Federal Chief Judge Admits to Sending Racially Charged Anti- Obama Email

The chief federal judge of Montana on Wednesday admitted to sending a racially charged email about President Barack Obama that seems to compare African-Americans to dogs, but denied circulating the note because it was racist, saying he only did it because it was “anti-Obama.”

The email, first obtained by the Great Falls Tribune, was forwarded by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull last week from his court email account to seven recipients — including his own personal email address — under the subject line, “A MOM’S MEMORY.”

“Normally I don’t send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching. I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read this. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine,” Cebull’s email begins.

The text continues on to this joke: “A little boy said to his mother; ‘Mommy, how come I’m black and you’re white?’ His mother replied, ‘Don’t even go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you’re lucky you don’t bark!’”

In an interview with the Tribune, Cebull acknowledged that the email was racist but maintained that he doesn’t consider himself a racist and that the note was meant to remain private.

“The only reason I can explain it to you is I am not a fan of our president, but this goes beyond not being a fan,” the judge told the publication. “I didn’t send it as racist, although that’s what it is. I sent it out because it’s anti-Obama.”

He also offered an apology, saying he could “understand why people would be offended.”

Cebull was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2001 and has been the chief judge since 2008.


Let’s forget the absolute disrespect for the President for a moment. Here’s the thing. When you’re a judge, a sitting judge, you shouldn’t get to claim ignorance of racist language written in an email that you forwarded.  He knew.  I don’t give two shits what he said, he knew that that was racist.  This is absolute crap.  Sent by a FEDERAL CHIEF JUDGE  no less.  Yep, this kind of crap really makes Black folks think they’re getting a fair run in the system. Yep. 

Federal Arts Endowment Sharply Cuts PBS Grants

The National Endowment for the Arts made sweeping cuts in its support of established PBS shows on Wednesday, and for the first time awarded significant grants to an array of gaming, mobile and Web-based projects.

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A sortable calendar of noteworthy cultural events in the New York region, selected by Times critics.

Among the PBS programs receiving significantly less financing under the 2012 Arts in Media grants were “Live From Lincoln Center,” which was awarded $100,000 last year and nothing this year.

The Metropolitan Opera received $50,000 for its national “Great Performances at the Met” telecasts, $100,000 less than in 2011. WNET in New York received $50,000 to support other “Great Performances” productions and the same amount for “American Masters,” compared to $400,000 for each last year.

Paula Kerger, PBS’s president and chief executive, called the reduced grants “disappointing.”

“The N.E.A. and PBS have been longtime partners,” she said in a telephone interview. “We do what is the mission of the N.E.A. We bring arts to every home across the country.”

She said that while she understands the endowment’s problem of balancing traditional and innovative projects, “for us this is a huge impact, and we have to scramble and try to fill the gap,” adding that she is particularly concerned about “American Masters,” “Great Performances” and “Live From Lincoln Center,” which the endowment helped to create in 1976.

Neal Shapiro, the president and chief executive of WNET, said that if “Great Performances” and “American Masters” could not make up the funds elsewhere “then obviously we cannot help as many regional arts organizations and independent filmmakers share their work with the nation.”

A Lincoln Center spokeswoman, Betsy Vorce, said that “while we regret any cut, we’re hopeful that the money will be restored next year,” adding that “Live From Lincoln Center” would not be “materially affected.”

Other programs receiving less than in 2011 include “The PBS NewsHour,” whose $50,000 is half that of last year; the documentary series “Independent Lens” which also got $50,000, down from $170,000; and the documentary series “POV,” which received $100,000, down from $250,000.

WNET did receive $75,000 toward production of a new series, “The Elastic Animation Festival,” and its companion Web site, and PBS received $50,000 for creation of mobile applications. A number of individual documentaries and smaller PBS programs also received funds, as in years past when the category was Arts on Radio and Television.

Among the radio grants were two to NPR totaling $120,000 to support music programs and Alt.Latino, a podcast about Latin alternative music. American Public Media sustained a major cut to its classical music programming, including “Performance Today,” receiving $20,000, down from $150,000 last year.

In a telephone interview Alyce Myatt, the endowment’s media arts director, said that while public television and radio remain “the leads, we also know we have a generation — not of kids but adults — who are consuming content online and on mobile.”

Both public and commercial media are in a fluid state, she said, adding that “as a federal agency I think it’s imperative that we assume a leadership role and help move the field forward.”

In particular, she said, the endowment hopes to encourage a public media sector for gaming. Among the projects the endowment financed were a University of Southern California video game that uses the writings of Henry David Thoreau; Power Poetry, from Odysseus Group of New York City, which encourages youths to write poems via texting; the Flea Theater’s production of a play using interactive technology; and Spelman College’s “HERadventure,” an augmented reality computer game featuring a superheroine.

Over all the endowment made 78 grants, up from 64 in 2011, totaling $3.55 million, down from $4 million last year. Eligible applications more than doubled to 329, Ms. Myatt said.

“Because these are grants, and we’re not in a situation where we can provide subsidies, it’s important that everyone bring their A game” to the grant process, she said. “There are limited resources, so the resources are parsed out as best as can be. This is not anything against any particular program, any particular network or anything.”

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George F. Rysdyk- I Died At Seven Pines

Twenty-one year old George Rysdyk enlisted as 1st Sergeant of Co. K, 67th New York, 1st Long Island Volunteers on September 27, 1861 at Brooklyn. He made 2nd Lieutenant on May 1, 1862.

Lieutenant Rysdyk was killed in action on May 31, 1862 at the Battle of Seven Pines.

(Photo courtesy of the Division of Military & Naval Affairs – NYS Adjt. Gen Office, Albany NY)

Information provided by American Civil War Research Database and the publication New York in the War of the Rebellion 1861-1865 by Frederick Phisterer (1912)