Sunday, September 30, 2012

Alcohol Advertising Disportionately Targets Black Youth

[ SOURCE ] Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is shining the spotlight on alcohol advertisers, releasing a report that reveals marketers disproportionately target African-American youth.

Through magazines, television and radio, black youth are heavily exposed to the culture of alcohol, so much so that they are targeted more than the general population, according to the report. Experts say black youth may be more susceptible to advertisers because African Americans exhibit higher levels of consumption.

Despite the findings, researchers say that African-American youth are less likely to drink than their Caucasian counterparts, citing poverty, social norms and religion as contributors to a less likelihood of alcohol consumption.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

10 Fla. counties report suspicious GOP voter sign-ups

At least 10 Florida counties have identified possibly fraudulent voter registration forms turned in by a firm working for the state's Republican Party, election officials said today.

Problems first emerged earlier this week in Palm Beach County with forms turned in by Strategic Allied Consulting, which the Republican National Committee paid $3.1 million to register voters in Florida and six other swing states. Palm Beach prosecutors are examining 106 voter registration forms submitted by one Strategic Allied Consulting worker, some with apparently forged signatures.

Thursday, the RNC severed its ties to the Virginia firm and filed a voter-fraud complaint.

Florida GOP spokesman Brian Burgess told the Associated Press today, "We are doing what we can to find out how broad the scope is."

Read more here: 10 Fla. counties report suspicious GOP voter sign-ups

Farrakhan: We have the power to stop the violence


Peace and personal responsibility was the keynote message from Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan on Tuesday when he addressed a crowd of over 300 people in Harlem. Watch that speech below:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Samuel L. Jackson To Voters: 'Wake The F*ck Up' And Vote Obama (VIDEO)

Thinking about sitting out this election? Or maybe voting for Mitt Romney? You may want to think twice after watching this profanity laced video titled 'Wake The F*ck Up' from Samuel Jackson. Watch that video below:

Police investigating racist pictures sent to Mia Love

A packet of information sent to Mayor Mia Love's office that city officials described as racist launched a police investigation Tuesday.

City Manager Mark Christensen described the contents of the thick envelope as "disturbing" and "pretty creepy stuff." He said it included a picture of Love and her husband, Jason, and a hooded Ku Klux Klan character. There also were pictures of aborted fetuses, he said.

"I couldn't tell if it was threatening or anything. It kind of shocked me, what I saw," he said.

Christensen said the city has received others mailings aimed at Love but nothing like the one that arrived Tuesday. He said he turned it over to the police department.

Read more here: Police investigating racist pictures sent to Mia Love

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS CHAIRMAN‘S BLAST BLACKS WHO DON’T VOTE

In a speech last week Congressional Black Caucus chairman and Missouri congressman lit into blacks who don't vote. He doesn't hold back and reminds them of the sacrifices of others so they can have aright they choose not to use. Listen to that speech below:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Romney campaign worker claims to work for county clerk. Only registers Romney supporters.

A video posted to YouTube this weekend has gone viral with political outrage after a young woman registering people to vote was recorded saying she worked for the clerk's office but was only registering people who wanted to vote for Mitt Romney. Watch her get caught on video below:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Official trailer for Jackie Robinson movie "42" the real life story of baseball legend Jackie Robinson.

Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have released the first trailer for the Jackie Robinson pic "42." Newcomer Chadwick Boseman stars as the baseball legend, while Harrison Ford will play influential manager Branch Rickey. Written and directed by Brian Helegeland and produced by Legendary's Thomas Tull, "42" opens nationwide April 12, 2013.

Black Males Will Need 50 Years To Catch Up To White Graduation Rate


More than half the young black men who graduated high school in 2010 earned their diploma in four years, an improved graduation rate that still lagged behind that of their white counterparts, according to an education group's report released Wednesday.
The Schott Foundation for Public Education, which has tracked graduation rates of black males from public schools since 2004, said 52 percent of black males who entered ninth grade in the 2006-07 school year graduated in four years. That compared with 78 percent of white, non-Latino males and 58 percent of Latino males.
The foundation releases its report every two years. In 2008, the black male graduation rate was 47 percent.
The progress among blacks closed the racial divide on graduation rates by 3 percentage points over nine years to a 26 percentage-point gap.
"At this rate it would take nearly 50 years for black males to graduate at the same rate as white males," said John H. Jackson, president and CEO of the foundation. "I don't think the country can wait. I don't think any parent or student can wait for half a century to have the same opportunities, education, jobs as their white male counterparts."

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Romney Threatened To Cancel Univision Forum If Organizers Didn’t Allow Him To Bus In Supporters


Mitt Romney packed the audience for a Univision forum earlier this week, BuzzFeed’s McKay Coppins reports, busing in local supporters “after exhausting the few conservative groups on campus.” The campaign threatened to “reschedule” the event if organizers did not allow the “rowdy activists from around southern Florida in order to fill the extra seats at [...]/p

Read more Romney Threatened To Cancel Univision Forum If Organizers Didn’t Allow Him To Bus In Supporters

Allen West compares Obama policies to slavery in an attempt to explain why black voters should vote for Mitt Romney.


In an op-ed in the Washington Times Congressman Allen West tries to state his case for African Americans to vote for Mitt Romney. He of course stoops to using black republican propaganda ( that has not  and will never work ) and compares Obama's policies to slavery.  Read his op-ed below:

[ SOURCE ] America is no doubt the greatest country the world has ever known. Our citizens have the opportunity to be anything they want to be, worship as they please and live as they please. We are truly free.

Still, Americans are suffering. They have lost their jobs, they have lost their home, and in many situations, they have lost hope.

For the black community, the situation is even more dire.

Black unemployment hovers around 14 percent, compared to 8 percent unemployment overall. For black teenagers, the number more than doubles, as 38 percent of black teens are unemployed.

It is not just the undereducated black Americans who are suffering — 6.6 percent of black Americans with at least a bachelor’s degree are unemployed, a rate 50 percent higher than the overall unemployment rate for those with a four-year college degree.

Since 2007, black median household income has declined by 11 percent — the largest decline of all major racial and ethnic groups.

In 2011, the poverty rate among black Americans was 27.5 percent. The poverty rate among blacks living in families headed by women is 41 percent.

President Obama’s programs continue to pour billions into black communities across the country in hopes of curing well-documented socioeconomic problems, including failing schools and inadequate housing, rampant crime and drug abuse, black-on-black killings, unemployment and more. Still, despite the courageous efforts of many local institutions, agencies, school leaders, grass-roots organizations and community residents, the problems remain, and in many places have become worse.

It will take new ideas and new voices to find solutions. It will take a president who is committed to policies of economic freedom as opposed to economic dependency. Mitt Romney’s belief in basic conservative principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, individual industry leading to self-sufficiency and his beliefs about equality of opportunity will revitalize the black community. Mr. Romney’s policies would enable urban people to empower themselves and, ultimately, become self-sufficient.

When it comes to education, black children are 17 percent of students nationwide, but they are 42 percent of the students in our worst-performing schools. Mr. Romney supports empowering parents of at-risk students in the inner cities to escape failing schools by allowing federal dollars to follow children to the school of their choice.

Many black-owned businesses struggle to gain access to capital that would enable expansion or fund operating costs. Sixty percent of startups are in the white community. Compare that with just 9 percent of startups coming from the black community.

Mr. Romney will reform regulatory policies that can help black-owned businesses increase and thrive. He will reform Dodd-Frank and allow more money to be accessible to responsible black community banks so they can get money into the hands of responsible black entrepreneurs. Lower capital gains taxes and dividends also will incentivize growth in the black community.

Mr. Romney also plans to revisit the concept of urban economic zones, an idea from the late congressman and HUD Secretary Jack Kemp and Reagan economist Art Laffer. Enterprise zones are geographic areas of high unemployment that qualify for special tax breaks.

What Mr. Romney understands is that communities are best served when they’re empowered to care for themselves. The more they come to rely on government checks, the less they learn to rely on their own ability and ingenuity. As my mother always told me, “Self-esteem comes from doing estimable things.”

Conversely, Mr. Obama’s appetite for ever-increasing redistributionary handouts is the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today and does not promote economic freedom.

Still, it is easier to convince people that government should be doing something for them that it currently isn’t doing than to convince them that government shouldn’t be doing something for them that it currently is.

More than 95 percent of black voters voted Democratic in the last election. I am hoping we can change this status quo. When you invest your money, you diversify. You don’t put it in one single account. Black Americans need to invest their political capital so they have a voice across the entire political spectrum. If we don’t, the black community will be taken for granted and risk becoming politically irrelevant.

A recent poll showed the percentage of black Americans who have a “strongly positive” view of Mr. Obama has slipped from 83 percent to 58 percent. Those numbers show black Americans are paying attention, and they don’t like what they see.

I grew up in inner-city Atlanta, and I can tell you the most conservative people I know are my neighbors in the black community. It isn’t just in Atlanta. Thirty-three percent of Americans in the black community self-identify as conservatives. They are anti-abortion, and they believe marriage should be between a man and a woman.

Black Americans need to vote their values in November, and they will find themselves more aligned with Mr. Romney and the Republican Party. It is time for the “Party of Lincoln” to re-connect with black America.

With a core belief in the supremacy and the sovereignty of the individual and the unconditional dignity of every human life, the Republican Party is, always has been and forever shall be the party of equality of opportunity.

Rep. Allen B. West is a Florida Republican.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Black Women Rally Against Voter ID Laws

Deidra Reese isn't waiting for people to come to her to find out whether they are registered to vote.

With iPad in hand, Reese is going to community centers, homes and churches in nine Ohio cities, looking up registrations to make sure voters have proper ID and everything else they need to cast ballots on Election Day.

"We are not going to give back one single inch. We have fought too long and too hard," said Reese, 45, coordinator of the Columbus-based Ohio Unity Coalition, an affiliate of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.

Reese is part of a cadre of black women engaged in a revived wave of voting rights advocacy four years after the historic election of the nation's first black president. Provoked by voting law changes in various states, they have decided to help voters navigate the system — a fitting role, they say, given that black women had the highest turnout of any group of voters in 2008.

Read more here: Black Women Rally Against Voter ID Laws

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Trayvon Martin's DNA Not Found On George Zimmerman's Gun

Forensic tests made public Wednesday show that George Zimmerman's was the only DNA that could be identified on the grip of the gun used to fatally shoot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

The results rule out Martin's DNA from being on the gun's grip. Zimmerman's DNA also was identified on the gun's holster, but no determination could be made as to whether Martin's DNA was on the gun's holster, according to the report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Read more here: Trayvon Martin's DNA Not Found On George Zimmerman's Gun

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Douglass Statue Bill Clears Congress, Sent to Obama


[ SOURCE ] A seven-foot tall bronze statue of abolitionist and Black orator Frederick Douglass is likely to soon join a bust and a statue of two other African American icons in the U.S. Capitol thanks to a measure that cleared Congress Sept. 12 and was sent to the White House for President Obama’s signature.
The president is expected to sign the bill to allow the Douglass statue to be placed in the Capitol, ending a long-standing insult to D.C. residents, who have been denied statuary representation there.
“For the residents of the District, Douglass was first and foremost a D.C. resident, the first Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia, and a distinguished Republican,” Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said after the measure cleared the House Sept. 10.
Placement of the Douglass statue had been blocked by a law limiting Statuary Hall placement to state-commissioned pieces. The District of Columbia is not a state, therefore the statue commissioned by the city of Douglass was not allowed, until the bill sponsored by Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) in the House and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) in the Senate cleared the move.
Lungren and other House Republicans had complained earlier that allowing a D.C.-commissioned statue in the Capitol would be recognition of state status for what is regarded as a territory. Lungren, chairman of the House Administration Committee, agreed to a compromise that will allow D.C. and other territories to be represented by a single statue each.
“It’s of great importance to the residents of the District who are in a constant struggle to be both perceived and acknowledged as the full and equal American citizens that we are,” Norton said of the action, according to the New York Times.
Currently only abolitionist Sojourner Truth and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. are the only Blacks figures among the 180 statues and busts representing the 50 states.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mitt Romney Audio: Barack Obama Voters 'Dependent On Government'

Let's see what the Romney defenders say about this. Earlier this year at a private gathering of about 30 big donors Mitt Romney made some very negative statements about Obama supporters. He pushed a very negative stereotype of many who support President Obama. He said that the overwhelming majority of voters who back President Barack Obama do so because they are "dependent on government" and "believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing,". Unfortunately for Romney someone taped his statements. Listen to that audio below:


Sunday, September 16, 2012

18 year old Latipha Cross beats poverty, abuse, & cancer to earn full college scholarship

Here is a very inspirational story. 18-year-old Latipha Cross overcame homelessness and two bouts of cancer to earn a full track and field scholarship to Eastern Michigan University.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Muhammad Ali receives Liberty Medal in Philly

Boxing great Muhammad Ali was honored Thursday with the Liberty Medal for his longtime role outside the ring as a fighter for humanitarian causes, civil rights and religious freedom.

The 70-year-old retired champ, hobbled by a 30-year battle with Parkinson's disease, did not speak. But he stood with assistance to receive the medal from his daughter Laila Ali.

He looked down at his medal for several moments and then waved to the crowd. The award comes with a $100,000 cash prize. [ SOURCE ]

About The Liberty Medal:

Established in 1988 to commemorate the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, the Liberty Medal is awarded annually to men and women of courage and conviction who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe. The medal was first administered by the National Constitution Center in 2006, when Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton were honored for their bipartisan humanitarian efforts on behalf of the victims of the tsunami in Southeast Asia and the hurricanes on the Gulf Coast. Other past Liberty Medal recipients include Nelson Mandela, Shimon Peres, Kofi Annan, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Bono. Six recipients of the medal have subsequently won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Complete list of Liberty Medal Winners

2011 - Robert Gates

2010 - Tony Blair

2009 - Steven Spielberg

2008 - Mikhail Gorbachev

2007 - Bono & DATA

2006 - George H.W. Bush & William J. Clinton

2005 - Viktor Yushchenko

2004 - Hamid Karzai

2003 - Sandra Day O'Connor

2002 - Colin Powell

2001 - Kofi Annan

2000 - James Watson & Francis Crick

1999 - Kim Dae-jung

1998 - George Mitchell

1997 - CNN International

1996 - King Hussein & Shimon Peres

1995 - Sadako Ogata

1994- Vaclav Havel

1993 - Nelson Mandela & F.W. de Klerk

1992 - Thurgood MarshallM

1991 - Médecins Sans Frontières & Oscar Arias

1990 - Jimmy Carter

1989 - Lech Walesa

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Kevin Ollie named head coach of UConn basketball team

Kevin Ollie, a former UConn student-athlete who has served as an assistant coach at the University of Connecticut for the past two seasons and is a 13-year NBA veteran, has been named the head men's basketball coach at UConn.

Ollie will have a contract that runs through April 4, 2013, and will be paid at an annualized rate of $625,000. He becomes the 18th head coach in the history of the UConn program and only the fourth since the 1969-70 season.

"I am very honored and humbled to become the UConn men's basketball coach," said Ollie. "I cannot put in words how grateful I am to Coach Jim Calhoun, who retires today as one of the most legendary coaches in the history of college basketball. Coach Calhoun brought me here to Connecticut as a person right of high school and has mentored me into the person I have become today.

"I am also extremely grateful to President Susan Herbst and Director of Athletics Warde Manuel for providing me with this opportunity. I look forward working with Warde to continue the success of our men's basketball program."

"Since I have come to UConn, I have spent a tremendous amount of time with Kevin and I have enjoyed getting to know him," said Director of Athletics Warde Manuel. "He is a quality person and I have been impressed with the way he interacts with our student-athletes on and off the court. Kevin knows the Husky program from his experiences as a student-athlete, a professional basketball player and an assistant coach here at UConn. He has taken the steps to prepare him for this opportunity and I am proud to name him as our head men's basketball coach."

Ollie is a graduate of UConn who played 13 seasons in the NBA, completing his career in 2009-10 as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. He played for 11 different franchises in his NBA career, playing in 662 career contests.

Ollie was a two-time team captain at UConn and helped lead the Huskies to BIG EAST Regular Season Championships in 1993-94 and 1994-95, advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16 and Elite Eight, respectively, in those seasons. Ollie was an All-BIG EAST Third Team selection as a senior in 1994-95 and was named to the UConn Basketball All-Century Team in 2001. He still stands No. 3 all-time at UConn in assists and No. 1 at UConn in assists in BIG EAST contests.

Romney Asked VP Shortlisters for Ten Years of Tax Returns

Should the American people be entitled to as full an account of Paul Ryan’s taxes as the Romney campaign? New information about the vice-presidential selection process may revive interest in the issue as a flashpoint in the presidential campaign.

As part of its vetting, the Romney campaign required at least some of the candidates on the short list—including the eventual winner of the GOP veepstakes, Ryan—to submit fully 10 years of tax returns, according to a knowledgeable source.

The requirement was consistent with the past practices of both Republican and Democratic campaigns. Indeed, in 2008, Mitt Romney turned over 23 years of taxes to John Mccain’s campaign when he was under consideration to be the Arizona senator’s running mate.

But this year, the vetting of tax returns has had particular political resonance because of Romney’s refusal to release more than two years of his own tax filings. The Obama campaign has waged a withering assault on Romney for his failure to be more transparent about his personal finances, part of a larger narrative seeking to portray the Republican nominee as a privileged plutocrat who has been able to mine the tax code for loopholes and other tricks unavailable to average middle—class Americans. For months, Chicago and its allies have hammered Romney on taxes, suggesting he must be hiding something.

In response to questions about the 10-year requirement, Romney campaign press secretary Andrea Saul declined comment. “We do not discuss the VP selection process,” she wrote in an email.

Read more here Romney Asked VP Shortlisters for Ten Years of Tax Returns

Indianapolis Pastor uses image of slaves to encourage others to vote

Rev. Joy Thornton the pastor at Greater St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in Indianapolis is using images of slaves to encourage others to vote. Watch his story below:

Pastor: lynching photo shown to urge people to vote

The Courage to Hope, new book by Shirley Sherrod

In the summer of 2010, Shirley Sherrod was catapulted into a media storm that blew apart her life and her job doing what she’d done for decades: helping poor, hardworking people live the American dream. She was a lifelong activist who served as Georgia’s first black director of rural development.

A right-wing blogger, the now late Andrew Breitbart, disseminated a video clip of a speech Sherrod had given to the Georgia NAACP, intending to make her an example of “reverse racism.” The right-wing media ramped up the outrage, and before Sherrod had a chance to defend herself, the Obama administration demanded her resignation. Then, after hearing from Sherrod herself and learning the entire truth of what she said in that speech, the administration tried to backtrack. As public officials and media professionals admitted to being duped and apologized for their rush to judgment, Sherrod found herself the subject of a teachable moment.

The Courage to Hope addresses this regret-table episode in American politics, but it also tells Sherrod’s own story of growing up on a farm in southwest Georgia during the final violent years of Jim Crow. As a child she dreamed of leaving the South, but when her father was murdered by a white neighbor who was never brought to justice, Sherrod made a vow to stay in Georgia and commit herself to the cause of truth and racial healing. With her husband, Charles, a legend in the civil rights movement, she has devoted her life to empowering poor people and rural communities—Americans who are most in need.

The incident that brought Sherrod into the spotlight does not define her life and work, but it strengthens her commitment to stand against the politics of fear and have the courage to hope.

Hardcover----------Kindle Edition

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

President Obama response to deaths in attack on US Embassy in Libya

Statement from President Obama.

I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.

I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.

On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya's transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.

The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward.

#1 ranked Junior Tennis Player Taylor Townsend Told She’s Too Fat For U.S. Open?

Although she is the #1 ranked junior tennis player in the WORLD 16 year old Taylor Townsend was told to stay home because of her weight. She was told that her expenses would not be paid. So she paid her on way. Watch her tell her story below:

*Note. Taylor Townsend and her partner Gabrielle Andrews did win the doubles final. Congrats champ!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remarks by the President at the Pentagon Memorial Service in Remembrance of 9/11


Remarks by the President at the Pentagon Memorial Service in Remembrance of 9/11

Read the transcript of the speech below:

Pentagon Memorial
Arlington, Virginia
9:49 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT:  Secretary Panetta, General Dempsey, members of our Armed Forces, and most importantly, to the families --survivors and loved ones -- of those we lost, Michelle and I are humbled to join you again on this solemn anniversary.
Today we remember a day that began like so many others.  There were rides to school and commutes to work, early flights and familiar routines, quick hugs and quiet moments.  It was a day like this one -- a clear blue sky, but a sky that would soon be filled with clouds of smoke and prayers of a nation shaken to its core.
Even now, all these years later, it is easy for those of us who lived through that day to close our eyes and to find ourselves back there -- and back here -- back when grief crashed over us like an awful wave, when Americans everywhere held each other tight, seeking the reassurance that the world we knew wasn’t crumbling under our feet.
Eleven times we have marked another September 11th come and gone.  Eleven times, we have paused in remembrance, in reflection, in unity and in purpose. 
This is never an easy day.  But it is especially difficult for all of you -- the families of nearly 3,000 innocents who lost their lives -- your mothers and fathers, your husbands and wives, your sons and your daughters. They were taken from us suddenly and far too soon.
To you and your families, the rest of us cannot begin to imagine the pain you've endured these many years.  We will never fully understand how difficult it has been for you to carry on, to summon that strength and to rebuild your lives.
But no matter how many years pass, no matter how many times we come together on this hallowed ground, know this -- that you will never be alone.  Your loved ones will never be forgotten.  They will endure in the hearts of our nation, because through their sacrifice, they helped us make the America we are today -- an America that has emerged even stronger.
Most of the Americans we lost that day had never considered the possibility that a small band of terrorists halfway around the world could do us such harm.  Most had never heard the name al Qaeda.  And yet, it's because of their sacrifice that we've come together and dealt a crippling blow to the organization that brought evil to our shores.  Al Qaeda's leadership has been devastated and Osama bin Laden will never threaten us again.  Our country is safer and our people are resilient.
It’s true that the majority of those who died on September 11th had never put on our country’s uniform.  And yet, they inspired more than 5 million Americans -- members of the 9/11 Generation -- to wear that uniform over the last decade.  These men and women have done everything that we have asked. 
Today, the war in Iraq is over.  In Afghanistan, we’re training Afghan security forces and forging a partnership with the Afghan people.  And by the end of 2014, the longest war in our history will be over.  Meanwhile, countless civilians have opened their hearts to our troops, our military families and our veterans.
Eleven years ago, memorial services were held for Americans of different races and creeds, backgrounds and beliefs.  And yet, instead of turning us against each other, tragedy has brought us together.  I've always said that our fight is with al Qaeda and its affiliates, not with Islam or any other religion.  This country was built as a beacon of freedom and tolerance.  That’s what's made us strong, now and forever.
And, finally, when those innocent souls were taken from us they left behind unfulfilled work and tasks that remain undone.  And that’s why, on a day when others sought to bring this country down, we choose to build it up with a National Day of Service and Remembrance. 
Scripture tells us "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."  There's no better way to honor the best in those who died than by discovering the best in ourselves.
This anniversary allows us to renew our faith that even the darkest night gives way to a brighter dawn.  Today, we can come here to the Pentagon, and touch these names and kneel beside a building where a single stone still bears the scars of that fire. We can visit the field of honor in Pennsylvania and remember the heroes who made it sacred.  We can see water cascading into the footprints of the Twin Towers, and gaze up at a new tower rising above the New York skyline. 
And even though we may never be able to fully lift the burden carried by those left behind, we know that somewhere, a son is growing up with his father’s eyes, and a daughter has her mother’s laugh -- living reminders that those who died are with us still.
So as painful as this day is and always will be, it leaves us with a lesson that no single event can ever destroy who we are.  No act of terrorism can ever change what we stand for.  Instead, we recommit ourselves to the values that we believe in, holding firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.
That’s the commitment that we reaffirm today.  And that’s why, when the history books are written, the true legacy of 9/11 will not be one of fear or hate or division.  It will be a safer world; a stronger nation; and a people more united than ever before.
God bless the memories of those we lost.  And God bless these United States of America.  (Applause.)
END
9:58 A.M. EDT

Monday, September 10, 2012

Strong Enforcement Of Voter Protections Needed To Stop “Bullies At The Ballot Box”


New study grades states’ ability to counter partisan poll watchers and wrongful voter challenges





NEW YORK – As the elections approach, strong enforcement of voter protections is needed to prevent attempts to block voters from casting their ballot, according to a report released today by voting rights groups Demos and Common Cause. The study, “Bullies at the Ballot Box: Protecting the Freedom to Vote from Wrongful Challenges and Intimidation” focuses on voter protection laws in10 states where elections are expected to be close, or where large challenger operations are expected or have taken place during recent elections.

True the Vote and other Tea Party-affiliated groups are reportedly recruiting 1 million volunteers to object to the qualifications of voters in targeted communities on and before Election Day, according to the study. These volunteers are being rallied to block, in their own words, the “illegal alien vote” and “the food stamp army.” Their stated goal is to make the experience of voting “like driving and seeing the police behind you.”

“Ballot box bully” tactics include:
· Targeting registered voters in communities of color, student voters, and voters facing foreclosure to challenge their eligibility to vote and kick them off the voting rolls.
· “Hovering over” voters waiting to cast their ballots and otherwise intimidating voters at the polls.
· Encouraging states to engage in systematic purges of voter rolls, in violation of federal law.

“Voting must be free, fair and accessible to all, and voters should know their rights,” said Common Cause President Bob Edgar. “It is important to maintain the integrity of our election system, and that means that candidates, parties and political activists should be focused on persuading and turning out voters, not bullying them or trying to manipulate the law to freeze them out of our democracy.”

The ten states reviewed in “Bullies at the Ballot Box” are Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. In addition to assessing the current state laws, the report provides recommendations to protect citizens from these large-scale, well-organized efforts to intimidate or block them from voting. 

“We call on elections officials and law enforcement at the state and federal level to stand ready to enforce the law and aggressively protect every eligible American’s right to vote this November,” said Liz Kennedy, report co-author and Counsel at Demos. “Wrongful challenges and intimidating tactics should never stand between Americans and their right to have their voices heard on the issues that affect their lives. There should be zero tolerance for bullying at the ballot box.”

Findings

The report grades the level of protection that state law provides eligible voters in three major categories – challenges to voters’ right to vote before Election Day, on Election Day, and laws governing the conduct of poll watchers or other observers at the polls. While every state has room for improvement, the authors find that:

As for challenges to voters’ registration status and right to vote before Election Day:
· Colorado, Nevada, and Ohio laws are satisfactory;
· North Carolina and Texas laws are mixed as to the level of protection they afford voters but could be improved; and
· Florida, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Virginia (half of the states examined) have unsatisfactory laws on the books. 

As for challenges to a voter’s right to vote on Election Day
· Texas (which does not allow any Election Day challenges), Ohio, Colorado, New Hampshire, and North Carolina laws are satisfactory.
· Missouri, Nevada, and Virginia laws are mixed in the level of protection they afford voters; and
· Florida and Pennsylvania have laws with unsatisfactory protections to guard against inappropriate Election Day challenges to voter eligibility. 

As for state laws governing poll watchers or observer conduct at the polls:
· Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia laws are satisfactory;
· Florida, Missouri and New Hampshire are mixed in the level of protection they afford voters; and
· Pennsylvania and Texas allow behavior by poll observers and poll watchers that is problematic and could intimidate voters, so their laws were assessed as unsatisfactory.

The report cites federal law and laws on the books in all ten states that prohibit voter intimidation and could be enforced to prevent harassing conduct at the polls.

“It is important that all participants understand the rules and respect the right of all eligible Americans to vote free of intimidation or obstruction. We want to minimize the risk of positive civic engagement moving into disrupting the orderly conduct of elections,” said Liz Kennedy. “Unwarranted challenges to voters’ eligibility can lead to problems at the polls for everyone seeking to cast a ballot by depleting resources, distracting officials, and leading to longer lines. They threaten the fair administration of elections and the fundamental freedom to vote.”

“Voting is one of our most fundamental rights,” said Common Cause’s Edgar. “No eligible voter should be blocked from casting a ballot, and the entire voting rights community is mobilized to protect voters’ rights.”

Common Cause and Demos are part of the Election Protection coalition, the nation’s largest non-partisan voter protection coalition. Common Cause and coalition allies are recruiting and organizing non partisan Election Day monitors to help voters understand the voting rules in their state and report any and all efforts to discourage or intimidate voters. Through the 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline and a comprehensive field deployment, Election Protection helps voters overcome obstacles to the ballot box while collecting data for meaningful reform. Over 100 organizations have joined forces to monitor polling places across the country and provide aid, including legal assistance, to voters who encounter obstacles to voting.  

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Gabby Douglass writing book "Grace, Gold and Glory: My Leap of Faith,"

USATODAY.com--American gymnast Gabby Douglas captured hearts and gold medals with her performances at the Summer Olympics. Now she'll be telling her story (with the help of a co-writer) in a memoir due out by Christmas.

The book, titled "Grace, Gold and Glory: My Leap of Faith," will be published by Zondervan, the predominantly Christian publishing arm of HarperCollins.

Douglas, 16, was the all-around individual gold medal winner as well as being part of the U.S. squad that won the team all-around. She was the first African American woman to win the individual all-around.

It wasn't just winning that made Douglas one of the most popular figures in the summer Olympics. Her charm and determination were impossible to miss.

In a release about the upcoming book, HarperCollins Senior Vice President Lisa Sharkey said, "Gabby Douglas shines even more brightly than her Olympic gold medals. The reason is her inner strength and strong faith."

The inspirational book, Douglas said, "will also be about how much my family and I have overcome during our journey. It hasn't been easy." She said, "I want people to read my story and say, 'If Gabby can do it, I can do it too. Anything is possible.'"

Serena Williams wins Fourth US Open title.

Serena Edges Azarenka To Win Fourth Title

Serena Williams rallied in the third set to beat Victoria Azarenka and capture her fourth US Open title. She has now won 15 Grand Slam singles titles and has a 15-4 record in major finals.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Tulane Football player Devon Walker in stable condition after breaking neck during game.

Tulane safety Devon Walker fractured his spine in a head-to-head collision with a teammate during a game in Tulsa, the team said Saturday.

Tulane issued a statement Friday night on Walker's condition: "Devon Walker sustained a cervical spine fracture. He is at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa where he is in stable condition. Currently, he is in traction with a lot of swelling in his neck and he is undergoing treatment for the swelling. The current plan is for him to have surgery in the next one to two days. He is being treated by specialists. The Tulsa physicians did a great job taking care of Devon."

Mom of Missing Arizona Girl Jahessye Shockley Charged With Murder

The mother of Jahessye Shockley, a 5-year-old Arizona girl who has been missing for nearly a year, was arrested and charged with felony child abuse and first-degree murder for her daughter's death.

Friday, September 07, 2012

George Zimmerman's lawyers request Trayvon Martin school records

[ SOURCE ] It seems that George Zimmerman's lawyers intend to make attacking the dead victim a part of their defense strategy. They have sent subpoenas the 17-year-old Martin attended in the Miami area. Read more below:

Former neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman wants to use Trayvon Martin's school records as part of his defense.

Zimmerman's attorney said Friday he has sent subpoenas to the schools the 17-year-old Martin attended in the Miami area. The subpoenas request disciplinary notices, suspensions and tardiness records among other things.

Martin was suspended by Miami-Dade County schools because traces of marijuana were found in a plastic baggie in his book bag. He was serving the suspension when he was shot Feb. 26 by Zimmerman.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder. He is pleading not guilty, claiming self-defense.

Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump has said the link between the youth and marijuana should have no bearing on the probe into his shooting death

Video: President Obama's full speech at the Democratic National Convention

Check out President Obama's full speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention below:

D.C. officer won’t be charged for alleged threat against Michelle Obama

A D.C. police officer will not be prosecuted for allegedly telling colleagues that he wanted to shoot first lady Michelle Obama, although he could be disciplined for violating the police department’s code of conduct, authorities said Thursday.

The officer, a 17-year member of the force who has not been publicly identified by his superiors, was stripped of his police powers and assigned to a desk job in July after officials learned of the alleged remark. He had been a motorcycle officer in a police unit that helps escort motorcades for dignitaries, including President Obama and his family.

“Our investigation is complete, and there will be no criminal charges resulting from it,” said Edwin Donovan, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, which conducted a joint inquiry with D.C. police detectives.

Read more D.C. officer won’t be charged for alleged threat against Michelle Obama

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Body of Pamela Graddick found.

On August 21, 2012, I posted a story about a missing woman from the Bronx NY, Pamela Graddick. Today I have some very sad news. Police have identified a body found Tuesday Night 09/04/12 is that of Pamela Graddick. Condolences to her family and let's all hope that police capture those responsible for her death. RIP Pamela Graddick.

[ SOURCE ] Police say the body found Tuesday night off the Sprain Brook Parkway has been identified as a 26-year-old New York City woman who had been reported missing Aug. 14.

Police said the death of Pamela Graddick is being investigated as a homicide.

They said she had been reported missing out of the 44th police precinct in the Bronx, near Yankee Stadium.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Yonkers detectives’ division at 914-377-7724.

Graddick’s body was discovered in a plastic bag along with a red comforter in the woods in a quiet residential neighborhood near Bronxville.

An autopsy did not reveal her cause of death, police said. Her body was believed to have been in the woods, off Illinois and Rossmore avenues, for a couple of weeks.

It is the fifth homicide of the year in Yonkers.