Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Is there Inflation of Payments to Imaginary Black Farmers in the Pigford Settlement?

GOP lawmakers clash with Agriculture Sec. Vilsack over Pigford payments to black farmers, charging 'massive fraud'

Washington, Sept. 29 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and three Republican lawmakers voiced opposite views Wednesday on the proposed $1.2 billion Pigford II settlement regarding past USDA discrimination against black farmers. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) charged that making a $1.2 billion deal without a fraud investigation and without either congressional or court approval is a prime example of “how votes get bought.”

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack defends payments to black farmers

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is defending the administration’s payment plan for black farmers, even as some House Republicans charge that the settlement is likely riddled with fraudulent claims.

“It is now time for Congress to pass the funding so the victims of this discrimination can get the opportunity to receive the compensation that they are due,” Vilsack said.

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The questions that need to be resolved are as follows:

  • How many actual black farmers filed claims in Pigford v. Glickman?

  • Why is the settlement valued at 1.25 billion and who is the money actually going to if the claims are inflated and fraudulent?

American Thinker has an interesting article noted below that points out the discrepancies:

Eddie Long Accuser: Sex Happened on Church Grounds

by Dr. Boyce WatkinsSyracuse University 

Most of you may have read the story about Jamal Parris, the latest and most vocal ofBishop Eddie Long's accusers. Parris and three others have stepped forward to file a lawsuit against Long in state court for allegedly coercing them into having sex. Well, another bombshell has hit the room, and this one was also delivered by Parris.
Parris told WAGA-TV in Atlanta that he and Long engaged in numerous sex acts on church grounds, both before and after morning services. He also said that they would perform numerous sex acts in Long's home, car and office at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.
The four accusers claim that Long traded sex acts for cars, clothes and other material possessions. The sex scandal against Bishop Eddie Long seems to get just a bit deeper every single day. At this point, Long doesn't just have to worry about the ethical implications of committing adultery and being accused of engaging in homosexual sex. He also has to deal with accusations of pedophilia, since the public is not yet aware of how old the young men where when the alleged sex acts occurred.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jamal Parris: Eddie Long Accuser Goes Hard Against the Pastor

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

As the days have gone by since the start of the sex scandal involving Bishop Eddie Long, I've become more and more convinced that there needs to be a serious investigation. Something doesn't seem quite right with the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, and the world needs to hear more from the young men who've been speaking out in public.
While I've seen quite a bit of evidence and videos that have gotten my attention, nothing has compelled me more than the interview with Long's latest accuser, Jamal Parris. Jamal, who was chased down by Fox 5 in Atlanta, was reluctant to talk at first about the incident. But once he spoke up, his words were heard around the world. I'll lay out some of the quotes that Jamal shared with Fox 5, and give you my take after that.

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Anderson Cooper Lays Into the Congressional Black Caucus and Eddie Bernice Johnson

Anderson Cooper and Eddie Bernice Johnson

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I watched 'Anderson Cooper 360' last night, and saw a black woman's face on the screen. Like most other African Americans, this was my cue to turn the volume up to find out what might be going on. As I watched Anderson stare at the screen with his piercing, cold, concerned eyes, I could see that he and his guests had made the Congressional Black Caucus their target for the night. The arrows hit the bull's-eye, and Anderson seemed to keep throwing them.

The subjects of their disdain were Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) and Sanford Bishop (D- GA). Both of the legislators are being accused of using CBC Scholarship funds as their personal family gift bag. Johnson was made into the worst of the culprits, giving $31,000 in scholarship money to her relatives. She also signed two letters written to the CBC Foundation specifically requesting that the funds be sent directly to her two grandsons and grand nephews, instead of their universities. Rep. Bishop is accused of giving three scholarships to his stepdaughter and wife's neice in 2003 and 2005.

Click to read.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Analysis of Civil Cases against Bishop Eddie Long

By now all of black America is still reeling over the four lawsuits (and still counting) civil cases of misconduct by Bishop Eddie Long, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Inc. and the Longfellows Youth Academy, Inc. Well, here is a pragmatic and logical analysis of the allegations of sexual misconduct alleged against Bishop Eddie Long.

I. Complaints

II. Burden of Proof

Each plaintiff will have to prove the merits of the case by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that each plaintiff has to show the Court (or jury) that it is more likely than not, that the defendant(s) committed the acts alleged in the petition. A comparable percentage that the Plaintiffs must show to win their case is that there is a greater than 51% chance that the defendant(s) did the alleged acts.

Please note that this civil cases' burden of proof is significantly less than in a criminal case.

III. Summary

There are 11 legal acts that the plaintiffs are alleging including punitive damages. The complaints are plead in detail and list specific events with times and dates. If the plaintiffs can show with the evidence they present that the defendants more likely than not did the acts alleged, this will be an uphill battle for the Defendants. Also, there appears to be more lawsuits coming forth against the defendants. I would not be shocked that this action merges into a class action lawsuit.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Eddie Long Speaks to His Church

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I woke up early to go to the website for the New Birth Missionary Baptist church. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I knew that Bishop Eddie Long would be convincing. Every bit of his charisma and experience would be needed to manage the complex set of allegations against him for sexually abusing some of his members.
I'll lay out some notable quotes by Bishop Long this morning and let you judge much of it for yourself. What I can say, however, is that Bishop Long seemed to say a great deal without saying much.
"I'll be here next week."

Perhaps that means that he's not going to resign. I look forward to seeing if he is going to be preaching next Sunday.
"(This is) probably the most difficult time in my entire life. I want to talk to you for a moment about how to handle painful and difficult situations."

Click to read.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Jay Vincent: Former NBA Star Set to Go to Prison

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University – President of Alarm, The Athlete Liberation Academic Reform Movement

Former NBA star and Michigan State player Jay Vincent pleaded guilty to two major felonies this week. Both involved his creation of a $2 million scam that was perpetrated on the Internet.
The two charges to which Vincent pleaded guilty were mail fraud and filing a false tax return. The charges were filed in federal court in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is set to appear in court again on Tuesday.
Vincent owes $110,000 in unpaid taxes, and may see time in prison. Prosecutors have not yet announced his likely sentence and it didn't appear in court papers. Vincent played with Magic Johnson on the 1979 Michigan State national championship team.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Bishop Eddie Long to Step Down After Sunday

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

It has been reported that the Bishop Eddie Long is going to step down as pastor after his sermon set to be delivered on Sunday. Long is currently the pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta. He was recently challenged by three young men who filed suit against the pastor for allegedly coercing them into sex.
There are also reports that as many as 30 young men have contacted the plaintiff's attorney, BJ Bernstein, in an effort to file suits of their own or join the existing lawsuit.

Click to read.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bishop Eddie Long Accused of Coercing Young Men Into Sex

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 


CNN is reporting that two men in Georgia are suing Bishop Eddie Long in Atlanta, alleging that the powerful pastor used his power to force them into having sex. In DeKalb County, the suits claim that Long used his position of authority at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church to influence young male employees into various forms of misconduct.One of the plaintiffs, Anthony Flagg, is a 21-year old man who claims that some of the misconduct occurred during overnight trips to various cities.
"Long shared a bedroom and engaged in intimate sexual contact with plaintiff Flagg including kissing, massaging, masturbating of plaintiff Flagg by defendant Long and oral sexual contact," according to the lawsuit.


Click to read.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bethany Storro: Police Confirm that Woman Did Throw Acid On Her Own Face

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Bethany Storro gained the sympathy of the world when she alleged that she was the victim of a random attack in which someone threw acid on her face. The story she was going to tell Oprah Winfrey on a planned appearance on her show was that a black woman with a pony tail walked up to her and said "Hey pretty girl, want something to drink?" and then proceeded to throw the acid.
Oprah would have hugged her on the air, and the show would have made us cry. We would have heard stories about how the woman had been courageous enough to fight on, in spite of this horrible thing that happened to her. The episode would have been glorious, moving, fascinating, and inspirational. It would have also been a big old butt-naked lie.

Click to read.

Black Athletes Beware: NFL Lockout May Be Forthcoming

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

For NFL fans and those who have teams in their cities, there's something you should know. Like a dark cloud hanging in the sky on a bright, sunny day, a pending NFL lockout is waiting on the horizon. A lockout is sort of like a strike, but the workers aren't the ones calling for it. Instead, team owners are the ones calling for a halt in NFL activities, where the league will be shut down and games cancelled. Even if games aren't cancelled, we might be forced to endure another season of tacky replacement players, and nobody wants that.
The AFL-CIO has decided to put it's power behind the NFL Players Union in this battle with team owners. The organization sent a letter to the owners of NFL teams, warning them that a lockout could have a powerfully detrimental effect on workers and fans in cities all across America. They also warned that cities could lose $140 million in revenue.

Click to read.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ernest Withers: Key Civil Rights Figure was an FBI Informant

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 


If you don't know the name Ernest Withers, I can guarantee that you know of his work. Remember the famous and horrible picture of Emmett Till? Withers took that one. Think about nearly every well-known picture of Dr. King you think of. Well, Withers probably took that one too.

Ernest Withers had access to Civil Rights leaders like no other. He was also found to have been an informant for the FBI.

The Commercial Appeal in Memphis conducted a two-year investigation into the life of Withers, who died in 2007. The investigation found that Withers allegedly worked with two F.B.I. agents to keep an eye on the Civil Rights Movement. Withers was known to have been very close to Dr. King and to have had his trust.

"It is an amazing betrayal," said Athan Theoharis, an historian, told the New York Times. "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."


Click to read.

Philly Police Questioned After Beating Caught on Video

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

A video showing Philadelphia police officers beating a man for nearly two minutes has taken the Internet by storm. The incident is so shocking that the video has received thousands of views, and has also sparked an internal investigation by Philadelphia police.

The incident occurred in West Philadelphia and is two and a half minutes long. The officers are accused of attacking 29-year old Askia Sabur outside a takeout restaurant in the area on Friday. What is also interesting is that most of the officers appearing in the video are African American, reminding us that the power of the state is not just a white and black thing.

Allegedly, officers asked Sabur and his cousin to clear the corner, but they refused, stating that they were waiting for their food. Lt. Frank Vanore, a police spokesman, claims that Sabur knocked one of the officers down. But he alleges that this occurred before the Youtube video was recorded.


Click to read.

Fisk University May Have $74M Art Collection Taken by the State – School May Close as Result

Saturday, September 11, 2010

AP: US poverty on track to post record gain in 2009

Associated Press Writers Hope Yen And Liz Sidoti,
Associated Press Writers – Sat Sep 11, 2:13 pm ET

WASHINGTON – The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Barack Obama's watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty.

Census figures for 2009 — the recession-ravaged first year of the Democrat's presidency — are to be released in the coming week, and demographers expect grim findings.

It's unfortunate timing for Obama and his party just seven weeks before important elections when control of Congress is at stake. The anticipated poverty rate increase — from 13.2 percent to about 15 percent — would be another blow to Democrats struggling to persuade voters to keep them in power.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

NY Post: Audit finds Sharpton's nonprofit on brink

Last Updated: 10:22 AM, September 7, 2010
Posted: 3:51 AM, September 7, 2010

An accounting firm hired by Al Sharpton's National Action Network found the civil-rights group in such financial disarray that it flunked its record-keeping -- and may not even survive, The Post has learned.

The scathing critique was spelled out in a hard-hitting internal audit of NAN's books, a copy of which was obtained by The Post.

"The organization has suffered recurring decreases in net assets -- and has been dependent upon advances from related parties and the nonpayment of payroll tax obligations -- to maintain continuity," the firm KBL concluded in an April 2 audit of NAN's 2008 financial records, the most recent available.

Friday, September 3, 2010

NFL Player Fined for Carrying Loaded Gun Onto Plane

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Shaun Rogers, a Defensive Tackle for the Cleveland Browns, was fined $400,000 by the league for violating its personal conduct policy. Rogers was caught carrying a loaded gun inside an airport. The fine represents approximately 1/17th of his $6.9 million salary.
Some would say that Rogers got off easy, since it would have been no surprise to see him either suspended or sent to jail. The player was caught carrying a loaded semi-automatic handgun in his carry-on bag at Hopkins International Airport. There's no indication regarding whether or not he realized that TSA agents actually have the ability to see inside of someone's luggage with their x-ray machine. It's hard to imagine what he might have been thinking.

Click to read.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Black Conservatives Blast Al Sharpton Protesters in DC 8/28

“In 1960 over 80% of black babies were born in two-parent households. After welfare, I work in the inner city, I work with kids that look like me. After LBJ’s welfare policies in the 60′s in the inner city over 90% of kids are born without fathers. Because the liberal establishment wants to break apart the nuclear family. Because they want kids controlled by the state. That’s what Karl Marx said. So let’s talk about that!”

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

States Still Sentence Crack Far More Harshly than Powder

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

Years ago when the federal government produced disparities in sentencing of crack vs. powder cocaine, many states followed suit. As a result, the black community was devastated with Draconian prison sentences, in which individuals with barely enough crack to weigh were given dozens of years in prison.
The federal government finally came to its senses and changed the law, making it marginally more equitable than it was before. The problem is that many states have not yet made the same change.
The arguments used to justify longer sentences are that the crack trade creates more crime and that the drug is more addictive than powder. Also, the tougher sentences were imposed in 1986, when basketball star Len Bias died from an overdose. It was originally reported that Bias had smoked crack, but a teammate later testified that Bias had snorted powder cocaine instead.

Click to read.

Incarcerated Running Back Maurice Clarett Tries to Get His Life Back

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, The Coalition for Black Male Athletes, Syracuse University Scholarship in Action  

Maurice Clarrett, the embattled former superstar of the Ohio State Buckeyes, is getting another chance to play football. Clarett just signed a one-year deal to play for the Omaha Nighthawks in the United Football League. This is the first time Clarett has put on a football uniform since spending three and a half years in prison for having a hidden gun and holding up a couple outside a night club.
"I am humbled by the opportunity the Omaha Nighthawks have given me and will dedicate myself on and off the field to prove that I can be a valuable member of the team and the Omaha community," Clarett said. "I am committed to working hard to earn the right for a second chance in football and more importantly in life."
Clarett is now 6-feet tall, 220 pounds, which makes him 10 pounds lighter than he was when he played at Ohio State. The coaches were astonished at his physical shape, giving him credit for keeping himself prepared. He is allowed to be out of the state for 30 days at a time, but his attorneys are hoping that a judge will rule that Clarett can leave the state for the entire football season. He is now 26-years old, meaning that he is at his physical peak.

Click to read.