Attorney General: Charles Joseph Bonaparte

“To have a popular government we must, first of all, and before all else, have good citizens.”
—Charles Joseph Bonaparte


Charles Joseph Bonaparte – Forty-Sixth Attorney General 1906-1909

Charles Joseph Bonaparte was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on June 9, 1851. He graduated from Harvard College in 1871 and from Harvard Law School in 1874. He was admitted to the Maryland bar. Bonaparte was appointed a member of the Board of Indian Commissioners in 1902. For a number of years he was a member of the Board of Overseers of Harvard College, and was one of the organizers and president of the National Municipal League. For several years he was chairman of the Council of the National Civil Service Reform League. Bonaparte was a presidential elector for Maryland on the Republican ticket in 1904, the only Republican elected. On July 1, 1905, he was appointed Secretary of the Navy. President Roosevelt appointed him Attorney General of the United States on December 17, 1906, which office he held until March 4, 1909. He died at his estate, Bella Vista, near Baltimore, on June 28, 1921.

Updated November 4, 2014


Bonaparte was born in Baltimore, Maryland on June 9, 1851, the son of Jerome (“Bo”) Napoleon Bonaparte, (1805–1870) and Susan May Williams (1812–1881), from whom the American line of the Bonaparte family descended, and a grandson of Jérôme Bonaparte, the youngest brother of French Emperor Napoleon I and King of Westphalia, 1807–1813. However, the American Bonapartes were not considered part of the dynasty and never used any titles.

In: wikipedia

Charles Joseph Bonaparte, who served as U.S. attorney general under president theodore roosevelt, was one of the organizers of the Civic Reform League and the National Municipal League, and he helped to found a Special Agents Force within the justice department that was the forerunner of the federal bureau of investigation (FBI).

A grandson of Jerome Bonaparte, who was Napoleon’s youngest brother, Charles Joseph Bonaparte was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 9, 1851. After graduating from Harvard College in 1871, he attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1874. Bonaparte returned to Baltimore and established a private practice. At the time, public corruption of elected officials was widespread in the United States and the political situation in Maryland was considered to be the worst in the country. Bonaparte, of Italian-American descent, became interested in civic reform, commenting in an article published in Forum magazine that the politicians of that period if not technically criminals themselves, were the “allies and patrons of habitual lawbreakers.”

Read more at:

Family Sues Apple, Claiming FaceTime Distracted Driver in Crash That Killed 5-Year-Old Daughter

A Texas couple is suing Apple, claiming that its FaceTime app distracted a driver who rammed into the couple’s car, killing their 5-year-old daughter.

Parents James and Bethany Modisette are suing Apple for damages on the basis that the electronics giant failed to install and implement a “safer, alternative design” for FaceTime that would have helped to prevent a driver from using the app while traveling at highway speed, court documents show.

The lawsuit filed Dec. 23 in California Superior Court in Santa Clara County also claims that Apple failed “to warn users that the product was likely to be dangerous when used or misused” or to instruct on its safe usage.

The fatal accident occurred Christmas Eve in 2014 near Dallas, when, according to the lawsuit, the Modisette family was driving in a Toyota Camry, with daughter Moriah, 5, in a booster seat in the left rear passenger seat and her sister, Isabella, next to her in the right rear seat.

The Modisettes had slowed or stopped their car due to police activity ahead of them on the highway that had caused traffic to back up, according to the suit.

Another driver, Garrett Wilhelm, traveling in his Toyota 4Runner in the same direction and behind the Modisette car, allegedly had his attention diverted by his use of the FaceTime app, the suit says.

“As a result of that distraction, his Toyota 4Runner, while traveling at full highway speed (65 mph), struck the Modisette family car from behind, causing it to be propelled forward, rotate, and come to a final rest at an angle facing the wrong direction in the right lane of traffic,” the suit says.

Wilhelm’s car then “continued its trajectory by rolling up and over the driver’s side of the Modisette car,” the suit claims.

The crash caused extensive damage to the driver’s side of the Modisettes’ car, and rescue workers had to extract both the father and 5-year-old Moriah from the car, the suit says.

The father was in critical condition after the crash while the mother and daughter Isabella were taken to a regional medical center to be treated for injuries. Moriah was airlifted to the area children’s hospital where she later died from her injuries, according to the suit.

“Wilhelm told police at the scene that he was using FaceTime on his iPhone at the time of the crash, and the police located his iPhone at the crash scene with the FaceTime application still active,” the suit claims.

The Modisettes contend in their suit that, “At the time of the collision in question, the iPhone utilized by Wilhelm contained the necessary hardware (to be configured with software) to automatically disable or ‘lock-out’ the ability to use [FaceTime] … However, Apple failed to configure the iPhone to automatically ‘lock-out’ the ability to utilize ‘FaceTime’ while driving at highway speeds, despite having the technical capability to do so.”

Wilhelm was indicted on manslaughter charges by a grand jury in Denton County, Texas, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle. He has been out of jail on bail since August, and a jury trial in the case is scheduled for Feb. 27, the Record-Chronicle reports.

Wilhelm’s lawyer, Ricky Perritt, issued the follow statement: “The Wilhelm family offers their thoughts and prayers for the family of the young lady who lost her life in this tragic accident. We are confident that after all the facts are brought out in Court, it will be shown that the use of a cellular device did not contribute and Mr. Wilhelm did not commit a crime … it was simply an accident.”

ABC News reached out to Apple but did not receive a comment on the case.

In: abc

Mark Hamill’s Carrie Fisher Tribute: “Making Her Laugh Was a Badge of Honor” (Guest Column)

JANUARY 02, 2017
6:25am PT by Mark Hamill

"She was a handful, but my life would have been so much drabber if she hadn't been my friend," Hamill writes in a remembrance of his late 'Star Wars' co-star.

“She was a handful, but my life would have been so much drabber if she hadn’t been my friend,” Hamill writes in a remembrance of his late ‘Star Wars’ co-star. Albert L. Ortega/Gettyimages Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

Carrie and I occupied a unique area in each other’s lives. It was like we were in a garage band together that somehow hit it huge. We had no idea the impact Star Wars would have on the world. I remember we were out on tour right before the movie opened. By the time we got to Chicago, there was a crowd at the airport. I said, ‘Hey look, you guys, there must be somebody famous on the plane.” I was looking around to see who it might be. And then in the crowd I saw a kid dressed in a Han Solo vest. Then I saw girl dressed like Princess Leia. I said, “Oh my God, look, Carrie, there’s somebody dressed just like you. She’s got the buns on her head!”

The first time I met Carrie was at dinner in London before we started filming together. I had been the first one to go over to Africa with Sir Alec Guinness and the robots, to do all the desert planet stuff, then I came back to London and then Harrison Ford came over. Carrie was the last piece in the puzzle to come to London. So I said to the production office, “I’d like to meet her before we work together.” They worked out that we’d meet for dinner. You know, she was 19 years old at the time. I was a worldly 24. So I was thinking, “Oh my God, it’ll be like working with a high school kid.” But I was just bowled over. I mean she was just so instantly ingratiating and funny and outspoken. She had a way of just being so brutally candid. I’d just met her but it was like talking to a person you’d known for ten years. She was telling me stuff about her stepfather, about her mom, about Eddie Fisher — it was just harrowing in its detail. I kept thinking, “Should I know this?” I mean, I wouldn’t have shared that with somebody that I had trusted for years and years and years. But she was the opposite. She just sucked you into her world.

I was so middle class. Growing up, the closest thing to a celebrity we had was our next door neighbor, who was a baggage handler who returned Jerry Lewis’ wallet that fell on the tarmac in San Diego. But Carrie was something completely different. She dropped out of high school to be in the chorus of “Irene” on Broadway. I was just in awe of her.

She was so committed to joy and fun and embracing life. She had an Auntie Mame quality to her. I would do crazy things to amuse her on the set. Making her laugh was always a badge of honor. I remember during Empire we were split up storywise; it was a difficult film to shot and there was a lot of tension on the set. I was off in the swampland with the puppets and robots, but at least Carrie and Harrison got to work with human beings. Once at lunchtime she said, “You should try on my jumpsuit.” I said, “The one-piece white jumpsuit? You’re what, 5’2”? I’ll never get in!” She said, “Just try.” I put on that Princess Leia zipper jump suit and it was so tight I looked like a Vegas lounge singer. If that wasn’t ridiculous enough, she had me put on one of those bald cap masks with the Bozo hair and glasses and nose and then she walked me around the back lot.

The lengths I would go to hear her laugh — there were no limits. I loved her and loved making her laugh. She would do these crazy things and make me do these crazy things, but I really don’t think they were crazy after all. In a way, it was a defense mechanism for her. She was so off the wall, she could use it as protection. Part of what was so poignant about her was that she was vulnerable, that there was this glimmer of a little girl that was so appealing and it roused the protective nature in my personality.

I’m grateful that we stayed friends and got to have this second act with the new movies. I think it was reassuring to her that I was there, the same person, that she could trust me, as critical as we could sometimes be with each other. We ran the gamut over the years, where we were in love with each other, where we hated each other’s guts. “I’m not speaking to you, you’re such a judgmental, royal brat!” We went through it all. It’s like we were a family.

When you were in her good graces, you couldn’t have more fun with any person on the planet. She was able to make you feel like you were the most important thing in her life. I think that’s a really rare quality. And then you could go 180 degrees opposite, where you were furious with one another and wouldn’t speak for weeks and weeks. But that’s all part of what makes a relationship complete. It’s not all one sided. Like I say, she was a handful. She was high maintenance. But my life would have been so much drabber and less interesting if she hadn’t been the friend that she was.


Shirley Ellis – You Better Be Good, World

SHIRLEY ELLIS: she was funky yet classy, sophisticated but sassy. Unjustly pigeonholed as a novelty act by many rock historians, Shirley was a unique talent who could rock the joint with the best of ‘em, then spin on a dime and hold a packed house of hip nightclubbers in the palm of her hand, spellbound by her cool mastery of a jazzy ballad.

A clever songsmith of Caribbean ancestry, Shirley (if her reported birth date of 1941 is accurate) was only 13 when the Chords (of “Sh-Boom” fame) committed her composition “Pretty Wild” to wax. As a singer, the Bronx-based teen won Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater in Harlem while also performing as a member of the Metronomes and getting spliced to group leader Alphonso Elliston.

Hubby managed the Heartbreakers whose 45 “One, Two, I Love You” was a further example of Shirley’s creative prowess. It was through a songwriting cousin of Alphonso’s that Shirley forged a partnership with Lincoln Chase. Spectacularly unsuccessful as a record star, Chase was one of the biggest writers of the 1950s, supplying stars like Chuck Willis, Big Maybelle and Ruth Brown with top of the range songs and scoring hits for the Drifters and LaVern Baker with “Such A Night” and “Jim Dandy”, respectively.

In 1959, Chase became not only Shirley’s songwriting partner but also her manager and, later, her producer. The symbiosis was immediate; he saw in her the raw stuff that stars are made of, while she sensed his innate ability to mould her into one. The pair worked ceaselessly together over the following years on perfecting every aspect of her talent. A tentative release for the small Shell logo in 1961 marked the recording bow of Shirley Elliston – nobody cared. False start.

It was not until the fall of 1963 that the years of preparation paid off with the diminutive thrush’s Congress label debut, the incredibly exciting “The Nitty Gritty”. Taking over where Trini Lopez had left off a few months earlier with the loose, live, feel-good smash “If I Had A Hammer”, Chase fashioned the hippest slice of au-go-go, street-smart madness of 1963 or any year since. Demo copies of this George Harrison favourite read “The Real Nitty Gritty” by Shirley Elliston but the title and the singer’s surname were edited for commercial release. Shirley Ellis, after years of grooming, became an overnight Top 10 hitmaking sensation. Although she didn’t quite explain the meaning of “The Nitty Gritty”, the listener instinctively sussed that it was the unadorned kernel of reality at the heart of anything and everything. The phrase grabbed the imagination of society’s mainstream and is enshrined in the common vocabulary to this day.

“(That’s) What The Nitty Gritty Is” was no more enlightening and, let’s face it, a tad opportunistic. This soundalike follow-up stalled in the lower reaches of the chart and, after the no-show of the vastly superior “Takin’ Care Of Business” and a “Nitty Gritty”-style revival of Chase’s “Such A Night”, it seemed that the Ellis bandwagon had ground to a halt. Forget it pal! As Christmas 1964 lurched ever nearer, Shirley bounced back onto the charts with a bullet. The convoluted craziness of “The Name Game” was impossible to withstand and would become the singer’s biggest hit. She proved a sensation on Murray the K’s Brooklyn Fox Holiday Show that winter, taking “Name Game” requests from the crowd. Let’s hope that Shirley-Shirley-Bo-Birley had the sense to ignore Buck!

The fun kept coming as her wildly percussive follow-up began an equally impressive chart run while breaking Shirley Ellis internationally. Her third Top 10 smash finally brought the star recognition in Britain and many other territories but “The Clapping Song” would prove impossible to top. A lowly placing for the rubber-band rhythm of “The Puzzle Song” was to be the lady’s last chart showing for Congress.

Shirley’s “I Never Will Forget” stiffed as did her ominous Christmas 1965 single “You Better Be Good, World” on which reindeer quaked under threat of atomic devastation. The overly-dopey, yet curiously cherishable, “Ever See A Diver Kiss His Wife While The Bubbles Bounce About Above The Water?” erm . . . bubbled under the Hot 100 for five seconds in early 1966.

Shirley was then signed by Columbia. She registered her chart swan song with the memorable “Soul Time”, the second of a trio of 45s for her new outlet. A June 1967 Columbia album, her third in all, was the last we heard from Shirley. Although she was reported to have then pacted with the Bell label, no records were forthcoming and she vanished into retirement.

Three fondly remembered smashes is more than many more feted artists achieve and, although Shirley Ellis is one of that dignified handful who resisted the oldies circuit, her oft-revived classics continue to delight listeners the world over. All together now . . . Three-six-nine, the goose drank wine, the monkey chewed tobacco on the streetcar line; the line broke, the monkey got choked and they all went to heaven in a little row-boat!


1 5 6 7