MAY 29, 2020 — The free press is under attack as you can see from the video below, and The Morning Gazette Radio Show and TheDailyGazette.net are now taking at least a one-month vacation. I'm tired of losing the battle on fighting public corruption in the Metro Flint area, and across our state and national political scene.
I'm no fan of the one-sided slant of CNN style reporting, but what happened to a CNN reporter in Minneapolis a few hours ago is disgraceful. It will empower other corrupt politicians who think they can thumb their noses at the laws of our land regarding a free press. It's so bad in my America right now that
this old guy's two-week vacation may become a resignation as a "watchdog" over your tax dollars after more than 40 years as a journalist.
My company has zero income coming in right now because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so there's that, too.
At 8 am today, I suspended operations at TheDailyGazette.net and un-plugged CCNRADIO.net. Our popular internet radio station had been essentially operating during the last few months only to air my show after our line-up of nationally syndicated shows was suspended because of staff layoffs caused by the governor's "stay-at-home" order ending our revenue stream from advertisers who suddenly didn't need any advertising.
When a radio station once fired me for two days several years ago, my phone rang off the hook with hundreds of calls. It was great for my ego that they begged me to come back after their phones must have been ringing a lot, too. Please know your thoughts are appreciated, but I won't be taking any telephone calls this weekend. As noted in a Facebook post this morning, I have silenced my cell phone and my voice message box is full. You can leave your comments below or you can leave a voice message on our office line at (810) 771-8348. This column was promised earlier today on Facebook, but I've spent the last six hours reading texts, e-mails and Messenger notes. Thanks for all the love, and please know it's heartwarming.
Reading all your love was fun, but now it's time to get busy on penning this column as promised. I don't mind admitting there's a tear is in my eye as I wonder if it's the last time I will ever sit in front of my keyboard and create words.
To those who suggested a "Go-Fund-Me" campaign, please know I'm okay personally — as long as my credit cards keep working! If there's any "Go-Fund-Me" campaign associated with my media company, I'd use the proceeds to get a staff back in place to resume fighting public corruption. My only wish would be to create a much bigger forum because the crooked politicians seem to be winning. Maybe I should try to buy TV 12 or something. That's the only way a "Go-Fund-Me" campaign gets going with my blessing, and I would be in charge anyway so that I can keep a tally on how many politicians will miss me and donate a few dollars to the cause. Come to think of it, that would be a great way to sort out the bad ones from the good ones!
On a serious note though, please know I'm so very concerned today about the future of our country.
It's not just in our little corner of the world where so many of the politicians seem corrupt.
We awakened today to tweets from the President of the United States with warnings that we need to "start shooting the thugs" tearing up businesses in Minneapolis. Blacks are rising up in cities across the USA, rioting because they're mad about white cops continuing to kill unarmed black men all over America.
Trump's Justice Department official threw gasoline on the fire there by holding a press conference last night to essentially say nothing, instead of delivering swift justice against the white cop who murdered a black man with three white cops who looked on and did nothing to stop it. Anybody who doesn't fear we're headed for race riots in our country isn't paying attention.
These riots are spontaneous outbursts of unified outrage. But it's a deeper problem as I see it. Closer investigation reveals political reasons behind the scenes as so many have been diligently working on a daily basis to stir up the passions of their crowd. They hate America. They revel in inflammatory speech and exaggerated details some call "fake news" and they've been working hard to incite riots with the same tactics that the scribes and Pharisees used in Jesus’ day.
It would be interesting to know how many of those who demanded the crucifixion of Jesus later regretted it when passions cooled after the first riots of our world occurred.
People caught up in the fervor of the moment don’t realize they are being used, yet they've been manipulated into believing they are making a righteous point by pillaging and indiscriminately destroying the property of hard-working business owners. Social pressure is a powerful motivator, and one must wonder why the media isn't parading out the mom who got her 15 minutes of fame went seeing her son on TV during our country's last terrible riots, tearing up people's stuff. She went looking for him, found him and promptly beat his ass.
That's how an adult acts.
Anybody who condones all the violence is an idiot. So, too, is anybody urging police to take Trump's advice and start shooting at trouble makers to stop the riots. Rest assures that all the idiots in each crowd will be taking up sides if race riots arrive.
Our elected leaders, faith community leaders and media world are failing us miserably to allow this situation to continue without expressing outrage and demanding better of everyone.
It goes both ways, too. The riots are horrible and every participant needs a few nights in a jail cell and they need to pay for the damage they've caused. But we're in the middle of a pandemic here and stupid people keep showing up in Lansing, armed with guns. The only guns I've seen in the Minneapolis riots belonged to police officers and National Guard troops. Lots of the crazy white people recently gathering around the Capital building to threaten Governor Gretchen a few times came armed with guns. It's fair how my black friends ask why they get tear gas thrown at them and have cops arresting them? They were clearly in violation of the governor's "stay-at-home" order and thumbed their noses at the law.
We're living in very frustrating times.
Never has it been so divisive in our country between so many who see only red or only blue.
Why don't Trump lovers denounce their friends with confederate flags or "Make America White Again" hats? Why don't Democrats overthrow their top idiot who just last week, yelled at a black journalist that he "wasn't black enough" if he didn't vote for him. It's sickening, too, how Joe Biden gets a pass from the media despite credible claims by women who say he groped them and did other disgusting touching. Trump bragged about "grabbing women in their bleeps" and got elected because more people hated the alternative idea of letting Hillary Clinton back in the White House. Yours Truly took the advice of the lyrics to the old Duran Duran song at the last election. I put my faith in none of the above.
Yes, my country 'tis of thee is just not exactly the sweet land of liberty we sing about.
It's broken right now, and I'm not sure what to do about it.
So I'm going on vacation. Governor Gretchen wont' let me go anywhere, so I'm gonna just stay home and think a lot. There's the social media talk to worry about with some plotting an uprising ahead soon for Flint Township's Miller Road business district, maybe this weekend. Detroit is bracing for trouble, too.
It's my hope that we indeed still live in the greatest nation on earth because of people like you who can read this and maybe write or call with an idea to inspire me again. Oh yes, "Of thee I sing; Land where my fathers died. Land of the pilgrims' pride. From ev'ry mountainside. Let freedom ring ...
Or as the Bible tells us in Proverbs 29:2: "When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice. When the wicked rule, the people groan."
My favorite line to those who have worried about my safety in fighting corruption all these many years has been to remind them that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
But our nation's sacred laws regarding freedom are under siege like never before.
Yesterday, Twitter decided to "fact check" our president. To me, it's kinda like the phone company deciding to interrupt any conversation they don't agree with to censor free speech. Then President Donald Trump, Twitter's most famous customer ever, went on an 18-minute tirade last night to announce an executive order aimed at stopping Twitter and Facebook from running their companies as they so see fit.
As I see it, let Twitter and Facebook can get into the business of censoring free speech all they want. It's a free country. Let them do, and say, as they please. Just remember they were thrown in with the phone companies when the highest courts in our land pondered whether the two social media giants were burdened with any responsibility for their forums allowing libelous and slanderous activity to wrong people's lives. They weren't publishers, our courts ruled. They were only hosting forums — much the same way phone companies have been hosting conversations for decades.
We awakened today to news that police had arrested a CNN reporter doing his job on the streets of Minneapolis where riots have been going on all week. They couldn't find probable cause to arrest four white cops who killed an unarmed black man, yet a black reporter is in handcuffs for talking on TV? Why not when the man in the highest office in the land hollers "fake news" every time facts get in the way of trying to convince everyone how really, really great he is?
Don't think for a minute, however, that I approve of CNN's disgusting pretend news gig designed to elect Democrats. CNN doesn't get it that their ratings are in the toilet because they do twist news stories into a "Trump hating" narrative that sickens much of America. We're free to turn the channel if we're on to the fact that they hate Trump so much that they will stoop to lies and ignore stories exposing how corrupt some of their favorite politicians really are across America.
President Trump is so desperate for black votes that he thought last week it might be a good idea for his Justice Department to release more than 3,000 federal inmates, including disgraced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. He looted the city out of about $100 million and bankrupted it. The FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office said Kwame ran a criminal enterprise out of Detroit City Hall, yet he was poised to be released 21 years early on his 28-year federal sentence until an angry outcry on statewide radio air waves led to a sudden change of plans.
When this news broke last Friday, Detroit's mayor (Mike Duggan) was quick to say how he would embrace the former mayor because he was "so talented" and deserved a second chance. Can't we charge Duggan with a felony for such thinking?
He's the guy leading a campaign to put my friend Bob Carmack in prison for getting a fully executed deed in the mail on a piece of riverfront property in 2007, then selling it in 2016. The Detroit businessman was charged with four felony counts in late 2018 for making a million bucks off the sale. Oh yeah, the charges came a month after Carmack set up giant video screens in front of Detroit City Hall at rush hour to show what purported to be the mayor cheating on his wife. The mistress was identified by Carmack a few months later on banners flying behind airplanes during opening day for the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park, then the Detroit Free Press exposed later that very night that the Wayne State doctor had received nearly $400,000 in a city grants for her non-profit organization that had raised more than $1 million with the help of Detroit city staff.
Police corruption, public corruption and political shenanigans seem to be all around us like never before.
Former Flint Mayor Dayne Walling and ex-Governor Rick Snyder's gang of incompetent emergency managers poisoned an entire city and covered up how they killed more than 100 people when their bad water caused Legionnaire's Disease, yet nobody has gone to prison.
Out in Grand Blanc Township, elected leaders voted themselves in a $4,000 each raise when nobody was looking. We applauded the township supervisor for blasting them — the same guy who got elected four years ago and promptly gave himself a benefits package that had been ended under the previous administration when switching to a professional manger style of government. Instead of throwing him out of office, the board gave the old supervisor a bundle of cash just not to sue them for letting her replacement help himself at the township piggy bank.
Some Flushing politicians didn't like the results of their last election and tried to shut down government by not showing up to allow a quorum to happen for swearing in the city's new blood.
Thetford Township had to fire their police chief because he helped himself to thousands of dollars worth of equipment he got his hand on through an Army surplus program.
Former Flint Police Chief James Tolbert didn't go to jail or even get charged after fabricating evidence while working in Detroit on a case against a 14-year-old who wrongly spent nine years in prison and who just won a court ruling yesterday that Tolbert will be held personally liable in a federal lawsuit.
Burton's last nasty mayoral race included our endorsement for Duane Haskins being followed by pretend people suddenly popping up on Facebook (while the endorsement show was in progress!) to make up all kinds of lies about my family. The old mayor still isn't in jail despite the State Police asking our county's prosecutor for an arrest warrant after our blockbuster story revealed how someone changed around a union contract to give her chief-of-staff (campaign manager?) a raise of more than $30,000 per year.
The same prosecutor also still has warrant packets stacked up on his desk on an internal affairs investigation by the Flint Police Department after clear violations of the Open Meetings Act and a recent State Police investigation about a city councilman who was allegedly beaten up at a bar by the new mayor's deputy chief of staff. The same prosecutor is now lining up in the mayor's corner to help get his uncle out of the slammer where a Genesee County judge sent him for 60 years to end his run as one of Flint's most notorious gangsters.
Also in the City of Flint under Mayor Sheldon Neeley's leadership, his administration has decided in recent days to violate the "equal access" mandate upheld and validated by our courts so many times by any who have challenged the free press statutes established in what I've always considered the greatest country on earth. I'm assembling a team of lawyers to obtain justice for this stunt even though our habit has always been to report most of the big news scoops before everybody else in the local media landscape anyway.
Just yesterday, we reported on The Morning Gazette Radio Show how Flint's mayor allegedly threatened his city's cops — telling them they" had 18 hours to support his budget" or face massive layoffs and possibly be replaced by the State Police.
Just for fun, I let Councilman Eric Mays chat with some of our anonymous sources before breaking the story. "If I didn't hear all those cops with my own ears, I never would have believed the mayor would threaten them like that to get on his PR team, or else," Mays said.
He promptly went into a city council meeting the next day and asked for an extra million bucks to fund adding more police officers. Right now, Flint's cops would like the public to know that they'd just like some toilet paper to use at City Hall since the governor has closed down all the restaurants where they normally visit.
Unfortunately, Councilman Mays didn't deliver anything for them. Five of his political enemies, who threw him out of the last meeting before it started, didn't show up. With no quorum, no action could take place. Sadly, there's still no toilet paper at Flint City Hall for the police officers.
Police have not arrested four police officers involved with a man's death earlier this week, yet a CNN reporter was arrested at about 5 am today while doing his job.
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