Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Systems Of Change

America in the Palestine. Darfur refuges in Israel. Apartheid settlements!

Faux Pax A false peace, exist in the world in which we live. When we say peace, peace; there will come sudden destruction.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Beyond Mychal Bell!

Self Destruction or the Outside Influence of destructive forces. A young black man in Ruston, Louisiana; home of La. Tech University, working at a Lowes store was involved in a Noose incident on the job. He reported the alledged incident with evidence. He was told a day later, that he was better off confessing that he did it. Members of the justice community were contacted and the approached was softened somewhat, but the press stayed on, to get the 24 year old black man to confess. By then the man had, wandered through east central Louisiana, and was headed back home to Mom & Dad. STUNNED in America.

The night Gerwoski Washington was found dead in Westlake, Louisiana - we went to Jonesboro, Louisiana, as the new elected black mayor, was threatened with Klan action. TODAY, a report was made of a KKK signature in a hamlet a little ways from Jonesboro called Goldonna.

All the while, the Nationalist Movement is steadily swearing to be in Jena, Louisiana on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's annual day of parade's and festivities. On the front page of the local newspaper the Jena Times, it is explained that NOOSES will be displayed. The announcement goes on to say that --those displaying the nooses, should not do so in an adversarial manner.

It was explained to the US ATTORNEY for the WESTERN DISTRICT of Louisiana that such an event could be tantamount to inciting a riot.
Yet the white folks, are insistent on going forth with this travesty. The locals in Jena of the establishment are trying to pass it off, as something nothing can be done about. Yet, we know the mayor of the town was in the Klan haven, down south Louisiana way near Hammond, a couple months ago.

And still, the Media Litigants have come to Jena, Louisiana to open the files on One Mychal Bell & Mychal Bell Only ,who is the proverbial whipping boy, with the somewhat reputation to repudiate the true facts of the corrupt Judge, DA & the entire adminstering of criminal justice in Louisiana. Mychals Defense in disaray, not knowing what to do; NEGOTIATING WITH THIS, corrupt systematic divesting of absolute truth. WHO DOES REALLY GIVE A TINKERS!! The Louisiana legislature, will; by force of nature - deal with this matter! Juan Lafonta get ready to convene hearings, immediately on the plight of the american negro male in Louisiana. We the people are tired of the buck passing. Do something Now!!

I remember Liberty City!!

Still, to top it all off, the infamous day of December 6th in Jena, Louisiana will go down in history as the biggest travesty on humankind in the events leading to the fall of the envisioned great society "which could of been America", but never was and which never shall be. When Richard Barrett and his crew do their thing in America's Jena, Louisiana; this night, no this the world knows. France will remember the Nazi invasion, Italy will think on Mussolini, Warwaw will recall the Fuhrer and an international uprising will occur. Not because of Mychal, but because of a government, that can go to Afghanistan to fight terrorism, a nation that can go to Iraq and embrace Pakistan, allow the Palestinian purging to persist, and then to in America; demonicly reject the olive branch from King's son, "across the board" attempt to institute a faux pax.

Bring in the entire upper echelon of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice to Jena's First Baptist Church, but still there IS NO JUSTICE IN AMERICA in Jena, Louisiana.

Bush Must Come!! JENA IS GROUND ZERO FOR THE RACIAL HOLOCAUST that has persisted in America for 500 years.

November 30, 2007
Obama Woos Sharpton at Sylvia's, Sharpton Said Dems Have Marginalized Black Voters

Barack Obama spoke to a packed crowd at the Apollo Thursday night. But the real story happened a few hours before, when he sat down to have dinner with the Rev. Al Sharpton at Sylvia's Restaurant, a Harlem institution.

Obama had showed up at Sharpton's office just a few blocks away earlier in the day to ask the reverend to have dinner with him at Sylvia's so they could talk about the importance of hate crime legislation. The Obama campaign made sure to invite the New York and national press along to photograph the event.

Sharpton said repeatedly that his meeting with Obama was not an endorsement of the senator, though he did praise him for paying attention to the issue of hate crimes, reports NBC/NJ's Aswini Anburajan.

"And we are trying to get hate crime legislation, and I think it showed something for him to call us and bring me to dinner and say I want to come out strong on it," Sharpton said.

Asked if the meeting had moved the reverend closer to endorsing, "Well, we'll wait and see. I didn't go to the Apollo because I'm not endorsing," Sharpton added.

Though this was not an endorsement of Obama, the picture of Obama with Sharpton recalled an image from the 1992 Democratic primary, when the mayor of Chicago insisted that he wasn't endorsing then Gov. Bill Clinton but allowed himself to be photographed with him. It was a tacit acknowledgment of support and helped Clinton considerably in Illinois. The question from last night is whether or not Sharpton was doing the same thing.

"Tonight he came to Harlem, and he came with a message that Harlem might want someone to discuss at a presidential level and that is hate crime," Sharpton praised Obama.

Sharpton added that he was looking to meet with all the Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton, on the issue of hate crimes and feels the issue is as urgent as ever because 2007 had been the year of Imus, Jena and hangman's noses, adding that a noose had been found at Obama's alma mater, Columbia University. He said that Obama had promised to bring up the issue during debates.

Whatever Sharpton's feelings, he had sharp words for the Democratic candidates on their treatment of black voters. He called African Americans the "most loyal constituency" of the Democratic party, but said they have been "marginalized" in their treatment by the candidates.

"I think the Democratic candidates take us for granted," he said and later added, "They want 90 percent of the black vote but they want to act like we are a marginal issue. To me that's offensive."

Sharpton also appeared to agree with Jesse Jackson's comments that aside from John Edwards, the Democratic candidates have not focused on issues of racial inequality, but but also praised Obama for reaching out on the issue.

"I've been saying all year that there has not been given a priority given to the concerns of African Americans and the concerns of racial disparity. ... How do our candidates expect our people to vote 90 percent for them and they are not giving any concern. Obama heard that and that's one of the things we talked about in my office and riding over here," Sharpton said.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Real FBI

FBI agent questions image of civil rights martyr
11/9/2007, 12:06 p.m. CST
The Associated Press

MARION, Ala. (AP) — A former FBI agent tried in court to discredit the image of Jimmie Lee Jackson as a martyr of the civil rights movement.

Former agent Coleman Keane said Jackson admitted to him that he tried to grab the pistol of the state trooper who shot him.

Keane testified in Marion in a hearing for former trooper James Bonard Fowler, who was trying to get murder charges against him dismissed.

Fowler was indicted in May for shooting Jackson during a 1965 civil rights protest. Jackson died eight days later at a Selma hospital.

Keane testified he saw Jackson moments after he was shot and then interviewed him a day or two later at a Selma hospital.

Mr. Keane said it's wrong to try to prosecute former Trooper James Bonard Fowler 42 years later.

Mr. Keane testified in the second and final day of a hearing for Mr. Fowler, who is trying to get murder charges against him dismissed. If that does not happen, he wants the trial moved out of Marion, where Jimmie Lee Jackson's death is memorialized by monuments and signs.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Double Standards

Civil Rights denied-Marshal Law---------------->>>>

Blackwater,like Whitewater,like Watergate!
All Over the World!

I waited a while, to write; in order to see if any thing would really change. We have the same intrigue & disguisings of efficiency and effectiveness. Of owning up to what it is that's really going on. The klan is still the klan in America. The Nazi's are still the nazi's in Germany. The Muslims are still muslims in Islam. Pakistan is still Pakistan.

Louisiana is still Louisiana. Lies, Lies & more lies! Some might say a pessimistic view, but it is just the facts jack, since a June 28th decision led into a July 4th ludicrous-ness. It was ludicrous for a celebrating of that holiday. Young brother in the central Louisiana land, laid low in a systematic methodology set to destroy a race.
And now, we have a brown man as governor a republican to say the least, if only Lincoln could be fair. I said on JFP the "Greatest Societal Need" and the same thing on Alms & Deliverance.

The so-called counter demonstration "Countered" 21Jan08

20Jan Jan 20 2008

20 Jan 08
Press Conference 20Jan

August 2007

Two Levels of Justice Aug 07

2Levels of Justice

September 20, 2007

Jena student OK to play
One of 'Jena 6' students gets waiver to play football for Shaw High School
BY JERRY F. RUTLEDGE - jrutledge@ledger-enquirer.com

FORSYTH, Ga. --Shaw High School will have another football player on its sideline Friday night, and one of the "Jena 6" will take a step toward normality in his life, thanks to the Georgia High School Association's decision Monday.

The GHSA granted a hardship waiver from its eight-semester rule to Robert Bailey Jr., one of six black teenagers from Jena (La.) High School charged with beating a white student in December 2006. He immediately is eligible to play for the Raiders. Shaw opens its regular season Friday against Central-Phenix City at Garrett-Harrison Stadium.

The eight-semester rule limits a student's eligibility to play interscholastic sports to eight semesters.

"Once you begin ninth grade in the block system, you have eight semesters of eligibility," said Brandon Wood, Shaw's defensive coordinator

Bailey and family members declined to be interviewed because of pending legal action surrounding the Louisiana case.

The conflict between the block scheduling Muscogee County schools use and the traditional scheduling at Louisiana high schools made some of Bailey's high school credits non-transferable.

Wood, Shaw head coach Scott Newman, Damon Hewitt of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Bailey presented the hardship appeal to the GHSA's 35-member executive committee during a closed session Monday morning in the Central Georgia Convention Center in Forsyth.

After deliberating the case, the executive committee gave its OK to the appeal by voice vote without any dissent.

"Awesome! Awesome!" Newman said, leaving the meeting room as members of the family celebrated. The teenager has been a student at Shaw since January and lives with his step-mother, Kim Bailey, in Columbus. He figures to see playing time early for the Raiders, likely as soon as Friday.

Bailey still is facing second-degree battery and conspiracy charges in Louisiana.

"He's really a great kid," Hewitt said. "He did a great job of speaking for himself. A great job."

Our view: Jena 6 goal still about justice for all
August 26, 2008 Copyright ©2008 The Town Talk

No matter how many interviews convicted "Jena 6" member Mychal Bell gives to the media and no matter how many times he points the finger of blame at racism, justice will remain the most important goal in the case of the Jena Six.

The Jena Six defendants are accused of assaulting a fellow student at Jena High School in December 2006. The victim, Justin Barker, was attacked from behind, knocked down and while unconscious was stomped.

The criminal case became a rallying cry for some who said racism led to the attack and then to escalated charges. The six defendants are black. Barker is white.

That perception led to the nation's biggest civil rights march of the new millennium last September in Jena.

Bell, the only student tried in the attack so far, was first found guilty in adult court of second-degree aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit the same. His verdict was thrown out when a judge ruled the case should have been heard in juvenile court. Bell then pleaded guilty and was sentenced to time served and probation. As part of his plea, he must testify in the trials of the other five defendants.

This case has always belonged in a courtroom and not in the court of public opinion.

Unfortunately, Bell, is taking the case back to the media spotlight. On Sunday he was interviewed by CNN. After admitting that he did, in fact, attack Barker, he went on to say that Jena is a "real racist town."

Bell is entitled to his opinion just like anyone else in this country. He has served his time and is moving on with his life. But it may be time for those who truly wish to help Bell to get him to understand the danger of trying to mitigate his part in the crime by point the blame at racism and address the underlying problems that cause a young man to exhibit little remorse for beating another human being.

Whatever people want to believe about Jena, Ladalle Parish or Louisiana, Bell cannot get around the brutality of the attack. He cannot undo a conviction, and he cannot justify his violence.

Jena, like much of the nation, is a place where race needs to be addressed, and the Jena 6 incident pointedly marked a place to start -- for Jena and the nation. Jena's citizens have begun the hard work that must be done if it is to heal and to move ahead.

Questions about racism will be raised no matter what eventually happens in court. That is the power of this nation's most difficult social issue. At the end of the day, without justice -- blind justice -- we won't ever get beyond the issue of race.
Copyright ©2008 The Town Talk

Bell to CNN: Jena 'a real racist town"
Town Talk staff • August 25, 2008

Mychal Bell, the only "Jena Six" defendant to face trial, admitted to hitting white classmate Justin Barker in the 2006 attack that led to one of the country's largest civil rights demonstrations in decades.

"I hit him, you know, whatever," Bell told CNN during an interview televised Sunday on the Headline News cable channel. "You know, I walked on, I went on about my business, whatever. You know. Ain't anything else about it."

In addition to briefly talking about his part in the attack, Bell -- who is currently living in Monroe with a foster family and under state supervision -- talked about his feelings about the community he was raised in.

"Jena is a real racist town, you know," Bell told CNN. "It always has been like that, you know. You got a couple people say, 'It ain't a racist town,' but it's a real racist town."

Bell and five other black Jena High students were charged in December 2006 of attempted second-degree murder in connection with the attack at the school on Barker, who was knocked unconscious and treated at a hospital for his injuries. Charges against all the students were eventually dropped to aggravated second-degree battery.

After an adult conviction on that charge was overturned by the Third Circuit Court of Appeal, Bell pleaded guilty to juvenile charges of second-degree battery in December.

The other five defendants are awaiting trial. Earlier this month the trial judge in Bell's case -- and the only district judge in LaSalle Parish -- was recused from the cases. Attorneys for the other students have filed motions to recuse the parish's district attorney as well.

Barker and his family have filed a civil suit against the Jena Six defendants, their parents, the school and the School Board.

Bell was sentenced to 18 months to be served concurrent "' where possible "' with sentences he had received for previous juvenile adjudications. Part of the deal also read that he would be required to testify against the other defendants if the cases went to trial.

The Jena Six case sparked national attention and led to more than 20,000 people coming to the rural LaSalle Parish town to march in protest nearly a year ago.

Bell not likely to play football
By Bret H. McCormick • bmccormick@thetowntalk.com • August 20, 2008

It's likely that Mychal Bell's high school football career is finished.

Bell, the 18-year-old former star at Jena High School who was at the center of the "Jena Six" controversy, has completed his eight semesters of eligibility but was hoping to appeal for a ninth in order to play football at Carroll High School in Monroe.

Carroll football coach Jackie Hamilton said a compliance officer at the school mailed the paper work on Monday for Bell to go before the Louisiana High School Athletic Association's hardship committee next week.

As of late Tuesday afternoon, however, LHSAA Commissioner Kenny Henderson said "no request for an eligibility hearing" had been made on Bell's behalf.

"We mailed it (Monday)," Hamilton said. "I kept it out of my hands. We had a compliance officer to handle all of that. I know we had letters of recommendation, letters from the state and others to be turned in with that. I don't want to give you any false information. Anita Coats, our compliance officer, took care of the paper work."

Henderson said it's unlikely that Bell will be able to go before the hardship committee, particularly since Carroll waited so late to begin the process. It's the stance Henderson has taken since before spring practice, when Bell enrolled at Carroll in January.

"We've dealt with more than 50 eligibility rulings in the last two days," Henderson said. "He's not one of them."

Bell is hoping to regain an extra season because he spent part of last year in jail in connection with the beating of fellow Jena High student Justin Barker. Bell was one of six students charged in the Dec. 4, 2006, incident.

After originally being charged with attempted murder, Bell was convicted in June 2007 of aggravated second-degree battery and missed his senior season. Bell's adult conviction was overturned, however, and he pleaded guilty as a juvenile and was sentenced to 18 months as a ward of the state.

Bell moved into a Monroe-area foster home in January and has since been working with the Carroll team during summer conditioning and preseason practices. Hamilton has said that if Bell does get reinstated, he would most likely play both sides of the ball at running back and linebacker.

The hardship committee is expected to meet on Aug. 27, and Hamilton said he expects to be in attendance to support Bell.

"I want to be there for him," Hamilton said.

"Maybe they'll give me the opportunity to put my two cents in on why he should be ruled eligible. He's a great kid and a great leader. He's the ideal kid -- he does well in the classroom, in the weight room. He already scored an 18 on his ACT as a sophomore. If we get him, we'll be fortunate. It will be another blessing. I think the kid has been through a lot and needs something positive in his life."

Tabby Soignier of Louisiana Gannett News contributed to this report.

Mychal Bell of 'Jena Six' requests ruling on football eligibility; coach says he's 'the ideal kid'
Louisiana Gannett News • August 19, 2008

Mychal Bell, teen at the center of the "Jena Six" controversy last year, is seeking a ruling his high school football eligibility.

Bell, 18, is asking a panel to rule whether he can regain his senior football season he missed due to spending time in jail after his role in the beating of fellow Jena High student Justin Barker.

The LHSAA Hardship Committee meets three times a year to determine whether players who missed a season due to uncontrollable circumstances should be reinstated for their senior seasons. The committee will meet next week, and Bell is hoping for a ruling from the panel.

Barker was allegedly attacked by at least six high school classmates, including Bell, on Dec. 4, 2006. Bell and the others were initially charged with attempted murder, which sparked a racially charged debate. In June 2007, Bell was convicted as an adult of aggravated second-degree battery and missed his senior season in 2007, while serving time in jail.

This past December, however, Bell pleaded guilty for his role in the beating. As part of his plea agreement, he was sentenced to 18 months as a ward of the state, ultimately landing him in Monroe and enrolled at Carroll High School.

The hardship committee met in February, but it was too soon for Bell and the administration to file the proper paper work.

"We mailed it today," football coach Jackie Hamilton said Monday. "I kept it out of my hands. We had a compliance officer to handle all of that. I know we had letters of recommendation, letters from the state and others to be turned in with that. I don't want to give you any false information. Anita Coats, our compliance officer, took care of the paper work."

The panel will review the paper work before Bell goes in front of the group next Wednesday, Aug. 27.

"I'm planning on going regardless," Hamilton said. "I want to be there for him. Maybe they'll give me the opportunity to put my two cents in on why he should be ruled eligible. He's a great kid and a great leader.

"He's the ideal kid — he does well in the classroom, in the weight room. He already scored an 18 on his ACT as a sophomore. If we get him, we'll be fortunate. It will be another blessing. I think the kid has been through a lot and needs something positive in his life."

Bell moved in an area foster home in January and has since been working with the team to the fullest extent during summer conditioning and preseason practices. Hamilton has said that if Bell does get reinstated he would most likely play both sides of the ball at running back and linebacker.



For Release: August 25, 2008
Contact: Ryan Balis at (202) 543-4110
or rbalis@nationalcenter.org

"Jena Six" Defendant Could Provide Example of the Benefit of School Choice

Washington, D.C. - Jesse Ray Beard, the youngest member of the "Jena Six," is reportedly interested in spending a portion of his legal defense fund on private school tuition.

Beard and five other black students attending Jena High School in Jena, Louisiana are accused of beating a white student in a racially-charged December 2006 incident. The case received international attention and protests in favor of the black students. One of the Jena Six - Mychal Bell - has pleaded guilty to a juvenile charge related to the incident. Beard and the others are awaiting trial.

"Without discounting the seriousness of the charges against Jesse Ray Beard, the fact that he now appears to want to take advantage of a means of getting the best education possible is heartening," said Project 21 Fellow Deneen Borelli. "The fact that the only way he was given this choice was through a tragic series of events points to inherent problems in our nation's educational system that must be rectified."

Borelli, in addition to her work as a fellow with Project 21, is a member of the board of trustees of the Opportunity Charter School in Harlem.

Beard is living in New York with attorney Alan Howard while serving a 16-month sentence of house arrest on unrelated juvenile crime charges. He is allowed to work in a law firm and was accepted to a summer English course at the Canterbury School, a college preparatory boarding school.

Beard applied to be a full-time student at Canterbury, and would like to spend some of the money donated for his legal defense to pay for the school's tuition.

"They say that every dark cloud has a silver lining. In this case, Jesse Ray Beard is laying the groundwork to give himself a second chance through a quality education at a reputable school. This is unfortunately not a choice available to his classmates in Jena," added Project 21's Borelli. "While Beard may still be punished for what he allegedly did back in Louisiana, he is now taking advantage of something that could open up collegiate and career opportunities that were little more than a dream at Jena High. It's a crime that parents and students everywhere don't have a similar ability to go to a school that provides ample opportunity."

According to the America's Promise Alliance, 17 of the 50 largest cities in America have high school graduation rates of less than 50 percent. The Alliance for Excellent Education has estimated that dropouts from the 2007 school year alone will cost the nation over $300 billion in lost wages, taxes and productivity. A new study of the Milwaukee Parental School Choice Program found that 85 percent of students involved in the school choice program graduated high school in 2007 as opposed to 58 percent in the Milwaukee Public Schools.

Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact Ryan Balis at (202) 543-4110 or project21@nationalcenter.org, or visit Project 21's website at www.project21.org/P21Index.html.

Beard using 'Jena Six' defense funds for schooling
By Mandy M. Goodnight • mgoodnight@thetowntalk.com • August 15, 2008

Jesse Ray Beard is using his portion of the Jena Six Defense Fund to attend a private boarding school in Connecticut, which has piqued the interest of the attorney representing Justin Barker.

Cost to attend Canterbury School is $39,900 a year, according to the school's Web site.

Beard is the youngest of the six Jena High School students who are accused of attacking Barker in December 2006 at the school. The six students -- known as the "Jena Six" -- are black, and Barker is white.

Five of the six students are awaiting trial, while Mychal Bell pleaded guilty to a juvenile charge in connection with the incident.

The incident sparked international attention and led to a march of more than 20,000 in the rural LaSalle Parish town of Jena.

The Barkers have sued four of the Jena Six defendants and all six families. Bell and Beard are not listed in the lawsuit because they were minors at the time of the 2006 attack.

Henry Lemoine Jr., attorney for the Barkers, has said money from the defense fund could go to make restitution for Justin Barker. The fund was generated from donations given, including $10,000 from rocker David Bowie.

"I am following up on this," Lemoine said Thursday after hearing how Beard planned to pay for his out-of-state education.

This month, 9th Judicial District Judge Thomas Yeager removed the now-17-year-old Beard from house arrest on charges not related to the Jena Six case.

The move allowed Beard to remain out of state and attend Canterbury School, a private boarding school where he had been accepted this summer.

For the latter part of the summer, Yeager allowed Beard to move to New York to live with attorney Alan Howard. The teen had to take an English course, work as an intern in a law firm and be involved in a physical fitness routine.

In a letter to Yeager, Howard said Beard "is an engaging young man, with none of the negative qualities attributed to him by certain media reports."

While living with Howard, Beard applied and interviewed to be accepted at Canterbury School. He also participated in a football camp led by the school's football coach.

"Jesse Ray impressed me as a respectful and clear-thinking young man," coach Tom Taylor said in a letter to the court. "He also indicated a deep desire to have the opportunity to attend Canterbury School, grow as a person and student and realize his dream of going to college."

The school's football program has a 100 percent college attendance rate for players.

David Utter, attorney for Beard, said Beard is paying for the school partly with a scholarship, Jena Six Defense Fund money, and additional money is being raised for the remainder of the cost.

Beard's defense has been done pro bono, so Beard's $20,000 portion of the defense fund went to his education, Utter said.

"It (the money) was held by JJPL (Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana) and used 100 percent for his education," Utter said.

Lemoine said he is going to pursue where the defense fund money is at and the legal uses of that money.

He said he planned to track that money.

A young man who was one of Louisiana's infamous "Jena Six," a group of youths charged with the beating of two fellow students following alleged hate crimes involving nooses displayed at their high school in 2006, is expected to be joining other students at Canterbury School in September.

Louisiana youth getting a break
By: Emily M. Olson ©New Milford Times 2008

Jesse Ray Beard, 17, was accepted for admission to Canterbury Aug. 1 after meeting with Headmaster Tom Sheehy and the school's director of admissions, Keith Holton, according to a motion to terminate his probation order filed earlier this year in the 28th Judicial District Court, Juvenile Division, in the Parish of Lasalle in Louisiana.
The documents state that Mr. Beard filled out his own application and met in person with Mr. Sheehy and Canterbury's athletic coach, Tom Taylor. This summer, he also participated in a football camp run by Mr. Taylor.
"Coach Taylor, as indicated in his letter to the court, is committed to help Jesse Ray Bear succeed academically and athletically at the Canterbury School, and realize his dream of going to college," the motion states.
Mr. Beard's admission to Canterbury "would provide Jesse Ray Beard with top notch academic support, athletic programs, and spiritual and moral guidance," the motion states. "Significantly, it would also address the two concerns raised at the time Jesse Ray was originally placed on house arrest, namely negative peer influences and a lack of supervision ... [he] would be surrounded by positive peer influences, and there would be a dramatic step-up in supervision and structured activity."
The youth is being represented by David Utter, an attorney and founder of the Juvenile Justice Program of Louisiana (JJPL), who confirmed that Jesse Ray was sent to live in the home of an attorney in Westchester County, N.Y., following his probation. "He has done so well in his current placement," Mr. Utter said during a telephone interview this week. He sent the court documents to confirm his client's attendance at Canterbury in the fall.
Mr. Utter, who left the JJPL in December 2007 to pursue a new venture in Florida, is still representing Jesse Ray and will continue to do so until he receives a fair trial.
Mr. Utter is now the director of the Florida Initiatives for the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization focused on civil rights and hate crime investigation and prosecution.
"It's about the same thing we [continue to do] in Louisiana-we're looking to reform Florida's juvenile justice system," Mr. Utter said. "Like Louisiana, Florida overuses incarceration to deal with juvenile cases. The juvenile justice system is in a shambles, and we're devising a system to repair this broken justice system, as we have done in Mississippi and Alabama.
"It's a constant battle," Mr. Utter continued. "The fact that in Louisiana, in 2006, 2007 or 2008, you can still have a case like this, where if you're [African American] and you don't have a lot of money for a good lawyer, that the presumption is guilt and incarceration, is a pretty sad thing."
Teens, no matter what color they are or where they are from, face many challenges, the lawyer said. "I think that it's always 'cross your fingers and pray' with all teenagers, but I have a lot of faith that with the right support, all these young men are going to be successful," he said, referring to the Jena Six youths.
"Jesse Ray, thus far, has done a great job and it's a great opportunity for him," he said. "It's fantastic. He's getting exposed to all sorts of things. That's what teens need, lots of exposure, lots of support, and the research shows that it works."
Regarding his work with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Mr. Utter said the approach is simple. "We just want a fair trial for juveniles, and juvenile justice reform is so important," he said. "I brought [Jesse Ray Beard's] case with me and I'm doing it in this office."
A published report indicated that money donated for the defense of the Jena Six will partly pay for the youth's tuition at Canterbury.
As part of the court proceedings in the case, recusals were sought for several court officials, including a judge and District Attorney J. Reed Walters. In a motion from Mr. Utter filed in the state's superior court requesting the recusal of the district attorney, the Jena incidents were outlined in detail.
"On August 31, 2006, African American students arrived at school to find two hangman's nooses hanging from a tree that sits in the center of the Jena High School square ... where most students assemble during recess and lunch breaks,'" Mr. Utter's motion reads. "Disregarding the 4,863 recorded lynchings over the past 125 years, almost all in the Deep South and almost all hangings of African-Americans, officials reported to the local media that "most of the 'racial tensions' were more media hype than reality."
Despite a recommendation by the school principal that the three "noose hangers" be expelled, the expulsion hearing committee of the LaSalle Parish School Board voted to suspend the students instead.
"The attorney representing the school board (both in the noose-hangers' cases and also with regard to the expulsions of six African-American students including Jesse Ray) was, and remains, District Attorney J. Reed Walters (Walters): the very person who refused to prosecute these white students but charged Jesse Ray with attempted murder for allegedly hitting a fellow student ... ," Mr. Utter's motion continues.
"On December 4, 2006, after 3 months of racial tension at the school, including but not limited to: 1) protests and a sit-in by African-American students; 2) a meeting of African-American parents and students in response to the nooses; 3) African-American parents' efforts to discuss their opposition to the light punishment of the noose-hangers with the School Board; 4) numerous fights between African-American and white youth that spilled off school grounds; 5) at least one day of the entire school being placed on "lockdown;" and 6) an arsonist's fire that destroyed the main school building, Justin Barker (Justin), a white student, was injured in a battery, allegedly by six African-American students," the motion reads.
Shortly after the incident, sheriff's deputies arrested the young men, now known as the Jena 6, and charged them with aggravated second degree battery. Even though Justin was well enough to attend a school function hours later, Mr. Walters increased the charges against the Jena 6 to attempted second degree murder, and conspiracy to commit attempted second degree murder, and transferred one of the young men-Mychal Bell-to adult court.
Then, in February 2007, Jesse Ray Beard was charged with three misdemeanor offenses: simple battery, simple criminal damage to property less than $500, and simple assault. In a pre-disposition report from that motion, "factors contributing to delinquency were noted to be that 'Jesse is associating with a negative peer group involved in a continuous suspected delinquent behavior' and that 'there is not much supervision in the youth's home.' Jess Ray was given a suspended sentence of custody and placed on probation for a year, and ordered to house arrest with electronic monitoring.
For the following year, he received counseling and attended school. When his probation expired in March 2008, he was allowed to spend a month at the home of Alan Howard in Westchester, N.Y., to engage in an "interim educational plan" including a physical fitness program, an English course, no cell phone and a job. He worked as an intern at the firm of Dewy & LeBoeuf LLP, and followed the other terms of the agreement, according to the motion. In August, he was accepted to Canterbury School.
Ms. Kaplan's biggest concern for Jesse Ray Beard was his privacy, "so he can just be a kid," she said. "We're just hoping he's afforded that opportunity. There's a great level of scrutiny on this."

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Security Detail?!

For these Times!!

Some one may wonder why, we would need to be protesting the Six's imprisonment for the alledged beating of Justin Barker. Unegual Justice! Mychal Bell & the Jena Six are Political Prisoners. Mychal Bell Faces 22 and one half years. So, A black-man, rather a negroe; can receive anywhere from 22 & one half years to 350 years in prison for any crimes against whites. A Bond Hearing today at 9:00am will set the tone for the rest of the Six's situation. Freedom or No! The tone will be finally set.

The Town Talk-update
Originally published August 24, 2007
Bail denied for 'Jena Six' defendant Mychal Bell

Bail was denied today for Mychal Bell, the only "Jena Six" member who has been convicted in the beating of a student at Jena High School.

During a bail hearing today in Jena, four other crimes of violence involving Bell were revealed.

Bell, 17, could face more than 20 years in prison if given the maximum sentence for aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy to commit that crime. He was convicted of those charges in June.

Bell was one of six students to be arrested and charged with attempted murder in connection with a December incident at Jena High School in which student Justin Barker was left unconscious, bleeding and suffered facial injuries. Bell was 16 at the time of the incident.

Bell is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 20.

The other five students -- Theo Shaw, Robert Bailey Jr., Carwin Jones, Bryant Purvis and an unnamed juvenile -- have not yet gone to trial.

The NAACP, the Rev. Al Sharpton and other black leaders have said the "Jena Six" member have been treated unfairly by the justice system. The "Jena Six" students are black while the beating victim is white. The jury which convicted Bell was all-white.


Posted May 21, 2007


Post a Comment View All Comments

All of the speculation has just gone out the window. Now we know the truth. If someone has FOUR violent offenses by the age of 16, it's more than the color of his skin that has put him in this predicament.

Posted by: Alexandria Resident on Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:08 pm


Ty, the sad truth of the matter is that these other four incidents will be used in sentencing. I am afraid that Bell will get some jail time. If he is put into a prison, he will come out even more violent. Does anybody know whether there is any gang activity in Jena?

Posted by: observer on Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:05 pm


WOW.....let me be the FIRST to say that 4 other incidents of violence against Mr. Bell is more than pretty substantial....it does show a pattern of recklessness and violence. And this is all that he's been CAUGHT doing.....it does make one wonder how many other incidents he has been involved in and gotten away with.

Were the original charges of "attempted murder" a ploy to circumvent juvenile justice system BECAUSE of his previous track record??

Posted by: tyjemison on Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:00 pm

Michael Cobb is a Political Prisoner in Angola State Penitentiary!
Michael Cobb received 350 years!

Unequal Justice! Is this! When someone of another race is treated unfairly, in comparison with the way, other races are treated in the criminal justice system. In the Jena Six case & specifically with Mychal Bell, the ways of justice are tilted. Justin Barker was found on the campus with a weapon-a firearm. He was allowed to stay in school. Mychal Bell was convicted of an aggravated battery charge, was given a $90,000 bond prior to conviction and during the trial, he was not allowed to bail, because of the prior juvenile offenses and the probation associated with the juvenile offenses; he was denied a post-conviction bond on today, August 24, 2007.

However, in Bastrop, Louisiana a white-man charged with assessory to the gunning down of two Bastrop Detectives [murder], was allowed to bond out on $40,000.00. All this just an hour and 30 minutes north of Jena. This is UNEQUAL JUSTICE. And it's an unequal justice STATEWIDE that gubernatorial candidates need to address. I want to see what some of the organized groups are going to do now! Say now! Will they now, dump! Mychal Bell!

It is unequal justice, when a boy is convicted as an adult and denied bail, before the original trial, on the basis of a juvenile probation! That's UNEQUAL JUSTICE!!!
When the Louisiana Justice System perverts its methodolgy to just, get a conviction, to send a statement or to clear a case, that is no Justice at all.

We must demand, that the Gubernatorial Candidates from now till October 20th, and the Presidential candidates address the LOUISIANA JUSTICE SYSTEM & its RACIST PAST &

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mychal Bell left Hanging

<--Emancipation Oak But help has arrived!

As it would turn out, Bill Quigley; before he left the country, failed to provide certificate of service to the opposing attorneys notifying them of new motions, as per the law.

The attorney now handling Mychal Bell's case has established a team of lawyers to sift through the uncertain.

The scenario of the famed civil rights attorney, forgetting such a mundane legal chore is puzzling to say the least. That, coupled with actions by some ACLU staff is suspect. The new attorney was able to file motions to fire Blane Willaims,
and get a hearing on these actions.

3 August 2007

Revs. Jackson and Sharpton plan trip to show support for Jena Six
By Abbey Brown

The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Wednesday said the charges against the six black teens known as the "Jena Six" are "disgraceful" and said he is coming to Jena to spread a message of "reconciliation rather than retaliation."
Although the date for his visit isn't yet final, the Rev. Al Sharpton's office confirmed Wednesday that he will be speaking in support of the students some of whom still face attempted murder charges at 11 a.m. Sunday at Trout Creek Baptist Church in Jena.

Robert Bailey Jr., Mychal Bell, Carwin Jones, Bryant Purvis, Theo Shaw and an unnamed juvenile were charged in December with attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit the same after a Dec. 4 attack that left white student Justin Barker unconscious and in need of medical attention.

Bell was convicted in June of aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy to commit that crime the highest charge possible after LaSalle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters reduced the charges just before the trial began. He faces more than 20 years in prison when sentenced on Sept. 20.
Shaw, who was behind bars for more than seven months, was recently released in lieu of bond after family and supporters raised enough cash and property for the $90,000 bond. Bell remains behind bars.

The case has captured headlines and airtime across the world in both alternative and mainstream media, including recent segments on CNN, NBC and CBS nightly news.

But one of Bell's appeals attorneys, Bob Noel of Monroe, said he hopes the attention from both the media and national public figures will have no effect on the case positive or negative.

"I would hope not," he said of any possible effects. "I hope the outcome of the case is based solely upon the law as it applies to this case, and if it is, I feel very positive about the outcome."

Noel, along with the lead attorney in the case, Louis Scott, and other Monroe attorneys Lee Perkins, Peggy Sullivan and Carol Powell-Lexing, signed on to represent Bell through the appeals process. The attorneys are all members of the 4th Judicial District Indigent Defenders Board but aren't being contracted to do this.

All agreed to handle the defense work pro-bono after being contacted by Scott, who was contacted by Bell's father, Marcus Jones.

Alexandria defense attorney Mike Small said the widespread attention generated by the cases will virtually ensure that a motion to change venue for the other defendants will be granted.

"Given the polarization caused by these cases, it is difficult for me to imagine fair and impartial juries can be selected in LaSalle Parish," he said.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Jena's Six

Jena Six Defense Committee
P.O. Box 2798
Jena, Louisiana 71342

Bill Quigley was in Jena today at the LaSalle Correctional Center and the LaSalle Parish Courthouse. Quigley was in the prison to see, Mychal Bell who is awaiting sentencing on July 31st 2007. Mr. Quigley filed papers from Mychal Bell to dismiss Blane Williams as his [Bell's] legal counsel. Working in concord with Tory Pegram of the Louisiana ACLU and others, the process to free Mychal Bell & the Jena Six from this unlawful prosecution is in process. However, a swirl of events are occurring as the LaSalle system continues its denial of equal justice to all of its citizens. The incident at the church is being alledgedly investigated by the LaSalle Parish Sheriff.

The struggle continues as plantation paternalism, which is blind to the fact of its immoral practices; continues to attempt to conquer and divide. Attorneys who are coming in to the fray are wary of the tactics, that seek to dismantle freedoms won long ago. Independent civil and human rights facilitators are working under cover in the Jena area. The Monroe Initiative has focused on the Bell conviction, in an effort to dismantle the denial of equal justice. Monroe, Louisiana is the birthplace of Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the legendary Black Panther Party.

It has been suggested, that attorneys will be acquired pro bono; however, Robert Bailey, Jr., has Sam Thomas of Tallulah; Bryant Purvis has Daryl Hickmon of Alexandria; Carwin Jones has Mike Nunnery of Baton Rouge; Theodore Shaw has George Tucker of Hammond enrolled; and Mychal Bell has a team assembled with a so far unspecified lead attorney. It has been stated that the un-named juvenile, who was named on the BBC has a court appointed attorney. The rarely referenced 7th person Ryan Simmons, charged in the gun incident only has reportedly aggressive white attorney; who took Judge Mauffray to task in earlier hearings.

Also, a LaSalle Parish NAACP Branch resolution was effectively push through the national meeting, by a representative of the Louisiana NAACP State Conference in the National meeting in Detroit, Michigan in progress since July 7th through July 12th. The significance of the National Resolution is that a concerted response from the NAACP can be applied to the Jena debacle, with support from other groups such as Rainbow Push, Urban League, SCLC and BAMN. The ACLU has been in Jena from the out set. The family members have had unparalled access from the state ACLU through Tory Pegram & its New York offices, through King Downing. It is now time for the families of the Jena six to began the long process of living with and moving forward with the actions which must be taken hereafter.

The Nation of Islam in Monroe has sought ways to be of assistance to the efforts in Jena. On the night of Thursday July 5th, the Nation was in attendance, and gave two seperate donations to the Jena Six Defense Committee. The Minister Lawrence Muhammad, has been in contact with numerous officials urging, their assistance in what is happening in Jena. The regional headquarters of the Nation in Houston, is spearheading a national Islamic involvement.

All parties concerned at this point must work in their particular area of expertise and coordinate with all entities involved. Each group must, appoint a person to spearhead its involvement.

It must be a concerted effort.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

World Cultural Economic Forum in New Orleans

Culture forum planned for La.
State's arts, history will be showcased
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
By Jaquetta White

Hoping to bring international attention to what has been termed the state's cultural economy, Louisiana will host the World Cultural Economic Forum in August, Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu said Tuesday.

The event, a demonstration modeled after the World Economic Forum based in Switzerland, will include a series of meetings and workshops on culture featuring ambassadors and cultural attachés from several countries.

"The topic would be culture in its most general sense," Landrieu said.

While the meetings will discuss culture worldwide, programs, performances and events held throughout the state during the forum will showcase Louisiana's literary arts, visual arts, culinary arts, performing arts and history. The hope is that after the visit, the ambassadors will spread word of the state's recovery in their countries.

Landrieu said the idea for the forum arose from the outpouring of support Louisiana received from foreign nations following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. During February's Louisiana Cultural Economy Summit III, several international leaders expressed interest in helping Louisiana capitalize on its culture. It was a show of that support that led French government officials in March to lend works from French museums to the New Orleans Museum of Art for the "Femme, Femme, Femme," exhibit, which ended earlier this month.

"This is to kind of take it up a notch in response to their support," Landrieu said. "We also want to learn from what other countries have to present to us."

Landrieu's office has been behind a push to use Louisiana's culture to encourage economic development. The culture sector of the state's economy includes entertainment jobs, such as those in broadcasting, film, music and live entertainment, as well as some parts of culinary arts, literary arts and humanities, preservation and visual arts and crafts. A state-commissioned study released this year reported that about 144,000 jobs, or 7 percent of the state's employment, is generated through the sector.

The forum will take place Aug. 16-26 in New Orleans. The dates were selected to coincide as closely as possible with the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The hope is that a successful event will allay fears about hosting major affairs in New Orleans during hurricane season, said Jeanne Nathan, a spokeswoman for the forum.

The forum also is timed to coincide with several other events statewide, including Carnaval Latino, a festival celebrating Hispanic heritage and culture, in New Orleans and the Floodwall Exhibit, an art installation memorializing victims of Hurricane Katrina, in Baton Rouge.

Jun 8, 11:11 AM EDT
appeared in The News-Star Monroe, La.
Judge: Fed prosecutors should get involved in whistle-blower case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The judge who unsealed a federal whistle-blower case accusing insurance companies of overbilling the National Flood Insurance Program says the U.S. Department of Justice should get involved or explain why not.

The case was brought by former insurance adjusters who say they have evidence that insurance companies overbilled the federal flood program while underpaying claims for Hurricane Katrina wind damage.

U.S. District Judge Peter Beer filed a one-sentence motion this week: "The Court, on its own motion, respectfully requests the United States Department of Justice enter this case by July 9, 2007, or show cause on July 11, 2007, at 9:30 a.m., why they are not intervening in this civil action."

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Baton Rouge, which fielded the complaint with the Department of Justice in Washington even though it was filed in New Orleans, referred a call Friday for comment to Washington. The department has no comment, spokesman Charles Miller said.

Beer said he was surprised to learn that the U.S. attorney's office in Baton Rouge planned only to monitor the case, which now is being prosecuted for the U.S. government by a private attorney who represents the whistle-blowers.

"What about the good old general public? Who better to look after the interests of the public than the U.S. attorneys?" Beer said. "This is a case the government should be involved with. The United States should be right in there, and not just monitoring it, given as far-reaching and serious as this case is."

The whistle-blowers say that they've analyzed insurance appraisals of damage and readjusted claims at 150 properties in the New Orleans area. They say all of the flood claims were overpaid - by an average of 66 percent - while the wind claims were underpaid.

The average means the overcharges could total billions out of the $14 billion paid after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Louisiana.

Because private insurance carriers administer federal flood insurance policies and adjust both flood and wind claims, the theory is that companies may be dumping the bills for wind damage onto the taxpayer-financed flood program to save themselves money.

Insurance companies have said they stand by their claims-handling practices.

Beer's motion was copied to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales or his deputy; Jim Letten, the U.S. attorney in New Orleans; and David Dugas, the U.S. attorney in Baton Rouge.

Delegates to Washington to discuss needs in N.O.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
By Brendan McCarthy
New Orleans Times-Picayune

Top New Orleans legal and law enforcement officials are scheduled to testify before Congress today in an effort to seek additional federal money to fight crime.

"Basically, we are going to talk about how the infrastructure of the criminal justice system here is wholly inadequate," said Robert Stellingworth, the president of the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation, who is slated to testify. "We are still operating in a crisis mode, which makes it difficult."

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., are scheduled to brief members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in a hearing titled "Rising Violent Crime in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina."

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, New Orleans Police Deputy Chief Anthony Cannatella and Orleans Parish Juvenile Court Chief Judge David Bell will also testify.

Cannatella said Tuesday that the hearing is part of the process of strengthening law enforcement.

"Senators Landrieu and Vitter are attempting to help the city and get what it needs to get the criminal justice system back up on its feet," Cannatella said.

The congressional committee will hear stories of a fractured criminal justice system, one with systemic problems that were laid bare and heightened following Hurricane Katrina.

In recent months, law enforcement agencies have heralded several moves back to normalcy. The NOPD crime lab is up and running, albeit not yet at full capacity. Some of the police district stations have been repaired, though many units, including top administration officials, still work out of trailers.

In addition, NOPD Superintendent Warren Riley and Orleans Parish District Attorney Eddie Jordan have agreed to certain steps to make prosecutions more efficient and effective.

Despite the marked improvements since the storm, violent crime has remained steady.

The city's 2006 per-capita homicide rate ranks highest in the country. With at least 91 slayings this year, the city is well on pace to surpass last year's homicide total of 162.

State Police troopers and National Guard troops, deployed here since last summer, are scheduled to remain at least through Sept. 1.

In addition, officers from federal law enforcement agencies are working in the city alongside local police officers.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Full-scale mobilisation as Gonu strikes:-To reach Muscat by 4 pm today

As Sultanate joins the world to mark World Environment Day
Oman to be Hit: Citizens Depart
Gonu brings rain relief, fear to India
5 Jun, 2007 l 0236 hrs ISTlTIMES NEWS NETWORK

BHUJ/GANDHINAGAR: The heat seems to have gone, thanks to Gonu. Heavy rainfall hit Bhuj and surrounding areas with 25 mm being recorded in just half-an-hour on Monday evening. Rainfall was also reported from Rajkot, parts of Banaskantha, Patan, Mehsana and Sabarkantha in the evening.

District authorities said that the rainfall in Kutch and north Gujarat was due to the impact of the cyclonic storm, Gonu, which was earlier heading towards the state coast. The cyclone is now moving westwards to Oman. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has informed Gujarat government that the cyclonic formation in the Arabian sea is now moving away from the coast, but the state officialdom is taking no chances.

Officials monitoring the weather in the Arabian sea say, the movement of the cyclonic formation, Gonu, is still 'unpredictable'.

"Instructions were given to district collectors of all the coastal districts on Sunday evening to be on the alert. These instructions stand. Fishermen have been asked not to move into the sea for another 24 hours because of the possibility of rough weather.

However, no extra measures are being taken, as the cyclonic formation is still 600 kilometres away from the Gujarat coast," a senior official of the state relief commissionerate said. Mamlatdars of coastal talukas including Abdassa, Mundra, Mandvi and Gandhidham have been asked to stay at their respective headquarters.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Geography of Dissent New Orleans & Palestine

Palestine 29May2007 update

Haniyeh wary of possible Israeli assassin!

Lawmaker wants Supreme Court in Baton Rouge

Advocate Capitol News Bureau
Published: May 1, 2007

Baton Rouge would become home to the Louisiana Supreme Court if a Shreveport lawmaker has his way.

Sen. Max Malone, R-Shreveport, proposed a constitutional amendment that would move the state’s top court to the capital city by Jan. 1, 2010.

Malone said Monday he’s irked by the court’s failure to follow the law.

Suit filed over indigent defense
Judges vote to pull 4 members off panel

May 05, 2007By Laura Maggi

The judges of Criminal District Court voted Friday to remove four members of the board that oversees the New Orleans public defender office, prompting the entire board to file a federal lawsuit saying the judges are improperly interfering with providing quality legal representation to poor defendants.

All of the judges except Charles Elloie, who has been temporarily suspended by the Louisiana Supreme Court, met behind closed doors Friday morning at the Criminal District Courthouse at Tulane Avenue and South Broad Street. Exiting the judicial administrators' office, Chief Judge Raymond Bigelow declined to comment on the private meeting, which had consideration of the membership of the Orleans Indigent Defense Board at the top of its agenda.

But a lawsuit filed at the U.S. District Court in New Orleans made clear that four members were notified they had been kicked off the nine-member board, which has been operating for many months with just eight members.

The lawsuit, which was assigned to Judge Lance Africk, is based on the constitutional right of poor defendants to get "conflict-free" representation, said Herbert Larson, the attorney for the board.

"The attempted removal of four members of the present board and replacing them with other people is nothing more than an attempt to interfere with the management decisions by what is, by any measure, an outstanding indigent defender board," Larson said. He asked for a preliminary injunction to block the change.

In anticipation of the judges' actions, which came after weeks of negotiation, including sessions with the Louisiana Supreme Court, five members of the board met Thursday to unanimously authorize the lawsuit, said Derwyn Bunton, a terminated board member and associate director of the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana. Three board members did not attend that meeting, he said.
New Orleans Times-Picayune

Bahr asks South Africa to pressure Israel to halt aggressions on Palestinians

GAZA, (PIC)-- Dr. Ahmad Bahar, the acting speaker of the PLC, has asked a visiting South African delegation, headed by Ronnie Kasrlis the minister of intelligence services, to pressure Israel into halting its aggression on the Palestinian people.

Dr. Bahar briefed the delegates on the sufferings of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation that doubled over the past year as a result of the "oppressive siege" imposed on them.

He further said that the detention of Dr. Aziz Dwaik, the speaker of the PLC, and locking him up in a small cell "ran contrary to all international norms and the Geneva Convention".

For his part, Kasrlis pointed to his country's strong sense of the injustice befalling the Palestinian people, and appreciated their struggle aimed at restoring legitimate rights of freedom and independence.

In the same context, Kasrlis expressed his condemnation of Israel's detention of 41 Palestinian lawmakers, including the speaker of the PLC.

He also said that the two peoples in Palestine and South Africa underwent the same bitter experience for the sake of freedom and independence, "Hence we should strengthen the relations between the two countries through repeated meetings and visits at all levels".

Monday, April 23, 2007

Changing Times?

The theory of the unitary executive is a radical vision of executive power in which the president is the big boss of the entire executive branch and has final say over everything that happens within it. At its core, the theory holds that Congress has very limited authority to divest the president of those powers. An expanded version of this theory was the legal predicate for the torture memo: "In light of the president's complete authority over the conduct of war, without a clear statement otherwise, criminal statutes are not read as infringing on the president's ultimate authority in these areas. … Congress may no more regulate the president's ability to detain and interrogate enemy combatants than it may regulate his ability to direct troop movements on the battlefield."

Is America changing or has the nation evolved into a battleground of control by partisans and branches of government? In either case, the people are caught in the middle of such a shoving match, the likes of which can not be compared to any thing in modern media history. The world can explore the facts or non-facts of checks and balances in American governance. The impending doom of an impeachment proceeding, would precipitate a stock market crash as confidence in an unstable American democracy would erode further and trigger a global devaluation of the dollar. All would suffer, especially the poor in such an event. hlr

Seale Jury Pool to be Queried

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Desperation in Gaza

US policy in Palestine hinders basic human infrastructure. A democratic election was held in Palestine. The elected government was not to US government liking. Sanctions continue on the country and its human population. At some point will the palestinian populous realize to vote the american ticket?

Flood of Sewage in Gaza Kills at Least 4
Published: March 27, 2007

At least 4 people were killed today in the northern Gaza Strip and more than 30 injured when a sewage system collapsed, flooding a village with waste water, according to the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees.
The agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which helps Palestinian refugees and their families, posted photographs on its Web site showing Palestinians wading through the muck, and waters rising about half way up structures in the area known as Um al-Nasr.

The local Palestinian news agency, Wafa, reported that at least nine people were killed and scores wounded. Hundreds of houses were flooded or damaged, the U.N. agency and Wafa said.

“The waters destroyed houses, tents, shelters, everything in its way,” Musa Jaber, a 28 year-old Palestine refugee and father of five, told the U.N. agency. “It was very high, more than a meter. And horrifying! Women and children were screaming at the top of their lungs for help.”

The U.N. agency estimated that between 3,000 and 6,000 inhabitants would evacuate as the flood waters spread to outlying areas. The agency dispatched staff to the area, as well as water and food supplies. Bulldozers were sent to create earth barriers.

Village children clung to wooden doors floating on the putrid waters and rescuers paddled through the village in makeshift boats in search of victims, Agence France-Presse reported. It said Palestinian television called the flood a “sewage tsunami.”

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company {GSSC}

One Voice

A building sits on its own island of land in Chongqing Municipality, China. The homeowner has refused to sell to a developer, who went ahead with construction around the site.

Published: March 27, 2007
CHONGQING, China, March 23 — For weeks the confrontation drew attention from people all across China, as a simple homeowner stared down the forces of large-scale redevelopment that are sweeping this country, blocking the preparation of a gigantic construction site by an act of sheer will.

Chinese bloggers were the first to spread the news, of a house perched atop a tall, thimble-shaped piece of land like Mont-Saint-Michel in northern France, in the middle of a vast excavation.

Newspapers dived in next, followed by national television. Then, in a way that is common in China whenever an event begins to take on hints of political overtones, the story virtually disappeared from the news media after the government, bloggers here said, decreed that the subject was suddenly out of bounds.

Still, the “nail house,” as many here have called it because of the homeowner’s tenacity, like a nail that cannot be pulled out, remains the most popular current topic among bloggers in China.

It has a universal resonance in a country where rich developers are seen to be in cahoots with politicians and where both enjoy unchallenged sway. Each year, China is roiled by tens of thousands of riots and demonstrations, and few issues pack as much emotional force as the discontent of people who are suddenly uprooted, told that they must make way for a new skyscraper or golf course or industrial zone.

What drove interest in the Chongqing case was the uncanny ability of the homeowner to hold out for so long. Stories are legion in Chinese cities of the arrest or even beating of people who protest too vigorously against their eviction and relocation. In one often-heard twist, holdouts are summoned to the local police station and return home only to find their house already demolished. How did this owner, a woman no less, manage? Millions wondered.

Part of the answer, which on meeting her takes only a moment to discover, is that Wu Ping is anything but an ordinary woman. With her dramatic lock of hair precisely combed and pinned in the back, a form-flattering bright red coat, high cheekbones and wide, excited eyes, the tall, 49-year-old restaurant entrepreneur knows how to attract attention — a potent weapon in China’s new media age, in which people try to use public opinion and appeals to the national image to influence the authorities.

“For over two years they haven’t allowed me access to my property,” said Ms. Wu, her arms flailing as she led a brisk walk through the Yangjiaping neighborhood here. It is an area in the throes of large-scale redevelopment, with broad avenues, big shopping malls and a recently built elevated monorail line, from whose platform nearly everyone stops to gawk at the nail house.

Within moments of her arrival at the locked gate of the excavated construction site, a crowd began to gather. The people, many of them workers with sunken cheeks, dressed in grimy clothes, regarded Ms. Wu with expressions of wonderment. Some of them exchanged stories about how they had been forced to relocate and soothed each other with comments about how it all could not be helped.

From inside the gates a government television crew began filming.

“If it were an ordinary person they would have hired thugs and beat her up,” murmured a woman dressed in a green sweater who was drawn by the throng. “Ordinary people don’t dare fight with the developers. They’re too strong.”

Earlier this month the National People’s Congress passed a historic law guaranteeing private property rights to China’s swelling ranks of urban middle-class homeowners, among others. Some here attributed Ms. Wu’s success to that, as well as her knack for generating publicity.

“In the past they would have just knocked it down,” said an 80-year-old woman who said she used to be a neighbor of Ms. Wu’s. “Now that’s forbidden, because Beijing has put out the word that these things should be done in a reasonable way.”

Between frenzied telephone calls to reporters and city officials, Ms. Wu, who stood at the center of the crowd with her brother, a 6-foot-3 decorative stone dealer who wore his brown hair in jheri curls, stated her case with a slightly different spin.

“I have more faith than others,” she began. “I believe that this is my legal property, and if I cannot protect my own rights, it makes a mockery of the property law just passed. In a democratic and lawful society a person has the legal right to manage one’s own property.”

Tian Yihang, a local college student, spoke glowingly of her in an interview at the monorail station. “This is a peculiar situation,” he said, with a bit of understatement. “I admire the owner for being so persistent in her principles. In China such things shock the common mind.”

Ms. Wu will in all likelihood lose her battle. Indeed, developers recently filed administrative motions to allow them to demolish her lonely building. Certainly the local authorities are eager to see the last of her.

“During the process of demolition, 280 households were all satisfied with their compensation and moved,” said Ren Zhongping, a city housing official. “Wu was the only one we had to dismantle forcibly. She has the value of her house in her heart, but what she has in mind is not practical. It’s far beyond the standards of compensation decided by owners of housing and the professional appraisal organ.”

With the street so choked with onlookers that traffic began to back up, Ms. Wu’s brother, Wu Jian, began waving a newspaper above the crowd, pointing to pictures of Ms. Wu’s husband, a local martial arts champion, who was scheduled to appear in a highly publicized tournament that evening. “He’s going into our building and will plant a flag there,” Mr. Wu announced.

Moments later, as the crowd began to thin, a Chinese flag appeared on the roof with a hand-painted banner that read: “A citizen’s legal property is not to be encroached on.”

Asked how his brother-in-law had managed to get inside the locked site and climb the escarpment on which the house is perched, he said with a wink, “Magic.”
Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company {GSSC}


The capitalization by ICF of the situation in New Orleans is unconscionable. It is appalling that the Washington Times writer, doesn't acknowledge the withdrawal of the Governor of Louisiana from the governor's race. Neither is mentioned the possible run by John Breaux. Both omissions acknowledge the awaiting of business as usual to fully stamp its approval on the demise of Louisiana.

Louisiana State Senator Edwin Murray in a special session committee meeting in December 2006, resolved to have the Security & Exchange Commission determine if the Road Home contract advanced ICF's standing in the global market.

Katrina contract buoys ICF stock
By Tom Ramstack
March 27, 2007

ICF International took on a huge contract last summer to administer a federal Hurricane Katrina recovery program in Louisiana that has been hounded by complaints about the time it takes to distribute grant money.
Nevertheless, the Fairfax consulting company's stock value is up by more than 20 percent in the past six months.
Last June, ICF International won a contract valued at up to $756 million over three years to administer grants to homeowners in Louisiana to rebuild their homes after the 2005 hurricane.
The $7.5 billion program, called the Road Home, provides up to $150,000 to each homeowner in federally funded block grants, which are administered by the state.
ICF International beat out BearingPoint and Affiliated Computer Services in a bid for the contract to screen applicants and distribute the money.
By January, ICF International was being criticized by Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and others for a slow response and unnecessary bureaucracy. The company reportedly received 103,000 applications but gave out fewer than 400 grants. State auditors also raised questions about what appeared to be excessive legal fees and travel expenses.
The company said it was dealing with software problems and disputes with applicants over property values, but denied being behind the state government's schedule. ICF officials also said the size of the Hurricane Katrina recovery is unparalleled. The Road Home program required using more than 2,000 employees, about 700 directly employed by ICF International and the rest by 23 subcontractors.
"It was the largest contract we ever won," said Doug Beck, ICF International's senior vice president of corporate development.
The company normally operates with 2,100 employees internationally, about half in the Washington area.
For the Road Home program, they tried to hire as much local talent as possible.
"Given the amount of devastation, they're very aware of how much money goes back into Louisiana to help the local economy," Mr. Beck said. "We've tried very, very hard to have as much of a Louisiana footprint as possible. Ninety percent of the employees are from Louisiana and 70 percent are storm victims whose homes were damaged."
ICF International officials announced Feb. 28 that they gave out 2,268 grants for the month, prompting Louisiana's governor to tone down her earlier criticisms of the company. The company says it is on schedule to have given out a total of about 6,000 grants by the end of this month.
"I expect continued positive results and will not be satisfied until the application of every homeowner is complete," Mrs. Blanco said. "We jump-started this program by removing roadblocks and holding ICF International accountable."
ICF International has 38 years of experience handling government housing assistance programs. It helped in the recovery after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and after Hurricane Andrew devastated central Florida in 1992.
However, until the Road Home, its contracts for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development were valued at a total of just under $50 million since 2001.
The company has administered other government contracts for environmental work, defense, energy and human services. One of them was announced last week, when the Homeland Security Department awarded ICF International a $22.1 million, five-year contract for consulting services on how to protect U.S. infrastructure, such as power plants, railroads and telecommunications equipment.
The company said it would help the government deploy resources to "offer the most benefit for mitigating risk" from terrorist attacks.
Its stock hit a 52-week high last week after it announced its fourth-quarter revenue more than doubled. ICF International's stock, ICFI on the Nasdaq Stock Market, rose to $18.90 per share yesterday, up 59 cents or 3 percent from Friday's closing price.
The company reported net income of $9.2 million (65 cents per diluted share) on revenue of $113.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. One year earlier, it lost $1 million (11 cents) on revenue of $51.8 million, which it blamed largely on tax charges.
Financial analysts say Road Home was a watershed event for ICF International, but one that is unlikely to sustain its earnings for long at the same level as the fourth quarter of 2006.
Nevertheless, the company is making steady progress in winning other government contracts, said Joseph A. Vafi, a research analyst for the financial firm Jefferies & Co.
"Given a double-digit increase in backlog, we feel the base revenue will re-accelerate somewhat over the next several quarters," Mr. Vafi said in a research note. "At the same time, a material slowdown post-Road Home anniversary could be a risk in 2008."
Copyright 2007 The Washington Times {GSSC}

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