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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.

This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Ghana's Uneasy Embrace of Slavery's Diaspora - New York Times

Ghana's Uneasy Embrace of Slavery's Diaspora - New York TimesDecember 27, 2005
Ghana's Uneasy Embrace of Slavery's Diaspora

CAPE COAST, Ghana - For centuries, Africans walked through the infamous "door of no return" at Cape Coast castle directly into slave ships, never to set foot in their homelands again. These days, the portal of this massive fort so central to one of history's greatest crimes has a new name, hung on a sign leading back in from the roaring Atlantic Ocean: "The door of return."

Ghana, through whose ports millions of Africans passed on their way to plantations in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, wants its descendants to come back.

Taking Israel as its model, Ghana hopes to persuade the descendants of enslaved Africans to think of Africa as their homeland - to visit, invest, send their children to be educated and even retire here.

"We want Africans everywhere, no matter where they live or how they got there, to see Ghana as their gateway home," J. Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, the tourism minister, said on a recent day. "We hope we can help bring the African family back together again."

In many ways it is a quixotic goal. Ghana is doing well by West African standards - with steady economic growth, a stable, democratic government and broad support from the West, making it a favored place for wealthy countries to give aid.

But it remains a very poor, struggling country where a third of the population lives on less than a dollar a day, life expectancy tops out at 59 and basic services like electricity and water are sometimes scarce.

Nevertheless, thousands of African-Americans already live here at least part of the year, said Valerie Papaya Mann, president of the African American Association of Ghana.

To encourage still more to come, or at least visit, Ghana plans to offer a special lifetime visa for members of the diaspora and will relax citizenship requirements so that descendants of slaves can receive Ghanaian passports. The government is also starting an advertising campaign to persuade Ghanaians to treat African-Americans more like long-lost relatives than as rich tourists. That is harder than it sounds.

Many African-Americans who visit Africa are unsettled to find that Africans treat them - even refer to them - the same way as white tourists. The term "obruni," or "white foreigner," is applied regardless of skin color.

To African-Americans who come here seeking their roots, the term is a sign of the chasm between Africans and African-Americans. Though they share a legacy, they experience it entirely differently.

"It is a shock for any black person to be called white," said Ms. Mann, who moved here two years ago. "But it is really tough to hear it when you come with your heart to seek your roots in Africa."

The advertising campaign urges Ghanaians to drop "obruni" in favor of "akwaaba anyemi," a slightly awkward phrase fashioned from two tribal languages meaning "welcome, sister or brother." As part of the effort to reconnect with the diaspora, Ghana plans to honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., W. E. B. DuBois and others it calls modern-day Josephs, after the biblical figure who rose from slavery to save his people.

The government plans to hold a huge event in 2007 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the end of the trans-Atlantic trade by Britain and the 50th anniversary of Ghana's independence. The ceremonies will include traditional African burial rituals for the millions who died as a result of slavery.

Estimates of the trade vary widely. The most reliable suggest that between 12 million and 25 million people living in the vast lands between present-day Senegal and Angola were caught up, and as many as half died en route to the Americas.

Some perished on the long march from the inland villages where they were captured to seaports. Others died in the dungeons of slave castles and forts, where they were sometimes kept for months, until enough were gathered to pack the hold of a ship. Still others died in the middle passage, the longest leg of the triangular journey between Europe, Africa and the Americas. Of the estimated 11 million who crossed the sea, most went to South America and the Caribbean. About 500,000 are believed to have ended up in the United States.

The mass deportations and the divisions the slave trade wrought are wounds from which Africa still struggles to recover.

Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African nation to shake off its colonial rulers, winning its independence from Britain in 1957. Its founding father, Kwame Nkrumah, attended Lincoln University, a historically black college in Pennsylvania, and saw in African-Americans a key to developing the new nation.

"Nkrumah saw the American Negro as the vanguard of the African people," said Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of the African and African-American studies department at Harvard, who first traveled to Ghana when he was 20 and fresh out of Harvard, afire with Nkrumah's spirit. "He wanted to be able to utilize the services and skills of African-Americans as Ghana made the transition from colonialism to independence."

Many African-Americans, from Maya Angelou to Malcolm X, visited Ghana in the 1950's and 60's, and a handful stayed. To Nkrumah, the struggle for civil rights in the diaspora and the struggles for independence from colonial rule in Africa were inextricably linked, both being expressions of the desire of black people everywhere to regain their freedom.

But Nkrumah was ousted in a coup in 1966, and by then Pan-Africanism had already given way to nationalism and cold war politics, sending much of the continent down a trail of autocracy, civil war and heartbreak.

Still, African-Americans are drawn to Ghana's rich culture, and the history of slavery.

Ghana still has dozens of slave forts, each a chilling reminder of the brutality of the trade. At Elmina Castle, built by the Portuguese in 1482 and taken over by the Dutch 150 years later, visitors are guided through a Christian chapel built adjacent to the hall where slaves were auctioned, and the balcony over the women's dungeons from which the fort's governor would choose a concubine from the chattel below.

The room through which slaves passed into waiting ships is the emotional climax of the tour, a suffocating dungeon dimly lit by sunlight pouring through a narrow portal leading to the churning sea.

"You feel our history here," said Dianne Mark, an administrator at Central Michigan University who visited Elmina Castle, six miles from Cape Coast castle, in early December, tears welling in her eyes as she gazed across the massive, buttressed walls to the ocean. "This is where our people are from. That is a deep, deep experience. I look at everyone and wonder, 'Could he have been my cousin? Could she have been my aunt?' "

Like any family reunion, this one is layered with joy and tears. For African-Americans and others in the African diaspora, there is lingering hostility and confusion about the role Africans played in the slave trade.

"The myth was our African ancestors were out on a walk one day and some bad white dude threw a net over them," Mr. Gates said. "But that wasn't the way it happened. It wouldn't have been possible without the help of Africans."

Many Africans, meanwhile, often fail to see any connection at all between them and African-Americans, or feel African-Americans are better off for having been taken to the United States. Many Africans strive to emigrate; for the past 15 years, the number of Africans moving to the United States has surpassed estimates of the number forced there during any of the peak years of the slave trade. The number of immigrants from Ghana in the United States is larger than that of any other African country except Nigeria, according to the 2000 census.

"So many Africans want to go to America, so they can't understand why Americans would want to come here," said Philip Amoa-Mensah, a guide at Elmina Castle. "Maybe Ghanaians think they are lucky to be from America, even though their ancestors went through so much pain."

The relationship is clearly a work in progress. Ghanaians are still learning of their ancestors' pivotal roles in the slave trade, and slave forts on the coast, long used to thousands of foreign visitors, have in recent years become sites for school field trips.

When the United States and the United Nations gave Ghana money to rehabilitate and restore Cape Coast castle, the government agency responsible for the castle repainted it white. Residents of Cape Coast were thrilled to see the moisture-blackened castle spruced up, but African-Americans living in Ghana were horrified, feeling that the history of their ancestors was being, quite literally, whitewashed.

"It didn't go over too well," said Kohain Nathanyah Halevi, an African-American who lives near Cape Coast.

A recent African-American visitor to Cape Coast castle took the emotionally charged step through the door of no return, only to be greeted by a pair of toddlers playing in a fishing boat on the other side, pointing and shouting, "obruni, obruni!"

William Kwaku Moses, 71, a retired security guard who sells shells to tourists on the other side of the door of no return, shushed the children.

"We are trying," he said, with a shrug.

Monday, December 26, 2005

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Japan backs joint US missile plan

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Japan backs joint US missile plan Japan backs joint US missile plan
By Leo Lewis
BBC, Tokyo

Japan has approved a joint missile defence programme with the US.

The project aims to produce an advanced version of the US system, which seeks to destroy incoming missiles before they reach their targets.

Chief cabinet secretary Shinzo Abe said Japan needed to defend itself against ballistic missiles under the current international circumstances.

The move comes amid concerns at North Korea's growing missile capability, as well as other regional threats.

'Constitution breach'

Prime Minister Junichuro Koizumi signed off a budget that will set aside more than $25m (£14.4m) for initial work.

The politically sensitive project is expected to take nine years to complete, with Japan shouldering more than $1bn of the overall costs.

The cabinet's controversial decision is seen by many Japanese as being made in breach of the so-called peace clause of the constitution, which specifically renounces the country's capacity to make war.

The joint project, whose products will be sold to the US, will also technically break Japan's strict embargo on exporting arms, a breach that successive defence agency chiefs have described as inevitable.
Story from BBC NEWS:

CBS 46 Atlanta - UGA police will begin arresting students for underage drinking

CBS 46 Atlanta - UGA police will begin arresting students for underage drinkingUGA police will begin arresting students for underage drinking
Dec 25, 2005, 10:39 PM

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Starting next year, underage students caught drinking at the University of Georgia will be arrested and sent to jail. The change represents a tougher stance on underage drinking after years of simply giving out citations.

U-G-A Police Chief Jimmy Williamson says the new policy is aimed at changing campus culture and increasing students' sense of responsibility. Williamson says he hopes the stigma of being arrested and jailed will deter students from the excessive drinking that can lead to other crimes.

University spokesman Tom Jackson says U-G-A police started issuing citations instead of arresting students in 1998 after parents complained about the way students were treated when arrested. But Jackson says the citation policy "is not working very well," so U-G-A police are returning to the old policy.

Some students complain that the new policy is unfair, but admit it will probably make them think twice about drinking on campus.

A New Civil Rights Movement - New York Times

A New Civil Rights Movement - New York TimesOp-Ed Columnist
A New Civil Rights Movement

One of the cruelest aspects of slavery was the way it wrenched apart black families, separating husbands from wives and children from their parents.

It is ironic, to say the least, that now, nearly a century and a half after the Emancipation Proclamation, much of the most devastating damage to black families, and especially black children, is self-inflicted.

You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to know that some of the most serious problems facing blacks in the United States - from poverty to incarceration rates to death at an early age - are linked in varying degrees to behavioral issues and the corrosion of black family life, especially the absence of fathers.

Another devastating aspect of slavery was the numbing ignorance that often resulted from the prohibition against the education of slaves. It was against the law in most instances for slaves to even learn to read. Now, with education widely (though imperfectly) available, we have entire legions of black youngsters turning their backs on school, choosing instead to wallow in a self-imposed ignorance that in the long run is as destructive as a bullet to the brain.

I remember interviewing a 17-year-old dropout in Brooklyn who had already fathered two children by two different girls. He wasn't working and he wasn't helping to support either child. I asked if he had considered going back to school. He looked at me, puzzled. "For what?" he said.

Most black people are not poor. Most are not criminals. Most are leading productive lives. The black middle class is larger and more successful than ever. But there are millions who are still out in the cold, caught in a cycle of poverty, ignorance, illness and violence that is taking a horrendous toll.

Nearly a third of black men in their 20's have criminal records, and 8 percent of all black men between the ages of 25 and 29 are behind bars.

H.I.V. and AIDS have literally become the black plague. Although blacks are just 13 percent of the overall population, they account for more than half of all new H.I.V. infections. Black women account for an astonishing 72 percent of all new cases among women.

This is frightening.

Black children routinely get a rough start in life. Two-thirds of them are born out of wedlock, and nearly half of all black children brought up in a single-parent household are poor. Those kids are much more likely to drop out of school, struggle economically, be initiators or victims of violence, and endure a variety of serious health problems.

We can pretend that these terrible things are not happening, but they are. There's a crisis in the black community, and it won't do to place all of the blame on society and government.

I've spent years writing about unfairness and appalling injustices. Society is unfair and racism is still a rampant evil. But much of the suffering in black America could be alleviated by changes in behavior. What's more, those behavioral changes would empower the community in ways that would make it easier to successfully confront opponents in government and push the society in a more equitable direction.

The problems facing black people today are comparable in magnitude to those of the Jim Crow era of the 20th century. There were leaders in those days who were equal to the challenge.

I believe that nothing short of a new movement, comparable in scope and dedication to that of the civil rights era, is required to bring about the changes in values and behavior needed to halt the self-destruction that is consuming so many black lives. The crucial question is whether the leadership exists to mount such an effort.

A good first step would be a summit meeting of wise and dedicated men and women willing to think about creative new ways to approach such problems as crime and violence, out-of-wedlock births, drug and alcohol abuse, irresponsible sexual behavior, misogyny, and so on.

Addressing issues of values and behavior within the black community should not in any way imply a lessening of the pressure on the broader society to meet its legal and ethical obligations. It should be seen as an essential counterpoint to that pressure.

Most important, it should be seen as a crucial component of the obligation that black adults have to create a broadly nurturing environment in which succeeding generations of black children can survive and thrive.

Despite the sometimes valiant efforts of individuals and organizations across the country, we are not meeting that obligation now. And that's because there's a vacuum where our leadership should be.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Blowing the Whistle on Gangsta Culture - New York Times

Blowing the Whistle on Gangsta Culture - New York Times

December 22, 2005
Op-Ed Columnist
Blowing the Whistle on Gangsta Culture


Edwin "E. J." Duncan was a young man from a decent family who spent a great deal of time with his friends in an amateur recording studio his parents had set up for him in the basement of their home in the Dorchester neighborhood.

It was in that studio that Duncan, along with three of his closest friends, was murdered last week, shot to death by a killer or killers who have yet to be found. Whoever carried out the executions, it seems clear enough to me that young Duncan and his friends were among the latest victims of the profoundly self-destructive cultural influences that have spread like a cancer through much of the black community and beyond.

I keep wondering when leaders of eminence will step forward and declare, unambiguously, that enough is enough, as they did in the heyday of the civil rights movement, when the enemy was white racism.

It is time to blow the whistle on the nitwits who have so successfully promoted a values system that embraces murder, drug-dealing, gang membership, misogyny, child abandonment and a sense of self so diseased that it teaches children to view the men in their orbit as niggaz and the women as hoes.

However this madness developed, it's time to bring it to an end.

I noticed that Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, Snoop Dogg and other "leaders" and celebrities turned out in South Central Los Angeles on Tuesday for the funeral of Stanley "Tookie" Williams, the convicted killer and co-founder of the Crips street gang who was executed in California last week.

I remember talking over the years to parents in Los Angeles and elsewhere who were petrified that their children would be killed in cold blood - summarily executed, without any possibility of a defense or an appeal - by the Crips or some other gang because they just happened to be wearing the wrong color cap or jacket or whatever.

The enthusiastic turnout at Tookie Williams's funeral tells you much of what you need to know about the current state of black leadership in the U.S.

The slaughter of E. J. Duncan, who was 21, and his friends - Jason Bachiller, 21; Jihad Chankhour, 22; and Christopher Vieira, 19 - was all but literally accompanied by a hip-hop soundtrack. Duncan, Bachiller and Vieira were members of a rap group called Graveside, which favored the rough language and violent imagery that has enthralled so many youngsters and bolstered the bottom lines of major entertainment companies.

This mindless celebration of violence, the essence of gangsta rap, is a reflection of the nihilism that has taken root in one neighborhood after another over the past few decades, destroying many, many lives. The authorities here have not suggested that Duncan or his friends were involved in any criminal behavior. But the appeal of the hip-hop environment is strong, and a lot of good kids are striving to conform to images established by clowns like 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg.

The members of Graveside wanted badly to make it as rappers. Said one police officer, "They probably didn't even know they were playing with fire."

The Rev. Eugene Rivers, who has been fighting for years to reduce youth violence in Boston and elsewhere, was a neighbor of E. J. Duncan's. "My son Malcolm knew E. J. well," he told me.

He described the murders as a massacre and said he has long been worried about the glorification of violence and antisocial behavior. "Thug life," he said, "is now being globalized," thanks to the powerful marketing influence of international corporations.

This problem is not limited to the black community. E. J. Duncan and his friends came from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. But it is primarily a black problem, and it is impossible to overstate its dimensions.

I understand that jobs are hard to come by for many people, and that many schools are substandard, and that racial discrimination is still widespread. But those are not good reasons for committing cultural suicide.

I'll paraphrase Sam Cooke: A change has got to come. Reasonable standards of behavior that include real respect for life, learning and the law have to be re-established in those segments of the black community where chaos now reigns.

This has to start with a commitment to protect and nurture all of the community's children. That may seem at the moment like a task worthy of Sisyphus because it will require overcoming what the Rev. Rivers has described as "the sins of the fathers who have cursed their sons by their abandonment and neglect."

Sisyphean or not, it's a job that has to be done.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

New York Daily News - News & Views Columnists - Stanley Crouch: A beastly cliché dies

New York Daily News - News & Views Columnists - Stanley Crouch: A beastly cliché dies

A beastly cliché dies

One of the burdens of ethnicity in our culture is the idea that one is supposed to become defensive about one's genetic line outside of the United States. By the 1960s, ethnic ideologues began to tell black Americans that Africa was a sacred paradise lost and that it was supposedly distorted and demeaned in every Hollywood film, where Africans in the bush were depicted as drum-beating savages. Actually, it depended on the film, but Hollywood reflected demeaning images of black people that were common currency long before the contemporary minstrelsy of gangster rap arrived.

In that period of race theories, one could hear that the 1933 film "King Kong" was actually about something other than what it seemed. It was a fanciful tale about the boxer Jack Johnson who was brought down from the top of the world because of his love affairs with white women, or it was a metaphor for the way that Negro men were supposed to go crazy over white women, especially blonds.

It would be hard to read a movie that way today because, especially among young people, the old taboos about race and interracial dating mean very little. Certain things have had their day. One could not imagine a major studio today releasing something like the 1914 "Birth of a Nation," a masterpiece fundamentally flawed by the racism of its director, D.W. Griffith. Griffith, for all of his gifts, created a putrid fairy tale about the gallant old South and how the darkies got beside themselves when the North won the war. One was shown foaming at the mouth as he chased an innocent white woman off of a cliff. That one of the most revolting scenes, showing post-Civil War black legislators acting much like lower creatures, would fit in many a rap video today is another issue.

The upshot of the film seemed to be that the Ku Klux Klan was an understandable reaction to brutality that would not be checked until the Negro was put back in his place, or lynched whenever necessary. President Woodrow Wilson, who had been the president of Princeton, had the film shown at the White House and said of it that it taught history with lightning. I guess men with red necks festering in their souls always appreciate each other.

Given such a history in Hollywood, one might look at the new "King Kong" as an update of racist images in the way that too many rap videos continue to be, regardless of intent. But I don't think that was the intent, even in 1933. What I do know is that when I was growing up in Los Angeles, I met men who were picked up on Central Ave. before dawn to play extras in jungle movies - and were glad for the jobs whenever they got them, which might explain the buffoon tradition maintained by black actors in film and TV comedies today.

But what made the original "Kong" such an enduring cinematic fairy tale was that, like all good fairy tales, it was rooted in our fears and our realities. When Kong looks at the blood on his finger that has come from a wound delivered by the machine guns mounted on airplanes he has never seen before and does not understand, the giant ape realizes that he is not safe on the tallest building and that his life is threatened by an unknown and unexplainable force. Whatever greatness "King Kong" has is rooted not in special effects but in the universal recognition of vulnerability and imminent destruction. Neither of those things is lost in the spectacular remake, but they are absent far too often from anything set in our simpleminded world of ethnic reduction, where dull fantasies and clichés continue to dominate.

Originally published on December 14, 2005

Jack Anderson, Investigative Journalist Who Angered the Powerful, Dies at 83 - New York Times

Jack Anderson, Investigative Journalist Who Angered the Powerful, Dies at 83 - New York TimesDecember 18, 2005
Jack Anderson, Investigative Journalist Who Angered the Powerful, Dies at 83

Jack Anderson, whose investigative column once appeared in more than 1,000 newspapers with 40 million readers, won a Pulitzer Prize and prompted J. Edgar Hoover to call him "lower than the regurgitated filth of vultures," died yesterday. He was 83.

The cause was Parkinson's disease, Mr. Anderson's daughter Laurie Anderson-Bruch told The Associated Press.

Mr. Anderson was a flamboyant bridge between the muckrakers of the early decades of the 20th century and the battalions of investigative reporters unleashed by news organizations after Watergate. He relished being called "the Paul Revere of journalism" for his knack for uncovering major stories first almost as much as he enjoyed being at the top of President Richard M. Nixon's enemies list.

His journalistic reach extended to radio, television and magazines, and his scoops were legion. They included the United States' tilt away from India toward Pakistan during Bangladesh's war for independence, which won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 1972.

Another was his linking of the settlement of an antitrust suit against ITT by the Justice Department to a $400,000 pledge to underwrite the 1972 Republican convention. Still another was revealing the Reagan administration's efforts to sell arms illegally to Iran and funnel the proceeds to anti-Communist forces in Central America.

In what was the nation's most widely read, longest-running political column, Mr. Anderson broke stories that included the Central Intelligence Agency's enlisting of the Mafia to kill Fidel Castro, the savings and loan scandal, Senator Thomas J. Dodd's loose ethics, and the mystery surrounding Howard Hughes's death.

He liked to say that he and his staff of eager investigators did daily what Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein did just once when they dug out the truth of the Watergate scandal.

But his bombastic, self-congratulating style, abbreviated exegeses and a blistering moral outrage fueled both by his Mormon upbringing and unabashed theatrical flair caused some to question his gravity.

When he made a mistake on a big story, it could reverberate mightily. In 1972, he had to apologize to Senator Thomas Eagleton for reporting on the radio about drunken-driving arrests that he could not later authenticate. Mr. Eagleton had to withdraw as the Democratic Party nominee for vice president in the face of disclosures that he had received psychiatric treatment.

Mr. Anderson's decidedly roguish techniques included eavesdropping, spiriting off classified documents, rifling through garbage (Mr. Hoover's, in particular) and sometimes blatant threats - methods he defended as justified in his lifetime campaign to keep government honest. His illegal printing of verbatim transcripts of the secret Watergate grand jury thwarted Mr. Nixon's efforts to stonewall the scandal by hiding behind grand jury secrecy.

Not only was Mr. Anderson on Nixon's notorious list, but G. Gordon Liddy, a Watergate burglar, plotted his murder.

Mr. Anderson marked a departure from traditional Washington columnists like Walter Lippmann who reported on politics as insiders with high-level contacts. His approach also veered sharply from that of Drew Pearson, who began the "Merry-Go-Round" column in 1932.

Mr. Pearson basked in his own celebrity, confiding with the powerful and playing them for large scoops. Mr. Anderson, by contrast, kept his distance from politicians. He would rather go to a movie than a state dinner, which was fortunate because he was never invited to any.

He quietly cultivated dissatisfied and idealistic lower-level government workers, convincing them that the public's right to information trumped their bosses' personal interests. His stock in trade were the secret documents he persuaded sources to leak.

Mr. Anderson's prominence gradually faded, as the sort of investigative journalism he pioneered became more standard fare. As this competition for stories stiffened, Mr. Anderson was also spreading himself thinner and thinner as his television and radio enterprises demanded nearly constant news.

The number of papers subscribing to "Washington Merry-Go-Round" finally dwindled to around 150. In 2002, Slate, the online magazine, noted that nobody had picked up Mr. Anderson's report that Senator John McCain was poised to switch parties. Mickey Kaus, the Slate writer, wrote that this demonstrated "how unseriously Jack Anderson is taken these days."

What many of his readers did not realize was that Mr. Anderson himself added up to a fascinating story. He was a close personal friend of Senator Joseph McCarthy before becoming one of his most fervent and earliest pursuers. He invited Adolph Eichmann's son to live in his home to learn about his upbringing.

When Mr. Hoover sent F.B.I. agents to stake out his house, Mr. Anderson sent several of his nine children out to take their picture. For good measure, they let the air out of the agents' tires.

Jackson Northman Anderson was born in Long Beach, Calif., on Oct. 19, 1922. When Jack was 2, his family moved to Utah, the stronghold of the Mormon Church.

At 12, Jack began editing the Boy Scout page of The Deseret News, a church-owned newspaper. He soon progressed to a $7-a-week job with a small local paper, The Murray Eagle, where he rode his bicycle to cover fires and traffic accidents.

At 18, he landed a reporting job at The Salt Lake City Tribune. After briefly attending the University of Utah, he was a Mormon missionary for two years. He then joined the merchant marine.

He soon persuaded The Deseret News to hire him as a foreign correspondent in China. His draft board caught up with him in 1945, and he was inducted into the Army in Chunking. He first served in the Quartermaster Corps and then wrote for Stars and Stripes, where more experienced journalists suggested that he try to get a job with Mr. Pearson.

Mr. Pearson hired Mr. Anderson in 1947. The columnist agreed to pay him $50 a week and give him Sundays off so he could attend church.

Mr. Pearson gave his new hire no byline. Mr. Anderson initially liked the anonymity because it diminished his visibility as he prowled for scandal.

Mr. Anderson wrote that in 1954 he learned Mr. Pearson had promised the column to another employee after his own retirement. In anger, Mr. Anderson got a job as Washington bureau chief of Parade magazine.

The denouement was that Mr. Pearson promised Mr. Anderson he would eventually be his partner as well as inherit the column. In 1965, Mr. Pearson, who died four years later, finally made good on making him a full partner. Pay, however, remained another matter.

"Why, just before he died he was paying me $14,000 or $15,000, and here I was a partner in the biggest column in America," Mr. Anderson said in an interview with The New York Post in 1972.

From the Truman to George W. Bush presidencies, Mr. Anderson gave his own stamp to Washington journalism, beginning with using language he thought a Kansas City milkman would understand.

One employee, Les Whitten, told Washingtonian magazine in 1997 how Mr. Anderson showed scant favoritism toward friends. Mr. Whitten recalled his boss glancing at a draft of a critical column he had written about Senator Wallace Bennett of Utah, a friend of Mr. Anderson's.

"He took one look, sighed, shook his head and said, 'Poor Wally,' " Mr. Whitten said. "And that's the last I heard from him about it."

Mr. Anderson met Olivia Farley in church, and they were married in 1949. She survives him, as do their nine children, The A.P. reported.

Mr. Anderson once suggested in an autobiography that his big family might have saved his life. When Mr. Liddy and others were kicking around ways to kill him, one came up with poisoning the aspirin in his medicine cabinet, according to The Washington Post in 1975.

"I had a wife and nine children, and nobody wanted to risk the chance one of them might get a headache," Mr. Anderson wrote.

Behind Power, One Principle as Bush Pushes Prerogatives - New York Times

Behind Power, One Principle as Bush Pushes Prerogatives - New York TimesDecember 17, 2005
News Analysis
Behind Power, One Principle as Bush Pushes Prerogatives

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 - A single, fiercely debated legal principle lies behind nearly every major initiative in the Bush administration's war on terror, scholars say: the sweeping assertion of the powers of the presidency.

From the government's detention of Americans as "enemy combatants" to the just-disclosed eavesdropping in the United States without court warrants, the administration has relied on an unusually expansive interpretation of the president's authority. That stance has given the administration leeway for decisive action, but it has come under severe criticism from some scholars and the courts.

With the strong support of Vice President Dick Cheney, legal theorists in the White House and Justice Department have argued that previous presidents unjustifiably gave up some of the legitimate power of their office. The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, made it especially critical that the full power of the executive be restored and exercised, they said.

The administration's legal experts, including David S. Addington, the vice president's former counsel and now his chief of staff, and John C. Yoo, deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel of the Justice Department from 2001 to 2003, have pointed to several sources of presidential authority.

The bedrock source is Article 2 of the Constitution, which describes the "executive power" of the president, including his authority as commander in chief of the armed forces. Several landmark court decisions have elaborated the extent of the powers.

Another key recent document cited by the administration is the joint resolution passed by Congress on Sept. 14, 2001, authorizing the president to "use all necessary and appropriate force" against those responsible for Sept. 11 in order to prevent further attacks.

Mr. Yoo, who is believed to have helped write a legal justification for the National Security Agency's secret domestic eavesdropping, first laid out the basis for the war on terror in a Sept. 25, 2001, memorandum that said no statute passed by Congress "can place any limits on the president's determinations as to any terrorist threat, the amount of military force to be used in response, or the method, timing and nature of the response."

That became the underlying justification for numerous actions apart from the eavesdropping program, disclosed by The New York Times on Thursday night. Those include the order to try accused terrorists before military tribunals; the detention of so-called enemy combatants at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and in secret overseas jails operated by the Central Intelligence Agency; the holding of two Americans, Jose Padilla and Yaser Esam Hamdi, as enemy combatants; and the use of severe interrogation techniques, including some banned by international agreements, on Al Qaeda figures.

Mr. Yoo, now a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, declined to comment for this article. But Bradford A. Berenson, who served as associate counsel to President Bush from 2001 to 2003, explained the logic behind the assertion of executive power.

"After 9/11 the president felt it was incumbent on him to use every ounce of authority available to him to protect the American people," Mr. Berenson said.

He said he was not familiar with the N.S.A. program, in which the intelligence agency, without warrants, has monitored international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of people inside the United States. He said that he could not comment on whether the program was justified, but that he believed intelligence gathering on an enemy was clearly part of the president's constitutional war powers.

"Any program like this would have been very carefully analyzed by administration lawyers," Mr. Berenson said. "It's easy, now that four years have passed without another attack, to forget the sense of urgency that pervaded the country when the ruins of the World Trade Center were still smoking."

But some legal experts outside the administration, including some who served previously in the intelligence agencies, said the administration had pushed the presidential-powers argument beyond what was legally justified or prudent. They say the N.S.A. domestic eavesdropping illustrates the flaws in Mr. Bush's assertion of his powers.

"Obviously we have to do things differently because of the terrorist threat," said Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker, former general counsel of both N.S.A. and the Central Intelligence Agency, who served under both Republican and Democratic administrations. "But to do it without the participation of the Congress and the courts is unwise in the extreme."

Even if the administration believes the president has the authority to direct warrantless eavesdropping, she said, ordering it without seeking Congressional approval was politically wrongheaded. "We're just relearning the lessons of Vietnam and Watergate," said Ms. Parker, now dean of the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law.

Jeffrey H. Smith, who served as C.I.A. general counsel in 1995 and 1996, said he was dismayed by the N.S.A. program, which he said was the latest instance of legal overreach by the administration.

"Clearly the president felt after 9/11 that he needed more powers than his predecessors had exercised," Mr. Smith said. "He chose to assert as much power as he thought he needed. Now the question is whether that was wise and consistent with our values."

William C. Banks, a widely respected authority on national security law at Syracuse University, said the N.S.A. revelation came as a shock, even given the administration's past assertions of presidential powers.

"I was frankly astonished by the story," he said. "My head is spinning."

Professor Banks said the president's power as commander in chief "is really limited to situations involving military force - anything needed to repel an attack. I don't think the commander in chief power allows" the warrantless eavesdropping, he said.

Mr. Berenson, the former White House associate counsel, said that in rare cases, the presidents' advisers may decide that an existing law violates the Constitution "by invading the president's executive powers as commander in chief."

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 typically requires warrants for the kind of eavesdropping carried out under the special N.S.A. program. Whether administration lawyers argued that that statute unconstitutionally infringed the president's powers is not known.

But Mr. Smith, formerly of the C.I.A., noted that when President Carter signed the act into law in 1978, he seemed to rule out any domestic eavesdropping without court approval.

"The bill requires, for the first time, a prior judicial warrant for all electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence or counterintelligence purposes in the United States" if an American's communications might be intercepted, President Carter said when he signed the act.

By asserting excessive powers, Mr. Smith said, President Bush may provoke a reaction from Congress and the courts that ultimately thwarts executive power.

"The president may wind up eroding the very powers he was seeking to exert," Mr. Smith said.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

U.S. Ranks Sixth Among Countries Jailing Journalists, Report Says - New York Times

U.S. Ranks Sixth Among Countries Jailing Journalists, Report Says - New York TimesDecember 14, 2005
U.S. Ranks Sixth Among Countries Jailing Journalists, Report Says

The United States has tied with Myanmar, the former Burma, for sixth place among countries that are holding the most journalists behind bars, according to a new report by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Each country is jailing five journalists. The United States is holding four Iraqi journalists in detention centers in Iraq and one Sudanese, a cameraman who works for Al Jazeera, at the United States Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. None of the five have been charged with a specific crime.

This year, China topped the list of countries with the most journalists - 32 - in jail, many of them for activity on the Internet. This is the seventh year in a row in which China has led the list.

Fifteen of the Chinese journalists are being held under national security legislation for writing critically about the Communist Party online, the report said.

A total of 125 writers, editors and photojournalists were held in jails around the world on Dec. 1, 2005, the report said. The tally is 3 higher than were held on Dec. 1, 2004, but it is not the highest number in the 25 years that the committee has been keeping track. The highest was 182 journalists jailed in 1995.

Cuba ranked second with 24, Eritrea was third with 15, Ethiopia was fourth with 13 and Uzbekistan ranked fifth, with 6 journalists in jail.

No American journalists are being held in jails anywhere in the world, the committee said. The survey is taken on a single day each year and does not count those who may have been held and released at other points during the year. Thus, Judith Miller, a former reporter for The New York Times who served 85 days in jail this summer for refusing to reveal a confidential source, was not included because she was not incarcerated on Dec. 1.

The United States has made the list before because other journalists have been in jail on Dec. 1 for refusing to reveal their sources. But Ann Cooper, executive director of the committee, said this was the first year in which the United States had been on the list for cases in which journalists had been held without specific charges being filed against them.

"This is a country where we are trying to foster democracy," Ms. Cooper said, referring to Iraq. "Detaining people in this fashion and holding them for weeks and months with no charges against them - that is not a lesson in democracy."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Race Not Factor in Aid, Bush Says - New York Times

Race Not Factor in Aid, Bush Says - New York Times: December 13, 2005
Race Not Factor in Aid, Bush Says

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 - President Bush said Monday that the failures of the government in responding to Hurricane Katrina had nothing to do with race or class and repeated his promise to rebuild the Gulf Coast and New Orleans in particular.

Asked in an interview with NBC News whether the response would have been the same had the destruction occurred on Nantucket or in Chicago or Houston, Mr. Bush said he was aware of criticism that the government acted slowly because he was a racist, and he said such criticism was absolutely wrong.

"You can call me anything you want," Mr. Bush said. "But do not call me a racist."

Using stronger language than he has in the past to acknowledge shortcomings in the response of government, Mr. Bush said he was "appalled that a nation as wealthy as ours was not able to respond as effectively as we should have."

The administration has been criticized about the pace of efforts to rebuild New Orleans and other hard-hit areas, and Mr. Bush has not been to the region in two months. Asked whether he had considered a domestic Marshall Plan, he said that "we're doing that" but that "the devastation is so big it's going to take a while to rebuild."

Mr. Bush said his goal was a New Orleans that was a "shining light down there and a Gulf Coast of Mississippi that's been rebuilt and is vibrant and thriving."

Laura Bush visited New Orleans on Monday, and said rebuilding would take time.

"And so I want to encourage families to try to settle where they are, to try to make the best of what they have right now," Mrs. Bush said after a Toys for Tots event in Metairie, La., "but with the goal of moving back to New Orleans, because I know most people want to do that."

Monday, December 12, 2005

New York Daily News - Home - Stanley Crouch: Pryor's flawed legacy

New York Daily News - Home - Stanley Crouch: Pryor's flawed legacyPryor's flawed legacy

Comedian's vulgarity made him no role model

Richard Pryor's world was filled with prostitutes, pimps, winos and those others of undesirable ilk.
This past Saturday Richard Pryor left this life and bequeathed to our culture as much darkness as he did the light his extraordinary talent made possible.

When we look at the remarkable descent this culture has made into smut, contempt, vulgarity and the pornagraphic, those of us who are not willing to drink the Kool-Aid marked "all's well," will have to address the fact that it was the combination of confusion and comic genius that made Pryor a much more negative influence than a positive one.

I do not mean positive in the way Bill Cosby was when his television show redefined situation comedy by turning away from all of the stereotypes of disorder and incompetence that were then and still are the basic renditions of black American life in our mass media.

Richard Pryor was not that kind of a man. His was a different story.

Pryor was troubled and he had seen things that so haunted him that the comedian found it impossible to perform and ignore the lower-class shadow worlds he had known so well, filled with pimps, prostitutes, winos and abrasive types of one sort or another.

The vulgarity of his material, and the idea a "real" black person was a foul-mouthed type was his greatest influence. It was the result of seeing the breaking of "white" convention as a form of "authentic" definition.

Pryor reached for anything that would make white America uncomfortable and would prop up a smug belief among black Americans that they were always "more cool" and more ready to "face life" than the members of majority culture.

Along the way, Pryor made too many people feel that the N word was open currency and was more accurate than any other word used to describe or address a black person.

In the dung piles of pimp and gangster rap we hear from slime meisters like Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent, the worst of Pryor's influence has been turned into an aspect of the new minstrelsy in which millions of dollars are made by "normalizing" demeaning imagery and misogyny.

What is so unfortunate is that the heaviest of Pryor's gifts was largely ignored by so many of those who praised the man when he was alive and are now in the middle of deifying him.

The pathos and the frailty of the human soul alone in the world or insecure or looking for something of meaning in a chaotic environment was a bit too deep for all of the simpleminded clowns like Andrew Dice Clay or those who thought that mere ethnicity was enough to define one as funny, like the painfully square work of Paul Rodriguez.

Of course, Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam is the ultimate coon show update of human cesspools, where "cutting edge" has come to mean traveling ever more downward in the sewer.

In essence, Pryor stunned with his timing, his rhythm, his ability to stand alone and fill the stage with three-dimensional characters through his remarkably imaginative gift for an epic sweep of mimicry.

That nuanced mimicry crossed ethnic lines, stretched from young to old, and gave poignancy to the comedian's revelations about the hurts and the terrors of life.

The idea of "laughing to keep from crying" was central to his work and has been diligently avoided by those who claim to owe so much to him.

As he revealed in his last performance films, Pryor understood the prison he had built for himself and the shallow definitions that smothered his audience's understanding of the humanity behind his work.

But, as they say, once the barn door has been opened, you cannot get all of the animals to return by whistling. So we need to understand the terrible mistakes this man of comic genius made and never settle for a standard that is less than what he did at his very best, which was as good as it has ever gotten.

Originally published on December 12, 2005

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Richard Pryor, Iconoclastic Comedian, Dies at 65 - New York Times

Richard Pryor, Iconoclastic Comedian, Dies at 65 - New York TimesDecember 11, 2005
Richard Pryor, Iconoclastic Comedian, Dies at 65

Richard Pryor, the iconoclastic standup comedian who transcended barriers of race and brought a biting, irreverent humor into America's living rooms, movie houses, clubs and concert halls, died Saturday. He was 65.

Mr. Pryor, who had been ill with multiple sclerosis, suffered a heart attack and died at a hospital in Los Angeles, his wife, Jennifer Lee Pryor, told CNN.

Mr. Pryor's health had been in decline for many years. Episodes of self-destructive, chaotic and violent behavior, often triggered by drug use, repeatedly threatened his career and jeopardized his life. "I couldn't escape the darkness," he acknowledged, but he was able to put his demons at the service of his art.

Mr. Pryor's brilliant comic imagination and creative use of the blunt cadences of street language were revelations to most Americans. He did not simply tell stories, he brought them to vivid life, revealing the entire range of black America's humor, from its folksy rural origins to its raunchier urban expressions.

At the height of his career, in the late 1970's, Mr. Pryor prowled the stage like a restless cat, dispensing what critics regarded as the most poignant and penetrating comedic view of African-American life ever afforded the American public. He was volatile yet vulnerable, crass but sensitive, streetwise and cocky but somehow still diffident and anxious. And he could unleash an astonishing array of dramatic and comic skills to win acceptance and approval for a kind of stark humor.

"Pryor started it all," the director and comedian Keenen Ivory Wayans said. "He made the blueprint for the progressive thinking of black comedians, unlocking that irreverent style."

For the actor Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor was simply "better than anyone who ever picked up a microphone." The playwright Neil Simon called him "the most brilliant comic in America."

An Innovative Approach

Mr. Pryor's body language conveyed the ambivalence - at once belligerent and defensive - of the black male's provisional stance in society. His monologues evoked the passions and foibles of all segments of black society, including working-class, church-going people and prostitutes, pimps and hustlers.

He unleashed a galaxy of street characters who traditionally had been embarrassments to most middle-class blacks and mere stereotypes to most whites. And he presented them so truthfully and hilariously that he was able to transcend racial boundaries and capture a huge audience of admirers in virtually every ethnic, economic and cultural group in America. In 1998, he received the Kennedy Center's award for humor, the Mark Twain Prize.

Mr. Pryor's crossover appeal derived largely from his innovative approach to comedy - what Rolling Stone magazine called "a new type of realistic theater." It was essentially comedy without jokes - re-enactments of common human exchanges that not only mirrored the pretensions of the characters portrayed but also subtly revealed the minor triumphs that allowed them to endure and even prevail over the bleak realities of everyday living.

"Comedy," he said, "is when you are driving along and see a couple of dudes and one is in trouble with the others and he's trying to talk his way out of it. You say, 'Oh boy, they got him,' and you laugh. I cannot tell jokes. My comedy is not comedy as society has defined it."

In his autobiography, "Pryor Convictions," written in 1995 with Todd Gold, he allows Mudbone, the down-home raconteur who was perhaps Mr. Pryor's most unforgettable character and in many ways his alter ego, to comment, "the truth is gonna be funny, but it's gonna scare . . . folks."

In fact, Mr. Pryor's often harsh observations and explicit language did offend some audiences. But he insistently presented characters with little or no distortion. "A lie is profanity," he explained. "A lie is the worst thing in the world. Art is the ability to tell the truth, especially about oneself."

A Childhood of Characters

Richard Pryor, the only child of Leroy Pryor and Gertrude Thomas Pryor, was born in Peoria, Ill., on Dec. 1, 1940, and raised in a household where, as he wrote, "I lived among an assortment of relatives, neighbors, whores and winos - the people who inspired a lifetime of comedic material." His parents and grandmother ran a string of bars and bordellos that catered to a constant influx of transients who moved in and out of town, which was such an important stop on the black and white vaudeville circuits that it inspired the expression, "Will it play in Peoria?"

A frail child, he learned how to use his quick wit and belligerent humor to gain respect from street gangs and bigger, more aggressive peers. But the antic behavior that served him well in the streets did not translate to the classroom, and he was expelled from school in the eighth grade despite his obvious talent and intelligence. During the remainder of his teens, he worked as a truck driver, a laborer and a factory worker, then joined the Army, where he served in Germany until he was discharged after stabbing another serviceman during a fight.

He returned to Peoria, married, became the father of a son, Richard Jr., and, inspired by the television appearances of Redd Foxx and Dick Gregory, began performing in local nightclubs. In 1962, a variety act offered him a job as a master of ceremonies; leaving his wife and child behind, he began touring, appearing at small black nightclubs in East St. Louis, Cleveland, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Youngstown.

In 1963, after honing his craft on the "chitlin circuit," Mr. Pryor decided to take a crack at New York City. He felt ready to compete with the "big cats" and to try to emulate the success of Bill Cosby, the comedian he most admired. Soon, he was appearing at Greenwich Village clubs like Cafe Wha?, The Living Room, Papa Hud's and the Bitter End.

Mr. Pryor made his national television debut on Rudy Vallee's "On Broadway Tonight" in 1964. He had, in his own words, "entered the mainstream," presenting "white bread," nonoffensive humor that freely copied the styles of other comedians, particularly Mr. Cosby. He worked the Catskills resort hotels and opened for the singer Billy Eckstine at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Big-time television appearances followed on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show." Two years after his arrival in New York, he had a national reputation.

Despite his growing popularity, Mr. Pryor was frustrated. "I made a lot of money being Bill Cosby," he recalled, "but I was hiding my personality. I just wanted to be in show business so bad I didn't care how. It started bothering me - I was being a robot comic, repeating the same lines, getting the same laughs for the same jokes. The repetition was killing me."

In 1967, Mr. Pryor stormed off the stage of the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, shouting, "What am I doing here? I'm not going to do this anymore!"

In his autobiography, he recalled: "There was a world of junkies and winos, pool hustlers and prostitutes, women and family screaming inside my head, trying to be heard. The longer I kept them bottled up, the harder they tried to escape. The pressure built till I went nuts."

Despite resistance from club owners, booking agents and advisers, he began listening to those voices, developing new material during the next few years served straight from the black experience, even embracing the street vernacular use of the word "nigger."

His first comedy album, "Richard Pryor" (1967) revealed his new direction with such routines as: "I always wanted to go to the movies and see a black hero. I figured maybe on television they'll have it - Look, up in the sky! It's a crow. It's a bat. No, it's Super Nigger. Able to leap tall buildings with a single bound; faster than a bowl of chitlins."

Becoming Himself

By 1970, he had gone underground to reassess his life and his comic approach.

When he returned to show business in Los Angeles, his comedy had changed radically. After seeing his revised act, Mr. Cosby said: "Richard Pryor took on a whole new persona, his own. Richard killed the Bill Cosby in his act, made people hate it. Then he worked on them, doing pure Pryor, and it was the most astonishing metamorphosis I have ever seen. He was magnificent."

Some of his new material appeared on his second album, "Craps (After Hours)" (1971), which was recorded at the Redd Foxx Club in Hollywood. He boldly engaged sensitive racial topics, mocking police harassment of blacks and exploring differences between white and black sexual attitudes.

Although "Craps" is considered one of Mr. Pryor's best comedy albums, initial sales were dismal. Even the black audience for whom it was intended largely ignored it.

Mr. Pryor persisted, however, developing his act and building a new following by returning to the small black clubs that he had abandoned with his initial success. He also appeared at better-known and challenging venues like the Apollo in Harlem and more cutting-edge comedy clubs downtown like The Improv.

The routines developed on those dates provided material for his next album, "That Nigger's Crazy" (1974), which surprised record-industry executives with its appeal to young whites as well as blacks. Despite its X-rating because of explicit language and sexual content, the record sold more than a half-million copies and won the Grammy Award for best comedy album of the year. It was followed by another X-rated album, " . . . Is It Something I Said" (1975), which also went gold and won another Grammy.

Appearances on television furthered Mr. Pryor's career. He was a popular host on "Saturday Night Live" in 1975, and two years later he agreed to do a series of television specials for NBC.

Mr. Pryor's impact was not limited to comedy performance on records and the stage. He wrote for Redd Foxx's popular television series "Sanford and Son" and for "The Flip Wilson Show"; he also collaborated with Lily Tomlin on her television specials, receiving an Emmy Award for best comedy writing for "Lily" in 1974.

After returning from a trip to Africa in 1979, Mr. Pryor told audiences he would never use the word "nigger" again as a performer. While abroad, he said, he saw black people running governments and businesses. And in a moment of epiphany, he said, he realized that he did not see anyone he could call by that name.

He appeared in 40 films during a career that began with "Busy Bodies" in 1969 and concluded with a role opposite his frequent co-star Gene Wilder in "Another You" in 1992.

His first starring role, in 1976, was as a race car driver in "Greased Lightning," and he costarred with Gene Wilder in "Silver Streak." Although he would dismiss "Silver Streak" as a "stupid film," audiences loved his performance and he became one of Hollywood's hottest box-office draws.

Comedy Sets a Standard

Mr. Pryor probably reached the pinnacle of his career in 1979 with his first concert film, "Richard Pryor, Live in Concert," a movie, filmed during an appearance in Long Beach, Calif., that more than a quarter of a century later remains the standard by which other movies of live comedy performances are judged.

The film, which was to inspire others to make their own comic performance movies, caught Mr. Pryor at peak form. He reflected often about his own tumultuous life, with monologues about a domestic quarrel in which he shot his wife's car, the death of his pet monkeys and a near-fatal heart attack, which ended with: "I woke up in the ambulance, right? And there was nothin' but white people starin' at me. I say . . . I done died and wound up in the wrong heaven. Now I gotta listen to Lawrence Welk the rest of my days."

In addition to his wife, Mr. Pryor is survived by six children: Richard Jr., Rain, Elizabeth, Steven, Kelsey and Franklin. He was married six times and divorced five times.

If he used his misadventures to earn fame and fortune, Mr. Pryor also frequently undercut his career and his life with his self-destructive behavior. In 1974, for example, he was sentenced to 10 days in jail, fined and put on probation after pleading guilty to a charge of willful failure to file an income tax return.

In 1978, a court fined him $500, placed him on probation again and ordered him to seek psychiatric care and make restitution after a New Year's Day incident in which he rammed his Mercedes into a car containing friends of his wife and then shot at it with a pistol.

In 1980, after a marathon drug binge, Mr. Pryor was critically burned in an explosion that the police said was caused by the ignition of ether being used in conjunction with cocaine. Fire Department paramedics found him walking in a daze more than a mile from his home outside Los Angeles with third-degree burns over the upper half of his body. He was hospitalized for almost two months while undergoing a series of skin grafts.

Recovering, Mr. Pryor remained a top-box office attraction during most of the 1980's. He appeared in numerous movies and released two more films of live comedy performances, but he continued to be bedeviled by drug and health problems.

In 1986, he was found to be suffering from multiple sclerosis, a disease that strikes at the central nervous system, and as the years passed he experienced its cruelest symptoms: vertigo, tremors, muscle weakness and chronic fatigue.

His performances in "See No Evil, Hear No Evil" (1989) and "Another You" (1992) with Gene Wilder revealed a frail, hesitant actor who struggled to deliver his lines. Still, in 1992, he was back at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles polishing material for a concert tour. He was no longer able to stand on stage and he delivered his monologue from an easy chair. But he was forced to cancel his tour early the next year.

"I realized that I had more heart than energy, more courage than strength," he said. "My mind was willing, but my feets couldn't carry me to the end zone."

Friday, December 02, 2005

PodCast CDRs Are Now Available On My Office Door!

Please take one of the limited amount of PodCast CDRs tapedto my office door, room G32. Please only take a cd if you have trouble downloading the PodCast from the web. Once they run out you will have to download the PodCast from the web.

Professor Armwood- Friday December 2nd 2005, 6:20pm.

Entertainment Law Final Exam Review PodCast

Click On This Link For The Final Exam PodCast

This Link will download the mp3 file which you may listen to on your computer or mp3 player

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Best Wishes!

(The Final Exam is Wednesday December 7th 2005 at 5:00pm in room G26)

Communications Law Review Final Exam PodCast Fall 2005

The Final Exam PodCast is available now Here

Click On This Link For Test 3 PodCast

Download Final Exam PodCast file and play it on your computer or mp3 Player

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Final Exam Schedule!

1) The Tuesday and Thursday 09:25 class will take the exam on Tuesday December 6th at 10:30am in room G26.

2) The Tuesday 10:50 class will take the exam on Tuesday December 6th at 1:00pm in room G26.

3) The Thursday 10:50am class will take the exam on Thursday December 8th at 1:00pm in room G26.