A South Texas grand jury has indicted Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on charges related to the alleged abuse of prisoners in Willacy County’s federal detention centers. The indictment criticizes Cheney’s investment in the Vanguard Group, which holds interests in the private prison companies running the federal detention centers. It accuses Cheney of a conflict of interest and “at least misdemeanor assaults” on detainees by working through the prison companies. Gonzales is accused of using his position while in office to stop an investigation into abuses at the federal detention centers. Another indictment charges state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. with profiting from his public office by accepting honoraria from prison management companies. The indictments were first reported by KRGV-TV.


The perfume wasn’t called “1999,” but “3121,” named after one of Prince’s more recent album projects. But a fragrance company says the project added up a big zero — and is blaming the musician. Revelations Perfume and Cosmetics in New York claims Prince and his music publisher gave them very little support to help market the fragrance. So it has filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit. The suit claims the company paid $2.5 million to license Prince’s name, likeness and the album title “3121” to market the perfume. But it says Prince and his record label, Universal, did little to promote it. Prince’s people didn’t return a request for comment on the lawsuit. But a spokesman for Universal music is calling the lawsuit “completely without merit.”

Michael Jackson might be too sick to travel to London to testify in a suit claiming he owes an Arab sheikh $7 million, the pop star’s attorney said Tuesday. Jackon is seeking to give his testimony by video link from the United States. “It would be unwise for him to travel, given what’s he’s got now,” lawyer Robert Englehart said, declining to elaborate “for the obvious reasons.” Al Khalifa’s lawyer, Bankim Thanki, said the medical evidence presented by Jackson’s legal team was “very unsatisfactory” and Jackson’s illness could be treated with a bandage “if
the diagnosis is positive.” “It’s not the first time a sick note has been presented by Mr. Jackson,” Thanki said, also without elaborating. Jackson has often been seen wearing a surgical mask in public. In one infamous 2002 court appearance in California, he appeared to have a bandage hanging from his hollowed-out nose. Despite much speculation about his radically changed appearance over the years, he has denied having had any alterations to his face other than two operations on his nose to help him breathe better to hit higher notes. The judge in the current case, Nigel Sweeney, said he would decide the question of Jackson’s travel on Thursday to allow time for medical experts on both legal teams to talk.



Saturday November 22nd, 2008

8 AM -12 noon

Macgregor Park

5225 Calhoun Road

on the corner on Martin Luther King Blvd. and Scott Street

(walking trail is along Brays Bayou)

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The Golden Jags are our Honorary Jagwalkers

Southern University Alumni — Houston Chapter

Date of Walk: Saturday, November 22, 2007 Time: 08:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Place: Macgregor Park

Benefiting the Scholarship Fund



The Houston Black Firefighters,along with the Star of Hope,Houston Food Bank, Wal-Mart and radio station Majic 102.1, are asking for participation in a citywide coat/clothing and non-perishable food drive to benefit the citizens of Houston/Galveston area. We are asking for donations of coats,clothing,sheets,towels, and non-perishable foods- anything you can provide-will be extremely appreciated.

All Donations will go to the Star of Hope and the Houston Food Bank

When:Sunday,November 23,2008
Where:Wal-Mart located at 3450 FM 1960 West
Time:11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.



By: Kalele Thumbutu-
This weekend Breniesha (wearing black hat) aka the Princess of Trill celebrated her birthday and the Party King was there to capture Thursday night’s celebration at Level nightclub. Breniesha is the daughter of legendary rapper Bun B and it was definitely a family affair Thursday night as Bun B, Young B, and the Rap – A- Lot Family were all on site to celebrate with the Princess. Faces in the crowd included Bun B, Young B, Big E (Liqwid Entertainment), T-Noch(Liqwid Entertainment), International Red, Bone, J Ellis, and the Grit Boys and GI of H Town .



Okay, I was in North Forest on Monday when I passed a political sign that caught my attention. It was for a group of candidates who were running for various judge seats in Harris County. The sign read vote straight Democrat in the November 4th election. The billboard also indicated we should all vote for these candidates because they are African American. It didn’t say that outright but it did send me that message. Remember that group of Republican Judges we all saw on television during the political season. I wonder what kind of heat they would’ve taken if they said vote straight Republican and by thew way elect all of these White Judges. It may just be me. You think? But the sign left me a bit uncomfortable in a country that just elected its first African American President. Obama didn’t ask people to elect him as an African American President but as the man he felt was best suited for the job. I have nothing personally against any of the judicial candidates but I’m just wondering if they made the right decision with the political sign. But in the end I guess it worked, because many of them were elected. What’s you feelings on this issue?


Saddled with millions of dollars in debt, a troubled Houston school district is now turning to the voters for help.

North Forest ISD is $11.5 million in the hole. This comes after operating several years with a deficit.

North Forest ISD newly appointed Superintendent Adrian Johnson says the money is needed to move forward in the district. There is a tax election set for Dec. 6. Early voting in the district begins Wednesday.

Click here to see the full video story by FOX 26’s Isiah Carey.

However, some taxpayers say now is not the time for a tax increase.

Elma Forbes says, as a senior, she won’t be affected by the increase even if she voted for it. But she says her children who own homes will be hit and she simply can’t vote for the tax.

Some parents say they can’t vote for the increase because of the allegations of mismanagement in the district faced from previous years. The proposed 13-cent tax increase amounts to about $66 dollars a year or just over $5 a month.

If you lived in North Forest would you vote for this tax increase?



Billionaire Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, was sued by U.S. regulators over claims he made illegal insider trades four years ago in shares of Internet search company Inc.

Cuban, 50, became “very upset and angry” in 2004 after the company told him in confidence it planned to sell stock below its trading price, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a civil suit today at federal court in Dallas. Within four hours, he sold his 6.3 percent stake, avoiding more than $750,000 in losses after’s sale was announced, the SEC said.

“It is fundamentally unfair for someone to use access to nonpublic information to improperly gain an edge on the market,” Scott Friestad, the SEC enforcement official overseeing the case, said in a statement.

The SEC’s complaint focuses on a series of phone calls and messages between Cuban, the company and his broker. Cuban, who in 2006 started the Web site aimed at exposing “securities fraud and corporate chicanery,” vowed in a statement to fight the SEC’s allegations.

A statement on Cuban’s blog said the SEC’s claims stem from a “gross abuse of prosecutorial discretion” and “are infected by the misconduct of the staff of its enforcement division.”

“I am disappointed that the commission chose to bring this case based upon its enforcement staff’s win-at-any-cost ambitions,” the statement quotes him as saying. “The staff’s process was result-oriented, facts be damned. The government’s claims are false and they will be proven to be so.”

The agency’s suit seeks to impose unspecified fines and confiscate gains from the trades.

Nine-Minute Call

Cuban was at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, home of the Mavericks, in late June 2004 when he got an e-mail from’s chief executive officer, asking that he call as soon as possible, the SEC said. During an almost nine-minute call, Cuban promised to keep the information secret before learning the company planned a private investment in public equity offering, known as a PIPE.

“Cuban became very upset and angry during the conversation, and said, among other things, that he did not like PIPEs because they dilute the existing shareholders,” driving down the value of their stock, the SEC wrote in its complaint. At the end of the call, Cuban told the CEO, “Well, now I’m screwed. I can’t sell,” the SEC said.

Cuban’s attorneys, Ralph Ferrara of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP and Paul Coggins of Fish & Richardson LLP, didn’t return calls.

Name Change

Montreal-based changed its name to Copernic Inc. in 2007, according to the SEC. Copernic Chief Executive Officer Marc Ferland also didn’t return a call seeking comment.

Cuban is owner of the HDNet high-definition television channel and the Landmark Theater chain.


Nerjyzed Game Studios invites you to the official debut announcement of the console edition of the Black College Football Experience (BCFx) video game during the 35th Annual Bayou Classic rivalry between the Southern University Jaguars and the Grambling State University Tigers at the Louisiana Superdome.

The announcement event will be held on Friday, November 28, in the Louisiana Superdome’s Bienville Lounge from 9 p.m. to midnight. Attendees will learn about the unique, innovative features of the exciting game play, interactive halftime shows, and head-to-head drumline competition, as well as get a chance to try their skill firsthand. There will also be music and plenty of good New Orleans food.

The event will be hosted by ESPN Anchor Stan Verrett. Also on hand will be Grambling Alum Doug Williams, Super Bowl XXII Most Valuable Player and the first Black quarterback to win a Super bowl championship, Southern Alum and Chairman and CEO of Nerjyzed Entertainment Inc., Jacqueline S. Beauchamp, current and former Black College football players, Celebrities, Historically Black Colleges and University administrators from across the country, Government officials, local and national business and community leaders.

As part of its debut, Nerjyzed will begin its national ad campaign on NBC during the Bayou Classic football game on Saturday, November 29th at 1 p.m. Additionally, Nerjyzed will host the first-ever BCFx Sideline Video Game Zone during the Bayou Classic where gamers will compete live on NBC.

With this announcement, Nerjyzed, a licensed Microsoft developer, becomes the first African American-owned development studio to produce a video game for the Xbox 360.

The media is invited to attend the announcement event. Discounted rooms are still available. Rooms will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The Cry for Change; the Chicago Politician that Changed Harris County!

By: J.M. “Smokie” Phillips, Jr., President

Afro-American Sheriff’s Deputy League

In 1983, an employee labor charter was formed by the Deputy Shelvy Stevenson (deceased), Lt. Joseph Williams and Sgt. Robert Connors (deceased) to establish the Afro-American Sheriff’s League. As many African-American deputies were afraid to join; the organizations goal was to be a vehicle to unify African-Americans and other minorities that shared a common bond in the battle against racist and discriminatory conduct and practices. Throughout time AASDL has changed and has become more radically diverse. We are no longer an organization that focuses on just unifying African American deputy sheriff’s and other African-American law enforcement officers but rather all employees of Harris County. Today, we are one of the largest African-American employee groups in Harris County providing 25-years of service to our members. We understand that the AASDL may not be for everyone but it is an organization that is always open to everyone.

This 2008 election years’ historic endorsement by all labor unions to endorse Councilman Adrian Garcia for Sheriff was momentous. Many of us celebrated the outcome of getting elected a new Sheriff for Harris County, Sheriff-Elect Adrian Garcia. Sheriff-Elect Garcia win was a historic because this put a big dent towards the end of the good-ole boy system of disparity in treatment, racist behavior and discriminatory practices in the sheriff’s office that has throughout the years under the Heard, Klevenhagen and Thomas regimes has affected AASDL members more than any other employee groups. When former President Roger Scales indicated that racism was alive in well within the department, he was almost immediately ousted from his president post in the white Union by its board-members. However, he was forced to resign soon afterwards.

Moreover, many people don’t know the plight we have traveled. The ultimately change came from the voters of Harris County to give Tommy Thomas his pink slip termination papers as he has done so many of our members. Many people don’t remember how almost every AASDL president was terminated who fought against racism, corruption and disparity in treatment that we publicly exposed to the public through constant news conferences, media contacts and the many letters to the US Justice Department demanding help. Many executive members were lost in these battles; President Robert Connors (terminated) Chairman of the Board Perry Wooten (resigned in lieu of termination, President Mark Sellers (terminated) President Robert Amoboree (terminated) Board-member now President J.M. “Smokie” Phillips, Jr.( terminated, reinstated than resigned). These presidents were lost in the battle but the fight did not stop.

Many people don’t know how former executive member Godfrey Eta of the League was placed in a room and threaten with termination. Faced with the challenge of making a decision of his and his family’s lively hood and career loss in the department versus fighting against a system of unfairness that the majority of Blacks in the Department remained silent and status quo about. Lieutenant Godfrey Eta wrote to Sheriff Thomas a letter resigning as vice-president of the League and later that letter was posted and paraded by white supervisors throughout the jails.

As president today, Godfrey has remained my friend because I knew the plight and the fight he put up against the barriers of racism and the blocks of discrimination. Even today, the fights we put forth together for a better Department still haunts him. Ironically, with all his training, law enforcement experience and a college masters degree, after being promoted over three years ago to lieutenant, he still remains on the nightshift in the jail. Other persons of his same rank and position with less tenure, with less experience and education have moved on and are assigned better positions in the department. In the eyes of Tommy Thomas and his co-horts he still has to pay for his disobedience. I haven’t talk to Godfrey Eta in a long time prior to writing this article, but my friendship remains with him.

It has been a burden of these Black union members to drain the poison of discrimination, corruption and racism from the Sheriff’s Department, no one else has lead and suffered the jolts of terminations and job losses. The League leadership only goal was to always get a seat at the table within the Sheriff’s Office. This was a necessary prerequisite to get to equality and fairness. We wanted to be a conduit of change. As many union leaders got seats at that table, thirteen (13) years ago Sheriff Thomas refused to give us a seat, the door was slammed in our face and we have never met with him since.

As an outspoken League member, I truly believe that in October 1996 a certain member of the Sheriff’s Office conspired with a FBI agent to facilitate with a criminal charge being filed against me to silence my criticism of the department. I was never given the opportunity to explain my position. I was never given the opportunity to fight this out, when other white deputies were given a chance to fight criminal charges pending against them. I learned that after receiving an incomplete copy of a fax indictment, the Patrol Major and the Sheriff without any departmental internal investigation terminated me from the department by sending a certified mailed letter delivered to my house by a postman. However, their actions would prompt a discrimination civil rights lawsuit at a later date that would cost taxpayer’s thousands and thousands of dollars.

Moreover, after the false and fabricated charges against me were dismissed and I was exonerated, I petitioned the Sheriff for returned but he refused to reinstate me to my position without any realistic reason outside the falseness of fabricated criminal indictment that was filled with outright lies. An indictment filled with erroneous statements from persons I never knew, statements from persons in distant federal prisons I never heard of, to a DEA report being plagiarized, to altered surveillance logs and a fabricated federal law enforcement report hand-written by FBI Agent Michael Johnson. Many of people observed Sheriff Thomas racist and arrogant attitude indirectly by his refusal to disclose payments to a county contractor and towards me, “the labor boss” was seen on Channel 13 during the Garcia/Thomas debate which aired on Sunday, November 2, 2008. However, in 1998 filed a federal lawsuit against him and Harris County to force my return. The lawsuit was settled days before my trial, my termination was rescinded, I cannot disclose what I learned through depositions or disclose the settlement and monetary agreements but I swore to myself that I would never work for the Sheriff’s Office as long as Tommy Thomas was Sheriff of Harris County. I decided that I would continue my League involvement exposing this corrupt and racist Sheriff to the public and to make a change for the department that I loved. This is why for the last 10 years I remained in the League as a Board-member, Vice-President and now President. I told myself that I would see this corrupt and racist Sheriff voted out of office and that the League would play a part in his last days as Sheriff of Harris County. I remembered Dr. King, stating that, “silence about injustice is betrayal to America’s promise”. Sheriff Thomas betrayed that promise and many of you remained silent.

I liken the defeat of Sheriff Thomas as the end of slavery in 1865. Because many of the AASDL leaders felt the blunt of Thomas and his surrogates wrath while many Blacks in the department sat out and watched on the sidelines or criticized the movement we started to end the cycle of good ole boys, racism, corruption and discrimination. I remember many planning sessions to exposed corruption than plagued the department from employee thefts to civil rights violations against inmates and citizens. I remember press conference after press conference exposing injustice after injustice, corruption and scandal after scandal, from 16 African-American deputies being rounded up by white supervisors and an investigator and photographed as suspects, to a former retired Major Carl Broachers’ who referred to Black employees as the “n-words” and further citing racist and derogatory remarks towards blacks, women and homosexuals and during supervisor staff meetings Borchers would mimic blacks using Ebonics and used “nigger” and “queer” in his conversation, but Sheriff Thomas instead of firing this major, he was allowed him to retire months later, undisciplined or reprimanded for his remarks. This news conference regarding Borchers actions was more profound because this time we had a white captain and lieutenant who gave departmental affidavits regarding Borchers conduct.

The information reported by 13 undercover was not a mistake because for many years the League has worked with different Houston mainstream media TV and newspapers reporters to get the story of corruption, racist and discriminatory practices by Sheriff Thomas and his good ole boy surrogates out to the public. These media efforts were to let the public know, not only about the plight of Harris County deputies but what was happening within the Department against Black employees. We wanted highlight the conduct of Sheriff Thomas and his closet allies within the Department. During these days; No employee Union would join us in exposing what was happening. No employee Union would stand with us. We (AASDL) were on our own.

However, Sheriff Thomas never knew that a brother from miles away who challenged America to “dream and change” from “politics and policies, as usual” would be so crucial to his re-election. Sheriff Thomas never knew that this brother unlike his political satire racist e-mail joke of Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton seemingly blowing up and puffing away on his office desktop computer, to other racist e-mails found throughout his command staff depicting people of Muslim faith was not a command staff joke. That this brother would be the turning point that would change not only America but the Harris County Sheriff’s Department. Tommy Thomas never thought that a Chicago politician known only as Obama, the son of an African Kenyon; born to a White woman from Kansas and the many good people of Harris County wanting change was challenging and later would change his career as Sheriff of Harris County. We never knew that one day a young brother name Barack Hussein. Obama showed up. This brother too was a dreamer. This brother heard something unordinary. This brother was a politician with a new vision and capacity to connect with people of all colors across America, Harris County and around the world. This brother was like a great earthquake and the subsequent actions of his campaign sent aftershocks or little quakes down to Harris County, Texas that awoke a mass people who wanted change but this defining election and moment will be an extraordinary page in the electorate books of Harris County but in the history books of the Harris County Sheriff’s Department that brought down a start to the end of the good ole boy system that we now as people and employees of Harris County will work close. I predict that Sheriff Thomas will not cooperate with this change. The doors for transition will be hard to break and his co-horts and buddies will find sacred sanctuary positions within the department before the new Sheriff arrives.

In closing, many Blacks, White and Brown became dreamers of the day that Sheriff Thomas and his surrogates would leave or be kicked out of office and positions. They were dreamers of a fair and equal system. The Obama jolt of change for a real America as the dreams of Dr. King, Bobby Kennedy, Thurgood Marshall, and Medgar Evans to the dreams of Abe Lincoln. I remember shaking Barack Obama’ hand in Chicago years ago at the Rainbow Push national conference. The hand shake was like a connection that dreamers shared. The same feeling happened when I shook his hand in Houston during his 2008 campaign visit this year at the CWA offices. Perhaps this is something that dreamers share.

Since the elections I feel some days that my time as president of the League is nearing its end. The elections were so exciting for me and a million or so others. The experience of change in the Sheriff’s Office was so gratifying. Many days I woke up early in the morning putting out signs supporting candidates, talking to people from McNair to Katy, going to churches on Sundays, being on the radio airways and depending on the many friends and family to get the word out that if time now and we cannot miss this defining moment and this golden opportunity to make a difference.

Restoring the Sheriff’s Office credibility within the communities should be job one for Sheriff-Elect Garcia. Under Thomas watch many deaths occurred that affected the minority communities more, from questionable shootings of several Black men, to the majority of inmate deaths being minorities in the jails. Sheriff Thomas never reached out to the minority communities to explain; he thought that promoting a few Blacks who scored high on the promotional exams to supervisory positions in the department would erase a record and years of Jim Crow type behavior. Sheriff Thomas never publicly apologized to the people of Katy for some of the abuses his deputies committed which led Ms. Beard and others to protest against him in the late 90’s. He never publicly or privately apologized to the 16 Black deputies rounded up in the jail but most recently he saw fit to apologize to the Muslim community for the racist e-mails found on command staff computers but he never saw fit to apologize to the people of Harris County. The resonation for change that President-Elect Obama and the American people dreamed was heard in Harris County ending the 40 year career of Sheriff Thomas in shame and disgrace.


The devil tattooed on Kevin Fine’s upper arm holds a razor blade, a mirror and an eight ball symbolizing cocaine. His forearm sports a tattoo of Jesus holding up a man who has collapsed amid the waves of a massive storm.

Elected by Harris County voters as a state district judge this month, Fine said he’ll draw from his experiences as a cocaine addict who has been clean and sober for 10 years when presiding over felony cases.

“Every time I was coming down, I felt like the devil was reaching into my soul, stealing my heart,” he said of his days spent with drugs.

The crumpled man in Jesus’ arms is a metaphor for the way he later faced his own skeletons and weathered the problems of addiction, said Fine, a criminal defense lawyer who will take the bench in January.

Fine believes he is qualified to help those who truly want to battle their own demons and says he’ll be able to spot the phonies.

His right arm is covered from shoulder to wrist in a sleeve of tattoos that mark various periods of his life, including the times he battled drugs and alcohol.

“I’m probably the only district judge with this many tattoos,” he said. “At least the only one we know about.”

Fine, a Democrat, campaigned on his life experiences, saying they would make him a better judge than his rival, Republican incumbent Devon Anderson.

“She did a good job, but I’m more qualified in the hopelessness and futility of addiction,” Fine said.