Polly Want Anotha Cracka?

Back on July 9th, I wrote about the voter intimidation case involving King Shamir Shabazz and how it appeared that someone in the Obama administration had pressured the justice department to drop the case.

Without much fanfare, former DOJ official Christopher Coates testified yesterday in front of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission about the department’s handling of the Black Panther intimidation case last year. Coates’ testimony supports former staffer J. Christian Adams’ claims of bias against cases involving white victims and black defendants. Both have been critical of the DOJ’s handling of this particular case, which occurred in Philadelphia in 2008 during the Presidential election.

In his testimony, Coates criticized “senior political appointees” at the DOJ, saying “Given this outrageous conduct, it was a travesty of justice for the Department of Justice not to allow attorneys in the voting section to obtain nationwide injunctive relief against the defendants.”

Coates also claimed that the Voting Rights Act has not been enforced properly and that some civil rights organizations have pressured the DOJ into using it to primarily benefit minorities. Coates’ testimony can be read here.

Coates, who has worked for the civil rights division of the DOJ for thirteen years, was advised by the DOJ not to honor the subpoena to speak before the commission but ignored the suggestion and appeared anyway. He called this attempt part of the hostile atmosphere that has existed at that department against uniform enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.

For their part, the DOJ claims that the case was downgraded based on its merits and not the race of any of the involved parties. We all know how that goes, though, don’t we?

What do you think would happen if a member of a white supremacist group or a Nazi organization had been blocking the entrance to a voting precinct? Don’t you think there probably would have been a lot more furor over this? Just color me skeptical, I guess.


Exit Stage Left?

When funny man Stephen Colbert was asked to testify before a House subcommittee on the subject of immigration to be held today, I’m sure he was salivating at the chance to get a bit o’ free publicity. I’m still somewhat stumped as to why, though. Is it because of his overwhelming knowledge of this most intricate topic? Well, it seems his only real “qualification” was that, in August, he worked for a day on a vegetable farm in New York, apparently picking vegetables as some illegal immigrants do to earn a living here in the States.

Well, Colbert made his appearance, in character, saying “America’s farms are presently far too dependent on immigrant labor to pick our fruits and vegetables,” he said. “Now the obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables and if you look at the recent obesity statistics, you’ll see that many Americans have already started.” Colbert continued “This is America. I don’t want a tomato picked by a Mexican. I want it picked by an American, then sliced by a Guatemalan and served by a Venezuelan in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian.”OK, that’s sort of funny. However, is a House subcommittee hearing really the place to goof off?

Apparently, Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan), wasn’t all that amused, either. To his credit, the Judiciary Committee chairman wanted to see the end of Colbert’s “testimony” also. Click here to view the video of his exchange with Colbert.

Now, I’m not a Colbert antagonist necessarily. I find some of his faux-hip comedy somewhat amusing from time to time. However, I do think that since our federal government has a serious problem with time-wasting and hyper-spending that they’d try to take this serious issue a little more seriously. Wasn’t there someone else they could’ve called to testify about this issue, someone with just a little more expertise on the subject? I don’t think this was the proper forum for this kind of media circus.

What do you think? Should the funny man have stayed home or do you think this actually brings more serious attention to the subject at hand?

9/11: A Personal Reflection

In the four years since I started blogging and only really two years blogging on a regular basis, I haven’t really even thought of putting my own words about my memories of 9/11 to paper…Or to screen, in this case.

However, earlier today on the way home, I listened as former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was interviewed regarding his memories about what happened back in 2001. When asked about what memory was most etched in his mind from that day, he recounted the painful memories he has of being close enough to the two devastated towers to witness trapped World Trade Center workers leaping from the wreckage and flames to certain death near or over 100 stories to the pavement below. The picture you see above is of one of those desperate souls who perished that day.

On 9/11/2001, I was at work in downtown Indianapolis on the 17th floor of what is known as the “Gold Building”. There are several buildings considerably taller than the Gold Building but it stands out due to its gold-colored windows, causing it to distinguish itself from other buildings in the Indianapolis skyline. Shortly after 8:45 AM, Deb, our office manager hurriedly moved through the office saying something about an airplane striking one of the Twin Towers in New York City. I guess at the time we were certainly a little stunned but it had probably not dawned on anyone just yet that a terrorist attack was under way. We had a small, portable black-and-white television set that Deb had set up in her office as the news played, informing us of what was going on.

Honestly, after hearing about that first plane crashing into the tower, I don’t remember much detail of what we learned over the course of the next hour or two. I do remember hearing about the second plane and realizing that it was now certainly no accident and then we heard a little later on about the plane striking the Pentagon. By this time, there was little work being done as we all tried to keep track of more pressing matters.

Then we heard about another plane possibly heading towards Washington on a similar mission and, shortly thereafter, crashing in Pennsylvania. By this time, I remember feeling pretty numb, the kind of feeling you get hearing about the unexpected passing of a loved one or receiving bad news from the doctor.

Also by this time, emergency responders all across the country were preparing for the possibility of similar attacks occurring in their own localities. We were told that we could go home if we wanted. I didn’t see much point in staying since there weren’t many, if any calls coming in to our support department, so I decided to head home.

After arriving home nearly 45 minutes later, listening to the news on the radio the entire way, I planted myself in front of the TV and watched in stunned silence the news coverage of the events of the day being played on nearly every channel, including many of those that never covered the news. That’s pretty much all I did for the rest of that day. I honestly don’t even remember if I went to work that next day, which would have been a Wednesday. I think I must have but it’s mostly a blur by now.

Listening to Giuliani’s account of what he experienced that day, I wept as I thought of the despair that those people in the towers must have felt that day. I cannot even begin to fathom how hopeless that must’ve felt to be trapped on the floors above the initial devastation. I’ve found it horrifying enough to have had dreams where I was falling and the helplessness I felt from it, to say nothing of actually falling to certain doom. What must the man in the above picture have been thinking in his last few seconds alive, knowing that he would not wake up to see his family the next day? What of those who made last-second phone calls to their spouse or child, knowing that the person on the other end of the call would soon be without their husband, wife, father, or mother? What went through the minds of those responders who rushed fearlessly into the soon-to-collapse towers in the hopes of saving maybe just one more person?

One of the sights I remember from that day as I looked east out the windows of the 17th floor of the Gold Building was that of a rainbow circling the sun. I’d never seen anything like it before and perhaps my mind and/or eyes were just playing tricks on me. I don’t even know if something like that is possible but I took it as a sign that, despite the evil that had occurred that morning, much good would or could come from it. Time really did seem to stand still that day.

May God bless and heal the families of those who lost their loved ones on 9/11/2001.


Hating Haters Who Hate

Well, well, well…Those Tea Party-type, red neck, evil conservatives are at it again, taking away the freedom of religion for those who worship at the altar of the gambling gods.

In a move that should have all freedom-loving Americans standing arm in arm in opposition to the enemies of liberty, the easily-led and simple-minded residents of the Gettysburg, PA area are clinging to their God and guns to strip casino backers of their plans to build a casino near the historical area.

Developer David LeVan, who is heading up the proposed financial worship center, really only wants to reach out to this community with love and understanding in order to bring gamblers and non-gamblers together in unity. However, the haters just can’t stand for others to practice their Constitutional and God-given rights. It’s a travesty, really.

In related news, there’s word that Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is calling for an investigation into how the anti-casino movement is being funded.

Brought to you by the founding member of HHWH (Hating Haters Who Hate).

Read the real story here… Developer Tries Again to Build Casino in Gettysburg Area

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