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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Who Was Kajieme Powell?

As some may know, I have been haunted by--and closely followed--the killing of Kajieme Powell, 25, by two white cops in St. Louis, near Ferguson, one week ago.  I was one of the first to comment on Police Chief Sam Dotson initial report on the killing, and one of the first to post the horrid video that soon emerged that captured the entire incident.  Since then, I've tracked the weak media and public responses almost every day as the police accounts proved misleading or downright false.

Thanks to some of the media coverage, the overwhelming focus on the Michael Brown slaying, and skillful spin by the local authorities, the Powell case quickly faded.  Perhaps that may change if anything comes a Missouri state senator's request yesterday for a federal probe of the episode and police procedures.   More on that here.

What's perhaps most remarkable has been the lack of details that have emerged about Powell's life, beyond the fact that he once lived in New York,  and that he has been living with his grandmother.  When his mother spoke to the press, slamming the police and "oppression" of blacks, only RT (the Russian propaganda channel) covered it briefly.  "My son was tired of that oppression," she said.

Many have suggested he suffered from mental illness, with no evidence beyond his actions on the fateful day and shouting at the cops, "shoot me!"  Others have claimed that he may have had a political agenda, offering himself as a "martyr" to the cause of exposing police brutality. I should note:  at this late, we still have not been told the names of the two police shooters.  On the police incident report they are only listed as "victims."

I've checked Google News and blogs and social media every few hours now for the past week and been amazed that so little has come out about Powell's background--please let me know what I've missed.  But today I got a seemingly important tip.

Someone named "tadams0620 " left a comment at my most recent posting on Powell.  It indicates that he or she found Powell's Facebook page--under his (perhaps) real name Antoine Powell.  We all know how many times people have IDed falsely someone involved in a high-profile case on Facebook or Twitter.  However, in this case, the ID appears likely true.  The photo (above)  looks like Powell in the videos; the bio has him living in New York and St. Louis and being a fan of St. Louis sports teams.  He has friends in both places.

I have since searched "Antoine Powell" at Twitter and found two people, on the day after he died, revealing that he was their cousin, he had just died (one specifically said at the hands of police)--and his name was Antoine.  I've contacted them and hope they respond.  One had tweeted,  "Rest In Peace to my cousin Kajieme Antoine Powell he was killed yesterday in St. Louis by a police officer."

Powell posted little at Facebook but among his favorites are several blazing lion images, one of which also shows up at the only Twitter feed, which goes back awhile, for a Kajieme Powell (his handle including "89," the year he was born).  One of them he titles "Lion of Judah," which, of course, is a biblical reference, and also applied by Rastafari to Haile Selassie and embraced by black Israelites.  But more revealing you have his most recent posting and comments at Facebook, which were followed by one from a friend, Toy Toy Wright, who wrote on August 21:   "R.I.P. Kajieme.  I will always remember the good conversations we had about religion, politics, injustices past 'n present. I always thought U had a good grasp on whats going on to be so young. I always believed that u would go into politics. Sleep in peace brother."

And what was she reponding to?  He had written on July 16 under an illustration of cartoon characters he had just posted as his new cover photo:  "I want a Lawsuit Damn It!!!!!!!! All of the characters in this photo are hederal sexual!!!!! Especially the Mighty Wind!!!!!!!! That's That!!!! Racist!"  Later:  "Ecclesiastes 7:7 Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad."  On August 9:  The 'illuminati' is trying to steal my work, kill me or imprison me, and take my credit and profit off my genius...No! I don't think so."  

And the same day: 
Until I get this Lawsuit I will not comply with Law Enforcement. That's That!
*Isaiah 54:17*
*Psalm 23:4*

*Proverbs 28:26*
Then he again goes silent.

Let me emphasize:  I have not confirmed that this is indeed Kajieme Powell but it sure sounds suggestive.  I'll keep probing and update ASAP. @BrownBlaze is covering right now a town hall with Chief Dotson and others.  Dotson said the officers fear for their lives.  Some in audience shouted, "Liar!"  Oscar Grant's father just asked a question. 


Sounds of the Silenced?

CNN airs what's said to be (not yet proven) the sound of almost a dozen shots that may have been from the gun of Darren Wilson directed at Mike Brown, captured by a fella doing video chat at time.  Kind of remarkable that he didn't stop and say, holy shit.  Maybe gunfire common there.  UPDATEs  Rush Limbaugh hits CNN over this. But CNN just reported that the FBI is now studying.  Forensic expert counts 10 shots, with three-second delay between bursts.  Jeffrey Toobin, idiot, on CNN in segment just now calls the time of the shooting "a life and death struggle"--straight steno from the prosecution.  The other guest points out that the delay, particularly, indicates "contemplation" which spells real trouble for Officer Wilson.

Basement Bargain

Amazing and long-awaited (and not even rumored, as far as I knew):  Columbia finally releasing the entire fabled Basement Tapes, recorded on a small tape recorder around Woodstock in 1969 by Bob Dylan and the just-forming The Band--on six discs to hold the many dozens of songs.  Not only that but they have been "restored" by none other than the Band's Garth Hudson, who recorded most of them himself back at Big Pink (my photo above).

The official Columbia release in the mid-1970s had some instrumentation--and Band tunes--added by Robbie Robertson.  Listen to the version of "Odds and Ends" coming on new album, quite different than the one we heard in '75.  Full, astounding track listing here, with most of  the covers leading off.   I count about 28 cuts not on the best five-disc bootleg (most of disc six here is "new"), some of which, they say, were found fairly recently. 

Some of us have had the pretty good quality five-disc bootleg versions for many years--here's one song from there that presumably will be cleaned-up.  The full tapes are easily one of the greatest treasure troves in the history of American music, including both well-known and little-known Dylan originals and dozens of amazing cover versions.  His unreleased "I'm Not There" was the most fabled track, finally getting official release due to the awful movie of that name a few years back (in pale re-make here).  [Note:  My upcoming comic first novel, Too Much of Nothing, is firmly tied to Big Pink and the basement.  Read first chapter at that link and contact me at epic1934@aol.com if you want to know more.]

There will also be a two-disc "highlights' disc and a  three-record vinyl edition.  And the upcoming release ties in to a new "new basement tapes" album coming out from T-Bone Burnett and others who have set some of Bob's lyrics from that period to music.  Here is the bobdylan.com email today:
The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11. Compiled from meticulously restored original tapes — many found only recently — this historic six-disc set is the definitive chronicle of the artist's legendary 1967 recording sessions with members of his touring ensemble who would later achieve their own fame as The Band. The Basement Tapes Complete brings together, for the first time ever, every salvageable recording from the tapes, including recently discovered early gems recorded in the "Red Room" of Dylan's home in upstate New York. Garth Hudson worked closely with Canadian music archivist and producer Jan Haust to restore the deteriorating tapes to pristine sound, with much of this music preserved digitally for the first time. The decision was made to present The Basement Tapes Complete as intact as possible. Also, unlike the official 1975 release, these performances are presented as close as possible to the way they were originally recorded and sounded back in the summer of 1967.
 Now, go "slap that drummer with a pie that smells." 

Monday, August 25, 2014

A TV Classic for Emmys Night

Hank Williams, with one of the Carter girls (Anita), live, with his "I Can't Help It."  Rare TV clip. Just a sliver of why he's The Greatest.

Updates on Police Killing of Kajieme Powell

Monday  Still very little--that I've seen--new on this or on the life of Powell himself.  Someone posted photo of his grandmother or mother seemingly speaking to the press but I have not read a single word of that.  Media have left story behind.  Mike Brown at least has a life fully explored and outspoken relatives.  Powell: nada.

But here's a good new piece from The National Interest asking if maybe his suicide-by-cop had a deliberate political message.    Hard to judge since--we know so little about Powell. 

Yet another media host, this time Melissa Harris-Perry at MSNBC, stresses too much that St. Louis cops were more "transparent" and downplaying the lies they told early on. Those on her panel stronger. 

Saturday  Former police chief of Tallahassee, Fla. hits police actions in this killing--says one could have tased him while the other kept gun on him because he was still good distance away.

Finally, the St. Louis Dispatch with first few details on Powell's life, though just recent months (other reports have his mother passing away not long ago).  Seemed "smart" and "quiet" and "courteous."  

Friday 1:30 p.m.  Antonio French, local alderman, so tough and eloquent on the Brown shooting, on CNN just now and continues--as he has since it happened--to advise accepting that police acted within their rules, man had weapon, and will not be prosecuted. 

I noted what this writer says from the start:  Powell looks back in video to see people behind him who might get hit if police fired on him there-- and so deliberately walked far to left to get them out of line of fire.  This shows 1) he really was ready to die 2) had perhaps more concern for human life at that point than the two cops who plugged him.  

8:30 a.m.  Writer at The Economist, of all places, calls for prosecuting the two police officers for needlessly shooting Powell.

Jake Tapper of CNN goes to scene of shooting and actually measures how far Powell likely was from nearest cop when shot and comes up with greater distance than we and others estimated--at least 16 feet from closest cop and more from the second one.  Police chief had claimed two to four feet.  Tapper's piece better than nearly anyone else on TV so far although too much focus on accepted police protocol (without mentioning other options such as taser, temporary retreat, etc.)

Thursday 9:40 p.m.  Oddly, given the Maddow segment (see below), a piece just up at the MSNBC site is one of the most critical of the police on a mainstream site today.  And first to quote a new witness, who says, as video shows, that Powell was just walking with hands at side and didn't seem like "a threat."

NYT w/ a useless report, actually claiming that from video you can't tell if Powell has arm raised with knife. (See my full report from yesterday.)

Rachel Maddow opens show with this on MSNBC.   Starts with several parts of video.  Times incident from moment cops drove up to 23 seconds.  Like others, she praises "transparency" of police and for putting out video themselves (even though they had no choice as it was about to come out). But she does not  point out right away that he also gave much false testimony.  

Also she ticks off three questions they asked the department this morning and answers--even though everything they asked about had already come out.  Then hails the "transparency" again as reason there hasn't been much community protest there.  She then interviews a local radio host, Kenneth Murdock.  He says community upset about police acting like "soldiers" and need for dash camera in all cars--and points out, which Rachel did not, that police lied about Powell hold knife up as he moved toward cops. 

7:25  Erin Burnett on CNN rolls part of tape again.  St. Louis defends police fully again.  Powell made "bee line" for officers.  "Point of no return."  Van Jones (whose father was a cop) says "probably legally justifiable" but "probably avoidable."  Guy with mental health issues "can be talked down."  Not enough training for police and too many weapons.  Repeats again that "probably legally justifiable."  End of story, I guess?

2:15 p.m. CNN just now with latest defense of police from ex-cop policing "expert."  Says "they had to use deadly force."  Says what if taser doesn't work.  Couldn't "negotiate." Shooting in limb might not stop him.  Must shoot "until threat negated."  Then host runs tape of police chief, hails police expert.  The usual.  No questions about false police accounts. (CNN last night showed clearer tape that they were given perhaps by guy who shot it.)

It's revealing (though host doesn't pursue, naturally) that ex-cop says Tasers can be effective up to 15 feet.  Powell closer than that to one cop so theoretically accuracy might be pretty good.

Note:  Police Chief Sam Dotson continues to fully defend shooting with such as "They used lethal force in a lethal force situation." Seems a bit prejudicial for any in-house investigation....

Earlier Thursday:  I first raised questions about the shooting of Kajieme Powell in St. Louis, near Ferguson, on Tuesday and then I was first, I believe, to post on a blog and analyze the cell phone video that emerged, yesterday afternoon.  I updated for the rest of the day and critiqued the very weak coverage on CNN and MSNBC all night (with Chris Hayes, among others, dropping the ball).  Now I'll continue to follow today.

It's really gone viral, with NYT (although in limited way) now covering on its site.  And the paper's conservative columnist @DouthatNYT just tweeted a string of comments critical of the police as shown in video, such as : I think it's impossible to watch the video and not see a policing disaster....I have never been directly menaced by a lunatic with a knife. I also have not been trained, on the public $, to handle situations like that." 

The contradictions in police account that I raised remain unresolved. This piece at The Atlantic is all over the place but includes some valid postings by others and link to Ezra Klein piece grappling with it.  I still have not read one word about his background, beyond him telling some at the scene that his mother recently died, and that he had moved in with grandmother.  I've also not seen any signs of street protests in the neighborhood, but maybe not covered much.

New Republic piece seems to think police followed policy-but policy is "insane."

'NYT' and 'No Angel'

In a mini-profile of Michael Brown today on the morning of his funeral in Ferguson the NYT referred to him as "no angel," an odd turn of phrase especially since the evidence of wrongdoing was pretty thin.  It became lamented and mocked in the Twitterverse quickly and often.  Now the paper's public editor has weighed in.   Margaret Sullivan calls it: "That choice of words was a regrettable mistake."  Even the reporter, John Eligon, a youngish black man, admits it: "I wish I would have changed that But the phrase."  Sullivan then calls it "a blunder." But when I checked just now, the phrase remains. 

Another Shooter at Army Base?

UPDATE  Seems to have been a female soldier who turned gun on herself.  Sad.  

Just reported, active shooter, at Ft. Lee in Virginia.   Return here fro updates.  Their statement: “An active shooter incident has been reported on Fort Lee at CASCOM HQ, Bldg. 5020. All personnel should enact active shooter protocols immediately. The installation is being locked down until further notice. More info to follow.”  UPDATE:  "All clear" order issued--we're told.  But CNN just reported building where incident took place is still on lockdown, others not. No report on injuries, if any.

Baseball Protest and Obamacare

For the first time in 28 years, MLB upheld a baseball protest, after the Chicago Cubs won a rain shortened game because its grounds crew failed to get the tarp on the field properly, leading to a rainout.  Now the full story: It was due to Obamacare.  Huh?
The 15-member crew was “undermanned” for the job of spreading the tarp, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, due to an ongoing staffing shortfall designed to get around Obamacare requirements. Last winter, the Cubs reorganized its game-day staffing schedule to keep the seasonal workers under 130 hours per month, the newspaper reports. That is the amount of time necessary for a full-time worker to qualify for employer-provided healthcare benefits for businesses over 50 employees under the Affordable Care Act, or the employer must take a tax hit called the Employer Shared Responsibility Payment. Sources told the newspaper that 10 crew members “were sent home early by the bosses Tuesday night with little, if any, input from the field-level supervisors,” which the baseball team doesn’t dispute, but it said there was no reduction in ground-crew staffing budgets.
Other, less wealthy, teams told the Sun-Times that they did not make any changes to their staffing due to the Affordable Care Act. “Embarrassing, and they got caught,” one official at another team said. Another called the move “cheap.”

'So Wrong' Again?

New relevance, perhaps, for my book on how Bush--and the media--got us into Iraq (for years), "So Wrong for So Long."  Dan Rather and others raising alarms on new war. 

When 'Born to Run' Was Born

The iconic breakthrough Springsteen album released on this day in 1975.  We had just given our friend his first magazine cover at  Crawdaddy--more than two-and-a-half years after publishing his very first magazine feature (my fun video here).  Here's collection of nine outtakes (if you follow for more)  or rough versions from the album, including quite different  "Thunder Road."  I was in the studio for the early takes--and now live right over the hill from where that happened.  Still recall getting the test pressing--with the songs in a different order.  Also, the original album cover with the title in script.  By the way, I will always believe I inspired the famous Roy Orbison line (see here).

Leonard Cohen: Forever Young

Update #2  Sylvie Simmons posted track list and album cover at Facebook.  

1. Slow
2. Almost Like The Blues
3. Samson In New Orleans
4. A Street
5. Did I Ever Love You
6. My Oh My
7. Nevermind
8. Born In Chains
9. You Got Me Singing


UpdateRolling Stone with a few details today.

Earlier: Leonard Cohen biographer Sylvie Simmons, a Facebook friend, just posted there: "A new Leonard Cohen studio album! Yep, as good as done and due out the last week of September, just after his 80th birthday."  Recall that Leonard on tour has long threatened to start smoking again when he turns 80.  Here's one of the new songs.  

69 Years Ago: Time to 'Get the Anti-Propagandists Out'

As I've noted in many previous posts--and in my book Atomic Cover-up--the U.S. after dropping the bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki was confronted with a worldwide publicity (not to mention,  moral) problem:  reports from Japan of a mysterious new disease afflicting survivors of the twin blasts.  Some there were already dubbing it "radiation disease," which was what our bomb-makers and policy-makers expected--but still, officials and most in media in U.S. mocked the idea.  No one from the West had yet reached either city.

Sixty-nine years ago this week one of the most remarkable conversation of the nuclear took place. (See partial transcript.)

Gen. Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Project (with J. Robert Oppenheimer, above), had received a telex the day before from Los Alamos, as scientists asked for information on those reports from Japan. Groves responded that they were nothing but "a hoax" or "propaganda."  The top radiation expert at Los Alamos also used the word "hoax."  Knowing that the press would be seeking his official response, Groves called Lt. Col. Charles Rea, a doctor at Oak Ridge hospital (part of the bomb project).  According to the official transcript, Rea called the reports of death-by-radiation "kind of crazy" and Groves joked, "Of course, it's crazy--a doctor like me can tell that."

But Groves knew it wasn't crazy and he grew agitated as he read passages from the Japanese reports.  He even asked if there was "any difference between Japanese blood and others."  Both men ultimately seized on the idea that everything was attributable to burns--or "good thermal burns," as Rea put it.  Groves replied, "Of course we are getting a good dose of propaganda"--and blamed some of our scientists and our media for some of that.  Groves revealed, "We are not bothered a bit, excepting for --what they are trying to do is create sympathy."

But Rea surely knew they were merely denying reality, admitting finally, "Of course, those Jap scientists over there aren't so dumb either."  Still, in a second conversation that day with Groves, Rea advised: "I think you had better get the anti-propagandists out."  One of the great quotes of our time. 

Five days later, on a visit to Oak Ridge, Groves labelled the reports from Japan propaganda and added, "The atomic bomb is not an inhuman weapon."

Groves' top aide, Kenneth D. Nichols, would admit in his 1987 memoirs that "we knew that there would be many deaths and injuries caused by the radiation..."  Much more on the decades-long cover-up, including film footage, in my book (and see below).

A Little Dickens

I have sometimes remarked that on top of being the greatest novelist in the English language, Charles Dickens was also up there with Mark Twain as the funniest serious writer of the century.  I am now just getting to his very early "Sketches by Boz," Boz being his pen name at the time before completing his first novel, and the pieces were little "non-fiction" pieces on London and its eccentric characters.  Here is just the start of his famous look at traveling by coach in the 1830s...
***


We have often wondered how many months' incessant traveling in a post-chaise it would take to kill a man; and wondering by analogy, we should very much like to know how many months of constant traveling in a succession of early coaches an unfortunate mortal could endure. Breaking a man alive upon the wheel, would be nothing to breaking his rest, his peace, his heart--everything but his fast--upon four wheels; and the punishment of Ixion (the only practical person, by-the-bye, who has discovered the secret of the perpetual motion) would sink into utter insignificance before the one we have suggested.



If we had been a powerful churchman in those good times when blood was shed as freely as water, and men were mowed down like grass, in the sacred cause of religion, we would have lain by very quietly till we got hold of some especially obstinate miscreant, who positively refused to be converted to our faith, and then we would have booked him for an inside place in a small coach, which traveled day and night: and securing the remainder of the places for stout men with a slight tendency to coughing and spitting, we would have started him forth on his last travels: leaving him mercilessly to all the tortures which the waiters, landlords, coachmen, guards, boots, chambermaids, and other familiars on his line of road, might think proper to inflict.


Who has not experienced the miseries inevitably consequent upon a summons to undertake a hasty journey? You receive an intimation from your place of business--wherever that may be, or whatever you may be--that it will be necessary to leave town without delay. You and your family are forthwith thrown into a state of tremendous excitement; an express is immediately dispatched to the washerwoman's; everybody is in a bustle; and you, yourself, with a feeling of dignity which you cannot altogether conceal, sally forth to the booking-office to secure your place.

Here a painful consciousness of your own unimportance first rushes on your mind-- the people are as cool and collected as if nobody were going out of town, or as if a journey of a hundred odd miles were a mere nothing. You enter a moldy-looking room, ornamented with large posting-bills; the greater part of the place enclosed behind a huge, lumbering, rough counter, and fitted up with recesses that look like the dens of the smaller animals in a traveling menagerie, without the bars. Some half-dozen people are 'booking' brown-paper parcels, which one of the clerks flings into the aforesaid recesses with an air of recklessness which you, remembering the new carpet-bag you bought in the morning, feel considerably annoyed at; porters, looking like so many Atlases, keep rushing in and out, with large packages on their shoulders; and while you are waiting to make the necessary inquiries, you wonder what on earth the booking-office clerks can have been before they were booking-office clerks; one of them with his pen behind his ear, and his hands behind him, is standing in front of the fire, like a full-length portrait of Napoleon; the other with his hat half off his head, enters the passengers' names in the books with a coolness which is inexpressibly provoking; and the villain whistles--actually whistles--while a man asks him what the fare is outside, all the way to Holyhead!--in frosty weather, too! They are clearly an isolated race, evidently possessing no sympathies or feelings in common with the rest of mankind.

Your turn comes at last, and having paid the fare, you tremblingly inquire--'What time will it be necessary for me to be here in the morning?'--'Six o'clock,' replies the whistler, carelessly pitching the sovereign you have just parted with, into a wooden bowl on the desk. 'Rather before than arter,' adds the man with the semi-roasted unmentionables, with just as much ease and complacency as if the whole world got out of bed at five. You turn into the street, ruminating as you bend your steps homewards on the extent to which men become hardened in cruelty, by custom.

If there be one thing in existence more miserable than another, it most unquestionably is the being compelled to rise by candlelight. If you have ever doubted the fact, you are painfully convinced of your error, on the morning of your departure. You left strict orders, overnight, to be called at half-past four, and you have done nothing all night but doze for five minutes at a time, and start up suddenly from a terrific dream of a large church-clock with the small hand running round, with astonishing rapidity, to every figure on the dial-plate. ..
Of course, Sir Charles in a separate piece describe going about London in an "omnibus," sort of a horse-drawn street car, where at least he doesn't have to put up with the same obnoxious passengers for hours and hours.

Now, you meet with none of these afflictions in an omnibus; sameness there can never be. The passengers change as often in the course of one journey as the figures in a kaleidoscope, and though not so glittering, are far more amusing. We believe there is no instance on record, of a man's having gone to sleep in one of these vehicles. As to long stories, would any man venture to tell a long story in an omnibus? and even if he did, where would be the harm? nobody could possibly hear what he was talking about. Children, though occasionally, are not often to be found in an omnibus; and even when they are, if the vehicle be full, as is generally the case, somebody sits upon them, and we are unconscious of their presence.
Yes, after mature reflection, and considerable experience, we are decidedly of opinion, that of all known vehicles, from the glass-coach in which we were taken to be christened, to that sombre caravan in which we must one day make our last earthly journey, there is nothing like an omnibus.



 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

MLK on 'MTP'

You've probably heard about this but if you haven't seen you really must watch  Meet the Press re-broadcast of its interviews with Dr. King and Roy Wilkins 51 years ago.  Note that David Gregory in intro failing to mention pathetic, obnoxious, questions throughout.  But then would Gregory even recognize?


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Usual: Israel Claims on Dead Kid Refuted, 'NYT' Publishes

You could expect no less, but once again Jodi Rudoren and colleagues publish pure Israeli spin without questioning. The latest is death of Israeli child, age 4 (the fourth Israeli civilian to die in the two-month conflict), due to a mortar.  IDF claims the shell was fired from a Gaza school where refugees huddled, usually run by U.N.  First, the IDF admitted the firing was not "from" the school but "near" it.  Yet the NYT still refers to "from."  Then it said the facility nearby was run by Hamas, not the UN.  The Associated Press went with this, too, but Chris Gunness, the UN spokesman in Gaza, just tweeted, "AP about to publish Israeli Army retraction of accusation that the weapon that killed the child today came from an UNRWA installation."  We'll see how quickly the NYT picks this up.

Shocker? Racist St. Louis County Cop

Amazing story on CNN just now:  That cop, a 35-year veteran, who shoved Don Lemon on the air the other day--much overplayed--turns out to be a racist who on tape brags about "hating" everyone and being willing to "kill" anyone.  He gave a speech not long ago for the Oath Keepers and someone sent link to Lemon overnight.  On the tape Sgt. Maj. Dan Page also hits gays and claims Obama is an illegal alien born in Kenya.  "I don't trust nobody and I hate everybody. I hate y'all too--I hate everybody. I'm into diversity. I kill everybody."  Says there are four Supreme Court who are "sodomites." He calls all police "cynical." His solution to severe domestic marital disputes?  Both parties should kill themselves. He has "no qualms" about killing people himself.

And: "We have no reason to pass hate crime laws." Refers to "black-robed perverts" in Washington.  And more. "You're going to go to the ballot box or the bullet box in the next 18 months."

Now the police chief has suspended him and  apologized on air for his remarks.  Chief John Belmar said Page will also have to take psychiatric exam.  And he asked people to send him any other videos of any other officers making such statements. The Oath Keepers claim he is not a member but admit they did invite him to speak.  Local NAACP board member John Gaskin on CNN just now points out "this was someone who was to 'serve and protect.'  Very concerning that an officer like that is on the ground--who knows what he's done."  Also concerning that his views might have been "tolerated" by colleagues, why didn't they speak out, especially about killing people.  

Here's full tape:

Back in the Basement, Mixin' Up the Medicine?

T-Bone Burnett--I first saw him when he was a kid playing in Dylan's "Rolling Thunder" band in 1974--coming up with something he's calling "The New Basement Tapes."  He's taken lyrics Bob wrote at the time of the original basement recordings at Big Pink (my recent photo, left) and added backing with Elvis Costello, Jim James, Marcus Mumford and more.  Lo and behold. Yea, heavy, and a bottle of bread.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Williamsport: Taney's Town?

For Mo'Ne and the guys, great Steve Earle song, "Taneytown."  From his best album.

'NYT' Public Ed. Hits Paper's 'New Witnesses" in Ferguson Story

Update:  O'Donnell returned tonight by natually citing public editor, and going after the paper's response in her column.  Also pointed out that an editorial in the paper, like the news story, claimed wrongly that witness accounts "differ sharply"--at least from what we know. 

Earlier:  I tweeted last night about Lawrence O'Donnell's strong takedown of that NYT story yesterday based mainly on anonymous sources that suggested that maybe a bunch of witnesses either backed Officer Wilson's account of at least disputed others on killing of Mike Brown.   Now that paper's public editor Margaret Sullivan joins in.
I’ll grant that the Ferguson story is a difficult one to report, with dangerous conditions for reporters and photographers, relentless deadlines and shifting story lines. The Times has generally covered it accurately and well, from all that I can see.
But this article doesn’t measure up, for the reasons detailed above.  The Times is asking readers to trust its sourcing, without nearly enough specificity or detail; and it sets up an apparently equal dichotomy between named eyewitnesses on one hand and ghosts on the other.

Talib Kweli vs. Don Lemon

I tweeted this as it happened but here's part of epic "discussion" between the hip hop artist and the CNN host.  They did end with a handshake.