i am

My photo
harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Judge rules in favor of CNN and to restore press credentials of reporter Jim Acosta

a federal judge on friday ruled in favor of cnn and reporter jim acosta, who was reprimanded by the white house after a heated dispute with president donald trump during a press conference last week. the judge ordered the white house to restore the press credentials stripped from acosta.

judge timothy j. kelly, a trump appointee, granted cnn's motion for a temporary restraining order to prevent the trump administration from keeping acosta off white house grounds. acosta, cnn's chief white house correspondent, is the first reporter with a banned "hard pass." 

cnn sued trump and other white house officials on tuesday over the revocation. the network and government lawyers argued whether the president had the power to revoke a reporter's access. kelly agreed with the government: there was no first amendment right to come onto the grounds. but, he said once the white house opened the grounds to reporters, the first amendment was applicable.

kelly's ruling emphasized the white house's decision to ban acosta violates the fifth amendment, which guarantees due process in government actions. kelly said the white house's decision-making was "so shrouded in mystery that the government could not tell me...who made the decision."

cnn stated, "we are gratified with this result and we look forward to a full resolution in the coming days. our sincere thanks to all who have supported not just cnn, but a free, strong and independent press." acosta said, "i just want to thank all my colleagues in the press who supported me this week. i want to thank the judge for this ruling. and let's go back to work." 

trump said the white house will write rules to satisfy the court's due process concerns. trump also suggested his administration will continue to fight cnn legally. trump said, "we will end up back in court and we will win."  
     

Friday, November 16, 2018

Denver Nuggets add WNBA legend Sue Bird to their front office

sue bird, an 11-time wnba all-star and three-time wnba champion, joined the denver nuggets' front office, the team announced friday. bird, 38, finished her 16th season with the seattle storm, who captured the 2018 wnba title.

"we are very excited to have sue join our organization. her resume certainly speaks for itself and as a still active player she will offer an extremely unique perspective," said tim connely, nuggets president of basketball operations.

bird was named to the all-decade team in 2006 and has been an all-wnba first team selection five teams. bird ranks first in assists (2,831), career games (508) and minutes played (16,173). bird is third in points (6,154), three-point field goals (855) and fifth in steals (652).

bird helped the university of connecticut win two national championships in 2000 and 2002. bird was the first overall pick in the 2002 wnba draft, and is also a four-time olympic gold medalist.   

Thursday, November 08, 2018

2018 Midterm Election Records Set

the 2018 midterm election results on tuesday set the following records:

fundraising for congressional elections.
early voter turnout in a non-presidential election.
the number of candidates running.

the number of female candidates running.
the number of female candidates elected.
the number of women of color running.
the youngest woman elected to congress.
the first native american women elected to congress.
the first muslim women elected to congress.
the first korean-american woman elected to congress.

the number of lgbt candidates running.
the first openly gay lgbt governor.


Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Midterm Election Victories for Drug Policy Reform and Marijuana Legalization

last night's midterm elections produced significant victories for drug policy reform and marijuana legalization across the country. these results can impact local, national and international policies regarding mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex. 

michigan voters approved proposal one, a ballot initiative to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana for adults 21 and over. michigan is the 10th state to legalize marijuana; the first in the midwest. 

passage of amendment two in missouri and proposition two in utah make them the 32nd and 33rd states to approve medical marijuana.

florida voters approved amendment four, a groundbreaking and historic initiative to restore voting rights to 1.4 million people with drug and other felony convictions upon completion of their sentences.

embracing drug policy reforms helped a number of democratic gubernatorial candidates win last night. they include michelle lujan grisham (new mexico), gavin newsom (california), jared polis (colorado), and j.b. pritzer (illinois).

the most powerful drug policy reform opponent in the house of representatives, pete sessions of texas, lost to colin allred, a long time supporter of marijuana reform. sessions has single-handedly blocked congress from holding any votes on marijuana reform for more than a year.   

the drug policy alliance and its lobbying arm, drug policy action, helped fund and played a major role in drafting proposal one in michigan. they also played a critical role in drafting and funding amendment two in missouri.

Clemente Aguirre Exonerated from Death Penalty in Florida after 14 Years in Prison

clemente javier aguirre on monday became the 21st person exonerated by dna evidence after being sentenced to death. in 2006 he was unjustly convicted of a double murder in florida.

aguirre, 38, received incompetent legal representation at his trial - his lawyer failed to hire forensic experts or demand a single dna test on the vast amount of physical evidence collected from the crime scene.

when dna testing was conducted years later, results excluded aguirre and repeatedly pointed to the victims' relative. based on this new evidence, the 2016 florida supreme court unanimously overturned his wrongful conviction. nonetheless, prosecutors sought to retry him again: with the death penalty.

eventually prosecutors agreed to drop all criminal charges against aguirre. he was surrounded by his family and supporters at the exoneration, and was released from custody later in the day. aguirre spent 14 years in prison. he was legally assisted by the innocent project.

the innocence project was founded in 1992 to exonerate the wrongly convicted through dna testing and criminal justice reform. their mission is to free the staggering number of innocent people who remain incarcerated, and help reform the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.  


   

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Washington State Overturns Death Penalty

the washington state supreme court, in a ruling october 11, unanimously overturned the state's death penalty. "the death penalty is invalid because it is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner," the justices wrote.

this opinion relied on research from university of washington professor katherine beckett and lecturer heather evans. beckett and evans reported black defendants were four and a half times more likely to receive the death penalty - compared to similarly situated non-black defendants.

washington is the 20th state to abolish capital punishment. the state froze its death penalty under a 2014 moratorium by governor jay inslee. washington currently has eight people on death row whose sentences will be converted to life without parole following the court's historic decsiion.  

Monday, October 29, 2018

Boston Red Sox Win 2018 World Series

the boston red sox defeated the los angeles dodgers 5-1, in game five, to win the 2018 world series. the red sox captured their fourth championship in 15 years with stellar pitching, timely hitting and unyielding defense.

boston is the first team in major league baseball history to clinch the league division series, league championship series and world series - on the road. they finished the year with 119 wins, including an 11-3 post-season record, and outscoring their opponents 84-51.

red sox outfielder steve pearce was named most valuable player. pearce hit two homers and knocked in seven runs during the last two games. alex cora, in his first year as such, became the first puerto-rican born manager to win the world series. 

"this is the greatest red sox team ever," said red sox owner john henry after hoisting the trophy. "what a season. what a way to end it," said cora, who stood on the same infield last year as a hitting coach for the houston astros. pearce saluted the fans on the victory platform and shouted, "we're world champions, baby!"  

the red sox had the highest payroll in baseball this year. their multi-talented squad featured all-stars mookie betts, craig kimbrel, jd martinez, mitch moreland and chris sale. boston suffered for 86 years without a title before ending their drought in 2004. they've since won in 2007, 2013 and 2018.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Kavanaugh Confirmed as new Supreme Court Justice amid polarizing battle

the senate confirmed brett m. kavanaugh as the 114th supreme court justice on saturday by one of the narrowest margins (50-48) in history. amid mass protests, their decision ended a contentiously polarizing battle over his nomination and solidified a conservative majority on the court.

kavanaugh denied allegations of christine blasey ford, who detailed in emotional testimony he sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers. two other female accusers came forward, resulting in an fbi investigation ordered by the trump administration - but only for a week. 

the fbi did not interview any of the female accusers. 

"it's been a great political gift for us. the tactics have energized our base. i want to thank the mob, because they've done the one thing we were having trouble doing, which was energizing our base," said senate majority leader mitch mcconell (r-ky).

kavanaugh heads to the supreme court politically scarred from the confirmation fight. his victory echoes the 1991 battle over now-justice clarence thomas, who was accused of sexual assault by law professor anita hill. both testified before the senate, and thomas ultimately prevailed.

chief justice john g. roberts jr. has received over 12 complaints of judicial misconduct against kavanaugh but is not referring them for investigation. "we have to rise above partisanship in our personal relationships. we have to treat each other with respect and dignity and with a sense of amicability that the rest of the world doesn't share," said justice sonia sotomayor.

kavanaugh, 53, is a veteran of the george w. bush white house who spent a dozen years on the court of appeals for the d.c. circuit. he was a top deputy in the office of independent counsel kenneth w. starr when starr was conducting an inquiry into bill clinton.