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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Landmark Taser Torture Court Ruling In America - Special Post

I have come out of Semi-Blogger Retirement to write this special post on Taser Torture in America. I want to thank Rikyrah for the link, and Hudson Sangree and Kim Minugh at SACBEE.com for their excellent reporting of this landmark decision.  As reported by SACBEE.com, A federal appeals court on Monday issued one of the most comprehensive rulings yet limiting police use of Tasers against low-level offenders who seem to pose little threat and may be mentally ill.

In a case out of San Diego County, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals criticized an officer who, without warning, shot an emotionally troubled man with a Taser when he was unarmed, yards away, and neither fleeing nor advancing on the officer.

Sold as a nonlethal alternative to guns, Tasers deliver an electrical jolt meant to subdue a subject. The stun guns have become a common and increasingly controversial tool used by law enforcement.
There have been at least nine Taser-related fatalities in the Sacramento region, including the death earlier this month of Paul Martinez Jr., an inmate shot with a stun gun while allegedly resisting officers at the Roseville jail.

As lawsuits have proliferated against police and Taser International, which manufactures the weapons, the nation's appellate courts have been trying to define what constitutes appropriate Taser use.
The San Diego County case is the latest ruling to address the issue.
The court recounted the facts of the case:

In the summer of 2005, Carl Bryan, 21, was pulled over for a seat-belt violation and did not follow an officer's order to stay in the car.

Earlier, he had received a speeding ticket and had taken off his T-shirt to wipe away tears. He was wearing only the underwear he'd slept in because a woman had taken his keys, the court said without further explanation.

During his second traffic stop in Coronado, he got out of the car. He was "agitated … yelling gibberish and hitting his thighs, clad only in his boxer shorts and tennis shoes" but did not threaten the officer verbally or physically, the judges wrote.

That's when Coronado Police Officer Brian McPherson, who was standing about 20 feet away watching Bryan's "bizarre tantrum," fired his Taser, the court said.
Without a word of warning, he hit Bryan in the arm with two metal darts, delivering a 1,200-volt jolt.

Temporarily paralyzed and in intense pain, Bryan fell face-first on the pavement. The fall shattered four of his front teeth and left him with facial abrasions and swelling. Later, a doctor had to use a scalpel to remove one of the darts.

Bryan sued McPherson, the Coronado Police Department and the city of Coronado, alleging excessive force in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.

The officer moved to have the claim dismissed, but a federal trial judge ruled in Bryan's favor.
A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit affirmed the trial judge's ruling on Monday, concluding that the level of force used by the officer was excessive.

McPherson could have waited for backup or tried to talk the man down, the judges said. If Bryan was mentally ill, as the officer contended, then there was even more reason to use "less intrusive means," the judges said.

"Officer McPherson's desire to quickly and decisively end an unusual and tense situation is understandable," Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw wrote for the court. "His chosen method for doing so violated Bryan's constitutional right to be free from excessive force." . Read More HERE

AAPP, publisher of the blog, Tasered While Black and Stop Taser Torture said: "This is a great landmark ruling. I'm glad to hear that this Federal Judge had the guts to stand up for what is right, rather than to follow the script layed out by Taser International and Police Departments for so many years. We still need to work hard to get these weapons of American Torture outlawed in the United States.  Limiting the use of tasers by police is one gigantic step forward in that regard."

We will be talking about the taser torture decision tonight on my blogtalk radio program. Join us, to find out what average black Americans think about the taser torture issue and other issues impacting America.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Blogging Via BlogTalkRadio

I have stopped blogging for the next 6 months. You can however hear my political observations on political issues of the day on blogtalkradio. Want to hear black folks views regarding President Barack obama, Congress, black conservative and liberal thoughts, green party issues, the Congressional Black Caucus, The NAACP, Crime, Violence, Tasering updates, faith issues, gay an lesbian issues, health care reform, Black politics, and much more... Come on in and join the conversation. Call in on Monday, Wednesday or Friday at 10 PM, EST at 718-508-9867... "If you can handle the truth."

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tasering of another 10 Year Old - Today is Stop Taser Torture blogging for Justice Day.


Today is Stop Taser Torture blogging for Justice Day.  

I join this effort in solidarity with so many bloggers of all walks of life concerned about taser torture in America. Speaking of Taser Torture, now we learn from Raw Story, for at least the second time in three weeks, police officers have shocked an unruly 10-year-old child, and, once again, the child's adult guardians are supporting the move. 

According to Raw Story Sheriff's deputies in Pueblo, Colorado, Tasered a 10-year-old boy after arriving at the child's home Monday evening, after the boy had threatened them with a stick and a length of pipe. As of Thursday evening, the boy remained in a youth jail, according to KCNC channel 4 in Denver. The deputies involved described the boy as an "out-of-control juvenile." The Colorado incident follows a similar case last month, when a 10-year-old girl in Ozark, Arkansas, was Tasered after kicking an approaching officer in the groin. In that case, the girl's mother had suggested to the officer that he use a Taser. More HERE

"A two-foot piece of pipe can do a lot of damage, I don't care who's swinging it," Daniel Bilby told KCNC. Bilby said the police could have done more harm to his foster son -- whose name is being withheld because of his age -- if they had tried to tackle him.

Capt. Jeff Teschner of the Pueblo County Sheriff's Department told the Pueblo Chieftain that the officers were justified in their use of force.

"They followed all policies and procedures. This was appropriate use of the Taser device," Teschner said.
The Chieftain reports:
Deputies Mark Myers and Randy Mondragon were sent to foster parent Daniel Biby's home to help with an "out of control juvenile" who was reportedly destroying property. Mondragon said the boy had threatened Biby with a pipe and a stick, and had thrown a landscape timber at Biby.
Mondragon said that when deputies arrived, the boy ran away from them holding a 2-foot-long pipe.
"This lad, we have a long history of (him) running away. I don't know what his entire psychological profile is, but obviously he has emotional distress," Teschner said.
The recent incidents of Taser use on children will likely spur debate on the ethical and safety issues involved in using conducted energy weapons on youths.
AAPP says: The problem is, it's not just kids that police are tasing, many police departments are using tasers to torture even nonviolent people who are often those who are incoherent, hallucinating, wheelchair bound, suicidal, unarmed, deaf, handcuffed, blind, pregnant, students, or just didnt move fast enough for an officers liking. Taser torture in America is continuously growing not only in volume, but in the level of how liberally, unwarrantedly, and excessively tasering is being used across the U.S and many other countries."

What can we do?

As reported by Amnesty International,Taser policy is most often a local issue. Individual law enforcement agencies – city and state policy, sheriff’s departments, and campus police -- decide if they are going to employ the weapons, and what rules will govern their use. You can help lobby your own city or town to suspend use of Tasers pending thorough safety research, or to limit their use to situations where they are an alternative to deadly force.


To improve your town’s Taser policy, you first need to establish the facts. If your city uses Tasers already, what policies are in place to govern its use? One place to start is writing to your police department to request information about how Tasers are employed and to get a copy of the use-of-force policy used by the police.

Use-of-force policies vary widely. Some departments allow the weapons to be used in cases of “passive resistance,” including when the individual is refusing to obey a verbal command. These policies allow for the weapons to be used in situations where, in many cases, no weapon would otherwise have been used (See the case of Darryl Turner, a 19 year old in North Carolina who died after being shocked by a Taser. He was not holding any weapon and had his hands by his side Case Study of Darryl Turner. Many departments authorize officers to employ the weapons when an individual is “actively resisting.” This is better, but still short of Amnesty International’s recommendation, given the unanswered safety questions with Tasers.

If you find that your town uses Tasers but does not require all of Amnesty International’s recommended policies on their use, you can work to get your local police to revise the use-of-force policy so that Tasers may only be used in more extreme circumstances. Amnesty International's list of recommendations to law enforcement agencies on Tasers.

Get the word out about Tasers in your city, gather public support, and work to convince your local authorities that it is within the interest of public safety to improve the policy on Tasers!

For a packet of further resources for campaigning on Tasers, please contact your AIUSA regional office Contact Information for Regional Offices

Support the Stop Taser Torture Movement


You can also join Stop Taser Torture Movement

and donate to the movement

Also, you could support the efforts of these great organizations and bloggers:


Green Party of Suffolk


Ft. Worth Chapter

You can also sign the petition
Taser Torture In America - A Call For Congressional Hearings
Just do something! Please...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Afghanistan, Is President Obama Another U.S. Presidential Warlord?

How long does it take a mild-mannered, anti-war, black professor of constitutional law, trained as a community organiser on the South Side of Chicago, to become an enthusiastic sponsor of targeted assassinations, 'decapitation' strategies and remote-control bombing of mud houses at the far end of the globe? More HERE

That was a great question made by, Alexander Cockburn a number of months ago. Now we know the answer. Not long. Now after months of debate, President Barack Obama has spelled out a costly Afghanistan war expansion to a skeptical public Tuesday night, coupling an infusion of as many as 35,000 more troops with a vow that there will be no endless U.S. commitment. As reported by MSNBC, His first orders have already been made: at least one group of Marines who will be in place by Christmas. 

President Barack Obama outlines a new strategy in Afghanistan during a press conference Tuesday night. 

Obama has said that he prefers "not to hand off anything to the next president" and that his strategy will "put us on a path toward ending the war." The fact of the matter is Obama campaigned on a pledge to 'decapitate' al-Qaeda, meaning the assassination of its leaders. His course is set and his presidency already permanently stained the ever-familiar blood-red tint. There's no short-cut in counter-insurgency. More HERE

The mild-mannered professor is bidding to be as sure-footed as Bush and Cheney in trampling on constitutional rights. He's planning to restore Bush's kangaroo courts for prisoners at Guantanamo who've never even been formally charged with a crime! He's threatening to hold some prisoners indefinitely in the US without trial. Is this the change you can believe in? 

AAPP: I must be one of the 10% of black Americans not feelin' the President and his war mongering policies. One day Black america willl wake up and ask, OK, Black President, yes,  but am I better off than I was 4 years ago?

"The president's speech could have been written by George W. Bush speech writers. Like so many Americans I have grown tired of war, tired of crooked politicans, tired of crimes in American streets, tired of taser torture in America. I'm just sick and tired about being sick and tired. The President of the United States has lost major credibility with me, and probably with most black independent voters."

I guess I will be voting green Party next Presidential election.

Check out the great fact checking by The Washington Post:

President Obama addresses cadets as he speaks about the war in Afghanistan at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

8:44 p.m. -- Timeline for withdrawal
"I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home. Taken together, these additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011."

This is likely to be the most controversial notion in the speech -- that the president can flood the zone with troops, and that in the same breath he can talk about removing them from the country. In a superficial way, it resembles Bush's surge in Iraq, but Bush was truly limited by troop availability and thus even if he wanted to keep them longer it would have been difficult.

Obama is careful to offer a caveat -- "we will execute this transition responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground" -- but that date is likely to linger in viewers' minds. This administration has had real trouble meeting deadlines -- witness the difficulty with closing the detainee facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba -- so it will be interesting to see how much of an albatross this date becomes.
--Glenn Kessler

Obama's timeline for the start of a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan is likely to stir some concerns in military circles, even though the pace of that eventual drawdown remains vague. Many in the military will recall how both in Iraq and Afghanistan previous predictions about the need for fewer troops proved overly optimistic and destabilizing when drawdowns were undertaken without regard for deteriorating security.
In addition, some U.S. military officers may worry that the Obama timeline, while a warning to the Karzai government, could also encourage Taliban insurgents who seek simply to outlast the military offensive.
--Ann Scott Tyson

8:40 p.m. -- Parsing the cost
"Our new approach in Afghanistan is likely to cost us roughly 30 billion dollars for the military this year, and I will work closely with Congress to address these costs as we work to bring down our deficit."

Administration officials say this short-term troop increase will be paid for through a supplemental appropriation--something Obama had said he would not do and a practice which Democrats had heavily criticized during the Bush years. Republicans are content to simply let it paid through deficit spending, but some leading Democrats are talking about a tax or a surcharge that would fall heavily on the most wealthy. Expect a big fight on this question.
--Glenn Kessler

8:35 p.m. -- The logistics of deployment
The president wants the 30,000 additional troops to begin deploying in early 2010 and arrive at the "fastest pace possible." But getting all those troops to Afghanistan by mid-2010 will be a huge challenge for the military.

In addition to identifying and preparing additional units for deployment, the Pentagon faces an enormous logistical challenge in moving troops and their supplies to Afghanistan. Because the country is land-locked, everything has to arrive by air or by ship and then be moved by truck through Pakistan. Shipping goods from the United States to forward-operating bases in Helmand province is a journey that can take weeks.

Then there is the challenge of housing the new troops. Unlike in Iraq, there are no unused military installations in Afghanistan into which the new forces can move. Combat engineers and contractors will have to construct and expand existing military facilities, which could take months.
--Rajiv Chandrasekaran

8:31 p.m. -- Point, counterpoint
"I recognize that there are a range of concerns about our approach. So let me briefly address a few of the prominent arguments that I have heard, which I take very seriously."

This is an effective section, laying out the case against worries that Afghanistan is another Vietnam, that the U.S. can keep going with the current troop level, and that there should be no exit strategy. The president is talking to several audiences here -- first, Democrats who want to quit the war, then doubters in his own administration (such as Vice President Biden) and finally Republicans who dislike deadlines for exiting a war.
Quoting Eisenhower is a nice touch--he doesn't often get cited in presidential speeches, but he was an ex-general skeptical of military demands and a fiscal conservative.
--Glenn Kessler

8:26 p.m. -- Does this deployment amount to a surge?
In deciding to add 30,000 troops in Afghanistan, is President Obama about to oversee a "surge"?

Based on advanced text of the speech, Obama will not use the 's' word to describe his military escalation during his speech tonight. But he did advocate a "civilian surge," and a senior administration official used the word "surge" - a loaded term that defined President Bush's escalation in Iraq, which Obama fiercely opposed - to describe the new policy in explaining it to reporters earlier today.

"The concept that he'll describe is to surge American forces to do several things," the senior official said, speaking on anonymity according to the ground rules laid by the White House. "He will also announce that this surge, if you will, will be for a defined period of time."

Obama has used Iraq as a frequent counterpoint, arguing once more that it had been a distraction from the Afghan front - and reminding the audience that he had opposed invading Iraq "precisely because I believe that we must exercise restraint in the use of military force, and always consider the long-term consequences of our actions." But he also welcomed an Iraq comparison in one respect - saying he would oversee a withdrawal from Afghanistan as, he said, he has done in Iraq. "Just as we have done in Iraq, we will execute this transition responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground," Obama said.
--Anne Kornblut

8:23 p.m. -- America's war?
"Of course, this burden is not ours alone to bear. This is not just America's war. Since 9/11, al Qaeda's safe-havens have been the source of attacks against London and Amman and Bali.... Because this is an international effort, I have asked that our commitment be joined by contributions from our allies. Some have already provided additional troops, and we are confident that there will be further contributions in the days and weeks ahead. Our friends have fought and bled and died alongside us in Afghanistan. Now, we must come together to end this war successfully. For what's at stake is not simply a test of NATO's credibility - what's at stake is the security of our Allies, and the common security of the world. "

These are likely lines from Obama's many conversations with world leaders -- especially from NATO countries -- in recent days seeking additional troops. But so far it is not clear how much success he has had. Britain has offered up just 500 troops, but French officials have made it pretty clear no more troops are coming. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Brussels on Thursday to help make the case with NATO allies.
--Glenn Kessler

8:22 p.m. -- Fact checking Obama on 2010 deployments
"Let me be clear: there has never been an option before me that called for troop deployments before 2010, so there has been no delay or denial of resources necessary for the conduct of the war."

This is technically true, but it is also the case that McChrystal's September report insisted that reinforcements were needed as quickly as possible to arrest the decline in Afghanistan and shift the momentum away from the Taliban. McChrystal has since said that he supports the policy review that the Obama administration conducted.
In addition, Gen. David McKiernan had made a request for an additional 10,000 U.S. troops that technically did not go before President Obama because it was not forwarded to him by the Pentagon -- but the request existed and was referred to by Gen. McChrystal in his report.
--Greg Jaffe and Ann Scott Tyson

8:20 p.m. -- Fact checking Obama on troop requests
"Commanders in Afghanistan repeatedly asked for support to deal with the reemergence of the Taliban, but these reinforcements did not arrive. That's why, shortly after taking office, I approved a long-standing request for more troops."

Both of General Stanley A. McChrystal's predecessors asked for additional troops from the Bush administration. In spring 2009, Gen. David McKiernan asked for additional troops and received about 21,000. He also wanted about 10,000 additional forces in early 2010, but the decision on those troops was deferred. McKiernan was fired from his command a few months later.
--Greg Jaffe

8:15 p.m. -- Obama's history lesson
President Obama took an unusual tack with the start of his speech -- a lengthy description of the war's history and the connection between the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and the war now being waged in Afghanistan.

As is so often his custom, Obama used the moment to regret partisan divisions. He said that the debate over Iraq had "created a highly polarized and partisan backdrop," and called for the citizenry to stop being "split asunder by the same rancor and cynicism and partisanship that has in recent times poisoned our national discourse." But the very timeline he laid out seemed destined to be seen forever through a political lens, with new troops arriving just before the congressional midterms in 2010, and starting to draw down at the outset of the next presidential election cycle the following summer.

While the recollection of the start of the war is reminiscent of former president George W. Bush, Obama's recounting of the the votes in Congress and the support of the United Nations and NATO is clearly an effort to reestablish the legitimacy of the enterprise--something Bush rarely felt he needed to do.

The president skipped lightly over Iraq, and the fact that the surge he opposed as a senator helped set the stage for the drawdown of troops in Iraq that he celebrates. Instead, he faulted Bush for the situation he confronts in Afghanistan: "while we have achieved hard-earned milestones in Iraq, the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated."
It's interesting the president feels the need to recount this history at such length, almost as if he is trying to escape the moniker of "Obama's war."
--Glenn Kessler and Anne Kornblut

7:35 p.m.
President Obama will culminate a months-long review of Afghanistan strategy tonight with a prime-time speech from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The president is expected to announce an accelerated deployment of 30,000 additional U.S. troops to the region and set July 2011 as the date when he will begin withdrawing forces after nearly a decade of war.

AAPP says:  Great Job Washington Post!


Let's talk war and peace tonight on African American Political Pundit's, Political Slugfest... "If you can handle the truth."  Join The Conversation HERE

Monday, November 30, 2009

4 Days to Go before Blogging For Justice! Taser Torture In America

4 Days before Blogging for Justice

The Stop Taser Torture blog is the official blog that coordinates the annual December 4th event called, Stop Taser Torture, blogging for Justice.

Many police departments are using tasers to torture even nonviolent people who are often those who are  incoherent, hallucinating, wheelchair bound,  suicidal, unarmed, deaf, handcuffed, blind, pregnant, students,  or just didnt move fast enough for an officers liking. Taser torture in America is continuously growing not only in volume, but in the level of how liberally, unwarrantedly, and excessive tasering is being used across the U.S and in many other countries. In America, some police departments are even now torturing 10 year old children.

My last post as a blogger will be Friday December 4th 2009.

Yes, I'm retiring this blog for the next 6 months, maybe forever. 

My last post as a blogger on this blog site will be Friday December 4th 2009. It's a wonderful 3 years, but it's time to move on... I still will be found at African American Opinion.com where I will work to make it into and online newspaper and opinion website. 

I will also continue to blog at Tasered While Black and Stop Taser Torture, where I will spend most of my blogging time addressing Taser Torture in America. Don't forget to join in my last blogging event HERE as I join other bloggers in our effort to Stop Taser Torture

Again, It was truly a fantastic ride, but I have to get off this roller coaster. I may jump on again - who knows...


4 Cops shot to death

According to CNN,a man is sought in the deadly ambush of 4 police officers. Check this out, the man sought in deadly ambush had sentence commuted.

Man sought in deadly ambush had sentence commuted

The person of interest in the deaths of four officers in Washington state had his 95-year sentence commuted by then-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, authorities said. More HERE

The man wanted for questioning in the fatal shooting of four police officers at a coffee shop had his 95-year prison sentence commuted by then-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, authorities said late Sunday.
The sheriff's office in Pierce County, where the ambush occurred Sunday morning, have not identified Maurice Clemmons as a suspect, but said it is looking for him as part of its investigation.

Arkansas officials told the sheriff's office that Clemmons is the same person who received clemency from Huckabee in 2001, said sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer.

Huckabee, a Republican presidential candidate in 2008, is considering a run for president in 2012.

"Should he be found responsible for this horrible tragedy, it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington state," Huckabee's office said in a statement Sunday night.

Photo: "Person of interest"

AAPP: Damn, I was praying that it wasn't a black person. my gut says this man of interest will probably be found dead no matter if he did it or not.  What do you think.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gang Raping of Black Girls - When Enough is Enough! Steven Scott, Deshon Riley, Justin Williams

UPDATE: Two TV execs have been suspended over a billboard advertising the case.


20-year-old Steven Scott is accused of gang raping a 14-year-old girl

As reported by True Crime Report.com, and the
the Chicago Sun Times two 14-year-old girls at Monroe County High School decided they were going to have sex that day. So before classes started, they left school with Steven Scott, 20, DeShon Riley, 16, and Justin Williams, 17, for a nearby home.

What started off as consensual soon turned into something else. One of the girls says she willingly took off her clothes for one of the boys. But then the two other boys joined in, raping and sodomizing her despite her pleas to stop... 

The boys then took her back to school in Monroeville, Alabama, where she sat in class bleeding for hours before school officials finally called the cops.

The girl was injured bad enough that she spent three days in intensive care. But the question remains what role her 14-year-old girlfriend played. She says the boys also tried to rape her, but no intercourse occurred. Yet a medical exam indicated she did have sex.   More Here

AAPP says: When will the black communities say, "enough is enough", and take real action to take our communities back? It's all men and women on deck time, it's time for black mothers, fathers, preachers, non profits and black greek letter groups to come together to address the raping of our children.

Have we fallen so low that we cannot defend our children? What has made kids go so wrong that we have 14 year old girls taking off their clothes, attempting to seduce one man, or a group of men? What is wrong with our homes, schools, community, police, preachers, and the media. Was the media wrong for broadcasting the rape on a poster? 

Listen in to what people think about this crime, on my blogtalkradio, Political Slugfest show. If you can handle the truth...


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Segregated Coast Guard

Here is a great article by Dennis Conrad of the Associated Press regarding what I term a segregated coast guard. Check out the numbers, the lack of diversity in a service where only 311 of its 6,787 commissioned officers are black, with only one black admiral. One can see why the Coast Guard academy continues to respond to racism.

WASHINGTON — Eight years after the U.S. Coast Guard and the NAACP signed a voluntary agreement to work together to boost the number of African-Americans at its 1,000-cadet service academy, the annual enrollment and graduation figures for blacks remain in single digits.

Seven blacks graduated from the academy based in New London, Conn., in the spring of 2001, the year the agreement was signed.

The same number graduated from the Class of 2006, the first class for which blacks were recruited under the agreement.

Subsequently, there were seven black graduates in 2007, five in 2008 and four in 2009.
That makes 23 graduates in four years under the agreement, including the academy's first black female valedictorian. In the four previous years the number was 33.

Leading lawmakers have grown increasingly upset with results even as they repeatedly are told the Guard is working hard to improve diversity in a service where only 311 of its 6,787 commissioned officers are black, with only one black admiral.

"The Coast Guard has just not paid attention to it. It is not antipathy or animosity toward it," said Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., chairman of the House Transportation Committee. 
"I think we're moving in the right direction and got the Coast Guard's attention and we're not going to let up."

Under a House bill, sponsored by Oberstar and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the Coast Guard subcommittee chairman, members of Congress would nominate candidates for the academy. All the other service academies have long used congressional nominations.

On a 385-11 vote last month, the House advanced the legislation to the Senate.
The Coast Guard Academy historically has taken pride in viewing itself merit-based and choosing its applicants without regard to their geographical distribution among the states.

Cummings, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, expects black enrollment to grow with congressional involvement, at least in part because the House typically has about 40 black lawmakers who would be effective recruiters in largely black congressional districts.

The Coast Guard's position on the bill has been rather subdued.

The academy's superintendent, Rear Adm. J. Scott Burhoe, likes the existing "merit-based system," but would be "fine" if Congress adopted congressional nominations.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Trial of Watson Black - A Novel

Here is an interesting novel from blogger Francis L. Holland at the Police Brutality blog.


Watson Black was on his way home from his dry cleaning job when he noticed a police car behind him. Watson, a mentor at the local high school and a member of the the Whitesville Chamber of Commerce was used to obeying law, having never been charged with any offense civil or criminal in his 32 years of life.

Still he knew the danger police posed. His mother had told him since he was a child that he should never believe he could do what whites did and get away with it, if only because whites would point the legal finger at him if anything went wrong.

Even as he drove at the speed limit and stopped well before the corner at the next stop sign, he felt ill at ease. Just three months prior Whitesville police officers pulled over a car driven by a Howard University students, with two classmates and, for some reason that was never fully, explained, two Whitesville police officers had shot fifteen bullets into the students' car before even approaching them or running their license plate numbers.

Although no one could prove it, most local Blacks considered the incident to be yet another color-aroused assassination by police, while whites who were 81% of Whitesville, believed the students must have done something wrong, even if police could not say convincingly what it was. Two of the students had died before they reached the hospital while the third was paralized from the neck down.

The knowledge that Samuel Bill Sye would never walk again burned deep in the hearts of Black people, in a place that whites could not see or conceive. In fact, since that day Whitesville had become a tinderbox awaiting a match, a bolt of thunder or just a cigarette carelessly thrown from the window of a Whitesville squad car.

What distinguished Whitesville from other towns across America was that most of its sons and daughters had found no jobs in the local area and had instead enlisted in the US Armed services, returning home with a few dollars toward college and the best munitions and target practice training that the United States Armed Services could provide.

Encouraged by Alex Oldhead, a fiftyish ex-Black Panther who had seen the group annihilated in the early seventies and only escaped himself because he was doing time for armed robbery, returning veterans from both Gulf wars had obtained gun permits and given each other new Glocks and high-powered rifles as Christmas presents. They established a de facto Blacks-only shooting club, hunted together on weekends and shot bull's eyes on weeknights. Only they knew whose faces their minds' eyes superimposed over the red and white cardboard.
Blacks in Whitesville never talked of their weekend and evening activities with their white co-workers and friends, and no one asked. With gun laws watered down statewide like cheap liquor, there was no firearm they couldn't buy at Wal-Mart, at a weekend flea market or over the Internet. At the age of eleven or twelve, young men and some pig-tailed young girls snuck romantic looks at one another as they decimated targets that seemed miles away from their pre-pubescent fantasies.

Behind Watson Black, the flashing red and blue lights began furiously blinking on and off, for no reason that Watson could comprehend, except his skin color, which in Whitesville was reason enough. Watson pulled his Buick carefully over to the curb, put his hands on the top of the steering wheel and waited what seemed like an eternity for the police officer to exit his car and sidle up behind Watson's driver's side window, with his hand on his sidearm as if he were expecting a shootout. Read more HERE

AAPP:  No need for a novel, this is happening everyday in America. But then again... Great novel.

Thanksgiving Thoughts - From a black man - 2009

Local and national news have been showing  images of the First lady Michelle Obama in the elegant, strapless designer gown she wore for the white House's first state dinner. While a group of native Americans and thier supports are experiencing thanks & giving-back to Dineh elder resisters at Big Mtn.

Candidly, I'm just a bit disappointed to see our government, lead by an African American,  have a state dinner while black folks are in a depression and there is so much hunger in America. Don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on Thanksgiving, I know we have a lot to be thankful for, but.... 

State Dinner vs Hunger in America

As Jayne Lyn Stahl, recently wrote in CounterPunch, "one can't help but be distracted by the equally stunning number of people who find themselves hungry and poor this Thanksgiving. More than 12% of all Americans know what it means to be poor in America. While they're conspicuously absent from reality T.V. shows, from box office movies, and political party platforms, they are increasingly visible at food banks, and shelters." For me, Obama and his administration should take a second look at having "State Dinners" when so many Americans are out of work and losing their homes? Happy Thanksgiving?

Seeing that black folks don't seem to be getting anything substantial from the Obama administration, Maybe Barack Obama will give the native Americans a Thanksgiving and  Settle the USDA lawsuit in keeping with the National Congress of American Indians request.
(Note: the National Congress of American Indians recently passed a resolution asking Obama to settle a lawsuit against the USDA, who denied thousands of American Indian farmers credit to keep their farms running).

UPDATE: Now we here reports of the big security leak at the White House. How did these knuckleheads get this close to the Vice president and the President? 


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Joblessness for 16-to-24-year-old black men has reached Great Depression proportions - The Washington Post

According to The Washington Post,  joblessness for 16-to-24-year-old black men has reached Great Depression proportions, 34.5 percent in October, more than three times the rate for the general U.S. population, The Washington Post reports.

Young black women have an unemployment rate of 26.5 percent, while the rate for all 16-to-24-year-old women is 15.4 percent.

For young blacks, race statistically appears to be a bigger factor in their unemployment than age, income or even education. Lower-income white teens were more likely to find work than upper-income black teens. Even blacks who graduate from college suffer from joblessness at twice the rate of their white peers.

Some studies examining how employers review black and white job applicants suggest that discrimination may be at play.

"Black men were less likely to receive a call back or job offer than equally qualified white men," says a Princeton University sociologist. "Black men with a clean record fare no better than white men just released from prison."

Read More: More HERE

AAPP Says: OK you folks who have blind faith with our President. Why is the President not having his cabinet Secretaries address this issue? Ratther than extending the war in Afghanistan he should be addressing real needs at home. Has anyone heard from the department of labor secretary?  America's core cities needs a massive jobs program. It's no wonder our communities have not exploded. I'm glad the haven't because they would only taser a another black man to death. Maybe Ms. Huffington is right, the disaster of  unemployment will be President Obama's Katrina.

Join me and other progressive thinkers, tonight on the 8:00 PM EST on African American Political Pundit's "Political Slugfest Show."  We want to address this particular issue. if you can handle the truth.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Politics of obesity and black folks

Some two dozen Lincoln University seniors may not receive their degrees this spring, thanks to a graduation requirement stipulating that students who enter college with a BMI over 30 must either prove to the school that they've lost weight, or take a one-semester class called "Fitness for Life." Lincoln, a historically black university in Oxford, Pennsylvania, enacted the requirement in 2006, meaning that this year's graduating class is the first to feel its effects. Despite student protests, James DeBoy, chairman of the health, physical education, and recreation department, doesn't see a problem with the requirement. "We test for written, oral communication skills, and I don't see this as any different," he says. We want our students to have a sound mind, but also a sound body." --- Let's talk about the politics of black health tonight... If you can handle the truth.

AAPP says: I have no problem with this decision, good health is an individual decision, yet the community needs to help out whenever possible. Read Generation Triple XL: African American Kids' Obesity Rates Rise.

Tasers Wins 100th Law Suit

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Nov. 23, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TASER International, Inc. (Nasdaq:TASR), a leading provider of technology solutions and the market leader in electronic control devices (ECDs), announced that on November 20, 2009, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California entered an order and judgment for TASER International in the arrest-related-death lawsuit entitled Rosa v. TASER International, et al. granting TASER International's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiffs were represented in the Rosa case by California attorneys: John C. Burton, Peter M. Williamson, John F. Baker, and Peter T. Cathcart. Plaintiffs filed their lawsuit in 2005, and aggressively litigated their case for 4 years. The medical examiner had determined cause of death was from the methamphetamine Mr. Rosa ingested.

The Court noted that "California courts require that plaintiffs present evidence of 'general recogni[tion] and prevailing best scientific and medical knowledge' to meet the 'known or knowable' element of a strict liability claim." In addition, the court noted that the "evidence is insufficient as a matter of law to raise a triable issue as to 'knowability' of the risk,... [and] insufficient to create a triable issue as to whether TASER should have known of the risk."

The Court also noted that "TASER has developed a comprehensive warning system in which every ECD sold or distributed is accompanied by a training CD/DVD and operating manual to be used by TASER-certified instructors," and that Defendant's expert Dr. Raymond Fish "unequivocally rejects the theory that ECDs on humans decrease respiration and cause dangerous acidosis."

In granting TASER's motion for summary judgment, the Court stated that TASER International's assertions "are well-taken" that there are no genuine issues of material fact with regard to whether, "the alleged propensity of ECDs to cause metabolic acidosis was known or knowable on December 30, 2003, when the ECDs in question were shipped from TASER to its distributor; [and]... TASER's warnings with respect to the dangers posed by application of its ECDs were adequate..."  More HERE

AAPP says: There is a real reason why Taser International can win cases in Federal Court. The  Federal judges have been bribed  and the Federal government is currently contracting through the Pentagon with Taser International, U.S. Customs and other federal agencies. if anyone is tasered by these Federal Police Departments and Federal Law Enforcement agencies the government would be liable. I smell a conspiracy, do you?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Taser, Gun Crazy America

As reported by AFP, CHANTILLY, Virginia — Recession-stoked fears of rising crime and tougher gun laws under a Democratic government are sending US gun sales sky high, and big crowds at the Chantilly Gun Show this weekend proved it once again.

"Do you see the line all around the building and in the back," asked Annette Elliott, co-organizer of one of the top gun shows in Virginia, a conservative state with rather liberal gun laws.
Several hundred people thronged the gun show in the Washington suburb of Chantilly, where some 260 retailers have set up stalls hung with ready-to-fire Smith and Wessons, Glocks, Walthers, Colts and Berettas.
"We've had a huge increase in sales since last October," 2008 just before President Barack Obama was elected. "Well over 200 percent. It's coming back," said Jerry Cochran, owner of his eponymous major gun retailing firm in the state.

He hopes to sell 500 weapons at the gun show this weekend.

Elliott expects as many as 12,000 people will turn up at the three-day gun fair.
In a state where you can wear a loaded weapon on your belt as long as it's in full sight, or a concealed one with a permit, handguns and semi-automatic assault rifles are openly sold to residents after a customary spot check for criminal records.

A questionnaire must also be filled out asking whether the prospective buyer has been convicted of any crime, is an illegal immigrant or is "subject to a court order restraining you from harassing, stalking... an intimate partner." More HERE


AAPP Says:  Well I guess the United States is getting wackier every day. Now private citizens will be taseing their kids in order to have the take a shower. 

Saturday, November 21, 2009

SCLC Supports Stop Taser Torture - Blogging For Justice Day 12.4.09

The Fort Worth Branch of SCLC, The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) which has taken a national lead protesting the taser death of Michael Jacobs has not stopped in renewing the call for Taser Ban.They are also actively supporting the Stop Taser Torture day on December 4th 2009. 

Announcing SCLC's Fort Worth Chapter support, Rev. Kyev Tatum, Sr., President of the SCLC's Fort Worth Tarrant County Chapter said, "The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) is proud to support Stop Taser Torture and encourage all to join in the international Day of Blogging. This is one of the issues that will define our generation's consciousness and human rights position for years to come. Thank you for this moment in history, Plow Forward. "

The Stop Taser Torture Movement is appreciative of Rev. Kyev Tatum, Sr. and the support of the SCLC Fort Worth Tarrant County Chapter.

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