I have posted the complete transcript of the Pigford II court transcripts for for your reading pleasure. It’s in three parts; One, Two and Three. If anything jumps out at you, let me know!
Here’s the end part of “Dr.’ John Boyd’s testimony. I described it in a blog post a few weeks ago but you may not have believed me since it sounded so weird. Well, read it for yourself. This is from Part Three on page 114.
And for the issue of fraud. I don’t know one black farmer in America, in America, that didn’t walk into the United States Department of Agriculture and was not treated less than dirt, not one. So when I hear people talk about fraud, let me tell you what fraud is. Fraud was enslaving people. Slavery was fraud. Fraud was sharecropping, when you didn’t pay the person that did the work. That’s fraud. But it is not fraud for a person who is treated less than dirt by the United States Department of Agriculture, wanting to go through that process and not be treated fairly. So that’s what I have to say to the cynics and the critics when I read about those things, Your Honor.
And they put my name on those conservative blogs, where one time I received 40 death threats. And I went out my house, out my door along about midnight – some strange things happen at midnight – and this man said, “John, your cows are out.” And I opened the door, and he had a hood on, Your Honor, and he stuck that rifle in my mouth. And when I began to call around – I don’t know what I wanted to happen, but I called around to the different attorneys and I told them about the death threats, and it’s all this, “Just call the sheriff.”
So I want this court to know today, Your Honor, I put it all on the line for this case. I put it on the line for myfamily. I put it on the line for the Black Farmers. I put it on the line for history. Let’s do the right thing and compensate these farmers. Thank you very much.
Talking about a dude putting a rifle in your mouth seems pretty homoerotic, don’t you think?
From the Wall Street Journal…
The Friendly’s restaurant chain is preparing for a possible Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and potential sale, said people familiar with the matter.
Friendly Ice Cream Corp., which employs roughly 10,000 people and operates more than 500 restaurants known for sundaes and hamburgers, could seek protection from creditors as soon as next week, the people said.
The Wilbraham, Mass.-based company would then try to sell itself through a bankruptcy auction, the people said.
I grew up with Friendly’s. I was raised in East Longmeadow, the next town over from Wilbraham. The founders of Friendly’s – Curt and Presley Blake – were members of Longmeadow Country Club, where my dad was the golf pro for about twenty years. A bunch of my friends worked there. Fribbles and Friendly’s burgers, served on grilled bread with crinkle cut fries are part my childhood.
And of course, the ice cream. My dad liked orange and watermelon sherbet. My mom liked Butter Brickle. In the 1970s, they were great.
So what the heck happened to Friendly’s?
In recent years, Friendly’s has tried several schemes to drum up new revenue. In August of 2009, it opened the first of a planned chain of fast food restaurants called Friendly’s Express, assumedly a bid to capture business from customers hurt by the recession. But Friendly’s has been hampered by consistent complaints about service and food quality. A recent ranking of medium-sized restaurant chains by Consumer Reports placed Friendly’s dead last, with a score of 68, matched only by Buffalo Wild Wings and Joe’s Crab Shack.
I are at Friend;y’s a few months ago in Florida. The food wasn’t great and neither was the service. That’s true. If you don’t have that working at a restaurant, what’s left? It’s not the décor or ambience at Friendly’s. Someone needs to manage the company properly. Get back to basics. Make good food and set high standards for service. Save the brand.
I’ve been doing some work on debunking the well-produced yet fundamentally dishonest film Better This World and a few posts back, I published the letter that I sent to PBS’s Ombudsman. He did some research, contacted the filmmakers Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega and now has published a lengthy and detailed response.
The Ombudsman calls the film ‘flawed’ but doesn’t find the flaw I point out to be fatal. I actually agree with that; my criticisms are not based just on that one problem. I only sent him one criticism and not even the most substantive but we’ve gotten the ball rolling. Galloway and Duane de la Vega even tell the Ombudsman that they are open to discussion, which is awesome to know since they have been ducking me.
But a quick note about the nature of filmmaking, particularly documentaries.
Because I’ve been working on my Pigford documentary for the better part of a year, I give the ethics of filmmaking a lot of thought. I’m intimately involved in every aspect of that film; I conducted the interviews myself, shot them myself, and I’m the one doing all of the editing. This is fairly unique. I’m not saying it’s better but it’s the way I’ve worked so far.
So when I look at Better This World, I look at it as a filmmaker who is versed in every way you can bias a move. Despite all the awards it’s won and the praise heaped on it for the supposedly great journalism that Galloway and de le Vega did, after watching the film several times and doing my own research to verify facts my verdict is that Better This World is as journalistic as a bad American reality TV show.
In fact, the more I look at it the more I think it owes as much to The Jersey Shore as The Thin Blue Line, This may actually be part of the film’s appeal to audiences. It lays out the story it wants to lay out pretty clearly and in a hip, grungy verite style. It’s truthy.
The problem that I have with the film isn’t that they have an opinion – and they clearly do. It’s a film for liberals, no doubt about it. The opening shots of the film show scenes from the Republican National Convention and the filmmakers start immediately by signaling their intent. They show a convention antennae with a Fox News sticker on their hat. They end the film with Brandon Darby on the Gordon Liddy show. These are liberal dog whistles — Things We Are Supposed To Hiss At. The filmmakers don’t need to cue the hiss sign. They know their audience and pander to it.
And I’m okay with that, too.
A conservative filmmaker could do the same simple framing trick — show the Democratic convention and someone with an MSNBC sticker. End with the film’s antagonist on the air with Al Franken, It’s called pandering and it’s super simple to do . It’s the equivalent artistically of the lead singer for a band saying “Someone told me that Springfield is ready to ROCK!!!” Crowd cheers. Easy. nothing wrong with it especially, but let’s call it what it is.
But Better This World deals with a criminal case and as I’ll be outlining in the coming weeks, it gets the facts of the case wrong. On purpose. And there’s a purpose to that purpose — to destroy Brandon Darby
Why? Brandon committed the inexcusable sin. No, not that he was an informant for the FBI. If Crowder and McKay were right wing radicals who planned to throw molotov cocktails at abortion clinics and Darby broke ranks with the right to inform on them, the same crowd that hates him now would throw a parade for him
No, Brandon’s sin is that he crossed the left. That’s it. And because that’s what he did, it’s okay to take him down by any means necessary. And so they did.
Because brandon was on the left, though, I think a lot of conservatives are loathe to defend him, He’s suspect and so he’s been largely left hanging n the breeze. I think that sucks, too.
The more I look into this story, though, the more clear it is just how Brandon has been wronged. Stay tuned and see if I don’t convince you, too.