March 31, 2005

Breaking: Pope given Last Rites

From CNN:

Pope John Paul II has been given the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church.
The networks all broke in about an hour ago to discuss his "deteriorating condition." But this is the first sign that we are in the final stages of John Paul's papacy.

Posted by mhking at 04:53 PM | Comments (0)

Theresa Marie Schiavo, 1963-2005

All the networks are reporting within the past five minutes that Terri Schiavo has passed away at her hospice in Florida.

Word had surfaced in the hour prior that her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler would not be allowed to be with her at the time of her death.

(More coverage from Blogs for Terri & all over the blogosphere)

Posted by mhking at 10:05 AM | Comments (4)

March 30, 2005

6 Iraqis arrested in Mexico near CA border

Six Iraqi nationals were arrested at Mexican checkpoints near the California border over the past week.

There was no evidence that the detained Iraqis had ties to any terrorist groups, Mexican officials said. There is a significant Iraqi Christian community in southern California.

Still, the arrests spotlighted fears that terrorists might attempt to enter the United States from Mexico. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently raised that concern with U.S. lawmakers and Mexican officials.

Mexican President Vicente Fox, speaking with reporters on March 16, played down fears of terrorists crossing the border.

"We don't have any evidence or indication that terrorists from al-Qaida or from any other part of the world have come to Mexico in order to enter the United States," Fox said.

As far as I'm concerned, ol' Vinnie Fox is either clueless or is in the midst of it.

It's high time to close the border and be done with it.

Posted by mhking at 10:46 PM | Comments (1)

Apparently Google likes holidays - as long as they aren't Christian

I pointed out the other day that Google found it OK to do something for "World Water Day" but ignored Easter Sunday.

They've done it again.

Today, Google has changed their logo to honor the birth of Vincent Van Gogh.

Just damn.

Posted by mhking at 09:03 PM | Comments (6)

11th Circuit denies Schiavo appeal yet again

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta has denied yet again the appeal by Bob and Mary Schindler to reconsider the Florida ruling that permitted Michael Schiavo to withdraw a feeding tube from his brain-damaged wife, Terri.

In a strongly worded concurrence, Judge Stanley Birch said Congress overstepped its bounds in passing a law last week calling for the federal court to look at the case. He said the judges did not want to be "activist judges" by overturning Florida state law.

"Congress chose to to overstep Constitutional boundaries into the province of the judiciary," Birch wrote. "Such an act cannot be countenanced."

He said it was duty of the court to "conscientiously guard the independence of our judiciary and safeguard the Constitution, even in the face of the unfathomable human tragedy that has befallen Mrs. Schiavo and her family and the recent events related to her plight which have troubled the consciences of man."

"But when the fervor of political passions moves the Executive and the Legislative branches to act in ways inimical to basic constitutional principles, it is the duty of the judiciary to intervene," Birch wrote.

Two judges, Gerald Tjoflat and Charles Wilson, dissented. They wrote that Schiavo's parents brought a "plausible claim" that the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires "clear and convincing evidence of an individual's wishes before a state court may order withdrawal of life sustaining nutrition, hydration or other medical attention."

With Terri Schiavo entering her 13th day without food or water, this apparently was the last possible courtroom appeal.

Doctors have insisted that she would die roughly two weeks after having her feeding tube withdrawn; her husband has insisted that he was complying with her wishes in doing so, much to the anger of many protestors in Florida and across the nation.

(More coverage from Blogs for Terri & others)

Posted by mhking at 04:17 PM | Comments (4)

Study says most college courses taught by liberals

A new study from the Randolph Foundation has found that most collegiate level courses in the United States are taught by liberals.

By their own description, 72 percent of those teaching at American universities and colleges are liberal and 15 percent are conservative, says the study being published this week. The imbalance is almost as striking in partisan terms: 50 percent of the faculty members surveyed identified themselves as Democrats and 11 percent as Republicans.

The disparity is even more pronounced at the most elite schools, where, according to the study, 87 percent of faculty members are liberal and 13 percent are conservative.

In other news, "Sky is blue, water is wet." Details at 11.

Posted by mhking at 03:59 PM | Comments (2)

Black lawmakers calling photo ID bill racist

A bill requiring voters to present state-issued photo ID as identification when voting was passed by the Georgia state Senate yesterday, despite the carping of black Senators who insisted the measure was racist.

The bill would reduce the types of ID permitted to be presented by voters when identifying themselves at a polling place from 17 to 6. It would eliminate such forms of identification as utility bills.

"This is spitting on the grave of Martin Luther King Jr.," said Senate Minority Leader Robert Brown (D-Macon), an African-American. He compared the photo ID requirement to Jim Crow laws that once institutionalized racial discrimination in the South.

Republicans argued the measure would help prevent voter fraud and protect the integrity of the ballot. The bill would reduce the number of acceptable forms of identification for voting from 17 documents, which now include utility bills and bank statements, to six forms of government-issued photo identification.

Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) said he could not forget those who "bled, sweated and died" for his right to vote and serve in elected office.

Some saw the measure as an ominous sign for race relations.

"I do believe that this bill has fractured this body," said Sen. Kasim Reed (D-Atlanta), who is black. "I do believe this bill is a disaster for race relations in the state of Georgia. I do believe this is the most aggressive bill and attack on the rights of minorities and African-Americans that I have seen in my tenure in the House and the Senate."

The measure now has to go back to the Georgia state House for approval of minor changes before going on to Governor Sonny Perdue for his signature. If signed into law, the measure would have to be reviewed by the US Justice Department in order to ensure that it does not place an undue burdon on minorities.

The black lawmakers in question have no answer when asked about the requirement to present a photo ID - like a drivers' license - when banking. They are obviously using this as a "guilt-based club" to attack others and get their way.

There is no coincidence that the black Democrats are also using this as a rallying cry and basis to claim that Republicans do not want to renew portions of the Voting Rights of 1965 when they come up for vote in 2007.

This is about scaring the voting public and painting the GOP as "evil racists." This is about keeping the status quo in order to better facilitate voter fraud. This is about liberal desperation.

Posted by mhking at 10:13 AM | Comments (2)

11th Circuit to consider Schindler's request on Schiavo

We've awakened this morning to news that the 11th Circuit Court here in Atlanta has decided to hear an emergency motion from Bob and Mary Schindler, parents of Terri Schiavo.

This makes the third time the Schindlers have appealed to the 11th Circuit, but it gives them hope that their daughter would receive a reprive.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta issued a written order without comment late Tuesday allowing Bob and Mary Schindler to file the appeal, even though the court had set a March 26 deadline for doing so.

In a one-sentence order, the court said: "The Appellant's emergency motion for leave to file out of time is granted."

The court didn't say when it would decide whether to grant a hearing. Last week, it twice ruled against the Schindlers, who are trying to keep their daughter alive.

In requesting a new hearing, the Schindlers argued that a federal judge in Tampa should have considered the entire state court record and not just the procedural history when he ruled against the parents.

The clock continues to tick for the brain-damaged Terri Schiavo, who is now in her 12th day without nourishment or water.
(More coverage from Wizbang, Blogs For Terri, OTB & others)

Posted by mhking at 07:23 AM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2005

Johnnie Cochran has died

Attorney Johnnie Cochran has died following a lengthy illness according to WXIA-TV's 6P news here in Atlanta. Cochran's daughter, Tiffany Cochran, is a weekend anchor for WXIA.

UPDATE WXIA has more.

Cochran died of a brain tumor and was at his home in California at the time of his passing.

“The world has lost not only a legendary attorney, but an outstanding humanitarian,” a family statement said.

“Johnnie’s career will be noted as one marked by ‘celebrity’ cases and clientele. But he and his family were most proud of the work he did on behalf of those in the community,” the statement said. “As Johnnie always said, ‘an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ It was his rallying cry as he worked to right many wrongs, and as he provided a voice to those who needed to be heard.”

The Cochran Firm has several offices around the country including one in Atlanta.

Cochran’s daughter, Tiffany, is an anchor and reporter at WXIA / 11Alive News in Atlanta.

Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date, the statment said.

I didn't agree with his politics, but he was an original character in American jurisprudence.

His "if it don't fit, you must acquit" line in the OJ Simpson trial became a mocked catch-phrase nationwide, and even inspired Phil Morris' spot-on parody, Jackie Giles, from Seinfeld.

Fare thee well, Johnnie.

Johnnie Cochran was 67.

(More coverage from Wizbang, LaShawn Barber, Expertise, OTB, Backcountry Conservative & others)

Posted by mhking at 06:06 PM | Comments (16)

Don't ever call me insensitive again!

After reading this, y'all don't get quarter to ever call me insensitive again in life.

I know it's very wrong to laugh, but that's hilarious!
(Linking to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam)

Posted by mhking at 04:01 PM | Comments (5)

Falwell suffers "massive" heart attack (Update: He's sick, but he'll be OK)

Rev. Jerry Falwell has been hospitalized near his home in Lynchburg, VA, after suffering what has been described by televised reports as a "massive" heart attack.

Falwell's son, Jerry Falwell, Jr. is expected to make a statement at Noon ET.

UPDATE - 12N - Per Fox News, Falwell has not had a heart attack. He is on a respirator, and is resting comfortably. He apparently has had a relapse of the viral pneumonia that sidelined him earlier this year. More details are due shortly.

Posted by mhking at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

Never get between Jesse Jackson and a camera

Never one to let a photo op go untapped, Jesse Jackson is set to meet with Terri Schiavo's parents at the protest outside her hospice this morning. Of course, the unwitting accomplices in the Schiavo protest are oblivious to Jackson's true motive.

Rev. Jackson is responding to an invitation from the Schindler family to come and pray with the family, and if possible visit Terri Schiavo in the hospice.

After meeting and praying with the Schindler family, Rev. Jackson will make a statement to the press.

See what I mean?
(More coverage from Outside The Beltway, Barking Moonbat & others)

Posted by mhking at 08:54 AM | Comments (5)

MJ's days look to be numbered.

On the heels of a Sunday morning radio interview with Jesse Jackson, entertainer and accused child molester Michael Jackson's trial defense was dealt a serious blow yesterday, when the judge ruled that the jury may hear of prior accusations from five other boys including actor Macaulay Culkin and two youngsters who reached multimillion-dollar settlements with the singer.

District Attorney Tom Sneddon said Jackson's inappropriate activities with these boys included kissing, hugging and inserting his hands into their pants. He also said there was a pattern of "grooming," or preparing the boys for molestation, but did not elaborate.

Jackson, 46, is on trial on charges he molested one boy - then 13 - at his Neverland ranch in 2003. In most criminal cases, evidence of past behavior is not admissible against a defendant. However, the California Legislature changed that in 1995, specifically in cases of child molestation and domestic violence.

Sneddon said the testimony about the five cases will show Jackson has a consistent pattern of abuse.

Only one of the five has agreed to testify in the current trial, while some testimony will come from parents of the boys involved.

Meanwhile, comedian and actor George Lopez took the stand yesterday, as the parade of celebrities tied to the trial continued.

Sunday, Jackson was interviewed by Rev. Jesse Jackson on his Clear Channel radio program, claiming innocence.

"I gain strength from the fact that I know I am innocent. None of these stories are true," Jackson told the Rev. Jesse Jackson during an hour-long interview broadcast live over the Internet on Sunday morning.

"I just want to say to fans in every corner of the Earth, every nationality, every race, every language, I love you from the bottom of my heart," Jackson said toward the end of the interview. "I would love your prayers and your goodwill, and please be patient and be with me and believe in me because I am completely, completely innocent. But please know a lot of conspiracy is going on as we speak."

Many experts, pointing to yesterday's ruling, indicate that Jackson is in a nearly insurmountable hole when it comes to the possibility of acquital in the child molestation trial.

University of Georgia law professor Ron Carlson, speaking this morning on Atlanta's WSB Radio, suggested that Jackson's legal team may begin to seek a plea deal to reduce the amount of time that Jackson would spend in prison.

Posted by mhking at 08:40 AM | Comments (3)

March 28, 2005

Sony loses suit, but can still sell PS2 -- for now

I don't know how I missed this story this morning!

Sony has been ordered to stop selling Playstation consoles in the United States. Sony lost a suit to Immersion Technologies, who claims to have created the tactile technology that Sony uses to provide the feedback in their Dual-Shock controllers.

Judge Claudia Wilken of the U.S. District Court for Northern California issued the order late last week in a patent infringement case filed against Sony Computer Entertainment by Immersion, a San Jose, Calif.-based developer of "haptics" technology. Among other applications, the technology can generate force feedback in games so that the game controller rattles in response to events during play.

Immersion claims that Sony's implementation of force feedback in its PlayStation 2 and the original PlayStation consoles infringes on its patents. Microsoft paid the California company $26 million two years ago to settle similar claims regarding its PC joysticks and other products.

Sony has fought those charges and suffered a setback late last year, when a jury sided with Immersion and ordered the console maker to pay $82 million in damages. Enforcement of the verdict was delayed, pending the judge's ruling on post-trial motions.

Judge Wilken's latest ruling entered judgment against Sony and ordered it to give Immersion the $82 million laid down by the jury verdict, plus $8.7 million in interest.

In a separate order, Wilken consented to Immersion's request for an injunction barring Sony "from manufacturing, using and/or selling in, or importing into, the United States the infringing Sony PlayStation system." The injunction further instructed Sony to pay licensing fees to Immersion for PlayStation hardware already sold in the United States.

It also covers 47 games that the jury said infringed on Immersion's patents. Most of the games, including the smash hit "Grand Theft Auto" series, aren't published by Sony, possibly complicating enforcement.

The order has been stayed while Sony appeals, but I'm sure that execs over at Microsoft are dancing in the corridors today.

Posted by mhking at 09:34 PM | Comments (2)

Mag 8.5 quake in Indonesia (UPDATE: NOW AN 8.7)

A magnitude 8.5 earthquake has occured in the Sumatra region of Indonesia. This is an aftershock to the 9.0 earthquake from last December, which caused the devestating Asian tsunami.

There are fears that this quake could cause another tsunami. Details forthcoming.

UPDATE - 2P - Though this is nearly as powerful as December's quake, according to experts on CNN and MSNBC television, this quake is centered further south than the December quake, reducing the likelihood of a tsunami in the areas struck by the Boxing Day Tsunami.

According to a quote from a Reuters report, an official on one Indonesian island says that "dozens" have died.

A massive earthquake killed dozens of people and destroyed hundreds of homes in the main town on Indonesia's Nias island Monday evening, a local government official told Metro TV.

"I can guarantee that dozens have died," Agus Mendrofa, the deputy mayor of Gunungsitoli town, said.

Indonesia's Metro TV quoted a resident on the island of Nias, off western Sumatra, as saying buildings there were damaged.

"Things are quite bad right now," the resident said. "There is much damage. People are running in panic. Many people are also trapped."

He did not elaborate on what he meant by people were "trapped."

Thousands have heeded warnings to head inland along coastal sections of Indonesia and Thailand.

UPDATE: - 2:30P - The US Geologocal Survey has raised the magnitude of this quake from an initial read of 8.2 to a whopping 8.7. In comparison, the Boxing Day quake in December was a 9.0.

UPDATE - 2:50P - According to Confederate Yankee, the DUmmies at Democratic Underground are already blaming Bush for the quake.

Posted by mhking at 12:04 PM | Comments (3)

Aaron's Buy A Gun Day III coming up on 4/15

Aaron's Rantblog (the legendary founder of Blogopoly; my piece is over the left side of this page) has returned from the ether and moved, changing it's name in the process to Aaron's CC, found, logically enough, at

As we approach April 15, not only are we reminded that it is the final day you can submit your taxes (at least without having to pay a penalty), but it is also the third annual Buy A Gun Day. Protect yourself, protect your family, and exercise your second amendment rights.

Posted by mhking at 08:57 AM | Comments (4)

Google changes it's logo for holidays; why not for Easter?

Michelle Malkin points out the fact that Google changes it's main page logo for most holidays (most recently for "World Water Day," March 22, as seen above).

But on a quick look yesterday begs the question, "Why didn't Google change their front page logo for Easter?"

Looking back at Google's "special holiday logos" section, it seems that they quit doing one for Easter in 2002. But no one can seem to tell us why.

Posted by mhking at 08:00 AM | Comments (1)

March 27, 2005

Texas man has piercing to permanently place glasses on face


James Sooy was tired of "wrestling with glasses" and decided to have a piercing placed on the upper part of his nose which attached to glasses, so that they were permanently affixed to his face.

I don't know about you, but I like to take my glasses off when I go to sleep. I guess that wasn't an option for Sooy.

James Sooy was tired of wrestling with his eyeglasses and instead of contacts decided to have a post pierced into his face for permanent lenses.

"These, you know they are stuck to my face, with the other ones, if they were pulled, they would just come off real simple," Sooy said. "They're easier to work with and there is no safety risks involved."

Sooy says that LASIK surgery is too expensive, and the piercing "goes with his lifestyle."

I guess the staple gun wouldn't work for him, huh?

Posted by mhking at 11:11 PM | Comments (8)

March 25, 2005

Islamic group claims responsibility for BP Texas blast

An Islamic group has claimed responsibility for yesterday's explosion at a BP refinery near Houston.

“It was a new kind of operation as we promised before,” said the ”Jund al-Sham Organisation” (Organisation of Soldiers of the Levant) in the statement posted on an Islamist website and dated March 24.

“Jund Al-Sham is able to attack with an iron fist all the enemies of Allah wherever they are,” added the statement, whose authenticity could not be verified.

“This operation was a big surprise, which we spoke of in other statements, and we will continue our suicide operations inside and outside America, and we will attack the economy of America as America did the economies of the Muslims,” it added.

The group also threatened to carry out attacks in Britain and Italy, and said these would continue “until the last soldier of the Crusaders or Jews is no longer in an Islamic country.”

The FBI says that they have no evidence that the blast was caused by any terrorist group.

BP is still investigating the cause, but has ruled out terrorism as of this point.

Posted by mhking at 03:15 PM | Comments (2)

Georgia Democrats oppose photo IDs for voting; cry 'racism' in their defense

Protestors here in Georgia insist that a state house measure, championed by Republicans, to limit the types of identification accepted for voter ID is racist.

The measure would only allow voters to present government or state-issued photo IDs, including drivers' licenses, state-issued identification cards, passports and state school IDs.

Backers of the bills call them a giant step forward in the battle against voter fraud, but opponents say they're a giant step backward after years of Civil Rights progress. They contend many of the poor and elderly would be blocked from voting because they do not have drivers licenses or any other photo identification.

"My mother's 96 years old. She no longer drives and she does not need photo identification. She would love to take her thumb and dip it in a little bottle of ink and vote," said Rep. Tyrone Brooks, D-Atlanta.

The whiners beg a basic question: "What do those without photo ID do for identification when they are banking?"

The measure will decrease voter fraud in the state, and would certainly help to streamline the present system, which allows one to use things as obscure as mail from the Social Security Administration.

A photo ID would guarantee that the person voting is the person named, plus it would ensure that the voter is voting in the proper place, and is properly registered to vote.

What's the problem? Could it be that the Democrats want to allow voter fraud to continue unchecked? And is race being used as a red herring to get people worked up?


Posted by mhking at 02:19 PM | Comments (2)

Let her go home. Jesus is waiting for her with open arms.

My position on the Schiavo matter has vascilated back and forth over the past few days as I've agonized over the matter.

Should she be given a chance at life? If so, what kind of life are we talking about? Is there a chance at rehabilitation? Is Michael Schiavo an evil S.O.B., or is he simply a heart-broken man?

Conversely, is she truly in a vegetative state? A virtual zombie with eyes open, and nothing inside? Are her parents and family in denial about her pain and suffering? Are the evangelicals coming to her aid getting so worked up that they are looking past the true nature of this situation?

Difficult questions these. Who wins? Who loses?

There is no winner here. This situation is heartbreaking at the core. A vibrant woman struck down in the prime of her life. A myriad of doctors, most of whom have indicated that much of her brain tissue has deteriorated and possibly even liquified inside her skull. CAT scans that support that diagnosis.

Conversely, we see her eyes focusing on a balloon, we see her apparently responding to people entering her limited field of vision.

What do we believe?

After 22 different judges have agonized over this, they all have come to the same decision: that her husband has the right to make that agonizing decision.

Talk show host Neil Boortz has taken the stance that Terri Schiavo has earned her place in heaven, and that we, as a people, should let her go home.

Do you believe in God’s promise of everlasting life? Do you believe that the reward for a life well spent on this earth is a life with God in heaven after you die? If you do, then a few more questions if you will.

Do you believe that the human soul can make the transition to everlasting life while the human body that carried that soul through life clings to life on this earth? If you do, then you must surely believe that Terri Schiavo has earned and is already enjoying her reward in heaven. That being the case, why is it so important to you that the now-unneeded body of Terri Schiavo is kept alive?

But perhaps you believe, as I do, that the human soul is so connected to and integrated with its earthly body that any transition will not be made until that body ceases functioning -- until death occurs.. That being the case, why do you so ardently desire that the soul of Terri Schiavo spend five, ten, perhaps 30 years or more trapped in a useless and non-functioning body, unable to move on to whatever reward awaits her? Isn’t 15 years enough?

Where do your concerns truly lie, with the eternal soul of Terri Schiavo, or with her earthly body?

Jesus awaits Terri Schiavo at the gates of heaven with open arms. He will grant her eternal rest. He loves all, no matter which side of this sad story the people are on.

Let her go home. We can only commend her spirit among the angels for the journey.

Sadly, those who damn the judges and politicians and those of us who wish her spirit to move on are going to fracture the fragile fabric of the conservative wing of the GOP. In their zeal to ignore the rule of law and the Constitutional process, they are sliding down the slippery slope of anarchy toward mob rule.

This is a land of laws, not men. And the political problems that are surfacing -- on both sides -- point toward the deterioration of our constitutional republic. Are you ready for that? Are you ready for that will mean in the future?

I weep for Terri Schiavo today. But I fear for more tears in our future, thanks to those who would wad up the Constitutional protections and freedoms wrought by the notion of ignoring the rule of law, simply because those in power didn't get their way.

Posted by mhking at 08:15 AM | Comments (11)

March 24, 2005

SCOTUS refuses to review Schiavo case

BREAKING 1030A - Flash from all the networks/wires: The US Supreme Court is declining to hear the Terri Schiavo case. The feeding tube will not be re-inserted.

This exhausts the legal avenues for Bob and Mary Schindler in terms of this case.

There are many who would suggest, however, that a significant wrongful death civil case is most likely in the works.

UPDATE - 2:05P Governor Jeb Bush's motion to take have the Florida Department of Children and Families custody of Terri Schiavo has been denied.

That decision coming down from Judge George Greer in Florida.

UPDATE - 2:40P The Schindlers are now going back to Federal District Court asking for all the issues to be heard as opposed to simply injunctive relief. Apparently Judge Whitimore is set to rule by 6P ET.

Posted by mhking at 10:32 AM | Comments (0)

Jailed Zimbabwe MP defies Mugabe

Roy Bennett is a white member of Parliament in Zimbabwe's crippled government. Bennett, like all other white farmers in that country, has had his land siezed by the corrupt thugs belonging to the regime of dictator Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe has declared virtual war against all whites in Zimbabwe, in an effort to "right past wrongs," as he puts it.

But then why would Mugabe fear Bennett?

One of the most hopeful signs for Zimbabwe's future is that many of its people openly reject the racist propaganda regularly trumpeted by the brutal and thuggish President Robert Mugabe.

As one of three whites in Zimbabwe's Parliament, Roy Bennett enjoys broad support among his mostly black constituents.

Why? Because his voters know it's about freedom, food on the table and hope for tomorrow, not Mugabe's racism and oppression. Bennett is a Movement For Democratic Change (opposition party) backbencher.

Mugabe has worked hard to punish Bennett for his political success, using his crooked ZANU-PF cronies in parliament to vote to place him in jail, after a floor fight Bennett maintains was part of a set-up.

Now Mugabe is trying to bar Bennett from running again from prison, but a high court ruling giving him a green light has the dictator fuming and working to undo it.

The Radio Equalizer's Brian Maloney chronicles the trials and tribulations of Maloney and his efforts to bring Zimbabwe into the 21st Century, and out from under the boot of Mugabe and his fellow thugs.

Take a look. If you are among the few that still think that Mugabe is not the vicious thug of a dictator that he actually is, this very well may open your eyes.

Posted by mhking at 10:14 AM | Comments (1)

March 23, 2005

Jeb Bush to take custody of Terri Schiavo?

With most other avenues for potential salvation exhausted, Florida governor Jeb Bush is looking to take formal custody of Terri Schiavo as soon as this evening to get a feeding tube back into her.

This is on the heels of the Florida Senate voting down a measure to have the state Department of Families and Children to forcibly remove her from the hospice where she's presently ensconced in order to save her life.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to grant a full review to the appeal brought by Terri's parents earlier in the day.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Schiavo had gone five full days without food or water; doctors have said she could survive one to two weeks.

Supporters of Schiavo's parents grew increasingly dismayed, and 10 protesters were arrested outside her hospice for trying to bring her water.

Refusing to give up, Gov. Jeb Bush sought court permission to take custody of Schiavo.

The desperate flurry of activity came as President Bush suggested that Congress and the White House had done all they could to keep the severely brain-damaged woman alive.

The spectre of the Elian Gonzales saga looms mightily over the entire situation.

If everyone remembers, the government intervigned to remove little Elian from Miami relatives after he was found adrift. His mother had died trying to get him to America, while his father remained in Cuba. The father, backed up by Fidel Castro, demanded his return, while Miami relatives insisted on keeping him.

The ensuing philosophical battle of wills divided people across America.

This case looks to be doing the same thing.

Polls by newspapers and television stations across the nation point toward most Americans wanting Terri to be released from her torment and allowed to die peacefully, while many others wish for her to receive additional treatment that very well may speed her on the road to recovery.

President Bush has stated that in a case like this, we ought to err on the side of life.

I can't argue that point, though I'm seeing plenty of grandstanding on both sides of this equation that truly has no winners.

Posted by mhking at 07:51 PM | Comments (9)

Denied in the overnight hours

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals here in Atlanta denied the appellate motion brought by the parents of Terri Schiavo in a 2-1 decision handed down in the wee hours this morning.

In a 2-1 ruling early Wednesday, a panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta said the parents "failed to demonstrate a substantial case on the merits of any of their claims" that Terri's feeding tube should be reinserted immediately.

"There is no denying the absolute tragedy that has befallen Mrs. Schiavo," the ruling said. "We all have our own family, our own loved ones, and our own children. However, we are called upon to make a collective, objective decision concerning a question of law."

In his dissent, Judge Charles R. Wilson said Schiavo's "imminent" death would end the case before it could be fully considered. "In fact, I fail to see any harm in reinserting the feeding tube," he wrote.

An appeal was still pending in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on whether Schiavo's right to due process was violated.

This leaves the US Supreme Court as the only option for the Schindler family. However, the SCOTUS has turned down appellate motions in this case twice before, which does not bode well this time.

Still, the Schindlers have vowed to move forward with an appeal to the Supreme Court some time today.

In the meantime, time continues to tick and health continues to wane for Terri Schiavo, who has been without a feeding tube since last Friday.

Text of the decision from the 11th Circuit can be found in PDF form here.

UPDATE: (12:20P) - Terri's parents have opted to have the entire 11th Circuit Court panel of judges hear the case and respond, as opposed to the three-judge panel which responded early this morning.

Terri's condition continues to worsen. Her tongue is beginning to swell, and she appears to be very ill, on this, her fifth day without food or water.

UPDATE (3:30P) - Word down from the 11th Circuit here that they will not reconsider the Schiavo case. So now the Schneiders will run this up the ladder to the US Supreme Court. The SCOTUS is not likely to consider; though we may get word from Washington before the end of the day.

UPDATE (6:30P) Florida state DCF (Department of Children and Families) officials are considering taking custody of Terri Schiavo and removing her from the hospice where she has been ensconced -- by force if necessary.

Lucy Hadl, secretary of the Department of Children and Families, said Wednesday morning that her staff is relying on a state law that gives the department the authority to intervene on behalf of a vulnerable adult who is 'suffering from abuse or neglect that presents a risk of death or serious physical injury.'

Hadl said that the DCF would have to file a petition in order to remove Schiavo, but that 'it doesn't mean we'd have to have judicial approval in advance of taking the action if we believed it met the threshold for doing it.'

Hadl said that seven years of court rulings backing Schiavo's husband Michael, in his contention that Terri Schiavo did not wish to be kept alive artificially would not stop the DCF from taking action.

'We're not compelled to look at prior judicial proceedings,' Hadl said.

Hope springs eternal, but time continues to move inexorably forward.

Posted by mhking at 08:44 AM | Comments (0)

March 22, 2005

Parents demand renaming of Berkeley's Jefferson ES; cite slavery as reason

Parents, students and teachers soon will get to vote on the renaming of Berkeley, CA's Jefferson Elementary School.

Why? Because the former US President owned slaves. At least that's the reason cited by several black teachers, including one who is the mother of three former Jefferson students.

A list of potential new names has been released by Jefferson principal Betty Delaney, which includes former UN diplomat Ralph Bunche, Hispanic migrant rights leader Ceasar Chavez, late Berkeley city councilwoman Florence McDonald, 19th Century abolitionist Sojourner Truth, Ohlone - based on the name of the Indian people who lived in the Bay Area prior to the settling of the area, Peace, Rose, and Sequoia.

Marguerite Talley-Hughes, a kindergarten teacher at Jefferson who is African American, said she thinks it is reasonable to want a name that is not offensive to some in the school community.

"It's very clear that the name is offensive to a significant part of the population,'' said Hughes, who lives in the neighborhood and sent her own three children to Jefferson.

"There's no reason we can't have a name that everyone likes and can feel good about,'' she said.

So they figure that naming the school after a former US President is offensive.

And people wonder why I refer to the place as "Berserkley."

Just damn.

Posted by mhking at 01:39 PM | Comments (14)

Federal judge refuses to allow Schiavo's feeding tube to be reinserted

A federal judge in Florida has refused this morning to allow Terri Schiavo's feeding tube to be reinserted.

The ruling, handed down at about 6:30 this morning, denies the emergency request from lawyers representing Schiavo's parents.

U.S. District Judge James Whittemore denied the request by Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, who sought to restore feeding and hydration for the 41-year-old woman while the legal arguments over her fate moved forward. The judge said the parents had not established a "substantial likelihood of success" at a future trial on the merits of their arguments.

Rex Sparklin, an attorney with the law firm representing Terri Schiavo's parents, said lawyers were immediately appealing to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to "save Terri's life."

The 11th Circuit is said to have announced a 9A ET ruling in the appeal on this case.

UPDATE (10A): Terri's parents have appealed to the 11th Circuit in Atlanta.

Posted by mhking at 07:26 AM | Comments (3)

March 21, 2005

Congress comes to the rescue of Terri Schiavo

Shortly after midnight last night, the US House passed a measure -- which was quickly signed by President Bush -- which asked a federal court to step in and consider whether or not to reconnect Terri Sciavo's feeding tube.

I mentioned Friday that I was not comfortable speaking out on this case, but, as you would imagine, I took the time this weekend to learn more about Terri's tragic plight.

Michael Schiavo (and by extension Judge Greer, the original judge adjudicating this case) has not permitted outside doctors from examining Terri. Michael Schiavo has an outside relationship with another woman.

The magic questions are plenty. Among them, if Michael Schiavo wanted a relationship with someone else, why hasn't he sought a divorce from Terri? Given her condition, a divorce court in Florida would quickly grant it, freeing him to galivant with whatever woman he wishes.

Also, why wouldn't he want to have any other physicians examine Terri? Why wouldn't he want a CAT scan taken to see if there were any medical advances that might help her? Why wouldn't Judge Greer mandate that any additional medical resources be brought to bear in this case?

After all -- if you are not 100% sure that she is completely and inescapably in a hopeless state, even given medical advances from the finest medical minds on the planet, why not err on the side of caution?

First term US Congresscritter Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Moonbat-FL) has been loudly vocal in support of the starvation of Terri, stating on television appearances all over the dial this weekend, "It is not the Congress' place to say 'yes' or 'no,'" about Schiavo's fate.

But the larger question is that if Congress "does not have the place," as Wasserman Schultz claims, why not err on the side of caution until and unless all the other medical questions have been answered?

(More coverage all over the place including Michelle Malkin, Myopic Zeal, LaShawn Barber, Wizbang, Slant Point, and others)

Posted by mhking at 07:53 AM | Comments (8)

Ving Rhames is Kojak in USA remake

USA Network is remaking the classic 70s detective series Kojak with Ving Rhames in the role of the detective made famous by Telly Savalas.

The new series, updated for the 21st Century, portrays Theo Kojak as the son of a jazz musician and a doggedly determnied NYPD detective. Chazz Palminteri plays Kojak's former partner and present boss, Capt. Frank McNeil.

Considering the track record of excellent original cable series over the past few years (The Shield, Nip/Tuck, Monk, Battlestar Galactica), I'll be more than happy to give the new series a try.

The two-hour pilot airs Friday night at 9 ET on USA.

Posted by mhking at 07:23 AM | Comments (3)

March 20, 2005

Woman is arrested after threatening to "pull an Atlanta"

36 year-old Nicole James of Armo, SC was arrested this week for threatening the life of a Richmond County (SC) judge.

An arrest warrant states that in November of 2004, James relayed a threat over the telephone to a witness saying that if she had the money, she would hire someone to kill Judge Donna Strom. The warrant says the threat was made because James was unhappy with the results of a court hearing.

A second arrest warrant states that on March 15th, James relayed a threat over the telephone to a witness saying that everyone at the courthouse should watch out because she might "come and pull an Atlanta" on them or pay someone to do it.

James was booked Thursday on two charges of threatening a public offical and two counts of "unlawful use of a telephone."

You'd think some idiots would learn.

Posted by mhking at 10:34 PM | Comments (2)

March 18, 2005

Terri Schiavo liveblogging links

I've purposefully stayed away from the Terri Schiavo case - I truly don't understand the entire case from either side, so I can't make an informed decision one way or the other.

There are others who have very strong opinions on either side.

In any event, Chris Short is liveblogging the events surrounding that family tragedy.

Additional liveblogging can be found at Blogs For Terri and at My Pet Jawa.

(More coverage from LaShawn Barber, Michelle Malkin, Neil Boortz, Neognosticos & others)

Posted by mhking at 05:18 PM | Comments (6)

March 17, 2005

Nichols follow-up: Five carjacked vehicles inside of fifteen minutes

According to Atlanta Police, Brian Nichols carjacked a total of five vehicles in the fifteen minutes between 9:05 and 9:20 last Friday morning in downtown Atlanta.

The locations of the vehicles are noted on this map. My wife's office is adjacent to the 3 on the map below, and less than five minutes before he came through there, my youngest daughter (3 years old) and I dropped off my wife at work there.

Pretty damn sobering if you ask me.

Posted by mhking at 11:05 PM | Comments (2)

Boxer & Byrd? I did NOT need that picture in my mind...

Senator Barbara Boxer (Moonbat-CA) got a bit carried away at yesterday's rally against conservative judges. one point referred to the event's keynote speaker - former Ku Klux Klansman Robert Byrd - as "the love of my life."
I don't know about you, but that quote is just plain frightening.

Someone get me some Comet to scrub that image out of my head...

Posted by mhking at 01:30 PM | Comments (5)

Legendary SF/fantasy author Andre Norton dies

The legendary and prolific author of the "Witch World" series and many other titles, Andre Norton, died this morning at her home in Murfreesboro, TN.

Her death was announced by friend Jean Rabe, who said Norton died of congestive heart failure. Norton was born Alice Mary Norton on February 17th, 1912 in Cleveland. She penned more than 130 novels during her career of nearly 70 years.

The "Witch World" series, which detailed life on a planet reachable only through metaphysical gateways, included more than 30 novels.

Her last complete novel, "Three Hands of Scorpio," is set to be released in April.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America recently created the Andre Norton Award for young adult novels, and the first award will be presented in 2006.

Norton was 93.
(More coverage from Dead Pool & others)

Posted by mhking at 12:44 PM | Comments (2)

March 16, 2005

NAACP seeking injunction against City of Myrtle Beach before Black Bike Week

The NAACP is seeking an injunction against the City of Myrtle Beach, SC, in hopes of getting what it terms "racist traffic rules" lifted in time for this year's Black Bike Week this coming Memorial Day weekend.

You read that right. The so-called"racist traffic rules" are comprised of turning Ocean Boulevard, the main drag along the beach in Myrtle Beach, into a one-way street, in order to better facilitate traffic along the 60-block stretch.

Mind you, there are 350,000 people expected in this stretch of road on that particular weekend.

"To prevent further violations of plaintiffs' constitutional rights during Black Bike Week in 2005, the plaintiffs request this court to enter a preliminary injunction prohibiting the city from using its oppressive one-way traffic pattern along Ocean Boulevard," said the motion.

The suit alleges traffic enforcement discriminates against black bikers and that Ocean Boulevard, the hotel-lined street closest to the beach, is limited to one-way traffic, causing congestion.

It contends that policy is discriminatory causing blacks to feel unwelcome and that there are far more police on hand than during the Harley rally.

City officials have said the Harley-Davidson rally draws about 200,000 people to the 60-mile Grand Strand, the black biker rally attracts as many as 350,000 people to a smaller 60-block area of the beach.

Waitaminit -- 200,000 people in a 60-mile stretch of shoreline, versus 350,000 people in a 60-block stretch of roadway? Heck, that's less than 10 miles!

I've been through my share of spring breaks and Freakniks. The police have to change traffic patterns to keep an orderly flow of traffic.

Besides -- I didn't see them screaming racism when they changed Peachtree Street to a one-way street during multiple Freakniks here in Atlanta.

Posted by mhking at 10:18 PM | Comments (7)

Senate votes to drill in ANWR for oil

The US Senate, weathering a 51-49 vote to prevent a Democratic measure to stop it, decided to permit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil.

Treehuggers and others are upset that critters will be disturbed while they go about their daily duties, or that the "evil, rich Republicans" will get more money. None of them seem to remember that we, as a nation, are at the beck and call of the Saudis and OPEC.

The action, assuming Congress agrees on a budget, clears the way for approving drilling in the refuge later this year, drilling supporters said.

The oil industry has sought for more than two decades to get access to what is believed to be billions of barrels of oil beneath the 1.5 million-acre coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the northern eastern corner of Alaska.

Current USGS research indicates that there is at least ten billion barrels sitting untapped in Alaska, which would replace Saudi imports for at least 30 years.

But the treehuggers and liberals would rather see us twist in the wind at the behest of the Saudis and other entities.

Let's put this into perspective: ANWR, itself, is the size of the state of South Carolina. The area proposed for drilling is a mere fraction of that -- 2000 acres. The vast majority of ANWR will remain untouched.

Now. Isn't that worth ensuring energy for ourselves and our children?

Posted by mhking at 02:40 PM | Comments (12)

March 15, 2005

Rachel "Our Lady of the Divine IHOP" Corrie's parents suing IDF & Caterpillar

Remember Rachel Corrie? She's the college student from Washington state who thought it would be a good idea to stand in front of a moving IDF bulldozer, ostensibly to keep it from knocking down a Palistinian house.

But as I always say, "all ties go to the bulldozer."

Corrie became scattered, smothered and covered (it's a Waffle House thing) by said 'dozer two years ago tomorrow (3.16.03). Now her idiot parents have gone lawsuit-happy and filed a wrongful death suit against the Israeli government and Caterpillar, Inc. I guess we now know where "Our Lady of the Blessed Waffle House" got her "smarts" from.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court here, alleges that Caterpillar violated international and state law by providing specially designed bulldozers to Israeli Defense Forces, knowing the machines would be used to demolish homes and endanger people.

"The brutal death of my daughter should never have happened," her mother, Cindy Corrie, said in a statement released by the Center for Constitutional Rights, one of the law firms handling the case. "We believe Caterpillar and the (Israeli Defense Forces) must be held accountable for their role in the attack."

Cindy and Craig Corrie, who have moved to Olympia from Charlotte, N.C., since their daughter's death, are pursuing separate claims in Israel against the state of Israel, the Israeli Defense Ministry and the Israeli Defense Forces.

Caterpillar made the tractor. I guess now we're going to have other dumbassed moonbats coming out of the woodwork suing McDonald's for making fatty food.

Oops! Too late!

Just damn.

(More coverage from Full Of Crap, Barking Moonbat & others)

Posted by mhking at 09:36 PM | Comments (6)

Nichols arraigned on rape charges; denied bail

Brian Nichols, the suspect at the center of the largest manhunt in the history of the state of Georgia, was arraigned this morning on the rape charges that were the subject of the trial he disrupted when this whole mess started last Friday morning.

Nichols was charged more specifically with rape, aggravated assault with intent to rape, aggravated sodomy, false imprisonment, burglary and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

A handful of fully armed Fulton County depties escorted Nichols into a magistrate courtroom at the Fulton County Jail, where two public defenders waited to defend him.

Wearing a navy blue jail uniform, Nichols walked into the courtroom with his feet shackled and his hands cuffed and chained around the waist.

A total of 15 Fulton sheriff’s deputies were in the courtroom at the time. Ten of them came from the special tactical unit and were armed, while five other sheriff’s deputies did not have guns inside of their holsters.

Two public defenders, Chris Adams and Gary Parker from the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council, represented Nichols. They presented a motion challenging the Fulton magistrates’ appointment of Judge Cox to preside at the status hearing.

To that end, all Fulton magistrates had recused themselves from the case on Monday, but not before appointing Cobb County Magistrate Judge Frank Cox to preside at the status hearing.

At the hearing, the public defender claimed Cox should never have been appointed by the Fulton court officials. Judge Cox denied the motion and continued Nichols’ denial of bond.

Fulton Assistant District Attorney Michele McCutheon said that the DA's office will file murder charges along with a laundry list of other charges at a later date. That investigation is ongoing, and is being taken slowly enough to ensure that no mistakes are made.

Posted by mhking at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)

The Ides of March: International Eat An Animal For PETA Day

I'm planning a wonderful day of critter-eating. Had some eggs and sausage for breakfast, I'll have a turkey & cheese sandwich for lunch, and I'm going to make a fantastic homemade spaghetti dinner, complete with plenty of meatballs!

Meryl Yourish, the originator of IEAPD, has a roundup of how folks are celebrating around the world. She also has the lowdown on where IEAPD came from.

(More coverage from Wizbang & others)

Posted by mhking at 10:50 AM | Comments (1)

Study says getting government jobs harder in "post-affirmative action" period

I got quoted in a new AP piece on a study by the Albany (NY)-based Center for Women in Government & Civil Society at the State University of New York at Albany.

The study's author and the Center's director, Judith Saidel, claims that blacks and Hispanics are not able to rise to managerial and directoral spots in state and local government across the nation in what she calls a "post-affirmative action" period.

"I don't know if I would call it tokenism as I would occupational segregation," said report author Judith Saidel, director of the Center for Women in Government & Civil Society at the State University of New York at Albany.

"There's a number of possible reasons at play here," Saidel said. "We are in a post-affirmative action period. In general, there's a climate less supportive of proactive efforts to identify people of color for various positions."

Michael King, an Atlanta resident and member of the national conservative black group Project 21, said the report, out last month, seemed like it was "engineered to justify an argument."

He noted that with battles ongoing over affirmative action in California, Michigan and Georgia, there is "no logical way you can call this a post-affirmative action period."

King also disputed the suggestion that any advancement by minorities has stopped. "When you look at the number of individuals across the nation both in elective and appointed office, the numbers are certainly increasing," he said.

One of the other points I pointed out was that the study neglected to take into account the larger concentrations of blacks in and around urban areas nationally. You are far more likely to have concentrations of blacks working in government in Chicago or Atlanta than you are in Boulder, CO or Albuquerque, NM.

And to call this a "post-affirmative action period" is just plain silly. Affirmative action, as a whole, is alive and well in this nation. I have insisted in the past that the institution of affirmative action is "broken" -- it largely does not take into account the differences and disparagements between smaller versus larger minority-owned businesses, for example -- but the entity that is affirmative action is certainly in effect across the nation.

Ms. Seidel's report appears to be specifically designed to bolster an overall arguement that qualified minorities are not able to acquire jobs in government.

Posted by mhking at 09:43 AM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2005

I'm doing O'Reilly tonight on the Nichols aftermath

I'm going to be on Bill O'Reilly's show on Fox News Channel tonight, as part of their coverage of the aftermath of the Nichols shooting here in Atlanta.

The angle that tonight's show is going after is the history of corruption and incompetance of the Fulton County Sheriff's Department, first under prior sheriff Jackie Barrett, then under recently elected sheriff Myron Freeman.

The other guest in my segment will be Dick Williams, moderator of WAGA/Fox 5's The Georgia Gang and a writer with the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

The segment is set for somewhere between 8 and 10 minutes past the hour; The O'Reilly Factor airs tonight at 8 & 11 ET.

UPDATE: O'Reilly's producer just called and told me that the segment has been bumped up to the top of the hour -- they want to hit this straight out of the box.

They tape at 6, so hopefully, I can get back home in time to watch my ugly mug on the tube...

UPDATE (after the fact): I made it back in time to watch on the tube.

I was a little nervous -- partly (at least as I can see it) because I was in a different studio than I usually am when I do these things.

Overall, the segment came off OK. Though the point I was trying to make at the end was a bit rushed, and didn't come across completely. My point was that the people here seem to rush to find someone black to lead to the exclusion of finding someone qualified. It should be the other way -- find someone qualified. There are plenty of QUALIFIED blacks who can lead. Don't stop with the first black person you find simply because he is black.

Posted by mhking at 02:12 PM | Comments (17)

March 13, 2005

Nichols' hostage, and how she got away

Brian Nichols held an unidentified 30-something year-old woman in her apartment in Gwinnett County overnight Friday night, sometimes at gun point, sometimes tied up.

She talked about her young daughter. She talked about her late husband. And she talked about God. During the more than seven hours she was held hostage inside her apartment, sometimes at gunpoint, the Duluth woman talked about her life until, somehow, she was able to persuade the gunman to untie her and let her go.

"She was able to gain a rapport with him. I think she gained enough of a rapport with him that he trusted her to leave the apartment," said Gwinnett police Officer Anthony Bassett, the first officer to arrive after the woman called 911 Saturday morning.

Bassett said it wasn't clear to him why Nichols released the woman. Perhaps it was to check on her daughter, who was somewhere else, the officer said. Atlanta police Chief Richard Pennington said he thought she appealed to Nichols on a spiritual level.

Early Saturday morning, she was able to convince Nichols to release her. She went to the rental office of the apartment complex, and called 911.

In a press conference yesterday afternoon, we learned that after he left the Centennial Garage across from CNN Center and Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta Friday morning, Brian Nichols indeed hopped a MARTA train, as I suggested, and ended up at the Lenox station.

Apparently, at some point, Nichols forcibly entered a woman's apartment after placing a gun to the back of her head. Nichols apparently got into a fight with her boyfriend and fled.

Nichols wandered southward from the Lenox Square area along Lenox Road, coming across ICE agent David Wilhelm working on his home on nearby Cantor Road. Police believe Nichols shot and killed Wilhelm, stealing his badge, gun and Chevrolet pickup.

Sometime late Friday night, or early Saturday, he forcibly entered the apartment of a woman arriving home at the Bridgewater apartment complex off of Satellite Blvd. in Duluth. There, Nichols held her while watching television coverage of his murderous rampage.

Nichols surrendered to a Gwinnett County SWAT team by waving a white shirt around 11:30 yesterday morning.

Though he is set to be arraigned on state and federal charges this week (and in the midst of much rejoycing and back-slapping by local and federal officials), larger questions remain:

  • Why has political correctness run so far amok that we worry about what suspects wear in court?
  • Why was a single female deputy assigned to Nichols as he changed clothes in preparation for his court appearance Friday morning?
  • Why was security not beefed up, given the fact that metallic foreign objects that had been fashioned into crude weapons had been taken from Nichols earlier in the week (mind you, Judge Barnes had expressed concerns about security in relation to this case earlier in the week)?
  • Why didn't the Atlanta Police Department have the more than logical insight to search all the garages in the downtown area?
  • And likewise, why didn't the APD think to check any and all security cameras in and around the downtown area?
  • Why didn't the APD (and other agencies involved) think to search MARTA and their security cameras, along with the GA DOT traffic cameras Friday morning, especially since they weren't sure where Nichols was going?
And on an unrelated note, will someone please do whatever is necessary to keep Fulton County Sheriff Myron Freeman as far away from a microphone as is humanly possible? His command of the English language is marginal at best.

There were plenty of mistakes in how this situation was handled, and I have to agree with a number of other critics in that several of the officials involved need to step down. I'm not holding my breath though.

Posted by mhking at 09:37 AM | Comments (8)

March 12, 2005

Nichols is in custody!

Brian Nichols, suspect in the murder of Fulton County Judge Rowland Barnes, a Fulton County deputy, a court reporter and a Customs Officer, has been captured by a SWAT team in Gwinnett County this morning.

He is most likely being taken to the Fulton County jail complex in downtown Atlanta.

UPDATE - 12:30P - Nichols was taken to the FBI field office in DeKalb County (off of I-85 & Clairmont for us locals) for processing.

UPDATE - 12:45P - From WAGA/Atlanta: Nichols kidnapped a woman, went to her apartment, held her all night, then let her go this morning. He let her go this morning, and she dropped a dime after she left, to let them know that he was at her apartment in Gwinnett County. Nichols then gave himself up.

UPDATE (1P) - Press conference scheduled with all the players at 4P ET at City Hall East in Atlanta (per APD Chief Richard Pennington on WAGA)

UPDATE - 1:25P - Nichols has been transported to APD HQ at City Hall East in Atlanta. The pecking order most likely is that the rape trial (which was already in progress) gets first priority, then the state/local murder charges kick in, finally the feds get him after the fact.

UPDATE - 1:35p - From the Gwinnett PD presser: they got a call at 9:50 from a woman saying Nichols was in her apartment. They've said that the FBI will take the lead on the case, and go from there (though we may find out more from the 4P local/state presser)

UPDATE - 1:55P - Nichols most likely didn't know that the high-ranking ICE official found dead this morning; he just happened upon this home where a man was working on his home, just off of Lenox Road in Buckhead. He was off-duty at the time, and it is thought that he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. After robbing the man, apparently, Nichols realized he had a LEO on his hands. (per Morse Diggs with WAGA)


Nichols being placed in a vehicle at FBI headquarters, for transport to Atlanta Police Headquarters at Atlanta's City Hall East.

UPDATE - 2:20p - On WSB-TV, members of the Georiga Capital Defenders' Office are upset that they are not being granted access to Nichols by APD officers; they claim they are afriad that Nichols' rights are being violated.

Posted by mhking at 11:49 AM | Comments (14)

Nichols manhunt update

These images are from CNN/Turner Security, operator of the Centennial Garage in downtown Atlanta. They were taken at 9:30 Friday Morning in the same garage where the 1997 Honda Accord that everyone was looking for yesterday was found at about 11 last night.

This is the same garage where Nichols took the vehicle from Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Don O'Briant.

The garage is bordered by Spring St. facing the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the AJC's trucking facilities, Centennial Olympic Park Drive (and across the street, CNN Center), and Marietta St. It's catty-corner from Centennial Olympic Park, and less than a block from the Omni/Dome MARTA station.

At 9:30 yesterday morning, Nichols' photo had not been circulated yet. He literally could have gone anywhere. He could have entered CNN Center, he could have grabbed a cab on the street, he could have hopped a MARTA train, he could have even walked away!

This garage is about a block from my wife's office, and the two of us literally drove past it within minutes of Nichols' passage. Prior to this, he drove the wrong way up a one lane wide one-way street - one I had driven down about three to five minutes earlier.

The larger question that this entire situation begs is regarding the investigative capabilities (or lack of capabilities) of the Atlanta Police Department and the Fulton County Police Department! Centennial Garage is less than five blocks from the courthouse! Mind you a private citizen found the car, not the police!

UPDATE - 10A - A US Customs agent has been found shot to death on Lenox Road in Northeast Atlanta. The agent's badge, gun and pickup truck are missing. The truck is a blue 1994 Chevrolet pickup, with Georgia tags ATG 6121

- 11:15A - Hostage situation in Duluth (Gwinnett Co.) just northeast of Atlanta. Apparently the truck is there. This is on Satellite Blvd. in Gwinnett Co.

Per Geraldo Rivera on FNC, Nichols is definitely holed up in this apartment complex in Duluth.

UPDATE - ATF is reporting that Nichols IS IN CUSTODY!

UPDATE - 11:40A

Nichols is in the white shirt after having been taken into custody in Gwinnett County this morning.

(More coverage from Backcountry Conservative & others)
Posted by mhking at 07:55 AM | Comments (8)

March 11, 2005

Courthouse shooting in Atlanta

Fulton County Judge Rowland Barnes was shot and killed as he sat on the bench in his 8th floor courtroom this morning. A Fulton County deputy and a court reporter were also killed.

The suspect is Brian Nichols, a black man, 34 years old, 6'1", 210 pounds.

He has carjacked multiple vehicles; and local police are looking a stolen 1997 green Honda Accord, with Georgia tag 6584YN.

Nichols had received a mistrial for the rape of his girlfriend, and was on his second trial. Nichols took a gun from a Fulton County deputy, and shot two or three people in the courtroom (depending on which station is reporting at the time) and escaped. One deputy was shot outside the Fulton County courthouse, after which the suspect entered a parking deck across the street.

Due to the ongoing threat, Atlanta Public Schools have placed a number of schools on lockdown.

UPDATE (11:50A): New word that the green Accord has been located at the Lakewood apartments in Sandy Spring. That would be on Roswell Rd. just inside of I-285 north of the city-proper.

UPDATE - The description of the car is being flashed on the overhead highway signs in metro Atlanta.

(This is not THE car, but an example to let you know what it might look like)

A press conference from Atlanta's mayor just concluded; the perp is still at large, and a massive manhunt is taking place all over north Georgia.

APD officials say they believe Nichols is still in the area, perhaps still in the city.

UPDATE = (4:30P) New word (from WXIA) is that Nichols was in a holding room, overpowered a deputy, took her weapon, left the area, walked down a hallway into the old section of the courthouse, entered Judge Barnes' chambers, handcuffed an officer there, and then finally entered the courtroom and opened fire.

UPDATE - (6:30P) MSNBC's Dan Abrams is reporting that Fulton Co. DA Paul Howard mentioned a call received from Nichols, threatening to kill Asst. DA Gayle Abramson, who had tried his rape case. Howard said that he and his family, as well as Abramson, are in protective custody.

UPDATE - (11P) - WSB-TV is reporting that the green Accord has been found at the parking deck off of Marietta and Spring Streets in downtown Atlanta (right across from my wife's building, mind you). That deck is less than three blocks from the Omni/Dome MARTA station. If he ditched it there early on, he could have easily walked there or to one of three other subway stations easily. This guy literally could be anywhere by now.

Posted by mhking at 11:41 AM | Comments (5)

March 10, 2005

Jesse Jackson plays Pied Piper in the UK

Jesse Jackson spoke to a "rapturous" crowd in London last night, using the opportunity to bash the Bush Administration yet again. Jackson's appearance was part of a rally for Operation Black Vote, designed to increase minority participation in the upcoming general elections in the UK this coming May.
Reverend Jackson's roots as a preacher were clear from the outset as he led the audience in a rousing chant.

When he demanded: "Let me hear you scream", the audience responded enthusiastically.

It set the tone for his 45-minute oration - a polished performance encompassing the African slave trade, his deprived boyhood in South Carolina, the war in Iraq and UK issues.

It elicited applause and cheers at regular intervals from his audience in the manner of an evangelical church service.

Throughout the historical and contemporary references, Jesse Jackson's repeated mantra was "use your vote".

"Use your power to change the course of this world and this nation.

"Vote for your share of power, your share of management, your share of education," Reverend Jackson said.

Jackson drew comparisons to his efforts in past US elections when talking about the power of the black vote in the upcoming UK elections.

Sounds like Jesse's found himself a new bully pulpit to get himself some fresh "face time" -- even though it'll mostly be on the other side of the ocean.

Posted by mhking at 10:14 PM | Comments (3)

March 09, 2005

Rather's sign-off

I've got Dan Rather's final sign-off from the anchor desk at the CBS Evening News for your perusal.

Surprisingly, Dan sounded rather erudite and philosophical in his final monologue.

"We've shared a lot in the 24 years we've been meeting here each evening. And before I say good night this night, I need to say thank you. Thank you to the thousands of wonderful professionals of CBS News, past and present, with whom it's been my honor to work over these years. And a deeply felt thanks to all of you who have let us into your homes night after night. It has been a privilege and one never taken lightly.

"Not long after I first came to the anchor chair, I briefly signed off using the word 'courage.' I want to return to it now, in a different way, to a nation still nursing a broken heart for what happened here in 2001, and especially to those who found themselves closest to the events of September 11th. To our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in dangerous places. To those who have endured the tsunami, and to all who have suffered natural disasters and who must now find the will to rebuild. To the oppressed and to those whose lot it is to struggle in financial hardship or in failing health. To my fellow journalists in places where reporting the truth means risking all. And to each of you, courage. For the CBS Evening News, Dan
Rather reporting. Good night."

I'm suitably impressed.

Posted by mhking at 08:35 PM | Comments (2)


Dan "Kenneth" Rather finally steps down after tonight's CBS Evening News, 24 years to the day after accepting the anchor chair from Walter Cronkite.

Rather, trying to establish his own identity and distance himself from Cronkite, experimented with closing his newscasts with the single word, "Courage." It fell flat.

Though many of us on the right insist that the "liberal bias" that Rather exemplifies may be curtailed with Kenneth's "dishonorable discharge" from the anchor desk, I would contend that there will be an increase -- after all, Peter Jennings, with all his biases, remains at the helm of ABC's World News Tonight, Aaron Brown, for all his foibles, is still at CNN, and though some might call Brian Williams a welcome change from Tom Brokaw at NBC, the entire gang of idiots behind the scenes are still there writing and editing the news in as antagonistic mode toward the right as is possible.

Many people point at Fox News, who at least doesn't pay short shrift to the right, as a "conservative organ." They refuse to pay attention to the time given to left-wing arguments and commentators on FNC; or they claim that "half the time" isn't enough for them.

So we come back full circle to "Kenneth" Rather. Once he steps down after tonight, Bob Schieffer takes the helm at CBS, while Rather becomes a full-time correspondent of CBS' 60 Minutes. So we haven't heard the last of him.

"Courage," indeed.

(More coverage from Michelle Malkin, Rather Biased, and others)

Posted by mhking at 03:05 PM | Comments (1)

Pets Eating Tasty Activists day..."Mmmmm, Meat!"

The third annual International Eat an Animal for PETA Day (IEAPD) is up next week.

I, for one, will enjoy plenty of seared dead animal flesh that day.

The origins of the day and how it came to be are yours to be found at

Posted by mhking at 11:29 AM | Comments (3)

March 08, 2005

300+ bullets? Sgrena is full of used food.


You wanted to see Sgrena's car after the "300-400 bullets" supposedly shot by US GIs?

Here you go.

Like I said before, she's full of used food.


(Courtesy OpiniPundit)

Posted by mhking at 03:22 PM | Comments (3)

As if Jesse hasn't pimped folks enough on this side of the pond...

Jesse Jackson is going to the UK to "galvanize" the black and Asian voter base for the upcoming May 5 general election.

Reverend Jesse Jackson joins forces with Operation Black Vote (OBV) to galvanise the powerful BME electorate in the run up to the widely anticipated May 5th General Election.

Entitled, The Politics of Power, Reverend Jesse Jackson will deliver his keynote address to a thousand strong audience at 6.45pm on Wednesday 9th March at Friends Meeting House, 173 Euston Road, NW1 2BJ.

I guess since his face-time has diminished on this side of the Atlantic, he's trying the other side. And of course, since the British press will give attention to anyone who is against the current American administration, they'll be happy to oblige Jackson.

Posted by mhking at 02:27 PM | Comments (5)

March 07, 2005

Vernon Robinson the "wrong kind" of black speaker at Bowdoin College?

The College Republicans at Maine's Bowdoin College invited former US Congressional candidate and current Republican Winston-Salem (NC) City Councilman Vernon Johnson to campus as part of their observance of Black History Month. They weren't ready for the firestorm that followed.

The co-president of Bowdoin's College Democrats, Alex Cornell du Houx, appeared on Monday's Michael Medved Show to defend his statements as published in the Bowdoin Orient.

Many found the rhetoric put forward by the College Republicans offensive and unwarranted. The claim, taken from Vernon Robinson's website, that "The Only Thing he has in Common with Jesse Jackson is a good TAN," [sic] which was used in the digest, was both divisive and offensive to many.
Also appearing on Medved's show was black Bowdoin student William Gilchrist, who was far more venomous in his letter to the Orient's editorial pages.
Bowdoin College Republicans displayed their lack of openness by inviting an outright "Uncle Tom" to speak during Black History Month. Any black speaker who refers to the Confederate flag as a "harmless display" is a man who has clearly never read a history book.
Gilchrist, in defending his use of the "Uncle Tom" slur to describe Robinson not only plays into the stereotype of a monolithic school of black American thought, he actually creates more of the dissention that he and the College Democrats on Bowdoin's campus claim to want to avoid.

Gilchrist also took issue with Robinson's description Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton as "poverty pimps" who hustle the black community to their ends. Robinson is not the only black conservative to use such colorful metaphors to describe Jackson and Sharpton. Many -- myself included -- have used the same term ("poverty pimps") in the same context as Robinson on multiple occasions. But I guess such politically incorrect and frank language offended Gilchrist's sensibilities.

Gilchrist's insistence that Robinson is an "Uncle Tom" who "clearly has never read a history book" belies Robinson's own past as noted on his campaign site.

The son of a Tuskegee Airman and a nurse, I became an Eagle Scout before graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a B.S. in Middle Eastern Affairs and the University of Missouri with an M.B.A.

I earned the confidence of the voters and national conservative leaders the same way Jesse Helms and Ronald Reagan did - by being willing to stand up for my traditional American conservative principles - no matter what the political cost and no matter what the liberal media try to say about me.

I don't head for the high grass when the Left turns up the political heat. That's just not my style. Indeed, I relish the fiery furnace.

That doesn't sound like someone who has forgotten where he's from or what he stands for.

Several questions come to mind when reading the letters in the Bowdoin campus newspaper and listening to the students on Medved's show:

  • What gives them (the College Democrats and others) the right to determine who the College Republicans invite to speak at their campus functions, whether they are black conservatives like Robinson or other conservative speakers (author and columnist Ann Coulter, whose appearances at other campuses are the target of liberals seeking to ban conservative speakers, immediately comes to mind)?

  • Why do Gilchrist and others of his mindset insist that those blacks whose ideologies are not exactly as theirs are "not really black?"

  • Why is it OK for confrontational and controversial left wing speakers like Michael Moore and Ward Chuchill to speak on college campuses, yet right wing speakers who are potentially as confrontational and controversial, like Robinson, Coulter, Ward Connerly or David Horowitz are the target of smear campaigns and attempts to have their appearances disrupted or cancelled?
  • People like du Houx and his College Democrats remind me of some white liberal callers I used to get on my radio show.

    After listening to me and my views awhile, the would call and incredulously ask, "How dare you say the things you do, after all we have done for you!"

    And I would answer, "Done for me? Done for me? I don't know you! And you certainly haven't done a damn thing for me but patronize me."

    Usually the next thing those callers would hear is a dial-tone.

    Robinson's appearance before the College Republicans at Bowdoin was certainly constructive, as are speeches and appearances by black conservatives across the nation. They show that black America is not a simple monolith, but a complex community, not unlike the rest of America. One with diverse views and ideologies and opinions. And they show that we are not the "bad guys" that Gilchrist and others like him want to portray us as. We have an equal stake in black America and in the rest of the nation.

    We are proud of who we are. And we want to make a difference for our homes, our communities and our nation.

    Posted by mhking at 09:00 PM | Comments (6)

    WI hunter wants open season on feral cats

    An enterprising hunter in Wisconsin, in his infinite wisdom, has come up with the bright idea to have the state legislature declare cats an "unprotected species" which would allow them to be hunted down and shot by anyone with a small game license.

    Firefighter and hunter Mark Smith says that free-roaming cats are an invasive species that attack wild birds.

    As you can imagine, cat-lovers everywhere are horrified, to the point of putting together a website,

    "I would hate to think that tame, owned cats who happen to slip out would be at risk of being deemed a wild, unprotected species," said Sheri Carr, senior humane officer at the Dane County Humane Society. "It's a delicate (ecological) balance out there, but does that mean people should be able to shoot their neighbor's cat? Probably not."
    Needless to say, just the notion of consideration on the part of the officials in Wisconsin of crap like this shows that they have simply too much time on their hands.

    Posted by mhking at 07:19 PM | Comments (118)

    I'm a guest on Kevin McCullough's show this afternoon

    As we speak, I'm on hold for Kevin McCullough's New York-based radio show; I'm due to be a guest this afternoon, talking about blogs in general.

    Kevin's show airs on WMCA New Yok, plus it's on a number of other stations nationally (including WIND Chicago, KSKY Dallas and WGKA Atlanta). The full list of stations is available on Kevin's home page.

    It'll be streamed back (for those of you who miss it) later on at 4:20pm, 7:20pm, 10:20pm, 1:20am, 4:20am, 7:20am, and 10:20am Eastern Time.

    See ya there!

    Posted by mhking at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)

    March 06, 2005

    Giuliana Sgrena’s car: 300+ bullets? I don't think so!

    By now, everyone has seen the story about Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena's release by terrorists in Iraq, and how her car was allegedly shot up by US forces. Sgrena claims that US GIs shot between 300 and 400 rounds into the car, which the US says didn't stop at a checkpoint. Sgrena was winged in the shoulder, and the Italian Secret Service agent who helped broker her release was killed.

    A number of folks -- most notably over at LGF -- have pointed out that the pictures of Sgrena's car don't show much sign of bullet holes, let alone bullets from 300 to 400 rounds.

    But take a look, and you be the judge...

    The other side of the coin -- US GIs fire more than 300 rounds into a car and you walk away!? I don't think so!

    Sgrena's claims don't pass the smell test.

    UPDATE: Seems that the car pictured here is not the car that the GIs shot at; according to a more recent Reuters description (seen here with a different shot of the same care), this is the car that Sgrena was originally kidnapped from.

    I stand corrected.

    But the very idea of her car getting nailed with 300+ rounds and she gets to walk away with a flesh wound smells pretty bad...

    Posted by mhking at 06:03 PM | Comments (6)

    March 02, 2005

    La Shawn on MSNBC earlier today!

    You done good, girl!

    La Shawn Barber was on MSNBC's Connected Coast to Coast this afternoon, talking about female bloggers.

    The interview is streamed over on The Political Teen.

    The hosts are Monica Crowley and Ron Reagan (is it my imagination, or does Ron Reagan seem a bit smug and arrogant on the air lately).

    Posted by mhking at 10:06 PM | Comments (4)

    Is Enterprise finale going to piss on the fans?

    A new rumor has surfaced on a number of Star Trek and science fiction message boards regarding the finale of Star Trek Enterprise, which was given the proverbial hook by UPN and Viacom last month.

    According to regular TrekBBS poster Quills, Enterprise creators and executive producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga have written the ultimate "fuck you" to Trek fans.

    Oh Fuck it...Trip dies at the end and the episode is a holographic program on the holodeck of the Enterprise-D (yes..."D" as in how DUMB can you get!) which Riker and Troi are observing.
    Lending a measure of credence to the rumor, Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis will be appearing in the series finale, "These Are The Voyages" as Will Riker and Deanna Troi.

    I've said before that Berman and Braga have had nothing but contempt for the fans and the "golden goose" that Star Trek has become over the years, and if this rumor proves true, then my suspicions toward that end will be confirmed.

    In addition, Rick Berman is rumored to be working on a script for a Star Trek XI, which would feature the Romulan War (which would have occured after a full seven-year run of Enterprise) on board a new ship with yet another crew. So what better way for Berman and Braga to ensure that they could get away with a new crew than to kill off the crew and concept from Enterprise.

    Too bad they are going to kill off the fanbase while they're at it.

    Posted by mhking at 10:01 PM | Comments (7)

    Sen. KKK Byrd compares GOP to Nazis

    Former Klansman and Democratic Senator Robert "Sheets" Byrd (KKK-WV) somehow thought it was OK to compare Republicans and Republican Senators to Nazis.

    A pair of Jewish groups accused Sen. Robert Byrd on Wednesday of making an outrageous and reprehensible comparison between Adolf Hitler's Nazis and a Senate GOP plan to block Democrats from filibustering.

    Byrd spokesman Tom Gavin denied that Byrd, D-W.Va., had compared Republicans to Hitler. He said that instead, the reference to Nazis in a Senate speech on Tuesday was meant to underscore that the past should not be ignored.

    Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said Wednesday that Byrd's remarks showed "a profound lack of understanding as to who Hitler was" and that the senator should apologize to the American people.

    "It is hideous, outrageous and offensive for Senator Byrd to suggest that the Republican Party's tactics could in any way resemble those of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party," Foxman said.

    In his floor speech Tuesday, Byrd defended the Democratic minority's right to use filibusters to block President Bush's judicial nominees from coming to a honest up-or-down vote.

    Byrd pointed out Hitler's rise to power in a veiled comparison to the GOP's rise to power in the past ten years.

    "We, unlike Nazi Germany or Mussolini's Italy, have never stopped being a nation of laws, not of men," Byrd said. "But witness how men with motives and a majority can manipulate law to cruel and unjust ends."

    Byrd then quoted historian Alan Bullock, saying Hitler "turned the law inside out and made illegality legal."

    Byrd added, "That is what the nuclear option seeks to do."

    The nuclear option is the nickname for the proposal to end filibusters of judicial nominations because of the devastating effect the plan, if enacted, would have on relations between Democrats and Republicans.

    If that's not a direct comparison between the GOP and Hitler's Nazis, I don't know what is. Mind you, this is coming from a man who used a filibuster to try to defeat the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

    Oops. I guess it's not politically correct to remind folks of "Sheets" Byrd's anti-black, segregationist past.

    Captain Ed points out that the Mainstream Media for the most part ignored this story completely.

    Broadcast networks haven't touched it, either. NBC, ABC, and CBS all remain silent. Only Fox News gave any coverage at all, and they had the sense to report it properly
    I guess the media has to protect one of their own.

    Posted by mhking at 08:42 PM | Comments (2)

    March 01, 2005

    Congrats, LaShawn! We'll see you on MSNBC tomorrow!

    My "Blog Sister" La Shawn Barber (of La Shawn Barber's Corner fame) is going to be on MSNBC's Connected Coast to Coast with Monica Crowley and Ron Reagan tomorrow afternoon during the 5P ET hour.

    She's set to be on with Robin Burk (from and Wonkette.

    The topic? Woman bloggers waxing political.

    And yes, La Shawn, you are more than ready. Just relax and roll with it. You'll do fine. I (and all your other readers) have supreme confidence in you and your words.

    Posted by mhking at 08:36 PM | Comments (2)

    Remembering the pain of the past to reap the glory of the future

    On the heels of Black History Month each year, I'm reminded of one particular day of radio broadcasting ten years ago.

    Not long after I came to Atlanta as morning drive host of the late, lamented WIGO radio, I did a program about history and artifacts and remembering. The program came about after a caller groused about the notion of preserving slave quarters on an old cotton plantation in southern Georgia.

    Ramshackled structures, which looked to be ready to fall down were in danger of doing just that on this particular property. Some people, both black and white, were interested in maintaining those structures, and restoring some, if not all of them, and rightly so, in my estimation.

    We, as a people, need to remember the pain and horror of what our ancestors went through. We need to know about that dark portion of American history, and the injustices that some perpetrated on others as America went through it's growing pains.

    In any event, a number of callers were upset with my position (as if that event, in and of itself was anything new). They felt that there was no need to maintain such a painful reminder of our collective past; on the contrary - in their eyes, each and every vestige of slave and Jim Crow-days should be eradicated. In their eyes, the very existence of such an ediface would be enough to maintain their ongoing victimhood status at the hands of whites in America.

    I strongly disagreed.

    I felt (and feel), that just as we celebrate the positives in black history; the black heroes who persevered the setbacks that life handed them across time, we should also know and learn and remember the darkness of the path taken. But it should be remembered within it's proper context. It should be noted that we as a people have come a long way from there to here.

    As opposed to using that type of display as a crutch, it should be viewed as a victory - "See how far we have come?"

    We don't live life as the footrests of whites in America; we don't live life as collective victims. Our forefathers certainly would be proud of how far we have come.

    Some would quickly say that we have "far to go." But in reality, do we?

    Opportunity exists for all of us. However, we have a responsibility to take advantage of that opportunity. We have a responsibility to use our God-given talents and gifts to move forward, and not to allow others around us to prevent us from doing just that.

    There are those would have you believe that America "owes" us more than that; that America "owes" us jobs, or money, or reparations, or some other nebulous thing.

    What America "owes" black America is what she owes to any American: opportunity, liberty, and the fundamental freedoms that are granted by God. I just wish that more blacks in America would reach out and sieze those rights, as opposed to allowing the "Soul Patrol" to tell them that whites in America are playing keep-away with their rights.

    Posted by mhking at 03:02 PM | Comments (4)

    Teen tries Matrix-like jump from garage and misses

    There's a new teenaged trend playing itself out in Orlando, FL, called "garage jumping."

    You heard that right - the idea is to go to the top of a high-rise garage and launch one's self across an alley or some other void to another garage, not unlike a sequence from The Matrix. Safely, one might presume.

    One teen, Tim Bargfrede, tried in his "infinite wisdom," but missed the other side.

    Bargfrede fell six stories and was knocked out cold on impact.

    "I just didn't make it," Bargfrede said.

    Bargfrede survived the 80-foot fall but was injured.

    "The first time I came to the garage after my son's accident, I looked over and I just about broke out in tears," the boy's father Tim Bargfrede said. "I can't believe he actually survived. He looked like he was near death."

    The family has employed -- get this -- a lawyer (or is that ambulance chaser?) to sue the city of Orlando for making too little effort to prevent something like this.
    "There was a very, very short length of fence that was completely ineffective in preventing this from happening," (family attorney Vincent) D'Assaro said.
    Since Bargfrede's leap, the city has erected a fence, but apparently there is still enough room for someone else to do their own Matrix impression.

    Which I guess is supposed to be the city's fault, huh? Yeah. Right.

    Posted by mhking at 01:11 PM | Comments (6)