A Federal Judge Has Blocked 9 Arkansas Inmates From Being Executed

A circuit judge in Pulaski County, Arkansas issued a temporary restraining order on Friday that blocked the executions of six men who were scheduled to begin being put to death on Monday.

On Saturday, a federal judge blocked the executions of 9 inmates including the original 8 who were on the fast-track to lethal injection because of the state wanting to avoid letting one of the three drugs in the lethal injection protocol to expire.

The ruling by Federal District Judge Kristine G. Baker in Little Rock, Ark., comes less than 24 hours after a circuit judge in Pulaski County, Ark. issued a temporary restraining order to halt the executions. Baker’s ruling applies to nine death row inmates, but of the nine, one prisoner’s execution had not been scheduled and two others had received stays of execution. The executions of the remaining six were set to begin Monday night and continue over the next 10 days, an extremely speedy schedule that had drew criticism from across the nation.

Source: Update: Federal Judge Blocks Arkansas Executions

This Civil War Re-Enactment Group is Made Up of Black Women

When I think of Civil War re-enactment groups, I think of crazy old men running around in period costumes waving bayonets and muskets at each other out in a field somewhere in east “We Don’t Kick It Over There,” Virginia.

Female Re-Enactors of Distinction is here to not only shake that image but to also educate you on the Black women you may never heard of.

We were not all slaves and mammies; this is a testament to that.

Female Re-Enactors of Distinction (FREED) was founded in 2005 in association with the African American Civil War Museum in D.C., and its goal is to bring to life characters from the 19th century who are the most overlooked in history books: Black women. According to the Washington Post, the group came together after a group of women donned period dress at a museum event that commemorated the establishment of the U.S. Bureau of Colored Troops during the Civil War.

Source: Black Women in D.C. Bring to Life the Untold Stories of Overlooked Black Women in Civil War History

Aaron Hernandez Acquitted of Double Murder Charges

Aaron Hernandez sits in the courtroom of the Attleboro District Court during his hearing on August 22, 2013 in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was cleared on Friday of double murder charges by a Boston jury as he remains imprisoned serving a life sentence without parole for a third murder charge stemming from a June 2013 slaying.

The Boston Globe reports that Hernandez was acquitted of the double murder of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in a drive-by shooting that occurred in the early morning hours on July 16, 2012.

Hernandez was also acquitted of witness intimidation in the shooting of the star prosecution witness, Alexander Bradley, in Florida in 2013.

Continue reading →

“Jared Goes To Iraq!” is the picture story we all need in our lives

First son-in-law Jared Kushner has no business going to Iraq and meeting with U.S. military officials, yet here we are.

This offering from Task and Purpose is a hilarious take on Kushner’s visit with Gen. Joe Dunford in Iraq.

Share it with your friends.

Jared went to college at Harvard and business school at NYU. He went to the same business school as retired general Ray Odierno’s son! Ray Odierno’s son was also an Army officer who lost his right arm and one of his soldiers in Iraq.Jared never saw Iraq before; he was busy helping his dad buy a New York skyscraper with borrowed money. But now he’s going off to see the war!

Source: Jared Goes To Iraq! A Picture Story

I posted about Ziad Ahmed on The Root and it brought all the trolls out

Ziad Ahmed is the Muslim teen who answered a question on his Stanford admission application with the hasthag #BlackLivesMatter pasted 100 times.

Ziad was accepted by Stanford, and while his bold statement may not be the reason he was admitted, it definitely put an exclamation point on the career of an 18-year-old who has already been invited to the White House, worked on two presidential campaigns and created two youth organizations. We should be praising him regardless of whether or not is statement is what got him in.

We should be praising him because he is the future, and he is already making an impact on the world.

Of course, in the online world, writing about something like this usually leads to the types of responses that let you know people just love to be miserable, hateful, and downright disrespectful.

I’m not as bothered by the people arguing that it’s not the statement that got him in. So what. We don’t care about that.

I’m more concerned about the people who feel the need to comment with hate and vitriol thrown at a teenager who is just trying to leave some good in the world. The Islamophobia is sickening.

But there is something else mixed in with the Islamophobia. It’s that old throwback hate against the very idea that Black Lives Matter.

Black Lives Matter, and saying that out loud should not be a problem for anyone. No one is saying that Black Lives Matter more than other lives. No one is saying that in order to preserve Black lives we are going to take out other lives. No one is asking for anything more than the recognition of the humanity of a people who built this damn country on their own blood, sweat, and tears, but are still considered “other” and “unworthy” in the eyes of a dying minority that wants to use the illusion of a majority to remain in control.

So, yes. I wrote about Ziad Ahmed’s Stanford statement. I wrote about it because what he did was important, regardless to how you feel about it.

And that an 18-year-old Muslim boy from Bangladesh could make such a bold statement gives me hope for the future.

Is your activism performative or substantive? One New Jersey teen knew exactly how to show his answer to that question when filling out his application to Stanford University. Asked “What matters to you, and why?” the teen could think of only one thing: #BlackLivesMatter.

Ziad Ahmed wrote the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter 100 times, and that one act of activism paid off. According to a Mic profile of Ahmed, he received his letter of acceptance from Stanford on Friday.

Source: Muslim Teen Writes #BlackLivesMatter 100 Times for His Stanford Application Statement, Gets Accepted

off the record – a biomythography

Sometimes I write things that aren’t news.

I have this thing for words and storytelling and experience documenting; call it the journal·ist in me.

off the record is a biomythography of my life then and now.

names have been changed to protect the fuck ups and not so innocent. for everyone else, i’m respecting their privacy.

enjoy.

 

Accountability is like Kryptonite for niggas who mumble their words, give ambiguous answers, and avoid answering direct questions

Source: What do we do now, Superman? – off the record

Donald Trump Lied When He Said He Did Not Meet With Russians During the Election

Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

We already know that our sitting president is not the paragon of truth, and we’ve long suspected that his ties to Russia run deeper than he would like to admit, but the truth always comes to light, and this is no different.

Donald Trump met with the Russian ambassador personally on April 27, 2016, and according to ThinkProgress, the Wall Street Journal reported on it at the time, but the report did not gain notice until it was picked up on agan by AMERICAblog News.

Trump was delivering a major foreign policy speech, and Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak was apparently sitting front row at the invitation-only event.

ThinkProgress notes that Russia was pleased with Trump’s speech at the time.

During a February 16 press conference, Trump said, “Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia. Haven’t made a phone call to Russia in years. Don’t speak to people from Russia.”

ThinkProgress reports that Trump said his contacts with Russia were limited to talking twice with Vladimir Putin after election day.

Later, on February 20, Trump spokesperson Sarah Sanders also denied that the Trump campaign had contact with Russia.

From ThinkProgress:

We’ve since learned that at least four members of the Trump campaign — Jeff Sessions, Michael Flynn, Carter Page, and J.D. Gordon — talked with Russian officials during the campaign.

Sessions, now the Attorney General, recused himself from any investigation of the Trump campaigns contacts with Russia after he falsely told the Judiciary Committee he had not met with any Russian officials.

Trump’s own meeting with Kislyak raises further questions about the nature of the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia and why the Trump administration won’t come clean about the extent of their contacts.

At what point are we going to start looking at all this evidence of Russian involvement with the Trump administration and the 2016 election and start using it to get these people out of office? Once again, it’s like Russia itself is screaming from the Summer Jam screen, but Congress is pretending not to see and too scared to listen.

This is not how any of this is supposed to work.

Source: “Trump personally met with Russian ambassador during campaign” – ThinkProgress

TSA Agents May Be Getting a Little Closer to Airline Passengers During Security Pat-Downs

The next time you go through airport security, you may be getting felt up in an entirely different way by Transportation Security Administration agents if you decide to opt out of electronic screening and have to undergo the new full pat-down, and the new pat-downs are apparently so intrusive, the TSA felt it necessary to notify local law enforcement about its new methods.

Source: TSA Agents May Be Getting a Little Closer to Airline Passengers During Security Pat-Downs

House Republicans Release Long-Awaited Obamacare Replacement Plan Details

On Monday night, House Republicans finally revealed details of their long-awaited plan to repeal-and-replace Obamacare. The plan still has to pass through Congressional committees, but the details are out there ready to be discussed.

The wait is finally over. House Republicans have finally released their master plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known (to the shock of millions) as Obamacare, in the form of two bills that would replace federal insurance subsidies with individual tax credits and grants to help states create their own policies.

Separate House committees drafted the two bills, which would no longer penalize Americans for not having insurance but instead would encourage them to keep it by allowing insurers to impose a 30 percent surcharge for those who have a gap between health plans.

The biggest deal is that young adults would still be able to remain on their parents’ insurance plans until they turned 26 years old, and insurers would still be forbidden to deny coverage or charge more to people with pre-existing medical conditions. The downside is that Planned Parenthood would take a hit and would no longer be eligible for Medicaid or federal family-planning grants.

Source: House Republicans Release Long-Awaited Obamacare Replacement Plan Details

They hurried up and charged that Black Amtrak officer who killed an unarmed Black man

Do you need me to say it for you? Because I will. They hurried up and charged this officer because he’s black, in my opinion. If he were white, the “investigation” would have dragged on forever.

An Amtrak police officer was ordered held on $250,000 bail Friday and charged in the Feb. 8 shooting death of an unarmed Minneapolis man outside of Chicago’s Union Station.The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said that LaRoyce Tankson, 31, is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 25-year-old Chad Robertson, who died Wednesday.

Source: Amtrak Officer Shoots and Kills Unarmed Man at Chicago’s Union Station

Scott Pruitt is the new head of the EPA, and he will probably dismantle it from within

In the latest round of disappointing but expected news, Scott Pruitt was confirmed as the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

As if this shit show of an administration couldn’t get any worse.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 18: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on Capitol Hill January 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. Pruitt is expected to face tough questioning about his stance on climate change and ties to the oil and gas industry. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Scott Pruitt used his position as Oklahoma’s attorney general to repeatedly sue the Environmental Protection Agency for its efforts to regulate mercury, smog and other forms of pollution, and on Friday, he was sworn in as the agency’s new leader, bringing into question the future of the EPA under Trump’s administration.

Source: Scott Pruitt, Who Opposed the EPA Every Chance He Got, Has Been Confirmed as the Agency’s New Leader

Donald Trump calling the media ‘the enemy of the American people’ is propaganda

Donald Trump has been consistently attacking the media, and his hyperbole reached a frenzy point Friday when he said the media is “the enemy of the American people.”

While the president has been hypercritical of the news media, until now, he has not gone on record as saying the media is an enemy of the country. He seems to take issue with the media not being his public relations machine but rather doing its job as the watchdog of society, providing important information to the public on an administration that has had a rocky first four weeks.

Source: Trump’s Attempts to Create A Common Enemy Out of the American Media Are Very Orwellian

I have a lot more thoughts forming on this and why it’s extremely dangerous, but I will say that making a declaration such as this is essentially censure and it could lead to actual censorship.

This man has got to be stopped.

Report: Flint Water Crisis Connected to Systematic Racism 

“We are not suggesting that those making decisions related to this crisis were racists … (but the) disparate response is the result of systemic racism that was built into the foundation and growth of Flint, its industry and suburban area,” the report says. “Would the Flint water crisis have been allowed to happen in Birmingham, Ann Arbor or East Grand Rapids? We believe the answer is no, and that the vestiges of segregation and discrimination found in Flint made it a unique target. The lack of political clout left the residents with nowhere to turn, no way to have their voices heard.”

Source: Report: Flint Water Crisis Connected to Systematic Racism 

Don’t get me wrong; it’s not as if the commission said anything we didn’t already know, but now that it is officially documented for what it is, can we finally get the people of Flint some help? Please?