i am

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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.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Republican Maryland Governor Vetoes Bill to Restore Voting Rights to about 40,000 people

maryland republican governor larry hogan vetoed a bill to restore voting rights to people immediately after prison, rather than waiting until they've completed parole or probation. the bill would have an impacted an estimated 40,000 disenfranchised people.

the senate passed the measure with the minimum votes needed to override a veto, but the house was just two votes short of an override. governor hogan wrote a provocative letter to legislative leaders expressing his views about the bill.

hogan said restoring voting rights to people after they have completed parole or probation, "achieves the proper balance between repayment of obligations to society for a felony conviction and the restoration of the various restricted rights."  

communities united, a social justice advocacy group supporting the progressive measure, criticized the veto. the group said, "governor hogan has learned nothing from the uprising in baltimore and what the city and state residents needs. freddie gray's west baltimore neighborhood has the highest rate of disenfranchisement in the state. former felons need a voice and the ability to influence what happens in their communities and lives."

democratic senator joan carter conway says she needs to gather just a handful of votes in each chamber to override the veto when the general assembly convenes next january.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Senate Passes Historic Bipartisan Medical Marijuana Bill for Veterans

the senate appropriations committee passed a bipartisan amendment yesterday. the historic measure allows veterans administration (va) doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their patients in states where medical marijuana is legal. the vote was 18-12.

"veterans in medical marijuana states should be treated the same as any other resident, and should be able to discuss marijuana with their doctor and use it if it's medically necessary. they have served this country valiantly, so the least we can do is allow them to have full and open discussions with their doctors," said michael collins, drug policy alliance policy manager.

the veterans equal access amendment was sponsored by senator steve daines (r-mont) and senator jeff merkley (d-ore). it was added in committee to a must-pass military construction and veterans affairs spending bill. the bill is expected to pass on the senate floor.

t.j. thompson, a disabled navy veteran said, "veterans see this victory as a major step forward in restoring our first amendment rights within the va. this will allow for a safe, open dialogue between providers and patients, and allows veterans to be treated the same as any patient."

in 2002, the ninth circuit court of appeals affirmed in conant v. walters the right of physicians to recommend medical marijuana, regardless of its illegality under federal law, as well as the right of patients to receive accurate information. 

currently, the department of veterans affairs specifically prohibits its medical providers from completing forms brought by their patients seeking recommendations or opinions regarding participation in a state medical marijuana program.

there are numerous federal health care programs besides the va, such as medicaid, medicare and chip - but only the va prohibits physicians from discussing and recommending medical marijuana to their patients. a medicare patient may freely discuss medical marijuana use with their doctor, but a returning veteran is denied the same right.

studies show medical marijuana helps treat post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, two illnesses typically suffered by veterans. last year, a study (by the new mexico medical cannibas program) of people with ptsd showed a greater than 75% reduction in severity of symptoms when patients were using marijuana to treat their illness, compared to when they were not.

in 2014, the u.s. house voted five times in favor of letting states set their own marijuana policies. one of the amendments, prohibiting the justice department from spending any money in fiscal year 2015 undermining state medical marijuana laws, made it into the final spending bill signed into law by president obama.    


Thursday, May 21, 2015

2015 All-NBA and All-NBA Defensive Teams

2015 all-nba first team

guard - stephen curry, golden state warriors.
guard - james harden, houston rockets.
forward - lebron james, cleveland cavaliers.
forward - anthony davis, new orleans pelicans.

center - marc gasol. memphis grizzlies.

2015 all-nba second team
guard - russell westbrook, oklahoma city thunder.
guard - chris paul, los angeles clippers.
forward - lamarcus aldridge, portland trailblazers.
forward- demarcus cousins, sacramento kings.
center - pau gasol, chicago bulls.

2015 all-nba third team
guard - kyrie irving, cleveland cavaliers.
guard - klay thompson, golden state warriors.
forward - blake griffin, los angeles clippers.
forward - tim duncan, san antonio spurs.
center - deandre jordan, los angeles clippers.

2015 nba all-defensive first team
guard - chris paul, los angeles clippers.
guard - tony allen, memphis grizzlies.
forward - kawhi leonard, san antonio spurs.
forward - draymond green, golden state warriors.
center - deandre jordan, los angeles clippers.

2015 nba all-defensive second team
guard - jimmy butler, chicago bulls.
guard - john wall, washington wizards.
forward - anthony davis, new orleans pelicans.
forward - tim duncan, san antonio spurs.
center - andrew bogut, golden state warriors. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Population at Youth Facilities Cut 50% Since 1999

new figures were released from the office of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention (ojjdp). the united states experienced a 50% decline in youth placed in residential facilities since 1999, totaling 54,148 in 2013. the data proves lower youth crime rates reduce states' institutional populations.

despite the encouraging news, racial disparities persist. black youth comprise 40% of detained youth. the decades-long trend of disproportionate detention for black youth is troubling and underscores the need to reauthorize the juvenile justice and delinquency prevention act (jjdpa).

senators charles grassley (r-iowa) and shedlon whitehouse (d-rhode island) have introduced sb 1169 to reauthorize the jjdpa. the grassley-whitehouse bill intends to strengthen an important requirement of the jjdpa by mandating states to identify and reduce ethnic and racial inequities at various points of contact with the justice system.     


Thursday, May 07, 2015

2015 KIA NBA Performance Awards

the 2015 kia nba performance award winners are listed below:

most valuable player - stephen curry, golden state warriors.
rookie of the year - andrew wiggins, minnesota timberwolves.

defensive player of the year - kawhi leonard, san antonio spurs.

most improved player of the year - jimmy butler, chicago bulls.

sixth man of the year - lou williams, toronto raptors.

coach of the year - mike budenholzer, atlanta hawks.

executive of the year - bob myers, golden state warriors.

sportsman of the year - kyle korver, atlanta hawks.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Mayweather defeats Pacquiao in 12 rounds by unanimous decision

floyd mayweather on saturday emerged victorious after 12 rounds in a hard-fought, competitive and technically sound win over manny pacquiao in "the fight of the century." judge dave moretti scored the bout 118-110, while both burt clements and glenn feldman had it 116-112.

the mgm grand garden arena in las vegas, nevada was jam packed and sold out with athletes, celebrities and musicians from around the world in the house. the commentary was shared by hbo and showtime on the second ever joint pay-per-view (ppv) telecast between the networks, as were the ring announcing duties.

the event is expected to shatter every revenue and ppv buy rate record, with upward of $300 million and 3 million buys in play. the welterweight battle cost a record $99.99 in high definition. ringside tickets were sold for $10,000 - none of the seats were open to the general public.

mayweather's (48-0, 26 KOs) previous 13 opponents connected on an average of 19% of their punches against him. pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) connected on 19% of his punches against him last night. afterwards, mayweather said, "when the history books are written, this fight will have been worth the wait."

hbo ringside analyst roy jones, jr. said pacquiao looked about 10 mph slower than mayweather. pacquiao's hall of fame trainer freddie roach thought his charge fought too flatfooted most of the night. george foreman calls mayweather a defensive genius. but pacquiao, 36, felt he moved around too much. pacquiao said, "if he would've stayed in one place i could've thrown more punches."

mayweather, 38, picked up a fifth title belt against pacquiao. he's won championships in five weight classes spanning his impeccable career (130 pounds, 135, 140, 147 and 154). mayweather beat victor ortiz in september, 2011, miguel cotto in may, 2012, canelo alvarez in september, 2013 and marcos maidano in may, 2014.

at a press conference on sunday, mayweather vowed to relinquish all of his belts on monday. he said, "i want to give other fighters a chance. i'm not greedy. i'm fortunate to be a champion in two weight classes right now. i'm the undisputed welterweight champion. i have the wbc and wba belt at super welterweight. i have the wbo, wba and wbc at 147. it's time to let other fighters fight for the belts."

mayweather says his final fight will take place in september. in addition to creating an opportunity for young boxers, he will avoid the sanctioning fees which accompany a title defense. the fight will be 12 rounds. if he wins, mayweather intends to retire with a 49-0 career record - tying rocky marciano, internationally respected one of the greatest boxers in history.