Friday, April 28, 2006

Some School's Trying to Indoctrinate Your Kids

Parents sue school over same-sex fairy tale By Jason Szep
Thu Apr 27, 5:44 PM ET

Two families filed a lawsuit on Thursday against a Massachusetts town and its public school system after a teacher read a gay-themed fairy tale to children without notifying them first.

The suit against Lexington, about 12 miles west of Boston, seeks unspecified damages after the book "King & King" was read to a classroom of about 20 mostly 7 years olds. It is believed the first of its kind, the families' lawyers said.

The complaint said the school had "begun a process of intentionally indoctrinating very young children to affirm the notion that homosexuality is right and normal in direct denigration of the plaintiffs' deeply held faith."

It also charges that Lexington broke a 1996 Massachusetts law requiring that parents be notified of sex-education lessons. It names Lexington Superintendent of Schools Paul Ash and several other school and town officials.

Ash said the school was under no legal obligation to inform parents the book would be read. "This school district is committed to a welcoming environment for all kids. We embrace the diverse nature of the community," he told Reuters.

"King & King" tells the story of a crown prince who rejects a bevy of beautiful princesses, rebuffing each suitor until falling in love with a prince. The two marry, sealing the union with a kiss, and live happily ever after.

Ash has said reading the book was not intended as sex education but as a way to educate children about the world in which they live, especially in Massachusetts, the only U.S. state where gays and lesbians can legally wed.

It was read during a lesson on different types of weddings.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Boston alleges violations of the federal civil rights of the two sets of parents, David and Tonia Parker, and Rob and Robin Wirthlin. The families are devout Judeo-Christians, it said.


"I was concerned that I had not broached this topic with my young child yet and I was concerned that the point of view that was being presented was different from our family's personal moral values," Robin Wirthlin told a news conference.

The suit also accuses the town and school officials of violating the Massachusetts civil rights code and the state's parental notification law, according to the parents' attorney, Boston law firm Denner Associates.

"This is plainly a civil-rights matter," their lawyer, Jeffrey Denner, told Reuters.

The issue erupted when Robin Wirthlin complained to the school's principal after her 7-year-old son told her about the reading last month. She then turned to the conservative Massachusetts-based advocacy group Parents Rights Coalition, which issued a statement on the case to the media last week.

David Parker has been entangled with the town's school system since he was arrested a year ago for trespassing when he refused to leave school grounds until authorities promised to excuse his son from classroom discussions on same-sex parents.

His son, who at the time was about 5 years old, had brought home a "diversity book bag" that included the book "Who's in a Family?" The book includes pictures of same-sex parents along with other types of families.

"King & King" was ranked eighth among the top 10 books people wanted removed from libraries in 2004, according to the American Library Association. Its Berkeley, California publisher, Tricycle Press, said complaints over the 32-page book first surfaced in 2004 in North Carolina.

Written by two Dutch women, the book has sold about 15,000 copies in the United States since it was translated and published in 2002.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Texas Training Pamphlet: Most people are Likely Terrorists

Texas Training Pamphlet: 'Nice Guys' Who Wear Levis & Travel With Children Likely Terrorists

Says people who use cellphones and e mail should be under suspicion

Paul Joseph Watson/Prison Planet.tv | April 26 2006

View Entire Pamphlet: Page 1 / Page 2

A Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Law Enforcement pamphlet gives the public characteristics to identify terrorists that include buying baby formula, beer, wearing Levi jeans, carrying identifying documents like a drivers license and traveling with women or children.

This latest assault on common sense arrives on the back of a Virginia training manual used to help state employees recognize terrorists that listed anti-government and property rights activists as terrorists and includes binoculars, video cameras, pads and notebooks in a compendium of terrorist tools.

Shortly after 9/11 a Phoenix FBI manual that was disseminated amongst federal employees at the end of the Clinton term caused waves on the Internet after it was revealed that potential terrorists included, "defenders of the US Constitution against federal government and the UN, " and individuals who "make numerous references to the US Constitution." Lawyers everywhere cowered in fear at being shipped off to Gitmo.

If you live in Texas and you use a mobile phone, the Internet or text messaging then you could come under the scrutiny of a cadre of informants trained to identify terrorists based on those very precepts.

Why are the definitions so vague?

Because law enforcement personnel across the country have been trained to treat absolutely anything as suspicious in order to foster a return to a society not unlike the East German Stasi, where one in fifty citizens was an informant for the state.

In Alex Jones' film 9/11: The Road to Tyranny, FEMA officials give instructional classes in which they label George Washington and the founding fathers as terrorists because they killed British colonizers.

Previous manuals of this nature highlighted any political activity as potential terrorism. This creates a climate of fear and discourages people from exercising their freedoms or becoming involved in local government affairs.

This manual goes a step further in identifying behavior endemic to any typical American family as potential terrorism.

In essence it defines the characteristics of being "normal," "nice," and wearing normal clothes and behaving in a completely normal manner ("fitting in") as benchmarks of a suspected Al-Qaeda member.

These descriptions seemingly only protect by omission a nervous suicide bomber casing a shopping mall. Everybody else in the mall behaving normally could be terrorists but the sweating, paranoid, evasive mass killer is completely above suspicion according to this preposterous manual.

In December 2003 the FBI warned Americans nationwide to be on the lookout for people reading Almanacs as this could indicate an act of terrorism in planning. Almanacs are popular glove box inventory of any vehicle and this ludicrous fearmongering was met with a raucous response from satirists and news commentators.

This manual is an unnecessary piece of anti-American trash and it should be removed from circulation immediately. Politely email the Texas Department of Public Safety and suggest this be done forthwith.

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US Contractors Using Slave Labor in Iraq

by Cam Simpson, Chicago Tribune

April 23, 2006

OBM: Can anyone say Hypocrisy? Tell me something I don't know. We have allowed U.S. companies to do it here...so you know it's going to be done over seas. "Same game different location". "Game recognize Game". Wake up people Greedy corporations want all of us to work for pennies so they can put the rest in their pockets. “Sub-contractors my ass”
Read the story below...

The top U.S. commander in Iraq has ordered sweeping changes for privatized military support operations after confirming violations of human-trafficking laws and other abuses by contractors involving possibly thousands of foreign workers on American bases, according to records obtained by the Chicago Tribune.

Gen. George Casey ordered that contractors be required by May 1 to return passports that have been illegally confiscated from laborers on U.S. bases after determining that such practices violated U.S. laws against trafficking for forced or coerced labor. Human brokers and subcontractors from South Asia to the Middle East have worked together to import thousands of laborers into Iraq from impoverished countries.

Two memos obtained by the Tribune indicate that Casey's office concluded that the practice of confiscating passports from such workers was both widespread on American bases and in violation of the U.S. trafficking laws.

The memos, including an order dated April 4 and titled "Subject: Prevention of Trafficking in Persons in MNF-I," or Multinational Forces-Iraq, say the military also confirmed a host of other abuses during an inspection of contracting activities supporting the U.S. military in Iraq.

They include deceptive hiring practices; excessive fees charged by overseas job brokers who lure workers into Iraq; substandard living conditions once laborers arrive; violations of Iraqi immigration laws; and a lack of mandatory "awareness training" on U.S. bases concerning human trafficking.

Along with a separate memo from a top military procurement official to all contractors in Iraq, dated April 19 and titled, "Withholding of Passports, Trafficking in Persons," Casey's orders promise harsh actions against firms that fail to return passports or end other abusive practices. Contracts could be terminated, contractors could be blacklisted from future work, and commanders could physically bar firms from bases, the memos show.

"Contracts must incorporate appropriate language to compel the protection of individual rights (at both the contract and subcontract levels)," Casey's orders say, adding that it was his goal to "to promote (the) rule of law in Iraq and in the labor recruiting process."

Under future contracts, Casey is requiring that all firms, no matter how far down the chain, "provide workers with a signed copy of their employment contract that defines the terms of their employment."

He's ordering that contracts include "measurable, enforceable standards for living conditions (e.g., sanitation, health, safety, etc.) and establish 50 feet as the minimum acceptable square footage of personal living space per worker," after finding that some conditions were substandard.

Contractors and subcontractors also must "comply with international laws" regarding transit, exit and entry procedures, "requirements for work visas," and Iraqi immigration laws.

The orders also mandate that future contracts and subcontracts include "language that prohibits contractors and subcontractors at all tiers from utilizing unlicensed recruiting firms, or firms that charge illegal recruiting fees."

More Commentary by Helen & Harry Highwater:

The Chicago Tribune has carefully sidestepped words like "slave labor" and "slavery," but make no mistake, that's what the article is about.

Picture yourself working for an American contractor, on an American military base in Iraq. If they take away your passport, you can't leave. You are "bound in servitude as the property" of your employer.

That's the definition of a slave.

And according to this report, the practice is "widespread on American bases and in violation of the U.S. trafficking laws." That's human trafficking. Slavery.

Furthermore, the only reason it's taken until 2006 to see this news reported is the cowardice of American media. As long ago as 2004, we've seen similar coverage of similar outrages in the foreign press.

click read more for full story

The short-term impact of the orders is unclear, because the separate memo to contractors, which is dated April 19 and written by Col. Robert K. Boyles, a top official with the Joint Contracting Command-Iraq/Afghanistan, shows many of the reforms would be implemented by changes in the language in future contracts.

Nonetheless, the findings and actions represent a dramatic turnabout for the U.S. military, and follow three months of behind-the-scenes pressure on the Defense Department from State Department officials charged with monitoring and combating human trafficking worldwide.

The State Department launched an investigation and promised other actions earlier this year in response to a series published Oct. 9-10 by the Tribune, "Pipeline to Peril," that detailed many of the abuses now cited in the memos.

The stories disclosed the often-illicit networks used to recruit low-skilled laborers from some of the world's most impoverished and remote locales to work in menial jobs on American bases in Iraq.

Although other firms also have contracts supporting the military in Iraq, the United States has outsourced vital support operations to Halliburton subsidiary KBR at an unprecedented scale, at a cost to the United States of more than $12 billion as of late last year.

KBR, in turn, has outsourced much of that work to more than 200 subcontractors, many of them based in Middle Eastern nations condemned by the United States for failing to stem human trafficking into their own borders or for perpetrating other human rights abuses against foreign workers.

KBR's subcontractors employ an army of workers to dish out food, wash clothes, clean latrines and carry out virtually every other menial task. About 35,000 of the 48,000 people working under the privatization contract last year were "Third Country Nationals," who are non-Americans imported from outside Iraq, KBR has said.

"Pipeline to Peril," which was based on reporting in the United States, Jordan, Iraq, Nepal and Saudi Arabia, described how some subcontractors and a chain of human brokers allegedly engaged in the same kinds of abuses routinely condemned by the State Department as human trafficking.

The newspaper retraced the journey of 12 men recruited in 2004 from rural villages in the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal and documented a trail of deceit, fraud and negligence stretching into Jordan and Iraq. Most of the men had contracts filed with their government falsely promising them positions at a five-star hotel in Amman, yet all 12 were sent into Iraq in August 2004. They were ultimately kidnapped from an unprotected caravan traveling along what was then one of the most dangerous roadways in the world: the Amman-to-Baghdad highway.

All 12 men were subsequently executed by militants in likely the single worst massacre of foreign workers in Iraq since the American-led invasion more than three years ago.

Those workers and others suffered from a chain of exploitation that began in their home countries, where families often assumed huge debts to pay fees demanded by brokers, to Iraq. Even after discovering they'd been deceived, workers felt compelled to head into the war zone, or remain in danger for much longer than they desired, just to pay those debts.

The Tribune also found evidence that subcontractors and brokers routinely seized workers' passports, deceived them about their safety or contract terms and, in at least one case, allegedly tried to force terrified men into Iraq under the threat of cutting off their food and water.

The series also showed how KBR and the military left virtually every aspect of the recruitment, deployment and safety of such workers in the hands of their subcontractors. They also allowed subcontractors to employ workers from countries that had banned the deployment of their citizens to Iraq, meaning thousands were trafficked through illicit channels.

When told of the memos, John Miller, who heads the State Department office to monitor and combat human trafficking, credited the Tribune for shedding light on the illicit practices. He also praised the military for taking corrective action.

"Needless to say, we're delighted," Miller said. "This is progress, and we agree with the steps they've taken."

Although allegations of such abuses began appearing in international press reports more than two years ago, and the Tribune's own investigation was published last October, one of the memos calls on the military and the State Department to develop "an effective media strategy emphasizing the (military) Command's pro-active response to the problem."

Separate records also show that similar allegations had been raised in September 2004 with Joseph Schmitz, who was then the Department of Defense inspector general.

Schmitz did not respond in any detail until nearly a year later, saying in an Aug. 25, 2005, letter to Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., that there was a "list of corrective measures" ordered by coalition military officials in Iraq following "a preliminary inquiry" into the allegations. The letter did not mention passport seizures or violations of U.S. laws against human trafficking, but said living conditions "required further attention" and that officials were "monitoring the status of corrections" purportedly under way.

Schmitz resigned about two weeks later amid accusations that he stonewalled investigations. He took a job with Blackwater USA, a private security contractor.

It wasn't the only time officials were made aware of such allegations. Last summer, the Army, which oversees the KBR privatization deal, deflected questions from the Tribune about human trafficking onto American bases in Iraq by saying "these are not Army issues." Similarly, Halliburton said in a written statement that questions regarding "the recruitment practices" of its subcontractors "should be directed to the subcontractor."

Melissa Norcross, a Halliburton spokeswoman, issued a statement from the company Sunday saying that KBR "fully supports the Department of Defense's efforts to ensure that all contractor and subcontractor personnel working for the U.S. government be treated in a fair and humanitarian manner."

The statement also echoed previous press releases from the company, saying KBR "operates under a rigorous code of business conduct that outlines legal and ethical behaviors that all employees and subcontractors are expected to follow in every aspect of their work. We do not tolerate any exceptions to this Code at any level of our company."

The company has refused to say whether it has ever taken any action against subcontractors.

Another memo obtained by the Tribune, dated April 13 and addressed to all KBR project managers, deputy project managers and operations managers, indicates the company is requiring all of its personnel to undergo human-trafficking awareness training because of Casey's orders.

A U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, confirmed the issuance of Casey's orders in a statement to the Tribune on Sunday, saying the "rights to freedom of movement and quality living standards are serious issues."

He also claimed, "There's always been a focus on this, and this is one more clarification of that," adding that the U.S. military has the ability to "terminate contracts and keep people off of bases."

Casey's orders came at about the same time the Defense Department published long-awaited interim rules that allow officials to cancel overseas defense contracts for trafficking violations.

But the orders go well beyond what is contained in the rules, and indicate that most of the measures stem from an inspection of the support operations by Casey's command. Johnson said that inspection was conducted by the command's inspector general's office, a process that was started last October.

While the orders do not indicate how many workers have had their passports seized, the April 19 memo to contractors says evidence indicated a widespread practice of "holding and withholding employee passports." It says passports are seized, in part, to keep workers from accepting jobs with other firms.

The Tribune identified three major KBR subcontractors that employed thousands of foreign workers on U.S. installations in Iraq and confiscated the passports of their foreign workers as a standard practice. At least two of those firms also have their own contracts with the United States.

The ultimate impact of the new orders will depend on how they're implemented, and on several key, unanswered questions. Included among them: how U.S. military officials in Iraq hope to influence the conduct of village recruiters and human brokers across the globe who are several links up the chain from the subcontractors ultimately employing workers in Iraq.

Johnson said U.S. military officials would not immediately refer any contractors or subcontractors for prosecution.

Miller agreed that important questions remained, but called the new rules a major step forward. "I think they are heading in the right direction."
Chicago Tribune correspondent Liz Sly contributed to this report from Baghdad.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

If 9-11 was an Inside Job then How Did the Towers Collapse? Here is One Strong Possibility

Thermite Identified As Culprit Of WTC Collapse Would have been hot enough to melt steel and cause implosion

Paul Joseph Watson/Prison Planet.com | April 24 2006

A new branch of 9/11 research claims to have identified the cause of the collapse of the twin towers. The photographic and video evidence makes a very strong case for thermite being responsible for the unprecedented implosions of steel framed reinforced buildings on September 11.

Brigham Young University physicist Professor Steven Jones told peers at a Utah meeting that, "while almost no fire, even one ignited by jet fuel, can cause structural steel to fail, the combination of thermite and sulfur "slices through steel like a hot knife through butter."

Jones points to a video (click here to watch) which shows a bright yellow molten substance dripping from the south tower minutes before its collapse. Government investigators claimed that this was aluminum from Flight 175 but Jones is adamant that aluminum is silvery in appearance and doesn't turn yellow.

Jones also told the Deseret News that sulfur traces found at ground zero indicates the thermite was combined with sulphur to make it burn even hotter than the normal 2500 degrees Celsius.

Jones stated that thermite was a "clever" choice because its ingredients, aluminum and iron oxide do not require identifying tags by law, meaning they couldn't be traced back to their manufacturers.

Watch the following video and observe how thermite completely melts a car engine in a matter of seconds, without the addition of sulphur, and also completely resists neutralization by liquid nitrogen. Notice how the dripping substance is identical to that seen in the south tower video.


The following video highlights the fact that steaming hot molten metal was still being found at the World Trade Center site six weeks after the attack.


Jones also, "cited video pictures showing white ash rising from the south tower near the dripping, liquefied metal. When thermite burns, Jones said, it releases aluminum-oxide ash. The presence of both yellow-white molten iron and aluminum oxide ash "are signature characteristics of a thermite reaction," he said."

American Free Press writer Christopher Bollyn discusses evidence of thermite used to sever the twin tower's steel support columns in the picture below.

"In this photo, for example, the column directly above the fireman's helmet shows that it was cut with thermite. There is a substantial amount of hardened molten iron which can be seen on both the inside and outside of the box column. This is precisely what one would expect to find on a column which had been cut with thermite," says Bollyn.

White flames consistent with how thermite reacts producing molten iron and aluminum oxide are also visible in this photograph at the corner of the 81st floor of the south tower.

The USGS Spectroscopy Lab produced images which showed dense thermal hot spots days and weeks after the attacks. ABC News reported that, "the temperature at the core of "the pile," is near 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, according to fire officials, who add that the fires are too deep for firefighters to get to."

The What Really Happened website created a page giving more proof that thermite was used and how it runs parallel with eyewitness reports of explosions and pieces being sheered off the towers. An additional video shows white smoke (pictured) at the base of the north tower moments before its collapse. White smoke also rose from the wreckage of the towers.

It is now all but conclusive that the master architects of 9/11 used thermite to implode the towers, going the extra length to pull off the pyrotechnic horror show and enhance the media spectacle of 'the new Pearl Harbor,' instilling greater fear and fealty that enabled them to subsequently enact their domestic and geopolitical agenda.

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

$500K Seized At Nuclear Plant: Two Men were Detained and Later Released. What...Da Hell???

See Video
$500K Seized; Strange Situation Reported At Nuclear Plant

POSTED: 8:49 am EDT April 19, 2006
UPDATED: 5:13 pm EDT April 19, 2006

SHIPPINGPORT, Pa. -- Two workers looking for tools set off a security situation at a Beaver County nuclear power plant that drew a response from police and federal investigators, WTAE Channel 4's Paul Van Osdol reported.

State police said the men drove up to the Beaver Valley Power Station in a tractor-trailer on Tuesday night to pick up two large containers of tools for a contractor for whom they worked.

Security guards stopped the men for a routine inspection, but they drove away, police said.

The guards became suspicious and called police, who pulled the truck over about a mile from the plant.

A state trooper got a warrant to search the vehicle and found a duffel bag, which he said contained $504,230 in mostly small bills.

The driver denied knowing anything about the money or who gave it to him, so the trooper seized it, police said.

A spokesman for the FBI confirmed that the Joint Terrorism Task Force responded to the situation in conjunction with state police, but he said they don't think terrorism is involved. He would not give any other details.

The men, who are from Houston, said they picked up the bag in Chicago and had no knowledge of its contents, according to police.

Investigators think the cash may have a drug connection. A police dog picked up the scent of drugs in the sleeper cab of the truck where the bag was found, police said.

Both men were detained and later released. No charges have been filed.

What...Da Hell??? People this is a Nuclear Plant. This is a National Security Risk. If these two guys caused an explosion at this Nuclear Plant a hole lot of peoples lives would be lost in SHIPPINGPORT, Pa. But they let the men go...with know futher info....What Da Hell????

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Monday, April 17, 2006

School Makes Kids Use Buckets for Toilets

A principal trying to prevent walkouts during immigration rallies inadvertently introduced a lockdown so strict that children weren't allowed to go to the bathroom, and instead had to use buckets in the classroom, an official said.

Worthington Elementary School Principal Angie Marquez imposed the lockdown March 27 as nearly 40,000 students across Southern California left classes to attend immigrants' rights demonstrations.

Marquez apparently misread the district handbook and ordered a lockdown designed for nuclear attacks.

Tim Brown, the district's director of operations, confirmed some students used buckets but said the principal's order to impose the most severe type of lockdown was an "honest mistake."

"When there's a nuclear attack, that's when buckets are used," Brown told the Los Angeles Times. The principal "followed procedure. She made a decision to follow the handbook. She just misread it."

A message left by The Associated Press for the principal at the school before business hours Monday was not immediately returned, and Marquez did not return telephone calls from the Times.

OBM: People Please wake up....this is far beyond "Big Brother". Parents please check your kid’s school's disaster policies. Most schools today have policies like this where they can hold your kids hostage...even from their parents. I sorry… in the event of a disaster or possible disaster I want my kids with me ASAP!!! Also these types of hostage policies are not just for disasters but also for when ever the school official’s believe necessary. Please check your kid’s school out before you have to find out the hard way!!!!

Appalled parents have complained to the school board. Brown said the school district planned to update its emergency preparedness instructions to give more explicit directions.

Parents and community activists asked the school board at its April 5 meeting to explain the principal's decision. They also sought promises that the lockdown wouldn't be repeated.

"There was no violence at the protests, so this was based on what?" activist Diane Sambrano asked. "It was unsanitary, unnecessary and absolutely unacceptable."

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Radio Host Called Alleged Duke Rape Victim a "Dirty, Verminous Black Stripper"; Described Illegal Immigrants as "Brown Supremacists"

audio clip comming soon

During the April 11 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Michael Savage referred to the woman who alleged she had been raped at a party attended by members of the Duke University lacrosse team as a "Durham dirt-bag" and "dirty, verminous black stripper" because, according to Savage, she "lied when she said she was raped at a party." Savage's comments came after the results of initial DNA tests did not implicate any member of the Duke team. Declaring that the Duke case is evidence that "the cards are stacked against white males in America" because the "white leadership of America is out to lunch," Savage added: "This is the radical, feminist, lesbian agenda being acted out on our campuses in a witch-hunt manner against these white boys, very much like the socialist communist agenda being acted out on the American stage by the extras called the illegal aliens," whom he also referred to as "brown supremacists."

Savage's reference to the "verminous ... stripper" came during the same broadcast in which he responded to a Media Matters for America item documenting his previous reference to illegal immigrants as "vermin."

Both Duke and North Carolina Central University (NCCU), where the alleged rape victim is a full-time student, are located in Durham, North Carolina.

From the April 11 edition of Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation:

SAVAGE: The white male leadership of America is out to lunch, and because the white males of America are quaking on the golf courses, not realizing the danger they are in.


SAVAGE: There's another story that's very important to show you the twisting of justice in America, the lack of justice in America, and the viciousness of prosecutors in America, and how the cards are stacked against white males in America; and that is the case in North Carolina where a Durham dirt-bag made false accusations against members of a lacrosse team. DNA evidence was collected -- has proven to show that there was no reference to any rape.


SAVAGE: The DA in charge of the Duke University fake rape investigation said that he does not need DNA to bring charges and vowed, quote, "This case is not going away." All I can say is I hope that DA Mike Nifong goes away real fast, because he spoke one day after defense attorney said DNA testing failed to connect any of Duke's lacrosse players to the alleged attack on a black stripper who lied when she said she was raped at a party.


SAVAGE: We have here now the voice of a so-called student body president. Listen carefully.

RENEE CLARK (NCCU student body president) [audio clip]: Students at NCCU, alongside with students from Duke, know that it is time to come together to ensure that justice is served. No longer will sexual assault against women, sexual injustice, or any timeless -- or the timeless of due process be issues that render the legal outcome of current --

SAVAGE: Now, wait a minute. Hold on. This idiot can't even read a three-syllable word, but I think what this moron -- this sub-moron -- just said is that due process should have no bearing upon the outcome of the case because they're guilty, because she wants them to be guilty. Go ahead. Continue.

CLARK [audio clip]: This entire ordeal has been played out in the media from evidential findings to the character of the parties involved.

SAVAGE: Hold it. She said because of the character of the parties involved, they're guilty? Did you hear what this thing just said? This thing just said that their character has convicted them. This is the same person that if one of her brethren were brought into a court room, who had previously conducted crimes, these previous crimes would not be permitted to be issued as evidence, because it would be discriminatory or prejudicial, but she said she knows that they're guilty because of their character? Are you listening to what these people are saying to -- about these boys down there? Listen. Go ahead.

CLARK [audio clip]: Things that the media has not turned its attention to is the commonality of incidences such as this on campuses worldwide, in our communities, in our nation, and around the world.

SAVAGE: Hold on. Campuses worldwide are now going to influence the outcome of this case? This is the radical, feminist, lesbian agenda being acted out on our campuses in a witch-hunt manner against these white boys, very much like the socialist communist agenda being acted out on the American stage by the extras called the illegal aliens. I hope you understand what's going on in your country. And the reason it's happening, is because George Bush is such a weak leader, and because the Republicans have ceased to exist as a party that there is a power vacuum into which jump these opportunistic infections.


SAVAGE: So, it seems to me that there's a certain group of immigrants that's not very happy and they're all Hispanic. I don't see any other racial group out there in the streets, do you? Now, that's very interesting. I'm not allowed to raise the issue or the specter of brown supremacists behind these protests. Don't tell me this is all about compassion for immigrants, because it is not at all only about compassion for immigrants. They are trying to provoke the takeover of the United States of America, and what they're using is the ploy of compassion for immigrants all who all come here to work. I don't go for that rubbish.


SAVAGE: This DA needs to be thrown out of that city. He is worse than the Ku Klux Klan. He is a modern version of the Ku Klux Klan, which is the "Liberal Klux Klan." The LKK is far worse than the KKK. The "Liberal Klux Klan" is far more dangerous to your survival than the Ku Klux Klan because there are more members of the LKK than there are of the KKK. The LKK is behind the illegal aliens in the streets. The LKK is behind the degeneracy on our television sets. The LKK is behind the prognostication of defeat for the United States of America. They have an agenda, ladies and gentlemen. It is time to throw out the DA and accept that there was no DNA.


SAVAGE: Now, in America, you're supposed to be innocent until you're proven guilty. They take 20 boys, they take their DNA because a dirty, verminous black stripper says she -- the -- she was raped and beaten. They do the DNA, none of her -- none of their DNA is found on this woman.

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Sheen Challenges Official 9/11 Fable on National TV

Visit Prison Planet.com

VIDEO: Charlie Sheen on "late Night"

Actor Charlie Sheen made history when he first questioned the official story of 9/11, calling it the "biggest conspiracy theory of them all." Sheen's comments sent shockwaves across the alternative media and have been one of the biggest stories on the internet for weeks. The story also garnered prime time coverage by major news outlets including CNN, FOX News, and hundreds of newspapers worldwide.

Following his brave step into the spotlight over his 9/11 questions and the ensuing backlash of attacks and hit pieces, Sheen issued an email statement to the media demanding that he be challenged on the facts instead of junior high name-calling. Not one single mainstream media outlet has had the nerve to take Sheen up on his challenge.

Only a few days after Sheen's story broke in the mainstream press, sources within FOX News and CNN told Alex Jones off-the-record that there was a concerted effort from their companies' management to "kill" the Sheen story and to end any favorable coverage of the 9/11 Truth Movement. Producers were given this dictate despite the record high ratings and positive audience feedback that was received from coverage of the Sheen 9/11 story.

On Friday, April 14th on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live talk show, Sheen once again brought forward his questions about the official story to tens of millions of Americans. When asked by host Jimmy Kimmel about the statements he made on The Alex Jones radio show, Sheen succinctly remarked, "I just had questions, I had a lot of questions."

He went further, decrying the media's treatment of his statements, noting that "[the mainstream media] didn't really take a look at any of the stuff I was asking them to look at, any of the evidence or any of the stuff that generated those questions..." instead they spun it into the story of whether or not he was "qualified" to question the government.

"I felt the only real validation that I needed was being a tax paying citizen that loves my country," Sheen expressed to a powerful round of applause from the studio audience. Sheen continued, "What happed to the time in this country when we were entitled, when we had a constitutional and a God-given right to be curious about things that didn't make sense."

When asked by Kimmel what had brought him to pose his questions about the official story, Sheen replied, "I've done a lot of research," then referred to the growing number of high-profile individuals who have already bravely stepped forward to ask questions about 9/11, stating "...its not just me, its the people that have come before me - the experts and the engineers, the physicists and the scientists and the scholars, that raised a lot of these things and I took a look at their research and said yeah, it doesn't add up, a lot of it doesn't add up, hence these questions."

Before Kimmel moved the discussion to another topic, Sheen was careful to remind the audience, "There are two areas: Building 7 and the five frames from the Pentagon. Don't listen to me, do your own research."

Following the broadcast of the Jimmy Kimmel Live show, Alex Jones spoke with Sheen about his views concerning the interview. Sheen made the following statement:

"This is a landmark moment in the 9/11 Truth Movement. We have fired a flaming arrow into the heart of the myopic propaganda posing as the irrefutable official story. Come one, come all, the floodgates have opened! Reveal your patriotism."

In response Alex Jones stated, "In my 12 years of broadcast, I have broken hundreds of stories that have gained national attention, but none have captured the imagination of the people like Charlie Sheen's statements on 9/11. Universally people recognize that his courageous stand has smashed the floodgates and the tide has now turned. The 9/11 Truth Movement saw its birth over four and a half years ago and it witnessed an unprecedented infusion when Charlie Sheen spoke out. "

"The bottom line is that people resonate with Charlie Sheen's courage. The average man or woman understands that Sheen is taking a risk by saying aloud what they have only thought about in secret: 9/11 was an inside job and the foundational event for the police state growing in America and the pretext for the ongoing wars for global empire.

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“Bush - Nazi Dealings Continued Until 1951” - Federal Documents

By John Buchanan and Stacey Michael

from The New Hampshire Gazette Vol. 248, No. 3, November 7, 2003

After the seizures in late 1942 of five U.S. enterprises he managed on behalf of Nazi industrialist Fritz Thyssen, Prescott Bush, the grandfather of President George W. Bush, failed to divest himself of more than a dozen "enemy national" relationships that continued until as late as 1951, newly-discovered U.S. government documents reveal.

Furthermore, the records show that Bush and his colleagues routinely attempted to conceal their activities from government investigators.

Bush's partners in the secret web of Thyssen-controlled ventures included former New York Governor W. Averell Harriman and his younger brother, E. Roland Harriman. Their quarter-century of Nazi financial transactions, from 1924-1951, were conducted by the New York private banking firm, Brown Brothers Harriman.

The White House did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Although the additional seizures under the Trading with the Enemy Act did not take place until after the war, documents from The National Archives and Library of Congress confirm that Bush and his partners continued their Nazi dealings unabated. These activities included a financial relationship with the German city of Hanover and several industrial concerns. They went undetected by investigators until after World War Two.

At the same time Bush and the Harrimans were profiting from their Nazi partnerships, W. Averell Harriman was serving as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's personal emissary to the United Kingdom during the toughest years of the war. On October 28, 1942, the same day two key Bush-Harriman-run businesses were being seized by the U.S. government, Harriman was meeting in London with Field Marshall Smuts to discuss the war effort.

Denial and Deceit

While Harriman was concealing his Nazi relationships from his government colleagues, Cornelius Livense, the top executive of the interlocking German concerns held under the corporate umbrella of Union Banking Corporation (UBC), repeatedly tried to mislead investigators, and was sometimes supported in his subterfuge by Brown Brothers Harriman.

All of the assets of UBC and its related businesses belonged to Thyssen-controlled enterprises, including his Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart in Rotterdam, the documents state.

Nevertheless, Livense, president of UBC, claimed to have no knowledge of such a relationship. "Strangely enough, (Livense) claims he does not know the actual ownership of the company," states a government report.

H.D Pennington, manager of Brown Brothers Harriman and a director of UBC "for many years," also lied to investigators about the secret and well-concealed relationship with Thyssen's Dutch bank, according to the documents.

Investigators later reported that the company was "wholly owned" by Thyssen's Dutch bank.

Despite such ongoing subterfuge, U.S. investigators were able to show that "a careful examination of UBC's general ledger, cash books and journals from 1919 until the present date clearly establish that the principal and practically only source of funds has been Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart."

In yet another attempt to mislead investigators, Livense said that $240,000 in banknotes in a safe deposit box at Underwriters Trust Co. in New York had been given to him by another UBC-Thyssen associate, H.J. Kouwenhoven, managing director of Thyssen's Dutch bank and a director of the August Thyssen Bank in Berlin. August Thyssen was Fritz's father.

The government report shows that Livense first neglected to report the $240,000, then claimed that it had been given to him as a gift by Kouwenhoven. However, by the time Livense filed a financial disclosure with U.S. officials, he changed his story again and reported the sum as a debt rather than a cash holding.

In yet another attempt to deceive the governments of both the U.S. and Canada, Livense and his partners misreported the facts about the sale of a Canadian Nazi front enterprise, La Cooperative Catholique des Consommateurs de Combustible, which imported German coal into Canada via the web of Thyssen-controlled U.S. businesses.

"The Canadian authorities, however, were not taken in by this maneuver," a U.S. government report states. The coal company was later seized by Canadian authorities.

After the war, a total of 18 additional Brown Brothers Harriman and UBC-related client assets were seized under The Trading with the Enemy Act, including several that showed the continuation of a relationship with the Thyssen family after the initial 1942 seizures.

The records also show that Bush and the Harrimans conducted business after the war with related concerns doing business in or moving assets into Switzerland, Panama, Argentina and Brazil - all critical outposts for the flight of Nazi capital after Germany's surrender in 1945. Fritz Thyssen died in Argentina in 1951.

One of the final seizures, in October 1950, concerned the U.S. assets of a Nazi baroness named Theresia Maria Ida Beneditka Huberta Stanislava Martina von Schwarzenberg, who also used two shorter aliases. Brown Brothers Harriman, where Prescott Bush and the Harrimans were partners, attempted to convince government investigators that the baroness had been a victim of Nazi persecution and therefore should be allowed to maintain her assets.

"It appears, rather, that the subject was a member of the Nazi party," government investigators concluded.

At the same time the last Brown Brothers Harriman client assets were seized, Prescott Bush announced his Senate campaign that led to his election in 1952.

Investigation Investigated?

In 1943, six months after the seizure of UBC and its related companies, a government investigator noted in a Treasury Department memo dated April 8, 1943 that the FBI had inquired about the status of any investigation into Bush and the Harrimans.

"I gave 'a memorandum' which did not say anything about the American officers of subject," the investigator wrote. "(Another investigator) wanted to know whether any specific action had been taken by us with respect to them."

No further action beyond the initial seizures was ever taken, and the newly-confirmed records went unseen by the American people for six decades.

What Does It All Mean?

So why are the documents relevant today?

"The story of Prescott Bush and Brown Brothers Harriman is an introduction to the real history of our country," says L.A. art book publisher and historian Edward Boswell. "It exposes the money-making motives behind our foreign policies, dating back a full century. The ability of Prescott Bush and the Harrimans to bury their checkered pasts also reveals a collusion between Wall Street and the media that exists to this day."

Sheldon Drobny, a Chicago entrepreneur and philanthropist who will soon launch a liberal talk radio network, says the importance of the new documents is that they prove a long pattern of Bush family war profiteering that continues today via George H.W. Bush's intimate relationship with the Saudi royal family and the bin Ladens, conducted via the super-secret Carlyle Group, whose senior advisers include former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III.

In the post-9/11 world, Drobny finds the Bush-Saudi connection deeply troubling. "Trading with the enemy is trading with the enemy," he says. "That's the relevance of the documents and what they show."

Lawrence Lader, an abortion rights activist and the author of more than 40 books, says "the relevance lies with the fact that the sitting President of the United States would lead the nation to war based on lies and against the wishes of the rest of the world." Lader and others draw comparisons between President Bush's invasion of Iraq and Hitler's occupation of Poland in 1939 - the event that sparked World War Two.

However, others see an even larger significance.

"The discovery of the Bush-Nazi documents raises new questions about the role of Prescott Bush and his influential business partners in the secret emigration of Nazi war criminals, which allowed them to escape justice in Germany," says Bob Fertik, co-founder of Democrats.com and an amateur 'Nazi hunter.' "It also raises questions about the importance of Nazi recruits to the CIA in its early years, in what was called Operation Paperclip, and Prescott Bush's role in that dark operation."

Fertik and others, including former Justice Department Nazi war crimes prosecutor John Loftus, a Constitutional attorney in Miami, and a former Veterans Administration official, believe Prescott Bush and the Harrimans should have been tried for treason.

What Next?

Now, say Fertik and Loftus, there should be a Congressional investigation into the Bush family's Nazi past and its concealment from the American people for 60 years.

"The American people have a right to know, in detail, about this hidden chapter of our history," says Loftus, author of The Secret War Against the Jews. "That's the only way we can understand it and deal with it."

For his part, Fertik is pessimistic that even a Congressional investigation can thwart the war profiteering of the present Bush White House. "It's impossible to stop it," he says, "when the worst war profiteers are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, who operate in secrecy behind the vast powers of the White House."


John Buchanan is a journalist and magazine writer based in Miami Beach. He can be reached by e-mail at jtwg@bellsouth.net.

Stacey Michael is a New Orleans-based journalist and the author of Religious Conceit. His most recent book is Weapons of Mass Dysfunction: The Art of "Faith-Based" Politics, due in early 2004. He can be reached by email at staceymichael@religiousconceit.com.

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Friday, April 14, 2006

If It Was Rape: The Purpose Was To Rape A Black Women Intentionally

(White) Male Privilege, Black Respectability, and Black Women's Bodies
[14 April 2006]

"As a black female, you go to a party, you're expected to dance, you're expected to be sexually provocative. You [are expected to] want to be touched, to be grabbed, to be fondled... As if they're re-enacting a rap video or something. As if we're there to be their video ho, basically. We can't just be regular students here. We can't just go to a party and enjoy ourselves."
— Audrey Christopher and Danielle Terrazas Williams (The Independent Weekly, "Not your video ho", 29 March 06)

"Because the intersectional experience is greater than the sum of racism and sexism, any analysis that does not take intersectionality into account cannot sufficiently address the particular manner in which Black women are subordinated."
— Kimberle Crenshaw, "Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex"

When a young black women was allegedly raped, sodomized, robbed and beaten by members of the Duke University Lacrosse team on 13 March of this year, it was initially treated as little more than another case of "(privileged) boys gone wild". As word began to spread about the specifics of the case, various communities mobilized to lay claim to its significance. These groups include Durham, North Carolina residents with long-standing grievances against the University, activists rightfully protesting yet another incident of alleged sexual violence related to a college campus, members of various black communities who wanted to highlight the racist implications of the alleged assault, and of course, those who felt that too many people were rushing to judgment about the alleged rapists, well before the true facts of the case were established.

At the center of all of these claims and allegiances is the body of a young black woman, who in many ways has been continually assaulted since 13 March. This time the assaults, arising from various narratives surrounding the case, to, the inability of the take serious the realities of racialized sexual violence against women of color.

In spite of all the discussion, to date no charges have been filed in the so called "Duke lacrosse rape case". The results of a DNA analysis taken after the alleged attack suggest that the members of the Duke lacrosse team were not involved in the attack, though the local district attorney will continue to pursue the case. As such, I am less interested in trafficking through declarations of guilt and innocence in the case, but rather, I am interested in illuminating the various perceptions that have been and will continue to be projected onto the body of the black woman who is the focal point of this case.

As has been reported so far, the accuser is a full-time student at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and a single mother of two. The young woman and a friend were purportedly hired to dance at a bachelor party at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. in Durham -- a residence shared by several of the lacrosse team players.

Though some have downplayed the significance of race in this case -- violence against women is violence against women -- the intersection of race and gender is palpable. As Greg Garber notes in his fine coverage of the case for ESPN.com ("Turbulant Times for Duke and Durham", 3 April 2006), the default request for exotic dancers at mainstream escort agencies is for white women (preferably blonde and big-breasted). Thus in all likelihood, regardless of what happened inside of 610 N. Buchanan Blvd, the young men were hoping to consume something that they felt that a black woman uniquely possessed. If these young men did in fact rape, sodomize, rob, and beat this young woman, it wasn't simply because she was a woman: but because she was a black woman.

UCLA and Columbia University Law professor and critical race theorist Kimberle Crenshaw explains the uniqueness of discrimination against black women in her seminal essay "Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex" where can readers find this essay?. According to Crenshaw, "Discrimination, like traffic through an intersection, may flow in one direction , and it may flow in another. If an accident happens in an intersection, it can be caused by cars traveling in any number of directions, and sometimes, from all of them." Using the traffic intersection as a metaphor, Crenshaw argues that black women often "experience double discrimination -- the combined efforts of practices which discriminate on the basis of race and on the basis of sex. And sometimes, they experience discrimination as black women -- not the sum of race and sex discrimination, but as black women."

Of course there are historic discourses that have constructed black women as hypersexual, insatiable, and exotic; such discourses have often been employed as the rationale for racialized sexual and rhetorical violence against black women. Contemporary examples of such discourses can be found in the flippant and hateful on-air comments by national radio personalities Rush Limbaugh and Neil Boortz, who described the alleged victim in the Duke lacrosse case and US Representative Cynthia McKinney, respectively, as a "ho" and a "ghetto slut" (Media Matters, "Limbaugh called alleged Duke rape victim a 'ho'", and "Boortz Issues apology over McKinney smears" 3 April 2006). Though it is often the music videos of hip-hop artists that are targeted for criticism over the degradation of black women's bodies, these videos -- like the syndicated shows of Boortz and Limbaugh, television networks like BET and MTV, and recording labels -- are simply the vehicles for the corporately controlled circulation of black women's bodies.

The message is clear: black women and their bodies have little value, little protection, and are accessible to anyone who feels entitled to them. Thus, it should not be surprising that a generation of young white men, for whom the consumption of hip-hop has been second nature, would find a black exotic dancer desirable or in the worse case scenario, sexually available to them, even if she resists their advances. But the Duke lacrosse rape case is not simply about centuries old dramas across the color line. It also about the tensions within black communities about which black bodies deserve protection and defense.

As the "identity" of the young black woman in the case began to be constructed in the media, it was revealed that she was an "exotic dancer" and un-wed mother of two. These facts should be irrelevant in a sexual assault case, but as is well known, defense attorneys often seek to demonize rape victims -- in the courts and in the media -- so that the integrity of the victim is called into question. The goal is to convince the public and juries that rape victims bear the burden of responsibility in their assaults. As scholar Wahneema Lubiano recently opined, this is part of the tenuous status of being a women in American society; If you are not "at home" under the "supervision" of a father or a husband, it is open season on your body. Already there have been attempts to portray the young woman who was raped, sodomized, robbed and beaten as immoral on the basis that she was a "stripper" and an unfit mother, who left her two children home while she performed.

But such demonization takes on another dynamic within the world of "black respectability". It was clear from the outset that for some black communities in Durham, the young women was not a "respectable" victim. The concept of "black respectability" can be traced back to the struggles of African-Americans in the early days following "emancipation", when so many of the former enslaved sought to find common ground -- a shared humanity -- with the white citizenry. The strategy behind "black respectability", exemplified in the late 19th and early 20th century by the Black Women's Club Movement and the New Negro Movement and much later by the NAACP Image Awards, was to put the "best face" of the race forward.

Accordingly, it also meant that less savory black bodies and antics had to be reduced to so-called "dirty laundry", never to see the light of day. It was a logical strategy, given the pervasiveness of white supremacy in the century after emancipation and the desire of many black leaders to fight racism, disenfranchisement, and racist violence on moral grounds. But it also created the context where those black bodies and practices that were not thought to be respectable enough were jettisoned to the margins of black life and culture.

Ultimately the desire was to find the most "respectable" victims to help animate black communities to struggle against racism, segregationist practices, and disenfranchisement. The late Rosa Parks embodied such a "victim". As noted scholar Aldon Morris notes in his book The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement (Free Press, 1986), Parks galvanized blacks in Montgomery, AL and nationally, in part, because she was a "quiet, dignified woman of high morals". The same could not be said for 15-year-old Claudette Colvin, who more than 8 months before Rosa Parks's historic act, refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. Unlike Ms. Parks, Ms. Colvin loudly protested the request that she move from her seat and was eventually charged with assault and battery on the bus driver who made the request and the police officers who were called in to intervene. When it was eventually revealed that Ms. Colvin was an un-wed, pregnant teen, black activists in Montgomery backed off of her case, waiting for a more respectable candidate, such as Ms. Parks, to emerge.

Though the Duke Lacrosse case occurs in a different historical context than the Montgomery bus boycott, the silence and ambiguity emitting from some black communities in Durham and elsewhere resembles the efforts of Montgomery's black leaders to distance themselves from Colvin. Even more profound are those who would distance themselves from the alleged victim in the Duke lacrosse case because she was involved in "immoral" behavior at the time of the alleged assault. Such a point was made by Herald-Sun columnist John McCann -- in many ways the "voice" of Black Durham -- who suggested that the case was about the "consequences of violating moral laws." ("Thin Line Separates Criminal, Immoral", 29 March 06) He later added in a subsequent column that the young woman was at 512 Buchanan Blvd. to "arouse and titillate young men who allegedly stumbled the same way she did -- inappropriately using the body and mind." ("Criticism comes with my territory" 4 April 06)

In McCann's world a "thin line separates the criminal" (rape) and the "immoral" (exotic dancing). McCann's comments are reflective of a deep social conservatism that offers little protection to those who are thought to be immoral. Thus, had the alleged victim in this case been a gay black man or a black lesbian -- such as the late Sakia Gunn (and far too many like her) who was randomly assaulted -- their assaults would likely be met with the same level of silence and moral scrutiny in the black community (as compared to your run-of-the-mill gang-banger, who gets shot by a law enforcement officer).

The real immorality here is the way that "silence" makes so many black folk complicit in sexual attacks against black women and girls. For every media spectacle which highlights sexual violence across the color line, there are numerous black women who are assaulted in their own communities and even homes by black men. This is the point that Aishah Shahidah Simmons's poignant documentary NO! makes throughout. Black male sexual violence against black women and girls is more often than not met with blatant silence and denial or in the case of black celebrities, what University of Florida law professor Katheryn Russell-Brown calls "black protectionism".

In her book Protecting Our Own: Race, Crime, and African-Americans (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006) defines black protectionism as "what happens when the African-American community rallies around its fallen heroes -- those prominent blacks who have been accused of wrongdoing." Black protectionism figures prominently in issues of rape and sexual abuse in the black community given the number of highly visible black men, to name a few, who have been accused (Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas), convicted (heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson and former congressman Mel Reynolds) and recorded (R. Kelly) of/in acts of sexual abuse and harassment against black women and girls. In each case, to varying degrees, these men benefited from black protectionism. As Russell-Brown notes, "black protectionism splits the Black community by gender. It treats prominent black men as a unique class."

The Duke lacrosse rape case has generated so much attention and media coverage because it traffics in the time tested spectacles of race relations and white privilege gone awry. Regardless of whether or not anyone is indicted and convicted in the case, the reality is that women will continue to be raped and those sexual assaults will continue to be met with silence and a degree of dismissiveness that holds the victims accountable for attacks on their bodies. If anything should come of the human tragedy that is unfolding in Durham, it should be to challenge us as a nation to take very seriously the incidences of sexual assault -- in all of its forms -- and to construct responses to those crimes that are reflective of a society concerned with all assaults on our humanity.

* * *

Mark Anthony Neal is Associate Professor of African-American Studies at Duke University and the author of four books, including the recent New Black Man: Rethinking Black Masculinity.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Police Cameras Scan License Plates for Stolen Cars & What Else?

By Melissa Harris
Baltimore Sun reporter
Source Story
April 3, 2006

As her marked car crawled through the parking lot, Detective Kelly Tibbs' new laptop beeped like a supermarket scanner. Two cameras, positioned like crab eyes on the cruiser's roof, snapped digital pictures of hundreds of license plates, and with each beep, the laptop checked the images against an FBI list of stolen cars.

Such cameras - called Mobile Plate Hunters - are replacing the laborious eyeball-and-keystroke method of checking for stolen cars, letting busy officers rely instead on an automated scan that takes less than a second.

Already in widespread use in London and Italy, automatic number plate recognition is a technology on the verge of exploding in the Baltimore-Washington area, fueled in places by funds from the federal Department of Homeland Security.

Howard and Anne Arundel counties deploy one each. Prince George's County and the District of Columbia have ordered more than a dozen of the cameras, which have been in use in Prince George's since August and the district since January.

Baltimore police are soliciting bids for a system that would work with the city's existing network of street surveillance cameras. And as early as this summer's vacation rush, Maryland Transportation Authority Police hope to add the cameras to the Bay Bridge as part of a pilot project with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Stationary cameras, such as those envisioned for Baltimore and the Bay Bridge, could alert nearby officers if an offending vehicle - one bearing a license plate registered to a wanted criminal, suspected terrorist or car thief - goes past.

"The uses are as limitless as your imagination," said Lt. John McKissick, director of Howard County's emergency preparedness division. "We're just in the infancy of this project, but already it saves us money and manpower."

Although proponents say the technology eventually will deny all but the most clever of criminals access to roads, privacy advocates warn that the plate hunters mark another step toward a society in which police can track a person's every move.

"Normally, your license plate number only becomes relevant when you're involved in an accident, pulled over by police or when your car is stolen," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "This technology changes that. ... It's a new form of surveillance."

OBM: Can anyone say "police State or Big Brother". Your License plate number is supposed to be your personal info. outside of the situations listed above. People please please wake up & fight this with your vote. If that doesn’t work ….plan B!!!!

The technology, which Tibbs demonstrated in the parking lot of Howard County police headquarters, was developed in Italy and used by the Italian postal service. Postcards would zip along a conveyer belt, the cameras would read them, and the computer would sort them.

"The engineers in Italy realized that if they could read Bulgarian postcards handwritten with pencil at high speeds, license plates would be a piece of cake," said Mark Windover, president of Remington-Elsag, a partnership between the U.S. gun manufacturer and the Italian postal-technology company, which sold a plate hunter to Howard County for $26,0000.

The plate hunters use infrared light to "read" as many as 900 license plates per minute zooming by at speeds of up to 120 miles per hour in the rain or dark, McKissick said.

Infrared light illuminates the plate, the camera snaps a picture and the computer converts it into digital characters - ABC 123, for example - using optical character recognition. Strapping two cameras to a roof allows the system to go through a mall parking lot, checking plates on both sides of the police car.

Each night, local police departments download FBI data to in-car laptops. When a scanned license plate matches one in the FBI database, the computer triggers an alarm, and the screen blinks red "alert" signs. Before officers can make an arrest, they must check the accuracy of the alert because the database lags a day behind, and the system does not distinguish among states.

"In one block in Washington, I recovered six sets of stolen tags and a stolen motorcycle using the reader," said state police Detective Sgt. George Jacobs, assistant commander of the Washington-area vehicle enforcement unit. "It's just amazing that there are areas out there like that. It's a great tool because manually, it would have taken me several hours to type in the tags."

Though the primary purpose of the technology is to recover stolen vehicles, Howard County and other jurisdictions plan to eventually use the cameras for surveillance.

McKissick said he envisions placing cameras around potential terrorist targets and linking them to neighboring counties' systems. For instance, if the same license plate passes emergency communications towers in Howard, Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties, the system could alert police in all three areas.

The technology also could be used to enforce laws or court orders that keep sexual predators away from schools or domestic abusers away from spouses.

Already, when Tibbs learns of an Amber Alert, she can enter the tag number manually into her laptop and search for the car. The system also is linked to the FBI's "violent gangs and terrorism organization file," though Howard County is not yet using it because the plate hunter is still new to the department, McKissick said.

"We want to be able to look at offenders with another set of eyes," said Chief Gary W. McLhinney of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, which is working to secure a pilot program for the technology at the Bay Bridge.

McKissick and other officers dismiss concerns that the cameras invade drivers' privacy. McKissick said the machine is "strictly a numbers game," enabling officers to do more of what they already do.

Jacobs said the system does not discriminate and that the computer does not list a tag owner's information unless it sounds an alert on the car. Without the computer, officers choose which license plates they check, lacking the time to manually enter every one they see.

"There can be no discrimination," Jacobs said, "because the machine picks and runs every tag it sees."

Copyright © 2006, The Baltimore Sun | Get Sun home delivery

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Saturday, April 08, 2006

New Airport Terrorist List Includes:

New Terror Targets: 83-Year-Old Wheelchair Bound Women & Clash fansJust when you thought it couldn't get any worse

Paul Joseph Watson/Prison Planet.com | April 6 2006

If you think that the time frame since 9/11 and the sanity of airport security coalesce to make traveling a little easier for us all then you're sorely mistaken. Further examples this week provide us more nightmare tales from the world of post September 11.

At Denver International Airport, the daughter of 83-year-old wheelchair bound breast cancer, broken hip from a fall and stroke victim Bernice "Bea" Bogart pushes her mother towards airport screening. Bogart is clearly wearing an orthopedic card telling security staff that she cannot stand up.

Daughter Sally Moon turns her back for a second to look back and faces the sight of TSA thug goons dragging her mother up out of the wheelchair. Moon fears another fall and instinctively reaches to support her mother.

"Don't touch her!" yells the Waffen SS officer, a woman in her mid-20's.

Moon attempts to calmly explain that her mother is under doctor's orders not to stand.

"You'd better change your attitude. Or do you want me to make it so you don't fly today?" snaps the thug.

The thug then tries to make Bogart lift her arms as Moon explains her mother can't due to having had treatment for breast cancer. The TSA goon threatens Moon again and orders her to the other side of the room. After further 'special' screening the two are finally allowed to board their flight.

What kind of sick little bitch gets off on putting an 83-year-old cripple through pain while screaming orders at a concerned daughter? What kind of stupid moron thinks that an 83-year-old cripple with dementia is a potential terrorist?

Probably the same kind of imbecile that reported Harraj Mann to the British airport police for listening to a Clash record in a taxi on the way to the airport. The weasel driver was so frightened by some of the lyrics that he took them as a rallying call for a terrorist attack. Mann was released after questioning but missed his flight.

Entering an airport these days is like walking the streets in the 3rd Reich. The oppressive atmosphere unnecessarily created by over-reaction and a total vacuum of common sense alone makes you feel guilty of something.

That's the society they are trying to create with the mass surveillance tracking and behavior regulation grid - guilty until proven innocent.

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A Corrupt Judge & 10 Lost Years

Inmate Freed After Serving 25 Years Of Faulty Sentence
POSTED: 4:49 pm EDT April 7, 2006
UPDATED: 5:09 pm EDT April 7, 2006

TAMPA, Fla. -- A Florida man walked out of prison and into his mother's arms Friday after spending too many years behind bars.

Leonard Brown, 47, spent more than half his life in jail because a judge gave him 99 years for a robbery that should have carried a 15-year term. A fellow inmate with a little law experience found the mistake in Brown's file in 2005 and helped him get it into court.

Outside the prison gates, Brown thanked God and his mother for sticking by him all these years. Elizabeth Brown, 73, had driven all over the state to visit her son almost every week of his imprisonment.

The judge who sentenced Brown committed suicide several years ago while the government was investigating his court records and personal finances.

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Mom Dies After Boy's 911 Call Considered Prank
Detroit Police Investigate

UPDATED: 3:18 pm EDT April 7, 2006
See Video
DETROIT -- A 6-year-old boy's 911 call for help was thought to be a prank, but the call was real and the boy's mother died, according to WDIV-TV in Detroit.

Robert Turner called 911 to get help for his mother, Sherel Turner, 46, whom he found lying unconscious on the kitchen floor of their Detroit apartment in February, the station reported.

"Then I had felt her tummy. She wasn't breathing. Then I had called 911," said Robert. "I told them to send an emergency truck right now."

911 Operator: "911. What's the problem?"

Robert: "My mom has passed out."

The 911 operator, however, did not take him seriously and told him to stop playing on the phone, the station reported.

911 Operator: "Where's the grownups at?"

Robert: (Inaudible)

911 Operator: "Let me speak to her before I send the police over there."

"I tried to tell them she wouldn't talk," said Robert.

Robert: (Inaudible)

911 Operator: "I don't care. You shouldn't be playing on the phone. Now put her on the phone before I send the police out there to knock on the door and you gonna be in trouble."

Robert: "Ugh!" (Hangs up.)

Kimberly Harris, the union president of AFSCME Local 1023, said more than a quarter of phone calls received by 911 operators are prank calls. She also said that everybody does not express their pain or emergencies the same way.

"That operator could have had five prank calls. Kids calling in prior to that call. And please, don't think that I am trying to make an excuse. That was a tragedy," said Harris. Officials said the 911 operator will be disciplined, but because of her years of service she will not be fired.

"I know that operator. I know that she is a very good operator," said Harris. "She is very thorough."

Robert said every time someone talks about his mother, he starts crying.

Police continue to investigate.

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

New Orleans Police Brutally Beat An Officer's Wife

Officer's wife accuses New Orleans police of brutality

By Mary Foster
The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans' police department, its image already suffering after Hurricane Katrina, is investigating new allegations of brutality: claims that three white officers beat up the wife of a black officer this week.

The investigation comes less than a week after two former officers — both white — were indicted on felony charges in the beating of a black retired teacher in the French Quarter in October.

On Wednesday, Jonie Pratt had a black eye, a swollen forehead and a brace on her fractured left wrist. Pratt's mother-in-law, Dulcie Scott, said the injuries were inflicted after police pulled Pratt over, claiming she ran a stop sign.

Pratt is the wife of Desmond Pratt, a 10-year veteran of the police department, and sister of officer Nancy Parker, a three-year member of the force.

"It's my understanding that one of the officers spoke the word 'black' during the incident," said Lt. Simon Hargrove, president of the Black Organization of Police. "Why would a person do that if race wasn't involved?"

The police department said in statement Wednesday that it is investigating and that the officers have been reassigned in the meantime. Their names were not released.

The local NAACP is calling for a federal investigation. "We have a problem with this kind of thing that went back before Katrina," said Danatus King, president of the New Orleans chapter.

The FBI said it is conducting a preliminary inquiry to determine whether the case warrants further investigation.

Pratt was charged with flight from an officer, battery, resisting arrest, running a stop sign and making an illegal turn.

The Pratts refused to discuss the matter, but Scott said Pratt was returning from visiting her sick father in Baton Rouge early Tuesday when police said she ran a stop sign about two blocks from her house. The woman drove to her house in a middle-class area of the city before pulling over.

"I saw an officer pull Jonie out of the car by her hair," said Scott, who was baby-sitting her grandchildren at the couple's house. "He was swearing at her and pounding her into the car. I said, 'Stop that, that's Officer Pratt's wife.' "

Scott said the officer twisted Pratt's arms behind her and sprayed Mace in her face. She said that two more white officers arrived and that the three shoved the 5-foot-2 Pratt to the ground and knelt on her back, and an officer kicked her in the head.

Pratt was released from the handcuffs after several black officers showed up, Scott said.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Mainstream media Fears the Presence of a Relatively Speaking, ‘Free-Thinking’ Black Male or Female Intellectual or Professional

Visit Black Electorate.com

The Fear Of A Free Black Intellectual, Whether Fox News, The New York Times, NPR, BET or The Dave Chappelle Show

The findings contained within The Urban League Institute’s report, "Sunday Morning Apartheid: A Diversity Study of the Sunday Morning Talk Shows" which show that only 8 percent of the guests on the major Sunday morning talk shows over the past 18 months – or only 176 times out of more than 2,100 opportunities - were Blacks comes as absolutely no surprise to me. The fact that 122 of those 176 appearances were made by Juan Williams, Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice was even less of a surprise.

For years, I have had conversations with Black friends and Black and White colleagues of mine in the media that the problem - that statistics like this point to - is not one of just simple racism, where Whites don’t want Blacks to appear on a show. Nor, I have argued, is the problem simply one of innocent cultural and professional oversight, where people 'naturally' choose to only network and do business with their ‘peers’. It is also not a simple case of liberal or conservative bias in the media, as I am sure many will attempt to prove.

There is something far deeper at work.

What I have consistently shared in public, private and professional conversation is that it is clear to me that there exists - among many White and Black media professionals and institutions – a fear or discomfort with the presence of a relatively speaking, ‘free-thinking’ Black male or female intellectual or professional. This fear manifests in different forms. In some cases it means a Black woman or man won’t be booked on a certain show. In some instances it results in a Black person being omitted or ‘written out’ of a story. In other cases it means that a Black person with expertise won’t be quoted in an article about a subject they know intimately. In other scenarios it means a Black person who has led opinion on a certain issue won’t be invited to speak at a certain conference or appear on a certain panel discussion.

I know about these examples intimately because I am one of many said persons, in my case, as an economist, publisher, political strategist and talk show personality, who has experienced the non-invite, omission, and lack of quotes.

I have not written about it publicly because I have never needed the access, profile, and publicity that so many others crave through these arrangements; nor have I desired my critique to be dismissed as sour grapes or jealousy. I also am blessed to run a website that reaches seemingly countless numbers of people in America and all over the world. But in addition to that, I also think it is not good to speak about one's self in certain ways. Whenever we use the word "I" there is a danger of going down a road that can set up a state of mind, and attitude that negatively affects our relationships with others, and which can abort our growth and development in certain ways. Everything we do is contingent upon and qualified by forces, persons, entities and circumstances over which we, as individuals, have no autonomous control. We can see an instructive example about the dangers of not being aware of this dynamic in what is written in the Torah about Moses smiting the rock and bringing forth water.

I have never been excessively troubled by never having been invited to appear on C-Span’s Washington Journal or any news program on BET (even though I have consulted for them and they have admitted to me that BlackElectorate.com and I ‘know the pulse of Black America.’) I have not suffered an identity crisis because I have never been invited to appear on The McLaughlin Report (although my political friend Jude Wanniski, on his own initiative, and without my prior knowledge, lobbied John McLaughlin personally.) I have not lost my self-concept because I have never appeared on or been quoted by Fox News (even though Juan Williams is on the BlackElectorate.com mailing list.) Nor am I upset because Investor’s Business Daily never interviewed me (even though I have spent hours discussing finance, politics and economics with one of their reporters, John Berlau.) I am not even too disturbed that certain leading Hip-Hop Internet websites and magazines have never quoted me or linked to my writings even though I managed Wu-Tang Clan for two years and consistently write on a wide-range of topics pertaining to the culture, industry and genre. And, finally, yes, I am not having self-esteem issues because Tavis Smiley has never invited me on any of his programs, although we have mutual friends and he and his producers are aware of BlackElectorate.com.

None of these individuals or institutional decisions regarding me affect who I am, or the contribution that I have made, nor do they hinder BlackElectorate.com’s soaring popularity, with each passing week and month.

I am only writing about this problem today, because I don’t want anybody who visits BlackElectorate.com to get the implications of this terrific Urban League Report twisted. I hope our viewers will not get herded into chasing the wrong debate or argument. This is not exclusively about professional and cultural White on Black racism; or racism in the service of political ideology or vice-versa, as I am sure it will be portrayed to be by many opinion leaders. This is more critically about a view of the intellect of Black people, and how it is never to be promoted or amplified once it reaches a certain level. This is about a conscious and subconscious fear that many people, White and Black, have of a Black person – woman or man – whom they cannot categorize, label, control or ‘figure out’ – either because they are not credentialized by a certain institution; don't subscribe to certian views; aren't validated by a certain network; lack the co-signing by a certain individual; and are not affiliated with a certain philosophy. In other words, this is about Black people who are ‘free’, in their minds, as well as their hearts, who make others uncomfortable.

In January of 2003, I had the honor of being an invited guest on a panel at the Committee For A Unified Independent Party’s (CUIP) "Choosing An Independent President" (CHIP) conference. I was graciously invited to appear by Dr. Lenora Fulani. The panel was televised on C-Span. I made a statement that made some of the hundreds of political independents present uncomfortable and one which I really think gets at the heart of one of the critical problems in Black America. In response to the question placed on the floor about the definition of ‘radicalism’; I made the point, in essence, that ideology, partisan affiliation and political identity were secondary factors in determining what a ‘radical’ was. I said, essentially, that while I see radicals, independents and others in name, I don’t see ‘free’ people. I said that I am free at BlackElectorate.com. I said if I want to run a letter from Saddam Hussein to the American people on my website I do it. If I want to run a speech from President Bush, I do it. If I want to run a column by Armstrong Williams on my website I do it. If I am invited to enjoy a three-hour lunch with Donna Brazile or have dinner as a guest of Minister Louis Farrakhan or to have the privilege of advising Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney I accept. I said to me the freedom that is lacking among those who believe they are ‘independent’ and which makes one a true ‘radical’ is three-fold: The courage to enjoy the freedom of assembly to meet with who one wants, the freedom of speech to say what one wants, and most importantly the freedom of thought to explore in the privacy of one’s mind, what he or she wants. If one thinks about it carefully in the light of history, it is not hard to see that Black intellectuals, politicians, preachers and businesspersons are really not free or ‘radical’ according to this standard.

It is one of the reasons why I love so much of what Star of the Star and Buc Wild morning show is doing with his enormously popular program, and why I am probably the only writer with the stature I have, with the courage to support and openly defend him and the program, the way I have been. Over the weekend I corresponded with Mr. Mike Williams, a Black columnist for The Richmond Times-Dispatch, who wrote a column on July 29, 2005, about the reaction to the debut of The Star and Buc Wild in Richmond, Virginia. The view of the show, portrayed in the column, "Listeners Irate Over The Hate", was largely negative. As part of a series e-mails, written beginning last Friday night, and Saturday morning, I sent Mr. Williams the following, in response to his column:

"In addressing current events and serious societal issues, albeit in unorthodox and uncomfortable ways, Star and Buc Wild do more in a single show to educate and enlighten, than the average non-threatening and mind-numbing R&B and Hip-Hop morning shows do in a month, in my opinion.

Upon further inspection, you may consider that Star and Buc Wild might be performing a public service by bringing to light what they do, of pop culture and society - and mocking it, critiquing it and repeating it in raw language. But beyond language, I certainly hope you notice the manner in which Star, the show's host, utilizes reverse psychology, irony, paradox, dialectics and polemics, to make points, drive discussion and motivate his listeners. This show is much more sophisticated than your column would indicate."

Mr. Williams kindly wrote me back and we have begun an intelligent and reasoned exchange that I hope will evolve into a dialogue that elevates the consciousness of both he and I, but more importantly the readers of his column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. A point I hope to make persuasively to Mr. Williams and others regarding Star is that much of the initial negative reaction to Star is understandable but really superficial in nature; other parts of the reaction are, in my view, subconscious and very deep in nature. Star makes people uncomfortable not just because of the raw and graphic nature of his show, but because he has the courage to say the things that he does and because he has the discipline, brilliance and genius to masterfully use reverse psychology, dialectics and polemics to raise consciousness. Rather than to imagine or recognize or consider this as possibly a primary driving force behind the show’s content, some would rather attribute the motivation and model of a White man, Howard Stern (rather than say, Frankie Crocker), to shock people for the sake of it, to Star. It makes Black and White people more uncomfortable to imagine that Star, is a ‘free-thinking’ Black man, with genius, accomplishing an agenda to be informative, political and progressive, while making tons of money; than it does to classify him as a reckless ‘shock-jock’, imitating a White man, who irresponsibly is corrupting America’s youth and aggravating racial tensions.

I wrote Mr. Williams something that I intend to get into in much more depth at BlackElectorate.com, in the very near future. I offered to him the proposition that I have been offering to others in private discussion, which is: if you liked Dave Chappelle you should love Star and Buc Wild. I offer that proposition for two reasons. One of those two points is to expose the subconscious fear and double-standard that I have been alluding to and exposing here. Consider what it is that made and makes Dave Chappelle so popular among Blacks and Whites. Then, for those who are familiar with his program, think about what it is that makes Star’s show so unacceptable to many of these same individuals. Could it be the fact that Dave Chappelle is a comedian and Star is not? Both shows, one could argue, are equally raunchy and handle serious subjects with a sense of humor and a way that is relevant to pop culture; but could it be that because Star forcefully says, "I am not a comedian," while Dave Chappelle openly states he is, Dave Chappelle is easier to digest while Star is not? Dave Chappelle is not threatening as a result while Star is. One is a Black comedian and one is not. Think it over.

I hesitate to go too far on this next point because I do not want to disrespect two men that I value and think are highly intelligent, Mr. Juan Williams of NPR, and Fox News, and Mr. Clarence Page of The Chicago Tribune. Nor do I want to go too deep into the direction of anecdotal evidence regarding the psyche of Black people and Whites. But privately, I have often pointed to these two men as examples of what I mean by non-threatening Blacks. Yes, it is not just the credentialization, and philosophy that makes a Black man or woman non-threatening, it is their demeanor. I have watched Juan Williams for years on Fox News Sunday. Say whatever you want about the intellectual and political merit of his presentations – he has a physical presence, aura and style that is generally non-threatening to Whites. I met Clarence Page in passing, once at a bookstore in Washington D.C. His demeanor is generally non-threatening to Whites and most people, I imagine. I am not qualified to say that Mr. Williams and Mr. Page have never threatened White people with their ideas, or physical presence. I imagine the mere sight of their skin color may be enough to unnerve some. And I can only imagine what they have suffered, as Blacks, to blaze the paths they have in journalism and media. But what I am saying is that, particularly, with Black men, there is a certain ‘type’ of image that is generally presented on White-dominated network and cable news that the programmers and their consultants know will not unnecessarily make certain people uncomfortable. And I can suggest the same dynamic, in different ways, is at work at BET or even the Tavis Smiley show on PBS. There are just certain individuals that will not be booked as guests not only because of their ideas, credentialization or philosophies, but also because of what their aura, spirit, and physical presence evokes in others – White and Black.

So while I appreciate the benefits that the Urban League Institute’s report, "Sunday Morning Apartheid: A Diversity Study of the Sunday Morning Talk Shows", yields for a straight linear discussion of Black-White race relations, institutional racism, and the persistent debate of whether or not there is a Liberal or Conservative bias at certain media outlets, I think this debate needs to have a more sophisticated two-fold focus on racism. One on White Supremacy and one on the Black inferiority complex.

If I have to, I will rest my case on my own experience and on anecdotal evidence. Here is a final point to ponder, on that front, for those who doubt or deny the validity of my thesis, or for those in the Black community or in the media who want to test me. For the five years BlackElectorate.com has been in existence, I have written extensively in the public, maybe in more in-depth fashion than any other Black person on the Internet over that time period, when it comes to simultaneously addressing politics, economics, and culture - from a national and international perspective. Maybe. And although many of them have privately e-mailed me, know me personally, and on numerous occasions have asked me or our editors to link to or promote their own writings, I can count on a few fingers, on one hand, the number of times a major Black columnist writing for a major White or Black newspaper has quoted me or referred to BlackElectorate.com in any of their writings.

Is this an accident?

I think not.

Cedric Muhammad

Monday, August 01, 2005

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