Mark Twain and the ‘N’ Word

By Wilbert Gibson, author of the classic novel, “Scratching For Daylight”.

Mark Twain must be turning over in his grave right along about now. If he was alive today he would be outraged. Because he is not with us I will express outrage in his place. Who gave these people the authority to change a comma or a period in anyone’s book and put them out as his words. This is political correctness that has gone amok. The classic novel “Huckaberry Finn” has been around since our early history. Mark Twain used the “N” word in his writing because, at that time, it was commonly used and acceptable, a representation of the culture. If this is allowed to happen, what other books are going to be revised.

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Those Disgraceful Prisons For Profit:

 They Are Selling Our People

By Wilbert Gibson, author of the classic novel, “Scratching For Daylight”.

One bit, two bits, three bits, a dollar. All of you out there step up a little closer so you can get a better look at the merchandise. We have different colors, sizes and all are poor. You over there with the straw hat, how much would you bid for this 22 year old strapping young buck? He’s disease free and guaranteed by the state to a lifetime of servitude. In addition, we have this sturdy 19 year old drug addicted breeding mare, yours guaranteed by the state for at least 20 years. Minimum wage prison guards are leering with anticipation. As incomprehensible as it may seem, this is a true story. Sometime back on March 8, I picked up a copy of USA today and right on the front page was an article written by Kevin Johnson. The headline was “Prison Buyers Lock in Occupancy, Private Purchases Bring in Cash, But could Mean Harsh Sentences.” I recoiled in revulsion.

Our country right now routinely gives some of the longest sentences in the world for any poor person, whatever the crime. Understand, we cannot condone criminal behavior and those, whatever their class, should be equally punished. If incarceration is called for, so be it. There are some horrible people being held behind our prison walls and they should stay there or on some crazy farm. We have vicious gang bangers flowing in and out of our prison system like the cursed waters of the River Styx. They are young, out of control and brutal. There are now parts of our inner city where the sanctity of one’s life or personal property is not even an afterthought.  They are the results of societal failures causing multiple generations of severely dysfunctional family environments. However the majority of our prison population is a result of illicit drugs.

In addition, there are many, too many young boys and girls who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many were betrayed by an enemy whom they thought was a friend or a loved one. As Mr. Johnson’s article began,” At a time when many states are struggling to reduce bloated prison populations and tight budgets, a private prison management company is offering to buy prisons in exchange for various considerations. This includes a guarantee that the government would maintain a 90% occupancy rate “. According to the article, they are being paid a flat 3.8 million dollars a year for maintaining the prison. This whole thing is beginning to smell like a dead skunk. Why would this company demand a high occupancy rate that would severely diminish its’ profits? Stunningly, instead of having these people arrested for making this ghoulish proposal, the states are agreeing and signing up. In order to meet the satanic incarceration quota of 90% – our criminal justice system, for a few pieces of silver, has agreed to set aside its’ oath of office, compassion, decency, conscious and Christian Humanity. As one looks around, these prison management companies like the powerful and influential Correction Corporation of America are springing up all over America.

How are they going to save all this money? Are they going to reduce staff, lower wages and curtail benefits? What about the subsistence budget such as food? I only hope that a reduction of rations is not ever considered. There has to be at least one man of conscience in these corporations. What else is there to cut? This is a penal institution, not General Motors or some ailing airline. You cannot lop off a division here, merge cell blocks and sell non-performing parts of the company. What is the penalty the state must pay in the unlikely event they miss the quota?

As I read on, the proposal seeks to build upon a deal reached last fall in which the Correction Corporation of America purchased the 1,798 bed Lake Erie Correctional Institution from the state of Ohio for a measly 72.7 million dollars. Ohio officials lauded the September transaction saying, that private management would save the state 3 million dollars annually. This forces me to question their math. Has Mr. Johnson personally seen this odorous contract. How did they come up with the selling price? How much is the corporation paying for each inmate? How much is the state paying the company on a daily basis for the maintenance of the corporate-owned inmates? This odorous thing is getting more rancid.  If the company is making a profit for the inmate being imprisoned, why would you expect the inmate to get any time off for good behavior?  How can the state insure that each inmate is treated humanely? How can a state abrogate its’ responsibility to its’ citizens free or incarcerated? Is an inmate considered to be a full human being?

Now this is the hair raiser! In an accompanying article on page 6A, same newspaper, same date, the headline was, “Company’s Executive Was Director of Bureau of Prisons just last year.” How can there be better management when we have the same management team? In violation of the law, the offer to buy these prisons was made by a man whose name is Harley Lappin. He was the former Director of the Bureau of Prisons less than a year ago. Afterwards, he retired or was fired for driving under the influence in Annapolis, MD. How do we know that this man is not a drunk or drug addict? If an alcoholic, how long was he in the drunk tank? How many days was he under the supervision of the county for this DUI? Is he attending Alcoholic Anonymous meetings regularly? How can we be sure that this was his first and only time under the influence?  Sadly, this little criminal act has no effect on his qualification to run prisons.

I can only surmise that the only penalty for a man of his class and stature, caught after years of scurrilous behavior, would be the sullying of his good name. At least, I hope the minimum wage guards are held to a higher standard. None of us want to see drunken prison guards stumbling down cell blocks bulging with violent criminals. What if there is a prison riot with hostages and the leader demands to speak only to the administrator who is somewhere laying up drunk?


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Pleading the Case for Collective Bargaining

By Wilbert Gibson, author of the classic novel, “Scratching For Daylight”.

Labor unions in this country have been knocked senseless and are hanging on for dear life, which is unfortunate. Collective bargaining has been with us since the dawning of the industrial revolution. Also, it is imperative that we keep it. It would be hard to count the innumerable husbands and fathers who were maimed and killed by the clubs and knives of brutal strikebreaking professionals on the company payrolls. Their only crime was to picket in freezing rain, outside the factory gates, for the right to bargain for a living wage while desperate to feed their families. In recent weeks I have been scouring my memory trying to remember when it was that a decent hard working man, a high school graduate, who had no opportunity for higher learning, could go out, do a hard day’s work and earn enough money to feed his family and educate his children. This would be living the American dream. Where are our Labor Unions when we need them? These days it is almost impossible to form a union in a right to work state. The phrase, right to work is a misnomer. Whoever came up with it should be ashamed of themselves. Those large international companies with their eye only on the bottom line and no historical allegiance to this country or its people, see labor unions as an expensive impediment. The millions of dollars they are spending denigrating labor unions has borne fruit. A large percentage of our population is now convinced that it is the greed of union workers that has caused our financial mess. They think that unions caused factories to relocate to foreign shores. We are told that the unions are demanding working conditions that would make the laziest of men green with envy. Also, their demands for excessive wages, health care and pensions are making it hard for businesses to make a lot of money in this country. In addition, there might be some criminal elements in union leadership, which has not been the case for many years. By dividing us, they are pitting union workers against nonunion workers. Those millions of dollars of propaganda, born in greed, are telling us that it is unfair that union wages and benefits are greater than those of nonunion workers.  Wages of nonunion workers have been stagnant for over thirty years. However, rather than increase the nonunion workers wages, corporations are advocating decreasing the union workers wages. This is all while corporation CEO’s are raking in millions of dollars, all of it almost tax free. This is done even though the rest of us are struggling to pay the mortgage and buy food. Labor Unions have compromised almost to the bone, but that is not enough. The reason these companies are leaving is insatiable greed, no other reason. They are moving to countries where officials look the other way when child labor is used and abused. They have no worry about benefits and concern for the environment. In a race to the bottom, our states are competing with each other over the scraps. Foreign companies from emerging economies are taking advantage of the situation. They are demanding tax breaks, land, and the loss of the rights of our workers to bargain for fair treatment as they toil for poverty wages and poor or no benefits. For the first time in many years most of our workers are only one paycheck from the poor house while living in the richest country in the world. It was the Labor Unions that gave us the eight hour work day. It was the Labor unions that gave us child labor laws making it illegal for eight year old girls to pulled out of school to work long hours in sweat shops. Through years of contentious bargaining, it gave us work place safety. If a Labor Union was in place in West Virginia would those poor coal miners have been killed? Management was warned of the unsafe working conditions and it was ignored. We are not the only country with labor unions. The best example is Germany. They have the best economy in all of Europe with union representatives sitting on company boards. A right to work state puts all its trust in international and foreign corporations with pathetic records, hoping they will do the right thing. I suppose you are never too old to believe in miracles.

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The Criminal Injustice System

By Wilbert Gibson, author of the classic novel, “Scratching For Daylight”.

I am hesitant to dip my toe in the odorous muck called our criminal justice system, afraid there is not enough soap in the world to wash away the stench. Our criminal justice system is like a raging, out of control fire and only the poor are getting burned. Name me the last rich man that was on death row!

Are there no homicides in those opulent million dollar estates? I need not ask that question because we read about them all the time. This onerous justice system is leaving a path of destruction that is ravaging poor communities.

As stated in my second post, This So Called War On Drugs, from its’ very inception, has been nothing more than a ghoulish nightmare used as  one of the major tools to incarcerate and destroy the lives of our boys and girls. Prisons are being privatized and now represent big business ran as profit making institutions. I hope that the hundreds, if not thousands of those minimum wage guards with no institutional memory have been deputized which might give them constitutional authority to punish or kill American Citizens.

Highly paid lobbyists, right now, are bribing our elected officials in order to gain favor. What favor? In this country if one is convicted of a crime of any sort, he or she can expect one of the harshest sentences in the world, which includes third world countries. Our prison population is larger than that of any other nation on the planet. We have more people in shackles than those infamous Chinese labor camps and notorious Russian gulags combined. I am going to tell you about some cases and hope they do not represent yours’ or this country’s humanity.

A young boy, around twelve years of age was recklessly firing a rifle at different targets and one of the bullets killed a man. This child was tried, convicted and sentenced as an adult to life in prison. This was in Michigan. A short pudgy boy also around twelve, was playing with his young sister, got too rough and ended up killing her. He was tried, convicted and sentenced as an adult to life in prison. This was in Florida. Within the walls of that prison I can only surmise that at least one of those horney lifers got stabbed fighting over ownership of a young, scared, weeping boy. This will teach that little creep, screamed our justice system, telling all we will not tolerate any level of unlawful behavior. Celebrating, pumping its’ arms in the air, our system of justice was prancing around the courtrooms all over this country, not knowing that it resembled the walk of a Southern California gangbanger as he struts across the recreation yard at San Quentin Prison.

The careers of prosecutors rise and fall on who is the toughest on crime. Men who after long years of incarceration, are being released on our streets with no social skills, unemployable and uneducated. The door to them is closed to get any assistance, education, DHS and employment. They have been stripped of a major part of their citizenship, the right to vote.  As tough as we are on crime, our cities and towns should be the most crime and drug free in the world. Our recidivism rate should not be bumping over two percent. What do you think?

Seeing that I am one of the people of this state in whose name the death sentence is imposed, I decided to take a good, long, hard look at it. The first thing I saw was that we are one of the few countries in the world that even practice this barbaric act and wallowing  in bad company.

A family man in Texas was accused of deliberately setting his home on fire in order to kill his wife and children. After serving many years on death row, new advances in arson detection debunked the states’ original case saying that the findings were in error. People were protesting all over the world. Under pressure, he was given a stay of execution while his case was reviewed by a higher court. As expected, the appeal was denied and the man was killed in the name of the people who were protesting his execution. What evidence did the wise judges have that was not in the public domain? If there is none, something is deathly wrong.

A man was convicted of murder; the evidence against him was nine eye witnesses. During his twenty years on death row, seven of the witness’s recanted saying that they testified against the man because they were afraid, claiming they had been pressured by law enforcement. Jurors said if they knew then what they know now, they would have voted him innocent. Under pressure by people protesting, his cased was reviewed by a higher court. As expected, his appeal was denied and he was killed in the name of the people of the state.

Where are our churches and the Right to Life organizations? Does our concern for life end when the baby leaves the womb? The Bible says thou shalt not kill, it gives no exceptions.

I often wonder why inmates are on death row so long, some for well over twenty years before they are executed. What kind of process would take that long?  If it was to insure that they do not put to death innocent people, it has woefully failed. We will never know the correct number of those who met their maker in error. No state will ever admit that grave of an error. The Republican Governor of Illinois in a crisis of conscious indefinitely suspended executions in that state. This was after a professor and some students who call themselves The Innocence Project, almost cleaned out his death row by proving beyond any doubt many of the inmate’s innocence by means of DNA. Some were close to the faithful date of their death and was prepared to die.

The last case is the one people are still talking about. It pertains to the youngest person to ever be executed in this country. I understand that there is currently a movie or stage production being planned around this event. It was a fourteen year old boy, convicted only on his confession which was given after he was offered some ice cream. I hear that he was playing with a homemade wooden truck and only whimpered when they started   putting him in shackles. This child was so small they had to sit him on books in order for the death cap to reach his head. He was crying when they pulled the switch killing him, carrying out the will of the people.

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THE PROGRAM – Pleading the case for a fair wage to athletes in big-time college sports programs

By Wilbert Gibson, author of the classic novel, “Scratching For Daylight”.

Well, it is now all over.  The last hoop has been made, March Madness is behind us and the last BCS bowl game ended the early part of the year.    Millions of us who could not make it to the arenas or stadiums were glued to our television sets rooting for our favorite teams and adoring our favorite athletic heroes.  Now that it’s over, the universities and coaches can sit down at the table and divide the profits.  No one knows what cut the conferences take in.  It had to be substantial, because last year was a good year.  Right off the top the coaches are going to get their two million dollars plus other goodies that could easily be another two million bucks.  That seems fair to me, if they are winning games they should be paid for their good work.  The university is going to walk away with something north of one hundred million dollars.  No one knows for sure because there has never been a stringent audit.  But wait, there is someone who is not at the table, that is the athlete, the players who people pay millions of dollars to see perform.

I start feeling uncomfortable when I see those large universities praise their athletic programs by paying big money on television advertisement promoting their scholar athletes and the different fields they will go into other than athletics.  I am certain the athletes they are talking about are not the football or basketball players who are ensconced in those million dollar athletic programs.  The chances of these players getting an education of any kind, other than blocking or dunking are remote.  There are a few exceptions, but those big time programs are nothing but farm teams for the National Football League and National Basketball Association and everyone know it.  Why shouldn’t the player agent be at the table looking out for his client.  I almost forgot, players are not allowed to talk to an agent, let alone have one.  Why?  While the university and coaches are awash in cash, a player is getting his Heisman award taken for accepting a vehicle from a booster.  This player was crucified not for gambling, stealing, or rape as some of these coaches are accused of before they flee one program to a bigger one the NFL, leaving behind a scandal.

Most of these players are poor boys who see these big programs as a stepping stone to the NFL or NBA.  If they wanted to get an education, their schedule would not allow time for class attendance or study.  Their graduation rate is a national disgrace and a pitiful few make a professional team.  When a recruiter visit a boy’s home, the first and only person he should talk to is the boy’s agent, negotiating finances and health care benefits.  What about those boys who get seriously hurt playing for the school?  Who is responsible for their medical bills and long term care?  What happens to those special teams players who leave the field on a gurney and whose name is forgotten?  Are they the forty year old men we see walking the street with a squat, talking to themselves as a result of concussions and drinking cheap wine?

There was a recent incident in which a boy’s father was crucified for allegedly asking one hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the service of a 6’4” superstar quarterback who would put butts in the seats, sell beer, hot dogs, popcorn and win championships.  That discussion should have started at 2 million dollars.  College football is BIG BUSINESS.  The boy’s fair wage for last year should have been at least ten million dollars and they still could have given him this wonderful farewell speech, lauding his play on the field.

Any starting player at these big programs should be worth at least one million dollars.  That will somewhat cushion their hurt when they are not drafted or are visited by the turk telling them to turn in their playbook and go see the coach who will tell them to pack up their belongings and leave the premises because they do not have the talent to play professional ball, shattering a lifetime dream.  Those boys are not in these programs to become doctors or engineers, there job is football or basketball, and the only question they ask the recruiter is, “Who is the position coach, because their goal is to play football or basketball and go pro”.  Some of those boys leave these programs functional illiterates.  There was one and I will name him, Dexter Manley of the Washington Redskins, who graduated from college, received his diploma and could not read or write, but could sack the quarterback.  This tells us that in return for them playing football or basketball, they will get a free education.  If paid fairly, they could handle their own tuition which should come to at least a couple hundred dollars a year.  That is about all it is worth.

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Egypt’s Last Pharaoh: Hosni Mubarak?

By Wilbert Gibson, author of the classic novel, “Scratching For Daylight”.

Wow! On television, YouTube, the internet IPhones and everything in between, we have just witnessed, through a peaceful revolution, a dictator ran out of town on a rail; I think. That square was full of people demanding jobs, better pay, cheaper food and by the way they demanded a kleptomatic Pharaoh leave the country. Our Vice President, Joe Biden quickly came to his defense saying he was falsely accused and not a despot.

The crowds grew larger forcing our eighty billion dollar intelligence organizations to take another look. Lo and behold they discovered he was a corrupt and oppressive dictator. I congratulate them on their good and thorough work. With this new information along with the increasing crowds, the administration’s position changed and they wanted him gone no later than yesterday. The corrupt tyrant refused to leave but he did agree to appoint his chief executioner as vice president and allow him to run the country. The crowds grew larger and angrier and were planning a march on the parliament. Facing pressure from us and his army, Mr. Mubarak resigned his presidency and remained in his chalet outside of town.

The military was given the reins of government, agreeing to all the demonstrators’ demands. Their first act was to dissolve the parliament and praise Mubarak. I am surprised they did not give him a medal of valor. What this military did not do was free the political prisoners and lift the decades old state of emergency giving them absolute power. Armed with American made tanks, planes and bullets given to them free, I would hope we have a great deal of influence over their actions. They are now tasked to write a new constitution and have free and fair elections leading to a democratic government. I hope we are not going to see long debates about what is a democratic government and what is a free and fair election. Even now there are rumblings that the Muslim Brotherhood should be excluded even though they had given up violence many decades ago. The administration was getting skittish after the free and fair elections in Palestine which gave us Hamas, a government we refuse to recognize.

Within this constitution that is being written, will the army be sub-servant to civilian authority? I don’t think so. These generals are not military soldiers. They are businessmen in uniforms owning vast businesses and properties thanks to the generosity of the great leader, Mubarak. Are they going to be willing to live on a general’s salary, giving up the opulent lifestyle and luxurious country estates, a quality of life they have become accustomed to?

I know you, the same as me, are going to be very interested in what this constitution is going to look like. I don’t trust them. The wind of change is blowing across the Middle East like a New Orleans hurricane, threatening brutal potentates, most of them our allies in our pursuit of energy and in the fight against Al Quada. Our major fear is that after looking at Egypt those other armies might not be so magnimous and could end up slaughtering hundreds of their own citizens; men women and children with American weapons while in our presence. This would be disastrous for the future of our country, setting back our relationship with the entire world five hundred years or more. We could never recover. Who is Hosni Mubarak and what is he to us that caused our Vice President to go on national television and lie? Mubarak’s Egypt is the largest and most populous country in the entire Middle East through which flows the vital Suez Canal. He has been our staunchest ally, a friend of Israel and speaks for us to other Middle Eastern countries and our chief torturer during the days of illegal rendition. After we threw him under the bus, our president was inundated with angry telephone calls from worried despots, including the king of Saudi Arabia. If we threw Mubarak under the bus what about them? Could they trust us to continue to prop them up against the will of their people? I hope not.

What are we going to do? What should be our strategy going forward? I wanted to see what our Middle Eastern Scholars; senior fellows at those agust think tanks are saying and writing. Many are on a first name basis with these kings and their minions and are there all the time. If anyone can, they can tell us how to get out of this mess. Unfortunately, these wise Senior Fellows’ wisdom is eroded by ideology and or commerce such as oil and their speeches and dissertations are nothing but convoluted garbage offering no real solution at all. I would like to find out who is funding the funders of these foundations. Now I am forced to go back into my closet, get my Derby and turn back the pages on my memory and become a diplomat with only the best interest of my country in mind.

My experience in the Middle East is not nearly as extensive as the most Junior Fellow at the smallest of these institutions, but I was there. From Athens, Greece, I transported and sold alcohol and cigarettes in the Middle East for over two years. Afterwards I was assigned to a Turkish Airbase in Eskisehir, Turkey. Anxious to do business with the locals, I was in and out of Ankara and Istanbul for over a year. Eskisehir even had an English language newspaper which I read and a house of ill repute, which was right outside of town called The Compound which I patronized. It had to be legal, if I knew about it the authorities knew about it too. This was not a small building; it had walls around it and a big gate. Where these girls came from I do not know. My friend told me they were there to pay off family debts, knowing him, I still do not know. I wanted to go to Syria but being in the military I had no passport and it was far too dangerous to enter otherwise. I have been in Pakistan only twice that was for a short period of time. I knew beforehand that it was a   more conservative country than Turkey. Despite the efforts of Kemal Ataturk to westernize it, Turkey is a conservative Muslim country and you had better not forget it.

I learned early on that when in Rome live as the Romans and I respected their culture. In the villages I wore the trousers with the saggy behind that sagged almost to the back part of your knees. I hear it was to soften the ride on animals. They were jokingly called the seven day shitters. I don’t think the Turks liked that description. I had a girlfriend in Istanbul which I shouldn’t have had, if in Pakistan I wouldn’t have had. I have been on those party boats going down the Bosporus Strait which divided Europe from Asia. It’s amazing half of Istanbul is in Europe and the other half is in Asia. I used to drink this alcoholic beverage which we called Uzu, it was some form of Pernod and it would turn your head around. I had to quit drinking it. In the middle of the Bosporus Strait there is a tower. Why is it there? How many times have I heard the legend of the Princess and the serpent? It is deep within the richness of ancient Turkish folklore.       How many evenings have I heard the rhymatic birdlike wails of those old Arab women that can be heard only in all of Northern Africa.

If I was a diplomat representing the United States of America, I would advise the army to first release the political prisoners and end the state of emergency. Realizing that this is not going to be an easy transition, the people must trust that you have their best interest at heart. When they go to work Monday the dictator’s cronies will still be in power, their salary will not increase and food will not be cheaper. It will take time and the people must be unified and patient. I just hope they don’t make the same mistake that clown in Zimbabwe did when he expelled all the white farmers , the only ones who knew what they were doing, as a result driving the country into the ground. I would then implore our President Obama, the perfect messenger, to return to Cairo and make another address to the Muslim world assuring them that we are not and will never be at war with Islam. He should affirm that for the first time this country will live up to the values it has been preaching since its inception.

We will refuse to offer support to any monarch and demand the UN charter be changed requiring   multinational corporations to treat all people, whoever their God with fairness .They must respect human rights and the dignity of man. No murderous dictator can call us a friend. What about the oil? What about the Chinese and what about Al Quada? I assure you this alone will solve all of those problems. We have to realize people do not put on suicide vests and kill themselves for the hell of it. As for this forty virgin thing, it is an insult to those men women and children who have died for their cause. Israel is going to have to give up most of those settlements. It will be a decent and helpful gesture if they left them intact.

Also, our ally Israel must discontinue violent over reactions and show much more compassion to the Palestinian people. However, Israel lives in a dangerous neighborhood and should not cede one more inch of land until those governments get their act together. The people of Israel have got to hear something other than death to the Jews. Those new democratic governments should be teaching math and science not anti-sematism. Those countries in the Middle East desperately need Israel as a friend and partner using the Jewish expertise to improve the quality of life for their people. Afterwards, Mr. Obama should immediately give a second speech, this one in France reminding Europe of the horrible crimes committed against the  Jews on that continent and the sins of anti-Semitism. None of us not want to live the rest of our lives under conditions where our children must pull off their shoes and get body scans at airports as a routine matter of course. I do not believe our Intelligence Agency can thwart a crafty enemy from getting their hands on a nuclear weapon and walk across two of the most porous borders in the world.

With our history we have no right to go to any country and criticize their way of life and dictate how they should worship, form male-female relationships and what they should wear. In short, we should mind our own business.

I love Turkey whose people showed me, a young misguided San Francisco street hustler nothing but warmth and respect, all except my old friend who beat me out of $3000.00 as I was on my way back to the States. I do not want to see Turkey turn away from us as it now seems to be doing. Kemal Ataturk must be turning over in his grave.

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By Wilbert Gibson, author of the classic novel, “Scratching For Daylight”.

Once upon a time, was not so long ago, nor that far away, near the end of life, a lonely forlorn old man was on his knees in pleading in prayer. My merciful God, embrace this poor old blighted soul and bless him with your holy grace. Send me a friend, someone to love. A lonely heart is too heavy to beat. An empty soul cannot enjoy the sweet early morning breeze. His plea was heard throughout the land. His sorrowful emotions resounded throughout the distant stars. A kind almighty God heeded this humble man’s plea. A vision of light appeared through his misty red eyes. No more a striking elderly woman one could   ever see. The silver of her hair was priceless, more precious than diamonds, more sparkling than gold. The warmth was of his skin. The wild beat was of his heart. Was this his lover? Was this his pal? Was this his wife? Was she real or just another illusion where once again his traitorous eyes had betrayed a lonely heart? This lovely goddess slowly turned and replied,” I was the listless seed floating on the winds of life in a raging thunderous storm”. I was the ageless tip of that erratic wave riding a turbulent ageing sea. A caring and loving mother, a faithful wife, all guided by my faith and love of God. He cocked his hat, straightened his shoulders, crooked his arm, and side by side they strutted mightily down that bountiful highway of life. This nice dapper guy and his lovely wife, witnessing with his own eyes the power and glory of love. When their days are done and God calls them to their heavenly home, no one should mourn, no one should cry. On any clear moonlit night one could look up and see two mischievous stars gracing the northern sky. They will be laughing. They will be dancing and playfully hiding behind that ole lazy sleeping sun, just two old folk having fun.

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By Wilbert Gibson, author of the classic novel, “Scratching For Daylight”.

Wow!  I have never before in my life seen clout exerted like this.  This mega-rich high powered, well connected French diplomat, the head of the International Monetary Fund, favored to be the next President of France with a history of sexual misconduct was again accused of this type of crime by a poor immigrant woman, a hotel maid who was in his room to clean it.  She asserted he chased her through his luxurious suite trying to pull down her panty hose and forced her to perform oral sex.  He allegedly bruised her genitals, tore a ligament in her shoulder and ripped her stockings.  This was her consistent story even under the most hostile and disrespectful questioning imaginable by the Manhattan District Attorney office.  She reported this crime to her supervisor and law enforcement was called.  She was examined and her claims were substantiated as his semen was all over her.  Open and shut case – not hardly.  Initially the District Attorney said he had a strong case and Mr. Strauss-Kahn was picked up and placed under house arrest to await trial.  He claimed the sexual encounter was consensual.

When we awoke on July 1, we read in large newspaper headlines saying the case against this powerful man was collapsing.  Television programs were interrupted to say the same thing.  With new findings the District Attorney went to court requesting the requirements of the bail be lifted, hinting he might drop the case altogether.  WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN THEN AND NOW?

This is the bombshell that was said to blast the credibility of the victim out of the water.  After a thorough investigation in New York and her native country hoping to dig up any dirt they could to discredit the character of this poor woman, all that was found was she made a false statement on her application for asylum, saying she had been gang raped.  She recanted; we all know this is what most women who seek asylum are advised to add to insure approval of the application.  Some cases of rape are true, but most are not.  However, this should not be the deciding factor in any sexual misconduct case when the perpetrator’s semen is all over the place. The District Attorney said she cleaned a few more rooms before she reported the crime to her supervisor and subsequently the police.  The District Attorney knew full well, with his experience, this is not unusual.  This woman had to do some serious thinking before reporting this to anyone.  This was a very powerful and influential man who could destroy her as he is now doing.  Another accusation by the District Attorney was she had claimed someone else’s child on her income tax return.  This has been a practice for poor people for over seventy years.

STOP!!!  What in the hell is going on here?  Why are they scouring the tax returns of a rape victim?  When did this start, and what could it possibly have to do with this case? Have they looked at the tax returns of the perpetrator? I don’t know if this is legal? Again, the District Attorney was startled to find out she knew someone who was in jail, I think it was for possession of marijuana.  Her telephone conversation to him was tapped, I don’t know if it was hers, the one in jail, or both.  Not aware that the police was listing, her conversation with him was exactly what she told the District Attorney. What this has to do with a sexual misconduct case is puzzling. Believe me; this case will never appear before a jury because the District Attorney knows this well-connected man will be found guilty.

This is what we have left if you listen to the District Attorney and Mr. Strauss-Kahn.  “An elderly gentleman was in his upscale luxury hotel suite, minding his own business, when in walks this hotel maid, with no history of any sexual impropriety, supposedly, to clean the room.  Seeing him she could not restrain herself, throwing her towels, mops and broom aside and pleading, begging him to allow her to perform oral sex.  Reluctantly he agreed.  She had to be the aggressor because a man of his stature, notwithstanding his sordid sexual history, could never bring himself to sexually approach a lowly hotel maid.  IT was her who ripped her own stockings, it was her who bruised her own genitals and it was her that bruised her own shoulder, all in the process of getting to him to satisfy her lust”.

This is what we are asked to believe.  This District Attorney must think we are blooming idiots.  As a U.S. citizen, I take offense to the direction this case is going.  This poor immigrant woman is being railroaded.  Why are they investigating her and not him; the accused perpetrator.  If they did, they just might find this is a sick man who needs professional help.  In addition, what this case tells if I see a beautiful woman that has made mistakes, I can rape her with impunity.  What if she was a prostitute who had bounced checks, a drug addict, or battered wife with an influential husband?  Is she fair game because of credibility problems?  GIVE ME A BREAK

The District Attorney should uphold his oath of office and allow this poor woman to have her day in court.  He has got to withstand the pressure and do his sworn duty.

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The Scott Sisters and the Kidney

By Wilbert Gibson, author of the classic novel, “Scratching For Daylight”.

My goodness gracious, what have we here?  Right before my eyes I am witnessing the criminal justice system and our society at its very worst.  I see the action of a heartless governor and the bizarre humiliating response of the NAACP.  Two young girls in Pearl, Mississippi were convicted of luring two men into a situation where they were robbed of eleven dollars ($11.00) by one or two older men.  Both men have long since been released.  The girls should have been punished because, I believe they were involved, to what extent is debatable, but for how long.

That was answered when both were sentenced to two life sentences without the chance of parole, a blatant abuse of our criminal justice system.  This is not unusual, sentence of this type happen all over this country everyday with the exception of Saturday and Sunday.  I was recently told that a young mother of two babies was convicted of robbing a store armed with only a hammer.  Of course she was unsuccessful, not even getting out of the store, but her sentence was life without parole.

One of the Scott sisters is in poor health and requires dialysis on a regular basis which costs the state of Mississippi a staggering 200,000 dollars a year.  Now she needs a kidney transplant.  The NAACP and other human rights organizations had been agitating for some time, requesting that the girls be released.  They had already served sixteen years in prison.  The extent of the girls’ involvement was in question and the sentence was excessive.  The governor had a plan.  He would shift the cost of the transplant Florida.

Here is how he did it.  After going through the motion of a parole board hearing, a deal was struck.  The sick girl was out of there.  They did not want to spend another dime on her.  The governor agreed to release the other girl if she agrees to donate a kidney to her sister.  He said the parole board agreed with an indefinite suspension of their sentences which is different from a parole or   commutation because it comes with conditions.  An indefinite suspension of a sentence can be reversed if the conditions are not followed.  Gladys Scott’s release order says that one of the conditions she must   meet is to donate the kidney within one year.  If she did not agree to these terms she would spend the rest of her natural life in prison.  That might have had something to do with her motivation to donate a kidney, we may never know.  That was a deal she could not refuse.  Now the women plan on moving to Florida where their mother and grown children are living.  However, the authorities in Florida must agree to this.  I have major problems with this entire disgusting matter.  I never knew any state in this union could refuse entry to any free citizen, whatever their past history.  We live in the United States of America.  This can’t be constitutional.

The condition for release of one of the sister is that she gives up a vital body part. This is ghoulish.  This is similar to the crimes during the height of the inquisitions during the middle ages.  What other body part would be part of a deal?  What about an eye for a rich man?  Then comes the rack.  This is a dangerous road we are going down.  I have got to quote what I pulled from the internet.  Mississippi NAACP President Derrick Johnson said, “The Scott Sisters release will be a great victory for the state of Mississippi for two individuals who received excessive sentences.” And he has no problem with the kidney donation requirement because Gladys Scott volunteered.  “I think it is encouraging that she is willing to share a kidney so her sister can have a better quality of life,” Johnson said.

National NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, in between his cart wheels and high fives, said “the suspension represents the good that can come with the power of governors to commute sentences.  The civil rights organization worked to try to persuade Barbour who ended up agreeing that the sisters “did not deserve to spend one more day in prison” Jealous said.  “It’s again proof that when people get engaged, keep the faith, we can win,” Jealous said.

I am saddened that a glorious organization like the NAACP would have anything to do with this crime against the girls and supporting this governor.  This is worst than the darkest deeds of the inquisitions.  We as a species should have advanced further than this.

Crime is a problem in this country and should not be tolerated.  However, we are not going to solve the problem by descending into barbarism.

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Bishop Eddie Long MUST Go

By Wilbert Gibson, author of the classic novel, “Scratching For Daylight”.

By this time, I suppose most of you have heard or read about that odorous sexual scandal involving Bishop Eddie log, the pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, a mega-church in an affluent suburb outside of Atlanta, Georgia.  It is my understanding that this Bishop is well connected and has some powerful friends, not only within the religious hierarchy, but politics and business as well.  This might explain the deafening silence within the church community regarding this issue.  From what I hear the congregation consist of the who’s who in Atlanta’s African-American community.  People of wealth, influence and power; highly educated.  It is a church where one must be seen if he or she wants to network and get ahead.  Now, we learn this good Bishop is nose deep in a sordid mess, being accused by four young men of inappropriate sexual conduct.   These accusations are devastating not only to him, but the church.  In addition, he has to be worried that other young men, those he barely know, will be coming out of the woodwork hoping to get in on the goodies.

Law enforcement wants nothing to do with slimy situation; all four of the young men were over the age of consent, which is only sixteen in the state of Georgia.  If these young men were considered as adults what is the basis for the suit?  This is puzzling.  Last night I put my turban, pulled out my crystal ball and became a poor man’s soothsayer. Predicting, hoping and praying.  Those boys have the bishop in a bind and he knows it.  After thousands of dollars in attorney fees, he most likely will be exonerated after his name and the image of the black church has been drug through the mud.  He will be portrayed as the major leader of the black religious community and we will be reminded of it every day.

Those cable channels will be on fire as each accusation of tawdry sexual acts are described in detail.  These suits were filed to be settled out of court and I pray they will be.  I only hope the Bishop has been living within his means and made wise investments which will allow him to settle.  I am told he has a battery of attorneys that would make a mafia don blush with envy.  If they do their job and not drag this thing out, in order for them to make a few extra bucks, we will not hear much more about this.

Trying as hard as I can, my mind cannot come close to comprehending the agonizing torment this man has been going through, preaching hate and intolerance against a class of people of which he is accused of being one and this is not the first accusation.

The level of his guilt or innocence can only be judged by God and he will be judged.  One thing he is definitely guilty of and that is forgetting the role of the church.  He is quoted of saying, “Jesus was not poor”, that is close to blasphemy coming out of the mouth of a bishop.  He knew better than to say such a thing.  I read his church has done some good work in the Atlanta area, but so have Coca-Cola and other corporations.  What is different is he is a Pastor of a church whose primary and role is to feed the hungry, give shelter to the homeless and save souls, not to enrich himself.

During these troubling times he should have blood under his fingernails from fighting a good fight. These are not the days where charismatic preachers should be making themselves millionaires using the name of God.  As a servant of the Lord it is inexcusable for him to be flying young boys to faraway places, buying them cars and jewelry, wearing three thousand suits and being protected by bodyguards.  While right down the street two and three year old babies are starving from hunger.

This coming Sunday, he should go to his church, apologize and beg forgiveness from his congregation, promise no out of court settlement will involve the church and resign.  His remaining financial interest should be gifted to the church as his first act of repentance.  He is tainted and we do not want him to disgrace the black church no more than he has already done.  Bishop Long is a bright man and should do well on Wall Street.  After he repents, we should all pray for this man, hoping God will allow him in the pulpit again.

Bishop Eddie Long MUST Go – Part II

As I am writing this, desperately hoping to stay out of court, I hear the good Bishop is plea bargaining with the four young boys, who are accusing him of sexual misconduct. I did not mean plea bargaining, I meant negotiating for an out of court settlement. When one get to be my age, we are expected to have senior moments, getting our words confused on issues such as this. A plea bargain is a wise first step for the Bishop, darn it, there I go again, forgive me. I hope the boy’s attorney’s are not too greedy and the Bishop is willing to dig deep into his pockets in order to keep this ugly thing from going to trial. I think the delay is that everyone is looking at bank statements and other financial documents so they can drain every dime he has before agreeing to settle a case they most likely would lose in court. The only thing I can do is just add this preface to my original post and pray.

Bishop Eddie Long – The Conclusion?

Those of you who have been reading my past writings regarding the scandalous situation surrounding this self ordained Bishop know my feeling. I was estatic when I read an out of court settlement had been reached sparing us the specter of a public trial airing those disgusting accusations from four young boys accusing this man of sexual misconduct. This is a wise move, avoiding a media circus that would drag the name of the church through the mud. I hear it cost him a pretty penny. Money well spent. God will be the judge.

If you like this, then follow me on FACEBOOK and check out my book @ Wilbert Gibson.


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