PayPal

Friday, September 30, 2011

WEJB/NSU Needs $50,000; Will You Please Help Me?

 
I need to raise that much between now and the end of the year, so that I may continue my work.

Although I do commissioned work, my readers have for some time been my secret weapon. Without them, I would already have folded my tent. In addition to sending money, they contribute thousands of man hours per year in research! To those of you who have already supported me, thank you, and please continue to give generously. I hope that those readers who have yet to support me, will please consider doing so.

Thanks in advance, to all of you.

Sincerely,

Nicholas Stix

Baloo: Lady Godiva Shows Up on Casual Friday

 


 
Visit the cartoon page of the incomparable Baloo here, and his gift page here.

Laurence Lovette to Stand Trial in Eve Carson Murder

 
Eve Carson: Her killers blew her pretty, white face off.

 
D.A. sets date for Eve Carson murder trial
By Beth Velliquette
The Herald-Sun
bvelliquette@heraldsun.com; 419-6632

HILLSBOROUGH — Orange-Chatham District Attorney Jim Woodall has scheduled Laurence Lovette to appear Orange County Criminal Superior Court on Nov. 28 to face charges that he killed Eve Carson.

“I anticipate that there is going to be a trial,” Woodall said, rather than a plea arrangement like the one that federal prosecutors made with Demario James Atwater in 2010. Because Lovette was 17 at the time at the time of Carson’s death, a first-degree murder charge does not carry the risk of the death penalty.

[Thanks to my legman, David in TN, for this sendalong.]

Eve Carson Murder Suspect Trial Date Set

 
Eve Carson: Her killers blew her pretty, white face off.

 
By David in TN

Eve Marie Carson was according to authorities, kidnapped, robbed, shot and left for dead on March 5, 2008. A November 28 trial date has been set for Lawrence Lovette.

Another suspect, Demario James Atwater, pled guilty to murder and several federal charges. Atwater is serving “two life sentences.”

Lovette is also one of two individuals charged with the January 18, 2008, murder of Abhijit Mahato, a Duke graduate student found dead in his off-campus apartment. A date hasn’t been set for this trial.

Since Lovette was 17 at the time, the death penalty is off the table. He faces a sentence of “life without parole.”

I have often seen TV talking heads (Lisa Bloom, to name one) declare that there is too much attention to “dead white girls” in the media. Eve Carson was a beautiful young white woman and student body president of the University of North Carolina, no less. The above is the only news item I found about the upcoming murder trial.

N.S.: David has explained in the past why the media devote so much attention to “dead white girls”: Because the vast majority of them are killed by heterosexual white men. Thus, the media can usually bank on a heterosexual white guy popping up as the killer, making the story racially safe. But black females are virtually always murdered by black men, making the coverage of such crimes racially dicey.

Note that although Lovette was arrested soon after Carson’s murder, he is not being brought to trial until over three years and eight months after the killing. The typical murder prosecution and, in the event of a guilty verdict, used to issue in an execution in two months or less. Today, defendants are not going to trial until years later, and the convicted are not being punished for as many as 22 years (Troy Davis) or, more often, never (e.g., Wesley Cook/Mumia Abu-Jamal).

At Jared Taylor’s behest, I began covering the Knoxville Horror case in March, 2007. Later, Peter Brimelow began commissioning articles from me on the case. Still, no one has been punished (as opposed to imprisoned) for the murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. David and I may well both die of old age, waiting for justice in this particular case.

Racist Black Congresswoman Sheila (aka Shelia) Jackson Lee, on Racist Black Talker Tavis Smiley’s Show: Shut Up and Pay, Whitey!

 


 

Untitled from Naked Emperor News on Vimeo.

To Sheila (Shelia) Jackson Lee: Slavery was abolished 146 years ago. So, you shut up, you racist heifer!

A shake ‘o the hair weave to The Examiner’s Joe Newby.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Before Troy Davis, There was (and Unfortunately, Still is!) Racist Black Cop-Killer Wesley Cook, Better Known as “Mumia Abu-Jamal”

 
The victim: Officer Daniel Faulkner. Wesley Cook, better known as Mumia Abu-Jamal murdered Officer Faulkner on December 9, 1981, in an ambush. Cook’s brother, William, just happened to be driving the wrong way down a one-way street, and sucker-punched Officer Faulkner, whe the latter stopped him. The killer just happened to be sitting in his own car across the street, where he could come-a-running, and when William sucker-punched the officer, Wesley shot Faulkner in the back. The only thing the Cook brothers failed to count on, was that Officer Faulkner would get off a shot, wounding Wesley, who was then easily apprehended sitting on a curb at the scene, caught literally with a smoking gun.
 

All of the tricks used by the supporters of racist black cop-killer Troy Davis had earlier been developed and refined by the supporters of racist black cop-killer “Mumia Abu-Jamal” (Wesley Cook)


Free Mumia?
By Paul Mulshine
Tuesday, August 1, 1995
Heterodoxy | August 1995

SEVERAL YEARS AFTER THE MURDER of her husband, Maureen Faulkner moved to Southern California. It was as complete a change as she could imagine, from the confined rowhouse neighborhoods of Philadelphia to the wide-open beaches of the Pacific. She wanted to get away from it all, but the horror of his death has followed her.

“I had a very interesting experience the other day,” she told me. “I was pumping gas and I saw this guy get out of his car and he had on a ‘Free Mumia’ T-shirt. I went over to him and I said, ‘Excuse me. Where did you get that shirt?’

“‘At a rally at UCLA,’ he said.

“‘Tell me about the case,’ I said.

“‘It’s about a Black Panther and the police framed him,’ he said.

“I said, ‘Who do you really think shot the cop?’

“‘Some other guy did it and ran away,’ he said.

“I said, ‘You better get your facts straight, because the next time you walk around wearing a shirt like that the widow of the officer may come up to you.’

“He said, You mean you’re the widow?’

“I said, ‘If you give me your name and address, I’ll send you the facts of the case!’

“He said, ‘No, thanks.’”

 

Daniel Faulkner’s widow, Maureen, flanked by her parents, leaving her husband’s 1981 funeral.

 
Maureen Faulkner wasn’t surprised by this response. Those who worship in the cult of Mumia Abu-Jamal are allergic to the facts. In fact, ignorance is a precondition for the religious experience. Far better to restrict oneself to the experience of Jamal’s cuddly image as an existential dreadlocked intellectual and of his voice, a wonderful, mellifluous instrument familiar to listeners of National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. In a gesture reminiscent of the Ayatollah’s communiqués from Paris during the years of his exile, Jamal regularly sends out from death row cassettes that teach the hands of the faithful in faraway places.

In Pennsylvania, where people know about him, Jamal is a nonentity, but in California he’s a star. TV actors like Ed Asner and Mike Farrell preach his gospel, And college students in Los Angeles wear T-shirts emblazoned with his image and reject any invitation to learn the facts about his case.

The University of California has done some amazing things over the years, but perhaps its most remarkable accomplishment has been to make available to the masses the sort of high-minded ignorance that used to be the sole province of Ivy League alumni. It produces an amazing type of person, superficially educated yet totally devoid of the type of intellectual curiosity that the university education is supposed to engender.

When I covered the wars in Central America in the 1980s, I was amazed at the number of University of California students I’d run into in places like Nicaragua and Guatemala. I’d hear these people making huge, sweeping statements about local politics that had absolutely no basis in fact. I’d offer to show them some writings and documents that might alter their views, but they—like the guy Maureen Faulkner met in the gas station—would decline. Thought to them was not a matter of dry facts and boring theories; it was a question of consciousness. Once one’s consciousness was raised about a given question, that was that.

Though I grew up and live in the East, I attended the University of California in the 1960s, so I’m not unaware of the roots of this phenomenon. It’s what could be called the California Fallacy: that high moral authority derives from living in a beautiful place. When you’re up in the eucalyptus groves above Berkeley, gazing at a panorama of the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean beyond, it’s easy to believe that your thoughts are as wonderful as the view. This isn’t true, but it has one major advantage from my point of view: Practitioners of the California Fallacy rarely show up where I live, just outside Philadelphia.

So it was a bit of a shock when, upon emerging from the dingy, gray Philadelphia courtroom in which the case of Mumia Abu Jamal was being argued, I found myself surrounded by a handful of University of California types who had caravanned east to chant on behalf of their favorite political prisoner. It was only a little more shocking when—fifteen minutes later—I was being assaulted by two of them on the street in broad daylight.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I was at the hearing in August 1995 because I was trying to discover just what it is about Jamal that has made him into an international celebrity. His fame is certainly a mystery to the working journalists of Philadelphia who have covered his case since the beginning. The evidence against Jamal at his trial was so conclusive that no one, not even those who are Philadelphia’s politically liberal equivalent of the conservative, wealthy Main Line residents, doubts that Jamal shot police officer Daniel Faulkner.

One of the journalists who knows the case best is David Holmberg, who covered it for the Philadelphia Daily News. At the time of the trial in 1982, he was a committed liberal who was very skeptical of the Philadelphia police. He was prepared to give Jamal the benefit of the doubt. “It was just one of those things where the whole tone was, hey, this is a black guy. This is the Philadelphia police. If you were there at the time, your first inclination was to identify with Jamal,” says Holmberg. “But the evidence was just so overwhelming. The testimony was so convincing.”

Not only that, but Jamal also sabotaged his own defense by demanding to act as his own attorney. The crusty old judge, Albert Sabo, granted that request but refused to grant a further request that Jamal be aided in his defense by John Africa, leader of a weird back-to-nature cult called MOVE that Jamal had embraced. Mumia’s ties with the cult had become so strong, in fact, that he had left his part-time job as a correspondent for public radio. Although in late 1981, the time of the killing, Jamal was the head of the local chapter of the National Association of Black journalists, by then he had only a tenuous connection to the journalism profession. He made his living by driving a cab.

When Judge Sabo refused to permit John Africa to join the defense team, Jamal responded by disrupting the trial and playing to the audience, which was composed largely of MOVE members. A pattern developed. After warning him several times to cease disrupting the proceedings, Sabo would have Jamal removed from the courtroom and let his backup attorney, Anthony Jackson, handle the defense. Then Jamal would return for a while, until his next disruption.

After the jury returned a guilty verdict on first-degree murder, Jamal sealed his fate by choosing to address the jury during the penalty phase. He began a long political harangue during which he openly insulted the jurors, two of whom were black. They responded by sentencing him to death. Jamal’s behavior was so bizarre that a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter speculated in print that the defendant was suicidal.

David Holmberg, now with a Florida newspaper, says he can’t understand how the pathetic character on display at the trial metamorphosed into the cult hero of an international movement. “It’s amazing the way these people come out of the woodwork for Mumia,” he says.

That’s what I figured and that’s why I was in the courtroom when Jamal was brought into Philadelphia for hearings on the appeal of his death sentence. I wanted to find out just who was behind the Mumia phenomenon. One day, after the hearing ended, I went into the plaza to interview the demonstrators who’d been showing up faithfully for several weeks. A rather pleasant looking young woman handed me a “Free Mumia” pamphlet. I asked if I could interview her. It began well enough. She gave her name as Karla and her age as twenty-three. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, she was looking for something to do during the summer, so she joined a six-car “caravan for justice” that began in Santa Cruz and eventually brought twenty-seven people to Philadelphia. She was a very nice, very sincere person who—in the great University of California tradition—was innocent of any knowledge of the case that she had traveled three thousand miles to protest.

I knew a lot more about the case than she did, and not simply because I’m a journalist. By pure coincidence I happened to be what might be called an “earwitness” to the crime. On December 9, 1981, 1 was living just two blocks from 13th and Locust streets in Philadelphia. I was up late that night writing. I was still awake when, just before 4:00 A.M., I heard a quick burst of what sounded like gunfire. I heard five or six shots, and it was over almost as soon as it began. Then I heard sirens.

The next morning, the newspapers said that a twenty-five-year-old cop by the name of Daniel Faulkner had been shot to death. Jamal was also shot, apparently by the cop. The facts were not controversial. Faulkner had stopped Jamal’s brother, William Cook, for a traffic violation. Jamal happened, by what appears to have been pure coincidence, to have been driving a cab nearby. He observed Faulkner and Cook struggling. He ran across the street toward them and shot Faulkner in the back, according to the police account. Faulkner got off one shot and hit Jamal in the chest. Jamal then stood over the fallen officer and fired four more shots. When police arrived on the scene they found Faulkner dying from a bullet between the eyes and Jamal sitting on a curb nearby. A .38 caliber Charter Arms revolver registered to Jamal was at his feet with five spent cartridges in it. Jamal was wearing a holster.

I asked Karla to explain to me how Jamal could possibly have been innocent. Why was he wearing a holster? What happened to Jamal’s five bullets? Had he, in a burst of compassion, fired them into the air while some Good Samaritan came to his aid and shot the officer?

“I don’t know,” Karla said. “There’s a big possibility that another person shot him.”

“Give me a scenario,” I said. “Just one.”

At this point she became a bit confused. She fetched another Mumiaite. He gave his name as Dan.

Did you graduate from UCSC?” I asked.

“I went there,” he said.

“Give me a scenario.”

“There’s a lot of scenarios” he said. “There were 125 eyewitnesses who claim they saw what happened, and the defense didn’t get a chance to question them.”

“Wait a minute,” I said. “One hundred and twenty-five eyewitnesses at Broad and Locust at 4:00 A.M. on a December night? Have you ever been to Broad and Locust?”

Dan admitted he hadn’t. I pointed out to him that, having traveled three thousand miles, he might want to walk three blocks to visit the murder scene. This might aid him in realizing that the intersection of Broad and Locust was certainly not the type of place where hundreds of people congregate at 4:00 A.M.

He backpedaled: “I’m not saying 125 people saw who did what.”

“What are you saying? You mean you came all this distance and you’ve never even thought of a scenario by which your man could possibly be innocent?”

At this point Dan and Karla seemed to realize that, unlike most of the out-of-town journalists who had descended on Philadelphia for the Jamal hearings, I was not a fan.

“I don’t want you to quote me,” said Karla. “I want my quotes back.”

“I’ll consider it,” I said.

“Me too,” said Dan. “I don’t want you to quote me.”

I began to walk away. The City Hall courtyard was filled with Mumiaites, and I didn’t want to attract a crowd of them. They were the usual collection of clueless Quakers, burned-out sixties radical women, and rasta-dressed middle-class black people. They’d been having their little party out there for days, and it was a pathetic sight. A woman who identified herself as the Socialist candidate for New York City Council took the megaphone to praise Cuba as “the only revolutionary free nation on the earth.” At another point, a young black man who might have been a college student actually smashed a black-and-white TV with a crowbar to show his contempt for the media. I hadn’t the heart to tell him that that particular piece of guerrilla theater had become a cliché before he was born.

No, I didn’t want to get mau-maued by that crew. So I tucked my notebook in my back pocket and melted into the midday crowd. It was when I was a block away from City Hall that it happened. I felt a tug. I turned and saw Karla trying to escape with my notebook. I grabbed it back. Karla, to give credit where it’s due, had a hell of a strong grip. Before I could work my notebook free, I felt someone grabbing me from behind. It was a tall Jamal supporter whom I’d seen back at City Hall. “Call the police!” I began to yell at bystanders.

 

Officer Daniel Faulkner receiving a commendation.

 
The thought of an imminent arrest by the Philadelphia police instantly inspired a burst of rationality in the Mumiaites. The tall guy let go, and Karla surrendered the notebook. I stuck my finger in the tall guy’s chest. “Listen, bozo, I could have you arrested for assault!”

“I am not a bozo!” he replied.

“Can’t we compromise?” said Karla. “Those are my quotes. I don’t want them used.”

“Well, if you don’t want your quotes used, don’t talk to journalists,” I told her.

“This is the East. We play for keeps.”

I went looking for a pay phone to dial 911 and have the two arrested. But by the time I found one, I began to appreciate the humor in the incident. “I am not a bozo!”—they should print that up on the back of all those T-shirts that say “Free Mumia!” in front.

The next night I attended a panel discussion on the Jamal case. By coincidence, the annual convention of the National Association of Black Journalists was in town. Security was heavy. The Mumiaites were out in force, picketing at the entrance to the hotel where the convention was being held. The panel featured attorneys on opposite sides of the case. For Jamal, there was Leonard Weinglass, the leftwing lawyer who has represented everyone from the Chicago Seven to the men who bombed the World Trade Center. The anti-Jamal side was represented by Joseph McGill, who had prosecuted Jamal in the original trial in 1982. McGill had since left the district attorney’s office and gone into private practice, but he retained an interest in the Jamal case. He was fond of telling the media that the case was a prosecutor’s dream, with every base covered—from motive to physical evidence to eyewitness testimony.

The panel discussion promised great drama, tremendous tension. The room was packed with the cream of the nation’s black journalists, hundreds of reporters and editors from all over the country who were eager to examine the racially charged case of a black journalist on death row for killing a white policeman in a city that had had a history of bad relations between the races. As it began, the principals fiddled with their microphones and talked nervously.

Then an amazing thing happened—nothing. Weinglass got a bit of a charge out of the audience by bringing up every possible racial aspect of the case. He hit hard on the idea that the Philadelphia police were out to get Jamal because he had been a Black Panther in his youth. But McGill pointed out the simple facts of the case. Even if the police had been out to get Jamal, there is no way they could have arranged for him to show up at that particular intersection, armed, at the exact moment his brother was being arrested.

“It is almost beyond belief to imagine a conspiracy so wide and so deep as to get all this evidence together:’ McGill said. He pointed out that the defense had failed to come up with any challenge to the fact that Jamal’s gun was found at his feet with five spent casings in it.

As for Jamal’s political involvement, it was more likely to prove his guilt than his innocence, McGill argued. Jamal’s obsession with the MOVE cult had led him to grow dreadlocks and become an advocate of the group, if not a member. Shortly before the Faulkner shooting, Jamal had covered a trial at which MOVE members were convicted of killing a white policeman during a siege at one of their fortified houses. “Abu-Jamal indicated he was just overwhelmed with anger in 1981 when the MOVE members were sentenced,” said McGill.

Shortly after this statement I first noticed a curious phenomenon: The black journalists in the audience were filing out. Discreetly, in ones and twos, they began making their way to the back of the room. Elsewhere in the hotel were hospitality suites, recruiters from major newspapers, all kinds of attractions for the young, well-dressed, upwardly mobile cream of the African-American journalistic establishment. Inside was a debate between white people about what, when you got right down to it, was the sort of local crime story that most reporters have seen enough of.

The question-and-answer session began. A Jamal supporter, one of those aging-hippie types with long hair on the sides but none on top, began a tirade on the subject of how unfair it was to call Jamal a “convicted cop-killer.” This characterized Jamal as someone who habitually killed police officers, when, in fact, he was accused of having done it only once. The moderator cut him off after a minute or so: “Do you have a question?”

“Yes,” the man said. “Mr. McGill, how can you call Mumia Abu Jamal a cop-killer?”

“He killed a cop,” McGill replied.

“That doesn’t make him a cop-killer!” the guy yelled.

This dialogue caused the remaining black journalists to look at each other. The movement toward the doors became less discreet. There were still some unfortunates left, however, when Pam Africa got to the microphone. She had wild dreadlocks and a child, also in dreadlocks, on her hip. The assembled black journalists seemed appalled. Unlike us white male journalists, who generally dress only slightly better than carpenters, black journalists tend to have a sense of style. Pam Africa was a living stereotype of every upwardly mobile black professional’s nightmare.

In a guttural voice, Ms. Africa began a tirade on the innocence of Jamal. The trickle to the exits became a flood. After the panel discussion ended, a few black journalists whom I knew came over and discussed the Jamal case with me. They knew I was covering the case, and they were being polite. But to them, it was a non-story.

And for good reason. Leonard Weinglass has done an admirable job of fooling the national media into thinking there is some doubt about who shot Faulkner. But he’s up against a problem often cited by a football coach at my old high school: You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken shit. Jamal’s decision to act as his own attorney at his 1982 trial left Weinglass with a trial record that is extremely damaging to his client. Weinglass can nibble at the edges of the evidence all he wants, but he can’t get rid of that Charter Arms revolver found at Mumia Abu-Jamal’s feet. Weinglass concedes there were five spent casings in the gun, but he criticizes the police for not testing the gun to see if it had been fired recently.

“How do you do that?” someone asked. Weinglass said, “You just smell it.”
Wonderful: His client was literally caught with a smoking gun, so he criticizes the police for not smelling the smoke.

The other objections raised by Weinglass and the Jamal supporters have little coherence. The objections represent at least four separate and mutually exclusive theories of what happened that night. The theories get more and more fantastic as the case progresses. In this latest hearing, the defense one day produced a witness who said Faulkner was shot by a passenger in William Cook’s car and on another day produced a witness who said Faulkner was shot by a guy with “Johnny Mathis hair” who drove up to the scene in the middle of the action and fired the coup de grace into Faulkner’s face.

The press reported these scenarios as if they might have had validity. This is nonsense. The media have—amazingly—failed to report the most salient fact about the Jamal case: Jamal has never once said he didn’t shoot Faulkner. A Time magazine article, for example, repeated the oft-stated contention that Jamal has denied shooting Faulkner. But in fact, he’s never made such a statement. At his trial, he divided his time between political tirades about the MOVE organization and questioning that seemed to indicate a mild endorsement of the mystery-gunman theory. This strategy backfired when Jamal, acting as his own attorney, challenged the testimony of a prosecution witness, a cabdriver named Robert Chobert, who said, “I saw you, buddy. I saw you shoot him and I never took my eyes off you.”

Jamal didn’t take the stand at that trial to give his story. Nor did he call as a witness his brother, who presumably could have identified the mystery gunman. In all public statements since the trial, he has studiously avoided any discussion of the events of December 9, 1981. Reporters who get jailhouse interviews with him are told in advance they can’t ask about the only moment in Jamal’s life that is in any way newsworthy. All the various fantastic scenarios involving mystery gunmen come not from Jamal, but from his acolytes. What we have here is a first in history—a debate in which one of the participants holds up his end without talking.

Why the silence? On two separate occasions I asked Weinglass if he intends to stick to the mystery-gunman theory in the event Jamal wins a retrial. On both occasions he declined to comment. I upped the ante. “You’re going to plead self-defense, right?” I asked. At this point he got a bit testy and called me a “prosecuting journalist.”

The reason for his testiness is obvious. The search for a mystery gunman is a charade, a fund-raising stunt, a way of getting a new trial. In the event that he and his supporters outside the courtroom manage to win a retrial, Weinglass is likely to admit the obvious: that Jamal shot Faulkner. He could then claim that Jamal acted only to save his brother from a beating like that Rodney King received. (This isn’t true—Cook sucker-punched Faulkner, eyewitnesses said.) He could stage a defense of the variety pioneered by Huey Newton in 1967—a political extravaganza of white guilt, inquiries into American racism, and cop-baiting. Putting the nation on trial, Weinglass might well create doubt about a few very hectic seconds of violence. The advantage to this strategy is that Weinglass doesn’t have to win an acquittal. Under Pennsylvania law, any verdict below first-degree murder would permit Jamal to walk out of the courtroom the next day by virtue of time served.

This is the long-range strategy. For now, Mumia must remain silent. If he were to deny right now that he shot Faulkner, the political defense would be sidetracked because his statements could be used against him in a retrial. “You lied about shooting the officer,” the prosecutor could ask. “What else are you lying about?”

Weinglass’s plan may be a good one for his client, but it’s an awful one for the United States. People around the world are being told that Jamal is a political prisoner who is on death row for a murder that someone else committed. It isn’t true, but it’s a compelling story, and he’s a compelling character. On several occasions I’ve seen Mumia Abu-Jamal in the flesh, and he is—and this is a strange thing to say about a convicted murderer—cute. The dreadlocks, the granny glasses—he looks like a white hippie in racial drag. He reminds me not of any black person I’ve ever known but of my organic-farmer friend, George (who, coincidentally, is also a graduate of UCSC).

The Jamal people make a lot out of the racial nature of the case, but in fact few blacks in Philadelphia give a damn about Mumia. The MOVE group has zero popularity in the black community. The 1985 siege in which eleven MOVE members died was prompted because the neighbors of MOVE, virtually all of them black, demanded that the police do something about the noise and filth at the compound. Among the black journalists in Philadelphia, support tends to be limited to those who were friends of Jamal before the shooting. The crowds outside the courtroom are made up almost entirely of non-Philadelphians.

No, the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal does not strike a chord with most black Americans. In fact, his support comes almost exclusively from white Americans who are stuck in the sixties. These people, like the Santa Cruz students, hate the idea that actions have consequences, that a man can, in a few seconds, embark on a path that will put a permanent stain on his life. The ethos of the sixties was “If it feels good, do it.” And perhaps it felt good, that night, for Mumia Abu-Jamal to take out a gun and even the score for what he perceived to be three centuries of racism. In the minds of the Jamal supporters, a balance has been struck. The racism of the Philadelphia police cancels out whatever happened the night Daniel Faulkner was shot.

In the middle of researching the Jamal case and reading his book, Live from Death Row, I happened to come upon a book by another black journalist/convict. The title is Makes Me Wanna Holler, and the author is Nathan McCall, who now writes for the Washington Post. McCall describes a life growing up in a solid, lower-middle class family. In his early teens, he joined a gang. Soon he participated in the gang-rape of a scared young virgin. Then he graduated to burglaries, holdups, and gang fights; on several occasions, he shot a pistol at other teenagers who were unarmed. Eventually, his political consciousness was awakened by the Black Panthers. He drove to a suburb and walked up to the picture window of a home where a white family was watching TV. He aimed his sawed-off shotgun at the window, fired, and ran away. He never learned whether he hit anyone.

He tells these stories in a bragging tone, full of the hip slang of the black underculture. He gives the standard dissection of that underculture and shows why it was racism that caused him to commit his crimes. By the end of the book, when McCall is safely at the Washington Post, he clearly wants the reader to be impressed by his generosity in coming to forgive white people. He’s still upset, though, by the way some white folks act. When he enters elevators alone with middle-aged white women, they shrink defensively into a corner.

This he ascribes to racism. Perhaps. But perhaps these women are just good judges of character. Perhaps they sense intuitively that they are in an extremely confined space with someone who has proven himself capable of gang-raping a child, shooting at a family, and robbing people at gunpoint. The progressive theory of criminal justice holds that the past can be eradicated. No act is irrevocable. Given enough time, evil acts stop being evil acts and become something else—material for a best-seller. Rape a child? Shoot a cop? Write a book.

The problem of Nathan McCall, and of Mumia Abu-Jamal, is the same problem Herman Melville delineated in Billy Budd—who was, however, a far more sympathetic character. Budd was by all accounts a wonderful fellow. Even the naval officers who sentenced him to death realized that he struck and killed a superior in a moment of inarticulate rage caused by that man’s unfair harassment of him. Billy Budd apologized from the heart for his crime. But that didn’t make the crime go away. His execution was necessary to maintain the ritual of order on a ship in wartime. “With mankind, forms, measured forms, are everything,” says Captain Vere, who reluctantly orders the execution.

Melville was one of the first to be skeptical of the modem notion that human nature could be changed by the great burst of rationality that shaped the nineteenth century. You wonder what he would make of the example of novelist E. L. Doctorow. Doctorow has come to Jamal’s defense not out of any understanding of the case, but out of an amorphous, damp feeling that the matter should be discussed into eternity. Doctorow wrote a piece in the New York Times based solely on the many distortions in Weinglass’s petition for a new trial. In the piece, he refers to “Jamal’s own account”—which does not exist—”that he was shot first by the officer as he approached.” He concludes that a retrial should be granted.

There are several amazing things about Doctorow’s piece. A man who has written extensively about crime, Doctorow didn’t bother to call the Philadelphia district attorney’s office and get the other side of the story. But even more amazing is that he seems to be building a theory that Jamal, having just been shot by a cop, somehow managed to get off five shots without hitting anyone while someone else came along in that same brief moment and shot the officer. Doctorow concludes, unctuously, “Will the pain of Faulkner’s widow, who supports Jamal’s execution, be resolved if it turns out that the wrong man has been executed and her husband’s killer still walks the streets?”

If Doctorow were really concerned about “the pain of Faulkner’s widow,” he could simply call Maureen Faulkner and discuss it. Then he’d learn that this pain is greatly exacerbated by foolish people like him who take the side of her husband’s killer without learning the facts. But few of the people who follow Mumia Abu-Jamal seem to want to think too much about the facts. They’re happy with hints of a mystery gunman, and they’d like to leave it at that, floating in the air.

What they hate more than the police, more than racism, is the idea that some acts are irreversible, that a cute, reasonable-sounding guy like Mumia Abu-Jamal could have held a gun eighteen inches from the head of a man who was lying helpless on the sidewalk, pulled the trigger, and sent a hollow-point bullet into his brain, where it proceeded to expand to many times its original size. (The gun-shop owner who sold Jamal the hollow-point bullets testified at the trial as well.)

Well, tough luck, boys and girls. Jamal did it. Worse, he did it and he never once expressed any remorse, any sadness for anyone but himself Sorry, Karla, we can’t compromise. Some things are irreversible—trivial things like quotes given to a reporter and big things like a bullet in the brain. Sorry E. L., this isn’t one of those Random House novels where the identity of the mystery gunman is revealed at the end. This is real life in a bad part of town. If there’s a better candidate for the death penalty than a man who kills in cold blood and shows not the slightest regret, we Philadelphians haven’t heard of him.

 

The killer: Wesley Cook, better known as Mumia Abu-Jamal. Why is this man still alive?

 
The great irony here is that if Jamal had simply told the truth at his trial and let his lawyer do his job, he probably would have been convicted of manslaughter or third-degree murder. He would have served his time by now and been released. He appears to have learned his lesson. These days, he sits quietly in court while his defense team does the talking. He is evolving. “You wait,” says Maureen Faulkner. “if he ever gets a retrial, you’re gonna see Jamal in a buzz haircut and a suit.”

A safe bet. But it’s also a safe bet Jamal will never get another trial. The rules for appeals call for the defendant to show not only that an issue was wrongly decided at trial, but also that if the decision had gone the other way, the verdict might have been reversed. In Jamal’s case, that’s a stiff burden. Throw out any one piece of evidence and there are still a dozen more. And the smoking gun simply won’t go away.

As a radio journalist, Jamal was a failure. As a writer, he’s a mediocrity. It is often said of bad writers, “He couldn’t write a ransom note.” That can’t be said of Jamal. His entire book is a ransom note, a cleverly disguised plea to raise the ransom to get him off death row. So far it’s brought in at least $800,000. But as literature, it’s laughable.

In life, Mumia Abu-Jamal was little more than a sixties social experiment that failed. It’s only in death that he will finally be able to do something for his fellow man. His departure, if it ever comes, will signal to all Americans-from the most august professor at the University of California to the lowliest TV star-that we human beings are irrevocably tied to our actions. It will mean that we are not condemned to frolic forever clueless among the redwoods, but that we do indeed have a civilization, and that civilization has certain rules that protect us from the whimsies of our barbaric nature.

 
MORE ON MUMIA ABU JAMAL:

International Concerned Family & Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal

ABC News 20/20, “Hollywood’s Unlikely Hero”

Justice for Daniel Faulkner

FrontPage Black Panther archive

 

Obamas, Oprah, Morgan Freeman, Jay-Z, Mumia Can Get Their Own Postage Stamps Now; USPS Changes Rules to Make Room for the Living

 


Racist cop-killer Wesley Cook/Mumia Abu-Jamal: Due to get his own stamp while still living?
 

U.S. Post Office changes rules: Living people eligible to appear on stamps
By Anonymous
Associated Press/Tennessean
9:22 AM, Sep. 26, 2011 |

WASHINGTON — For the first time, living people will be eligible to be honored on U.S. postage stamps.

The U.S. Postal Service announced Monday that it is ending its longstanding rule that stamps cannot feature people who are still alive and it's asking the public to offer suggestions on who should be first.

Since Jan. 1, 2007, the requirement has been that a person must have been deceased five years before appearing on a stamp.

Before that, the rule was 10 years. (By tradition, though, former presidents are remembered on a stamp in the year following their deaths.).

The post office announced that it will consider stamps for acclaimed American musicians, sports stars, writers, artists and other nationally known figures.

"This change will enable us to pay tribute to individuals for their achievements while they are still alive to enjoy the honor," Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a statement.

Stamp Services manager Stephen Kearney said, "Engaging the public to offer their ideas is an innovative way to expand interest in stamps and the popular hobby of collecting them."

The advisory committee receives as many as 40,000 suggestions for new stamps each year and culls them down to about 50 finalists, which are sent to the postmaster general for a final decision.

The post office has been facing severe financial problems and increasing in interest in stamp collecting could help boost income, since stamps that are collected rather than used for postage provide an added source of income.

People can view upcoming stamps on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, through Twitter(at)USPSstamps or on the website beyondtheperf.com/2012-preview. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service's online site for upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.

Madame Michelle Promotes Multi-Billion-Dollar Mommy Track/Affirmative Action Scam in Science, “STEM” Diploma Mills for Unqualified Hispanic Females,

at Expense of Taxpayers, Science
 

AP: “U.S. first lady Michele Obama hugs college student Michelle Del Rio of El Paso, Texas at a White House event on the importance of supporting and retaining women and girls in science, technology, engineering and math careers today in Washington, DC. At the East Room event, the National Science Foundation also made an announcement about retaining women in science, technology, engineering and math fields.”
 

By Nicholas Stix

[Previously: “Is Science Sexist?”]

Obama maintains that we can “out-innovate and out-educate the rest of the world,” through showing favoritism (“opening doors”) to females who are unqualified and/or incompetent, or unwilling to devote the necessary time, while discriminating against men who are qualified, competent, and willing to devote the necessary time. Makes sense to me!

Chicago Tribune alleged reporter Katherine Skiba can’t keep her lies straight, either. Her lede makes clear that the boondoggle in question is a feminist exercise in sexism for women, her second paragraph contradicts that, as it says that “Obama” “announced a 10-year plan to give greater work-related flexibility to men and women pursuing research careers,” and then rest of the article goes back to the sexist story line, as well as promoting incompetent and unqualified Hispanic females.

The economy is in the worst depression in American history, and the sciences are being dragged down with it, so naturally, the “Obamas” want to waste billions on a boondoggle that further drags down the sciences, and induces people who have nothing to contribute, to enter them.

Subra Suresh, the affirmative action Indian female director of the National Science Foundation says, women should “not have to choose between their baby and the lab bench.” Of course, they have to choose! Otherwise, they will be both incompetent scientists and neglectful mothers. (Not that women from Suresh’s world raise their own children, anyway. After all, what are illegal aliens for?)

According to the “Obamas’” logic, since America’s science, technology, engineering and medical fields were run for generations based on the merit principle, as opposed to racial, ethnic, and sexual spoils, we must have been the world’s most backward nation.

The reader who sent this article complained of Texas Tech being turned into a “diploma mill,” “lowering its standards in order to accommodate another Mexican victim.”

Michelle Obama stresses importance of girls pursuing science



By Katherine Skiba
5:43 p.m. CDT, September 26, 2011
Chicago Tribune

WASHINGTON—First lady Michelle Obama on Monday touted the importance of girls pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math, though admitted she became a lawyer because she was “bad at these subjects.”

Obama addressed about 140 people in the East Room as the National Science Foundation, a major funder of basic research, announced a 10-year plan to give greater work-related flexibility to men and women pursuing research careers.

The first lady was introduced by Michelle Del Rio, a Texan who despite her family’s modest circumstances won a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences with a minor in chemistry, psychology and Spanish. The woman’s mother, who attended school until the third grade, is a maintenance worker.

Del Rio earned her degree while juggling two jobs and caring for two younger siblings while both her parents worked. A graduate student at Texas Tech University, she plans to study medicine.

“Today is also about helping every young girl in this country believe she can be the next Michelle Del Rio,” the first lady said.

Obama added: “If we’re going to out-innovate and out-educate the rest of the world, we’ve got to open doors for everyone….and that means clearing hurdles for women and girls as they navigate careers in science, technology, engineering and math.”

Women earn 41 percent of doctoral degrees in the so-called STEM fields but comprise 28 percent tenure-track faculty in those areas, said Subra Suresh, director of the National Science Foundation.

The foundation’s new “Career-Life Balance Initiative” includes a provision to allow researchers to delay or suspend grants for up to a year because of the birth of a child, adoption or other family obligations.

Women, Suresh said, should “not have to choose between their baby and the lab bench.”

kskiba@tribune.com

An Illinois Reader Writes: Baloo Cartoon is No Joke

From Somewhere in the Land of Lincoln
 


 

NOT entirely unfounded. This author, Chittum, who has written the book Civil War II, says that a sure sign that such a war is forthcoming will be when somewhere in the U.S. a police officer is hired with arrest powers that is not able to speak any English.

The Border Patrol recently made a spectacle of going around to football games and rodeos and NASCAR races to try to recruit people for the Patrol and accepted 30,000 applications. Almost all were immediately thrown away, as the primary requisite for hiring was being able to speak fluent conversational Spanish.

NOT ONLY was that a requisite but when seeking applications, NONE of the persons submitting the forms had been told that. Again, perhaps less than 5% of those applications were even looked at, the rest just thrown away right, away. A big spectacle, just for stats.

Racist, Black Liberation Army Terrorist-Murderer-You-Name-It-He’s-Done-It George Wright Captured in Portugal, After 41 Years on the Lam

 
AP: “This arrest photo taken Feb. 15, 1963 and provided by the New Jersey Department of Corrections swows [sic] George Wright while in custody for the 1962 murder of a gas station owner in Wall, N.J. Wright was arrested Sept. 26, 2011, by Portuguese authorities at the request of the U.S. government after more than 40 years as a fugitive, authorities said Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011. The FBI says Wright, who escaped the Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, N.J., in 1970, became affiliated with the Black Liberation Army and in 1972 he and his associates hijacked a Delta flight from Detroit to Miami. After releasing the passengers in exchange for a $1 million ransom, the hijackers forced the plane to fly to Boston, then on to Algeria.”
 

Longtime fugitive US hijacker caught in Portugal
by Samantha Henry
Associated Press/WFAA
Posted on September 27, 2011 at 3:18 PM

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A convicted killer who escaped a New Jersey prison in 1970 and hijacked a U.S. airliner two years later while dressed as a priest has been captured in Portugal after more than 40 years as a fugitive, authorities said Tuesday.

George Wright was arrested Monday by Portuguese authorities at the request of the U.S. government, the head of the FBI’s New Jersey office said.

Wright was convicted of the 1962 murder of a gas station owner in Wall, N.J. Authorities say Wright and three associates had already committed multiple armed robberies on Nov. 23, 1962, when Wright and another man shot and killed Walter Patterson, a decorated World War II veteran and father of two, during a robbery of the Collingswood Esso gas station in Wall.

He received a 15- to 30-year sentence and had served eight years when he and three other men escaped from the Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, N.J. on Aug. 19, 1970.

The FBI says Wright became affiliated with an underground militant group, the Black Liberation Army, and in 1972 he and his associates hijacked a Delta Air Lines flight from Detroit to Miami — and on to Algeria.

The group lived as a “communal family” together in Detroit before the hijacking, according to Associated Press reports at the time.

News reports at the time said Wright, then 29, dressed as a priest and used the alias the Rev. L. Burgess to board Delta Air Lines Flight 841 on July 31, 1972, accompanied by three men, two women and three small children.

When the plane landed at the Miami airport, the hijackers demanded a $1 million ransom — the highest of its kind at the time — to free the 86 people on board. After an FBI agent delivered the money, the passengers were released, according to AP accounts.

The hijackers then forced the plane to Boston, where an international navigator was taken aboard, and the group flew on to Algeria, where the hijackers sought asylum.

The group was taken in by Eldridge Cleaver, the American writer and activist, who had been permitted by Algeria’s Socialist government to open an office of the Black Panther Movement in that country in 1970, after the Algerian president at the time professed sympathy for what he viewed as worldwide liberation struggles.

Algerian officials returned the plane and the money to the U.S. at the request of the American government, and briefly detained the hijackers before letting them stay.

Coverage of the hijacker’s stay in Algeria said their movements were restricted and the president ignored their calls for asylum and requests to return them the ransom money.

Wright’s associates were eventually tracked down, arrested, tried and convicted in Paris in 1976.

Wright was the last remaining fugitive.

In addition to the FBI, a cadre of law enforcement agencies worked on tracking and apprehending Wright, including the U.S. Marshals Service, New Jersey’s Department of Corrections, the Monmouth County prosecutor’s office and authorities in Portugal.

“This case should ... serve notice that the FBI’s determination in pursuing subjects will not diminish over time or distance,” said Michael Ward, the agent in charge of the Newark division.

Associated Press Researcher Rhonda Shafner contributed to this article.

[Thanks to reader-researcher RC for this find.]

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Montgomery, AL, Park Shooting of 8 Update: Police Not Told of Reunion; Crime Down 16% This Year


[Previously:

“‘Crime Falling’ in Montgomery, AL: 8 Shot, Including Children, at Sentimental Reunion of Hundreds of Current and Former Residents of Trenholm Court.”]

Oak Park shootings: Police not told about gathering
By Scott Johnson
7:51 p.m., September 27, 2011-09-28
The Montgomery Advertiser

The Montgomery Police Department was not informed beforehand about a gathering that grew to several hundred people Saturday at Oak Park, police said.
Once police did find out about the gathering and how large it was, people already had been shot, Police Chief Kevin Murphy said Monday.

Three children and five adults were injured in the shooting, which took place during a reunion of current and former Trenholm Court residents.

Police are not releasing the ages of the children but have said that none of the injuries were life- threatening.

Police started receiving calls reporting shots fired at the park at 6:15 p.m. Saturday.
Murphy said Monday that an officer had driven through the park earlier and noticed some people at the park, but said that the crowd was not large at that time.

Murphy, speaking on a radio show Monday afternoon, said the police might have been able to prevent the shooting had someone at the gathering let them know how large it had become.

"I wish somebody would have called and told us, 'Hey, we've got a lot of people here,'" Murphy said, adding that officers could have provided security and a police presence without breaking up the gathering.

Police continue to investigate the shooting, and some details remain unclear.
It is not known how many shooters there were, and the exact motive for the shooting is unclear, said Sgt. Donna Mackey, a police spokeswoman.

It also is too early to say whether it was people taking part in the reunion or outsiders who were responsible for the shooting, Mackey said.


Montgomery crime down 16 percent for the year
Published: Thursday, August 04, 2011, 9:57 AM Updated: Thursday, August 04, 2011, 10:50 AM
By Christine Kneidinger, al.com

MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- A Montgomery Police Department report released today shows that violent crimes in the city have dropped for the third consecutive year, suggesting that the series of initiatives to prevent crime in the Capital City this summer are paying off.

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange announced today that violent crimes have dropped a total of 16.5 percent this year, with non-violent crime rates down one percent for the month.

Strange said that part of the decrease in crime can be attributed to the efforts of the Direct Area Response Team (DART) to crack down on crime by increasing law enforcement presence in the crime-infested areas of the city.

The Response Team, implemented by the Department of Public Safety as part of the Safe Summer Initiative, has been heavily involved in several integrated efforts, including the investigation that led to the arrest of two 16-year-old boys who allegedly assaulted and robbed an elderly couple this week.

Montgomery Department of Public Safety spokesperson Martha Earnhardt said that although the DART program was intended to be a seasonal effort, the department will most likely keep the initiative going due to its success.

Currently there are 528 officers patrolling Montgomery streets and another five in training.

Baloo: Doctor, Doctor!, or Medical Care for Undocumented Immigrants

 


 
Visit the cartoon page of the incomparable Baloo here, and his gift page here.

Troy Davis: The time line

 

Mark MacPhail, the man whom Troy Davis murdered, and whose face Davis’ supporters do not want you to see. This was not previously published with this article.

 
Compiled by Julia C. Muller, from Savannah Now news files
Posted: September 22, 2011 - 1:00am | Updated: September 22, 2011 - 1:45pm
Savannah Now

[N.S.: “I am Troy Davis.” Are these people all saying that they, too, are cold-blooded, racist killers?]
 


 


1989

Aug. 19: Officer Mark Allen MacPhail is shot twice while trying to break up a fight in the parking lot of the Greyhound Bus Station.

Aug. 20: Police conduct two raids searching for the suspect, Troy Anthony Davis.

Aug. 22: Even as MacPhail’s funeral is held, officers continue to work the case.

Aug. 23: Davis surrenders after negotiations between police and Davis’ family. Davis had fled to Atlanta. District Attorney Spencer Lawton says he will seek the death penalty.

Nov. 15: Davis is indicted on murder, aggravated assault, obstruction and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. He remains in jail.


1990

Jan. 16: The formal request for the death penalty triggers the state’s Uniform Appeal for death penalty cases.

April 30: Davis’ lawyers enter a plea of not guilty. They also request a change of venue due to excessive pre-trial publicity.

July 30: Trial is set for October.

Oct. 12: The trial is postponed to December. Davis’ lawyers request a psychological evaluation.

Nov. 9: Judge James W. Head bans evidence seized during a search of the home of Davis’ mother, Virginia Davis. Prosecutors attempt to appeal the ruling and are turned down.

Nov. 15: Prosecutors ask the courts to delay Davis’ trial while they appeal the banning of evidence that was seized. The stay is granted.


1991

May: Georgia Supreme Court upholds the ban on evidence seized by officers during a raid of Virginia Davis’ home.

May 31: Judge Head sets Davis’ trial for Aug. 19.

July: Davis’ lawyers request that cameras be banned from the trial.

Aug. 20: Twenty-five prospective jurors are chosen as the trial begins in earnest. Some 60 prospective jurors will be qualified with the 12 and two alternates chosen from that pool. They will be sequestered.

Aug. 22: Opening statements are made.

Aug. 23: Witness Harriette Murray identifies Davis as the shooter and says he smiled as he shot MacPhail.

Aug. 26: Testimony includes a statement from Kevin McQueen that Davis admitted the shooting to him.

Aug. 27: Davis takes the stand and denies shooting MacPhail. He says he fled the scene before the shots were fired.

Aug. 28: Closing statements are made. The jury takes about two hours to convict Davis.

Aug. 29: Davis asks the jury to spare his life in the sentencing phase of the trial.

Aug. 30: After seven hours, the jury sentences Davis to death.

Oct. 1: Lawyers file a motion for a new trial.


1992

Feb. 18: Lawyers present their arguments for a new trial.

March 20: Judge Head upholds the conviction, sending further appeals to the Georgia Supreme Court.


1993

Feb. 26: The Georgia Supreme Court upholds the conviction and sentence of Davis.

Nov. 1: The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear Davis case without comment.


1994

March 3: Judge Head signs the first order for execution. It ends Davis’ rounds of direct appeals to his conviction. Assistant District Attorney David Lock, who assisted in the prosecution of Davis, states that Davis has another 10 years of “habeas corpus” petitions left before a meaningful execution date.


2006

September: The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejects arguments that Davis’ death penalty trial was unfair.


2007

April 12: Lawyers for Davis file a final appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.

June 25: The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to review the conviction and sentence. Later, the Georgia Department of Corrections orders Davis’ execution.

July 9: Lawyers file an extraordinary motion for a new trial stating there is substantial evidence that another man shot and killed MacPhail.

July 10: The Georgia Board of Pardons receives letters from human rights activists and supporters for Davis. Tonya Johnson, a witness in the case, states she saw another man dump the guns after the shooting. She said she didn’t come forward earlier because she fears the man she believed to be the actual shooter.

July 12: Prosecutors argue the “new” evidence is old.

July 13: Judge Penny Haas Freesemann rejects Davis’ appeal and refuses to stay his execution.

July 16: The Board of Pardons and Paroles suspend Davis’ execution for 90 days. As the month wears on, letters continue to pour in to the board asking for clemency or setting aside the death penalty to life in prison. Meanwhile, challenges to the lethal injection method may further delay any executions.

Aug. 3: The Georgia Supreme Court agrees to hear an appeal for a new trial.

Aug. 6: A second clemency hearing is suspended as the lawyers seek a new trial.

Nov. 13: The Georgia Supreme Court hears Davis’ request for a new trial.


2008

Mar. 17: The Georgia Supreme Court rejects Davis’ contention that witness recantations should allow a new trial. They reject his request a second time in April.

Sept. 3: Davis’ execution is set for Sept. 23.

Sept. 12: The Board of Pardons and Paroles rejects a clemency request.

Sept. 23: An eleventh-hour move by the U.S. Supreme Court grants Davis a stay.

Oct. 11: The U.S. Supreme Court again rejects a request to review the case.

Oct. 12: An Oct. 27 execution date is set.

Oct. 24: The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals grants a stay.

Dec. 9: The Circuit Court hears Davis’ bid for a new trial.


2009

April: The 11th U.S. Circuit Court rejects Davis’ appeal.

June: The NAACP appeals to Chatham County District Attorney Larry Chisholm to reopen the case. Various groups urge that the case be reopened. Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court delays ruling on the case until its next term.

Aug. 17: The U.S. Supreme Court rules the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia must hear evidence in the case.

Aug. 19: The 20th anniversary of the shooting of MacPhail is marked.


2010

January: Davis’ lawyers seek police files in the case saying they hold evidence not presented at trial.

February: State attorneys suggest defense attorneys improperly obtained witness recantations.

June: Evidence that prosecutors earlier were barred from using will be allowed in the latest hearing.

July: Final arguments filed. Judges are also asked to weigh rejected evidence.

August: Judge Moore rejects attempts to reopen evidence not presented in the original trial. Further, the judge says Davis is still guilty. He failed to prove his innocence during the hearing. The next appeal must be to the U.S. Supreme Court.


2011

March 28: The U.S. Supreme Court rejects Davis’ two-pronged appeal.

Sept. 6: A new execution order is signed by Chatham County Superior Court Judge Penny Haas Freesemann for between Sept. 21 and 28. The Georgia Department of Correction sets the date for Sept. 21.

Sept. 15: 600,000 petitions are delivered to the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Sept. 20: The Board of Pardons and Paroles denies Davis clemency.

Sept. 21: Davis supporters deliver 240,000 signatures to Chatham County District Attorney Larry Chisolm’s door asking him to vacate the order authorizing the execution of Davis. Davis was executed at 11:08 p.m.

Did Obama Just Float a Trial Balloon on Canceling the 2012 Election?

By Nicholas Stix

Last October, I wrote of the John Doe calling himself “Barack Obama,”

If he can’t steal the 2012 election, he’ll declare a state of emergency. This man has no intention of voluntarily leaving office. And Republicans like Byron York still have no blessed idea whom they are dealing with.

Comes now the announcement from Democratic North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue, speaking to the Cary Rotary Club yesterday, calling for cancelling the next two Congressional elections.

You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things. I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won't hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that. The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines. It's a little bit more contentious now but it's not impossible to try to do what's right in this state. You want people who don't worry about the next election.

Gov. Perdue immediately sought to backtrack, and the Raleigh News & Observer tried to help her, by reporting the story under the disingenuous headline, “Perdue jokes about suspending Congressional elections for two years,” but this was no joke.
 


 
(Audio added at 11:26 p.m., on September 28, 2011.)

The “Obamas” are totalitarian kleptocrats who think that butchers like Robert Mugabe are not monsters in human form, but heroes worth emulating. They are over 20-year-loing devotees of genocidal Black Liberation Theology. They are playing for keeps.

The “Obamas” intend on stealing the election via illegal aliens voting fraudulently, through using the New Black Panthers to violently intimidate (here and here) whites out of voting, through ineligible blacks voting illegally, through eligible blacks illegally voting multiple times (the Philadelphia Method), and through absentee ballot fraud. A couple of million illegal alien votes in close states like Texas and Florida could make all the difference.

But if they fear that those methods might fail, they will seek to either cancel the election, or nullify its results, impose a state of emergency, and impose martial law. And then the executions and mass expropriations will begin.

Hearing Re-Scheduled in Brittney Watts Murder Case

 

Atlanta murder victim Brittney Watts.

 

 
Shooting victim Lauren Garcia as an undergraduate at the University of Georgia's Grady College, from which she had just graduated. She is now a paraplegic.

 

By David in TN

A bond and preliminary hearing for Nkosi Thandiwe, the suspect in the murder of Brittney Watts and the wounding of two other young women, one of them paralyzed, is now set.


 
Shooting victim Tiffany Ferenczy.


Family members of the victims were in court hoping the case would proceed. Thandiwe is now supposed to appear before a Fulton County judge on Monday, October 3.
 

Defendant Nkosi Thandiwe.

 

Previously, at WEJB/NSU.

“What was the Motive in the Atlanta Murder of Brittney Watts? APD Bigwig Calls Craven Killer ‘Bold’”;

“Brittney Watts Murder Update: After Triple Shooting, CBS News Reporter Asks, Is Midtown Atlanta Safe?”;

“The Brittney Watts Murder: Fellow Victim Lauren Garcia, 23, May be Paralyzed for Life”; and

“Exclusive! Nkosi Thandiwe, Allied Barton Security Guard Charged with Murdering Brittney Watts was a High-Tech Stalker, Reports Atlanta Source; Company Adopts Bunker Mentality”; and

“Brittney Watts Murder/Atlanta Midtown Shootings Update.”

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

“Crime Falling” in Montgomery, AL: 8 Shot, Including Children, at Sentimental Reunion of Hundreds of Current and Former Residents of Trenholm Court

Projects; Police Had Not been Notified of Event
By Nicholas Stix

Montgomery PD Chief Kevin Murphy “stressed that a small number of people were responsible for the shootings and that most who attended the reunion just wanted to have a good time with their families.

“‘You should not condemn a community for the acts of a few,’ Murphy said of Trenholm Court, a housing area off Columbus Street near downtown Montgomery.”

Murphy’s words were echoed by a commenter, usmc334, but that won’t cut it. If most blacks were law-abiding, and supported the police, it would be a different story. But the reality is that whenever law enforcement seeks to crack down on black criminals, “the community” stands behind the thugs, screaming “racial profiling!” And when the thugs wreak mayhem, “the community” stands behind them, and honors the “don’t snitch” rule, lies on their behalf, or otherwise aides and abets them. And when blacks do initially cooperate with law enforcement, they then frequently perjure themselves, “recanting” their initial police reports and/or trial testimony.

And so, decent, honest people can and must condemn the community.

But never mind, because in Montgomery, crime has fallen 16 percent!
 

Eight shot at Montgomery park
By Scott Johnson
Montgomery Advertiser

 

 

At least eight people were shot Saturday evening at a gathering of several hundred people at Oak Park.

Police Chief Kevin Murphy said some of the injured were children but he did not know how many or how old they were.

Victims were taken to both Jackson Hospital and Baptist Medical Center South, some by ambulance and some by personal vehicle, said Sgt. Donna Mackey, a Montgomery Police Department spokeswoman.

A news release from Mackey on Saturday night stated all the victims were treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.

Details were limited Saturday night as police were processing the scene and pursuing leads. Police were not sure how many shooters were involved.

The gathering was a reunion for current and former Trenholm Court residents, Murphy said. It was not immediately known, however, whether any of the shooters were taking part in the reunion.

Many of the victims were found at locations other than the park, having fled the gunfire, Mackey said.

Murphy stressed that a small number of people were responsible for the shootings and that most who attended the reunion just wanted to have a good time with their families.

"You should not condemn a community for the acts of a few," Murphy said of Trenholm Court, a housing area off Columbus Street near downtown Montgomery.

Murphy, dressed in civilian clothes Saturday evening, stood nearby as officers directed a long line of cars out of the park onto Forest Avenue, which police and fire officials had blocked off to any through traffic.

Police received the initial call reporting shots fired at the park about 6:15 p.m., Mackey said.

When police arrived on the scene, there were some people who began running, Murphy said.

Because the gathering was so large, it was difficult early in the investigation for police to determine exactly what happened, Murphy said.

"It will take a while to sort it out," he said.

Police are asking for anyone with information about the shooting to call the Police Department at 241-2651, the Secret Witness line at 262-4000 or CrimeStoppers at 215-7867.

Baloo: Airport Insecurity

 


 
Visit the cartoon page of the incomparable Baloo here, and his gift page here.

One of the Few Articles on Troy Davis to Mention the Other Crimes He Committed the Day He Murdered Officer Mark MacPhail

 

Mark MacPhail, the man whom Troy Davis murdered, and whose face Davis’ supporters do not want you to see. This was not previously published with this article.

 

This article also covers the "smoke and mirrors" campaign of Davis and his supporters, including the "recantations," in contrast to the AP's Greg Bluestein, who reduced himself to being Davis' ventriloquist's dummy.
 

Mother of slain cop says execution of Troy Davis will give her peace
September 17, 2011|From David Mattingly and John Murgatroyd, CNN

 

Supporters gather in Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday to march in support of death row inmate Troy Davis. (Was originally published with this article.)
 

As crowds marched through Atlanta in support of a death row inmate, the slain Savannah police officer's mother said Saturday she remains convinced of Troy Davis' guilt.

"I will never have closure," said Anneliese MacPhail. "But I may have some peace when he is executed."

Her son, Mark MacPhail, was gunned down in a 1989 shooting that Davis was convicted for. The former Army Ranger left behind his wife and two then-young children.

The case has drawn international attention for what Davis' advocates say is a conviction based on flimsy evidence.

They include his sister Kimberly Davis, who told CNN on Saturday that she is "emotionally prepared" for an execution but does not think it is warranted.

"My brother, he is innocent," she said. "(MacPhail's family) won't have closure if an innocent man is executed."

Since his 1991 conviction, seven of the nine witnesses against him have recanted or contradicted their testimony. No physical evidence was presented linking Davis to the killing.

Yet the slain officer's mother insists she "never had any doubts."

"I think these people are just against the death penalty," she said, adding later that they "have no idea what's going on. ... They don't know what happened."

In a 2008 statement, then-Chatham County District Attorney Spencer Lawton described how Davis was at a pool party in Savannah when he shot another man, Michael Cooper, in the face. Davis was then driven to a nearby convenience store, where he pistol-whipped a homeless man, Larry Young, who'd just bought a beer.

Soon thereafter, prosecutors said MacPhail -- who was working in uniform, off-duty, at a nearby bus station and restaurant -- arrived. It was then, the jury determined, that Davis shot the officer three times, including once in the face as he stood over him.

Davis' lawyers, in a petition to a U.S. District Court, insisted that there is "no physical evidence linking" Davis to MacPhail's murder. They point, too, to "the unremarkable conclusion" of a ballistic expert who testified that he could not find definitively that the bullets that wounded Cooper and killed MacPhail were the same.

Yet Georgia's attorney general, in an online statement, notes that the expert said the bullets came from the same gun type and noted that casings at the pool party shooting matched those -- and thus came from the same firearm -- as those found at MacPhail's murder scene.



After being presented this evidence, a jury in 1991 convicted Davis on two counts of aggravated assault and one each of possessing a firearm during a crime, obstructing a law enforcement officer and murder. The latter charge led, soon thereafter, to his death sentence.

Davis has been scheduled for execution three previous times, delays that the victim's mother said "boggles" her.

"I'm not out after blood, I'm after justice," Anneliese MacPhail said. "I want my son to rest in peace."

During an Atlanta rally and march on Friday, Davis' supporters -- insisting he was wrongly convicted in MacPhail's shooting -- said this time will be different.

They are hopeful that their appeals for clemency will be answered by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Hundreds of supporters marched through the downtown streets of the Georgia capital Friday chanting, "Free Troy Davis." Others carried signs that read, "Too Much Doubt."

However, unless something dramatic happens, Davis, 42, will die by lethal injection on Wednesday.

The Rev. Raphael Gamaliel Warnock, who is set to testify before Davis' parole board Monday, says he "can only begin to imagine the pain (the family) must be feeling."

MacPhail "was protecting the community, and there is no pain greater than when a parent loses a child," Warnock said.

Still, he says, "there is too much doubt in this case for an execution."

"I have met with (Davis) on death row," Warnock added. "I believe he is innocent."

Hope is just about all Davis has right now. The pardons and paroles board denied him clemency once before. The board has never changed its mind in any case in the past 33 years.

On Thursday, supporters delivered to the pardons and paroles board a 663,000-name petition asking for clemency.

MacPhail's family has steadfastly asserted that Davis was the killer, as has the man who prosecuted him.

"I'm just disappointed so many people have been led to believe nobody has paid attention to these recantations. It is simply not the case," Lawton, the former district attorney, once told CNN affiliate WTOC.

"On what grounds are the recantations more believable than the testimony in court? None," he said.

Reviewing Davis' claims of innocence last year, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia found that Davis "vastly overstates the value of his evidence of innocence."

"Some of the evidence is not credible and would be disregarded by a reasonable juror," Judge William T. Moore wrote in a 172-page opinion. "Other evidence that Mr. Davis brought forward is too general to provide anything more than smoke and mirrors," the court found.


[Previously:

“Back in 2008, When Troy Davis Cheated the Executioner a Second Time”;

“The Boston Globe’s 2008 Attempt to Blackwash Case of Racist Cop-Killer Troy Davis”; and

“Really Effective Propaganda That Sought to Save Killer Troy Davis”; and

“Cop-Killer Troy Davis’ Sister, Martina Davis-Correia, Fights to Keep Hoax Alive.”]

Reiland: The Sage of Omaha is Just Another Sophist; Warren Buffett’s Secretary Does Not Pay a Higher Tax Rate Than Buffett, and Obama’s Proposed Tax

Hike Will Depress Revenues
“Buffett Tax” Based on Fallacy That Rich Don’t Pay Fair Share
By Ralph R. Reiland

September 26, 2011
Posted 5:23 p.m. ET
Investor’s Business Daily

“Middle-class families shouldn’t pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires,” repeatedly proclaims President Obama, arguing for his proposed $1.5 trillion tax increase over the next 10 years. “That’s pretty straightforward. It’s hard to argue against that.”

In fact, Mr. Obama’s statement is anything but straightforward and not hard to argue against.

Seeking to reverse his declining poll numbers, especially among his increasingly disillusioned base, Obama is attempting to give the impression that America’s millionaires and billionaires are paying lower taxes than their secretaries.

IRS data for 2008, however, the latest year for which the numbers are available, show that those who earned more than $1 million in adjusted gross income paid an average federal income tax rate of 23.3%.

For those earning $100,000 to $200,000 in 2008, the average federal income tax rate paid was just about half as much, 12.7%.

For those with adjusted gross incomes from $30,000 to $50,000 — a millionaire’s secretary, for instance — the average federal income tax rate paid was 7.2%, less than a third of the rate paid by those earning $1 million and over.

Obama is echoing a recent column in the New York Times by billionaire Warren Buffett in which wrote that the federal income tax rate he paid was lower than the rate paid by employees in his office.

“Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett,” Obama responded. “There is no justification for it. It is wrong that in the United States of America, a teacher or a nurse or a construction worker who earns $50,000 should pay higher tax rates than somebody pulling in $50 million.”

Again, the Buffett analysis is less than straightforward. For those in the top income brackets, a disproportionate share of income is from dividends, capital gains and other investments — income that is taxed at 15%.

IRS data show that taxpayers with more than $1 million in yearly income get only 33% of their income from wages and salaries.

An honest portrayal would acknowledge that dividends and capital gains are doubled taxed, first as corporate profits at the highest corporate income tax rate in the industrialized world, 35%, and then again as individual income when dividends are distributed or stock is sold.

The total tax rate on capital gains is “closer to 45% than 15%” stated a Wall Street Journal editorial on Sept. 20.

In fact, the tax hit on capital gains is higher than the Journal states because capital gains are not indexed for inflation, producing taxes that are levied on illusory gains.

The stock seller is taxed not only on real gains in purchasing power, but also on phantom gains attributable to inflation.

On the overall tax burden, Obama is arguing that the rich should start paying their “fair share.”

He doesn’t mention that the latest IRS data, for 2008, show the top 1% of U.S. income earners paying 38% of all federal income taxes, the top 10% paying 70%, and the top half of income earners paying 97% of total federal income taxes.

Also unacknowledged by this White House is how President Kennedy’s cut in the top marginal income tax rate produced an immediate increase in federal revenues, or how President Reagan’s cut in the top marginal income tax rate was followed by a drop in the unemployment rate in the 1980s from 9.7% to 5.3 %.

President Obama’s prescription for revenue growth and job growth moves in exactly the opposite direction.

• Reiland is an associate professor of economics and the B. Kenneth Simon professor of free enterprise at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh.