Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Let Justice Be Done, Though The Heavens Fall.

Another Trial, Another Test, for Southern Justice
It's time for another high-profile case from the Civil Rights Movement. It's time for another old man to face a jury and his conscience. It's time for another test of the distance we've come from a time when the law protected whites at the expense of blacks. It's time for another Southern trial of a civil-rights era crime. And there is little reason to think or believe that this trial will end much differently from some of the other, similar trials we've seen over the past few years.

Jury selection begins today in Jackson, Mississippi for a man named James Ford Seale. He is charged with conspiracy and kidnapping relating to the 1964 deaths of two black teenagers, Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee, who were brutally killed in May of that fateful year (the bodies of Moore and Dee were discovered while the police were searching for the bodies of the now-famous three civil rights workers, Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman). Seale was initially charged in 1964 but local authorities quickly dropped the case. The feds revived it a few years ago and here we are today, on the cusp of another round of ugly nostalgia.
James Ford Seale, a 71-year-old reputed Ku Klux Klansman from the town of Roxie, was charged with kidnapping hitchhikers Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee, both 19. For years, Seale’s family had told reporters that he had died. But in 2005, Thomas Moore and a Canadian documentary filmmaker, David Ridgen, found Seale, old and sick, living just a few miles down the road from where the kidnappings took place.

A second man long suspected in the attack, church deacon and reputed KKK member Charles Marcus Edwards, now 72, was not charged. There was no immediate explanation from federal prosecutors.

From Seale's defense attorneys we are hearing what we always hear from defense attorneys in these cases-- that it's all about politics and dredging up the past, and that the client, an old man, ought to simply be left alone. These arguments make for good copy but are rarely effective. They didn't work when Bobby Frank Cherry was convicted for his role in a church bombing, and they didn't work when Edgar Ray Killen was convicted of being involved in the "Mississippi Burning" crimes.

And there is no reason to think that they will work for Seale. Modern Southern juries already have demonstrated that the passage of decades is not a deal-breaker when it comes to rendering justice.

Nor does it help Seale that the feds have on their side as a witness in the case a fellow named Charles Marcus Edwards, who initially was charged with Seale back in 1964. If jurors believe Edwards, Seale is pretty much finished. And if Seale's lawyers go after Edwards as a liar, etc., then surely they will be signaling jurors that their client, Seale, is no day at the beach either. You know that the defense is in trouble when the lawyers start barking about the jury questionnaire and, indeed, that's been one of the more notable pretrial disputes.

Former Gov. William Winter, who was co-chairman of President Clinton’s racial reconciliation initiative, said the latest arrest — though done by federal rather than state authorities — shows that Mississippi “now is obviously seeking to make up for lost time in bringing people to justice.”

I cannot say that I enjoy following these trials-- I think they cause a lot of people a lot of pain. But they also serve an important purpose and send an important message about the rule of law and the strength of justice in this country. That message is simple: Justice delayed need not be justice denied.

Waiting. Hoping. Believing.

Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied.

EMMITT TILL remembered, but not avenged! ( 28 Feb 2007)
A Mississippi grand Jury refused to bring an indict against Carolyn Bryant Donham in the murder of Emmett Till. This is 52 years after the 14 year old Black Chicago native was lynched for whistling at Carolyn Bryant, the white shopkeeper Till is alleged to have flirted with.
Carolyn B. Donham, 73, was suspected of inciting pointing Till out to her husband, Ray Bryant. He andd his brother, J. W. Milam, were charged with the killing, but they were acquitted by an all-white jury in 1955. One year later they bragged about having killed Till in a magazine interview. The slaying of 14 year old Till occurred 1 year after the Supreme court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, and just months before 43 year old Rosa Parks decided that she could not take it any longer. She refused to surrender her bus seat to a white man, and sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
The fate of Emmitt Till became a legend. James Baldwin immortalized it in his play "Blues for Mister Charlie". Bob Dylan wrote songs about him. Toni Morrison wrote plays.
This may have been the last attempt to get justice for a Civil Rights era murder. In 1994 Byron De La Beckwith was convicted of the 1963 murder of Medgar Evers. In 2002, Thomas Blanton Jr. and Bobby Frank Cherry were convicted in Alabama in the 1963 murder of 4 little Black girls in Sunday School at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham by a bomb. In 2005 Edgar RAy Killen was convicted of the 1964 slaughter of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Mickey Schwerner, the Three Civil Rights Voter Registration Workers.
Thank God that Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales is on the cases. His message to the white racists and murderers who committed these crimes, and who have lived with their guilty consciouses all these years; "We are still on your trail".

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Crowd "Booed" Miss USA in Mexico City at Miss Universe Pageant

It was painful to watch as the crowd in Mexico City booed Miss USA, Rachel Smith, at the Miss Universe Pageant on 28 May 2007. The Pageant sponsor, Donald Trump, seemed equally surprised. I wonder how soon, if ever, he will be back.
Miss USA, Rachel Smith, was also jeered by the Mexican audience during the interview phase. She was the contest's fourth runner-up. Rachel soldiered through her answer, describing an educational trip to South Africa. None of Miss USA's fellow Americans participating in the interview segment -- neither Minnillo, nor macho co-host Mario Lopez, nor the dashing Romo -- came to Smith's defense. Instead, Minnillo pleaded briefly with the unruly mob: "Okay, una momento, por favor." Lopez stood mute with a dumb grin on his dimpled face. Catcalls and whistles nearly drowned out Smith's reply until she wrapped up with "Buenos noches, Mexico."

In fact, Smith was subjected to anti-American hatred throughout the week-long event. During the contestants' national costume fashion show, Smith smiled bravely as a rowdy outdoor crowd hissed and booed at her. According to pageant observers, no other contestants received such treatment.


Also, the last time the pageant was held in Mexico, Miss USA was abused in similar fashion. 1993 Miss USA Kenya Moore was infamously heckled when chosen for the semi-finals that year. How quickly we forget.

THE U.S. VS MEXICO: On February 15, 1998, the U.S. and Mexican soccer teams met at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The crowd was overwhelmingly pro-Mexican even though most lived in this country. They booed during the National Anthem and U.S. flags were held upside down. As the match progressed, supporters of the U.S. team were insulted, pelted with projectiles, punched and spat upon. Beer and trash were thrown at the U.S. players before and after the match. The coach of the U.S. team, Steve Sampson said, "This was the most painful experience I have ever had in this profession."

In Guadalajara in 2004 during an Olympics qualification soccer match between the U.S. and Mexico? The stadium erupted in boos during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Fans yelled "Osama! Osama!" as the U.S. was eliminated by Mexico.
The following year, in March 2005, Mexican soccer fans again cheered the al Qaeda mastermind's name at a World Cup qualifier. ESPN reported the audience again booed and whistled during the U.S. national anthem, and plastic bags filled with urine were reportedly tossed on American players.
One Mexican fan told the Christian Science Monitor: "'Every schoolboy knows about 1848. . . . When they robbed our territory,' referring to when Texas, California and New Mexico were annexed to the U.S. as part of a peace treaty ending the war between the two countries, 'that was the beginning.'"
This bitterness is long-standing, deep-seated and stoked by top Mexican government officials and elites. But pointing this reality out in the context of our crucial national debate over sovereignty, immigration, assimilation, border security and the rule of law will get you labeled a bigot.



"They're afraid we're going to take over the governmental institutions and other institutions. They're right. We will take them over . . . We are here to stay." Richard Alatorre, Los Angeles City Council.

"The American Southwest seems to be slowly returning to the jurisdiction of Mexico without firing a single shot." Excelsior, the national newspaper of Mexico:

"We have an aging white America. They are not making babies. They are dying. The explosion is in our population . .. I love it. They are shitting in their pants with fear. I love it." Professor Jose Angel Gutierrez, University of Texas

"Remember 187--proposition to deny taxpayer funds for services to non-citizens--was the last gasp of white America in California." Art Torres, Chairman of the California Democratic Party,

"We are politicizing every single one of these new citizens that are becoming citizens of this country . . . I gotta tell you that a lot of people are saying, "I'm going to go out there and vote because I want to pay them back." Gloria Molina, Los Angeles County Supervisor,

"California is going to be a Hispanic state. Anyone who doesn't like it should leave." Mario Obledo, California Coalition of Hispanic Organizations and California State Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under Governor Jerry Brown, also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton

"We are practicing 'La Reconquista' in California." Jose Pescador Osuna, Mexican Consul General ,

"We need to avoid a white backlash by using codes understood by Latinos . . . " Professor Fernando Guerra, Loyola Marymount University

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says speaking English in the United States is “common sense" and Congress should worry about "real” problems, not insignificant things like making English the official language of the United States. This is the same man, you may recall, who responded to the President's State of the Union Address, on behalf of the Democratic Party, in Spanish.

Let us not bring up the subject of integrity and our top law enforcement officers. How can you tell if a lawyer is lying? His lips move. Rocky Delgadillo, the City Attorney who ran for Attorney General has told people over the years that, in the words of the L.A. Times, "he made it out of his Eastside neighborhood by winning a football scholarship to Harvard University, where he was an Academic All-American before going on to become a professional football player." Turns out that what he meant to say all these years was, again in the words of the L.A. Times, "he never played in a pro football game and . . . his Harvard financial aid was not an athletic scholarship . . . ." Delgadillo claims to have played “a brief stint as a professional football player…”
Ace Smith, consultant for the Jerry Brown campaign said: “Mr. Delgadillo needs to take responsibility for these falsehoods and apologize for his actions. He should start by deleting the false statements about his non-existent pro-football career off his website.”
Born July 15, 1960, City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo is a native of Northeast Los Angeles. With his election as City Attorney in 2001, he became the first half-Latino to win citywide office in more than 100 years. Running unopposed, he was re-elected in March 2005 to a second four-year term.

Are these just the words of a few extremists? Consider I could fill up many pages with such quotes. Also, consider that these are mainstream Mexican leaders.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

"No mas Amnestia" says Mitt Romney

"No mas Amnestia" says Mitt Romney.

The crowd at South Carolina's Republican convention cheered Saturday when Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney criticized a new immigration proposal and booed a key ally of U.S. Sen. John McCain when he defended it.
The immigration compromise between key senators and the White House played strongly at the convention as more than 1,000 delegates and Republican activists gathered. Many in the crowd wore stickers with "Senate amnesty bill" crossed out.
They cheered as presidential candidate Romney told them: "One simple rule: No amnesty."During his speech and before his remarks, Romney said a proposed new visa for immigrants amounts to amnesty if it can be renewed indefinitely.
"If that's not a form of amnesty, I don't know what is," Romney said.
South Carolina U.S. senator, Jim DeMint supports Romney and said he opposes an immigration bill that allows permanent residency of illegal aliens.
But some at the convention ridiculed Romney and accused him of being a Republican in name only, because of his changing stances on gun control, gay marriage and abortion.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

For Better or For Worse, but No Switch-Hitting.

Love Is Gender Blind (In New Jersey).

ONLY IN NEW JERSEY, or perhaps San Francisco ( From the Mayor's Mansion to the Castro District.)

This week, Dina Matos McGreevey filed court papers accusing former Gov. Jim "I am a gay American" McGreevey of extreme cruelty, fraud and libel, for concealing his homosexuality in order to marry her. And so the McGreevey saga continues.
I'd say "only in America," but I suspect this is a story that could happen only in New Jersey.
Imagine: You are the governor of New Jersey and (by your own account) you're having sex with a young man behind your wife's back. The young man in question describes it as nonconsensual sexual harassment, but never mind. The feds are closing in on indicting your fundraising pals, one of whom even claims you arranged a special code word, "Machiavelli," signalling that they had a deal, the deal being: You pad their pockets with public funds in exchange for their donating campaign cash.
Jihadists have just recently blown up the Twin Towers, orphaning thousands of New Jersey children. The country's at war. You're taking time out to have anonymous sex in public restrooms (Or was that earlier? The timeline is murky). Rumors about your randiness are apparently rampant, so rampant you now claim your wife had to know that you were gay when you married. (She was asking for it, see? Somehow with these powerful men, it's always the woman's fault). So Dina didn't know you would be bleeping the boy toy in the marital home while she was in the hospital recovering from the birth of your child, but, hey, what did she expect when she agreed to become your own little Jackie Kennedy?
Suddenly it all blows up in big type. The one indisputable fact -- you are the man who let your lust decide who should head up homeland security in New Jersey -- is suddenly on the front page of every newspaper.
What do you do? First, you ask your wife to smile and look supportive at the press conference in which you will announce that (A) you are resigning, and (B) you are a gay American. Then you write a book, naturally, explaining how sorry you are for your mistakes, but homophobia made you do it. Leaders of groups like the Human Rights Campaign and Garden State Equality enthusiastically endorse your narrative.
But what do you do next? If you're Jim McGreevey you do this: You try to stiff your wife out of as much money as you can, naturally. You can live in luxury with a very rich boyfriend, postponing the job of earning the big bucks you might have to give your wife a piece of. You've got to keep the net worth down until the divorce is over, see? So you work a little on the side, teaching "ethics and leadership" (I kid you not) to future MBAs at a public university in New Jersey. This nominal income (about $17,000 a year) will allow you to pad your pension for years at taxpayer expense without driving up the old alimony, see?
What to do with the rest of your time? Above all, do not get a real job to support your child or the wife you used and abandoned. Instead, enter the seminary. The Episcopalians are glad to oblige. Studying four days a week, with $12,000 tuition for the next three years should do it. Bonus points: You call your wife a homophobe because she doesn't want you bringing a 5-year-old girl into bed with you and your new partner or displaying giant photos of naked men in the little girl's presence either.
As I said: Only in New Jersey, or San Francisco, or West Los Angeles, or New Orleans, or New Hampshire, or Massachusetts, or Palm Springs. I hope.