runner. Let's not forget what the press did to Kerry before Dean began to make news. What about his wife? What about his hair style? Was his Vietnam record for real?

Of course, I will end up voting for the democratic nominee, but that person must be willing to take on Bush. I don't see it in Kerry. He is still trying to have it both ways on his war vote. He claims he didn't really want war, he voted for the president to work with the UN, etc. It seems that Senator Kerry didn't read the resolution he approved. The resolution gave the president permission to go to war. Period. It didn't require him to get international approval or anything else. The resolution gave Bush carte blanche and Kerry has to be honest about it. Of course, now that he is the front runner we will only see more articles about his hair.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Conspiracy Monday

Happy King Day. I am experiencing the twin impulses of lethargy after attending an overly long King Day service, in fact I left before it ended, and the need to express righteous indignation that he was taken from us. So I have decided to write about conspiracies. As we all know, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

I have not read An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King, but it is the most recent book to make the case that a stupid, loser, ex-con, James Earl Ray, was not responsible for King's death. We must never forget that those who speak up for justice are a threat to the powerful and are usually punished for their activism. Of course, King suffered the ultimate punishment on April 4, 1968.

While we are on the subject of conspiracies, let's talk about the Bush family. David Neiwert does a much better job than I of detailing the Bush family history of business dealings with Nazi Germany in order to make money, and with Iranian mullahs to prevent Jimmy Carter from being re-elected president. Orcinus is one of my favorites web sites. It is certainly worth your time.

Sunday, January 18, 2004


The Iowa caucuses will be held tomorrow. Much has changed on the political landscape in the past few weeks. It looked like Dean would run away with it but Kerry, who I had dismissed, is now in the lead. We can thank the press, who have used everything from Dean's supposed gaffes to his wife's absence on the campaign trail to savage him. The democratic front runner will be Gored, whether it is Dean, Kerry or someone else.

The anti-Democratic press bias will be tough to beat. It isn't just the electoral map that favors Bush, but the punditry as well.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Martin Luther King Day

I both welcome and dread the celebration of Dr. King's birthday. His contribution to world history is rarely acknowledged. The usual King Day biography runs along these lines. He got Black people into the front of the bus, gave a great speech at the Lincoln Memorial, and then was shot to death on a motel balcony.

As America is entangled in a war to colonize Iraq it is fitting to remember King's words about Vietnam. On April 4, 1967, a year to the day before his death, he spoke at Riverside Church against the war in Vietnam. On Monday we will see every politician from President Bush to the local dog catcher praise King, but in his lifetime King was villified more than he was praised. The speech against the war brought the wrath of the New York Times, members of Congress and even others in the civil rights movement who were not ready to be as bold as Dr. King.

When he celebrate King Day on Monday, January 19th, let us all remember his words about Vietnam. In fact just substitute the word Iraq for Vietnam and we will see how history is repeating itself. As every Tom, Dick and Harry races to the nearest Black church to remember King we should ask them about Iraq and remind them that King would have been opposed to this misadventure that has killed thousands of people. You can read one of my Black Commentator columns on the subject of King's anti-war activism.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Bill Bennett and the Dominatrix

Was Bill Bennett working more than high priced slot machines in Las Vegas? The current rumor, courtesy of is that Mr. Virture was cavorting with a "buff dominatrix" but the press is leaving the story alone. Stay tuned.

History of Saddam and the U.S.

Check out this history of U.S. involvement with Saddam, the evil tyrant.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

"Blind Man in a Room Full of Deaf People"

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's description of Bush at cabinet meetings says it all. I love a whistle blower. O'Neill has written a gossipy tell all about his stint with the Bushies. Of course, when he says that the President is disengaged I am hardly surprised, but it is nice for someone to say so anyway. O'Neill also says that an invasion of Iraq was in the works long before 9/11. That is not exactly a news flash either but anything that might hurt Bush's chances is music to my ears.

Thursday, January 08, 2004 Bush Ads has sponsored a contest to create 30 second anti-Bush ads. Check them out here. You will need Quicktime media player to view them.

Do you want to lose your lunch when you see those sappy commercials about the beneficence of Wal-Mart? If so, you are on the right track. See my take in Black Commentator.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Home Grown Terror

Pinch me. The mainstream media is reporting on the Texas terror threat. Too bad these would be terrorists weren't foreign born Muslims. The public might actually have known about them.
Dean's Electability

Arianna Huffington is back, not as a candidate for California governor, thank God. The once conservative pundit turned liberal has turned her attention to the presidential campaign. In today's column she answers the question, "Is Dean Electable?" with an emphatic yes and a frightening parallel. I have had the same thought, but hopefully history will not repeat itself.
Black Ops

George W. Bush loves photo ops with black people, especially kids. Here he is in St. Louis promoting the discredited No Child Left Behind act. The slogan was stolen from the Children's Defense Fund and to add insult to injury act is leaving every child behind.

See my take in a Black Commentator column.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

God is a Republican

Did you know that God was a Republican? He is according to Pat Robertson. By the way, the Almighty has informed Robertson that Bush will win, big time. Last year the good reverend expressed a wish for the State Department to be nuked. Yes, you read correctly. Robertson aspires to be Timothy McVeigh. Perhaps someday progressive Christians will have the boldness to take on Robertson. In the meantime the rest of us have to pray for protection from Robertson and company.
Democratic Stupidity in 2004

One would think that after the debacle of the 2000 election that the democrats would have it together a little better. Read Paul Krugman's column and you will see that we may destroy our own candidate before Karl Rove does.

Joe Lieberman, who has no chance of getting the nomination, is demonizing Howard Dean as being out of the mainstream. John Kerry, who blew his chance when he voted in favor of the Iraq war, is on the same page with Lieberman. Krugman points out that Kerry has a bad case of amnesia. When Kerry was the presumptive front runner Republicans attacked everything from his hair style to his war record. Rush Limbaugh took to calling him "Lurch."

In 2000 the supposedly liberal national press corps showed a clear preference for Bush over Gore. Check out the Daily Howler to see how they are rehashing old lies and telling new ones to stay in the good graces of the Republicans.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

More Freedom Rider

Check out my Black Commentator column. My subject is Shoshana Johnson, but despite her problems she has fared better than other Iraq war vets. They are paying a huge price so that Bechtel and Halliburton can make a quick buck.