Saturday, July 20, 2019

New York Public Libraries Serving as Cooling Centers

The following announcement was submitted by Caryl Matute, Chief Branch Library Officer for the New York Public Library. 

With New York City temperatures expected to hover around 100 degrees this weekend, the Library has decided to open seven additional branches on Sunday, July 21, to help New Yorkers stay cool and safe. 

With the seven additional branches, The New York Public Library—which serves the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island—will offer service at 14 locations this Sunday, July 21; public library locations are considered City cooling centers. 

The additional libraries, which will be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., are: High Bridge Library, West Farms Library, Mott Haven Library and Soundview Library in the Bronx; Morningside Heights Library and Harlem Library in Manhattan; and Stapleton Library in Staten Island.

The New York Public Library will also offer planned Sunday service at the following locations on July 21:
Bronx Library Center, Melrose Library, and Parkchester Library in the Bronx; 53rd Street Library, Inwood Library, and Hudson Park Library in Manhattan; and Todt Hill–Westerleigh Library in Staten Island.

Racism is Killing Black Americans

By the Editors of the Southern Poverty Law Center

Racism affects every aspect of American life – none more so than our medical system. 

Numerous studies over the years have laid bare the gap in health outcomes between minority groups and white Americans.

African Americans have a lower life expectancy than white people. They are more likely to suffer and die from chronic conditions like kidney, cardiovascular, and lung disease.

Black children are more likely to endure asthma and have more severe symptoms than white children. The infant mortality rate is more than twice as high for black children than for white children – a disparity that’s wider today than it was in 1850, when the majority of African Americans were enslaved, and one that is not related to the economic or educational status of the mother.

These persistent disparities in health outcomes are not due to genetic or biological differences between the races but to entrenched racism in American society.

Discrimination in American health care is well documented. African Americans, in fact, have been subjected to racist understandings of biology and cruel medical experimentation since the Middle Passage. In the mid-1800s, for example, the physician J. Marion Sims performed torturous experiments on enslaved women without anesthesia. In the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiment of the 1930s, doctors collaborating with the U.S. Public Health Service studied the deadly symptoms of syphilis on hundreds of black men without treating them or even telling them they were infected.

African-American women, in particular, have been subjected to unspeakable horrors, including bearing the brunt of a eugenics movement in the 20th century that sought to control black population growth. Not only were oral contraceptives deliberately pushed in black communities but African-American, as well as Native women have been subjected to forced sterilizations.

In 1973, the SPLC represented the Relf sisters, who were 12 and 14 and lived in public housing with their mother when doctors working for the U.S. government surgically sterilized them without consent. Their mother, who was illiterate, signed an “X” on a document after being told her daughters, who both had mental disabilities, would be receiving birth control shots. The SPLC’s legal action exposed a program under which tens of thousands of black women had been coerced into undergoing sterilization.

The legacy of these injustices is still with us. Perhaps no other group of people in America experiences worse health outcomes than black women.

Black women have higher death rates for nearly all cancers than white women and are twice as likely to experience infertility problems. These health disparities manifest most severely, however, in maternal death rates – the rates at which women die during pregnancy or up to after a year after childbirth.

This phenomenon has puzzled researchers for decades. A recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that maternal death rates among black women are 3.3 times higher than for whites. In a separate national study examining the five major conditions linked to maternal death, researchers found that black women did not have a significantly higher prevalence of these conditions but were two to three times more likely to die from them.

Ever since researchers confirmed this stark disparity, they've been trying to understand its causes. One could partly attribute it to the structural barriers black women experience when trying to access health care due to generations of discrimination and segregation. In fact, many of the health disparities between black and white Americans can be directly linked to federal housing discrimination, redlining, and neighborhood segregation.

Black women in America are more likely to live in poverty and to live in neighborhoods where it is difficult to get quality health care. They’re also more likely to have limited access to transportation, to work in jobs with inflexible hours or inadequate benefits with little sick leave, and to be uninsured.
Despite the barrage of evidence that these barriers necessarily affect health outcomes, researchers cannot rule out the role that racism – implicit or explicit bias – plays in interpersonal interactions between health care professionals and women of color.

Even when all other factors are equal – economic status, educational background, and access to health care – maternal death rates for black women are still higher compared to white women. Public health researcher Arline Geronimus has posited that black women’s health is affected by a process she calls “weathering.” Under this hypothesis, the cumulative experience of racism throughout one's life can induce the kind of chronic stress that makes African-American women particularly susceptible to chronic health conditions that lead to otherwise preventable deaths.

Even the wealthiest black women in America aren’t immune from these problems. Tennis star Serena Williams, worth an estimated $180 million, nearly died from post-birth complications in 2011. This week, she announced that she has invested in a start-up company that’s working to end the maternal mortality crisis among black women.

At the SPLC, we’re fighting against both structural and explicit racism that contributes to this extraordinary health disparity.

We’re working to defend access to health care by combating the misguided work requirements some states are adopting as a way to strip low-income people of their coverage under Medicaid. These requirements particularly threaten low-income women of color who rely on Medicaid before their pregnancies as well as during and after them. Many, of course, live in states that have refused to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. 

We’re also fighting racism by providing free anti-bias resources and social justice teaching resources to our nation's schools so that all children may have access to safe and non-stressful learning environments where they can thrive. And, we’re working to dismantle the racist criminal justice systems that keep women of color impoverished from generation to generation. 

The evidence is glaringly clear: Racism is lethal, and we cannot hope to achieve racial equity without acknowledging that this underlying factor causes an untold number of premature deaths among black Americans.

New York Young Republicans: Ann Coulter Event Draws Over 400

Click on the photos to increase their size. 

The following statement was submitted by Gavin Wax, President of the New York Young Republicans

Another event, another massive success for the New York Young Republicans Club!

We are happy to announce our final headcount for our July 18 speaker series with Ann Coulter was over 400 people! 

Thank you to all that came to show their support. We hope to see you at future events.

Photos courtesy of NYYR. 

Friday, July 19, 2019

Funeral-Home Intern Helps Give Veteran Fitting Final Farewell

It's 'Feel Good Friday' on FTG  

This report was published on YouTube on July 18. 

After watching this report, From The G-Man (FTG) invites you to click on the site's logo and escape the relentless and vicious coverage of all things Trump, and the non-stop barrage of negative news reports, by scrolling down and reviewing heartwarming stories like this.  

You and your family be safe and be careful during the heat wave. 


Tom Cruise Surprises Fans with 'Top Gun: Maverick' Trailer

Sisters Share Their Joy of Reading, Live on Social Media

This report was published on YouTube on July 17.

Inside 'The Lion King,' the Making of the Groundbreaking New Movie

This report was published on YouTube on July 17. 

ABC News: Filmmakers and stars from the 1994 film, musical and new movie, from Beyonce, to Donald Glover to Jon Favreau, discuss how the story came to be the global phenomenon it is today.

Creed Front Man Scott Stapp Talks Overcoming Addiction, Mental Health Issues

This report was published on YouTube on July 16.

Group of Friends Give Homeless Man Their Extra Ticket to Red Sox Game

Pizzeria Puts Missing Pet Flyers on Pizza Boxes

This report was published on YouTube on July 18.

CBS News: A pizza shop owner in Matawan, New Jersey, was inspired to help pet owners reunite with their lost animals, so he's putting missing pet flyers on all of his pizza boxes. If it worked on milk cartons, why not pizza boxes?

Priest Pays Coal Miners' Bills After Company Files for Bankruptcy

This report was published on YouTube on July 17.

NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray Surprises USWNT's Allie Long

This report was published on YouTube on July 16. 

CBS News: USWNT midfielder Allie Long's key to New York City was stolen from a hotel room in Los Angeles last week. During an exclusive interview on CBS Sports' “We Need To Talk," NYC first lady Chirlane McCray had a surprise for Long.

Man Once in Foster Care Becomes Foster Parent at 20 and Adopts Three Sons

This report was published on YouTube on July 16.

Ursula von der Leyen: First Woman to Hold EU's Top Job

This report was published on YouTube on July 17.

Wrestling for Change: Fighting a Way of Life in Dagestan

This report was published on YouTube on July 16.

Remembering Johnny Clegg, the 'White Zulu'

This report was published on YouTube on July 18.

Colourful River Festival Marks the Beginning of Buddhist Lent in Thailand

This report was published on YouTube on July 16.

Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins Remembers Historic Mission

This report was published on YouTube on July 16.

Global News: Former Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, Charlie Duke of mission control, astronaut and engineer Rusty Schweickart and flight director Gerry Griffin are expected to speak about the historic mission in Florida. 

The Top Cop in 1802 Has a Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandson in the N.Y.P.D.

Jacob Hays was high constable. His descendant, Benjamin Singleton, crunches crime statistics at Police Headquarters.

Click here for the report.

Source: The New York Times 

Why Beyoncé Is a Fan of These Teenage Singers From Brooklyn

The acclaimed Brooklyn Youth Chorus collaborates with cutting-edge composers and has become a resource for popular musicians.

Click here for the report. 

Source: The New York Times 

Thursday, July 18, 2019

U.S. Braces for Record-Breaking Heat Wave

House Passes Bill to Raise Federal Minimum Wage

Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo

"Like New York State did in 2016, today the House of Representatives voted to stand with hardworking families and advance economic justice by passing the $15 minimum wage for all Americans. New York lead the nation by enacting a $15 minimum wage and last year we enacted a $19 minimum wage for airport workers because we believe in a fair day's pay for a fair day's work. This fight has always been about stepping up to make a real different in the lives of hardworking families, and I applaud Speaker Pelosi for her leadership and all the members of the New York Congressional delegation who voted for this critically important measure. Now it's time for the Senate to demonstrate they care about the dignity and respect of hardworking people too. Pass the bill now." 

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

The Epstein-Barr Virus and Donald J. Trump


The Epstein-Barr virus, first of all, is the cause of an infectious disease, mononucleosis, which is (interestingly enough in light of what this column is principally about) called the "kissing disease." Its primary symptoms are: fatigue, fever, lack of appetite, rash, sore throat , swollen glands in the neck, and weakness and sore muscles. While in this column we are dealing with a different kind of Epstein-Barr virus, one of the political sort (credit here must go to one of my Twitter mates, JoeInWVa, for identifying it as such [although unfortunately I cannot find the link to that particular cartoon]) some of the symptoms are the same. That is if you broaden the diagnosis to include Sick-of-Trump-and-Barr Syndrome.  

But let's look at some of the particularly noticeable socio-political outcomes so far of the Jeff Epstein/Bill Barr virus that has suddenly burst on the scene, not necessarily in order of importance. 

The law firm of Kirkland-Ellis in Chicago is central. It is the world's highest-grossing law firm. It was Bill Barr's firm for a while, although not during the period when it obtained the sweetheart deal for Steve Epstein in Florida. That's why Barr at first recused himself (announcing it to the press) on one day, then quickly un-recused himself the next day (announcing through a DOJ spokesperson). One can just imagine the call from Trump that led to the second event (if that is indeed what happened). This is a clean webmagazine, so I won't conjure up the language Trump likely used. Of course, much more important than Trump's language in that hypothetical call, is why Barr un-recused himself, whether there was such a call or not. Couldn't have anything to do with being the President's lawyer rather than the U.S. Attorney General and what interest Trump might have in limiting the scope of the current case, could it?

The Epstein deal in Florida, arranged by the current Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta was illegal. If a plea deal is underway, the prosecutors by law are supposed to inform the complainants. They didn't and didn't respond to repeated "what's going on?" inquiries from some of them. Acosta's excuse was that "the times were different." Pardon me? How many African-Americans went to prison for rape back then, and much further back for the same sort, or even a lesser sort, of evidence? No, it was the person charged who was different.

Click here for the full article. 


Lawmakers Call For A$AP Rocky’s Release....

Four lawmakers have called on the U.S. government to become involved in the case, citing “human rights violations” committed against the rapper.

Click here for the report.

Source: The Huffington Post

The Power of the Pen: Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act Signed Into Law in New York

Albany – Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) into law. This law establishes a mandate that moves all sectors of New York’s economy off of fossil fuels, thereby reducing climate pollution that impacts our health, environment, and economy.

Peter M. Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York, issued the following statement. 

“Today, New York begins its official breakup with fossil fuels. Under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York will both slash climate pollution and provide a playbook for the rest of the nation to follow.

"New York’s action is more than ambitious, it is essential, especially if we are going to have a chance to be free from the global climate crisis. And how fitting that the Empire State is once again leading the way.

"Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and the CLCPA sponsors Assemblymember Steve Englebright and Senator Todd Kaminsky, deserve our thanks for their leadership and vision in moving New York ahead to a healthier future.”

Source: EANY

Kellyanne Conway’s Irish Ancestors Were the Enemy When Donald Trump’s Dad Was Arrested at a Klan Riot in 1927

Click here for the report. 

Source: The Intercept_

Homeland Security Head McAleenan Questioned Over Treatment of Migrants

Apollo 11 50th Anniversary: The Lasting Impact of Landing on the Moon

Jeffrey Epstein Denied Bail in Sex Trafficking Case

CBS News: A federal judge in New York ruled that wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein must remain behind bars until trial on charges of sexually abusing numerous teen girls. CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman joins CBSN with more on the breaking news.

FaceApp Raises Privacy and Security Concerns

WHO Sounds Global Alarm Over DR Congo Ebola Outbreak

'El Chapo' Verdict: Mexican Drug Lord Sentenced to Life in US Prison

European Commission President: MEPs Narrowly Elect Ursula von der Leyen

China's Challenge: Trade War Takes Toll on Economic Growth

US Blocks Turkey from NATO's Fighter Jet Programme After Russian Missile Purchase

Major Players in Italian Crime Family Taken Down in Massive Bust in Ontario

Global News: York Regional Police revealed details on the massive bust of an alleged traditional organized crime network that netted more than $35 million in cash and assets. Police said a crime family known as the Figliomeni’s have allegedly been operating for more than three decades in Italy, Vaughan and across the GTA laundering millions of dollars.

Click here for the complete report. 

Justin Trudeau Holds Joint Press Conference with Donald Tusk, Jean-Claude Juncker

Global News: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a joint news conference with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker after hosting the two leaders for a two-day visit.

Jon Stewart Rips Rand Paul's 'Virtue Signaling' in Blocking 9/11 Victim Fund

This report was published on YouTube on July 17. 

Fox News: A bill to ensure funding for the health care of Sept. 11 first responders is being held up in the Senate by Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee; reaction from TV personality and advocate Jon Stewart and 9/11 first responder John Feal.

Governor Cuomo Signs Farm Workers Bill

This video was published on YouTube on July 17. 

New York City - Governor Cuomo signs the Farm Workers Bill, which establishes the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act to protect farm worker rights and ensure equitable housing and working conditions.

(Bonus Report)

Mayor de Blasio Holds Press Conference on Extreme Heat

This video was published on YouTube on July 17.

US Women's National Soccer Team Presented with with Keys to New York City

This video was published on YouTube on July 17.

How an Impenetrable M.T.A. Overhaul Could Actually Affect Your Subway Ride

Sure, it’s no beach read. But the 37-page report on reorganizing the transit agency could have a big impact. 

Click here for the report. 

Source: The New York Times 

Mt. Vernon Has 2 Mayors and a Police Chief Arrested by His Own Officers

Click here for the report.

Source: The New York Times

Former Inmate Sues City Over Allegations He Was Raped at Rikers

Click here for the report.

Source: The New York Daily News

If Pantaleo Isn’t Fired ‘We’re Going to Do This Every Day,’ Eric Garner’s Daughter Declares At Protest

Emerald Garner

Click here for the report.

Source: The New York Daily News

Happening in Harlem: The Young Lords, New York @50 Activism: Past & Present

Click on the photo to increase its size. 
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture invites you to join them as they commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Young Lords in New York—with this public kick-off event. 

The Young Lords, New York @50 - Activism: Past and Present, features New York Young Lords veterans in conversation, performance, poetry, iconic images, book signings and community fellowship.

Learn about the history of the young people who, inspired by the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords of Chicago, sparked revolutionary change in El Barrio, the lower Eastside, the South Bronx, and throughout oppressed urban communities across the country. Scheduled presenters include Juan Gonzalez, Jamal Joseph, Felipe Luciano, Mickey Melendez, Denise Oliver-Velez, Carlito Rovira, Moderator Dr. Johanna Fernandez, with performance by mahina movement, Nuyorican Poet Jani Rose and percussionist Xen Medina.

The event is free and open to the public.

Click here for additional information. 

Source: The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

From the Archives: The Life and Death of Eric Garner


Victim’s Sister Discusses the Controversial Death, NYPD PBA President
Patrick Lynch, the Public’s Response, and the Family’s Quest to Obtain Justice


This Video May Contain Copyrighted (©) Material. The Use of Which Has Not Always Been Specifically Authorized by The Copyright Owner. Such Material is Made Available to Advance Understanding of Ecological, Political, Human Rights, Economic, Democracy, Scientific, Moral, Ethical, Social Justice Issues, Teaching, and Research. It is believed that this Constitutes a ''Fair Use'' of Any Such Copyrighted Material as Provided For in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In Accordance With Title - 17 U.S.C. Section 107, This Material is Distributed Without PROFIT to Those Who Have Expressed a Prior General Interest in Receiving Similar Information For Research and Educational Purposes. 

Ellisha Flagg Garner is the sister of Eric Garner, who died after several NYPD officers attempted to arrest him for allegedly selling illegal cigarettes on a Staten Island street. She is here on behalf of her mother and other family members and intends to set the record straight about her brother’s character and a number of broadcast and published news reports regarding his death. She’ll also discuss how many of the mainstream news outlets have acted abominably in their attempt to obtain exclusives, the remarks of Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch, the global reaction to her brother’s death, and what her family is doing to uphold her brother’s legacy and obtain justice. 

The interview was conducted on November 12, 2014. 

Garner family photos courtesy of Ellisha Flagg Garner.