Archive for the ‘infamy’ Category

Congregation Defends Obama’s Ex-Pastor

March 18, 2008

 By Eli Saslow
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 18, 2008; Page A01

CHICAGO — The Rev. Jeremiah Wright spent 36 years teaching this congregation how to recognize injustice, and his parishioners sense it all around them now. On Sunday, more than 3,000 of them filled Trinity United Church of Christ on the city’s South Side to pray for their former pastor. They read a handout that described Wright’s newfound infamy as a “modern-day lynching.” They scrawled his name in tribute on the inside of their service programs and applauded as Wright’s protege, the Rev. Otis Moss III, stepped to the pulpit.
Supporters say that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is misunderstood.

Supporters say that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is misunderstood. (Brian Jackson – AP)

“No matter what they want,” Moss said, “we will not shut up.”

A simmering controversy over Wright’s provocative rhetoric and his connection to Sen. Barack Obama ignited last week after some of his old sermons were aired, prompting the Democratic presidential candidate to condemn them and severing Wright’s connection to the campaign. But inside this mega-church that Wright built up from financial ruin, his most loyal listeners offered a different interpretation: It is Wright, and black theology in its entirety, that is misunderstood.

To his supporters, the message Wright wove through more than 4,000 sermons is now disseminated in a handful of grainy, two-minute video clips that tell only part of his story. Yes, they acknowledge, he was sometimes overcome at the pulpit by a righteous rage about racism and social injustice. But he was a radical who also inspired women to preach, gays to marry and predominantly white youth groups to visit his services. Until he retired last month, Wright, 66, implored all comers at Trinity to “get happy” — to shout, to sing, to dance in the aisles while he preached the gospel.

“The world is only seeing this tiny piece of him,” Moss said. “Right now, we are all being vilified. ….

Read the rest:
 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/17/AR2008031702796.html?hpid=topnews

Early Odds in Vegas: Don’t Bet on Juice Futures

September 18, 2007

“Canned Juice.” “O.J. In Tight Squeeze Again.” “Getting Away With Murder (But Not Theft).” “Fresh Squeezed Juice.” “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas (Until Now).”

The saga (or “trials”) of Orenthal James Simpson is a headline writer’s delight.  But before we take too much fun away from his mayhem, consider this:

–Former L.A. Policemen say that Nicole Brown Simpson was brutalized, nearly decapitated and killed by “someone on a rage.” O.J. was accused of the murder, went to trial and was acquitted.

–Mr. Ronald Goldman, a waiter who may have been an innocent bystander, was also killed by the same killer, according to now retired L.A. Policemen.

–The audio tape of O. J. and his posse entering a hotel room and what ensued is damning on several levels.  Lawyers can suck “The Juice” out of Orenthal for many things he said; but one sentence stands out.  “Don’t let nobody out of this room. . . . Think you can steal my [expletive] and sell it?”  The first part indicates unlawful imprisonment or detention.  The second part indicates that O. J. thought he had ownership over the memorabilia.  If anyone owned O. J.’s memorabilia it was the family of Mr. Ronald Goldman, who won a civil suit against Mr. Simpson.  That court order required Mr. Simpson to pay $33.5 million in compensatory damages to the Goldman family, to Ron Goldman’s biological mother, and to the family of his ex-wife Nicole.  No payments were ever made.  The rules of the court required Mr. Simpson to liquidate assets to meet the obligations of the court.  If he thought he still “owned” memorabilia, he was violating the law.

–If a gun was used in the hotel room crimes, that further complicates Mr. Simpson’s woes.

–Finally, Tax Evasion still looms.  O. J. has probably been conducting a huge business in real or illicit memorabilia for years.  If evidence proves this to be true, when the court cases clear O.J. will still be hounded by the most feared arm of the Federal Bureaucracy: The Internal Revenue Service or I.R.S.  The most famous criminal in American history, Al Capone, a thug like O. J. who also got away with murder, also scammed the I.R.S. on his income taxes because the income was almost totally illegally obtained.  In Capone’s case, his posse had so intimidated witnesses to everything, including murder, that none would admit to seeing a thing.  What brought down Capone?  The I.R.S.

So this entire affair is an American tragedy.  Two people are dead, the American legal system suffered a severe blow to its credibility when O. J. was found innocent in the murder trial, and a one-time sports hero has been exposed for what he truly is: a thug, a tax evader, a man willing to threaten and use violence to achieve his ends, and a man with no regard for others: even his one-time wife.

O. J. has always hurdled past obstacles, just as he did in a famous rent-a-car commercial.

International readers have asked me, “How is O.J. really famous?”

O. J. is “famous” as a football star (both college and professional), as a movie star, as an advertiser’s dream in the rental car industry, as a man tried and NOT convicted of murder, and now as a protector of sports memorabilia.

But those last two honors, acquitted of murder and charged with unlawful entry and whatever else, do not make you famous.  They make you infamous.

The question is, can you toast juice?  A Nevada court will answer that.
*****

The essay above seemed just a little “too cute,” upon further reflection, so I am adding the statement below as a post script.

John E. Carey

There is also a horrifying reality to all of this. Mr. Simpson has been, by many accounts, a man out of control, for many years. Nicole Brown Simpson had called police before her fatal assault to complain about his brutality. Police even photographer her with severe bruising to her face and arms. Simpson was never charged with assault.

Mr. Simpson’s charm, which thousands of people have attested to, and his sporting achievements, which are the stuff of legend (and the National Football League’s “Hall of Fame”) made him the perfect guest for fawning sports memorabilia aficionados and the thugs that participate in a $2 Billion a year business. Many police officials and memorabilia experts say the vast majority of the high priced items available for sale are fakes.

This brings us to the NFL itself. We, the paying public, have fallen in love with a game that has brutality at its core. We have made the players, the owners, the coaches and tons of others millionaires. Many of the highly paid members of this fraternity are multi-millionaires.

I’ve been asking clients and friends what they thought about the NFL since the Michael Vick case erupted into the headlines. You know what? There is a growing group of men rejecting the NFL as loosely controlled mayhem.

One intellectual said to me, “The players of the NFL are the modern gladiators. Maybe they are even our society’s version of legal barbarians. Or maybe they are akin to the Roman Empire’s paid warriors or mercenaries.”

To him, accused dog killer Vick was no surprise and no anomaly. “O. J. Simpson has been a rage-filled man for years.  Society just didn’t let him get away with it. We rewarded him at every turn. We adored him.”

Vick, many other NFL “Bad Boys” like “Pacman” Jones and O. J. are a sad reflection of American society and culture.

This essay has also appeared on several other websites with the author’s permission.  This web site is from Australia (O.J. interest reached into the outback):
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=
6398

Related:
Infamous return: O. J. Again in the News

(After this essay was completed, Mr. Simpson was charged with seven felonies.  This is no joking matter.)