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September 14, 2010

Famous Civil Rights photographer was paid FBI informant

Civil Rights Photographer Unmasked as Informer - NYTimes.com
ATLANTA — That photo of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. riding one of the first desegregated buses in Montgomery, Ala.? He took it. The well-known image of black sanitation workers carrying “I Am a Man” signs in Memphis? His. He was the only photojournalist to document the entire trial in the murder of Emmett Till, and he was there in Room 306 of the Lorraine Hotel, Dr. King’s room, on the night he was assassinated. But now an unsettling asterisk must be added to the legacy of Ernest C. Withers, one of the most celebrated photographers of the civil rights era: He was a paid F.B.I. informer. On Sunday, The Commercial Appeal in Memphis published the results of a two-year investigation that showed Mr. Withers, who died in 2007 at age 85, had collaborated closely with two F.B.I. agents in the 1960s to keep tabs on the civil rights movement. It was an astonishing revelation about a former police officer nicknamed the Original Civil Rights Photographer, whose previous claim to fame had been the trust he engendered among high-ranking civil rights leaders, including Dr. King. “It is an amazing betrayal,” said Athan Theoharis, a historian at Marquette University who has written books about the F.B.I. “It really speaks to the degree that the F.B.I. was able to engage individuals within the civil rights movement. This man was so well trusted.” . . .

September 09, 2010

Imam Rauf: "We are not going to toy with our religion or any other. Nor are we going to barter."

I am so fucking tired of this lying tin-pot pissant false prophet in Florida I could scream. America is officially full of shit. Manhattan Imam Says He Won't "Barter" Over Mosque Site - NY1.com
Imam Muhammad Musri of the Islamic Center of Central Florida told reporters that he told Jones that they could meet with Rauf to convince him to move the Islamic center. Rauf's office, however, denies that there are plans for him to meet with Jones or Musri. In a statement to CNN, Rauf said, "I am glad that Pastor Jones has decided not to burn any Qurans. However, I have not spoken to Pastor Jones or Imam Musri. I am surprised by their announcement. We are not going to toy with our religion or any other. Nor are we going to barter. We are here to extend our hands to build peace and harmony." Meanwhile, real estate mogul Donald Trump offered today out one of the main investors of the proposed Downtown Manhattan Islamic community center, to end the controversy over the proposed project.

August 30, 2010

NPR: The initials stand for nothing

HuffPo | Harry Shearer | NPR -- the Initials Stand for Nothing
NPR announced recently that it's no longer National Public Radio. Like CBS and NBC before it, it has decided that its initials are now so iconic they stand for nothing but themselves (ABC recently revived its full name, the "American Broadcasting Company", probably to ride the early Iraq War patriotism wave). Well, here's a clue about what NPR stands for now. I've just made a documentary film about why New Orleans flooded, "The Big Uneasy", in theaters nationwide on Monday. Having been denied access to coverage by either of the network's two flagship news programs, I decided to buy in, purchasing some of those "enhanced underwriting" announcements that the rest of us would call ads. The money was on the table, and then things got... kind of NPR'y. Long story short, NPR's legal department ruled that these words were not acceptable in the announcement: "documentary about why New Orleans flooded", that the only words that would work for them were "documentary about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina" -- this despite the fact that the movie IS about why New Orleans flooded, and it most certainly is not about the hurricane (since the experts interviewed in the movie agree that the flooding was a "man-made engineering catastrophe"). So, yes, like CBS and NBC, NPR has decided its initials stand for nothing. What the network itself stands for at this moment sounds a lot like censorship.

Burglar breaks into home, holds garage sale on lawn to sell owner's possessions

Burglar/Entrepreneur Breaks In, Holds Garage Sale - Lowering the Bar
The homeowner, Greg Kemmis, was described as a "woodworking enthusiast" who had thousands of dollars worth of woodworking machinery and tools in the home. The thief just moved a bunch of it outside and began trying to sell it. Witnesses said he put up a sign saying "Tools for Sale," put price tags on the merchandise and ran the sale from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., then closed up shop and left with the proceeds at the end of the day. At least some of those witnesses also got amazing deals during this special one-day-only, everything-must-go sale. Kemmis estimated that the items sold were worth about $40,000, but clearly very deep discounts were being offered. One patron said he bought a $3,000 piece of equipment for just $110, less than four percent of its value. (If everything went for the same 96% discount, then the sale would have brought in about $1,500.) Whether or not this particular buyer had any suspicions at the time, he did at least return the item after media reports about the incident. At last report, only about ten percent of the items had been returned.