Thursday, December 22, 2011

Army Specialist back home in E. Texas for the holidays - KLTV 7 News Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |

Army Specialist back home in E. Texas for the holidays - KLTV 7 News Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |

The Mayor of Jasper Who Is Being Called The Most Racist Man In Texas Responds

Jasper Chief of Police Rodney Pearson, Jasper's Mayor Mike Lout, and The Mayor's Girlfriend Deddie Foster, Who Also Works For The Mayor At his Jasper KJAS Radio Station All Issued Statements 

If your Thought That The Prime Time Drama DALLAS Was Full of Lie, Back Stabbing, and Who Shoot JR? Then You Need To Stay Tuned In To Jasper Texas. 

The following statement was issued by Jasper Police Chief Rodney Pearson on Wednesday;
I want to take this opportunity to address the allegations as reported by some local media outlets. These allegations by Ms. Rauscher are outrageous, hurtful and completely false. I have been informed that a few days ago Debbie Foster (KJAS radio employee and girlfriend of Mayor Mike Lout) accompanied Ms. Rauscher to the Sheriff's Department. There with Debbie Foster present, Ms. Rauscher proceeded to make false allegations against me about an event that allegedly occurred in October.
This last year has been nothing short of a nightmare for my family, me and much of the Jasper community. Ever since I stepped into the position of Police Chief there has been a select group of individuals who have made it their mission in life to remove me from office by any means or methods. Malicious personal attacks have been hurled time and again against my family and me. We were hopeful that during the holiday season and in the spirit of decency that these attacks would cease. We were wrong.

Mayor Lout and a few of his friends have created an atmosphere of division, resentment and hostility here in Jasper. However, I am comforted by the countless well-wishers who have encouraged and lifted me up throughout this difficult ordeal. I am confident that as the true facts come to light, justice will prevail and I will be totally vindicated from these false and malicious charges.
"In the meantime, as the Chief of Police it is my duty to serve the whole City of Jasper. I will continue to do so. During this Christmas season I will continue to pray for peace and tranquility for Jasper and that God will remove the malice and ill will from the hearts of those who continue to attack my family and me.


Rodney Pearson

The following statement was issued by KJAS owner and Jasper Mayor Mike Lout on Wednesday;

In response to Mr. Pearson's claims;
Mrs. Rauscher contacted Debbie Foster. Ms. Rauscher said that she wanted to talk to me about an improper act allegedly performed by Chief Rodney Pearson. She further stated that she wanted to bring the issue before the Jasper City Council at its December monthly meeting.

I advised Ms. Foster that I did not want to get involved in the investigation of any alleged criminal act and that the City Council was not the venue for such complaints. I further advised that Ms. Rauscher should contact the proper law enforcement agency.
I was later told that Ms. Rauscher did not feel comfortable filing a report with the police department and that she instead went to the Jasper County Sheriff's Department.

I cannot make a statement or make any judgment to Ms. Rauscher's claims, in that I was not there.

The following statement was issued by Debbie Foster on Wednesday;

My name is Debbie Foster and I am an employee of the KJAS radio station along with the girlfriend of Mayor Mike Lout. I also have had the pleasure of a long time close friendship with Beverly Rauscher. I was asked by my friend to meet her at the JSO while she filed the complaint against Mr. Pearson. Although, I expressed skepticism about my presence I did agree to meet her and sit with her in support. As witnessed by both Bob Walker and James Carter I was merely there in support of my friend and never interjected anything into their conversation. According to Beverly this incident was reported at the time of the occurrence and also many other friends were aware of the situation. Mayor Mike Lout nor myself will be the scapegoat for the atmosphere of hostility, resentment and division here in Jasper as quoted and created by Mr. Pearson himself!

Saturday, December 17, 2011




“Racism Isn’t Dead in Jasper” “Jasper Mayor is Bullying Blacks”

Jasper, TX December 17, 2011 The place that shocked America with the racist 21st century leeching and dragging death; of James Byrd, has continued its organized racist attacks on African Americans. In fact, Black residents of Jasper told the Ombudsman Press News that; “Since President Obama became the 44th United States President- Jasper, Texas has become a living hell.”

Mike Lout, mayor of Jasper (the owner of Jasper Radio Station KJAS) is said to have become the Leader of an Organized Hate Campaign. With the help of a few Republican friends like David Bellow, who is a member of the Texas State Republican Executive Party, have used Blog’s to feed the internet with lies and odious attacks on the Jasper Black city council members. The Hate Campaign was enough, to even fuel a re-call of two of the Blacks from the Jasper City council for their part in voting to appoint Jasper’s first black Chief of Police.

There are clear violations of Federal Civil/Human Rights Laws that the Justice Department is being asked to review from “Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, Hate Crimes, and the Conspiracy to Deprive Blacks of their Constitutionally Protected Civil Rights.

Contact person: Bishop L. J. Guillory At (903) 657-4178 Jasper City Councilman Alton Scott, Jasper Chief of Police Rodney Pearson for more information regarding this matter.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Title 18, U.S.C., Section 241, 242, 245 and Title 42 U.S.C. Section 14141

The Office of the Ombudsman General - Ombudsman International, Inc. USA Received Complaints from Taxpayers in the City of Jasper, Texas. WHEREAS; There were more than five Complaints requesting; Ombudsman International, to conduct a Formal Investigation in to the Federal Violations regarding: CONSPIRACY AGAINST CIVIL RIGHTS, DEPRIVATION of RIGHTS UNDER COLOR of LAW, HATE CRIMES, AN UNLAWFUL PATTERN and PRACTICE OF DISCRIMINATORY HARASSMENT as well as; ENGAGING IN ORGANIZED CRIMINAL ACTIVITY.

OMBUDSMAN INTERNATIONAL, AN INDEPENDENT NOT FOR PROFIT UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT AGENCY, Which take complaints from United States Taxpayers regarding ; corruption, abuse of power and conflicts related to race, color and national origin, where alleged systemic discriminatory problems exist in public institutions that adversely impact people of color.

The Office of the Ombudsman General, found that there were more than five paramount issues that needed to be addressed regarding the violations of Federal Laws. Whereas; there were clear Violations of Civil Rights of the Elected African-American[s] City Councilperson(s) and even the use of Unlawful Intimidation and Interference by Threat and or Harm Against those [Black Elected City Officials] Councilpersons regarding their Vote for a Black Chief of Police. The Jasper City Council Member[s] said; that the Jasper City Attorney refused to advise the Black City Council Members.  

The Mayor of Jasper Mike Lout, 54 who is white is now being recalled by Jasper Citizens after being called “The Most Racist Man in Texas.” Jasper’s Mayor Lout is reported to have attacked Jasper Blacks on The City Council. One Jasper Life time resident reported to Ombudsman International that the Mayor’s Campaign of Hate is the most out spoken hate against Blacks and the worse which he has seen in the south since the Assassination of Civil Rights Leaders Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King and/or the November 22, 1963 Assassination of President John Kennedy in Dallas Texas.

Jasper Mayor Mike Lout, [Was Arrested and Charged with Public Intoxication] the Beaumont Enterprise reported that in July of 2010 Mayor Mike Lout, drove his car over the curb in town and got it stuck, the police report said. Mayor Lout walked about 500 feet away from the car. Mayor Mike Lout was shirtless and refused to blow for the breathalyzer. Though Mayor Mike Lout, admitted to drinking hard liquor before the incident his refusal did not cause him to be charged with a DWI. And, his radio station did not report on the arrest. 
The Racist Business Owners, there is a group of business owner[s] who support Mayor Mike Lout and though it is being reported that many of them Do Not Live within the ‘Jasper City Limits’ they have supported Mayor Lout’s Campaign to Recall three of the four Black’s from the City Council. There seem to have been a lot of money given to the efforts of supporting a full Racist Attack on Black Jasper City Council Members.

The Use of the Media to Promote Hate, Jasper Mayor Mike Lout, who we have been told operates his own local radio station within the city of Jasper is using the KJAS Radio station to report his racist opinions and the racist views of his supporters against the Blacks on the City Council. REPUBLICAN BLOG’S Hate: David Bellow, who claims, not to be a Racist have continued to write Racist and Odious comments on his blog page. David Bellow, which just happened to be the same David Bellow who was elected to the Texas State Republican Executive Committee and we are told serves on the board that Governs and Manages the Republican Party. The Blacks which David Bellow has been attacking just happened to be Democrats. Bellow’s Says;"He was born in Beaumont, TX and was raised, and currently live, live Lumberton, Texas. (Hardin County). Like most residents in East Texas, Bellow has had to endure watching the good old boy Democrat controlled county's officials do nothing as public money has been wasted and misused." David Bellow, told Ombudsman Press News; "He works as a guard in the federal prison in Beaumont, Texas."

The Klan Stand In Support of The Racism in Jasper, Texas.

There Are Some People Who Say They Are Not Racist
There are some Jasper residents who say their not a part of any Racist Cults, Klan and or Organized Hate Groups. Yet, comments have been posted on websites, facebook, and other blogs using their names.  Those names are being turned over as apart of supporting facts to this indictment request.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Attorney General Holder Holds Public Hearing on Children Exposed to Violence
Hearing in Baltimore First of Four to Be Held Across the U.S.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General Eric Holder’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence convened its first of four public hearings to gather expert and community testimony on the epidemic of children’s exposure to violence. Recent research shows that more than 60 percent of American children have been exposed to crime, abuse and violence – many in their own homes. Ten percent of children in the United States have suffered some form of abuse or neglect and one in 16 has been victimized sexually. 
The task force will hold three additional hearings this year in Albuquerque, N.M., Miami and Detroit. The task force will identify promising practices, programming and community strategies used to prevent and respond to children’s exposure to violence and will also issue a final report to the attorney general presenting its findings and comprehensive policy recommendations. The report will serve as a blueprint for preventing children’s exposure to violence and for reducing the negative effects experienced by children exposed to violence across the United States.

“As a former judge and U.S. attorney, and now as the Attorney General and the father of three teenagers, protecting and empowering our children is both a personal and professional commitment," said Attorney General Holder.  “I have made protecting the most vulnerable among us – including our children – a core priority of the Justice Department and this task force brings together a wealth of experience and talent to help us find ways to improve our response to the growing problem of children exposed to violence.”
The task force is composed of 13 leading experts from diverse fields and perspectives, including practitioners, child and family advocates, academic experts and licensed clinicians. Joe Torre, Major League Baseball executive vice president of baseball operations, founder of the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation, and a witness of domestic violence as a child himself; and Robert Listenbee Jr., chief of the juvenile unit of the Defender Association of Philadelphia, serve as co-chairs of the task force. The full list of Task force members is located at: .

“Unprecedented numbers of children are exposed to violence, both as victims and witnesses, and they bring their experiences, feelings, learned behaviors and attitudes into their schools and communities,” said Torre. “This isn’t just a family issue; it’s also a community and national public health issue. The Defending Childhood Task Force has the welfare of our most vulnerable children at its center, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to make a significant contribution to solving this urgent problem.”

“Children who experience violence are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, fail in school, suffer from mental health problems and engage in delinquent and criminal behavior,” said Listenbee. “The attorney general’s task force creates a tremendous opportunity for our nation to stop this epidemic and give our children the safety and well-being they deserve, while creating a healthier society for everyone.”

Speakers at today’s hearing at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in Baltimore, included U.S. Attorney General Holder; Sonja Sohn, founder and CEO of ReWired for Change and star of HBO’s “The Wire”; Patrick McCarthy, president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation; Nigel Cox, chair of the SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere) National Advisory Board; and Baltimore and area residents who have experienced family, community and other types of violence. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bishop L.J. Guillory, Ombudsman General Announce: President Obama Signs Texas Disaster Declaration

September 9, 2011

President Obama Signs Texas Disaster Declaration

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Texas and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by wildfires beginning on August 30, 2011, and continuing.

The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Bastrop County.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Kevin L. Hannes as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.

FEMA said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are fully completed.

FEMA said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at or by calling
            1-800-621-FEMA      (3362) or             1-800-462-7585 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            1-800-462-7585      end_of_the_skype_highlighting       (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.



Sunday, August 14, 2011


First AIDS Walk Starts Saturday

The Tyler chapter of Women of Prayer International will host its first AIDS walk at 8 a.m. Saturday. The walk will begin at Bergfeld Park, at the corner of Fourth Street and South Broadway Avenue and end at Dale Chapel Baptist Church, 620 W. Glenwood Blvd.

Organizer Tammy Arterberry said the walk will promote HIV/AIDS awareness as well as domestic abuse prevention.
A program immediately will follow the walk, which includes presentations by Bishop L.J. Guillory, Denise Wolford, Yung Cofer, Dr. Christi Osuagwa, Dr. Roseland Guyton, Dr. Jeanette Deas Calhoun and Pam Banks. 

Beginning at 6 p.m., another program on the topic will start at First Tyler United Methodist Church, 2107 Woodlawn St. There will be a 15-minute drama presentation and musical guests, Ms. Arterberry said.

HIV/AIDS hits close to home for Ms. Arterberry. A close friend was diagnosed with HIV 23 years ago, and she’s had several family members who have been affected by the disease, including two cousins who have died from it.

Ms. Arterberry said she is compassionate to victims of domestic abuse, having been a victim herself as a child.
“I’m real passionate when it comes to domestic violence, rape and molestation,” she said. “I want people to have a voice. I didn’t have a voice. A lot of times there are women who have HIV or AIDS, and they’re also in a domestic violence situation and they are unable to get out. I want to make sure people are being protected.”

Ms. Arterberry is teaming up with many local leaders to help educate the community in order to diminish the spread of new HIV infections, particularly among African-American women. 

Mrs. Deas Calhoun will provide information about MPowering Women Over HIV Regional Coalition, a new group of at least 25 community leaders created to disseminate information about HIV prevention.

“We’re expecting the walk to be well supported because there are churches committed to participate, sororities and fraternizes committed to participate. …We’re trying get people to understand how persons become infected.”

Its primary focus is on black women, as they make up 13 percent of the 66,000 people living with HIV in Texas, according to Texas Department of State Health Services data. In addition, black women make up 57 percent of all women living with HIV in Northeast Texas.

The coalition has identified services most needed in East Texas. They are: increase awareness and provide mentorship to black women at risk for HIV; equip teens to make informed and healthy choices; increase testing and treatment for HIV/AIDs; and increase prenatal services for women at risk.

According to DSHS reports, the rate of new diagnoses in black females is eight times higher in Hispanic females and 14 times greater in white females.
Learning of that diagnoses too late means an individual is least likely to properly manage their disease.

“The whole emphasis is to have people know their status,” Mrs. Deas Calhoun said.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Tell Congress - don't spy on my cell phone
Tell Congress to protect your privacy from invasive cell phone location spying.

Do not forward: This link will open a page with your information already filled in.
Do you use a cell phone? Chances are, your answer is "yes." Does the government have the ability to track where you go, what you do, even who you know — all by using your phone? Well, that's a definite "yes."

The fact is, if you use a cell phone, your location is being recorded and stored. And law enforcement agencies see it as a gold mine of information that's there for the taking. We already know that one local police department sought information about every cell phone that happened to be in the vicinity of a planned labor protest.

We shouldn't have to choose between the convenience of technology and our right to personal privacy. New bills have been introduced by Sen. Wyden and Rep. Chaffetz that would create stronger location privacy protections. Tell your senators and representative to support updated location privacy legislation now. (Do not forward: This link will open a page with your information already filled in.)

Currently, the government claims that it doesn't need to go to a judge and get a full probable cause warrant before tracking cell phones. And because the government's applications are secret, we don't know just how it's using this invasive form of surveillance.

That's why last week, 34 ACLU affiliates across the country filed public records requests to find out just how far local law enforcement is going to track people using their cell phones. Through our public records requests, we expect to learn more about when, why and how local police are using cell phone location data to track us. In the meantime, we need to act now to demand stronger laws that protect all of us.

Tell the government that you want your location information to be kept private.

Thank you for standing with us.


The ACLU Online Team

Friday, August 5, 2011


After six weeks in Italy, the cast of Jersey Shore is back where they belong.

Seaside Heights, N.J.,  Pauly D, JWoww, Sitch, Vinny, Ronnie, Sammi, Deena, and effing Snooki gave returned to their familiar stomping grounds:

Italy was everything he hoped for, DJ Pauly D tells Ombudsman Press News.

The fourth season of MTV's huge hit, which launches Thursday (Aug. 4), has the  "Jersey Shore" gang in Italy. Though Snooki was luke-warm about her experience -- driving into a police car, missing your family while not being able to get your nails and tan done will do that to a guidette -- Pauly D says, "Italy was amazing. It was one of my Top 10 things in life - to go to Italy."

"It was everything I pictured," he says.

Talking from the rooftop of the Jersey Shore house while the gang was shooting the fifth season back in Seaside Heights, Pauly D says, "I pictured it to be Italian flags hanging out of the window, narrow cobblestone roads, the food to be amazing and the women to be beautiful. And they were."

The usual GTL - gym, tan laundry - was harder there. There were no tanning salons.

And, it took 45 minutes to get to the gym. "And we got lost," he says. "It was so hard to drive there."

Witness the accident that made international news when Snooki was driving. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Arsenio Hall has said that a 17-year rest is long enough. Having quit his iconic late-night talk show in 1994, Hall was asked this afternoon during a PBS panel at TCA about an Ed Sullivan Comedy Special premiering Aug. 6 whether he'd consider making a comeback.

"I'd have to change my name to Nick Cannon and live with Mariah (Carey)," he joked. "But I think it's a perfect time for that personally. Give me a microphone. My son's 11 and he can drive himself to school. I'm ready to host!" 

When a critic pressed if he was serious, Hall acknowledged, "It's pretty crowded out there. I'm not sure if it's too crowded for a 55-year-old guy to re-emerge, but if they give me a little daylight I'm gonna slide into it."

Thursday, July 21, 2011



Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Attorney General Holder, Secretary Duncan Announce Effort to Respond to School-to-Prison Pipeline by Supporting Good Discipline Practices

WASHINGTON –Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced the launch of the Supportive School Discipline Initiative, a collaborative project between the Departments of Justice and Education that will address the “school-to-prison pipeline” and the disciplinary policies and practices that can push students out of school and into the justice system. The initiative aims to support good discipline practices to foster safe and productive learning environments in every classroom.
“Ensuring that our educational system is a doorway to opportunity – and not a point of entry to our criminal justice system – is a critical, and achievable, goal,” said Attorney General Holder.  “By bringing together government, law enforcement, academic, and community leaders, I’m confident that we can make certain that school discipline policies are enforced fairly and do not become obstacles to future growth, progress, and achievement.”

"Maintaining safe and supportive school climates is absolutely critical, and we are concerned about the rising rates and disparities in discipline in our nation’s schools,” said Secretary Duncan. “By teaming up with stakeholders on this issue and through the work of our offices throughout the department, we hope to promote strategies that will engage students in learning and keep them safe.”

The goals of the Supportive School Discipline Initiative are to: build consensus for action among federal, state and local education and justice stakeholders; collaborate on research and data collection that may be needed to inform this work, such as evaluations of alternative disciplinary policies and interventions; develop guidance to ensure that   school discipline policies and practices comply with the nation’s civil rights laws and to promote positive disciplinary options to both keep kids in school and improve the climate for learning; and promote awareness and knowledge about evidence-based and promising policies and practices among state judicial and education leadership.

In order to implement the initiative, the two departments will coordinate with other organizations in the non-profit and philanthropic communities who are also working to help ensure students succeed by addressing inappropriate school discipline. These groups include the Council of State Governments and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.  The Supportive School Discipline Initiative will build upon the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights’ work to increase and enhance the school discipline data available through the Civil Rights Data Collection and the Departments’ proactive efforts to ensure disciplinary policies support students and are administered in a non-discriminatory manner.  

Attorney General Holder and Secretary Duncan announced this initiative during the quarterly meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, whose membership includes representatives from 12 federal agencies and nine practitioners.   The council coordinates federal juvenile justice and prevention programs to help better serve at-risk youth.   A priority issue for the council is education and at-risk youth.   More information on the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice is available at:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Story by Joy Resmovits Huffington Post
NEW YORK -- Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced Tuesday that widespread cheating inflated Atlanta Public Schools' 2009 state standardized tests scores.

The product of a two-year investigation, the report concluded that systematic cheating occurred within Atlanta Public Schools -- which had been lauded for its quick testing gains -- including at least 44 of the 56 examined schools. The report implicated 38 principals, noting that 178 educators pled the Fifth Amendment when questioned. Eighty-two other educators confessed to various forms of cheating, including erasing wrong answers on students' multiple choice exams and then replacing them with the correct ones.

"The 2009 CRCT [test] statistics are overwhelming and allow for no conclusion other than widespread cheating," a summary of the report circulated by the governor's office said.

The cheating can be traced back to as early as 2001, the report found. It detailed how warnings of cheating in late 2005 were ignored and how the school system destroyed documents and provided false statements to hide wrongdoing.

"In a statewide erasure analysis ... the Atlantic Public School system test results demonstrated a pattern of wrong to right changes, evidencing that these changes did not occur in a valid testing environment," Gov. Nathan Deal said at a Tuesday press conference.

"We share a common resolve to address these problems ... so this dark cloud will not continue to hang over the system, the city and the state," he continued.

Deal forwarded the report to several officials to determine whether its conclusions warrant the filing of criminal charges. The report also illuminated painful consequences for APS students: Because the cheating inflated their scores, causing thousands to miss out on remedial education.

Reports of cheating on standardized tests with the goal of bolstered performance have increased in frequency in recent years, according to Robert Schaeffer, public education director of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing. Schaeffer, who has tracked such revelations, noted in the past only a few reports surfaced each year, but now several appear weekly.

"The number of confirmed reports of score manipulation has exploded," he said.

Whether the growth is because of better reporting or simply more cheating is unclear. Still, Schaeffer and others say the pressures placed on teachers by policies that stress standardized test scores -- such as No Child Left Behind -- foster an environment ripe for cheating.

"Cheating was caused by a number of factors but primarily by the pressure to meet targets in the data-driven environment," according to the report's summary. "A culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation existed in APS, which created a conspiracy of silence and deniability with respect to standardized test misconduct."

"School districts don’t have incentives for policing themselves. Their reputations depend on a steady rise in performance that accountability mandates of NCLB require," said Aaron Pallas, a professor at Columbia University's Teachers College.

And with about 15 states preparing to tie test scores to teacher evaluations after a nationwide legislative push toward test-based accountability, Schaeffer said, the pressure is only bound to increase. "We know that the more pressure it's brought to bear, the more people crack," Schaeffer said.

Still, the cheating exposed in Atlanta, he said, is more pervasive and widespread than any he'd seen before.

"The size and scope based on the number of names in the Georgia report appears to be significantly larger than anything before," he said.


Investigators spent more than two years looking into much-lauded gains on 2009's state standardized tests after questions about "statistically improbable" test score increases were first raised by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

An initial report was deemed superficial, with one high-ranking official saying her testimony had been edited to soften the blow.

Then-Governor Sonny Perdue ordered a new report, this time with the help of Georgia's equivalent of the FBI.

When Deal took office, he allowed the investigation to continue -- and received its results last week. In his Tuesday press conference, Deal told reporters that "there will be consequences" for those implicated by the report.

The report itself was not released to the media, though officials gave the Atlanta Journal Constitution an early look at the document.

According to the AJC, the investigators concluded that APS chief Brenda Hall -- who retired recently after serving the full length of her term despite the investigation -- "knew or should have known" about the cheating. Hall led Atlanta's troubled schools for 12 years, leading to her being named "Superintendent of the Year" in 2009.

"I was really disappointed," said Diane Ravitch, a New York University education historian and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education who has since become a critic of what she sees as the corporatization of education policy. "I had thought that Beverly Hall was one of our best superintendents, that she was the real deal."

The report criticizes a culture of cheating, fear and retaliation. According to the AJC, it also chronicles the lack of cooperation by officials in the investigation. It alleges that school administrators tampered with the investigation and tried to avoid taking blame for the mess.

AJC education blogger Maureen Downey spelled out what she saw as the motivations for the drawn-out cheating episode:

I think some of their motivation was less self-serving; they wanted to fulfill Dr. Hall’s vision that low-income children from single parent homes and tough neighborhoods could and would succeed at levels comparable to suburban Atlanta peers.


Atlanta is not alone in allegedly gaming its numbers. Schaeffer said cheating headlines have popped up in the last month alone from Baltimore, Norfolk, Va., Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Florida.

In June, Andrés Alonso, CEO of Baltimore's schools, announced that evidence of cheating had been found at two elementary schools over the last two years. He accompanied the announcement with a promise that the 2011 standardized tests

would be the most "extraordinarily transparent set of scores of any urban district in America."

Shortly afterwards, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan addressed cheating in a letter to state superintendents of education. Duncan wrote:

I am writing to urge you to do everything you can to ensure the integrity of the data used to measure student achievement and ensure meaningful educational accountability in your State. As I’m sure you know, even the hint of testing irregularities and misconduct in the test administration process could call into question school reform efforts and undermine the State accountability systems that you have painstakingly built over the past decade.

Representatives from Duncan's office said they would let the letter speak for itself in light of the Georgia incident.

While Congress struggles to overhaul No Child Left Behind, it might embed more provisions for monitoring tests. But Pallas said states might see this as yet another unfunded mandate.

Besides, Schaeffer said, more policing doesn’t always work.

"It's like trying to enforce marijuana laws," he said. "The more security personnel you add, the further underground cheating gets."

Standardized tests are easy to game, he added. "There are simply too many places in the process where people touch the test or have the opportunity to manipulate scores," he said.

"I've never seen so many cheating scandals as there have been in the last few years," Ravitch said. "As we get closer to this deadline of [100% proficiency under NCLB by] 2014, it's not surprising that there are schools and districts where these things happen again and again."

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bishop L. J. Guillory, Ombudsman General Questions JP Morgan: Status In America

                                 The Ombudsman General Questions:  JP Morgan?

What if you made a 1.5 billion dollar mistake and couldn't take it back? According to recently unearthed court documents, one of the world's most prestigious law firms may soon face this question, and everyone from the federal government to one of Wall Street's biggest banks wants to know the answer.

This is a story about how small errors can have big consequences. Legal filings indicate that, three years ago, the venerable law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP accidentally gave away $1.5 billion of its clients' money, and the fact that the clients just happened to include the investment bank JP Morgan Chase makes the story all the more intriguing. Dan Rather Reports producer Adam Teicholz, poring over court documents in the public record, has uncovered for the first time that this mistake could become the biggest legal malpractice case in American history.

The story begins five years ago, hundreds of miles away from Wall Street. The Big Three automakers were struggling, even before the economy tanked. General Motors was desperate for cash and was able to get a massive loan from a group of banks, headed by JP Morgan. Wanting to protect its risky investment, the JP Morgan group staked claim to an astonishing $1.5 billion worth of the automaker's cash and property as collateral.

Fast forward to 2009, GM is heading to bankruptcy, and everyone who has done business with the company is worried about getting paid. The federal government is using TARP money to smooth the bankruptcy process and it repays JP Morgan the $1.5 billion... for the time being. It turns out that a year earlier a law firm representing GM had mistakenly filed a document saying that JP Morgan and the group of investors it headed, had given up their claim to the $1.5 billion in collateral. If a court ultimately decides that JP Morgan has technically lost claim to that money, that means the bank should never have been paid back with the TARP funds in the bankruptcy.

All this may have gone by unnoticed by anyone beyond some very nervous lawyers at JP Morgan and the firm that made the error who got together in June 2009 and wrote an affidavit saying that the $1.5 billion release had been a mistake. Except at some point before March 2010, some other eagle-eyed lawyers, seemingly led by Eric Fisher (at the time of the law firm Butzel Long, and now at Dickstein Shapiro) found the error. They were representing groups to whom GM had owed money but who were not paid after the bankruptcy, people like parts suppliers and corporate bond holders (who are known as "unsecured creditors"). They saw $1.5 billion that could be theirs and started salivating, filing claim to the money in federal court.

What this means is that, although JP Morgan is saying otherwise, the esteemed bank and the group of investors it led could be out well over a billion dollars. But this is about much more than a big bank losing big money. This is about how the bank's lawyers may have made one grandiose oversight. Because although it was a different law firm that made the initial mistake, it was Simpson Thacher who signed off on it representing their client JP Morgan ("Nice job on the documents," one Simpson Thacher lawyer wrote). And in the world of legal malpractice, who is representing whom means everything.

Founded in 1884, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is one of New York's famed "white-shoe" firms, with a client list that reads like a who's-who of the world's most important businesses. But now this firm is in a whale of a mess and could be in the position of shutting its doors for good. That's because when a lawyer's mistake leads to his client losing money, the client can sue, and in theory, every dollar of that loss comes out of the lawyer's pocket. There is no doubt among the experts we spoke to that despite Simpson's healthy profits, a $1.5 billion judgment against it could cause the firm to shut down, fire its lawyers and liquidate its assets.

That probably won't happen; law firms have malpractice insurance, and it's not in JP Morgan's interest to shut down Simpson Thacher. Plus, the fact that this case has been pending for a long time (our earliest documents date from March, 2010) means JP Morgan, the other creditors, and the government are probably working behind the scenes to negotiate a deal. Besides, when we talked to malpractice experts Bennett Wasserman and Krishna Shah, of the law firm Davis Saperstein & Salomon, they pointed out that recent case-law lets lawyers who make mistakes reduce their liability if their client has a lot of in-house lawyers reviewing everything. Few companies have more lawyers in-house than JP Morgan -- although at this point it's unclear to what degree JP Morgan's own lawyers signed off on Simpson Thacher's oversight. Still, the details as we have them don't look good for the law firm, even though nobody thinks that there is any fraud involved, just an honest mistake.

As for whether JP Morgan is responsible for their lawyers' potentially costly screw-up even though they never meant to give up the money, bankruptcy experts we contacted said that they're probably out of luck, based on the facts as presented in our documents. The bankruptcy code is crafted with a strong bias for so-called "bright-line rules." Congress, when creating the law, wanted very much to avoid situations like the one at hand. It's in the economy's interest to get everything settled in a bankruptcy so all the debtors and lenders can know their liabilities and get on with doing business unencumbered by litigation and questions about who owns what. Once all the i's are dotted and the t's crossed, generally courts are very loathe to disturb things.

In JP Morgan's favor, though, Barry Adler, the NYU bankruptcy professor who helped us navigate the complicated world of bankruptcy, told us, "It's going to be a rare judge who says you lost 1.5 billion dollars because you checked the wrong box." Even Adler says, however, that if bankruptcy judges stick to a strict reading of the law, JP Morgan and the lenders in the group will probably be out of luck, losing their collateral and ending up back at the end of the line like all other unsecured lenders, with just pennies on the dollar for what it's owed.

So if JP Morgan is going to have to cough up, who gets the money? GM's unsecured creditors are the ones currently trying to get the court to force JP Morgan to relinquish the money. That means they clearly think it's going to them. That would normally make sense; once the creditors with collateral get their money, the leftovers go to anyone else who's owed money. This time is different, though, because the government played such a pivotal role in paying off the bankruptcy. And according to bankruptcy law, that means they are first in line to get paid back.

The unsecured creditors are afraid enough of this argument that they've filed suit to get a court to cut the government out of the picture before anybody even knows if this 1.5 billion dollars is really up for grabs.

The government refused to comment, but they gave a pretty big hint that they're after something: before we could ask anything, spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York Jerika Richardson said "I assume you'd be asking about what the United States' interest in this money could be?" That sounded like an interesting question. "Sure. Yes," our reporter said. She responded that in that case, "we've spoken to the line attorneys and we're not going to be able to help out with this."

If the government does get its hands on the money, it will be quite a coup: President Obama was at a factory in Ohio earlier this month bragging about the success of the auto bailout. The administration has pointed out that the bailout, which was supposed to cost $48 billion, looks like it will only cost $14 billion. If JP Morgan and its affiliated investors have to let go of their $1.5 billion, and that money ends up going to the U.S. Treasury, the price-tag for taxpayers would drop that another 10 percent. After the last arbitration is complete and the last lawsuit concluded, who ends up paying is the biggest question of all. There is much about the outcome that is currently unknown, but these may be nervous days at one of the most world's most successful law firms.

The court documents that form the basis for this report were mostly generated by the group of investors and creditors trying to get the money from JP Morgan and the other lenders in its group. Still, the facts do not seem to be in dispute. We reached out to both JP Morgan and Simpson Thacher for comment. The law firm stopped answering our calls. JP Morgan declined to comment.

Dan Rather Reports airs Tuesdays on HDNet at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET. This show is also available on iTunes.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bishop L.J. Guillory Honors John Brown As "St. John Brown....He Was More Than Just A Martyr He Was A Saint

Yes, I know that many of my readers will not agree. However, facts are what they are! Right?! Yes, they are! But, here are others point of view.....

Freddie X. – A martyr is someone who is willing to die for what they believe in. I believe that John Brown was, at heart, a sincere martyr. Even though he performed some extreme acts, they were for a good cause. Mr. Brown believed that the slave community “was in a state of war”. He was willing to lose everything, including his life, just to make sure that his belief became true. Mr. Brown perfectly fits the definition of a martyr. He freely accepted death as it would only stir his cause even more. This proves his dedication to abolishing slavery. He believed that death was just a small hurdle that needed to be crossed in order to completely end slavery. Mr. Brown said that, “Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I say let it be done.” This showed his willingness and acceptance of dying in order for his beliefs to continue on so that, in the end, slavery would be abolished.

Joey L. - I believe John Brown was a martyr. I think this because John Brown did what he did because he had such a profound belief. He believed with all of his heart that slavery was an injustice. He believed all were created equally and never doubted his beliefs. Many would consider John Brown a violent, messed up terrorist. But, he fought for a passion and never gave up, even though he stood nearly alone being one of the few whites who believed slavery was wrong—which it was. John Brown helped slaves to a free life. John Brown was brave and compassionate because of the things he did for slaves. Even though the raid he led was rather violent, it doesn’t make him a violent man. He let the train coming through go by without holding them hostage, and as soon as someone who he was trying to help was killed, and stopped and realized that what he was doing wasn’t right.He risked his own life for the freedom of others. John Brown was killed because of the things he did for slaves. This is why I consider John Brown a martyr.

Nick M. - I believe that John Brown was a martyr. I think this because he died for the cause he was fighting for. He was a devout Christian, and an active abolitionist. It is also said that he “practiced what he preached.” His main dream in life was to free all slaves and freed many by being active on the Underground Railroad. He believed that slavery was an abomination and risked his safety in order to free slaves. But, I believe that he did go too far with the Pottawatomie Massacre and was a little harsh to all pro-slavery people. In his speech before he was hung he said that he would “forfeit his life for the furtherance of the ends of justice” which means he would die to end slavery, making him a martyr.

Mariah O. – I Believe John Brown was a Martyr because, before he died this is what he said: “Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life, for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and MINGLE MY BLOOD FURTHER WITH THE BLOOD OF MY CHILDREN, and with the blood of millions in this Slave country, whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments — I say LET IT BE DONE.” I think John Brown wanted to die to help other people. Four of his sons said that John had not done any of the killing himself but had decided who would be spared. John Brown thought that his actions would encourage slave to rise up and help the fight for freedom. John Brown was tried and hanged along with six other of his men. John Brown was not a terrorist because he died for what he believed in.

Samuel L. - It is in my belief that John Brown is a martyr. Yes, there are some conflicts that did not have the need for aggression, like the Civil Rights Movement, but most conflicts need force. Some people are very stubborn in their ideologies and a lasting impression needs to be raised. War was fought over democracy in the US. War was fought to end Nazi reign in WWII. And this in itself is a small war that was fought for a group of people who could not speak for themselves against another group of people. Although the opposition would obviously think that John Brown was a terrorist, as his actions were rather terrorist-like. To the people who do not believe in unethical treatment of another human being, however, he would be a martyr who died for their cause. He even said himself, during the trial after the Harper’s Ferry raid, that quote, “I have not done wrong, but right.” This shows he is very devout in his ideology. A terrorist is someone who uses terror to battle against a cause. Yes he was that. But even more so was he a martyr. He truly believed in the equality of every human being. That’s why, in my opinion of course, I think he is a martyr.

Megana C. to Bryan,

I totally agree with what you said. A defintion is just the beginning of a story. The rest of the journey is your opinion. You should use the defintion to guide you like a teacher guides students. John Brown does sound like a terrorist but overall he really is man who was only trying to support his cause. John Brown was just a man who wanted everyone to have the same rights. Your reasons are good reasons to agree with.

Sean D. – OK yes, by Webster’s definition John Brown was a terrorist because he used fear and terror as a weapon. But he was definately a martyr too! he died for his cause, to oppose slavery which again, by definition, makes him a martyr. All terrorists who die in their terrorist acts are dieing for their cause. But i think he is a martyr because his cause was morrally right as opposed to say being socially accepted. Everyone (except those among us who are mean and stupid) knows that it doesnt matter what people look like. Appearence has nothing to do with someone treating someone else differently. The slaves did nothing to deserve what was done to them, and John Brown, in his acts, punished those who oppressed the slaves with death or injury. Think for a moment if their places were switched. Say the people were mistreating white men as opposed to black. The law would be liable to punish them. If John Brown had rode in and stopped them and freed them, he would be commended for his actions. He said, “If I had done what i did for white men, I would be given a metal, not hanged”. He is so right its not even funny. And THAT is why I think John Brown is a martyr.

Nicholas M. - A martyr and a terrorist are often thought of as very similar, but in reality they are actually very different. A martyr is someone who chooses to make sacrifices, even die for their cause. A martyr’s cause is good and just, in which violence is necessary at some points. A terrorist is someone who deliberately hurts innocent people to strengthen his cause. I say that John Brown was a martyr. I say this because he fought for the abolitionist’s cause, which was all about freeing the slaves, not about hurting the South. He devoted his life to freeing slaves like in Bleeding Kansas and Harper’s Ferry. He was violent when he killed pro-slavery men, but it wasn’t directed at the southern people and he only used violence to show that slavery was evil. Overall, John Brown was a good man; Abraham Lincoln said he had “great courage, rare unselfishness” and he treated all people with respect no matter what race they were. In the book, John Brown his Fight for Freedom, by John Hendrix, it said John Brown would even have dinner with black people. He was very religious, went to church, and believed God called him to end slavery. He accepted his death and didn’t go against his beliefs to escape being hung. A terrorist would deliberately use violence to make people afraid but John Brown was just trying to make people see what he believed in. Also, do we think of a comic book super hero as a terrorist? They use violence, but it is for a good cause so we think of them as good. That is exactly what John Brown was like. Another reason John Brown was a martyr was because he made sacrifices for his cause. He lost two of his sons fighting to free the slaves. Finally, John Brown used violence only for what he thought was right, he chose to die for what he thought was right and is remembered for fighting for the abolitionist cause. That is why I say that Brown is a martyr.

Sandy G. – ” I will raise a storm in this country that will not be stayed so long as there is a slave on its soil! ” These powerful words were once said by a brave man, John Brown. John Brown was an abolitionist, which slave owners and others thought his actions led him to be a terrorist, or the abolitionist who believed he was a martyr. In my opinion, I believe John Brown was a martyr because he suffered for religious beliefs and did what he believed was right. There are some views in his life were John Brown proves himself a martyr. “If i am dying for freedom, i couldn’t die for a better cause. I had rather die than be a slave.” This means that if the only way to stop slavery was to be sentenced to death, then so be it! This also shows how serious and brave he was about making a change. John Brown backed up his inspiring words with strong actions to prove slavery was wrong. An example of that would be when John Brown and his family went to church. He then noticed the entire back pew was filled with his black friends. John Brown was not happy, he knew that was racism and wrong in so many ways. Starting small to make a change, he proudly stood up and escorted his black friends to the front of the pew; ignoring the consequences. John Brown was a brave abolitionist who fought against slavery, proving himself a martyr. His actions, his words, and his way of trying to stop slavery was inspiring from my part, even though Brown’s plan didn’t work, i still believe suffering and dying for a noble cause is a big part to making a change!

Claudia C. - Back then, John Brown was a terrorist to the southerners, and a martyr to some of the abolitionists in the north. I’m sure his actions stirred up a lot of drama in the U.S. back then (and even these days on this blog)! However in the end, in my opinion, I think that John Brown was a very heroic martyr. I think that even though some of his actions may have been violent, his violence was only to help the injustices the African Americans suffered. A martyr is a person that died for what he or she believed in; that is exactly what John was. Although he killed some white people, in the long run he saved more African Americans. I say this because without John Brown and his statement- making actions, the banning of slavery may have been delayed, causing more slaves to die under the horrible conditions given them. And besides that point, John did help lead several African Americans to freedom. If John Brown is considered a terrorist that means every soldier that killed someone in the Civil War is a terrorist. After all, a terrorist is someone who uses violence for political purposes. You can almost consider John Brown as a soldier that fought to try to end slavery.

Summing up my post, I believe John Brown was a martyr. He fought for what he believed in, and died for it. Only few people would have the guts to lead a fight for what he or she believes in.

John Brown


Harboring a fury that was fueled by profound religious devotion, John Brown carried his hatred of slavery into action, creating a legacy of bloodshed and violence that remains at once inspiring and appalling to this day.

Born in Torrington, Connecticut in 1800 into a deeply religious family, Brown spent much of his childhood in the anti-slavery stronghold of Ohio. Setting out in life as a businessman, he went from mild success to repeated failure, and from 1825 to 1855 moved his large family ten times, shifting his occupation from tanner to shepherd to farmer and working at whatever odd jobs he could find. Always a committed abolitionist, during these years he offered his homes as waystops on the Underground Railroad and insisted that his churches admit African-Americans as full members of their congregations.

In 1855, Brown followed five of his sons to Kansas when they appealed to him for help in fighting off the Missouri "border ruffians" who were gathering there to force slavery on the citizens of the territory. Brown arrived with a wagonload of weapons and the conviction that all free-soil Kansans stood in mortal peril. In 1856, Brown felt compelled to take action. During the night of May 24, he led a group which methodically killed five pro-slavery settlers living along Pottawotomie Creek, dragging the men out of their cabins and butchering them with swords.

This massacre shocked even Brown's fellow abolitionists and led to a string of violent deaths which gave rise to the name "Bleeding Kansas." Brown successfully fought off all attempts to apprehend him, and maintained publicly that his acts were not only justified, but directly ordered by God. Finally, in October, he left Kansas for a tour through the Northeast, where he was acclaimed for his militant opposition to slavery.

But by this time Brown had formulated an even more militant plan: he would incite a massive slave insurrection and thereby destroy the hated institution once and for all. To provide the funding for this ambitious undertaking, he turned to wealthy abolitionists who had grown frustrated by the failure of peaceful means and shared his view that it was time to wage war.

After returning to Kansas briefly in 1858, where he led a raiding party into Missouri which liberated eleven slaves, Brown moved in early 1859 to a rented farm near Harpers Ferry, Virginia, site of a federal arsenal with which Brown planned to arm the slaves he would inspire to rebellion. In October, he led twenty-one followers in a raid on Harpers Ferry and quickly occupied the federal arsenal, but was just as quickly trapped there by troops under the command of Robert E. Lee. The next morning, Lee's forces overran Brown's band of raiders, killing half of them, including two of Brown's sons.

Brown's ensuing trial for treason gave him the opportunity to vigorously condemn slavery and to again defend his actions as ordained by God. Before his hanging in December, popular support poured out from the North. The white South, however, was only more deeply convinced that remaining in the Union meant the end of slavery. Yet both sides could agree that, as he had in Kansas, John Brown had sharpened the issue dividing them into a weapon that would not be sheathed until it had drawn blood.