Sunday, July 13, 2014

Blogs on the news… 07-13-14

This blog is scheduled to be the last one prior to the return of the beloved interactive sharlogs.  Absence of the sharlog for all of these recent weeks was due in large measure to computer and software problems… problems which at last have been completely addressed and rectified.  The narrative on the next sharlog dealing with the Amtey autopsy report has been completed, and will most likely be narrated within 24 hours.  Its estimated date of posting will hopefully be by the end of the week.  The topic of the sharlog to follow will focus on the State and media witch-hunt that has been underway against Mike Nifong for seemingly an eternity.

Media discrediting Rashad McCants

Word count: 1,096

Well, the media is at it again… using one of its most effective weapons in its arsenal of devious tricks – discrediting an individual to minimize one’s message.  This was used for a lengthy period against me when I tried to alert the media and public of problems within the state’s medical examiner system… long before The News & Observer five-part series titled “Fatally flawed.”  The News & Observer in particular tried to mute my public service message by painting me as an interloper and troublemaker in Mangum’s recent murder case.  It repeatedly wrote about how the State Bar was investigating me… giving the impression that I was illegally practicing law.  Yes, I did attempt to lend what help I could for Mangum who I accurately predicted would be given the Judas Iscariot treatment by her defense attorney.  However, the most scathing and malicious article would come from The Indy Week of August 22, 2013 which was essentially nothing more than a hatchet job.  I knew that it would be shortly after I approached a writer with the weekly about doing a story about the problem with the medical examiner in Mangum’s case.  Instead, the focus of the article was focused on gossip related to issues that occurred one or two decades ago and having no relevance on North Carolina lives.  Although the excellent cover by Chris Williams accurately depicted my objectives and motivation (depicted as a caped superhero saving Lady Justice), the story was meant to have the opposite effect… one of discrediting and diminishing my influence.

Scott Fowler, a McClatchy sports commentary writer for the Charlotte Observer, in an article in the July 11, 2014 edition of The News & Observer titled “Jamison calls McCants a ‘clown’” does his best to discredit Rashad McCants, the UNC-CH basketball star who recently opened up to ESPN in an interview pertaining to the academic and athletic so-called scandal.  Specifically McCants, who was part of the 1995 Championship UNC team under popular head coach Roy Williams stated that his academic eligibility was in jeopardy and that Coach Williams helped insure that McCants, a star on the team, would remain eligible.  In being frank, McCants said that it was his belief that Coach Williams was aware that he was enrolled in fail-proof classes provided through the African and Afro-American Studies Department under the much maligned department head Julius Nyang’oro.

Antawn Jamison, a UNC-CH basketballer under Coach Williams began his collegiate career after McCants had left the university and credited his insights on McCants’ character as stemming from observing McCants during summer visits he would make to the Chapel Hill area.  For example, Jamison is said to have noticed McCants’ talents and lack of focus… whatever that means.  The article didn’t delve into what Jamison meant when he referred to McCants’ lack of focus.  Whether or not McCants was focused or lacked focus, that has nothing to do with McCants’ credibility.  When McCants says he didn’t write papers and didn’t attend class, I believe him.  When McCants said that he thought Roy Williams was aware of his academic situation, I believe that that is what he sincerely believed.  Whether that was reality is something else that only the coach can answer.  From what I have heard from McCants on interviews and from what I’ve read in the newspapers, I strongly am of the belief that Coach Williams was more involved with keeping his star performers academically eligible than he let has let on.

The newspaper article made it appear as though McCants’ statements covered widespread academic misconduct involving others as well as himself.  To my knowledge, though it may be limited, McCants talked exclusively about his situation and did not delve into that of his teammates and other players.

Fowler quotes Jamison as saying of McCants, “I just think he’s a clown.  I think he’s in a situation where he’s looking for attention.  It’s just sad.”  What does Jamison mean by his statement that he thinks McCants is a clown?  I don’t know.  Fowler doesn’t follow up on the statement.  For Jamison to state that he believes McCants’ actions are because he’s seeking attention is extremely weak and is quite often overused.  Many commenters to my blog site frequently accuse me of seeking attention when I attempt to bring attention to injustices in the State’s legal system.  The main reason I am forced to do so is because the mainstream media has failed to provide this important service for the people of North Carolina.  From what I’ve seen of McCants, it does not appear to me that he is seeking attention.  What would be his purpose for seeking attention?  What would be the purpose for me to seek attention?  Attention is the last thing I want, but one cannot be an effective advocate by being anonymous… and effective and credible advocate must lend his name in order to show commitment to the causes he supports.

Jamison is also quoted as accusing McCants of trying to “throw a black cloud over everyone who’s done it the right way.”  Again, Fowler journalistically fails to follow-up in order to understand the essence and accuracy of Jamison’s statement.  As I have stated, I have never seen or heard McCants denigrate others or even discuss the situation of other players academically or otherwise. 

Finally, Fowler, through Jamison, tries to make it appear that McCants’ interviews with ESPN and other media is vendetta-driven because of McCants’ relationship with the university… in particular, quoting Jamison as saying about McCants, “Don’t try to bring down a university because you don’t have a good relationship with the coaching staff.”  Where does Jamison come off making such a statement about an athlete with whom he didn’t play and whose observations come from occasionally seeing him every now and then during the summer?

It is clear to me that it’s not McCants who has an agenda in all of this, but Antwan Jamison.  He was not picked up after a lengthy 16-year NBA career, and is currently trying to latch on to play for the Charlotte Hornets for at least another year.  What better way to achieve that than by coming to the support of a beleaguered legendary and much loved basketball coach by helping to take the wind out of the sails of McCants whose motives in coming forward seem nothing more than altruistic to me.

I must hand it to Scott Fowler… he did an excellent job of subtly discrediting Rashad McCants.  It certainly wasn’t overkill like the August 22, 2013 Indy Week article about me.   nn

Follow-up on P. J. Hairston

Word count: 451

My last blog in defense of P. J. Hairston may have been a bit hasty.  Going solely by the account in The News & Observer, in which Hairston’s spokesperson said the high schooler  initiated the shoving and punching exchanges, I charged in to defend Hairston who has been unfairly targeted by the media.  However, as events have developed it seems as if there was no shoving during the match, and that the one or two punches thrown by Hairston were unprovoked, unanswered by the high school player, and occurred outside the heat of competitive sports battle.

Like Pope Francis and the Man from Nazareth, I do not condone violence, and it appears that Hairston was clearly in the wrong.  I find no fault in the parents of the youth seeking out a warrant under the circumstances.  It is my hope that this episode helps make Hairston a better person… that he learns from his bad behavior and doesn’t repeat it in the future.

Unlike politicians and many in the media, I own up to my errors in judgment and have the courage to admit them.  Overall, my last blog about Hairston missed the mark.  See, I don’t go around trying to make excuses.  I think that part of the problem is that many people think of me as being perfect, so the important thing is to remember that I am a human being, just like everyone else, and am therefore capable of making a mistake… on extremely rare occasions.

The other stories in the news about Hairston… switching his car with Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon and having an agent who is not registered should not be brought before the public as character issues.  So he switched cars with an NFL bad boy… is that against the law?  And so what if his agent is not registered?  Maybe he didn’t do his homework like he should have in selecting him, but if anything it seems like he is the victim here, if anything.

Even though Hairston disappointed me in the YMCA pickup basketball game, that does not give the media the right to scrutinize his every move.  Instead of trying to get the Hornets to fire him, why write and broadcast constructive stories.  During last year’s basketball season the media had the chance to attack the parasitic NCAA cartel for its draconian suspension of Hairston, but it didn’t.  Fowler should’ve teed off on the avaricious NCAA members and their self-serving policies that come at the expense of student athletes.  Had Fowler defended Hairston’s right to play basketball last season, UNC might have made it to the Final Four… maybe even winning the national title outright.    nn

Monday, July 7, 2014

EXTRA, EXTRA!! Hold the presses -- P. J. Hairston in shoving match!

 Word count: 750

Now that Orange County D.A. Jim Woodall was forced to drop the felony criminal charge against former African Afro-American Studies Department head Professor Julius Nyang'oro, The News & Observer had been forced into trying to destroy one of its other tried and true targets P. J. Hairston.  I shouldn't have been surprised at the headline in today's newspaper that blared "Hairston part of shoving match: Former UNC player scuffles in pickup game."  But, even I was surprised that the N & O would stoop so low as to cover such nonsense... not only that but on the front page of the sports section above the fold. 

The newspaper makes a big deal about Hairston's size (6-foot-6, 230 pounds), but doesn't even mention the size of his so-called opponent.  For all we know he could've been 7-foot-4, 340 pounds... the newspaper, knowing that most readers will probably assume he was the average size of a high schooler at about 5-foot-9, 150 pounds.  Just trying to make P. J. look bad... look like a troublemaker. 

The only troublemaker in this "alleged shoving match" is The News & Observer who, like an elementary school tattletale, went to the Durham Police to try and stir things up... maybe even succeed in getting Hairston arrested for assault and battery.

The media, especially The News & Observer, is good at causing chaos and cashing in by writing and broadcasting about it.  The media, in trying to scapegoat Professor Nyang'oro for the academic-athletic situation at UNC-CH (which should have been ignored as it is common practice at competitive sports universities throughout the country) was undoubtedly a major impetus for Woodall's ill-advised criminal indictment that left egg on his face... the yolk being on him. 

The media likewise caused a ruckus about my innocent and altruistic actions in helping Crystal Mangum file a few documents... knowing that she would not be able to find representation by an attorney who would not sell her out.  The State Bar of North Carolina admitted that it was stirred up by media types that directed them to my self-less activities that launched its legal actions against me to enjoin me from helping Mangum.

The pathetic article by Charlotte Observer writer Rick Bonnell, naturally dredged up the bogus "past problems" following Hairston which include:

1. arrest for a traffic stop;
2. arrest for marijuana possession (a charge which was dropped); and
3. a handgun found near the car he was in.

Can you believe that?  So what if a handgun is found near a car he was in... and from the sound of it he wasn't even the driver.  I do not have a car, but I have ridden in cars that may or may not have passed near a handgun.  I have no control over that.  I walk alot, and there may have been times when I walked past a handgun... so is that against the law?  What's the deal?

The more significant sports story was on the bottom of today's sports section titled "UNC reaches out to McCants for meeting: Associate AD sends registered letter and texts to former star."  The letter by the associate athletic director Vincent Ille read in part, "I learned today of public statements you have made that indicate your knowledge of potential NCAA rule violations involving the University of North Carolina.  I would like to meet with you at your ealriest convenience to dicuss this in greater detail."  No date of the letter was given, although Ille said that he had received no response fro McCants by Sunday, July 6th.

My view on this matter is that UNC-CH should not be acting as police or enforcers of NCAA policy (which is immoral and self-serving).  The universities and colleges should be taking actions based upon the principles that are valued by the institutions themselves.  Who cares about NCAA policies with their "impermissible benefits" doctrine?  The NCAA is a parasitic cartel feasting on the talents and sweat of poor student athletes... nothing more than a middleman which should be dismantled.

McCants has been doing well in accounting for himself and his actions with respect to recent statements he made about his collegiate life and his motivations for making them.  The media is finding it a lot tougher going after McCants than it has Hairston and Nyang'oro.  I suggest the media-types give it up as they will be unable to twist the truth of his words.  nn   

Monday, June 30, 2014

Blogs on the news – 06/30/14

Nyang’oro update

 Word count: 548
On Monday last week The News & Observer whet its readers’ appetite about the upcoming hearing involving former UNC-CH African Afro-American Studies Department chairman Julius Nyang’oro.  The hearing was scheduled to take place on Wednesday, however on Tuesday, the day prior to the hearing, the media (mainly McClatchy newspapers which are obsessed with bashing the reputation of Nyang’oro) announced that Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall was having second thoughts about following through with the felony criminal prosecution of the former professor because he had been so cooperative with the investigation into the athletic-academic scandal lodged by Kenneth Wainstein. 
Although the UNC system under President Tom Ross prides itself in recouping the $12,000.00 paid to Nyang’oro for teaching a summer class which did not physically meet, it promptly set about paying Mr. Wainstein $990.00/hour and his associates in a range from $440-750/hour to conduct an investigation into whats/whys/whens/hows of the scandal.  This investigation, which has already chalked up more than four months, has been estimated to last until this fall… and why not since the attorneys are getting paid by the hour.  They’re going to milk this golden cow for all it’s worth!
Wainstein and his legal comrades evidently assured the Orange County D.A. Woodall that Nyang’oro was thoroughly cooperating with the investigation… a disclosure which seemed to shock the district attorney.  Had Woodall, or his assistant D.A.s taken the effort to question the black professor prior to criminally indicting him, then perhaps Woodall mightn’t’ve been so awed that Nyang’oro’s behavior was sincerely helpful. 
However, in North Carolina it is a common practice to arrest and even indict African American suspects without bothering to question them during an initial investigation.  That’s what happened to Crystal Mangum, the Duke Lacrosse victim/accuser, in the stabbing of Reginald Daye.  Bull City officers did not approach her an ask her for her side of the story surrounding the early morning physical confrontation.  Instead they handcuffed her (arresting her for assault and battery in the stabbing of Daye), took her to police headquarters, read her her Miranda Rights, then began to interrogate her.  A similar scenario played out in the murder charge against Knightdale resident Carletta Alston who spent a year in jail for the murder of her stepfather before being released with the charge dropped and without explanation.
Now it seems as though Woodall is going to be forced to drop his ill-advised charge against Julius Nyang’oro… and not for the reasons touted by the D.A.  Woodall could care less about Nyang’oro’s cooperation with Wainstein.  His concern is the unexpected collateral damage to administrators and others in UNC-CH upper echelon that a criminal investigation would expose.
The News & Observer last published that Woodall was in serious self-deliberation about dropping the criminal charge against Nyang’oro and that the hearing was still scheduled to take place on Wednesday.  However, it was The Herald Sun, a Durham daily that informed the public that the hearing had been cancelled.
So it appears that this politically charged felony prosecution to destroy the reputation and life of Julius Nyang’oro (described by local media as being at the center of the UNC-CH academic scandal) is going to dissipate with a whimper instead of taking down another innocent victim with a bang.  nn

UNC-CH Hairston scandal
Word count:  835
As far as scandals go, the one involving the abhorrent mistreatment of UNC-CH round-baller P. J. Hairston far outweighs that which was spawned by the media about the African and Afro-American Studies program that was put in place by powers at UNC-CH to surreptitiously enable academically challenged athletes to remain academically eligible to compete in sports… particularly basketball and football.  The real scandal in the latter is that UNC system President Tom Ross is allowing the private law firm to conduct a worthless investigation at exorbitant hourly rates… this leading naturally to an increase in student tuition.
However, the P. J. Hairston saga was without doubt a tragedy that should never have happened… and one that could have been averted had the athletic department at UNC had a bulldog-like athletic director from the mold similar to NC State’s Debbie Yow.  The NCAA wouldn’t dare to pull such shenanigans with State knowing that Yow would stand up for her players… especially star players the caliber of Hairston who are capable of bringing championship trophies to school showcases and meeting incentives that increase her compensation.
As it was, UNC-CH allowed the parasitic, morally-lacking and avaricious NCAA intimidate it and invoke a season-long suspension of the Tar Heels’ leading basketball scorer P. J. Hairston.  The end result of this ridiculous ruling by that self-centered organization was that UNC-CH was removed from contention in the ACC and NCAA tournaments.  As well as the team did without Hairston, it would’ve done a heckuvalot better had he been on the hardwood.  Not only did the NCAA ruling destroy the Tar Heel season, but it was detrimental to Hairston himself.  Despite being selected in the first round, his prospects would’ve been much better had he been allowed to perform during his senior year… possibly propelling him into a top ten selection.  It is apparent that his play is NBA caliber, but the NCAA and the mainstream media have elected to represent Hairston as an irresponsible troublemaker lacking character.
What is sad is the phony reasons given for demeaning this student-athlete (who attended classes) and did everything he possibly could to appease the NCAA and be allowed to play his final season on the Tar Heel team he loved.  Evidently the NCAA was not impressed and imposed the season-long suspension for the following:  1) an arrest during a traffic stop for possession of marijuana (the charge later being dropped); 2) driving a rental car which is considered by the money-crazed NCAA as being a dreaded impermissible benefit; and 3) speeding.  Can you believe that?  What a joke!
The media is now trying to justify Hairston’s NCAA suspension by writing that he’s owning up to his mistakes.  A recent headline on the sports page of The News & Observer reads, “P. J. says he’s a better person:  Hairston says mistakes are in the rear-view mirror.”  What’s the big revelation about that?  Face it, everybody makes mistakes.  I made plenty of mistakes when I was younger… and with time, I matured… somewhat.  Driving a rental car paid for by someone else and speeding are not what I would consider serious violations worthy of draconian punishment meted out by the collegiate athletic overseer.  The action taken against Hairston by the NCAA was arbitrary, baseless, and cruel.
The same newspaper of June 28, 2014, contained another article titled “Manziel won’t tone it down,” in which Johnny Football, the star quarterback from Texas A & M, was unapologetic about his off-time weekend drinking and partying.  He claimed he was going to live life to the fullest.
NCAA parasites went easy on Manziel when it was disclosed that he had signed sports memorabilia and earned a reported $7,500.00.  For this violation he was suspended the first half of the first game of his last college football season at A & M.  Part of the laxness of his punishment might have been due to the fact that the NCAA was making big bucks off of selling Manziel’s jersey on its online site… a lucrative business transaction which it apparently stopped after it was revealed in the media.  But, that’s the creed of the NCAA – it’s okay for the NCAA to make big bucks off of Manziel, Hairston, and other college athletes but it would be considered an illegal impermissible benefit for the athletes themselves to do so.
I believe that the all colleges and universities would be better off by kicking the NCAA to the curb and building from scratch its own regulatory agency… one that would have the best interests of the athletes in mind and one that would do away with the “impermissible benefits” concept which is ethically conflicted.  Also, I believe that some of the enormous profits generated by college sports programs should go towards compensating those responsible for it… the athletes.
Unfortunately, under the NCAA, P. J. Hairston and subsequently UNC-CH’s basketball team needlessly suffered.  Even media articles directed towards justifying the barbaric treatment of Hairston by the NCAA cannot conceal that fact.  nn

Change the name!
Word count:  399
Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has been unyielding in his determination to retain the “Redskins” name for his NFL professional football team.  And it seems as though he has picked up a few supporters including former Redskins manager Joe Gibbs who claims the name has been positive for him.  In an Associated Press article by Gary B. Graves, Gibbs is quoted as saying: “Never once did I hear anybody ever say anything negative about the name Redskins.  It was always prideful, it was courage involved.  We have a song, ‘Hail to the Redskins,’ and so everything, everything, about that name has been positive for me and my past.”
Also circling the wagons around Snyder on this issue are three Virginia legislators (Sen. Chap Petersen, Delegate Jackson Miller, and Delegate David Ramadan) who are forming a “Redskins Pride Caucus.”  What a pathetic waste of time and effort… sounds like something North Carolina legislators might do.
The majority of civilized America, including a vast number of politicians and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office find that the Redskin name is disparaging to Native Americans and should be changed.  Most important, Native Americans find the name to be demeaning and offensive.
What the Native Americans believe is overwhelmingly what should be taken into consideration.  What Joe Gibbs thinks is irrelevant as he is not a Native American.  So what if he finds the name Redskins to be prideful…?  Who cares?  And the three member Redskins Pride Caucus, to my knowledge, is not comprised of any Native Americans.  But this threesome professes to be standing for the all-important principle of “commercial freedom”… which in a capitalistic society readily trumps morality, compassion, and common sense.  Again, I say who cares what the Redskins Pride Caucus thinks.  It is without Native American representation and therefore its position on the issue is irrelevant.
What I would propose to Mr. Snyder is changing the name from “Redskins” to “Warriors.”  Washington Warriors… that has a catchy sound, and it would enable the team to retain its current logo.  It is the word “Redskins” after all that is problematic, and a reasonable person would be able to understand that.  Being an African American, I am naturally more empathetic with the Native Americans’ position than is Mr. Snyder… however, it’s past time for him to walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins and re-evaluate his stubborn position.  nn