It’s been quite a while since I posted.
Frankly, I didn’t get the feedback or support I’d hoped for. Moreover, the national stories were becoming redundant: the open southern border, the surge in violence, our sudden shortage of petroleum products (gasoline). So redundant, and so maddeningly obvious in their solutions, that I felt I was shoveling sand against the tide.
I had planned to do a second podcast, a follow up to “Vegas Fed – the Kidnapping of Steve Wynn’s Daughter”. The new podcast got sidetracked by protracted discussions with Hollywood types over some of my cases. There have been many over the years and none have borne fruit– so I should have known better.
A recent experience lit a fire under my butt a bit and motivated me start posting again. I’ll elaborate momentarily. The hypocrisy of Facebook compelled my return.
But first here’s a tease regarding the next “Vegas Fed” podcast: “Strip Under Siege”. It actually ties in with the Wynn case:
On April 22, 1997, Jeff German, Senior Investigative Reporter for the Las Vegas Sun wrote:
“Hysteria gripped the Las Vegas Strip amid a series of brazen robberies pulled off by Los Angeles gangs… a series of 10… which included casinos, banks, and jewelry stores, between July 1992 and April 1994…
The terror reached its peak April 24, 1994, during the armed takeover of the cashier’s cage at Harrah’s hotel-casino. A videotape of young gang members stealing $97,000 from the cage at gunpoint was aired on the national television networks…
Harrah’s patrons and employees were picked up on videotape being terrorized at gunpoint… the Harrah’s robbery… turned out to be a nightmare for Southern Nevada’s booming tourism industry…”
Recall that the Wynn kidnapping occurred in July, 1993, right in the middle of the barrage of takeover robberies referred to by German.
At that point casino owners became just as frightened as casino guests. The entire casino industry was in trouble.
I and no sooner finished up the Wynn trial than I was assigned the Harrah’s case, which would become the last casino takeover.
In the new podcast, “Strip Under Siege”, I’ll explain how that was accomplished.
Now, for the comeback of the Pissed Off Prosecutor.
The Hypocrisy of Facebook
In the last year or so, I’ve been suspended by Facebook 5 (five) times.
A few of my “violations” were just plain silly. I’m positive that most of you would agree.
The latest, however, was nothing short of censorship, so I’ll focus on that one.
I’ve posted a few comments on boxing in the past (on FB).
Well, a boxing forum came up – unsolicited – and I decided to respond to a post that claimed Muhammed Ali (Cassius Clay) was: 1) the greatest boxer of all time and 2) a great man.
First I tackled issue # 1 with facts about his career. I’ll summarize a few:
– In 1963, a young Cassius Clay was knocked out by Henry Cooper and only survived because his manager (the wily Angelo Dundee) manipulated his gloves to gain him time to recuperate. Watch the video.
- Ali was destroyed by Joe Frazier in the 1971 “Fight of the Century”. If you watch the video, Frazier’s manager, Yank Durham, interrupts the commencement of the action, by urging referee Arthur Mercante to watch Ali’s holding behind the head. After only 90 seconds into Round 1, Mercante has to warn Ali about just that.
- In 1973, Ken Norton busted Ali’s jaw and beat him up in a huge upset. Ali won a close rematch, but in the rubber match at Yankee Stadium, many felt Norton was robbed. Ali was quoted as saying he agreed.
- In the 1974 rematch with Frazier, referee Tony Perez let Ali get away with the holding tactic – 133 times, according to author Mark Kram Jr. Eddie Futch, who had taken over as Joe’s trainer when Yank Durham passed away, excoriated Perez. Had Mercante officiated the bout, Ali would likely have been either disqualified or lost a decision.
- By the time of their final bout in Manila in 1975, Frazier was legally blind in one eye, but he inflicted “ the nearest thing to death” upon Ali (per Ali himself) before Futch threw in the towel in the 14th.
- Over the years, the “Greatest” went the distance with Mac Foster, whom Jerry Quarry had demolished in 6 in 1970, and was given all he could handle from Ron Lyle, who lost a lopsided boxing lesson from Quarry in February 1973, and Earnie Shavers, who Quarry had KO’d in the first round in December, 1973.
- Why mention Quarry? Nobody would suggest that Jerry was the “Greatest of All Time”, or even the greatest of his time. He lost twice to Ali and twice to Frazier. Yet, I believe it is instructive to compare his and Ali’s common opponents. Mac Foster was favored over Quarry. He came into MSG with a record of 24-0 with 24 KOs. So was Lyle, 19-0 with 17 KO’s. As was Shavers, considered by many to be the hardest puncher in boxing history. Quarry made these guys look like amateurs, while Ali had trouble with all three.
- In 1976, Ali was out punched by Jimmy Young 222 – 113 per Compubox; yet he was awarded a roundly booed split decision.
- In 1978, Ali lost to a boxer with 8 professional fights – Leon Spinks. I believe he threw it to avoid Norton IV, but that’s pure conjecture on my part. Not surprisingly, he won the rematch with Spinks, which also just happened to give him the claim as the only heavyweight to win the title 4 times.
- Ali went on to suffer pathetic, ill-advised loses to Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick.
Anyway, do you get the picture?
These were some of the things I used to support my opinion, as a knowledgeable boxing fan, that Clay/Ali’s record does not bespeak the “Greatest of All Time”.
Not even close.
Spoiler alert: the above – as well as what follows – was considered “HATE SPEECH” by FB ,and resulted in a 30 day suspension.
Issue # 2 – Ali was a “Great Man”
OK, here is the really absurd part of my Facebook suspension.
My intention was to refute the assertion that Ali was a “great man”.
In my post, as well as my appeal of the suspension, I focused on his association with the Nation of Islam (“Black Muslims”), not to be confused with the religion Islam.
Now, I could have gone into his hypocrisy regarding the draft. He claimed that his religion forbade violence, except in the case of a “Holy War” as decreed by the “Honorable” Elijah Muhammed. The fact is, he was never going to be required to fight. He would undoubtedly have been assigned to entertain the troops in Vietnam as Joe Louis did in WWII.
Moreover, he was downright sadistic to several of his opponents in the ring who continued to call him “Clay”. By his own admission he carried them simply to punish them – physically and violently.
Nor did I site his hypocrisy regarding Islam’s strict prohibition against adultery. He cheated on his wives and his girlfriends.
I could have cited his cruel treatment of Joe Frazier, mocking his physical appearance and calling him, among other things, a gorilla.
Frazier grew up dirt poor on what was essentially a plantation in Beaufort, South Carolina. Young Joe was his one-armed father’s right hand man. Cassius Clay grew up in a middle class part of Louisville, Kentucky, the son of a house painter.
Ali like to brag about how “pretty” he was. In truth, he has Caucasian ancestry, so his features were less “black” than Frazier’s. Rather ironic that he would torment Frazier for looking too black.
This would hurt Frazier deeply, especially when the public started buying Ali’s BS that Joe was an “Uncle Tom”.
Perhaps the fact that Joe was proud of his Olympic gold medal, while Ali claimed he tossed his in the Ohio river, made Frazier a “Tom”.
What a viciously mean spirited guy Ali was.
However, as I said, instead I focused, not on the above, but rather on his association with the Nation if Islam (“NOI”).
This is where the abject tyranny of Facebook’s “Board of Oversight” comes into play.
I stated – with citations – some facts about the NOI.
(See for example, C. Eric Lincoln’s “The Black Muslims In America”. Lincoln was a respected educator and author, and black.)
Their tenets include:
- Black Man was “Original Man”
- Whites were a mutant race created by a mad scientist named Dr. Yakub.
- The white man is “the devil”. You can easily find video of Ali saying so on Youtube. Here’s one example. Watch Ali obfuscate and also try to distance himself from Malcom X. It is VERY enlightening. (If your impatient, go directly to 33:18 – but I urge you to watch the entire interview.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxpuT1SNurU
- A spaceship will eventually come to Earth to save Original Man from the “white devils”, by killing them all.
Now, here’s a primer on the birth of the NOI.
It was basically a con game, perpetrated in Detroit during the Depression. One Wallace D. Fard claimed to be a mystic from the “East” and solicited food, lodging and money from the gullible.
Along the way, he recruited Elijah Muhammed (Elijah Robert Poole) as his right hand swindler and hate monger.
By the time he fought Sonny Liston for the title, Clay had been “converted”. The Honorable Elijah Muhammed controlled his life and career from that point on. There has been wide speculation that this was more via intimidation than piety.
There is also more than speculation that when Ali’s mentor, Malcolm X (former pimp Malcom Little) was murdered, it was at the behest of Elijah Muhammed. Malcolm had left the NOI to embrace traditional Islam, with a (presumably) less radical dogma.
In 1972, at Mosque 7 In Harlem, NYPD officers were ambushed responding to a bogus 10-13 (officer needs assistance) call. One, Officer Phillip Cardillo, was murdered. Their hatred of police was hardly a secret.
That mosque is now led by Louis Farrakhan, notorious anti-Semite and hate monger.
The NOI has been designated a hate group by both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.
Yet my recitation of facts about a hate group was determined to be “hate speech”!
Epilogue – The Appeal
I submitted what I thought was a cogent, well written appeal (many appellate lawyers might disagree). It took quite a while to compose.
I received an e-mail the next day – “the Oversight Board has rejected your appeal”.
I researched who exactly was on this Oversight Board and found one person I thought might be willing to give me the rationale for accusing me of hate speech. He is a law professor at Stanford named McConnell. I left him a message.
I’m wondering if I can sue Facebook for defamation for labeling me a hater.
Anyone know a good lawyer?