Thursday, September 19, 2019

'Troublemaker': A Book Review

'Future Hope' Column 

By Ted Glick

“Time after time on the Grenada (Miss.) Square [in 1966] when we were confronted and outnumbered by Klan-led mobs armed with baseball bats and steel pipes, our songs held us together. And often – not always, but often – our singing literally prevented them from charging into us with their clubs swinging. I know that sounds impossibly mystic and fanciful, but it’s true. I saw it. I experienced it.”
                                       -Bruce Hartford, “Troublemaker”: Memories of the Freedom Movement
As I write it’s the day before the big Global Climate Strike, happening because, 13 months ago, one 15 year old young person in Sweden, Greta Thunberg, translated her despair about the climate emergency into action. Week after week, she and others who joined her somehow sparked a movement of young people that will see, tomorrow, 4500 actions in 150 or so countries, over a thousand of them in the USA, demanding that the governments of the world get truly serious about shifting rapidly from fossil fuels to renewables and energy efficiency, for a justice-based, clean energy revolution.
Those young people part of that movement, and all the rest of us, would gain a great deal by getting and reading the new book, “Troublemaker,” by Bruce Hartford, a personal memoir of what it was like to be part of the civil rights/Black Freedom movement between 1963 and 1967. There are so many lessons to be learned for today, so much inspiration from Hartford’s experiences and his insights about movement- and organization-building learned from those experiences.
The first part of the book is about Hartford’s involvement as a teenage activist in Los Angeles and the Bay Area in 1963 and 1964 as part of CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality, and, in the Bay Area, as part of the Free Speech Movement at the University of California in Berkeley. But the strength of the book is the stories about his time in the deep South, in Alabama and Mississippi, from early 1965 to 1967.
This section of the book begins with Hartford going to Selma, Alabama the day after the brutal Edmund Pettus Bridge attack on March 7th, 1965 by police against 600 nonviolent Black demonstrators.  Hartford describes in detail what things were like afterwards as the movement held together and kept active until, two weeks later, it won a federal court case mandating that they could march from Selma to Montgomery, which they then did. This was one of the most historic moments of the epic 60’s battle against racist and violent Jim Crow segregation.

Click here for the full article. 


Eric Garner's Mother, Al Sharpton Testify on Policing Practices Before House Committee

Trudeau Apologizes for Brownface, Says He 'Didn't Think Was Racist at the Time'

Whistleblower Reports Trump Convo with Foreign Leader

New York State Task Force to Host Hate Crime Investigation Training Seminars

The New York State Police, in partnership with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and the New York State Division of Human Rights, will host a series of four hate crime investigation training seminars for law enforcement agencies across the state. The first seminar is today in Manhattan and more than 140 members of law enforcement have registered for this session.

"New York has absolutely zero tolerance for any form of bias or discrimination," Governor Cuomo said. "There has been an alarming rise in anti-Semitism and hatred of all kinds across our state and our nation, and these seminars are just the latest effort to ensure our state and local law enforcement have the proper training to investigate and prosecute hate crimes and keep New Yorkers safe."

Each of the training sessions will feature presentations by members of the New York State Hate Crimes Task Force (State Police, DCJS and DHR), as well as the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York and the Queens County District Attorney's Office. The Manhattan training will also include a presentation by the NYPD. Topics covered in the sessions include an overview of hate crime investigation for responding law enforcement, background on white supremacist groups, the prosecution of hate crimes and the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws in the employment, housing and public accommodation sectors.

In addition to the first training being held today in Manhattan, the training series will be presented at other locations around the state:  September 24, 2019 - Erie County,     September 25, 2019 - Onondaga County, and October 17, 2019 - Albany County.

The training sessions are open only to sworn or civilian members of law enforcement, prosecutors, parole and probation officers and correction officers. The seminars will be closed to media due to the law enforcement-sensitive nature of the training.

New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said, "These training sessions allow State Police and our law enforcement partners to learn about the latest legal issues and techniques that will assist in the investigation of hate crimes. This collaborative effort is critical to ensuring that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions and successfully prosecuted."

This training comes as New York continues to experience a number of bias-related incidents, including three separate incidents in recent days of anti-Semitic graffiti in Rockland County, Queens and Long Island.

Governor Cuomo has taken a number of actions to combat hate and bias-related incidents, including the launch of a Hate Crimes Text Line, enabling any New Yorker to easily report incidents in their community. Those who have experienced or witnessed bias or discrimination are encouraged to text "HATE" to 81336 with details of the incident, including photo or video documentation. 

The text line is in addition to a toll-free telephone bias and discrimination hotline operated by the State Division of Human Rights (1-888-392-3644). Since its creation in November of 2016, the hotline has received nearly 23,400 calls and has referred 187 calls to the State Police for investigation into potential criminal conduct. In case of emergency or if you are a victim of a crime, always dial 911. A $5,000 reward is also being made available for any information leading to an arrest and conviction for a hate crime.

Under state law, a person commits a hate crime when one of a specified set of offenses is committed targeting a victim because of a perception or belief about their race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation, or when such an act is committed as a result of that type of perception or belief. Hate crimes can be perpetrated against an individual, a group of individuals or against public or private property. Also under state law it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, ethnicity and many other protected classifications.

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Israel: Benny Gantz Says He Wants to Form Unity Government, But Argues He Should Be Prime Minister

Saudi Oil Attacks: Iran's FM Says 'Strike Against Tehran Would Result in All-Out War'

Japan: A Court Acquits Former Power Company Executives Over Fukushima Disaster

Justin Trudeau Seen in Blackface in Exclusive Video

Governor Cuomo Launches Statewide Education Campaign on Red Flag Law

This video was published on YouTube on September 18.

Governor Cuomo launched a statewide education campaign on New York's new Red Flag gun safety law. The Governor hosted the first of three conferences to help teachers, school administrators and parent representatives understand the new law and how to use it to keep schools safe.

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

Trump Sues Manhattan DA Cy Vance to Keep Tax Records Hidden

Click here for the report.

Source: The New York Daily News

New York Schools Fall Short on LGBTQ Suicide Prevention Policies: Study

Click here for the report. 

Source: The New York Daily News

OMH Recognizes New York Doctor for a Lifetime of Leadership on Suicide Prevention

Edward Dunne, a suicide prevention expert from New York, has been awarded the New York State Office of Mental Health’s (OMH) Fred Meservey Life & Leadership Award.” The award, presented every two years, is given to a New Yorker who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in the field of suicide prevention.

Dunne was recognized during OMH’s fourth annual New York State Suicide Prevention Conference, at which keynote speakers and 30 breakout sessions focused on strengthening suicide prevention through state and local partnerships, including those that target diverse, at-risk groups.

“Dr, Edward Dunne has devoted his life to studying the impact suicide has on those left behind," said New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan. “His personal experience with suicide loss shaped one of the first books on the subject and we have watched his research explore the impact of family engagement on an individual’s mental health treatment. Dr. Dunne is a remarkable example of how one person’s dedication to the cause can shape generations of prevention strategies.”

Dunne co-authored the book Suicide and its Aftermath: Understanding and Counseling the Survivors in 1987. It was largely informed by Dunne’s experience after his 16-year-old brother, Tim, died by suicide. Historically, Dr. Dunne’s seminal work represents the very beginning of the literature on grief after suicide and remains a reference to anyone who currently writes about suicide loss and postvention.

“I am deeply humbled by and very grateful for this recognition of my work,” said Dr. Dunne. “But even more gratifying is the awareness of the great number of talented and dedicated professionals who have continued and expanded our modest beginning.”

Dunne’s contributions to the field of suicide prevention include a focus on children as survivors of a suicide death, the development of Survivor Support Group Guidelines, conducting postvention consultations, providing training in bereavement counseling, and maintaining a vibrant practice specialized on treating individuals and families after the suicide of a loved one.

Dunne was the Director of Professional Studies at Kingsboro Psychiatric Center and a clinical professor at Downstate Medical Center prior to his joining the staff of New York State's Psychiatric Institute, as a research scientist, as well as the clinical faculty at Columbia University. Dr Dunne was also a senior faculty member of the Ackerman Institute for the Family, and founder and director of its project of LGBTQ families. He is a past President of the American Association of Suicidology and was a founding member of the board of directors of the New York City chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  Most recently, he was the Director for Survivor Initiatives for Suicide Prevention International.

Frederick Meservey Life and Leadership Award

The Frederick Meservey Life and Leadership Award is awarded to a New Yorker who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in the field of suicide prevention.  As the founding Director of the Suicide Prevention Center of New York, Fred Meservey valued collaborative leadership, research, and creativity.  Fred was a highly regarded public servant in the fields of child welfare and substance abuse who became a passionate advocate and expert in the field of suicide prevention after experiencing a suicide loss.   Fred challenged those around him to collaboratively work with those affected by suicide and move the field of suicide prevention to find pragmatic interventions.  Fred, in collaboration with other field experts, authored the report that served as the foundation of the Zero Suicide Model.

Suicide Prevention in New York Schools

In August 2019, the Suicide Prevention Center of New York released the first ever Guide to Suicide Prevention Guide for NYS Schools. This guide was developed by the Schools and Youth Workgroup of the Suicide Prevention Council at New York State Office of Mental Health to provide best practice guidance and resources to schools toward the prevention of youth suicide.

New York State Suicide Prevention Task Force Report

OMH is the lead agency for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Suicide Prevention Task Force, which includes leaders from state agencies, local governments, not-for-profit groups, and other recognized experts in suicide prevention. In May, the Task Force released its first report, which focuses on bridging gaps in current state suicide prevention efforts, and on building coalitions and supporting the efforts of local governments and advocates

National Leader in Suicide Prevention

New York’s suicide prevention efforts have been recognized by the Federal Government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) which recently awarded OMH with a grant to support our efforts.

Suicide Prevention Training Opportunities

Suicide Prevention trainings are available throughout New York State. Community groups can register for a suicide prevention training course through the Suicide Prevention Center of NY. Clinical trainings on best practices for suicide prevention can be accessed through the Center for Practice Innovation.

Source: OMH

Happening in Harlem: Celebrating Grace Jones, A Special Screening

 Click on the flier to increase its size.

Put Some Grace in Ya Face! 

Source: ImageNation

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Joe Biden Pushed Ronald Reagan to Ramp Up Incarceration — Not the Other Way Around

The Untold Story

By David Stein

Joe Biden this weekend continued to draw attention to the complicated role he has played in the country’s history of race relations. On Thursday night, he drew criticism when he was asked what Americans can do about the legacy of slavery, and answered by suggesting parents put on a record player for kids, and that social workers should visit parents’ homes to teach them how to care for their children. He followed that by recounting on Sunday his run-in in the 1960s with a young gang leader named “Corn Pop,” a story that involved “the only white guy” at a city pool cutting him a 6-foot piece of chain to defend himself against the razor-wielding teen and his friends.

The politics of race relations have been a central part of Biden’s career, from his high-profile opposition to busing to his authoring of the 1994 Biden Crime Bill. When he talks about his criminal justice record on the campaign trail, he argues today that the focus on the ’94 bill is unfair, because the real rise in mass incarceration happened at the state level and was long underway by then.

Biden is correct that the surge began in the 1970s and accelerated in the 1980s, but a closer look at his role reveals that it was Biden who was among the principal and earliest movers of the policy agenda that would become the war on drugs and mass incarceration, and he did so in the face of initial reluctance from none other than President Ronald Reagan. Indeed, Reagan even vetoed a signature piece of Biden legislation, which he drafted with arch segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, to create a federal “drug czar.”

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Intercept_

'Beaten Down, Worked Up': Steven Greenhouse on the UAW Strike & the State of American Labor

Trump and New National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien Answer Foreign Policy Questions

PBS NewsHour: President Donald Trump debuted his new national security adviser Robert O’Brien while answering questions from reporters before departing from Los Angeles on Sep. 18. Trump praised O’Brien’s work as a hostage negotiator and said he and the new security adviser “have a very good chemistry together.” “We have a number of challenges, but we have a great team in place,” O’Brien said, emphasizing the need to rebuild the military so the U.S. can implement a “peace through strength” strategy.

Rape Statute of Limitations in the Second and Third Degrees Extended in New York

Governor Andrew Cuomo, joined by leaders of the TIME'S UP movement and NOW-NYC, today signed legislation (S.6574/A.8412) extending the statute of limitations to 20 years for rape in the second degree and to 10 years for rape in the third degree. The law also extends the statute of limitations to 20 years for a criminal sexual act in the second degree and incest in the second degree, and to 10 years for a criminal sexual act in the third degree. This law also eliminates the statute of limitations for incest in the first degree and increases the time period in which victims can bring a civil suit for these offenses to 20 years. Prior to this new law, victims only had five years to bring a legal case alleging rape in the second degree or third degree or a criminal sexual act in the second degree or third degree. Altogether, this will provide victims greater opportunity to seek justice.

"There has been an ongoing and pervasive culture of sexual harassment and abuse in our society, and it is made worse by the fact that victims of second and third degree rape only have five years to bring a legal claim against their attacker. Five years is an insult to these survivors and today we're providing them more time to come to terms with the trauma they experienced and to seek justice," Governor Cuomo said. "This new law recognizes the injustice that has gone on for far too long and honors all the women who have suffered this pain and all the advocates who had the courage to come forward and tell their story so that other women may be spared the pain."

"As a critical part of our Women's Justice Agenda and in partnership with TIME'S UP, this action will enable New Yorkers to seek justice and help ensure more rapists are held accountable," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "In New York, we are committed to changing the culture, combating sexual harassment, and protecting women against violence. Extending the statute of limitations for rape is a significant step forward for victims across our state." 

Click here for the full announcement. 

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

Trump to Take on California's Clean Air Rules

Statement from Governors Cuomo, Inslee and Newsome

Governors Andrew Cuomo (NY), Jay Inslee (WA) and Gavin Newsom (CA), who serve as co-chairs of the bipartisan United States Climate Alliance, today issued the following statement in response to the Administration's final rule attempting to revoke the waiver that allows states to set more stringent emissions standards. On July 9th, members of the U.S. Climate Alliance issued a statement announcing an effort to work together to support a strong national standard through the "Nation's Clean Car Promise."

"As co-chairs of the U.S. Climate Alliance - a bipartisan coalition of 25 governors committed to addressing climate change - we strongly oppose today's announcement by the Administration attempting to revoke the rights we have held for 40 years under the Clean Air Act to protect our residents from vehicle pollution.  This will impact not only California, but also the freedom of all states to choose how they protect their own communities from harmful pollution.  

"This action undermines one of the country's best climate and clean air programs and constitutes an attack on consumers, our environment, and our health.   It will increase air pollution, cost our residents more at the pump, and limit the ability of Alliance states to meet their own emission reduction targets and take crucial climate action.  

"We will continue to defend our rights, and call on non-Alliance states, car makers, the health community, and others to work with us to uphold the economic, environmental and public health benefits of cleaner cars."

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Trump Names New National Security Adviser

Trump Announces Increase to Iran Sanctions

Oil Attacks 'Unquestionably Sponsored by Iran': Saudi Arabia

Argentina Economy Looking to US Dollar During Crisis

Deadlock in Israel, with Unconfirmed Results Showing a Tie

French President Macron in Italy to Mend Relations

Brexit: Supreme Court Hears Arguments Over Legality of Prorogation

Killings By Police Snipers on the Rise in Rio de Janeiro

Thailand's 12-Year-Old Answer to Greta Thunberg

Teen Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Testifies to U.S. Congress

Global News: Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg testified to the House of Foreign Affairs and Climate Crisis Committee joint hearing in Washington, D.C, on Sept. 18.

The hearing starts at the 4:30 mark. 

Governor Cuomo Announces Emergency Executive Action to Ban the Sale of Flavored E-Cigarettes

This video was published on YouTube on September 15. 

New York City - Governor Cuomo announces an emergency executive action to ban the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes in New York State - the latest in a series of actions to combat the increasing number of youth using vape products, largely driven by e-cigarette companies marketing flavors that are intended to get children addicted to nicotine.

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

Mayor de Blasio Hold Media Availability

NYPD Holds Annual High Holy Days Briefing

Mayor de Blasio Presents Key to the City to Honor Det. Luis Alvarez

This video was published on YouTube on September 17.

The New York Public Library to Celebrate 'Back to School Week'

The following announcement was submitted by Brian Bannon, the Merryl and James Tisch Director for the New York Public Library

September is a time of change: the end of summer, a new school year, cooler temperatures, and for me, a new role at The New York Public Library. I am very excited to be joining the Library as the new Merryl and James Tisch Director, overseeing educational planning and other important work happening in our 88 branches across the city.

I moved to New York from Chicago just a few weeks ago, and every day since I've arrived, I've seen so many examples of what our libraries mean to each local community. It’s clear—The New York Public Library is the heart of this city.

There are a lot of things to look forward to across our branches this year. You may know that September 21–28 is Back to School Week at The New York Public Library. If you are a parent or caregiver, bring your kids and teens into the Library and learn more about all the ways we're here to support you all year long. Kids and teens will receive a special prize if they check out two or more books, while supplies last. Learn more about Back to School Week events.

September is also Library Card Sign-Up Month. If you don't yet have a library card—or know someone who doesn't—it only takes a minute to sign up for a library card online. Anyone who lives, works, attends school, or pays property taxes in New York State is eligible. Library cards give you access to millions of materials, resources, and services across all of our locations. Why not start today?  

Whether you're new to the Library like me or have been a lifelong patron, it's clear just how much is happening here. To help stay on top of it all, I invite you to sign up for our e-newsletters, which deliver details on upcoming events at your local branch every other week. Never miss out on another author talk, lifelong learning class, or kids' story time in your neighborhood. Add yourself to the NYPL Now and NYPL Kids e-newsletters, and we'll take care of the rest.

I look forward to meeting you as I spend time at our branches in the coming months. Until then, I wish you a happy fall from all of us at The New York Public Library.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Saudi First: Trump Wants to Start a War With Iran When MBS Gives the Order

Click here for the article.  

Source: The Intercept_

New Report Details Successes of New York's First-in-the-Nation Out-of-Network Law

The Department of Financial Services has issued a new report detailing the successes of New York's first-in-the-nation out-of-network law, which protects consumers from emergency and surprise bills from out-of-network doctors and other healthcare providers, including an increasing number of dispute resolution requests.

The law, which takes consumers out of the dispute process, has saved New Yorkers more than $400 million with respect to emergency services alone. 

"New York has made extraordinary progress when it comes to enforcing fairness in healthcare costs," Governor Cuomo said. "These findings show how the out-of-network law has been effective in protecting patients and making it clear to everyone that getting the care New Yorkers need is a right, not a luxury."       

Click here for the full announcement.

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Rev. Al Sharpton, Gwen Carr to Testify Before House Judiciary Committee in First Hearing on Police Misconduct

WASHINGTON — On September 19 at 10 a.m., Rev. Al Sharpton and Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, will testify before the House Judiciary Committee in an oversight hearing on policing practices. 

The hearing, organized after National Action Network (NAN) and Ms. Carr campaigned for Congressional action on police misconduct, is Congress’s first on the issue in the wake of recent misconduct cases throughout the country that led to the deaths of Garner and others.

Attendees will include James Blake, former professional tennis player, author, and analyst for the Tennis Channel, Ron Davis, former director, U.S. Department of Justice, COPS Office, Phillip Atiba Goff, Ph.D., Center for Policing Equity, Chief Vera Bumpers, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Professionals, and Lynda Garcia, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

The hearing will be streamed live here

Source: Mercury

The Mumia Abu-Jamal Commentaries

Big Pharma: Big Money = No Blame  

Click here to listen to Mr. Abu-Jamal's statements.

Source: Prison Radio

Kim Kardashian West: The People's Champ

A Commentary by Donte Mitchell, aka "Mfalme Sikivu"

Click here for the audio. 

Source: Prison Radio

'On Fire': In New Book, Naomi Klein Makes the Case for a Green New Deal to Save the Planet