September 18, 2014

DNC Ad Uses President Obama to Rally Black Voters

President Obama is featured in a new ad for the Democratic National Committee, the first in a $1 million campaign to turn out young, minority and female voters in the midterm elections.

The radio ad titled “Obstruction” released Monday laments the opposition Obama has faced from congressional Republicans. It is aimed at black voters and will run on African American radio stations nationwide.

No Democratic President in U.S history has faced the level of obstruction from the Republicans that Barack Obama has. It’s critical that we continue to fight for change and vote on Nov. 4,” the narrator says.

Obama then outlines his vision for an economy where “hard work pays off.” The radio spot features excerpts from a speech, where the president touts higher wages, affordable health insurance and decent health benefits.

Read full article on TheHill.

September 17, 2014

Does Anyone Care About Alarming Dropout Rates Among Black Men?

The federal government should require all colleges to create early-alert systems that flag students with low test scores, missing assignments, or spotty attendance. That would be one way, according to a report released on Tuesday, to curb the alarming number of minority men who drop out of college. [SOURCE]

The report, "Advancing the Success of Boys and Men of Color in Education," is the result of brainstorming by diversity researchers at seven higher-education institutions. It is aimed at building on the momentum of My Brother's Keeper, the Obama administration's effort to improve education and career outcomes for young minority men.

Black men lag behind their peers in other races when it comes to graduating from both two- and four-year colleges, according to federal statistics that track their completion through 2009 and 2012, respectively. Only a third of black male students graduated from four-year colleges within six years, compared with 45 percent of Hispanic men, 57 percent of white men, and 64 percent of Asian men.

For two-year colleges, the percentages who received a certificate or degree or who transferred to a four-year college over six years were 32 for black, 30 for Latino, 40 for white, and 43 for Asian men. But minority men aren't the only ones who would benefit from the changes the group is proposing.

The report makes 11 policy recommendations aimed at better preparing and tracking students as they progress from pre-school through 12th grade. In addition, it offers four that specifically relate to higher education.

Read the full Black Star Journal article.

September 16, 2014

Technology Expresso Cafe: Taking Social Media Serious - Social Media Job Search Tips (Dawn Major)

Jacqueline Sanders is the co-host of a vibrant Internet radio show, Technology Expresso Cafe. Her efforts are regularly showcased on my other blog. However, I thought that many 'villagers' would benefit from the discussion that Jacqueline has with Dawn Major.

At the end of the day, the question that you're being asked is a simple one: 'Is Social Media your hobby or is it your next career move?!'

Check Out Relationships Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Tech Expresso Cafe on BlogTalkRadio

What did you learn from this online dialogue?

September 15, 2014

Alabama Deputy Sheriff Serves as Judge, Jury and Executioner-by-Taser of Unarmed Ricky Hinkle

Ricky Hinkle
It happened again! This time we learned from one of our blog readers about the taser-torture applied to 47-year old Ricky Hinkle by unidentified officers of the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham, AL on September 13, 2014. The Jefferson County Sheriff's office indicates that one of its deputies was disrespected by this unarmed inmate and as a result they feel justified in taking his life with this extra-judicial electrocution. [SOURCE]
"While in the process of moving, the inmate threatened to harm himself. At that point it was determined the inmate should be placed in a cell that allowed twenty-four-hour monitoring to prevent any possible suicide attempt," the agency said.

"When they arrived at the cell the inmate became combative, refused to enter and began scuffling with one of the deputies. A second deputy deployed a Taser to bring the inmate under control. After engagement the inmate fell to the floor and became unresponsive," according to the statement.
... or as I like to think of it:
"Unarmed human being disrespected a sheriff deputy. Sheriff deputy and his posse pulled out their tasers and pumped the unarmed human being with over 50,000 volts of electricity. Surprise. He fell to the floor and died."
Mr. Hinkley is just another in a growing list of human beings that are being killed in front of our eyes. I wonder if the unidentified deputy sheriff will be disciplined for serving as judge, jury and executioner?

OURstory: Jan Matzeliger (1852-1887)

I agree with President Obama ... Kanye West is a 'jackass'. However, he seems to be a cultural icon for African American youth. Perhaps it is time for us to get busy providing some alternative icons for our youth. We have large numbers of Black and Brown students with little or not preparation in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) subjects. Without STEM background in the future, these students may find themselves with no employment opportunities.

Jan Ernst Matzeliger realized as much. Did you know that Jan Matzeliger was born on this date in 1852. He used STEM knowledge to create a shoe-lasting machine that mechanically shaped the upper portions of shoes.

Matzeliger was born on September 15, 1852 in Suriname (South America), the child of a biracial marriage. His father was a white engineer from Holland and his mother was a Black woman in the Dutch colony. By his third birthday Matzeliger was sent to live with his father’s sister. By the time he turned 10 years old, Matzeliger became a worker in the machine shop that his father owned. It was at this time that he quickly became aware of his talent for working with machinery.

Although he was skilled in this area, Matzeliger did not initially pursue a career in engineering or inventing. In 1871 at the age of 19 he left Surinam and worked as a sailor for two years. By 1873 he settled in Philadelphia where he worked in a variety of trades.

In 1876 he moved to Lynn, Massachusetts. Matzeliger arrived in Lynn barely able to speak English. Nonetheless he began working in a shoe factory. Despite his language difficulties, Matzeliger began working on various innovations that would improve shoe manufacturing productivity. Working alone and at night for six months, he produced a model in wood and on March 20, 1883, received a patent. The patent number is 459,899.

His patent was subsequently bought by Sydney W. Winslow, who established the United Shoe Machine Company. The continued success of this business brought about a 50% reduction in the price of shoes across the nation, doubled wages, and improved working conditions for millions of people dependent on the shoe industry for their livelihood. Winslow’s corporation made $50 million in the next dozen years and put Lynn, MA on the map as the shoe capital of the world.

Matzeliger’s work habits and his neglect of his health, however, soon took a toll. In the summer of 1887, he caught a cold then developed tuberculosis. Jan Matzeliger died on August 24 of that year in his mid-30s, long before he had the chance to realize a share of the enormous profit derived from his invention.

Matzeliger is not a household name but it should be. He was honored on a 29 cent first class U.S. postage stamp in 1991.

I hope that he included in the American history lessons of our public schools around the nation! Jan Matzeliger should be discussed with our young people ... not Kanye West.

September 14, 2014

Sunday Inspiration: Time

If you had a bank that credited your account each morning with $86,400 - with no balance carried from day to day - what would you do? How would you spend your money?

Well, you do have such a bank ... time.

Every morning, time credits you with 86,400 seconds to use for whatever purpose you choose. Every night it rules off as “lost” whatever you have failed to use toward good purposes.

It carries over no balances and allows no overdrafts. You can’t hoard it, save it, store it, loan it, or invest it. You can only use it.
  1. Nobody can manage time. But you can manage those things that take up your time. 
  2. Time is a priority. You have enough time for anything in the world, so long as it ranks high enough among your priorities.
  3. Time is expensive. As a matter of fact, 80 percent of our day is spent on those things or those people that only bring us two percent of our results. 
  4. Time is irreplaceable. We never make back time once it is gone.
  5. Time is measurable. Everybody has the same amount of time…pauper or king. It is not how much time you have; it is how much you use.
  6. Time is perishable. It cannot be saved for later use.
I can’t control what life does to me but I can control how I react to what life does.”  ~ Lewis Timberlake ('First Thing Every Morning')

This blog will continue to seek out Sunday Inspirations, a meme inspired by Sojourner's Place. Sunday Inspirations is just one way to help get us through the week ahead, the trials we may face, and yes, to say 'Thank You Jesus' and testify! I invite you to participate in this weekly meme as your contribution might serve as an inspiration to someone in need.

Rest in Peace: Patrick Swayze (1952-2009)

Patrick Swayze is an actor that I always enjoyed without telling anyone. I'm sad that he died on this date in 2009. He fought a strong battle against cancer for over 18 months.

I watch him in Red Dawn whenever it comes on television. I like the fact that his guys in the movie called themselves Wolverines. I like that his character is a strong big brother in the film. And I like that Ron O'Neal was able to demonstrate some acting chops outside of his Super Fly role.

When I was much younger Swayze showed me what Dirty Dancing was all about. "Nobody puts Baby in a corner!" is the line I remember ... but, it was the writhing bodies that I enjoyed. Villagers, my dancing moves are mostly from my college years in the late 1970s ... but, late at night with the right partner ... I can Dirty Dance with the best of them courtesy of Patrick Swayze!

I also enjoyed Swayze's role in Road House. It was a wild west story told in a suburban bar. It is always good to see the good guys kick the bad guys in the butt at the end of the movie. Swayze has me thinking about taking up martial arts whenever I watch this flick. Anyone remember when he said, 'Pain don't hurt' in this movie?

Finally, who among us doesn't wish that we had a love as strong as Patrick Swayze had with Demi Moore in Ghost. You can visualize that scene with the clay right now, huh!?! There are two bad guys in this movie ... Tony Goldwyn (Carl Bruner) and Rick Aviles (Willie Lopez). I didn't realize until tonight that actor Rick Aviles died of AIDS back in 1995.

I'm having flashbacks to Next of Kin and Point Blank!

Anyhow, I share all this to let you know that I'm truly sad to learn that Patrick Swayze has transitioned. May he rest in peace.

September 13, 2014

President Obama: 'We Will Degrade and Destroy ISIL'

In this week’s address, the President reiterated his comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group ISIL.

His plan brings together a campaign of targeted airstrikes, increased support for Iraqi and Kurdish forces already taking on terrorists, assistance from allies and partners, expanded efforts to train and equip the Syrian opposition, and ongoing humanitarian aid for those displaced by ISIL. The President expressed his immense appreciation for the military men and women who make these efforts possible, and reminded the world that America continues to lead and stand strong against terror.

What is your take on our Commander-in-Chief's message re: the continuing terrorist threat?

601 Taser-Related Deaths in the United States Since 2001

Today we added 47-year old Ricky Hinkle (Birmingham, AL) as the 250th taser-related death in America since 2009. [NOTE: the full list is shown below].

According to Amnesty International, between 2001 and 2008, 351 people in the United States died after being shocked by police Tasers. Our blog has documented another 250 taser-related deaths in the United States in 2009-2014. That means there have been 601 documented taser-related deaths in America.

This blog has been pointing out incidents of police taser torture for quite awhile. The work done over the past few years by Patti Gillman and Cameron Ward continue to be the inspiration for our work. Gillman and Ward documented over 863 taser-related deaths in North America on their blog.

I wonder if anyone cares about the rising use of the taser as a lethal weapon?  At least we know that the Department of Justice cares.  They issued a report about the pattern of abuse against the mentally ill in Portland that included the frequent, unnecessary use of Tasers.   Recent deaths have begun to reignite the debate on taser torture.

On the other hand, I think that something is wrong in America when the police electrocute folks on a WEEKLY basis with their taser arsenal ... and the public is mute in its response. Cops are so liberal with their use of the taser that a blind man isn't safe! Sometimes it takes a lawsuit ... like the one recently settled in Ohio ... to get the police to cool it.  The police in Cincinnati, Ohio took the hint ... they changed their taser policy!  The top cop in Georgia thinks it is time to get more training.

I encourage you to use our COMMENTS ('Post a Comment') option at the bottom of this blog post to let us know what you think about these weekly taser-related killings.

  1. Jan 9, 2009: Derrick Jones, 17, Black, Martinsville, Virginia
  2. Jan 11, 2009: Rodolfo Lepe, 31, Hispanic, Bakersfield, California
  3. Jan 22, 2009: Roger Redden, 52, Caucasian, Soddy Daisy, Tennessee-
  4. Feb 2, 2009: Garrett Jones, 45, Caucasian, Stockton, California
  5. Feb 11, 2009: Richard Lua, 28, Hispanic, San Jose, California
  6. Feb 13, 2009: Rudolph Byrd, 37, Black, Thomasville, Georgia
  7. Feb 13, 2009: Michael Jones, 43, Black, Iberia, Louisiana
  8. Feb 14, 2009: Chenard Kierre Winfield, 32, Black, Los Angeles, California
  9. Feb 28, 2009: Robert Lee Welch, 40, Caucasian, Conroe, Texas
  10. Mar 22, 2009: Brett Elder, 15, Caucasian, Bay City, Michigan
  11. Mar 26, 2009: Marcus D. Moore, 40, Black, Freeport, Illinois
  12. Apr 1, 2009: John J. Meier Jr., 48, Caucasian, Tamarac, Florida
  13. Apr 6, 2009: Ricardo Varela, 41, Hispanic, Fresno, California
  14. Apr 10, 2009: Robert Mitchell, 16, Black, Detroit, Michigan
  15. Apr 13, 2009: Craig Prescott, 38, Black, Modesto, California
  16. Apr 16, 2009: Gary A. Decker, 50, Black, Tuscon, Arizona
  17. Apr 18, 2009: Michael Jacobs Jr., 24, Black, Fort Worth, Texas
  18. Apr 30, 2009: Kevin LaDay, 35, Black, Lumberton, Texas
  19. May 4, 2009: Gilbert Tafoya, 53, Caucasian, Holbrook, Arizona
  20. May 17, 2009: Jamaal Valentine, 27, Black, La Marque, Texas
  21. May 23, 2009: Gregory Rold, 37, Black, Salem, Oregon
  22. Jun 9, 2009: Brian Cardall, 32, Caucasian, Hurricane, Utah
  23. Jun 13, 2009: Dwight Madison, 48, Black, Bel Air, Maryland
  24. Jun 20, 2009 Derrek Kairney, 36, Caucasian, South Windsor, Connecticut
  25. Jun 30, 2009, Shawn Iinuma, 37, Asian, Fontana, California
  26. Jul 2, 2009, Rory McKenzie, 25, Black, Bakersfield, California
  27. Jul 20, 2009, Charles Anthony Torrence, 35, Caucasian, Simi Valley, California
  28. Jul 30, 2009, Johnathan Michael Nelson, 27, Caucasian, Riverside County, California
  29. Aug 9, 2009, Terrace Clifton Smith, 52, Black, Moreno Valley, California
  30. Aug 12, 2009, Ernest Ridlehuber, 53, Race: Unknown, Greenville, South Carolina
  31. Aug 14, 2009, Hakim Jackson, 31, Black, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  32. Aug 18, 2009, Ronald Eugene Cobbs, 38, Black, Greensboro, North Carolina
  33. Aug 20, 2009, Francisco Sesate, 36, Hispanic, Mesa, Arizona
  34. Aug 22, 2009, T.J. Nance, 37, Race: Unknown, Arizona City, Arizona
  35. Aug 26, 2009, Miguel Molina, 27, Hispanic, Los Angeles, California
  36. Aug 27, 2009, Manuel Dante Dent, 27, Hispanic, Modesto, California
  37. Sep 3, 2009, Shane Ledbetter, 38, Caucasian, Aurora, Colorado
  38. Sep 16, 2009, Alton Warren Ham, 45, Caucasian, Modesto, California
  39. Sep 19, 2009, Yuceff W. Young II, 21, Black, Brooklyn, Ohio
  40. Sep 21, 2009, Richard Battistata, 44, Hispanic, Laredo, Texas
  41. Sep 28, 2009, Derrick Humbert, 38, Black, Bradenton, Florida
  42. Oct 2, 2009, Rickey Massey, 38, Black, Panama City, Florida
  43. Oct 12, 2009, Christopher John Belknap, 36, Race: Unknown, Ukiah, California
  44. Oct 16, 2009, Frank Cleo Sutphin, 19, Caucasian, San Bernadino, California
  45. Oct 27, 2009, Jeffrey Woodward, 33, Caucasian, Gallatin, Tennessee
  46. Nov 13, 2009, Herman George Knabe, 58, Caucasian, Corpus Christi, Texas
  47. Nov 14, 2009, Darryl Bain, 43, Black, Coram, New York
  48. Nov 16, 2009, Matthew Bolick, 30, Caucasian, East Grand Rapids, Michigan
  49. Nov 19, 2009, Jesus Gillard, 61, Black, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
  50. Nov 21, 2009, Ronald Petruney, 49, Caucasian, Washington, Pennsylvania
  51. Nov 27, 2009, Eddie Buckner, 53, Caucasian, Chattanooga, Tennessee
  52. Dec 11, 2009, Andrew Grande, 33, Caucasian, Oak County, Florida
  53. Dec 11, 2009, Hatchel Pate Adams III, 36, Black, Hampton, Virginia
  54. Dec 11, 2009, Paul Martin Martinez, 36, Hispanic, Roseville, California
  55. Dec 13, 2009, Douglas Boucher, 39, Caucasian, Mason, Ohio
  56. Dec 14, 2009, Linda Hicks, 62, Black, Toledo, Ohio
  57. Dec 19, 2009, Preston Bussey III, 41, Black, Rockledge, Florida
  58. Dec 20, 2009, Michael Hawkins, 39, Caucasian, Springfield, Missouri
  59. Dec 30, 2009, Stephen Palmer, 47, Race: Unknown, Stamford, Connecticut
  60. Jan 6, 2010, Delano Smith, 21, Black, Elkhart, Indiana
  61. Jan 17, 2010, William Bumbrey III, 36, Black, Arlington, Virginia
  62. Jan 20, 2010, Kelly Brinson, 45, Black, Cincinnati, Ohio
  63. Jan 27, 2010, Joe Spruill, Jr., Black, Goldsboro, North Carolina
  64. Jan 28, 2010, Patrick Burns, 50, Caucasian, Sangamon County, Illinois
  65. Jan 28, 2010, Daniel Mingo, 25, Black, Mobile, Alabama
  66. Feb 4, 2010, Mark Morse, 36, Caucasian, Phoenix, Arizona
  67. Mar 4, 2010, Roberto Olivo, 33, Hispanic, Tulare, California
  68. Mar 5, 2010, Christopher Wright, 48, Black, Seattle, Washington
  69. Mar 10, 2010, Jaesun Ingles, 31, Black, Midlothian, Illinois
  70. Mar 10, 2010, James Healy Jr., 44, Race: Unknown, Rhinebeck, New York
  71. Mar 20, 2010, Albert Valencia, 31, Hispanic, Downey, California
  72. Apr 10, 2010, Daniel Joseph Barga, 24, Caucasian, Cornelius, Oregon
  73. Apr 30, 2010, Adil Jouamai, 32, Moroccan, Arlington, Virginia
  74. May 9, 2010, Audreacus Davis, 29, Black, Atlanta, Georgia
  75. May 14, 2010, Sukeba Olawunmi, 39, Black, Atlanta, Georgia
  76. May 24, 2010, Efrain Carrion, 35, Hispanic, Middletown, Connecticut
  77. May 27, 2010, Carl Johnson, 48, Caucasian, Baltimore, Maryland
  78. May 29, 2010, Jose Martinez, 53, Hispanic, Waukegan, Illinois
  79. May 31, 2010, Anastasio Hernández Rojas, 42, Hispanic, San Ysidro, California
  80. Jun 8, 2010, Terrelle Houston, 22, Black, Hempstead, Texas
  81. Jun 12, 2010, Curtis Robinson, 34, Black, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  82. Jun 13, 2010, William Owens, 17, Black, Homewood, Alabama
  83. Jun 14, 2010, Jose Alfredo Jimenez, 42, Hispanic, Harris County, Texas
  84. Jun 15, 2010, Michael White, 47, Black, Vallejo, California
  85. Jun 22, 2010, Daniel Sylvester, 35, Caucasian, Crescent City, California
  86. July 5, 2010, Damon Falls, 31, Black, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  87. July 5, 2010, Edmund Gutierrez, 22, Hispanic, Imperial, California
  88. July 8, 2010, Phyllis Owens, 87, Caucasian, Clackamas County, Oregon
  89. July 9, 2010, Marvin Booker, 56, Black, Denver, Colorado
  90. July 12, 2010, Anibal Rosario-Rodriguez, 61, Hispanic, New Britain, Connecticut
  91. July 15, 2010, Jerome Gill, Race: Unknown, Chicago, Illinois
  92. July 18, 2010, Edward Stephenson, 46, Caucasian, Leavenworth, Kansas
  93. July 23, 2010, Jermaine Williams, 30, Black, Cleveland, Mississippi
  94. Aug 1, 2010, Dennis Sandras, 49, Caucasian, Houma, Louisiana
  95. Aug 9, 2010, Andrew Torres, 39, Hispanic, Greenville, South Carolina
  96. Aug 18, 2010, Martin Harrison, 50, Caucasian, Dublin, California
  97. Aug 19, 2010, Adam Disalvo, 30, Caucasian, Daytona Beach, Florida
  98. Aug 20, 2010, Stanley Jackson, 31, Black, Washtenaw County, Michigan
  99. Aug 24, 2010, Michael Ford, 50, Black, Livonia, Michigan
  100. Aug 25, 2010, Eduardo Hernandez-Lopez, 21, Hispanic, Las Vegas, Nevada
  101. Aug 31, 2010, King Hoover, 27, Black, Spanaway, Washington
  102. Sep 4, 2010, Adam Colliers, 25, Caucasian, Gold Bar, Washington
  103. Sep 10, 2010, Larry Rubio, 20, Caucasian, Leemore, California
  104. Sep 12, 2010, Freddie Lockett, 30, Black, Dallas, Texas
  105. Sep 16, 2010, Gary L. Grossenbacher, 48, Caucasian, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  106. Sep 18, 2010, David Cornelius Smith, 28, Black, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  107. Sep 18, 2010, Joseph Frank Kennedy, 48, Caucasian, La Mirada, California
  108. Oct 4, 2010, Javon Rakestrau, 28, Black, Lafayette Parish, Louisiana
  109. Oct 7, 2010, Patrick Johnson, 18, Caucasian, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  110. Oct 12, 2010, Ryan Bain, 31, Caucasian, Billings, Montana
  111. Oct 14, 2010, Karreem Ali, 65, Black, Silver Spring, Maryland
  112. Oct 19, 2010, Troy Hooftallen, 36, Caucasian, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
  113. Nov 4, 2010, Eugene Lamott Allen, 40, Race: Unknown, Wilmington, Delaware
  114. Nov 6, 2010, Robert Neill, Jr., 61, Caucasian, Mount Joy, Pennsylvania
  115. Nov 7, 2010, Mark Shaver, 32, Caucasian, Brimfield, Ohio
  116. Nov 23, 2010, Denevious Thomas, 36, Black, Albany, Georgia
  117. Nov 26, 2010, Rodney Green, 36, Black, Waco, Texas
  118. Nov 27, 2010, Blaine McElroy, 37, Race: Unknown, Jackson County, Mississippi
  119. Dec 2, 2010, Clayton Early James, Age: Unknown, Black, Elizabeth City, North Carolina
  120. Dec 11, 2010, Anthony Jones, 44, Black, Las Vegas, Nevada
  121. Dec 12, 2010, Linel Lormeus, 26, Black, Naples, Florida
  122. Dec 20, 2010, Christopher Knight, 35, Black, Brunswick, Georgia 
  123. Dec 31, 2010, Rodney Brown, 40, Black, Cleveland, Ohio 
  124. Jan 5, 2011, Kelly Sinclair, 41, Race: Unknown, Amarillo, Texas
  125. Feb 5, 2011, Robert Ricks, 23, Black, Alexandria, Louisiana
  126. March 15, 2011, Brandon Bethea, 24, Black, Harnett County, North Carolina
  127. March 21, 2011, Jerry Perea, 38, Hispanic, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  128. Apr 3, 2011, Jairious McGhee, 23, Black, Tampa, Florida
  129. Apr 22, 2011, Adam Spencer Johnson, 33, Caucasian, Orlando, Florida
  130. Apr 23, 2011, Ronald Armstrong, 43, Caucasian, Pinehurst, North Carolina
  131. Apr 25, 2011, Kevin Darius Campbell, 39, Race: Unknown, Tallahassee, Florida 
  132. May 1, 2011, Marcus Brown, 26, Black, Waterbury, Connecticut
  133. May 6, 2011, Matthew Mittelstadt, 56, Caucasian, Boundary County, Idaho
  134. May 11, 2011, Allen Kephart, 43, Caucasian, San Bernadino County, California 
  135. June 13, 2011, Howard Hammon, 41, Caucasian, Middleburg, Ohio 
  136. June 22, 2011, Otto Kolberg, 55, Caucasian, Waycross, Georgia 
  137. June 28, 2011, Dalric East, 40, Black, Montgomery County, Maryland
  138. July 5, 2011, Kelly Thomas, 37, Caucasian, Fullerton, California
  139. July 10, 2011, Joshua Nossoughi, 32, Caucasian, Springfield, Missouri
  140. July 19, 2011, Alonzo Ashley, 29, Black, Denver, Colorado 
  141. July 21, 2011, La'Reko Williams, 21, Black, Charlotte, North Carolina 
  142. July 30, 2011, Donald Murray, 39, Caucasian, Westland, Michigan
  143. August 4, 2011, Pierre Abernathy, 30, Black, San Antonio, Texas
  144. August 6, 2011, Everette Howard, 18, Black, Cincinnati, Ohio
  145. August 6, 2011, Debro Wilkerson, 29, Black, Prince William County, Maryland
  146. August 6, 2011, Gregory Kralovetz, 50, Caucasian, Kaukauna, Wisconsin 
  147. August 12, 2011, Joseph Lopez, 49, Hispanic, Santa Barbara, California
  148. August 17, 2011, Roger Chandler, 41, Caucasian, Helena, Montana 
  149. August 21, 2011, Montalito McKissick, 37, Black, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  150. August 24, 2011, Michael Evans, 56, Race: Unknown, Fayetteville, North Carolina
  151. August 30, 2011, Nicholas Koscielniak, 27, Caucasian, Lancaster, New York
  152. September 11, 2011, Tyree Sinclair, 31, Black, Corpus Christi, Texas
  153. September 13, 2011, Damon Barnett, 44, Caucasian, Fresno, California 
  154. September 17, 2011, Richard Kokenos, 27, Caucasian, Warren, Michigan
  155. September 24, 2011, Bradford Gibson, 35, Black, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
  156. September 24, 2011, Donacio Rendon, 43, Hispanic, Lubbock, Texas
  157. September 29, 2011, Howard Cook, 35, Black, York, Pennsylvania
  158. October 4, 2011, Glenn Norman, 46, Caucasian, Camden County, Missouri
  159. October 9, 2011, Darnell Hutchinson, 32, Black, San Leandro, California
  160. October 31, 2011, Chad Brothers, 32, Caucasian, Colonie, New York
  161. November 6, 2011, Darrin Hanna, 43, Black, North Chicago, Illinois
  162. November 13, 2011, Ronald Cristiano, 51, Caucasian, Bridgeport, Connecticut
  163. November 15, 2011, Jonathan White, 29, Black, San Bernardino, California
  164. November 22, 2011, Roger Anthony, 61, Black, Scotland Neck, North Carolina
  165. December 16, 2011, Marty Atencio, 44, Hispanic, Phoenix, Arizona
  166. December 22, 2011, Wayne Williams, 27, Black, Houma, Louisiana
  167. January 2, 2012, Mario Marin, 53, Caucasian, Santa Ana, California
  168. January 15, 2012, Daniel Guerra, 24, Hispanic, Ft. Worth, Texas
  169. February 29, 2012, Raymond Allen, 34, Black, Galveston, Texas
  170. March 5, 2012, Nehemiah Dillard, 29, Black, Gainesville, Florida
  171. March 12, 2012, Jersey Green, 37, Black, Aurora, Illinois 
  172. March 19, 2012, James Barnes, 38, Caucasian, Pinellas County, Florida
  173. April 10, 2012, Bobby Merrill, 38, Black, Saginaw, Michigan
  174. April 21, 2012, Angel Hiraldo, 41, Hispanic, Meriden, Connecticut 
  175. April 22, 2012, Bruce Chrestensen, 52, Caucasian, Grass Valley, California
  176. May 10, 2012, Damon Abraham, 34, Black, Baldwin, Louisiana
  177. May 31, 2012, Randulph Rodas, 35, Hispanic, Merced, California
  178. June 9, 2012, Randolph Bonvillian, 41, Caucasian, Houma, Louisiana
  179. June 20, 2012, Macadam Mason, 39, Caucasian, Thetford, Vermont 
  180. June 30, 2012, Victor Duffy, 25, Black, Tukwila, Washington
  181. July 1, 2012, Corey McGinnis, 35, Black, Cincinnati, Ohio
  182. July 5, 2012, Sampson Castellane, 29, Native American, Fife, Washington 
  183. July 6, 2012, Joshua Salvato, 21, Hispanic, Ocala, Florida 
  184. August 21, 2012, Jerry Nichols, 64, Caucasian, Bend, Oregon
  185. September 1, 2012, Denis Chabot, 38, Caucasian, Houston, Texas 
  186. September 14, 2012, Bill Williams, 60, Caucasian, Everett, Washington
  187. September 17, 2012, Phillip McCue, 28, Caucasian, Bangor, Maine 
  188. October 21, 2012, Anthony Lawson, 27, Black, Corona, California
  189. November 29, 2012, Robert Maurina, 46, Caucasian, West Allis, Wisconsin
  190. December 13, 2012, Philip Coleman, 38, Black, Chicago, Illinois
  191. December 15, 2012, Darryll Briston, 49, Black, Washington, Pennsylvania
  192. December 25, 2012, Kevin Culp, 29, Black, Richmond, Washington
  193. January 1, 2013, Andrew Layton, 26, Caucasian, Mankato, Minnesota
  194. January 4, 2013, Marcus Slade, 32, Black, Marshall, Texas
  195. February 23, 2013, Christopher Parker, 33, Caucasian, Spokane, Washington 
  196. March 3, 2013, Ray McKelvey, 26, Caucasian, Canyonville, Oregon
  197. March 21, 2013, Bobby Madewell, 51, Caucasian, Longview, Texas
  198. March 24, 2013, Khari Illidge, 25, Black, Phenix City, Alabama
  199. March 30, 2013, Lawrence Baumann, 51, Caucasian, Santa Barbara, California
  200. April 5, 2013, Mark Couturier, 50, Caucasian, Los Angeles, California
  201. April 10, 2013,Thomas Sadler, 45, Caucasian, Raleigh, North Carolina
  202. April 19, 2013, Anthony Howard, 51, Black, Gaithersburg, Maryland
  203. April 19, 2013, Anthony Firkins, 33, Caucasian,  Nampa, Idaho
  204. May 16, 2013, Jermaine Darden, 34, Black, Ft. Worth, Texas 
  205. May 17, 2013, Guillermo Cedano, 44, Hispanic, Montibello, California 
  206. June 2, 2013, Guy Guthrie, 55, Unknown, Conifer, Colorado
  207. June 7, 2013, Will Berger, 34, Caucasian, Spokane, Washington
  208. June 9, 2013, Mark Koves, 28, Caucasian, Thornton, Illinois 
  209. June 9, 2013, Noel Mendoza, 43, Hispanic, Meriden, Connecticut
  210. June 22, 2013, Gregory Price, 56, Caucasian, Roseburg, Oregon 
  211. June 29, 2013, George Harvey, 39, Black, Augusta, Georgia
  212. July 10, 2013, Gerald Altomare, 30, Caucasian, St. Cloud, Florida
  213. July 11, 2013, Antonio Johnson, 40, Black, Bridgeton, Missouri
  214. July 21, 2013, Deomain Hayman, 28, Black, Wilmington, Delaware 
  215. July 22, 2013, Thomas Martinez, 40, Caucasian, Coralville, Iowa 
  216. July 23, 2013, Jason Nalls, 40, Black, Wenatchee, Washington
  217. July 24, 2013, Dainell Simmons, 29, Black, Middle Island, New York 
  218. July 26, 2013, John Wrana, 95, Caucasian, Forest Park, Illinois 
  219. July 29, 2013, Zheng Diao, 76, Asian, St. Louis Park, Minnesota
  220. August 6, 2013, Israel Hernandez, 18, Hispanic, Miami, Florida 
  221. August 21, 2013, Michael Ruiz, 44, Hispanic, Phoenix, Arizona 
  222. August 21, 2013, Lawrence Owens, 55, Black, Farrell, Pennsylvania
  223. September 2, 2013, Norman Oosterbroek, 43, Caucasian, Miami, Florida 
  224. September 3, 2013, Gary Beto, 52, Caucasian, East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  225. September 14, 2013, Jonathan Ferrell, 24, Black, Charlotte, North Carolina
  226. September 22, 2013, Michael Zubrod, 39, Caucasian, Northwood, Iowa
  227. October 11, 2013, Raymond Johnson, 41, Black, Moreno Valley, California
  228. October 13, 2013, Fernando Gomez, 36, Hispanic, El Paso, Texas
  229. February 4, 2014, Randall Hatori, 39, Asian Pacific Islander, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  230. February 5, 2014, Willie Sams, 21, Black, Liberty City, Florida
  231. February 27, 2014, Treon 'Tree' Johnson, 27, Unknown, Hialeah, Florida 
  232. February 27, 2014, Maykel Barrera, 37, Hispanic, Miami, Florida
  233. April 11, 2014, Gregory Towns, 24, Black, East Point, Georgia 
  234. April 13, 2014, Edward Caruth, 38, Caucasian, Phoenix, Arizona 
  235. April 13, 2014, Jose Maldonado, 22, Hispanic, East Hartford, Connecticut
  236. May 11, 2014, Ron Hillstrom, 44, Caucasian, University Place, Washington
  237. May 14, 2014, George King, 18, Black, Baltimore, Maryland 
  238. May 24, 2014, Carlos Ocana, 54, Hispanic, Los Angeles, California
  239. June 7, 2014, Daniel Best, 34, Caucasian, Gilbert, Arizona
  240. June 21, 2014, Dominic Graffeo, 56, Caucasian, Chelsea, Massachusetts
  241. July 7, 2014, Ennis Labaux, 37, Black, LaPlace, Louisiana 
  242. July 12, 2014, Ronald Hewett, 50, Caucasian, Wilmington, North Carolina
  243. July 19, 2014, Francisco Rocha, 41, Hispanic, Chicago, Illinois
  244. August 8,  2014, Jose Paulino, 38, Hispanic, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania
  245. August 12, 2014, Dante Parker, 36, Black, Victorville, California 
  246. August 20, 2014, Arvel Williams, 30, Black, Perry Hall, Maryland
  247. August 24, 2014, Timothy Griffis, 35, Caucasian, Lake City, Florida 
  248. August 25, 2014, Timothy Rice, 33, Caucasian, Austin, Texas 
  249. August 29, 2014, Michael O'Connell, 44, Caucasian, Littlefield, Arizona 
  250. September 13, 2014, Ricky Hinkle, 47, Black, Birmingham, Alabama

You can see that we don't know the race or national origin (RNO) for Kevin Darius Campbell, Michael Evans, Jerome Gill, Guy Gutherie, James Healy Jr.,  Treon 'Tree' Johnson, T.J. Nance, Stephen Palmer or Earnest Ridlehuber. We can use some research assistance from villagers to help us identify the RNO for these folks who died after being electrocuted by police taser guns.

We track the RNO information because we sense that these taser-related deaths are happening at a disproportionate level to people of color.

For example, we see that at least 106 (105 men and a 62-year old woman) of these taser-torture killings occurred against African Americans. Black people are only 13.6% of the total population, yet 43% of the 2009-2014 taser-related deaths in America are Black people.

At last count, there are more than 514,000 Tasers among law enforcers and the military nationwide. Tasers are now deployed in law enforcement agencies in 29 of the 33 largest U.S. cities. Some states, such as New Jersey, are loosening up their rules for taser use.  Other states, like Delaware, seek to justify taser use in spite of rising death toll.

However, the tide may be turning. As taser-related deaths and injuries have continued to rise (as well as the amount of Taser litigation), many departments are starting to abandon the weapon in favor of other means of suspect control. Currently, Memphis and San Francisco have opted to ban the use of tasers by law enforcement. Charlotte (NC) pulled all the tasers off the street.  Nevada revised their taser policy so that it would be more aligned to proposal from the ACLU.

South Carolina is beginning to question its use of tasers. Additionally, a federal court has ruled that the pain inflicted by the taser gun constitutes excessive force by law enforcement. The courts don't want police to electrocute people with their tasers unless they pose an immediate threat.

Perhaps the idea of an electric rifle made sense when it was first invented. "Taser" refers to an electrical weapon trademarked by the Scottsdale, Arizona-based company known as Taser International. The word Taser stands for "Tom A. Swift Electrical Rifle."

The Taser was developed by Jack Cover, a contract scientist on NASA's Apollo moon program in the 1960s. Inspired by his favorite childhood book series - Victor Appleton's Tom Swift - Cover drew up plans for a non-lethal weapon like the one the series' main character used.

In 1993, Rick and Tim Smith, who launched Taser International, worked with Cover to improve his design and introduced the device the next year. Since then, use of the word Taser has became part of the common American language.

However, we now see too much taser abuse. First available to law enforcement in February 1998, now used by more than 14,200 law enforcement agencies in more than 40 countries. More than 406,000 taser guns have been sold since the product hit the market. It may be time for congressional hearings.

Some tell us that tasers are making America safer. Police kill about 600 people per year in shootings. So what?! Should we be we be happy that they are ONLY killing people once-a-week with taser guns?

How Do Tasers Work? When a Taser’s trigger is pulled, two wires shoot out of the device at the suspect from up to 35 feet away. At the ends of the wires are probes that either embed in a person's skin or cling to clothing.
  • When the probes hit, an electrical pulse is delivered for five seconds, causing involuntary muscular contractions in the subject.
  • At the end of the first pulse, police tell the person to roll onto their abdomen, so they can be handcuffed. If they do not comply, they may be shocked again.
  • Once a person is arrested, police remove the barbs and call EMTs to the scene.
  • The person is taken to the hospital to be checked out. If the barbs remain in the person after police try to remove them, they are removed at the hospital.
  • The Taser is equipped with a chip that records information on each use, which can be used in court if someone alleges they were shocked multiple times.
Personally, I think that the 'Use of Force Continuum' needs to show tasers as 'near-lethal' ... definitely an error to claim that they are 'non-lethal'.

Many of us think that that immediate problem with Taser use is the lack of state and federal training standards for Taser certification. There are too many police officers with a taser on their hip and insufficient training on how ... or when ... to use it. Without set training standards (which includes a block on the liabilities of the weapons use in the event of bodily injury or death), officers are not fully aware of the ramifications of Taser use.

What say u?What would you suggest we do to deal with these weekly taser-related deaths?
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September 12, 2014

Hey White People: A Kinda Awkward Note to America by Ferguson Kids

Racism is not over, but these kids from Ferguson, Missouri, are way over it.

In a new video from social justice-oriented T-shirt company FCKH8, several Ferguson children lampoon the excuses white people give to avoid getting involved in ending discrimination in America and deliver a call to action to stomp out racism.
"Just because Beyoncé is on your playlist and you voted for Obama doesn't mean that our generation has seen the end of racist drama," the kids, who range in age from 6 to 13, say. They add later, "We just want an equal shot at life, not to be shot to death."