Monday, August 30, 2010

My Totem Animal

It appears I’ve identified my spirit guide and animal totem it is the crow. I suppose it’s always seemed like I’ve had a relationship with them. I glimpse their language I feel their flight. A few days ago as I was meditating and calling for guidance from all things that had my well and good in mind an entire flight of them went right over my head. It isn’t the first time something like this has happened to me and those birds, but it’s the first time I’ve thought to examine what it might mean.

As I was meditating this evening one of them landed on the fence in my backyard looked at me as if to say “yeah that’s right” and took off. Just now one cawed so ok already.

Crow is about Law, most specifically Sacred Law. He is the keeper of these laws and all sacred texts are under this protection. Sacred texts of the Native Peoples are all bound in Crow feathers.
Human law and Sacred law are not the same. We humans, many times, struggle with the balancing of the two ways. Crow sees that the physical world and the spiritual world, as we humans interpret them, are an illusion. As a totem he comes to help us see our personal truth.
The Crow totem will come to us when it is time to reflect on how we see the laws of the Great Spirit in relation to the laws of humanity. Great Spirit is the term many indigenous peoples refer to when some would say the Holy Spirit while others might just say God.

Crows are the keepers of the Sacred Law
and to have a Crow totem is very powerful.
Personal Integrity are your watchwords and your guide in Life.
If you have a Crow totem, your prime path
is to be mindful of your opinions and actions.
You must be willing to walk your talk,
to speak your truth and to know your life's mission.
Crow is a omen of Change.
Crow lives in the void and has no sense of time,
therefore, it sees past, present and future simultaneously.
Crow merges both light and dark, both inner and outer.
It is the totem of the Great Spirit and must be respected as such.
They are symbols of creation and spiritual strength.
Look for opportunities to create and manifest the magic of life.
Crows are messengers calling to us
about the creation and magic that is alive in the world today
and available to us.

If you have a crow as a totem, you need to be willing to walk your talk and speak your truth. You must put aside your fear of being a voice in the wilderness and "caw" the shots as you see them. Crow is an omen of change. If he keeps appearing to you he may be telling you that you have a powerful voice when addressing issues that you do not quite understand or feel that they are out of balance.
Crows are the bringer of messages from the spirit world, and is thought to dwell beyond the realm of time and space.
When you meet crow, he could be telling you that there will be changes in your life and that possibly you should step by the usual way you view reality and look into the inner realms …walk your talk…be prepared to let go of your old thinking and embrace a new way of viewing yourself and the world.

Well I said I was open to the journey.

Update 6:39 ok I write this and 3 fly over and one drops a feather for me. I said alright already!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Adept2u's Sunday Thoughts

On this day we look to commune with our God I open the text to the book of Wonder. If any are confused know the basic answer to all of life’s interesting issues can be solved by how effectively we apply LOVE to it. How do you do it when it hurts so bad? FORGIVENESS, How does one forgive when it hurts so bad? It's for that exact reason that you have to learn how to do it. For who is anyone else to let their actions hurt you so badly.

I step forth into this day with APPRECIATION. I orient myself and emotions to know that all I am given is a blessing. Every event is a chance to learn. Every problem is an opportunity to perform. I have been bestowed by the creator of the universe with the knowledge of his being and for that I am the most grateful of all.

I desire to experience the expression of God through you. It is for that reason I cultivate EMPATHY in my heart as a mother raises her child. May it be strong. May it grow as a light through and about me. May it be the first thing I greet any of my human family with.

My Bellissima
My own being skips a beat
Restarts in your eyes.

The ability contained inside of each human soul is powerful as to be beyond limit. It is because of that fact I ask for HUMILITY. I ask that the awareness of that potential inform my every interaction and color my every decision. May I never endeavor to stand above another, but instead love to stand with anyone.

I am not at war with my tears for they are a sign of COMPASSION. I hope to never be so hardened as to not care. I aim to feel my brother’s pain as keenly as he does so that all pain may end. I add my waters to all those currently hurting.

Fear is not an option. Fear has no place in the councils of my mind. I was born with all the armor I require and it is a protection that cannot be taken from me. Fear has only the ability to motivate me to Joy for I am a man of VALOR.

So I close today again calling from the Book of Wonder. I pull a page from his time machine of 1976 yet it's message is more important in the next seconds, moments, hours, today and tomorrow. Namaste friends I love you all!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

135 Honks in two hours

Ever since Glenn Beck announced his plans to defile the memory of MLK with his brand of hate I’ve been announcing my intention to stand outside his corporate edifice in Los Angeles and protest the genesis of hate in this country his organization Newscorp/Fox/Rupert Murdoch.


All week long it’s been hotter than July in Los Angeles. Those days were trying very hard to give me an excuse to duck out. No one would be there but me and those I brought, It wont do anything, and why should I put peoples health at risk by standing them in the middle of a 105 degree day. So I wake up this morning and it’s overcast lovely and not even 75 degrees. So we got our behinds up and got ready to go.

I’ve always kind of treasured the tradition of protest I can trace in my family. I like to think I’m a worthy inheritor of the tradition and as one I want to make sure it goes down the line. To that end I called 3 of the sweetest smartest young ladies I have in my family to represent the next generation and down we went.

I know the area of the Fox Television Studios in Los Angeles fairly well, but even so I looked up the neighborhood one more time as reconnaissance before we headed down, so we knew what to expect. Our target was a fairly nice looking modern building on the west side of Bundy with a street making it the fulcrum of a T facing the building. Really cool because that means that the building itself had 2 corners of attention plus it’s frontage as a billboard. I’m thinking oh boy if we can get a few folks to show up we can look like we’re doing something.


I was stressing like mad because we were running a little late. We didn’t actually get in front of Fox until 10:15 and I had announced the jump off time of the festivities as 10:00. If anyone showed up and didn’t hang out for us 15 minutes sorry I missed you, but it was just our crew at 10:15 and although I could feel many people with us in spirit it was just us 5 in body.


It is not my nature to be shy. I make my living in being not shy, so I grabbed my sign and started marching up and down. Sweetie and the ladies jumped in like Trojans and we held up what we came to tell them.

I made an attempt to catch the eye of every driver who went by us to notice the double takes and reactions. It wasn’t long until I noticed a few thumbs up a couple of head bobs, and then it started to happen, people would blow their horns in solidarity. Not long after that we began to wonder how many people would honk at us, and the count began.
We went over 25 within the first 15 minutes, and I decided to see if we could make it a game. We decided we would try and hang out until we amassed 200 honks.

Not long after we hit the 30 mark we got our first visitor in the form of a security agent. I had semi expected this to happen from my experience in yelling at the men from mouse at Disney. Sweetie was already talking to him by the time I came down the line with my Fox Sells Hate sign, so I was late to the conversation. He was discussing how active he was in his local chapter of the SEIU, he said I’m off duty now and they know they wrong what group are you guys with you need to hook up with some other groups because they need people who aren’t afraid to protest. He shared his e-mail and promised to put us in contact with one of the groups that has filled in for ACORN.

Honk 50

We went from 30 to 50 in what seemed like an hour. I was starting to think 200 honks might have been overly optimistic. Sweetie rallied us to persevere for as she told us who knows when a string of honkers would come through. It was also at this time I noticed a guy drive into the Fox front door and mouth “oh fuck” you can tell when that happens you don’t need be a mouth reader.

About 15 minutes later we get our next visit from Fox Security and unlike our first visitor he wasn’t wearing a uniform, but he had a fantastic Black lady named Keisha along with him to give him credibility I guess. He asked who we represented and why we were there. I told him as our signs said we were trying to speak out against his corporation’s usage of hate as a weapon to divide the country I love. He tried to point out that where I was standing was not Fox News, and I let him know that if Rupert Murdoch owned a Chuck E. Cheese’s franchise I’d picket that too. There are no happy face companies and I don’t buy the corporate fiction of independent organizations. He told me that I had the right to walk up and down the public sidewalk and that he would appreciate it if I didn’t block their driveway. Fair enough, but for some reason I felt like torturing their security for a bit so I went to their mobile camera and grabbed my sig line sign and hoped they’d send an e-mail to Rupert.


Honk 73

Of all the eyes I caught outside of indifference I only saw two negative reactions. One lady in a very tight Jaguar looked me right in the eyes shook her finger in a tsk tsk and shook her head no no at my Fox Sells Hate sign. I smiled as sweetly and as nicely as I could and said yes they do and shook my head yes and she drove on very nicely. The second was an old man that looked like Willie Nelson who refused to wash his hair, but he was riding in a very nice Mercedes. He rolled down his window yelled “fuck you” at the same time showing me one of his digits in a most unfriendly way. I answered back “thank you sir” pointed at my Hate sign and said “I love you” and he answered “FAGGOT”. He then rolled down about 20 feet and gave the same treatment to a 12 year old girl. So do people who defend Fox exhibit the very thing we had come to speak against? Why yes, yes they do.

Honk 97

The honks are actually coming pretty fast and furious and I’m actually thinking we might make our number of 200. I should have looked in the eyes of my fellow protestors. We’d been out about an hour and a half and arms were getting tired. After we went over 100 we changed the goal. 25 more for Dr. King!

Honk 117

The strip of Bundy that the Fox studios are on is just south of some very rich real estate. All through the day as I was looking at the faces against the quality of car I’d say hey isn’t that, or hmm I think she might have been someone, but honk 117 was special. Black escalade large brother who sweetie and the girls now swear was Terrell Owens.

Honk 125

People are tired. I don’t think we’re going to make it to 150 let alone 200 so I make one more attempt. Can we get 25 more honks for Mrs. King? Mrs. King it seems was only good for 10 more. As if in concurrence the sun started to come out and the lovely Southern California protest weather began to break. Mrs. King’s were the fastest honks we got all day,

I love to think of the concept that a the beat of the wing of a singly butterfly might be the genesis of a hurricane. My little crew and I beat ours speaking out against hate and for unity. I hope I showed my little cousins a good enough time so that they will always know that even if their voice is alone it is theirs to use. A great day was had by all I sprung for some chicken and we had a great picnic afterwards. The greatest President this country has ever elected Barack Obama has echoed Gandhi, heck I even heard Beck said about the same thing today. Be the change you want to see in the world.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I used to wonder why people wrote TTFN type diaries etc, but now I know why. It’s to let the many people you have formed a relationship with here know you haven’t just dropped off the side of the earth.

I’ve had an excellent time as a diarist and commenter here on the Daily Kos and as a Democrat I will always be active in the causes I hold dear, but I have decided to end my active participation on this site for now.

I enjoy too many diarist works to not at least lurk, and I’m hoping something will inspire me enough to scream out about it, but for now this place is far too divided, too unfriendly, and I’m just tired of fighting.

Namaste friends.

Jeffrey Lord Doubles Down on the Stupid

Jeffrey Lord has come out with a defense of his indefensible article attacking Shirley Sherrod in the American Spectator for referring to the death of her relative Bobby Hall as a lynching. Get a load of this crap in its entirety if you have a strong stomach.

For those who don't have the constitution for open race baiting or want to jump into the crazy world of Jeffrey Lord one in which a person being beaten to death by 3 crazed southern sheriffs isn’t a lynching because they lacked rope here is a great deconstruction of his arguments by Radley Balko over at Who Jeff Lord actually has the nerve to call Balko Boo Radley lol!

Or If I may I’ll just quote how our own Jed Lewison summarized the smear.

Shirley Sherrod lied when she described Bobby Hall's death as a lynching because the Supreme Court never said it was a lynching (even though everybody agrees a Sheriff beat Hall to death and dragged him through the county courthouse while on his deathbed).

Progressives who sounded an awful lot like Shirley Sherrod are responsible for creating the conditions that led to Bobby Hall's murder because the only way you can advocate for working people is to engage in race-baiting.

Link to Jed's article

Jed wasn’t the only one to see the errors in Mr. Lord’s reasoning, two contributors in his own publication called him to task.

Jim Tabin writes

What on Earth is Jeffrey Lord talking about on the mainpage? He says that the sentence "Claude Screws lynched a black man" is untrue. Lynching is defined as an extrajudicial killing by a mob (which can be as few as two people). The fatal beating of Bobby Hall most certainly qualifies.

Link to his post

Phillip Klein chimes in as well.

A regular part of writing for a political magazine or website is that you sometimes disagree with what is written, or even with decisions to publish certain articles. Such is my sentiment today with Jeff Lord's piece on Shirley Sherrod. I am rendered speechless by a 4,000-word article that is based around the suggestion that somebody is a liar for saying that a black man was lynched, when he was merely beaten to death by a white sheriff who evidence suggests had previously threatened to "get him."

Link to his post

So what how does Mr. Lord respond to this hail of criticism? Does he reasses his position? Does he think again about what he said? No, if you believe that I have some very attractive swamp land for sale. Unfortunately what he does in defense of his ignorance is what Republicans have done since the dawn of the southern strategy double down.

Random House Webster's College Dictionary defines lynching as: "to put to death, esp. hanging by mob action and without legal authority."
I have read the Court's decision. Three people are not a "mob." A mob is defined as a "large crowd." So there was no "mob action" because there was no mob. Second, the Supreme Court specifically said the Sheriff and his deputy and a local policeman acted "under color of law." Which means they had legal authority.

So to say that Bobby Hall was lynched is, factually, according to the Supreme Court and, if you prefer, Webster's, not true. No mob. Therefore no "mob action." And the three had "legal authority." So my new friend Radley "Boo" Balko over at Reason pounced...and got it wrong instantly.

Link to what Mr. Lord calls his defense

The actual definition of a lynching does not require a mob, as he would like to define it. It actually consists of three people as the federal anti lynching statute and anyone who and anyone who would take the time to actually research the subject can attest.

Mr. Lord also apparently doesn’t have the slightest idea that acting under the color of law does not give you legal authority to beat a man to death. I have to wonder did he give that contention one moment of thought. In this persons world any police officer who has on a uniform basically has a 007 license to kill.

His second defense of his hatchet job on the truth and history is even more hilarious.

Second. The larger point. My colleagues seem not to understand the connection between what they are seeing in the headlines everyday -- and history. There is, I'm sorry to say, a direct connection between Southern racists of yore and, say, the Obama Administration policy in Arizona.. The Black Panther case. And what Ms. Sherrod was doing in her speech when she ever so casually linked criticism of health care to racism, which is to say not supporting a (her words) "black President."

Link to what Mr. Lord calls his defense

Yes Mr. Lord the connection is people like yourself. People who so hate the Obama administration that they would rekindle the ugly emotions that fueled the southern racist of yore, but with the damndest twist. Republicans can apparently demand their non white citizens prove themselves, take 3 idiots and a website and make them the terror of the nation, and completely ignore the actual history of race relations in this country.

On the positive side while cruising the comments of this most interesting exercise in sophistry I found that it is not playing well amongst the commenters of the American Spectator.

Just off the top I found these examples.

From Marcus

I usually don't agree with liberal bloggers, because, well they're liberal. However, how stupid are you? They're correct to point out the Hall's murder was, by definition, a lynching. Mob violence is what lynching is. I can't believe you're actually trying to defend that moronic piece you wrote a few days ago. I suspect you've come to the realization of how stupid you came off and how ridiculous you premise is/was. Mr. Lord, just stop, give up, admit you're wrong, because hardly anyone is going to agree with you. Moron.

The Bulge

You're embarrassing yourself. Just admit it was a stupid thing to write, and move on. Or, you know, just keep digging like you're doing. It's hard to believe you could be this dumb.


Mr. Lords rebuttal is as weak as his initial argument. He gives three arguments based on the definition he supplies and each of his arguments are pathetically weak. The definition that he supplies of lynching says esp. by hanging. Especially implies other means and does not preclude beatings. By Mr. Lords definition Emitt Till was not lynched. Next Mr. Lords says that there was not enough people to constitute a mob, conveniently ignoring Mr. Balko citation of the Dwyer anti lynching bill that defined a mob as three or more people. His last argument is that Sheriff Straw and his two accomplices acted under color of law so therefore had legal authority. Just because they had legal authority to arrest and subdue Mr. Hall did not give them legal authority to kick and beat him with an 8 inch 2 lbs black jack for 15 minutes resulting in his death.

Mr Lord's comparing himself to Atticus Finch is as misguided as his rebuttal is weak. Atticus Finch defended a black suspect from the lynch mob. He did not minimize the mobs action nor did he attack the victim's relatives.

The whole premise or the initial article was wrongheaded. Why imply Ms Sherrod is a liar because she did not use an extremely narrow debatable definition of lynching. The point is Mr. Hall was a victim of Jim Crow racism not whether he was hung in front of the courthouse or beaten to death in front of it.

It gets far better than this in the original post. I believe if this little interlude in the mind of a Republican is any illustration of how they feel as a group we have tremendous issues to overcome. When a respected Republican thinker can equate the murder of a Black man to something done under the color of authority and not a lynching Shirley Sherrod was right when she was discussing the attitude of Andrew Breitbart. They do want to take us back to the time when a Black man couldn’t look a white one in the face

The Leg Kicked from The Presiden's Chair

A very fair contention arising from the Shirley Sherrod affair is the idea that the President isn’t as in harmony with the issues of Black America as he once was or appeared to be. Not that he doesn’t care or isn’t sensitive, but it appears as if issues that should be no brainers to many Black Americans escape his normally razor sharp ability to recognize.

Join me after the fold for some discussion As Maureen Dowd quoted Congressman James Clyburn from her thanks white lady but no thanks column in the New York Times on Sunday the 25th

“I don’t think a single black person was consulted before Shirley Sherrod was fired — I mean c’mon, “

“The president’s getting hurt real bad,” Clyburn told me. “He needs some black people around him.” He said Obama’s inner circle keeps “screwing up” on race: “Some people over there are not sensitive at all about race. They really feel that the extent to which he allows himself to talk about race would tend to pigeonhole him or cost him support, when a lot of people saw his election as a way to get the issue behind us. I don’t think people elected him to disengage on race. Just the opposite.”

Link to the Maureen Dowd's NYT concern trolling


It occurs to me at one time the President had such a resource, but America wouldn’t allow him to have it. It occurs to me that resource was stolen from the President in the same manner as Shirley Sherrod had her good name and reputation stolen from her with a 3 minute clipping edited in such a way as to make the person appear like a Black racist. That clip was then fed to America’s Radio Rwanda Fox News for injection into the national blood stream. That resource was the Reverend Doctor Jeremiah Alvesta Wright Jr.

For those who are not of faith or in particular not a member of a predominately Black Church it’s difficult to explain the relationship one has with ones Pastor. Historically it has always been our religious leaders at the forefront for the causes of equal justice and economic outcomes for Black people. It can be no surprise considering even today those who are thought to speak for the Black community have Reverend before their names Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. The Reverend Wright could easily be mentioned in that sentence.

On another level though there is one thing that access to a Pastor has that no other advisor on earth can offer. The Pastors primary and overriding concern is not that you be elected President, it is not that you gain financial reward, it is his goal to get you into heaven. It is his goal to see that you are always morally grounded it is his job to see that you always do right.

I have a man right now who I could call at any time of day or night a man that I know would give me the straight answer or at least guide my thinking in an honest way as to the right and wrong of anything in the Reverend Lucious Smith of the Friendship Baptist Church of Pasadena. He would not hesitate to tell me I’m a politician and I do what politicians do and I’m here to keep you honest I’ll see that you are answerable, or as a salesperson your first duty is to your client and not your profit and even though you could earn that extra bit there are higher standards to hold yourself to.

There is a reason why the President is reacting like this, and it’s because we poked one of his eyes out. We took away a base he had relied upon to discuss issues like this for over 20 years.

When the Obama’s gave up their church home I felt real pain for them. For we Black people of faith a church is more than a place of worship it is a home, a lodge, one of the only places where we can be free to commune and organize. That’s why it is such an attractive target for racist bomb throwers.

I for one knew what sort of handicap the President would feel when he decided to give up his relationship with the Rev. Wright. I know had Fox News not destroyed that relationship he would have called his pastor, and I have to think he knew who Shirley Sherrod was if he didn't I'm very sure he would have asked the president to give the Black lady the benefit of the doubt. If the President hadn't sought his advice I'm sure the Reverend would have had his direct number and the ability to call, mine does. When Officer Crowley told his lie and got a beer summit out of it I’m confident that Rev. Wright would have had him say a few more things about lying police before he sat down to drink with them.

I do not believe the President was in anyway responsible for the decisions surrounding requesting Shirley Sherrod to resign, however he was briefed. He did say he agreed with Secretary Vilsack’s decision to request her resignation, and he did say he supported it. People say they would like to see an "angry" black president from time to time. Maybe the reason we don't see that sort of passion is we took away the source of that passions fuel, and for that I lament.

Picket Fox August 28th! Do not let Glenn Beck's attempt to steal the legacy of Martin Luther King go unanswered!

No Tom Vilsack you should resign

statementI’ve just had the chance to read Tom Vilsack’s statement regarding Shirley Sherrod and the issues surrounding her resignation, and I’ve never seen such an affront to American justice in all my life.

No person so craven and unwilling to support the very principles of American democracy needs to keep a position of power in this country.

I'm jumping mad.
Yesterday, I asked for and accepted Ms. Sherrod's resignation for two reasons. First, for the past 18 months, we have been working to turn the page on the sordid civil rights record at USDA and this controversy could make it more difficult to move forward on correcting injustices. Second, state rural development directors make many decisions and are often called to use their discretion. The controversy surrounding her comments would create situations where her decisions, rightly or wrongly, would be called into question making it difficult for her to bring jobs to Georgia.

Our policy is clear. There is zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA and we strongly condemn any act of discrimination against any person. We have a duty to ensure that when we provide services to the American people we do so in an equitable manner. But equally important is our duty to instill confidence in the American people that we are fair service providers.
Link to TPM article of this cowardly response

Isn’t that just American typical. The sordid page you are speaking about is written with your agency failing to perform for non white farmers. Where is the 1.25 billion dollars owed to them is that what you were talking about? To answer that sordid history with an injustice against the first Black lady to hold a position like that is an example a spinlessness so pronounced as to bring serious doubts about this man's ability to make any decision.

His second point is even more disgusting. The idea that the leader of a vital arm of this administration would allow WRONG to color his motivations then have the nerve to actually put that out in a statement is evidence enough that he should not have this position. This is a man who just endorsed injustice. If a group thinks wrongly then he'll ask for people's resignations. That can't be acceptable.

I have to admit I don't follow agricultural issues closely enough to know if the overall policies Secretary Vilsack is working for are positive, but this episode shows he doesn't have the judgement to implement them.

Update: 3:23

Ben Jealous has come out with a new statement that is more in keeping with what he should have said in the first place. I almost called for his resignation too in this diary, but I thought I'd give him a chance to respond. Good response.

(BALTIMORE, MD) - NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous issued the following statement today after a careful investigation into the presentation of former USDA Official Shirley Sherrod.

"The NAACP has a zero tolerance policy against racial discrimination, whether practiced by blacks, whites, or any other group.

The NAACP also has long championed and embraced transformation by people who have move beyond racial bias. Most notably, we have done so for late Alabama Governor George Wallace and late US Senator Robert Byrd -- each a man who had associated with and supported white supremacists and their cause before embracing civil rights for all.

With regard to the initial media coverage of the resignation of USDA Official Shirley Sherrod, we have come to the conclusion we were snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart into believing she had harmed white farmers because of racial bias.

Having reviewed the full tape, spoken to Ms. Sherrod, and most importantly heard the testimony of the white farmers mentioned in this story, we now believe the organization that edited the documents did so with the intention of deceiving millions of Americans.

The fact is Ms. Sherrod did help the white farmers mentioned in her speech. They personally credit her with helping to save their family farm.

Moreover, this incident and the lesson it prompted occurred more that 20 years before she went to work for USDA.

Finally, she was sharing this account as part of a story of transformation and redemption. In the full video, Ms.Sherrod says she realized that the dislocation of farmers is about “haves and have nots.” "It’s not just about black people, it’s about poor people," says Sherrod in the speech. “We have to get to the point where race exists but it doesn’t matter.”

This is a teachable moment, for activists and for journalists.

Most Americans agree that racism has no place in American Society. We also believe that civil and human rights have to be measured by a single yardstick.

The NAACP has demonstrated its commitment to live by that standard.

The Tea Party Federation took a step in that direction when it expelled the Tea Party Express over the weekend. Unfortunately, we have yet to hear from other leaders in the Tea Party movement like Dick Armey and Sarah Palin, who have been virtually silent on the “internal bigotry” issue.

Next time we are confronted by a racial controversy broken by Fox News or their allies in the Tea Party like Mr. Breitbart, we will consider the source and be more deliberate in responding. The tape of Ms. Sherrod’s speech at an NAACP banquet was deliberately edited to create a false impression of racial bias, and to create a controversy where none existed. This just shows the lengths to which extremist elements will go to discredit legitimate opposition.

According to the USDA, Sherrod’s statements prompted her dismissal. While we understand why Secretary Vilsack believes this false controversy will impede her ability to function in the role, we urge him to reconsider.

Finally, we hope this incident will heighten Congress’s urgency in dealing with the well documented findings of discrimination toward black, Latino, Asian American and Native American farmers, as well as female farmers of all races."


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

Yeah we're cool again Ben Jealous

Breaking: Johannes Mehserle Guilty Involuntary Manslaughter

Update 4:08 Johannes Mehserle has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

News reports are breaking that a verdict has been reached in the trial of BART officer Johannes Mehserle the first officer to be charged with murder for an on duty shooting in the state of California for the January 1st 2009 killing of Oscar Grant.

Link to bay area local coverage of the event

They anticipate the verdict to be read at 4 pm PST.

You shot me I got a four year old daughter were Oscar Grant's last words read about and see his death here.

For a rundown on how the trial progressed you can see this link

Yesterday the Daily Kos decided by plurality of 41% that Officer Mehserle would be acquitted of all charges. As Oakland braces for the impact of the decision I’ll be live blogging the story and reactions as they become available. Yesterday I ended my diary on the trial of Oscar Grant with a call for non violence should this officer not receive the verdict many think is just, and I repeat that call. Please let us not have to go to sleep this night with the pain of losing to death injury or even arrest any more of our brothers or sisters in reaction. Nothing that can be done today that will bring Oscar back, and however the jury speaks it will have spoken.

Justice for Oscar Grant.

Update: 3:45 PST.

There will be a community gathering for the people of Oakland at 6:00 pm at 14th and Broadway.

We are in a unique position to organize folks to resist police brutality, to take the lessons we have learned in the past eighteen months and join with others around the state and the country to move forward with our fight. No matter what happens as a result of the trial, we know that police brutality and racial profiling are facts of life, particularly in poor communities.

On the day of the verdict, we want to create a safe space where our youth won't be left vulnerable or exposed to the risk of arrest because of the actions of others. We respect everyone's right to protest or not; what we do matters.

Link to the organizers Oakland for Justice

Update II: 3:48 PST There were some questions from comments about what exactly Officer Mehserle is facing.

Judge Robert Perry ruled on June 30 that jurors would not be able to consider convicting Mehserle of first-degree murder. If they find Mehserle guilty, they will have to decide between lesser offenses of second-degree murder, manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. Second-degree murder carries a sentence of 15 years to life. A gun enhancement could add 25 years, making it 40 years to life.

Voluntary manslaughter carries a sentence of 3 to 11 years; involuntary manslaughter 2 to 4 years. As for the minimum, if Mehserle is convicted of involuntary manslaughter, he could be sentenced to probation.

Link to bay area local coverage of the event


This is the least serious of the charges that Mehserle faced and could even lead to probation. Let that be a lesson to the boys in blue. Should you decide to just kill a prone man all you need to do is look shocked after it, oh and make sure you cry in the witness stand.

Update 4:26 Guilty also of gun enhancement far more serious which can add additional time. The legal analyst seems to believe it will not be applied stringently. Here is a definition of what Officer Mehserle was convicted of.

Most unintentional killings are not murder but involuntary manslaughter. The absence of the element of intent is the key distinguishing factor between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. In most states involuntary manslaughter results from an improper use of reasonable care or skill while performing a legal act, or while committing an act that is unlawful but not felonious.

Many states do not define involuntary manslaughter, or define it vaguely in common-law terms. Some jurisdictions describe the amount of Negligence necessary to constitute manslaughter with terms such as criminal negligence, gross negligence, and culpable negligence. The only certainty that can be attached to these terms is that they require more than the ordinary negligence standard in a civil case. With this approach the state does not have to prove that the defendant was aware of the risk.

Free Dictionary definition of involuntary manslaughter

Reporting from the local ABC link says Mehserle is stoic, and the Grant family dispondent. One juror cried, and none of the jurors are being allowed to speak to the media.

Update 4:45 PDT

A little flash local reaction.

OAKLAND, Calif.—A crowd of people gathered near Oakland's city hall let out a chorus of moans and profanity when they heard the verdict in Johannes Mehserle case.

Many in the loose group of about 100 people believe Thursday's verdict of involuntary manslaughter was too light for the former Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer who shot and killed an unarmed man.

A number of people appeared stunned after the announcement from a Los Angeles courtroom, where the racially charged trial was moved because of too much pretrial publicity in Alameda County. Mehserle is white, and the victim Oscar Grant was black.

.Mercury news recounting of an AP report

The family is currently giving a press conference where normal frustration is being expressed, however if there is one overriding theme in at least the interview of Oscr Grant's uncle is that they are people of peace and under no circumstances should any provocation cause any violence. I love my people. In the face of the most horrible provocation we call for peace. The attorney for the family is making a big case that the verdict of guilt is a victory and to be sure to see that the officer gets a maximum sentence, and should he not it would be saying much to the African American community.

Update 5:00 PST

Hat tip to Hamptonroadsprogressive

Mehserle will do less time for shooting & killing Oscar Grant than Plaxico Burress is doing for shooting himself in the leg

Via John Cole

Update 5:25 PST

For those who didn't have the opportunity to see the death of Oscar Grant

Update: 5:36 PST

The ABC local link has a camera on 14th and Broadway and it's not starting off well. A fairly large crowd of people has just attacked what looked like a police unmarked cruiser with a bit of car shaking and rock throwing. This was an area that was designated as a protest area, and apparently any real visible police presence is not going to be appreciated.

More on this story: A reporter just stated that as the police car was backing out it may have hit a lady and clipped her. Her condition is unknown. That would have explained how the crowd got angry with the occupants of that car so quickly. Also reported is that among the crowd are "Peace Ambassadors" that are wearing orange vests and are an initiative of Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums. Good idea Mayor and also a good speech after the verdict.

Update: 7:40 PST

The sun is about to set on the west coast and the demonstration on 14th and Broadway is turning into a beautiful thing so far. People of all races creeds and colors are speaking and venting grief in a very positive way, and despite what felt at the beginning to be an unseemly desire by the local media outlets' reporters for some disturbance none is occuring.

I'll update one more time around 10:00 PST, but this has been an emotional day for the diarist. I was a young father like Oscar Grant, oh so very much like him. That's what touched me the moment I heard about his story, and led me to write my first diary here on it. My daughter got married about a month ago in a ceremony that supplied at least 15 of the snap shots I want to see before I die. Oscar won't get that chance and neither will his daughter, but both she and her entire family should know that there are many people who are expressing solidarity and trying to share their strength. We are an evolving nation and to all those who join me in the above sentiment I say Namaste.

Murdering BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle’s Case Goes to the Jury

The trial of Bay Area Rapid Transit Officer Johannes Mehserle which began June 10th has ended and jurors began their first full day of deliberations at 8:30 today in Los Angeles. On January 1st 2009 Oscar Grant was riding on the BART in Oakland when he was pulled from the train at the Fruitvale station by BART officers responding to a disturbance call. Despite begging for his safety, pleading not to be beaten or tasered he was instead shot in the back while lying prone on his stomach with two other BART officers restraining him. One with his knee firmly planted in his neck the other the other on his torso.

Today may be the day when we find out if shooting a unarmed non resisting Black man in the back is against the law when police do it.

The defense in this case scored a major early victory in getting the trial moved from Alameda to Los Angeles County, and may have hit the lottery with the appointment of the Judge Robert Perry. They were able to successfully argue that Mehserle would not have been able to receive a fair trial had he been subject to a jury in Alameda County, but the real plum in getting the trial moved to Los Angeles County was this. There hasn’t been a jury to convict an officer in Los Angeles County for an on duty shooting in 30 years.

As Earl Ofari Hutchinson reported on July 4th

The instant defense attorneys got an Oakland judge to move the trial of former BART officer Johannes Mehserle charged with gunning down Oscar Grant to Los Angeles, Grant family members and supporters demanded that the Justice Department prosecute the case.

The selection of a jury with no blacks, the alleged pro police bias of the judge and the wide latitude given the defense to introduce favorable evidence and testimony for Mehserle, and exclude damning evidence and testimony against him, and the exclusion of black journalists seeking to cover the trial, has raised a nervous jitter about the outcome. On the eve of a trial verdict, there’s the deep fear that Mehserle will be acquitted.

Link to Earl Ofari Hutchinson's thoughts

During the trial defense attorney Michael Rains had a simple plan. He tried to convince the jury that Mehserle had no intention of shooting Oscar Grant with a bullet, but had instead been trying to deploy his taser against an unarmed non resistant citizen.

Mehserle testified that, ever since his academy days, he constantly practiced drawing a gun from a holster. "It was the tool that was going to save your life," he said.

The Taser was different, he said. He was trained to use the shock weapon a month before the shooting, and first carried one about a week after that.

He didn't practice drawing it, he said, because BART didn't give every officer a Taser to keep with them and take home. Instead, an officer finishing a shift would pass a Taser and a Taser holster to an officer coming on.

On the night of the shooting, Mehserle said, he got a Taser holster that was set up for a right-handed draw. But during some previous shifts, he said, he carried his Taser in a way that necessitated a left-handed draw. He said he was still figuring out which type of draw he preferred.

"There was no emphasis put on the pull" of the Taser at BART, Mehserle said. "For me, it wasn't that big of a deal. ... It was just another tool on your tool belt."

Link to reporting of Mehserle's testimony

Rains bolstered the argument that the shooting was unintentional by calling witnesses to testify as to Mehserle's reaction after the shooting.

Almost every witness who either recorded video of or saw former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle fatally shooting Oscar Grant III in the back testified last week that Mehserle looked surprised after he pulled the trigger of his gun.

Most of the witnesses said Mehserle immediately re-holstered the gun after firing, put his hands to his head and looked "shocked," "dumbfounded" and "stunned."

Even Carlos Reyes, a friend of Grant's who sat about 2 feet away from the 22-year-old Hayward man when he was shot, said Mehserle appeared shocked and shouted, "Oh (expletive), oh God, I shot him," after the bullet entered Grant's back, causing his death hours later.

Mercury News accounts of the defense case

The prosecution did what it could do. It tried to portray the shooting as a lack of training and the results of Officer Mehserle’s anger. It used the video’s multiple times and the testimony of eyewitnesses to show that there was nothing to justify the treatment that Oscar received on that night. All the indications I’ve seen show that the Alameda District prosecution team led by David Stern has put forth the best effort it could.

Prosecutor David Stein went even bigger at the close of his rebuttal argument. He pulled a 2-foot bronze statue of "Lady Justice" out of a cardboard box, pointed to the blindfold and the sword and the scales, and said, "Blind justice is blind equality - that's what we strive for."

SF Gate article discussing the closing arguements

According to the experts it doesn’t look very promising for a conviction on the most serious charge murder.

Excessive-force cases usually hinge on the intentions of the officers involved, which can be difficult to prove. Defense experts, such as those called by Mehserle's attorney, dissect video footage and present a contrary view of events that focuses on the perceptions of the officers at the time they used force.

"It makes the video less of a so-called smoking gun," said Levenson, who has attended portions of the trial.

Los Angeles Times article on the prosecutors close

The jury has the opportunity to convict Mehserle of the lesser and included charge of manslaughter or criminal negligence. However questions remain as to if such a finding is going to be satisfying to the residence of Oakland, and the leaders of Oakland are acting accordingly by putting police on long shifts and preparing for civil disobedience. Calls for calm and introspection are going out far and wide regardless of the verdict, and I repeat that call. Justice simply can’t be found on the street, and the tragedy of Oscar should not be compounded by other people being injured as a result of his death.

Justice for Oscar Grant.

Update 10:00 am pst

Hat tip to Cali Scribe

Jury deliberations in the murder trial of a former Bart officer have been postponed for the day because a juror is sick, KGO is reporting.

According to a court spokesperson, deliberations are expected to resume on Wednesday in the trial of Johannes Mehserle, the report said.

Mercury News link to the news of the deliberation delay

Paging Gloria Steinem Clean Up Aisle 4

Yesterday in the bird cage liner also known as the Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker sank to an all time new low of sexist imagery. In her column Obama: Our first female president Parker does some very astonishing psycho analyzing of our President, and comes to the conclusion that our President suffers from “rhetorical testosterone deficit".

Not to be undone the grand diva of Reaganism Maureen Dowd jumped into the mix as well on Good Morning America with her take on the matter which was not so much a female problem than a “humanoid” issue, but as it is coming from a Republicans mouth it is still a problem.

More on what’s wrong with women outside of cooties of course after the jump.

Parker is an interesting lady. She starts off her column stating that she’s not looking for a “cowboy” President, and that gender tropes are bad and having the characteristics of a woman for example sensitivity, or the ability to ask for directions before making a snap judgment and being lost in the desert is actually a good thing. She makes sure to try and disengage from the obvious racial aspect of a rich white lady calling the first Black President a woman, by trotting out the old Toni Morrison said Bill Clinton was the first black president line forgetting of course as all rich white ladies tend to that Morrison didn’t say Clinton was Black, but rather said he was being treated like he was black, but never mind that she touched the I’m not a racist or sexist I just say racist and sexist things base, but then places a big nevermind on all that to get down to what she really wanted to say.

Generally speaking, men and women communicate differently. Women tend to be coalition builders rather than mavericks (with the occasional rogue exception). While men seek ways to measure themselves against others, for reasons requiring no elaboration, women form circles and talk it out.

The BP oil crisis has offered a textbook case of how Obama's rhetorical style has impeded his effectiveness. The president may not have had the ability to "plug the damn hole," as he put it in one of his manlier outbursts. No one expected him to don his wetsuit and dive into the gulf, but he did have the authority to intervene immediately and he didn't. Instead, he deferred to BP, weighing, considering, even delivering jokes to the White House Correspondents' Association dinner when he should have been on Air Force One to the Louisiana coast

We can toss out the facts they don't matter to Republicans never will. The President was not passive, and anyone with internet access and the ability to search could find an impressive list of executive orders and actions to fight the BP spill from ordering a second relief well to securing 20 billion dollars from BP the real issue is Parker’s underlying sexist attitude. She is stating straight out that the attributes that we might consider feminine are more than a negative.

Maureen was asked about this column during her appearance on Good Morning America yesterday, and although she didn’t go full on sexist her take was just as insulting. You see the President can’t make decisions because he didn’t have a rich daddy.

When asked about Parker's column in an appearance on"Good Morning America" Dowd told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that Obama is more of a "humanoid" than a woman. She agrees with Parker that the president has a tendency to wait and look before acting, but she says it is not really male or female trait.

Why Won’t the President Just Kick it in the Nuts?

Come on that’s really the question isn’t it? It’s the very base and genesis of what I feel is about 70% of President Obama's perception problems, he doesn't ever appear to give any issue a straight kick to the figurative groin.

Think about a favored movie device. You have a perilous Pauline and some evil man has treated her wrong from the very first act. In the ultimate scene after she has destroyed her villain’s plans and as he is handcuffed and marched away to the big house the cop offers the man to Pauline and she gives him a knee right to the family jewels and the crowd goes wild.

Was it enough that Pauline achieved justice, that she foiled the evil plans? No, that just doesn’t give us enough satisfaction. We don’t feel that justice is truly served till someone is rolling on the floor with what feels like childrens jacks for testacles.

David Axelrod made a couple of observations about President Obama as he was running his campaign that has always stuck with me.

"You care far too much what is written and said about you. You don't relish combat when it becomes personal and nasty. When the largely irrelevant Alan Keyes attacked you, you flinched."..snip

"Warning that revelations of past drug use would be used against him, Axelrod worries that Obama won't be able to take the heat that will come in a presidential campaign. 'It goes to your willingness and ability to put up with something you have never experienced on a sustained basis: criticism. At the risk of triggering the very reaction that concerns me, I don't know if you are Muhammad Ali or Floyd Patterson when it comes to taking a punch.'"
Where I got these quotes from

Consider when the President first took office and began to settle in. We truly wanted the President to prosecute the previous administration, but more than that we wanted to give them a rochambeau. Was it enough that the reign of idiocy was over? Was it enough that we could finally move forward with our agenda, get things like non racist in charge of the equal employment division and begin to turn off all the switches that Bush had pulled to place this country as one of the worlds most hated? No, America really doesn’t like the kinds of victories that Popeye the Sailor had where Bluto beat the entire crap out of him for the entire cartoon, and Popeye only got his after the spinach and the last 20 seconds, at least not anymore.

Think about how many times during the primary contests we screamed at the President to go on the attack against Hillary Clinton to eviscerate her for saying this or that, but he didn’t. Why didnt he give her the figurative smack? That temperament most likely allowed Secretary Clinton the ability to accept the position of Secretary of State. Would it have been better had President Obama ripped her a new one? Not to me having the Democratic lioness on the team is another reason I sleep better at night with the Obama Administration in control.

Unfortunately it appears the temperament that has served the President so well in the past is going to catch up with him. The gulf oil spill is just the latest example of President Obama’s overall style. From the first day he attacked the problem with precision and for the most part no one can honestly criticize the administrations response, and especially in comparison to how our previous President treated the residents after Katrina where he left people to float dead up the street like so much refuse. Yet this President appears to be doomed to be tagged with the label, and why is that? This President didn’t kick anyone figuratively and publically in the nads, and sadly despite the utility of the action, sometimes you have to give the public what it wants.

It’s not a matter if President Obama has the fight as Axelrod alluded to earlier it’s about if he can show the public he can knock someone out.

Normally I'm the type of Obama supporter that will back his play. He was elected President he’s my quarterback and I’m his lineman watching his back, and for the first time ever I’m going in the huddle to ask the man to run a play. Mr. President grab the next issue before you and the first thing you do is give it one to the sack loudly and publically. Make it heinous make it slightly unfair. Tell the problem to look at that meteor falling out of the sky and give it one to the old baby factory and I guarantee a 5 point bump

ACORN Grifter James O’Keefe Gets a Kiss From Justice


Would you imagine if you and a gang of buddies slipped into a Senator’s office under false pretenses with the intent to secretly tape her office staff and potentially bug her phones it would be serious enough to warrant a little jail time?

You’d be wrong! James O’Keefe has been wrist slapped and sent back to slander other organizations and people who work for progressive causes.

James O'Keefe, 25, famous for wearing a pimp costume in a video that embarrassed the ACORN, was sentenced to three years probation, 100 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine..snip

Four conservative activists accused of trying to tamper with the phones in Sen. Mary Landrieu's office pleaded guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor charges of entering federal property under false pretenses
Magistrate Daniel Knowles III sentenced the three other suspects to two years probation, 75 hours of community service and $1,500 fines.

O'Keefe, Stan Dai, Joseph Basel and Robert Flanagan were arrested Jan. 25 on felony charges, but federal prosecutors later reduced the charges.

Huffpo link to the little rat fuckers story

The right wing and elements of the Democratic Party allowed the organization ACORN to be nearly destroyed based on the evidence supplied by this should be a felon. 31 Republican legislators signed on to a proclamation honoring this criminal. I suppose I counted myself among those who thought that a bit of justice was coming for Mr. O’Keefe, but unless he’s forced to serve his community service with poor people Mr. O’Keefe was presented with nothing but some additional Republican street cred.

Fifth Lying Police Officer Charged in New Orleans Police Massacre

One lying police officer, two lying police officers, three and four lying police officers now a fifth police officer is charged in the cover up of the Danziger Bridge massacre Ignatius Hills.


There's more after the jump.

On September 4, 2005 six days after Hurricane Katrina an incident occurred on the Danziger Bridge in New Orleans. Six residents who were crossing the bridge in search of food were brutally shot by police officers and two Ronald Madison, and James Brissette, lost their lives.

Officer Hills has been charged with one count of conspiring to obstruct justice and one count of failure to report a crime. He was charged using a process called a bill of information which is normally an indication that the perp has decided to cooperate.

Hills was in the rear of a rental truck with other officers as it sped to the bridge between eastern New Orleans and Gentilly on Sept. 4, 2005. The officers had heard a police radio dispatch in which another group of officers said that they were under fire on the nearby Interstate 10 highrise. ....snip

Beyond allegedy firing at the juvenile, Hills also wrote a police report that day accusing one of the civilians, Lance Madison, of shooting at officers and prompting them to return fire.

Hills wrote the report, prosecutors allege, despite having "no firsthand knowledge of any wrongdoing by Madison."

Police arrested Madison, 53, and booked him with eight counts of attempting to murder a police officer. Madison's younger brother, Ronald, was fatally shot in the back by police.

The gist of the report that Hills wrote and signed was dictated to him by a homicide investigator, according to the bill of information filed Friday. The description of that person in the bill matches that of Sgt. Arthur Kaufman, who was the supervisor.

Hills followed the homicide investigator's suggestion "even though he believed that Madison was being framed," according to prosecutors. coverage of the 5th police perp

This was Katrina for too many of our fellow citizens. It was a world where the act of leaving a decimated city to find supplies and any sort of human support was met with police murder. Murder that is the term for the intentional killing of another human being isn’t it? Yet in the five indictments I’ve chronicled so far the word isn’t mentioned in any of them. Ignatius fired at unarmed innocent civilians isn’t that attempted murder?

There seems to be an attractive meme spreading that the recent oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is “Obama’s Katrina”. That is probably one of the most insulting ideas I think I’ve ever heard. This incident alone occurred 6 days after the hurricane MISSED New Orleans and the levees failed. The government of the United States can land a continuous stream of relief to places like Haiti within a day when it is motivated, yet in this case it couldn’t pull up a ship to an American city that is on a river while Americans begged for help. We can invade a country and drive to its capital in less than a week, but we can’t get supplies to an American city that has an air force base outside of it. The very organs of authority attack the citizens of this country shoot and murder them, more than 1800 actual people die and are left to float up the streets like driftwood while the President of this country enjoys birthday cake with John McCain, and that is somehow the equal of what's happening now? Disgusting.


76 Second Video Perfectly Illustrates What’s at Stake with Rand Paul

Ben Smith over at Politico led his discussion of Rand Paul today with this video which I believe is such a poignant encapsulation of what is at stake for people who feel that our civil rights legislation is a triumph of American Democracy and forward progress that I felt compelled to use today's diary to share it.

Civil Rights are not an abstract thing that only needs protection because the Government says so. Every year American citizens are forced to seek relief through the courts from discriminatory serving practices in institutions that serve the public. According to NAACP President Ben Jealous some 25000 cases per year are still being filed despite it being the actual law that such practices are banned. I have yet to see Dr. Paul protesting any of these institutions.

It does not matter whether Rand Paul would personally seek to end the CRA’s of 1960’s its enough to know that he does not defend them.

Attorney Alleges Police Cover-up in the Execution of 7 Year Old Aiyana Jones Updated W/Video

On Sunday May 16th elements of the Detroit Police force were investigating a murder suspect for the cameras of the A&E reality show The First 48. As a result of that there does exist video tape of the burning and murder of a beautiful little girl who’s name was Aiyana Jones.

Attorney Geoffrey Fieger has been hired by the family and has seen the video tape of the incident, and reports mass police fabrications in their account of the incident appearing this morning on WJR-AM 760 with host Paul W. Smith.


More after the fold

Police were made aware of the fact that there were children in the home. Another resident who was walking his dog informed them of the fact, but like so many times when the police invade the neighborhood of non white people Gestapo tactics and not community service is the order of the day.

"It's worse than that," Fieger said. "It shows this in the video. There's a gentleman by the name of Mr. Robinson who lives in the home. He was out walking his dogs when they arrived. They took him and threw him to the ground and stood on his neck. He said, 'There are children living in the home. There are children in the home.' And just after that they walk up on the porch and throw an incendiary grenade into it. So it's worse than even you know."

The police were sent there to serve a no knock warrant and preceded their home invasion by lobbing a flash grenade into a home of sleeping people. Before having her life extinguished poor Aiyana most likely suffered severe burns.

In the wake of the shooting, Aiyana's father told the Detroit Free Press the flash grenade landed on the couch where Aiyana was sleeping, possibly burning her before she was shot. Fieger, who has met with the family, suggested that account was accurate

The Detroit Police made it a big point to paint the residents of the home somehow responsible for the death of their baby. They said that the child’s grandmother Mertilla Jones had participated in an altercation with police and that it was somehow as a result of that altercation a bullet was oopsadentally discharged into the neck of the Aiyana, however according to Attorney Fieger who has seen the tape this is just another of a long string of police lies.

Hours after the shooting, The Detroit News quoted Godbee as saying that the officer encountered Aiyana's grandmother after entering the home, "and at some point a struggle ensued, and the officer's weapon discharged." Godbee said he was misquoted, and clarified at Monday's press conference that "some level of physical contact" took place but would not speculate on its nature.

Neither account is accurate, according to Fieger. "The little girl is taken out like a rag doll seconds afterward. They saw what they'd done. There's no confrontation with the grandmother. None. Zero. That's a complete and utter falshood." Instead, Fieger suggested officers tried to "falsely frame" the grandmother, who reportedly spent more than 12 hours in police custody. "This is a real serious problem. We had police officers willing to take a grandmother into custody after her granddaughter had been shot to death and they were going to try to blame it on her."

Isn't that special? Get your grandchild executed go into custody. They are spreading the Professor Gates treatment to Michighan, except the crime of being Black at home has expanded to being Black at home and getting your grandchild barbecued and shot. Oh and that little story about the gun having discharged as a result of a struggle? As my sainted own Grandmother might say. “they’s a lying sack of shit”. Those police officers pulled triggers on purpose.

"The incendiary device goes in and less than a second, maybe half a second, the shot is taken" as the officer stood on the porch, he said. "There's two possibilities after viewing the video: I think that they were either shooting what they thought was a dog, because they had brought a lot of dogs with them, or they were shooting blindly into the house."

For more "tragedy" did we mention that the police had a warrant for the wrong house? That’s right they had a warrant for Aiyana’s house, but the SUSPECT did not live there he lived in an upstairs apartment. The police did not arrive on the scene with a warrant for the correct residence. They secured that and arrested the SUSPECT after they had blown up Aiyana with a flash grenade and shot her in the neck.

"In the video they break into both the upstairs flat and the downstairs flat. The problem is they don't have a warrant for the upstairs. (Godbee) didn't tell you when he got the second search warrant. After Aiyana was killed and after he broke into the upstairs apartment and arrested (the suspect)."

link to Attorney Fieger's interview

The police have the absolute authority to execute judicially approved search and arrest warrants, but that’s what they are search or arrest, not death warrants. The fact that there was a SUSPECT in the area does not give the police carte blanche to treat all the inhabitants of the area as if they are convicted killers. There is a reason for this kind of behavior, and that’s because they were making television. I posit the presence of the A&E cameras caused these officers to act in an even more dramatic way with their explosives and shoot first attitudes because they wanted to make a good show.

"The gun was fired before anyone goes through the door. There are lights all over, like it's a television set."

Huffpo link to the story

The people in command of the Detroit Police who allowed their murder investigation to turn into a made for TV show have to lose their jobs. The police officers who lied about what happened on that night need to lose their jobs and go to jail. The police officer who threw the grenade into the house needs to lose his job and go to jail. The police officer who fired the shots from outside an inhabited home needs to go to jail.

Michighan Governor Jennifer Granholm said today

"We need to find out the answers" as to what happened, Granholm said. "Remedial actions need to be taken with respect to policies so that that doesn't happen again."

"There's nothing you can do to remedy the harm that was inflicted on that family and certainly that child," she added. "It's a terrible, terrible situation."

link to Granholms statement

You ain't never lied lady.

Update: 1:38 PST

There seems to be a great deal of controversy surrounding my use of the word execution in the title. To that I respond

ex•e•cu•tion[ èksə kysh'n ]To hear the pronunciation, install Silverlightex•e•cu•tions Plural

1. killing: the killing of somebody as part of a legal or extralegal process Synonyms: putting to death, capital punishment, the death sentence, killing, slaying

The Bing Definition of Execution

No where in this definition does intent come into play. I call this an execution because the events surrounding the death of Aiyana were built in lies, and the performance of the police not at all acceptable in a civilized society. They attacked a home with an explosive device, fired from the outside into an occupied dwelling killing a 7 year old girl. The police then lied about the circumstances of her death. I can damn sure call her killing an execution if I want to.

Update 3:44 PM

Here is the newsconference given by Attorney Fieger. I believe him. I believe the family and again to all those who feel the term "execution" far to hyperbolic, how about I sustitute slaughter.

I'll never be the same...That's my only daughter

That is the lament of Charles Jones a 25 year old father after having just witnessed the police execution of his 7 year old daughter Aiyana Jones on Sunday May 16th.

The police were in search of a murder suspect who was reported to have been in the building, and had a warrant to seek him in the building. However rather than a murder suspect what the police encountered was a family going about its normal Sunday night.


More on the police killing of a sweet little girl over the fold.

Charles had just put his precious little daughter to sleep on the living room couch in her favorite Disney princess blanket and retired for bed when he was awakened by a flash bang grenade followed by a gunshot.

Assistant Chief Ralph Godbee said officers set off the flash grenade as they entered the apartment with their guns drawn about 12:40 a.m. Sunday with a warrant to look for a suspect in the Friday slaying of a 17-year-old boy. The lead officer's gun went off after he encountered a 46-year-old woman inside the front room of the home and "some level of physical contact" ensued. Police do not believe the gun was fired intentionally..snip

Family members identified the woman as the child's grandmother and Charles Jones' mother, Mertilla Jones, who has said she was not involved in a struggle with the officer. Police later said the officer may have just collided with the woman

Huffpo link to the story

The suspect was not in the Jones home nor did he live there. Police did find the suspect later in the building however that is no comfort at all to the now grieving family of Aiyana. Imagine how this must feel. Boom bang and you come out of your bedroom to see your child’s life’s blood flowing on your living room carpet.

"This is a tragedy of unspeakable magnitude to Aiyana's parents, family and all those who loved her," Godbee said. "It is a tragedy we also feel very deeply throughout the ranks of the Detroit Police Department."

Oh you feel the tragedy do you? Do you feel it like a man who has just had his daughter’s life removed before his eyes by an organization he pays to protect he and his family? Do you feel it like whoops we made a boo boo? Was this really a tragedy or just another example of how the lives of non white people weigh very lightly in the minds of police officers?

Godbee would not comment on newspaper reports that neighbors told police there were children in the house and showed them toys in the front yard. The girl's father said three other children besides Aiyana were in the home when the raid happened

Why won't you comment? Do you think the public might react poorly to the idea of police going into a home full of children while they aren't in control of their weapons and where the lead things are heading?
I have an idea. When you know there are children in the house maybe you shouldn’t shoot them.

"Her blood was everywhere and I was trying to stay calm, but nobody would talk to me. None of them even tried to console me," Jones told The Detroit News.

The officer responsible for shooting Aiyala in the neck is currently on paid administrative leave. I have little doubt that whatever investigation ensues following this "accident" will result in just one more sorry little black lady that's just what you get for being in the neighborhood, and the officer responsible will go back to work. I'm just curious to see if this story will recieve any of the light a blonde little girl recieves after her mother kills her.

Rest in peace little angel. I weep for the potential stolen.

Update 11:55 PST

I was outraged about this story before but now I've entered livid territory. I hesitate to include this little nugget of information because as of yet I can't source it properly, but as it speaks to the story so well here it goes..They were FILMING FOR THE SHOW "The First 48" a reality television show that airs on A&E when this little girl lost her life. This as of yet unconfirmed, but if true has to be grounds for people to lose their job.

"When he rushed into the living room, he said, police forced him to lie on the ground, with his face in his daughter's blood."

Hey but I bet it's going to make some absolutely riveting television.

Update II 1:22

I'm gonna call the earlier idea of a video being made as confirmed, and I'm going to move this story to the realm of lying police officers. To the commenters who defended the actions of the police as understandable I ask is it normal to shoot before anything actually happens? Face it they were trying to hype the drama for their TV show and killed a little girl in cold blood.

An attorney for the family of a 7-year-old girl slain during a weekend raid at their Detroit home says video footage contradicts the police department's version of events.

Geoffrey Fieger (FY-gur) said Monday that the video shows police fired into the home at least once after lobbing a flash grenade through a window.

Comcast news link

I had to remove the video it was causing the diary to malfunction.

If anyone else would please diary this story I would appreciate it. It's growing there is a video and according to the families lawyer.

Attorney Geoffrey Fieger said he watched three or four minutes of video that showed police fired into the home after lobbing a flash grenade through the window. He said this contradicts the police department's story, which was that the officer's gun discharged during a struggle or collision inside the home with the girl's grandmother.

"There is no question about what happened because it's in the videotape," Fieger said. "It's not an accident. It's not a mistake. There was no altercation.

"The gun was fired before anyone goes through the door. There are lights all over, like it's a television set."

The words fail. They set up the murder of this little girl for a reality TV show.

Provocative Thinking Dispatched to the Gulf Region

There is a need for some at least encouraging news from the gulf and this may be it. Apparently our President and his Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu have reason to believe the oil patch people may not be thinking of all options available to combat the oilpocalypse and have dispatched a group of people to provide other perspectives, and maybe just maybe we're going to get to see an angry Barack Obama

Dispatched to Houston by President Barack Obama to deal with the crisis, Chu said Wednesday that five “extraordinarily intelligent” scientists from around the country will help BP and industry experts think of back-up plans to cut off oil from the well, leaking 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) below sea-level.
Bloomberg link to the story

More below the fold.

I do not have confidence in the management of BP. I don’t have confidence in the oil industry in general. We’ve jumped beyond the concerns of any industry and landed squarely in the realm of an all hands on deck ecological and humanitarian disaster that is going to require the best minds and talents of a great many people. I can imagine had this disaster occurred under a Republican administration. We would be told that the industry is fully capable of handling this disaster, and everything they say can be believed as if it came from the very mouth of truth.

Elections do have consequences and one of the best is that it appears that as the enormity of this problem grows exponentially the response is at least becoming more intelligent.

Members of the Chu team are credited with accomplishments including designing the first hydrogen bomb, inventing techniques for mining on Mars and finding a way to precisely position biomedical needles. ....snip

The group convened at BP’s command center in Houston yesterday, where they met with BP leadership, including Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward, the Energy Department said. BP is using more than 500 specialists from almost 100 organizations and welcomes additional help, Jon Pack, a BP spokesman, said by phone.
diarist note yesterday being Thursday May 13th

Bloomberg link to the story

It is gratifying to see some evidence that this administration does not accept the solutions that are coming from the oil industry and is supplementing their efforts with others, but that can’t be enough. One of the scientists made a statement after the meeting that is going to be a problem.

Their exact activities are cloaked in secrecy. “We saw some confidential and proprietary information,” said one scientist on the team, Jonathan I. Katz, a physics professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

Cloaked in secrecy this effort can not be. The oil industry has in my opinion made this very public and very open when they spewed their product at the rate of 1.1 million gallons a day into our Gulf of Mexico. You don’t get any more secret processes and we don’t care if competitors get to see what's in your war room. We all need to see what you are doing. If a 26 year old engineering geek can figure something out from the information on an open source information board that can help us he needs to see it.

BP's Oil Top Hat Has Failed?

Reports are breaking that BP’s latest attempt to staunch the flow of oil from one of the leaks from their disaster using the “Top Hat” dome has been beset by technical difficulties.

(Port Fourchon, LA) -- A small containment dome won't begin trapping oil from a massive leak in the Gulf of Mexico until at least next week.
Oil giant BP had said the dome could start sucking crude from the massive well leak today, but a fresh set of complications forced them to push that date back.
The dome is designed to pump oil from the leak to a vessel on the surface.

Don't know if this is a strong newsource

"Probably toward the end of next week is when we will start to move it and put it over the leak," BP spokesman Jon Pack said. "So nothing particularly noteworthy is happening with that right now."

Reuters is

Two stories right there. One says they tried and had some problems, and the BP executive seems to be saying “meh nothing to see here nothing happening except the earth is hemorrhaging petroleum into a vital ecosystem, we'll try the Top Hat thingy whenever, now move along folks although we said the Top Hat had thingy had a chance, we were actually just blowing smoke up your behind.

How tragic is this. I can literally go in my way back machine and post a comment from our resident expert Fishgrease who I at the time named Nostrakossack. The tragedy is this information can not be unknown to the people in charge of slowing the flow before a relief well can be drilled.

In 5000 feet of water, it's cold. The dome they're going to put over the biggest leak this week will work. The pipe to the surface won't. All oil contains paraffins and asphaltenes. Both the cold water surrounding the pipe and the gas expanding as it surfaces (basic refigeration) will cause paraffins to accumulate on the pipe walls. The asphaltenes will form a matrix within the paraffin. The result? A 5000 ft. candle, tough as nails. That's not even considering methane hydrates (like dry ice but with methane instead of CO2) which form, seemingly when they'll do the most harm.
In a production scenario, you would have additives pumped in at the bottom and the pipe would be heat-traced and insulated.
I think they're just going to use bare pipe.
Could work. I doubt it.
You don't have those problems in 1000 ft. of water.

Kossack Fishgrease is a hero at least here.

Update: So how come its difficult to get "heat" down to the source of the leak the well head which is at 5000 feet below the surface. I mean they get the product up somehow right?

Bro Fishgrease can you answer please.

You've a right to be a little confused about that. It's a good question.

Cooling takes place wherever there's a drop in gas pressure. In an air conditioner, the compressor pumps the coolant medium up in pressure, then sends it to wider pipe (or through an orifice). Gas expanding loses heat energy so it cools.

In normal production, that pressure drop takes place on the surface in a line heater. The product goes in, is heated by pre-heat coils, goes through the choke (pressure drop), then through more heating coils and then on to a separator. So it maintains it's pressure all the way up the production riser, and so it's heat also. Well like this flows pretty warm under pressure. They still have to heat trace some of them because of paraffins, just not much.

With the leak, they're taking the pressure drop right at the BOP and the broken riser pipe. And it's a hell of a pressure drop too. Couple thousand psig easy. 200x the cooling in an air conditioner (just guessing there, but it's a lot more cooling). There's no way to apply external heat there, like we did with the line heater at the surface.

They can inject methanol and that'll cure the hydrate ice (may take a lot of methanol), but with paraffins, you gotta have heat. Paraffins laugh at methanol.

Maybe it’s time to break out the adults and the adult decisions. This thing is going to leak for at least another 75 days until the relief well is completed, and that’s if they hit the relief well on the first few attempts unlike their experience in Australia . It’s going to leak at a rate of 1.1 million gallons of oil per day , and the executives at BP are unprepared to make the decision or probably even ask for the help needed to do anything about it.

It is time to remove responsibility but not liability from BP.

Get the eKos widget code!